January 21st, 2017

Five Blacktical Bolt-Guns from SHOT Show

forum boss ruger precision rifle bolt gun tactical
Here is AccurateShooter’s Forum Boss with the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR). The commercial success of this innovative firearm inspired other gun-makers to release their own “blacktical” bolt-guns.

It looks like 2017 will be the year of the metal-stocked, tactical-style bolt-action rifle. Inspired by the success of the Ruger Precision Rifle, other rifle-makers have built their own Blacktical Bolt-guns. These feature modular chassis systems with adjustable buttstocks. While optimized for PRS and tactical competition, these tough, versatile rifles can also be used for hunting. Popular chamberings are: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, and .308 Winchester. All the rifles showcased here retail for under $2000.00, so they can be campaigned in the new PRS Factory Class.

PRS Production Class Cost Limits
Production Division combined rifle and scope MSRP as listed on the company’s website shall not exceed $3,000 USD, the rifle shall not exceed $2,000 USD and the optic not exceed $2,000 USD. [Editor: For example, you could have a $2,000 rifle with a $1000.00 scope or vice-versa. The total system cannot exceed $3000. Rifle alone cannot exceed $2000.00 retail sale price.] Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration.

Bergara B14 BMP Chassis Rifle

Bergara B14 BMP Chassis Rifle

The Bergara B14 rifle features a modern, modular aluminum chassis. The buttstock assembly offers an adjustable comb and adjustable length of pull. Like Savages, the BMP employs a barrel nut so owners can quickly swap barrels. The new B14 features a good adjustable trigger. Current chamberings are 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester (both fed from AICS-type box mags). Our friends Ed and Steve (aka the 6.5 Guys) were impressed with the new Bergara: “Bergara has in-sourced chassis and triggers to produce very high-quality offerings at a very competitive price. Handling, shooting and cycling the bolt on the $1150 MSRP Hunting and Match Rifle would lead one to believe the price tag was a mistake (maybe the first digit should have been a 2). We felt the same when we got behind the $1,699 Bergara Match Precision Rifle.”

Howa HCR Modular Rifle

Howa HCR Chassis rifle
Howa HCR Chassis rifle

The new Howa HCR Chassis Rifle combines a Howa 1500 barreled action with a modern aluminum chassis and LUTH-AR MBA-3 stock. Length of pull is adjustable from 12.5″ to 16.75″. Comb height is also adjustable. Weight with a 24″ barrel is 10.2 pounds (before optics) so the Howa HCR is lighter that many of its competitors. The Howa’s MSRP is $1299.00, a good value in this category. These guns feature a smooth-running action plus excellent 2-stage HACT adjustable trigger. Available chamberings are: .223 Remington, .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. NOTE: If basic black’s not your color, this rifle is also offered with a rugged, Multicam CeraKote finish.

Tikka T3X TAC 1

Tikka t3x tac 1 PRS Chassis rifle
Tikka t3x tac 1 PRS  Chassis rifle

We got a chance to handle the impressive new Tikka T3X TAC 1 at Media Day at the Range. The ergonomics are good and the rifle balances well. Bolt cycling is smooth and the T3X boasts an excellent, adjustable 2-stage trigger. The Tikka T3X has a nice folding stock, and the T3X accepts other AR-platform buttstock units and pistol grips. The T3X will be offered with choice of 16″, 20″, or 24″ barrels, all threaded at muzzle (factory muzzle brake is standard). There are three chamberings: 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington, and .308 Winchester. MSRP is $1899.00, so the T3X is legal for PRS Production Class. We really liked the Tikka T3X, and so did GunsAmerica.com: “Chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor or .260 Remington, the barrel is a perfect balance of being thick enough to shoot seriously, while thin enough not to feel like a benchrest gun. It ships with three magazines, which is a bargain for anyone looking to shoot PRS. I see lots of guns at SHOT Show I want to test or review, but few I would write a check for in the booth. The Tikka T3 TAC A1 is an exception to that rule.”

Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis

Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis PRS rifle .308 Winchester American Rifleman

Weatherby’s new Vanguard® Modular Chassis (VMC) rifle features a Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) aluminum stock, Luth AR MBA-1 buttstock, and 22″ heavy barrel. The Weatherby Vanguard action is fitted with an adjustable 2-stage trigger. Priced at $1519.00 MSRP, this rifle is offered in three chamberings: .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester.

Winchester Repeating Arms XPC

Winchester XPC Chassis rifle

As reported in the NRA Blog: “The XPC Rifle from Winchester Repeating Arms is a full-house precision chassis rifle based on their proven XPR bolt action. The stock features a Cerakoted fully-machined alloy chassis frame paired with a Magpul PRS Gen III stock. A full-length Picatinny rail allows for mounting optics, and M-LOK and QD mounts grace the XPC for easy attachments. A Magpul MOE-K grip rounds out the furniture, and the rifle comes bundled with one 10-round Magpul AICS PMAG and one five-round MDT metal mag.” The barrel is threaded for muzzle brake or suppressors.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
January 20th, 2017

FREE 2017 SHOT Show Daily eZines

Shot Daily eZine

Digital editions of the four issues of SHOT Daily, the magazine printed each day of the SHOT Show, are available free in convenient Web eZine formats. Three web issues are available right now, and the fourth issue will be released later today (Friday, 1/20/17). You’ll find many product features plus articles that can benefit shooting club directors and range managers. Definitely check out the Day One Issue’s extensive coverage of new-for-2017 firearms. SHOT Daily is produced for NSSF by Bonnier Corp., publishers of Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and many other magazines.

Highlights Day 1: New Savage MSR (AR type) rifles, New Firearm Roundup, Exhibitors.

Highlights Day 2: New Products Reports, New Optics, New Ammunition.

Highlights Day 3: New Products Reports, Savage Rimfire, Knives, Accessories

Highlights Day 4: New Products Reports, Handguns, Tactical Gear

SHOT Daily 2017 Digital Editions (Click to View)

Shot show daily magazine ezine
Read Day 1 Digital Edition
Shot show daily magazine ezine
Read Day 2 Digital Edition
Shot show daily magazine ezine
Read Day3 Digital Edition
Shot show daily magazine ezine
Read Day 4 Digital Edition
Permalink - Articles, News No Comments »
January 17th, 2017

Media Day at the Range 2017 — Highlights

Media Day Range 2017 IWI .338 LM
Shown is a new .338 Lapua Magnum rifle from Israel’s IWI. Impressively beefy rig.

For folks in the gun industry, the third Monday in January is the best day of the year. Held in conjunction with SHOT Show, Media Day at the Range lets us try out dozens of new rifles and pistols, as well as meet top gun designers and friends in the shooting sports. We saw some very interesting new products this year. Here are some of the most interesting “take-aways” from Media Day at the Range 2017 on January 16th.

Most Innovative — “The FIX” Rifle from Q

The star of Media Day, at least in the rifle category, was “The FIX”, a new modular rifle from the Q Team. This innovative rig features a totally unique bolt system with a 45° lift and a bolt housing that runs on rails (literally). This thing cycles fast and smoothly.

q rifle the fix modular tactical

The trigger, set at 2.5 pounds, was one of the best we’ve ever tried on a centerfire factory rifle. One has to admire the engineering on “The FIX”. This new rifle has definitely “raised the bar” for tactical-style rifles. It’s different, it works, and it offers real advantages for both hunters and tactical style shooters.

Savage 10 with Ergonomic GRS Stock

Perhaps the most ergonomic rifle we shot all day was the new Savage GRS-10 in a stiff, composite GRS stock. European-crafted GRS stocks feature a very comfortable hand-grip, plus fully adjustable cheek-piece and adjustable length of pull. As shown this rifle is very affordable for PRS production-class competition.

Savage GRS-10 Norway PRS Stock

To be frank, this Editor liked this rifle more than the Ruger Precision Rifle. A lot more. The GRS stock fit better, the Savage bolt cycled much more smoothly, the trigger was better, and the magazine seated more easily. If you don’t have to be “tacticool” with a metal stock, you should definitely consider this Savage. The new Savage GRS-10 will be offered in 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win chamberings. Here’s a video review by Guns America.

Blacktical Bolt-Action Rifles — The PRS Influence

We saw many new (or upgraded) PRS-style bolt action rifles in modular aluminum frames. There were offerings from Savage, Bergara, Tikka, and more. We’ll provide a more thorough run-down on these new guns next week. We really liked the new Tikka T3x TAC A1, while tactical shooters Ed and Steve (aka the 6.5 Guys) were impressed with the new Bergara: “Bergara has in-sourced chassis and triggers to produce very high quality offerings at a very competitive price. Handling, shooting and cycling the bolt on the $1150 MSRP Hunting and Match Rifle would lead one to believe the price tag was a mistake (maybe the first digit should have been a 2). We felt the same when we got behind the $1,699 Bergara Match Precision Rifle.”

Tikka T3x TAC A1
tikka T3x TA
C tactical rifle

Bergara Match Precision
bergara match precision PRS

Pistols — The Sounds of Silence

The most interesting handgun on display was SilencerCo’s Maxim 9, which features an integral suppressor. It looks bulky but it felt relatively normal in the hand. The silencer did tame muzzle lift as well as reduce sound levels dramatically. This is an impressive piece of engineering.

silencerco maxim 9 9mm suppressed pistol

There were many other pistols equipped with more conventional screw-on silencers. Here is a special edition Smith & Wesson M&P model.

S&W suppressor Can

Optics — High-End Models from Schmidt and Bender

There were many new optics on display at Media Day, none more impressive than the new 5-45x56mm PMII from Schidmt & Bender. Led by our good friend Kyle Brown, Schmidt & Bender USA had a strong presence at Range Day, with many optics models fitted to high-end tactical rifles. Jason Baney (shown below with Kyle), used one of these rifle/scope combos to make 5 of 5 hits on steel at 960 yards.

Jason Baney checks out the new 5-45x56mm PM II with help from Kyle Brown (left).
Schmidt Bender 5-45x56mm PM II Media Day Jason Baney Kyle Brown

Schmidt Bender 5-45x56mm PM II Media Day Jason Baney Kyle Brown

Meeting Old Friends

One of the great things about Media Day is the chance to re-connect with old friends. At the Winchester booth, it was great to see Kim Rhode, a six-time Olympic medalist (including three golds). She is the first Summer Olympian to win an individual medal at six consecutive summer games. Kim, a Californian, is leading efforts to challenge draconian new California laws that will severely restrict how ammo is distributed and sold in California. Kim said that, under the new ammo laws, she will not be able to obtain the special “International Loads” she shoots in competition. We wish Kim well in her efforts. We believe that California’s new laws restricting the purchase of ammunition are unconstitutional and, hopefully, will be challenged successfully in court.

Kim Rhode Olympic Skeet Trap Medalist California

Along with Kim we met with our friends Steve (L) and Ed (R), aka the 6.5 Guys, along with past Top Shot Champion Dustin Ellermann (in middle below).

6.5 Guys Ed Steve Dustin Ellermann Media Day

World Record AR Speed-Shooting by Jerry Miculek

At the Smith & Wesson shooting bay, we watched the legendary Jerry Miculek set a world speed record for 10 rifle rounds total on three targets. Before a cheering gallery of fans, Jerry drilled multiple sub-two second runs using his S&W M&P 15T semi-auto rifle. The fastest split was a 1.59 (but we’re waiting for final confirmation on that). We’re told that’s definitely a new world record. Jerry may not be getting any younger, but he’s still blazing fast. Jerry calls this 10-shot drill “STL” or Share the Love.

jerry miculek world record speed smith wesson

Ammunition — Polymer Jacketed Pistol Bullets

One of the more notable, recent developments in pistol ammo has been synthetic jacketed bullets. With a total polymer shell over a lead core, these are safer when shooting steel targets because they do not fragment like conventional, jacketed bullets. With no exposed lead or copper, there’s minimal contact between these materials and the barrel, so there’s less copper and lead fouling. Moreover, according to Federal’s test engineers, the red Syntech coating produced 12% less friction in the barrel. Here is the American Eagle 9mm Luger 115gr Total Syntec Jacketed ammo provided by Beretta at Media Day.

Synthetic Ammo Syntec Beretta Media Day Range

And that’s a wrap… now on to SHOT Show.

Media Day at Range

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Handguns, New Product, Optics, Tactical 1 Comment »
January 6th, 2017

Savage Turns to the Dark Side — Introduces AR-Type Rifles

Savage AR15 AR10 AR-10 Black rifle AR MSR Modern Sporting Rifle

Savage Arms has joined the black rifle bandwagon with its new MSR Series of gas guns. Savage will offer four AR-style semi-automatic rifles in 2017. Savage will offer a variety of buttstock configurations, barrel lengths, along with some interesting chambering options. The MSR 15 Patrol and Recon feature a .223 Wylde target chamber for use with 223 Rem. or 5.56x45mm. The MSR 10 Hunter and MSR 10 Long Range models are AR-10 platform rigs offered in 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win chamberings. The top-of-the-line MSR 10 Long Range model carries a hefty $2284 MSRP price-tag, but it does include a two-stage AR Blaze target trigger, adjustable gas block, and a genuine Magpul® PRS Gen3 buttstock.

While most of the engineering of the MSR series is classic AR, there are some interesting features and notable upgrades. The MSR 10 Long Range offers a non-reciprocating, left-side charging handle (along with conventional rear charging handle). All the MSR rifles have high-quality barrels with a durable surface hardening treatment known as Melonite QPQ. This should make the rifles run longer (with higher round count) before needing replacement barrels. Bill Dermody of Savage states: “These are high-performance barrels you’d have to buy as an upgrade with standard AR-15s.”

Savage MSR Notable Features:
Non-reciprocating SIDE charging handle on MSR 10 LR (plus normal charging handle)
1:8″-twist Barrels, Melonite QPQ hardening, 5R rifling (MSR 15 Patrol and Recon)
1:8″ or 1:10″-twist Barrels, Melonite QPQ hardening, 5R rifling (MSR 10 Hunter and LR)
Conventional AR-Type Gas System (No Op Rod)
Adjustable Gas Block (MSR 10 Hunter and LR)
Modular-Style Fore-end/Handguard
Flip-up Front and Rear Sights

Field Test of Savage MSR 15 Patrol
YouTube ace .22 Plinkster got his hands on one of the very first Savage MSR 15 Patrol M4 models. In this video, he tests it for function and accuracy, finding the MSR 15 to be “a good shooter”. He adds: “The Patrol is Savage’s entry-level M4. Because this rifle is brand new … you may want to check out Savage’s website at www.SavageArms.com.”

Savage AR15 AR10 AR-10 Black rifle AR MSR Modern Sporting Rifle

This Twang ‘N Bang video explains the key features of the MSR 10 Long Range, including the side charging handle and QPQ-treated barrel. It also describes the specs of the other three models.

Savage’s new MSR 10 Hunter and MSR 10 Long Range are purpose-built modern sporting rifles for game hunting and long-range shooting. Both are available in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor chamberings. Both models are built on compact, lightweight frames and feature adjustable gas blocks, plus the MSR 10 Long Range is equipped with a non-reciprocating, side-charging handle (see below).

Savage AR15 AR10 AR-10 Black rifle AR MSR Modern Sporting Rifle

On the AR-15 platform, the new MSR 15 Patrol and MSR 15 Recon are chambered in .223 Wylde for safe, reliable function with both 223 Rem. and 5.56x45mm ammo. All Savage MSRs offer premium features such as 5R button-rifled barrels with Melonite QPQ surface hardening, new BLACKHAWK! furniture, upgraded sights and more. To learn more about Savage’s new line of MSR rifles, visit www.Savagearms.com/msr.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 5 Comments »
December 19th, 2016

Bargain Finder 66: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1.Sportsman’s Outdoor Superstore — Hunting Rifles on Sale

Sportsman's Superstore hunting rifle special Howa Browning Savage Winchester Kimber

Looking for a quality hunting rifle at a very affordable price? Right now the Sportsman’s Outdoor Superstore has a wide selection of bolt-action hunting rigs at very attractive prices. Choose among Browning, Howa, Kimber, Ruger, Savage, and Thompson Center models. Rifle prices start under $250.00 (with applicable mfg. rebates). Many of the rifles come complete with scope. Here are some of the best deals:

Savage Axis XP 223 Rem Bolt-Action Rifle Package with Scope, $249.99 after Rebate.
Thompson Center Venture 22-250 Rem Bolt-Action Rifle, $349.99.
Browning AB3 Composite Stalker 6.5 Creedmoor Bolt-Action Rifle, $409.74 after Rebate.
Winchester XPR .30-06 Springfield Rifle with Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 Scope, $488.92 after Rebate.
Browning X-Bolt Medallion .30-06 Springfield Rifle with AAA Maple Stock, $727.53 after Rebate.

2. Amazon — Lyman BoreCam $197.19

Bargain Deal Lyman Borecam Midsouth Shooters

Here’s the best deal we’ve found on an excellent product in high demand. The Lyman BoreCam is an electro-optical borescope with a digital display. You can record “stills” on a SD card. This is one of the hottest products on the market right now — and users really like the BoreCam (although some wish the digital view-screen was larger). Amazon.com now has the Lyman BoreCam for $197.19. Grab it while you can at that price. Other online vendors are charging a LOT more (e.g. MidwayUSA price is $259.99).

3. Bruno’s — 10% Off Gift Certificates (Use for Any Merchandise)

Bruno Shooters Gift Certficate Christmas Powder Sale

Now through December 25th (Christmas Day), you can purchase a Bruno Shooters Supply Gift Certficate at a ten percent discount. For example a $50.00 certificate costs $45.00 and a $100.00 certficate is just $90.00. NOTE: These certificates can be used to purchase ANY merchandise Bruno’s sells, including items on sale. In effect, this means the entire store is ten percent off, AND you get a discount on top of current sale prices. For example, powders are 10% off at Bruno’s through the end of the year. So you could purchase $111.00 worth of powder with a $100.00 gift certificate that only cost you $90.00 out of pocket — effectively saving you 20%. If you do the math, you’ll see this is a great opportunity if you combine the Gift Certificate with Sale offers. (Thanks to EdLongrange for the Tip.)

4. Amazon — Discovery Scope Level $13-$16 (1″, 30mm, 34mm)

Optical Rifle Scope bubble level Discovery 30mm 1 inch 34mm Amazon

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This Discovery scope level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It is available with three inner diameters to fit scopes with 1″, 30mm, or 34mm main tubes. The 1″ version is just $12.95 while the 30mm model is $13.95 and the large 34mm version is $15.95. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product: 89% of verified buyers rated this 4 or 5 stars.

5. Natchez — RCBS ChargeMaster Dispenser, $279.99

RCBS Chargemaster scale dispenser Natchez

Here’s a very good deal on the popular RCBS ChargeMaster combo scale/powder dispenser. This unit sells elsewhere for up to $389.00. You may want to act quickly as sale pricing changes frequently and many other vendors have recently raised their prices. Grafs.com sells this for $369.99 now while the current Amazon.com price is $296.99. You can save a lot through Natchez right now. NOTE: There is an RCBS Rebate Program in effect now — if you spend at least $300.00 on “RCBS tools and accessories” you can get $75.00 back.

6. MidwayUSA — Pro Series Shooting Mat, $29.99

$29.99 Pro Series Shooting Mat Midway USA Hot deal

Here’s a heck of a deal on a very good shooting mat. MidwayUSA has slashed the price on its Pro Series Shooting Mat (in Olive Drab). You can get this 73.5″ x 35.5″ padded mat for just $29.99. This Mat has some very nice features, such as a Bipod Pre-load Web, 0.35″ thick padding, and multiple pockets. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to about nine inches in diameter and fitted with a nice carry strap. Midway normally sells this Pro Series Mat for about $70.00, so the $29.99 price is a total steal. If you need a good basic shooting mat check out this deal.

7. Midsouth — 20-60x60mm Vortex Spotting Scope, $399.99

Vortex Spotting Scope Midsouth bargain

This is a very good spotting scope for the price. Yes it gives up some low-light performance to a spotter with an 80mm objective, but otherwise it is a good performer, and we can’t think of much that will touch this Vortex Diamondback spotting scope for anywhere near the $399.99 sale price. Choose from angled or straight version for the same $399.99 price, which includes the 20-60X zoom eyepiece.

8. Cabelas.com — Catch-All Gear Bag $9.99

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Cabelas Catch-all Gear Bag $9.99

This versatile bag holds lots of gear, and you can’t beat the price — just $9.99. At 16″x10″x6″ it’s big enough to hold rifle ammo, muffs, a Kestrel, and other accessories. It can also serve as a general utiling bag for car camping trips. Six exterior pockets, including zippered mesh pockets on top and side, provide multiple storage options. This Catch-All Gear Bag is available in Forest Green/Black and Dark Green/Camo. This a real bargain — the original price was $24.99.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
November 2nd, 2016

Stan Pate Earns First-Ever F-TR Int’l Distinguished Badge

Stan Pate Savage Leupold int'l international distinguished rifleman badge NRA F-Class F-TR

Stan Pate is the first-ever F-TR competitor to earn International Distinguished Rifleman honors in his discipline. We congratulate Stan for that achievement. As a long-time competitor, Pate has earned numerous honors throughout his shooting career. The International Distinguished Rifleman award is a culmination of decades of hard work and dedication to the shooting sports.

“To earn the International Distinguished Badge, especially as the first F-T/R shooter to do so, is the pinnacle of my competitive shooting career,” Pate said. “I’m honored to share this award with all of those who have supported me, especially Leupold[.]”

Stan Pate Savage Leupold int'l international distinguished rifleman badge NRA F-Class F-TR
Photo from Shooting Sports USA story on NRA International Distinguished Badge.

The coveted International Distinguished Rifleman Badge is earned by accumulating points at authorized matches. In the USA, this program is overseen by the National Rifle Association. International Distinguished points can only be earned at authorized international competitions. Points can be earned for the International Distinguished award at World Championships, the America Match, and the Australia Match. A total of 30 points must be earned to be recognized as International Distinguished.

“Stan represents the pinnacle of his sport and we’re honored to call him a friend and a partner,” said Rob Morrison, vice president of global marketing for Leupold & Stevens. “His tenacity and perseverance in competition demand that his optics perform at a similar level, which is why he chooses Leupold.”

Watch Video for Tips from Past National F-TR Team Members Mike Miller and Stan Pate

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
October 15th, 2016

Unique Metal and Wood Hybrid Stock for .284 Shehane Savage

Aluminum Savage Free-float Action Wood Hybrid stock Michigan F-Class F-Open
Click Photo to see large version.

Here is a very interesting rifle, a true metal/wood hybrid that combines an aluminum front section with figured walnut in the rear half. As you can see, this unique rifle also features a barrel block that allows the Savage action to float. You may be wondering “how is the metal section connected to the wood?” The gun’s owner/builder epoxied a stainless steel tube in the wood and that tube is secured in the aluminum fore-end with set screws.

Aluminum Savage Free-float Action Wood Hybrid stock Michigan F-Class F-Open

Forum member Justin V. reports: “Sometime last fall my buddy wanted to build barrel-blocked Bavage. He is a machinist by trade so he was able to build all of the custom components himself. I know he put a ton of time into this thing over the winter, taking his time to get it done right. If you shoot in Cadillac or Midland, Michigan you will probably see him around. He tried to shoot a match this past weekend but was rained out. Hopefully it will stop raining in Michigan so he can see what it can do at 600 yards. Here are the results….” Learn more about this gun in this FORUM Thread.

(more…)

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 4 Comments »
October 8th, 2016

New Savage A22 Magnum For .22 WMR Fans

Savage A22 Magnum A17 auto-loading semi-auto Varmint rifle

The Savage A17 in 17 HMR was American Hunter’s 2016 Rifle of the Year. We weren’t surprised. This little rimfire was the first auto-loader engineered from scratch to handle the pressure of the 17 HMR safely and reliably. The A17 also proved to be very accurate and tons of fun to shoot.

If you like the A17’s award-winning delayed-blowback technology, but prefer to shoot a .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) cartridge, you’re in luck. Savage just announced the A22 Magnum, a new rifle that uses an A17-type action (with innovative interrupter lug), to shoot the .22 WMR cartridge.

Savage A22 Magnum A17 auto-loading semi-auto Varmint rifle

The A22 Magnum is chambered for .22 WMR and features the same delayed-blowback auto-loading action as the original A17. The A22 Magnum feature a strong steel receiver, chromed bolt, 10-round rotary magazine, and adjustable Savage AccuTrigger. The A22 employs a thread-in headspace system like Savage’s centerfire rifles. This makes it easier to swap in a match-grade barrel down the line. The A22 also comes with two-piece bases for scope mounts

Part No. Description Barrel Weight MSRP
47400 A22 Magnum semi-automatic, .22 WMR 21″ Barrel 5.5 lbs. $473.00

Advantages of .22 WMR over 17 HMR
We like both rimfire cartridges, but we understand why some shooters may prefer the older .22 WMR over the newer, speedier 17 HMR. Here are some of the advantages of the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR):

Savage A22 Magnum A17 auto-loading semi-auto Varmint rifle1. .22 Caliber bores are easier to clean than .17 caliber bores. Good .22-Cal cleaning rods are less flexy than .17-cal rods and a greater range of jags and brushes are offered for the larger caliber.

2. The .22 WMR makes a bigger hole — this makes your groups easier to see at longer range, and the bigger hole can give you a scoring edge in rimfire competitions.

3. The .22 WMR offers a wider choice of ammo manufacturers and bullet types. If a hunter desires a heavier, non-fragmenting bullet, the .22 WMR may be a better choice.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
September 26th, 2016

Are These Really the TEN BEST Bolt-Action Rifles?

Ten 10 best bolt action rifles shooter

A while back, RifleShooter online magazine published a list of the purported Ten Best Bolt-Action Rifles of All Time. Ten classic rifle designs (including the Remington 700 and Winchester Model 70) were featured with a paragraph or two explaining their notable features.

“Best” Lists Stir Controversy…
These Top 10 lists are always controversial. While most readers might approve of half the entries, there are always some items on the Top 10 list that some readers would challenge. Here is RifleShooter’s Top 10 list. What do you think? Are there some other bolt-actions that are more deserving?

1. Springfield M1903
2. Mauser 98
3. Winchester Model 70
4. Remington Model 700
5. Weatherby V

6. Sako L61/AV
7. Savage Model 110
8. Ruger M77
9. Tikka T3
10. Mannlicher-Schonauer

10bolt1402.

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing 10 Comments »
September 26th, 2016

How to Win in F-TR Competition — Tips from Mike and Stan

F-TR shooting Competition Mike Miller Stan Pate

F-TR Stan Pate SavageOver the past few years, participation in F-Class competition has grown dramatically. At the 2013 SHOT Show we had a chance to talk about F-TR competition with then-U.S. National F-TR Team members Mike Miller and Stan Pate, two of America’s top F-TR shooters. With the U.S. F-Class Nationals underway this week (in Lodi, Wisconsin), we are reprising this interview for readers who may have missed it the first time around. If you shoot F-TR (even if you’re a High Master), we think you’ll learn a few things from this interview.

In this interview, Mike and Stan agreed to share their vast store of knowledge about long-range shooting. In a wide-ranging dialog, we discussed many topics of interest to F-Class shooters: position set-up, bipod shooting techniques (and hardware), gun-handling, and bullet selection. In addition, Mike and Stan offer some great advice on wind reading and precision reloading. These general tips will benefit all competitors, no matter what their discipline.

Watch Video for Tips from past U.S. National F-TR Team Members Mike Miller and Stan Pate

If you shoot F-TR or you are considering getting involved in this fast-growing shooting sport, definitely watch this 14-minute video interview from start to finish. Mike and Stan are true F-TR gurus whose knowledge of the F-TR game has been gleaned from years of top-level competition. If you shoot a .308 from a bipod, we guarantee you can learn much from Mike and Stan. If you follow their advice, we bet you’ll see your scores improve in future matches.

Permalink News No Comments »
September 25th, 2016

Shilen Actions, Barreled Actions, and Complete Rifles

Shilen Actions Complete rifles barrel nut Savage Remage

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? 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).

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

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. For more info, call (972) 875-5318 or email comments@shilen.com.

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
September 4th, 2016

Bargain Finder 51: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

LABOR DAY HOLIDAY SPECIALS
We are publishing our Deals on Sunday this week because many of the best bargains are Labor Day Weekend Specials. There are also Special 10% OFF PROMOTIONS running this weekend. We want readers to be able to take advantage of these holiday specials before the discount codes “time out”.

1. Brownells — Labor Day Weekend Sale & Free Shipping ($99+)

Brownells Labor Day Sale Free Shipping RCBS Discount Ammo

Brownells is offering great pricing on a host of products this weekend. You’ll find bargains on Berger Bullets, RCBS Rockchuckers, AR components, Timney Triggers, Magpul Stocks, Rimfire Ammo, Centerfire Ammo, Range Bags, and more. Plus all Geissele products are on sale this holiday weekend. In addition, with CODE L27 you can FREE Ground Shipping on orders over $99.00. This free shipping offer expires on 9/5/2016 at 11:59 PM CST. CLICK HERE for Labor Day Specials.

2. Amazon — Vortex 4-12x50mm AO Scope, $174.00

Vortex Scope AR Mid-range Prone match 4-12x50mm AO Crossfire

The NRA is introducing a new Mid-Range Tactical Prone Match for AR platform rifles with bipods. Optics up to 12X will be allowed. If you’re considering participating in this new Mid-Range competition, here’s a fine Vortex 4-12x50mm AO Crossfire II scope for under $175.00. That’s a steal. This second-focal-plane scope features front parallax adjustment and a BDC reticle. Put the money you save on optics into a premium barrel and quality match trigger.

3. Ammomen — Winchester .22 LR Ammo $15.50 for 235 Rounds

Winchester Rimfire Ammo Ammunition Bulk Pack Special Ammomen

We are finally starting to see .22 LR rimfire ammo come down to very affordable levels. With this Winchester bulk pack special you get 235 rounds for just $15.50. That works out to just 6.6 cents per round (or $3.30 for 50 rounds). This .22 LR ammo is loaded with 36 grain copper-plated lead HP bullets. The ammo is rated at 1280 fps in rifles, 1085 fps in pistol.

4. Savage Arms — Rifle Rebates up to $75.00

Savage Arms Rifle Shotgun Rimfire Rebate A17

With the Save on a Savage Rebate, you can get $75.00 on Savage Trophy Hunter, DOA Hunter, Model 14/114 or Model 16/116; or get $30.00 back on any AXIS or A17™ synthetic stock rifle. Shooters who purchase any bolt-action Savage rimfire, including the B.MAG and Rascal, will be eligible for a $25 mail-in rebate. Firearms must be purchased between August 11, 2016 and September 25, 2016. NOTE: This program also includes the popular semi-auto A17 17 HMR which was voted ‘Rifle of the Year’ by both NRA American Hunter and Guns & Ammo magazines. CLICK HERE for Rebate Coupon.

5. Cabelas — 10% Off Labor Day Special with Free Shipping

Cabelas Labor Day Sale ammo shooting supplies

Act quickly guys, this Cabelas.com offer expires 9/5/16, at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. Throughout the Labor Day Weekend you can get 10% off most online merchandise, plus FREE Shipping for orders over $99.00. This includes ammo purchases, but not firearms. This is an online-only promotion, not valid at Cabela’s retail stores. Use Code 6TENOFF during online checkout. Some heavy or oversized items will require paid shipping and handling.

6. Amazon — Leight MAX NRR33 Earplugs, $7.50 for 50 Pairs

Max NRR 33 db ear plugs

These Howard Leight NRR33 Max plugs are your Editor’s favorite foam earplugs. Between shooting, motorcycling and mowing lawns, I probably have Max plugs in my ears 2-3 days a week. This is a very good price for a bulk pack of 50 pairs. And if you act soon, you can get free shipping to boot.

7. Beretta USA — Labor Day Sale, Up to 60% Off

Beretta Labor Day Sale Sako Tikka

Beretta is offering big discounts — up to 60% Off — during its Labor Day Outlet Store Sale. You can save on shooting accessories, clothing, gun cases, holsters, gunstocks, choke tubes, barrels, scope rings, grips and much more. You’ll also find great deals on Tikka and Sako stocks (Beretta is the distributor for Tikka and Sako). For example, a high-grade Sako 75 Hunter DLX stock is marked down from $878.00 to $439.00. In addition, Beretta is offering Free Shipping on Orders over $89.00.

8. Precision Reloading — $15 Hazmat Fees on Powder and Primers

Precision Reloading HazMat Sale Discount $15.00

If you’re purchasing powder, primers and other Hazmat items, you can save up to $25.00 per order with this offer from our friends at Precision Reloading. Some vendors charge as much as $40.00 for Hazmat fees (on top of regular shipping). This fall Precision Reloading is lowering its Hazmat charge to just $15.00 per order. And yes, you can combine powder and primers in the same order. NOTE: Normal shipping charges apply, and total package weight may not exceed 70 pounds.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
September 2nd, 2016

KRG 180-Alpha Tactical Chassis for Savage Actions

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

Can a budget-priced Savage shoot like a Sako TRG 22? Well, adding a custom “pre-fit” barrel and a state-of-the-art chassis system can transform a “Plain Jane” Savage into a serious tactical rifle. And now Kinetic Research Group (KRG) offers a new fully-adjustable chassis that’s just the ticket for a Savage tactical conversion. Just get a used Savage action, spin on a Criterion, Pac-Nor, or Shilen pre-fit barrel, and add the new 180-Alpha Chassis from KRG.

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

KRG offers 180-Alpha Chassis for Savage rifles. This fully-adjustable, light-weight (3.5 lbs) chassis fits Savage short action rifles with 4.4″ action bolt spacing. The 180-Alpha features tool-less cheek-piece height adjustment, spacer Length-of-Pull (LOP) adjustment, buttpad height adjustment, and plenty of accessory mounting positions. Suggested retail price for the 180-Alpha starts at $768.00 for the side bolt-release version. A bottom-release model is slightly more.

CLICK HERE for Specifications of KRG 180-Alpha Stock for Savages.

Compare KRG’s 180-Alpha Chassis to the hardware on the real deal — a Sako TRG 22 with adjustable, folding stock (model JRSM416, shown below). This SAKO TRG22 rifle in .308 Winchester retails for $5,198.00. With KRG’s 180-Alpha chassis you can put together an ergonomically-similar tactical rifle for thousands less.

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

Using the KRG Chassis, a take-off Savage action, and a premium pre-fit barrel, you can build a similar system for around $1540.00. Here’s how we get that figure: $370.00 for Criterion pre-fit barrel, $400.00 for action (YMMV), and $768.00 for stock (Total $1538.00).

KRG produces other adjustable, modular chassis systems for bolt-action rifles. KRG’s popular Whiskey 3 Chassis system fits the Tikka T3, Remington® 700™, Sako M995, Badger M2008, and 700 Long Action. The KRG X-RAY Chassis fits the Rem 700 Short Action, and Tikka T3, and the 180 X-RAY fits the CZ-455, Howa 1500, and Weatherby Vanguard platforms.

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

Product Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Tactical No Comments »
August 17th, 2016

Vista Outdoor Opens New Headquarters in Farmington, Utah

Vista Outdoor Public traded CCI Alliant Bushnell

On August 10th, Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO), officially opened its new 33,000-square-foot Utah corporate headquarters to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by state and local officials, community partners, members of the media, and employees.

“We are proud to call Farmington home,” said Vista Outdoor CEO Mark DeYoung. “We’re committed to being a strong partner for this community, and we value our relationships with the state, county and city leaders who helped make this headquarters a reality. We chose Utah because of its focus on outdoor recreation as an economic driver, the business-friendly environment, a talented workforce and balanced quality of life, as well as amazing geography and the availability of four seasons for outdoor recreation.”

Founded in 2015 when ATK (Alliant Techsystems*) spun off its sporting goods division from its aerospace business, Vista Outdoor is a leading global manufacturer of outdoor consumer products as well as firearms. Vista Outdoor’s 50 product brands include such well-known names as Bell Helmets, Blackhawk, Bushnell, CamelBak, CCI, Federal Premium Ammunition, and Savage Arms.

CLICK HERE for Vista Outdoor Brands. | CLICK HERE for Vista Outdoor Company History

Vista Outdoor Public traded CCI Alliant Bushnell

Building Constructed with Utah Wood and Stone
The new Headquarters building uses locally-sourced natural materials such as wood and stone in many design elements. The main lobby atrium includes a “living wall” made with live plants and a central staircase with an expansive view of the Wasatch Mountains, bringing the feeling of “outdoors” inside. The back lobby features a fireplace/campsite.

“Vista Outdoor and its brands are committed to conservation and environmental stewardship,” said DeYoung. “We believe in the responsible use of natural resources and in conserving the wild places where our employees and our consumers go to pursue their outdoor adventures.”


*Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) came into being as an independent company in 1990 when Honeywell spun off its defense businesses to shareholders. ATK got into the ammo business in 2001 when it acquired Blount International. ATK grew with later acquisitions of Weaver Optics (2008), Blackhawk (2010), Savage Arms (2013), and Bushnell (2013).

Permalink News No Comments »
July 14th, 2016

Carbon-Wrapped Savage Pre-Fit Barrels Now Available

Proof research carbon wrap barrels composite

Here’s a new barrel option for Savage shooters. Proof Research, a leader in composite barrel production, now offers “Pre-Fit” barrels for Savages. These barrels come chambered and threaded for Savage actions. Pre-Fits are easy to install — just spin them on, set the headspace with gauges, and tension the barrel nut. (Proof Research does recommend enlisting a gunsmith to help with the process.)

With a finished weight under three pounds, these new Pre-Fit barrels are much lighter than conventional all-steel barrels. Proof Research claims that they are “less than half the weight of comparably-sized steel barrels.” But you will pay dearly for that weight savings. As sold by Stocky’s Stocks, these Proof Research Pre-Fits cost $846.99, more than twice what all-steel Pre-Fit barrels from Criterion or Pac-Nor cost. Criterion Barrels currently charges $370.00 for a 26″ Savage or Rem/Age Pre-Fit.

Proof Research claims that its carbon-wrapped barrels shed heat faster than an all-steel barrel. Jason Lincoln, Proof Research’s VP of Engineering, claims that his company’s composite barrels can cool 50% faster than steel barrels, offering reduced point-of-impact shift during extended strings of fire. Is this marketing hype? We have yet to see a definitive test that validates the claims of enhanced cooling…

Proof Research Savage Pre-Fit Options Available
Initially the Pre-Fit barrels will be offered in a “Sendero” profile, very similar to an M24 contour. Available barrel lengths (up to 28″) vary by caliber/chambering (in some cases 24″ is all you can get). The following chamberings and twist rates are currently offered by Stocky’s Stocks:

.223 Rem, 1:8″ Twist
.22-250 Rem, 1:8″ Twist
.243 Win, 1:8″ Twist
6.5 Creedmoor, 1:8″ Twist
6.5×284, 1:8″ Twist

280 Ackley, 1:9″ Twist
7mm Rem Mag, 1:9″ Twist
.308 Win Match, 1:10″ Twist
.300 Win Mag, 1:9.4″ Twist

Proof Research Carbon Technology
Proof research carbon wrap barrels composite

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 4 Comments »
June 26th, 2016

Pre-Fit FIX — Savage Accuracy Improves with Criterion Barrel

Savage Criterion BarrelIn our Shooters’ Forum, you’ll find a lengthy thread about accuracy problems with a Savage LRPV, chambered in 6mmBR. The gun would repeatedly split groups at 100 yards, and at 300 yards, the “flyers” would open up the groups to 1.5 MOA or larger. Interestingly, the factory test target (at right) showed a split group — not a good sign.

The gun’s owner, forum member LR_Shooter, tried a variety of tweaks: “I did this, done that… [changed] torque, tang floated, bedded action, recut chamber, and [adjusted firing pin]”. But nothing really helped. Frustrated, LR_Shooter asked his fellow Forum members for help. Much advice was proffered, including the novel idea of removing the middle action screw in the Savage 3-screw target action. Some of the advice proved helpful, but none of the suggested remedies produced a major improvement. This rifle, out of the box, tossed flyers and no amount of tweaking (or changes in shooting technique) really cured the basic problem. That is, until, the factory barrel got replaced…

Savage Criterion Barrel

New Criterion Pre-Fit Barrel Works Wonders
LR_Shooter acquired a Criterion pre-fit barrel from Jim Briggs at Northland Shooters Supply (NSS). These pre-fits are designed for easy installation with the standard Savage barrel nut. Wouldn’t you know it, with a new 30″ heavy-contour barrel on the LRPV, the gun started shooting way better. No more crazy fliers, no more split groups, no more excessive vertical. And the improvement came without any other major modifications. LR_Shooter reports: “I got a replacement barrel from Jim at NSS. It is a 30″ bull Criterion barrel. So far, without playing with torque screws and having my old setup… I’m very satisfied with the barrel I got. Now I have no problem getting [groups] under 0.25 MOA. Finally this thing can shoot!” The targets below, shot with the new Criterion barrel, speak for themselves. The left target was shot at 100 yards, while the target on the right was shot at 300 yards (very impressive).

Targets Shot with Savage LRPV Fitted with Criterion Barrel
Savage Criterion Barrel

Read Thread on Savage Accuracy Issues Fixed By Criterion Barrel

Moral of the Story — Sometimes A New Barrel Really Is the Right Solution
All of us have struggled at times with a rifle that won’t live up to expectations. This Editor personally struggled for over a year with a .260 Rem Savage with a factory tube. The gun tended to split groups and the POI walked as the barrel heated. I tried one powder/primer combination after another, working through a variety of seating depths over many months. I was persistent. Out of stubbornness, I just believed that sooner or later I’d find the magic load.

Well folks, sometimes there’s really nothing you can do about a sub-par barrel. It is what it is. To really improve a gun’s accuracy (particularly a gun with a factory tube), you may need to open your wallet and get a quality aftermarket barrel. Spending months trying one recipe after another may simply be an overwhelming waste of powder, bullets, and your precious time.

Albert Einstein supposedly said: “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” Well that sort of describes my efforts with my .260 Rem. Once I had enough evidence that my barrel split groups no matter what load combo (and seating depth) I tried, it was time to pony up for a new barrel. When I did finally screw on a nice PacNor 3-groove Supermatch, that Savage suddenly became a true tack-driver. As re-chambered in 6mmBR with the Pac-Nor, in calm conditions, my Savage will now consistently shoot in the twos with heavy bullets, and it can sometimes dip down into the ones with Berger 80gr flat-base bullets. The moral of the story here is simple — don’t waste weeks or months chasing your tail with a barrel that just won’t deliver (after a reasonable amount of testing). Save up for a custom barrel, get it chambered properly, and stop your cycle of frustration.

Contact Information for Northland Shooters Supply:
E-mail: briggs.j-b@q.com (that is Q.com not G.com)
Phone: (763) 682-4296
Fax: (763) 682-6098
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 333
Buffalo, MN 55313

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
June 19th, 2016

Accuracy Woes? Multiple Shooters Can Rule Out ‘Driver Error’

When a rifle isn’t shooting up to it’s potential, we need to ask: “Is it the gun or the shooter?” Having multiple shooters test the same rifle in the same conditions with the same load can be very revealing…

When developing a load for a new rifle, one can easily get consumed by all the potential variables — charge weight, seating depth, neck tension, primer options, neck lube, and so on. When you’re fully focused on loading variables, and the results on the target are disappointing, you may quickly assume you need to change your load. But we learned that sometimes the load is just fine — the problem is the trigger puller, or the set-up on the bench.

Here’s an example. A while back we tested two new Savage F-Class rifles, both chambered in 6mmBR. Initial results were promising, but not great — one gun’s owner was getting round groups with shots distributed at 10 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 8 o’clock, and none were touching. We could have concluded that the load was no good. But then another shooter sat down behind the rifle and put the next two shots, identical load, through the same hole. Shooter #2 eventually produced a 6-shot group that was a vertical line, with 2 shots in each hole but at three different points of impact. OK, now we can conclude the load needs to be tuned to get rid of the vertical. Right? Wrong. Shooter #3 sat down behind the gun and produced a group that strung horizontally but had almost no vertical.

Hmmm… what gives?

Shooting Styles Created Vertical or Horizontal Dispersion
What was the problem? Well, each of the three shooters had a different way of holding the gun and adjusting the rear bag. Shooter #1, the gun’s owner, used a wrap-around hold with hand and cheek pressure, and he was squeezing the bag. All that contact was moving the shot up, down, left and right. The wrap-around hold produced erratic results.

Shooter #2 was using no cheek pressure, and very slight thumb pressure behind the tang, but he was experimenting with different amounts of bag “squeeze”. His hold eliminated the side push, but variances in squeeze technique and down pressure caused the vertical string. When he kept things constant, the gun put successive shots through the same hole.

Shooter #3 was using heavy cheek pressure. This settled the gun down vertically, but it also side-loaded the rifle. The result was almost no vertical, but this shooting style produced too much horizontal.

A “Second Opinion” Is Always Useful
Conclusion? Before you spend all day fiddling with a load, you might want to adjust your shooting style and see if that affects the group size and shape on the target. Additionally, it is nearly always useful to have another experienced shooter try your rifle. In our test session, each time we changed “drivers”, the way the shots grouped on the target changed significantly. We went from a big round group, to vertical string, to horizontal string.

Interestingly, all three shooters were able to diagnose problems in their shooting styles, and then refine their gun-handling. As a result, in a second session, we all shot that gun better, and the average group size dropped from 0.5-0.6 inches into the threes — with NO changes to the load.

That’s right, we cut group size in half, and we didn’t alter the load one bit. Switching shooters demonstrated that the load was good and the gun was good. The skill of the trigger-puller(s) proved to be the limiting factor in terms of group size.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
January 25th, 2016

Bargain Finder 19: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs (Best Seller)

Accurateshooters deals of week Electronic Leight Howard Ear Muffs Safety

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs — they are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $36.30. These NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category. NOTE: For regular, sustained shooting we recommend muffs and/or earplugs with a higher NRR rating.

2. Grafs.com — Magnetospeed Sporter $179.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

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

3. Cabelas.com — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $225.00, after manufacturer’s rebate. Right now, Cabela’s is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $300.00. That’s a good deal as this Reloading Kit sells elsewhere for up to $360.00. But he’s the real incentive — if you spend $300.00 on RCBS products in 2016, RCBS will send you a $75.00 rebate. That reduces your net cost to just $225.00 for the entire Kit.

4. Brownells — Hornady 17 HMR Ammo, $12.79 per box

Deal of Week 17 MHR Hornady ammo ammunition

If you have ever shopped for 17 HMR ammunition, you know it rarely goes on sale (it’s the law of supply and demand). Right now, as part of its “Red, White and Boom” ammo promo, Brownells.com is offering first-quality Hornady brand 17 HMR ammo for $12.79 per 50-count box. We’ve seen ammo this sell in gunshops for $16.50 per box. Stock up now for the spring varmint season.

5. CDNN Sports — Savage 93R17 for $219.99

Deal of Week Savage 17 MHR 93R17

No more excuses — you can add a 17 HMR to your collection for under $220.00. We think everyone should own a 17 HMR rifle. The 17 HMR is the perfect cartridge for dispatching ground squirrels and other small varmints. The round shoots faster and flatter than a .22 LR, and delivers more energy. This week CDNN Sports is offering the Savage 93R17 for just $219.99. This little rifle can provide years of service in the varmint fields, and the 93R17 is also a good youth training rifle.

6. Natchez — CCI Blazer 9mm ammo, $9.99 for 50 Rounds

Deal of Week Hornady CCI Blazer 9mm Luger pistol ammo

This is the best price we’ve found this week on newly-manufactured 9mm pistol ammunition. And this is quality, CCI made-in-USA ammo with reloadable, brass casings. We have used this CCI-made Blazer 9mm ammo in Sig, HK, and Glock pistols and it performed very well. This stuff won’t last long at this price (less than $0.20 per round). If you need 9mm practice ammo, order soon.

7. Walmart — 48-gun Stack-on Gun Safe

Deal of Week Walmart Stack-on Gun Safe 48 Gun Fire Safe

If you need a big safe to hold lots of guns, here’s a large-capacity Stack-On Safe that’s rated for 48 long-guns. Measuring 59″ high and a full 43″ wide, this safe is much bigger than the typical safes you find at CostCo and Sam’s Club. This safe is discounted $202 right now with “Rollback” pricing. One verified safe purchaser states: “The safe interior is nice for the price. Outside finish is great. All in all this is a GREAT value after looking at safes twice this price.”

8. Brownells.com — Hornady Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine, $49.99

AccurateShooter Deal Week Sale Bargain Hornady Sonic Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine Lock Load

Yes, you can get a name-brand Ultrasonic cleaning machine for under fifty bucks. This Hornady Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner, which sells elsewhere for $75-$85, is available at Brownells.com this week for just $49.99. This cleaning machine holds up to 200 .223 Remington cases, or 100 .308 Winchester cases.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
January 19th, 2016

Media Day at the Range 2016

2016 Media Day Range

Media Day Range

Scores of manufacturers showcase their products at the SHOT Media Day event, held each year in Boulder City, Nevada. This year we saw some legendary names (such as Colt and Winchester), as well as new, 21st-century gun-makers (such as Tracking Point). Savage and Kimber had some surprising new offerings, and we saw impressive new optics from Zeiss and Minox. There were some interesting trends. Many firearms were equipped with “factory” suppressors. Ruger, much to our surprise, showcased a Ruger 10/22 takedown rifle fitted with a Ruger-branded suppressor. It was extremely quiet. Many of the handgun manufacturers, including Ruger and Walther, supplied ammunition with composite polymer matrix bullets. These bullets are significantly lighter than conventional pistol bullets of the same caliber (the reduced bullet mass did lessen felt recoil with 9mm and 45 acp pistols). The polymer bullets are lead-free, and they don’t ricochet, so they are both more “eco-friendly” and safer when used on steel targets.

New Savage 110 BA Stealth Rifle

Savage 10 ba stealth rifle

Savage unveiled a modern, “monolithic” metal-chassis tactical rifle. Designed to compete with the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), the new Savage 110 BA Stealth has an AR-type hand grip, skeletal buttstock, and a low-profile vented forearm. This rifle will be offered in .308 Winchester and 6.5 Creedmoor while a slightly bigger model will be offered in .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua Magnum. Savage says that all the 110 BA Stealth models will feature “factory blue-printed actions” for improved accuracy. MSRP varies from $1200 to $1600 depending on caliber and configuration. It should be available starting next month.

The model on display, chambered in .308 Winchester, proved accurate in the hands of Ed M. of 65guys.com. Ed liked the trigger and the fact that the rifle uses PMags. The stock, based on a design by Drake Associates, is very light but also very rigid. Ed thought this stock would work well on barricades in tactical matches. Steve L. of 65guys.com said there is “pent-up demand” for a rifle like this, and he predicts the 110 BA Stealth will be a big seller for Savage.

Savage 10ba Stealth media day

New K6 Revolver from Kimber

Kimber .357 Mag Revolver

Kimber, known for its 1911-type semi-auto pistols, has introduced an all-new K6 .357 magnum carry revolver. Kimber’s hammerless wheelgun was very nicely crafted and had one of the smoothest double-action pulls we’ve tried. The trigger pull was long, but very consistent and smooth. With the Kimber, you don’t feel a series of “stages” or transitions as you do with most other double-action revolvers. The other impressive thing about the new revolver is the finish — the stainless is very smooth and shiny, the result of “much hand polishing” according to Kimber engineers.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown with Factory Suppressor

Ruger 10/22 Takedown with suppressor

The most fun we had all day was at the Ruger booth. There we got to test a Ruger 10/22 Takedown fitted with a Ruger-branded factory-made suppressor. This little rifle was a hoot to shoot, and with the suppressor in place it was amazingly quiet. We really liked this set-up and the take-down system worked brilliantly — just pull one lever, then twist and the barrel section comes off. For those states where you can own a suppressor, we strongly recommend this configuration. The “can” is sold separately and buyer must still comply with all applicable state and Federal laws.

Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35x60mm Rifle Scope

Zeiss Victory V8

zeissv802

Zeiss showed off its impressive Victory V8 line of riflescopes. These offer an 8X zoom ratio, with handy BDC turrets — just dial the yardage indicated on the turret (you can custom-order BDC rings calibrated for your favorite load). The new V8 scopes offer many impressive features. We shot a rifle fitted with the new 4.8-35x60mm V8, which features a very beefy 36mm main tube. The glass was bright and ultra-sharp. Zeiss claims 92% light transmission. Fiber optic technology provides a very precise red dot in the center of the reticle. This was visible even in bright sunlight. Zeiss will offer three other V8 models: 1-8x30mm, 1.8-14x50mm, and 2.8-20x56mm.

APO .338 Lapua Magnum

APO Ashbury .338 Lapua Magnum

Ashbury .338 Lapua Magnum

Bigger is apparently better when it comes to serious tactical rifles. There were quite a few rifles chambered for the powerful .338 Lapua Magnum Cartridge. We tried out a .338 LM from Ashbury Precision Ordnance. With some help from a laser rangefinders, we were able to put rounds on a large steel plate at 960 yards. The trigger was nice and the suppressor reduced felt recoil. This was a nice rifle, with a comfortable cheek-piece and ergonomic grip.

Minox MD 88 Spotting Scope

minox02

We noticed a BIG front objective on a brand-new Minox spotting scope — one of only two in the country. This new spotter features low-dispersion glass and dual focusing rings — a large “fast focus” ring and a second smaller, fine focus ring. The price, including 20-60X eyepiece, will be around $1750.00. Jason Baney, who works for EuroOptics, says this new Minox spotting scope compares well with other spotters that cost considerably more.

Blaser R8 Professional Thumbhole Fancy Wood

Blaser

If there was one rifle I wanted to take home with me, it was this nice Blaser R8 “Professional Success” model with a fancy wood new thumbhole stock. This rifle was very comfortable in all shooting positions. The gun balanced well and the straight-pull Blaser action is fun to use. It can be cycled rapidly without disturbing your position on the rifle.


This is always something new and unusual on display at Media Day at the range. This tracked one-man rig provides all-terrain mobility so disabled persons can enjoy hunting and wilderness recreation.

atv disabled power sled

Permalink Handguns, New Product, News 2 Comments »
December 6th, 2015

Shilen Offers Barreled Actions and Complete Rifles

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

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). Call (972) 875-5318 or email comments [@] shilen.com for more information. NOTE: An 11% Federal Excise Tax is due on complete rifles.

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 are 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.

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

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.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »