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March 9th, 2014

Greyfox Has a Cobra Skeleton for Sale

There’s a very cool rifle for sale in our Forum Marketplace. Rick F. (aka “Greyfox”) just posted a listing for his Gene Beggs-built skeleton-style benchrest rifle. What makes this rig so highly desirable is the Cobra Drop Port action. A shorter version of Jerry Stiller’s popular Viper action, the Cobra drop port is highly coveted, and very hard-to-find (people have been waiting for years for new Vipers and Cobras). The gun employs a skeleton design, with the rear triangle attached directly to the action and an aluminum bag-rider secured to the barrel. It may seem radical, but this Editor has shot a Gene Beggs benchgun of this design. I can tell you it was extremely accurate and handled great on the bags. Here is the description of Greyfox’s rifle:

Stiller Cobra Drop Port, Right Bolt. Chambered in 220 Beggs .250 NK, 1:14″ twist, Jewell trigger, Beggs skeleton stock, Beggs Tuner. Built by Gene Beggs. Will shoot in .1s and .2s (can be verified). Includes 125 pieces of formed, fired brass, and sizing die. Scope and rings in photos are not included. $1900 insured & shipped in CONUS. CLICK HERE for details.

Even if you are not a benchrest competitor, this would make a wicked Prairie dog rifle to be shot off a portable bench. Having shot a Beggs “Tinkertoy” rifle with Gene himself, this Editor can tell you the “stockless” concept can work, and the Drop Port action is a joy to use (I own a Viper-action benchgun myself). The Greyfox rifle is a .220 Beggs so it is ultra-easy to form brass from the parent .220 Russian case. Whoever buys this unique, easy-to-shoot rifle will get a heck of a lot of accuracy for $1900.00.

Beggs Stiller Cobra Drop Port Benchrest Rifle

Beggs Stiller Cobra Drop Port Benchrest Rifle

See this Rifle in Action at the 2013 UBR Nationals
Note How Cartridge Drops Out Bottom of Action When Bolt is Retracted:

Beggs Stiller Cobra Drop Port Benchrest Rifle

220 Beggs
Simple, Accurate, Efficient
We were impressed with the 220 Beggs cartridge. It’s basically a plain 220 Russian with a sharper radius at the neck-shoulder junction. Gene Beggs has commissioned a 220 Beggs reamer with matching seating and full-length sizing dies. The little cartridge achieves 3600+ fps with a 52gr bullet, pushed by Benchmark powder.

From what we could tell during our visit with Gene Beggs in Texas, the 220 Beggs is easy to load for, and performs exceptionally well with either turned (.250″) or no-turn necks. The recoil was noticeably less than a 6mm PPC, making the gun a joy to shoot. This round, we felt, could also be an outstanding varmint cartridge. The velocity is there, and we don’t think any other 22-caliber varmint cartridge is going to beat it for inherent accuracy.

Photo shows bag-rider on Gene Beggs’s own .220 Beggs rifle that we shot in Texas.

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March 9th, 2014

Black Hills MK 262 Mod 1 5.56 Ammo — Now for Civilians Too

If you shoot Service Rifle, or use a .223 Rem at medium to long range, you should read J. Guthrie’s review of Black Hills MK 262 Mod 1 ammunition. Originally developed for military applications, this very accurate ammo is now available for civilians to purchase. It uses a special Sierra 77gr MatchKing bullet with cannelure. Black Hills did extensive testing to develop this ammunition, shooting over 250,000 test rounds with various propellants and projectiles. Eventually, the Sierra 77gr MK bullet was chosen, with a powder that delivers 2750 fps MV (from a 20″ barrel).

Black Hills MK 261 OTM Mod 1 Sierra MatchKing MK
READ Full Review of Black Hills MK 262 Mod 1 Ammunition

Sierra’s 77-grain bullet delivered great accuracy at long range. Guthrie explains: “Several bullets were used during the development process, including the 73-grain Berger, 77-grain Sierra MatchKing, and 77-grain Nosler HPBT. Black Hills finally settled on the MatchKing when Sierra agreed to put a cannelure on the bullet. In test fixtures Sierra’s bullet proved slightly more accurate. Accuracy was exceptional, certainly an improvement over M855 [military 5.56x45mm ammunition].”

Guthrie’s article explains that this ammo design started off as target ammunition developed for the USAMU. That was followed by a 1999 request from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division for a round that would work with a suppressed, short-barrel M16 variant. Over the years, as Black Hills produced more ammo for the U.S. military, this ammunition continued to be improved. Guthrie notes: “The name changed with each modification. MK 262 Mod 0 was adopted in 2002, Mod 1 came along in 2003 with the cannelure, and an improvement to temperature sensitivity came along in 2005.”

According to Black Hills President James Hoffman, the MK 262 ammo “developed a cult following… so [in 2011] we started offering it to the public. The only difference is the packaging — it is the exact same ammunition as is delivered to the U.S. Military — loaded to the exact same specs”. The commercial version is sold in black/red 50-count boxes labeled “5.56mm 77 GR OTM”. The exact same ammo is issued to American war-fighters in 20-round, brown cardboard boxes labeled “5.56mm SPECIAL BALL, LR MK 262 MOD 1.”

Field Test of Black Hills MK 262 Mod 1 Ammunition

About J. Guthrie: Last April, at the much-too-young age of 37 years, outdoor writer J. Guthrie passed away in his sleep, leaving a wife and two young children. Field & Stream noted: “Guthrie was already a major player and a pro’s pro, but he wanted to be more. He wanted to be a Gun Writer in the old style. It’s a terrible loss for all of us that his run was cut so short.”

Story idea from Grant Guess. We welcome reader submissions.
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March 9th, 2014

Portable, Tripod-Mounted Steel Rifle Target Plates from GSS

Shooting heavy-duty steel targets is fun, and it’s a great way to practice your long-range skills, IF the target is the right size AND if it’s situated at appropriate distances. Unfortunately, many ranges don’t have steel rifle targets, or if they do, the targets are big gongs fixed in place. You can bring your own steel gongs to the range, however most setups are big, heavy, and hard to transport. Gongs are typically held by chains attached to very heavy, sawhorse-style supports that take two people to move.

Now there is a portable steel target plate that is relatively easy to move, and which is available in appropriate sizes for precision rifle shooters. The AR550 heavy-duty version of the Evil Roy Practice Target from GSS Competition works great for precision rifle practice at distances beyond 100 yards. And you can use the same plates for pistol practice at shorter distances. To reduce the chance of ricochets, there are no exposed bolts or clamps, and the target plate head is angled. When using the targets with rifles you want to avoid any bullets with penetrator tips, and GSS recommends keeping velocities under 3,000 fps. That still allows you to shot .308s, 6BRs, 6.5x47s, and .284s at competitive match speeds.

CSS Steel Target Tripod Mounts

Choose from 6″, 8″, 10″ or 12″ Plate Diameters
The GSS circular targets, made from AR550 armor plate, come in four diameters: 6″, 8″, 10″, and 12″. We like the 6″ size for shooting at 600 yards, and the 10″ plate for 1000 yards. These sizes are very close to 1 MOA at those distances. This provides a good challenge for an F-Class or high power shooter. The circular plates can be mounted at two different heights, up to roughly 36 inches above the ground. The head of the Evil Roy Target will “bounce” a little when you hit it, so you get instant feedback.

HD Target Costs $175.00 — FREE Shipping for Limited Time
The GSS “Evil Roy” target plates are supported on a folding three-legged steel stand. This tripod base folds up to a 3-foot-long package for ease of carry and transport. NOTE: No tools are required for assembly, use, or storage. The portable stand folds to less than 3 feet long in just seconds, so it easily fits in the trunk of a small car. The GSS Evil Roy portable steel targets start at $155.00 plus $20.00 for the heavy-duty option. For a limited time, GSS is offering FREE Shipping on its steel targets (offer subject to change.) For more info, visit

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