Monthly Board Meeting – 21 January 2012

This is a reminder that the next scheduled meeting of Airfield Shooting Club will be conducted on Saturday, 21 January 2012 from 9-11am, in Mill Run Room located inside of the Gray Building at the main Wakefield 4-H Center (

We will start the morning with a buffet breakfast in the main building (Gray Building) around 8:30AM. The cost is $8.50.
“Monthly Board Meeting – 21 January 2012”

Women On Target 9 June 2012

Ladies ONLY Shooting Clinic – Saturday,  June 9, 2012

Where: Airfield 4-H ConferenceCenter, Wakefield, Virginia  23888
Cost: $50.00 (pre-registration required). Cost includes loaner firearms, all ammunition, targets, instruction by NRA certified instructors and lunch.  
  Attendance limited to the first 40 applicants.
When: Saturday, June 9, 2012, sign-in begins at 9:00 a.m.
Contact: Dale Mullin (757) 420-4419 (please, no calls after 9:30 p.m.) or via email at, registration form can be found at the following link.
Agenda: 9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Sign-in
  9:15 – 9:30 a.m. Safety briefing – all disciplines (Rifle, Pistol, Archery & Shotgun)
  9:30 a.m. Divide into four groups and proceed to your first discipline
  9:40 – 10:50 a.m. First discipline
  11:00 -12:10 a.m. Second discipline
  12:25 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
  1:45 – 2:55 p.m. Third discipline
  3:05 – 4:15 p.m. Fourth discipline
  4:15 – 4:25 p.m. How to keep improving your marksmanship skills
  4:25 – 4:30 p.m. Awarding of certificates.

ASC hosts Pistol Class on October 22, 2011

The Airfield Shooting Club (ASC) is hosting on October 22, 2011, an NRA First Steps (Pistol) Class with additional sections on the Law of Concealed Carry and Self Defense and Methods of Concealed Carry.


The First Steps (Pistol) Class is intended to provide hands-on orientation to one specific pistol model and includes both classroom and live-fire training.  Our instructors teach both revolver and semi-auto sections in this class.  In addition to the NRA First Steps (Pistol) Class, over an hour long session is scheduled with Timothy W. Drewry, a Virginia practicing attorney, who will discuss some of the legal aspects of carrying concealed firearms and self defense in Virginia. There will be a question and answer period, and the attorney will remain with the class until the very end so that he may answer questions which may arise.  An additional segment of the course will include a brief discussion of some of the firearms appropriate for concealed carry and the holsters or other devices which might be suited for carrying a firearm concealed. The legal instruction and the concealed carry portions of the course are non-NRA approved, but added by the ASC to better inform pistol shooters who may wish to carry concealed.


Those who successfully complete the NRA First Steps portion of the course will receive a certificate which will serve as proof of training for the purpose of obtaining a Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit.


The course is scheduled to commence at 9:00 a.m. in the Farm Fresh A & B classroom at the Airfield 4-H Conference Center (near Wakefield).  We expect the formal portion of the course will be completed by about 4:00 p.m., however several of the NRA Certified Instructors usually remain at the range to help those who want to get some additional practice with their handguns.  It is not necessary that you own a firearm in order to attend these courses. The instructors will bring some of their personal firearms, which you may borrow. If you have your own firearm, you may bring it to the range for live fire practice, but please do not bring a loaded firearm to the classroom portion in the morning. We will do our first work with loaded firearms in the early afternoon.  Cost of the class is $65.00 (nonrefundable unless directed by ASC Board). Payment should be made to the “Airfield Shooting Club” and sent to ASC Vice President, Timothy W. Drewry at P.O. Box 247, Courtland, Virginia   23837. The course fee includes all NRA class materials, some .22 caliber ammunition and the attorney’s fees, but does not include the cost of any centerfire ammunition.  You may bring your own centerfire ammunition to use in your own firearm or an instructor’s firearm. Note: This course has limited space; the course is filled as payments are received.


If you have any questions, please contact Tim Drewry at 757-653-9999 or by email at .  If you already have a concealed carry permit, this is a great refresher course, especially if the first course you took to acquire your permit did not have a lecture on the laws in Virginia.  If you have family, friends and neighbors who wish to acquire a concealed carry permit, then this course will fully prepare them!!!  We hope you will register for this class and join us on October 22!!!


Konus Spotting Scope Review

Up for review today is the Konus Spotting Scope 20-60x 80mm which I purchased from Midway USA  on sale for $198.00. Midway has some of the best prices around and I have good experiences both of the times I have had to contact customer service. A decent spotting scope is a necessity for high power rifle shooting. The Konus scope has been talked about quite a bit with an assortment of good reviews, and Jim Owens seems to like it. The Konus has a variable zoom from 20x to 60x and an 80mm objective lens with a sun shade. It weighs just under four pounds and is about 17″ long. Here is the picture of the box that the scope comes packaged in.

Once you open the box you can see the carrying case that comes with the scope. The carrying case is kind of thin and nothing special but it helps keep everything together.

Unzipping the carrying case reveals the scope itself and the accessories that come with it. Included are a camera adapter and a plastic table top tripod.

The tripod works acceptably on the table but it is a bit wobbly and apt to tip over. I will be looking for a replacement tripod in the near future but the included one works for now.

When I first started to use the scope, the zoom adjustment was VERY tight and was difficult to turn. The eyepiece would come unscrewed from the force of turning the zoom. After a few minutes of use and turning the zoom and tightening the eyepiece, the tightness has appeared to go away and it is adjusting smoothly for now. I hope that it stays this way. The scope also comes with a camera adapter for taking pictures. It screws on to the eyepiece and allows you to adjust the zoom even when installed.

Once I had it unpacked and setup and finished playing with the adjustments, I settled in to shoot and try it out. Overall I was impressed with the optics and the quality of the image. Even when the zoom was cranked all the way up the image was clear and color was close to normal. Having only used this scope two times now I would not hesitate to recommend it to some one else as long as you plan on getting another tripod. I had intended to take pictures with my camera attached but I forgot to bring the camera to range so I took a few shots with my cell phone camera. I am hesitant to put them up since they were taken with a shaky cell phone but I will put one up and post another image that was taken by another reviewer with a better camera.

Shaky cell phone camera shot.

200 meter shot from a review on Inland Shooters


Stock Refinishing with Tru Oil

Not too long ago I bought one of the Civilian Marksmanship specials. The specials are remanufactured M1 Garands with new barrels and new stocks. Once mine arrived I was rather pleased with how it looked, however I needed to do something with the stock as it was essentially bare wood when I got it. I decided to use Birchwood Casey’s Tru Oil on this project.

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures before I started so I will use some proxy pictures that hopefully will serve the purpose. On the right is a picture of the CMP special from the CMP website. You can see that the wood looks nice but it needs some finish. After receiving mine I took all of the furniture off and used a bit of 400 grit paper to smooth out a few rough places and then give it a light sanding overall. Then I blew all the dust off with my compressor and then used a tack cloth to remove anything else. Seeing as how I failed to take pictures of my stock before refinishing, I am going to show some pictures of a box that I made for my wife not too long ago. I made a small jewelry type box out of mahogany and I used Tru Oil to finish it.

The piece on the left is this picture is raw mahogany that I had cut to form one side of the box. I sanded it with 200 and then 400 grit paper to smooth it out. Then after cleaning it and wiping it down I applied the first coat of Tru Oil. I used a piece of cheese cloth folded up into a pad and applied a light coat. I stress the light coat part. You do not want to put this on too heavy. It would probably be a good idea to do this in a dust free environment. The piece on the right has had one coat of Tru Oil applied to it. The first coat will probably soak right in but keep it light and spread the oil into the wood grain. The first coat will probably need to dry for at least 2 to 3 hours depending on the humidity.

Once the first coat is dry you will need to buff it out with some steel wool. I usually use OO or medium grade steel wool depending on the branding. In the picture on the right the steel wool grades from the left are coarse, medium, and fine. This brand of steel wool the medium is about OO and the fine was close to OOOO steel wool. You do not need to push hard when buffing the finish, just some light pressure should be fine.

After buffing out the finish I used the compressor to blow out the dust and wool particles and used a tack cloth to clean up the surface. Then I applied a second coat of Tru Oil. You will find that the second coat will use less oil than the first coat so go sparingly at first. In the picture on the left you can compare the raw mahogany to a piece with two coats of Tru Oil on it.

For my Garand I used three coats of Tru Oil. Some people will say that you need to use more. I have seen some nice rifles that have used six to eight coats but I was pleased with finish after three and at the time I was tired of buffing it with steel wool and I wanted to get out and shoot it!!!! On the right is a picture of my Garand with the three coats of Tru Oil. You can see that it has a nice satin finish and the Tru Oil really made the grain pop.

And now since I know you want to see it is a picture of the box that I made for my wife. With this I went to six coats of Tru Oil. If you click on the picture and look close you can see that not all of the grain is filled in. You could go even further if you wanted and continue applying coats and buffing until all of the grain is filled but I kind of like the way it looks.

You can put a really nice finish on your gun stock with Birchwood Casey’s Tru Oil. There is a little bit of work required with the prep work and buffing. If you take your time and plan carefully you can end up with some nice looking furniture.

Leupold Mark AR Scope Review

I have been in the market for some decent optics for my flat-top AR. With the economy the way it is I initially tried to keep the cost down and crashed and burned with the NCStar Mark III. Thankfully Midway USA made the recovery much easier with their no hassle return policy. After that experience I put aside some money for a little while until I was able to save up enough to order a Leupold Mark AR from Optics Planet with a coupon. I also purchased a one-piece Burris Scope Mount from Midway to go with the scope.

The Leupold Mark AR comes in a 1.5-4×20 model and a 3-9×40 model. You can buy it with Duplex or Mildot reticles and the lenses are coated with Leupold’s Multicoat 4 System. This coating is supposed to result in increased brightness, contrast, and clarity. The view through the scope looked good to me although I did have some issues making out 22 cal holes at 100yds.

I bought the 3-9×40 version with the Mildot Reticle. It is a one inch tube in matte finish. 
The elevation knob is adjustable in 1/2 moa increments and includes a built in bullet drop compensator calibrated for the M193 round. A 55gr bullet at 3200fps. Leupold offers the ability to purchase a custom calibrated compensator for the load of your choice.
I mounted the scope to my AR using a Burris one piece mount.  This particular mount is really intended for AR platforms with shorter stocks. I was very impressed with the amount of eye-relief that this scope offered. The optics were clear and easy to see.
For the real test I used some more of the Black Hills 55 gr ammo that I got on sale back before the election of ’08. I bought a whole lot at the time, one because I got a good deal, two because I was under the impression that Black Hills was some good stuff. I have gone through quite a lot of this in the past few years and I have not been impressed. It is supposed to be 3200fps but I have had it chrono from 2800 to about 3120 and everywhere in between. Not the most accurate in the world but it was cheap and good for plinking.
I didn’t have a lot of time this day so I got it sighted in and then started firing 3 round groups starting at 9x. 3 at 9x, 3 at 8x and so on down to 3x. You can see the results here 21 shots at 100yds. Not the best shooting in the world but I am happy to report that I did not have any real change in the point of Impact like I did with the NCStar. The next chance I get I will take some of my handloads out and practice for a little while. Even though the Leupold and the mount together were about four times the cost of the NCStar, there is a noticeable difference in the quality and I think it was worth saving up to purchase.

Dillon Powder Measure Tuning

I love reloading on my Dillon. I usually use it for straight wall pistol ammunition. Once it is set up and dialed in, I can crank out plenty of 9mm and 45 to feed our shooting habit. My wife even likes the Dillon as it saves money on ammo and she thinks that the sound of me reloading on the Dillon and reaching into the brass bucket reminds her of the Pink Floyd song Money.


In the past I have usually reloaded my rifle ammunition on a single stage press. For no particular reason I wanted to reload some rifle rounds on the Dillon. I started with 30-06 as I had the dies and I could use the shellplate, buttons, etc from other rounds that I already reloaded. I set the Dillon up with the 30-06 dies and filled the powder measure up with some IMR-4895. This load was going to be for the Garand so it will not be too hot. About 45 grains of 4895 behind a 168gr SMK. I was trying to get the powder measure dialed in but I kept on noticing that when I brought the handle up I still had grains of powder dropping out. After about ten repetitions of handle I had a noticeable amount of powder sprinkled around the shellplate and surrounding area.


Long grain extruded powders are known to have a bit of an issue metering through the Dillon but this seemed to be problem to me. I decided to throw about 30 rounds and I would weigh each one on two different scales to see what kind of a shot to shot difference I was getting. I measured each round twice and then added the powder back into the powder measure.


30 measurements everything stock

Min: 44.4
Max 44.9
Range: 0.5
Mean: 44.62
Std Dev: 0.16

I then tried to add a powder baffle from UniqueTek. This baffle is supposed to provide an uniform flow of powder  even as the level of powder in the measure changes. Since I was pouring the powder back in after every measure I did not really test the baffle for what it was designed for.


30 measurements with powder baffle

Min: 44.1
Max 45.4
Range: 1.3
Mean: 44.84
Std Dev: 0.33

That did not work out very well. A 1.3 grain difference and the standard deviation doubled.

I took the baffle out and while I had the powder measure apart I pulled out my dremel and some went to work. I started with a scotch brite pad bit and finished up with a polishing pad and some jewelers rouge. I polished up the entire funnel, the mouth, and all parts of the powder bar inside and out. I did not remove any metal but I polished it up and made it smooth. You can see the difference between an untouched measure and an “improved” measure.

Now I put it back together without the baffle and measured another 30 rounds. This time I also decided to slow down the stroke I was using. When reloading pistol ammunition you can crank out some rounds but when reloading rifle and using extruded powders you should slow down a bit. I chose a 4 count from the time the powder bar starts to move until the the powder bar stops moving. Four was an arbitrary number but it seemed to be about right and I needed to make each stroke as repeatable as possible. It is not like I just made some numbers up called my self a climate scientist and made a movie about it.



30 measurements with polished funnel and 4 count stroke.

Min: 44.0
Max 44.3
Range: 0.3
Mean: 44.15
Std Dev: 0.08

Now that is what I am talking about! 30 rounds and the largest difference was only 0.3 grains. I think that will be accurate enough for me. I just need to hold the rifle steady now. Just to ease my curiosity I put the powder baffle back in and tried again.


30 measurements with polished funnel, powder baffle, and 4 count stroke.

Min: 44.3
Max 44.8
Range: 0.5
Mean: 44.595
Std Dev: 0.13

Again the standard deviation increased with the baffle installed. Granted, I did not test with a varying amount of powder in the measure but to have this much of an impact on the measurement at this stage makes me want to leave it out. So what does all this mean. When reloading bottle neck rifle cases on a Dillon with extruded powders you should polish up your funnel and powder bar and sloooow down with handle especially on the down stroke.

NCStar Mark III Tactical Scope Review

Up for review this month is the NC Star Mark III Tactical Scope. I got this from Midway with a coupon for about $115. I was kind of apprehensive about this purchase as I had read a couple of not so hot reviews and I am usually of the mind that you get what you pay for. Anyhow this is a 3 to 9 variable power scope with illuminated mildot reticules. It comes with an integrated quick release weaver style mount. My intention was to put this scope one of my flat top ARs.

The package from Midway was packaged adequately as usual and I pulled the scope box out to take a look. The box packaging looked decent and I did not see any damage to the box.

 The end of the box shows the 3-9X with a 42mm objective. the actual model number is STM3942G.

I carefully removed the scope from the box and checked it out. One of the reasons that I picked this one is that it has the built in bullet drop compensator that is calibrated for 223. It is actually calibrated for a 55gr M193 round and I usually shoot 69 or 75 gr. Supposedly you sight it in for 100 yds and then you can adjust the compensator out to 500 yds. I never actually got that far with it.

Some of the negative reviews I read indicated that the mount did not hold onto the rail very well and would come loose. I followed the instructions and mounted mine, then put a drop of loctite on the locking screw. I do not forsee this thing coming loose and after 200 rds it has not budged at all. Here is a shot if it mounted on my AR.

Here is another shot zoomed out a little bit with the included dust covers on.

Now I have never had a scope with illuminated reticules before so I wanted to try this out. Supposedly the illumination will help in low light situations. However I found that even on the dimmest settings the illumination destroyed my night vision and I could barely see anything well enough to shoot it. Here is a shot from the aft end of the scope at night. It is a little out of focus but you can get the idea, it is very bright and that is lowest setting.

The view was only a little better with the green light. Again it is a little out of focus but you get the point I hope. Alright enough of the fancy stuff how well does it shoot? I was not expecting great clarity out of a scope this price but at 100yds and with the scope at maximum magnification 9x, I could make out most ( not all ) of the 22 cal holes. Not that bad I suppose. I went through 200rds of 55gr ball ammo that I got on sale back before the election of 08. Not the most accurate stuff in the world but it puts holes in the paper. As I was shooting something seemed strange and I was not sure what was going on. So I opened up the bipod and set up the bench to make myself  nice and stable. I got the rifle sighted in so that I could put my shots into a group the size of a quarter at 100yds with the scope at  9x.

Then I loaded up the magazine hunkered down and put 6 shots into the center of the target. I then carefully moved the power from 9x to 8x and took 3 more shots. Then moved the power to 7x and took 3 more shots. I continued this at 6x, 5x, 4x, and finally 3x. You can see the results to the right. With each change in power the point of impact changed. After 5x I was no longer even on the paper. At this point I was kind of disgusted and it was starting to get late so I called it a day. I don’t know about you but the point of impact should not be moving when I change the magnification level. I could accept a little bit of a change but to be off the paper is unacceptable. There is supposed to be a lifetime warranty from NCStar on these. At this point I am glad I bought this with my American Express as I can definitely get my money back. I am undecided if I should deal with trying to get warranty replacement or just return it. At this juncture in time I cannot recommend one of these scopes. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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