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November 30th, 2007

Flat Rate Shipping at Midsouth

Did you ask Santa to bring some big, bulky items this season? Or, are you tired of getting charged big shipping fees (calculated on retail price) for small, but relatively expensive items such as rangefinders and scopes? If so, Midsouth Shooters Supply has a new promotion that should make you happy. Midsouth is offering $5.99 FLAT-RATE Shipping for all orders of $100 or more placed before December 31, 2007. This is for ground shipping in the Continental USA.

Midsouth Shooters Supply

There are some exceptions. First, this does NOT include Hazmat charges. Second, the flat $5.99 fee only applies to orders UNDER 50 pounds. So you can’t order 1000 pounds of casting lead and have it shipped to Montana for $5.99. Still, this is a fair and attractive offer from Midsouth. The 50-lb limit will cover a lot of gear. We’ve personally seen other vendors set shipping charges of $14.50 on inexpensive, lightweight items, after the vendor has tossed on “handling fees”, “fuel surcharges”, and “single-item supplements”. CLICK HERE for more details, or call Midsouth at (800) 272-3000. The Flat Rate Shipping deal commences 11/30/2007. Use Promotion Code “FLATSHIP” when you order.

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November 30th, 2007

New Auction Website for Reloaders

In July 2007, eBay announced a policy banning the listing and sales of “any firearm part that is required for the firing of a gun”. This wholesale ban created an immediate vacuum in the auction market for bullets, barrels, slides, magazines and other firearm components.

There’s now a new auction site that hopes to replace eBay for sellers and buyers of gun parts and reloading components. launched in August 2007, just a few weeks after eBay announced its anti-gun policy. The creators of the new site, who are avid reloaders themselves, explain: “We started this auction site because eBay has stopped the sale of most all reloading supplies, gun parts, and most knives. We wanted to always have a place to buy reloading and hunting supplies at a great deal….” The site combines an eBay-style auction experience with enhanced features including “Want to Buy” ads and barter (“Swap”) offerings.

Because is so new, there were only 400 or so active auctions as of November 30th. But that should change quickly. There are some very nice navigation features which make the site easy to use. Right on the front page, “Ending Soon” and “Most Popular” auctions are listed in convenient table style format, so you can scan dozens of auctions in one glance. The “Most Viewed Items” also appear on the home page, highlighting good deals that you might not find via a word search.

We wish well. It is based in North Carolina, an area where gun rights are respected, and where there is a strong tradition of hunting and shooting sports. So, next time you need bullets, brass, or reloading accessories, check out this new site. There are some good deals to be had.

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November 29th, 2007

ARA Rimfire Winter Nationals This Weekend

The American Rimfire Assn. (ARA) Indoor Winter Nationals will be held this weekend, December 1st and 2nd in North Carolina. The event is hosted at the Rocky River Bench Rest Barn, located near Aquadale, NC (about 60 miles east of Charlotte). Cost is $50 for both days, or $25 for juniors.

American Rimfire Assn.

In ARA rimfire competition, competitors shot a 25-bull target (one shot per bull) with “worst edge” scoring. Most ARA benchresters shoot in the “Unlimited” class, which has no weight or rest restrictions. You’ll typically see rifles with barrel tuners and 30-40X scopes, shot from high-tech rests. Shown below, on a Roger von Ahrens one-piece rest, is an ARA unlimited 22LR rifle belonging to Joe Friedrich . CLICK HERE to download the ARA Winter Nationals registration form.

ARA Unlimited Rimfire Rifle

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November 29th, 2007

Excellent Long-Range Shooting Simulator

If you want to keep your wind-reading skills sharp during a long, cold winter spent mostly indoors, check out Shooter Ready, a Long-Range Shooting Simulation for home computers. A FREE DEMO is offered on the web. This is serious training software, not just a computer game. You choose the rifle, and the program provides different scenarios with various wind angles/speeds and target distances. The result of each shot is exactly calculated using ballistics formulas to show where the bullet hits on the target.

This simulation graphically displays how wind, altitude, and temperature affect the bullet in flight. The results for distance are given in both meters and yards. The program provides a variety of atmospheric conditions and you can practice Mil Dot ranging on three targets: A 12″ X 12″ swinging plate, a 30″ X 18″ knock down plate and a regulation 72″ X 19″ knock down plate. Chose from three chamberings: .308 Winchester, (175 gr), Windrunner .338 Lapua, and 50 BMG. Each caliber has 70 different range exercises, plus an advanced stage for each caliber with 25 different timed hold-offs and moving targets. Add in different atmospheric extremes and you get almost 300 different ranging scenarios.


Long-Range Shooting Computer Simulation

The demo has sample stages from the CD version of Shooter Ready. A basic understanding of mil dot ranging, using a range card and some exterior ballistics is recommended.

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November 29th, 2007

Wow, $19.88 for a Camelbak Hydration Pack

Sorry Guys — As of 12/2 Cabela’s is SOLD OUT of Camelbak Vipers. Told you it was a great deal!

Cabela’s has the CamelBak® Viper Hydration Pack, item EBC-517588, on sale right now for $19.88, marked down from $89.88. That’s right. This is the same 3.1 litre-capacity product sold elsewhere on the web for up to $90.00. We searched the web, and the absolute lowest price we found (other than Cabela’s) for a CamelBak® Viper was $58.00. So, this is an awesome deal at Cabela’s. The Viper features a 102 oz. baffled reservoir and 90 cubic inch cargo volume. Users report that the insulation is excellent, so your water stays cool, while the external fill feature allows for effortless filling. The Viper hydration pack is used by the U.S. Military.

Camelback viper

For other super deals, check out Cabela’s Bargain Cave.

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November 28th, 2007

New, Versatile Brass-O-Matic Annealing Machine

Zephyr Dynamics, the clever folks who brought you Pod Paws for bipods, have crafted an impressive new automated annealing machine. Unlike other mechanical annealers on the market, Zephyr’s $399.00 “Brass-O-Matic” is designed to anneal ALL sizes of rifle brass–from .223 Rem all the way up to 50 BMG. Two arms hold high-output torches (bottles and tips not included in price). You can adjust the height of the jets to place the flames right at the “sweet spot” of any length case. With two burners fixed nearly opposite one another (see photo), the case neck and shoulder are completely enveloped by flame for uniform annealing. The rotational motor has a speed control so you can adjust the dwell time for your particular brass.

Brassomatic Annealing Machine

How well does it work? To be honest, we can’t say because we haven’t got our hands on a production version yet. Palma and F-Class ace Jerry Tierney has purchased one of the first run and he’s promised a full report as soon as UPS delivers his Brass-O-Matic. To see the machine in action, check out the video below. You’ll find another video, and more information, on the Zephyr Dynamics website.


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November 28th, 2007

Get Thee to Sears Today or Tomorrow…

Plan a trip to Sears during lunch hour today or tomorrow, or log on to Sears is having a true 50% off sale on selected tools and work gear. Half-off pricing is for 11/28 and 11/29 only! After that, the price goes back up. There are many great items on sale, but there are at least three products that every reader of this site should have. (On Sears’ home page is a link to ALL the 50% Off Tools.)

Rolling Toolbox/Storage Bin, $19.99
This is an ideal unit if you load at the bench. It’s also great for a handgunner or Highpower shooter who needs to haul a lot of gear. Multiple plastic bins will hold reloading tools, bullets, bushings, and dies. The large compartment at the bottom can comfortably hold a Shooting Chrony or a compact Spotting Scope plus muffs, targets, and other range gear. And when you’re not hauling gun gear around, this unit can be used to store and transport your general household or workshop tools. This versatile unit has a fold-down carry handle and the top section can be separated from the bottom. The lower section has two pull-out drawers — one with removeable dividers. Sound good? Well, for the next two days, you can grab one for just $19.99. (Regular price was $39.99).

Magnetic Parts/Tool Tray, $7.49
Sure as shootin’ every home workshop can use one of these magnetized stainless steel parts trays. Two large, rubber-covered permanent magnets on the base hold the tray to metal surfaces. But more importantly, the whole tray is slightly magnetized, so small metal parts, fittings and tools stay put. Fantastic. No more lost Wilson bushings, or tiny scope mounting screws rolling off the bench into oblivion. You can also use this to hold decapping pins, small allen wrenches, firing pin springs, drill bits–anything that can be magnetically attracted will stay in the tray. For the next two days, this handy tray is just $7.49 (Regularly $14.99).

Rechargeable LED Worklight, $19.99
Here’s a rugged, rechargeable utility light with countless uses. Lightweight and slim, you can use it just about anywhere. There is a handy adjustable swivel hanging hook. The 8 ultra-bright LEDs provide ample light, and burn cool for long life. A Craftsman product, the LED lamp has a solid guarantee. Cordless, it makes a perfect worklight for the car, or an emergency light at home. This editor has ordered one himself. Here is what two Sears customer say:

“”Over all this is a good light. It is always cool to the touch and is very light weight. Because it is LED you can leave the light on for hours before it needs to be recharged. The light could be just a little brighter and the bulbs should be off set so as to give a wider area of light. But for the money it is worth getting.”

“This is by far the most versatile trouble light I have ever owned. No more dead batteries, no more tangled cords, no more broken bulbs. I have dropped it, spilled oil on it and generally abused it and it just keeps on going. I have bought a ton of tools in my day but this is by far my favorite and the best bang for the buck. I couldn’t be without it now. If it somehow broke or was lost, I would replace it in a heartbeat.”

Note: Most user reviews are very positive, but there have been some complaints about short battery life (same as with rechargeable screwdrivers). If you have a problem, you can have the battery dates checked, and Sears will replace defective batteries.

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November 28th, 2007

Drive Band Bullets From GS Custom In South Africa

There was much interest in the solid bullets featured here yesterday. In particular, many readers were interested in the drive band design shown on the LM-105 bullet.

GS Custom solid bulletsThe drive band design was created and originally patented by GS Custom Bullets in South Africa. GS Custom originally designed and produced these distinctive drive band bullets in 1997. According to GS Custom, “the first LM 105 bullets were in fact manufactured and tested by us in South Africa in 2003 [and enhanced in 2005]. It is possible that Mr. Moeller developed a similar looking version on his own. We have further developed the bullet early this year to increase accuracy and barrel life over the 2005 design.”

GS Custom solid bullets

GS Custom has been making bullets since 1983. It currently has a range of 226 different bullets for tactical, hunting and sport shooting, of which 172 are drive-band bullets. GSC SP Bullets, such as the orginal LM-105 design, are turned monometallic copper bullets. They are Long Range VLD Match Bullets of advanced design to minimize barrel wear and maximize speeds.

Ordinary (non-drive-band) solid, lathe-turned bullets look beautiful, but in the larger sizes there are some problems associated with solids. Gas sealing can be worse than jacketed bullets, and solids have been known to copper foul barrels more quickly than conventional bullets. The hardness of the bullets is tough on throats as well.

To overcome this issues, GS Custom puts drive bands on its bullets. Designer Gerard Schultz explains how the drive bands work: “Bullet engraving pressure is very light — this gives lower temperatures in the throat area of the barrel and extends barrel life. The transition from case to barrel is much smoother than [conventional] bullets — this reduces vibration and improves accuracy. SP Bullets are manufactured in such a way that the drive bands seal gas sooner and more effectively than conventional or grooved bullets. This reduces gas blow-by, reduces temperature and extends barrel life. Longer and faster shot strings can be made without the damage that would normally occur due to heat build-up. Barrels remain clean longer and are easier to clean — shot strings are extended and wear is reduced.”

Schultz believes that drive band technology allows increased speeds over conventional bullets of comparable weight. The added speed means wind drift is reduced, trajectories are flatter, and time of flight is reduced. The lathe-turning production process also allows the bullet to be optimally pointed for the highest possible BC for a given bullet weight and length.

GS Custom sells its bullets through an international dealer network, including Custom Brass & Bullets in the USA.

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November 27th, 2007

The Beauty of Solid Bullets

When it comes to creating the perfect, streamlined bullet form, solid projectiles represent the ultimate in bullet construction. Made of solid metals such as bronze and copper-nickel alloys, these bullets are lathe-turned for perfect uniformity, and the highest possible Ballistic Coefficient.

Lost River Ballistic Technologies was one of the pioneers of solid, lathe-turned projectiles in the USA. The original .408 Chey-Tac ammunition used bullets produced by Lost River on Swiss-type CNC lathes from solid bars of proprietary copper nickel alloy. Lost River’s bullets are hard to find today, but reader DesertLefty recently offered some for sale in our Forum Classifieds. We just thought you’d like to get a look at these slippery beauties. Shown below, for comparison purposes, are 6mm and 6.5mm Lost River projectiles, along with two conventional bullets. From left to right: 6.5mm 139 gr Lapua Scenar, 6.5mm 132 gr Lost River J40, 6mm 100 gr Lost River J40, and 6mm 115 gr DTAC.

DesertLefty notes: “You will need a very fast twist barrel to stabilize these. The manufacturer’s web site is no longer working, but I think the recommended twist was 1-7 and the BCs were about 0.7 for the 6.5mm and 0.6x for the 6mm.”

If you are intrigued by the ballistic performance of lathe-turned solids, check out the website of Germany’s Lutz Möller. Lutz has produced a series of ultra-high BC bullets, both solids and conventionally jacketed projectiles. His 105-LM bullet for the .338 Lapua won the 2005 Lapua Sniper Cup. The circular driving bands you see are a distinctive feature of Möller’s bullets. The bands reduce drag in ultra-long bullets by effectively reducing the bearing surface in contact with the rifling. This 105-LM bullet has an amazing BC of 0.93. Lutz also has a .408 Chey-Tac bullet with a 0.95 calculated BC!

Lutz Möller bullets

Lutz Möller bullets

LM-105 photos © copyright Lutz Möller, All Rights Reserved.

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November 27th, 2007

Bargain Days at Sierra Trading Post

I know most of this site’s readers on this site would spend their last dime on bullets and powder. But sometimes, you do have to purchase other essentials such as winter clothing and outdoor gear. Plus it’s the holiday season again, and that means gifts for the family.

Sierra Trading Post

Today we’re featuring Sierra Trading Post. This is a solid company that provides a wide variety of products for the outdoorsman, at sometimes spectacular prices. This editor has personally shopped with Sierra Trading Post for years, and just today I purchased two items, a Windstopper® Base Layer Shirt (item 12991) for winter motorcycling, and a set of Kenyon Polarskins polypro long johns (item 13854) for snow sports. At $16.95, the Polarskins are half the price I’d pay for a similar product from most outlets.

Sierra Trading Post is now running a huge promotion, with every item at least 50% off retail. Here are some products of interest to shooters and hunters:

Black Diamond Head lamp

I’ve got one of these LED lamps. It is much lighter than most other “headband lamps” and the battery lasts a long time. I use it for camping, reading, and even in the reloading room in the evening for extra illumination.

Winchester Upland Jacket

For $39.95, this Blaze Orange/Khaki Winchester Upland hunting jacket is a great bargain, though it’s not waterproof. What I really like is that it comes with TWO fleece inner liners–a vest and a full-sleeved inner jacket, both of which can be worn separately. It even has cartridge holders in the front and a game pouch on the back. Here’s what one purchaser has to say: “Have worn this in thick bushland, stands up to abuse, and with blaze orange built in, no need for extra items of [hunting] clothing. Very adaptable with warm vest that can be removed if too warm”.

Steiner 7x50 Binoculars

If you want a pair of armored binoculars that will last a lifetime, these 7×50 Waterproof Steiners are a great deal at $274.50. Even at “ultra-discount” warehouse stores, 7×50 Marine Steiners sell for $300-320.00. These binoculars are based on the rugged Steiner mil-spec 7×50 unit used by the U.S. Army. Steiner’s fully-coated lenses are legendary for their clarity and resolution.

Sierra Trading Post isn’t all just camping and outdoor gear. There is a wide selection of other suitable gift items for the wife, kids, and relatives — wool sweaters, silk underwear, travel accessories, ski goggles… you name it.

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November 26th, 2007

Free Computer Wallpapers for Shooters

Remington Arms offers a handsome collection of photographic “wallpapers” you can use as backgrounds for your computer’s desktop. There are dozens of stunning, high-resolution photos, all free for the downloading. Remington Wallpapers are available in 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768 and 1280×1024 pixel sizes and can be used on both PC and Mac computer systems. After downloading each file to your computer, you can set the image as your desktop background via your system control panel (or, with some operating systems, just open the picture file, right click on the image, and designate the photo as “desktop background”.)

Remington Arms Wallpaper

Be sure to look through the wallpaper collections for years 2006 and earlier, as well as the current collection. The 2001 collection has gorgeous product shots of rifles and shotguns, while the 2005 and 2006 collections feature stunning outdoor nature photography. (There are 12 wallpapers per year. Below are previews of half the images from 2005 and 2006).

CLICK HERE for 2006 and Older Wallpaper Sets.

Remington Arms Wallpaper
Photos © copyright Remington Arms Co., All Rights Reserved.

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November 26th, 2007

TECH TIP: Citranox Solution for Ultrasonic Case Cleaning

Citranox Case CleanerForum Member Dave B., aka “Gunamonth”, is a chemist/physicist with decades of experience working with the ultrasound process. He has achieved great results cleaning cases via ultrasound. Dave tried a variety of solutions and he favors a mix of water and Citranox®. This achieved the best results, and did not require a separate neutralizing step if you rinse the cases thoroughly after. Citranox, mixed 1:75 or 1:100 with water (distilled H20 is best), is inexpensive to use. Phospate-free Citranox® contains a blend of organic acids, anionic and non-ionic surfactants and alkanolamines. For more information on using Citranox®, check out THIS FORUM THREAD.

Dave notes: “I had a lot of communication with the technical VP of Alconox about trying to clean fired cases with an ultrasonic unit. He sent me a copy of his ultrasonic cleaning manual and recommended a product called Citranox®. So far I’ve been very impressed. With once- or twice-fired brass they clean up very quickly. The worst cases I tried were 6 Dashers that had been fired ten times with Varget and never cleaned. The worst fouling was in the bottom of the case around the flash hole. They took longer and I used a more concentrated cleaning solution but they did come out clean. The price is reasonable. I paid $35 a gallon and for once- or twice-fired cases I dilute the cleaner 100 to 1. There is much less chemical reaction with the brass than there is with vinegar. No weird colors, just shiny bright. I even used it with hot water, which speeds up the cleaning process. No need to neutralize. Just rinse in running water and they’re squeaky clean. The cleaner is mostly detergents with a little citric acid. Even at a 1:75 ratio my $35 worth of cleaner will make 75 gallons of solution. It doesn’t seem to be reusable but 75 gallons is a whole lot of solution when I only use about two cups at a time.”

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November 25th, 2007

Check Out our New FLASH VIDEO Archive

Check out our enhanced VIDEO VAULT. We have added streaming digital video in Flash Format. You’ll find a slick new Flash Player that lets you watch videos with just one click. There are over 35 Videos in the collection, and we’ll be adding new Videos every week. Flash Videos are highly compressed, so they stream in real time if you have a fast internet connection–no more waiting for long downloads. Flash Videos on YouTube

Using YouTube technology, we’ve built a playlist with lots of entertaining videos. And, we can add videos from our readers to our Video Vault. Just send your videos to Mailbox [at], or upload your videos directly to and email us the link.

Create Your Own Videos Easily
If you have a recent digital “point and shoot” camera, chances are you can shoot your own videos and add them to the site. It’s pretty simple. Select the “Video” setting, usually indicated by a movie camera icon on the mode dial or menu. Then depress your shutter release (just like taking a still picture) to start the video. Click the shutter release a second time to stop the video. You upload videos to your computer the same way you do for stills. Windows users can then use the FREE and easy Windows Movie Maker software to edit the video or add titles or soundtracks. Here are some resources that can help you make your own videos.

Canon Video-Capable Still Camera
An inexpensive digital still camera, such as this Canon A550 ($140.00), can take excellent video, complete with sound. Try it–you’ll get great results!

How to Take Video with Your Digital Still Camera
Note, this video tells you to upload your video to That’s not necessary. Just send your video to us (keep it under 6 megabytes), or upload directly to

How to Use Windows Movie Maker

Move-Maker Basics

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November 25th, 2007

Latest Edition of Gun Blue Book on Sale for $24.99

Every gun collector should have a copy of S.P. Fjestads’s Blue Book of Gun Values. MidwayUSA just knocked ten bucks off the latest, 28th edition of Fjestad’s definitive 2080-page book. Now through November 30th, you can get this major resource for $24.99 instead of $34.99. That’s a great savings, just in time for holiday gift-giving.

Considered the definitive authority by buyers, sellers, collectors and historians for establishing firearm values, the 28th Edition has been extensively revised for 2007. This amazing resource includes up-to-date pricing and technical info for more than 325,000 firearms, covering antiques, military, foreign, domestic and new 2007 makes and models. The lastest edition has a very useful 80-page color photo grading system. This 28th Edition continues the Blue Book’s reputation as most up-to-date and complete reference book for both modern and antique firearms.

Blue Book of Gun Values at MidwayUSA

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November 24th, 2007

Sound Suppressors for Target and Varmint Rifles

What’s better than a 6BR? A 6BR that produces a LOT less noise and less than half the recoil of a bare-muzzled gun. Our friend USMA89 has a 6BR “Texas Tackdriver” with a trued Rem 700 action and Robertson Composites F-Class stock. Smithed by GA Precision, it has delivered tiny groups at 200 yards with 107 Sierra MKs. With sound suppressor in place, USMA89 tells us, it’s like shooting a 22 mag rimfire: “Shooting with a suppressor or can is a great experience. In fact, once you start shooting with one, it is hard to go back to normal shooting. The recoil reduction is amazing, cutting perceived recoil by as much as 70%. Think of a suppressor as the ultimate muzzle break that reduces sound to boot.”

The cost of a good suppressor ranges from $600-$1000, and then there is the $200 to Uncle Sam for the tax stamp and the 3-6 month wait. (Currently, 33 states allow citizens to own suppressors in accordance with Federal regulations.) The suppressor on this gun is considered one of the best, a SWR Omega. USMA89 adds: “I also use a SRT suppressor and am very pleased with it as well. The SRT costs about $300-$400 less than the SWR and you get the same amount of sound reduction.” With a quality suppressor you can get from 33 to 36 db worth of sound suppression.

Once you have gone though the hoops the government has put in your way (check your state laws also!), mounting is easy. Get a good gunsmith to thread your barrel (5/8×24 is the normal class 3 thread) and screw it on. In general suppressed guns barrels are cut shorter for balance. USMA89 explains: “I went with a 28″ barrel and with the can it is a little front-heavy, but the stock’s wide fore-end compensates for this. If this were a ‘tactical’ weapon, I would have the barrel cut down to at least 22″, maybe less. Most people that use suppressors will tell you that they shoot better groups with a can than without. This is because there is less recoil, less ‘dirty air’ behind the bullet, and (in many cases) you get improved barrel harmonics.”

Rifle Silencer Suppressor

To learn more about silenced weapons, read this article on Firearm Sound Suppressors by Mark White.

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