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February 17th, 2013

New Jumbo-Sized, Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine from Lyman

Lyman has introduced a number of new products for 2013 for gunsmiths and hand-loaders. An impressive new offering is the new, large-capacity Turbo® Sonic Power Pro Ultrasonic Cleaning machine. This new unit, one of the largest and most powerful on the market, can ultrasonically clean items up to 34″ in length. The Lyman Power Pro’s large, stainless-steel heated tank and ten transducers allow gunsmiths, armorers, and gun-owners to quickly clean a wide variety of metal items. Designed for high-volume cleaning or for larger-than-normal items, the new Turbo Sonic Power Pro’s 34.75″-long* heated stainless steel tank can easily handle most barreled actions, upper receivers, as well as multiple handguns. The Power Pro includes both a timer and adjustable heat control (you can select temps up to 175° F).

lyman turbo sonic power pro ultrasonic

With an MSRP of $1395.00 and a 70-lb shipping weight, this is a big, heavy, and costly unit. But if you need a hard-working machine for big jobs, this may be worth the investment.

lyman turbo sonic power pro ultrasonicTen Transducers Do the Job Fast
The Power Pro’s TEN high-output transducers aggressively clean and degrease items, both inside and out. In fact, the Power Pro is such an effective cleaner that Lyman recommends that cleaned parts immediately be treated with Lyman’s Turbo Sonic Gun Lube. Changing from cleaning to lubrication is easy with the built-in drain system. Lyman now offers both cleaning concentrate and parts lubricant in gallon containers.

(*Note: the tank is listed as 35.75″ in product photo, but Lyman’s spec sheet states 34.75″.)

How-To Video: Ultrasonic Brass Cleaning (Click Arrow in lower left to start video)
Video playback requires HTML5. This may not work with older browser versions.

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
February 17th, 2013

Free iPhone and Android Airgun Apps from Pyramyd Air

Pyramyd Air Airgun AppPyramyd Air, the leading online airgun retailer, has developed two smart phone Apps for airgun shooters and airsoft shooters. Pyramyd’s FREE Air Wizard App is offered for both Apple iPhones (go to: iTunes Store) and Android OS phones (go to: Android App Market).

Pyramid Apps Calculate Projectile Energy, and Do Conversions
The Air Wizard Apps calculate muzzle energy (based on projectile weight and observed velocity). The Apps can do a host of conversions: foot-pounds to joules, joules to foot-pounds, grams to grains and grains to grams, pounds to pounds and ounces, feet to yards, yards to feet, meters to yards, yards to meters, Fahrenheit to Celsius, Celsius to Fahrenheit, FPS (feet per second) to MPS (meters per second) and MPS to FPS. Most of these calculations work for all gun types — airguns, firearms and airsoft.

Pyramid Air Airgun App

Special Functions for Airsoft Guns
For airsoft guns, the Apps offer additional computations including determining joules, meters per second (MPS), feet per second (FPS), kilometers per hour and battery time for auto-electric guns (AEG).

Additional Air Rifle Information from Pyramyd Air
Pyramyd Air provides professional product videos from Airgun Reporter Paul Capello. Pyramyd’s Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier writes a highly respected daily Blog, the Pyramyd Air Report. Pyramyd also provides instructional videos through its online Airgun Academy.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
February 16th, 2013

Four Gun Control Bills Moving Forward in Colorado

Colorado General Assembly Capitol

By voice vote yesterday (Friday), the Colorado State House of Representatives* approved tough new gun-control legislation after hours of heated debate. One new law will ban ammunition magazines over 15 rounds (or 8 for shotguns). In addition, companion bills will require exhaustive background checks on all firearm purchases, and impose severe restrictions on lending guns. Yet another new law will prohibit CCW permit-holders from carrying a firearm on college campuses.

The new laws are not final yet. They advanced on Friday’s unrecorded “voice vote”, but there will be a final “recorded vote” in the House next week. Then, before they can become law, these bills must be approved by the Democrat-controlled Colorado Senate and signed by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. However, Senate approval is likely and Hickenlooper has stated his support for the new laws.

House Bill 1224 – Bans magazines with a capacity greater than fifteen rounds.
House Bill 1228 – Imposes a “gun tax” for a background check when purchasing a firearm.
House Bill 1229 – Criminalizes the private transfer of a firearm.
House Bill 1226 – Repeals law allowing CCW permit-holders to carry firearms on college campuses.

Colorado resident (and one of our contributing writers) Zak Smith says: “We are facing a tough fight here in Colorado — but don’t give up yet. Now is the time to contact your state representatives.” The official recorded vote will be taken Monday. Accordingly, Zak adds: “Concerned Colorado gun owners need to contact their legislators this weekend before the final recorded vote.” CLICK THIS LINK to get contact information on Colorado State Legislators, in Colorado General Assembly House and Senate.

MagPul Says it May Leave Colorado
Colorado gun parts-maker Magpul has announced that it might leave Colorado if the magazine ban becomes law. This could result in the loss of 600-700 jobs (Magpul employees and subcontractors). Magpul also contributes “nearly $85 million to Colorado’s economy” according to Fox News. “If we’re able to stay in Colorado and manufacture a product, but law-abiding citizens of the state were unable to purchase the product, customers around the state and the nation would boycott us for remaining here,” Doug Smith, Magpul’s chief operating officer, told the Denver Post.

*The Colorado General Assembly is bicameral, composed of the Colorado House of Representatives and the Colorado Senate. The House has 65 members while the Senate has 35 members.
Permalink News 4 Comments »
February 16th, 2013

Sightron 10-50x60mm LR Target Scope on Sale for $994.90

Good Deal on High-Magnification Sightron
Right now on the Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII Long-Range Target Scope is on sale for $994.90, with FREE shipping. This offer applies to the side-focus Target Dot and Fine Cross-Hair (FCH) models, but not the Mildot models. (However, we expect that most buyers of this scope will prefer the TargDot or FCH versions). This is a very good price — $994.90 is about forty bucks cheaper than we’ve seen it elsewhere on the web at major vendors. For example, MidwayUSA currently charges $1047.26.

If you’re looking for a very high-magnification, variable-power target scope (with 1/8 MOA clicks), the Sightron 10-50x60mm is a smart choice. There is nothing else at the $1000.00 price point that can touch it. The next step up is the 12-42×56 Nightforce Benchrest Model, but that costs $1428.00 and offers only 42X top-end magnification (vs. 50X for the Sightron). The new Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope is a great product, but it costs $2231.00, more than TWICE the price of the Sightron 10-50x60mm.

Sightron 10x50

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 13 Comments »
February 16th, 2013

Gear Review: ‘World’s Finest Trimmer’ from Little Crow Gunworks

We had a chance to try out the new power case trimmer head from Little Crow Gunworks. Dubbed the “World’s Finest Trimmer” (WFT) by its inventor, Dale Hegstrom, this device proved fast, precise, and easy to use. When compared to a Hornady Lock ‘N Load hand-crank trimmer, the WFT processed cases twice as fast, and delivered a more uniform cut length with our test brass.

The WFT features a steel shell-holder, aluminum body, and steel drive shank. You can chuck it into any electric drill or power device that can handle the 3/8″ shank. Unlike most case trimming tools, the WFT indexes off the shoulder datum. This permits you to trim cases very quickly, without fiddling around with rim-grabbing collets, or shell-holders. Watch the videos to see the WFT in action.

World's Finest Trimmer

WFT is Fast and User-Friendly
Mark LaFevers, our tester, was easily able to trim five (5) cases in under 30 seconds. It took quite a bit longer to trim five cases with the Hornady trimmer he used for comparison. Mark noted that, after just a 20 or so manually-trimmed cases, his arm would start to fatigue. By contrast, he could effortlessly trim 100 or more cases with the WFT. For older folks with a bit of arthritis, the WFT makes life easier. Mark observed that the WFT produces a “nice, square, clean cut”, while offering a “very fast cycle rate”. He tells us, “once you get the hang of it, you probably can trim your brass two, if not three times as fast.”

Mark really liked the WFT tool, and a WFT will be replacing his hand trimmer for big jobs. One downside is that, currently, the WFT is cartridge specific — you normally need to have a different tool for each cartridge type you trim. And there are no swappable inserts allowing you to trim different cartridge types with the same tool. However some WFT versions WILL trim different cartridge types within the same “family”, such as .270 Win and .30-06.*

Hi-Rez Video Shows “Trim-Off” Challenge between WFT and Hornady Trimmer
You should definitely watch the five-minute video below. Mark trims five cases with the WFT, and then five more with the Hornady tool. He times the operation of each device and then measures the trimmed cases. The total variation (in length) of the WFT-trimmed cases was .001. With the Hornady tool, there was a much larger spread: .007″ (seven thousandths). Mark cautioned: “Normally the Hornady tool does a bit better than this — the variance won’t be so large. But getting better results (with the Hornady) might require trimming, measuring, then trimming again. In the video I was trying to move pretty quickly and the measurements were all taken after the initial trim. Possibly, if I slowed down when using the Hornady trimmer, the OAL measurements would have been more consistent. But that just further reinforces the point that the WFT is faster.”

NOTE: If you have a fast connection, we suggest you select 720p (HiRez) and expand to full screen.

In the video below, WFT creator Dale Hegstrom demos his device and shows how quickly it can trim a large quantity of brass. Note how the WFT is attached to a common rechargeable power drill.

“World’s Finest Trimmer” Costs $69.95
The Little Crow Gunworks “World’s Finest Trimmer is available for $69.95 from various vendors including Creedmoor Sports. WFTs index off the shoulder, not the base. The case fits tightly into a steel bearing which has been machined to a specific caliber. This decouples the stationary case from the spinning cutting blade and body, giving you a smooth, exact cut each time. While the WFT makes a nice, square cut, we do recommend chamfering inside and outside after the brass is trimmed to length.

*Most WFTs are cartridge specific. Available sizes include: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, 22-250, 6mmBR, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-284 (and 6mm-284), 6.8 SPC, 270 WSM, 7mm Rem Mag (and 300 Win Mag), .308 Win, 300 WSM, .338 Lapua Magnum. There is a ‘5 in 1′ WFT unit that will handle .17 Rem, .221 Fireball, .222, .223 Rem, and .222 Mag. The 6mmRem unit also works with .257 Roberts and 7×57 Mauser. The .30-06 WFT will trim .270 Win, .280 Rem, and .25-06 as well. And the WFT for Ultramags works with 7mm, 300, and .338 Ultramags.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, New Product 9 Comments »
February 15th, 2013

Reduced-Size F-Class Targets for 300-yard Practice

There was quite a bit of interest in our recent Bulletin post about ‘negative’ black-to-white targets for F-Class practice. After seeing that story, some readers wanted to obtain reduced-sized “negative targets” for 300-yard F-Class training. Well guys, you’re in luck. One of our Forum members, Sleepygator, has produced “reduced-distance” targets (with black ring-lines on white background) that he could use at 300 yards for practice. Only the center 10 and X rings are black, so you can see bullet holes easily “in the white” on most of the target (and this uses less ink when printing). There is an official reduced-distanced standard for 300-yard F-Class matches. This utilizes the NRA No. MR-63FC – F-Class Target Center which is pasted over the MR-63 target. It provides a 1.42″ X-Ring, 2.85″ 10-Ring, and 5.85″ Nine-Ring. (The dimensions of F-Class targets are found in the NRA High Power Rules, Sec. 22, part 4.)

CLICK HERE to Download F-Class 300-yard Target Centers (.Zip archive with three targets)

To duplicate the 300-yard target, Forum member SleepyGator has prepared a printable version of the MR-63FC Target Center, along with a pair of training targets with two bulls and five bulls. The two-bull and five-bull targets mirror the scoring rings on the MR-63FC, but they display only the innermost three rings and two rings respectively. All three targets are Adobe Acrobat files that can be easily printed. You may need to adjust the scale (sizing) on your printer to get the dimensions exactly correct. As noted above, when printed, the 10-Ring on all three targets should measure 2.85″. This should provide some handy practice targets you can use between matches. Thanks to SleepyGator for providing these targets. You can download all three as a .Zip archive. After downloading the .Zip file, just click on the .Zip archive to extract the individual targets.

F-Class Reduced Target Centers

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
February 15th, 2013

American Airgunner TV Show on Pursuit Channel

Air Rifle Gun shootingAmerican Airgunner is the first and only television show about airgun shooting sports. This cable TV show features a wide range of airgunning interests, including hunting, competitive shooting, and plinking. American Airgunner has signed a 52-week 2013 agreement with Pursuit Channel to help anchor its “Friday Night Firepower” line-up of shows with all-new episodes. American Airgunner will air Friday at 8:30 pm (EST), and again Wednesdays at 4:30 pm (EST). (Check local listings for other times.)

walther olympic air rifle

“2013 is already a good year for American Airgunner. We have a primetime slot on America’s largest outdoors network” said Justin Biddle, exec. producer of the show. Episodes this year will include airguns for Olympic-style competition, large- and small-game hunting, training, and backyard fun shooting. This year’s shows will also feature industry experts explaining airgun technologies and airgun history.

Airgunner Challenge — Test Your Skills
American Airgunner TV Show is seeking competitors “with strong personalities” for the 2013 Airgunner Challenge. Chosen challengers will vie for a $5000.00 top prize. You don’t need professional training in the shooting sports, just be in good physical shape and confident in your shooting abilities. Apply soon — Deadline is February 22, 2013. CLICK HERE for more information.

Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »
February 14th, 2013

Be the New Boss at Blaser USA — Executive-Level Job Opportunity

Blaser USA Seeking to Fill Executive-Level Role
Want to be the boss of Blaser USA and make decisions on sales, marketing, strategies, and distribution? Well, here’s your chance. Blaser, USA, the national distribution and service facility for Blaser, Sauer, and Mauser products, is looking for a “highly motivated and dedicated individual … to lead its national operations”. An ideal candidate would have background in sales and marketing, either as a President of another operation, or as a VP of Sales and marketing somewhere else.

Blaser USA executive hiring

Candidates should “combine a passion and in-depth knowledge of hunting/competitive shooting with a high level of experience in marketing and general business.” Candidate needs “strong communication skills; interpersonal as well as organization competencies; strong strategic instincts, and … skills to lead a team of dedicated employees[.]” If you are interested, email your resume, including salary expectation and available start date, by email to:

Permalink News No Comments »
February 13th, 2013

Match-Winning Rifle: Shiraz Balolia’s .300 WSM F-Open Rig

After Shiraz Balolia (President of Grizzly Industrial) won the F-Open Division at the 2013 Berger Southwest Long Range Nationals, folks wanted to know more about Shiraz’s match-winning .300 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) rifle. That gun is a great piece of work, we can assure you. The Masterclass stock was extensively customized by Shiraz himself, who is a talented wood-worker (as well as a superb F-Class trigger-puller). CLICK PHOTO to see large “centerfold” shot of rifle.

Shiraz Balolia F-Class

Shiraz Balolia F-Class

The rifle features a BAT Machine ‘M’ action, with a 32″, 1:10″-twist Bartlein barrel. Metal work was done by Gordy Gritters. The scope is a March 10-60x52mm, which sits on a +20 MOA angled rail. The primary stockwork, including fitting of the adjustable cheek-piece and buttplate, was done by Alex Sitman of Masterclass Stocks. Shiraz customized the stock with finger grooves, fore-end channel, and a bottom rear slide. Shiraz did the final stock finishing as well.

Shiraz Balolia F-Class

Listen to Shiraz Balolia Talk about his F-Open Victory (Click PLAY to Launch Audio File)

[haiku url=”″ title=”Shiraz Talks about F-Open”]

Q&A with Shiraz Balolia

Shiraz f-class
Q: Is the .300 WSM the “next big thing” in F-Open Competition?

Shiraz: The .300 WSM takes a bit to get used to. With more powder you have a bigger bang next to your head, plus you have to deal with the mule kick. My gun recoils so hard that it was coming to rest down on the neighbor’s target. I had to be careful about not cross-firing. Once you get these behind you it can be a very accurate caliber to shoot because of the great .30 cal bullet choices. There were about five .300 magnums in Phoenix, but only one in the top ten. You still have to read the wind!

Shiraz Balolia F-Class

Q: What’s your match load for the .300 WSM?

Shiraz: I use Norma brass with turned necks. At the Berger SW Nationals I used Berger 215gr Hybrids, Fed 215 LR magnum primers, and a stout load of Hodgdon H4831 SC. This drives the 215s at around 2910 FPS. If that sounds fast, remember I’m using a a 32″-long barrel.

Q: Can you tell us about your chamber and your fire-forming process?

Shiraz: On the .300” WSM [I run] a tight-neck .336” chamber for turned necks. Basically, I fire-form all my brass in a fire-form barrel and save the good barrels for matches. Gordy is so good that he can chamber different barrels to within .0002” in the headspace dimension. That way I can have several same-caliber barrels and can use the same brass for all those barrels. I use a .0005″ shoulder bump for my brass. I load the bullets so that the bearing surface sits above the doughnut ring.

Q: Do You Think Tuners Will Become Popular in F-Class?

Shiraz fclassShiraz: Tuners are a double-edged sword. In order to use them most efficiently you need to load test the barrel in many different conditions and record the results, fine tuning and turning the dials to find the best harmonic of that barrel in a given condition. When you encounter a similar condition at a match to what you tested previously, you would look up your notes and turn the dials so that it matches your tested condition. I am over-simplifying this, as it is quite complex and there are many articles about tuners. I do not see tuners catching on in F-Class as 99% of the users would not want to go through the aggravation.

Q: The stock looks highly customized. What special work did you do?

Shiraz: The stock is a Master Class F-Class stock that was highly modified by me. I channeled out the fore-end so the stock would ride on two “rails” on the front bag and not rock. I also added a wide 1.25″ base on the bottom of the stock that rides on the rear bag. There is a matching rear bag with a wide slot in it. The gun slides back and forth nicely and is very stable. I wanted finger grooves that fit my hand so I carefully filed those by hand with a round file, making sure to fit it many times during the process. Once all the modifications were complete I sanded and sprayed the stock with clear UV lacquer. My UV booth cures the spray in minutes. I usually assemble the gun the same day I spray it. As you know, I build guitars as a hobby as well.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 9 Comments »
February 13th, 2013

Hornady Talks about Supply and Demand

In order to dispel some rumors and misinformation, Hornady has issued a notice concerning Hornady product availability and production priorities. Hornady has been working hard to fill increased demand, and wants to set the facts straight. Here’s what Hornady has to say…

hornady logoHornady Product Availability
The current political climate has caused extremely high demand on all shooting industry products, including ours. Empty retail shelves, long back-orders, and exaggerated price increases on online auction sites – all fueled by rumors and conjecture – have amplified concerns about the availability of ammunition and firearms-related items.

If the information you hear doesn’t originate from Hornady Manufacturing, don’t believe it.

Here are some of rumors we’ve heard, and questions we’ve received:

Q: Have you stopped production, or has the government forced you to stop?

Hornady: Not at all.

Q: Did you stop selling bullets so you could only make loaded ammunition?

Hornady: Absolutely not.

Q: Since we can’t find your product you must be selling it all to the government.

Hornady: Nope, less than 5% of our sales are to government entities.

Q: Why can’t you make more? Ramp up production? Turn on all the machines?

Hornady: We’ve been steadily growing our production for a long time, especially the last five years. We’ve added presses, lathes, CNC equipment, people and space. Many popular items are produced 24 hours a day. Several hundred Hornady employees work overtime every week to produce as much as safely possible. If there is any question about that — please take a tour of the factory. You’ll be amazed at what you see.

Bottom Line — We are producing as much as we can; much more than last year, which was a lot more than the year before, etc. No one wants to ship more during this time than we do.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience. We don’t know when the situation will improve, so please bear with us a little longer. And remember, when it comes to Hornady Manufacturing, if you don’t hear it from us, please don’t believe it.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 3 Comments »
February 13th, 2013

Juniors — Register Now for CMP Summer Training Camps

Registration has just opened for the 2013 CMP Junior Summer Camps. This year there will be camps in Anniston (AL), Camp Perry (OH), Phoenix (AZ), and Colorado Springs (CO). These summer camps fill up quickly, so if you know a young shooter who wants to attend, be sure he or she submits an application soon. Most of the camps cost $230.00 for the week. For additional info, contact Sommer Wood, CMP Junior Rifle Camp Director, by emailing swood [at]

CMP Summer Camp

CMP 2013 Summer Air Rifle Training Camps and Clinics
Each summer the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) sponsors a popular series of Junior Air Rifle Camps and Clinics to teach intermediate and advanced rifle marksmanship skills to junior shooters and their adult leaders. There are eight (8) camp sessions (plus two outreach clinics) scheduled for 2013. The first session starts June 10th, and the last session begins August 5th. Detailed information about the camps and how to apply to attend them are listed on the CMP website. All camp sessions are week-long, 3-position air rifle camps, with the exception of Outreach Clinics and the Advanced Standing Camp.

Camp Location Camp Dates
Anniston, AL — CMP South 10-14 June
Anniston, AL — CMP South 17-21 June
Camp Perry, OH — CMP North 24-28 June
Outreach Clinics (To be announced soon!) 1-3 July
Phoenix, AZ 15-19 July
Linn, MO (Outreach Clinic) 17-19 July
Anniston, AL — CMP South 22-26 July
Anniston, AL — CMP South 29 July-2 Aug
Colorado Springs, CO 29 July-2 Aug
Colorado Springs, CO (Advanced Standing Camp) 5-7 Aug
Permalink News, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
February 12th, 2013

Sling Results (and More) from Berger SW Long Range Nat’ls

Report by Bryan Litz
The 2013 Berger Southwest Nationals is in the record books. No matter how you shot, those who traveled from the east were happy to escape the brutal winter weather, at least for a while. But that’s not to say there wasn’t some fine shooting!

Sling Shooting Results
In the sling class, Nancy Tompkins was far in the lead, followed by second place Bryan Litz, and Trudie Fay (who shot a Palma rifle) in third. It’s noteworthy that, after all the smoke had cleared, Bryan, Trudie, and 4th place Angus McLeod were tied in score, with only Xs separating second through fourth place. It was an exciting finish to say the least, especially for Bryan Litz whose poor performance in the Palma course started him in 25th place on Day One. Bryan went on to win both 1000-yard days, dropping only 2 points in 4 matches to climb to 2nd place overall. Trudie, who finished third overall among all sling shooters, also deserves recognition. Shooting a .308 Win Palma rifle with aperture sights the whole match, Trudie beat all but two Any/Any shooters who were allowed to use scopes and run any cartridge type they preferred.

Berger SW Nationals Michigan F-TR team

F-Class Results
In the F-Open Class, Shiraz Balolia finished first shooting a .300 WSM. Freddy Haltom was second and Danny Biggs took third place. In the F-TR Division, John Hayhurst topped the field, followed by Lige Harris (second), and James Crofts (third place). CLICK HERE for more info and F-Class Top 10 Lists.

Listen to Shiraz Balolia Talk about his F-Open Victory (Click PLAY to Launch Audio File)

[haiku url=”″ title=”Shiraz Talks about F-Open”]

Shiraz Balolia Grizzly

Profile of Winning F-TR Team from Michigan
The Michigan F-TR Team had a very successful debut, breaking the National record for the 4-man F-TR Palma team course. However, that same day Team USA Blue coached by Mid Tompkins shot two points higher to set the new official record. The Michigan F-TR team came back on the second day of team matches (4-man 1000 yards) and won by a decisive 15-point margin to win the day and the overall F-TR Team Aggregate. Coached by Bryan Litz, firing members of the Michigan F-TR team included: Al Barnhart (Captain), Doug Boyer, Bill Litz, and Dale Sunderman. Team members Charlie Hayes and Jennifer Litz (adjutant) were also present and contributed to the team’s success. In all it was a very successful and educational first tour for the Michigan team, considering it was only formed this winter and it only practiced together one time before traveling to Phoenix. One interesting technical note is that 3 out of 4 Michigan Team shooters used the new Berger 215gr Hybrid bullet. That’s a very heavy projectile for the .308 Winchester case, but the Michiganders certainly showed the potential of the heavy Hybrid in F-TR competition.

Berger SW Nationals Michigan F-TR team

Michigan F-TR team, from left to right: Dale Sunderman, Al Barnhart, William Litz, Jennifer Litz, Doug Boyer, Bryan Litz, Charlie Hayes.
Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
February 12th, 2013

CMP’s FREE Newsletter for Coaches and Junior Shooters

On the Mark Magazine CMPON THE MARK is published quarterly by the Civilian Marksmanship Program. You can download the latest 35-page Fall 2012 issue for free. ON THE MARK is dedicated to providing news and information about junior shooting activities to leaders and coaches of junior shooting clubs, teams and camps. A typical issue of ON THE MARK includes 16-38 pages of new junior shooting program information as well as news about junior events, instructional tips and coaching information. Bonus inserts and brochures are regularly included which detail programs for junior competition and training programs or provide equipment and training material purchase opportunities.

Free Subscriptions for CMP-Affiliated Junior Clubs
One free ON THE MARK subscription is provided to each CMP-affiliated junior club, JROTC unit with marksmanship program, and 4-H Shooting Sports Club. Individual subscriptions to ON THE MARK are available at $8.00 per year. To subscribe to ON THE MARK, download the OTM Order Form.

Editorial Submissions
To submit stories, match reports, or photos for possible inclusion in ON THE MARK, contact: Steve Cooper, OTM Editor, P.O. Box 576, Port Clinton, Ohio 43420; phone (419) 635-2141, ext 1108; fax (419) 635-2573 or email

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 11th, 2013

Match Results: Berger Southwest Long Range Nationals

Berger southwest long range nationals 2013

shiraz baloliaThe 2013 Berger Southwest Long Range Nationals (at Ben Avery in AZ) have wrapped up, and some divisional results have arrived. (Stay tuned for more complete results — as they are made available.) Congratulations to Grizzly Industrial President Shiraz Balolia, who won the F-Open Division.

The F-Open competition was very close right down to the end, and the conditions were unforgiving. Shiraz finished with a 1226-55X score, one point ahead of F-Open runner-up Freddy Haltom (1225-60X), who had high X-count among Open-classers. We’re told that Shiraz was using a “shoulder-busting” .300 Win Short Mag in Phoenix. We’ve been promised photos of Balolia’s winning rig as soon as Shiraz gets back from Arizona.

Berger southwest long range nationals 2013

Berger southwest long range nationals 2013

The Top 10 F-Open shooters are listed in the chart above. Note, the 9th and 10th best Aggregate Scores were shot by two “Masters”, who out-shot dozens of “High Masters” to make the Top 10 overall. Steven Blair, who placed 8th Overall in F-Open, told us: “When conditions and competitors are as tough as they were in Phoenix, the winners deserve our accolades. It was no accident or luck that they finished as they did.” Forum member Kelbro agreed: “Except for the practice days, this was a challenging week. Double congrats to the top dogs. They earned it.”

Berger southwest long range nationals 2013

In the F-TR division, John Hayhurst shot well throughout the Nationals to finish first with 1210-25X. Runner-up Lige Harris had 35 Xs, but ended six points down, finishing with 1204-35X. James Crofts, a past F-TR National Champion, finished third with 1203-24X. In F-TR Team Competition, the new Michigan F-TR team coached by Bryan Litz proved to be a powerhouse, securing an impressive team win. Shooters were: Al Barnhart (captain), Doug Boyer, Bill Litz (Bryan’s father), and Dale Sunderman. The second- and third-place teams were both USA F-TR Development squads. USA Team Blue grabbed second place, while USA Team Red took third. We’re told that USA Team blue set a new F-TR Palma record on Saturday. However, Team Michigan came back with a big win in Sunday’s 1000-yard team match, securing the Team Aggregate title.

In F-Open division, we’re told that Team UHaul finished first, with great shooting by Matt Davis, Herb Edwards, David Gosnell, and David Mann. Team Tex-Mex was second, with strong performances by Bryan Chatwell, Freddy Haltom, Ben Milam, and Cory Bizzel. Team Grizzly ended up third despite a cross-fire in one match. Team Grizzly is composed of F-Open winner Shiraz Bilolia, Emil Kovan, John Myers, and Tony Robertson.

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
February 11th, 2013

Rebates on Weaver Optics — $75.00 Off T-Series Target Scopes

Here’s a great promotion if you need an affordable target scope or variable-power hunting scope. Weaver Optics is now offering substantial rebates on Weaver T-Series target scopes and V-Series hunting scopes (16-power and above). With this offer you can get $75.00 back on a 24X or 36X T-Series target scope, or $50.00 off a Classic V-Series varmint scope. In addition, there are $25.00 rebates on Kaspa and 40/44 scopes and Weaver “Classic” Binoculars.

The Weaver T-Series 36x40mm scope remains a popular and reliable benchrest scope that is still found on many top competitors’ rifles. The T-24, 24-power scope is popular with rimfire shooters as well as many “paper punchers” who don’t need 36X magnification. Since both scopes share a 40mm objective, the 24X version has a larger exit pupil, which makes head position less critical. Both 24X and 36X T-Series scopes have front-adjusting objectives for parallax control.

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February 10th, 2013

G3 Rimfire Rim Thickness Tool and Base-to-Ogive Length Gauge

g3 rimfire gaugeGerry Gereg makes two precision tools that let rimfire shooters pre-sort their ammo for improved accuracy. The first tool, the G3 Rimfire Thickness Gauge, lets you sort rimfire ammo by rim thickness. This tool clamps to the jaws of your calipers and is very simple to use. Just slide a cartridge into the gauge and slide the jaws closed. With mid-grade rimfire ammo you’ll see variances of up to .006″ in rim thickness. High-end ammo, such as Eley Tenex, shows much tighter tolerances. With no moving parts (other than the thumb screw), this simple gauge is easy-to-use and very repeatable. It also has a convenient lanyard you can loop around your wrist. You can learn more about this tool in a full review.

Gereg’s second tool is a very nicely-crafted gauge that measures rimfire rounds from base of rim to the bullet ogive. The G3 MK II Pro tool fits comfortably in the hand while inserting a cartridge in the measuring chamber at the bottom of the tool. This G3 MK II Pro tool features a built-in dial indicator making read-outs quick and easy. Just slide a rimfire cartridge in the base of the unit and gently yet firmly push the round into the measuring chamber until the dial indicator comes to rest. The dial indicator on the gauge gives you a number which you can use to compare base to ogive lengths. Note: The piston is indexed to assure its return to the original setting. When we used the gauge with inexpensive ammo, we saw variances in rim base-to-ogive lengths of up to .025″. The high-end ammo, such as Eley Tenex, is much more consistent, with 80% of rounds falling within .008″ rim base-to-ogive length spread.

To purchase either tool, email Gerry Gereg,, or call 860-354-7500.

g3 rimfire gauge

Texas Testing: Sorted vs. Unsorted Rimfire Ammo
Texas rimfire shooter Ben Peal ran a series of tests to determine how rimfire ammo sorted with the G3 tools performs vs. “out of the box”, unsorted ammo. Ben shot a series of 5-shot groups at 50 yards, after sorting the ammo for rim thickness and then rim base-to-ogive lengths. Ben tested four (4) types of ammo: Eley Target, Federal Champion, Remington Target, and SK Standard Plus. Ben’s tests, conducted with a CZ 452 rifle shot from the bench, produced some interesting results. Ben’s tests showed that sorting resulted in a meaningful reduction in average group size for all ammo types. In each case, the sorted ammo shot smaller than unsorted ammo (biggest improvement was with the SK Standard). Admittedly these tests are far from definitive because only one factory rifle was used. We certainly don’t claim that sorted ammo will shoot better in every rimfire rifle — and the benefits of sorting high-end ammo may be hard to quantify. But Ben’s tests do suggest that sorting may be worthwhile with low- and mid-priced rimfire ammo. Here is a chart showing Ben’s results:

g3 rimfire gauge

Ben writes: “Using the ogive gauge, cartridges may be sorted into those of similar measurements, or a narrow range of measurements, allowing us to select cartridges to be chambered with the ogive at or near the same distance from the lands. Cartridges were to be grouped into two categories for test firing. Group one of each brand were cartridges ‘as received’ with no sorting, measuring, or weighing. This represents an accuracy baseline for each particular brand. Group two were cartridges first sorted by rim thickness and then separated into sub-groups based on rim base-to-ogive measurements. I included rim thickness to eliminate a controllable variable that could possibly affect accuracy. I wanted the groups from test firing to reflect the influence of rim base to ogive measurements only.”

I found a considerable difference between brands as I measured and sorted cartridges. Eley Target and Remington Target had the least variance in rim base-to-ogive measurements and very little difference in rim thickness. Federal Champion and Standard Plus had the largest percentage of cartridges longer or shorter than the norm and a wider range of rim thickness. Standard Plus turned in the largest average groups before sorting, Eley turned in the smallest. These two brands had near equal small groups after rim to ogive sorting.

g3 rimfire gauge

The groups below were shot by tool-maker Gerry Gereg with his Winchester Model 52 and a 20-power scope. In that rifle the rounds with shorter rim base-to-ogive lengths shot best, as you can see:

G3 rimfire gauge

You can learn more about the G3 rimfire gauges and Ben Peal’s testing by reading Ben’s full, 2940-word report. CLICK HERE to read Ben Peal TEST REPORT (PDF file).

Editor’s Note: Along with rim thickness, and rim base-to-ogive length, we have found that rimfire cartridge run-out (measured on the bullet) can have a dramatic effect on accuracy. In fact, in some of our barrels, we have noted that rounds with very high run-out (poor concentricity) often result in “flyers” that ruin a group. For this reason, we believe that concentricity checking is another procedure that can potentially benefit rimfire shooters.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 3 Comments »
February 10th, 2013

Brownells 7th Annual Career Fair Runs March 27-28, 2013

Brownells’ 7th Annual Gunsmith Career Fair will be held at the Des Moines Marriot Downtown in Des Moines, Iowa, March 27-28, 2013. The Brownells Gunsmith Conference & Career Fair is expected to draw hundreds of attendees along with representatives from three dozen potential employers. As in past years, the Career Fair will include gunsmithing seminars along with opportunities for individuals to interview for jobs with arms-makers and government agencies.

Brownells job far.Gunsmith

In addition to industry and government representatives, many trade schools and colleges offering gunsmithing programs will be exhibiting at the 2013 Gunsmith fair. 2012 exhibitors included:

Colorado School of Trades
1575 Hoyt Street
Lakewood, CO 80215

Montgomery Community College
1011 Page Street
Troy, NC 27371

Murray State College
One Murray Campus
Tishomingo, OK 73460

Pine Technical College
900 Fourth St. SE
Pine City, MN 55063

Pennsylvania Gunsmith School
812 Ohio River Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15202

Trinidad State Junior College
600 Prospect Street
Trinidad, CO 81082

Wabash Valley College
2200 College Drive
Mt. Carmel, IL 62863

Story tip by EdLongrange. Reader Submissions are welcome.
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February 9th, 2013

Winchester Recalls Lot of 5.56x45mm M855 Ammunition

Olin’s Winchester Division has issued a Recall Notice for one (1) lot of its 5.56x45mm M855 62 grain PENE centerfire rifle ammunition. This notice applies only to Symbol Number ZGQ3308 with Lot Number WCC10M106-004. Other Symbol Numbers or Lot Numbers are not subject to this recall.

Symbol Number: ZGQ3308
Lot Number: WCC10M106-004

Winchester 5.56 .223 recall ammoWinchester states: “Through extensive evaluation Winchester has determined the above lot of 5.56mm M855 ammunition may contain incorrect propellant. Incorrect propellant in this ammunition may cause firearm damage, rendering the firearm inoperable, and subject the shooter or bystanders to a risk of serious personal injury when fired.”

The ammunition Symbol Number and Lot Number are ink stamped on the outside of the 900-round shipping container, and on the outside of the 30-round carton as shown at right:

If you have Winchester Ammo with Symbol Number ZGQ3308 and Lot Number WCC10M106-004 immediately discontinue use and contact Winchester toll-free at 866-423-5224 for free UPS pick-up of the recalled ammunition. Upon receipt of your recalled ammunition, Winchester will ship replacement ammunition directly to you.

If you have any questions concerning this 5.56mm M855 ammunition recall please call toll-free 866-423-5224, write to Winchester (600 Powder Mill Road, East Alton, IL 62024 Attn: 5.56mm M855 Recall), or visit

Notice tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 9th, 2013

Join NRA at Cabela’s This Weekend and Get $25.00 Gift Card

This is “NRA Weekend” at Cabela’s retail outlet stores across the country. On Saturday and Sunday, February 9th and 10th, the NRA will be offering seminars AND a special promotion. If you sign up for an NRA membership at a Cabela’s “brick and mortar” store, you’ll get a $25.00 Cabela’s gift card.

NRA Weekend Cabela's

Here’s how it works. An NRA membership booth will be at every Cabela’s store. You’ll receive a $25.00 gift card if you join the NRA, renew your membership, sign up a friend/family member or add a year to your membership. That’s right, if you purchase a year-long NRA membership you’ll get most of your money back to spend at Cabela’s. The gift card is not available online, not available by phone, not available by mail-in request. You have to go to an actual Cabela’s store. Got it?

If you chose to visit a Cabela’s outlet, your time will be well-spent. At Cabela’s stores, the NRA will host a variety of special events, including ladies-only seminars, and informational sessions on home defense, concealed carry laws, and firearm maintenance.

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February 9th, 2013

Find Shooting Ranges with FREE Where2Shoot iPhone App

The National Shooting Sport Foundation (NSSF) has released its new Where2Shoot app for the Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. The App — available for free in the iTunes App Store — puts North America’s most comprehensive directory of shooting ranges in the palm of your hand.

This free App provides the functionality of NSSF’s website in a smartphone-friendly format. You’ll find listings of literally thousands of ranges and shooting clubs, in locations across the country. Listings are updated frequently with range information in every U.S. state and Canadian province. Click a button to find ranges near you or you can search by state, by zip code, or by keyword. You can also limit your search to specific types of facilities (such as indoor pistol ranges). The App provides specifics about each range, including shooting activities offered and contact information.

The Where2Shoot App also includes news, safety procedures, and firearms tips. New tips for hunters and shooters are also added regularly. Visit the App store to learn more about the Where2Shoot App or download it for free. You can also scan the QR code above with your device to download the free App.

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