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May 26, 2006 BLOG

SUPER SHOOT NEWS--Lee Euber Takes Two-Gun Grand Agg:
We've just received the results of the Firearms Industry Super Shoot at the Kelbly Range in North Lawrence, Ohio. The Two-Gun Grand Agg was won by Lee Euber with an 0.2530. Placing Second through Fifth, in order, were: Bill Goad, Dale Boop, Tony Boyer, and Joel Madden. Jeff Summers won the LV Grand Agg with an 0.2278, followed by Tony Boyer at 0.2291. Kent Harshman took HV Grand agg with 0.2298, topping runner-up Mario Sanchez (0.2377). Not too many foreigners made it into the Two-Gun Top 20 this year, and the Pennsylvania contingent did very well. Stay tuned for details on equipment and we hope to have a interview with Lee Euber soon. Congrats to Lee, Jeff, Kent and all the top shooters.

COMPETITION--New Benchrest Records in Score Competition: Thus far, May has been a big month for records in short-range benchrest. Some outstanding scores have been shot, including at least two new I.B.S. World Records, a 250-23X at 100 meters by J.R. Waters, and Al Weaver's 250-25X with 21 "Wipe-outs" at 100 yards. Note, there have been 250-25X scores shot before at 100 yards, but we are told this is the highest Wipe-out count thus far (the previous high being a 250-25X with 19 Wipe-outs by Carl Baker). A "Wipe-Out" is achieved when the bullet hole is entirely within the X-ring. Joe Entrekin reports: "I got an e-mail from Gary Long stating that the recent 100 meter Varmint for Score record of 250-23X by JR Waters, and the even more recent 100-yard record of 250-25X w/ 21 wipeouts by Al Weaver are both official now." We congratulate both Al and J.R. for their impressive new records.

COMPETITION--300 Meter Europa Cup Results: The 2006 Europa Cup (300 Meter Championships) concluded May 14 in Plzen, Czech Republic. This is shot with iron sights, and there are both 3-position and prone-only competitions for both men and women, individual and team. Many of the competitors were using composite or metal-stocked, full-adjustable rifles. Some of these are able to switch from rim-fire to centerfire just by swapping in a different barreled action. Finland Team 2 won the 300m 3-position team championship, while Sweden Team 1 triumphed in Men's prone 300m. Finland Team member Henri Hakkinen also posted the top 3-position score at the match, an impressive 1168. In women's competition, the Swiss team won the 3-position title, while the Swedish team took first in women's prone. Top individual prone honors went to France's Isabelle Grigorian with a 595, and Germany's Hubert Schaffner with the exact same 595 score. (Look's like there's no "gender gap" at the Europa Cup.) The 6mmBR was still the cartridge of choice but many competitors were using factory-loaded 6x47 Swiss Match (RUAG) ammunition. Complete results (in English) are posted on the Europa Cup website, along with photo galleries from the competition. Photos courtesy Europa Cup 2006, used by permission.

CARTRIDGES--Test Results for Lapua 6.5x47:
We were hoping to see the debut of Lapua's new 6.5x47 cartridge at the Europa Cup, but accuracy testing of the factory-loaded ammunition had not been completed, so Team Finland (sponsored by Lapua), stayed with the 6mm BR cartridge. However, just last week, Lapua conducted initial field testing with factory-loaded 6.5x47 ammunition and four 6.5mm bullet weights. Here are the initial results. Note, the accuracy figures are for bullets only--not specific to the 6.5x47. Accuracy tests were performed with a fixed rifle platform. Five-shot groups were done at 300m except for the 100gr bullet, where the test was 10 rounds. Lapua reports: "6.5x47 Lapua with 100gr Scenar grouped 38mm (1.5") at 300m (4 x 10 shots average)". Click Here to download a .ZIP file with factory data sheets.

6.5x47 Lapua 100100gr Scenar0.444800m/sec (2625 fps)< 38mm (10 @ 300m)
6.5x47 Lapua 108108gr Scenar0.478940m/sec (3084 fps)< 65mm @ 300m
6.5x47 Lapua 123123gr Scenar0.547880m/sec (2887 fps)< 65mm @ 300m
6.5x47 Lapua 139139gr Scenar0.615830m/sec (2723 fps)< 65mm @ 300m

TECH REPORT--Copper Solvents Field Tested with Surprising Results: There are dozens of copper solvents available, many of which claim to be the "fastest", "strongest", or "most effective." The Rifle Store, in the UK, actually devised some simple tests to gauge the relative effectiveness of copper solvents. First they immersed 210gr Barnes XBT bullets in copper solvent for 19 hours and 24 hours respectively, and then logged the reduction in actual bullet weights between the start and finish of the test. Each bullet was weighed individually before and after solvent exposure.

Second they immersed British two-pence coins in various solvents for 24 hours. These coins have a copper coating over steel--making for a very interesting test. The strongest solvents took all the copper off the two-pence coins.

The seven top-rated solvents in the Rifle Store's 24-hour test were: KG12 Big Bore Cleaner, Robla Solo Mil, Outers Bore Foam, Butches Bore Shine, Lupus, Shooter's Choice Extra Strength, and Break Free Bore Foam. Many of the more popular solvents available in the USA ranked well down the list. We noted that Wipe-Out was not among the products tested, so we did a test ourselves. We took a Lapua 105gr Scenar bullet and placed it in a plastic film canister. The canister was filled with Wipe-Out foam to overflowing. After two hours, the foam was re-applied (the bubbles turned to liquid after a few hours). The bullet weighed 104.9 grains before soaking. After 24 hours in Wipe-Out the bullet weighed 104.1 grains, 0.8 grains less than starting weight. It was very obvious that Wipe-Out had removed a lot of copper. There was a film of copper precipitates in the film canister, and the bullet had a dull finish as if it had been bead-blasted. Note, The Rifle Store used 210gr bullets, so our results are not directly comparable. However, given the fact that there is much less surface area on the 105gr bullet we tested, we think Wipe-out performed admirably. The 0.8 gr weight reduction would have placed Wipe-Out third in the 24-hour test, tied with Outers Bore Foam. We do plan to repeat the test with a 210gr bullet to match The Rifle Store's test procedure more closely.

BRASS--First Norma 6XC Sample Arrives: David Tubb mailed us one of the first samples of the new Norma 6XC brass this week. Measured with calipers (not a micrometer), the COAL is 1.903", Shoulder is 0.4525", Web (at top of extractor groove) is 0.468, and the rim is 0.468-0.469, depending on where you measure. The sample we were given appeared to have been run through a sizing die. The case weighs 155.2 grains. H20 capacity is 48.9 grains (with untrimmed neck and spent primer in place). The flash hole looked fine and the large primer pocket was well formed and consistent in depth. Measured with an RCBS Case Master, neck wall thickness was very consistent. Minimum thickness was about .0127, and max about .0140. Keep in mind however, the Case Master is a pretty crude tool for measuring neck thickness. Loaded neck diameter, with a Berger 95gr bullet in place, is 0.271" at the case mouth and about 0.2705" half-way down the neck.

RELOADING--QuickLOAD Software Updates Available: Attention QuickLOAD 3.0 or 3.1 users. We recommend you CLICK HERE to download an updated powder file--free from Neconos.com. It will replace the powder file for the CD version only. This is a simple data file that you just add to the folder where your program is kept on your hard-drive. For $14.95, QuickLOAD 3.0 or 3.1 users can also purchase a CD-based upgrade to the latest version 3.2. The upgrade provides complete data for many more bullets and cartridges, plus it includes hundreds of cartridge diagrams and photos. We think the upgrade to version 3.2 is well worth the cost for the updated bullet info alone, and the cartridge diagrams are a great new feature.

If you are a current owner of QuickLOAD version 2.9 or earlier on floppy disk, you can upgrade to the new CD-ROM for $50.00 + S&H. The CD offers more powders (200 total), cartridges (1100 total) and bullets (2300 total). Order through Neconos.com or call 800-451-3550.

CLEANING--Tipton Carbon Fiber Cleaning Rods on Sale: MidwayUSA has reduced the price on its Tipton Carbon Fiber Cleaning Rods from $33.29 to $22.99. That makes this one of the best bargains on quality rods. The Tipton is lightweight, quite durable and has double bearings in the handle. Rods are available in a variety of lengths, tipped with an 8x32 female-threaded fitting (5x40 for 17-cal rods). Note that the handle is fatter in diameter than on some other brands. If you have enough clearance on your stock's comb that's not an issue, but some shooters may prefer the thinner handles on the Dewey or SharpShoot-R rods.

Sinclair Sale on Millenium Action: Our recented "Two Guns for Two Brothers" article featured superbly accurate switch-barrel rifles built with Millenium actions. You can now acquire one of these actions for a very attractive price, $900 including fully adjustable two-stage trigger. Sinclair Int'l reports: "Due to the value of our dollar losing ground against foreign markets, we've discontinued the Millennium rifles, actions, and stocks from our product line. We considered it a disservice to continue to raise the price above and beyond what a comparable US made action could be purchased for. We have a few actions and stocks left that we're closing out at very, very cheap prices." Products available are Right Hand, .223 bolt face, #39-3500, and Left Hand, .308 bolt face, #39-4000. The New Zealand-crafted Millenium is an outstanding action on a par with the RPA Quadlite. Superbly machined, the design features extremely fast lock-time, and it is ideally suited for a V-block installation, allowing you to easily move your barreled action from one stock to another.

OPTICS--Free Jacket with Purchase of Weaver Grand Slam Scope: Here's a cool deal offered by Natchez Shooters Supply. Buy a new scope, get a free camo coat. For a limited time while supplies last, if you buy any Weaver Grand Slam Optic you will receive a FREE reversible and waterproof 10x Weaver jacket featuring Mossy Oak® Break-Up® camouflage and removable sleeves, a $99.00 value. For varminters, we recommend the 6-20x40 Grand Slam. It features low-profile, target-style windage and elevation controls with 1/8 MOA adjustments. Tracking is very positive on these models, and you have a choice of two reticles, a fine crosshair with center dot or Weaver's proven Varminter reticle (Duplex with center dot). The 6-20x40 Grand Slams cost $349.99 in silver or $359.99 in matte black. Click Here to download a coupon for the free coat promotion, which is also valid with the purchase of ANY model Weaver Grand Slam, not just the 6-20 version. Other retailers may have a similar promotion, as the clothing coupon is issued by Weaver.

TRAINING--'Babes with Bullets' Program at S&W Academy: There is still room for women wanting to attend the "Babes With Bullets" ladies handgun camp hosted by Smith and Wesson Shooting Sports Center in Springfield, Mass. The camp will be held June 1 to 3 and will offer women (of any skill level) the chance to learn from some of the best female shooters in the country. For more information, visit www.bang-inc.com.

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