April 26th, 2021

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.

Put the Wind at Your Back
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.

Benefits of Swivel Benches
In a large varmint field, you’ll want to orient your shooting position to put the wind at your back if possible. If you have a rotating bench such as this, you can further adjust your shooting orientation to work with the wind, not against it. You may also want to position simple flags (posts with colored tape) downrange to alert you to wind changes you may not notice from your shooting positions.

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

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
April 18th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: 20 Practical 4200+ FPS Varmint Slayer

.20 20 practical varmint cartridge .204 Tikka lilja Warren

Do you have .20-Cal fever? Do you yearn to see what a 4200+ fps projectile can do to an unsuspecting prairie dog? Well you could go out and purchase a 204 Ruger rifle, fork over the money for a new, complete die set, and hope that the brass is in stock. Warren B (aka “Fireball”) has a more cost-effective solution. If you have .223 Rem dies and brass, all you need to shoot the 20 Practical is a new barrel and a .230″ bushing to neck down your .223 cases. Warren’s wildcat is simple, easy, and economical. And the 20 Practical matches the performance of the highly-publicized 20 Tactical with less money invested and no need to buy forming dies or fire-form cases. Warren’s cartridge was aptly named. Practical it is.

20 Practical Tikka Bolt Action for Varminting

by Warren B (aka “Fireball”) and Kevin Weaver

After building my 20 PPC, I wanted to do another .20 caliber, this time a repeater for predator hunting that could also serve as a gopher/prairie dog rifle. I wanted to use a Tikka M595 stainless sporter I had. This rifle is the ultimate repeater with an extremely smooth-feeding cycle from its single-column magazine. Since the Tikka was a .223 Remington from the factory, I first looked at possible case designs that would fit the magazine. The 204 Ruger was a very new round at the time and brass was scarce. I also didn’t care for the overly long case design or the standard throat dimensions of the cartridge. I then looked at the 20 Tactical. It was a nice cartridge but I didn’t like the fact that (at the time) an ordinary two-die Tac 20 set with just a plain full-length die and standard seater were $150. Not only did the costs bother me, but I was accustomed to using a Redding die set featuring a body die, a Type-S bushing neck die, and a Competition seater. To be honest, I also didn’t care for the 20 Tactical’s name–there is absolutely nothing tactical about the cartridge. I didn’t want to adopt a new cartridge based on what I perceived to be a marketing gimmick (that “tactical” title).


Warren B, aka “Fireball”, with his Tikka 595. With its smooth action and phenolic single-column mag, it cycles perfectly in rapid fire.

.20 20 practical varmint cartridge .204 Tikka lilja WarrenSimply Neck Down .223 Rem to Make a 20-223 Wildcat
I decided the best thing to do for my purposes was to simply neck down the .223 Rem case and make a 20-223. I already had the dies, the brass, and a rifle that would feed it perfectly. I decided to call the cartridge the 20 Practical because as you will see in this article, it truly is a very practical cartridge. In addition to the generous and inexpensive availability of brass and dies, the 20 Practical is an easy case to create, requiring no fire forming as a final step. Simply neck your .223 Rem cases down, load and shoot.

[Editor’s Note: Over the years, other shooters have experimented with .223 Remington cases necked down to .20 caliber, some with longer necks, some with different shoulder angles. Warren doesn’t claim to be the first fellow to fit a .20-caliber bullet in the .223 case. He gives credit to others who did pioneering work years ago. But he has come up with a modern 20-223 wildcat that involves no special case-forming, and minimal investment in dies and tooling. He commissioned the original PTG 20 Practical reamer design, and he and Kevin did the field testing to demonstrate the performance of this particular version.]

I chose Kevin Weaver at Weaver Rifles to fit and chamber the barrel to my rifle. Kevin does excellent work and is great to work with. Kevin liked the idea of the 20 Practical so much he agreed to purchase the project reamer. (BTW Kevin didn’t even need to purchase a Go/No-Go gauge, he just used an existing .223 Rem gauge.)

Before Kevin ordered the reamer, I talked over the reamer specs with him. My priorities were tolerances on the tight end of the .223 Rem SAAMI specification, a semi-fitted neck with no need for neck-turning, and a short throat so that we could have plenty of the 32gr V-Max in the case and still touch the lands. I also wanted this short throat in case [anyone] wanted to chamber an AR-15 for the 20 Practical. A loaded 20 Practical round will easily touch the lands on an AR-15 while fitting into the magazine with no problem. With its standard 23-degree shoulder, the 20 Practical case also feeds flawlessly through an AR-15.

As for the barrel, I only use Liljas on my rifles. I have had great luck with them. They have always shot well and they clean up the easiest of any barrels that I have tried. I had previously sent my Tikka barreled action to Dan Lilja so that he could program a custom contour into his equipment and turn out a barrel that would perfectly fit the factory M595 sporter stock. There isn’t much material on an M595 sporter stock so the contour had to match perfectly and it did. Dan Lilja now has this custom contour available to anyone who would like to rebarrel their M595 sporter with one of his barrels.

There Are Plenty of Good .204-Caliber Varmint Bullet Options
20 Practical .204 Ruger .20 caliber bullets

How to Form 20 Practical Cases — Simple and Easy
Forming 20 Practical cases is very easy. No fire-forming is required. Start with any quality .223 Rem brass. Then simply run the case into your bushing die with the appropriate bushing and call it done.

Project Componentry
My 20 Practical rifle started out as a Tikka Model 595 Stainless Sporter in .223 Remington. Though the M595 is no longer imported, if you shop around you can find M595 Sporters for bargain prices. Mine cost under $500. I think the action alone is worth that! The receiver has a milled dovetail for scope rings plus a side bolt release like expensive BR actions. The bolt cycles very smoothly. Ammo is handled with super-reliable 3- or 5-round detachable single-column magazines (FYI, Tikka’s M595 22-250 mags will feed a 6BR case flawlessly.) We kept the standard Tikka trigger but fitted it with a light-weight spring. Now the trigger pull is a crisp 1.8 pounds–about as good as it gets in a factory rifle. We replaced the factory tube with a custom, 24″, 3-groove Lilja 12-twist barrel. Dan Lilja created a special M595 sporter contour to allow a perfect “drop-in” fit with the factory stock. For optics, I’ve fitted a Leupold 4.5-14x40mm zoom in low Talley light-weight aluminum mounts. All up, including optics and sling, my 20 Practical weighs just under 8.5 pounds.

Test Report–How’s It Shoot?
I sent the barrel and barreled action to Kevin and in a very short time it was returned. Kevin did a perfect job on the rifle. I had asked him to try to match the bead blasted finish of the Tikka when he finished the new barrel. It came out perfect and the only way one can tell it is a custom is the extra two inches of length and the “20 Practical” cartridge designation.

So, no doubt you’re asking “how does she shoot?” Is my “prototype”, first-ever 20 Practical an accurate rig? In a word, yes. Even with the standard factory stock, and light contour barrel, it can shoot 3/8″ groups. Take a look at the typical target from this rifle. This is from an 8.5-pound sporter with a very skinny fore-end and a factory trigger.

Gunsmith’s Report from Kevin Weaver
The 20 Practical: Origins and Development

Editor’s NOTE: We can’t say for sure who first necked down the .223 Rem to .20 caliber and chambered a rifle for that wildcat (as opposed to the .20 Tactical). But here is an account from way back in 2006 when the Warren B first came up with the idea of a .20 Practical cartridge, complete with reamer specs.

A year ago I received a call from Warren with a great idea. Warren asked “Why couldn’t we simply neck down the .223 Remington case to 20 caliber and get basically the same performance as the 20 Tactical? This way you can forgo the expensive forming dies that are needed for the 20 Tactical.” The idea made perfect sense to me, and I saw no major technical issues, so we got started on the project. I ordered a reamer from Dave Kiff at Pacific Tool & Gauge (PTG) with a .233″ neck. The .233″ neck should allow for a simple necking-down of the 223 Remington case to produce the 20 Practical in just one step. No fire-forming necessary! Furthermore, the PTG 20 Practical reamer Dave created should work with any available .223 Rem brass, commercial or military.

The first 20 Practical round was launched down range (through Warren’s Tikka) just a few months later. The brass formed as easily as expected. All one needs is a Redding type “S” bushing die with a .230 bushing and with just one step I had a .20 caliber case ready to shoot. Warren is brilliant. [Editor’s Note: We concur. For more details on Warren’s case-forming methods and his tips for adapting .223 Rem dies, read the technical sections further down the page.]

It would be almost six months later until I got around to building a dedicated test rifle chambered for the 20 Practical. I used a Remington 722 action, Remington synthetic semi-varmint stock, and a 24″ Douglas stainless steel XX 12-twist barrel. I formed and loaded about 30 cases using Remington brass in about 20 minutes. I used a .223 Rem seating die to seat the 20 Practical bullets. The .223 seating stem seated the small 20-Cal bullets just fine. The first loads sent the 40gr Hornady V-Max bullets down range at a modest 3500 FPS. I did not shoot for groups. I just wanted to use this load to sight in the rifle and break in the barrel. Load development was painless–I used reduced .223 Rem loads for 40gr bullets and worked up from there. In the table below are some of my preferred loads as well as Warren’s favorite recipes for his 20 Practical.

Bullet Wt. Powder Charge Wt. Velocity FPS Comments
32GR H4198 24.1 4025 Warren’s lighter gopher load
32GR AA2460 27.8 4154 Warren’s coyote/prairie dog load
32GR N133 26.0 4183 Coyote/PD load, clean burn
33GR H4198 26.0 4322 Hot Load. Use with Caution!
33GR N133 27.0 4255 Kevin: 0.388” 5 shot group
40GR H335 25.0 3583 Kevin’s barrel break-in load
40GR H4198 24.0 3907 Hodgdon “Extreme” Powder
40GR IMR4895 26.0 3883 Kevin: 0.288″ 5-shot group
40GR N133 25.0 3959 Kevin: 0.227″ 5-shot group
Warren’s Load Notes: My pet loads are all with IMI cases, 32gr Hornady V-Maxs, and Fed 205 primers (not match). These are the most accurate loads in my rifle so far. I haven’t even bothered with the 40s as I have the 20 PPC and 20 BR for those heavier bullets. I prefer the lighter bullets in the 20 Practical because I wanted to keep speed up and recoil down in this sporter-weight predator rifle. Also, the 32gr V-Max is exceptionally accurate and explosive. I like N133 the best as it burns so clean. IMI cases are tough and well-made.
Kevin’s Load Notes: I used Remington 223 cases, Hornady V-Max bullets, and Remington 6 1/2 primers to develop the above loads. CAUTION: all loads, both Warren’s and mine, should be reduced 20% when starting load development in your rifle. All load data should be used with caution. Always start with reduced loads first and make sure they are safe in each of your guns before proceeding to the high test loads listed. Since Weaver Rifles has no control over your choice of components, guns, or actual loadings, neither Weaver Rifles nor the various firearms and components manufacturers assume any responsibility for the use of this data.

Comparing the 20 Practical and 20 Tactical
Kevin tells us: “The 20 Practical and the 20 Tactical are almost identical cartridges. There are only slight differences in case Outside Diameter, shoulder angle, and case body length. The neck length on the 20 Tactical is a bit longer, but there is still plenty of neck on the 20 Practical to grip the popular bullets, such as the 32gr V-Max. Here are some specs:

Cartridge Bolt face to shoulder Shoulder O.D. Shoulder Angle Total length
20 Tactical 1.5232″ .360 30° 1.755″
20 Practical 1.5778″ .3553 23° 1.760″

Both the 20 Tactical and the 20 Practical are fine .20 caliber cartridges. At present, the 20 Tactical is the more popular of the two because it has had more publicity. However, my favorite would be the 20 Practical. Warren’s 20 Practical gives the SAME performance as the 20 Tactical without fire-forming, or having to buy expensive forming dies. So with the 20 Practical you do less work, you shell out a lot less money, yet you give up nothing in performance. What’s not to like? To create 20 Practical cases, just buy a .223 Rem Redding Type “S” Bushing Die set with a .230 or .228 bushing and have fun with this great little cartridge.”

(more…)

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April 17th, 2021

Adaptive Shooting Opportunities for Competitors and Hunters

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

One of the great thing about shooting is that marksmanship is one of the few sports where physically-challenged persons can compete at the highest level — with some provisions for wheelchair access and mobility. For example, in the world of F-Class competition, Matt Schwartzkopf is one of the best in the nation. Matt, a rangemaster at Ben Avery in Arizona, is a double amputee (below the knee). He hasn’t let that challenge stop him. He has been a Top-10 finisher at major F-Class matches, and was chosen to shoot with F-TR Team USA.

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopfF-TR Team USA member Matt Schwartzkopf is a double amputee below the knee, having had his lower legs removed due to a birth defect. That hasn’t held him back. Matt is an inspiration to us all. He told us: “This condition has not held me back from anything.” Jokingly, he added, “I may not have ‘a leg to stand on’, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still shoot 10s and Xs at 1000.” Matt is living proof that competitive shooting is a sport for all individuals — young and old, able-bodied and physically challenged.

Matt isn’t just a talented shooter — he runs range operations at Ben Avery in Arizona. During a major match, Matt can be seen supervising the firing line, organizing pit crews, and posting match results.

New USA Nationwide Adventure Database for Adaptive Shooters

Here’s a great new opportunity for shooters and sportsmen with physical limitations. The NRA has created a nationwide database of hunting and fishing adventures for individuals with disabilities. There are programs throughout the country with 45+ organizations such as Buckmasters, Freedom Hunters, Hope Outdoors, Hunting with Heroes, and Safari Club International.

“Venturing into the outdoors has long been acknowledged as healing for the body and soul”, said NRA National Adaptive Shooting Programs Manager Dr. Joe Logar, PT, DPT. “These benefits can be even more profound for someone experiencing an illness, injury, or disability.”

Adaptive Shooting NRA hunting fishing database outdoor adventure

NRA’s Hunter Services and Adaptive Shooting Programs have maintained a list of organizations offering people with disabilities outdoor opportunities. Now available in a searchable database, any adaptive shooter can easily choose from adventures such as guided whitetail hunts, chartered fishing trips, and accessible hiking trails anywhere across the country. To find a program, visit the NRA Adaptive Shooting Program’s Hunting/Fishing Trip Database.

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

NRA Resources for Adaptive Shooting Events
The NRA Adaptive Shooting Program also provides information for organizations planning an event to include person with disabilities. Events may be organized by veterans’ groups, rehabilitation facilities, and gun clubs. For more information visit AdaptiveShooting.NRA.org.

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

Adaptive Shooting Programs in the United Kingdom

Across the pond, the National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom (NRAUK) also has adaptive shooting programs. The NRA.ORG.UK website has a wealth of information for disabled shooters.

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

The NRAUK states: “There are many different types of target shooting available for people to try in Great Britain. Some of them are readily accessible to disabled people, others less so. Also, shooting clubs and facilities do not all cater for every discipline; some only offer one, whilst larger complexes can cater for many of them. The only place in the country where almost all disciplines can be tried is Bisley Camp in Surrey. Access to the outdoor ranges is being improved all the time, although most are already accessible.

If the disciplines that you particularly fancy are not suitable for your type of disability at the moment, or are not currently available in your area, do not give up hope! The key skills for target shooting are very similar for all disciplines, so you could start with a different but similar option, learn those key skills, and take up your first choice when it is available to you.”

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

Making Ranges Suitable for Disabled Shooters
The Summer 2019 issue of NRA Club Connections magazine has a feature on Adaptive Shooting. This article explains how range owners can make their lines of fire more accessible with the addition of a simple mat.

Adaptive Shooting

Adaptive Shooting Team USA matt matthew schwartzkopf

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April 12th, 2021

Building a Great Varmint Rifle — Superb Video Shows Process

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRiflesHere’s a great YouTube video that shows the creation of a high-end, 22-250 varmint rifle from start to finish. The rifle was crafted by Chad Dixon for O’Neill Ops. Once the build is complete, the video shows the rifle being tested at 440 yards. With the camera filming through the scope, you can even watch the trace, starting at the 2:36″ time mark (this is very cool).

Watch this Video in HD!
Any person with an interest in gunsmithing should watch this video. It shows barrel profiling, tenon-thread cutting, chambering, CNC stock inletting, bedding, and stock painting. This is one of the best short videos of its kind on YouTube.

Highlights in the Video with Time-Marks:
00:15 Cutting Barrel Tenon Threads
00:22 Chamber Reaming (22-250)
00:25 Barrel Fluting and Marking
00:44 CNC Stock Inletting
01:20 Stock Painting
02:30 Testing at 440 Yards

For this build, Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc. teamed up with O’Neill Ops. The video shows the “Coyote Rifle” build, step by step, from the cutting of the tenon threads, to the 440-yard field test at the end of the build. To learn more about this rifle’s components and its performance in the field, contact James O’Neill, www.oneillops.com, (605) 685-6085.

22-250 Coyote Rifle Chris Dixon LongRifles

Chad Dixon of LongRifles, Inc.
Chad Dixon’s introduction to firearms began in 1991 as a marksmanship instructor and competitive shooter in the U.S. Marine Corps. Chad began building rifles in 2000 at the Anschutz National Service Center, where he worked with U.S. Olympic shooters. In 2003 Chad took a position with Nesika Bay Precision/Dakota Arms. After leaving Nesika, Chad deployed to the Middle East as a security contractor for the U.S. Dept. of State. On his return to the USA, Chad started LongRifles Inc., a custom rifle-building company.

Dixon-built rifles combine modern CNC manufacturing methods with traditional expert craftsmanship. Chad’s rifles have won major int’l and national level competitions in Smallbore, Smallbore Silhouette, High Power, and Long Range Palma disciplines.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 7 Comments »
April 11th, 2021

Picatinny Forearm Rail Adapter Mounts on Swivel Stud

STR Harris Stud Rail Adapter Sling Swivel

Here’s a cleverly-designed product that adds versatility to any rifle with a front sling swivel stud. This clever Stud Rail Adapter (SRA) allows you to mount a Picatinny Rail on a sling swivel stud. With the SRA in place, you can attach any accessories that clamp to a Pic rail, such as lights, lasers, pistol grips, or rail-affixed tactical bipods. And look carefully — the SRA’s designers included a sling swivel at the inboard end of the unit. That way you can mount Picatinny-rail accessories and still use your carry sling.

Sold by Harrisbipods.com, the SRA Stud Rail Adapter retails for $47.85. This adapter is crafted in the USA by MIM Mfg. from 6061 TG Aluminum with a black anodized finish. This can be used with the RBA-1 and RBA-2 bipod adapters.

STR Harris Stud Rail Adapter Sling Swivel

This adapter is a useful invention, particularly for those who might want to mount a light or clamp-on bipod to a varmint rifle. Most hunting rifles have a front sling swivel stud and there is now a very wide selection of Picatinny-rail-mounted accessories.

NOTE: HarrisBipods.com is a web retailer. This is NOT Harris Engineering, the manufacturer of Harris bipods. HarrisBipods.com does sell the full line of Harris bipods and most Harris accessories.

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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April 10th, 2021

Springfield Armory — Daily Web Content and New Print Magazine

Springfield armory life article

Since its launch two years ago, The Armory Life website has offered a wide variety of well-illustrated, firearms-centric content. The website features categories ranging from firearms, CCW, survival, tactics, training and much more, delivering in-depth daily content. All the stories feature plenty of photos and many daily features also include informative videos. And now, Springfield Armory will be offering a quarterly PRINT Magazine to complement the digital content — so you get the best of both worlds.

Springfield Armory offers plenty of content online you can read for FREE. Here are six recent Armory Life digital stories we recommend. Click the image to launch each article. CLICK HERE to read hundreds of other articles on TheArmoryLife.com.


Click Each Frame Below to Load Story from TheArmoryLife.com

Springfield armory life article Springfield armory life article
Springfield armory life article Springfield armory life article
Springfield armory life article Springfield armory life article

Springfield armory life articleSpringfield Now Offers Quarterly Print Magazine
The Armory Life has launched a new quarterly print publication to complement the daily digital content on TheArmoryLife.com. See Cover at top of this article. This new quarterly magazine provides a new way to consume content. This full-color, 96-page quarterly magazine features in-depth gun and gear reviews, interviews with luminaries in the firearms community, tips and tactics, and much more. These new quarterly magazines complement Springfield Armory’s current Digital Magazines (example at right).

Mike Humphries, editor-in-chief of the new quarterly print magazine states: “With four 96-page issues a year packed with content and closely integrated with the website, this magazine will provide our readers with yet another means of living The Armory Life.”

Print Magazine Features Scannable QR codes Linked to Web Content
The new print magazine integrates closely with its digital sibling, TheArmoryLife.com, via easy-to-use QR codes. Simply open up your camera app on your smartphone and scan the QR code, and you’ll be taken online to expanded content, video segments, and much more. Currently, recipients of The Armory Life print magazine are selected from Springfield Armory warranty registrants. Each will receive a full year’s worth (four issues) of the magazine.

“The Armory Life print magazine represents a bold new means for learning about not only the latest Springfield Armory products, but also what’s going on in the entire shooting community,” says Steve Kramer, Vice President of Marketing for Springfield Armory. “This new publication will be a terrific resource for fans of The Armory Life.”

Permalink Handguns, Hunting/Varminting, News, Tactical No Comments »
April 8th, 2021

Practical Shooting Skills for Hunters — Field Rests

Thomas Haugland HuntingHunting season is here — and we know many of our readers will soon head to the woods in pursuit of deer, elk, or other game. To make a good shot, it’s wise to rest your rifle when possible. In this video, methods for stabilizing a rifle in the field are demonstrated by Forum member Thomas Haugland, who hails from Norway. Thomas focuses on practical field shooting skills for hunters. In this video, Thomas (aka ‘Roe’ on Forum and Sierra645 on YouTube) shows how to verify his zeros from bipod and then he demonstrates improvised field rests from the prone, kneeling, and sitting positions.

Thomas explains: “In this video I focus on basic marksmanship techniques and making ready for this year’s hunt. As a last check before my hunting season, I got to verify everything for one last time. My trajectory is verified again, the practical precision of the rifle is verified. I also practice making do with the best [improvised] rest possible when an opportunity presents itself. After getting knocked in the face by a 338LM rifle during a previous filming session, I had to go back to basics to stop [flinching]. I include some details from bipod shooting that hopefully some hunters will find useful. Fingers crossed for this years season, good luck!”

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
April 4th, 2021

Get FREE Classic Hunting Books as Downloadable PDFs

Free PDF hunting books Nitro Express Forum

With the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, plus the anti-gun rhetoric coming out of Washington, it’s important to have some diversions from the unsettling news. To help get your mind off COVID and the ongoing attacks on the Second Amendment, 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 28th, 2021

Beautiful Shiloh Sharps Rifles — A Blast from the Past

Shiloh Sharps 45-70 vintage Quigley rifle

With all the blacktical rifles and plastic tacticool gear on the market these days, it is great to see some old style craftsmanship — hand-built rifles with colored case-hardened receivers, fine engraving, rich bluing, and beautiful wood. We found just that at the Shiloh Sharps booth at SHOT Show a few years back. There were handsome firearms, with beautiful metal and stunning wood. The heritage style of the Shiloh Sharps rifles harkens back to another era, when the West was still wild, and gifted smiths crafted rifles with pride, skill, and true artistry.

The cartridges shown in the photo (left to right above rifle) are: 45-110, 50-100, 45-90, and 40-70.
Shiloh Sharps 45-70 vintage Quigley rifle

This video shows how Shiloh Sharps crafts its rifles, from “Foundry to Finish”:

The Historic Sharps 1874 Lever Action Rifle, An American Classic
Shooting USA has featured the 1874 Sharps rifle, a side-hammer breech-loader favored by plains buffalo hunters. Christian Sharps patented his signature rifle design in 1848. The Sharps Model 1874 (shown below) was an updated version, chambered for metallic cartridges. According to firearms historian/author Garry James, the Sharps rifle “came in all sorts of different calibers from .40 all the way up to .50, and jillions of different case lengths and styles and configurations”.

Sharps rifle 45/110 Tom Selleck accurateshooter
Photo from James D. Julia/Morphy Auctions.

Sharps rifles have enjoyed a bit of modern-day notoriety, thanks to Hollywood. Tom Selleck starred as Matthew Quigley in the hit movie Quigley Down-Under. In a famous scene, Quigley used his 1874 Sharps to hit a wooden bucket at very long range. The Sharps rifles used in the movie were made by Shiloh Rifle company (Powder River Rifle Company). There were actually three Sharps rifles made for the movie. One went to the NRA’s National Firearms Museum while another was raffled off to support NRA shooting programs. The third rifle (Selleck’s Favorite) was sold at auction in 2008.

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March 21st, 2021

“War Wagon” — Shooting Bench Trailer Rig for Varmint Hunts

Shooting Varmint Bench Trailer

AccurateShooter Forum member John H. of New Mexico (aka “Skratch”) has created an impressive mobile shooting bench that he can haul with his ATV. This trailer-mounted, movable bench is built on a central tubular spine that also serves as the tongue for the trailer, which attaches to a standard hitch. The bench offers two (2) shooting positions so it works for both left-handed and right-handed shooters.

Up front, for storage, a surplus .50-Cal ammo can is secured to the trailer frame. The V-shaped middle section of the wood benchtop looks to be reinforced with a metal stiffener frame on the underside. The front section of the bench is supported by twin tubular uprights attached to the box-section axle housing. The two wooden bench-style seats (on left and right) ride on a cross-tube. At the ends of that cross-tube are adjustable legs for additional support.

Shooting Varmint Bench Trailer

Great Rig for New Mexico Varmint Hunting
There are plenty of great varmint hunting areas in Skratch’s home state of New Mexico — you’ll find some huge prairie dog fields there. But to get the best results on a varmint-hunting field session, you need a solid shooting station that can be easily hauled to new locations as needed. It looks like John (aka “Scratch”) has come up with an outstanding “War Wagon” for his New Mexico varmint safaris.

Click on image frames to see full-size photos

Some readers wanted to know how John’s War Wagon is positioned in the field and if it is ever detached from John’s ATV. John answers: “We do unhook the 4-wheeler for target-checking unless we have an extra along which is usually the case. That way we can level the table front to rear. We have an umbrella from a patio table to provide shade on extra warm days.”

War Wagon Construction Details
John told us: “My brother-in-law and I built this mobile bench a few years ago. The axle, wheels and tire are a tag axle from a small Chevy car, obtained from a salvage yard for about $35-$40 a decade ago. The tubular frame is drill stem, while the bench-top and seats are 3/4′” plywood. Under the plywood we fitted rails so we can slide our target stand under the benchtop for secure travel. The total cost for everything (including storage box) was about $250-$300.”

We set the bench and seat heights so that, with adults, the rifle sets straight level to the shoulder. For the smaller ‘younguns’ we just use a sofa pillow to raise them up. (Yes, adjustable seat heights would be great.) The ammo box holds our rifle rest, sand bags, spotting scope, and miscellaneous gear. Options are a couple of lawn chairs, and a cooler of brew (for after the shooting is done).

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March 19th, 2021

New-for-2021 Ultralight Carbon-Stocked Hunting Rifles

Legacy Sports carbon fiber lightweight ultralight hunting rifles

When you’re venturing deep into the backcountry on a hunt, every ounce counts. You want to keep weight to a minimum because, along with your rifle, you will be carrying food, water, binoculars/spotter, GPS, and possibly a tripod or shooting sticks. Then, if you are successful, you will be carrying all that gear PLUS the game meat you harvested. Weight definitely becomes an issue — so a low-mass rifle is good.

With advances in stock and barrel technology, we are seeing excellent new hunting rifles that weigh under 5 pounds. Such ultralight rifles were once only available to wealthy sportsmen paying $3000 or more. Now that has all changed. Legacy Sports International has introduced a series of very affordable ultralight rifles. These are all on display in Legacy’s new 2021 Catalog.

Legacy offers a number of rifles that weigh well under 6 pounds before optics. The Howa Carbon Stalker starts at 4 lbs. 10 ounces, while the Carbon Elevate is a just a few ounces more, starting at 4 lbs. 13 ounces. These both feature a full carbon-fiber stock from Stocky’s Stocks.

VIEW Legacy Sports Catalog with Lightweight Hunting Rifles »

Legacy Sports carbon fiber lightweight ultralight hunting rifles

Legacy Sports carbon fiber lightweight ultralight hunting rifles

Legacy Sports carbon fiber lightweight ultralight hunting rifles

Legacy’s Howa Mini Action models are also lightweight, even with a more conventional stock. These attractively-priced Mini Action models begin at just 6.6 pounds. Shown below is the new “Full Dip” hunting model with full camouflage Hydro-Dip on stock, barreled action, and even the scope. This model is offered with your choice of three different Kryptek camo schemes: Highlander, Kratos, and Yote.

Legacy Sports carbon fiber lightweight ultralight hunting rifles

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March 18th, 2021

The 22 BR — 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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March 16th, 2021

Great Gun Cases for Valuable Rifles — Protect Your Investment

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Now that you’ve spent thousands of dollars on the new benchrest, PRS, ELR, or hunting rifle (and thousands more on optics), how are you going to get it to the range and/or hunting grounds? It’s important to transport your valuable firearms in high-quality gun cases. Good padded soft cases can work, but for long-distance hauling (and all air transport), we recommend hard cases with quality foam inside.

Choosing a Rifle Transport Case

Before he retired, Forum member Ron D. served as a Police Officer at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Ron offers some very important advice for shooters traveling with firearms and expensive optics: “Buy the best [rifle case] that you can afford. Don’t cry when your $3,000+ Benchrest rifle has a cracked stock or broken scope. Think about what it would be like to travel across the country and arrive with a damaged rifle. Remember the Samsonite commercial. (For you younger shooters, it shows a monkey throwing the suitcase around in his cage at the zoo.)

Baggage handling is NOT a fine art. There is no guarantee that your rifle case will be on top of all the other baggage. Then there is shifting of baggage in the belly of the plane. Ponder that for a while. Rifle and pistol cases must be locked. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that a simple pry tool will open most case locks. There is not much that you can do to disguise a rifle case. It is what it is, and opportunists know this. Among thieves, it doesn’t take long for the word to get around about a NEW type of case.”

Customizing the Foam Interiors of Gun Carry Cases

For the best fit of your firearms and accessories in a foam-interior hard case, you should customize the foam to fit. Some cases have “pluckable” foam. With these you remove small squares one an a time until the stored items fit. With other cases with dense foam interiors, you’ll need to cut the foam to fit. Here are two videos that show the process of tailoring foam to a rifle using an electric cutting tool. Watch these videos carefully — they can really help create the best custom-fit for your firearms.


firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Pelican 1750 Waterproof Travel Vault Case

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Guncases.com, an Optics Planet company, offers a wide selection of quality, durable gun cases. One of the best units offered is Pelican 1750 Waterproof Rifle Case – Travel Vault Protector. If you’re headed to a very rainy/snowy climate, or transporting your rifle on a boat, consider this option. The waterproof Pelican 1750 case measures 53.00″ x 16.00″ x 6.12″ outside and weighs 25.5 pounds unladen. It features an O-Ring Seal, Pressure Relief Valve, and a lifetime warranty. It is offered in three colors, OD Green, Black, and Desert Tan, starting at $269.95. This is pricey, but it is one of the highest-rated cases you can buy.

Pelican Vault Series Rifle Cases

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Pelican Products, known for premium hard-shell transport cases also offers a more affordable VAULT series of cases. Pelican’s VAULT cases offer durability and security at a lower price point. VAULT cases range in price from $39.99 to $199.99 and are backed by a 1-year guarantee. The VAULT rifle cases all feature wheels, easy-to-use push-button latches, and four stainless steel lock hasps for security. There is also a brightly colored Hi-Viz strip on the front of Pelican’s VAULT cases. This will make it easier to spot your case at airport baggage areas. The model V800 double-rifle case features a 53″ x 16″ x 6″ interior. That’s long enough for F-Class rifles and tactical rigs with brakes. The model V770 single-rifle case is 50″ × 10″ × 6″ inside. That’s still big enough for most hunting, varmint, and benchrest rifles.

SKB Double Rifle Case

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

GunCases.com also offers SKB Gun Cases. The SKB model 2SKB-5009 Double Rifle Case is an excellent choice carrying two rifles long distances. This has a very tough exterior with a metal middle frame for extra strength. Priced at $286.24 on Amazon, this case has exterior dimensions: 56″ L x 16.5″ W x 9.5″ H. This photo shows the case carrying both an M1A and an M1 Garand. NOTE: The foam is not really customizable. This is not the best choice if you plan to carry a single rifle and a spotting scope and a second barrel.

Plano Two-Gun All-Weather Tactical Case

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

This Plano two-gun case is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wheeled, heavy-duty firearms cases. This is offered in three sizes: 36″, 42″, and 52″. We like the biggest 52″ version, ($117.49 on Amazon), as it is long enough inside to fit most scoped match rifles. Alternatively, if you have a really long F-Class, ELR, or Palma rig, you can detach the barreled action from the stock, and run the two sections in the shorter 42″ case, now just $75.99 on Amazon. The big case lets you easily carry TWO scoped hunting rifles. That’s great because this case is strong enough for airline travel, meeting FAA requirements for checked baggage. This Plano case offers a good balance between strength and weight, all for a reasonable cost. Yes a Pelican 1750 is somewhat better, but that will cost at least $270.00 — over twice as much.

Plano now offers advanced versions of its All Weather series with “Rustrictor” technology. These Rustrictor cases, which sport RED handles and latches, come with built-in anti-corrosion technology — a rust-preventive Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) infused into the resin and into foam emitter blocks. If you often shoot in wet environments, or leave guns in a case for more than a few hours, you should probably upgrade to the Plano Rustrictor cases, currently priced at $97.76 for the 42″ model and $184.99 for the 52″ wheeled case.

Video Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.

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March 14th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Vudoo Gunworks 17 Mach 2 (.17 HM2)

vuduoo gun works .22 LR rimfire .17 HM2 17 Mach 2 hornady

Vudoo Gun Works now offers V-22 action rifles chambered for the 17 Hornady Mach 2 (aka 17 HM2) rimfire cartridge. The 17 Mach 2 runs 2010-2100 FPS, making it much more potent than the .22 LR for varminting. Along with the added speed, the 17 Mach 2 is also much flatter shooting than the .22 LR, making it more fun to use past 150 yards. When you want to go back to the .22 LR for paper punching at 50-100 yards, simply spin on a .22 LR barrel, and use the same action and same magazines. So, you can have one rimfire rifle that shoots two rimfire cartridge types. That’s smart.

Because the 17 Mach 2 shares similar OAL and cartridge diameter/rim sizes as the venerable .22 LR, the 17 HM2 runs perfectly in actions and magazines designed for the .22 LR. Vudoo says: “The dimensional similarities of traditional .22 LR, which the V-22 action has been designed around, made the 17 HM2 a natural performer in our rifles. The addition of the 17 HM2 gives our customers access to a wide range of high-velocity projectiles to better suit a variety of sporting applications.”

Vudoo Gun Works currently offers a variety of rifles chambered in 17 Mach 2. The Ravage Ridgeback model (top photo) has a composite stock with adjustable cheekpiece. There is also a Ravage Renegade (shown below). For those who prefer a metal chassis, Vudoo offers its V-22 barreled action in the MPA alloy chassis. Vudoo has lighter, “walk-around stocks” and barrel profiles for hunters, and we like the Apparition model with the KRG Bravo Chassis. All Vudoo 17 HM2 models use the V-22 action. Multi-shot models employ Vudoo .22 LR magazines.

vudoo gun works .22 LR rimfire .17 HM2 17 Mach 2 hornady rifle Ravage Ridgeback Renegade

Which Voodoo 17 Mach 2 to Buy?
We see the 17 HM2 round primarily as a varmint cartridge, secondarily as a fun-shooting round for steel and reactive targets. As yet it is not really for competition because there is no organized .17 Caliber rimfire League, and the 17 Mach 2 is not allowed for rimfire silhouette. That may change and the Mach 2 might be allowed in some local range fun matches, but it’s not really a competition cartridge.

That said, it is a great round for small critters such as ground squirrels. Accordingly, we recommend a Vudoo option that has a conventional stock that can work with both bipod or front rest, used in the field off bipod or shot from a portable bench or tripod. You’ll want a magazine-fed rig to allow quick follow-up shots on critters.

vudoo gun works .22 LR rimfire .17 HM2 17 Mach 2 hornady rifle Ravage Ridgeback Renegade

For this we recommend the Ravage in the Renegade stock for $2295.00. This has a fairly straight buttstock toe in the rear so it works well with a rear bag. There are seven (7) different stock finishes available. If you want an adjustable cheekpiece and forearm rails you can get the Ravage in the Ridgeback stock for $300 more ($2595.00). Vudoo call this “A purpose-built competition/target rifle with an impressive list of options.” All Ravage Models promise sub-MOA accuracy. You can probably beat that with the best lots of 17 Mach 2 ammo.

Vudoo V-22 17 Mach 2 Rifle Features
Short action Remington 700 footprint
Magazines fit std AICS-form bottom metal
Large selection of aftermarket triggers
Large selection of aftermarket stocks
17 HM2 converts to .22 LR with bbl swap
Vudoo Rimfire Rifle Specs
Action: V-22, Patented Vudoo Rimfire repeater action with control-round-feed
Chamber Options: .17 HM2, .17 HMR, .22 LR, .22 WMR
Barrel: 416R stainless, cut-rifled, Vudoo chamber, 16.5″, 18″, 20″, or 22″, Kukri contour
Trigger: Timney 510v2 preset at 2 lbs. (Upgradable to other Timney, Trigger Tech, or Huber at add’l cost)

Because the 17 Mach 2 fits .22 LR magazines and has the same OAL and rim size, it can be shot from a Vudoo .22 LR action. Just spin on a 17 HM2-chambered barrel, get some ammo, and you are good to go. WARNING: Never shoot a .22 LR in a 17-caliber barrel.

About the 17 Mach 2 (17 HM2 Cartridge)

The 17 Mach 2 was developed by Hornady and ELEY in 2004 to give varmint hunters a high-velocity rimfire cartridge that fits in standard rimfire-length actions. With a selection of V-MAX or NTX bullets, the 17 HM2 is capable of taking ground squirrels and prairie dogs at ranges of up to 220 yards. We like this cartridge because 17 HM2 ammo has historically been 35% less expensive than 17 HMR ammo. And with the current shortages, we’ve seen 17 Mach 2 at HALF the price of 17 HMR ($11/box vs. $22/box). When you’re shooting hundreds of rounds a day in the varmint fields, that price savings adds up.

vudoo gun works .22 LR rimfire .17 HM2 17 Mach 2 hornady rifle Ravage Ridgeback Renegade

What Kind of Accuracy Can You Expect?
Vudoo .22 LR rifles have shown exceptional rimfire accuracy. Accordingly we believe the 17 Mach 2 versions should be impressive. But frankly, the limit will be the ammo. You may want to sort through each box and check for run-out and COAL. With Hornady 17 HM2 ammo, we usually find 2-4 rounds per 50-ct box with short-seated bullets or very high bullet run-out. You can sometimes actually see the bullet tilted off-axis. Use those for foulers or short range.

Accurateshooter.com built a 17 Mach 2 benchrest rifle some years ago with a match barrel, custom action, and wide-forearm benchrest stock. We saw many 5-shot groups in the 0.7″ range at ONE HUNDRED yards with early ELEY-made 17 Mach 2 ammo. Yes, 0.7 MOA at 100. The current Hornady ammo is not as consistent. We’ve heard good things about the CCI VNT 17 HM2 ammunition introduced in 2019, but we haven’t tested it yet.

vuduoo gun works .22 LR rimfire .17 HM2 17 Mach 2 hornady

Yes 17 Mach 2 Ammo IS Available Right Now
Readers may be asking “Can I actually get 17 Mach 2 ammo right now?” The answer is a definite “YES”. While popular centerfire ammo is hard to find, and many types of .22 LR ammo is out of stock, we found 17 HM2 ammo in stock right now at many vendors. Here are some examples in stock on 3/14/2021:

CCI VNT 17grat Sportsman’s Warehouse: $8.99/50 rds
CCI V-Max 17gr at Cabela’s: $9.99/50 rds (availability varies by store)
Hornady NTX 15.5gr at Precision Reloading: $11.21/50 rds
Hornady Varmint Xpress V-Max 17gr at MidwayUSA: $11.66/50 rds (300 rd pack)
Hornady NTX 15.5gr at Midsouth Shooters: $13.38/50 rds

One Rimfire Rifle Can Shoot Two Calibers — .17 and .22

vudoo gun works .22 LR rimfire .17 HM2 17 Mach 2 hornady
Here is the Vudoo V-22 action in an MPA chassis. You can have one .22 LR barrel for NRL22 Matches and another 17 HM2 barrel for varminting. Best of both worlds. Both cartridge types will run from the same magazine, with no modifications required other than a barrel swap. WARNING: Never shoot a .22 LR through a .17-Caliber barrel!

About the Vudoo V-22 Action — Important Design Features

The Vudoo V-22 action resembles a Remington 40X action at first glance. However, there are many key differences. Vudoo’s engineers explain: “First off, the V-22 departs from the 40X in that the 40X was a full-size, centerfire receiver converted to handle the diminutive .22 LR cartridge. The V-22 has been designed from the ground up as a true-to-scale Rimfire receiver that fits the Rem 700 footprint as far as stocks and chassis systems go. The V-22 also runs a full size short action bottom metal (DBM) and our V-2210 magazine has an AICS form factor so it pops right in Chassis’ or other DBM’s made for such.

V-22 Actions Boast Controlled-Round Feeding
Vudoo’s V-22 action has a unique control-round-feed design. The bolt fully controls the rimfire cartridge from the time it leaves the magazine until it ejects the spent round out the ejection port. The significance of that is two-fold. Great feed and extraction reliability and…equally as important, the cartridge is controlled in a way that it never touches anything on its entrance into the bore. There is no feed ramp, nor does the projectile go in at an angle that might damage it in any way. Potential bullet damage is avoided through the V-22’s smart design.

17 Mach 2 — Best Rimfire Varmint Bang for the Buck?
If you are looking for a capable, squirrel-busting round or a fun plinking round, you should definitely consider the 17 Mach 2, especially since CCI has committed to production of the little cartridge. CCI now offers its “Gen 2″ 17 Mach 2 VNT Ammo. This features a Speer bullet with a very thin jacket and yellow polymer tip. G1 BC is 0.125 with 2010 FPS muzzle Velocity. CCI claims “explosive terminal performance” on small varmints.

Considering that 17 HMR ammo is typically running $17 to $22 a box (when you can find it), the 17 Mach 2 is an excellent value by comparison. It is available right now for $8.99 per 50ct box at Sportsman’s Warehouse. That’s just $0.18 per round. Other vendors have 17 Mach 2 in stock now for $10-$12/box.

When you consider overall “bang for the buck”, for many shooters, it makes sense to use the 17 Mach 2 rather than a 17 HMR or 17 WSM. You save money, barrel life is a little longer, and the 17 Mach 2 is still a much more potent cartridge than the .22 LR. Check out this comparison, and note how the 17 Mach 2 has a much flatter trajectory than the .22 LR. For small varmint shooting, we think the 17 Mach 2 is clearly the better choice.

17 Mach 2 hm2 .22 LR comparison
Hornady’s 17 Mach 2 has a 2100 FPS muzzle velocity vs. 1255 FPS for “High-Velocity” .22 LR.

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March 10th, 2021

Early Season Rebates on Rifles, Shotguns, Safes, and Optics

Factory Rebate Savage Thompson Center T/C rifle gunsafe winchester hornady ammo ammunition

While a number of major rebates and promotions ended yesterday (9/30/2020), we found other great rebate offers that are good this month, and in some cases through the end of 2020. If you are looking for a new hunting rifle or hunting ammunition, these promotions offer significant savings.

1. Savage Arms — PREY FOR THE PREDATORS Promotion

Factory Rebate Savage Thompson Center T/C rifle Prey Predators hunting

SAVAGE REBATE good through MARCH 15, 2021
DEADLINE for mail-in or online submission: 4/15/2021
CLICK HERE for REBATE Form

Purchase any Savage 110 Predator, 110 Tactical, 110 Tactical Desert, 110 Apex Predator, Model 12, or Model 25 rifle models and receive a $75 Rebate from Savage. This rebate applies to purchases from any authorized Savage dealer.

1. Winchester Super X Pump Shotgun Rebate

Factory Rebate turkey hunting super X shotgun winchester hunting

WINCHESTER REBATE good through APRIL 30, 2021
DEADLINE for mail-in or online submission: 5/15/2021
CLICK HERE for REBATE Form

Buy any new Super X Pump shotgun and get $25 Back from Winchester. Purchases must be made at retail between March 1, 2021 and April 30, 2021. Offer available in the U.S. and Canada only. Submit Proof of Purchase to Rebates.winchesterguns.com.

3. Browning ProSteel Gunsafe Rebate

Factory Rebate browning gunsafe vault safe ProSteel pro series Tax April 2021

BROWNING REBATE good through APRIL 15, 2021
DEADLINE for mail-in or online submission: 5/1/2021
CLICK HERE for REBATE Form

Now through April 15, 20201 you can save up to $100 when you purchase a Browning ProSteel Pro Series Safe. Purchase a Pro Series Safe at retail between March 1 and April 15, 2021 and save up to $100. You get $100 off a $2500+ safe, $75 off a $1500+ safe, or $50 off a $799+ safe. Submit proof of purchase via the Browning Website on or before May 1, 2021

4. Steiner Optics 10% Off Purchases through March 31, 2021

steiner optics rebate 2021

STEINER DISCOUNT good through MARCH 31, 2021
No forms to be submitted — discount from dealer on purchase

We own two pairs of Steiner binoculars. These offer excellent performance for the price and have proved very durable. Steiner scopes are also a good choice for a backcountry hunter. Right now Steiner offers a 10% Discount provided by dealers through an Instant Rebate or Gift Card. This 10% Discount program applies to purchases made between 2/1/2021 and 3/31/2021. If you purchase an eligible Steiner Optic before the end of March, be sure to request your 10% Rebate.

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March 7th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Half-Mile ‘Hog Rifle, John’s 6mm Rem AI

groundhog varmint rifle .243 6mm Rem Remington Ackley Improved AI

Spring varmint season is just around the corner. So here’s a very accurate Half-Mile ‘Hog rifle, that can drill a groundhog at long range. While just about any cartridge from a 22 magnum on up will do the job on a groundhog at close range, when you want to “reach out and touch” your prey at very long distance, it takes a case capable of tossing a heavier, wind-bucking projectile at ultra-high speeds. This week we feature a 6mm Remington Ackley Improved (6mm AI) belonging to our friend John Seibel, who ran the Varmints for Forum website for many years. John’s handsome BAT-actioned rifle sends the 87gr V-Max at a blistering 3675 fps. With its 1/4-MOA accuracy and flat-shooting ballistics, this gun is a varmint’s worst nightmare, a rig that regularly nails groundhogs at a half-mile (880 yards) and beyond.

Quarter-MOA Accuracy For Long-Distance Varminting

GunDay Report by John Seibel
John reports: “So far this gun has been an awesome long-distance varmint rig, with enough velocity to smack those critters hard at 800 yards and beyond. I have some more testing to do, but it seems that the 87gr V-Max (molyed) pushed by 52 grains of N160 or 51.5 grains of RL-19 shoots very well indeed. Velocity runs around 3675 fps. I shot consistent 1″ groups at 500 yards with both of these loads. Warning: These are max loads that work in my rifle, so start at least 10% lower and work up.

500yd SteelMy fire-forming procedure is just jam and shoot. I start with a powder (such as H414) that works for the parent case, fire a few cases as I work up the load to where I get a well-formed case, then shoot them at varmints. Then I work my load up with the newly-formed cases over a chrono. If a load looks good at 100 yards, I will go straight for 200 yards. I’ve seen that some loads which grouped well at 100 won’t shoot well at 200. If it is consistent at 200, then I’ll shoot it a steel plate at 500 yards. Then the truth will be told.

Man I love that BAT action! I have tried some Berger 88gr Lo-Drag bullets as well. They have the same BC as the V-Maxs but offer excellent accuracy. The action is BAT’s Model B round action configured Right Bolt, Left Port, with a fluted .308-faced bolt. The port is 3.0 inches wide — perfect for the 6mm Rem Improved cartridge’s OAL. I use a NightForce 8-32x56mm NXS scope mounted to BAT’s 20-MOA aluminum Weaver-style base. I use Burris Signature Zee rings because they are self-aligning and easy on scope tubes, plus you have the option of adding more MOA if needed.

Krieger with Harrell Brake
The barrel is a stainless Krieger 1:12″ twist Heavy Varmint contour, finished at 26″. I installed a Harrell’s muzzle brake because I hate recoil and I like to be able to spot my hits when target shooting and hunting–especially hunting.

When hunting I am usually by myself so when I eyeball a varmint I want to see my shot flatten him … and I hardly ever miss (heh-heh). Make sure you have your earplugs in though — that muzzle brake is loud!

Easy-Steering Thumbhole Varminter
The stock is Richard’s Custom Rifles Model 005 Thumbhole Varminter. This is a big stock that rides the sand bags very well. Took me a while to get used to this stock as I had never shot a thumbhole before. It is very comfortable and easy to control when you are shooting a moving target. In fact, my first kill with this rifle was a coyote at a little over 200 yards, she was moving along at a slow clip and I had to give her the ole’ Texas heart shot before she disappeared over a hill! (It’s pretty rare for me to shoot moving varmints though — at long-range, I want my cross-hairs steady on the target.)

Regarding the stock selection, I like Richard Franklin’s stocks because they are well-suited to my kind of shooting. I prefer a stock that is flat most of the way back towards the action because when I’m shooting out of my truck window it has to balance around mid-point. Also his stocks seem to track very well on the bench. I guess the stocks I like the most are his Model 001 and Model 008 F-Class. [Editor’s note: John often shoots from the driver’s seat of his truck because he is partially paralyzed. He also has a hoist in his truck bed for his wheelchair. Even with his mobility challenges, John tags more varmints in a season than most of us ever will.]

6mmChoice of Caliber — A 6mm with More Punch for Long Distance
I picked the 6mm Rem Improved mainly because it has that long neck for holding long bullets and it doesn’t burn the throats out as fast as a .243 AI would. I don’t use Remington brass; it splits when fire-forming and seems to work-harden fast. Another reason I picked the 6mm Improved was what I saw in the field–it seemed to be a perfect long-range groundhog getter. I saw my stocker, Richard Franklin, flat smack groundhogs out to 900+ yards with regularity. The OAL of a 6mm Improved does make it hard to remove a loaded round from a standard Remington 700 action. That’s why I went with the BAT Model B, with its longer 3.0″ port. For a standard action, a .243 AI might function better.

As for the 6 Dasher, from what I have read, I think it is a fine round. I’m a hunter though and a lot of case-forming isn’t worth it to me. Forming the Ackleyized cases is bad enough. The 6-250 is a real screamer and very accurate but it doesn’t have the capacity to drive the heavier bullets as well as the 6mm Improved. I have tried a .243 WSSM, also with a Richard’s stock (#008) and a BAT action. It may not shoot as well as the 6mm Rem Improved, but I like those short fat cases.

John’s Views on the Great Moly Debate
Editor: John started with moly-coated bullets for this 6mm Rem AI rifle, but he has moved away from that. He does have considerable experience with coated bullets, and now, at least with custom, hand-lapped barrels, he normally uses uncoated bullets. He now favors coated bullets only for the small .17 caliber.

Moly or no moly… hmm? I have used moly and Danzac for several years, mainly Danzac. In my experience, both moly and Danzac can work well for somebody who shoots a lot of rounds before cleaning. A barrel has to be broken-in correctly whether you use moly or not. I have done break-in with naked bullets, using the conventional method of shooting and cleaning till the copper stops sticking. I have also gone through the break-in process using molyed bullets from the start. It seems to me the barrels broke-in more readily with moly bullets than with naked bullets. I think if there are any rough or sharp places in the barrel the slick molyed bullet doesn’t grab it as badly and the moly will “iron” the flaw out without leaving copper behind.

molybdenum danzac bullet collet moly varmint bullet

The main mistake I think most people make with moly is improper cleaning. By that I mean they don’t get the bore clean from the beginning. Some people will scoff at me for this but I use JB bore paste for most all my cleaning, hardly ever use a brush. Just JB and Montana Extreme or Butch’s Bore Shine. It works for me! Now shooting molyed bullets works fine to say 500 yards, but any further and you really need a lot of tension on the bullet. If not you will get bad flyers.

Personally, I use coated bullets only with .17 cal rounds now. I did use them initially in my 6mm Rem AI but I am starting to move away from that. With proper break-in, the fine custom barrels we have now will not copper if you clean correctly and don’t push those bullets too fast! And remember that powder-fouling build-up is an accuracy-killer too. That is another reason I use a lot of JB paste.

groundhog varmint rifle .243 6mm Rem Remington Ackley Improved AI
John lives and works on a farm in Virginia. Getting rid of intrusive varmints is part of the job of running the farm. Here is one of John’s bolt-action pistols, which is very handy when shooting from a vehicle.

The Guru of Varmints For Fun
For many years John Seibel ran the popular Varmints For Fun website (now offline). This site offered excellent advice for hunters and reloaders. John covered a wide variety of varmint chamberings, from big 6mm wildcats, to the popular 6BR, 22BR and .22-250 caliber varmint rounds, and even the micro-caliber wildcats such as the 20 Vartarg and 20 PPC. Shown below is one of his favorite rifles, a 20 PPC with a special short version of Richard Franklin’s Model 008 stock.

John tells us: “I guess one reason I started my web site is that I was getting a lot of inquiries about hunting groundhogs, custom rifles and reloading. Plus I thought it was a fine way to get young people interested in the shooting sports. Lord knows hunting and firearms aren’t taught any more. I get a lot of young hunters and shooters asking what’s the best caliber for hunting varmints, and they’ll ask for reloading help too. It’s a shame, but many of them have no one to teach them. I do my best to help.

Showing others that a person can still shoot, even with a disability, is another reason I started my web site. I am a C 6-7 Quadraplegic, which means I have no grip in my hands. Imagine shooting those 1.5 oz Jewels that way! I had a therapist tell me I wouldn’t be able to shoot or reload once I got out of the hospital…shows you how much he knows! First time I got home from the hospital it was deer season and I had Pops park me at the edge of some woods. Well I had a 7-point buck on the ground in thirty minutes! Being raised on a farm didn’t hurt none either–it helped me figger ways to jury-rig stuff. Of course I couldn’t have done much if it wasn’t for my family and my lovely wife Cathy[.]”

John’s Favorite 20 PPC Varmint Rifle

Cartridge History Lesson — the Original .244 Remington
Here’s bit of cartridge history. The 6mm Remington, parent of John’s 6mm AI, actually started its life with a different name, the “.244 Remington”. What we now know as the “6mm Remington” was originally called the .244 Remington. The cartridge was renamed because it was not a commercial success initially, being eclipsed by the .243 Winchester. The .244 Remington and the 6mm Remington are identical — only the name was changed.

6mm Remington cartridge .244 John Seibel varmint rifle

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March 6th, 2021

Ten Cool Tips for Winter Shooting and Hunting

Winter hunting Norway Marcus Hom Haugland

Spring is on its way, but there is still plenty of snow on the ground in many parts of the country. 2021 has brought some unusually cold weather to many regions — witness the recent Texas Freeze-out.

If you plan to go shooting or hunting in the weeks ahead, while the weather is below freezing and snow is on the ground, you need to be prepared. You should always have the right equipment and make sure that you can contact help if something goes wrong (such as not being able to start your vehicle).

The folks at the Precision Rifle Network have created a good video on winter shooting and hunting. Host Marcus Hom provides his TOP 10 TIPS for wintertime shooting/hunting adventures. We recommend that any 4-season shooter watch this video.

TOP 10 TIPS for Winter Shooting and Hunting:

1. Wear Good Sunglasses — With snow on the ground, wearing sunglasses is a must because of the extra reflected light. You can get good sunglasses that also have ANSI Z87.1-approved impact protection.

2. Wear Protective, Moisture-Proof Clothing — Wear a set of Bibs and a long jacket. This will prevent you from getting snow inside your clothing when shooting prone.

3. Take Care of Your Hands — Bring good winter gloves, preferably with a waterproof outer layer. Make sure the inner gloves can work with your trigger/trigger guard.

4. Bring a Good Tripod — A tripod keeps you elevated so you can avoid laying down in snow or slush. That, in turn, avoids body heat loss. “Keeping out of the snow and shooting from an elevated position is pretty important in the wintertime.”

5. Protect Optics and Action — Keep your scope lenses and action clear of moisture, snow, and fog. You will want to have good caps on both lenses. Make sure the action remains closed, and consider some kind of wrap over the action until you’re ready to load and shoot.

6. Ranging Challenges — Laser range-finders don’t perform optimally with intense, bright, ambient light. Also, if it’s showing you may get false readings from snow particles. So take multiple readings to ensure you have the right distance. Also, if you have a reticle with MOA or MIL marks, and you know the size of your target, then you can range the target with the scope.

7. Drop and Windage Info (DOPE) Chart — Bring a waterproof, hard copy dope chart. Out in the field on cold days, a phone battery dies fast, and you’ll want to preserve that battery for emergency phone use if needed. So, you should keep a good old-fashioned drop chart in a waterproof laminate.

8. Muzzle Velocity Issues — Cold temperatures can lower muzzle velocity. Before you go, get an idea of how your velocity will change with low temperatures. Some powders are more sensitive to temperature than others, causing a noticeable reduction in muzzle velocity. A load you’ve worked out in summer may shoot LOW in winter because the actual velocity is low. Even with a “temperature stable” powder you may see a 10 fps slow-down. Do some winter velocity testing if you can before you go.

9. Keep Your Ammo Warm — A simple way to avoid muzzle velocity changes with low ambient temperatures is to keep you ammunition ON YOUR BODY. Have a pouch under your layered clothing where the ammo can be kept relatively warm. See video: 07:50

10. Safeguard Keys and Valuables — Keep keys and valuables in a secure, zippered pocket. “There is nothing worse than losing something… keys, phone, wallet. It’s really hard to find something when its buried under [many] inches of snow”. We also recommend keeping a spare vehicle key hidden on your car/truck. There are magnetic holders that can keep that spare key secure but safely hidden from view.

Winter hunting Norway Haugland

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March 5th, 2021

Top Hunting and Shooting Equipment Brands in 2020

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

As record numbers of Americans enjoyed the outdoors amid the pandemic in 2020, purchases of hunting and shooting equipment soared as well. Southwick Associates completed 15,000 hunter and recreational shooter surveys in 2020 through the online HunterSurvey and ShooterSurvey consumer panels and identified the top brands in the market.

What brands are favored by gun guys? Well here are the results of 2020 consumer surveys conducted by Southwick Associates. The surveys asked hunters and shooters to indicate their most frequently-purchased hunting and shooting product categories. This “Top Brand” list was compiled from 2020 internet-based surveys conducted through HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com websites.

In 2020, most frequently purchased brands included:

  • Top Traditional Rifles brand: Savage
  • Top Handguns brand: Smith & Wesson
  • Top Reloading Powder brand: IMR
  • Top Reloading Presses brand: Lee Precision
  • Top Reloading Dies brand: Lee Precision
  • Top Handgun Ammunition brand: Federal
  • Top Shotgun Ammunition brand: Winchester
  • Top Magazines brand: Magpul
  • Top Gun Case brand: Allen
  • Top Binoculars brand: Vortex
  • Top Reflex/Red Dot Sights brand: SIG Sauer
  • Top Laser Sights brand: Crimson Trace
  • Top Non-powered Aftermarket Sights brand: Trijicon
  • Top Trail Camera brand: Wildgame Innovations
  • Top Camo Apparel Brand: Mossy Oak
  • Top Hunting Knives brand: Buck

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.

Top Traditional Rifles Brand Savage recently introduced a new straight-pull rifle, the Impulse:

savage straign pull impores

The list above is only a fraction of all hunting and shooting categories tracked by Southwick Associates. 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. Full reports, with a wealth of information, are available from Southwick Associates.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, News 1 Comment »
March 1st, 2021

Bargain Finder 284: 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. MidwayUSA — Crimson Trace 5-Series Tactical Scope Sale

bushnell scope sale
Very good value — superb FFP optics for PRS/NRL applications

Here are great deals on high-quality First Focal Plane MilRad optics, ideal for PRS/NRL tactical applications. These high-tech Crimson Trace scopes are HALF OFF now. Grab the 3-24x56mm for $889.50 (50% OFF) or the 3-18x50mm for $799.48 (49% OFF). Both feature 34mm main tubes, tons of elevation, and advanced MR1-MIL Advanced illuminated reticles. We’ve looked through these optics and they have good glass and nice controls. These scopes feature EZ Mount Leveling Indicators for quick, precise mounting. All Crimson Trace scopes come with FREE Batteries For Life and a Lifetime Protection Warranty.

2. WEN — WEN 56380i Inverter Generator, $649.99 ($95 OFF)

wen inverter generator
Avoid winter outages — high-quality, high-output generator

This year the Pacific NW and Texas were hit with major, once-in-50-year ice storms that caused massive power outages. (In fact the Editor’s brother was without power for 9 straight days in Oregon.) If keeping the lights on, being able to charge devices, and staying warm is important to you then you NEED a generator. Check out the WEN 56380i 3800-Watt RV-Ready Portable Inverter Generator with fuel shut-Off and electric start. Assembled in the USA, WEN generators boast critical shut-off features to prevent damage, along with important fuel/load gauges. Order one before the next storm catches you off-guard.

3. Creedmoor Sports — Lapua Cartridge Brass In Stock

lapua rifle brass
Get top-quality Lapua brass now without back-orders

Quality reloading components continue to be tough to find, especially for popular calibers. But if you need cases, visit Creedmoor Sport for premium Lapua Rifle Brass . Creedmoor Sports currently has a very wide selection of cartridge types in stock and ready to ship. As of 3/1/2021, you’ll find Lapua brass in the popular .223 Rem, 6mmBR, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5×284, .260 Rem, .308 Win and more, at reasonable prices.

4. Midsouth — Lock-N-Load Case Prep Duo, $54.14

hornady lock n load prep duo
Very handy, versatile unit performs multiple tasks

This Hornady Lock-N-Load Case Prep Duo lets you accomplish case deburring, chamfering, and primer pocket cleaning all with one affordable power tool. This cordless unit features has a unique twin spindle head that runs the deburrer and chamferer at the same time — that’s handy. And HERE’s a big bonus — you can take off the dual head, swivel the grip, and convert the tool into a handy single-shaft driver you can use for multiple tasks, such as running the 21st Century neck lathe. Check out this review that showcases everything this versatile Hornady Tool can do.

5. EuroOptic — Vortex Spitfire HD Scope Sale, Save up to $200

Vortex spitfire scope sale
Great choice for action shooting and defense rifles — fast reticle design

Vortex spitfire scope saleWish you could have the best of a red dot scope and a magnified optic all in one? Take a look at the Vortex Spitfire HD Red Prism Scopes. These quality scopes feature 3X or 5X magnification, and illuminated reticles with hold-overs. The clutter-free reticle allows FAST target acquisition, making these great for both 3-Gun games and defensive use. And the night illumination is great for hunting use. The 5X model is discounted $200 from $649.99 to $499.00, while the 3X model is $150 off, discounted from $599.99 to $349.99.

NOTE: If you want the widest field of view with no magnification (for short-range disciplines), Vortex also offers the 1X-AR Prism scope for $249.99, $100 off.

6. Sportsmans Warehouse — Savage B22 FV-SR 22LR, $319.99

Savage B22 FV-SR 22LR
Patriotic Stars and Stripes version — nice features for the price

Looking for an accurate .22 LR bolt-action rifle at a good price? Check out the Savage B22 FV-SR 22LR Special Edition a Sportsman’s Warehouse exclusive. The B22 FV-SR has an ergonomically-designed stock, with a high comb more vertical grip. This allows shooters to hold the rifle in a more natural position that puts less pressure on the wrist. The B22 FV-SR features a heavy-contour, suppressor-ready barrel, Picatinny scope rail, and adjustable AccuTrigger.

7. Amazon — Padded 64″x21″ Roll-Up Shooting Mat, $35.99

padded roll up shooting mat
Affordable padded mat rolls up for easy transport

Being comfortable when shooting prone is really important for good results. So you’ll want a good mat that offers some padding along with plenty of room for your gear. If you need an inexpensive mat that checks all the boxes, check out the Redneck Convent Shooters Mat Padded Roll Up Mat . Measuring 64 inches by 21 inches it boasts plenty of room and features 1/2″ padding top to bottom. This mat rolls up for easy storage/transport (Rolled size is 21″x8″) with handy built-in rolling straps. This is also available in Black for $31.99 or Green for $39.99.

8. Amazon — Twod Front and Rear Sandbag Set, $12.99

front rest shooting bags
Very low cost bag set for basic rifle or pistol support

front rest shooting bagsDo you need a simple sandbag support for hunting or sighting-in rifles? Or perhaps you want to try NRL22 but don’t way to spend much on fancy bags. This Twod Shooting Rest Combo offers front and rear bags for just $12.99. These user-fillable bags are made from heavy material. The guns rest on a soft leather top section. There is also a Camo Version of this Twod twin-bag set for $14.99 on Amazon.

9. Amazon — Roxant Viper 10×25 Pocket Scope, $22.95

roxant viper pocket scope
Decent lens, nice molded exterior, weighs just 2.9 ounces

If you want a simple, lightweight easy-to-carry optic, you may want to consider a monocular. This unit will fit in a coat pocket and is very inexpensive. With its compact form factor, 10X magnification, and durable coating, the Roxant Viper 10x25mm Pocket Scope offers good function for the $22.95 price. With minimal 2.9 oz. carry weight and a compact size, this can be a very handy optic for hunters and hikers. This 10X scope has 65% 5-star and 15% 4-star purchaser ratings. However, a few buyers experienced problems with a cloudy lens. If you purchase, inspect the unit carefully during the eligible return period.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Tactical 2 Comments »
February 24th, 2021

MDT Offers New 26-ounce HNT26 Carbon Hunting Chassis

MDT Modular Driven Technologies HNT26 MDT chassis carbon fiber light-weight

Modular Driven Tecnologies (MDT), known for its rifle chassis systems for PRS/NRL disciplines, has a new ultra-lightweight chassis for hunters. The new HNT26 Chassis System is MDT’s first truly purpose-built hunting chassis. The HNT26 weighs a mere 26 ounces for the fixed model, a few ounces more for the folding-stock version. This new hunting chassis includes V-Block bedding, LOP and comb adjustment, and a “snag free design” to help hunters moving through brush. The HNT26 chassis will be offered in a Cerekote finish in either Black Carbon Fiber or Cobalt Green starting at $1299.95. Ini

MDT Modular Driven Technologies HNT26 MDT chassis carbon fiber light-weight

The MDT HNT26 Chassis is constructed with a magnesium alloy base, carbon fiber fore-end, carbon fiber grip, and foam-filled carbon fiber buttstock. The HNT26 chassis will fit: Rem 700 Short Action (and clones), Rem 700 Long Action CIP 3.850 (and clones), Savage Short Action, Savage Long Action CIP 3.850, Tikka T3 Short Action and Tikka T3 Long Action. Initially, these are all right bolt version only.

CLICK photo to see full-screen BIG version.
MDT Modular Driven Technologies HNT26 MDT chassis carbon fiber light-weight

Tripod Compatibility with ARCA rail: “With the increased number of hunters using ARCA tripods, we have included an option to choose a carbon fiber fore-end with an integral ARCA rail, as well as a foldable buttstock version for compact storage.”

MDT Modular Driven Technologies HNT26 MDT chassis carbon fiber light-weight
MDT Modular Driven Technologies HNT26 MDT chassis carbon fiber light-weight

MDT HNT26 Hunting Chassis System SPECIFICATIONS:

Ultralight design weighs between 26 oz. and 31 oz. depending on configuration
V-Block bedding system with free floating barrels up to 1.25″ diameter
Fixed and folding buttstock version available (folding 31 oz.)
Chassis body machined from AZ61A magnesium alloy
Carbon fiber-enclosed fore-end with MLOK, QD mount, Sling Swivel Mount
Foam-filled carbon fiber buttstock deadens sound and vibrations
Low profile mag latch integrates seamlessly into trigger guard
Option for ARCA rail integrated into carbon fiber fore-end
Compatible with AICS-style mags (MDT 3-RD Polymer mag fits flush)
Front and rear sling swivel mounts and front and rear QD
Vertically adjustable cheek riser with soft touch foam pad
Accepts AR Grips and MDT ultra lightweight carbon fiber grip
12.5” minimum LOP with adjustable spacer system
Titanium action / grip screws

MDT Modular Driven Technologies HNT26 MDT chassis carbon fiber light-weight

The MDT HNT26 Chassis System is sold as a complete chassis kit including magnesium alloy base, foam filled carbon fiber buttstock, carbon fiber enclosed fore-end and a carbon fiber grip. Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) is precision rifle chassis manufacturer with offices and production in Chilliwack, BC Canada and Everson, WA USA.

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