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October 26th, 2021

Great Gun Industry Jobs Available Now Nationwide

NSSF gun industry jobs employment center openings hire work

Firearms Industry JobsA number of interesting jobs in the firearms industry have become available in recent weeks. The NSSF maintains a regularly-updated listing of employment opportunities with gun-makers and shooting sports organizations. On the NSSF Career Center right now there are executive openings, engineering jobs, tech placements, account manager positions, sales and marketing positions, and digital media opportunities. Here are some of the jobs we found this week posted on the NSSF Website. CLICK HERE to visit the NSSF Career Center with all current listings.

Firearms Industry Jobs — Current Openings

The gun industry needs skilled personnel! The total number of full-time equivalent jobs in the firearms industry rose from approximately 166,000 in 2008 to almost 342,330 in 2020, a 106% increase. Here are some current job openings posted on the NSSF Career Center:

Aero Precision: Government Contract Specialist (Washington State)

Athlon Outdoors: Digital SEO Editor (Tennessee)

Buck Knives: Product Manager (Idaho)

Creedmoor Sports: Director of Marketing (Alabama)

Creedmoor Sports: Purchasing Specialist (Alabama)

Davidson’s: Customer Relationship Manager (Washington state)

Delta Defense LLC: Training Operations Coordinator (Wisconsin)

Gun University: Content Manager/Story Editor (Nationwide)

Lancer: Military and LE Programs Sales Manager (Pennsylvania)

O.F. Mossberg & Sons: Compliance Analyst (Connecticut)

Primary Arms: Marketing and Events Coordinator (Texas)

Stag Arms: International Sales Representative (Wyoming)

Steiner eOptics: Vice President of Sales (Ohio)

Steiner eOptics: Manager, U.S. Military Sales (Ohio)

VersaCarry: National Sales Manager (Texas)

Opportunities at Applied Ballistics and Savage Arms

In addition to the jobs listed on the NSSF website, two important industry companies have openings:

Applied Ballistics LLC Seeks Ballistic Lab Technician, and Office Manager
Bryan Litz’s company, Applied Ballistics LLC, is now hiring for two important positions, one technical, and the other managerial. Here is the recent notice: “Applied Ballistics is growing! We are looking to fill two positions — Ballistic Lab Technician, and Office Manager. If you are interested in one of these positions, please read the job outlines and submit your information to humanresources@appliedballisticsllc.com.”

job employment fall 2021 NSSF Applied Ballistics

Savage Arms Hiring Engineers, Technicians, and Tool Operators
Savage Arms has multiple job openings in its Westfield, Massachusetts production facility. Positions available include: Product Design Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Quality Technician, CNC Operator, Machine Operator, Material Control, Product Inspector and more. Savage posted: “We’re hiring! We’re looking for dedicated, hardworking individuals to join our team.” Visit Savagearms.com/careers.

job employment fall 2021 NSSF Savage Arms

Permalink Gunsmithing, News No Comments »
October 25th, 2021

Bargain Finder 318: 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. Grizzly — Massive Site-Wide Shooting Products Blow-Out Sale

grizzly bullets.com blow-out sale gunsmithing tools stocks safety gear discount
Big Blow-out Sale on Stocks, Tools, Safety Gear and more

Grizzly Industrial has long been known as a great resource for shooting-related supplies from barrels to gunsmithing tools. Now through October 31, 2021, Grizzly is running a major reloading, shooting and gunsmithing Blow-Out Sale. Save up to 80% on cleaning supplies, 68% on safety equipment, 30% on shooting gear and more. It took us nearly an hour just to go through all the deals and it’s not hard to fill up your shopping cart with many great bargains. There are also many specialized gunsmithing products on sale, including barrel vises and chamber reamers.

2. LockedLoaded.com — M&P 15-22 Sport .22 LR, $379.99

.22 LR rimfire AR M&P 15-22 Smith wesson
Accurate, reliable .22 LR rimfire AR-type rifle at excellent price

We like .22 LR AR-type rifles. With these rimfire “black rifles” you can enjoy NRL22 matches, and also cross-train with low-cost ammo. The popular Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Sport is now on sale for just $379.99 at LockedLoaded.com. This rifle has full-size AR15 ergonomics and boasts removable Magpul MBUS front and rear folding sights. With the 10″ M&P Magpul M-LOK handguard, you can easily fit lights, bipods, and other accessories. This is a fun gun at a very attractive price.

3. Natchez — Rimfire & Pistol Ammo Sale, Top USA Brands

ammunition sale
Finally — good deals on a variety of USA-made ammo

Ammo is slowly showing up in stores and online but usually at increased prices. That’s why we were pleased to see a major ammunition sale over at Natchez. You’ll find a wide variety of rimfire and pistol ammo on sale from major U.S. manufacturers including American Eagle, CCI, Federal, and Remington. There are no quantity limits, and some ammo types qualify for FREE shipping (with $250+ order).

4. Cabela’s — Wicked Ridge Invader X4 Crossbow, $399.99

Wicked Ridge Invader X4 Crossbow Package
Enjoy extended hunting seasons with Crossbow, this is a fine example

Modern crossbows are accurate and effective. And in many areas, there is a special extended hunting season for bow hunters. A great option is the Wicked Ridge Invader X4 Crossbow Package. The Wicked Ridge Invader X4 Crossbow Package delivers excellent power and accuracy. This advanced crossbow can launch arrows at 360 fps with up to 107 ft/lbs of energy. With 11″ WRX laminated limbs, this bow gives hunters big performance from a compact design that measures just 15″ wide when cocked. Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz recently took a deer with a cross-bow — perhaps you can too.

5. EuroOptic — TriggerTech AR or Rem 700 Triggers, $139-$149

 EuroOptic TriggerTech Special Edition Triggers
Popular AR and Rem 700 triggers at big savings

If you have a Remington 700-style bolt action or AR-platform rifle and are looking for a precision trigger, check out these TriggerTech Special Edition Triggers. Featuring TriggerTech’s Frictionless Release Technology™, this drop-in trigger has a true zero-creep break with extremely short over-travel. This trigger is extremely reliable because changing the pull weight does not affect hammer force so you get dependable primer strikes at every pull weight. TriggerTech’s Frictionless Release Technology provides very consistent pulls, shot after shot.

6. MidwayUSA — Walker’s Razor Earmuffs w/ Free Walkie Talkie

walker earmuffs
Electronic Muffs with handy Walkie Talkie

Hearing protection is essential, but so is communicating with those around you. You get vital audio protection plus communication capability with these Walker’s Razor Earmuffs with Free Walkie Talkie. With a 23 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), these Walker’s Razor earmuffs offer a low-profile design and handy sound controls. Along with the muffs, right now you get a BONUS full-featured walkie talkie unit allowing you to communicate via wireless radio. This handy transceiver boasts 22 channels and features Push-to-Talk (PTT) technology.

7. Amazon — Plano 52″ All Weather Rifle/Shotgun Case, $124.32

plano rifle case sale
Very sturdy, weatherproof, wheeled gun case

Traveling with a shotgun or rifle means having a quality case that protects your valuable firearm. If you’re in need of a new case for your next hunting or match trip check out the 52″ Plano All Weather Rifle/Shotgun Cases. With a 51.5″ internal length, this is long enough for many benchrest, F-Class and PRS rifles. You can also fit two hunting rifles inside (see photo). This all-weather case is strong, tough, and seals out moisture. With a Durashell Plus outer shell, this case is relatively lightweight yet durable. If you need a shorter case check out the 36″ Plano All Weather Rifle/Shotgun Case for $76.90, a very good deal.

8. Amazon — Caldwell Lead Sled 3, $99.99

Caldwell Lead Sled 3 sale
Good for hunting rifle Sight-In, now $60 less than other vendors

You need a stable platform for sighting in that hunting or varmint rifle, and then testing loads. For decades folks have used one-piece metal rests for this task. One of the more affordable, yet functional options is the Caldwell Lead Sled 3. This Sled is designed to hold sandbags, making it very stable even with heavy recoiling big game loads in light rifles. The Lead Sled 3 fits hunting-style fore-ends in front and has a shock-absorbing pad in the rear. Nice features include 4″ of front elevation adjustment, a micro rear elevation adjustment, and non-skid feet. The $99.99 sale price is a great deal — this very same Lead Sled 3 costs $159.99 at MidwayUSA. The weight sack shown in photos sells separately for $16.99 on Amazon.

9. Creedmoor Sports — Hi-Lux XTC Service Rifle Scope, $475.00

rifle scope sale
Top choice for Service Rifle optic now on sale

Specifically designed for CMP and NRA Service Rifle competition, the Hi-Lux XTC 1-4x34mm Service Rifle Scope boasts sharp, bright lenses and very reliable scope clicks. This optic conforms to all CMP/NRA Service Rifle rules. The Hi-Lux XTC features a front objective parallax control that adjusts from 15 yards to infinity. Having adjustable parallax is critical in minimizing parallax error, making this a good choice for AR platform Service Rifles shooters.

10. Midsouth — Berry’s Tri-Can Ammo Carrier, $21.99

berrys tri-can carry case ammo
Very Handy New Product has Three Clear-Top Compartments

The Tri-Can Utility Box Carrier is on sale now at Midsouth. Choose either black containers or tan containers for the same $21.99 price (31% off the previous price). This Berry’s Tri-Can is a handy, versatile organizational tool that simplifies range trips. The tough injection molded plastic base and lids, rubber seal gaskets, and cam-lock latches keep contents safe. The Tri-Can boasts a strong, handy carry handle. The Tri-Can is made up of three translucent-lid containers with three internal compartments. If you need even more capacity, MTM offers a 5-can Ammo Crate system for $35.66.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics 1 Comment »
October 24th, 2021

Save Money Now with Brownells Discount Codes

Brownells discount code savings bargain

If you’ve been thinking about a big purchase at Brownells, here are some money-saving codes. Brownells is currently offering $85 Off an $875 purchase, $55 Off a $575 purchase, $25 Off a $275 purchase, $15 Off a $150 purchase, and $10 Off a $100 purchase. It’s simple to get these discounts — there are no buyers’ clubs to join, no forms to fill out. Just use the appropriate Discount Code during online check-out.

Listed below are the Codes to use. Simply use the appropriate Code for your purchase at Brownells.com. Three of these codes expire at the end of this month (10/31/21). And other codes have no listed expiration date, so Brownells could terminate them at any time. Accordingly, we recommend you do your shopping soon. Also if the highest value code no longer works, try a lesser value CODE.

Brownells discount code savings bargain

Coupon Code: FR6 — $85 off $875
Expiration date: 10/31/2021

Coupon Code: FR5 — $55 off $575
Expiration date: 10/31/2021

Coupon Code: FR4 — $25 off $275
Expiration date: 10/31/2021

Coupon Code: TAG — $15 OFF $150
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: SAE — $15 OFF $150
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: PTT — $10 OFF $100
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

NOTE: None of the above codes include FREE or Discounted Shipping. But Code Q63 offers Free Shipping/Handling for orders over $99.00 (with no other discounts). Depending on the weight/size of the item, this might be a better deal than saving $10-$20.

Coupon Code: Q63 — Free Shipping/Handling over $99
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Brownells discount code savings bargain

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, News, Reloading No Comments »
October 23rd, 2021

Gun Project Goldmine — 120 FREE Technical Articles

Accurateshooter.com technical articles

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

pillar Bedding

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

On Target Software Review

OnTarget Software Review. Our Editors test free software that measures shot groups with great precision. We explain how to use the program and configure advanced features.

Savage Action Tuning Torque Settings

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

Precision Case Prep for Reloading

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

rifle stock painting and spraying

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

Permalink Gunsmithing, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 21st, 2021

Giant Grizzly.com Sale — Huge Discounts Through 10/31/2021

Grizzly bullets.com sale discount gun case rest tops rifle

Right now (10/21/21) through the end of October (10/31/21) you can enjoy huge savings on a wide variety of shooting and gunsmithing products. Save up to 30% on Gun Cases & Gear, save up to 68% on Shooting Safety Equipment, and save up to 80% on Gun Cleaning Kits. And there are big discounts on gunsmithing items such as barrel vises, chambering reamers, and other tools. Folks, you really owe it to yourself to check out the savings at this major Grizzly Blow-Out Sale.

Bullets.com was a popular shooting products online vendor operated by parent company Grizzly Industrial. Bullets.com was closed some time ago, but Grizzly still has extensive inventories of products sold by Bullets.com. Grizzly wants to move those off the shelves, so this is a great opportunity for savvy shoppers. Check out all the savings linked by category below. There are hundreds of items deeply discounted.

Select Products on Sale Now at Grizzly.com

Here are some notable products we liked — there are HUNDREDS of other items on SALE!

Grizzly bullets.com sale discount gun case rest tops rifle

Grizzly tells us: “We are having a really good blowout sale October 21-31 on remaining Bullets.com products. We want to offer these items to the serious shooters and handloaders at AccurateShooter.com”.

All Shooting & Gunsmithing Products on Sale Shooting Gear on Sale
Gun Safety Equipment on Sale Gun Cleaning Supplies on Sale
Loading Blocks for Rifle and Pistol Cartridges Gunsmithing Lathe Accessories

Shooting Gear and Cases on SALE:
Grizzly bullets.com sale discount gun case rest tops rifle

Here are specific gun cases, rest tops, and more on sale now:
Grizzly bullets.com sale discount gun case rest tops rifle

Gun Safety Gear on SALE:
Grizzly bullets.com sale discount gun case rest tops rifle

Here are some specific safety items on sale. Act now before they sell out:
Grizzly bullets.com sale discount gun case rest tops rifle

Gun Cleaning Supplies on SALE:
Grizzly bullets.com sale discount gun cleaning supplied kit

Premium Cartridge Reloading Blocks on SALE:
Grizzly bullets.com sale discount reloading catridge block plastic milled

Gunsmithing Lathe Parts and Accesories on SALE:
Grizzly bullets.com sale discount gunsmithing lathe accessories

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, News 1 Comment »
October 20th, 2021

Smith & Wesson Recalls M&P 12 Bullpup Shotguns

smith wesson M&P 12 shotgun barrel crack cracking recall notice 2021

Smith & Wesson (S&W) is recalling ALL M&P 12 Shotguns manufactured before 10/15/2021 due to concerns over cracked barrels, which could cause serious safety issues. If you own one of these newly introduced bullpup shotguns, you should check the serial number, and send the M&P 12 back to S&W for repair. S&W will pay for shipping. For more information go to MPshotgunrecall.com.

S&W M&P 12 Recall Notice

Springfield, MA — Smith & Wesson Inc. has received two field reports of cracked barrels involving the M&P12 Shotgun. To ensure that all of our Shotguns meet Smith & Wesson’s high standards for quality, we are implementing this Safety Recall of all M&P12 Shotguns manufactured prior to October 15, 2021, to ensure there are no barrel anomalies or conditions that might adversely affect the safety, function or performance of the firearm.

We are asking all M&P12 Shotgun owners to stop using the product immediately. To begin facilitating the repair process, contact Smith & Wesson at 833-957-3476, or via email at MPshotgunrecall@smith-wesson.com, to receive instructions, as well as a prepaid shipping label for the return of your M&P12 Shotgun to Smith & Wesson.

smith wesson M&P 12 shotgun barrel crack cracking recall notice 2021

PRODUCTS AFFECTED:
This notice applies to M&P12 Shotguns manufactured prior to October 15, 2021. To determine whether your M&P12 Shotgun is affected, check the label on the box to determine the date of manufacture. If the manufacture date is prior to October 15, 2021, your shotgun is subject to this Recall and should be returned to Smith & Wesson for inspection. If you are unsure of the date of manufacture, input the serial number on the S&W Website Recall Page, or call 833-957-3476.

smith wesson M&P 12 shotgun barrel crack cracking recall notice 2021

REMEDY/ACTION TO BE TAKEN:
If your Shotgun was manufactured prior to October 15, 2021, please call 833-957-3476 to obtain a pre-paid return label, to arrange for the return of your Shotgun to Smith & Wesson for inspection. If the barrel from your Shotgun is affected, it will be replaced at no cost to you. All shipping and replacement costs will be covered by Smith & Wesson.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News, Tactical No Comments »
October 17th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: Stan Ware’s Radical No-Neck Wolfpup Wildcat

Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

Think you need a relatively long case-neck for good accuracy? Think again. Stan Ware broke all the rules with his radical Wolfpup cartridge, proving that a near-no-neck design can deliver match-winning accuracy. Read on to learn how the Wolfpup works…

Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesRetired gunsmith Stan Ware is a talented shooter who’s not afraid to think “outside the box”. Stan competes in both Hunter Benchrest (HBR) and Varmint for Score (VFS) disciplines. In his quest to build the ultimate Hunter Benchrest cartridge, Stan created the radical “Wolfpup” wildcat, based on a 6mmBR parent case. Noting the dominance of 30 BRs in VFS matches, Stan wondered if a stretched 30 BR could work in HBR competition. The challenge was case capacity. Under HBR rules the cartridge must hold at least 45.0 grains of water, equal to the capacity of the classic 30/30 case.

To get the requisite HBR case capacity, Stan figured he needed to boost the volume of a 30 BR case significantly, so he would have to move the shoulder forward — a lot. He did this by running a 30 BR reamer deeper and deeper, test-firing brass along the way. After three reamer passes, he ended up with the capacity he needed (the Wolfpup holds 45.3 grains of water). But then he looked at the finished product — a case with almost no neck, and he wondered “how could this possibly work?”.

Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesFrom Trashbin to Winner’s Circle
Ware’s prototype Wolfpup ended up so short-necked, so unlike any “normal” cartridge, that Stan figured it was “dead on arrival”. Stan told us: “I said ‘this ain’t going to work’ and I threw the brass in the trash can. Honest. But later I thought I better shoot it and see what it does.” There was one problem — Stan didn’t have a seating die. He noticed the short neck provided a bit of tension after fire-forming, so he literally seated some bullets, BIB 118s and 125s, with his fingers. For powder he used H4198 and started with 35 grains, one grain more than a 30 BR load. Stan then did a pressure work-up: “I actually went up to 41.0 grains and didn’t have a sticky bolt. I ended up at 37.9 grains of Hodgdon 4198 — that gave 3150 fps, where the sweet spot is.” (Later testing revealed a second accuracy node at about 3020 fps, using 36.4 grains of H4198).

Stan’s radical short-necked Wolfpup shot great from the get-go. Once he found the right velocity node, the gun shot in the ones and zeros with both 7-ogive and 10-ogive bullets, both 118s and 125s. The Wolfpup proved easy to tune — it’s not finicky at all. And it’s a winner. Stan began shooting the Wolfpup in 2006 in both VFS and HBR matches and the ‘Pup’ started winning matches right away. In 2007, Stan won the Wisconsin State VFS Championship shooting the Wolfpup. In June 2010 at a Webster City, Iowa VFS match, Stan won the Grand Agg and posted high X-Count for the match, while placing first at 100 yards and second at 200 yards. How’s that for a cartridge that almost ended up in the trash bin?

Does Stan deserve an award for “most innovative benchrest cartridge design”? Stan chuckles at that notion: “I’m not a hero, not a genius. I really didn’t do anything. The fun part is thinking outside the box — for me anyway. Shooting is an age-old process of experimentation. You never learn it all.”

Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom Rifles

Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom RiflesWhy Does It Work?
How can such a radical case design perform so well? “That’s a good question,” Stan admitted. He then explained: “The 30 BR is inherently accurate, so I figured something based on the 30 BR should be accurate too. My personal belief is that the short neck doesn’t hurt you. Plus if the throat in the barrel is straight, the bullet can self-align. If the chamber is good, the bullet will self-center in the throat. In a regular case there’s not much room to do that, so a bullet can start off-center, and you don’t get the same results every time. A bullet in a conventional case is stopped from self-centering by the stiffer neck, particularly in a tight-clearance BR gun.”

Reloading the .30 Wolfpup
Stan’s Wolfpup chamber has a neck dimension of 0.330″. He turns his necks for a 0.327″ loaded round. Bullets are jammed .020″ forward of first contact with the lands. When he closes the bolt it pushes the bullet back in the case — almost a soft seat. Stan notes: “To start with I normally bump the shoulder .0005-.001″ so they go in easy. Just by doing that I get a little neck tension. I also use a bushing. Right now I’m running a .322, but it’s not particularly sensitive. I’ve tried one-thousandths increments up to a .325 bushing and couldn’t tell a lot of difference.” For bullet seating, Stan uses a Wilson 30 BR seater die into which he ran the chamber reamer. This gives perfect case fit during seating operations.

Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

About the Illustrated Gunstock
You’ll notice Stan’s stock contains scenes from Vietnam and a quotation. Here’s the story. A Vietnam combat veteran, Stan served “in-country” with the Army’s 509th Non-Divisional Combat Unit (out of Fort Riley) from 1965-1966. Shortly before he left Vietnam, Stan went to a shop to have a souvenir lighter engraved. He asked the vendor for an appropriate inscription. The shop’s metal-worker engraved: “War is a tragedy. It takes mans’ best to do mans’ worst.” That message, along with the combat scenes, were hand-painted on Stan’s rifle by his wife Susan, a talented artist. She spent more than 20 hours painting the rifle stock.

Photos courtesy Ryan Ware and Stan Ware.
Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 3rd, 2021

Sunday GunDay: 6-284 for 600-yard Steel Silhouette Game

Editor’s Note: This story was first published many seasons ago. In the interceding years, equipment has evolved — actions, optics, front rests and so on. But this rifle remains very competitive in the 600-yard silhouette game, and it remains a wicked weapon for long-range varminting.

The 6-284 may well be the “ultimate” 6mm cartridge, if speed AND accuracy are considered. While it burns a lot more powder than a 6mmBR or 6 Dasher, it also delivers a lot more velocity. Our friend John Southwick, owner of this week’s featured 6-284, can push 107gr SMKs past 3400 fps — velocities no 6BR, 6BRA, or 6 Dasher can touch. He normally dials that back to 3200 fps or so, but that’s still well beyond the limit of a 6 Dasher even a 6mm Creedmoor. John’s gun is more than a speed demon of course — it’s a hyper-accurate match rifle that has claimed many Varmint Silhouette wins. At his club, when John and the Black Borden come out to play, everyone else is usually competing for second place.

Building the Borden Black Beauty
John tells us: “I chose the 6-284 mainly because it appeared in the winning equipment lists of 1K BR matches, and it was becoming very popular with long-range varminters. Skip Talbot had also used a 6-284 to set an IBS 1000-yard record (subsequently lowered in the last decade). Norma and Lapua offered quality 6.5-284 brass, so case-forming would be easy. I wanted a fairly light-recoiling rifle, and after much research I came to the conclusion that a high-BC 6mm bullet driven at 3200+ fps would meet my needs.

I was looking for a very high performance long-range target/bench rifle, primarily to use in 600-yard matches at my local club (Ojai Valley Gun Club), and possibly 1000-yard bench matches, plus occasional varmint hunting. I wanted to have a rifle that was built by a prominent gunsmith. I chose to work with Jim Borden of Borden Rifles for several reasons: his rifles had set world records, his reputation was excellent, and his rifles often showed up in the winning equipment lists of IBS and NBRSA sanctioned shoots. Also I had decided that I wanted a Nesika-actioned gun. I was impressed that Jim had designed one of the Nesika’s key features – Borden Bumps. Likewise, I liked the Bald Eagle front rest, and found out that Jim contributed to its design as well. This gave me confidence that Jim understood every element that goes into precision rifle performance.

Loading for Accuracy
My match load consists of Norma 6.5-284 brass, 51.0 grains of Alliant Reloder 22, Fed 210m primers, and Sierra moly-coated 107gr MKs, seated about .010″ into the lands. This runs about 3250 fps from the 28″ barrel. Case necks are turned to .0133″ wall thickness for a .270″ loaded neck diameter. I use a .268 or .269 bushing, and bump the shoulders back each time. I set the “bump” so that, with firing pin removed, I can just feel the case in the chamber when closing the bolt. My loaded rounds typically show no more than .0015″ runout on a NECO concentricity gauge. I credit the low run-out in large part to the custom inline seating die and shoulder-bump neck-bushing die Jim made for me.

How the 6-284 Shoots
The rifle has fulfilled all my expectations. It is a superbly precise and accurate rifle, as long as I do my part in steering the gun and feeding it consistent, quality ammo. I haven’t done a lot of 100-yard group shooting, just enough to test loads. Typically the rifle easily puts five shots into half-MOA or less at 600 yards. I’ve logged several 3-shot groups between 1.06″ and 2.2″ at 600 yards. I’ve been told that kind of accuracy would be competitive in a 600-yard BR match. But most importantly, I have confidence the gun will hit where I aim. Our Ojai club uses half-size silhouette targets. This gun’s ability to pick off the relatively small steel targets, even in some of the worst conditions imaginable, is nothing short of amazing. At times it seems I’m launching 107gr silhouette-seeking guided missiles.”

Borden 6mm-284 SPEC SHEET

Borden Long-Range Rifle, 16.5 lbs

Nesika ‘K’ Action, 1.70″ diam., Right Bolt, Left Port.
Hart 28″, 1:9″ twist, .920″ at muzzle, cryo’d with .272″ neck diam. and 1.5° throat.
McMillan MBR stock, Borden texture finished, pillar-bedded, with action also glued in.

Nightforce 12-42x NXS,
NP-R2 reticle, 20 MOA ramped scope base, Leupold Mark IV rings.

A Special Brand of Silhouette Shooting

John’s rifle is a purpose-built gun, optimized for one task — hitting little half-size silhouettes at very long distances, at a shooting venue that demands serious wind wizardry. At Ojai, even though matches commence early in the morning, it’s not unusual to have a 10 mph wind blowing left to right at the firing line, no wind at the mid-course flag, and a swirling variable wind at the targets. To make matters worse, the little critters sit on top a ramped berm. When the wind switches to 6 o’clock, it can rise right in front of the target, sending shots high. Despite the often-wicked conditions, John and his Black Borden have excelled at the varmint matches — he’s the “smart-money” bet to win on any given weekend.

John reports: “The rifle has really proven itself at the 600-yard silhouette match at my local club. We shoot ten targets per match, usually three “matches” or relays per day. Targets are half-size NRA Hunter Pistol metallic silhouettes: 1 Ram, 2 Turkeys, 3 Pigs, and 4 Chickens (note, these are larger than the mini-silhouettes in the above photo). The Ram counts one point, Turkey two points, Pig three points and the Chicken counts four points. The Chickens have a “hit zone” roughly .6 MOA at 600 yards–about 3.6″. Trust me, that can be challenging, particularly in shifting winds. Unlike conventional silhouette matches, we shoot F-class fashion from the ground, using bipods or pedestal rests. That’s easier than shooting off your hind legs of course, but our targets are much smaller than standard high-power silhouettes.”

The Black Borden was the rifle to beat at Ojai for many years. John held the record for the most “cleans” (no misses) for the event, and he was the annual Champion for many years, including five years in a row. One year he won the championship in the very last match. John noted: “Thankfully, the gun was humming and I made the right wind calls. I picked up enough points in the final shoot to win the series for the year.” Yes, John’s flat-shooting Borden 6-284 had done its job once again.

Long-Range Silhouette Match Strategy and Techniques
In competition, John says watching the conditions, and minimizing mental mistakes is key: “I keep things pretty basic. Our varmint silhouette matches allow 20 minutes for sighters and 10 shots on target (one per animal). We usually get in three “matches” or relays per event. I try to wait for a favorable condition, then take a few sighters and adjust the scope as needed. If the condition holds steady, I’ll try to run my targets before the wind changes.

At the Ojai range, it is vital to watch the wind flags and heed your spotters’ calls. I’ve seen the wind go from 7mph right to 10mph left from one target to the next. That’s nearly a foot and a half of horizontal change for my gun. If there is a major change, I will try to wait it out. If the shift is small, I may hold off a bit. Scope corrections are a last resort; while you’re dialing, the wind may switch again.”

Technical Report from Jim Borden, Gunsmith

Borden 6-284 rifleWe set up John’s 6-284 as we would for 1000-yard Light Gun competition. We’ve also built some of these rifles in 6MM BR for use in 600-yard competition. For John, we used a Borden/Nesika Model K 1.70″ diameter action as the beginning basis of the rifle. The timing and cocking-piece system for this rifle has the Borden improvements to improve firing pin energy and lock time. The action was pillar-bedded and glued into a McMillan Tooley MBR pattern stock. The stock blank was gel-coated and then epoxy-finished with a texture.

About the Muzzle Brake — We normally blend the brakes into the barrel to make the transition smooth and unseen. John preferred to have the brake larger than the barrel so that it could also be used on future barrels.

9-Twist Barrel — The barrel is a 1:9″-twist Hart HV pattern 28 7/8 inches long. Our 6×284 reamer has a .272″ neck diameter. It is throated with a tight cylindrical section followed by the 1 ½ degree throat. Chambering of the barrel was done utilizing our proven Benchrest chambering techniques. The method of chambering ensures that the body, neck and throat of the chamber align concentrically with the bore and grooves of the barrel. [Editor: With a 6BR or 6 Dasher, we’d definitely recommend an 8-twist barrel to shoot 105-107 grain match bullets. However, with the extra velocity of the 6-284, the 9-twist Hart worked great for John.]

NOTE: Borden Rifles now produces its own excellent Borden Custom Actions, which have won National Championships and set World Records. Nesika actions are now sold by Nesika Firearms.

Ojai Valley Gun Club

Situated in the Coastal Mountains behind Ventura, California, the Ojai Valley Gun Club is a
beautiful place to shoot. And the Hwy 33 route up to the range offers stunning views.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
September 26th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: Shiraz’s F-Open Dynamic Duo — .30 Cal and 7mm

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

Pair of Premium F-Open Rifles with Kelbly Golden Bear Actions

Report by Shiraz Balolia, CEO Grizzly Industrial
This project was started 2-3 years ago when I decided to build two brand-new rifles based on the Cerus riflestock chassis. I had my own highly-figured woods and sent them to Will at Cerus Rifleworks. Within a few months I received back two very nice-looking stock blanks but unfortunately they were made for a regular recoil pad system. I was going to install the R.A.D. (Recoil Absorption Device) systems and failed to mention that to Will. Further the thumbhole slot for the adjustment knob was through-cut on both sides of the stock and placed in a position where it would interfere with the R.A.D. recoil system installation. Accordingly, some serious modifications were in order.

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

Modifying the Cerus Stocks and Installing the R.A.D. System
The very first thing I did was plug up the thumbhole slot in each bank and then installed decorative caps in highly-figured contrasting woods. I also wanted the thumb-knob adjustment to be accessible and adjustable using only one finger so I shifted the whole system forward and to the right. I was now able to install the R.A.D. recoil system (see below) without interfering with the cheekpiece adjustment.

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

Next, I installed the bottom wider track for my rear bag and also carved out the finger grooves in the grip. The blanks were quite long so I cut off approximately two inches from the front end of each stock and also deepened the large tracking cavity under the fore-ends. I went ahead and inlaid my name in Mother-of-Pearl on the Walnut stock.

Gold Kelbly Actions for Two World-Class Tack-Drivers
The two sequentially-numbered Golden Bear F-Class actions (057 and 058) arrived from Kelbly at different times and the stocks were sent to Alex Sitman at Masterclass Stocks for bedding the actions into the stocks. Alex does an outstanding job on pillar bedding and has done most of my rifles for many years.

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

The stocks were then sent to Sims Guitar Finishing for clear coating with “wet look” finish on the stocks. Chambering of the barrels was done in-house by Dave, our top engineer at Grizzly Industrial. Dave has chambered most of my rifles in recent years. Both he and I have been trained by Gordy Gritters in precision chambering. Finally, the rifles were assembled, scopes installed, and tested out. Both are tack-drivers made for world-class competition.

Shiraz Tests his .300 Shiraz F-Open rifle. As you’d expect shooting heavy 215gr Berger Hybrids, the recoil is significant, but the rifle tracks perfectly with smooth return to battery.

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

Rifle #1 – Walnut Stocked .300 Shiraz

• Chambered for .300 Shiraz (modified .300 WSM)
• Stock made of highly-figured Walnut with Curly Maple inner laminations
• Kelbly Golden Bear F-Class action
• Bartlein 1:10″-twist barrel, 31″ length
• March 10-60x56mm High Master scope with Barrett rings
• Bald Eagle tuner
• Jewel trigger

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

Rifle #2 – Curly Maple Stocked .284 Shiraz

• Chambered for .284 Shiraz (modified .284 Winchester)
• Stock made of highly-figured Curly Maple as well as Walnut and Wenge inner laminations
• Accents and inlays as well as the base shoe are made of Curly Koa wood
• Kelbly Golden Bear F-Class action
• BRUX 1:9″-twist barrel, 31″ length
• March 10-60x56mm High Master scope with March rings
• Bald Eagle tuner
• Jewel trigger

Two Improved Cartridges — .300 Shiraz and .284 Shiraz

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

The two rifles run their own respective “Improved” cartridges. The dark walnut rig runs the .300 Shiraz which is based on the .300 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM). The maple 7mm runs the .284 Shiraz derived from the .284 Winchester. Shiraz developed these two improved cartridge designs to boost the performance of the parent cartridges which are both quite popular among F-Open competitors. The .284 Shiraz has similarities to the popular .284 Shehane wildcat.

.300 Shiraz Load Information: Shiraz loads his .300 Shiraz with Berger 215gr Hybrids, CCI BR2 Primers, and Hodgdon H4350 Powder. This load produces groups under quarter-MOA.

.284 Shiraz Load Information: The .284 Shiraz (shown below) is loaded with Berger 180gr Hybrids, again with CCI BR2 Primers, and H4350 powder. And like Shiraz’s .30-cal rifle, this handsome 7mm rig delivers sub-quarter-MOA grouping capability.

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

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut
Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut
This stock is made from highly-figured Curly Maple with Walnut and Wenge wood inner laminations. Accents and inlays and the base shoe are made of Curly Koa wood.

About Shiraz Balolia

Shiraz Balolia is the founder and CEO of Grizzly Industrial. He is also one of the USA’s leading F-Class shooters. He has been a Team USA member and F-Open Team USA Captain, and in individual competition he won three straight Canadian F-Open Championships (2014, 2015, 2016). That Canadian Three-Peat is definitive proof of Shiraz’s stellar long-range shooting talent.

In the video below, created when Shiraz was F-Open Team USA Captain, Shiraz works with Palma Team Coach Gary Rasmussen. With the target at 800 yards, Shiraz shows how a shooter works with a wind coach. Three cameras are employed to show the target, the shooter, and the spotter’s-eye view.

This video starts with a lesson on target reading, then Shiraz and Gary work together to judge the wind. Watch as Shiraz makes ten straight “10 point” center hits at 800 yeards. A inset frame in the video shows bullet placement after each shot. This video is highly recommended for all long-range competitive shooters and coaches.

Here is Shiraz (top left) with Team Grizzly, the 2018 U.S. F-Open Championship Team. Members are: Shiraz Balolia, Emil Kovan, David Mann, John Myers, Trudie Fay (Coach).

F-Open Team Grizzly Shiraz Balolia

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 26th, 2021

Tech Tip: How to Determine a Barrel’s True Twist Rate

FirearmsID.com barrel rifling diagram
Erik Dahlberg illustration courtesy FireArmsID.com.

Sometimes you’ll get a barrel that doesn’t stabilize bullets the way you’d anticipate, based on the stated (or presumed) twist rate. A barrel might have 1:10″ stamped on the side but it is, in truth, a 1:10.5″ twist or even a 1:9.5″. Cut-rifled barrels, such as Kriegers and Bartleins, normally hold very true to the specified twist rate. With buttoned barrels, due to the nature of the rifling process, there’s a greater chance of a small variation in twist rate. And yes, factory barrels can be slightly out of spec as well.

After buying a new barrel, you should determine the true twist rate BEFORE you start load development. You don’t want to invest in a large supply of expensive bullets only to find that that won’t stabilize because your “8 twist” barrel is really a 1:8.5″. Sinclair International provides a simple procedure for determining the actual twist rate of your barrel.

Sinclair’s Simple Twist Rate Measurement Method
If are unsure of the twist rate of the barrel, you can measure it yourself in a couple of minutes. You need a good cleaning rod with a rotating handle and a jag with a fairly tight fitting patch. Utilize a rod guide if you are accessing the barrel through the breech or a muzzle guide if you are going to come in from the muzzle end. Make sure the rod rotates freely in the handle under load. Start the patch into the barrel for a few inches and then stop. Put a piece of tape at the back of the rod by the handle (like a flag) or mark the rod in some way. Measure how much of the rod is still protruding from the rod guide. You can either measure from the rod guide or muzzle guide back to the flag or to a spot on the handle. Next, continue to push the rod in until the mark or tape flag has made one complete revolution. Re-measure the amount of rod that is left sticking out of the barrel. Use the same reference marks as you did on the first measurement. Next, subtract this measurement from the first measurement. This number is the twist rate. For example, if the rod has 24 inches remaining at the start and 16 inches remain after making one revolution, you have 8 inches of travel, thus a 1:8″-twist barrel.

Determining Barrel Twist Rate Empirically
Twist rate is defined as the distance in inches of barrel that the rifling takes to make one complete revolution. An example would be a 1:10″ twist rate. A 1:10″ barrel has rifling that makes one complete revolution in 10 inches of barrel length. Rifle manufacturers usually publish twist rates for their standard rifle offerings and custom barrels are always ordered by caliber, contour, and twist rate. If you are having a custom barrel chambered you can ask the gunsmith to mark the barrel with the twist rate.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
September 24th, 2021

PickleForks — Bolt-On F-Class Bag-Rider Rails for Eliseo Tubeguns

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork forend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

Do you have an Eliseo Tubegun that you use for sling-shooting competitions, but would like to try your hand at F-Class Open matches? Well here is a low-cost, yet very effective add-on that can transform your TubeGun into a serious F-Open rifle. The bolt-on rails also work great for load development if you want to use a front rest with 3″-wide front bag for greater stability and repeatability.

Competition Machine’s Gary Eliseo is a very smart designer as well as a talented shooter. The inventor/builder of the popular Competition Machine Tubegun chassis systems, Gary offers a bolt-on bag-rider accessory. Gary call this his PickleFork fore-end extension. The Pickleforks are rails that fit to the sides of the tubular fore-end/handguard on his chassis systems. This allows you to use a pedestal-style front rest for F-Class competition.

Pickleforks also provide a much more stable platform for load testing, varmint hunting, or any kind of rest-assisted precision shooting. These PickleForks transform a Tubegun into an ultra-stable, straight-tracking rig when used with a competition-style front rest.

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork forend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

Gary explains: “Now you can have the same super low-boreline, long ‘wheelbase’ and vertical sides of our innovative F1 F-Class chassis system for your tube chassis. The new PickleForks attach directly to the sides of the F-Class/Tactical fore-ends, no modifications are required. They are very rigid with no flex or twist and make the rifle track like it’s on rails.” The new Eliseo Competition Machine PickleForks are offered for a very reasonable $70.00 per pair, with Cerakote finish. (You get two metal units, one for each side of the fore-arm). For more information, visit www.GotXRing.com or call (928) 649-0742.

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork forend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, News 1 Comment »
September 12th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: John Whidden’s New .223 Rem Palma Rifle

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore
Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

.223 Rem for Long Range Palma, by John Whidden (5-Time Nat’l LR Champion)
We’ve seen quite an amount of interest in recent years in .223s for Long Range Palma shooting. Yes, the .223 Remington is a pretty light cartridge for long range use, but the specific rules of Palma shooting make it a choice worth considering.

Back in 2019, the Int’l Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations (ICFRA), the international governing body for Palma shooting, made a rule change allowing .223 Rem rifles to use bullets of less than 91 grains. Previously the rule allowed the use of bullets less than 81 grains in the .223 Rem, and we have long had the popular option of .308s shooting bullets less than 156 grains. These heavier bullets such as the 85.5gr Berger LR Hybrid and 90gr Berger VLD make the .223s quite competitive in the wind with the old standby .308 Winchester. The .223 does hold the obvious advantage of much lower recoil than the .308. [Editor: The reduced recoil is quite noticeable in the video below where John is shooting his .223 Rem rifle.]

John Whidden Shoots .223 Rem Palma Rifle with 90gr Berger VLDs

Watch video at 00:25 and you’ll see the recoil of Whidden’s .223 Rem Palma rifle is significantly less than a .308 Win Palma rig. John joked: “With the .223 Rem there is just a pop and a wiggle after the shot.”

.223 Rem Palma Rifle — Barnard Action, Tec-Hro Stock

The Barnard P action imported by Whidden Gunworks is the foundation for many winning Palma rifles. As soon as our USA shooters returned from the New Zealand Palma match in 2019 they were immediately requesting bolts to convert their actions to .223 Remington.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Given all of this interest in the .223 Rem, I decided to build one myself and see if all of these theories about wind performance held water. Starting with my Barnard P action, I worked with Tec-Hro in Germany to use one of their Fanatic stocks for the project. The Fanatic is a modern aluminum stock suitable for prone or Three Position use. The stock uses adapter blocks to work with a wide variety of rimfire actions such as Anschutz, Walther, and Feinwerkbau. As far as I know we were the first to test it out for centerfire use. After shooting the stock with my .308 Win barreled action installed to refine a few details and ensure the stock would stand up to recoil, I then mounted my .223 Rem barreled action and went to the range.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Prior to my range visit a decision was made concerning bullets and twist rate. After discussion with Mark Buettgen at Bartlein Barrels I ordered two barrels — a 1:7″-twist and also a 1:6.25″-twist. Mark was looking for some data using the Sierra 90gr MatchKing bullet and we expected that the faster twist rate might give the best success with that MatchKing bullet. When the barrels arrived they were chambered and installed on the rifle.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore
John uses a Warner rear adjustable sight with a Centra front sight.

Fast Twist-Rate Barrels for Long .223-Caliber Bullet
First up the 1:6.25″-twist barrel was installed and testing commenced. The barrel shot extremely well right out of the gate. All loads used Lapua brass and Vihtavuori N140 powder. I tested the Berger 85.5gr and 90gr bullets as well as Sierra 90gr and 95gr bullets. Testing with the 6.25-twist barrel went well with both of the Berger bullets looking especially good. Later the 1:7″-twist barrel was mounted and tested.

While both barrels were very accurate we decided that the 1:6.25″-twist barrel outshined the 1:7″-twist tube. Now we all know that some barrels are just a little more accurate than others. With such a small sample of data here (just two barrels) I’m not saying that a 1:6.25″-twist is decidedly better. In fact we have a number of customers shooting 7-twist barrels who are shooting them very well. With this particular rifle however, the 6.25-twist seems to be the more accurate of the two.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

.223 Rem Load Development for Palma Competition

The load I settled on is Lapua brass, Vihtavuori N140 powder, and Berger 90 grain VLDs which I moly-coat. I soft-seat the bullets into the lands with only .001″ neck tension or a little less.

Why the Berger 90gr VLD? The secret sauce is that the 90gr VLD is much superior in the wind after we point it up with the Whidden Pointing Die. The 85.5gr Hybrid bullet comes from Berger with this treatment already done while the 90gr VLD does not. When the 90-grainer is pointed up, the wind drift is a few percent better than the 85.5, given the velocities that I feel comfortable achieving with the rifle.

I settled on 2840 fps for the 90gr VLD and 2880 fps for the 85.5gr Hybrid from a 32″ barrel. When pointed up, the 90-grainer shoots flatter to 1000 yards by 1 MOA which indicates a G7 BC of .289 in my combination. Wind Drift in a 10 mph direct crosswind at 1000 yards is 70.8″ with this 90gr combination compared to 76.8″ for the 85.5gr load.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullboreTesting in Competition — at Camp Perry
This past August 2021 at the CMP Long Range National Championships at Camp Perry I finally had the chance to shoot the rifle on a big stage. Winds that day were from almost directly 12:00 to about 1:30 switching headwinds. Velocity was around 8-10 mph meaning not the easiest or the hardest of conditions. I managed a third place finish in the Palma match. That proves the .223 Rem is definitely competitive in elite Palma events.

.223 Rem Performance in the Wind
My sense of the .223 Rem’s wind performance was that it was in line with the performance I’d expect from my .308 Win Palma gun. Of course the lack of recoil made the .223 Rem much easier to shoot well.

How to Order a Rifle Like This
Whidden Gunworks can build a rifle like this for Palma competitors who want to move to .223 Rem. John tells us: “We’ve built a number of these combinations of the Barnard P action, Tec-Hro Fanatic stock, and Bartlein barrel. They all shoot incredibly well and the ergonomics are top notch. One of the good points is that the current price of $3875.00 (without sights) makes it a bargain for a top-tier Palma rifle.”

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullboreAbout John Whidden
5-Time National Long Range Champion

John Whidden is founder and owner of Whidden Gunworks and a lifelong competitive shooter. Major shooting accomplishments include being a 5-Time U.S. National Long Range Champion, winner of the Australia National Queen’s Prize, and member of three USA Palma Teams. John is currently active in Long Range Highpower, 300 Meter Prone, and Smallbore prone events. John tells us that one secret of his success is having top equipment: “The mental component of Long Range competitive shooting is always challenging but having tremendous confidence in the accuracy of your equipment is a huge benefit. There’s nothing to start your Palma match off well like knowing that you are shooting the most accurate Palma rifle you’ve ever owned.”

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Whidden Gunworks stands ready to help with your shooting and reloading needs. Whidden Gunworks specializes in custom bolt action rifles, reloading dies, other reloading tools, and reloading components. Well known for match-grade custom rifles and high-quality reloading dies, Whidden Gunworks’ growing lineup includes components from Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori, and SK rimfire ammunition. Learn more by visiting www.WhiddenGunworks.com.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
September 10th, 2021

Gone in SIX Seconds — The Brutal Truth of Short Barrel Life

Stopwatch barrel life

This thought-provoking article has been one of the most popular Daily Bulletin features in recent years. We are republishing this story today for readers who may have missed it the first time around…

Here’s a little known fact that may startle most readers, even experienced gunsmiths: your barrel wears out in a matter of seconds. The useful life of a typical match barrel, in terms of actual bullet-in-barrel time, is only a few seconds. How can that be, you ask? Well you need to look at the actual time that bullets spend traveling through the bore during the barrel’s useful life. (Hint: it’s not very long).

Bullet-Time-in-Barrel Calculations
If a bullet flies at 3000 fps, it will pass through a 24″ (two-foot) barrel in 1/1500th of a second. If you have a useful barrel life of 3000 rounds, that would translate to just two seconds of actual bullet-in-barrel operating time.

Ah, but it’s not that simple. Your bullet starts at zero velocity and then accelerates as it passes through the bore, so the projectile’s average velocity is not the same as the 3000 fps muzzle velocity. So how long does a centerfire bullet (with 3000 fps MV) typically stay in the bore? The answer is about .002 seconds. This number was calculated by Varmint Al, who is a really smart engineer dude who worked at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, a government think tank that develops neutron bombs, fusion reactors and other simple stuff.

On his Barrel Tuner page, Varmint Al figured out that the amount of time a bullet spends in a barrel during firing is under .002 seconds. Al writes: “The approximate time that it takes a 3300 fps muzzle velocity bullet to exit the barrel, assuming a constant acceleration, is 0.0011 seconds. Actual exit times would be longer since the bullet is not under constant acceleration.”

We’ll use the .002 number for our calculations here, knowing that the exact number depends on barrel length and muzzle velocity. But .002 is a good average that errs, if anything, on the side of more barrel operating life rather than less.

So, if a bullet spends .002 seconds in the barrel during each shot, and you get 3000 rounds of accurate barrel life, how much actual firing time does the barrel deliver before it loses accuracy? That’s simple math: 3000 x .002 seconds = 6 seconds.

Stopwatch barrel lifeGone in Six Seconds. Want to Cry Now?
Six seconds. That’s how long your barrel actually functions (in terms of bullet-in-barrel shot time) before it “goes south”. Yes, we know some barrels last longer than 3000 rounds. On the other hand, plenty of .243 Win and 6.5-284 barrels lose accuracy in 1500 rounds or less. If your barrel loses accuracy at the 1500-round mark, then it only worked for three seconds! Of course, if you are shooting a “long-lived” .308 Win that goes 5000 rounds before losing accuracy, then you get a whopping TEN seconds of barrel life. Anyway you look at it, a rifle barrel has very little longevity, when you consider actual firing time.

People already lament the high cost of replacing barrels. Now that you know how short-lived barrels really are, you can complain even louder. Of course our analysis does give you even more of an excuse to buy a nice new Bartlein, Krieger, Shilen etc. barrel for that fine rifle of yours.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 9th, 2021

Headspace Basics — What You Need to Know

Ultimate Reloader Brownells headspacing go gage gauge barrel gunsmithing
This illustration shows headspace measurement for the popular .308 Winchester cartridge, which headspaces on the shoulder. Image copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader.

In this Brownells Tech Tip Video, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem explains what headspace is and why it’s one of the most critical measurements for nearly all firearms. Even if you’re an experienced rifle shooter, it’s worth watching this video to refresh your understanding of headspace measurements, and the correct use of “GO” and “NO-GO” gauges.

Headspace Definition
In firearms, headspace is the distance measured from the part of the chamber that stops forward motion of the cartridge (the datum reference) to the face of the bolt. Different cartridges have their datum lines in different positions in relation to the cartridge. For example, 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition headspaces off the shoulder of the cartridge, whereas .303 British headspaces off the forward rim of the cartridge. If the headspace is too short, ammunition that is in specification may not chamber correctly. If headspace is too large, the ammunition may not fit as intended or designed and the cartridge case may rupture, possibly damaging the firearm and injuring the shooter. (Source: Wikipedia)

Forster Headspace diagram belted magnum rimfire

Problems Caused by Too Much Headspace
Excessive headspace issues can include: light primer strikes, failure to fire, bulged/blown cases, case separations, split shoulders, or unseated primers after firing. Case ruptures caused by excessive headspace can lead to catastrophic failures causing serious injury. That is why headspace is such an important measurement.

Problems Cause by Too Little Headspace
Insufficent (or excessively tight) headspace can prevent the firearm from going into battery, resulting in failure to fire or deformation of the cartridge case. Various feeding and functioning problems can be caused by cases with too little headspace, even if a round can be chambered (with effort).

Go gauge gage NOGO no-go field gaugesHeadspace Gauges
Headspace is measured with a set of two headspace gauges: a “Go” gauge, and a “No-Go” gauge. Headspace gauges resemble the cartridges for the chambers they are designed to headspace, and are typically made of heat-treated tool steel. Both a “Go” and a “No-Go” gauge are required for a gunsmith to headspace a firearm properly. A third gauge, the “Field” gauge, is used (as the name implies) in the field to indicate the absolute maximum safe headspace. This gauge is used because, over time, the bolt and receiver will wear, the bolt and lugs compress, and the receiver may stretch, all causing the headspace to gradually increase from the “factory specs” measured by the “Go” and “No-Go” gauges. A bolt that closes on “No-Go” but not on “Field” is close to being unsafe to fire, and may malfunction on cartridges that are slightly out of spec. (Source: Wikipedia)

To learn more, read Brownell’s article Headspace Gauges and How to Use Them. Among other things, this explains the relative lengths of “Go”, “No-Go”, and “Field” gauges. The “Field” is actually the longest: “The GO gauge corresponds to the SAAMI minimum chamber length, while the FIELD gauge usually matches the maximum chamber depth, or slightly less. NO-GO gauges are an intermediate length between minimum and maximum, that, technically, is a voluntary dimension. A firearm that closes on a NO-GO gauge and does not close on a FIELD gauge may not give good accuracy and may have very short cartridge case life from the ammunition re-loader’s standpoint.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 8th, 2021

How to Upgrade and Accessorize Model 1911 Pistols

Colt m1911 1911 upgrade pistol

While AccurateShooter.com focuses on rifles, we know that a large percentage of our readers own handguns, with 1911-style pistols being particular favorites. For you 1911 owners, here are six short videos from Brownells showing how to customize a 1911-style pistol with after-market upgrades.

How to Accessorize Your 1911
This six-part series by Brownells provides step-by-step instruction on how to accessorize your 1911. The videos cover changing out the mainspring housing, magazine release, slide release, hammer, guide rod, and installing a group gripper. If you want to upgrade your 1911, these videos are worth watching.

Hammer

Hammer


 

Slide Stop

Slide Stop

Full Length Guide Rod

Full Length Guide Rod

Wilson Group Gripper

Wilson Group Gripper

Model 1911 Components and Cycling — Cut-Away Animation Video
If you’re not familiar with M1911 type single-action pistols, this video animation provides an inside look at the M1911’s components and shows how the M1911 cycles:

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Handguns No Comments »
September 5th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Fall Multi-Discipline Rimfire Rifle Showcase

rimfire .22 LR showcase sunday gunday anschutz CA 457 benchrest prone
Top is a CZ 457 MTR; middle Anschutz with BR stock; bottom is Bergara B14R in DPT Chassis.

With the variety of rimfire disciplines, from cowboy action to Olympic three-position smallbore, there are countless different rimfire designs on the market — bolt guns, lever guns, single-shots, toggle-links and more. These may shoot the same ammo, but they certainly vary in looks and ergonomics. This is testimony to human creativity.

In our Shooters’ Forum, you’ll find a long-running thread showcasing rimfire rifles for plinking, hunting, 3P Target Shooting, Silhouette, Rimfire F-Class, NRL22 and more. Here are some of the notable recently-posted rifles in that Forum thread, with brief build/component details.

ARA Benchrest Rifle with Stiller Action, Shilen Ratchet Barrel

penrod precisions stiller 2500X shilen barrel snow Lapua testing center midas+

penrod precisions stiller 2500X shilen barrel snow Lapua testing center midas+Forum member Peebles24 showcased his cool flame-paint-job .22 LR benchrest rifle against a scenic, snowy background (never too cold to shoot right?). “I had a new rifle built this past fall by Mark Penrod at Penrod Precision. Stiller 2500X action, Shilen ratchet barrel, Jewell trigger, McMillan stock, Harrell’s tuner, Sightron SIII 10-50×60mm glass. I’m shooting it off my Arnold Machine one-piece rest made locally by Cliff Arnold. I visited the Lapua Testing Center East and got a case of Midas+.” For ammo testing results, click photo at right.

In late April the gun competed in its first ARA benchrest match in Wabash, Indiana.

Beautiful MasterClass-Stocked Rifle for Rimfire F-Class

Masterclass rimfire F-class stiller 2500X action wood stock
Masterclass rimfire F-class stiller 2500X action wood stock

Here is a handsome rifle belonging to Forum member Redd. Set up for prone Rimfire F-Class-style competition, this rig features a Shilen Ratchet barrel with Erik Cortina Tuner fitted to a Stiller 2500X action. It boasts a beautiful MasterClass figured Walnut stock and rides on a SEB Joy-Pod bipod up front. The optic is a Nightforce 40x45mm Competition.

CZ 457 .22 Magnum Transformed with KRG Bravo Stock

CZ 527 Rimfire .22 Magnum KRG Bravo stock

CZ 527 Rimfire .22 Magnum KRG Bravo stockForum member JAS-AS purchased a .22 Magnum CZ which he revived as a training rig with a new stock. He posted: “I use a CZ457 in .22 Magnum mainly as a trainer — bipod and rear bag kind of stuff. It has evolved over the last year or so. Next change will be a Lilja barrel. This because it can shoot brilliantly (at times) but not consistently. And accuracy degrades as it gets minimally dirty. Also, it doesn’t like 40gr rounds — the groups open up to 1.5 MOA. It’s at its best with 30 and 35 grain rounds running at up to 2250 fps. I believe that to be a twist-rate issue.”

The “Before” photo shows the rifle “as purchased” with a Nikon Monarch 4-16x42mm mildot scope. The “After” image shows the CZ 457 as modified. JAS-AS notes: “I added a bunch of stuff: KRG Bravo stock, Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25x56mm FFP scope, new bipod and Precision Underground bag, trigger spring. With this setup I shoot at 100 yards+ exclusively.” Show at right is a 9-shot group with the rifle at 100 yards. Three-shot groups at 100 have been below half-MOA.

Savage Mark II Squirrel/Field Rifle

Savage hunting squirrel rimfire

This Savage Mark II rifle isn’t fancy, but it has brought much satisfaction to its owner, Forum member “Ohio Varmint Shooter”. He posted: “Just a nice field gun. Less than $200 (without scope). Cheap wooden stock, thin pencil barrel. My squirrel/field gun. There is absolutely nothing special about this… except it’s lefthanded. It shoots fine, preferring CCI standard velocity rounds. I did splurge and put a more-than-needed scope on it. Most scopes with fixed parallax (in this category), have it fixed at 50 yards. I wanted variable parallax so I could set it at 35 yards. I don’t know if it really makes any difference, but I do try to go for accurate head shots. The scope is also a little overkill in magnification, but it does help with the head shots and my aging eyes.”

“As a youth in the 70s, I always dreamed of a left-handed bolt. So getting back into shooting/hunting about 8 years ago, I was delighted to discover this gun. Growing up I had a semi-auto 22, but being a lefty … it would spit powder on my face.” — Ohio Varmint Shooter

Tikka T1x Action in Eliseo Competition Machine Chassis

Gary Eliseo tikka T1x chassis competition machine .22 LR
Gary Eliseo tikka T1x chassis competition machine .22 LR

Here is Gary Eliseo’s personal Rimfire Match Target Rifle with Tikka T1x action. The T1x action is carried in Competition Machine Rimfire Chassis. Gary also posted some recent 100-yard groups, using SK rifle match ammo in this rifle. Gary runs Competition Machine LLC and produces the chassis system for this cool rig, along with outstanding Across-the-Course, High Power, and F-Class chassis systems for rimfire and centerfire rifles.

Vudoo Action Benchrest Rifle with Benchmark 3-Groove Barrel

vudoo benchmark doan trevor mcmillan stock benchrest .22 LR

Here is a classy benchrest rig belonging to Forum member FCJIM. It features a Vudoo LBRP action, Benchmark 3-groove barrel, Harrell’s Precision tuner, NightForce Benchrest scope, and McMillan Edge stock. The stock work was done by Doan Trevor, while FCJIM did the metal work himself, using a Nevius reamer. This rig likes to shoot ELEY Black and Lapua Midas+ ammo.

Classic CPA Rifles Lever-Action Single-Shot Rimfire Rifle

CPA Stevens rimfire lever action set trigger .22 LR
CPA Stevens rimfire lever action set trigger .22 LR
CPA Stevens rimfire lever action set trigger .22 LR

Last but not least, here is a “blast from the past”. This classic lever-action single shot is crafted by CPS Rifles (Paul Shuttleworth), a boutique gun-maker specializing in single-shot rifles, particularly reproductions of the Stevens 44 1/2. Note the richly-figured wood and the lovely color case-hardening on the receiver. There is a dual Set Trigger system. You pull one trigger through a relatively long stroke until it clicks. The the second trigger breaks the shot (and drops the hammer) with just a few ounces of pull weight. This rig, fitted with MPA Vernier-type tang sights, belongs to Forum member “Mills” from Texas.

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September 3rd, 2021

Barrel Break-In Methods — What Do the Experts Recommend?

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrels
Photo courtesy Sierra Bullets.

The question of barrel break-in is controversial. Some folks advocate an elaborate, lengthy cycle of shooting and brushing, repeated many times — one shot and clean, two shots and clean and so on. This, it is argued, helps barrels foul less and shoot more accurately. Others say minimal break-in, with patching and brushing after 10-15 rounds, is all you need. Still others contend that break-in procedures are a total waste of time and ammo — you should just load and shoot, and clean as you would normally.

We doubt if there will ever be real agreement among shooters concerning barrel break-in procedures. And one must remember that the appropriate break-in procedure might be quite different for a factory barrel vs. a custom hand-lapped barrel. This Editor has found that his very best custom barrels shot great right from the start, with no special break-in, other than wet patches at 5, 10, and 15 rounds. That said, I’ve seen some factory barrels that seemed to benefit from more elaborate break-in rituals.

What’s the best barrel break-in procedure? Well our friend Eric Mayer of Varminter.com decided to ask the experts. A while back Eric interviewed representatives of three leading barrel manufacturers: Krieger, Lothar-Walther, and Shilen. He recorded their responses on video. In order of appearance in the video, the three experts are:

Wade Hull, Shilen Barrels | Mike Hinrichs, Krieger Barrels | Woody Woodall, Lothar Walther

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrelsDo I Need to Break-In a New Rifle Barrel?
Eric Mayer of Varminter.com says: “That is a simple question, [but it] does not necessarily have a simple answer. Instead of me repeating my own beliefs, and practices, on breaking-in a new rifle barrel, I decided to answer this one a bit differently. While we were at the 2016 SHOT Show, we tracked down three of the biggest, and most popular, custom barrel makers in the world, and asked them what they recommend to anyone buying their barrels, and why they recommend those procedures. We asked the question, and let the camera run!” Launch the video above to hear the answers — some of which may surprise you.

Long-Term Barrel Care — More Experts Offer Opinions
Apart from the debate about barrel break-in, there is the bigger question of how should you clean and maintain a barrel during its useful life. Some folks like aggressive brushing, other shooters have had success with less invasive methods, using bore foam and wet patches for the most part. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. In reality, there may not be one solution for every barrel. Different fouling problems demand different solutions. For example, solvents that work well for copper may not be the best for hard carbon (and vice-versa).

CLICK HERE for Long Term Barrel Care Article »

Shooting Sports Lohman Barrel

Chip Lohman, former Editor of Shooting Sports USA Magazine, has authored an excellent article on barrel maintenance and cleaning: Let the BARREL Tell You — Match Barrel Care. In this article, Chip shares the knowledge of a dozen experts including respected barrel-makers Frank Green (Bartlein Barrels), John Krieger (Krieger Barrels), Dan Lilja (Lilja Barrels), and Tim North (Broughton Barrels).

“Why worry about a little barrel fouling when the throat is subjected to a brutal 5,600° F volcano at 55,000 PSI? To investigate these and other questions about taking care of a match barrel, we spoke with a dozen experts and share their knowledge in this first of a series of articles.

After listening to folks who shoot, build barrels or manufacture cleaning solvents for a living, we concluded that even the experts each have their own unique recommendations on how to care for a match barrel. But they all agree on one thing — the gun will tell you what it likes best. Because the life expectancy of a match barrel is about 1,500 to 2,500 rounds, the objectives of cleaning one should include: preserve accuracy, slow the erosion, and remove fouling — all without damaging the gun. This article doesn’t claim that one cleaning method is better than the next. Rather, we set out to interject a little science into the discussion and to share some lessons learned from experts in the field.” — Chip Lohman

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September 2nd, 2021

F-Class Wow Factor — Borden Action, Cerus Stock, Brux Barrel

Speedy Thomas Gonzalez F-Open F-Class .284 Winchester 284 win custom rifle
Note the owner’s name, “S. Limbourne” was engraved on the bolt release (and trigger guard, see below).

Competition rifles don’t need to be beautiful, as long as they shoot. But who doesn’t like a spectacular figured-wood stock, particularly when it is combined with a superb custom action and a tack-driving barrel. This custom .284 Winchester F-Class Open division rig was crafted by gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez for competitive shooter Scott Limbourne. The handsome Bacote wood stock comes from Cerus Rifleworks, while the action is a polished Borden RBRP BRMXD. Two Brux 1:9″-twist barrels were chambered for the project, both finished at 32″. The stock is also fitted with a R.A.D. Recoil System. This rig has top-of-the-line hardware all around.

Speedy Thomas Gonzalez F-Open F-Class .284 Winchester 284 win custom rifle

Speedy Thomas Gonzalez F-Open F-Class .284 Winchester 284 win custom rifle

Action: Borden BRMXD – Polished
Rail: 20 MOA Polished
Chambering: .284 Winchester
Trigger: Jewell BR – Blueprinted
Barrel: (2x) Brux 32″ 1:9″ Twist
Stock: Cerus F-Open in Exhibition Grade Bacote
Recoil System: R.A.D. System
Extras: Carbon Fiber Tunnel Plate, Custom Engraving Work on Action, Trigger Guard, and Bolt Release.

Speedy Thomas Gonzalez F-Open F-Class .284 Winchester 284 win custom rifle

Speedy Thomas Gonzalez F-Open F-Class .284 Winchester 284 win custom rifle

You’ll find other impressive rigs on Speedy’s Facebook Page. If you’d like a superb custom rifle like this, call Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez at 972-672-6630, or send email to: speedy.godzilla [at] msn.com.

SPEEDY GONZALEZ
9023 HUEBNER RD. STE 102
SAN ANTONIO, TX 78240

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August 19th, 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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August 13th, 2021

Advanced Barrel Weight Calculator — Compare Lengths, Contours

Online Pac-Nor Barrel Calculator

pac-nor barrel weight contour calculatorCan you guess what your next barrel will weigh? In many competition disciplines, “making weight” is a serious concern when putting together a new match rifle. A Light Varmint short-range Benchrest rifle cannot exceed 10.5 pounds including scope. An F-TR rifle is limited to 18 pounds, 2 oz. (8.25 kg) with bipod.

One of the heaviest items on most rifles is the barrel. If your barrel comes in much heavier than expected, it can boost the overall weight of the gun significantly. Then you may have to resort to cutting the barrel, or worse yet, re-barreling, to make weight for your class. In some cases, you can remove material from the stock to save weight, but if that’s not practical, the barrel will need to go on a diet. (As a last resort, you can try fitting a lighter scope.)

Is there a reliable way to predict, in advance, how much a finished barrel will weigh? The answer is “yes”. PAC-NOR Barreling of Brookings, Oregon has created a handy, web-based Barrel Weight Calculator. Just log on to Pac-Nor’s website and the calculator is free to use. Pac-Nor’s Barrel Weight Calculator is pretty sophisticated, with separate data fields for Shank Diameter, Barrel Length, Bore Diameter — even length and number of flutes. Punch in your numbers, and the Barrel Weight Calculator then automatically generates the weight for 16 different “standard” contours.

pac-nor barrel weight contour calculator

Calculator Handles Custom Contours
What about custom contours? Well the Pac-Nor Barrel Weight Calculator can handle those as well. The program allows input of eight different dimensional measurements taken along the barrel’s finished length, from breech to muzzle. You can use this “custom contour” feature when calculating the weight of another manufacturer’s barrel that doesn’t match any of Pac-Nor’s “standard” contours.

Caution: Same-Name Contours from Different Makers May Not be Exactly the Same
One key thing to remember when using the Barrel Weight Calculator is that not all “standard” contours are exactly the same, as sold by different barrel-makers. A Medium Palma contour from Pac-Nor may be slightly different dimensionally from a Krieger Medium Palma barrel. When using the Pac-Nor Barrel Weight Calculator to find the weight of a barrel from a different manufacturer, we recommend you get the exact dimensions from your barrel-maker. If these are different that Pac-Nor’s default dimensions, use the “custom contour” calculator fields to enter the true dimensions for your brand of barrel.

Smart Advice — Give Yourself Some Leeway
While Pac-Nor’s Barrel Weight Calculator is very precise (because barrel steel is quite uniform by volume), you will see some small variances in finished weight based on the final chambering process. The length of the threaded section (tenon) will vary from one action type to another. In addition, the size and shape of the chamber can make a difference in barrel weight, even with two barrels of the same nominal caliber. Even the type of crown can make a slight difference in overall weight. This means that the barrel your smith puts on your gun may end up slightly heavier or lighter than the Pac-Nor calculation. That’s not a fault of the program — it’s simply because the program isn’t set up to account for chamber volume or tenon length.

What does this mean? In practical terms — you should give yourself some “wiggle room” in your planned rifle build. Unless you’re able to shave weight from your stock, do NOT spec your gun at one or two ounces under max based on the Pac-Nor calculator output. That said, the Pac-Nor Barrel Weight Calculator is still a very helpful, important tool. When laying out the specs for a rifle in any weight-restricted class, you should always “run the numbers” through a weight calculator such as the one provided by Pac-Nor. This can avoid costly and frustrating problems down the road.

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