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December 23rd, 2021

Learn Shooting Fundamentals with “Gun Smarts” Video Series

Smith Wesson gunsmarts safety pistol shooting sights grip stance training videos

Do you know someone getting started in the shooting sports? Or perhaps you know shotgun or rifle shooters who want to improve their handgun skills because they have obtained CCW pistol permits? Then here is a good resource for those shooters-in-training. Smith & Wesson GUNSMARTS is a new video series that covers the key points of firearm ownership, from purchasing a pistol, to shooting techniques, gun safety, and storage. While this 38-part series does include some rifle-centric videos, it is mostly focused on handgun training, as you might expect from Smith & Wesson.

CLICK HERE to Watch All 38 S&W Gunsmarts Videos »

The GUNSMARTS series has 38 different videos covering gun safety, gun operation, marksmanship, maintenance, and secure storage. There are both general videos about gun handling and very specific videos about topics such as sight alignment, magazine loading, optics and more. Here are six of the best videos in the series. You will find 32 more on the Smith & Wesson Gunsmarts Playlist Page.

10 Tips for Your First Visit to the Range

Shooting Fundamentals — Sight Picture and Sight Alignment

Handgun Skills — Grip Pressure

Concealed Carry Positions and Holster/Belt Options

Considerations When Purchasing Your First Firearm

Smith Wesson gunsmarts safety pistol shooting sights grip stance training videos

Smith Wesson gunsmarts safety pistol shooting sights grip stance training videos

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December 21st, 2021

When Ammo Catches Fire — SAAMI Video Shows Surprising Truth

With the big fires happening on the West Coast, many have wondered about hazards faced by gun owners in fire zones. This important video shows what really happens when loaded ammunition burns. You will probably be surprised. Contrary to Hollywood notions, the ammo doesn’t ignite in a massive explosion. Far from it… basically the rounds “cook off” one by one, and the bullets release at relatively low velocity. We’ve featured this SAAMI research project before, but it is worth reprising for those who have not yet seen the burn tests.

A few years back, SAAMI released an important video concerning ammo and fire. With professional fire-fighters standing by, over 400,000 rounds of ammo were incinerated in a series of eye-opening tests. If you haven’t had the chance to view this video yet, you should take the time to watch it now

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) has produced an amazing 25-minute video that shows what actually happens to sporting ammunition involved in a fire. This video shows the results of serious tests conducted with the assistance of professional fire crews. We strongly recommend you watch this video, all the way through. It dispels many myths, while demonstrating what really happens when ammunition is burned, dropped, or crushed.

Watch SAAMI Ammunition Testing Video

Video Timeline

  • 2:10 Impact Test (ignited outside firearm)
  • 3:40 65-foot Drop Test
  • 5:08 Bullet Impact (.308 Win firing)
  • 7:55 Blasting Cap Attacks
  • 9:55 Bulldozer and Forklift Tests
  • 12:20 Boxed Ammo Bonfire
  • 15:37 Bonfire without Packaging
  • 17:21 Retail Store Simulation Burn
  • 20:55 Truck Trailer Burn

Over 400,000 rounds of ammunition were used in the tests. Some of the footage is quite remarkable. Testers built a bonfire with 28,000 rounds of boxed ammo soaked in diesel fuel. Then the testers loaded five pallets of ammo (250,000 rounds) in the back of a semi-truck, and torched it all using wood and paper fire-starting materials doused with diesel fuel.

The video shows that, when ammo boxes are set on fire, and ammunition does discharge, the bullet normally exits at low speed and low pressure. SAAMI states: “Smokeless powders must be confined to propel a projectile at high velocity. When not in a firearm, projectile velocities are extremely low.” At distances of 10 meters, bullets launched from “cooked-off” ammo would not penetrate the normal “turn-out gear” worn by fire-fighters.

We are not suggesting you disregard the risks of ammo “cooking off” in a fire, but you will learn the realities of the situation by watching the video. There are some amazing demonstrations — including a simulated retail store fire with 115,000 rounds of ammo in boxes. As cartridges cook off, it sounds like a battery of machine-guns, but projectiles did not penetrate the “store” walls, or even two layers of sheet-rock. The fire crew puts out the “store fire” easily in under 20 seconds, just using water.

Additional Testing: Drop Test, Projectile Test, Crush Test, Blasting Cap Test

Drop Test
The video also offers interesting ammo-handling tests. Boxes of ammo were dropped from a height of 65 feet. Only a tiny fraction of the cartridges discharged, and there was no chain-fire. SAAMI concludes: “When dropped from extreme heights (65 feet), sporting ammunition is unlikely to ignite. If a cartridge ignites, it does not propagate.”

Rifle Fire Test
SAAMI’s testers even tried to blow up boxes of ammunition with rifle fire. Boxes of loaded ammo were shot with .308 Win rounds from 65 yards. The video includes fascinating slow-motion footage showing rounds penetrating boxes of rifle cartridges, pistol ammo, and shotgun shells. Individual cartridges that were penetrated were destroyed, but adjacent cartridges suffered little damage, other than some powder leakage. SAAMI observed: “Most of the ammunition did not ignite. When a cartridge did ignite, there was no chain reaction.”

Bulldozer Crush Test
The test team also did an amazing “crush-test” using a Bulldozer. First boxes of loaded ammo, then loose piles of ammo, were crushed under the treads of a Bulldozer. A handful of rounds fired off, but again there was no chain-fire, and no large explosion. SAAMI observed: “Even in the most extreme conditions of compression and friction, sporting ammunition is unlikely to ignite. [If it does ignite when crushed] it does not propagate.”

Blasting Cap Test
Perhaps most amazingly, the testers were not able to get ammunition to chain-fire (detonate all at once), even when using blasting caps affixed directly to live primers. In the SAAMI test, a blasting cap was placed on the primer of a round housed in a large box of ammo. One cartridge ignited but the rest of the boxed ammo was relatively undamaged and there was no propagation.

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December 20th, 2021

Weaver Rail vs. Picatinny Rail — What Are the Differences?

Picatinny Rail specifications 1913 Mil-std

Readers often ask “What’s the difference between a Weaver scope rail and a Picatinny Rail?” The answer is not as simple as it seems. The dimensions of a Picatinny Rail should be consistent (from one rail-maker to another), since there IS a government spec. Conversely, there is some variance in “Weaver-style” rails. The width of the groove is the most important difference between Picatinny Rails and Weaver-type rails. “Mil-spec” Picatinny rails will have a grove width of 0.206″ while Weaver rails typically have a narrower, 0.180″ groove width.

Weaver Rail BAT action
Does your rifle have a Weaver Rail or Picatinny Rail? Check the dimensions to be sure.

Brownell’s has a helpful GunTech™ Article that discusses the Picatinny Rail vs. Weaver Rail. That article explains:

What are the differences between the ‘Picatinny’ and the ‘Weaver’ systems? The profile of the two systems is virtually identical. Depending on the quality of the machining done by the manufacturer, the two systems should be indistinguishable from the profile. The key difference lies in the placement of the recoil grooves and with width of the grooves. MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) grooves are .206″ wide and have a center-to-center width of .394”. The placement of these grooves has to be consistent in order for it to be a true Picatinny MIL-STD system. Weaver systems have a .180” width of recoil groove and are not necessarily consistent in a center-to-center measurement from one groove to the next.

In many instances, a Weaver system has a specific application that it is machined for, so interchangeability is not necessarily an issue. A MIL-STD-1913 system must adhere to the specifications listed above in order for it to be considered MIL-STD, since the military desires uniformity in the recoil grooves to allow for different systems to be mounted on the weapon with no concern for compatibility.

Now, what does this mean? Boiled down, it means that accessories designed for a Weaver system will, in most cases, fit on a Picatinny system. The reverse, however, is probably not the case. Due to the larger recoil groove, Picatinny accessories will not fit a Weaver system. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, but for a good rule-of-thumb, [full-width] Picatinny won’t fit Weaver, but Weaver accessories WILL fit Picatinny.

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December 18th, 2021

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

Bolt Action Cleaning lug recess chamber cleaning

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

PMA Action Cleaning Tool

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

Cleaning the Chamber

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

Bolt Action Cleaning

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

Cleaning the Lug Recess Area

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

Bolt Action Cleaning

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

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

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December 16th, 2021

500-Shot Group at 300 Meters — Now That’s a Serious Test

Sierra Bullets 500 round tunnel test

For load development, some guys shoot 3-shot groups. Other guys shoot 5-shot groups, or even 10-shot strings. But for testing its projectiles, Sierra Bullets takes it to another level entirely. A while back Sierra was testing its .30-Caliber 175gr HPBT MatchKing in the Sierra underground tunnel. The results appear above — a FIVE HUNDRED Round group!

500 Shots Form 0.82 MOA Group at 300m (328 yards)
Sierra’s trigger-pullers sent five full boxes of bullets down-range at a single target. The photo above shows the result of 500 shots taken in a 300 meter test tunnel. The raw group size, edge to edge of the farthest shots, is about 3.13 inches, as shown on the calipers’ metal linear scale. Subtract a .308″ nominal bullet diameter* to get the 2.823″ on the digital readout. So you’re seeing a 2.823″ group at 300 meters (328 yards). One MOA at this distance is 3.435″ so this 500-round group is 2.823 divided by 3.435 or 0.82 MOA (0.8218 MOA to be precise).

This 500-round group was shoot as part of a pressure/velocity test for a commercial customer. The cartridge was .308 Winchester, loaded at 2.800″. The powder was Reloder 15. A 26″ barrel was shot from a return to battery rest. The gun was cleaned every 125 rounds and two foulers shot.

What do you think — could you beat this group from a bench for 500 rounds?

One Facebook poster joked: “500-round group? Everyone knows anything less than 1000-round groups are a waste of time and statistically irrelevant.”

Test Tunnel Sierra

Sierra Bullets Test Tunnel Barrels

Sierra’s 300 Meter Testing Tunnel
Ever wonder how (and where) Sierra tests its bullets? The answer is underground, in a 300-meter test tunnel located under Sierra’s factory in Sedalia, Missouri. The photo above shows the construction of the tunnel back in May, 1990. Like most bullet manufacturers, Sierra does live-fire bullet testing of its projectiles. Sierra’s 300-meter test range is the longest, manufacturer-owned underground bullet test facility in the world. In years past, Sierra offered free visits to the test tunnel as part of a factory tour.

* Normally, to get an exact group size, you should subtract the TRUE bullet hole size, which is usually smaller than the nominal bullet diameter. E.g. a .308 bullet hole may show on paper as .298 or so. But here, for simplicity, we are subtracting .308″ because we do not have the original target to measure.

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December 13th, 2021

How Guns Work — Cartridge “Anatomy” and Firing Sequence

Firearms infographic NRA Blog Outdoor Hub

The NRA Blog has produced an interesting graphic guide to firearms function. This “How Guns Work” infographic shows the basics of bolt-action rifle operation and how a centerfire cartridge propels a bullet through a barrel during the “firing sequence”. There’s some good artistry here, with cutaway drawings letting you look inside an action and cartridge.

Enjoy this technical graphic. The NRA Blog says: “In celebration of cartridges big and small, we partnered with OutdoorHub to bring you a detailed look into how guns work. While the infographic will be most instructive to newcomers, we think avid shooters will find it interesting, too.”

Firearms infographic NRA Blog Outdoor Hub

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December 13th, 2021

Guide to Pistol and Rifle Cartridges from Pew Pew Tactical

pew pew tactical bullet cartridge photos rimfire primer illustration

The Pew Pew Tactical website has interesting article on rifle and pistol cartridges and bullet types. This contains a large selection of interesting photographs and illustrations. If you load and/or shoot for a wide variety of cartridge types, you’ll find that article well worth reading. It has nearly 50 photographs and more than a dozen short videos. READ FULL Article.

pew pew tactical bullet cartridge photos rimfire primer illustration

The article shows all types of pistol bullets, along with a variety of rifle projectiles. It even illustrates multiple types of shotshell cartridges.

The article also explains the basic components of modern cartridges –bullet, case, powder, and primer:

ammunitiontogo.com ammo case cutaway
Photo courtesy Ammunitiontogo.com which sells ammo from many leading brands.

pew pew tactical bullet cartridge photos rimfire primer illustrationPopular Cartridge Types Profiled
The article provides quick summaries of popular ammunition types including 9mm Luger (9x19mm), .357 Magnum, .40 SW, .45 ACP, .223 Rem, and .308 Winchester. The author’s favorite pistol round is the 9mm Luger: “9mm is my personal favorite and if there was a “Goldilocks” round, this would be it. The very first gun I bought was a 9mm. They’re fun at the range. They’re good for defense. It is the standard round for NATO countries and the majority of police forces around the world. It is mild shooting, can vary in weight from 115 to 147 grains, and has varying stopping power based on the type of bullet.”

This Pew-Pew Tactical guide to cartridge types also provides a quick explanation of cartridge ignition — both centerfire and rimfire: “The rimfire’s primer is built into the rim while the centerfire cartridge has the primer in the center. Pro tip — if you can see a circle in the middle…it’s a centerfire cartridge.”

There are two common types of centerfire primers — Boxer and Berdan. This helpful Wikipedia illustration shows how Boxer, Berdan, and rimfire primers ignite the powder in the cartridge:


Berdan boxer rimfire primer gif animation illustration


This centerfire and rimfire ignition animation is by BBODO – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.

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December 12th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: From Russia with Love — Mosin Nagant Reborn


One of the most popular features of our Shooters’ Forum is the Official ‘Pride & Joy’ Rifle thread. There you’ll find dozens of interesting rifles, with photos and descriptions supplied by proud owners. Today we’re spotlighting one of the more interesting ‘Pride & Joy’ rifles unveiled this year, a Mosin Nagant “senior citizen”. This 72-year-old Russian bolt gun is not like any Mosin Nagant you’ve ever seen before. It has been brought into the 21st Century with a handsome target stock and some first-class upgrades, including Lothar Walther barrel and Timney trigger. Here’s a look at a very nice Russian rifle, belonging to Forum member Ben C. (aka “Grimstod”):

Video Shows Rifle Shooting Sub-Half-MOA from Bipod (in the Snow):

Name of rifle: Smyert Mk3 (Modified Mosin Nagant)
Make: Izhmekh/Izhevsk (“Izzy”) High Wall
Model: 91/30 | Year: 1942

Components and Specifications:

Barrel: Lothar Walther 26″
Contour: 1.18″ straight
Chambering: 7.62x54R, .310 bore
Stock: Bluegrass Tactical (Gen 1 & 2)
Trigger: Timney with Bluegrass trigger shoe
Magazine: Finnish No-Jam magazine
Scope mount: Rock Solid (looks like an action sleeve)
Scope: SWFA 20x42mm MRAD
Gunsmith: Sheppard
Bolt handle: Rock Solid with Surgeon tactical handle
Bipod: Versa Pod
Total Weight: 18.6 lbs

Grimstod’s Mosin Nagant Custom Shoots Under 0.5 MOA From Bipod
Even in harsh winter conditions, the rifle shot well. (I guess we should expect that for a Russian gun). The photo below shows a group shot from bipod. (The video shows Grimstod’s snow-bound range session). Grimstod calculated the group at 0.394 MOA measuring from outside edge to edge. Using our On-Target software, which measures center to center of most distant shots, we came up with 0.428 MOA. Still that’s impressive for an ancient action being shot in the dead of winter with snow falling. To learn more about this rifle (and view photos of the build process), visit the SurplusRifleForum.com.

The History and Features of the Mosin Nagant M1891

Now that you’ve seen a modernized Mosin Nagant, we through we’d provide some information about the original rifle, first issued in the late 19th century. It is one of the most mass-produced military bolt-action rifles in history with over 37 million units having been made since 1891.

The is a lengthy Wikipedia article on the Mosin Nagant rifle design and history. The 3-line rifle M1891, known in the West as Mosin Nagant and in former Soviet Union as Mosin’s rifle (Russian: винтовка Мосина), is a five-shot, bolt-action, internal magazine–fed military rifle. It is primarily chambered for its original 7.62×54mmR cartridge. The 3-line rifle, Model 1891, its original official designation, was adopted by the Russian military in 1891. There have been several variations from the original rifle, the most common being the M1891/30, which was a modernized design introduced in 1930.

Here is a test of the Sniper Version of the Mosin Nagant:

mosin nagant bolt action russian rifle
Photo credit: Nemo5576 retouched by Ewan ar born, Copyrighted free use, via Wikimedia Commons.

Like the Gewehr 98, the 1891 Mosin uses two front-locking lugs to lock up the action. However, the Mosin’s lugs lock in the horizontal position, whereas the Mauser locks vertically. The Mosin bolt body is multi-piece whereas the Mauser is one piece. The Mosin uses interchangeable bolt heads like the Lee–Enfield. Unlike the Mauser, which uses a controlled-feed bolt head in which the cartridge base snaps up under the fixed extractor as the cartridge is fed from the magazine, the Mosin has a push-feed recessed bolt head in which the spring-loaded extractor snaps over the cartridge base as the bolt is finally closed similar to the Gewehr 1888 and M91 Carcano or modern sporting rifles like the Remington 700. Like the Mauser, the Mosin uses a blade ejector mounted in the receiver. The Mosin bolt is removed by simply pulling it fully to the rear of the receiver and squeezing the trigger, while the Mauser has a bolt stop lever separate from the trigger.

mosin nagant bolt action russian rifle
Photo courtesy Armémuseum (The Swedish Army Museum), public domain.

Like the Mauser, the bolt lift arc on the Mosin Nagant is 90 degrees. The Mosin bolt handle is similar to the Mannlicher: it is attached to a protrusion on the middle of the bolt body, which serves as a bolt guide, and it locks protruding out of the ejection/loading port in front of a split rear receiver ring, also serving a similar function to Mauser’s “third” or “safety” lug.

In this video Jerry Miculek tests the carbine version of the Mosin Nagant:

The rifling of the Mosin barrel is right-turning (clockwise looking down the rifle) 4-groove with a twist of 1:9.5″ or 1:10″. The 5-round fixed metallic magazine can either be loaded by inserting the cartridges singly, or more often in military service, by the use of 5-round stripper clips.

mosin nagant bolt action russian rifle
Photo courtesy Armémuseum (The Swedish Army Museum), public domain.

Wikipedia text courtesy Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-SA).

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December 12th, 2021

Rule Out “Driver Error” — Test Accuracy with Multiple Shooters

When a rifle isn’t shooting up to it’s potential, we need to ask: “Is it the gun or the shooter?” Having multiple shooters test the same rifle in the same conditions with the same load can be very revealing…

When developing a load for a new rifle, one can easily get consumed by all the potential variables — charge weight, seating depth, neck tension, primer options, neck lube, and so on. When you’re fully focused on loading variables, and the results on the target are disappointing, you may quickly assume you need to change your load. But we learned that sometimes the load is just fine — the problem is the trigger puller, or the set-up on the bench.

Here’s an example. A while back we tested two new Savage F-Class rifles, both chambered in 6mmBR. Initial results were promising, but not great — one gun’s owner was getting round groups with shots distributed at 10 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 8 o’clock, and none were touching. We could have concluded that the load was no good. But then another shooter sat down behind the rifle and put the next two shots, identical load, through the same hole. Shooter #2 eventually produced a 6-shot group that was a vertical line, with 2 shots in each hole but at three different points of impact. OK, now we can conclude the load needs to be tuned to get rid of the vertical. Right? Wrong. Shooter #3 sat down behind the gun and produced a group that strung horizontally but had almost no vertical.

Hmmm… what gives?

Shooting Styles Created Vertical or Horizontal Dispersion
What was the problem? Well, each of the three shooters had a different way of holding the gun and adjusting the rear bag. Shooter #1, the gun’s owner, used a wrap-around hold with hand and cheek pressure, and he was squeezing the bag. All that contact was moving the shot up, down, left and right. The wrap-around hold produced erratic results.

Shooter #2 was using no cheek pressure, and very slight thumb pressure behind the tang, but he was experimenting with different amounts of bag “squeeze”. His hold eliminated the side push, but variances in squeeze technique and down pressure caused the vertical string. When he kept things constant, the gun put successive shots through the same hole.

Shooter #3 was using heavy cheek pressure. This settled the gun down vertically, but it also side-loaded the rifle. The result was almost no vertical, but this shooting style produced too much horizontal.

A “Second Opinion” Is Always Useful
Conclusion? Before you spend all day fiddling with a load, you might want to adjust your shooting style and see if that affects the group size and shape on the target. Additionally, it is nearly always useful to have another experienced shooter try your rifle. In our test session, each time we changed “drivers”, the way the shots grouped on the target changed significantly. We went from a big round group, to vertical string, to horizontal string.

Interestingly, all three shooters were able to diagnose problems in their shooting styles, and then refine their gun-handling. As a result, in a second session, we all shot that gun better, and the average group size dropped from 0.5-0.6 inches into the threes — with NO changes to the load.

That’s right, we cut group size in half, and we didn’t alter the load one bit. Switching shooters demonstrated that the load was good and the gun was good. The skill of the trigger-puller(s) proved to be the limiting factor in terms of group size.

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December 11th, 2021

How to Use a Kestrel with Applied Ballistics Software

Kestrel Wind Meter F-Class John Applied Ballistics

Kestrel wind and weather meters are often regarded as the best on the market — for good reason. Here are a series of three videos by F-Class John that show how the Kestrel 5700 with Elite Ballistics works. This article reviews the advanced Kestrel 5700 Elite Wind Meter with sophisticated ballistics capabilities. Our review features three videos by F-Class John that show how the Kestrel 5700 Elite functions with Applied Ballistics APP software and LiNK connection.

Kestrel Wind Meter F-Class John Applied Ballistics

This Part I Video starts with a basic Kestrel Anemometer (blue case, 00:00-00:40) wind meter. Then reviewer F-Class John looks at the “smart” Kestrel 5700 with Elite Ballistics. John explains the many features of the Kestrel 5700 and how it holds a powerful ballistics calculator in the convenient, easy-to-tote Kestrel package. With Elite Ballistics, once you enter data about your bullets, velocity, zero, and rifle, the Kestrel can calculate come-ups and wind corrections. If you don’t yet own a Kestrel, we highly recommend you watch this series of videos that explains advanced Kestrel features in detail.

This Part II Video shows the key features of the advanced software APP used by the Kestrel 5700 unit with Elite Ballistics. The Kestrel 5700 can “talk” to a mobile device that runs the Applied Ballistics software APP that contains bullet databases and allows you to enter key information such as muzzle velocity, bullet BC, zero distance, velocity, wind, and environmental factors (altitude, temperature etc.). There are also gun-specific factors such as scope height over bore and barrel twist rate. The video also explains how “range cards” are created and how to view them with your Elite Ballistics-enabled Kestrel. John notes: “The APP is great because you don’t have to fiddle with the Kestrel’s buttons. It’s much easier to enter data and change settings with the APP.”

This Part III video shows how to determine true wind direction by aligning the SIDE of the unit into the wind. You essentially want to set the unit 90 degrees to the wind direction so the impeller runs as slowly as possible. Then, after you set your target distance (See 3:03), the unit can give you precise come-ups for your intended target (10.28 MOA for 559 yards here). The Kestrel then calculates the cross-wind correction as well (See 3:12).

DISCLAIMER: This video and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, the video author may receive a small commission. This helps support F-Class John’s YouTube channel and allows him to continue to make videos like this.

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December 11th, 2021

Lights, Camera, ACTIONS — See Kelbly’s Actions Being Made

Kelbly's Panda Action gunsmithing video barrel stock bedding

Want to see new-born Pandas? No, not the furry kind — rather Stolle Panda actions produced with state-of-the-art CNC machinery. If you’ve ever wondered how precision benchrest, long-range, and tactical rifles are built, check out video from Kelbly’s. You’ll see actions finished, barrels chambered and crowned, pillars installed in stocks, barreled actions bedded, plus a host of other services performed by Kelbly’s gunsmiths and machinists.

If you’re a fan of fine machine-work, this video should be both informative and entertaining. You can see how precision gun work is done with 21st-Century technology. Tip of the hat to Ian Kelbly and crew for producing this excellent video visit to the Kelbly’s production center.

Click Volume Control to Activate Sound for Kelbly’s Video:

Kelbly's Panda Action gunsmithing video barrel stock bedding

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December 10th, 2021

Four Ammo Safety Checks to Do Every Time BEFORE You Shoot

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

Here’a useful article by Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager Carroll Pilant. This story, which originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog, covers some of the more common ammo problems that afflict hand-loaders. Some of those issues are: excessive OAL, high primers, and improperly-sized cases. Here Mr. Pilant explains how to avoid these common problems that lead to “headaches at the range.

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

I had some gentlemen at my house last fall getting rifle zeros for an upcoming elk hunt. One was using one of the .300 short mags and every 3rd or 4th round would not chamber. Examination of the case showed a bulge right at the body/shoulder junction. These were new cases he had loaded for this trip. The seating die had been screwed down until it just touched the shoulder and then backed up just slightly. Some of the cases were apparently slightly longer from the base to the datum line and the shoulder was hitting inside the seating die and putting the bulge on the shoulder. I got to thinking about all the gun malfunctions that I see each week at matches and the biggest percentage stem from improper handloading techniques.

One: Check Your Cases with a Chamber Gage

Since I shoot a lot of 3-gun matches, I see a lot of AR problems which result in the shooter banging the butt stock on the ground or nearest solid object while pulling on the charging handle at the same time. I like my rifles too well to treat them that way (I cringe every time I see someone doing that). When I ask them if they ran the ammo through a chamber gage, I usually get the answer, “No, but I need to get one” or “I didn’t have time to do it” or other excuses. The few minutes it takes to check your ammo can mean the difference between a nightmare and a smooth running firearm.

A Chamber Gauge Quickly Reveals Long or Short Cases
Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

Size Your Cases Properly
Another problem is caused sizing the case itself. If you will lube the inside of the neck, the expander ball will come out a lot easier. If you hear a squeak as the expander ball comes out of a case neck, that expander ball is trying to pull the case neck/shoulder up (sometimes several thousandths). That is enough that if you don’t put a bulge on the shoulder when seating the bullet … it can still jam into the chamber like a big cork. If the rifle is set up correctly, the gun will not go into battery and won’t fire but the round is jammed into the chamber where it won’t extract and they are back to banging it on the ground again (with a loaded round stuck in the chamber). A chamber gage would have caught this also.

Bad_Primer_WallsOversizing cases also causes problems because the firing pin doesn’t have the length to reach the primer solid enough to ignite it 100% of the time. When you have one that is oversized, you usually have a bunch, since you usually do several cases at a time on that die setting. If the die isn’t readjusted, the problem will continue on the next batch of cases also. They will either not fire at all or you will have a lot of misfires. In a bolt action, a lot of time the extractor will hold the case against the face of the breech enough that it will fire. The case gets driven forward and the thinner part of the brass expands, holding to the chamber wall and the thicker part of the case doesn’t expand as much and stretches back to the bolt face. If it doesn’t separate that time, it will the next time. When it does separate, it leaves the front portion of the case in the chamber and pulls the case head off. Then when it tries to chamber the next round, you have a nasty jam. Quite often range brass is the culprit of this because you never know how many times it has been fired/sized and in what firearm.’Back to beating it on the ground again till you figure out that you have to get the forward part of the case out.

Just a quick tip — To extract the partial case, an oversized brush on a cleaning rod [inserted] and then pulled backward will often remove the case. The bristles when pushed forward and then pulled back act like barbs inside the case. If you have a bunch of oversized case that have been fired, I would dispose of them to keep from having future problems. There are a few tricks you can use to salvage them if they haven’t been fired though. Once again, a case gage would have helped.

Two: Double Check Your Primers

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

Another thing I see fairly often is a high primer, backwards primer, or no primer at all. The high primers are bad because you can have either a slam fire or a misfire from the firing pin seating the primer but using up its energy doing so. So, as a precaution to make sure my rifle ammo will work 100% of the time, I check it in a case gage, then put it in an ammo box with the primer up and when the box is full, I run my finger across all the primers to make sure they are all seated to the correct depth and you can visually check to make sure none are in backwards or missing.

Three: Check Your Overall Cartridge Length

Trying to load the ammo as long as possible can cause problems also. Be sure to leave yourself enough clearance between the tip of the bullet and the front of the magazine where the rounds will feed up 100%. Several times over the years, I have heard of hunters getting their rifle ready for a hunt. When they would go to the range to sight in, they loaded each round single shot without putting any ammo in the magazine. On getting to elk or deer camp, they find out the ammo is to long to fit in the magazine. At least they have a single shot, it could be worse. I have had hunters that their buddies loaded the ammo for them and then met them in hunting camp only to find out the ammo wouldn’t chamber from either the bullet seated to long or the case sized improperly, then they just have a club.

Four: Confirm All Cases Contain Powder

No powder in the case doesn’t seem to happen as much in rifle cartridges as in handgun cartridges. This is probably due to more handgun ammo being loaded on progressive presses and usually in larger quantities. There are probably more rifle cartridges that don’t have powder in them than you realize though. Since the pistol case is so much smaller internal capacity, when you try to fire it without powder, it usually dislodges the bullet just enough to stick in the barrel. On a rifle, you have more internal capacity and usually a better grip on the bullet, since it is smaller diameter and longer bearing surface. Like on a .223, often a case without powder won’t dislodge the bullet out of the case and just gets ejected from the rifle, thinking it was a bad primer or some little quirk.

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

For rifle cases loaded on a single stage press, I put them in a reloading block and always dump my powder in a certain order. Then I do a visual inspection and any case that the powder doesn’t look the same level as the rest, I pull it and the one I charged before and the one I charged after it. I inspect the one case to see if there is anything visual inside. Then I recharge all 3 cases. That way if a case had powder hang up and dump in the next case, you have corrected the problem.

On progressive presses, I try to use a powder that fills the case up to about the base of the bullet. That way you can usually see the powder as the shell rotates and if you might have dumped a partial or double charge, you will notice as you start to seat the bullet if not before. On a progressive, if I don’t load a cartridge in one smooth stroke (say a bullet tipped over sideways and I raised the ram slightly to reset it) Some presses actually back the charge back adding more powder if it has already dumped some so you have a full charge plus a partial charge. When I don’t complete the procedure with one stroke, I pull the case that just had powder dumped into it and check the powder charge or just dump the powder back into the measure and run the case through later.

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December 9th, 2021

Chrono No-Nos: Remember this Device is a Tool, Not a Target

accurateshooter.com target chrony shoot chronograph damage chrono

“Shooting Chrony” is a product name. “Shooting Chrony” should not describe (post-mortem) what you have been doing to your chronograph. Sooner or later all of us may make a mistake, and ventilate our chronograph. With luck, the bullet just “wings” your chronograph, and the damage is minor. But if you hit the unit smack dab in the middle, you may have to retire your chrono for good.

A while back, Forum member Jeff M. (aka “JRM850″) experienced a “low blow” that put his Shooting Chrony out of commission. With tongue firmly in cheek, Jeff started a Forum thread entitled Chronograph Not Picking Up Shots in Bright Sunlight Anymore. Looking at the photo at top, the problem is obvious — he ventilated his Chrono.

This was Jeff’s first chrono kill in 23 years of use, so we shouldn’t be too critical. Jeff explained: “I didn’t realize a friend was shifting from a 300-yard target to 100 yards.” The agent of destruction was a low-traveling 58gr V-Max running at 3415 fps. What happened? Well, when one is shooting at 300 yards, the trajectory will be higher than at 100 yards. We should say, however, that this may have been a low shot, or the 100-yard aiming point may have been placed lower to the ground (closer to the bottom of the target frame), as compared to the 300-yard aiming point.

Other Forum members offered some sarcastic responses:

Try it on an overcast day – it might work again.

It looks like the V-Max performed just about as advertised.

Aww…a little duct tape and some Super Glue and you’re good to go.

Double Check Your Aim Point and Trajectory BEFORE You Shoot
The lesson learned here is that you should never change targets (or aim points) without checking your bullet’s flight over the chronograph. We like to align the barrel so the bullet exits a good 6-8 inches above the electronics (check your manual for recommended shot height). In addition, we always boresight the barrel so we can see the actual target through the bore. Then, with gun UNLOADED, bolt removed and action clear, we look back down the barrel so we can see daylight through the bore, with the gun set on solid rests. If you look through the middle of the “V” formed by the sky screen supports and you can’t see light shining through the barrel’s bore, you probably have a set-up problem and you should re-align the rifle.

accurateshooter.com target chrony shoot chronograph damage chrono

Use a Test Backer to Confirm Your Bullet Trajectory
You can put tape on the support rods about 6″ up from the unit. This helps you judge the correct vertical height when setting up your rifle on the bags. Another trick is to hang a sheet of paper from the rear skyscreen and then use a laser boresighter to shine a dot on the paper (with the gun planted steady front and rear). This should give you a good idea (within an inch or so) of the bullet’s actual flight path through the “V” over the light sensors. Of course, when using a laser, never look directly at the laser! Instead shine the laser away from you and see where it appears on the paper.

After you have used the laser boresighter to get the rifle centered up in the chrono’s “sweet spot”, confirm with a test shot or two (see photo). Even when using an in-chamber laser boresighter, it is not uncommon for the bullet’s actual point of impact to be different than the laser’s dot location.

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December 8th, 2021

ATF Will Offer New eForms System for NFA Transfers

ATF BATFE eform suppressor silencer nfa transfer application form 1 form 4

This report comes from the American Suppressor Association (ASA).
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has announced the imminent launch of a new electronic system for NFA transfers. Known as the eForms system, this overdue modernization will allow consumers to submit both ATF Forms 1 and 4 electronically, hopefully resulting in a significant decrease in transfer times when compared to traditional paper Forms. This should speed up acquisition of firearm suppressors, since these require a Form 4.

According to ATF, the transition to the new system will occur sometime after December 15th, but before Christmas. The new eForms system will handle all existing NFA transfer forms, including the ATF Form 4, which is used for transfers of suppressors.

What is the NFA?
The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) requires the Federal registration of fully-automatic firearms, of short-barreled rifles and shotguns, of rifles over .50 caliber, and of firearms sound suppressors (termed “silencers” under the NFA).

Do NOT Withdraw an Existing Form 4 Submission
If you recently submitted an NFA application, keep it in the queue. The ASA cannot stress this enough. Withdrawing your Form 4 and re-submitting electronically will take longer than allowing your Form 4 to make its way through the approval process. Withdrawing and re-submitting electronically will add months to your overall application process.

That’s because ATF isn’t going to dig through the tens of thousands of forms being processed to find your application. They’re going to wait until your Form 4 reaches an NFA examiner’s desk – the exact point at which it would normally be approved – to process your withdrawal. Instead of approving it though, they will acknowledge your withdrawal and release your serial number. You will not be able to re-submit an eForm 4 with the same serial number until ATF acknowledges your withdrawal and puts it back into your dealers’ inventory.

While traditional paper-based applications will remain a viable option, ASA recommends that suppressor buyers submit new NFA applications electronically. That’s because, if the new eForms system works as promised, it will increase efficiencies by reducing form submission and payment processing times, eliminating weeks of delays in data processing, and all but eradicating data entry errors.

The ASA plans to provide updated information about eForms as soon the ATF officially launches the new program for submitting ATF Forms 1 and 4 electronically. In the meantime, stay tuned by following the American Suppressor Association on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Once the transition to the new eForms system begins, ATF estimates that the transition will take between two to four days to complete, at which point the new eForms system will go live. ATF has indicated that it will notify the industry 24 to 48 hours prior to the transition, and the ASA will post information as soon as it receives this notifice.

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December 5th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: Let Santa Bring You a CMP M1 Garand

CMP marksmanship program M1 Garand store order rifle vintage .30-06

We think every serious vintage rifle collector should acquire an M1 Garand at some point. If you ordered from the CMP this fall, perhaps you may find an historic M1 Garand under your Christmas tree this year. The CMP has, in the past couple of years, received over 90,000 Garands from overseas arsenals, so there are plenty to be had currently. This article explains how to order an M1 Garand from the CMP, and how to select the right grade for your needs and budget.

How to Order an M1 Garand from the CMP
To purchase an M1 Garand through the CMP, you must be an adult U.S. Citizen, and a member of an affiliated organization who has participated in a “Marksmanship Activity”. This basically means you need to join a gun club and participate in a clinic or match. Proof of club membership and citizenship is mandatory for all ages. However, the marksmanship requirement is waived for those over 60 years of age. Garands must be ordered by mail or through official CMP Auctions. CLICK HERE to Start Order.

Garand Turkish Turkey Philippines

CLICK HERE for Garand Ordering Information | CLICK HERE for Eligibility Requirements

CLICK HERE for Garand Grading Information

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle
This handsome M1 Garand was built with a CMP barreled action fitted to an aftermarket figured Walnut stock. That’s not war-worn GI wood.”

Here are two videos that explain the procedure for ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP. Along with mail-order sales, the CMP has brick-and-mortar stores where M1 Garands can be inspected and purchased and then transferred via your FFL (in compliance with state law). The three CMP stores are located in Anniston, Alabama; Talladega, Alabama; and Port Clinton (Camp Perry), Ohio.

CMP marksmanship program M1 Garand store order rifle vintage .30-06

M1 Garand Barreled Actions and Aftermarket Barrels

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle

Along with complete M1 Garand rifles, the CMP also offers barreled actions. This can save you money, and also makes sense if you are looking to create a rifle with high-grade wood, or you want to bed the action for improved accuracy. You can order an M1 Garand barreled action, as well as complete M1 Garand rifles, from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The eligibility requirements and ordering process will be the same for a barreled action as for a complete rifle.

If you already have an M1 Garand, but need a new barrel, you can order a pre-chambered Criterion barrel in .30-06 Springfield. Criterion tell us: “This is a direct replacement barrel for the M1 Garand rifle, manufactured to Mil-spec print #6535448. It has the original G.I. contour and Parkerized finish. Receiver threads are timed, all milling cuts are made, and all M1 Garand barrels are hand-lapped.” NOTE: Each barrel is .010 short-chambered and should be headspaced by a qualified gunsmith. These Criterion .30-06 replacement barrels, priced at $259.95, are legal for use in Service Rifle and John C. Garand matches.

m1 Garand Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

If you want to re-chamber your M1 Garand to .308 Winchester, the CMP eStore sells brand new Criterion-made barrels in .308 Win for $199.95. These authentic-profile barrels are chambered and headspaced within .010″ of finished size, with final fitting to be done by a competent gunsmith. The barrels are also externally Parkerized to match your vintage M1 Garand.

New Criterion M1 Garand (.308 Win) RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/308 | Price $199.95

How to Maintain the M1 Garand Rifle

Once you have an M1 Garand in your collection, you’ll want to keep it in tip-top condition so it works flawlessly for vintage military matches and fun shooting. Below we’ve linked two good SSUSA articles on M1 Garand maintenance. Following that you’ll find two excellent videos covering M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication. Finally there are links to recommended print manuals for the M1 Garand.

M1 Service and Maintenance
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) published an excellent article on Service and Maintenance of M1 Garand Rifles. This offers some smart tricks, such as using smoke from burning masking tape to darken the front sight post. There is also an older SSUSA article that covers basic cleaning and servicing and also explains how to upgrade the performance of your Garands. READ Article HERE.

M1 Garand maintenance procedures

As a resource for Garand owners, SSUSA recommends GarandGear.com: “[At] Garand Gear you’ll find USGI spec parts, tools, gauges, clips and a few Garand accessories. They also have some interesting freebies, most notably a direct analysis of M1 gas port pressures produced by different brands of commercial .30-06 ammunition, showing which ones exceed M2 Ball pressure, as well as the pressures produced by ammo manufactured specifically for the M1 Garand, such as Hornady’s M1 Garand Match and Federal’s American Eagle M1 Garand. Here you’ll also find free, downloadable and printable PDF copies of War Department M1 Garand maintenance manuals TM9-1275 and TM9-1005.”

m1 Garand Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication

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December 5th, 2021

Ten Great Gun Books — December Book Buyers Guide

Gun firearms books christmas gifts reader guide book resource paperback hardcover

Christmas is just 20 days away. If you are looking for a great gift for a shooting buddy, books have always been popular holiday gifts. Here are some recommended titles that should please the serious shooters and firearms enthusiasts on your shopping list. For shooting clubs, books also make great end-of-season member awards. Most of us would rather have a useful book than one more piece of wood to toss in a box in the closet. Check out these ten titles — for yourself or your shooting buddies.

Here Are TEN BOOKS Recommended for Serious Shooters:

Modern Advancements in LR Shooting, Vol. II
by Bryan Litz, $27.99 (Kindle), $45.95 (Hardcover)

If you’re a serious long-range shooter, consider adding this book to your library. Relying on extensive ballistics testing, Modern Advancements Volume II is a great successor to Volume I that contains some fascinating research results. UK gun writer Laurie Holland notes: “Volume II of the Modern Advancements series is as fascinating as Volume I and if anything even more valuable given a series of ‘mythbusters’ tests including: case fill-ratio, primer flash-hole uniforming, neck tension, annealing, and much more. The work also addresses that perennial discussion of a bullet ‘going to sleep’ and shooting smaller groups (in MOA) at longer distances than 100 yards.” The amount of testing done for this Volume II work, with a staggering amount of rounds sent downrange, makes this book unique among shooting resources. There is a ton of “hard science” in this book — not just opinions.

Nancy Tompkins Long Range book Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting
by Nancy Tompkins, $45.00, (Hardcover, 2d Edition).

Nancy Tompkins is one of the greatest long-range shooters in American history. She has won five National Long-range Championships. Tompkins’ treatise is a must-read for serious Palma, F-Class, and High Power shooters. The revised Second edition includes F-Class equipment and techniques, and newly updated information. Color pictures. Topics include Mental & Physical training, Reading Wind & Mirage Shooting Fundamentals, International Competition, and Loading for Long Range. Nancy Tompkins is a 4-time winner of the National Long Range Championships, and has won countless other major events. Nancy has been on six Palma Teams (as both a shooter and a coach).

Miller Cunningham Wind Book The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters
by Linda Miller & Keith Cunningham, $14.99 (Kindle), $18.68 (Hardback).

The new, 2020 Edition of The Wind Book was released a few months ago. The updates make this very helpful 144-page book even better. The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters by Linda Miller and Keith Cunningham, first published in 2007, is a very informative resource. But you don’t have to take our word for it. If you click this link, you can read book excerpts on Amazon.com. This lets you preview the first few chapters, and see some illustrations. Other books cover wind reading in a broader discussion of ballistics or long-range shooting. But the Miller & Cunningham book is ALL about wind reading from cover to cover, and that is its strength. The book focuses on real world skills that can help you accurately gauge wind angle, wind velocity, and wind cycles. Readers have praised the book, earning it 93% 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Tony Boyer Book rifle accuracy benchrest Long Range Shooting Handbook
by Ryan Cleckner, $9.99 (Kindle), $23.22 (Softcover),

Ryan Cleckner is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. Now Cleckner has authored a book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in Cleckner’s popular NSSF video series. The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com.

Winning in Mind Bassham book With Winning in Mind (3d. Edition)
by Lanny Bassham, $9.99 (Kindle), $16.95 (Softcover)

Visualization is a process of mental preparation that is done before you get to the range. Many of the greatest shooting champions have used this technique to get ready for big matches, and to optimize their performance during record fire. If you want to enhance your “mental game” through pre-match visualization, we strongly recommend Lanny Bassham’s book, With Winning in Mind. As a competitive smallbore 3P shooter, Bassham developed a mental management system. Using this system, Lanny Bassham won 22 world individual and team titles, set four world records, and captured an Olympic Gold Medal in Montreal in 1976. His techniques have been embraced by professional and Olympic athletes in many sports. With Winning in Mind covers a complete system of “mental management” techniques used by Olympians and elite champions.

Practical Shooter’s Guide
by Marcus Blanchard, $9.99 (Kindle), $19.99 (Softcover)

Thinking of getting started in the Practical/Tactical shooting game? Looking for ways to be more stable when shooting from unconventional positions? Then you may want to read Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training). Unlike almost every “how to shoot” book on the market, Blanchard’s work focuses on the shooting skills and positions you need to succeed in PRS matches and similar tactical competitions. Blanchard provides clear advice on shooting from barricades, from roof-tops, from steep angles. Blanchard says you need to train for these types of challenges: “I believe the largest factor in the improvement of the average shooter isn’t necessarily the gear; it’s the way the shooter approaches obstacles and how they properly train for them.”

Tony Boyer Book rifle accuracy benchrest The Book of Rifle Accuracy
by Tony Boyer, $42.50 (Hardcover).

Tony Boyer, the most successful shooter in the history of short-range benchrest competition, shares match-winning tips in this 323-page book. The book covers all aspect of the benchrest discipline: loading, windflags, rest set-up, addressing the rifle, and match strategies. This is a high-quality publication, filled with valuable insights. Every serious benchrest shooter should read Tony’s book. Boyer has dominated registered benchrest in a fashion that will never be duplicated, having amassed 142 U.S. Benchrest Hall of Fame points. The next closest shooter, Allie Euber, has 47 Hall of Fame points. This handsome, full-color book is 323 pages long, with color photos or color illustrations on nearly every page.

David Tubb High Power Rifle The Rifle Shooter
by G. David Tubb, $15.00 (On Sale Now)(Softcover)

This book by 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb focuses on position shooting and High Power disciplines. Section One covers fundamentals: position points, natural point of aim, breathing, triggering mechanics and follow-through, sling selection and use, getting started, getting better, avoiding obstacles. Section Two covers mechanics of offhand, sitting, and prone positions. Section Three covers shooting skills, including wind reading and mental preparation. Section Four covers the technical side of shooting, with extensive discussions of rifle design, load development, reloading barrel maintenance, and rifle fitting. We consider this book a “must-read” for any sling shooter, and there is plenty of good advice for F-Class shooters too.

Cartridges of World 16th Edition Coaching Young Rifle Shooters
by Gary Anderson, $20.95 (Softcover)

Gary Anderson’s book, Coaching Young Rifle Shooters, is an excellent, fully-illustrated guide for training young shooters. This 187-page, full-color book is the most comprehensive instructional guide of its kind now in print. Anderson created this resource for coaches and parents who work with beginning and intermediate junior rifle shooters. Anderson’s guidebook provides coaches with the tools needed to develop young shooters and improve their marksmanship skills. Gary Anderson is the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) Emeritus. In his 11 years of international competition, Gary won two Olympic gold medals, seven World Championships, and 16 national titles.

Bullseye Midnd Raymond Prior Creedmoor Sports Bullseye Mind
(Mental Toughness for Sport Shooting)
by Dr. Raymond Prior, $15.95 (On Sale now) (Softcover).

Having a Bullseye Mind means thinking in ways that create confidence and consistency, even under pressure. A “must-read” for competitive shooters, Bullseye Mind is a mental training book written specifically for the shooting sports. The book is well-organized, with handy highlighted lists and key “talking points”. Each chapter concludes with examples from a world-class shooters such as: Matt Emmons, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist; Vincent Hancock, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist; Jamie Corkish, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist; Petra Zublasing, 2014 World Champion/ISSF Shooter of the Year; and Nicco Campriani, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, 2010 World Champion. This book has earned rave reviews from competitive shooters who found it really helped their “Mental Game”. One recent purchaser states: “This book is as though you had a coach in your back pocket…”

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December 5th, 2021

REMAGE Project — Building Rem 700 with Pre-Fit Barrel

Remage Savage Remington Rebarrel Rifleshooter.com 6BR 6mmbr
Barrel nut system allows “Pre-Fit” barrel installation on a Remington action. CLICK photo to zoom.

REMAGE Project Report by Bill, Rifleshooter.com Editor
Installing a new barrel on your Remington 700 (especially without a lathe) may seem like a daunting task, but thanks to companies like McGowen Precision Barrels and Criterion Barrels there are easier alternatives. By adopting a Savage-style barrel nut on a 1 1/16″ thread for a Remington 700 receiver, pre-chambered (aka “pre-fit”) barrels can be easily swapped with just a few hand tools. This system is sometimes called a REMAGE conversion (for “REMington savAGE”). With simple tools a “Pre-fit” 6mmBR-chambered barrel was installed on the author’s Remington action — no machining or lathe-work required.

Remage Savage Remington Rebarrel Rifleshooter.com 6BR 6mmbr

Using a few tools from Brownells: Remington 700 Action Wrench, Barrel Vise, Go and No-Go Gauges, Recoil Lug Alignment Tool, and a Savage Barrel Nut Wrench, I was able to swap the .308 Winchester barrel off of my Remington 700 short action and install the new McGowen pre-fit, pre-chambered barrel, converting it to a tack-driving 6BR (aka 6mmBR Norma).

The existing barrel is simply removed from the action (normally the hardest part) and the new barrel is screwed on with the Go Gauge in place. After headspace is verified with the Go Gauge, the barrel nut is tightened against the action and you are off to the range. It takes all of the machine work out of the barreling process.

Note: Because barrel nut has a slightly larger diameter, some stocks may require minor inletting. Also, if you are shooting fired brass from another rifle with the same chambering, you should FL-size the brass before loading it for your new pre-fit barrel. And always check the set-up with a dummy round loaded to normal cartridge length BEFORE you head to the range. With Pre-Fits, the freebore should be adequate for your cartridge, but always check and adjust your seating depth as needed.

remage 6mm BR 108 berger best group 360

My McGowen Remage barrel looks and shoots great. I’ve written two longer articles that provide greater detail about this project. To learn more about how the barrel was installed, read: Rebarrel a Remington 700 without a lathe: McGowen’s Remage barrel conversion. To see how the rifle performed at the range, read: McGowen Remage Barrel Review: Spoiler Alert — It Shoots!.

Bill has been a serious shooter for over 20 years. A former Marine Corps Sergeant, he’s competed and placed in High Power Rifle, ISPC, USPSA, IDPA, 3-Gun, F-Class, and precision rifle disciplines. In addition to being an NRA-certified firearms instructor and range officer, Bill has hunted big game in North America, South America, and Africa. Bill writes extensively about gunsmithing, precision rifles, and the shooting sports on his blog, Rifleshooter.com.

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December 4th, 2021

Gifts of Firearms — How to Stay Out of Trouble

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF. This story is based on an NSSF Article.

‘Tis the season of gift-giving (and Christmas Day is nearly here). Perhaps you’re considering giving a a first rifle to your grandson or perhaps a carry pistol to a spouse. When making a gun gift to a friend or family member, however, there are some very important legal considerations. Also the rules on firearms gift transfers vary from state to state. Bottom line here — you need to know the law BEFORE you deliver that shiny new firearm to a family member, close friend, or relative.

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

ATF Firearms gun giftsThe first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place. For example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.

There’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend who lives in your home state. Abramski v. United States, a recent Supreme Court decision involving a “straw purchase” of a firearm did not change the law regarding firearms as gifts. The following states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State) and the District of Columbia require you to transfer a firearm through a local firearms retailer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun. Maryland and Pennsylvania require a background check for private party transfer of a handgun. There are exceptions, so it’s important to check the law of your state or ask your local firearms retailer.

ATF Firearms gun giftsConsider a Gift Card Instead of Direct Gift
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store and buying the gun on your own, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate/card from your favorite gun retailer. Then give that gift card as the present. That way the recipient can choose the exact gun he or she wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase. The Gift Card option avoids any “straw purchaser” issues.

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December 2nd, 2021

Suppressor Basics — What You Need to Know

Suppressor silencer NSSF infographic decibel noise reduction moderator fact sheet

Curious about suppressors (aka “silencers”, “moderators”, or “cans”)? Below you’ll find an informative NSSF Infographic that covers the history, legal status, design, and operation of modern-day suppressors.

Here’s a cool video showing how suppressors work. This video features see-through rifle suppressors filmed with ultra-high-speed (110,000 frame per second) cameras. When played back in super-slow-motion, you can see the flame propagate through the suppressor and the bullet move through each baffle before it exists the muzzle. Check it out!

See Through Suppressor in Super Slow Motion (110,000 fps) — Click Arrow to Watch:

Suppressor Facts — What You Need to Know

In this infographic, the NSSF provides the history, specifications, benefits and uses of firearm suppressors. Don’t suppress your knowledge!

Suppressors reduce gunfire sound levels by using baffles that contain expanding gasses exiting a firearm’s muzzle when ammo is discharged. Suppressors are similar to car mufflers that were, in fact, developed in parallel by the same inventor in the early 1900s. Well-designed suppressors typically reduce the gun sound levels by 30-35 decibels (dB). Suppressors are becoming more popular even though it still takes many months to get approved. In fact, the number of suppressors registered with the ATF grew by over 1 million from 2011 to 2017. That’s a 355% increase.

Suppressor silencer NSSF infographic decibel noise reduction moderator fact sheet

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December 2nd, 2021

Aluminum Jags — Eliminate “False Positives” on Patches

Aluminum jag copper eliminator Dewey

Conventional brass jags work great — except for one thing. They can react to solvents, leaving a blue “false positive” on patches. In recent years, jag-makers have experimented with many different materials in an effort to cure the solvent-reaction problem. Today we have polymer jags, nickel-plated jags, and stainless steel jags. And the latest innovation is the aluminum jag from Dewey.

Aluminum jag DeweyJ. Dewey Mfg. offers a series of “Copper Eliminator” jags and brush adapters made from aircraft-grade aluminum with the same hardness as brass. Dewey claims that its aluminum jags will not become embedded with grit or particles that could harm your bore. At the same time, Dewey’s aluminum jags will not react to ammoniated bore solvents that can turn patches blue green when used with brass jags. Dewey aluminum jags are offered with either male OR female 8/32 threads. The $5.25 aluminum jags and $3.70 brush adapters are offered in a wide variety of calibers. You can order these products from Dewey Mfg. or Brownells.

Story Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome submissions from our readers.
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