BLOG: October 30, 2006
NEWS, FEATURES, PRODUCTS, and RELOADING TIPS. BLOG ARCHIVE.
COMPETITION--Campbell Named Shooter of the Year:
A year ago, Allie Euber told us "Wayne Campbell is the man to watch--right now he's shooting as well as anybody." Well, it looks like Allie was right, Wayne was recently named Precision Shooting Magazine's Benchrest Shooter of the Year (SOY). Wayne captured the SOY with consistently strong performances at the major matches. Wayne also earned enough points this year to secure his place in the Benchrest Hall of Fame. Well done, Wayne! Like his mentor Tony Boyer, Wayne normally uses his 10.5-lb Light Varmint-class gun in all matches. Joe Krupa and Charles Huckeba tied for second in SOY rankings, and Bill Goad and Bob Scarborough rounded out the Top Five. Congratulations to all the top shooters.
HIGHPOWER HARDWARE--Debut of the Eliseo R5 6mmBR Repeater: We ventured down to San Gabriel (now closed) to meet with Gary Eliseo, creator of high-quality tube guns for cross-course, high-power, and prone competition. Gary put his gun through its paces in rapid-fire, demonstrated in the accompanying VIDEO. As you can see, the gun performed flawlessly. Gary's R5 kit comes complete with magazines and all the components you need except barrel, sights, trigger, and Rem 700 short-action receiver. Notably, the hand-stop, sight-rail, and 4-way adjustable buttstock ARE included in the price ($875.00 subject to change). Right now the R5 is available only in a 6BR chambering, but if there is sufficient interest, Gary is considering producing a version for the 6.5x47 Lapua case. "Don't hold your breath on that", Gary cautioned. The key to the R5's reliability is a proprietary single-stack magazine Gary produces with CNC machining. This provides perfect alignment for the stubby 6BR case. The magazine works equally well with rounds seated to jump or jam into the lands, although Gary prefers to jump his rapid-fire mag-fed rounds. If this whets your appetite, we plan a full report on this rifle very soon. You can also see more photos on Gary's website, CompetitionShootingStuff.com.
RELOADING TIP--Using 6BR dies for 6.5x47 Lapua: Warren B, aka "Fireball" has cleverly managed to load up his 6-6.5x47 cases with 6mmBR dies without buying a new set of caliber-specific dies. Warren reports: "I've found that my 6mmBR body die works great as a first step to necking down the 6.5x47 Lapua case for either the 6mm or .22 caliber version. It smoothly takes the neck down to 0.274" in one shot. I use various bushings in my 6mmBR type-S die after that." At some, point however, Warren and other 6.5x47 wildcatters will need a full-length sizer that will go further down the case. Forster Products makes these dies. We've also heard that, as a temporary work-around, people have successfully used .243 Winchester full-length dies to size the 6.5x47 brass down to the web.
VARMINTING--Remington Plans 17-221 Fireball Factory Rifle: Remington has confirmed plans to release a factory varmint rifle chambered as a 17-221 Fireball. We have no firm dates for a product launch, but we expect the new rifles to be available in the first quarter of 2007. Currently, Remington offers just one 17-caliber chambering, the .17 Remington. That is available as a Model 700™ BDL™ or Model 700™ LV SF. Given the efficiency of the Fireball case, we can expect a 17-221 to comfortably reach 4,000 fps with a 20-grainer, and Remington sources have hinted that a 4000-fps factory load will be offered. In 17 Mach IV wildcat form, shooters are reporting 3,850 fps with 25 grainers. From what we are told, the 17-221 will have a slightly longer neck than a 17 Mach IV. That means you won't be able to use Cooper Arms' loaded 17 Mach IV ammo. We haven't seen a blueprint of the new Remington brass yet, so we don't know if the shoulder is the same, with just a longer neck. Accordingly we're not sure whether the current 17 Mach IV full-length dies will work. But you should be able to neck-size the case with a Redding .221 Fireball Type-S die with smaller bushings. You'll find a lengthy discussion of the new 17-221 Fireball in this thread on Saubier.com.
TECH TIP--Advanced Solution for Ultra-Sonic Case Cleaning: Forum Member Dave B., aka "Gunamonth", following the lead of Editor Jason Baney, has achieved great results cleaning cases via ultrasound. Dave tried a variety of solutions and he favors a mix of water and Citranox®. This achieved the best results, and did not require a separate neutralizing step if you rinse the cases thoroughly after. Citranox, mixed 1:75 or 1:100 with water (distilled H20 is best), is inexpensive to use. Phospate-free Citranox® contains a blend of organic acids, anionic and non-ionic surfactants and alkanolamines. For more information on using Citranox®, check out this thread. Dave notes: "I had a lot of communication with the technical VP of Alconox about trying to clean fired cases with an ultrasonic unit. He sent me a copy of his ultrasonic cleaning manual and recommended a product called Citranox®. So far I've been very impressed. With once- or twice-fired brass they clean up very quickly. The worst cases I tried were 6 Dasher's that had been fired ten times with Varget and never cleaned. The worst fouling was in the bottom of the case around the flash hole. They took longer and I used a more concentrated cleaning solution but they did come out clean. The price is reasonable. I paid $35 a gallon and for once- or twice-fired cases I dilute the cleaner 100 to 1. There is much less chemical reaction with the brass than there is with vinegar. No weird colors, just shiny bright. I even used it with hot water, which speeds up the cleaning process. No need to neutralize. Just rinse in running water and they're squeaky clean. The cleaner is mostly detergents with a little citric acid. Even at a 1:75 ratio my $35 worth of cleaner will make 75 gallons of solution. It doesn't seem to be reusable but 75 gallons is a whole lot of solution when I only use about two cups at a time."
INDUSTRY NEWS--Shooters and Hunters Spend Big Bucks: According to the NSSF (Nat'l Shooting Sports Foundation), 40 million Americans actively participate in hunting and/or shooting sports. Over their lifetimes, these shooters and hunters collectively spend over $4 trillion on their gun-related hobbies. Researchers found the average lifetime outlay for firearms, ammunition and other gear totals $20,219 per person. When purchases for licenses and lodging, food and fuel, magazines and meat processing, dues and contributions, and other associated items are added, the average lifetime grand total rises to $109,568 per person. FYI, our own AccurateShooter.com poll indicated that 63% of our readers spend more than $2000 per year on their shooting hobby. So--if you've been feeling guilty about your gun-buying binges, tell the wife to relax--you're not alone.
BIG GUNS--The Ultimate Pumpkin Chucker: What do you do with those left-over pumpkins after Halloween? Well fling them of course. Just how far can a pumpkin be launched? Well the current world record is an astounding 4,860 feet, held by the Aludium Q-36 Pumpkin Modulator, an 18-ton air cannon stretching over 100 feet in length. The Q-36 achieves its amazing results using an 1800-gallon compressed air tank pressurized to a max 125 PSI, which drives the orange gourds through an 80-foot-long barrel. Muzzle velocity is an impressive 1,000 feet per second. Matt Parker, one of the designers, and co-owner of Parker Fabrication in Morton, Illinois reports that, at atmospheric pressures, the air chamber would hold 18,000 cubic feet of air, enough to fill a large four-bedroom house. What about the ballistics? Well, Matt observed, "[the pumpkin] is traveling 681 miles per hour when it leaves the tube, but it loses velocity quickly." According to PumpkinCapital.com, "The Q36 established a Guinness Book World Record in 1998 with a chuck of 4,491 feet, and in 2001 they shot a pumpkin 4,860 feet at the Morton Punkin Chuckin' Contest, which is still the current world record." At Morton's most recent Pumpkin Festival, held on 0ctober 23, 2006, the Q-36 took top honors again with a 3,367-foot launch.
SAFETY TIP--Don't Obstruct Your Barrel: It may seem obvious to the seasoned shooter, but failure to remove any kind of obstruction in a bore can have disastrous consequences. Click this link to view a thread on the Mathews Inc. Forum with graphic photos of a barrel that was completely peeled back as the result of leaving a bore sighting tool in the muzzle. The simple caption "Remove Bore-sight BEFORE shooting" says it all. Apparently the shooter was not seriously injured, but the mechanical damage is really quite astounding.
LONG-RANGE VARMINTING--New DVD Video from Richard's Custom Rifles: Richard Franklin, one of our favorite smiths and stock-makers, has released "Death in the Green Grass", an exciting new ground-hog hunting video. It records over 300 hits made at ranges out to 800 yards. Be forewarned, Richard is a fan of hard-hitting, high-velocity bullets and many of the hits are very explosive. Calibers used include 17 HMR, 20 BR, 6mm AI, 7mm Rem UltraMag, and 300 WSM. If you're a "red mist" fan, this is a must-see video. Click here to download a SAMPLE Clip. Warning-- this may not be suitable for play-back in your workplace. The clip is very loud and very graphic. Turn down your speakers before downloading.
On some of the shots, Richard was using his new "secret weapon", a .300 WSM. Richard revealed: "I am shooting 125gr Ballistic tips at 4025 FPS in a tight-neck 300 WSM with a 15 twist, 30" barrel. Very accurate on out to 1000 yards, it's fast becoming my favorite hog rifle. I must be on to something as I've built four for customers and have several more in the works". We asked Richard, why not use a .270 or 7mm WSM with high-BC bullets? Richard replied: "The .30 cal delivers more velocity than a 7mm. Velocity rules in the varmint world. VLDs poking along at 3100 fps just don't cut it. Yeah, you can hit the varmint, but it's very boring and you can lose varmints due to the little pencil hole put there with a VLD. A good varmint bullet wants to expend 100% of its energy inside the varmint. I have ordered the new Lost River J36D 118-grainers with Delrin tip. BC is .400. When these come in I'll put them thru the wringer and see what they will do. It is a new bullet and not advertised yet--I'm told they're very explosive. FYI, I am doing up a 338 Lapua necked to .30 caliber with a short throat for the 118 Lost River bullet. It ought to be the ultimate high-velocity varmint cartridge. There's a fellow in Toronto going on a varmint hunt in Russia next year. He is wanting about 4500 fps, so my 300 is not fast enough for him. I'll let you know how it works out."
BENCHREST TIPS--Keeping Your Bag in Place: You can't shoot good aggs if your rear bag moves around after each shot. When the bag shifts or rotates even a little bit, this will alter your tracking and can throw the shot off, particularly when shooting free recoil. There are various special leather collars and bases that can help stabilize your bag on the bench, but Forum member Dave B ("Gunamonth") has a much more economical solution. To keep the bag from wandering, Dave writes: "I use a waffle-like rubber material. It's sold at Home Depot as tool-chest drawer liner, at Wal-Mart as kitchen drawer liner, at any RV or boat dealer to line shelves and keep stuff from sliding around. Put the mat on the bench under your bag. As long as the rubber mat is clean, the bag acts like it's glued down. I use a piece that's long enough to go under the bag and forward under the action. With my Drop Port, the mat also keeps case mouths from getting dented as they are ejected." Jason Baney concurs: "My Protektor bags have the built in donut, but I'm never without my hunk of tool-box liner--Lowe's has a large roll of nice stuff normally." On the internet (eBay etc.), you'll find this rubber matting sold as "Grip-It" drawer lining.
BARGAIN BIN--New Tumbler Design on Sale: MidwayUSA is running a special (through Nov. 30th) on its Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ Case Tumbler, item 587176. The already low $39.99 price is now marked down to $29.99--almost too good to pass up. The new tumbler has vertical indentations on the sides. Midway claims: "the unique bowl design increases brass agitation for fast, aggressive cleaning that reduces wear on reloading dies and extends brass life." We like the see-through top, and a cord-mounted on-off switch adds convenience. Note, in the photo it may appear that there are cut-outs in the clear lid, but these are merely stiffening ridges. You still have to remove the top to dump out the media.
HUNTING--Internet Resources for Hunters: Looking for an outfitter for a guided hunt? Or are you trying to find detailed maps of your favorite shooting spot? Here are three resources that can help. First, HuntandShoot.org provides directories of state outfitter associations as well as other resources for hunters. Created by the Nat'l Shooting Sports Assn., this new website is currently running a sweepstakes with valuable prizes including a Polaris ATV. Entry is free. Second, to locate maps of wilderness areas, check out Trails.com. This site offers free online USGS topo maps during a trial subscription period. Lastly, MountainHunter.net offers hunters and outdoorsmen a chance to bid on wilderness expeditions and guided hunts in the Canadian Northwest. This is one of the few sites on the internet which uses an auction format to sell guided hunting vacations. MountainHunter.net is a service of the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia. Log on to bid on big game, predator, and bird-shooting adventures.
BLOG Items Wanted: Can you share a smart reloading tip, or news of a great bargain on gear? Can you give us a report from a major match? Then contribute to our 6mmBR Blog. Just email your comment or news item to Mailbox@6mmBR.com. Please keep photos under 200kb in size.