July 29th, 2021

.308 Win Velocity vs. Barrel Length — 28″ to 16.5″ Cut-Down Test

rifleshooter.com barrel .308 win cut-down test saw ammo GMM velocity magnetospeed

With barrels, one wonders “Can a little more length provide a meaningful velocity gain?” To answer that question, Rifleshooter.com performed an interesting test, cutting a .308 Win barrel from 28″ all the way down to 16.5″. The cuts were made in one-inch intervals with a rotary saw. At each cut length, velocity was measured with a Magnetospeed chronograph. To make the test even more interesting, four different types of .308 Win factory ammunition were chronographed at each barrel length.

This is a very useful test is you’re thinking about building a .308 Win hunting rifle, or perhaps thinking of going shorter for your F-TR rifle to save weight.

rifleshooter.com barrel .308 win cut-down test saw ammo GMM velocity magnetospeed

READ RifleShooter.com .308 Win Barrel Cut-Down Test Article.

Test Barrel Lost 22.7 FPS Per Inch (.308 Win Chambering)
How much velocity do you think was lost, on average, for each 1″ reduction in barrel length? The answer may surprise you. With a barrel reduction from 28″ to 16.5″, the average speed loss of the four types of .308 ammo was 261 fps total. That works out to an average loss of 22.7 fps per inch. This chart shows velocity changes for all four ammo varieties:

rifleshooter.com barrel .308 win cut-down test saw ammo GMM velocity magnetospeed

Summary of Findings:
The average velocity loss per inch, for all four ammo types combined, was 22.7 FPS. By ammo type, the average FPS loss per inch was: 24.6 (Win 147 FMJ), 22.8 (IMI 150 FMJ), 20.9 (Fed GMM 168gr), and 22.5 (Win 180PP).

Interestingly, these numbers jive pretty well with estimates found in reloading manuals. The testers observed: “The Berger Reloading manual says for the 308 Winchester, ‘muzzle velocity will increase (or decrease) by approximately 20 fps per inch from a standard 24″ barrel’.”

How the Test Was Done

The testers described their procedure as follows: “Ballistic data was gathered using a Magnetospeed barrel mounted ballistic chronograph. At each barrel length, the rifle was fired from a front rest with rear bags, with five rounds of each type of ammunition. Average velocity and standard deviation were logged for each round. Since we would be gathering data on 52 different barrel length and ammunition combinations and would not be crowning the barrel after each cut, we decided to eliminate gathering data on group sizes. Once data was gathered for each cartridge at a given barrel length, the rifle was cleared and the bolt was removed. The barrel was cut off using a cold saw. The test protocol was repeated for the next length. Temperature was 47° F.”

rifleshooter.com barrel .308 win cut-down test saw ammo GMM velocity magnetospeed

CLICK HERE to Read the Rifleshooter.com Test. This includes detailed charts with inch-by-inch velocity numbers, multiple line charts, and complete data sets for each type of ammo. Rifleshooter.com also offers ballistics graphs showing trajectories with different barrel lengths. All in all, this was a very thorough test by the folks at RifleShooter.com.

Much Different Results with 6mmBR and a Longer Barrel
The results from Rifleshooter.com’s .308 barrel cut-down test are quite different than the results we recorded some years ago with a barrel chambered for the 6mmBR cartridge. When we cut our 6mmBR barrel down from 33″ to 28″, we only lost about 8 FPS per inch. Obviously this is a different cartridge type, but also our 6mmBR barrel end length was 5″ longer than Rifleshooter.com’s .308 Win start length. Velocity loss can be more extreme with shorter barrel lengths (and bigger cartridges). Powder burn rates can also make a difference.

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July 20th, 2021

The Tack-Driving AR — Secrets to AR Platform Accuracy

AR-X AR15 Upper

One Shooters’ Forum member asked: “What makes an AR accurate? What parts on an AR can really affect accuracy — such as free-floating handguards, barrels, bolts, bolt carriers?” He wanted an honest, well-informed answer, not just sales pitches. Robert Whitley posted a very detailed answer to this question, based on his experience building/testing scores of AR-platform rifles. Robert runs AR-X Enterprises, which produces match-grade uppers for High Power competitors, tactical shooters, and varminters.

AR-X AR15 Upper

Building an Accurate AR — What is Most Important

by Robert Whitley
There are a lot of things that can be done to an AR to enhance consistent accuracy, and I use the words “consistent accuracy” because consistency is a part of it (i.e. plenty of guns will give a couple great 5-shot groups, but won’t do a very good 10- or 20-shot groups, and some guns will shoot great one day and not so good on others).

Here are 14 key things we think are important to accuracy.

1. Great Barrel: You’ll want a premium match-grade barrel, well-machined with a good crown and a match-type chambering, true to the bore and well cut. The extension threads must also be cut true to the bore, with everything true and in proper alignment.

2. Rigid Upper: A rigid, heavy-walled upper receiver aids accuracy. The typical AR upper receiver was made for a lightweight carry rifle and they stripped all the metal they could off it to make it light to carry (which is advantageous for the military). The net result are upper receivers that are so thin you can flex them with your bare hands. These flexible uppers are “strong enough” for general use, but they are not ideal for accuracy. Accuracy improves with a more rigid upper receiver.

3. True Receiver Face: We’ve found that truing the receiver face is valuable. Some may argue this point but it is always best to keep everything related to the barrel and the bore in complete alignment with the bore (i.e. barrel extension, bolt, upper receiver, carrier, etc.).

4. Barrel Extension: You should Loctite or glue the barrel extension into the upper receiver. This holds it in place all the way front to back in the upper receiver. Otherwise if there is any play (and there typically is) it just hangs on the face of the upper receiver completely dependent on the face of the upper receiver as the sole source of support for the barrel as opposed to being made more an integral part of the upper receiver by being glued-in.

AR-X AR15 Upper5. Gas Block: You want a gas block that does not impose pointed stress on the barrel. Clamp-on types that grab all the way around the barrel are excellent. The blocks that are pinned on with tapered pins that wedge against the barrel or the slip on type of block with set screws that push up from underneath (or directly on the barrel) can deform the bore inside of the barrel and can wreck the accuracy of an otherwise great barrel.

6. Free-Float Handguard: A rigid, free-float handguard (and I emphasize the word rigid) really makes a difference. There are many types of free-float handguards and a free-float handguard is, in and of itself, a huge improvement over a non-free-float set up, but best is a rigid set-up. Some of the ones on the market are small diameter, thin and/or flexible and if you are shooting off any type of rest, bipod, front bag, etc., a rigid fore-end is best since ARs want to jump, bounce and twist when you let a shot go, as the carrier starts to begin its cycle before the bullet exits the bore.

Robert Whitley AR Accurate accuracy aR15 barrel trigger MSR gunsmithing

7. Barrel Contour: You want some meat on the barrel. Between the upper receiver and the gas block don’t go real thin with a barrel (we like 1″ diameter if it’s workable weight-wise). When you touch off a round and the bullet passes the gas port, the gas system immediately starts pressuring up with a gas impulse that provides vibrations and stress on the barrel, especially between the gas block back to the receiver. A heavier barrel here dampens that. Staying a little heavier with barrel contour through the gas block area and out to the muzzle is good for the same reasons. ARs have a lot going on when you touch off a round and the gas system pressures up and the carrier starts moving (all before the bullet exits the bore) so the more things are made heavier and rigid to counteract that the better — within reason (I’m not advocating a 12-lb barrel).

8. Gas Tube Routing Clearance: You want a gas tube that runs freely through the barrel nut, through the front of the upper receiver, and through the gas key in the carrier. Ensure the gas tube is not impinged by any of them, so that it does not load the carrier in a stressed orientation. You don’t want the gas tube bound up so that when the gas tube pressures up it immediately wants to transmit more force and impulse to the barrel than would normally occur. We sometimes spend a lot of time moving the gas block with gas tube on and off new build uppers and tweaking gas tubes to get proper clearance and alignment. Most gas tubes do need a little “tweaking” to get them right — factory tubes may work OK but they typically do not function optimally without hand-fitting.

9. Gas Port Tuning: You want to avoid over-porting the gas port. Being over-gassed makes the gas system pressure up earlier and more aggressively. This causes more impulse, and increases forces and vibration affecting the top end and the barrel. Tune the gas port to give the amount of pressure needed to function properly and adequately but no more.

10. Front/Back Bolt Play: If accuracy is the game, don’t leave a lot of front/back bolt play (keep it .003″ but no more than .005″). We’ve seen factory rifles run .012″ to .015″ play, which is OK if you need to leave room for dirt and grime in a military application. However, that amount of play is not ideal for a high-accuracy AR build. A lot of front/back bolt play allows rounds to be hammered into the chamber and actually re-formed in a non-consistent way, as they are loaded into the chamber.

11. Component Quality: Use good parts from a reputable source and be wary of “gun show specials”. All parts are NOT the same. Some are good, some are not so good, and some aftermarket parts are simply bad. Don’t be afraid to use mil-spec-type carriers; by and large they are excellent for an accuracy build. Also, remember that just because a carrier says “National Match” or something else on it does not necessarily mean it’s any better. Be wary of chrome-plated parts as the chrome plating can change the parts dimensionally and can also make it hard to do hand-fitting for fit and function.

AR-X AR15 Upper

12. Upper to Lower Fit: A good upper/lower fit is helpful. For quick and dirty fit enhancement, an Accu-Wedge in the rear helps a lot. The ultimate solution is to bed the upper to a specific lower so that the upper and lower, when together, are more like one integral unit. For the upper receivers we produce, we try to get the specs as close as we can, but still fit the various lowers in the market place.

13. Muzzle Attachments: Don’t screw up the muzzle (literally). Leave as much metal on the barrel at the muzzle as you can. People like to thread the muzzle for a flash hider, suppressor, muzzle brake, or some other attachment, but if you really want accuracy, leave as much metal as you can there. And, if you have something that screws on, set it up so that it can be put on and have it stay there without putting a lot of torque and stress on it right where the bullet exits the bore. If you are going to thread the end of the barrel, make it concentric with the bore and make sure what you screw on there is as well. For all muzzle attachments, also ensure that the holes through which the bullet passes through are dead true to the bore. Many aftermarket screw-on things are not so good that way. Anything that vents gas should vent symmetrically (i.e. if it vents left, it should vent equally right, and likewise, if it vents up, it should vent down equally). Uneven venting of gas can wreck accuracy.

14. Quality Ammunition: Ammo is a whole story by itself, but loads that are too hot typically shoot poorly in an AR-15. If you want accuracy out of an AR-15, avoid overly hot loads. Shown below are test groups shot with four (4) different uppers, all with moderate loads. These four uppers all pretty much had the same features and things done to them as explained in this article, and they all shot great.

AR-X AR15 Upper

Robert Whitley
www.6mmAR.com

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July 12th, 2021

Barrel End Threading — Bigger Diameter is Better

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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July 11th, 2021

How Long Will Barrels Last? Dan Lilja Lists Factors to Consider

Lilja Rifle Barrels barrel life 3-groove AR15 Barrel heat

Barrel-maker Dan Lilja’s website, RifleBarrels.com has an excellent FAQ page that contains a wealth of useful information. On the Lilja FAQ Page you’ll find answers to many commonly-asked questions. For example, Dan’s FAQ addresses the question of barrel life. Dan looks at factors that affect barrel longevity, and provides some predictions for barrel life, based on caliber, chambering, and intended use.

NOTE: This article was very well-received when it was first published. We are reprising it for the benefit of readers who missed it the first time.

Dan cautions that “Predicting barrel life is a complicated, highly variable subject — there is not a simple answer. Signs of accurate barrel life on the wane are increased copper fouling, lengthened throat depth, and decreased accuracy.” Dan also notes that barrels can wear prematurely from heat: “Any fast varmint-type cartridge can burn out a barrel in just a few hundred rounds if those rounds are shot one after another without letting the barrel cool between groups.”

Q. What Barrel Life, in number of rounds fired, can I expect from my new barrel?

A: That is a good question, asked often by our customers. But again there is not a simple answer. In my opinion there are two distinct types of barrel life. Accurate barrel life is probably the type most of us are referencing when we ask the question. But there is also absolute barrel life too. That is the point where a barrel will no longer stabilize a bullet and accuracy is wild. The benchrest shooter and to a lesser extent other target shooters are looking at accurate barrel life only when asking this question. To a benchrest shooter firing in matches where group size is the only measure of precision, accuracy is everything. But to a score shooter firing at a target, or bull, that is larger than the potential group size of the rifle, it is less important. And to the varmint hunter shooting prairie dog-size animals, the difference between a .25 MOA rifle or one that has dropped in accuracy to .5 MOA may not be noticeable in the field.

The big enemy to barrel life is heat. A barrel looses most of its accuracy due to erosion of the throat area of the barrel. Although wear on the crown from cleaning can cause problems too. The throat erosion is accelerated by heat. Any fast varmint-type cartridge can burn out a barrel in just a few hundred rounds if those rounds are shot one after another without letting the barrel cool between groups. A cartridge burning less powder will last longer or increasing the bore size for a given powder volume helps too. For example a .243 Winchester and a .308 Winchester both are based on the same case but the .308 will last longer because it has a larger bore.

And stainless steel barrels will last longer than chrome-moly barrels. This is due to the ability of stainless steel to resist heat erosion better than the chrome-moly steel.

Barrel Life Guidelines by Caliber and Cartridge Type
As a very rough rule of thumb I would say that with cartridges of .222 Remington size you could expect an accurate barrel life of 3000-4000 rounds. And varmint-type accuracy should be quite a bit longer than this.

For medium-size cartridges, such as the .308 Winchester, 7×57 and even the 25-06, 2000-3000 rounds of accurate life is reasonable.

Hot .224 caliber-type cartridges will not do as well, and 1000-2500 rounds is to be expected.

Bigger magnum hunting-type rounds will shoot from 1500-3000 accurate rounds. But the bigger 30-378 Weatherby types won’t do as well, being closer to the 1500-round figure.

These numbers are based on the use of stainless steel barrels. For chrome-moly barrels I would reduce these by roughly 20%.

The .17 and .50 calibers are rules unto themselves and I’m pressed to predict a figure.

The best life can be expected from the 22 long rifle (.22 LR) barrels with 5000-10,000 accurate rounds to be expected. We have in our shop one our drop-in Anschutz barrels that has 200,000 rounds through it and the shooter, a competitive small-bore shooter reported that it had just quit shooting.

Remember that predicting barrel life is a complicated, highly variable subject. You are the best judge of this with your particular barrel. Signs of accurate barrel life on the wane are increased copper fouling, lengthened throat depth, and decreased accuracy.

Lilja Rifle Barrels barrel life 3-groove AR15 Barrel heat

Benchrest Barrel Life — You May Be Surprised
I thought it might be interesting to point out a few exceptional Aggregates that I’ve fired with 6PPC benchrest rifles with barrels that had thousands of rounds through them. I know benchrest shooters that would never fire barrels with over 1500 shots fired in them in registered benchrest matches.

I fired my smallest 100-yard 5-shot Aggregate ever in 1992 at a registered benchrest match in Lewiston, Idaho. It was a .1558″ aggregate fired in the Heavy Varmint class. And that barrel had about 2100 rounds through it at the time.

Lilja Rifle Barrels barrel life 3-groove AR15 Barrel heat

Another good aggregate was fired at the 1997 NBRSA Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona during the 200-yard Light Varmint event. I placed second at this yardage with a 6PPC barrel that had over 2700 rounds through it at the time. I retired this barrel after that match because it had started to copper-foul quite a bit. But accuracy was still good.

Lilja Rifle Barrels barrel life 3-groove AR15 Barrel heat

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July 6th, 2021

Tech Tip: Don’t Forget to Clean Your Chamber and Lug Recesses

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 $26.99 Sinclair Action Cleaning Tool (part # ACT1) which is part of the full Sinclair Action Cleaning Tool Kit ($45.99, 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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July 2nd, 2021

M1A Tech Tips and Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

Do you own a Springfield M1A (or wish you did)? Then you should watch this 5-minute video from the American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI). This video shows the basics of the operation of the popular M1A rifle, the civilian version of the military M14. In this video, gunsmith John Bush field-strips the M1A and shows how the bolt, op rod, and trigger group fits together and operates. This video contains excerpts from the M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course, AGI Course #1584. The full Armorer’s Course is available on DVD from www.AmericanGunsmith.com.

Watch Highlights of AGI M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course:

Springfield M1A rifle camp perry m14 .308 win AGI

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

2021 CMP Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

The 14th annual Springfield Armory M1A Match will take place during the 2021 CMP National Rifle Matches. The CMP will host the event on Sunday, August 8, 2021, the day after the John C. Garand Match begins. Competitors of all experience levels are encouraged to bring their M1A rifles to Camp Perry and compete. Online REGISTRATION is still possible. The match is open to all individuals ages 12 and above. For more information contact the CMP at competitions@thecmp.org or call 419-635-2141 ext. 724 or 714.

Springfield M1A match high power rifle

The Springfield Armory M1A match began with one man’s idea and passion. Springfield Armory’s Mike Doy witnessed the waning of classic M1 Garand and M1A rifles from the competitive High Power firing lines. “I really wanted to get those M1A rifles out of safes and closets and back out onto the field. So 11 years ago, I promoted the idea of running an M1A-specific match at Camp Perry. That first year we had over 600 competitors and spectators.” Now the match offers some of the biggest pay-outs at Camp Perry. In recent years, Springfield Armory has donated over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner.

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July 1st, 2021

Video Showcase: Sako and Tikka Finland Factory Tour

Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland

Sako, and its subsidiary Tikka, make some of the finest hunting rifles you can buy. These offer smooth actions, and very good out-of-the-box accuracy for factory rifles. In addition, Sako and Tikka now offer high-tech carbon fiber stocks, along with Sako’s handsome wood stocks. With the three videos showcased today, you get a virtual tour of the Sako/Tikka production facilities in Finland.


Visit Sako Rifles Website | Visit Tikka Rifles Website

Tour of Finland Factory — 22-Minute Video

In this informative video, the Canada in the Rough team tours the Sako/Tikka factory in Riihimäki, Finland. All aspects of the production process are covered — crafting actions, barrel-making, stock fitting and more. It was interesting to see the hammer-forging process for barrels, and the exacting measurements that are performed on the actions and bolt assemblies. If you have an interest in rifle production and the type of modern, computer-controlled machinery now being used, definitely watch this video.

Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland
Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland

Visit to SAKO/Tikka Carbon Fiber Stock Factory

This Sako-produced video shows how the company’s modern carbon-fiber stocks are produced. The stock production process is highly automated, to ensure that the finished stocks have very precise dimensions. These carbon Sakos are some of the nicest carbon-fiber stocks we’ve ever seen.

Sako carbon fiber stock factory
Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland

SAKO Factory Tour in Riihimäki Finland

In this segment, huntress and outdoor video host Mia Anstine tours the Sako manufacturing facility in Riihimäki, Finland. This video covers both firearms production and ammunition manufacturing. In a follow-up video Mia tests Sako rifles and Sako ammunition at a Finland range. Mia also reported on her Sako factory tour in the Beretta Blog. She notes: “Sako built its original manufacturing facility during World War I. To this day they still utilize the original buildings but have also grown over the years to include larger production areas and updated equipment.”

Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland
Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland

Canada in the Rough Video Tip from Boyd Allen — we welcome reader submissions
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June 25th, 2021

New .416 Colossus Cartridge from John Pierce and Mark Fox

ELR john pierce colossus .416 barrett RCC Robertson brass Badlands precision Eliseo competition machine

When Bigger IS Better — The New .416 Colossus ELR Cartridge
John Pierce, founder of Pierce Engineering revealed an impressive new cartridge developed for the ELR (Extreme Long Range) game — the .416 Colossus. This has achieved 3300 fps shooting the Badlands Precision 525gr solid copper projectile (BC: 1.20 G1, .614 G7). Above is a “big rig” designed to shoot this cartridge. This rifle boasts a custom Eliseo chassis with 20X Pierce Engineering action and Krieger barrel. John Pierce noted: “Big thanks to Gary Eliseo for building this special chassis. Pete Contacos owns and tested the rifle and cartridge. He is ecstatic to say the least.”

John Pierce reported on Facebook: “After a long two years of development and waiting to see what results could be achieved, we are very pleased. The Colossus cartridge, designed by Mark Fox and myself, is showing great [results].”

ELR john pierce colossus .416 barrett RCC Robertson brass Badlands precision Eliseo competition machine

The cartridge boasts impressive velocities. John reports: “Over 3300 fps shooting the Badlands Precision 525gr .416-caliber projectiles. Zero bolt-lift issues from RCC (Robertson Cartridge Co.) brass. [We have] 25 firings on one test piece and still good to go. Big thanks to Dan Warner [at Warner Tool] for making the special, awesome dies.”

More Capacity and Higher Efficiency than .416 Barrett and .416 Warner
One Facebook commenter wanted to know how the .416 Colossus compared to other big .416-caliber cartridges created for the ELR game: “Can you or Mark share the increase in powder capacity over a standard .416 Barrett and over a .416 Warner?” John replied: “I would rather not elaborate on details of cartridge just yet…however it has a bit more capacity and higher efficiency using a large magnum primer.”

ELR john pierce colossus .416 barrett RCC Robertson brass Badlands precision Eliseo competition machine

Pete Contacos, the rifle’s owner, posted: “I would like to thank everyone who made this possible: John Pierce, Mark Fox, Gary Eliseo, Jeff at RRC Brass, Jason At Badlands Bullets, Dan Warner for dies. This is an AMAZING rifle made possible by all of the above People. THANK YOU ALL… looking forward to seeing you all at the matches this year.”

Gary Eliseo (Competition Machine) is making a similar big chassis for John Pierce. Gary posted: “Yours is almost finished”, to which John replied: “Thank you for the beautiful chassis, exciting to get my Big Red.” Gary has told us that this big new chassis is a scaled-up version of the Competition Machine UMR system. The large Pierce 20X action is epoxied in the chassis, which accepts a Rem-compatible trigger.

ELR john pierce colossus .416 barrett RCC Robertson brass Badlands precision Eliseo competition machine

ELR john pierce colossus .416 barrett RCC Robertson brassAbout RCC Brass — CNC Machined Quality
RCC manufactures brass cartridges on CNC lathes and mills starting with C272 solid bar stock. RCC reloading brass cartridges are manufactured to SAAMI, CIP, or customer specifications (yes custom cartridge and wildcats can be made). The brass does not use a conventional draw process. This allows the brass to be stronger, according to RCC:

“We machine all our cases on CNC lathes and mills and our case weight, case volume, and our case concentricity are the best available in the industry. We do not anneal the case head as it is hammer-forged to a high tensile strength which gives us the same hardness for each case. Since we use CNC equipment to manufacture our, case weight is nearly identical, the case volume is too, and our case concentricity is held to a 0.001”.

Since we are not held back by the limitations of a [traditional] draw system, we are able to use higher strength alloys to manufacture cartridges. Our C272 brass alloy has a much higher tensile strength and tighter molecular grain structure than C260 brass, without losing the needed elasticity. Test results have been very positive as we’ve had reports of increased in velocity and energy and lower shot deviations versus C260 drawn brass.

We manufacture high-quality reloading brass cartridges for vintage, obsolete, hard to find, and wildcat calibers. All cartridges are made to SAAMI, CIP, or tolerances provided to us. Our unique process allows us to manufacture over 1,500 different cartridges at tolerances up to 0.0005”. We manufacture reloading brass cartridges for any firearm.

We custom fit brass to the chamber of your firearm. Our custom fit program will give you the headspace and chamber dimensions best suited for your firearm. Customers can send us fire-formed brass, a chamber cast, or the firearm for the custom cartridge. We do Wildcats too. Send us a reamer drawing, or a dimensioned drawing and we will manufacture your wildcat cartridge. There is a one time set-up fee for all wildcats and a 100 piece minimum order. We do Custom Headstamps too. We use our CNC mills to engrave headstamps. We are able to do text and some graphics too.”

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June 24th, 2021

Popular Sniper Team Match Returns to Camp Perry

Vintage sniper team match camp perry ohio

On August 9, 2021 the Vintage Sniper Team Match returns to Camp Perry, Ohio. We’re glad to see this popular match return after it (and other Nationals events) were cancelled in 2020 due to the Pandemic. This unique Sniper Team event is a two-man team competition using scoped rifles of WWI and WWII Vintage. This has become one of the most popular CMP rifle matches held at Camp Perry, with over 200 teams competing in recent years. Many competitors use some version of the M1903 Springfield, but you’ll also see scoped M1 Garands, M1917s, K31s, Mausers, and even a Lee-Enfield or two. There are both bolt action and semi-auto classifications, with each division being scored separately.

Vintage sniper team match camp perry ohio

We expect 200+ teams to compete for the Vintage Sniper Trophy this summer. Two-person teams will fire 10 rounds in 20-second intervals from scoped vintage military rifles set on sand bags. One team marksman shoots from the prone position at 300 and 600 yards, while the other serves as a spotter to relay shot position. Marksman and spotter switch positions on the firing lines, allowing each teammate to play both roles. Scores are then combined for an Aggregate team total.

Vintage sniper team match camp perry ohio

Who can identify this rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

“Walking down the … line one can find a plethora of various rifle models. Although 1903A4 and USMC M1941 builds made up a significant majority of the rifles on the line, other models such as the K98, M1C, M1D, M91/30, Swedish Mausers, and the No4 Mk1 (T) had their place in the hands of various shooters.” — Criterion Barrels Article

Our friends at Criterion Barrels have published a great article about the Vintage Sniper Rifle Match. This story offers a fascinating “insider’s perspective” on the Match, plus Vintage Sniper gunsmithing tips, Anyone considering shooting the Vintage Sniper match for the first time should definitely read this article.

About the Match and the Rifles
The Vintage Sniper Match was the brainchild of Hornady’s Dave Emary. The competition was inspired by his father, a World War II scout sniper, who carried a rifle similar to the 1903A4 rifle builds that can be found today on the Camp Perry firing line. Bob Schanen worked alongside Dave and the CMP staff in establishing the various competition rules prior to the first official Vintage Sniper Match in 2011. The match developers made a point to offer some level of flexibility in rifle configuration, allowing specific types of non-issue optics and rifle rebuilds. This helped make the match more inclusive.

Hornady’s Dave Emary and “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (RIP):
AccurateShooter.com CMP Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Camp Perry — The Venue
The hallowed grounds of Camp Perry have hosted some of the nation’s finest shooters each summer for more than a century. Some of the world’s greatest marksmen have accomplished remarkable feats on the ranges of this lakeside military outpost. Located on the coast of Lake Erie, Camp Perry is positioned just outside of the scenic town of Port Clinton, Ohio. It is our firm belief that every shooter should make the pilgrimage to the Camp Perry at least once in their lifetime. If not participating in an event, visitors should at least make an attempt to meet the competitors, witness the wide selection of firearms used by participants, and pay a visit to the various vendors on base.

Vintage sniper team match camp perry ohio

Photos from Garand Thumb Blog and NRA Blog.

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June 23rd, 2021

How Muzzle Velocity Changes with Different Barrel Twist Rates

applied Ballistics Barrel Twist rate velocity testing test bryan Litz
Many barrel-makers mark the twist rate and bore dimensions on their barrel blanks.

Does muzzle velocity change with faster or slower barrel twist rates? Absolutely, but much less than you might think. Faster twist rates do slow down bullets somewhat, but the speed loss is NOT that significant. With Bartlein .308 Win barrels of identical length and contour, a 1:12″-twist barrel was only 8 fps faster than a 1:8″-twist barrel. That was the result of testing by Applied Ballistics.

The Applied Ballistics team tested six (6) same-length/same-contour Bartlein barrels to observe how twist rate might affect muzzle velocity. This unique, multi-barrel test is featured in the book Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Vol. 1. That book includes other fascinating field tests, including a comprehensive chronograph comparison.

applied Ballistics Barrel Twist rate velocity testing test bryan Litz

applied Ballistics Barrel Twist rate velocity testing test bryan Litz
Barrel Twist Rate vs. Velocity — What Tests Reveal
by Bryan Litz
When considering barrel twist rates, it’s a common belief that faster twist rates will reduce muzzle velocity. The thinking is that the faster twist rate will resist forward motion of the bullet and slow it down. There are anecdotal accounts of this, such as when someone replaces a barrel of one brand/twist with a different brand and twist and observes a different muzzle velocity. But how do you know the twist rate is what affected muzzle velocity and not the barrel finish, or bore/groove dimensions? Did you use the same chronograph to measure velocity from both barrels? Do you really trust your chronograph?

Summary of Test Results
After all the smoke cleared, we found that muzzle velocity correlates to twist rate at the average rate of approximately 1.33 FPS per inch of twist. In other words, your velocity is reduced by about 5 FPS if you go from a 1:12″ twist to a 1:8″ twist. — Bryan Litz

Savage Test Rifle with Six Bartlein Barrels
Barrel Twist Rate Velocity Modern Advancements Book Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

Most shooters don’t have access to the equipment required to fully explore questions like this. These are exactly the kinds of things we examine in the book Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Vol. 1. In that book, we present experiments conducted in the Applied Ballistics lab. Some of those experiments took on a “Myth Buster” tone as we sought to confirm (or deny) popular pre-conceptions. For example, here’s how we approached the question of barrel twist and muzzle velocity.

Six .308 Win Barrels from Bartlein — All Shot from the Same Rifle
We acquired six (6) barrels from the same manufacturer (Bartlein), all the same length and contour, and all chambered with the same reamer (SAAMI spec .308 Winchester). All these barrels were fitted to the same Savage Precision Target action, and fired from the same stock, and bench set-up. Common ammo was fired from all six barrels having different twist rates and rifling configurations. In this way, we’re truly able to compare what effect the actual twist rate has on muzzle velocity with a reasonable degree of confidence.

Prior to live fire testing, we explored the theoretical basis of the project, doing the physics. In this case, an energy balance is presented which predicts how much velocity you should expect to lose for a bullet that’s got a little more rotational energy from the faster twist. In the case of the .30 caliber 175 grain bullets, the math predicts a loss of 1.25 fps per inch-unit of barrel twist (e.g. a 1:8″ twist is predicted to be 1.25 fps slower than a 1:9″ twist).

Barrel Twist Rate Velocity Modern Advancements Book Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

Above, data shows relationship between Twist Rate and Muzzle Velocity (MV) for various barrel twist rates and rifling types. From fast to slow, the three 1:10″ twist barrels are: 5R (canted land), 5 Groove, 5 Groove left-hand twist.

We proceeded with testing all 6 barrels, with twist rates from 1:8″ to 1:12″. After all the smoke cleared, we found that muzzle velocity correlates to twist rate at the average rate of approximately 1.33 fps per inch of twist. In other words, your velocity is reduced by about 5 fps if you go from a 1:12″ twist to a 1:8″ twist. [Editor: That’s an average for all the lengths tested. The actual variance between 1:12″ and 1:8″ here was 8 FPS.] In this case the math prediction was pretty close, and we have to remember that there’s always uncertainty in the live fire results. Uncertainty is always considered in terms of what conclusions the results can actually support with confidence.

Barrel Twist Rate Velocity Modern Advancements Book Bryan Litz Applied BallisticsThis is just a brief synopsis of a single test case. The coverage of twist rates in Modern Advancements in Long-Range Shooting Vol. 1 is more detailed, with multiple live fire tests. Results are extrapolated for other calibers and bullet weights. Needless to say, the question of “how twist rate affects muzzle velocity” is fully answered.

Other chapters in the book’s twist rate section include:
· Stability and Drag — Supersonic
· Stability and Drag — Transonic
· Spin Rate Decay
· Effect of Twist rate on Precision

Other sections of the book include: Modern Rifles, Scopes, and Bullets as well as Advancements in Predictive Modeling. This book is sold through the Applied Ballistics online store. Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting is also available as an eBook in Amazon Kindle format.

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June 22nd, 2021

AR Platform Video Series from Brownells — Watch and Learn

Brownelss tech tip video AR15 ar platform rifle gunsmithing

Do you own or shoot an AR-platform “black rifle”? Then you know these rifles run dirty, and have some unusual maintenance requirements. On the other hand, the AR “Modern Sporting Rifle” is fun and versatile with a vast range of options among buttstocks, barrels, handguards, and grips. You can assemble a simple 16″ barrel .223 Rem rig for home defense, or build a long-barreled 6mm ARC rifle with bag-rider buttstock and high-magnification optic for long range target work. The choice is up to you.

To help with your black rifle journey, here are four helpful videos from Brownells. These will help ensure your AR rifle cycles reliably and runs longer, with reduced wear. Brownells also explains how to choose the optimal barrel twist rate. CLICK HERE to order AR parts, accessories, and ammo from Brownells.

AR Bolt/Bolt Carrier Lubrication — Smarter Methods

This video shows the proper way to lubricate an AR-15 bolt-carrier assembly. The video identifies the key metal-on-metal friction points where you actually need lubrication: the rails on the underside of the carrier, shiny wear points on top, and just a dab on the cam pin. How much oil/lubricant should you use? The AR-15 is pretty forgiving on that point. Some spots work best with grease, others work best with a lighter oil. Just keep it out of the combustion areas. Those little holes in the carrier are gas vent holes, NOT oil holes!

AR Barrel Twist Rates — What You Need to Know

AR barrels can be ordered with a variety of twist rates from 1:12″ to 1:7″. Basically, the longer/heavier the bullet you plan to shoot, the faster the twist rate you need. For example, Sierra recommends a 1:7″ twist rate for the 90gr SMK. A 1:12″ could work with the small lightweight bullets up to 55 grains. The 1:9″ barrel will stabilize the light and mid-weight bullets up to about 77 grains. We recommend a 1:8″ or 1:7″ twist rate for the best versatility. You’ll find a detailed discussion of AR twist rates on PewPewTactical.com.

Barrel Gas Block Alignment — Key to Reliable Cycling

In this Tech Tip, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem explains surefire methods to align your gas block. The most common problem with AR builds is poor cycling, commonly caused by misalignment between the gas block and the barrel’s gas port.

Setting Up Gas Tube Systems

This Tech Tip examines AR-platform gas systems, and shows how to select the proper length gas tube, and how to configure multiple tube systems if you change your barrel to different lengths. This is worth watching for anyone re-barreling an AR.

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June 17th, 2021

Gavin’s Greatest Hits — Ultimate Reloader Video Showcase

YouTube Ultimate Reloader Video Showcase Single Stage Shootout .223 vs. 5.56

ultimate reloader Gavin Gear T-shirtGavin Gear, founder of the UltimateReloader.com website, has created a very popular YouTube Channel. Over the past 13 years, Gavin has produced hundreds of videos covering nearly every aspect of reloading, rifle assembly, and gunsmithing. When important new reloading products are released, you’ll often find that the very first, in-depth reviews come from Gavin. He seems to get the new stuff before ANYone else.

And Gavin’s multi-product reviews are legendary, such as his remarkable 14-Press Shootout. That video, in which Gavin set up and operated 14 different single-stage presses, has received over 583,000 views, making it Gavin’s third most popular video of all time. The Single-Stage Shootout video, along with Gavin’s five other most popular videos, are linked below.

Consider this a “Greatest Hits” showcase, with a half-dozen Ultimate Reloader videos that have, collectively, been watched nearly 8.5 million times. We present these videos in descending order of total YouTube views, leading with Gavin’s epic .223 Rem vs. 5.56 video, which has been watched over 5 million times.

.223 Rem vs. 5.56x45mm — 5.03 Million Views

Full Story: https://bit.ly/2neNXAS
This video explains essential facts and corrects common misconceptions related to both .223/5.56 ammunition, as well as .223/5.56 rifles. Gavin provides insight on chamber specs, pressure levels, barrel twist rates, military 5.56 crimped brass, and other important topics. If you are new to the AR world, this video is definitely worth watching. And that’s why it now has topped the 5 million mark in YouTube views. Gavin adds: “Don’t forget to check out the full write-up on UltimateReloader.com.”

Lee Loadmaster loading .45 ACP — 1.08 Million Views

The .45 ACP is a classic cartridge, and one of the best for a starting reloader. The case diameter is large enough that you can see the case fill level easily. Also you can pick a powder that won’t allow a mistaken double charge (the case will overflow). In this video, from Gavin’s early days on YouTube, Gavin shows how to run a Lee Loadmaster progressive. Lee should be paying Gavin royalties, as this video have been watched over 1 million times.

AR Handguard Upgrade Step-by-Step — 870,000 Views

The AR15 is truly “America’s rifle”. Along with buttstock replacement, one of the most common upgrades done by AR owners is changing out the front handguard. In this video, Gavin shows how to replace your stock handguard with a modern free-floating system. There can be accuracy improvements with this upgrade, and this also allows you to optimize the ergonomics and weight balance of your black rifle.

14 Reloading Presses Single-Stage Shootout — 584,000 Views

Full Story: https://bit.ly/2WS9jE0
This truly may be the “ultimate” reloading press video. Running a full 41 minutes in length, this video shows the features/operation of no less than fourteen (14) modern single-stage presses. No other reloading gear review even come closes to this video in terms of the variety of products covered and the sophistication of the tests. In his full story, Gavin offers comparison charts with sizing force and seating precision comparisons. He also measures ram to press frame fit.

Anyone considering purchasing a single-stage press should watch this video from start to finish. A typical gun magazine review might look at two or three presses, load a few rounds, and then offer some subjective comments. Gavin studied 14 presses, did very thorough testing, and delivered tons of objective data. Listed below are 13 of the presses tested. Click each press name for specific details and test results:

Forster Co-Ax
Frankford Arsenal M-Press
Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic
Hornady Lock-N-Load Iron
LEE Challenger Breech Lock
LEE Classic Cast 50 BMG and LEE Classic Cast Iron
Lyman Brass Smith Ideal

Lyman Brass Smith Victory
MEC Marksman
RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme
RCBS Summit
Redding Big Boss II
Turban CNC Präzipress

Lee Loadmaster Loading .223 Rem/5.56 NATO — 526,000 Views

Here’s another early video from the Ultimate Reloader YouTube Channel. Gavin shows how to produce .223 Rem/5.56x45mm ammo with an affordable Lee Loadmaster progressive. Gavin explains how to set up the Loadmaster and how to best control priming, case sizing, and powder-dropping operations. For anyone thinking about getting a progressive press, this video is worth watching. Gavin has created many other videos reviewing progressive presses from Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS. And just last year he showcased the amazing Mark 7 Apex 10, a ten-station progressive press marketed by Lyman. Gavin’s Mark 7 Apex 10 was equipped with both case-feeder and bullet feeder, allowing very impressive production rates.

How It’s Made: BAT Custom Rifle Actions — 489,000 Views


YouTube Ultimate Reloader Video BAT Machine

Full Story: https://bit.ly/3hD2d11
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 31-minute video, Gavin traveled to Idaho to visit the BAT Machine production center in Post Falls, ID. Gavin talked with BAT’s founder Bruce Thom. The video features extensive footage of advanced CNC machines used to produce the superb BAT actions.

Click Image Below to Visit the Ultimate Reloader YouTube Channel:
YouTube Ultimate Reloader Video Showcase Gavintoobe

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June 15th, 2021

The Modern Linear Compensator — Design and Function

Brownells Linear compensator video

In this interesting video, Brownells Gun Tech Caleb Savant covers the topic of linear compensators, aka “blast diffusers” or “linear blast devices”. These are quite different in function from a typical muzzle brake and they are NOT a sound suppressor. Unlike a traditional muzzle brake, a linear compensator directs the muzzle blast forward, AWAY from the shooter. This is not only good for the shooter but also for folks next to the shooter, either at the range or in a CQB law enforcement or military situation.

A “Linear Compensator”, also known as “blast diffuser”, my look similar to a muzzle brake. But it works differently. A typical muzzle brake shoots blast out the side, and can be pretty annoying for someone positioned next to the shooter. By contract, the Linear Compensator direct blast force more forward. This helps reduce perceived recoil, and importantly doesn’t send hot gasses left and ring to nearby shooters or observes. Muzzle brake output can be very annoying. This Editor once was shooting next to a .338 Lapua Magnum with a brake, just a couple feet away. With each .338 LM shot I could feel heat on arms/hands and actually feel the bones in my forearm vibrate.

Attachment Methods — Direct Thread Mounting vs. Quick-Attach Mounting
Linear compensators have become much more popular in recent years as AR-15 pistols and SBRs have proliferated. Some linear comps, such as popular models from Midwest Industries and the Troy Claymore, attach directly to the muzzle, just like a traditional flash hider or muzzle brake.

Other Linear Compensators are slip-on, quick-attach components that mount OVER another muzzle device. For example, the VG6 Precision CAGE Device (Concussion Altering Gas Expansion) attaches directly over one of their standard muzzle devices. Almost every company that makes a sound suppressor also offers a linear compensator, which typically attaches to the muzzle the same way as the silencer.

Video find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 13th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Doan Trevor Custom Rifles and Wood Stocks

Doan Trevor custom wookd stock gunsmithingDetail from Doan Trevor rimfire prone stock (Fiddleback Walnut) with Stiller 2500 X Action.

New Mexico Gunsmith Doan Trever is a true wizard with wood. At Doan Trevor Custom Rifle Building, he crafts stunning figured wood stocks, and also builds complete wood-stocked and fiberglass-stocked rifles that shoot as good as they look. Doan is a true master, with a mind for function and an eye for beauty. The ability to hand-craft wood is becoming a lost art. For this Sunday, we celebrate four projects crafted by Doan: two complete rifle, a special F-Class stock built for multiple actions, and an F-TR stock for a Sako action. Visit DoanTrevor.com to view find dozens of other stunning stocks and complete rifles.

Mausingfield America Rifle with English Walnut Stock

Doan told us: “This is a highly figured piece of English Walnut with burls and flowers. Along the bottom of the stock there’s a burl/flower that looks like an owl and one side looks like the Sandia Mountains. This rifle is in 30 PCR. Doan adds: “The owner is enjoying this rifle immensely.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

Walther KK500 (Twin Trigger), English Walnut Laminate Stock with Fiddleback Accents

About this unique rig Doan notes: “This left-handed rifle has two triggers. It has an electronic trigger AND a mechanical trigger. With the wood stock option, the charging cable needs to be modified modify in order to clear the trigger extension to be able to charge. Also, keeping with aesthetics, I made it able to remove the trigger guard in order to charge more easily. Removing the trigger guard does not change the bedding.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

American Walnut F-Class Stock with Figured English/Claro Walnut Fore-End Inlay

Doan explains: “The owner has three actions with the same barrel block mounting system. He wanted to be able to use one stock. I built a bedding system that would accomplish this task. The two pieces of Claro Walnut on the fore-end are mirror copies.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

F-TR Stock for Sako 85 with Johnny Byer Stock Blank

Here’s a handsome F-TR rig. Doan reports: “The pistol grip cap is a piece of Screw Bean Mesquite Wood from my old front yard in Albuquerque. (I live in Rio Rancho, NM now.) Take a look at the bottom photo with the blue background, the rifle doesn’t have any stippling yet. Sometimes, you have stippling as the last step. There’s no room for error when this order of events is necessary.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

About Doan Trevor

Doan Trevor is a master gunsmith and stock-maker who works in the old style. He still hand-crafts stocks from start to finish, and does all the metal-work on the custom rifles he builds. Starting with highly-figured woods, Doan carves and shapes his stocks largely by hand, with meticulous attention to detail. Each rifle he builds is optimized for its intended discipline, and custom-fitted for the customer.

Doan Trevor

With photography by Doan’s talented wife Sue, Doan has created a website, DoanTrevor.com, that is a feast for the eyes. You can see beautiful wood-stocked rifles being hand-crafted. Doan also illustrates how he creates custom metal parts, and how he beds barreled actions into the finished stocks.

Definitely visit Doan’s website. Be sure to click on the site’s secondary pages: Rifle Building, Woodworking, and Metalworking. There you’ll find info on wood-working plus hundreds of high-quality photos.

Doan Trevor gunsmithing

doan trevor gunsmith wood stock builderContact Doan Trevor

Doan Trevor Custom Rifle Building
Website: DoanTrevor.com
Email: doantrevor@gmail.com
Phone: 714-457-5566

Products and Services: Custom rifle building for High Power, F-Class, Long Range, and Smallbore shooters. Fancy Wood and Fiberglass Rifle Stocks, Custom Grips for Rifles, and Offset Sights.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, News 5 Comments »
June 3rd, 2021

How to Kill a Barrel in One Afternoon — Firing Rate and Heat

barrel life test rapid fire cooling

Can sustained rapid-fire shooting with no cool-down period wear out a quality barrel more quickly? The answer is “Yes” according to Forum member LCazador, who did an interesting comparison test with two .243 Winchester barrels. He started off with two, identical, match-grade HV taper stainless barrels. Both were NEW at the start of testing, and LCazador shot the same load through each: 95gr match bullets with 38 grains of Hodgdon Varget. After giving both barrels the same, gentle 20-round break-in, 300 rounds were then fired through each barrel — in very different ways. Barrel condition and wear were monitored with a borescope.

Barrel One — Slow Fire, Cool Down Periods, Cleaning Every 50 Rounds
At the end of the 300-round test, Barrel One looked brand new. There was none of the severe fire cracking found in Barrel Two. This barrel was shot no more than 10 times without a cool down and firing was done at a much slower pace. Cleaning for this barrel was done every 50 shots.

Barrel Two — Fast Firing, No Waiting, Cleaning Every 100 Rounds
The second barrel, which received hard use and minimal cleaning, was severely damaged with severe fire cracking at the leade and throat. As a result, the barrel had to be re-chambered. This barrel was shot 100 rounds at time without cleaning and was shot up to 20 times in succession without a cool down.

LESSON LEARNED — Heat Kills Barrel Life
Don’t let your barrel get too hot, and keep it clean. One afternoon can ruin a barrel!

Hawkeye Borescope imageMonitoring Barrel Wear with Borescope
Some folks worry too much about what their borescopes reveal — many barrels do not have to be “squeaky clean” to perform well. In fact some barrels run better after ten or more fouling shots. However, a borescope can be very helpful when your barrel starts losing accuracy for no apparent reason. Forum member FdShuster writes:

“A borescope is a positive way of backing up your suspicions when the rifle starts to throw an occasional (soon followed by more frequent) wild shot. Using the scope is also an excellent way to determine that the cause is barrel wear and not simply a need for a concentrated cleaning session to remove built up copper and more importantly, carbon fouling.

I’ve had a few barrels that gave every indication of being shot out. But I ‘scoped them out and found the cause to be nothing more than requiring a good cleaning. They then returned to their usual performance. There’s no guessing involved when you are able to get ‘up close and personal’ using the scope. The borescope also provides an excellent view of the all-important condition of the crown. My borescope is one of the most valuable investments I’ve ever made.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
May 30th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: More Pride & Joy Rifles from our Forum

pride joy 6.5x55 Ackley Borden Action Robertson Stock F-Class F-Open, Bartlein Barrel
pride joy 6.5x55 Ackley Borden Action Robertson Stock F-Class F-Open, Bartlein Barrel
Forum member Rardoin’s handsome F-Open rig features the new Borden BRM-XD action.

One of the most popular items in our Shooters’ Forum is the ongoing “Pride and Joy” thread. Since 2009, Forum members have posted photos and descriptions of their most prized rifles. Here are some of the most recent “Pride and Joy” rifles showcased in our Forum. Do you have a gun you’d like to see featured there? Just Register for the Forum and you can add your favorite gun to the list.

Bill Goad’s 6PPC Hunter “Ranch Rifle”

pride joy Bill Goad Hunter 6mm PPC benchrest

Forum member Grimstod tells us: “This is the personal rifle of Bill Goad. He has been experimenting with it on several levels. It is shooting great and has several matches on it now. Please enjoy these photos. More can be found on the website www.PremierAccuracy.com. We like the subtle barbed wire effect on the stock.

Twin-Upper AR with Custom Wood Furniture

pride joy AR Sporting Rifle Maple Walnut Furniture AR Platform

This very unique AR belongs to Forum member Nuto-BR. He tells us: “Here are the two uppers I built. The top one is am X-caliber in 20 Practical with 24-inch, 1:11″-twist barrel. The bottom one is a WOA in .223 Rem, with 20″, 1-12″ twist barrel. They both shoot 1/2 MOA or better. Both stocks are laminated Maple and Walnut. I reversed the order of the two woods to tell them apart.”

Two Dashers and a Rimfire for Fun

pride joy 6mm Dasher Anshutz

Courtesy Forum member Dan H., here are two red-stocked Dashers plus an Anschutz 54.30 (Benchrest Stock) to make it a trio. Dan says: “The Anschutz provides good practice in trigger-pulling. It’s amazing what you can learn from a rifle that is as sensitive as this one.”

Dream Hunting Rifle with Custom Camo

pride joy Hunting stock camo custom paint 6.5-280 Ackley Improved

Here is Forum member TyDaws’s “Dream Hunting Rifle” in 6.5-280 Ackley Improved. We love the custom paint work by by Melodie Yarbrough. Smithed by West Texas Ordnance, this rifle features a Rem 700 action with fluted bolt, PT&G tapered recoil lug, and Timney 510 2-lb trigger. The barrel is a fluted 26″ 1:8″-twist Bartlein 5R #3 contour. On top is a Huskemaw Blue Diamond 4-16x42mm optic in Warne Maxima rings. That’s an Atlas bipod up front.

Three Guns for Mr. Big

pride joy .243 Win Stiller Rem 700 Tactical Farley 6.5x47 Lapua 6PPC

Forum Member Mr. Big offered up another trio of rifles — two bench guns and a tactical rig. Mr. Big says: “Here are the rifles I shoot most: Farley 6mm PPC, Stiller .243 Win, and Rem 6.5×47 Lapua. They will do just about anything I ask them to…” Challenge: Can you identify the makers of the three different stocks shown in this picture (and the different materials used in each)?

Classic M1917 Enfield Action in Hand-Carved Maple Stock

Pride Juy AccurateShooter hunting benchrest rifles wheelgun Ruger Revolver hunter

This impressive rifle features an “antique” 1917 Enfield action chambered for the .338 Win Magnum cartridge. The lovely Maple stock was hand-carved by Forum member Spitfire_ER. He tells us: “I found this piece of wood as a return at a lumber yard about [many] years ago. I asked the guy in the yard about it and he said it had been returned because it had too much figure for the job the customer was working on. First thing I thought was, ‘That would make a nice stock’.”

6mm Dasher in Robertson Spider Web Stock

pride joy 6mm Dasher Robertson Stock

Here is Forum member Vahena’s 6mm Dasher. It has a no-turn-neck chamber in a 28″, 1:8″-twist barrel with 1.25″ straight contour. This has an original Robertson fiberglass stock with spider web graphics. This rifle was originally built as a 6.5×284 with a fluted barrel. Now it sports a bigger barrel for a smaller cartridge. The front rest is a SEB Neo with counterweight up front.

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May 28th, 2021

Sako Rifles from Finland — 100 Years of History

Sako rifle gunsmithing 100th Anniversary virtual showroom

Sako Ltd. was founded on April 1, 1921. This year Sako celebrates its 100th birthday. Now part of the Beretta firearms family, this prestigious Finnish firearms manufacturer has a rich history of producing quality rifles constructed by skilled master craftsmen.

The original Sako factory was established as part of the Finnish Civil Guard and was designed to meet its gun repair needs. The workshop became an independent financial unit on April 1, 1921. Sako marks that date as its moment of establishment. The workshop was initially called Suojeluskuntain Ase-ja Konepaja Osakeyhtiö (Civil Guard Firearm and Engineering Co Ltd). In 1927, it became a limited company with its name abbreviated to the acronym Sako.

Sako rifle gunsmithing 100th Anniversary virtual showroom
Sako is manufacturing a limited edition of numbered Sako TRG 22 “Finland 100″ rifles with white camouflage, inspired by Sako’s 100-year anniversary.

The TRG 22 “Finland 100″ Jubilee model is offered in .308 Win caliber. The white snow camouflage coloring of the stock and barreled action of this collector’s item reflects the severity of the Finnish winter, and pays homage to the heroes of the Winter War. The Sako TRG 22 “Finland 100″ rifle has the text “Finland 100″ and the gun’s serial number laser-engraved on its frame. The rifle is packaged in a carry case with an engraved Jubilee knife.

SAKO Modern Technology and Craftsmanship

SAKO — Engineered for Accuracy

SAKO Premium Rifle Options

SAKO Virtual Showroom

Sako rifle gunsmithing 100th Anniversary virtual showroom

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May 28th, 2021

Upgrade Your Firearms with Brownells Do-It-Yourself Videos

Brownells do it yourself videos

Brownells’ Do-It-Yourself (DIY) video series provides logical, step-by-step installation help for triggers, stocks, and springs. Nine separate videos cover Brownells various DIY Kits. Not sure if you’re up to the project? Just watch each video to see what’s involved. The nine DIY kits are:

  • Brownells DIY Remington 870 Stock Upgrade Kit 080-000-850
  • Brownells DIY Power Custom 10/22 Trigger Upgrade Kit 080-000-851
  • Brownells DIY Remington 700 Trigger Replacement w/o Trigger 080-000-852
  • Brownells DIY Remington 700 Trigger Replacement with Timney Trigger 080-000-853
  • Brownells DIY S&W J Frame Revolver Upgrade Kit080-000-862
  • Brownells DIY AR-15 Performance Upgrade Installation080-001-155WB
  • Brownells DIY Magpul MOE AR15 Stock Upgrade Installation084-000-386WB
  • Brownells DIY Glock Pistol Sight Upgrade Kit 080-000-919WB
  • Brownells DIY Ruger MKIII Upgrade Kit 930-000-046WB

This video shows Remington 700 after-market trigger installation:

In the Do-It-Yourself videos, Brownells’ Gun Techs proceed step-by-step, showing you exactly how to install the parts on your gun. Each kit also comes with complete, illustrated instructions you can take to the bench. To learn more, click the links above, or CLICK HERE to visit Brownells’ DIY Kit online page.

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May 25th, 2021

DIY DownUnder — Aussie Builds Rail Gun Including Action

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

We know some guys who make their own stocks, and others who do their own chambering. But consider this, Robert Carnell of Australia built his own state-of-the-art, water-cooled, tension-barrel Rail Gun, even including the action. That’s right, Robert designed and crafted his own precision action. This has got to be the ultimate home gunsmithing, do-it-yourself (DIY) project.

Carnell is an accomplished benchrest shooter and past Australian Sporter Class Champion. In 1993 he won a Silver Medal at the World Championships. But Carnell is far more than an ace trigger-puller. Robert is a skilled and creative “home gunsmith” who has crafted his own custom action and built his own railguns from scratch. Robert also runs the Austrialian Benchrest Bulletin website.

Home-Built Rail Gun — Aussie Innovation
Below are photos of one of Rob Carnell’s most amazing builds. This liquid-cooled, tension-barrel rail gun is a great example of self-reliant Aussie engineering. The barrel runs inside a coolent-filled, large-diameter sleeve, much like an old water-cooled machine gun. This is the fourth rail gun that Rob built, and the second fitted with a tensioned barrel.

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

Robert explains: “My railgun design has a 1.75″ barrel under tension inside an aluminium tube filled with radiator coolant. There is nearly a gallon of coolant, and the barrel stays cool no matter how many shots I seem to fire, or how quickly they are shot. The brass nut on the front rides on a nylon bearing and can be tightened to get the best accuracy. I am a believer in the ‘tuner’ idea and this seems to work for me. The main tube is thick-walled aluminium 600mm (24″) long. There is a flange at both ends. The flange at the back fits onto the barrel before the action is screwed on. The front flange is a press-fit into the tube, then there is a brass nut that fits over the barrel and screws against a nylon washer on the front flange. The Railgun’s base is aluminium and has the standard adjustments — windage, elevation and a sighter cam. In addition, there is a 1/10 thou dial indicator for windage. This allows me to zero the indicator and shoot my group. If I need to add a bit of windage for a condition, I can quickly get back to the original position if my condition comes back.”

Home-Built Action Uses Rem Bolt
Rob’s rail gun uses his own home-made stainless action, which features Panda-spec threads and a modified Remington 700 aftermarket bolt. Not bad for a do-it-yourself project we’d say! CLICK HERE to read how Rob designed and built the action.

Australia Benchrest Bulletin

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May 23rd, 2021

CMP Barrels for M1903 Springfield, M1917 Enfield, M1 Carbine

m1 m1903 springfield Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion
M1903 photo from ShootingUSA.com. Watch History of U.S. Service Rifle episode via Vimeo on Demand.

1903 Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

Good news for owners of 1903/1903A3 Springfields, M1917 Enfields, and M1 Carbines. The CMP eStore sells brand new chambered, Criterion chrome-moly barrels for these M1903/M1903AC rifles for under $200.00. In addition there are M1 Carbine barrels for $229.50. These authentic-profile barrels are made by Criterion Barrels in Richfield, WI, using the button-rifling process. They are “semi-finished” meaning they come chambered and headspaced within .010″ of finished size, with final fitting to be done by a competent gunsmith. The barrels are also externally Parkerized to match the finish of your vintage ’03, Garand, or M1 Carbine. To order, go to the CMP eStore and click the Barrels Link in the upper left.

NOTE: Final assembly and headspacing by a qualified gunsmith is required!

New Criterion M1903 Springfield RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/03 | $199.95

New 1903 barrels by Criterion Barrels, Inc., 4140 chrome moly steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. These comply with CMP competition rules and are legal for the 1903 Matches. Parkerized like the original 1903 and chambered .010″ from finish size to be fitted and headspaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions.

New Criterion M1903A3 Springfield RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/A3 | Price: $199.95

New 1903A3 barrels by Criterion Barrels, Inc., 4140 chrome moly steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. These comply with CMP competition rules and are legal for the 1903A3 Matches. Parkerized like the original 1903A3 and chambered .010″ from finish size to be fitted and headspaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions.

m1 Garand  Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

New Criterion M1917 Enfield RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/1917 | Price: $199.95

New M1917 barrels by Criterion Barrels, Inc., 4140 chrome moly steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. These comply with CMP competition rules and are legal for the 1903A3 Matches. Parkerized like the original M1917 Parkerized like the original M1917 and chambered .010″ from finish size to be fitted and headspaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions.

New Criterion M1 Carbine RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/CARBINE | Price $229.50

New Carbine barrels by Criterion Barrels, 4140 chrome moly Steel, button rifled, contoured, and finish lapped after contouring. Comply with CMP Competition Rules and are legal for the CMP M1 Carbine Matches. Parkerized like the original M1 Carbine and chambered .010 away from finish size to be fitted and head-spaced when assembled to fit your receiver and bolt dimensions. Barrel is .30 Carbine.

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