Jim Borden of Borden Accuracy tells us that he will soon offer Titanium actions: “The Alpine and Timberline family of actions will soon be available for sale with Titanium action bodies. Stay tuned!”
Jim provided this photo of a prototype Alpine Magnum Titanium action body on the scale. Note it is just a bit over one-half pound without bolt. That’s light-weight. Jim said he will “send bolt body, action body, recoil lug, bolt stop and bolt shroud for PVD treatment next week”. Jim hopes to be shooting the finished prototype Titanium Alpine action in two weeks.
AccurateShooter.com will provide a full report on the Borden Titanium actions when they reach final production stage. The reduced weight benefits game hunters who have to carry their rifles far afield all day long. We also like the idea of a Titanium action in a small-caliber, carry-around varmint rifle. With a low-recoiling cartridge such as the 20 Vartarg or .223 Remington, it makes sense to have a light-weight rifle that’s easy to pick up and move around.
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The biggest Berger bullet ever is on its way. In early summer, Berger Bullets will unveil its first-ever .50-Caliber projectile and its first-ever solid. This new 750gr bullet, called the TItan (for Titanium), features heat-resistant CNC-machined Titanium bullet tips with threaded shafts. TItan bullet bodies are precisely tapped (with a fine pitch) to accept the threaded tips. This allows for ultra-precise tip alignment and perfect concentricity. Another benefit of this threaded attachment system is that hand-loaders can change out tips, selecting a particular tip profile for different applications. Initially three tip types will be offered: Hunting (for increased expansion), Match (for maximum BC), and Tactical (for military/LEO applications). The Match Tip gives the new TItan a spectacular 1.25 G1 BC.
The field-tested G7 BC is still “top-secret” but Bryan Litz reports: “The number we’ve seen with the prototype TItans is a game-changer… nothing will touch it.” How impressive is the new TItan? Bryan told us: “Look, I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but I’m building a new .50 just to shoot this thing, and we’re looking to go sub-MOA at 2500 yards.”
The Titanium bullet tips set the new Berger TItan apart from all other projectiles on the market. Berger Ballistician Bryan Litz noted: “We wanted the ability to adapt bullet performance to particular applications. With interchangeable bullet tips you can increase BC or increase terminal performance. In addition, with the Titanium material, we have the most heat-resistant bullet tips in the business. Compare the heat resistance of Titanium with any thing else — red, green, or otherwise.” Recently, Hornady rolled out a line of ELD™ match bullets with heat-resistant red plastic tips. Berger’s Titanium tips can withstand much higher temperatures than ANY polymer tips. “Our Titanium tips are essentially heat-proof. The amount of heat required to compromise the tips would melt your barrel first”, said a Berger production engineer.
Berger Bullets President Eric Stecker said the company considered other monikers for its super-sized .50 Caliber projectile before finalizing on the name “TItan”: “For the new .50 we needed something to top the ‘Juggernaut’ name we use for our big 30s. We thought about ‘Super-Solid’ and even considered calling the big .50 the ‘Berger King Whopper’, but that didn’t work for obvious reasons. We finally settled on ‘TItan’ because it means ‘big’ and has the Titanium connection, and we can trademark that. But Bryan and some of the production guys in the shop still call this big .50 the ‘Whopper'”.
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How fast can a human shoot a revolver? The legendary Jerry Miculek answers that question in this video. Using his new, 9mm model 929 revolver, Jerry shoots 16 shots in 4.01 seconds, with a reload*. His splits between shots were running 0.16-0.17 seconds. That works out to a peak rate of fire of 353 rounds per minute, faster than some early-era machine guns. Even counting his reloads, his sustained rate of fire would be 239 rounds per minute, faster than a 19th-century Gatling gun. Note: If you are attending the NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis this weekend, you can meet Jerry Miculek at the Hornady booth (#6361) on Friday or Saturday at 4:00 PM.
16 shots w reload
Peak Rate of Fire
Sustained Rate of Fire
353 rds per min
239 rds per min
Smith & Wesson 929 Eight-shot Revolver, Jerry Miculek Edition
Jerry really likes his JM Signature Edition model 629 revolver. Produced by the S&W Custom Shop, this 9mm handgun features a ported, broach-cut barrel plus a titanium cylinder. Jerry says the low-mass titanium cylinder reciprocates very fast, making for a responsive rapid-fire revolver.
*This was time on target. Total time including initial reaction time was 4.88 seconds.
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Teludyne Tech Industries manufactures a unique sleeved barrel system which, Teludyne claims, offers significant advantages over conventional steel barrels. Teludyne’s StraightJacket® Barrel System features a three-part composite construction. In the center is a conventional, relatively thin-contour steel barrel. Around that is fitted a 1.25″-diameter metal sleeve (shroud) running from action to muzzle. In the “gap” between the inner steel barrel and the outer sleeve, Teludyne pumps in a proprietary media. This lightweight fill material provides rigidity with reduced weight, and it also helps to transfer heat away from the inner barrel tube. The outer sleeve can be aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, or titanium — as the customer specifies. (Titanium offers an impressive combination of strength, light weight, and corrosion resistance).
Teludyne claims that a composite StraightJacket barrel is as stiff as an equivalent-diameter large-contour steel barrel, but much lighter in weight. Teludyne declares: “By pressure-fitting our thin-walled machine tubing onto your barrel and then filling the void with our proprietary media creating a new monolithic structure, we retain the necessary flexibility but add the accuracy-enhancing rigidity.”
The StraightJacket system has been around for a few years, and the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been testing Teludyne barrel prototypes on a variety of platforms. There have been some promising tests that show improved accuracy over long strings of fire. This has been attributed to enhanced barrel cooling. Teludyne also claims StraightJacket barrels are more accurate than conventional barrels — at least conventional factory-grade barrels. That may be a stretch. However there is some hard evidence that a composite barrel can maintain good accuracy for more shots because the composite design sheds heat better.
You can read more about StraightJacket barrels in the GunsAmerica Blog. Testers for GunsAmerica saw improved accuracy in Savage and Sako .30-06 rifles which were retro-fitted with composite barrels. With StraightJacket barrels installed, Both rifles fired impressive 5-shot groups at 500 yards: “Target after target … came back on both rifles with both guns shooting into an inch to an inch and a half at 500 yards, and it didn’t seem to matter how many rounds of standard Hornady [ammo] we put through the guns. In total, [the tester] shot 160 rounds through two guns … most at 500 yards in light to no wind on a 90° Florida day.” If those results can be believed, Teludyne may be on to something. Groups in the 1.5″ range at 500 yards are competitive with quality benchrest rigs, yet the test rifles were “box-stock” except for the composite barrels.
Fitting a StraightJacket Barrel to your Rifle
Teludyne StraightJacket barrels can be fitted to most common bolt-action rifles along with AK series rifles. Also dedicated complete uppers are offered for AR platform rifles. Send your gun to Teludyne in South Carolina and Teludyne will install the composite barrel and ship your rifle back to you about four weeks later. Centerfire bolt-action prices start at $649.00 for steel or aluminum outer sleeves. Rimfire installations cost $699.00. Titanium-shrouded barrel systems are $799.00 installed. These prices include a removable, threaded muzzle brake.
StraightJacket Barrels for Biathletes
Our friends Lanny and Tracy Barnes, Team USA Biathletes, have used Teludyne composite barrels successfully in international competition. The ‘Twin Biathletes’ have endorsed the product: “We have had outstanding groups [with the StraightJacket Barrel System] and it didn’t seem like the cold had an effect on them at all. Our first races were in Canada where it was -15 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. While everyone else’s groups seem to spread open off of the paper, we were laying the shots down right on top of each other. After the races Tracy flew right over to Italy and the race officials were really impressed with how it shot. Your Straightjackets are really turning heads. We are excited to make history this winter and in the next Olympics in 2014. Thanks — Tracy and Lanny Barnes.” This Editor talked with Lanny at SHOT Show and she confirmed that the barrel really seems to work for her discipline. She called it her “secret weapon”. The composite barrel saves weight (over a similar-diameter all-steel barrel), and it seems to be less affected by hot/cold cycles encountered during biathlon events.
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For 2012, Pierce Engineering Ltd. plans to offer Titanium (Ti) versions of its popular Remington-footprint custom actions. Just 42% the weight of steel, Titanium is light yet very strong, with a strength to weight ratio of 1.5+. By producing action bodies from Titanium, Pierce Engineering is able to shave eight ounces (8 oz.) off the weight of a long action (compared to 4140 steel). What’s more, Pierce is now working on Titanium internals and Titanium bolt handles. This could bring the total weight savings to nearly one pound (16 ounces).
John Pierce tells us: “To add to weight reduction we will offer a Titanium recoil lug and install a Titanium handle to the bolt, and possibly a lightened firing pin assembly. I really want to get close to a one-pound reduction overall.”
The new Pierce Titanium actions were inspired by customer requests. One domestic customer wanted an ultra-light action for a sheep rifle, while an Aussie buyer requested a Ti XP action for a silhouette pistol build. John Pierce reports: “After many requests and having a bar of Titanium lying on the shelf for more than three years, [I decided] well ‘Why not have a go?'”
Price and Ordering Info
What will the new Titanium actions cost? Expect to pay an extra $350.00 or so above the cost of Pierce’s stainless and chrome-moly actions. John Pierce explains: “Titanium does cost a lot more and Titanium offers challenges in machining and special tooling. We are estimating that a Ti action will sell in the range of $350.00 more than the steel counterpart.” For more info, visit PierceEngineeringLtd.com, email jpierceltd [at] tds.net or call (517) 321-5051. You can also write to the address below:
X-Treme Shooting Products now has its new Titanium Short Actions and Long Actions in production. Made from Grade 5 Ti-6Al-4V Titanium, these are the only custom Titanium actions currently manufactured in the USA. The long and short X-Treme Ti actions are available with +20 MOA Taper Titanium Picatinny Scope rails and Titanium Recoil Lugs. The .338 Actions will be coming soon, and will be offered with +20, +25, and +30 MOA Taper rails and integral recoil lugs.
We thought you’d enjoy some views of the short and long Ti actions, fitted in tactical rifles. Shown below is and X-Treme Titanium Short Action in the regular Accuracy International AICS 2.0 chassis stock. This rifle features a Krieger fluted barrel (chambered in .260 Rem), withe an X-Treme 2-stage trigger, and Nightforce 5.5-22×56 NXS scope.
The slide show below features the X-Treme Titanium Long Action in the new Accuracy International AX chassis stock. This impressive beast also has a Krieger barrel, but chambered for the 6.5×284 cartridge. The gun also has an X-Treme 2 stage trigger, and a Nightforce 5.5-22×56 NXS scope.
Story Tip from Edlongrange. We welcome submissions from our readers.
Disclosure: X-Treme Shooting Products advertises with AccurateShooter.com.
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X-Treme Shooting Products has announced that its new line of Titanium actions is in full production, with short and long receivers ready to ship. The .338 receivers should be ready by the time of the NRA Annual meeting in late April. X-Treme Shooting is currently the only manufacturer of Titanium rifle receivers in the USA. Titanium construction offers significant weight savings, without compromising durability. On a long-action build, using a Titanium action could save up to 10 ounces. The short and long Titanium receivers both have a Rem 700 footprint, but with enhancements for improved function and accuracy. These are custom-grade actions, “absolutely true and dimensionally correct.”
Benefits of Titanium Construction
Why Titanium? In addition to being much lighter than steel (by volume), Titanium is extremely strong, and very corrosion-resistant. That is why it is used for critical parts in jet airplanes and spacecraft. Titanium is as strong as steel, but 45% lighter. It is 60% heavier than aluminum, but twice as strong. Titanium has the highest strength to weight ratio of any common metal. Titanium does requires special milling tools and techniques for production. However, it is otherwise a highly-desirable material for rifle actions because it is light, strong, and corrosion-resistant.
New CG INCH Action Available
X-Treme Shooting sells a variety of other precision products, including the CG X-Treme Mod22 two-stage trigger, the Centra Goliath Front Sight, and the CG INCH target action from Australia shown below. The new INCH action, designed by Robert Chombart, are offered with either .308 or .223 bolt faces, for $1075.00. This is an excellent action for F-Class and Fullbore shooters. Call for finish options and other details.
For more information or to place an order, email ctmyers [at] x-tremeshooting.com, or call (513) 313-3464, or visit X-TremeShooting.com.
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X-Treme Shooting Products will roll out a new series of Titanium-bodied receivers at SHOT Show 2011 in Las Vegas. These new repeater actions will come in three (3) sizes: Short Action (SA), Long Action (LA), and .338 Lapua Magnum. The Short Action and Long Action versions have a Rem 700 footprint so that they should fit any stock with Rem 700 inletting. The .338 version has been designed to fit the Accuracy International AICS CIP (large) chassis system — providing a perfect “drop-in” solution for tactical shooters looking to upgrade to the .338 LM.
Exclusive American-Made Titanium Custom Actions
X-Treme Shooting is currently the only US-based company offering custom Titanium actions for the general public. X-Treme Shooting’s new Ti actions feature a body CNC-milled from titanium billet, fitted with a conventional steel bolt. Even with the steel bolt, all the Titanium actions are significantly lighter than equivalent chrome-moly or stainless steel actions. The Titanium Short Action should be nearly 1/2-pound lighter than a steel action, while the Ti Long Action should be 10 oz. lighter than steel. The .338 LM action will be “much lighter than steel” according to Tom Myers of X-Treme Shooting.
At SHOT Show, X-Treme Shooting will display the first production runs of titanium Short Actions and Long Actions. These will be priced at $1350.00. Price has not yet been set for the bigger .338 actions. All these actions are constructed as repeaters with bottom cut-outs for internal magazines. The Short Action and Long Action will work with standard Remington bottom metal. In the second half of 2011, X-Treme Shooting may offer solid-bottom versions of these actions for benchrest use.
Benefits of Titanium Construction
Why Titanium? In addition to being much lighter than steel (by volume), Titanium is extremely strong, and very corrosion-resistant. That is why it is used for critical parts in jet airplanes and spacecraft. Titanium is as strong as steel, but 45% lighter. It is 60% heavier than aluminum, but twice as strong. Titanium has the highest strength to weight ratio of any common metal. Titanium does requires special milling tools and techniques for production. However, it is otherwise a near-perfect material for rifle actions because it is light, strong, and corrosion-resistant.
Future Solid-Bottom Receivers and 17-4 Stainless Actions
Weight-conscious benchrest shooters have wanted a benchrest-grade Titanium action for some time. Shedding a half a pound is huge when you’re trying to build a Light Varmint at 10.5 pounds including scope and rings. In response to this demand, X-Treme Shooting hopes to offer solid-bottom Titanium actions for benchrest use. Look for these to appear in the second half of 2011. In addition, X-Treme Shooting plans to offer a line of custom actions made from super-high-quality 17-4 stainless.
We recently had a chance to test the new Chimera Titanium Rings from TacticalRifles.net. The Chimera Rings are “ultra-premium” items designed to compete with the very best tactical rings on the market. As you’d expect, they’re expensive. The 30mm Chimera Rings retail for $224.00 per matched set, including Torx driver. Though these fat boys are beefy in size, offering 7.5 square inches of clamping area per set (way more than most rings), they are very light weight. A medium-height, 30mm Chimera ring weighs just 84 grams (2.96 ounces).
The Chimera rings are precision-machined to exacting tolerances. We had our Mark, our in-house machinist, check them out and he was very impressed: “These rings exhibit beautiful fit and finish and are extremely tough. The fit of the ring bases on a Picatinny rail is perfect. I liked the radius shapes given to most of the surfaces. The front and back faces of each ring are standard flat planes, and the ring caps have a flat disc in their centers, but the remainder of the cap and the sides of the bodies are gently curved. This design requires sophisticated machining processes to pull off, but it looks good. The larger-than-standard heads on the cap hardware, 8-32 X #25 Torx, are another departure that looks well thought out. One danger this increased head size would present if the fasteners were threading into typical 6061 aluminum bodies would be the potential to over-torque and strip the threads with the larger #25 Torx wrench. However, since the titanium bodies have approximately double the tensile strength of 6061 aluminum this is not a problem.”
Assymetrical Tensioning by Design
The Chimera Titanium Rings employ an assymetrical clamping design. This should allow the rings to provide stronger clamping force with less chance of ring distortion. Here’s how they work. After placing the scope in the lower halves of the rings, you screw down the top halves on one side only (opposite the bolt head that clamps to the Picatinny rail). After the three Torx screws are tightened fully on one side, so that the top Ring half butts firmly on the bottom half, there will still be a small gap on the opposite side of the ring (see photo). Don’t worry — that is by design. Final torque is applied to the side with the gap. With the final tensioning done on one side only, the scope is less prone to twist. Furthermore, the manufacturer claims this design puts less stress on the scope tube during mounting.
We did fit the Chimera rings to a Leupold LRT 8-25x50mm scope with 30mm tube. Fit was excellent with no high or low points. With the rings installed as instructed, with one side first clamped flush and the opposite side then torqued to spec, the scope was very secure. On removal the Chimera rings left no visible marks on the tube. I can’t say that it would be a waste of time to lap these rings, but on our Leupold scope the fit was perfect, and the “grip” was uniform over the entire clamping surface.
Tactical Precision System TSR™ Rings TSR™ rings made by Tactical Precision Systems (TPS) have a clamping design very similar to the Chimera Titanium Rings. After placing the scope in the TSR ring set, you clamp down one side (of the ring tops) until metal meets metal. This then leaves a gap of 0.020″ on the other side. The TSR Picatinny 30mm 7075 Aluminum Medium Rings cost $82 in aluminum or $94.00 in alloy steel. The TSR rings are narrower than the Chimeras, and have two Torx bolts per side, rather than the three on the Chimeras.
M3 Hinged Scope Rings from American Rifle Company
An even more radical clamping system is employed by the new, patent-pendingM3 Scope Rings from The American Rifle Company. The top section of the M3 rings is attached with a hinge on one side. After placing the scope in the bottom section of the M3 rings, you swing the upper ring half into place over the scope tube. Then the clamping is done with two inverted (head-down) machine screws that actually pull the hinged ring section downwards. This is designed to put less stress on the scope than conventional rings. The axis of the screws is tangential to the scope tube. Sophisticated finite element analysis (FEA) was used to develop the “over the top”, tangential-clamping ring design. According to the manufacturer, this design evenly distributes clamping forces over the tube and “eliminates the damaging effects of [scope] bending”. The manufacturer claims that, with its rings, “no significant stress concentrations are present on the scope tube”. American Rifle Co. backs up these claims with a series of 3D stress analyses published on its website.
Credit The Firearm Blog for reporting on the M3 ring design.
Disclosure: TacticalRifles.net loaned a pair of Chimera Titanium Rings for testing and evaluation.
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Florida-based Tactical Rifles has just released its new “Chimera” series of 30mm Titanium Tactical Rings. Precision machined from advanced billet alloys and titanium, these sturdy, wide-body rings offer 50% increased surface area, with no fewer than twelve (12) 8-32 torx screws per set.
Though the Titanium Chimera rings weigh just 2.6 ounces each, they are rugged and durable, and provide a secure mount for even the heaviest tactical riflescope. Three different exterior colors are offered: Desert Tan, Matte Black, and Olive Drab. The Black finish is hard anodized, while the tan and olive colors are a moly epoxy finish. (NOTE: Prototype rings are shown in the photos; the interior section of production rings will be anodized matte black.)
Each ring set is serial numbered as a matched pair, and are available for pre-orders now. Suggested retail price is $229.00 per set, your color choice. For more information, visit TacticalRifles.net or call 1-877-811-GUNS (811-4867).
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