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.

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March 28th, 2020

NRA Offers Free Experienced Hunter Education Course

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

Many of our readers are under mandatory “Stay at Home” orders. And, in some states, public shooting ranges have been closed. That limits your options. If you want a break from watching TV and doing chores around the house, here is a way you can improve your hunting skills/knowledge — and it’s 100% FREE.

The National Rifle Association recently launched the NRA Experienced Hunter Education Course, a new online training program designed to help hunters brush up their skills. Free to all, this comprehensive hunting refresher course will help hunters become safer and more confident before heading out into the field. CLICK HERE for more information.

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

NRA’s Experienced Hunter Education Course is an online review of everything an experienced hunter should know, including a review of firearm safety and safe hunting practices. Though not a substitute for state-mandated hunter safety requirements, it will provide a solid foundation of the fundamentals.

Experiencd Hunter education course NRA

“If you’ve taken a break from the shooting sports or haven’t hunted in a season or two, our Experienced Hunter Education Course is the perfect refresher for firearms safety and safe hunting practices,” explained Elizabeth Bush, managing director of NRA Community Engagement. “Best of all, we’re offering this service completely free of charge.”

Course Description
This online training course is specifically designed for individuals who have not hunted in the past year or more and are looking for a safety refresher before they head back out in the field. In this course, hunters will have the opportunity to refresh their skills by taking a look at safe hunting practices and firearms safety. Once completed, you will be a safer hunter in the field.

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March 25th, 2020

Precision Rifle Challenge on Shooting USA This Week

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter

Precision Rifle Challenge on Shooting USA This Week
This week, Shooting USA TV features a show that should interest PRS/NRL fans, tactical marksmen, and long range hunters. Run in Utah’s backcountry, the Hornady Precision Rifle Challenge is a unique long range competition with serious wind and elevation changes. This isn’t a typical PRS Pro Series match by any means. Participants in this challenging Precision Rifle match will have to deal with tough conditions not typically seen in other tactical matches. The match runs in summer in Utah, just across the state line from Evanston, Wyoming. Watch the show 3/25/20 on the Outdoor Channel.

Shooting USA will air Wednesday, March 25, at 9:00 PM Eastern (8:00 PM Central) on the Outdoor Channel. If you miss that, it runs again on Thursday afternoon. Look for Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel. In addition, you can watch all episodes of Shooting USA on the VIMEO channel by subscription. Each episode is just $0.99, about 1/10th what a movie ticket costs these days.

In addition to the Precision Rifle challenge, this week’s Shooting USA episode features to interesting rifles — one new, one historic.

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooterVolquartsen Summit — Toggle Bolt Rimfire Precision Rifle
With the help of Volquartsen, John Scoutten has created a prototype .22 LR Rimfire Precision Rifle based on the toggle-bolt Summit action fitted in a modular chassis.

The Summit’s straight-pull toggle action is similar to the actions on competition Biathlon rifles. This allows very fast cycle times, without disturbing rifle placement. The Summit fits stocks made for the Ruger 10/22 and uses 10/22 magazines. But it’s a manual action, not blow-back semi-auto.

Enfield L42 A1 Sniper Rifle — History’s Guns
This week’s show also features a legendary WWII sniper rifle, Britain’s Enfield L42 A1. This special sniper rig was the last in a long line of military arms built on the famous Enfield .303-caliber bolt action.

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter

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March 24th, 2020

40th Annual Hickory Groundhog Shoot Moved to June 6, 2020

Hickory Groundhog Shoot

More shooting match postponements caused by the Coronavirus…

The 40th Annual Hickory Groundhog Shoot was originally scheduled for Saturday, April 4, 2020. Due to “stay-at-home” public health precautions, the North Carolina event has been re-scheduled for June 6, 2020. The hugely popular match will be going ahead — just a couple months further out. Organizers still expect a highly-attended event. 2020 will mimic 2019 in rules — one man, one rifle, and it’s expected that there will be no practice week (so make sure your distance come-ups are dead-on).

North Carolina Hickory 40th Annual Groundhog shoot match postponed

This being the 40th Anniversary of the event Larry Willis and the folks at BullsEye Sporting Goods came up with a few ideas to make the 40th more like a hunt than a F-class match. We’ll provide more details later. As in recent years, we expect the Hickory Shoot to be one of the biggest events of the year in the Southeast. 2018 had over 200 shooters, and Terry Brady’s long-standing match-record 99 score was tied. Then, last year, Jeff Godfrey (shown below) shot an amazing record-breaking 101 score in 2019. It takes a great shooter and a great rifle to drill a target like that…

North Carolina Hickory 40th Annual Groundhog shoot match postponed

Hickory groundhog shoot groundhogRelays Run Like Clock-Work
The Hickory Groundhog Shoot is run very efficiently, with one relay shooting while the next relay waits outside the shooting area, ready to go. Once a relay is done, shooters grab their items and exit on one end of the shooting platform while the next relay comes in from the other end. The relays move through in rapid succession.

You must quickly set up and get ready because as soon as the target pullers get back they are ready to shoot. When the fire command is given you have two minutes to get your three shots off at that distance. When the cease fire is called you quickly grab your gear and get off the shooting platform because the next relay is coming in.

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March 21st, 2020

Get FREE Classic Hunting Books as Downloadable PDFs

Free PDF hunting books Nitro Express Forum

With many of our readers stuck at home due to the Coronavirus outbreak, it’s important to have some diversions from all the grim news. To help get your mind off the health issues facing the planet, here are some great FREE BOOKS to read. You can download these to your computer, laptop, or tablet, and read them whenever you like.

Do you enjoy classic hunting adventures from around the globe? Then log on to the NitroExpress.com Forum. There you’ll find links for literally hundreds of vintage hunting stories, and even complete books, such as Teddy Roosevelt’s classic African Game Trails and Good Hunting, plus the wonderful book African Campfires by Stewart E. White, one of Roosevelt’s close friends and hunting companions.

CLICK HERE for Hundreds of Vintage Hunting Books and Articles | Alternate Link

Theodore Roosevelt Good HuntingAmong the downloadable titles are The Man-Eating Lions of Tsavo (leaflet edition) by Lt.Col. J. H. Patterson, the true tale that inspired the Hollywood movie, The Ghost and the Darkness, staring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer. The online version of the Man-Eaters of Tsavo book (right) is a shorter, 140-page edition created for Chicago’s Field Museum, which purchased the skins of the lions from Patterson and put them on display.

You’ll find scores of classic adventure tales, recounting hunts in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. You’ll doubtless find something of interest, whether it be Bear Hunting in BC, Chamois Hunting in Bavaria, Reindeer (Caribou) Hunting in Iceland, Jaguar Hunting in South America, or Dangerous Game Hunting in Africa. Hundreds of articles, all scanned from original texts and saved as PDFs, are available for downloading — and they are all free for the taking. Many of these works feature handsome original illustrations, as shown below.

Theodore Roosevelt Good Hunting

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March 19th, 2020

Spring Has Sprung — 8 Great Items for Vernal Equinox Varminting

CFE 223 Powder Varmint Bullet Prairie dog
This custom war wagon hauls varmint hunters around the Longmeadow Game Resort in Colorado.

Winter is behind us — it’s officially Spring. Today, March 19, 2020, is the Vernal Equinox, the official start of Spring. For many shooters, the coming of Spring means that it’s time to head out to the varmint fields. Here are eaidht items that can help ensure successful spring varmint adventures.

Eight Great Products for Varmint Shooters

1. BarrelCool In-Action Fan

Busy Varmint shooters may expend hundreds of rounds in a day. That’s tough on barrels. One way to extend your round count is to use the ingenious BarrelCool device. This little yellow gadget fits in your action with a blower tube that goes into the chamber. A small electric fan blows cooling air through the barrel. It really works — folks who’ve purchased the Barrel Cool and run temp strips on their barrel say the BarrelCool can significantly reduce the time it takes to cool down a hot barrel.

barrelcool cool fan empty Chamber indicator

In the past, folks have tried various methods to cool barrels: water flushed through the bore, CO2 tanks, even battery-operated fish pumps. BarrelCool is a simpler, less costly, and much handier solution. Priced at $36.99, this small device can potentially can save you money by extending barrel life. To see how Barrelcool works, visit BarrelCool.com. There you’ll find video demos of BarrelCool units in both bolt-action and AR-type rifles.

2. Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag Sandbag

On most varmint hunts we spend most of the time shooting from a portable bench with a pedestal-type rest (we like the SEB Mini). But it’s nice having a big, heavy X-Type sandbag rig also. These four-chamber designs, such as the Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag, allow shooting from a truck hood or any flat surface. Some rifles with narrow fore-ends really benefit from the firm “hug” provided by these “butterfly” style sandbags. We like the 15″ Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag, currently $71.99 at Brownells. Durable and well-made, it will provide years of service. There is also a 10″ version that is easier to carry. Forum member Stoner24mkiv likes a Bulls Bag for shooting from a vehicle. He also suggests: “[take] an adjustable bipod if you are going to do any walking. Have a fanny pack or backpack for extra ammo, water, bore-snake, etc. when you go on your walkabouts. Bring a Boonie hat for blocking the sun, sun glasses, sunscreen. High leather boots.”

Bulls Bag sandbag varmint rest front

3. Scope with Built-In Laser Rangefinder

The Burris Eliminator III is an impressive piece of electro-optical technology. With a push of a button, a built-in laser rangefinder senses the distance to your target and the Eliminator’s microprocessor instantly calculates the required hold-over based on your load’s ballistics. The calculated aiming point is then displayed in the reticle with an illuminated red dot on the vertical cross-hair. Just put the red dot on the target and make the shot. Easy as that. If you are working a large prairie dog field and constantly moving near to far and back again, this scope is really handy. Laze, adjust aim with the dot, and squeeze the trigger. Its that simple. We’ve used this scope out to 500 yards on small steel targets and it worked flawlessly.

Burris Eliminator III laser optic Scope

4. Hornady 17 HMR V-Max 500 Round Brick, $89.99

For those distant prairie dog shots, you’ll want a centerfire round such as a 22 BR/BRA or 22-250. However, for closer work, or for smaller varmints such as ground squirrels, the 17 HMR is hard to beat. There are many good factory rifles chambered for the 17 HMR, such as the Savage A17. Right now Midsouth has a Hornady 17 HMR brick of 500 for a low price of $89.99. That works out to just 18 cents per round — cheap enough that you can blast sage rats all days long and never worry about running out of ammo.

17 hmr ammo

5. Stick-On Temp Strips Monitor Barrel Heat

You never want your barrel to get too hot. Accuracy suffers when barrels over-heat, and excessive heat is not good for barrel life. So how do you monitor your barrel’s temperature? You can check if the barrel is “warm to the touch” — but that method is not particularly precise. There is a better way — using temperature-sensitive strips. McMaster.com (an industrial supply house) offers stick-on temp strips with values from 86° F to 140° F. A pack of ten (10) of these strips (item 59535K13) costs $12.77 — so figure it’ll cost you about $1.28 per barrel for strips. That’s cheap insurance for your precious barrels. For best barrel life, try to stay under 120 degrees F.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

6. Low-Fouling Power for High-Volume Varmint Loads

For high-shot-count varmint safaris, you want a clean-burning powder that minimizes barrel fouling. While there are many great powders for the .223 Rem, we like Hodgdon CFE 223 for our high-volume varmint loads. This powder really seems to keep barrels cleaner. Originally developed for U.S. rapid-fire military systems, CFE 223 incorporates a proprietary chemistry named “Copper Fouling Eraser”. Based on tests with extended shot strings, Hodgdon claims that, by using CFE™223, match shooters, varmint hunters, and AR shooters can maintain accuracy for longer periods, with less barrel-cleaning time.

CFE 223 Powder Varmint Bullet Prairie dog

7. Bog Pod SB-2 Sportsman’s Bipod (21″-40″)

If you’re looking for a versatile, stable and easy-to-carry field support, check out the latest BOG-POD Series SB-2 Bipod. Featuring 21″-40″ adjustable legs, the BOG-POD Bipod can be used while sitting, standing, or kneeling. This kid of support is highly recommended for shooting on hills where a conventional bipod doesn’t offer enough elevation. This unit has a 360° swivel head and the legs adjust independently out to a 60-degree angle with adjustable tension to ensure maximum accuracy. Right now you can get this SB-2 Bipod for just $19.99 on Amazon — a great deal.

bogpod bog pod sportsmans varmint bipod

8. Motorola T100 Talkabout Radios

When you’re in the varmint fields, its essential to have good communications with your fellow shooters. You can’t count on cell coverage in the hinterlands so we recommend a good pair of Walkie-Talkies. The Motorola T100s have a very impressive range (up to 16 miles in ideal conditions), yet cost just $21.99 for the pair. These 22-Channel T100 Talkabouts will run up to 18 hours on three AAA batteries. Users have been very pleased with this inexpensive handheld radios.

motorola t100 talkabout radio walkie talkie wireless

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March 4th, 2020

Ruger Precision Rimfire Rifle Offered in .17 HMR and .22 WMR

ruger precision rimfire 17 hmr .22 WMR rifle newMany readers may not know this, but the Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle is now available in two additional rimfire chamberings: .17 HMR and .22 WMR. While .22 LR ammo is considerably cheaper, .17 HMR and .22 WMR shoot flatter and deliver much more energy. This makes the Ruger rig way more suitable for varminting. In fact we think this .17 HMR transforms the Ruger Precision Rimfire into a very good “carry-around” varmint rifle. We really like the .17 HMR — it’s our favorite rimfire cartridge for small varmints out to 160 yards.

Both cartridge types, .17 HMR and .22 WMR, also offer higher velocities, less wind drift, and flatter trajectory than the .22 LR. This is a benefit when cross-training. You can shoot at more distant targets with considerably less elevation dialed in your scope. And the windage corrections will be less extreme.

Ruger says: “Faster, flatter and with high-performing bullets, .17 HMR and .22 WMR cartridges expand the capabilities of the Ruger Precision Rimfire platform. Like its .22 LR predecessor, these new magnum offerings maintain the same ergonomics, trigger and manual of arms as the larger centerfire Ruger Precision Rifle.”


Here’s an excellent video review of the .17 HMR Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle by YouTuber 22 Plinkster. The reviewer was impressed with the rifle’s accuracy with 17gr ammo.

Both Ruger Precision Rimfire rifles feature 18″ hammer-forged barrels threaded for muzzle devices, including the Ruger® Silent-SR®. The 15″ free-float handguard with Magpul M-LOK slots provides generous scope clearance and easy mounting of M-LOK-compatible rails and accessories.

ruger precision rimfire 17 hmr .22 WMR rifle new

Like its .22 LR version, the magnum Ruger Precision Rimfire models featured an adjustable bolt throw (that can emulate a centerfire action if desired), along with trigger that adjusts from 2.25 to 5 pounds. The .17 HMR and .22 WMR models ship with a 0 MOA Picatinny rail and one, 15-round BX-15 Magnum magazine or one, 9-round JMX-1 rotary magazine. The BX-15 Magnum is a natural pairing for the new Ruger Precision Rimfire in magnum calibers. It is also compatible with Ruger 77/17®, Ruger 77/22® and Ruger American® Rimfire rifles chambered in .17 HMR and .22 WMR.

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March 3rd, 2020

40th Annual Hickory Groundhog Shoot in NC — April 4, 2020

hickory groundhog shoot vail north carolina larry willis

The Hickory Groundhog and Egg Shoot, the richest varmint shoot East of the Mississippi, is one month away. Now in its 40th year, the popular Hickory Shoot will be held starting at 8:00 am on April 4, 2020 near Hickory, North Carolina. For four decades, the event has been hosted the first Saturday of April each year by Larry Willis of Bull’s Eye Sporting Goods, (704) 462-1948. The basic entry fee is $40.00 per gun. That gives you a chance to win a bundle of cash, plus valuable prizes such as Shehane stocks and Nightforce optics.

The Hickory Groundhog and Egg Shoot is the best event of its kind in the Southeast. Yes, conditions can be challenging (with mirage and switchy winds), but you can win big. In years past over $7,000 worth of prizes and cash has been awarded. Shooters can also compete in an Egg Shoot for cash and prizes. With a mere $2.00 Entry Fee, the Egg Shoot is a popular highlight.

hickory groundhog shoot vail north carolina larry willis

Hickory Groundhog Shoot Course of Fire
The normal course of fire consists of three sets of paper groundhog targets at 100, 300, and 500 yards, and NO Sighters. They do have a bench for handicapped shooters not able to shoot from the prone position. Most competitors will shoot at the head at 100 yards because the points are higher. At the longer distances, 300 yards and 500 yards, most shooters go for body shots on the paper groundhog target. The Hickory employs “worst-edge” scoring, meaning if you cut a scoring line you get the next lower score.

Anatomy of a Hickory-Winning Rig — Brady’s Record-Setting 6BR
If you wonder what kind of rifle can win the big money at the Hickory Shoot, have a look at Terry Brady’s 42-lb 6BR. In 2010, Terry won the Custom Class in the Hickory Shoot, setting a match record with a 99 score, which was only broken last year. Terry was shooting a straight 6mmBR rifle, purpose-built for Groundhog shoots, which have no weight limit in Custom Class. Terry’s rifle, built by smith Mike Davis, featured an experimental 1:8.7″-1:8.3″ gain-twist Krieger barrel. The fiberglass Shehane Tracker stock was stuffed with lead shot from stem to stern, so that the gun weighs nearly 42 pounds with optics.

hickory groundhog shoot vail north carolina larry willis

Hickory groundhog shoot groundhogRelays Run Like Clock-Work
The shoot is run very smoothly, with one relay shooting while the next relay waits outside the shooting area, ready to go. Once a relay is done, shooters grab their items and exit on one end of the shooting platform while the next relay comes in from the other end. The relays move through in rapid succession.

You must quickly set up and get ready because as soon as the target pullers get back they are ready to shoot. When the fire command is given you have two minutes to get your three shots off at that distance. When the cease fire is called you quickly grab your gear and get off the shooting platform because the next relay is coming in.

How to Get to the Hickory Shoot

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March 3rd, 2020

The .220 Swift — History of a Great Varmint Cartridge

Sierra Bullets 220 .220 Swift Cartridge powder loading Hodgdon

A History of the .220 Swift Cartridge

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box
Sierra Bullets 220 .220 Swift Cartridge powder loading HodgdonThis cartridge was introduced by Winchester in 1935 in their model 54 rifle. A year later, it was added as a standard cartridge in the model 70. What might not be common knowledge to some reloaders is that the prototype for the Swift was developed in 1934-35 by Grosvenor Wotkyns by necking down the 250 Savage case, but in the end, Winchester chose the 6mm Lee Navy case for the foundation for this cartridge.

This cartridge was far ahead of its time and for that reason it received a lot of bad press. We’ve all read the horror stories through the years. Many of those stories were just simply repeated from previous articles even the wording was just slightly different. So how bad was the Swift? Let’s take a deeper look.

Some of the early Swifts had soft barrel steel and some of the rare ones even had barrels that were .223 in bore size. This stemmed from the fact that the .22 Hornets prior to the end of World War II were .223 in bore size and some of these barrels were chambered in the Swift. It was rumored that the Swift peaked in pressure far too quick. I’ll bet they did with a turkey extra full choke barrel.

Burn rates of powders were limited at that time as well, so the Swift was limited in its true ability due to that. It was almost like building a funny car for drag racing when only kerosene was available.

One of the longest lasting black eyes was that it shot barrels out so fast. If you get the barrel branding iron hot and fail to clean it often this can happen. Common sense will go a long ways here. Keep the barrel as cool as you can and properly clean it every fifteen rounds or less will go a long way to improving accuracy life of a Swift.

Sierra Bullets 220 .220 Swift Cartridge powder loading Hodgdon

So what is the real truth about this cartridge? I’m glad you ask. I’ve been shooting the .220 Swift for over 43 years now. It is one of the best varmint cartridges I’ve ever owned. It is not hard to load for, it doesn’t suddenly peak in pressure and it isn’t the barrel burner that you’ve heard. Hodgdon powders once reported a Remington 40-X with over 3,000 rounds of full power loads averaged .344” for five, 5-shot groups. My findings have been the same. It isn’t as hard on barrels as it has been made out to be.

I’ve also read that down loading it slightly will help in barrel life. This is true, but if you buy a thoroughbred you want him to run. Barrels are threaded on the end for a reason. If you have enough fun to shoot out a Swift barrel, just rebarrel it.

The bottom line is enjoy the .220 Swift for what it was meant to be. The popularity of the Swift has slipped in the last twenty years and few factory rifles are now available in this caliber. There is no reason for this and I know the Swift will always have a strong and loyal following.

Sierra Bullets 220 Swift Cartridge Guide

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February 27th, 2020

IWA Outdoor Classics Event in Germany Postponed

IWA Outdoor Classics Nuremberg Germany cancellation postponed SHOT Show Trade event

Breaking News: The organizers of the IWA Outdoor Classics Trade Show — the Euro SHOT Show — have postponed the event. The event will NOT be held March 6-9, 2020 in Nuremberg, Germany, as planned, but will be re-scheduled for a later “date in 2020, which has yet to be determined”. NürnbergMesse, operator of the show facility, declared the event is being postponed due to health concerns related to the Coronavirus, COVID-19.

Here is the official announcement on the IWA Outdoor Classics Website:

IWA Outdoor Classics Nuremberg Germany cancellation postponed SHOT Show Trade event

Petra Wolf, Member of the Management Board of NürnbergMesse stated:

“We hope that the industry will understand the decision to postpone. The aim of every exhibition has to be to create a special experience for exhibitors and visitors likewise and to enable networking and expansion of existing business relations. Unfortunately, this goal cannot be achieved under the current circumstances. We are aware of the great importance of the IWA for our exhibitors and visitors. All the more reason for us to put high pressure on the task to find the best possible alternative date for such an important event for our customers.”

NOTE: The Enforce Tac trade show, which normally runs before the IWA Outdoor Classics event, will also be postponed in 2020.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, News No Comments »
February 27th, 2020

+ONE Challenge — Mentor One New Shooter in 2020

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one

Editor’s Comment: Here’s the bottom line folks — unless we bring in new shooters, we will lose our rights, and lose our ranges. It’s that simple. If you enjoy shooting and hunting, and believe in the Second Amendment, make a commitment to introduce at least one new person to the shooting sports this year. That’s the mission of the NSSF’s +ONE (“Plus One”) program.

For the shooting sports to thrive, we need to get new people involved in marksmanship and competitive shooting. Unless we add new shooters, we can expect more range closures, and more political attacks on our gun rights. The goal of the +ONE campaign is to build the ranks of shooters. The idea is basic — make a commitment to act as a MENTOR and encourage at least ONE new person to get involved. As the NSSF says: “If just one in three of America’s recreational shooters adds one new person to the shooting sports, we’ll secure a strong future for generations to come.”

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one

The +ONE Movement — The Mission

The goal of the +ONE program is to provide mentors for new shooters: “We all know that getting involved in hunting and the shooting sports can be a challenge for people who have never gone before,” said NSSF President Joe Bartozzi. “Having a mentor at your side makes it much easier for someone to get started. With the +ONE Movement, we’re challenging every hunter and target shooter in America to introduce at least one new person to the sports we love.”

These Videos Explain How to Get New Shooters Involved:

Learn more about the NSSF’s +ONE Movement at LetsGoShooting.org and LetsGoHunting.org. Those sites offer how-to articles and videos, along with tips on getting folks involved in the shooting sports (and hunting). But honestly, the websites are only an invitation. For this program to succeed, each of us needs to make a commitment to mentoring a new shooter in 2020.

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one


MENTORS — SHARE THESE TIPS WITH +ONE INVITEES

Shooting Sports hunting new join mentor movement +1 +one plus one

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February 26th, 2020

New Sako S20 Hybrid Rifle with Interchangeable Stocks

Sako S20 modular hybrid rifle

Sako has a new S20 line of “hybrid” rifles. These feature an internal aluminum chassis, adjustable trigger, and integral Picatinny rail on top. Users can change fore-ends and rear sections to suit different disciplines. Use the rifle for a PRS match one weekend and hunt with it the next. Sako states: “The user will be able to switch between the stocks and fore-ends quickly and easily and can change the rifle from a tactical to a hunting rifle or vice versa in a matter of minutes with no need to re-zero optics after assembly. The stocks can be taken down easily by loosening up two screws between the rear stock and fore-end.” Both 20″ and 24″ barrel versions will be offered, with a wide variety of chamberings: .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg, .300 Win Mag.

Sako S20 modular hybrid rifle
Sako S20 modular hybrid rifle

Unboxing Video of New S20 with Thumbhole Hunter Stock
This S20 “first look” video was created by the UK Fieldsports channel. The reviewer was impressed with the S20’s interchangeable stock system: “The modularity allows the rifle to be configured to the shooter’s preferences with different rear stocks and fore-ends. At launch, Sako introduced both the tactical precision stock and the ergonomic hunting stock, the latter being an improved version of a traditional thumbhole stock more like a pistol grip. Switching between rear stocks is fast and easy, virtually changing the rifle from a target rifle to a hunting rifle, or vice versa, with the correct grip, in a matter of minutes.”

The S20’s aluminum chassis is covered by a strong but comfortable outer shell material that Sako calls H.I.R. – High Impact Resistant. The same H.I.R. material is used on car dashboards. The outer shell is currently offered in two styles — a thumbhole hunter (photo below) and a more tactical style with straight toe and conventional grip.

Sako S20 modular hybrid rifle

The Picatinny rail is machined directly on the receiver. The S20 action features a 3-lug bolt with 60° bolt throw. Sako says the “high locking-lug surface area increases both safety and performance.” The full length of the action mates with a matching V-bed in the aluminum chassis.

Full Adjustability — Even Trigger Position
Adjustable ergonomics are a big part of the S20 design. The multi-adjustable trigger (available in both single-stage and two-stage variants) can be moved backwards or forwards to better fit different hand sizes. An adjustable cheek piece and LOP spacers help provide a proper fit.

Sako S20 modular hybrid rifle

M-Lok System Allows Easy Mounting of Accessories
The new Sako S20 can accept a wide range of accessories, attached via aluminum M-LOK placements. Sako-made accessories include Rear Mono-Pod, Barricade Stop, and Thumbrest. And yes Sako threads the muzzles 5/8×24 for use with brakes and suppressors. This video shows how accessories mount:

The Sako S20 features a full aluminum chassis under a comfortable composite exterior. Watch this video to see how the S20’s barreled action fits in the chassis.

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February 26th, 2020

Spring Reminders — Pre-Season Rifle Maintenance Checks

Spring pre-season gun maintenance safety

March is just four days away. That means the spring shooting season will soon be starting. Before you head to the range for the first time, we recommend you do some basic tasks with your firearms. Here’s some good advice on readying your rifles for the 2020 shooting season.

by Ron Dague, Sinclair International
Firearms SafetyI give my rifles a pre-season check before the shooting season starts. This starts with a general inspection starting with the butt-plate or recoil pad and making sure that all the screws and adjustable parts (on an adjustable butt-plate) move freely up or down and side to side. If you got caught in rain some of these screws and adjustable parts may not move when needed. I disassemble parts as needed and put rust preventative or a light oil and/or grease on threads and sliding parts. On rifles with recoil pads and fixed butt-plates, make sure the screws are tight and that holes in the stock aren’t stripped out. Make sure there are no cracks in the stock and around the butt-plate. If the recoil pad is glued-on, just make sure it hasn’t come loose.

Next I take the action out of the stock and check for cracks and wear marks. I look at the bedding to make sure that oils and cleaning solvents have not damaged the bedding. While the action is out of the stock, I look for any surface rust or dirt/dust in the recoil lug area and magazine well. Clean as needed and repair or re-bed if needed.

Trigger Assembly and Action
Jewell trigger Remington 700With the barreled action out of the stock, it is a good time to spray out the trigger with cleaner. I use Ronson oil or lighter fluid. [Editor’s Note: Some trigger-makers advise against using any kind of lubricant, grease or oil — so plain lighter fluid is preferred.] After the trigger is cleaned you may want to check the trigger pull weight. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, take it to a gun smith and have it checked. It is worth every penny to not have a trigger issue and/or a safety malfunction. I also take the bolt apart and clean the firing pin spring and bolt housing with Gun Scrubber or automotive brake cleaner. Then lube the firing pin-spring and firing pin with light oil. I use Kel Lube and/or Butch’s gun oil. Put a small dab of gun grease on the [bolt locking lugs] and cocking ramp.

I will also spray the outside of the action and barrel and give that a light coating of oil for rust prevention. I clean the action with Sinclair’s action cleaning tool. Don’t forget to clean the bore. Even though you didn’t fire the rifle, this makes sure nothing obstructs your barrel.

Checking Metal Fixtures and Fasteners
rifle scope ringsNext I look at the trigger guard and hinged floor plate and make sure it works as designed. Make sure there are no cracks in the trigger guard from an accidental drop. Check guard screws and /or action screws for tightness and tighten to proper spec. There are torque specs for this, but on wood stocks the wood can crush and this should be checked throughout the year as weather change can affect this. My entire collection of rifles are bedded and I just tighten them just snug with screw driver or Allen wrench. The rimfire rifles have a spec of 55 to 74 inch/lbs and I think would carry over to center fire as well. I would caution you about torque wrenches as you need a good quality wrench, and read the directions on how to use it. You can over torque if not careful. Check the swivel studs and bipod to make sure there tight as well. You may want to take scope off and check the base screws and check the rings.

Test Fire the Rifle After Maintenance
After all cleaning and is done and everything is reassembled, take a few rounds out to the range and test fire to make sure everything works as it should. Don’t forget to run 3-5 rounds through the magazine at least two times for function. I look at this as preventive maintenance on the rifle. If you give it a look over you shouldn’t have any trouble during the rifle matches or hunting trip.

Ron Dague
Certified Reloading Instructor
Certified Range Safety Officer
Email: rond [at] sinclairintl.com
Phone: 800-717-8211

This Article Originally Appeared in Sinclair International’s The Reloading Press.
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February 16th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: .22 LR CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer

CZ  455 rimfire precision PRS trainer .22 LR smallbore video TFBTV manners stock

Rimfire cross-training allows PRS competitors to build their skill sets without breaking the bank (or burning out nice custom barrels). One great .22 LR option for cross-training is offered by CZ (Česká Zbrojovka), the Czech arms-maker. The TFBTV video below spotlights the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer (VPT), a smooth-running .22 LR bolt action. This factory rifle was designed specifically as a training tool for precision long-range competition. It boasts a Manners composite stock and 20.5 or 24-inch heavy barrel. The 0.866″-diameter tube is threaded and suppressor-ready. The model 455 VPT is mag-fed and comes with a crisp trigger that adjusts to two pounds. Street price is around $830.00. That’s pricey for a rimfire — but you’re getting a premium Manners stock that would cost $534 by itself.

Field Testing the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer

.22 LR Rimfire from 50 to 300 Yards
CZ  455 rimfire precision PRS trainer .22 LR smallbore video TFBTV manners stockThe CZ 455 VPT proved accurate, recording half-inch groups at 50 yards with SK ammo: “[we] shot CCI standard, Federal match, and SK match through the rifle. It liked the SK ammo the best.” One goal of this test was to see how a .22 LR could perform beyond typical rimfire ranges, so reviewer Joel Wise (Precision Rifle Network) tested this rifle all the way out to 300 yards. Groups were about 1″ at 100 yards, but opened up considerably at 200 and 300. Joel concluded 300 yards was a practical max. We know that some tactical rimfire matches set targets out that far, but we think 200 yards might be a better practical limit for matches run with smallbore rifles. It’s not just the problem of running out of elevation in your scope. At 300 yards the effect of the wind is huge.

CZ  455 rimfire precision PRS trainer .22 LR smallbore video TFBTV manners stock

The CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer (VPT) features a mag-fed CZ 455 action, with .866″-diameter heavy barrel, in a rigid, high-tech Manners Composite stock. Feeding was very reliable.

CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer

The 455 VPT offers the same look and feel of a full-size tactical rifle. This 455 uses a Manners MCS-T4 stock assuring a rock solid platform for the 455 barreled action. The outer shell of the MCS-T4 is made with carbon fiber and fiber glass in multiple layers. The stocks can be custom-ordered with a heavy fill to match your current rifle weight to truly duplicate its feel.

Manners VPT Stock Available for Other Rimfire Platforms
Manners Composite Stocks offers versions of the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer stock design that can be used with other barreled actions: “The 455 VPT stock is based on our MCS-T4 design. We offer this, fully inletted with pillars, for a variety of rimfire actions: Sako Quad, Savage Mark II, CZ 452, CZ 453, along with the 455.”

CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer

Inletting is complete, so this will be a drop-in solution if you already own one of the listed rimfire rifles. Tom Manners notes: “With this stock, some guys will bed the rear area of their action, but that’s not necessary — you can pretty much bolt ‘em in and go”.

New CZ 457 VPT Replaces 455 VPT — Major Action Changes

Readers take note — the CZ 455 VPT profiled above has been replaced with the new-generation CZ 457 Varmint Precision Trainer, which still boasts a Manners Composite stock, based on the PRS1 design with a more tapered forearm. The new 457 VPT has some very notable upgrades. First, the stamped bottom metal of the 455 is gone, swapped for a two-piece interlocking system. To make scope fitment easier, CZ ditched the 90° bolt rotation in favor of a 60° bolt, allowing for larger ocular bell diameters with lower ring heights. And the 457 VPT now features a trigger adjustable for weight, creep, and over-travel. MSRP for the new CZ 457 VPT is $1144.00, with street price around $990.00.

CZ 457 varmint precision tactical rimfire precision PRS trainer .22 LR  manners stock

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February 12th, 2020

Mauser 18 Named American Rifleman’s 2020 Rifle of the Year

Mauser 18 Rifle of Year golden bullseye NRA American Rifleman

This caught us by surprise — NRA’s American Rifleman Rifle of the Year is not a Ruger, not a Weatherby, not a Savage. It is a made-in-Germany Mauser. That’s noteworthy. The Mauser 18 bolt-action rifle has been named 2020 Rifle of the Year by the editors of American Rifleman magazine, as part of the NRA’s annual Golden Bullseye Awards. READ Mauser 18 FULL REVIEW.

Mauser 18 Bolt-Action Rifle is Rifle of the Year
How did the Mauser 18 win top honors? The American Rifleman says it’s because this rifle offers excellent “accuracy and ruggedness at an exceptional price point”. The Mauser 18 is available in both short action and long action types, with a wide variety of chamberings, making it suitable for nearly all types of hunting — from varmints to Big Game. The Mauser 18 is available in .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .30-06, and .300 Win Mag. The Mauser 18 is relatively light — rifle weight without optics is 6.4 lbs (standard) and 6.6 lbs (Magnum).

In announcing the M18’s selection, the American Rifleman stated: “…At an MSRP of $699, the Mauser M18 is priced a bit higher than most competing models, but well below any new-production Mauser since the height of the Cold War. While rifles in this class are typically spartan, the M18 offers a few extras along with better-than-expected test results. Purists who can’t separate the brand from its full-length-extractor/controlled-round-feed legacy won’t be fans, but hunters seeking an affordable rifle with reasonable expectations of Mauser performance and durability, likely will be.”

Mauser 18 Rifle of Year golden bullseye NRA American Rifleman

The Mauser 18 features a synthetic stock with a classic American hunter profile (like a Remington 700 stock). There are rubberized grip inlays. The steel receiver has a 3-lug bolt for shorter bolt throw. The rifle boasts a 3-position safety allows hunters to safely carry a round in the chamber without fear of the bolt being nudged out of battery. A five-round magazine offers ample capacity for follow-up shots. The Mauser 18 also features an adjustable trigger allows you to set your own preferred pull weight.

Mauser 18 Rifle of Year golden bullseye NRA American Rifleman

“The Mauser 18 was introduced as ‘The People’s Rifle’, and it has been embraced by hunters throughout the world who want a rugged, reliable, and accurate rifle at a great price. To be recognized as the 2020 American Rifleman Rifle of the Year further validates how exceptional this rifle is in its category.” said Jason Evans, CEO, Blaser Group.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, News 7 Comments »
February 11th, 2020

Safari Club Int’l Convention Returns to Las Vegas in 2021

SCI Safari Club International convention las vegas 2021

Safari Club International has announced that the 49th International Hunters’ Convention will return to Las Vegas, Nevada, February 3-6, 2021. The event will serve as the kickoff celebration of 50 years of SCI, the leading hunting advocacy organization established in 1971.

The exhibits and daytime activities will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Exhibits will be set up in the central halls of the facility. Meetings and daytime banquets will also all be held at the LVCC. Evening events at the 2021 SCI Convention will be held at Caesar’s Forum, a new venue in the Caesar facilities that is currently under construction.

SCI Safari Club International convention las vegas 2021

“We are pleased to be able to bring the SCI Convention back to Las Vegas in 2021,” said Laird Hamberlin, SCI CEO. “Our exhibitors and members all enjoy the convenience of getting in and out of Las Vegas and the many activities to enjoy there in addition to the Convention. Many people expressed a desire to move the Convention back to Las Vegas with dates in early February. We have worked hard to make it happen.”

SCI Annual Convention

The headquarters hotel will be Harrah’s Casino Hotel. Other block hotels will include the LINQ Hotel and Casino, Flamingo Las Vegas, Bally’s Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood and Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas. All the hotels are in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip.

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February 5th, 2020

Safari Club International Convention February 5-8 in Reno, NV

Safari Club International Convention Reno Nevada NV

Didn’t get enough gun stuff in Sin City during SHOT Show? Then head to Reno, Nevada for the biggest hunting/safari show of the year. The 48th Annual Safari Club International (SCI) Hunters’ Convention kicks off today, Wednesday, February 5, 2018, at the Reno Sparks Convention Center. The big event runs through Saturday, February 8, 2018. Over 20,000 hunters and sportsmen are expected to attend this year. Ask any member who has attended the SCI Convention, and you will likely hear, “You have to go! It is the ultimate hunters’ market/showcase.”

Safari Club International Convention Reno Nevada NV

This year’s convention will have almost 1,100 companies in over 450,000 square feet of exhibit space. Thirty-two countries from six continents are represented under one roof where members come to book hunts, meet outfitters, and shop for guns, hunting equipment, and outdoor gear. There will be dozens of seminars covering hunting techniques, care for gear/equipment, and ways to prepare wild game.

Impressive Selection of Auction Items This Year
The SCI show is famed for its gun, safari, and outdoor art auctions which raise money for the organization. At this year’s Convention, exotic firearms, once-in-a-lifetime hunts, and fine collectibles will be auctioned. Net proceeds from the auctions are used by SCI to promote conservation and game management efforts worldwide. CLICK HERE for Auction Preview Guide.

Here are some of the hunts which will be auctioned:

Safari Club International Convention Reno Nevada NV

And here is one of the most impressive firearms to be auctioned at the 2020 show, a classic “Big Five” Double Rifle from Krieghoff International, valued at $18,690.

Krieghoff double rifle auction Safari Club international SCi

The SCI convention boasts “the largest display of wildlife art at one venue anywhere in the world” according to Ammoland.com. The work of scores of painters, sculptors, and taxidermists will be on display. There will be auctions of wall paintings and sculpture items, such as this Bronze Buck:

Krieghoff double rifle auction Safari Club international SCi

Guided Hunts in Exotic Destinations
At the SCI Convention, hundreds of top guides and outfitter services are showcased in the Outfitters Hall. You will find hunting guides who can literally take you to the ends of the earth to find prize game. From the Arctic to Africa to New Zealand’s Southern Alps, you will find “dream hunts” to pursue.

Namibia Hunting safari
Photo courtesy Namibia Hunting Safaris.

This 6-Day, $54,400 New Zealand Hunt for four persons will be auctioned Saturday 2/8/2020.
Krieghoff double rifle auction Safari Club international SCi

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February 1st, 2020

Varminters’ Debate — Cranking Elevation or Holding Over/Under

IOR Scope elevation knob one revolution

Leuopold Varmint Hunters' ReticleA varmint shooter’s target is not conveniently placed at a fixed, known distance as it is for a benchrester. The varminter must repeatedly make corrections for bullet drop as he moves from closer targets to more distant targets and back again. Click HERE to read an interesting Varmint Forum discussion regarding the best method to adjust for elevation. Some shooters advocate using the scope’s elevation adjustments. Other varminters prefer to hold-over, perhaps with the assistance of vertical markers on their reticles. Still others combine both methods–holding off to a given yardage, then cranking elevation after that.

Majority View–Click Your Scope
“I zero at 100 yards — I mean really zero as in check the ballistics at 200 and 300 and adjust zero accordingly — and then set the scope zero. For each of my groundhog guns I have a click chart taped into the inside of the lid of the ammo box. Then use the knobs. That’s why they’re there. With a good scope they’re a whole lot more accurate than hold-over, with or without hash marks. This all assumes you have a good range finder and use it properly. If not, and you’re holding over you’re really just spraying and praying. Try twisting them knobs and you’ll most likely find that a 500- or 600- or 700-yard groundhog is a whole lot easier than some people think.” — Gunamonth

Varmint hunter 22 BR elevation scope hold-over

“I have my elevation knob calibrated in 100-yard increments out to 550. Range-find the critter, move elevation knob up…dead critter. The problem with hold-over is that it is so imprecise. It’s not repeatable because you are holding over for elevation and for wind also. Every time you change targets 50 yards, it seems as if you are starting over. As soon as I got completely away from the hold over method (I used to zero for 200), my hit ratios went way up.” — K. Candler

“When I first started p-dog shooting, I attempted to use the hold-over method with a 200-yard zero with my 6mm Rem. Any dog much past 325-350 yards was fairly safe. I started using a comeups table for all three of my p-dog rifles (.223 Rems and 6mm Rem). 450-yard hits with the .223s are fairly routine and a 650-yard dog better beware of the 6mm nowadays. An added benefit (one I didn’t think of beforehand) with the comeups table (elevation only), is that when the wind is blowing, it takes half of the variables out of the equation. I can concentrate on wind, and not have to worry about elevation. It makes things much more simple.” — Mike (Linefinder).

“I dial for elevation and hold for wind. Also use a mil-dot reticle to make the windage holds easier. For windage corrections, I watch for the bullet strike measure the distance it was “off” with the mil-dot reticle, then hold that much more the other way. Very fast once you get used to it.” — PepeLP

Varmint Hunting ScopeMinority View–Hold-Over is Better
“I try to not touch my knobs once I’m zeroed at 200 meters. Most of my varmint scopes have duplex reticles and I use the bottom post to put me on at 300 meters versus turning knobs. The reason I try to leave my knobs alone is that I have gone one complete revolution up or down [too far] many times and have missed the varmint. This has happened more than once and that is why I try not to change my knobs if at all possible.” — Chino69

“I have been using the hold over method and it works for me most of the time but the 450 yards and over shots get kinda hard. I moved to a 300 yard zero this year and it’s working well. I do want to get into the click-up method though; it seems to be more fool-proof.” — 500YardHog

Compromise View–Use Both Methods
“I use both [methods] as well — hold over out to 250, and click up past that.” — Jack (Wolf)

“I use the target knobs and crank-in elevation. I also use a rangefinder and know how far away they are before I crank in the clicks. I have a scope with drop dots from Premier Recticle and like it. No cranking [knobs] out to 600.” –Vmthtr

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Shooting Skills No Comments »
January 31st, 2020

Great American Outdoor Show February 1-9 in Harrisburg, PA

great american outdoor shot harrisburg pa 2020 february wall of guns nra

The Great American Outdoor Show is a nine-day event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that celebrates hunting, fishing, and outdoor traditions treasured by millions of Americans and their families. Show organizers state this is the “world’s largest outdoor show”.

great american outdoor shot harrisburg pa 2020 february wall of guns nra banquet

The event will feature nine halls of guns, archery equipment, fishing tackle, boats, RVs and more. At booths, there will be more than 400 Outfitters and Boat Captains from around the world. Numerous seminars and special events will be held starting February 1st. A number of Outdoor Celebrities will appear at the Harrisburg Show. In addition, there will be a Rockin’ NRA Country Music concert.

great american outdoor shot harrisburg pa 2020 february wall of guns nra banquet

The NRA Foundation’s Wall of Guns returns to the Great American Outdoor Show this year. At the Wall of Guns, the NRA Gun Raffle will be held. Every day of the Show a winner is drawn for every 100 tickets sold. Winners may choose their firearm prizes from more than 40 different makes and models. With a number of different ticket packages ranging from $10 to $1,000, participants can increase their odds by purchasing multiple tickets. All net proceeds from Wall of Guns Raffles will benefit The NRA Foundation.

great american outdoor shot harrisburg pa 2020 february wall of guns nra banquet

great american outdoor shot harrisburg pa 2020 february wall of guns nra banquetNRA Banquet on Thursday Evening
The Friends of NRA Banquet will be held Thursday, February 6 in the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex’s Preferred Ballroom. The night of entertainment begins with doors opening at 6:00 pm. Attendees will have chances to win firearms, merchandise, and tailored hunts. This banquet raises money for national, state, and local programs that support America’s shooting heritage.

See a complete list of Show Activities at GreatAmericanOutdoorShow.org. If you attend the Outdoor Show, we recommend you download the handy Mobile App for your smartphone.

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January 26th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Six Field Rifles from SHOT Show 2020

volquarsten Summit toggle Rifle Rifle 17 caliber .17 WSM
Volquartsen Summit rifle in Victor Company Titan aftermarket stock in Kryptec Camo.

There were thousands of rifles on display at SHOT Show 2020 in Las Vegas. We saw scores of ARs, and countless metal chassis rifles. But there were plenty of excellent field rifles with more conventional stocks. Here are our Editors’ “Pick Six” — a half-dozen stocked rifles which impressed us with their design, components, features, and “bang for the buck”. Many of these rigs feature aluminum actions and/or carbon-wrapped barrels for weight savings. We’re please to see rifle-makers employing modern materials to reduce weight for hunting rifles carried in the field.

Seekins Precision — Havak Element Super-Light

Seekins Precision Superlight

During Industry Day at the Range we met our friend Stan Pate, an ace F-Class shooter and avid hunter who was on assignment for Guns.com. Stan told us to check out the Seekins Precision Havak Element. This rifle features a high-grade 7075 aluminum action, spriral-fluted barrel, and carbon composite stock. With those components it weighs just 5.5 pounds without optics! The action also has a unique built-in bubble level (see below).

Seekins Precision Superlight

Stan Pate praised the Seekins Havak Element: “One thing I appreciate is quality. There’s something you can tell about a rifle as soon as you put it in your shoulder and cycle the bolt a few times and try the trigger. And then you shoot this rifle… it’s VERY accurate and just a solid hunting rifle. The tolerances [are] tighter than normal production rifles, which gives you a high-end rifle feel. And the accuracy follows through with that perception. The action is quite stout and ‘smooth as butter’.”

Christensen Arms — Ranger 22 Rimfire

volquarsten Summit toggle Rifle Rifle 17 caliber .17 WSM

At SHOT Show 2020, Christensen Arms showcased an impressive new .22 LR rimfire rifle, the Ranger 22. With an aluminum action, high-quality carbon-composite stock, and 18″ carbon-wrapped barrel, the Ranger 22 is quite light and easy to carry. This would be a great field-carry rifle for small varmints. The Ranger 22 features a Trigger Tech match-grade trigger, and Picatinny scope rail. Weight is 5.1 pounds, and there are a varity of finish options. Christensen Arms offers a sub-MOA 50-yard accuracy guarantee. MSRP is $795.

Browning — X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Max Long Range

Browing Hell's Canyon long range camo hunting rifle 6.5 Creedmoor

One of the more interesting factory rifles at SHOT Show was Browning’s limited edition X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon Max Long Range rifle. This Max LR Model features Cerakote Burnt Bronze finish on metal parts, and A-TACS TD-X Camo stock finish. The Heavy Sporter-contour 26″ barrel includes a removable muzzle brake. We like the stock design, which has a flat, straight toe for riding in a rear bag and nice ergonomics with an adjustable comb. Currently this is offered in 6.5 Creedmoor only. We hope other chamberings, such as 6XC or 6mm Creedmoor, will be offered in the future, as we think this could be an excellent long-range varmint platform, with a handy detachable magazine.

Volquartsen Summit Straight-Pull Rifle in .17 WSM

volquarsten Summit toggle Rifle Rifle 17 caliber .17 WSM

Since it was first introduced as a .22 LR, we liked the straight-pull, toggle-bolt Volquartsen Summit rifle. The Summit action is reliable and the rifles are well-built. In 2019 Volquartsen added the .17 Mach 2 (.17 HM2) to the Summit series. Now, for 2020 Volquartsen is addding the larger .17 WSM cartridge, which offers peak performance for a rimfire rifle. With the addition of the .17 WSM chambering, the Summit is now a bonafied option for small-critter varminting out to 200+ yard. This round has far less drop than a .22 LR and retains critter-busting energy even at 200 yards. The .17 WSM Summit boasts a 1:8.25″-twist 20″ barrel, with threaded muzzle. Conveniently, the Summit takes standard Ruger 6-round magazines. Choose either AS-1 Ambi Stock or Laminated Wood Sporter Stock (shown above). MSRP starts at $1,553.00. NOTE: Volquartsen’s .22 LR and 17 Mach 2 Summits currently list for $1225.00 in Magpul stocks, about $330 cheaper.

Savage 110 UltraLite with Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

volquarsten Summit toggle Rifle Rifle 17 caliber .17 WSM

Fitted with a Proof Research carbon-wrapped stainless barrel, Savage’s new 110 UltraLite rifle weigh under 6 pounds (without optics). It’s impressive that Savage could deliver a sub-6-pound rifle with 22″ to 24″ barrels. Part of the secret is a skeletonized receiver and fluted bolt. A full selection of chamberings will be offered: .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .270 Win, .280 Ackley Improved, 28 Nosler, .300 WSM, and .30-06 Springfield. All 110 UltraLites come with grey AccuFit stocks with adjustable comb height and length of pull (LOP). Depending on the chambering, 110 UltraLite rifles weigh between 5.8 and 6 pounds. MSRP for the 110 UltraLite is $1499. We expect street price to be around $1300.00.

Howa Mini Action Full Dip Camo Rifles

volquarsten Summit toggle Rifle Rifle 17 caliber .17 WSM

Howa’s Mini Action rifles offer a compact platform and faster cycling for cartridges such as the .223 Rem and 6.5 Grendel. At SHOT Show, Howa displayed Mini Action rifles with “Full Dip” camouflage in three patterns: Kryptek Highlander, Yote, and Kratos. The hydro-dip camo covers the rifle from butt to muzzle, including stock, action, barrel, scope, and even rings. Hunters will appreciate the “full coverage”. Howa Mini Action “Full Dip” camo rifles are currently available in .223 Rem, 6.5 Grendel, and 7.62×39 chamberings, all with 20″ heavy barrels. Nikko Sterling GamePro 3.5-10×44mm scopes are included on these Howa Mini Action camo rifles, which are guaranteed to shoot sub-MOA. If you’re looking for a light-weight hunting rig for varmints or coyotes, this is a good choice.

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