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October 14th, 2012

U.S. Smallbore Teams Win Major International Postal Matches

Report based on Story by Lars Delsaide in NRAblog.
To steal a line from Hap Rocketto, the Americans scored a rare twofer this summer at during NRA’s National Rifle & Pistol Championships in Camp Perry. With scores of 7834 and 3994-279x, teams of top American Smallbore rifle shooters won this year’s Randle and Dewar Cup matches.

“I received an email from England saying that the United States had won both the Randle and the Dewar matches,” said NRA National Rifle Manager Howard “H.Q.” Moody. “And they didn’t just win them, they won them big!” added Moody. “That’s just phenomenal because [USA shooters] haven’t won them in almost ten years. It’s a real exciting thing to see because the Great Britain Rifle team will be coming to Camp Perry next summer to shoot the Pershing.”

Randle Trophy Postal Match Team
USA Randle Team Photo with coaches and competitors (listed alphabetically): Michelle Bohren, Katie Bridges, Claudia Duksa, Amy Fister, Reya Kempley, Sarah Kramer, Amanda Luoma, Virginia McLemore, Amanda McMullin, and Nancy Tompkins.

The Dewar Trophy International Match is a team event with 20-person national teams (both men and women) from English-speaking countries. Each competitor shoots forty shots at 20, 50 and 100 yards. The Randle Trophy International Match is open to teams of ten women from English-speaking nations. The Randle course of fire is the same as the Dewar Match.

Origin of International Postal Matches
The origins of the Randle and Dewar Cup Postal Matches can be traced back to historic GB vs. USA team matches that began at the turn of the 20th Century. The NRA’s Howard Moody explained that everything started more than 100 years ago with the Pershing and Lord Roberts matches. American and British Teams traveled back and forth “across the pond” to compete at these big events. But that was very expensive even back then. So, it was decided to divide the matches and alternate them every four years. The British would come to America for the Pershing Match, and four years later, the Americans would travel to England for the Roberts. Thus the Pershing and Roberts matches alternate every four years. So how does this connect to the Randle and Dewar Trophy matches? Moody explained: “To keep the competition going in the off years, we use the Randle and Dewar Cup.”

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October 14th, 2012

Lee Classic Cast Breech-Lock Press & Quick-Change Bushings

The Lee Classic Cast “O”-style press has always been an excellent value — it works as well as some other presses costing twice as much. And now Lee has improved on its Classic Cast Press design by adding a breech-lock fitting in the top. This allows you to swap dies in and out in seconds, once your dies are equipped with breech-lock quick-change bushings. The Lee Classic Cast Breech Lock press is available for under $120.00. That makes it a bargain compared to other heavy-duty single-stage presses. Midsouth Shooters Supply offers this press (item #006-90999) for $112.95, while Natchez Shooters Supplies sells the press (item #LEE90999) for $112.99.

Lee Classic Cast Breech Lock Press

Lee Classic Cast Breech Lock PressBreech-Lock System Allows Fast Die Exchanges
With the Lee Breech-Lock Press system, the die drops straight in from the top. Then, with a quick 1/6th (60°) turn, the die locks firmly in place (like the breech on an artillery canon). The interrupted three-start thread assures dies return and lock into the exact same position each time. Bushings cost $7.43 each at Midsouth. If you prefer, you can leave a bushing in the press, and screw your dies in normally. But consider that it normally takes a dozen or more turns to screw in a normally threaded die. The Breech-lock system is way faster.

The Lee Classic Cast press features a strong, cast-iron frame and all-steel linkage. The large 1 1/8″-diameter ram is guided by over twelve square inches of ram bearing surface. We like the fact that you can mount the handle on either side, and adjust handle angle and length. As Lee explains: “The start and stop position is adjustable with a 48-tooth, ratchet-type handle clamp. In addition, the handle length is completely adjustable. Shorten [it] when you’re loading handgun and short rifle cases.”

Lock-Ring Eliminator Quick-Change Bushings
With Lee’s basic quick-lock bushings, you control vertical die position with the normal locking ring that seats against the top of the bushing. That works fine, but Lee also offers a handy Lock-Ring Eliminator Bushing (Lee SKU 90063). This clever design combines bushing and lock-ring into a single part. The Eliminator is turned from a solid piece of steel and the lock ring is integrated into the design of the part. With the Eliminator you’ll get the most repeatable and precise die positioning because lock ring and bushing are all one piece. Moreover, some guys say the Eliminator Bushings are easier to grab and remove than the standard Lee Breech-Lock Bushings.

Lee Classic Cast Breech Lock Press

Press owners have praised their Lee Classic Cast Breech-Lock units. Here are reports from two MidwayUSA customers:

Five Stars: Perfect single stage press. Loads accurately 6mm BR and 308 Win for competition. Large clearance is also great for my 460 Wby and 30-378 Wby. Pistol rounds in 44 mag and 45 ACP also load easy. The press has a lot of leverage for full-length rifle case sizing. Nice primer disposal system. Lowest price for its class. This unit beats my Lyman press by several miles…. ” — J. Davidson, California

Five Stars: I waited until Lee would bring out their breech-lock system in classic cast design. This thing is outstanding and better than my old RCBS partner press. Once you get the sweet setting of the die, lock it in place and next time you load, you need not fumble to find the best setting. Breech lock is the key. I choose this press over Hornady, due to all-steel construction. I load a lot of .308 Win and .223 Rem for my ARs and this requires full-length sizing. Lee meets the challenge with no flex and excellent ram/die fit and alignment. Another nice feature is that the breech-lock inserts have a lock preventing [them] from unlocking. [T]he spent primer disposal is perfect vs. RCBS where primers can miss the primer catcher. The handle can also be placed left or right as needed and shortened for small cases or pistol to reduce the handle travel. I don’t see how you can get a better press for the price.” — E. Stanley, Rockford, IL

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October 14th, 2012

Guide to Tactical Rifles from Gun Digest

Gun Digest offers a users’ guide for tactical rifles. Authored by Patrick Sweeney (Guns & Ammo Handguns Editor), the 224-page Gun Digest Book of the Tactical Rifle covers tactical rifle types, ammo, reloading, and tactical accessories. Most of the book’s sixteen chapters are gun-specific — detailed discussions of particular rifles such as the M15/M1A, the FN-FAL, and the Sig 556. There are also dedicated chapters on Bullpups, Rimfires, and “Sniper Rifles” (both bolt-action and semi-auto).

While the book sports an AR15 on its cover, AR-platform rifles are NOT the major focus of the book. If you are only interested in ARs, this is not the book for you. However, if you want to learn more about a variety of modern arms, you should find the book a valuable resource. Gun Digest claims: “No other book covers as many different styles of tactical rifles, and is written by a more qualified author.”

Gun Digest Tactical Rifle Book

About the Author
The handguns editor for Guns & Ammo magazine, Patrick Sweeney is a also a credentialed gunsmith and police firearms instructor. He has written many of Gun Digest Books’ best-selling titles including: Gun Digest Book of the 1911, Vols. I and II; Gun Digest Big Fat Book of the .45 ACP, Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Gun Digest Book of the AK and SKS, among other titles.

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