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January 6th, 2022

Leica Geovid 3200.com LRF Binoculars — Hunting Field Test

leica geovid 3200.com laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

Leica Geovid 3200.COM 10×42 Rangefinding Binoculars

Field Test and Hunt Review by Colton Reid
Dawn breaks. It’s a brisk 28 degrees. I sit concealed amongst a grove of fallen trees near the edge of a steep decline where I can see the canyon below and opposing hillsides. Snow blankets the mountainous slopes with patches of fir and naked aspen woven into the landscape. The soft glow of sunrise brightens southeastern slopes and illuminates a solitary statue of orange and green on an adjacent ridge. His presence alerts an already wary elk of the danger that moved in the night before.

It is second rifle season in Colorado and I have a cow elk tag in hand. I would love to say this is not my first rodeo, but in many ways it is. I’m on my first hunt in pursuit of an elk and my first hunt in Colorado. It is, however, the second test of my newest piece of hunting equipment — Leica’s latest, state-of-the-art Geovid 3200.COM 10×42 rangefinding binoculars.

Early morning light in Colorado, on a hunt for elk…
leica geovid 3200.com laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

These laser rangefinder binoculars I purchased for myself from the good people at EuroOptic.com. I should note that I am not sponsored by EuroOptic or Leica. I happen to know a few people at EuroOptic and they are a knowledgeable friendly group who use the gear they sell.

When I evaluate optics I have a clear priority in how I rank them. At the top of the list is optical quality. That is, how clear is the optical image? How crisp are the edges? Can I resolve and distinguish similar small items? Anyone who has been hunting in the great American West knows that most of your time is spent behind optics of some sort, so it is best to buy optics that make it easier to spot your target and are easy on your eyes.

Second on the list is a combination of weight and durability. I tend to hunt rugged backcountry terrain, so weight is a big consideration for my trips. But if something is feather light but breaks when you sneeze? That isn’t good either. So a combination of a robust rubberized body with modest additional weight is desired. And since the Geovid 3200.COM is a combination optic, i.e. it includes a laser rangefinder, then that helps with weight since I don’t need a separate LRF.

Third on this list is the rangefinder’s performance. By performance I mean mostly accuracy and precision of the measurement. I can live with a max of 500 yards, as long as the measurement is correct and repeatable to within a handful of yards. If, however, the measurement is off by 10% (50 yards in the case of a 500-yard reading) or measurement to measurement varies by say 20 yards, then that will dramatically affect my ability to make an ethical shot.

The Geovid’s laser ranging beam showed excellent precision. Here it picks up a single male pronghorn (not broadside) at nearly 400 yards. The return was immediate.
leica geovid 3200.com laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

Other considerations such as ergonomics or comfort are less important to me because they start to move away from “functional” requirements. That is, they don’t make a big difference when it comes to spotting and harvesting an animal. So while I do think about “nice to have” features when selecting equipment, they are of lower consideration than the functional requirements.

With my framework for evaluation laid out then, here is my assessment. The Leica Geovid 3200.COM 10x42s are high-quality rangefinding binoculars — well made, with good materials, and a thoughtful design. They weigh a mere 34.6 ounces (about 2 lbs.) and are built to withstand more than a few falls. They also come with both objective and ocular lens caps. Even though they are built tough, I would not take these into the field without some sort of binocular case. I personally use a Badlands Bino case (see top and bottom photos) but there are plenty of other good options.

This 6-minute Leica factory video shows the technical features and operations of the Geovid 3200.COM series of rangefinding binoculars. Worth watching:

The glass is amazing — remarkably good (and I have high standards). The image is extremely crisp, noticeably better than my tried and true pair of Swarovski Habicht 10×40 Porro prism binoculars. This matters because the exaggerated hand motion observed in higher power optics, aka “shake”, initially made me dizzy. Leica does offer a lower power unit, the Geovid 3200.com 8×42, for those who prefer less magnification. One could argue that the optics being too sharp means they aren’t a good fit, however, my philosophy is to get the best gear possible and figure out how to use it to the max potential. My solution here was an ultralight tripod to stabilize the image when glassing or if weight is a factor I place my arms on my knees while leaning against a tree or rock. Scouting with these binoculars over long periods on a stable platform is a pleasant experience. Shown belong is the Geovid mounted on my tripod.

leica geovid 3200.com laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

The Geovids present a bright, crisp image, with excellent distance distinction (pop out effect) — all characteristics of high quality optics. The image at the edge of the field of view is less sharp, but that is typical, even for scientific glass. Because the binocular image quality is so good, the image quality change when I go to my spotting scope is a much shorter jump than with previous binoculars. That means I can resolve more items with the binoculars and therefore only go to my Swarovski spotting scope when I really want to clarify something. Overall A+ optics.

Over 950 yards — yes that is what we were looking for…
leica geovid 3200.com laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

The rangefinder is top shelf. One innovation I like about these rangefinding binoculars is that Leica put the laser source outside of the optic tube. That means the source is unimpeded by additional optics allowing for more power transmission and reflection. They also implemented the patented Perger prism which incorporates the rangefinder into the base optical design as opposed to using extra optics to “modify” a non-laser rangefinder configuration. As an engineer I love the idea of function integration and minimizing components. It usually makes for a more efficient and superior performing design.

One other impressive feature is the ability to link to a rangefinder program. The Leica website explains: “Thanks to Bluetooth® connection, [the Geovid 3200.com] can be paired to either the Leica Hunting App to adjust and manage quickly and easily on the fly, or to a LINK-enabled Kestrel windmeter to get results from the Kestrel right in your Range Finder[.] In addition, users will benefit from various integrated atmospheric sensors, such as temperature, air pressure and inclination sensors, producing angle-compensated distance measering for shooting uphill or downhill with maximum precision.”

Testing Laser Ranging Performance
To test the Geovid’s laser rangefinder I did my usual measurement of different objects near my house and checked the accuracy with Google earth. I was able to consistently range larger objects (trees, hills, rocks) out to about 2200 yards, which is longer than I would ever shoot, but good when planning where to move for my next vantage point. I was also able to range a large reflective target (pedestrian overpass) out to a staggering 3300+ yards (see below).

In this video, the Geovid ranges a concrete pedestrian overpass at distance of 3334 yards.

I suspect the max range I can consistently get with large, non-reflective objects is somewhere around 2400 yards, but didn’t have the opportunity to test that specific distance. The rangefinder had some trouble at shorter distances and through thick branches. Around 25 to 45 yards I would get several yards variation when ranging tree trunks. Tall grass and a nest of tree branches would also interfere with the measurement. I would either get a slightly incorrect reading or no reading at all. This might come up if I am trying to range a buck bedded in tall grass. That is a drawback for me because that is a typical situation in archery. My workaround was to range nearby objects and estimate the handful of yards separation between the ranged item and target.

Summary: Geovid 3200.COM Rangefinding Binoculars Are Excellent
In summary, the Leica Geovid 3200.COM rangefinder binoculars are excellent in all key respects. The glass is top-notch and the rangefinding performance is very impressive. The modern Bluetooth connectivity is a plus. These Leica Geovids offer a slightly better price point than their equivalent competitors and are the optics I bought with my own money. I doubt you will be disappointed.

leica geovid 3200.com laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

New for 2022 — Leica Geovid Pro 32 RangeFinding Binoculars

Smaller, Lighter, with Applied Ballistics and GPS Mapping Integration
Trading on the success of the Geovid 3200.COM series, on 1/6/2022, Leica announced a new smaller, lighter version, with enhanced software — the Leica Geovid Pro 32. Weight 30.6 ounces, this is about 4 oz. lighter than the original, and 0.83 inches shorter. With notably smaller objective lenses (32mm for the Pro 32 vs. 42mm with the Geovid 3200.com) these new Geovid Pro 32s should be easier to hold for extended periods, but they may give up a bit of low light capability compared to their bigger brothers.

leica pro 32 new 2022 geovid 3200.com laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

The other big news is enhanced software in the Pro 32: “Leica Geovid Pro was built ground up to combine the on-board atmospheric sensors with NEW on-board Applied Ballistics[.] The Geovid Pro comes standard with Applied Ballistics Ultralight … upgradable to Applied Ballistics Sportsman or Elite. The Geovid Pro 32 now also offers advanced GPS tracking connectivity, Leica ProTrack, to guide the user to the target based on the last ranged measurement. The Geovid Pro 32 is the first premium rangefinder to feature GPS mapping integration through BaseMaps, Google Maps and Garmin mapping.”

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January 5th, 2022

Savage Impulse Wins NRA American Hunter’s Rifle of Year Award

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 newSavage Arms has won a second major award for its innovative Savage Impulse straight-pull hunting rifle. This is the only straight-pull centerfire rifle currently produced by a major U.S. manufacturer. The rifle has won the coveted NRA American Hunter 2022 Golden Bullseye Award as Rifle of the Year. Previously, Guns & Ammo magazine editors named Savage’s Impulse the 2021 Rifle of the Year.

“The new Savage Impulse is more than just a good first attempt at an American-made straight-pull,” wrote American Hunter magazine’s Associate Editor David Herman. “It is a rifle that can take long-range precision shots with ease, yet is in its element stacking lead in rapid fashion. It would make an excellent addition to any serious hunter’s arsenal.”

Beth Shimanski, Savage’s Marketing Director, says the design is a game-changer for hunters: “The speed of Impulse’s straight-pull action has changed the way Americans think about hunting rifles. This design combines everything Savage has learned about accuracy and reliability with innovation that provides marksmen and women with new capabilities with new capabilities.”

Savage’s Impulse series of straight-pull bolt rifles is the first American-designed and crafted straight-pull centerfire rifle. The new Impulse features an innovative Hexlock bolt-locking mechanism with six spherical bearings that move radially outward into a ring in the barrel extension, thereby locking the bolt in place. That barrel extension is held in the receiver assembly by four cross-bolts on the lower front section. Ahead of the barrel extension is a conventional recoil lug and a familiar Savage barrel nut.

Savage Impulse Straight-Pull Rifle — Overview

Savage claims the new system offers the cycling speed of a semi-auto, with the accuracy of a bolt-action. However, based on the videos that Savage has posted, the cycling of the Impulse’s straight-pull bolt does not seem to be as smooth as some European straight-pulls, such as the Blaser R8, Merkel RX Helix, and Strasser RS 14. We’ve tried those Austrian/German rifles and you really can cycle them very smoothly. From the video the Savage Impulse appears to require somewhat more muscle and effort. Watch below. The video will launch at the 15-second mark for a comparison between the Impulse and a conventional Savage bolt-action:

Savage Speed Comparison — Impulse vs. Regular Bolt Action

Savage says: “Conventional bolt-actions require four steps to cycle the bolt. Impulse simplifies the process with a simple back-and-forth motion.”

Advantages of Straight-Pull Cycling System
What is the advantage of a straight-pull system? You should be able to cycle faster, and (ideally) maintain your cheek-weld and target view. Savage says: “The smooth bolt throw allows a shooter to cycle rounds intuitively, without the need for the standard four changes-of-direction common to a conventional bolt’s path-of-travel. Impulse reduces split times and allows a shooter to manipulate the bolt without losing [his] cheek weld. The bolt travels out and back and shooters don’t have to take their eyes off the target.” Sounds good, but if you watch the above videos, it’s not as wonderful as claimed. That said, if one slows down a bit, a straight pull should allow the shooter to maintain his cheek weld.

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

Major Engineering Features of New Savage Impulse

Hexlock Bolt | Barrel Extension | 4-Bolt Barrel Clamp | Ambidextrous Rotary Bolt Handle

When the bolt is closed, the Hexlock system holds it in place instead of conventional lugs. With the Hexlock, six (6) hardened steel bearings lock the bolt in place inside the receiver’s barrel extension. Savage says “As pressure increases, Hexlock’s hold tightens, ensuring that there can be no rearward movement of the bolt. Once the round has left the barrel, the pressure subsides, and the action can safely open again with the straight pull of the bolt handle.”

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

Savage Impulse — Hexlock System (Bolt Locks in Barrel Extension)

The cleverly-designed, modular Impulse bolt can be disassembled without tools. And the bolt-handle can be moved to either side easily. Impulse barrels are connected via barrel extension which is held in the action/receiver by a lower-side four-bolt barrel clamp.

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

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January 4th, 2022

Beautiful Shiloh Sharps Rifles — A Blast from the Past

Shiloh Sharps 45-70 vintage Quigley rifle

With all the blacktical rifles and plastic tacticool gear on the market these days, it is great to see some old style craftsmanship — hand-built rifles with colored case-hardened receivers, fine engraving, rich bluing, and beautiful wood. We found just that at the Shiloh Sharps booth at SHOT Show a few years back. There were handsome firearms, with beautiful metal and stunning wood. The heritage style of the Shiloh Sharps rifles harkens back to another era, when the West was still wild, and gifted smiths crafted rifles with pride, skill, and true artistry.

The cartridges shown in the photo (left to right above rifle) are: 45-110, 50-100, 45-90, and 40-70.
Shiloh Sharps 45-70 vintage Quigley rifle

This video shows how Shiloh Sharps crafts its rifles, from “Foundry to Finish”:

The Historic Sharps 1874 Lever Action Rifle, An American Classic
Shooting USA has featured the 1874 Sharps rifle, a side-hammer breech-loader favored by plains buffalo hunters. Christian Sharps patented his signature rifle design in 1848. The Sharps Model 1874 (shown below) was an updated version, chambered for metallic cartridges. According to firearms historian/author Garry James, the Sharps rifle “came in all sorts of different calibers from .40 all the way up to .50, and jillions of different case lengths and styles and configurations”.

Sharps rifle 45/110 Tom Selleck accurateshooter
Photo from James D. Julia/Morphy Auctions.

Sharps rifles have enjoyed a bit of modern-day notoriety, thanks to Hollywood. Tom Selleck starred as Matthew Quigley in the hit movie Quigley Down-Under. In a famous scene, Quigley used his 1874 Sharps to hit a wooden bucket at very long range. The Sharps rifles used in the movie were made by Shiloh Rifle company (Powder River Rifle Company). There were actually three Sharps rifles made for the movie. One went to the NRA’s National Firearms Museum while another was raffled off to support NRA shooting programs. The third rifle (Selleck’s Favorite) was sold at auction in 2008.

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January 2nd, 2022

Sunday GunDay: Rock’N Roll Rifle — Gavin’s Van Halen Tribute

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Eddie Van Halen guitar rifle tribute benchrest 6.5x47 Lapua gun build

Today’s feature story showcases an impressive 6.5×47 Lapua benchrest rifle crafted by Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com. A gifted writer, video producer, and gear reviewer, Gavin has also acquired some serious gunsmithing skills over the past few years.

For this project, the multi-talented Mr. Gear did ALL the work himself — barrel chambering, muzzle crowning, stock inletting, action bedding, and yes even the stock painting. That brilliant red design with white and black stripes is an “homage” to the famous “Frankenstrat” guitar played by Rock N’ Roll legend Eddie Van Halen (EVH). That red/white/black guitar was the inspiration for this tribute rifle.

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Eddie Van Halen guitar rifle tribute benchrest 6.5x47 Lapua gun build

Gavin explained: “I decided to build a benchrest rifle as a tribute to Eddie Van Halen as I’ve been inspired by his guitar playing, his energy, and himself as a person. This is my first benchrest rifle build. And when I set out to build this rifle I was looking around at what other people were doing in the benchrest community in terms of stock graphics, and I decided I needed to do something ‘loud and crazy’ and when I thought about that, the first thing that came to mind was Eddie Van Halen’s iconic Frankenstrat guitar.”

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Eddie Van Halen guitar rifle tribute benchrest 6.5x47 Lapua gun build

Here it is! My first all-out benchrest build! This rifle will serve as a test bed for the evaluation of different cartridges and components. In this multi-part series, I’ll walk through the … process of building this rifle including the barrel work, stock inletting, stock bedding, and some paint work that will be “a little different”. — Gavin Gear

Rifle Components — BAT Action, Krieger Barrel, Wheeler Stock, Sightron Scope
Bat Model B Action, .308 Win Bolt Face (modular), octagonal profile, integral recoil lug
Bix’n Andy Remington 700 Competition Trigger (from Bullet Central)
Wheeler Engineering LRB Stock with 4″ fore-end and steerable buttstock rudder
Sightron SV 10-50x60mm ED SFP Scope (FCH Target Dot Reticle) in 34mm BAT Rings

Painting the Eddie Van Halen Tribute Rifle

Gavin told us: “I’ve long been inspired and impressed by Eddie Van Halen (EVH). He changed the game for guitar in the late 1970s, and the world took notice! I’ve been a Van Halen fan for a long time, and that’s where the inspiration for my latest rifle build came from. Benchrest rifles are known for their loud and vivid paint jobs, and that made me think: ‘I need to do an EVH Frankenstrat paint job!’. In this video I share my experiences putting together this automotive-style rifle paint job.”

Gavin painted the stock himself with red/black/white graphics inspired by the rock legend’s famous guitar. Gavin actually has some serious painting skills learned decades ago. When Gavin was 16 he was “hell-bent on learning auto body prep and paint work”. He managed to score a job with a local shop, and did his first complete professional paint job (on a Toyota Supra) when he was just 17 years old.

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Eddie Van Halen guitar rifle tribute benchrest 6.5x47 Lapua gun build

The EVH tribute stock was painted in multiple stages, with masking to create the stripes after the bright red was applied. For the finishing touch, the entire stock was sprayed with Omni clearcoat: “This [clear-coating] is when things really start to look good because you’re covering up all those masked transitions between the striping and the backgrounds.” Gavin says the key to clear-coating is “seeing the reflection of the light on the surface. This gives you visual feedback”. Watch the video above to see the entire painting process. CLICK HERE for Gavin’s full write-up on the stock painting job with many photos.

Barrel Break-In and Load Testing

The rifle showed great accuracy right from the get-go. In fact, the very first three shots through the barrel formed a 0.298″ group at 100 (see video at 05:35)! Then the gun produced a series of good three-shot groups (high 2s and low 3s), demonstrating the quality of the Krieger barrel and Gavin’s chambering work. CLICK HERE for testing target showing multiple groups.

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Eddie Van Halen guitar rifle tribute benchrest 6.5x47 Lapua gun build
Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Eddie Van Halen guitar rifle tribute benchrest 6.5x47 Lapua gun build

Gavin selected top components for his loads: Lapua 6.5×47 brass, Berger 140gr Hybrid 6.5mm bullets, and Hodgdon Varget powder (unobtanium these days). To find promising starting loads, Gavin went straight to the best 6.5×47 Lapua resource on the web — AccurateShooter.com’s 6.5×47 Cartridge Guide. Researched by the 6.5 Guys (Ed and Steve), our Cartridge Guide includes recommended accuracy loads for a wide variety of bullets and powders.

6.5x47 Cartridge Guides 6.5 Guys

Stock Work and Bedding

In this Part 2 video, Gavin reveals the extensive work he did to prepare the stock for the barreled action. This video shows multiple operations: barrel channel and receiver inletting; machining of custom pillars; stock bedding, and trigger guard installation. Yes, Gavin did all the final inletting using his own machines, and he even created his own precision pillars. Watch the above video to see the entire inletting job followed by the action bedding process. Gavin’s skills are impressive.

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Eddie Van Halen guitar rifle tribute benchrest 6.5x47 Lapua gun build

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Eddie Van Halen guitar rifle tribute benchrest 6.5x47 Lapua gun build

This Alex Wheeler LRB stock has some very innovative features, such as the adjustable “rudder” (or keel) on the bottomside of the buttstock. This helps ensure great tracking. Alex has noted: “This stock tracks exceptionally well due to the adjustable rudder system and 4″-wide fore-end. Aluminum rails in the front prevent rocking on the front bag as well as form small trenches to aid tracking. The adjustable rudder in the rear allows you to fine tune the bag riding surfaces until exactly parallel. The 4″-wide fore-end is legal in Benchrest and helps control torqueing in the bag.”

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Eddie Van Halen guitar rifle tribute benchrest 6.5x47 Lapua gun build

Chambering the Barrel for 6.5×47 Lapua

Gavin did ALL the gunsmithing for the project, including chambering the Krieger barrel, and headspacing it for the BAT M Action. Gavin also crowned the muzzle. He did this all on his own advanced Precision Matthews PM-1440GT Lathe using Triebel Guntools 6.5x47mm body/neck finisher reamer, 6.5x47mm throater reamer, and Go and No-Go gages.

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloder Eddie Van Halen guitar rifle tribute benchrest 6.5x47 Lapua gun build

Clearly, this is not your average DIY project — Gavin performed ALL the most critical and demanding gunsmithing tasks. He trained himself to do these tasks working with ace gunsmith Gordy Gritters. You can see all the chambering and barrel-fitting functions in this revealing video:

Muzzle Work — Cutting Threads and Target Crown

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Eddie Van Halen guitar rifle tribute benchrest 6.5x47 Lapua gun build

This photo shows the finishing of the barrel’s muzzle end. Gavin notes: “For the muzzle end, I again used the True Bore Alignment System. Above you can see the SSG Range Rod I used which features two tight-fitting bushings that ride on the barrel lands. This makes for quick barrel dial-in! I then cut an 11-degree target crown, as recommended by Gordy Gritters.”

The next step with this EVH Tribute rifle will be fitting the barrel for an Erik Cortina (EC) tuner, and proceeding with further load tuning. But that will have to wait for spring, when the snow has melted….

Want to learn more? Here are detailed reports on UltimateReloader.com:

1. EVH Tribute 6.5×47 Rifle Barrel Work and Chambering
2. EVH Tribute 6.5×47 Rifle Stock Inletting and Bedding
3. EVH Tribute 6.5×47 Rifle Testing with Sightron 10-50X Scope
4. Eddie Van Halen Tribute 6.5×47 Rifle Custom Paint Job

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January 1st, 2022

Ten Great Videos — 2022 New Year’s Day Movie Showcase

2022 New Year's video collection reloading AMP F-Class John Keith Glasscock

As a 2022 New Year’s bonus for our Bulletin readers we decided to showcase 10 of our favorite gun tech, reloading, and shooting technique videos for our readers. These videos were created by top YouTube content providers: F-Class John, Gavin Gear, Keith Glasscock, Erik Cortina, Thomas Haugland, and Pieter Malan. Consider this like an all-star gun channel collection. These videos will help you load more accurate ammo, improve your “mental game”, and shoot better in matches. Enjoy!

14 Reloading Presses — Ultimate Single-Stage Shootout

Winning Mindset — John Whidden Interview with Erik Cortina

Quick Tip — Check your Ignition (Spring and Firing Pin)

Henderson vs. Giraud Power Case Trimmer Comparison Review

Advanced AMP Computer-Controlled Press

Field Test and Review of SEB Mini-X Coaxial Front Rest

Annealing — Benefits, Procedures, and AMP Operation

How to Set Up the AutoTrickler V4 System

Field Shooting — How to Make Better Wind Calls

How to Use a Concentricity Gauge

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December 31st, 2021

Mantis Blackbeard — AR15 Dry Firing System Resets Trigger

Mantis blackbeard ar15 ar ar-15 trigger reset dry firing system magazine blot carrier

Do you use an AR15 for service rifle, 3-Gun, or tactical competitions? Then you should consider dry-fire training. Many top competitors spend an hour (or more) dry-firing for every minute they shoot live cartridges in competition. The allows effective training without spending a fortune on live ammunition (which can run $1.00 per round or more).

There is a handy new system that resets the trigger on AR-platform rifles — the Mantis Blackbeard (see videos below). This permits you to make multiple successive shots without having to alter your grip and manually recycle the charging handle. This two-part system employs a replacement bolt carrier/bolt and replacement magazine. With these two components installed, your AR can automatically reset the trigger instantly after you pull the trigger. It works, it’s effective, and it’s affordable at $219.00 MSRP.

The Blackbeard system is used by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army (including Special Forces), so you know it works. During training the Mantis Blackbeard allows unlimited, repetitive Dry Firing without resetting the charging handle. That eliminates a tedious task that requires altering your hold on the rifle.

No Gun Modifications
Same Trigger Weight, Break, and Reset
Installs in under a minute
Up to 10 shots per second
Up to 100,000 Shots per Charge
Save on Ammunition Costs

In the video below Top Shot Champion Dustin Ellermann shows how to use the Mantis Blackbeard. He vividly demonstrates the clear advantage of the Blackbeard compared to manually pulling the charging handle over and over (See 00:02 – 00:20 time).

Dustin Ellermann Review of Mantis Blackbeard Trigger Reset System

Mantis blackbeard ar15 ar ar-15 trigger reset dry firing system magazine blot carrier

This next video, from the manufacturer Mantis, shows how to install the Mantis Blackbeard, how to set the zero, and how to operate the unit with your AR-platform rifle.

The easy-to-install-Mantis Blackbeard replaces your bolt carrier and magazine in less than a minute, allowing easy training transitions. The magazine battery pack is good for 100,000 shots per charge and the Blackbeard is rated to reset as quickly as 10 shots per second, allowing rapid fire training for 3-Gun and tactical competitions.

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December 31st, 2021

3D Cutaway Animations Reveal How AR15 Rifles Work

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

Americans love AR-platform rifles. However, they can be maintenance-intensive, as hot gasses are directed right back into the action to operate the bolt. Because ARs have a somewhat unique (and dirty) semi-auto operating system, we think all AR owners should learn how their rifles operate — from the inside out. This feature provides an “inside look” at the AR, with X-Ray and Cutaway views created through advanced 3D computer modeling.

AR15 Functions Revealed with 3D Computer Animation

Ever wondered how the parts inside an AR15 work together? Just exactly how does the reciprocating bolt carrier feed rounds from the magazine? How do the elements in the trigger group work and reset after each shot? How does the gas system bleed gas from the barrel and operate the bolt carrier? These and other questions are answered in this eye-opening video from 45Snipers. Using “cutaway” 3D computer animation, this 5-minute video shows all features of an AR15 inside and out. This fascinating firearms animation allows the viewer to look inside the upper and lower receivers, into the bolt carrier, chamber, barrel, and magazine.

This video starts off slow and has annoying background music, but it is well worth watching if you own or shoot any AR-platform rifle. It illustrates all the key operations during the charging, loading, firing, and ejection processes. The cutaway animation shows how rounds are stripped from the magazine and then chambered. It then shows how every part of the trigger group works, and how the firing pin strikes the primer. You can even watch the bullet move down the barrel before the empty shell casing is removed from the chamber and tossed out the ejection port. Here are sample frames from the video:

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

How AR-Platform Rifles Work — General Introduction
To help reader understand the general operation of AR-type rifles, this video shows the control functions of an AR and how the upper and lower sections work together.

Cutaway 3D Animation of AR15/M16 Action — Watch Video

Here is an excellent “cutaway” animation by Thomas Schwenke that shows how an AR-15 functions — how the entire loading cycle works from start to finish.

AR platform rifles are semi-automatics version of the M16. These feature distinctive upper and lower receivers which can be readily separated via front and rear pins. The upper includes the barrel, handguard, forward gas tube, and bolt assembly, while the lower contains grip, trigger group, fire selector, and mag well. In addition the lower is attached to the stock which encloses the buffer assembly.

3d firearms modeling gun CGI software encylopedia gun disassembly

The original ArmaLite AR-15 was a select-fire, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed rifle designed by American gun manufacturer ArmaLite in 1956. It was based on Armalite’s AR-10 rifle chambered for the 7.62×51 NATO (.308 Win). In 1959, ArmaLite sold its rights to the AR-10 and AR-15 to Colt. Some key modifications were made — most notably, the charging handle was re-located from under the carrying handle to the rear of the receiver. The redesigned rifle was adopted by the U.S. military as the M16 carbine, which went into production in March 1964.

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December 30th, 2021

New ZEISS LRP S5 525-56 First Focal Plane Scope — First Look

Jim See Accuracy Zeiss LRP S5 525-56 scope First focal plane PRS NRL 5-25x56mm unboxing field test

The past couple weeks we have had the privilege to test an impressive new First Focal Plane riflescope from ZEISS. Our tester, Jim See of Elite Accuracy LLC, received the ZEISS LRP S5 525-56 optic, Milrad version, and took a quick look at it. Jim was immediately impressed by the bright, clear markings on the turrets, and the positive clicks. He liked the lever-equipped zoom control, the positive zero-stop on the elevation knob, and he believed the lockable windage turret can have definite benefits in the field.

Jim See Accuracy Zeiss LRP 525-56 scope First focal plane PRS NRL 5-25x56mm unboxing field test

Jim See Accuracy Zeiss LRP S5 525-56 scope First focal plane PRS NRL 5-25x56mm unboxing field testAfter doing his first inspection, Jim quickly installed the LRP S5 525-56 on his 6mmBR PRS/NRL rifle, which features a red J. Allen Chassis and Impact Precision action. Jim placed the scope in high-quality Zeiss rings with integral bubble level. He then took the rig out into the field and completed an initial Tall Target test. That test confirmed the precision and repeatability of the 0.1 MRAD elevation and windage click values.

Jim also liked how positive the clicks felt with both elevation and windage knobs. Jim told us: “The scope operates well, it tracks well, and the turrets are accurate in their movements. All the functions work well — elevation, windage, parallax. This LRP scope has a quality feel — similar to other ZEISS products I have used.” Jim also noted that the ZEISS LRP S5 scope resisted solar flare very well: “This is important in PRS matches where we get that low sun in the afternoons”. Jim had high praise for the highly visible numbers on the dials: “With my eyes, I can’t read the numbers on most scopes, but with this ZEISS LRP S5 scope I CAN read the numbers.” Overall, Jim believed this ZEISS 5-25x56mm optic “will fit well in its intended market”, namely PRS/NRL and long range hunting.

Jim See Accuracy Zeiss LRP S5 525-56 scope First focal plane PRS NRL 5-25x56mm unboxing field test
Scope mounted in ZEISS rings with bubble level. Optional sunshade is attached in front.

Jim See Accuracy Zeiss LRP 525-56 scope First focal plane PRS NRL 5-25x56mm unboxing field test

Stay Tuned for Full Field Test of ZEISS LRP S5 525-56 Optic

The past few weeks Jim See has been testing the impressive new 5-25X ZEISS scope in the field, with the optic fitted on his PRS/NRL competition rig. Even in cold winter weather, the optic has performed very well, with positive adjustments and good results in the tall target test. Jim is now doing field tests with targets from 100 yards to 1200 yards and beyond.

Jim See Accuracy Zeiss LRP 525-56 scope First focal plane PRS NRL 5-25x56mm unboxing field test
Jim See Accuracy Zeiss LRP 525-56 scope First focal plane PRS NRL 5-25x56mm unboxing field test
To test ruggedness and weatherproofing, Jim is putting the Zeiss LRP through its paces in harsh winter conditions. He’s using a tripod here to keep off the snowy ground. The tripod mount also allows smooth traversing to view a wide selection of terrain and objects near and far.

Advanced Optical Technology — ZEISS LRP S5 Features

The ZEISS LRP S5 525-56 has many notable features, including a lockable windage turret, adjustable reticle illumination, and a HUGE amount of elevation travel — 40.7 Mils in the MIL model and 140 MOA in the MOA version. That gives this optic the ability to shoot at extreme range without requiring holdovers.

Jim See Elite Accuracy Zeiss LRP 525-56 scope First focal plane PRS NRL 5-25x56mm unboxing field test
Jim See Elite Accuracy Zeiss LRP 525-56 scope First focal plane PRS NRL 5-25x56mm unboxing field test
Jim See Elite Accuracy Zeiss LRP 525-56 scope First focal plane PRS NRL 5-25x56mm unboxing field test

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December 29th, 2021

Comparison Review of Affordable Red Dot Optics

Ammoland Red Dot Review Bushnell Vortex Nikon Aimpoint Trijicon

Frankly, we are not big fans of Red Dot sights, as they are not a good choice for precision rifle shooting beyond 100 yards. But Red Dot sight systems do have a place for pistol shooters, night-time hunters, and folks defending their home and property at short range.

Those considering purchasing a Red Dot sight system should read the Ammoland Red Dot Review by former U.S. Army Ranger Rex Nanorum. Rex took four affordable (under $200) Red Dot optics into the field, putting them through their paces. Rex notes: “Red dot sights are excellent options for those wanting a lightweight upgrade to iron sights and those prioritizing speed over the maximum accurate range.”

READ Full Ammoland Red Dot Sight Review »

Rex tested the five Red Dot units, evaluating them based on multiple key factors: weight, brightness settings, ingress resistance to moisture and particulates, range performance, and battery life.

The Four Under-$200 Red Dot Optics were:

Bushnell TRS-26
Nikon P-Tactical Superdot
Primary Arms Microdot (Md-Ads)
Vortex Crossfire Red Dot

We recommend you read the full review, which includes detailed discussion of multiple factors. But there were some interesting “take-aways” from Rex’s Ammoland review.

Dot Size — The Bushnell has a 3 MOA central Dot, while the other units have a 2 MOA Dot.

Weight — The four units are similar, weighing 5.3 to 6.6 ounces.

Battery Life — The Bushnell TRS-26 and Primary Arms Microdot enjoyed a huge advantage in battery-life, with a claimed 50,000 hours! The Nikon SuperDot offers 14,000 hours, while the Vortex Crossfire delivers only 7000 hours.

Intrusion Resistance — All four units claim to be fog-proof, shock-proof, and water-resistant, typically good for 30 minutes immersion at 1 meter water depth. But the Nikon unit also has a particulate-ingress resistance rating. In the real world, keeping dust out may be more important than the ability to survice a half-hour dunking. In dry states such as Arizona, dust is a bigger issue than water.

The Primary Arms Microdot Earned Top Honors in Ammoland’s Test:

Overall, based on a variety of factors, Rex the reviewer rated the Primary Arms Microdot “best in test”, followed by the Bushnell TRS-26 in second place. The Nikon placed third, while the Vortex was ranked fourth. Rex was somewhat disappointed with the Vortex’s battery life and brightness controls.

Newer Bushnell TRS-26 has larger objective and longer battery life than older TRS-25:

Review of Higher-Priced ($400-$1000) Red Dot Optics
If you’re willing to pay $400 or more for a Red Dot optic, there are many good options. The same reviewer, Rex Nanorum, has tested and ranked five more costly Red Dot Sights:

Trijicon MRO – $400
Vortex UH-1 – $499
Meprolight RDS Pro – $610
Leupold LCO – $700
Aimpoint Comp M5 – $820 ($981 with LRP mount)

Of these units, Rex rated the Aimpoint Comp M5 the highest, with the Trijicon MRO Second.

Ammoland Red Dot Review Aimpoint Trijicon

READ REVIEW of Five Higher-Priced Red Dot Sights »

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December 28th, 2021

Get Brass Super-Clean — Wet Tumbling with Stainless Media

Stainless Tumbling Media Brass Cleaning

On our main Accurateshooter.com website, you’ll find a comprehensive review of the STM system for cleaning cartridge brass with stainless media. To clean brass with stainless media, start with five pounds of small stainless pins sold by StainlessTumblingMedia.com. Place these along with a gallon of water, a little liquid cleaner, and two pounds of cartridge brass in a rotary tumbler, and run the machine for one to four hours.

CLICK HERE for Stainless Media Brass Cleaning System Review »

Forum Member Tests STM System
Our reviewer, Forum member Jason Koplin, purchased the STM media and a new Thumler’s Tumbler. He then tested the STM cleaning procedure on his own brass, including some extremely dirty and tarnished “range pick-up” brass. Jason was thoroughly impressed with how well the STM process worked — as you can see from the “before and after” photos below. Brass which looked like it was ready for the scrap heap was restored to “like-new” appearance. Check it out:

stainless tumbling Media

stainless tumbling Media

Works Great on Both Rifle Brass and Pistol Brass
The process works equally well on both rifle brass and pistol brass (see below). Jason observed that one surprise benefit of the STM cleaning procedure is a big reduction in noise in his reloading room. Jason said the water-filled rotary tumbler was much quieter than his vibratory tumblers.

.45 ACP pistol Brass STM Stainless Media

.45 ACP pistol Brass STM Stainless Media

You’ll want to read Jason’s full review which shows more before and after images. The full article features a “how-to” video created by Forum member Cory Dickerson, the young man who pioneered the stainless tumbling process and founded STM. The video shows how to load brass, media, and cleaner solutions into the tumbler, and how to separate media from brass once the tumbling is done.

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December 26th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: New Guns for 2022 — Rifles and Handguns

Shooting Industry  new rifles howa carbon 2022

The new year is just six days away. Gun-makers around the world have developed interesting new pistols and rifles for introduction in 2022. Many of these new firearms will be on display at SHOT Show 2022 in Las Vegas. But we’ve scoured the internet for previews of notable new-for-2022 rifles and pistols. Here are some of the more interesting rifles and handguns to be introduced during the upcoming new year.

Daniel Defense — New Shorter Delta 5 Pro and DD5 SBR

Delta Defense Delta 5 Pro SBR

Daniel Defense will introduce new shorter, lighter-weight X5 model chassis rifles in 2022, along with an short-barreled DD5 SBR (short-barreled rifle) AR variant. The new X5s will be offered in 16″ and 18″ barrel lengths. Currently the Daniel Defense Delta 5 XBR Pro is sold in a variety of chamberings with 20″, 24″, or 26″ barrels. The new shorter-barreled models provide weight savings and should appeal to hunters who want a chassis-style rifle.

Nosler Model 21 with Carbon Composite Stock

Nosler 21 hunting rifle light weight
Nosler 21 hunting rifle light weight

Nosler’s new Model 21 rifle boasts a crisp, single-stage TriggerTech Field model trigger, with user-adjustable pull weight of 2.5–5 lbs. and top safety. The new Model 21 features a hand-lapped Shilen match-grade barrel with a threaded muzzle. The stock is a synthetic carbon-fiber composite model that is lightweight yet durable. The Model 21 features a spiral-fluted, one-piece, 4340 chromoly steel bolt that is Nitride-coated for smooth operation and corrosion resistance. The Model 21 is available chambered in 22 Nosler, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 26 Nosler, 27 Nosler, 280 Ackley Improved, 28 Nosler, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, 30 Nosler, 33 Nosler and .375 H&H. With its light weight (under 7 lbs. without optics), Nosler’s new Model 21 should be popular with hunters.

Fierce Reaper Chassis Rifle with Carbon Components

fierce reaper carbon chassis rifle folding accuracy guarantee

The new Fierce Reaper (from Rizzini Arms) is a chassis rifle with a 1/2-MOA accuracy guarantee. This lightweight (6.5-pound) rifle was designed for mountain hunters and long-range precision shooters. The Reaper boasts lightweight carbon fiber components including carbon buttstock, M-Lok handguard, grip, and adjustable cheekpiece. This makes the $2895 Reaper one of the lightest chassis system rifles on the market. The gun is sold with a superb Bix’n Andy 1-3 lb. adjustable Dakota trigger. The bolt has a quick, 70-degree bolt throw. For weight savings, the Reaper features a C3 Carbon Fiber-wrapped, hand-lapped, cryo-treated stainless barrel with a threaded muzzle (suppressor-ready). Choose black, bronze, or Tungsten (grey) Cerakote finishes. Available chamberings are: 6MM Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 7MM Rem Mag, 28 Nosler, .308 Win, .300 Win, .300 PRC, and .300 RUM. Options include a Titanium action ($450) and Titanium muzzle brakes ($150-$195). And about that 1/2-MOA accuracy guarantee — for an extra $225, the maker will provide a certified 1/2-MOA target with specs on the ammo that produced it.

Rock Island Armory TM22

Rock island tm22 rifle .22LR rimfire tactical

The new TM22 rifle from Rock Island Armory is a lightweight, semi-auto .22 LR with AR type ergonomics. The stock is made from 7075 airplane-grade aluminum for lightweight and durability. The modestly-priced TM22, sports an AR-type grip, commercial buffer tube adapter, top rail, and M-LOK fore-end. The rifle is set up with right-handed controls, but the TM22 can easily be modified for left-handed operation. Choose either an barrel version (34″ OAL) or a 20″ barrel model (36″ OAL). Both versions ship with two 10-round magazines with aftermarket 15- and 25-round magazines available. The 20″ model is 36″ OAL, and 18″ model is 34″ OAL.

Christensen Arms Ridgeline Scout Rifle (under 6 lbs.)

Shooting Industry SHOT Show new products 2021

With its 16″ barrel, the lightweight, compact Ridgeline Scout rifle from Christensen Arms is easy to carry and conceal in a blind. It also works great as a truck gun. The Ridgeline Scout features a black-Nitride coated action, 0-MOA optic rail, barricade stop, 10-round AICS drop-box magazine, and a flat-shoe Trigger Tech trigger. The barreled action fits in a modern tan and black carbon fiber composite Sporter stock. Weighing 5.9 pounds, the rifle is available in four chamberings: .300 BLK, .223 Rem., 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win. All chamberings have a 16″ muzzle-threaded barrel that will handle a suppressor. OAL is 37.5″.

Monza Bolt Action Rifle

Rock island tm22 rifle .22LR rimfire tactical

Here’s a new rifle from Istanbul, Turkey with many interesting features. The new Monza rifle offers a simple, lightweight, and reliable design. The bolt can be disassembled in the field without any tools. The rifle comes standard with fiber-optic blade front sight, and adjustable rear sight along with a scope rail. The button-rifled 4-groove barrel is offered in three lengths. The Monza features an adjustable comb and detachable magazine. The maker says the Monza “allows fast multiple shots with its perfect working mechanism and great balance.” With the Turkish currency moving downwards, we expect Monza rifles to be very affordable here in America.

Chiappa Nebula Rhino Revolver 30DS

Rock island tm22 rifle .22LR rimfire tactical

The eye-catching Chiappa Firearms Nebula Rhino 30DS revolver features a vivid, multi-color PVD coating on the metal plus a bright-colored laminated grip. This six-shot revolver is chambered for .357 Magnum and accepts .38 Special ammunition. Look carefully — you’ll see that the barrel bore is BELOW the centerline of the cylinder, at the 6 O’clock position. This may seem odd, but it has a significant advantage — this reduces muzzle rise very significantly. The sights are placed conventionally on the upper part of the forward frame/barrel housing. Standard are an adjustable rear sight and a fiber optic front sight. With a $1912.00 MSRP, this IS a pricey wheelgun, but it does ship with black leather holster, gun lock, and three moon clips. The grey/blue laminate ergonomic grip fits the hand well, with well-spaced finger grooves. To learn more about the Nebula Rhino 30DS visit www.chiappafirearms.com.

Howa Carbon Elevate — Carbon Stock and Carbon-Wrap Barrel

Howa 1500 Elevate carbon stock barrel 2022 rifle
Howa 1500 Elevate carbon stock barrel 2022 rifle
The 2022 Howa Elevate model will be offered in black carbon “natural” or a green/grey camouflage finish.

For 2022, Legacy Sports Int’l will expand its selection of light-weight Howa 1500 models. The leader is the Carbon Elevate model which features a carbon-wrapped barrel and ultralight Stocky’s full carbon fiber stock. With a listed unloaded weight of just 4.2 pounds (before optics), the Howa Elevate model should appeal to hunters. The Carbon Elevate is offered in Mini Action (6.5 Grendel), Short Action (6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win), and Long Action ( 6.5 PRC) versions. This rifle features the Accublock bed for the action, excellent H.A.C.T. 2-stage trigger, threaded muzzle, limbsaver buttpad, and removable magazine.

Springfield Armory SA-35 9mm Pistol

browning hi-power belgium SA-35 9mm pistol

Springfield Armory’s new SA-35 semi-auto pistol takes advantage of modern materials and manufacturing techniques, while retaining the appeal of the J.M. Browning’s original P-35 design. The 9mm features a forged carbon steel frame and slide and a cold hammer-forged barrel.

Enhancements include subtle but significant changes to barrel feed ramp and extractor geometry to ensure the SA-35 will work with today’s defensive rounds. A factory-tuned trigger, 15-round flush-fit magazine, beveled magazine well, re-contoured “no-bite” hammer design, modern Tactical Rack sights, extended thumb safety and more round out the package. The SA-35 is compatible with the original pistol’s design, ensuring access to the broad selection of aftermarket parts and accessories available.

The modern SA-35 is based on the original Browning Hi-Power, aka the P-35. The Browning Hi-Power military pistol, considered the best 9mm handgun of all time by some collectors, is one of the most widely-used handguns in history, and is found in over fifty countries.

browning hi-power belgium SA-35 9mm pistol

The initial Browning Hi-Power design came from John Moses Browning, but was then finalized by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale (FN) in Belgium. Browning died in 1926, several years before the design was finalized. There have been many variants based on the Browning Hi-Power and many clones as well. See: Top Ten 9mm Handguns of All Time.

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December 26th, 2021

Lens Reducer Keeps Your Eye Centered for Better Viewing

White Oak ghost ring lens reducer assembly

“Ever had trouble calling your shots? Everything looked and felt great and you swore it was a 10, but it came up as a wide 9? This may be a result of inconsistent eye placement behind the optic. Here’s an affordable solution to help you stay in the 10 Ring.” — Creedmoor Sports

White Oak ghost ring lens reducer assemblyHere is an interesting new product. This scope accessory attaches to the rear (ocular) lens on a scope. It has a center hole in the middle that can help get you on target faster, and get your eye exactly centered in the scope. That will eliminate certain parallax errors.

This scope accessory was invented by White Oak, which calls it a lens reducer assembly. This features a transparent lens with a chamfer around the center hole which acts as a ghost ring, centering your eye in middle of the optic. The transparent lens allows a full field of view so you can still see surrounding targets and target numbers. The lens is held in place by a Butler Creek lens cap.

White Oak’s unique “ghost ring” design allows a full field of view so you can still see surrounding targets and target numbers but acts as a ghost ring centering your eye in the hole, minimizing effects of parallax and helping you call your shots better.

The Lens Reducer Assembly is currently offered by Creedmoor Sports for these three optics PLUS other scopes which use the same Butler Creek Cover listed after each scope:

Konus XTC-30, $34.95, (Butler Creek #18 lens cover)
Weaver K-4, $34.95, (Butler Creek #09A lens cover)
Vortex PST 1-4, $34.95, (Butler Creek #14 lens cover)

White Oak ghost ring lens reducer assembly

To Install: Simply press the lens into the lens cap until it is against the shoulder inside the cap. It will be a snug fit, the snug fit ensures the hole is centered. Then install the lens cap on your scope as usual.

NOTE: Some folks may look at this and be concerned that the grayish chamfered ring will obscure vision. Yes and no. The actual “image” that comes through the scope is a very small-diameter circle of light (“exit pupil”) that will fit fully inside the small, unobscured, fully open circle. So if your head is properly centered there will be NO obstruction. However, if you get out of alignment, then, yes, you’ll see the gray chamfered area, just as you’d see the outside of a ghost ring sight.

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December 25th, 2021

Merry Christmas — Protect Your Hearing as a Gift to Yourself

Hearing Protection DB sound level ear plug muff

“Science tells us that exposure to continuous noise of 85 dB for eight hours is enough to cause permanent hearing loss, and worse, spikes of 130 dB and more can result in permanent hearing damage instantly.” Source: NRA Blog.

The Risk of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be progressive and irreversible. If you are a shooter, this is serious business. As the NRA Blog cautions: “You may not even realize you’re harming your hearing. Hearing loss occurs gradually, and can go effectively unnoticed until symptoms become severe. By then, the damage is done.”Effective hearing protection is a must whenever you are shooting firearms or when you are in the vicinity of gun-shots. For ultimate protection, we recommend a good set of tapered foam earplugs, topped by ear-muffs. However, there are situations when you may prefer lighter-weight hearing protection that can be quickly removed. For example, if you are standing well behind the firing line as an observer, or if you are working as a rangemaster or waddie some distance away from the shooters.”

hearing protection db NRR deafness ear muffs plugs

Sound Levels for Common Noises:

9mm Luger pistol: 160 dB

Jet aircraft engine (near): 140 dB

.22 LR pistol: 134 dB

Normal human pain threshold: 120 dB

Noisy Nightclub: 110 db

Riding Motorcycle at 65 mph: 103 db

Power Lawnmower: 95 dB

Hearing damage possible: 85 dB (sustained for 8+ hours)

Ringing Telephone: 80 dB

Normal conversation: 60 dB

What about suppressors? If you use a suppressor is it OK to dispense with hearing protection? Not really. Even the most effective suppressors, on the smallest and quietest calibers (.22 LR), reduce the peak sound level of a gunshot to between 110 to 120 dB. To put that in perspective, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), that is as loud as a jackhammer (110 dB) or an ambulance siren (120 dB). For normal caliber handguns and rifles, suppressed sound levels routinely exceed 130 dB, just shy of OSHA’s “hearing safe” threshold of 140 dB. Accordingly, we recommend use of hearing protection even when shooting suppressed.

1. Ear Muffs — Max Protection and Compact Options

AccurateShooter Deals of Week NRR 34 muffs ear protection 34dB

The highest current USA Noise Reduction Rating is 34 dB NRR. To get that kind of protection, you need pretty big muffs, but thankfully, you don’t have to spend big bucks. For under $15.00 you can buy quality ANSI-approved muffs with a 30+ dB Noise Reduction Rating. Chose the 34 NRR G&F Pro Muffs at $10.99 or the more comfortable 30 NRR Walker EXT Range Muffs for $12.75. Both products have padded head-bands which retract.

Many hunters and competitive shooters prefer low-profile ear muffs. As these typically have a lower Noise Reduction Rating, perhaps NRR 22-24, we recommend running earplugs under muffs, particularly when you are at a busy range or shooting a match. If you use low-profile electronic muffs, such as Howard Leight Impact Sport Muffs, you should still be able to hear range commands even with plugs underneath.

2. Electronic Plugs — New Technology with Adjustable Volume

For maximum hearing protection we still recommend good muffs over quality foam ear plugs, there is a new option available. A variety of companies now offer electronic ear buds that include small speakers so you can hear range commands and conversations. Please note — these MUST be specially-designed protective in-ear devices. Do NOT just use ear-buds designed for music playback!

Howard Leight in-ear plugs

Howard Leight recently introduced new Impact Sport In-Ear plugs with an impressive 29 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). That NRR is better than most compact ear muffs. The plugs automatically compress amplification when loud impulse sounds (like gunshots) exceed 85dB. Internal amplification allows you to hear range commands and conversations. The cord connecting the plugs includes twin, handy volume controls. These plugs come with moldable earhooks with 3 different ear tip sizes. The base unit (dark green color) is $85.39 on Optics Planet. A deluxe model with BlueTooth is also available for $113.62 on Amazon. With the BlutTooth version you can take phone calls.

3. Foam Earplugs — Small, Inexpensive, but Essential

accurateshooter.com review Max-1 Howard Leight ear plugs

20 Pairs
50 Pairs

Quality foam earplugs offer great hearing protection at low cost. These Howard Leight NRR33 Max plugs are your Editor’s favorite foam earplugs. Between shooting, motorcycling and mowing lawns, I probably have Max plugs in my ears 3-4 days a week. These Leight Max plugs are very effective, easy to insert/remove (with the flared ends), and they seem to be less abrasive in the ear canal than some other brands. Right now you can get 20 pairs of these NRR33 Leight Max plugs for just $8.88 or 50 pairs for $11.90.

Note, if you prefer thin, light-weight earmuffs, we recommend running earplugs underneath for double protection while shooting firearms (or when you’re on the firing line). Sound experts tell us that running plugs and muffs together can effectively improve your effective noise reduction by 4-7 dB NRR.

4. Ear Bands — Quick On/Off, Lightweight, Inexpensive

Howard Light radians peltor ear bands NRR

Hearing bands are inexpensive, lightweight, and are handy for special situations, such using hedgetrimmers and noisy power tools, when you may need to frequently remove the protection. These banded products are a also a very good form of hearing protection for hunters. You can keep them handy around the neck while spotting game, and then insert the plugs before shooting. We have tried two types of banded hearing protection, the Howard Leight Quiet Band (shown above) (25 dB NRR), and the Radians Rad-Band (23 dB NRR). The Leight Quiet Band is quite durable and the plugs can be replaced.

Howard Light radians peltor ear bands NRR

Radians Rad-bad is very light-weight, with Jelli™ Plugs that are comfortable, washable, and reusable. Peltor also offers Sport Banded Earplugs but we think those are a bit flimsy and the NRR seems exaggerated.

hearing protection sound noise american suppressor association ear muffs earplugs can silencer

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December 23rd, 2021

SHOT Show New Products for 2022 — Ten Interesting Items

2022 SHOT Show Planner new products

CLICK HERE for ALL 258 New-for-2022 SHOT Show Products »

2022 SHOT Show Planner new productsThousands of new products will be on display at SHOT Show 2022, the major gun industry trade show held each January in Las Vegas. The official SHOT Show Product Planner offers a “sneak peak” at 258 new-for-2022 products for hunters and shooters. More will come in the weeks ahead. Here are TEN interesting new products for gun owners and reloaders. Since these are all recently-released items, we haven’t been able to test them yet. Product profiles are based on descriptions provided by the manufacturers. We will run a separate feature on new pistols and rifles that will debut in 3022.

Impact Sport In-Ear Hearing Protection (29 NRR)
Company: Howard Leight

Howard Leight in-ear plugs

This is an important new product. These Impact Sport In-Ear plugs provide serious 29 dB NRR noise protection. The plugs automatically compress amplification when loud impulse sounds (like gunshots) exceed 85dB. Internal amplification allows you to hear range commands and conversations. The cord connecting the plugs includes twin, handy volume controls. These plugs come with moldable earhooks with 3 different ear tip sizes. The base unit (dark green color) is $85.39 on Optics Planet. A deluxe model with BlueTooth is also available for $113.62 on Amazon.

Omega III Sight
Company: Omega Sights

The 2022 Omega III is a Sight, Rangefinder, and HD Video Camera all-in-one! It boasts independently adjustable reticle dots that can spaced apart as desired for any distance one wishes. For use on rifles, shotguns, and crossbows, this precision sight/camera replaces the scope. It also works as a 600 meter rangefinder. It has power zoom, instant video replay, 2X-6X digital power zoom, low-light enhancement, and FOV dimming control. Comes complete with mounting bracket for Picatinny or Weaver rail, 32GB micro SD Card, batteries, and 12 hour rechargeable power bank.

SwitchCover Lens Cover
Company: NcStar

New SwitchCover® scope lens covers open with a simple press. But then the SwitchCover rotates 180° and folds flat against the scope body. That way the lens covers do not obscure your vision (away from the scope). That will be appreciated when you take your head off the scope to look downrange. The SwitchCover is easy to mount with a cam action lock lever. The SwitchCover can be mounted onto scopes, round reflex optics, binoculars, spotting scopes, or any optic with a round profile. 30+ different sizes, from 30mm to 63mm, are offered. (Pricing not yet available.)

Frankford Arsenal 10-Station Progressive Press with Auto Case Feeder
Company: Frankford Arsenal

This new Frankford Arsenal 10-station auto-indexing reloading press features steel construction, multiple ball bearings, and a proprietary 10-station shell plate. This advanced unit includes a case-actuated powder measure. The press offers advanced features including dual de-capping stations, in-line primer pocket swaging capability, and the ability to run both powder check and case trimming dies. Swapping calibers is easy with removable tool heads and shell plates. The press features a roller handle, integrated LED light, and spring-loaded case locator buttons.

Caliber Colors ID Rings
Company: Rack’Em Racks

Designed primarily for gun stores, these caliber ID rings can help anyone with a large gun collection. Color coded Caliber Bands™ eliminate guesswork and save time. Caliber Bands wrap around gun barrels, stocks, or trigger guards or price tags. Chose among 32 different colors with the caliber clearly marked on each one for quick recognition. These are sold in color-coordinated assortments for Rifles, Shotguns, Pistols, and Black Powder.

Gentry Quiet Muzzle Brake
Company: Gentry Custom LLC

The Gentry Quiet Muzzle Brake reduces recoil up to 85% while directing noise and gas away from the shooter. The installation of a Quiet Muzzle Brake does not impact the firearm’s velocity or accuracy. Muzzle jump is minimized allowing for faster follow-up shots and many of our customers have told us they can see the impact of the bullet through their scopes.

AR15 Ultimate Tool Kit
Company: NcStar

This affordable ($138.99) AR15 Tool Kit offers key products for working on AR-platform rifles. Included are: Modular AR15/ M4 Upper Receiver Block, Lower Receiver Magwell Vice Block, Pro Series AR15 Barrel Wrench, Pro Series AR Lower Receiver Wrench, Heavy-duty castle nut wrench stock buffer tubes, Front sight adjustment tool, and handguard removal tool. In addition, there are multiple hand tools: 5/64″, 3/32″, 1/8″ steel punch, Mallet with nylon & brass ends, 1/4″ Hex screwdriver handle with Hex driver tool bits, Nylon Cleaning Brush.

FastArmed Biometric Gun Case
Company: FastArmed

Get your gun instantly with the Fast-Armed Biometric Gun Case. The Auto-Eject deploys the firearm directly into the owner’s hand. Biometric fingerprint capability is used for rapid deployment of a single pistol. Stores up to 100 fingerprints and includes backup key. 110 volt AC primary power source with rechargeable backup battery. Fits most handguns with interchangeable caliber pins to accommodate various size pistols.

Pro-Shooter Target System
Company: Pro-Shooter

The patented, WiFi-based Pro-Shooter Series 2 Smart Electronic Target System uses a base station to connect up to 15 targets that can be used simultaneously. Feedback from the target(s) are instantly recorded onto the free Pro-Shooter App. Once your training session is complete you can check the shot placement for each target. The target system can be used with: Pro-Shooter Series 1/2 Dry-Fire Trainers; Pro-Shooter vibration-activated laser; and Laser cartridge systems in regular firearms.

NANUK 5-Gun Pistol Case
Company: Nanuk (Plasticase)

The NANUK 933 5 UP Pistol Case provides secure storage for five full-frame handguns with trigger locks and eight (8) magazines. This hard case fits all pistols with barrel lengths up to 5″, and accommodates the weapons with their trigger locks in place. This case features semi-rigid closed cell Synergy® PEF foam for long term performance. The NANUK 933 5 UP Pistol Case has a lifetime guarantee and is waterproof, dustproof, and indestructible. NANUK™ Lid Organizer keeps accessories in a full-size folder or three transparent zippered compartments. Optional TSA latch kit provides extra security when traveling.

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December 22nd, 2021

Santa’s Stocking Stuffers for Gun Guys and Gals

AccurateShooter.com stocking stuffer tools

Christmas is coming up soon, so today we’re featuring a hand-picked collection of six “stocking stuffers” for precision shooters. Some of these are recent new inventions. All are handy items that you’ll use over and over again at the range, on your vehicle, and/or at your loading bench (so you’re allowed to buy them for yourself, even after Christmas).

B&T Industries BT62 Determinator — $7.95

Group Size Measuring plate Determinator

The acrylic BT62 Determinator measures groups with laser-cut concentric measuring rings. Check group size quick and easy — simply place the Determinator over shot group. Adjust until one of the circles crosses the center of the two outer-most holes. That gives you the center to center group measurement (1.5″ maximum). Alternatively, you can measure edge to edge (of the farthest shots) and then subtract the bullet diameter. Cool tool for gun guys. The supplied lanyard also glows in the dark.

Cabela’s Multi-Tool — $6.99

Cabela's Multi-tool blank stocking stuffer

You won’t find a more versatile tool at this low price — just $6.99. The Cabela’s multi-tool performs many functions. The stainless steel frame features 8 tools: wire-cutting pliers with bolt grip, wire-stripper, knife, Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, saw, bottle opener, and scissors.Closed length is 3″. This handy tool is available in six colors: Red, Orange, Green, Teal, Purple, and Silver. A durable nylon belt sheath protects and carries the multitool.

JKL Precision — LabRadar Recoil Pulse Trigger — $35.00

labradar inertial recoil trigger

Frustrated with your LabRadar missing shots? With this $35 LabRadar Recoil Trigger you will be much happier — and you won’t get false readings from the guy on the next bench. This plug-in device, made by JLK Precision, activates the LabRadar from your rifle’s inertial recoil pulse. It will work with any rifle from a .22 LR up to the big magnums. NOTE: The inertial trigger is sensitive so a “phantom” reading may occur with hard bolt manipulation. However, our Forum members who use this trigger say it is is a great improvement, with no more LOST shots and LabRadar placement is no longer critical. One owner noted: “This unit works flawlessly. Didn’t miss a single shot, and allows you to place the LabRadar in pretty much any position.” Velcro attachment standard — Picatinny and magnetic mounts sold separately. This trigger is made by JLK Precision, NOT by the LabRadar company.

Surveyor’s Tape (for Wind Indicators) — $2.69

Surveyor's Surveyor Flagging Tape fluorescent day-glow wind flag

Always watch the wind when you shoot. Inexpensive ($2.69/roll) Day-Glo Surveyors’ Tape (aka “Flagging Tape”), attached to a stake or target frame, makes a good wind indicator. It will flutter even in mild breezes, alerting you to both angle and velocity shifts. This should be part of every range kit. Don’t leave home without it. This can also be ordered from Creedmoor Sports for $3.95 per roll.

MagnetoSpeed — RifleKuhl Barrel Cooling Fan — $54.99

Lyman Case Prep multi-tool

Cooling your barrel with a compact fan can extend barrel life. This bright red RifleKuhl from Magnetospeed is quite effective. The battery-powered impeller pushes cooling air down the barrel. It has a chamber seal for increased cooling efficiency while a neodymium magnet helps secure the device to your action. The RifleKuhl includes a belt/pocket clip and there is a Replaceable built-in 50 Micron air filter. The RifleKuhl costs $54.99 on Amazon.

Amazon — Digital Display Timer with Big Buttons — $10.95

display timer stocking stuffer sale

If you shoot in a discipline with time limits, or you time your firing strings during practice, having a reliable and easy-to-read timer is critical. We like this very affordable Digital Display Timer with both count-up and count-down functions. Just $10.95 on Amazon, this unit boasts an easy-to-read display and LARGE buttons making it perfect for F-Class, Palma, and other matches. This timer comes with both a built-in stand AND a strong magnet so you can position the timer conveniently.

Creedmoor Sports — Leather 20Rd +2 Ammo Holder — $24.95

Leather Ammo Holder Creedmoor Sports

This handsome red leather ammo holder secures twenty (20) rounds of .308 Win-size ammunition, in a handy plastic carrier. In addition there are loops for 2 more sighter rounds on the outside. This is a very nice gift for a target shooter or hunter. There is also a .223 Rem version in black leather. Both these leather ammo holders conveniently fit into a shooting coat pocket via a leather pocket flap.

Bore Squeeg-E Cleaning Kit, Multi-Caliber — $9.99

stocking stuffer cleaning kit bore squeeg-e bushmaster

The Bore Squeeg-E Cleaning System Kit contains cleaning tools for ARs, rifles, shotguns and handguns in .223/5.56mm, .308/7.62mm, .357/.380/.38/9mm, .44/.45 and 12/16/20/28GA. The compact canvas pack features quiet zipper pulls, and MOLLE mountable rear-velcro straps. There are rifle and handgun pull cables with T-pull handle. These Squeeg-E are very effective for quick cleaning of pistols and shotguns.

Creedmoor Mesh Bag for Brass — $5.95 on Sale

creedmore cartridge brass mesh carrying bag

This durable 12″ x 9″ mesh bag for Cartridge Brass is good for collecting and holding your spent brass on the range. The open weave allows dust and gravel to fall out while the brass is retained securely. This lightweight, high-quality nylon mesh bag with draw string conveniently fits in you shooting stool or hangs on your shooting cart. User reviews have been excellent: “Capacity is generous… it works great”; “I bought two of these and they are simply perfect for bringing used brass back from the range.”

Grafs.com — Peregrine MAGnet Gun Caddy — $5.69

MAGnet gun caddy magnetic gun holder foam

Here’s a handy item that can hold your rifle vertically alongside any steel surface. This works great on gun safes (outside or inside), and the MAGnet Gun Caddy can be used on vehicles too (see photo). The patented design makes it possible to secure and remove your gun from the holder with just one hand. The $5.69 MAGnet Gun Caddy is modular so you can arrange multiple units at whatever height works best.

BONUS — TACTICAL STOCKINGS for Your Stocking Stuffers

MOlle tactical stocking christmas Xmas

Don’t have a stocking to hold your small gift items? Then check out these cool, heavy-duty stockings. These Garud Tactical Stockings come in five camo varieties (including pink digital camo) plus OD Green, Khaki, and Black. They all feature 4 MOLLE attachments, rugged carry handle, hanging hook, swivel carabiners, outside draw pocket, and even Velcro USA Flag Patch. Get all this for the low price of $15.99 or $16.99. These stockings are sure to bring smiles to your tacticool family members and friends.

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December 21st, 2021

Triangle Patches — Patented Design for More Efficient Cleaning

Rigel BoreSmith Brush Patch Jag Pyramid Triangle patches

Product innovation is all about “building a better mousetrap”, or in this case, building a better bore-cleaning patch. A real smart guy, Shane Smith, has invented a triangular patch that earned a patent. The U.S. Patent Office has awarded a utility patent for BoreSmith’s Triangle Patch™. This unique cleaning patch was designed by Shane Smith, a mathematician/physicist who employed his scientific and firearms knowledge to create innovative bore-cleaning products.

BoreSmith’s clever Triangle Patch™ (aka Pyramid Patch) presents more cleaning surface area to the bore wall than does a conventional square or round patch (of equivalent size). At the same time, the unique geometry makes Triangle Patches much less likely to jam in the barrel. This is because the notches in the sides of the triangle allow the patch to sit more uniformly on the jag (without bunching up). In addition, the Pyramid patch is must less likely to jam due to pleating. One reason conventional patches get stuck is unwanted 5-layer pleating. The special notches in the Pyramid patch remove all or most 5-layer pleating. As a result the patch does not bunch up and this also reduces rod bowing. SEE Triangle Patches HERE.

The Triangle patch can be used with a standard jag but works best when paired with BoreSmith’s patented dual-diameter JagBrush. There are FOUR sizes: 17-20 Caliber, 22-27 Caliber, 27-35 Caliber, and 35-58 Caliber.

Triangle Patch Function and Geometry Explained (See 1:18 time-mark):

NOTE: Despite what you may see in this video, you should ALWAYS insert brushes and patches from the chamber end first, using a fitted cleaning rod bore guide. With bolt-action rifles, NEVER insert a cleaning rod (with brush or jag) in through the muzzle. This may damage the delicate crown of your barrel.

The Triangle Patches work great with Boresmith’s patented dual-diameter bore brushes:

Triangle triangular patches boresmith
Triangle triangular patches boresmith

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December 20th, 2021

Bargain Finder 326: 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.

1. Natchez — Holiday Ammo Sale, Good Prices and Selection

ammunition sale
Big savings on pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammunition, with ample inventory

Finally we are starting to see substantial quantities of factory-loaded ammo at dealers. If you need loaded pistol, rifle, or shotgun ammunition, Natchez is now running a major Holiday Ammo Sale. You’ll find everything from .22 LR ammo to 12ga shot-shells all at discounted prices. This is a great chance to stockpile good ammo at reasonable prices.

2. Sportsman’s — Charles Daly 12ga Semi-Auto Shotgun, $269.99

charles daly shotgun sale

Interested in trap shooting or waterfowl hunting? Here’s a serious 12ga semi-auto shotgun for just $269.99 — a truly great deal. The Charles Daly Model 601 28″ Black 12ga Shotgun features a Beretta/Benelli Mobil Choke Tread MC-3 with IC, M, And F chokes. This is a lot of shotgun for the money. If you prefer a pump shotgun, Sportsman’s Warehouse also has the Charles Daly Model 301 12ga pump shotgun on sale. With a nice wood stock and forearm, the Model 301 at just $239.99 is a great bargain.

3. Graf & Sons — Major Year-End Sightron Optics Sale

sigthron sale
High quality scopes at 25% savings — Forum members praise Sightrons

Sightron scopes offer excellent performance for the price, and are used by successful competitors in many shooting disciplines. With a wide range of scope styles and power ranges, you can find a Sightron to fit your purpose — whether hunting, varminting, or competition. For a limited time, you can pick up a fine Sightron scope at major savings, during the Sightron sale at Graf’s. Through the end of the year, nearly all the Sightron scopes are 25% off, with a few discounted over 30%! Sightron spotting scopes and binoculars are also discounted up to 25%.

4. Midsouth — Hornady 500ct 6.5mm 140gr Bullets, $154.99

hornady bullets
Quality 6.5mm match bullets at a very good price

It’s tough to get match bullets at a big discount these days. If you shoot a 6.5 Creedmoor or 6.5×47 Lapua, check out the 500-count pack of Hornady 140gr 6.5/.264 match bullets on sale. These 6.5mm projectiles have a high BC plus Hornady’s Advanced Manufacturing Process (AMP) jackets. These bullets have performed well for PRS/NRL and Tactical competitors.

5. Amazon — RCBS Auto Priming Tool, $104.39

rcbs priming tool

Good bench-mounted priming option — durable and reliable

Seating your primers consistently is critical to proper ignition and good accuracy. A good choice for high-volume priming tasks is the RCBS Auto Priming Tool. It offers vertical primer feed plus plenty of leverage. This video from Brownells shows how the RCBS bench-mount priming tool works and how to install the primer tubes. This unit is set up for both large and small primers, with two primer rod assemblies and two primer feed tubes. The long, horizontal arm offers plenty of leverage and doesn’t cramp up your hand like some hand priming tools.

6. EuroOptic — Garmin GPS Watch Sale, Save up to $200

garmin watch sale
Save up to $200 on state-of-the-art Garmin GPS watches

Garmin Fenix watches are amazing — with remarkable functionality, including built-in GPS mapping. And right now at EuroOptic, you can get a variety Garmin Fenix 6 watches and save up to $200.00 off the regular price. These Fenix 6 GPS watches come preloaded with a wide array of specially-designed apps and features. If you are a hunter or outdoorsman, a GPS watch is a great asset — well worth the investment.

7. Creedmoor Sports — DLX Rifle Case 55″ or 60″, $119.95

Creedmoor Sports Long Rifle Case
Great cases for match rifles with long barrels

Protect those valuable match rifles during transport. Creedmoor’s Deluxe 55″ or 60″ rifle cases are some of the best soft-side gun cases you can buy, and now they are $30 off, on SALE. These deluxe cases are long enough for F-Class, Palma, and PRS rifles with long barrels. They are made from 1000 Denier Cordura and lined with nylon pack cloth with ample 1/2″ padding for rifle protection. Four large, padded exterior pockets (2 on each side) are great for carrying cleaning supplies, data books, wind meters, and ammo.

8. Amazon — Cleaning Kit with Three 40″ Rods, $49.99

cleaning rod
Versatile triple-rod kit that all use the same handle

Is it time for a new cleaning rod? Consider this 3-Rod cleaning kit for $49.99. This kit features three different-sized PVC-coated 40″ steel rods that all work with the supplied rolling bearing handle. That allows this system to cover a wide range of calibers from .22 up to 12 gauge. The kit also includes jags, brushes, and patches for different calibers. This kit includes a handy storage tube that holds all three rods. That can save space in your loading room.

9. Amazon — Ballistol Multi-Purpose Aerosol Lubricant/Protectant

ballistol lubricant sale
Very versatile aerosol lubricant and protective oil

We have been using Ballistol Aerosol for over 20 years now. This is a fairly unique product. It can help clean and preserve the metal parts on your firearms, PLUS it can be used for case cleaning and lubrication. Developed for the German Army which needed an oil that would lubricate, clean, and protect firearms, Ballistol is very versatile. It provides protection to steel — however, for long-term storage a true anti-corrosion product such as Eezox is best. We use aerosol Ballistol applied on a patch to clean carbon off case-necks after firing. For small cartridges it can also function as an effective case lube during reloading (spray on patch then wipe on case). NOTE: This can be used on wood and leather BUT test a small area first — it can change coloration on stocks and darken leather!

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December 19th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Flashy Chassis Showcase — Aluminum Wonders

1000-yard heavy gun chassis by Bruce Baer

For today’s Sunday GunDay story we showcase seven interesting metal-chassis rifles. While we love the look and feel of wood and fiberglass, metal does have its advantages. It can be crafted very straight and true, and the designs can achieve a very low center-of-gravity without sacrificing rigidity. In addition, a precisioned machined metal chassis tends to track extremely well.

Massive IBS Heavy Gun Milled from Solid Aluminum Billet

1000-yard heavy gun chassis by Bruce Baer

This remarkable 70-lb IBS Heavy Gun, was machined from solid aluminum billet, by Bruce Baer. It rests on a G&G Alvey rest split in the middle to comply with rules. This “heavy metal” CNC-machined wonder is a work of art designed for the 1000-yard game in the Heavy Gun class. Wood stocks, and to a lesser extent fiberglass stocks, are more forgiving, offering greater damping and recoil absorption. However, metal stocks offer superior rigidity, and the CNC machining allows tracking surfaces to be perfectly parallel.

Williamsport limits Heavy Guns to 100 pounds. Under IBS and NBRSA rules weight is unlimited. You will see a few massive 200-lb behemoths at IBS matches, but most competitors find that something in the 60-90 pound range works best. Bruce Baer explains, “You can’t stop a gun from recoiling. If it doesn’t recoil it will jump. If it jumps you might as well go home because you won’t shoot a good group. So it is pointless to try to build a gun so heavy as to eliminate all recoil. The more you restrict the rifle’s recoil the more temperamental that rifle will be. The 200-pounders just don’t out-perform something in the 60- to 80-pound range, and I think the optimal weight is 60-70 pounds.”

Bruce Baer likes the 70-lb overall weight for a heavy gun: “Extreme mass is not necessarily an advantage. Watch a locomotive starting up from zero–it will vibrate from one end to another. If the gun is too heavy I think it will vibrate at the start of recoil and that will kill accuracy. I want the gun to start from recoil with very little effort so it will be smooth from start to stop.”

Water-Cooled World Record-Setting Wondergun

joel pendergraft

We like “outside of the box” thinking. And in the world of competitive shooting, it can’t get more unconventional than this. But this radical liquid-cooled benchrest rig wasn’t just a crazy experiment — it actually delivered the goods. This IBS Heavy Gun, built by Joel Pendergraft, produced a superb 10-shot, 3.044″ group that stood as an International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) 1000-Yard Heavy Gun record for seven years, not being broken until 2016.

Joel Pendergraft

Using this water-cooled wondergun, Joel shot the record-breaking group in April 2009 at Hawks Ridge, NC. This monster features a .30-Caliber 12-twist, 4-groove Krieger barrel inside a water-filled sleeve (like on a liquid-cooled machine gun). Joel shot BIB 187gr flat-based bullets in Norma brass, pushed by a “generous amount” of Alliant Reloder 25 and Federal 210M primers. The cartridge was a big custom wildcat Joel listed as “.300 Ackley Improved”.

Pendergraft’s 3.044″ 10-shot group was a great feat, breaking one of the longest-standing, 1000-yard IBS World Records. And Joel’s 3.044″ record stood for 7 years!

Richard King’s Radical .223 Rem F-TR Skeleton Rifle

Richard King .223 Rem F-Class rig

Here’s something exotic from our Gun of the Week archives. We like this rig because it is so radical (we doubt that you have ever seen anything quite like it). Gun-builder Richard King calls this his “Texas-T”, noting that “this is my personal gun, built the way I wanted it. I know it’s radical and some may not care for it. But it works.” The rig was designed to shoot F-TR, but it can also be converted easily to shoot F-Open with a front rest.

Richard reports: “This is pretty much an all-aluminum rifle. The action is a Kelbly F-Class with a Shilen stainless steel competition trigger. The scope is a 1″-tube Leupold 36X with a Tucker Conversion set in Jewell spherical bearing rings. The .223 barrel is 30″ Pac-Nor 3-groove, 1:6.5″-twist mounted in a V-type barrel block. The bipod has vertical adjustment only via a dovetail slide activated by a stick handle. It works like a joy-stick, but for vertical only. I adjust for windage by moving the rear sandbag.”

Richard likes how the barrel block works: “With the barrel block forward, the vibrations should be at a low frequency. Instead of one long rod whipping, I now have two short rods (barrel halves) being dampened. This is my fourth barrel block gun. They work, but so does a good pillar-bedded action. [This rifle] is designed for my style of shooting. It is not meant to be a universal ‘fit all’ for the general public. However, I will say the design is adaptable. I can easily convert the system to run in F-Open Class. I would drop a big-bore barreled action into the V-block, slide on a heavier pre-zeroed scope and rings, add plates on the sides up front to bring the width to 3″, and maybe a recoil pad.”

F1 F-Open Chassis from Competition Machine

Eliseo competition machine F1 Aluminum F-Open Chassis

Along with his famed tube-guns, Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine has designed a modern, low-profile chassis system for F-Open competition. Assembled with Cerakoted aluminum beams, these F1 F-Open chassis systems offer great tracking with an ultra-low center of gravity.

Eliseo competition machine F1 Aluminum F-Open Chassis
Here is the F1 Chassis with “Marine Corps Red” powder coat finish. Read Full Report.

This F1 aluminum alloy chassis stock features a super-low center of gravity, plus adjustable length of pull, cheek rest, and drop. The stock is available in a wide choice of Cerakote finishes. The current Model F1 chassis features a action block mounting system to fit most actions. There was also an earlier version that had a free-floated action with the barrel in a barrel block, secured with epoxy. Both F1 versions (action block and barrel block) shot great, with excellent performances in competition.

Gen 1 F1 F-Open Chassis System with Barrel Block
Eliseo competition machine F1 Aluminum F-Open Chassis

State Championship Win with Home-Built Aluminum Stock

While most of the stocks featured above were crafted by professionals, the properties of aluminum allow it to be used by persons with some basic mechanical skills and metal-working tools. Here’s proof. Back in 2009, Forum Member John Dunbar (aka JD12) crafted his own aluminum F-Open stock. And he used that impressive metal stock to win the Wisconsin State F-Class championship. READ Full Story.

savage f-open aluminum stock

The stock for John’s “home-built” .284 Winchester was mated with a Savage target action. John designed and fabricated the aluminum stock himself. It features a central barrel block clamping a 32″ Brux barrel. Get this — John completed the rifle only 5 days before the match: “I finished machining/assembly on Monday night, did load workup Wednesday and Thursday nights, loaded rounds Friday night, and headed to Lodi at 4:30 on Saturday morning.” John even made his own co-axial front rest (see below)

John Dunbar

When Fiberglass Fails, Aluminum Stock Saves the Day

Australian Mark Fairbairn performed a “Quick Fix” during the 2018 Berger SW Nationals. Mark’s F-Open rifle, in a conventional fiberglass stock, was giving him random vertical during one yardage: “I had a bit of a problem with elevation — the stock was hitting somewhere [causing vertical]. I was X-X-X then a shot popped up in the 9 ring with no good reason. So I figured I better put a new stock on it. I got my old aluminium stock I brought from Australia and quickly adjusted it to fit on the Stolle.”

aluminum stock

Right on the firing line berm Mark swapped his barreled action into the metal stock of his own design. The clock was ticking… but the story had a happy ending. For the next yardage Mark shot a brilliant 150-7X, not dropping a point. So the “Quick Fix” did the trick. As they say Down Under — “Good on Ya, Mate!”

Home-Built Aluminum Chassis with Innovative A-Arm Bipod

Here is another home-built rig featuring an aluminum chassis mated to a Savage barreled action via a forward-mounted barrel block. This rig was crafted by Forum member Patrick Lundy, who followed the maxim: “If you can’t buy it, then build it.”

Lundy aluminum f-class rifle

Patrick Lundy was so impressed with a fellow shooter’s barrel-block rifle, that he build a similar match gun himself, complete with barrel block and aluminum chassis. Patrick was inspired by a metal stock belonging to Peter Gagne. But he added his own custom touches, including an innovative “A-Arm”-design bipod for shooting in F-TR class. The gun has been very successful in competition. READ FULL Report

Pat told us: “This new stock was a milestone in my shooting career — it was my very first attempt to build a stock. I wasn’t much of a wood worker but I did have a talent for building with metal. The stock was fabricated from 6061 T6 aluminum. With this gun I was able to shoot from a rest or a bipod.”

Lundy aluminum f-class rifle

Pat crafted the bipod from aluminum tubing: “The bipod was a very rigid A-frame design with welded aluminum tubing. I added slippery feet under the pod skis to facilitate smoother recoil. I realized that a wide-stance bipod had to recoil the same on both sides or the group would string horizontally.” Here is the innovative “A-Arm” bipod that Pat Lundy built for his rifle.

aluminum rifle bipod A-Arm homebuilt

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December 19th, 2021

Die Shims for FL Sizing Dies Give Precise Control of Bump

Sinclair Die Shims

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

Use Shims for Precise Control of Shoulder Bump
Some shooters like to set the “default” position for their full-length die to have an “ample” .003″ or .004″ shoulder bump. When they need less bump, a simple way to reduce the amount of shoulder movement is to use precision shims in .001″ (one-thousandth) increments.

Here are reports from Forum members who use the shims:

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

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

Sinclair Die Shim Kit — Seven Shims for $14.99

Sinclair Die Shims

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

Seven Shims from .003″ to .010″
Sinclair’s $14.99 Die Shim Kit (item 22400) includes seven shims in thicknesses of .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, and .010. For ease of use, shim thickness is indicated by the number of notches cut in the outer edge of each shim. Even without looking you can “count” the notches by feel.

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December 18th, 2021

New 10.8 Oz. Suppressor for Hunters from SilencerCo

silencerco evo suppressor can silencer light weight

SilencerCo’s new Harvester EVO is a lightweight suppressor designed for hunters and precision shooters. Evolved from SilencerCo’s Harvester 300, the new Harvester EVO suppressor is notable for its compact size and VERY light weight. Constructed with cobalt-6, inconel and 17-4 heat treated stainless steel, the new EVO weighs just 10.8 ounces (0.675 pounds) and retails for $680.00.

The Harvester EVO can work with chamberings from .223 Rem up to .300 Win Mag. Consumer feedback on the previous Harvester models led SilencerCo engineers to make the EVO shorter, lighter, and more affordable. The smaller size makes the Harvester EVO less likely to get caught on bushes and brush in outdoor environments.

silencerco evo suppressor can silencer light weight

Weighing just 10.8 ounces, the Harvester EVO is one of the lightest rifle suppressors you can buy. The EVO’s low mass and smaller size “gives the EVO an edge over other hunting suppressors” said SilencerCo Senior Product Development Specialist, Dewie Vieira. CLICK HERE for Harvester EVO product details.

EVO Suppressor Product Specifications:

● Rated for calibers ranging from .223REM/5.56NATO to .300 WIN
● Tubeless, light-weight design
● Weighs 10.8 ounces
● Measures 6.24″ in length
● Constructed with cobalt-6, inconel and 17-4 heat treated stainless steel materials
● Ships with both a Bravo ½ x 28 and Bravo ⅝ x 24 Direct Thread Mount

silencerco evo suppressor can silencer light weight

For more information on the Harvester EVO, visit Silencerco.com/silencers/harvester-evo.

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