September 30th, 2019

Bargain Finder 210: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Stocky’s — Rem 700 Composite Stock with Accublock, $99.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

These stocks were the first run of Stocky’s Long Range Composite Sporters. There is nothing wrong with these “factory seconds” except the barrel channels are narrower than current versions, so you may have to open up the barrel channels a bit (simple task). On Sale for $99.99, these are an Amazing Bargain. Designed for Rem 700 and Rem clone actions, these LRC Sporter Stocks are constructed from a high-fiber composite with precision aluminum Accublock® chassis molded into the stock.

2. Natchez — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $259.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $299.99. Great Deal. Right now, Natchez is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $259.99, a fantastic price considering what you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $165.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items (such as the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

3. ShootingTargets7 — KYL Rimfire Target Set, $144.97

rimfire target .22 LR know limits AR500 Kit

Here’s a fun target for Rimfire plinking and NRL22 training. This Know Your Limits (KYL) set features 8 different hanging targets with decreasing hit zone diameters: 2.0″, 1.75″, 1.5″, 1.25″, 1.0″, 0.75″, 0.5″, and 0.25″. The paddles are strong 1/4″ thick, powder-coated AR500 Steel. Other parts are weatherproof galvanized 3/4 EMT. Right now ShootingTargets7 has this complete kit, including legs and crossbar, for $144.97 with code “GUNDEALS”. SHIPPING is FREE. Target system breaks down easily for transport.

4. EuroOptic and Midsouth — Nikon Scopes Up to 46% Off

Nikon tactical MRAD FFP SFP rifle scope

Save hundreds right now on Nikon rifle scopes. Midsouth has slashed prices on Nikon’s excellent FX1000-series scopes while EuroOptic has some amazing deals on Nikon’s M-Tactical and P-Tactical optics — zoom scopes from 1-4X power to 6-24X power. The various discounted Nikon scopes should provide pretty much anything a tactical shooter or hunter could need. Here are some of the best deals:

FX1000 6-24x50mm SF Illum. FX-MOA Reticle FFP
Was $799.95, now just $599.95 at Midsouth

FX1000 4-16x50mm SF FX-MRAD Reticle FFP
Was $649.95, now just $449.95 at Midsouth
Nikon M-TACTICAL 4-16x42mm SF BDC-800
Was $449.95, now just $259.95 at EuroOptic

Nikon M-TACTICAL 3-12x42mm SF MK1-MRAD
Was $399.95, now just $199.95 at EuroOptic

5. Grafs.com — FREE Litz Book with $200 Lapua Product Buy

Graf's Graf Lapua Scenar bullet Litz applied ballistics free book
This is one example. This deal works with $200 of ANY Lapua products purchased from Grafs.com.

Lapua makes great brass, bullets, and ammo. Bryan Litz writes great books. And now you can get both with this promotion from Graf & Sons. Here’s the deal — if you buy at least $200.00 worth of Lapua product at Grafs.com, you’ll get a free Applied Ballistics book authored by Bryan Litz. Mix and match any Lapua products — as long as the order totals $200.00 or more. We know you’ll want Lapua brass, but you should try out the great Lapua Scenar bullets too! NOTE: The book may be one of various Litz titles, such as Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting or Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets. You do NOT get to pick the book title — you get what’s available.

6. MidwayUSA — MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chronograph, $159.99

Deals of Week Magnetospeed sporter Kit

Priced at just $159.99 at MidwayUSA, the Magnetospeed Sporter model costs less than half as much as Magnetospeed’s V3 models. This chronograph attaches directly to your barrel so you don’t have to go downrange to set up skyscreens. For most people the Sporter Model contains all the features they need. Using Magnetospeed’s XFR adapter (sold separately), data can be transferred easily to your mobile device. READ Magnetospeed Sporter Review. NOTE: You need to add the item to cart to see the $159.99 price. This typically sells elsewhere for around $180.00.

7. Graf’s — Platinum Case Prep & Trim + EZ Tumbler, $179.99

case prep and trim sale

If you want to step up your brass preparation game, here’s a great deal. Graf’s is offering the Frankford Arsenal Case Prep & Trim PLUS the EZ Tumbler for only $179.99. That’s an amazing deal considering you could pay $199.99 or more for the Prep & Trim unit by itself, and the EZ Tumbler is regularly $50 or more. This Grafs.com combo deal represents a savings of nearly $70.00.

8. EuroOptic — Nikon Prostaff 1000i Laser Rangefinder, $199.95

Nikon prostaff laser rangefinder 1000i sale bargain

Nikon’s Prostaff 1000i Laser Rangefinder features ID (incline/decline) technology with both horizontal distance and actual distance display modes. Choose single or continuous measurement (up to 8 seconds). Rated to 1000 yards on reflective objects, the PROSTAFF 1000i is a smart, affordable option for hunters. Compact and reliable, it will do the job at half the price of other popular rangefinders.

9. Amazon — RCBS Quick-Change Powder Funnel Kit, $11.04

Amazon RCBS Powder funnel quick kit

This versatile funnel system works with nearly all cartridge types, from 17 Remington up to 500 S&W. Even if you have a fancy metal funnel, it’s worth having one of these RCBS Kits on your reloading bench. The RCBS Quick Change Powder Funnel Kit features five (5) adapters that match case mouth diameter for specific cartridge ranges: 17-20 caliber, 22-264 caliber, 27-284 caliber, 30-375 caliber, 40 caliber and higher. The Funnel Kit includes a handy 4-inch drop tube.

10. CDNN — Zebra Muffs and Fashion Safety Glasses Set, $4.99

Champion Zebra Muffs tortoise shell sunglasses safety glasses eyewear

Guys, here’s just what you need (maybe) to convince the significant other to join you for a day at the range — a combo set of “high-fashion” ear muffs and ANSI-rated safety glasses. The comfortable, zebra-print muffs provide 21 dB of noise reduction (we recommend running plugs underneath them). The stylish, tortoise-shell pattern Bella Ballistica™ shooting eyewear has passed MIL-PRF-31013 ballistic tests and meets ANSI Z87+ high-velocity requirements with a chic designer appearance. The lady in your life just might appreciate the stylish eyewear and distinctive muffs, earning you “bonus points”. And she’ll never suspect you only spent five bucks!

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September 30th, 2019

Winchester Will Operate Lake City Army Ammunition Plant

Lake City Army Ammunition ammo plant ATK Northrup grumman Winchester Olin

Lake City Army Ammunition ammo plant ATK Northrup grumman Winchester OlinBig News in the ammo industry! At the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, Northrup Grumman is out, and Winchester is taking over.

Olin Corporation (NYSE: OLN) announced that its ammunition division, Olin Winchester, LLC (“Winchester”), has been selected by the U.S. Army to operate and manage the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri. Winchester will be taking over in the fall of 2020. Winchester’s Lake City contract has an initial term of seven years and may be extended for up to three more years, which would put Winchester in charge of the plant for a full decade.

Prior to its acquisition by Northrup Grumman in 2018, Orbital-ATK ran the plant since 2000, initially as Alliant Techsystems (ATK). Before that, Winchester previously operated the Lake City facility from 1985-2000, so Winchester knows this facility. Following a one-year transition period, Winchester will assume full operational control of the Lake City plant on October 1, 2020.

Lake City Army Ammunition ammo plant ATK Northrup grumman Winchester Olin

The Lake City plant, which began production in 1941, is the primary provider of small-caliber U.S. military ammunition for training and combat use. The plant produces as many as 2 billion rounds per year. The plant, encompassing nearly 4,000 acres, also serves as a national and regional test center for ammunition performance and weapons firing.

Orbital-ATK Was Losing Millions at Lake City in Recent Years
The Lake City contract was a huge financial problem for Orbital ATK, now a division of Northrup Grumman. Orbital ATK was losing money on its plant contract, due to the high cost of materials. KCRU.org reported:

“Orbital ATK, the defense contractor that ran the Lake City facility from 2000 until it was bought [in 2018] by Northrop Grumman, stunned investors on August 10, 2016, when it announced it wouldn’t be able to file its quarterly earnings report on time. Orbital ATK stock plummeted more than 20%. Institutional investors… filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the company fraudulently hid the fact it was losing hundreds of millions of dollars on its massive, multi-year Army contract. [Orbital ATK] eventually said it expected to lose $373 million on the contract.”

Lake City Army Ammunition ammo plant ATK Northrup grumman Winchester Olin

About Orbital-ATK and Alliant Techsystems: Before it split into two companies, Orbital-ATK and Vista Outdoor, Alliant Techsystems (ATK) was the parent company of numerous major gun industry brands, including: Alliant Powder, CCI, Champion, Federal, RCBS, Speer, and Weaver. These brands are still operated by Vista Outdoor.

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September 30th, 2019

Raton Remembrances — Photos from the F-Class Nationals

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher is one of the nation’s top rifle shooters and team coaches. A past Long Range National Champion, Michelle is part of America’s “First Family” of Shooting, being raised by Mid Tompkins and Nancy Tompkins, both rifle champions in their own right.

Michelle, who works for Sierra Bullets, was at the 2019 F-Class National Championships in Raton, New Mexico. At the event, Michelle captured some great photos of the competitors and the New Mexico countryside at the NRA Whittington Center. This year’s Nationals were very challenging competition, with truly brutal winds on some days. Here is Michelle’s Photo Essay on the 2019 F-Class Nationals.

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR
Father Ken Klemm and Son Ian Klemm shot together in F-TR Team Matches. Individually, Ian was second overall in the 1K F-TR Nationals, while Ken finished as High Grand Senior.

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR

Michelle Gallagher 2019 Raton NM F-Class National Championships Nationals f-Open F-TR
Three talented lady shooters: Michelle Gallagher (L), Nancy Tompkins, and Madison Bramley.

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September 29th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Five “Frankenguns” from our Forum

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR spare parts

What’s a “Frankengun”? Well it’s a one-of-a-kind rifle that has been pieced together from a variety of different parts and components. It might be a little bit Bolt Gun mixed with a little bit AR-15. Or it might feature some home-made components unlike anything you’ve seen before.

We’ve selected these four Frankengun rifles from a current thread in our Shooters’ Forum.

Frankengun #1 — The EXO (as in Exo-Skeleton)

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR

Forum member jm850 calls this tube-framed wonder the EXO (as in “exo-skeleton”). He says: “This is a prototype I designed around a few core concepts that stick out to me on a traditional configuration. Eliminating stresses, lowering recoil moment, and improved barrel cooling. I’m really happy with it so far.”

The EXO is a very unique rifle. We’ve never seen anything like this since the late Shelley Davidson’s famous Tinkertoy Rifle, a brilliantly innovative 30BR that actually won matches. The Tinkertoy, shown below, was truely radical, but it worked ! Could this have been an inspiration for jrm850’s EXO rifle?

Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR

Frankengun #2 — Moosberg MVG in LSS Stock with BipodeXt

Exo skeleton biponeXt frankengun Shelley Davidson Tinkertoy 30 BR

Forum member BallisticXLR has created something very weird to say the least. It started out as a basic, bone-stock Mossberg MVP Varmint in .223 Rem. Then the transformation began: “I replaced everything except the receiver. It now has an LSS stock, PSG-1 grip from DPMS, XLR butt stock, PT&G lug and barrel nut, Columbia River Arms 26″ barrel with Sonoran coral snake Cerakote, A2 flash hider, Timney and Jard triggers (depending on what I’m doing), and a USO B17 which is now a USO 3.8-22×44.” That long extension tube under the chassis is a BipodeXt from Accuracy Solutions.

Frankengun #3 — A Chassis Rig in 25 Creedmoor

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davidson Tinkertoy 30 BR

This Frankengun belongs to Forum member Geraldgee. This “black and blue” rig features a mag-fed Kelbly Atlas action in a McCree’s Precision G10 Chassis. The barrel is a Bartlein Rem Varmint Contour, 1:7.5″-twist 4 Groove, chambered for the 25 Creedmoor. There are some interesting .25-Cal bullets coming on the market now. You can make the brass by expanding 6mm Creedmoor, or necking down 6.5 Creedmoor.

Frankengun #4 — MDT Chassis, Fore-end Whittled by Spook

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davidson Tinkertoy 30 BR

Here’s a real collection of odds and ends, but Forum member Spook says it shoots well, and is a great example of “Left-over parts made useful again”. This mix-n-match Frankengun features a Remington M7 action with PT&G bolt. The barrel is a stainless Pac-Nor chambered in 6mm SLR. The barreled action is carried in an MDT Chassis with rear folding buttstock. Up front is something unusual, a Delrin fore-end that owner Spook “whittled in the mill”.

Frankengun #5 — 6.5×47 in Accuracy Int’l Stock

6.5x57 Accuracy International Krieger barrel
CLICK photo for full-screen version.

Forum member CT10Ring kicked off the Frankengun thread with this rifle. It’s actually not that shocking, but you rarely see a BAT action in an Accuracy International stock. The BAT VR action is mated to an AI Mag and set up in an AI folding stock. On top is an “old school” Nightforce Benchrest scope. The barrel is a very heavy Krieger chambered for the 6.5×47 Lapua. CT10Ring say the barrel alone weighs about 9 pounds, and the gun “shoots better than [he] can”.

Post Pictures of Your Frankenguns in our Forum
So do you have a favorite Frankengun resting in your gun safe? If you do, visit our Shooters’ Forum and post a description and some photos in the Frankengun thread.

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR

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September 29th, 2019

Report from Precision Rifle EXPO in Georgia

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL

The 2-day Precision Rifle EXPO wraps up today at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia. Over 700 visitors have attended the two-day event. This year, manufacturers will be showing off actions, optics, ammo, reloading equipment, stocks, chassis, electronics, supporting equipment (bags and tripods), rifles, triggers, suppressors, and much more. There will be training sessions on precision handloading, wind reading, marksmanship, ballistic devices, and introduction to competition.

There was so much to see and do at the EXPO, with over 50 companies displaying their wares, including some exciting new products. As a teaser, here are three highlights from Sunday in Georgia.

1. Shooting .22 LR Rimfire Ammo at 625 and 850 Yards

.22 lr rimfire extreme long range Arena Facility Vudoo Gun works

David Lott was shooting his .22 LR Vudoo Gun Works Rifle at what can be called “Extreme Long Rang” — at least for a .22 LR rimfire cartridge. David achieved multiple hits on 18″ square targets at 650 yards and 850 yards. Note the TACOM HQ Charlie TARAC Prism on the front of the scope. This $1700 optical device allows David to see the target even with the rifle aimed at an extreme up-angle to compensate for huge bullet drop.

2. AMP Annealing Team — All the Way from New Zealand

Annealing Made Perfect load cell bullet seating

Alex Findlay and son Matt, creators of the impressive Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) Annealing Machines, traveled all the way from New Zealand to attend the EXPO. There the AMP team displayed the AMP Mark 2 Machine, plus a new servo-motor bullet seating machine.

Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab Bryan Litz

Alex reports: “The bullet seater has been putting in some work today. Having some fun playing around with a few variables and how they effect neck tension. So far the results are pretty fascinating!” Yes, that silver gadget is a new, prototype high-tech Load Cell Bullet Seating Press. This uses an electric servo motor to move a ram downwards on the Wilson seating die. A wealth of precise data is collected during the bullet seating process. Alex noted: “Thanks for Berger Bullets for supplying the bullets and the Lapua brass!”

Watch “Smart” Load Cell Seating Press in Action

This interesting video shows how the new, prototype Load Cell Bullet Seating Press with Auto-Drive works. (AMP plans a production version for 2020 or sooner). There’s never been a press like this before! Everything else is old technology.

3. Applied Ballistics Mobile Ballistics Lab

Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab Bryan Litz

Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab Bryan LitzApplied Ballistics brought its Mobile Ballistics Lab down to Georgia. To demonstrate its capabilities, the AB crew set up the big gray Doppler Radar unit for testing. LabRadars were set on ground level as well (see below). Applied Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz lamented that he was spending more time looking at computer screens than having fun shooting rifles on the impressive ranges at the Arena Training Facility.

The Mobile Lab carries both hardware and electronics. Bryan reports: “The Mobile Lab will transport most everything that’s in the main lab including the Doppler radar. This rig is new, so the load-outs will be somewhat flexible depending on the venue we are supporting.”

Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab Bryan Litz

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres with Ranges out to 2100m

arena training facility Georgia

The 2300-acre Arena Training Facility is a premier shooting facility with multiple shooting ranges from 50m to 2100m. Arena’s 1000-yard covered Known Distance range offers multiple benches, steel and paper targets out to 1000 yards. On Arena’s UKD (unknown distance) range shooters can engage steel out to 2300 yards. This 2100m UKD range boasts a 3-Story Shooting Tower, Air-Conditioned Shoot House, and multiple Positional Challenges.

At last year’s EXPO, Long-Range Clinics were held on the 1000-yard Range:
arena training facility Georgia Precision Rifle expo

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September 29th, 2019

Road Warrior — Reloading Station Inside “Toy-Hauler” RV

Smart Car Toy Hauler
Smart Car Toy Hauler

It’s summer time. That means many of our readers are on the road (attending major shooting matches or enjoying summer vacations). How do you do your reloading chores while living like a gypsy for a few weeks? Here’s a solution from Forum member Dave Gray (U.S. Army Retired).

Dave is a self-declared “full-time RVer” who spends most of his time on the road. Behind his Ram 3500 pickup, Dave tows a huge 41-foot Heartland Cyclone toy hauler featuring a 12X8 foot garage in the rear. In the rear garage area, which holds a Smart Car, Dave has set up a removable reloading bench complete with RCBS Rockchucker single stage press and Dillon progressive press.

Smart Car Toy Hauler

Smart Car Toy HaulerReloading Bench Mounts to RV Wall with Brackets
Dave explains: “I used a 2″X6″X5′ board for the bench. It’s perfect for my needs, and is easy to disassemble. I made it this small so that I can park my Smart Car in the garage during travel to my destinations. The bench, attached to the wall frames, is very solid. The presses’ centers are 3″ and 6.5″ from the brackets. [There are] four bolts on the wall into aluminum wall frame and 3 bolts in the bench. If I ever have to replace the current board, I’ll do so with oak or birch or hickory. When I’m not reloading, I remove the presses and store them in a protected space. I can easily attach other equipment to the bench by using C-Clamps.” Dave’s “rolling reloading room” looks very well thought-out. We commend Dave for his inventiveness.

Smart Car Toy Hauler

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September 28th, 2019

Top 20 Recommendations for Hunters

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

Today is National Hunting and Fishing Day. To help the avid hunters among our readers, here are Twenty Tips that can help ensure a safe and successful hunt. These tips have been compiled from our AccurateShooter Hunting Forum, with help from Hunting Editor Colton Reid (who has already been out deer hunting this month). Some items are preparatory — such as working with maps, sighting in the rifle, and improving physical fitness. We also talk about equipment — having the right gear, from proper boots to a GPS for multi-day hunts.

Of course there are entire volumes written on hunting, but these 20 Tips can benefit all hunters. Follow these suggestions and you should have a safer hunting experience with greater likelihood of success. If you liked these pointers, you’ll find two dozen more helpful hints on the NSSF Website.

hunting fishing day Hunting guide

Preparations Before The Hunt

1. Map Your Hunt and Notify Others — Before your hunt, make a plan and notify friends and family members about WHERE you are going and your intended return date and time. Print out a Google Satellite map and locate landmarks and trailheads. Mark where you plan to park your vehicle and give a copy of this map to friend and/or family members. A hunter may injure himself by falling off a rock, or tumbling in a creek-bed. After that kind of injury the hunter may be confused or unable to walk. If you get stranded in the wilderness, you want trusted persons to know where you are. So, before you leave on a trip, provide a map to a friend or family member. Show them where you will leave your vehicle, and where you expect to be every day of your hunting adventure.

2. Licenses and Permits — Make sure you have a valid hunting licenses and all the necessary tags. Begin this process with ample time before your intended hunt(s). The NSSF adds: “If you are crossing state or national borders, find out about any special considerations you must take care of. Border crossings can mean knowing about firearm transport laws or Chronic Wasting Disease-related regulations.”

3. Work on Your Fitness — On a multi-day hunt you may be trekking many miles. You need to be in good shape. If you are out of shape you may be putting yourself in a precarious situation, particularly if you underestimate the terrain difficulty. As the NSSF says: “Not being able to handle the conditions lessens your chances of success, can turn a great experience into an agonizing one and can endanger your health.”

4. Do Your Homework — Study the area you will be hunting. Talk to other hunters. Look at satellite photos. Get a real sense of the walking and terrain challenges. For a multi-day hunt, MAKE a PLAN. The NSSF states: “Eliminate surprises. Learn as much about where you will be staying, the area you will be hunting, what the weather might be like and what you need to bring[.]”

5. Rifle and Ammo — Make sure your rifle is sighted-in and your ammo is tested. Sight-in your rifle with the ammo you plan to use on your hunt. CLICK HERE for 4-Shot Sight-in Method. After sighting-in from the bench, confirm your zero by shooting from typical hunting positions (kneeling and with forearm supported on a rock or post).

hunting rifle sighting in target

6. Shooting Positions — Practice the shooting positions you will use in the field. Practice sitting, kneeling, and prone positions. You should also practice with shooting sticks, using your day pack as a rest, and with a bipod. Try to have a rock-steady rest before taking your shot.

Hunting Positions

7. Back-Up Irons — If possible, select a rifle with back-up iron sights. While modern scopes are very durable, they can and do fail (glass can crack). If you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your hunt, back-up iron sights can keep you in the game even if your riflescope fails.

8. Communications and GPS — Bring a GPS if you are in a true wilderness area far from civilization. It’s a good idea to bring a cell phone, but you may not have any coverage if you’re quite a distance from populated areas. A smart-phone also doubles as a digital camera to record your trophies.

garmin gps cabela's sale $50 Off handheld map

9. Select Good Gear — Make sure you have GOOD BOOTS that are comfortable — you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet. You may want a pack with harness for your rifle so you have both hands free. On a multi-day trip, make sure you can carry enough water, and that you will stay warm enough at night. Good practices for backpacking apply to multi-day hunts.

10. Make a Checklist — Create a complete checklist of the gear and supplies you need. That includes arms, ammunition, rangefinder, binoculars, proper clothing (including spare clothes), hunting accessories, sleeping gear (on multi-day hunts), toiletries, medications. Don’t forget a good first aid kit — lots of bad things can happen during any wilderness trip. You can cut a hand, break an ankle or worse.

During The Hunt

11. Have a Plan — know where you plan to go and when. Try to be where you want in the early morning and early evening hours when deer are likely most active.

12. Take Your Time — If you spot a deer and get too excited and don’t take your time you may spook him. Go slow and glass. If possible, wait for the animals to bed down and relax. Then work out the best way to approach your prey. Remember, “You get so few opportunities, don’t screw it up!”

13. Glass More, Walk Less — Let your eyes do the walking — get good binoculars and use them. With their heightened senses of smell and hearing, deer/elk are able to spot you way better than you can spot them. If you are walking around a lot, chances are you are getting spotted by your prey.

14. Riflescopes Are Not Binoculars — Never use a riflescope as a substitute for binoculars. The temptation to do so is real, but when one does this, one is by definition pointing the muzzle of the gun at unknown targets. We like binoculars with built-in rangefinders. When glassing at long range, try supporting your binoculars on your pack.

hunting scopes binoculars Zeiss Colton Reid

15. Be Sure of Your Target before Shooting — Every year during whitetail season, farmers everywhere are forced to spray-paint their cattle or risk having them “harvested” by hunters who don’t bother confirming the species in their sights. Hunters with “buck fever” can make mistakes. When in doubt, don’t shoot.

hunting scope deer rifle

16. Know When to Unload — When finished hunting, unload your firearm before returning to camp. You should also unload your gun before attempting to climb a steep bank or travel across slippery ground.

17. Hearing Protection — While pursuing and stalking your prey you’ll want full sensory use of your ears. But when you’re finally ready to take the shot, slip in hearing protection. A shot from a large-caliber hunting rifle can exceed 170 decibels. Unprotected exposure to noise from a SINGLE 170+ dB shot can cause permanent hearing damage. (Source: ASHA.org). If you make a follow-up shot, you double that noise hazard. Therefore a hunter with a non-suppressed rifle should have hearing protection available.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

You can keep a pair of quick-insert plugs on a cord around your neck. Or, get the Howard Leight Quiet Band QB2HYG. This is a plastic ring with earbuds, you can keep around your neck.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

“Once a hunter is successful, the REAL work begins.” — Colton Reid

18. Harvesting the Animal — When dressing your animal, be careful with the meat. You’ll want very sharp knives. Some hunters prefer knives with replaceable, razor-sharp blades. Don’t rush the task. Make sure you don’t get moisture or dirt on meat. The three spoilers of meat are heat, moisture, and dirt.

19. Pace Yourself When Packing Out — If you DO succeed, and bring down a big buck, will you be able to dress the animal and carry out the meat? Always be prepared to hike out with extra weight. If you are successful, make sure not to waste the meat you worked so hard for. Choose a pack that can help you carry a heavy load. Remember, this is not an insignificant challenge — you may be carrying 60 to 100 extra pounds in addition to your other gear. Again, take your time. Rest as needed. Don’t hurt yourself.

20. Remember to Enjoy the Experience — Our Hunting Editor, Colton Reid, offers this sage advice to all hunters, but particularly to novices: “Have fun, and appreciate your hunt, whether you bag a buck or not. It is a privilege to experience the wilderness and to get away from the city. Enjoy it while you’re out there. And keep your spirits up. You may get tired, but remember that ‘comes with the territory’. At the end of the day, yes you may be exhausted. And you may want to quit and go home. But stay positive, stay focused. Be patient, the experience is worth it.”

hunting fishing day Hunting guide
CLICK HERE for Hunter Training/Mentoring Programs State-by-State.

Prepare For Your Hunt — Get Fit and Practice Positions

As part of the NRA’s Tips & Tactics video series, Kristy Titus explains how to prepare for a hunt. Titus, co-host of the Team Elk TV show has hunted around the globe. She grew up in the outdoors, running pack mules in Oregon with her father. In this video, Kristy discusses fitness training and demonstrates field positions that can be employed during a hunt.

Kristy explains: “Hunting can lead you into some steep, rough country. It’s really important that you train both your body and your mind to handle the elements and the rigors of hunting So, if you plan on going on a mountain hunt, get out and train your body. Train with your firearm. Get off the bench and have some fun with this. Do some positional shooting or, if you want to add a stress dynamic… have someone put you under a time parameter.”

Visit WhereToHunt.org

There’s a great online resource for hunters that will help you find game locations in your state and ensure you have all the proper permits and game tags. WheretoHunt.org features an interactive map of the country. For all 50 states, the NSSF has compiled information about hunting license and permits, where to hunt, hunter education classes, laws and regulations and more. For each state you’ll also find a link for required applications and license forms.

Click Map to Get State-by-State Hunting INFO
Where to Hunt hunting license game location

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September 28th, 2019

National Hunting & Fishing Day Events Around the Country

National Hunting and Fishing Day
Image courtesy North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, NCwildlife.org.

Today, September 28, is National Hunting and Fishing Day. On this day we recommend you take new shooters afield and introduce them to shooting or hunting. National, state and local organizations will run thousands of hunting- and fishing-related events around the country. Events will include Fishing Derbys, Hunting Expos, Wing-shooting tournaments, and much more. Over four million Americans will participate. Get involved today, and help support the shooting sports.

Find Events in Your State

For info on NHF Day, visit www.nhfday.org. To find NHF Day events in your state, click links below:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina

Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

FREE Printable Deer Hunting Target
To help you prepare for a fall hunt, here is a free, printable Deer Practice target. Hone your skills on a trio of bucks with a red bullseye centered on the animals. You can print the targets in black and white, but they look best in color. Right-click the image below to download a FREE printable PDF file.

hunting NRA Blog Target deer buck turkey hog PDF printable target

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September 28th, 2019

Hunting Safety Checklist — A Guide for Hunters

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter
Elk Hunt with Horn Fork Guides, Ltd., in Colorado.

Today, September 28, 2019, is National Hunting & Fishing Day. The annual celebration takes place on the the 4th Saturday of September every year. National, regional, state and local organizations will run thousands of “open house” hunting- and fishing-related events around the country. Events will include Fishing Derbys, Hunting Expos, Wing-shooting tournaments, and much more.

colorado elk hunting winter hunter

Hunting Safety Checklist
A good hunt begins with preparation. And during the hunt, safety is a key priority. To help hunters, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a Safety Checklist for hunters. This Hunting Safety Checklist, produced as part of the NSSF’s “Hunt S.A.F.E.” campaign, helps hunters follow good, safe practices in the field and at home.


Download NSSF Hunting Safety Checklist »


hunting safety day checklist

Hunting Safety Checklist family safe hunter

Father/son hunting photo courtesy SportsmansGuide.com. Elk photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

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September 27th, 2019

HAVA — Honored American Veterans Afield

HAVA honored american veterans afield hunting shooting wounded warrior program

Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) is a volunteer organization that provides hunting and shooting experiences for American military veterans and injured active military personnel. HAVA has sponsored events in Texas, Georgia, South Dakota, Montana, North Carolina, California, Washington, Florida, and other states. HAVA was conceived and organized in 2007 by shooting sports industry executives to help the healing and re-integration of disabled veterans and injured active military back into normal American life through participation in outdoor events.

HAVA honored american veterans afield hunting shooting wounded warrior program

One of the most recent HAVA events was the 7th Annual HAVA/Rockcastle Family Day at the Park City, KY shooting complex on Saturday, September 14, 2019. Over 300 disabled veterans, family members, and volunteers assembled to share a day of shooting, winning prizes, eating good food, and enjoying fellowship with other military veterans who have bravely protected the American dream.

HAVA honored american veterans afield hunting shooting wounded warrior program

Every year, HAVA conducts a series of hunting and shooting events for groups of disabled veterans and injured active military. Many of these events include instruction by world-class shooting experts, such as Jerry Miculek. The next major HAVA event will be the 12th Annual National Family Day, to be held in San Antonio, Texas on October 19, 2019. EVENT INFO HERE. Admission is FREE, and all disabled veteran participants will receive a backpack full of gifts.

HAVA organizes hunting adventures throughout the United States
HAVA honored american veterans afield hunting shooting wounded warrior program

HAVA states: “These veterans have given their full measure of commitment to the preservation of their country’s values, and deserve America’s contribution to their healing process to whatever degree necessary to accomplish physical, mental and cultural rehabilitation.”

HAVA honored american veterans afield hunting shooting wounded warrior program

HAVA honored american veterans afield hunting shooting wounded warrior program

HAVA, through its Sustaining Sponsors, contributors, and volunteers, provides services to veterans in recognition of their sacrifice and service to a grateful nation. If you would like to support HAVA’s programs, you can make a tax-deductible donation through www.HonoredVeterans.org.

HAVA honored american veterans afield hunting shooting wounded warrior program

About HAVA — Honored American Veterans Afield
HAVA is a 501(c)3 organization formed by companies in the shooting and outdoor industry with the purpose of raising awareness and assisting disabled veterans with their healing process through guided hunts, shooting events, and other outdoor sports activities. Sustaining sponsor companies are: Smith & Wesson, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), SIG SAUER, Academi, Arnold Defense, Crimson Trace, E3 Training, FMG Publications, GLOCK, Hornady, Leapers/UTG, Leupold & Stevens, Mossberg, National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW), Operation Hat Trick, Ruger, Savage, Surefire, Taurus, Vista Outdoor/Federal, XS Sights, and Yamaha Outdoors among numerous contributing companies. To learn more about HAVA, go to: www.HonoredVeterans.org.

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September 27th, 2019

CMP High Power Clinics at 2019 National Matches in Ohio

CMP Junior high power highpower clinic Camp Perry

While the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) National Rifle Matches are most well-known for the President’s Rifle Match and other prestigious National Trophy Individual Rifle matches, the CMP offers several training programs for shooters of all levels.

In addition to the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS), tailored to new shooters, the CMP offers excellent High Power Clinics. Junior competitors (20 years or younger) can sign up for the USMC Junior High Power Clinic. Experienced adults as well as top juniors can select Team CMP’s Advanced High Power Clinic.

CMP Junior high power highpower clinic Camp Perry
Benjamin D. of New York attended the clinic for the first time, focusing on position shoting with the AR-15.

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) Junior High Power Rifle Clinic offers personalized training, dry-fire and live-fire practice and an opportunity to confirm zeroes. Many juniors attend the USMC clinic year after year, using the opportunity to sharpen their skills before the bigger matches, to reconnect with friends and to meet new juniors and to learn from members of the USMC Shooting Team.

CMP Junior high power highpower clinic Camp Perry
The 2019 USMC Junior Clinic started out with presentation on optics.

CMP Junior high power highpower clinic Camp Perry
CMP 2019 Advanced High Power Clinic participants and instructors.

Team CMP conducts the Advanced High Power Clinic each summer and this year added a live-fire portion for the first time. The Advanced Clinic begins with a classroom Q and A session before dry-fire practice and position work on Petrarca Range. To learn more about the CMP High Power Clinics, CLICK HERE.

CMP Junior high power highpower clinic Camp Perry AiR-15 air rifleThis year Team CMP split the students into rotating groups: mental management, wind reading, and live-fire standing practice. Live-fire practice was conducted in the Gary Anderson Competition Center with AiR-15 air rifles (photo right). This added a new dimension to the clinic that allowed for near immediate application of what students learned earlier in the class.

While most juniors attend the USMC Junior Clinic, some sign up for the Team CMP Advanced High Power Clinic. James Friend, 19, of the Illinois Hard Dogs Junior Team, has been shooting High Power since 2013 and attended Team CMP’s clinic for the second time this year. Friend, who focused on rebuilding his prone position and improving mental skills, says the clinic is a great way to “move to the next level. I’d definitely go again — you can always pick up different tips and tricks from different people.”

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September 27th, 2019

Billiard Chalks — Fun, Challenging Reactive Targets

AccurateShooter Billiard Chalks targets

Reactive targets — whether balloons, steel gongs, or clay birds — always add fun to a range session. But precision shooters may want something more challenging (i.e. smaller) than a clay bird when shooting inside 300 yards. For a change of pace, try shooting at inexpensive pool cue chalks. Less than 1″ square, these will test your marksmanship skills. (If you need a bigger target, that also makes a nice puff of “smoke”, try charcoal briquettes).

Pool Cue Chalks — Cheap, Fun, Dramatic

If you’re looking for a small target that makes a nice big cloud of color when hit, try billiard chalks — those little blue cubes you use to dust the end of pool cues. Measuring about 7/8″ per side, billiard chalks make very challenging targets at 100 and 200 yards. When you hit them, if you nail the circular “dimple” in the middle, they disintegrate impressively, tossing blue “smoke” in all directions. Billiard chalks are inexpensive. You can buy a dozen chalks online for about $3.00 — just 25 cents each. And the prices drop with more quantity. One gross of chalks (that’s 144 pieces) costs just $24.95 at ozonebilliards.com. That’s 17 cents each.

To see actual hits on chalk at 100 and 200 yards, watch the video below. (WARNING: Soundtrack is loud and advertisement may play before movie. Flash plug-in required for playback, so you may see a note that a Flash file is loading.) The movie-maker cautions that: “You’ll notice (in the video) that some of the hits are ‘wiffs’ instead of ‘poofs’. If you look at the picture above, you’ll see the 1/2 inch dimple in the cube face. If you don’t put the bullet in that dimple, it’ll ‘wiff’ on you.”

(more…)

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September 26th, 2019

NRL22 Rimfire Tactical Matches are Fun and Affordable

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

The National Rifle League (NRL) started off sponsoring major centerfire tactical matches, similar to PRS competitions. That proved successful and the NRL added a .22 LR Rimfire series, called NRL22. The NRL22 rimfire discipline has been a success, as rimfire guns are fun to shoot and ammo is very affordable. The most popular NRL22 matches have drawn up to 150 rimfire competitors. Get more info at NRL22.org.

NRL22 is a great way to get into competition shooting with minimal expense. There are Five (5) classes: Open, Base, Ladies, Young Guns (8-16), and Air Rifle. Base Class is for the budget-minded shooter — the combined MSRP of Rifle and Optic may not exceed $1050.00 (so you could spend $550 on a rifle and $500 on a scope for example). That keeps the sport affordable. Open, Youth, and Ladies Classes have no price limits on Rifle and Optic. Visit NRL22.org to find an NRL22 match near you.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

The two videos above from Long Range Shooters of Utah feature footage from the January 2019 course of fire from the NRL22 Rimfire Competition Series. Note the snow-capped hills in the lower video. Useful commentary explains how competitors establish their shooting positions.

NRL22 Publishes Monthly Courses of Fire
This video from a Utah NRL22 Match features shooters from each of the four rimfire classes. With the NRL22 program, scores from from local matches like this are ranked against scores from other matches nationwide. In advance of match dates, NRL22.org publishes 5 courses of fire to be used in that month. Each course of fire will always include 2 prone stages, 1 positional, 1 barricade, and a fifth that can be any of those. Details of the course of fire, including target distances, target sizes, time limits, and barricade profiles, are listed at NRL22.org.

Official NRL22 Rimfire Steel Target Package
This video reviews the official NRL22 Rimfire Steel Target Kit. Crafted by JC Steel Targets from AR500 steel, this kit from JC Steel Targets includes 8 hanging targets, 4 KYL (Know Your Limits) targets, plus all needed Hangers. That’s lot of steel and hardware for $329.99.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

About NRL22 Tactical/Practical Competition
NRL22 tactical precision Airgun Air rifle classThe goal of NRL 22 is to make Precision Rifle competitions more available to every community. However, nearly all localities have access to 100-yard ranges and most shooters own a .22 LR rifle. The NRL22 program is designed so any facility with a 100-yard range can host matches. Participants at local NRL22 events can then attend a National Championship. NRL22 started with four classifications: Open, Base, Ladies, and Young Guns (8-18 age). Air Rifle is the new fifth class. For the 2018/2019 Competition Season, over 700 shooters attended NRL22 matches. In the 2019/2020 Competition Season, the NRL22 expects significant growth and is excited to welcome new members and clubs.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

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September 26th, 2019

Airline Travel with Firearms — What You Need to Know

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA
Airport photo by Politikaner under Creative Commons License.

With hundreds of readers traveling home this week from the 2019 F-Class Nationals in Raton, NM, and many others planning hunting trips out of state, we thought we’d repeat an article providing important information about air travel with firearms. If you will be flying with firearms this fall, you should read this article. You need to familiarize yourself with current Federal Regulations on gun transport before you get anywhere near an airport. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a web page that states the important requirements for airline passengers traveling with firearms* and/or ammunition.

You’ll want to visit the TSA Firearms and Ammunition webpage, and read it carefully. In addition, before your trip, check the regulations of the airline(s) with which you will fly. Some airlines have special requirements, such as weight restrictions.

Here are the TSA’s key guidelines for travel with firearms:

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

More Airline Travel Tips from Tom McHale
Tom McHale has written an excellent article for the Beretta Blog, Ten Things You Need to Know about Flying with Guns. We suggest you visit the Beretta Blog to read this informative story. Here are two of Tom McHale’s Travel Tips:

Weigh your gun case and ammunition
Most airlines will allow up to 11 pounds of ammunition. And, like any luggage, you will be charged more for any baggage weighing more than 50 pounds. This sounds like a lot, but when traveling to the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun competition last year, my case with shotgun, rifle, pistol and ammunition tipped the scale past the 50 pound mark.

Pack ammo in the same locking case
This is another area that’s misunderstood and full of internet myth. Your ammo just needs to be stored in some type of safe container and not loose. Technically, you can keep ammunition in magazines, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It meets the letter of the law storage requirement, but too many airline and TSA agents will give you grief. Use a plastic ammo box or original cardboard packaging and you’ll be fine carrying that in the same lockable case as your gun.

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

*SEE United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44. A “firearm” is defined as: any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; and any destructive device. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.

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September 26th, 2019

Handy RRR Padded Forearm Sleeve for Hunting Rifles

RRR gun rest padded neoprene

Here is a simple but effective product that can benefit varminters and game-hunters. The slip-on, padded RRR (“triple R”) gun rest cushions your rifle on any surface and helps eliminate noise when shifting the gun from one shooting position to another. The RRR slip-on rest is made of neoprene (wet suit material) with a built-in, thick Armaflex foam cushion on the bottom. This $19.95 sleeve protects the finish of your rifle, while providing a cushioned layer between your rifle and the supporting surface.

Key Benefits of the RRR Slip-On Padded Fore-Arm Rest
1. The RRR sleeve cushions your rifle. This helps to keep the shot from going high even when the rifle is placed on a hard surface.
2. The RRR sleeve quiets the gun. The padded, neoprene covering acts like a sound deadener even when you set the gun on a metal frame or hard surface..
3. The RRR protects the finish on the stock of your rifle from scratches when resting on hard surfaces.

RRR gun rest padded neoprene

Video Shows RRR in Use in the Field

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, News 1 Comment »
September 25th, 2019

F-Class National Championships in Raton, NM

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington
Mid-range team day. Team jerseys and tons of additional gear adorned the firing line. Most of the top teams had headsets so they could communicate in private.

The 2019 F-Class National Championships took place September 16-22 at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. The Mid-Range Championships ran Sept. 16-18, while the Long-Range Championship finished the week, running Sept. 19-22. This year’s F-Class Championships were well-attended and memorable — as there were some of the most challenging winds many competitors had ever witnessed. Winds were strong, gusty, and shifty — with rapid and unpredictable direction and speed changes. Some seasoned, “world-class” F-TR and F-Open competitors dropped 20 points or more on a single relay — conditions were that bad at times.

F-Class Nationals Long Range Results | F-Class Nationals Mid-Range Results

Nonetheless, through skill, patience, and perseverance there were some outstanding performances at both the 2019 Mid-Range and Long-Range Nationals. Brian Bowling won the F-Open Long Range Championship with a 1573-78X score, ahead of second-place Keith Glasscock (1570-72X). Shiraz Balolia was F-Open High Senior, while Cindi Baudhuin was the top female shooter. In the other division, Jade Delcambre (Master Classification), won the F-TR Championship with a 1549-53X. Ian Klemm was a close second in F-TR with a 1548-44X. Skip Barkley was F-TR High Senior, while Jennifer Bondur was High Lady competitor.

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington
F-Open “Top Shots”. Brian Bowling, F-Open LR National Champion, is the chap with the beard.

In LR Team Competition, Team Lapua-Borden-Brux won F-Open, scoring 1585-86X to beat runner-up Team Roadrunners by 9 points and a bunch of Xs. In the F-TR Team Match, Team USA Freedom (1555-58X) took first, ahead of second-place Team USA Independence (1546-55X).

Here are some quotes from competitors, posted in our Shooters Forum:

“Today was, in a word, brutal.” — Turbulent Turtle

“I was on relay 1 and I don’t think I have ever shot in these types of conditions! I came off the second string and had dropped 14 points and people were saying “good shooting”!! Playing ping pong with the 7 ring was common. There was no chasing the spotter as every shot was a new condition.” — Shiraz Balolia

“Some relays were very easy wind-wise, and some were monsters! Relay 1 today got hosed like I’ve never seen! 35 mph winds, gusty and switching had most the top shooters doing their best to just stay in paper!” — Falconpilot

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington

Report from Mid-Range F-Class Nationals

The Mid-Range Nationals were closely fought also. Congratulations to Timothy Vaught, 2019 Mid-Range F-Open Champion, and to Luke Ramsey, 2019 Mid-Range F-TR Champion. Both victors took their titles by a single point, although Luke had a huge ‘X’-count edge, with 101 Xs compared to 77 Xs for runner-up Tracy Hogg. Here are Top Five Mid-Range individual Results.

Mid-Range F-OPEN Top 5
TIMOTHY VAUGHT 1794-119X NAT’L CHAMPION
TOD HENDRICKS 1793-111X SILVER
DAVID GOSNELL 1789-103X BRONZE
PATRICK SCULLY 1789-99X 2ND BRONZE
JOHN MYERS 1787-107X 3RD BRONZE
Mid-Range F-TR Top 5
LUKE RAMSEY 1784-101X NAT’L CHAMPION
TRACY HOGG 1783-77X SILVER
RANDY LITTLETON 1781-100X BRONZE
ALLEN TAMPKE 1779-88X 2ND BRONZE
JEREMY NEWELL 1779-79X 3RD BRONZE

In the Mid-Range Team Competition, Team Roadrunners, coached by Scott Harris, won the F-Open Team Division (1592-87X), edging Team Berger-Bartlein-SEB-Kelbly (1591-94X) by one point. The winning F-TR Mid-Range Team was Team Independence (1585-88X), coached by past Nat’l Champ James Crofts. Team Texas (1581-85X) finished second in the Mid-Range F-TR event.

The F-Class Nationals Experience — Report from Raton

By John Masek (aka F-Class John, AccurateShooter Weekly Deals Editor)

“The winds were by far the most challenging I have ever encountered, but I learned so much from that. I definitely came home a better shooter after the 2019 Nationals.”

Four of us from Tri-County Gun Club in Sherwood, Oregon loaded up and headed down to shoot two weeks of Spirit of America (SOA) plus the F-Class Mid-Range and Long Range Nationals. The first week of SOA was pretty straight-forward although the nearly 7,000-foot altitude had an immediate effect on our bodies, forcing us to hydrate like never before. We were going through upwards of 10 bottles a day of water and sports drinks to quench our thirst.

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington
Here is a view of the 1000-yard range seen from the Founders Cabins up on the opposing hill. Raton is truly one of the most spectacular places you could ever shoot a match like this.

SOA is a Fullbore match so you shoot two to a mound and only have 45 seconds to take a shot. That requires you to make quick decisions based on ever changing conditions. I was fortunate enough to shoot for two days with Scott Harris who was an amazing partner. Scott even shared some of his amazing wind-calling wisdom with me. I was fortunate enough to win a couple medals during SOA and missed out on a second gold because of a stupid mistake — cross-firing on a target. That was heartbreaking to say the least. The final day of SOA brought whipping, switchy winds that played havoc with the last Long Range match and foreshadowed what what to come the following week.

Mid-Range started on Sunday and while it wasn’t a cakewalk, most shooters managed to work their way through the conditions. Raton has a funny way of keeping most everyone humbled one way or another. But nothing could prepare us for what was coming.

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington
Here is a panorama image of the firing line for the start of the Mid-Range Nationals.

Long Range Nationals started on Thursday and everything seemed pretty normal. The ace shooters worked their way to the top as you would expect and we all went to bed expecting a normal day to follow, we had no idea what was in store for us. Friday started like any other day and the first relay went off without a hitch but as it ended we noticed the weather was starting to turn. As I headed to the pits the winds picked up and flags began going every which way. By the time targets went up for live fire we knew something bad was about to happen. Sighter shots came down and while not unusual to see low scoring shots for sighters, there were a lot of them. This was a 2 + 20 string so as soon as the two sighters were done we knew record shots were coming. When they did points started dropping like prices on Black Friday.

We saw people ping-ponging 7s, a few misses and everything in between. After two relays the dust settled and it was our turn to line up and shoot. During the switch over at the buses everyone was shaking their heads in disbelief of what happened to them and somehow seemed almost relieved to be heading to the pits. The conditions only got worse and by the end of the third relay people were rejoicing if they dropped anything less than 20 points.

Some of the biggest names in the game had dropped in excess of 20 points and there were reports of some people dropping as many as 40-50 points. Just imagine how bad the conditions had to be for the top 93 High Masters in the country to be dropping that many points. By the end of the day people we in stunned disbelief and many were considering getting shirts made that said “I survived Raton 2019″.

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington
Every evening we would complete our nightly ritual of pushing bullets back. We initially loaded all our ammo set to the lands and then pushed the bullets back based on our testing each night.

Watching Brian Bowling Shoot To Victory in F-Open
As an F-Open shooter I was fortunate enough to be shooting a few lanes down from Brian Bowling and he was on fire all three days and was a pleasure to watch. Even in the worst of conditions he managed to skillfully hunt and peck his way to some amazing scores which led to him winning the National Championship. Keith Glasscock and David Christian gave a good chase over the three days but came up just a little short, earning Silver and Bronze places respectively.

Success for the Boys from Oregon
Below are me and my buddies from Oregon (L to R: Devin Wiggett, David Christian, Bill Brown, John Masek). As a group we won a total of 34 medals and trophies during the Spirit of America and the Nationals. Overall, the eight days of Nationals included some the most amazing shooting I’ve experienced, in some of the most scenic terrain in the country. I think I speak for many when I say that no matter how good or bad the shooting was, there was always a chance to learn and you couldn’t help but walk away a better shooter in the end.

f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington

Headed Home — Securely Packed
f-class f-open f-tr f/tr national championship Raton NM new mexico whittington

Q: How do you transport an F-Open Rifle, spotting scope, tripods, stand and lots of gear?
A: Get yourself some very big, sturdy cases, with lots of padding.

Here is my load-out for Raton. For the match I brought one stock and TWO complete barreled actions, with Kahles scopes fitted on each. I also had a separate large square case for my SEB NEO front rest, 21st Century Arbor Press, and 450 rounds of pre-loaded ammo.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News 2 Comments »
September 25th, 2019

How to Make a Modified Case for Measuring Length-to-Lands

Hornady Stony Point Tool OAL O.A.L. gauge bullet seating length ogive checker

Our friend Gavin Gear has just released an excellent video showing how to make a threaded Modified Case for use with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge. You can watch Gavin make a Modified Case start to finish in the video below:

Video Shows How to Drill and Tap Modified Case

Gavin has some clever tricks. First he uses a sizing die to hold the cartridge case during the threading process. Second he uses two drill bits in sequence — a smaller bit to ream out the primer pocket, and then a larger “M” bit to increase the hole diameter before threading the brass. Finally he leaves the threading tap IN the brass, locks the tailstock, and then “gently pulls on the quill” to remove the brass from the die held in his lathe (See 5:46 timemark).

Get the Right 5/16″-36 RH Tap
Unfortunately, Hornady has selected an uncommon thread type for OAL Gauges. You probably won’t be able to buy the correct 5/16″ – 36 RH HSS Tap at your local hardware store. However you CAN order this special tap from Amazon for $9.99.

Modified Case Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader

Why do I need a Modified Case?
Every serious reloader should have a Modified Case for each cartridge type they shoot. The reason is that this allows you to get very precise measurements of the length-to-lands in your chamber. When used with the Hornady OAL Gauge, with some practice, you should be able to get repeatable length-to-lands measurements within about 0.015″. We generally do 4-5 measurements with the OAL Gauge and usually 3 or 4 will be “on the money”. NOTE: We recommend a gentle, easy pressure on the plastic pusher rod. Don’t push too hard or you will jam the bullet hard into the lands, which produces inconsistent results.

Can’t I Just Buy a Modified Case?
Hornady makes a variety of Modified Cases sold on Amazon and through retailers such as Midsouth. While Hornady makes modified cases for many standard cartridges, if you shoot a wildcat such as the 6mm Dasher or .284 Shehane, you’ll need to create a custom modified case. And even if you shoot a standard cartridge such as the .308 Win, you can get more consistent measurements with a custom Modified Case.

If you do decide to make your own modified case, you’ll want to start with a case that’s been fired in your rifle. That way you get the best fit to YOUR chamber. Also, you won’t need to expand the neck to provide bullet clearance. Then you need to drill out the primer pocket and tap the base of the case to match the threads on the Hornady OAL Gauge tool. Make at least two modified cases, as you’ll probably misplace one at some point.

Erik Cortina Makes a Modified Case

If you want to learn more about making Modified Cases, top F-Class shooter Erik Cortina has also created a helpful video showing the process he uses to make modified cases. In Erik’s video, he shows how he taps a case to work with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge (formerly the Stoney Point Tool). Erik also explains how to get the best results when using the Modified Case to measure length to lands.

MORE INFORMATION: Want to learn more? We published a much longer story in which Erik explains in greater detail how to made the Modified Case. That article illustrates the 5/16″ – 36 RH HSS Tap required and shows how to set up the lathe to drill and tap your case. If you are serious about making your own Modified Cases, you should Read the Full Article.

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September 25th, 2019

Rimfire Resource: The Small-Bore Rifles Book

If you are shopping for a new rimfire rifle, particularly a .22 LR, you may want to pick up a copy of Small-Bore Rifles: A Guide for Rimfire Users by C. Rodney James. This provides a detailed history of rimfire cartridges and provides a look at a variety of rimfire rifles for various applications — target, plinking, varminting. SSUSA.org explains this book covers “every aspect of rimfire shooting, from a detailed history of its calibers and platforms, to a discussion of proper maintenance and expected accuracy[.]” American Rifleman Editor-in-Chief, Mark Keefe, writes: “This little book is the most useful treatment of the [.22 Long Rifle] I have read, and it is highly recommended for anyone serious about being a rimfire rifleman.”

You can view a 40-page sample of this book, including the index, on Amazon. CLICK HERE, then, when the page opens on Amazon.com, click the “LOOK INSIDE” link above the book cover image.

This book focuses primarily on the .22 LR (Long Rifle) cartridge. However, it does include extensive information on other rimfire chamberings, including .17 PMC/Aguila, .17 HMR, and .22 WMR. Here’s part of the 22 WMR section:

Here are reviews by recent verified purchases of the book:

“Everything you could ever want to know about the development of the .22 round, the ballistics of the same and the history of early bolt-action .22 rifles are presented in an easy-read style by a very knowledgeable author. There are plenty of color photographs and a lot of useful maintenance information throughout the book. I do have one complaint… the book has almost no information on semi-automatics.” — K. Greene

“A must-read book for the rimfire enthusiast. Much accurate information presented in an enjoyable format. From the earliest rimfire rounds to the latest 17s [are] all are covered in this book. Bolt actions, semi-autos and single-shot rifles are covered with the pros and cons of each. What makes for accuracy from the rifle to the cartridge is well covered.” — Ken Cook

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 24th, 2019

“No Beto” AR-15 Lower Goes on Sale — Answer to Gun Grabbers

Beto O'Rourke Robert Francis AR-15 AR15 AR confiscation

Democratic Presidential candidate Beto (Robert) O’Rourke famously declared “Hell Yes” he is coming to take your guns, starting with AR-15s. In response to that threat, Palmetto State Armory is producing the limited edition PSA “No Beto” AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver. This precision-made forged aluminum lower can be pre-ordered for just $49.99. On this AR-15 lower, the Fire Selector reads “Hell Yes” (Safe), “Hell No” (Fire), “Snake Bite” (Full-Auto).

All net proceeds from the sale of this receiver will be donated to the nonprofit South Carolina Second Amendment Defense Fund. NOTE: This is a Pre-Order item. Due to unprecedented demand related to the recent political events, please expect lowers to start shipping within 8-9 weeks of order placement.

Beto O'Rourke Robert Francis AR-15 AR15 AR confiscation

Palmetto State Armory’s limited-edition “No Beto” AR-15 lower will only be available once and is a limited edition offering. The “No Beto” AR-15 lower is one of the industry’s finest forged, MIL-SPEC lowers. These quality, MILSPEC-designed forged lowers are made with 7075-T6 Aluminum. The Palmetto State Armory “No Beto” AR-15 Lower will accommodate all AR-15 platform builds and is marked “NOBETO-15 MULTI”. The finish is MIL-A-8625, Type III, Class 2 black.

Ammoland Daily Gun Deals: PSA “No Beto” AR-15 Stripped Lower Receiver — Preorder for $49.99

Permalink New Product, News, Tactical No Comments »
September 24th, 2019

Wind Wizardry — How to Use a Kestrel Correctly

Kestrel Wind Meter Direction Vane Applied Ballistics

A lot of folks use a Kestrel Wind Meter every time at the range. That’s a good thing. However, many Kestrel owners may not be employing the Kestrel properly when seeking wind direction.

A Kestrel Wind Meter will record wind speed with its impeller wheel. However, to get the most accurate wind velocity reading, you need to have your Kestrel properly aligned with the wind direction. To find wind direction, first orient the Kestrel so that the impeller runs at minimal speed (or stops), and only then turn the BACK of the Kestrel into the wind direction. Do NOT simply rotate the Kestrel’s back panel looking for the highest wind speed reading — that’s not the correct method for finding wind direction. Rotate the side of the Kestrel into the wind first, aiming for minimal impeller movement. The correct procedure is explained below by the experts at Applied Ballistics.

How to Find the Wind Direction with a Kestrel Wind Meter

Here is the correct way to determine wind direction with a Kestrel wind meter when you have no environmental aids — no other tools than a Kestrel. (NOTE: To determine wind direction, a mounted Wind Vane is the most effective tool, but you can also look at flags, blowing grass, or even the lanyard on your Kestrel).

Step 1: Find the wind’s general direction.

Step 2: Rotate the Wind Meter 90 degrees, so that the wind is impacting the side (and not the back) of the wind meter, while still being able to see the impeller.

Step 3: Fine-tune the direction until the impeller drastically slows, or comes to a complete stop (a complete stop is preferred). If the impeller won’t come to a complete stop, find the direction which has the lowest impact on the impeller.

Step 4: Turn the BACK of the Kestrel towards the direction from which the wind is blowing. Then press the capture button, and record your wind speed.

Do NOT simply point the Kestrel’s back into the wind until you get the highest wind speed — that’s not the correct method.

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