Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wanna be a Tubby?

by Ben Small

Range days are always fun, the weapons and weapon-accessories you see, the characters you meet and, yes, the thrill of making consistently good shots -- when or if that ever happens. Yesterday's session was no exception, courtesy of the guy at the stand next to me.

Michael is an armorer for Fort Huachuca, home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command. Hard to miss in a bright red cap reading "COMBAT," but miss him I did as I was assembling my shooting station, until, that is, I sat down and readied my SKS to fire. I looked left and saw this: 

Okay, I lie: The front and rear sighting system shown here was missing, replaced with a monster scope.

And just as I looked, the guy behind the rifle fired.WOOOM! The concussion alone would have turned my head.

"What are you shooting?" I asked. "I've never seen anything like it." He had my full attention. Hey, when's the last time you saw anything that looked like this?

The guy looked over and smiled. "It's a Tubb 2000K," he said. He pushed back from his rifle and stood, then walked over to my table. "Have you heard of David Tubb?"

The name swirled the clouds in my brain but I couldn't stir them into any semblance of solid memory. David Tubb? Where had I heard that name? "I'm not sure," I said. "Refresh me."

"David Tubb is the most accurate shooter in the world," he said, " a shooting legend." He's also a top gun designer. This is the revolutionary rifle he designed and shoots."

Still stunned stupid, I said, "That is David Tubb's rifle? You bought it from him?"

"Well, I bought it from his company," he said. "But I bought it new. He makes these rifles and sells them."

I'd never heard of a Tubb 2000K.

A long discussion about the rifle and its capabilities ensued. I had lots of questions, and he had answers. I was blown away by what he told me. And more impressed when he showed me his target. He'd fired five shots through the same hole at two hundred yards. But that's nothing for this rifle: It can do the same thing at a thousand yards.

I probably spent more time talking with my new friend than I did shooting yesterday. And when I got home, I Googled David Tubb and his rifle.

Wow! David Tubb has won (to date) a record eleven NRA National High Power Rifle Championship titles at Camp Perry, Ohio. That's four more than next best. In addition, David is an NRA Silhouette Rifle legend, having won nearly 30 open, individual national championship titles in all four rifle categories. He's also won seven Sportsmen's Team Challenge championships along with six NRA Long Range Rifle (600-1000 yd.) national championships.
Trophies aside, though, David's biggest contribution to shooting is his innovative mind. David has always been a trend setter and model of potentials. Over many seasons, David wins this year with what the rest of us will be using the next year. It's this leading edge type of advancement that led to the products you'll find listed on his web site.

What's so special, other than the weird looks and green paint job? Here's how Tubb describes the Tubb 2000 action.
"The action is machined from 17-4 stainless steel to true benchrest quality standards. The design features a solid top with a loading port. This increases action stability, stiffness, and strength. The loading port is easily accessible and is angled to aid the shooter in single loading rounds. The TUBB 2000 is fed via 10- or 20-round box magazines.

"Low effort bolt operation was a key goal in the design of the TUBB 2000 action. The exclusive bi-camming design employs two cams that engage during bolt lift to radically reduce bolt lift effort. Bolt lift is 75 degrees. The cone-faced bolt has two locking lugs which are narrower and taller than on conventional actions. This design allows the magazine to be mounted higher in the action for smoother, more positive feeding.
The bolt handle is designed for superior performance in sustained fire operation. Its ergonomic shape allows operation with a single finger, if desired.

"The bolt is machined from 8620 carbon steel and rides back into the butt extension, under the shooter's face so the bolt can be operated without the shooter having to change his head position. This low center of gravity also improves the rifle's feel and performance under recoil. TUBB 2000 is also equipped with a patented adjustable elastomer recoil reducer.

"The action features a full-length picatinny rail that will accept Weaver®-style mounts. The action's adjustable sight mounting system allows the rail to be mounted at one of three pre-set mounting angles -- 0, 5, and 10 degrees -- to allow the shooter to level the sights to fit his shooting style. A custom base is available to mount match iron sights. All barrels have a small section at the muzzle turned down to accept a clamping-style front sight mount or cant indicator.

"Lock time in the TUBB 2000 is one millisecond -- more than three times faster than a Model 70 Winchester."

And did I mention that the gun comes with interchangeable barrels? Yup, you can switch calibers and be back on the shooting line in minutes.

Rifle accuracy is determined by the caliber, the action, the barrel, the trigger, the optics and the shooter. The Tubb 2000 has specially-contoured, hand-lapped stainless steel barrels, an adjustable two-stage trigger and a fully modular setup.

If your perp or protag is a top-notch shooter, this is the rifle he wants. 

Impressive? Yes. But you won't get a rifle like this on the cheap. The basic rifle and a barrel or two will set you back over four thousand dollars. My new friend put me onto one for sale. A friend of his lost his job. He'd bought a black Tubb 2000 and twelve thousand dollars of add-ons, extra barrels, special ammo, barrel weights, a bi-pod, all the sweet stuff. I could get it for substantially less.

Yeah, right. When I win the lottery...


Mark W. Danielson said...

My brother-in-law's son was the Marine's top sniper a few years ago. I suspect he knows all about David Tubb and his rifles. Pretty amazing.

Mythbusters recently did a piece on bullets. They fired a .45 and at the same time dropped a bullet vertically. Gravity won with both bullets hitting the ground at the same time. I wonder what the gavity situation is with the Tubby?

Beth Terrell said...

My brother-in-law was a Marine sniper trainer, Mark. I wonder if your brother-in-law knows my brother-in-law.

I'm having mine do a presentation on snipers for Killer Nashville this year.

Ben, have you ever thought about writing a book on firearms for writers?

Ben Small said...

Beth, no but that's a good idea. May put that in the back of my head. Right now, however, I'm working on VENDETTA, a sequel to THE 0LIVE HORSEHOE.

Mark, I'm aware of that phenomena. It shouldn't matter, as the velocity of these rounds will cause them to go further but still drop via gravity. I understand that the impediment to equal droppage time is drag, so depending on the bullet used, assuming it's not a flat-head, it should drop the same.

But the ammo is critical, too. The guy who shot five shots through one hole, used one powder combination he favored. He reloads, as almost all true shooters do. (My wife won't let me; she's afraid I'll blow up the neighborhood... or maybe just our house.) He also tried two other formulations at the range, but with less accuracy. His five shot groups were about two inches at 200 yards, which is still outstanding shooting. I'm lucky to get that close at one hundred yards.

Ben Small said...

Some powders burn faster than others, so powder selection may influence drop time slightly.

Ben Small said...

Further, Beth, before I could do a book like that, I'd have to thoroughly research the law of Fair Use, because any pix I used, unless they were my pix, would probably be protected by copyright laws. I think it's a good idea, and I could probably incorporate some of my blog entries, edited and dressed up, but I have to get this project done first and then maybe I can do the research to see if I want to climb that tree. Thanks for the suggestion.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Another great article on weaponry, Ben. I agree with Beth that you should write a book on firearms.