Archive for November, 2010

Kimber Mfg, Second To None In Service

Kimber’s reputation for manufacturing performance firearms is well known. They engineer some of the finest 1911 pistols currently available, comparable in most respects to many high dollar customs costing twice as much. While we could start a debate on that subject our intent is to showcase Kimber’s customer service.  Recently we had occasion to send in a 4 year old TLE for some minor items that shooting thousands of training and test rounds produces. The staff at Kimber were, as always, courteous, knowledgeable and helpful. No matter who you speak to they treat you like you are important and give you a full measure of attention. Our gun was shipped to their Yonkers NY facility per instruction. In less than 2 weeks we received a call to tell us that the pistol had been repaired and inspected for flaws and that they had taken care of everything. The real purpose of the call was to give us a shipping and arrival date so that we could keep a lookout for the gun’s arrival. The person I spoke to went out of his way to discuss what was done and made me feel as though Kimber really cared that we were satisfied with the service. I could go on and on about Kimber having had so many bad experiences with other companies but suffice to say that Kimber’s service is superlative. If you are in the market for an accurate, extremely well made 1911 Kimber is second to none on our list. We like them so much we just ordered another Kimber Pro Tactical II (gun test forthcoming). This is one company that makes one proud to purchase a truly American Made product that shares the core values America was built on. Gunner

Classic Pistol. Great Dealer, Great Service

Every once in a while you get a gun shop that realizes that the days of dealing with some guy who could care less behind the counter are gone. In this day and business climate customer service is paramount and Classic Pistol in Southampton PA epitomizes that view. The entire crew from the owner, Bob,  down to the counter help are friendly, courteous,  and best of all knowledgeable.   The selection of firearms, parts and accessories is outstanding with offerings from all major manufacturers including customs like Wilson Combat handguns and Yankee Hill and Magpul gear.  Classic Pistol also features a state of the art indoor, family friendly range with capabilities up 50 cal rifle.  It’s clean and well maintained like the rest of the shop also offering high quality rentals if you don’t yet own a gun or would like to try out a model just to see how you like it before you purchase one.  Since they are a Class III dealer you can also experience the thrill of firing a fully automatic at reasonable rates and with professional supervision. Just to round out the full service aspect they have an on-site professional gunsmithing service capable of refinishing, restoring or repairing virtually any firearm you may own. One more thing. If you need training they offer professional managed classes like Women Only F.I.R.S.T. steps up to defensive handgun and beyond. Classic Pistol is located at 1310 Industrial Boulevard · Southampton · PA 18966 and are open from 10am to 9:30pm M-F and 9am to 6pm on weekends.  If you have a question their number is 215-953-7264. Give them a shot, you won’t be disappointed. RG

Remington R1 1911 First Impressions

After waiting 4 months I finally got the call that our R1 had arrived and was ready for pickup. I quickly headed off to my Classic Pistol to retrieve the new piece as I was very anxious having waited so long.   I paid the tab, shot the bull with the guys and actually paid little attention to inspecting the gun in the store.  At first glance it looked like it was OK so I put it back in the box observing gun shop etiquette as the shop was packed.  Once I got back to the office I had a better chance to look things over in private and check out my new gun. Initially, like I said, it looked fine, however on closer inspection things were not so good.  The fit of the slide and barrel were nice and tight and the black oxide finish was flawless. There is a significant amount of trigger creep but it’s a new gun and that can be corrected. Then I turned the pistol over and looked at the frame. It settled all argument as to the machined vs cast argument. The casting seam was still visible on the front strap as it had not been finished properly and the strap had ripples in the metal.  Secondly the machining of the finger recesses in the frame for the trigger look like they were final finished at an airsoft factory by an amateur, not Remington Arms in the good ole USA.  After debating with myself as to the importance of the flaws I started looking at some of our other 1911’s.  Not one of them from the Springfield Mil Spec to the Kimber TLE had any similar flaws. Then I read the description on the Remington R1 site again “produced with ultra-tight tolerances on equipment representing the height of modern technology.” That settles it for me. Remington certainly did not intend to build a sub standard 1911 and it warranted a call to Remington customer service to see what they had to say. I mean after all it’s been heralded as their first handgun in 90 years and a special deal. The “service” representative seemed bothered by the whole thing. He actually made me feel guilty for calling like I was bothering him. Finally I said “well if you don’t care, that’s it, I guess that’s the way it is”. Dead silence. Finally after saying hello several time he asked me if I wanted them to look at it and said “if that’s what you want me to do I can send you a return label” which he said he was going to do although I haven’t seen it yet.  I realize that the gun is not a custom or even considered “high end” in price or features but you would think that with a brand new product that Remington would be on alert for issues from customers. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll update as things progress. I also wrote a very nice letter to Remington Corporate to update them on the issues with the gun but there again I haven’t heard any response from them yet either.  So much for Remington Customer Service and their brand new pride and joy. If they ever fix it I’ll shoot it and give you a range report. — Gunner

Rifle Markmanship

Hi Folks,

Yes, before I start, marksmanship and wind reading are very passionate subjects with me. Yes, you will hear me get cranked about what I see today concerning Marksmanship. In the Military the Marine Corps are the only folks teaching marksmanship. The US Army now has dropped to 300 yards to qualify. Why? Because some Russian came here and told our Military that most of the killing was done under 300 yds. Now, we listen to what Russians have to say? If we are taught to shoot 600 yards then we will keep our enemies out that far.

Problem was no one was qualifying expert under the 600 yard mark in the Army. That tells me it’s the instruction rather than the students. Who, the hell came up with this crap of laying straight behind the weapon???? For 250 years we have laid behind the weapon at 20 to 30 degrees. Now, before you comment on this remember Carlos Hathcock, Dave Tubb and a myriad of world famous shooters have always shot 30 degrees behind the rifle. So don’t even try to tell me your smarter than these folks.

Shooting straight behind the rifle (with rifle aligned with the crotch) it places the rifle butt square on your collar bone, with your head and cheek weld misaligned to the sights. I have had young men right out of sniper school show up trying to shoot like this and worse yet shooting free recoil like a benchrest shooter would. That’s right!!! Not even touching the rifle. HEAR THIS! You have to be able to control the recoil of the rifle in order to shoot repeatable accuracy.
In the last four years I’ve sent more people home because their marksmanship was so bad they could not repeat a shot if it hit them in the A$$.

Now, that’s out of the way we can start. From the prone position. Your rifle stock has to be completely adjustable! Cheek piece and butt plate. Your cheek weld may be good now but when you change your scope out for one of these high end deals it won’t be. You can NOT control the recoil of your rifle if the stock is too short. People let gunplumbers (note not gunsmiths) talk them into cutting the stock to a certain length of pull when most folks don’t know what LOP is! It might fit you now that it is warm and you have on less cloths. However, when winter comes and you start packing on the cloths you find your stock now nos longer fits you. Thus, the reason for adjustable butt plates.

I’m asked all the time “what stock do I need flea?”. I tell them “the one that fits you”. Not a smart a$$ answer. The stock needs to feel like an extension of your body. I tell them the best advise I can give them is to go to an F class match or local long range class and look at stocks. Ask people if you can lay down behind their weapons and check out their stocks. Most people are very proud of the rifles and will gladly help another shooter by letting the try the stock out. NOTE: (Shocker) I’ve gone away from these flat bottom stocks. Like the A-4, A-5?s and AICS and est. These stocks have flat bottoms at the rear of the stock. While the look very cool, it’s dang near impossible to get elevation from one target to the next in a fast manner. The butt hook is worthless IMHO. No one can hold the rifle with their hand and make repeatable shoots at long range. Between your thumb and index finger is a mass of nerves right where the butt hook lies. With the weight and recoil of a rifle it’s impossible for a shooter to hold repeatable accuracy while trying to support the bottom of the rifle. If your only shooting F-class there fine. But, when you have to go from one target at one elevation to another at a higher elevation you can’t do it fast. Gunnersgear came out with a great new bag, like a cam. It does help. However, even with that at different elevations we find ourselves squeezing the bag to get that last little bit of elevation out of the rifle. Human nature almost always makes us drop the squeeze at the break of the trigger. Thus allowing the shot to go over the target. Yes, I see this all the time being a long range instructor. If I had to choose just one stock it would be the Manner’s MCS-T2A with the butt spacer system. Fully adjustable and with an angle bottom to elevate the rifle. I think (IMHO) this is the best stock on the planet.

1) first the shooter must align his rifle to the target. Use your bipod at it’s lowest setting or where it will allow the shooter to see the target. Don’t raise the bipod way up in the air. The higher the bipod the more it will move. Place a rear bag under the back of the stock and keep your left hand there to control the elevation of the rifle(if you right handed, if wrong handed use your right hand). This gives you a three point platform to shoot from. If your in the correct position you shouldn’t see any heart beat or rise and fall from your breathing. (UNLESS YOUR OLD LIKE ME AND HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (MARRIED FOUR TIMES) in that case. Breath in a natural breath of air and while your pressing your trigger let half of the air out and hold it. YES, IF YOUR SHOOTING FROM A SLING IT’S ALL TOGETHER DIFFERENT.

2) next you must make your scope parallax free. Adjusting the crosshair so it doesn’t move on the target. With your correct eye relief and without moving the weapon sight down the scope at the target. Move your head from side to side and up and down and adjust your AO or side focus knob until the crosshair doesn’t move on the target. NOTE: even with the width of the crosshair movement will make a .25 MOA rifle a 1 MOA group.

3) fine your nature point of aim. Lay behind the rifle and sight down the scope on a small target at 100 yads or your intended target. (ALWAYS ON THE HIGHEST POWER). (PRACTICE ON THE HIGHEST POWER OF YOUR SCOPE WILL ALLOW YOU TO CORRECT FOR ALL THOSE TINY LITTLE MOVEMENTS) Lock on to the target and then close your eye’s for five seconds. When you open your eyes you should be in the middle of the target. If your left of the target point of aim(POA) then move your body a couple of inches left. If your right of the target move a little right. Recheck by sighting down at the target and closing your eye’s again. If you don’t find your natural point of aim you will be fighting the rifle from one side to the other.

4) Once your ready to shoot, bring the stock back into your shoulder using a firm hand shake grip. (not the point that your shaking but snug in your shoulder). Use your left hand (for right handed shooters) to adjust the rear bag. Keep your hand on the bag for those small adjustments.

5) lock on the target and without letting the crosshair move AT ALL start pressing the trigger one hair at a time straight back until the trigger breaks. Make sure you do the same thing every time you shoot. This will produce repeatable accuracy. However, whatever you do you must do it the same shot after shot. If you lighten your grip the shot will not go into the group. FACT!!! If you tighten your grip from the first shot it will not go into the group. FACT!! Pull the rifle into your shoulder with enough pressure to hold it there. Use a firm hand shake grip. Lock on the target without letting the crosshiar move. Then start pressing the trigger straight back one hair at a time. Until the trigger breaks. It should be a surprise every time. FACT!!!! KEEP your eye’s on the target and press the trigger completely to the rear.( we call that follow through) By watching the crosshairs you will be able to see them stay on the target. If you see the crosshairs jump from one side to the other, your not holding the rifle tight enough. NOTE: ( some Remington actions have a lot of vibration in the bolt that transfers through the rifle. Take the firing pin assembly out and place plumbers teflon tape around the threads. This will help with the vibration and your accuracy. Just one wrap around the thread will do) this will deaden the vibration and make it possible to keep your crosshairs on the target when the trigger breaks.

6) once your shot has been fired keep your cheek weld. DON’T RAISE YOUR HEAD!! If your right handed place your right thumb on the rear tang (behind the action) pressing down and with your fingers raise the bolt. Then take your hand and move the bolt back in a positive manner. ( BY DOING THIS YOU WON’T LOOSE YOUR TARGET SIGHT PICTURE). This is a must at long range, so get into a habit of doing it. If you raise your head and open the bolt you will loose your target and take forever finding it again. Especially at long range.

7) Push a new round into the chamber and repeat the last three steps. If you do this the same each time you will have good repeatable accuracy.

8) DRY FIRE!!!! Dry firing is perfect practice. No noise, no recoil, no conditions to worry about. Find a place in your house or if you have a place outside (away from the eye’s of neighbors) where you can lay in the prone position and sight in on a small target at full power on your scope and take all the steps above and dry fire. NOTE: ( Make dang sure there’s no ammo in sight. That’s why you should do this in another part of the house or yard away from your gun room or storage area) It will cure most marksmanship problems such as jerking the trigger. Most important this will build muscle memory. Within a few days of dry firing you will find yourself dropping right down on the rifle without hunting for your eye relief. Within a week or so you will find your natural point of aim and position right from the start without having to hunt your body position.

I can NOT express enough as to how important dry firing is. I competed in long range shooting matches for well over 40 years. I’ve set world records and won many national matches. When asked “how many round did you shoot practicing?”, I tell them, “none, I dry fired an hour a night for weeks at time before the match. This will help your marksmanship far more then firing thousand of rounds a week for practice.

Try dry firing for five days the first week only for 15 minutes. Then the following week go to 20 minutes. Followed by 30 minutes five days a week the third week. After that maintain about three days a week of dry firing for an hour a day. This will keep your marksmanship skill very high. Folks, Marksmanship is a very perishable skill. Don’t use it and you’ll loose it. Plane and simple, you must practice. Make no doubt in your mind, I will send you home to practice your marksmanship before I let you shoot long range. So your marksmanship must be good before you get here. 2 MOA at 100 yard won’t do! Laugh but 75% of the students I see can’t consistently shoot under 1 moa of accuracy. YOU CAN’T FIRE 100 ROUNDS AT 1 MOA PLUS AND HAVE ONE GROUP AT .5 MOA AND CALL YOURSELF A HALF MINUTE SHOOTER. THAT DOG WON’T HUNT HERE.

Think of it this way. Most any instructor can teach you how to range a target and dial your knobs to get you on a target. Very few instructors can put you on target the first shot at long range. Most people come to CVT for wind reading. Of all the variables it’s the most challenging. NO, I’M NOT LOOKING FOR NEW STUDENTS. I’M RETIRED AND I LEAVE THAT TO SHEP AND ED SHELL. They both have trained with me and understand wind reading completely and will be happy to teach you. After near 40 years of teaching folks I’m done. I will help you with any questions you might have concerning gear, weapons and long range shooting but I will not teach after Oct. of this year. I may do some train ups for certain matches or get togethers around the east coast but other than that I’m done. Ed Shell will be taking over CVT and training from here. Shep is just a short trip to Ga. and will be most happy to teach you.

From time to time I will be writing about long range shooting as much as I can. You know by now I will do most anything to help a shooter. So if you need me call on me. I hope this article on Marksmanship has helped you! Shoot well! One last thing. When I’m at matches or get togethers please don’t think I’m being stuck up because I don’t walk up and down the line talking with folks. I am disabled. Most days I can’t walk 50 yards much less up and down a firing line. I will shake anyone’s hand and answer any question (if I know the answer, I don’t know everything). I’ll always take the time to help a shooter. So please don’t think I’m being a snob if I don’t walk to your end of the line. Fact is a can’t, my body won’t let me.

Take care, flea

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