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October 31st, 2008

Punkin-Chunkin' World Championships Commence Today

The 23rd Annual “World Championship of Punkin Chunkin” will be held Friday October 31st through Sunday, November 2nd, in Sussex County, Delaware. This hugely popular event draws 40,000-50,000 spectators each year. They gather to watch 100 or more amazing air cannons, catapults, trebuchets, giant slingshots, and other fantastic devices launch pumpkins into the air. In conjunction with the Punkin Chunkin Championship, there will be cooking contests, and the Charley Daniels Band will perform on the 31st. Proceeds from the annual event go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, various other charities, and scholarships. We think the timing is perfect–this gives folks a chance to smile and laugh a little before the very serious business of next week’s election. God knows we all need some relief from the relentless campaigning.

YouTube Preview Image

Intrigued? Want more Punkin Chunkin footage? Believe it or not, there’s a full-length feature movie about the event: Flying Pumpkins: The Legend of Punkin Chunkin.


You can find complete event info, including directions, on To view many of the amazing machines, visit the event’s Online Photo Galleries.

One of the favored “big guns” is the aptly-named “Second Amendment”. This 14-ton monster boasts a 100-foot-long barrel that can toss an appropriate projectile (e.g. a pumpkin or frozen turkey), over 5,000 feet (very nearly one mile!). Muzzle velocity is an impressive 500 miles per hour (about 733 fps). The big cannon, shown below, holds the official world punkin distance record, and is a 4-time overall winner (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006). This year the Second Amendment team hopes to reclaim the title.

Editor’s Comment: Click on the links, and especially the photo galleries. Look at the hardware… and the smiling faces. Look at the families having fun together. Why, a cynic might ask, should anyone go to a “punkin chunkin” festival when they could be sitting at home worrying about the election and being miserable about the economy? Well, heck… sometimes you just have to get outside and have a grand, crazy, goofy good time. This event is one of those uniquely American celebrations of technical ingenuity and rural culture. Sort of NASCAR meets pagan harvest festival. It makes me smile, and also reminds me that shootin’ stuff, whether a 22LR rifle or a 100-foot air cannon, is just darn fun… and that’s why we do it.

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October 31st, 2008

Ruger Recalls LCP Pocket Pistol

Ruger has announced a recall of its popular new LCP pocket pistol. The problem, according to Ruger, is that “LCP pistols can discharge when dropped onto a hard surface with a round in the chamber.” Only those pistols with serial number “370” are affected by the recall. Pistols with the “371” prefix are not affected. To learn more, or to arrange for a free safety upgrade if you own an LCP pistol, contact the LCP Recall Hotline, 1-800-784-3701. Or, click the link below:

CLICK HERE for Ruger LCP Recall Information

Ruger Pistol

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October 30th, 2008

Report from Australia on the Biathlon Basic

Last year we did a quick field test of the Izmash Biathlon Basic. You can read the report in the Daily Bulletin Archives, or on the main website. We concluded that the gun was a true bargain. It will outshoot most rimfires in the price range, it has a smooth trigger, it comes with a built-in Weaver-style scope rail, and the toggle action is fun to use, if a little stiff at first. This writer concluded that the gun would be an nice short-range varminter.

Australian reader David from Canberra agrees that the Izhmash Biathlon makes a great varmint exterminator. Here is David’s report:

“We have [a Biathlon Basic] on our farm in NSW (near Sydney). It has given four years of faultless service in vermin control so far! We have two 5-round and two 10-round mags and have fitted it with a quality 4 x 44mm scope. The only problem I identify is that with lubricated Winchester sub-sonic ammunition a build-up of lubricant on the front lip of the mags can cause feed difficulities.

There is no one who has used this firearm who does not rate it as the most user-friendly and ‘marksman hero’-making rifle they have ever used. The rifle remains on the sighting plane while the action is cycled… [a quality we miss] from the now-prohibited self-loaders. [Editor’s note: most semi-automatic rifles, even rimfires, are now banned in Australia.]. The Izmash is a rugged, modern, good looking, easy to use, and UNFAILINGLY accurate … rimfire farm or target rifle that costs about $1200 in Australia. The CZ452 would be farm choice #2 (I reckon if you ask me)! You cannot do better than the Izhmash [considering] the low price in America of this Soviet-Legacy gem.”

Izhmash Biathlon

The Biathlon Basic is offered by MTGuns, (805) 720-7720, for about $395.00 (call for current pricing and availability). The current U.S. distributor is Russian-American Armory,, (877) 752-2894.

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October 30th, 2008

New 3-Position Air Rifle Rules Issued

Air Rifle position rulesThe 2008-2010 7th Edition of the National Standard Three-Position Air Rifle Rules, with changes approved by the National 3P Air Rifle Council, are now available in printed version or as a downloadable file. The complete new rules (in .pdf format) can be downloaded via the CMP website. Printed copies of the new rulebook may be ordered from the CMP at a cost of $2.00 each.

CLICK HERE to download new Air Rifle Rules

The 2008-2010 rules are effective immediately and will remain in effect until September 2010. There are not many major changes this time, although a Council decision to cap prices on approved sporter air rifles is potentially significant. The Council has already adopted a policy mandating that no sporter class air rifle may be used in sanctioned competition unless the Council approves that specific model. The current approved sporter list includes the AirForce Air Guns Edge, Daisy M853/753/953/853CM (pneumatic), Daisy M888/887 (CO2), Crosman M2000 (CO2), Daisy XSV40 Valiant (compressed air) and the Air Arms T200 (compressed air) with NON-adjustable cheek-piece and butt-plate. The Council decided that if the price of any approved rifles rises above $525.00, that air rifle will lose its approval (but if you purchased such a gun before the price rose too high, it would still be legal.)

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October 29th, 2008

New Zealand Hosts NRA World Action Pistol Championships

From November 5-8, Hamilton, New Zealand will host the 6th Annual NRA World Action Pistol Championships. This major event will draw hundreds of top shooters from around the globe. The 2008 World Action Pistol Championships will be held in conjunction with the Kiwi Cup Action Pistol Championships at Hamilton Pistol Club. This is the second time that the Hamilton Pistol Club has hosted this prestigious event, which has been held previously twice in Australia, and twice in the USA. The NRA World Action Pistol Championships is an aggregate match with four traditional events: Falling Plates, Barricade, Practical, and Moving Target. For more information, visit the World Action Pistol Championships website,

Located 80 miles south of Auckland, Hamilton is becoming known as a hub for action sports. In addition to the World Action Pistol Championships, Hamilton will host the V8 Supercars Street Race, World Rally Championships, and 2010 World Rowing Champs. The Waikoto River, shown in the photo below, runs through the heart of the city of Hamilton.

Hamilton New Zealand

Background on Shooting Sports in New Zealand
New Zealand is a remarkable country, a land of great natural beauty. The island nation is similar in size to California … but with about 30,000,000 fewer people! Nice eh? If you combined the natural terrain of Oregon, California, and the Colorado Rockies, doubled the coastline, and then eliminated smog, urban sprawl, and traffic jams, that’s a good description of New Zealand.

Though small in size, New Zealand has a very active community of sport shooters and hunters. While Australia has imposed draconian restrictions on self-loading pistols and rifles, New Zealanders still retain the ability to own most types of firearms, including semi-automatics. In fact, New Zealand has fewer restrictions on “Black Rifles” than do many American states.

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October 29th, 2008

ATF Delays Implementation of Revised Form 4473

ATF form 4473

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) had planned to put its new, updated Form 4473 into effect November 15, 2008. Well… they’ve now pushed back the implementation date until January. The ATF recently informed the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) that it is pushing back the date by which the revised and updated Form 4473 must be used to Jan. 15, 2009. The date was delayed because of objections from dealers about implementing a new form during hunting season.

ATF Form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record Part I — Over the Counter) is used to prevent criminals and other prohibited persons from gaining access to firearms. This form is required to be completed by Federal firearms licensees prior to the transfer of a firearm to a nonlicensed person, with limited exceptions. The newest version incorporates some new elements.

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October 28th, 2008

Sneak Preview of 2009 Dual-Port Savages

Savage’s Marketing team just sent us “sneak previews” of two new dual-port rifles to be released in 2009. The new Benchrest and LRPV (Long Range Precision Varminter) rifles feature a DUAL-PORT ACTION. There is a large cut-out on both sides of the action. This should allow rapid single-round feeding as you can feed from one side while the shell kicks out the other. We do have one minor concern — it appears both loading and exit ports are the same size. When you feed really fast this creates the possibility of tossing the round all the way through.

Savage Dual-Port

Savage Dual-Port

Savage Dual-Port

Savage Dual-Port

You can see that the “Benchrest” model has a new stock pattern. This stock has some drop in the toe, unlike the current F-Class stocks which are cut straight back from the pistol grip area. The current F-Class stock design will be unchanged, while this stock design is something new for the dual-port “Benchrest” model, which comes with a 29″ barrel and will be chambered in .308 Win, 6mm BR, and 6.5-284. Sorry, Savage hasn’t provided any more details about prices and shipping dates, but Bill Dermody, Savage Marketing Director, confirms “these are a ‘go’ for 2009, and, yes the Dual-Port action will be offered separately for purchase, as the Target Action is currently.” Bill also provided these answers to our questions:

Q: The “Benchrest” version — Is this going to be a new model? (As opposed to F-Class rifle).

Savage: Yes, this is a new model for us.

Q: It looks like the stock design has changed somewhat (vs. the F-Class).

Savage: The fore-end is sculpted a little bit differently than the F-Class, but it is mostly cosmetic. The bottom edge of the buttstock however is angled differently and narrowed a bit to help it ride a bag better.

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October 28th, 2008

U.S. Army Marksmen win Int'l Sniper Competition

USAMU Sniper Team

A team of two Soldiers from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) won the 8th Annual International Sniper Competition for the second consecutive year. Sgt. 1st Class Jason M. St. John and Sgt. 1st Class Robby D. Johnson defended their title of Sniper Champions.

The competition was hosted by the Sniper School under Company C, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, Oct. 16 to 21. The USAMU Team was one of more than 30 sniper teams from France, Canada, Spain, Denmark, Ireland and different branches of the U.S. military. Snipers tested their skills in several events, including aerial shooting, convoy live fire, and night shooting. Many of the events, such as counter sniper, were timed. “That’s what puts the stress on you – the clock,” said St. John, the spotter for the team.

“The scenarios and targets that are put out there are so phenomenally difficult,” St. John said. “There isn’t an event that we haven’t stopped and looked at and said we should have done this a little bit different. This is an extremely difficult match, top to bottom.”

The 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, of Fort Lewis, Wash., placed second overall. Company D, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group, came in third.

To learn more about the USAMU, contact the Public Affairs Office at (706) 545-5436, or visit

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October 27th, 2008

Rifle Raffle Benefits U.S. F-Class Team — NRA President Leads Effort

NRA President John Sigler is not only a hard-working advocate for Second Amendment rights, but he is also an active, competitive shooter. This October, John competed in the F-Class Nationals at Lodi, Wisconsin. He was shooting a tack-driving 6.5-284 rifle built by Surgeon Rifles.

F-Class Team Rifle Raffle

This special F-Class rig features a Surgeon action, Krieger barrel, Leupold 8-25X50 target scope, and McMillan fiberglass stock. To benefit the U.S.A. F-Open Team, these top-of-the-line components were donated by the manufacturers and Surgeon did the build. Surgeon Rifles specializes in making custom actions and rifles and guarantees precision of less than .5 MOA on every rifle they build. Their actions are machined out of 4340 aircraft grade solid billet and the 20 MOA Picatinny rail is an integral part of the action. Sound great? Well you can have a chance to own this same rifle shot by NRA President Sigler.

F-Class Team Rifle Raffle

Donate to the F-Class Team — Get a Chance to Win the Rifle
The F-Class rifle shot by Sigler was donated to the US F-Class Rifle Team and is being used to raise funds for the team to travel to the World F-Class Championship in Bisley, England in 2009. This event is held every four years and over 350 of the world’s best F-Class shooters are expected to participate.

To raise funds, the team is selling raffle tickets. ONLY 5000 TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE SO THE CHANCE OF WINNING THIS GUN WILL BE VERY HIGH!

Here’s how you can get a chance to win this beautiful rifle:
Donate $10.00 and get two tickets to win. The more you donate, the better your chances for winning this rifle. Tickets are available from many F-Class Open Shooters around the country. Or you may write a check, payable to “U.S. F-Class Open Rifle Team”, and send it to:

U.S. F-Class Open Rifle Team
P.O. Box 3110,
Bellingham, WA 98227

If you are making a donation of over $20.00 and would like a receipt for tax deduction, please make out your check to PALMA Promotions and mail to the above address. All tickets and receipts will be sent by return mail. Drawing will be held in February, 2009 or sooner, as tickets are selling fast!

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October 27th, 2008

SEB Products (Coaxial Rests) Changes U.S.A. Dealer

SEB coaxial benchrestSEB Coaxial Rests are premium joystick-style front rests favored by many leading Benchrest shooters. The movement of the front support (both horizontally and vertically) is smooth and positive, and the rest can be easily adjusted so the arm won’t “droop” even if you remove your hand after adjustment. The base is beefy and stable, and the quality of machining is excellent. This Editor shoots off a SEB rest. I can testify that it helps me get on target faster and shoot smaller groups.

Until recently, Paul Schmid has been the U.S.A. dealer for SEB Rests and other products from innovative designer Sebastian Lambang. Sadly, however, Schmid passed away in late August. SEB Products has secured a new dealer for the American market: Ernie Bishop of Gillette, Wyoming, phone: 307-257-7431, email: ernieemily [at]

Seb Lambang tells us: “I have a new USA dealer for the SEB products now…Ernie Bishop in Gillette, WY. I am trully sorry that Paul Schmid, my mentor and the last US dealer for my products, passed away last August 30. He died suddenly several days after hip surgery. Paul was a man of honor, very trustworthy, and a great friend in the same time. He was truly a great loss for me! He and his family will always be in my heart and prayers….

Just like Paul, Ernie Bishop is a man of honor, trustworthy, and a very friendly guy, too. Ernie and I became close friends during a visit (for prairie dog shooting) to Wyoming after the 2008 Super Shoot. I asked Ernie to be the new US dealer because I know he can handle the dealership well and he will provide good service. Ernie will have rests, bags, ammo holder sets (etc) around mid-November, next month. I am preparing the items at this moment.

Please feel free to contact/email me anytime, or Ernie, if you have any questions, or problems, with SEB products. Email me at sebastianlambang [at] or visi [at]

All the best, Seb”

For more info, visit

Sebastian SEB front rest

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October 27th, 2008

Good Deals on Hunting Gear at Cabela's

The ‘Bargain Cave’ at offers quality products at deep discounts. It’s not uncommon to find items marked 50% off. We recently found two items of hunting gear deeply discounted, yet they both received consistently high ratings from Cabela’s customers.

Cabelas Upland VestCabela’s Upland Tradition Vest is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars by 45 Cabela’s customers. It is on sale for $29.99, marked down from $49.99. This vest has some very nice features, including lined, handwarmer pockets and a Tri-Load™ game bag that loads easily from the front, side or back. The large front cargo pockets have loops for shot-shells. Here are two comments from buyers:

“Great value and all the snaps, clips, zippers are hidden-which protects your favorite firearm.” –Happ, NJ

“Very good vest for the money. The pockets are nice sized and placed well. The back game pocket is the best I’ve used. I also like the two waterproof pockets (lined with same fabric as inside back game pocket). Hand warmer pockets are lined for insulation. Well thought out. Have tried vests for over twice the price that weren’t as good. Vest carries loads well. No complaints at all. If I lose this vest, I’ll replace it with same.” –JM, MI Upper Peninsula

Cabelas Blaze JacketThe Activ-Lite™ Upland Blaze Jacket is rated 4.5 out of 5 Stars by 59 Cabela’s customers. It is marked down to $49.95 from $79.95. This is a good jacket to wear under a shooting vest. It features warm, but lightweight fleece, a wind-blocking lining, and a tough shell that sheds burs. Owners report:

“The jacket is like adding another layer of skin. It is flexible & light and non-binding in the shoulders & sleeves. The jacket is an excellent wind barrier and makes a great outer garment on a cold dry day.” –Kent, WA Elk Hunter

“Love this coat.. [it] is warm, windproof, & comfortable. It is quiet when going thru brush and grass. Colored to meet hunting guidlines. My wife tries to steal it from me when we are bird hunting. Good value for the price.” –DZ from New Mexico

Editor’s Note: Cabela’s has agreed to donate a small percentage of sales proceeds to help support this site. In order for sales to count, please navigate to via the link below.

Cabela's - Free Shipping on $125 or More with Code 8HOLIDAY, ends 11/10/08

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October 26th, 2008

Hot Shots: Newbie Almost Ties F-Class Record with Savage

Can a rifle built on a Savage target action be “big-league” competitive? Apparently so. Forum member Nat Lambeth (aka “Rustystud”) reports that Jeff Saunders shot a 200 with 14 Xs at 600 yards last Saturday at an F-Class Match in Camp Butner, NC. This is one “X” off the National Record (200-15X) on the new F-Class target, and topped the 600-yard F-Open record (200-13X) set by Charles Ballard. Jeff was shooting a Savage target action with a 31″ Broughton 1:8″, 5C barrel chambered in 6mmBRX, in a modified Stockade stock topped with a 12-42×56 Nightforce scope. Jeff is a relatively new shooter and is learning the art of reading the wind. Jeff shot five shots in a row into a 1.75″ spotter before hitting the spindel and destroying the spotter.

Now matter what you’re shooting (even a railgun with a $1300 action in a barrel block), five shots into 1.75″ at 600 yards is impressive. To do it with a $450.00 Savage action is even more impressive. These actions, which have three (3) action screws and come complete with AccuTrigger, can be purchased from a number of vendors, including Bruno Shooters Supply. An FFL is required to receive the action. Bruno’s list these items in inventory:

SAG18183 Savage Target Action 223 RB,LP Stainless $448.68
SAG18185 Savage Target Action 223 RB,RP Stainless $448.68
SAG18182 Savage Target Action 308 RB,LP Stainless $448.68
SAG18184 Savage Target Action 308 RB,RP Stainless $448.68

Savage Target Action

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