July 21st, 2007

Berger 35gr 20-Cal Bullets on Sale

Now through the end of July, MidwayUSA has the Berger 35gr hollowpoint varmint bullets on sale. These are excellent .204-caliber projectiles. They are very accurate, with more consistent dimensions than many other varmint bullets. With a wide meplat, the Berger 35s provide reliable expansion in the target. You’ll like these bullets in your 20-222, .204 Ruger, 20 Tactical or 20 Vartarg. MidwayUSA customer C. Benson from Colorado reports: “After trying the Hornady V-max bullets with 100 yard groups 1″ or more, I ordered a new barrel, reamer and headspace gauge. While waiting for the new barrel & reamer I decided to try the Berger bullets. I was very pleased with the Berger 35 grain bullets. Groups were cut in half with the same powders with some powders the groups were even less, in the .3s I will be shooting Bergers from now on!”

Berger bullets 205 20 caliber 35gr Varmint

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July 20th, 2007

TECH TIP–Poor Man's Headspace Gauge

Here is a simple, low-cost way to get reliable readings of case headspace when you “bump” the shoulder back on your 6BR, .243, or .308 Win brass. Credit Boyd Allen for this tip. First, you’ll need one .45acp case, with primer removed. Make sure the .45acp case is trimmed square and that it is round. We recommend you first run it through an expander, then size it, trim it and chamfer. Next, take the .45acp case and slip it over the neck of a fired, unsized case with the primer removed. Align the two cases between the jaws of your calipers and note the length from rim to rim (Top Photo, striped case).

OK, now you have the length for a fired case. Next, take a sized case (without primer) and do the same thing, placing the .45acp over the neck of the FL-sized case (Bottom Photo). The difference between the two numbers is the amount of “bump” or set-back you are applying to the shoulder. Here the difference is .0015″. The amount of bump you need varies with your chamber and your load, but .0015-.002″ is a good initial setting. By using this simple tool, you can avoid bumping the shoulder too much. This will also help you set-up the depth of your full-length die to get the proper amount of bump each time.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
July 20th, 2007

IMR 4007 SSC in 6-6.5×47 Lapua

We had a chat yesterday with Ed Eckhoff, who has served as Match Director for the U.S. F-Class Nationals, NBRSA 600-yard Nationals and other major events held at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center. Ed has been working with the 6.5×47 Lapua necked down to 6mm. Ed told us he was getting good velocity and stellar accuracy with the new IMR 4007 SSC powder. “I was testing recently at 300 yards, and the first two shots pretty much went through the same hole. The group ended up well under .4 inches. Pretty amazing for 300 yards”. Ed is using 39.0+ grains of IMR 4007 SSC with his own custom-made 108 grain boat-tail bullets. Ed said he can get his 108s well over 3100 fps and there has been no stiff bolt lift and no extrusion of brass into the ejector area. Ed’s big question was barrel life. He asked us–“Has anyone shot out the barrel on a 6-6.5×47 yet? I wonder what kind of barrel life can be expected.”

IMR 4007 ssc

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July 19th, 2007

All-American Smallbore Championship

On July 5-8, the 101-year-old Los Angeles Rifle & Revolver Club hosted the All-American Smallbore Championship. Many of the top rimfire shooters in the western USA attended the match. The overall match winner was German Salazar. Below is a one-minute video showing German shooting the 100-yard “any sights” stage. If you watch carefully you’ll see how steady German holds his rifle and how quickly/smoothly he cycles his bolt. You’ll see just a small lift of the muzzle as German pulls the trigger. German’s rifle features an Anschutz 2013 action in a fiberglass Master Class stock with an older Leupold 24X Target scope. It has a phenomenal 1.5 ounce Kenyon trigger–as smooth and crisp a trigger as we have ever sampled. Click HERE for large photo.

German Salazar All-American Prone Rimfire

All-American Prone Rimfire

Other winners, by category, included:

First Master–Sam Thoman
First Expert–Mike Tuck
Top Woman–Dara Zachary
First SharpShooter–Amanda McMullin
(Amanda also posted the high score among Juniors)
First Marksman–Jennifer Smith
Highest Junior (After Amanda)–Shannon Draeker

Shannon Draeker All-American Prone Rimfire

The LARR ran a very efficient, professional match. Many legendary small-bore and position shooters were present as observers at the match, including former Olympian and world record 300m shooter David Kimes. Click HERE for Complete Match Results. You’ll also find a discussion of the match on ShootersJournal.com.

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July 18th, 2007

1.505" 600-Yard Agg — Brady Does It Again

Terry Brady’s name is synonymous with 600-yard world records. On July 14, shooting at the Piedmont range, Terry smashed his own IBS 600-yard Aggregate world record. Running his 15.5-lb 6BR in the Heavy Gun Relay, Terry nailed an amazing 1.5055″ 4-target Agg. Two of his 5-shot groups were under 1.3″! Target by target, here are his groups: 2.063″, 1.209″, 1.469″, 1.281″ (all subject to IBS verification.)

Terry told us: “The conditions were great. Mild temps, very little mirage, almost no wind. I shot completely free recoil and was able to drill ‘em right in there. I don’t think I looked up at the flags once I started a group.” Previously, in May, at the same Piedmont range, Terry also shot two pending IBS 600-yard records, with a 50-score (1.093″) in Light Gun, and a 50-score (1.175″) in Heavy Gun. Terry says: “As far as I can tell I have four pending world records right now.”

Terry Brady 600-yard record

Terry set the new Agg record with the same 6BR rifle that produced Terry’s .860″ single-group IBS record (READ Story HERE). However, the gun has a new Krieger 8-twist barrel and Terry was using the new Spencer 103 BT bullets. In the past Terry shot moly Berger 105s. Recently he switched to shooting naked bullets: “Quite a few boys ’round here have been getting real good results shooting naked bullets lately, so I thought I’d give it a try.” He still uses Berger 105s, but recently tried out the Spencers. In his testing the Berger 105s shoot best in warm weather, but the Spencers shot better in cool to moderate air.

At the 7/14 Piedmont match, Terry shot naked Berger 105s in the first Light Gun Relay. That produced a 2.527″ Agg. Then he cleaned his barrel quickly, and switched to the Spencer 103s, loaded with 30.0 grains of Reloader 15. Terry said the weather was pretty mild in temperature, so he thought the 103s might work well. They sure did.

Terry proved it’s wise to read the AccurateShooter.com Bulletin: “I was on your website last month, and learned about the new Clay Spencer 103s. Jason said they were some of the most consistent bullets he’d ever measured, so I though I’d give them a try. I called Clay, but he didn’t have any left. I managed to get some from Glenn Burroughs.” Terry joked: “Please don’t tell the other folks how well the Spencer 103s are shooting–let me win a few more matches first.”

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July 18th, 2007

TECH TIP–Stub Gauge for Measurements

Rich DeSimone uses a handy “Stub Gauge” for setting shoulder “bump” and seating depth. The gauge is made from a section of barrel lopped off when the muzzle is crowned. The chambering reamer is run in about 1/4 of the way, enough to capture the neck and shoulder area of the case. Rich then uses his full-length die to “bump” a master case with the ideal amount of headspace for easy feeding and extraction. He takes that case and sets it in this Stub Gauge, and measures from the front of the gauge to the rim. He can then quickly compare any fired case to a his “master” case with optimal headspace. Since the gauge measures off the shoulder datum, this tells him how much to bump his fired brass.

Stub Gauge Chambering Tool

In addition, the Stub Gauge can be used to set bullet seating-depth. Rich has a channel cut transversely on one side of the gauge, exposing the throat area. Since the interior of the gauge is identical to the chamber in his gun, this lets him see where a seated bullet engages the rifling. He can tinker with bullet seating length until he gets just the right amount of land contact on the bullet, confirmed visually. Then he measures the case OAL and sets his seating dies accordingly. This is much handier than using a Stoney Point Tool to measure distance to the lands. As your barrel’s throat wears, you may seat your bullets out further to “chase the lands”, but the gauge provides a constant land engagement point, in the barrel’s “as new” condition. By measuring the difference between the land contact point on the gauge and the actual contact point on your barrel, you can determine throat “migration”.

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July 17th, 2007

Fast Shootin' at 1000 Yards with Buhay

Ever wondered what it was like to pilot a 60+ pound Heavy Gun in top-level competition? Want to see how fast a shooter can rip off 10 shots downrange? Check out this video of John Buhay shooting his 6 Dasher Heavy Gun at the Williamsport World Open on Sunday, July 15. John launches 10 shots in 26 seconds start to finish, even with multiple point of aim adjustments. John’s rifle employs a trued Remington Action in a Delrin and aluminum stock crafted by Buhay himself. If you cringe seeing John launch brass over his shoulder–he has a towel that catches his empties. Click the image below to download the 4.8 megabyte video. If you have the Media Plug-in, the video should launch when you double-click.

John Buhay Williamsport World Open 6mm Dasher

© 2007 AccurateShooter.com, All Rights Reserved
Video by Jason Baney

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July 17th, 2007

Williamsport Winner's Rifles

We contacted Matt Dienes, Williamsport Two-Gun Aggregate Overall Champion, to learn more about his winning rifles. He shot both a regular 16.5-lb Light Gun and a big, over 50-lb Heavy Gun, both chambered in 300 WSM. He used the 30-caliber Berger 210s and Hodgdon H4350 powder.

Matt told us: “The Heavy Gun is just two weeks old. In its first big match, in Ohio, the Heavy Gun did really well. Though I had only 4 days to develop and test a load, the Heavy Gun ended up winning the Ohio HG overall, plus HG score and HG group. (By the way, I was sitting next to Tom Sarver when he shoot his 1.403″ record group at Thunder Valley. Truly spectacular. As for me–I shot a 6″ in that Light Gun relay.) I’m really pleased the Heavy Gun (and my LG) continued to perform at Willliamsport. There were are many excellent shooters and rifles at this match, so winning the Two-Gun overall is the highlight of my shooting career. The Williamsport World Open is a very tough match to win, probably tougher than the Nationals. The 10-shot Light Gun target does make it more challenging and so does the range, it is tough to shoot. Thanks to all.” –Matt

Matt’s Equipment Profile
Gunsmith: Wes Springman, Springman Rifles, Allenwood, PA, (570) 547-1905, springmanrifles[at]hotmail.com
Stock Work: Bruce Baer, Baer Custom Rifles, (717) 349-4077
Chamberings: Both LG and HG are standard 300 WSM, smithed by Springman
Light Gun Barrel/Action: 1:11″ Krieger, BAT 8.5″ action
Heavy Gun Barrel/Action: 1:10″ Broughton, BAT 10″ action
Load: H4350, Norma Brass, Berger 210gr VLD, CCI BR2

Williamsport 1000 yard shooting club

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July 17th, 2007

OSHA Withdraws Controversial Proposed Regulations

OSHA recently proposed new regulations that would treat firearms powders and primers as the equivalent of Det Cord and Explosives. Potentially, this would block mail-order and online sales of powders, because of the tight restrictions on sales and transportation.

Proposed New Regulations:


Document ID: OSHA-2007-0032-0001; 29 CFR Part 1910

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) now reports that OSHA’s proposed new regulations for explosives (29 CFR 1910.109 et seq.) are being retracted pending a full review. A bi-partisan group in Congress has convinced OSHA to table the proposed regulations for the time being. The NSSF reports: “26 members of Congress expressed concerns with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed explosives rule. This bi-partisan opposition, along with NRA grassroots initiatives and the work of NSSF and SAMMI, made OSHA understand the necessity … to revise its notice of proposed rulemaking and clarify the purpose of the regulation. NSSF and SAAMI will continue to work with regulators concerning the myriad problems with the proposed rule[.]” For more info visit the SAAMI website.

SAAMI.org Sporting Arms Ammunition

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July 16th, 2007

Matt Dienes Wins World Open — Big 30s Prevail

Forum member Matt Dienes triumphed at this weekend’s Williamsport World Open, capturing the Two-Gun Overall Championship (9.215″ Group Agg, 91.250 Score Agg). Congrats to Matt, whose Light Gun and Heavy Gun were both chambered in 300 WSM. Matt’s new HG, smithed by Wes Springman, was just two weeks old. Eric Springman finished second in the Two-Gun, shooting a 30-330 in Light Gun and a 6mm BRXS in Heavy. Finishing Third Overall was William Kilpatrick, running a 6.5-284 in both classes. (Note: this data is from the equipment list; some competitors may have chosen to run their Light Guns in Heavy Class).

Matt Dienes, Williamsport World Open Champion

According to our 1000-yard Editor Jason Baney, “Conditions were really challenging. The wind was strong and switchy. On Sunday it was going crazy. In one of my relays we saw it go from prevailing full right to a full left during the course of fire. That can put you off paper at 1000.”

While many shooters were campaigning 6mms (including Jason), this seemed to be a weekend made for the big 30s. Piloting a 300 Weatherby Improved (with 240 SMKs), Scott Weber won the Heavy Gun Class (5.784″ Group Agg, 96.500 Score Agg) and shot the Heavy Gun Small Group, an impressive 3.488″ ten-shot cluster shown below. This was just one bullet diameter off the Williamsport record.

Jennifer Springman finished second in Heavy Gun with her 300 Win Mag, posting a 6.664″ Group Agg plus 92.500 Score Agg. Shannon Lowman won the Light Gun Overall Agg (8.601″ Group Agg, 91.00 Score Agg), shooting a 300 Win Mag. Andy Murtagh finished second in Light Gun (8.995″, 92.00), shooting a 6.5-284 Hoover. Complete match results are found on the Williamsport Website.

Lori King 6mm DropPort Dasher

NOTE: We will update this Bulletin report later with more info and video. Check back tomorrow.

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July 16th, 2007

Great Deal on Canon A550–$128.99

If you don’t own a quality digital camera, or need a second camera to keep in your range kit or vehicle, grab this A550 Canon now. It is available from Circuit City for just $128.99. B & H Photo also has the camera for just $134.99 (item CAPSA550).

canon A550 camera for shooting sports

canon A550 camera for shooting sports

We heartily endorse the Canon point and shoot digital cameras. Many of the photos on this website (and all the images in the current Gun of the Week article) were shot with an inexpensive Canon A60. The A550 is a significant upgrade over the A60. Though inexpensive, the Canon A-Series cameras are capable of pro-quality images. They produce sharp pictures with vivid colors and excellent contrast. The built-in flash is very sophisticated, allowing effortless daylight fill-flash–an important feature we use constantly. Automatic color temp control (so you don’t get greenish skin tones indoors) is best-in-class. The Canons also shoot very decent video in 320 x 240 (QVGA) or 640 x 480 (VGA) format, and the audio quality is suprisingly good. Most of the videos posted on this site were created with Canon A-series point-and-shoot cameras.

While the Canon A550 offers an impressive 7.1 megapixel capacity, here’s a tip — if you’re shooting photos for the web, set the resolution at 1600×1200 pixels with the A550. Using that middle resolution will let you store many more images on your memory card. Our only gripe about the Canon A-series cameras is that they can be battery hogs. Always bring spare AAs when photographing an important event. Duracell rechargeable 2650 mAh batteries work great.

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July 15th, 2007

New 'PodPaws' for Bipods

Here’s a cool new product from Forum member Kyle Posey. Kyle’s PodPaws add stability to Harris bipods (and similar designs), while reducing rifle sliding and hopping. When used with the optional rubber booties, PodPaws also reduce bounce and chatter on concrete or hard surfaces. PodPaws feature a clamshell (with O-ring) that fits around each rubber bipod foot. The clamshell can move within the PodPaw outer assembly, allowing each PodPaw pad to self-level on uneven terrain. Click HERE for more photos and field reports.

PodPaws for Harris Bipods

PodPaws inventor Kyle reports: “PodPaws can increase accuracy by allowing the bipod to recoil more like a bench rest rig instead of hopping after a shot and getting stuck in the roots as you try to get back on target or sink in soft soil. They are called PodPaws, will fit all Harris and similar bipods that use a foot like the Harris, install in seconds and require no modification to the bipod. On June 23rd, I shot a 197-6x at 1,000 yards and my shooting buddy fired a 197-10x on the same relay using PodPaws. FTR shooters and F-Open shooters that want a more portable rig as well as varmint hunters should take a serious look. They are made from 6061 aluminum. PodPaws sell for $50.00 per set with a $5.00 shipping fee per set (lower 48 US only), or see me at a match in OK, NM, TX or AR. You’ll find more info on our website, Zephyrdynamics.com.

Details of Swiveling Inner Clamshell:
PodPaws for Harris Bipods

AccurateShooter Forum members K. Hill and Milanuk have used the PodPaws and agree they function very well:

“These PodPaws really help prevent flexing of the bipod springs that cause vertical stringing. They helped me hold about 4-5″ vertical at @ 1000yds. I was shooting straight .284 with 162 A-Max. If I remember correctly, Kyle and I went #5 & 6 at TX State Champ (F-Open) using PodPaws. I was very happy. Got my Master Classification card the other day as a result. Great product!” –K. Hill

PodPaw booties for Harris Bipods

“Got some PodPaw rubber booties in from Kyle the other day… at first blush I must say they seem to solve the main ‘problem’ I had w/ the PodPaws, that being that the metal bottoms tend to slide all over the place on a hard surface such as a paved firing line or a concrete or wood bench. With the booties installed… I can lean into the ‘pod to ‘pre-load’ it a little to stabilize it and minimize the hop a good bit. That and they don’t make as much racket ‘clacking’ on a concrete firing line.” –Milanuk

PodPaws for Harris Bipods

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July 14th, 2007

Readers' Views on Shooting Sports Issues

For the past week, we’ve featured a Readers’ Poll on the Home Page. The purpose of the poll is to allow our readers to “speak out” on the most important issues facing the shooting sports in North America. We wanted your views on “hot topics” such as gun legislation and military-style rifles. We also wanted your views on how the sport can continue to grow. (If you haven’t voted yet, Click HERE to participate.) The results are very interesting. We asked readers to select the three most serious challenges facing the shooting sports.

The #1 response was “Anti-gun political activity and regulations”, (19% of all votes).

Interestingly, the second highest response was “Equipment is too expensive” (12%). We have certainly seen this trend–with custom actions approaching $1400.00 delivered, and high-end optics now costing over $2000.00. The cost of reloading components was also a concern. (7% of votes).

Accurateshooter.com poll

Readers were also very concerned about range closures. 11% of responses indicated this was a serious problem. We can certainly concur. Here in Southern California, we have witnessed the closure of many ranges in the past few years. The trend is continuuing, as anti-gun politicians team up with developers who want to convert gun ranges to strip malls or housing complexes.

Readers noted that getting new shooters and juniors involved is a signficant challenge. 8% of responses agree that there are not enough junior shooters. Another 8% say that young shooters are “not interested in marksmanship”. 6% of voters agreed that “we need more programs for new shooters”, while 2% say more female shooters are needed. If you put these together, 24% of all responses are concerned with bringing new shooters and junior shooters into the sport.

ODCMP Junior Programs

While the media spotlights handguns and “evil-looking” military-style rifles (such as the AR15), most of our readers did not think that public concern with these kinds of arms represents a serious challenge to the shooting sports. Only 1% of responses indicated that there was “too much focus on handguns” and only 2% of responses agreed that there was “too much focus on military-style rifles”.

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July 14th, 2007

1970s Falling Block Match Rifle

At the recent All-American Smallbore Rifle Championships in Los Angeles, shooter Nick Van Egmond showed off his unique Rydell long-range match rifle in 30 Gibbs (30-06 Improved). Click the video frame to watch Nick describe his Rydell rifle.

Rydell falling block match rifle

This 70s-vintage rifle was one of a handful of guns built in Southern California with the hand-made Rydell Falling Block action. While E.A. Brown and Ruger make falling block hunting rifles, a modern match rifle with a falling block action is very rare. Nick’s gun features a custom “fish-belly” stock for long-range prone shooting. The workmanship on the stainless action is amazing. Though tolerances are very precise, it opens and closes very smoothly, and all the external action surfaces have been expertly radiused and fitted. The Rydell action is a shining example of craftsmanship that harkens back to the great 19th century falling block Schuetzen rifles.

Rydell falling block rifle

Rydell falling block rifle

Rydell falling block rifle

If you’re interested in modern falling block actions, Click Here to read about the Ed Yost Schuetzen Action.

Permalink Gunsmithing No Comments »
July 13th, 2007

Weight Drift on Digital Scales

Electronic Scales can be a blessing. They are fast and easy to use (for the most part). But there is a potentially dangerous side as well. Here is a real-world example of problems you can encounter with common reloading scales.

I recently received a new box of Berger 95gr VLD bullets to test. These proved to be exceptionally uniform in base to ogive measurement so I decided to weigh them as well. I fired up my PACT electronic scale, letting it warm up for a full hour. Then I calibrated the unit using the check weights provided by PACT. I had a steady zero, the red cup tared (zeroed) correctly–everything looked good. I then started weighing the 95 VLDs, placing each bullet individually in a loading tray so I could repeat the measurements in order. After about 20 rounds I was interrupted by a phone call. I noted the weight (95.0 grains), wrote that down in my log book, removed the bullet, and took the call.

PACT reloading scale

40 minutes later I returned to the loading room and re-weighed the SAME bullet. This time it registered 95.3 grains. Hmmm, I thought, that doesn’t seem right. Then I re-weighed each of the last five bullets (which were in order in the loading tray). Each one measured 0.3 grains higher than originally. I use the zero reset function to re-tare. Same results–0.3 grains high. Next I removed the red cup, re-zeroed and re-weighed without the cup. The bullets were still reading 0.3 grains high. Somehow the scale had lost its calibration.

PACT reloading scale

Accordingly, I recalibrated the scale twice and re-weighed the bullets a third time. This time, following recalibration, they mostly measured the same as the first time, but a few registered 0.1 grain higher.

It was clear from this exercise that the scale had drifted 0.3 grains in a relatively short period of time. Even after the scale was recalibrated, some of the measurements were slightly different. This is cause for concern, obviously, if you are weighing powders. With small cases such as the 6PPC and 6BR, 0.3 grains will make a big difference in pressure. If you think you are loading 30.5 grains of Varget when in fact you are actually loading 30.8 grains, you’re in trouble.

What can one do to avoid this problem? First, allow a long warm-up time for the scale–3 hours or more. Second, recalibrate the scale before each loading session. Third, keep a check-weight handy and use that frequently to see if your scale is drifting. Fourth, there is some evidence that running the scale off a “line conditioner” that provides regulated voltage can help. This PACT unit did not have a line conditioner in place during our tests. Lastly, the “ultimate solution” is upgrading your scale. A higher-grade scale, such as the $275.00 Denver Instrument MXX-123, shown below, is much less likely to experience the problems of inconsistent read-outs and drifting zeros.

Denver Instrument MXX-123:
Denver Instrument MXX-123

Permalink Tech Tip 13 Comments »
July 13th, 2007

Solarstop Cap-Top Neck Protector

Here’s a smart, simple item that will come in handy during hot summer weather. The Solarstop elastic hatband will fit over the crown of any baseball-style cap. (Yep, you’ve probably got dozens of baseball caps, right?). The draped fabric provides 30+ UPF protection for your neck and ears. When things heat up, dunk the soft microfiber fabric in the water for relief–it cools you down fast and dries quickly.

This smart accessory is sold by Cabelas.com, CampMor.com, and Great Outdoors Depot, for $9 to $12.00. Campmor also offers the similar “Sunday Afternoons Solarweave Cap Curtain”, featuring 50+ UPF quick-drying supplex nylon that blocks 97% of UVA and UVB rays. The Cap Curtain features decorative webbing in the front with a velcro sizing adjuster in the back.

These designs are simple enough that anyone with basic sewing skills could make their own cap-top neck drape in a few minutes. (If the wife has a sewing machine this would be a snap). If you make your own unit, be sure to use sun-blocking fabric. Plain cotton or polyester won’t work as well. UV protection is key.

[Editor’s Note: Why, you may ask, am I recommending this somewhat goofy-looking product, and why have I featured sunhats previously in the Bulletin? Well, the risk of skin cancer is very, very real. I was at the dermatologist yesterday, and my Doctor removed two small “anomalies”. And I had a basel cell carcinoma removed two years ago. Trust me, sunscreen and ear/neck protection is a lot cheaper than going to the doctor. Folks who spend much time in the sun really need to watch this stuff–get yourself examined every year. I have a family member who would be dead right now if a melanoma wasn’t caught very early in the game. Enough said–protect your skin and live longer.]

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July 12th, 2007

6.5×47 Lapua Factory Ammo Field Test

Thanks to Adam Braverman of Nammo Lapua, Zak Smith had a chance to test out the new Lapua 6.5×47 123gr factory ammo recently in his Accuracy Int’l tactical rifle. Zak reports: “Accuracy was excellent–the ammo shot as tight as I could hold in the windy conditions. This ammo is half-MOA or better, easy. When I did my job, all shots were touching at 100 yards. The ammo fed from my AI magazine perfectly–no problems at all. It seems the ammo is loaded pretty mild. From a 25.3″ barrel, velocity was 2820 fps over my chronograph. This compares with 2790 fps claimed by the factory from a 26″ barrel (see chart below). That 30 fps is easily within barrel to barrel variation (or chrono variation for that matter). So, consider the 123gr 6.5×47 ammo a 2800 fps product. With this 123gr factory load, there were no pressure signs–primer edges were round, there was no significant cratering, and case-head growth was minimal.”

6.5x47 lapua factory ammunition

Larger Chart (English Data) | Larger Chart (Metric Data)

Zak added: “Overall, I was very impressed with this ammo. Accuracy, on the test day, was actually a bit better than my handloads–but it was pretty windy. This stuff is definitely ‘good to go’ for someone who doesn’t reload and wants quality 6.5mm ammo for a tactical match. You won’t have the velocity of a ‘max’ handload, but even at 2800 fps, given the .547 BC of the 123gr Scenar, this ammo easily beats a .308 shooting 175s in terms of long-range ballistics. The chart below shows comparative drift in a 10 mph wind at 600 and 1000 yards.”

Cartridge FPS BC 600yd Wind 1000yd Wind
6.5×47 123gr Scenar 2800 0.547 23.53″ 75.34″
.308 175gr SMK 2700 0.496 28.12″ 90.95″

Lapua 6.5x47 factory ammo

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
July 12th, 2007

Kelbly and Jewell Triggers Compared

We chatted with German Salazar of Shooters Journal at a rimfire match this weekend (which he won). German reminded us that he had done a comparison review of the Jewell and Kelbly. Here is German’s report:

“I received one of Kelbly’s new triggers and installed it on my 6BR Remington 40X. Installation was normal for any Rem-pattern trigger and it fit perfectly. However, the stock (previously inletted for a Jewell trigger), required a slight amount of material removal at the front of the trigger slot as the Kelbly trigger is a bit longer than a Jewell.

Construction of the Kelbly is very robust. It appears to be machined from a solid bar of steel rather than being two end plates screwed together. Perhaps the trigger’s best feature, however, is very wide range of pull-weight available with no changing of springs or other parts. As delivered it was set for approximately 1.5 oz. and broke very cleanly at that weight. Since my application is 300 Meter prone shooting, I raised it to 6 oz. This required moving a pin under the sear bar to the second of four holes and slightly tweaking the weight of pull screw. Compared to other triggers, it was a joy to work with this arrangement and took just a couple of minutes. All adjustments (weight of pull, over-travel, and sear engagement) are made with set screws and their effect on the internal parts can be seen through windows cut into the trigger body. This makes trigger tuning more precise.

On the downside, the barreled action must be removed from the stock to perform the adjustments (unless you use a trigger hanger), but that’s a small price to pay for the overall quality and ease of adjustment. At my current setting of 6 oz. and no over-travel, the trigger breaks like ice. I couldn’t ask for more. Kudos to the good folks at Kelbly’s–they have another winner here.”

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July 11th, 2007

High Power Silhouette On ShootingUSA TV

This week, ShootingUSA (hosted by Jim Scoutten) features the 2006 NRA High Power Silhouette Nationals, filmed at the Ridgway Rifle Club in Pennsylvannia. High Power Silhouette is one of the most challenging (yet rewarding) of centerfire disciplines. While standing, silhouette shooters try to hit lunch-box-sized metallic Rams, Turkeys, Pigs and Chickens at distances up to 500 meters. Scoring is simple–the target either falls or it doesn’t. Most competitors use 20- to 36-power scopes. Big scopes make it easier to see the targets, to be sure, but only if you can maintain a super-steady hold. If you think it’s easy… just try holding on a 12″ bullseye at 100 meters with a 30-power scope from a standing position. Chances are your scope picture will be dancing all over the target–and that’s only at 100 meters, not 500.

NRA High Power Silhouette ShootingUSA

In High Power Silhouette, competitors alternate shooting and spotting for each other. The spotter calls wind and mirage, while keeping tracking of time during each 2.5-minute, 5-shot relay. Choice of calibers–you need a round with enough energy-on-target to knock down the big rams at 500 meters. At the same time you want to maximize accuracy and minimize recoil. Right now the “sweet spot” seems to be a 130-160 grain bullet moving at least 2650 fps. Favored chamberings include .260 Remington, 7mm-08 and 7mmBR. (A few guys have tried 6BRs, but 100gr 6mm bullets won’t reliably take down the 500m rams).

NRA High Power Silhouette ShootingUSA

This Shooting USA episode on the Outdoor Channel features many of the nation’s top centerfire silhouette marksmen. It’s a rare treat to see this kind of precision rifle shooting on television. Broadcast times for Wednesday, 7/11/2007 are: Eastern Time – 5:00 PM, 9:00 PM and 1:00 AM; Central Time – 4:00 PM, 8:00 PM and 12:00 Midnight; Mountain Time – 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM; Pacific Time – 2:00 PM, 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM. (Check local listings for repeat showings.)

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July 11th, 2007

Bushing Firing Pin Holes for Less Cratering, Better Ignition

Shooters who convert factory actions to run 6BRs or 6PPCs should consider having the firing pin bushed. These small-cased cartridges like to run at high pressures. When running stout loads, you can get cratering caused by primer flow around the firing pin hole in the bolt face. The reason is a little complicated, but basically the larger the hole, the less hydraulic pressure is required to crater the primer. A limited amount of cratering is normally not a big issue, but you can reduce the problem significantly by having a smith fit a bushing in the firing pin hole. In addition to reduced cratering, bushing the firing pin often produces more consistent ignition.

This is a highly recommended procedure that our editors have had done to their own rifles. Greg Tannel (Gre-Tan Rifles) is an expert at this procedure, and his turnaround time is fast–usually 1-3 days (shop time). Current price for a bushing job, which includes turning the firing pin to .062″, is $60 including return shipping.

Gre-Tan Rifles firing pin bushing

If you have a factory rifle, a bushed firing pin is the way to go if you are shooting the high-pressure cartridges such as 6PPC, 6BR, and 6.5×47. This is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial upgrades you can do to your factory rifle.

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