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August 31st, 2007

USAMU Shooting Tips on Streaming Video

In cooperation with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit and, the popular television show ShootingUSA is offering streaming video of USAMU “Top Guns” in action. The video of Steel Challenge Winner Max Michel in our 8/21 Bulletin was extremely popular. If you thought that was good, check out the clip of his USAMU teammate, PFC K.C. Eusebio. When young K.C. is on his game, he may be the fastest semi-auto handgun shooter in the world. An amazing prodigy, K.C. won the 2003 Steel Challenge at age 15! And K.C. holds many speed records. This editor has seen him shoot, and he performs the cleanest target transitions I’ve ever seen — no wasted motion whatsoever.

CLICK HERE to Load Video. (Fast Connection Required)

PFC K.C. Eusebio USAMU

In the lead video, K.C. explains how to divide multiple targets into zones (like pie slices) to speed up transitions and lessen the chances of a miss. “Sectioning your targets” is a technique that will benefit action rifle shooters, and 3-Gun competitors as well. By grouping your targets in zones, keeping 2 or 3 targets in the same aiming field, you minimize body and head movement, allowing you to sight and fire more quickly.

PFC K.C. Eusebio USAMU

Editor’s Note: As someone who has produced a few shooting videos, I can tell you that ShootingUSA’s video of K.C. is particularly well done from a technical standpoint. At least 8 different camera angles are used, including shooter’s POV taken from a head-mounted camera. Sound editing is dead on–you hear the hits as they happen. The video is enhanced by clear computerized graphics and K.C.’s helpful commentary. In addition to this video, there are five other USAMU streaming videos covering pistol, rifle, and shotgun techniques.

USAMU Shooting Video

Screen Captures from ShootingUSA Videos © 2007 ShootingUSA, used by permission.

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August 31st, 2007

John Nosler Honored with Pioneer Award

The NRA has named John A. Nosler the winner of the inaugural NRA Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award. “Mr. Nosler was the unanimous choice of an eight-member selection committee, acting on behalf of NRA members nationwide”, said NRA Publications Executive Director Joe H. Graham. One of the world’s foremost innovators in ballistics and bullet design, Nosler invented the Partition and other custom bullets. He pioneered the premium bullet category that has been widely adopted by big-game hunters, and has influenced bullet manufacturers worldwide.

If you’ve wondered how the Nosler Partition came to be, “In the fall of 1946, a stubborn, mud-caked Canadian moose failed to go down, despite a well-placed shot from John Nosler’s 300 H&H. On the way home from that trip, John started thinking about a way to make a bullet that would perform well every time, no matter what the size of the game or the shot angle. Over the next year, he experimented with bullet design, finally settling on a unique, dual core bullet that was really the first Partition®. The following fall, John and his friend, Clarence Purdie, both killed moose with one shot using John’s new bullet. After a few years of production on lathes, John developed the impact extrusion method of manufacture [that] produced bullets with extremely concentric jackets[.]” (From

To learn more about John Nosler and his bullet designs, get your hands on Going Ballistic, a “Professional Memoir” told by John Nosler to outdoor writer Gary Lewis. With over 150 photos, and many fascinating accounts, this book is available from Sun Publishing for $24.95. CLICK HERE to read a short sample from Chapter 11, “Penetration and Expansion–The Need for a Better Bullet”.

The John A. Nosler Endowment of The NRA Foundation, funded by Nosler Inc., sponsors the NRA’s Basic Rifle Training Program.

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August 31st, 2007

Revised ATF Transfer Form 4473 Required as of September 1

ATF form 4473

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has given notice that, effective 9/1/2007, all federal firearms licensees must use the revised Firearms Transaction Record Part I – Over-the-Counter (ATF Form 4473).

“In the immediate aftermath of the tragic events at Virginia Tech in April, many questions arose about whether the person responsible was prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm and how the shooter passed the background check required before purchasing the two firearms used,” said ATF Acting Director Michael J. Sullivan. “ATF is clarifying this form in an effort to make it clear that any person who has been found by a court board or other lawful authority to be a danger to self or others is prohibited from purchasing a firearm or ammunition.”

The form clarifies the question regarding “mental defectives” and incorporates the definitions of this term set forth in the regulations, 27 CFR 478.11. The revision also incorporates certain provisions of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-162) by adding “tribal offense” and “Tribal Law” to the definition of Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence.

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August 30th, 2007

New Bushmaster Website with Advanced Features

Bushmaster Firearms unveiled its impressive new website this week. The upgraded site now makes it easier to select guns and accessories for particular applications including competition, hunting/varminting, and self-defense. Bushmaster is clearly intent on becoming more than a “black rifle company”. A quick look at the website reveals that Bushmaster wants to promote the use of AR15-style rifles for hunting and target shooting. It speaks volumes that Bushmaster includes a picture of a female Service Rifle competitor on its new home page.

Bushmaster Service Rifle

The upgraded site has many cool features, including an advanced, interactive Flash diagram that allows users to view all the internals of an AR15 as it cycles. You can choose from different views, including transparent and cutaway. Definitely check this out. Tip: To see all the internal workings, including shell loading/ejection, hammer function, and buffer operation, click “Zoom In” twice, center the lower receiver using your mouse, and select “Split” from the menu bar.

Bushmaster’s revamped website features a modern, secure e-commerce shopping cart system, with detailed specs and high-quality photos for all models including the new Real-Tree Camo Varminter (below).

Bushmaster Varminters

The Bushmaster site is now structured to serve six “Communities”, each representing a particular sector of the shooting market: Hunting, Competition, Law Enforcement, Military, Recreation, and Home Defense.

Bushmaster Communities

Said Tom Tyler, Bushmaster Manager of Customer Service and Retail Sales “Besides information on the various rifle products Bushmaster offers, the new site provides an ‘e-shopping’ environment that has evolved from just parts, to one that now consists of accessories and associated items relating to the rifle market place to include; optics, cleaning kits, AR15 accessories, magazines etc.”

Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC (BFI) is the leading supplier of AR15-type rifles in the United States for Law Enforcement, Security applications, and consumer applications. Headquartered in Windham, Maine with manufacturing facilities in Windham and Lake Havasu, AZ, BFI supplies both Aluminum and Carbon Fiber-based AR15 type rifles and accessories to its US customer base, as well as LEO and Military customers worldwide. BFI, along with Remington Arms, is owned by Cerberus, a large holding company.

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August 30th, 2007

Firearm Shipping FAQ

Is an FFL required to ship a long gun out of state? Can you use the U.S. Mail to ship firearms? Can you ship guns directly to a manufacturer for repairs?

Answers to these and many other questions are provided in a convenient Firearms Shipping FAQ created by, the leading online firearms auction site. The article does a decent job summarizing applicable Federal law and includes handy links to the statutes themselves so you can read them word for word.

Quick Ship Gun Box

48″ MidwayUSA ‘Quick Ship’ Box, #897166, $15.99. A foam-lined double-cardboard box offers some protection for your firearm. But we recommend you put valuable pistols and long guns in a sturdy plastic or metal hard case, INSIDE a cardboard shipping container. Make sure the contents can’t move around inside the box. Always insure for full replacement value (including tax and transfer fees). Photograph the gun BEFORE it’s shipped so you can document its original condition should it arrived damaged.

We find that folks are often confused between the rules for handguns and long guns. Handguns may NEVER be shipped through the U.S. Mails unless you are an FFL holder. By contrast, a “civilian” (i.e. non license-holder) CAN ship a rifle or shotgun via the U.S. Postal Service. In fact the USPS may be the most economical and reliable shipping choice for long guns these days.

Another common misconception is that you need the services of an FFL for outbound shipping of a firearm. While placing your outbound shipment in the hands of an FFL-holder can have some benefits, if the recipient is a valid Federal FFL, and you have received a copy of his license for verification, you CAN ship a long gun yourself to the address on the license. You can also ship a handgun directly to an FFL holder (or the manufacture for repair), but you must use a common carrier such as FEDEX or UPS. (Only a licensed manufacturer, dealer, or importer can legally ship a handgun via the US Post Office.)

Firearms Shipping FAQ

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August 30th, 2007

Calendar/Event Assistant Wanted for

Keeping track of upcoming shooting events and summarizing them for our Bulletin, Monthly Blog, and searchable Event Calendar is keeping the webmaster away from critical tasks. We are looking for a calendar/event assistant who can locate and update event info and upload that to the web. No special computer skills are required, but the candidate should be a careful typist and know how to digitally crop and resize photos. We will compensate the assistant for his/her time based on the amount of work involved. This would be a nice “side-job” for a retired individual, student, or somebody working part-time. If you are interested, please contact or post a comment below. Event Calendar

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August 29th, 2007

Ruger 17 Mach 2 Rifle on Sale

If you are looking for a great little rimfire, bolt-action squirrel gun for under $400.00, check out the Ruger 77 on sale at CDNN Investments for just $399.00 (Item RUG 07030). It is chambered in 17 Mach 2, a 1″ OAL round that pushes a 17gr plastic-tipped, jacketed bullet at about 2100 fps. The Ruger features a handy 10-round rotary mag, a 20″ heavy barrel, and a nice gray laminated stock. The rifle even comes with free 1″ rings that fit the top of the dovetailed receiver. As of 8/29/2007, CDNN had 38 of these 17m2s in stock.

Ruger 77 in 17 Mach 2

Why the Mach 2 rather than a 17 HMR? First, the 17 Mach 2 has more than enough “punch” for small varmints (ground squirrels and crows) out to 130 yards or so. Second, 17 Mach 2 ammo is currently much cheaper than 17 HMR. While most 17 HMR ammo costs at least $8.50 per box (and sometimes much more), you can get 17 Mach 2 ammo from a variety of sources for as little as $3.79 per 50-round box.

We’ve done a lot of testing with the 17 Mach 2 in both factory and custom rifles. What we’ve seen is that factory rifles will often shoot 1/2 MOA or better at 50 yards and 1 to 1.5 inches at 100 yards–provided the ammo is good. Typically, however, you’ll get one “flyer” out of five, but that’s usually caused by variations in the ammo (excessive runout, or a bad crimp, or flawed bullet tip). Even in a fully-accurized, custom 17 Mach 2 rifle, a single round with .010″ runout can expand a 1/4 MOA group into 1 MOA. Still, for a carry-around varmint rifle that’s excellent accuracy. We wouldn’t hesitate to go on a “Squirrel Safari” with this little Ruger. The trajectory is much flatter than a 22LR, the ammo is relatively inexpensive now, and the accuracy is more than adequate for the task.

17 Mach 2 Ballistics

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August 29th, 2007

More Positive Reviews of March Scope

The March Scope–it’s pricey, exclusive, and more than ever is found on top of winning Benchrest Rifles. Made by Koto in Japan, the 40X March has set new standards for clarity and resolution among benchrest scopes. By most reports, this $2100.00 scope with ED (low-dispersion) glass has the most reliable tracking and best resolution ever offered in a scope with magnification of greater than 30X. The March can resolve bullet holes at long distance well enough that some owners dispense with expensive spotting scopes altogether. In North America, March scopes are sold exclusively by Kelbly’s, (330) 683-4674. Currently, the warranty on the March 40X scope is five years and limited to the original purchaser only–something to consider given the hefty cost of the unit.

Forum member B. Harvey of Patriot Arms in Atlanta reports: “Today was my first chance to shoot (long-range) since getting the March and it performed perfectly. At each distance, 600, 800, 900 (not 1K though) we shot steel targets that are sitting on top of 55 gallon drums. Before the mirage got really bad, and when I say really bad, I mean you could barely see the steel targets, the March was able to resolve bullet holes in the drums at 900 yds. You could actually count the holes! The holes in the 800 and 600 drums were even easier to see. The contrast and clarity of this scope is outstanding and I am now trying to figure out how to get another one.”

Lynn Dragoman reports: “I got a chance to compare the March to the [Nightforce] 12-42X Benchrest model at the NBRSA 600-yard nationals. I shot next to Lou Murdica who had the March and who also shoots 100-200 benchrest. He could tell me where every hit landed on the paper. I looked through it and, sure enough, you could see 6mm holes at 600 yards. With the Nightforce you could only see holes in the white when conditions were perfect.”

March BR Scope

Lou Murdica, who worked with Koto on developing the 40x fixed-power March scope, is now involved in preliminary design “brain-storming” for a zoom March. Right now all the critical specs (max magnification, parallax adjustment, weight and price) remain to be determined. And it’s not at all certain that a variable-power (zoom) March will ever make it into production. In the meantime, Schmidt & Bender plans a North American release of its new 12-50×56 PMII Zoom scope in early 2008. The S&B 12-50 will probably cost about $2700-$2800, given current exchange rates.

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August 28th, 2007

Portable Reloading Bench–Free Plans

portable reloading benchHere’s a great do-it-yourself project for the winter. Texan Robert Lewis made himself a great portable reloading bench from plywood mounted to a Black & Decker Workmate. The bench, roughly 22″ x 19″ on top, folds up to fit easily in your car’s trunk or behind the seats in a pick-up truck cab. Four recessed bolts hold the wood top section to the collapsible B&D Workmate.The sides and back of the unit are attached to the base with small nails. There is a small shelf (also nailed in place) which can be used to clamp a powder measure or hold a scale. Shown in the photo is a Harrell’s Benchrest measure and Harrell’s single-stage “C” press.

Click for Larger Photo.

The whole unit can be built for about $65.00 with pine, or $80.00 with oak (as shown). Robert explained: “The Workmate was $40. If someone bought a 2’x4′ sheet of 3/4″ oak plywood, I think it is around $30. Using pine plywood would be about half that. Fasteners were $3. Spar Urethane would be $5.”

Robert told us: “I used a couple ideas I found on the web. The Larry Willis website gave me the idea to use the Black and Decker Workmate as a base. I found the Workmate on sale for $40 and the top is made from oak plywood I had in my shop. I sealed the wood with three coats of Spar Urethane. The whole thing folds into a nice package for transportation to and from the range.” Click Here to view a set of plans.

portable shooting bench

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August 28th, 2007

Multi-Caliber Brush Kit on Sale

The Tipton 14-piece Bore Brush set is now just $6.99 at MidwayUSA, marked down from $15.79. This kit, MidwayUSA item 761025, is great if you have a large selection of firearms with many different calibers. In our regular gear review section, we’ve recommended the MidwayUSA Multi-Caliber Jag Kit. It offers 12 different jags, and is very useful when you want to switch between a tight-fitting patch and a loose-fitting patch (use the .22 jag on a 6mm bore for a looser fit). The new Tipton Brush kit offers the same kind of utlility and convenience at a price that is hard to beat. At a gunstore you could easily spend $7.00 on just four or five brushes. At the sale price (good through 9/30/07), buy two Brush Kits — one for your loading room and one for your range kit.

MidwayUSA bore brush kit

The Kit includes brushes for 17, 22, 243, 25, 6.5mm, 270, 7mm, 30, 8mm, 338, 375, 416 and 45 calibers. Brushes are made from premium phosphor bronze for long life and cleaning power. All brushes have standard 8 x 32 male threads except the 17 caliber brush which has 5 x 40 male threads. The brush kit comes in a durable, hinged plastic box with marked slots.

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August 27th, 2007

Isenhour Sets new 600-yard Light Gun Records: Sub-Inch + 50-3X.

Larry Isenhour became the third man to go “sub-inch” at 600 yards in sanctioned competition, setting two new IBS Light Gun records in the process. Larry’s 0.943″ 50-3X group was an impressive accomplishment on the new, smaller target adopted this season. Fellow shooter Sam Hall reports: “Congratulations to Larry Isenhour. At Oak Ridge, TN this weekend (8/25/07), I got to witness Larry break the IBS 600-yard single target Light Gun group record with a 0.943″ inch group. All were in the 10 ring for a perfect 50 score — which will also be a new IBS 600-yard single target LG score record. That will be hard to beat! Conditions were not ‘perfect’ either. Switchy winds of 5-15 mph. There were several large groups shot over the day. It could not have happened to a more deserving fellow. Larry is a great guy and a great competitor.”

Here’s the target and the gun that shot it. Larry’s rifle (smithed by Mike Davis) features a Stolle Panda action, and 25.5″ Lilja 3-groove 8-twist barrel with 2500 rounds on it. The stock is a one-off custom built by Larry’s brother Robert. It’s walnut with a layer of Curly Maple in the middle. Note how the wood layers are stacked vertically rather than the more conventional horizontal lamination. The barrel is a bit on the short side because it started out as a .243 Ackley and then was re-chambered as a BRX (after 200 rounds), losing some length in the process. Larry believes that “You don’t need a super-long barrel. 25-26″ is plenty for the 600-yard game”. CLICK for LARGE PHOTO.

Larry Isenhour 6 BRX

Larry Isenhour 6 BRX

Larry was shooting a 6 BRX with 32.8gr of Varget powder, along with the Lot 559 Berger 105gr VLD bullets. NOTE: Lot 559 included the first 105s produced with Berger’s new die, and some shooters were concerned that the bullet diameters were smaller than previous 105s. Addressing those concerns, Berger polished the die, with the result that current 105 VLDs are very slightly larger in diameter than lot 559 bullets. Just shows you that maybe the new die VLDs were pretty good right from the start. Larry told us that “The lot 559 105s have shot like lasers through this barrel.”

Larry shoots a mild load, running about 2910 fps, with a .272″ no-turn neck. The record-setting brass was two and a half years old and had been reloaded 15-18 times without annealing. He neck-sizes first then resizes the whole body with a .308 die (this is longer than a 6BR body die so it sizes the longer BRX case from top to bottom). Larry’s shooting style is “modified free recoil”. He places his thumb behind the tang and one finger on the pistol grip very lightly, “just to index the trigger consistently”, according to Larry. He’ll let the stock touch his shoulder lightly. He shoots as fast as reasonably possible under the conditions. “Once I’ve got the gun indexed and the point of aim set right, I’ll touch her off–I don’t wait around”, Larry observed.

Editor’s Note: Larry is definitely a deserving record-holder. He truly is one of the “founding fathers” of this web site. Way back in May/June of 2004, before we even launched, Larry provided a ton of information that eventually went into our initial FAQ and competition pages. We want to thank Larry for all his assistance.

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August 27th, 2007

World LR Championship Photos on Web

On its website, the Great Britain Palma Team is offering daily updates from the World Long-Range Championships at the Connaught Ranges in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. On the team’s Home Page, you’ll find a full score-sheet and day-by-day reports of conditions and match results. The team has also posted a nice gallery from Connaught. CLICK HERE to view the latest images from the event.

The World Championship kicked off immediately after the Canadian Championship wrapped up on the 25th. In Significant results from the Canadian Championship, Team Great Britain won the Canada Match with a record score of 1199.183, and also eged Team USA to win the Commonwealth Match by 4 points from the USA. Brit Toby Raincock (photo right) won the Grand Aggregate by 3 points. And American Thomas Whitaker (below) won the Governor’s Cup with a 297-31X.

Canadian Fullbore Championship

Photos © Great Britain Palma Team, All Rights Reserved

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