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November 30th, 2008

Hornady Introduces Versatile Powered Case Prep Center

Hornady Case Prep CenterPowered case prep centers are nothing new. RCBS has offered a little AC-powered unit for years with whirling brushes and chamfering tips. But Hornady has beefed up the concept, adding a drill-press type vertical case trimmer. (Unlike a drill press, however, the case is held in place and the cutter spins below it.)

Hornady Case Prep Center

The new Hornady Lock-N-Load™ Power Case Prep Center is a substantial unit, roughly 2 feet high and 10″ wide at the base. With four (4) attachment bolts, it should be very stable on the bench. There are six (6) power take-offs that extend horizontally from the bottom half of the unit. These all spin at the same time so you can quickly switch from one tool to another. Hornady provides the following tools that operate with the horizontal power take-offs: inside neck chamfer, outside neck chamfer, large flash-hole cleaner, small flash-hole cleaner, and a neck brush. An optional primer pocket reamer and an optional flash-hole deburrer can be purchased separately.

Hornady Case Prep CenterAt the middle level of the Hornday unit a case trimming tool is centered in a black plastic tray to catch shavings. The vertical position of the cutter is fixed. You lower the case down on the spinning cutter to trim cases to length. A pivoting handle controls vertical movement of the case which is held by its rim in a shellholder mounted in a chuck. The rotary handle you see in the picture is NOT for power. It is used to adjust the starting height of the chuck/shell-holder assembly. By turning the crank you can move this whole sub-assembly up and down to suit different length cases.

The new Hornady Case Prep Center, product No. 050012, is slated for a 2009 release. MSRP is $431.67, with expected “street price” around $300.00. You should definitely watch the Hornady Video linked below, as it shows the case trimmer in action. If our written description of the inline vertical trimmer left you confused, it will quickly become clear once you watch the video.

Hornady case prep centerEditor’s Comment: If you have hundreds of cases that regularly need trimming, the Hornady Case Prep Center could be a real time-saver, provided that: 1) the cut length can be adjusted with sufficient precision; and, 2) cases can be moved in and out of the holder quickly and efficiently. As for powered case-neck chamfering… we’re a little less enthusiastic about that. It is very easy to ruin cases by over-chamfering. If Hornady really wanted to do this right, it would have the chamfer tool run on the top half of the machine. Then the chamfer depth could be controlled very precisely, with a positive stop, so you couldn’t over-chamfer.

While Hornady’s Case Prep Center can certainly speed up trimming chores, you still have to trim and chamfer in separate steps. Consider that the Gracey Case Trimmer trims-to-length and chamfers (inside and out) all in one operation, processing up to 20 cases per minute. That’s impressive. We do like the powered neck brush on the Hornady unit, however. This could definitely help you prep a large quantity of brass more efficiently.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
November 30th, 2008

Brit Politicians Ban Ceremonial Xmas Musket Firing

In Wimborne, Dorset, England, a 400-year-old holiday tradition has been banned by anti-gun “do-gooders” who claim loud noises will frighten children. For the past four centuries, at Christmastime, volunteers of the “Wimborne Militia” have donned 17th-century uniforms (floppy hats and red coats) and fired off a black powder volley (without bullets) to celebrate the lighting of the town Christmas tree. The musket ceremony was originally performed to “scare off evil spirits” according to Town Crier and militia volunteer Chris Brown. In modern times, Chris explained, “It adds a bit of pomp. Most people enjoy it.”

According to the Dorset Daily Echo newspaper, “Members of the town’s Militia, which re-enacts traditions dating back to the 17th century, have been told by the town council not to carry out the custom of ‘scouring’ the tree at a ceremony to switch on the lights.”

Local politicians, lead by Deputy Mayor John Burden, have banned the black powder ceremony, telling the Wimborne Militia to leave their muskets and floppy hats at home. The ban was enforced ostensibly to “protect the children”. Dep. Mayor Burden and other gun foes say that the musket fire “scares the children… last year there were kids who were very upset and crying.”

Many Wimborne residents are dismayed by the gun ban, saying that a cherished tradition has been lost, and that Wimborne officials are “mollycoddling the kiddies” for no good reason.

It remains to be seen whether Wimborne’s city fathers will proceed to ban the popping of balloons or the honking of car horns — noises which, presumably, could be equally traumatizing to England’s sensitive youngsters.

Story Link: BBC Report (with Video) | Dorset Daily Echo Report

Photo Capture from BBC Video

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November 29th, 2008

Hot Rod Versions of the .243 Winchester — BR-K and Super X

Gunsmith Mike Sosenko and long-time supporter John Adams have been using a modified .243 Winchester case with great success in Varmint Silhouette matches at the Pala Range in Southern California. Officially called the “243 BR-K” (and informally dubbed the “6BR Long”), the wildcat is basically a .243 Winchester with less body taper and a 30-degree shoulder. The design essentially grafts a 6mmBR Norma “top end” to the .243 Winchester case. After fire-forming, Mike and John can reload this case using normal, unmodified 6BR neck-sizing and seater dies.

Compared to a .243 Winchester, the 243 BR-K’s body length is about .006″ longer, and the shoulder is about .0055″ wider. The main difference is the shoulder angle (30° vs. 20°), and the location of the neck-shoulder junction (“NSJ”). Based on reamer prints, the base to NSJ dimension is 1.718″ on the 6BR Long, compared to 1.804″ for the .243 Winchester. Neck length is a bit shorter because “the neck shrinks a little when the shoulder blows out” according to Sosenko. We’ve provided a mock-up diagram of the 243 BR-K, but you should check with Dave Kiff of Pacific Tool & Gauge for exact dimensions. Dave created the reamers for both the 6mm and 22-caliber versions of this wildcat. Ask for the “22 BR-K” or “243 BR-K” reamer designs.

6mmBR long .243 Winchester Wildcat 243 BR-K wildcat cartridge

Wicked Velocity with Stable Brass
The main advantage of the 243 BR-K is serious velocity in a case that is very stable. Mike’s favorite load is the 95gr Berger VLD pushed by Reloader 22. With a stout load of RL22 and Federal 210m Primers, Sosenko is getting 3450 fps with the 95-grainer, with no bullet blow-ups. This is with a 1:8.5″ twist Broughton 5R barrel finished at 28.5″. The cases are holding up very well. Mike has a half-dozen loads on his brass and he hasn’t had to full-length size yet. Mike runs a .262″ tight neck, but there is also a no-turn version of the case (see illustration). Accuracy is excellent. Mike says the round delivers repeatable 1/4 MOA groups at 100 yards in testing. He has also experimented with N160, but, thus far, Reloader 22 has delivered smaller groups with better ES and SD.


John Adams shoots a no-turn (.274″) neck 243 BR-K with 105gr Berger VLDs. He’s getting about 3230 fps using Reloader 22. John says he can push the 105s faster, but 3220-3240 fps “seems to be the sweet spot.” John notes that “after about five reloadings on a case, it gets a little tight”. John then full-length sizes with a custom Hornady FL bushing die. “The Hornady custom shop dies work great” according to John. Adams also shoots a version of this wildcat necked down to 22-caliber. It has demonstrated outstanding velocity and good accuracy in initial testing with a 9-twist barrel. Using the 80gr Amax bullets, John is getting 3570+ fps speeds. John feels that his 22 BR-K needs some more development work. “The 243 BR-K is proven. We know what works. With the 22 I want to try different seating depths, experiment with a few different bullets, and fine-tune the velocity.”

Whitley’s 6mm Super X
Robert Whitley shoots a variant of the .243 Winchester he calls the 6mm Super X. This features a 30° shoulder, and slightly less body taper. He gains a little case capacity over the standard .243 Win, and he says the cartridge is extremely accurate with both 105-108 grain pills and the heavier 115s: “Here’s a picture of a .243 Win (left), a 6mm Super X (center), and a 6XC (right). All I can say is the 6mm Super X has been good to me and I have shot many a clean in 600-yard High Power matches with it with either DTAC 115s or Berger 115s.”

243 BR-K wildcat cartridge

While Mike Sosenko and John Adams use their BR-Ks to push 95s and 105s at high velocities, Robert takes a different approach with his Super X. He shoots the high-BC 115s and keeps velocities under 3000 fps. A long-range High Power shooter, Robert demands consistency during long shot strings. That means backing off from max attainable speeds, at least with the 115s. Robert writes:

“You can get 3050 fps with H4831SC and the 115s with no problem, I did it in testing multiple times, but to me that also does not mean anything because I shoot loads where they are the most consistent and accurate over a 22+ shot string. I have never found that any of the 6mm cartridges I have used with 115s will stay consistent, tight and accurate the whole way at 3050 fps for 22+ shots straight. I have tried 115s in the .243 Win, the 6CM, the 6mm Super X, the 6XC, the 6-6.5 x 47 Lapua and none of them ever stayed consistent and tight for 22 shots straight with the 115s at that speed. Most of the time with all the 6mm cartridges, if you get the 115s much over 2975 fps, they won’t hold tight for 22+ shots straight. Now if you’re a bench rest shooter and you only need to do a few sighters then 5 or 10 shots for record, you can run 3050 fps or more and the groups will likely hold tight during your string, but not when you need to go 22+ shots straight with no break. I have shot many different 6mm cartridges and done a lot of testing with many different powders, moly and non-moly bullets. I don’t find the ‘consistent accuracy’ (for 22+ shots straight) at those higher velocities.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
November 29th, 2008

Sweet Browning Falling Block For Sale in Forum

We believe that every serious gun collector should have at least one falling block rifle in his or her collection. This classic design allows a very short, compact action. Falling blocks can be extremely accurate. Remember that the finest, long-range target rifles of the 19th Century were falling blocks. And the more modern BSA Martini designs were very successful rimfire target rifles in their heydey.

Compared to shooting a semi-automatic rifle, or even a modern bolt gun, using a falling block is a very different experience. It seems old-fashioned, but in a reassuring kind of way. The pace is slower, and there is something calm and purposeful about working the smooth under-lever and loading the case by hand. You “work” a bolt gun… but you “caress” a falling block.

Browning High Wall 1885

Right now there is a very nice Browning B-78 High Wall falling block for sale in our Shooters’ Forum Classifieds. Chambered in 22-250, it features a full octagon barrel and superbly-figured wood. The seller reports this rifle: “Is in 99% condition [and] shoots under 1” at 100 yards with factory ammo.” The $1,100 asking price includes a 6-12×44 Simmons Aetec scope, rings and bases, 125 pieces once-fired brass, and a Sinclair 22-250 bore guide.

This Editor has shot one of the older Miroku-built Browning B-78 falling blocks and it was beautifully built, with a butter-smooth action and gorgeous blueing. (Japan’s Miroku, which also builds Citori shotguns for Browning, is renowned for the superb metal-work and finish of their rifles and shotguns.) The B-78 was produced by Miroku from 1973 to 1982. This single shot rifle was initially offered in .22-250, 6 mm Remington, .25-06, and .30-06. .243 and 7mm Rem Mag was added to the standard rifle line and a .45-70 version was added on a heavier frame. The B-78 was discontinued in 1982, and then reintroduced in 1985 as the Model 1885 High Wall. The more recent 1885s feature a more traditional stock with a straight wrist and no roll-over comb.

Browning High Wall 1885

Chuck Hawks is also a fan of the Browning falling blocks: “The Browning 1885 High Wall is a modern version of the John Browning designed classic, widely regarded as the strongest and best of the American single-shot rifles. It is a very simple yet elegant looking rifle. It has an exposed rebounding hammer that cocks automatically when the ‘S’-shaped underlever is operated. The automatic ejector can be user set to throw the empty case out to the right or left, or extracted for convenient removal by hand.”

Permalink Gear Review 19 Comments »
November 29th, 2008

NRA Women On Target Program Serves Thousands

Increasing the numbers of women involved in the shooting sports is vital. We need more women shooters to grow our gun clubs’ membership rolls and expand the consumer base for firearms products. From a political standpoint, getting women involved in shooting strengthens the gun rights movement, and helps counter efforts to close gun ranges and shooting facilities. And remember, women are important decision-makers at the family level. Wives often decide if there will be a gun in the house and if children in the family are allowed to participate in shooting sports.

The NRA’s Women On Target program has been very successful at getting the ladies involved in shooting sports. The Women On Target program offers new lady shooters the chance to receive handgun, rifle, and shotgun instruction by other women, in a low-stress situation. Program Coordinator Beth Hellman reports: “We have had a record-breaking number of Women On Target® Instructional Shooting Clinics so far this year — 239 — and a record-breaking number of participants — more than 7,000!”

CLICK HERE To learn more about Women On Target® Instructional Shooting Clinics for your club or organization, or call (800) 861-1166 for more information.

Women On Target Hunting Program
The popular Women-Only Hunt Program allows women to enjoy the outdoors with experienced outfitters guiding all female clients. A wide variety of hunts are offered in the second half of 2008 including duck/goose hunts, pheasant hunts, turkey hunts, whitetail deer hunts, and even a Rocky Mountain Elk hunt. This program has been operating successfully since 1999.

CLICK HERE for Hunt Dates and Outfitter List

Photos courtesy National Rifle Assn., All Rights Reserved.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
November 28th, 2008

Black Friday Bargains

The first shopping day after the Thanksgiving holiday is called “Black Friday”. Here are some hot deals from major vendors. With some of these items inventory is very limited or the price is discounted for a very short period, so act quickly if you want to snap up these bargains.

$29.99 Camelback Hydration Pack from
Cabela’s has posted an amazing price on the Camelbak GMI M.U.L.E. pack with hydration system, item 1AJ-518787. Right now, if you click on THIS LINK, the price is just $29.99. These are very high-quality packs that sell elsewhere for $95.00 or more. The hydration pack is offered in desert camo or woodland camo. The pack is 19″ x 10″ x 5″, and features 540 cubic inches of cargo space with a 100-ounce Omega Water reservoir. Act quickly. We expect these will sell out very rapidly at this price.

CLICK HERE for a detailed review of Camelback GMI M.U.L.E. Pack.

Camelbak hydration pack

$22.95 Russ Haydon “Two-Handed” Lapping Kit
If you’ve ever used a lapping bar with one central handle, you know it can be a little awkward. The force tends to concentrate in the middle, which can allow uneven lapping if you’re not careful. Russ Haydon has come up with a “better mousetrap” — a lapping bar with handles at both ends. The “Web Special” price is $22.95. Two handles provide more control so lapping can be done more efficiently. Haydon’s Twin-Handle Lapping Kit contains enough lapping compound for approximately 6 rifles. This fits 1″-diameter rings only.
Russ Haydon Lapping Kit

$289.99 Nikon 4.5-14×40 Side-Focus Scope from has the Nikon 4.5-14x40mm Buckmaster sidefocus scope with Plex reticle (item NI6452) on sale for $289.99. This is a good hunting/varmint scope with 1/4-MOA clicks, side-focus parallax, and quick-focus eyepiece. The Nikon comes with a lifetime warranty, and it is guaranteed waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. With a $480 MSRP, we’ve seen this same scope at other vendors for up to $409.00.

Nikon buckmaster scope

$688 Liberty Safe from Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is offering one of the best deals in gun safes right now — a 60″ H x 30″ W x 22″ L Liberty Centurian safe for $688.00. That is the store pick-up price. The safe weighs 520 lbs. and has 23 cubic feet of exterior volume. Walls are 12 gauge steel and the safe is fire-rated for 30 minutes at 1200 degrees F. The lock is a Sargent & Greenleaf electronic. While this editor favors mechanical locks, the S&G lock is one of the best units in its price range. This very same safe is sold by Liberty Dealers for $999-$1099.00. If you’re able to get this safe home on your own, this is an excellent value from a respected safe-builder.

Liberty Sam's Club Gunsafe Safe

Prvi Partizan .223 Ammo from
At a time when many vendors are ratcheting up the price of ammunition to meet a surge in demand, Wideners is still offering the outstanding Prvi Partizan 75gr .223 Rem Match ammo at $85.00 for 200 rounds or $419.00 for 1000 rounds. This ammo, Wideners product PPU75H, is excellent. After testing the 75gr Partizan .223 ammo, Forum member Danny Reever concluded it was very accurate and an extremely good value. Based on reports from Danny and other shooters, we believe this ammo will easily shoot 1 MOA in a typical AR-platform rifle with a decent barrel. A 1:8″ or faster twist barrel is required to stabilize the 75gr bullets.

Prvi Partizan ammunition .223 5.56

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
November 28th, 2008

How to Find Older Bulletin Articles

Folks email us regularly saying: “Hey, there was an interesting item in the Daily Bulletin, but I can’t find it now.” Take heart. Every Bulletin story is saved in our archive. You can always navigate to all previous posts using the “Older Posts” link at the bottom of this page.

The fastest and easiest method to find older posts is simply to search by keyword, or click one of the topic headings. If you want to see a video, for example, just click on “Videos”. If you’re looking for all stories about scopes, click “Optics”. To find a particular item, such as the story on Barnard actions, just type “Barnard” in the search field and click “Search”. Our search works very fast! Try it, you’ll like it.

AccurateShooter Daily Bulletin

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November 28th, 2008

NRA Qualification Program For New Competitors

The Winchester/NRA Qualification Program has courses of fire designed to take shooters from beginning skill levels (Pro-Marksman, Marksman) through intermediate levels (Marksman 1st Class, Sharpshooter, Expert) up to a nationally recognized skill level — Distinguished Expert — the pinnacle of the program.

By the time a shooter completes the Distinguished Expert rating, he or she has attained a proficiency level paralleling that of a competitively classified Sharpshooter.

Complete information on the Winchester/NRA Qualification Program, with program outline, scoring standard, and sources for program materials and targets is available on the NRA Website Qualification page. If you have questions not answered by the web resources, call the NRA Qualification Coordinator at (703) 267-1505.

Permalink Competition No Comments »
November 27th, 2008

Canadian "Ski Bipod" for F-Class Shooters

We first featured Henry Remple’s Canadian-made F-Class bipod last winter and we still receive many questions about this product. Nick-named the “Ski Bipod”, this impressive unit offers unrivaled stability from an ultra-wide footprint. The height of the bipod is adjustable as is the distance between the runners or “skis” that contact the ground. And there is a cant adjustment allowing the rifle to be leveled on uneven ground. The reason Henry used ski-like runners rather than flat pads is that this allows the rifle to slide slightly reward during recoil. That eliminates much of the hop and rotation associated with conventional bipods.

Remple Ski Bipod

Forum member Keith Skjerdal reports: “A lot of F-CLass guys in Canada are using the Ski Bipod made by Henry Remple out of Calgary. It is very well made and steady as a conventional pedestal rest. Even some guys in the USA and Britain have them now. If you want the best, this is it, in my opinion. This makes the trip to the mound easier than with a big pedestal rest. Downside? Well, since the Ski Bipod attaches to your rifle, it counts in your total weight under the rules. The Ski Bipod adds roughly 3.5 pounds to your gun’s weight. The cost is around $400-420 Cdn (this basically covers the cost of materials and all that milling work.)

To get one, contact Henry Rempel from Calgary. He does not have a web site. His home phone number (after 7 pm) is 1-403-272-8416. I think his email is henry.rempel [at]”

Rempel Ski Bipod

Rempel Ski Bipod

Rempel Ski Bipod

Photos Copyright © Richard Dreger, used by permission.

Permalink Gear Review 3 Comments »
November 27th, 2008

Recall on older Anschütz Air Rifle Cylinders

J.G. ANSCHÜTZ GmbH & Co. KG, maker of premium air rifles and small-bore match rifles has announced a recall of roughly 1,400 compressed air cylinders (holding tanks) on its rifles. The aluminum air cylinders involved in the recall are:

• Air cylinder, silver, length 430 mm: from 012947 to 016843 item No. 711.3415
• Air cylinder, red, length 430 mm: from 002444 to 002527 item No. 711.3414
• Air cylinder, black, length 430 mm: from 000006 to 000053 item No. 711.3413
• Air cylinder, Junior, length 290 mm: from 001632 to 002225 item No. 711.3412

Anschutz Air Rifle

If you have an Anschütz air rifle, check the sidewall of the air cylinder. Look for the number at the right of the top line (marked in blue in the photo above). If the number matches the serial numbers on the recall list above you should immediately empty your air cylinder (and do not refill it). Please return the empty air cylinder to J. G. ANSCHÜTZ GmbH & Co. KG, department “air cylinder check”, Daimlerstr. 12, 89079 Ulm / Germany, or send it to any authorized ANSCHÜTZ sales partner as listed on

CLICK HERE to download Air Cylinder Recall Information Sheet (.pdf file).

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November 26th, 2008

Free Reloading Bench Plans

Serious shooters spend lots of time in the reloading room. If you want to produce great ammo, start with a good, solid bench with a very rigid working surface and plenty of storage space. Here we present three sets of FREE workbench plans. Any one of these bench designs can be a good winter do-it-yourself project for those with basic word-working skills.

Easy-to-Build Basic Bench
Simpson, maker of Strong-Tie fasteners, offers FREE Workbench Plans for a sturdy, 48″-wide bench with a pegboard backing and both upper and lower shelves. A complete list of fasteners and cut lengths is provided. For use as a loading bench with mounted presses, double-up the bench-top for extra ridigity. Without much difficulty, the plans can be adapted to build a wider bench if you prefer. The same downloadable document also contains plans for an 80″-high 6-shelf unit, a 72″-high heavy-duty shelving unit (with 4 shelves), and a 48″-wide heavy-duty table.

FREE Strongtie Bench Plans (.pdf file).

Corner Bench with Swinging Doors
The next design is rather unique — a corner bench with swing-out cabinets. This reloading bench is based on plans by M. L. McPherson as published in the October 1993 American Rifleman. The compact footprint that makes good use of corner space that is usually poorly utilized. This set of plans is provided by from, which sells scope stands, shooting carts, sight accessories, and AR15 parts.

Reloading bench plans

FREE Corner Bench Plans (330kb .pdf file)

Classic NRMA Bench with Cabinets
The last bench design is a large, versatile bench with a full set of enclosed overhead cabinets. A National Reloding Manufacturers Association (NRMA) design, this bench requires many hours to build, but it will house all your reloading gear and provide a very stable platform for your presses.This bench was designed to be as versatile as possible to meet the needs of most reloaders. However, the bench design can easily be customized. For instance, it can be made larger or smaller to meet space requirements or quantities of equipment and components. As it is currently designed, the work area is about waist-high for a 6’2″ person. This can be adjusted to fit your height simply by making the legs longer or shorter.

NRMA reloading bench

FREE NRMA Reloading Bench Plans (2.42 megabyte .pdf file).

Permalink - Articles 8 Comments »
November 26th, 2008

Popular New Products at Sinclair International

Now through Jan. 11th, 2009, Sinclair International is offering a set of stainless-steel-framed digital calipers (item code MIC-14) for just $27.95. The folks at Sinclair tells us this item is extemely popular. These digital calipers feature an easy-to-read large LCD (display) and a one-touch zero function. With the push of a button, the calipers can switch from inches to millimeters on the fly.

Digital Neckwall Thickness Gauge for $49.95
Another slick new product in high demand is the InSize Digital Thickness Gauge. Sinclair reports this product is selling very well and customer feedback has been very positive. Designed for easy, one-handed use, this is a great tool for measuring neck wall thickness. You can make multiple thickness measurements around a case neck in just a few seconds, or easily calculate a needed neck bushing size without having a loaded round. The tool works with a spring-loaded sliding anvil to maintain consistent anvil pressure when taking multiple measurements. The ball anvil for case necks or tubing can be moved down to allow the gauge to measure flat stock up to 1” thick. The claimed accuracy on the digital display is 0.0005″ (half a thousandth), with controls for on/off, zero and inch/millimeter. The new InSize Gauge (item 52-9900) comes complete with a fitted plastic case and SR44/357 batteries.

neckwall measurement gauge

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