October 13th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Seb Succeeds at WARA Match in Australia

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

It’s not often when a gun accessory designer/builder shoots a high-level international competition and finishes on the podium. Well Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang did just that recently, earning the Silver Medal for finishing second overall (F-TR) at the West Australian Rifle Association (WARA) Queens Prize Meeting at the Pinjar Range in Western Australia. Seb shot in F-TR division, piloting a handsome new .308 Win rifle supplied by Seb’s Aussie friend Jason Mayers, the F-TR Match winner. Here is Seb’s account of his visit to Perth, Australia to shoot the WARA Queens Match. SEE Match Results HERE.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

WARA Queens Prize Meeting in Western Australia
Report by Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang
My wife Lily and I arrived in Perth, Australia, on September 23, two days before the competition began. At first, I wanted to attend the Australian Nationals in Brisbane which I have participated in before. I thought that would be bigger and more exciting than the WARA Queens. However, I received a recommendation from Jason Mayers to participate in the Queens instead. I was told that more shooters would come to this match because there would be a State team match and pre-qualification for the World Championship.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

About the Pinjar Shooting Range in Perth, Australia
The Pinjar shooting range near Perth (on Australia’s West Coast) is excellent both in its facilities and management. Ranging from ample parking space, clean toilets, spacious hall and canteen, wailing walls, water reservoir, very nice electronic targets etc, they have it all. It even offers a special preparation area for fouling shots on the far right side of the range.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

The Target boards downrange are at 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 meters from right to left. One interesting thing about Pinjar is that all the firing stations are along the same horizontal track. Shooters only need to move sideways to change the shooting distance — e.g. from 300 to 500 or from 600 to 800.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

Twin Rifles for Seb and F-TR Match Winner Jason Mayers
My rifle is one of the two identical builds put together by Jason Mayers with the help of some local gunsmiths and shooters. This rifle, loaded with moly-coated Berger 200gr Hybrids, shot like a laser.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
Both Seb and F-TR match winner Jason Mayers used the new, prototype ski-feet on their Joy-pods.

The stock was designed over a period of time with local stock maker Robert Eager based in Goulbourn, NSW, Australia. Jason worked with Bob over several years trialing various shapes until they settled on the design seen in the photos. The stocks are made from Spalted Blackbean wood.

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

For the twin rifles, Barnard actions were chosen and Bartlein 1:10″-twist .308 barrels were fitted to both by Matt Parroz of LRP Solutions. The barrels are chambered for Berger 200gr Hybrids. Both rifles are running moly-coated projectiles. Huntsman Tuners, made in Brisbane, are fitted to both rifles.

Impressive F-TR Second Place for Seb at 2019 WARA Queens Match

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
Here F-TR Silver Medal Winner Seb Lambang (466.22V) stands with F-TR Match Winner Jason Mayers (469.38V). They shot identical .308 Win rifles!

“Thank you my brother Jason Mayers who took care of everything for me, and shared your knowledge[.] Without your help I wouldn’t have been able to place 2nd in the WARA Queens F-TR! Congratulations on your 1st place Jason, it was absolutely outstanding! I am sure this is the toughest and biggest F-TR match in Australia ever held so far … with the best Australian shooters qualifying for the Worlds. Congratulations to all winners in the WARA Queens! See you again next time!” — Seb Lambang

About SEB Products — Coaxial Rests, Joystick Bipods, Accessories

Seb told AccurateShooter: “I always try to make my products better over time, not just keeping them ‘as is’. Quality has and always been my top priority. I am grateful that many friends around the world always willing to help through their input, suggestions, and field testing. I am also grateful for what we have achieved today. Yes there have been some who copied my rests and bipod but people know which one has the best value for them. My thanks to all our loyal customers around the world!”

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match

SEB Neo Rest Sebastian Lambang Australia WARA Queen match
SEB Max rest set for 1200 yards in Coonabarrabran, Australia (Jenni Hausler photo).

Sebastian Lambang SEB Mini coax coaxial pedestal rest F-Open Vince Bottomley

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review 3 Comments »
October 12th, 2019

Jessie Harrison Bags a Buck in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains

Jessie Harrison deer hunting WY Wyoming bighorn big horn outfitters mountains

It’s deer-hunting season throughout the country. The chance to bag a Muley buck drew action-shooting ace Jessie Harrison out to Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains region. Jessie, who is probably the best lady action pistol shooter on the planet, had a successful hunt with Big Horn Outfitters. Jessie, Shooting Team Captain for Taurus USA, really enjoyed getting out into the Wyoming wilderness. And she got her buck!

Jessie Harrison deer hunting WY Wyoming bighorn mountains

Jessie posted: “To say this hunt was a success would be an understatement. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Bushnell and Dustin DeCroo at Big Horn Outfitters – Wyoming for this experience. Melissa Gilliland and I are taking home beautiful trophies along with wonderful memories of our adventures. Special thanks to Hunter Phelps for capturing the journey and Brenda Weatherby for joining us to share in the fun!”

Jessie Harrison deer hunting WY Wyoming bighorn mountains
Jessie with Melissa (Missy) Gilliland, Brenda Weatherby, and Guide Dustin DeCroo.

Jessie’s Hunting Gear:

Weatherby Mark V 6.5×300 rifle
Bushell Forge 10×42 and 15×56 binos
Busnell Forge 20-60 spotting scope
Bushnell Forge 3-18 rifle scope
Nitro 1800 Laser Rangefinder
DSG Outerwear — Women’s Hunting Apparel
Mystery Ranch B backpack
Danner Boots

Jessie Harrison deer hunting WY Wyoming bighorn big horn mountains
Here are Jessie and Missy looking for Mule Deer with binoculars and spotting scope.

Jessie Harrison deer hunting WY Wyoming bighorn Big horn mountains

Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming

Other clients of Big Horn Outfitters, based in Buffalo, Wyoming, have been very impressed with the operation, and the quality of the hunting:

“These [Big Horn Outfitters] guys know where the animals are at, what they are doing and will work tirelessly to make sure every hunter gets an opportunity. When your hunt is over the lodging, food and accommodations are all second to none. I can’t recommend these guys enough to anyone looking for a high-quality Western hunt.” — Justin Zarr

“Big Horn Outfitters is a First Class operation from start to finish. Unmatched hospitality, great food, guide knowledge, and most importantly the game was plentiful and of great quality. Big Horn Outfitters treated us like family and went out of their way to ensure we had a great experience.” — Sam W.

Jessie Harrison deer hunting WY Wyoming bighorn Big horn mountains
Eastern slope of the Bighorns above Buffalo, Wyoming. CCA Commons photo by Atkach24.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
October 11th, 2019

New Matchmaster Twin-Tube Powder Dispenser/Scale from RCBS

RCBS Matchmaster powder dispenser scale two tube match mode 0.04 grain chargemaster

RCBS has a new, high-speed, high-precision electronic powder scale/dispenser, the black-bodied RCBS Matchmaster. This new device features TWO dispensing tubes (high-speed and low-speed), plus optional software control via a smartphone App. It has a standard mode for fast dispensing and a “Match Mode” for ultra-precise dispensing to a claimed 0.04 grains. The Matchmaker has a nice LCD touchscreen and a unique anti-spill “Open Drain Alert” system.

How FAST is the Matchmaster? RCBS says, with the dual tubes, the Matchmaster can dispense a charge in under 20 seconds in Standard Mode.

How PRECISE is the Matchmaster? RCBS is claiming 0.04 grains precision. That’s four hundredths of a grain. This is close to one or two kernel accuracy with an extruded powder such as H4350. Watch Video:

How much will it COST? RCBS has not officially released an MSRP, but we’re told the list MSRP could be $899.00, with a “street price” around $770.00. Stay tuned for updated pricing information from vendors.

Is this a Force Restoration Scale? No. We have been told the RCBS Matchmaster does NOT employ Magnetic Force Restoration weighing technology.

RCBS Matchmaster powder dispenser scale two tube match mode 0.04 grain chargemaster

RCBS Matchmaster powder dispenser scale two tube match mode 0.04 grain chargemasterRCBS Matchmaster Product Information:
RCBS… has released the company’s fastest and most accurate powder dispenser with the launch of the new RCBS Matchmaster. Featuring precise 0.04 grain consistent measurements and a new patent-pending dual tube dispensing technology for enhanced speed, the new RCBS Matchmaster saves users precious time on the reloading bench while promoting maximum accuracy.

Among its many design enhancements, the one-piece Matchmaster unit features an LCD touchscreen display that is Bluetooth compatible with the new RCBS App. This exclusive compatibility provides complete user control to calibrate scales and dispense powder in auto or manual modes. With pre-configured powder types readily accessible, handloaders now have the ability to create and or modify their own customized powder configurations in order to easily fine tune their favorite loads.

Through the MatchMaster’s patent pending dual tube dispensing technology, the dispenser is capable of delivering quick charges, each delivering between 0.10 and 0.04 grain accuracy every time.

The MatchMaster delivers charges in two mode configurations: Standard mode and Match mode. Standard mode drops charges to 0.10 grain accuracy in under 20 seconds while the Match mode drops charges to 0.04 grain accuracy.

[There is also] a patent-pending Bottom Drain function with Open Drain Alert. This exclusive combination ensures users will never experience unwanted powder on their bench when filling the dispenser.

“The new RCBS Matchmaster has taken powder dispensing and weighing to the next level,” said Will Hemeyer, Sr. Product Line Manager for RCBS. “With its user adjustable powder settings, Bluetooth compatibility, and revolutionary dual tube dispense technology, the Matchmaster reduces reloading time and simplifies the entire operation all while maintaining zero impact to charge accuracy.”

RCBS Matchmaster powder dispenser scale two tube match mode 0.04 grain chargemaster

CLICK HERE to learn more about the new Matchmaster Powder Dispenser.

RCBS Matchmaster powder dispenser scale two tube match mode 0.04 grain chargemaster

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, New Product, News 3 Comments »
October 9th, 2019

How’s Your Headspace? Four Tools to Measure Shoulder Bump

shoulder bump headspace gauge comparator tool whidden manson

The Tactical Rifle Shooters Facebook Group recently showcased tools used to measure case headspace before and after “bumping” the shoulder. After a case is fired, hand-loaders who full-length size their cases will typically bump the shoulders back anywhere from .001″ to .0035″, depending on the rifle and application. With our 6mmBR and Dasher cases we like about .0015″ bump.

You want the amount of case sizing and bump to be the same for all your brass. To ensure uniformity, it makes sense to measure your cases before and after the FL sizing process. When we have time, we check every case. Other folks will simply check the first 3-4 cases coming out of the FL sizing die to ensure the FL die setting is correct and delivering desired headspace/bump.

1. Whidden Gunworks Shoulder Bump Gauge

shoulder bump headspace gauge comparator tool whidden manson

There are a variety of tools that can be used to measure shoulder bump. Our favorite is a special cartridge-specific bushing made by Whidden Gunworks. The Whidden Shoulder Bump Gauge enables you to adjust your sizing die to the desired measurement. The bump gauge is attached to your calipers with a set screw and determines the measurement from the base to the shoulder of the case. The photo below, from Tactical Rifle Shooters, shows the Whidden Bump Gauge for the .375 CheyTac cartridge.

2. Dave Manson Vertical Comparator with Dial Read-Out

shoulder bump headspace gauge comparator tool whidden manson
Background image courtesy Tactical Rifle Shooters; inset photo from Manson Precison Reamers.

Dave Manson states: “This tool was designed to make life easier for the advanced shooter and re-loader by allowing precise measurement of ammunition, case, and chamber headspace. With this information, the re-loader will be able to fine-tune clearances and fits between his ammunition and chamber, with resultant improvements in accuracy and case life.” The functions of the Comparator are:

1. Measure headspace of factory or reloaded ammunition
2. Quantify chamber headspace by measuring headspace of a fired case
3. Ensure minimal shoulder set-back when setting up re-loading dies
4. Compare base-to-ogive length to ensure consistent bullet-to-rifling relationship.

In addition to the Dial Indicator and Stand, the $130.00 Vertical Comparator is supplied with multiple Datum Blocks of precise length and inside diameter (.3300″/.3750″/.4000″/.4375″). MORE INFO HERE.

3. Hornady L-N-L Headspace Comparator System

shoulder bump headspace gauge comparator tool whidden manson

Hornady makes comparator gauges matched to the red comparator holder that mounts on your caliper. These Lock-N-Load Headspace Gauges are inexpensive. You can get a set of five gauges for $31.99. Hornady explains: “The Lock-N-Load® Headspace Comparator… gauge measures variations in brass before and after firing or re-sizing. It allows for headspace comparison between fire-formed brass and re-sized brass.” IMPORTANT: Hornady states: “To determine the proper bushing diameter for your cartridge, simply add the neck diameter and the shoulder diameter and divide that number by two. Use the bushing closest to that number.” Hornady offers five: .330″, .350″, .375″, .400″, and .420″.

One tip — We have found the Hornady gauges may vary a little from unit to unit even with the same nominal size. If you have more than one gauge for the same cartridge, test each on your brass — you may then note a slight difference in your bump measurements.

4. Pistol Brass Case DIY Bump Gauge

Last is a “field expedient” set-up if you do not have any of the comparator tools shown above. A sized .45 ACP case (or other suitable pistol case) can be used to measure shoulder bump. The mouth of the pistol case sits on the shoulder of your rifle cartridge brass.

Make sure the .45 ACP case is trimmed square and that it is round. We recommend you first run it through an expander, then size it, trim it and chamfer. Next, take the .45 ACP case and slip it over the neck of a fired, unsized rifle case with the primer removed. Align the two cases between the jaws of your calipers and note the length from rim to rim (See left photo below).

OK, now you have the length for a fired rifle case BEFORE sizing. Next, take a full-length sized rifle case (without primer) and do the same thing, placing the .45 ACP case over the neck of the FL-sized case (Right Photo). The difference between the two numbers is the amount of “bump” or set-back you are applying to the shoulder. Here the difference is .0015″. The amount of bump you need varies with your chamber and your load, but .0015-.002″ is a good initial setting.

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
October 9th, 2019

New Toy for PRS Boys — MPA Matrix Chassis

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

MasterPiece Arms (MPA) has a new chassis system — the “MPA Matrix”. Derived from the MPA BA Chassis, the MPA Matrix Chassis offers a “multitude of configurations in grips, thumb rests, and trigger finger supports”. MPA claims the grip and hand area has over 100 different variations. The MPA Matrix has a fore-end two inches longer than the standard BA or BA Competition Chassis. Overall, the Matrix is fairly heavy, at 6.4 pounds, and pretty expensive, with a $1250-$1450 MSRP (depending on options). By contrast the MPA BA Hybrid Chassis costs $925.00 and weighs 3.5 pounds (without recoil pad).

CLICK Image for large MPA Matrix Photo:
MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

There are significant design differences between the MPA Matrix and MPA BA Hybrid (below). The Matrix, at 6.4 pounds, is also much heavier than the 3.5-lb BA Hybrid. Given that many PRS/NRL competitors favor heavier rifles for greater stability (and less felt recoil), the Matrix’s extra mass is probably a good thing.

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

The MPA Matrix features five different grip options (3 swept and 2 vertical), three different thumb-rest designs and four different trigger finger supports. That’s great for shooters who like to keep their thumb forward on the bolt side of the action. However, looking at the chassis, we’re really not sure we like the way the Matrix encircles the grip area. You’ve got hard metal behind the grip. The Matrix appears set up for resting the thumb of the trigger hand alongside the action. That can work for sure, but we think some shooters will prefer a more conventional vertical grip you can wrap your thumb around. A conventional grip will also have recoil cushioning for the web of the hand. See the BA Hybrid chassis for comparison. This Matrix is really VERY different in the grip area. But if you don’t like the Matrix, there are certainly other stock options available.

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

The new Matrix Chassis is designed for Remington Short Actions and Rem clones. The Matrix does offer good adjustability — the buttstock has an adjustable cheek riser and length of pull adjusts from 13.5 to 14.75 inches. Plus, the recoil pad adjusts for height and cant. You can get either an adjustable rear monopod or a bag-rider configuration. As you’d expect, the MPA Matrix has M-LOK slots along the fore-end sides and barricade stop holes along the bottom.

What was the concept behind the Matrix chassis? MPA’s President, Phil Cashin, states: “One of the things that we have seen in precision rifle shooting over the past couple of years is how many different methods a shooter used to engage a stock or chassis. Due to variations in hand size, finger thickness and length, as well as shooter preference on how they want to engage the chassis or stock, we’ve seen a lot of inconsistencies among the shooters in how they engage the rifle and where they position the pad of the trigger finger with the shoe of the trigger. This inspired us to create a system that would provide a more custom fit procedure for our customers by creating a chassis with more customized configurations.”

The MPA Matrix Chassis (MSRP $1250-$1450) is available in eight Cerakote colors: Graphite Black, Flat Dark Earth, Burnt Bronze, Tungsten, Gunmetal, Sniper Green, NRA Blue, and USMC Red. Custom H Series Cerakote colors are an additional $135, while camo patterns are $450 extra.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
October 7th, 2019

Bargain Finder 211: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. CDNN — Ruger American .30-06 Hunting Rifle, $319.99

ruger american rifle
ruger american rifle

Even with so many new cartridge types, the venerable .30-06 Springfield remains a trusted and effective hunting round. Moreover, you can find good .30-06 hunting ammo at most any sporting goods store. Whether you’re looking for an affordable hunting rifle or perhaps a first rifle for a family member, check out this .30-06 Ruger American Rifle with Wolf Camo finish. CDNN’s current sale price is just $319.99 — a great bargain. Ruger offers a great warranty.

2. Amazon — Teslong Digital Borescope, $49.99

teslong digital borescope

The impressive Teslong digital borescope offers capabilities that rival optical systems costing $700 or more. This compact, electro-optical, cable-type borescope outputs sharp, high-resolution images and VIDEO to desktop computers, laptops, as well as Android tablets and smartphones. Check out our Full Teslong Review complete with inside-the-barrel videos. At $49.99 this is a great value. NOTE: This unit does NOT currently work with iPhones and iPads.

3. Amazon — Custom Damascus Hunting Knife, $59.99

custom hunting damascus knife

Having a good hunting knife on your hip when you’re out in the field is a necessity. Whether dressing your game, making kindling, or getting out of dangerous situations, the importance of having a good knife can’t be overstated. If you’re looking for new one or maybe a gift for that new young hunter in your life, take a look at this custom Damascus hunting knife complete with leather sheath. It can do a myriad of tasks while looking great with that Damascus steel blade.

4. Caldwell — 30% Off FieldPod Magnum, TreePod, & ChairPod

Deadshot field support tripod Treepod Fieldpod chairpod

Deadshot field support tripod Treepod Fieldpod chairpodCaldwell makes some excellent, adjustable field supports for hunters and varminters. Right now AccurateShooter readers can save 30% on Caldwell’s Fieldpod Magnum, Treepod, and Chairpod shooting rests. The Treepod is ideal for treestand hunters. The versatile Fieldpod Magnum is stable and sturdy yet can be easily carried into the field. The ChairPod provides comfortable seating with adjustable rifle rest. You can save big with this special 30% off discount for AccurateShooter.com readers and Forum members.

For example, the excellent Fieldpod Magnum is reduced from $179.99 down to $125.99 — that’s a GREAT deal. The 30% discount appears when you add an item to the Caldwell shopping cart and then proceed to check-out.

5. Natchez — ChargeMaster Lite Powder Dispenser, $199.99

rcbs chargemaster lite

Precise powder dispensing is critical for accurate loads. Among the many electronic scale/dispensers on the market, RCBS’s ChargeMaster Lite is a very good choice. This week Natchez is selling the ChargeMaster Lite for only $199.99. That’s a great price — almost $40 cheaper than Amazon. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to buy, don’t delay.

6. Amazon — Vortex Ranger 1500 Rangefinder, $329.00

vortex ranger rangefinder

For a safe (and ethical) hunt, you should know the precise distance to your prey. We recommend a laser rangefinder. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a small fortune for a good LRF these days. The Vortex Ranger 1500 is rated to 1500 yards, with built-in Angle Correction. The Range 1500 is also great for ranging targets during UKD tactical matches. Right now this Vortex LRF is on sale for just $329.00 on Amazon. And for $20 more ($349.00) you can pick up the Vortex Ranger 1800 rated to 1800 yards.

7. Bullet Central — Bix’N Andy TacSport Triggers

tacsport trigger

Bix’N Andy competition triggers are considered superior for good reason. However they’re not always the best for PRS matches where it can get wet and dirty. That’s why Bix’N Andy introduced the TacSport Series Triggers which feature a durable housing built for extreme environments. These are better for shooting in wet or dusty conditions. Choose from a variety of Bix’N Andy trigger shoes.

8. Grafs — Browning Hunting Ammo Sale

browning hunting ammo sale

It’s hunting season so you’ll want to grab some effective hunting ammunition at attractive prices. Head over to Grafs.com for the current Browning Hunting Ammo Sale. The sale includes nearly all Browning hunting ammunition types, so you should find good options for all popular calibers/chamberings.

9. Brownells — Sinclair Chamber Cleaning Kit, $36.99

sinclair chamber cleaning tool kit

Most shooters clean their barrels and bolts but many fail to properly clean their chambers. Don’t make this mistake — clean your chambers regularly on both hunting and match rifles. We recommend a dedicated chamber cleaning kit. The Sinclair Chamber Cleaning Tool Kit provides everything you need to properly get debris, powder and grease out of the chamber. That helps ensure every round loads and extracts properly.

10. Amazon — 12″ x 12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $9.99

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $9.99, or a 25-pack for $17.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, New Product, Optics No Comments »
October 6th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Chris Nichols’s 600-Yard Light and Heavy Guns

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Chris Nichols with potential world record (1.297″ 4-Target Agg) Heavy Gun Targets!

Report by Bart Sauter, Bart’s Custom Bullets
Chris Nichols is one of the best 600-yard shooters in the game. This 2019 season he compiled one of the most impressive mid-range benchrest seasons ever. Check out the stats — Chris’s nine-match, Two-Gun Group Aggregate (Agg) for the year is 1.983″! That’s under two inches average at 600 for 72 record targets fired in competition. Many 600-yard shooters aspire to shoot a single, 4-target Agg that measures 1.983″, but doing that for 72 targets is amazing!

And of the nine matches Chris shot, he took SIX Overall Two-Gun wins — a 67% win ratio. And in the process Chris also shot what is possibly the smallest 4-target Heavy Gun Agg ever recorded — 1.297 inches. Hey readers — that Agg works out to 0.206 MOA average group size — well under quarter-MOA for four, 5-shot groups at 0.34 MILES (600 yards)!

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Chris with 0.665″ group at 600 yards. This is the smallest HG group fired in the IBS in 2019.

The Equipment: 6mm Dasher Light Gun and Heavy Gun
Chris likes to run 1.550 stainless steel Bat “B” actions, Jewell triggers, Brux or Bartlein barrels. He prefers wooden stocks as he feels they produce a better resonance for Long Range rifles. Chris has his own stock design crafted by Johnny Byers. Imagine a Wheeler LRB stock front half mated with an McMillan ST 1000 rear section and you have Chris’ stock! It features a Wheeler-type, 4″-wide fore-end with an ST 1000 low-comb profile in the back. Both Light Gun and Heavy Gun sport Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle scopes mounted with Harrell’s double screw tall rings. Chris does NOT use either muzzle brake or tuner.

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Here is Chris at his home range with his Light Gun (17 lbs. max).

Chris Nichols’s Heavy Gun is a true heavy coming in at around 42 pounds. It was responsible for the HG Agg of 1.297″ (potential new world record). His season-long aggregate with his Heavy Gun was 1.861″ for 36 targets! This rifle has similar components as his Light Gun, except the barreled action rides in a barrel block in a McMillan HBR 50 BMG stock.

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina

Both rifles ride a top of a Sinclair competition rest with a Protector DR Flat Top rear bag. When Chris goes to HG gun he simply switches tops (made by Daniel Greenlaw) on his front rest to accommodate the larger forend. As Chris says ,” This keeps things simple and exactly the same. ” Just the way he likes it.

Reloading for the 6mm Dasher
Chris’s load choice for both LG and HG is Hodgdon Varget pushing 105gr Berger VLDs. He uses CCI 450 primers, seated with an old Lee hand primer. When it comes to reloading, Chris likes to keep things as simple as possible. “If people saw me reloading they’d probably laugh!” Chris revealed that he doesn’t anneal or clean his cases. He just sprays them down with Hornady One Shot Case Lube, resizes, then runs a brush down the necks, and cleans the primer pockets. The only cleaning his cases get is when he wipes the lube off of them. Chris WILL trim and chamfer as needed.

Chris says seating consistency is critical — he uses a K&M Arbor press with force dial indicator. I asked if there were certain numbers he looks for when seating. Chris replied, “I’m only concerned with consistency and not a certain number, 5 pounds or 60 pounds. It doesn’t matter as long as they are the same. I take what the brass gives me.”

Tuning the 6mm Dasher for Record-Setting Accuracy
I asked Chris what was special about his Dasher and how he kept it tuned and so competitive? His reply is something all shooters should pay careful attention to: “[Success] starts with having a good reamer, bullets and barrels. But more than that, it’s KNOWING your Cartridge, KNOWING your bullets, and KNOWING your barrels! I’ve shot it so much I just know what to do. I’m comfortable with it. I know how to get it to shoot and when it’s not, I have a pretty good idea how to get it back in tune. Once you know your equipment, then you can learn how to get the most out of it.”

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina

Chris has a range at his house and he tunes at 300 yards. He looks for consistent, 300-yard 5-shot groups of 0.600″ or less! He wants to see nice round groups! Not groups with four in and one out or vertical strings. Chris starts by finding “touch” (to the lands) then he moves the bullets .002″ off the lands and begins tuning. Chris has found that usually somewhere around .008-.012″ off the lands is where his Berger 105gr VLDs shot best. I asked Chris what’s the biggest factor contributing to his success? He said, one big thing was that he can do his own work. That’s a huge advantage.

Look for Accuracy First, Velocity Second
Early on Chris had it in his mind that for a 6mm Dasher to shoot best he needed to achieve a certain velocity range — 2990 to 3030 FPS. The problem was he wasn’t paying attention to what the target was telling him. He’d get to the speed he was looking for but the accuracy wasn’t there. Once he started slowing the speeds down and giving the barrel what it wanted, then the accuracy came! Also with the slower speeds came better consistency.

Chris Nichols’s Tuning Tips for 6mm Dasher:

• Take consistency over speed.
• Only change one thing at a time and run it to the ground.
• Every barrel is a little different, so give it what it wants.
• Pay attention to what your target is telling you.
• Don’t be afraid to REDUCE your powder load.

Chris Nichols’s Advice for New Shooters
Chris says the best thing a new shooter can do is align themselves with knowledgeable people, and if they will talk, listen! Next, be ready to buy the best equipment or be ready to buy it twice. Chris also says: “Don’t cheap-out on sighters. Sighters need to be just as good as your record rounds.”

In the Beginning — Learning the 600-yard Benchrest Game
Chris’s shooting career began in 2012. His first win came in 2014. He was shooting beside guys like Sam Hall, Larry Isenhour, Mike Hanes, Jeff Godfrey James Coffey, and Chad Jenkins, who are very tough competition indeed. He said when he won he was ecstatic and he’ll never forget it! That first trophy had him feeling like he’d just won the Nationals! Chris shot a 6BR for the first two years of his career, before switching to the 6 Dasher. I asked him why he switched? He said, “guys were starting to shoot the Dasher and winning with it!”

I asked Chris if he had a mentor and he said, “not really”. He learned by watching the guys who consistently finished Top 5 at matches and occasionally asked them a question. Not two questions, just one! Chris didn’t want to push his luck by asking too much. Then Chris would take that information and test it and apply it to his own shooting. Chris says, “he learned mainly by the ‘school of hard-knocks’. The good thing about learning that way is it sticks with you!”

Chris Nichols 2019 600-Yard Win List and Statistics

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
October 6th, 2019

Great .22 LR Rimfire Ammo Comparison Test — 31 Types Tested

Shooting Sports USA .22 LR 22LR Rimfire ammunition test subsonic hi-velocity lead-free hyper velocity suppressor match ammo plinking varmint hunting

Here’s a “must-read” article for .22 LR rimfire shooters. The recently-released October 2018 issue of Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) includes a great article with data on thirty-one (31) different types of popular .22 LR rimfire ammunition. The line-up includes low-speed, standard, and Hi-Velocity types, plus choices for plinking, varminting, and target applications. Brands tested include: Aguila, American Eagle, CCI, Federal, Fiocchi, Lapua, Remington, and Winchester. The slowest ammo, CCI Quiet-22 Lead RN, clocked 727 FPS. The fastest ammo, CCI Short-Range Green Lead-Free HP, ran 1735 FPS, more than twice as fast as the Quiet-22.

SSUSA .22 LR Rimfire Ammo TEST | SSUSA October 2018 Issue

For each ammo type, SSUSA lists the bullet weight, velocity (FPS), and average of two, 5-shot groups at fifty yards. The most accurate ammo was Lapua Center-X LRN, with a 0.37″ average 50-yard group size. Second best was Lapua X-ACT LRN at 0.42″. Ammo was tested from a bench with a Cooper Model 57-M rifle fitted with 3-9x33mm Leupold VX-2 scope. The ammo offerings were grouped into three categories: (1) Varmints/Small Game; (2) Target; and (3) Plinking. (See ammo tables below.)

Shooting Sports USA .22 LR 22LR Rimfire ammunition test subsonic hi-velocity lead-free hyper velocity suppressor match ammo plinking varmint hunting
Click for larger page-view.

Different types of .22 LR (Long Rifle) rimfire ammo have different applications. Subsonic ammo, typically, is best for 25m to 50m target work with precision rimfire rigs. Hi-Velocity .22 LR ammo provides a flatter trajectory for longer ranges. SSUSA explains: “The array of .22 LR loads… turns a person’s head every which way. Subsonic target loads are the key to decisive accuracy on targets, while hyper-velocity cartridges provide striking bullet expansion on small varmints. In between, standard and high-velocity .22 LRs are loadrf with a variety of bullet weights and styles for everything from small-game hunting to plinking[.]” READ Full SSUSA .22 LR Rimfire Ammo Story.

Rimfire Ammo Article tip from EdLongrange.
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October 4th, 2019

Genesis of PRS Rifle — Modeling, Milling, Manufacturing Video

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

How is a modern, metal-chassis rifle built? This very cool video from Masterpiece Arms answers that question. The nicely-edited video shows the creation of a Masterpiece Arms tactical rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the manufacturing process are illustrated: 3D CAD modeling, CNC milling of the chassis, barrel threading/contouring, chamber-reaming, barrel lapping, laser engraving, and stock coating. If you love to see machines at work, you will enjoy this video…

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

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October 2nd, 2019

$50 Teslong Borescope Works Great — Full Review with Videos

Teslong digital endoscope borescope windows android Mac video screen barrel inspection

Review by F-Class John
Do you know what the inside of your barrel looks like? Borescoping is a great way to diagnose a barrel problem or evaluate your cleaning regimen. Conventional optical borescopes work great but are expensive. Low-cost digitial borescopes have been on the market for a while, but many have have lacked the resolution necessary to get the job done properly. Enter the Teslong rifle borescope. We set out to see whether this new electro-optical borescope, priced at just $49.99, could do the job of conventional optical borescopes that might cost twenty times as much. We concluded that this little device is pretty amazing…

Teslong digital endoscope borescope windows android Mac video screen barrel inspection

Here is an actual video captured with the Teslong borescope owned by Forum member DMoran. This is the inside of a Howa factory .223 Rem Barrel:

Setting Up and Using the Teslong Borescope
The Teslong borescope comes in a handy, zippered case* with a mesh pouch on one side and an elastic strap on the other to help secure the cords. The unit employs two different cables. One is a flexible USB A/V cable which also thoughtfully comes with a USB/USB-C converter as well. The other piece is the mirrored borescope which is attached to a flexible but fairly rigid cable. The first thing I noticed is the generous length of the combined cable. Since the unit needs to be connected to a computer or other compatible device, the long cable allows you easily scope the entire length of your barrel while you keep your computer at a distance. I appreciated the way this works because it allowed me to continue cleaning my gun and checking the barrel without worrying about getting any cleaning supplies on my computer.

Teslong digital endoscope borescope windows android Mac video screen barrel inspection
NOTE: The Teslong borescope we purchased from Amazon in September came with the storage case shown. We’d been informed that some recent shipments have omitted the case.

Plug and Play — With Impressive Resolution and Image Quality
Once the unit is plugged into the computer all I had to do was open my photo program and the Teslong activated and displayed the bore image. For Windows at least, there are no Apps to install or anything else to do other than plug it in. Once it’s plugged in you simply slide the unit into your bore and start looking. The angled mirror along with the integrated light allows for easy viewing of the lands and grooves with little to no need for focal adjustment. I ran the scope down some newer barrels as well as one of my oldest, burned-out barrels and I was shocked at the detail and resolution I saw. Rust, copper, carbon and fire-cracking really popped out. If I was assessing barrel cleaning effectiveness, I could easily see how levels of fouling are being removed. I will use my Teslong to capture photos of my next barrel in brand new condition. Then I can reference those “Day 1″ images each time I clean that barrel.

As an owner of a Hawkeye and another digital borescope, both of which are fairly expensive, I have to admit I was skeptical of a borescope that costs a mere fifty bucks. But frankly, I was amazed at the image quality. Look for yourself. These are actual Teslong photos I took while inspecting one of my barrels.

Teslong digital endoscope borescope windows android Mac video screen barrel inspection

Teslong digital endoscope borescope windows android Mac video screen barrel inspection
NOTE: This is a fire-forming barrel that was not cleaned for 500 consecutive rounds.

Read Reviews from Teslong Borescope Buyers

Want to know what other Teslong owners think? You can read over five pages of Teslong Rifle Borescope comments and reviews by our Forum members in AccurateShooter’s Teslong Forum Thread.

Here are actual statements by Forum Members and Amazon purchasers

“Received mine last week, incredible quality for the price.” — PhilC

“There’s a couple of threads discussing these borescopes. It actually has the 45 degree mirror so that you can see the everything much better than with a standard endoscope.” — Mark W

“Most firearm borescopes are expensive… The Teslong Rifle Borescope is currently the best affordable borescope you can buy. With the Teslong Rifle Borescope I’m able to see the fire cracking in my rifle’s bore. I definitely recommend purchasing.” — Amazon Purchaser

“The price is right and the quality is first-rate. Plugs into USB-A or Micro USB port on PC, Mac, or Android (it doesn’t work with iPhones). Takes pics or HD video, stored using either native camera software or their Teslong Camera program. It has a very close focus necessary for a borescope. Other commercial ‘endoscopes’ may be the same diameter, but they have a 2- to 5-cm focal distance, making it difficult to use in a barrel and useless for 90 degree viewing except in, say, a 105mm howitzer. Probe diameter is 0.20 in/5.0 mm diameter and is ideal for use on .223/5.56. The removable 45° mirror allows viewing chamber walls and barrel lands/grooves up close and personal.” — Jim Schmidt

“I have tried it out on my 6.5mm and .223 rifles and it performed way beyond my expectations once you know how to focus it. Also, I have a Samsung Android and neither the USB plug nor the additional adapter would fit my phone (I thought). Teslong customer service reps told me that the plug for my phone is actually a part of the standard plug that comes with the unit. Heck, all I had to do was flip the male end of the plug down! Also, there is a light intensity adjustment on the little box-looking thing that is a part of the cable. It’s really small and easily overlooked.” — Barrbqn (Amazon)

F-Class Nationals Competitors Try the Teslong — And Then Place Orders
I gave the Teslong a pretty thorough testing on my bench at home, but I was also able to test it while attending the 2019 F-Class Nationals. It hooks up easily to a laptop (either Windows or Mac). It will also work with an Android tablet or smartphone (but not yet with an iPad or iPhone). I set the Teslong up for some fellow competitors to test. Each time someone stuck it in their barrel there was a collective gasp when they saw how clear and detailed the picture was. It wasn’t long before everyone in our housing unit wanted to try it.

Interestingly, one of the fellows in our housing pulled out the exact same unit. It turned out he loved it just as much as we all did. What really told me it was a keeper is when several of the people who also own Hawkeyes or other borescopes ordered a Teslong as soon as they were done playing with it. On a side note, we also ended up using it to look inside a seating die, inside a disassembled bolt, and under a refrigerator. I’m sure there are countless other uses for the Teslong.

CONCLUSION — Impressive Product — You Won’t Be Disappointed
The bottom line is that there isn’t anything on the market that can compete with this little gem anywhere near its $50 price point. I would say that if you’ve put off buying a borescope because of price or quality concerns this is the unit to buy — you won’t be disappointed. In the video below I show how to use the Teslong in your rifle. The Teslong Borescope is available right now for $49.99 on Amazon.

Software Functionality (Apps and/or Operating System)
Windows 7/8/10 or later (Desktop or Laptop Computer)
1. Use Windows Camera, the built-in Camera software of Windows10, only for Win10.
2. Use Teslong camera software or AmCap software

Android 4.4+ (Tablet or Smartphone)
Use Teslong Camera App, CameraFi, or USB Camera App

Mac OSX 10.6+ (Desktop or Laptop Computer)
Use Photo Booth or QuickTime Player

Notice: This Teslong model does NOT support iPhone and iPad! Teslong says: “WiFi version of the rifle borescope supporting iPhone and iPad is under development, and coming soon.”

Teslong vs. Conventional Optical Borescope (Such as Hawkeye)
The Teslong is not perfect. It does have some shortcomings when compared to a conventional optical borescope such as the Hawkeye. A borescope with a long, rigid metal shaft is easy to rotate within the bore. Therefore you can quickly inspect all 360 degrees inside the barrel. By contrast, the Teslong has a flexible cable that you have to twist to rotate the lens. That works, but it’s not as easy. Additionally, in a large-diameter bore, the 5mm-wide Teslong tends to flop to the low side. Again, with a Hawkeye, it is easy to maintain a constant distance to the bore wall.

Forum member Ned Ludd explains these considerations in a Forum post: “The [Teslong] is designed to fit into a .22 Cal bore. As such, there is quite a bit of play (lateral movement) of the camera head in a .30 Cal bore as you twist the cable to swivel it around 360 degrees. This is largely caused by the angle of the cable as you spin it, which is not perfectly concentric to the bore. This is not an issue of concern in a much more expensive borescope with a purpose-built swivel mechanism.”

That said, we still think the Teslong is a great device, well worth the money ($50 vs. $850+ or so for a Hawkeye). The cable rotation isn’t that big a deal, with a little practice. Overall, for regular visual inspections of your barrels, with easy photo/video capture, the Teslong is hard to beat for the price.

*The Teslong borescope we ordered from Amazon and tested came in the black, zippered case shown in the top-most photo. We have been informed that some Teslong units have recently shipped with NO case. We do not know if cases will be provided in the future.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Optics 8 Comments »
October 2nd, 2019

Smart Reloader — Die Shims For Full-Length Sizing Dies

Sinclair Die Shims

When your cases become hard to extract, or you feel a stiff bolt lift when removing a cartridge, it’s probably time to full-length size your cases, and “bump” the shoulder back. With a hunting load, shoulder bumping may only be required every 4-5 loading cycles. Short-range benchrest shooters, running higher pressures, typically full-length size every load cycle, bumping the shoulder .001-.002″. High Power shooters with gas guns generally full-length size every time, and may need to bump the shoulders .003″ or more to ensure reliable feeding and extraction.

Use Shims for Precise Control of Shoulder Bump
Some shooters like to set the “default” position for their full-length die to have an “ample” .003″ or .004″ shoulder bump. When they need less bump, a simple way to reduce the amount of shoulder movement is to use precision shims in .001″ (one-thousandth) increments. You can get a set of seven (7) shims for your standard 7/8-14 FL sizing dies for just $11.99.

Here are reports from Forum members who use the shims:

“Great product. I have my die lock ring(s) adjusted for the shortest headspace length on my multiple chambers 6BRs and 6PPCs. When needing a longer headspace, I just refer to my notes and add the appropriate shim under the lock ring. Keep it simple.” — F.D. Shuster

Mats Johansson writes: “I’ve been using [shims] since Skip Otto (of BR fame) came out with them. I set up my dies with the .006″ shim, giving me the option of bumping the shoulder a bit more when the brass gets old and hardens while still having room to adjust up for zero headspace, should I have missed the original setup by a thou or two. Hunting rounds can easily be bumped an extra .002-.003″ for positive, no-crush feeding. Being a safety-oriented cheapskate, I couldn’t live without them — they let me reload my cases a gazillion times without dangerous web-stretching. Shims are a must-have, as simple as that.” — Mats Johansson

Sinclair Die ShimsBrownells offers a seven-piece set of Sizing Die Shims that let you adjust the height of your die (and thereby the amount of bump and sizing) in precise .001″ increments. Sinclair explains: “Some handloaders will set their die up to achieve maximum sizing and then progressively use Sinclair Die Shims between the lock ring and the press head to move the die away from the shellholder. Doing this allows you to leave the lock ring in the same position. These shims are usually available in increments of .001″ and work very well.”

Seven Shims from .003″ to .010″
Sinclair’s $11.99 Die Shim Kit (item 22400 or 749-001-325WB) includes seven shims in thicknesses of .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, and .010. For ease of use, shim thickness is indicated by the number of notches cut in the outer edge of each shim. Even without looking you can “count” the notches by feel.

NOTE: Brownells also offers a 10-shim set for use with L.E. Wilson seating dies used with arbor presses. Frankly we prefer micrometer-top Wilson dies, but if you have the standard dies, these shims come in handy. Order Brownells Code 749-001-326WB, $12.99.

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October 1st, 2019

Eliminate Copper “False Positives” with Aluminum Jags

Aluminum jag copper eliminator Dewey

Conventional brass jags work great — except for one thing. They can react to solvents, leaving a blue “false positive” on patches. In recent years, jag-makers have experimented with many different materials in an effort to cure the solvent-reaction problem. Today we have polymer jags, nickel-plated jags, and stainless steel jags. And the latest innovation is the aluminum jag from Dewey.

Aluminum jag DeweyJ. Dewey Mfg. offers a series of “Copper Eliminator” jags and brush adapters made from aircraft-grade aluminum with the same hardness as brass. Dewey claims that its aluminum jags will not become embedded with grit or particles that could harm your bore. At the same time, Dewey’s aluminum jags will not react to ammoniated bore solvents that can turn patches blue green when used with brass jags. Dewey aluminum jags are offered with either male OR female 8/32 threads. The $5.25 aluminum jags and $3.70 brush adapters are offered in a wide variety of calibers. You can order these products from Dewey Mfg. or Brownells.

Story Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome submissions from our readers.
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September 30th, 2019

Bargain Finder 210: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Stocky’s — Rem 700 Composite Stock with Accublock, $99.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

These stocks were the first run of Stocky’s Long Range Composite Sporters. There is nothing wrong with these “factory seconds” except the barrel channels are narrower than current versions, so you may have to open up the barrel channels a bit (simple task). On Sale for $99.99, these are an Amazing Bargain. Designed for Rem 700 and Rem clone actions, these LRC Sporter Stocks are constructed from a high-fiber composite with precision aluminum Accublock® chassis molded into the stock.

2. Natchez — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $259.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $299.99. Great Deal. Right now, Natchez is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $259.99, a fantastic price considering what you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $165.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items (such as the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

3. ShootingTargets7 — KYL Rimfire Target Set, $144.97

rimfire target .22 LR know limits AR500 Kit

Here’s a fun target for Rimfire plinking and NRL22 training. This Know Your Limits (KYL) set features 8 different hanging targets with decreasing hit zone diameters: 2.0″, 1.75″, 1.5″, 1.25″, 1.0″, 0.75″, 0.5″, and 0.25″. The paddles are strong 1/4″ thick, powder-coated AR500 Steel. Other parts are weatherproof galvanized 3/4 EMT. Right now ShootingTargets7 has this complete kit, including legs and crossbar, for $144.97 with code “GUNDEALS”. SHIPPING is FREE. Target system breaks down easily for transport.

4. EuroOptic and Midsouth — Nikon Scopes Up to 46% Off

Nikon tactical MRAD FFP SFP rifle scope

Save hundreds right now on Nikon rifle scopes. Midsouth has slashed prices on Nikon’s excellent FX1000-series scopes while EuroOptic has some amazing deals on Nikon’s M-Tactical and P-Tactical optics — zoom scopes from 1-4X power to 6-24X power. The various discounted Nikon scopes should provide pretty much anything a tactical shooter or hunter could need. Here are some of the best deals:

FX1000 6-24x50mm SF Illum. FX-MOA Reticle FFP
Was $799.95, now just $599.95 at Midsouth

FX1000 4-16x50mm SF FX-MRAD Reticle FFP
Was $649.95, now just $449.95 at Midsouth
Nikon M-TACTICAL 4-16x42mm SF BDC-800
Was $449.95, now just $259.95 at EuroOptic

Nikon M-TACTICAL 3-12x42mm SF MK1-MRAD
Was $399.95, now just $199.95 at EuroOptic

5. Grafs.com — FREE Litz Book with $200 Lapua Product Buy

Graf's Graf Lapua Scenar bullet Litz applied ballistics free book
This is one example. This deal works with $200 of ANY Lapua products purchased from Grafs.com.

Lapua makes great brass, bullets, and ammo. Bryan Litz writes great books. And now you can get both with this promotion from Graf & Sons. Here’s the deal — if you buy at least $200.00 worth of Lapua product at Grafs.com, you’ll get a free Applied Ballistics book authored by Bryan Litz. Mix and match any Lapua products — as long as the order totals $200.00 or more. We know you’ll want Lapua brass, but you should try out the great Lapua Scenar bullets too! NOTE: The book may be one of various Litz titles, such as Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting or Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets. You do NOT get to pick the book title — you get what’s available.

6. MidwayUSA — MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chronograph, $159.99

Deals of Week Magnetospeed sporter Kit

Priced at just $159.99 at MidwayUSA, the Magnetospeed Sporter model costs less than half as much as Magnetospeed’s V3 models. This chronograph attaches directly to your barrel so you don’t have to go downrange to set up skyscreens. For most people the Sporter Model contains all the features they need. Using Magnetospeed’s XFR adapter (sold separately), data can be transferred easily to your mobile device. READ Magnetospeed Sporter Review. NOTE: You need to add the item to cart to see the $159.99 price. This typically sells elsewhere for around $180.00.

7. Graf’s — Platinum Case Prep & Trim + EZ Tumbler, $179.99

case prep and trim sale

If you want to step up your brass preparation game, here’s a great deal. Graf’s is offering the Frankford Arsenal Case Prep & Trim PLUS the EZ Tumbler for only $179.99. That’s an amazing deal considering you could pay $199.99 or more for the Prep & Trim unit by itself, and the EZ Tumbler is regularly $50 or more. This Grafs.com combo deal represents a savings of nearly $70.00.

8. EuroOptic — Nikon Prostaff 1000i Laser Rangefinder, $199.95

Nikon prostaff laser rangefinder 1000i sale bargain

Nikon’s Prostaff 1000i Laser Rangefinder features ID (incline/decline) technology with both horizontal distance and actual distance display modes. Choose single or continuous measurement (up to 8 seconds). Rated to 1000 yards on reflective objects, the PROSTAFF 1000i is a smart, affordable option for hunters. Compact and reliable, it will do the job at half the price of other popular rangefinders.

9. Amazon — RCBS Quick-Change Powder Funnel Kit, $11.04

Amazon RCBS Powder funnel quick kit

This versatile funnel system works with nearly all cartridge types, from 17 Remington up to 500 S&W. Even if you have a fancy metal funnel, it’s worth having one of these RCBS Kits on your reloading bench. The RCBS Quick Change Powder Funnel Kit features five (5) adapters that match case mouth diameter for specific cartridge ranges: 17-20 caliber, 22-264 caliber, 27-284 caliber, 30-375 caliber, 40 caliber and higher. The Funnel Kit includes a handy 4-inch drop tube.

10. CDNN — Zebra Muffs and Fashion Safety Glasses Set, $4.99

Champion Zebra Muffs tortoise shell sunglasses safety glasses eyewear

Guys, here’s just what you need (maybe) to convince the significant other to join you for a day at the range — a combo set of “high-fashion” ear muffs and ANSI-rated safety glasses. The comfortable, zebra-print muffs provide 21 dB of noise reduction (we recommend running plugs underneath them). The stylish, tortoise-shell pattern Bella Ballistica™ shooting eyewear has passed MIL-PRF-31013 ballistic tests and meets ANSI Z87+ high-velocity requirements with a chic designer appearance. The lady in your life just might appreciate the stylish eyewear and distinctive muffs, earning you “bonus points”. And she’ll never suspect you only spent five bucks!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, News, Optics No Comments »
September 29th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Five “Frankenguns” from our Forum

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR spare parts

What’s a “Frankengun”? Well it’s a one-of-a-kind rifle that has been pieced together from a variety of different parts and components. It might be a little bit Bolt Gun mixed with a little bit AR-15. Or it might feature some home-made components unlike anything you’ve seen before.

We’ve selected these four Frankengun rifles from a current thread in our Shooters’ Forum.

Frankengun #1 — The EXO (as in Exo-Skeleton)

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR

Forum member jm850 calls this tube-framed wonder the EXO (as in “exo-skeleton”). He says: “This is a prototype I designed around a few core concepts that stick out to me on a traditional configuration. Eliminating stresses, lowering recoil moment, and improved barrel cooling. I’m really happy with it so far.”

The EXO is a very unique rifle. We’ve never seen anything like this since the late Shelley Davidson’s famous Tinkertoy Rifle, a brilliantly innovative 30BR that actually won matches. The Tinkertoy, shown below, was truely radical, but it worked ! Could this have been an inspiration for jrm850’s EXO rifle?

Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR

Frankengun #2 — Moosberg MVG in LSS Stock with BipodeXt

Exo skeleton biponeXt frankengun Shelley Davidson Tinkertoy 30 BR

Forum member BallisticXLR has created something very weird to say the least. It started out as a basic, bone-stock Mossberg MVP Varmint in .223 Rem. Then the transformation began: “I replaced everything except the receiver. It now has an LSS stock, PSG-1 grip from DPMS, XLR butt stock, PT&G lug and barrel nut, Columbia River Arms 26″ barrel with Sonoran coral snake Cerakote, A2 flash hider, Timney and Jard triggers (depending on what I’m doing), and a USO B17 which is now a USO 3.8-22×44.” That long extension tube under the chassis is a BipodeXt from Accuracy Solutions.

Frankengun #3 — A Chassis Rig in 25 Creedmoor

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davidson Tinkertoy 30 BR

This Frankengun belongs to Forum member Geraldgee. This “black and blue” rig features a mag-fed Kelbly Atlas action in a McCree’s Precision G10 Chassis. The barrel is a Bartlein Rem Varmint Contour, 1:7.5″-twist 4 Groove, chambered for the 25 Creedmoor. There are some interesting .25-Cal bullets coming on the market now. You can make the brass by expanding 6mm Creedmoor, or necking down 6.5 Creedmoor.

Frankengun #4 — MDT Chassis, Fore-end Whittled by Spook

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davidson Tinkertoy 30 BR

Here’s a real collection of odds and ends, but Forum member Spook says it shoots well, and is a great example of “Left-over parts made useful again”. This mix-n-match Frankengun features a Remington M7 action with PT&G bolt. The barrel is a stainless Pac-Nor chambered in 6mm SLR. The barreled action is carried in an MDT Chassis with rear folding buttstock. Up front is something unusual, a Delrin fore-end that owner Spook “whittled in the mill”.

Frankengun #5 — 6.5×47 in Accuracy Int’l Stock

6.5x57 Accuracy International Krieger barrel
CLICK photo for full-screen version.

Forum member CT10Ring kicked off the Frankengun thread with this rifle. It’s actually not that shocking, but you rarely see a BAT action in an Accuracy International stock. The BAT VR action is mated to an AI Mag and set up in an AI folding stock. On top is an “old school” Nightforce Benchrest scope. The barrel is a very heavy Krieger chambered for the 6.5×47 Lapua. CT10Ring say the barrel alone weighs about 9 pounds, and the gun “shoots better than [he] can”.

Post Pictures of Your Frankenguns in our Forum
So do you have a favorite Frankengun resting in your gun safe? If you do, visit our Shooters’ Forum and post a description and some photos in the Frankengun thread.

Exo skeleton frankengun Shelley Davison Tinkertoy 30 BR

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September 29th, 2019

Report from Precision Rifle EXPO in Georgia

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL

The 2-day Precision Rifle EXPO wraps up today at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia. Over 700 visitors have attended the two-day event. This year, manufacturers will be showing off actions, optics, ammo, reloading equipment, stocks, chassis, electronics, supporting equipment (bags and tripods), rifles, triggers, suppressors, and much more. There will be training sessions on precision handloading, wind reading, marksmanship, ballistic devices, and introduction to competition.

There was so much to see and do at the EXPO, with over 50 companies displaying their wares, including some exciting new products. As a teaser, here are three highlights from Sunday in Georgia.

1. Shooting .22 LR Rimfire Ammo at 625 and 850 Yards

.22 lr rimfire extreme long range Arena Facility Vudoo Gun works

David Lott was shooting his .22 LR Vudoo Gun Works Rifle at what can be called “Extreme Long Rang” — at least for a .22 LR rimfire cartridge. David achieved multiple hits on 18″ square targets at 650 yards and 850 yards. Note the TACOM HQ Charlie TARAC Prism on the front of the scope. This $1700 optical device allows David to see the target even with the rifle aimed at an extreme up-angle to compensate for huge bullet drop.

2. AMP Annealing Team — All the Way from New Zealand

Annealing Made Perfect load cell bullet seating

Alex Findlay and son Matt, creators of the impressive Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) Annealing Machines, traveled all the way from New Zealand to attend the EXPO. There the AMP team displayed the AMP Mark 2 Machine, plus a new servo-motor bullet seating machine.

Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab Bryan Litz

Alex reports: “The bullet seater has been putting in some work today. Having some fun playing around with a few variables and how they effect neck tension. So far the results are pretty fascinating!” Yes, that silver gadget is a new, prototype high-tech Load Cell Bullet Seating Press. This uses an electric servo motor to move a ram downwards on the Wilson seating die. A wealth of precise data is collected during the bullet seating process. Alex noted: “Thanks for Berger Bullets for supplying the bullets and the Lapua brass!”

Watch “Smart” Load Cell Seating Press in Action

This interesting video shows how the new, prototype Load Cell Bullet Seating Press with Auto-Drive works. (AMP plans a production version for 2020 or sooner). There’s never been a press like this before! Everything else is old technology.

3. Applied Ballistics Mobile Ballistics Lab

Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab Bryan Litz

Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab Bryan LitzApplied Ballistics brought its Mobile Ballistics Lab down to Georgia. To demonstrate its capabilities, the AB crew set up the big gray Doppler Radar unit for testing. LabRadars were set on ground level as well (see below). Applied Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz lamented that he was spending more time looking at computer screens than having fun shooting rifles on the impressive ranges at the Arena Training Facility.

The Mobile Lab carries both hardware and electronics. Bryan reports: “The Mobile Lab will transport most everything that’s in the main lab including the Doppler radar. This rig is new, so the load-outs will be somewhat flexible depending on the venue we are supporting.”

Applied Ballistics Mobile Lab Bryan Litz

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres with Ranges out to 2100m

arena training facility Georgia

The 2300-acre Arena Training Facility is a premier shooting facility with multiple shooting ranges from 50m to 2100m. Arena’s 1000-yard covered Known Distance range offers multiple benches, steel and paper targets out to 1000 yards. On Arena’s UKD (unknown distance) range shooters can engage steel out to 2300 yards. This 2100m UKD range boasts a 3-Story Shooting Tower, Air-Conditioned Shoot House, and multiple Positional Challenges.

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

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September 26th, 2019

Handy RRR Padded Forearm Sleeve for Hunting Rifles

RRR gun rest padded neoprene

Here is a simple but effective product that can benefit varminters and game-hunters. The slip-on, padded RRR (“triple R”) gun rest cushions your rifle on any surface and helps eliminate noise when shifting the gun from one shooting position to another. The RRR slip-on rest is made of neoprene (wet suit material) with a built-in, thick Armaflex foam cushion on the bottom. This $19.95 sleeve protects the finish of your rifle, while providing a cushioned layer between your rifle and the supporting surface.

Key Benefits of the RRR Slip-On Padded Fore-Arm Rest
1. The RRR sleeve cushions your rifle. This helps to keep the shot from going high even when the rifle is placed on a hard surface.
2. The RRR sleeve quiets the gun. The padded, neoprene covering acts like a sound deadener even when you set the gun on a metal frame or hard surface..
3. The RRR protects the finish on the stock of your rifle from scratches when resting on hard surfaces.

RRR gun rest padded neoprene

Video Shows RRR in Use in the Field

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September 25th, 2019

How to Make a Modified Case for Measuring Length-to-Lands

Hornady Stony Point Tool OAL O.A.L. gauge bullet seating length ogive checker

Our friend Gavin Gear has just released an excellent video showing how to make a threaded Modified Case for use with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge. You can watch Gavin make a Modified Case start to finish in the video below:

Video Shows How to Drill and Tap Modified Case

Gavin has some clever tricks. First he uses a sizing die to hold the cartridge case during the threading process. Second he uses two drill bits in sequence — a smaller bit to ream out the primer pocket, and then a larger “M” bit to increase the hole diameter before threading the brass. Finally he leaves the threading tap IN the brass, locks the tailstock, and then “gently pulls on the quill” to remove the brass from the die held in his lathe (See 5:46 timemark).

Get the Right 5/16″-36 RH Tap
Unfortunately, Hornady has selected an uncommon thread type for OAL Gauges. You probably won’t be able to buy the correct 5/16″ – 36 RH HSS Tap at your local hardware store. However you CAN order this special tap from Amazon for $9.99.

Modified Case Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader

Why do I need a Modified Case?
Every serious reloader should have a Modified Case for each cartridge type they shoot. The reason is that this allows you to get very precise measurements of the length-to-lands in your chamber. When used with the Hornady OAL Gauge, with some practice, you should be able to get repeatable length-to-lands measurements within about 0.015″. We generally do 4-5 measurements with the OAL Gauge and usually 3 or 4 will be “on the money”. NOTE: We recommend a gentle, easy pressure on the plastic pusher rod. Don’t push too hard or you will jam the bullet hard into the lands, which produces inconsistent results.

Can’t I Just Buy a Modified Case?
Hornady makes a variety of Modified Cases sold on Amazon and through retailers such as Midsouth. While Hornady makes modified cases for many standard cartridges, if you shoot a wildcat such as the 6mm Dasher or .284 Shehane, you’ll need to create a custom modified case. And even if you shoot a standard cartridge such as the .308 Win, you can get more consistent measurements with a custom Modified Case.

If you do decide to make your own modified case, you’ll want to start with a case that’s been fired in your rifle. That way you get the best fit to YOUR chamber. Also, you won’t need to expand the neck to provide bullet clearance. Then you need to drill out the primer pocket and tap the base of the case to match the threads on the Hornady OAL Gauge tool. Make at least two modified cases, as you’ll probably misplace one at some point.

Erik Cortina Makes a Modified Case

If you want to learn more about making Modified Cases, top F-Class shooter Erik Cortina has also created a helpful video showing the process he uses to make modified cases. In Erik’s video, he shows how he taps a case to work with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge (formerly the Stoney Point Tool). Erik also explains how to get the best results when using the Modified Case to measure length to lands.

MORE INFORMATION: Want to learn more? We published a much longer story in which Erik explains in greater detail how to made the Modified Case. That article illustrates the 5/16″ – 36 RH HSS Tap required and shows how to set up the lathe to drill and tap your case. If you are serious about making your own Modified Cases, you should Read the Full Article.

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September 22nd, 2019

Mobile Power — Chargers for Phones, Laptops, Tablets, LabRadars

LabRadar FosPower USB Battery pack charnging LED

Today’s precision shooter is connected. He or she is likely to bring a number of electronic items to the range, such as a smartphone, tablet computer, Kestrel, LabRadar chronograph, and more. These digital devices all require electricity to operate. Unfortunately, most ranges don’t include convenient charging stations for your gadgets. Therefore you need to bring battery back-up. Here are three good options, with storage capacities from 10200 mAh to 42000 mAh. The first unit is fully weather-proof, so it is good for hunters and tactical shooters exposed to the elements. The largest power pack, with AC outlet, is quite versatile and works well on car-camping trips.

1. FosPower 10200 mAh Waterproof Charger, $29.99

FosPower USB Battery pack waterproof shockproof LED

When you’re at the range or on a hunt, it’s smart to have a USB-output battery pack for smart phone, target-cam monitor, even a LabRadar. There are many battery packs available, but most are fairly fragile, with exposed ports. This “ruggedized” FosPower 10200 mAh charger is different. It is waterproof, dust-proof, and shock-proof. (IP67 certified: dust and water resistance for up to 3ft/1m for 30 minutes under water.) It can handle all that a PRS competitor or hunter can dish out. It even has a handy LED light. Right now it’s priced at $29.99 with FREE Shipping (on orders over $25.00).

2. EasyAcc 20000 mAh Battery Pack with Fast Charging, $37.99

USB

If you want to charge multiple devices, such as a tablet and a LabRadar, you need serious capacity. The EasyAcc 20000 mAh battery pack can charge up to four devices simultaneously. Notably, this $37.99 Battery Pack charges faster than most other 20K packs. It has two power input ports, allowing it to fully charge in 6-7 hours. (We have another 20000 mAh battery unit that takes over 16 hours to fully charge!). This unit will charge an iPhone 7 six times, a Samsung S8 four times or an iPad Mini two times. Note, 77% of Amazon purchasers rated this unit Five Stars (with 13% Four-Star reviews).

3. Webetop 42000 mAh USB, 12v DC, 110v AC Power Station, $108.99

USB

Many folks have asked us “How can I use a laptop, chronograph, or electronic powder dispenser that requires 110 volt AC power when I’m at the range?” Sure you can take power from your car’s 12 volt cigarette lighter jack, but you’ll still need a very long cable and a 12 volt to 110 volt step-up transformer. If you run a cable from the parking lot to the bench or shooting bay you’ll have to leave a window open in your vehicle and fellow shooters can trip over the long cord.

A better solution is to get a portable, combo 12 volt + 110 volt power unit. This versatile 42000 mAh Webetop Power Station will drive a 110v device, plus charge a tablet and cellphone, all at the same time. You can run a LabRadar for days with this power-pack. It will also power CPAP machines and other 12V devices. One nice feature is rapid charging. Before your range session or camping trip, plug this into the wall. It will get fully charged in 7-8 hours. It’s a bargain right now for $108.99 on Amazon.

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September 21st, 2019

Optics Review: Sightron SIII 45x45mm ED Fixed Power Scope

Sightron 45x45mm siii scope riflescope james mock optics review

45X Fixed-Power Sightron Field Test

Sightron SIII 45x45mm Competition with ED GlassReview by James Mock

Sightron has introduced a new, high-magnification Benchrest scope, the SIII SS 45x45mm Competition. This new-for-2019 45-power scope now offers very high-quality glass. In response to consumer demand, for this model, Sightron has upgraded to premium ED (extra low dispersion) glass. This kind of superior glass has been available with other more-expensive premium optics brands, and now Sightron has joined the ED-Glass ranks.

Testing the 45x45MM ED Sightron Benchrest Scope
Most of my shooting is done at 600 yards now. New for 2019, Sightron has introduced an impressive new 45-power competition scope, offered with either a Target Dot (EDTD) or Fine Cross Hair (EDFCH) reticles. I was able to test the target dot model. With this model I can check the ED glass used by Sightron and 45X is certainly enough for the 300- and 600-yard competitions I shoot.

Although this scope lacks some of the new features found on the SVSS models, it is designed for the shooter who wants a quality scope that is light enough to be used in short range Benchrest. It seems that Sightron designed this scope for the short range Benchrest shooters. They skipped all of the frills and designed this scope for PERFORMANCE.

The Sightron SIII 45x45mm has a simple side-focus parallax adjustment that works very well. The ocular focus is like the older models in that it has a locking ring rather than the fast focus. It has a 45mm objective lens. The model that I have features a 1/10th MOA dot reticle while the click adjustments are 1/10th MOA. NOTE that — the clicks are one-tenth MOA, NOT the 1/8th MOA you might expect.

At 20.5 ounces this scope will allow shooters to make most of the weight requirements found in Benchrest shooting. With the superb Japanese ED glass, it equals or surpasses the image quality of scopes of equal magnification costing twice as much.

Although this scope lacks some of the frills, it has the features that serious shooters appreciate. It has 7-layer coating on all lens (termed Zach 7), 1/10th MOA adjustments, 1/10th MOA dot reticle (or fine crosshair), generous eye relief, life time warranty, and 30mm main tube.

Sightron 45x45mm siii scope riflescope james mock optics review

Testing Procedure for Sightron SIII 45x45mm
For testing the scope, I mounted it on my BAT/Leonard Benchrest rifle (shown above). The rifle is chambered in 6mm BRAI and I will shoot the rifle at 300 and 600 yards. The 300-yard match consists of three, 10-shot targets on the IBS 300-yard target. The 600-yard match consists of four, 5-shot targets. Both are shot for score only. So far the scope has performed flawlessly and the image is bright and the resolution was superb. One thing that I have dreamed about is a scope that will resolve 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. Since I have shot this scope only during the summer months in Louisiana I cannot see bullet holes at 600 yards. However, in fairness to the scope, I don’t think the Hubble telescope would resolve the holes in the mirage and heat evident this summer.

I have tested scopes that cost over $3000 and this Sightron (street price $900-$1000) held its own with those higher-priced models and surpassed many of them. I wish that this scope would have been available back when I was shooting short range Benchrest. It is truly a great value for today’s shooter.

The first test performed was “shooting the square” in which I fired five (5) shots in order, cranking the turrets from shot to shot. This scope passed test #1 with flying colors — the fifth and last shot went through the same hole as shot #1. Here’s the process. After Shot One (lower left), I then cranked the scope up 4 MOA and fired Shot Two. For the third shot, I moved the scope to the right 4 MOA followed by a 4 MOA adjustment down. Next, I adjusted 4 MOA left and fired the fifth. If the scope tracts properly, the fifth shot should hit close to the first. In fact, Shot Five went through the same hole as Shot One. Of course one must have the same aiming point and an accurate rifle.

Sightron 45x45mm siii scope riflescope james mock optics review

Shown above is the target that I shot at 100 yards. This was shot with my 6 BRAI rifle with 30.4 grains of H4895 and Bart’s 105gr VLD “Hammers” seated .006“ into the lands. This “square” shows perfect tracking and absolute accuracy in both windage and elevation adjustments. (However, note that the target itself was a little crooked as stapled to the backer). Sightron’s ExacTrac turret technologies shown below may be the reason for such great “shooting the square” results:

Sightron 45x45mm siii scope riflescope james mock optics review

The above picture was taken from the Sightron catalogue and it illustrates what may be the most important feature for Benchrest shooters. They named it the ExacTrack and it features a cone shaped contact point on the windage and elevation knobs that allow constant and even pressure on the erector tube. In the picture above the left side shows conventional scope erector tube contact (figures 1 and 2). Figures 3 and 4 show how the Sightron system works. This unique system solves the problem of a flat tip pushing a round tube. My tests showed that this scope holds point of aim exceptionally well.

Using the Sightron 45X Scope in Match Conditions
I recently tested the the 45x45mm Sightron in competition for the first time. In preparation for this match, I tried four loads at 200 yards. I was impressed with the positive and accurate adjustments without the “mushy” feel that many scopes with fine adjustments exhibit.

I shot 3-shot groups and the groups measured as follows: 1) 30.0 grains H4895/Fed 205/Bart’s Gungnir = .605”; 2) 30.5 grains H4895/Fed 205/Bart’s Gungnir = .945”; 3) 30.0 grains H4895/Fed 205/Berger 108gr BT = .459”; 4) 30.4 grains H4895/Fed 205/Bart’s Hammer = .309” (this is my 600-yard “go-to” load).

The 300-yard match saw 101° temperatures with light, switching head winds up to 5 mph. The mirage was very noticeable but I was still able to see bullet holes. The scope performed well (although I did not). The click adjustments were precise and positive with both tactile and audible indicators. This is a quality scope.

SUMMARY of Test — Final Impressions

I am more than satisfied with this scope and I believe it represents a great value for competitive shooters. It has great glass, with positive adjustments that hold point of aim. Because of the ED glass, the image has correct color and is sharp to the edges. The scope’s reticle features a 1/10th MOA dot. The turrets use 1/10th MOA adjustments that allow precise aim and point of impact adjustments.

Is there anything that I would change? No, not for short range Benchrest (100/200/300yards), but for 600-yard shooting, I prefer a more detailed reticle with MOA-based hash-marks. With vertical and horizontal hashmarks one can quickly determine the amount of clickes needed to correct impact. Also, a variable power scope is very handy for those days when mirage does not allow precise aiming. Readers should note that Sightron does make a variable power 10-50x60mm ED scope featuring a reticle with MOA-based hash-marks. That should be a good option for shooters who need a high-magnification, variable-power comp scope.

But for those who prefer a fixed-power scope, Sightron’s new SIII SS 45x45mm is a smart option, that is a very good value. If you are in the market for a fixed-power 45X benchrest scope, I can heartily recommend this new offering from Sightron. — James Mock

Short History of “Freezing” Benchrest Scopes
Several years ago, many Benchrest shooters were having trouble with their riflescopes holding point of aim. Cecil Tucker, Jackie Schmidt, Gene Bukys, and Bob Brackney modified some scopes to “freeze” the adjustments. This worked fairly well but it hindered a shooter’s ability to make fine adjustments quickly.

The late Ron Hoehn along with others started using small Delrin screws to stabilize the erector tube. This brought about my first use of Sightron scopes. I contacted Sightron and asked if they would furnish a scope for me to try this procedure and they agreed. A friend and I drilled the two holes and tapped them to apply the Delrin screws. Surprisingly, this system worked well on the Sightron 36X SII model. As a matter of fact, COL Billy Stevens won the Super Shoot using one of those SII Benchrest scopes. There was a drawback however. When one tightened the screw against the erector tube there was a slight point of aim movement. This was not too noticeable in group shooting but hampered the score shooters.

Sightron 45x45mm siii scope riflescope james mock optics review

The scope pictured above another Sightron I’ve used, a 10-50x60mm. This medium-priced scope offered excellent value-for-money and it sold very well. It performed superbly for me and in my opinion represents one of the best buys in a long range scope. About two years ago, Sightron decided to put out a more advanced scope. Sightron added locking turrets, 34mm tube, and a few more “premium” features. Of course the price reflected these changes but there was not a severe price increase.

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September 17th, 2019

Old Benchrest Rifle Gets New Life as 6BR Ackley with Tuner

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Updating a 20+ Year-Old Benchrest Rifle

by James Mock
After owning three different rifles with BAT actions, I have become a loyal fan of BAT Machine quality and customer service. Back in 2009, I traded my BAT/Scoville for the BAT/Leonard that I currently shoot. This rifle has a long history and Terry Leonard told me that “Old 87″ (as I have named it) was one of the earlier BATs that he stocked. He wrapped the stock in fiberglass and used 2-part epoxy back then. I must say that this rifle has held up remarkably well since it dates back to the 1990s. The action is a RB/LP/RE octagon Model B with .308 bolt-face.

Rifle Has Multiple Barrels for Multiple Disciplines
With this gun, I have shot several barrels of different calibers (.22 PPC, .22 PPC-short .095, 6mm PPC, 6XC, 6mm Dasher, .30BR, and will soon have a 6 BR-AI). It has been an exceptionally accurate rifle in several disciplines. In the hands of previous owners, it earned several Hall-of-Fame (HOF) points, and a “middle-of-the-pack” shooter (me) even received a HOF point with this rifle.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

For most of its life, Old 87 served as a short range benchrest rifle, but I have used it for the last few years as a 600-yard rifle with the 6mm Dasher barrel. I was lucky enough to earn the Shooter of the Year award at the Prince Memorial Range in Louisiana for 2016.

After shooting my two Dasher barrels for last eight years, I have noticed a drop-off in accuracy at 600 yards. A decision had to be made — get a new barrel or sell the rifle and retire from competition. I will be 74 years old in six months and my competition days are limited due mainly to a chronic neck problem. After mulling over the decision to retire or not, I decided to give Old 87 one more year. Here is the story of how we upgraded the old war-horse.

Old 87 REBORN — Upgrading with New Components

I prefer cut-rifled barrels with four lands and grooves and have had success with .236 bore diameters and 1:8″ twist in long range rifles. I searched for barrels meeting those parameters and found a suitable BRUX at Bugholes.com (Southern Precision Rifles).

The 6BR-AI Option — Easy Fire Forming
I thought about having Billy Stevens chamber it for the Dasher, but decided to try something new. There seems to be a lot of interest in the 6BR-AI and I said, “Why not?” Well, I bought a shortened Dasher die from Harrell’s and will use my Wilson Dasher seating die. Bart Sauter was kind enough to let me use his reamer for chambering.

Fitting a New Roller-Type Cocking Piece on Older BAT Action
Since I was into the project this deep, I called Mike Ezell and ordered one of his Tungsten powder-dampened tuners. Since Old 87 had thousands of rounds since the firing pin spring has been replaced, I decided that it was probably needed. Well, I got to thinking (very dangerous) and asked Daryle Thom if it would be feasible to put a roller-type cocking piece and a new firing pin spring on such an old action.

The folks at BAT are very accommodating and they said that it would be no problem with such a conversion. While my bolt was in Idaho, the barrel with Ezell tuner arrived and I could not shoot it. However, my friend Jeff Turner loaned me his BAT bolt to see if it would work. Although the rifles differ in age by 15 or more years, the borrowed bolt worked perfectly in my rifle. This is a testimony to the great machine work performed at BAT Machine.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

New Bolt Roller Tail-Piece Makes a Big Difference in Cocking Effort
With the borrowed bolt I managed to fire-form 50 rounds and get them ready for our 600-yard match on September 16. The folks at BAT quickly fixed my bolt by replacing the mainspring and ejector spring, polishing the ejector, and replacing the tail-piece with their roller type. Pictured below is this tail piece that makes a remarkable difference in the force needed to cock the action. It is amazing what this little wheel can do… even when placed in a 20+ year old action.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Working with the Ezell Barrel Tuner — Small Increments Work Best
Also, I would like to congratulate Mike Ezell on his new tuner which contains powdered Tungsten. It is easy to set up and Mike will help a buyer get maximum effectiveness from the unit. Just give him a call. Below is a picture of the tuner. I was lucky enough to have some time to “play” with it before the match.

Talking about the tuner, Mike writes: “Our new barrel tuners…
PDT stands for particle dampening technology. The science is there, we just applied it to a barrel tuner. The advantages are a wider tune window and more efficient control of barrel harmonics…in a tuner design that actually looks good.”

Mike advised me to set the tuner by turning it all the way into the shoulder and then come out to zero or the second time zero comes up if there is not at least half of a turn between the shoulder and the first zero. It is best to start with a proven load and adjust the tuner from that load. As unlikely as it seems, a rifle can go from a good tune to a very poor tune with only 5 marks (.005”) and vice versa.

James Mock BAT Action Terry Leonard Stock old 87

Mike cautions those who use his tuner to NOT make adjustments which are too large. As a matter of fact, he recommends adjustments of .001 inch at a time. Ezell’s tuners are screwed onto the barrel with .900” by 32 threads per inch and has 32 marks on the circumference of the tuner. Therefore, each mark moves the tuner in or out by .001 inch. There are three set screws with Teflon tips which provide friction for the tuner on the threads. Do not tighten the screws so tight as they damage the fine threads.

If you want the smoothest bolt possible for your BAT, call or e-mail Daryle or Bruce Thom at BAT Machine and discuss your needs with them. I am sure glad that I did. If you want a state-of-the-Art tuner for your barrel, give Mike Ezell a call or visit his Ezell Custom Rifles Facebook Page.
— Good shooting, James Mock

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