As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











August 22nd, 2014

Michelle Gallagher Will Coach USA F-Class Open Team

Michelle Gallagher, the 2014 NRA National Long-Range Champion, has been named Head Coach of the United States F-Class Open Rifle Team for the 2017 F-Class World Championships. Congrats to Michelle, a great person, and a heck of a competitor. The official announcement, from F-Open Team Captain Rick Jensen, is provided below.

michelle gallagher F-Class coach

By Rick Jensen
michelle gallagher F-Class coachThe United States F-Class Open Rifle Team is very excited to announce that Michelle Gallagher will be our Head Coach for the 2017 World Championship Team!

Michelle is no stranger to competitive shooting. As many of you know, she grew up shooting smallbore and Palma with her family at ranges from Phoenix to Camp Perry, Ohio and about everywhere in between. Then, in 2009 she decided to give F-Class a try. It didn’t take her long to begin making a name for herself within the sport. That year at Bisley, she along with her mom, Nancy Tompkins, coached the 4 Man U.S. F-Open Team to a win at The Rutland Cup World Championship Match. Michelle has also had a great deal of success here at home in our US F-Class Nationals. She coached The Long Shots into back-to-back National Championships in 2011 and 2012. Then last year at the 4th FCWC she topped off many accomplishments with yet another World Championship win while coaching The Spindle Shooters in Raton, NM.

Michelle brings with her a wealth of shooting knowledge and coaching experience, but what really sets her apart is her winning attitude and personality. We have been fortunate to be on many teams with her as our coach, and we can honestly say we have enjoyed each one of them. Somehow she even makes losing tolerable; although, that doesn’t seem to happen very often. She is truly a joy to be around and we look forward to working with her for many years to come.

Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
August 22nd, 2014

Pyramyd Air Hosts First-Ever Pyramyd Air Cup in October

This fall, Pyramyd Air will host its first-ever major air rifle competition. The Pyramyd Air Cup will be held October 24-26 at the Tusco Rifle Club in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Air gunners from all around the world, amateur and professionals alike, will compete for glory and valuable prizes. The weekend will feature field target and silhouette competitions, with four divisions: Pro PCP, Pro Springer, Sportsman PCP, and Sportsman Springer. Cash and prizes will awarded to the best shooters in each division.

Pyramyd Air Cup

Free Air-Gun “Test Drives” at Pyramyd Air Cup
During the Pyramyd Air Cup Weekend, visitors can try a variety of air guns for FREE. Airguns, ammo, and accessories from leading manufacturers such as AirForce, Hatsan, H&N, Crosman, Air Arms, Umarex, and Gamo will be available to test, at no charge. Airgun expert Tom Gaylord will be on hand to answer questions: “Come see what field target and silhouette are all about. Compete in the matches or just observe. Pyramyd Air will also provide the airguns and ammo for anyone to try out on the open ranges, and I’ll be happy to answer your airgun questions.”

Big Cash Prizes Up for Grabs
Prizes and cash will be awarded to the first, second, and third place finishers in each division, with the top prize valued at $750. The grand champion — the individual with the highest overall score — gets an additional $1,000 cash prize. For the PayDay Challenge, the winner gets $200 from a mere $5 entry fee!

The Pyramyd Air Cup will take place over two days. Each competition will have its own set of guidelines. Competitors will shoot in either the pro or sportsman division with classes based on airgun type: PCP or springer. The Field Target portion of the event is governed under the rules of the American Field Target Association. The silhouette portion will consist of two competitions: off-hand and gunslinger.

field target rifle

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition No Comments »
August 21st, 2014

Girl Power! All-Ladies Team at Camp Perry

Report by Anette Wachter for 30CalGal.com
Click Here for full article
lady team camp perry Anette WachterI have spent the last two weeks at Camp Perry for the U.S. Long Range and Fullbore Nationals. This year at Perry the format was quite different than in years past. An International Fullbore week was added after the Long Range week. This was meant to act as a practice and tryout for members of the U.S. Rifle Team in preparation for the World Palma Championship in 2015.

The Long Range Nationals consist of shooting all matches at 1000 yards and one day of Palma which is fired at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. Each string at 1000 is a separate match in itself and then there is a grand Aggregate of all for the week. Each match has a shoot-off of the top scorers in each relay to determine the winner. In years past I have made it in to at least one shoot-off but I was not so lucky this year. I did however have success in my team events.

lady team camp perry Anette Wachter

All Ladies Team for Perry
Last year I was coached by Nancy Tompkins on a coed team to an overall win. I called Nancy again this year to set up a new team — an all-ladies squad. What a squad it was, with Nancy, her daughters Michelle and Sherri Jo, and Trudie Fay (along with myself). I cherished getting to know all of these ladies better. Sherri Jo Gallagher has been a USAMU shooting super star for many years. She is now a super star Golden Night (U.S. Army Parachute Team member). She took some time off to come back to Perry to shoot for fun and hang out with her family. Our squad had the best time. Lots of laughing. And Xs! We won the Palma division and placed second overall for the Roumanian Trophy. We won overall Palma team for the Agg for the week. Way to go girl power!

lady team camp perry Anette Wachter

Anette came home with four medals. During the Long Range phase, Anette’s all-female team won Open Palma in the Roumanian Trophy and the Silver Medal in the overall of the Roumanian. During the Fullbore phase her team earned the Silver Medal in the Commodore Perry Cup. And then Anette’s 4-person team, U.S. Team Skaret, won a Gold for the Open Palma.

CLICK to READ MORE

Permalink Competition No Comments »
August 21st, 2014

Get Free Sierra Bullets Info Chart

How would you like to have the entire collection of Sierra rifle and pistol bullets at your fingertips, complete with bullet Ballistic Coefficients (BCs) and parts numbers? Well we’ve got you covered. Sierra publishes a handy PDF chart that displays all of Sierra’s popular projectiles, from .20 caliber all the way up to .50 caliber. CLICK HERE to download Sierra Bullets Chart.

CLICK Image to Download PDF Chart with All Sierra Bullet Types (2 MB file)
sierra bullets chart poster

Detail Sample from Chart
sierra bullets chart poster

Order Free Sierra Catalog
You can also get a free, hard copy poster with all Sierra’s bullet types. The current Sierra Bullets catalog has a printed insert that folds out into a large poster for your loading room or workshop. To order the current Sierra Catalog (with fold-out poster), visit Sierra’s Catalog Request Page.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 2 Comments »
August 20th, 2014

Championship F-Class Form — Shiraz Shows How It’s Done

Shiraz Balolia F-classAt the Canadian F-Class Championships last week Shiraz Balolia won the F-Open Individual Championship, and Shiraz was a member of the winning Team USA America Match Team, and the winning USA 4-man F-Open team. If you want to see how a world-class F-Open pilot works his magic, check out this video. After a discussion of scoring, the shooting starts at the five-minute mark in the video. Under the guidance of wind coach Gary Rasmussen, Grizzly Industrial President Shiraz Balolia shoots 100-7X for ten shots, following Gary’s wind calls.

NOTE: Shiraz shot with wind coaches in the team matches at the Connaught Range in Canada. However, during the individual championship matches he had to make his own wind calls, dialing windage corrections or holding off as he saw fit. It wasn’t easy. Shiraz told us: “It’s been a while since I had 5 1/2 minutes of left wind on my .300 WSM and was holding left 3+, then holding right 3 1/2 just two shots later!”

Pair Firing in Canada
According to Shiraz, “One thing that was different about the Canadian Nationals was that they were pair fired. One shoots, other scores, other shoots, and so on. With this slower, pair method of shooting, every shot can be in a different condition. Unlike the USA Nationals where a guy can rattle off the whole string in less than 4 to 5 minutes in one or two conditions, you would be hard pressed to get off two or three shots each in five minutes. This is the way the next World Championship is going to be shot — with pair firing.”

Watch Gary Call the Wind and Shiraz Shoot 100-7X for Ten Shots

For best viewing, click the YouTube settings button to watch in 720p or 1080p HD (high definition).

Team Shooting with a Coach
F-Class Open Team shooting with Shiraz Balolia at 700 yards .284 7mmShiraz tells us: “We come across a lot of shooters who have never shot under a coach. This video was produced to give shooters a basic understanding of shooting with a coach and the importance of releasing a good shot. In a team setting, you basically leave all the decision-making to the coach and aim where you’re told to aim. I’ve worked with Gary many times and it shows in the comfort level we have with each other. The coach plots the shots or a plotter advises the coach of any grouping that is not centered.”

At the Canadian Championships, Shiraz used a .300 WSM. In this demo video, Shiraz was shooting a 7mm F-Open rig: “My .284 Shehane rifle takes about 10 to 12 shots to settle down and that is probably why we made several scope adjustments while shooting. It is a great caliber and a step up from a straight .284 Winchester. The wind was relatively calm, but sometimes that slow wind with subtle angle changes can be very deceiving.”

F-Class Open Team shooting with Shiraz Balolia at 700 yards .284 7mm

Permalink - Videos, Competition 4 Comments »
August 20th, 2014

Tech Tip: Mirage Shields — They Aren’t All the Same

Is your mirage band really “the best it can be”? Or is it actually allowing warm air to flow in front of your scope, causing mirage? Here’s an interesting graphic that suggests that the size, shape, and curvature of a mirage shield can make a difference. We can’t say this diagram is based on exhaustive scientific testing (and we think the flow patterns are exaggerated for effect), but it does illustrate how airflow can be altered by shield shape.
Mirage shield band aluminum gonzalez fierce vinyl

This graphic comes from Fierce Vinyl a company that produces high-quality aluminum mirage shields for shooters. Fierce Vinyl is run by the daughter of ace gunsmith (and Hall of Fame shooter) Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez. Fierce Vinyl sells custom 26″ aluminum mirage shields (with graphic imprint) for $21.99 + shipping. That price includes printing the graphic on the shield, if you provide the artwork. Inquire about custom art designs or large orders.

Mirage shield band aluminum gonzalez fierce vinyl

Along with Mirage Bands, Fierce Vinyl produces a variety of graphic products, labels, and stickers. If you need a placard, graphic, or bumper sticker for your business or shooting range, Fierce Vinyl can help you out. See more product designs on the Fierce Vinyl Facebook Page.

Mirage shield band aluminum gonzalez fierce vinyl

Permalink New Product, Optics 7 Comments »
August 20th, 2014

Report from Canadian Fullbore Rifle Championships

The Canadian National Fullbore Rifle Championships (CFRC) are underway this week at the Connaught Range near Ottawa, Ontario. Following on the Canadian F-Class Championships held last week, this event is for “Target Rifles”, shot with slings. So far, a British Lady, Jane Messer, is leading the pack, but two Americans, Kent Reeve and Bryan Litz, are close behind.

America Match Canada Bryan Litz John Whidden

Bryan Litz provides this report from Canada: “Had a great time shooting today! I won the Letson sub-Aggregate and moved up to Third Place in the overall. We (Team USA Hardin) also tied for winning the coaches two-man team match with USA Praslick at 900 meters. Here’s how the leader board stacks up: Jane Messer from the UK is still leading at 1 down, Kent Reeve moved into second at 2 down, and I’m in third with 3 down. There will be two more days of individual matches and then a lot of team matches leading up to the America Match on Sunday.”

Team USA Hardin: John Whidden (L), Coach Steve Hardin, and Bryan Litz (R).
America Match Canada Bryan Litz John Whidden

Permalink Competition No Comments »
August 19th, 2014

Beauty of Wood — Extraordinary Rifle Stocks by Polish Master

There’s a chap in Poland named Łukasz Pietruszka, who is a bonafied “Wizard of Wood”. Lukasz handcrafts unique custom stocks, selling them through his LP Gunstocks company. Many of his most eye-catching stocks are for airguns (particularly Field Target rifles), but he also produces fine stocks for rimfire and centerfire hunting rifles. Lukasz is a master carver who includes exquisite details on many of his stocks. Some of these designs, crafted from exotic hardwoods, raise stock-crafting to an art form.

Check out the figure on this Turkish Walnut stock by Łukasz Pietruszka.
Łukasz Pietruszka rifle stock wood turkish walnut

You can see a variety of Lukasz’s stocks in a video sampler. If you’re a fan of fine wood, you’ll love this video. So pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy this 16-minute video interlude.

Polish rifle stock videoWatch Video in High Definition
NOTE: We recommend you view this video in high definition, in wide screen format. To do this, start the video, then click on the gear-shaped icon at the lower right-hand corner of the video frame (it’s located just to the right of the clock icon). If you have a fast internet connection, select 720P or 1080P from the pop-up menu. (1080P is the highest resolution.) Now select theater mode or full-screen mode using the small icons on the lower right of the frame.

Radical ‘Shockwave’ from LP Gunstocks
Here is a truly amazing bit of craftmanship. The images below show a one-of-a-kind Shockwave stock created by Łukasz for a Steyr Field Target air rifle. Over the top? Perhaps… but you have to admire the imaginative design and exquisite worksmanship.

Polish Łukasz Pietruszka rifle stock video

Polish Łukasz Pietruszka rifle stock video

Polish Łukasz Pietruszka rifle stock video

Polish Łukasz Pietruszka rifle stock video

Video find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 6 Comments »
August 19th, 2014

Anschütz Will Open Importation and Service Center in Alabama

Anschütz now has its own importation hub in the USA. This new facility, located in Trussville, Alabama, will operate as a direct extension of the parent company, J.G. ANSCHÜTZ GmbH & Co.KG of Germany. Having its own importation facility will help Anschütz supply rifles to the American market more efficiently. Steven Boelter, President of Anschütz North American (NA) operations, tells us that that the new Alabama facility will allow Anschütz to import a wider range of products and carry a larger standing inventory. That’s good for rimfire and air rifle customers.

Anschutz rifle rimfire adjustable stock

The new importation/distribution center will soon be supported by an in-house Anschütz service center that will handle warranty repairs and custom upgrades. This will offer Anschütz after-sales service for all company products, as well as warranty support, repairs, spare parts, and tech info. (This new service center will operate as an adjunct to other existing target and air rifle service centers within the USA.) Learn more about the soon-to-be launched service center at www.anschutznorthamerica.com.

Anschütz NA does not sell directly to consumers, but if you are interested in a particular Anschütz product, you can contact the Anschütz’s staff in Alambama. They will answer your questions or connect you with a current Anschütz dealer. The established Anschütz distribution chain and main dealer network in the US will continue to operate as before.

Anschutz north america Anschütz rifle hunting

Anschütz North America
www.anschutznorthamerica.com
7661 Commerce Lane
P.O. Box 129
Trussville, AL 35173-2837
Phone: 205-655-7500

Permalink News, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 19th, 2014

Why You Should Wear Safety Glasses

In response to a Bulletin article about Protective Eyewear, one of our Canadian readers posted a personal story. His account demonstrates the importance of wearing eye protection whenever you shoot — no matter what type of firearm you are using — even air rifles. We hope all our readers take this to heart. All too often at rifle matches we see shooters, even some top competitors, risking their vision by failing to wear eye protection.

Red Ryder BB Gun safetyEye Protection — Lesson Learned
by Nicholas from Canada
As a boy on a mixed farm on the plains the first shooting stick I owned was a Red Ryder BB gun. My Dad bought it for me as I showed a keen interest in the shooting and hunting sports. I was about 9 years old at the time.

We had literally thousands of sparrows in our large farm yard and they liked to roost on the steel railings in the barn loft. I took to slowly thinning out their ranks by flashlight at night as these little winged pests settled in the farm buildings.

One evening as I slayed sparrow after sparrow in the barn loft — with about a dozen farm cats following me to consume these easy meals, I fired at another bird centered in my flashlight beam.

However, my aim was a bit low — and the copper pellet hit the steel beam square on. Instantly I felt a sharp pain as the BB bounced back and hit me squarely between the eyes on the bridge of my nose – drawing blood from the partial penetration into the skin. A half inch either way and I’d have lost an eye!

Never, never, never shoot at any target with a steel background with any firearm, even a BB gun – is the hard lesson I learned, and wear the best shooting glasses that money can buy!

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT!!

Editor’s Comment: Among competitive pistol shooters, the use of safety eyewear is universal. You’ll never see Rob Leatham, Julie Golob, or Jerry Miculek competing without eye protection — for good reason. The handgun sports’ governing bodies effectively enforce mandatory eye protection policies. We wish the same could be said for competitive rifle shooting. We often see benchrest, High Power, and F-Class competitors shooting without eye protection. We’ve heard all the excuses, yet none of them trump the safety considerations involved.

We recommend that all shooters and hunters employ eye protection whenever they use firearms or are at a location where live fire is taking place. You only have two eyes. A tiny bullet fragment or ricochet is all it takes to cause permanent blindness in one or both eyes. As rifle shooters, we place our eyes a couple inches away from a combustion chamber operating at pressures up to 70,000 psi. I know quite a few guys who will religiously put on safety glasses when running a lathe or a drill press, yet the same guys won’t use eye protection when shooting their rifles — simply because it is “inconvenient”. That’s nuts. It doesn’t matter is you are a cub scout or a multi-time National Champion — you should wear eye protection.

Be wise — protect your eyes. To learn more about eyewear safety standards, and to learn about the latest options in ANSI Z87-certified protective eyewear, read our article on Eye Protection for Shooters.

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
August 18th, 2014

MGM Unveils Mobile Electro-Pneumatic Automated Target System

Watch this video guys. You’ve got to see this Automated Target Trailer to believe it. The clever folks at MGM Targets have created the world’s first transportable, programmable, compressor-powered Electro-Pneumatic Pop-Up Steel Target Trailer. And get this — it even reads credit cards and bills them wirelessly! We kid you not. Check it out:

MGM Targets Automated P2P pay to play target rail pneumatic range trailerTen Automated Targets on Trailer
This is one impressive piece of target technology. MGM Target’s P2P Automated Range is the only trailerable, “Pay to Play” live-fire target system on the planet. It offers 10 separate plate targets each with its own electro-pneumatic lifter, so the plates can rise and lower in a infinite series of variations. MGM’s “Reaction Mode®” option runs as fast as the shooter can knock the targets down! The lifters are driven by an 45 PSI compressor (that’s also part of the trailerable package.)

MGM Targets Automated P2P pay to play target rail pneumatic range trailer

Much like operation systems used at a DIY carwash, a stand-alone control pedestal houses the credit card reader, and the game selection keyboard. The shooter swipes his/her credit card, then chooses one of 10 pre-programmed game option / shooting scenarios. Shooters have several options including various timed games, Random Plates, and “Dueling Tree” for man-on-man competition.

Designed to be a cash generator for public and private commercial ranges, the system combines the proven technology and durability of MGM’s electronic ‘Pop Up’ trailer with a credit card reader/integrated cell phone system. This technology is presently in use at private ranges and military bases.

If you own your own range, this could be the ultimate toy… and you can get your shooting buddies to pay for it with their credit cards. (Default “pay to play” rate is $5 for 10 minutes.) Commercial inquiries are invited — contact MGM at 888-767-7371 for information.

Permalink - Videos, New Product No Comments »
August 18th, 2014

NRA Life Memberships On Sale for $495 through August 20th

NRA membership offerHave you considered becoming an NRA Life Member, but couldn’t swing the substantial $1000.00 cost? Well, right now you can get an NRA Life Membership for half price.

Now through August 20, 2014 the NRAstore is offering life memberships for just $495.00. Think about that — for the next three days (through August 20th) you can save $505.00 on an NRA Life Membership, making this more affordable than ever.

Remember, the clock is ticking! This $495.00 NRA LIfe Membership Offer is only good through Wednesday, August 20th, so don’t hesitate if you are interested — you snooze, you loose.

NRA membership offer

Big Savings on 1-Year, 3-Year, or 5-Year Memberships Too
If you are not ready to become an NRA Life Member, you can also get a significant discount on 1-Year, 3-Year, or 5-Year NRA memberships. You can save $10 on a one-year membership, save $15 on a three-year membership, or save $35.00 on a five-year membership. NOTE: This offer runs through 8/20/2014. CLICK HERE for 1-Year, 3-Year, and 5-Year Membership Sale.

Permalink News No Comments »
August 18th, 2014

The Holy Black — BPCR Nat’l Championship is One Month Away

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship Raton NM
NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

On September 13-20, 2014, the NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship will held at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. Top Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) shooters from around the country will visit Raton to test their skills during a week-long event with targets set from 200 to 1000 yards. The event kicks off with Mid-Range matches at 200 to 600 yards. On the firing line you’ll see many handsome, custom-built BPCRs (Sharps, Ballards, Browning High Walls, Rolling Blocks) with exquisite wood, hand-checkering, and color-case-hardened receivers.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

The 800-1000 yard Creedmoor matches will be held Friday and Saturday, September 19-20. Interestingly, for safety reasons, there are minimum bullet weight and muzzle velocity requirements for the Creedmoor matches. These BPCR shooters launch some seriously heavy projectiles downrange:

Caliber Minimum Bullet Weight (Grains) Minimum Bullet Velocity (FPS)
.38 Cal 408 (375) 1300 (1375)
.40 Cal 408 1280
.44 Cal 450 1240
.45 Cal 510 1200
.50 Cal 600 1200

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
August 16th, 2014

American Squad Wins America Match Team Competition

Here’s breaking news from Ottawa, Canada. Team USA has won the America Match, an F-Class International Team competition . Shown below are the victorious U.S. Team members and coaches. The U.S. team was led by Rick Jenson and coached by the first family of long range shooting, Mid Tompkins, Nancy Tompkins, and Michelle Gallagher.

America Match Team USA

The 2014 F-Class America Match
Team Size: Captain, Adjutant, Main Coach, 2 Target Coaches, 8 firers, not more than 4 of whom may be Class F-Open, and 2 Reserves (total team strength 15), from a single country or group of countries approved by the DCRA.
Course of Fire: 2 sighting shots (convertible) and 15 on score at 500, 600, 800 and 900 meters.
Targets: DCRA F-Class targets will be used (these are normal DCRA targets, with an additional central V-bull, half the diameter of the normal V).

In other Team events at the Canadian F-Class Championships, the U.S. 4-man F-Open team proved unbeatable. They had a clean sweep of all three four-person team matches during the past week of competition at the Connaught range near Ottawa, Ontario. Congratulations.

America Match Team USA

Next Sunday, August 24, 2014, the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association (DCRA) will host a similar America Match for Target Rifles (slings and irons).

Permalink Competition No Comments »
August 16th, 2014

Radical Gain-Twist Barrel for AR and High Power Rifles

“Gain-twist” refers to a form of barrel rifling where the twist rate gets tighter over the length of the barrel. For example, a gain twist barrel might start with 1:12″ twist and finish with 1:8″ twist. There is some evidence that gain-twist rifling can deliver more velocity (compared to a conventional barrel) with certain cartridge types. There have also been claims of increased accuracy with some types of bullets, but such claims are more difficult to quantify.

Gain-twist rifling is not new. This form of rifling has been around for a long, long time. The first gain-twist barrels appeared in the late 1800s. However, in the last few years, there has been increased interest in gain-twist barrels for both short-range and long-range competition.

Video Explains Gain Twist Rifling

Radical Extreme Gain Twist Barrel Design
In this video from our friend John M. Buol Jr., gunsmith John Carlos talks about a fairly radical gain-twist barrel design for high power and service rifle shooters. Produced by Bartlein Barrels, this gain-twist barrel starts with a 1:14″ twist and finishes with a 1:6.8″ twist at the muzzle (See 1:50 time-mark). Carlos believes that this type of barrel delivers higher velocities while providing excellent accuracy for a wide range of bullet weights. In .223 caliber, the gain twist works with the 75-77 grain bullets used on the “short course” while also delivering excellent accuracy with the longer 80-90gr bullets used at 600 yards and beyond. Velocity is the important bonus for long-range use. Carlos says the gain twist barrels deliver greater muzzle velocity, allowing a 90 grain bullet to stay well above the transonic zone, even at 1000 yards. (See 4:50 time-mark.)

This 1:14″ to 1:6.8″ gain-twist barrel is the product of much experimentation by Carlos and Bartlein. Carlos states: “We’ve varied all sorts of internal dimensions, such as the land height, and the groove depth. We’ve tried 5R rifling and 4-groove rifling, and we’ve worked with various rates of twist, and I believe we have it down really well right now.”

In this video, John Carlos explains the history of gain-twist rifling, and he explains how modern Bartlein gain twist barrels have been developed in recent years for both benchrest and High Power applications. If you are interested in barrel technology and design, take the time to watch.

Twist Rate

Erik Dahlberg illustration courtesy FireArmsID.com.

Permalink Gunsmithing 13 Comments »
August 16th, 2014

Balolia Wins F-Open and Chou Wins F-TR at Canadian Nationals

The 2014 Canadian F-Class Championship in Ottawa, Ontario proved to be a supreme challenge for shooters. Rain combined with strong and changeable winds to make this one of the toughest Canadian long-range events in years. But two shooters mastered the conditions and earned well-deserved wins. In the F-Open division, Grizzly Industrial President Shiraz Balolia posted an impressive 664-71V score to top the field. Reigning F-Open World Champion Kenny Adams from Florida finished second, two points behind Balolia, with 662-72V. Shiraz was proud to wear the red-ribboned Champion’s medallion. This was a real battle, Shiraz observed, because: “Conditions and the competition were so tough.” As for the infamous Connaught breezes, Shiraz observed: “It’s been a while since I had 5 1/2 minutes of left wind on my .300 WSM and was holding left 3+, then holding right 3 1/2 just two shots later!”

William Chou (F-TR) and Shiraz Balolia (F-Open) overcame tough conditions at Connaught.
Connaught Canadian Championship
Photo courtesy U.S. F-TR Rifle Team

In F-TR division William Chou out-shot a large field of competitors (including his brother Kevin, who finished 7th). Will dominated the bipod F-TR division with an untouchable 655-54V score. This was nine points ahead of the next highest F-TR shooter, fellow Canadian Jonathan Laitre. Congrats to Will for a run-away victory in very challenging conditions. The top American F-TR shooter was Bill Litz, who finished with 642-39V.

F-Open Top Ten

1. Shiraz Balolia, Washington, USA 664-71V
2. Kenny Adams, Florida, USA 662-72V
3. Marius DeChamplain, Quebec, Canada 662-58V
4. Don Nagel, Ohio, USA 660-65V
5. Marc Thibault, BC, Canada 657-53V
6. George Robertson, Ohio, USA 654-56V
7. Gordon Ogg, Ontario, Canada 653-69V
8. Ralph Colgan, Quebec, Canada 652-61V
9. Eric Bisson, Alberta, Canada 648-60V
10. Bruce Condie, Ontario, Canada 646-55V

F-TR Top Ten

1. Williams Chou, Ontario, Canada 655-54V
2. Jonathan Laitre, Quebec, Canada, 646-55V
3. Kenny Proulx, Quebec, Canada 645-51V
4. William Litz, Michigan, USA 642-39V
5. Alan Barnhart, Michigan, USA 639-47V
6. John Pierce, Michigan, USA 639-33V
7. Kevin Chou, Ontario, Canada 638-46V
8. Jim Crofts, Virginia, USA 637-44V
9. Marcel Timmons, Ontario, Canada 636-32V
10. Paul Vanduyse, Ontario, Canada 632-41V

Today the Canadian F-Class Championships conclude with the Americas Match, a Team Match with North American bragging rights at stake. Best wishes to all the team competitors!

Permalink Competition 3 Comments »
August 16th, 2014

Video Shows How to Hydro-Form 6 Dasher Cases

Can you form a wildcat cartridge such as the 6 Dasher without expending primer, powders, and bullets? Absolutely. Using the hydro-forming method you can form improved cases in your workshop with no firing whatsoever, so there is no wear on your precious barrel. Watch this video to see how it’s done:

6 Dasher Case Hydro-Forming Demonstration:

6mm Dasher hydroforming case die hornday

Forum member Wes J. (aka P1ZombieKiller) has produced a helpful video showing how to form Dasher cases use the Hornady Hydraulic forming die kit. This includes a two-part die (body and piston), and a special shell holder. To form the case, you insert a primer in your virgin brass, top the case off with with a fluid (water or alcohol), then run the case up into the Hydro-forming die. A few stout whacks with a hammer and your case is 95% formed.

6mm Dasher hydroforming hydraulic 6mmBR hornadyHydro-Forming Procedure Step-by-Step:
1. Insert spent primer in new 6mmBR brass case.
2. Fill with water or alcohol (Wes prefers alcohol).
3. Wipe excess fluid off case.
4. Place case in special Hornady shell-holder (no primer hole).
5. Run case up into Hydraulic forming die.
6. Smack top piston of forming die 3-4 times with rubber mallet or dead-blow hammer.
7. Inspect case, re-fill and repeat if necessary.
8. Drain alcohol (or water) into container.
9. Remove primer (and save for re-use).
10. Blow-dry formed case. Inspect and measure formed case.

Wes achieves very uniform cartridge OALs with this method. He measured ten (10) hydro-formed 6 Dasher cases and got these results: two @ 1.536″; 2 @ 1.537″; and 6 @ 1.538″.

Three or Four Whacks Produces a 95%-Formed Case
With a Hornady hydro-forming die, hydraulic 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 DieHornady 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.

Story tip from Body Allen. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink - Videos, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 15th, 2014

Wet Conditions Challenge Shooters at Canadian F-Class Nationals

This week the Canadian F-Class Championships (and Americas Match) are being held at the Connaught Range outside Ottawa, Ontario. Conditions have been nasty, with rain and blustery winds. This has been a humbling experience for our American shooters, many of whom are experiencing Connaught for the first time.

After the first day, James Crofts, 2012 USA National F-TR Champion, told us: “I was very humbled today at the Connaught ranges. I’m down 19 for the day. Shot a 900 meter match with 9.5 minutes of wind and held another 1.5. Tomorrow is another day.”

American Phil Kelley provides an in-depth report for the first two days:

“Day 2 Canadian Nationals — Humility remains the biggest lesson being learned in Canada. Rain, wind, rain, wind and more rain sums up the day. But there is something about it that is a lot of fun. The Americans overall did much better today versus those of the home country. Jim and I shot fairly well all day although I dropped about four more than I should during a weird portion of the last match. Jim dropped 15 today, I dropped 21. Scores are high given the conditions. This sport has stepped up another notch. [There is an] amazing level of competition at this match.”

“Very different conditions for every relay. So far at 900m you automatically dial in about 6 min to get on paper. Then be ready to add from there. It WILL rain to pour at some point during each relay and don’t even think about them not shooting. Starting to figure things out but too late for this tournament. Great experience for future tournaments though. Final two individual matches tomorrow and a couple of team events. The big Americas Match is Saturday. Can’t wait. Ammo and rifle are outstanding. Just have to educate the shooter a little more.”

Canada Connaught Range Ottawa Ontario F-Class

“Day One Canadian Nationals — Well, new ranges have a way of humbling you. A day full of different conditions. Rain, sun, clouds and wind, wind, major wind! Shot very well in two matches, but the 900m (1000-yard) match was something else. I knew I was experiencing something new with these heavy ‘Bisley’ flags when I started sighters with 4 min left on and shot a 2 right, then 6.5 minutes left to only get a 3 right then 7.5 min left on and hold 2.5 min more left to get a 5 on 1st shot for record. Wow! It took me several shots to get over that thought and unfortunately several 3s followed to drop 12 for the string. Still not bad, dropped 17 for the day. Leader Alan Barnhart dropped 8 (outstanding). Al [and] several Canadians had good days as one would expect. Awesome range. Cool new conditions. I’ve heard of these international ranges shooting no matter the weather, with big numbers dialed in for wind. Awesome to experience it. Always an honor to shoot with the great Mid Tompkins calling the shots.”

Canada Connaught Range Ottawa Ontario F-Class

It looks like the waiting was worth it, Shiraz Balolia (right) and Will Chou (left) were winners…
Canada Connaught Range Ottawa Ontario F-Class

Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
August 15th, 2014

Sierra Acquires Giant Lead Extrusion Press

“Where are the bullets, where is the powder?” (ad infinitum) is what you hear from shooters around the country these days. Well we can’t promise more powder, but Sierra Bullets has invested in machinery that should help increase bullet output. Sierra has acquired a 550-ton rated extrusion press that should pump out lead wire faster (for bullet cores). Sierra tells us: “This is a lead extrusion press we had shipped in from the state of Washington. We are diligently working on getting this thing set up and pumping more lead into our process.”

Sierra Bullets Extrusion Lead Press

If you’re curious how this beast works, Alan Slocum posted an explanation: “It works kinda’ like this”, referring to the photo below. Sierra’s big machine uses a horizontal hydraulic ram instead of the push-down yellow Play-Doh lever, but yes the basic principle is the same.

Sierra Bullets Extrusion Lead Press

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
August 15th, 2014

Need Help with Wind Reading? Check Out This Book…

Readers often ask us: “Is there a decent, easy-to-comprehend book that can help my wind-reading?” Many of our Forum members have recommended The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters by Linda Miller and Keith Cunningham. This 146-page book, published in 2007, is a very informative resource. But you don’t have to take our word for it. If you click this link, you can read book excerpts and decide for yourself. When the Amazon page opens, click the book cover (labeled “Look Inside”) and another screen will appear. This lets you preview the first few chapters, and see some illustrations.

Other books cover wind reading in a broader discussion of ballistics or long-range shooting, such as Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting by Bryan Litz. But the Miller & Cunningham book is ALL about wind reading from cover to cover, and that is its strength. The book focuses on real world skills that can help you accurately gauge wind angle, wind velocity, and wind cycles.

All other factors being equal, it is your ability to read the wind that will make the most difference in your shooting accuracy. The better you understand the behavior of the wind, the better you will understand the behavior of your bullet. — Wind Book for Rifle Shooters

The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters cover the techniques and tactics used by expert wind-readers. There are numerous charts and illustrations. The authors show you how to put together a simple wind-reading “toolbox” for calculating wind speed, direction, deflection and drift. Then they explain how to use these tools to read flags and mirage, record and interpret your observations, and time your shots to compensate for wind. Here are some reviews from actual book buyers:

I believe this is a must-have book if you are a long-range sport shooter. I compete in F-Class Open and when I first purchased this book and read it from cover to cover, it helped me understand wind reading and making accurate scope corrections. Buy this book, read it, put into practice what it tells you, you will not be disappointed. — P. Janzso

If you have one book for wind reading, this should be it. Whether you’re a novice or experienced wind shooter this book has something for you. It covers how to get wind speed and direction from flags, mirage, and natural phenomenon. In my opinion this is the best book for learning to read wind speed and direction. — Muddler

As far as I know this is the only book of its type. It’s very well written in a way that’s easy to understand for such a complex subject. The charts and graphs are extremely helpful. It’s a bit on the short side at about 146 pages but still packed with knowledge. — R. Johnson

Permalink Shooting Skills 1 Comment »