December 12th, 2019

Stainless Steel & Corrosion Resistance — What You Need to Know

Benchmark stainless steel barrel barrels match
Most modern match rifle barrels are stainless steel alloy. These are from Benchmark Barrels.

Though some grades of stainless are more corrosion-resistent, ALL varieties of stainless steel can rust if they are not handled and stored properly.

Some folks feel that they don’t have to worry about rust and corrosion on stainless steel barrels, actions, and other components. That’s not really true. “Stainless” is a bit of a misnomer. First, there are different types of stainless steel alloys, with different degrees of rust resistance. 300 series stainless is more corrosion resistant than the 416 stainless commonly used in barrels. The composition (by percentage weight) of 416 stainless is 0.15% carbon, 12-14% chromium and the rest iron. 416 stainless steel lacks the roughly 10% nickel content that makes the 300 series more corrosion resistant in atmospheric conditions. But because 416 handles pressure better and is easier to machine (than 300 series steel), 416 stainless remains the better choice for barrels.

stainless steel barrel Techshooter

Though some grades of stainless are more corrosion-resistent, ALL varieties of stainless steel can rust if they are not handled and stored properly. Forum reader Kells81 observed: “Wanna see some rusted stainless? Go to the big “C” brand store in Ft. Worth. Every stainless gun they have on the used gun rack is rusted.” Tom Easly of TRE Custom explains: “Sweat is very corrosive. Sweat and blood will rust many stainless steels. I hate to handle my guns or drip on them when I sweat. It really helps to just wipe them good with a wet rag, dry and wipe on a light coating of gun oil. I think most stainless barrels are made from type 416 stainless, and it is generally pretty corrosion resistant, but not when exposed to sweat, blood, or chlorates (corrosive priming), and some other electrolytes.”

Forum member Jacob, who is studying materials science at LSU, provides this technical information: “The basic resistance of stainless steel occurs because of its ability to form a protective coating on the metal surface. This coating is a ‘passive’ film which resists further ‘oxidation’ or rusting. The formation of this film is instantaneous in an oxidizing atmosphere such as air, water, or other fluids that contain oxygen. Once the layer has formed, we say that the metal has become ‘passivated’ and the oxidation or ‘rusting’ rate will slow down to less than 0.002″ per year (0.05 mm per year).

Unlike aluminum or silver, this passive film is invisible in stainless steel. It’s created when oxygen combines with the chrome in the stainless to form chrome oxide which is more commonly called ‘ceramic’. This protective oxide or ceramic coating is common to most corrosion resistant materials.

Halogen salts, especially chlorides, easily penetrate this passive film and will allow corrosive attack to occur. The halogens are easy to recognize because they end in the letters ‘ine’. Listed in order of their activity they are: fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, astatine.

These are the same chemicals that will penetrate Teflon and cause trouble with Teflon coated or encapsulated o-rings and/ or similar coated materials. Chlorides are one of the most common elements in nature and if that isn’t bad enough, they’re also soluble, active ions. These provide the basis for electrolytes. The presence of electrolytic solutions can accelerate corrosion or chemical attack.”

CONCLUSION: Stainless steel barrels and components won’t rust nearly as fast as blued steel, but you still have to take precautions — particularly removing sweat and corrosive salts from the barrel. Also, don’t let moisture build up inside or outside of the barrel. We recommend wiping your barrels and actions with Eezox, or Corrosion-X after each use. These are both extremely effective rust-fighters that go on thin, without leaving a greasy residue. (Eezox leaves a clear finish, while Corrosion-X has a slightly waxy finish.) Also store your guns in Bore-Store bags when the guns go in the safe. Bore-Stores wick away moisture, and the synthetic fleece inner surface is treated with rust-fighting chemicals. Bore-Stores also protect your guns against dings and scratches.

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December 10th, 2019

Ultimate Reloader Reviews Hawkeye Borescope Systems

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slide

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com recently tested Hawkeye Borescopes from Gradient Lens Corp., along with the impressive Hawkeye Video Slide System. Gavin observed: “When it comes to gunsmithing, gun inspection, and gun maintenance, a borescope can tell you things that nothing else can. And that’s why a borescope is an invaluable tool for gunsmiths, competition shooters, and gun enthusiasts.”

UltimateReloader.com MUST WATCH Video — See What Hawkeye Borescope Reveals:

READ Hawkeye Borescope Review on UltimateReloader.com »

A good borescope reveals the reality inside your barrel(s). There’s no more guesswork. All the issues associated with barrel will be revealed — carbon build-up, copper fouling, fire-cracking and more. Within a few seconds you can judge the state of your bore, and diagnose problems such as copper fouling and fire-cracking. Check out these two images. On the left is a brand new hand-lapped barrel. On the right is a barrel with heavy fire-cracking.

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slide

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slideGavin tested both 7″ and 17″ versions of the Hawkeye Borescope. He tested straight versions, and both long and short borescopes with a 90° eyepiece. For most tasks we prefer the 90° eyepiece. In addition to these systems, Gavin tested the the Hawkeye Video Slide and video image acquisition system, shown below.

The features are: 1. Video Slide support system; 2. Pistol barrel being inspected; 3. Borescope with quick-coupler equipped Sony camera; 4. Windows 10 PC Laptop running Hawkeye App with VIDEO Feed; 5. LED illumination for borescope.

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slide

“The Hawkeye Video Slide and video image acquisition system are not intended for consumers. They are primarily used by laboratories, gun OEMs, and other commercial customers,” Gavin notes. He used the Video Slide to provide the “next best thing” to viewing through the Hawkeye itself.



What You Can See with a Hawkeye Borescope

This Gradient Lens video shows how to correctly borescope your barrel:

Hawkeye borescope POV lensA precision optical borescope is a pricey tool, but it performs critical tasks for gun-owners, and a Hawkeye’s rigid optic tube offers some important advantages over a cheap endoscope on a flexible cord. To learn how a Hawkeye borescope can help you diagnose barrel issues, you should read a Rifle Shooter magazine feature story, What the Eye Can See.

In this article, writer Terry Wieland shows how to inspect for defects in new barrels, how to recognize different kinds of fouling (in both barrels and brass), and how to spot throat erosion in its early stages. Terry uses a Gradient Lens HawkEye BoreScope. The current generation of HawkEyes can be attached to a still or video camera to record digital images. The most interesting part of the article is on the second page. There, author Wieland provides photos of various types of internal flaws that can appear in barrels. This will help you spot pitting, excessive land wear, rust damage, and damage from corrosive primers.

Wieland notes that BoreScopes aren’t just for barrels: “The borescope has other uses as well. It can be used to examine the interior of a cartridge case to look for the beginnings of a case separation or to examine the interior of a loading die that is giving you trouble. When you consider the number of tubular objects that play such an important role in rifle shooting, it is a wonder we were ever able to function without such a method of studying bores.”

Hawkeye borescope POV lens

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December 8th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: The Modern F-Open Rifle

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Emil Kovan is one of the top F-Class shooters in the world. He won the 2014 United States F-Open Championship, and finished second in F-Open Division at the 2016 Canadian National F-Class Championship in Ontario. He is a great shooter and a great gun-builder as well.

The Anatomy of a Modern F-Class Open Rifle

Report by Emil Kovan
Kovan Match Rifles LLC, www.matchrifles.com

“What are the best components for an F-Open class rifle, and why?” That’s a question that I get asked all the time and will try to answer in this article. Two months ago, I was contacted by Duane, a gentleman I met at the 2015 F-Class Nationals. He was interested in building a rifle with the new Master Class Low Profile F-Open Stock, created by Carl Bernosky and Alex Sitman of Master Class Stocks.

I have known Alex Sitman for many years, and use his stocks exclusively, but was not very familiar with his new Low Profile F-Open stock. After a brief conversation with Alex, I placed an order, and had the stock inletted and bedded at my shop in a month. My first impression was “Wow that’s a long stock” — the forearm is significantly longer than on the original Master Class F-Class prone stock. I bolted the barreled action in, and squeezed the end of the forearm and barrel together, the stock flexed a little bit, but not as much as other designs that I have tested. I think that’s due to having “more meat” in the receiver area. The full stock depth continues farther forward that on some other “low profile” designs. That makes the stock stiffer in the vertical plane, reducing the hinging effect forward of the action. The stock was finished in gloss black per the customer’s request. Interestingly, I found that the multiple layers of paint and clearcoat stiffened the stock up quite a bit.

CLICK IMAGE below for full-screen version
.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Low Center of Gravity Tames Torque
Compared to the original Master Class F-Open stock, the barrel sits about an inch lower. Lower center of gravity equals less torque, and that is very important when shooting heavy bullets in fast twist barrels. Another significant improvement is that the toe of the stock is flat and parallel to the forearm. I added a 3/4″ track rail in the rear, and milled the underside of the fore-end to create two parallel “rails” in the front to help the stock track better.

One of the biggest reasons why I like Master Class stocks, is the pistol grip. I don’t shoot “free recoil” and a comfortable pistol grip is super important to me when selecting a stock. The new Master Class Low Profile stock shares the same grip as the old model. This allows the stock to accommodate either a “hard hold” style or a more free-recoil style of shooting — whatever the rifle’s owner prefers. This design versatility is one reason I recommend Master Class stocks. Shooters may experiment with either shooting style to find what suits them best.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Cartridge Choice — A 40° .284 Win Improved
Duane decided to have the barrel chambered for my 284 KMR IMP (Improved) wildcat. What is .284 KMR IMP and why choose it over the straight .284 Winchester? Improved by definition means “made better”, I took a great cartridge, and modified it to increase capacity, reduce pressure, and increase brass life.

There are many “improved” variants of the original .284 Winchester: 7mm Walker, .284 Shehane, .284 Ackley and so on. My version, the 284 KMR IMP, shares the .010″ blown-out sidewalls of the .284 Shehane, but I have further increased the case capacity by changing the shoulder angle from 35 to 40 degrees. The 284 KMR IMP allows you to almost match magnum cartridge velocity in a standard-bolt-face action. If you want to run 180gr-class 7mm bullets over 2900 FPS, it is cheaper and more convenient to have a barrel chambered in 284 KMR IMP than to spend $650 for a magnum bolt.

Tuning Loads for the .284 Win Improved Cartridges
The 284 KMR IMP seems to have two nodes, one around 2820 fps and other at 2940 fps. My match load clocks at 2935 fps with single-digit ES. Note –I selected that load based on accuracy, NOT raw speed. A lot of novice (or hard-headed) shooters make the mistake to push their cartridges to the max, and disregard more accurate loads at lower velocity.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

The sport of F-Class is rapidly growing, and the equipment used is improving constantly. I remember that only few years ago, an F-Open rifle that could shoot sub-one-inch of vertical at 300 yards was considered competitive. Now, we are pursuing sub-one-inch vertical at 600 yards! It takes a great rifle to approach that goal, but it is also up to the shooter to learn and experiment as much as possible in order to achieve success.

Dies for an Improved .284 Win Cartridge
One of the biggest challenges in campaigning a wildcat cartridge has been obtaining great dies. When searching for custom dies, it almost seems like that the odds are stacked against us. The most common problem is wait-time — custom die orders can take months to be completed. Also, most custom die makers want you to send them two or three cases, each fire-formed three times. I find that funny because if could somehow properly size the cases for three fire-forming cycles, I would not need a sizing die.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Custom-made dies should size the case just right, but sometimes the die’s internal dimensions are slightly off, and this leads to problem number two: dies sizing too much (or even worse) too little. I had a one “custom” die that would not size the bottom of the case enough. This made the extraction of fired cases very difficult. I feel that the best option (if available) for shooters interested in wildcat chambers is to have their gunsmiths make the dies. I offer that die-making service in addition to barrel chambering.

BAT Machine “M” Action
Duane decided to use a BAT M action for this rifle, and I think that he could not have made a better choice. We are blessed with many good match-quality receivers: Barnard, BAT, Borden, Kelbly, Nesika, and Stiller just to mention a few. These are all very well-made and suitable for F-Class. Among BAT Machine Co.actions, I like BAT models M, MB, and 3LL best. I prefer these because because of their size (large bedding footprint) smoothness, timing, options available, and last but not least visual appearance.

Trigger: I recommend and use Jewell triggers. Other good options are: Kelbly, CG Jackson (good 2-Stage) Anschutz (best 2-Stage for Bat and Kelbly actions), Bix’N Andy, and David Tubb.

Barrel: Duane made another good choice here. He decided to go with a Brux 1:8.5″-twist, 4-groove cut-rifled barrel. If you look at the F-Class and Long Range benchrest equipment lists, you will see that cut-rifled barrels are currently dominating. Many records have been shot with both button-rifled, and cut-rifled barrels. I have shot both, and prefer cut-rifled barrels. I am not saying that button-rifled barrels are not capable of shooting as well as cut-rifled barrels, but on average, in my experience, four out of five cut-rifled barrels (from top makers) will shoot well, vs. three out of five buttoned barrels. YMMV, but this is what I’ve observed.

Brux Barrels is not the only company that produces very accurate cut-rifled barrels. We know that Krieger, Bartlein, Satern, and Hawk Hill Custom all make fine cut-rifled barrels as well.

Scope: Duane’s rifle was fitted with a Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition scope with DDR-2 reticle. This optic is ultra clear, reasonably lightweight (28 oz.), super reliable, and has 1/8 MOA clicks — what you want for long range F-Class competition. In this 15-55X NF model, I like the DDR-2 reticle best, because fine cross hairs (FCH) are hard to see in heavy mirage. The DDR-2 has a heavier horizontal line, with a center dot. March scopes are also very popular and very well-made.

.284 Win F-Class F-Open Rifle Emil Kovan Brux BAT M Master Class Bernosky

Thanks for reading, and keep ‘em in the middle…

Emil Kovan F-Class competition bio photoEmil Kovan Competition History:

– 2014 F-Class Open National Champion

– 2016 F-Class Open Canadian Championship, Silver Medal (tied for first on score)

– 2015 F-Class Open National Championship, Silver Medal

– F-Class Open National Championship Teams, 2015, 2014, 2013, Shooting Team Member

– Over 15 wins in Regional and State Championships in Palma, F-TR, F-Open

– 2013 U.S. National Team Member

– 2017 U.S. National Development Team Member

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
December 7th, 2019

Jerry Miculek Tours CMP Warehouse with 80,000+ WWII Garands

Jerry CMP M1 Garand video

Legendary shooter Jerry Miculek recently visited the CMP where he looked at the vast inventory of military rifles, including 80,000+ M1 Garands recently received from the Philippines. CMP tech staff showed Jerry some rare Garands that had never been issued. If you’re interested in classic military arms, you should definitely watch Jerry’s video:

Gina Johnson, CMP’s general manager, told Guns.com that: “We have roughly 86,000 rifles from the Philippines and roughly 13,000 rifles from Turkey in our possession”.

The arrival of these 99,000 M1 Garands is great news for rifle collectors. Garands have been in short supply in recent years, as the Obama administration opposed repatriation of surplus military rifles from overseas allies. Garands were getting harder to acquire from the CMP. In fact, over the past two years, many common Garand varients have been “sold out” on the CMP site.

CMP Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Philippines Turkey Rifles repatriated vintage military

The CMP Moves Tens of Thousands of M1 Garands into CMP Warehouses:
CMP Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Philippines Turkey Rifles repatriated vintage military

While we’ve known about the Philippine Garands for quite some time, Guns.com reports that collectors were surprised to learn about the Turkish Garands: “The Philippino guns have been on the radar for months while CMP has kept the news on the Turkish M1s closer to the vest. The influx of vintage rifles…is one of the biggest stockpiles the [CMP] has received in recent years.”

Garand Turkish Turkey Philippines

CLICK HERE for Garand Ordering Information | CLICK HERE for Garand Grading Information

How to Order an M1 Garand from the CMP
To purchase an M1 Garand through the CMP, you must be an adult U.S. Citizen, and a member of an affiliated organization who has participated in a “Marksmanship Activity”. This basically meas you need to join a a gun club and participate in a clinic or match. Proof of club membership and citizenship is mandatory for all ages. However, the marksmanship requirement is waived for those over 60 years. Garands must be ordered by mail or through official CMP Auctions. CLICK HERE to Start Order.

This popular Tips and Tricks Video has been viewed over 500,000 Times on YouTube.

Recommended M1 Garand Manual
Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual comes with CMP rifles or can be purchased for $3.50 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen and I highly recommend it.” The CMP also offers many other M1 Garand print resources including:

M1 Garand Owner’s Guide (125 pages, Scott Duff)
M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide (155 pages, Walt Kuleck & Scott McKee)
Complete Guide to M1 Garand and M1 Carbine (296 pages, Bruce Canfield)

M1 Garands at CMP Retail Store in Anniston, Alabama.
Garand CMP Sales

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December 1st, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Dennis Builds an Eliseo Tubegun Palma Rig

Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals

Our friend Dennis Santiago is a talented Service Rifle shooter, who normally competes with an AR shooting the .223 Rem cartridge. Recently he decided to go over to the “dark side”, putting together a Palma (fullbore) rifle chambered for the .308 Winchester. Dennis selected a Competition Machine (Gary Eliseo) R1 Chassis for the project. Here’s Santiago’s account of his “true blue” Palma build…

Palma Rifle Report by Dennis Santiago
“Here’s my new project — a .308 Win Palma rifle with an Eliseo R1 chassis, Rem 700 action (blue-printed with PT&G upgrades), Jewell trigger, Boots Obermeyer 1:11″-twist barrel, and Phoenix sights holding Gehmann apertures. Next comes chassis and sling set-up, initial mechanical zeroing, and load development. Yup, I have a bunch of Peterson small primer .308 brass, Sierra #2156 155gr MKs, and Varget to get started with. I’m told I can drive 155gr pills to stay supersonic to 1K. Should make for an interesting 2020. My goal is to be cozy with this blue beast by the time the Berger Southwest Nationals kick off in February 2020. Hey, you gotta have goals!”

Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals

Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals
CLICK Image for full-screen photo with more detail.

Pinning the Picatinny — For a Super-Solid Mount
Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals

One of the key parts of the build, Dennis explains, is mounting the top rail with pins: “Once the rail is aligned using a spin-centered optic, it locks down with three 3/16″ roll pins. That way there is no reliance on screws that can come loose. Above is a photo of the top of the Eliseo tube chassis showing the three, 3/16″ roll pins that unitize the Picatinny rail. You can also see the four brass screws that just kiss the action to fully stabilize it in the tube. The recoil ring buttresses completely around the action with metal to metal contact. There are a million details hidden inside a Gary gun.”

Phoenix Sights Front and Rear
Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals

Rise of the Phoenix — Here are the sights for the Eliseo R1. There are very few manufacturers left making these kinds of ultra-precise and repeatable iron sights.

Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals

These Ray-Vin tools help set mechanical zero on the sights. Dennis notes: “Finally a reason to pull out the Ray-Vin calibration paraphernalia to set up a mechanical zero. This photo is for all of you who still remember that those barrel flats and screws in our sight towers actually had a purpose once upon a time.”

Sling ‘N Irons — Classic Palma Configuration
Dennis Santiago Eliseo Competition Machine Tubegun Chassis .308 Win Rifle Berger Southwest Nationals
Dennis plans to use an Eric Hollis sling with his new blue Palma rifle.

Peterson Small Primer .308 Win Brass for Santiago’s Rig
Berger southwest SW Nationals

Dennis plans to use Peterson Cartridge Small Rifle primer .308 Win brass. Peterson offers a “Select” version weight-sorted and length-sorted at the factory. All Select casings (in a 50ct box) are guaranteed to be within 1 grain in weight and .001″ in OAL. Peterson Select brass is available for 20 different cartridge types, including .308 Win both small primer/small flash hole and large primer/large flash hole.

Getting the Blue Rifle Ready for the 2020 Berger SW Nationals

Berger southwest SW Nationals

Dennis plans to campaign his rifle at the 2020 Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). He may shoot iron sights, or fit a scope and shoot in the “Any Sights” category. That’s not yet decided. The week-long Berger SWN is the biggest rifle match in the Western United States. Hundreds of shooters compete in both individual and team events. The SWN begins with the Mid-Range Nationals at 600 yards. Then the Long-Range matches are held, with targets out to 1000 yards. Watch the video to see the Ben Avery facility, home of the Berger SWN:

Chassis-maker Gary Elesio at the 2017 Berger SW Nationals. Gary shoots what he sells:

Gary Eliseo Chassis Dennis Santiago Palma .308 Win

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November 30th, 2019

Build Your Own M1 Garand at CMP Advanced Maintenance Class

CMP AMC Class M1 Garand Maintenance Anniston Alabama Talladega Marksmanship Park

Want to build your own accurized M1 Garand? Then consider signing up for the CMP’s Advanced Maintenance Class (AMC), a 3-day program for students with mechanical aptitude and a desire to work on M1 Garand rifles. Each student will assemble his own CMP Special M1 Garand Rifle with a USGI receiver. This will be a “keeper” Garand that the AMC student takes home. Tuition cost for the 2020 AMC is $1018.50. In addition, participants purchase a rifle at extra cost — $850 for a Field Grade Special, or $1050 for a CMP Special. Students must provide their own accommodations in Anniston, Alabama.

CMP AMC Class M1 Garand Maintenance Anniston Alabama Talladega Marksmanship ParkClass Registration is Now Open
You can now register for the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) 2020 Advanced Maintenance Clinics. Interested persons may register now through January 31, 2020 with a lottery held 2/1/20 to choose participants. Individuals may register through the CMP Website HERE.

Students will build and purchase either a CMP Special Rifle or a CMP Field Grade Special during the 3-day course. The receiver will be a USGI manufacture. Each 3-Day Advanced Maintenance Class will be led by highly-qualified Custom Shop staff members. On the third day, students will visit the Talladega Marksmanship Park as VIP guests of the CMP. At Talladega, each AMC student will have a chance to fire the M1 Garand they built in the class, shooting at Talladega’s high-tech electronic targets.

CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park

CMP 2020 Advanced Maintenance Class (AMC) Dates:
February 25-27; February 28-March 1 (Buddy Class)
March 31-April 2
April 3-5; April 17-19; April 20-22 (Buddy Class)
May 12-14; May 15-17
June 9-11; June 12-14 (Buddy Class)
August 18-20; August 21-23
October 13-15 (GCA Event); October 16-18 (Apple Seed Event)
December 8-10; December 11-13 (Buddy Class)

CMP AMC Class Garand M1 Talladega Marksmanship Park

This class is not intended for gunsmiths — no prior armorer experience is required. Students will assemble their own CMP Special rifle, priced at $850 or $1050. Class topics will include:

– Commercial barrel installation, chambering, and headspace
— Component function, selection, and inspection
— Fitting and proper assembly of a complete CMP Special rifle
— Discussion of malfunctions and their remedies
— Accurizing techniques for the M1 Garand

How to Register
Applicants must register via the CMP Competition Tracker system website before February 1, 2020. An electronic Registration Lottery will randomly assign the 20 available seats for each class date. NOTE: Registering for multiple classes is permitted, but no applicant will be selected for more than one slot. Total cost for the 2020 AMC will be $1,868.50 or $2,068.50, depending upon rifle selection (Field Grade or CMP Special). FORMER AMC PARTICIPANTS MAY REGISTER FOR 2020.

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November 26th, 2019

Tikka T3 Upgrades with Criterion Pre-Fit Barrels

Tikka T3 T-2 prefit chambered barrel 6.5 Creedmoor Solid Accuracy Criterion Barrels

We have always liked Tikka actions, and now there is a great re-barreling option for Tikka T3 owners. Criterion Barrels Inc. (CBI), makers of “pre-fit” barrels for Savage, Remington, and Rem-clone actions, also produces Tikka pre-fits. These pre-chambered barrels for Tikka T3 actions will be headspaced with a barrel nut, just like a Savage.

Tikka T3 T-2 prefit chambered barrel 6.5 Creedmoor Solid Accuracy Criterion Barrels
Click image for full-screen version

Criterion’s Tikka T3 pre-fit barrels are currently sold through Solid Accuracy, a respected Texas-based outfit that sells high-end scopes, stocks, barrels and other rifle components. Solid Accuracy states: “Each Solid Accuracy/Criterion pre-fit barrel features a hand-lapped bore and meets extreme quality control standards. Utilizing a proven barrel nut design, these barrels can be swapped in just a few minutes using only a barrel nut wrench and the appropriate headspace gauge set. Solid Accuracy offers finished lengths up to 30″ with multiple contour options.”

These Tikka pre-fits were introduced in 2017, and the accuracy results were impressive. Solid Accuracy’s initial test rifle featured a Tikka T3 action mounted in a KRG X-Ray chassis, with Criterion barrel chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. The group below was shot with a stout load of H4350 and Sierra 140 grain MatchKings seated .009″ in the lands.

Tikka T3 T-2 prefit chambered barrel 6.5 Creedmoor Solid Accuracy Criterion Barrels

Criterion is proud of how well the Tikka pre-fit project turned out. These barrels work great in the Tikka platform. One of Criterion’s staffers was so impressed with the initial test results that he is built his own Tikka T3 rifle, with a Criterion pre-fit of course…

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product 1 Comment »
November 25th, 2019

Get the Lead Out — “No-Lead” Cleaner Really Works

Suhl Rimfire Benchrest indoor cleaning
We have used NO-LEAD Cleaner in rimfire benchrest rifles similar to this modified Suhl 150-1. It helped restore accuracy with minimal brushing.

NO-lead brushless lead remover Wipe-out Sharp Shoot-rMade by the same smart folks that created Wipe-Out™, and Carb-Out™, NO-LEAD Brushless Lead Remover™ really works. Honest. If you are an active rimfire shooter, or if you shoot cast lead-alloy bullets in centerfire rifles and pistols, you should try this product. We now use NO-LEAD in our rimfire benchrest rifles, and in some centerfire guns that receive a steady diet of soft-alloy cast bullets (90%+ lead). (With rimfire guns, you don’t need to use NO-LEAD very often — maybe every 300-400 rounds unless you have a real fouler of a barrel.)

If you’ve got stubborn lead fouling in a rimfire barrel, or on a pistol’s muzzle brake/compensator, you should definitely give this stuff a try. We don’t know how but it does soften lead deposits. The manufacturer says you don’t need brushes, but we found that a bit of brushing (after NO-LEAD application) can help remove more serious lead build-up.

Yes we were surprised to find a lead remover that really works. We tried a half-dozen other lead “cleaners” that promised to dissolve lead and most of them, we discovered, are nearly useless. There’s a reason for that, as the lead alloys used in bullets don’t react to typical petrochemical-based solvents. It took the Wipe-Out chemists over five years to perfect this water-based solution that really does dissolve lead.

NO-LEAD Cleaning Procedure — Read Carefully
NO-LEAD Lead Remover is a clear, red gel that is easy to apply. Just swab it in your bore (or on muzzle brakes) with wet patches or bore mop and let it sit for a few minutes. (The manufacturer says you can leave the NO-LEAD for up to 20 minutes, but that long of a dwell time does not seem necessary with our rimfire barrels.) When it contacts lead it will start to foam and you’ll see that the NO-LEAD solvent turns a pastel pink when it dissolves lead. The pink comes from the formation of lead oxide. After the recommended dwell time, simply patch out the dissolved lead deposits (you can also use a nylon brush for stubborn lead build-up).

NOTE: After cleaning, it is very important that you get all the NO-LEAD out of your barrel, and neutralize it. We recommend following the application of NO-Lead with Wipe-out or Patch-Out to neutralize the NO-LEAD, clear the bore, and remove residual carbon and copper fouling. If you don’t have Wipe-Out or Patch-out, flush the barrel thoroughly with Rubbing Alcohol or even a solution of Dawn dish detergent — then re-oil the bore.

Be Sure to Neutralize NO-LEAD After Use
Remember that N0-LEAD is a strong, slightly acidic chemical that needs to be neutralized after use. If you leave it on a nice, blued barrel for too long, it can harm the bluing. NO-LEAD will remove all the surface oils from the barrel bore. For this reason it is recommended that you neutralize NO-LEAD with Wipe-Out, or Patch-Out, which both contain effective corrosion inhibitors. If you don’t have those products, once you’ve flushed the NO-LEAD with something like rubbing alcohol, then follow with a gun oil. Caution: A petroleum-based gun oil will NOT, by itself, neutralize NO-LEAD. You need to neutralize first, then apply the corrosion inhibitor (or do it all in one step with Wipe-Out or Patch-Out).

Where to Buy NO-LEAD Lead Remover
NO-LEAD Lead Remover costs $15.99 for an 8 oz. squeeze bottle with a flip-top spout. This product is sold directly by Sharp Shoot R Precision Products, www.Sharpshootr.com, or you can purchase NO-LEAD through many other online vendors. For more information, send an email via the Sharp Shoot-R Contact Form or or contact SharpShoot-R at (785) 883-4444. You can ask for Terry Paul, Sharp Shoot-R’s owner and the master chemist who developed the NO-LEAD formula.

View Price List for all SharpShootr products »

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
November 22nd, 2019

Brownells Video Shows How to Cut Chamfer on Barrel Crown

brownells crown muzzle barrel bullet accuracy gunsmithing

This video from Brownells talks about a the crown of a barrel and how the crown’s condition affects accuracy. As the bullet leaves the barrel of the gun, the shape, alignment and the condition of the crown can affect the accuracy of your shot. A proper crown is essential to ensure that the bullet leaves the barrel correctly and that the propellant gasses behind the bullet are distributed evenly on firing. A square crown without burrs and a smooth transition will normally ensure consistency from shot to shot. By contrast, a damaged crown can cause unpredictable flyers that open your group. That’s why it’s important to have perfect crowns on all your barrels.

The video explains the different types of crowns that can be used. In addition, the video shows how you can chamfer your muzzle in a home shop. If you use a properly-sized pilot, cutting a shallow chamfer is something that most guys with some mechanical skill can handle. Just be sure to use lubricant, flush chips, and don’t rush the job. Cutting the barrel is another matter. At the 1:20 mark the video shows how to use a hack-saw to remove a damaged muzzle section. While this may be fine for an inexpensive rifle that needs a “quick fix”, we do NOT recommend using a hack-saw with a vise for a competition barrel. The reason is that it is too easy for a novice to produce a cut that is not square. We suggest letting a professional gunsmith cut and crown your competition barrels.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing No Comments »
November 21st, 2019

Don’t Be This Stupid — Cautionary Tale About Stuck Live Round

Live round stuck loaded jam hammer dowel brock norris gunsmith rifles UK England united kingdom

What would you do if you had a LIVE Round stuck in a chamber? Well, don’t hammer a wood dowel in the barrel, that’s for sure. Here is a tale of stupidity that could have injured the rifle owner. This account appeared on the Facebook Page of Brock & Norris Custom Rifles, a gunsmith shop in the United Kingdom.

Live, Loaded Round Stuck in Chamber — What NOT to Do!

Commentary by gunsmith Mike Norris
Here is a cautionary tale. A client came into the workshop with a problem which could have had very serious [even deadly] consequences. And it is not the first time we have seen this. Firing neck-sized-only ammunition, the client attempted to load a round which then jammed solid in the chamber. The bolt would not close and the round was unable to be extracted.

The problem was compounded by various attempts to push the loaded round from the chamber with cleaning rods and the assistance of a hammer (I kid you not!). All of which damaged the bore and the crown, culminating in a wooden dowel being hammered into the barrel which subsequently broke off in the bore. The end result was a barrel that was totally wrecked.

Live round stuck loaded jam hammer dowel brock norris gunsmith rifles UK England united kingdom

One Facebook friend posted: “Fortunate avoidance of a ‘Darwin Award’. I can hear it: ‘Go on hammer the bolt, she’ll go!’. We’re missing a ‘face palm’ emoji here.”

The Problem Started with a Neck-Sized Case
The moral of this story is DO NOT NECK SIZE cases. Mike advises: “Full-length size cases correctly. You only move the shoulder back 1 to 1.5 thousandths and the case will feed and extract EVERY TIME. Yes you will have to trim cases occasionally but it is one hell of a site cheaper and safer than jamming a live round in the barrel and wrecking the barrel trying to remove it. Not to mention the risk to life and limb!”

What Should Have Been Done in this Situation?
Mike was asked the best method for removing a stuck round. He stated: “The Grease Gun Method on a threaded barrel works*. However, in this case, this was not remotely possible due to 20 inches of wooden dowel being broken off in the bore as well. The live round (yes it was live!) was attempted to be removed by hammering on a brass cleaning rod (an actual hammer was used) to try to dislodge it. That brass rod broke, so then a wooden dowel was employed, and THAT broke as well.”

Mike cautions that, when a live, loaded round is involved you must be very careful: “Do not be taking chances with your own safety or others around you. When it is safe to do so, get the rifle to a professional. By the way he WILL [chide you] for being daft in the first place and then bringing the problem into his premises. Expect to be charged for the expertise to remove said obstruction, In the past I even had a client send me a loading die with a live .338 Lapua round in it through the Post no less!”


* This YouTube Video shows the successful removal of a jammed FIRED (not live) case from an AR15 barrel. You can see the fired case eject at 15:35 time-mark, after the primer pops out first. But note, this was NOT a live, loaded round. Extreme caution must be excercised with live rounds.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
November 17th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Vudoo Gun Works V-22 Rimfire Rifle

Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle

This Sunday GunDay story features a .22 LR rifle built around a Vudoo Gun Works V-22 rimfire repeater action. The V-22 action, arguably one of the best tactical rimfire actions available, owes its lineage to the respected Remington 40X action. Many rimfire matches have been won with 40X actions, so we understand why Vudoo chose that design for a starting point. Vudoo then added some important enhancements, including a controlled-feed design. This makes the Vudoo a great choice for rimfire cross-training, rimfire tactical matches, and NRL22 competition. In the video below you can see the Vudoo Gun Works rifle used an a PRS-style, long-range precision rimfire match in Minnesota.

As it has the same footprint as a Remington 700, the Vudoo Gun Works V-22 action is 100% compatible with a wide variety of Rem 700 chassis, triggers, and rifle accessories. This allows you to have a rimfire trainer with near-identical ergonomics as a centerfire match rifle. Rimfire training provides valuable trigger time with dramatically lower ammo costs. Along with actions, Vudoo sells barreled actions, and complete rifles through its website: VudooGunworks.com.

In this video, Dave Timm of GunsandTactics.com employs a Vudoo V-22 in the Minnesota .22 LR Long Range Precision Rimfire Match at the Rush Lake Range. This PRS-style match had targets out to 300 yards during the main match, followed by a long range challenge out to 465 yards. Dave’s Vudoo Gunworks V-22 rifle features a Grayboe Ridgeback stock, Harris bipod, and Trijicon Accupower 4.5-30x56mm FFP scope. Dave was shooting Lapua Center-X .22 LR ammunition.

This course of fire was challenging. Dave explains: “Stages included barricades and barrels and props to shoot out to targets at 100, 169, and 214 yards. So we’re shooting a 6″ piece of steel at 214 yards with an awkward position and a .22! It’s a good challenge and it really forced you to get all your fundamentals together. You’d be surprised at how much movement [there is]. You feel that you’re steady but all of a sudden that reticle just doesn’t want to stop moving.”

Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle
Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle

This Minnesota Match is similar to a PRS-style competition, but for rimfire rigs. Dave said “This match was an absolute blast and pushed out the .22 LR round out to some distance.”

About the V-22 Action — Controlled-Feed Design

Vudoo Gun Works states: “Our V-22 runs a full-size short action bottom metal (DBM) and our V-2210 magazine has a [full-size] AICS form factor. The V-22 is the only controlled-round-feed .22 LR receiver out there. The bolt has full capture control of the cartridge from the time it leaves the magazine until it ejects the spent round out the ejection port. That means the round never touches anything during feed travel so the bullets won’t be nicked/dented during rapid cycling.”

Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle
Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle

V-22 Product Description from Vudoo Gun Works:
The V-22 has been designed from the ground up as a true-to-scale Rimfire receiver that fits the Rem 700 footprint [for] stocks and chassis[.]. It also runs a full size short action bottom metal (DBM) and our V-2210 magazine has an AICS form factor[.]

The V-22 has a very unique control-round-feed protocol. The bolt has full-capture control of the cartridge from the time it leaves the magazine until it ejects the spent round out the ejection port. The significance of that is two-fold. Great feed and extraction reliability and…equally as important, the cartridge is controlled in a way that it never touches anything on its entrance into the bore. There is no feed ramp, nor does the projectile go in at an angle that would damage it in any way. We all know how susceptible the soft lead of the .22 LR is to accuracy-degrading damage and minor nicks during the chambering process. [That kind of bullet damage] is eliminated in the V-22 geometry.

Vudoo v-22 v22 action rimfire rifle barreled action PRS NRL22

About Dave TimmDave is a police officer serving his community on night patrol. Dave serves as his agency’s lead firearms and use of force instructor. He also owns and operates the Learning Firearms training operation in Baxter, Minnesota. Dave’s company offers realistic practical training solutions.

Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Gunsmithing, Tactical 1 Comment »
November 15th, 2019

Crazy But It Works — Log-Splitter Heavy Gun for IBS Competition

Can you really make a silk purse from a sow’s ear? Would you believe a winning benchrest rifle could be constructed with a stock fashioned from a cast-off log-splitter? Well it can.

Anyone who has attended an IBS benchrest match knows that this brotherhood of shooters includes some “backyard engineers” who can build amazing things with low-cost components. Consider Steve Jordan. He has built a winning Heavy Gun with a gunstock made out of a wood splitter. Check out the photo. The butt section is in the shape of a “V” like an ax. The “V” sits on an adjustable, flat rear sandbag. The flat shaft of the wood-splitter, running horizontally, serves as the main chassis and fore-end. The barrel block sits on top (with the action floated), while the flat, forward section of the shaft rides the front bag. Not only does this “log-splitter” stock work, but Jordan has won IBS matches with it! Sometimes simple and cheap beats expensive and fancy.

Sam Hall Says the Log-Splitter Has Been “Kicking Our Tails”
Sam Hall (multi-time IBS 600-yard champion) reports: “I was not at the first match (years ago) where Steve Jordan debuted his barrel-blocked, Heavy Gun stock made out of a wood splitter. From what I heard he cleaned house with it that day. When I first heard about this log-splitter rig, I thought guys were pulling my leg. But the log-splitter Heavy Gun really exists. In fact, over the past two years at Piedmont, Steve’s home-built log-splitter HG has won numerous Heavy Gun matches, out-performing nearly all the other Heavy Guns on the line, even those that cost thousands more to build.

Steve made the rifle as economical as possible. Steve’s entire stock is made from a metal wood splitter. From what I understand, Ray Lowman gave him the barrel block. This rides on the shaft of the wood splitter. With this inexpensive, simple rig Steve has kicked our tails at times! By the way, Steve’s Heavy Gun is chambered as a 6mm Dasher.”

Accurateshooter.com International Benchrest Shooters

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing No Comments »
November 10th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: From Russia with Love — Amazing Mosin Nagant


One of the most popular features of our Shooters’ Forum is the Official ‘Pride & Joy’ Rifle thread. There you’ll find dozens of interesting rifles, with photos and descriptions supplied by proud owners. Today we’re spotlighting one of the more interesting ‘Pride & Joy’ rifles unveiled this year, a Mosin Nagant “senior citizen”. This 72-year-old Russian bolt gun is not like any Mosin Nagant you’ve ever seen before. It has been brought into the 21st Century with a handsome target stock and some first-class upgrades, including Lothar Walther barrel and Timney trigger. Here’s a look at a very nice Russian rifle, belonging to Forum member Ben C. (aka “Grimstod”):

Video Shows Rifle Shooting Sub-Half-MOA from Bipod (in the Snow):

Name of rifle: Smyert Mk3 (Modified Mosin Nagant)
Make: Izhmekh/Izhevsk (“Izzy”) High Wall
Model: 91/30 | Year: 1942

Components and Specifications:

Barrel: Lothar Walther 26″
Contour: 1.18″ straight
Chambering: 7.62x54R, .310 bore
Stock: Bluegrass Tactical (Gen 1 & 2)
Trigger: Timney with Bluegrass trigger shoe
Magazine: Finnish No-Jam magazine
Scope mount: Rock Solid (looks like an action sleeve)
Scope: SWFA 20x42mm MRAD
Gunsmith: Sheppard
Bolt handle: Rock Solid with Surgeon tactical handle
Bipod: Versa Pod
Total Weight: 18.6 lbs

Grimstod’s Mosin Nagant Custom Shoots Under 0.5 MOA From Bipod
Even in harsh winter conditions, the rifle shot well. (I guess we should expect that for a Russian gun). The photo below shows a group shot from bipod. (The video shows Grimstod’s snow-bound range session). Grimstod calculated the group at 0.394 MOA measuring from outside edge to edge. Using our On-Target software, which measures center to center of most distant shots, we came up with 0.428 MOA. Still that’s impressive for an ancient action being shot in the dead of winter with snow falling. To learn more about this rifle (and view photos of the build process), visit the SurplusRifleForum.com.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
November 7th, 2019

Bet You Ain’t Seen This Before — Barrel-Indexing Rimfire Action

Bill Myers Indexing Action

The late Bill Myers was recognized as one of greatest rimfire gunsmiths who ever lived. Myers crafted many match-winning, record-setting rimfire benchrest rigs. Here we feature one of Bill’s most interesting creations — a clamping action that allows a rimfire barrel to be indexed (rotated) around the bore axis.

Bill was a creative thinker, and his own exhaustive testing has convinced him that barrel indexing can enhance accuracy in rimfire benchrest guns. Myers did acknowledge that, particularly with a very good barrel, the advantages of indexing may be subtle, and extensive testing may be required. Nonetheless, Myers believed that indexing could improve rimfire accuracy.

Indexing with the Myers’ Clamping Action
To index the barrel, Myers simply loosens the three clamping-bolts and rotates the barrel in the action. Because there is no thread to pull the barrel in or out, the headspace stays the same no matter how much the barrel is rotated. In other words you can rotate the barrel to any position on the clockface and the headspace remains unchanged.

Bill Myers Indexing Action
Bill Myers Indexing Action

The Challenge of Barrel Indexing
cone breech bill myers rimfire indexable actionWith a conventional barrel installation, employing a shoulder with a threaded tenon, it is difficult to index the barrel. Even with a cone breech (photo right) that eliminates the problem of extractor cuts, you’d have to use shims to alter the barrel index position, or otherwise re-set the shoulder each time you screwed the barrel in further.

Clamping Action Allows Barrel to Be Rotated to Any Position
Bill has come up with a masterful solution to barrel indexing. He designed and built his own prototype custom action that clamps the barrel rather than holding it with threads. The front section of the action is sliced lengthways, and then clamped down with three bolts. A special bushing (the gold-color piece in photos) fits between the barrel and the action. By using bushings of different inside diameters, Bill can fit any barrel up to an inch or so diameter, so long as it has a straight contour at the breech end. To mount the barrel, Bill simply places the fitted bushing over the barrel end-shank, then slips the “sleeved” barrel into the front end of the action. Tighten three bolts, and the barrel is secure.

Bill Myers Indexing Action

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
November 3rd, 2019

Sunday GunDay: .300 WSM Hunter with Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

300 WSM winchester short magnum carbon manners hunter hunting

High-Tech Hunter in 300 WSM

Since its introduction in 2001, the .300 Winchester Short Magnum (.300 WSM), has proven very popular for hunting and long-range competition. The case has ample capacity to drive the heavy .30-caliber bullets, and with proper case prep and annealing, the WSM is capable of outstanding accuracy. When Nebraskan Greg Anderson decided to build his “ultimate long-range hunter”, he selected the .300 WSM for its accuracy and its ability to drop large game at long distances. Teaming up with Chris Matthews of LongShot Rifles, Greg developed an impressive long-range hunting rig, with high-tech components to reduce weight. The 26″ barrel is a carbon-wrapped composite over a Rock Creek stainless blank. The carbon technology saved about 3 pounds over an all-steel barrel of similar length/contour.

300 WSM winchester short magnum carbon manners hunter hunting

The Manners Composite stock also features carbon fiber construction for stiffness and reduced weight. Greg’s carbon/carbon rifle tips the scales at just 10.8 pounds, including scope and bipod. A conventional rig could easily weigh 15 pounds or more. Greg’s carbon hunter has proven accurate as well as innovative. With 175gr Sierra MKs, the gun shoots well under 1/2-MOA out to 600 yards and beyond.

The Ideal Spot and Stalk Rifle

by Greg Anderson
The purpose of this project was to create a hunting rifle that would be inherently accurate at long range and have an acceptable weight for hunting in rough country. I researched the question of overall weight with several gunsmiths. The smiths confirmed that while fat-contour barrels could deliver improved accuracy, there was a price to pay and a lot more weight. With a heavy barrel, the finished rifle would be most likely weigh about 15 pounds. That’s more than I wanted to haul around in the field. To reduce barrel weight, the suggested “traditional” solutions were fluting, which would reduce barrel weight by at least one-half pound, or going with a smaller diameter barrel.

The Quest for Reduced Weight without Accuracy Loss
Fluting didn’t promise enough weight savings, and a slim, sporter barrel probably wasn’t going to deliver the kind of consistent accuracy I wanted (particularly as the barrel heated up). Accordingly, I decided to “think outside the box”. My research on lightweight barrel options lead me to Advanced Barrel Systems, (ABS) a company in Lincoln, Nebraska that once produced custom carbon-wrapped barrels. ABS President Mike Degerness could wrap a barrel to virtually any shape and diameter, allowing great stiffness even with a huge reduction in barrel weight. As the “core” for his carbon-wrapped barrels, Mike recommends a cut-rifled blank made by any of the quality cut-barrel makers. [NOTE: ABS is not taking orders at this time. You cannow get excellent carbon-wrapped barrels from Proof Research].

Proof reasearch carbon barrel

Significant Weight Saving with Carbon
How much weight can you save with a carbon-wrapped barrel? Well a 24-inch, #7 contour ABS carbon-wrapped barrel will weigh about 2.5 pounds compared to about 5.5 pounds for a steel barrel of the same length and contour. So, this means that you can put a fat, stiff competition-contour barrel on your hunting rifle and save over half the barrel weight compared to an all-steel barrel. Saving three pounds is a blessing when you’re carrying the rifle all day long in the field. I placed an order for a 30-caliber Rock Creek barrel blank with an 1:11.25″ twist and a finished length of 26″. Mike wrapped the barrel and finished it to an M24 contour.

Carbon Can Also Improve Barrel Vibration Damping
One interesting benefit of carbon barrel-wrapping is that the carbon components have a vibration-dampening effect. According to ABS, the extreme rigidity of the finished composite barrel dampens the vibration nodes of the barrel making it shoot like a plain steel barrel of much greater mass. Carbon fiber has a high modulus of elasticity that has the effect of lowering the amplitude of the vibration of the barrel when fired. This is what makes the ABS barrels perform so well, according to Mike.

300 WSM winchester short magnum carbon manners hunter hunting

Impressive Accuracy For a Hunting Rifle
Looking at the targets below, one may ask, “Does the rifle always shoot this well?” The answer, not surprisingly, is: “it depends on the trigger-puller”. The rifle is capable of outstanding accuracy. But it took some time and effort for me to develop the skills required to shoot up to the rifle’s inherent accuracy. I nearly always practice prone from bipod. Initially, I was getting horizontal stringing until I changed my grip and learned to be more consistent from shot to shot. Shooting a heavy-recoiling .30-caliber rifle from the ground is not the same as shooting a .223 Rem from the bench.

3-Shot Group at 200 yards | 6-Shot Group at 500 Yards

300 WSM winchester short magnum carbon manners hunter hunting

Completing the Project Build
To smith the rifle, I selected Chris Matthews of LongShot Rifles, LLC because of his expertise with the WSM cartridges and long-range shooting equipment. Because cost was a factor, we decided to use a donor Remington long action that had been used on a Remington 7mm magnum. Chris trued the action and we had Dave Kiff from Pacific Tool & Gauge grind us a bolt to fit the action more perfectly. Chris chambered the Rock barrel and installed a .300 Badger recoil lug.

Carbon-reinforced Hunting Stock from Tom Manners
Being a fan of carbon fiber technology, I selected an MCS-T stock from Manners Composite Stocks. These stocks have an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio and the high comb of the MCS-T gave an almost perfect alignment with the scope. The finished rifle was topped off with a Leupold 4.5-14x40mm LR scope equipped with M1 windage and elevation turrets. A Harris bipod completed the package. All up, including scope, steel rings, and bipod, my .300 WSM rifle with 26″ barrel weighs 10.8 pounds.

300 WSM Carbon hunting hunter rifle Manners stocks

Load Development for Accuracy
I developed a load using 63.0 grains of H4350, 175gr Sierra Match Kings with Federal 210M primers in Winchester-brand brass. This load gives 2960 FPS out of my rifle. The load would shoot sub-MOA from bipod from 100 yards to 600 yards and was adopted as the “go to” load. I have also tried the 208gr Hornady A-Max in this gun. The A-Maxs shot well but the Sierras work well for everything (paper punching and hunting) so the 175gr SMK is my bullet of choice.

300 WSM Carbon hunting hunter rifle

Brass Prep and Annealing Are Very Important
The Winchester-brand brass is good, but you have to prep it thoroughly if you want good results. My brass prep consisted of turning the necks, de-burring the flash holes (inside and out), and chamfering the case necks. Using a Sinclair neck-turning tool, I turn the necks to .0135″ per side. That provides a complete clean-up of the necks, which run about .015″ neck-wall thickness out of the box.

anneal annealing tempilaqOne thing I’ve learned to do is anneal the brass every 3-4 firings. I started to do that after I noticed that the force required to seat bullets became inconsistent after just a few loading cycles. I also experienced flyers that were going out of the group for no apparent reason. Annealing the cases every 3-4 firings has eliminated most of the unexplained flyers and annealing has also made bullet seating much, much more consistent. I’ve also noticed a significant improvement in my groups at 500 and 600 yards now that I anneal regularly. Group sizes at 600 yards can be as much as 2″ smaller with annealed brass than with un-annealed, work-hardened brass.

Greg Anderson was successful with his .300 WSM on his very first hunt, dropping a nice buck at 364 yards. Chris reports: This was on some private land in Nebraska. As daylight faded… there were a couple of bucks, but one looked to be the best of the lot. The buck gave me a broadside shot ranged at 364 yards. I settled behind the scope and took one shot. It hit right where I aimed and the buck just folded.”

deer hunting buck 300 WSM

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 31st, 2019

.223 Rem Barrel Cut-Down Test — Velocity Loss by the Inch

.223 Rem Cut-Down Test barrel UMC m855

Most of us own a .223 Rem rifle. Now, thanks to our friends at Rifleshooter.com we can assess exactly how velocity changes with barrel length for this popular cartridge.

Rifleshooter.com performed an interesting test, cutting the barrel of a .223 Rem rifle from 26″ all the way down to 16.5″. The cuts were made in one-inch intervals with a rotary saw. At each cut length, velocity was measured with a Magnetospeed chronograph. To make the test even more interesting, four different types of .223 Rem/5.56 ammo were chron’d at each barrel length. The Rifleshooter.com team that conducts these tests has a full-service gun shop, 782 Custom Gunworks — visit 782guns.com.

READ RifleShooter.com 5.56/.223 Barrel Cut-Down Test Article.

Test Barrel Lost 25.34 FPS Per Inch (.223 Rem Chambering)
How much velocity do you think was lost, on average, for each 1″ reduction in barrel length? The answer may surprise you. The average speed loss of the four types of .223/5.56 ammo, with a 9.5″ shortening of barrel length, was 240.75 fps total (from start to finish). That works out to an average loss of 25.34 fps per inch.

5.56/.223 Barrel Cut-Down Speed Test 26″ to 16.5″ Start FPS at 26″ End FPS at 16.5″ Total Loss Average Loss Per Inch
UMC .223 55gr 3182* 2968 214 22.5 FPS
Federal M193 55gr 3431 3187 244 25.7 FPS
Win m855 62gr 3280 2992 288 30.3 FPS
Blk Hills .223 68gr 2849 2632 217 22.8 FPS

*There may have been an error. The 25″ velocity was higher at 3221 fps.

See inch-by-inch Barrel Cut-Down Velocity data HERE.

Rifleshooter.com observed: “Cutting the barrel from 26″ to 16.5″ resulted in a velocity reduction of 214 ft/sec with the UMC 223 55-grain cartridge, 244 ft/sec with the Federal M-193 cartridge, 288 ft/sec with the Winchester M855 cartridge and 217 ft/sec with the Back Hills 223 68-grain match cartridge.”

How the Test Was Done
The testers described their procedure as follows: “Ballistic data was gathered using a Magnetospeed barrel-mounted ballistic chronograph. At each barrel length, the rifle was fired from a front rest with rear bags, with five rounds of each type of ammunition. Average velocity and standard deviation were logged for each round. Once data was gathered for each cartridge at a given barrel length, the rifle was cleared and the bolt was removed. The barrel was cut off using a cold saw. The test protocol was repeated for the next length. Temperature was 45.7° F.”

CLICK HERE to Read the Rifleshooter.com Test. This includes detailed charts with inch-by-inch velocity numbers.

See More Barrel Cut-Down Tests on Rifleshooter.com
Rifleshooter.com has performed barrel cut-down tests for many other calibers/chamberings including 6mm Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, and .338 Lapua Magnum. See these test results at Rifleshooter.com.

.308 Win barrel length cut test

Much Different Results with 6mmBR and a Longer Barrel
The results from Rifleshooter.com’s .223/5.56 test are quite different than the results we recorded some years ago with a barrel chambered for the 6mmBR cartridge. When we cut our 6mmBR barrel down from 33″ to 28″ we only lost about 8 FPS per inch. Obviously this is a different cartridge type, but also our 6mmBR barrel end length was longer than Rifleshooter.com’s .223 Rem start length. Velocity loss may be more extreme with shorter barrel lengths. And, of course, different cartridge types and powder/bullet combinations will yield different results.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 29th, 2019

Amazing Arms — Head-Turning Guns from Our Archives

swing-out breech blockThis one-of-a-kind .50-caliber rifle was crafted by the late J.T. Smith. Along with the lever-actuated falling block, it has a massive swing-out breech block — like an artillery piece.

Beautiful and Historic Firearms
We’ve collected some of the most eye-catching firearms featured on AccurateShooter.com over the past decade. There are famous pistols, a shotgun owned by a princess, the fanciest Savage ever made, and some beautiful examples of engraving and stock-making. Enjoy this collection of firearms eye candy.

Centennial 1911 from Colt — Marking 100 Years
In 2011, to celebrate the 100th birthday of the 1911 hangun, Colt created a spectacular, fully-engraved “Anniversary Edition” pistol. J.M. Browning’s 1911 pistol was officially adopted by the U.S. Army on March 29th, 1911. {The U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy adopted the 1911 pistol roughly two years later). This Centennial 1911 is pimped to the max, complete with gold inlay and genuine ivory grips.

Savage President’s Engraved Savage 99 Rifle
When you run the company, you get some pretty nice stuff — in this case you get what may be the most elegant Savage ever made. This rifle was created for Joseph V. Falcon, who served as President of Savage Arms. This highly embellished Savage 99 lever-action rifle is chambered for the .300 Savage. It features deluxe checkering and gold inlays.

World’s Most Perfect Colt Paterson — Worth Nearly $1 Million
This 1836 Colt Paterson Revolver sold in 2011 for $977,500 at auction. That set a world record (at the time) for the sale of an American firearm. The very rare, ivory-gripped Texas Paterson Revolver, with a 9-inch barrel and attached loading lever, is the finest known surviving example of Samuel Colt’s first revolver, produced in Paterson, New Jersey.

Stunning Engraved Trio — Colt, Mauser, and Luger
Here is a matching set of three three beautifully engraved pistols by the late Indiana engraving wizard Ben Shostle — a Luger, a Mauser, and a diminutive Colt. By themselves, these three matching pistols would make a prized handgun collection. Photo courtesy Amoskeag Auction Company.

Gun porn glamour rifle pistol shotgun stunning engraved Luger Colt Mauser Walther

Princess Diana’s Westley Richards Shotgun
This stunning Westley Richards & Co. shotgun was made for the 1981 nuptials of Lady Diana Spencer and HRH Prince Charles. It is rare, has a unique history of ownership, and is also elaborately decorated.

Princess Diana Gun porn glamour rifle pistol shotgun stunning

Butch Cassidy’s Colt Wheelgun
This revolver isn’t so pretty, but it has an impressive heritage — it belonged to Butch Cassidy. Butch Cassidy’s famous “Amnesty Colt” Revolver sold to a foreign museum for $175,000. The handgun was offered as part of a collection of Western guns and memorabilia auctioned in Casitas Springs, California.

Butch Cassidy Gun

The Right Stuff — Chuck Yeager’s Gold-Plated Beretta
Here’s another pistol with a famous owner “The Right Stuff” Pilot, Chuck Yeager, the first human to break the sound barrier. This Beretta has extra value because it was owned by pilot Chuck Yeager. Photo NRA Museum.

Chuck Yeager Beretta

Stunning Mauser Custom — Master-grade Wood and Steel
Forum member Kurz posted a dream gun owned by a friend in England. Kurz included a quote from a book created by the rifle’s owner: “There, with my father’s words ringing in my ears, I shall take that ‘step forward’ and order a perfect machine based on the Mauser ’98 action, built from metal and wood by master craftsmen who truly understand that ‘reliable’ and ‘mechanical integrity’ have as much relevance today as they did all those years ago.”

Rifle engraved

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Handguns 1 Comment »
October 27th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: German Centerfire Rifle with Rimfire Conversion

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

Shoot Rimfire Ammo from your Centerfire Rifle

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could shoot .22 LR rimfire ammo from your regular hunting or tactical rifle? That would be ideal for low-cost training right? Well, this IS possible, provided you have a rifle that was designed with a .22 LR conversion in mind. One such firearm is the remarkable Sauer 202 from Germany. This impressive centerfire rifle is available with a factory-engineered .22 LR rimfire conversion. Read on to learn how Sauer’s cool .22 LR conversion works.

Sauer 202 Rifle: .308 Win/6.5×55 with .22 LR Conversion
Forum member “Tooms” sent us a report on his very special Sauer 202 with a .22 LR conversion kit. Sauer 202 rifles feature a “Quick-change barrel system”. The barrel is clamped into the receiver with crossbolts providing tension. This allows barrels to be swapped in a few minutes with simple tools.

Tooms, from Denmark, explains: “The rifle began as a Sauer 202 Avantgarde Gold in .308 Win. I have added a 6.5×55 match barrel, plus a wide flat-bottom match fore-arm with rail for handstop and bipod. The .22 LR system [originally] cost $1000.00 [including] barrel, bolt, magazine well assembly, and magazine. The barrel is attached by three cross-bolts and the magazine well assembly is attached by one screw that fits into the barrel.”

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

Using this “Quick-change system”, Tooms can easily remove his centerfire barrel and swap in a .22 LR barrel. Then he places the factory conversion kit into the magazine well. This kit provides a rimfire bolt, a fitted sleeve for the rimfire bolt, and a magazine housing. This is a full Sauer factory-designed system so it works flawlessly. With the bolt closed, you can see the “new” .22 LR chamber in the front section of the loading port. On the silver section of the bolt you can see the rimfire extractor on the side.

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

The .22 LR Conversion Really Works
The Sauer 202 Varmint rifle shoots very well with the .22 LR conversion, as the 50m target at right shows. Though quite expensive, the conversion kit essentially transforms your centerfire rifle into fully functional, mag-fed precision rimfire rifle. That makes the Sauer 202 much more versatile as a hunting platform. It also allows you to cross-train with inexpensive ammo. You don’t have to purchase another scope, trigger, or stock. And you enjoy the exact same stock fit and ergonomics whether you’re shooting centerfire or rimfire. In some countries where gun ownership is severely restricted, it may be easier, from a legal standpoint, to purchase a .22 LR conversion kit than to obtain a permit for a second rifle.

The Sauer 202 rifle line-up has been replaced by the Sauer 404 series which has much in common. To learn more about the complete line of Sauer rifles visit the J.P. Sauer USA website. You’ll also find more information on the primary J.P. Sauer & Sohn German website, www.Sauer.de. Though out of production, some Sauer 202s are still for sale at EuroOptic.com.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
October 24th, 2019

Massive Fire Destroys Pac-Nor Barreling Plant in Oregon


A fire consuming the Pac-Nor Barreling Oregon factory was the lead story for the Curry Coastal Pilot.

The Pac-Nor Barreling production center in Oregon burned to the ground yesterday morning, October 23rd. The 7000-square-foot barrel-making facility located near Brookings, Oregon, was destroyed in a massive fire that apparently started with an electrical fault. There were nine workers in the facility at the time the fire broke out. All exited the building safely.

Millions of dollars of production machinery and barrels were lost in the fire. The Pac-Nor facility is insured, but Pac-Nor owner Chris Dichter said he was not sure if the plant would be re-built: “Thirty-five years of my life went up in this fire. I am 66 years-old and I don’t know if I have the time left. It took my lifetime to find all the machinery in this plant.”

UPDATE 10/26/19: Our Forum members contacted Pac-Nor and learned that the Dichters plan to rebuild the facility: “I got an e-mail from Kathy Dichter and she said six months to a year to rebuild, hopefully. She also said you could follow their progress on Facebook. That’s great news for the shooting community.”

The building and machinery inside were worth between four and six million dollars, Dichter estimated. There is insurance, but it is not clear whether Pac-Nor will resume production in the future.

How did the fire start? Chris Dichter said there were sparks when an electical conduit for a lathe was removed from a wall socket. Then when power was shut off from the main breaker, there was a blast of flame from the wall, almost like an explosion. Dichter declared: “I’d never seen anything go like that. It blew up with smoke and fire. It sounded like a tree fell on the plant.”

READ Full Pac-Nor Fire Report in Curry Coastal Pilot »

We recommend you read this story — it provides the most information on how the fire started. Pac-Nor owner Chris Dichter is quoted extensively.

Pac-Nor Fire Update with 11 Photos (Curry Coastal Pilot) »

This story has the most complete collection of Pac-Nor fire photos.

Del Norte Triplicate Report with Pac-Nor Fire Photos »

Early report with six Pac-Nor Fire photos.

Pac-Nor Barreling Inc., founded in 1985, was a major producer of precision rifle barrels in North America. Pac-Nor offered a huge variety of barrel lengths and contours, and had a vast selection of reamers for chamberings from .17 to .50 caliber. Pac-Nor was also well-known for its popular pre-chambered, “pre-fit” barrels. These provided affordable accuracy upgrades for factory rifles. This Editor has a Pac-Nor 3-groove 6mmBR pre-fit barrel that proved superbly accurate. That barrel, and the Savage rifle to which it was fitted, helped inspire this website, which started as 6mmBR.com.

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing, News 1 Comment »
October 17th, 2019

Beyond the Borescope — BEMIS Laser Barrel Inspection Machine

Chesapeake Testing BEMIS laser bore scanner barrel inspection machine
Here is the BEMIS-SC (Small Caliber) Barrel Inspection Machine. This laser system captures thousands of precise data points over the full length of a .22-.50 caliber bore

Do you think your digital borescope is a state-of-the-art bore inspection device? Well think again. There is now something way more advanced than any optical or electro-optical borescope. A new laser-equipped scanning device can map the entire interior surface of a barrel bore. With this new technology you can now examine every land and every groove, millimeter by millimeter, from the chamber to the tip of the muzzle. The most minute flaw in a barrel can now be revealed.

Chesapeake Testing BEMIS laser bore scanner barrel inspection machineThe new device is called the BEMIS-SC™ (for Barrel Inspection Machine Small Caliber). Operated by NTS Chesapeake Testing, BEMIS-SC performs non-destructive laser-based mapping of gun bores. The BEMIS-SC currently works with .22 caliber to .50 caliber (5.56 – 12.7 mm) barrels. The BEMIS captures thousands of highly accurate data points over the full length of a barrel. The inspection can be completed in mere minutes, with scan results displayed in graphical, tabular, and 3D visual formats. Here is a barrel cross-section, as scanned by the BEMIS-SC:

Click for Full-Screen Version
Chesapeake Testing BEMIS laser bore scanner barrel inspection machine

Until the 1980s, gun tube inspection had to be conducted by hand using a manual “star” gauge, a process that would take hours and provide minimal data. Electronic gauges were eventually developed along with the video bore scope, but these systems were still limited to very few, low-resolution data points. That has all changed with the BEMIS™, a huge leap forward in technology that is capable of rapidly capturing thousands of precise data points.

Chesapeake Testing commenced BEMIS-SC barrel inspection services in September 2014. Testing is performed in Chesapeake’s commercial barrel inspection laboratory, located in Belcamp, MD, minutes from the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground. While testing is currently limited to .22 to .50 caliber barrels, Chesapeake Testing will accommodate both smaller and larger calibers in the future.

“We have always focused on building our company around very unique technologies. BEMIS™ has changed the industry in regards to the inspection of weapon systems. We are excited to be an exclusive partner with LTC in this industry and look forward to contributing to the future of this technology,” says Jim Foulk, founder and president of Chesapeake Testing.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product, Optics No Comments »