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May 11th, 2011

Stolle Panda Drop Port Conversion by S&S Precision Rifles

The Drop Port is a great feature for benchrest shooters. You can run a bolt without an ejector, yet your cartridge will extract smoothly and reliably each time you pull the bolt back. Stiller’s Precision Firearms pioneered the Drop Port design, and Jerry Stiller offers this as a popular option with his Cobra, Viper, Python, D-Back, and Diamondback actions. The Drop Port is amazing in its simplicity (watch video below). As you pull the bolt rearwards, the fired case slides downward into a funnel. As it tilts nose-down, the case rotates free of the six-o’clock extractor, falls nose first down the funnel, and finally exits through a hole in the bottom of the stock. Gravity does all the work.

S&S Panda Drop Port Conversion
Until recently, if you wanted a Drop Port, your only option was to purchase a Stiller action or engineer a conversion yourself. Now the owners of Kelbly Panda actions can enjoy drop-port functionality via a conversion performed by S&S Precision Rifles in Texas. The folks at S&S will mill a slot in the bottom of your action, and then install a drop funnel in your stock. The conversion work is done so well you’d think the Pandas were originally made as Drop Ports by Kelbly. Drop Port conversions will be available for popular small match cartridges including 22 PPC, 6 PPC, 6mmBR, 6BRX, 6 Dasher, 6.5 Grendel, and 30 BR (plus other wildcats in the BR family).

Conversion Will Be Costly — New Actions Are Best Candidates
This conversion will not be cheap. Because Drop Ports require a six o’clock extractor, you’ll probably need a replacement bolt for your Panda. S&S is in discussion with Pacific Tool & Gauge to provide these bolts. You can probably resell your existing bolt, but the upfront conversion cost could approach $400 with new bolt and labor. S&S hopes to announce firm pricing in 4-6 weeks. Don “Stick” Starks, S&S’s lead gunsmith, also cautions that this conversion is most cost-effective with Panda actions that have not yet been installed, or which are set up with pillars (as opposed to glue-ins). Stick explained: “If your Panda is already glued in, then we have to remove the action, mill the port, install the funnel, and then re-bed the whole thing. That’s going to substantially increase your cost. It’s more logical to do this on a Panda that has not yet be put in a rifle.”

In the video above, you can watch S&S Precision convert a Stolle Panda action to a Drop Port, and then see how the converted Panda functions. The rifle is a 30BR owned by FORUM member Truckincars, who also created the video.

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May 11th, 2011

AccurateShooter FORUM Upgrade Rolls Out Smoothly

Last night we moved our Shooters’ FORUM to a dedicated server and installed upgraded software. This should make the Forum faster and more secure. Many members have already observed that the Forum threads display more quickly and that the search is much faster. The “Look and Feel” is different, and you should find the layout more user-friendly — the buttons are more prominent and the main font sizes are larger (easier to read).

Thankfully, the FORUM “migration” (and upgrade) went smoothly. As far as we can tell, all the posts came through and there were no glitches with member accounts. NOTE: On the New FORUM you still use your Same Forum Log-in Name and Same Password (remember passwords are case sensitive). If you have bookmarked the previous FORUM location, you will be automatically directed to the new FORUM. However, we do request you re-set your bookmarks to:

Special Thanks to FORUM Member JayChris
We want to give special recognition to JayChris, one of our Forum members (and a darn good shooter). Jay, a super-smart IT specialist, volunteered many hours of skilled labor for this upgrade. He set up our new server and optimized the forum software to run faster and more efficiently. He also created new security protections to shield our FORUM against hackers. Jay went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the FORUM runs faster and more securely for his fellow forum members. Thanks Jay — you’re the man!

We have some requests for FORUM members using our upgraded FORUM:

PHOTOS: When posting photos, please keep them no larger than 600 pixels in width. This will ensure the layout displays correctly. To size your photos, use a basic image editing program such as Irfanview which is totally free to use.

CLASSIFIEDS: Those using our Free Classifieds are asked to read (and apply) our Guidelines for Avoiding Disputes. To eliminate potential problems, sellers should always disclose any defects, provide good photos, and insure shipments worth more than $50.00.

SAFETY FIRST: At all times, when describing reloading methods or listing suggested loads, remember that safety is the paramount concern. Be aware that a “practical max” load in your gun may very well be too hot in another rifle, so advise others to start at a lower point. Never list loads in terms of powder measure click values — always refer to grains. Don’t advocate reloading methods that depart from generally accepted safe practices. You may have developed some tricks and shortcuts, but remember that many readers are new to the reloading game.

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