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March 31st, 2008

6mmAR Case-Forming Video

A full-time lawyer, Robert Whitley is also an avid prone, Highpower, and cross-course shooter. Over the past two years, Robert has pioneered a cartridge for these disciplines (as well as long-range varminting) based on the 6.5mm Grendel necked down to 6mm. Robert calls the cartridge the “6mmAR”.

The 6mmAR cartridge has performed very well in AR-based comp guns, both with shorter bullets loaded to mag length, and 105-107gr bullets single-loaded. Robert has complete info about the 6mmAR on his website,, including recommended loads and field test results.

6mmAR line-up

Though making 6mmAR brass from 6.5 Grendel brass is quite straight-forward and simple, Robert receives many questions about forming the brass, so he recently prepared a video. The two-minute video shows how quick and easy the brass-forming process can be:

Robert also builds and sells products for across-the-course shooters, including complete AR uppers, chambered in a variety of calibers, including 6mmAR. Jerry Tierney, 2005 NBRSA 1000-yard champion, has a 6mmAR upper built by Robert and Jerry says the upper “Absolutely shoots great. I love it.” In the past few months, Jerry has broken many NRA senior records with his new 6mmAR-chambered rifle.

CLICK HERE for Feature Article on 6mmAR and Robert Whitley (many photos)


Permalink - Videos, Reloading No Comments »
March 31st, 2008

NBRSA 600-Yard Nationals in Sacramento, April 25-27

The NBRSA 600-Yard Nationals (Sloughhouse 600) will be held April 25 – 27, 2008 at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center. This 3-day Match is hosted by the Folsom Shooting Club, at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center in Sloughhouse, CA, a few minutes East of Sacramento. This event grows more popular every year as more and more top shooters are drawn to the relatively new 600-yard benchrest discipline. Last year, Don Nielson (shown in VIDEO below) dominated the field, shooting a 6.5×47 and a 6-6.5×47.

Match information, plus range maps are available at in the “coming events” section, or click the links below:

NBRSA 600 Nationals Match INFO


Match fees are $60.00 per class (light gun and heavy gun), if you sign up today. Fees are $65.00 per class after March 31, 2008. If you have further questions, or need forms mailed to you, contact match Director Ed Eckhoff via email: eckran [at]

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March 30th, 2008

Rimfire Practice for Tactical Shooters

Our friend “DesertFrog” enjoys shooting “tactical/practical” rifle matches in Southern California. To maintain his skills, he tries to get quality “trigger time” every week. This helps him work on his body position, rifle handling, and breath control.

Recently DesertFrog acquired a Savage Mark II-BTVS in 22 LR. These retail for about $330.00. The ergonomics of the Savage BTVS rifle were similar to his thumbhole-stock .308 tactical rifle. He decided that having a .22LR practice gun would allow him to maintain his monthly round count at a significantly reduced cost.

He reports: “I used to shoot an average of 200 rounds of .308 Match ammo a month for training (50 per weekend). In the last two months, I’ve shot maybe an average of 50 rounds of .308 per month and probably around 600 rounds of 22 LR. In the last two local tactical precision matches in Saugus, I still finished in the top three. That’s pretty good considering the quality of shooters in SoCal those days. So using mainly the 22LR for practice did NOT hurt my standings in actual competitions. I shot my .308 just as well in matches, but saved the cost of hundreds of rounds of 308. If I didn’t reload and was still buying boxes of Federal Gold Match .308, this would be a savings of more than $380 (minus $120 for the rimfire ammo) in two months. In three months, one can save enough to essentially pay for the price of the Savage Mark II. Even compared to the cost of reloading .308, I probably saved $140.00 in two months. Not bad!”

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March 29th, 2008

Rimfire Silhouette Basics

As shooters seek less expensive ways to shoot, rimfire competition of all types is becoming more popular. Silhouette shooting is fun because you get to knock down small steel targets, just like in a shooting gallery at a County Fair. But don’t let anyone suggest Silhouette is easy. All shots are taken from the standing position. If you haven’t tried that recently, you’ll find that your crosshairs will be dancing all around the target.

At an official match, you’ll shoot at least 40 shots, ten each at four sets of 1/5th size standard High Power Rifle Silhouette targets. The smallest targets, the chickens, are set at 40 yards, Pigs are at 60 yards, Turkeys are at 77 yards, and Rams are at 100 yards. (Alternatively, metric distances are used.) Though the rams are the largest targets, hitting them is far from easy, given the ballistics of 22 rimfire ammo. At 100 yards, a little bit of wind will blow you off the target.

Two classes of rifles are used in Rimfire Silhouette: Standard and Hunter Class. Standard rifles can weigh up to 10 pounds, 2 oz. (with sights) and have no restriction on trigger pull weight. The fore-end shall not exceed 2 1/4″ wide, and 2 1/4″ deep measured from the centerline of the bore. Bull barrels are common, and the gun of choice is the Anschutz 54.18 MS (Metallic Silhouette) or 1808 (thumbhole version of the 54.18). A 54.18, if you can find one, will set you back $1200.00 – $1700 depending on condition. The 54:18 is in limited production and even good used models are hard to find.

Hunter Class rifles must have a more conventional “sporter-style” stock, typically with a narrow fore-end. A high comb is used to provide a good cheek weld. Hunter Class Rifles are limited to 8.5 pounds (with scope), and the trigger pull weight shall not be less than 2 pounds. No bull barrels are allowed — you must use a conventional tapered hunting barrel. Among production rifles, the Anschutz 1712 is the rifle to beat. These guns are very accurate out of the box, and come with an outstanding two-stage trigger that breaks cleanly right at two pounds. Kimber and CZ also make factory silhouette rifles for the Hunter Class. Though not on a par with the Anschutz 1712, the Kimber and CZ are viable options for novices or shooters on a tight budget.

Many top silhouette shooters like Mark Pharr will shoot the lighter Hunter rifle in both classes. Pharr and others have found that accurized Hunter Class guns can be competitive even against the heavier guns. While a stock Anschutz 1712 Hunter is impressive, many competitors will hot-rod their gun, putting a 1710 or 1712 action in a Mark Pharr-designed stock. They will then add a match barrel from Lilja, Shilen or other top barrel maker. Shown below is an Anschutz 1712 action in Pharr stock.

If you want to learn more about rimfire silhouette, visit To order a Mark Pharr stock (built by Robertson Composites), contact Chickens Shooting Supply.

CLICK HERE for Summary of Rimfire Silhouette Rifle Rules.

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March 29th, 2008

Wind Flag Balance Tips

Butch Lambert, who distributes the Elliott “Aussie” BRT wind flags, gave us some expert advice on wind flags. Butch writes: “Chatting with the top shooters in our sport about flags gave me some surprising insights. You do not want your flags balanced. The weight should be biased to the vane side. That will help take the twitch out of your flags. It will take the windshield wiper effect out. The Aussie propellers are used for velocity reading only at very low wind velocity. They are mainly to let you see a pickup or a let up. The sailcloth tails are attached with a clip that does not allow the tail to twist and it also holds the shape of the flag in a V so that it doesn’t flop in the wind. Daisy wheels slow response of the vane, puts a shake in your wind flag, and hides the vane on any tailwind.” If you have more questions about wind flags, contact Butch at ShadeTree Engineering.

Permalink Tech Tip 2 Comments »
March 28th, 2008

Patented Floating Action Sleeve Delivers Outstanding Accuracy

Larry Crow of Competitive Edge Gunworks in Missouri has created a new, patented, full-floating action sleeve for benchrest and tactical rifles. This is an innovative, new design unlike previous action sleeves or barrel-block systems. The barrel is attached conventionally to the receiver and does not touch the stock or sleeve. The sleeve wraps around the action and mates with the stock. This design allows the entire barreled action to float free above the stock. The system greatly simplifies stock inletting and bedding.

Initial bench testing with a 6.5-284 Light Gun and a .338 Lapua tactical rifle have been extremely promising, showing that the new system is capable of exceptional accuracy. The 6.5-284, fitted with a Broughton 1:8″ twist barrel, produced multiple 5-shot groups, at 100 yards, under 0.20″ in size (Note: this is not a competition aggregate; some groups were larger, but the typical group, in good conditions, was well under 1/4 MOA.). That is remarkable for a fast-twist barrel shooting long, boat-tail bullets. At longer ranges, the 6.5-284 displayed extremely low vertical spreads. A 12-twist .308 Win rifle fitted with the floating action sleeve was recently tested by U.S. Army shooters using factory ammo. Larry Crow reports that his Army testers said the gun “was the most accurate rifle they’ve ever tested using factory loads”. The Army also tested a .338 Lapua with the sleeve system, and it shot a 4″ group at 1000 yards. Larry also notes that a respected 1000-yard shooter is building a rifle with the new action-mounting system to use in IBS registered competition this season. It will be interesting to see how it performs against more conventional designs.

Tim North of Broughton Barrels was very impressed with how the .338 Lapua performed with the new action sleeve design. “Those who have tried the .338 Lapuas at 1000 yards have traditionally had trouble keeping vertical under control. The bullets have great BC so your horizontal is good, but the vertical would get you. I think Larry Crow is really on to something here. His .338s are showing greater consistency with much reduced vertical spreads for full 10-shot strings. His invention may be a major step forward for the big calibers.”

For more information, contact Larry Crow at Competitive Edge Gunworks, (660) 731-5124.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 3 Comments »
March 27th, 2008

SPOT Emergency Messenger Employs Satellite Technology

The SPOT Satellite Messenger is a unique safety product that can benefit hunters and anyone who ventures a long way from “civilization.” These days, many of us carry cellphones. These come in very handy if you have a vehicle break-down or sustain an injury close to a population center. However, your cell phone won’t do you much good when you’re way out in the boonies. Consider this… over 50% of the U.S.A. does NOT have cell-phone coverage. SPOT has no such limitations. In fact, SPOT works around the world, even on the oceans.

The SPOT device is new and there’s nothing else really like it on the market. With the touch of a button, it can send a distress signal to authorities. The message will include your true position within a few feet, based on GPS coordinates. SPOT sends your GPS coordinates to a GEOS Emergency Response Center every 5 minutes, allowing you to keep moving if necessary. Emergency responders are then updated with your last known location.

CLICK HERE for SPOT Video with “Survivor Man” Les Stroud

Unlike a traditional GPS device which only receives a satellite signal indicating your location, SPOT utilizes dual satellite networks to receive your location as well as transmit it along with pre-programmed messages to the recipients of your choice. Backed by one of the world’s leading mobile satellite companies, the SPOT satellite network is currently employed by over 50,000 governmental and industrial clients, and averages a greater than 99% message success rate.

Non-Emergency Help Option
If you have a problem but do NOT want to call the authorities (yet), SPOT offers an “Ask for Help” function that transmits your help request and position to your friends and family. A “Check-In” function lets contacts know where you are and that you’re okay. We think that’s a great feature for anyone who regularly travels in the backcountry. Apparently Cabela’s Customers agreed… the SPOT earned a Gold Medal in Cabela’s Annual Buyers’ Choice Awards.

Price? — Under $150.00 but Subscription Required
The SPOT unit typically retails for $129.99 to $150.00 ($169.99 MSRP). In addition, to use the service, you must pay a subscription fee of $99 per year or $9.99 per month. The Progress Tracking feature costs an extra $49.99 per year.

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March 27th, 2008

Sanetti Leaves Ruger, Takes Helm at NSSF

Steve Sanetti NSSFThe National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Board of Governors has announced that Steve Sanetti has accepted the position of president and CEO of NSSF, effective May 1, 2008. At the NSSF Board of Governors meeting last month, Doug Painter, president and CEO of NSSF for the last six years, requested a change of position to become senior advisor and trade liaison. Painter praised the choice of Sanetti as his successor: “Steve has a tremendous knowledge of our industry and a real passion for our sports. He is a true believer in our cause.”

Sanetti will be leaving Sturm, Ruger and Company after 28 years of service. Sanetti was hired by Bill Ruger in 1980 to be Ruger’s first general counsel and rose through the executive ranks to become President and Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. Sanetti has been a member of the NSSF Board of Governors and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) Board of Directors. A founding member of the Firearms Litigation Support Committee, Sanetti helped direct the successful response to municipal lawsuits that threatened the firearms industry in the late 1990s. is pleased that Sanetti is an active target shooter with an interest in rifle competition. Sanetti was a three-year member of his college rifle team and later the team’s coach. He captained Ruger shooting teams at industry competitions. Sanetti says his favorite hobby is target shooting with his family. A 1971 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, Sanetti earned his law degree from Washington & Lee University Law School. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army from 1975-1978.

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March 26th, 2008

Berger Releases new Non-VLD 30 Caliber Bullets

Erik Stecker of Berger Bullets just let the cat out of the bag. Berger will be releasing four (4) new 30-caliber non-VLD bullet designs to supplement its line-up of .308 match bullets. The new bullets will be offered in 155.5 grain, 175 grain, 185 grain, and 210 grain weights. These will employ a more “classic” non-VLD design that is load-length tolerant. Like Berger’s recent, successful 108gr, 6mm tangent-ogive match bullet design, the new 30-caliber projectiles should work well seated OFF the lands, and should be relatively insensitive to cartridge load length. Match shooters should find that these bullets are easier to tune, and should function well when loaded to max magazine length. Berger’s new 155, dubbed the “155.5 Palma”, is designed specifically for Palma shooters who prefer to seat their bullets off the lands. This is a new shape and is designated “155 point 5″ to distinguish it from Berger’s current 155gr Match BT, and 155gr Match VLD, which will both continue to be sold. With the new 155.5 Palma, Berger now offers three 155-class match bullets. (FYI, the max legal weight for Palma bullets is 156.0 grains.)

Bullet Weight 155.5 175 185 210
Calculated BC 0.486 0.528 0.570 0.647

Product Availability
The new 155.5 Palma bullets should be available in 2-3 weeks. The 175s, 185s, and 210s, should be at vendors in 6-8 weeks. The new bullets will supplement Berger’s line-up of 30-caliber VLD bullets, currently offered in five different sizes: 168gr Match VLD (0.512 BC), 175gr Match VLD (0.528 BC), 185gr Match VLD (0.556 BC), 190 gr Match VLD (0.574 BC), 210gr Match VLD (0.631 BC). For more INFO, contact michelle.gallagher [at]

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »
March 26th, 2008

Heavy Caldwell BR Rest now $129.99

This deal is set to expire soon, so don’t hesitate if you’re looking for a very heavy front rest at a bargain price. Now through March 31, 2008, MidwayUSA has knocked $30.00 off its 1000-yard competition “Rock” front rest (item 627414), so it’s priced at just $129.99. Offer expires 3/31/08. This is the extra-heavy 24-lb. version with an 18″ footprint. It is designed for big 1000-yard guns and comes with a 5″-wide three-lobe front bag. The rest top, however, will accept other bags from Caldwell or other suppliers.

Caldwell Rock BR Competition Rest

Note that Caldwell BR rests adjust windage by rotation of the rest top rather than linear tracking. Still, we’ve used these 24-lb rests and they are solid and functional, though many owners eventually upgrade the rather thin 3-lobe front sandbag. Purchaser Richard S. from Colorado reports: “The rest is heavy and very solid. This is a great rest for the money. I replaced the Caldwell bag with a leather Protektor bag. The rest has groves made to accommodate the Protektor bag and it is a perfect fit.” Butch Lambert of ShadeTree Engineering can also adapt his joystick rest top to these units.

Permalink Hot Deals 2 Comments »
March 25th, 2008

J.M. Browning Story this Week on TV

This week, American Rifleman Television continues its coverage of John Moses Browning, America’s prolific gun designer. You will not want to miss “The Greatest—John M. Browning, Part II,” which focuses on John Browning’s legendary military arms designs — from the ’97 trench gun, to the timeless m1911, and light and heavy machine guns. When you consider that Browning designs are still being used both in combat (.50 BMG machine gun) and competition (1911 pistol), a century after their inventions, it’s clear that Browning was nothing short of a genius as a firearms designer.

J.M. Browning

Part of the Outdoor Channel’s “Wednesday Night On The Range” lineup, American Rifleman Television airs each Wednesday at 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, (7 p.m. Pacific). The show repeats on various days and times throughout the week. For a complete listing, or to find out how you can receive Outdoor Channel, go to

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March 25th, 2008

Inspection Method for Your Barrel Crown

The last half-inch or so of your barrel is absolutely critical. Any damage (or abnormal wear) near the crown will cause a significant drop-off in accuracy. Here are ways you can check the end of your barrel, using a common Q-Tip.

Use Q-Tip for Barrel Inspection
To find out if you have a burr or damage to your crown, you can use an ordinary Q-tip cotton swab. Check the edges of the crown by pulling the Q-tip gently out past the edge of the crown. If you have a burr, it will “grab” the cotton and leave strands behind.

Larry Willis has another way to use a Q-Tip: “Here’s a neat trick that will surprise you with how well it works…

Just insert a Q-Tip into your barrel (like the picture below), and it will reflect enough light so that you can get a real good look at the last half inch of rifling and the crown of your barrel. In most cases you’ll find that this works much better than a flashlight. Since then, I’ve used this method about a jillion times. Q-Tips are handy to keep in your cleaning supplies anyway. This is a good way to judge approximately how well you are cleaning your barrel when you’re at the range. It’s also the best way to examine your barrel when you’re in the field.”

Larry Willis is the inventor of the unique Innovative Technologies Belted Magnum Collet Resizing Die. Larry explains how this die works, and offers many other useful reloading tips on his website,

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March 24th, 2008

Hickory Ground Hog Shoot — April 5

The Hickory Shoot, the nation’s most popular groundhog shooting competition, is slated for April 5th this year. Now in its 28th year, this is the biggest Varmint competition on the East Coast, with over $4000.00 worth of prizes awarded each year, including $1000.00 in cash. Compete individually or as part of three-man teams. The entry fee is $25 per person, plus (optional) $10 extra per team. The match will be held in Vale, North Carolina. For MapQuest or Google maps, use this address: 8216 Will Hudson Road, Lawndale, NC 28090.

This year, there will be three targets, set at 100, 300 and 500 yards. (No unknown distance). In the past, 6BRs, 6BR Improveds and the mid-size 6mms have been the calibers to beat. To see what it takes to win, read this article about Harold Seagroves’ Spencer-built 6BR, which has won the Hickory Shoot multiple times.

seagroves hickory groundhog shoot 2007

The range will be open Monday-Friday preceding the match for practice. The match will start 8 o’clock sharp Saturday morning the 5th. If you have any questions call Larry Willis, Bulls Eye Sporting Goods, (704) 462-1948. This year the targets will be at known distances, 100, 300, and 500 yards. That should be a cake walk for you 1000-yard shooters.

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
March 24th, 2008

Hornady's Dave Emary Honored

Dave Emary, Chief Ballistic Scientist at Hornady Mfg., was named one of the “Outdoor Life 25″ by Outdoor Life magazine. This annual award honors leaders, innovators, and conservationists who have impacted the outdoor sports in a positive and significant way. Emary was one of the principal designers for the AMAX™ and FTX™ bullets, the 17 Mach 2 and 17 HMR rimfire ammunition, the popular .204 Ruger cartridge, as well as the new 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge.

CLICK HERE to hear Dave Emary Discuss 6.5 Creedmoor

Emary is quick to share credit for his accomplishments. “I would not have been able to accomplish what I have done without the hard work and help of other people,” he said. “I’m most excited about the attention this brings to Hornady and the affirmation that we are doing good things in the industry.”

Emary holds Bachelors of Science degrees in Physics and Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from Bowling Green State Univ., and the Air Force Institute of Technology. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1981 to 1987, achieving the rank of Captain, with service at the Ballistic Missile Office of Norton AFB, and the Pentagon. As a civilian he developed and tested ballistics at the Los Alamos Laboratory (NM), and the Olin Corporation (FL).

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March 24th, 2008

13th Speer Reloading Manual Just $9.99 is offering “blow-out pricing” on the 13th Edition of the Speer Reloading Manual. Regularly priced at $20.99, the Speer Manual (item PS9510) is now just $9.99. This hefty 730-page hardcover resource offers more than 8,000 load recipes with powder charges and bullet data. The Speer Manual also includes detailed ballistics tables, bullet energy and velocity tables, plus sections on special techniques, problem-solving and more. The 13th Edition of this popular reloading guide was updated with an improved format for quick reference.

Note, however, the 13th Edition was first published in 1998. The latest edition of this manual is the 1149-page 14th Edition, published in 2007. The 14th edition has more technical tables and over 9,000 load recipes. The 14th Edition (shown below) is available from for $29.99 (item SP9515, in stock now), or from MidSouth Shooters Supply for $27.50 (item 021-9515, on order).

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