As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











June 27th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Tennessee Triple — Voldoc’s Varmint Rifles

Varmint rifles 20 BR Stiller Diamondback 6mm Dasher

Shooting Prairie Dogs at extreme long range takes some highly specialized equipment. Forum Member VolDoc and his friends have taken long-range varminting to a whole new level. With his Savage-based, Hart-barreled 20 BR, VolDoc managed a verified 1,032-yard Prairie Dog kill, possibly the longest recorded with a .20-Caliber rifle. But that’s just part of VolDoc’s impressive precision varminting arsenal. Here we showcase three of VolDoc’s accurate rigs: his stunning English Walnut Diamondback 6BR/Dasher, his Nesika-actioned “Orange Crush” Dasher, and the 1K Prairie Dog-slaying 20 BR Savage.

Diamondback Switch-Barrel Rifle Specifications
The action is a Stiller Diamondback, drop-port. The custom stock is similar to a Shehane ST-1000, but crafted from 40-year-old English Walnut. [Editor’s note: the wood on this gun is gorgeous!] There are three barrels for the gun with three different chamberings: 6BR Brux 1:8″-twist HV; 6BRX Krieger 1:8″-twist HV, and 6mm Dasher Krieger 1:8.5″ twist fluted straight contour (no taper). The scope is a Nightforce 12-42x56mm, with 2DD reticle.

Stiller Diamondback 6mm Dasher English Walnut

Comments: This rifle is a good study in comparison of the three different chamberings. On the same rifle platform (same stock and action), each of these barrels had killed prairie dogs over 1,000 yards. So if someone asks which is best, a 6BR, or 6BRX, or 6 Dasher, VolDoc says they are all effective. The improved cartridges will deliver higher velocities, which can be an advantage. On the other hand it is simpler to load 6mmBR brass right out of the box, and it’s easy to find an accurate load for the 6mmBR (see photo).

Stiller Diamondback 6mm Dasher English Walnut

Nesika 6mmBR/Dasher Rifle Specifications
VolDoc’s “Big Orange Crush” rifle has a stainless Nesika ‘J’ action, with 2 oz. Jewell trigger, in a painted fiberglass Shehane ST-1000 stock. Originally a 6BR, the gun is now chambered as a 6mm Dasher with a .271 no-turn neck. The barrel is a 1:12″-twist Krieger fited with Vais muzzle brake. On top is a NightForce NXS 12-42x56mm scope with double-dot reticle. The double-dot gives precise aiming and lower dot can be used as an aming point, when you need a few more MOA of elevation in the field.

Nesika 6BR 6mm Dasher

Comments: Big Orange Crush shoots 87gr V-Maxs into bugholes at 3,400 fps. VolDoc’s load with the 87s is very stout, more than 32 grains of Vihtavuori N-135 with Wolf SRM primers. Cases are full-length sized, with an 0.266″ bushing for the necks.

Nesicka 6BR 6mm Dasher
This 3400 fps load with the 87gr V-Maxs has accounted for hundreds of Prairie Dogs killed from 97 yards to 1,050 yards. The 87gr V-Max at this speed literally picks Prairie Dogs up and throws them 10 feet vertically and laterally. VolDoc reports: “The barrel now has more than 3,000 rounds down the tube and exhibits little throat fire-cracking and no loss of accuracy. I can’t explain why, it just hasn’t deteriorated yet. This rifle is my best-ever ‘go-to’ Prairie Dog rifle.”

Savage 20 BR Rifle Specifications
The action is a Savage Dual Port, with an aftermarket Sharp Shooter Supply (SSS) 4 oz. Evolution trigger. The stock is a modified Savage factory unit that has been pillar-bedded. The factory barrel was replaced with a 28″ Hart stainless, 1:9″ twist barrel fitted with a Rayhill muzzle brake. The gun is chambered in 20 BR with a 0.235″ no-turn neck. Kevin Rayhill did the smithing. To provide enough elevation to shoot at 1,000 yards plus, Ray fitted a +20 MOA Bench Source scope base. This +20 rail is very well-crafted, and made especially for the Savage Model 12.

Savage 20BR

Comments: VolDoc reports: “When I got the Savage back from Kevin Rayhill, it still had my 6 BR factory barrel on it, as I use it to compete in Factory-class regional matches. I put on the new 20 BR Hart barrel Kevin had chambered and quickly put in a full day of load development using the 55gr Bergers (0.381 G1 BC) and the 40gr V-Maxs. Both proved very easy to tune and I soon had my loads. My 55gr Berger load with runs about 3590 fps. Varget was very accurate with the 55s (see load dev. targets below).

Savage 20BR load development targets

The mild recoil of the 20 BR, along with a very good muzzle break (Rayhill’s design) enables me to spot every hit or miss myself. Kevin also re-contoured the underside of the Savage stock so it tracks straight back on recoil, also making seeing hits easier.”

The 20 Caliber 1000-Yard Prairie Dog Quest

Savage 20BRMaking the 1032-Yard Shot with a 20 BR
by Dr. John S. (aka “VolDoc”)
This article covers my recent successful quest for a 20-caliber varmint kill past 1,000 yards. This may be a first — I couldn’t find anyone else with a confirmed 20-Cal Prairie Dog kill at 1000+. I started a thread on the Varmint section of the AccurateShooter.com Forum about building a 20 BR capable of 1,000-yard Minute of Prairie Dog accuracy and many said 20 Cal bullets just could not do it. Some came to my defense and said those that doubted had never studied the ballistics of the 20BR with the new Berger 55gr bullets now available. Well, folks, I can tell you, hitting a Prairie Dog at 1000 yards isn’t easy — but it IS possible. Here’s how it was done….

Gale-Force Winds and High Temps
After arriving at our Prairie Dog Ranch in Colorado, I soon realized my quest was going to be especially difficult because we had continual 40+ mph winds and 100° heat every day. We had a special place where Birdog and I had made many 1,000-yard+ kills in years past, so I knew the ideal location but needed a small window of opportunity either early morning or late afternoon. Based on past experience, I knew I needed about 21 MOA from my 100-yard zero to get to 1,000 yards. On the first day of the Safari, I shot the 20 BR in the 45 mph brutal winds and heat of 97°. But after about 20 shots, I connected on a dog and lifted him about three feet high. Well, that’s a start.

Savage 20BR

Winds Subside — Here’s Our Chance …
On the second day of our shoot, I had listened to the early weather forecast, so I knew that there was to be a brief period of light winds early in the morning. We were out on the Colorado prairie at daylight and the conditions were perfect. The sunrise was at my back and we had about a 10 mph tailwind. I looked through my Leica Geovid Rangefinder Binos and the Prairie Dogs were out for breakfast. I quickly ranged the targets and found a group at about 1,050 yards. The technique is to find the dogs, range them, click-up according to your ballistic chart and shoot.

Savage 20BR

My first shot was very, very close. I added about four clicks up and a couple of clicks left for windage and let another go. That shot threw dirt all over, but the dog didn’t even flinch. This is another good point to remember about long-range Prairie Dog hunting. To be successful, the dogs can’t be too skittish, because if they have been shot at even a few times, they will go down and stay down. So, you should have an agreement with those in your party as to where each member is going to be shooting and respect this boundary. Drive-by shooting style is OK if that’s your thing, it’s just not mine.

Savage 20BRHitting the Mark — Dead Dog at 1032 Yards
On the fourth shot, I saw the dog go belly up and kick its final throws. My quest for the 20-Caliber 1,000-yard Prairie Dog had become a reality. We confirmed the distance with our lasers at 1,032 yards. Our technique for retrieving a dead dog at that range is worth mentioning. When I killed that dog, I left it in the crosshairs of my Nightforce scope. My shooting buddy kept looking through the scope (of my gun) and guided me to the deceased dog using Motorola walkie-talkies. When I got to the dog I was jubilant. I marked it with my tripod and orange jacket, and we took some pictures. (See view through scope photo below). The 55gr Bergers require a center mass hit as they will not expand, especially at that range. I centered this dog in the head — his BAD LUCK, my GOOD.

After making the 1,032-yard kill, I shot many many other Prairie Dogs with the Savage 20 BR using the 40gr V-Maxs. The dog flights were spectacular — red mist and helicopters, counter-clockwise or clockwise on demand. I killed at least five at over 500 yards. I will not use the 55 Bergers on Prairie Dogs again since the quest is over. I will use the 40gr V-Maxs and 39gr Sierra BlitzKings for next trip’s 20 BR fodder.

Savage 20BR

CLICK HERE for More Info on Voldoc’s 20 BR Savage Varmint rifle »

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 27th, 2014

Great Resource for Firearms History and Technical Information

Forum Member Roy B. has found a website with scores of well-researched articles about guns and shooting. The Firearms History Blog features a wide variety of posts on myriad subjects, from early black powder firearms to modern match rifles. You’ll find tons of information on gun design, barrel-making, action types, and firearms testing equipment. To access hundreds of articles, click on the Firearm History Blog Archive Menu on the left side. Click the navigation arrows to access monthly collections one by one. Some of the best articles are from 2010, so be sure to check those archives too! Here are some of our favorites:

Testing Firearms: Measuring Chamber Pressure
(Comment: Crusher Gauges were used through until the 1960s, when cheap Piezo-electric tranducers became available.)

Crusher Gauge Pressure Test

Barrel Making: Making a Modern Steel Barrel (Two Parts)
(Comment: Barrel drilling process explained — interesting process.)

Metal Treatments: Ferritic Nitrocarburizing/Melonite/Tenifer
(Comment: Meloniting creates a super-hard surface layer; this has been used to extend barrel life.)

Barrel Making: Forming Rifling with Electric Discharge Machining (EDM)
(Comment: This advanced EDM method can also be used to cut chambers.)

History of Gun Cleaning Methods/Solvents
(Comment: Old-timers used some pretty weird concoctions such as “Rangoon Oil”.)

History and Engineering of Sound Suppressors (Two Parts)
(Comment: Interesting cut-away illustrations of suppressor baffles.)

Utility Firearms: Powder-Activated Tools
(Comment: There are construction tools that use gunpowder to drive fasteners into steel and concrete.)

Testing Firearms: History of Proof Testing (Two Parts)
(Comment: Fascinating article, worth a read.)

Proof Test

More Interesting Articles on RVB Precision Website
These and other articles on the Firearms History Blog will give you many interesting hours of reading — Enjoy! And while you’re cruising the web, definitely check out Roy’s own RVB Precision website. It features many interesting DIY gun and reloading projects, such as Fabricating a 17 HMR Bore Guide, Building a Swivel-Top Varminting Bench, and Fabricating a Unertl-type Scope Mount.

Permalink - Articles, News 1 Comment »
September 14th, 2013

Criterion Barrels Opens New Facility in Germantown, Wisconsin

Criterion barrelsCriterion Barrels, producer of high-quality, button-rifled barrels (with a heritage of barrel-making from Krieger barrels) has opened a large new production facility in Germantown, Wisconsin. Over the past year, Criterion has hired many new skilled technicians to work in the new 72,000 square-foot facility, and new high-tech machinery is on its way.

Criterion reports: “To successfully meet with the recent industry-wide surge in demand, we have increased our production levels with the intent of fulfilling orders in the timeliest possible manner. To meet these manufacturing goals while simultaneously fulfilling our commitment to produce of some of the finest quality rifle barrels available, Criterion has successfully relocated its operations to a new 72,000 square-foot production facility. The phased transition from our Richfield workspace to the now fully-operational Germantown building was completed in November of last year.

Criterion has increased the number of its production personnel by more than 75% over the course of the last year… The purchase of new machinery will also serve to complete orders in a more efficient manner, allowing for improved material handling and reduced turnaround times[.] [R]est assured that Criterion Barrels, Inc. will continue to make all possible efforts toward streamlining and expanding our production potential while retaining the level of quality and precision that our customers have come to expect from our barrels.”

Criterion barrels

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
May 25th, 2012

eBay Eases Restrictions on Gun Parts Allowed for Sale or Auction

ebay logoYou probably know that eBay, the internet’s #1 auction site, forbids sales of firearms, actions, and ammunition. eBay has, in the past, also banned listings of a wide variety of gun components and accessories. However, eBay just issued a new policy allowing sales and auctions of more gun-related products. The “green light” has been given to sales of barrels, bolts, clips and magazines (10 rounds or less), triggers, firing pins, and hammers. In addition, listings of pistol slides and revolver cylinders are now allowed.

Even with the policy changes, “the listing of firearms, replica firearms, ammunition, and other firearm-related items is still prohibited on eBay.” In addition there remain some special restrictions: “You may now show your accessories on a firearm in your photo, as long as it is not an assault weapon and there is no indication in the listing that the firearm is included in the sale. You and all of the items listed must be located in the US and you must only offer domestic shipping on these items.” eBay’s new gun component policies are set forth in the following notice issued to eBay sellers.

New eBay Policies for Hunting Category Listings

ebay logoWe want to inform you eBay’s Hunting category has expanded to include more items, which could mean more buyers and sales for you. Now you can list the following firearm parts and accessories on the eBay US site (eBay.com) with domestic shipping:

NOW ALLOWED
Enbloc clips
Barrels
Bolts
Choke tubes
Cylinders
Firing pins
Hammers
Magazines with a capacity to accept 10 rounds or less (high-capacity magazines that can accept more than 10 rounds are not allowed)
Slides
Trigger assemblies

Important Guidelines
We take the update to the Hunting category seriously and will monitor these items vigilantly for compliance with the eBay firearms policy and all relevant laws and regulations. If your listing does not meet the requirements of this policy, it may be removed, and you may be subject to a range of other actions, including restrictions to your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account. Keep in mind these important guidelines when listing any of these firearm parts and accessories:

You may now show your accessories on a firearm in your photo, as long as it is not an assault weapon and there is no indication in the listing that the firearm is included in the sale. You and all of the items listed must be located in the US and you must only offer domestic shipping on these items.

Listing accessories related to assault weapons is still prohibited on eBay. If your accessory is compatible with other weapons as well as assault weapons, you may list it, but may not mention any assault weapon compatibility. The listing of firearms, replica firearms, ammunition, and other firearm-related items is still prohibited on eBay. Please carefully review the site policy that outlines firearm restrictions before listing these items, and be sure your listings—titles, descriptions, and photos—are in compliance with the new update.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 6 Comments »
December 17th, 2011

Krieger Raises Barrel Prices at End of December

If you plan to use a Krieger barrel for your next rifle build, better get that order in quickly. Due to a rise in the cost of steel, Krieger Barrels will add $15.00 to the price of a most stainless barrels, starting December 31st. In addition, the price of chrome moly barrels will also increase (typically $25) to become the same price as Krieger’s stainless barrels. (Previously the chrome moly barrels were cheaper than stainless.) The biggest price hike comes with large diameter barrels. There will be a large price hike on over-size diameter barrels ($100 increase on oversize blanks up to 1.450″ diameter.) Krieger says the price changes will “take effect January 1, 2012″, but it also states that price increases would be “implemented” on orders received “after midnight December 30th”. So, to be safe, get your order in before 11:59 pm on December 30th.

Krieger has also announced that it is halting manufacture of 17-caliber barrels as “the tooling on this caliber is too fragile”, and Krieger will no longer offer Custom Engraving. Here is the text of Krieger’s 2012 Price Changes Announcement:

Krieger Barrels — 2012 Price Changes

We [want] to give our customers a “heads up” on price increases to be implemented beginning with all orders received after midnight December 30th. Krieger Barrels has not increased the cost of barrels in two years, and now regretfully we find it necessary to do so. Below you will find a brief description of the changes. Detailed information will be posted as a catalog/website update shortly after Christmas. All price and service changes will take effect January 1, 2012.

Barrel Pricing:
The base cost of most stainless steel barrels will increase by $15.00. Chrome moly barrels will then be the same price as stainless making stainless and chrome moly barrels the same price. [This means the cost of chrome moly barrels will increase $25.00 on average.]

Oversize Diameter Pricing:
Oversize blank diameters up to 1.450″ will increase to $100.00 above the base cost in both stainless steel and chrome moly

Oversize blank diameters greater than 1.450″ up to 2.000″ will increase to $150.00 above the base cost in both stainless steel and chrome moly.

.50 BMG blanks (2.00″ x 36″) will remain the same price in stainless, but chrome moly will increase to the current stainless price.

Muzzle Threads:
We are eliminating the price difference between threading for a timed brake and an un-timed brake. The new cost to thread a muzzle to your machinist drawing or to match the device you send will be $125.00 either timed or un-timed. Fox River Brakes will remain $200.00 installed, and DCM/Service rifle barrels will continue to have no price difference between pre-ban and post-ban models.

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, News 3 Comments »
June 2nd, 2011

Lothar Walther’s Woodall Explains Barrel-Making Methods

Lothar Walther barrelsAt the IWA Trade Show in Germany earlier this year, a correspondent for The Firearm Blog interviewed Woody Woodall, who runs Lothar Walther’s USA operation. While many shooters assume that Walther hammer-forges most of its barrels like some other European barrel-makers, in fact Lothar Walther USA uses the button rifling technique for most of its US-made barrels.

In the video below, created for The Firearm Blog, Woodall explains that button rifling involves some extra steps to ensure a good result: “The extra work that goes into it is that you’ve got to make rifling, stress relieve it, and have it come out the right size. And it takes a lot of skill to do that. Lothar Walther invented button rifling in 1925, if a better way of making rifling came out, we’d be glad to go to it.”

Woodall explains that hammer forging is a good method for mass production, but it is costly to set up: “Hammer forging is relatively new, it came out in 1934, but did not come into prominence until the 1950s…. But the cost of [hammer forging] in the world today is getting above what the market will bear for barrels. [Hammer forging] is more complicated. As the hammers hit the barrel the barrel gets longer, but the hammers have to hit uniformly so the barrel [stays] straight. There’s a higher failure rate in that. There’s also some surface delamination that can occur, and some other issues. So if you’re hammer forging, you really have to pay attention to the details. So, it’s like button rifling, only ten times more complicated. It’s for super-high-volume production… The large companies tend to use the hammer forging, intermediate size companies tend to use the buttoning, and craft companies tend to use the cut rifling. All three [methods] can make an equally accurate barrel.”

Credit The Firearm Blog for this informative interview.
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
February 23rd, 2010

5th Annual Shilen Swap Meet Coming Soon

It’s time to get ready for the 5th Annual Shilen Swap Meet. Rain or shine, the Swap Meet will be held from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, March 20th, in the Shilen parking lot (Ennis, TX). The event is open to “all comers” — both buyers and sellers. Anyone can set up a table or just back their truck up and drop their tailgate. There are NO FEEs or costs. And there will be FREE FOOD –complementary chili, frito pie and water, tea, or coffee.

Shilen does request advanced notice from Swap meet attendees, especially folks selling shooting gear: “Please call (972) 875-5318 if you plan on attending so we can have a rough head count. If you want to put up a table please call, fax or email us and let us know. We will add you to the list of vendors.”

Big Discounts on Barrels
Shilen’s ‘Swap Meet Barrels’ will be BACK. These are first-quality barrels built for customers who requested a specific contour, twist rate, or caliber, but later changed their minds. Shilen let these customers modify their orders, but some of these custom-ordered barrels remain in inventory. These pre-ordered “orphan” barrels will be sold at deeply discounted prices at the Swap Meet. NOTE: All warranties still apply; these are NOT lower quality or factory seconds.

Factory Tours will be given again in 2010. During the morning tours — 8:00 am until 11:00 am — the drill, ream and rifle machine will run. Tours will continue in the afternoon but no machines will run then.

Shilen Rifle Barrels

Permalink Hot Deals, News No Comments »
January 20th, 2010

SHOT Show Report: The Boys from Bartlein

Bartlein BarrelsWisconsin’s Bartlein Barrels currently produces some of the most accurate cut-rifled rifle barrels in the world. We had a chance to chat with Bartlein barrel-makers Tracy Bartlein and Frank Green shortly after the doors opened at the 2010 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Frank and Tracy weighed in on some of the “hot topics” in the barrel-making business: Gain Twist and the advantages of single-point cut rifling. In this interview, the “boys from Bartlein” discuss current trends in barrel-making, including what’s “hot” in short-range benchrest and the emergence of 7mm barrels for F-Class Open competition. Tracy also offers his opinions on cut rifling vs. button rifling, and he explains how modern technology has helped make modern barrels “better than ever”.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing No Comments »
October 17th, 2009

Greatest Hits: Rifle Barrel Blow-Up Caught on Video

LINK: Shocking Video of Catastrophic Barrel Failure
Sweet Mother of Mercy, watch the barrel of this hunter’s Browning A-Bolt rifle peel back like a banana skin. Obstructed barrel? Probably… but whatever the cause, this is an amazing and profoundingly frightening video.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »
January 20th, 2009

SHOT Show Report: Carb-Out & New Wipe-Out Formula

Jason interviewed Terry Paul of SharpShoot-R™ Precision Products. Terry is the inventor of the Wipe-Out brushless bore cleaner, Carb-Out carbon remover, and Patch-Out, a formulation that works like Wipe-Out but without the foam. This Editor has been using Wipe-Out for more than two years now, and I’m very happy with the results. While some barrels (and cartridge/bullet combos) DO need brushing, some wet patches and Wipe-Out every 40 rounds or so is all my Pac-Nor 3-groove 6BR barrel has needed to stay competitive for nearly 1000 rounds. That barrel has stayed clean with no brushing and there has been very little throat erosion.

Wipeout foam bore cleaner

Terry Paul announced that SharpShoot-R has improved the formulation of Wipe-Out. The foam cleaner is now 25% stronger than before. Wipe-Out is now sold with an applicator tube and chamber plug. This makes it easier to apply Wipe-Out from the breech. (However, in our tests, the hard plastic chamber plug worked well in a 6.5mm chamber, but was hard to seat in a .223 Rem chamber. We would rather see a longer, softer tip with an O-ring.)

Carb-Out is another SharpShoot-R product popular with Benchrest shooters. Terry revealed that Tony Boyer, the all-time BR Hall of Fame points leader, uses and endorses Carb-Out. Tony believes the product helps remove harmful carbon deposits while reducing the need for abrasives or aggressive brushing. Watch the Video below to learn more about Wipe-Out and Carb-Out.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »