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May 31st, 2022

Colt Introduces New King Cobra Target 22 LR Revolver

new colt king cobra target 22 LR .22 LR revolver rimfire wheelgun

At the NRA Annual Meetings in Houston, Colt’s Manufacturing introduced an impressive new rimfire revolver — the King Cobra Target 22 LR. Colt states: “From competition to plinking and small game hunting, this baby Cobra does it all and packs 10-rounds of .22 LR in its cylinder.” The King Cobra Target 22 LR is available with 4-inch and 6-inch barrel lengths, both with 1:16″ RH rifling twist. MSRP is $999.00.

new colt king cobra target 22 LR .22 LR revolver rimfire wheelgun

The King Cobra Target 22 LR features USA-forged stainless steel construction. Designed and crafted for outstanding accuracy, new King Cobra Target 22 LR features a one-piece barrel/shroud with fiber optic front sight. The cylinder holds ten (10) rounds. The frame is fitted with an adjustable target rear sight and Hogue overmolded rubber grips.


This TFB Showtime episode examines the new .22 LR rimfire Colt King Cobra Target. The King Cobra Target 22 LR features a 10-shot cylinder, and the same adjustable target sights as the .357 Magnum version.

“We are very excited to debut this new Baby Snake to our customers at NRA Annual Meetings,” said Justin Baldini, VP of Product Strategy, Colt CZ-USA. “Shooting .22 LR is such an important part of shooting sports. It’s where we come to learn as a beginner; and where we return as seasoned shooters to cost-effectively enjoy more time at the range. We’re confident that new and old Colt fans will love what we’ve done with the new King Cobra 22 LR.”

All-American built, the King Cobra Target 22 LR was designed and made to be shot — a lot! It should deliver exceptional accuracy and good reliability. Expect to see these revolvers at formal and informal rimfire competitions at gun clubs around the nation.

Commentary: We applaud Colt for introducing this new .22 LR wheelgun. Rimfire revolvers are great. This Editor owns a Smith & Wesson Model 617 ten-shot rimfire revolver that has easily fired more rounds than all his other handguns combined. A .22 LR revolver is great for training and fun for plinking. Like the Model 617, this new Colt .22 LR wheelgun offers minimal recoil, great reliability, a nice sight radius, and affordable shooting. In addition, if you shoot single-action slow-fire, the trigger pull is light and crisp — better than the vast majority of semi-auto pistols. We think this new “Baby Snake” will be a great addition to any shooter’s collection.

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May 31st, 2022

Summer Varmint Adventures — Gear, Cartridge Choices, Planning

CFE 223 Powder Varmint Bullet Prairie dog
This custom war wagon hauls varmint hunters around the Longmeadow Game Resort in Colorado.

Will you be heading to the varmint fields this summer? Proper planning is key to a safe, satisfying, and productive varmint holiday. Of course you’ll be busy reloading, but you should make a check-list of all the gear and supplies you need. Bring a variety of rifles if possible — you’ll need to switch off as one barrel gets hot, and the chambering that works best for your close shots may not be ideal for those longer shots out past 400 yards. Here are some tips from our Forum members that can help you shoot more effectively, and avoid problems on your varmint hunt. Here’s one key tip: at your shooting station, put a strip of surveyor’s tape on a tall stake to show the wind direction. Then shoot in the direction the wind blows. This will minimize the effect of cross-winds.

Savage LR Precision Varminter

Varmint Safari Planning, Equipment, and Shooting Advice

From PatchHound: “The gear you bring will make or break a trip out to Prairie Dog land. A lot has to do with where you going and how far you are from [civilization]. For starters, bring lots of water. It will be hot in Wyoming in a few more weeks but it don’t hurt to bring warm clothes in case it snows. It’s best to wear leather boots unless you’re real good at dodging cactus while walking around. Good sunscreen [and a wide-brimmed hat] will save the day too. [What you need to bring] really depends on whether you’re shooting on some friendly ranch or 100 miles in the middle of [a wilderness area]. Good survival gear is a good thing to have for the latter!”

Savage LR Precision Varminter
This photo is from a Dan Eigen TV Show video featuring a P-Dog hunt.

From Stoner25mkiv: “I’d suggest an adjustable bipod if you are going to do any walking. A laser rangefinder is a huge asset. Have a fanny pack or backpack for extra ammo, water, bore-snake, etc. when you go on your walkabouts. We also take a couple pivoting benches, heavy movers’ pad/blanket, sandbags (Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag) for shooting from near the vehicle. Boonie hat for blocking the sun, sun glasses, sunscreen. High leather boots.

Uncle Bud's Bulls Bag

Anyway, on to the rifles…consider bringing a 17 HMR, .223 Ackley bolt gun, .223 Ackley AR, and a 243 WSSM. Some years the 17 HMR isn’t removed from its case. We had a couple windless days and the 17 was lots of fun. I’d walk into the dogtown and then lay down and wait. After five minutes or so I’d have dogs within easy rimfire range, and out to as far as I’d care to stretch the rimfire. 275 yards was about it.”

From CTShooter: “The .204 [Ruger] is a laser beam and good to 400 yards easy. Forget the rimfire! Do you have a portable bench that pivots? Bring bipod, binocs. Bring a LOT of water. I have a milspec sniper shooter’s mat/drag bag with shoulder straps. It is good to carry everything when you want to wander off and shoot prone with bipod. Here’s a view through my 6BR in ND.”

varmint hunting prairie dog dakota dogtown

From RJinTexas: “In most of the locations that we’ll be shooting we’ll usually set up a minimum of 200 yards from the edge of a major dog town. We’ll start by working over the close-in dogs and shooting our way out, some of these towns may run in excess of 500/600 yards deep. I believe that a rimfire will put you at a distinct disadvantage. The only rimfire that will somewhat work is the 17 HMR and you can reload for your 204s for close to the cost of HMR ammo and you’ll be less apt to be under-gunned. Your 204 will work well out to 300/400 yards unless the wind is blowing hard. We classify a 10-mph crosswind as a very calm day and what makes it a little more challenging is that it is usually also gusting.”

From Wes (P1ZombieKiller): “[For my first PD trip] there are so many things I was not ready for. The one thing that I did bring (that no one told me about) was a canopy. I’m glad I did. Even though the weather was [near perfect], I know that sun can humble you real fast. With my pop-up canopy, I could shoot all day without getting killed by the sun. You had to tie the canopy down real well or the wind would blow it across the pasture.

We sat on shooting benches that pivot 360°, and are fast and easy to set up. Most all shots were 175-250 yards. I just felt comfortable at that range. It was more fun for me to be able to film the hits, and the camcorder I was using just did not get good video past 350 yards. The digital zoom distorted the image too much. I knew I would only get this one chance to film my first P-dog outing, and I wanted to get it on film for [posterity].”

Bring Multiple Rifles on Your Varmint Adventures

On our P-Dog adventures, we like to have multiple rifles — a .17 HMR for close work, then maybe a .20 Practical AR for 150-250 yards, then a larger caliber such as 22 BR, 6BRA, 6 Dasher or 6XC for those long shots. The classic 22-250 is also a wickedly effective varmint cartridge.

Prairie dog adventure varmint hunting

.20 Practical (20-223 Rem) AR-Platform Varminter
Here is a .20 Practical built by Robert Whitley. Whitley’s Ultimate Prairie Dog Rifle (PDR) features a 24″ Bartlein 11-twist cut-rifled barrel, DPMS side-charging upper, and a Jewell trigger. It is chambered in 20 Practical, a cartridge popularized by Warren “Fireball” Brookman.

varmint hunting prairie dog dakota dogtown

This .20 Practical cartridge is simply the .223 Remington necked down to .204. You can use your existing .223 Rem brass — no special case-forming required! The 20 Practical is accurate, flat-shooting, and has almost no recoil. The advantage over the standard .223 Remington is that, grain for grain, the bullets have a higher BC and travel at a higher velocity for more dramatic effect on a small varmint. The ultra-low recoil allows you to easily see your hits, even without a muzzle brake. The 20 Practical, launching 40-grainers at about 3750 fps, shoots flatter than a .223 Rem with 55gr hollowpoints.

.17 HMR Savage A17 Varmint Rifle
We also like to have a Rimfire for the closer shots, inside 150 yards. The .17 HMR or .17 WSM are good choices. With a rimfire you save on ammo costs and you don’t waste precious centerfire barrel life.

This video shows a successful Prairie Dog hunt with a .17 HMR. Watch and you’ll see hits out to 160 yards (00:50), proving the effective range of the 17 HMR cartridge. The host is shooting a Savage A17 semi-auto 17 HMR rifle in a Boyds laminated stock.

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May 31st, 2022

Reloading on the Road — Loading Station inside “Toy-Hauler” RV

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 compact 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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May 30th, 2022

Memorial Day — Honor and Remember Our Fallen Heroes

USA memorial day fallen soldiers graves flags

Each year, on the last Monday in May, Americans honor the sacrifices of military men and women who paid the ultimate price in their service to our nation. More than 1.3 million American men and women have died in military service during wartime, including more than 666,400+ combat deaths. On May 30, 2022, we again pay tribute to these men and women and remember their service to their country.

Memorial day remembrance flag ceremony

This is what Memorial Day symbolizes — a time Americans take a clear look at both our past and our future. One day each year, when we acknowledge the debt we owe to those men and women who — because they so cherished peace — chose to live as warriors.

Could anything be more contradictory than the lives of our soldiers? They love America, so they spend long years in foreign lands far from her shores. They revere freedom, so they sacrifice their own that we may be free. They defend our right to live as individuals, yet yield their individuality in that cause. Perhaps most paradoxically of all, they value life, and so bravely ready themselves to die in the service of our country. — Deborah Y. Parker

Moment of Remembrance
Memorial Day Observances will range from parades to memorial ceremonies and organized moments of silence. The Memorial Day National Moment of Remembrance honors America’s fallen warrriors. Established by Congress in 2000, the “Moment” asks Americans, wherever they are at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, to pause for one minute, in an act of national unity and respect for the fallen.

USA memorial day fallen soldiers graves flags

What Is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the last Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.

On Memorial Day, the United States flag is traditionally raised to the top of the staff, then solemnly lowered to half-staff position until noon, when it is raised again to full-staff for the rest of the day. The half-staff position is to remember the more than one million men and women who have given their lives for this country.

Six Things Every American Should Know About Memorial Day.

Arlington Cemetery Old Guard Flags Graves
Flags placed in Arlington National Cemetery by members of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, the “Old Guard”.

Memorial Day 2010

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

Memorial Day May 28 2018 soldier fallen combat death
DoD photo from www.Army.mil. Top photo from U.S. Air Force 2008 Poster.

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May 29th, 2022

BargainFinder 349: Deals of the Week Plus Memorial Day Sales

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or 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.

Memorial Dayssale Midwayusa Natchez midsouth save

NOTE to Readers: Monday, May 30, 2022 is Memorial Day. Many vendors may be running special SALES today, or over the next few days. Check with vendors Brownells, EuroOptic, Creedmoor Sports, Bruno’s, Graf & Sons, Midsouth, Precision Reloading, Bullet Central, Powder Valley, and MidwayUSA to see all the products they have on sale. You can find other sale offerings with web searches.

1. Creedmoor Sports — Lapua Brass in Stock

Lapua Cartridge Brass Sale in stock Creedmoor Sports
Superb Lapua cartridge brass — very uniform, long-lasting

As with bullets and powder, top-quality cartridge brass has been in high demand. But Creedmoor Sports has a large supply of long-lasting, high-quality Lapua cartridge brass. Many of the most popular types are available including .220 Russian (for PPC), .223 Rem, .243 Win, 6mmBR, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, 6.5-284, .284 Win, .308 Winchester, .30-06, 300 PRC, .338 Lapua Magnum and more. As an added incentive, during Memorial Day Weekend, you get FREE ground shipping on orders over $149.00 (some exclusions apply).

2. Precision Reloading — 10% Off Orders $49+ with Code MD22

precision reloading online md22 discount code sale
Save on full range of products — store-wide 10% Savings

Here’s great opportunity. Right now you can Save 10% on nearly all products at Precision Reloading with CODE MD22. This 10% Off discount applies to all order over $49.00 total. Save on tools, dies, presses, bullets, powder, brass, optics, gun cases, and more. This offer applies to online purchases of in-stock items online. The 10% OFF Savings works through 11:59 pm CT on Monday 5/30/22.

3. Natchez — 10% Off Nearly All Products with $99+ Purchase

natchez shooters supplies 10% memorial day discount code sale
Save on nearly all products — site-wide 10% Savings

Now through Monday evening you can save 10% on all items at Natchez Shooters Supply. This includes ammo, bullets, brass, powder, primers, optics, reloading tools, gun cases, hunting supplies and more. For 10% site-wide savings, use Code P220528 during checkout. But don’t hesitate — the 10% OFF deal terminates at 11:59 pm CT on Monday, 5/30/22.

4. Primary Arms — Memorial Day Sale, Many Products

primary arms memorial day sale off backpack AR parts
Major sale with all types of products discounted

Primary Arms is running a big Memorial Day Sale with dozens of products with big discounts. Save on AR parts, AR receivers, Optics, Slings, Shooting Mats, Carry packs, magazines and more. One of the best deals is a 3-Day Expandable Backpack for $19.99 (marked down from $54.99). Or get a complete AR15 bolt carrier group for $64.99 (marked down from $109.99). Other Memorial Day discounts include: 20% Off Expo Arms, Up to 20% Off Aero Precision, 25% Off North American Rescue, and 30% Off Vertx.

5. Pyramyd Air — Kral Arms Puncher Breaker Air Rifle, $429.99

primary arms memorial day sale off backpack AR parts
Quality competitive field Air Rifle at 21% savings

Here’s a quality air rifle for Field Target and other airgun field sports. The Kral Arms Puncher Breaker Silent Sidelever Air Rifle is offered in .177, .22, and .25 calibers. This rig features a nice two-stage adjustable trigger and Weaver/Picatinny scope rail. There is adjustable power with 2900 psi fill pressure (200 BAR). The barrel is half-shrouded for extra-quiet shooting. Choose either the walnut-stocked version, or a synthetic-stocked model with nickel-finish barreled action. Both are priced at $429.99, a full $120.00 off the regular price.

6. Crimson Trace — Memorial Day Bundles, Save 13% to 30%

Crimson trace memorial day bargain bundle
Crimson Trace makes excellent optics — bundles are big bargains

Crimson Trace makes very good optics for all types of firearms. Right now, through May 31, 2022, Crimson Trace is offering Six Combo Packages (“bundle deals”) with big discounts. The #5 Bundle includes the excellent 6-24x50mm FFP Hardline Pro scope PLUS a CT-RAD Max Red Dot optic. These two products would normally retail for $1,499.98 (combined price), but now you can get them BOTH for $1,249.90 — that’s a $250 savings. There are five other great bundle deals.

7. L.E. Wilson Tools — 10% Off and Free Shipping

l.e. wilson memorial day free shipping 10% Off sale
L.E. Wilson makes outstanding tools and dies — now shipped for FREE

L.E. Wilson currently offers 10% OFF all online orders (prices reflected in cart). In addition, now through 11:59 pm on Monday 5/30/2022, L.E. Wilson offers FREE Shipping on all orders. Take advantage of these special Memorial Day Weekend savings on outstanding Wilson tools and dies. NOTE: The 10% Off discount is already reflected in the Wilson online shopping cart total.

8. Midsouth — Free Shipping over $49 + Accurate Powder Sale

memorial day free shipping discount accurate powder Midsouth in-stock
Get FREE Shipping plus Accurate powders in stock at good prices

As a Memorial Day Promotion, Midsouth is offering FREE Shipping with purchases of $49 or more (HazMat charges are extra). And if you need reloading powder, definitely head over to Midsouth, which has a huge selection of Accurate brand powders IN STOCK at attractive prices, typically $31-$35 per pound.

9. Bruno’s — Memorial Day $9.95 Shipping and $19.95 Hazmat

memorial day shipping discount hazmat Bruno Shooters
Major savings on product shipping and Hazmat charges

Now through Memorial Day (5/30/22), Bruno Shooters Supply is running a special promotion. Shopper will get $9.95 Flat-Rate Shipping for most orders, including barrels, actions, stocks, scopes, bullets, brass, dies, presses and much more! And for HazMat (powder/primers) shipping, the HazMat charge has been slashed to $19.95, a major savings. Visit Brunoshooters.com.

10. CDNN Sports — Colt 1911 .22 LR by Walther, $429.99

cdnn sports colt walther 1911 a1 rail gun .22 LR rimfire pistol full size
Handsome, accurate .22 LR handgun with perfect 1911 ergonomics

The Colt 1911 A1 “Rail Gun” pistol is a full-size, .22 LR rimfire version of the legendary Colt 1911 handgun. It includes low-profile combat sights, beavertail safety, and frame accessory rail. This handsome, full-size rimfire 1911 pistol is manufactured by Walther under license from Colt. This blow-back operated pistol features a 5″ barrel and 12-rd magazine. For 1911 fans, this makes a great rimfire addition to your pistol collection. Get the Flat Dark Earth version for $429.99 or the Matte Black version for $419.99.

11. KYGUNC0 — Memorial Day Ammunition SALE

kygunco ammo ammunition memorial day sale
Great savings on pistol and rifle ammunition

Right now KYGUNCO is running a great AMMO SALE. You’ll find very attractive prices on name brand pistol and rifle ammunition. For example, Nosler .45 ACP ammo is just $26.99 per 50-round box, and 200 rounds of Winchester 9mm ammo is just $69.99 on sale. In addition, KYGUNCO has a super deal on the Citadel Warthog 12ga tactical shotgun — just $209.99.

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May 29th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: 20 Practical AR — Great Accuracy, Low Recoil

20 Practical AR uppers

If you want to use an AR-platform rifle in the varmint fields, consider getting a 20-caliber barrel chambered for the efficient, low-recoil 20 Practical cartridge. The 20 Practical is simply a .223 Remington necked down to 20 caliber. The parent .223 Rem cartridge of course works great in an AR, but the 20 Practical offers some notable advantages for high-volume varmint shooters. The 20 Practical delivers very high velocity with very low recoil while still providing outstanding accuracy. The 20 Practical is great option for folks who favor “fast and light” — smaller, lower-mass bullets traveling at very high velocities. This little cartridge can launch 40-grainers at over 3900 fps, and 32-grainers even faster. This makes the 20 Practical a great choice for an AR-based varmint rifle.

20 Practical20 Practical Ultimate Varminter
A decade ago, as a “proof-of-concept”, AccurateShooter.com created a 20 Practical AR15 Ultimate Varminter with a custom 20-caliber upper from Robert Whitley of AR-X Enterprises, LLC. That project rifle was ultra-accurate — every 5-shot group out of the gun was less than the size of a dime. That gun was auctioned off, but Robert Whitley continues to produce custom 20 Practical AR15 uppers. (The 20 Practical cartridge is simply the .223 Rem necked down to 20 caliber — you can use standard .223 brass and load with standard.223 Rem dies. Just swap in a smaller expander and use smaller neck bushings.)

Robert learned that the accuracy of the first 20 Practical AR15 was no fluke. After building six (6) more 20 Practical uppers, he tested them for accuracy and they all shot great. These uppers feature DPMS low-pro receivers with side-charging handles. They are fitted with PacNor 1:11″ twist, 3-groove stainless barrels.

20 Practical AR uppers

Robert reports: “We have been making more 20 Practical AR15 uppers and I have to say I am astounded by the accuracy of these things. For shooting little tiny groups out of an AR15 with bullets going 3500+ fps, it’s hard to beat the 20 Practical. Today I test-fired six more uppers, all with 11-twist barrels. Three of the uppers had 24″ barrels, two had 20″ barrels, and one had an 18″ barrel (we call it ‘Stubby’).

20 Practical Reamer print

In four of these uppers I shot re-sized Winchester brass using 25.3 grains of WC844 powder with Berger 40gr BTHP bullets loaded at 2.225″ OAL (about .015″ off the lands). WC844 is inexpensive military surplus powder that is nearly identical to H335. I tried three different primers and the choice did not seem to matter (CCI BR4, Rem 7 1/2s and Win Small Rifle — the old silver ones). All these four uppers shot great.”

Below is an animated GIF with targets from uppers #6, 10, and 11. All groups are mag-fed, 5-shot groups shot at 100 yards using a front rest and rear bag.


Targets Shot with Three Different 20 Practical AR Uppers

20 Practical AR uppers

For more INFO visit www.6mmAR.com, or email: rcw3 [at] erols.com.

20 Practical Shooters Explain Why They Love this Little Cartridge

A current thread in our Shooters’ Forum focuses on favorite variants of the .223 Rem cartridge. The thread asks: “What is your favorite and most versatile round that you have made from a .223 Rem parent case?” Many cartridges were named, but the wildcat cartridge cited most often was the 20 Practical. Here are some comments by Forum members, who explain the appeal of this great little 20-caliber cartridge:

“The 20 Practical is just a hoot to shoot. Outstanding precision, minimal recoil, easy case forming and inexpensive to shoot. What’s not to like? It’s a great way to introduce kids to centerfire, too.” — JLT

“The 20 Practical for me. Never had as much fun shooting a rifle as I did with the 20 Practical. Also, [it is] the easiest wildcat to form. Just get cases, a couple of bushings to get the right neck tension, and you are shooting.” — NMKid

“Favorite .223 Rem Wildcat? The 20 Practical hands down for me. I have two of them built on Savage actions right now. One has a 20″ BHW barrel and the other has a 26″ Criterion. It is my go-to caliber for shooting up a Prairie Dog town and the ones I have are insanely accurate. Here are some typical 100- and 200-yard groups with my 20 Practicals.” — IA_Shooter

.20 20 practical ar15 varmint cartridge wildcat .223 Rem Shooters' Forum

“My favorite was and is the 20 Practical. No fire-forming, no neck-turning, and with the increased BC of the 20 Cal bullets, it’s hard to wipe the smile off your face in a prairie dog town[.]” — Region Rat

“20 Practical and the [original] .223 Rem are my favorites. Accurate, cheap to shoot. The 20 Prac allows you to see your hits and it’s fast.” — Alguapo

“20 Tactical or 20 Practical. Both very easy to reload and/or form from .223 brass. And they are accurate, reach out on varmints at surprising ranges.” — Bill K

Smart Tips on Forming 20 Practical Cases

Varmint ace Warren B, aka “Fireball” in our Forum, explains how to form 20 Practical Cases. “Forming 20 Practical cases is very easy and no fire-forming is required. Start with any good quality .223 Rem brass. One can simply run the case into your bushing die with the appropriate bushing and call it done. I however like to make it a little more involved by doing the neck reduction in steps. I find that taking steps doesn’t overwork the brass as much as one step does. Also, if you resize the neck in too large of a step, sometimes, depending on the neck thickness, the neck will not be dimensionally what you would expect when finished. This is especially important towards the last step when one is getting close to the final required neck diameter.

For my cases the first thing I did was to run them into an old RCBS .223 Rem full length die with the decapping assembly removed. This will take care of any dented necks on the raw cases and bring the necks down to around 0.243″. Since all standard full-length dies oversize the necks way too much, starting with a .223 FL die actually reduces the neck diameter quite a bit–and obviates the need to buy an extra bushing for the first step. I then use my Redding Type-S die with two bushing sizes to get down to where I need to be. In other words, I start with the FL sizer, then move to a Type-S with a 0.233″ bushing and finish with a 0.228″ bushing. Notice how, as I get to the final step, I use progressively smaller increments in size between the reductions.” (Note: Depending on your brass your final bushing size may be different.)

20 Practical vs. 20 Tactical

Varminter Kevin Weaver, who shoots both the 20 Practical and 20 Tactical, states that: “Both the 20 Tactical and the 20 Practical are fine .20 caliber cartridges. However, my favorite would be the 20 Practical. The 20 Practical gives the SAME performance as the 20 Tactical without fire-forming, or having to buy expensive forming dies.

So with the 20 Practical you do less work, you shell out a lot less money, yet you give up nothing in performance. What’s not to like? To create 20 Practical cases, just buy a .223 Rem Redding Type “S” Bushing Die set with a .230 or .228 bushing and have fun with this great little cartridge.

The 20 Practical and the 20 Tactical are almost identical cartridges. There are only slight differences in case outside diameter, shoulder angle, and case body length. Neck length on the 20 Tactical is a bit longer, but there is still plenty of neck on the 20 Practical to grip the popular bullets, such as the 32gr V-Max.”

20 Practical and 20 Tactical Specifications:

Cartridge Bolt face to shoulder Shoulder O.D. Shoulder Angle Total length
20 Practical 1.5778″ .3553 23° 1.760″
20 Tactical 1.5232″ .360 30° 1.755″
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May 29th, 2022

Trigger Technique — Become a Better Trigger-Puller

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

Do you occasionally get completely unexplained flyers, or have a shot land straight down at 6 O’Clock, right below your point of aim? That could be caused by poor or inconsistent trigger technique. How you pull the trigger can and does affect your accuracy.

Many gun enthusiasts start with pistols. When they later start shooting rifles they may carry over some not-so-good practices acquired from shooting handguns with heavy 4 to 6-pound trigger pulls. You may want to “re-learn” your trigger techniques to get better rifle results.

Shooting Sports USA has a good article on trigger technique that offers many useful tips. That article also has many helpful illustrations, including the one shown above. Another illustration shows different types of trigger shoes (straight vs. curved) and explains how each makes a difference: “With a lightly curved trigger, the shooter’s finger can contact the trigger either high or low according to preference. Higher contact will increase the resistance.” READ ARTICLE HERE.

The article analyzes common errors, such as pulling the trigger with the very tip of the finger rather than the pad of the index finger: “Using the tip of the finger can lead to lateral pressure on the trigger, which throws off the shot.”

The article also explains that you should check your trigger regularly to make sure it is functioning properly and is not out of adjustment: “Just like any other moving part, the trigger can suffer from wear. In such a precise mechanism, tiny amounts of wear can cause major problems.”

Gary Eliseo tubegun prone rifle
The ergonomics of the Eliseo Tubegun allow a nice, straight trigger pull.

Trigger Tips

Six Suggestions for Making your Trigger Control More Consistent.

1. If your triggers are adjustable, set the pull weight appropriate to the discipline. For a hunting rifle, you don’t want an ultra-light trigger pull. For High Power, you may want a two-stage pull, while on a Benchrest rifle you may prefer a very light trigger.

2. If you have a two-stage trigger, experiment with different combinations of First Stage and Second Stage.

3. Have a friend watch you as you pull the trigger, and maybe even take a close-up video as you pull the trigger. This can reveal a variety of flaws.

4. Practice dry-firing to see if flaws in trigger technique are causing gun movement.

5. As an experiment, try pulling the trigger with your middle finger. Ergonomically, the middle finger has a more straight alignment with the tendons in your hand. This exercise can help you identify alignment issues with your index finger.

6. For stocks with adjustable Length of Pull you may want to set the LOP differently for bench shooting vs. prone or F-Class shooting.

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

trigger show bix'n andy otm tactical

When Only the Best Will Do…
German-made Bix’N Andy triggers, available from BulletCentral.com, are among the very best you can buy. Available in both single-stage and two-stage, Bix’N Andy triggers are extremely precise, repeatable and smooth. The unique internal, friction-reducing roller ball system allows for extremely low reset force, yielding an ultra-crisp let-off. Bix’N Andy triggers can be fitted with a variety of trigger shoes according to shooter preference.

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May 28th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: NRA-ILA Speakers Plus New Products

NRA 2022 annual meetings convention houston texas tx exhibit hall president trump ted cruz video saturday movies

The 2022 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits event is underway right now in Houston, Texas. Inside the George R. Brown Convention Center, some 630+ exhibitors are showing their products and services. Exhibitors include large gun manufacturers such as SIG Sauer and Glock, as well as component suppliers including Berger, Federal, Hornady, and Sierra. In addition to product sellers, there are many booths featuring hunting guides and outfitters.

Along with the exhibitions, major political leaders, including former President Donald Trump, and U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz addressed NRA members at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on Friday May 27th. Here are the speeches delivered by President Trump and Senator Cruz:

SEE Full 2.7-hour Leadership Forum Recording (ALL Speakers) »

NOTE: The speeches begin roughly one hour into the video at 59:30 mark with NRA Executive VP and CEO Wayne LaPierre.

New and Interesting Products at NRA Convention Exhibit Hall

Along with politics, the annual NRA Convention is a major showcase for new shooting and outdoor products. With a vast, 14-acre Exhibit Hall, thousands of firearms and shooting-related products are on display. You’ll find guns from Colt, Glock, Henry, Remington, Ruger, Sako, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, and other major manufacturers. All the big optics makers are on hand. In addition, ammo and component suppliers, including Berger, Federal, Hornady, and Sierra, have booths at the NRA’s Exhibit Hall. Here are three videos highlighting many products showcased at the 2022 NRA Convention.

This 45-minute video from Classic Firearms covers a large number of gun manufacturers and optics makers with booths at the NRA Exhibit Hall. Cadex offered interesting new technology that allows easy barrel/caliber changes at the range. Browning showcased some new hunting rifles, and Glock features its new Slim-Line pistols. Video Product Highlights: Aimpoint 4:22; CZ-USA 8:52; POF-USA 15:40; EoTech 17:34 (1-10X Scope and eFlex); Cadex 21:35 (Multi-Caliber Tactical Rifle); Glock 23:35 (Slim-line MOS); Christensen Arms 29:37; CAA 34:41; FN-America 38:57; Browning 42:20; Polymer80 45:08.

This follow-up Part II video (above) from Classic Firearms covers more popular guns, optics, and shooting gear at the NRA Exhibit Hall. Here are the products covered along with their respective “start times” on the hour-long video: Stag Arms 0:00; Springfield Armory 8:08; SAR USA 22:23; Beretta 26:33; Barrett M82A1 32:02; Taurus & Rossi 32:28; Savage 39:22; Barrett (again) 43:54; Heckler & Koch (H&K) 46:35; Black Rambo 50:45; and 51:31 Springfield Armory. With a full hour of product features and interviews, this video should keep viewers entertained.

TFB TV recently released seven videos showcasing new products released at the NRA Show last week. Each video has a detailed product review. New products featured include: Taurus G3 Tactical, Ruger Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle, Walter Magnum Pistol (WMP), Colt Cobra Target 22 LR revolver, Anderson AM-10 Gen 2, IWI Massada Slim pistol, and Dead Air Sierra-5 5.56 compact suppressor. The Colt Cobra Target 22 LR and Ruger Marlin 1895 Videos are linked above.

List of Exhibitors at 2022 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

Floorplan for Exhibitors at 2022 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

Floorplan NRA 2022 annual meetings convention houston texas tx exhibit hall president trump ted cruz video saturday movies
CLICK to access Floorplan webpage with Exhibitor Index.

About the NRA Annual Meetings — What It’s Like to Be There
If you have never attended the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, this video features highlights of recent NRA conventions, which have attracted firearms owners and Second Amendment advocates from around the nation. This video was filmed in previous years.

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May 28th, 2022

Super Shoot 2022 — Last One Ever at Kelbly’s Range in Ohio

Kelbly's Super Shoot 2022 final

An notable era in modern benchrest history is ending. The last Benchrest Super Shoot at the Kelbly’s Range has concluded. Held May 24-27, 2022, this was the “final showdown” of the world’s group-shooting benchrest aces at the Kelbly’s range facility in Ohio. The overall 2022 Super Shoot Champion, with best combined 100 and 200-yard group-size Two Gun Aggregates (Aggs), was Jeff Summers. Gun writer James Mock noted: “The master of the Super Shoot, Jeff Summers, did it again. He fought the tough conditions and came out on top of the 200+ shooters at the final Kelbly-held Super Shoot. [That is] four times that Jeff has finished first. This shows that good guys can do well. Second place went to Ohioan Don Powell.” Summers finished with a 0.2513 Agg. Shown below are the combined 100/200 Two Gun Aggs for the top 21 finishers. SEE Forum Thread.

Kelbly's Super Shoot 2022 final

Over 200 competitors shot at the XLVIII Super Shoot event, considered the “Superbowl of Short-Range Benchrest”. The vast majority of competitors were shooting the 6 PPC cartridge with 6mm bullets under 70 grains. Another Super Shoot-type event may be held in the future in Texas, but this was the last event to be held at the impressive Kelbly’s Range in North Lawrence, Ohio.

Kelbly's Super Shoot 2022 final

This major event, held annually for many years, attracted hundreds of the world’s top short-range benchrest-for-group shooters. Over the years, at the Super Shoot, you would find the world’s best benchrest shooters on the long firing line, including Hall of Fame legends like Tony Boyer, Wayne Campbell, Lester Bruno, Alan Euber and other talented PPC pilots.

Conditions this year were sometimes tough, with brisk winds and rain. Here is a video from Forum member Jay Wallace, captured on Thursday May 26th. You can see the raindrops falling:

Rain Falls at 2022 Super Shoot at Kelbly’s Range in Ohio:

This year’s Super Shoot winner, Jeff Summers, was featured in the Daily Bulletin in 2012, when Jeff won the 40th Annual Super Shoot a decade ago. That article mentioned that Summers used a bag squeezing technique at that time. This shows that while many competitors use expensive joystick rests, bag squeezing (to aim the rifle) can still achieve great results. This shows that one can still be very competitive without having the most sophisticated rest or expensive new toys.

Super Shoot — What It’s All About

The excitement and anticipation leading up to a Super Shoot can be hard to explain to those who haven’t been to one. Every year, some shooters arrive at the Super Shoot a week early to dial in their rifles, learn wind conditions for the range, and enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow shooters. As the match draws closer, campers and RVs fill the area behind the range, and shooters stake out turf all over the property with their reloading and cleaning equipment setups.

Many shooters choose to load cartridges in the main barn directly behind the 60-bench firing line, while others decide to work in pop-ups, campers and other outbuildings around the facility. Benchrest shooters tend to load in small batches, and some most load cartridges between each match. Many shooters clean their rifles after each match, while others sometimes go two or three matches between cleanings, depending on the number of rounds they fire.

Another part of high-level benchrest competition that will amaze first-time attendees is the quality and amount of equipment benchrest shooters use. Just in front of the shooting benches and the targets, range flags of all kinds sprout up, from the typical “daisy wheel” flags to very sophisticated velocity indicators that show varying wind intensity. Shooters adjust their flags to align with the particular target in front of a specific bench, just slightly below the path of the bullet but still partially visible in the high-powered scopes.

Kelbly Kelbly's Super Shoot Benchrest IBS Tony Boyer Light Varmint Heavy

The rifles represent a variety of actions, usually custom, with heavy benchrest barrels by various barrel makers. The most popular cartridge used is the 6mm PPC, but occasionally you will run into someone using a Grendel necked to 6mm or 6mmBR-based case. Rifle rests used are typically heavy tripods or plate rests. You see a lot of Sinclair rests, Farley rests, SEB Rests, and a variety of others, including a few homemade rests. Bags are typically Edgewood, Protektor, and now some Lenzis.

Super Shoot — Runners, Pickers and the Pursuit of Perfection
The techniques vary between shooters, and they are interesting to observe. Some shooters “run” their targets and will shoot a quick sighter and then run all 5 shots as fast as they can before conditions change. Others are “pickers” and shoot each shot carefully, going back and forth between the record target and the sighter target to verify wind conditions and bullet drift. These guys will sometimes shoot up to 10 sighters and use the full seven minutes. Both styles of shooting work and many shooters use both techniques depending on the match conditions[.]

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May 28th, 2022

Shotgun vs. Handgun for Home Defense — What’s Best?

Home defense shotgun NSSF Clint Thunder Ranch
Shotgun Photo from Superior Security Concepts.

With rising crime rates in the USA, many Americans are taking a much more serious look at armed self-defense. We understand why citizens in large cities are more concerned than ever with the need to protect themselves, their families, and their homes and businesses.

Shotgun vs. Handgun — which is better for home defense? That question inspires strong opinions on both sides. We think the best answer may be “both”. There are some situations where a pistol is most handy, while there are other situations where the power (and lethality) of the shotgun clearly wins out. Some would argue that the shotgun offers an “intimidation” factor that may better resolve a threat without a shot being fired.

The NSSF, in cooperation with Thunder Ranch Training Center, has created an interesting video that examines the Shotgun vs. Handgun debate. As the Cheaper Than Dirt Blog notes: “The primary argument against the shotgun is a longer length leading to less maneuverability. On the other hand, the pistol offers better maneuverability, but lacks the stopping power of a shotgun”. Moreover, the pistol may be less accurate, according to some critics. This NSSF video looks at the question from a logical standpoint — making some surprising points.

Home defense shotgun NSSF Clint Thunder Ranch

As you can see in this still frame (above) from the video, the shooting stance of the pistol shooter (Clint) is NOT much more compact than that of the two shotgunners (compare actual muzzle positions). So a shotgun may actually be more handy inside a home than some people realize. Clint concludes that the gun selection debate “is all very easily solved by only one question: ‘If someone was going to run across a bedroom at you and they had a big knife, would you rather shoot him one time with a pistol or one time with a shotgun?’ When you answer the question you figure out why this [shotgun length] doesn’t really bother us. We simply take these [shotguns] and use them in a slightly different manner…”

In this video, Thunder Ranch Director Clint Smith explains why the overall length of a shotgun, as held in firing position against the shoulder, is not really that much greater than the “shooting stance length” of a handgun held in a proper firing position (with arms extended). Accordingly gun length/size should not be the deciding factor when choosing a firearm for home defense.

Whatever Weapon You Choose — Train with It
Fundamentally, you should use the firearm that is 100% reliable, and with which you have trained regularly. Mastery of a defensive firearm — whether shotgun or handgun — needs to be second-nature. You should be able to operate all the controls (safety, pump, decocker, slide, bolt handle etc.) by “instinct” based on hours of training. Likewise you should know how to operate the light/laser if your defensive firearm is so equipped. Importantly, you should be able to reload in darkness, and clear malfunctions without panicking.

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May 27th, 2022

Double-Decker Indoor Shooting Ranges in USA and Europe

Double-Decker Florida Shooting Range Lotus

Bet you’ve never seen anything like this before — a “double-decker” indoor shooting range. Lotus Gunworks of Jensen Beach, Florida, operates a super-sized twin-level indoor shooting range featuring a two-story-high steel funnel bullet trap. Nicknamed the Lotus 8/11 for the number of steel panels used to create it (eight panels on the bottom slope and 11 panels on the top slope), this version of Action Target’s Total Containment Trap is the first of its kind. “No one has ever seen a range like this before” noted Lotus Gunworks’ Robbie Abell.

Double-Decker Florida Shooting Range Lotus

Abell came up with the two-story concept when it became clear that the new Lotus building in Jensen Beach was not wide enough for two side-by-side ranges AND a gun store. Necessity was the mother of invention… Lotus wanted at least two ranges, so the only option was to make a double-decker range where both levels shot into the same bullet trap.

Indoor ranges require ventilation to remove potentially hazardous dust and lead particles. The sheer size of the double-decker range presented a unique challenge, but Carey’s Small Arms Range Ventilation installed a system that can completely replace all the range air every 80 seconds.

Other Multi-Level Shooting Ranges

While the Lotus Range may have the first two-story bullet trap, it’s not really the first-ever double-decker indoor shooting range. Other multi-level ranges exist, they just don’t have the giant bullet trap. In fact, some of the multi-level ranges in Europe are bigger and even more sophisticated.

Brünig Indoor facility — Multi-Level Range Underground
Switzerland boats a popular shooting facility built completely underground. The large, deluxe Brünig Indoor facility includes a 300m underground range with multi-level shooting stations.

Brünig Indoor shooting range Tunnel Switzerland

This video shows centerfire rifle practice on the upper level of one of Brünig Indoor’s shooting tunnels:

Dutch Double-Decker Range
Here’s a Dutch Double-Decker Range. Check out Schietsportvereniging (SSV) Katwijk, a great twin-level range in Holland featuring electronic targets with displays at each shooting station (on both levels):

Holland SSV Katwijk

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May 27th, 2022

Burris Signature Zee Rings — Great Value, Great Performance

Burris Signature Zee rings

Burris Signature Zee ringsMore and more folks are using Burris Signature Rings these days. These unique rings feature polymer inserts. That allows you to pre-load some elevation in your scope set-up, or you can center-up the windage. Additionally, the polymer inserts hold your scope securely without leaving marks on the tube. Lastly, some folks believe that Signature rings may offer advantages for benchrest competition. Rodney Wagner shot a world-record 600-yard group using Burris Signature Zee Rings (“Zee” denotes the Weaver-rail model). James O’Hara set multiple IBS 1000-yard records using Burris Signature Zee Rings. James will tell you he thinks “all his guns seem to shoot best with these rings”.

IBS World Record Set with Signature Zee Rings
Are Signature Zees good enough for competition? Absolutely. Some folks scoff at these Burris rings, given their low price. A set of 1″-diameter Sig Zees cost just $36.47 at Midsouth. But consider this, in 2013 Rodney Wagner shot the then-smallest 600-yard group in history, a 0.336″ 5-shot stunner, using Signature Zee Rings on his IBS Light Gun. It took five years for a smaller 600-yard group to be shot, a 0.311″ by bullet-maker Bart Sauter, using his IBS Heavy Gun. (See IBS 600-yard Records.) Here’s Rodney with his record-setting rifle, fitted with affordable Signature Zee 30mm rings.

Signature Zee Rings Burris

Vendors Have Burris Signature Rings in Stock Now
Various models of Burris Signature Rings are available from many online vendors. NOTE: You may have to check with more than one seller to get the exact size, height, and model you prefer. But right now these vendors have pretty good selections of Signature Zees, including the hard-to-find 30mm High and Extra High models. If you check all three sellers, you’ll probably find what you need.

Midsouth Shooters Grafs.com Amazon.com

Signature Zee Rings Burris

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May 27th, 2022

Cut-Away View Reveals Complex Interior of Modern Riflescope

Based on its external appearance, a modern riflescope may seem simple. It’s just a tube with two or three knobs on the outside right? Well, looks can be deceiving. Modern variable focal-length optics are complex systems with lots of internal parts. Modern scopes, even ‘budget’ optics, use multiple lens elements to allow variable magnification levels and parallax adjustment.

A few seasons back, we had a chance to look inside a riflescope thanks to a product display from ATK, now called Vista Outdoor, parent of Alliant Powder, CCI, Federal, RCBS, Speer, Weaver Optics. The Weaver engineers sliced open a Weaver Super Slam scope so you can see the internal lens elements plus the elevation and windage controls. We thought readers would like to see the “inner workings” of a typical modern rifle scope, so we snapped some pictures. The sectioned Super Slam scope was mounted inside a Plexiglas case, making it a bit hard to get super-sharp images, but you can still see the multiple lenses and the complex windage and elevation controls.

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May 26th, 2022

NRA 2022 Annual Meetings & Exhibits Kick Off this Afternoon

2022 NERA annual meetings exhibits houston tx texas

The 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas gets underway this afternoon, May 26th, with on-site registration and lobby displays. Then this evening, there will be two ticket-required special events: 1) Houston Metro Friends of NRA Event, Ballroom of Bayou Place at 5:30 pm; and 2) 2022 NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum, Dinner & Awards Ceremony, Rice Hotel, Crystal Ballroom at 6:00 pm.

Following the Thursday evening events, the full NRA convention opens up Friday morning at 8:00 am at the George R. Brown Convention Center. There will be over 1400 exhibitors showcasing products at the Exhibit Hall, and there will be numerous important meetings throughout the weekend, including the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at 2:00 pm on Friday, and the Annual Meeting of Members at 10:00 am on Saturday. The Exhibit Hall closes at 5:00 PM on Sunday, May 29, 2022, so the event will fully conclude prior to the Memorial Day holiday (Monday 5/30/22).

2022 NERA annual meetings exhibits houston tx texas


NRA Annual Meetings Full Event Schedule (Printable PDF) »

2022 NRA Annual Meetings convention printable schedule events

Location of 2022 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

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May 26th, 2022

Bullet Holes at 1000 Yards — The Ultimate Optics Challenge

Pentax PF 100ED
Coalinga Range in California. At dawn we could clearly see 7mm and .30 Cal bullet holes at 1000 yards.

Pentax smc-xw 10mmWhile attending the CA Long Range Championship a few seasons back, we had the opportunity to test the performance of a high-magnification (63X) spotting scope in near-ideal conditions (maybe the best I’ve ever witnessed). On the event’s last day we arrived at 5:45 am, literally as the sun was cresting the horizon. I quickly deployed our Pentax PF-100ED spotting scope, fitted with a Pentax SMC-XW 10mm fixed-power eyepiece. When used with the 100mm Pentax scope, this 10mm eyepiece yields 63X magnification. Befitting its $299.00 price, this eyepiece is extremely clear and sharp.

At the crack of dawn, viewing conditions were ideal. No mist, no mirage, no wind. The first thing this Editor noticed was that I could see metal nail heads on the target boards. That was astonishing. As soon as the first practice targets went up, to my surprise, I could see 6.5mm, 7mm, and 30-caliber bullet holes in the white at 1000 yards. No lie…

That’s right, I could see bullet holes at 1000. I know many of you folks may not believe that, but there was no mistaking when I saw a 7mm bullet cut the white line separating the Nine Ring and Eight Ring on the target in view. (I was watching that target as the shot was fired and saw the shot-hole form). And when I looked at the 30-cal targets, the bullet holes in the white were quite visible. In these perfect conditions I could also make out 3/8″ bolt heads on the target frames.

The Human Factor — Good Vision Required
When viewing the bullet holes, I was using my left naked eye (no safety glasses or magnification). I also had a contact lens in my right eye (needed for distance vision). To my surprise, while I could see the bullet holes without much difficulty with my left eye, things were fuzzier and slightly more blurry with the right eye, even when I re-focused the scope. That contact lens was degrading the fine resolution.

Pentax smc-xw 10mmThen I invited 3 or 4 shooters to look through the scope. One younger guy, with good eyes, said immediately: “Yeah, I can see the holes — right there at 4 o’clock and seven o’clock. Wow.” Some older guys, who were wearing glasses, could not see the holes at all, no matter what we did to the scope’s main focus and diopter adjustment.

The lesson here — if you have to wear glasses or corrective contact lenses, just that extra bit of optical interference may make a difference in what you can see through the scope. Basically anything that goes between the scope eyepiece and your eyeball can degrade the image somewhat. So… you may be better off removing your glasses if you can still obtain good focus sharpness using the diopter adjustment and focus ring. I did the left vs. right eye test a half dozen times, and I could definitely see small features at 1000 yards with my naked eye that I could not see with my right eye fitted with a contact lens. (I did have to re-focus the scope for each eye, since one had a corrective lens while the other did not.)

Mirage Degrades Image Sharpness and Resolution
The “magic light” prevailed for only an hour or so, and then we started to get some mirage. As soon as the mirage appeared I was no longer able to see raw bullet holes, though I could still easily see black pasters on the black bulls. When the mirage started, the sharpness of the visible image degraded a huge amount. Where I could see bullet holes at dawn, by mid-morning I could barely read the numbers on the scoring rings. Lesson: If you want to test the ultimate resolution of your optics, you need perfect conditions.

Chromatic AberrationChromatic Aberration Revealed
As the light got brighter and the mirage increased I started to see blue and red fringing at the edges of the spotting disk and the large numerals. This was quite noticeable. On one side of the bright, white spotting disc you could see a dark red edge, while on the other side there was a blue edge (harder to see but still present).

The photo below was taken through the Pentax spotter lens using a point and shoot camera held up to the eyepiece. The sharpness of the Pentax was actually much better than this photo shows, but the through-the-lens image does clearly reveal the red and blue fringing. This fringing is caused by chromatic aberration — the failure of a lens to focus all colors to the same point. Chromatic aberration, most visible at high magnification, causes different wavelengths of light to have differing focal lengths (see diagram). Chromatic aberration manifests itself as “fringes” of color along boundaries that separate dark and bright parts of the image, because each color in the optical spectrum cannot be focused at a single common point on the optical axis. Keep in mind that the Pentax does have “ED” or low-dispersion glass, so the effect would be even more dramatic with a cheaper spotting scope.


CLICK HERE to view LARGE PHOTO that shows aberration more clearly.

If you wonder why top-of-the-line spotting scopes (such as the $2980 Swarovski ATS-80 ) cost so much, the answer is that they will deliver even LESS chromatic aberration at long range and high magnification. With their exotic apochromatic (APO), ultra-low-dispersion glass, a few ultra-high-end spotting scopes can deliver an image without the color edging you see in the photo above.

The Pentax PF-100ED is a heck of a spotting scope. Any scope that can resolve bullet holes at 1000 yards is impressive. But if you want the ultimate in optical performance, with minimal chromatic aberration, you may need to step up to something like the 88mm Kowa Prominar TSN-884 with Flourite Crystal lenses ($2450.00 body only), or the 82mm Leica APO ($3899.00 with 25-50X eyepiece).

EDITOR’s NOTE: The purpose of this report is to show what is possible… in IDEAL conditions. With this Pentax 100mm, as well as a Swarovski 80mm, we can often resolve 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. But again, that performance requires really good viewing conditions. By 10:00 am at my range, even with the 100mm Pentax at 75 power, seeing 6mm bullet holes is “iffy” at best. So don’t go out and mortgage the house to buy a $4000 optic with the hope that you’ll be able to spot your shots at 1000 yards. If conditions are anything less than perfect, you’ll be lucky to see bullet holes at 500 yards. The real solution for very long-range spotting is to set up a remote target cam that broadcasts a video picture to a screen at your shooting station. Among the target cams on the market, we recommend the LongShot LR-3. It boasts excellent resolution and incredible range. The LongShot LR-3 target cam is used in major ELR competitions.

longshot target camera lr-3 UHD

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Optics 1 Comment »
May 26th, 2022

Brownells Memorial Day Discounts and Dream Build Giveaway

Brownells Memorial Day Sale contest dream build giveaway 2022

Right now through 5/30/2022 at 11:59 pm Central Time, you can get significant savings on the vast majority of products Brownells sells, along with FREE Shipping. This is through the Brownells Memorial Day Sale Event. In addition, if you’re feeling lucky, Brownells is running a contest. The Grand Prize winner will receive all the components for a dream rifle along with a full-paid trip to Brownells Headquarters. Total prize value is $4500.00.

Here are the current DISCOUNT CODES for significant savings when ordering in the next few days. Take note — these codes expire at 11:59 pm on Monday 5/30/2022. These promos apply to domestic sales only in the continental USA and is not valid on international purchases.

Brownells Memorial Day Event Discount Codes
MEMSHIP: FREE Shipping on Orders $150+
MEMORIAL30: FREE Shipping and $30 Off Orders $300+
MEMORIAL50: FREE Shipping and $50 Off Orders $500+

Along with the discount codes, a number of popular products are on SALE this week, including ammo, optics, magazines, AR components, barrels, triggers, and complete rifles and handguns. CLICK HERE to see ALL current items on sale at Brownells.

NOTE — These discount codes are not valid on these brands: B&T USA, FN USA, Franklin Armory, Galco Int’l, Glock, Holosun, Kahles, LabRadar, Law Tactical LLC, Leica, Leupold, Nightforce, Raven Concealment Systems, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Swarovski, Vortex Optics, Trijicon, Zenith Firearms, and Zermatt Arms. Additionally, some product types are excluded.*

Brownells Memorial Day Sale contest dream build giveaway 2022


* Discount Codes not valid on these products: barrel blanks, benches, barrel hones & accessories, barreled receivers, barrels, bluing salts, bullets, case tumblers & accessories, cleaning rods, color case hardening, parkerizing, progressive presses, reloading kits, rifle barrel blanks, rifle barrels, rifle stocks, shot, shotshell presses, specialty bluing chemicals, ultrasonic case cleaners, water storage, bake-on finishing curing oven, Neycraft manual control fiber furnace, bluing system kit, roll-around compact bluing system, first step bluing kit, HT-1 heat treat oven, color case hardening kit, Aztek Unlock Key Software, and Match Precision Optics (MPO).

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May 25th, 2022

Watch 2022 Multi-Gun Nationals on Shooting USA TV Today

shooting usa tv uspsa multi-gun nationals south carolina

After a one-year hiatus, the United States Practical Shooting Association’s Multi-Gun Nationals event is back at new South Carolina venue — the Clinton House Plantation, which features shooting bays and an impressive 2000-acre hunting preserve. The USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals ran April 1-3, 2022.

Multi-gun competition is tough. Competitors must master pistol, rifle, and shotgun –three platforms, three calibers. Along with having great marksmanship skills, competitors must be very fit — the matches involve a significant amount of running. It’s all part of the challenge at the USPSA’s Multi-Gun Nationals.

shooting usa tv uspsa multi-gun nationals south carolina

If you are a fan of 3-Gun competition, tune in to Shooting USA this week. The latest episode, which airs Wednesday May 25 at 9:00 pm Eastern, 8:00 PM Central, features the 2022 USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals in South Carolina. You can see many of the nation’s top 3-Gun shooters attacking challenging stages with pistols, rifles, and shotguns. CLICK HERE for TV Schedule.

Multi-gun competition has evolved considerably since it started 30+ years ago. The firearms are more sophisticated, the optics are better, and the stage times are much faster. Still, the challenge remains the same: How fast can you shoot multiple targets, with the score determined by speed and accuracy? For the best in the sport, the answer is very fast indeed.

Joe Farwell hosts highlights from 2022 USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals.

Most people compete in the Tactical Division. Competitors in that division are not allowed a bipod, so many competitors utilize structures on the stage to stabilize their long gun. Regardless of division, the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals is a true test of manipulating three different weapons, under pressure, on run-and-gun courses of fire. And the pressure is definitely on when a National Championship is on the line.

SHOOTING USA TV Air Times
View Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel Wednesdays 9:00 PM (Eastern and Pacific) + 8:00 PM Central.
NOTE: If you miss today’s 5/25/22 broadcast, you can still view the show on Vimeo for a small 99-cent fee, or just $1.99 per month unlimited. LINK HERE: Shooting USA on Vimeo.

Shooting USA Garand Presidents 100
Shooting USA is available On Demand via Vimeo.com. Watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $1.99 and watch as many shows as you like with limited commercial interruptions.

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May 25th, 2022

Curtis Roman Sets ELR Cold Bore 3-Shot Record at 2472 Yards

ELR Cold Bore World record Curtis Roman 2472 yards

Here’s a really impressive feat of marksmanship and rifle accuracy. Starting with a cold bore, i.e. no sighters and no warm-up shots right before the string, Curtis Roman made 3 hits in a row at 1.404 MILES (2472 yards). The hits were on a steel target 3-foot square (36″x36″). To put things in perspective, one MOA at 2472 yards spans 25.88 inches. Looking at the target, his three shots were very close to 1 MOA.

Sterling Precision and Applied Ballistics shooter Curtis Roman set a new FCSA Extreme Long Range (ELR) Cold Bore Record on Sunday, May 22, 2022, at the Spring Canyon ELR Match at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM. At this match, Curtis was able to make 3 consecutive impacts at 2472 yards, starting with a cold bore. This feat was witnessed by fellow competitors. Through his spotting and wind-reading skills, Roman’s teammate David Lindsey played a key role in setting this new Cold Bore ELR World Record.

Curtis was shooting a Sterling Precision-built .416 Stroker with 500 grain Cutting Edge Lazer bullets. The ballistics solution for the 2472-yard distance was calculated by a Kestrel 5700X with Applied Ballistics using Doppler radar data.

This video shows Curtis Roman at the 2021 KO2M event at the Whittington Center last year:

Rules of Extreme Long Range Competition
ELR Cold Bore World record Curtis Roman 2472 yardsThere are various rule sets for different ELR events at different venues. However the Extreme Long Range Shooting Organization (ELRSO) has created a set of standardized rules with the goal of running ELR matches under uniform guidelines. Here are some highlights of the ELRSO Rules for Extreme Long Range Competition:

Any caliber of rifle up to and including .50 CAL can be shot at any ELRSO Unlimited event. Eligible rifles must be .50 caliber or smaller.

Rifle, as ready to fire with all equipment attached, may not exceed (50 lbs. Heavy) or (25 lbs. Light), scales will be required at each match to verify weight compliance.

Attached Bipods for the front rest, and rear bag or pad for rear support will be the only rest systems permitted. No mechanical rests, mono-pods are allowed.

Bipod must be rigid and may only have two points of contact with the ground and one point of attachment to the rifle. Distance between feet may not exceed 20 inches.

Weight of all equipment must be brought to firing line in a single trip. No additional weight may be added to the rifle [after] weigh-in.

No electronic data gathering equipment, flags or wind data references permitted forward of the firing line.

No electronic communication will be permitted between the shooter, or spotter, and any other person.

Range Distance Requirements
Light Class – Minimum distance for initial target will be no less than 1,000 yards. Maximum distance for final target will be no more than 1,800 yards. Range must be capable of extending to 1,800 yards to host an ELRSO Limited Class match.

Heavy Class – Minimum distance for initial target will be no less than 1,400 yards. Maximum distance for final target will be no less than 2,600 yards, and no more than 3,600 yards. Range must be capable of extending to a minimum of 2,600 yards to host an ELRSO Unlimited Class match.

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May 25th, 2022

Vihtavuori 100th Anniversary Showcased at NRA Convention

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The 151st NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas, runs for three days this upcoming weekend. Visitor will enjoy 14 acres of exhibitors, along with informative seminars, appearances from political leaders, and performances from major musical talents. The Exhibit Hall will be open 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Friday and Saturday and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday.

Vihtavuori Powders will be celebrate its 100th Anniversary during the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. Attendees can visit Vihtavuori in Booth #3816 to receive a FREE Vihtavuori reloading guide, technical advice, and more.

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Vihtavuori is recognized around the globe as a top-tier powder maker respected serious competitive shooters and hunters. Vihtavuori powders deliver clean-burning results, superior consistency, excellent temperature stability, and great accuracy shot-after-shot.

Vihtavuori is a part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Vihtavuori.com.

“Capstone Precision Group is proud to bring Vihtavuori powders to the USA. The N100, N300, and N500 series powders offer something for all metallic reloaders,” said Adam Braverman, VP of Sales & Marketing. “Vihtavuori’s strict quality control and lot-to-lot consistency ensure that every customer’s experience exceeds expectations. With 100 Years of experience, the Power of Accuracy is in every shot.”

FREE Comprehensive Vihtavuori Reloading Data

Vihtavuori offers comprehensive reloading data for its full line of powders. On the Vihtavuori website, there are specific categories of data for Rifle Reloading, Handgun Reloading, Shotshell Reloading, and Cowboy Action Reloading.

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The Vihtavuori Rifle Reloading Data page covers over 70 cartridge types. Vihtavuori notes: “We provide our reloading data in [both] metric and imperial dimension systems, i.e. charge weight in grams and grains as well as muzzle velocity in meters and feet per second. All the rifle loads… are pressure tested according to the C.I.P. method. The listed maximum loads should never be exceeded. Please note that due to safety regulations, we can’t suggest or recommend loads or bullets that are not available on this site.”

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May 24th, 2022

Air Travel with Firearms — Smart Advice by Stan Pate

tsa luggage rifle case Stan Pate Airline Travel

Savage Arms offers a series of Shooting Tips in the Savage Blog. Here is a helpful article from Team Savage Shooter Stan Pate. This covers how to ship your rifle safely, and then re-establish zero properly when the gun is reassembled after transport.

Traveling with Firearms — Important Advice

Traveling with firearms can be stressful. You must comply with multiple regulations and then trust your expensive guns to airline baggage handlers. And after arrival you’ll need to put your rifles back together and confirm the zeros. This article offers helpful travel advice from Team Savage shooter Stan Pate. Pate has traveled the globe competing with match rifles. Here he shares his tips for making trips easier on you and your firearms.

Easier Air Travel With Firearms
TSA isn’t nearly as careful with your rifles as you are. Proper storage before sending your firearm up a conveyer belt and into the belly of a plane is critical. Stan Pate spends lots of time each year traveling the skies and has devised a system for keeping his rifle safe when going to and from.

“Never travel with your firearm completely assembled,” Pate cautions. “A fully assembled firearm is much heavier than one that has been broken-down and stored. More weight creates more in-the-case movement, which can result in damage. I learned this the hard way years ago. My rifle was actually broken in half when traveling to an international competition. Record your torque settings, use those settings during reassembly and your return to zero should be no problem.”

“Be sure to check on current TSA rules and regulations before travel to be aware of any changes that may effect how you pack your rifles,” says Pate.

Rifle Reassembly and Resetting Zero
The quicker you can reestablish your zero, the quicker you can relax and stop worrying about if your rounds are going to hit their mark during competition. Pate, over the years, has developed a system for rifle reassembly and getting back to zero as quickly as possible. While his torque settings may not be the same as yours, the process can still be used.

tsa luggage rifle case Stan Pate Airline Travel

“The barreled-action goes back on the stock, and then I tighten all three receiver screws finger tight,” says Pate. “Next, I tighten the front two receiver screws down to 35-inch pounds. The rear receiver screws on this particular rifle likes 15-inch pounds. [Note: Proper torque settings will vary with your action and stock type. Most actions have TWO screws, not three.] Scope attachment comes next, and I follow manufacturer settings when tightening it down. All that’s left to do now is go zero your rifle.”

This video explains an efficient method to Re-Zero your rifles

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