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December 31st, 2012

Powder Valley Holds the Line on Prices of Reloading Supplies

Powder Valley Inc.Here’s good news for purchasers of reloading components. Powder Valley Inc. (PVI) is “holding the line” on prices of powder, primers, brass, and bullets. In so doing, Powder Valley is “keeping the faith” with its customer base. By contrast, many local gun shops and big box retailers have jacked up prices on guns, ammo, and reloading supplies in response to a spike in demand. With the hue and cry for new gun control legislation, gun owners have rushed to stores to get guns, ammo, and reloading components. Predictably, some retailers have raised prices on everything from primers to all types of semi-auto firearms. Not so with Powder Valley. If you check the PVI website, you’ll see that prices for almost all products in stock are basically the same as a month ago (before the events in Newtown). Unlike some other vendors, Powder Valley has refrained from ramping up prices. We commend PVI for this.

Powder Valley Inc.

Here is what Powder Valley owner Bryan Richardson told us about his company’s pricing policy:

“We watched back in 2009 as companies jacked up their prices due to supply and demand. This may make sense for some retailers and manufacturers. However, this is not the way we do business, nor will ever do business. It is completely against our conviction.

My wife and I established our business in 2000 with a mission statement of: ‘Providing the finest in reloading components and other shooting sports related products at the best possible price. In doing so, we will conduct business with the utmost respect and consideration for the customer’s needs by constantly demonstrating honesty and integrity.’

Therefore, increasing prices due to current market and political conditions is contrary to our mission of conducting business with the utmost respect and consideration for the customer’s needs. It is my opinion that if we want our industry to survive… we cannot price consumers out of shooting. Therefore, when you see our prices increase or decrease it is simply based off of the manufacturer’s or importer’s pricing. I think history shows that consumers remember the companies who elevated their prices for short-term profits and those who did not. We are here for the long haul and want to grow our business through building our customer base, not increasing our prices.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 9 Comments »
December 31st, 2012

Maisto Competition Cartridge Boxes — Quality Craftsmanship

Up in Wisconsin, a gentleman named Joe Maisto crafts some exceptionally nice competition cartridge boxes. Each box is hand-machined (no molds, no CNC), with the holes precisely fitted to the cartridge you shoot. Joe has been building his boxes since 1996, first from wood, and now from more durable (and easier-to-clean) polymers. Joe started with a hinge-top 25-round box (with magnetic latch) for short-range benchresters. He still makes that box, but now he also offers 40-round boxes, high-top boxes (for bigger, taller cartridges), open top cartridge blocks, and combo blocks with holes for cases and a built-in tray. Our buddies in the short-range benchrest game say the Maisto boxes are perfect for carrying rounds from the loading bench to the firing line. GO TO Joseph Maisto website.

25-Round Cartridge Boxes
These units were designed in 1996. The originals were machined of Walnut, Cherry, or Birch. They were lovely, laborious, and expensive. To make the price more affordable, the wood units have since been retired in favor of high density polyethylene (HDPE). The front holes are separated for “record rounds”. Holes are bored with a minimum of clearance, and up to the shoulder. Additionally, each cartridge slot has a smaller hole in the bottom to allow debris to exist. These $60.00 boxes feature a quality stainless steel hinge with small but strong magnets that provide secure closure. While these were originally crafted for PPC cases, Joe offers various hole diameters for different-sized small cartridges.

joe maisto cartridge box

40-Round Cartridge Boxes
For those who want more capacity (for longer strings of fire), Joe offers 40-round cartridge boxes. These allow shooters to change loads on the line, or simply have more rounds in a single box. With finger grooves front and back, the 40-rd boxes work for both left and right handers. Just like the 25-rd boxes, the 40s have a stainless hinge and magnetic closure. Price is $130.00.

Large Cartridge Box
Joe’s Large Cartridge Boxes are taller to accommodate the bigger cartridges used for long-range shooting. These feature magnetic latching and and bottom exit holes, just like the Joe’s original PPC boxes. Joe notes that, for some cartridges, the Large Boxes “have 20 holes instead of 25 because of the larger cartridge head size”. When ordering the Large Boxes, you need to specify cartridge dimensions and cartridge overall loaded length (COAL). Price is $65.00 per box.

joe maisto cartridge box

Cartridge Blocks
These cartridge “blocks” are made from the same material as Joe’s cartridge boxes. Each has finger grooves and exit holes. Joe says: “The size of the block is perfect for manipulating primed cases under a powder measure where space is a factor.” The 20-round block costs $19.00. Joe also offers a version with a recess on one side for empties. These have either 10 or 14 holes and cost $28.00.

joe maisto cartridge box field tested gear
Joseph A. Maisto
3647 Debby Lane
Franksville, Wl 53126
PH: (262) 886-1610
Email: jmaisto [at]

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 1 Comment »
December 31st, 2012

Magna-Tip Torx Driver Set from Brownells

Here’s a cool Torx driver from Brownells that belongs in every shooter’s tool box. The Magna-Tip Tactical/LE Field Torx Kit features a driver with five (5) Torx bits to fit popular scope rings and bases. A storage compartment in the handle holds the bits when not in use. A built-in magnetic socket in the handle holds each bit securely in the shank. We think this is a great new product. When Eyeballing a Torx screw, it’s hard to tell which size bit is required, and the short, L-shaped Torx wrenches that come with ring sets get lost all too easily. The $17.99 Torx Driver Kit, (Brownells Item 080-000-757), will help shooters keep all their often-used Torx bits safely in one place.

Brownells Magna tip torx driver

Permalink Gunsmithing No Comments »
December 30th, 2012

Compact Model 11 Stealth Chassis from Eberlestock

Eberle 2011 ChassisIn the 1980s, Glen Eberle was an Olympic Biathlete with Team USA. Recognizing the benefits of a lighter, more durable rifle stock, Glen invented a radical new biathlon stock that literally “changed the game”. Glen’s lighter stock allowed biathletes to ski faster. His stock was also more rugged than conventional designs, so it could better survive the inevitable tumbles that occur in competition.

Since retiring from Biathlon competition, Eberle has built a successful Idaho-based company that supplies tough field packs and accessories for hunters and the military. But Glen never lost interest in stock design, and over the past few years he has developed an innovative new tactical chassis that is quite different than anything on the market today.

Eberle 2011 Chassis

Eberlestock Model 11 Stealth Rifle Chassis system Fits Rem 700s
The Eberlestock Model 11 Stealth Rifle Chassis system is compact, light-weight and strong. Designed to fit Remington 700 actions, the Eberlestock model 11 chassis offers a drop-in, no-gunsmithing solution for tactical shooters. For the Rem 700 and Rem-clone actions, the Model 11 Chassis employs Accuracy Int’l Classic detachable box magazines (DBMs). The folding-stock version of the new Eberle chassis is very compact. Eberle claims it is “the shortest [folding-stock] sniper system in the world”.

The Model 11 Stealth Chassis is in Production Now
The basic Model 11 Stealth Rifle Chassis weighs 4 pounds and costs $1895.00. First availability will be for the Remington Model 700 short action. Next offerings will be for Rem Model 700 long actions, followed by stocks to fit models from other manufacturers. A variety of configuration options are offered, including folding butt-stock and a fore-stock with mounting rails. For more info, visit, or call Eberlestock USA in Idaho at 877-866-3047 or 208-424-5081.

Model 11 Chassis

Eberle 2011 Chassis

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 6 Comments »
December 29th, 2012

Christmas Cowboy Revealed — Yes, It’s Carl Bernosky

Yesterday we featured a “mystery man” in a old family photo from a 1950s Christmas. We challenged readers to identify the young boy in cowboy hat who later grew up into one of America’s greatest rifle shooters. Most folks thought our mystery celebrity was Texan G. David Tubb. Others, no doubt focusing on the hat, suggested it was benchrest Hall-of-Famer Tony Boyer. And there were votes for Mid Tompkins and trick-shooter Bob Munden (who recently passed away). But most of you guys guessed right — the “littlest cowboy” was, in fact, 10-time National High Power Champion Carl Bernosky.

Carl Bernosky

Carl BernoskyHow Times Have Changed in America
Carl tells us: “I think the photo was from 1959, when I was three years old. That was on Christmas with my family. Since then, I have upgraded the holster, switched from revolvers to pistols, and gave up the pipe!”

Carl misses the ‘good old days': “It’s hard to believe how much has changed in America. Things were really different in the 50s and 60s. It was great for a boy growing up. We spent a lot of time outdoors, and people trusted each other more.” Carl said: “I remember going on a hunting trip with my Dad. We had to fly from Pennsylvania to someplace out west. Somewhere I’ve got a photo showing my Dad and I carrying our guns in soft cases on to the aircraft. We just walked through the airport and carried our guns right on to the plane. You sure don’t want to try that today!”

Carl Bernosky

Now that he’s all grown up, Carl makes a living producing rifles and gunstocks for hunters and competition shooters. Carl’s company, Carl Bernosky Shooting Sports, offers a variety of stocks made from laminates and fancy woods. A highly-skilled woodworker, Carl can customize stock designs for any customer’s unique requirements. Shown below are some of his creations, prone rifles (in fancy wood) on the left, and an F-Open rifle in Rutland Laminate on the right.

Carl Bernosky

Permalink News No Comments »
December 28th, 2012

Christmas Past — A Legend in the Making

Waylon Jennings famously crooned: “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys”. Well the young fella in the fuzzy photo didn’t grow up to be a cowboy, but he did become one of the greatest rifle shooters in history. Can you guess who this is?

christmas past legend

- Guess Who Is in the Photo -
(Answer will be revealed in tomorrow’s Daily Bulletin).

christmas pass legend

The photo was taken on a Christmas morning, decades ago, when our mystery man was around three years old. He told us: “Starting with toy guns, then BB guns, then 22s, and then centerfires — doing stuff with rifles was just part of my upbringing. This is something I did with my family. That’s my grand-dad in the photo with me.” What happened to the toy six-shooters and fancy double-holster rig? Our mystery subject lamented: “Oh that’s long gone. Wish I still had that rig, it would bring back memories….”

Permalink News 16 Comments »
December 28th, 2012

Gene Bukys Sets New Sporter 100/200 NBRSA Grand Agg Record

Gene Bukys NBRSA Record ArizonaBenchrest shooter Gene Bukys has smashed the existing Sporter Class 100+200 yard Grand Aggregate record, lowering the NBRSA record from 0.1886 to 0.1777. That’s a big deal in the short-range benchrest game. This record was shot in October, 2012 at the Arizona Nationals.

On Benchrest Central, NBRSA SW Regional Director Tom Libby reported:

“Yes it’s said that ‘Every Thing is Bigger in Texas’. Well in this case ‘Smaller is Better’ and Gene has done it with his new World Record for five 5-shot groups at both 100 and 200 yards in the Sporter Class Grand Aggregate.

The Old Record: .1886
The New Record: .1777

[That includes five targets at EACH distance, ten targets total.]

Great Job Eugene G. Bukys!

It is my understanding that Gene has bought a new special cowboy hat to start putting his awards on it but don’t get to close to him as the brim will hit you in the head.

Bukys and Barrel Tuners
Commenting on Buky’s record-setting performance, Boyd Allen writes: “Gene has a fine record as a shooter, and his rifles have tuners (at least the bag guns do, I’m not sure about the rail.) In contrast to other users of tuners, I’m told that Gene tunes his to the middle of a node, locks it down, and does not move it again, preferring to tune with normal means. I think that the effectiveness of this approach is pretty evident — the proof is now in the record books! Gene would tell you that he has never seen a barrel’s accuracy increased by the addition of a tuner, but that, with a tuner, accuracy nodes are wider. I would add that, while Gene’s tuner is an important component, we must acknowledge Gene’s outstanding shooting skills — this man can win with or without a tuner.”

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
December 27th, 2012

NRA Indoor Championships Commence Next Week

Story based on report by Kyle Jillson for NRAblog
As we enter the new year, the NRA National Indoor Rifle and Pistol Championships kick off with the first set of sectional tournaments starting January 1, 2013. With thousands of participants, the Indoor Championships are the NRA’s biggest competition. And the addition of BB Gun and Light Rifle in 2013 is expected to draw even more competitors.

NRA Indoor Rifle Pistol Championships

Unlike NRA matches shot at one location such as the Bianchi Cup or the National Matches at Camp Perry, the Indoor Championships are fired at local sectional tournaments. The results of particular Sectional events are sent to the NRA and and then tallied alongside results from around the country. The championships are open to anyone and everyone in the country as long as you can make it to a sectional tournament. After scores are compiled, results are announced and awards are mailed out.

Unlike the NRA’s traditional tournaments, the Indoor Championships run throughout the winter:

January 1 through March 18: Open Sectionals
January 1 through February 12: Collegiate Sectionals
January 1 through April 15: Junior Sectionals (There may be over 300 of these in 2013).

The NRA National Indoor Championships are a lot of fun and the perfect chance to try out any new gifts you got this holiday season. Want to host a sectional or learn more about shooting in one? Send email to the Rifle Department at, or give the NRA a call:

Rifle: Dian Bullock, (703) 267-1482
Pistol: Ann Boyd, (703) 267-1452
Collegiate: Tori Croft, (703) 267-1473

Permalink Competition No Comments »
December 26th, 2012

Hornady LnL AutoCharge Powder Dispenser on Sale for $195.00

Hornady Lock N Load Autocharge Electronic Powder Dispenser ScaleThe Hornady Lock N Load AutoCharge Electronic Scale/Dispenser is now on sale for under $200.00. has the Hornady AutoCharge for $194.99 (with $5.95 flat sh/h) and offers the AutoCharge for $195.00 with FREE ‘Super-Saver’ shipping. If you are looking for an affordable combination digital scale and powder dispenser, this is very attractive pricing. By comparison, the RCBS ChargeMaster is currently on sale for $299.99 at Sinclair International. So you can save at least $105.00 by buying RED instead of GREEN.

While we have a lot of positive experience with the RCBS Chargemaster, we haven’t done any long-term testing of the Hornady AutoCharge. However, user reviews have generally been positive. We suggest you do your own research and then make your own decision. Both the Hornady LnL AutoCharge and RCBS ChargeMaster offer load precision to ±0.1 grains. Both the Hornady Autocharge and the RCBS ChargeMaster are sold with a one-year manufacturers warranty.

Features and Specifications:
  • Scale capacity of 1000 grains
  • Easy-to-operate keypad
  • Large backlit display
  • Automatic and manual dispense options
  • Trickle function
  • Three speed settings
  • Easy Outflow Powder Drain
  • Overcharge protection
  • One-year manufactuer’s warranty

This Youtube video shows the Hornady Lock-N-Load AutoCharge in action.

If you want to learn more about the Hornady AutoCharge, there is a detailed review in, a popular Aussie gun forum. This product review features actual test results along with lots of sharp, jumbo-sized photos. Here is the summary of the reviewer’s test results: “Weighing [20 charges of a stick powder] on a Redding beam scale (the only other scale I have) showed that 12 were spot on and the remainder we fairly equally split between 0.1 grain under and 0.1 grain over according to this scale. I consider this to be more than adequate for me.”

CLICK HERE for Hornady Lock-N-Load AutoChage Dispenser REVIEW (Big PHOTOS)

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
December 25th, 2012

Merry Christmas to All Our Friends Around the World…

Christmas Elk Canada
You can download this photo as a FREE computer wallpaper from

Christmas Elk CanadaHoliday Greetings to Our Readers
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers and especially our 19,630+ Forum Members. This marks our eighth Christmas “in business”, and the site is growing faster than ever. (and are now accessed by over 120,000 unique users every week. Part of the reason for that success is the hard work of our volunteer helpers.

Unsung Heroes Deserve Recognition
I want to acknowledge some guys who have really helped out the site. Number one is JayChris, our IT guy — he keeps the servers running smoothly. Thanks also go to Jeff Williams, our new “Answerman” who fields miscellaneous questions from our readers. We have a great place to test rifles thanks to our good buddy (and designated trigger-puller) Joe Friedrich. I also want to recognize our regular contributors, including German Salazar, Jason Baney, Robert Whitley, Mark LaFevers, and Vince Bottomley. And special thanks to EdLongRange who supplies story leads for the Daily Bulletin. These guys (and many others) have all contributed much time and effort.

Christmas Elk Canada

Permalink News 2 Comments »
December 25th, 2012

Sauer 202 with 22LR Conversion Kit

Forum member “Tooms” sent us a report on his very special Sauer 202 with a 22LR conversion kit. Sauer 202 rifles feature a “Quick-change barrel system”. The barrel is clamped into the receiver with crossbolts providing tension. This allows barrels to be swapped in a few minutes with simple tools. Tooms, from Denmark, explains: “The rifle began as a Sauer 202 Avantgarde Gold in .308 Win. I have added a 6.5×55 match barrel, plus a wide flat-bottom match fore-arm with rail for handstop and bipod. The 22LR system [originally] cost $1000.00 [including] barrel, bolt, magazine well assembly, and magazine. The barrel is attached by three cross-bolts and the magazine well assembly is attached by one screw that fits into the barrel.”

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

Using this “Quick-change system”, Tooms can easily remove his centerfire barrel and swap in a .22 LR barrel. Then he places the factory conversion kit into the magazine well. This kit provides a rimfire bolt, a fitted sleeve for the rimfire bolt, and a track for the magazine. This is a full Sauer factory-designed system so it works flawlessly. With the bolt closed, you can see the “new” 22LR chamber in the front section of the loading port. On the silver section of the bolt you can see the rimfire extractor on the side.

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

The 22LR Conversion Really Works
The Sauer 202 Varmint rifle shoots very well with the 22LR conversion, as the 50m target at right shows. Though quite expensive, the conversion kit essentially transforms your centerfire rifle into fully functional, mag-fed precision rimfire. That makes the Sauer 202 much more versatile as a hunting platform. It also allows you to cross-train with inexpensive ammo. You don’t have to purchase another scope, trigger, or stock. And you enjoy the exact same stock fit and ergonomics whether you’re shooting centerfire or rimfire. In some countries where gun ownership is severely restricted, it may be easier, from a legal standpoint, to purchase a 22LR conversion kit than to obtain a permit for a second rifle.

To learn more about the complete line of Sauer 202 rifles visit the J.P. Sauer USA website. You’ll also find more information on the primary J.P. Sauer & Sohn German website,

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 7 Comments »
December 25th, 2012

Free Plot Sheets for High Power and F-Class

The Arizona Desert Sharpshooters website offers a complete collection of competition plot sheets. These plot sheets were created by shooter Reid Perry. High Power and F-Class shooters can use these to mark their shot locations and record their wind calls. All the Plot Sheets are created in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format so they’ll print consistently from any computer. See sample plot sheet for 600 Yards.

Shooter's Score Card

Right click and “save as” the links below to download full-size plot sheets. On the Desert Sharpshooters site you’ll find other free plot sheets, including ISSF (300m) and ICFRA Plot Sheets (300 to 1000 yards), plust sight-setting and score-keeping plot sheets.

DCRA (Canada) Plot Sheets

Permalink Competition 4 Comments »
December 24th, 2012

This Christmas Eve, Remember Our Warriors Deployed Overseas

Soldier's ChristmasThis Christmas Eve day, amidst the shopping frenzy, let’s not forget the scores of American military personnel, volunteers all, who remain deployed overseas, thousands of miles from home. In this video, Marine Master Sgt. Robert Allen sings a Christmas song he wrote for his wife back home. Allen is one of the thousands of service men and women still deployed in Afghanistan. His song helps us remember the many soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen who serve this nation in battle zones far, far from home. MSG Allen hopes his song “will help people understand that though we’re willing to do it, it’s still heart-breaking”.

Video recorded at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.
Permalink - Videos, News 1 Comment »
December 23rd, 2012

Wilson Combat Adjustable AR Gas Block Kit for $75

Wilson Combat now offers an Adjustable Lo-Profile AR Gas Block for direct gas impingement AR-type rifles. Wilson Combat’s new adjustable gas block replaces a standard AR gas block and allows you to tune your AR’s gas system for smoother cycling and enhanced reliability. Wilson Combat explains: “Adjusting your rifle’s gas port will lower or increase your bolt’s cyclic rate. This tailors your rifle’s performance to your unique needs.”

Wilson combat adjustable AR AR15 gas block

A simple adjustment of the hex screw at the front of the block modulates the gas volume allowing you to tune your rifle’s function to your favorite loads. This is very handy when shooting non-standard AR calibers, unusual hand-loads, or suppressed rifles. Adjustable Gas Block systems are sold as complete kits starting at $74.95. Wilson Combat offers two diameters (.750″, .937″) and three lengths (Carbine Length, Mid-Length, & Rifle Length), so you can select the right dimensions for your rifle configuration and barrel diameter. The blocks are Chromoly steel with a Melonited finish.

Package Includes:

  • Adjustable Gas Block (Melonite Finish)
  • Adjustment Set Screw (Installed)
  • Straight Gas Tube (Installed, Gas Tube Pin Installed)
  • 12″-Long Allen Wrench to Adjust Inside Handguard
  • $74.95 – $79.95
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »
December 22nd, 2012

Hodgdon Releases 2013 Annual Manual

The new 2013 Annual Hodgdon Reloading Manual (the 10th Annual Edition) has just been released. The manual now contains over 5000 loads, with updates for 37 rifle and pistol cartridges. You’ll also find data for Hodgdon’s popular, new CFE-223 reduced-fouling powder — CFE-223 load info has been added for 19 more cartridges. Varmint hunters will be pleased to see the addition of complete data for the popular 17 Hornet. Along with comprehensive load data, the 2013 Annual Manual offers authoritative articles by top gun and outdoor industry writers working with the editors of Shooting Times magazine.

Hodgdon 10th Annual Reloading Manual

You’ll find the 2013 Hodgdon manual at newsstands and gun stores in early 2013, priced at $8.99. (Some stores already have the 2013 Manual on the shelves.) You can also order direct by visiting or calling (913) 362-9455. (Direct sales price is $11.99 including postage.)

Permalink News, Reloading No Comments »
December 22nd, 2012

FREE Plans for Building Deluxe Reloading Bench

The NRA’s American Rifleman Online website has an excellent article showing how to construct a rock-solid Reloading Bench. There are plenty of photos, and a detailed set of Bench Blueprints showing all dimensions and listing all needed materials. This bench is very well designed, with many deluxe features, such as an upper drawer with fitted slots for die boxes, and large lower drawers with 100-lb rated slides to store heavy materials or tools. If you have good wood-working skills this would be an excellent project.

CLICK HERE to Download Article with Photos | CLICK HERE for Bench Blueprints

The author, Dave Campbell, offers good advice on building the bench top: “I ripped a sheet of 3/4″ AC plywood into two 24″ wide pieces and cut them to 72″ long. Then I glued them together to form a 72″ long, 1 1/24″ thick top. The trick here is to keep the edges smooth and flat so that the laminate will adhere properly and without voids. I chose a light grey laminate finish for the top because it’s easier to see what I am working on and keep clean. If you have never worked with laminate, remember it’s prudent to glue and rout the edges flush before gluing on the top. The top was attached to the carcass with eight steel L-shaped angle brackets and No. 10×1 1/4″ wood screws.”

Photos Copyright © 2008 The National Rifle Association, used by permission

Permalink - Articles, Tech Tip No Comments »
December 21st, 2012

Breaking News: World Does Not Come to an End

Mayan Calander doomsday apocalypseAccording to the ancient Mayan Calendar, the world was going to come to an end on December 21st (to be precise, at 2400 hours on December 20th, 2012). Apparently, Doomsday has not occurred. That’s a relief. The experts assure us that the Mayans got it wrong. And near the international dateline, this official message was posted on the internet: “The world has not ended. Sincerely, New Zealand.”

So enjoy the fact that planet earth (and its inhabitants) have apparently avoided the Apocalypse — at least until an asteroid the size of Texas decides to pay us a visit. On December 21st (today) the sun came up, the earth continued to rotate on its axis, we still face taxes and traffic jams, and we all grow older every day.

So, now that we don’t have to worry about the end of all life as we know it — maybe it’s time to finish up that Christmas shopping, or better yet, celebrate our deliverance from Mayan Doomsday by spending a day at the shooting range with family and friends.

Did the Mayas Really Predict an Apocalypse?
Apparently not. According to Missouri University Professor Robert Smale, the concern over “Mayan Doomsday” results from a mistake. Smale stated: “I can tell you definitively from the Mayan texts that we have, books that we have, inscriptions, that the Mayas never predicted an apocalypse, cataclysm, a last judgment or an end of the world on December 21, 2012.” Smale explained that the doomsday fears emerged from a confusion over symbols. The Mayan script used the same marker to represent zero as well as thirteen. Once we understand that point, Smale says, it becomes clear that the Mayas never predicted the “end of time”. In fact, just like the Gregorian Calendar, the Mayan Calendar “starts from year zero and has no end.”

Permalink News 3 Comments »
December 21st, 2012

Ten Days Left for Zeiss Rebates on Optics and Rangefinders

Carl Zeiss Sports Optics has some very attractive promotions in place right now — with rebates from $50 to $500.00. With Zeiss Field Days mail-in rebates you can save money on premium rifle scopes, spotting scopes, laser rangefinders, and rangefinding binoculars. But time’s running out. The 2012 Carl Zeiss Field Days Promotion runs out on December 31, 2012. CLICK HERE for Field Days Rebate Coupon.

Save $500.00 on Zeiss Diascope Spotting Scopes
Zeiss produces a very high-quality spotting scope. We did a three-way test with a Pentax PF-100ED, 2010-model (one piece) Swarovski 80mm, and 2012 Zeiss 85mm Diascope. Compared to the big Pentax, the Zeiss could resolve very fine lines better and the Zeiss had less chromatic aberration. The Diascope was very, very close to the Swaro in resolution, but it had a slight edge in low light given its larger front objective. Most of our testers gave a slight edge to the Swaro for contrast. The dual-rate focus system on the Zeiss does take a while to master, but it allows faster focusing than either the Pentax (which uses two separate knobs for course and fine focus), or the Swaro (which has one large full-diameter focusing ring). If you’re choosing between the Swaro and the Zeiss, the $500.00 rebate can easily settle the argument. Street price for the Zeiss Angled 85mm Diascope (before rebate) is $2999.99 including Vario 20-60x Eyepiece. Do note, however, that anyone considering a high-end spotting scope should also look at the Kowa 88mm TSN-88X Prominar HD series ($2310.00 street price for TSN-883 Angled, BODY ONLY).

How to Get Your Discounts
All purchases must be made from a Carl Zeiss Authorized Dealer in the United States and rebate request forms must be completed and postmarked within 30 days of purchase. Payment will be made by a ZEISS Prepaid Reward Card by American Express. For promotion details, visit the Field Days Promo Page. For faster payment and real-time tracking, register on-line at After submitting your rebate forms, check the status of your rebate with the Zeiss Online Rebate Tracker.

  • $500 rebate on the 65mm and 85mm VICTORY DiaScope (plus free tripod).
  • $300 rebate on the award-winning VICTORY RF rangefinding binoculars.
  • $50 rebate on the award-winning VICTORY 8×26 PRF laser rangefinding monocular.
  • $100 rebate on the NEW Conquest HD 42mm binoculars.
  • $100 rebate on the NEW Conquest 30mm Duralyt Riflescopes.
  • $100 rebate on all riflescopes that have any Rapid-Z reticle.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
December 20th, 2012

High-Tech Target Systems Plot Shots Automatically

We live in a digital, electronic era. The very story you’re reading right now consists of digital data packets transmitted electronically around the globe. Because of cost factors, 99+% of shooting matches in the USA still rely on old-fashioned manual scoring methods. However, target scoring can be done faster and more precisely with electronic scoring systems. Olympic and international CISM shooting competitions now employ electronic target systems. And electronic scoring is widely used in Europe. Virtually all the rifle and pistol events at the recent ISSF World Championships in Munich featured electronic scoring — complete with large, overhead digital displays so the audience could track the action, shot for shot.

Below is a video showing an electronic scoring system developed by Norway’s Kongsberg Mikroelektronikk AS. Watch as a prone shooter puts five rounds on a 300m target. You can see the group form on the video screen at his shooting station. He’s a good shooter (with an accurate rifle). The first three shots are touching.

As you can see from the video, viewing shots on the monitor is easier than using a spotting scope and waiting for targets to be marked. And, electronic targets eliminate the need for target pullers in the pits.

YouTube Preview Image

The Kongsberg target systems, like the electronic systems produced by Sius Ascor of Switzerland, do more than just display shot locations to the shooter. The target units automatically calculate scores, which are transmitted to a central computer. This can provide updated competitor rankings, and can even display the results to event spectators on large view screens.

CLICK HERE for a longer streaming Flash VIDEO showing how electronic target systems work. This video, produced by Sius Ascor, shows Olympic target systems in action.

Permalink - Videos, Competition 15 Comments »
December 19th, 2012

GemPro 250 Digital Scale on Sale for Just $145.00

Gempro 250If you are looking for an affordable precision scale, the GemPro 250 scale is now on sale for just $145.00 at This scale offers 0.02 grain resolution, good enough to trickle kernel by kernel. The GemPro 250 comes with a 30-year warranty for American buyers. As this scale weighs more precisely than popular digital powder scale/dispensers, you can use the digital dispenser to throw a “close” charge and then fine-tune your load with the GemPro, kernel by kernel.

by Bill Schnauffer (aka Cover Dog)

The Importance of Precise Loads for Long-Range Shooting
The reloading scale is the life blood of anyone’s loading bench. It’s used for everything from weighing powders to cases or bullets and yes even primers. I would have never considered weighing primers but that is one of the many things I learned the weekend of May 20-22, 2011 at The Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Bench Rest Club’s Bench Rest Instructional School. All aspects of reloading for 1000-yard BR have to be identical. Your brass, bullets, powder and primers all have to weigh the same, for all your sighters and your 10 record shots, if you want any chance of being competitive. This can only become a reality if your scale is up to the task. Everything you do when shooting at 1000 yards is magnified 10x and your scale needs to be above all else, accurate and repeatable.

Gempro 250

I thought that a scale accurate to 1/10th of a grain was good enough. Not so in the long range BR game. Scales need to be accurate to at least 5/100ths of a grain or better if you can afford it. This prompted my search for such a scale.

GemPro Is Half the Price of Denver Instrument MXX-123
I have read reviews for several of the better scales used for reloading including the Accu-Lab VIC 123 (now replaced by the Sartorius Acculab AY123110V). The [AY123 seriess] scales are accurate to 2/100ths of a grain, but is also a scale that many felt was affected by RF interference and the slightest air movement made it drift. This was due in part because of the strain gauge technology that is used in the manufacture of this scale. And with parts not readily available, the lead time for one is you want it is over 20 weeks. The Denver Instrument MXX-123 also had a good review but the current version, [Sartorius Acculab AY123110V], is into the $320 price range. And this is out of reach for many reloaders.

This now brings me to the My Weigh GemPro 250. It uses True-Division German HBM sensors and professional components in the manufacture of this scale. It has a 50 gram weight capacity (771.72 grains) and accuracy down to 2/100ths of a grain. It features seven (7) weighing modes as listed below. And with a retail price in the $145.00 range, this is a scale that most reloaders could afford for their reloading bench. And you won’t be pressed for room on that bench. The scale is very compact, measuring 5.25″ X 3.75″ X 2.5″.

GemPro 250 Scale Balance Review

Product Sale Tip by Boyd Allen. We welcome Reader Submissions.
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