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April 6th, 2022

Ankle Weight on Stock Optimizes Balance of Benchrest Rifle

rifle weight Joe ring

rifle weight Joe ringCredit our buddy Joe Friedrich for this simple yet effective accessory for your benchrest rifle. Joe shoots a .22 LR benchrest rig with a barrel tuner. When he added weights to his tuner, he found his rifle no longer balanced well. He wanted to add some weight in the rear without drilling holes in the stock. He also wanted the weight to be removable, and easily placed on another rifle in his stable. He wanted a weight that could be moved from gun to gun as needed.

At a local sporting goods shop Joe found a 1.5-lb ankle weight that comes in a padded, tubular elastic cover. It’s like a 1.5-lb sausage in a soft, stretchy nylon cover. (Imagine a really fat, heavy bungee cord). Joe simply attached a plastic zip tie at the end to make a loop that fits perfectly over his buttstock. CLICK HERE for full-screen photo.

To “tune” the rifle’s balance, Joe just slides the ankle weight fore and aft on the stock. We have tried this moveable ankle weight on a variety of different BR stocks (including a McMillan Edge) and it worked perfectly. This is a great invention, and would work with sporter rifles and ARs just as well.

rifle weight Joe ring

NOTE: Obviously, this ring will increase the measured weight of your rifle. So, if you are competing in a registered match with weight restrictions, you have to ensure that your rifle still makes class weight limits with the ankle weight ring in place.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 6th, 2022

How Do Suppressors Affect Accuracy — Surprising Test Results

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

Shooting Sports Suppressor SoundAre sound suppressors useful in competition shooting? In some disciplines, and in venues where sound “moderators” are permitted, the answer is “yes”. In the November edition of Shooting Sports USA eZine, you’ll find an interesting article about the use of sound suppressors (aka “cans”). The article explores the use of suppressors in Europe and in tactical matches in North America. You’ll also find an explanation of the rules and regulations governing suppressor ownership and use in the United States.

Shooting Sports Editor Chip Lohman tests three rifles from the bench and found that sound suppressors did not harm accuracy. In fact, all three test rifles (one each in .223 Rem, .308 Win, and .338 Lapua Magnum), shot slightly better 5-shot groups at 200 yards when a suppressor was fitted to the barrel. However, the suppressors did alter point of impact. Interestingly, velocity standard deviation (SD) values were lower with suppressors in place for all three test rifles. This observation calls for further study.*

CLICK HERE to Read Suppressor Article in Shooting Sports USA

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

So the use of suppressors in competition could be a good thing. However, in the United States, current NRA rules prohibit the use of sound suppressors. NRA Rule 3.16.1 subsection (a) states: “Sound Suppressors are not authorized for use in High Power competition.” In addition, there are some practical problems with suppressors — the heat rising off of a naked suppressor can create mirage problems (that’s why some shooters wrap their cans with a cover).

Despite such issues, now commonly see suppressors on rifles used in tactical matches and PRS/NRL events. For example, many competitors in the Steel Safari field challenge match use suppressors. The photo below shows our friend Zak Smith competing in the Steel Safari with his suppressed Accuracy International rifle.

Zak Smith Thunder Beast Steel Safari Suppressor

Commentary — What Can We Conclude?
Obviously, this three-rifle SSUSA test was not definitive. One well might observe different results with different types of suppressors, fitted to different kinds of rifles. Mounting a suppressor to any barrel will certainly affect harmonics and “tune”. But this SSUSA study does suggest that tactical shooters, who are allowed to use suppressors in competition, may find that the benefits of suppressors (significantly reduced recoil and less noise) outweigh any meaningful accuracy loss, at least in PRS-type matches.

NOTE: The article cautions that one should not extrapolate too much from the SD numbers, given the low number of test shots. Chronograph-maker Ken Oehler, when asked to comment on the SD values stated: “[You should] report the observed SDs, but draw no conclusions until… you can do more testing with larger sample sizes.”

Qualifications to Obtain a Suppressor

To legally obtain a suppressor, you must fill out Federal Forms and pay a $200 fee to the ATF. You must also pass BATFE background checks and otherwise comply with Federal and state laws. States can regulate suppressor ownership or use, so be sure to check the laws in your area. On the federal level, the process to acquire a suppressor is regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

PURCHASING TIP: ATF Announces New e-Form 4 Platform for Suppressor Registration

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Tactical, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
April 6th, 2022

Tips for Secure Travel with Firearms in a Vehicle

Firearms gun safety safe storage transport vehicle car truck NSSF

HERE Are Key Guidelines for Safe, Secure Handling of Firearms in Vehicles:

• Take note of and safely control the muzzle direction of firearms in vehicles. This is one of the main rules of gun safety and applies to the inside of vehicles as well as any other location.

• When finished using your firearm outside your vehicle, unload it before you re-enter your vehicle.

• Even after a long hunt or a day in the sun at the range, always check, and then double check, that guns are unloaded before placing them in a car or truck.

• Be very careful if you must unload a firearm in the confined space of a vehicle so as not to have an accidental discharge. If your location allows, it is safer and easier to unload the firearm outside the vehicle.

• Never leave firearms in parts of the vehicle accessible to children or pets.

• Keep firearms and ammunition out of sight to avoid tempting thieves.

• Use secure temporary storage for firearms in vehicles.

• A lockable gun case or a lock box may be the most practical choice to securely store a gun in a vehicle. These come in a range of prices and models.

• If you’re concerned about quick access to your firearm, many types of lockable safes allow for extremely fast access of your gun while at the same time helping to prevent unauthorized access.

• Secure the lock box to the vehicle, if possible. Some companies make custom concealed compartments for specific model vehicles.

Traveling firearms truck car vehicle storage

Firearms gun safety safe storage transport vehicle car truck NSSF

Storing Firearms in Vehicles to Prevent Theft and Misuse
We travel with our firearms all the time, taking them to the range, on hunting trips or carrying them on our person, as permitted by law. As a result, there will be times when you might have to leave your firearm in your vehicle. This creates a situation that deserves careful consideration. The last thing you want is to have your gun stolen and potentially misused by a criminal. In some states, you could even be subject under the law to serious penalties and fines for failure to properly secure a firearm. Unfortunately, thefts of firearms from vehicles are on the rise. Remember that vehicle door locks are not totally secure.

Firearms gun safety safe storage transport vehicle car truck NSSF

When you are not in your vehicle, all firearms should be placed in locked storage and out of sight. Locking the doors on your vehicle does not constitute secure firearm storage. As one writer put it: “Cars and trucks aren’t safes. And they’re not holsters. They’re not storage containers.”

The glove compartment or console of your vehicle, even if lockable, should not be considered a secure storage device either, as it can be pried open quickly and is the first place a thief might look. If you need to leave a handgun in a vehicle, we recommend putting the guns in secure case, preferably out of sight. Many vehicles have a compartment, above the spare tire storage recess, which can be secured.

Permalink Handguns, Tech Tip No Comments »