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March 31st, 2010

New Savage Edge “Entry-Level Rifle” — $329 Deer-Slayer

Savage Arms has released a new line of Savage EDGE centerfire rifles. This new platform was built from the ground up as an affordable entry-level rifle. The EDGE features a new modern look, and while it shares key features with its older brother the Model 110, it has a different receiver design.

Though the basic model has a low, $329.00 MSRP, the EDGE includes some nice features: detachable box magazine, pillar bedding, and 2-position safety. For $379.00, you can get the EDGE XP, which includes a 3-9×40 scope (mounted and bore-sighted). Factory camo versions are also offered in both basic and XP configurations.

The EDGE action is apparently long enough to handle both short and long cartridges. This “one size fits all” approach has been used on some recent European rifles as well. We were pleased to see that Savage is offering a wide variety of chamberings: 223 Rem, 22-250, 243 Win, 25-06, 270 Win, 7mm-08, 308 Win, 30-06 Springfield.

An Affordable Gun for a Tough Economy
The EDGE was conceived in January of 2009. At the time, Savage observed heavy activity at the entry level pricepoint from consumers as well as manufacturers. The poor economy created more interest in pricepoint hunting guns and key manufacturers were cutting already low prices even lower.

“We wanted to not only maintain our market share, but to grow it,” Savage VP of Sales & Marketing Brian Herrick said. “We felt the only way to accomplish this was to develop a new rifle designed for this segment, rather than discount current models. We wanted a rifle that not only had a lower price, but one that had better features and was more aesthetically appealing than what was out there at the time.”

Permalink New Product 13 Comments »
March 30th, 2010

F-Class Nationals — Complete Scores/Standings Now Available

We just got the complete F-Class Nationals match results from Jim O’Connell of the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center. Jim provided two (2) MS-Word documents, one for F-Open and the other for F-TR. Jim added: “Thanks to the California Grizzlies (target pullers) for all their work and helping to make the Saturday and Sunday shoots more enjoyable. Thank you all for your support of the Folsom Shooting Club and we hope to see you at future matches.”

DOWNLOAD 2010 Nationals F-Open Scores
DOWNLOAD 2010 Nationals F-TR Scores

Charles Ballard

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
March 30th, 2010

30th Annual Hickory Groundhog Shoot this Saturday, April 3rd

The Hickory Groundhog Shoot, the nation’s most popular groundhog shooting competition, will be held Saturday, April 3rd in Vale, North Carolina. Now in its 30th 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.

You can compete individually or as part of 3-man teams. The entry fee is $25 per gun, plus (optional) $10 per team. There will also be a 500-yard Egg Shoot with a $2.00 entry fee.

Custom or Factory Classes — Simple Rules — Valuable Prizes
There are two classes, custom and factory, and the rules are pretty basic. You can run pretty much anything but a rail gun in custom class, and you can use any kind of front rest (including one-piece rests). A “factory” gun must be “bone stock” as purchased and you are limited to bipod, sandbags, or basic pedestal style front rest. The only modifications allowed for factory class are: 1) bedding job; and 2) trigger tuning (without replacement parts). Competitors may enter one gun in each class, but the fee is $25.00 per gun.

This year, ALL targets will be at known distances: 100, 300, and 500 yards. That should be a cake walk for you 1000-yard shooters. 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 (below), which has won the Hickory Shoot multiple times.

Hickory Shoot gun

The range will be open for practice Monday through Friday the week preceding the match. The practice range is open ’til 6:00 pm Tu-Thurs, but will close at 1:00 pm on Friday. The match will start 8 o’clock sharp Saturday morning, April 3rd. If you have any questions call Larry Willis, Bulls Eye Sporting Goods, (704) 462-1948, or visit To find the actual range using online maps or your GPS, use this address: 8216 Will Hudson Road, Lawndale, NC 28090.

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
March 30th, 2010

Does Increase in Lawful Concealed Carry Explain Drop in Crime?

John Lott gun bookA decade ago, Prof. John Lott wrote More Guns, Less Crime, a ground-breaking book that used advanced statistical analysis to prove that gun ownership by law-abiding citizens can reduce violent crime rates. Lott was initially assailed by the mainstream media, who refused to believe Lott’s numbers.

Now, it appears that the national media is grudgingly accepting that the increase in concealed weapon permits in many states has been associated with reductions in violent crime and in particular a notable decline in murder rates., a website known generally for its liberal-leaning news reports, recently ran an article on citizen gun carry that reveals that crime has dropped significantly in “shall-issue” states where concealed weapons permits are available to law-abiding citizens. states that it is too simplistic to credit gun-toting citizens for the reduction in crime (which may have had other causes), but the statistics are noteworthy. reports: “From its beginnings in the 1980s, the ‘right-to-carry’ movement has succeeded in boosting the number of licensed concealed-gun carriers from fewer than 1 million to a record 6 million today, according to estimates from gun-rights groups that are supported by’s research.”

gun crime statistics

Disagreement Persists as to Causes for Reduced Crime Rates
While explains that the connection between lawful gun ownership and crime rates is “hotly debated” and not completely understood, does acknowledge that crime rates have fallen virtually everywhere that “right to carry” laws were adopted. quotes John Pierce of “Firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens prevent 1 million robberies, murders and rapes every year.” On the other hand, cites a Harvard professor, Dr. David Hemenway, who claims that the available research is inconclusive and that “when it comes to concealed-carry laws, neither side can make a legitimate claim about their effects on crime”.

It is worth reading the article, which includes a video on firearms training for CCW-holders in Washington state.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
March 29th, 2010

Conversation with 2010 F-Open Champ, Derek Rodgers

2010 F-Open Class Champion Derek Rodgers, a young shooter from Albuquerque, New Mexico, proved that youth and skill can triumph over age and experience. Though Derek had placed third in F-TR class at the 2009 Nationals, this was Derek’s very first year competing in Open Class at the Nationals, and his NRA Classification was “Sharpshooter”. Derek’s win was a great victory for an unheralded newcomer. On the last day of the competition, Derek put together three superb 1000-yard matches, out-shooting High Masters and past National Champions to secure the Open Class title. Derek finished with 1330-57X, five points ahead of runner-up Ken Dickerman (1325-57X).

F-Class Open Champion

Ironically, Derek only decided to shoot in Open Class only because his favorite F-TR rifle is currently being upgraded by his gunsmith, and so the rifle wasn’t ready for the Nationals. (We suspect some F-Open competitors wish that gunsmith had finished Derek’s F-TR rifle a bit sooner).

YouTube Preview Image

Derek brought a 300 WSM to the Nationals, a “big boomer” by F-Class standards. A fan of “heavy bullets”, Derek loads his 300 WSM with high-BC, 210gr JLK bullets. In Derek’s home state of New Mexico, strong winds are the norm. Shooting in those conditions has shown Derek the effectiveness of heavy 30-caliber bullets at long range. Derek’s load certainly shot well in the windy conditions during the final 1000-yard match on Sunday. While some of Derek’s success can be attributed to his wind-bucking WSM (built by Score High Gunsmithing in New Mexico), he also is a careful reloader who “goes the whole nine yards” to produce the best possible ammo. Derek anneals, weight-sorts and neck-turns his Remington brass. He weight-sorts and ogive-sorts his 210gr JLK bullets, and he points up the tips for uniformity. He spared no effort in loading for the Nationals because he knew “those other guys are really, really good.”

The Sierra Cup (at left) is presented each year to the U.S. F-Open Class National Champion. This year Derek Rodgers’ name will be placed on the trophy alongside other F-Open Champions including John Brewer (2004), Jeff Cochran (2005), Eric Bair (2006), Robert Bock (2007), and Charles Ballard (2008, 2009).

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Reloading 2 Comments »
March 29th, 2010

2010 F-Class Nationals: Rodgers Wins F-Open, Buxton Wins F-TR

The 2010 U.S. F-Class Nationals concluded yesterday. It was a big success, drawing nearly 120 individual competitors and 18 teams. Young Derek Rodgers (Sharpshooter Class, 1330-57X) from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the new Open Class Champion, and Californian Lane Buxton (1302-42X) won the F-TR division using a .308 Win Palma Rifle with Sierra #2156 bullets. Forum member Ken Dickerman finished second in F-Open posting a 1325-57X. Past multi-time F-TR Champ Danny Biggs shot F-Open this year, finishing third with a 1324-67X. While we are still waiting to receive ALL the final official results, it appears Danny set the high X-count for the match, while shooting with a Sinclair bipod equipped with a vertical adjustment knob. (The Open-class guns work amazingly well off the wide-base bipods.) Charles Ballard, the reigning (back to back) F-Open champ, finished seventh in F-Open.

New F-Open Champ Derek Rodgers was shooting a 300 WSM with 210-grain bullets. This heavy bullet/short magnum combo performed well in the windy afternoon conditions during Sunday’s afternoon matches. Most of the other top F-Open competitors were shooting a .284 Win or some other 7mm. Charles Ballard told us told us: “with so many guys shooting 7mms this year, the competition is tougher than ever. If I had a caliber advantage before… that’s gone. With the winds we had in the afternoons, I’m not surprised Derek Rogers did well with his 300 WSM and the heavy bullets. I want to congratulate Derek on his well-deserved win.”

The team event was hotly contested, with 18 teams on the line, most of which were in F-TR Class. In Open Class, the North American Shooters Team, coached by Bryan Litz won the Berger Trophy for the 600 + 1000-yard combined Aggregate, as well as the 1000-yard Team Match. The Sierra Spindle Shooters team took first place in the 600-yard Team Match. In F-TR Team shooting, Savage Shooters pulled off a clean sweep, winning the 600-yard match, the 1000-yard match, AND the Team Aggregate. Congrats to Savage Shooters!

NAS Team shooters (left to right): David Mann, Dean Morris, Bryan Litz (coach), Rick Jenson, Larry Tait.

F-Open Class Results
Winner: Derek Rodgers (Sharpshooter) – 1330-57X Nat’l Champion
Second: Ken Dickerman (High Master) – 1325-57X
Third: Danny Biggs – 1324-67X – High X Count?
Fourth: Jeff Cochran – 1324-28X
Fifth: Jeff Traylor – 1323-51X
High Woman: Brenda Hill – 1302-31X
High Senior: Larry Bartholome – 1321-51X
High Grand Senior: Danny Biggs – 1324-67X

F-TR Class Results
Winner: Lane Buxton – 1302-42X – National Champion
Second: Robert Lach – 1297-36X
Third: John Hayhurst – 1293-37X
Fourth: Jeffery Rorer – 1293-28X
High Senior: Robert Lach – 1297-36X
High Grand Senior: Peter Church – 1279-31X

Complete Results for Download
Check the attachments for all the scores. FCNAT2010OPEN.doc has all the F Open scores and FCNAT2010TR.doc has all the F-TR scores.

Download All F-Open Scores/Standings | Download All F-TR Scores/Standings

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Reloading 3 Comments »
March 28th, 2010

Safety Tip: When Using Coated Bullets, Adjust Loads with Caution

Moly Danzac bullets

Coating bullets with a friction-reducing compound such as Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly) offers potential benefits, including reduced barrel heat, and being able to shoot longer strings of fire between bore cleanings. One of the effects of reduced friction can be the lessening of internal barrel pressures. This, in turn, means that coated bullets may run slower than naked bullets (with charges held equal). To restore velocities, shooters running coated bullets are inclined to “bump up” the load — but you need to be cautious.

Be Careful When Increasing Loads for Coated Bullets
We caution shooters that when your start out with coated bullets in a “fresh barrel” you should NOT immediately raise the charge weight. It may take a couple dozen coated rounds before the anti-friction coating is distributed through the bore, and you really start to see the reduced pressures. Some guys will automatically add a grain or so to recommended “naked” bullet charge weights when they shoot coated bullets. That’s a risky undertaking.

Instead we recommend that you use “naked” bullet loads for the first dozen coated rounds through a new barrel. Use a chronograph and monitor velocities. It may take up to 30 rounds before you see a reduction in velocity of 30-50 fps that indicates that your anti-friction coating is fully effective.

We have a friend who was recently testing moly-coated 6mm bullets in a 6-6.5×47. Moly had not been used in the barrel before. Our friend had added a grain to his “naked” bullet load, thinking that would compensate for the predicted lower pressures. What he found instead was that his loads were WAY too hot initially. It took 30+ moly-coated rounds through the bore before he saw his velocities drop — a sign that the pressure had lowered due to the moly. For the rounds fired before that point his pressures were too high, and he ended up tossing some expensive Lapua brass into the trash because the primer pockets had expanded excessively.

LESSON: Start low, even with coated bullets. Don’t increase your charge weights (over naked bullet loads) until you have clear evidence of lower pressure and reduced velocity.

Procedure After Barrel Cleaning
If you shoot Moly, and clean the barrel aggressively after a match, you may want to shoot a dozen coated “foulers” before starting your record string. Robert Whitley, who has used Moly in some of his rifles, tells us he liked to have 10-15 coated rounds through the bore before commencing record fire. In a “squeaky-clean” bore, you won’t get the full “benefits” of moly immediately.

To learn more about the properties of dry lubricants for bullets, read our Guide to Coating Bullets. This covers the three most popular bullet coatings: Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly), Tungsten Disulfide (WS2 or ‘Danzac’), and Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN). The article discusses the pros and cons of the different bullet coatings and offers step-by-step, illustrated instructions on how to coat your bullets using a tumbler.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
March 27th, 2010

GOA Secures Gun Owner Privacy in Health Care Legislation

No matter how you feel about the new Health Care Reform Act, there is at least ONE aspect of the legislation that should please you, thanks to the Gun Owners of America (GOA). Here’s the deal — at the insistent request of the GOA, a special provision was added to the health care reform bill that expressly FORBIDs any “wellness program” (public or private) from collecting (or distributing) any information about gun ownership. Why is this important? If such information was collected, health care providers could pass on the information to insurers who might then charge gun-owners higher rates based on perceived “unhealthy lifestyles” or higher risk factors.

Guns Owners of America

In addition to the ban on information collection, the GOA, through the efforts of Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, added a second critical protection to the new legislation. According to the Slate Blog, the GOA “won another provision forbidding private insurers participating in the bill’s exchanges from charging higher premiums, or denying coverage, or denying wellness discounts on the basis of gun ownership.” The “exchanges” mean the state-level insurance pools from which citizens may purchase health insurance if they are not currently covered.

Will this make a difference? You bet. One web reader, commenting on the Slate story, explained: “I’ve worked as a consultant to insurance companies and I can promise you they [the insurance companies] will not only use that data to charge you and your family more for insurance (dangerous activities), but then also pool their data and sell their data to any company or government agency that has the cash to pay the price. Is that what you wanted from health care?”

Obviously there are many other controversial issues associated with the new Health Care Reform Act. However, thanks to the GOA and Nevada Senator Harry Reid, at least firearm owners can take some comfort that health care providers and insurers will NOT be asking questions about our guns, and using the answers to raise our rates… or worse.

Permalink - Articles, News 3 Comments »
March 27th, 2010

New 8-Piece Case Prep Tool Set from Lyman

Case Prep Lyman toolsLyman Products has introduced a new Universal Case Prep Tool Set that contains all the tools need for chamfering case-necks and uniforming primer pockets on all common sizes of brass. The new Tool Set features eight (8) separate tools, all with ergonomic handles with rubber inserts. A handy zippered case with elastic straps allows you to keep the tools organized on your loading bench. The Tool Set, Lyman product #7810212, includes large and small primer pocket reamers, large and small primer pocket cleaners, outside deburring tool, inside (VLD) chamfer tool, and large and small primer pocket uniformer tools.

MSRP for the Universal Case Prep Tool Set is $69.95, but we expect the Set to sell for about $55.00 retail. Currently, Midsouth Shooters Supply has the 8-piece Case Prep Tool Set in stock for $51.30 (Midsouth item 015-7810212).

Case Prep Lyman tools

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading No Comments »
March 26th, 2010

Marlin to Shut Down Connecticut Plant and Lay Off 265 Workers

Marlin Firearms LogoMarlin Firearms, now owned by Remington Arms (part of Cerberus Capital Management’s Freedom Group), is going to shut down its North Haven, Connecticut manufacturing facility. This marks the end of a legendary period of gun-making in New England. Marlin has produced firearms in Connecticut since 1870, when the company was founded by John M. Marlin.

A Marlin spokesman indicated that the plant will be closed by June, 2011, and all 265 employees will be terminated via phased lay-offs starting in May, 2010. The Marlin plant closure, announced late Thursday (March 24th), came as a surprise to both Marlin employees and North Haven community leaders. Marlin plant workers reported being “blindsided”. One worker told WTNH Channel 8 that: “We never saw this coming… we were told to attend a mandatory meeting at 3:30… And then boom [that was it].” Remington has not yet issued an official statement about the factory closure, but one insider speculated that the plant was closed to “avoid union wage pressure driving retail cost upward and making the product less competitive in the modern firearms market.”

Marlin is currently head-quartered in Madison, North Carolina. There is no indication that the production of Marlin rifles will be halted — production will likely be shifted to Freedom Group factories in other states. The Shooting Wire reports that: “According to Remington Arms sources, the facility is being decommissioned and the manufacturing relocated to Remington’s Ilion, New York facilities; the Marlin lines are not moving offshore.” The production relocation will apply to Marlin products, and, presumably, to the other brands made by Marlin: Harrington & Richardson, New England Firearms, and L.C. Smith.

Marlin’s founder, John M. Marlin, learned his trade during the Civil war, working at the Colt plant in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1870, according to Marlin’s website, Marlin “hung out his sign on State Street in New Haven, manufacturing his own line of revolvers and derringers.” The Marlin enterprise was purchased by Frank Kenna in 1924, and the Kenna family maintained ownership until Remington acquired Marlin in 2008.

Click Arrow Lower Left to Play Report from WTNH-TV Channel 8 in New Haven:

Permalink - Videos, News 19 Comments »
March 26th, 2010

Michel Wins Fifth IPSC Double Tap Championship

Max Michel Team SigTeam SIG shooter Max Michel won the IPSC Double Tap Championship for a fifth time this past week in Wichita Falls, Texas. This 6th Annual Double Tap Championship drew nearly 350 contestants, making it the second largest IPSC match of the year. A dominant force in IPSC competition, Max previously won the Double Tap in 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005. (In 2009 Max had a scheduling conflict with the US Steel National Championship.)

“Winning the Double Tap Championship this year after missing the 2009 match is great,” Max declared. “The competition is first-class and this event draws the best in talent, as proven by the large number of competitors this year.” To see “top gun” Max Michel in action, watch the video below. Max demonstrates his speed shooting techniques and provides valuable tips on shooting fundamentals: Gun Grip and Shooting Stance.

YouTube Preview Image

Max Michel — From the USAMU to Team SIG — 10 years of Excellence
Max Michel first gained prominence in the competitive shooting arena with five USPSA® National Championships beginning in 2004 and three World Speed Shooting Championships in 2005, 2007 and 2009. As a representative of the United States, Max has competed in the last three International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) World Shoots, returning home with team gold medals. Max was a top recruit for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) from 1999 to 2009 and served as the military Coach of the Action Pistol Team. Max Michel is currently the SIG SAUER Manager of Competitive Shooting Activities. Max will be competing this weekend, March 24-29 at the US Steel National Championship in Titusville, Florida. To follow Max Michel and Team SIG, visit the Sig Sauer Website, or log on to

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills No Comments »
March 26th, 2010

Arizona 2010 Outdoor Expo At Ben Avery This Weekend

This weekend, March 27-28, the Arizona Game and Fish Department hosts its Outdoor Expo 2010 at the largest public shooting complex in the nation — the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, located just west of Interstate 17 on Carefree Highway. At the Expo, you can try out many different shooting disciplines. Plus there will be archery classes, mounted (horseback) shooting demos, wildlife info sessions, and many other outdoor activities. This is a very popular event — the 2009 Expo drew over 35,000 visitors. Both Admission and parking are FREE.

Ben Avery Outdoor Expo

Outdoor Expo visitors will be able to test the latest firearms from companies like Glock, Smith & Wesson, and Ruger. Visitors can also try a variety of specialty shooting disciplines, such as cowboy action shooting, black powder, tactical pistol, and silhouette shooting.

Ben Avery Outdoor ExpoBen Avery Outdoor Expo

Gatling Gun Ben AveryShotgun fans can shoot skeet, trap or sporting clays at Ben Avery’s enhanced Clay Target Center. Kids can shoot .22s and air guns while learning more about firearm safety. Guests (of all ages) can take an archery class or try out “3D Archery” on a walking course through the desert. There will be many exciting demonstrations at the 2009 Outdoor Expo. Visitors can witness a Dillon Aero mini-gun demonstration or even shoot a vintage Gatling Gun.

For more information, visit the Outdoor Expo website,, or CLICK HERE to view the 2010 Outdoor Expo promo video.

Permalink News, Shooting Skills No Comments »