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











January 16th, 2022

Ten Best Bolt-Action Rifles Ever — Do You Agree with This List?

Ten 10 best bolt action rifles shooter

A while back, RifleShooter online magazine published a list of the purported Ten Best Bolt-Action Rifles of All Time. Ten classic rifle designs (including the Remington 700, Winchester Model 70, Weatherby V, and Mauser 98) were featured with a paragraph or two explaining their notable features.

“Best” Lists Stir Controversy…
These Top 10 lists are always controversial. While most readers might approve of half the entries, there are always some items on the Top 10 list that some readers would challenge. Here is RifleShooter’s Top 10 list. What do you think? Are there some other bolt-actions that are more deserving?

1. Springfield M1903
2. Mauser 98
3. Winchester Model 70
4. Remington Model 700
5. Weatherby V

6. Sako L61/AV
7. Savage Model 110
8. Ruger M77
9. Tikka T3
10. Mannlicher-Schonauer

10bolt1402.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review No Comments »
April 18th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: 20 Practical 4200+ FPS Varmint Slayer

.20 20 practical varmint cartridge .204 Tikka lilja Warren

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

20 Practical Tikka Bolt Action for Varminting

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip No Comments »
November 25th, 2020

Ruger Completes Marlin Acquistion — New Marlins in Fall 2021

Sturm Ruger Acquires Marline firearms $30 million remington bankruptcy court

NewsWire: Sturm, Ruger & Co. completes Marlin purchase on 11/23/2020. Ruger CEO says Ruger plans to reintroduce Marlin firearms in latter half of 2021.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) announced that the closing of its acquisition of substantially all of the Marlin Firearms assets occurred on Monday, November 23. The agreement to purchase these assets emanated from the Remington Outdoor Company, Inc. bankruptcy and was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama on September 30, 2020. The purchase price of approximately $28.3 million was paid by Ruger with available cash.

Chief Executive Officer Christopher J. Killoy noted the excitement that has permeated the firearms industry in anticipation of the confluence of these two iconic firearms brands, “Since we announced the agreement to purchase Marlin in September, we have heard from countless members of the firearms community — consumers, retailers, distributors, writers, and collectors — who are delighted that legendary Marlin rifles are now part of the Ruger product family. We are excited to start moving these assets to our Ruger facilities and setting up the manufacturing cells that will produce Marlin rifles for years to come. We look forward to re-introducing Marlin rifles in the latter half of 2021.”

Sturm Ruger Acquires Marline firearms $30 million remington bankruptcy court

Previously, in October, Killroy noted: “The value of Marlin and its 150-year legacy was too great of an opportunity for us to pass up. The brand aligns perfectly with ours and the Marlin product portfolio will help us widen our already diverse product offerings. The important thing for consumers, retailers and distributors to know at this point in time is that the Marlin brand and its great products will live on [through Ruger]. Long Live the Lever Gun.”

Marlin History 101 from the Marlin Forum

“Marlin Firearms was founded in 1870, some 144 years ago, by Mr. John Mahlon Marlin. As such, Marlin rifles for generations carried ‘JM’ roll marks on their barrels to designate this homage. Marlin had cut his teeth in Samuel Colt’s factory making revolvers and pistols during the Civil War in Hartford, Connecticut. Then, he broke out on his own, starting a small shop in nearby New Haven.

The company specialized in lever action rifles, such as the M1891, which was updated as the 1893, then the Model 39, and still exists today as the Model 336. After Mr. Marlin died in the early 1900s, the company went from being family-owned to being a corporation, which made machine guns for the Army during World War 1, merged with Hopkins and Allen, then in 1924 went out of business.

Sturm Ruger Acquires Marline firearms $30 million remington bankruptcy court

It was then that the Kenna family bought what was left of the company for $100 and, for all but a decade, a member of the Kenna family remained the president of the company for the next 83 years. During that time, Marlin registered hundreds of patents including on side ejection lever actions, Micro-Groove rifling, the T-900 Fire Control System, and others.”

More recently, in the year 2000, Marlin acquired Harrington and Richardson (H&R), maker of break-action shotguns and rifles. Then in 2007 Remington bought out Marlin, including H&R.

Marling Forum Carbon Media

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
October 3rd, 2020

Ruger Buys Marlin Assets from Remington for $30 Million

Sturm Ruger Acquires Marline firearms $30 million remington bankruptcy court

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (Ruger) announced on 10/2/2020 that its offer to purchase substantially all of the Marlin Firearms assets was accepted by Remington Outdoor Company, Inc. and approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Ruger will pay the $30 million purchase price from cash on hand at the time of closing, which is expected to occur in October.

Sturm Ruger Acquires Marline firearms $30 million remington bankruptcy court

“The value of Marlin and its 150-year legacy was too great of an opportunity for us to pass up,” said Ruger President and CEO Chris Killoy. “The brand aligns perfectly with ours and the Marlin product portfolio will help us widen our already diverse product offerings.”

Sturm Ruger Acquires Marline firearms $30 million remington bankruptcy court

The transaction is exclusively for the Marlin Firearms assets. Remington firearms, ammunition, other Remington Outdoor brands, and all facilities and real estate are excluded from the Ruger purchase. Once the purchase is completed, Ruger will begin the process of relocating the Marlin Firearms assets to existing Ruger manufacturing facilities.

“The important thing for consumers, retailers and distributors to know at this point in time,” continued Killoy, “is that the Marlin brand and its great products will live on. Long Live the Lever Gun.”

Sturm Ruger Acquires Marline firearms $30 million remington bankruptcy court

Marlin History 101 from the Marlin Forum

“Marlin Firearms was founded in 1870, some 144 years ago, by Mr. John Mahlon Marlin. As such, Marlin rifles for generations carried ‘JM’ roll marks on their barrels to designate this homage. Marlin had cut his teeth in Samuel Colt’s factory making revolvers and pistols during the Civil War in Hartford, Connecticut. Then, he broke out on his own, starting a small shop in nearby New Haven.

The company specialized in lever action rifles, such as the M1891, which was updated as the 1893, then the Model 39, and still exists today as the Model 336. After Mr. Marlin died in the early 1900s, the company went from being family-owned to being a corporation, which made machine guns for the Army during World War 1, merged with Hopkins and Allen, then in 1924 went out of business.

It was then that the Kenna family bought what was left of the company for $100 and, for all but a decade, a member of the Kenna family remained the president of the company for the next 83 years. During that time, Marlin registered hundreds of patents including on side ejection lever actions, Micro-Groove rifling, the T-900 Fire Control System, and others.”

More recently, in the year 2000, Marlin acquired Harrington and Richardson (H&R), maker of break-action shotguns and rifles. Then in 2007 Remington bought out Marlin, including H&R.

Marling Forum Carbon Media

Sturm Ruger Acquires Marline firearms $30 million remington bankruptcy court

More Marlin Rifle Photos HERE: Marlin Firearms Facebook Page

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting, News 2 Comments »
September 28th, 2020

Remington Assets to Be Divided Among Multiple Companies

Remington Factory Bankruptcy chapter 11

This is a sad story. Remington, America’s oldest continuously-operated gunmaker, has collapsed due to debts and litigation. Through a bankruptcy proceeding, Remington’s product lines and other assets are being acquired by a variety of companies, including Ruger, Vista Outdoor, Sierra, and other large shooting/outdoor industry enterprises. Notably, Ruger will pay $30 million to get the Marlin brand, and Sierra will take over Barnes bullets/ammo business, paying $30.5 million.

The sell-off of Remington assets, specifically product brands, will be going forward through Federal Bankruptcy court, with an order expected Tuesday September 29, 2020. The Shooting Wire reported on 9/28/2020:

Although it won’t be formalized until approved at a hearing scheduled tomorrow (Tuesday, September 29, 2020) in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama, the breakup plan for Remington was filed yesterday. Barring something unforeseen, Remington and its associated companies will be divided among Ruger, Vista Outdoor, Roundhill Group, LLC, Sierra Bullets, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Franklin Armory, and JJE Capital [Palmetto State Armory]. Remington’s Lonoke, Arkansas, ammunition business will go to Vista Outdoor (with SIG Sauer as a backup bid), Sierra Bullets will acquire the Barnes Ammunition interests, Ruger will acquire Marlin, Franklin Armory will assume the Bushmaster brand (and related assets), JJE Capital Holdings will assume DPMS, H&R, Stormlake, AAC, and Parker brands, and Sportsman’s Warehouse will acquire the Tapco brand.

Remington assets will be divided among: Franklin Armory, JJE Capital, Ruger, Roundhill Group, Sierra Bullets, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Vista Outdoor. Roundhill will take over production of Remington firearms which will continue in Ilion, New York.

Remington Factory Bankruptcy chapter 11
Remington-owned brands displayed at Remington booth at SHOT Show. Photo by Remington.

Even with surging firearms sales in 2020, Remington Arms Company (Remington) found itself in financial trouble — with overwhelming obligations to creditors and investors. Accordingly, on July 27, 2020, Remington filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy — the second time in recent years.

Remington Factory Bankruptcy chapter 11

Remington, based in Madison, North Carolina, previously filed for Chapter 11 in March 2018. With major loan reorganizations, Remington “emerged nearly two months later, having converted more than $775 million in debt into equity for its lenders.” (Source: Syracuse.com.) However, despite this debt-restructuring, the company struggled with high interest costs and litigation related to the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. The perpetrator had a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle sold by Remington.

Remington Factory Bankruptcy chapter 11

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, News 2 Comments »
August 20th, 2019

Enter Now to Win Over $45,500 Worth of Guns and Gear

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

So, are you feeling lucky? If so, head over to the NSSF’s Gearbox Giveaway webpage. To celebrate National Shooting Sports Month (NSSM), gun and gear manufacturers are offering big prize packages — the Gearbox Giveaways. Enter to win rifles, pistols, ammo, and other valuable prizes. Total Product Value is over $45,500! Many of the Gearbox packages are worth over $3000 with the most valuable package worth over $5600. Enter as many of the Gearbox Giveaways as you like, but time’s running out — the last day to enter is August 31, 2019.

Shown below are all 17 Gearbox Giveaways ranked in order of value — starting with the most valuable prize package. You’ll find more details of the prize packages on the NSSF website. NOTE: You need to enter separately for each Gearbox Giveaway prize package. Good luck!

Gearbox GiveAway Page — SEE ALL Prize Packages »

1. ENTER TO WIN FN SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $5632.00

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

2. ENTER TO WIN PRIMARY ARMS RIFLE GEARBOX. MSRP $5237.00

Primary Arms Rifle Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

3. ENTER TO WIN THE MOSSBERG SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $4024.00

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

4. ENTER TO WIN PHOENIX WEAPONRY SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $4002.00

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

5. ENTER TO WIN PRIMARY ARMS PISTOL GEARBOX MSRP $3570.43

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

6. ENTER TO WIN SIG SAUER SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $3304.64

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

7. ENTER TO WIN DANIEL DEFENSE SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $2953.00

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

8. ENTER TO WIN AERO PRECISION SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $2883.00

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

9. ENTER TO WIN RUGER SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $2767.00

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

10. ENTER TO WIN GLOCK SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $2426.99

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

11. ENTER TO WIN AGUILA AMMUNITION GEARBOX. MSRP $1416.00

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

12. ENTER RCBS+HOPPE’S+CHAMPION+BUTLER CREEK GEARBOX. MSRP $1376.25

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

13. ENTER BUTLER CREEK+CHAMPION+HOPPE’S+RCBS GEARBOX. MSRP $1376.25

RCBS Hoppes Hunting Gearbox Giveaway contest August

14. ENTER TO WIN OTTO + LEUPOLD + VERTX + MAGPUL GEARBOX. MSRP $1235.64

Otto Leupold vertex Gearbox Giveaway contest August

15. ENTER TO WIN COLT COMPETITION GEARBOX. MSRP $1230.00

Colt 1911 Pistol targets Gearbox Giveaway contest August

16. ENTER TO WIN THE ACCU-TAC GEARBOX. MSRP $1113.95

Accutac bipod rifle rest Gearbox Giveaway contest August

17. ENTER TO WIN ODIN WORKS ALL-AMERICAN GEARBOX. MSRP $1088.00

AR MSR upper billet receiver Gearbox Giveaway contest August

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News, Tactical No Comments »
May 3rd, 2019

Carry Gun Bargains — Five Pistols under $250.00

Carry pistol $250 bargain ccw handgun review discount sales

We frequently receive inquiries about compact self-defense pistols. Many folks ask: “What’s a good compact pistol I can carry or keep in a vehicle during trips?” Of course, there is the Glock 19. And the new Sig Sauer P365 is quite good. But they are both around $500.00. You can spend half that and still get a reliable carry pistol with lifetime warranty and good ergonomics.

Here are five compact and sub-compact handguns, all available now for under $250.00. In fact, our final choice, the Keltec P32, is currently just $149.00. That’s a serious bargain … it’s a buyers’ market right now.

1. Walther Creed 9mm — $249.99 at CDNN sports

Walther Creed  9mm carry pistol handgun bargain cdnn sale discount

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $249.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

2. Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield — $249.00 at GunPrime.com

We like Smith & Wesson compact pistols. Many users find the grip more comfortable than a Glock, and we like Smith & Wesson customer support. Right now Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield on sale for just $249.00. This striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol features a 3.125″ barrel, thumb safety, and ships with two magazines. You’ll find a full review of this pistol, from a lady’s perspective, on Guns.com.

3. Ruger EC9 9mm — $209.99 at Brownells with CODE M8Y

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe striker-fired Ruger EC9 features a 3.12″ barrel and measures 6.0″ overall. This 1.07-lb EC9 is slim for easy concealment. Weighing just 1.07 lbs., this is definitely an “all-day carry” option. With Brownell’s current sale pricing and promo codes, you can get this little pistol for just $209.99 delivered (see right). You heard that right. Sale price is currently $219.99 with a $10 handling charge. However, during check-out you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost, so that your all-up price, delivered to your FFL, is just $209.99.

That’s a great price for a reliable gun backed by Ruger. Here is a recent review from verified buyer: “It’s an LC9 with fixed sights that are milled into the slide. Same trigger. Same frame. Sweet shooter. Perfect for concealed carry. Can’t beat it for the price.”

4. Taurus G2c 9mm — $184.99 with Factory Rebate

Carry pistol $185 bargain Taurus G2C ccw handgun review discount sales

This is a good little gun at a great price. Taurus is running a factory rebate through the end of May 2013. Palmetto State Armory has the OD Green-frame Taurus G2c 9mm for just $209.99 with FREE shipping. But the Taurus $25 Factory Rebate lowers your price to just $184.99 for this G2C. Or, if you like basic black, you can get a black-framed G2c for $174.99 after rebate. Despite its small size, the G2c has a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

5. KelTec P32 .32 ACP – $149.00 at GunPrime

Keltec .32 acp P32 P-32 pocket CCW concealed pistol handgun $149

Here’s a very small gun, in a small caliber. This is a choice for those seeking “ultimate concealability”. The P32 can be carried in a pants pocket, or small purse. The .32 ACP cartridge doesn’t have the stopping power of a 9mm of course, but this can be a good back-up gun (with ankle carry), or it can serve when a larger 9mm just isn’t practical. Currently Gunprime.com has the Keltec P32 for just $149.00. That’s just about the cheapest price you’ll find for a new American-made carry gun. The P32 has low-profile sites and a 7-round magazine.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Handguns 2 Comments »
January 23rd, 2019

SHOT Show 2019 — The Doors Open

anschutz rimfire .22 LR fortner match rifles shot show 2019

SHOT Show 2019 kicked off Tuesday, with tens of thousands of exhibitors, media members, and invitees streaming into the Sands EXPO Center in Las Vegas. This firearms industry trade show just gets bigger every year. We visited many of our favorite vendors including Capstone Precision Group (Berger, Lapua, SK, Vihtavuori), McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, Zeiss Optics, Redding Reloading, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Anschutz, and Target Vision/Longshot.

Here are some quick highlights from Day One of SHOT Show, a little bit of everything: Rifles, pistols, ammo, reloading gear, and some notable shooters.

Capstone Precision Group: Berger, Lapua, SK and Vihtavuori

Lapua brass ammo SK bullets scenar Capstone Precision shot show 2019

Capstone Precision Group showcased new products from its four companies: Berger Bullets, Lapua, SK, and Vihtavuori. Lapua showcases cartridge brass and loaded ammo, including new 6.5 Creedmoor ammo with the ultra-consistent Scenar-L bullets. Capstone also told us to expect large quantities of brass to be arriving in the USA soon, including the high-demand 6mmBR brass.

Berger bullets ELR solid match projectiles Capstone Precision shot show 2019

Berger will release new loaded ammo in Lapua brass. Options will include 6mm Creedmoor, which should be popular with the PRS crowd. In addition, Berger will offer an impressive new line of solid projectiles. These ultra-high-BC ELF Match Solids have optimal shapes to stay supersonic at longer ranges. They are an impressive option for the Extreme Long Range game.

McMillan — 6012-Yard Shot with ELR Rifle

McMillan Beast paul phillips elr rifle 6012 yard shot

At the McMillan booth, members of the Global Precision Group (GPG) Team showcased an impressive .416 Barrett ELR rifle. Team leader Paul Phillips explained how the team managed (on the 22nd shot) to hit a 48″x32″ target at the incredible distance of 6012 yards. Our friend Derek Rodgers, reigning F-TR World Champion, told us that this shows how the ELR sport has evolved. The rifle features a McMillan ELR Beast stock with a Bartlein Barrel on a massive BAT 50 action.The .416 Barrett rounds were loaded with 550 grain Cutting Edge bullets.

McMillan Beast paul phillips elr rifle 6012 yard shot

A Tacom Charlie/Delta TARAC prism system was fitted in front of the Nightforce scope, allowing the team to put over 625 MOA of elevation on the shot while still being able to see the target. The ballistics numbers for this 6012-yard shot are pretty mind-boggling: 625 MOA of elevation was required, and the bullet was in the air for 17.1 seconds!

New Products from LongShot Target Cameras (aka TargetVision)

TargetVision longshot camera system clay rhoden wife video cam

Our first stop at the show was at the LongShot Target Cameras booth. Here we met with company founder, Clay Rhoden, the bright young man who has created the best-performing wireless target cameras on the market. Most folks know Rhoden’s company as TargetVision, but Clay said they are re-branding as LONGSHOT Target Cameras, to help emphasize the extreme range capabilities of his latest systems (the top tier Longshot cameras can operate out to one mile and beyond). Clay showed us two new products, the latest target camera (with easy-to remove battery pack), and a special camera that will transmit video from a spotting scope to your mobile devices. See the latest products at www.longshotcameras.com.

Light-Weight Camo Hunting Rifles from Weatherby

Weatherby Mark V ultra lightweight rifle camouflage Cerakote Camo

Hunters can spend hundreds of dollars on the latest camouflaged clothing in order to blend in to their environment, so why do gun makers continue to produce shiny hunting rifles? Well, this is one thing Weatherby has gotten right with the latest Weatherby Mark V ultra lightweight rifles. The rifle has the option of a rugged, matte Cerakote finish on action, bolt, and barrel, effectively eliminating glare. And did I mention it’s light weight? The full rifle weights a mere 5.75 pounds for non-magnum calibers. Weatherby guarantees sub-MOA accuracy with factory ammunition out of the box. Add a decent lightweight scope and this rifle is ready for a long backcountry hunt.

Hot New Sub-Compacts from SIG Sauer, Kimber, Walther

Kimber Evo Walther CCP SIG P365shot show 2019

For shooters who carry concealed or simply prefer a more compact pistol, three new handguns really stood out at shot show 2019: the SIG Sauer P365, Walther CCP M2, and the Kimber EVO. All three guns had a similar weight and feel at roughly 1” width, 6” length, and 1 lb when empty. The P365 has an advantage with a 10 + 1 round capacity, compared to the 7/8 of the EVO and CCP M2, but the CCP M2 is more competitively priced with an MSRP starting at $469. Retail for the P365 starts at $599 and the Kimber a surprising $925. Expect to see these guns in stores between spring and summer of 2019.

Smith & Wesson — Handguns Galore and New T/C Performance Center LRR

Smith Wesson T/C LRR long range rifle revolver magnum shot show 2019

Smith & Wesson is not just a handgun company. It markets rifles under its own brand name as well as via its Thompson Center Arms (T/C) division. At SHOT Show 2019 we saw the T/C Performance Center LRR (Long Range Rifle). With a $1211.00 MSRP, this offers great “bang for the buck” for shooters competing in PRS production division. These rigs feature a modular aluminum chassis, 24″ barrel, and adjustable cheekpiece. Available chamberings include .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win. And of course S&W continues to make great wheelguns, include some very BIG magnum revolvers:

Smith Wesson T/C revolver magnum shot show 2019

At the Anschutz Booth with Company President, Jochen Anschutz

anschutz rimfire .22 LR fortner match rifles shot show 2019

The German company Anschutz remains a world leader in rimfire rifles. The company’s match rifles have captured countless Gold Medals in Olympic target shooting and biathlong competition. Here company President Jochen Anschutz (left) shows the latest Biathlon rifle, featuring the impressive Fornter straight-pull action. With Jochen is Steven Bolter, North America Custom Shop Director. We were pleased to hear that Anschutz will be offering a new line of 17 HM2 (Mach2) rifles soon. That is an effective varmint round that’s considerable less expensive than 17 HMR.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Handguns, News No Comments »
January 22nd, 2019

Industry Day at the Range 2019 — Highlights

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range

For folks in the gun industry, the third Monday in January is the best day of the year. Held in conjunction with SHOT Show, Industry Day at the Range lets us try out dozens of new rifles and pistols, as well as meet top gun designers and friends in the shooting sports. We saw some very great new products this year. Here are some of the most interesting “take-aways” from Industry Day at the Range, held in Bolder City, Nevada on January 21, 2019.

New Guns + Old Friends
Meeting old friends, and shooting new guns. That’s what Monday was all about at the annual Industry Day at the Range, a “hands-on” preview the day before SHOT Show opens in Las Vegas. Your Editor met with old buddy Jason Baney and Hunting Editor Colton Reid at the crack of dawn and headed out to the Boulder City (NV) range.

We were not disappointed — there was plenty to see this year. On display were a bunch of new precision rifles, a slew of new handguns, and some very exotic optics (including a turretless digital camera/riflesight).

Cool New Rifles and Chassis Systems

Savage MSR 10 Precision rifle new Stan Pate

Our friend Stan Pate let us try out Savage’s latest, greatest Modern Sporting Rifle, the MSR 10 Precision. Offered in 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win, this quality rig has many distinctive features, including side-charging handle, adjustable gas system, and convertible dual-angle pistol grip. This rifle proved exceptionally accurate on steel out to 400 yards. It is certainly one of the best AR10-class rifles we’ve tried.

Report from 6.5 Guys
Our good friends the 6.5 Guys (www.65guys.com) kicked off their 5th year of SHOT Show coverage at the Industry Day at the Range. At this event one can check out the latest firearms, putting guns through their paces with live fire demos. Here are two items that caught the eyes of the 6.5 Guys:

PGW Defense Timberwolf
Timberwolf rifle .338 Lapua Magnum Mag 6.5 Guys Ed Mobley

The PGW Defense Timberwolf rifle in .338 Lapua Magnum proved to be a relatively light-recoiling rifle considering the cartridge and overall rifle weight of 14.5 pounds. Even with gusting 7:00 o’clock side winds (with 20+ mph peaks), hitting targets at 1,000 yards was very doable — a reminder of what the .338 Lapua can deliver. Impressive rifle.

Oryx Chassis for Howa, Rem, Tikka, Ruger, and Savage
Oryx tactical hunting chassis Remington savage tikka Howa 6.5 Guys Ed Mobley

Oryx (an MDT brand) has introduced a chassis system for Howa, Remington, Tikka, Ruger and Savage actions that retails for $399. While it comes with a grip, the user can bolt on standard AR-15 grips. This affordable system comes with an adjustable cheek piece and length of pull.

Media Industry Day at Range SHOT 2019
Industry Day file photo courtesy CMG Marketing & Events.

Optics — New 7-35x56mm Leupold + Radical Israeli Sensight

Leupold showcased an impressive new scope that should interest F-Class and PRS shooters. Leupold’s new 7-35x56mm Mark 5HD optic had very good glass, and positive controls. At 33 ounces, it is quite a bit lighter than other scopes in this class. We don’t have exact pricing yet, but it should be much less expensive than a Nightforce ATACR scope with the same magnification range.

New Leupold 7-35x56mm Mark 5HD
sensight digital camera scope israeli SSR400

The new 7-35X Leupold models will be available with either milrad or MOA adjustments and advanced reticles. The milliradian models will be available in six reticle options: H-59, CCH, TMR, Tremor 3, and Tremor 3 Illuminated. The MOA version will be available with an Impact 60 MOA reticle.

Sensight SSR400 digital Riflesight
sensight digital camera scope israeli SSR400

A big step forward in digital optics is Sensight’s new SSR400 Digital Riflesight, basically a high-resolution digital camera with a microprocessor-controlled reticle. The system is self-contained in a lightweight, compact display that allows the firearm to be held and used as if it held a traditional rifle scope. The digital interface allows users to customize the display, record video, and even livestream the image. The display eliminates eye relief issues, making it easy to acquire targets at distances up to 400 yards. Beyond 400 yards the image becomes noticeably pixelated, but still allowed us to easily hit targets at that distance. The price is moderate.

Read Detailed Sensight SSR400 REVIEW on GunsAmerica.com »

Handguns — Rimfire and Centerfire

Industry day range january 2019

We viewed hundreds of pistols, shot a dozen or so, and came away with four we really liked. Two were suppressed rimfire pistols, and two were centerfire “Race guns”.

Ruger .22 LR MARK IV 22/25 Gold With Suppressor
Industry day range january 2019

We had fun trying out the Ruger MARK IV™ 22/45™ LITE fitted with a factory suppressor. Ruger had a new “bling” version on hand for test shooting. This was the Model 43926, with gold anodized aluminum upper receiver. This is ported for lightness — this pistol weighs just 25 ounces (without suppressor).

KelTec CP33 Suppressed Rimfire Pistol
keltec cmr-30 pistol .22 WMR

We shot a very impressive KelTec pistol derived from the KelTec CMR-30 .22 WMR carbine. This new CP33 pistol is mostly the same as the CMR-30, but with no stock and a different front section. The 33 in the name refers to the fact that the clear magazine holds 33 rounds of .22 LR ammo. The version we shot was suppressed, and it was a pleasure to shoot. The trigger is excellent — noticeably better than most other 22s on the market. With virtually no recoil, it was ultra-quiet and surprisingly accurate. This Editor was surprised that a KelTec was one of his favorite new handguns at Industry Day. KelTec says the first production run should start shipping in March, 2019.

Walther PPQ Q5 Match SF (Steel Frame)
SAS Bul Armory race gun 1911

Walther’s PPQ Q5 has been popular with action pistol competitors. Now Walther offers an enhanced SF (“Steel Frame”) version. We like how the pistol balances with the heavier, beefier steel frame. We expect the extra mass of the steel frame will also reduce muzzle flip and perceived recoil. This is available from Walther with iron sights or a Red Dot.

Bul Armory SAS 1911-Type Race Gun
SAS Bul Armory race gun 1911

Israel’s Bul Armory offers a wide range of defensive handguns and target pistols, including the SAS series of competition pistols. These impressive “Race Guns” feature compensators, relieved slides, flared magwells, and excellent match triggers. Needless to say these comp pistols are a hoot to shot — with superfast cycle rates for fast shot transitions.

Media Industry Day at Range SHOT 2019
Industry Day file photo courtesy CMG Marketing & Events.

Ammunition — Big News from Sierra and More

Sierra Will Offer Loaded Ammunition
The big news in the world of commercial ammunitions come from Sierra bullets. For the first time, Sierra will be offering Sierra-branded loaded ammo. Our good friend (and multi-time Nat’l Long Range Champion) Michelle Gallagher revealed that Sierra will offer a selection of high-quality factory ammunition in 2019.

Sierra Bullets Ammunition gamechanger

Sierra will be releasing its own brand of hunting ammunition. Sierra “Gamechanger” will debut in five popular hunting calibers: .243 Win, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, and .308 Win. The rounds use a new tipped GameKing bullet for match grade accuracy in a hunting round. No details yet on brass, primer, and powder components for this ammo, but if the quality of the bullets is any indication these rounds will serve hunters well.

Norma Bullet monolithic solid hollowpoint

New Norma Monolithic Hollow Point Ammo
Norma unveiled some impressive new pistol ammunition. The new MHP (Monolithic Hollow Point) offers extreme expansion with major energy transfer. This MHP bullet features a lead-free solid core. This new MHP ammo offers serious performance for regions where lead-core bullets are prohibited. Accuracy is also very good with these new Norma bullets.

Great Products for Hunters and Varminters

We saw some impressive gear for game hunters and varminters. Swagger bipods has introduced a new kind of rifle support that combines the best qualities of both a field bipod and shooting sticks. And we saw a nice swivel field bench that offered very good stability.

Swagger Bipod hunting shooting sticks

Swagger demonstrated its new Stalker QD42 (quick detach) and Stalker Lite bipods. The QD42 is a lighter, more compact design of the already-established hunter series that allows for fast attach and removal via the push of a button. The quick attach/detach is a great feature that allows hunters to carry the bipod in their pack until it’s time to shoot. The Stalker Lite offers similar advantages in that it is extremely light and folds up like tent poles so it can be carried in a pack or side pocket. Both systems demonstrate the maneuverability swagger is known for and are reasonably priced.

Swagger Bipod hunting shooting sticks

Many Industry Day exhibitors were using the well-made and versatile DOA Shooting Bench. These benches feature a strong steel base supporting a very stable top that rotates to change rifle aim points in seconds. In addition, the DOA bench features a swivel seat. We liked the build quality on these DOA benches. Varmint hunters would like this bench — it would work well in a prairie dog field.

About Industry Day and the Range

With two dozen shooting bays, plus an elevated shooting station with targets out to 400 yards, there is plenty of action. Here’s the layout:
Media Industry Day at Range SHOT 2019

We definitely need to remember why we are able to continue to own and shoot firearms in this nation…
dog with ear muffs lens

Next best thing to being there — this 5-minute video, produced last year, shows Industry Day highlights. It’s a great overview featuring a wide variety of rifles, pistols and shotguns. The biggest commercial, hands-on “live fire” gun demonstration in the world, Industry Day at the Range is attended by over 1700 journalists and buyers.

keltec cmr-30 pistol .22 WMR

Media Industry day at range shot show 2019 Boulder City Nevada

Permalink Gear Review, Handguns, New Product, News, Optics 2 Comments »
December 28th, 2018

Hot Handguns — Best Selling Semi-Auto Pistols and Wheelguns

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol Sig P320 gunbroker

Looking to acquire a handgun for personal protection of home and family? There are countless options on the market. Your buying decision may be simplified by seeing what other consumers have chosen, as revealed by nationwide sales trends. You can now check firearms sales figures using “Gun Genius”, a new data-crunching service of Gunbroker.com. On GunGenius.com you can select any type of firearm (handgun, rifle, shotgun)* and see the top sellers for that category.

Here are the five (5) top-selling NEW semi-auto pistols for November 2018:

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol handgun Sig Ruger Keltec gunbroker

And here are the five (5) top-selling NEW Revolvers for November 2018:

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol revolver Sig P320 gunbroker

*Chose semi-auto pistols, revolvers, semi-auto rifles, bolt-action rifles, lever-action rifles, single-shot rifles, semi-auto shotguns, pump shotguns, and more. You can also filter for sales trends (upwards and downwards). Drill down to see detailed product specifications and current prices.

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals No Comments »
October 17th, 2018

Rimfire Challenge Worlds on Shooting USA TV This Week

NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship Cavern Cove Alabama

The Rimfire Challenge is just about the most fun you can have with .22 LR pistols and rifles. This week Shooting USA TV features the 2017 Rimfire Challenge World Championship hosted at the Cavern Cove Rimfire Range in Woodville, Alabama. This major match attracts hundreds of competitors from around the nation. It’s fast and fun with instant feedback from ringing plates indicating hits. The Rimfire Challenge Championship is family-friendly event that’s great for all skill and experience levels.

Shooting USA TV Airs Wednesday Night on the Outdoor Channel:
9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central

NSSF Rimfire Challenge World Championship Cavern Cove Alabama

The 2017 Rimfire Challenge World Championship brought 350 competitors to Alabama from as far as California and Washington State to shoot .22 LR rimfire pistols and rifles on 14 challenging stages, all with steel plate targets. The Challenge is designed to attract first-time competitors. “Our mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. And to see all these young kids out here with their parents and their families all shooting together and enjoying the shooting sports. That’s what it’s all about, ” says Tisma Juett with the NSSF.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge
Photo Courtesy Rockford Sportsmans Club.

The Challenge offers plenty of action, with fourteen (14) stages of fire — each with a wide variety of steel plates. There is no set pattern or design, so each stage is different. You need to be fast AND accurate — you get penalty points for missing any plates. Scores are based on time for each stage, with add-ons for penalties. As with most action shooting games — it’s always best to shoot “clean” (no misses), even if you slow down a little bit.

At the 2016 NSSF Rimfire Challenge Championship Smith & Wesson was on hand with demo rifles and pistols. See the action in the S&W-produced video above. Competitive shooting is one activity in which entire families, both oldsters and youngsters, can come together in a supervised setting to enjoy the spirit and camaraderie of competition.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge Basics
The Rimfire Challenge is a two-gun event so you need a rifle and a handgun (which can be either a semi-auto pistol, or revolver). There are two divisions: 1) Open — Any firearm (pistol or revolver in handgun class) with scopes, optical sights, light gathering scopes, battery powered optics or lasers; and 2) Limited — Pistols and rifles with iron sights, adjustable metallic sights, and/or fiber optic. Bolt-action rifles and lever-action rifles are allowed, but self-loading (semi-auto) rifles are most popular because they can shoot quickly.

Many different stage designs can be employed at Rimfire Challenge matches. Here are two examples from the Rimfire Challenge Suggested Courses of Fire:

NSSF Rimfire Challenge

Rimfire Rifle of Choice: S&W M&P 15-22
If you want to shoot both Limited and Open class, a very good rifle choice rifle is the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. The feel, weight, and controls will be familiar to any AR owner. These 15-22s have been refined over the years and now are very reliable. Shoot it in Limited Class with the standard iron sights. Then fold down the sights and attach a 1-4X optic to shoot Open Class.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge M&P 15-22 smith Wesson

Rimfire Challenge Organizational Change for 2018
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced that, starting in January, 2018, the NSSF Rimfire Challenge will be transitioned to a new organization: the Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association. Originally developed by Ruger’s Ken Jorgenson, TV host Michael Bane and the late Nelson Dymond, the program was first known as the Ruger Rimfire Challenge. NSSF took over the the program in 2014, changing its name to the NSSF Rimfire Challenge. The new organization will be led once again by Ken Jorgensen and Michael Bane.

Permalink - Videos, Competition No Comments »
August 14th, 2018

6.5 Creedmoor Hunting Rifle Upgrade — Re-Stocking a Ruger

Ruger American Rifle Predator 6.5 Creedmoor Boyds Stock inletting bedding

The NRA’s American Rifleman showcased an interesting project this week — an upgraded Ruger American Rifle Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor. The video below shows how a laminated wood stock from Boyds Gunstocks was adapted for the Ruger. A Boyds Prairie Hunter model in gray laminate was selected. This was custom-bedded to the Ruger’s action using Brownell’s Acraglas.

Ruger American Rifle Predator 6.5 Creedmoor Boyds Stock inletting beddingAll Ruger American Rifle models employ dual aluminum V-Blocks to support the action. These fit slots in the underside of the action. Boyds makes its own version of these V-Blocks which were installed in the Boyds stock to secure the action.

Project leader Joe Kurtenbach says the size, shape, and geometry of the Boyds V-Blocks is very accurate, so they fit the Ruger action well. To further support the action, Acraglas bedding compound was applied to the inside of the stock, after release compound was applied to the barreled action. With this DIY bedding job, the Boyds laminated stock is definitely an improvement over this original “Tupperware” factory stock.

Ruger American Rifle Predator 6.5 Creedmoor Boyds Stock inletting bedding

DIY Bargain Hunter Upgrade
American Rifleman states: “The Ruger American has some great features—hammer-forged barrel, reliable action, crisp trigger — but many would not consider the molded, polymer stock to be among them. Luckily, there are aftermarket options to enhance the rifle’s utility and aesthetics. A durable, attractive stock from Boyds Gunstocks and some DIY action bedding, using Brownells Acraglas, is the next step in the precision-driven hunting rifle build.”

Choice of Gun and 6.5 Creedmoor Chambering
For this project, American Rifleman’s Joe Kurtenbach selected one of his favorite cartridges, the 6.5 Creedmoor. Introduced in 2007 by Hornady, the accurate, flat-shooting 6.5 Creedmoor has proven very popular with both hunters and tactical/PRS shooters. The Ruger American Rifle Predator was chosen for its affordable price, reliable action, and Ruger Marksman adjustable trigger.

In this video, Kurtenback explains how and why the 6.5 Creedmoor chambering and Ruger American Rifle were chosen for the Precision Hunter rifle build project.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
July 2nd, 2018

Gun Industry Production Trends — S&W Is Now Number One

Shooting Industry News production NICS statistics report 2016 2018
This gun production chart appears in the July 2018 issue of Shooting Industry magazine. Factoid: U.S. total firearms production has more than tripled since we launched this website in 2004.

Move over Ruger, Remington, Savage … Smith & Wesson is the new Big Kid on the Block. According to 2016 firearms industry production reports from Shooting Industry magazine, S&W has taken over as the number one firearms producer in the United States. That’s good news for S&W, but bad news for Ruger, which had been number one for the past eight years.

Read Full U.S. Firearms Industry Annual Report »

Smith & Wesson was the top overall U.S. firearms manufacturer in 2016 with 2,120,910 firearms produced, a stunning 44% increase over the previous year. Ruger was second in 2016 with 1,981,590 firearms, an 18.8% gain over 2015. The last time S&W was ranked number one was way back in 2007. While S&W is generally seen as a handgun maker, it also produces a wide variety of rifles both under the S&W banner and its subsidiary Thompson/Center Arms. Last year the historic Smith & Wesson enterprise was officially renamed American Outdoor Brands Corp. (NASDAQ: AOBC) in part to reflect the fact that it is more than just a handgun maker.

Shooting Industry News production NICS statistics report 2016 2018

Key Industry Production Numbers in 2016

There were some other interesting facts revealed in the Shooting Industry magazine report:

1. For only the second time ever, U.S. gun-makers produced over 10 million firearms (rifles, pistols, and shotguns) in 2016. The 10,664,318 total was nearly 20% more than in 2015.

2. For the first time ever, in 2016 American gun-makers produced over 4 million rifles. The 4,239,335 rifle output set a new high mark, that was 6.5% more than the previous record year, 2013 (3,979,570).

3. A record number of handguns were also produced in 2016. The 5,576,366 pistols produced in 2016 marked a 7.9% increase from 2013, the previous record-holding year (5,167,008).

4. Gun sales increased dramatically in 2016, influenced by fears over the election: “NICS background checks achieved record-setting levels in 2016 — with 15,700,471 background checks (NSSF-Adjusted), an increase of 10.2 percent over 2015 (14,244,240 [NSSF-Adjusted]).”

Shooting Industry News production NICS statistics report 2016 2018Top Overall U.S. Firearms Manufacturers in 2016
(Percentage change over 2015)
• Smith & Wesson: 2,120,910 (+44.0%)
• Ruger: 1,981,590 (+18.8%)
• Remington: 1,240,665 (+8.5%)
• SIG Sauer: 633,533 (+27.4%)
• O.F. Mossberg: 508,466 (+0.8%)

Top U.S. Rifle Makers:
(Percentage change over 2015)
• Remington: 769,942 (-0.5%)
• Ruger: 701,992 (+6%)
• Anderson Mfg.: 453,763 (+51.1%)
• Smith & Wesson: 396,710 (+89.7%)
• Savage Arms: 311,878 (-18.3%)

Top U.S. Handgun Makers:
(Percentage change over 2015)
• Smith & Wesson: 1,724,131 (+36.4%)
• Ruger: 1,279,415 (+27.4%)
• SIG Sauer: 581,807 (+26.6%)
• Glock: 368,140 (+70%)
• Kimber: 223,785 (+69.6%)

Current Outlook for American Firearms Industry
So far, 2018 has been a fairly tough year for the gun industry: “The U.S. firearms industry finds itself at a crossroads in 2018. Facing attacks from state governments, financial institutions, tech companies and students (all while experiencing sluggish demand) it’s currently in a challenging position.” However, there are many indicators that the gun industry is still strong. Kimber and Tauras have both opened new factories in the U.S. Southeast, and Remington has emerged from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy with creditors exchanging debt for equity: “It is morning in Remington country — We are excited about the future…” said Anthony Acitelli, Remington CEO.

For more insights, read the full version of the U.S. Firearms Industry 2018 Report. There are many more detailed charts and tables breaking down production, imports, and exports. This appears in the July 2018 issue of Shooting Industry Magazine.

Click Here to Read Entire July 2018 Issue (Digital Version).

Click Here to Read All Past Issues of Shooting Industry Magazine (Digital Versions)

Industry News Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Handguns, News No Comments »
May 14th, 2018

BargainFinder 138: 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. CDNN — Ruger 17 HMR Rifle with Scope and Ammo, $299.99

Ruger American Rimfire 17 HMR Rifle Bushnell scope CCI A17 Ammo sale

Here’s everything a varminter needs — rifle, scope, sling, and ammo — all for under $300.00. For fans of the 17 HMR, this deal is hard to beat. You get the bolt-action Ruger American Rimfire rifle chambered in 17 HMR, plus Bushnell A17 Rimfire Scope with Multi-X Reticle, plus 200 rounds of CCI A17 17grain Varmint Ammo (very good stuff), and a Winchester sling — all for just $299.99. If you figure the scope is worth $100 and the CCI ammo would cost $48.00, then you’re getting the Ruger rifle for $151.99. That’s highway robbery. Full Deal HERE.

2.Natchez — Hornady Progressive Press, $379.99

Hornady Lock N Load AP Progressive Press Sale Rebate Discount

If you need large quantities of pistol or rifle ammo, it makes sense to get a progressive press. This auto-indexing, 5-station press will give you one loaded round for every complete cycle of the loading handle. We’ve used this Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Progressive press and can confirm that it works well. We actually prefer the rotary powder measure to the sliding powder system on Dillon progressives. We find it much easier to change load weights with the Hornady system (which uses inserts), and it is more precise with certain types of powder. Right now you can save $120.00 with the $379.99 sale. Plus press purchasers qualify for 500 free bullets through the Hornady Rebate Program.

3. EuroOptics — Leica CRF 2000, $399.00

Leica 2000-B Rangemaster Laser LRF Rangefinder Sale Eurooptics.com

This may be the best deal we’ve seen on the vaunted Leica 2000-B Laser Rangefinder (LRF) with 7-power optic. This unit is rated out to 2000 yards on reflective objects (in real-world use it will laze a deer well past 800 if you can hold steady). The Leica 2000-B features air pressure and temperature sensors, plus on-board inclinometer. Angle correction works out to 1200 horizontal yards equivalent, with the true hold-over displayed in both MILs and MOA. The compact Leica CRF 2000-B weighs just 6.5 ounces and measures 4.5″ L x 2.25″ H x 1.25″ W. It has a waterproof outer shell.

4. Brownells Discount Codes — Up to $20 Off and FREE Shipping

Weaver 46x48mm XR Competition Scope Amazon Sale

Shopping at Brownells? Save money AND get FREE Shipping with Brownells DISCOUNT CODES. Type in the three-character code during checkout to save money and get free shipping. These discounts apply to almost all Brownells items, with a few exceptions. Also the FREE shipping offer does NOT apply to Hazmat fees. Still you’ll benefit big-time with these Codes:

Brownells Coupon Code: M8Y — $20 Off $200 + Free Shipping
Brownells Coupon Code: NCS — $15 Off $150 + Free Shipping
Brownells Coupon Code: MDX — $10 off $99 + Free Shipping

5. Sportsman’s Guide — Ruger Precision Rimfire, $399.99

Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

The brand new Ruger Precision Rimfire could become one of 2018’s most popular rifles, if the success of its “big brother”, the centerfire Ruger Precision Rifle, is any indicator. This .22 LR rig offers a turn-key rimfire solution for tactical shooters, PRS competitors, and anyone who likes modular rifles. The Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle offers adjustable cheekpiece and length of pull, AR-style grip, free-floating M-Lok fore-end, and a 18″ barrel (1:16″ twist) pre-threaded for brakes or suppressor. Sportsman’s Guide sells this rimfire rig for $399.99 (or $379.99 member price).

6. Natchez — Weaver 36X T-Series Competition Scope, $389.99

Weaver 46x48mm XR Competition Scope Amazon Sale

Right now you can order the 36-power Weaver T-Series XR scope for just $389.99. That’s an awesome, but act quick — this price could change. Natchez currently has the silver 36x40mm Weaver XR for just $389.99 — a fantastic price. 36X is enough power for benchrest competition. And even if you don’t shoot benchrest, this is a great scope for load development or general accuracy testing. The 36-power T-Series scopes have a 40mm front objective and side-focus parallax control. You can also get this XR 36X scope in black for $439.99.

7. Amazon — AR500 Steel Target and Frame, $59.99

AR500 armor steel spinner gong target caldwell Amazon sale

Yes, you can buy a good AR500 steel gong for under $25, but then you have to figure out a way to hang it. It can be time-consuming (and expensive) to fabricate a mounting frame. Well, forget all that. Caldwell has come up with a spinning AR500 plate that comes complete with frame. On the Caldwell AR500 Steel Spinner Target, the urethane frame connectors let shots pass through, and the legs can be replaced with rebar if necessary. This is a smart, affordable design that has earned 95% four-star and five-star reviews.

8. Amazon — NRR 31 Muffs and Eyewear Kit with Case, $29.99

NRR 33 ear muffs eyewear shooting case ear plugs

Here is a great combo package that offers complete eye and ear protection for shooters at the range. The Ear Muffs feature a 6-piece noise filtration system that effectively blocks low, mid, & high range frequencies, giving them an impressive NRR 31 noise reduction rating. The muffs ship with a nice zippered case that also holds the supplied safety eyewear. This kit also comes with ten (10) NRR 33 foam earplugs. You can order the kit with either clear eyewear or smoke-tinted lenses.

9. Amazon — Jialitte Scope Bubble Level, $11.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This nicely designed Jialitte Scope Bubble Level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product — almost all verified buyers have rated this five stars.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
April 19th, 2018

Three Under $300 — Trio of 9mm Carry Pistols All under $300.00

CCW 9mm 9x19mm Pistols Brownells Bargain Smith Wesson Walther Creed Ruger

We frequently receive inquiries about compact self-defense pistols. Many folks (some of whom already own a full-sized pistol) ask: “What’s a good compact 9mm pistol I can carry or keep in a vehicle during trips?” Of course, there is the Glock 19. And the new Sig Sauer P365 is quite good. But they are both around $500.00. You can spend about half that and still get a very good 9x19mm pistol with lifetime warranty and good ergonomics.

Here are three 9mm handgun options, all available now for well under $300.00. In fact, our third choice, the Ruger EC9, is currently just $209.99 at Brownells (with promo code). That’s just a few bucks over two hundred! It’s a buyers’ market right now…

1. Walther Creed 9mm Pistol, $269.99

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $269.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

2. Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm, $249.99 with CODE M8Y

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe two-tone Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm pistol features contrasting stainless-steel slide and barrel. Weighing just 22.7 oz, this DAO pistol ships with two 16-round magazines, offering plenty of fire-power. Overall length is 7.2″ with a 4″-long barrel. Both front and rear sights are drift-adjustable. This is a nice medium-sized pistol that shoots well. The Smith & Wesson SD9VE is on sale now at Brownells. Sale price is currently $259.99 with a $10 handling charge.

SAVE MORE: During check-out at Brownells.com, you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost to just $249.99 shipped to your FFL. Under $250.00 for a nice S&W Nine is a great deal.

3. Ruger EC9 9mm — $209.99 at Brownells with CODE M8Y

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe striker-fired Ruger EC9 features a 3.12″ barrel and measures 6.0″ overall. This 1.07-lb EC9 is slim for easy concealment. Weighing just 1.07 lbs., this is definitely an “all-day carry” option. With Brownell’s current sale pricing and promo codes, you can get this little pistol for just $209.99 delivered (see right). You heard that right. Sale price is currently $219.99 with a $10 handling charge. However, during check-out you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost, so that your all-up price, delivered to your FFL, is just $209.99. That’s a great price for a reliable gun backed by Ruger. Here is a recent review from verified buyer: “It’s an LC9 with fixed sights that are milled into the slide. Same trigger. Same frame. Sweet shooter. Perfect for concealed carry. Can’t beat it for the price.”

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals 2 Comments »