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October 31st, 2021

Sunday Gunday: Howa Rifles — Factory Rigs and Custom Builds

Howa 1500 rifle KRG Bravo Bill
At top is a Howa 1500 in KUIU Vias Camo stock. Lower image is a Howa 1500 with KRG Bravo chassis.

If you are looking to acquire a reliable, accurate rifle for a late fall hunt, Howa can be a good choice. Howas feature smooth-running actions with fine two-stage HACT triggers. A Howa barreled action can also be a good basis for a DIY project. But some folks have heard that it may be difficult to find stocks, or to fit an after-market barrel. That’s not true. There are many stock options available, and in this article, Bill of shows that it is easy to remove the factory-installed barrel with the right tools. We think a Howa makes a fine basis for a varmint rig or field rifle. Or you can build a tactical rifle as Bill did. You can start with the factory barrel and when you want/need more accuracy, then have a gunsmith install a custom barrel from Krieger Barrels, Lilja Barrels or other quality brand.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill
Howa mini action carbon stalker hunting rifle
The Carbon Stalker is an excellent ultralight factory option, weighing just 4.6 lbs. with Mini Action (before optics). All Howa Carbon Fiber Stalker rifles come with a Sub-MOA Guarantee and Lifetime Warranty.

What You Need to Know About Howa 1500-series Rifles

Tech Feature by Bill, editor of
Consider this article the “Howa 1500 Overview”. There has been a lot of interest in Howa rifles and barreled actions imported by Legacy Sports International. In addition to being able to buy a complete rifle from a dealer, Brownells sells barreled actions in a wide variety of calibers and configurations. In this post we are going to take a look at the Howa 1500 series.

Howa Rifles — General Background
Howa is a Japanese heavy machinery company. One of its product lines are firearms, which, are imported into the United States of America by two different companies, Legacy Sports International and Weatherby. Legacy sells the 1500 under the manufacturers name while Weatherby re-brands the guns as the Weatherby Vanguard. In general, the finishes on the Weatherby rifles are more refined than the LSI-imported 1500s.

General Evaluation of Howa 1500 Rifles
I’ve found Howa 1500s to be solid, entry-level rifles that are capable of sub-MOA accuracy out of the box. I’ve actually purchased two Howa rifles I’ve tested because I like them so much. The gun below, a Howa Mini-Action in 7.62×39 Russian, is one of my favorite factory guns to shoot.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill

Check out this three-shot group I drilled at 100 yards with the rifle above and 125-grain Sierras. It took a lot of work and load development to get there, but when it did, it worked well.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill

Howa 1600 HACT Two-Stage TriggerHowa 1500 HACT 2-Stage Trigger
Howa 1500s feature the very nice Howa HACT trigger. This is an adjustable, two-stage trigger, set for about 3 pounds (combined stages). Crisp and repeatable, this is an excellent trigger for a factory gun. There is no annoying Glock-style safety lever in the middle of the trigger blade. The 2-stage design and pull weight range works well for a hunting rifle or a rig for PRS competition. says the Howa trigger is “one of the best factory triggers, along with Tikka. I’ve found the Howa trigger superior to a Remington 700 — the Howas doesn’t need to be replaced.”

Writing for the Western Outdoor News,, Steve Comus has field-tested the HACT Trigger. Steve writes: “I always liked two-stage triggers, because of the way I could take-up the slack and then actually know when the rifle was going to go off. The take-up on the [HACT] trigger was fast and easy. The crisp, positive release when pressure was put on during the second stage [reminded me] of some of the target rifles I shot through the years.”

Howa Actions — Three Options
Howa offers three action lengths: Mini, Short, and Long. You can see the bolts for the three action lengths in the image below. The Mini-Action has similar external dimensions to the Remington Model Seven, however, the Mini-Action’s bolt does not travel as far to the rear. This is a mixed bag. The upside is you have a quicker action (shorter bolt throw). The downside is you are limited to shorter rounds such as the .223 Remington, 7.62×39mm Russian, and 6.5 Grendel. But if you need a bigger cartridge, just choose the standard or long action Howa variant.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill

Howa 1500 vs. Remington 700 — Important Differences
Is the Howa 1500 a Remington 700 clone, or some kind of improved Remington 700? No, not really. While the top radius of the Howa 1500 does match the Model 700, and they can both use the same two-piece scope bases, there are a number of differences.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill

If you look at the Howa 1500 alongside the Remington 700 you’ll note the M700 is a round action, while the Howa is a flat-bottom action. In many ways the Howa’s bottom half reminds me of a push-feed Winchester. This means the chassis and stocks that support a Howa 1500 are not V-block based like you’ll find on a 700, instead they have a flat bottom. While the bolt of the Howa is similar in external appearance to the Model 700, it does offer some improvements, notably an M16-style extractor and a firing pin assembly that can be easily removed without tools.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill

Howa 1500 action screws are metric and are in a different location from the 700. The Howa 1500 has an integral recoil lug that accepts the front action screw, this means you have more of the front action screw engaging the action. WARNING: If you install it into a poorly-fitted stock or action you may bind it.

Can a Howa Action Be Used for a Custom Rifle Project?
Absolutely! You can either buy a barreled action from Brownells and throw it in a chassis system/stock of your choice or you can use a stripped action to build a custom rifle. If you are in the chassis market, MDT offers a wide variety of chassis in different price ranges. All have worked well for me.

How to Remove Howa Factory Barrel from Action
You may have heard internet grumblings about removing Howa barrels. Some keyboard commandos say they are extremely difficult to remove without a relief cut. Well Bill at demonstrates that Howa barrels can be removed without trouble, provided you have the right tools. Watch this video:

Watch Howa Barrel Removal Video — Quick and Easy (Click Speaker Icon for Audio)

Q: Is it difficult to remove a barrel from a Howa 1500?
A: Not very. I’ve heard from some smiths that worked on Howas (years ago) that the factory barrels are difficult to remove. However of the half dozen or so Howa barrels that I’ve pulled, they’ve been very easy. I use a Brownells action wrench with the top piece for a Rem Model 700 and the flat bottom resting against the flat on the wrench.

Howa Actions Require Metric Barrel Threads
It’s easy to thread a barrel for a Howa Action. You just have to cut metric threads — most lathes out there can cut them. I cut the threads below on a manual lathe using change gears. [Editor: John Whidden cuts metric tenon threads with a CNC lathe. “It’s easy,” John tells us, “No issue whatsoever.”]

Howa 1500 rifle Bill

Using Howa Actions for Custom Rifles
I have built a few customs with Howa actions. Below is one of my favorite, a .308 Winchester. It consists of a Howa 1500 action, Shilen Select Match Rem Varmint contour barrel, and Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) ESS chassis. Great rifle and it hammers!

Howa 1500 rifle Bill

To learn more about Howa rifles, visit Legacy Sports International. To buy a Howa barreled action, visit To learn more about modular chassis systems for Howa rifles, visit

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October 31st, 2021

Halloween Safety Tips from U.S. LawShield

Halloween 2021 safety legal advice U.S. LawShield

Today is Halloween (originally “All Hallows Eve”). With the slow return to post-Pandemic normalcy, there will be trick-or-treating in many locales across the country. U.S. LawShield has provided Halloween safety tips for homeowners and families with kids. These tips are designed to keep kids safe/secure and to help adults supervise the young ones and avoid potential liabilities as homeowners. READ Full Article HERE.

Halloween 2021 safety legal advice U.S. LawShield

Halloween Safety Tips for Adults (Parents and Homeowners)
Drive Carefully – Drive slowly and watch for people crossing the street. Avoid distractions like phones or food so you can be ready to stop quickly. (But it’s best to just avoid driving after dark on Halloween[.])
Clear the Way – Clear your front steps, driveway, and lawn of any potential safety hazards. If any injuries happen on your property, you could be held liable!
Leave a Light On – If you leave the house, keep a few visible lights on inside to discourage criminals. However, leave your porch light off to let trick-or-treaters know you aren’t giving out candy!
Verify Insurance – Are you turning your home into a neighborhood haunted house? Are you charging admission? Make sure to check your local laws and verify your homeowners insurance coverage! Something like this could be considered a business activity, and accidents or injuries typically are not covered. (You should also verify your self-defense insurance coverage!)
Go Flameless – Use electric lights in your jack-o-lanterns and other décor. House fires are one of the more common accidents reported by homeowners on Halloween.

Halloween Safety Tips for Kids
Adult Supervision – All children aged 13 and under should be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating. Older kids without an adult should be in groups of three or more.
Create a Route – Only trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods and at houses with porch lights on. Be aware of and avoid the addresses of local sex offenders.
Street Smart – Walk only on sidewalks, and cross streets only at crosswalks or corners. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing to help prevent accidents. Take extra caution with costume masks, as they greatly reduce a child’s ability to see their surroundings.
High Visibility – Carry glow sticks or flashlights when out after dark, and avoid wearing costumes that are dark-colored or aren’t reflective.
Treat Smart – Check your kids’ candy! The CDC Halloween Safety Guide highly recommends throwing away any unwrapped or unsealed pieces.

U.S. LawShield also strongly recommends not having toy guns — even Nerf guns or squirt guns — as part of costumes. At night toy guns can cause confusion, with potential bad reactions.

About U.S. LawShield
Founded in 2009, U.S. LawShield now has 700,000+ members and 6,000+ industry partners. The goals are to help members handle critical, life-threatening situations and prevent potential injustices in the legal system after acts of self-defense. For more information on U.S. LawShield visit

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October 31st, 2021

Halloween Boom Time — Pumpkin Blastin’ with Explosives

Halloween Wallpaper explosion pumpkin
Image from WallpapersBuzz.

Today is October 31st, Halloween (originally “All Hallows Eve”). That means it’s pumpkin time. Just how much fun can you have with pumpkins? Watch these two videos and find out. In the first video, the RatedRR team sends a few orange gourds to pumpkin heaven using Det Cord, C4, and binary explosives. The sequence starting at the 2:00 minute mark in the first video is truly amazing. WARNING: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Watch Pumpkin Blasting with Explosives

In the next video, a pumpkin carved as a Death Star serves as the target for a .50 caliber rifle (looks like a Barrett M82 .50 BMG). As you may guess, the pumpkin Death Star suffers the same fate as the Hollywood version in Star Wars. NOTE: At the 0:42 mark in the video, a graphic displays “30,000 FPS”. That’s the high-speed camera’s frame-per-second rate, NOT the projectile velocity in feet-per-second.

Watch .50 BMG Rifle vs. Death Star Pumpkin

Warning: These demonstrations were carried out on closed ranges by experienced professionals certified to use explosives. Possession of C4 and Det Cord may be a violation of various Federal, State, and local laws. Detonating cord and C4 are classified as high explosives and are regulated by the BATFE. Don’t even think about trying to repeat these stunts on your own.

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October 30th, 2021

Tackdriver II Multi-Discipline Match November 6-7 in So. Carolina

Tack Driver 300m match open class multi discipline

The Tack Driver Showdown is a one-of-a-kind “all comers” rifle match. This unique multi-discipline match will reveal what rifle types are truly the MOST accurate, at least out to 300 meters. The Tack Driver Showdown II match will be held Saturday, November 6-7, 2021 at the Mid-Carolina Gun Club in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The organizers have invited virtually any type of rifle (except railguns) to compete at 300 meters for group and score honors. There should be nearly 100 competitors at the event this coming weekend. No organization membership is required. NOTE: Registration closes Wednesday November 3, 2021 at 6:00 PM. Contact Match Director Jim Cline at: 843-957-6546. Forum members can also send a PM to Jim Cline aka jcline.

Unlike any other rifle match in the world, on the firing line you will see 6 PPC LV/HV rifles, 30 BR score rigs, 17-lb 600-yard and 1000-yard benchrest guns, F-TR rifles, F-Open rifles, Palma rifles, PRS rifles, and maybe even an AR15 or two.

Tack Driver 300m match open class multi discipline

The concept behind the event is to settle the unending arguments about which guns are TRULY the most accurate. The 6PPC is king in 100/200 group competition, the 30BR rules 100/200 score, 6mmBRs and 6BR Improveds dominate in 600-yard Benchrest, the .284 Win is the leading F-Open cartridge, and various 6mms and 6.5mms win PRS matches. It will be interesting to see which chamberings and bullet weights will “rule the roost” at 300 meters. Match Director Jim Cline plans to post match results on our Forum. For more information, read this Forum Thread.

Tack Driver II targets will be placed at 300 meters (328 yards). That’s not even “mid-range” by benchrest standards, but it should be far enough that the higher BCs of the bullets shot by F-Class and 600/1000-yard benchrest rigs could come into play.

Basic Information on the Tack Driver Shoot:
There are two divisions — bolt-action rifles and semi-auto gas guns. There are no specific design limits other than a 22-lb maximum weight, and a .338 maximum caliber. Past IBS President Jeff Stover tells us: “We envision the full array of the world’s most accurate rifles on the line: short and long range benchrest rifles, F-Class, AR, other tactical, egg-shoot rifles, whatever…[.]” Key rules are listed below. Semi-autos will need chamber flags, otherwise bolts must be out at all times. You do not have to be a member of the IBS to shoot. The range will be open Friday, November 13th starting at 12:00 noon for practice and flag setting.

Tack Driver 300m match open class multi discipline

Cash Payouts for the Winners in both Group and Score
Match Director Jim Cline noted that First place through Fifth place will be paid in both score, group and Grand Aggregate finishing positions. Match fee is $120, which includes a catered lunch both days. Jim states: “We will have an additional $30 cash option, $50 cash option and a $100 cash option. You have to be in the $30 cash option to get in the $50 cash option and in the $50 to be in the $100.”

Tack Driver 300m match open class multi discipline

2021 Tack Driver II Showdown Rules Overview
1. NO membership of any organization required.
2. NO one piece rest, all shooting will be done off benches. You may use a bi-pod, bags or rest combination.
3. You have to shoot the same gun at all targets. If you have a catastrophic failure, you have to continue with a gun of the SAME caliber and cartridge. (Has to be approved by the match director ONLY.) Scope failure will require a scope change.
4. No electronic equipment of any type will be allowed on the bench or downrange.
5. No spotting scopes allowed on the bench or people spotting for you.
6. No coaching under any circumstances (except youth).
7. Any gun is legal 30 caliber and under with a 22 pound weight maximum.
8. Any protest will be handled by the committee and their decision is FINAL!

2021 Tack Driver II Showdown Match Course of Fire
1. Competition will consist of 5 group targets and 5 IBS 200 yard score targets at 300 METERS.
2. All targets will be 7-minute matches. There will NO warm-up match on either day. ALL
shots count in the scoring area of the target.
3. Range will be made available for practice on Friday before the match starting at 8:00 AM only closing to set flags. Flag setting times are 7-8 am, 9-10 am, 11am-12pm and the
range will be called cold at 3:00 pm to end all practice.
4. We will alternate targets each time:
Day 1: Score/Group/Score/Group/Score
Day 2: Group/Score/Group/Score/Group
5. We will rotate 10 benches for the second day’s course of fire.
6. Winner will be determined by place of finish at each discipline. If there is a tie we will break it by highest place of finish. If that can’t break it we will go to group place of finish.

tack driver showdown mid-carolina gun club south carolina
Covered Firing Line at Mid-Carolina Gun Club. Photo from 2019 100/200m Score Nationals.

Jim Cline tells us: “Preregistration is REQUIRED. A $100 nonrefundable deposit is required with your form to hold a spot. Limited to the first 100 guns! There will be a $60 nonrefundable deposit to hold a camping spot 1st come first serve. I have 13 with full hook-ups and 7 with power and water. There is space for self-contained camping as well.” For more information, including camping/RV details at the Mid-Carolina Gun Club venue, contact Jim Cline at 843-957-6546, or post questions on this Accurateshooter Forum Thread.

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October 30th, 2021

Reloading Gear Review — Lyman Precision Powder Funnel Set

Lyman brass smith precision funnel set inserts caliber reloading powder

Lyman makes a very handy product for reloaders that can save space on your reloading bench and give you more efficient powder flow into your cases. With common plastic “one size fits all” type powder funnels, the powder sometimes sticks to the sides of the funnel. Or, the fit to the case mouth is less than ideal so some of the kernels end up on the bench.

Precision powder funnels solve those problems. But what if you shoot a wide range of calibers with big and small case mouths? Lyman has the answer: the Brass-Smith Precision Funnel set, now $28.99 on Amazon. This handy product combines a static-free cast aluminum funnel with a set of SIX (6) CNC-machined inserts that fit cartridges from .22 caliber all the way up to .338 caliber. It is easy to swap the inserts to match the particular cartridge you are loading. In this Ultimate Reloader video, our friend Gavin Gear shows how to use the Lyman Precision Powder Funnel Set with multiple neck-diameter inserts:

Product Description: “The Brass-Smith Precision Funnel set is made to be completely static-free, no more powder clinging to surfaces which can happen with lightweight plastic Funnel. This is no ‘one size fits all’ funnel — the Brass Smith Precision Funnel set uses precision-machined, caliber-specific inserts to properly fit the case neck. CNC-turned aluminum inserts to fit specific cartridge families for calibers 22 to 338. Inserts are laser-marked for caliber identification. The inserts can be quickly and easily installed by simply pushing them into place and then pulling them out when changing calibers. The Funnel comes with inserts for .22, .243/6mm, .25/6.5mm, .270/7mm, .30 and .338 caliber rifle cartridges. A padded storage case neatly stores the funnel and inserts when not in use.”

Lyman brass smith precision funnel set inserts caliber reloading powder
Photo shows Precision Funnel Set with foam-padded box and stepped Lyman Bleacher Loading Block.

Forum Member Likes the Lyman Precision Powder Funnel Set
One of our Accurate Shooter Forum members, Garandman, purchased the Lyman Precision Funnel System. He has used it now for multiple cartridge types and is very pleased with the results. Here is his report:

“I wanted to share my good experience with the Lyman powder funnel. First off, with the funnels being aluminum / pot metal, no static charge forms and the powder kernels go right down the funnel into the case with no hang-up.

Also the funnel comes with interchangeable case neck dimension inserts so you get no powder loss outside the case neck. And the funnel is also is less likely to stick to the case neck and pull it out of your loading block. That could spill powder all over the place.”

Overall, the Lyman Precison Funnel Set with case neck inserts has done a great job for Garandman and he suggests you may want to add this tool to your reloading tool collection. Below is a Lyman Precision Funnel Set review from Johnny’s Reloading Bench. This video review has nice close-ups of the six precision inserts from .22 to .338 calibers.

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October 29th, 2021

2021 Precision Rifle EXPO in Georgia This Weekend

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL

The Precision Rifle EXPO is back this year, running October 30-31, 2021 at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia. In past years, over 800 attendees came to 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.

The event lets precision rifle enthusiasts connect with top manufacturers, rifle instructors, and leading tactical competitors. Register Online today for $35, or pay $50 at the door this weekend. Registration includes access to the exhibition tent and the range locations, plus instructional classes for both days.

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL

Praslick Wind Reading Class at 2021 Precision Expo
This year wind wizard Emil Praslick will lead a class on wind reading. Praslick is one of the foremost authorities on wind reading in the world. The former USAMU Head Coach has represented the USA in international long-range shooting for over 20 years and has developed training strategies for both tactical and competitive shooting. Praslick’s wind reading class will help shooters gain insight into understanding the mechanism of wind drift and its influence on bullet trajectory, techniques for recognizing and determining wind speed and direction, and strategies of wind management and target engagement. The daily classes will be held at 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday, and 10:30 am and 1 pm on Sunday.

WIND WISDOM: Determining the Direction of the Wind

Praslick noted: “The Precision Rifle Expo is a fantastic opportunity for both industry folks and the public to meet and learn about what’s new in the precision shooting world. It’s also unique in that the organizers present instructional content for the attendees. I’m really looking forward to teaching and talking to people about the techniques, strategy, and some tips to shooting in the wind. We’re once again partnering with Vortex, who is providing optics for the students[.]”

Video Showcases 2018 Precision Rifle EXPO:

Precision Rifle Expo Series National Rifle League Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia September meeting

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL

All Types of Products Will Be on Display
The Precision Rifle EXPO offers a unique opportunity to check out the latest products from dozens of top companies all in one place. Over 30 companies will be at the EXPO, displaying complete rifles, actions, triggers, stocks, optics, reloading gear, ammo, electronics, rangefinders, chronographs, ear protection, support bags, bipods, tripods, and all manner of accessories.

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL
Nick Gadarzi in Utah NRL match with Leupold Mark 5HD™ 5-25×56mm, TMR reticle

Precision Rifle EXPO 2021 Exhibitor List

NOTE: There may be some final changes, but there should still be 30+ Exhibitors.

Athlon Optics
Curtis Custom
Daniel Defense
Helix Precision
Hoplite Arms
Kauger Arms
Kenzies Optics
KGM Tech
Knights Armament
MacDonald Innovations
Manners Composite Stocks
MDT Chassis
Masterpice Arms (MPA)
SK Ammunition
Trigger Tech
U.S. Optics
Vudoo Rifles
ZR Delta

At the 2018 EXPO, Long-Range Clinics were held on the 1000-yard Range:
arena training facility Georgia Precision Rifle expo

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres
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 Challenge stations.

arena training facility Georgia

The Arena Training Facility is located approximately two hours from the Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta, Georgia and is centrally located in the Southeastern USA.

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October 28th, 2021

Savage Impulse Straight-Pull Wins Rifle of the Year Award

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 newSavage Arms just won a major award for its innovative straight-pull hunting rifle, the Savage Impulse. This is the only straight-pull centerfire rifle currently produced by a major U.S. manufacturer. Guns & Ammo magazine named Savage’s Impulse the 2021 Rifle of the Year.

“The Savage Impulse pushed Savage rifles to a new level in 2021″, wrote Guns & Ammo editors. “Creating a unique, reliable rifle is never easy, but the Impulse combines the innovative features of other Savage rifles along with Hexlock bolt technology that provided a fast, safe, and accurate shot. This rifle was designed to attract hunters of all types through versatile features and load compatibilities. Each model delivers on their promise of speed and range.”

Beth Shimanski, Savage’s Marketing Director, says the design is a game-changer for hunters: “The speed of Impulse’s straight-pull action has changed the way Americans think about hunting rifles. This design combines everything Savage has learned about accuracy and reliability with innovation that provides marksmen and women with new capabilities with new capabilities.”

Savage’s Impulse series of straight-pull bolt rifles is the first American-designed and crafted straight-pull centerfire rifle. The new Impulse features an innovative Hexlock bolt-locking mechanism with six spherical bearings that move radially outward into a ring in the barrel extension, thereby locking the bolt in place. That barrel extension is held in the receiver assembly by four cross-bolts on the lower front section. Ahead of the barrel extension is a conventional recoil lug and a familiar Savage barrel nut.

Savage Impulse Straight-Pull Rifle — Overview

Savage claims the new system offers the cycling speed of a semi-auto, with the accuracy of a bolt-action. However, based on the videos that Savage has posted, the cycling of the Impulse’s straight-pull bolt does not seem to be as smooth as some European straight-pulls, such as the Blaser R8, Merkel RX Helix, and Strasser RS 14. We’ve tried those Austrian/German rifles and you really can cycle them very smoothly. From the video the Savage Impulse appears to require somewhat more muscle and effort. Watch below. The video will launch at the 15-second mark for a comparison between the Impulse and a conventional Savage bolt-action:

Savage Speed Comparison — Impulse vs. Regular Bolt Action

Savage says: “Conventional bolt-actions require four steps to cycle the bolt. Impulse simplifies the process with a simple back-and-forth motion.”

Advantages of Straight-Pull Cycling System
What is the advantage of a straight-pull system? You should be able to cycle faster, and (ideally) maintain your cheek-weld and target view. Savage says: “The smooth bolt throw allows a shooter to cycle rounds intuitively, without the need for the standard four changes-of-direction common to a conventional bolt’s path-of-travel. Impulse reduces split times and allows a shooter to manipulate the bolt without losing [his] cheek weld. The bolt travels out and back and shooters don’t have to take their eyes off the target.” Sounds good, but if you watch the above videos, it’s not as wonderful as claimed. That said, if one slows down a bit, a straight pull should allow the shooter to maintain his cheek weld.

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

Savage’s Impulse “will redefine the way you think about straight-pull rifles”, said Al Kasper, President/CEO of Savage Arms. These new Impulse rifles are built for speed — faster bolt cycling while maintaining ones cheek-weld. This increase in speed can help a hunter make effective follow-up shots.

Major Engineering Features of New Savage Impulse

Hexlock Bolt | Barrel Extension | 4-Bolt Barrel Clamp | Ambidextrous Rotary Bolt Handle

When the bolt is closed, the Hexlock system holds it in place instead of conventional lugs. With the Hexlock, six (6) hardened steel bearings lock the bolt in place inside the receiver’s barrel extension. Savage says “As pressure increases, Hexlock’s hold tightens, ensuring that there can be no rearward movement of the bolt. Once the round has left the barrel, the pressure subsides, and the action can safely open again with the straight pull of the bolt handle.”

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

Savage Impulse — Hexlock System (Bolt Locks in Barrel Extension)

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

The cleverly-designed, modular Impulse bolt can be disassembled without tools. And the bolt-handle can be moved to either side easily. NOTE: In this diagram it may appear that the barrel does not have threads on the chamber end. Actually, Impulse barrels DO have threads on that end, which are used by the barrel nut. However, these threads are covered by a barrel extension which is held in the action/receiver by a lower-side four-bolt barrel clamp.

Savage Impulse Models: Predator, Big Game, Hog Hunter

Savage currently offers three Impulse models, all equipped with Savage AccuStock, Accufit, and AccuTrigger. All Impulse actions feature a Picatinny rail on top along with a central safety. Because the bolt handle can be placed on either side, all Impulse rifles are essentially ambidextrous — good for lefties as well as righties. There are both short-action and long-action versions of the Impulse rifle. Seven different chamberings are offered, from .22-250 to .300 Win Magnum.

IMPULSE Predator: Varmint Rifle, medium contour 24″ barrel. AICS 10-rd detachable magazine. Available chamberings: .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win.

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

IMPULSE Big Game: Primary Hunting Rifle, short- and long-action. Flush detachable magazine. Available chamberings: .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .300 WSM, .30-06 SPRG, .300 Win Magnum.

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

IMPULSE Hog Hunter: Hunting Rifle, heavy contour 24″ barrel. Flush 4-rd detachable magazine. Available chamberings: 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .30-06 SPRG, .300 Win Magnum.

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

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October 27th, 2021

Scope Review: IOR Valdada 12-52x56mm with 1/8 MOA Clicks

IOR Valdada Terminator Scope 12-42x56mm 1/8 MOA benchrest competition scope

IOR Valdada 12-52x56mm Terminator Scope Review

Scope Evaluation with Test in Benchrest Competition by James Mock

Since I started shooting in competition in the early ’90s, rifle scopes have really improved. The one which I am now testing may be the high point (zenith) of scope quality. The IOR Valdada Terminator 12-52x56mm with 40mm tube is a great scope by any standard. There are only two negative aspects to using one of these instruments. One is cost (retail $3695) and the other is weight (three pounds).

Many say that this scope is without equal. However, the most common complaints among those willing to pay the cost for this exceptional instrument was that there was no zero stop and the 1/4-MOA adjustments were too coarse. The folks at IOR Valdada listened and corrected both problems. They added a very functional zero stop and changed the adjustments to 1/8th MOA. Valdada listens to its customers.

“The Valdada performed absolutely perfectly and enabled me to win the match. The 1/8th MOA clicks are crisp and accurate and the big 40mm tube allows 100 minutes of vertical adjustment. The tracking of the scope was perfect. The MOA reticle and the precise 1/8th minute clicks helped tremendously. The scope performed flawlessly. Even with my 77 year-old eyes, I could see 6mm bullet holes in the white at 600 yards with this scope. I have been able to do that only one other time.”– James Mock

IOR Valdada Terminator Scope 12-42x56mm 1/8 MOA benchrest competition scope

Some of the great qualities of the new Terminator scope are:

— Lenses are made with the finest glass from the Germany’s famous Schott Glasswerks (lenses have the proprietary Z-7 coating with 7-11 coats for EACH lens surface).
— Parallax adjustment on the tube body allows convenient and very precise adjustments.
— Reticle with precise hashmarks and illuminated center dot.
— One hundred MOA of vertical adjustment range.

IOR Valdada Terminator Scope 12-42x56mm 1/8 MOA benchrest competition scope
This scope is very well thought out in all respects. The parallax adjustment is on the tube just behind the objective bell. It is very easy to get a sharp, parallax-free image with it.

As can be seen in the picture, this scope has every feature that long range shooters desire. With the change from 1/4-MOA to 1/8-MOA adjustments, one can see that this company listens to its customers. This is a second focal plane (SFP) scope and Valdada has a 40mm tube scope with first focal plane (FFP) for those who prefer that option. NOTE: The max magnification for the FFP version is 40X rather than 52X.

The power-changing ring of this scope is also well thought out. It features three different color-coded “clicks” that indicate subtension of the hash marks. (Meaning you have positive confirmation of the hash mark value). At 14.4X the reticle hash marks subtend 1/2 MIL. At 26X they represent one MOA and at 52X the hash marks represent 1/2-MOA (very handy for wind calls).

IOR Valdada 12-52x56mm Scope Proves Itself in Competition This Month
I received the scope on October 15th and used it in a 600-yard match on Saturday, October 16th. I quit competition several months ago and sold my trusty BAT/Leonard rifle. However, I could not stay quit and I picked up a Stiller Cobra action, and Dusty Stevens chambered a Krieger 1:7.5″-twist barrel in 6mm Dasher for this rifle. I received the barrel on October 13th, and that gave me three days to break in the barrel, find a load and get the scope zeroed. I shot 15 rounds of 1 shot/clean, 1 shot clean, 1-shot clean, 3-shots clean until I had 15 rounds. Since I did not have the scope, I could not develop a match load.

After receiving the Terminator on Friday, October 15th. I finished the fire-forming of the 48 pieces of brass and zeroed the scope with the fire-forming load. The scope was not hard to zero and I was very impressed with the optics. I wasn’t surprised at the quality — since 2009, I have shot a Valdada 36X Benchrest model on my target rifle. That is a superb scope with rock-solid adjustments and great Schott glass.

IOR Valdada Terminator Scope 12-42x56mm 1/8 MOA benchrest competition scope

Shooting the “Square” Confirms Great Tracking
I shot the “square” with some fireform loads and the last bullet went through the hole made by the initial round. For those not familiar with this test, it consists of 5 shots while using the same aim point and adjusting 6 MOA between each shot. So the second shot is 6 MOA above the first, the third is 6 MOA right, the fourth is 6 MOA down and the fifth, final shot is 6 MOA left. When the last shot goes through the hole of the first, one can conclude that the scope adjustments are spot on. This Terminator was perfect.

Because of time restraints, I did not have a chance to work up a good load for this barrel, so I resorted to a load that had worked with a previous Dasher. It was with 32.5 grains of Varget and a 105gr Berger Hybrid seated .007″ into the lands. I favor Bart’s Hammers, but did not have enough to shoot the match.

Although I had only one day with the scope before the match, I got it mounted on the rifle. I shot ONE shot at my 100-yard range and adjusted the scope up 11 MOA. I told some of the shooters that I had never been so ill-prepared for a match. However, the Valdada performed absolutely perfectly and enabled me to win the match (first win at 600 in a long time!). The MOA reticle and the precise 1/8th-minute clicks helped tremendously.

The 1/8-MOA clicks are crisp and accurate and the big 40mm tube allows 100 minutes of vertical adjustment. The tracking of the scope was perfect. Valdada uses steel ball bearings in this scope.

IOR Valdada Terminator Scope 12-42x56mm 1/8 MOA benchrest competition scopeDuring the match, the hash marks are very useful. Since the hash marks subtend 1/2-MOA at 52X, I used the scope at that power until the 4th target and then used it at 26X so I could use the 1-MOA hash marks. Since we shoot a steel gong for sighters, it is easy to determine the amount of winddrift by using these hash marks.

This scope features a lighted reticle. This is not an important feature for the type of shooting that I do, but many make use of this feature. The scope also features a zero stop that is very handy for those shooting events in which several adjustments are used. If one gets “lost” he can simply dial back to the “set zero”. This system was very easy to use.

Bullet-maker and benchrest shooter Bart Sauter has been using an IOR Valdada Terminator scope for several years and has made an impact in the 600-yard game. He is a Valdada dealer. If you need a Terminator or other IOR Valdada optic, give Bart a call.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, New Product, Optics 3 Comments »
October 27th, 2021

NASGW Expo Showcases New Shooting Sports Products

NASGW Expo Columbus Ohio 2021

Lots of new firearms, optics, and other shooting sports products are on display this week. The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) Annual Expo kicked off today in Columbus, Ohio. The event runs Wednesday, October 27 through Friday, October 29, 2021. A prelude for the massive gun industry SHOT Show in Las Vegas in January, 2022, the NASGW Expo 2021 gives buyers a “first look” at new products that will hit the market in the months ahead.

NASGW Expo Columbus Ohio 2021

There will be many major manufacturers at the NASGW Expo including ARMSCOR, Blaser, European American Armory, HOWA, Hogue, Lyman, Mauser, Riton Optics, SAR USA, Sauer, Taurus, and many more.

NASGW Expo Columbus Ohio 2021

Legacy Sports International will have new-for-2022 items on display including the new HOWA Carbon Stalker offerings, HOWA Superlite, and other new products from HS Precision and HOGUE stocks. There will be a wide selectino of new Cerakote and camo stock offerings.

NASGW Expo Columbus Ohio 2021

Lyman will have a booth at the 2021 NSAGW Expo displaying the full line of Lyman presses, tools, and dies. In addition Lyman will showcase products from Mark 7 Reloading, Pachmayr, TacStar, Trius Traps, Butch’s Gun Care, and Targdots.

NASGW Expo Columbus Ohio 2021

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
October 27th, 2021

22 is Jessie’s Lucky Number — USPSA Ladies Title #22

jessie harrison uspsa nationals talladega ladies women championship title
Jessie Harrison won the Ladies title at this year’s USPSA Open Gun National Championship, marking the 22nd time she has done so in the category.

Jessie Harrison is arguably the best female action pistol shooter in history. No other lady has amassed as many championships or set so many records. And Jessie scored yet another milestone recently, winning her 22nd U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Ladies Championship. Jessie won the title at the recent USPSA Race Gun Nationals held October 22–24, 2021 at the Talledega Marksmanship Park in Alabama.

“Fun field course from USPSA Race Gun Nationals! Getting to stretch the legs and do a little run-n-gun is always nice!” — Jessie Harrison

jessie harrison uspsa nationals talladega ladies women championship title
Jessie Harrison at the 2021 USPSA Race Gun Nationals in Talladega Marksmanship Park.

On her Facebook Page, Jessie posted:

“I’m very excited to share that I’ve won my 22nd USPSA Ladies National Title. I defended my Ladies Open title this year against some of the best women shooters in this country and it was an honor to share the range with them. With USPSA bringing the ladies Super Squad back, it has invigorated the competition and brings the best out of all of us. There’s nothing more intense than stepping to the line amongst your competitors and having to perform. It also creates a camaraderie between everyone that you can’t find anywhere else. Each of these ladies pushed me the entire weekend to do better and I respect all of them as competitors and friends!

Thank you to USPSA for understanding the need for our squad again and making it happen AND for hosting such a great Nationals!

A big round of applause to the match staff for their hard work and long days on the range for us competitors, it’s a selfless job and you’re appreciated!

A big heartfelt thank you to all of my sponsors for your support and encouragement for the past 21. I never could have dreamed I’d be doing what I love for so long and it wouldn’t be possible without all of you!”

jessie harrison uspsa nationals talladega ladies women championship title

Jessie, who is captain of the Taurus Shooting Team, also congratulated fellow winners at the 2021 USPSA Nationals: Christian Sailer (221.44, match winner), Justine Williams (64.89, Ladies Limited) and Mason Lane (79.5, Limited winner). Learn more about the USPSA competitions at

Permalink Competition, Handguns, News No Comments »
October 26th, 2021

Great Gun Industry Jobs Available Now Nationwide

NSSF gun industry jobs employment center openings hire work

Firearms Industry JobsA number of interesting jobs in the firearms industry have become available in recent weeks. The NSSF maintains a regularly-updated listing of employment opportunities with gun-makers and shooting sports organizations. On the NSSF Career Center right now there are executive openings, engineering jobs, tech placements, account manager positions, sales and marketing positions, and digital media opportunities. Here are some of the jobs we found this week posted on the NSSF Website. CLICK HERE to visit the NSSF Career Center with all current listings.

Firearms Industry Jobs — Current Openings

The gun industry needs skilled personnel! The total number of full-time equivalent jobs in the firearms industry rose from approximately 166,000 in 2008 to almost 342,330 in 2020, a 106% increase. Here are some current job openings posted on the NSSF Career Center:

Aero Precision: Government Contract Specialist (Washington State)

Athlon Outdoors: Digital SEO Editor (Tennessee)

Buck Knives: Product Manager (Idaho)

Creedmoor Sports: Director of Marketing (Alabama)

Creedmoor Sports: Purchasing Specialist (Alabama)

Davidson’s: Customer Relationship Manager (Washington state)

Delta Defense LLC: Training Operations Coordinator (Wisconsin)

Gun University: Content Manager/Story Editor (Nationwide)

Lancer: Military and LE Programs Sales Manager (Pennsylvania)

O.F. Mossberg & Sons: Compliance Analyst (Connecticut)

Primary Arms: Marketing and Events Coordinator (Texas)

Stag Arms: International Sales Representative (Wyoming)

Steiner eOptics: Vice President of Sales (Ohio)

Steiner eOptics: Manager, U.S. Military Sales (Ohio)

VersaCarry: National Sales Manager (Texas)

Opportunities at Applied Ballistics and Savage Arms

In addition to the jobs listed on the NSSF website, two important industry companies have openings:

Applied Ballistics LLC Seeks Ballistic Lab Technician, and Office Manager
Bryan Litz’s company, Applied Ballistics LLC, is now hiring for two important positions, one technical, and the other managerial. Here is the recent notice: “Applied Ballistics is growing! We are looking to fill two positions — Ballistic Lab Technician, and Office Manager. If you are interested in one of these positions, please read the job outlines and submit your information to”

job employment fall 2021 NSSF Applied Ballistics

Savage Arms Hiring Engineers, Technicians, and Tool Operators
Savage Arms has multiple job openings in its Westfield, Massachusetts production facility. Positions available include: Product Design Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Quality Technician, CNC Operator, Machine Operator, Material Control, Product Inspector and more. Savage posted: “We’re hiring! We’re looking for dedicated, hardworking individuals to join our team.” Visit

job employment fall 2021 NSSF Savage Arms

Permalink Gunsmithing, News No Comments »
October 26th, 2021

Mobile Loading Station Made From Metal Horse Grooming Box

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

Do you often load at the range? Or maybe you need to transport loading gear when you travel in your RV. Well here is a smart transport option — a metal box that holds tools, dies, arbor press, case-trimmer, even a ChargeMaster.

Some guys have built their own loading tool-boxes from wood. Other may stuff gear in a couple of plastic range boxes. But clever Chris Covell came up with an even better solution. Chris sourced a handsome, sturdy metal Horse Grooming Box from eBay. Chris reports the multi-feature metal box “works perfectly for reloading. My ChargeMaster is now out of the wind.”

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case boxBullets, Trickler, and Priming Tool on Top
On top, below the hinged metal lid, is a large compartment that holds Covell’s funnels, scales, priming tool, trickler and other vital gear (photo on right). This top compartment is deep enough to handle wide-mouth funnels with no problem.

Slide-Out Drawer with Dividers
Below the top level is a handy sliding drawer with multiple dividers. This is perfect for holding Covell’s inline seating dies, case-neck deburring and chamfering tools, among many other smaller bits and pieces.

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

In the bottom of the Horse Grooming box is a large compartment that holds bigger gear. In the bottom section, Covell places his RCBS Chargemaster Lite, along with a case-trimming tool, an arbor press, and various other bulky tools. Check it out:

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

Folks who load at the range need to bring a lot of gear — reloading presses, powder dispensers, scales, funnels, sizing/seating dies, brass prep tools and more. And there may be other important items to transport — such as ammo caddies, LabRadar mounts, over-size rest feet, and even barrel fans. With this metal box you can easily organize (and protect) al that gear. This box was sourced affordably via eBay.

Chris Covell’s Range Box was featured on the Benchrest Shooting and Gunsmithing Private Group Facebook Page. You may want to sign up for this Group — with membership you can access a wealth of information for accuracy-oriented shooters.

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 5 Comments »