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September 24th, 2022

Credit Card Companies to Implement Special Code for Gun Sales

There is a chilling new threat to Second Amendment rights coming from the financial sector. Major credit card companies — Mastercard, Visa, and American Express — intend to implement a new purchase code identifying sales at gun stores. This new “Merchant Category Code” (MCC) identifies specific types of transactions/purchases. If shared with state or federal agencies, lists of gun-coded purchases could be used to create a de-facto national registry of gun owners. That is a disturbing prospect.

Fox Business reports: “Payment processor Visa announced … its plans to separately categorize gun shop sales, joining Mastercard and American Express, which have already said they would categorize purchases at firearm stores. Visa said it would apply the International Organization for Standardization’s new merchant code to gun shop sales. The new IOS code was announced on Friday [September 9, 2022]. Previously, gun store sales were labeled as ‘general merchandise’.”

The NRA Institute for Legislative Action explained the risk of this new code for gun sales: “If fully implemented by the various payment processors, the hope of gun-control groups for this new MCC is that it will create a registry of gun owners that they have long sought.”

“On September 9, the International Organization for Standardization (“ISO”) announced that it would create a new Merchant Category Code (“MCC”) specific to firearm and ammunition retailers. MCCs are the codes that payment processing networks (like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express) use to categorize various transactions. This is the system that allows various credit cards to offer different benefits for certain categories of purchases or to charge different fees for those same categories.” (SEE NRAILA.org Report.)

The push for this new code originated with anti-gun groups in Democrat-controlled blue states. This action by the ISO was made at the urging of New York-based Amalgamated Bank, which bragged about being “the first banking organization to endorse Everytown for Gun Safety’s principles”. Amalgamated’s petition was supported by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), New York Mayor Eric Adams, and the anti-gun groups Giffords and Guns Down America. Fox Business reported that “New York City officials and pension funds had pushed the ISO and banks to adopt the new code on gun shop sales”.

There is a real concern that there would be broad over-reporting of sales relating to guns, because the Code would be applied to a variety of purchases.

NRA America’s First Freedom explains: “A person who uses a credit card to purchase a gun safe, a trolling motor and binoculars from a sporting goods store over several weeks or months, as well as any ammunition they might need, will make all of these purchases under the same proposed MCC used for gun sales. If anti-Second Amendment extremists get their way, these purchases could then prompt a credit-card company to report the sales to the authorities. Next, a police officer, or an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), might show up at a citizen’s home to find out why they’ve been buying so much stuff from their local ‘gun store’.”

Fighting Back — 24 State Attorney Generals Oppose New Code

The Attorney Generals (AGs) of 24 states have sent letters to Credit Card company CEOs requesting elimination of the new Merchant Category Code (MCC) for gun stores being implemented by Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. These AGs of 24 states stated their intent to “marshal the full scope of our lawful authority” to block the use of the new Code to be applied to gun and gun-related sales.

The AGs sent a letter last week to the CEOs of American Express, Mastercard, and Visa. The AGs explained that the Code could be misused and lead to a de facto gun registry: “Creating and tracking this data only matters if your institutions are considering using that information to take further, harmful action—like infringing upon consumer privacy, inhibiting constitutionally protected purchases by selectively restricting the use of your payment systems, or otherwise withholding your financial services from targeted ‘disfavored’ merchants.” READ MORE.

The AGs added that the Code would not be able to distinguish between actual firearms sales vs. hunting/outdoor accessories, leading to problems for consumers: “This categorization would not recognize the difference, for example, between the purchase of a gun safe and a firearm. Nor would it capture firearm purchases made at department stores, resulting in arbitrarily disparate treatment of ‘gun store’ merchants and consumers.”

Along with the letters set to Credit Card companies, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, has issued a statement saying that the use of a special gun code by Credit Card companies threatens the Second Amendment. Accordingly, he says the state of Florida would oppose this:

“If we come to the legislative session and companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express are generating these reports to create a chilling effect against the purchase of firearms, then I’ll work with the Legislature to pass a law penalizing businesses who are targeting the right to bear arms.” READ MORE.

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September 23rd, 2022

20 Tips for Hunters Before National Hunting & Fishing Day

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

Tomorrow, September 24th, is National Hunting and Fishing Day, held each year on the fourth Saturday of September. To help the avid hunters among our readers, here are Twenty Tips that can help ensure a safe and successful hunt. These tips have been compiled from our AccurateShooter Hunting Forum, with help from Hunting Editor Colton Reid (who has already been out hunting this month). Some items are preparatory — such as working with maps, sighting in the rifle, and improving physical fitness. We also talk about equipment — having the right gear, from proper boots to a GPS for multi-day hunts.

Of course there are entire volumes written on hunting, but these 20 Tips can benefit all hunters. Follow these suggestions and you should have a safer hunting experience with greater likelihood of success. If you liked these pointers, you’ll find two dozen more helpful hints on the NSSF Website.

hunting fishing day Hunting guide

Preparations Before The Hunt

1. Map Your Hunt and Notify Others — Before your hunt, make a plan and notify friends and family members about WHERE you are going and your intended return date and time. Print out a Google Satellite map and locate landmarks and trailheads. Mark where you plan to park your vehicle and give a copy of this map to friend and/or family members. A hunter may injure himself by falling off a rock, or tumbling in a creek-bed. After that kind of injury the hunter may be confused or unable to walk. If you get stranded in the wilderness, you want trusted persons to know where you are. So, before you leave on a trip, provide a map to a friend or family member. Show them where you will leave your vehicle, and where you expect to be every day of your hunting adventure.

2. Licenses and Permits — Make sure you have a valid hunting licenses and all the necessary tags. Begin this process with ample time before your intended hunt(s). The NSSF adds: “If you are crossing state or national borders, find out about any special considerations you must take care of. Border crossings can mean knowing about firearm transport laws or Chronic Wasting Disease-related regulations.”

3. Work on Your Fitness — On a multi-day hunt you may be trekking many miles. You need to be in good shape. If you are out of shape you may be putting yourself in a precarious situation, particularly if you underestimate the terrain difficulty. As the NSSF says: “Not being able to handle the conditions lessens your chances of success, can turn a great experience into an agonizing one and can endanger your health.”

4. Do Your Homework — Study the area you will be hunting. Talk to other hunters. Look at satellite photos. Get a real sense of the walking and terrain challenges. For a multi-day hunt, MAKE a PLAN. The NSSF states: “Eliminate surprises. Learn as much about where you will be staying, the area you will be hunting, what the weather might be like and what you need to bring[.]”

5. Rifle and Ammo — Make sure your rifle is sighted-in and your ammo is tested. Sight-in your rifle with the ammo you plan to use on your hunt. CLICK HERE for 4-Shot Sight-in Method. After sighting-in from the bench, confirm your zero by shooting from typical hunting positions (kneeling and with forearm supported on a rock or post).

hunting rifle sighting in target

6. Shooting Positions — Practice the shooting positions you will use in the field. Practice sitting, kneeling, and prone positions. You should also practice with shooting sticks, using your day pack as a rest, and with a bipod. Try to have a rock-steady rest before taking your shot.

Hunting Positions

7. Back-Up Irons — If possible, select a rifle with back-up iron sights. While modern scopes are very durable, they can and do fail (glass can crack). If you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your hunt, back-up iron sights can keep you in the game even if your riflescope fails.

8. Communications and GPS — Bring a GPS if you are in a wilderness area far from civilization. It’s a good idea to bring a cell phone, but you may not have coverage if you’re quite a distance from populated areas. A smart-phone also doubles as a digital camera to record your trophies. For navigation and safety, consider getting Garmin inReach Explorer+. This high-tech handheld unit features interactive SOS, connecting you to the GEOS 24/7 search-and-rescue monitoring center. They also allow you to send and receive text messages, no matter where you are, via advanced inReach satellite technology. Yes you can communicate even if you are miles from the nearest cell tower.

9. Select Good Gear — Make sure you have GOOD BOOTS that are comfortable — you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet. You may want a pack with harness for your rifle so you have both hands free. On a multi-day trip, make sure you can carry enough water, and that you will stay warm enough at night. Good practices for backpacking apply to multi-day hunts.

10. Make a Gear Checklist — Create a complete checklist of the gear and supplies you need. That includes arms, ammunition, rangefinder, binoculars, proper clothing (including spare clothes), hunting accessories, sleeping gear (on multi-day hunts), toiletries, medications. Don’t forget a good first aid kit — lots of bad things can happen during any wilderness trip. You can cut a hand, break an ankle or worse.

During The Hunt

11. 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.

12. 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!”

13. 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.

14. Riflescopes Are Not Binoculars — Never use a riflescope as a substitute for binoculars. The temptation to do so is real, but when one does this, one is by definition pointing the muzzle of the gun at unknown targets. We like binoculars with built-in rangefinders. When glassing at long range, try supporting your binoculars on your pack.

hunting scopes binoculars Zeiss Colton Reid

15. Be Sure of Your Target before Shooting — Every year during whitetail season, farmers are forced to spray-paint their cattle or risk having them “harvested” by hunters who don’t bother confirming the species in their sights. Hunters with “buck fever” can make mistakes. When in doubt, don’t shoot.

hunting scope deer rifle

16. Know When to Unload — When finished hunting, unload your firearm before returning to camp. You should also unload your gun before attempting to climb a steep bank or travel across slippery ground.

17. Bring Hearing Protection — While pursuing and stalking your prey you’ll want full sensory use of your ears. But when you’re finally ready to take the shot, slip in hearing protection. A shot from a large-caliber hunting rifle can exceed 170 decibels. Unprotected exposure to noise from a SINGLE 170+ dB shot can cause permanent hearing damage. (Source: ASHA.org). If you make a follow-up shot, you double that noise hazard. Therefore a hunter with a non-suppressed rifle should have hearing protection available.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

You can keep a pair of quick-insert plugs on a cord around your neck. Or, get a lightweight neck band with earbuds, such as Howard Leight Quiet Band QB2HYG, 3M Safety Band, or Sellstrom Band, all with a good 25 dB Noise Reduction Rating. You can keep these lightweight bands around your neck, for quick deployment before you shoot.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

“Once a hunter is successful, the REAL work begins.” — Colton Reid

18. Harvesting the Animal — When dressing your animal, be careful with the meat. You’ll want very sharp knives. Some hunters prefer knives with replaceable, razor-sharp blades. Don’t rush the task. Make sure you don’t get moisture or dirt on meat. The three spoilers of meat are heat, moisture, and dirt.

19. 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.

20. Remember to Enjoy the Experience — Our Hunting Editor, Colton Reid, offers this sage advice to all hunters, but particularly to novices: “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.”

hunting fishing day Hunting guide
CLICK HERE for Hunter Training/Mentoring Programs State-by-State.

Visit WhereToHunt.org

There’s a great online resource for hunters that will help you find game locations in your state and ensure you have all the proper permits and game tags. WheretoHunt.org features an interactive map of the country. For all 50 states, the NSSF has compiled information about hunting license and permits, where to hunt, hunter education classes, laws and regulations and more. For each state you’ll also find a link for required applications and license forms.

Click Map to Get State-by-State Hunting INFO
Where to Hunt hunting license game location

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September 22nd, 2022

Lyman Case Prep Xpress — Versatile Unit with Five Tool Heads

Lyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test video

Product Review by F-Class John
Case preparation is critical for precision reloading. One must trim cases, debur/chamfer case mouths, clean necks, spruce up primer pockets and do other important tasks. Complete case prep can involve many separate processes, each requiring its own tools. With each of those tools comes additional cost as well as the need for more storage and bench space. To make case prep easier, faster, and more convenient Lyman created the Case Prep Xpress. The Case Prep Xpress, introduced a few years back, combines up to five prep stages into one well-built, stable, versatile unit. Watch this video to see the machine in action:

The Case Prep Xpress features five (5) independently-turning spindles all with the common 8/32 thread. This allows you to attach multiple tools supplied with the unit PLUS many other screw-on prep tools. For our testing we started out using a variety of the 12 included tools and found they cover the majority of case prep tasks. Lyman supplies deburr and chamfer tools, pocket uniformers, reamers and cleaners, as well as an assortment of neck brushes.

Lyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test video

The deburr and chamfer tools worked really well, creating beautiful bevels all while leaving a nice flat edge across the top of the neck which is critical for accuracy and brass life. We found the primer pocket cleaning tool did a good job, but for truly clean pockets we recommend using the primer pocket uniforming tool, which very efficiently removes even hard residues.

Lyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test videoLyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test video

Lyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test video

The benefit of having interchangeable heads is that you can add your own accessories. We like to use a bore brush with bronze wool wrapped around it for use inside our necks. This worked perfectly once we screwed it in. In fact, we couldn’t think of any 8/32-threaded accessory that wouldn’t work well on this machine. Another great design feature is how all the accessories are oriented straight up. This allows for perfect visual alignment of your cases onto the tools which is critical — especially when performing cutting operations such as primer pocket uniforming.

Along with the five power stations there are six female-threaded storage spots on the sides where tools can be placed to ensure they don’t get lost. We like this feature since there will be more than five accessories you want to use and having them easily available is a great feature. You can keep 11 tools right on the machine (5 on top, 6 on the sides). That way you don’t have to dig through storage bins.

Lyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test video

The Case Prep Xpress has a removable front bin to hold brass shavings, and there are two circular trays on either side of the bin. In front is a long tray that holds the provided brush. This makes it relatively easy to clean off brass shavings and other debris from case prep processes.

SUMMARY — Versatile Case Prep Xpress Is A Good Value
For the money, Lyman’s Case Prep Xpress is tough to beat. It performs multiple tasks well while being stable and easy-to-use. Yes there are some multi-spindle prep centers that offer variable or fast/slow RPM spindles while the Lyman’s spindles are all fixed RPM. (See, e.g. the RCBS Brass Boss). However those other systems don’t include all the convenient on-board storage of the Case Prep Xpress, and are more expensive. The Lyman Case Prep Xpress sells for $150-$170 “street price”. It’s currently on sale for $146.99 on Amazon. This makes the Lyman Case Prep Xpress a fine value — it offers great versatility while saving space and saving money compared to buying five or more separate, powered tools.

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September 22nd, 2022

How American Hunters Promote Wildlife Conservation in USA

National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing
This Saturday, September 24, 2022, is National Hunting and Fishing Day.

There are over 9.2 million hunters in the United States. The fees paid by hunters are essential to support conservation efforts and to protect/maintain habitats.

These infographics explain the vital role that American hunters play in protecting wild species in North America. Currently 60% of state Fish & Wildlife Agency funding comes from excise taxes and licensee fees paid by hunters and anglers. The system has provided billions of dollars for conservation over the past nine decades. Since the late 1930s, hunters, target shooters and the firearms industry have been the nation’s largest contributors to conservation, paying for programs that benefit America’s wildlife.

National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing

CLICK to Load full-screen Infographic (Easier to Read)

National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing

The Pittman-Robertson Act generates $700 million annually, which is distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to state fish and game agencies across America.

National hunting fishing day wildlife conservation habitat preservation tags licensing

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September 18th, 2022

Sunday GunDay: Clay Rhoden Wins King of 1 Mile Match in Texas

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder

A novice long-range competitor is now the first-ever USA King of 1 Mile. Clay Rhoden, the talented head honcho of Longshot (target cameras), won the match with a superb performance. Clay hit every single shot, without a miss, for the first five targets, all the way out to 1699 yards. There were two additional targets beyond one mile — Target 6 at 1909 yards and Target 7 at 2391 yards. Clay went 4 for 10 at these longer distances, but his perfect shooting out to 1699 yards still gave him a comfortable margin of victory.

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder
Amazing FACT: Clay Won the 2022 USA Ko1M in only his sixth shooting match ever!

In winning the 2022 Ko1M match, Clay beat some living legends, including David Tubb, a 6-time NRA Nat’l Long Range Champion and 2019 NRA ELR HG Champ. Clay’s remarkable victory is doubly impressive if you consider that Clay had previously shot only five other rifle matches (at any distance) in his whole life. This was truly a stellar win for a new shooter. Huge congrats to Clay and his Global Precision Group (GPG) team. Clay’s GPG teammate Ray Gross took second overall.

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder

Clay earned his one-mile Ko1M title shooting a very accurate 33XC rifle with BAT action, Bartlein barrel, Manners ELR Light stock, Bix’N Andy trigger, and a Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm scope. The ammo, which was developed and loaded by Paul Phillips, featured Berger 300gr Hybrid OTM bullets in Peterson brass pushed by Vihtavuori N565 powder and Federal 215 primers.

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder

2022 King of 1 Mile USA Championship — The Winning Formula

Report by Clay Rhoden, Longshot Target Cameras
The 2022 (first ever) USA King of 1 Mile event is a match I will not soon forget! Before going any further, I want to thank Jay Monych and Alex Cordesman for putting this match together and for opening each day with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

This was only my sixth match ever to shoot and boy was it a blast! I had no expectations going into the match and my focus was on trying to stay calm and collected. I didn’t shoot until the second day, but my teammate, Ray Gross, shot on the first day. I thought we did OK during his qualification run, but I felt that I let him down as a spotter by under-doping the wind calls on the first two targets. Regardless, it was enough to get him into the finals and gave him another shot at the win.

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder

When it was my turn to shoot, I did my best to keep my heart rate down and keep from getting excited. I also prayed throughout the day and prior to shooting, asking the Lord to help me win if it was His will, and to help me gracefully accept the loss if it wasn’t. Additionally, I asked that If I won, He use the win to His glory, and He has and is! My wife and I are going through the beginning stages of the domestic adoption process and the first bit of real money will be due soon and what do you know, it just so happens to be $4,000, the exact amount of money that I won in the match!

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder
The top 19 shooters advanced to the Ko1M FINAL (Targets 5,6,7). In 20th, Paul Phillips just missed out.

My prayers were answered, and I was the only shooter to pull off a flawless run during the qualifier, going 3 for 3 on Targets 1-4. That secured us the top spot going into the finals and after randomizing the list, I remained at the top as 1st shooter in the finals and Ray as the 3rd. Conditions during the finals were worse as it was later in the day and the mirage had really come out to play. I was able to continue my flawless run onto T5 going 5 for 5, then I got 1st, 3rd, and 5th round impacts on T6, and a 4th round on T7. Thankfully, that was enough to secure the win.

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder

Rifle, Scope, and Ammo
I was shooting a brand new 33XC rifle that had about 30 rounds through the barrel from practicing before the match. The gun has a BAT Machine left-hand feed, right-hand eject action, Bartlein barrel, sitting in a Manners F-Class stock with a modified custom TCS weight-tuning butt system. On top was a Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm FFP MOAR scope with NF high rings. The BAT action was bedded by Alex Sitman with machine work by GA Precision. The stock allowed me to add a good bit of weight to the back of the gun. That combined with a Tubb 5-star muzzle brake created a smooth and predictable recoil that allowed me to stay on target and help spot my impacts.

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder
Team GPG Captain Paul Phillips loaded all the Ammo for Clay Rhoden and other Team GPG members.

Equally important if not more important than the rifle is the ammunition, and I have to give credit where credit is due. Paul Phillips loaded all the ammunition for the whole team and it shot lights out. We used Peterson Brass, Federal 215M primers, Vihtavuori N565 powder, and Berger 300gr Hybrid OTM bullets. During the match we observed that the guns and ammo performed so consistently shot after shot, that if we got an impact, we just need to run the same hold because the gun is going to put the next round in the exact same spot as the last one.

I was asked “What did your wife and kids say when you put on your crown?” The first thing my wife said when I put it on was, “You look like a whitewalker from Game of Thrones.” I’m not sure what to think of that but she did have a point. My kids thought it was cool and I tried tell them that I was a King now and that they were going to have to listen better, but they saw straight through that.

Preparation for the King of 1 Mile Match
I received my rifle a few weeks before the match and shot it for the first time only a couple of days before the match during a team practice at the Kaian Vista Ranch, a central Texas ranch owned by GPG teammate James Devoglaer. Upon arriving at his ranch, we zeroed the guns, confirmed velocities, and checked to make sure that everything was level. After that, we practiced team communication and spotting on the KVR’s long-range hunter course with 6.5 Creedmoors and then did a couple simulated matches with our competition rifles on the KVR’s ELR course. This allowed us to practice communication between shooter and spotter, as well as verify the predictions from our Kestrels. This practice significantly boosted my confidence going into the match!

Wind Calls and Spotting
In ELR, this is where the team really comes into play, and thankfully, Team GPG just happens to have some of the best wind callers in the world. I shot on the second day of the match and while I was doing my best to stay calm before shooting, my teammates were discussing the wind and the anomalies they had experienced when they shot and factoring all of that into our starting wind calls. Once our time began, it was up to Ray and I to get it right and Ray was on top of it! We were able to make first-round impacts on Targets 1 (1263 yards) through Target 6 (1909 yards). On T7 (2391 yards) our assumption about what the wind was wrong and cost us a couple impacts but thankfully, we were able to parlay those learnings and capitalize on them when it was Ray’s turn to shoot. Ray and I were shooters 3rd and 1st respectively in the finals, which was good from the perspective of applying what we had just learned from when I shot, but bad for me because I was the wind guinea pig for everyone in the finals.

Becoming Part of Team GPG
I lucked into being part of Team GPG last year when I went to help Paul run our Longshot cameras during a team practice. After the practice Paul asked if I wanted to shoot his .416 Barrett and of course I couldn’t say no to that, so I got behind the gun and shot a 4″ group at 2000 yards. A few weeks later, Paul asked if I wanted to join the team and the rest is history. I was just fortunate enough, as a completely inexperienced shooter, to get on a team with some of the best shooters in the world!

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powderBeing part of a team and trusting your teammates is such a critical part of ELR and I couldn’t ask for a better team. Each one of us comes from a different background and has different specialties, and we do an excellent job of leveraging all of that to perform at the highest level. Paul and Ray have years of experience shooting competitively. James has years of experience with competitive shooting, hunting, and training, while I have experience with cameras and technology that helps to verify our impacts. Additionally, we are all shooting clone rifles and can instantly leverage what we learn during the match from one shooter to the rest of the team. Paul Phillips even also helped design the new Manners ELR Light stock we used.

Big Prize Table and Major Cash Awards
The sponsors really stepped up for this match and donated $65,000 – $70,000 worth of prizes plus $5,500 in cash! It was an awesome experience being called up first, getting a trophy, belt buckle, and giant check for first place. I also got to walk the prize table first and got an amazing custom lightweight hunting rifle in .30 Nosler from Alamo Precision Rifles (see photo). At this point, I think it’s definitely fair to say that I’m hooked!

Now it’s time to prepare for our next match, the King of 2 Miles. Hopefully, Lord willing, Team GPG will be able to pull off more podium finishes at the end of September.

Conclusion: Philippians 4:13 states “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.” There is no way I could have done this without my faith in God and without my team! I am so blessed and grateful to be able to say that I won the King of 1 Mile!

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder

Longshot Products — How They Are Employed for ELR

There is no way that I would have been in this sport or even aware of the sport if it weren’t for the products we make at Longshot. Originally, rather than buying a spotting scope or binoculars, I developed our long-range camera system to solve the problem of seeing my shots at 100 yards to help zero my first rifle. Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to the idea of 1000-yard shooting. Then, not too long after, I was introduced to Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting.

For all these disciplines, our Longshot target cameras solve the problem of being able to see and confirm impacts, no matter the condition. And the “reach” of the system is great. The current Longshot LR-3 UHD camera has a guaranteed 2-mile range with open terrain.

As a relatively new shooter and novice long-range and extreme long-range shooter, Longshot cameras have played a critical role in my development as a shooter. With our cameras, I’m able to instantly and precisely associate environmental conditions or a breakdown in fundamentals to a specific result on the target. I truly believe that this along with the people that I have met while running this business have helped me to achieve so much so quickly.

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder

Longshot Hawk Spotting Scope Cameras Used During Ko1M Match
While our long range UHD targets cameras can only be used for scoring during a match, Team GPG uses Longshot’s Hawk Spotting Scope Camera to take pictures of the targets prior to the match and create plot books for each shooter. We then use these to take notes and call corrections during the match. This process helped me get a fourth round impact on T7 during the match. We were able to see a super small poof of dust, plot it on our sheet and call a precise correction to bring us on target.

Click Arrow to Watch Hawk Spotting Scope Camera Video
Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder


Background Report from Paul Phillips, Team GPG Captain

Team GPG approached the 2022 inaugural USA King of 1 Mile event the same as we approached the 2019 King of 2 Miles where we finished 1st, 3rd, and 4th out of 80 shooters. This year, at the Ko1M in Texas, we had the same amazing results with first-place and second-place finishes out of 94 Ko1M competitors.

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder

Our team GPG approach begins with making sure our rifles and ammunition are producing half-MOA or better accuracy along with single-digit SDs. We then make sure we have very accurate 100-yard zeros and our optics are plumb and level.

We then utilize a custom PDM (Personalized Drag Model) from Applied Ballistics and verify all of our ballistics with multiple Kestrels and Applied Ballistics analytics.

Once this all matches up, then we simply input all of the distances and environmentals and we are ready for competition. For wind calling we use the Kestrel for wind speed and direction and use analytics to get the values. Just before we shoot we register any last second pick-ups or let-offs to start shooting.

For team communications and team work we spent the day at the KVR ranch located in Lometa, TX owned by Team GPG member James Deboglaer. James put us through his hunter course and we used this as a way to communicate and make sure we were on the same page.

With good elevations and wind along with great team work and communications we were able to produce our first- and second-place results.

Paul Phillips Crafted All the Ammunition and Did Load Development
Paul told us: “I’m doing all of the load development, loading ammo, ballistics and initial wind estimations for my shooters. I also did all the ballistics solutions using AB Analytics.”

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder

Rifle Specifications and Components
All the team’s guns and ammo were GPG spec 33XC builds, with ammunition loaded by Paul Phillips. Clay’s 33XC round has the 300gr Bergers running 3250 FPS MV. GPG team rifles feature these components:

BAT actions
Bartlein barrels
Bix’N Andy triggers
Manners ELR Light stock
Nightforce ATACR scopes
Accutac bipod

GA Precision Gunsmithing
Paul Phillips Load Dev
Alex Sitman bedding
Manson Reamers
Hollands level
Tubb brakes

Berger 300gr Hybrid OTM .338 Cal bullet
Peterson cartridge brass
Vihtavouri N565 powder
Fed 215 primer

Clay Rhoden Longshot cameras King of 1 one mile ELR texas long range match 33XC Berger bullets Peterson Brass Vihtavuori powder

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September 17th, 2022

Saturday Movies: Hunting Optics — Scopes, Spotters, LRFs, Binocs

saturday movies hunt hunting hunter optics spotting scope LRF rangefinder video review

Hunting season is here. For hunters that means many hours may be spent searching for animals through spotting scopes and binoculars — “glassing” for game. And when the hunter does find a good buck or doe, he’ll need to know the animal’s precise distance, so that demands a good laser rangefinder. Being carried in the field, the scopes on hunting rifles need to be tough and durable, and every hunting scope should have good low-light performance. And when the hunter finally takes his shot, his scope better be properly zeroed. Today’s Saturday at the Movies showcase is all about Hunting Optics. We offer eight great videos that help you select the right riflescope, spotting scope, rangefinder, and binoculars for your next hunt.

Comparison of Seven Popular Deer Hunting Scopes

This is summary review of seven (7) popular hunting scopes, as available in 2020 (there may be newer variants). This video consist mostly of manufacturer-created marketing content with a few minutes of independent reviews. Consider this video a place to start when shopping for a new hunting optic. You’ll want to check independent reviews when you select a particular model. The seven riflescopes featured in the video are: Athlon Optics Argos BTR, Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm, Leupold VX-R 4-12x40mm, NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm, Nikon Buckmasters II, Vortex Crossfire II, Vortex Viper HS SFP.

Optics Selections for Mountain Hunts

Here’s a good video by an avid hunter who treks in remote, mountainous zones. The host has learned what works… and what’s worth the weight to carry: “I’ve found that the combination of 10×42 binoculars and a 27–60x80mm spotting scope is the sweet spot for mountain hunting. This pairing balances weight with reach, allowing me to keep moving but also reach out and see well-hidden animals. In some cases, I will make use of an 18×56 binocular, but this is reserved for non-backpack hunts. With 25 years of mountain hunting experience, I can whole-heartedly recommend my preferred binocular pair as a fantastic and versatile set-up for northern mountain hunts at the very least.”

Ultimate Spotter Test — 19 Spotting Scopes Reviewed

The producers of this remarkable 19-product spotting scope comparison state: “If you are looking at choosing the best spotting scope for hunting… you are in the right place! We tested these 19 spotting scopes to find the best compact spotting scope, best 65mm spotting scope, and best 85mm spotting scope out there. We also wanted to find the best values on the market, and I think we definitely did that. While we certainly couldn’t test them ALL, we were able to put together this incredible lineup of some of the best spotting scopes out there to help you find what is going to work for your specific needs.”

First Focal Plane vs. Second Focal Plane Scopes

For the last century, Second Focal Plane (SFP) scopes have been most common on hunting rifles. Now there are an increasing number of First Focal Plane (FFP) optics favored by hunters. The main reason is that the reticle mark values (in Mils or MOA) are constant relative to the target size at all magnification levels. That is handy for hold-offs and hold-overs. On the other hand, a SFP scope maintains a constant reticle size and line thickness at all zoom values. For most hunting shots, taken inside 300 yards, that really should be fine. Many hunters feel they can spot their prey more easily without a busy reticle that obscures small details at higher magnification. This video explains the pros and cons of both reticle types. The final decision is up to you — much will depend on the terrain you hunt and the distances you shoot.

The Complete Optics Selection for For Deer Hunting

In this video, Vortex optics techs explain the optics package deer hunters will want to take into the field. Along with a good medium-power zoom riflescope, you’ll want binoculars and (probably) a spotting scope. You’ll also want a Laser Rangefinder (LRF) or laser-equipped binoculars. As the team points out, the LRF is not just to range your prey right before you take a shot. A top-quality LRF can range a reflective object as far as 1500 yards away. That helps you decide whether you want to hike a mile to reach that buck you see way out on the next ridge.

MOA vs. MIL — What you Need to Know

These days, scope manufacturers offer a wide selection of both MIL (Milliradian) and MOA (Minute-of-Angle) based optics. We do think that MOA is still predominant in the lighter-weight, lower-cost (sub-$500) scopes marketed for hunters. There are pros and cons for both angular measurement systems. One MIL is 3.6″ at 100 yards, while one MOA is 1.047″ at 100 yards. If you grew up thinking in inches, a 1/4-MOA click-value hunting scope might work best. If you shoot PRS or have other MIL scopes you may prefer a MIL-value optic for your hunting rifle. Both choices will do the job.

Comparison of Eight Laser Rangefinders

The Backfire team purchased eight rangefinders and tested them in the field. Most of the products are under $500. This is a good review if you are looking for a compact LRF at a moderate price. Looking at performance for the price, for the hunting market, the reviewers favored the Leupold RX-1600 and the waterproof Vortex Ranger 1800. COMMENTARY: If you can afford it, we recommend that serious hunters consider top-end laser rangefinder-equipped binoculars such as the ZEISS Victory RF and Leica Geovid.

How to Zero Your Hunting Rifle Efficiently

Last but not least, here’s a great video from Vortex that shows you how to quickly and efficiently sight-in and zero your hunting rifle before heading out into the field. This video explains a simple procedure that lets you get a solid zero in just three shots. Of course you probably want to fire a few more rounds to confirm your zero before you head off to your hunting grounds, but this will let you get on-target with a minimum amount of time and ammo expended. This helpful video has over 3 million views on YouTube!

3-Shot Zero

Fouling Shots and Cold Bore Condition
If you recently cleaned your rifle, you may want to fire two or three fouling shots before you start this procedure. But keep in mind that you want to duplicate the typical cold bore conditions that you’ll experience during the hunt. If you set your zero after three fouling shots, then make sure the bore is in a similar condition when you actually go out hunting.

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September 16th, 2022

Get Smart — Access AccurateShooter.com’s Tech Articles Archive

AccurateShooter.com technical articles

AccurateShooter.comReaders who have just recently discovered the Daily Bulletin may not realize that AccurateShooter.com has hundreds of reference articles in our archives. These authoritative articles are divided into multiple categories, so you can easily view stories by topic (such as competition, tactical, rimfire, optics, shooting skills etc.). One of the most popular categories is our Technical Articles Collection. On a handy index page (with thumbnails for every story), you’ll find over 120 articles covering technical and gunsmithing topics. These articles can help you with major projects (such as stock painting), and they can also help you build more accurate ammo. Here are six popular selections from our Technical Articles archive.

pillar Bedding

Stress-Free Pillar Bedding. Richard Franklin explains how to do a top-quality bedding job, start to finish.

Gun Safe Technical Buyers Guide

Gun Safe Buyers Guide. Our comprehensive Safe Buyers Guide examines the key features to consider in a safe — Wall Thickness, Volume, Shelving, Fire Rating, Lighting, Weight and more. We also explain the Pros/Cons of Dial vs. Digital (Keypad) locking systems.

Savage Action Tuning Torque Settings

Savage Action Tuning. Top F-TR shooter Stan Pate explains how to enhance the performance of your Savage rifle by optimizing the torque settings of the action screws.

Precision Case Prep for Reloading

Complete Precision Case Prep. Jake Gottfredson covers the complete case prep process, including brass weight sorting, case trimming, primer pocket uniforming, neck-sizing, and, case-neck turning.

rifle stock painting and spraying

Stock Painting Instructions. Step-by-step guide for stock painting by expert Mike Ricklefs. Mike shows both simple coverage and fancy effects.

Ultrasound ultrasonic CAse Cleaning

Ultrasonic Case Cleaning. This article reviews the recommended process for cleaning cartridge brass with ultrasonic cleaning machine. We cover the right liquid solutions, processing times, and case drying options.

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September 15th, 2022

Weakside Bolt Placement — When and Why It Works

left port McMillan Rifle

Most bolt-action rifle shooters work the bolt with their trigger-pulling hand. This is because most rifles sold to right-handed shooters come with right-side bolts, while “lefty” rifles come with left-side bolts. This “standard” configuration requires the shooter to take his dominant, trigger-pulling hand off the stock to cycle the bolt, then re-position his hand on the stock, and “re-claim” the trigger. Often the shooter must lift or move his head to work the bolt, and that also requires him to re-establish his cheek weld after each and every shot. Not good.

This really doesn’t make much sense for precision shooting with fore-end support*. There is a better way. If you leave your trigger hand in position and work the bolt (and feed rounds) with the opposite hand, then you don’t need to shift grip and head position with each shot. All this requires is a weakside-placed bolt, i.e. a left bolt for a right-handed shooter or a right bolt for a left-handed shooter. The video below shows a “Lefty” working a right bolt. Note how efficient this is:

As our friend Boyd Allen explains: “If you think about it, if you are going to work with a factory action where your options are left bolt and left port or right bolt and right port, and you are building a rifle that will only be shot from a rest, using the left/left for a RH shooter or using a right/right for a LH shooter works better than the conventional configuration”.

Shoot Like a Champ and Work the Bolt with Your Weakside Hand
Derek Rodgers, the reigning F-TR World Champion and the only person to have won BOTH F-Open and F-TR U.S. National Championships plus the King of 2 Miles Match, runs this kind of “opposite” bolt set-up. Yep, Derek shoots right-handed with a left bolt. Though Derek is a right-hander, he shoots with a Left Bolt/Left Port (LBLP) action. He pulls the trigger with his right index finger, while working the left-side bolt with his left (weakside) hand. This allows him to stay in position, and maintain his cheekweld. He places his right hand on the grip, while manipulating the bolt (and feeding rounds) with his non-trigger-pulling hand.

Recent F-TR World Champion and King of 2 Miles Derek Rodgers
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

This is the rifle with which Derek won the 2013 F-TR National Championship.
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

*For true standing, off-hand shooting (whether in competition or on a hunt), a conventional strongside bolt placement makes sense, since the non-dominant arm must support the front of the rifle all the time. When shooting from bipod or rest, it’s a different story.

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September 14th, 2022

Better Spotting for Hunters — Using Binoculars with a Tripod

Vortex Binoculars

With hunting season underway (or coming up soon), we know that many readers will be out in the field — with a set of binoculars. On most game hunts, you’ll speed a lot more time glassing with binocs than looking through your riflescope. With wide field of view and extended low-light capability, a good set of binoculars will be your most important game-finder. And with premium LRF binoculars, such as the ZEISS Victory series, one tool serves both for spotting and laser ranging.

“Without the stabilization of your binoculars [provided by] a tripod … you will be missing a majority of the game you are glassing for.” — Outdoorsmans.com

In this article, Vortex Optics’ Mark Boardman, an experienced hunter, explains the benefits of using a tripod with high-magnification binoculars. Everybody knows that powerful spotting scopes work best when mounted to a stable tripod or otherwise secured to a steady mount. Yet when most folks use binoculars, they never even think of using a tripod, despite the fact that tripod adapters are available for many premium binoculars.

Vortex Binoculars


» READ FULL ARTICLE with More Tips for Hunters

Vortex BinocularsOutdoorsmans Tripod Adapters
Outdoorsmans.com sells tripod adapters for various kinds of binoculars. These really work: “Mounting your binoculars to a quality tripod is a must for the serious western hunter. Without the stabilization of your binoculars [by] mounting them to a tripod … you will be missing a majority of the game you are glassing for.”

A serious hunter should learn how to glass with tripod support, using methods outlined here. With binoculars offering more that 8X magnification, you can really benefit from a steady mount. You’ll be amazed at the difference the tripod will make.

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September 13th, 2022

Flatlined ShotMarker — Hey What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Adam McDonald Shotmarker sensor wires

A Canadian F-Class shooter (who shall remain nameless) was surprised when he saw this “flat-line” target displayed from a ShotMarker system. That’s 30 shots with almost no vertical at all. So what gives? The ShotMarker uses acoustic sensors to plot shot location. It is normally accurate to within a few millimeters. The shooter posted: “I’ve never had this happen before with a waterline. This is myself and another shooter, 30 rounds total, including four sighters at 900 meters in super strong winds that twitched back and forth every minute.”

So what happened? It turns our that the system’s wires were not connected correctly. AccurateShooter IT expert (and top F-Class Shooter) Jay Christopherson posted: “The wires are connected incorrectly… you’ve got the sensors crossed”. This ShotMarker system error can be diagnosed by doing a “tap test” as explained by Cal Waldner: “Thats a crossed sensor wire! That’s why a tap test needs to be done every time you rig the equipment. If a wire is crossed then you will catch it on the tap test.”

Other folks who viewed this target photo on Facebook said that they have seen a similar problem, so this is NOT an uncommon fault:

“Yup, my club had the same issue (and results) in an early outing with one of our ShotMarker units. The system reads the target area as a horizontal rectangle not as a square.” — Laurie Holland.

“I have seen this exact same result with the sensors plugged incorrectly.” — Dino Christopoulos

“This happened to several people at one match early on. Sensors crossed.” — Jen Bondurant

“I thought I was shooting a great waterline once [but the] wires were crossed — [a mistake from] setting up in the dark.”– Jerry Stephenson

Adam McDonald Shotmarker sensor wires

The ShotMarker System — Technology and Performance

The ShotMarker was invented by Adam McDonald, a brilliant young Canadian who also created the AutoTrickler. The ShotMarker is an advanced system for plotting shot impacts on targets using acoustic sensors placed in the four corners of the target frame. The central Sensor Hub at each target transmits to the Access Point at the firing line using LoRa, a low frequency RF protocol. Unlike Wifi, this power-efficient design works at over 2 miles and provides hassle-free connectivity even without direct line of sight.

Adam McDonald Shotmarker sensor wires

Adam McDonald Shotmarker sensor wires

The sensor unit in each corner of your frame contains two precision MEMS ultrasonic microphones which are capable of measuring a supersonic bullet within 1mm – when the frame is perfectly still.

Adam McDonald Shotmarker sensor wires

Real-world accuracy will be limited by motion of the sensors and the air while shots are being detected. Typically, every shot will be reported within a few millimeters, with ideal performance being realized on a stable frame in calm conditions.

CLICK HERE for more ShotMarker Technical Information »

Original Post Link in F-Class Competition Shooting Facebook Group

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September 7th, 2022

Zeiss Introduces New LRP S3 FFP Scopes — First Look

Zeiss LRP S3 first focal plane ffp scope 425 636 6-36x56mm Keith Glasscock

There’s a new premium First Focal Plane option for PRS/NRL competitors and long-range hunters. ZEISS has just introduced the all-new LRP S3 scope series, with 4-25X and 6-36X models, in both MRAD and MOA versions. These new scopes are impressive, with superb glass and best-in-class vertical elevation. And the prices are attractive, starting at $2199.99. You could pay a lot more for a top-tier FFP scope.

Zeiss LRP S3 first focal plane ffp scope 425 636 6-36x56mm Keith Glasscock

The new ZEISS LRP S3 optics for precision shooting and hunting boast impressive total elevation travel, advanced optics, daytime visible illuminated reticle, ballistic stop, and external locking windage turret. The product family consists of two models: ZEISS LRP S3 425-50 and LRP S3 636-56. Both are available in either Milliradian (MRAD) or minute-of-angle (MOA) configurations.

Zeiss LRP S3 first focal plane ffp scope 425 636 6-36x56mm Keith Glasscock

“With the LRP S3 we have expanded our successful long-range precision scope portfolio to provide more options for highly reliable and precise optics that are ready for competition”, stated Kyle Brown, Director of Marketing and Products for ZEISS Consumer Products USA. ZEISS LRP S3 first focal plane riflescopes are purpose-built for success in the world of long-range shooting and hunting.

Video shows ZEISS LRP S3 Scopes in Competition

Zeiss LRP S3 first focal plane ffp scope 425 636 6-36x56mm Keith Glasscock

New ZEISS LRP S3 636-56 Scopes MRAD and MOA

First Look Report by Keith Glasscock, Winning in the Wind

While the concept of “buy once, cry once” is a long-held tradition in the competition optics market, ZEISS is trying to break that mold. PRS/NRL competitors and long-range hunters favor first focal plane scopes with large magnification ratios and crystal clear optics. Most of the “alpha” scopes in this arena have price-tags of $4000 or more, but ZEISS is wading in with a more budget-friendly option — the ZEISS LRP S3 series. These new FFP 4-25X and 6-36X scopes have an ample 6x zoom ratio with MOA or MIL reticles (and corresponding click values). MSRPs are reasonable: $2499.99 for the 6-36X and $2199.99 for the 4-25X.

These new first focal plane LRP S3 optics feature multiple lens elements of highest-quality, extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, making them contenders for the brightest, clearest sight picture available. ZEISS promises “90% light transmission for a noticeably brighter image.”

I chose to review the LRP S3 6-36X models in both MOA and MIL formats. Like any top quality scope, the ZEISS offering is well packaged and properly protected for shipment. Upon opening the package, one is immediately struck with the diameter of the turrets. They are large and easy to grasp, unlike many of the competitor’s designs. A truly shooter-friendly feature for PRS shooters and hunters alike is the repositioning of the index marks for both the windage and parallax adjustments to the upper side of the scope body. This is a welcome feature, making pre-stage windage setting much easier.

Zeiss LRP S3 first focal plane ffp scope 425 636 6-36x56mm Keith Glasscock

The turrets are 10 MIL or 25 MOA per rotation, making it unlikely that the shooter will get lost while adjusting. If more than one rotation is needed, a nicely visible micrometer scale rests below the turret, to keep things oriented. The elevation knob features a zero stop to get you back to the starting point reliably, and the windage knob features a lock to prevent accidental adjustment. The turrets themselves have large, unmistakable markings that are easy to read, even without one’s reading glasses.

Zeiss LRP S3 first focal plane ffp scope 425 636 6-36x56mm Keith Glasscock

The scopes were mounted in ZEISS ultralight rings and placed on a double mount side-by-side on a tripod with one of the best pieces of glass the author owns — a Nightforce Competition 15-55x52mm. Looking across the river at the adjacent city 3 miles away told the tale. The glass in the ZEISS was nearly identical in resolution and color to Nightforce’s Japanese glass. Moreover, the ZEISS collected more light, thanks to the larger 56mm objective and 34mm main tube. Through tough conditions on a hazy afternoon, the ZEISS had slightly better clarity than the Nightforce. A day later, looking into the evening sunset as a backdrop, they were identical to the author’s eye at both 36x and 15x respectively. Even the heavy mirage present didn’t seem to differentiate between the scopes.

Zeiss LRP S3 first focal plane ffp scope 425 636 6-36x56mm Keith Glasscock

With excellent HD quality glass, and good magnification options (4-25X and 6-36X), what is missing? Two things got my attention. The first was the lack of a sunshade as part of the scope. ZEISS offers sunshades separately at a reasonable cost, but they really should be offered as part of the scope package in my opinion. The second is the lack of range markings on the parallax knob. Setting parallax with range markings is not ideal, but can be quite helpful in shooting situations on the clock.

Impressive So Far, with More Testing to Come
The LRP S3 636-56 is an option-rich scope at a reasonable price for both PRS/NRL and hunting applications. Will it prove to rival the $4000 “alpha” scopes at a much lower and more affordable cost? We plan to answer that question with a detailed field test in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned. – Keith Glasscock

ZEISS LRP S3 Optics Key Features

Best-in-Class Total Elevation Travel
4-25x50mm: 46.5 MRAD / 160 MOA
6-36x56mm: 32.0 MRAD / 110 MOA
Advanced Optical Design — for a highly detailed and precise image
Ballistic Stop and External Locking Windage Turret for precise shot placement
Daylight Visible Illuminated Smart Reticle – quick and precise to read, with minimum target coverage and red or green illumination settings

Zeiss LRP S3 first focal plane ffp scope 425 636 6-36x56mm Keith Glasscock
Zeiss LRP S3 first focal plane ffp scope 425 636 6-36x56mm Keith Glasscock

Relatively Compact and Tested to Be Tough in Extreme Conditions
With its 34mm aluminum main tube mono-bloc housing, shock tested up to 1,500g-force, waterproofness up to 400 mbar, the LRP S3 is not only compact but also very robust. It is engineered for extreme usage in rough terrain. “The LRP S3 meets all requirements not only for long-range competitions but also for particularly demanding hunting situations over long distances”, notes Kyle Brown of ZEISS. And these scopes are covered by ZEISS’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 5-Year No-Fault Policy.

Zeiss LRP S3 first focal plane ffp scope 425 636 6-36x56mm Keith Glasscock

USA Retail Pricing (for ZEISS Authorized USA Retailers):
LRP S3 425-50 [522675-9916-090] 4-25x50mm – ZF-MRi Reticle (#16) 0.1 MRAD clicks: $2,199.99
LRP S3 425-50 [522665-9917-090] 4-25x50mm – ZF-MOAi Reticle (#17) 0.25 MOA clicks: $2,199.99
LRP S3 636-56 [522695-9916-090] 6-36x56mm – ZF-MRi Reticle (#16) 0.1 MRAD clicks: $2,499.99
LRP S3 636-56 [522685-9917-090] 6-36x56mm – ZF-MOAi Reticle (#17) 0.25 MOA clicks: $2,499.99

Availability: All ZEISS LRP S3 models — LRP S3 425-50 and 636-56 both MRAD and MOA versions — will be available at authorized ZEISS retailers beginning early October 2022 for the North American markets. For more information about the ZEISS LRP S3 scopes, visit www.zeiss.com/lrp-s3.

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September 5th, 2022

Ballistics and Bullet TECH — FREE Applied Ballistics Articles

Want to improve your understanding of Ballistics, Bullet Design, Bullet Pointing, and other shooting-related tech topics? Well here’s a treasure trove of gun expertise. Applied Ballistics offers dozens of FREE tech articles on its website. Curious about Coriolis? — You’ll find answers. Want to understand the difference between G1 and G7 BC? — There’s an article about that.

“Doc” Beech, technical support specialist at Applied Ballistics says these articles can help shooters working with ballistics programs: “One of the biggest issues I have seen is the misunderstanding… about a bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) and what it really means. Several papers on ballistic coefficient are available for shooters to review on the website.”

Litz applied ballistics PDF articles

Credit Shooting Sports USA Editor John Parker for finding this great resource. John writes: “Our friends at Applied Ballistics have a real gold mine of articles on the science of accurate shooting on their website. This is a fantastic source for precision shooting information[.] Topics presented are wide-ranging — from ballistic coefficients to bullet analysis.”

READ All Applied Ballistics Articles HERE »

Here are six (6) of our favorite Applied Ballistics articles, available for FREE to read online. There are dozens more, all available on the Applied Ballistics Education Webpage. After Clicking link, select Plus (+) Symbol for “White Papers”, then find the article(s) you want in the list. For each selection, then click “Download” in the right column. This will send a PDF version to your device.

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September 4th, 2022

Keeping It Legal — Guide to Traveling with Firearms

Hunting season is coming soon. If you plan to travel across state lines with your hunting rifles, this book can really help. With over 100 changes from last year, the 2022 edition of Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States is a must-read for anyone planning to travel around the country with firearms. In addition, the book also covers the firearms travel laws for Canada and Mexico.

For $15.95 you can purchase a state-by-state Traveler’s Guide to firearms laws. This book can help ensure you comply with all state laws during your trip. Highways Magazine states: “If you carry a weapon in your rig, you need this book.” This 68-page guide covers all firearms types and all 50 states. It even has info for Canada and Mexico. The Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States has sold more than 1,000,000 copies since it was first released in 1996.

This 26th edition of the Traveler’s Guide covers important topics such as carry of firearms in a motor vehicle, concealed carry reciprocity, which states preempt local gun regulation, tips on handling a traffic stop, concealed carry in state and National Parks, vehicle carry and possession on college campuses and much more. Best of all, the text is in plain, easy-to-read English.

Written and researched by J. Scott Kappas, an attorney and Class III Firearms Dealer, the 2022 Traveler’s Guide has a preface that defines many key terms important for anyone traveling with a firearm across state lines. The latest edition also has new formatting for easier reading.

Purchase from GunLawGuide.com $15.95 with FREE shipping (3-4 weeks), or $19.95 with 1st Class Shipping (5-7 days). And as a special deal, you can also purchase the book from third party sellers on Amazon for $8.89 with free shipping (but act fast). The two vendors offering this deal are RGSellars and Anadorn.

MORE INFO at GunlawGuide.com | CLICK HERE for Sample Pages

The Traveler’s Guide is especially useful for shooters traveling in RVs and motorhomes. The American Rifleman Magazine declared: “This book is a must-have for truck drivers, motor home enthusiasts, campers and other travelers…easy to read and understand, well-organized and concise….” One reader from Texas adds: “I used to think that my RV was the same as my home when it came to gun carry….the Traveler’s Guide set me straight. Now I know my motorhome is subject to the same laws as any vehicle when it comes to guns.”

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September 1st, 2022

How to Prep Once-Fired Lake City 5.56 Brass for Match Use

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit regularly published a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. One excellent “Handloading Hump Day” post covered preparation of once-fired 5.56x45mm brass. This article, the first in a 3-part series, has many useful tips. If you shoot a rifle chambered in .223 Rem or 5.56x45mm, this article is worth reading. You can obtain once-fired Lake City 5.56x45mm brass for less than half the cost of premium .223 Rem brass.

This week, Handloading Hump-Day will answer a special request from several competitive shooters who asked about procedures for morphing once-fired GI 5.56mm brass into accurate match brass for NRA High Power Rifle use. The USAMU has used virgin Lake City (LC) 5.56 brass to win National Championships and set National Records for many years. In this 3-part series, we’ll share techniques proven to wring match-winning accuracy from combat-grade brass.

GI brass has an excellent attribute, worth noting — it is virtually indestructible. Due to its NATO-spec hardness, the primer pockets last much longer than most commercial brass when using loads at appropriate pressures.

Preparing Once-Fired GI 5.56 Brass for Reloading (Part 1 of 3)

Assuming our readers will be getting brass once-fired as received from surplus dealers, the following steps can help process the low-cost raw material into reliably accurate components.

1. Clean the Brass
First, clean the brass of any dirt/mud/debris, if applicable. Depending on the brass’s condition, washing it in a soap solution followed by a thorough rinsing may help. [This step also extends the life of the tumbling media.] Approaches range from low-tech, using gallon jugs 1/2 full of water/dish soap plus brass and shaking vigorously, to more high-tech, expensive and time-consuming methods.

cleaning Lake City 5.56 brass

2. Wet-Tumbling Options (Be Sure to Dry the Brass)
When applying the final cleaning/polish, some use tumblers with liquid cleaning media and stainless steel pins for a brilliant shine inside and out, while others take the traditional vibratory tumbler/ground media approach. Degree of case shine is purely personal preference, but the key issue is simple cleanliness to avoid scratching ones’ dies.

If a liquid cleaner is used, be SURE to dry the cases thoroughly to preclude corrosion inside. One method is to dump the wet brass into an old pillow case, then tilt it left/right so the cases re-orient themselves while shifting from corner to corner. Several repetitions, pausing at each corner until water stops draining, will remove most water. They can then be left to air-dry on a towel, or can be dried in a warm (150° F-200° F max) oven for a few minutes to speed evaporation.

Shown below are Lake City cases after cleaning with Stainless Media (STM). Note: STM Case cleaning was done by a third party, not the USAMU, which does not endorse any particular cleaning method.

NOTE: The USAMU Handloading (HL) Shop does not RE-load fired 5.56 brass. We use virgin LC brass with our chosen primer already staked in place. However, our staff has extensive personal experience reloading GI brass for competition, which will supplement the Shop’s customary steps. In handloading, as in life, there are many ways to accomplish any given task. Our suggestions are note presented as the “only way,” by any means. Time for loading/practicing is always at a premium. Readers who have more efficient, alternative methods that maintain top accuracy are invited to share them here.

3. Inspect Every Case
Once dry, inspect each case for significant deformation (i.e., someone stepped on it), damaged mouths/necks and case head/rim damage. Some rifles’ ejectors actually dig small chunks of brass out of the case head — obviously, not ideal for precision shooting. Similarly, some extractors can bend the case rims so badly that distortion is visible when spinning them in one’s fingers. These can be used for plinking, but our match brass should have straight, undamaged rims.

Dented case mouths are common, and these can easily be rounded using a conical, tapered tool, [such as a .223 expander mandrel. A dummy 7.62 or .30-06 cartridge with a FMJ spitzer can also work.] If most of your brass is of one headstamp, this is a good time to cull out any odd cases.

4. Check the Primers Before Decapping
Your clean, dry and inspected brass is now ready for full-length sizing, decapping and re-priming. Historically, primer crimps on GI brass have caused some head-scratching (and vile language) among handloaders. Our next installment will detail efficient, easy and practical methods to remove primer crimp, plus other useful handloading tips. Until next week, Good Shooting!

Accuracy Potential of Mil-Surp 5.56×45 Brass
So, how accurate can previously-fired GI surplus brass be in a good National Match AR-15? Well, here’s a data point from many years ago that might be of interest. A High Power shooter who wrote for the late Precision Shooting magazine took a Bill Wylde-built AR match rifle to a registered Benchrest match. He had no difficulty obtaining consistent 0.5-0.6 MOA accuracy at 200 yards using LC brass and a generic “practice” load that was not tuned to his rifle.

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August 29th, 2022

Wrong Cartridge in Chamber — What Can Happen

Ruptured Cartridge Case

If you don’t match your ammo to your chamber, bad things can happen, that’s for sure. A while back, Forum member BigBlack had an experience at the gun range that reminds us of the importance of safety when shooting. He encountered evidence that someone had fired the wrong cartridge in a 7mm WSM rifle. The problem is more common than you may think. This Editor has personally seen novices try to shoot 9mm ammo in 40 S&W pistols. BigBlack’s story is along those lines, though the results were much more dramatic. It’s too bad a knowledgeable shooter was not nearby to “intervene” before this fellow chambered the wrong ammo.

7mm-08 is Not the Same as a 7mm WSM
BigBlack writes: “I know this has probably been replayed a thousand times but I feel we can never be reminded enough about safety. This weekend at the range I found a ruptured case on the ground. My immediate thoughts were that it was a hot load, but the neck area was begging for me to take a closer look, so I did. I took home the exploded case and rummaged through my old cases until I found a close match. From my investigative work it appears someone shot a 7mm-08 in a 7mm WSM. Take a look. In the above photo I’ve put together a 7mm WSM case (top), the ruptured case (middle), and a 7mm-08 case (bottom).”

The photo reveals what probably happened to the 7mm-08 case. The shoulder moved forward to match the 7mm WSM profile. The sidewalls of the case expanded outward in the much larger 7mm WSM chamber until they lacked the strength to contain the charge, and then the case sides ruptured catastrophically. A blow-out of this kind can be very dangerous, as the expanding gasses may not be completely contained within the action.

Can’t Happen to You? Think Again.
This kind of mistake — chambering the wrong cartridge — can happen to any shooter who is distracted, who places even a single wrong round in an ammo box, or who has two types of ammo on the bench. One of our Forum members was testing two different rifles recently and he picked up the wrong cartridge from the bench. As a result, he fired a .30-06 round in a .300 Win Mag chamber, and the case blew out. Here is his story:

“I took two of my hunting rifles I have not used for over 25 years to the range yesterday to get new scopes on paper, a .30-06 and .300 Win Mag. I had four boxes of old Winchester factory ammo (two of each cartridge), which had near identical appearances. I accidentally chambered a .30-06 round in the Sako .300 Win Mag rifle. It sprayed powder on my face and cracked the stock at the pistol grip. If I had not been wearing safety glasses I might be blind right now.

Safety eyewear glasses
You should always wear protective eyewear, EVERY time you shoot.

“I feel lucky and am very thankful for being OK — other than my face looks funny right now. I am also grateful for learning a valuable lesson. I will never put two different cartridges on the bench at the same time again.”

READ More about this incident in our Shooters’ Forum.

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