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November 27th, 2022

For Optimal Accuracy with Threaded-Muzzle Barrels, Use Larger Muzzle Thread Diameter

Barrel Threading AR15 ARX Robert Whitley bartlein

Our friend Robert Whitley of ARX Enterprises LLC has learned, through careful measurement and testing, that some barrels threaded 5/8″ x 24 TPI at the muzzle may not deliver optimal accuracy. The reason is that the end of the barrel can bell out slightly, like a trombone, because too much steel has been removed. This is particularly true with .30-caliber barrels, but it can also be a problem with smaller caliber barrels (even 6mm). Robert demonstrates this phenomenon in the video below. All gunsmiths, and anyone considering threading a barrel, should watch the video. At 1:00 – 1:30 Robert gauges a 5/8″ x 24-threaded .30-Caliber barrel. You can see the belling effect clear as day.

Barrel Threading AR15 ARX Robert Whitley bartlein

“When setting up a commercial barrel in the lathe, we noticed that the maximum-sized bushing that would fit in the bore at the chamber end was almost .0015” smaller [than what would fit] at the muzzle. That precipitated my pin-gauging of a number of different commercial barrels that were threaded for 5/8” x 24 TPI. What I found is what’s shown on the video.” – R. Whitley

Solve Problem with a Larger Thread Diameter
If 5/8″ x 24 threading is potentially harmful to accuracy, is there a solution? Yes, you simply need to leave a little more steel on the barrel. (See Video starting at 02:40.) Frank Green of Bartlein barrels states: “We get these questions all the time. I say run the largest thread diameter that is possible.” Robert Whitley has found that a 3/4″ x 28 TPI threading does not cause the “belling effect”. Accordingly Robert recommends 3/4″ x 28 if you need to thread your barrel for a muzzle brake or suppressor. Robert explains: “We only make 3/4” x 28 TPI muzzle brakes and that’s what we recommend to customers.”

Barrel Threading AR15 ARX Robert Whitley bartlein

“See how much meatier the 3/4″ threading is vs. the 5/8″. The 3/4″ threading offers a lot more metal around the bore. There’s a lot less opportunity for the bore to become bell-mouthed…” – Robert Whitley

Barrel Threading Diameter — What’s Important to Know

By Robert Whitley
In truth, the 5/8″ x 24 TPI threading never came out of any accuracy-based think tank or set-up, it’s a military .30-Cal threading for barrels that someone has to carry around (they needed to keep the barrel weight down so it was smaller in diameter and the threading had to work with that situation). People have somehow assumed because the military uses that threading for certain things that it must mean that it’s also fine for a highly accurate rifle too, but that’s not really correct.

I don’t think there is any better and realistic option than the 3/4″ muzzle threading, and we also do it so there is no relief cut behind the threads on the barrel (i.e. put the relief cut on the brake or jam nut, don’t chop down on the muzzle of the barrel). For some reason many have a hard time grasping that the metal at the muzzle end of a rifle is “sacred” and you should not cut it down any more than absolutely necessary. A little threaded pencil diameter nub on the end of a barrel is not ideal for accuracy especially if it’s threaded and you need to torque on it. I cringe when I see a barrel with something like an MTU or Heavy Varmint contour, only to have an itty-bitty pencil thin threaded nub right at the muzzle so someone can “screw on a can” or a muzzle brake.

Lessons Learned Over the Years
A number of years ago I did a 30BR rifle project with Craig Kostyshyn who was big in the 30BR game and he made some of the best 30BR rifle barrels for benchrest competition. When I did the project I wanted a medium-heavy Palma type contour barrel I could use and also have a muzzle turndown for a front sight band. When he found out I was going to have the muzzle turned down he said “whoa, I need to provide for that when I make the barrel because if you turn the front down later you’ll be shooting a trombone” (i.e. the muzzle bore dimension would open up).

What he did was rough contour the barrel with the turndown (about .010” oversize) before he lapped the barrel, then when he lapped the barrel he took it easy in the muzzle area and worked the back of the barrel more. I thought he was a little bit excessive in his concerns but the barrel shot great and I wasn’t going to argue with him, after all he was shooting groups in the ones. I kind of just filed that away and never thought about it until recently when I went to have Fred from Sabreco do some chamber re-work on a commercial .30-caliber barrel I had. When setting up the barrel in the lathe and indicating things Fred noticed that the maximum-sized bushing that would fit in the bore at the chamber end was almost .0015″ smaller [than what would fit] at the muzzle and he mentioned it to me. That precipitated my pin-gauging of a number of different commercial barrels I had that were threaded for 5/8” x 24 TPI. What I found is what’s shown on the video.

NOTE: This is a copyrighted article. Do not reproduce or re-link more than 75 words without written permission from AccurateShooter.com.

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November 20th, 2022

How to Clean the Inside of Lug Recesses and Chamber Area

Bolt Action Cleaning lug recess chamber cleaning

Most competitive shooters are pretty good about bore cleaning (some may even clean their bores too aggressively). However, we’ve found that many shooters neglect the chamber area and the bolt lug recesses. It’s too easy to clean the bore, slip out the guide rod and say “I’m done.” Sinclair Int’l explains why it’s important to clean the action interior: “Shooters use a lot of grease and oil on their bolts to reduce friction and to prevent wear[.] Unfortunately, both of these compounds attract grit, powder and primer residues. Cleaning your receiver is especially critical [with] custom actions where the fit between the action and bolt is held to very tight tolerances. Routine cleaning of the action will prevent unnecessary wear on the bolt body, locking lugs, and the action raceways/guide rails. Frequent action cleaning is also essential to keeping the trigger area free of debris which can cause trigger hang-ups and failures.”

PMA Action Cleaning Tool

Your rifle deserves a clean action and lug recesses. For action cleaning, our friend Danny Reever favors the PMA Action Cleaning tool. This handy tool speeds up the cleaning process, letting you do a better job in less time. Danny reports: “I’ve been using the PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit for quite some time. Previously, I used one of the old style (round knob) action-cleaning tools with cylindrical cotton rolls. I think the PMA Action Cleaning Tool Kit is easier to use, and possibly achieves better results. Read Full Tool Review.

Cleaning the Chamber

Combustion by-products, lubricants, and solvent residues can collect in your chamber. Severe build-up of grease and carbon can interfere with chambering. Also some solvents will promote corrosion. You need to keep your chambers clean.

Bolt Action Cleaning

1) Install a clean cotton mop of the correct size on the end of a chamber rod and insert the mop into the chamber. Rotate the mop several times to remove any brush bristles left behind and any excess solvent that was between the rod guide snout and the end of the chamber. Make sure the chamber is dry. Prior to storing a rifle you can oil the chamber but make sure the oil is removed prior to firing the rifle.
2) Alternatively, install an old bore brush on a chamber rod, overlap a couple of patches on the brush bristles, and wrap them around the brush completely. Then insert the patch-covered brush into the chamber while rotating it to remove the excess solvent and debris. Push it firmly into the neck area of the chamber. A similar method is to pierce a large patch on the end of the brush loop and insert it into the action, again rotating the brush as you push the patch up against the breech.

Cleaning the Lug Recess Area

The action lug recess area is one of the dirtiest places on a bolt-action rifle. To properly clean this area, always use a tool designed for the task, such as the $29.99 Sinclair Action Cleaning Tool (part # ACT1) which is part of the full Sinclair Action Cleaning Tool Kit ($49.99, part #ACT2).

Bolt Action Cleaning

1) Insert a cotton roll or cleaning felt into your lug recess cleaning tool and wet both ends and the face of the cotton roll/felt with solvent.
2) Insert the tool into the action and push it forward until it is positioned fully in the lug recess area and rotate the tool head several times. Then reverse the rotation for another few turns. While rotating the tool move it slightly in and out to cover the entire recess area and to also clean the breech face.
3) Remove the tool from the action and inspect the surface of the felt or cotton roll. If there is quite a bit of residue on both sides of the felt/roll, then repeat with another wet felt/roll.
4) When you feel the recess area is completely clean, insert a dry cotton roll into the tool and rotate the tool head to remove any remaining solvent and debris. If necessary, use a second dry cotton roll.
5) You can follow this step up with another pass of a mop or patches into the chamber to get any debris or solvent that pushed forward out of the lug recess area.

Cleaning Tips from The Sinclair Int’l Reloading Press, used courtesy Sinclair Int’l, All Rights Reserved.

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November 19th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Shooting Products Factory Showcase

Saturday movies video factory showcase BAT Machine Norma SAKO ZEISS Nosler

Ever wonder how rifles, actions, stocks, optics, suppressors, and ammo components are produced in factories around the world? Today’s Saturday at the Movies installment features fascinating videos filmed inside major firearms industry factories including BAT Machine, ZEISS, Norma, SAKO, Nosler, CCI and Federal.

BAT Custom Rifle Actions — Factory Tour and Owner Interview

BAT Machine Co. makes some of the finest custom actions you can buy. Numerous national and world records have been set with BAT actions. To create this video, Ultimate Reloader’s Gavin Gear visited the BAT Machine production center in Post Falls, Idaho. Gavin talked with BAT’s founder Bruce Thom. The video features extensive footage of advanced CNC machines used to produce the superb BAT actions. If you own a BAT action, or hope to acquire one some day, definitely watch this video. CLICK HERE for Full Story.


YouTube Ultimate Reloader Video BAT Machine

Norma Ammunition Factory — Cartridge Creation Start to Finish

Norma has released a fascinating video showing how bullet, brass, and ammunition are produced at the Norma Precision AB factory which first opened in 1902. You can see how cartridges are made starting with brass disks, then formed into shape through a series of processes, including “hitting [the cup] with a 30-ton hammer”. After annealing (shown at 0:08″), samples from every batch of brass are analyzed (at multiple points along the case length) to check metal grain structure and hardness. Before packing, each case is visually inspected by a factory worker.

The video also shows how bullets are made from jackets and lead cores. Finally, you can watch the loading machines that fill cases with powder, seat the bullets, and then transport loaded rounds to the packing system. Guys, watch this video! You won’t be disappointed. The camera work and editing are excellent — there are many close-ups revealing key processes such as annealing and head-stamping.


Norma factory ammo production video

SAKO Factory Tour in Finland

SAKO produces some of the best hunting rifles you can buy. SAKO, along with its sister company Tikka, operates sophisticated production facilities in Finland. In the video below, Canadian journalists visit the SAKO factory where rifles are made. It is interesting to see how stocks are made and barrels are bored and contoured. SEE More HERE.


Sako finland rifle factory tour

Nosler Bullet Manufacturing

Nosler bullets nosler.com website ecommerce

Ever wanted to see how Nosler bullets and cartridges are made? Here’s your opportunity. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) has produced a video (“Quality First”) that offers a behind-the-scenes look inside Nosler’s Oregon factory that produces bullets, brass, and ammunition. RMEF representatives visited Nosler’s famously-guarded manufacturing plant to show the technology used by Nosler to produce bullets and ammunition. After the intro, this video illustrates Nosler’s bullet construction techniques with a cool animation sequence. The video then showcases the Nosler ballistics lab, inspection room, and packaging line. SEE more HERE.

Video Showcases Nosler Production Facility and Ballistics Lab

ZEISS Sport Optics

ZEISS is a world leader in lens and optics technology. Along with ultra-high quality lenses used in production of computer chips and special optics for high-tech medical equipment, ZEISS produces great optics for hunters and shooters. ZEISS lenses are renowned for their sharpness, clarity, and high light transmission. ZEISS has a new series of LRP S3and LRP S5 First Focal Plane scopes which promise to be favorites among PRS/NRL competitors and long-range hunters.

Silencerco Suppressor Fabrication Start to Finish

Here’s a cool video that shows the entire production process for a SilencerCo Octane pistol suppressor start to finish. Beginning with the raw materials, this video shows a wide variety of cutting, milling, drilling, burnishing, fitting, metal bathing, surface finishing, and laser etching processes. If you have any interest in production methods you’ll want to watch this video all the way through, and maybe a second time.

Computer-Controlled Milling
Silencerco suppressor factory video production metal fabrication can silencer baffle
Hand-Finishing Internal Components
Silencerco suppressor factory video production metal fabrication can silencer baffle

Rimfire Ammo Production at CCI/Speer and Federal Factories

YouTube host 22Plinkster got a chance to tour the CCI/Speer production facility in Lewiston, Idaho. This large plant produces both rimfire and centerfire ammunition. While touring the plant, 22Plinkster was allowed to capture video showing the creation of .22 LR rounds from start to finish. This is a fascinating video, well worth watching.

This revealing video shows all phases of .22 LR ammo production including cupping, drawing, annealing, washing, drying, head-stamping, priming, powder charging, bullet seating, crimping, waxing, inspection, and final packaging.

Field & Stream Tours Federal Ammo Plant in Minnesota
A while back Field & Stream toured the Federal ammunition production facility in Anoka, Minnesota. This large plant produces both rimfire and centerfire ammunition. While touring the plant, the reporter was allowed to capture video showing the creation of .22 LR rounds from start to finish. This is a fascinating video, well worth watching. Click speaker icon for sound.

Note to Viewers — After Starting Video, Click Speaker Icon to HEAR audio!

The Manufacturing Process for .22 LR Rimfire Ammunition
Shooting Sports USA explains: “Rimfire cartridge cases are the oldest self-contained cartridge in existence, having been in continuous production since the mid-1850s. Rimfire cases are drawn from a thin piece of brass and formed with a hollow rim. A priming compound is then forced into the case using centrifugal force, where it is charged with powder and a bullet is seated in the mouth of the case. The case is then crimped around the bullet to ensure sufficient push and pull when the round is fired. When the firing pin strikes the thin brass rim of the case, the hollow rim is crushed and the primer is ignited.” Source: SSUSA.org 9/2/2017.

.22 LR ammunition photo
Photo courtesy BulkAmmo.com.

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November 12th, 2022

Old Anschutz Stock Transformed into Modern F-Class Stock

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Here is an interesting project by one of our Forum members. Martin C. (aka “Killick”) modified an Anschutz 1411 Match 54 rimfire prone stock to become a comfortable, great-tracking F-Class Open Division Stock. No Killick didn’t sacrifice a perfectly good rimfire rifle for this project — he bought the Anschutz stock by itself on eBay, then transformed it…

Killick explains: “This project started about seven years ago. I bought the Anschutz prone stock on eBay and whittled it a bit into a Palma rifle with a Barnard action and block and a Doan Trevor cheek piece and scope rail. Then about two years ago I decided to re-task the stock/action assembly into an F-Open rig. With more whittling, gluing, sanding, body fillering, sanding, filling, sanding, more sanding…and sanding, forming, priming, sanding, painting, waiting, painting, painting…painting and before you know it, Bob’s your uncle.”

Here is the eBay-sourced Anschutz 1411 stock, with new high-gloss blue finish, as initially modified for use in Killick’s centerfire Palma rifle. Looks nice!

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Next step was the addition of a 3″-wide wood fore-end for F-Open duties with front rest:

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Almost done here… just needs priming and final painting:

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

Here is Killick’s completed F-Open rifle with its much-modified Anschutz stock now finished in fire-engine red lacquer. This image shows the detail of the grip and customized cheekpiece.

Anschutz 1411 stock gunsmithing project wood work palma rifle f-class F-Open stocking

To learn more, visit Killick’s Anschutz Stock F-Class Project Thread on our Shooters’ Forum.

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November 11th, 2022

Puzzling Vertical Flyers? 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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October 26th, 2022

0.289 MOA for 10 Shots — Can Your Rifle Beat This XP-100 Pistol?

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

TEN Shots in 0.303″ (0.289 MOA) at 100 Yards
Look at that target showing TEN shots at 100 yards, with eight (8) shots in the main cluster at the top. The ten-shot group measures .303″ (0.289 MOA), as calculated with OnTarget Software. Not bad for a handgun — a very nice bolt-action XP-100 pistol! What do you think, can your best-shooting rifle match the 10-shot accuracy of this XP-100 pistol?

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

Report by Boyd Allen
This story goes back a few seasons… this remarkable XP-100 pistol belongs to Dan Lutke, a Bay Area benchrest shooter who publishes the results for the Visalia matches to the competitors and the NBRSA. He has been an enthusiastic competitor for an number of years, at various ranges, notably Visalia and Sacramento. The action is a Remington XP-100, to which a Kelbly 2 oz. trigger has been fitted. On top is an old Japanese-made Tasco 36X scope (these were actually pretty darn good). The Hart barrel (a cast-off from Dan’s Unlimited rail gun) was shortened and re-chambered for the 6x45mm, a wildcat made by necking-up the .223 Remington parent case. The custom stock/chassis was CNC-machined by Joe Updike from 6061 Billet Aluminum to fit the XP-100 action and mount a target-style AR grip with bottom hand rest. The gun was bedded and assembled by Mel Iwatsubu. In his XP-100 pistol, Dan shoots 65gr custom boat-tails with Benchmark powder.

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

This diagram shows the most common 6x45mm wildcat, which is a necked-up version of the .223 Remington parent cartridge. NOTE: The dimensions for Dan Lutke’s benchrest version of this cartridge may be slightly different.

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest
ACAD drawing by Peter Gnanapragasam CC by SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Title Added.

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October 18th, 2022

How to Inspect Your Barrel Crown with a Q-Tip

The last half-inch or so of your barrel is absolutely critical. Any damage (or abnormal wear) near the crown will cause a significant drop-off in accuracy. Here are ways you can check the end of your barrel, using a common Q-Tip.

Use Q-Tip for Barrel Inspection
To find out if you have a burr or damage to your crown, you can use an ordinary Q-tip cotton swab. Check the edges of the crown by pulling the Q-tip gently out past the edge of the crown. If you have a burr, it will “grab” the cotton and leave strands behind.

Larry Willis has another way to use a Q-Tip: “Here’s a neat trick that will surprise you with how well it works.” Just insert a Q-Tip into your barrel (like the picture below), and it will reflect enough light so that you can get a real good look at the last half inch of rifling and the crown of your barrel. In most cases you’ll find that this works much better than a flashlight. Larry tells us: “I’ve used this method about a jillion times. Q-Tips are handy to keep in your cleaning supplies anyway. This is a good way to judge approximately how well you are cleaning your barrel when you’re at the range. It’s also the best way to examine your barrel when you’re in the field.”

Larry Willis is the inventor of Innovative Technologies’ Belted Magnum Collet Resizing Die. Larry explains how this die works, and offers other reloading tips on LarryWillis.com.

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October 17th, 2022

Barrel-Indexing Rimfire Action — Rotate Barrel Around Bore Axis

Bill Myers Indexing Action

The late Bill Myers was recognized as one of greatest rimfire smiths 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

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October 15th, 2022

Saturday Movies: 1911 Pistols — Function, History, Features

1911 pistol handguns 3D animation cad john browning .45 acp race gun

The model 1911 pistol, designed by John Moses Browning, is an American classic. Originally manufactured as .45 ACP military pistols, modern 1911s have evolved to be superb competition pistols, and carry pistols. With a Single-Action-Only (SAO) configuration, the 1911 design is different than most modern pistols. You must have the hammer cocked to fire a 1911 — like a single-action revolver. But the positive side of the Single-Action design is than modern 1911 pistols enjoy superb triggers with very positive release and fast reset. There is a reason the 1911 design is the basis for so many modern competition pistols.

In today’s Saturday at the Movies feature, we showcase videos that cover the history, design, and function of 1911-type pistols. We also include videos that explain how to field-strip a 1911 and how to accessorize/upgrade 1911 pistols.

Operation of 1911 Pistol with 3D Animations

Here are two excellent videos that show how a classic 1911-type pistol functions. 3D computer graphics animation offers a X-Ray view inside the pistol, showing how cartridges feed and how the slide cycles during the firing process.

How to Field-Strip and Re-Assemble a 1911 Pistol

There are a few tricks to field-stripping a 1911-type pistols, and it helps to have a couple specialized tools. This helpful TFB-TV (The Firearm Blog) video shows the process of disassembling a 1911 pistol from start to finish, and notes components that require lubrication or special attention.

History of the Classic Model 1911 Pistol

The model of 1911 pistol is an American classic with a long and illustrious history. These two videos cover the interesting origins of the 1911 pistol, and explain how J.M. Browning designed the remarkable 1911 pistol which became the iconic American sidearm of the U.S. Military, the longest-serving pistol in American military history.

A fascinating article by Rock Island Armory covers the complete evolution of the 1911 pistol, including its earlier prototype variants, starting with the model of 1905. SEE: Road to the 1911 Article (with Model 1905, 1907, 1909, and 1910 prototypes).

1911 pistol handguns 3D animation cad john browning .45 acp race gun

Colt 1911 pistol animation 3D

Over time the 1911 design has evolved into many variants, including the modern “race gun” used in rapid-fire pistol competitions. Here is an STI DVC Open model fitted with a C-More sight, and front compensator.

1911 pistol handguns 3D animation cad john browning .45 acp race gun

Pistol Shooting Skills Demonstrated with 1911

How to Grip a 1911 Handgun Properly
World Champion pistol ace (and 18-time Bianchi Cup winner) Doug Koenig demonstrates how to grip a handgun. While the fundamentals are demonstrated on a 1911 pistol they are effective for establishing a proper grip on any handgun.

Trigger Press and Trigger Control
In this video Champion shooter Doug Koenig talks about key techniques that apply to all pistol marksmanship — not just speed shooting “on the clock”. With any handgun, Doug explains, you should focus on consistent trigger control. You want to avoid yanking the trigger or anticipating recoil.

How to Accessorize Your 1911

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

Hammer

Hammer


 

Slide Stop

Slide Stop

Full Length Guide Rod

Full Length Guide Rod

Wilson Group Gripper

Wilson Group Gripper

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October 13th, 2022

Technology Insight: How Carbon-Wrapped Barrels Are Made

Proof Reseach carbon fiber barrel wrap aerospace composites

Montana-based PROOF Research has released a revealing video showcasing carbon fiber firearms technology and the company’s barrel-making process. Viewers will find the 8-minute film an intriguing introduction to composite barrel-making, which employs aerospace carbon fiber wrapped around a steel barrel core. The video showcases the high-tech machines used at PROOF’s production facilities.


This video shows how PROOF Research employs aerospace-grade, high-temperature composite materials to build match-grade carbon fiber-wrapped barrels.

Proof Reseach carbon fiber barrel wrap aerospace composites

Proof Reseach carbon fiber barrel wrap aerospace composites

Dr. David Curliss, General Manager of PROOF Research’s Advanced Composite Division, and former head of the U.S. Air Force High Temperature Composites Laboratory, explains how aerospace expertise helps in the development of PROOF’s firearms-related products: “We are able to provide premier materials for PROOF Research for firearms barrels applications as well as the aerospace market. We’re probably the only firearms technology company that has composite materials in orbit around the earth.”

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October 9th, 2022

Sunday GunDay: Light is Right — 4.93-lb 6.5×47 Hunting Rifle

ultra light weight hunting rifle defiance anti action kevlar stock Accurate Shooters forum

In our Shooters’ Forum, there’s an interesting thread about a very light hunting rifle. Featuring a Defiance ultra-light all-steel action, this 6.5×57 Lapua lightweight tips the scales at just 4.93 pounds including scope and rings! For reference, a half-gallon of milk weighs 4.3 pounds, so this rifle is LIGHT! Here’s a report from the proud owner who built the rifle for a future Kodiak Island Alaska mountain goat hunt.

Ultralight Rifle Report by Forum Member Dave

I decided I wanted the challenge of a Mountain Goat hunt after I turn 60. It was the perfect excuse to put together an ultralight, something I had wanted to do for years. I wanted to see how light a bolt action rifle could actually be. My goal was to stay under 5 pounds, without going to a Titanium action, including rings and scope. I knew this would be difficult but I did manage to achieve the goal.

I started with a Defiance anTi model Rem Model 7 short action. This is an extremely smooth action that weighs just 19.2 ounces in this size. I had Carson Lilja of Lilja Barrels program a barrel taper to my dimensions for a 6.5mm 1:8″-twist stainless, 3-groove 22″ barrel. As fitted in the rifle, the barrel is free-floated except for the first inch or so forward of the action.

ultra light weight hunting rifle defiance anti action kevlar stock Accurate Shooters forum

Other rifle components are: Bix n Andy Dakota trigger, aluminum trigger guard, blind magazine with an aluminum follower, titanium action screws, and a Leupold 3-9X lightweight optic in Talley rings. I also had an aluminum adapter installed in the for-end to accept a magnetic mount Javelin carbon fiber bipod.

ultra light weight hunting rifle defiance anti action kevlar stock Accurate Shooters forum

The rifle was chambered up in 6.5×47 Lapua by my friends at Sportsman’s Outfitters in Knox, Pennsylvania. Then I sent the barreled action to Wayne at Oregunsmithing (Pendleton, OR) to have a Kevlar stock built. The stock weighs a whopping 14 ounces! When it came back I had everything Cerakoted (see bottom photo before coating). This stock was a full custom, built around my barreled action. Wayne’s work was reasonably priced with a 3-month turn around.

Excellent Accuracy — 5/8″ Three-Shot Groups at 100 Yards
Now it was time to shoot the rifle and I was not disappointed. It shoots both Barnes TTSX 100s or Swift Scirocco II 130s into 5/8″ at 100 yards. Off a bipod at 400 yards, three go into 3″ or so. This thing is crazy light even though it wears a 22″ barrel.

ultra light weight hunting rifle defiance anti action kevlar stock Accurate Shooters forum

Without scope and rings, before Cerakoting the action and barrel, this 6.5×47 rifle tipped the scales at a mere 4.20 pounds (67.2 ounces). Check it out:

ultra light weight hunting rifle defiance anti action kevlar stock Accurate Shooters forum
ultra light weight hunting rifle defiance anti action kevlar stock Accurate Shooters forum

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
October 2nd, 2022

Same Ammo in Four Barrels — Surprising Velocity Test Results

barrel speed testing

Put the same load in a variety of barrels (with the same length and chamberings) and you’ll see a wide variance in muzzle velocity. In fact, it’s not unusual to see up to 100 fps difference from one barrel to the next. We demonstrated this with a comparison test of Lapua factory ammo.

Chron Testing Lapua Factory Ammo
At our Southern California test range some years ago, we chronographed Lapua 105gr 6mmBR factory ammo in three different 8-twist barrels of similar length. The results were fascinating. Lapua specs this ammo at 2790 fps, based on Lapua’s testing with its own 26″ test barrel. We observed a speed variance of 67 fps based on tests with three aftermarket barrels.

Barrel Velocity Variance
Brand ‘S’ and Brand ‘PN’ were pre-fit barrels shot on Savage actions. Brand ‘K’ was fitted to a custom action. All test barrels were throated for the 100-108 grain bullets, though there may have been some slight variances in barrel freebore. With a COAL of 2.330″, the rounds were “jumping” to the rifling in all barrels.

Among the four barrels, Brand ‘PN’ was the fastest at 2824 fps average — 67 fps faster than the slowest barrel. Roughly 10 fps can be attributed to the slightly longer length (27″ vs. 26″), but otherwise this particular barrel was simply faster than the rest. (Click Here for results of 6mmBR Barrel Length Velocity Test).

IMPORTANT: Results Are Barrel-Specific, Not Brand-Specific

These tests demonstrate that the exact same load can perform very differently in different barrels. We aren’t publishing the barrel-makers’ names, because it would be wrong to assume that ‘Brand X’ is always going to be faster than ‘Brand Y’ based on test results from a single barrel. In fact, velocities can vary up to 100 fps with two identical-spec barrels from the SAME manufacturer. That’s right, you can have two 8-twist, 26″ barrels, with the same land-groove configuration and contour, from the same manufacturer, and one can be much faster than another.

Don’t Demand More Than Your Barrel Can Deliver
We often hear guys lament, “I don’t get it… how can you guys get 2900 fps with your 6BRs and I can only get 2840?” The answer may simply be that the barrel is slower than average. If you have a slow barrel, you can try using more powder, but there is a good chance it may never run as fast as an inherently fast barrel. You shouldn’t knock yourself out (and over-stress your brass) trying to duplicate the velocities someone else may be getting. You need to work within the limits of your barrel.

Factory Ammo Provides a Benchmark
If you have a .223 Rem, 6mmBR, .243 Win, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5×55, .308 Win, 30-06, or .338 LM Rifle, we recommend you buy a box of Lapua factory-loaded ammo. This stuff will shoot great (typically around half-MOA), and it can give you a baseline to determine how your barrel stacks up speedwise. [Editor’s NOTE: The original test was conducted in 2008. The velocity of current-production Lapua factory ammo might be higher or lower, so your results may vary.]

When you complete a new 6mmBR rifle, it’s definitely smart to get a box of the factory ammo and chronograph it. That will immediately give you a good idea whether you have a slow, average, or fast barrel. Then you can set your velocity goals accordingly. For example, if the factory 6BR ammo runs about 2780-2790 fps in your gun, it has an average barrel. If it runs 2820+ in a 26″ barrel (or 2835 fps in a 28″), you’ve got a fast tube.

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September 30th, 2022

Access 13 Years of Shooting Sports USA Articles — All FREE

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Enjoy the Shooting Sports USA Archives
As fall becomes winter, many Americans will be spending more time indoors at home. For some folks that means long sessions in front of the boob tube. Here’s a better idea — there’s a vast resource of great gun-related content available online for FREE. Check out the Shooting Sports USA Articles Archive. SSUSA maintains a vast digital library with hundreds of articles going back to June 2009.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSAIt’s easy to find back issues of Shooting Sports USA magazine. Here’s how: First, navigate to the current SSUSA Online Issue. Then click on the “ARCHIVES” icon in the upper right area (indicated with red arrow). When you click on “ARCHIVES”, a window will open with a selection of Shooting Sports USA magazine covers/dates in a vertical column. The most recent issue (September 2022) will appear at the top. You can then scroll down — use the vertical scroll bar to go from September 2022 (the latest issue) all the way back to June 2009. Click any issue cover to read.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA
The June 2020 issue features a Palma rifle built with Eliseo Tubegun Chassis System.

How to Find and Save Articles
To search back issues, select “MORE OPTIONS” from the toolbar (top left). Then click the “SEARCH” button. When that opens, select either “Search Archives” for ALL back issues or “Search Only this Issue”. When you’ve made your choice, enter your search term(s). For example, you can search for “Camp Perry” or “Palma” or “F-Class Championship”. You can also save any archived issue as a PDF for viewing offline. Just click “SAVE” to download the article you’re currently viewing/reading.

Shooting Sports USA competitive shooting high power marksmanship archive SSUSA

Read Sample Articles
Here are a couple of our favorite SSUSA feature stories from recent years. There are hundreds of other informative articles worth reading.

Wind-Reading Tips from Champion Shooters »

Shooting Sports USA Wind Reading tips

How to Clean and Maintain Match Barrels »

Shooting Sports USA Barrel Maintenance Clean Bore Scope

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September 27th, 2022

New Henry Repeating Arms 25th Anniversary Rifles

Henry repeating arms company anthony imperato 25th anniversary

Henry Repeating Arms will offer two limited-edition models to mark company’s twenty-fifth anniversary. The two rifles, one rimfire and one 44-50 Centerfire, pay tribute to the beginnings of Henry Repeating Arms as a company and the origins of the lever action rifle’s enduring legacy in America.

Henry repeating arms company anthony imperato 25th anniversary25th Anniv. Edition .22 Rimfire
Twenty-five years ago, from a small factory in Brooklyn, New York, Henry Repeating Arms began shipping the now world-renown model H001 Classic Lever Action .22. Since then, the company has sold more than one million of the rifles.

Now, the company is introducing the 25th Anniversary Edition (model H001-25), which features semi-fancy genuine American walnut furniture and an engraved, nickel-plated receiver cover with 24-carat gold plated highlights. The handsome rifle comes with a fully adjustable semi-buckhorn rear sight, and a hooded blade front sight. The tube magazine holds 15 rounds of .22 Long Rifle, 17 rounds of .22 Long, or 21 rounds of .22 Short. The Classic Lever Action .22 25th Anniversary Edition is limited to 5,000 units with a $1,130 MSRP.

25th Anniversary .44-40 Henry Original Deluxe
The rifle is a faithful recreation of the original patent except for more robust materials and the concessions needed to accommodate the more modern .44-40 WCF cartridge, of which the rifle can carry 13 rounds. Other features include a folding ladder rear sight, a brass blade front sight, a hardened brass crescent buttplate with a period-correct storage compartment, and near full coverage engraving on the hardened brass receiver flats. The H011D-25 New Original Henry Deluxe Engraved 25th Anniversary Edition is limited to only 2,500 units with an MSRP of $3,990.

Henry repeating arms company anthony imperato 25th anniversary

Above, Henry Repeating Arms CEO and Founder Anthony Imperato selects the rosewood blanks to be used for the buttstocks on the New Original Henry Deluxe Engraved 25th Anniversary Edition rifles. “It was love at first sight with this rosewood, and I immediately knew we needed to do something special with it,” said Imperato. “The richness and warmth of the wood is the perfect complement to our hardened brass and polished blued steel.”

About Henry Repeating Arms:
Henry Repeating Arms is one of the leading rifle and shotgun manufacturers in the USA and a world leader in the lever action category. The company currently employs over 550 people in its Wisconsin and New Jersey facilities. The company is named after Benjamin Tyler Henry, who invented and patented the Henry lever action rifle in 1860 – the first practical repeating rifle and America’s unique contribution to historic firearms design. Visit Henry Repeating Arms at henryusa.com.

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September 27th, 2022

How to Determine a Barrel’s TRUE Twist Rate

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

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

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

Sinclair’s Simple Twist Rate Measurement Method
If are unsure of the twist rate of the barrel, you can measure it yourself in a couple of minutes. You need a good cleaning rod with a rotating handle and a jag with a fairly tight fitting patch. Utilize a rod guide if you are accessing the barrel through the breech or a muzzle guide if you are going to come in from the muzzle end. Make sure the rod rotates freely in the handle under load. Start the patch into the barrel for a few inches and then stop. Put a piece of tape at the back of the rod by the handle (like a flag) or mark the rod in some way. Measure how much of the rod is still protruding from the rod guide. You can either measure from the rod guide or muzzle guide back to the flag or to a spot on the handle.

Next, continue to push the rod in until the mark or tape flag has made one complete revolution. Then re-measure the amount of rod that is left sticking out of the barrel. Use the same reference marks as you did on the first measurement. Next, subtract this measurement from the first measurement. This number is the twist rate. For example, if the rod has 24 inches remaining at the start and 16 inches remain after making one revolution, you have 8 inches of travel, thus a 1:8″-twist barrel.

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

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