BLOG: April 30, 2007
NEWS, FEATURES, PRODUCTS, and RELOADING TIPS. BLOG ARCHIVE.
SITE NEWS--AccurateShooter Map now Faster, Easier to Use: If you're new to our site, you may not know we offer an interactive Members' Map. This was recently upgraded with Flash software so the aerial maps and user markers appear faster. Using Google Earth technology, this map allows you to locate fellow shooters around the globe, plus find the locations of shooting ranges in North America. Click any spot on the map and you can use the plus/minus controls in the lower right hand corner to change the view. You can zoom all the way down to the street level to see roads and local terrain features. To move around on the map, just click and drag with your mouse. You need to have Flash enabled in your browser, but that's a free (and very useful) plug-in that is used more and more on the web.
On our map, red dots are fellow shooters, yellow dots are sponsors, and green squares are shooting clubs or ranges. If you click on a green square you'll get basic info on the range and you can zoom in (with the plus/minus controls) to see roads leading to the range and the terrain. That can help you figure out terrain conditions that might affect your shooting or hunting. The small photo above shows the default view, and the large photo to the right shows the same location "zoomed in" to show access roads. Our editors have placed dozens of range locations on the map, and we add more every month.
It's very simple to add yourself to the map. Just click on the "JOIN" button in the upper left hand corner, confirm your location, Select "MEMBER", and type in a name and email. (The name can be a pseudonym or Forum nickname--no need to reveal your actual identity). You can also upload a photo of yourself or your favorite shooting location, and you can post a short message ("shout-out") to other members. Note--if you signed up last year, we encourage you to check the map and see if you're still being displayed. When the software was upgraded to Flash, we noticed many of the early "sign-ups" aren't appearing on the map anymore.
CUSTOM BUILDS--Franklin Continues to Deliver Master-Grade Wood-stocked Customs: Virginia gunsmith Richard Franklin has sold his stock-making business, but he remains very busy building custom rifles for customers around the world. Richard specializes in high-end match rifles and precision varminters built on wood stocks of his own design. Richard is one of the few smiths in the country delivering precision rifles built with laminated presentation-grade fancy woods. Below are two examples of Richard's recent work. You'll find more photos, plus a showcase of available stock patterns at RichardsCustomRifles.com. Click HERE for large photo.
TECH TIP--Avoiding Misfires When Forming Ackley Imp Cases:
Some of our readers have encountered problems when forming Ackley Improved cases, particularly when fire-forming without bullets (using fast pistol powders). The first thing to note is that the energy of the firing pin strike is enough to slam the case forward. If your chamber has a little extra head-space the movement of the case will be enough that hard CCI and Remington primers may not fire consistently. Ideally, you want a good "crush fit" on the shoulder of the case--enough that you feel resistance when closing the bolt. If you can't get a crush fit with raw brass, try running a one-caliber larger expander down the necks to create a false shoulder. Then just size the neck enough (with a bushing die) to allow the case to chamber. This works but is labor-intensive. Another simple "fix" is to use Federal Primers when fire-forming. Federal primers have thinner, more sensitive primer cups. Often just switching from CCI to Federal primers will cure misfire problems during fire-forming. Jason Baney was recently forming some .223 AI cases, and experienced a number of cases that didn't fire. Jason simply switched from CCI to Federal primers, and there were no more misfires. Now, even when forming without bullets, Jason gets good ignition every time.
RELOADING--Initial Tests of New Norma 'URP' Powder: Our own Jason Baney has been working hard testing loads for our 6-6.5x47 Lapua project rifle. This past weekend he sampled some of the recently-released Norma URP powder. We knew this powder had a burn range similar to Hodgdon H4350, but we had zero load data available. Jason may well be the first American shooter to try this powder in a 6mm. Starting with a very conservative 34.0 grain load, Jason tested the URP with DTAC 115 grain bullets. Before his chronograph conked out in the fading light, Jason was able to work up URP loads delivering in excess of 3050 fps. Running the same weight of powder, URP gave velocities slower than H4350 but faster than N550. Jason believes URP is "closer to N550 in burn rate and energy". H4350, N550, and URP all seem to be excellent choices for the 6-6.5x47 case and the similar 6XC. Compared to H4350, the Norma URP had no clear advantages in terms of speed, velocity, or load density, but it is nice to have another powder for these new mid-size cases. H4350 still showed the best Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation among the three powders, but the initial numbers with URP were more than satisfactory. Norma URP is available from Powder Valley in one-pound cans. When using URP with 100-115 grain bullets, we recommend starting with published load data for H4350, and reduce those charges by about half a grain for starters.
RELOADING--Short Magnum Load Maps: Short magnums are finding favor among long-range and F-Class shooters. The 7 WSM, and versions made from 270 WSM or 300 WSM brass, have proven themselves as 1000-yard rounds. There is renewed interest in the Rem SAUM now that Norma brass is available. We often get requests for load data for these short magnums. Luckily, data for the WSM and Remington SAUM has been collected by ShortMags.org (aka NetRifle.com). Click HERE for collected load data from all the major bullet makers and the powder manufacturers. You’ll also find WSM/SAUM load data from Guns & Ammo, Handloader, and Shooting Times. Most files are in Acrobat (.pdf) format, including ballistics tables and drop charts.
READERS' RIFLES--Amazing Paintwork on a New Dasher: Barry O'Connor's Forum handle is "TheBlueEyedBear". Barry has a new custom 6mm Dasher built by John King in Montana on a Manners carbon fiber stock. The custom paint job, by MadShadow Custom Paint, features a 3D bailing wire theme. Barry explains: "The Bear paint job was inspired by an incident in my childhood. My first BB gun was a broken discard from a friend’s junk pile. After his dad bought him a new gun, I salvaged the broken gun from the ‘pit’. I took bailing wire and a few splints and had the gun back together to where it would shoot. When I inquired to Mark Chase at MadShadow Custom Paint, Mark assured me he could do a paint job that would reflect my childhood memories. How right he was!" Barry--that's a spectacular rifle. We do expect it shoots a bit better than that old BB gun. Barry's rifle features a Barnard model 'P' three-lug action (with Barnard trigger), Nightforce BR scope, and a Broughton 29" fluted barrel with Vais muzzle break. Click HERE for large photo.
GUNTECH--McMillan Edge Modified for Long-Range Benchrest: Steven Ikeda, "Bolo" in our Forum, likes rifles that look as good as they shoot. Shown below is Steve's one-of-a-kind 6.5-284 with custom "Lucky Dragon" paint job. Note the matching treatment on Steve's front rest. This rifle features a Nesika 'K' action in a McMillan Edge benchrest stock. To improve tracking, Steve added a stainless steel "keel" to the rear of the stock, which reduces the angle of the toe. The flatter stock angle isn't permitted for short-range BR, but is legal for most 600-yard and 1000-yard Benchrest and F-Class matches*. Steven recently competed in the NBRSA 600-yard Nationals. He did very well, posting the top Light Gun 3-Target Agg Score (146.6). Click HERE for large photo.
*Jason noted that the external keel might violate Williamsport Light Gun rules which state: "No attachments to the stock are permitted, such as (but not limited to) guides, slides, rails, blocks, or plates." For NBRSA and IBS, if one wrapped fiberglass over the keel, blending that into the stock body with some epoxy, that should comport with the spirit of the rules. Under NRA F-Class rules, the external keel would be legal, as long as it is rigidly affixed to the underside of the stock.
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