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April 11th, 2013

“Texas T” — Radical, All-Metal F-TR Rifle from Richard King

Report by Richard King (King’s Armory, Texas; ‘Kings X’ on our Forum)
With all the talk from Vince Bottomley in the April issue of Target Shooter about aluminum stocks, I thought you might like to see my latest project. This is my personal gun, built the way I wanted it. I know it’s radical and some may not care for it. But it works.

Richard King F-TR skeleton rifle

This is pretty much an all-aluminum rifle. The action is a Kelbly F-Class with a Shilen stainless steel competition trigger. The scope is a 1″-tube Leupold 36X with a Tucker Conversion set in Jewell spherical bearing rings. The .223 barrel is Pac-Nor 3-groove, 1:6.5″-twist mounted in a “V”-type barrel block. The bipod has vertical adjustment only via a dovetail slide activated by a stick handle. It works like a joy-stick, but for vertical only. I adjust for windage by moving the rear sandbag.

The 30″ barrel is 1.250″ in diameter. With the barrel block forward, the vibrations should be at a low frequency. Instead of one long rod whipping, I now have two short rods (barrel haves) being dampened. This is my fourth barrel block gun. They work, but so does a good pillar-bedded action. I just do stuff a little different.

Richard King F-TR skeleton rifle

The vertical “keel” down the bottom of the stock stops the “spring” of a flat-bar stock. There is little, if any, noticeable flex before or during recoil. The long length of the stock, the fat barrel, and the forward-mounted barrel block work together to keep the gun from rising off the ground. BUT, remember this is a .223 Rem rifle. A .308 Win version might act very differently. I may try a .308-barreled action soon, just to see what happens. But I will stick with the .223 Rem as my choice for match shooting.

Richard King F-TR skeleton rifleThe offset scope idea came from a benchrest “rail” gun. In truth, the whole concept came from a rail gun — just adapted to being shot off a bipod. Sure it isn’t directly over the bore. It is about 1.5″ over to the left. So if you want the scope to be zeroed on the center of the target, you have to adjust for the offset. At 100 yards that is 1.5 MOA. But at 300 it is only 0.5 MOA, at 600 only a ¼-MOA, and at 1000 about 1 click on my scope.

What the offset DOES do for me is eliminate any cheek pressure. My cheek never touches the stock. Since this is only a .223 Rem, I don’t put and shoulder pressure behind it. And I don’t have a pistol grip to hang on to, but I do put my thumb behind the trigger guard and “pinch” the two-ounce trigger.

The offset scope placement could interfere with loading a dual-port action from the left. That’s not a problem for me as I set my spotting scope up on the left side very close to the rifle. I have plenty of time to reload from the right side while the target is in the pits being scored.

Again — this is my rifle. It is designed for my style of shooting. It is not meant to be a universal “fit all” for the general public. However, I will say the design is adaptable. I can easily convert the system to run in F-Open Class. I would drop a big-bore barreled action into the “V” block, slide on a heavier pre-zeroed scope and rings, add plates on the sides up front to bring the width to 3”, and maybe a recoil pad. It might be interesting to offset the wings up from to counter torque of the big bullets. But I would also have to offset the rear bag rider to get the gun to recoil straight back.

How the Gun Performs
I have had “T” to the range only twice for load development. It groups like my present barrel-blocked 223 F-TR gun. But it’s much easier to shoot and it only moves about 3/4” — straight back. I tried to build am omni-directional joy-stick bipod but I could not get all the side-to-side wiggle out of it. So I have set it up so it only moves up and down (horizontal movement is locked-out). As it works now, the joystick on the bipod lets me set elevation on the target quickly (with up/down adjustment). Then, to adjust for windage, I slide my rear bag side-to-side as needed. Once set, I just tickle the trigger and smile.

Gun Handling — Shoot It Like a Bench-Gun
I basically shoot the gun with no cheek or body contact. I don’t grip it, other than maybe a pinch on the trigger guard. The scope was offset to the left to help the shooter move off the gun and avoid the possibility of head/cheek contact with the stock.

Listen to Richard King Explain How He Shoots his ‘Texas-T’ Rifle:

[haiku url=”http://accurateshooter.net/Video/RichKingTalks.mp3″ Title=”Richard King Talks”]

CLICK PHOTOS to See Big Size

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing 13 Comments »
April 11th, 2013

Bullet Sample Packs Save Money During Load Development

Sinclair Int’l now carries Bullet Sample Packs from Bullet Proof Samples LLC. These 12-bullet packs are available for Berger, Barnes, and Nosler bullets in popular weights, types, and calibers. With the sample packs, during load development, you can try out a variety of projectiles without investing in an entire box of each type. That’s smart. Sample packs range in price from $5.99 to $15.99 (for twelve bullets per pack). Most of the Berger bullet packs are priced under $10.00, with many in the $6-$7 range.

bullet samples

CLICK HERE for the Sinclair Int’l bullet sample pack webpage. (Once there, select Barnes, Berger, or Nosler). You’ll also find the sample packs on page six of the Sinclair Int’l print catalog. To place an order, or for additional information, call 800-717-8211 or visit www.sinclairintl.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product No Comments »
April 10th, 2013

New Mauser M 12 Rifle to Be Distributed by Blaser USA

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifleEarlier this month we ran a story on the new Sauer 101 rifle. It turns out the Sauer 101 will be distributed in the U.S. by Blaser USA. Here’s more good news for hunters — we’ve learned that Blaser will be bringing another new German hunting rifle to the USA — the Mauser M 12. You’ll find specs and photos of the M 12 below. This is a rifle with a great heritage, superb build quality, plus some innovative features.

Both the Mauser M 12 and Sauer 101 rifles should be available at retailers in late April. To learn more, visit these websites: www.Mauser-m12.com and www.Sauer-101.com. For additional information on the Blaser line of products visit www.Blaser-USA.com.

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifle

Mauser M 12 Specifications

  • Bolt Features: 6-lug bolt, 60° bolt lift, bolt lugs engage directly in barrel, side bolt release, bolt can be disassembled without tools.
  • Extraction: Dual, spring loaded-ejectors for positive extraction.
  • Trigger: Crisp 950 gram (2.09 lb.) trigger pull.
  • Magazine capacity: 5 + 1 (standard calibers), 4+1 (magnum calibers).
  • Barrel length: 22″ (standard calibers), 24.5″ (magnum calibers).
  • Overall length: 42″ (standard calibers), 44.3″ (magnum calibers).
  • Weight: 6 .75 lb (standard calibers), 7 lb (magnum calibers)
  • Chamberings: .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5×55 SE, .270 Win, 7×64, .308 Win, .30-06 Springfield, 8×57 IS, 9,3×62 | 7 mm Rem Magnum, .300 Win Magnum, .338 Win Magnum.

Mauser Technical Features Video (Worth Watching!)

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifle

Mauser M 12 Hunting Video

Mauser M 12 hunting M12 rifle

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 5 Comments »
April 10th, 2013

National Pistol Championships on Shooting USA Tonight

This week’s Shooting USA program features the NRA National Pistol Championships. This segment covers both rimfire and center-fire Bullseye shooting at 25 and 50 yards.

Each year the NRA hosts the Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry on the shores of Lake Erie. Camp Perry, in Northern Ohio, is the historic home to the National Championships that date back more than 100 years. Most matches have military antecedents, including the pistol championships. The Match is organized by days. Day One is for .22 LR rimfire handguns. Day Two is for center-fire (any caliber from .32 to .45), and Day Three is for .45-caliber handguns. Currently, most competitors use a model 1911 on centerfire day and use that same 1911 on Day Three for the .45 caliber matches. Red dot optics are permitted in most classes.

Golob Goes Waterfowl Hunting
On tonight’s Shooting USA broadcast, you can also watch action pistol champ Julie Golob head out with Mike Irvine on a Missouri waterfowl adventure.

This was Julie’s first duck hunting trip. Despite the cold weather, Julie had fun and returned with some great memories.

Shooting USA airs Wednesday night on the Outdoor Channel: Eastern Time: 3:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 1:00 AM; Central Time: 2:00 PM, 7:00 PM, 12:00 PM; Mountain Time: 1:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 11:00 PM; Pacific Time: 12:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 10:00 PM. The Shooting USA Hour is also re-broadcast on Friday Night/Saturday Morning (11:30 pm Pacific, 2:30 AM Eastern).

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April 9th, 2013

U.S. F-Open Team Gets Ready for Upcoming Championships

U.S. F-Class Open Team Shiraz Balolia

This August the U.S. National and World F-Class Championships will be held in Raton, New Mexico. The U.S. F-Class Open Team has been working hard to prepare for the Worlds in Raton. This will be the fourth F-Class World Championship and first time it is being held in the USA. Team Captain Shiraz Balolia and his team-mates hope to successfully defend “home turf” this summer. The F-Class World Championships will run August 23 to 27, 2013. Preceding the World Championships, the U.S. F-Class National Championships will be held from August 18 to 22, 2013.

Team Members and Selection Process
U.S. F-Class Open Team Shiraz BaloliaThe US F-Class Open Rifle Team consists of the top F-Open shooters in the United States. Some members were on previous teams, but Team Captain Shiraz Balolia explains: “Our try-out process was very stringent and above board, which removed the notion of an ‘old boys club’ and allowed a lot of new blood to try out for the team”.

The selection process was straightforward. Each participant had to have placed in the top 20 of a National Championship or in the top 3 of a regional championship to be able to try out. After that, they had to participate in at least three try-outs over a two-year period. There were about a dozen try-outs at various venues (Houston, Lodi, Raton, Phoenix, Sacramento) which allowed shooters from all over the country to participate. Shooting during all try-outs were conducted at 1000 yards.

The scoring system was based on “Vertical” Score where the goal of the shooter was to hold good vertical elevation with regards to the X-Ring. All try-outs were shot with coaches and the wind calls were the responsibility of the coach. The shooters were not penalized for wide shots if they were on the waterline. The targets had horizontal lines drawn on them and points were deducted for high and low shots.

U.S. F-Class Open Team Shiraz Balolia

The targets were photographed and published for the try-out participants to view so everyone knew exactly where they stood. Shiraz notes: “This actually worked really well to raise the overall standard of the team as it increased competitiveness among the shooters”.

U.S. F-Class Open Team Shiraz Bilolia

From the initial group, the first cut was made to select the Development Team (DT). These DT shooters then continued further try-outs in 2012 with a similar process. The DT group was then culled to the final team members listed below.

Captain: Shiraz Balolia; Head Coach: Bob Mead; Other Coaches: Trudie Fay, Rick Hunt, Emil Praslick
Shooters (alpha sort)
1. Charles Ballard
2. Danny Biggs
3. David Gosnell
4. David Mann
5. Dean Morris
6. Don Nagel
7. Emil Kovan
8. Herb Edwards
9. Jim Murphy
10. John Dunbar
11. John Gaines
12. John Myers
13. Ken Dickerman
14. Kenny Adams
15. Larry Bartholome
16. Mark Walker
17. Rick Jensen
18. Robert Bock
19. Tony Robertson

F-Class Insights: Q&A with Team Captain Shiraz Balolia

We did a Q&A session with Shiraz Balolia, F-Open Team Captain. Shiraz offered candid answers to “hot topic” questions of interest to F-Class shooters. He also observed that his team is working very, very hard in preparation for the World Championships. After being beaten by the Brits in 2009, Shiraz says: “We have a score to settle….”

U.S. F-Class Open Team Shiraz Balolia

Q: The F-Open Team has switched calibers. What was the thinking behind that move?

Shiraz: After we lost to the Brits in 2009, it became a foregone conclusion that we needed to shoot a 7mm cartridge. Charles Ballard and Jim Murphy were among the first guys in the USA to recognize the virtue of the 7 mm (.284) caliber. The choices we had within the .284 family were: straight .284 Win, .284 Shehane, 7 RSAUM, or 7 WSM variant. After much experimentation and thought we decided on the 7 RSAUM and 7 WSM family of casings which allowed us velocities of around 3000 FPS with a 180gr bullet. With the advent of new 180gr bullets from Berger and Sierra, we were able to get extremely flat-shooting groups (tight vertical) with the velocities that we needed.

Q: Foreign teams won the last two F-Class World Championships. How are you going to beat the Brits and South Africans in 2013?

Shiraz: In the previous World Championship (at Bisley in 2009), the Brits had a huge advantage. Almost all of their shooters lived within a few hours of the Bisley range. The coaches they used knew that range inside out and they were able to practice as a team many times on that range before the World Championships. Plus, they were ahead of us in terms of caliber selection and were shooting 7mm cartridges, as were the South Africans. By contrast, our team came from all over the USA and we had very little time together as a team. Things are different this time… yes, our shooters are still from all over the USA, but the amount of training we have done as a unit, a whole team, is much better than last time around. We have a lot of depth in our team. In other words, our worst shooter is not that far behind our best shooter. I do not believe that there has ever been a long range U.S. Team that has trained this hard and this many times as a unit. We are ready to take on the Brits or any other country!

U.S. F-Class Open Team Shiraz Balolia
Shiraz notes: “We did a lot of training on the range as well as in the ‘classroom’ setting with power point presentations. We had numerous sessions like these…. The behind-the-scenes work to deliver ‘same-day’ power-point results (just hours after the scores were shot) provides immediate feedback.”

Q: How Does Successful Team Shooting Differ from Individual Shooting?

Shiraz: In individual matches, you are responsible for making all the wind calls, corrections on the scope and paying attention to all conditions before taking a shot. Sometimes the condition can change between the time you review the flags and the mirage, make an adjustment and take a shot.

In a team setting, the shooter is responsible for making a really good shot. He/she must be a really good trigger puller who has good equipment, good ammo, and who can follow directions. The coach makes all the calls, he often makes adjustments on your scope and all the shooter has to do is make the shot when asked by the coach. Shooters who second-guess a coach or think they can read the wind better than the coach did not make the team!

Q: Will Team USA Enjoy a ‘Home Court Advantage’ at Raton, NM?

Shiraz: Other than Trudie Fay, one of our coaches, we do not have any team members from the Raton area. We are a very large nation, in size, and our shooters come from all four corners and everywhere in between. Raton is not exactly “home court”, but we have trained there as a team several times. The Brits and the South Africans are no slouches either. The Brits spent a whole week in Raton last year in August to get a feel for the range, the temperature, the wind etc.; the Brits also tested loads for their team members. The South Africans came to shoot against us in September last year at the Stars and Stripes match and also shot at the US F-Class Nationals. The competition is certainly stiff and we can not let our guard down or be over-confident.

Q. Are there special skills and capabilities needed to be a successful team shooter?

Shiraz: To be a really good team member, the shoooter must have all these qualities:

1. He must be able to think in terms of what is best for the team rather than himself.

2. He must have really good equipment. That means a really good barrel, a smooth, trouble-free action, good optics, trigger, rest, etc.

3. He must have superior reloading skills, and be capable of producing really good ammo with bullets that perform consistently shot after shot.

4. He must possess the ability to take direction and put himself at the disposal of the coaches. What we look for in a shooter is consistency over a long period of time, not just a flash in the pan.

The shooters we have on our team have passed all the tests we have put them through and what we have today is, without a doubt, the best United States F-Open Team ever put together.

Support Need for Team Expenses
The U.S. F-Class Open Team may be about $3000.00 short on funds. Any donation will help. Please endorse checks to “US F-Class Open Rifle Team” and mail to P.O. Box 3110, Bellingham, WA 98227.

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April 9th, 2013

Vu Pham Wins Match with New Bushnell 4.5-30x50mm Scope

Some times nice guys do finish first. Our buddy Vu Pham, co-founder of the NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC) took top honors in the NCPPRC monthly tactical long range match on the 1000 yard range at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center. Shooting his .260 Remington in a McMillan A5 stock, built by Spartan Rifles, topped with a Bushnell 4-30x50mm from CS Tactical, Vu beat a competitive field on a breezy day that saw the top 6 shooters separated by only 15 points. The Course of Fire had 27 of the 50 rounds shot from 800 to 1000 yards, where the fast-switching winds at 1000 yards were the deciding factor in the outcome. Vu tells us: “This LR Match win has eluded me for seven years now with these guys. I’ve been in the top five quite a few times, but never took home the win. Our matches are so close these days that it usually comes down to one or two bad trigger presses or ‘blown’ wind calls to separate the Top 10 shooters.”

NCPPRC Norcal Tactical Vu Pham

NCPPRC long range tactical matches are held the first Sunday of each month, and are open to anyone 18 or older. No membership in any organization is required. Registration is at Range 12 of the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center from 07:30 to 08:30 in the morning. Cost is $25. To learn more about the match visit the NCPPRC Long Range Match webpage.

New Bushnell 4.5-30x50mm Tactical Scope
Vu Pham was running an all-new Bushnell front focal plane 4.5-30x50mm XRS scope with an amazing 6.7 times zoom range. This 34mm-tube scope features Bushnell’s G2 DMR Reticle. For a scope offering 30X magnification, is it compact at 14″ OAL (only 3/4″ longer than the HDMR). The elevation turret provides 10 mils per revolution with a zero stop. The scope sells for $2149.00 at CS Tactical.

NCPPRC Norcal Tactical Vu Pham

Vu liked the new Bushnell scope and, obviously, it performed well for him. Vu tells us: “I believe this optic just hit the market… and is still pretty new. After having a few days behind the Bushnell XRS 4.5-30, I believe this optic will be a very viable option for the tactical precision rifle game. One of my favorite features of this scope is the mil-based G2DMR reticle. It makes holding over (and holding for windage) fast and easy. I will be doing a full test and evaluation in the next week or two after I get more time behind the optic.” Mike Cecil with CS Tactical provided the scope for this T&E.” Mike notes: “This is not the 4-30 tactical that’s listed as an XRS in the Bushnell online catalog — that’s a 30mm in the 6500 series line. This 34mm-tube XRS is a whole new animal!”

Permalink Competition, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
April 8th, 2013

National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships in Colorado

The rifle phase of the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) commences this week at the Olympic Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Women’s matches start on Tuesday April 9th, while the men commence their rifle competition on Monday, April 15th.

National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships

Pistol matches were held this past week, and National Junior Team member Starlin Shi scored an impressive win. Starlin still handily defeated her opposition to capture a third straight NJOSC Women’s Sport Pistol title. In the 10m Air Pistol events, USA Shooting Junior National Team members Wyatt Brown and Alana Townsend both secured national titles (in the men’s and women’s divisions respectively). In the men’s 25m Sport Pistol division, Robert Wells took top honors.

National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships

Rifle Shooting Starts Tomorrow
Women’s Rifle competition begins Tuesday (April 9) in Colorado Springs as the 17-day NJOSC competition moves on to its second of three weeks. The competition takes place over a three-week period with over 500 of the finest junior shooters in attendance. The top two finishers in each event earn a spot on USA Shooting’s National Junior Team. The 17-day event features shooting matches in Men’s and Women’s Pistol (Air/Sport) and Rifle (Air/Smallbore). More information can also be found on the USA Shooting website. For scores visit USA Shooting’s Match Results Page

National Junior Olympic Shooting ChampionshipsWomen’ Rifle (April 9-12)

  • April 9-10 — Air Rifle
  • April 11-12 — Smallbore

Men’s Rifle (April 15-19)

  • April 15-16 — Air Rifle
  • April 17-19 — Smallbore
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April 7th, 2013

NSSF Attacks Flaws in Connecticut’s New Gun Legislation

Over the objections of legions of Connecticut gun-owners, Connecticut enacted what has been called the “nation’s strictest gun laws” (Huffington Post). Along with new controls on semi-automatic rifles, magazine-capacity limits, and restrictions on ammunition purchases, Connecticut adopted a new system of background checks on all gun transfers. Apparently, the new legislation was so poorly drafted that Connecticut’s new gun laws do not comply with Federal NICS procedures.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, issued the following statement: “Gov. Dannel Malloy … signed into law a package of gun-control legislation that was assembled in secret by a small group of state legislators and that never received a public hearing. Most legislators had little time to even read the actual bill language. The unfortunate results of this process… [are] that mistakes in [the] enacted law will have to be corrected.

For example, language in the new law specifies a procedure for licensed firearms retailers to perform mandatory ‘universal’ background checks on private party transactions that is not permissible based on federal law and regulations governing the National Instant Criminal Background Checks (NICS) system. As we read it, this mistake in lawmaking means that all private party transactions in the state now cannot be accomplished legally. We will be carefully studying all provisions of the law for possible challenge in the courts.”

The new Connecticut gun-control laws are the main focus of this week’s Gun Talk® Radio show with Tom Gresham. Richard Burgess, President of Connecticut Carry, joins Tom this Sunday to discuss the latest anti-gun legislation passed this week by Connecticut legislators and signed into law by Governor Malloy.

The new legislation, among other things, adds more than 100 firearms to the state’s assault weapons ban and creates what is being called the nation’s first dangerous weapon offender registry, as well as a magazine ban and eligibility rules for buying ammunition. You can learn more about Connecticut’s passage of the new laws in a feature from the Litchfield County Times.

In its 19th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio airs live on Sundays from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Eastern, and runs on more than 138 stations, plus on XM (Ch. 165) Satellite Radio. All Gun Talk shows can be downloaded as podcasts or accessed via Apple iTunes. To get more information, visit www.guntalk.com.

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April 7th, 2013

2013 Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup May 4-12

Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor CupDennis DeMille of Creedmoor Sports sent us a reminder that the Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup is coming up in just three weeks. The event runs May 4-12 at Camp Butner in North Carolina. If you want to join the action you should register soon. This event is limited to 200 shooters. Last year’s Eastern Games and Cup were a great success so a big turn-out is expected this year.

CLICK HERE for Eastern CMP Games Entry Form

CLICK HERE to Register for Creedmoor Cup online

CLICK HERE for 38-page 2013 Match Program with Schedule and Event Listings

Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup

Ammo, Brass, and Bullets Available
In related news, Creedmoor Sports announced that limited quantities of Hornady bullets, brass, and ammo, as well as Sierra bullets, that are currently in stock. If you need ammo or components, this may help you. Here is a partial list of the products in inventory as of yesterday.

  • H2420 Hornady 6mm .243 75gr HP Bullet –19 Boxes In Stock
  • H3095 Hornady Match 30 Cal (.308 Diameter) 195gr BTHP Bullet– 15 Boxes in Stock
  • H8097 Hornady .308 Win 168gr BTHP Match Ammo — 26 Boxes In Stock
  • H8620 Hornady .243 Win Brass — 13 Boxes In Stock
  • H81170case Hornady .30-06 Garand Ammo, 168gr Amax, CASE Lot (200 rds)
  • S1740C Sierra 140 gr. HPBT Match Bullets — 3 Boxes In Stock
  • S2190 Sierra .30 Cal. 150 gr. HPBT Match Bullets (500 ct) — 15 Boxes In Stock
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April 6th, 2013

Target Shooter Magazine April Issue Features IWA Show Report

April Target Shooter Magazine

If you want to see the latest and greatest shooting hardware from the other side of the Atlantic, log on to Targetshooter.co.uk, and check out the recently-released April 2013 digital edition of Target Shooter Magazine. Now offered in an easy-to-read scrolling format, the April edition is a gear-head’s delight, with dozens of large photos showing new hardware on display at the IWA Outdoor Classics trade show. You’ll find full IWA show coverage, including coverage of some very exotic rifles and components that have yet to make it across the Atlantic. Target Shooter’s “man on the scene” at the IWA show was our friend Vince Bottomley, and he came away very impressed with many of the new products he saw on display.

April Target Shooter Magazine

April Target Shooter Magazine

Vince notes that the IWA show had more than 1200 exhibitors. That’s a big presence, even compared to the 1600 exhibitors at SHOT Show. IWA also had many of the larger European exhibitors who don’t exhibit in Vegas. Interestingly, Vince noted that “aluminum stocks are becoming the ‘industry standard’ — particularly for competition and tactical rifles. Thanks to… CNC machinery, these stocks are generally reasonably priced (often less than the fiberglass equivalent) and require little or no gunsmithing[.] In most cases, they also look superb, especially when anodized or Ceracoated. Even major manufacturers are offering aluminum-stocked rifles — check out Blaser, Steyr, Haenel, Zastava and of course Unique Alpine, Accuracy International, and Desert Tactical Arms.” There were also many interesting bipods, actions, and optics on display.

April Target Shooter Magazine

In addition to the IWA report by Vince Bottomley, the April edition of Target Shooter has a field test by Chris Parkin of the Savage Model 25 Lightweight Varminter, chambered in 17 Hornet. With a comfortable thumbhole stock, Savage’s Model 25 performed well and was ultra-silent as fitted with a suppressor. The April issue also spotlights a carbon-fiber-stocked beauty — the Ataman M2 Benchrest Air Rifle. This is the second of a two-part report by Carl Boswell.

April Target Shooter Magazine

Permalink New Product, News 4 Comments »
April 6th, 2013

Team South Africa Wins America Match and Team USA is Second

Story by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog
Bloemfontein, South Africa — The South African Rifle Team jumped out to an early lead in yesterday’s America Match at the General de Wet Range. Gaining ground in each of the four relays, the South Africans’ final tally reached 2362.251 before teams from the U.S. and England fired their final shot. By then, South Africa was in the clubhouse with a 13 point win.

Team USA warms up for the America Match in South Africa

The America Match is a four-round team competition shot at 300, 600, 800 and 900 meters. Made up of eight-man teams, each has the opportunity to score up to 600 points per round. Shot last year during the NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Championships in Camp Perry, this is the first America Match win for South Africa.

Having Long Range High Power Rifle Fun in the African Sun
Though one may try, it is truly impossible to simulate game day situations in practice. All the preparation in the world will never prepare you for the tension or adrenaline spike that accompanies real life. The distractions are even greater when competing in South Africa.

Not only is there the incredibly long plane ride, a new culture to embrace and new cuisines to devour, there’s also the local wildlife to consider. Don’t believe me? Then listen to what Alex Williams had to say on the England Rifle Team website:

Aside from keeping a beady eye on the targets, there were several opportunities to cop a look at the local wildlife – dawn is heralded by the cooing of pigeons and the squeaking of hundreds of small starlings. Zebras and elegant giraffes festoon the grasslands on the drive from the hotel to the range. Springbok prance through the fawn coloured savannah startled by the passing minibuses. Dinner also provides an opportunity to sample some of the local wildlife, which generally appears medium-rare.”

Redemption via the Rifle Awaits
Though the American Match holds a special significance to those of us here in The States, American shooters have to toss those results aside. Same goes for the the English, the Welsh and the Irish. After all, they are only three days into ten day of competition. There are plenty of victories left to be had.

Having the home field advantage has played well into the South African’s hands so far. The heat, the elevation (4,500 feet above sea level) and familiarity with the surroundings makes aiming that rifle all the more favorable for the locals. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Things can change.

Yesterday’s match saw Team USA finish second. Under the leadership of Head Coach Norm Anderson, along with coaches Emil Praslic and Steve Harding, Team USA’s shooters (including Lane Buxton, Brandon Green, Michael Storer, Ty Cooper, Bob Gill, Nate Guernsey, Anette Wachter and Dave Crandell) are sure to find their mark soon enough.

Team USA stands by the scoreboard after taking second in the America Match in South Africa

Thanks to Anette Wachter and James Watson for contributing to this post … both with pictures (Anette’s) and information. Follow Anette’s coverage of her long range high power shooting saga at www.30calgal.com.

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »
April 5th, 2013

Great Deal on Fitted AR Gun Cases from Patriot Cases

Our buddy Dennis Santiago found a great deal on a good gun case for AR-platform rifles. Now, as a special promo offer, you can get the Patriot AR case, for just $59.99. This case will fit ARs with barrels up to 20″ in length. NOTE: The photo shows Patriot’s AR case with custom-profiled foam. This case will accommodate virtually any AR with barrels up to 20″ long (some foam cutting required for A2-style stocks). Exterior length of the case is 41.5 inches, and internal length is 40.0 inches. Along with the main, pre-cut rifle cavity, there are cut-outs for four (4) magazines, a suppressor, and boxed ammo. The foam is high-density, 2.2-lb Mil-spec polyethylene. Patriot claims this dense foam is “impervious to cleaning oils/solvents, and will not hold moisture”. The case features six (6) molded holes for padlocks, and there are guards protecting the latches. This case carries an ATA Specification 300 II rating.

Patriot AR gun case

Patriot AR gun case

Brack Wilson of Patriot Cases explains: “FINALLY, after hundreds of requests, our new AR case is available for purchase online at PatriotCases.net This is an incredible deal at only $59.99, and we are offering a special discount for purchases through end of day Monday (April 8, 2013). Enter discount code Facebook at checkout.”

Patriot AR gun case

Dennis Santiago tells us: “If you have one of these genetically modified AR-15s set up in 21st Century shooting configuration, this is the case for you. This is perfect for your 3-gun machine…. Friend Brack Wilson just started making them and they went up on his company’s shopping cart today. It’s a solid, lockable design that uses mil-spec heavy foam. They’re on introductory special this weekend so now’s the time to grab one. Enter discount code “Facebook” at checkout and it will deduct $10 from the total cost (so your net cost is $49.99). I think this is the deal of the weekend.”

Dennis hopes that Patriot will produce another version for High Power Shooters: “For you high power guys, I’ve asked Brack to consider making a version with cutouts for the Service Rifle AR-15 with magazine cut outs for one of those Creedmoor mag pouches, a couple of more 20-rd mags (sled + sighter mags), an ECI, a sling, a scorebook. Our kind of stuff. It’d be nice to have a proper hard case with the right cutouts for these guns. It’ll make them safer for transport going to matches.”

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April 5th, 2013

Nightforce 3.5-15 and 12-42 NXS Scopes on Sale at EuroOptic.com

With the advent of its new-for-2013 scope models, Nightforce is discontinuing some of its popular NXS scopes. Now you can save hundreds on the Nightforce 3.5-15x56mm NXS and 12-42x56mm NXS.

Eurooptic.com Nightforce NXS scope sale

Nightforce 12-42x56mm NXS on sale for $1700.00

Nightforce 3.5-15x56mm NXS on sale for $1599.00

Eurooptic.com Nightforce NXS scope saleSince its introduction, the big 12-42 NXS has always been one of the most popular and successful long-range and target scopes, and now you can save big bucks. Eurooptic.com has dropped the price on the 12-42x56mm NXS (various reticles) from $1981 to $1700 — that’s a $281.00 savings*. Both .125-MOA-click and .250-MOA-click turret models are on sale. Likewise Eurooptic.com has just slashed the price on the 3.5-15x56mm NXS from $1862 to $1599 — a $263.00 savings. NOTE: These big discounts apply to in-stock inventory on discontinued models only. When the supply is gone, it’s gone.

To order, visit Eurooptic.com or call (570) 220-3159 and ask for Jason. Available inventory and reticle choices are shown on the website.

*C330 Model with NR-R2 reticle is $1750; C331 Model with NP-R1 reticle is $1800.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
April 5th, 2013

Winchester Repeating Arms Helps You Beat The Tax Man

winchester tax cut Accurateshooter.comWhen you buy a new Winchester firearm at retail between April 15 and April 30, 2013, you can receive a rebate of up to 8% of the purchase price to reimburse you for the state sales tax. That’s just like putting the sales tax right back in your pocket. See your Winchester dealer for more info. Starting April 15, 2013, you can download Rebate Forms at Winchesterguns.com. This offer is valid only on the consumer retail purchase of a new Winchester firearm purchased between April 15, 2013 and April 30, 2013.

Here’s an example: If you spend $1,000 on a new Winchester rifle or shotgun, and you pay an 8% sales tax, you’ll get an $80 reimbursement from Winchester Repeating Arms. To qualify for your sales tax reimbursement (up to a maximum refund of 8% of the purchase price as determined by the sales tax paid at time of purchase as documented by your dated sales receipt). If you live in a state with no sales tax you should submit your coupon (with valid purchase information) for special consideration.

Here’s the Fine Print:
The Sales Tax Rebate Coupon must be filled out completely and returned to Winchester Repeating Arms with the supporting documents as listed, postmarked no later than midnight May 15, 2013.

Winchester Repeating Arms employees, Winchester Repeating Arms sales representatives, authorized Winchester Repeating Arms dealers and their sales staff, and members of their immediate families are not eligible for this promotion. Limited to one offer per person. Offer valid in the United States only. All purchasers must be citizens or legal residents of the United States.

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
April 4th, 2013

April SALE — Save 10% on In-Stock March Scopes at Kelbly’s

Kelbly's March Scope April SaleIf you want a March scope, now’s a good time to buy. Jim Kelbly of Kelbly’s Inc. has announced that, during the month of April, “March Scopes are being reduced by 10% for any March Scope in inventory.”

Jim adds: “We have a number of March scopes in inventory and many of the most popular models are [in-stock now]. So give us a call here at Kelbly’s at 330-683-4674 if you would like to purchase a March Scope or check inventory.”

Remember — if you snooze, you lose. The folks at Kelbly’s expect the in-stock inventory of the most popular March scopes to sell out fast. NOTE: This 10% savings offer is limited to March scopes currently in-stock at Kelbly’s. Backordered items or units to be delivered in the future are not discounted.

Kelbly's March Scope April Sale

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics 2 Comments »
April 4th, 2013

Reloading TIP: Use Shell Holder with Impact Puller

Here’s a clever tip from Theodor Pettersen, one of our readers from Norway. Theodor writes: “I am an Norwegian shooter and reloader with 40 years of experience and practice. I would like to pass on a tip on how to improve the kinetic bullet puller (also known as an ‘impact puller’). Most of them use a 3-section collet which has three jaws held together with a rubber ring. It is very time-consuming when they pull apart, and have to be put together.

The three-piece collet can be exchanged with a shell holder that fits the cartridge from which you need to remove a bullet. The shell holder fits right into my RCBS bullet puller, and is much easier to use. I think it also will fit other makes of impact pullers.”

Thanks for the tip Theodore. We’ve tried it with a MidwayUSA-brand impact bullet puller and it works. We agree that the collets can be awkward to use, as the jaws can flip over when you’re installing the rubber retaining ring. Still, this editor normally prefers to use the collet, because it seems to be faster than a shellholder — so long as the rubber ring stays in place. The shellholder method is a good alternative though — if you’ve lost your collets or don’t have one that fits your brass.

Quick TIP: For ballistic tip bullets or bullets with tightly-pointed meplats, try putting a small wad of paper (or closed-cell foam) in the bottom of the impact puller chamber. This will cushion the bullet tip, preventing damage when the bullet drops out of the case.

Kinetic Bullet Puller in Operation
Never used a kinetic bullet puller before? Here’s a video that shows you the proper technique. The best surface for the impact is something like a linoleum floor — very firm but not so hard that the plastic head cracks on impact. Note: In this video demo, there is no powder in the cartridge. If you are pulling bullets, powder will come out and you’ll want to have a pan to pour that into, as you recover the bullet.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 10 Comments »
April 3rd, 2013

Whack Dasher Cases into Shape with Hornady Hydro-Form Die

Fire-forming improved cases can be time-consuming and expensive. Now with just a mallet, a Hornady hydro-forming die kit, and a little H20, you can form Dasher and other improved cartridge cases easily and safely. And you won’t consume costly bullets, powder, and primers, or use up precious barrel life.

Three or Four Whacks Produces a 95%-Formed Case
With a Hornady hydro-forming die, water pressure does the job of blowing out the shoulders of your improved case. The process is relatively simple. Place a spent primer in the bottom of a new piece of brass. Fill the case with water, and then slip it into a special Hornady shell-holder with no hole in the middle. Then you run the case up into the forming die. Now comes the fun part. You gently insert a plunger (hydraulic ram) from the top, and give it three or four stiff whacks with a mallet (or better yet, a dead-blow hammer). Remove the plunger and you have a 95% formed case, ready to load.

Walter Queen Hydraulic Hornady Die

Forum member Walter Queen (aka Queen_Stick) acquired a Hornady Hydraulic forming die kit through our Forum Classifieds. He used this to form 6mm Dasher cases. Walter tested to see how many mallet blows would be required to form his dasher cases. Using a regular mallet, four or five blows was the magic number (with a Dead-blow hammer, one can often do the job with three strong whacks). Shown below are test cases with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 (X) mallet strikes. Walter explained: “It helps to use a consistent yet aggressive swing with the mallet. I did a little test to show what’s happening to the case with each swing. The numbers on the cases refer to the number of swings with the mallet. The last case, with the ‘X’ on it, I actually hit it 10 times. The extra effort made no difference; anything beyond 5 swings is likely a waste of time!”

Walter Queen Hydraulic Hornady Die

What’s the “happy face” case with the split shoulder? Well, as a test, Walter tried one older, work-hardened piece of brass. This split its shoulder on the third strike. Walter concluded: “You MUST have new brass, or freshly annealed brass. The ‘smiley case’ shows a split neck. For that case, on the third swing of the mallet the piston slammed down into the die and bottomed out [and] the water shot out of the split in the neck.”

Read More on RiflemansJournal.com
You can learn more about the hydro-forming process in a detailed article on German Salazar’s Rifleman’s Journal website. There, you’ll find more photos, and Walter provides helpful tips on how to hydro-form cases most efficiently (and with the least spilled H20). One tip is to “fill the cases with a syringe of some sort.”

Walter Queen Hydraulic Hornady Die

Hornady supplies a shell holder made specifically for the hydro die; there’s no hole in the bottom of it. Just insert a spent primer into the primer pocket and you’re ready to go. The spent primer combined with the solid shell holder, keeps the water from seeping out of the primer pocket. The primer pushes out a little bit during this process, but it’s impossible for it to come out because of the way the shell holder is designed. The shell holder has a grove which allows the case to slide out of the shell holder even when the primer protrudes a bit.

How to Order Hydro-Forming Die Kits
Hydro-forming die kits, which include forming die, plunger, and special shell-holder can be ordered through the Hornady Custom Shop. Hornady can create a forming die kit for most popular cartridges, if you provide a die print or some full-formed sample cases. To order, contact Ben Syring at Hornady: 800-338-3220 (ext. 261) or bsyring [at] hornady.com. If you have an oddball wildcat, send Ben the specs for your chamber and three (3) pieces of fire-formed brass.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 3 Comments »
April 3rd, 2013

Scores of New Products at NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

Next month, the Lone Star State hosts the 2013 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. From May 2-5, an estimated 550 companies will display their latest products across 445,000 square feet of space in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. There will be scores of new guns and firearms accessories on display.

The editors of American Hunter magazine have prepared a handy “round-up” of the new-for-2013 products that will be exhibited next month in Houston, Texas.
CLICK HERE to read American Hunter’s 2013 New Product Guide.

NRA 2013 Meeting Products

Here are some of the New Products that will be on display at the NRA Meetings in Houston:

BARRETT: MRAD multi-caliber rifle (.338 LM, .300 WM, .308 Win).
BENELLI USA: New M2 Field shotgun variants.
BERETTA: New competition over/under shotguns, the 692 Sporting and XT, and DT11.
BERGARA USA: New line of “semi-custom” hunting and tactical rifles.
BROWNING: New AB3 A-Bolt with new bolt, action, trigger.
BUSHMASTER: 308 Hunter, Predator, Varminter rifles now have Magpul stocks.
CROSMAN: New AR-style air rifle (MSR77 NP), and MK-177 tactical pump pellet rifle.
CZ: New 455 rimfire bolt-actions –Tacticool, SST Varmint, and Varmint Thumbhole.
FNH USA: New FN SC 1 over/under target shotgun with 30″ barrel.
GAMO: New “Bull Whispers”, bull-barrel air rifles with NS-52 dampener to lower noise.
MOSSBERG: New pump-action shotguns wiht Harmonic Damper Technology to reduce perceived recoil.
NOSLER CUSTOM: New Model 48 Outfitter Rifle with custom action and hand-lapped ss barrel.
REMINGTON: New Model 783, low-priced bolt-action rifle with adjustable ‘Crossfire’ trigger.
RUGER: New 6-lb, compact American Rifle models in .243 and 7mm-08.
SAVAGE: New B-Mag 17 WSM rifle, chambered for the new .17 Win Super Mag rimfire cartridge.
SMITH & WESSON: New M&P 10 flat-top .308 Win AR-platform rifle with factory camo finish.
STEYR: Mannlicher Pro African rifle with new soft-finish composite stock that is quiet in bush.
THOMPSON/CENTER: New Venture Compact, with shorter barrel and composite stock with LOP spacers.
WEATHERBY: Upgraded Back Country Vanguard S2 rifle with Cerakote Tactical Grey metalwork.
WINCHESTER: “Ultimate Shadow” m70 bolt-action hunting rifles in stocks with rubberized surfaces.

Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »
April 3rd, 2013

SHOT Show Expands Day at the Range to Include Dealers

Industry Media Day at RangeFor gun-writers, the highlight of SHOT Show each year is Media Day, when we can shoot and evaluate new firearms (and ammo) on a live shooting range. Now this annual event has been expanded to include distributors, dealers, and retailers. SHOT Show Media Day at the Range is expanding to include the first SHOT Show Buyer Day at the Range in 2014. The event will give buyers in the hunting and shooting industry a chance to test and learn about new products. This combined Media/Buyer event will now be referred to as SHOT Show® Industry Day at the Range™.

The first SHOT Show Buyer Day at the Range will take place on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. The event will be open to 700 invited distributors, dealers, and retailers. “Increasing interest from retail and wholesale buyers to try out new products makes SHOT Show Buyer Day at the Range a natural fit,” said Chris Dolnack, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer. “Providing key buyers with a hands-on experience while attending the SHOT Show gives retailers an opportunity to sell new products through first-hand personal experience.”

Industry Media Day at Range

Regular Media Day Will Precede Buyer Day at the Range
The 9th Annual SHOT Show Media Day at the Range will take place on Monday, January 13, 2014. Media Day will continue to be split into two sessions. The first session will be open to 700 invited media members, while the afternoon session will be open to 700 at-large registered media. With over 140 exhibiting manufactures, Media Day continues to be the largest hands-on media event in the hunting and shooting industry.

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April 2nd, 2013

NEW Forster Products Catalog — Digital and Print Versions

Forster Products CatalogThe latest Forster Products Catalog is now available. If you haven’t received a copy yet, you can download a digital PDF version, or submit a request for a print catalog.

Just click one of the links below.

DOWNLOAD Forster Products Catalog (PDF)

REQUEST Forster Products PRINT Catalog

Report from Jim Jewell: “Having read through the New Forster Catalog, I am pleased to report that it is as great a pictorial guide to important concepts and techniques for precision reloading as you are likely to find. It is best of all free!”

Permalink New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »