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December 31st, 2020

On New Year’s Eve — Kirsten’s Champagne Bottle Trick Shot

As we release this story, the New Year — 2021 — is just 12 hours away. Perhaps you’ve been eagerly awaiting for the big event, getting champagne (and sparklers) to celebrate the New Year. 2021 will hopefully be a much better year than 2020, what with the Pandemic, riots in the cities, and controversial elections. To mark the dawning of 2021, with hope for a much better year, we expect many folks will open a bottle of champagne. You could pop the cork the traditional way, or read on and learn how to release the celebratory champagne with a rifle shot, as demonstrated by the talented Kirsten Joy Weiss.

Kirsten Weiss Champagne Trick Shot

Recently at Thorton Winery in Temecula, California, a champagne vintner, we were shown the best way to open a champagne bottle. We were told you should hold the bottle nose up at an angle then rotate the BOTTLE slowly while holding the cork. That works great… but it’s not as stunning as the way sharpshooter Kirsten Joy Weiss opens a bottle of bubbly.

Kirsten Weiss Champagne Trick ShotA former competitive smallbore rifle shooter, ace trigger-puller Kirsten Joy Weiss tried a special New Year’s trick shot a few seasons back. In keeping with the festive New Year’s spirit, Kirsten attempted to shoot the cork off a champagne bottle. After a few unsuccessful tries, she managed to hit the cork with at least two shots. But alas the cork did not fly. She actually hit the cork, but it did not release. That was surprising…

Undaunted, Kirsten changed her strategy, aiming for the neck of the bottle. This duplicates the process of “sabering” a champagne bottle — a method of liberating the bubbly by slashing off the end of the neck with a blade. Aiming for the neck of the bottle, Kirsten successfully blew off the top of the bottle. (Apparently, when “sabering” it is actually the pressure within the champagne bottle which does most of the work).

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December 31st, 2020

Rimfire Fun with Budget-Priced Reactive Steel Target Sets

Birchwood Casey rimfire .22 LR 22LR steel reactive targets pistol rifle

With loaded centerfire ammo in short supply, and primers almost impossible to find at reasonable prices, more shooters are turning to .22 LR rimfire shooting to maintain their skills and have fun. Check AmmoSeek.com regularly for currently available .22 LR rimfire ammo.

A fast-cycling, semi-auto .22 LR rifle like the Savage A22 is great for shooting reactive targets.
Savage A22 Precision Elite rimfire

While shooting paper targets is enjoyable, we like to include REACTIVE TARGETS during a trip to the range with our .22s. Rimfire plinking with reactive targets is FUN and affordable. Decent .22 LR rimfire ammo is not expensive, and a wide variety of very affordable steel targets are available. Rimfire steel is much less costly than the AR500 steel plates used for centerfire rounds. In fact, Birchwood Casey makes a wide variety of reactive steel rimfire targets that retail for under $50.00. These offer great “Bang for the Buck”.

Read Full Steel Target Review on GunsAmerica.com »

GunsAmerica Digest has reviewed a variety of reactive rimfire target systems from Birchwood Casey. We recommend you read this detailed article Little Targets, Big Fun, by Jordan Michaels. He acquired four different steel target systems and tested them at his Texas range. Michales was impressed: “At $30-$55 a pop, Birchwood-Casey’s targets are small enough to be challenging and cheap enough to buy four or five for the price of one centerfire-rated target. They’re also light, portable, reactive, and easy to set up.”

B/C Gallery B/C Back Drop B/C Qualifier Spinner B/C King of Diamonds

Check out how these Birchwood Casey steel targets perform. These animated GIFs show actual shooting sessions with .22 LR rifles and pistols. The targets hold up well, though the black paint comes off. The reviewer notes: “You shouldn’t worry about durability as long as you stick to .22 LR. I shot the heck out of these targets with rifles and handguns using both standard and high-velocity cartridges, and I didn’t notice any denting or cracking. If the targets are going to be kept outside, however, keep an eye out for rust – the black paint comes off immediately.”

Birchwood Casey Gallery Rimfire Target


Original file at GIPHY

Safety Considerations with Steel Reactive Targets
The tester said the targets worked best with a .22 LR ammo with at least 1000 fps MV at the targets. He tested with .22 LR pistols as close as 7 yards, and .22 LR rifles out to 100 yards. Be advised — when shooting steel targets at relatively close ranges ALWAYS wear full-coverage eye protection because ricochets and splash-backs are definite risks. Also comply with all range rules.

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December 31st, 2020

AR-15 Rifle Maintenance — How to Keep Your AR Running Right

Barrel cleaning AR15 bolt carrier carbon Jerry Miculek gas key direct impingement

Let’s face it, AR-platform rifles run dirty, at least compared to typical bolt-action rifles. The AR-15 works by piping gas from the barrel back into the bolt carrier, causing the bolt to unlock and the carrier to move the bolt backward. The “exhaust gas” from the barrel contains soot and carbon. The carbon will form hard deposits on the bolt. In addition, the carbon can combine with lube on the bolt carrier to make a nasty, paste-like sludge. This can be particularly problematic when the black paste pollutes the ejector and extractor recess.

This Editor has inspected dozens of ARs over the years. Other than mag-related malfunctions, the most common cause of AR cycling problems I found was oily gunk in the extractor and ejector areas. Many AR owners overlook these critical areas. Look at an AR that hasn’t been cleaned properly and you’ll probably find black gunk (and small brass shavings) in the ejector and extractor recesses.

If you want to keep your black rifle running smoothly and reliably, you must clean it regularly and follow the correct maintenance procedures. Here are three videos that explain how to properly disassemble and clean AR-platform rifles. And then they cover the essential lubrication ARs need to run reliably.

Take-Down and Full Cleaning of AR15 by Jerry Miculek

Here ace shooter Jerry Miculek takes down and cleans an AR-platform rifle belonging to his daughter Lena. This is a good video because Lena’s rifle was “run hard and packed up dirty” so you can see where carbon and grease build up. This 35-minute video is very thorough. Jerry is one of the nation’s top action carbine shooters, so listen carefully to his advice on cleaning and lubrication.

General AR-15 Maintenance and Lubrication

There are various schools of thought on AR lubrication. Some guys like to run “wet” with lots of CLP, while others choose to focus lubrication on the key spots that receive the most friction and wear, such as the contact point for the bolt carrier. We do advice check the ejector recess and extractor spring recess frequently as gunk can get in there, causing malfunctions. Here is a good video from Pew Pew Tactical — a 7-minute guide to cleaning and lubricating AR-platform rifles. This shows important details for both the upper and the lower.

How to Clean Your AR-15 Bolt Carrier Assembly

This video offers very specific advice on the bolt carrier group, which receives the dirty gas directly from the barrel. Be sure to check the extractor and ejector recesses. That’s where old lube, brass shavings, and carbon accumulate. Follow the directions in this video for lubrication, and don’t over-lubricate the bolt carrier — that will only capture more carbon.

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