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September 20th, 2022

Precision Practical AirGun Challenge on Shooting USA This Week

Shooting USA TV Rocky Mountain Air-gun Challenge Provo Utah

Shooting USA TV has a very good show this week. Shooting USA’s Wednesday Night episode features an interesting tactical-style airgun competition, and then there’s a sequence from Julie Golob on how to use video recordings to improve your pistol handling and marksmanship. For fans of military firearms, this week’s episode also features a notable WWII German rifle — the Gewehr 43.

Shooting USA SHOW TIMES: This Shooting USA Episode airs Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central. If you miss the regular broadcast, you can stream the show online at any time on Vimeo for $0.99 per episode.

The Rocky Mountain Airgun Challenge

Shooting USA TV Rocky Mountain Air-gun Challenge Provo Utah

The 2022 Rocky Mountain Airgun Challenge in Provo, Utah attracted top shooters with over $100,000 worth of prizes. The stages look like what you’d see at PRS/NRL events, but the targets are smaller, the range is shorter, and the power behind each shot is air. Practical Air-Gun competition has a well-established community that spans the globe, and recently competitors from other shooting disciplines, the powder burners, beginning to take notice. Air-Gun practical competition is fun and inexpensive — you are paying pennies a round vs. a $1.25 or more for premium centerfire ammo. The Rocky Mountain Airgun Challenge is leading the way in this interesting air-powered shooting discipline. This multi-day event featured a variety of events on multiple stages.

Germany’s Answer to the M1 Garand — the Gewehr 43

Shooting USA TV Rocky Mountain Air-gun Challenge Provo Utah

The Gewehr is now one of History’s Guns on Shooting USA. When the legendary M1 Garand served as the US standard issue rifle in WWII the impact on the battlefield was undeniable. And the effectiveness of the Garand was not lost on the German military, armed with bolt-action Mausers that dated back to the first world war. For Nazi Germany the pressure was on to develop a semi-automatic battle rifle that could match the repeating firepower of the M1. The result was the Gewehr 43 was created to serve the German armed forces.

Using Video to Improve Your Shooting — S&W Pro Tip

Shooting USA TV Rocky Mountain Air-gun Challenge Provo Utah

The talented Julie Golob has another Smith & Wesson Pro Tip on using video to improve your shooting. Julie states: “Did you know that one of the best tools for self-diagnosing technique is your smart phone? You can set up your smartphone to record your shooting and coach yourself through valuable skills. In this Pro Tip I am going to walk you through three different ways to use your [smartphone’s video camera] to become a better shot. READ FULL STORY with More TIPs and 14 Photos.

Shooting USA TV Rocky Mountain Air-gun Challenge Provo Utah

When setting up the shot for the draw you can use either landscape or portrait, that doesn’t matter. A small tripod is useful, or you can use a larger one.

One last tip when we’re using video is to use the pause function and drag the frames along so that you can stop frame-for-frame so you can see exactly your positioning when you draw, reload, or shoot positions and your footwork. Until the next one be safe and have fun.

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September 19th, 2022

BargainFinder 365: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

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

1. Midsouth — Powder Sale, Many Brands, Great Prices

midsouth shooters accurate vihtavuori hodgdon powder sale
Very reasonable prices on many popular powders — get ‘em while you can

With Midsouth’s September Powder Sale you’ll find a wide selection of popular powders in stock, at very attractive prices. Many types are under $39 per pound. Sorry no Varget, H4198, H4350, or Alliant Reloder 16, but there are other very popular powders IN STOCK such as Vihtavuori N133 (for 6 PPCs), and Accurate LT32 (for 30 BRs).

2. EuroOptic — Trijicon Riflescope Clearance, Save 50% or more

eurooptic trijicon scope riflescope sale discount
Trijicon makes excellent optics, now with HUGE discounts

Trijicon scopes are some of the best value riflescopes on the market. The have good glass, are sharp, and very reliable. And now, EuroOptic is offering Trijicon scopes at crazy low clearance prices. With discounts exceeding 50% off (up to $1600 off), this is likely the best deal you’ll ever see on scopes of this quality. Most of the scopes on sale are Second Focal Plane (SFP) models with MRAD turrets, but some MOA models are offered. These are great choices for a long-range varmint rifle.

3. Precision Reloading — Hornady Auto Charge Pro, $299.99

precision reloading hornady auto charge powder scale dispenser sale
Good powder scale/dispenser with unique layout

The Hornady Auto Charge PRO electronic scale/dispenser is now on sale for just $299.99 at Precision Reloading. The very accurate Auto Charge Pro offers customizable trickle speeds for various powder types. Store settings for up to four custom loads or use the factory setting. The backlit touch screen is easy to read, while the large knob on the side simplifies powder emptying. The same Auto Charge PRO sells for $359.99 elsewhere. So you can save $60.00 (17%) with this deal.

4. KYGUNCO — Christensen Arms Ridgeline/Mesa $350 Rebate

christensen arms hunting rifle rebate $350 savings

Very high quality hunting rifle with HUGE Discount

Purchase a Christensen Arms Ridgeline or Mesa rifle between September 1st and September 30th and receive a $350 electronic rebate. CLICK HERE for rebate-eligible models in stock at KYGUNCO. This promotion excludes special orders, and excludes Ridgeline and Mesa FFT, Titanium FFT, Long Range, and Scout models and rifles with Sitka Optifade camo. NOTE: This rebate is also available via some other Christensen Arms vendors. However, Ridgeline or Mesa Rifles purchased from Bass Pro/Cabelas, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Scheels, or Carolina Caliber do NOT qualify for the rebate! SEE REBATE RULES.

5. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Winchester .22 LR Wildcat, $229.99

sportsmans warehouse winchester wildcat rimfire .22 LR 22LR rifle sale

Removable lower receiver, Picatinny rails, good trigger, great price

Here is a fun little semi-auto .22 LR rifle at a crazy low price — $229.99 at Sportsman’s Warehouse. The Winchester Wildcat takes Ruger 10/22 mags, and has some great features, such as field-removable lower receiver, ambidextrous controls, integral Picatinny rails and rear barrel access. It has a good trigger and shoots well. In many respects the Wildcat beats the Ruger 10/22 while costing considerably less. The lower receiver assembly is easily removed from the upper assembly by pushing a button — no tools required.

6. Brownells — Hornady L-N-L Progress. Press, $429.99 w/ CODE

hornady lock n load l-n-l progressive press brownells discount code sale
High-quality progressive press at great price with CODE

If you need large quantities of pistol or rifle ammo, it makes sense to get a progressive press. This auto-indexing, 5-station press will give you one loaded round for every complete cycle of the loading handle. We’ve used this Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Progressive Press and can confirm that it works well. We actually prefer the rotary powder measure to the sliding powder system on Dillon progressives. We find it much easier to change load weights with the Hornady system (which uses inserts), and it is more precise with certain types of powder. This press also uses convenient quick-change die bushings. Right now, at Brownells, you can save $130.00 with the $479.99 sale. PLUS with Brownells Code SEPTEMBER50 you save another $50, lowering your net cost to $429.99! This same press is $493.62 on Amazon.

7. Midsouth — 6.5 Match Monster Nosler Bullets, 500 $134.99

match monster by nosler 6.5mm 123gr bullet bulk sale discount
Great choice for 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, and 6.5×55 shooters

Midsouth now offers the new Nosler-made 6.5mm 123gr MATCH MONSTER bullets. These offer great performance and accuracy at a very low price — just $134.99 for 500 bullets (i.e. $27 per 100). For these BTHP bullets, the G1 BC is an impressive 0.510. Reloading data is interchangeable with Nosler Custom Competition bullets with the same caliber and grain weight. These bullets have small meplats for reduced drag and more consistent BC.

8. Hunter Select — Laser Bore-Sighting Tools, $10.99

Laser Boresighter
Good, low-cost device for sighting-in hunting rifles

Need to sight-in that new hunting rifle? A handy in-chamber laser boresighter can get you on target quickly. The Hunter Select no-neck, shoulder-only .308 Win version ($10.99) should work with the entire .308 Win family, plus the 6mmBR and 6.5 Creedmoor families. In addition, also for $10.99, there are cartridge-specific units for .223 Remington and .30-06 Springfield (also works for .270 Win). These Hunter Select laser boresighters are cheap, easy to use, and effective. NOTE: Not all colors in stock currently.

9. Amazon — Earmuffs Plus Safety Glasses Combo, $24.99

Earmuffs muffs safety glasses Z87.1 NRR 28
Good deal on Muffs/safety eyewear combo

Here’s a good set of NRR 28-rated earmuffs plus Z87.1-approved, wrap-around shooting glasses. This combo offers great protection for the price. The muffs come in multiple color combos: Yellow/Black (as shown), Gray/Black, Blue/Black, Pink/Black, and Purple/Black. Get the muffs and one set of safety eyewear for just $24.99 on sale. Or, for $5.00 more you can get a $29.99 kit with TWO sets of safety glasses, one tinted and one clear.

10. MidwayUSA — Tekmat Long Gun Cleaning Mat, $9.99 and Up

Tekmat Long Gun Cleaning Mat ar15 m1 garand M1a
Highly recommended for AR take-down sessions — nice padding

Tekmat Long Gun Cleaning Mats feature handy diagrams showing the key parts of popular rifles. There are special mats for 18 different gun types, including AR-15, AR-10, Rem 700, M1A/M14, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Ruger 10/22, Rem 870, and more. These mats provide padding and help protect your bench from solvents. Prices start at just $9.99, with some selling for $19.99, still a good deal for a 36″ x 12″ vulcanized rubber mat that is waterproof and oil-resistant. Most of the mats are black but a few are offered in gray or green.

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September 18th, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2022 King of 1 Mile USA Championship — The Winning Formula

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Longshot Products — How They Are Employed for ELR

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

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

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

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

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

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


Background Report from Paul Phillips, Team GPG Captain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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September 17th, 2022

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

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

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

Comparison of Seven Popular Deer Hunting Scopes

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

Optics Selections for Mountain Hunts

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

Ultimate Spotter Test — 19 Spotting Scopes Reviewed

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

First Focal Plane vs. Second Focal Plane Scopes

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

The Complete Optics Selection for For Deer Hunting

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

MOA vs. MIL — What you Need to Know

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

Comparison of Eight Laser Rangefinders

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

How to Zero Your Hunting Rifle Efficiently

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

3-Shot Zero

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

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September 16th, 2022

Handy, Slip-On $19.95 Forearm Pad Is Great for Hunters

RRR gun rest padded neoprene

Getting ready for your 2021 fall hunt? Here’s 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. CLICK HERE for RRR STORE.

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 13th, 2022

What’s Your #1 Favorite Reloading Tool or Accessory?

Sierra Bullets Reloading Equipment Bulletsmiths RCBS rock Chucker single stage press
This article originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog.

Sierra Bullets asked a few hand-loaders to reveal their favorite reloading tool or accessory: “What is your favorite ‘don’t know how you ever lived without it’ piece of reloading equipment?” Some of the answers are listed below. We were interested to see some high-tech, micro-processor items mentioned, such as the AMP Annealer, and the AutoTrickler powder dispenser. Old standbys, such as the rugged RCBS Rockchucker and Dillon 650, also made the favorites list.

What Is Your Favorite Piece of Reloading Equipment?

Forster Co-ax press

Bill, Editor of Rifleshooter.com, answered: “I have so many favorite reloading tools, it’s hard to pick one. But if I had to, it would be my Forster Co-Ax press. I like the ease [with which] you can change dies and that it doesn’t require traditional shell holders. It’s a great tool to have!”

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin answered: “A comparator gauge to measure from the base of a case to the ogive of the bullet. This bypasses the tip of the bullet, so I can repeat the same seating depth the next time I visit a specific combination.”

Ballistic Technician Carroll Pilant answered: “Dillon 550 and 650 presses.”

Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz answered: “My universal decapping die is as handy as a pocket on a shirt.”

Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin answered: “A comparator gauge to measure from the base of a case to the ogive of the bullet. This bypasses the tip of the bullet, so I can repeat the same seating depth the next time I visit a specific combination.”

Jon Addis answered: “Putting an A&D FX-120i scale with AutoTrickler and Auto-Throw on the bench has changed the way I reload. It’s kernel accurate in about 15 seconds. Saves time and reduces a variable. And of course, the system is made better by the Area 419 Billet Adjustable base for the trickler and Billet Powder Cup.”

This video shows the AutoTrickler V3 System

Ballistic Technician Paul Box answered: “The Lee hand priming tool.”

Former Ballistic Technician Robert Treece answered “My homemade dental pick. I use it to check incipient case-head separations. We all see the ‘bright ring’ down close to the case head, that’s natural, but after several firings could be starting to split apart. If the pick hooks into a crevice — DON’T TRY TO SIZE THE CASE. It will pull apart in your die.”

Dan Blake answered: “My Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) annealer. With consistent neck tension being one of the largest contributions to small Extreme Spread on muzzle velocities, I believe this induction annealer is truly the best on the market.”

This manufacturer-produced video shows how the AMP annealing machine operates:

Process Engineer David Palm answered: “Homemade case lube.”

RCBS rock Chucker single stage pressPlant Engineer Darren Leskiw answered: “Beyond the normal equipment, I’d say my electronic scale. Using the beam balance for the past 9 years was ok, but nowhere as easy as using an electronic scale.”

There were many votes for the classic RCBS Rock Chucker single-stage press:

Ballistician Gary Prisendorf answered “RCBS Rockchucker Press, it’s built like a tank, and it will last me a lifetime.”

Production Manager Chris Hatfield answered: “RCBS single stage reloading press.”

Maintenance & Machine Shop Lead Craig Westermier answered: “RCBS Rock Chucker.”

Production Resource Manager Dan Mahnken answered “RCBS Rock Chucker! Buy one and it lasts a lifetime.”

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks answered: “I don’t know that you would actually call this equipment, but the item that comes to mind would be my reloading room/shoot house. I had always had to squeeze everything into a corner or even an unheated shed. After we bought our current house, I built a garage and placed it so that I had a window looking down a 250-yard range. I built a dedicated room with heat and A/C. It contains my reloading bench and a shooting bench. The shooting bench lets me slide open the window and shoot down the range. It is very handy to not have to load everything up to go to the range. It also makes load development a lot simpler and efficient. I don’t know how I ever got along without it.

I also wonder what I did before I acquired the Lyman 1200 DPS Powder Dispenser. This has made the process so much simpler and much easier. I also have a Lee Precison Universal Decapping Die that I would gladly spend the money on again. This may be a small thing, but it certainly is handy. The Lee would accommodate some very large cases that some of the others were too small for.”

Sierra Bullets Reloading survey tools

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September 12th, 2022

BargainFinder 364: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

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

1. Locked-N-Loaded — SAR USA Mete 9mm w/ Red Dot, $329.99

pistol 9mm sale

Here’s a great deal on a versatile 9mm handgun for self-defense and/or action pistol matches. The impressive SAR USA Mete 9mm with Riton Red Dot is ON SALE now for just $329.99 at Locked-N-Loaded. Yes that low price includes the Red Dot! These optics-equipped SAR USA Mete pistols are offered with Safari Tan frame or OD Green frame for that super-low $329.99 price. This is a great package for the price.

2. Bruno Shooters Supply — Bushnell Scope Sale

bushnell sale
Hunters check out these great deals on riflescopes

Hunting season is here — check out these very affordable Bushnell hunting scopes at Bruno’s. Right now Bruno’s has a huge selection of Bushnell scopes at incredibly low prices. They have everything from inexpensive hunting scopes to drop zone reticle AR scopes. If you need a relatively lightweight, budget-priced SFP option for that deer rifle, Bruno’s has it on sale now.

3. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Bring on the Hunt Sale

hunting products 2022 sale
Great September savings on hunting rifles, optics, clothing and gear

Hunters will find great savings right now at Sportsman’s Warehouse. Save 10-33% on rifles, optics, hunting gear, trail cams, treestands, crossbows, and more. And, throughout September, Sitka Hunting Gear and Camo clothing is 20% Off at Sportsman’s Warehouse.

4. LEE Precision — Closeout Specials up to 65% Off

lee precision sale
Huge savings on Factory Second/Reconditioned presses and tools

LEE Precision has an Online Closeouts Page with some pretty amazing deals. That LEE Closeouts Site offers everything from presses to powder measures at prices up to 65% off. Get a reconditioned Single-Stage Challenger Press for just $58.50, a factory second Breechlock Hand Press for just $48.66, or a reconditioned Auto-Drum Powder Measure for just $27.50. There are many other great deals.

5. Midsouth — Wheeler AR Kit, $64.99

wheeler ar kit
Very good price on Kit every AR owner can use

Are you new to the AR scene and don’t yet have the specialized tools needed to upgrade and maintain your Modern Sporting Rifle? Pick up this Wheeler AR tool kit that contains everything you need to remove and install trigger groups, maintain the bolt/bolt carrier, clean the gas tube and more.

6. Palmetto State Armory — Panzer Arms 12ga Shotgun, $329.99

shotgun sale
Verified buyers say this 12ga bullpup shotgun works great

Have you ever wanted a compact shotgun that still had high capacity? Consider the Panzer Arms BP12 semi-auto 12ga bullpup shotgun. The Panzer Arms BP12, produced in Turkey, features an innovative low center of gravity design with a handy detachable magazine. The bullpup shotgun configuration reduces the overall length and weight substantially without sacrificing barrel length and velocity. It is short, compact, and easy to handle but still retains the same accuracy as long barrel shotguns. Reviews by actual buyers have been very positive.

7. Amazon — Real Avid 19-in-1 Multi-Tool, $38.49

rifle tool sale
Versatile Multi-Tool with great features for gun owners

We’re big fans of multi-tools and this 19-in-1 Real Avid Multi-Tool may be the best one yet for gun guys. This compact 19-in-1 handgun multi-tool is a “must have” for any handgun owner. This tool can handle a multitude of tasks — e.g. changing grips, mounting accessories, field disassembly, adjusting laser sights, and even gunsmithing repairs. This tool does it all.

8. Amazon — Caldwell Steady Rest, $25.77

caldwell Steady rest pistol hunting sight-in sale
caldwell Steady rest pistol hunting sight-in sale
Works as front/rear rifle support or detach to use as separate pistol rest

Priced at just $25.77 on Amazon, this Caldwell Steady Rest is great for sighting-in hunting rifles and/or pistol use. Use the front section by itself as a pistol rest, or connect both units for rifle use. This vertically-adjustable Steady Rest offers a cushioned front cradle and V-Shaped padded rear cradle, plus a neoprene hand rest. This Caldwell Steady Rest NXT is very versatile and costs a fraction of what you might pay for a metal front rest — great value.

9. Amazon — CVLIFE Paracord Sling, $15.99

rifle sling sale
Serves as rifle sling and back-up cord — dual function

Having a strong sling while hunting is critical. A good sling option we like is the CVLIFE Two Point Sling 550 Paracord Traditional Sling with adjustable straps and eagle hooks. There is a length-adjustable nylon strap center section allowing a 44″-57″ overall strap length. On either side of the nylon strap are lengths of braided 550 paracord with metal rings. When on a hunt, if there’s an emergency, you can used paracord for multiple purposes — tourniquet, shoestrings, belts, hanging shelters.

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September 12th, 2022

Resources for Hunters — Safety, Where-To-Hunt, Best Books

hunting safety 2019 checklist hunter license
Hunting Season has already started in some states, and is right around the corner in other locations. For readers who plan to hunt game this fall, we recommend you brush up on hunter safety and learn the laws in your jurisdiction. Here are some helpful resources for hunters: Safety Tips, Hunter Education, License Requirements, and Where-to-Hunt interactive map. Top photo courtesy Horn Fork Guides, Ltd., in Colorado.

Hunter Safety Tips
NRAFamily.org has a good article listing seven salient safety tips for hunters. Anyone preparing for a fall hunt should read this article before heading into the field. Here are three key bits of advice:

1. Be Positive of Your Target before Shooting
This might sound overly simplistic, but the fact remains that, every year during whitetail season, farmers everywhere are forced to spray-paint their cattle or risk having them “harvested” by hunters who don’t bother confirming the species of the large ungulate in their sights. Why does this happen? The most likely explanation is “buck fever,” meaning that the hunter wants so badly to see a nice big buck that sometimes his eyes deceive him into thinking that there’s one there. When in doubt, don’t shoot.

2. Scopes Are Not Binoculars
Never use a riflescope as a substitute for binoculars. The temptation to do so is real, but when one does this, one is by definition pointing the muzzle of the gun at unknown targets.

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

Where to hunt hunting license state information NSSF

Visit WhereToHunt.org

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

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

Hunting Affiliation Groups
There are many good organizations dedicated to promoting hunting and preserving our hunting habitats. These groups all offer valuable information for hunters:

Ducks Unlimited
Mule Deer Foundation
National Wild Turkey Federation
Pheasants Forever
Quail Forever
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Safari Club International
Whitetails Unlimited

Recommended Books about Hunting

There’s no shortage of hunting-related reading material by talented authors. Here are some of the best books written about hunting:

Hemingway on Hunting by Ernest Hemingway

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Meditations on Hunting by Jose Ortega y Gasset

It’s Only Slow Food Until You Try to Eat It by Bill Heavey

The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting Deer for Food by Jackson Landers

Whitetail Nation: My Season in Pursuit of the Monster Buck by Peter Bodo

Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting by Jim Posewitz

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September 11th, 2022

Sunday GunDay: Big Boomers — Shooting the Legendary .50 BMG

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

50 Caliber Shooters AssociationFans of Heavy Artillery should visit Fifty Caliber Shooters Association (FCSA) website. There you’ll find range maps, photo collections and animated slide-shows On the FCSA photo gallery page, you’ll find a map. Click on any gray range link to see images from that venue. There are also a series of articles covering FCSA competition along with the “care and feeding” of the big 50-caliber rifles.

For today’s Sunday GunDay feature we offer a short history of the legendary .50 BMG cartridge, along with some fun photos from FCSA matches in the Western USA.

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA
Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

About the .50 BMG Cartridge

The .50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG, aka 12.7×99mm NATO or 50 Browning) is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s, entering official service in 1921. Under STANAG 4383, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries.

.50 Browning Machine Gun 50 BMG Noreen Rifle

John Browning had the idea for this round during World War I in response to a need for an anti-aircraft weapon, based on a scaled-up .30-06 Springfield design, used in a machine gun based on a scaled-up M1919/M1917 design that Browning had initially developed around 1900. According to the American Rifleman: “The Browning .50 originated in the Great War. American interest in an armor-piercing cartridge was influenced by the marginal French 11 mm design, prompting U.S. Army Ordnance officers to consult Browning. They wanted a heavy projectile at 2700 FPS, but the ammunition did not exist. Browning pondered the situation and, according to his son John, replied, ‘Well, the cartridge sounds pretty good to start. You make up some cartridges and we’ll do some shooting’.”

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

Are you a died-in-the-wool .50 BMG fan? Got a hankerin’ for heavy artillery? Then visit the FCSA Photo Gallery page. There you’ll find hundreds of photos from Fifty Caliber Shooting Association (FCSA) matches and 50 Cal fun shoots in eleven states plus Australia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. To access the photos from the Gallery Page, start by selecting a state/country and then click on the colored buttons for the event date (e.g. 2015-04).

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

Photo sets go all the way back to 2002, so you can see the evolution of the hardware over the years. Sample multiple archives to see the differences in terrain from one range to another — from Raton’s alpine setting to the hot, dry Nevada desert. This Gallery is really a treasure-trove of .50-Cal history. Here are a few sample images.

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA reloading
reloading fifty .40 BMG

Reloading Powder and Special Tools for .50 BMG

Alliant 50 BMG PowderAlliant’s Powder for 50-Caliber Applications
In 2009 Alliant unveiled Reloder 50, a slow-burn-rate powder designed primarily for long-range, .50-caliber rifle shooters. According to Alliant, the burn rate is “a little slower than Winchester 860″ and the powder is showing excellent lot-to-lot consistency. Load density is optimized for the 50 BMG and similar cases. Like Reloder 17, Reloder 50 employs a process which penetrates the kernels with the burn-rate-controlling chemical. This should allow a longer, flatter pressure curve, yielding more velocity than conventional powders can deliver. Alliant says that Reloder 50 offers “superior velocity and the ability to burn cleaner (with less residue)”. Reloder 50 comes in both 1-lb (#150527) and 8-lb (#150528) containers.

Forster and Lyman .50 BMG Trimmers
Big Fifty enthusiasts asked for a dedicated .50 BMG case trimmer, so Forster and Lyman created .50 Cal trimmers specifically for that cartridge. Forster’s cutter tip on its .50 BMG Case Trimmer is much sharper than the cutter on the Lyman 50 Cal AccuTrimmer. However, with the Forster tool you will pay more for that superior cutting ability — the Forster .50 BMG trimmer is $95.53 at Midsouth compared to $75.09 at Midsouth for the Lyman .50 BMG trimmer. Go head and pay the extra money for the Forster — the cutter head is much sharper, and we prefer the Forster’s collet-style case-holder. Bottom line — the Forster gets the job done more quickly, with less effort.

Forster 50 BMG case Trimmer

Giraud .50 BMG Case/Bullet Comparator
Giraud Tool makes a comparator for 50-Cal cartridges. The double-ended comparator is quite versatile. In one orientation you can measure base-to-ogive bullet length and also measure cartridge OAL from rim to bullet ogive. When reversed, you can use the comparator to measure cartridge headspace. The $33.00 Giraud .50 BMG Comparator gauge is constructed of 303 stainless and fits most any vernier, dial, or digital caliper. CLICK HERE for more info.

Giraud Tools 50 BMG comparator gauge

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September 10th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: State-of-the-Art Front Shooting Rests

F-class john front rest review video showcase seb neo-x videos

To shoot tight groups and high scores from the bench, or in prone F-Open competition, a quality front rest is essential. And a good rest is also very valuable when zeroing rifles, testing loads, and shooting varmints from a portable bench. Today’s Saturday video showcase includes multiple video reviews of some of the best front rests on the market — great products from SEB, Rodzilla, 21st Century, Lenzi, and Sinclair Int’l. In addition, the lead-off video from F-Class John covers some of the less expensive rests as well as SEB Joy-Pod coaxial bipods.

Review of Many Popular Front Rests from $250 to $2200

If you are shopping for a front rest, definitely watch this comprehensive 42-minute video from start to finish. This is probably the most informative video about premium shooting rests available on YouTube. Top F-Class shooter and video-maker F-Class John covers a wide selection of front rests, with some observations about coaxial bipods as well. John covers the impressive new SEB NEO-X, the easy-to-transport SEB Mini-X, the excellent Rodzilla Rest, the innovative 21st Century Hybrid Rest, the sleek Italian Lenzi Rest. And at the end of the video John reviews the very affordable Caldwell Fire Control Rest ($249.99 on Amazon), explaining how it can be a decent choice for shooters on a limited budget.

NEW SEB NEO-X — Set-Up in the Field

Still in its final prototype stage, the innovative SEB NEO-X raises the bar for transportable coaxial front rests. An innovative design with hinged legs allows the 20-lb NEO-X to be transported in a small case. Once the legs are extended however, the NEO-X has proven to be very stable. And this new coaxial rest offers very precise, easy-to-use controls. A swivel head speeds up deployment, as the allows you to quickly align the rest top to the target. Users have confirmed the NEO-X works great and is very stable. In the video above ace F-Class shooter Erik Cortina (below) shows how to quickly deploy the NEO-X in the field.

F-class john front rest review video showcase seb neo-x videos

Rodzilla T-Rex — High Quality, Big Footprint, Advanced Features


Rodzilla t-rex trex front rest

The impressive Rodzilla T-Rex front rest offers outstanding stability with smooth, precise performance. Designer/builder Rod Brakhage (the Rod in Rodzilla) started from the ground up to create a user-friendly, match-ready, modular front rest on the market. The T-Rex weighs just over 21 pounds, and the T-Rex has a large footprint, rivaling the largest rests on the market. That provides exceptional stability, even with heavy-recoiling rifles.

The T-Rex boasts an adjustable joystick that extends from 15.5″ to 21″ in length. With this adjustability, no matter what your stock length or design, you can find a comfortable position without having to stretch uncomfortably. Rodzilla delivers the T-Rex in a custom-designed hard carry case that fits it perfectly and still has room for additional feet and accessories. The T-Rex can be ordered with excellent Sand Feet.

21st Century Hybrid-X Front Rest


Hybrid-X rest

Lateral Control Arm, Vertical Elevation Knob
The innovative 21st Century Hybrid-X front rest offers the “best of both worlds”. It allows precise lateral movement (for wind holds) with no elevation change. The entire center section of the rest rotates as one unit for fast, perfect horizontal alignment to target. Then adjust vertical precisely with the rotary knob on the outboard end of the control rod. Our Daily Bulletin Hybrid-X article has a full description with multiple photos of this unique rest. See additional Hybrid-X Video.

Sinclair Int’l Competition Front Rest — Sturdy and Stable Design

F-class john front rest review video showcase seb neo-x videosThe Sinclair Int’l Competition Rest is a classic heavy and very stable rest that works great on the bench. Weighing 30+ pounds, with a 1″-thick steel base, this rest has a very low center of gravity and is ultra-stable. Currently priced at $699.99, the Sinclair Competition Rest is less than half the cost of the more exotic front rests.

Horizontal (windage) movement is controlled with a large rear knob which uses dual sets of twin tapered roller bearings for a non-binding windage operation. Nearly four feet of windage adjustment is offered at 100 yards. Elevation changes are made with the large wheel. With its mass and low COG, this Sinclair Rest is very stable. And because of its ability to hold elevation shot to shot, this rest has been popular with long-range benchrest competitors who often shoot quick strings of 5 or 10 shots.

SEB Mini-X and SEB Mini — Transportable Joystick Tripod Rests

Seb mini-x mini front tripod rest

The original SEB Mini was an innovative collapsible tripod rest with a coaxial top. On its introduction the SEB Mini became immediately popular with varminters, F-TR shooters, and anyone who wanted an affordable, easy-to-transport front rest that offered easy, precise and rapid adjustment of windage and elevation with the Joystick. Building on the success of the original SEB Mini, the new SEB Mini-X offers an improved head design, and new adjustable “ankle” units on all three legs. This makes it easier to level the Mini-X on uneven ground. The Mini-X has proven very successful in competition, winning major F-Open matches. Folding into a very compact package, it is easy to transport in airline luggage. Yet it offers a very stable shooting platform with precise, effortless joystick control of elevation and windage.

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September 9th, 2022

Get Ready for Hunting Season with Leupold Podcasts

Leupold Stevens Core Insider Podcast audio hunting shooting radio show
onX free hunting app GPS mapping service Leupold Stevens Core Insider Podcast audio hunting shooting radio show

Hunting season is coming soon around the country. If you want to get hunting tips from experts, here is a great audio “infotainment” resource. Leupold offers podcasts, 40-75 minutes in length, on a variety of topics of interest to hunters and precision shooters. A podcast is like a radio show that is available 24/7, at your convenience. When you want to “tune in”, via your home computer or mobile devices, just visit the Leupold Podcast Page.

CLICK HERE for All Leupold Core Insider Podcasts »

Oregon-based optics-maker Leupold & Stevens (“Leupold) offers the “Core Insider” podcast series. These podcasts deliver hunting advice and recount successful hunting trips — such as Caribou hunting in Alaska. Other Leupold podcasts provide optics info, industry intel, and tech tips. Leupold’s Core Insider podcasts can also be accessed directly from Leupold.com. From the Leupold Podcast Home Page, you can stream the podcasts live or download for later listening.

You can also stream these podcasts via iTunes, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

The Leupold Core Insider Podcasts cover a wide variety of shooting and hunting topics. Recent Episode 90 provides useful tips for novice hunters. The informative Episode 55 explains how Binoculars and Rangefinders function. Episode 36 explains how to prepare game meat from a successful hunt. There are now 96 Leupold Podcasts available online for FREE.

Episode 90: Randy Newberg’s Tips for New Hunters. Click to launch Leupold Ep. 90 Podcast Page:

Leupold Stevens Core Insider Podcast audio hunting shooting radio show

Episode 55, How Binoculars and Rangefinders Work. Click to launch Leupold Ep. 55 Podcast Page:

Leupold Stevens Core Insider Podcast audio hunting shooting radio show

Episode 36, The Art of Wild Game Cooking. Click to launch Leupold Ep. 36 Podcast Page:

Leupold Stevens Core Insider Podcast audio hunting shooting radio show

There are now ninety-six (96) Leupold Core Insider Podcasts. Here are ten of our favorite episodes. Click links below to access:

Leupold Stevens Core Insider Podcast audio hunting shooting radio showEpisode 83: Rifle Hunting Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Episode 78: Anyone’s Hunt — Montana Antelope
Episode 71: Choosing the Right Spotter
Episode 56: Hunting Elk in Utah with Wild Country Outfitters
Episode 54: How to Select a Riflescope for Your Budget
Episode 52: Randy Newberg’s Top 5 Glassing Tips
Episode 44: Understanding Rangefinder Technology, Myths, and More
Episode 37: Q&A with Leupold Technical Service
Episode 7: Predator Hunting with Jeff Thomason
Episode 6: Trendsetters — Women Who Hunt

Access Leupold Core Insider podcasts from iTunes or Spotify. You can also get Core Insider podcasts on Leupold.com. Core Insider videos can be found at YouTube.com/LeupoldOptics.

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September 7th, 2022

Zeiss Introduces New LRP S3 FFP Scopes — First Look

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video shows ZEISS LRP S3 Scopes in Competition

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

New ZEISS LRP S3 636-56 Scopes MRAD and MOA

First Look Report by Keith Glasscock, Winning in the Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ZEISS LRP S3 Optics Key Features

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

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

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

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

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

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

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September 6th, 2022

Sling Science — How to Install and Adjust Your Rifle Sling

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up
Dennis DeMille shows a young competitor at the CMP Western Games how to adjust his leather sling.

The NRA High Power Over-the-Course (OTC) National Championship will be held at Camp Atterbury over the next 7 days. Firing will be done in multiple positions — prone, sitting/kneeling, and standing. Proper support and adjustment of the sling is vital for successful High Power competition. In this short article, Dennis DeMille, a past Service Rifle Champion, explains how to set-up a sling on match rifles.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition
So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, Dennis DeMille (past Creedmoor G.M.) explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competiting with the heavier than normal rifles.”

Configuring the Sling for the Standing (Offhand) Position
In this second in a series of Creedmoor InfoZone videos on the setup and use of the leather service rifle sling, Dennis DeMille details how to configure and best utilize the leather service rifle sling while shooting from the standing position.

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features
In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
Once you know how to set up your sling properly, you’ll want to practice. Dennis DeMille stresses the importance of dry-fire practice with sling and shooting coat. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

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September 5th, 2022

Reloading Die Maintenance — When and How to Clean Your Dies

Hornady Die cleaning

After purchasing a new set of dies from Forster, Hornady, Redding, or Whidden Gunworks, you’ll want to disassemble the dies, inspect then, and then remove the internal grease and/or waxy coatings placed on the dies by the manufacturer. Below are two videos that show how to de-grease and clean dies as they come “out of the box” from the manufacturer. The videos also explain how to clean your dies after regular use. Cleaning your dies helps remove carbon, brass shavings, lube residues and other stuff that can get inside the dies.

In the first video, from Creedmoor Sports, Bill Gravatt (Creedmoor’s President) shows various methods for cleaning dies both when new and after they have accumulated carbon and lube after use. This video is definitely worth watching. In the second video, a Hornady technician shows the method for degreasing dies before first use. A convenient aerosol spray cleaner is used in the video. You can also use a liquid solvent with soft nylon brush, and cotton patches. NOTE: After cleaning you may want to apply a light grease to the external threads of your dies.

Creedmoor Sports Die Cleaning Video with Bill Gravatt

Hornady Video Showing Aerosol Cleaner

Clean Your Sizing Dies and Body Dies Regularly
These same techniques work for cleaning dies after they have been used for reloading. Many otherwise smart hand-loaders forget to clean the inside of their dies, allowing old case lube, gunk, carbon residue, and other contaminants to build up inside the die. You should clean your dies fairly often, particularly if you do not tumble or ultrasound your cases between loadings. It is most important to keep full-length sizing and body dies clean. These dies accumulate lube and carbon residue quickly.

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September 4th, 2022

BargainFinder 363: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

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

1. Brownells — Labor Day Sale and $45 Off $300

brownells labor day 2022 sale ammo magazines uppers discount
15% OFF Coupon Code plus dozens of popular items on sale

Brownells is running a major Labor Day Weekend Savings Event, with lots of items on sale, plus a killer Discount Code. Use code LABORDAY to get a whopping $45 off a purchase of $300.00 or more — a 15% savings. If you won’t be spending that much, use code 10OFF100 to save $10 on a $100 purchase. Or for bigger buys use code September50 for $50 off $450. Note — the $45 Off Code expires Monday, September 5, 2022 at 11:59 pm.

2. MidwayUSA — Camo Tuesday September 6 — Major Discounts

MidwayUSA hunting sale camo tuesday
Major once-a-year 1-Day SALE on hunting gear

MidwayUSA’s Camo Tuesday is a huge hunting SALE marking the start of the fall hunting season. You’ll find killer deals on optics, camo gear, rangefinders, GPS units, hunting boots, ammunition, and more. But don’t hesitate. The Camo Tuesday SALE only happens once a year. Many of the best deals will expire at 11:59 PM Eastern time on 9/6/2022. Go to MidwayUSA.com on September 6th to get great hunting products at unbeatable prices. MidwayUSA is also offering a Camo Tuesday Sweepstakes Package worth $4749.96!

3. CDNN Sports — Mossberg 6.5 Creedmoor Scoped Rifle, $449.99

mossberg patriot super bantam camo hunting rifle 6.5 Creedmoor
Very affordable hunting rifle complete with 3-9x40mm scope

Hunting season is coming soon. If you’re looking for a starter hunting rifle for a family member, here’s a solid option. This Mossberg Patriot Super Bantam has a nice True Timber Strata Camo finish stock. It is chambered for the moderate recoil, yet very accurate, 6.5 Creedmoor round. Handy removable buttplate sections allow you to adjust the LOP for smaller-framed shooters. The very affordable $449.99 price includes a 3-9x40mm factory-mounted scope.

4. Palmetto State Armory — Labor Day Sale

labor day sale palmetto state armory AR-15 AR upper lower Pistol sale
Big Discounts on AR hardware, pistols, ammo and more

For the next few days, you can save big on AR uppers, AR lowers, pistols, triggers, and ammo at Palmetto State Armory. Shown above are just three of the dozens of deals offered this holiday weekend. There are also significant savings on magazines, red dot optics, riflescopes and more. CLICK HERE for Labor Day Deals.

5. Midsouth and Creedmoor Sports — FREE Shipping Orders $49+

Labor Day free shipping Midsouth Shooters discount
Labor Day free shipping creedmoor sports discount
Save $10, $20 or more with FREE Shipping through 9/6/2022

Midsouth and Creedmoor Sport are both running FREE Shipping promos for Labor Day Weekend. With Midsouth promo code LDSHIP22 you get FREE Shipping with all Midsouth orders over $49.00. This FREE Shipping offer is good through Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at 11:59 pm CST. For Creedmoor Sports, with promo code WORK22 get FREE Shipping for orders over $49.00 through NOON CT on September 6, 2022 (some exclusions apply).

6. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Up to $350 Off Christensen Arms

christensen arms hunting rifle sale
Very high quality hunting rifles with major discounts + $350 Mfg. Rebate

Hunting season is right around the corner. If you are looking for a top-of-the-line hunting rifle with a powerful chambering, we recommend Christensen Rifles. These are on sale now at Sportsman’s Warehouse. Save up to $350 or 28%. Some of the better deals are: Mesa Cerakote .300 WinMag, $899.99 (28% Off); Mesa .308 Win, $949.99 (27% Off); Mesa 28 Nosler, $949.99 (28% Off). There are dozens of chamberings available on sale as well. Along with this sale, Christensen Arms is offering a $350 cash rebate to purchasers who buy a Christensen Arms Mesa or Ridgeline rifle between September 1st and September 30th, 2022. CLICK HERE to learn more about the Mesa and Ridgeline consumer REBATE.

7. Natchez — Frankford Quick-N-Easy Case Tumbler Kit, $79.99

frankford arsenal tumbler
We’ve used this Combo Kit for many seasons — very good value right now

Keeping your brass clean is important (and essential if you anneal). If you’re looking for a new, affordable setup to clean cartridge brass, consider the Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ Case Tumbler Master Kit. You get everything needed to dry-tumble your brass and remove the media. This is all available now for a very low $79.99. You could pay that much for a good vibratory tumbler alone, yet this combo kit includes tumbler, media separator, bucket, brass polish, and media.

8. GrabaGun — Ruger 10/22 in TALO Precision Chassis, $488.99

lyman tac-mat padded long range shooting mat
Upgraded Ruger 10/22 with Precision-style chassis and scope rail

Getting started in NRL22 competition? Here’s a good choice that should deliver fast follow-up shots with good handling. This Ruger 10/22 TALO rig features a reliable Rugger 10/22 action fitted to a modern, PRS-style TALO Precision Chassis. There’s a long rail on top, straight forearm, pistol grip, and adjustable buttstock.

9. Midsouth — Lyman Tac-Mat Shooting Mat, $56.31

lyman tac-mat padded long range shooting mat
Thick padded mat offers more comfort with good length and carry handle

Comfort counts when you’re on the ground for hours. We like this Lyman Tac-Mat 71″ x 36″ shooting mat. It has more padding than most mats on the market, providing better comfort. Now $56.31 in tan or $56.31 in black at Midsouth, this is a VERY good deal. This same Lyman shooting mat now costs $82.02 on Amazon — that’s 46% MORE!

10. Graf’s — Hornady Ammo Plant Progressive Press, $1299.99

hornady press sale
Excellent progressive press with case feeder and bullet feeder

Do you reload large quantities of pistol ammo, or .223 rifle ammo? Then you can save significant time with a quality progressive press. Right now you can save over $200 on the Hornady L-N-L Ammo Plant Progressive Reloading Press Kit. This is a complete loading system with a 5-station, auto-indexing press plus a brass feeder and bullet feeder. The system uses a precise and easily-adjusted powder measure that we prefer to the Dillon powder system. NOTE: After buying the press kit, you’ll need to purchase the appropriate shell plate and dies for your choice of cartrdige(s). Guys, this is a good deal — the same Hornady Ammo Plant system is currently $1519.99 at MidwayUSA.

11. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Trickler, $13.37

powder trickler sale
Inexpensive, works well, stable, tall enough

Every handloader can use a good powder trickler. However many tricklers are light and unstable, making them frustrating to use. We’ve been impressed with the Frankford Arsenal Trickler. Now just $13.37 on Amazon, this is a solid unit with some heft, with a hard rubber base. The mass, low center of gravity, and good design make this easy to use, allowing simple, accurate trickling.

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September 4th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: The Beauty of Wood — Custom Stocks

doan trevor figured wood walnut stock custom wood laminate sunday gunday

As a Labor Day Weekend bonus readers, we thought we’d celebrate the beauty of highly-figured wood with a collection of custom rifles. In our Shooters’ Forum, there is a long-running Gun Glamour thread that showcases many beautiful wood-stocked rifles. Today we feature some very handsome rifles from that Forum Thread as well as other rifles we’ve featured in the Daily Bulletin.

Two F-Open Beauties with Walnut Laminates

Delaware F-Open F-Class rifle Cerus Brux barrel Panda Action

Cerus-stocked Special from Cigarcop
Forum member Keith W. (aka “Cigarcop”) of KW Precision LLC is a talented riflesmith whose projects display outstanding finish work and attention to detail. Keith does some of the best bedding work we’ve ever seen. Back in 2018, Keith built a stunning .284 Win F-Class rig for a shooter in Delaware. It’s a beauty, that’s for sure.

Delaware F-Open F-Class rifle Cerus Brux barrel Panda Action

Check out the stunning Cerus F-Open stock. This features multiple laminations with highly-figured Walnut on the sides. This certainly ain’t your “off-the-shelf” laminated stock. This just shows the beauty that can be achieved with carefully-chosen lamination layers (plus 12 coats of clear).

Delaware F-Open F-Class rifle Cerus Brux barrel Panda Action
This beautiful F-Open rig features a laminated wood stock with stunning figured walnut on the outside.

doan trevor figured wood walnut stock custom wood laminate sunday gunday

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut

A Beauty for the Boss (of Grizzly.com)
This F-Class rifle belongs to Shiraz Balolia, Chairman/CEO of Grizzly Industrial. Shiraz finished the stock himself: “I installed the bottom wider track for my rear bag and also carved out the finger grooves in the grip. The blank was quite long so I cut off approximately two inches from the front end of each stock and also deepened the large tracking cavity under the fore-end. I went ahead and inlaid my name in Mother-of-Pearl on the Walnut stock.” The stock was then sent to Sims Guitar Finishing for clear coating with “wet look” finish. This rifle is chambered for the .300 Shiraz wildcat, an improved .300 WSM.

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut
F-0pen Stock made of highly-figured Walnut with Curly Maple inner laminations.

Beautiful Rifles from our Forum Gun Glamour Thread

Here are a variety of handsome wood-stocked rifles from our Forum Gun Glamour thread. In that thread, member Kurz posted a dream gun owned by a friend in England. Kurz included a quote from a book created by the rifle’s owner: “There, with my father’s words ringing in my ears, I shall take that ‘step forward’ and order a perfect machine based on the Mauser ’98 action, built from metal and wood by master craftsmen who truly understand that ‘reliable’ and ‘mechanical integrity’ have as much relevance today as they did all those years ago.”

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

A gun can “shoot dots” and still be handsome. Here is a short-range benchrest rifle with a stunning, exhibition-grade Walnut stock. Forum member Josh B found this beauty.

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

Forum member JRS submitted a stunner from Europe. This beauty features a truly exquisite piece of wood with elaborately engraved receiver. It also has escutcheons and special metal work on the grip.

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

Lever-action Falling Block rifles can be beautiful too. This one features a color case-hardened receiver and handsome two-piece fancy wood stock. This was submitted by Forum member Kurz who notes: “Besides exhibition grade walnut, I like the variations available in spalted maple for rifle stocks.”

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

Here is member Oldduc’s Stevens 44 1/2, .38-55 Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, with an extra .218 Mashburn Bee barrel. Very nice blueing along with the figured wood stocks and fore-arms.

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

A competition rifle must be “performance first”. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be handsome too. Forum member XTR’s rifle, an F-TR rig, features Maple wood with Bubinga tips.

Ruger Number 1 maple walnut glamour shot

Here is “something completely different” — a classic lever-activated Martini Martini Cadet chambered in .20 Vartarg (rimmed). Look at the figure on that fore-end. Remarkable!

Martini Cadet 20 Rimmed VarTarg shot

And wood can work for Benchrest rifles too, when cleverly fashioned in thin carbon-reinforced laminates. Photo from member mdman352.

Martini Cadet 20 Rimmed VarTarg shot

“Wood is Good” — as demonstrated by all the rifles showcased above. In the photo below, master stock-builder Doan Trevor handcrafts a highly-figured wood stock.

doan trevor wood stock stockmaker

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
September 1st, 2022

S&W Releases New Metal-Framed M&P9 M2.0 Pistol

Smith Wesson S&W M&P 2.0 METAL 9mm luger cerakote T6 Aluminum frame

What’s old is new again. The metal-framed pistol is making a comeback. Smith & Wesson has just introduced its new M&P9 M2.0 METAL, S&W’s first full-size M&P pistol in an all-metal configuration. Built with a T6 aluminum frame finished in Tungsten Gray Cerakote, this 9mm Luger pistol includes a 4.25″ barrel, M2.0 flat face trigger, and optics-ready slide.

Why go to a metal frame? The T6 Aluminum frame is heavier than polymer. This increases the overall weight of the pistol and lowers the center of gravity considerably. The gun therefore has less perceived recoil (less “snap”) and noticeably less muzzle flip. The new M&P M2.0 METAL is listed at 30.0 oz. unloaded, while the polymer M&P M2.0 is 24.7 oz. unloaded.

New M&P9 M2.0 METAL is 43% More Expensive Than Polymer M&P9 M2.0
The new M&P9 M2.0 METAL has a $899.00 MSRP, making it 43% more expensive than the polymer-framed M&P9 M2.0 which has a $629.00 MSRP. Is the aluminum frame worth the extra money? It depends. With a lower center of gravity and more mass, the M2.0 METAL will definitely be a better “gun games” pistol. But it will also be 5.3 oz. heavier — not so great for all-day carry.

Smith Wesson S&W M&P 2.0 METAL 9mm luger cerakote T6 Aluminum frame

For persons who use their M&P mostly for target work and gun games, the heavier weight and reduced muzzle flip is a plus. Owners may also like the rigidity of the Cerakoted Aluminum frame. S&W has a new enhanced sear for this model, which delivers a “shorter take-up, and cleaner break”. That also should help action pistol competitors.

Full Compatability with Existing M&P9 Magazines and Holsters
The M&P9 M2.0 METAL will accept any M&P9 M2.0 17-round 9mm magazine and will fit any normal M&P9 fullsize compatible holster. Notable features include enhanced sear for lighter, crisper trigger break, an optics-ready slide, and new “flat face” trigger.

M&P9 M2.0 METAL FEATURES

Smith Wesson S&W M&P 2.0 METAL 9mm luger cerakote T6 Aluminum frameT6 Aluminum Frame with Tungsten Gray Cerakote® Finish
Optics-Ready pistol slide has mounting recess for red dots
Four interchangeable palmswell grip inserts: S, M, ML, L
Textured polymer front strap
Wide slide stop and reversible magazine release
M2.0 flat face trigger for consistent finger placement
Forward slide serrations and Picatinny-style frame rail
Enhanced sear for lighter, crisper trigger let-off
Fits all standard M&P9 compatible holsters
Accepts any 17-round 9mm M2.0™ magazine
Comes with two 17-round magazines.

Jerry Miculek Tests New M&P9 M2.0 Metal Pistol — Says It Shows Exceptional Accuracy

Smith Wesson S&W M&P 2.0 METAL 9mm luger cerakote T6 Aluminum frame

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September 1st, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cleaning Lake City 5.56 brass

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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August 31st, 2022

DIY DownUnder — Aussie Builds Rail Gun Including Action

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

We know some guys who make their own stocks, and others who do their own chambering. But consider this, Robert Carnell of Australia built his own state-of-the-art, water-cooled, tension-barrel Rail Gun, even including the action. That’s right, Robert designed and crafted his own precision action. This has got to be the ultimate home gunsmithing, do-it-yourself (DIY) project.

Carnell is an accomplished benchrest shooter and past Australian Sporter Class Champion. In 1993 he won a Silver Medal at the World Championships. But Carnell is far more than an ace trigger-puller. Robert is a skilled and creative “home gunsmith” who has crafted his own custom action and built his own railguns from scratch. Robert also runs the Austrialian Benchrest Bulletin website.

Home-Built Rail Gun — Aussie Innovation
Below are photos of one of Rob Carnell’s most amazing builds. This liquid-cooled, tension-barrel rail gun is a great example of self-reliant Aussie engineering. The barrel runs inside a coolent-filled, large-diameter sleeve, much like an old water-cooled machine gun. This is the fourth rail gun that Rob built, and the second fitted with a tensioned barrel.

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

Robert explains: “My railgun design has a 1.75″ barrel under tension inside an aluminium tube filled with radiator coolant. There is nearly a gallon of coolant, and the barrel stays cool no matter how many shots I seem to fire, or how quickly they are shot. The brass nut on the front rides on a nylon bearing and can be tightened to get the best accuracy. I am a believer in the ‘tuner’ idea and this seems to work for me. The main tube is thick-walled aluminium 600mm (24″) long. There is a flange at both ends. The flange at the back fits onto the barrel before the action is screwed on. The front flange is a press-fit into the tube, then there is a brass nut that fits over the barrel and screws against a nylon washer on the front flange. The Railgun’s base is aluminium and has the standard adjustments — windage, elevation and a sighter cam. In addition, there is a 1/10 thou dial indicator for windage. This allows me to zero the indicator and shoot my group. If I need to add a bit of windage for a condition, I can quickly get back to the original position if my condition comes back.”

Home-Built Action Uses Rem Bolt
Rob’s rail gun uses his own home-made stainless action, which features Panda-spec threads and a modified Remington 700 aftermarket bolt. Not bad for a do-it-yourself project we’d say! CLICK HERE to read how Rob designed and built the action.

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

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August 29th, 2022

BargainFinder 362: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

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

1. Palmetto State Armory — PSA AR-15 Lower Receiver, $59.99

lower receiver sale
Very good deal and AR lower — get one while you can

President Biden and his buddies in Washington want to ban ARs and other modern sporting rifles. The core component for a custom AR build is a milspec AR lower receiver. Now for just $59.99 you can get a quality PSA AR-15 “Stealth” Lower Receiver. This quality lower features no rollmark on the left hand side. These PSA lowers have quality 7075-T6 aluminum construction and will accept all standard components and popular trigger groups. At this low $59.99 price, you might want to buy a couple.

2. Bruno’s — BAT Actions IN-STOCK with Free Shipping

bat actions sale
BAT makes exceptionally good actions which have won many championships

Did you know that the average wait time for a custom action is now about 12 months? Skip the wait and grab one of the many superb BAT Actions available right now at Bruno Shooters Supply. A wide selection of BAT actions are in stock now, ready for immediate delivery to your FFL. If you order during the current sale, these actions qualify for FREE SHIPPING.

3. MidwayUSA — Vortex Viper 5-25x50mm FFP, $679.99

vortex scope sale
Excellent FFP scope for PRS/NRL competition, good power range

Need a quality, durable FFP scope for PRS or NRL matches? An excellent yet very affordable option is the Vortex Viper 5-25x50mm riflescope. PRS/NRL competitors have praised this scope for its optical quality and toughness. The glass-etched EBR-2D MRAD reticle offers very precise MILrad markings for elevation hold-overs and/or wind corrections. For low-light conditions, this Vortex Viper offers 10 intensity levels with off positions between each setting.

4. Amazon — RCBS Partner Press, $81.93

rcbs press sale
Good choice for secondary press for decapping and bullet seating duties

If you load at the range or need a secondary press the RCBS Partner Press is a great choice. The very affordable Partner Press is easy to use and easy to transport, making it a good choice for loading at the range. And it works well as a smaller, secondary press for your home reloading center. We’ve used a Partner Press effectively for decapping, neck-sizing, and many other tasks. The current $81.93 price is a bargain. Note: Accessory base plate not included.

5. Natchez — Rimfire and Centerfire Ammunition Sale

ammunition sale
Great savings on big selection of rifle, pistol and shotgun ammo

Thankfully, ammunition is becoming more available these days, and prices are starting to come down. The latest Natchez Ammo Sale offers a wide range of pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammo at great prices — up to 64% off. There are some great deals on bulk 9mm ammo, and pistol shooters will also find good defensive ammo with hollow-point projectiles. Natchez is also running some attractive deals on CCI and Remington rimfire ammo.

6. Graf & Sons — Hornady Sonic Cleaner, $109.99

hornady brass cleaner
Quality ultrasonic cleaning machine at very good price

Are you looking for a different way to clean you brass? Consider the Hornady Sonic Cleaner which removes carbon residue from the inside and outside of cartridge cases with high frequency ultrasonic energy and a specialized cleaning solution. Unlike case tumblers, the Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner effectively cleans the inner surfaces of cartridge cases as well as the primer pockets.

7. Midsouth — Radians 5-Lens Eye Protection System, $20.89

shooting glasses sale
Very Good eye protection with 5 lenses — clear, yellow, orange, amber, gray

We recommend wearing quality eye protection whenever you go shooting — even with rimfire guns. This excellent Radians kit includes five different ANSI Z87.1-certified lenses, so you can select the optimal lens type for your shooting sport and light conditions. The Radians Glasses Kit, now just $20.89, includes clear, yellow, orange, dark amber, and dark gray lenses that are easily interchangeable and very durable. This kit includes neoprene carrying case, neck cord, and microfiber lens cloth bag.

8. Amazon — FalconTac First Aid Kit, $49.95

trauma kit sale
Very well-equipped first aid kit — for home, range, or vehicle

Wise firearms owners and outdoorsmen will keep a good first aid kit in their vehicles wherever they travel. The FalconTac Trauma first aid kit offers important treatment products for a wide variety of injuries, from minor cuts to bullet wounds. This $49.95 FalconTac Kit contains essential supplies for hemorrhage control, including military tourniquet, tactical pressure dressing, and compressed gauze.

9. Amazon — 14-In-1 Multitool, $20.99

multitool sale
Great price on versatile multi-tool that performs myriad functions

The 14-In-1 Multitool with Safety Lock offers great capabilities for a modest $20.99 price. This handy multitool includes a sharp knife blade plus a serrated knife. Then there are a dozen specialized components — multiple plier heads (long nose, round nose pliers, cutting pliers), Philips screwdriver, 3 slotted screwdrivers (small, medium, large), hook remover, double-sided file, small scraper, can opener, and bottle opener. This compact multi-tool stores easily in a backpack or your vehicle.

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