August 10th, 2019

New Champion Vanquish Electronic Muffs with Bluetooth

Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone
The Vanquish Pro ($109.99 on Amazon) has BlueTooth. The basic model does NOT have Bluetooth.

Many readers use electronic muffs during matches so they can hear range commands. The Howard Light Impact Sport muffs are popular and affordable at around $53.00 on Amazon. Now there is a new alternative from Bushnell/Champion — the Vanquish Series electronic muffs. These feature ultra-fast under 1 millisecond sound compression with HD speakers. The Vanquish Pro and Pro Elite models offer Bluetooth connectivity, so users can take phone calls or listen to music at the range. The Elite models also offer Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). On all Vanquish models, the earpads are a nice soft foam for comfort, and the shell design is angled at the rear to provide more clearance on gunstocks. That’s smart.

Vanquish Muffs Offer Ultra-Fast Reaction Time with less than 1 millisecond Sound Compression:
Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone

So far, Vanquish muff users have been impressed. Audio quality is good. The 3X sound amplification on the basic model ($54.00 on Amazon) provides ample volume for conversations (Pro Model goes up to 5X). The ear foam is soft for all-day comfort. Top PRS competitor Bryan Sikes states: “Been a big fan of these new muffs for a while. been using the Vanquish Pros and it’s nice to listen to some Taylor Swift via Bluetooth or take a call if I need to when denting primers. Comfortable and less than half the cost of Sordins.”

Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone

Consider Running Plugs Under Muffs
The basic Vanquish Muffs have a 22 NRR (Noise Reduction Rating), same as the Howard Leight Impact Pros. That’s not enough, in our opinion, for sustained multi-hour exposure to firearm noises, particular indoors, or outdoors on a busy firing line. The Vanquish Pro ($109.99 on Amazon) has a better 24 NRR, but we would still recommend using ear-plugs under the muffs, for superior noise reduction. We like the Howard Leight MAX-1 plugs, which offer 33db NRR by themselves.

Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone
Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
August 8th, 2019

FREE Shooting Bench Plans — 14 Build Your Own Bench Designs

Free shooting bench plansFREE shooting Bench Plans
Do you like the Chris Byrne bench at left? For more details, CLICK HERE.

FREE Bench Plans on the Web

Building your own portable shooting bench is a great do-it-yourself project. You can build a sturdy bench for well under $100 in materials. Compare that to some deluxe factory-built benches which may cost $600.00 or more. You’ll find a wide assortment of home-built shooting bench designs (both portable and fixed) on the internet. Renovation Headquarters has links to FREE Plans and building instructions for fourteen (14) different shooting benches. There are all-wood shooting bench designs as well as benches that combine a wood top with a metal sub-frame or legs.

CLICK HERE for Shooting Bench FREE Plans Webpage »

Among Renovation HQ’s fourteen featured shooting benches, here are five designs we liked:

Larry Willis Shooting Bench

Sandwiched Plywood top, 1.5″ Galvanized Pipe Legs

Manuel Ferran’s
Steel Shooting Bench

Steel (welded) legs and frame, painted plywood top. Folds flat.

eHow Permanent All-Wood
Shooting Bench

Heavy-duty, very solid and sturdy, but easy to build. Good for right- or left-handed shooters.

Bill Clarke’s
Basic Shooting Bench

Restaurant table Cast Metal Pedestal Base, plywood top.

Missouri Hillbilly’s
All-Wood Bench

3/4″ ACX Plywood with 4×6 Beams and Legs

Heavy Wood Bench That Converts to Three Sections for Transport
In addition to the fourteen benches mentioned above, here is an interesting break-down bench design. Call it a “semi-portable” bench. The legs and frame are made from stout 4×4 post segments so the bench is fairly heavy. However, this bench can break down into three (3) sections for easier transport to and from the range. Dado-cut channels assure proper top alignment. This might be a good choice if you plan a multi-day excursion to a location without fixed benches. This three-leg bench design can be made from easy-to-locate materials. Note: The dimensions of this bench are are larger than typical fixed benches to accommodate 50 BMGs and other big rifles. CLICK HERE for more details.

FREE shooting Bench Plans

(more…)

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
July 19th, 2019

Heatstroke Open NRL Match This Weekend in Oklahoma

heatstroke open oklahoma
Here’s our friend Jim See, who won the 2015 Heatstroke Open, topping 120 other shooters.

The 2019 Heatstroke Open will be held July 19-21 near Camargo in NW Oklahoma. This major PRS match should attract 120+ competitors. The event schedule includes check-in and sight-in beginning at noon on Friday, July 19, followed by side matches. The two-day match begins on Saturday and concludes at the end of the shooting session on Sunday. An awards ceremony in town will conclude the event.

The Heatstroke Open is one of the longest-running Practical Precision matches in the country. This match venue is a natural terrain field with just a few man-made props. Many targets are tough while other are more-than-generous. Stage time-limits are enough to get all rounds off on each stage. No matter what the shooter’s experience level, this match should be challenging and rewarding. But note, wind reading is critical — conditions have been known to be pretty brutal. Here are three videos covering the last three Heatstroke Open Events in Oklahoma:

2017 Heatstroke Open

2016 Heatstroke Open

2015 Heatstroke Open

McMillan — Heatstroke Open Key Sponsor
McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is sponsoring this year’s Heatstroke Open as well as other events on the National Rifle League’s event roster. Through sponsorship, McMillan works to promote the NRL’s mission to encourage the growth and education of precision rifle shooting. CLICK HERE for complete listing of 2019 NRL-sanctioned matches.

Remaining Major 2019 NRL matches, and Match Directors:
Heatstroke Open – Camargo, Oklahoma, July 20-21, 2019 | Matt Clem, B.J. Bailey
Rock Lake NRL Steel Challenge – Cheney, Washington. Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2019 | Doug Glorfield
Monster Lake Mayhem – Cody, Wyoming, September 27-28, 2019 | Phillip Velayo, Caylen Wojcik
West Coast Showdown – Pala, California, October 19-20, 2019 | Jorge Ortiz, Scott Satterlee
2019 NRL Championship – Navasota, Texas December 6 – 8, 2019 | Dave Ferguson, Prentice Wink

Permalink Competition, Tactical No Comments »
July 11th, 2019

Upcoming NRL Matches In Colorado and South Dakota

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match
Look carefully at this Colorado double rainbow. Note that the color spectra are reversed — sort of a mirror image. This is true of ALL double rainbows.

A great practical/tactical shooting match is happening this weekend in scenic Colorado. The High Country Precison Mile-High Shootout will be held July 12-14 at the Rio Ro Mo Ranch outside of Craig, Colorado. The match will include a mix of long-range and positional shooting on natural terrain. A 200- to 250-round course of fire can be expected for the competition.

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

The Mile-High Shootout starts on Friday, July 12 with check-in and open targets out to 1,300 yards. Saturday will be an all-day match. Sunday, the competition shooting will conclude mid-day, followed by an awards ceremony after lunch.

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

McMillan Fiberglass Stocks will co-sponsor the Mile-High Shootout, the 12th match of the 2019 National Rifle League series. McMillan supports the National Rifle League in the goal of expanding practical rifle competition. McMillan notes: “Events such as these are important to help bring new shooters into the long-range shooting sports and are activities that are enjoyed by the entire family.”

This 2018 Mile-High Shootout Teaser Is Really Worth Watching — Plenty of Action!

South Dakota Steel Classic, August 16-18

NRL PRS south dakota steel classic tactical Match

Another great NRL Match is set for mid-August in South Dakota. The 2-day South Dakota Steel Classic will take place August 16-18, 2019 in St. Orient, South Dakota. This is a very popular match, and all 110 competitor slots have sold out. But check with Match Director Michael Kane for last-minute openings.

The South Dakota Steel Classic features multi-position precision shooting with targets from 25-1300 yards. Nearly all of the shots are practical in nature having a hunting or military-type application. CLICK HERE to learn more about this major NRL match in August.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
July 1st, 2019

National Rifle League (NRL) Adds Airgun Class to NRL22 Matches

NRL22 tactical precision Airgun Air rifle class

The National Rifle League (NRL) started off sponsoring major centerfire tactical matches, similar to PRS competitions. That proved successful and the NRL added a .22 LR Rimfire series, called NRL22. The NRL22 rimfire discipline has been a success, as rimfire guns are fun to shoot and ammo is very affordable. The most popular NRL22 matches have drawn up to 150 rimfire competitors.

With the success of the NRL22 series, the NRL is adding an Air Rifle class to NRL22 matches in the upcoming 2019/2010 competition season. NRL President Travis Ishida stated: “We are proud to now offer an Air Rifle classification to the monthly NRL22 matches that take place nationwide, and in several other countries.” The accuracy and performance of modern air rifles are impressive, so Ishida says it makes sense to “include them in the same Course of Fire” along with other NRL 22 Classes.

NRL22 tactical precision Airgun Air rifle class

If the NRL’s Airgun class catches on, there may be a stand-alone NRL Airgun series in the future. Tyler Frehner, NRL’s Director of Match Operations stated. “If this class of shooters grows… the Air Rifle class will become a stand-alone entity; a future division of NRL.” Justin Jacobson of Utah Airguns added, “This is going to open the door for Airguns like never before. Finally, Airgun hobbyists everywhere can compete near their hometown in a similar format to rimfires with the NRL.”

About NRL22 Tactical/Practical Competition
NRL22 tactical precision Airgun Air rifle classThe goal of NRL 22 is to make Precision Rifle competitions more available to every community. However, nearly all localities have access to 100-yard ranges and most shooters own a .22 LR rifle. The NRL22 program is designed so any facility with a 100-yard range can host matches. Participants at local NRL22 events can then attend a National Championship. NRL22 currently has four classifications: Open, Base, Ladies, and Young Guns (8-16 age). Air Rifle will be the new fifth class. For the 2018/2019 Competition Season, over 700 shooters attended NRL22 matches. In the 2019/2020 Competition Season, the NRL22 expects significanct growth and is excited to welcome new members and clubs.

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical No Comments »
June 28th, 2019

Precision Rifle League in the UK — Orion Mountain Challenge

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

Tiff Dew, the founder of the UK’s Precision Rifle League (PRL) has posted: “I have dedicated the last dozen or so years of my life to establishing and developing the sport of precision rifle shooting over here in the UK. Having launched the Precision Rifle League, it is finally starting to take shape at a national level!”

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

Tiff added: “Maybe next year there might be a few more British shooters heading across the pond and perhaps a few US/International shooters might like to shoot the PRL over here?”

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

Well, after seeing these great photos, we definitely think some American shooters would like to shot a PRL match in the UK. And we welcome United Kingdom shooters to our PRS and NRL matches in the USA.

View 100+ More Great Photos on UK PRL Facebook Page »

PRL Orion Mountain Challenge in Cambrian Mountains
The Orion Mountain Challenge, the PRL’s third match of the year, was outstanding, as you can see from the photos. Nestled high amongst the Cambrian Mountains, Orion Firearms Training Limited’s facility provided the perfect venue for round three of the Precision Rifle League series. Forty-two shooters registered for the event. Participants reported: “The scenery was breathtaking and the weather simply sublime! Combined with excellent RCOs and a suitably complex course of fire, a very enjoyable weekend ensued.” NOTE: For these great images, Credit Philip Rowland Photography.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England
The United Kingdom’s PRL is not just for guys. Ladies enjoy the Challenge too!

About the UK’s Precision Rifle League

The Precision Rifle League hosts events throughout the United Kingdom. PRS Matches or “Challenges” as they are better known, take place from Scotland to Cornwall. Individuals can enter as many Challenges as desired. The PRL’s primary aim is to provide a positive resource for fellow shooters, helping to develop and expand precision rifle shooting in the UK.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

There are several precision rifle events across the UK. However until now, there has been no single point of reference for all these great shoots. The league is designed to address this, promoting these events and enabling shooters to see their progress on a national level.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

The PRL currently has two main classes: Open Division and Factory Division. After the final Challenge Match of the year is fired, trophies and prizes will be awarded to the top three in each division. In addition, there are sub-classes including International, Ladies, Parasport and others.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains EnglandThe PRL Challenge Calendar for 2019:

May 4-5 – Spring Roundhouse Rifle Challenge

May 25-26 – Gardners Guns Challenge

June 15-16 – Orion Mountain Challenge

July 13-14 – Summer Roundhouse Rifle Challenge

September 7-8 – Orion Mountain Challenge & Sponsors Raffle

For further information and the PRL Forum, visit: PrecisionRifleLeague.co.uk.

Hundreds of other PRL photos from the UK are found on the PRL Facebook Page.

CREDIT Philip Rowland Photography for all these excellent images from the Orion Mountain Challenge.

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical 2 Comments »
June 23rd, 2019

Tough Burris Tactical Rings with Inserts — Best Option for PRS?

Burris Pos-Align XTR tactical Rings preload elevation

For years we have touted the advantages of Burris Signature rings, with polymer Pos-Align Inserts. PRS/NRL shooters take not — this technology is available in a beefier, heavy-duty ring system for tactical rifles. The impressive Burris XTR Signature Rings offer six (6) clamping bolts per ring plus strong, dual steel base-clamps that self-center on Weaver or Picatinny rails. These aluminum XTR Signature Rings provide strength and holding power, plus the key benefits of Pos-Align inserts. As impressive as XTR rings are — they aren’t that expensive, with 1″-diameter XTRs starting at about $90.00 per pair (30mm and 34mm XTRs cost a bit more).

The polymer inserts in Signature rings perform three key functions. First, the inserts provide full, uniform scope-to-ring contact, with no need for lapping. You get a very secure “grip” on your scope without ring marks. Second, the Pos-Align inserts can provide elevation “pre-load”. With eccentric (offset) inserts, you can raise the back of the scope relative to the front, gaining up to 54 MOA of built-in elevation, without the need for expensive tapered bases. Third, the offset inserts can be rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise to shift point of impact. This lets you zero your rifle easily while keeping the turrets in the center of their travel.

Burris XTR Signature Rings are offered in 1″, 30mm, and 34mm diameters, and three (3) different heights: 1″, 1.25″, and 1.5″. Each ring set includes two sets of concentric inserts and one set each of the following offset inserts: +/-5 MOA, +/-10 MOA, +/-20 MOA. These allow you to “pre-load” elevation and/or center up your cross-hairs.

– Pre-load Elevation. No need for expensive tapered bases for long-range shooting.
– Correct misalignment caused by off-center receiver holes.
– Correct for bases or rings being slightly off-center.

How to Pre-load Elevation
To add elevation, set the Pos-Align Offset Inserts to raise the rear of the scope and lower the front. As long as there remains sufficient clearance between the front objective bell and the barrel, Burris recommends lowering the front of the scope the most and raising the rear of the scope the least. The amount of actual elevation “pre-load” will depend on the ring spacing (see chart). In the illustration, with 4.75 inches between ring centers, a +/- 20 MOA pair in the front combined with a -/+ 5 MOA pair in the rear will yield +25 MOA of total elevation. (If the rings are positioned further apart, you’ll get less elevation pre-load.)

Burris Pos-Align XTR tactical Rings preload elevation

Using Inserts to Adjust Point of Impact in Any Direction
Although it is convenient and most understandable to refer to the ring inserts as a “bottom” or “top” insert, the inserts may be rotated to any angle within the scope rings. This allows the shooter to correct the point-of-impact in any direction. The drawings below show how the inserts can be rotated to induce both elevation and windage changes at the same time.

Burris Pos-Align XTR tactical Rings preload elevation

Product tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics, Tactical 3 Comments »
June 13th, 2019

Precision Rifle EXPO Returns to Georgia in September 2019

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL

Practical/Tactical fans, mark your calendars. The Precision Rifle EXPO is back for its second year, running September 28-29, 2019 at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia. Last year, over 800 attendees came to the two-day event. This year, manufacturers will be showing off actions, optics, ammo, reloading equipment, stocks, chassis, electronics, supporting equipment (bags and tripods), rifles, triggers, suppressors, and much more. There will be training sessions on precision handloading, wind reading, marksmanship, ballistic devices, and introduction to competition.

The event lets precision rifle enthusiasts connect with top manufacturers, rifle instructors, and leading tactical competitors. You can Pre-Register for $35, or pay $50 at the door in September. Registration includes access to the exhibition tent and the range locations, plus the educational classes for both days.

Video Showcases Last Year’s Precision Rifle EXPO:

Precision Rifle Expo Series National Rifle League Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia September meeting

All Types of Products Will Be on Display
The Precision Rifle EXPO offers a unique opportunity to check out the latest products from dozens of top companies all in one place. We expect over 40 companies will be at the EXPO, displaying complete rifles, actions, triggers, stocks, optics, reloading gear, ammo, electronics, rangefinders, chronographs, ear protection, support bags, bipods, tripods, and all manner of accessories.

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL
Nick Gadarzi in Utah NRL match with Leupold Mark 5HD™ 5-25×56mm, TMR reticle

Precision Rifle EXPO 2018 Exhibitor List

NOTE: There may be some changes for 2019, but there should still be 40+ Exhibitors.

Accurate Ordnance
Alpha Munitions
Atlas (B&T Industries)
Area 419
Armageddon Gear
Barrett
Berger
Bushnell
Cole-TAC
Curtis Custom
Defiance
Federal
GA Precision
Hunts Long Range
Kahles
Kelbly’s
Kestrel
Knights Armament
Lapua
Magnetospeed
Manners Stocks
MasterPiece Arms
McMillan Stocks
McWhorter Rifles
MDT Chassis
Nightforce
Proof Research Barrels
RCBS
Really Right Stuff
Rugged Suppressors
Schmidt & Bender
Sierra
SK Ammo
Stillers Precision
Swarovski
Timney
Trigger Tech
Vortex
Vudoo Rifles
Warnes Scope Mounts
West Texas Ordnance
Whidden Gun Works

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres
The 2300-acre Arena Training Facility is a premier shooting facility with multiple shooting ranges from 50m to 2100m. Arena’s 1000-yard covered Known Distance range offers multiple benches, steel and paper targets out to 1000 yards. On Arena’s UKD (unknown distance) range shooters can engage steel out to 2300 yards. This 2100m UKD range boasts a 3-Story Shooting Tower, Air-Conditioned Shoot House, and multiple Positional Challenges.space.

arena training facility Georgia

The Arena Training Facility is located approximately two hours from the Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta, Georgia and is centrally located in the Southeastern USA.

Permalink Gear Review, News, Tactical No Comments »
June 12th, 2019

Scope Smarts — Five Videos That Explain Optics Topics

Optics rifle scope sight-in video parallax scope mounting

Rifle accuracy is pointless unless you can see your target and aim precisely. That’s why good optics are so important for precision shooting — from 50 yards out to a mile and beyond. Today’s premium scopes can be very expensive — you’ll see optics costing $3000 or more on many competition F-Class and PRS rifles. This article covers important “Riflescope Knowledge”, including how to adjust for parallax, and how to properly sight-in your scoped rifle. In addition there’s a helpful video defining Minute of Angle (MOA) plus two videos showing how to mount scopes.

Rifle Sight-In Process — Start to Finish

Here Ryan Cleckner shares his process for sighting in a scoped rifle. This helpful video covers the full process: bore-sighting, 25-yard shot confirmation, shooting groups, making adjustments at 100 yards, and finding mechanical zero. Looking for more valuable rifle instruction? Then check out Ryan Cleckner’s book, Long Range Shooting Handbook.

How to Adjust for Parallax

Most precision rifle scopes have parallax adjustment, but what is it and why do you need to adjust it? In this Shooting USA video, John Paul of JP Rifles defines parallax and explains why you need to set parallax correctly for the distance to your target. The video then show how to adjust parallax correctly. a process which should start with the scope’s ocular focus.

Understanding Minute of Angle (MOA)


MOA scope milradian minutes angle ryan cleckner

In this video, Ryan Cleckner explains the measurement term “minute of angle” (MOA) and how to use MOA adjustments on your scope to compensate for bullet drop at varying distances. MOA is an angular measurement, used often in long range shooting, that is 1/60th of one degree of a circle. One MOA represents 1.047″ at 100 yards and 10.47″ at 1000 yards. Want to learn more? Read Ryan Cleckner’s article Understand and Using Minute of Angle.

How to Mount a Riflescope

When mounting a scope you want to use quality rings, and ensure that the scope is leveled properly. In addition, you need to adjust the fore/aft position of the scope so that eye relief is correct. Ideal scope position may be different when shooting from the bench vs. shooting prone. In this Shooting USA video John Paul of JP Rifles reviews scope mounting basics.

Scope Mounting on a PRS Precision Rifle

Optics rifle scope sight-in video parallax scope mounting

Here the MasterPiece Arms (MPA) Academy experts show how to mount a scope on a PRS-type tactical rifle. Special considerations for tactical shooters are discussed. The video also shows recommended tools for scope mounting operations.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Optics, Tactical No Comments »
June 2nd, 2019

Sunday GunDay: .308 Win for PRS and NRL Tactical Division

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

This .308 Win was purpose-built for PRS/NRL tactical competition. With all the focus on the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, and smaller 6mm cartridges, it’s easy to forget that the PRS has a Tactical Division limited to .223 Rem and .308 Winchester. This gun was built by Jim See of Elite Accuracy LLC to compete in that class, which also has a .308 bullet-weight limit of 178 grains, and a velocity limit of 2800 fps.

With those restrictions, this is truly a Tactical Tack-Driver, as you can see from those 100-yard targets in the photo above. This gun seems to shot great with everything Jim has tried. He started the season with Sierra 168gr Tipped MatchKings. Later he switched to 168gr Berger Hybrids. For both bullet types he uses Varget powder, CCI 200 primers, and Lapua large primer .308 Win brass. His current match load runs about 2765 FPS, with impressive 5-7 FPS standard deviation. The gun hammers — even at very long range. Jim told us: “That soda bottle was shot at one mile with a 168gr Berger Hybrid on top of Varget.” Jim says the 1:9″ twist rate helps deliver a “clean sub-sonic transition” at that distance.

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger
With its heavy-contour barrel, the gun weighs in at a hefty 22 pounds, including optics and bipod. If you like this rig, Jim See can build you one just like it, or with the chambering of your choice. Visit EliteAccuracy.com to learn more about Jim’s gunsmithing services.

This rig features a RBRP Impact Precision 737 Action which was designed specifically for PRS-type tactical applications. This action features an integral lug, and built-in +20 MOA Picatinny rail. Both receiver and bolt are black-nitrided for slickness and durability. Jim loves the action: “It is really slick operating. It functions really well and doesn’t get gummed up with dirt or grit, so it has caught on for the PRS/NRL game. This action has won a major share of 2-day PRS matches this past season.”

Barrel Is a Resurrected .300 WSM
This rifle has one “resurrected” component — the barrel. The 1.25″ straight-contour, 1:9″-twist Brux was originally chambered as a .300 WSM finished at 30 inches. As acquired from Pat Scully, the barrel had 1200 WSM rounds through it. See then re-chambered the Brux as a .308 Winchester, finished it at 25 inches, and attached a 4-baffle side-discharge muzzle brake. Jim says the brake really helps control muzzle lift.

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

Jim See .308 Win Tactical Rifle Specifications:

Action: Impact Precision 737R
Action Finish: Black Nitride (bolt + body)
Barrel: Brux 1:9″ twist, 25″ finished
Chambering: .308 Win, PT&G Std. Match Reamer
Muzzle Brake: Custom 4 baffle, side discharge
Trigger: Trigger-Tech Diamond, straight shoe
Magazine: Accuracy International

Scope: Vortex Razor HD Gen II, 4.5-27x56mm FFP EBR reticle
Scope Base: Integral +20 MOA rail
Stock: J. Allen Enterprises (JAE) chassis
Front Rail: JAE Swiss ARCA rail
(extends bipod mount 2″ forward)
Bipod: Atlas PSR

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

Running the Rifle in Competition
Jim says this rifle performed well right out of the gate: “For about three years I wanted to shoot Tactical division and in 2018 it happened to work out. I decided it was a good year to test the .308 Win waters and see how the .308 could stack up competitively against the Open Class rifles.

I dug around the shop and found an 11-twist 30″ M-24 from an old F-class rifle and chopped it down to 23″ and fit it to an Impact action. [EDITOR: This barrel was later replaced with the 1:9″ Brux finished at 25 inches.] I had not received my 168gr Berger Hybrids yet so I ran the Sierra 168gr Tipped MatchKings in the first couple matches of the season. Those SMKs were used for the target and chrono pictures here.

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

The first spring match was ‘The Battle for Breakneck’ in Nebraska. This is a true field match with mostly prone stages with a few natural rock barricades thrown in for positional shooting. The yardages went out to a little over 1400 yards. I went in feeling good and shot very well in the windy conditions, hitting targets out to 1350 yards. I finished with a score of around 105 out of 135 points. The Open Class winner shot a 117 score I believe. I ended up being First-Place Tactical and 16th overall in a field of 100 shooters.”

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

Consistency and Preparation — Keys to Success in PRS/NRL Competition
Through his Elite Accuracy LLC company, Jim offers skills training for tactical shooters. When we asked Jim if he had any advice for PRS/NRL competitors, Jim replied: “Consistency is what will continually put you at the top of a match. In addition, your gear needs to be prepared (100% sorted out) and your mind needs to be prepared and ready. Don’t let your mind get in your own way. Mental preparation and confidence will be key to success.”

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
May 23rd, 2019

Suppressor Myth Busting — Do Silencers Degrade Accuracy?

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

Shooting Sports Suppressor SoundAre sound suppressors useful in competition shooting? In some disciplines, and in venues where sound “moderators” are permitted, the answer is “yes”. Some years ago Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA), published an interesting article about the use of sound suppressors (aka “cans”). The article explores the use of suppressors in Europe and in tactical matches in North America. You’ll also find an explanation of the rules and regulations governing suppressor ownership and use in the United States.

Former SSUSA Editor Chip Lohman tested three rifles from the bench and found that suppressors did not harm accuracy (at least with these rigs). In fact, all three test rifles (.223 Rem, .308 Win, and .338 Lapua Magnum), shot slightly better 5-shot groups at 200 yards with a suppressor than without. However, the suppressors did alter point of impact. Interestingly, velocity standard deviation (SD) values were lower with suppressors in place for all three test rifles. This observation calls for further study.*

CLICK HERE to Read Suppressor Article in Shooting Sports USA.

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

So the use of suppressors in competition could be a good thing. However, in the United States, current NRA High Power rules prohibit the use of sound suppressors. NRA Rule 3.16.1 subsection (a) states: “Sound Suppressors are not authorized for use in High Power competition.” In addition, there are some practical problems with suppressors — the heat rising off of a naked suppressor can create mirage problems (that’s why some shooters wrap their cans with a cover).

Despite such issues, it is now common to see moderators on rifles used in non-NRA-sanctioned tactical matches such as the Precision Rifle Series. For example, many competitors in the popular Steel Safari field challenge match use suppressors. The photo below shows our friend Zak Smith competing in the Steel Safari with his suppressed Accuracy International rifle.

Zak Smith Thunder Beast Steel Safari Suppressor

Commentary — What Can We Conclude?
Obviously, this three-rifle SSUSA test was not definitive. One well might observe different results with different types of suppressors, fitted to different kinds of rifles. Mounting a suppressor to any barrel will certainly affect harmonics and “tune”. But this SSUSA study does suggest that tactical shooters, who are allowed to use suppressors in competition, may find that the benefits of suppressors (significantly reduced recoil and less noise) outweigh any meaningful accuracy loss, at least in PRS-type matches.

*The article cautions that one should not extrapolate too much from the SD numbers, given the low number of test shots. Chronograph-maker Ken Oehler, when asked to comment on the SD values stated: “[You should] report the observed SDs, but draw no conclusions until… you can do more testing with larger sample sizes.”
Permalink - Articles, Gear Review 6 Comments »
May 21st, 2019

New McMillan A-10 Stock for Smaller-Stature Shooters

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Not all rifle shooters are created equal…

Some have smaller stature. Ladies, on average, have smaller torsos and shorter arms than men. Junior shooters are also smaller than adults. For all these types of competitors, particularly ladies and juniors, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks has created the new A-10 stock. This new stock is shorter, lighter, and more compact than other popular McMillan stocks, such as the A-5 and A-6. It has a modified, more-forward grip, and the LOP adjusts down to 12 inches.

The A-10 incorporates features of McMillan’s popular tactical stocks but in a more compact format to match the ergonomic needs of smaller-frame shooters. The new A-10 is a well-balanced tactical design that combines a thinner forearm like the A3-5, a butt hook similar to the A-5, and the sleek lines of the A-6.

The vertical grip is positioned further forward than other A-series stocks, which allows for a more relaxed 90-degree trigger finger placement and shorter trigger reach — perfect for shooters with smaller hands. The grip also features a small shelf to assist in consistent hand placement and reduce fatigue. To further accommodate smaller-frame shooters, the adjustable buttstock can deliver a length-of-pull as short as 12 inches. An adjustable cheek-riser ensures optimal head alignment.

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Britainy McMillan, McMillan VP of Operations, explained how the A-10 was developed:

“We consulted many of the top shooters in the country throughout the R&D process of the A-10, including Regina Milkovich, one of the top competitors in PRS competition. We wanted to know what the pros would like to see in a precision stock, and the result is the A-10.

We feel this is the optimal rifle platform not only for women and other small-stature shooters, but especially for the youth shooter. The overall design, coupled with full adjustability in length-of-pull and cheek piece height, provides a stock that younger shooters can ‘grow with and not grow out of.’ We also went with the A-10 designation because this is a totally new stock in the McMillan lineup.”

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Permalink New Product, Tactical No Comments »
May 17th, 2019

Tactical 22 — MPA Rimfire PRS Trainer With CZ Action

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire
Don’t worry — you can get this gun in eight different Cerakote colors: black, bronze, flat dark earth, gunmetal, marine red, NRA blue, green, and tungsten.

To succeed at the PRS game you need position shooting practice — and lots of it. Thankfully you can train affordably using a .22 LR rimfire rig. Decent rimfire ammo can be purchased for 7 to 10 cents per round, an order of magnitude cheaper than centerfire ammo. For the best results, you’ll want your rimfire trainer to sport the same ergonomics and “feel” as your centerfire match rifle. You can get just that Masterpiece Arms 22BA, a “turn-key” PRS rimfire cross-training rig. The MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle combines the proven CZ 455 action with a custom Spencer barrel and modern MPA modular chassis. With this chassis you can easily adjust length of pull, butt-pad height/cant, and cheek riser position. Chambered in .22 LR, the MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle can change to .22 WMR and 17 HMR through a simple barrel change. So, this gun can do double duty as a .22 LR trainer and a 17 HMR varmint slayer. Basic MSRP is $1850.00.

MPA colors .22 LR rimfire trainer

The MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle is available with numerous rugged Cerakote finishes: black, burnt bronze, flat dark earth, gunmetal, marine red, NRA blue, sniper green, and tungsten. Custom Cerakote colors cost $135 extra for the chassis body and/or $65 for the barreled action.

MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle Specifications:
Caliber: .22 LR (.22 WMR and 17 HMR via barrel change)
Action: CZ 455
Chassis: MPA CZ455 BA Chassis, 13.50″ – 14.75″ LOP
Barrel: 416RQ Stainless Steel Spencer / MPA barrel, 1:16″ twist
Barrel Length/Countour: 16-24” (customer specified), 0.920″ straight
Barrel Muzzle Thread: ½-28 TPI (if requested)
Trigger: CZ 455 Trigger (yoDave Trigger Upgrade, 1-3 lbs.)
Magazine: CZ 455 10 round polymer magazine with DIP floorplate
MSRP: $1,599.00

The CNC-machined MPA chassis has some very cool features: enhanced vertical grip, thumb notch, built-in bubble level, MPA trigger shoe, and spigot mount with lower-mounted Picatinny rail. The rig comes with a D.I.P. +25 MOA Picatinny scope base and you can add side Picatinny rails, as well as increase the distance from the spigot-mounted bipod to the rear support. The chassis is also compatible with a barricade stop system, an extra-cost option.

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire
Masterpiece Arms centerfire chassis systems have won 5 out of 12 recent PRS matches (story HERE).

Why rimfire cross-training? Because this stuff is ten cents per round. Premium handloads can run $1.00/round (counting brass depreciation), and the best factory ammo can cost over $2.00/round.
tactical .22 LR rimfire norma

A Rifle is Only As Good As Its Barrel
The key to accuracy for any rimfire rifle is a great barrel. The MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle includes a precision drilled, reamed, and honed Spencer / MPA rifle barrel made from 416RQ stainless steel. The hand-lapped barrel is inspected with a video borescope. The chamber is indicated within 0.0001” or less to the bore of the rifle.

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire

Permalink Gear Review, Tactical 3 Comments »
May 1st, 2019

Brawl at Rifles Only on Shooting USA TV This Week

ShootingUSA Bushnell brawl Impossible Shots

Today, May 1st, 2019, Shooting USA TV features The Brawl at Rifles Only, a tactical competition that draws top long-range shooters from military, law enforcement and civilian shooting communities. The match is held at the famed Rifles Only range in Kingsville, Texas. The Brawl is a one-of-a-kind physical and mental challenge that tests shooters’ abilities to read wind, figure ballistics, and adapt to difficult shooting scenarios. There is even a helicopter stage. This Shooting USA episode airs on the Outdoor Channel at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 pm Central.

ShootingUSA Bushnell brawl rifles only Impossible Shots

Helicopter Stage at 2014 Brawl in Texas:

Shooting from a helicopter, shooting off of a wire, and shooting from the physically demanding maze called the Mouse Trap. These are just a few of the unique courses of fire at the Bushnell Brawl, part of the PRS series. Over the course of two days, competitors tackle more than a dozen stages. In addition, Bushnell hosted a special one-day event for the new PRS Production Class. This new division should attract new shooters by limiting the cost of equipment — making PRS competition more affordable.

This image is from The Brawl Barricade Stage (CLICK HERE to Watch Barricade Video):
Bushnell Brawl PRS tactical texas barricade

PRS Production Division — Lowering the Cost of Entry

The Production Division is a new PRS classification. Under Production Division rules, the rifle must not exceed $2000.00, and rifle + scope combined must not exceed $4000.00. All other accessories, such as bipod, support bag, and the sling, can be added at the shooter’s own discretion. Even with these cost limits, you can put together a great rig: “There’s a lot of gear out there that’s not that expensive,” says Production Division Match Director Jacob Bynum. For example, you can get the new Howa KRG Bravo in 6.5 Creedmoor for $1034.99. Then use Brownells CODE V2F to save 10% for a net price of $941.50 with Free Shipping. NOTE this is a 1-DAY Special 10% OFF Code (check for other discount codes in the future). With an $800 Nikon FX1000 FFP MRAD optic, and $109 Game Changer Bag, you’re good to go for well under $2000.00 complete. Here’s the Howa KRG Bravo:

Howa 1500 krg bravo tactical rifle

Shooting USA Hour on Wednesday Primetime

9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific
8:00 PM Central Time

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical 1 Comment »
April 29th, 2019

Bargain-Finder 188: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Bud’s Gun Shop — Howa American Flag Chassis Rifle, $1180.38

Howa HCR APX American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS .308 Win Tactical Rifle

Legacy Sports offers a special American Flag Chassis Rifle with a USA flag-theme red, white, and blue Cerakote finish and 3-chamber muzzle brake. Components include APC modular chassis and Luth-AR adjustable butt-stock. This special edition is sold with a Nikko 4-16x50mm scope and shipped in a hard case. Choose from the .308 Win version ($1180.38 at Bud’s GunShop) or 6.5 Creedmoor version ($1239.00 at GunPrime.com). Note: Act soon — these special editions are almost sold out!

2. Costco — Cannon 72-Gun Executive Safe, $749.99 Delivered

Cannon CS72 Executive 72-gun safe vault delivered sale $749.99

Right now CostCo is offering the Cannon CS72 Executive Series 72-Gun Safe for just $749.99 DELIVERED! That’s a great price for a HUGE safe with 43.8 cubic feet of internal space. This 649-pound behemoth measures 59″H x 45″W x 28″D and weight 696 pounds (over 1/3 of a ton!). This is built strong with 1″ thick composite door, six 1″-diameter locking bolts, and 60-minute fire rating. NOTE: The $749.99 price includes “Standard shipping via common carrier” to the lower 48 states. This is a great value. You could easily pay $1600 or more for a safe this size from a local vendor.

3. MidwayUSA — Bullseye AmmoCam, $199.99 or $299.99

remote target camera SME Ammocam bullseye sale discount long range

Want a wireless Target Camera but short on cash? You can now get the Bullseye AmmoCam basic system for just $199.99, a $100.00 savings. We suggest you go with the Long Range version for $299.99, which has an external antenna. The Long Range model should work to 1000 yards and beyond in flat terrain. The system generates its own WIFI Hotspot so you do not need Internet or Cellular service! Works anywhere, all you need is an iPhone, iPad, or Android Device. The external antenna on the Long Range version allows you to shield the box without disruption of the WIFI signal. COMMENT: AccurateShooter.com recommends TargetVision systems over these AmmoCams. However, for shooters on a limited budget, these Bullseye systems should suffice, and you’ll save hundreds of dollars.

4. Graf’s — Platinum Case Prep & Trim + EZ Tumbler, $179.99

case prep and trim sale

If you want to step up your brass preparation game, here’s a great deal. Graf’s is offering the Frankford Arsenal Case Prep & Trim PLUS the EZ Tumbler for only $179.99. That’s an amazing deal considering you could pay $199.99 or more for the Prep & Trim unit by itself, and the EZ Tumbler is regularly $50 or more. This Grafs.com combo deal represents a savings of nearly $70.00.

5. Harbor Freight — Rolling Security Case (Carry-On Size), $69.99

carry-on foam transport pelican apache case spotting scope

How would you like to be able to carry your Spotting Scope, Laser Rangefinder, Kestrel, Binoculars, Camera, Target Cam, and other valuables in a secure, lockable, foam-filled hard-case? Or use that case to hold your front rest and other vital hardware. And wouldn’t it be great if that same rugged case worked as carry-on luggage, so you could bring it with you onboard airline flights, rather than risk it with baggage handlers. Harbor Freight now offers the Apache 5800 rolling hard-case with “pluckable” foam. Sized 22″ x 14″ x 9″ (like a carry-on), this costs just $69.99 with coupon. The equivalent rolling Pelican 1510 case costs $189.95. The Apache 5800 case lists for $89.99 but you can get it for just $69.99 with COUPON Code 89000237. Enter Code #89000237 during online checkout to save $20.00.

6. Amazon — Nikon Buckmaster II Scope Bundle, $142.95

Nikon Bushmaster II ii scope optic deal sale 4-12x40 amazon

Need a good, basic, reliable name-brand scope for your deer rifle or varmint rig? Here’s one of the best scope deals we’ve seen in 2019. You get a nice 4-12x40mm Nikon Buckmaster II by itself for just $121.90 with FREE shipping. Or get the same 4-12x40mm Nikon optic PLUS lens covers, Nikon Lens Pen, Nikon micro-fiber lens cleaning cloth, AND a Lumintrail keychain light for $142.95 with FREE Shipping. That’s still less than you might pay for a deluxe set of rings. These scopes are new production optics, fully covered by the Nikon no questions asked warranty. If you prefer less magnification, you can get the 3-9x40mm Buckmaster II for $129.95 with all the same accessories.

7. Midsouth — Aguila .22 LR Ammo, 500 Rds $17.99

aguila .22 LR 22LR rimfire HP high velocity ammo ammunition sale Midsouth

Plinking is fun. Especially when your ammo is really cheap. If you need low-cost .22 LR rimfire ammo for range sessions with friends and family, check out this crazy good deal from Midsouth. You get 500 rounds of Aguila 38gr HiVel .22 LR ammo for just $17.99 (marked down from $32.99). That works out to 3.6 cents ($0.036) per round. We’ve used this stuff. It’s not match-grade, but it’s more than adequate for .22 LR handguns and rifles with fun targets, such as dueling trees and rimfire poppers.

8. CDNN — Zebra Muffs and Fashion Safety Glasses Set, $4.99

Champion Zebra Muffs tortoise shell sunglasses safety glasses eyewear

Guys, here’s just what you need (maybe) to convince the significant other to join you for a day at the range — a combo set of “high-fashion” ear muffs and ANSI-rated safety glasses. The comfortable, zebra-print muffs provide 21 dB of noise reduction (we recommend running plugs underneath them). The stylish, tortoise-shell pattern Bella Ballistica™ shooting eyewear has passed MIL-PRF-31013 ballistic tests and meets ANSI Z87+ high-velocity requirements with a chic designer appearance. The lady in your life just might appreciate the stylish eyewear and distinctive muffs, earning you “bonus points”. And she’ll never suspect you only spent five bucks!

9. Cabela’s — Lyman 36″ x 10″ Maintenance Mat, $14.99

Lyman synthetic rubber cleaning maintenance mat

Here’s something we all can use — a chemical-resistant cleaning mat. This Lyman 36″ x 10″ mat provides a cushioned surface for your fine firearms. Multiple dividers hold small parts. The molded, raised edges help contain spills and excess solvents. Chemical-resistant design won’t break down with use and is easy to clean with soap and water. Made from synthetic rubber, this handy mat rolls up for easy storage. Cabela’s is offering a great price ($14.99) — this very same mat sells for $24.76 on Amazon.

10. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.99

Red Orange Neon 3

We like these bright, Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.99 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 0’Clock. NOTE: These stickers may qualify for FREE Shipping with combined orders over $25.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
April 24th, 2019

Tactical Tip: Head and Scope Position for Prone Shooting

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

In this video, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how proper head and scope position is a critical component to accurate shooting. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain. Cleckner cautions: “When you are in a good prone position, you don’t want any strain in your neck muscles or back.”

In the video, Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position:

“To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”.

“When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

“Very often you’ll open your eyes and realize you need to move further back or further forward. Instead of moving your position [or head], move the scope and get it set up properly.”

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

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.

Ryan Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) and he served as a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and practicing firearms attorney.

Permalink - Videos, Optics, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
April 20th, 2019

Doug Koenig Makes His Mark in PRS Production Division

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

“Koenig” (or König) means “king” in German. That is indeed appropriate for Doug Koenig, 18-Time Bianchi Cup winner, who is now starting to conquer the rifle world as well. Koenig, considered by many to be the best action pistol shooter on the planet, proved he’s an ace with rifles too, as he recently won two PRS matches in Production Division. Koenig, Captain of Team Ruger, was shooting a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), chambered in 6mm Creedmoor. Notably, Production Division limits rifles to $2000.00 for the gun ($4000.00 overall with scope). You can buy an RPR for around $1100.00 typically ($795.00 at GrabAGun), so Koenig was shooting against competitors with rifles that cost nearly twice as much. That’s impressive.

Koenig Wins Production Class at two Spring PRS Matches
Koenig took home a pair of Production Division titles at this year’s WAR Rifles Shootout and MAP Spring Shootout Precision Rifle Series (PRS) matches.

With a final score of 128.00 and a time of 58.51, team captain Doug Koenig took first place in Production Division at the WAR Rifle Shootout PRS match in Mount Victoria, MD. The WAR Rifle Shootout has a challenging 22-stage course of fire. Along with winning Production Division, Koenig also finished twelfth overall. “The tough course of fire and 15-25 mph winds at the War Rifle match were brutal, but my Precision Rifle, equipped with a Leupold VX-3i LRP and loaded with Hornady ammunition, continued to perform,” said Koenig.

Koenig then secured another Production Division win at the MPA Spring Shootout held at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, GA with a final score of 173.00 and a time of 58.89. “The MPA match had some long shots out to 800-1356 yards, but my factory rifle got the job done and helped me win my third production class title in a row. That proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to get started in PRS competition.”

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

According to PRS standards, Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration, and the retail price may not exceed $2,000.

Krieger Barrels Ruger Precision Rifles Pre-Fit Drop-In Chambered barrel RPR

Pre-Fit Barrel Options for the Ruger Precision Rifle
While PRS Production Division competitors like Koenig must stick with factory barrels, there’s no law that says you can’t upgrade your own RPR that’s not used in PRS matches. A barrel swap is probably the single best hardware upgrade you can make. A new custom barrel will improve inherent accuracy and shot-to-shot consistency. Krieger Barrels offers Pre-Fit barrels for the RPR in many popular chamberings including 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and .308 Win. These “Drop-In Ready” barrels come finish-chambered and threaded to fit the Ruger action, with factory-spec muzzle threads. The Ruger barrel attachment system allows correct headspace with a pre-chambered barrel. Krieger explains: “Thanks to Ruger’s proprietary barrel nut design, a competent gunsmith will be able to swap out your barrel using an AR15 barrel wrench and proper headspace gauges.”

Permalink Competition, Gear Review 4 Comments »
April 13th, 2019

Build Your Own Rifle with Affordable Howa Barreled Actions

Howa 1500 Mini action barreled sale action HACT trigger Brownells deal

Right now, Brownells is running a big sale on Howa Barreled Actions, in a wide variety of chamberings. You may want to pick up one of these barreled actions, which start at $259.99. We like Howa actions — they are smooth, and they feature an excellent two-stage trigger. Howa also offers a unique Mini Action, which is great for a small-caliber varmint rig.

Howa Barreled Action Basics

The above video shows the basics of the Howa barreled actions, which are offered in Mini, Standard, and Long Action versions, with dozens of chamberings, from .204 Ruger all the way up to .300 Winchester Magnum. If you’re not familiar with Howa barreled actions you should be. Each barreled action comes with Howa’s Lifetime Warranty and is guaranteed to deliver sub-MOA performance at 100-yards when using premium factory ammo. The Howa 1500 barreled action also features a crisp two-stage trigger, three-position safety, 70° bolt throw, M16-style extractor, two-lug bolt design and a flat bottom receiver with an integral recoil lug.

Howa 1500 Mini action barreled sale action HACT trigger Brownells deal

Howa Barreled Action Project Videos

Brownells has created a series of helpful videos showing how to put together an accurate rifle using a Howa barreled action. We think this is a sensible, cost-effective option for a varmint rifle, or entry-level tactical rig. Not counting optics, you should be able to assemble a good shooting, general-purpose rifle for under $700.00.

1. Long-Range Precision Rifle Build
Here the Brownells team puts together a nice tactical rifle in an MDT modular aluminum chassis made specifically for the Howa 1500 action. Attached, AR-style, to the back end of the chassis, is a Luth-AR adjustable buttstock also sold by Brownells. An EGW Picatinny rail is fitted to the action for mounting a Nightforce optic. As you can see in the video, the entire build takes less than 10 minutes. Using this Howa 1500 heavy-barreled action, you can save hundreds over the cost of a factory tactical rifle, and we bet the accuracy will be better than you’ll get with some popular brands. We’ve seen heavy-barreled Howas shoot well under 1 MOA.

2. Hunting Rifle Build
In this video, Brownells puts together a general-purpose hunting rifle using the Howa 1500 barreled action. This was attached to a Hogue Overmolded stock with internal aluminum bedding block. Fitted to the top of the action is an EGW Picatinny Rail with a Sig Sauer scope in Leupold rings. As with the Precision Rifle build above, the entire assembly process took less than ten minutes. This was done with a standard-length Howa action, but the same procedure could be used with the Howa Mini Action, or a Long Action. NOTE: No separate bedding compound was used here. That’s an option that would extend build time significantly.

Check out the Prices for Howa Barreled Actions
Here are some of the Howa Barreled Actions currently in stock at Brownells. NOTE: This is just a partial sample — there are many other varieties:

.223 Rem, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Grendel, Mini Heavy Barrel, $389.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 26″ Heavy Barrel, $429.99
7mm-08, Std Cerakote, $579.99
7.62×39, Mini Light Barrel, $259.99
.308 Win, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $289.99
.308 Win, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $299.99
.30-06 Sprg, 22″ Sporter Barrel, Cerakote, $349.99
.300 Win Mag, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $279.99

Howa Barreled action sale Brownells PRS HACT Trigger

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 2 Comments »
April 5th, 2019

Half-MOA with Factory Ammo? Weatherby VMC Comes Close

Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis PRS rifle .308 Winchester American Rifleman
Three factory ammo types shot 0.53″, 0.55″, and 0.57″ respectively. That’s impressive.

Chassis rifles are hugely popular for PRS/NRL practical rifle competition. There are many good options for Production Class. You may not know that Weatherby, a company that built its reputation on hunting rifles, offers a great-shooting chassis rifle for PRS comps and other tactical disciplines.

Called the Vanguard® Modular Chassis (VMC), this rig has shown remarkable accuracy. Vanguard’s VMC features a Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) aluminum stock, Luth AR MBA-1 buttstock, and 22″ heavy barrel. The Weatherby Vanguard action is fitted with an adjustable 2-stage trigger. Priced at $1519.00 MSRP, this rifle can be campaigned in the PRS “Production Class”, which limits complete rifles to $2000.00 without optics. The rifle is offered in three chamberings: .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester.

Weatherby says its Vanguard Modular Chassis tactical rifle is very accurate. To back that claim, Weatherby offers a SUB-MOA accuracy guarantee — Weatherby guarantees the rifle will shoot .99” or smaller 3-shot groups at 100 yards when used with Weatherby® factory or premium ammunition.

Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis PRS rifle .308 Winchester American Rifleman

Near Half-MOA Accuracy with Factory Ammo (5-Shot Groups)
It turns out Weatherby’s accuracy claims are conservative. This tactical rifle is closer to a half-MOA rig than a 1-MOA gun. American Rifleman tested a .308 Win version of this rifle and recorded really stellar accuracy — close to half-MOA. What’s more, this rifle is not fussy — with a 1:10″-twist barrel it proved very accurate with six types of factory ammo, with three of types registering 0.57″ or better.

The rifle delivered near-half-inch 5-shot groups with two types of Hornady ammo along with Black Hills 168gr. The worst group of six ammo types tested, Black Hills 175gr, was 0.76″, still very impressive for factory fodder. With good hand-loads this gun could go well under half-MOA (for five shots).

Vanguard Modular Chassis FIVE-SHOT Factory Ammo Test Groups:

0.53 inches | Hornady 168gr Match BTHP (2718 fps)
0.55 inches | Hornady 155gr Steel Match (2612 fps)
0.57 inches | Black Hills 168gr BTHP (2608 fps)
0.66 inches | Federal Premium 168gr MatchKing BTHP (2659 fps)
0.70 inches | Hornady 155gr American Gunner (2697 fps)
0.76 inches | Black Hills 175gr BTHP (2603 fps)

NOTE: Group sizes are for 5-shot groups shot from bench at 100 yards with Caldwell pedestal rest and rear sandbag. Pentax Lightseeker 6-24x50mm scope. Velocities in FPS from PACT Chronograph.

READ American Rifleman’s FULL REVIEW of Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis Rifle

The accuracy testing was done by gunwriter Mike Detty, who notes: “My single best group was fired with Hornady’s Match 168-gr. BTHP ammunition. Five shots measured just slightly more than a half-inch. Hornady’s 155-gr. Steel Match ammo wasn’t far behind with a group of .55″. Also accounting for the small groups is the VMC’s wonderful trigger. It is a two-stage affair and the first stage has about 3/8” take up with about a pound of pressure until it reaches the second stage where another 1 ¾ lbs. was required to break the shot.”

Vanguard Modular Chassis FEATURES:
Action with Fully Enclosed Bolt Sleeve, Integral Recoil Lug
CNC-machined, hard-anodized, 6061 aluminum chassis
Fully adjustable LUTH-AR MBA-1 buttstock
Adjustable 2-stage trigger with 3-Position Safety

PRS Production Class Cost Limits
Production Division combined rifle and scope MSRP as listed on the company’s website shall not exceed $3,000 USD, the rifle shall not exceed $2,000 USD and the optic not exceed $2,000 USD. [Editor: For example, you could have a $2,000 rifle with a $1000.00 scope or vice-versa. The total system cannot exceed $3000. Rifle alone cannot exceed $2000.00 retail sale price.]
Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration.

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April 3rd, 2019

After Action Report — Gem State Stand Off Practical Rifle Match

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
Vu Pham takes a shot at the Snake River Sportsman Range in Oregon. Click image for full-screen version.

Vu Pham recently attended a great practical/tactical match, the Gem State Stand Off. This NRL-sanctioned match drew 113 shooters, including many of the best PRS/NRL competitors in the country. Vu says this was a great event: “The 220-round, 22-stage course of fire was fun, yet challenging. Every stage had a two-minute par time requiring 10 rounds fired at multiple targets. 113 competitors fired about 24,000 rounds without a single target failure.”

2019 Idaho Gem State Stand Off AAR
Target Distances: 300 to 1200 yards
22 stages/220 round Course of Fire
113 Competitors

Match Directors: Nate Lauerman & Seth Howard
Range Officers: 21 Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho
Event Date: March 23rd & 24th, 2019
Location: Snake River Sportsman Range in Vale, Oregon

“With technological advances in equipment, training, and ballistics, plus increased opportunities for competitors to fine-tune their skills, Practical Precision Rifle competition has become a perfectionist sport. The constant evolution of this discipline never ceases to amaze me. With competitors and manufacturers constantly pushing to gain an edge… there is no shortage of innovation.” — Vu Pham

Gem State Stand Off — After Action Report

Report by Vu Pham, NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club
I was fortunate enough to snag a last-minute slot for the 2019 Gem State Stand Off hosted by the Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho Club (PRSID). This is one of 17 National Rifle League events where competitors will battle for points hoping to secure a slot for the 2019 NRL Championship. The Snake River Sportsman Range is a beautiful venue in Vale, Oregon, near the Idaho border.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
The digital display carries ballistics info and elevation/windage tables from Vu Pham’s Kestrel. He says the unit really helps his performance.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher
From the hills looking down-range. Click image for full-screen version.

Hardware Report — Top PRS/NRL Gear for 2019

Modern Precision Rifle Comp Gear — Stocks and Chassis Systems
The traditional rifle stock we know has now moved to more modular and customizable designs. One product that caught my eye is the new XLR Industries Envy JV Heavy Fill Chassis system. After seeing a lot of competitors use them with good results, I think I will be giving one a try soon. Not being able to borrow a piece of gear because the entire squad is running ARCA can be a drag. Picatinny forearm rails have gone the way of the dinosaur with ARCA Swiss becoming the standard for attaching accessories.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher

Those like myself who may not want to give up their traditional-style stocks do have the option of modifying their existing stock with a universal ARCA rail from Henderson Precision. That company makes a variety of rails that fit a number of stock platforms.

Idaho NRL tactical Gem State Stand Off precision tactical competition match vu pham 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm Dasher

Rifle Support Options — Bags and Tripods
Tripods are also used a lot as front and rear support by the majority of the field as well. Support bags now come in every shape, size, weight, and material imaginable. Even the fundamentals of driving your rifle is being challenged by the evolution of “free recoil”. Instead of counting the number of hits for the day, the top echelon shooters count the number of shots they dropped.

Calibers of Choice — Small is Big — the 6mms Dominate
6mmBR Improved cartridges (6mm Dasher, 6BR Ackley) and mid-sized 6mms (such as 6mm Creedmoor) dominate the field. In addition we are seeing some guys running the 22 BR and 22 BRA, which work surprisingly well. [Editor: Run the ballistics with a .22 Cal 80-grainer and you’ll see why.]

Wind Monitoring and Ballistics
Kestrel Environmental Meters with Applied Ballistics are “must haves”. I have found my Really Right Stuff tripod and Vortex 12×50 Razor binoculars extremely useful for locating targets and going through the target shooting order before it was my turn to shoot. Watching what the wind and competitor’s rounds are doing before you are on the gun is a huge benefit.

Great Match with Great Shooters

Tough Competition with a Field of Ace Practical Marksmen
The field of competitors at this match was stacked. I heard there were 20 competitors in attendance who have won national-level PRS or NRL events. 20 top-echelon competitors mixed in with a solid field of shooters made it a tough for anyone looking to finish at the top.

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