Kestrel 4000 NV Wind Meter. Everything You Need, Nothing You Don’t

Most shooters know that environment effects the travel of their bullet. Some actually have a basic idea of how to dope wind or at least have enough ammo to guess until they get it. The fact is that if you can’t figure environmental conditions it’s going to be difficult to make those critical shots. It’s one of the most difficult problem solving issues in long range shooting. In order to learn you need to know more than just how fast the wind is moving which is where Kestel’s model 4000 weather instrument comes into play. U.S. Special Forces, combat weather teams, wildland firefighters, smoke jumpers, Mt. Everest expeditions and IRL pit crews are just some of the organizations that use this meter. We chose the Kestrel 4000 because of it’s ability to calculate density altitude. Density altitude is the the height when measured in terms of the density of the air rather than the distance from the ground. In other words you may be at 312 feet in distance but at say, 1000 feet based on density altitude. Now you could use a piece of paper, a pencil and this formula or you can turn on the 4000 and get an instant, accurate reading. Once you set reference values based on the location of where you zeroed your gun it’s a simple matter to make critical field adjustments regardless of where you are shooting or what conditions are. Measurements include: Barometric pressure,Pressure trend, Altitude, Relative humidity, Heat stress index, Dewpoint, Wet bulb temperature, Density altitude, Wind chill, Air, water, and snow temperature, and Current wind speed, Average wind speed, Maximum wind gust.In addition to measuring the current conditions, it tracks and stores up to 2000 sets of data, and data can be uploaded to a PC with the optional Kestrel Interface. Available in various configurations of night vision (pictured) and non-night vision starting at $249.00.

Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20X50 Long Range Tactical Scope

We have always liked Leupold Mark 4 scopes. In a gadget hungry shooting industry where lower volume “designer” scope makers have grabbed shooter’s attention with high priced optics Leupold seemed to be lagging behind with innovation. The facts have always contradicted this assumption however. While companies like Nightforce, Schmidt & Bender and others have been touting their products Leupold has always been quietly supplying the lions share of tactical scopes to the military, law enforcement and sport shooters. For the US Army, Marine Corp, Special Forces and foreign governments Leupold remains the de facto choice for tactical optics. More shooting matches have been won, more game bagged and insurgents capped using Leupold Optics than probably all other manufacturers combined. Leupold’s latest offerings are truly state of the art. The Mark 4 line has been upgraded to include new models, illumination, reticle systems, available large tubes and mil adjustments designed for the military which naturally benefit civilian shooters. The rugged new CQBSS for example has already been adopted by the Marine Corp for multi tasking missions including mounting on machine guns and the 34mm version of our test scope was chosen for the XM2010 sniper system.

We chose Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20X50 with the illuminated reticle (67975) 30mm scope to test the latest generation from Leupold’s tactical department. The scope has all the features we have come to rely on from Leupold with excellent fit and finish, compact design and relatively light weight for it’s capabilities.The TMR reticle is extremely easy to use with clearly defined .2 mil subtentions. Leupold’s illumination system has been upgraded with 15% brighter illumination and defined click stops for the adjustment knob. In the field this scope is truly a pleasure to use. The target image is clear and bright with no edge distortion or shadows even at maximum magnification with Leupold Index Matched Lens System. The TMR reticle picture is crisp making ranging a pleasure rather than a guess even out to our test distances up to 600 yards. We fired 200 rounds then removed the scope and remounted it back into the Leupold Tactical rings and didn’t need to re-zero. In box tests it performed flawlessly through multiple trials and once we set the knobs from the original zero it remained there without any need for further tinkering. As with everything else on the scope the ¼ MOA adjustments (70 MOA of windage and elevation) worked as advertised with tactile clicks from the windage and elevation knobs and smooth adjustment of parallax focus.

It may sound as though we love this scope because we did. Everybody got a crack at using it and the decision was unanimous. In a tactical long range scope that is built to take the rigors of combat and range alike there is little left to be desired of this scope. Another top notch scope from Leupold. 100 years plus in the optics industry and still innovating. Leupold’s engineering, manufacturing and execution combined with the best in the business warranty still make Leupold the standard by which all others are judged.

Wheeler “Fat Wrench” Torque Wrench

Building an accurate weapons system involves more than just buying the best you can get. Everything needs to be properly assembled. We have seen many a bent scope tube or loose scope cases because of difficulty in correctly tightening of screws with Allen wrenches and standard screw drivers. There is a solution and it’s the Wheeler Fat Wrench inch pound torque wrench. Everything you bolt or screw onto your precision rifle has a proper torque spec. For instance, most 1/2″ nuts on tactical scope rings are 65 inch pounds, Leupold recommends between 15-17 inch pounds on Mark 4 ring cap screws and Remington 45 inch pounds on a 700P tactical rifle bottom metal.

You may ask why it’s important to torque fasteners. Under torquing can cause misalignment of parts allowing them to work loose under recoil and over tightening can bend scope tubes and at minimum “stretch” threads on delicate fine threads such as those on ring caps. Once they are stretched they come loose more easily and cannot be repaired, only replaced. The same holds true for bottom metal screws which hold the whole gun together and when loose can allow the action to move in the stock under recoil and destroy accuracy.

As much money as we all have invested in our firearms the Wheeler Fat Wrench is an inexpensive, universal tool that will last a lifetime and take all the guesswork out of assembly. It’s must have on our workbench.

Eberlestock’s New Destroyer and Battleship Back Packs

We are never disappointed with Eberlestock products and the new V90 series is no exception. Feature packed and constructed out of the finest materials they are as rugged and versatile as they are advertised. You can get more info (and Free Shipping) HERE

Proper Care & Feeding Of Your Precision Rifle

A precision rifle is a complex piece of machinery built to exacting tolerances. Certainly there are few moving parts, however, it is a delicate machine none the less, and like any piece of machinery requires maintenance and care.We perform maintenance in such a way as to minimize variables and thus enhance the possibility of consistent shots. We periodically test the torque settings on every screw and nut on the rifle using an inch pound torque wrench. The scope mounts, rings and action mounting screws can become loose with normal use and if not corrected will result in poor accuracy. You should check the manufacturers recommendations and check them against your gun on a regular basis. Also on our list is reticle alignment. While you are checking all your mounts if any of the ring or base screws require tightening the reticle should be checked to make certain it is aligned properly with the action. We check it as a normal part of our regular routine regardless.  During your mechanical checks you should also visually inspect the muzzle for any signs of damage in the form of scratches or other wear. A damaged muzzle will make it difficult to maintain MOA and if it does require repair re-crowning can be done by most competent gunsmiths.

Cleaning…This subject is cause for much debate and everyone has an opinion. Some folks clean after every shoot, some after so many rounds, some whenever they get around to it. The facts are that firing a rifle leaves residue fowling in the barrel, the chamber and bolt and should be removed by cleaning. Barring any wives tales we believe that a precision rifle should be cleaned at least after every use at a minimum. If you fire 10 rounds or 50, clean the gun. We use a multi-step process with Montana Extreme products on our rifles however most have a personal preference and you should use what you feel does the best job. Always use a properly sized bore guide preferably specifically machined to fit your rifle as apposed to a universal fit. A good bore guide will fit nicely in the chamber and have an o-ring seal to prevent solvents from escaping into the action. You also need a rod long enough to clear the rear of your scope as you work it down the barrel.  On a standard bolt rifle that works out to something between a 36″ or 44″ rod depending on the optic and mount. Of course you need a method of holding the rifle like a gun vise and the correct size patches, jags and brushes. Also remember to clean with your barrel tilted down to keep the fluids from running back into the action and chamber and clean only from the breech, never from the muzzle. We start with powder solvent on a patch followed by brushing to loosen the powder residue. We patch with clean patches followed by patches of 91% alcohol to neutralize the solvent and prevent cross contamination. When that is dry we patch and scrub with Copper Killer. Once we have the bore coated with copper solvent and scrubbed we allow the solvent to sit in the barrel for about 5 minutes. Much longer than that is not recommended. This again is followed by clean patches and 91% alcohol to neutralize the copper solvent. If the gun is going to sit for any length of time run a final patch with a light coating of gun oil. The bolt and bolt face should be scrubbed with a brush and solvent then wiped dry. The final area of attention is the chamber. Probably the most overlooked area and least often cleaned. You will need a chamber cleaning kit. These are available from Dewey, Tipton and others and cost anywhere from $10 to $30 on average the difference being construction. They all do the same thing and make cleaning the chamber an easy job. Use 91% alcohol the supplied pads and mops to scrub the chamber and allow to dry. The bolt lugs and faces should have a small amount of gun grease applied and you’re done. Simple, effective and will help maintain to your accuracy and add to the life of your rifle.

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