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BLOG: September 21, 2006

BENCHREST--IBS 600-yard Nationals in South Dakota: The nation's top mid-range benchrest shooters competed this week at the VHA Range in Pierre, South Dakota. Our friend and "Dasher Master" Richard Schatz provided this late-breaking report: "Just under 40 of our country's finest shooters showed up to try their hand at the first ever IBS 600 Yard Nationals event hosted by The Varmint Hunters Association and held at their range set in the scenic Missouri River Breaks located west of Fort Pierre, SD. The weather was cool for this time of year, highs in the mid 50s with light to moderate winds from the SSE at 5 to 15 mph under heavy overcast skies on Thursday while the Light Gun targets were being contested. Rain set in Thursday evening and continued through Friday. And with rain/snow mix in the forecast for Saturday, the decision was made to try to complete the Heavy Gun Class on Friday. With the help of one of the most dedicated target crews this sport has seen, the first IBS 600 Yard Nationals went into the record books late Friday afternoon. Top honors went to Mark Antes (LG Overall), and Joel Kendrick (HG Overall). Joel was also Two-Gun Grand Champion. Shooters came from as far as West Virginia, South Carolina, Washington, Idaho, Minnesota, Wisconsin and more. I had a great time on Dakota prairie doing what I enjoy with a great group of warm and friendly people." For complete match results, go to the IBS website, or click here for rules and course of fire.

OPTICS--Super Deal on Leica 1200 Rangefinder: $459.95 for a NEW Leica 1200 LRF Scan rangefinder? You heard that right. SWFA, a leading scope and optics retailer, is running a fantastic sale, with the Leica priced $140.00 under SWFA's regular low price. If you don't have a good rangefinder yet, jump on this deal. Quantities are very limited. The Leica 1200 Scan remains the industry benchmark for rangefinder design and performance. Only the new $890.00 Swarovski 1500 really challenges the Leica 1200 for optical clarity and overall performance, and our testers felt the Leica's small-dot aiming system is more precise than the fat "target circle" used by the Swaro. A big thanks to our friends at SWFA.com for making this fine unit available at a bargain price.

OPTICS--$100 Rebate on Leica Compact Rangefinder:
If the great SWFA sale on full-size Leica LRFs isn't reason enough to get a Leica Rangefinder, consider this special offer from SWFA.com and Midsouth Shooters' Supply. Now through the end of 2006, if you purchase a Compact CRF 1200 Rangefinder, Leica will send you a $100.00 rebate. That reduces the effective cost to $599.00. We tested the Leica CRF at ShotShow 2006. It's truly a little wonder that's easy to employ with just one hand. The CRF 1200 offers the same performance as its big brother, in a much smaller package. Sized 4.5" x 2.25" x 1.25", and weighing just 7.8 ounces, the Leica Compact 1200 easily fits in a shirt pocket.

COMPONENTS--Lawton Barrels and Actions:
We welcome Montana's Lawton Rifle Barrels to our growing team of AccurateShooter.com sponsors. After Cody Finch shot his remarkable 10-shot Record 1000-yard group with a Lawton-actioned rifle, many readers wanted to obtain a similar rig. Just give Barney Lawton a call at (406) 683-2388. He currently offers four actions, the Model 7000, a Rem 700 clone with tighter tolerances, the Model 7500 BR action (available in dual-port configuration), the Model 8000 for .408 Chey-Tacs and big cartridges, plus the model 400-X designed to replace a Rem 40X action. As custom actions go, the Model 7000 is very affordable at $695.00. This action is used by many of the leading builders of tactical rifles. Barney also builds outstanding match-grade barrels, using both button-rifling and cut-rifling. You can choose a custom contour and fluting, and custom twist rates are available with the cut-rifled barrels. Barney tells us: "We are truly a custom barrel maker--no matter what length, contour, and twist rate you want, from 6mm on up, we can build it for you." Lawton also offers +20, +30, and +40 MOA scope bases for $75.00 in steel or $50.00 in aluminum.

CALIBERS--New 6-6.5x47 Shines in Early Colorado Testing: AccurateShooter Forum Member 'Reverend' from Colorado reports outstanding results with a 6.5x47 Lapua necked down to 6mm. Assembled by noted gunsmith Dan Dowling, Reverend's rifle is built on a converted Palma gun with an RPA Quadlite action. Using a max load of H4350, the 6-6.5x47 launched Lapua 105gr Scenars at 3250 fps through a Schneider 30", 1:7.5" twist barrel. Accuracy was equally impressive. Shooting off bipod at 700 yards, 'Reverend' nailed a 3/4" three-shot group (too bad he didn't go for five). This was with a .273 no-turn chamber with minimal case prep and unsorted bullets. For those of you considering the 6-6.5x47 option, this initial field report certainly suggests the new Lapua case has great potential as a 6mm. It's got speed and the accuracy. 'Reverend' reports: "I think the 6 X 47 Lapua case with a 105 Scenar is going to be a great round. I've included pictures of a metal target at 700 yards. As near as I can measure this is a 0.735" group, only 3 shots. That's a dime taped below the group."

MEDIA NEWS--'Shooting USA' Moves to the Outdoor Channel: "Shooting USA" with Jim Scoutten, the long-running television series covering shooting sports and firearms news, will debut September 30 on The Outdoor Channel. The show will be aired Saturday nights at 10 p.m. EST. For more information, visit ShootingUSA.com. While Shooting USA focuses primarily on handguns, past episodes have featured the U.S. Shooting National Rifle Team, Black Powder Cartridge Silhouette shooting, Service Rifle competition, and 3-Gun Tactical matches.

BARGAIN BIN--Great Deal on Quality Shooting Glasses: We recently shopped the web to find a new pair of protective shooting glasses. Expecting to pay $20 or more per pair, we were surprised to find high-quality UVEX safety glasses for under $9.00! Available from CooperSafety.com, UVEX glasses feature wrap-around lenses and comfortable padded temples and nose bridges. The UVEX line of safety eyewear passes ANSI Z87+ and CSA Z94.3 standards and meets the MIL VO ballistic test for impact protection. UVEX offers a lifetime frame guarantee--something you won't get with many $100.00 sunglasses. Among the UVEX product line, we liked the UVEX Skyper ($6.77) with its extended side-shields, the UVEX Genesis ($8.61), and the lightweight UVEX XC ($8.61). All three come in a variety of lens shades, and replacement lenses are available for under $4.00 per set.

TRAINING--New Tubb Video on DVD: David Tubb has released an impressive new instructional video in DVD format ($49.95). The Twin-Disc set contains over 4.5 hours of updated material and information for the High Power and Long-range competitor as well as the field shooter. In this DVD, 11-time National High Power Champ Tubb explains across-the-course positions (and the Approach Method in Offhand) and how to set-up the rifle for each position. He also also covers Targets, set-up and use of Aperture Sights/Diopters, and how to best place and use Spotting Scopes. This is a "must-have" item for Service Rifle and Cross-Course competitors. Order from Superior Shooting Systems.

HUNTING--"Factory-Quality" Camouflage for your Old Hunting Rifles: Do you suffer from "Camo Envy" when you see those slick, realistic camo finishes offered on factory Benellis and Brownings. Well, stock-maker Bell & Carlson has a solution for you. B&C will apply a factory quality, thin-film camo-coat to your existing firearm. Available options include Mossy Oak® Breakup®, Trebark® Superflauge®, Realtree Hardwoods®, and NaturalGear™. Cost is $175 for whole gun (not including scope/rings, bolt handle, floorplate or trigger guard), or $60 for stock alone. Shown below are two NaturalGear™ patterns, both well-suited for a Western summer/fall varmint rifle.

RANGE GEAR--Corded Earplugs just $0.23 per pair: Howard Leight Max® Foam Earplugs offer the highest noise reduction of any shooters' earplug you can buy--33 decibels. The NRR 33 rating makes the MAX the highest rated disposable earplug in the US. We prefer the corded variety as you're less likely to lose them and the cord keeps the plugs comfortably draped around your neck when not in use. You can get big savings by buying in bulk. DiscountSafetyGear.com sells 100 pairs for just $22.92. That's a heck of a lot better than the typical range price of $1.50 a pair (or more). Go in with a buddy on a 100-pack and you'll have enough pairs for years of safe shooting, with plenty of spares to give to friends and shooting companions.

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