Keys to Rifle Accuracy

By Glen Wunderlich

During a recent session at the rifle range, I pulled out one of my most accurate firearms: a Remington model 700 in .22-250 caliber.  I wanted to see where it was hitting at 200 yards, after having sighted it in at 50 yards.  The computer indicated that the home-brewed 50-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets would be on target.

At the 200-yard target, the first 2 shots were a scant one-inch low but grouped a respectable .625 of an inch.  Since I had only 7 rounds remaining in the box, and wanted to save them for hunting coyotes, I was putting it away, when my friend, Joe, piped up, “Shoot it again.  That could have been a fluke.”

Mind you, Joe has a .300 Winchester Magnum that’s his go-to, show-off gun and I’m quite sure that first group challenged his best of the day.  I explained that I’d that I’d have to change ammo to satisfy his curiosity.

Again, I had already done a bit of testing with the other ammo, but only at 50 yards.  However, the 50-yard results were just as good, but the groups were low and right compared to the other ammo.

“Alright, Joe, here goes.  But, understand the group will be low and right.”  Three more shots and the issue was settled:  .687 of an inch at 200 yards – a bit low and right.  No more from Joe.

To pull this off, several factors come into play.  Continue reading

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Gun Buyers Scoop Up AK-47 Rifles After New Sanctions

Predictably, the Obama administration has created a spike in demand for Russian AK-47s.  Guess they never learn.  Details here…

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What to Feed Your Summer Bird Feeder Visitors

 Outdoor Wire Editor’s Note: Today’s feature first appeared in The Birding Wire (
Great information for the bird lovers like me…GW


Sure, winter is a prime time for feeding birds – natural foods are less abundant and cold weather makes windowside birding that much more inviting. But birds flock to feeders in summer, too – especially in midsummer, after they’ve fledged a brood from their nest and they’ve got new mouths to feed.

Summer bird feeding can bring you different species, such as Neotropical migrants that aren’t around in winter. It’s also a fun time to try offering some different kinds of foods. Here are some tips for creating a summertime backyard buffet that might bring a few new faces to your feeders.

Nectar for Hummingbirds

A Ruby-throated Hummingbird enjoys feeding from a red hummingbird feeder. Photo by Kevin Click via Birdshare.

Attracting hummingbirds to your yard can be as easy as hanging a hummingbird feeder and filling it with a sugar water solution (1/4 cup sugar per cup of water). There’s no reason to add food coloring to turn the water red; you’re providing a substitute for flower nectar, which is clear. Don’t locate the feeder in direct sun, as the sugar water will spoil rapidly. In the shade your sugar water should last two or three days, except for very hot days, in which case it’s wise to change your hummingbird feeder water daily.

Why are hummingbird feeders red? It’s not because hummingbirds are inherently attracted to the color red, because these peripatetic featherweights feed on flowers of many colors: white, purple, yellow, red, even ultraviolet colors that we can’t see. But the key here lies in the eyesight of nectar-feeding insects, not hummingbirds. Bees, wasps, and butterflies are better at locating pale-colored flowers than red flowers. In nature, red flowers tend to have more nectar in them, because they aren’t being visited as often by insects. So hummingbirds are indeed attracted to red, not because they can see it better, but because they have learned from experience that red flowers tend to have more nectar than flowers of other colors.

Oranges for Orioles

Baltimore Orioles have a sweet tooth for fruit like oranges. Photo by Dave LaDore via Birdshare.

Flashy orange orioles are even simpler to lure in for backyard viewing pleasure. Just slice an orange in half and set it on a platform feeder or skewer it on your feeder pole. Other fruits will work too, such as cherries or grapes. Orioles seem to prefer dark fruit and will ignore yellow cherries or green grapes. They also LOVE grape jelly. Put a spoonful of jelly on your platform feeder, and once the orioles find it, it won’t last long!

Why do orioles love fruit? It could be that they develop a sweet tooth while wintering in Central America, where they forage for a variety of wild fruits in tropical forests. Orioles sometimes use their slender beaks to feed in an unusual way, called gaping: they stab the closed bill into soft fruits, then open their mouths to cut a juicy swath from which they drink with their brushy-tipped tongues.

Sunflower Seeds for Grosbeaks

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks’ big beaks make short work of crushing seed hulls. Photo by Robin Arnold via Birdshare.

Grosbeaks are one of the best reasons to keep your seed feeders stocked in summer. The males are handsome, decked out in black-and-white formal wear with a pop of color (a red chest patch for Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, warm cinnamon-orange bodies for Black-headed Grosbeaks). Females of both species are drab mottled brown and may be confused with finches or sparrows.
Grosbeaks are seed-eating machines. They’ll eat millet but their favorite is good ol’ black-oil sunflower seeds.

Why are grosbeak beaks so big? The better to eat large seeds with, my dear. Grosbeaks are one of the classic birds with beaks that indicate what they eat-big, sturdy beaks are best for crushing seed hulls. Those beaks are also mighty good at crushing insects and grasshoppers, another primary food source. A female grosbeak’s big beak is the first clue that you’re not looking at a finch or a sparrow, both of which have decidedly more petite beaks.

Mealworms for Bluebirds

Insectivores like this Eastern Bluebird always welcome a mealworm snack. Photo by Lindell Dillon via Birdshare.

Many people entice bluebirds to take up residence on their property by putting up nest boxes (also called birdhouses). If you have bluebirds in your neighborhood, you can get an up-close look at them by setting a few mealworms out on your platform feeder. Bluebirds are insectivores, and an offering of a few mealworms-alive or dried-is a protein boost that’s hard to resist, especially during the energy-intensive breeding season.

What to do with leftover fishing bait? If you fish with wax worms, set them out for bluebirds. Mealworms and wax worms are interchangeable for bluebirds, and some folks even say bluebirds will pick through a pile of mealworms to eat the wax worms first. Continue reading

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Confused about ORV licenses and permits? MI DNR Can Help

As you may have already heard, Michigan’s off-road vehicle (ORV) license options changed as of March 1, 2014. The new license structure – authorized by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013 – provides vital funding to improve outdoor recreation opportunities for ORV riders.

The new ORV license structure includes two levels depending on the type of riding you are doing. An ORV License ($26.25) is required on eligible county roads, state forest roads in the Upper Peninsula and eligible national forest roads as well as on the frozen surface of public waters. This license is required to operate anywhere off of private lands.

In addition to the ORV License, an ORV Trail Permit (an additional $10, for a total of $36.25) will be required when operating on State-designated ORV trails, routes and scramble areas. Continue reading

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Zeiss Announces New Mobile Ballistic Calculator App

NORTH CHESTERFIELD, VA., (July 21, 2014) – Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, the world’s leading manufacturer of high performance sports optics, is pleased to announce the launch of its new Ballistic Calculator mobile app available for the iPhone, iPod, iPad and Android devices. Modeled after the highly successful website-based program, the mobile app is a completely interactive tool you can take to the range or into the field. Continue reading

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Cryptic Coatings Gets Into Firearms Business

Conover, N.C. – With ties in the performance coatings industry, Cryptic Coatings, Ltd. enters the specialty firearms coating industry by offering complete full auto Bolt Carrier Groups (BCG) for AR15, M16 and M4 firearms coated in their specialty Physical Vapor Disposition (PVD) or Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) processes. Continue reading

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National Trappers Association Annual Convention July 24-27

The National Trappers Association, a partner of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, will hold its annual convention in Escanaba Thursday, July 24 through Sunday, July 27, at the Upper Peninsula state fairgrounds. Continue reading

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Rock Island Armory Announces 2014 Summer Consumer Rebate Program

(Pahrump, NV) – Rock Island Armory, the world’s largest manufacturer of 1911 firearms, has announced two incentives as part of its summer consumer rebate program. Continue reading

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On Short Barrel Rifles and Shotguns in Michigan

This information provided by The Law Offices of Steven W. Dulan, PLC.

The Prohibition era ban on short barrel rifles and short barrel shotguns in Michigan is over.

The new SBS/SBR rules are as follows:

SBS/SBR weapons that meet the Michigan definition of a pistol are eligible for carry pursuant to a Michigan CPL.

It is still a felony to simply “saw off” a rifle or shotgun with a longer barrel. Continue reading

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Threatened and endangered species feature: piping plover

Piping plovers are special and beautiful birds – there are only 50-60 nesting pairs in the entire Great Lakes area and less than 7,000 individuals worldwide. Cryptically colored for a life among rocky and sandy soil, these birds can be distinguished from most other shorebirds by their black headband and the single black band around their neck. They may legitimately be described as “cute” throughout their lives.

The Great Lakes population of piping plovers is one of only three small populations in the U.S. During the winter all of these birds congregate on the Gulf Coast, but they travel to the separate areas during the breeding season. When it comes time to nest, piping plovers prefer gravelly beaches. Nests can be found on the Michigan shorelines of the Great Lakes, including Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, from early April through mid-August.

piping ploverDisturbance can cause the birds to abandon their nests. Serious threats to these birds include dogs and careless off-road driving. Raccoons and raptors are common natural predators.

Both parents participate equally in incubating (sitting on) the eggs. When it is time to trade duties, one bird hops off and quickly runs away while the other scurries over and pops onto the nest, quite a comedic sight. Comedians and occasionally actors, piping plovers have a clever distraction tactic when threatened by a predator. Adult birds act as if their wing is broken and wobble and chirp to draw the predator away from their nest. Once the predator has been duped the bird flies off! Continue reading

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