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August 20th, 2010

Today You’re Finally Working for Yourself (Not the Taxman)

According to, this year the average American toiled from January 1 through August 19, 2010 just to pay the total burden of government taxes, fees, surcharges, and mandatory withholding. In other words, August 19th was the day on which the average American had earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state, and local levels. So enjoy today, August 20th. You finally get to spend the money you earned!

Cost of GovernmentThe latest report by the Center for Fiscal Accountability reveals that “Working people must toil 231 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government — 8 days later than last year and a full 32 days longer than 2008.” Think about that — this year you worked a full month longer for the government than you did two years ago. It sort of like being in a leaky lifeboat and you have to keep bailing faster and faster just to stay afloat. According to the Report, the cost of government now consumes an astonishing 63.41% of national income!

We do question some of the assumptions used for this calculation — after all most wage-earners do keep more than half their income, even after taxes. Nonetheless, there is no question that government spending, at all levels, is rising, and significant new taxes are in the works. To learn more about the tax burden on the average American, you can download the 2010 Cost of Government Day Report. Even if some of the numbers in the report over-state the immediate problem, it is undeniable that government spending is increasing at an alarming rate.

In the interest of balanced reporting, we note that another watchdog organization, the Tax Foundation, has calculated that “Tax Freedom Day” occurred on April 9th, 2010, one day later than in 2009. This would be the day when Americans have collectively earned enough money to pay this year’s tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels. Why the big difference in the Tax Freedom dates (April vs. August)? Well the Tax Foundation looks at actual tax revenues collected, while the Center for Fiscal Accountability calculates tax burden based on total government spending and obligations. Since the federal government (and many states) are engaged in massive deficit spending, the spending-based tax burden is actually much larger than current tax collections.

The Tax Foundation explains: “Tax Freedom Day does not count the [federal] deficit even though deficits must eventually be financed. Since 1948, when Tax Freedom Day was first calculated, the difference between what governments are spending and what they’re collecting has never been as great as during 2009 and 2010. If Americans were required to pay for all government spending this year, including the $1.3 trillion federal budget deficit, they would be working until May 17 before they had earned enough to pay their taxes — an additional 38 days of work.” If you add in debt service, local taxes, and other factors you can push the Tax Freedom date out even further — this explains, in part, how the Center for Fiscal Responsibility came up with August 19th.

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August 20th, 2010

New, Affordable V-Stix Coated Cleaning Rods at

Bore-Tech has released a new line of coated cleaning rods. Bore-Tech’s new V-STIX cleaning rods feature a free-floating ball-bearing handle, a durable, long-lasting shaft coating, and steel cores that resist bending and bowing. Priced at about $28.00 each, the rods are affordable, and we like the handle shape, and the fact that the handles are different colors for different calibers. Right now carries V-STIX rods in multiple lengths, and three rifle bore sizes: 17-20 caliber, 22-26 caliber, and 27-50 Caliber. For a long-barreled 6mm bolt gun, we recommend the 40″ or 44″ V-STIX. These V-STIX are $3-4 cheaper less than Dewey rods, and the V-STIX are way less expensive than Pro Shot rods.

Bore-Tech Vstix cleaning rods

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August 20th, 2010

17-Year-Old Whips Pros at Steel Challenge & Jessie Abbate Wins

Steel Challenge 2010The Steel Challenge, one of the world’s premier speed-shooting events, kicked off yesterday in Piru, CA, just down the road from’s home base. Thursday saw shooters compete in the rimfire division. The star of the day was young Ryan Leonard of Oregon City, OR. This 17-year-old pistol prodigy proved that youthful enthusiasm (and quick reflexes) CAN beat age and experience. Ryan outgunned all the big-name pros, including Glock’s Dave Sevigny, Blackhawk’s Todd Jarrett, and Smith &Wesson’s B.J. Norris.

Leonard posted the fastest score on three of the eight stages — 5 To Go, Smoke & Hope and Outer Limits — to finish in a final time of 69.76 seconds. Next fastest man was Dave Sevigny, 1.45 seconds behind. It was a brilliant showing by the 17-year-old Leonard, who claimed the Open Rimfire Championship. Congrats to the Oregon teen — we expect we’ll here more from the young shooter in the years ahead.

Steel Challenge 2010Finishing 5th overall, and winning the women’s open rimfire division was Jessie Abbate, now with Team Smith & Wesson. The popular shooter from Georgia was the fastest lady on seven of the eight stages in the match. Abbate’s final time of 76.90 seconds outpaced her Team S&W team-mate Kay Miculek by 11.60 seconds. In the Ladies’ iron-sight Rimfire event, the winner was Team S&W co-captain Julie Golob.

The Rimfire event is the first leg of the three-event contest that decides the Steel Master winner. The second is the iron sight centerfire pistol event shot in either the Limited or Production division. And the third is the Open pistol contest, the main event of the World Speed Shooting Championships.

Abbate is the defending Ladies’ Steel Master Champion and is a favorite to win the title again in 2010. For more info visit

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August 20th, 2010

Team Savage Does Well in Can-Am Fullbore Matches

Savage’s Fullbore (Palma) rifle team performed well in recent competitions. The four-man team (Darrell Buell of Damascus, OR, John Weil of Welches, OR, Monte Milanuk of Wenatchee WA, and Stan Pate of Milwaukie, OR) wrapped up the season with two internationally-sanctioned matches. The first was the Canadian International Fullbore Championships in Chilliwack, B.C. and and the second was the Pacific International Fullbore Championships held just outside of Portland, OR. At both matches, elite shooters from around the world competed at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards. The two matches combined constitute a “Super Aggregate”, or Continental Title.

Team Savage Fullbore
Team members (L to R): John Weil, Darrell Buell, Monte Milanuk and Stan Pate. (File Photo 2009).

Team Savage loaded up on the hardware at both matches, winning multiple medals at the various distances. Savage’s four shooters captured the team gold at the Canadian match and Gold and Silver in the individual Super Aggregate.

Savage Palma Rifle

At the Pacific Int’l match in Oregon, local knowledge helped Team Savage rack up the medals. This competition was held on Weil and Pate’s home range at the Douglass Ridge Rifle Club. With John Weil leading the way, Team Savage put on a clinic: Weil won all seven gold medals available, while teammate Pate won six silvers. Milanuk added three bronzes. Weil also shot an impressive 148-4X at 1000 yards. In the video below, Team Captain Stan Pate demonstrates the accuracy of the Savage Palma (Fullbore) rifle, nailing a steel target at 1169 yards.

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