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January 24th, 2008

Tack-Driving 40X Obeche Baby Tracker

Forum member Dan W. (1bamashooter) has a sweet-shooting 22LR that proves just how accurate a 40X-based rifle with an original barrel can be, when fitted in a modern BR stock. Dan notes: “This is a Remington 40X with factory heavy barrel, Hoehn tuner, and 2 oz. Jewell BR trigger. It now has a Weaver 36x scope on it. I bought the rifle and stock from Ron Lewis, an active rimfire BR shooter who has introduced me to the world of rimfire benchrest. Smith Mark Stillwell did the work on the rifle.”

The action is fitted to a handsome 2-lb. Shehane Baby Tracker in black/white Obeche wood laminate. Obeche (pronounced OH-BEE-CHEE) is lighter that most laminates, and we think it exhibits excellent vibration-damping. Experts agree that vibration control is a key factor in rimfire accuracy. The Shehane Baby Tracker is obviously working well for Dan. Shown below is a TEN-shot group at 50 yards with another five-shot group in the upper right. Pretty impressive.

Gunsmith Mark Stillwell told us: “Ron’s match gun started life as a CMP 40X. I slugged the barrel to find the tight spot. At that measured length the barrel was cut-off and re-crowned, followed by fitting and pillar-bedding the Shehane stock. After final grain-fill on the stock, followed by hand polishing, the Duce looked great. It’s now a bag-riding machine. As you see from the target samples, the little fellow tends to shoot ‘em where you point it. We’ve invited several custom gunsmiths and action-makers to test Ron’s 40X. All were pleasantly surprised….”

Bill Shehane, designer and builder of the Shehane Tracker stocks, notes that “Trackers aren’t just for centerfire rifles. We can inlet for most of the rimfire precision actions including 40X, CZ, Hall, Turbo, and UltraLight Arms (ULA). The stock in the photo is a Black and White Checkerboard Obeche. This pattern, along with Red and Black Checkerboard Obeche, are available on a special order basis — it takes about four weeks for delivery on the Checkerboards. Other Obeche patterns, that I keep in inventory, are French Walnut, Patriot, Indian Blanket, and Indian Paint. The Baby Tracker in Obeche, inletted, weighs just under two pounds.”

For rimfire sporter shooters, Bill noted that he has an even lighter-weight sporter stock based on a modified Baby Tracker. It weighs about 1.5 pounds inletted. That’s light enough that “you can definitely make the 7.5-lb weight limit with a 6X scope”, according to Bill. The sporter stock (shown above) has a narrower fore-end with a slight radius on the underside so it complies with all ARA, IR 50/50 and RBA sporter-class rules. It is available with either a swept-back grip like the Baby Tracker or a more conventional drop pistol grip. Bill inlets his rimfire sporter Obeche stock for the three favored sporter-class rimfire actions: Hall Aluminum (with magazine), ULA Sporter, and the Anschutz 5418. Shehane Obeche Rimfire Sporter stocks retail for $495. Obeche Baby Trackers are the same price.

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January 24th, 2008

$12 Gun Cleaning Pad for Your Bench

We found this cleaning pad (item AX8A-85517) in the latest Sportsman’s Guide catalog. This will help to protect the finish of your firearms while you’re working at your bench. The 16″x54″ Rifle Cleaning Pad uses a unique Zorb-Tech® fabric to absorb oils and solvents. Waterproof backing prevents chemicals from soaking through to your bench-top. The fabric has a soft, felt-like nap that is gentle on your gun’s finish and won’t scratch precision metal parts.

gun cleaning pad

Made in the USA, these stain-resistant pads can be machine washed and dried. Priced at just $11.97, this pad is a useful addition to any loading bench. (NOTE: The same pad, with blue fabric and white NRA logo, is sold by the NRA Store for $12.50). Sportsman’s Guide also offers a 16″x20″ Handgun Cleaning Pad, item AX8A-85517, for $6.97.

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