Audio Report: Firearms Technologies Certificate program.

Katrin Frye of Montana Public Radio reported on both the NRA Short Term Gunsmith program and the new full time college credit certificate available at FVCC in Kalispell, MT.   The link below will take you direct to the audio file.

http://cpa.ds.npr.org/kufm/audio/2014/07/FVCC_Firearms_1.mp3

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Filed under Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To, Pistol, Rifles, Rimfire, Second Amendment, Shooting, Shotgun, Stocks, tools

New Approach to Firearms Education

Flathead Valley Community College will launch a new two-semester evening Firearms Technologies Certificate starting this fall.  The 27-credit program will feature curriculum developed to support the growing firearms industry in the Flathead Valley in Montana as well as across the country.

One of only a few colleges in the nation to offer firearms related programs. FVCC has taken a unique approach, developing the program as an enhancement to its existing industrial machine technology program introduced last year under the Department of Labor “Amplifying Montana’s Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Industry” grant (#TC-23760-12-60-A-30).  This approach will make FVCC the only school that focuses on manufacture of firearms and related parts.

The new program will provide students the opportunity to incorporate advanced machining skills with an understanding of firearms operational systems. Courses are tailored to emphasize the manufacturing of firearm components.

Fred Zeglin, curriculum coordinator for the program, developed the courses under the guidance and input from local firearms manufacturers.  “Manufacturers say they are seeking trained machinists who understand firearms.  Classes have been designed to build understanding of a wide variety of firearms and the way that they function.” said Zeglin.

Emphasis will be placed upon the completion of several gunsmithing projects involving blueprints and schematics using a combination of both hand and machine tools. This program will provide a clear understanding of firearms design and function, enabling graduates to assist with design implementation or tolerance issues in manufacturing environments.

The program will be held in the evenings with labs during the daytime on Friday and Saturday. Course topics will include firearms introduction and safety; manual mill and lathe systems; bench metal techniques; firearms theory and firearms repair; machine tools for gunsmiths; and precision rifle building.  This selection of courses are designed to increase the marketable skills of the students in the manufacturing realm.

The program will be marketed nationwide bringing focus to the local industry.  Prospective students must apply both to the program and for admission to FVCC. Program applications are due August 1 at 4 p.m. Applications are available online at http://www.fvcc.edu/firearms or in the Admissions Office in Blake Hall on the FVCC Kalispell campus. For more information, contact Jori Bullemer at 756-3905 or jbullemer@fvcc.edu or Will Richards at 756-4862 or wrichards@fvcc.edu.

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NRA Short Term Gunsmithing Program, Kalispell, MT

FVCC LogoFlathead Valley Community College is hosting the NRA Short Term Gunsmithing Program again this summer.  2014 will be the third year for this program at FVCC, the program has grown in attendance each year and this year should be no different.  New classes are being offered so if you attended or looked at the offerings in the past there is probably something new for you this year.

Quality instruction is the name of the game at FVCC.  The instructors for the Short Term Program are all top notch professionals who are well respected in the gunsmithing community.  For instance, Lee Helgeland is one of the premier stockmakers in the nation.   He has spent 30 years perfecting his craft and is a member of the American Custom Gunmakers Guild.  Another instructor new to the Kalispell program this year, Sam Hatfield, certified NRA and Sig Academy Master Instructor.  Sam was head gunsmith at Green Mountain Guns in Lakewood, Colorado and served as a member of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit as a gunsmith. Sam now owns Hatfields Gunsmithing Inc. in Manassas, VA.

To learn more about the instructors for this summers program check out this link:

http://www.fvcc.edu/continuing-education/gunsmithing-program/instructors.html

New classes this year include “S&W Revolver Action Work”, “1911 Handgun AMU Accuracy Rebuilding” and “Accurate Reloading for the Hunter”.  Perennial favorites like “Customizing AR-15 or AR-10″ and “Introduction to Checkering” will still be on the schedule.

If you have ever wanted to learn more about gunsmithing but can’t take of the two years necessary for most schools, the NRA Short Term Gunsmithing Program is a great alternative.  Classes normally run or one week, Monday through Friday.  They are intensive hands on classes with small numbers of students, so you have great access to the instructor. This unique learning opportunity is set up as part of the Continuing Education Department of the College and the courses are non-credit.

If cost is a concern I noticed that the College has some Scholarships provided by NRA donations, details at this link:

http://www.fvcc.edu/continuing-education/gunsmithing-program.html

An electronic copy of the brochure for these classes is available at this link:

http://www.fvcc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Gunsmithing-Course-Brochure.pdf?2ebeaa

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How To: Inlet Your Barrel Correctly

A barrel should be inlet up to the center line of the bore, or in other words, half it’s diameter should be below the wood line.  All too many new gunsmiths and hobby gunsmiths just inlet until they can get the screws into the action and call it good.

There is a simple way to make sure your barrel channel is deep enough so that the bore line will be aligned to the top of the stock.  Take a square and place the outside 90 degree corner of the squared into the barrel channel.  If the square touches on all three sides then the barrel channel is a half circle.  GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

If the point at the bottom of the barrel channel touches and keeps the sides from contacting the top of the stock then your too shallow.  Conversely, if the point of the square does not touch but both sides are in contact with the top of the stock then your past 50 percent depth.

Fred Zeglin is working on a series of booklets, “Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series”.  This little how-to tip is just one peek into the upcoming books.  What gunsmithing tips would interest you?

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Melonite, What’s the Scoop?

Before we talk about the Melonite® process, it’s important to understand that you must complete all machine work to be performed on parts prior to treatment.  The finished surface is extremely hard and makes modification of parts after Melonite treatment impractical.  High Speed steel cutting tools will be destroyed trying to cut through Melonite.

MELONITE is a thermochemical treatment for improving surface properties of metal parts. It exhibits predictable and repeatable results in the treating of low and medium carbon steels, alloy steels and stainless  steels.  The process has many stages, from the pre-treatment-cleaning, to pre-heat furnace, to the Melonite salts, quench salts and water rinses.

The MELONITE process  is not a coating.  It is a process that introduces nitrogen and carbon into the surface of the metal.  It produces high wear resistant as well as improved lubricity. The service life of steel tools and parts is extended. Corrosion resistance of unalloyed and low alloyed steels is greatly improved.

The MELONITE process increases fatigue strength  about 30-80% on parts made of alloyed steels. The hardness is maintained up to about 930°F and extends the surface life of steel tools and components which are exposed to heat.

During the MELONITE process, which takes place between 900°F and 1075°F. A two-part nitride layer consisting of a monophase compound layer and a diffusion layer is formed. Total depth ranges from 0.008-0.040″, depending on the composition of the base material and treating time. Hardness in the compound layer ranges from approximately HV 700 on alloyed steels.

A unique feature of salt bath nitrocarburized layers (melonite) is the monophase compound layer, with a nitrogen content of 6-9% and a carbon content of around 1%. Compared with double phase nitride layers which have lower nitrogen concentrations, the monophase layer is more ductile and gives better wear and corrosion resistance by improvement with case hardening.

In metallographic analysis the compound layer is clearly definable from the diffusion layer as a lightly etched layer. A porous area develops in the outer zone of the compound layer. The case hardness of the compound layer measured on a cross-section is up to about 1600 HV on high chromium steels. Treatment duration of 1-2 hours usually yield compound layers about 0.0004″ to 0.0008″. The higher the alloy content, the thinner the layer for the same treatment cycle.

Corrosion resistance of Melonite is exceptional.  Salt spray tests show that Melonite can go nearly four times longer without rust spots developing than with nickle plating.

Sources for Melonite:

http://www.blacknitride.com/

http://www.northeastcoating.com/sectors/firearms

http://www.burlingtoneng.com/melonite.html

 

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Miller Precision Arms 300MPA, SHOT Show 2014

We reported on this gun when Miller Precision first introduced it on July 4th,2012.  More recently they displayed the MPA300 at the SHOT Show, 2014.  At Media Day they had several rifles there ready for writers to test.

Miller Precision MPA300

Not too surprising, the writers all wanted to shoot the 300 Winchester in favor of the other models in 308 Winchester and 5.56 Nato.

The MPA300 has the distinction of being the only 300 Winchester Semi-auto on the market that is truly on the AR platform.  While the upper, lower, magazine and bolt carrier are specific to the MPA, the rest of the parts are all AR-10 interchangeable.   So you can dress your gun with any of the various features that are already on the market for the AR-10.

Media day turned out to be a real endurance test for the MPA300.  When Brandon Miller saw that everyone wanted to shoot the 300 Winchester almost exclusively, he decided to see how long the gun would run without a cleaning.  It went about 2700 rounds before the first malfunction.  A quick inspection and cleaning had the gun back at the line and by the time the smoke cleared the gun had fired over 4000 rounds without a second failure. 

Actions are machined from billet aluminum.  These guys are selling quality, not big-box store discount products.  Finishes for the Miller Precision guns are about as varied as you can ask for.  Among other things they offer hydrographic coatings, so the choices are almost limitless.  These guns are impressive.

Brandon Miller w MPA300

Brandon Miller with his MPA300, Media Day 2014

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Cabot Guns, The Left and The Right, Mirror 1911′s

At Shot Show 2014 Cabot Guns made quite a splash with their mirror image 1911 pistols.  These two guns were true right and left hand 1911 pistols.  The right had all the conventional controls, ie. safety, slide stop and magazine release that we are all used to.

Left Handed Thinking

The Left gun however was totally backwards (as you might expect) with the controls on the wrong side of the gun.  Which makes sense when you see the scrimshaw by Darrel Morris on the grips.  The Left gun has Piers Morgan on the right grip and Obamo on the left grip.

The Right hand gun has Ted Nugent on the left grip and G.W. Bush on the right side.Right handed 1911

So when the two guns are muzzle to muzzle you have Morgan facing off with Nugent on one side and Obama with Bush on the other.  The display highlights the great American gun debate.

The folks at Cabot Guns obviously have a sense of humor as well as a clear understanding of what will spark discussion.  These presentation grade 1911 pistols show off the abilities of the company to produce high grade guns.  These guns were the talk of the show, nearly everyone I talked to asked, “Have you seen the Right and Left guns at Cabot’s booth?”

Cabot Guns was launched in 2011. In a short time, the company has won two consecutive NRA National Pistol Championships. The Cabot 1911 has been described as “the Rolls Royce of 1911′s” by S.P. Fjestad, Author and Editor of the “Blue Book of Gun Values.Ted Nugent @ Cabot Guns

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Kimber Micro .380 Pistol

Kimber’s Micro .380 ACP pistols were not new for 2014 but they were available for testing at SHOT Show Media day 2014.  The Micro includes many proven 1911 design elements that make them comfortable to carry, quick and safe to operate, and easy to shoot accurately.Kimber 380

Weighing just 13.4 ounces and with a barrel length of only 2.75 inches, they are ideal for concealed carry.  Like most 380 pistols, the recoil was light and easy to handle.  Sights were easy to pick up accuracy was good for a small pistol.  If you have big hands this gun is probably not for you, I have average size hands and it was easy to control and manipulate for me.

Weighing less than 14 ounces empty.  Slides on the Stainless and CDP models as well as all Micro barrels are machined from stainless steel for resistance to moisture and corrosion.  All Micro frames are carved from aluminum.

In many ways the Micro is a miniature 1911, among the most important Micro design features is a single action trigger with a short, smooth pull that delivers accuracy and instills confidence. The thumb safety, slide release and magazine release are pure 1911.

Standard features include a lowered and flared ejection port for flawless ejection and a beveled magazine well for fast, positive loading. These are items that many shooters pay a lot of money to have added to a gun.  Sights are steel mounted in machined dovetails for durability. Each Micro includes a flush-fitting 6-round magazine and an extended 7-round magazine is available as an accessory.

 

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Multiple Impact Bullet, SHOT Show 2014

Here is a sad fact about emergency situations:  Without extensive daily training chance are your initial reaction will be less than perfect.  In the case of life threatening situations, because of fear, panic, or adrenalin, 93 percent of first shots fired miss the intended target.  This is easy to understand.

In the best of circumstances we all have a slight twitch when firing a gun.  The best marksman learn to minimize the flinch or twitch.  For instance, if your twitch puts you just 2 degrees off target at 20 feet you will be 9.1 inches off your intended point of aim.  Obviously that is enough to cause a miss.

These facts caused the folks at Multiple Impact Bullets to invent a bullet that makes if for more likely a first shot will hit the target.  A bullet enhanced with Multiple Impact™ Technology (a prior-to-impact expansion technology) is designed to compensate for most if not all of the typical marksman’s error caused by Last Second Twitch.

The new design divides a single projectile into 3 interconnected segments that will spread to a predetermined orientation and finite diameter when fired. Once deployed, the segments of the proprietary Wide Envelopment Bullet™ (W.E.B™) are tethered together (like a spider web), to offer the shooter a much wider impact zone, reducing the occurrence of missed shots and thereby reducing the risk of collateral damage. (A standard .45 cal slug is .452 inches in diameter and remains that way until it collides with something, where as a T3™ round of the same caliber can be made to expand (instantly upon leaving the barrel) to a predetermined diameter (range 6 “ to 16 “ or greater).

This one of a kind Accelerated Radial Spread™ makes possible a wide spread pattern that ensures a high hit probability for each and every shot, resulting in unprecedented accuracy/hit probability, ensuring the shooter a greater tactical advantage.

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26 Nosler UPDATE, post SHOT Show 2014

Cartridge for 26 Nosler next to similar cartridges

26 Nosler is a new cartridge design, it actually fills a niche in the factory cartridge world.  Between the WSM cartridges and the RUM cartridges, the first being short action, the latter being full length magnum.  So the 26 Nosler is in between.

This may not sound like a big deal but it was a very good idea for a 6.5mm Magnum.  When the 7mm or 300 Remington Ultra Mag is necked to 6.5mm it’s not very satisfactory.  The case capacity is far overbore for the 6.5mm bore, so accuracy suffers and finding a good load is difficult.

By reducing case capacity as Nosler has done with this new design they have brought the balance between bore and capacity back into a range where load development is easier and barrel life will be better than with the full length RUM wildcat such as the 6.5MM UltraCat originated by Z-Hat Custom back in 1999.

26 Nosler drawingDesigned with a maximum cartridge O.A.L. of 3.340”, the 26 Nosler cartridge functions in a standard length magnum action with a 3.400″ magazine box.  It is very similar in length to a 300 Winchester magnum case.  This equates to a shorter bolt through and lighter weight gun than with the full length magnums like the 300 H&H or 7mm RUM.

The 26 Nosler is capable of pushing a 130gr bullet at a Muzzle Velocity of 3400 fps according to Nosler.  With that kind of velocity bullets must be made for the extra stress that velocity will bring to the jacket.  No disrespect to Nosler but this is a job for a NorthFork Bullet if I ever saw one.

The 26 Nosler is a non-belted, 6.5mm centerfire rifle cartridge.  With a useable case capacity of 93 grains of water, the 26 Nosler is speedy, it outperforms the 264 Win Mag by over 200 fps with a 130 gr bullet.  Loaded with the 129gr AccuBond-LR, the 26 Nosler retains as much velocity at 400 yards as the 260 Remington produces at the muzzle.

26 Nosler compared

Zeroed at 350 yards, the 26 Nosler has a maximum point blank range (PBR) of 415 yards.  It appears from the chart at the right that Nosler is figuring 5 inches +or- form zero to get to that 415 yard point blank range.

Nosler’s choice of a 6.5mm cartridge is a good one, sectional density and high ballistic coefficients make 6.5mm a good bet. Retained energy and accuracy at long range is always good with a 6.5mm.  This will be a good cartridge for wide open western hunting for deer class animals.  Thumbs Up!

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