November 25th, 2020

Ruger Completes Marlin Acquistion — New Marlins in Fall 2021

Sturm Ruger Acquires Marline firearms $30 million remington bankruptcy court

NewsWire: Sturm, Ruger & Co. completes Marlin purchase on 11/23/2020. Ruger CEO says Ruger plans to reintroduce Marlin firearms in latter half of 2021.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) announced that the closing of its acquisition of substantially all of the Marlin Firearms assets occurred on Monday, November 23. The agreement to purchase these assets emanated from the Remington Outdoor Company, Inc. bankruptcy and was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama on September 30, 2020. The purchase price of approximately $28.3 million was paid by Ruger with available cash.

Chief Executive Officer Christopher J. Killoy noted the excitement that has permeated the firearms industry in anticipation of the confluence of these two iconic firearms brands, “Since we announced the agreement to purchase Marlin in September, we have heard from countless members of the firearms community — consumers, retailers, distributors, writers, and collectors — who are delighted that legendary Marlin rifles are now part of the Ruger product family. We are excited to start moving these assets to our Ruger facilities and setting up the manufacturing cells that will produce Marlin rifles for years to come. We look forward to re-introducing Marlin rifles in the latter half of 2021.”

Sturm Ruger Acquires Marline firearms $30 million remington bankruptcy court

Previously, in October, Killroy noted: “The value of Marlin and its 150-year legacy was too great of an opportunity for us to pass up. The brand aligns perfectly with ours and the Marlin product portfolio will help us widen our already diverse product offerings. The important thing for consumers, retailers and distributors to know at this point in time is that the Marlin brand and its great products will live on [through Ruger]. Long Live the Lever Gun.”

Marlin History 101 from the Marlin Forum

“Marlin Firearms was founded in 1870, some 144 years ago, by Mr. John Mahlon Marlin. As such, Marlin rifles for generations carried ‘JM’ roll marks on their barrels to designate this homage. Marlin had cut his teeth in Samuel Colt’s factory making revolvers and pistols during the Civil War in Hartford, Connecticut. Then, he broke out on his own, starting a small shop in nearby New Haven.

The company specialized in lever action rifles, such as the M1891, which was updated as the 1893, then the Model 39, and still exists today as the Model 336. After Mr. Marlin died in the early 1900s, the company went from being family-owned to being a corporation, which made machine guns for the Army during World War 1, merged with Hopkins and Allen, then in 1924 went out of business.

Sturm Ruger Acquires Marline firearms $30 million remington bankruptcy court

It was then that the Kenna family bought what was left of the company for $100 and, for all but a decade, a member of the Kenna family remained the president of the company for the next 83 years. During that time, Marlin registered hundreds of patents including on side ejection lever actions, Micro-Groove rifling, the T-900 Fire Control System, and others.”

More recently, in the year 2000, Marlin acquired Harrington and Richardson (H&R), maker of break-action shotguns and rifles. Then in 2007 Remington bought out Marlin, including H&R.

Marling Forum Carbon Media

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November 19th, 2020

Getting Vertical Fliers? Check Firing Pin and Ignition System

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin
Top to bottom – Remington firing pin assembly with ISS, Tubb SpeedLock alloy-composite system without ISS (current versions have dual, opposite-wound springs), and Remington short action firing pin assembly without ISS.

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit regularly publishes technical articles on the USAMU Facebook page. One informative USAMU article covered mechanical issues and related ignition irregularities that can cause vertical fliers even with good ammunition in an otherwise excellent rifle. We highly recommend you read this article, which offers some important tech tips.

USAMU handloading hump day

Vertical Dispersion: Mechanical/Ignition Issues?

Poor or inconsistent ignition has long been known to be one of the “usual suspects” when one encounters vertical fliers that just shouldn’t be there. By having a sense of some of the basic principles involved, and a few basic areas to check, the shooter may avoid colsiderable frustration, not to mention time, expensive loading components and barrel wear.

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pinIs your well-built rifle of high-quality components plagued with vertical fliers across more than 1-3 handload combinations? Consider the bedding, crown and scope/sight mounts. Are they correct? If so, then you might check for ignition issues before boldly undertaking an extensive, expensive, and quite possibly fruitless quest for the “magic handload”.

SEEING IS BELIEVING: While the author had been aware for many years that poor ignition should be considered and ruled out when dealing with vertical fliers in an otherwise-excellent rifle, actually seeing the problem and its almost instantaneous cure really drove the lesson home.

He was working with a “dot” rifle – a .22 LR match rifle that really stacked bullets into little piles at 50 yards and beyond. With one lot of ELEY Tenex, it produced consistent “bughole” groups at 50, but with another, selected lot of Tenex, similar groups were regularly ruined by single, vertical fliers that did not appear in other rifles. Rather than spending days burning up expensive, select ammunition looking for “magic lots”, he contacted a well-respected rimfire gunsmith and explained the situation.

Without so much as batting an eye, the highly-experienced ‘smith tore into the rifle’s action, and quickly found the cause(s) of the problem. He discovered a demonstrably weak firing pin spring, plus a chip out of the face of the firing pin where it contacted the cartridge rim.

After replacing and tuning the offending parts, the rifle immediately began shooting tiny, bughole groups with the previously “unacceptable” lot of Tenex. Centerfire rifles can also benefit from ensuring positive, consistent ignition. A wise riflesmith is literally worth his weight in gold!

So, what are some issues we as shooters can inspect in our rifles to help determine if ignition woes could be part of our problem? At the club level, ask yourself if that “experienced” Remington, Winchester 70, or even Springfield-based match bolt gun you’re using is still running its’ original 40-80 year-old factory striker spring? If so, a new replacement is cheap insurance against current or future problems. (And BTW, it might be best to stick to the normal, factory-spec spring weight. A super-powerful spring can cause vertical, just as a weak one one can.) Along with that, a routine check for proper firing-pin protrusion is a quick preventive measure that can rule out potential issues.

Other areas to consider are the centering and consistency of the firing pin’s operation in the bolt. Admittedly, with the increasing use of precision-machined custom actions, this is becoming less an issue every day. Below is the firing pin assembly from a custom BAT action:

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin

However, particularly with factory actions, a very quick and easy check is to remove the bolt, let the firing pin go forward, and look at the firing pin tip through the firing pin hole. Is the tip off-center in the hole, and possibly striking it as it moves forward? Is the hole out-of-round or burred from being struck repeatedly? If so, a trip to the riflesmith is likely in order.

Similarly, machining issues in the bolt/firing pin system can lead to rough and erratic firing pin movement, in which the firing pin drags against an internal surface of the bolt. In high-quality rifles these issues are relatively rare, but not unheard-of, and it takes mere minutes to rule them out. It may be worthwhile to remove the cocking piece/firing pin/spring assembly and look for any unusual gouges, dings, peening, burrs or signs of abnormal wear.

This task is especially easy with Winchester 70s, Springfields, and the similar Mauser 98s, involving little more than the push of a button and unscrewing the cocking piece assembly. This is just one of the many reasons these tried-and-true actions have earned such a loyal following in the field, among hunters who must maintain their rifles away from a shop.

USAMU Handloading vertical dispersion ignition rimfire accuracy firing pin

Particularly with older rifles, watch for and remove excess grease (or even Cosmoline!) from both the firing pin assembly and inside the bolt. This can help improve firing pin speed and consistency. Other bolt-action designs may need a take-down tool or other measures.

As part of this inspection, AFTER ENSURING THE RIFLE IS UNLOADED, slowly cock the rifle, dry-fire, and repeat several times. Listen carefully near the action for inconsistency in the sounds it generates. Does the striker falling make the same sound each time? Do you hear or feel grinding upon operation? If so, where?

Be sure to check the operation of the cocking piece (bolt shroud), firing pin within the bolt shroud, the cocking piece cam and the rear of the bolt body where the cocking piece cam operates. As with our examination for abnormal wear marks discussed above, look for marks indicating roughness or a possible need for light polishing. Then, clean and lightly grease the bearing surfaces while you’re at it.

Remington 700 bolt shroud and cocking cam
Rem 700 bolt cocking cam

These are relatively easy checks that shooters can undertake to perform a preliminary inspection on their own. Other mechanical issues can also cause ignition issues, chiefly centered around the action of the trigger, sear and sear spring. If these are suspected, a trip to an experienced, qualified riflesmith for diagnosis is recommended. We hope you find this information helpful! Join us again next week, and in the meantime, enjoy the shooting sports safely!

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November 19th, 2020

Guide to Gun Metals — What You Need to Know

Sweeney Guide to Gun Metal

4140, 4150, 316, 17-4, 6061, 7075-T6 — What is the significance of these numbers? No, they’re not winning lottery numbers. These are all designations for metals commonly used in firearm and barrel construction. 4140 and 4150 are carbon steels, with 4150 often used in mil-spec AR15 barrels. 316 and 17-4 are grades of stainless steel. 316 is “marine grade” stainless, while 17-4 has 17% chromium and 4% nickel. 17-4 is a harder steel used in barrels and receivers. 6061 and 7075-T6 are aluminum alloys. 6061 is “aircraft grade” aluminum, often used for rings and trigger guards, while 7075-T6 is a much stronger, heat-treated aluminum commonly used in AR15 uppers.

Sweeney Guide to Gun MetalYou can learn about all these metals (and more) in the online archives of RifleShooter magazine.

Written by Patrick Sweeney, RifleShooter’s Guide to Gun Metal summarizes the primary types of steel and aluminum used in gun and barrel construction. Sweeney explains the nomenclature used to define metal types, and he outlines the salient properties of various steel and aluminum alloys. This is a useful resource for anyone selecting components or building rifles. We recommend you print out the page, or at least bookmark it.

Metals by the Number
The number system for steel classification came from the auto industry. Sweeney explains: “The Society of Automotive Engineers uses a simple designating system, the four numbers you see bandied about in gun articles. Numbers such as 1060, 4140 or 5150 all designate how much of what [elements are] in them. The first number is what class—carbon, nickel, chromium, and so forth. The next three numbers [list other elements in the alloy]. 4140, also known as ordnance steel, was one of the early high-alloy steels. It has about 1 percent chromium, 0.25 percent molybdenum, 0.4 percent carbon, 1 percent manganese, around 0.2 percent silicon and no more than 0.035 percent phosphorus and no more than 0.04 percent sulphur. That leaves most of it, 94.25 percent, iron.”

Aluminum Alloys
Numbers are also used to differentiate different types of aluminum alloys. Sweeny writes: “Aluminum is used in firearms in two alloys: 7075 and 6061. 6061 is commonly referred to as ‘aircraft aluminum’ and has trace amounts of silicon, copper, manganese, molybdenum and zinc. 7075 is a much stronger alloy and has markedly larger amounts of copper, manganese, chromium and zinc.” 7075 Aluminum has significantly better corrosion resistance, and that’s why it is used for AR receivers. The “T6″ you often see appended to 7075 refers to a heat-treating process.

Aluminum (or “Aluminium” in the UK) is a chemical element in the boron group with symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery-white, soft, nonmagnetic, ductile metal. Aluminum is the third most abundant element, and the most abundant metal, in the Earth’s crust. (Wikipedia)

Aluminum alloy table chart Silicon Maganese Zinc Copper Magnesium

To learn more about the metals used in your firearms’ barrels, rings, receivers, and internal parts, read Sweeney’s article in RifleShooterMag.com. Taking the time to read the article from start to finish will expand your knowledge of metal properties and how metals are chosen by manufacturers and gunsmiths. CLICK to Read Guide to Gun Metal.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions. Aluminum Alloy chart courtesy AluminiumDesign.net.
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November 15th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: French 6-6.5×47 F-Classer for Aliénore

F-Class 6.5x47 Lapua Toulouse France

Today’s Sunday GunDay Story is a unique and beautiful F-Class rifle from France. This handsome rifle was first featured in our Gun of the Week Archives. This rifle was a gift from husband to wife. Because this is such a unique rifle, with a great back-story, we are reprising this “French Connection” rifle once again.

Europe has a number of capable custom arms makers, and in this article we feature one of them, Christian Salva of Toulouse, France. Here we spotlight an ultra-accurate and handsome 6-6.5×47 Lapua F-Class rifle. Built for a lady, the rifle exhibits flawless craftmanship to match its superior performance.


Alie Gets Her Gun — Thanks to Husband Aurélien

Photos and text by LONASSAC, translation by T.J.E., NRA UK
Aliénore, a charming young French lady, shares her passion for short- and long-range shooting with her husband, Aurélien. Aurélien already owns a 6mmBR PGM Ultima Ratio rifle and decided to have a rifle built for his wife so that they could shoot together. They therefore turned for help to the Christian Salva workshop, located in Toulouse in the south of France, close to their home.

SALVA Walnut Stock–Gorgeous Wood, and Great Ergonomics
Aliénore chose a superb, perfectly-grained French walnut blank for the stock. The stock is a single, solid piece of walnut, with a waxed finish to show off its fine figuring. The stock design is optimized for F-Class, prone and Bench Rest shooting. The fore-end is flat and 3.35″ (85mm) wide, slightly wider than the common 3″ used on most benchrest rifles. On the underside of the forearm is a rail to take a Parker-Hall or a Versa Pod-type bipod. The trigger guard is a custom, light alloy SALVA design. The butt plate is Anschütz-type. It adjusts vertically and can be rotated on its horizontal axis. The cheek piece is adjustable for height only — all that is needed.

Aliénore selected the F-Class Target Rifle from Christian Salva’s range of rifles, which is the one best suited to the type of shooting she wanted to do. Their club’s rifle range, near their home, goes out to 600 meters (See photos above). Unfortunately, as is usual in France, the range does not have a target pit. Members shoot prone using front benchrest-style rests, as in F-Class. The problem is that, without a proper target trench, it’s not possible have individual shots spotted and marked (as would be done in American High Power matches). However, with a good scope, in good light, shot-holes can be seen at 400m, and sometimes even at 600m — but this is rare.

When this rifle was crafted, Christian Salva was one of the few gunsmiths in France who manufactures complete rifles from front sight to butt-plate. With the sole exception of the barrel, he constructs the whole rifle, including action, bolt, trigger and stock. He also does all the bedding and chambering himself. Everything is done to his customer’s specification which, of course, can only be achieved in a small and highly specialized business.

General Rifle Specifications
The rifle was built on a SALVA hexagonal long range action with a flat base, which is set in a highly-figured French walnut stock using a bedding block. The gun is 49″ (125 cm) overall, and weighs 9 kg (about 20 lbs.), including scope. The barrel is 29″ (74cm) long, and a straight 1.22″ (31mm) in diameter. Given the weight and size of the barrel, the decision was made to secure the barreled action into the stock with a bedding block. On top of the action is an angled Picatinny rail with 20-MOA built-in to allow long-range shooting without using up the scope’s internal elevation. The rifle is currently fitted with a Nightforce 12-42x56mm BR scope held in alloy rings.

Details of SALVA Action
The rifle features a light Dural alloy right bolt, right port, single-shot action treated and coated with a champagne-color surface hardener. The action is hexagonal in shape (normal for a French action), with a flat base for improved bedding. On this particular gun, however, the action is floated, with the barreled action secured by the long barrel block. Take a good look at the photo below. Yes, the action on is fully-floated — the barrel block secures the barreled action into the wood stock. This is similar to some Benchreast heavy guns.

F-Class 6.5x47 Lapua Toulouse France

Christian Salva produces his actions from scratch, employing high-tech machinery, including CNC multi-axis mills. The advanced design allows the action to be very strong as well as light. The SALVA action is very thick and sturdy, in spite of its weight being reduced to a minimum. It can chamber cartridges from the 6mmBR size up to magnum calibers such as the 300 Win Mag. A treated steel insert is screwed into the front of the action. This is threaded to receive the barrel and machined to receive the locking lugs of the bolt. The threaded section is especially long (36mm with a 1.5mm thread) so as to ensure proper rigidity for the unit. Where the bolt lever closes, a steel insert, screwed into place with a BTR screw, prevents the steel bolt lever from wearing the softer Dural alloy of the action.

Tri-Lug Bolt with Extractor and Ejector in Lugs
The cylindrical all-steel bolt has a diameter of 0.906″ (23mm) and three (3) front locking lugs. The bolt design has BOTH extractor and ejector placed in locking lugs. Salva’s goal, in engineering the position and operation of both extractor and ejector, was to reduce side pressure on the cartridge. The extractor is designed to hold a cartridge case in place with minimal lateral displacement. The ejector is also built into one of the three lugs. [Editor’s Note: Many modern benchrest actions, such as the Stolle Panda, Stiller Viper, and some BATs employ an extractor in the lug. This is also a feature on Savage bolts and push-feed Model 70 Winchesters. However, these bolts do not have the ejector in a lug as well.]

Remarkably, the ejector has no spring, unlike most bolt designs. It should be noted that this springless ejector is designed to eliminate side pressure when chambering a round, thus keeping the round concentric in the chamber. The ejector is mechanical and will eject the case if the shooter pulls the bolt all the way back. If the shooter prefers to extract the case by hand, one simply pulls the bolt part way back. The 1.5″ (38mm) bolt lever is fairly short, but it has an oversize 30mm polymer knob to facilitate the opening and closing of the bolt.

French Gun, German Barrel — a 29″ Lothar Walther
On Aliénore’s rifle, the barrel is the only component not manufactured by SALVA in Toulouse. For the barrel, Christian Salva chose a stainless Lothar Walther, 6-groove barrel, with a 1:8″-twist for handling 105gr bullets. The muzzle is milled with an 11º slope so as to handle boat-tail VLD bullets. This German-made Walther tube has a 1.22″ (31mm) straight contour and is 29″ (74mm) in length. This long, non-tapered barrel is heavy enough that Salva decided to mount it with an alloy bedding block, about 8″ long (20 cm). Ten Allen-head screws clamp the block to the barrel, while the lower section of the bedding block is secured to the wood stock with eight screws and bedding compound.

Proprietary SALVA Trigger
The trigger is also manufactured by SALVA in its entirety, from Christian’s own design. Overall trigger pull weight adjusts from 50-250 grams (1.8 oz. – 8.8 oz.). The SALVA trigger can also adjust for: Longitudinal trigger position (Length of Pull); Over-travel; Main travel; Second-stage pressure; and Sear engagement.

Cartridge and Load Info
The rifle is chambered in 6-6.5×47 Lapua. Aurélien starts with Lapua 6.5×47 cases. These are then necked-down to 6mm and neck-sized with a .265″ bushing. The necks are turned very slightly, to ensure neckwall uniformity, and achieve a consistent grip on the bullet. Aurélien loads Berger 105gr VLD bullets, pushed by Vihtavuori N160 powder and small magnum primers. His preferred load is 38.2 grains of N160 with a cartridge overall length (COAL) of 2.732″ (69.40 mm). With this load, muzzle velocity is 2854 fps (870 meters per second) chronographed one meter from the muzzle. [Editor’s note–this is a very mild load. The 6-6.5×47 can drive 105-grainers over 3100 fps.]

How the Rifle Shoots

Smooth Function + Great Accuracy
When firing using a front rest, the recoil of a 9 kg, 6-6.5×47 Lapua rifle is minimal and ideal for a lady. The operation of the rifle is trouble-free, even if a few rounds were initially a bit stiff on loading for the first time. Thereafter everything sorted itself out very nicely. The action of the bolt is solid and one can feel that everything is very snug and that the tolerances are properly tight.

The versatile trigger rivals the best benchrest triggers, with the additional bonus of a single- or two-stage operation. That said, with a minimum pull-weight of 50 grams (1.8 oz.) perhaps the term “two-stage” is not the best description, since it is difficult to detect a let-off point at that weight. The trigger can be set to be a very light, single-stage let-off.

The rifle is fitted with a Nightforce 12-42x56mm BR model scope. This high-magnification optic enables the shooter to see his/her bullet holes at 400 meters in good light. This is very useful when it comes to adjusting for wind. The stock’s adjustability and ergonomics allow the shooter to feel comfortable using this rifle. The Anschütz butt-plate and easily-adjustable height of the cheek piece help in that regard.

This rifle has demonstrated some impressive accuracy. Below is a group shot by Aurélien at 400 meters (437.4 yards) on C200 targets. Using OnTarget group measuring software, we calculated this 5-shot group at 0.555″ or 0.121 MOA. That’s remarkable for a gun shooting long, VLD-style bullets. At 100 meters the rifle has yielded “one-ragged hole” groups.

alie rifle 6-6.5x47 accuracy

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
November 14th, 2020

Building Rifles with Howa 1500 Barreled Actions — Expert Advice

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com
Rifleshooter.com built this tactical rifle (top image) with a Howa 1500 action, Shilen barrel, and MDT chassis. Below is a factory Howa 1500 Multi-Cam rifle.

Many of our readers are thinking of purchasing a Howa rifle or barreled action. These feature smooth-running actions with a good two-stage HACT trigger. But some folks have heard that it may be difficult to find stocks, or to fit an after-market barrel. That’s not true. There are many stock options available, and in this article, Bill of RifleShooter.com shows that it is easy to remove the factory-installed barrel with the right tools. We think a Howa makes a fine basis for a varmint rig or field rifle. Or you can build a tactical rifle as Bill did. You can start with the factory barrel and when you want/need more accuracy, then have a gunsmith install a custom barrel from Krieger, Shilen, or other quality brand.

What You Need to Know About Howa 1500-series Rifles

Tech Feature by RifleShooter.com
Consider this article the “Howa 1500 Overview”. AccurateShooter.com’s editor mentioned there’s been a lot of interest in Howa rifles and barreled actions imported by Legacy Sports International. In addition to being able to buy a complete rifle from a dealer, Brownells sells barreled actions in a wide variety of calibers and configurations. In this post we are going to take a look at the Howa 1500 series.

Howa Rifles — General Background
Howa is a Japanese heavy machinery company. One of its product lines are firearms, which, are imported into the United States of America by two different companies, Legacy Sports International and Weatherby. Legacy sells the 1500 under the manufacturers name while Weatherby re-brands the guns as the Weatherby Vanguard. In general, the finishes on the Weatherby rifles are more refined than the LSI-imported 1500s.

General Evaluation of Howa 1500 Rifles
I’ve found Howa 1500s to be solid, entry-level rifles that are capable of sub-MOA accuracy out of the box. I’ve actually purchased two Howa rifles I’ve tested because I like them so much. The gun below, a Howa Mini-Action in 7.62×39 Russian, is one of my favorite factory guns to shoot. I’m running a Tract Optics Toric on it, these are solid little rifle scopes that offer great performance for the money.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Check out this three-shot group I drilled at 100 yards with the rifle above and 125-grain Sierras. It took a lot of work and load development to get there, but when it did, it worked well.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1600 HACT Two-Stage TriggerHowa 1500 HACT 2-Stage Trigger
Howa 1500s feature the very nice Howa HACT trigger. This is an adjustable, two-stage trigger, set for about 3 pounds (combined stages). Crisp and repeatable, this is an excellent trigger for a factory gun. There is no annoying Glock-style safety lever in the middle of the trigger blade. The 2-stage design and pull weight range works well for a hunting rifle or a rig for PRS competition. Rifleshooter.com says the Howa trigger is “one of the best factory triggers, along with Tikka. I’ve found the Howa trigger superior to a Remington 700 — the Howas doesn’t need to be replaced.”

Writing for the Western Outdoor News, WONews.com, Steve Comus has field-tested the new HACT Trigger. Steve writes: “I always liked two-stage triggers, because of the way I could take-up the slack and then actually know when the rifle was going to go off. The take-up on the [HACT] trigger was fast and easy. The crisp, positive release when pressure was put on during the second stage [reminded me] of some of the target rifles I shot through the years.”

Howa Actions — Three Options
Howa offers three action lengths: Mini, Short, and Long. You can see the bolts for the three action lengths in the image below. The Mini-Action has similar external dimensions to the Remington Model Seven, however, the Mini-Action’s bolt does not travel as far to the rear. This is a mixed bag. The upside is you have a quicker action (shorter bolt throw). The downside is you are limited to shorter rounds such as the .223 Remington, 7.62×39mm Russian, and 6.5 Grendel. But if you need a bigger cartridge, just choose the standard or long action Howa variant.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1500 vs. Remington 700 — Important Differences
Is the Howa 1500 a Remington 700 clone, or some kind of improved Remington 700? No, not really. While the top radius of the Howa 1500 does match the Model 700, and they can both use the same two-piece scope bases, there are a number of differences.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

If you look at the Howa 1500 alongside the Remington 700 you’ll note the M700 is a round action, while the Howa is a flat-bottom action. In many ways the Howa’s bottom half reminds me of a push-feed Winchester. This means the chassis and stocks that support a Howa 1500 are not V-block based like you’ll find on a 700, instead they have a flat bottom. While the bolt of the Howa is similar in external appearance to the Model 700, it does offer some improvements, notably an M16-style extractor and a firing pin assembly that can be easily removed without tools.

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Howa 1500 action screws are metric and are in a different location from the 700. The Howa 1500 has an integral recoil lug that accepts the front action screw, this means you have more of the front action screw engaging the action. WARNING: If you install it into a poorly-fitted stock or action you may bind it.

Can a Howa Action Be Used for a Custom Rifle Project?
Absolutely! You can either buy a barreled action from Brownells and throw it in a chassis system/stock of your choice or you can use a stripped action to build a custom rifle. If you are in the chassis market, MDT offers a wide variety of chassis in different price ranges. All have worked well for me.

How to Remove Howa Factory Barrel from Action
You may have heard internet grumblings about removing Howa barrels. Some keyboard commandos say they are extremely difficult to remove without a relief cut. Well Bill at Rifleshooter.com demonstrates that Howa barrels can be removed without trouble, provided you have the right tools. Watch this video:

Watch Howa Barrel Removal Video — Quick and Easy (Click Speaker Icon for Audio)

Q: Is it difficult to remove a barrel from a Howa 1500?
A: Not very. I’ve heard from some smiths that worked on Howas (years ago) that the factory barrels are difficult to remove. However of the half dozen or so Howa barrels that I’ve pulled, they’ve been very easy. I use a Brownells action wrench with the top piece for a Rem Model 700 and the flat bottom resting against the flat on the wrench.

Howa Actions Require Metric Barrel Threads
It’s easy to thread a barrel for a Howa Action. You just have to cut metric threads — most lathes out there can cut them. I cut the threads below on a manual lathe using change gears. [Editor: John Whidden cuts metric tenon threads with a CNC lathe. “It’s easy,” John tells us, “No issue whatsoever.”]

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

Using Howa Actions for Custom Rifles
I have built a few customs with Howa actions. Below is one of my favorite, a .308 Winchester. It consists of a Howa 1500 action, Shilen Select Match Remington Varmint contour barrel, and Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) ESS chassis. Great rifle and it hammers!

Howa 1500 rifle Bill Rifleshooter.com

To learn more about Howa rifles and actions, visit Legacy Sports International. To buy a Howa barreled action, visit Brownells.com.

To learn more about modular chassis systems for Howa rifles, visit MDTTAC.com

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November 14th, 2020

“Bully!” — Theodore Roosevelt’s Guns In NRA Museum

Theodore Teddy TR Roosevelt NRA museum bully

Theodore Teddy TR Roosevelt NRA museum bullyStory by Lars Dalseide for NRAblog.
Back in 2012, the National Firearms Museum received a shipment from Sagamore Hill — the ancestral home of President Theodore Roosevelt. While Sagamore Hill undergoes renovation, the National Parks Service was kind enough to lend a portion of the estate’s collection to the NRA Museum. For quite some time, that collection was displayed at the NRA Museum as an exhibit named “Trappings of an Icon”.

“Basically it tells you about the life of Theodore Roosevelt,” explains Senior Curator Phil Schreier (in photo above in coat). “Hunter, Statesman, Soldier. In the first case we had two firearms from his hunting career. First an 1886 Winchester rifle known as the tennis match gun because he used winnings from a tennis match to purchase the gun.”

The second firearm on display was a suppressed Winchester model 1894 rifle. This was favorite of the President’s when clearing the grounds of the local, pesky critters. Schreier explains: “Archie Roosevelt wrote that his father liked to shoot varmints around Oyster Bay with this gun so he wouldn’t disturb the Tiffany and Du Pont families that lived near by.”

President Theodore Roosevelt was a strong supporter of marksmanship competitions. In fact President Theodore Roosevelt could be called a “founding father” of the NRA National Matches*. Teddy Roosevelt believed that, to assure peace, America needed to be prepared to fight. At the 2011 NRA National Championships, Dr. Joseph W. Westphal, Under Secretary of the U.S. Army, echoed the views of Roosevelt: “The first step in the direction of preparation to avert war, if possible, and to be fit for war, if it should come, is to teach men to shoot.”

Theodore Roosevelt also has a strong connection to the “President’s Match” fired every summer at Camp Perry. The President’s Match was patterned after an event for British Volunteers called the Queen’s Match started in 1860 by Queen Victoria and the NRA of Great Britain. The tradition of making a letter from the President of the United States the first prize began in 1904 when President Roosevelt personally wrote a letter of congratulations to the winner, Private Howard Gensch of the New Jersey National Guard.

*In February 1903, an amendment to the War Department Appropriations Bill established the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP). This government advisory board became the predecessor to today’s Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety, Inc. that now governs the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The 1903 legislation also established the National Matches, commissioned the National Trophy and provided funding to support the Matches. This historic legislation grew out of a desire to improve military marksmanship and national defense preparedness. President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary of War Elihu Root and NRA President General Bird Spencer were among the most important supporters of this act.

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November 13th, 2020

Criterion Barrel — Great Accuracy with Creedmoor Sports Ammo

criterion barrel black creedmoor sports .308 Win Ammunition ammo

Superb Accuracy with Criterion Pre-Fit Barrel and Creedmoor Sports Ammo
Check out that 0.188″ group. Can you believe that was shot with factory .308 Win ammo? A while back our friends at Criterion Barrels tested some .308 ammo from Creedmoor Sports. This was loaded with Lapua’s 175gr Scenar HPBT bullet in Lapua brass. The results speak for themselves. Any time factory ammo can shoot inside quarter-MOA, that’s impressive. This ammo was used in a “Rem/Age” project rifle. That term refers to a Remington action rifle that has been re-barreled with a pre-fit Criterion barrel. The new barrel is secured with a Savage-style barrel nut. Hence the term “Rem/Age” or “Rem-Age”.

shooting target accurateshooter load developmentCriterion posted: “I think we may have a new favorite factory match load for the nitrided Rem/Age build.” Another reader added: “[Creedmoor’s] 175 Scenar .308 ammunition is top notch.” FYI, this group was shot on our load development target, which you can download for free from our Targets Page.

Why do Criterion barrels shoot so well? One reason is that Criterion’s barrel steel is carefully stress-relieved. In the photo below, Criterion Rack 1A (aka the “Coffin”) has been loaded with barrel blanks — made ready for the stress-relieving process.

criterion barrel black creedmoor sports .308 Win Ammunition ammo

Working with Pre-Fit Barrels
While they may require the purchase of some additional tools and a bit of a learning curve to install, using Rem/Age pre-fit barrels offer advantages over gunsmith chambering and barrel-fitting. In this video, 8541 Tactical explains how to install a Criterion 6.5 Creedmoor “pre-fit” barrel. You save money and time — you don’t have to wait for a gunsmith to chamber the barrel. While Criterion recommends that a competent gunsmith oversee the pre-fit installation, if you understand the use of go/no-go gauges and you have a barrel vise and action wrench set up to remove the original barrel, putting on a pre-fit barrel CAN be a DIY project. You don’t have to pack up your rifle to ship it off to a smith.

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November 10th, 2020

New Single-Shot Actions & Target Rifles from Vudoo Gun Works

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Here’s big news for .22 LR rimfire benchrest competitors and smallbore F-Class shooters. Vudoo Gun Works is now offering precision single-shot rimfire actions, and complete Benchrest/F-Class style target rifles. Vudoo will be selling the new V-22S Single Shot Action, the Vudoo/Flavio Fare BR-VS 0.7-2.8 oz. trigger, and complete single-shot target rifles with benchrest and F-Class-style modern low-profile stocks. With a Rem 700 footprint, the V22-S action can also be used for smallbore silhouette and prone rigs. That’s good news for .22 LR competitors in many disciplines.

About The Vudoo V-22S Single-Shot Action
The all-new V-22S action was designed for optimal function in single-shot applications. The action has a three-lug bolt, six o’clock ignition, and the bolt can be dis-assembled without tools. Vudoo claims the action’s 60-degree bolt lift is “the smoothest and lightest of any three-lug [rimfire] design on the market”. The V-22S will be offered in various configurations: right bolt/right port, right bolt/left port, left bolt/left port and left bolt/right port. There is an integral 11mm dovetail mount and optional 0, 20, 30, or 40-MOA Picatinny rails. Another first for this type of action is a complete color-coded mainspring kit with mainsprings ranging from 13 to 18-pound force. The action is currently priced at $1405.00 MSRP.

Vudoo Gun Works V-22S Action Features
Rem 700 Short Action Footprint
Rem 700 Pinned Trigger Interface
Three Lug, 60-Degree Bolt Throw
Six O’Clock Ignition — Vertical Sear Fire Control
Tool-less Bolt Assembly/Disassembly
Color-Coded Mainspring Kit (13-18 lbs.)
Integral 11mm Dovetail Mount
Picatinny Rail 0, 20, 30 or 40 MOA

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Trigger Options — Flavio Fare BR-VS or your Choice of Rem-Compatible Triggers
A newly-designed fire control system yields precise, consistent ignition thanks to the Vudoo/Flavio Fare BR-VS Trigger. Vudoo Gun Works teamed up with Flavio Fare to co-develop a trigger for the new fire control system. The BR-VS Trigger adjusts from .7 to 2.8 ounces with heavier pull weight ranges coming soon. [Editor: We have talked to folks who have tried this new trigger and they say it is outstanding.] If you prefer a different trigger, a 60-degree cocking piece will be available as an option.

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

Complete Rifles Starting at $2800.00
Vudoo Gun Works will offer complete single-shot target rifles with three different match stocks: McMillan Kestros, McMillan Edge, Grayboe Renegade SS. These rifles will be fitted with the new BR-VS trigger, or other trigger of your choice. Complete rifle price ranges from $2800 to $3450 depending on options.

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallbore

vudoo gunworks V22-S single shot action benchrest f-class rifle smallboreVudoo Designer Talks about V22-S Action
Mike Bush, Design Engineer and Co-Founder of Vudoo Gun Works told us: “The V-22S is a ground-up Gen 3 design, which is where the tool-less bolt assembly/disassembly started. We rolled this design backwards into what are our current Gen 2 Repeater actions and we couldn’t wait to get the new Single-Shot out and in the hands of competitors, target shooters and those with a general passion for rimfire”.

Mike says the design really works: “I’ve not seen a system that offers better concentric alignment, repeatability and smoothness of operation… add to this, the six o’clock ignition and our new Vudoo/Flavio Trigger, and I think you’re going to see big differences downrange.”

More Details about the V22-S Action
Some folks have asked whether Vudoo’s new action is devived from the Remington 40X rimfire action. Vudoo states: “The V22-S departs from the 40X in that the 40X was a full size center fire receiver converted to handle the diminutive .22LR cartridge. The V-22 has been designed from the ground up as a true-to-scale Rimfire receiver that fits the Rem 700 footprint. 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. [So] 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. It is eliminated in the V-22’s geometry.”

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November 10th, 2020

Collectible Firearms — Five Factors That Determine Value

Lady Diana Prince Charles 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.

Jim Supica, Director of the NRA Firearms Museum, has written a trio of articles about gun collecting. If you are thinking of starting your own collection of firearms, you should read Supica’s informative articles. The first talks about the basics of gun collecting, the second explains the five key factors that govern gun values, and the third article explains where to find rare and valuable arms. Today we want to highlight the five factors that contribute most to a gun’s value, according to Supica:

Make and Model, Condition, Rarity, History, Art — These are the five factors that … appeal to collectors and help determine the value of collectible guns.

Read Full Gun Collecting Article on NRABlog.com »

1. Make and Model

Make and model tends to be the starting point for evaluating collectible guns for most collectors and will be a basic threshold requirement for those with specialized collections.

Factors here include the quality of a particular manufacturer’s products, the historical usage of the guns in question, and the brand’s aura of romance. As an example of that last (and most intangible) factor, consider that Colt Single Action Army revolvers were for several decades the most prevalent focus for collectors interested in full-size revolvers from the post-Civil War to turn of the 20th Century-era, and there is no question that Colts were widely used during that time. In recent years, there has been a refreshing trend in gun collecting to look at a broader range of guns than the traditional blue chip Colts, Winchesters, and Lugers.

Colt Single Action Army revolver engraved
Colt Single Action Army Revolvers remain among the most prized (and collectible) firearm.

2. Condition (and Originality)

Obviously, condition plays a major role in the value of a collectible firearm. The classic advice to new collectors in this regard has always been to hold out for guns in the best condition and pay the extra premium they demand. This condition-emphasis seems to have developed in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early post-WWII years of gun collecting there was more interest in rare variations and history, and fewer collectors to whom a few percentage point difference in remaining original finish was of much concern.

Although the highest-condition guns continue to bring record prices, it seems that the pendulum is beginning to swing back the other way, a trend met with my hearty approval. The appeal of “mint” guns has been largely lost on me, and seems to be more appropriate to coin or stamp collecting than a field in which the possible historic usage of the artifact holds so much interest and significance. There is a definite segment of the collector market that is not overly concerned with perfect condition, so long as the gun is original and has not been messed with in a more recent (and, in my opinion, usually misguided) attempt to enhance its desirability.

3. Rarity

In terms of rarity, the well-worn saying that “just because a gun is rare doesn’t mean it’s valuable” remains true to a certain extent. There may only be five known examples of a particular gun, but if only three people care about it, the market is saturated. However, there does seem to be more interest in cornering the rare variations within established collecting fields. There is a bit of a resurgence of the collecting philosophy of completing a punchlist of models and variations within a specialization, and this lead to vigorous competition for the rarest examples in these fields. In emerging collecting fields, when new research is published revealing the rarity of certain variations there can develop a brisk interest in those guns.

4. History

Individual guns with a known history of ownership by a specific individual or usage in a specific historical event have always captured the fascination of collectors, as well as historians and the general public. This seems to reflect a basic human interest and shows no sign of abatement. A positive trend here seems to be an increase in general understanding of the type of documentation which must accompany a historically attributed firearm to give it the credibility to justify a premium price, and the importance of creating and preserving such documentation.

Chuck Yeager Pistol
This Beretta has extra value because it was owned by pilot Chuck Yeager. Photo NRA Museum.

5. Art (Decorative Embellishment)

Fine engraved guns are collected more for their artistic value than for their worth as firearms. Here the market for classic works by the great engravers of the 19th and early 20th Centuries remains strong, as well as for factory-engraved pieces from more recent years. Interest in recent non-factory engraving seems to have diminished, as has… the trend of adding modern engraving to older firearms.

engraved pistols Ben Shostle Luger Mauser Colt
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 Colt. Photo courtesy Amoskeag Auction Company.

Factory-custom engraving should not be confused with mass-produced, factory-made commemorative firearms, which flooded the market in the 1960s and 1970s. A couple of major manufacturers worked this genre to death, and prices on commemoratives have been stagnant for many years now, although the market for these shows some signs of renewal.

CAUTIONARY WORDS about RESTORATION
With prices for high-condition original finish guns running away from the budgets of many collectors, period-of-use refinished guns and older factory-refinished guns are finding more enthusiastic buyers than they did a few years ago.

The availability of excellent-quality restoration services is another factor that I anticipate may impact collector preferences in the future. The top restoration artists are reworking guns to “as new” condition with such skill that it has become increasingly difficult for even knowledgeable collectors to distinguish mint original finish guns from the best restorations.

When such restoration is disclosed to a prospective buyer (as it ethically should be), the prices the gun will bring are significantly below a similar gun with original finish, and may be less than the original cost of the pre-restoration gun plus the cost of the rework. This creates a mighty incentive for deception by a motivated seller, either by active misrepresentation (a.k.a. “fraud”) or passively by simple failure to mention the modification.

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November 7th, 2020

Great M1 Garand Resources for Rifle Maintenance and Cleaning

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

Do you own an M1 Garand? Or perhaps you’re thinking of ordering a Garand, now that the CMP has acquired 99,000 of these classic battle rifles from Turkey and the Philippines. An M1 Garand is a great addition to anyone’s firearms collection. It is a piece of living history — plus it can be used in Vintage Military rifle matches. Here are some great resources for M1 Garand owners. We list two useful articles on general maintenance. In addition, we’ve included three excellent videos covering M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication. Finally there are links to recommended print manuals available from the CMP.

M1 Garand maintenance procedures

M1 Service and Maintenance
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) recently published an excellent article on Service and Maintenance of M1 Garand Rifles. This offers some smart tricks, such as using smoke from burning masking tape to darken the front sight post. There is also an older SSUSA article that covers basic cleaning and servicing and also explains how to upgrade the performance of your Garands. READ Article HERE.

M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication

M1 Garand Tips and Tricks

This popular Tips and Tricks Video has been viewed over 1,100,000 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 $3.25 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 Garand match instruction video War Department

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October 29th, 2020

Kimber Mfg. Moves from New York to Troy, Alabama

Kimber manufacturing pistol new york alabama

New York, the state that brought suit to dissolve the NRA, has lost yet another important gun business. Firearms maker Kimber Manufacturing Inc. (Kimber) is leaving New York and heading south to Alabama. The primary reasons for the move are the anti-gun policies of New York, high state corporate taxes, and high costs of living for New York-based workers. Put together, New York had become a hostile environment for Kimber so it is moving to Alabama. Good riddance, New York.

Kimber is an American company that designs and manufactures firearms for individual, sporting, law enforcement, and military markets. Known primarily today for its handguns, Kimber also makes hunting rifles. In fact Kimber got its start building .22 LR sporting rifles. Kimber was originally founded as “Kimber of Oregon” in 1979 by Jack Warne and son Greg Warne in the small town of Clackamas, Oregon. It went through several ownership changes before relocating to New York and New Jersey.* Now Kimber will get a new start in Alabama.

Kimber manufacturing pistol new york alabama

Kimber issued this press release about its Relocation:

Kimber Mfg. is pleased to name Troy, Alabama, as its official corporate headquarters and to announce it is hiring aggressively in all departments. After a carefully planned shift of leadership, R&D and manufacturing resources, Kimber has made substantial progress in the transition to its new, state-of-the-art headquarters in Troy, Alabama. [The facility is] situated on 80+ acres with more than 225,000 square feet of space and is now home to industry-leading design engineering, product management, and manufacturing capabilities.

After an exhaustive search, Troy was chosen for a multitude of reasons including its proximity to top-tier engineering schools as well as gun- and business-friendly support from the city of Troy and the great state of Alabama. Kimber’s Alabama expansion is well ahead of schedule, having filled hundreds of its planned Troy-based positions.

Kimber Is Hiring Employees in Alabama
Kimber is seeking qualified applicants including CNC technicians, machinists, quality control specialists, design engineers, compliance analysts, customer service representatives, materials planners, maintenance technicians, finishing operators, and assembly technicians. Interested job applicants can CLICK HERE.

“Kimber is a great place to work, especially if you love firearms,” said Pedi Gega, director of assembly and product finishing. “We have two indoor gun ranges, one outdoor range, a state-of-the-art design and prototype fabrication center, and a dynamic team of professionals who pride themselves in producing firearms with unmatched attention to detail, design and performance.”


* An Australian, Jack Warne moved to Oregon in 1968 after Portland-based Omark Industries purchased the Australian firearms manufacturer, Sporting Arms (Sportco), he had founded in South Australia. Following its founding in 1979 by Warne, Kimber of Oregon built a reputation for .22 LR rimfire rifles, and then Kimber expanded to produce excellent centerfire rifles. After some setbacks, Kimber of Oregon filed for bankruptcy. In 1990, several Kimber employees, including Dan Cooper, left to found Cooper Firearms of Montana. But then in the mid-1990s, Greg Warne revived Kimber with the help of Les Edelman. The two founded Kimber of America. Edelman was also involved in New York-based Jerico Precision Manufacturing, which produced tools and mechanical components for the defense industry. Edelman combined Jerico Precision’s existing manufacturing capabilities and Kimber’s network of dealers to sell a line of M1911-style handguns. He eventually moved Kimber’s production line to Jerico’s facilities in New York, ending Kimber’s presence in Oregon. The company now will move from New York to Troy, Alabama.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Handguns, Hunting/Varminting, News 1 Comment »
October 28th, 2020

Cure Primer Cratering — Get Firing Pin Bushed by Greg Tannel

Crater moon primers greg tannel bushing firing pinCraters may look interesting on the moon, but you don’t want to see them on your primers. Certain mechanical issues that cause primer craters can also cause primer piercing — a serious safety problem that needs to be addressed. If you have a gun that is cratering primers (even at moderate pressure levels), there is a solution that works with many rifles — send your bolt to Greg Tannel to have the firing pin hole bushed.

Shooters who convert factory actions to run 6BRs, 6PPCs or other high-pressure cartridges should consider having the firing pin bushed. These modern cartridges like to run at high pressures. When running stout loads, you can get cratering caused by primer flow around the firing pin hole in the bolt face. The reason is a little complicated, but basically the larger the hole, the less hydraulic pressure is required to crater the primer.

A limited amount of cratering is normally not a big issue, but you can reduce the problem significantly by having a smith fit a bushing in the firing pin hole. In addition to reduced cratering, bushing the firing pin often produces more consistent ignition.

CLICK HERE for Gre-Tan Firing Pin Hole Bushing Service INFO »

This is a highly recommended procedure that our editors have had done to their own rifles. Greg Tannel (Gre-Tan Rifles) is an expert at this procedure, and he does excellent work on a wide variety of bolts. Current price for a bushing job, which includes turning the firing pin to .062″, is $92.00, or $100.00 with USPS Priority Mail return shipping.

If you have a factory rifle, a bushed firing pin is the way to go if you are shooting the high-pressure cartridges such as 6PPC, 6BR, 6-6.5×47 and 6.5×47. This is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial upgrades you can do to your factory rifle. For more info on the Firing Pin Bushing process, visit GreTanRifles.com, or email greg [at] gretanrifles.com. After clicking the link for GreTanRifles.com, Click on “Services” > “Shop Services” and you’ll see a listing for “Bush Firing Pin Hole & Turn Pin”. CLICK that Box.

Gre-Tan Rifles firing pin bushingFiring Pin Hole Bushing by Greg Tannel

Work Done: Bush firing pin hole and turn pin
Functions: Fixes your cratering and piercing problems
Price: $92.00 + $8.00 return shipping
Total Price: $100.00

Actions for which Bushing is Offered: Remington, Winchester, Savage multi-piece pin, Sako, Kimber, Nesika, Stiller, BAT Machine, Kelbly, Lawton, Surgeon, Borden, Wichita, Hall, Ruger, Howa, Weatherby, Dakota, Pacific Tool, Phoenix, and Defiant bolt action rifle or pistol.

Actions for which Bushing is NOT Available: Case hardened receivers, ARs, Accuracy International (AI), Barnard, Big Horn, Cooper, Desert Tactical Arms, Kimber, Rosenthal, New Savage single piece pin, Rim fires, Falling block, Break open, Lever, Pump rifles, 1903-A3, CZ, Mauser.

How to send your bolt in to be bushed:
Send your bolt and firing pin assembly via snail mail, priority mail, or UPS. Please do not use FEDEX as it sometimes has delivery delays.Include your name, phone number, and return shipping address, and a note as to what you want done. Pack your bolt carefully and ship to: Gre’-Tan Rifles, 24005 Hwy. 13, Rifle CO 81650.

Due to the high volume of work, turn-around time for bolt bushing jobs can be 12 weeks (though it usually is faster). Customers can pay by check, money order, or credit card. For more information visit GretanRifles.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
October 23rd, 2020

History of The Gun Series — Informative Videos

history of the gun flintlock breechlock repeating rifles
Matchlocks, Wheellocks, Flintlocks, Breechloaders, Lever Actions — All these historically significant firearms designs (and more) are featured in a fascinating series of videos produced by Ruger.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. has created a series of 11 short videos that trace the history of firearms, from matchlocks to modern semi-autos. Ruger’s “History of the Gun” video series provides a fascinating look at firearms technology throughout the years. The host is Garry James, Senior Editor of Guns & Ammo magazine. Featured here is Segment 7 on Rifling. Other installments in the series are linked below. If you are interested in the history of gun design and manufacturing, this series is definitely worth watching.

Flintlock mechanism
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October 21st, 2020

How to Clean and Maintain Your AR-Platform Rifles

Barrel cleaning AR15 bolt carrier carbon Jerry Miculek gas key direct impingement

AR-platform rifles can be maintenance-intensive beasts. But some AR owners make the situation worse by not regularly cleaning important small parts, or by using too much oily/greasy lubricants in the wrong places. A properly maintained and lubricated AR15 can shoot hundreds of rounds (between cleanings) without a problem. If you learn where (and where not) to apply lubricant, you’ll find that your AR will run more reliably and the task of cleaning the bolt and bolt carrier will be less of a burden.

Here is a good video that explains AR-15 Cleaning and Maintenance. In this 30-minute NSSF video, Gunsite Academy instructor and gunsmith Cory Trapp discusses the proper way to clean and maintain the AR-15 carbine. Very knowledgeable, Trapp provides rock-solid advice for AR owners. Along with cleaning procedures, this video explains how to inspect key components and how to function-test your AR before each shooting session.

AR-Platform Rifle Maintenance — Inspection, Cleaning, Function-Testing

AR15 AR-15 gun cleaning maintenance

If you want to keep your black rifle running smoothly and reliably, you must clean it regularly and follow the correct maintenance procedures. Here’s another good video that explains how to properly disassemble and clean AR-platform rifles.

Take-Down and Full Cleaning of AR15 by Jerry Miculek

Here ace shooter Jerry Miculek takes down and cleans an AR-platform rifle belonging to his daughter Lena. This is a good video because Lena’s rifle was “run hard and packed up dirty” so you can see where carbon and grease build up. This 35-minute video is very thorough. Jerry is one of the nation’s top action carbine shooters, so listen carefully to his advice on cleaning and lubrication.

AR15 AR-15 gun cleaning maintenance

AR15 AR-15 gun cleaning maintenance

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October 21st, 2020

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.

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October 20th, 2020

Out-of-Battery Blast Breaks Rifle and Bones in Shooter’s Hand

out of battery kaboom bohica 50 bmg ar15

As posted in the Calguns.net a few years back, there was a nasty out-of-battery firing incident involving a BOHICA Arms .510 DTC AR15 upper. The cause of the out-of-battery firing is not certain but it appears that the ammo was not sized properly and the firing pin may have been stuck in the extended position. As a result, the round went off before the bolt was closed with the lugs seated. In the process, the bolt handle broke off, as the bolt retracted violently, actually ending up outside the bolt raceway.

out of battery kaboom bohica 50 bmg ar15

The shooter was badly injured, with broken bones and ligament damage to his left hand and tissue damage to his right hand. The shooter was holding the rifle with his left hand near the front of the chamber where a gas vent was located. Gas and shrapnel existed the vent hole causing the severe injuries to the left hand.

From range reports, it appears that the shooter had been struggling to chamber previous rounds, and was having trouble closing the bolt. After talking with one of the rangemasters, a poster on AR15.com reported: “The guy was using new reloads that weren’t exactly fitting well into his chamber. [The shooter] was slamming the bolt handle with his palm trying to get the cases to lock in. The guy was also slamming the bolt forward full force from the rearmost position back and forth trying to ram the cases into chamber in an attempt to squeeze the rounds in so the bolt could close. Finally, on one of the attempts … the possibly stuck firing pin rams into the primer and explodes the round when he slams the bolt forward (zero lug engagement hence the KB) and shooter puts himself into a world of hurt.”

Lessons Learned — Don’t Try to Force Oversize Ammo into a Chamber
By all reports, the shooter’s ammo wasn’t fitting his chamber properly. In an effort to force the ammo into the chamber, he worked the bolt with excessive force. That MAY have caused the firing pin to extend or the hammer to fall without the trigger being pulled. One theory is that the trigger system may have been modified, allowing the hammer to fall from the force of slamming the bolt forward. Others have speculated that the firing pin may have failed to retract because the bolt handle was over-torqued — a safety issue listed in the BOHICA manual.

out of battery kaboom bohica 50 bmg ar15

Whatever caused the out-of-battery firing, it appears that improperly-sized ammo (or a poorly-cut chamber) was the root cause of the problems. If you go to a range and find your bolt does not close easily over the ammo — STOP SHOOTING — don’t try to force the issue. Disaster may result. To paraphrase Johnnie Cochran: “If the ammo doesn’t fit, it’s time to quit”.

Photos by Wildcard, originally posted on Calguns.net.

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October 20th, 2020

Laser Engraving for F-Class Team USA on New Borden Actions

Borden action laser engraving

Borden action laser engravingJim Borden of Borden Accuracy/Borden Rifles is adding “something extra” to the Borden actions crafted for F-Class Team USA members. These actions feature a Team Name and Team shield thanks to modern computer-controlled laser engraving. Jim Borden posted: “Here is Tony at Endless Laser Art doing his thing. [Team members] James Crofts, Drew Rutherford, Dan Bramley, Keith Trapp here we come!”

Jim is crafting special actions for both the F-TR and F-Open Team USA squads with laser-engraved USA F-Class Team shields. There is a BRMXD-type called USA Open and a BRM-type action called USA FTR. The F-Open serial numbers start USAFOPEN01 while F-TR numbers start USAFTR01. These are offered to members of USA F-Class Teams.

Watch Laser Engraving of Borden Actions

Watch the video above to see U.S. Rifle Team shield laser-engraved on Borden actions for F-Class Team USA and F-TR Team USA.

Borden action laser engraving

Don’t Tread on Me — Laser-Engraved Ax Blade for NRL Founder
Here’s a another example of modern, computer-controlled laser engraving. Travis Ishida, one of the founders of the NRL Precision Tactical series, has obtained a laser engraving machine. This can be great for putting identifying marks on tools, metal gunstocks, motorcycle parts — basically anything where you want some words and/or graphics. We like the message Travis printed on his Ax: “Liberty or Death… Don’t Tread on Me”. Travis posted: “Finally got my laser engraver working and now I want to engrave everything in sight! This could be a lot of fun… and a little obsessive.”

Borden action laser engraving

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October 18th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Tubb 2000 Across the Course (XTC) Rifle

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championship

For this Sunday GunDay article we feature a “blast from the past” — David Tubb’s engineering tour de force, the Tubb 2000, or “T2K” for short. With the remarkable T2K, David earned multiple NRA High Power championships, and David shot the first-ever perfect score in the NRA Long-Range “any sights” championship 16 years ago.

Our write-up this week focuses mostly on “hardware” because David’s performance with the rifle speaks for itself. He has won eleven High Power National Championships at Camp Perry, and in 2004 David mounted a scope to his rifle and captured the Long-Range “any sights” Championship with a 1450/1450, the first and only perfect score ever logged at Camp Perry. He did this all with his trusty 6XC-chambered T2K, shooting the DTAC 115gr bullet in a 1:7.5″-twist Schneider P5 barrel. For more information about this remarkable competition rifle, read on.

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championship

[Editor’s NOTE: Because this is an article from our older Archives, some technical details may have changed with time. For all current specifications on TUBB rifles, including the TUBB 2000, visit DavidTubb.com. For more information on the particular T2K rifle featured in this story, CLICK HERE.]

Mag-Feed Action with Unique Bi-Camming Bolt
The action is machined from 17-4 stainless steel to true benchrest quality standards. The design features a solid top with a loading port. This increases action stability, stiffness, and strength. The loading port is easily accessible and is angled to aid the shooter in single loading rounds. The Tubb 2000 is fed via 10- or 20-round box magazines.

“I prefer using 20-round magazines with the Tubb 2000 because it provides a secure hand hold when shooting off the bipod. For across the course competition, the 10-round magazines are the best choice as they do not encumber sling-supported shooting positions. There is no difference in the functioning or reliability of either capacity magazine.”

One-finger Bolt Operation
Low effort bolt operation was a key goal in the design of the Tubb 2000 action. The exclusive bi-camming design employs two cams that engage during bolt lift to radically reduce bolt lift effort. Bolt lift is 75 degrees. The cone-faced bolt has two locking lugs which are narrower and taller than on conventional actions. This design allows the magazine to be mounted higher in the action for smoother, more positive feeding. The bolt handle is designed for superior performance in sustained fire operation. Its ergonomic shape allows operation with a single finger, if desired. The bolt is machined from 8620 carbon steel and rides back into the butt extension, under the shooter’s face so the bolt can be operated without the shooter having to change his head position. This low center of gravity also improves the rifle’s feel and performance under recoil.

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championship

The action features a full-length Picatinny rail that will accept Weaver®-style mounts. The action’s adjustable sight mounting system allows the rail to be mounted at one of three pre-set mounting angles — 0, 5, and 10 degrees — to allow the shooter to level the sights to fit his shooting style. A custom base is available to mount match iron sights. All barrels have a small section at the muzzle turned down to accept a clamping-style front sight mount or cant indicator.

The T2K’s Lock Time is ONE millisecond — over three times faster than a Model 70 Winchester.

Barrel Configuration
Tubb 2000 rifles featured hand-lapped stainless steel match barrels with the exclusive “Tubb Contour.” This unique contour maximizes accuracy and minimizes weight — it’s the perfect balance. According to David: “It’s a contour where the barrel wouldn’t shoot one bit better if it was one bit bigger.” The Tubb 2000 was conceived as a “switch barrel” gun — it’s designed to be easily re-barreled by the customer. This feature means that the same rifle can support different calibers and shooting disciplines. Finished barrels in a variety of calibers were available for “do-it-yourself” installations. The gun shown here has a Schneider barrel.

The Tubb 2000 has, over the years, been offered in a variety of chamberings including: .22-250; .243 Winchester; 6mmBR Norma (6BR); 6XC; .260 Remington; 7mm-08; and .308 Winchester. Available accessories include finished barrels, extra 10- or 20-round magazines, cleaning rod guide, adjustable bipods, custom adjustable handstop, fore-end weight rail, and cant indicator.

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championshipTrigger, Stock Adjustment and Other Features
The Tubb 2000 uses the superb Anschütz® fully-adjustable two-stage trigger (with safety); one of the finest available to the precision rifleman. This trigger can also be adjusted to provide single-stage operation. The buttstock assembly, forend, buttstock clamping block, and magazine housing, trigger guard assembly are made from 60-series aluminum, hard anodized in the customer’s choice of 6 colors: light and dark teal, purple, red, forest green, and black. (The T2K Tactical (see below) comes in matte black only.) These four parts are each available in any of the listed colors, allowing the purchaser to design his own distinct rifle.

The buttstock is FULLY adjustable for length, height, cant (angle), and offset. The cheekpiece is adjustable for height. An easily accessible knurled wheel allows the shooter to adjust the cheekpiece from the shooting position. Shooter comfort is further augmented by an ergonomic pistol grip. All adjustment features on the Tubb 2000 were designed for easy shooter access. The butt extension, clamping block, shock housing, and buttplate all have index marks to allow the shooter to record and repeat adjustment settings. The tubular fore-end can be rotated and positioned to accommodate the shooter’s preference. An integral accessory rail accepts a custom adjustable handstop or bipod. The fore-end also incorporates a built-in barrel heat wave blocking system which eliminates optical distortion in the sighting plane.”

David Tubb Explains T2K Stock Adjustments

I advocate setting stock length a little longer than most people might. I am a firm believer that it is best to “reach” slightly for the pistol grip as this ensures a strong, secure hold on the rifle. I pull the rifle firmly into my shoulder pocket when shooting offhand, and also prefer to have what I would characterize as very firm contact between rifle butt and shoulder in the sitting and prone positions as well. When using a sling in prone or sitting, stock length (and sling tension) should be great enough so that, at the least, you have to push the buttpad forward with your hand in order to place the stock into the shoulder pocket. My buttstock is shortest offhand and longest prone. If my standing setting is “0”, I’m usually out about 1-1/2 inches for sitting and about another inch for prone. I have found that many people tend to shoot with a stock that’s too long in sitting and too short everywhere else.

I have found the cast off/on adjustment feature on the buttstock to be of great help to me in attaining the natural shooting positions I desire. For prone, I offset the clamping block so the buttplate moves outward [the index mark on the clamp is to the right of center on the scale on the receiver extension tube]. I swing it a little bit inward for offhand and slightly more inward for sitting. The amounts of cast on/off (in clock-face terms) are approximately 6:30 for standing, 4:30 for prone, and 8:00 o’clock for sitting.

Stock Position Diagrams © 2004, Glen Zediker, David Tubb, and Superior Shooting Systems, used with permission.

Stock Length Adjustment Procedure
The buttstock is adjustable in length 4+ inches. This adjustment is accomplished by moving the buttplate tube in or out after loosening the four screws on the clamping block. Ensure that the buttstock tube is fully contained in the block. The extent of rearward (lengthening) movement is determined by the front of the buttstock tube fitting flush with the front of the block.

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championshipStock Cast and Cant Adjustment Procedure
The buttstock is adjustable for cast or offset by loosening the four screws on the clamping block and swiveling the block on the receiver extension tube. The buttplate itself is adjustable for cant up to 360 degrees and after loosening the screw directly in the center of the rubber recoil pad is adjustable for height at approximately 1-1/2 inches. The cheekpiece is adjustable vertically approximately one inch. The vertical cheekpiece adjustment is accomplished via the top knurled ring. The lower knurled ring will then secure the setting.

About David Tubb — Tubb 2000 Designer
David Tubb is arguably the winningest centerfire rifleman in history. He has won a record eleven NRA National High Power Rifle Championship titles at Camp Perry, along with six NRA Long Range HP Championships. In addition, David is an NRA Silhouette Rifle legend, having won nearly 30 open, individual National Championship titles in all four rifle categories. David has also won seven Sportsmen’s Team Challenge Championships and multiple Wimbledon Cups. His latest big win was the 2019 NRA ELR Championship in Heavy Gun Class.

For more information on the
Tubb 2000 Rifle contact:

David Tubb Accuracy
and Precision Gun Parts

800 N. 2nd Street
Canadian, TX 79014
DavidTubb.com
Phone: (806) 323-9488

David Tubb T2K Tubb 2000 across the course rifle high power championship

All photos and quoted text Copyright © 2004, Zediker Publishing and David Tubb, All Rights Reserved.

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October 18th, 2020

Exotic Gun with THREE Barrels — Blaser Bockdrilling

Blaser BD14 Drilling Bockdrilling Shotgun Rifle
CLICK Photo for full-screen view.

If two barrels are better than one, then why not three? That’s the thinking behind the exotic Bockdriling BD14 from Blaser, unveiled at the 2014 IWA Show in Germany. This three-barrel Bockdrilling firearm works as a shotgun, large-caliber rifle, and small-caliber rifle all in one. Even with all those barrels, the BD14 is relatively light, at 3.3 kg (7.26 lbs) without optics. That makes this a nice, carry-around gun for stalking. As you’d expect from Blaser, the twin triggers are crisp and precise, with a pull weight of just 1.43 lbs (650 grams). The front trigger is for the large-caliber rifle barrel, while the rear trigger works both the shotgun and small-caliber barrels, via a tang-mounted selector. These firearms are rare in the USA — and quite expensive. The only Blaser BD 14 we could find on GunBroker had a $9099.95 asking price. That works out to over three grand per barrel.

Blaser BD14 Drilling Bockdrilling Shotgun Rifle

Here’s what Blaser USA has to say about its unique three-barreled BD 14:

“The ‘Bockdrilling’ is, put simply, an over/under (O/U) rifle-shotgun combination with a smaller caliber rifle-barrel… on the side. The barrel arrangement [allows] for an extremely slender receiver, making the BD14 exceptionally huntable.

The [patent-pending] Vertical Block Lockup… combines an extremely compact and solid block lockup in a closed system within the monoblock with the comfortable handling of a classic break-action rifle.

The double lock permits, if needed, a rapid second shot, the front trigger always releasing the large rifle-caliber. The … barrel selector actives the shotgun barrel when in position ‘top’ and activates the smaller rifle caliber in position ‘bottom’.”

Blaser BD14 Drilling Bockdrilling Shotgun Rifle

Why Does Anyone Need Three Barrels?
The Blaser website explains: “As hunters, we learn to expect the unexpected, whether in a blind or stalking, so it’s understandable that we dream of a firearm that will allow us to take advantage of any situation. With the Bockdrilling BD14, Blaser has developed the perfect blind and stalking firearm – compromises are finally a thing of the past.”

Design Features of the Bockdrilling BD 14 Tri-Barrel Gun
The BD14 has a double-lock system so that a second shot can be taken without having to recock the firearm. Blaser says: “Thanks to the free-floating barrels, point of impact remains constant even with a quick succession of shots, no matter which barrel was fired first. The extremely strong vertical block lock on the BD14 helps contribute to the high degree of precision.”

Story idea from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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October 18th, 2020

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 $16.99 for an 8 oz. squeeze bottle with a flip-top spout. This product is sold directly by Sharp Shoot-R Precision Products through 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.

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