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December 22nd, 2014

Hornady’s First-Ever Rifle Featured at SHOT Show 2015

Hornady Manufacturing has created its first-ever rifle. Well, kind of, sort of, maybe…. In actuality, Hornady hired Bill Wiseman & Company to craft the barrel and action and Hornady commissioned Lucid Solutions (Clem Boyd) to build the stock. But the Hornady name IS now engraved on the side of a rifle receiver and that does represent a genuine first. This one-of-a-kind rifle, serial number “H-001″, is a bolt-action hunter, chambered for the .300 RCM cartridge. The historic “Hornady Number One” rifle has two (2) stocks — a highly figured walnut stock plus a second camo-pattern Hogue synthetic stock. So this rifle is not just a safe queen — it was designed to work in the field as well.

Hornady Number One rifle Shot Show 2015 Wiseman engraving

Hornady Number One rifle Shot Show 2015 Wiseman engraving

Hornady Number One rifle Shot Show 2015 Wiseman engraving

This “Hornady Number One” rifle was commissioned as the featured 2015 SHOT Show Gun. It will be displayed in Las Vegas and auctioned on As of December 22, the bid price was already over $14,525 with 45 bidders. The action and bottom metal is elaborately engraved by Baron Engraving of Trumbull, Connecticut. “We’ve had the privilege of designing and engraving more than a dozen SHOT Show rifles, shotguns, handguns and knives but it’s a unique privilege to be asked to help craft the Hornady Number One”, said David Baron.

Hornady Number One rifle Shot Show 2015 Wiseman engraving

Not Just a Beauty Queen, This Rifle Can Shoot
Bill Wiseman & Company, of College Station, Texas crafted the barrel and action for this special rifle. This outfit is the leading producer of test receivers/barrels for the firearms industry. About the Hornady project gun, Bill Wiseman commented: “Our Wiseman barrels have earned a bit of a reputation for accuracy. Now I guess there will be at least one other rifle out there as accurate as our Texas Safari rifles.” The 24-inch blued barrel is fluted and fitted with a muzzle brake. Thus far, the gun has shown impressive accuracy. Three test-firings of the “Hornady Number One” using 180-grain SST, 165-grain GMX and 150-grain SST Hornady cartridges produced groups between ¼” and ½” at 100 meters.

About the Stocks
“Hornady Number One” is equipped with two separate custom-fitted stocks, one for shooting and one for display. A very special select American Walnut stock was selected, fitted and checkered by Clem Boyd of Lucid Mfg. Systems & Solutions (Mitchell, SD). Boyd’s challenge was to design a functional walnut wooden stock that would frame the beauty of the Wiseman barreled-action. Several weeks of design went into a Solidworks 3-D CAD model before the group made any CNC machine cuts. The stock was produced from a XXX walnut blank grown in the Great American Heartland and selected for the vertical-line color pattern. The stock shape incorporates the natural hex design of the receiver.

The trademark Hornady name was inlaid into the stock using African Padauk wood wafers. Padauk was also used for red-tone grip cap and butt pad spacers.
Hornady Number One rifle Shot Show 2015 Wiseman engraving
Oops. Someone mounted the Leupold scope incorrectly. The diopter marks should be TDC, meaning the scope should be rotated 90° clockwise.

The Lucid stock design repeats the hexagon features in the forearm, allowing a wide forearm floor to aid in bench rest practice. The stock features a distinctive 13.5° linear checkering pattern on the grip and side panels. A custom aluminum bedding block supports the barreled action. Recoil is absorbed through a 1″ black recoil pad. Three swivel studs provide multiple options for carry and tripod use.

Hornady Number One rifle Shot Show 2015 Wiseman engraving

Hornady Number One rifle Shot Show 2015 Wiseman engraving

Auction Details and Extras
The auction will conclude at 5:00 pm Eastern Time on Friday, January 23, 2015, the last day of the 2015 SHOT Show. During the Show, the rifle will be displayed at the booth in a custom glass and walnut display case. In keeping with SHOT Show tradition, this 2015 SHOT Show rifle will be auctioned on At its current $14.5K bid price, “Hornady Number One” has a ways to go before it sets a record. The all-time record SHOT Show auction price was $136,014.00 set in 2013. To complement the Hornady package, the gun will be delivered with a case of Hornady .300 RCM ammo, with each box signed by Hornady President, Steve Hornady. In addition, the high bidder will receive a signed Letter of Authenticity from Hornady Manufacturing.

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December 22nd, 2014

Top-Selling Products from NRA Online Store

Story based on Report by Lars Dalseide for
NRAstore merchandise buyer Brian Evans has a list of his best-selling products, based on online sales. In ascending order, the Top 5 best-selling products for this 2014 holiday season are:

5) Critical Food Supply – The Critical Food Supply ($134.95) provides 56 nutritious meal servings in an easy-to-transport bin. Perfect for emergencies, varieties include chili macaroni and tortilla soup.

4) Concealed Carry Hooded Sweatshirt – Developed exclusively for the NRAstore, this CCW Hooded Sweatshirt has a discrete compartment for carry pistols. This $59.95 hoody is the only product of its kind, according to the NRAStore.

NRAStore sale Christmas

3) Concealed Carry Denim Jacket – Made in the USA, this $84.95 denim jacket is specially engineered with CCW features for NRA members.

2) Concealed Carry Handbag – This $149.95 leather handbag features a discreet, lockable side compartment that securely holsters a self-defense handgun. (Available colors: red, cognac, and black.)

And the #1-Selling item is the NRA Handgunner Backpack

The Handgunner Backpack ($119.95) features a slide-out, four gun cradle, with pockets for ammo and other range gear. Measuring 17″ wide, 22″ high and 9″ deep, the pack has plenty of room for gear.

NRAStore sale Christmas

NRA Handgunner BackpackQuad-Pistol Gear Hauler
The cleverly-designed Handgunner Backpack carries up to four pistols. Undo the zipper, slide out the compartment, place your pistols in one of the four foam gun cradles. Store your magazines in a zip-up side pocket with six (6) individual mag sleeves. There are also specially designed compartments for ammo boxes, muffs, protective eyewear, target stapler, and more. You’ll find handy embroidered patches showing the right spot for each gear item.

Lars Dalseide, editor of the NRAblog, tells us this pack is comfortable and sturdy. The shoulder straps and the rear back panel feature moisture-wicking padding and the pack comes with a waterproof cover. And the pack won’t collapse when you set it on a bench — it stands up on its own.

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December 22nd, 2014

Figuring Out Your Barrel’s True Twist Rate…

Sometimes you’ll get a barrel that doesn’t stabilize bullets the way you’d anticipate, based on the stated (or presumed) twist rate. A barrel might have 1:10″ stamped on the side but it is, in truth, a 1:10.5″ twist or even a 1:9.5″. Cut-rifled barrels, such as Kriegers and Bartleins, normally hold very true to the specified twist rate. With buttoned barrels, due to the nature of the rifling process, there’s a greater chance of a small variation in twist rate. And yes, factory barrels can be slightly out of spec as well.

Before you purchase a bunch of bullets and set off to develop loads it’s wise to determine the true twist rate of your new barrel. Sinclair International, in its Reloading Press Blog provides a simple procedure for determining the actual twist rate of your barrel. Read on to learn how….

How Twist Rate Affects Bullet Stability
Most of you know that the twist of the rifling in the barrel is what puts spin on the bullet. As a bullet is pushed down the barrel and compressed into the rifling, the bullet follows the path or twist of the rifling. The combination of velocity and bullet spin is what stabilizes the bullet. Finding the twist rate for your barrel will help you in selecting appropriate weight bullets for your firearm. Remember, the general rule is that the faster the twist rate for a given caliber, the longer the bullet (of that caliber) you will be able to stabilize. (Generally speaking, a longer bullet will also be a heavier bullet, but the bullet geometry dictates the needed twist rather than the weight per se.)

Determining Barrel Twist Rate Empirically
Twist rate is defined as the distance in inches of barrel that the rifling takes to make one complete revolution. An example would be a 1:10″ twist rate. A 1:10″ barrel has rifling that makes one complete revolution in 10 inches of barrel length. Rifle manufacturers usually publish twist rates for their standard rifle offerings and custom barrels are always ordered by caliber, contour, and twist rate. If you are having a custom barrel chambered you can ask the gunsmith to mark the barrel with the twist rate. barrel rifling diagram
Erik Dahlberg illustration courtesy

Sinclair’s Simple Twist Rate Measurement Method
If are unsure of the twist rate of the barrel, you can measure it yourself in a couple of minutes. You need a good cleaning rod with a rotating handle and a jag with a fairly tight fitting patch. Utilize a rod guide if you are accessing the barrel through the breech or a muzzle guide if you are going to come in from the muzzle end. Make sure the rod rotates freely in the handle under load. Start the patch into the barrel for a few inches and then stop. Put a piece of tape at the back of the rod by the handle (like a flag) or mark the rod in some way. Measure how much of the rod is still protruding from the rod guide. You can either measure from the rod guide or muzzle guide back to the flag or to a spot on the handle. Next, continue to push the rod in until the mark or tape flag has made one complete revolution. Re-measure the amount of rod that is left sticking out of the barrel. Use the same reference marks as you did on the first measurement. Next, subtract this measurement from the first measurement. This number is the twist rate. For example, if the rod has 24 inches remaining at the start and 16 inches remain after making one revolution, you have 8 inches of travel, thus a 1:8 twist barrel.

This rifling illustration was created by Danish graphic artist Erik Dahlberg. It is published here courtesy, an excellent website for forensic firearms examiners.

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