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September 30th, 2007

25BR? Robinett Offers New .257-Caliber, 88gr Match Bullet

BIB Robinett 88gr 25 caliber bulletRandy Robinett, who makes the great 30-cal BIB bullets for the 30 BR, has a new 88gr match bullet in .257 caliber. Commenting on the new Robinett bullet, Al Nyhus notes: “I’ve already spun some of Randy’s 88gr 25s downrange. You’ll be very happy.” Jackie Schmidt reports: “It is a 10-ogive, but with a relative straight shank for at least 1/4″ past the base. The gas ring is about .2576″, and the shank is about .2573″. This is a really nice-looking bullet.” Jackie plans to build a new 25BR rifle using the 88gr BIB: “Why the 25BR instead of a 25 PPC? I already have all of the essential pieces to do it. That is a good enough reason for me. I happen to have an old 8-groove Shilen 25-caliber blank in 1-13 twist. I can picture this bullet at about 3250 to 3300 out of a 23 inch barrel with a big dose of N133 out of a 25BR.”

Can the 25BR be competitive? Jackie thinks so: “I used to shoot a 25BR, in fact, I actually won a couple of yardages in Registered Competition. I shot a teen agg at Tomball in the spring of 1998 with 85 grn Fowlers, N130, and a 1-13 Shilen. Back when I shot a 25BR, I believed that it was as accurate as any chambering available. The problem was, there was only ONE bullet that would allow it to live up to its potential, and that was the 85gr Fowler. As you know, being able to get components on a reliable basis is a big part of staying competitive. Since the offerrings for the 6mm were so abundant, I decided to go that route. I will, in all likelihood, stay with the 6PPC [for short range]. But an 88gr 25-caliber bullet running over 3200 fps just might be the hot ticket for other disciplines. F-Class is one that comes to mind. Or 600-yard Benchrest. For shorter ranges, while the 88gr BIB looks great, I feel that a 75-78 grain .257 bullet, on a little shorter jacket, might be more suited for the 100-200 yard game. Of course, we won’t know until we put holes in paper.”

25 BR Darrell Jones

For more details on the 25BR, read Darrell Jones’ Gun of the Week article on his “Peppermint” 25BR (photo above). Darrell achieved great accuracy shooting the 115gr Berger bullet with Varget powder. This rifle won its first-ever competition, a local 600-yard F-class match. Shooting the Berger 115s with 31.5 Varget, “Peppermint” won with a perfect score of 200 with 14 X’s. Darrell writes: “I’m very happy with the project, and more than satisfied with the accuracy of the 25 BR. This is definitely a worthy cartridge for Egg Shoots, 500m varmint matches, and the 600-yard F-Class game.”

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September 30th, 2007

Viper Drop-Port — Let Gravity Do the Work

Many of you may not have seen how Jerry Stiller’s innovative Drop-Port functions with a 6BR or 6PPC case. Well we can tell you, Stiller Precision has one slick little system. Just retract the bolt and your case exits, nose-first, through a small port, coming to rest right under the gun. It works by gravity alone so you don’t need a conventional ejector, with the case alignment issues an ejector can create. (An ejector pushes on one side of the rim–some folks think this can push the case out of “perfect” alignment.) The drop-port is available both in the aluminum Viper and the Stainless Diamondback action. Case size is limited to PPC, 6BR, and 6BR Improved case length. Our Belgian friend David Bergen was kind enough to create a video showing his Viper Drop-Port in action. NOTE: This large, 7-megabyte file is best for users with high-speed connections. Left-Click the image to stream video. Right-Click and “save as” to download the file.

Download Video | Drop-Port Blueprint

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September 29th, 2007

Stainless Steel — Can It Rust? You Bet.

Some folks feel that they don’t have to worry about rust and corrosion on stainless steel barrels, actions, and other components. That’s not really true. “Stainless” is a bit of a misnomer. First, there are different types of stainless steel alloys, with different degrees of rust resistance. 300 series stainless is more corrosion resistant than the 416 stainless commonly used in barrels. The composition (by percentage weight) of 416 stainless is 0.15% carbon, 12-14% chromium and the rest iron. 416 stainless steel lacks the roughly 10% nickel content that makes the 300 series more corrosion resistant in atmospheric conditions.

stainless steel barrel Techshooter

Though some grades of stainless are more corrosion-resistent, ALL varieties of stainless steel can rust if they are not handled and stored properly. Forum reader Kells81 observed: “Wanna see some rusted stainless? Go to the big “C” brand store in Ft. Worth. Every stainless gun they have on the used gun rack is rusted.” Tom Easly of TRE Custom explains: “Sweat is very corrosive. Sweat and blood will rust many stainless steels. I hate to handle my guns or drip on them when I sweat. It really helps to just wipe them good with a wet rag, dry and wipe on a light coating of gun oil. I think most stainless barrels are made from type 416 stainless, and it is generally pretty corrosion resistant, but not when exposed to sweat, blood, or chlorates (corrosive priming), and some other electrolytes.”

Forum member Jacob, who is studying materials science at LSU, provides this technical information: “The basic resistance of stainless steel occurs because of its ability to form a protective coating on the metal surface. This coating is a ‘passive’ film which resists further ‘oxidation’ or rusting. The formation of this film is instantaneous in an oxidizing atmosphere such as air, water, or other fluids that contain oxygen. Once the layer has formed, we say that the metal has become ‘passivated’ and the oxidation or ‘rusting’ rate will slow down to less than 0.002″ per year (0.05 mm per year).

Unlike aluminum or silver, this passive film is invisible in stainless steel. It’s created when oxygen combines with the chrome in the stainless to form chrome oxide which is more commonly called ‘ceramic’. This protective oxide or ceramic coating is common to most corrosion resistant materials.

Halogen salts, especially chlorides, easily penetrate this passive film and will allow corrosive attack to occur. The halogens are easy to recognize because they end in the letters ‘ine’. Listed in order of their activity they are: fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, astatine.

These are the same chemicals that will penetrate Teflon and cause trouble with Teflon coated or encapsulated o-rings and/ or similar coated materials. Chlorides are one of the most common elements in nature and if that isn’t bad enough, they’re also soluble, active ions. These provide the basis for electrolytes. The presence of electrolytic solutions can accelerate corrosion or chemical attack.”

CONCLUSION: Stainless steel barrels and components won’t rust nearly as fast as blued steel, but you still have to take precautions — particularly removing sweat and corrosive salts from the barrel. Also, don’t let moisture build up inside or outside of the barrel. We recommend wiping your barrels and actions with Eezox, or Corrosion-X after each use. These are both extremely effective rust-fighters that go on thin, without leaving a greasy residue. (Eezox leaves a clear finish, while Corrosion-X has a slightly waxy finish.) Also store your guns in Bore-Store synthetic bags when the guns go in the safe. Bore-Stores wick away moisture, and the synthetic fleece inner surface is treated with rust-fighting chemicals. To discuss the issue of rust formation on stainless steel, visit this FORUM Thread.

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September 29th, 2007

Californian Wins Savage F-Class Auction

We are pleased to announce that Andy Anderson of Northern California was the high bidder in our recent auction of a new, Savage 6.5-284 Precision Target Rifle. All proceeds from the auction go to defray expenses of the site. In a generous show of support for, Andy bid an amount exceeding the $1211 MSRP on the rifle. We all owe Andy (and his wife Sandy) our thanks for their commitment to the site. Andy noted: “If if it weren’t for Sandy being supportive on stuff like this, it could not have happened.”

Andy tells us he is pleased to do what he can to help the site: “Keep on doing the excellent job you’re doing. Always be pro 2nd Amendment and NRA 100%. That is the only other [shooting] organization I donate to. Sandy and I are proud to have donated more than the item was worth as we need web sites like It is our belief that, when a worthwhile cause comes up with an auction, it is not the price that matters, it is the cause that matters.”

Savage Precision Target Rifle 6.5x284

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September 28th, 2007

American Airlines Lifts Ban on Firearms Transport (except to UK)

As reported in this Bulletin on Sept. 24th, American Airlines announced earlier this week that it would no longer accept any firearms as checked baggage to destinations in Europe or Asia. (Read PRIOR REPORT.)

Now, under pressure from airline customers and shooters organizations including the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Safari Club International (SCI), American Airlines has reversed its ban on firearms transport, except as to the United Kingdom. American has determined that it WILL allow legally-declared firearms to be transported on nonstop flights to destinations in Europe (outside of the UK), and to Asian destinations. However, American Airline’s spokesman declared: “As a result of UK policies we can not allow civilian transport of firearms into the UK.”

American Airlines lifts Firearms Ban

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September 28th, 2007

Shooting Mat on Sale Again–$24.99

We’re pleased to report that the MidwayUSA shooting mat is on sale again (in case you missed out the first time around). This is a great deal on a good, basic shooting mat. And this time you’ve got nearly five weeks to buy–the $24.99 price is good through October 31, 2007.

MidwayUSA’s 69″ x 27″ mat, item 169107, features rubberized padding for elbows, and a water-resistant coating on the bottom. It even has grommets at the corners, so you can stake it securely at your shooting position. The mat also stores easily, rolling up to about six inches in diameter. While this mat isn’t as thick or durable as deluxe mats costing $80 or more, for the price, just $24.99, it performs well. Here’s a customer review: “I purchased 30 of these on sale for my shooting club’s use in CMP, Rifle team , and junior shooter use. They are a good buy for the money. They are slightly thinner than some other mats I’ve used, but shooting mats are not sleeping bag pads. ” — Ross E., Dedham, MA

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September 27th, 2007

Berger Introduces New 82gr non-VLD 22-Caliber Match Bullet

Berger 22 caliber bulletsBerger has started production of a new 22-caliber 82 grain BT bullet. It is a tangent ogive, non-VLD design, optimized to shoot well either in the lands or away from the lands. The new 82-grainer should prove popular with Service Rifle, Cross-Course, and SpaceGun shooters looking for a high-BC 22-cal projectile that works at various OALs and is easy to tune.

Berger’s Eric Stecker reports: “The new 82gr BT has performed exceptionally well in all tests. I want to thank those who took the time to shoot our new non-VLD design in several weights. Their feedback was the reason why we decided upon the 82gr weight. The G1 Ballistic Coefficient (BC) is .450, while the G7 BC is .228. We recommend a 1:8″ or faster twist rate. This bullet is perfect for those who shoot heavy 22 cal but do not like the sensitive nature of the VLD type bullets. All tests show that this bullet shoots very well at any OAL and with most loads.”

At Camp Perry, Shawn McKenna used this bullet to capture 2nd place in the NRA Civilian Service Rifle National Championship (3rd place overall Service Rifle). He reports shooting more Xs at 600 yards than ever before. Nick Till placed First Overall in the NRA Service Rifle National Championship using a Berger 80gr BT made on the same jacket and die as the 82 grainer. Both Shawn and Nick used Berger’s 22 cal 73gr BT at 200 and 300 yards. Shawn tells us “The 82 works ideally as a single-feed bullet for slow fire at long ranges. The nose length is .554″. At mag length on an AR, that would put the bearing surface into the neck .050″.

How soon can you buy the new 82gr bullets? Stecker noted: “Our next run of 22-cal, 82gr match bullets will be on the press soon, and we plan to ship in 2-3 weeks. Contact your preferrred dealers to ensure they are going to stock the new 82 grainers.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »
September 27th, 2007

National Multi-Gun Championship in Tulsa, Oct. 4-7

The 2007 USPSA Multi-gun National Championship will be held October 4-7 at the U.S. Shooting Academy (USSA) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Nationals will include 12 stages (3 pistol, 3 rifle, 3 shotgun, 3 multigun). Match info, including stage descriptions, is found on the USSA website. You can also call (918) 592-5553 or email kellyraglin [at] CLICK HERE for a video showing the impressive 93-acre USSA facility just outside Tulsa, one of the best action shooting venues in the world.

U.S. Shooting Academy Tulsa

With stages for Action Pistol, Shotgun, and Carbine, multi-gun competition is an exciting and challenging sport. All of the three main stages, even the shotgun, involve “run and gun” scenarios. (Some multi-gun matches offer a fourth discipline–long-range precision rifle). This sport requires quick reflexes and good physical fitness levels. Guns must be ultra-reliable as well as very accurate. You’re on the clock so every second counts. To learn more about USPSA Multi-Gun competition, download the USPSA 3-Gun Supplement, a 14-page illustrated guide covering all aspects of the sport. You’ll also find Shooting Tips, Match Calendars, and photos from past Nationals at

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September 26th, 2007

Group Buy on Stiller Predator & Tactical Actions — $625 or less

Would you like a custom Stiller Precision Predator or Tactical action for $600-$625? That’s $100.00 off normal retail. Then hook up with a group of SnipersHide Forum regulars who have organized a group purchase. Jerry Stiller explains: “For a group buy, the action price will be $625 for the Predator and $650 for the TAC. If we get to 25 actions the price will be $600 and $625, respectively.” CLICK HERE to read the notice on AccurateShooter Forum member Coleridge reports: “I signed up yesterday. That’s a great price. Cheaper than blueprinting a Rem 700, and it’s much better action.”

Stiller Predator Action

Orders are being handled by Randy Cain of R&D Precision. You need to contact Randy and send in a deposit before October 15. Randy says there are over 25 orders already. Randy writes: “Here is the deal. Send me an email with your request to stillergroupbuy [@] I will keep a running total of orders. You need to follow up your email with a note with your address, screen name, and phone number and what you want. Be specific as to short action, long action .223 .308 boltface and the options you want. NOTE, a $200 deposit is required. Send your deposit to the address on my website. I will take checks or Money Orders only. Once I receive your deposit I will email you an invoice. Make funds payable to ‘Randy Cain’. You will not get on the list until I have your deposit.” Randy also requests that, if you have not done so already, you register as a member of the SnipersHide Forum. This will assist in communication.

Stiller Tac30 Action

Here is technical info, plus available options with pricing. Note these actions all have magazine cut-outs:

0.130 extended magazine cut-out, 6-48 screws, matte finish stainless steel, armoloy bolt, sako extractor, curved handle with screw on knob, “Predator” on side, right or left handed, .185″ lug pinned, ground and hard.
Long or Short, No Charge
223, 308 or mag boltface, No Charge
.3″ thick lug, +$10 extra charge
Std picatinney rail, +$35 extra charge
20 moa picatinney rail, +$50 extra charge
Timney internal coated trigger, $100 charge
Bottom metal, 7075 aluminum, Wyatt box, spring, follower and screws, $170

TAC30 and TAC300 Actions:
Standard magazine cut-out, 8-40 screws, black oxide finish stainless steel, armoloy bolt, sako extractor, curved handle with screw on tactical knob, TAC30 or TAC300 name on side, right or left handed, .185 lug pinned, ground and hard.
Long or Short action length, No Charge
223, 308 or mag boltface, No Charge
.3 thick lug, +$10 extra charge
Std picatinney rail, +$35 extra charge
20 moa picatinney rail, +$50 extra charge
Timney internal coated trigger, $100 charge
Bottom metal, 7075 aluminum hard anodized black, Remington box, spring, follower and screws, $170
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September 26th, 2007

New Leica 65mm and 82mm Televid Spotting Scopes

We heard from our friends at that Leica’s current 62mm and 77mm Televid spotting scopes are being discontinued. Now we know why. Bigger and better models will be available in early 2008. These are completely re-designed, with larger objectives, more advanced glass, and special new AquaDura™ coatings that shed raindrops.

New Leica Televid 65 and 82

A new, very compact 65mm Televid will replace the current 62mm model. Leica’s top-of-the-line unit has jumped up to 82mm from 77mm. Even with their bigger objectives, Leica claims both new scopes will be the most compact premium spotting scopes in their respective classes. The new Televid 65 and 82 also now sport full rubber armor.

Televid Leica 82mm Angled

The big news is the glass. Both the new 65mm and the 82mm will come with flouride glass, with optional (extra cost) APO (apochromatic) lenses for reduced chromatic distortion. Leica claims the optical performance of the new spotting scopes is significantly better than the preceding models. The use of specialty fluoride glass yields improved contrast without altering natural color tones. The Leica Televid 82 and Televid 65 spotting scopes are both available with straight or angled eyepiece housing, with either HD or APO glass. The new APO versions feature redesigned apochromatic lenses for high contrast viewing free of color aberrations. The High Definition (HD) versions use specialized glass in a newly designed lens arrangement for improved clarity and contrast.

Leica Televid 82mm APO

The new Televid spotting scopes come complete with quality Leica zoom eye-pieces. Televid HD versions come with a Leica VARIO 20-60x eyepiece, while the Leica APO-Televid versions sport the new high performance wide-angle Leica VARIO 25-50x WW ASPH eyepiece. Leica claims this is the first premium zoom eyepiece to offer a field of view comparable to wide-angle fixed-power eyepieces.

Leica VARIO 25-50x ASPH

As noted above, the new Televid 65 and Televid 82 both feature AquaDura™ lens coatings. This is a Leica proprietary coating technology used on all exterior glass surfaces. This AquaDura coating repels moisture, causing raindrops to cleanly drip off from the lens surface. Additionally, fingerprints and dirt can be easily removed.

For more information, visit

82 mm APO Brochure (.pdf) | 65 mm APO Brochure (.pdf)

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September 25th, 2007

Cartridge Diagrams on Revamped NORMA website offers high-resolution Cartridge Diagrams for most of the popular cartridges used in competitive rifle shooting and varminting. But we don’t yet cover many larger hunting cartridges (such as 25-06) and the older military chamberings (such as the 6.5 Carcano). If you need a reference diagram for a hunting or military caliber, head over to the Norma website, Norma’s new caliber information section provides diagrams and information for over 70 cartridges. Here are two examples:

25-06 Remington

Originally designed by A. O. Niedner about 1920, this is simply the 30-06 necked down to handle 25-caliber bullets, with no other changes. In 1969, more than half a century later, Remington standardized it as a factory chambering. During the 1900s many of once highly-regarded 25-caliber numbers faded and died – e.g., 25-20 WCF and 25-35 WCF. Conversely, the 25-06 has maintained some, perhaps increasing, degree of popularity since standardization. Thus, it is the only commercial chambering keeping the “quarter-bore” alive and kicking. Read MORE

6.5 Carcano

This was the official Italian military cartridge from 1891 to the end of WWII. The 6.5 Carcano was designed for use in the bolt-action Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. It is designated as the 6.5×52 in Europe. A fair number of these rifles were “liberated” during the war and many more were sold in the US at very low prices after 1945. Hence, it has achieved fairly wide use.

Due to an unusually modest working pressure, this chambering cannot be loaded to match performance of similar 6.5mm cartridges. However, this remains a fine deer and black bear cartridge. The Carcano is the only smokeless rifle ever commercially offered with gaintwist rifling. Due to this feature and the relatively fast final twist, most of these guns will only produce good accuracy with bullets weighing 140 grains or more. Read MORE

Diagrams and content © 2007 Norma Precision AB.

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September 24th, 2007

Savage 6.5-284 F-Class Rifle Auction Closes Tonight

If you’ve visited our home page, you’ve seen that we’ve been running an auction for one of Savage’s new 6.5-284 Precision Target Rifles. This is the same ultra-accurate caliber used by recent F-Class Champions and the U.S. F-Class Team. Savage Arms has generously donated the rifle. All proceeds go to cover operating expenses of this site. MSRP on the rifle is $1211.00. So far, our highest bids top $1050.00. The bidding will close tonight at midnight, Pacific Time. CLICK HERE for rifle photos and complete auction rules.

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September 24th, 2007

Franklin's 4000 FPS 30-Cal Varminter Is a Hit with Hunters

Richard Franklin (Richard’s Custom Rifles) has pioneered the use of lightweight (110-130 grain) 30-caliber bullets in a new generation of hyper-velocity varmint rifles. Richard’s new trademark cartridge is the “300 Varminter”. Using 30″ barrels with the 300 WSM case, Richard’s “maxi” varminter delivers incredible levels of energy at both short and long range. Traveling at 4000+ FPS, the lightweight, plastic-tipped bullets literally explode when they hit. This can lift a groundhog up to 10 feet in the air–and Richard has VIDEO to prove it.

Richard tells us that demand is high for the 300 Varminter: “I have built 25 of these rifles just this year, and orders are increasing. I’m building them for coyote hunters out west, and well as Eastern groundhog shooters.” Richard adds: “This cartridge is fast AND accurate. My 300 Varminter is now my favorite rifle, and it may be the most accurate long-range varmint rifle I own. Accuracy is really outstanding–I’ve shot groups under 1.5″ at 500 yards with this. And the effect of these bullets at 500+ yards on a ‘Hog has to be seen to be believed.” Richard uses VV 550 and Norma 300 WSM brass: “Norma is the only way to go–the Win and Rem brass is nowhere near as good”.

Richard explains: “The 300 Varminter is built around the 300 WSM case. In good custom actions such as the BAT or Nesika this round will deliver 4000+ FPS with the 125gr Nosler Ballistic tips and a bit more with the 110gr Hornady V-Max. Remington-action rifles will handle velocities up to around 3800 to 3900 FPS with these bullets. We use Norma brass in a tight-neck chamber with zero freebore and slow-twist 30″ barrels to obtain these velocities. Accuracy is excellent with either of these bullets. If you want air time and red mist on large varmints then this is the caliber for you.”

Richard Frankling 300 WSM Varminter

Above is Richard’s personal “300 Varminter” in its distinctive South American Bloodwood stock. That is the true color of the wood–not a stain. Note the deeply recessed crown. Richard says this helps keep noise and blast away from the shooter. Richard’s “Big Red” features a BAT Machine 1.600″ diameter ‘B’ action, Bat 20 MOA rail, Burris Signature Zee rings, Jewel 1.5 oz. trigger, and a Bartlein 1.250″ X 30″, 1:15″ twist barrel. Total weight is 24 lbs. which includes about 4 lbs of lead added to the buttstock. Richard tells us “The Bartleins have been outstanding, with consistent quality and accuracy I can count on.” Richard uses a Nightforce NSX 8-32 X scope with MLR reticle.

300 WSM Richards Custom Varminter

How good can one of Richard’s 300 WSM Varminters shoot? Below is a 100-yard target. The fouling shot went a little low, but then the next six (6) shots went into 0.162″. That is amazing for factory varmint bullets. CLICK HERE to view a video of what the 300 Varminter will do (warning–very LOUD and GRAPHIC–turn down your audio before playback).

Richard Frankline 300 WSM target

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September 24th, 2007

American Airlines Bans Gun Transport on Asian and European Flights

U.S. air carrier American Airlines has announced a change to its official policies. Starting today, September 24, 2007, American Airlines will forbid the carrying of any firearms as checked baggage on flights to or from Europe or Asia. The airline’s notice states: “Effective with tickets purchased on/after September 24, 2007, American Airlines will no longer accept firearms in checked baggage to/from any European or Asian destination (except for military/government personnel with proper documentation).” This applies to target rifles and pistols as well as hunting guns. It is unclear whether American Airlines will apply this policy to the Indian subcontinent, Australia, and New Zealand.

Those of you planning to travel to Europe or Asia for competitive or hunting purposes should take note of this new rule. Thankfully, there are other carriers, both domestic and foreign, which still allow rifles to be shipped in locked hard cases as checked baggage. Check with each carrier to determine their particular policies, and you should, of course, also check to ensure you comply with all laws of both your home country and the nation to which you are traveling.

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September 23rd, 2007

Meplat Trimmer Reviewed

By uniforming meplats, shooters can reduce variances in the Ballistic Coefficients of a set of bullets. Many top shooters, such as David Tubb, feel that meplat trimming can also reduce group size. Danny Reever has tested and reviewed the Meplat Trimmer from Montour County Rifles. Danny reports this $75.00 tool is well-crafted, easy to use, and it offers some advantages over other meplat trimmers on the market. Starting with a lot of bullets that varied in length up to .008″, Danny was able to bring them all within .003″ using the Montour Trimmer. CLICK HERE for Danny’s full report.

montour meplat trimmer

montour meplat trimmer

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