Tag Archives: accuracy

Getting Ready for “This Season”

It’s that magical time of year when hunters start saying, “This Season” instead of “Next Season”.

Upgrade, try a new caliber.

Upgrade, try a new caliber.

Across the west every year when the big game draw results become public hunters start to plan for their fall trips.  Once you know the results of the draw it’s time to assemble the gear and goodies you will need for a successful hunting season.

The problem is eternal though, that for most sportsmen we are still fishing, boating, hiking, camping and doing all those summer time activities with family and friends.  It’s difficult to turn your attention to fall plans when you’re so busy having fun in the outdoors.

Doing just one small thing can greatly aid in your fall preparations and takes only a few minutes out of your summer.  Last season either you gun broke or you decided it needed an upgrade before next season.  Well, next season is now this season.  Grab that gun from the safe and get it to the gunsmith now.  You can avoid the seasonal rush and be much more likely to get your job done before the fall hunt is upon you.

Fall is just around the corner

Soon you will be glassing for that buck.

It takes time to get in parts or barrels to upgrade your firearm.  Leave time for the gunsmith to acquire the parts you want.  Many gunsmiths I talk to even offer specials this time of year to encourage bringing projects in early.

So drop your gun off now, so you can get back out there and enjoy the summer.  Then when fall hits you will have that new barrel, scope, stock, trigger or whatever you need to be more successful on you hunt this fall.

Now go have some fun!

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Filed under Firearms, Gunsmithing, hunting

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

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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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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25-45 SRC (Sharps Rifle Co.) SHOT Show 2014

Found this little goodie at Media Day for Shot Show.  You might imagine seeing the Sharps name that has always been associated with single shots and then seeing nothing but AR-15 rifles in the booth.  I took a double take…  which is probably what they were hoping for all the writers that visited the event.25-45 SRC ammo

Having been in the gun business for so many years I have seen the rebirth of many company names.  Some have been successful and others have quickly died away.  No telling what will happen with this new company.  Sharps Rifle Company (SRC) is one of several brands, (five at present) under the one roof.

Turns out the item of interest was the 25-45 SRC cartridge.  This is the most recent iteration of a wildcat most commonly known as a 25/223 Remington.  Another well known variation came out in 1987 as the 25 TCU (Thompson Center Ugalde).  The TCU version was designed for metalic silhouette competition.  Of course that cartridge was intended for use in a 14″ barrel from a Contender pistol.  While they are not interchangeable the two cartridges are very similar.  Ahh, what’s old is new again.  I sense a theme here.

  • 65 Grain Rapid Expansion Varmint is advertised at 3300 feet per second from a 20″ barrel.
  • 87 Grain soft point or FMJ loads are advertised at 3000 feet per second also from a 20″ barrel.

Of course, headstamped brass and commercially loaded ammo is always a selling point and SRC is offering just that.  For more information on the brands and products associated with SRC click here.

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Filed under ammo, Rifles, Shooting, wildcat

Forbes Production Rifle, SHOT Show 2014

For years Melvin Forbes has been offering custom light weight rifles through his company, “New Ultra Light Arms”.  For 2014 Forbes is bringing to market a production rifle under a different company www.forbesriflellc.com.

These rifles will be light weight hunting guns, just like the custom guns Forbes has offered in the past.  The production rifles will be offered in the short action M20B, and the long action M24B.  Short actions will be chambered in 308 Winchester, 243 Winchester, and 7mm-08.  The long action rifles will be chambered in 270 Winchester, 280 Remington, 6.5×55 Sweed, 30-06, and 35 Whelen.

Production rifles will sport Timney Triggers, with sear block safety, and 3 round magazines, CNC machined actions, spiral fluted bolts, and hand laid carbon fiber/Kevlar stocks with 13.375″ Length of pull.  Stocks will be available in multiple colors.

Forbes is not abandoning New Ultra Light Arms.  They will continue to build the fine custom rifles they have become famous for.

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Filed under Firearms, hunting, Rifles, Shooting, Stocks

Learning About Bergara Barrels

Gunsmiths are always looking for sources for quality barrels.  There are several good makers in the United States.  Douglas, Hart, Krieger and  Pac-Nor to name a few.  Bergara is a Spanish barrel maker.  They recently purchased new equipment that have allowed them to expand operations both in Spain and the U.S.

Shooters of the T.C. Encore™ have probably heard of Bergara Barrels, because they manufacture replacement barrels for the famous Encore™ pistols and rifles.   Accuracy reports from these barrels have been very good.  Of late Bergara USA is offering much more, including tapered barrel blanks for gunsmiths.

Prices are comparable to other barrels in the marketplace.

The video below is an introduction to the manufacturing processes used by Bergara to make barrels.  Pretty interesting if you have never seen a barrel made.  Bergara has invested in some new high-tech gun drills and equipment to manufacture quality barrels in a less labor intensive process.

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8th Annual Gunsmith Conference and Career Fair

This conference has become an important part of the firearms trade, helping gunsmiths and employers to locate each other.

The Gunsmith Conference and Career Fair is the perfect venue for prospective, student or working gunsmiths to interact the with industry’s top employers and personalities. Further, it’s great opportunity for those firearm-related companies looking for qualified gunsmiths, or to show off their products to key customers. As in year’s past, there will be no charge for individuals or companies to attend. The industry-exclusive event will again be held at the Downtown Marriott in Des Moines, Iowa, April 1-2, 2014.

In addition to the unique networking and potential employment opportunities, the Gunsmith Conference and Career Fair will feature a host of seminars ranging from firearm-specific topics to business tips for gun shop owners.

Among the speakers already signed up are Steve Sanetti, President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Les Baer, owner of Les Baer Custom, Stan Chen, owner of Stan Chen Custom, Jason Hornady, Vice President of Hornady Manufacturing, and legendary gunsmiths and gunmakers Joe Balickie, Jerry Fisher, Ron Power, Sharon Dressel and more. Doug Turnbull of Turnbull Manufacturing will deliver the keynote address at Wednesday evening’s banquet.

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New: Release Agent for Glass Bedding Rifles

4D Reamer Rentals LTD. has a long history or providing quality tools for gunsmithing.

Recently they provided me with a test sample of their latest product.  Its a release agent for use with glass bedding products.  I have tried it with several bedding compounds and other epoxy products.  Results have been great, not only does it release as any such agent should, it does so with no oily film either on the metal or the stock.

Release Agent Kit

http://www.4-dproducts.com is offering this release agent for glass bedding projects. No Hazard fees to ship.

I’m not going to tell you this is the “only” release agent to use.  But is has a couple of advantages I want to point out.  First, it is a green product.  I don’t buy into everything about the green movement, but I do like to use products that  are not hazardous to my health.  I figure I am exposed to enough junk on a daily basis, there is no reason to purposely add to the mix.

This product is at worst a mild irritant.  Some similar products require hazard fees to ship, 4D’s release agent does not.  They ship it with a sprayer that makes it easy to apply.  You just mix the concentrate they ship 4 to 1 with Isopropyl alcohol (which the customer provides locally) and put it in the sprayer.  It takes a short time to dry, that is probably the one down side.  I just sprayed the parts before I mixed my compound and the parts were ready to go by the time I was ready for them.

The  professional grade spray system that comes with the release agent has countless applications, disposable, recyclable, easy to clean and where no compressor is available its a God send.  4D sells the sprayers and replacement parts separately too.

How the sprayer operates is simple, release agent, liquid, or paint product is pulled from a removable, refillable Product Container. The pressure comes from the top part called the “Power Unit”, contained separately from the “Product Container”. A dip tube runs through the Power Unit and into the Product Container pulling up whatever you are spraying.

The product container is a glass bottle with graduations so it’s easy to mix or measure the product you plan to spray.  This is a great option for somebody who does not have a compressor or needs a field expedient solution.  I like this product.

 

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Filed under Gunsmithing, How To, Rifles, Stocks, tools, Uncategorized

Two Guns @ SHOT Show for the 17 WSM

Model_1885_17wsm

1885 Low Wall Winchester in 17 WSM

Only two guns were available at SHOT Show, 2013 for the new Winchester Super Magnum rimfire cartridge.  By next year there will undoubtedly be many more.

savage-bmag

Savage B Mag

The Savage B Mag has some new features that make it well suited for Winchester’s newest hot rimfire.  This is an all new platform for rimfires from Savage.  Rear locking lugs, cock on close, eight round rotary magazine, threaded barrel and an adjustable accu trigger TM.  MSRP is $349.

For more info see this link: 17-winchester-super-magnum-rim-fire

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Filed under ammo, Firearms, Rifles, Shooting