5.56 Timeline

Practical Field Marksman Rifles for Long Range 800-1,000 yards

After making the post about rifles for long range,  I noticed a few comments of interest to a wide variety I believe. The idea is to have a rifle capable of long range without a huge cost.  I am going to address a few of those questions here now and this will turn into a series of articles on the subject if all goes well.  But, for now, this will be more or less, an intro to  what it takes get it done out to ranges most shooters won’t even bother to shoot at.

One of the first points brought up on the facebook page was a desire to know what can be used in this application that is not a boat anchor or massive BR gun.   The simple truth is, that a lot of the slick gun rags, and the writers in such mags, want to sell product and they want as many people as possible to think that they have some knowledge or skill that the average reader does not. One of the ways that encourage you to live out your long range shooting fantasies vicariously through what they write is by only talking about and showing stuff so expensive you can not buy it and, by making it sound a lot harder then it really is.


One of the things I want to make clear before we get too far into all of this, is that all we are concerned with here is being able to get a hit on a man, in the field under field conditions by some one that is not a sniper or a LR shooter with years of experience an expensive rifle and 5 dollar a round match ammo to go with it.  This will help what I like to call field shooting or field marksmanship.  By that I mean being able to get a hit on a man, in a short amount of time , at the furthest effective distance your cartridge and rifle are capable of in field shooting positions. Not off a benchrest or the square range on a mat on a nice warm sunny day with your cool sun glasses and red bull beside you. It is not about head shots at 800 yards or camp perry. It is about getting a hit. It may be a hit in the crotch or the thigh or in center chest, but it will be a hit that will put a normal person out of a fight.  ( all for informational purposes only of course)…

There are of course some things that you have to keep in mind when trying to put together a rifle for longer ranges on a budget.  While a great many cartridges can be used out to 1K, not all of them are idea for it.  We will explore those reasons in detail later so right now let me talk about some of the first hurtles that keep the vast majority of people from using their rifles for LR and causing them to give up

Shooters who do not jump right to buying purpose built gear for long range shooting are for the most part, stopped dead by the simple fact that they do not have a base for their optics that is made to have a cant. Almost every one of the scopes that are out there that fit in the idea of this series are not meant for even medium range shots. Say, 500 yards. They are meant to be zeroed at 100 or 200 yards and used for deer shots. They may be excellent quality as far as the clarity and durability, but the adjustment range is not built in. So, you go out and zero at 100 yards. and you know from me, or the web some where it takes 144 clicks ( for a 1/4 minute turret) to come up to  1,000 yards.  Problem is, you run out at 58 clicks after you zeroed the scope at 100 yards. The scope started out close to its mechanical zero, which took up half its range, then you used up another quarter of it just getting zeroed at 100. So, when you start to go out to even 500 yards, you run out.   There is no need to cry and go buy another scope though because this can be cured.

Now, the cheap terrible terrible way to do this is to shim the rear ring or base. But, do not do this because it will not work for long and its just pointless because leupold or redfield makes what they call a “long range” base for about 17 dollars.  You can use the same rings that fit any of those bases with the LR base.    The base, is made with a built in cant. Usually its about a 20 MOA cant.  To explain it simply, it makes the rear thicker then the front and raises the rear of the scope. This has the scope pointing down a little in front instead of setting level on top of the action.   Once you have one of these on your rifle. you re zero and you will almost run out of down adjustment when you get it zeroed. This will give you almost the entire range of elevation to dial in out to as far as your cartridge is capable of.  Now some rounds will not shoot flat enough for even this fix.  Your 54-70 ain’t gonna make it with that scope but rounds like the 308 or anything faster will be ok as long as the velocity is decent.

Now, some scopes with a 30mm tube will give you even more adjustment range because of their size, but thats beyond the point of what we are talking about here,. for right now, we are talking about taking a rifle that may have been your deer gun or varmint gun and getting it on at 1000 yards.

If you do this and still can not make it at 1000 yards, you can try a few more things. One is to go to a faster load to try to eek out a flatter trajectory.  The flatter the trajectory and the faster the round, the less adjustment you need to come up.  Now of course there is a caveat to this. You need to use bullet designs and weights that will work out to this range. You can not drop a 110 grain bullet in your 30-06 and get 3000 fps and expect to get on paper at 1K. The bullet will lose to much velocity, be blown around by the wind and will just be a failure all in all.   For now though, lets keep it simple and get into ballistics later. But keep in mind you can no tuse just anything that strikes your fancy just because its what you have.

Now, if the round you are using can not make it because of velocity or the scope still runs out of elevation, you can still use the scope reticule for hold off.  That is, instead of aiming with the center of the cross hairs, maybe you use the tip of the vertical cross hair at the point it just starts to get thick on a  hunting douplex type cross hair.    This can give you more room to work with but it is not  easy for those without the experience. It takes practice to really use this well and changes in world around you can throw it all off. And of course the hold point changes at other ranges and you would have to now the exact point on a featureless cross hair for where to hold.  It can be done and I did it for years but I do not suggest you handicap your self that bad when you can avoid it fairly easy with little cost.

Another reader asked about bolt actions with sporter weight barrels.  A light weight barrel contour can be just as accurate as a heavy barrel. Quality is quality. But the problem is, it will not shoot to POA/POI long once it heats up and its prone to influence easy.  That is not to say it can not be worked with, but it has some pretty big hurdles for the new LR shooter to over come.  One major problem with sporters are they often have shorter barrels.  Shorter does not mean less accurate but, it does mean less velocity and velocity is what keeps your bullet super sonic as far as possible and the faster it shoots, the flatter it shoots and the flatter it shoots, the less adjustment you need in your optic.   this does not mean it can not be done, it just means it may take a lot more vertical adjustment to get out there.

A few things to try to look for in a sporter you may want to use are if it has a solid bedding and if the barrel is free floating. If it is not FFing, thats OK. Does it have a pressure point applied properly in the forum? DO you know what that is or how to check for it?  If it does not have a pressure point you can do two things, FF the barrel yourself or add the pressure point.  There are kits you can buy from Brownells to help you FF the barrel and bed the action.  You do not have to bed the action, but you should,because the gun will not stay zeroed long if it is not and the stock is wood or one of the cheaper “synthetic” stocks.  You skill level will depend on if you can do this at home or not.  The problem with a non FF barrel on a wood or cheap synthetic stocks are that they warp in the heat or rain/cold, etc.  This applies pressure to the barrel that changes and just makes keeping a zero a nightmare.   the level of precision you want will depend on how much of this you may want to do or have done.   I am not going to go on and on about the trigger because it is just not that important. Light triggers are nice, but they can be for the spoiled. The rifleman can take a trigger and work with it and make the hit.  As long as it breaks, and is constant, it can be used.     One thing to keep in mind when using gear in this range is to use the gun/ammo to its realistic effective range.  If the gun can make 8 hits out of 10 at 800 yards but can not hit a battle ship at 900, then you got a 800 yard gun. That is perfectly OK. That is still a lot further then the typical American shooter can get too and its 600 yards beyond what 99.9 percent of people with an AK type rifle can do with their weapon and skill level.

Now, here is what we need to look for if we are going to use a sporter and a few things that will make it more effective.  A rifle with hopefully at least a 22 inch barrel in a caliber that is workable.  A clear scope that the turrets are preferably finger adjustable but if not, at least adjustable and with a positive “click”. Stay away from the friction plate adjustments like on the leupold Var X-1 type scopes.  There are hopeless for knowing how much you just dialed in.  Magnification is not important as much as you think. Can you see the target well enough to put the cross hairs on it and its clear? Good enough. I can make 1000 yard hits with a 5x leupold VarX-III all day long.  But, if you need more, get it. Just do not go above 10x-12x.  We can go more on other types of rifles, but its best to stay under on the sprorter.  I will go into that later.   The next is the Long range base. Get the best you can afford. Picatinny would be grat, but Leupold and redfield both make a canted long range base and burris and such probably does as well. Get the rings to match.   Quality ammo is a must. At the least you need to keep 2 MOA with it. If you handload, that is idea.   A sling is also an important item for our field practical rifleman. Not the idiotic wide padded slings for carrying either. Get a 1906 military type sling so we can use it to shoot with.  A bipod of the harris type is also a must have these days. It offers just too much benefit with no real draw backs that cancel out its huge advantages.  For our purposes of the “combat sporter”  I suggest the 6-9 inch BR model. Or any of the decent made Harris copies.   A rifle with these vague features, properly zeroed and taken care of with good ammo in the hands of some one who has practiced with the gun and knows the come ups. for the round should easily be able to get hits on a target at 800 with no problem.

Next time I will start to go into more detail on the next steps up the ladder

Rifle Barrel Cleaning Method For Precision

When I started my time of precision shooting during my late teenage years I cleaned a rifle about like most people who don’t give it much thought.  When I was in college I was lucky enough to be taken under the wing of a benchrest ( NBRSA) shooter with years of experience with match rifles and how to take care of them. One of the many priceless things he taught me was how to clean a barrel in an effective way that really cleaned it, not just played at cleaning.   The method is not revolutionary  during this time but, it does require more effort than what people want to give.  You also have more money invested in quality cleaning tools then a lot of plinkers and dirt blasters pay for ammo.

I’m going to talk a bit about  what I was taught and how to do it and I am going to explain why certain things are done even though some people will tell you different

First, here are some of the basic things needed. A lot of versions of the same things can be purchased anywhere. But like everything in the fire arms world, quality matters and when it comes to keeping your barrel at its top condition, the things you use need thought and care.


Now, other than a decent bench to set everything on, and a way to hold the gun upright to work with, here  are  some of the basic things you need if you want to do it right.

Bore guides are a must. If no one has ever told you why you need them I will explain.   The best cleaning rod to use for cleaning a barrel is a one piece. One piece rods will flex or  become bent ( more on this later) also, some brushes have  bit of metal exposed on the tip. A bore guide will keep the rod straight as it enters the barrel. If you do not have the proper guide to keep it straight,  the rod will wear against the inside of the barrel as you pull it back and forth. This can wear the throat/leade of the barrel where the chamber ends and the rifling begins. This is very bad for your barrel and accuracy. A warped rod will bow and also wear on the barrel further down.  Some people like to use a stainless steel rod ( I am not one of them). The SS rod wearing against the inside of the barrel will do more damage then hundreds of rounds fired.  A lot of fine barrels wear out or are damaged from improper cleaning than from shooting if the person doing the cleaning knows cleaning is a must but does it wrong or without care.  The Guide also keeps solvent and oil out of the chamber  as well as bits of the brush that come off as stronger solvent slowly degrades the brush.    Another reason, is the bore guide keeps solvents from getting into the action and bedding. Solvent will degrade glass bedding and get into a wood stock and soften it or destroying any bedding. Solvent can also strip any oil and grease on small trigger parts, letting it rust and you not knowing, There are a thousand reasons to use a bore guide but not one good reason not to. Buy one and use it.  DO not get a universal bore guide. Get one for each cartridge so it fits properly.  Otherwise you are wasting time money and a good gun(s).

Next is proper brushes. Get quality brushes from some where like ProShot. Walmart brushes are often too small and do not fit tightly. You have to have a brush that fits snug. When it gets loose, toss it out and use another one, They wear out fast when they  are truly cleaning.  When you are done cleaning and the brush is still good. Spray the brush off with something like Brake Parts cleaner or starting fluid, Degrease it and get all the solvent off. One, because the solvent will eat it away if  you leave it. Two. because after each brushing cycle, you need to clean the brush. Why? Because if you do not clean it, you recontaminate the bore again with the old gunk in it you just brushed out. Do not stick a filthy brush back into a bore you are trying to clean.  Spray if off with brake clean, the wet it again with bore solvent and start again.


This leads to the next must have. A solvent bottle that you can squirt onto the brush.  Everyone gets a bigger bottle of solvent. It is a pain and a waste to pour out more on the floor then the brush.  This lets you apply it without waste. More importantly, you use the squirt bottle so you DO NOT DIP THE BRUSH IN THE BOTTLE OF SOLVENT.  When you need to wet the brush again, you do not want to stick the brush in an entire bottle of solvent and contaminate the entire fresh bottle of cleaner.  A lot of people do this without thinking, But it is the absolute wrong way to do it. The dirtier it gets, the less it works and you are just putting crud back into the bore and can not tell when you are getting it clean.

The Next thing is quality cotton flannel patches. They work. They hold solvent and they will pick up solvent and loose fouling. I buy them in 30 caliber size and use scissors to cut them to sizes smaller.  You can buy them sized to caliber , but its up to you. It is important to make sure you use properly fitted patches. If not, they can become stuck or too loose to push out fouling.  I add some small  tooth brushes to go with this.  Next is the jag. The jag is the tip you put on the rod to push patches through. You will see the common military style loop as well.  Do not use the loop.  Use a proper jag to push patches through the barrel ONE WAY then let them fall off after they leave the muzzle.  DO NOT re use the same patch. Why? Because you don’t push fouling out, get it all over the patch, then pull it right back through the barrel to drop fouling off again where you just spent time trying to get it out.  Also, the loop does not allow full contract of the patch as it travels through the bore. A proper jag and patch will fit tight and push  down the  entire barrel length pushing fouling ahead and out, or soaking it up and taking it away. The loop is very close to useless.

Next is the rod, do not skimp on the rod.


Make sure the handle turns free and allows the rod to turn and follow the rifling as it travels through the bore. It has to do this to scrub it. I use a carbon rod only. Stainless steel rods will bend and stay bent. This wears the barrel quickly. The carbon will flex and not bend. There are carbon or plastic coated SS rods, but the same thing happens as a SS rod but worse. The coating will wear off where the rod contacts the inside of the barrel and grit till stick in the coating. So, not only does the SS wear the barrel but the grit in the coating will act as a sandpaper  effect making it worse.  I do not use them because of this well proven down side.  I use the carbon rod and every time I pull the rod from the bore, I have a rag to wipe off the entire length of the rod so no grit, dirt or anything else is on it to re enter the bore and do damage.

It is possible to buy rods caliber specific along with a jag, This allows the tightest fit you can get to keep from damaging the barrel. Rods also come in a varying length  depending on barrel length. I always get one a little longer then I need because of the fact my bore guide might be longer , or maybe I want to clean a long action bolt gun instead of a short action etc.  Do not get one super long, because it will weigh down as it leaves the bore and will bend. this will cause it to rub against the crown. Damage to the crown, or even wear is a fast way to ruin accuracy.  If I have a 26 inch barrel. I will get a 34 inch rod, not much longer, but enough to make sure will work if any thing changes.   With proper bore guides and care, you can use a few common rod sizes and length for a wide variety.  I find a 22 caliber rod and a 6mm will safely clean and work in everything I shoot,up to 30 caliber. In a pinch or you are just starting and do not have a lot to spend, go with a 22 caliber rod and it will do you well for a long time. Just be careful.


I have the rifle above set up ready to clean.  Angle the muzzle down to let the solvent run out and gravity to work for you. The gun has a bore guide in it for the proper 308 chamber. I set the rag under the bore guide at the action tang. This protects any pver spill solvent from getting on the stock and it is handy to have it there to wipe down the rod as I pull it from the bore to clean any fouling off of it.

The cleaning process starts like this.

I take the solvent I am using, which is usually Butches Bore Shine or TM Solutions.These are the two most effective solvent out there that are not ammonia based.  I wet a patch with the solvent very liberally and run it through the bore 5 times. This pushes out any of the big loose fouling and wets the bore. I leave the solvent in for 10-15 minutes or maybe longer if I have the time.  This gives the solvent time to work chemically.  It takes time to start to break down the copper fouling and get into the powder fouling.  IF you have any time at all. allowing it to set will cut down on how much work you do in the long run.

After the wait time I wet another patch and push it through to push out the older solvent that it diluted from the fouling and get fresh solvent in. This also once again pushes out any loose stuff that may have broken away from the cleaner working.

Once this is done I prepare to brush.  I use the proper bore brush of a good quality and wet it heavily with solvent. Some people dry brush. But like my mentor said, you Don’t brush you teeth with no water or tooth paste so why would you try it on a rifle barrel.  After it is wetted using the squirt bottle, not dipping it in the bottle. I start to brush.  One stroke forward and one back is considered one brush stroke.   The USMC in the 60s said 11 strokes would rid the barrel of fouling, but that is wonderfully naive.  I consider 22 strokes at least.  You need to wet the brush again during this.  You will know when it needs more by watching the muzzle.  A brush wet enough to work will cause a mist as it leaves the muzzle and you can see it. If it does not produce this mist, add solvent. Since you are brushing, it is OK to add it to the brush at the muzzle and pull it back through. This helps keep as much cleaner in the barrel as you can while brushing.

After this, start wet patching again. The patches will come out as black as a crows feather and the next few may be green, or blue or purple and black.   The color is from copper breaking down from the solvent. As it reacts to the solvent it changes color. It comes off on your patches and shows as many colors of the rainbow.   Keep wetting patches ( that are cut to the right size and fit tightly) and pushing them through, never re using a dirty patch.

When the wet patches come out clean, its time to brush again.  Spray clean the brush with brake cleaner  re wet it with your squirt bottle and brush again.  If the brush gets loose or easy to slide through like its not touching anything, throw it out and use a new one.   After 22 strokes, start wet patching again.

Depending on how dirty the barrel is, you may have to do this many times if you want the barrel to be as clean as you can get it.  If you take care of the barrel and clean fairly often, sometimes twice is enough. A custom barrel may only need one time. It just depends. It is not fun. It may be hard, dirty and tiresome work, but if you want a clean barrel that will give you all the accuracy it can without fouling, this is what you have to do. It will also keep fouling from letting rust start in.

After doing this cycle, you will come to a time when after brushing the wet patches come out clean or just the color of the solvent.  IF the patch comes out slightly green or blue as if its still fouled with copper. but no black can be seen, you are done. Once the bore is as clean as you are going to get it. the solvent will be breaking down the bristles on the brush and some of that will get in the barrel and be pushed out by the wet patches.  So, if you see now black, but some rainbow color, it is just some of the brush breaking down.   Wet patch it on out until nothing is on the patch but solvent.  You can then, wipe off the crown because it will be dripping with ick.


Above are patches I save during the steps of cleaning.  The patch on the far left was the 1st pushed through the gun with solvent.  The next from left is after brushing.  Next to last is one after wet patching out after following the brush.  Last patch on far right is perfectly clean after wet patching and brushing, Nothing is on it but solvent and at most a dirty finger print from my hand.

At this point you can wet a loose fitting patch with light oil and run it through the bore if you are going to store it for a while.   Take the bore guide out and take a small brush.  If its a 308, I will use a 22 caliber brush,  I wrap a clean patch around the brush, stick it into the chamber and twist it around to wipe out the chamber and dry it out.

I do not use a chamber brush on a match barrel. It does not need it.  On a AR15, yes, but not a bolt gun. Just wipe it out and make sure it is dry. A quality chamber will be reamed tight and true with very little if any carbon fowling coming back into it. Ideally the case will expand and everything is forward of the case mouth. It is not semi auto so the case will stay put until you extract it.  If its a AR15, you would clean the chamber first before the bore and use the AR15 chamber brush. You would do it first so that any fouling in the chamber will be pushed into the bore to be cleaned and removed from the process of barrel cleaning.   You clean and dry the AR15 chamber and insert the bore guide and proceed as above.

There are a few more steps that sometimes need to be taken if things are bad.   If at the end and the rainbow effect on the patches is very bright, you have serious copper fouling.  A way to tell is to dry the bore and take a very tight new brush and slowly run it down the bore. If you feel it get tighter or need more effort in places, this is where copper is a real problem. Probably it is due to some tool marks or a bur or stress from the making of the barrel.  With practice and experience you can even feel it when the brush is wet. After cleaning this way for what seems like a thousand years, I can feel copper fouling almost immediately.

When this happens there are a few options, One is Sweets 7.62 solvent.  It is  made heavily with ammonia. It smells horrible, is super strong and not good for your health at all.  You have to use it outside if you do not want to kill yourself or get divorced. A lot of people carry on the myth that Sweets will devour you barrel but this is just not true.  A test was done by Precision Shooting magazine in 2001 where a section of barrel of both steels was left submerged in Sweets for one year, removed and looked at under a bore scope for signs of etching or erosion.  Nothing was found. The myth started because in the 80s BR shooters would mix Sweets with Shooters Choice  solvent  half and half thinking it would work quicker and they could skip a step.  The reaction of the two powerful solvents would etch barrels.  You do not mix chemicals used for cleaning the bathroom at home and you don’t do with with guns.  The two mixed made something new that would damage a barrel by etching.  Each alone is safe, but mixed, they could damage. Sweets was strong with ammonia so it got the blame.  Do not mix solvents strong enough to burn skin and melt copper.

Sweets 762 solvent is used the same way. But you leave it in the barrel longer. Around 30 minutes is normal. The bottle will tell you now more, but that is a left over CYA thing from the story above spreading and scaring people from wanting to use the stuff. It is ok to leave it in longer.   Once you are done with using it and have the copper out or as much of it as you can get out, dry patch out the Sweets and then “rinse” it  using patches with oil.  Dry the oil out with a dry patch or two then clean with regular solvent to degrease and go on as normal.

If its even worse you can move up to an abrasive cleaner.  The one I use most of the years is J&B Bore Paste


J&B is not a liquid, It reminds me of wet cement. It has abrasive compounds in it that are very gritty. Imagine sandpaper in a wet form. It is very messy to work with and very effective. IF you have not used it before, try to find some one who has. You can do some damage with this stuff but you have to try.  If you have the bent rod I warned of earlier, this will really make it worse.   The traditional way it is used, it by taking a very small cleaning brush, wrap it with a patch and slather JB all over the patch.  The patch has to be on tight and the brush/patch/JB has to be small enough to be able to move almost freely while inside the bore.   You get this concoction in the bore and use short polishing movements.  Imagine trying to rub rust off of a metal part. Or brushing  dried mud off  leather boots.  It is hard to explain and take s a little practice.   It works great and will bring out enough fouling to scare you. It will bring out stuff you never believed was in the steel of the barrel.  It will get copper and powder fouling out,but it is greasy and messy. Clean up of the J&B is a must, if you shoot with it in the bore you will have a strong abrasive being rubbed down the bore at high velocity and temp.  It gets everywhere while using it. But you have to get every nook and cranny clean of it.  It is so abrasive, you can use it to polish feed ramps with if you use a little elbow grease.  It is a great choice for an old tire milsurp barrel that has not seen real cleaning in a long time.  It can really restore  the accuracy of an old fouled barrel from a nice old piece or some old mauser you want to try to get shooting and regular cleaning does not want to help.  But be careful and go slow if you have not used it before.

If you want to try this method buy are afraid of JB, toothpaste with pumice and be used. It is not as rough and it an remove copper it its not too bad but is too  bad for regular solvent.  Tooth paste was used for a long time by some older BR shooter who didn’t want to use JB on their Hart barrels.

As far as solvents go, there really are few that work. I have spent a lot of money and time and work over the years on a lot of stuff looking for a cleaner to cut down on the time spent at the cleaning bench.  Here are a few popular choices that  I will save you the suspense and tell you they just do not work.   CLP.  CLP is a decent lube, it will not clean a barrel well enough for real accuracy work or 1000 yard shooting.   HOPPES no 9  is useless.  It has its rep because years ago it had a very strong adn now very illegal chemical in it.  It made it have its sweet smell that very few people now a days has ever really got a wiff of.  You hear people talk about how great it smells because its a cliche passed down from the 60s.  It does n0t smell like the original that worked great and did smell very sweat.  The EPA ruled the active chemical in it too harmful adn it was removed. Hoppes is worthless not pretty much.   The Stuff you can buy at walmart is useless.  Montana Xtreme is marginally effective as long as you just need to do little cleaning.  Tetra gun cleaning is decent at removing powder fouling. but not strong enough for much else.   Shooters Choice use to be the best. It is still good but there is stuff that is better and woks faster and takes less elbow grease.    Butches Bore shine usurped Shooters CHoice.   Butches was revolutionary when it first hit. It was invented by a BR shooter who developed on his own, sold it himself for a while then Pachmyer got the rights to sell it and market it.  It is good stuff.    TM Solutions is equally good stuff with almost no odor. I like and use TM Solutions and Butches.    For the AR15. you do not want to use Sweets because it is not good for the Chrome bore. For the AR15 I use Butches or TM. If its a precision AR15.  Otherwise I use SLipp2000 carbon cleaner. It is very good and not toxic. It is very effective. All that  is not hype, it works.

You will see some people advocate the foaming bore cleaners.  The CLP and winchester and all the stuff does nto have much use. But, there is one that truly works.  It is called “Wipe Out” it is a foaming bore cleaner and it can be pricey. But it works. No BS.  It snot the answer to every cleaning problem , but it does work and would be a great choice for a fast clean for a M4/AR15.   Otherwise, get out the rod and brush.

As far as warnings, do not use the section cleaning rods, They do more damage then good. The M16 family does not need anywhere as much cleaning as some say, just lube it and it will work. The section rods do more harm to the bore then not cleaning it, Unless it wet or got some mud or something that needs out RIGHT NOW.

The Bore snake is also something you need to avoid. Yes it is a gimmick that sounds great, but they get stuck. break off in the bore and the rope traps abrasive grit that you are sand papering your barrel with.  Use a rod,Bore guide and brush and jag.

You may or may not have heard of KROIL . It is a penetrating oil that became popular  over a decade ago as a cleaning product.  It was used by BR shooters using moly coated bullets.   I am not going to go into the details of why this was, but it was a flop. Kroil does not clean,it will help you take that rusty bolt off the bathroom door, but that sit.  Don’t waste time or money on it.  And while I am on it,  Don;t use moly coated bullets. They are more trouble they worth and if used wrong, can damage the bore and promote rusting and pitting.

The above way of cleaning is not some revolutionary procedure. It is a simple method used for many years buy match winning BR shooters who need their barrels to be squeaky clean. Some of the barrels those guys used were so well made and lapped that wet patching was all it took to clean them. Copper and fouling would not stick. This was a huge advantage because the less time a rod is in a barrel. the less damage it does.  You can over clean. You can clean your bore to death. If you use the method I wrote above you can often see a huge reduction if group size if all other things are quality. You can get an old warhorse shooting well again and get control of the fouling in your precision rig.  Back int the day . we never shot more the 15 rounds before cleaning in this way.  Yes it was a pain, but it kept the rifle shooting its best. That was quite an edge to have when trying to win.  And when shooting at 1000 yards when a lot of things are already working against you, not loosing 3/4 minute from a fouled barrel makes a difference.  A clean barrel is a happy barrel, just like a wet AR15 is a happy AR15.   If you are new to guns or new to precision rifles, this is a tried and tested method for keeping that accurate barrel shooting its best and keeping fouling under control while not doing damage to it from bad cleaning habits.

Trojan Horse Guncase, Carry your carbine like you are James Bond

I am always on the look out for a way to discreetly carry my carbine or various weapons around with me without anyone having any idea what I really have.  I have used different bags made for the purpose over the years. The so called discreet carrying cases are hardly discreet. They look like soft gun cases with no MOLLE. It is obvious to anyone that has any brains what it is.   I have also used sports bags meant for baseball bats or other sporting gear in.  These certainly pulled off the undercover requirement but had no way to get to the rifle very fast. They also suffered from not having any padding or a backer to keep the case walls stiff.  I also worried the weight of the gun would bust through the seams or tear and coming spilling out.

Last week I ran across something that is exactly what I have always felt I needed.   It, is the Comp-Tac  trojan horse long gun case.



No one I showed it to, even come close to guessing it was for a gun.  It has a sport look to it. It could hold a tennis racket, snow shows, a violin,Aunt Martha’s sweater, anything.   The case has stiffeners in the sides to keep the gun from printing or from tearing through.  It has a divider that allows you to put 2 carbines in the case. One side of the divider has MOLLE and the other is covered with velcro.  Inside, you could have a carbine, pistols ( multiple) Mags for both, a light jacket or just about anything.


The PALS side of the divider also comes with the usual velcro straps to hod the gun in place if its short enough to move around.


The other side can hold almost anything. I found I could even get a small chest rig in there.  Of course. it is possible to put so much in it that you can not lift it or you could jam it so full that it turns bulky and out of shape, hurting its purpose of being discreet.

It does not have padding to protect from hard abuse, but it has stiff parts to keep it in shape and the stiffeners will protect the gun from most but the worst case scenario damage. It is not meant to be a Pelican gun case. It is meant to be something you can toss over your shoulder and walk around a college campus with, or keep in your car without any one seeing it is clearly a gun case.

I am really excited about this case and have already tried it out walking around downtown at the local city. Yes, CCW of rifles is legal in my state and I have a CCWD. So make sure you are legal to do this where ever it is you live.  I could go on about the quality of this thing and how well it works all day, but I would sound like I get a commission from selling them.    I will say, this is the 1st real affordable case of its type I have seen, that actually does not look anything like a gun case.  Sure there are the guitar cases and such, but this could pass off as just about anything. The guitar cases look out of place being carried most of the time, and a guitar is just as desirable to a thief as a gun. Maybe more so since the penalty for guitar theft is not as serious as stealing a firearm.      Most other “discreet” cases just look like plain gun bags without MOLLE or pouches on the outside and still come if the usual dead give a way colors like OD green, tan, coyote and black. And no where on the case is a ctactical company logo to give it away to those looking for a clue.



Bag hardware is the standard heavy duty zipper and a nice sling that  has the QD buckles to take it off in a hurry.  It also has two small pockets on the inside for any other use you can find for it.  This is worth buying.  It is not the thing you need for abuse. Nothing will beat a hardcase like a Pelican, but if you need or want to carry it close, with no one knowing, this works perfectly.






Natural Disaster Supplies

Cassie Larsen submitted this article.

In the case of a natural disaster situation. You want to be prepared to take care of yourself, your family and maybe your close neighbors. In the days leading to a known weather emergency you don’t want to be battling people trying to get the last bottle of water off the shelf or going to three different stores to buy a flashlight. After the disaster you don’t want to be dependent on the government for all of your needs. You need to be prepared ahead of time to be able to take care of the situation.

I’m going to discuss some of the basic things you need to get yourself started on being self reliant.

1. Food- You can live for weeks without food. You won’t be happy or thinking clearly but you’ll be alive. So I recommend having a 3 month food supply always on hand. (http://looserounds.com/2012/10/06/the-importance-of-a-3-month-food-supply-and-getting-started/) If you can’t have a 3 month food supply or don’t want one have a 72 hour supply of food. 72 hour supplies of food can be simple MRE’s and power bars. It’s nice to have comfort foods on hand for yourself and children. Comfort foods can help ease nerves and help you to have a sense of normalcy. I don’t recommend storing freezer meals as your emergency 72 hour foods. In most severe weather situations you will not have power, there will be no way to prepare or store the food. Keep on hand a manual can opener to open all those canned goods, no power means no electric can opener. When thinking about what foods to store for the natural disaster think about what’s easy to prepare and will still be something you can eat without a lot of preparation. A natural disaster isn’t the time to pull out new recipes.

2. Water- You can’t go more than a couple of days without water. Water is a big one to make sure you have plenty of on hand. FEMA recommends storing 1 gallon of water per person per day for drinking, bathing and cooking for at least three days. For a family of four that would be 12 gallons of water. Remember to store water for your pets too. Water should be stored in food grade, PETE or PET containers. Don’t store water in old milk containers they will break down. I’ve even purchased water from the store in milk type containers that have broken down after a year and leaked. I use old gallon juice containers with great success. Clean out any container you use prior to storing the water with a mixture of household bleach and water. 1 tsp bleach to 1 liter of water. Storing water purification items is also a great idea in case your clean water supply runs out.

3. Lighting- You should have multiple lighting options. Flashlights, candles, LED lights, oil, fires, solar powered, snap lights, battery operated, hand cranked, and shake flashlights. There are many different types of lights in each of those categories. Find which ones work for you.

4. Medical- I recommend you have a basic knowledge of first aid and CPR. If that means taking a class then signup now and be prepared. You should have a first aid kit and over the counter meds. If you are feeling the need for more look into specialty equipment for treatments of burns, gun shots, and large wounds.

5. Communications- I recommend having a hand cranked radio with cell phone charger attachment. That way you can keep up on the news, have light and charge your phone. If the cell phone towers in your area are down and the power is out, you can use a phone that plugs directly into the phone line, if those lines still work. A battery powered radio is also good to have. It will keep you updated on what’s going on around you, and where to go if you do need assistance. Just remember to keep batteries for it. There are many great options for radios; hand cranked, battery and solar powered. It’s also good to have a list of the emergency numbers in your area. The emergency responders in my area suggest everyone write down the coordinates of their home. After a major disaster many street signs and land marks are gone. It’s even harder to find you to give you help if they can’t find the house. There are many ways to get the latitude and longitude of your home, the easiest way I found was on google earth. Just put in your address and once your home shows up you will see the latitude and longitude on the bottom of the screen.

6. Heat- You should have multiple heating options just like everything else. You should have blankets, extra warm clothes, breakable hand warmers, if you have a fire place wood on hand and the know how to build a fire, a generator is also nice option. Look into camping propane heaters. They can keep you warm and you can cook on them. But be careful when using them they can be dangerous. So read up on them and follow the directions. If you are not going to having power for a while and it’s cold outside move into a medium sized room. You can close it up, put blankets over the windows to help keep the room insulated and keep the doors closed. It’s helpful for a family to bring all bedding into the same room and sleep there as well. Use your body heat.

7. Safety- GUNS and AMMO!! You can never have too much ammo. Make sure you have the adequate training to effectively use your weapons in defensive situations.

Of course I’m not an expert so do your own research too. This is a list to get you thinking and started on emergency preparedness.


Adjusting The Remington M700 Trigger ( simple accurizing tips part 2 )

I am  sure this info can be found on other places online, but the way I am going to show you is the simplest and fastest way to adjust the trigger on a M700.  When done correctly this gives a very clean crisp trigger pull on the factory trigger. You can also adjust the trigger to a very light pull within reason. Care needs to be taken on doing this though. A super light or “hair” trigger should not be used on a hunting gun.

I, nor loose rounds take any responsibility for you breaking the trigger, messing it up or shooting your self or friends from negligence after using the information given below.

Here is a rough picture I have drawn to give you something to look at to keep it in perspective. Obviously this is a crap rendering, but you get the idea.


Be sure the gun is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction and in a place safe to be working on the fire arm.

Be sure to remove the sealant from the  adjustment screws.

To adjust trigger.

1.  Engagement screw: with the gun cocked  and safety off, (and unloaded!) turn clockwise until sear releases. Turn counter clockwise for 0.012″ engagement

2. Overtravel screw:  With gun cocked and safety off, turn clockwise until the screw stops. With the trigger depressed. turn  counter clockwise  until sear releases with 0.005″ of over travel.  The gun will dry fire at this point. Once it does, I find this to be just right.

3. Poundage screw:  Turn counter clockwise for less weight of pull. Adjust it to a safe poundage.

The way I always test to make sure it is set to a safe poundage, is I put the gun back together, cock the action then drop it at least two feet onto a hard flooring. I hold the barrel of course so it does not fall over.  Or, you can rap the butt stock on the recoil pad smartly. I prefer to drop it onto the recoil pad from a foot or two.  If the gun dry fires, it is too light, if not, you are good to go as long as its the pull weight you want.   Working the action sharply is a decent test.  IF it is too light, working the bolt fast and sharp will also cause a  firing. Test it thoroughly to make sure you got it a safe weight.  I do not recommend it to be under 3 pounds for something you are going to walk around in the woods hunting with.  A light trigger also takes some getting use to if you do not have experience with them, even just shooting from the bench. S0 be careful.

After you test to make sure its safe, reseal the trigger adjustment screw. Finger nail polish or primer sealer will work for this.  Clear finger nail polish is always what I use. Lightly oil an put it back together. It is as simple as that and will give you a trigger as crisp and light and will give you good service for anything other then pure Benchrest NBRSA competition.