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February 13th, 2016

Gunsmith Mike Bryant “Un-Retires” and Is Taking Projects Again

mike bryant gunsmith texas precision rifles
Here are some of the fine rifles Mike Bryant has smithed. You’ll find dozens more on BryantCustom.com.

Mike Bryant Custom GunsmithingTexas-based gunsmith Mike Bryant has decided to start taking work again. It seems that retired life was just a bit too sedate for Mike. This is great news for fans of precision rifles. Mike is an superb smith who has produced many match-winning competition rigs along with fine hunting and varmint rifles.

The services Mike can provide are listed on his “re-activated” website at BryantCustom.com. Mike will still continue to specialize in Rem Action-based and Custom Action-based rifles with customer-supplied parts. He explains his decision to return to the business he does so well: “Retirement was short with what the economy has done in the oil and gas business. I am back at least part time. I am Looking forward to serving my customer’s needs as I have done in the past.”

Welcome back Mike — we wish you success in your “return to the fold”. As before Mike will offer complete custom rifles as well as a full range of gunsmithing services including chambering, barrel-fitting, stocking, and action truing.

Contact Information:
Bryant Custom
7761 FM 592
Wheeler, TX 79096
Phone: (806) 826-5618
Email: Bryantcustom [at] gmail.com

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 2 Comments »
December 26th, 2015

Spots Still Available for Texas Youth Marksmanship Camps

Dustin Ellerman Marksmanship Camp Shooting Zavalla Texas Christian

You may not know it, but Top Shot Champion Dustin Ellerman is not just a great shooter. He’s also a youth camp director. Dustin runs a Christian-oriented camp in Texas. This spring, the camp will be offering weekend marksmanship camps for youngsters and teens. Dustin tells us that there are still a few spots available for the popular Kids’ Camp which offers a “Top Shot” type experience: “We have openings for the Kids’ Camps on February 20-21 and February 27-28. These are for kids ages 9-13. Sorry but the March 5-6 Teen/Parent Camp is full.” For more information, visit Marksmancamp.com.

Dustin Ellerman Marksmanship Camp Shooting Zavalla Texas Christian

At Camp His Way in Zavalla, Texas, Ellermann hosts weekend Marksmanship Camps for kids aged 9-13 and teens 14-18. The Christian-oriented camps focus on safety, marksmanship skills, and team building. Campers enjoy a host of fun skill-oriented activities: Airgun Shooting, Archery, Blowguns, Knife Throwing, Paintball Games, Slingshots, Tomahawk Throwing, and of course Rimfire Rifle Marksmanship with a variety of rifles.

Dustin Ellerman Marksmanship Camp Shooting Zavalla Texas Christian

The Kids’ (ages 9-13) Marksmanship Weekends cost $270. That fee includes all ammo, equipment, meals, lodging, team t-shirt, and one adult guest spectator. Parents are welcome to attend and spectate, but participation in marksmanship activities is limited to the kids at this time. CLICK HERE to reserve a spot — a few openings are still available.

Dustin Ellerman Camp His Way

Notice the young campers always wear ear and eye protection when shooting firearms. That’s as it should be. We wish adult shooters, including benchrest, smallbore, High Power, and F-Class competitors, followed this important safety practice.

Permalink News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
December 9th, 2015

Taya Kyle Wins American Sniper Shootout

Tracking Point PGF

Well the lady did it… Taya Kyle (Chris Kyle’s widow), triumphed over Bruce Piatt, reigning NRA World Shooting Champion (see below). Using Tracking Point “Intelligent” firearms, Taya won the much-publicized American Sniper Shootout, hitting every one of the 29 targets (Piatt hit only 58% of his targets). In the process, Taya earned $500,000 for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation. Here’s a Fox News Video covering the event, which was held Saturday, December 5, 2015 in Mason, Texas.

This unique competition pitted a novice shooter armed with Tracking Point’s rifle systems against a World Champion-level shooter in a head-to-head competition. There were 29 targets total, with a variety of shooting scenarios and distances.

Taya Kyle Earned $500,000 for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation.
Tracking Point PGF

To the surprise of many in attendance, Taya Kyle, the widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, soundly beat the reigning WSC champion. She hit every one of her targets, while Bruce missed more than 40%. Taya used Tracking Point’s precision-guided M600 and M800 firearms, while Bruce competed with M4A1, M110, and M2010 basic military rifles. Bruce certainly was motivated. Had he won the Shootout, he would have received a $1,000,000 prize. But, in the end, it wasn’t even close. Taya hit all the targets, while Bruce hit less than two-thirds.

The competition involved an unusual course of fire. Outdoor Hub’s Daniel Xu reports: “The American Sniper Shootout was unlike most other competitions. The environment was built to imitate the layout of Sadr City [Iraq], where Chris Kyle made his famous 2,100-yard shot on an enemy insurgent. The competition itself reflected war-like conditions instead of traditional shooting competitions and both shooters were tasked with making difficult shots. The most difficult part of the shootout was when Kyle and her opponent had to make blind shots from cover, simulating a scenario in which soldiers had to shoot while under enemy fire.”

Tracking Point PGF

While the Tracking Point “precision guidance” system helped Taya aim and break the shot precisely, the Tracking Point system does not call the wind. The “operator” must still make a wind call, input wind speed and direction, and then the Tracking Point system, using internal ballistics tables, will adjust the aiming point accordingly in the scope’s viewfinder/reticle. Apparently the system works well enough to enable Taya to prevail over a very experienced shooter.

Taya Kyle Shoot-out Bruce PiattBruce Piatt, 2015 WSC Champion
Bruce Piatt won the 2015 NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC). The WSC is a multi-discipline event involving pistols, rifles, and shotguns with targets out to 1K and beyond. Bruce competed against many top shooters including previous WSC winner SFC Daniel Horner of the USAMU.

Over his shooting career, Piatt has also won World and National titles in USPSA/IPSC, Steel Challenge, Bianchi Cup, Sportsman’s Team Challenge, Masters Pistol Championship, and the SOF Tactical 3-Gun disciplines.

Permalink - Videos, News 7 Comments »
August 9th, 2015

39% Increase in Suppressor Ownership in Past Year

Can Suppressor Moderator Silencer BATFE ATF Guns.com Registered NFA 800,000 suppressors in USA

There has been a huge growth in the number of registered suppressors in the USA. From 2014 to 2015, the number of NFA-registered suppressors rose from 571,150 to 792,282. That’s a 39% increase in just one year! It’s remarkable that there are nearly 800,000 suppressors now registered in the USA. These stats are based on data published in the latest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) Firearms Commerce Report.

According to Knox Williams, president of the American Suppressor Association, “The suppressor market grew more [from 2014-2015] than it did in the previous two years combined. This unprecedented growth is in large part due to educational initiatives, and the passage of 11 pro-suppressor laws and regulations last year.” (Source: Guns.com.)

We expect suppressors (also known as “cans”, “silencers” or “sound moderators”) to become even more popular in the years to come. This trend will continue: “As more target shooters and hunters realize the many benefits suppressors provide, their popularity across the United States will continue to increase,” said NSSF Senior Vice president and General Counsel Larry Keane.

Texas Leads the Way in Suppressor Ownership
Currently, 41 states permit ownership of Federally-registered suppressors. While suppressor ownership rates are increasing in all those 41 states, forty percent (40%) of all registered suppressors are found in five key states: Texas (130,769), Georgia (59,942), Florida (50,422), Utah (50,291) and Oklahoma (27,874).

Can Suppressor Moderator Silencer BATFE ATF Guns.com Registered NFA 800,000 suppressors in USA

Suppressor CAD drawing by Reimo Soosaar, hosted on GrabCAD.com.
Silencer infographic by SilencerCo.com.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 12 Comments »
May 24th, 2015

Vanishing Point? TrackingPoint No Longer Accepts Orders…

tracking point trackingpoint laser guided precision rifles halt orders bankruptcy
Above image is a screen-shot from www.Tracking-Point.com.

TrackingPoint, the Texas-based maker of expensive “Precision-Guided Firearms” with laser target tagging, has announced that the company is no longer accepting orders due to “financial difficulty”. Here is Tracking Point’s official statement, as posted on its website:

“Due to financial difficulty TrackingPoint will no longer be accepting orders. Thank you to our customers and loyal followers for sharing in our vision.”

Expensive System Doesn’t Read the Wind
Why has TrackingPoint stumbled? Some speculate that TrackingPoint’s products are simply too expensive for the general sporting market. (A TrackingPoint AR10-type .308 rifle retails for $14,995, while a bolt-action .338 TP costs a whopping $49,995!) Additionally, though the TrackingPoint hardware incorporates sophisticated laser target designation technology, the shooter must still call the wind and enter wind values. If the shooter badly mid-judges wind speed or angle, he WILL miss his target at long range, even with all the advanced technology. For this reason, some analysts believed TrackingPoint promised more than it could deliver in the real world. Doubtless TrackingPoint was hoping to secure large, lucrative defense orders, but those have yet to materialize. The wind-calling issue, and concerns over battery life, have emerged as barriers to adoption by defense agencies.

(more…)

Permalink - Videos, News 5 Comments »
April 16th, 2015

“Little Bitty Dots” — World-Beating Texan Shows How It’s Done

Here’s an example of world-class benchrest shooting. Charles Huckeba of Texas was the top individual shooter at the 2013 World Benchrest Championships (WBC) held near Sydney Australia in October 2013. In this video, 2013 WBC Two-Gun Overall winner Charles shoots a 1/8th MOA group at 200 yards — “a little bitty dot” as a fellow Team USA shooter observes. That’s impressive. If you can describe Huckeba’s style in a nutshell it would be “smooth, consistent, and rapid but not hurried”.

Charles also employed some unusual hardware. In the video, take a close look at the joystick on the Farley Coaxial front rest. There’s no knob at the end. In its place is a small, wood ammo caddy. Charles removed the standard knob from the handle of his Farley rest and replaced it with a home-made wood block that holds cartridges for the record target. The 10.5-lb Light Varmint rifle is chambered in 6PPC with a BAT Machine Action and a composite wood and carbon-fiber stock.

Watch Charles Huckeba Shoot 1/8 MOA, 200-yard group at World Benchrest Championships

Here is the actual 200-yard, 5-shot group Charles shot in the video. Photo (by Stuart Elliot) taken through the lens of Huckeba’s 50X March scope (reticle has 1/16th MOA Dot).
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia

Analyzing the Fine Points — What Makes Huckeba So Good

Short-range benchrest shooter Boyd Allen saw some interesting things in Huckeba’s WBC performance, as captured on video. Boyd noticed Huckeba’s smooth gun-handling and efficient loading. But Boyd also spied some interesting equipment, including an innovative joystick “handle-caddy”.

1. Low Friction Bags — When Huckeba slid his rifle, there was very little apparent friction. The front bag features the new 3M material (ScotchLite) on the sliding surfaces. The rear Protektor bag has ears of the same low-friction material.

2. Pause Before Chambering — While he was watching the flags and deciding when to start firing, Charles kept his first round in the action, but out of the barrel’s chamber, probably so as not to heat the cartridge and change the round’s point of impact.

Charles Huckeba PPC World Benchrest joystick handle3. Ammo Caddy on Joystick Arm – Charles shoots a Right Bolt/Left Port action, so he pulls his rounds with his left hand. Note that Huckeba’s record rounds rest in a small, wood ammo caddy attached to the end of the joystick shaft. Look carefully, you’ll see the wood ammo block in place of the normal black ball at the end of the joystick. That allows Charles to pull shots with the absolute minimum of hand movement. Ingenious! Huckeba is very fast, with a great economy of motion. I believe that because his ammo was literally at hand, Charles was better able to keep his focus on aiming and the flags.

4. Smooth-Cycling BAT Action — Note how smoothly Huckeba’s action operates. When Charles lifts the bolt handle (to extract a round and cock the firing pin), this does not disturb the rifle. Likewise, as he closes the bolt, the gun doesn’t wobble. The smooth action allows Charles to hold point of aim even when shooting relatively quickly. Huckeba’s BAT action is chrome-moly steel. Some shooters believe this metal makes for a smoother action than stainless steel or aluminum.

5. Long-Wheelbase Stock — The wood and carbon fiber stock is light, long, and stiff. Yet, importantly, the stock is also well-damped. The longer-than-average stock length (with extended forearm) seems to help the gun track well without jumping or rocking. The longer forearm allows a longer “wheelbase”, effectively shifting the weight distribution rearward (less weight on the front, more weight on the rear). This places a greater share of the gun’s weight on the rear bag, as compared to a more conventional benchrest stock. Huckeba’s stock, built by Bob Scoville, is at the cutting edge of short-range benchrest design. Its light-weight balsa wood and carbon fiber construction provides a combination of stiffness and vibration damping that allows its relatively long fore-end to be fully utilized to increase the weight on the rear bag (always an issue with 10.5-pound rifles).

To learn more about this benchrest stock design, read the comments by stock-builder Bob Scoville in our PPC with Pedigree story in our Gun of the Week Archives. Bob observed:

“There is a lot more to the structure of the stocks than meets the eye. The carbon fiber skin with which I cover the stocks creates a light, tough exterior surface. However, this contributes very little to the overall performance of the stocks. The real strength and stiffness is the result of an internal beam utilizing balsa core/carbon fiber technology.

This type construction can be found in aircraft, race cars, powerboats, and sailboats. It is interesting to note, balsa has the highest strength to weight ratio of all woods and carbon fiber is one of the lowest stretch (modulus of elasticity) relative to weight of all materials. The marriage of these two materials is common in the high-performance world. Additionally, balsa is used commercially for vibration dampening and sound reduction.”

Video find by Boyd Allen. Video by Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply, Brisbane, Australia.
Permalink - Videos, Competition 4 Comments »
March 3rd, 2015

Texas Triumph: 3600-Yard Shot with .375 CheyTac

3600 yard shot .375 cheytac texas

3600 yard shot .375 cheytac texas

They say “things are bigger in Texas”. Well shots are longer too. In this video, a shooter successfully hits a 1-MOA target at 3600 yards with a .375 CheyTac rifle. That required plenty of elevation to compensate for the bullet’s drop over its 2.045 mile trajectory. The shooter, Jim Spinella of New Jersey, needed a whopping 60.2 Mils of elevation (26.8 in rail, 22.6 in turret, 10.8 hold-over). Jim had to wait a long time to confirm the hit — with the metal gong situated more than than 2 miles from the firing line, it took the bullet 7.2 seconds to hit the target.

Big 350gr Bullets with a Wicked BC
The 3600-yard hit was made with CheyTac factory ammo using 350gr CNC-turned bullets. Spinella was impressed: “The ammo chronographed out at 3080 fps with velocity differences at no more the 7 fps, which was outstanding. We found the true BC over 3600 yards to average 0.810 (G1)”.

NOTE: You see three shots in the video, but Spinella took many more before a hit was achieved: “We peppered the 2 MOA area around the target with a couple of dozen rounds. We hit the rack the target is hanging on twice. This was a fun experience, and we took a lot of data away from it. We put a lot of work and planning into this in order to be in position to be lucky. So many things are ridiculously magnified at that distance. Every 1 mph change in wind [moves the bullet] about 6 feet. As the barrel heats up the velocity changes with it [and] 10 fps velocity differences, shot to shot, are almost 5 feet.”

This ultra-long-range adventure took place last September at the FTW Ranch in Texas. Spinella worked with a team of experts from Hill Country Rifles, builders of the custom .375 CheyTac rifle, to achieve a 3600-yard shot on a 36” round steel target. Hitting a target at 2.045 miles is no mean feat. That 36″ gong represents slightly less than 1 MOA at that range. A lot can happen to send a bullet off target during a 7.2 second flight.

Rifle: Hill Country Rifles custom .375 Cheytac,
Stiller Precision action, 29″ Krieger barrel
Optics: Schmidt & Bender 5-25X56mm PM-2 scope
Actual Measured Distance: 3606.41 Yards
Target: 36″ circular steel plate

Altitude: 2000 feet
Temp: 70 degrees
Elevation: 60.2 mil
Windage: 3.5 mil left

3600 yard shot .375 cheytac texas

CheyTac Caliber Comparison — .375 vs. .408
The shooter, Jim Spinella, prefers the .375 CheyTac to its .408-caliber Big Brother: “I shoot both the .408 and .375. Both are great ELR rounds and will get you out there a long way. In my experience, the .375 will get you out there a little bit further. My preference is the .375 Cheytac over the .408. This has nothing really to do with external ballistics. It has to do with fouling. My .408 will go from stellar accuracy to terrible between 40 and 45 rounds. It happens that quickly and accuracy returns after cleaning the barrel. I have never experienced this with the .375. After 100 rounds there is minimal copper fouling with the .375, but I clean around this round count. I don’t know why there is heavy cooper fouling in the .408, but it is common to this round and other shooters who shoot it regularly. That said, I lightly clean the .408 using Wipeout and go back to having fun with it after about 30 minutes.”

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 7 Comments »
February 13th, 2015

Chariots of the (Gun) Gods

Ben Hur

Ben Avery

Was this Ben Hur or Ben Avery? With all the wheels rolling around the place, the Berger SW Nationals looked a bit like the Chariot scene from the 1959 Hollywood blockbuster movie.

Folks attending a big match such as the Berger Southwest Nationals must haul a lot of gear — both to the range and from vehicles to the firing lines (and then back again). This transportational necessity has inspired shooters to develop a wide variety of modern chariots. Here’s a selection of the “wheeled contrivances” we found at Ben Avery This week.

Don’t mess with Texas. That kind of says it all…

Folding carts were the favored mode of transport. Yes there are TWO carts in the back of this SUV.

Grizzly President Shiraz Balolia, appropriately enough, customized his cart with ursine artwork.

This rig had a custom bracket to support a rifle vertically. This clever invention preserves space in the main cargo section.

Felix Solis of the U.S. Veterans’ Rifle Team customized his travel van’s interior. Rifles are secured upright in the left compartment, with shooting coats on the right.

The little red wagon offers four-wheel stability. This one even has its own license plate.

Wait a minute — is that a stroller? Actually these rigs can be easily adapted to hold rifles and rests. Check out Craigslist for low-cost, “previously owned” strollers.

Past F-Class Nat’l Champ Larry Bartholome was seen rolling around with a familiar cart. This cart used to belong to our good friend German Salazar. Hey German, we all miss your presence at Ben Avery…

Permalink Competition, Gear Review No Comments »
January 23rd, 2015

TrackingPoint Rifle Systems Employ Cutting-Edge Technology

technology Optics tracking point, laser rangefinder PGF

Gear Report by Kip Staton
TrackingPoint’s innovative technology has been on the market for a number of years now, and has proven to be a valuable long-range shooting tool. TrackingPoint is a Texas-based, Austin-area applied technology company that developed a unique, precision-guided firearm (PGF) system in 2011. TrackingPoint’s ordinary rifles in common calibers, designated with the XS prefix, are equipped with high-tech “networked tracking” rifle scopes.

CLICK to view full-screen image:
technology Optics tracking point, laser rangefinder PGF

These advanced optics are the heart of the company’s tag-and-shoot technology, and the entire setup is remarkably similar to the systems found in cutting-edge fighter jets. So, how does it work in the real world?

Pretty darn well, as it turns out. The shooter simply finds his or her target, centers his “X” reticle on it, and presses a “tag” button, which is usually integrated into the firearm’s trigger guard. This puts a digital “mark” on the target, and the optic remembers where that particular tag was placed for the duration of the shot. At this point, the system has already automatically performed all necessary distance and environmental calculations. The only other manual inputs needed on the shooter’s part are to enter the wind call, and press the trigger. And, the rifle even helps out with that part.

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

Because the tag was placed on a unique target, and is remembered by the system, the rifle won’t actually let the shot break until the shooter has lined up the crosshairs with the original tag. So the user may press the trigger, and nothing will happen… until the reticle is placed on the original tag. The rifle will then fire. For each Tracking Point shot, the elevation should be dead on. However the wind can still come into play — the TrackingPoint system does not sense the wind speed or direction. Wind values must be detected by the shooter and entered manually. Once wind speed/angle are entered, the TrackingPoint automatically calculates the needed windage correction (left or right).

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

The firing process (with the rifle’s brain doing the elevation calculation) can be somewhat disconcerting for shooters new to a PGF. But, this system holds promise, and can help shooters make difficult shots with greater confidence. In particular, the built-in ballistics solver means the trigger-puller no longer needs to worry about elevation clicks and/or hold-overs at any distance. The system calculates bullet drop at any rangeable distance and plots the correct point of aim. “X marks the spot”:
technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

The TrackingPoint system does much more than make long range shots easier to accomplish. The networked tracking scope is also a WiFi server. This means that the image seen through the ocular lens (by the shooter) can be beamed to an Apple iPad, which is included with the rifle. Hunting guides can then see exactly what their clients are viewing through the optic, and make suggestions or provide pertinent advice to the shooter.

If that wasn’t enough, TrackingPoint recently integrated the high-tech Google Glass hardware into their shooting system. By using eyewear with built-in displays linked to the TrackingPoint optic, shooters can make successful shots without looking directly through a rifle-mounted scope. The eyewear has a small display that shows the target(s) “seen” by the rifle’s optic. The operator can then take the shot from any position. You can shoot around a corner, or keep your head and torso out of view. The possibilities for hunters, competitors and real-world tactical shooters are nearly endless.

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

TrackingPoint’s unique rifle systems are available in both semi-automatic and bolt-action formats, ranging in calibers from .223 (5.56 NATO) to a proprietary .338 of the company’s own design. What do these systems cost? Well high technology does not come cheap. Rifle systems range in price from $7,495 to a staggering $49,995. But, for the right client and the right mission, perhaps no price for this technology is too high. That’s what Tracking Point is counting on….

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

Permalink - Articles, New Product 5 Comments »
November 13th, 2014

Aoudad for Dad (and Son) — The Pilants Hunt Texas

If you’ve ever visited the Sierra Bullets booth at the NRA convention or SHOT Show, you’ve probably encountered Carroll Pilant, a very knowledgeable fellow who serves as Sierra’s Media Relations Manager. Carroll loves what he does, and he’s a true firearms enthusiast. Recently Carroll had the opportunity to hunt Aoudad and a variety of other exotic game species in Texas. Joining Carroll on this Aoudad adventure was his son Hunter Pilant.

Carroll Pilant Auodad hunting texas

Carroll has authored an account of his Texas hunt for the Sierra Blog. Here’s a sample, with some photos. The full story also covers Javelina hunting. CLICK HERE to read to full story.

Aoudad Hunting in Texas by Carroll Pilant
Aoudad, also known as Barbary sheep, have been a passion of mine for the last few years. I saw my first wild Aoudad back in 1973 or 1974 while I was working on the U Ranch. The U Ranch was part of the King Ranch in Balmorhea, Texas. The ranch headquarters sets at the base of the Barrilla Mountains — rugged territory. Aoudad had been stocked in some of the high fence areas for hunting purposes along with many other exotic game animals such as Nilgi, Ibex, Blackbuck. Many escaped from the game ranches and thrived in the arid Texas and New Mexico country that is very similar to the areas they originated from. Texas classes them as exotic or non-game animals and they can be hunted year-round. For $48 you can purchase a 5-day nonresident special hunting permit good for all the exotics.

Two years ago, a good friend of mine in Fort Stockton, Texas arranged for me to hunt in the Glass Mountains on a nearly 400-square-mile ranch. I harvested my first Aoudad and that really whetted my desire to take a larger one.

My son, Hunter Pilant at Starline Brass, had already volunteered to go with me…. That would give us a little father / son time together. We were both busy and it put us scrambling at the last minute trying to get ammo loaded, rifles zeroed … and the vehicle packed. The rifle I chose to take was my Remington 700 in 7mm Magnum with the #1940 175 grain SBT bullet. Hunter was using a Savage in .300 RSAUM with the #2160 180 grain SBT. Aoudad are tough animals and can soak up a lot of lead, so you need to use a tough bullet.

We were lucky the first day hunting in that we had Aoudad right off the bat. We watched about 20 Aoudad (with three rams) feeding right under a cliff at about 1200 yards. About an hour of driving through really rough terrain finally put us in an area where we could come in from above. Guesstimating at where they were below us, Hunter went several hundred yards to my left and I just worked my way to the edge of the ledge above the cliff.

Carroll Pilant Auodad hunting texas

A quick plan was devised. Hunter would slip up to the edge of the cliff and hopefully they would be feeding below him. When he shot, we hoped they would come past me heading to the higher elevation. We were watching Hunter as he slipped up to the edge and I kept checking to my right, when I noticed a ram come over a ridge and start working his way down into a canyon out of my sight. I was afraid to shoot because it would spook the group Hunter was looking for. Since I had already taken animals the last two years, I wanted Hunter to get a chance. The ram I was watching disappeared into the canyon. I waited for him to come out but was afraid he had went down it rather than coming back up on my side. All of a sudden, he popped up over a point out in front of me at about 200 yards.

Photo of Hunter Pilant, the author’s son and hunting partner on this trip.
Carroll Pilant Auodad hunting texas

I got my rifle ready and decided to wait until I just had to shoot, hoping that Hunter would find the main group and get a shot. Hunter spotted a ram and shot. The ram I was watching whirled and started to run back the way he had came. I had a foot-wide gap in the cedar that I could shoot through and at the shot, I heard the bullet thump and he disappeared over the edge. CLICK to Read Full Story

Permalink Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
November 6th, 2014

Texas International Firearms Festival This Weekend in Austin

Ok, here’s the deal. Get yourself to the Austin, Texas area this weekend, and you can shoot a bunch of new guns from numerous major manufacturers. At the first annual Texas International Firearms Festival, avid shooters can try and buy the latest guns and gear. With more than 30 dedicated gun bays and dozens of ammo and accessory retailers, the Texas International Firearms Festival proves the old adage that everything is bigger and better in Texas.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill gunshow where you can only look at a bunch of guns indoors. At the Texas Firearms Festival this weekend you can actually “test drive” dozens of new firearms. Here are some of the big-name gun-makers offering firearms at the Festival: Barrett, Beretta, Cabot Guns, FN Herstal, Henry Repeating Arms, Sig Sauer, Tracking Point, Walther, Winchester.

The Festival isn’t free — but the price is more than reasonable considering the hours of fun you can have. A one-day pass, which includes the cost of ammo, is $59.00. A weekend pass for two full days of shooting is just $95.00 (ammo included). Purchase tickets at TexasGunFest.com.

Festival Location and Directions
The Festival will be held at the Best of the West Shooting Range in Liberty Hill, Texas. The address is 19500 W. SH 29, Liberty Hill, TX 78642. For driving directions, use this interactive Google map:

Our friend (and ace sharp-shooter) Kirsten Weiss will be at the Festival this weekend acting as a spokesperson. Maybe you can meet Kirsten and learn how she makes those amazing trick shots featured on her popular YouTube Channel.

Permalink Handguns, News No Comments »
October 1st, 2014

Long Range Shooting Made Easy (New Video)

Accuracy 1st Development Group, a training operation based in Texas, will soon release a new instructional video: Long Range Made Easy. This training video features Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting. Many of the shooters shown in the video use the new ABM ammo developed by Bryan’s Applied Ballistics lab for Berger Bullets. Check out the preview “trailer” for Long Range Made Easy.

Watch Trailer for “Long Range Made Easy”

Accuracy 1st Development Group

Accuracy 1st Development Group

Accuracy 1st Scope Levels
Accuracy 1st also sells some interesting products for precision rifle shooters. Check out this unique, curved-vial scope leveler ring. More precise and sensitive than other scope levels, the Accuracy 1st leveling device can detect 1° of cant. Displayed line increments represent 2.5° of cant.

Scope Level – Tan Matte Teflon
Including 30mm Reducer Ring
Scope Level – Black Anodized Aluminum
34 Ring Size
Scope Lever Ring Accuracy 1st Scope Lever Ring Accuracy 1st

You may wonder: “Why are these scope levels better than other similar products?” Accuracy 1st explains: “Our levels are of the highest quality and accuracy. Some scope level manufacturers use plastic housings, air bubbles and sub-par glass in their vials. In lieu of a straight bubble vial, Accuracy 1st utilizes a custom curved vial featuring medical-grade glass and a ceramic ball. The use of the ceramic ball eliminates the inherent flaws associated with air bubble levels, which at higher temperatures and pressure will compromise the bubble size causing level inaccuracies. Typically air bubble levels require 3° to 5° [tilt] to even register movement. By contrast, the Accuracy 1st custom level will read movement at a minimum of 1° and will extend measurements out to +/- 10°.”

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
July 2nd, 2014

American Rifleman TV Kicks Off 2014 Season

Hunter training safariAmerican Rifleman TV begins its new season tonight, July 2, 2014, on the Outdoor Channel at 6:30 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET. This week’s episode features the S.A.A.M. Hunter Training Program at the FTW Ranch in Barksdale, Texas. At this facility, ARTV staffers learn the basic principles of long-range precision shooting as part of the S.A.A.M. Safari Course. In the Rifleman Review segment the new Remington R51 is featured, and in the “This Old Gun” segment you’ll see the infamous handgun that started World War I: the FN Model 1910.

Watch Preview of 2014 Season Opening Episode of American Rifleman TV

American Rifleman TV is the on-screen version of the National Rifle Association’s American Rifleman magazine. American Rifleman Television covers firearms, the shooting sports, and gun rights issues. “ARTV is part of the larger American Rifleman brand,” said Editor-in-Chief Mark A. Keefe IV. “It’s a show about guns- we teach the history of them and the people who use them.”

Rifleman Feature
Each episode of ARTV is built around one primary feature segment. In that lead story, ARTV staffers may visit a firearms factory, attend a major shooting competition, or work with elite instructors at one of the nation’s leading training facilities. In this week’s season opener, ARTV’s reporters practice long-range precision shooting at the S.A.A.M. hunter training center in Texas.

Hunter training safari

Hunter training safari

Hunter training safari

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May 6th, 2014

Texas Gunsmith Gets Patent for Adaptive Multi-Axis Rifle Stock

Sisk Star modular adaptive stock rifleSisk Rifles had been granted U.S. patent # 8,720,099 for a “Multi-Axis Adjustable Buttstock”*. Several other patents are still pending. In the meantime, gunsmith/inventor Charlie Sisk is continuing to develop more applications for his modular, adaptive stock. The complete Tactical Adaptive Rifle (STAR®) rifle stock is now available for short or long action, left or right hand Remington 700s (and clones) for $1395. Complete rifles are available for $6495, built to order. Demos for law enforcement are available on request. To learn more about this stock and other innovative Sisk products, visit Siskguns.com.

Click Photo for full-screen version:
Sisk Star modular adaptive stock rifle

Charlie Sisk
SISK RIFLES
400 County Road 2340
Dayton, TX 77535
(936) 258-4984
Email: charlie [at] siskguns.com

*The patent is set to issue May 13, 2014, so it may not yet appear in patent databases.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 5 Comments »
April 20th, 2014

Great Deals from CDNNSports.com

Texas-based CDNN Investments, a large vendor of firearms and accessories, regularly offers great deals on guns and shooting gear. CDNN acquires overstock and discontinued inventory from major manufacturers and then sells this merchandise at a deep discount (way below MSRP). Over the years, CDNN has also specialized in law enforcement “buy-backs”, acquiring large quantities of “previously owned” police handguns, many of which have fired very few rounds. In addition to the overstock and trade-in firearms, CDNN maintains a huge inventory of new magazines and other gun accessories.

Great Prices at CDNN on Ruger 10/22 Rifles and Ruger 22/45 Pistols
The latest CDNN 14-1 Catalog has been released, and we found some great deals on Ruger rimfire firearms. If you are looking for an inexpensive, reliable .22 LR rifle and pistol for plinking with the kids (or dispatching furry pests on the farm), here are some great deals. The Ruger 10/22 is a classic that can easily be upgraded with aftermarket stocks, barrels, optics, and even triggers.

CDNN Ruger 10/22 a 22/45 pistol

CDNN Ruger 10/22 a 22/45 pistol

CDNN Launches All-New, Easy-To-Navigate Webstore
For 2014, CDNN has completely updated its website. At CDNNSports.com you’ll now find a modern, secure shopping cart system, with user-friendly navigation. Up top are tabs for Firearms, Optics, Accessories, Gun Parts, Magazines, Ammunition, and Current Specials. You can search by brand or keyword, so it’s now much easier to find specific products, such as grips and magazines for particular brands of pistols.

CDNN Investments Secure Webstore CDNNSports.com

Permalink Hot Deals, News No Comments »
February 25th, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Firearms Cases

U.S. Supreme Court Second Amendment Challenge young adultsThe U.S Supreme Court has declined to review two cases involving handguns and young adults in the 18 to 20 year-old age bracket. The first case, NRA v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, challenged a 1968 law which prohibits FFLs from selling handguns to any person under 21 (including adults 18, 19, and 20 years of age). Arguing that the Second Amendment protects all adult citizens, Petitioners argued that restrictions should be lifted for legal adults over 18 but under 21 years of age. The other case, NRA v. McCraw, sought to over-turn various Texas laws that prevent 18 to 20 year-olds from getting a handgun carry license.

Gun-rights activists have been pressing the nation’s highest court to accept the cases. Those advocates have cited various courts’ resistance to expanding gun ownership rights following the Supreme Court’s decision in 2008 in the Heller case that there is a Constitutional right to gun ownership for self-defense and in 2010 in the McDonald case that found the right applies to state and local gun-control efforts.

Writing in the SCOTUS Blog, Lyle Denniston observes:

The Supreme Court refused on [February 24, 2014], as it has done repeatedly in recent years, to settle the issue of whether Second Amendment rights to have a gun extend beyond the home. Since the Court first ruled nearly six years ago that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to have a gun, it has issued only one further ruling — expanding that right so that it applies nationwide, to state and local gun control laws, as well as to federal laws. But, without exception, the Justices have turned aside every potential sequel, essentially leaving it to lower courts to continue to sort out variations on the right.

One thing seemed clear from the denial of review of two of the new cases, the NRA’s challenges: the Court is not, as yet, ready to stop lower courts from creating an entirely new group in society with less than full gun rights. In those cases, it was youths aged eighteen to twenty years old.

Credit G. Salazar for story tip. We welcome reader submissions.
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January 12th, 2014

Magpul Moves Manufacturing Operations to Wyoming

Magpul leaves Colorado for WyomingAfter Colorado banned full-capacity magazines, Magpul Industries began looking for a more gun-friendly location. After considering various options, Magpul Industries has decided to move its manufacturing, distribution, and shipping operations to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The company said it plans to lease a 58,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility while a new 100,000-square-foot facility is being completed in Cheyenne. Magpul also plans to move its corporate headquarters to Texas. Magpul Industries currently employs over 200 people in Colorado, contributing over $80 million annually to Colorado’s economy. Colorado can kiss that $80 million goodbye, as Magpul plans to move virtually all operations to Wyoming or Texas.

Richard Fitzpatrick, Founder, President, and CEO of Magpul Industries, said that Magpul had no choice but to leave when Colorado outlawed Magpul’s “core products”. The company began a nationwide search for a new base of operations after legislation was enacted in Colorado that restricted the sale of firearms accessories — the core of Magpul’s business.

Magpul plans to transition 92% of its current workforce outside of Colorado within 12-16 months and will maintain only limited operations in Colorado. “Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important,” explained Fitzpatrick, who added: “This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion.”

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January 3rd, 2014

Texas and California Lead Online Ammo Sales

Texas is a haven for hunters and shooting enthusiasts, so we’re not surprised that the Lone Star State leads the nation in online ammo sales. However, you might be surprised that California, with its liberal, anti-gun politicians, is a close second. Yes, California was the second-most active source of online ammo purchases in 2013, according to statistics from LuckyGunner.com, one of the nation’s leading online ammo vendors. In fact, California was number one in 2012. For 2013, Texas edged California for the top spot, followed by Florida, Michigan, and (surprise) New York.

online ammo sales

online ammo sales

More Online Ammo Buyers are Using Mobile Devices (Tablets and Smart Phones)
More and more people are connecting to the internet via mobile devices. And, apparently, they are using those devices to shop for ammo. Luckygunner.com saw a significant increase in orders from mobile devices in 2013. Fully 22.7% of Luckygunner’s visits were made via mobile devices in 2013, compared to 18.8% in the preceding year. AccurateShooter.com has seen a similar rise in the number of visitors connecting to our site via mobile devices (particularly smartphones).

online ammo sales

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 1 Comment »
July 22nd, 2013

Great Article on Reading Mirage

South Texas marksmanship trainingThere is an excellent article about Mirage on the South Texas Marksmanship Training Center (STMTC) website. This article explains what causes mirage and how mirage can move the perceived aiming point on your target. Most importantly, the article explains, in considerable detail, how you can “read” mirage to discern wind speeds and wind directions. With simple but effective graphic illustrations, this is one of the best explanations of mirage (and mirage reading) we have found on the internet. This is a “must-read” for any serious competitive shooter. Here is a brief sample from the article, along with an illustration. NOTE: the full article is six times longer and has 8 diagrams.

The term “mirage” as used by the shooter does not refer to a true mirage, but to heat waves and the refraction of light as it is bent passing through air layers of different density. Light which passes obliquely from one wind medium to another it undergoes an abrupt change in direction, whenever its velocity in the second medium is different from the velocity in the first wind medium; the shooter will see a “mirage”.

The density of air, and therefore its refraction, varies with its temperature. A condition of cool air overlaying warm air next to the ground is the cause of heat waves or “mirage”. The warm air, having a lower index of refraction, is mixed with the cooler air above by convection, irregularly bending the light transmitting the target image to the shooter’s eye. Figure 1 shows (greatly exaggerated) the vertical displacement of the target image by heat waves.

South Texas Mirage Reading article

Heat waves are easily seen with the unaided eye on a hot, bright day and can be seen with spotting scope on all but the coldest days. To observe heat waves, the scope should be focused on a point about midway to the target. This will cause the target to appear slightly out of focus, but since the high power rifle shooter generally does not try to spot bullet holes, the lack in target clarity is more than compensated by clarity of the heat waves.

CLICK HERE to Read Complete Mirage Article

Mirage Is Your Friend
While hot days with lots of mirage can be frustrating, mirage can reveal how the wind is flowing (and changing). If you learn how to recognize and read mirage patterns, you can use that information to shoot higher scores. That’s why many leading long-range shooters tell us: “Mirage is your friend.” As the STMTC article explains: “A mirage condition is not a handicap, since it offers a very accurate method of perceiving small wind changes[.]”

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Articles, Competition 3 Comments »
June 23rd, 2013

Texas and S. Dakota Governors Go East to Recruit Gun Makers

NSSF Rick Perry ConnecticutGov. Rick Perry of Texas and Gov. Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota visited Connecticut last week. The two Governors hoped to recruit manufacturers to re-locate operations to their more business-friendly states. Connecticut firearms makers are high on the list of businesses both Perry and Daugaard seek to bring to their respective states. Gov. Perry wants Connecticut gunmakers to relocate to the Lone Star State, while Gov. Daugaard hopes South Dakota can attract these enterprises.

Larry Keane, Senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, provides a perspective on the recruiting effort. Keane suggests that economic growth in Connecticut is being stymied by official state policies. And Connecticut is no friend of the gun business, though firearms production has been one of Connecticut’s few growth industries in recent years:

The economic report card for the State of Connecticut is in and the results are not good.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that Connecticut was last in the nation in economic growth in 2012, the only state where the combined value of goods and services produced (GDP) was lower than in 2011. In fact, total state GDP fell a quarter of a billion dollars last year, the same amount it fell in 2011.

On the heels of that report, the Manufacturing Alliance of Connecticut released the results of a survey that revealed Connecticut manufacturers predict a bleak outlook for the state’s economy and the health of their industries. The survey reported that a majority of the state’s manufacturers have been recruited to expand or relocate to another state and that they would consider doing so, most citing “government attitude” as the reason.

Connecticut’s firearms and components manufacturers have been the rare exception to the state’s dismal economic performance in recent years. Colt, Mossberg, Stag Arms, Ammunition Storage Components, to name four such companies, have added hundreds of jobs in recent years and, as a result, have contributed more in local and state taxes, even as other industries have cut back and moved facilities and jobs out of state.

We see a direct connection between the state’s nation-trailing GDP performance and the attitude of state government…. Gov. Perry understands all this. So he is coming to Connecticut. So too, is South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who next week will also be recruiting these same manufacturers for his state. — Commentary by Larry Keane

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