BLOG: February 22, 2007
NEWS, FEATURES, PRODUCTS, and RELOADING TIPS. BLOG ARCHIVE.
NOTICE to READERS--Send Us Your Story Ideas! We are always looking for new Gun of the Week features, so we are soliciting articles from our readers. This is your chance to start your career as a professional gun writer! And gunsmiths--if you've built a great rifle recently, contact us! Also, we are looking for gear reviews and technical articles. For a Gun of the Week (GOTW) story, we need 1200+ words of text, plus at least 6 good, sharp digital photos, 1024x768 pixels (or larger) in size. GOTW writers receive full by-line credit and an instant world-wide audience. Send us one paragraph explaining your story proposal with one sample photo. If we like it, we'll send you an outline and you can get started. Gear reviews should be 500 words or longer, with at least 3 high-quality product photos--just let us know what you want to review and we'll decide if that's a good choice. Email proposals to mailbox@6mmBR.com.
PRODUCT Launch--New 117gr 6mm DTAC Bullet: David Tubb called us this week to reveal that his company, Superior Shooting Systems (SSS), is coming out with a NEW high-BC, 6mm bullet. It will be similar to the current DTAC 115, but it will have a polymer tip (for improved aerodynamics), and weigh 117 grains. With a longer bearing surface than the 115, you'll want about .040" more freebore for the 117 than you'd use with the 115 DTAC. David says the new bullet's BC is "right around .600" based on field testing by Henry Childs using multiple chronographs set downrange. David explained that, with the new bullet tip, the shot to shot BC variance of the bullets is reduced substantially. With conventional bullets, true BC can vary from bullet to bullet because the meplats aren't consistent. David tells us: "with the new bullet tip, you no longer have to uniform the meplats to get consistent BC, shot to shot. As a bonus, the BC is higher overall. What we've seen, in field testing, is a spread of just 2% in actual bullet BC. This has reduced the shot to shot velocity spread, as actually measured at long range."
BULLET COATINGS--Tubb Says "Boron is Better":
David Tubb has long been a fan of moly-coated bullets. But here's some big news--David doesn't use moly any more. He has switched to Boron Nitride. This new coating is slicker than moly and goes on clear. David tells us: "There are two major advantages to boron nitride. First it does not react with moisture, so it is not sensitive to humidity. Second, we find the cold bore shot is more consistent than with moly. With a Boron Nitride coated bullet, my first shot goes where it should. With moly, it would take one or two shots for the point of impact to settle in." If you switch from naked to boron-coated bullets, you will need to adjust your loads. David explained that Boron Nitride acts like moly in reducing start pressure, so you'll need to add a little more powder to equal the velocity of a naked (uncoated bullet). Is there any downside to Boron Nitride (compared to moly) we asked? "Yes", David replied, "Boron Nitride costs ten times as much as moly. And the bullets are so slick, they're really hard to pick up if you drop them."
SITE NEWS--Major Merchants Team with AccurateShooter.com: We are pleased to launch our new cooperative sales program with some of America's leading outdoor gear retailers and web stores. With this program, readers can help support the site while enjoying special savings on shooting gear, outdoor clothing, watches, optics, and much more. Cabela's offers reloading equipment, optics, shooting accessories and a full line of outdoor clothing. Other gear partners include Orvis, Eddie Bauer, Sierra Trading Post, Swiss Outpost, and Brigade Quartermaster. Purchase gun safes, rifle cases, and hunting accessories through Walmart. Get great deals on magazine subscriptions from Magazines.com, and Overstock.com offers big discounts on cameras and electronics. Check it out. Just click on the links below. Our partners give the site a small percentage of every sale, so you can support the site just by shopping the web for great deals.
BENCHREST--Tips on Using Wind Flags: Butch Lambert, who distributes the Elliott "Aussie" BRT wind flags, gave us some expert advice on wind flags. Butch writes: "Chatting with the top shooters in our sport about flags gave me some surprising insights. You do not want your flags balanced. The weight should be biased to the vane side. That will help take the twitch out of your flags. It will take the windshield wiper effect out. The Aussie propellers are used for velocity reading only at very low wind velocity. They are mainly to let you see a pickup or a let up. The sailcloth tails are attached with a clip that does not allow the tail to twist and it also holds the shape of the flag in a V so that it doesn't flop in the wind. Daisy wheels slow response of the vane, puts a shake in your wind flag, and hides the vane on any tailwind." If you have more questions about wind flags, contact Butch at ShadeTree Engineering.
OPTICS--New 25X and 30X Leupold Target Scopes: Leupold has released two new lightweight, fixed-power Target Scopes, the FX-III 40mm AO Silhouette series. Both scopes have a 1" main tube, front-adjustable 40mm objective, and target turrets. The 25X version is suitable for Benchrest and Silhouette competition. The 30X version offers more magnification, and it is a much less expensive alternative to Leupold's Competition Series 30mm scopes. Both scopes weigh just 14.6 ounces. FX-III models offer a choice of 3/8 Minute or 1/2 Minute Target Dot reticles, and fully-coated, index-matched lenses. MSRP for either 25X or 30X FX-IIIs is $749.99. Street price is around $600.00 for either model.
COMPETITION--Rule Changes for NRA Full-Bore and Smallbore: There have been some changes in the NRA's Competition Rules for 2007. High Power and F-Class shooters should download the updated High Power Rifle Rules, while rimfire shooters should get the latest Smallbore Rifle Rules. For other disciplines, including Action Pistol and Silhouette Rifle, Click Here to obtain applicable 2007 rule changes.
GUNSTOCKS--New Source for Richard Franklin's Stock Designs: West Custom Rifles has purchased Richard Franklin's stock making business, including inventory, patterns, and stock-making machinery. Richard Franklin will continue to build custom rifles using stocks built by West Custom. If you want one of the many outstanding stock designs created by Richard's Custom Rifles, including the popular LowRider, and Model 10 and Model 12 Varminters, just give Greg West a call at (540) 890-9245. There will be a bit of a delay in production while the equipment is moved to Greg's new shop, but expect new stocks to be coming off the line within a few weeks, and Greg does have a few dozen in inventory right now that were made in Richard's shop. Greg West also builds custom competition and hunting rifles.
GUNSMITHING--New Action Sleeves from John Loh: John Loh, a superb machinist who builds some of the finest front rests available, is now crafting action sleeves for long and short Remington actions. Made from ultra high-quality 7000 Aircraft aluminum, the $200.00 sleeves offer enhanced bedding surface and make the action stiffer. Based on an updated Speedy Gonzalez sleeve design, Loh's action sleeves feature a Panda footprint, integral recoil lug, and built-in Davidson scope rail. To learn more, call John at (562) 602-5553, or email him at his website, JJ-Industries.com.
RIMFIRE--Eliseo Offers AN1 TubeGun Kit for Anschutz 54 Actions: Gary Eliseo gave us a call this week to let us know his new Rimfire TubeGun is ready for production. This kit provides a great platform for NRA prone shooters who want to cross-train with a rimfire gun. The kit utilizes the outstanding Anschutz 54 match action and Anschutz trigger group. Gary's AN1 kit uses a unique barrel sleeve mounting system that free floats both the action and barrel resulting in zero stress mounting for enhanced accuracy. Optional extras include a front sight base and a very effective barrel tuner. Visit CompetitionShootingStuff.com for more info, or call Gary Eliseo at (714) 630-5734, M-F 9am to 4pm, Pacific Time.
POWDER SUPPLIES--Expanded Distribution for Norma and Vihtavuori Powders: If you've been looking for Vihtavuori N133 powder, check with Hodgdon Powders. Hodgdon is now distributing Vihtavuori powders in the USA. It is hoped ample supplies of N133 and other VV powders will be available by the end of February. For the past few years, Norma powders have been very difficult to obtain in the USA. Now, Black Hills Shooters Supply will be carrying the Norma line, including the new URP ("Universal Rifle Powder"). Black Hills doesn't sell to consumers, but your local dealer can order Norma powders from them. Norma's URP powder is similar in burn rate to Hodgdon H4350. Among the early testers was F-TR shooter John Dink. John reports to us that the powder looks very promising, with good accuracy. He has been trying it with 210gr JLKs in his .308 and notes: "Very docile powder. Pressures are low enough with 210 JLKs that the tough LAPUA brass is not needed. Shoots best at 2600-2650 fps."
BORE CLEANING--Nickel-Plated Jags Work Well: One problem when using conventional brass jags with strong solvents is that you can get a false reading from the cleaner reacting to the jag itself. One solution is to use a non-reactive jag--either plastic, or plated brass. Writing on LongRangeHunting.com, Mike in TX recommends the new nickel-plated Tipton Ultra Cleaning Jags from MidwayUSA.com: "[Tipton plated jags] will definitely cut down the false reading almost completely. I use 1 3/4" patches, which cover the entire length of the jag so as not to allow contact with the bore. I found that using Pro Shot patches with the nickel-plated jags and Tipton patches with the standard brass works just fine. The Tiptons run just a tad thicker, and you can still use them with the nickel-plated jag if you just drop down a caliber size."
MATCH BULLETS--130 grain JLK VLD offered: The 6.5 Grendel and 6.5x47 are both a little low on capacity to push the heavier 6.5mm bullets in the 140gr range. Now there's a new 130gr JLK bullet from Swampworks that should work very well in both these chamberings. Steve "Swampy" Milholland reports: "After taking over the JLK Bullet line from Jimmy Knox early last year I have received numerous requests to re-introduce the 130 grain 6.5mm VLD bullet that Jimmy made back in '04. Jimmy made small run of these. Response to this bullet was very positive and most everyone who tried them wanted more. Just recently I had the time to squeeze in a short run of this bullet and it is now in stock and ready for orders. If customer response to this bullet is still positive, I will place it permanently in our production rotation." The 6.5mm 130 grain VLD, item 26130, costs $42.00 per 150. Specs are listed on the JLK Bullets website, Swampworks.com. To order call (417) 831-2309.
HUNTING--Custom Maps from MyTopo.com:
How you'd like to have a custom, waterproof Topo map of your favorite hunting grounds? MyTopo.com sells user-defined custom topo maps. These are GPS and compass-ready, complete with navigation grids and declination. Your map can include up to 12 USGS grids, and you can have the map centered at any location you choose in the lower 48 states. MyTopo.com also offers Western State Hunt Area Maps, and Hybrid Aerial/Topo maps. Maps range in size from 18" x 24" to a huge 36" x 44". Depending on the size and scale you choose, each map covers from 40 to 148 square miles. Custom maps start at $9.95.
RELOADING--New Forster Bushing Bump Dies: Forster Products has just introduced its new Precision Plus™ Bushing Bump Sizing Dies. These dies allow the reloader to push the shoulder back and size the neck without affecting the body dimensions. For those who prefer the close fit of fire-formed brass in their chambers, but need to shorten headspace a bit to ensure easy chambering, the new Forster Dies are a solution. The Precision Plus™ die is available either as die alone or with a set of three highly-polished, hardened steel bushings in .002" gradations. Using a stop ring to control the amount of bushing float, you can adjust how much of the neck is sized. NOTE, unlike Redding Type 'S' full-length bushing dies, the new Forster Bushing Bump dies do NOT change the body dimensions of the case other than to push the shoulder back and size the neck. That way you maintain the body dimensions of your fire-formed cases. For those who shoot moderate loads that do not expand the base of a case much, these dies should work well. Those who regularly shoot hot loads will still need a body die, a full-length sizing die, or a full-length bushing die to resize the case body and web.
WEB SHOPPER--Spider Finds Classified Ads on Gun Forums:
Looking for firearms and accessories on the web? You can spend hours cruising Forum Classifieds. Or, with one click, you can view items for sale on a dozen different gun forums. Using web spider technology, EliteDealSeeker.com collects active "for sale" listings from around the web, displaying them all on one page, sorted by site. It's a great system that makes shopping for bargains fast and easy. Spidered sites include AR15.com, RimfireCentral.com, Gunboards.com, RugerForum.com, TheHighRoad.org, 1911Forum.com, and SigForum.com.
REFERENCE--Air Travel Tips for Rifle Shooters: Planning an airline trip with your precious match rifles? Click here to read an helpful article from Remington with tips on how to safeguard your guns while complying with airline flight regulations.
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