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December 22nd, 2011

Litz Adds 6mm Bullet Profiles for 107gr SMK and 105gr A-Max

Applied Ballistics Bullet DataAlong with showcasing his books, match ammo, and other products, Bryan Litz’s Applied Ballistics website offers detailed Bullet Data Profiles for popular match projectiles. These profiles provide accurate bullet dimensions, stability factors (based on barrel twist rates), plus sophisticated multi-value BC tables that provide field-tested BCs across a wide velocity spectrum. Using these tables, you can select a G1 or G7 BC that closely matches a bullet’s actual muzzle velocity fired from your gun. Choosing the right BC for a bullet’s known MV from your rifle provides a more accurate ballistics solution — which translates to more first-round hits on the target.

New 6mm Bullet Data Profiles

Bryan recently added two new 6mm Bullet Profiles to his website: Sierra’s 107gr MatchKing, and Hornady’s 105gr A-Max.

Sierra 107gr MatchKing, HPBT
Sierra’s 107gr MatchKing has been used reliably in many medium- to high-capacity 6mm chamberings for many years. At 107 grains, this bullet is heavy enough to have a respectably-high BC while not being excessively long. This bullet is the ‘middle brother’ in the heavy end of Sierra’s 6mm target bullet line-up. The 95gr and the 115gr bullets have essentially the same nose and tail, and almost identical form factors as a result. The only difference being the weight which is taken up in the bearing surface. This bullet is comfortably stable in a 1:8″ twist in all but the worse case conditions, and even then the stability factor is still 1.33 which would result in acceptably accurate flight.

Sierra 107 MK Litz Data

Hornady 105gr A-Max, PTBT
The 105gr Hornady A-Max is a very well-designed bullet with good performance. The plastic tip (PT) promotes a little higher and more consist BC compared to standard match bullet meplats while the 2.71-caliber long tangent ogive produces a low drag profile and good accuracy over a wide range of seating depths. The experimentally determined average G1 BC of 0.492 varies from 0.515 at 3000 fps down to 0.454 at 1500 fps. The G7 BC is a much better match for this bullet. Application-wise, this bullet was designed to be a match bullet, but has found favor with hunters as well due to the relatively thin forward jacket promoting good expansion.

Hornady 106 A-Max Litz Data

Bryan’s Ballistics Book Offers Hundreds of Bullet Data Profiles
Bryan currently offers ten (10) detailed bullet profiles on his website — you can access these for free. If you want information on scores of other projectiles, you’ll find 236 other Bullet Data Profiles in Bryan’s definitive book, Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
December 22nd, 2011

Alabama High School Girl Sets Six National Air Rifle Records

Report By Steve Cooper, CMP Writer
Katlyn Bass Sporter Air RifleWe’re always pleased to spotlight outstanding performances by young lady shooters. A 16-year-old Alabama high-schooler recently broke six records while winning an important CMP competition. Earlier this month, 16-year-old Katlyn Bass of Daleville High School Army JROTC set six new sporter air rifle Junior and JROTC National records. Bass fired her record scores in Anniston, AL at the 2011 Gary Anderson Invitational 3-Position air rifle championship.

Katlyn Excels at All Three Positions
Bass’s qualifying score of 574-28 surpassed the open/overall 3×20 sporter record of 573 set by Micaela Jochum in 2006. Bass also set the Army JROTC record previously held by her former Daleville High School JROTC teammate Mikaelah Atchley (570-31). Bass also broke the records of Jochum and Atchley in the open/overall and Army JROTC 3×20 plus final with a combined score of 669.7, shattering the former mark by 5.9 points. Lastly, Bass broke both of Jochum’s Age Group II (15 & 16) records in the 3×20 and 3×20 plus final. Katlyn fired a 197-12 in prone, 184-6 in standing and 193-10 in the kneeling position for a total qualification score of 574-28. She fired a 197-12 in prone, 184-6 in standing and 193-10 in the kneeling position for a total qualification score of 574-28. Katlyn’s final score of 95.7 secured her record-setting victory in the match. Well done, young lady!

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December 20th, 2011

Barrel Length and Velocity — Barrel Cut-Down Tests

Many of our readers are in the process of building 6mmBR rifles, or re-barreling their guns to this efficient, accurate caliber. Project builders often ask us: “What length barrel should I use — How much velocity will a 30-inch barrel deliver vs. a 28-inch?” Well, here’s the answer, based on actual field tests (conducted a few seasons back).

Velocities at Different Barrel Lengths
At this website’s invitation, respected Benchrester Jackie Schmidt fitted a 6BR barrel fitted up to his Rail Gun. One of the first tests was to see how barrel length affects velocity. Jackie started with a 33″ barrel–the full length of the blank after chambering and fitting. He cut the Krieger barrel back in 1″ increments down to 28″ length. Tests were done with Sierra 107gr MatchKings, Fed 205m primers, and a stout load of Vihtavuori N140. (Jackie selected the fastest burning powder among our test brands to ensure a full burn in the barrel length). 15-shot strings were fired over an Oehler model 35 chronograph with proof channel.

Velocities Varied 8 FPS Per Inch
RESULTS: At 33″ the barrel’s average velocity was only 40 fps faster than at 28″. On average, velocity was about 8 fps higher for each inch past 28″. (However, the 29″ Average was actually lower than the 28″ because we had one real slow shot at 2932 fps in the string). Comparing the 29″ Max Vel with the 28″ Max Vel we saw that same 8 fps difference. And comparing Average Velocities at 28″ and 30″, the difference was exactly 16 fps (again, 8 fps per inch). Bottom line–figure on gaining just 8 fps per inch past 28″ length. That’s not a big gain. Jackie feels that’s not enough to justify the weight/flex associated with something longer than 30″. Furthermore, the best ES was at 28″ (ES of 24, SD of 7), while the worst ES was at 31″ (ES of 61, SD of 16).

Barrel length 28″ 29″ 30″ 31″ 32″ 33″
MAX fps 2966 2974 2982 3005 3001 3011
MIN fps 2942 2932 2950 2944 2960 2974
Average fps 2952 2948 2968 2973 2982 2992
Average Vel vs. 28″ Same - 4 +16 +21 +30 +40

If we cut the barrel down even further, the variance in measured velocity might have been greater. We’d expect that you’d lose more than 8 fps/inch by going from 28″ to 25″. Still Jackie’s results show that the velocity loss was less than you’d might expect. Keep in mind though that results could vary with other powders, and the numbers would certainly be different with other chambering (such as the 6.5-284) and slower powders (such as H4350). Still the results are interesting.

Permalink Reloading 5 Comments »
December 20th, 2011

ATF and Industry Experts Consult on Import and Export Issues

ATF Compliance ConsultingIf you have a business that makes or sells firearms or gun parts (from triggers to barrels), you’ve probably learned that import/export regulations are complex. A thicket of federal regulation governs arms importation. And when it comes to shipping products overseas, the rules and regulations can vary from destination to destination. To help businesses comply with applicable laws on import and export, two experienced professionals now offer consulting services for the firearm industry.

Larry White — Firearms Import Specialist
After retiring from the ATF recently, 35-year veteran Larry White has established an import consulting business, Arms Trade Solutions, based in Virginia. White started his career with ATF in 1976, spending the past 19 years in the imports arena, most recently as industry liaison/analyst for the Firearms and Explosives Services Division. Larry told us that he can “handle all matters involving the ATF, with a concentration in firearms importation issues.” Larry added that he can also assist FFLs and gun-shop owners in basic issues of compliance and records maintenance. You can contact Mr. White at larrywhite [at], or call (703) 855-7330.

Kim Pritula — Export Sales and Compliance Specialist
Another industry veteran, Kim Pritula, now serves as president of KMP Global Consulting, which provides guidance and expertise to firearms industry companies on export compliance, export sales and ATF compliance. Pritula has more than 25 years of experience in the field, most recently serving as Sturm, Ruger’s director of export/ATF compliance and security. Based in New Hampshire, Ms. Pritula can be contacted at (603) 382-8974.

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December 19th, 2011

RCBS Launches GET GREEN Cash-Back Promo on Jan. 1, 2012

Following on the success of its 2011 Rebate Program (which expires at the end of December, 2011), RCBS is launching a new GET GREEN Promotion for 2012. This offers cash rebates to buyers of RCBS reloading products. Additional “bonus bucks” are offered if you buy components from RCBS’s sister companies: Federal, Alliant, CCI, Speer. Here’s how it works. If you buy $50.00 worth of RCBS reloading gear, you get $10.00 cash back. Then you can get an extra $5.00 rebate if you buy one of the following: a pound of Alliant Powder, a box of Speer Bullets, a box of Federal Premium Brass, OR five 100-ct sleeves of Federal or CCI primers. Likewise, if you buy $300.00 worth of RCBS products you can get a $50.00 rebate with an additional $25.00 in bonus bucks if you buy FIVE qualifying items from Alliant, CCI, and/or Federal.

RCBS Get Green Rebate Promotion

The new GET GREEN Promotion starts January 1, 2012. Purchases must be made before December 31, 2012 and rebate coupon (with proof of purchase) must be received by January 31, 2013. To qualify, you must submit a rebate coupon PLUS box UPCs and original cash register receipts. Offer good in U.S. and Canada only. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Redemption limited to one of each offer per household. For more information, call RCBS at 866-269-5194, or write to: RCBS PROMOTION, Dept. 7634, PO Box 5011, Stacy, MN 55078-5011.

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 3 Comments »
December 18th, 2011

Bargain Tools at Midsouth Shooters Supply

MidsouthMidsouth Shooters Supply is now carrying the affordable line of Altraco-brand tools for precision reloading and gunsmithing. Among the bargain-priced items we liked for the loading bench are the Tubing Mic (with oval head) for measuring neckwall and casewall thickness ($29.92), the hands-free Head-band Magnifier ($5.78), the 6-piece Mini Screwdriver set ($2.62), and the 12-piece Needle File set ($5.16). You can get all four of these items for less than $45.00! A decent tubing mic is a “must-have” for serious reloaders, and sets of mini screwdrivers and small files belong in every tool kit. We also recommend the brass-toothed brush — this is handy when you need a little more cleaning power than nylon. (Be careful though — the brass brush can scratch fine metal finishes.) All these products can be used for a variety of tasks in addition to reloading and gun assembly.

Midsouth Altraco Tools

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December 17th, 2011

Krieger Raises Barrel Prices at End of December

If you plan to use a Krieger barrel for your next rifle build, better get that order in quickly. Due to a rise in the cost of steel, Krieger Barrels will add $15.00 to the price of a most stainless barrels, starting December 31st. In addition, the price of chrome moly barrels will also increase (typically $25) to become the same price as Krieger’s stainless barrels. (Previously the chrome moly barrels were cheaper than stainless.) The biggest price hike comes with large diameter barrels. There will be a large price hike on over-size diameter barrels ($100 increase on oversize blanks up to 1.450″ diameter.) Krieger says the price changes will “take effect January 1, 2012″, but it also states that price increases would be “implemented” on orders received “after midnight December 30th”. So, to be safe, get your order in before 11:59 pm on December 30th.

Krieger has also announced that it is halting manufacture of 17-caliber barrels as “the tooling on this caliber is too fragile”, and Krieger will no longer offer Custom Engraving. Here is the text of Krieger’s 2012 Price Changes Announcement:

Krieger Barrels — 2012 Price Changes

We [want] to give our customers a “heads up” on price increases to be implemented beginning with all orders received after midnight December 30th. Krieger Barrels has not increased the cost of barrels in two years, and now regretfully we find it necessary to do so. Below you will find a brief description of the changes. Detailed information will be posted as a catalog/website update shortly after Christmas. All price and service changes will take effect January 1, 2012.

Barrel Pricing:
The base cost of most stainless steel barrels will increase by $15.00. Chrome moly barrels will then be the same price as stainless making stainless and chrome moly barrels the same price. [This means the cost of chrome moly barrels will increase $25.00 on average.]

Oversize Diameter Pricing:
Oversize blank diameters up to 1.450″ will increase to $100.00 above the base cost in both stainless steel and chrome moly

Oversize blank diameters greater than 1.450″ up to 2.000″ will increase to $150.00 above the base cost in both stainless steel and chrome moly.

.50 BMG blanks (2.00″ x 36″) will remain the same price in stainless, but chrome moly will increase to the current stainless price.

Muzzle Threads:
We are eliminating the price difference between threading for a timed brake and an un-timed brake. The new cost to thread a muzzle to your machinist drawing or to match the device you send will be $125.00 either timed or un-timed. Fox River Brakes will remain $200.00 installed, and DCM/Service rifle barrels will continue to have no price difference between pre-ban and post-ban models.

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, News 3 Comments »
December 17th, 2011

Alexander Arms Introduces AR15 Rifles Chambered in 17 HMR

Alexander Arms is now shipping production 17 HMR AR15 rifles and 17 HMR upper receiver kits. The complete rifles are the only semi-auto rifles specifically designed to reliably shoot the 17 HMR cartridge. Alexander Arm’s 17 HMR rifle does not employ a reworked .22LR rimfire action. Instead the gun features a new bolt assembly design purpose-built built to work with the 17 HMR cartridge. This is good news for varmint hunters who want semi-auto capability for fast follow-up shots in the varmint fields.

Alexander Arms 17hmr AR15

Alexander Arms 17 HMR AR Tech Specifications | 17 HMR AR Frequently Asked Questions

The complete rifle comes standard with a straight fluted 18″ stainless barrel, A1 flash-hider, free-floating composite hand guard and two molded-plastic 10-round magazines. Options include a spiral-fluted barrel and MK3 railed upper receiver. Alexander Arms’ 17 HMR ARs will be offered in both fixed stock and collapsible-stock versions. The upper receiver kit includes all the ancillary items needed to convert existing AR15 lowers to work with the 17 HMR cartridge.

Alexander Arms 17hmr AR1517 HMR Basics
If you are not familiar with the 17 HMR, it is a popular varmint cartridge effective out to 200 yards or so. With typical muzzle velocities of 2550-2650 fps, the little 17 HMR packs much more punch than a .22LR, while bucking the wind much better. CLICK HERE for Varmint Al’s 17 HMR webpage, which provides a comprehensive analysis of 17 HMR ballistics, kinetic enegy, and effectiveness on small varmints.

Video Showing Alexander Arms 17HMR Bolt Cycling in Slo-Mo

On its website, Alexander Arms reports: “Our initial production run will be 500 units. We are extremely pleased with this [17 HMR] caliber. With help from Hornady, this unit has been extensively tested and has proven itself to be very capable in the field. At the recent Big 3 Event, we ran two rifles out to ranges of 400 yards and despite windy conditions… the guns performed well. While running guns at the Big 3 we had an opportunity to run one of the rifles with the excellent magnum rimfire silencer from Thunderbeast Arms Corp. The rifle exhibited a slight shift in zero and ran without a hitch for the two days of the event. This unscheduled test provided a quick insight into the flexibility of the rifle and everyone agreed that this combination would serve well for any varminting purposes.”

For more info contact visit or call at (540) 639-8356. You can also download the Alexander Arms’ 17 HMR Rifle Owners Manual as a PDF file.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
December 16th, 2011

Navigating the SHOT Show — How to Plan Your Vegas Visit

NSSF has released a short video to help attendees at the 2012 SHOT Show. This how-to video provides tips for planning meetings as well as mapping and navigating the show floor. It’s wise to plan out your show visit ahead of time. Navigating the maze-like interior of the Venetian Hotel and the multiple levels of the Sands Convention/Expo Center can be challenging to say the least. With 1600+ exhibiting companies, spread out over a 600,000 square-foot area, it’s easy to be overwhelmed, and even easier to waste time retracing your steps. You’ll get the most out of the SHOT show by identifying your priority booth locations, and then creating a walking plan that logically moves from one key booth to the next. The SHOT Show is only 35 days away, so there’s no time like the present to start mapping your show.

Sands Expo Center a Maze-Like Disappointment
What’s wrong with the Sands Expo Center? You name it. The “host” hotel is the Venetian, which is way too expensive for most attendees, not to mention a nightmare to navigate. General “front door” access is poor and there is no on-site parking at all (you have to park at adjacent hotels on the strip). The lower levels are dungeon-like with poor lighting and bad acoustics. The conference rooms are hard to find and most are either too big or too small. The Sands Center has multiple, odd-shaped levels which lack logical ingress/egress points. Floorplans are inconsistent from level to level, and bathrooms are hard to locate. Some popular sections, such as the tactical/police displays, are exiled to upper halls that are hard to reach from the main entrance. Worst of all, to get into the show, most visitors must walk a quarter-mile through the dark, noisy, maze-like interior of the Venetian hotel. It is very easy to get lost in that nightmare of a hotel. On a 1:10 scale, we give the Sands Expo Center a “3″ and that’s only because it’s (barely) big enough and the main hall is bright, with high ceilings (albeit with a leaky roof).

SHOT Show 2012 Sands Expo

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December 15th, 2011

From Italy, with Holes — The Radical Ported CompBullet

An Italian company, CompBullet, has produced a radical new line of CNC-machined projectiles with a cavity in the bullet base connected to ports (holes) placed radially around the bullet’s circumference. Currently CompBullet offers six bullet types: 9mm (100 gr), .40 cal (155 gr), .44 Cal (200 gr), .45 Cal (200 gr), and .30 Caliber Rifle (125 gr). CompBullet’s pistol projectiles have one row of radial ports, while the longer rifle bullets have two rows, resembling the porting on a muzzle brake.

CompBullet Ported Bullets

Italy’s CompBullet makes many claims about its new, patented ported bullets. Supposedly the ported, cavity-base bullets go faster than conventional bullets, yet generate less recoil. CompBullet also claims that its radical projectiles produce less smoke and reduced flash on exiting the muzzle. We are skeptical of many of CompBullet’s claims. We also have some concerns about bullet integrity and potential safety issues — at least when used in high-velocity applications.

Compbullet claims that gases exiting the radial ports “lubricate” the bullet as it travels down the bore, yielding enhanced velocity. However, if any gas is actually able to exit the holes while the bullet is in the rifling (it’s not clear that in-barrel venting really occurs), then this will simply serve to REDUCE the gas pressure pushing on the base of the bullet. If anything, the bullet should go slower than a conventional projectile, not faster.

CompBullet Ported Bullets

Jet Effect
CompBullet projectiles have a cylindrical cavity in the base. CompBullet claims that hot gases will shoot out the bottom of the bullet (like a rocket) and this increases velocity. But this runs contrary to the bullet-maker’s claim that the hot combustion gas moves forward and out the vents. But what, you might ask, if there are powder kernels that have migrated into the cavity and ignite inside the bullet? That might indeed cause gas to move both forward and rearward. However, the force of any rearward gas jet would be minimal compared to the main pressure flow pushing from behind, at least while the bullet is in the barrel.

Reader’s Comment: Hope the holes are small enough so the powder doesn’t fall out if the round is tipped over or something. It’s a good idea for custom salt and pepper shakers though!” –Josh

Recoil Reduction
Muzzle brakes reduce felt recoil and muzzle lift, on both pistols and rifles. However, they are attached to the gun. We’re not sure how gas blowing out the sides of a bullet is going to have any effect on recoil, because that action occurs after the bullet has left the muzzle. It IS possible that some in-barrel venting from the bullet’s ports may occur (if the ports aren’t blocked by the rifling), but that, as explained above, will only serve to reduce pressure pushing on the base of the bullet and hence reduce velocity. To the extent CompBullet projectiles deliver less felt recoil (if they do), it’s probably because they have lower velocity. If CompBullet projectiles actually fly faster (than do conventional bullets), that would be easy to demonstrate with chronograph tests. However, CompBullet provides NO CHRONOGRAPH DATA on its website. Without such data, we remain unconvinced.

Safety Issues
With a CompBullet projectile, there is the potential for powder to shift from the cartridge case into the bullet’s central cavity, prior to ignition. If this occurs, and the kernels inside the bullet do not fire off prior to the bullet leaving the barrel, there is the possibility of an explosive fragmentation of the bullet once it leaves the muzzle. We don’t know if this could actually happen, but there’s a word for a small, metal container filled with gunpowder — a grenade.

Bullet Integrity
A conventional jacketed bullet can fly apart when the combination of heat, friction, and spinning force stresses the bullet’s construction. With the CompBullet projectile, you have a bullet that is heated from the inside out, with numerous weakening holes drilled in the structure.

We discussed the effect of radial ports on a bullet with Bryan Litz, chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets. He said: “this ported bullet design is interesting, but I can’t see how it would have any usefulness for precision shooting. If flaming gas really jets out the ports, and the outflow of every port is not perfectly uniform, then this will quickly cause a reduction of bullet stability, which won’t help accuracy at all.” Bryan also wondered if drag from the gas out-flowing from the ports might slow down bullet spin-rate. With less rpm, spin-stabilization would be reduced. “Unstable bullets are not accurate”, Bryan added.

Flash Signature
There does appear to be some evidence of a smaller smoke “cloud” on bullet exit and a reduced flash signature, if the photos on the CompBullet website can be believed. We would like to see an actual comparison between conventional ammo and CompBullet ammo, using identical powder charges. CompBullet’s photos do not provide a comparison with ammo loaded with non-ported bullets. We cannot confirm that flash is reduced unless we can see photos of both ported and non-ported bullets, shot with the same powder loads, in the same lighting conditions. See sequence below with 9x21mm pistols:

CompBullet Ported Bullets

The inventor of the CompBullet ported projectile is Alain Della Savia, a IPSC Grand Master and 6-time Italian National Revolver Champion. He was inspired by the recoil reduction offered by ported handguns. He hoped to develop a new kind of ammo that had reduced recoil, while still satisfying the IPSC “power factor” requirements. His solution was to build ports in the bullets themselves, using CNC-machining methods: “After a year of experiences, [Alain] found the right balance between materials and internal compensation system inside the bullet.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 26 Comments »
December 15th, 2011

New 2012 Guns & Gear in December Shooting Industry Magazine

Shooting Industry Magazine DecemberIf you can’t wait for SHOT Show in January to see new-for-2012 shooting products, then check out the latest FREE digital edition of Shooting Industry Magazine. Shooting Industry’s jumbo, 156-page December issue is the first of two expanded editions that highlight new products for 2012.

In this month’s digital magazine, you’ll find Part I of the 2012 New Product Showcase. This has hundreds of new product offerings including new firearms, ammunition, optics and accessories.

The special December edition also has a comprehensive SHOT Show Planning Guide which lists SHOT Show activities and seminars, and explains new technologies (such as smart-phone apps) that will help SHOT Show visitors. NOTE: The December Edition does NOT include SHOT Show Floor Layouts with exhibitor lists. You’ll have to wait ’til next month. The layouts and exhibitor directory will be published in the January digital edition of Shooting Industry Magazine.

Another handy resource in the December Edition is the Buyers’ Guide a comprehensive industry-wide directory of manufacturers, distributors, and and retailers. The December Edition also includes 2012 firearms industry projections. In this section, representatives from Crimson Trace, Hornady, Mossberg and Taurus share their insights about the future trends.

IMPORTANT: When opening the December Digital Edition, you’ll be prompted to provide your name and eMail address. STOP! This is NOT Required! Simply click one of the right arrows (at top center) or the “Continue” button and you can access the e-magazine without divulging your name or email account.

“We have assembled a wealth of information in our December issue to help businesses throughout industry maximize the opportunities of 2012. Forecasts for the new year, new products, SHOT Show planning, our highly regarded Buyer’s Guide and more are included in this valuable business edition,” said Russ Thurman, Shooting Industry’s publisher and editor.

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December 15th, 2011

Special Forces Vet Earns Quota for 2012 Paralympic Games

U.S. Army Ranger and Special Forces veteran Eric Hollen utilized shooting as a tool for recovery after an injury that broke his back. Hollen is now the top-ranked Air Pistol and number two Free Pistol athlete in the world and has set a goal for himself: the Gold Medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Eric Hollen, a former U.S. Army Ranger, has been named the 2011 USA Shooting Paralympic Athlete of the Year. In addition, Hollen has secured a quota for the 2012 Olympics based on his performance 2011 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup in Sydney, Australia. The quota that Hollen won down-under earns him a nomination to the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team (pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee). Barring something unforseen, this means that Hollen should compete for the United States at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

Hollen Wins Silver and Bronze in Sydney
“Eric is an Army Special Forces veteran who has taken advantage of the unique opportunities available as an Olympic Training Center (OTC) Resident Athlete,” said Coach Bob Foth. At the IPC World Cup Sydney Hollen won a bronze medal in P4 Mixed 50m Free Pistol. Then, in the P1 Men’s 10m Air Pistol even, Hollen fired 98.1 points to secure the silver medal. The historic part, however, came from the 2012 Paralympic quota that Hollen won along with the medal. This is the first-ever Paralympic quota won by an American shooter under the IPC’s new quota distribution system. An elated Hollen said, “I am so thankful to be part of such an amazing program and to the people who have helped me reach the next step to my ultimate goal — Coach Bob Foth, Coach Ray Arredondo, Sean McCann, Dave Johnson, Sergey Luzov and many more.”

Hollen Achieves New Goals After Loosing Use of His Legs
Eric Hollen served in the U.S. Army for nine years, first with the 2/75 Rangers in Fort Lewis, WA, and then with the 10th Special Forces Group out of Fort Carson, CO. After leaving the Army, while farming in Tennessee in 2001, a tractor overturned on him, breaking his back. Despite that devastating injury, Hollen has gained a new lease on life. He enrolled in East Tennessee State University, earning his bachelor’s degree in April of 2010. He was awarded USA Shooting’s Paralympic Athlete of the Year honor after a terrific 2010 season. Hollen strives to help newly injured veterans reach their goals despite their disabilities. He advises junior shooters to: “Do the hard things — the hold drills and dry-fire drills that are not much fun — and you will find success.”

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
December 14th, 2011

Women of the USPSA Video — Watch in High Definition

Check out this cool video filmed by Charles Le at the 2011 USPSA Handgun Nationals in Las Vegas. Charles focused on the top female competitors, gals with world-class speed and accuracy. The video features Julie Golob, Jessie Harrison, Maggie Reese, Diana Le, Athena Lee, Kippi Leatham, Bonnie Ryder, and Cindi Thomas. These ladies redefine, in a positive way, what it means to “Shoot Like a Girl”.

Watch High-Def Version of Video with Fast Connections
By default, this YouTube video runs in 360p. However, if you have a fast connection you can select a higher resolution including 720p and 1080p HD (High Definition). You can also click the arrows icon on the lower right corner of the video to expand for full screen. Watching this vid in 1080p on a full screen is pretty impressive — trust us. (During HD viewing, if the display is choppy, let the whole video download before playback.) Charles Le’s video shows the production quality that can now be achieved with affordable equipment. Charles used a Canon EOS 60d camera (body only about $700), and edited the video on a MacBook Pro using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

Jessie Harrison

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December 14th, 2011

Colt Opens New Factory in Florida and Sells ARs in California

Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC (“Colt”) announced that it will open a new firearms production facility in Kissimmee, Florida. Colt’s announcement did not discuss plant closures elsewhere, but we expect that some of Colt’s production (and jobs) will be moved from New England to Florida. Colt’s press release states: “The new 16,000-square foot facility will allow Colt’s Manufacturing Company to expand into new markets and business lines in parallel with the company’s existing 100,000-square-foot facility in Connecticut. Specific information on facility renovations and employee requirements will be determined over the course of the next several months.”

Colt Florida

Colt Introduces New California-Compliant ARs
In related news, Colt has introduced a series of California-compliant AR15s. This is good for “black rifle” fans in the Golden State. Colt’s CA-legal ARs include: a 16″ barrel M4 Clone (LE6920CA) with adjustable stock; an Accurized rifle with 24″, 1:8″ twist heavy barrel (CR6724CA), and a “Patrol Rifle” that features Magpul furniture (6920CMP-B). All of Colt’s new California-compliant rifles are test-fired at the factory, and they all have mil-spec barrel, chamber, and bolt carrier group. In addition, Colt’s ARs receive special metal testing. Steve Comus, who reviewed Colt’s new ARs for Western Outdoor News, explains: “There is a magnetic particle inspection test done on all Colt rifles. After a rifle passes the MP (Magnetic Particle) test, MP is stamped on the bolt and barrel, as is C for Colt and MP on barrel. To pass, every single barrel and bolt goes through an over pressure test of 70,000 psi to make sure it can handle high pressure. Colt then takes rifle barrel and bolt and does a magnetic particle test on them. Barrels on mil spec barrels are chrome-lined. Accurized barrels are not chrome-lined.”

CLICK HERE for Full Field-Test of Colt California ARs (12/7/2011). Article from

Colt California compliant AR15

Permalink New Product, News 3 Comments »
December 13th, 2011

Bernosky, Tubb, and Whidden Explain How to Read the Wind

At the 2010 SHOT Show, we had the unique opportunity to corner three “superstars” of High Power shooting, and solicit their wind-reading secrets. In the three videos below (in alphabetical order), Carl Bernosky (9-Time Nat’l High Power Champion), David Tubb (11-time Nat’l High Power Champion and 7-time Nat’l Long -Range Champion), and John Whidden (2-Time Nat’l High Power Long-Range Champion) shared some of the wind-doping strategies that have carried them to victory in the nation’s most competitive shooting matches. This is GOLD folks… no matter what your discipline — be it short-range Benchrest or Long-Range High Power — watch these videos for valuable insights that can help you shoot more accurately, and post higher scores, in all wind conditions.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

We were very fortunate to have these three extraordinarily gifted champions reveal their “winning ways”. These guys REALLY know their stuff. I thought to myself: “Wow, this is how a baseball fan might feel if he could assemble Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Ted Williams in the same room, and have them each reveal their hitting secrets.” Editor’s Note: These interviews were conducted before Bernosky and Tubb won their most recent National Championships so the introductions may list a lower number of titles won.

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December 13th, 2011

Bushnell 5-15x40mm Elite 3200 on Sale for $349.00

Here’s a great December Deal from Right now, until supplies run out, Webyshops is offering Bushnell’s Elite 3200 5-15×40 AO Riflescope (item 325154T), for just $349.00 — that’s one hundred bucks cheaper than Webyshops’ regular low price. This is a very popular scope and Webyshops’ #2 top seller. It has excellent glass.

Bushnell Elite 3200 Mildot

The Bushnell Elite 3200 5-15×40 AO Riflescope is a quality hunting and target scope. It’s also great for rimfire guns because the front adjustable objective can focus all the way down to 10 yards. The Elite 3200 5-15×40 features Target Turrets with 1/4-MOA clicks, Mildot reticle, 1″-diameter maintube, and it ships with a sunshade. Stated elevation range is 50 MOA (so you may need an angled base for 1000-yard shooting). The scope is NOT a Front Focal Plane, so the ranging capabilities of the Mildot Reticle are limited to one magnification.

Here’s a review from a recent purchaser: “Great scope for the money. This is my 6th Bushnell Elite Scope, and the glass is as clear as more expensive scopes. The impressive thing about this scope is that the parallax can be adjusted down to 10 yards…between that and the target turrets, it was an easy decision to buy it for my CZ 452 American.” — Sam H., Pennsylvania

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
December 13th, 2011

.50 BMG Bottle Opener — Proceeds Benefit Wounded Warriors

Here’s a fun gift item from — a bottle opener made from de-milled .50 BMG cartridges. These .50 Caliber Bottle Openers are made by hand in the USA by a group that donates at least 15% of its profits to helping wounded soldiers via the Travis Manion Foundation.

50 cal bottle opener .50 bmg

The price is $14.99. Considering the simple design, we bet many of our readers could make their own bottle opener using an old cartridge, a Dremel tool, and a file. If that’s too much work, you can order the .50 Cal bottle opener from This item has been so popular that it is currently sold out, but is expecting to receive more inventory on December 19th — right before Christmas.

50 cal bottle opener .50 bmg

Credit for finding this item
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December 12th, 2011

IDPA Indoor Nationals Slated for February 23-25, 2012

Celebrating its 15th year, the IDPA Indoor National Championships will take place at the Smith & Wesson Shooting Sports Center in Springfield, MA, Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 23-25, 2012. The Indoor Nationals, as it is known, is one of the three major championships on the annual International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) shooting calendar. This event draws hundreds of top competitive shooters from across the nation. CLICK HERE to view image galleries from the 2011 IDPA Indoor Nationals in Massachusetts.

IDPA Indoor Nationals 2011

IDPA Indoor Nationals 2011

Registration Opens Next Sunday, December 18th
The 2012 championships will feature 12 stages and a minimum round count of 153. Online registration for the IDPA Indoor National Championships opens at 6:00pm ET on Sunday, December 18, 2011. Additional information on the 15th Annual Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor National Championships is available online. Below is a video by Team S&W Captain Julie Golob on the 2011 IDPA Indoor Nationals. Bad weather delayed Julie’s arrival, but the video shows many other top competitors, such as fellow Team S&W squad member Jerry Miculek, in action. Team S&W dominated last years event, winning five National titles.

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December 12th, 2011

MidwayUSA’s “Second Chance” Cyber Monday Sale Today

Did you miss out on the great deals during the Black Friday/Cyber-Monday weekend? Well MidwayUSA has announced a Second Chance Sale that runs through 11:59 PM CST on Monday, December 12th. Remember the listest prices end at Midnight tonight! Here are some of the best deals available now:

MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag: $34.99 marked down from $69.99
( Reviewed Product.)

Competition Range Bag

Lake City NEW 5.56×45 Brass (500 cases): $59.99 marked down from $114.99.
(This is new, unfired brass. You can also buy 1000 cases for $109.99 on sale.)

Lake City 5.56 brass

Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ Case Tumbler Master Kit: $53.99 marked down from $73.99.
(Includes Vibratory Tumbler, Bucket, Media Separator, Media, and polish.)

Frankford reloading kit

Frankford Arsenal Stainless 6″ Electronic Caliper: $10.99 marked down from $22.99.
(Comes in fitted plastic box with battery.)

discount calipers
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December 10th, 2011

New eBook from Student of the Gun TV Host

Paul MarkelPaul Markel, a firearms instructor who hosts the Student of the Gun cable series, has released a new instructional guide in e-Reader formats (HTML, Kindle, ePUB, PDF). Plain text and RTF versions are also available for most word processing programs.

Markel’s new Student of the Gun eBook contains advice for both new gun owners and experienced shooters. The text draws on Markel’s experience as U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Bodyguard, and Firearms Instructor. Over the past two decades, Markel has trained thousands of shooters. He is also a seasoned writer who has penned numerous articles and reviews for Shooting Sports and Law Enforcement periodicals.

Just $9.99 with Free Partial Samples
The eBook costs $9.99, but here’s the good part — you can download 5% of the book as a free HTML sample to read with your web browser. This new eBook is available for immediate download to your laptop, Kindle, Nook, iPad and other book readers. Download from

Paul MarkelStudent of the Gun TV Changes Channels
In related news, Paul Markel’s Student of the Gun TV Show is switching networks. Leaving the Pursuit Channel, the popular show moves to The Sportsman Channel, where it will air weekly, starting December 26th, 2011.

Paul Markel, the show’s host stated: “We are tremendously grateful for the support we received from our original channel. But the move to the Sportsman Channel gives us the opportunity for greater growth and the ability to reach more American shooters.” Check with your local cable provider for broadcast times. Watch a YouTube preview below.

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