August 17th, 2019

Doan Trevor Creates a Lightweight Wonder from Koa Wood

Doan Trevor gunstock koa wood silhouette Anschutz rimfire carve stock

Gunsmith/stockmaker Doan Trevor created a lovely, one-of-a-kind silhouette stock for an Anschutz rimfire action. Built as a true custom design, this stock combines ideal standing position ergonomics with light weight — the entire stock weighs a mere two pounds. This project really showcases Doan’s remarkable skills with wood. Read the full story about this project (with more photos) at DoanTrever.com.

Doan explains his design process: “A customer came to me wanting to know if I could build a silhouette stock that was 2 pounds or less. I used the Koa wood because it is a lower specific gravity than Walnut (which makes it lighter) and stronger. I was still able to use pillar bedding and keep the weight down. The fore-end could be shortened to reduce the weight even more.

Since the drops on a silhouette rifle are different than a prone rifle, I kept the pistol grip from the prone rifle which is comfortable and tried to come up with a higher cheek piece and more drop to the buttplate. All of this required lots of hand carving.”

Doan Trevor gunstock koa wood silhouette Anschutz rimfire carve stock

Doan Trevor gunstock koa wood silhouette Anschutz rimfire carve stock

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
August 16th, 2019

RCBS Offers New MatchMaster Sizing and Seating Dies

rcbs reloading matchmaster loading die seating die micrometer bushing neck sizing die full-length

RCBS has introduced a new series of MatchMaster Competition Dies. These are available in Full-Length Sizing, Neck Sizing, and Seating configurations. These new MatchMaster dies are notable for four features:

1. The Competition Seating Die has a “view-port” for the bullet.
2. The Competition Seating Die features a free-floating, self-centering bullet-seating stem.
3. Expanders are titanium-nitride coated for reduced friction. Both the Neck-Sizing and FL-Sizing dies come with TiN expanders for smoother case extraction and reduced brass build-up on the expander.
4. RCBS is offering its own precision-machined Neck Bushings.

No More Mashed Fingers When Seating Bullets
RCBS notes: “Reloaders will love that they can end smashed fingers and misaligned bullets with the specially-designed bullet window [on the Seating Die]. And users can fine-tune any load … with the micrometer-adjustable, free-floating, self-centering bullet seating stem.”

RCBS Product Manager Will Hemeyer explained that the new Competition Seater is a game-changer. “What sets the MatchMaster Seating Die apart from the competition is a bullet-seating window with bullet-retaining system. Simply place the bullet in the window and raise the case into the die to seat the bullet. Couple this with a micrometer-adjustable, free-floating, self-centering bullet-seating stem and the MatchMaster Seating Die is easily the most accurate bullet seating die on the market.”

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com has tested the new RCBS MatchMaster Dies in 6mm Creedmoor. He was very impressed with the new Competition Seater and he liked the TiN-coated expanders on the sizing dies. Watch Gavin’s video:

rcbs reloading matchmaster loading die seating die micrometer bushing neck sizing die full-length

Why Use Expander with Bushing Dies?
Some viewers of Gavin’s video asked if an expander is superfluous when using neck-bushing dies. The answer is “it depends”. The bushings reduce neck diameter from the OUTSIDE. The expander should make the INSIDE of the neck perfectly round. Some hand-loaders prefer to take the necks down a couple thousandths below final loading diameter, then finish the job with an expander. That ensures the INSIDE of the case neck is perfectly concentric. This can be particularly useful for brass that has somewhat inconsistent neck-wall thickness. Bottom line, you can run these dies without expanders if you want, but that option is available. The expander is also removable so the assembly can be used for de-capping only.

MactchMaster Neck-Sizing Only Die
The MatchMaster Neck Sizing Die Set also uses RCBS neck bushings to control neck tension while not changing the body dimensions of fired cases. Frankly we strongly recommend that you full-length size your rifle rounds, but we acknowledge that some hand-loaders prefer to neck size for some applications. The MatchMaster Neck Sizing Dies do include a titanium-nitride coated expander, just like the FL-sizing MatchMaster dies.

To learn more about the new MatchMaster Competition Dies, visit www.RCBS.com.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
August 15th, 2019

Cool New Knives from Pachmayr Offer Great Value

Pachmayr Lyman everyday carry EDC knife blades

Here’s something we didn’t expect. Pachmayr has just introduced a new line of “every day carry” knives, both fixed blades and folders, and they look pretty darn good…

Pachmayr, a Lyman Products brand, now offers Every Day Carry (EDC) knives for sportsmen, shooters, LEO and pretty much everyone who can use a good blade. With a wide range of styles and sizes, Pacmayr says: “there is an EDC knife to fit every customer’s needs and tastes”. SEE ALL Pachmayr Knives.

Pacmayr EDC Knife Line-Up

Pachmayr Lyman everyday carry EDC knife blades

Pachmayr’s EDC knife series currently includes six different knives for a variety of different functions. Choose fixed blades or folders, wood handles or composite grips, and a variety of blade styles. We like the Griffin model with Rosewood-style handle. What’s your favorite?

1. The Dominator, at 8.5″ overall, is largest EDC knife at 8.5″. It features a modified sheepfoot fixed blade, G10 handle. It comes with a Kydex sheath and belt clip for $99.98 MSRP.

2. The Grunt, OAL 7.75″, features a cleaver-style blade with stainless liner. MSRP is $44.98.

3. The Snare is a compact folding knife with drop-point blade and stainless liner. MSRP is $32.98.

4. The Grappler is an 8″ drop-point blade with a black, stonewash finish, G10 handle and stainless-steel liner. MSRP is $27.98.

5. The Griffin folder features a handsome rosewood-colored laminated wood handle and nice drop point blade with stainless liner for $27.98 MSRP.

6. The Blacktail, is a tactical knife featuring a 6.75″ drop-point, black-coated blade with a black aluminum handle and stainless liner. MSRP is $23.98.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
August 14th, 2019

Bullet Tip Touches Comparator Body Before Ogive Reaches Insert

Bullet ogive comparator gauge tool drill fix hybrid ogive bullet

Bullet ogive comparator gauge tool drill fix hybrid ogive bulletDo you shoot long, pointy Hybrid Ogive bullets? If so, you may need to modify the Hornady L-N-L Bullet Comparator tool commonly used to measure the distance from bullet base to bullet ogive.

With modern, high-BC match bullets, so much of the bullet may extend forward of the ogive that the bullet tip actually contacts the inside of the red comparator body BEFORE the bullet’s ogive contacts the gray caliber-specific insert ring attached to the red body. When this happens you will NOT get an accurate Base-to-Ogive (BTO) measure. And likewise you will not get a proper Cartridge-Base-to-Ogive (CBTO) measurement with loaded rounds.

Watch this video — it shows exactly how this measurement “fail” can happen with a .338-caliber Berger Elite hunter bullet. The tester was getting a false bullet Base-to-Ogive reading of 1.175 (0:25 timemark) before modifying his tool. The true BTO measurement, with the bullet actually contacting the gray comparator ring, is 1.121 (1:25 timemark):

How to Fix the Problem
What’s the fix? With a drill, you must relieve the back “wall” inside the red comparator holder bore. This will provide more clearance for the bullet tip. With more clearance the bullet ogive will seat properly on the gray, caliber-specific insert. The tip will no longer bottom out on the red clamping half of the tool.

The maker of this helpful video, EuLRH explains: “As we all know the CBTO (Cartridge Base to Ogive) measurement is [more useful than] COAL (Cartridge Overall Length). There are lots of products that can do this. One of them is Hornady L-N-L bullet comparator. Attention! With modern long range bullets it is possible that the bullet tip is touching the comparator body instead of the bullet ogive touching the gauge.” In this example, EuLRH worked with the 300gr Berger elite hunter bullet in .338 Caliber.

Why You Need to Check with Your Own Loads
If your bullets have this “tip touching” issue, when you measure your loaded rounds you will be seeing COAL instead of the Cartridge Base to Ogive (CBTO) length. Take a moment, test with your own bullets and your comparator to determine if you have this measurement problem. If you do, try the drilling solution shown in the video.

Credit Boyd Allen for finding EuLRH Video.

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August 13th, 2019

First Aid Kits for Range Trips, Hunts, and Outdoor Adventures

summer hunting first aid kit pack Amazon

Ok folks, we’re coming to the end of summer, and hunting season is just around the corner. Do you have a good first-aid kit in your vehicle to deal with possible injuries. For just $19.00 you can get an excellent kit from Be Smart/TRI, the #1 maker of First Aid Kits in the USA.

TRI’s Be Smart Get Prepared First Aid Kit has 201 items inside a sturdy case with shoulder strap and carry handle. There is also a handy, detachable mini pouch with key essentials for first aid on-the-go. You can easily bring the mini-pouch along on a bike ride or hike.

summer hunting first aid kit pack Amazon

This multi-purpose First Aid Kit includes:

• 50 – Bandages 3/4 x 3
• 30 – Bandages 3/8 x 1 1/2
• 6 – Bandages Closure
• 3 – Knuckle Bandages
• 1 – Tapes – .5 x 2.5yd Waterproof
• 10 – Cotton Tips – 2.75″”/10 Pack
• 4 – Finger Splints
• 1 – First Aid Guide
• 4 – Gauze Pad – 2 x 2 / 4 ply
• 4 – Gauze Pad – 4 x 4 / 4 ply
• 1 – Gauze Pad – 5 x 9
• 2 – Nitrile Gloves
• 1 – Instant Cold Pack – 5 x 6
• 1 – Metal Pointed Scissors 4.5″
• 1 – Metal Tweezers 3″” Slanted Edge
• 4 – Splinter Remover
• 2 – Antibiotic Ointment / .9 gram
• 24 – Alcohol Wipes
• 3 – Sting Relief Wipes
• 21 – Antiseptic Towelletes
• 1 – Lip Ointment .9 grams
• 1 – Brightsticks / 12 hr green
• 1 – Emergency plastic whistle 2″” w/ Lanyard
• 1 – Water Pouch
• 8 – Antacid
• 8 – Aspirin
• 8 – Non-Aspirin

summer hunting first aid kit pack Amazon

Tips for Staying Healthy Outdoors
To help ensure that outdoor adventures remain safe and trouble-free, the CTD Shooters’ Log has prepared a helpful Essential Summer Survival Guide. This is worth reading before you venture away from civilization.

CLICK to READ Essential Summer Survivors Guide »

Here are some highlights of the article with links for MORE INFO:

first aid kitFirst Aid Kits for Campers
You should never venture outside without a first aid kit close at hand. While exploring the outdoors, all types of accidents can occur—from cuts, scrapes, and burns to broken limbs and severe allergic reactions.

Basic Survival Skills
Basic survival skills are a necessity if you plan to spend any amount of time outdoors. These five tips, plus a how-to on what to pack in a lightweight, basic survival kit will help if you are ever stuck, lost, stranded or injured in the field.

How to Treat Burns
Fireworks, barbeques and campfires — in the summer we are frequently around fire, which increases our chance of getting burned. A first-degree burn is most likely home treatable, while a third degree burn requires immediate medical attention. Learn how to spot the differences between minor and severe burns.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
August 11th, 2019

Sunday GunDay — Eye-Catching Rifles from America and the UK

sunday gunday Rem 700 .270 winchester win tye sims
Here is Tye Sim’s .270 Win Mountain Rifle: “This is off a trued and blue-printed Rem 700 action. I love it.”

For today’s Sunday GunDay feature, we thought we’d present a selection of rifles featuring both cool gear and scenic venues. We’ve got quite a mix — hunting rifles and competition rigs, full customs as well as factory rifles. And there are some interesting calibers including 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, .308 Win, plus a couple WSM variants. Enjoy our Sunday lineup!

Gary Costello Blair Atholl Scotland F-Open F-Class .300 WSM

To begin, here is the beautiful Blair Atholl range in Scotland. Owner Gary Costello posted: “Great day today, weather was interesting but not as bad as we thought!” Gary, a top F-Class shooter in the UK who often runs a .300 WSM, has been featured in a previous Sunday GunDay spotlight story HERE

F-class F-Open Andrew Stone .284 Win Labradar

Andrew Stone is an F-Class shooter from the Southern USA. Here his F-Open rig is set up for load testing from the bench at his beautiful, tree-lined home range. Targets are at 600 yards. Andrew is using a SEB front coaxial rest and LabRadar chronograph mounted on an aftermarket tripod.

F-TR Brian Harder rifle F-TR

In the photo above is Brian Harder’s handsome .308 Win F-TR rifle. This features a Kelbly action, McMillan stock, and Vortex scope with level. Up front is a SEB Joystick Bipod (Joy-Pod) with accessory ski-type feet. Note that Brian runs a front scope extension tube (sunshade), and a mirage shield on the barrel. These items do make a difference, particularly on hot summer days!

F-Class 7mm 270 WSM hydro-dip Bartlein

Here’s another British Beauty. This is the 7mm-270 WSM F-Classer belonging to Forum member Ian B. (aka “Elwood”). It features a Stolle Panda F-Class action, 32″ straight-contour Bartlein barrel, and a custom Joe West stock, modified by Ian and then hydro-dipped in brilliant blue by Hydro Graphics in the UK.

Bergara B14 6.5 Creedmoor HMR

Factory rifles can be interesting too. That’s pretty impressive accuracy shown by Steven Castleman’s Bergara B14 HMR chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. On this day Steve was shooting Hornady factory ammo loaded with 147-grain ELD Match bullets.

Savage Stealth 10 BA Rifle hog hunting

Here’s a stunning silhouette of a Savage 6.5 Creedmoor. Ed Whipple posted: “Borrowing a Savage 10 BA Stealth from my buddy Ron. He wanted a 100-yard head shot on a hog. I’m not listening to Ron any more. Federal Fusion bullet ain’t messing around.”

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August 11th, 2019

Protect Your Eyesight — Smart Advice about Safety Eyewear

Safety Eyewear 6.5 Guys 65guys.com

Proper eye protection is ‘must-have’ gear for shooting sports. In addition to providing reliable impact protection, good shooting glasses should be comfortable, fog-free, and not interfere with your preferred hearing protection. Those who require corrective lenses also need to consider the various options available. In a past episode of their Weekly Gear Review, the 6.5 Guys discuss a variety of shooting glasses they have tried, including examples from DeCot, Oakley, and Wiley-X. Ed and Steve outline the key considerations when choosing eye protection, and then review practical aspects of eyewear design and construction that enhance comfort and functionality in the field.

READ FULL ARTICLE ON 65Guys.com »

The 6.5 Guys (Ed and Steve) offer a number of smart tips consider safety eyewear, helping you select the most effective safety glasses at an affordable price. Here are the 6.5 Guys’ KEY Take-aways when choosing shooting glasses, including prescription eyewear:

Key Things To Consider When Choosing Eye Protection

1. Avoid polarized lenses or lenses that reduce light transmission significantly (except for action shooting in very bright conditions with large, close targets).

2. Avoid frame designs that interfere with prone shooting.

3. Avoid designs that easily fog.

4. Avoid frame designs with thicker temples that are uncomfortable to wear underneath hearing protection.

5. Select lenses with an appropriate degree of ballistic protection. CLICK HERE to learn more about eyewear safety standards.

6. When you get your prescription, be sure your ophthalmologist includes the interpupillary distance. This is a critical measurement particularly for heavier prescriptions.

7. If you have a complicated prescription select a vendor who will actually spend time with you to address any concerns.

Safety First — Your Eyes Are Irreplaceable
Safety Eyewear 6.5 Guys 65guys.comAccurate shooting begins and ends with the human eye. Your career as a marksman could be cut short if you don’t use good eye protection every time you go to the range and/or handle a firearm.

Every year, 1,000,000 people suffer serious eye injuries. Shooting is hazardous; it is estimated that there are 30,000 firearms-related eye injuries each year (if you include paintball sports.) After paintball, general hunting accidents comprise most firearms-related eye injuries.

Quality eye protection need not be expensive. You can find comfortable, ANSI Z87.1-certified shooting glasses for under $10.00.

If you select shooting glasses carefully, and ensure that your eyewear is safety-certified, inexpensive shooting glasses can perform very well. But you need to avoid cheap, soft-plastic lenses that claim “impact resistance” without satisfying a testing standard.

For more comprehensive information on safety eyewear, read the AccurateShooter’s Guide to Eye Protection for Shooters.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »
August 11th, 2019

Guard Your Guns with Corrosion-Resistant Storage Bags

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $12.00 – $21.00 from Brownells. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ Scoped Shotgun Bag, Brownells item 132-000-003. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.

Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
Just about the worst thing you can do for long-term storage (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust. Even in warm summer months, humid air can leave moisture in the foam.

Foam-lined hard caseRemember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some badly.

Consider Military-Style, Triple-Layer Bags for Long-Term Storage
While we prefer Bore-Stores for regularly-used guns, if you have heirloom firearms that will be kept in storage for very long periods without seeing any use, you may want to grease them up and place them in the thin, but rugged three-layer storage bags sold by Brownells. The bags are made from a three-layer laminate of polyester, aluminum, and polyethylene film, with a shiny silver exterior. Though the laminate is thin, the Brownells storage bags are puncture-resistant, and have a 0% moisture transmission rating so moisture can’t get inside. These bags are also resistant to petroleum-based chemicals and they won’t break down even in contact with soil or moisture.

3-layer Brownells storage bagHere’s one VITAL bit of advice for using these bags. Be absolutely sure, before you seal up the bags, that your guns are DRY and that all metal surfaces have been coated with an effective anti-corrosive, such as BoeShield T9 or Eezox. Brownells’ storage bags are inexpensive. A three-pak of 12″x 60″ rifle sacks (item 083-055-003WB) costs just $22.99 — under eight bucks a gun. That’s cheap insurance for rifles and shotguns that may cost thousands of dollars.

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August 10th, 2019

New Champion Vanquish Electronic Muffs with Bluetooth

Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone
The Vanquish Pro ($109.99 on Amazon) has BlueTooth. The basic model does NOT have Bluetooth.

Many readers use electronic muffs during matches so they can hear range commands. The Howard Light Impact Sport muffs are popular and affordable at around $53.00 on Amazon. Now there is a new alternative from Bushnell/Champion — the Vanquish Series electronic muffs. These feature ultra-fast under 1 millisecond sound compression with HD speakers. The Vanquish Pro and Pro Elite models offer Bluetooth connectivity, so users can take phone calls or listen to music at the range. The Elite models also offer Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). On all Vanquish models, the earpads are a nice soft foam for comfort, and the shell design is angled at the rear to provide more clearance on gunstocks. That’s smart.

Vanquish Muffs Offer Ultra-Fast Reaction Time with less than 1 millisecond Sound Compression:
Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone

So far, Vanquish muff users have been impressed. Audio quality is good. The 3X sound amplification on the basic model ($54.00 on Amazon) provides ample volume for conversations (Pro Model goes up to 5X). The ear foam is soft for all-day comfort. Top PRS competitor Bryan Sikes states: “Been a big fan of these new muffs for a while. been using the Vanquish Pros and it’s nice to listen to some Taylor Swift via Bluetooth or take a call if I need to when denting primers. Comfortable and less than half the cost of Sordins.”

Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone

Consider Running Plugs Under Muffs
The basic Vanquish Muffs have a 22 NRR (Noise Reduction Rating), same as the Howard Leight Impact Pros. That’s not enough, in our opinion, for sustained multi-hour exposure to firearm noises, particular indoors, or outdoors on a busy firing line. The Vanquish Pro ($109.99 on Amazon) has a better 24 NRR, but we would still recommend using ear-plugs under the muffs, for superior noise reduction. We like the Howard Leight MAX-1 plugs, which offer 33db NRR by themselves.

Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone
Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
August 8th, 2019

Jesse Kaufmann — The Art of Engraving

Jesse Kaufmann Black Hills engraving remington stock checkering
Impressive engraving by Jesse Kaufmann. Note how the scope rings have been engraved to perfectly match the engraving pattern on the Remington 547 action.

Who says fine craftsmanship is dead? There’s a fellow up in South Dakota, Jesse Kaufmann, who produces some of the most handsome engraving we’ve seen. Jesse, who operates Black Hills Gunstocks and Engraving LLC, is a true master at metal engraving and he also does superb stock checkering. Here are some examples of Jesse’s engraving work:

Jesse Kaufmann Black Hills engraving remington stock checkering

Jesse Kaufmann Black Hills engraving remington stock checkering

Jesse Kaufmann Black Hills engraving remington stock checkering

Jesse Kaufmann Black Hills engraving remington stock checkering

Jesse Kaufmann engraving stock checkering black hillsAbout Jesse Kaufmann, Master Engraver
Jesse Kaufmann was a professional stockmaker for Dakota Arms for over a decade. In 2009, he was inducted in the American Custom Gunmakers Guild as a checkering specialist. In January 2017, Jesse was awarded his Master Engraver certification by the Firearms Engravers Guild of America. With his broad skill set, Jesse is able to offer his clients a unique and complete package of stock work, finish, checkering, and engraving for a custom package that is all completed under one roof by his own hands.

Jesse Kaufmann’s work has been featured in American Rifleman, American Hunter, FEGA’s The Engraver, Sports Afield, Waidmannsheil Journal of German Gun Collectors Assn., Gun Digest 71st Edition, Modern Custom Guns Volume 2, Dangerous Game Rifles 2d. Edition. For more info, visit BlackHillsgunstocksandengraving.com, email blackhillsgunstocks [at] gmail.com, or call Jesse at (605) 499-9090.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
August 8th, 2019

FREE Shooting Bench Plans — 14 Build Your Own Bench Designs

Free shooting bench plansFREE shooting Bench Plans
Do you like the Chris Byrne bench at left? For more details, CLICK HERE.

FREE Bench Plans on the Web

Building your own portable shooting bench is a great do-it-yourself project. You can build a sturdy bench for well under $100 in materials. Compare that to some deluxe factory-built benches which may cost $600.00 or more. You’ll find a wide assortment of home-built shooting bench designs (both portable and fixed) on the internet. Renovation Headquarters has links to FREE Plans and building instructions for fourteen (14) different shooting benches. There are all-wood shooting bench designs as well as benches that combine a wood top with a metal sub-frame or legs.

CLICK HERE for Shooting Bench FREE Plans Webpage »

Among Renovation HQ’s fourteen featured shooting benches, here are five designs we liked:

Larry Willis Shooting Bench

Sandwiched Plywood top, 1.5″ Galvanized Pipe Legs

Manuel Ferran’s
Steel Shooting Bench

Steel (welded) legs and frame, painted plywood top. Folds flat.

eHow Permanent All-Wood
Shooting Bench

Heavy-duty, very solid and sturdy, but easy to build. Good for right- or left-handed shooters.

Bill Clarke’s
Basic Shooting Bench

Restaurant table Cast Metal Pedestal Base, plywood top.

Missouri Hillbilly’s
All-Wood Bench

3/4″ ACX Plywood with 4×6 Beams and Legs

Heavy Wood Bench That Converts to Three Sections for Transport
In addition to the fourteen benches mentioned above, here is an interesting break-down bench design. Call it a “semi-portable” bench. The legs and frame are made from stout 4×4 post segments so the bench is fairly heavy. However, this bench can break down into three (3) sections for easier transport to and from the range. Dado-cut channels assure proper top alignment. This might be a good choice if you plan a multi-day excursion to a location without fixed benches. This three-leg bench design can be made from easy-to-locate materials. Note: The dimensions of this bench are are larger than typical fixed benches to accommodate 50 BMGs and other big rifles. CLICK HERE for more details.

FREE shooting Bench Plans

(more…)

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 6th, 2019

Lyman Universal Press Stand Review

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

I absolutely love using this press stand. I use it with my Forster Co-Ax as well as my Dillon 550. The stand mounts those presses at the right height to minimize fatigue and maximize torque. Some products I merely review and return but this one is a keeper and won’t be leaving my bench anytime soon. — F-Class John

Lyman Universal Press Stand REVIEW

Product Review by F-Class John
Positioning your press at the optimal height is one of the oldest problems in reloading. Most presses sit low off the edge leading to uncomfortable arm strain or inconsistent pressure being applied while using. Lyman has set out to fix that problem with a reasonably-priced ($53.99 at Midsouth) press riser that works with the vast majority of reloading presses. This unit will raise just about any press up off your bench securely, allowing you to working more comfortably from a standing position. This also frees up vital bench space UNDER the press.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

I have used a variety of presses over the years. At times I’ve run into issues mounting a press at a level that doesn’t promote arm or hand strain during normal operations. In the past I’ve used blocks of wood or even tried other brands’ proprietary stands. But I had very limited success with those options. Accordingly, I was very excited to give the Lyman Universal Press Stand a chance.

Lyman’s Universal Press Stand comes complete with side plates, two different top plates, and a large collection of mounting hardware. The two top plates are pre-drilled for numerous popular Single Stage or Progressive presses. Helpful diagrams and instructions show which side of the top plate you need to use. The pre-drilled holes accommodate a variety of presses from RCBS, Dillon, Lyman, Redding, and Hornady. But surprisingly, the plates are not pre-configured for the Forster Co-Ax Press.

CLICK to WATCH VIDEO Showing Lyman Universal Press Stand

Setting up the stand was very simple. The two sides bolt to the lower shelf unit at which point you attach the top plate. All the supplied bolts made this a breeze and once everything was snugged down, I was able to place it on my bench where I wanted it and mark the drill holes to mount it. After securing the stand to my bench it was time to mount my press.

Lyman Universal Press Stand with Dillon 550 Press

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Adapting Lyman Universal Press Stand for Forster Co-Ax
At the time of testing I was primarily using a Forster Co-Ax press. With no pre-drilled Co-Ax configuration for either Lyman top plate, I decided to customize the blank side of one of the top plates. I opted to position the mounting holes so that the press could sit 100% on top of the mounting plate and not just off one edge. I found this process simple to execute. Mark your drill holes, then drill the plate. This can easily be done with regular drill bits although using a step-bit worked faster and cleaner to help enlarge the holes just a little when I needed some extra clearance.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Lyman Universal Press Stand Is Stable and Strong
Once set-up, I found the stand to be incredibly stable. The design allows for full force to be applied to the press no matter what the operation. Having used this Lyman Press stand regularly over the past few months with both my Co-Ax and a Dillon 550c, I still find myself loving it. The height is perfect and allows me to load as much as I like without straining my arm or getting fatigued. With an attractive price point (under $55.00 street price) and a simple design, I feel this is a great system for those looking for a secure and raised platform for their reloading presses.

The Universal Press Stand comes with two plates. If you have different presses that fit each plate you could easily swap presses just by changing plates while leaving the presses attached. It’s less functional if you have two presses that share one plate and would require removing one press before installing the next one.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Lyman Press Stand Unboxing and Set-Up (KFW Video Review):

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August 6th, 2019

RCBS Case Prep Station with Six Powered Tool Drives

New RCBS cartridge brass chamfering deburring power tool head station Brass Boss six

RCBS has announced the successor to the venerable RCBS Trim Mate. The New-for-2018 RCBS Brass Boss features six rotating stations that handle all your brass neck-brushing, chamfering, deburring, and pocket uniforming chores. The new Brass Boss includes tools for all six stations: inside VLD chamfering tool, outside deburring tool, primer pocket cleaners (small/large), military crimp removers (small/large), primer pocket uniformers (small/large), case neck brushes (four diameters), and a tub of dry case neck lubricant. MSRP for the Brass Boss, RCBS SKU 90390, is $189.95. Current “street price” is around $153.00.

New RCBS cartridge brass chamfering deburring power tool head station Brass Boss sixThis machine has two different rotation speeds for the toolheads. Four stations run at 350 rpm, while the two other stations run 57% faster, at 550 rpm. That give you a choice of spin speeds. You can work fast for tougher chores like military crimp removal, and slow down for inside-neck chamfering, which should be done carefully.

Larger and taller than the older RCBS Trim Mate, the new Brass Boss has one more station (six vs. five), plus a more powerful motor. This should make the Brass Boxx more competitive with the popular Lyman Case Prep Express.

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August 4th, 2019

Sunday GunDay — .22 LR Rimfire Silhouette Match Rifle

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja

The Modern Smallbore Silhouette Rifle
Smallbore rifle silhouette is a shooting discipline that can really test a shooter’s ability and fundamentals. The saying in silhouette is “the bench proves the rifle, standing proves the shooter”. To be able to stand and shoot a rifle at targets ranging from 40 meters to 100 meters is no small feat, especially when the 100 meter ram target is just a little bigger than a large potato.

Of course, you need a good rifle. The CZ 455 has been at the top of the starter rifle list for a long time, however, a few newcomers such as the Tikka T1x are definitely challenging that spot. The gold standard in the silhouette discipline seems to be the venerable Anschutz 1712. With a fantastic two-stage trigger, smooth operation, great balance, and consistent accuracy it’s one of the most popular rifles, just look through the equipment survey from the U.S. Nationals and you will see what I mean. Even though the Anschutz is a great rifle, there are those competitors who want more. Enter Erich Mietenkorte, a Master silhouette shooter from Ellensburg, Washington and his P-51 Mustang-inspired .22 LR silhouette rifle.

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja
The P-51 Mustang artwork was masterfully painted by Perry Mallet of Spokane, WA from a basic theme sketched out by Erich. This is one of the coolest gunstock paint jobs we’ve ever seen. Bravo Mr. Mallet!

Erich’s Smallbore ‘Silhouette Slammer’

Report by Erich Mietenkorte
At the heart of my .22 LR “Silhouette Slammer” is a Sako P94s Finnfire action. I chose this action due to its incredibly fast lock time. Mated to that is a tight-bore Lilja 4-groove barrel finished at 24 inches. This has a Winchester 52D chamber. The barrel and chamber combination were suggested by Loren Peter of Vancouver, WA, a long time silhouette shooter and gunsmith, and it definitely works! The rifle easily and consistently shoots under one inch at 100 meters with good ammo.

Finnfire Fitted with Modified Anschutz 2-Stage Trigger
The Finnfire was originally equipped with a single-stage trigger but I decided that a two-stage works better for me. There weren’t any available options at the time so I took an Anschutz 5109 trigger from a model 1712 and machined a new sear and mated it up to the action.

CLICK to Zoom Photo
Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja
Click Image for large, full-size photo showing details of paint-work.

The rifle wears a Leupold FX-3 25-power optic, a scope favored by many silhouette shooters for its clarity, magnification, and relatively light weight. To make weight in Hunter Class, the rifle may weigh no more than 8.5 pounds total with optic! The last component that makes up this winning rifle is the amazing work of art that is the stock. All of these components rest in a custom fiberglass stock made specifically to push the limits of the NRA stock jig that all competition silhouette rifles must fit. The stock was constructed by Steve Wooster, a long-time silhouette shooter from Chehalis, WA. The P-51 Mustang artwork was masterfully painted by Perry Mallet of Spokane, WA from a sketch I did. Perry took an idea and used his artistic abilities to create a masterpiece that looks as good as it shoots.

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja

Getting Started in the Silhouette Game
Erich’s advice for anyone wanting to get started in the fun and challenging discipline of silhouette is to take any .22 LR scoped rifle you have and simply show up at a silhouette match. On many occasions Erich has helped newcomers and has even loaned out his own rifle for novices to try. “One of the best things about silhouette is the generosity and friendliness of the competitors. Silhouette is a shooting sport that you don’t have to be intimidated, all shooting abilities are welcome and everyone has an opportunity to be successful.” To learn more about silhouette shooting, or locate a silhouette match near you, visit Steelchickens.com, a popular silhouette-centric web forum.

In this Video Erich Mietenkorte Shoots Rams at 100M with his .22 LR Silhouette Rifle:

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja
Note the bullet impact locations on those 10 turkeys — that would be about a 1″ group. Great shooter with a great rifle. In Canada two weeks ago, Erich set a new Ram “long run” record, hitting 30 in a row.

The Three Amigos — Along with his P-51 paint job smallbore rifle, here are two of Erich’s centerfire silhouette rigs. Erich notes: “The green rifle is my High Power silhouette standard rifle (class weight limit 10 lbs. 2.0 oz.). This features a Defiance Machine Rebel action with a Lilja #6 Contour barrel finished at 26″. This rig is chambered in .260 Bobcat (aka 6.5×250, i.e. 250 Savage necked up to 6.5mm). This cartridge has the same energy as a .260 Remington but much less felt recoil. It is very efficient and makes a big difference when shooting a lot of rounds in a match.” Stock by Steve Wooster.

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja

The brown rifle (upper right) is a blueprinted Remington 700 action with a Lilja #5 Contour barrel finished at 26″, also chambered in .260 Bobcat. Erich tells us: “I won Second Place at the U.S. National Championships last year with this rifle. Stock made by Wooster. This rifle is for the hunting rifle category (9-lb weight limit). For Hunter rifles in smallbore and High Power the trigger must have a safety and a pull weight at least two pounds. (By contrast, a Standard rifle may have any weight trigger with/without a safety.) Because you can shoot a Hunter rifle in the Standard rifle class, I started my High Power silhouette journey with this rifle and then added the Standard rifle later. I’ll be replacing this rifle this upcoming season with a Defiance Rebel action and barrel chambered in 6mm BR.”

Erich Mietenkorte .260 Bobcat silhouette rifle Lilja

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August 4th, 2019

The “REMAGE” Option — Pre-Fit Barrels for Rem 700 and Clones

Mcree Precision Mcrees Savage Remington pre-fitted pre-chambered pre-fit barrel system kit nut
McRee’s Precision Remington DIY Barrel Kit includes Criterion Pre-Fit Stainless Barrel, Barrel Nut, Recoil Lug, Thread Protector, and Barrel Nut Wrench:

Need a new barrel for your Rem-actioned hunting or tactical rifle? Here’s a great DIY option for riflemen. McRee’s Precision offers complete, no-gunsmithing re-barreling kits for Remington and Rem-clone actions. These feature a high-quality, pre-chambered “PRE-FIT” stainless barrel from Criterion, a Savage-style barrel nut, a recoil lug, and a special barrel-nut wrench. Most of the Pre-Fit barrels are 24″ long and threaded at the muzzle. CLICK Here for all Pre-Fit barrel specs.

With this system you can easily re-barrel your favorite Remington rifle yourself in less than an hour. You don’t need to pay gunsmithing fees, or wait weeks (or months) for a busy smith to do the job. And the price is under $500.00. Kits are currently available for these chamberings: 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, .308 Win, .308 Winchester Magnum. You can buy with confidence — McRee’s Precision offers a Half-MOA Accuracy Guarantee with its pre-fitted barrel kits.

Mcree Precision Mcrees Savage Remington pre-fitted pre-chambered pre-fit barrel system kit nut
The stainless steel Barrel Nut is set up for 1 1/16 x 16 barrel threads, while the stainless steel recoil lug has a 1/8 inch removable locator pin and is set up for 1.0625 dia barrel threads.

McRee’s Precision sells Rem-action Pre-Fit barrel packages (complete with barrel nut, recoil lug, and wrench) starting at $489.52. Choose from five chamberings: 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, .308 Win, and .300 Win Mag. These Pre-Fit barrel kits come ready-to-install. All you need to do is remove your current barrel, place the recoil lug, spin on the new tube, follow the instructions for setting head-space with standard go/no-go gauges, then torque the barrel nut against the lug. NOTE: You may require a barrel vise and action wrench to remove the original barrel. Chambering-specific headspace gauges required. Minor inletting changes may be needed forward of the action.

Mcree Precision Mcrees Savage Remington pre-fitted pre-chambered pre-fit barrel system kit nut

The folks at McRee’s Precision say their Pre-Fit system offers many advantages: “Remington Pre-Fitted Barrel Kits have become popular over the years. If Savage can do it, why not for our Remingtons? Our [Criterion-supplied] barrels are spec’d to the McRee standard of performance. There are several places to get the tools required to remove your factory barrel correctly. Once you have your barrel removed all you have to do is follow the normal Savage procedure to install your new barrel. We recommend that you contact your local gunsmith for the install. Feel free to call us with any questions.”

Product Tip from Ed LongRange. We welcome readers’ submissions.
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July 30th, 2019

The Affordable MagnetoSpeed Chronograph — $179.00 Sporter

magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

If you have been waiting to purchase a chronograph… now is a great time to buy. You can get the affordable MagnetoSpeed Sporter for under $180.00. You can set up this device in a few minutes, and you never have to go downrange to fiddle with a tripod or fuss with wires. The MagnetoSpeed Sporter is simple and effective — a no-hassle solution.

See MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chronograph Features Reviewed in Video

We’re impressed by the Sporter chrono, as are other shooters — this unit is very popular. Like the MagnetoSpeed V3, the Sporter faithfully records shots, even in complete darkness. Shot strings are recorded digitally and can be transferred to a smart phone via MagnetoSpeed’s XFR accessory (and Apps).

The MagnetoSpeed Sporter chrono is less than half the price of previous MagnetoSpeed models. This is big news for shooters who always wanted a MagnetoSpeed but found the $379.00 cost (for V3 model) too pricey. The new Sporter Chronograph costs just $179.00 at Brownells and $179.00 at Amazon.

The Magnetospeed Sporter offers most of the features of the more expensive models (see chart below for details) and has a updated sensor. MagnetoSpeed says its new Sporter is “Ideal for contoured rifle barrels (sporter barrels) and long-barreled revolvers.” The Sporter Chronograph Kit (shown above) includes: Bayonet Sensor, 3.5 foot Data Cable, Remote Display (with Battery), Strap with thumb nut, Two V-block spacers, and compact storage box.

Available NOW: MagnetoSpeed Sporter $179.00 at Brownells and $179.00 at Amazon.

Q: Will the Sporter Chrono work with thicker barrel (i.e. greater than 1″ diameter)?

A: The manufacturer recommends the $399.00 V3 model for thicker barrels. But, wink-wink, if you have a 1.25″ barrel you can get this to work, based on what we’ve seen.. If you have a really fat barrel (up to 2.0″ diameter), get the V3. Magnetospeed also says the V3 is needed for airguns, shotguns, and muzzleloaders.

Click Image for Full-Screen Photo
magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

The Sporter Chrono attaches quickly and easily. It has a 3.5-foot-long cord, and will work with Muzzle Brakes and Flash-hiders up to 2.7″ long.

magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

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July 28th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Tack-Driving .22 PPC Eliseo Tubegun

Gary Eliseo Competition machine John Pierce engineering tubegun tube-gun chassis rifle

We know that Competition Machine (Gary Eliseo) makes great chassis systems and Pierce Engineering (John Pierce) makes great actions. But sometimes a project comes together even better than one can imagine. The folks at Pierce Engineering recently completed an Eliseo Tubegun that displayed some mind-blowing accuracy during initial testing. This was a special rifle built to a client’s spec in .22 PPC.

Gary Eliseo Competition machine John Pierce engineering tubegun tube-gun chassis rifle

After his team completed the rifle, John Pierce took the Tubegun to the range to make sure everything was working right. The rifle was chambered for the .22 PPC, a known accuracy cartridge. Would this cartridge shoot in this gun? Heck yeah was the answer! The first two shots out of the gun were touching. That was promising enough. But then John drilled a five-shot group that was basically one hole! Here is that target. First two shots upper left, then the five-shot group below and to the right. Chassis-maker Gary Eliseo commented: “that’ll do just fine…”

Gary Eliseo Competition machine John Pierce engineering tubegun tube-gun chassis rifle

Gary Eliseo Competition machine John Pierce engineering tubegun tube-gun chassis rifleDisclaimer: John shot some more groups with this Tubegun that were definitely NOT one-holers. That first five-shot masterpiece could not be duplicated. However, we’re told that the rifle shot other groups in the 2s, 3s, and 4s — impressive performance for a rifle designed for prone and position shooting. This shows how well the Pierce action mates to the Competition Machine chassis.

And if the owner ever wants to show off a “wallet group” for his new rifle — well he’s got that, thanks to John’s great trigger-pulling and rifle-building. Using On-Target software we measured that five-shot group at 0.189″ (see photo at right). That’s crazy small for a new gun with zero load development. That’s also a testimony to the quality of the Norma .22 PPC brass.

Why the .22 PPC Chambering?
The customer owns other Eliseo Tubeguns, but wanted something that combined extreme accuracy with very low recoil. He also wanted to be able to shoot factory brass without fire-forming. Norma makes very high-quality .22 PPC cartridge brass that is an easy load and shoot solution. In fact the folks at Pierce Engineering custom-loaded a quantity of .22 PPC ammo for this Tubegun and shipped it off to the customer along with the new rifle. NOTE: Loading ammo is not something that Pierce normally does, but this was a special client request.

Norma .22 PPC Cartridge Brass is available from Grafs.com for $88.88 per 100 cases.

Gary Eliseo Competition machine John Pierce engineering tubegun tube-gun chassis rifle

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July 27th, 2019

SCATT MX-02 Training System Works for Centerfire Shooters

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

The SCATT MX-02 is an electronic shooter training system that is capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow tested this product for AccurateShooter.com. As fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle, Tony concludes this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for MX-02 3000-word Review.

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

Some time ago, we reviewed this product from the perspective of a smallbore competitive shooter. (Read Previous Review.) Here we test SCATT MX-02 again, this time on an AR-15 service rifle, in order to assess its suitability for the High Power competition community.

We put the MX-02 through its paces in all three High Power shooting positions and in various environmental conditions. We wanted to find out whether the system can reliably operate in the harsher outdoor settings and withstand the recoil of a centerfire rifle. We also wanted to assess whether it provides added values for High Power shooters over older generation of electronic trainers such as SCATT’s own venerable WS-01.

On both counts, we came away impressed. The SCATT MX-02 stood up to centerfire recoil after hundreds of shots and was able to consistently recognize the often less-than-pristine High Power target faces. Both indoors and outdoors, the MX-02 acts as SCATT should and dutifully captures useful aiming traces and other data. It does that even during outdoor live-fire sessions, where shooter performance often differs from indoor dry-firing due to the sensation of recoil and environmental factors.

SCATT Rapid Fire Results (paper target on left, screen on right).
Scatt MX-02 shooting trainer camera

In particular, SCATT MX-02 allows shooters to effectively troubleshoot and improve their rapid-fire performance, a service that no previous-generation trainers are capable of providing. The unit isn’t perfect — the SCATT MX-02 had some mounting issues with small-diameter barrels, but a cardboard shim provided a quick and effective solution.


CLICK HERE for Full SCATT MX-02 Review »

Overall, performance was impressive. In most realistic training conditions that High Power shooters experience, the system performed well. We can certainly recommend SCATT MX-02 as an extremely valuable tool for High Power competitors looking to take their performance to the next level.

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 26th, 2019

Walther Arms Factory Tour Video — Watch for Free this Week

History of Walther Panteo Ulm factory germany video movie history

Would you like to visit the Walther factory in Germany, and learn all about this German arms maker? Panteo Productions is offering FREE limited-time access to a full-length Walther Factory Tour Video. Typically, Panteao videos are viewable by subscription only but now through 7.28.19 you can watch the full, 23-minute factory tour video for FREE. Panteao Productions takes you to the Walther Arms factory in Ulm, Germany. Product Manager Peter Dallhammer talks about the long history of Walther Arms. Hosted by Larry Vickers, this video showcases the Walther products which have influenced modern firearms design.

WATCH History of Walther Arms Video HERE »

History of Walther Panteo Ulm factory germany video movie history

Watch Other Panteo Videos for 10% Off
Panteo offers a series of high-quality, long-format gun training videos. If you want to subscribe to Panteao’s training videos, you can now get 10% off streaming video subscriptions with discount CODE ammoland.

Walther Competition Rifles

Along with rimfire and centerfire handguns, Walther makes competition smallbore and air rifles. Look carefully below — this Walther LG400 Alutec air rifle is different than any gun you’ve ever shot — it has an ELECTRONIC trigger. The LG400’s sophisticated, battery-powered trigger offers a precise, super-light release that is more a “touch” than a “pull”. For top-level Olympic and World Cup competitors, the electronic trigger offers a competitive advantage.

Walther .22 lr Rimfire electronic trigger

This Walther KK500-E Anatomic .22 LR Smallbore 3P Match Rifle also features an electronic trigger.
History of Walther Panteo Ulm factory germany video movie history

Modern Walther Defensive and Sport Pistols

Walther Value 9mm — The Walther Creed at $249.99

Walther Creed  9mm carry pistol handgun bargain cdnn sale discount

While Walther makes premium pistols, such as the steel-frame Q5 shown above, Walther also makes good reliable pistols that cost much less than a Glock or Sig polymer pistol. The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls for just $249.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar.

About Walther
Walther ArmsCarl Walther and his son, Fritz, created the first blow-back semi-automatic pistol in 1908. Today, Walther’s innovative spirit continues with the PPK, PPQ, PPS, and Q5 Match Steel Frame series. Military, Police, and other government security groups worldwide utilize Walther firarms. Service and quality continue to be benchmarks of Walther success. For more information, visit www.WaltherArms.com.

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July 24th, 2019

17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) — Affordable .17-Caliber Rimfire Option

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

The 17 Mach 2 (aka “17 HM2″) is making a come-back. We’re glad. This high-velocity round fits actions and magazines designed for the .22 LR, so it’s an easy barrel-swap upgrade for most rimfire bolt-guns (semi-autos are more complicated). The 17 Mach 2 cartridge doesn’t deliver the velocity of the 17 HMR, but it is still way faster than a .22 LR. Expect 2000-2100 fps with 17 Mach 2 compared to 1250 fps for “High-Velocity” .22 LR ammo. And, importantly, 17 Mach 2 ammo is much less expensive than 17 HMR. If you shop around, you can get 50 rounds of 17 Mach 2 for about $6.50. That’s 35% cheaper than the average $10 price of 17 HMR — a significant savings!

17 Mach 2 Major Selling Points:

1. 60% more velocity than typical “High-Velocity” .22 LR ammo.
2. 35% less cost than average 17 HMR ammo.
3. 17 Mach 2 OAL is compatible with .22 LR receivers and magazines.

17 Mach 2 Rifle Reviews

Gun-makers have taken notice of the availability of 17 Mach 2 ammo, introducing new models chambered for this versatile little rimfire round. For a high-volume, small-species varminting, the 17 Mach 2 is much more effective than the .22 LR, and much less expensive than the larger 17 HMR.

New Savage A17 in 17 Mach 2

There are a number of reviews on new-generation 17 Mach 2 rifles. Recently Varminter.com reviewed the Savage A17 in 17 HM2. Editor Eric Mayer wrote: “This new addition to the A17 line comes at a time when the 17 Mach 2 round is experiencing a resurgence, with ammo now available from CCI and Hornady, including the lead-free NTX round from Hornady. This means … you don’t have to break the bank to buy a current, functioning, semi-auto 17 Mach 2 and you don’t have to … convert your 10/22.”

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 savage a17 17 HMR varmint rimfire summit

Eric shot four different types of 17 Mach 2 ammo, putting 1000+ rounds through the Savage. He was impressed: “I am very excited that Savage Arms has chambered their A17 rifle in the 17 Mach 2 / 17 HM2 round. After shooting the prototype, I can confidently say that this new A17 will become my go-to 17 Mach 2 rifle. This new rifle is a great option for varminters everywhere!”

Toggle Bolt Volquartsen Summit in 17 HM2

It’s rare for us to see a new rimfire that we’d really like to own, but the new Summit from Volquartsen fits the bill. This versatile rifle features a cool, straight-pull toggle bolt, similar to those on elite Biathalon rifles. You can see how this gun shoots in this informative 22 Plinkster video:

22 Plinkster Tests Volquartsen Summit Rifle in 17 Mach 2

The 17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) is making a comeback. Now leading manufacturers are offering this efficient little rimfire cartridge in some nice rifles. Both Anschutz and Volquartsen will offer new 17 Mach 2 rifles in 2019. The Volquartsen Summit features a lightweight, carbon fiber-wrapped barrel threaded 1/2-28 for brakes or suppressors. The Summit boasts a nice 1.75-lb trigger pull. The Summit’s CNC-machined receiver features a +20 MOA Rail. NOTE: The video shows a silhouette-style laminated wood stock. However, the Summit comes standard with a composite Magpul stock that actually works better for shooting from a bench.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

17 Mach 2 — Best Rimfire Bang for the Buck?

If you are looking for a capable, squirrel-busting round or a fun plinking round, you should definitely consider the 17 Mach 2, especially since CCI has committed to production of the little cartridge. CCI recently rolled out its “Gen 2″ 17 Mach 2 VNT Ammo with polymer tip (see top of article).

Considering that 17 HMR ammo is now running $10 to $12 a box, the 17 Mach 2 is an excellent value by comparison. It is available from many vendors for under $6.50 per 50ct box. That’s just $0.13 per round. When you consider overall “bang for the buck”, for many shooters, it makes sense to use the 17 Mach 2 rather than a 17 HMR. You save money, barrel life is a little longer, and the 17 Mach 2 is still a much more potent cartridge than the .22 LR. Check out this comparison, and note how the 17 Mach 2 has a much flatter trajectory than the .22 LR. For varmint shooting, the 17 Mach 2 is clearly the better choice.

17 Mach 2 hm2 .22 LR comparison
Hornady’s 17 Mach 2 has a 2100 FPS muzzle velocity vs. 1255 FPS for “High-Velocity” .22 LR.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 5 Comments »