DIY Mirage Shield

Subwrx300

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I was looking for various DIY mirage shield materials for an upcoming FTR match and nearly decided to buy one... However, I found that Vinyl Drywall Bull-nose molding has a great profile for a mirage shield. Can readily be found at Lowes and HomeDepot for $2-$4 per 10' length. I found it on sale for $1.87 so it was an easy decision! Link to material through Lowes is here: Lowes Vinyl Bullnose Drywall Bead

Pictures below... Hope it helps anyone looking for similar solution.

Fabrication is fairly self explanatory but just in case:
  1. Cut length of Bullnose Bead to match your barrel length; doesn't have run all the way to chamber but should be a few inches behind the objective of your optics.
  2. I purchased pre-cut Velcro squares for $3 at Lowes that fit perfectly in bull-nose channel, but you could use any Velcro with strong adhesive backing.
  3. Wipe barrel free of oil or residue along the areas where Velcro will sit on barrel.
  4. Attach sticky, self-adhesive Velcro squares to underside of bull nose (I used Hook side on Shield and Loop side on Barrel).
  5. press on your new mirage shield to seat the Velcro adhesive...
  6. Done!

I tested on the 1000yd range with 30 consecutive rounds at 82deg F during course of fire for FTR practice and had no visible mirage from barrel and material didn't heat up or get melted as no direct contact with barrel. Velcro added enough height to ensure that no direct contact with barrel and vinyl and, as a bonus, the "vented" portion of the bull nose material seems to allow good airflow under shield without letting heat rise vertically towards the objective of the scope.

I ended up painting mine matte black as I didn't like the look of the original pure white but choice is yours. I haven't tested with black paint to see if any issues with absorbing too much heat, but will repost if I encounter any issues on hot day. Added benefit of painting: allows for camo heat shield if you happen to shoot lots of varmint with your rifle for extended periods.

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Note: New to posting here but I think I have this in the correct area... If not please let me know for future reference.
 

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Subwrx300

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Glad you liked it! I tried the same venetian blind route but couldn't get a single blade ... Only a box them. Let me know how it works out for you!
 

Unknown

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Rather than venetian blind slats, I used 1.5 inch black sling webbing. When not in use, I roll it up and stow it in my shooting bag.
 

Subwrx300

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Rather than venetian blind slats, I used 1.5 inch black sling webbing. When not in use, I roll it up and stow it in my shooting bag.

Great idea.... I may give that a try if I end up building a sling. As a range update, I fired more rounds (20 string- 15 min - 20 string) and found that it worked well without any mirage. Took off shield and could barely see hundred yard target. Does seem that cooling takes a bit longer but it was DEAD still with 75 air. Barrel was still quite warm about 20 min after firing second string. Testing no shield cool time in a few days following a match to compare.
 

Unknown

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The only problem I have had is glue for the velcro strips on the barrel. I sew them onto the cloth strip, but if you don't use the right glue, and the barrel gets too hot, many glues will release the velcro from your barrel, no matter how well you degrease the barrel first. I get the best results with really good contact cement like the shoemaker uses to put soles on shoes.

Old style Barge cement with toluene works best. The new formula of Barge cement was made without toluene as the glue sniffers liked it. However, you can still get both kinds if you look around. For some reason, the lack of toluene reduces the glue's grip by at least 50%.
 

Subwrx300

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The only problem I have had is glue for the velcro strips on the barrel. I sew them onto the cloth strip, but if you don't use the right glue, and the barrel gets too hot, many glues will release the velcro from your barrel, no matter how well you degrease the barrel first. I get the best results with really good contact cement like the shoemaker uses to put soles on shoes.

Old style Barge cement with toluene works best. The new formula of Barge cement was made without toluene as the glue sniffers liked it. However, you can still get both kinds if you look around. For some reason, the lack of toluene reduces the glue's grip by at least 50%.
Good to know. Ill check my Velcro adhesive but it seems to sticking stronger now than after first putting it on. Maybe the type of Velcro? I used the 3M variety I believe AMD seems solid so far.
 

Subwrx300

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Why not attach it to the stock so it doesn't make actual contact with the barrel so as to not throw of the barrel harmonics? Or have you noticed it doesn't matter?
Doesn't affect harmonics "at all" (which means at least within my rifle/shooter combo which is only .5 to 1.25 MOA :)).

But seriously, I did try testing that (checking historic groups with that load vs after shield and I found it didn't change within a measurable amount. If anything I've been shooting MORE consistently since putting it on. This could be because of practice, the shield helping sight picture, damping harmonics or a combination of all three... At least in my case.

If I could think of a solid way to mount to stock instead, I would consider it. But there's just not much clearance above barrel to scope so it would be a bit tricky.

If you can think of a solid way (maybe Velcro outside stock) that would prevent slapping of the tip of barrel against the shield let me know.

Anyone else tried this yet?
 

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Doesn't affect harmonics "at all" (which means at least within my rifle/shooter combo which is only .5 to 1.25 MOA :)).

But seriously, I did try testing that (checking historic groups with that load vs after shield and I found it didn't change within a measurable amount. If anything I've been shooting MORE consistently since putting it on. This could be because of practice, the shield helping sight picture, damping harmonics or a combination of all three... At least in my case.

If I could think of a solid way to mount to stock instead, I would consider it. But there's just not much clearance above barrel to scope so it would be a bit tricky.

If you can think of a solid way (maybe Velcro outside stock) that would prevent slapping of the tip of barrel against the shield let me know.

Anyone else tried this yet?

I am going to try it. My idea was rare earth magnets. recess a few into the stock than paint over them. Glue another magnet or piece of metal to the shield. Than it can be quick detach/not get glue residue on barrel. A guy could use epoxy to set the magnets and sand it flush. This of course depends on the shape of your stock I have a Mcmillan A-5 and I think it can work. Before I just used a small portable fan to blow across the barrel.
 

Subwrx300

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I am going to try it. My idea was rare earth magnets. recess a few into the stock than paint over them. Glue another magnet or piece of metal to the shield. Than it can be quick detach/not get glue residue on barrel. A guy could use epoxy to set the magnets and sand it flush. This of course depends on the shape of your stock I have a Mcmillan A-5 and I think it can work. Before I just used a small portable fan to blow across the barrel.
That's a GREAT idea! The shade does just touch stock through length of forearm. Would need to stiffen the tip of the shade a bit though so it didn't slap muzzle end. Great idea. Let me know of you try it. I may work on a prototype too just to see how secure it would be.
 

Subwrx300

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That's a GREAT idea! The shade does just touch stock through length of forearm. Would need to stiffen the tip of the shade a bit though so it didn't slap muzzle end. Great idea. Let me know of you try it. I may work on a prototype too just to see how secure it would be.
If you can just recess the magnets and have a matching raised metal on the shade it may provide a "lock" of sorts. At least enough to make removal more of a purposeful event rather than accidental.
 

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That's a GREAT idea! The shade does just touch stock through length of forearm. Would need to stiffen the tip of the shade a bit though so it didn't slap muzzle end. Great idea. Let me know of you try it. I may work on a prototype too just to see how secure it would be.

It will be a while my barrel is off for salt bath nitrating. Once the rifle is together I'm gonna set something up for my load development.
 

DroidSniper

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What barrel/action/chamber are you building? Post picture when complete. :D

It's a .338 Edge with a trued Remington 700 action McMillan A-5 stock a bartlien 30" barrel. PTG fluted bolt. Nightforce 20 MOA bas with 8-40 screws, ATACR Mil-r in a Spurh 20.6 MOA Mount. The A-5 was originally for a SPS DM it now has a blind mag the facilitate feeding 3.900 OAL rounds. I have own the rifle for 7 years it started out as a stock .300 win mag. I have burned up two more kreigers in .300 win bought and sold a Leupold, NSX before it took it's current form.

I love this rifle.
 

Subwrx300

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That sounds like a great build! I presume you like your ATACR as much as I do... Unreal scope even for the $. I couldnt decide between McM or Manners until I happened across the T4A in stock for a good deal.

Your rifle will be a solid 2k shooter. Do you get to shoot ELR often?
 

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That sounds like a great build! I presume you like your ATACR as much as I do... Unreal scope even for the $. I couldnt decide between McM or Manners until I happened across the T4A in stock for a good deal.

Your rifle will be a solid 2k shooter. Do you get to shoot ELR often?

I love the ATACR. A big step up from the NSX. I get out to 500-600 yards on the farm all the time. out to about 1200 occasionally. when this rifle is back together I'll head out to the range and take it to a mile.
 

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Your profile shows your from OH... You must be taking out to Thunder Valley. They've got a 1760 target right?

They do indeed. Never shot at it though. Reyners is another good one. Both are a bit of a drive and my summers are usually pretty crazy with stuff going on and projects around the house. Goal is to try and get on the mile steel sometime in September.
 

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They do indeed. Never shot at it though. Reyners is another good one. Both are a bit of a drive and my summers are usually pretty crazy with stuff going on and projects around the house. Goal is to try and get on the mile steel sometime in September.

You have your stock back yet? I'm trying to find some magnets that I can temp install into the stock and shield.
 

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I have the stock but I'm living out of boxes for the next two months. We bought a new house but won't have the propane tank in toll the end of the month which was a suprize we had everything pack ready to go.
 

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I have the stock but I'm living out of boxes for the next two months. We bought a new house but won't have the propane tank in toll the end of the month which was a suprize we had everything pack ready to go.

Droid,

I come up with Mark and Jeff from KY to shoot the sniper matches. Let me know how this works for you so that I will know whether or not to try it, and whether or not I will be the only one at the matches with home-improvement accessories hanging off my rifle! :)
 

Subwrx300

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I have the stock but I'm living out of boxes for the next two months. We bought a new house but won't have the propane tank in toll the end of the month which was a suprize we had everything pack ready to go.
As a side benefit, you can reuse the leftover bullnose to make a rounded drywall corner in your new house! :p

Mines been holding up well but the Velcro adhesive does get hot during long strings and will melt/re-adhere after cooling.

Finding some magnets today for my trial run with your idea! I think some hightemp foam or other spacer material will keep the tip portion from slapping too hard on barrel.