July 11th, 2020

Small Varmint Hunting with .22 LR — and FREE Varmint Target

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR varmint prairie dog Jim See

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR varmint prairie dog Jim SeeRimfire Varmint Adventure
Can you shoot prairie dogs with a .22 LR Rifle? The answer is yes, if you have an accurate rifle, know your drops, and keep your targets within a reasonable distance (inside 240 yards). While the .17 HMR and .17 WSM are much more potent, flat-shooting, and effective P-dog slayers, a talented marksman CAN get good results with a .22 LR rimfire rifle, as ace PRS shooter and gunsmith Jim See recently proved.

Posting on his Facebook Page on 7/9/2020, Jim wrote: “Took out the .22 LR for some LR prairie poodles, there were not many in this town, but it gave me a chance to get some impressive hits. Norma TAC-22 ammo put the smack down on a first-round hit, called head shots at 189 yards. The body-shot dog was a first-round kill at 240 yards. I had one more head shot with a second round hit at 163. The nice part about using the .22 Long Rifle ammo is the [critters] don’t spook too bad, so a follow-up shot with a correction is usually available to get a better wind hold.” Even unsuppressed, a .22 LR rimfire shot makes much less noise than a centerfire round.

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR varmint prairie dog Jim See

NOTE: The Norma TAC-22 .22 LR ammo used by Jim See offers great bang for the buck. It is quite affordable — a 50rd box is just $4.41 at Midsouth Shooters. Some lots have show outstanding accuracy. These target photos (below) come from Champion Shooters Supply which may have gotten an exceptional lot. This vendor tells us: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.” Jim says the TAC-22 delivers 1″ groups at 100 yards in his rifle.

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR varmint prairie dog Jim See

Free Sierra Varmint Target — Prairie Enemy

Sierra Bullets has introduced a new line of loaded centerfire varmint ammunition, the Prairie Enemy series of cartridges. Sierra currently offers Prairie Enemy ammo for six cartridge types: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, .224 Valkyrie, .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, and 6.5 Creedmoor. To celebrate this new ammo line, Sierra created a colorful Prairie Enemy P-Dog target. Click the image below to download the PDF target.


Click Image to Download Target PDF

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR varmint prairie dog Jim See

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 10th, 2020

Great Upgrade for Harris Swivel Bipods — S-Lever Kit

Bipod Harris Swivel Handle Lock S Lever Kit Eabco.com

We like the swivel (“S”) version of the Harris bipod. The swivel (actually tilting) capability of the bipod allows you to tilt (cant) your rifle around the bore axis to level the rifle on a side slope or uneven ground. Unfortunately, the swivel tensioner (friction knob) that comes standard with a Harris swivel bipod leaves much to be desired. The tensioning knob is hard to adjust with your fingers. The small knurled ring doesn’t offer enough leverage. When it’s tight enough to prevent movement it’s hard to release. For this reason, many folks replace the standard knurled ring with a rotating adjustment lever with push-button release. This works great and is easy to install.

While you can buy levers from various sources, EABCO.com has a tried-and-true system that works with both Harris and Caldwell XLA-S swivel bipods: “Our S-Lever Tension Lever is an economical replacement for the friction tensioning knob to give you much better control and leverage.” For just $16.95, Eabco.com delivers all the parts you need for the upgrade to your swivel bipod. Shown below are instructions for installing the EABCO S-Lever.

Bipod Harris Swivel Handle Lock S Lever Kit Eabco.com

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July 6th, 2020

New Howa Rifle with Carbon-Wrapped Barrel and Hogue Stock

Howa carbon barrel hogue kratos camo

This new rifle may interest game hunters. For around $1120 (street price) the new Howa Carbon Kratos rifle combines an excellent Hogue camo stock with a carbon-wrapped barrel. This allows a rifle that is significantly lighter than a conventional hunting rifle. The carbon-wrapped barrel also features a threaded muzzle (with cap), so you can easily fit a suppressor or muzzle brake.

Howa’s new Carbon Hogue Kratos rig will first be offered in .308 Winchester, followed by 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and 300 PRC chamberings. The new rifle features a 24″ Howa barrel that is carbon fiber-wrapped and threaded for suppressors or muzzle brakes. The Hogue stock is pillar-bedded and dipped in the effective Kratos camo pattern. Also available is a scoped package with a 4-16×44 Nikko Sterling Diamond FFP scope. Although the scope package adds just $220 to the MSRP, we recommend getting the bare rifle and then adding a higher quality optic. You’ll be happier in the long run.

Howa carbon barrel hogue kratos camo

Howa Carbon Fiber Hogue Kratos Features
Howa 1500 Action with 3-Position Safety
Howa 24″ Carbon Wrapped Barrel, threaded with cap
Excellent 2-Stage HACT Trigger
Sub-MOA at 100 yards Guarantee
Optional Scope Package with 4-16×44mm Nikko Stirling Diamond FFP
Lifetime Warranty on Rifle and Optic

COMMENTARY: We’ve shot Howa rifles and can attest that the 1500 action cycles smoothly and the HACT 2-Stage trigger is very good for a factory gun. This is definitely a viable hunting option with a high-quality stock and weight savings via the carbon-wrapped barrel. You can pay significantly more and not get a better hunting rig. Put the savings into a good Laser Range Finder.

MSRP – $1,379 for Howa Hogue Kratos Rifle Only model HGCF308KTS — .308 Win
MSRP – $1,599 for Howa Hogue Kratos Scoped Package option HGCF308KTSP — .308 Win

For more information on all Howa rifle offerings or to request a FREE 2020 catalog, visit LegacySports.com.

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July 3rd, 2020

North Dakota Summer Grasslands Prairie Dog Adventure

North Dakota Prairie Dog Hunt safari

Adam Scepaniak, of The Guns and Gear Store, has written an interesting story about Prairie Dog Hunting in North Dakota. If a P-Dog safari is on your “bucket list”, you’ll want to read the full story in the Sierra Bullets Blog. Adam provides many tips that can help you plan a successful prairie dog adventure.

Prairie Dog Hunting in North Dakota with Sierra Bullets
It’s that time of year where lots of men and women point their vehicles westward and try to push the limits of their rifles on prairie dogs. [A few seasons back] I was a part of this group of people… while in northwestern North Dakota. CLICK HERE to Read Full Story.

North Dakota Prairie Dog Hunt safariLittle Missouri National Grassland
Once my hunting party arrived at the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota we immediately began scouting for prime prairie dog towns. There is a certain amount of strategy involved in choosing a prairie dog town … for several reasons. For one, you should try to always stay “above” the prairie dogs.

Small objects like rocks, cactuses, and prairie vegetation can easily obstruct your view if you’re shooting prone on a level plane. We encountered this in the first small prairie dog town we stopped and shot at. The prairie dog town was very visible while walking and standing, but once we laid down with our rifles on bipods the two-foot prairie grass became a severe obstruction. We shortly moved on because the small town became quick-studies to our shooting.

North Dakota Prairie Dog Hunt safari

The second prairie dog town we hunted was at the base of a small ridge with a dried, cattle creek at the bottom. This area offered better shooting opportunities because we were above most of the prairie dog holes, and if we were not above them, a deep ravine separated us from the prairie dogs removing any obstructions from our rifle scopes which was our previous problem. This area had its own disadvantage though because of some other wildlife present. There were approximately fifty head of cattle in our close vicinity grazing, which was to no surprise because many ranchers utilize the National Grassland for grazing. We had to wait for the cattle to leave our area as to not have an incidental hit due to a rare ricochet. As the sun passed over the horizon we decided to return to this spot the next morning, but would change our shooting position to increase our advantage.

This Location Offered a Nice Overlook.
North Dakota Prairie Dog Hunt safari

Zoomed Image Shows Individual Prairie Dog Mounds.
North Dakota Prairie Dog Hunt safari

My previous varminting best was a 275-yard shot near Mobridge, South Dakota on a separate prairie dog hunting trip. With more experience and better reloading, Here in North Dakota I was able to make a solid hit on a prairie dog just over 400 yards which made me ecstatic! For a central Minnesota, shotgun-raised guy, I was pretty happy that my bullet selection and hand-loading ability produced a 125-yard improvement.

Once we cleaned and cased our rifles for the journey home we had shot a little over 200 rounds of my Sierra® reloads. This was a lot less than previous prairie dog trips I have been a part of, but our hit percentage was substantially higher as well. Traveling into a new area meant a lot more scouting and experimentation for us as a group. In future trips or hunts of your own, it can be very beneficial to schedule an extra day just for scouting[.]

Little Missouri National Grassland is a National Grassland located in western North Dakota. At 1,033,271 acres, it is the largest grassland in the country. Within its borders is Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The Little Missouri National Grasslands was once a part of the Custer National Forest, but is now a part of the Dakota Prairie Grasslands, a National Forest unit consisting entirely of National Grasslands. A predominant feature of the grassland is colorful and beautiful badlands, a rugged terrain extensively eroded by wind and water. It is a mixed grass prairie, meaning it has both long and short grass.

The boundaries of the grasslands on certain maps can be misleading. Within the boundaries of the national grassland are significant portions of state-owned and privately-owned land, much of it leased by cattle ranchers for grazing.

The grassland is administered by the Forest Service as part of the Dakota Prairie Grasslands from offices in Bismarck, ND. There are ranger district offices in Dickinson and Watford City.

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June 28th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Trio of Tack-Driving Thumbhole Varmint Rifles

gunday sunday varmint rifles Richard Franklin Custom rifles virginia thumbhole

Mr. Smith’s Tack-Driving Thumbhole Trio
What is it they say? “Can’t have too much of a good thing?” We’ll in the case of Sam Smith of Wisconsin, that goes for beautiful wood-stocked thumbhole rifles that shoot like the blazes. This week we feature a troika of thumbholes, all smithed and stocked by Richard Franklin of Richard’s Custom Rifles (Richard is now retired but still offers DVDs). Not content with a single caliber or twist, Sam commissioned three different chamberings and barrel twist rates.

First, in Fiddleback Walnut — a 6PPC Walking Varminter
thumbhole varmint rigThe most elegant of the three thumbholes is this handsome .261″-neck 6PPC. The blue-printed Rem 700 action is pillar-bedded in a highly-figured stock of laminated Curley Fiddleback Walnut, in Richard’s #004 pattern. Richard uses three sections of wood bonded together so the outside looks like a single piece of Walnut.

The lead photo at top, and the image at right show more details of this rifle. The grain really takes on a rich color in sunlight, with the Tiger-stripe figure showing brilliantly through the clearcoat. Believe it or not, Sam doesn’t even consider this one of his best-looking rifles. Sam tells us, “these three thumbhole stocks are not even close to the prettiest guns Richard has built for me–you should see the Maple ones he did for me–they are unbelievable.”

Sam tells us the gun’s 1:14″-twist Krieger barrel is a hummer — it regularly shoots one-holers at 100 yards. Sam has even logged some groups in the Zeros with the gun–awesome accuracy for a varmint rifle/Sam tells us that, using VV N133 and 58gr V-max bullets, this gun is absolutely deadly on prairie dogs out to 500 yards. (SEE: One-hole Sample Target.)

Rifle #2 — Cherry and Walnut Together in a 6mm Rem Improved

gunday sunday varmint rifles Richard Franklin Custom rifles virginia thumbhole

When more knock-down power or more distant targets are in order, Sam pulls out his 6mm Rem Improved 1:12″-twist thumbhole Varminter. Like the other two guns, this features a pillar-bedded Remington 700 action and Krieger barrel. While the 6mm AI’s #004 stock shares the same shape and form as the 6PPC above, it is much more colorful, employing a seven-layer laminate in Cherry and Walnut, covered with multiple coats of automotive clear-coat. One of Sam’s favorite varminters, this rifle sees more range use than his 6PPC because “the PPC is so accurate I want to keep the round count down.” That’s not to say the 6mm Improved is any slouch in the accuracy department. Using VV N160 and 75gr V-max bullets, the gun averages in the 2s and 3s. The best group to date was .189″ with the 87gr V-Max (See V-Max Target below). Chalk that up to another superbly accurate Krieger barrel combined with outstanding chambering work by Richard.

6mm Rem Improved with 87gr V-Max at 100 Yards
6mm Rem improved target

Rifle #3 — Fast-Twist 6.5-284 with Benchrest Forearm

6.5-284 with Benchrest Forearm

Last but not least is Sam’s handsome 6.5-284 (below), also in a laminated Walnut and Cherry stock. The Krieger barrel is a Heavy Varmint contour, with an 8-twist and .290″ neck. This gun hasn’t been shot much yet, but during initial testing it grouped in the mid-threes with 53gr of H4831 and 142gr Sierra MKs. You’ll note the stock is a bit different than the other two guns–this is the #005 stock pattern, which boasts a 3″-wide, flat forearm. It is identical to the #004 from the recoil lug rearward. Sam tells us that the #005 tracks better than the #004, though he prefers the rounded forearm of the #004 for a walking varminter.

Sam’s all-time favorite stock pattern in Richard’s #007, a roll-over comb design with conventional wrist and Cooper-style Beavertail forearm. Sam has a similar Maple #007 that he says is “even nicer than the gun in the picture.”

Nice Wood? You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!
After this trio of thumbhole rifles, Sam commissioned two more rifles — a matched pair in 6mm BR Norma and 6PPC, done up in absolutely amazing 500 year-old Turkish Walnut, sourced from a one-of-a-kind 48″ diameter Burl. What does a piece of wood like this cost? Trust us, if you have to ask, you couldn’t possibly afford it. Let us just say these are some of the most spectacularly figured blanks ever shipped from Turkey and they are priced accordingly. Here’s a preview, taken right before Richard bonded the first stock together. The lower two pieces look lighter because of the flash angle but the upper section more accurately shows how all three pieces appear in natural light. “Wow” is right!

gunday sunday varmint rifles Richard Franklin Custom rifles virginia thumbhole

Richard Franklin is Now Retired in Montana
The last we heard, gunsmith Richard Franklin was enjoying his retirement years up in Montana. On RichardsCustomRifles.com Richard posted: “I built fine custom rifles and for many years. I was the first stock maker to laminate woods such high-grade walnut, fiddleback maple and other fancy woods. I designed my own ideas into my patterns and carved, finished, pillar bedded thousands of stocks on the rifles I built. My most popular stock pattern was my Model 11 thumbhole.

I love building rifles but my health has forced me to retire and to take time to smell the roses. I made many great videos on how to build rifles and have been selling them for many years. They are still in great demand.” CLICK HERE to check out Richard’s DVDs about rifle building and varmint hunting.

gunday sunday varmint rifles Richard Franklin Custom rifles virginia thumbhole

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June 26th, 2020

Don’t Overheat Your Ammo in Hot Summer Months

Heat Map USA color chart

Summer Solstice 2020 was June 20th, and July’s nearly here. That means “peak heat” summer conditions. It’s vitally important to keep your ammo at “normal” temps during the hot summer months. Even if you use “temp-insensitive” powders, studies suggest that pressures can still rise dramatically when the entire cartridge gets hot, possibly because of primer heating. It’s smart to keep your loaded ammo in an insulated storage unit, possibly with a Blue Ice Cool Pak if you expect it to get quite hot. Don’t leave your ammo in the car or truck — temps can exceed 140° in a vehicle parked in the sun.

Ammo cool storage

Bosch Insulated tool caseTo learn more about how ambient temperature (and primer choice) affect pressures (and hence velocities) you should read the article Pressure Factors: How Temperature, Powder, and Primer Affect Pressure by Denton Bramwell. In that article, the author uses a pressure trace instrument to analyze how temperature affects ammo performance. Bramwell’s tests yielded some fascinating results.

For example, barrel temperature was a key factor: “Both barrel temperature and powder temperature are important variables, and they are not the same variable. If you fail to take barrel temperature into account while doing pressure testing, your test results will be very significantly affected. The effect of barrel temperature is around 204 PSI per F° for the Varget load. If you’re not controlling barrel temperature, you about as well might not bother controlling powder temperature, either. In the cases investigated, barrel temperature is a much stronger variable than powder temperature.”

This Editor had the personal experience of 6mmBR hand-loaded ammo that was allowed to sit in the hot sun for 45 minutes while steel targets were reset. The brass became quite warm to the touch, meaning the casings were well over 120° on the outside. When I then shot this ammo, the bullets impacted well high at 600 yards (compared to earlier in the day). Using a Magnetospeed, I then chron-tested the sun-heated ammo. The hot ammo’s velocity FPS had increased very significantly — all because I had left the ammo out in the hot sun uncovered for 3/4 of an hour.

Powder Heat Sensitivity Comparison Test

Our friend Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog recently published a fascinating comparison test of four powders: Hodgdon H4350, Hodgdon Varget, IMR 4451, and IMR 4166. The first two are Hodgdon Extreme powders, while the latter two are part of IMR’s Enduron line of propellants.

CLICK HERE to VIEW FULL TEST RESULTS

The testers measured the velocity of the powders over a wide temperature range, from 25° F to 140° F. Hodgdon H4350 proved to be the most temp stable of the four powders tested.

Precision Rifle Blog Temperature Stability test hodgdon varget H4350 Enduron IMR 4451

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
June 14th, 2020

Got a P-Dog Trip Planned? Bring along a 17 HMR Rimfire Rig

Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin Ellermann 17 HMR

We are coming into peak Prairie Dog season. For long shots you’ll definitely want a centerfire. We like the 20 Practical in an AR and a 22 BR/BRA in a bolt-action. That will have you covered out to 700 yards. But for shorter shots on small critters — say inside 150 yards — it makes sense to have an accurate 17 HMR rimfire rig. Today’s 17 HMRs are capable of surprising accuracy, rivaling a good centerfire rig, but with less recoil and much lower cost per shot. And the 17 HMR offers more than double the velocity of a .22 LR — up to 2650 fps with a 17-grain bullet.

Top Shot former Champion Dustin Ellerman likes his Volquartsens, and we can see why. With one of his favorite 17 HMR rimfire varmint rigs, he’s seen some outstanding accuracy with CCI ammo. A few seasons back, on his Facebook page, Dustin reported: “Prepping for prairie dogs and I’m floored by this cold, sub-half-inch group shot with the Volquartsen Custom 17 HMR at 100 yards.” This thumbhole-stock rifle features a Bowers Group USS suppressor, and 3-12x56mm Meopta Scope. Dustin tried different types of CCI 17 HMR ammo. This small group was shot with CCI A17 ammo.

Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin Ellermann 17 HMR

What’s the effective range of a 17 HMR on prairie dogs? You might be surprised. in 2015, Dustin took another Volquartsen 17 HMR on a Prairie Dog hunt in Wyoming. He was impressed with the rifle (shown below) and the little rimfire cartridge. Dustin says the effective range of the 17 HMR is farther than one might expect: “I made hits out to 300 yards. 200 yards was easy as long as the wind wasn’t too bad.”

Here’s the Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin used in Wyoming in 2015:
Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin Ellermann 17 HMR

After that 2015 P-Dog expedition, Dustin became a fan of the 17 HMR cartridge: “Never paid it much attention before now because the ammo is five times more expensive than .22 LR and I mostly target shoot. However, for prairie dogs, the 17 HMR is amazing!” Consider this — Hornady’s 17 HMR ammo pushes a 17gr V-Max bullet at 2550 fps, twice as fast as typical .22 LR rounds.

Prairie Dog Adventure with Savage A17
This video shows a successful Prairie Dog hunt. Watch and you’ll see hits out to 160 yards (00:50), proving the effective range of the 17 HMR cartridge. The host is shooting a Savage A17 semi-auto 17 HMR rifle in a Boyds laminated stock.

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June 10th, 2020

New Howa M1100 Rimfire Rifle (.22 LR, .22 WMR, .17 HMR)

Howa m1100 rimfire .22 LR HMR .17 HMR 17hmr smallbore trainer

Legacy Sports Int’l has just introduced a new bolt-action rimfire rifle — the Howa M1100. This new rifle will be available in three chamberings: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR. The rifle has a smooth action and comes with a “SUB-MOA” accuracy guarantee — something rare for a rimfire.

With a stock that somewhat resembles a SAKO S20 in terms of grip angle and ergonomics, we think the Howa M1100 could be a good PRS trainer or NRL22 competition rifle. The .17 HMR version should be a good carry-around varmint rig for ground squirrels and other small critters. We hope to get our hands on an M1100 for testing this summer.

SAKO S20 Centerfire Rifle for Comparison
Howa m1100 rimfire .22 LR HMR .17 HMR 17hmr smallbore trainer

The product description states: “The HOWA rimfire bolt action comes with an oversized tactical bolt handle, an 18″ threaded and capped barrel, and two detachable mags. All are housed into a tough synthetic Tactical / Varmint style stock with a beavertail fore-end with options of OD or Black finish.” There is also an extra-cost camo option — the whole M1100 rifle (stock and barreled action) is finished in Kratos Camo hydrodip. With the threaded barrel, the M1100 is suppressor-ready.

Howa m1100 rimfire .22 LR HMR .17 HMR 17hmr smallbore trainer

Legacy Sports Int’l will also be offering a Howa M1100 scoped package. This comes completes with rings and a Nikko Stirling 3.5-10×44 Gamepro Scope.

Howa M1100s come with a Lifetime Warranty and a SUB-MOA guarantee. That is 3 shots at 100 yards with “premium factory ammunition”. At least that’s what the guarantee page states. We expect that Howa might want to modify that for its rimfire rifles. But in any case, right now Legacy Sports Int’l says the M1100 rifle is guaranteed to be sub-MOA at 100 yards*. It will be interesting to see if that really can be achieved.

The Howa M1100 MSRP ranges from $478 to $589 depending on the package, with scoped models costing more. We expect “street price” for the basic models to be about $425.00.


* From website: Legacy Sports Int’l guarantees all Howa rifles to deliver SUB MOA Performance of 1 inch or less at 100 yards with Premium Factory Ammunition. Legacy Sports International requires an original receipt, and that the firearm be registered with Legacy Sports International. All Howa rifles purchased in the U.S. on or after January 1, 2017 are covered by this offer.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 2 Comments »
May 24th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Fuchs Double Barrel Bolt-Action “Big 5″ Rifle

fuchs Szecsei double barrel safari rifle fine engraving

One of the most unique and exotic rifles in the NRA Museum is the Fuchs Double Barrel Bolt Action Rifle. “This is the … most substantial bolt action rifle ever made,” said NRA Museums Senior Curator Philip Schreier. This unique double barrel bolt-action rifle loads two cartridges at the same time. It is the world’s only repeating double rifle design. Incorporating titanium components to reduce weight, this .416 Remington Magnum rifle has an eight-shot capacity, feeding from a beautifully engraved massive magazine assembly mounted under the receiver. Hungarian inventor Joseph Szecsei developed this innovative design after being charged simultaneously by three elephants in 1989. These rifles are sold by Fuchs Fine Guns in Innsbruck, Austria.

peterson collection nra museum sxecsei & Fuchs

An engineering tour de force, this elaborately engraved rifle is also a work of art. On the action, and bottom metal are engraved images of the “Big Five” African game species: elephant, cape buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard. This rifle has been featured on Curator’s Corner on the Outdoor Channel, and it now resides behind glass in the Robert E. Peterson Collection at the NRA Museum.

Here gun builder Gerhard Fuchs explains the features of the exotic double-barreled bolt-action rifle:

peterson collection nra museum sxecsei & Fuchs

double rifleThis amazing twin-barreled bolt-gun has a unique closing mechanism that locks two separate bolt bodies into the chambers of the right and left barrels. Yes there are two firing pins, two ejectors, two extractors, and two triggers. We’re not sure how one jumbo camming system closes two bolts — Perhaps one of our gunsmith readers can explain how this system works.

This Rifle Has TWO Barrels and TWO Bolts
double rifle

Just $78,000 at “Half-off Pricing”
Shown here (above and below) is another Fuchs double bolt rifle chambered in .416 Remington. This example, without the “Big Five” animal engravings, sold a few years back on Gunbroker.com for $78,000. That astronomical sum is just half the original cost, according to the seller. This amazing double safari rifle has 22″ barrels and weighs 11.5 pounds.

double rifle

More Eye-Catching Examples of the Fuchs Double Barrel Rifle

Along with the rifle featured in this article, you can see other Fuchs Double Barrel Repeater rifles with the same twin-bolt action on the Fuchs Fine Guns website. Here are examples.

fuchs Szecsei double barrel safari rifle fine engraving

fuchs Szecsei double barrel safari rifle fine engraving

fuchs Szecsei double barrel safari rifle fine engraving

fuchs Szecsei double barrel safari rifle fine engraving

fuchs Szecsei double barrel safari rifle fine engraving

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May 22nd, 2020

Hunting Prairie Dogs in South Dakota — Varminting Video

South Dakota Varmint Hunting Safari

South Dakota Varmint Hunting SafariNever had a chance to hunt prairie dogs in the American west? Then check out this video. Dan Eigen, host of the We Love It Outdoors Television series, ventured to South Dakota for some varmint hunting. Dan teamed up with Varmint Hunter Association President Jeff Rheborg to patrol some South Dakota Dogtowns where things get serious. In the video, you’ll see p-dog hits at distances from 70 yards to roughly 450 yards. The hunters were shooting from portable, wood-topped swivel rests, using AR-platform rifles on X-type sandbag rest. (Rifle zeroing session is shown at the 5:30+ mark.)

Multiple cameras were employed so you can see both the shooter’s POV and close-ups of the prairie dogs downrange. Watch the shooters having fun with a prairie dog cut-out and some Tannerite at the 9:00-minute mark. This guys are having a grand old time sending critters to Prairie Dog Heaven — we think you’ll enjoy the video.

Prairie Dog Hunting Starts at 2:20 Time-Mark in Video:

South Dakota Varmint Hunting Safari

South Dakota Varmint Hunting Safari

NOTE: This video actually covers three sequences: 1) Three-gun training; 2) Prairie Dog Hunting; and 3) Coyote Hunting. The Prairie Dog segment runs from 2:20 to 15:15. If you wish, you can slide the controls forward or back to watch the other segments.

Video found by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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May 7th, 2020

The 22 BR — A Great Ultra-Accurate Varmint Cartridge

6mmBR 22BR 22 BR BRA varmint cartridge

22 BR Dasher 22BRAThe 6mmBR Norma cartridge has spawned many great variants in multiple calibers: 6mm Dasher, 6BRA, 22 BR, 22 Dasher, 30 BR and others. This article is about a handsome 22 BR Rem-action varmint rig.

Richard Franklin (who operated Richard’s Custom Rifles prior to his retirement), has built scores of varmint rifles, in many different calibers. One of Richard’s all-time favorite varmint rifles is a 1:14″-twist, 22 BR built on his Model 11 stock in laminated Black Walnut and fiddleback maple. Richard says the rifle is versatile and deadly accurate out to 400 yards. Richard uses a Leupold 8.5-25x50mm LRT with varmint reticle.

Richard’s 22 BR Varmint Rifle with Lilja Barrel
Richard tells us: “[Shown above] is my light walking varminter. It’s built on a blue-printed Stainless Steel Remington 700 short action and chambered as a no-turn 22 BR for Lapua brass. The bolt handle is a Dave Kiff replacement and I’ve fitted a Jewel BR trigger with bottom safety. The barrel is a Lilja, 1:14″ #6 contour with a muzzle diameter of .750″. I shoot the 40gr V-Max bullets in the rifle at 4000 FPS. It’s tough on hogs if you don’t try them too far. 400 yards is about the max with it.

Accuracy is outstanding and with Roy, Mike, my grandson and myself shooting this rifle I don’t believe it has missed more than three hogs out of over 100 we shot at one summer. This rifle is carried in a ceiling rack in the truck where it’s handy and is used by the first person that grabs it when a hog is sighted if we are moving between setups. The Varmint reticle on the Leupold (shown below) is nice for quick hold-overs as you change distances.”

At right is a another Franklin Model 11 stock in Birdseye maple. That photo shows the details of the thumbhole stock.

Editor’s Note: We have shot a 1:8″-twist 22 BR in varmint matches and it was very accurate with 80gr bullets. It actually shot flatter out to 500 yards than our 6mmBR running 105-grainers. If we were to build a new long-range, bolt-action varmint rifle it would probably be a 22 BRA, essentially a 22 BR with 40° shoulder. That gives you a very stable cartridge with a bit more capacity. The 22 BRA retains a longer neck compare to the 22 Dasher, which is also an excellent cartridge — versatile and accurate.

22 BR Rivals 22-250 Performance
With bullets in the 40gr to 60gr weight range, the 22 BR gives up very little in velocity to a 22-250, despite burning quite a bit less powder (30-32 grains for the 22 BR vs. 35-38 grains for the 22-250). With a match-quality chamber, the 22 BR will probably have an edge in accuracy over a 22-250, and you should experience longer barrel life. Here are some recommended 22 BR loads for 40-60gr bullets:

For more info on the 22 BR for varminting, read our 22BR Cartridge Guide

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May 4th, 2020

Safari Club International Joins Forces with Buckmasters

Photo courtesy Kifaru Int’l KifaruCast (Episode 248).

Safari Club International Teams with Buckmasters
Safari Club International (SCI) has entered into a joint venture agreement with Buckmasters to promote intelligent, practical wildlife and habitat management and conservation for future generations. “This venture is part of SCI’s strategic plan to enhance the organization’s ability to protect the freedom to hunt worldwide, including right here in the United States,” said SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin.

This joint effort aligns the leading whitetail organization in Buckmasters with the leading advocacy and conservation organization in SCI. The joint venture provides SCI a seat on the Buckmasters Board of Directors along with recognition as a premiere sponsor. Hamberlain believes this collaboration “will introduce new opportunities for members of both groups to continue their support and preservation of hunting and conservation.” The joint venture is anticipated to be approved during the SCI Board of Directors meeting on May 9, 2020.

SCI is a a global leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. The SCI’s 200 Chapters represent all 50 states of the United States as well as 106 countries. Buckmasters was founded in 1986 by Jackie Bushman and is the largest whitetail deer hunting organization in the United States with over 160,000 subscribers.

Both organizations were excited at the new alliance. “Working with Buckmasters will enhance the effectiveness of SCI as we work to defend hunting on Capitol Hill, in state legislatures and in the minds of non-hunters” said SCI President Steve Skold. And Jackie Bushman, CEO of Buckmasters, stated: “Having SCI closely involved with Buckmasters will help us continue to represent and promote a positive image of ethical hunting and an awareness of the essential role of hunting as a necessary conservation tool”.

Namibia Hunting safari
Photo courtesy Namibia Hunting Safaris.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
April 29th, 2020

Rifle Visions — Views of Escapes into the Backcountry

Nightforce rifle scope photo

With so many Americans stuck at home under governmental lockdown orders, we’re offering a visual escape from the stay-at-home pandemic doldrums. Here are some great rifle-centric outdoor photos courtesy of Nightforce Optics. Perhaps these “gunscapes” will encourage you to grab your rifle and head out into the wilderness when Americans’ freedom of mobility/travel is finally restored. The good news is the same states are opening ranges again.

These fine photographs remind us of the lure of the great outdoors for a rifleman. We hope that soon our readers will once again be able to experience the grandeur of America’s mountains and wild backcountry. These images are part of an ongoing series of rifle photos posted on the Nightforce Facebook page. Can you identify the optics, and any of the locations?

Nightforce rifle scope photo

Nightforce rifle scope photo

Nightforce rifle scope photo
Alpha Unknown image from Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge in Wyoming.

Nightforce rifle scope photo

Nightforce rifle scope photo

Nightforce rifle scope photo

Nightforce rifle scope photo

Nightforce rifle scope photo

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April 28th, 2020

Rebate Central: Great Spring/Summer Factory Rebates

summer Factory rebate programs

We’ve found eight great discount/rebate programs. These can save you money on ammunition, security safes, optics, or a new firearm. Some of these rebates are worth $75 or more. For example you can save $75 on a Rem varmint rifle or $75 on a Savage rifle. Note: most of these promos are good through summer, but some deals expire April 30, 2020 — just two days away. So don’t delay if you want these deals!

Remington Rifle Shotgun $100 Off rebate gun

Remington Rifle and Shotgun Rebates
Get $100 rebate on Remington Versamax Shotguns. Receive a $75 rebate on Rem V3 Shotguns and Model 700 Varmint Rifles. Get $50 rebate on Rem Model 870 Super Mag Shotguns.
Start Date: 2/1/2020
End Date: 4/30/2020 ACT SOON!!

Savage Rifle Shotgun $100 Off rebate MSR gun

Get up to $75 Back From Savage
Purchase any Savage MSR and receive $75 back with a mail-in rebate. Or, buy any Savage A or B series rifle and receive $50 back with a mail-in rebate.
Start Date: 2/27/2020
End Date: 5/1/2020

CCI Rimfire Rifle Ammo Rebate free ammunition

Free Ammo with Rimfire Gun Buy
Buy any brand rimfire rifle or handgun plus 2 boxes of CCI rimfire ammo and CCI will rebate the purchase price of one box of ammo up to $20.
Start Date: 1/1/2020
End Date: 12/31/2020

Federal Varmint Predator Rifle Ammo Rebate free ammunition

Get up to $100 BACK ON Federal Ammo
Receive $5 back per box when you purchase select Federal Premium varmint and predator ammo. Minimum of 4 boxes and maximum of 20.
Start Date: 1/1/2020
End Date: 4/30/2020 ACT SOON!!

Spring field M1A Rifle magazine scope mount Free deal

Springfield M1A Mags + Scope Mount
Receive a FREE Scope Mount and 2 additional magazines with the purchase of any new M1A rifle. This is a $265 Value!
Star Date: 3/1/2020
End Date: 5/31/2020

Browning Ammo Rebate free ammunition $20 Off

20% REBATE on Browning Ammo
Receive 20% back on all Browning ammunition with mail-in rebate. Maximum rebate of $25.
Start Date: 4/16/2020
End Date: 5/12/2020

Leupold Rebate free pack binoculars

Leupold Binocular Bonus
Here’s a nice bonus that hunters can really use. If you buy Any Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide Binoculars and receive a FREE Leupold Binocular Chest pack, a $99 value. These packs are nicely may and comfortable, and can also be used to carry a Laser Rangefinder, Kestrel or more.
Start Date: 3/30/2020
End Date: 5/31/2020

Hornady Safe gunsafe security free ammo rebate

Free Ammo with Hornady Security Products
Hornady is offering FREE Critical Defense® Ammo (value $68) when you purchase Hornady Security products: RAPiD Safe 4800KP RFID, RAPiD Safe 2700KP/2600KP, RAPiD Safe AR Wall Lock or AR Gunlocker, RAPiD Safe Shotgun Wall Lock, RAPiD Safe Night Guard, RAPiD Safe Ready Vault, RAPiD® Safe 2700/2600, and RAPiD® Vehicle Safe RFID.
Start Date: 1/1/2020
End Date: 12/31/2020

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
April 21st, 2020

Wind Wizardry for Varminters — Keep the Wind at Your Back

Varmint Hunting varmint safari wind war wagon trailer longmeadow game resort
This impressive war wagon hauls varmint hunters around the Longmeadow Game Resort in Colorado.

When you’re on a varmint expedition in the Western states you can bet, sooner or later, you’ll encounter serious winds. Here’s some advice on how to minimize the effects of cross-winds on your shooting, and easily improve your percentage of hits. In essence, you want to use your ability to change shooting positions and angles to put the wind behind you.

A benchrest or High Power shooter must operate from a designated shooting position. He must stay put and deal with the wind as it moves across the course, from whatever direction it blows. By contrast, a varmint hunter can move around and choose the spot that provides the most favorable wind direction. In most cases you’ll get the best results by moving your shooting position so the wind is at your back. This will minimize horizontal wind drift. Once you’re in position, use wind flags to direct your fire in line with the prevailing winds. A varminter who calls himself “Catshooter” explains:

The String of Death
I remember the first time I was on a dog town in the Conata Basin, in the Badlands area of southwestern South Dakota. Along with two other guys, I drove out for 21 days of shooting, and I never saw wind like that before. If all four tires of our vehicle were on the ground, the weather man said these were “mild wind conditions”.

After the first four or five days, we got smart. We would park the truck on the up-wind side of the town so the wind was at our back. Then we took a piece of string on a 3-foot stick, and set it in front of the shooters, and let the string point at the mounds that we were going to shoot.

For the rest of the trip, we didn’t have to deal with wind drift at all. We just shot the dogs that the string pointed to. We started calling our simple wind pointer the “String of Death”.

We were hitting dogs at distances that I would not repeat here (with benchrest grade rifles). After the first time out, I always took a wind rig like that.

Photos by Chris Long, taken during Chris’s Wyoming Varmint Hunt with Trophy Ridge Outfitters.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
April 12th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Ernie Bishop’s Bolt-Action Specialty Pistols

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP

Specialty Pistols — Report from Ernie Bishop in Wyoming

For those who know of me in the shooting world, you would probably know me in one of two ways: Dealer for SEB Rests or someone who does most of his competing, varminting, and or hunting with specialty pistols. These are typically bolt-action, single-shot rigs that can be used with a bipod. They can seem very similar to a pistol-grip rifle, but without a conventional buttstock.

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP

My interest in all things specialty pistols (Remington XP-100, TC Contender, MOA Maximum, Pachmayr Dominator, H-S Precision HSP, etc.) goes back to the early 1980s. Most of the specialty pistols listed are no longer made, so when I discovered that Kauger Arms was making two, I was excited. I have not had much time to shoot my new Kauger “Black Widow” chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. But so far, the experience has been fun, even though I have not taken it prairie dog shooting yet or hunted big game with it. For this report, I went to my friend Dan’s place as one can load in the house, and simply shoot off his back porch.

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP

When thinking of a precision shooting platform, most of you would not consider a wood back porch as ideal. But we managed a 0.179″ 3-shot group at 100 yards using a Harris bipod and a small leather bag. Yes the Black Widow can shoot! My load was Lapua brass, Federal 205M primers, Varget powder, and the Hornady 123gr A-Max, with a MV of 2514 fps. I selected the Hornady 123s with prairie dogs in mind. As shown in the top photo, the scope on the Black Widow is a Sightron S-III 6-24 with a Holland’s scope level. The Black Widow also sports a Holland’s Radial Baffle brake.

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP
Here is the Black Widow with a different scope base and scope, ready to go on Dan’s porch.

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSPThe day we planned to shoot prairie dogs was windy, so we headed to public land nearby and set up steel to get ballistics drop info and simply to play at distance. We had 5″ steel at 220 yards, 10″ steel (diamond) at 510 yards, and 10″ steel (square) at 650 yards. Wind was from 8 mph to just over 20 mph, so the little 123 grainer was getting tossed about, while keeping us humble all at the same time. Regardless of the gusty winds, I considered the session a success!

Kauger Arms has been making parts for a number of companies in the firearm industry for over 20 years. In 2014 when things slowed down for them, they decided to start building rifles and decided to make their own actions. Good decision — these actions, which are machined in a single process to keep everything true to the bore, are great. Bolt manipulation with Kauger’s action is the smoothest I have ever experienced.

Tim Kauger explained features of his actions to me. The Kauger cock-on-opening action has a Rem 700 footprint for action holes and trigger shoe. The semi-coned bolt features a floating bolt head which is slightly smaller than the bolt body. The firing pin assembly is 1/4-turn removable. There are user-changeable bolt body and knob options. There is a side bolt release above the stock line. All moving surfaces are nitrided. This can be ordered single shot, feed rails or DBM cut. Also the long action will accept up to a .338 Lapua/.300 Norma Mag if ordered that way (with 1.25″ barrel cylinder).

Kauger Arms offers a right-hand or left-hand grip, which is very comfortable. I shot the Black Widow both right-handed and left-handed with no problems whatsoever. Kauger Arms can build the Black Widow in many more chamberings than the two that are listed on the KaugerArms.com website.

New left-bolt/left port action from Kauger Arms — To the specialty pistol shooters reading and to those considering entering the SP world, Kauger Arms has listened to your requests and is working on a left bolt/left port short action that will be offered either as a single-shot action or with bottom metal. You grip the pistol with your right hand, then run the bolt with your left-hand.

Specialty Pistol 2 — The Camo .223 Remington HSP

Here is another one of Ernie Bishop’s specialty pistols. This eye-catching camo-stocked rig was crafted by H-S Precision. Sadly, H-S Precision is not making these HSP pistols anymore. This .223 Remington features a 1:7″-twist, 15-inch-long H-S barrel fitted with the “H” Brake. On top is a Burris XTR-III 5.5-30x56mm scope with SCR 2 MIL reticle and Burris rings.

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP

.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSPGreat Results with Varget + 77gr Sierra TMKs
Ernie tells us: “For a load, I have been running Lapua brass, Rem 7.5 primers, Varget, and the 77 grain Sierra TMK. Muzzle Velocity is 2675 FPS. As you can see, it shoots pretty well. Shown at right is a measured 0.265″ 3-shot group at 100 yards, shot from Harris bipod and small field bag.

Previous to this, I was shooting Federal Match ammo with the 77 grain SMK (MV was 2500 fps), with prairie dog kills past 600 yards, and have played on steel out to 1000 yards. This H-S specialty pistol is great for young or old alike, for novice shooters or experienced shooters. Everyone needs a fast twist .223 Remington!”

Here is my friend Dan shooting the .223 Rem HSP with factory ammo during a prairie dog trip.
.223 Rem Remington specialty pistol H-S Precision HSP

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Handguns, Hunting/Varminting 4 Comments »
April 9th, 2020

Cartridge Comparison Guide Covers 250+ Cartridges

Cartridge Comparison Guide

Cartridge Comparison GuideThe Cartridge Comparison Guide is a remarkably comprehensive 340-page, spiral-bound book. Covering over 250 cartridges, the Second Edition of the Cartridge Comparison Guide is the product of many years of labor by Andrew Chamberlain, a Utah-based hunter. Andrew says his Guide “compares every factory available cartridge from the 17 calibers up to the 50 caliber cartridges”. (Sorry, most wildcat cartridges are not covered.) Chamberlain’s Guide also compiles cartridge data from major ammunition manufacturers such as Barnes, Federal, Hornady, Norma, Nosler, Remington, Sierra, Swift, Weatherby, and Winchester. It shows the optimal velocity achieved for each bullet weight and calculates bullet energy, recoil, and powder efficiency. Large color photos illustrate handgun and rifle cartridges.

The Cartridge Comparison Guide provides data for thousands of cartridge/bullet/velocity combos. Quick reference sheets and ballistics charts cover Trajectory, Velocity, and Energy out to 500 yards. The Cartridge Comparison Guide also offers a firearms lexicon, plus Appendices covering Cartridge Selection for Game Animals, Bullet Selection/Design, Bullet Expansion, and Wound Channel Characteristics.

New Content in Second Edition of Cartridge Comparison Guide
The Cartridge Comparison Guide (Second Edition) costs $31.99 plus shipping and tax. CLICK HERE to visit the Online Store where you can order the 340-page book. Here’s what’s new in the Second Edition:

  • Addition of Shotgun Ammunition (Both Slug and Shot loads).
  • Momentum Calculation for all Rifle, Shotgun and Handgun loads.
  • Integration of Shotgun Slug Ammunition with Center Fire Rifle Data Tables.
  • Factory Load Summary Added (Shows manufacturers and loads produced).
  • One factory load and one hand load for every bullet weight available in each cartridge.
  • Over 90 pages of additional ballistics content (roughly 35% more than in First Edition).

Cartridge Comparison Guide

Great Resource for Hunters
One of Chamberlain’s main goals in creating the Cartridge Comparison Guide was to help hunters select the right cartridge for the job: “This started as a personal project to gather information on the more popular cartridges commonly used for hunting. I wanted to find the best all-around performing cartridge and rifle that a guy on a budget could shoot. I began comparing cartridge performance, versatility, bullet selection, powder efficiency, recoil generation vs. energy produced, standing ballistic data for different environments….”

Giant Cartridge Poster for Computer Wallpaper (1665×1080 pixels)
Here’s a great illustration of hundreds of cartridges and shotshell types. For dedicated reloaders, this would work great as desktop “wallpaper” for your computer. CLICK HERE for full-size image.

cartridge poster

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 5th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Norway Adventure with .338 Lapua Magnum

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

For our readers who are stuck at home under government orders, we are reprising a video feature about hunting in Norway. For those whose horizons have been limited due to the “shelter at home” response to the Coronavirus pandemic, we offer this getaway to scenic Vesterålen in northern Norway…

This is one of the finest shooting videos we’ve ever seen. Set in the scenic Vesterålen archipelago of northern Norway, this high-quality 15-minute video is part National Geograhic travelog, part ballistics lesson, part gear review. Given the current COVID-19 lockdowns, we wish we had the opportunity to join Ulf Lindroth and Thomas Haugland on their remarkable shooting adventure. This video was originally created for Great Britain’s Fieldsports TV Channel.

This is an outstanding video, recommended for anyone interested in long-range hunting.

Long range shooters Lindroth and Haugland traveled to the Arctic Circle to field test a new .338 LM Blaser R8 (in GRS stock) fitted with a Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35x60mm scope. (Ammo is Norma-brand .338 Lapua Magnum). The video shows how they confirm the ballistics of the Norma factory ammo in the Blaser R8 rifle system.

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

Ulf and Thomas initially test out the system confirming drop at multiple yardages, and then use the rifle for practical accuracy. Ulf says: “If you know your hunting will demand a long shot, and you want to push the limit but still be sure to make the first-shot kill… If you want to do an ethical hunt, if you want to push that limit, you have to do [this kind of testing].”

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

Ulf Lindroth (above) observed: “We shot [at 808 meters] observed the misses, clicked our way into the target, and now we have the true drop at that distance… in this air pressure, in this temperature. From there we can start working to find our TRUE trajectory. And when we have THAT… we can get serious about some target shooting.”

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

Norway Fjord .338 Lapua Magnum Norma Blaser R8 Zeiss

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April 2nd, 2020

Top Hunting and Shooting Equipment Brands in 2019

Hodgdon Federal Winchester Hornady brass bullets ammo powder reloading consumer survey Southwick Associates

What brands are favored by gun guys? Well here are the results of 2019 consumer surveys conducted by Southwick Associates. The surveys asked hunters and shooters to indicate their favorite brands for hunting and shooting product categories. This “Top Brand” list was compiled from 2019 internet-based surveys conducted through HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com websites.

In 2019, most frequently purchased brands included:

  • Top reloading powder brand: Hodgdon
  • Top reloading bullet brand: Hornady
  • Top Reloading Dies brand: Lee Precision
  • Top rifle ammunition brand: Federal
  • Top handgun ammunition brand: CCI
  • Top blackpowder brand: Pyrodex
  • Top scopes brand: Vortex
  • Top Reflex/Red Dot Sights brand: SIG Sauer
  • Top Scope Mounts brand: Leupold
  • Top shotgun brands: Mossberg & Remington
  • Top Trigger Assembly brand: Timney
  • Top Benches and Rests: Caldwell
  • Top Bipods brand: Harris
  • Top trail camera brand: Wildgame Innovations
  • Top Tree Stands: Big Game
  • Top Holster/ammo belt brand: Alien

Topline results of the Southwick Associates consumer tracking study are available in the Hunting & Shooting Participation and Equipment Purchases Report. This in-depth resource tracks hunting & shooting participation and equipment purchases for more than 100 products.

Vortex was the top Optics Brand in 2019 according to the Survey.
Vortex Optics Southwick Associates survey

The list above is only a fraction of all hunting and shooting categories tracked by Southwick Associates. Along with many other product categories, Southwick Associates also tracks the percentage of sales occurring across different retail channels, total spending per category, average prices, and demographics for hunters and shooters buying specific products. Additional information tracked includes total days spent hunting and shooting, type of hunting, preferred species and where they go.

Full reports, with a wealth of information, are available from Southwick Associates, a market research firm specializing in the hunting, shooting, sport=fishing, and outdoor recreation markets.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News, Optics 1 Comment »
March 30th, 2020

Bargain Finder 236: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Palmetto State Armory — JTS M12AK 12ga Shotgun, $399.99

ak style 12ga shotgun

For home defense, it’s hard to beat a shotgun. And a magazine-fed, semi-auto AK-type shotgun offers serious firepower in a compact package. This JTS M12AK 12ga 18″ Shotgun, features the proven, ultra-reliable AK47-type action. Yes it works great with shotshells. This 18″-barrel, 4.9-Star rated, semi-auto firearm takes a variety of magazine sizes, and is Saiga-mag compatible. If you want a high-capacity scatter-gun, this is a solid value at $399.99 from Palmetto State Armory.

2. Costco — Cannon Large Executive Safe, $699.99 (Save $200!)

cannon safe
$200 manufacturer’s savings is valid 3/30/20 through 4/27/20. While supplies last.

Being a responsible gun owner means securing your weapons at all times. However, not everyone can afford a multi-thousand dollar safe. Cannon Safe has been making quality yet affordable safes for decades. Now you can grab Cannon’s Executive Series Safe for $699.99. This is a BIG, 43.8 cubic foot-capacity vault with 60 minutes fire protection. Price for this large 59″ H x 45″ W Safe is just $699.99 INCLUDING SHIPPING! This is an amazing deal for a very big safe. NOTE: Just last week this same safe was $899.99 at COSTCO, so you Save $200!

3. Midsouth Shooters — Fiocchi 9mm Luger Ammo, $12.99/50

fiocchi 9mm 9x19mm luger fmj ammo ammunition pistol

Currently pistol ammunition is in very high demand, particularly 9mm Luger (9x19mm). Some dealers have doubled or even tripled the price of their 9mm pistol ammo. Thankfully, Midsouth Shooters continues to offer Fiocchi 9mm Luger ammo for just $12.99 per 50ct box. That works out to $0.26 per round. This is reliable ammo with 115gr FMJ bullets and reloadable brass cases.

4. Optics Planet — Vortex 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope, $399.00

vortex spotting scope

With plenty of high-end spotting scopes available on the market it’s easy to forget there are some very good, affordable spotters out there. Among the better budget-priced spotting scopes is the Vortex Diamondback 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope. Both angled and straight-body versions are on sale now for $399.00. This spotter is backed by a rock-solid, Vortex lifetime warranty. The 20-60X zoom range is ideal for viewing mirage or bullet holes on distant targets.

5. Midsouth Shooters — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, $219.99

Chargemaster Lite Midsouth Sale

Do you need an electronic powder scale and dispenser? Check out this great deal at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Suggested retail for the ChargeMaster Lite is $299.99. Amazon’s best price for this unit is $269.99. But now you can get it for just $219.99 at Midsouth. So you can save $50.00 with this Midsouth sale. Put the money saved into bullets or powder. The RCBS ChargeMaster Lite is the modern second generation Scale/Dispenser, descended from the original ChargeMaster. The ChargeMaster Lite features an easy-to-use LCD touchscreen. Dispenser precision is plus/minus 0.1 grains. The unit comes with twin check weights and a convenient plastic cover for the powder pan.

6. Graf’s — Tipton Ultra Gun Vise, $99.95

tipton gun vise

Cleaning and working on your guns requires a solid platform. Most gun cleaning stands aren’t adjustable enough or are too flimsy. Not so with the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise. Weighing-in at about 10 pounds, this beefy gun vise provides a steady base. The frame is metal for strength, features stout adjustable jaws, specialized AR holder, and several accessory trays. Threaded feet allow the vise to be leveled on your bench (or the ground). With this system you can work on just about anything including bolt-action rifles, AR-platform rifles, shotguns, pistols, and even compound bows and crossbows. To fit wide forearms, you may have to remove or modify the front pad(s). Our Deals Editor, who owns this gun vise, reports this is an outstanding product, well worth the $99.95.

7. Amazon — Caldwell Precision Turret Rest, $69.99

caldwell rest

Are you tired of big heavy sleds for range shooting but they don’t provide any kind of easy adjustment or target acquisition? Check out the Caldwell Precision Adjustable Turret Rest. It offers quick horizontal and vertical adjustment making it great for target shooting as well as varminting from a bench. Amazon user ‘Jet Mech 1′ reports “…it’s REALLY solid! Solid steel legs and everything is heavy duty. It’s really compact. Easily fits in the smallest car trunk. So, if you’re limited on space going to the range, this is ideal. It holds your firearm very securely. The tilt and pan is super smooth and precise. This is the perfect platform for an AR-style rifle but works equally well for just about anything.”

8. Grizzly or Amazon — Dewalt Storage Box on Wheels, $69.99

dewalt tool box
Grizzly offers FREE Shipping on this rolling Dewalt box and all non-freight items over $35.00.

More and more we see range bags being traded out for rolling range boxes. Wheeled toolboxes such as the Dewalt TSTAK storage box have become the new go-to way of easily transporting gear to the line. The best part of these systems is that you can easily stack a smaller fitted Dewalt box on top such as the flat top toolbox or the deep drawer organizer and create the range box combo that works best for you. These smaller boxes mate with recesses in the top of the larger TSTAK Deep Box with Wheels.

9. Amazon — Sawyer MINI Water Filtration System, $19.97

travel water filter

The current pandemic has made many people realize they were not prepared for unexpected events. Safe drinking water is vital. If clean tap water is not available, and your bottled water runs out, having an emergency filter is important. At only $19.97 the Sawyer MINI Water Filter is a small and inexpensive way to have an emergency water source during times of crisis.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Reloading, Tactical No Comments »