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November 30th, 2022

SHOT Show 2023 New Products — First Look

SHOT Show New product listing archive page

SHOT Show 2023 takes place January 17-20, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can get a sneak peek of new-for-2023 products on the official SHOT Show New Products webpage.

As of this morning November 30, 2022, there are 149 products featured on the New Products site. Here are six notable new items. CLICK HERE to view 143 more.

Bilson Arms Pivotal Buttstock

SHOT Show New product Bilson Arms pivotal buttstock

The Patent Pending Bilson Arms Pivotal Buttstock is a unique design that allows the rear buttpad section to revolve around its axis. This allows a more comfortable hold in a variety of shooting positions. It also permits a rapid change from primary to secondary sights. For example you can rotate the rifle to move from a top-mount telescopic sight to a side mount red dot. Bilson Arms says: “During tactical shooting, it allows the butt end to stay stationary and not be affected by your protective vest. In competition shooting, it allows the shooter to move through the targets, twisting the gun as you move, but allowing the butt end to stay firm against your shoulder.” The Bilson Arms Pivotal Buttstock is manufactured from 6061-T6 billet aluminum. Price: $239.00

Real Avid Master Gun Workstation

SHOT Show New product real avid master gun workstation

New from Real Avid, the Master Gun Workstation is a versatile, sturdy, and effective firearm workstation. The workstation secures rifles for cleaning, scope mounting, and basic gunsmithing tasks. The clever design allows one-handed setup for firearms. And there is built-in storage for chemicals, brushes, jags, and cleaning rods. This is not yet on Real Avid website. Price: $199.99

Advantage Arms .22 LR MOD Optics-Ready Glock Conversion Kit

SHOT Show New product real avid master gun workstation

Advantage Arms has been the top-selling .22 LR Conversion Kit for the Glock, XD, and 1911 since 1998. Advantage Arms recently introduced its new MOD kits, all of which come optics-ready with a threaded barrel and 15-rd magazines. MSRP is $395.00. Advantage Arms also has .22 LR conversion kits available for other pistols — XDs, 1911s, and the PSA Dagger.

Otis Technology Shooting Bundle

SHOT Show New product real avid master gun workstation

This $99.99 Shooting Bundle from Otis includes everything you need at the range: Eye protection, 26 dB Ear Shield Ranger passive earmuffs, 10-pack of targets, gun cleaning mat, and a Tactical Cleaning Kit for proper Breech-to-Muzzle cleaning from .17 cal through 12 gauge. Price: $99.99

Target Tacks for Attaching Paper Targets to Various Materials

SHOT Show New product targettack target pins

TargetTack’s patent pending Multi-Use TargetTacks allow paper or scroll targets to be secured to a variety of backers and supports. Available in 1″ and 3″ lengths, TargetTacks work great to attach paper-based targets to a variety of materials including cardboard, styrofoam blocks, polyfusion blocks, poly-wrap bags, foam blocks, and hay bale substrates. The TargetTack multi-use variety pack retails for $27.95.

Non-Lethal 12 Gauge Shotgun Ammunition

SHOT Show New product targettack target pins

The new 12-gauge “less-lethal” shotgun rounds from Byrna Technologies are a significant innovation in shotgun ammo. Designed for self-defense, crowd-control, and training, the Byrna 12-gauge round provides defensive stopping power with non-lethal effect. Effective range is listed as 75 feet (23 meters). These rounds are compatible with most 12-gauge shotguns with standard Cylinder Bore Choke. Byrna also produces “less-lethal” guns and launchers.

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November 30th, 2022

CMP Western Games Coming in March 2023

CMP civilian marksmanship western games rifle pistol ben avery phoenix arizona az 2023

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Western Games and Highpower Matches will be held March 10-19, 2023 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Arizona. The Western CMP Games and CMP Highpower Matches present a mix of marksmanship opportunities. CMP Games events like the Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military, Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, Carbine and Vintage Sniper will again fill the rifle competition schedule, while those wanting more educational experiences may sign up for the Pistol or Rifle Basic courses, which teach firearm fundamentals in a one-on-one classroom setting.

Registration is now open! More information about the Western CMP Games and registration forms can be found on the CMP website at CMP Western Games Webpage.

CMP civilian marksmanship western games rifle pistol ben avery phoenix arizona az 2023

RETURNING EVENTS: The Western CMP Games include the Garand, Springfield, Vintage Military, Modern Military, Rimfire Sporter, M1 Carbine, and Vintage Sniper Match. There will also be a Rifle Marksmanship 101 with M16 EIC Match. Other clinics include the GSM New Shooter Clinic and the M1 Maintenance Clinic.

CMP civilian marksmanship western games rifle pistol ben avery phoenix arizona az 2023

Another add-on to the Western Games schedule for 2023 is a 3×600 Rifle Match. This competition includes sighting shots, followed by three 20-shot strings for record in slow-fire prone from 600 yards. Competitors may use Match Rifle, Service Rifle, F-Open, F T/R or AR Tactical Rifles during the 3×600 event.

Pistol Bundle for Multiple Handgun Matches
A series of pistol opportunities like the Pistol 2700, .22 Rimfire Pistol, EIC Pistol, 1911 and Military & Police Service Pistol events will also resume for the second year. New for 2023, the CMP has added a Service Revolver EIC Match to the schedule.

CMP civilian marksmanship western games rifle pistol ben avery phoenix arizona az 2023

Competitors firing in all five individual pistol matches (.22 Rimfire EIC Pistol, EIC Service Pistol, EIC Service Revolver, 1911 As-Issued Pistol and Military & Police Pistol) will be able to register for the Individual Pistol Match Bundle for a discounted price! Slightly augmented entry fees over all Western Games events for 2023 makes the Bundle even more appealing.

Highpower Aggregate Competitions and Team Matches
Outside of the Games schedule, the CMP Highpower Matches include three days of 800 Aggregate competitions with additional recognitions given for the culminating 2400 Aggregate event. The Highpower events also include 4-Man Team and Service Rifle EIC matches that create even more exciting possibilities on the firing line.

CMP civilian marksmanship western games rifle pistol ben avery phoenix arizona az 2023

CMP Advanced Highpower Clinic
Additionally, a CMP Advanced HP Clinic (featuring live fire training and practice), will be conducted by CMP Instructors. The clinic offers lectures and demonstrations by some of the world’s leading civilian Highpower service rifle competitors. Those signed up for the course will need to bring their own shooting equipment, rifle and ammunition to participate.

To further ensure a safe environment for all competitors and spectators, trained CMP staff members will be present at every match. Both youth and adults are welcome, so join in on all the competition, new experiences and fun!

CMP civilian marksmanship western games rifle pistol ben avery phoenix arizona az 2023

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November 30th, 2022

Bianchi Cup 2022 on Shooting USA TV This Week

NRA Bianchi Cup Missouri Hallsville Green Valley Dough Koenig Jesse Harrison Duff
Photo from

This week Shooting USA TV features the 2022 Bianchi Cup, hosted May 25-27, 2022 at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club in Hallsville, Missouri (near Columbia). For 2022 the Bianchi Cup featured 117 of the world’s top action pistol shooters. This year Benito Martinez claimed his first Bianchi overall title, helped by his perfect 480-48X Falling Plate stage score. Martinez finished with 1920-165X, 12 Xs ahead of the runner-up, Joey DeLeon (1520-153X). Sally Talbot was high lady with 1913-155X

NRA Bianchi Cup Missouri Hallsville Green Valley Dough Koenig Jesse Harrison Duff

This episode of Shooting USA airs Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central on the Outdoor Channel. Shooting USA is also available On Demand via

Officially, the annual competition is known as the National Championship of NRA Action Pistol. But its is generally called the Bianchi Cup — from the trophy named for one of the founders, John Bianchi. In the past 30 years the match has become the richest handgun tournament in the world.

NRA Bianchi Cup Missouri Hallsville Green Valley Dough Koenig Jesse Harrison Duff

Bianchi Cup Open Class Pistol — Features in Review

The Bianchi Cup has been called the most prestigious pistol tournament in the world. Due to the high accuracy required in each stage of the Bianchi Cup, the tournament is considered one of the most difficult handgun championships on the planet. In 2021 the NRA turned the organization and management of the match over to a new group from the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club.

NRA Bianchi Cup Missouri Hallsville Green Valley Dough Koenig Jesse Harrison Duff

Bianchi Cup — the Richest Handgun Match on the Planet

Over the past 30+ years the Bianchi Cup has become the richest handgun event in the world, with cash and prizes for the best scores on four stages of fire for both revolver and semi-auto pistol divisions.

Bianchi Cup — Classic Course of Fire
The Bianchi Cup is a combination of Speed and Accuracy. Competitors shoot from both standing and prone positions and are also required to shoot with both strong and weak hands at various stages. Stages may combine stationary and moving targets. The Course of Fire consists of four separate matches:: Practical, Barricade, and Moving Target, and Falling Plates. Each of the four events requires 48 shots to complete. 480 points are possible on each event. Three of the four are scored on the NRA tombstone P1 target. You must hit in the 10-ring or inner X-Ring on EVERY shot to shoot a “clean” 1920.

Bianchi Cup pistol target tombstone silhouette doug koenig

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November 29th, 2022

Maintain Marksmanship Skills in Winter with Mantis Products

mantis X10 pistol rifle ar ar15 training tracking system

With December just two days away, winter is here. For many Americans that means indoor training if they want to maintain their shooting skills. Even if you can shoot outdoors all year long in your location, it makes sense for position shooters to work on their rifle holds. The Mantis systems help with that. These advanced smart devices record and plot the movement of your firearm as you aim and then break the shot. There are systems for both dry-fire and live-fire training, starting at $99.99. Considering the cost of bullets these days, and the difficulty of finding primers, it makes sense to increase your dry-fire training.

Mantis X2 for Dry-Fire, $99.99

Mantis X2 dry fire monitor system
Mantis X2 dry fire monitor system

Built for dry-fire use only, the Mantis X2 ($99.99) provides real-time, shot-by-shot feedback for both pistol and rifle users. You can track multiple training sessions with data-driven insights, and monitor your progress. This unit has earned high user reviews such as: “As a new gun owner the Mantis X is a game changer for me. I have not been able to get to the range during the lockdowns and being able to practice at home [is great].” And another: “Easy to install[.] The App is free and easy to use.”

The Mantis X2 is a good value. The manufacturer states: “There is nothing at this price point that will give you this level of feedback for dry fire.” There are actually four Mantis models: X2 ($99.99), X3 ($169.99), X7 Shotgun ($199.99) and X10 Elite ($249.99). The X3 adds live fire functionality. MORE INFO HERE.

Mantis X10 Elite– Advanced Training System

mantis X10 pistol rifle ar ar15 training tracking system

The advanced Mantis X10 Elite ($249.99) is 50% lighter and 40% smaller than the original Mantis, with three times the battery life and four times the data transfer rate. This new quick-detach X10 system offers all X2 and X3 functions PLUS recoil analysis and software support for all shooting sports (pistol, rifle, shotgun, archery). Collecting thousands of data points per second, the X10 works with dry fire, live fire, airsoft/CO2, and simulated firearm systems.

Mantis Blackbeard Trigger Reset System for AR-Platform Rifles

mantis blackbeard ar ar15 trigger reset device

If you compete with an AR-platform rifle, you can definitely benefit from the Mantis Blackbeard system, a drop-in Bolt Carrier + Magazine replacement that works with your existing trigger. Using electromechanical wizardry, the $199.00 Blackbeard quickly resets the hammer between each shot, so you can stay in position through multiple practice shots. Installation takes less than a minute — remove the bolt carrier group, drop in the red upper unit, place the red Mantis magazine and you’re good to go. All Blackbeards now support both direct impingement and piston-driven ARs. Guys we know say that a few sessions with this system delivered marked improvement in their service rifle scores.

Mantis X3 for Live-Fire or Dry-Fire, Rifle and Pistol

The Mantis X3 collects thousands of data points per second and analyzes your shooting in real-time. For both pistols and rifles, the X3 works with dry fire and live fire. It will also work with airsoft/CO2/compressed air, and simulated firearm systems. Priced at $169.99, the Mantis X3 mounts to standard universal accessory rails. (No Picatinny rail? Creedmoor Sports sells adapters). The X3 is part of the second generation of Mantis Shooting Performance Systems.

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November 29th, 2022

Holiday Gift Selections from GunsAmerica Digest

Gunsamerica digest christmas shopping wish list tactical suppressor pistol

GunsAmerica Digest has just released a series of articles with some great gift suggestions for the holiday season. Five different writers have posted suggestions for particular gift categories — such as gifts for lady shooters, gifts for tactical shooters, or gifts for suppressor fans. The suppressor feature is by GunsAmerica Digest Editor True Pearce. Here are links to the five articles:

1. Christmas Gifts for that Special Lady
2. Five Gifts for the Rifleman in your Life
3. The Silenced Night Christmas Wishlist
4. 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for your Tactical Timmy
5. A Christmas List for Carrying Guns, Bugging Out, and other IDeas

Three Top Gift Choices

Of the many items listed, here are three of our favorites. You’ll find many more in the five GunsAmerica Digest articles linked above.

Savage B22 FV-SR .22 LR Rifle
As noted by GunsAmerica Digest Editor True Pearce, this little Savage is a good starter rimfire rifle: “Savage’s bolt action B22 FV-SR .22 is perfect for suppressing. They’re … accurate, reliable, come threaded for a suppressor, and with subsonic ammo, they’re … quiet[.] MSRP is only $359.”

Gunsamerica digest christmas shopping wish list tactical suppressor pistol

Mantis Laser Academy Training Kit
The Mantis Laser Academy Standard Training Kit allows you to practice marksmanship indoors with wireless communication. This kit includes: laser training cartridge, adjustable tripods, smart targets, target stand holders, portable carrying case, and a Mantis Laser Academy access code — all for $149.00.

Gunsamerica digest christmas shopping wish list tactical suppressor pistol

Silencer Central Banish Rimfire Suppressor
True Pearce notes: “Silencer Central’s Banish .22 is a great little suppressor that works on pretty much all rimfires including 17 HMR.” The Banish .22 suppressor is very light at just 4.1 ounces, and it can be easily taken apart for cleaning. MSRP is $499.00 and that fee includes a gun trust.

Gunsamerica digest christmas shopping wish list tactical suppressor pistol

Gunsamerica digest christmas shopping wish list tactical suppressor pistol

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November 29th, 2022

Better Pistol Cartridge Reloading — Advice from Starline

pistol cartridge reloading Starline brass

Starline Brass offers a series of videos with helpful reloading tips. Focused primarily on pistol cartridges, these short videos can help anyone get started with metallic cartridge reloading. If you load pistol rounds on a progressive, this video series is particularly helpful. The on-camera host is Hunter Pilant, son of Carroll Pilant of Sierra Bullets.

Preventing Double Charges
Tip: Use a bulky powder that fills your case more than half way with a correct charge. This will overfill the case if it is double-charged, making it very difficult to seat a bullet.

Tumble New Brass Before Loading the First Time
Tip: Tumble new pistol cartridge brass in used media for 30 minutes before loading for the first time. This will add enough graphite (carbon residue) to smooth case entry into dies. You can also lube the case mouths with graphite, or use spray lube.

Powder Through Expander — How to Eliminate Hang-ups
Tip: When loading pistol brass with a progressive press, sometime the powder-through expander is hard to remove, especially with short cases. There are two fixes — first, try deburring the inside of the case mouth on your cases. Second, the radius of the powder through expander plug can be modified to smooth entry and exit (see photo). Starline will do this modification for free.

modified powder through expander starline

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November 28th, 2022

Bargain Finder 375: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

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.

NOTE: All listed products are for sale to persons 18 years of age or older. No products are intended for use by minors.

1. EuroOptic — Nightforce 10% OFF Sale Through December 31

nightforce sale
Major savings on high-quality Nightforce NXS and SHV scopes

Nightforce Scopes are very popular with F-Class, Benchrest, and PRS competitors for good reason. Nightforce scopes are know for their sharp glass, good repeatability, and durability. Plus Nightforce has outstanding customer service. Right now at EuroOptic you can save 10% on most Nightforce NXS and SHV scopes. This 10% discount is effective through December 31, 2022.

2. Midsouth — Hornady ELD Match Bullet Sale

hornady bullet sale
Hefty discounts for popular Hornady ELD bullets

Hornady ELD bullets are popular for many shooting disciplines — from varmint hunting to Long Range Tactical matches. If you like those ELDs, check out Midsouth’s Hornady ELD Bullet Sale this week. You’ll find a wide selection of calibers — .224, 6mm, 6.5mm, and .308 — wtih multiple bullet weights. These ELDs are in stock now and ready to ship. Get a good supply now before the predictable 2023 price hikes.

3. Graf & Sons — Hornady Ammo Plant, $1299.99 + FREEBIES

hornady press sale
High-output progressive press plus free manual, range bag and DVD

Do you load large quantities of pistol and rifle ammo? It may be time to invest in a high-output progressive press with automated case feeding and bullet feeding. Check out the Hornady L-N-L AP Ammo Plant. This deluxe progressive press ships with just about everything you need except for shellplates and dies. And right now, the Hornady Ammo Plant at Graf’s comes with free extras: Hornady Reloading Manual, Reloading DVD, and Range Bag. Plus you get FREE Shipping for the Press Kit and accessories.

4. MidwayUSA — Combo Rifle Case and Shooting Mat, $93.74

midway shooting mat sale
Two in one — rifle case serves as a comfortable, padded shooting mat

MidwayUSA’s Pro Series Rifle Case and Shooting Mat does double duty. It carries your rifle securely, then unzips/unfolds to serve as a full-size, nicely-padded shooting mat. As a rifle case, it works great — there are two large (12″x11″) front pockets with MOLLE webbing inside. On the reverse side are padded (storable) backpack straps. Inside are a muzzle sleeve, a cleaning rod sleeve, and two smaller pockets for accessories. There is even a special pocket for ground stakes to secure the mat when deployed. Case internal length is 50″, long enough for big rifles.

5. Bullet Central — BixN’Andy Dakota Trigger, $140.00

trigger sale
Great trigger at a MAJOR discount — grab this deal

Every good rifle deserves a great trigger, and Bix’N Andy makes some of the best triggers you can buy. We found the Bix’N Andy Dakota trigger for just $140.00. That’s $59 off the regular price, a 29.6% savings! With the ability to adjust from 1 to 4.5 pounds this Rem 700-compatible Dakota trigger will work for both competitive shooters and hunters.

6. Brownell’s — Major Magpul Sitewide Sale

magpul sale
Save on magazines, stocks, bipods, sights and more

Magpul makes great magazines, buttstocks, bipods, sights, grips and accessories for a wide variety of firearm types. Head over to Brownells for the sitewide Magpul Sale with a huge selection of deeply discounted Magpul products. If you have an AR-platform rifle, we recommend the Magpul buttstocks, which are offered in a variety of styles. And Magpul magazines are ultra-reliable — a top choice for your semi-auto rifle.

7. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Case Trimmer, $58.23

frankford arsenal trimmer sale
Handy tool trims many case sizes

Looking for a cheap, fast and effective way to trim your brass? Check out the Frankford Arsenal Universal Precision Case Trimmer. The built-in depth micrometer allows for micro-adjustments and the brass shaving ejection port ensures a clean trim. The universal, adjustable collet system works with all shouldered cases from .17 Remington to .460 Weatherby. This tool works with almost any 1/2 inch drill or drill press.

8. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Cyber Monday Gun Sale

pistol 9mm .22 LR WMR walther lifecard handgun sale
Save on 9mm carry pistols, plus unique Trailblazer LifeCard in .22 WMR

For Cyber Monday, Sportsman’s Warehouse has discounted 30 popular guns, including some great handguns. Show above are our preferred Cyber Monday handgun selection — five 9mm pistols, plus a nice .22 LR Walther, and a .22 WMR Trailblazer LifeCard pistol, a unique firearm not much bigger than a wallet. CLICK HERE to see all Cyber Monday Sale Guns, including SAKO S20 rifles and Heritage rimfire revolvers.

9. Amazon — Savior Pistol Case, $24.99 or $25.99

pistol case sale
Well-designed case hold two pistols and six magazines

The nylon Savior pistol case is one of the better soft cases we’ve found for pistols. It is big enough to handle two full-size pistols with optics, and the magazine carriers are well-designed and secure. The large front pocket is big enough to fit earmuffs, safety glasses, and ammo. Extra padding inside helps ensure your pistols and gear are protected. This case is available in six colors: Savior Teal (as shown), Black, Gray, OD Green, Dark FDE, and Sedona Red. Price is $25.99 for Teal and Red, while the other colors are $24.99. User reviews have been very positive. NOTE: The Amazon description incorrectly refers to a PVC hard shell — that is incorrect. This is a fabric case.

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November 27th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: Shooting and Hunting in Winter — Key Tips

winter hunting shooting Marcus Tom utah rifle tips

Winter is definitely here, with December just days away. Even now there is an abundance of snow on the ground in many parts of the country. 2022 has brought some unusually cold weather to many regions — witness the recent deluge of snow in upstate New York.

If you plan to go shooting or hunting in the weeks ahead, while the weather is below freezing and snow is on the ground, you need to be prepared. You should always have the right equipment and make sure that you can contact help if something goes wrong (such as not being able to start your vehicle).

The folks at the Precision Rifle Network have created a good video on winter shooting and hunting. Host Marcus Hom provides his TOP 10 TIPS for wintertime shooting/hunting adventures. We recommend that any 4-season shooter watch this video.

TOP 10 TIPS for Winter Shooting and Hunting:

1. Wear Good Sunglasses — With snow on the ground, wearing sunglasses is a must because of the extra reflected light. You can get good sunglasses that also have ANSI Z87.1-approved impact protection.

2. Wear Protective, Moisture-Proof Clothing — Wear a set of Bibs and a long jacket. This will prevent you from getting snow inside your clothing when shooting prone.

3. Take Care of Your Hands — Bring good winter gloves, preferably with a waterproof outer layer. Make sure the inner gloves can work with your trigger/trigger guard.

4. Bring a Good Tripod — A tripod keeps you elevated so you can avoid laying down in snow or slush. That, in turn, avoids body heat loss. “Keeping out of the snow and shooting from an elevated position is pretty important in the wintertime.”

5. Protect Optics and Action — Keep your scope lenses and action clear of moisture, snow, and fog. You will want to have good caps on both lenses. Make sure the action remains closed, and consider some kind of wrap over the action until you’re ready to load and shoot.

6. Ranging Challenges — Laser range-finders don’t perform optimally with intense, bright, ambient light. Also, if it’s showing you may get false readings from snow particles. So take multiple readings to ensure you have the right distance. Also, if you have a reticle with MOA or MIL marks, and you know the size of your target, then you can range the target with the scope.

7. Drop and Windage Info (DOPE) Chart — Bring a waterproof, hard copy dope chart. Out in the field on cold days, a phone battery dies fast, and you’ll want to preserve that battery for emergency phone use if needed. So, you should keep a good old-fashioned drop chart in a waterproof laminate.

8. Muzzle Velocity Issues — Cold temperatures can lower muzzle velocity. Before you go, get an idea of how your velocity will change with low temperatures. Some powders are more sensitive to temperature than others, causing a noticeable reduction in muzzle velocity. A load you’ve worked out in summer may shoot LOW in winter because the actual velocity is low. Even with a “temperature stable” powder you may see a 10 fps slow-down. Do some winter velocity testing if you can before you go.

Winter hunting snow photography outdoors

9. Keep Your Ammo Warm — A simple way to avoid muzzle velocity changes with low ambient temperatures is to keep you ammunition ON YOUR BODY. Have a pouch under your layered clothing where the ammo can be kept relatively warm. See video: 07:50

10. Safeguard Keys and Valuables — Keep keys and valuables in a secure, zippered pocket. “There is nothing worse than losing something… keys, phone, wallet. It’s really hard to find something when its buried under [many] inches of snow”. We also recommend keeping a spare vehicle key hidden on your car/truck. There are magnetic holders that can keep that spare key secure but safely hidden from view.

Winter Hunting — Success with Snow on the Ground

Winter hunting Norway Haugland

There has been snow on the ground for much of November in many areas of the country. Hunters have had to cope with the snow and cold temperatures. Our hunting editor, Colton Reid, recently returned from a successful deer hunt in the mountains of Utah. He said it was beautiful, but you needed really high-quality outdoor clothing — otherwise you could get in trouble. You need to stay warm and dry.

colton reid utah deer hunting winter snow rifle .30-06

colton reid utah deer hunting winter snow rifle .30-06With careful planning, and some skilled tracking, Colton had success, making a perfect hit on a buck at 300 yards. The animal dropped instantly. Colton brought back a good harvest of deer meat, which formed part of the Thanksgiving feast for his family.

Colton offered these 5 TIPS for hunters. These apply in any season, but are even more important in winter with freezing temps and snow on the ground:

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

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

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

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

colton reid utah deer hunting winter snow rifle .30-06

5. Always Enjoy the Experience — Have fun, and appreciate your hunt, whether you bag a buck or not. It is a privilege to experience the wilderness and to get away from the city. Enjoy it while you’re out there. And keep your spirits up. You may get tired, but remember that ‘comes with the territory’. At the end of the day, yes you may be exhausted. And you may want to quit and go home. But stay positive, stay focused. Be patient, the experience is worth it.

Winter Solace in the Backcountry

There is a nice thread in our Forum appropriately entitled “Winter Time”. You’ll find some great backcountry images taken by our Forum members. Winter is a special time in the outdoors. Forum member JDP explains: “Winter is the best time to shoot! One of the few of life’s ironies that works in my favor. The range is empty and barrels keep cool, no bugs, no waiting on people, no mirage. Yup, this world needs more thin blooded snow birds. This cool weather is terrible and dangerous, tell your friends! Do people get lonely while shooting or something? It’s the true holiday season in multiple ways.”

Winter hunting snow photography outdoors
Forum member DNorton posted: “I live way up north where our white sandy beaches look like this!”

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November 27th, 2022

For Optimal Accuracy with Threaded-Muzzle Barrels, Use Larger Muzzle Thread Diameter

Barrel Threading AR15 ARX Robert Whitley bartlein

Our friend Robert Whitley of ARX Enterprises LLC has learned, through careful measurement and testing, that some barrels threaded 5/8″ x 24 TPI at the muzzle may not deliver optimal accuracy. The reason is that the end of the barrel can bell out slightly, like a trombone, because too much steel has been removed. This is particularly true with .30-caliber barrels, but it can also be a problem with smaller caliber barrels (even 6mm). Robert demonstrates this phenomenon in the video below. All gunsmiths, and anyone considering threading a barrel, should watch the video. At 1:00 – 1:30 Robert gauges a 5/8″ x 24-threaded .30-Caliber barrel. You can see the belling effect clear as day.

Barrel Threading AR15 ARX Robert Whitley bartlein

“When setting up a commercial barrel in the lathe, we noticed that the maximum-sized bushing that would fit in the bore at the chamber end was almost .0015” smaller [than what would fit] at the muzzle. That precipitated my pin-gauging of a number of different commercial barrels that were threaded for 5/8” x 24 TPI. What I found is what’s shown on the video.” – R. Whitley

Solve Problem with a Larger Thread Diameter
If 5/8″ x 24 threading is potentially harmful to accuracy, is there a solution? Yes, you simply need to leave a little more steel on the barrel. (See Video starting at 02:40.) Frank Green of Bartlein barrels states: “We get these questions all the time. I say run the largest thread diameter that is possible.” Robert Whitley has found that a 3/4″ x 28 TPI threading does not cause the “belling effect”. Accordingly Robert recommends 3/4″ x 28 if you need to thread your barrel for a muzzle brake or suppressor. Robert explains: “We only make 3/4” x 28 TPI muzzle brakes and that’s what we recommend to customers.”

Barrel Threading AR15 ARX Robert Whitley bartlein

“See how much meatier the 3/4″ threading is vs. the 5/8″. The 3/4″ threading offers a lot more metal around the bore. There’s a lot less opportunity for the bore to become bell-mouthed…” – Robert Whitley

Barrel Threading Diameter — What’s Important to Know

By Robert Whitley
In truth, the 5/8″ x 24 TPI threading never came out of any accuracy-based think tank or set-up, it’s a military .30-Cal threading for barrels that someone has to carry around (they needed to keep the barrel weight down so it was smaller in diameter and the threading had to work with that situation). People have somehow assumed because the military uses that threading for certain things that it must mean that it’s also fine for a highly accurate rifle too, but that’s not really correct.

I don’t think there is any better and realistic option than the 3/4″ muzzle threading, and we also do it so there is no relief cut behind the threads on the barrel (i.e. put the relief cut on the brake or jam nut, don’t chop down on the muzzle of the barrel). For some reason many have a hard time grasping that the metal at the muzzle end of a rifle is “sacred” and you should not cut it down any more than absolutely necessary. A little threaded pencil diameter nub on the end of a barrel is not ideal for accuracy especially if it’s threaded and you need to torque on it. I cringe when I see a barrel with something like an MTU or Heavy Varmint contour, only to have an itty-bitty pencil thin threaded nub right at the muzzle so someone can “screw on a can” or a muzzle brake.

Lessons Learned Over the Years
A number of years ago I did a 30BR rifle project with Craig Kostyshyn who was big in the 30BR game and he made some of the best 30BR rifle barrels for benchrest competition. When I did the project I wanted a medium-heavy Palma type contour barrel I could use and also have a muzzle turndown for a front sight band. When he found out I was going to have the muzzle turned down he said “whoa, I need to provide for that when I make the barrel because if you turn the front down later you’ll be shooting a trombone” (i.e. the muzzle bore dimension would open up).

What he did was rough contour the barrel with the turndown (about .010” oversize) before he lapped the barrel, then when he lapped the barrel he took it easy in the muzzle area and worked the back of the barrel more. I thought he was a little bit excessive in his concerns but the barrel shot great and I wasn’t going to argue with him, after all he was shooting groups in the ones. I kind of just filed that away and never thought about it until recently when I went to have Fred from Sabreco do some chamber re-work on a commercial .30-caliber barrel I had. When setting up the barrel in the lathe and indicating things Fred noticed that the maximum-sized bushing that would fit in the bore at the chamber end was almost .0015″ smaller [than what would fit] at the muzzle and he mentioned it to me. That precipitated my pin-gauging of a number of different commercial barrels I had that were threaded for 5/8” x 24 TPI. What I found is what’s shown on the video.

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November 26th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Cortina Interviews World-Class Shooters

Erik Cortina YouTube interview john whidden seb lambang Lonny Basham Bart Sauter Video Interview

Interview with NBRSA 3-Gun and Tackdriver Champ Bart Sauter

Bullet-maker Bart Sauter is one of the world’s best benchrest shooters. He won the 2022 NBRSA 3-Gun National Championship this year, and he also has won the multi-class Tack Driver event two years in a row. Plus he has set small-group world record at 600 yards. In this very informative interview, Bart talks about bullets, equipment selection, match preparation, and shooting techniques. We think every benchrest shooter should watch this video.

Master at Work — Sauter in Action
If you want to see how a world-class bench shooter runs his rifle, check out this short video showing Bart Sauter in action. He runs five shots in about 9 seconds.

Interview with 6-Time Nat’l Long Range Champion John Whidden

CLICK HERE for full 81-minute interview with John Whidden.

John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks is one of the greatest American marksman in history. Shooting sling rifles, John has won the U.S. Long Range National Championship a remarkable six times. He has also won a Palma World Championship, and this summer John won the 2022 Smallbore Prone U.S. National Championship. While a humble individual, John has superb shooting skills and unrivaled mental toughness. In this interview, John talks about the challenges of competition and what motivates him to excel. John also talks about the products he has developed for Whidden Gunworks.

Interview with Tod Hendricks, 2021 F-Open National Champion

A member of Team Lapua/Brux/Borden, Tod Hendricks has been one of the most talented and consistent F-Open competitors for many years. He used his mental toughness and wind-reading skills to capture a National Championship in 2021. In this wide-ranging interview with his team-mate Erik Cortina, Tod reveals what it takes to win in F-Open these days, covering equipment, ammo quality, and match preparation.

NOTE: While the video title frame states Tod Hendricks was 2020 National F-Open Champion, he actually won the 2021 NRA F-Open Long-Range Championship at Camp Atterbury, IN. Tod finished 3rd at the 2020 Nat’l Championship at the Ben Avery Range, AZ.

Interview with Ken Clemens of Brux Barrels

Brux Barrels is a machine tool company located in Lodi, Wisconsin, specializing in premium, custom, cut-rifled barrels. Brux barrels have set some impressive benchrest records, and have won championships in multiple disciplines. In this video Erik Cortina interviews Ken Clemens of Brux. They discuss the production process at Brux, from the selection of top-quality steel blanks to the final hand-lapping procedures.

Interview with Lanny Bassham, Olympic Gold Medalist and Author

Erik Cortina recently interviewed noted author and Olympic Gold Medal-winning shooter Lanny Bassham. Erik asked Lanny about his book With Winning in Mind. Lanny discussed the “mental game” in the shooting sports and Lanny’s program for visualization of a winning performance. Lanny explains that after you have mastered your rifle skills, and learned to read the wind, it is important to adopt a winning mentality and to visualize success. Lanny should know. He won a shooting Gold Medal in the Olympics along with 22 world individual and team titles.

Interview with Lindsey Paul, Queen of 2 Miles

Lindsey Paul is the only women to win the King of Two Miles ELR competition, becoming the first-ever QUEEN of Two Miles, shooting a .375 CheyTac. In 2021, the talented lady Texan beat a field of top competitors, including past KO2M Champions, all guys. Lindsey had a truly outstanding performance, including 3 hits in 5 shots at the max distance, 2.0 miles (3520 yards). In this interview, Lindsey, who works in the law enforcement field, talks about the Extreme Long Range (ELR) game, and she also explains what it’s like to shoot the heavy-recoiling .375 CheyTac.

Interview with Frank Galli — Founder of Sniper’s Hide

The founder of the popular Sniper’s Hide Forum, Frank Galli is an online pioneer and living legend in the tactical shooting sports world. A former U.S. Marine Scout-Sniper, Frank (aka “Lowlight”) runs a very active Forum with over 180,000 members. Along with moderating his Forum, Frank runs training clinics and hosts regular podcasts. Frank is also the author of the book Precision Rifle Marksmanship: The Fundamentals, an excellent resource for PRS/NRL competitors as well as tactical marksmen.

BONUS Videos — Two Great Tech and Reloading Videos

How to Find Jam Point on your Barrel

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Erik Cortina produces his own line of EC Barrel Tuners and Tuner Brakes. These have been used successfully by many top shooters. View the full line of Cortina Precision products at:

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November 26th, 2022

How Humidity Affects Powder Performance — Important Podcast

Bryan litz science academy accuracy podcast book subscription membership

Bryan Litz and The Science of Accuracy Academy has released a new Podcast with vital information for all handloaders. This Podcast examines the effects of humidity variances on powder. Bryan notes: “If you want to know how much this can matter, we’re talking up to 200 fps difference for the same load of H4350 in 6.5 Creedmoor” at opposite extremes of humidity.

Bryan adds that “Most shooters don’t realize what a big deal this can be — it overshadows many of our efforts to make consistent velocity and hit targets. This can happen in loaded rounds not just for hand loading where you expose powder to ambient humidity. This is especially important for hunters considering the range of environments hunting ammo goes through.”

Bryan litz science academy accuracy podcast book subscription membership

25% Off Sale on The Science of Accuracy Academy Products

As a Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotion, The Science of Accuracy Academy is running a 25% OFF Sale on everything in the store, now through Monday, November 28, 2022. Save on Bryan Litz’s six impressive books about Ballistics, Bullet Performance, and Long Range Shooting. The Berger Bullets Reloading Manual is also discounted. Use Discount Code BF2022.

In addition you can get your own subscription to the Academy, allowing you to access all podcasts, exclusive videos, learning resources, and bullet data sheets.

Bryan litz science academy accuracy podcast book subscription membership
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
November 26th, 2022

Best Ammo Carrier for Rimfire Ammunition — All Types

rimfire box mtm ammo

For centerfire ammo, you can choose from dozens of flip-top boxes, storage bins, or milsurp-style ammo cans. For rimfire ammo, there are not so many good choices. Our preferred rimfire ammo carrier is the MTM SB-200 Small-Bore Fitted Ammo Box. This flip-top plastic box holds 100 rimfire rounds in black grids on the left and right. Each side has five rows left to right, holding ten rounds per row front to back (for 50 rounds per side). In the center is a storage area that will hold another 100 rounds in factory boxes. Current price is $13.15 on Amazon.

Versatility for ALL Types of Rimfire Ammo
MTM’s SB-200 box is not just for .22 LR ammunition. This handy carrier will hold .17 HMR rounds, as well as .17 Mach 2, .22 Short, .22 Win Mag Rimfire, and of course .22 Long Rifle (.22 LR). This box is a winner — it has a low profile, holds rounds securely, and the center storage feature is smart.

MTM Case-Gard 200 Round Smallbore Box
This is really the only product of its kind on the market. It allows you to conveniently and securely hold 200 rimfire rounds, and also segregate your ammo by brand or bullet type. These boxes fit all types of popular rimfire ammunition. The vertical clearance of the lid is sufficient to hold the longer .22 WMR Rounds, and 17 HMR (as well as .22 LR naturally). The lid fits securely so you don’t have to worry about your rimfire ammo spilling out on the way to the range.

If you don’t have one of these boxes yet, we recommend you order one or two. They cost less than $15.00 and are available in Blue or “Rust” (a brick color).

rimfire box mtm ammo rimfire box mtm ammo

Bottom image courtesy Mountain High Trading Company eBay store.

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