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December 6th, 2013

CMP Custom Shop Launch is a Great Success

Report based on story by Ashley Brugnone, for The First Shot CMP Online Magazine
After a month of business, the CMP Custom Shop is already stacked to the ceiling with rifles needing customization and repair. With nearly 200 rifles already shipped to the Shop, the gunsmiths running the operation only anticipate more to come in the future. “Things are going great,” said John McLean, CMP Custom Shop manager. “We’re learning how to do everything we need to do in order to get things done as quickly for customers as we can, as well as do a good job.”

CMP Custom Shop Anniston, AL

The Custom Shop opened its doors on October 1, 2013, offering upgrades, customization, refinishing, and other types of repair for U.S. Military-type rifles. The shop specializes in such rifles as the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1903 and 1903A3 Springfield, the 1917 Enfield and the Krag. CMP will NOT be working on shotguns, pistols, revolvers, M14/M1A, AR15-style rifles or other commercially-produced modern rifles.

A M1917 U.S. Enfield was the first gun to pass through the doors of the custom shop. It was sent to be refinished by a contractor, spending nearly a month being restored. The rifle was then repaired by McLean and his crew and is just about ready to be returned to its owner. McClean explains: “The amount of time we work on pieces varies very widely. It could be five minutes worth of work to a couple days worth of work, depending on what the customer wants.”

John McLean works on a M1917 U.S. Enfield — the first of many rifles to arrive at the shop for repair.
CMP Custom Shop Anniston Alabama

Rifles needing repair can be shipped to the CMP Shop in Anniston, Alabama from anywhere in the country. Then, once repaired, these rifles are shipped back out to the owners. Shelves of rifles to be serviced are presently stacked to the ceiling of the Custom Shop, representing about 90 days’ worth of scheduled work for the CMP gunsmiths.

CMP Custom Shop Anniston, AL

CMP Custom Shop Also Offers Training Classes
The space where the rifles are repaired, though meant as a machine shop, was also designed as a classroom. Benches facing a projection screen hanging on the wall to display slides and other instructional materials seat a class of about 20 people. Recently, the shop held its first CMP Advanced Maintenance Class (AMC), which involved both hands-on training. Students raved about this class: “Fantastic course. Can’t say enough good about it. Instructors were phenomenal”; “This was by far the very best firearms class I have ever taken.” The CMP Custom Shop will hold six more classes in 2014, However, registration is already full for all sessions.

CMP Custom Shop Anniston, AL

For a list of services the shop provides, visit the CMP Custom Shop web page. For detailed CMP Custom Shop information, or specific questions, please contact John or Chris at or call (256) 835-8455, ext. 1113.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 1 Comment »
December 6th, 2013

Wind-Reading Tips from G. Salazar

German Salazar wind readingIn response to questions from a fellow F-Class shooter, G. Salazar offered some expert advice in an article entitled: Basics: A Few Wind Reading Tips. Here are highlights from that essay. You can read the entire article on Salazar’s Rifleman’s Journal Website. Salazar cautions that: “I certainly am not attempting to make this short item into a comprehensive lesson in wind reading, but there may be a nugget or two in here for the newer shooter. There is, however, no substitute for range time and coaching.”

Preliminary Matters — Holding Off vs. Knob-Turning
Let’s begin by eliminating one topic altogether — I realize that the predominant method of wind correction in F-Class is holding-off with the crosshairs of your scope rather than adjusting the windage knob. I am a firm believer in aiming at the center and turning the knob as needed, but we’ll leave that for another time and focus on seeing what the wind is doing.

The Wave — Wind Cycles and Shot Timing
I find that most shooters begin to shoot immediately when the time commences rather than waiting for an appropriate moment in the cycle, this often leads to lost points early on. If you’ve been scoring prior to shooting, hopefully you’ve observing the flags and your shooter’s shot placement. It’s a very useful way of gaining some insight into the day’s wind patterns before shooting.

 Salazar wind readingMy technique is based on the understanding of wind as a cyclical wave motion. That statement alone should give you plenty to think about[.] Imagine for a moment, a surfer. He waits for a gentle swell, gets moving on it and rides it through it’s growth and ultimately its crescendo and hopefully avoids being swallowed in its crash. Wind typically behaves in the same fashion as that wave and a smart shooter behaves as does the surfer — get on early in the wave, ride through the major change and get off at the right moment. Knowing when to stop shooting is every bit as important as shooting quickly through the predictable portion of the wave; getting back on to the next wave is a matter of delicate judgment and timing.

When you are on that rising (or falling) wave, the idea is to shoot very quickly to minimize the amount of change between shots and to make a small adjustment on each shot. Too many shooters waste time trying to analyze the exact amount of the change, by which time it has changed even more! Get on with it, click or hold over a set amount and fire the next shot quickly. This is the foundation of how I shoot and it is very effective as long as you know when to start, when to stop and you have a good man working the target – a slow marker is the death of this method.

Watch Shots from Other Shooters
We all watch the wind flags, of course, and the trees if your range is so blessed (ours are fairly barren), and many other small wind indicators. Watching the shots of your fellow shooter can also be a very useful tool and should be observed whenever possible. When a good shooter next to you comes up with a poor shot, it should signal you to stop and reassess conditions as they may not be what they appear.

German Salazar wind reading

While scoring for another shooter, take a moment to scan the line of targets. You’ll be surprised at how most of the shot markers move in unison to one side and then the other. The sad truth is that most shooters are behind the changes in the wind and they will get carried to either side of the bull as the wind changes. You’ll see this in the targets as they come up, and once learned, you’ll find that the line of targets is as useful as another row of flags.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
December 6th, 2013

New Edition of Norma Reloading Manual Now Available

Norma Reloading Manual Expanded 2nd Edition Book ReloadNorma USA has released the new Norma Reloading Manual Expanded Edition. To mark Norma’s 110 years in the ammunition industry, Norma is publishing its second reloading handbook (the first was released in 2004). The Norma Reloading Manual has been updated with new cartridges, components, and recipes. This hard-back book now covers hundreds of cartridges for hunters and target shooters. Load data (using Norma bullets and powders) is presented for most American cartridges and many European cartridges. In addition, you’ll find an extensive discussion of the history and science of smokeless powders. The new Norma Reloading Manual is designed for all handloaders — from novice to advanced. Inside the book you’ll find solid reloading advice, plus a history of Norma, one of the world’s leading producers of brass, bullets, and loaded ammunition. If you employ Norma brass or bullets or use Norma powders, this new Reloading Manual can be the “go-to” reference book on your loading bench. Priced at $34.99, the Norma Reloading Manual is available from Norma-USA’s authorized dealers. It is not yet listed on, but we to see it there within a few months.

Norma Reloading Manual Expanded 2nd Edition Book Reload

Permalink New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »