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September 30th, 2010

Wilson Combat Publishes New Gun Blog

Earlier this month Wilson Combat launched its new gun blog, which is worth a visit. Though focused primarily on handguns, the Wilson Combat Blog also features tactical rifles and shotguns. While there are match reports and gun maintenance articles, the Wilson Blog is mainly a showcase for products, which are illustrated with really superb photography (some of the best “gun glamour” images on the web). Here are some examples of the “eye candy” Wilson combat offers on its site…

Case Colored 1911 for Trey of Jackson Armory in Texas
Trey calls this unique, Case-Colored custom the “Patriot Elite”. The slide is hand polished and then sent to Doug Turnbull for his exceptional bluing and color case hardened finish on the frame. The frontstrap was left bare to show off case colors.

Case Colored Wilson 1911

Custom Professional with Flush-Crowned Barrel
Another interesting gun is this 4″ Commander-style 1911 K-5 with beautiful, fan-pattern Cocobolo grips. Notice that the muzzle is flush crowned. A new option for Wilson, the flush crown is made possible by the use of a flat wire, Glock-style recoil spring. This new feature is only available for compact/professional length slides at this time.

Wilson 1911 Commander

Wilson Arms AR Trigger — Long-Term Test
The Wilson Arms Blog also links to a Military Times long-term test of the Wilson Tactical Trigger Unit (TTU) for AR-type lowers. The Times tested the TTU over six months with 10,000 drops of the hammer. Click Here to read the full review, published on Sept. 29, 2010.

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
September 30th, 2010

.243 Win Brass Comparison Test — Surprising Results

A while back, Forum member Andy (aka GrayMist) did an interesting test, with five (5) different types of .243 Winchester Brass. He collected Federal, Lapua, Remington, and two different lots of Winchester-brand brass. Then he selected ten (10) cases at random from each brand and measured their weights. To ascertain case capacity, three (3) cases from each brand/lot that were closest to the average weight for that brand/lot were selected. The results were surprising: there was less than one (1) grain capacity difference between all the cases, even with a 14.7 grain maximum difference in case weight!

Measuring Procedures
The cases were sized in a Redding body die then primed with a spent primer. All were weighed before and after filling them with distilled water. The capacity shown is an average of all three (3) cases from that lot and represents grains of water. Note, I tested two lots of Winchester brass. Lot A was purchased in 1999. Lot B was from factory .243 ammo. There is a rather large disparity in case weight between the two lots.

Brand Federal Lapua Remington Winchester A Winchester B
Capacity 53.9 54.4 53.7 54.8 54.8
Aver. Weight 173.28 173.13 165.34 158.58 166.44
SD¹ 0.46 0.39 0.17 0.58 0.42
Range² 1.70 1.10 0.40 1.80 1.40
% of Avg.³ 0.98% 0.64% 0.24% 1.14% 0.84%

1) Standard Deviation in grains.
2) Range is the difference in weight between the heaviest and lightest cases in the test.
3) Case range weight divided by the average weight.

.243 WinchesterWhat the Numbers Mean
… And Some Speculations

Andy observes: “It certainly seems there is a huge difference in case weight between Winchester lot A and any other brand of 243 tested. What is also surprising is that there was less than one (1) grain capacity difference between all the cases, even with a 14.7 grain difference in case weight!

Should one be wary of trying the same loads that were initially tested in the light weight Winchester brass even though the capacity difference is small? I have had some interesting results with one brand brass that I cannot pass on yet, except to say I sent that company a sample of the lot I have been using. The Remington brass weight range was very low. These were taken from a box of once-fired factory ammo. I will have to acquire some more and measure it.”

Results of Larger Lapua Sample
In a previous session Andy weighed all 100 Lapua cases he had on hand. His measurements showed a total variation of 2.1 grains, with the weight range being 172.5 to 174.6 grains. That is a 1.2 percent spread. The most that came in at the same weight were 11 cases at 173.5 grains.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
September 29th, 2010

SGT Daniel Horner Wins Ozark 3-Gun Championship

by Kerrin Brinkman, NRA BLOG

Just a few days after his win at the 3-Gun Nation Championship (earning him a $25,000 prize), SGT Dan Horner of the USAMU won another 3-Gun event, the Adams Arms Ozark 3-Gun Championship in Missouri. There was plenty of excitement at the final shoot-off on Sunday afternoon. Eight top shooters competed in the shoot-off, with a $5,000 check on the line.

The first two competitors to face-off were famed 3-gunner Taran Bulter and SGT Dan Horner, still fresh off his big win at the 3-Gun Nation Championship. Known for his speed, Horner had the advantage out of the gate and knocked Butler out of the running.

The next pairing was seasoned shooter Kurt Miller and newcomer Bryan Ray. While Miller has been a strong presence in the world of iron sights for years, Ray recently broke onto the scene, capturing first place in the Heavy Metal class for his first win at a national-level competition. In the end, Ray was able to beat Miller after an incredible run and advanced to the semi-finals.

Up next were Clint Upchurch and Rob Romero of the Noveske Shooting Team, where Romero's blazing speed earned him a win into the semifinals. The final pairing was Surefire's Barry Dueck versus Chris Sechiatano, with Sechiatano edging out Dueck to secure a spot in the next bracket.

Horner and Ray were next to the line in a nail-biting run. The pairing of Horner, perhaps the fastest shooter the sport of 3-gun has ever seen, against Ray, a hard-charger who seemingly rose to the leaderboard out of no where, was exciting to say the least. Although Ray had an incredible run, Horner’s speed and accuracy gave the young Staff Sergeant the upper-hand. The finals came down to Horner and Romero. Despite his best efforts, Romero couldn’t match Horner’s speed. SGT Horner walked away with another 3-Gun win under his belt and a check for $5,000 in his hand.

Permalink Competition 1 Comment »
September 28th, 2010

Another Amazing Video from

Werner Mehl, the engineering genius behind Kurzzeitmesstechnik (Kurzzeit), a German technology company, has come up with another spectacular ultra-slow-motion video. Werner has developed some of the most advanced video equipment in the world, allowing him to film bullets in flight with frame rates up to 1,000,000 frames per second. That’s not a misprint — some of the Kurzzeit video cameras can record at ONE MILLION frames per second, though typical Kurzzeit “high-speed” videos might be shot at 200,000 or 250,000 frames per second.

YouTube Preview Image

This 10-minute video was specially prepared by Werner for the 2009 SHOT Show. A masterpiece of high-speed movie-making, Werner’s video displays an amazing array of projectiles and targets. You can see bullets hitting armored and non-armored targets, bullets ripping through ballistic gelatin, bullets shattering glass, and even shotgun pellets striking rifle bullets in mid-air. Look for the effect of hollow points as they pass through the ballistic gelatin, and at the 4:26 mark you can see an airgun pellet slice though a paper target.

PVM-21 chronographHigh-Tech Equipment from Kurzzeit
In addition to producing high-speed video equipment, Kurzzeit builds the PVM-21, one of the most advanced consumer chronographs on the market. The “all-infrared, all the time” PVM-21 works in any lighting conditions, including total darkness. It employs two banks of infrared sensors (front and back — the black boxes in right photo). These are aligned vertically and placed 8″ apart (left to right.) That gives you a huge 4.5″ x 8″ sensor area to register shots. We’ve worked with some other chronographs where the practical “sweet spot” for reliable results was just 2″ x 2″, when using an air rifle. The PVM-21’s large sensor area makes it easy to align your rifle, and you don’t get errors if your shot is just a little off-center.

The PVM-21 can hook up directly to a lap-top computer. That way you can record all your shot velocity data directly into a spreadsheet. The PVM 21’s large sensor area and software interface make the PVM one of this Editor’s favorite chronos, along with the classic Oehler model 35P. In the USA, the Kurzzeit PVM-21 is sold by The $749.95 price includes sensor unit (with infrared), processing/display unit, infrared remote control, and software. It’s an impressive package — we just wish Werner would upgrade the display unit to include a rechargeable 12V DC battery. Right now you need to use an inline 120V AC to 12V DC transformer, or carry a separate 12V battery. I personally prefer to use a 3.5″x1.5″ rechargeable 12V battery rather than a 120v transformer and extension cords.

PVM-21 chronograph

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review 18 Comments »
September 27th, 2010

Danny Biggs Wins SOA F-Open Class Shooting from Bipod

Danny Biggs Sinclair Int'l BipodWe’ve confirmed that Danny Biggs, the Spirit of America’s F-Open Class Winner, shot the match using a bipod, rather than a pedestal rest. This is pretty remarkable because top F-Open competitors have traditionally preferred the stability and quick adjustability you get with a deluxe pedestal rest such as a Farley, John Loh (J.J. Industries), or SEB. Of course, Danny had a trick up his sleeve — his prototype Sinclair International bipod features a quick-adjusting elevation control. No, you can’t buy a bipod like Danny’s — at least not yet. Sinclair Int’l hopes to offer production versions before the end of 2010.

Sinclair staffer Pete Petros competed at the 2010 SOA Match, and recounted his experiences in Sinclair’s Reloading Press. Concerning Biggs’ bipod, Petros wrote:

An interesting fact about Biggs’ win is that he was shooting off of the Sinclair F-Class Bipod which is generally used in F-TR competition. In F-Class open most competitors shoot off of a bench-type rest modified to shoot off of the ground in the prone position. The bipod Biggs [used] is a new-model Sinclair Elevation-Adjustable version of the newer Sinclair F-Class Bipod. Danny has been testing this product for us during the past year and obviously is having great results. We should have these bipods ready for production in a few months. Keep posted to our website for announcements. But trust me, I think Danny would shoot well balancing his gun on a rock –- he’s that good!

Danny Biggs Sinclair Int'l BipodWhile most F-Open shooters used a front pedestal rest, either a joystick design or a center column pedestal with remote-adjustable windage top, Danny used a wide-base bipod, as he had done at past Nationals in the F-TR class. But Danny’s bipod was very special. It is a prototype, modified Sinclair design with height adjustment via a central, vertical-axis knob.

As you can see from the pictures below, the left and right bipod legs are attached to a T-shaped silver (aluminum) bracket. This bracket moves up and down as the silver knob is turned clockwise or counter-clockwise. As the knob turns, its threads pull the T-shaped bracket up and down relative to a center block of aluminum bolted to the bipod’s attachment to the rifle’s forearm accessory rail. With this system, Danny can easily reach forward and make precise adjustments in elevation. Note that the Sinclair bipod’s secure rail attachment is retained and Danny can still adjust rifle cant (tilt), using the rear push-button handle. This rear handle functions like a Pod-lock allowing the rifle to be tilted a few degrees to one side or the other to compensate for side-sloping terrain.

Danny Biggs Sinclair Int'l Bipod

Danny Biggs Sinclair Int'l Bipod

Permalink Competition, New Product 2 Comments »
September 27th, 2010

Salt-Bath Nitriding for Barrels — Whidden is Impressed

Many shooters expend considerable time and effort to coat their bullets with friction-reducing compounds such as Boron Nitride (HBN), Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly), and Tungsten Disulfide (WS2 or ‘Danzac’). Many of these same shooters believe that coated bullets permit longer strings of fire between barrel cleanings. Also, there is some evidence that coated bullets may extend barrel life (though this remains controversial).

What if you could enjoy all the benefits of coated bullets without the effort? When you think about it, why not apply the anti-friction coating to the barrel itself, rather than the bullets? That is the thinking behind salt-bath nitriding of barrels. This nitriding process creates a very slick, very hard surface coating on the steel in the bore. The coating is only 10-20 microns thick (so it doesn’t cause pressure problems). But that coating is enough to reduce friction, and just possibly, extend useful barrel life.

MMI barrel nitriding

John Whidden, Camp Perry Long-Range National Champion in 2007, 2008, and 2010, recently had one of his Broughton 6mm match barrels nitrided by Joel Kendrick. Joel does the salt-bath nitriding for MMI TruTec. Whidden reports he “is happy as he can be with the barrel” after the nitriding process. After nitriding, the stainless Broughton 5C barrel was “every bit as accurate as before, and noticeably easier to clean”, according to John. Also, John reports that he did NOT have to change his load after the barrel was nitrided (which left it with a handsome black, semigloss finish). Whidden says, “after cleaning, the barrel takes about 3-4 rounds to settle in… that’s the same as before.” This barrel shot very well before nitriding, and after nitriding, John used it successfully at Camp Perry in the 2009 Wimbleton Cup competition.

MMI barrel nitriding

Overall, John tells us “Everything looks good. No accuracy loss, and easier cleaning.” He is pleased enough that he has sent more barrels to Joel Kendrick for nitride processing. John also said that he’s heard that nitrided barrels in some of the big caliber rifles, such as the .338 Lapua Magnum, are showing “significantly enhanced” barrel life.

MMI barrel nitriding

To learn more about salt-bath nitriding for barrels, or to place a processing order with MMI-TruTec, email joelkndrck [at], or call Joel at (704) 616-6442. Joel, a past 600-yard Shooter of the Year, is very knowledgeable about both shooting and the nitriding process. He can give you well-informed answers to your questions. Price for nitriding depends on quantity — call Joel for pricing details.

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 10 Comments »
September 26th, 2010

Mossberg Introduces $276 AR-15 Clone Rimfire Trainer

Mossberg Tactical .22LRHere’s a product that should interest varminters and Service Rifle shooters. Mossberg has just introduced its new Tactical .22 auto-loading rimfire rifle. With a $276 MSRP, the Mossberg Tactical .22 provides the look and feel of an AR-style rifle with an affordable price. This gun, officially sold by Mossberg Int’l, promises to be a fun plinker that can also work for very close-range varmint hunting on small prey.

Service Rifle shooters looking for an inexpensive trainer will find that the Mossberg Tactical .22 shares most of the ergonomics of their centerfire AR-15 match rifles. With the rising costs of centerfire ammunition, Mossberg’s new Tactical .22 rimfire can provide a cost-effective training platform.

Mossberg Tactical .22LR

Mossberg Tactical .22LRModel 702 Action in AR-Style Chassis
The lightweight Mossberg Tactical .22 is based on Mossberg’s proven model 702 rimfire autoloader. Mossberg adapted the Model 702 action to an AR-style chassis with an 18″ barrel and a quad-rail fore-end. (We would rather see standard AR-style handguards, but this does allow a varminter to mount lights or other accessories on the forearm.) The Mossberg Tactical .22 will be offered with two stock configurations — a fixed stock with 13″ LOP, or a 6-position stock that can adjust length of pull from 10-3/4″ – 14.5″. The adjustable stock may be good for young kids, but otherwise we recommend the fixed stock. The Tactical .22 comes with an A2-style carry handle and an adjustable rear peep/front blade iron sights. On top of the carry handle is a Picatinny rail for mounting optics. Groan — that’s the wrong position for a scope, because you can’t maintain a cheek weld, but the rail is better than nothing if you need to mount a red dot or other sighting system. A 10-rd magazine is standard.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 3 Comments »
September 26th, 2010

Product Manager Jobs Offered by Both S&W and FNH USA

Would you like a “dream job” helping to develop new firearms for a major manufacturer with a strong heritage? Are you interested in Tactical and Law Enforcement rifles? Well here are two great opportunities. Both Smith & Wesson and FNH USA are currently seeking to hire product managers.

S&W Tactical Rifle Product Manager
The S&W Tactical Rifle Product Manager, based in Massachusetts, will be responsible for developing short-term tactics and long-term strategies to achieve margin and revenue objectives. This position involves strategic planning, product development and category growth. According to S&W, the successful candidate “will drive the strategic positioning of S&W within the broad tactical rifle market, identify and execute emerging user trends and growth opportunities with a very strong focus on new product development.” A bachelors degree is required, with MBA desirable. Candidates should have 7-10 years job experience with 5 years in product management leadership roles. To apply, contact Danielle Sanville, HR Dept., dsanville [at], (413) 747-3477.

FNH Commercial/LE Asst. Product Manager
FNH is seeking an Assistant Product Manager for its Law Enforcement and Commercial Sales group, based in McClean, VA. FNH says: “Candidate duties will include new product launch and enhancement development for firearms in the law enforcement and commercial markets. Experience in product or project management to include business case development and product launch planning/scheduling is required.” Knowledge of firearm design, testing, and manufacturing processes is beneficial. A bachelor’s degree in business administration or marketing is preferred. Knowledge of the general firearm market or competitive shooting sports is desired. If you’re interested, email Paula Staudt, FNH Human Resource Director, fnhusahr [at], or call (703) 288-3500.

Permalink News No Comments »
September 25th, 2010

Check out the Williamsport Long-Range BR School

It’s been over a year since Sebastian Reist drove out to Pennsylvania to participate in the 2009 Williamsport 1000-yard BR school. A talented professional photographer, Sebastian did a superb job capturing the highlights of his Williamsport 1K training weekend in a marvelous slideshow, complete with sound track. Photos and slideshow courtesy

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this VideoPress video.

If you haven’t viewed this video when we first ran it, you’re in for a treat. Sebastian captured some talented shooters in “mid-string” and he snapped some beautiful photos of the Williamsport facility. This is the same range where Matt Kline set a Williamsport 1000-yard world record, placing 10 shots from his 300 WSM heavy gun in just 2.815″. All shots were well-centered up for a 100-4X score. If you want to “run with the big dogs” in 1000-yard Benchrest competition, the Williamsport facility is a great place to learn. A lot has changed in the past 40 years. Compare the current deluxe covered shooting bays with Williamsport, circa 1968.

Williamsport Club

Permalink - Videos, Competition No Comments »
September 25th, 2010

CMP Open House at Camp Perry Store Next Weekend

CMP North WarehouseIf you’re located anywhere near Camp Perry, Ohio, you may want to plan a road trip on Saturday, 2 October, a week from today. On October 2nd, the CMP North Store is running a special Customer Appreciation Day and Open House. The store opens at 8:30 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. in the afternoon.

Over 400 surplus military rifles will be on display. If you don’t have an M1 Garand yet, here’s you chance to hand-pick a classic rifle for your collection. CMP Armorers will help customers inspect the rifles they have picked out and assist customers with the purchasing process.

CMP North Open House

Open House visitors get free complimentary coffee and donuts in the morning and complimentary hot dogs and chips in the afternoon. In addition to food and refreshments CMP will give out free summer event T-shirts to the first 50 visitors to the store. Guests may also take home free CMP giveaways while they last, Conrad said.

The CMP North store recently reopened following an inventory organization period following the 2010 National Matches. The store sells surplus M1 Garand rifles to qualified buyers along with ammunition, books, clothing, memorabilia and a limited supply of .22 caliber rifles, air rifles and accessories. For more information, call the CMP North Store at 419-635-2141 Ext. 1505. CLICK HERE for a map and directions to the CMP North store.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
September 24th, 2010

U.S. Border Patrol Dominates Nat’l Police Shooting Championship

U.S. Border PatrolIt’s comforting to know that our U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) personnel are not only competent with firearms — some of them are among the finest shooters in the entire law enforcement community. At the recent National Police Shooting Championship held in Albuquerque, NM, USBP agents dominated the individual and team competition, outshooting LEO competitors from around the country.

Vadasz Wins Second NPSC Title
Senior U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Vadasz topped the field of over 400 competitors to secure his second National Police Shooting Individual Championship in three years. Vadasz dropped a mere 19 shots throughout the tournament, finishing with a 2981-221x score. Finishing second was Customs & Border Protection agent Doug Goff, with 2976-199x. U.S. Border Patrolman Kevin Worrell finished thrid with 2973-193x.

U.S. Border Patrol“It’s an honor to be here, again,” said Vadasz. “Your gun jams, it slips off the post, your foot cramps, or your ammunition betrays you; there are a lot of things that can go wrong. This year, everything came together, and it feels great.”

In team competition, U.S. Border Patrol squads turned in great performances. USBP Teams finished first and second in the Open Class Revolver 4-Officer Event, with USBP Blue Team scoring 2372-163X, and USBP Gold Team finishing second with 2356-131X. In the Open Class Semi-Auto 4-Officer Team event, the USBP Blue Team scored 2357-147X to finish a close second to the winning CBP Blue Team, which took the title with a 2360-134X tally.

U.S. Border Patrol

Photos courtesy the NRA Blog.

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
September 24th, 2010

Multiple National Records Set at 2010 Spirit of America Match

We recently reported that Trudie Fay of Raton, NM, shooting on her home range, was the Fullbore winner at the Spirit of America Match. Trudie and many other shooters set new National records during the course of the match. Trudie fired an aggregate score of 1781-104x, which was an Open, Civilian, and Woman’s National Record. Second place, with a Senior National Record, was Tom Whitaker. High Grand Senior was Johnie Franklin, high Junior was Kyle Doney, high Service was Emily Windmassinger.

Trudie Fay 2010 Spirit of AmericaThere were also new records set in F-Class competition, in both F-Open and F-TR classes. High F-Open shooter was Danny Biggs with a score of 1777-88x. Danny’s score was an Open, Civilian and Grand Senior National Record. High Senior was Jim Murphy firing 1766-90x.

Michelle Gallagher was the high F-TR shooter firing a score of 1717-62x. Michellle’s score was an Open, Civilian and Woman’s National Record. Daniel Borwiecki of the Marine Corps Rifle Team was the high Service shooter. Robert Depp was the high Senior and Alan Canavan was high Grand Senior.

Trudie Rides in Style
The winners were “chaired,” holding their rifle and hoisted in the air by the competitors. Trudie Fay, wearing white gloves, was carried in Raton’s timber sedan chair by the Fullbore competitors. Danny Biggs, the F-Class winner, was carried in a rocking chair by the F-Class competitors. Michelle Gallagher, the F-TR winner, was carried in a captain’s chair. All were carried off the 1000-yard line to the Bald Eagles Clubhouse while bagpipe music was played.

Report courtesy Jan Raab and the NRA Blog.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »