Chambering Rifles for Accuracy

Have you ever wanted to be a gunsmith?

Or, do you just want to know what a gunsmith does to make your rifles more accurate?

This book is idea for both the guy making a living in gunsmithing and the hobbyist who wants to know how.  It’s no B.S. approach is to tell you all the considerations that go into accuracy in a rifle.  It’s not just the barrel, or how its installed.  Things like trigger jobs and the quality of the ammunition certainly play into the equation.

When I went to gunsmithing school we were taught a rudimentary understanding of how to install a barrel.  A simple list of the facts would be:

  • Face the barrel breach square to the muzzle
  • Put the barrel in a four jaw chuck
  • Install a spider on the outboard side of the lathe head
  • use the chuck and spider to dial in the barrel on the bore.
  • Thread the barrel
  • Chamber the barrel
  • turn it around and dial it in again
  • Crown
  • Polish and blue

Very little was taught about headspace, tollerances, throats, crowns or various ways to hold the reamer for better results.  My first year working in a  gun shop in Coeur d’Alene, ID I learned more about this subject than I did in two years of school.  Luckily I worked for a guy who had years of experience and had learned a lot of useful tricks.  Once my mind was opened up the concept of constantly looking for a better way, the flood gates opened up.  I have tried just about every tool and method I could think of or that I was made aware of.  Some things work better than others and often it’s a matter of personal taste as to which method works best in your shop.  With that said, facts are facts.   Some methods and tools really improve the quality of the work performed, sometimes they are no better but the speed the process aiding the working gunsmith in making a decent living.

My Buddy Gordy Gritters and I were discussing this subject and quickly came to the conclusion that we had a book in the making.  Our combined experience is over 75 years working in the gun industry.  This book is #3 in the “Gunsmithing Student Handbook Series”.

I took on the task of describing methods, tools, and all the variables that go into accuracy, no matter who is doing the work.  Gordy took on the task of writing about the methods used for benchrest quality barrel work.  You see there is a substantial difference in the cost of a hunting rifle over a bench rest gun.  The reason for this is simple, time and effort spent on detail after detail when you build bench rest guns.  In short, it cost money to squeeze every bit of accuracy from a gun.

It ended up that we split the book into two parts.  Part I is about hunting rifles and how to get sub-MOA results and not have to sell the farm to pay for it.  Part II is no holds barred, spend all the time and money that it takes to punch holes in the paper that are so close together that it’s tough to tell more than one shot was fired…

Whether you are a gunsmithing customer who wants to understand what is involved, a hobby gunsmith needing to learn or a professional who wants to hone skills that will make you money; This book is for you.

ISBN-13: 978-0983159858

 

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Filed under accuracy, Gunsmithing, How To, Rifles, tools

CMP Announces that M1 Garands are BACK!

The Civilian Marksmanship Program has recently received containers full of vintage M1 Garand rifles long ago loaned to U.S. allies overseas.  Gina Johnson, CMP’s general manager stated that,  “The federally-chartered non-profit corporation has been moving the repatriated 30.06-caliber rifles into their warehouses.” in the final days of January, 2018.

Johnson also stated, “We have roughly 86,000 rifles from the Philippines and roughly 13,000 rifles from Turkey in our possession,”

The guns that returned from the Philippines have been in the news on many gun related web sites for quite a while. The State Department under Hilary Clinton blocked the return of these old war horses. CMP has kept the news on the Turkish M1s a little more quiet until now.

These vintage M1 Garand rifles, which the organization is authorized to sell to the public by Congress for safety training and marksmanship efforts around the country, is one of the biggest stockpiles the CMP has received for many years.

Not just anyone can buy from the CMP… You must show that you are eligible in order to place an order.  The CMP is careful to make sure applicable laws and regulations are followed for all transactions.

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Most shooters have probably heard of the 1911 pistols recently released to the CMP, they are preparing to inventory M1911 pistols now as well.

In an update posted by the CMP January 29, 2018, the CMP announces that they have received 8,000 1911 type pistols from the Army.  They must first be inventoried and placed in secure storage.   This is where I laugh at all the keyboard commandos who have been spouting that they have no desire to own an old worn out 1911.  It’s my argument that these guys are just trying to talk down the price and scare of potential competition from even looking at the CMP site. Don’t let them fool you, there will be some awesome guns sold through this system.

An Army-approved building and armory infrastructure must be completed for the preparation of these guns for sale to the public, a process expected to take about 60 days. Once the facilities pass muster; inspection, test firing and grading can be completed. After that the guns can go up for sale, with CMP promising to post the order packets needed to buy the handguns 90 days prior to the order acceptance date and opening sales date.  So that potential buyers will have plenty of time to meet requirements.

In 2015, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, revealed that the military was and is spending about $2 per year per gun, to store 100,000 Model 1911s that are surplus to the Army’s needs.  Production of 1911’s for military contracts largely ended by 1945, meaning the guns in storage likely date to the World War II-era or earlier.  Many of the pistols have been stored  for over 30 years. They were withdrawn from service during the 1980s in favor of the then-new Beretta 92F (M9).

The Department of Defense’s 1033 Program allows eligible law enforcement agencies to apply for up to one pistol per full-time officer.  Approximately 8,300 of the stored 1911s have been sold or loaned in recent years under the 1033 Program.  So there are alot of handguns in storage that can be eventually sold through the CMP assuming the pilot program is a success and politicians continue to support the sales.

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Streak™ Visual Ammunition

I go to SHOT Show nearly every year to keep up with what is new and maintain those industry contacts that we need just to do business.  This year I came a couple of days early so I could attend the Anteris Alliance, “Try & Buy”.  This is only the second year for this new event and it is not affiliated in anyway with the SHOT, just happens during the same week for what should be obvious advantages for all attending.

The Try & Buy is made up mostly of Anteris Alliance Members who are there showing their wares and building business contacts.  One of the big differences from my point of view is the fact that many of the companies are small, often family owned and operated.  Which means the are working hard to meet customer needs and satisfaction. Even more important in my mind is the ingenuity and creativity they display.

Big companies have huge resources and can do amazing things to serve the buying public. But, small companies are much more nimble and not only can, but must adapt to a changing market quickly to survive.  As a result often these smaller outfits come up with really cool products that deserve wide distribution and press.

Ammunition Incorporated is probably a little bigger than many of the alliance members, many of you may already know their products.  For instance these are the guys that make the Jesse James line if ammunition.  They also have several proprietary lines of ammunition.  Stealth is subsonic, OPS™ or One Precise Shot is their self  defense and LE duty ammunition.

STREAK™ is a NEXT – GENERATION “Non-Flammable” visual “tracer style” ammunition, which is a non-incendiary round, safe for indoor and outdoor use. This round allows the shooter to keep a visual on the projectiles path towards the target which is great for training as well as exciting to shoot.  The dusk demo of this product was fun to watch, there is phosphor material boned to the base of the bullet and the burning of the powder provides a light charge so that the tracer glows.

The light can only be seen from the shooters point of view with a pretty narrow cone in which observers can see the trace as well.  Since it’s  not an incendiary there should  be little or no restrictions on this ammo in most locals.  Of course its up to you to know your local laws.

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RCBS, Brass Boss, Case Prep Machine

RCBS, the popular manufacturer of ammunition reloading equipment for rifles and pistols, will launch a new product to dealers at booth 14551 at the 2018 Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, January 23 to 26.  If your selling reloading gear this is a tool to check out at the show.

Quality handloads start with quality brass, and the new Brass Boss is a tool designed to make that work easier. Getting brass ready to reload used to be a long, arduous process. No more. The Brass Boss features six variable speeds, rotating stations that completely prepare trimmed brass for reloading, all in one machine. The Brass Boss includes tools for all six stations: an inside VLD chamfering tool, outside deburring tool, primer pocket cleaner (small & large), military crimp remover (small & large), case neck brushes (four diameters) and a tub of dry case neck lubricant. Designed to save time, elbow grease and process brass efficiently and uniformly the Brass Boss looks like a work horse.

MSRP of $189.95.BrassBoss_LG

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You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out Kid…

Every time I pick up a BB gun I find myself in the backyard with my Dad at six years old.  Shooting my old Daisy BB gun at a cardboard box. A 15 foot target taped to the box and doing my darnedest to keep them all on the box.

Over the years I got to play with that BB gun a lot and it helped me to learn how to line up sights and squeeze a trigger, because if you jerked the trigger it was a foot off and you could watch the BB miss the box or whatever your target might be.

Naturally like every kid turned loose with a BB gun I shot at something that caused the BB to ricochet back.  That was a hard lesson, but not soon forgotten.  I’m in favor of letting kids learn a few hard lessons so long as they don’t loose and eye in the process.  I seem to recall a Christmas Classic Movie that focuses on  that very concept?!

Well the folks at Air Venturi have an answer for the BB ricochet of our youth.  They plan to stop them with Frangible BBs.  Most of the time I hate “New and Improved” ideas because the standard steel BB we all know.  And, when it hits something hard if fractures and falls apart, unlike the old steel BB we all know and love.

Many times I am not a fan of the “New & Improved” product, they tear away some memory or valuable lesson from our youth.  This one I can get behind though.  It allows the BB to travel at a velocity about 10% faster than the common steel BBs we all know and love and when they hit something hard, instead of bouncing back they turn to dust on the spot.  You can even call them “Green” because they contain no lead.

Next some Nam-by-Pam-by will tell us the kids have to wear a dust mask when they shoot these new Frangible BBs.  I draw the line there, just take the kids out and have some fun introducing them to the fun of the BB gun.

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Sierra Adds a 150 grain HPBT

150_264matchking

It’s a MatchKing® bullet actually introduced in October 2017 but is certainly being featured at the 2018 SHOT Show.  The popularity of 6.5 cartridges like the Creedmoor, 6.5×47 Lapua and 6.5×284 in all its numerous iterations will insure the sales of a new match bullet for Sierra.  At the time of this writing it appears Sierra is the only major bullet producer that offers a 150 grain bullet for the 6.5 bore.  This bullet will be best suited for cartridges with more case capacity, the 6.5-06 or the 6.5-284 will probably utilize it best.

MatchKing 6.5mm 150 grain HPBT (#1755).  Has a sleek 27 caliber elongated ogive and a final meplat reducing operation (pointing) to provide an increased ballistic coefficient (claiming over .700) for optimal wind resistance and velocity retention.  To ensure precise bullet to bore alignment, a unique bearing surface to ogive junction uses the same 1.5 degree angle commonly found in many match rifle chamber throats.  There is an interesting subject for a test; does matching the shape of the throat and bullet change the accuracy of any given bullet?

MatchKing® and Tipped MatchKing® bullets are not recommended for most hunting applications. Especially when we are talking about game animals of any size.  Match bullets are designed for accuracy and bucking wind over long range, but they are not designed to reliably expand.  Sierra makes GameKing® bullets for Hunters.

According to Sierra this bullet requires a barrel twist rate of 1 turn in 7.5” or faster.

 

 

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Filed under accuracy, ammo, bullets', Camp Perry, reloading, wildcat

So you say you wanna be a BAD Boy?

The Cimarron Firearms Company  introduces the Bad Boy .44 Mag. at the 2018 SHOT Show, a modern take on a classic single-action revolver design. Features include, a flat top receiver, a non-fluted cylinder, adjustable target sights and smooth hardwood grip panels.

Over the decades many others have brought similar large frame Single Actions to the market place.  Interarms™ imported the Verginian Dragoon.  Herter’s had a 44 Magnum.  EAA has the Bounty Hunter in 44.  Uberti™ has the Callahan and we cannot forget the Ruger™ New Model Super Blackhawk.

The Bad Boy is constructed of a polished blued steel Pre-War frame with an Army-style grip, but the octagon barrel is a feature that would be expensive if you went to a gunsmith to make one.  Rumor has it that there will be a 6″ version available, but all that is listed for now is the 8″ Barrel.  The adjustable sights make this a great choice for a hunting gun.

MSRP $687.70

 

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Christensen Arms, Modern Precision Rifle

Additional Calibers added to the Modern Precision Rifle™

Gunnison, UT – (January 16, 2018) Building upon the successful launch of the Modern Precision Rifle, Christensen Arms has expanded the caliber offerings for the popular rifle.  Beginning in January 2018, just in time for SHOT Show, the Modern Precision Rifle will be offered in a long-action configuration with .300 Winchester Magnum, .300 Norma Magnum, and .338 Lapua Magnum available. Additionally, Christensen Arms has added the new 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge to the short-action lineup.  Also chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Winchester.

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The Modern Precision Rifle was developed with a proprietary chassis built with aerospace materials to optimize weight savings (16” .308 weighs under 7lbs).  It also includes an adjustable folding stock with a locking hinge mechanism, an oversized fluted bolt knob, and a black nitride coated bolt, receiver, and muzzle brake.  The Modern Precision Rifle is built with an aerograde carbon fiber barrel, free-floating handguard, and adjustable comb; and is guaranteed to shoot sub MOA.

“…as a benchmark, the MPR is going to be damned hard to top,” said Brian McCombie of American Hunter after his initial review of Christensen Arms’ new rifle.

About Christensen Arms
Founded in Utah in 1995, with roots in the aerospace industry, Christensen Arms developed the first carbon fiber rifle barrel. This patented technology resulted in one of the most innovative advances in firearms within the last two and a half decades. With more than 20 years of firearm experience focusing on incorporating top-tier aerospace materials and processes, Christensen Arms manufactures some of the most lightweight, precise, and accurate firearms in the industry and around the globe.

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Filed under accuracy, Firearms, Rifles, Shooting, Stocks

10mm Carbine from Hi-Point

Stop laughing already…

Here’s the thing, Hi-Point Firearms is unapologetic about offering some of the lowest priced American-made firearms on the market.  But did you know they offer excellent customer service and stand behind the quality of the products they make?  They Do.

Some other gun makers to take a lesson or two from Hi-Point about reliability.  Over and over again I have read reports of reliability tests on these guns the just frustrate anyone who plans to hate them.  They feed just about any ammo and just keep running.  One of my buddies took all the reloads in .380 ACP that failed in his expensive big name guns and ran them through a Hi-Point without a single failure to feed or fire.  That’s a pretty tall order for any gun.

Being probably the cheapest carbine in the market place and being known for reliability will get many shooters to ignore the fact that the guns are not going to win any beauty contests.  Nobody is ever going to checker plastic stocks or engrave a Hi-Point.  But if your looking for a rough and tumble truck gun…  This is it.

In 2018, Hi-Point is adding power to its carbine line with a new 10 mm version that accepts a 10-round single-stack magazine and it’s +P rated. The rubber cheek rest, recoil absorbing stock and a trigger that is at least acceptable, will all contribute to more fun at the range. The 17.5″ barrel has a threaded muzzle with a sight rail for optics  and a lower rail for accessories, dare I refer to them as Pic-rails.   Until this 10mm came along I was not ready to own one, now I will have to add one to the collection.

MSRP: $389.99

 

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North American Arms, Ranger II

2018 SHOT Show release.

The Ranger II is a tip up action.  If you love those old “Lemon Sqeezers” and other top break action revolvers.  Here is a chance to have a brand new gun of good quality.  Available in either a convert able with two cylinders for 22 LR and 22 Magnum.  Or there is a single cylinder version in 22 Magnum only.

Naturally NAA is already providing accessories for the Ranger II like holsters and Branded Gun rugs.

Why Ranger II?   Well some of you might remember back in 2012, North American Arms (NAA) released a limited run of the Ranger break-top Mini revolver. Inspired by the Navy Schofield Founder’s Model .45 Colt.  Save for the fact that is was expensive to produce compared to other guns in the line, it was a hit with critics and consumers alike. Then the Ranger was discontinued and work began on a more competitively price Ranger II. NAA’s long awaited break-top was originally expected in 2016, it’s finally in production as of the NASGW Expo.   This will be one to check out at SHOT Show.

Caliber: .22 Magnum or convert able to 22 LR
Capacity: 5
Length: 5.16″
Height: 2.81″
Width: 1.06″
Weight: 6.9 oz.
Barrel Length: 1.63″
Sights: Bead Sight
Action: Single Action
Grips: Rosewood Bird’s Head NAA-22MC-BTII 22 Magnum, Ranger II Break-Top – 1 5/8″ Barrel

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