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January 31st, 2009

Vote for Weatherby Video Contest Winners

weathernationWeatherby Rifles is currently running a video contest, with a variety of valuable rifles as prizes. For a chance to win, participants must submit a video explaining “Why I Want a Weatherby”, and viewers get to select the winners. Grand Prize is a visit to the Weatherby facility in California and a select Weatherby rifle from the Custom Shop. First Prize is a Mark V Deluxe or Accumark Rifle, and two (2) Weatherby Vanguard rifles will be awarded as Second prizes.

Vote for the Winners
Viewer voting on the Weatherby website will determine the winners of the “Why I Want a Weatherby” Video Contest. There are currently 66 finalists. You can watch the videos and pick your favorites. You are allowed to vote once per day for the video(s) of your choice between now and February 15, 2009. Note: In order to vote for your favorite videos, you must first register with Weatherby. Registration is FREE, but you do have to supply an email address. Winners will be announced on April 1, 2009.

CLICK HERE to view ALL the videos (use arrows to navigate). Shown below is one of the more amusing/entertaining video entries: “Every Man Wants a Weatherby Woman”:

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And here is the current top vote-getter. This video was created by Dale Hagberg who was paralyzed 21 years ago in a diving accident. He wants to give the Weatherby rifle to his best friend Frank McDonald, who has helped care for Dale over past two decades.

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January 30th, 2009

HOT DEALS — $12.99 Digital Calipers and More…

We checked out the latest flyers from MidwayUSA and Natchez Shooters Supplies and found some great deals. How about $12.99 for a set of digital calipers?

digital calipersDigital Calipers, $12.99
MidwayUSA item 604242

No these are not the finest calipers you can buy, but they work as well as many digital calipers costing thirty bucks or more. This $12.99 price is the lowest we’ve seen on the MidwayUSA electronic calipers in a LONG time. For $12.99, pick up these calipers as a back-up, or for your range kit. Having a spare set of calipers at the range makes it easy to measure targets or check your case growth.

Bell Carlson 10/22 stockBell & Carlson Anschutz-Style Stock for Ruger 10/22
MidwayUSA item 500223, $154.99

We know the Ruger 10/22 is popular in the new Tactical Rimfire game, but the factory stock is less than ideal. Here’s an inexpensive stock that works great both prone (with bipod) and standing. The B&C 10/22 Stock is rigid, cleared for a .920″ barrel, and has a nice, no-slip black finish. We have a similar-shaped stock on our Anschutz Biathlon rifle and it is functions great from bipod, sitting position, or standing. You may want to add spacers to increase length of pull for prone work.

Hornady bullets amaxHornady A-Max Bullets, Natchez
Natchez is listing great prices right now on Hornady A-Max match bullets. The popular 6mm 105gr A-Max is sale priced at $18.28/100, but unfortunately is out of stock. You might ask for a “rain check” on that price. Likewise, Natchez has V-Max bullets at great prices, but most items are showing “out of stock.” Here are some other good deals on available inventory:

– 22 Cal., 80gr A-Max, HO22832, $15.74/100

– 6.5 mm, 140gr A-Max, HO26332, $24.68/100

Hornady bullets amaxNeoprene ScopeCoat, $9.99
Natchez item F01SXSCL50HT

Large ScopeCoat for target scopes (50mm objective). These thickly-padded covers provide superior protection for expensive optics. The quoted item is 12.5″ x 50mm, but smaller sizes are available for the same $9.99 price. ScopeCoats sell elsewhere for up to $20.00. Right now Natchez also has flip-up Butler Creek lens covers for just $5.94 (that’s 20% off).

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January 29th, 2009

Barney Lawton, Action-Builder and Barrel-Maker, Loses Fight with Cancer

The shooting world has lost a noted designer, machinist, barrel-maker, and record-setting shooter. We’re sad to announce that Barney Lawton passed away earlier this week, after a long battle with brain cancer. As Forum member Barry C. wrote to us: “We have lost a great friend and contributor to the shooting world. A fine man is no longer with us. Not only us shooters here in Montana but all over the country will miss Barney.”

Bobby Lawton, Barney’s son, announced on the 27th: “This greatly saddens me, I dont know exactly how I can put this so I will do my best. My father Barney Lawton’s battle with cancer ended tonight. He was born March 26, 1946. He will be greatly missed by all his friends and family. When he was a boy he enjoyed racing his fast cars and working on them when he could. Fast cars was one thing he loved. He was so fascinated with them he quickly became a expert at automotive machining. He was know well for his amazing engines.

One of his other loves in life was guns…. He built his first long range gun in 1987. He used the manual machines at his disposal (he made the action) in his automotive machine shop. This 30-378 Wby was the first long range gun i ever got to shoot and enjoyed it ever so much.

In the early 90’s my farther went on a few hunts out west in Wyoming. He quickly decided that the west was the place he wanted to be. In June 1991 we made our big move. He worked for a local automotive machine shop for a few years untill he decided to start up his own business….

I will tell you one thing it did not take this brilliant man long to figure out what made things things really tick. Some of my fondest memories I have of this guys was our great hunting trips and just down right throwing those projos down range. I hope I haven’t talked too much. I would like everyone to know that he was a great man. I could not have asked for a better father. Thanks for your time…. God Bless. Bobby.”

To read comments from Barney’s close friends and associates, and view some candid photos taken over the years, visit THIS THREAD on the Forum. If you wish to send condolences to the family, you can write to:

Sue Lawton
580 ½ N. Montana St.
Dillon, MT 59725

As a Shooter, Barney Was Among the Best
Barney was more than a master machinist and barrel-maker. Barney was a great long-range shooter as well. In 2007, Barney used a Lawton Action and Lawton barrel (chambered in 6-6.5×47) to set a spectacular 1000-yard Light Gun record. Lawton’s 10-shot group measured 5.185″. All ten shots were in the 10-Ring for a perfect 100 score. Shown below is Barney with his record target.

Barney Lawton World Record 1000 yards

Rest in Peace, Barney. You may be gone, but you’re not fogotten.

Lawton Machine Will Stay in Operation
The operations of Lawton Machine, LLC will continue, despite Barney’s passing. Lawton Machine will still build actions and craft barrels. Over the past few months, during Barney’s battle with cancer, Bud Williams and Bruce Baer have visited the shop in Dillon, Montana to assist and train employees. Bud has announced: “All necessary arrangements are in place, assuring the continuity of Barney’s legacy. Lawton Machine is looking forward, with your patronage, to providing quality equipment and service to the shooting community for many years to come.”

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January 29th, 2009

Olympian Kim Rhode Recovers Medal-Winning Perazzi

Kim RhodeKim Rhode has competed in four Olympic Games for the United States, winning Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in shotgun events. She won those medals with a cherished Perazzi MX12 shotgun, a firearm used by Kim throughout her competitive shooting career. Rhode took her trusty 12-gauge Perazzi to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and became the youngest female gold medalist in the history of Olympic shooting. She won a bronze in double trap at the the 2000 Sydney Games and then won her second gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games. In her 4th Olympic Games, she won a silver medal in skeet shooting in Beijing.

Sadly, Rhode’s gold-medal-winning Perazzi was stolen last September in Lake Elsinore, California, when thieves smashed the window of her truck and grabbed the shotgun which was stored in a locked case.

The theft was highly publicized, and Perazzi generously provided Rhode with a replacement. However, she still missed the trusty MX12 that had carried her to so many victories. She told the media last September: “there’s just no words to describe what the gun means to me…(it’s) a part of me. I’ve traveled all over the world with it.”

Well, there is a happy ending to the story. This week, Rhode was re-united with her Olympic scattergun. On Jan. 27th, Rhode received a call from the Riverside, CA Sheriff’s Department. It turns out that, during a parole inspection at the residence of convicted felon Gergorio Macias, Sheriff’s deputies found the shotgun, still in the original case. The gun itself was undamaged — except for the fact that Macias (or the original thieves) had removed the stickers and decals Rhode had collected over many seasons of international competition.

Rhode was reunited with her Olympic shotgun at a press conference in California this week. She says she plans to use her “old friend” in her quest to compete at the 2012 Olympics in London. According to Jim Shepherd, of the Outdoor Wire, Rhode declared: “I’m planning on getting more stickers… and I plan to include one from London (the next Olympics). This has helped me decide that for the next Olympics, I’m sure going for it.”

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January 28th, 2009

CMP 2009 Sales Catalog — Free Download

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has just released its latest 2009 sales catalog. This includes surplus military rifles (Garand, M1 Carbine, m1903 Springfield), plus .22LR training rifles, and “special-edition” new-production air rifles offered by the CMP.

In addition to rifle sales, the CMP Catalog offers ammo (e.g. 30-06 ammo for Garands), shooting coats, slings, tools, and many other accessories. If you are a classic rifle collector, Service Rifle competitor, or enjoy shooting rimfires and air rifles, you should definitely check out the CMP Catalog. There are some great deals inside. The 2009 CMP Catalog is FREE. If you want a hard copy of the catalog, CLICK HERE to fill in the Mail Request Form. Or, just click the link below to download the CMP 2009 Catalog as an Adobe Acrobat (.PDF) file.

CLICK HERE to Download Complete CMP 2009 Catalog (.pdf file).

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
January 28th, 2009

Bushnell Elite 1500 RangeFinder on Sale

Precision Reloading currently has the Bushnell Elite 1500 Rangefinder on sale for just $309.99. This is a very good price for Bushnell’s top-of-the-line LRF. For comparison, both Cabela’s and Optics Planet are charging $399.99, and is selling the Elite 1500 for $364.99.

busnell elite 1500The Elite 1500 is probably the best of the domestic Laser Rangefinders. It includes two optional modes which really help in special situations. BullsEye mode automatically selects the closest ranged object, when you might otherwise get multiple, conflicting returns. Brush Mode is very handy. It will ignore returns from brush or rocks in the foreground, so you get the true range to your target. Fully waterproof, the Elite 1500 also features Bushnell’s effective Rainguard lens coating.

Overall, the Elite 1500 lacks some of the refinements of the higher-priced Leica, Swarovski, and Zeiss laser rangefinders. The Beam Divergence is worse than a Leica or Swaro. But at $309.99, the Elite 1500 is roughly half the price of the euro-brand competition. An Elite 1500 will probably prove completely serviceable when ranging out to 800 yards or so.

CLICK HERE for our Comprehensive Laser Rangefinder Comparison Guide

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
January 27th, 2009

K&M Tools Moves to Michigan — Ken Markle Retires

K&M Services, maker of such popular products as the K&M Neck Turner, Arbor Press, case mouth reamers, flash hole uniformers, and primer tools, has been sold. Ken Markle, at the age of 71, has decided to retire. The new owner is Roger Miller Jr. of Michigan. Roger is in the process of launching a New K&M website. Hopefully, that will be up and running soon. As far as we know, Roger Miller will continue to offer all the products Ken Markle was producing prior to his retirement. For more information, contact:

K&M Precision Shooting Products
Roger Miller Jr.
6852 Lakeshore Road
West Olive, MI 49460
Telephone: 616-399-7894
E-Mail: |

Most K&M products can still be purchased through Precision Reloading, a full-service vendor with print catalog and online store.

K&M Precision Products Tools

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January 27th, 2009

Obama's Pick for Attorney General is Staunch Opponent of Second Amendment

Eric HolderPresident Obama has chosen Eric Holder to be his new Attorney General (subject to Senate confirmation). Holder is no friend to gun owners, and his selection has caused grave concern among gun advocacy groups.

UPDATE: Senate Committee Approves Holder

The Gun Owners of America (GOA), a 300,000 member-strong gun rights organization, has declared: “With the selection of Eric Holder, President Barack Obama could not have picked a more anti-Second Amendment nominee for U.S. Attorney General.”

According to John Velleco, the director of Federal Affairs for the GOA: “Eric Holder has a long history of anti-Second Amendment activism, going back to the days when he was the go-to guy for gun control in the Clinton administration. Holder’s record includes his support of a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases, handgun rationing of one gun per month, renewing the semi-automatic gun ban, gun owner registration and licensing, and much more.

Gun Owners AmericaPerhaps most egregiously, in 2008, Mr. Holder signed on to a brief before the Supreme Court that argued that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual’s right to own a firearm. This is not the type of person who should be confirmed to a position that carries the responsibility of enforcing most of the gun control laws in this country.”

Today, the Washington Times, in its “Inside Outside” Blog, posed the question: “Should Americans want an Attorney General whose beliefs are so skewed that he thinks the Second Amendment of the Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms, does not apply to law-abiding citizens? All this after the Supreme Court only recently affirmed that basic right.”

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso is one of the few politicians openly opposing Holder’s nomination. In a letter to his constituents, Sen. Barrasso wrote:

“Given Holder’s career of attacks on the Second Amendment, his nomination continues to be of great concern to me. I am not convinced his philosophy on the Second Amendment is acceptable to the people of Wyoming and gun owners across the United States…. Our nation’s highest law enforcement officer must be committed to protecting and defending our individual rights to keep and bear arms. I intend to vote no on the nomination of Eric Holder.”

Senate Considers Holder Appointment Tomorrow
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Holder on Wednesday, January 28. The full Senate will take up the nomination shortly thereafter. It is likely that Holder’s appointment will be confirmed. NBC News noted that “Holder has held three jobs over his career that required U.S. Senate confirmation and he has yet to see a recorded vote against him.”

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January 27th, 2009

NRA National Indoor Championships Underway

The NRA National Indoor Championships is a unique event for both adults and juniors. At different locations throughout the country, multi-discipline smallbore and air rifle regional (aka “sectional”) matches are held. The scores from all the sectionals are collected and compared, and the NRA announces National Champions based on the scores. This is a great way for your local club to have its members involved in a national program. There is still time for clubs to request to sponsor a Sectional in their area.

Indoor Championship Junior Program | Indoor Championship Open Program

NRA Indoor Sectionals

First Matches held in January
The National Indoor Championships commenced on January 1, 2009, with the first sectional tournament being shot January 3. These championships will continue through March for Open Adults and through April for Juniors. Both the Open and the Junior Sectionals are now being conducted throughout the country. Open Sectionals are available for NRA 3-Position, NRA Conventional 4-Position, International Air Rifle, and International Smallbore Rifle. Junior Sectionals are being conducted in NRA 3-Position, NRA 4-Position, International Air Rifle, 3-Position Sporter Air Rifle, and 3-Position Precision Air Rifle.

NRA Postal Matches
The NRA also offers a wide variety of Postal Matches in 2009. A Postal Match is an event in which competitors fire on their home ranges using targets which have been marked for identification. The fired targets are then sent to NRA for scoring and ranking for awards. The NRA conducts various postal matches, many of which are in cooperation with national and fraternal organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, 4-H Clubs, FFA, and JROTC. Like the National Indoor Championships, Postal Matches allow local clubs to participate in a nation-wide program.

CLICK HERE for Postal Match Information.

For more information on the NRA Indoor Championships call Dian Bullock, (703) 267-1482, or email dbullock [at] To learn about the NRA Postal Match program, email postals [at]

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
January 26th, 2009

Sinclair Int'l F-Class Bipod — Impressive Engineering

In mid-2008, Sinclair Int’l released an all-new, super-wide bipod system for F-Class, Tactical, and Varmint shooters. Initially priced at $165.00, the Sinclair F-Class bipod was (then) a steal. The price is now up to $199.95, still a good deal in our opinion. And now you can get the bipod in either a silver (aluminum color) or matte black finish. On a tactical rifle, the low-gloss black looks great.

Sinclair F-Class Bipod

New Wider, More Versatile Design
Sinclair’s previous F-Class bipod was popular but shooters wanted a wider “wheelbase” and the ability to work with 3″-wide forearms. Sinclair’s new unit offers these features and much more. The new bipod is lower, lighter (36 oz.), and easier to mount than the previous model. The new unit attaches via a captured pin system that works fast and can’t get lost. After engaging the pin, two adjusting knobs then clamp the fore-arm onto a felt-lined bracket for a secure fit. The bipod will accommodate up to 3″-wide forearms (and even 3 3/8″ without canting adjustment).

Adjusts for Height and Cant Angle
The new Sinclair bipod features a large rotating lever that allows you to adjust rifle cant angle easily. Vertical height adjusts from 5.5″ to 10.25″, and the leg heights are independently adjustable — an important feature when shooting on uneven ground.

The folks at Sinclair did their homework. This is a completely redesigned system that offers an easily-adjustable, highly stable platform in the field. The unit is well-built, with all the adjustments you want and need. Given the quality of the design and materials, we think it reamains a good value, though the price has gone up since this “second generation” Sinclair F-Class bipod was introduced last year.

Permalink Competition, New Product 1 Comment »
January 25th, 2009

Bear's Big Boomer (.338 Snipe-Tac®) for Hunting

Barry O. (aka “TheBlueEyedBear”) of Montana is a long-term Forum member and “friend of the site”. Barry owns some pretty spectacular rifles, all built with premium components. His latest ‘Pride and Joy’ is a mighty impressive piece of field artillery. This is one serious “big boomer” chambered in the 338 Snipe-Tac® cartridge (based on 408 CheyTac®). The rifle was built by Dave Viers of Black Diamond Rifles ( Viers tell us: “The 338 Snipe-Tac® was developed in 2001 for extreme long-range hunting and target applications. The parent case is the 408 CheyTac® necked down and shoulder improved to 35 degrees. H2O capacity is a whopping 165 grains! For velocity, 140 grains of Hodgdon BMG-50 powder propels a 300gr Sierra MatchKing bullet to a average speed of 3300fps. Accuracy is half-MOA or less.”

.338 Snipe-Tac rifle

Barry successfully took elk with this rifle this season. The .338 Snipe-Tac certainly offers more than enough “knock-down power” for any North Americcan game. Barry explains: “Success must have come from the gun — it could not have been the ‘Nut behind the trigger’. My elk load this season was a Henson 265gr aluminum-tipped bullet pushed by 140+ grains of US-869 powder. Muzzle Velocity was 3496 fps (recorded by my PVM-21). Muzzle Energy approached the ‘Mack Truck’ mark. The bullet impact at 424 yards destroyed the off shoulder of my elk.”

.338 Snipe-Tac rifle

Gun Specifications:
Action: Lawton 8000 Action with Jewell HVRST trigger.
Barrel: 32″ Lawton chrome-moly, 1:11″ barrel with Viersco Muzzle Brake.
Stock: Manners carbon Tactical Stock with custom camo paint by Dave Viers.

.338 Snipe-Tac rifle

For more info, contact David Viers, Viersco Mfg., 58896 – 866 Road, Allen, NE 68710, phone: 402-635-2333 or 712-266-5083 (cell).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 4 Comments »
January 25th, 2009

Shooting USA's Scoutten Talks About Obama, Gun Sales, SHOT Show

Jim Scoutten, host of the popular Shooting USA television show, has recorded a series of video interviews for the Outdoor Channel. During these six segments, Jim talks about trends in the shooting industry, including the current surge in gun sales, particularly for semi-automatic, military-style rifles. Jim talks about the effect of Obama’s election. Jim also offers his predictions as to what we can expect in the months ahead… both from gun manufacturers and from the politicians in Washington. It’s an interesting series of interviews, available via streaming video on the Outdoor Channel Website.

CLICK HERE to watch Jim Scoutten interviews (SIX Segments).

Jim Scoutten Shooting USA host

Permalink - Videos, News 1 Comment »