U.S. Army/Navy Bans Service Members from Using TikTok Over Security Concerns

Following advice from the Pentagon, the United States Army has joined the Navy in a stance against allowing service members to use the viral social media app known as TikTok. Stating that they have serious security concerns with the Chinese owned platform, service members in both branches are now barred from using the social media platform on all government devices. Previously, the platform was being used with some success by military recruiters in reaching out to the younger members of Generation Z who frequent the music based video platform.

“It is considered a cyber threat,” Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa, an Army spokeswoman, said in a press statement to Military.com. “We do not allow it on government phones.”

Sen. Tom Cotton R-Arkansas, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York began asking U.S. intelligence officials to begin investigations into whether TikTok represented a national security threat risk to the United States in late October of 2019. As a result, in mid-December members of both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy were being advised to cease using the platform on all government issued phones and computer systems, the Navy even going as far as banning users from Navy Intranet services if they had not complied with the new order.

The lawmakers argued that since ByteDance is based in China, TikTok could be forced “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.” Later, in their bipartisan request to the acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, they added that “there is no legal mechanism for Chinese companies to appeal if they disagree with a request.”

“There was a Cyber Awareness Message sent out on 16 December identifies TikTok as having potential security risks associated with its use,” Army spokesperson Lt. Col Robin L. Ochoa told reporters. “The message directs appropriate action for employees to take in order to safeguard their personal information. The guidance is to be wary of applications you download, monitor your phones for unusual and unsolicited texts etc., and delete them immediately and uninstall TikTok to circumvent any exposure of personal information.”

In a response to the investigation, TikTok said that all of their stores of U.S. user data is saved in the United States and that they back it up in Singapore. “Our data centers are located entirely outside of China, and none of our data is subject to Chinese law,” the company said at the time. “Further, we have a dedicated technical team focused on adhering to robust cybersecurity policies, and data privacy and security practices.”

While service members are still not banned from using the platform on their personal devices, leadership in both branches of service are suggesting service members use caution on all social media platforms. The Department of Defense has released social media guidelines in the past, advising service members to remain aware of their actions online at all times.

The United States Marine Corps and Air Force have yet to comment or enact similar policies at the time of this writing.

Long-Term Health Insurance for Veterans

What is Long-Term Health Insurance?

Before we get into the solutions for health insurance for Veterans, we need to fully understand the difference between short and long term health insurance. If you’re new to shopping for insurance because you’ve always had the military cover it, read this blog to catch up.  Long-Term Health insurance is going to last at least 18 months and go up to typically 5 years. Whereas, Short-term health insurance lasts up to 18 months and can get covered for as little as a month.

Why Would You Need Long-Term Health Insurance?

For many Veterans, we tend to avoid getting health insurance because we have the Veterans Administration cover our needs. If you haven’t already found out, the VA will cover Veterans, but they do not cover your family members, such as wife/husband or daughter.son. For this reason, most of us need to find a way to cover our families in case our new employers don’t offer a coverage plan. Before we get into the companies and plan I would recommend the most, do you know if you’re covered at the VA?

How Do I Know If I’m Covered by the VA?

One big misconception a lot of Veterans make is thinking no matter what, they’re covered by the VA for all medical bills. This can be a costly and devastating mistake if you don’t understand what qualifies you for coverage. The table below will shed some more light on who is and who isn’t covered by the VA. Any Veteran can be seen for any issues they have at any VA in the country, but if your rating is lower than 50%, you will have a copay for those issues that didn’t occur while in the military. One thing to consider is your copay will be no more than $100 in most cases, which is still substantially less than any other civilian health insurance.

% Covered by the VA
50% disabled 100% of any issue, regardless of service connection or not
100% Disabled 100%
Less than 50% 100% for all service-connected ailments. Anything not service-connected will require a copay

Why Should I Get Health Insurance if I don’t have a family?

I don’t have enough time or space to answer all the issues regarding the VA, but I can tell you that, in most cases, civilian insurance is much better. I know many Veterans that have nothing but great things to say about the care they’ve received from the VA, but I also know just as many that have horror stories about the treatment they’ve received. My one personal example is the Air Force diagnosed me with a sprained ankle during my 2nd tour, and once I got out, the VA confirmed that diagnosis. The unfortunate thing was my ankle was not sprained; it was broken, and eventually, the bone crumbled, and I couldn’t walk with crutches for about 1 year. Finally, after I called my Senator, the VA paid for the surgery to repair my broken ankle. To make things worse, the damage has been done, and I am in line for an ankle replacement surgery. I strongly believe this would have never happened with civilian doctors in charge who had the time and concern to get me help.

 

How Do I Apply For VA Healthcare Benefits?

Luckily, this is an easy part of your healthcare process with the VA. The VA Form 10-10EZ is the form you need to fill out to apply for benefits with the VA. Just click the link above, and you can fill this application out online, but if you would like a more personal approach, just go to your nearest VA, and they will help you fill out in person.

What are the Best Health Insurance Companies for Veterans?

As far as health insurance goes, I have found that most companies are similar in the types of plans they offer their customers. I want to focus specifically on what separates these companies, which is flexibility.  The 3 companies that have set themselves apart from the competition are Anthem Blue Cross, Transamerica, and Mutual of Omaha.

Note: Every state will be different, and premiums will be different based on your income in a lot of states, as well.

Anthem Blue Cross

Anthem Blue Cross offers health insurance in their Bronze, Silver, and Gold plans, but we will keep our focus on the Bronze. If you want to learn more about their Silver and Gold plans, click and follow this link. The Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze series is distinguished by their deductible cost. The most significant difference between these plans is the Bronze X 5700 Online Plus offers lower deductibles. The overall cost to benefit ratio is best with the Bronze X5700 Online Plus Plan.

Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze X 7500 – (4B9C)

Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze X 5250 – (4B98)

Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze X 5700 Online Plus – (4B9S)

Total Monthly Cost $189 $204 $215
Deductible $7,500 $5,250 $5,700
Max Out-of-Pocket Cost $8,150 (including the deductible) $8,150 (including the deductible) $8,150 (including the deductible)
Specialist cost 40% after deductible 35% after the  deductible 30% after deductible
Out-patient surgery 40% after deductible 35% after the deductible 30% after deductible
Mental health 40% after the deductible 35% after the deductible 30 after deductible
Most Generic Drugs Retail and Mail Order: You pay 40% after deductible Retail and Mail Order: You pay 35% after deductible Retail and Mail Order: You pay 20% after deductible
Out of area cost Urgent/Emergency Coverage Only BlueCard® Urgent/Emergency Coverage Only BlueCard® Urgent/Emergency Coverage Only BlueCard®

Best: Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze X 5700 Online Plus

The Bronze X 7500 Plan offers a $26 lower deductible than the 4B9S, but it has a 10% higher deductible than the 4B9S Plan. That 10% could cost you thousands more over the year, depending on your family’s health. Most families have someone get the flu, break a leg in sport, or get into a car accident during their lives. Your chances increase if you have a bigger family, meaning that 10% can save you from financial hardship if something does happen to your family.

The Biggest difference between the Bronze X 5250 and the Bronze X 5700 Online Plus is the money you could save if you get medication shipped to your house. If you or your family needs meds shipped to your home, you will end up saving anywhere between $50-200 on each shipment. Once you add the 5% savings from each deductible category, $11 extra month seems like a great buy.

 

Runner-UP: UnitedHealthCare Doctor’s Plan

The UnitedHealthcare Doctor’s Plan looks to be the most affordable and flexible, but we do not know the deductibles for each category. The reason this plan was not the winner is due to the issue of getting a price range without calling into their company and starting a profile. So for someone who is researching each company, this makes it difficult to get a complete review. However, paying anything between $200-300 per month for a family would be a great deal. I love the flexibility of being able to call a doctor anytime you need one to get professional advice and recommendation for any medical issue you have. This plan is built around flexibility and would be perfect for any active family.

UnitedHealthcare Doctor’s Plan
Copay for primary care provider (PCP)? $0
Copay for urgent care visits $0
Copay for virtual visits $0
Copay for convenience care visits $0
24-hour virtual doctor visits Call a doctor anytime you need one at no extra cost
24-hour access to a nurse phone line Call a nurse 24/7 to get help with medical concerns
Health-Screenings 100% covered by in-network doctors
Emergency Room Visits A copay, plus deductible and coinsurance for emergency room visits
Preventive care – including immunizations, preventive exams 100% covered for in-network doctors
Choice of own PCP 100% your choice on what doctor you want to see

Student Health Plans for Veterans: Aetna Health Insurance

Aetna offers a student health plan for students in college who may not have a lot of money because they’re training to earn that money. I went to West Virginia University (WVU), and Aetna provided the coverage that I used during my last 2 years at WVU. I thought the care I received from the University medical staff was better than what I was receiving at the VA. If you’re a Veteran studying at a college or university covered by Aetna, I recommend you taking advantage of the supplemental insurance. Although this is more a short-term solution, you could use this insurance for the length of your college career. Whether that’s 4 or 8 years, you’ll pay the same rates that are given to all students in each student category (B.A, M.A, and Doctorate candidates).

What are the Qualifications?
  • Degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled in six or more credit hours and graduate students enrolled in one
    graduate credit hour or more are eligible.
  •  Non-degree seeking Continuing Education students, Study Abroad (including Semester at Sea) students, Evening
    MBA students and students taking University-specific courses enrolled in six or more credit hours and
    paying the base student and health fees.
  •  Students approved for the Leave of Absence Program associated with their school.
What is the Coverage?
Aetna Health Insurance Blog
Fall Semester Fee $1,874
Spring Semester Fee $1,874
Deductible per Semester $500
Max Out-Of-Pocket Costs $5,000
Routine Physical Exam 100% covered for in-network care

What is the Referral Program?

If you need to see outside network care, it’s a requirement that you seek a referral from your PCP at your college or University. If you do not get a written referral from your PCP, Aetna will not pay for costs associated with your outside visit. There are, however, some exceptions that Aetna makes that are considered acceptable reasons to not wait for a referral.

Exceptions

  • Treatment for an emergency medical condition
  • Obstetric and gynecological care
  • Pediatric care
  • The school health services are closed
  • If the care you receive is more than 15 miles away from the health center
  • Routine/Preventive services not available at CU Boulder Medical Services;
  • Dermatology Expenses;
  • Home Health Care Expenses;
  • Pediatric Vision care services provided by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist
  •  TMJ
  • Removal of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
  • Outpatient Mental Health & Substance Abuse Office Visits

Conclusion

Health Insurance is the barrier that keeps us safe in the roughest times of our lives (family tragedy) and some of the best of times (children). Getting long-term health insurance for your family is a big commitment, but it’s also the easiest money you’ll ever spend.  These companies will give you the peace of mind needed to get a good night’s sleep, knowing your family is financially protected from the realities of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is Bergara?

Bergara is a gun manufacturing company out of Bergara, Spain, that has made a name for itself with the quality of barrels they produce for their rifles. Initially, they started out producing barrels for other gun manufacturers across the globe, form the United States to Belgium and Germany.  Bergara was able to convince the Chief Instructor for the United States Marine Corps Precision Weapons Section to join their production team. Once they were able to get one of the most renowned experts in the world, they continued to bring in the best in the business in barrel production and precision shooting. Bergara is quickly becoming one of the most respected and sought after companies for hunting and competition rifles in the world.

Bergara, Spain

Bergara Barrels

Bergara is one of the only companies (Kimber, as well) that I know of to put more emphasis on their barrels and marketing their barrels then they do any other part in the manufacturing process. The amount of time and effort they put into their barrels is incredibly impressive, but what else would you expect from the United States Marine Corps? They use a 5-step process that they highlight in their production to show the world why their barrels are better than most other companies.

Step 1 Barrel Straightening

They begin each barrel by ensuring it’s a straight cylindrical steel bar to make sure there are no warps in the metal or curves in the bar. Once they ensure the steel is straight, they inspect each bar to ensure it has a 4/1,000 (.004) of an inch deviation. This is done to guarantee the barrel exceeds the maximum potential for accuracy in the rifle. This is a step that is time-consuming and labor-intensive, so a lot of gun manufacturers skip it. Once the barrel is straight and has the correct deviation, it’s sent to step 2.

Step 2 Deep Hole Drilling

Once Step 1 is complete, they move the steel bar over to a four spindle deep hole drilling machine that drills a perfect hole through the length of the bar. Deep hole drilling is done by every major company and is nothing new or revolutionary. However, once this step is done, Bergara sends its perfectly drilled barrels to the Honing phase of production.

Step 3 Barrel Honing

This is just the next step that separates Bergara from its competition because it avoids reaming, which has the potential of leaving tool marks inside the barrel, causing an obstruction and decreased life-span. Instead of reaming, Bergara uses 3 honing spindles made with diamond-tipped drill bits that polish the interior of the barrel to a mirror-like finish. This process is more expensive and labor-intensive, but it ensures there are no tool marks inside the barrel, increasing the accuracy potential of the rifle.

Step 4 Button Rifling

Instead of hand lapping, Bergara uses a button rifling machine to produce the grooves at the twist rate associated with the caliber of round the barrel is chambered for. They don’t settle for anything more than a 2/10,000 (.0002″) of an inch for the groove diameter. This provides an incredibly tight rifling in their barrels, which increases the accuracy potential in every rifle they produce.

Step 5 Stress Relieving

After the button rifling process, there is a small chance that the barrel could have some added stress that prevents it from performing at its top potential. Bergara takes no chance on their barrels having some sort of defect, so they heat it up to high temperatures to realign the steel molecules to ensure the barrel is stress-free and ready to use. After this process is complete, ALL Bergara barrels are capable of shooting at a sub 1.0 MOA at 100 yards, right out of the box.

What is the Bergara Acadamy?

The Bergara Acadamy is a course that anyone can sign up for in a 22,000-acre private property in Belt, Montana, designed to improve long-range shooting. This is one of the most unique and incredible experiences that a company offers to the general public. I speak a lot about how comfortable I am at shooting at longer distances and what max ranges you should be shooting at. I know I am not comfortable shooting at any animal more than 600 meters, but this course teaches you to shoot at ranges of 1,400 yards (1,200 meters)! If I could afford to travel there and take the course, I’d sign up today. You’ll learn from some of the best long-range expert shooters from the United States Marine Corps and champion competition shooters who are comfortable shooting at ranges that would more than double your range.

What’s included in the Acadamy?

Bergara Acadamy 2020 3-Day Precision Rifle/Long Range Hunter Event
Lodging
Food
Bergara Rifles/Ammo
Transportation to/from airport
MSRP $1,895

 

What will you learn at this academy?

I think it’s a fair question to ask if you’re going to spend the kind of money to make this trip happen. What I love about Bergara is they don’t shy away from anything that might compromise themselves, such as production procedures, guarantees, and this revolutionary academy. The following list is most of what you’ll learn during your incredible 3-day trip to the Montana Rockies.

1.      Firearms Safety
2.      Rifle Design and Construction
3.      Basic Marksmanship Fundamentals
4.      Scope Theory and Adjustments
5.      Positional Shooting
6.      Effects of Wind
7.      Range Estimation
8.      Care and Cleaning
9.      Basic Ballistics
10.    Understanding Mils
11.    Range Estimation Utilizing Mils
12.    Rapid Bolt Manipulation Drills
13.    Engaging Targets out to 1200 yards

Why You Should Buy This Package

Unfortunately, I can’t afford this dream trip, but if you can afford it, it will be a life-changing experience for you and your family or friends. Imagine being comfortable taking shots at over 1,000 meters and maintain the accuracy needed to bring down your prey without added suffering. These men will teach you how to reach those distances and give you the skills required to shoot in high elevation, wind, rain, snow, and low light. If you’re a serious hunter that wants to increase your effectiveness at hunting wild game, this is an opportunity that you shouldn’t pass up.

BERGARA RIDGE .243 WIN BOLT ACTION RIFLE

The Bergara Ridge .243 bolt-action hunting rifle is one of the rifles you may shoot at the Bergara Academy to learn how to shoot. Although a .243 Winchester is not my favorite round to use while hunting, I would own this gun in a heartbeat if I didn’t already have too many hunting rifles (happy wife, happy life). However, if you’re in the market for a hunting rifle capable of shooting at extended ranges and made with incredible precision, the Bergara Ridge is perfect for you. At 24,” this barrel is made with the same expertise and precision as every other Bergara Barrel and provides that extra length to reach out and touch targets at longer ranges.

Specs:

Bergara Ridge .243 Hunting Rifle
Weight 7.9 lbs
Caliber .243 Winchester
Barrel Length 24″
Overall Length 43.5″
Capacity 4 rounds (hinged floorplate)
Trigger Pull Weight 3 lbs
MSRP $749.00

 

Pros:

  • Incredible accuracy
  • Best rifle barrel
  • Clean and crisp trigger
  • Durable
  • Excellent price

Cons:

  • Nothing wrong about this gun, but I’m not in love with the synthetic stock

Features:

  • Drilled & Tapped for Rem 700 Bases
  • Sub MOA
  • Bergara Curved Trigger
  • Hinged Floorplate

Why You Should Buy This Gun

This rifle is one of the more affordable rifles from Bergara and still provides all the attributes that made them so respected in the industry. I would buy this rifle If I wanted to hunt smaller game, such as whitetail deer, Pronghorn, Mule Deer (max size for .243 WIn) or a wild hog. This rifle will leave you amazed by its sub 1.0 MOA accuracy and lightweight feel. If you’ve never seen a Bergara, I recommend going to a gun show and holding one to get an idea of why they’re so incredible.

 

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BERGARA B-14 BMP 6.5 CREEDMOOR 24″ CHASSIS RIFLE

If I had a choice on which rifle I’d buy from Bergara, the Bergara Match Precision rifle with a 6.5 Creedmoor would be at the top of the list. This rifle is so incredibly beautiful that you’ll want to just hold it in your arms even if you’re not going to shoot it. With an adjustable cheek well and pistol grip, you can customize this rifle exactly the way you want it without compromising the features of the gun. With a 24″ barrel and a 6.5 Creedmoor, you’re going to be able to hit targets at ranges close to 1,000 yards in the right conditions. If you can go to the Bergara Academy, you’ll be able to hit those distances in almost any environmental condition.

Specs:

Bergara B-14 BMP 6.5 Creedmoor
Weight 11.0 lbs
Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
Barrel Length 24″
Overall Length 43.5″
Capacity 5+1
Trigger Pull Weight 3 lbs
MSRP $1,399.0

Pros:

  • Crisp and clean Trigger pull
  • Adjustable stock
  • Accurate up to 1,000 yards
  • Easily customized
  • Sub 1.0 MOA out of the box

Cons:

  • Very heavy
  • Very expensive

Features:

  • Adjustable stock gives incredible customization for your stock to cheek fit
  • The customizable pistol grip allows shooters of all sizes to get the most comfort for their size with after-market grips
  • Shoots a sub 1.0 MOA right out of the box with their incredible barrels
  • Designed to give shooters the maximum range possible

 

Buy Here

 

 

Best .308 Hunting Rifle

What Are the Best .308 Hunting Rifles?

The .308 Winchester bullet is one of the most popular and best-selling cartridges for hunting mid-size to large game animals all over the world. The most common animals we hunt with the .308 in America are Whitetail Deer, Mule Deer, Elk, Black Bear, and Pronghorn. Many people ask if you could take a Moose with a .308, and the answer is yes, but I would recommend the 6.5 Creedmoor for a Moose or Elk. We are going to give you the best hunting rifles that are chambered in .308 Winchester in the same format as our 6.5 Creedmoor blog.

Grading Criteria

Each of the .308 hunting rifles will be graded based on their affordability, accuracy, durability, and quality of materials used to manufacture the rifle. Each rifle will be given a grade between 1-5, with 5 being the best rifle and 1 being the worst. For the sake of this blog, I will only rate the best rifles chambered in .308 to give you the best option of finding the hunting rifle for you.

What is a .308 Winchester?

Initially designed in 1952, the .308 Winchester is made from the 30-06 cartridge, except with a rimless casing and bottleneck design. For all of my Veterans out there, this is similar (not the same) to the 7.62 mm round with a shorter casing, designed for short-action rifles. This specific round is designed for feeding and extraction in bolt-action rifles under hostile conditions (extreme heat, cold, snow, rain, etc.). Since its inception into the market in 1952, the .308 Winchester has become the most popular hunting rifle cartridge in the world. It wasn’t until the 6.5 Creedmoor came around that the.308 began to lose its allure for big game hunters.

What Is the Best .308 Ammunition?

The best .308 ammunition is dependent on the big game that you’re trying to take down, so it can be subjective and relative. The bigger the grain, the more power it is going to have, so if you’re shooting at a Whitetail Deer, you’re not going to need anything bigger than a 125 grain. However, if you’re trying to take on an Elk or Moose, you need to go with something like a 168 to 175-grain bullet for extra stopping power and slower velocity. I recommend the 168-grain bullet because it seems to be the sweet spot between force and velocity. If you want to take down a bigger animal or if you want to drop that whitetail immediately, a 168 grain .308 will do the job. Just try to remember that if you shoot a smaller animal with a bigger round, you’ll lose a little meat, so you have to decide what is a reasonable tradeoff.

BROWNING 308 WINCHESTER 168GR BXC AMMUNITION

Browning’s BXC Controlled Expansion Terminal Tip ammunition is designed to bring down the biggest game you’ll need to shoot, such as Moose or Elk. You lose a little velocity versus the smaller grain bullets, but you gain the energy required to penetrate the thick hide and big bones of large game. This specific round is designed to be incredibly accurate (as with most heavier bullets) at longer ranges and maintain enough force and velocity to hit your target from distances well above 600 meters.

 

 

 

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FEDERAL 308 150GR NOSLER BALLISTIC TIP VITAL-SHOK AMMUNITION

Federal ammunition is known as one of the most respected companies because of the quality, price, and precision of their bullets. This 150-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip round is specially designed for maximum accuracy at any range your rifle is capable of shooting. The velocity and force are excellent, and the expansion of the bullet is instantaneous upon impact and controlled to avoid fragmentation.  I would recommend this round for a medium-sized game, such as pronghorn, sheep, and deer. I would avoid using this for large game, such as Elk, Bear, and Moose, because it may not have the force to penetrate the thick hide of more massive game, especially at greater distances.

 

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Best .308 Rifles

Now that we have the ammo taken care of, it’s time to get into the rifles that I would choose if I wanted a .308 hunting rifle. The Savage 10/110 Trophy Hunter XP, the Remington 700, and the Bergara B-14 HMR are some of the best rifles on the market today. As any hunter knows, it’s incredibly difficult to say these rifles are the best because everybody shoots differently, but I know you can’t go wrong with these choices. As our readers know, I am not a fan of shorter barrel hunting rifles, but I would make an exception for any of these rifles listed here. Using a heavier bullet and a stable shooting platform will get you to the distances you need to make a good shot.

SAVAGE 10/110 TROPHY HUNTER XP .308 WIN. WALNUT STOCK W/ NIKON SCOPE

Savage is an excellent company with an outstanding reputation for durability, dependability, and price. This rifle is less than $600, and if you buy it at Palmetto State Armory, it comes with a Nikon scope. As you’ll see below, scopes can run you into the thousands for the top of the line brands. Even though, I’d prefer a 24″ barrel, the 22″ barrel is plenty for any distance you’ll take a responsible shot from. If you’re taking shots at distances greater than 600 meters, you might want a longer barrel, but you could compensate with a heavier bullet, like the Browning BXC. The barrel is free-floating, which takes a lot of the recoil away while their famous AccuTrigger system provides a steady and incredibly light trigger pull.  For the price, quality, and durability, I can’t find any rifle that is better than the Savage 10/110 Trophy Hunter XP .308 Winchester. 4.2/5 

Specs:

Savage 10/110 Trophy Hunter XP
Weight 8.3 lbs
Caliber .308
Barrel Length 22″
Overall Length 41.5″
Magazine Capacity 4
MSRP $571.86

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Best Trigger for any Rifle I’ve shot
  • Made for all environmental conditions

Cons:

  • Heavier than a lot of competitors
  • Bolt is not as smooth as most other newer rifles
  • Needs modification for maximum comfort

Features:

  • Free-Floating Barrel
  • Walnut Stock
  • Comes with Nikon Scope
  • AccuTrigger

Why You Should Buy This Rifle

This is an outstanding rifle to start with if you’re a new hunter because it’s the most economical rifle on the market today. I don’t want you to confuse economical with a cheap product, because this rifle is made with quality and precision in mind. To walk away with a new rifle and scope for $600 is an absolute steal for anyone who is worried about money and needs a hunting rifle.

 

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Remington 700 XCR

I know many of you are probably tired of reading about the Remington 700, but the XCR model is one of the best rifles in the world. The XCR (Xtreme Conditions Rifle) is made for handling rain, snow, extreme heat, and the heavy winds of the great plains or the valleys of the Rockie Mountains.  The TriNyte Corrosion Control System is so incredible the XCR can withstand literally any environmental condition we have on our planet. The 26″ barrel provides you with an opportunity to shoot upwards of 1,000 meters with the right conditions (expert shooters). Although, I’d never try a shot that far, you could make it in the right conditions with the proper scope.

Specs:

Remington 700 XCR
Weight 10 lbs
Caliber .308
Barrel Length 26″
Overall Length 45.75″
Magazine Capacity 4
MSRP $1,175.46

Pros:

  • Most durable rifle I’ve ever seen
  • Incredible accuracy
  • 26″ barrel gives it extended range

Cons:

  • Very Heavy
  • Complaints about the trigger require a lot of people to buy an aftermarket trigger
  • Very expensive

Why You Should Buy This Gun

This is one of those rifles that hunters dream about, with the extended range, durability, and accuracy that can get you shots that most other rifles simply can’t make. I recommend this for experienced hunters because you’re going to spend about $2,000-4,000 when you add your scope and any other attachments you feel you need. At 10 lbs, this is a very heavy gun to be hauling around in the valleys and mountain tops of the Rockies or Cascades.

 

 

 

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BERGARA B-14 BMP .308 WINCHESTER RIFLE

The Bergara B-14 Bergara Match Precision (BMP) is specifically designed for competitive shooting with complete customization of the buttstock and cheek well. It comes with a pistol grip that can be replaced with any aftermarket AR-15 grip to get the best grip angle and comfort. One thing that stands out with this rifle is how clean and smooth the trigger is. The trigger has no discernable creep to it and feels great for any sized hand and has about a 3 lb trigger pull weight. The best part of this rifle is the capability of shooting a sub 1.0 MOA at 100 yards with all factory settings, which is unprecedented in the gun industry. 4.5/5

Specs:

Bergara B-14 BMP
Weight 10.15 lbs
Caliber .308
Barrel Length 20″
Overall Length 39.5″
Magazine Capacity 5+1
MSRP $1,375.46

Pros:

  • Amazing trigger
  • shoots sub 1 MOA at 100 yards
  • Great magazine capacity
  • The most accurate rifle of the three rifles rated
  • Easy feed and extraction
  • I love the pistol grip

Cons:

  • Very Heavy
  • Short Barrel for a long-range rifle
  • Very Expensive

Features:

  • The two-lug system provides incredibly smooth feeding and extraction
  • QD Flush Cups included in the stock for east attachment of a sling
  • Compatible with Remington 700 style rings and bases

Why You Should Buy This Gun

Due to this rifle being produced in Spain, the price is going to be higher due to shipping costs and tariffs, but don’t let that deter you. This rifle is explicitly built with competition in mind, so you know that it’s going to be as accurate as possible. Otherwise, they wouldn’t ever sell any of them. I recommend this rifle to any competitive shooter or experienced hunter with an expendable income.

 

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Best Dental Insurance for Vets?

What are the Best Dental Insurance Options for Vets?

As a patient of the VA for almost a decade now, I know the frustration of my fellow brothers and sisters’ access to good dental insurance. Fortunately, I was able to get on my wife’s insurance, which is Delta Dental. There are enough decent options out there for us that can give us access to excellent dentists. I’m going to walk you through every step of Delta Dental and other competitors to provide you with all the info you need to make the best decision for you.

How do I know if I Qualify for VA Dental Insurance?

You’ll know for sure if you qualify for VA dental insurance by clicking on this link and reading through your exact situation. Read carefully through each bullet list, and you’ll know what kind of benefits you qualify for. If you qualify for any benefits, than move to applying for those benefits.

How Do I apply for VA Dental Insurance (VA Form 10-10EZ)?

Once you know what benefits you qualify for, its time to fill out the VA Form 10-10EZ to claim those benefits. Once you click on the link provided, you’ll just need to follow the instructions on how to apply, and you’ll be granted your benefits in a couple months or so.

Why is it essential to apply for VA dental insurance?

If you’re a patient of the VA, you are entitled to benefits that 99% of our population are not eligible for. Even if you do not use the VA as your primary care, you should apply to the benefits so you can work on the VA paying your bills. If you’re qualified, you should give them a chance, so you can save potentially thousands of dollars.

Why Would I not want to go to the VA?

As Veterans, we all know very well how we are often treated at the VA, from unacceptable wait times to lackluster professional care. I could write a dissertation on how messed up the VA is, but it’s important we give you all the info. needed. Personally, I won’t go to VA dental offices because the wait times to get in are starting to exceed 4-6 months. If you’re one of those people who need care sooner than that, you could always apply to the Choice Program.

What is the Veterans Choice Program?

Let’s say you’re a disabled veteran who was chewing steak and chipped your tooth on a bone. If the dentist can’t get you for 6 months, that doesn’t help you at all. The Veterans Choice Program is designed to get you that expedited care when the VA can’t provide that care promptly. The Choice Program is something I have used for two surgeries and a food poising scare that left me in the hospital for a couple days. Let’s break down the qualifications so you have an idea of when you can invoke this right you have as a VA patient. If any of these situations apply to you, you can apply to the Veteran’s Choice Program.

 

Qualifying Factors
You are told by your local VA medical facility that you will need to wait more than 30 days for an appointment.

 

You are told by your local VA medical facility that you will need to wait more than 30 days for an appointment.

 

You need to travel by air, boat, or ferry to the VA medical facility closet to your house.

 

You face an unusual or excessive burden in traveling to the closest VA medical facility based on a geographic challenge, environmental factor, medical condition, or other specific clinical decisions. Staff at your local VA medical facility will work with you to determine if you are eligible for any of these reasons.

 

You reside in a State or the United States Territory without a full-service VA medical facility that provides hospital care, emergency services, and surgical care, and reside more than 20 miles from such a VA medical facility. Note: This criterion applies to Veterans residing in Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Also, note that some Veterans in New Hampshire reside within 20 miles of White River Junction VAMC and are therefore not eligible for the Veterans Choice Program.

 

 

What is Wrong With the Choice Program?

I will be honest with you, VA dental insurance is atrocious because of the wait times, rushed care, and the VA’s lack of empathy. Even with the Choice Program, many civilian doctors don’t get paid by the VA for years after the service was provided. My dentist told me he has been waiting on the VA to pay him hundreds of thousands of dollars for over a year after seeing a few dozen veterans for care. I bring this critical piece of info up because many doctors around the country are starting to have to refuse taking veterans due to the fear of losing money. This is why it’s so important to get private insurance, so you don’t have to wait exceedingly long and worry about not getting to the best doctors due to the VA’s lack of accountability.

What is VGLI?

Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) is something to consider when getting out of the military, and you have no insurance plan through your next employer. If you were discharged from active duty military under honorable or general conditions.  If you’re still not sure about life insurance and want to know more, you could always read this great blog for your insurance needs.

What are the 3 Best Dental Insurances for Veterans?

There are several services that you could go with, but the biggest and most popular service is Delta Dental. Humana is a great option as well for families that are more on a budget and don’t have major dental surgery needs. United HealthCare is another insurance company that offers excellent programs for families and individuals.

Delta Dental Insurance

Delta offers 5 different distinct dental packages that cover everything from the basics to anything you could ever have done on your mouth in regards to surgeries or procedures. I currently have the Delta PPO option, and I have never felt more at ease with my dental needs. I pay a $25 copay if I need X-Rays or imaging done, but other than that or surgery, I don’t pay anything upfront. Insurance takes care of all my cleanings and check-ups without any trouble.

Delta Dental Preferred-Provider Option (PPO)

This option provides dental services at a cheaper rate than the Premium packages and has little to no out of pocket costs. This option is great for someone on a budget and someone who has relatively good oral hygiene. If you’re only going to the dentist once or twice a year for cleanings and checkups, this is the perfect option for you.

Delta Dental Premier

The Delta Dental Premier option provides the largest number of networks of any other option, which gives tremendous flexibility to choose dentists. There is no way to be 100% sure if your dental program is going to be accepted or not, but this is the most widely accepted insurance program in the country.  This is a great plan for those who live in rural communities where there are fewer dentists in your area.

What is the Difference Between Delta Dental PPO and Premier?

The biggest differences between the PPO and Premier are the cost, type of plan, and the size of the network. The Premier is going to cost much more per month than the PPO option, but you’re going to get 100% coverage from any dentist in the country with the Premier option. All costs are based on monthly payments.

Premier Membership
What’s the Difference? Option 1 Option 2
Single $58.38 $46.90
Single +1 110.03 $88.41
Family $187.50 $150.63
Annual Maximum Benefit $1,000 $1,000

 

Delta PPO
What’s the Difference? Option 1 Option 2
Single $16.50 $14.00
Single +1 $32.47 $28.00
Family $57.39 $48.00
Annual Maximum Benefit $1,000 $1,000

 

Which Plan is the best from Delta Dental?

To figure out the best plan, you’ll need to look at the costs and the needs of you and/or your family first. If you’re short on money, the PPO is going to be the best option for you because you’ll get the basic coverage for check-ups and yearly cleanings. You’ll have access to most dentists in your community and will pay minimal out-of-pocket costs. I recommend the Premier account if you’re going to go with Delta because it will include every licensed dentist in the country and covers more things, such as crowns, cavities, and major surgeries.

What are the Problems with Delta Dental?

The problems with having Delta Dental mostly involve the price and the type of care paid for by the insurance. For example, if you were to need major oral surgery or needed crowns, bridges, and cavities filled, you’ll only be covered for the first $1,000. Any of these procedures will cost over $500 each, so you’ll end up paying for most of everything out of pocket. The real unfortunate thing here is that every insurance company that I’ve researched has a cap of $1,000 per year for care provided.

Humana Dental Insurance

Humana dental insurance is one of the best and largest insurance companies in our country, and they even cater plans to senior citizens and Veterans. The dental insurance is going to about $10 more on average per month, and you’ll get up to $1,000 of care annually before you have to pay out of pocket. The network size for Humana is not as big as Delta, but they do have a great plan for Veterans that I want to highlight here.

Preventative Plus Package for Veterans

This package is a great plan for Veterans who are relatively healthy and don’t need too much work done besides cleaning and x-rays. You’ll have your teeth cleaned twice a year, x-rays once a year, and full dental exams twice a year for the low price of $23.24 per month. You’ll have zero wait times, and for the services I listed above and only pay a $50 deductible for yourself or $150 for your family.

 

Humana Dental Insurance Preventive Plus Package for Veterans Dental Loyalty Plus PPO Dental Savings Plus
Monthly Cost $23.24 $34.99 $6.99
Deductible $50 Individual/ $150 Family $150 Individual/ $450 Family 0
Annual Maximum Benefit $1,000 $1,000/$1,200/$1,500

(year 1/2/3)

No annual max

 

Why is Humana a Great Option for Vets?

The Preventive Plus package for Veterans is a great chance at getting your family taken care of to the best of your ability. As many negative things I have to say about the VA, it’s difficult to argue against something free of charge (depending on your disability rating). However, if you don’t have insurance and don’t want to pay for it, you could always go to the VA and follow the instructions above. My recommendation would be to order this plan for Veterans and take advantage of the premiums for your family and do your care at the VA. This option allows you to take care of your family and at the same time, keep yours out of pocket costs low.

What is the Dental Savings Plan by Humana?

The Dental Savings Plan sounds incredible with no deductible, $7 per month, and no annual max, but it can be very deceiving. This is NOT an actual insurance policy and is specifically designed to save you a little money per procedure done. Think of it as a coupon on your dental needs because it is only going to take a small portion of your bill. For example, cleaning normally costs about $100 if you don’t have insurance. With this savings plan, you’ll save about $14 of that $100, which is something, but it’s not going to help you or your family very much at all.

Best Humana Plan: Dental Loyalty Plus

The Loyalty Plus plan is better than the Veteran specific program because it offers more flexibility within your family and only gets better year after year. The deductible is a one-time payment for the life of the plan, so that means if you have this plan for a decade, you’ll only pay the one deductible for the rest of your life. The yearly maximum also increases for the first 3 years and maxes out at $1,500 per year (per person). You’ll never have to wait more than a few days to get any care you could need versus the 6 months wait time for the Veteran program.

Cigna Dental Insurance

Cigna Dental Insurance offers 3 separate plans similar to Humana and Delta Dental except with better deductibles and the added benefit of Orthodontics treatments. Cigna is a great alternative if you live in a city where there are many different options for family dentists and Orthodontists.

Cigna Dental 1500

Cigna Dental 1500 is the most expensive and expansive plan that Cigna offers, covering everything from cleanings to braces. Buying this program will give you access to a one-time $1,000 deduction for braces or work associated with braces. This might not sound like a lot, but getting $1,000 off for your child’s braces is a great deal, considering that no other company offers this deal. You also will only pay an annual deductible, instead of one for each visit.

 

Cigna Dental 1500 Plan
Deductible $50 (waived if just cleaning and exams)
Monthly Payments $35
Orthodontia $50 deductible/$1,000 lifetime benefit
Annual Maximum Benefit $1,500

 

Why you should Buy Cigna 1500 Insurance

Cigna Insurance offers the best deductibles and offers exclusive orthodontics assistance with the 1500 plan. I love the fact that all deductibles are annual, so you don’t have to worry about paying each time your family goes to the dentist. This will undoubtedly save you money if you have a bigger family in the long run. Cigna also offers a better annual maximum of $500 more than the competition, which could be the difference between paying for surgery or letting the insurance take the bill.

Cigna Dental 1000 Plan

The 2nd dental plan Cigna offers is very similar but covers $1,000 maximum per year versus the $1,500 that the top plan offers. The 1000 plan does not cover any orthodontics either and has increased wait times for major procedures. You’ll still get all of your exams, cleanings, and x-rays included, 100%, but you won’t get the added benefits of the 1500 plan.

 

Cigna Dental 1000 Plan
Deductible $50 (waived if just cleaning and exams)
Monthly Payments $30
Orthodontia $50 deductible/$1,000 lifetime benefit
Annual Maximum Benefit $1,000

 

Why You Should Buy Cigna 1000 Plan

If your family doesn’t have any orthodontic needs and are relatively healthy, except for a cavity or two, this is an excellent option for you. If you only need cleaning, x-rays, and exams, you won’t even pay a deductible. You’ll still have access to a vast network of dentists that provide the care you’ll need without paying a higher premium.

Conclusion

There are many options for dental insurance to buy, however, Humana, Delta, and Cigna offer the best options to cover your family. The biggest network is provided by Delta Dental with the lowest premiums and co-pays on the market today. Humana is the only company that offers an exclusive program for Veterans and their families, but their Loyalty Plus PPO is better. Cigna is another alternative and provides the same exceptional care with the added benefit of covering orthodontics for the 1500 Plan. Regardless of what program you choose, think about the needs of your family and yourself as it will help you make the best decision on what you need most.

Health Insurance For Veterans

Health Insurance for Veterans

Health Insurance is one of the most important things you could buy to protect your family and yourself from financial burden during unforeseen circumstances. With Veterans, health insurance can be a tricky situation because we have access to the Veterans Administration (VA). As a single Veteran, health insurance might not sound like a big deal to you, but if you have a family, the VA does not cover them. So, what should you do if you’re a Veteran with a family who is concerned about getting them covered and protected?

Civilian Health Insurance and the VA

Before we get into the different health insurances that are best for you and your family, we need to discuss the incredibly important topic of VA versus civilian health insurance. For example, I am service-connected above 50%, which gives me complete access to the VA, and I can never get a bill from them. However, since I got civilian health insurance, the VA can charge my civilian coverage for things that are not service-connected. When I first learned of this, I thought it was another way for the VA to screw over Veterans, since they’re really good at that. After I read more, I realized that it’s a good thing because the VA has a concrete budget line that can’t be crossed without extensive cuts to VA related programs. The best part about this is you’ll never receive a bill either way, so it’s best to tell the VA of your civilian health insurance. It’s better to have billion-dollar companies take the bill instead of the VA because of the limited funds the VA has.

What are the Best Health Insurance Companies?

Discovering the best health insurance companies is relative to your state, financial situation, and the level coverage needed by your family. For the sake of argument, I am going to review the companies that offer the most complete health insurance companies. There are 2 types of health insurance you need to know about; short-term health insurance and long-term health insurance. We will be discussing ONLY short-term health insurance and will do long-term health insurance for our next blog.

Is There a Difference Between Life and Health Insurance?

Yes, health insurance covers you and your family for things like doctor’s bills, prescriptions, and maternity issues, such as sonograms and vitamin supplementation. Life insurance is there to protect you from incurring the costs if the money-maker in your household dies or is incapacitated. If you need more information on life insurance, this blog is an excellent resource for you. For our active-duty soldiers reading this, you should look up the Service Member’s Life Insurance (SGLI).

Why Would You Need Short-Term Health Insurance?

There are many reasons to have short-term health insurance over long-term health insurance, so if you have any of the following issues, short-term health insurance might be right for you. Many people have trouble meeting deadlines because life gets in the way with busy schedules and no time for your personal requirements. If you miss the open deadline for the Affordable Healthcare Act (Nov1-Dec 15, 2019), short-term health insurance can keep you covered until the next chance to apply for the universal healthcare option. The table below gives you more reasons to think about short-term health insurance over other insurance options. If any of these fit your specific situation, you should look into the 3 companies that we discuss here.

 

Reasons for getting short-term health insurance
If your employer doesn’t offer a benefits package, short-term insurance is a great option to get covered at a cheaper right in a shorter wait time
If you missed the open enrollment of the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare)
If you’re a small business owner without employees, short-term insurance offers lower premiums and deductibles
If your doctor doesn’t cover Obamacare, short-term insurance gives you more flexibility to see more doctors
If you’re between jobs and need coverage for your family, this is the best option for you

Why You Wouldn’t get Short-Term Health Insurance

Short-term health insurance sounds great, but it’s not the best option for everyone because there are some situations that short-term health insurance doesn’t cover. Short-term insurance is best used if you get seriously hurt (broken leg, back, etc…) or seriously ill (cancer, diabetes, etc…). I had not found a short-term plan that offers to cover any pre-existing condition, which is something you had before you signed with the insurance company. For example, if you have Cancer and then get short-term health insurance, no company will cover any of the cancer treatment. If you have the plan and then get cancer, they will cover the full amount of the plan. The other 2 big things short-term insurance doesn’t cover (most of the time) is maternity and mental health bills. If you need mental health services, short-term insurance is not a good option for you.

Winner: Agile Health Insurance

Agile Health Insurance is a mediator between insurance companies and the customer to provide the customer with multiple options from dozens of companies. I chose this as the winner because I think you should start your search with Agile to get a good base on what you’re looking for and what the costs would be. Agile gets paid from the insurance companies, and their commission is roughly the same for every company, so they can stay relatively objective. The 1st plan that I will highlight is the Standard Life Select STM Plan because it’s a great place to start your research to get an understanding of what works best for your family.

Standard Life Select STM Plan 2 5000/30/1M Extended

Standard Life Insurance is one of the best short-term and accident insurance companies we have in our country. This plan is advertised on the Agile platform, so it can be confusing on whether it’s a Standard Life plan or something exclusive with Agile. To clear that up, this is similar to the same plan you’d get from their direct website.

Pros:
  • Unlimited doctor/Urgent Care visits with a $50 co-pay
  • Freedom to choose any doctor you want
  • 1 wellness exam per coverage period with no deductible ($75 max)
Cons:
  • No OB-GYN coverage for women
  • No infant care
  • No pre-post natal coverage
  • Limited mental health coverage
What are the Benefits and Coverage for this Plan

The Standard Life STM Plan is a Preferred  Provider Organization (PPO) Plan that is designed to give you the most flexibility and coverage options for you and your family. This plan gives you the opportunity to see any doctor you want without added fees or deductibles. This plan only covers you for 12 months (1 year), so you can get an idea of the short-term option that is right for you after this 1 year.

 

Standard Life STM Plan
Deductable $5,000 per covered person, maximum of 3 deductibles per family per coverage period
Policy Term 12 Months
Coinsurance 30% After Deductible
Max Out Of Pocket Cost $11,000
Monthly Fee $29.99
Maximum Benefit $1,000,000
Stop-Loss Amount $6,000-Individual

$18,000-Family

 

Runner-Up: Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze X 7500 – HMO

The Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze plan is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan, which is a plan that limits coverage to providers who are within the plan’s network and require a doctor’s referral to see specialists. HMO’s are more restrictive than the PPO’s because you may not be able to pick the doctor you want to see. However, the HMO plan covers more after the deductible is met and covers more issues than a standard PPO plan.

Pros:

  • Lower max out of pocket cost than most other plans
  • Covers OB-GYN services
  • Covers Prescription drugs
  • Covers pre-post natal services
  • Coinsurance is about 10% higher than other plans
  • Covers 40% of lab costs after the deductible

Cons:

  • Much less flexibility in choosing your care provider
  • If you have a bigger family, this would be difficult to afford

What are the Benefits and Coverage for This Plan?

The HMO plan is the most significant difference in this plan, but this plan also adds drug prescription coverage, lab test results, OB-GYN care, pre-natal, and post-natal care is also covered. With this short-term insurance, you’re going to have to spend at least $7,500 before you can reap the benefits of the plan. Another aspect to keep in mind is the fact that the $7,500 is for each person, so you could be out $15,000 for you and 1 child if a catastrophic accident or illness happens.

Anthem HealthKeepers Bronze
Deductable $7,500 per person
Policy Term 12 Months
Coinsurance 40% After Deductible
Max Out Of Pocket Cost $8,500
Monthly Fee $25.99
Maximum Benefit $1,000,000
Stop-Loss Amount $8,500 per person
Drug Prescriptions 40% after deductible

3rd Place: Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield is by far my personal favorite health insurance, and it’s the one that I currently have with my wife. Blue Cross Blue Shield has one of the biggest networks in the country and is used by the majority of large corporations because of the size of the network and quality of the coverage. Very rarely does short-term health insurance cover maternity and child care needs, but Blue Cross Blue Shield is the most complete possible insurance you could have, in my opinion.

Pros:

  • Diagnostic tests and imaging
  • Prescription drugs plan
  • Immediate medical attention
  • Outpatient surgery
  • No extra charge for Preventive care
  • Maternity care
  • Metal health, behavioral health, and substance abuse needs
  • Child needs (dental or eye care)

Cons:

  • Not great for rural areas with fewer doctors

What Are The Benefits From This Plan?

One significant thing to consider when reviewing these numbers is that each state will give you different quotes and coverage options. If you live in more populous states, such as California, Texas, Florida, you might end up paying more than you would in a place like Kansas or Idaho. The fact that there is no maximum benefit should put you at ease in any emergency that your family might face.

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield
Deductable $4,400 per person
Policy Term 12 Months
Coinsurance 40% After Deductible
Max Out Of Pocket Cost $12,000
Monthly Fee N/A
Maximum Benefit No Maximum
Stop-Loss Amount $6,000
Drug Prescriptions 40% after deductible

 

Best 6.5 Creedmoor Hunting Rifle?

What are the Best 6.5 Creedmoor Hunting Rifles?

For thousands of Americans, hunting is not a past-time or simple recreation, but the food they can put on their table for their families. As a former teacher, I remember the entire state of West Virginia getting the first week of hunting season off of school to go into the woods and hunt. It took time for me to process and become educated enough to understand the need for West Virginians to hunt. It wasn’t until I gave hunting a chance (literally last year!) that I realized the importance of hunting and providing for your family. I have been fortunate enough to shoot dozens of rifles in the past year, and this blog will rate the best ones that I’ve either shot or learned about through other hunters.

Does the Caliber of the Chamber matter?

For those new to hunting or have an interest in hunting, the short answer is yes, the caliber of the round matters a great deal. With this in mind, I will rate 3 hunting rifles in 6.5 Creedmoor to give you an idea of what the best 6.5 Creedmoor rifles are.  The caliber of round your rifle is chambered in matters, but you need to figure out what kind of animal you’re hunting and what is required in order to safely and humanely put that animal down with little suffering. As we get into each rifle, I’ll explain the difference between them and which ammo works best for the game you’re hunting.

Grading Criteria

Each rifle will be graded on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best and 1 being the worse and will be placed 1st through 5th place. Each rifle will be graded on its accuracy, maximum distance of fire, price, and quality of materials used. I believe the rifle you use to hunt should be comfortable, affordable, reliable, and durable enough to withstand environmental conditions.

What is a 6.5 Creedmoor?

The first thing to understand is the spelling of the cartridge, which is not Creedmore (I’m guilty of this error); the correct spelling is Creedmoor, which was named after a competition rifle range in Long Island, New York in the late 19th Century. Creedmoor was the site of long-range competition shooting, which gave birth to the cartridge with its namesake. The 6.5 Creedmoor was released in 2007 by Hornady Ammunition as an alternative to the .308 chambered rifles. The 6.5 Creedmore is specially designed for distance shooting, which makes it the perfect hunting rifle for hunters covering large areas that require further shots.

 

 Buy Here

 

What are the Best Rifles Chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor?

The best 6.5 Creedmore rifles are the Daniel Defense Delta 5, the Remington 700 SPS, and the Tikka T3X. Each of these rifles is incredible, and you’d be fortunate to own any of them. However, there has to be a winner. I chose Delta 5 as the winner because of its supreme quality and precision from its famous CNC machine and the fact that it’s ready to use right when you open the box. The Tikka came very close and is one of my all-time favorite rifles because of its price, quality, and it’s a silky smooth operation. One thing you’ll notice is I chose all barrels that are longer than 20″ because of the extended reach and capability.

Winner: Delta 5 6.5 Creedmoor

The Delta 5, 6.5 Creedmoor is a 44″ rifle with a 24″ barrel that reach incredible ranges, with impeccable accuracy and consistency. This is one of the best 6.5 Creedmoor rifles on the planet because of the quality, reliability, and accuracy of this 24″ cold-hammer-forged barrel. If you want a full review of the Delta 5 and Daniel Defense, read my Daniel Defense blog. The best part of this rifle is it comes zeroed in at less than 3 MOA at 100 yards, which will get you a group about the size of a fist at 100 yards. Once you’re able to get the proper scope and adjust your cheek plate, this rifle can give you less than a 1 MOA at 100 yards. 4.5/5

 

Specs:

 

Delta 5 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle
Weight 9.5 lbs
Barrel Length 24″
Overall Length 44″
Twist Rate 1:8″
Magazine Capacity 5
Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
MSRP 2,199.99

Pros:

  • Incredible Accuracy
  • Extended range
  • Durable
  • Double-Safety trigger mechanism
  • 1.4 lbs trigger pull weight
  • Adjustable cheek-riser

Cons:

  • The price kept it from a perfect score

Features:

  • 11 M-Lok attachment points
  • 3 M-Lok attachment points for a sling
  • Magpul magazine
  • Adjustable cheek-riser
  • Configurable buttstock
  • Cold-Hammer-Forged Barrel makes it ready to use right out of the box

Why You Should Buy This Gun

If you were to put a nice mil-dot Leopold scope and a bipod on the front Picatinny Rail, this rifle could comfortably shoot up to 600 meters with good weather. The M-Lok attachment points provide as many opportunities as you could want for customization. One of the most underrated aspects to Delta 5 is the adjustable cheek plate that can be raised to line up your eye better with the scope. In the military, many snipers and marksmen wrap their stock with ducktape to provide the correct angle with the scope. This rifle allows you to avoid the ducktape and quickly adjust your cheek placement within a few seconds.

Runner-Up: Tikka T3X 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle

As any of our readers know, I am a complete fanboy of the Tikka T3X, and if I had the funds to buy one, the 6.5 Creedmoor would be the one I buy. Some might ask if I love the Tikka so much, why would it come in at number two? The answer is the M-Lok attachment holes, along with the Magpul magazines, finish the rifle off with class and style. The adjustable cheek-riser is a revolutionary concept that more companies are going towards to accommodate the individuality of shooters. However, the Tikka T3 features a better recoil pad that reduces the felt recoil to almost nothing. This allows the shooter to concentrate on the shot and not the aftermath of a hurt shoulder or pulling a shot due to the anticipation of the bang. 4.3/5

Specs:

Tikka T3X
Weight  6.9 lbs
Overall Length 44.7 “
Barrel Length 24.3″
Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
Length of Pull 13.2″
Magazine Capacity 3+1
MSRP $797.00

Pros:

  • 24.3″ barrel provides better range and accuracy
  • 6.5 Creedmoor offers excellent stopping power and range
  • Incredibly light trigger pull (2 lbs)

Cons:

  • There is nothing negative about this rifle

Features:

  • T1x has a new modular synthetic stock that has interchangeable pistol grips, making it possible to modify the angle of the grip, this allows for multiple shooting positions
  • The T3x synthetic stock has a new asymmetrical grip pattern and shape that has been specifically designed to give a solid grip in all conditions
  • T3x models come with a new recoil pad technology that reduces the impact of recoil on the shooter, the new robust pad allows you to fully concentrate on the accuracy of your shots
  • T3x synthetic stocks now have a foam insert within the interior of the rear stock – this lowers the stock-generated noise and can help you keep your target in sight
  • The new T3x receiver introduces a widened angular ejection port that makes it easier to feed one cartridge at a time
  • Steel recoil lug – this extra-strong lug has minimal deformation – even with larger calibers

Why You Should Buy This Gun

If you want to know my full thoughts on Tikka as a company and the Tikka T3, specifically, read my Tikka Review. For those who feel more comfortable with a pistol grip than a rifle grip, the Tikka T3X is an excellent option. You can purchase aftermarket grips that fit you better or adjust the grip to fit multiple grip angles that provide the best possible angle for your comfort.

3rd Place: REMINGTON 700 SPS 6.5 CREEDMOOR 24″ BOLT ACTION RIFLE

 

The Remington 700 SPS chambered in a 6.5 Creedmoor is a top 3 rifle because of the consistency, price point, and reliability of Remington. The Remington 700 is the standard-issue sniper rifle for the United States military for these same reasons. One thing I can assure you if you’re up in the air about purchasing this gun is if it’s reliable and accurate enough for some of our nation’s best marksmen, it’s accurate and dependable enough to hunt with. With the extra range from the 24″ barrel and the 6.5 Creedmoor, you’ll be able to reach targets at 500 meters, easily. However, the thing I like most about this rifle is the price point, sitting under $600 for a rifle of this quality is the best deal you’ll get for a new gun. If you want to learn more about the Remington 700, read this blog for a more comprehensive review. 4/5

 

Specs:

Remington 700 SPS
Weight About 7 lbs
Overall Length 43 5/8″
Barrel Length 24″
Caliber 6.5 Creedmoor
Length of Pull 13 3/8″
Magazine Capacity 4
MSRP $539.00

Pros:

  • 24″ barrel provides better range and accuracy
  • 6.5 Creedmoor offers excellent stopping power and range
  • Incredibly light trigger pull (1.5 lbs)
  • The best-priced rifle you’ll ever own
  • Comes in a left-handed model

Cons:

  • Some people complain about the trigger going off even when not suppressed (I believe most of it is operator error)

Features:

  • Ergonomically designed synthetic stock
  • Drilled and tapped receiver
  • Carbon steel barrel
  • Barrel surrounds bolt shroud for additional strength

Why You Should Buy This Gun

If you’re anything like me, money is sometimes hard to come by, and spending $2,200 on a rifle is not financially responsible for me. This rifle is less than $550, which allows you to place a great scope to really take advantage of the 24″ barrel and the 6.5 Creedmoor. After buying a great scope, you could end up having a great rifle that shoots true and lasts decades (if you take care of it) for less than $2,000.

 

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Accessories

Many people wonder what the best attachments are to place on their rifles, which is too relative to have an exact answer. However, everyone will agree that a great scope, a range finder, and maybe even a bipod would be great for hunting. I only have a scope on my rifle because here in Virginia, we don’t take shots at more than a couple hundred yards very often, if ever. The density of the trees and lower elevation allows for more cover and concealment for hunters to close distances either in tree stands or ground blinds.

Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Rifle Scope

This Leupold riflescope is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof, allowing you to hunt in the rain, snow, and low light conditions. The most impressive attribute of this scope is the Zero Lock Custom Dial System (CDS), which takes the stress away from attempting longer shots by eliminating the need for ballistic calculations. The Leupold scope also boasts the Twilight Max HD Light Management System that significantly reduces the glare from the sun and provides 30 minutes of shooting light. Finally, the Guard-Ion Hydrophobic Lens Coating makes this the most durable and scratch-resistant lens on the market.

Want to Learn more about rifle scopes? Read this blog about Vudu Scopes

 

 

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Magpul Rifle Bipod

Humility is one of the most underrated and valuable lessons you could ever learn as a hunter (or in life). I bring this up because people view bipods as a crutch or something to be shunned at because of the clear advantage it offers. Having a bipod will increase your accuracy and control of your rifle and increase your chance of hitting your target. This Magpul bipod weighs 11 oz (.68 lbs) and is designed to stay out of the way during your stalk in the mountains. Many bipods can be stiff and rust easily, but this Magpul is made from Mil-Spec hard-anodized aluminum, which helps prevent rust and deterioration. I love the fact that you can extend the legs of the bipod with a finger so your firing hand can stay on the rifle to maintain target identification.

 

 

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Conclusion

A 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge is a more advanced .308 with capabilities of reaching further distances in your rifle. I prefer the 6.5 Creedmore over most other cartridges because of the increased accuracy and range that it provides (we’ll get into the 300 Win Mag next blog!). The Delta 5 and Tikka T3X are so close that it’s challenging to choose one over the other, but the accessories and rail system of the Delta 5 give it the edge over the Tikka. Attaching a Leupold VX scope to your rifle with a Magpul Rifle Bipod will provide you accurate shots at distances well over 500 meters. Although I believe there are a dozen other rifles that you could buy, these 3 are the best chambered in a 6.5 Creedmoor. Just remember that the most important way to improve your shooting is to train and practice with your rifle every month, at least. Good Luck and let us know what you think of the blog!

Who is Daniel Defense?

What is Daniel Defense?

Daniel Defense is a gun manufacturing company out of Black Creek, Georgia, created by Marty Daniel in 2001 after he shot his first AR 15 in 1999. Daniel Defense is one of those companies that is hard to root against if you know about their owner, Marty Daniel. Daniel was an Electrical Engineering major at Georgia Southern University in 1985 when he subsequently failed out of college twice. After his 2nd failed attempt to become an electrical engineer, the University sent him a letter explaining the need for Marty to move on from college and try something else.  As a fighter and with great persistence, Marty Daniel ignored the school’s recommendation and went back for the 3rd time.  This time, Marty graduated with honors as an engineer and now sits on the Board of Advisors for Georgia Southern University.

As Marty Daniel continued to be intrigued by the AR 15, he noticed a glaring need for a flattop upper receiver, which makes the receiver lighter, more adaptable, and durable than the tradition upper receivers produced by Colt. He named this receiver the “Big Hole Receiver” started selling 96 of them after his family put their farm up for collateral for the loan. Once he got the $250,000 loan, he went to work creating and selling upper receivers until he got his big break in 2003, when he won the Special Operations Comand (SOCOM) contract for his new rail system, the RIS II.

Daniel Defense Rails

As Daniel Defense began to grow, they were able to consolidate all of their facilities and products under one 250,000 square foot manufacturing facility. Daniel Defense rails are all cold-hammer-forged, made with aircraft-grade aluminum, require no extra tools to assemble, are free-floating, and are made from a Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machine. Daniel Defense is known as one of the best manufactures of rails and barrels because of their attention to detail and the precision provided by the CNC machine. The most popular and famous rail is the RIS II rail that went up against every gun manufacturer in bidding with SOCOM to become the standard rail for Special Operations soldiers.

 

Rail Interface System II (RIS II)

The RIS II is considered by many in the gun community as one of the most revolutionary rail systems, designed specifically for our nation’s biggest badasses. As SOCOM found the need to have an M203 (grenade launcher) attached to their rifle, they became frustrated by the weight and ergonomics of the standard Colt Barrel. They wanted a free-floating M203 attachment that was lightweight and more ergonomic. Daniel Defense accomplished this task by integrating the M203 parts into the rail system.

 

Omega Rail

The 2nd most popular rail system from Daniel Defense is the Omega rail system that offers a free-floating rail that is easily installed with an Allen Wrench. The same CNC machine that produces the SOCOM rail system produces the Omega Rail with the same precision and durability. Made from the highest aircraft-grade aluminum with type III Hard Coat Anodized finish. This 9″ rail system provides the best in quality, precision, and durability in a lightweight frame (8 oz), at an affordable price.

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Daniel Defense Rifles

There are two types of rifles that Daniel Defense produces, which are the bolt-action hunting rifle and the AR platform sporting rifle. Each rifle produced by Daniel Defense is cold-hammer-forged and manufactured from aircraft-grade aluminum in a CNC machine for maximum precision. I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot a Delta 5 .308 hunting rifle and was absolutely blown away. The free-floating interchangeable barrel, chambered in either a .308 or 6.5 Creedmore round, produces a level of accuracy that is almost unparalleled in a hunting rifle without modification. I’ve never seen a company guarantee a .75 MOA at 100 yards right out of the box, but Daniel Defense put their money where their mouth with the Delta 5 Accuracy Package.

Delta 5 .308 Rifle

The Delta 5 Hunting rifle is chambered in a .308 Winchester and a 6.5 Creedmore for the stopping power needed to bring down big game, such as Mule Deer, Elk, and Moose. The .308 model is fitted with an interchangeable 20-inch barrel and a 1:10″ twist rate for the barrel. Weighing 8.9 lbs and a 40-inch overall length allows the hunter to reach targets further out with better accuracy. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a hunting rifle unless it had a 24-inch barrel, but this rifle is incredibly well made and performs better than most other rifles on the market. If I had the money to spend on a Daniel Defense rifle, I’d buy the 6.5 Creedmore with the 24-inch barrel to make sure I get a little more range and accuracy at further ranges.

 

Specs:

Delta 5 .308 Rifle
Weight 8.9 lbs
Barrel Length 20″
Overall Length 40″
Twist Rate 1:10″
Magazine Capacity 5
Caliber .308 Winchester
MSRP 2,199.99

 

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Accurate
  • Durable
  • Has interchangeable barrels
  • Customization doesn’t require extra tools
  • Built around the AR platform
  • The 5-round Magpul magazine is perfect for hunters who are shooting longer distances
  • Amazing trigger!

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • I prefer the 24″ barrel
  • I would go with the Tikka T3 for this price and setup

Features:

  • 11 M-Lok attachment points
  • 3 M-Lok attachment points for a sling
  • Magpul magazine
  • Adjustable cheek-riser
  • Configurable buttstock
  • Cold-Hammer-Forged Barrel makes it ready to use right out of the box

Why You Should Buy This Rifle

Daniel Defense is known in the gun world to create some of the best barrels and rail systems in the world, and this Delta 5 is no different. The barrel is cold-hammer-forged, so you don’t need to worry about the barrel wearing down as fast or if it’s zeroed in our not. With an incredible trigger pull of roughly 1.5 lbs, you can be much more precise from longer ranges if your mechanics are good. This rifle is accurate up to 500 yards with the right scope and weather conditions, so you will be able to reach out and touch your target from any mountain top or valley you find yourself in.

 

 

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Delta 5 6.5 Creedmore

If you were to ask me, which Daniel Defense rifle would I buy, the 6.5 Creedmore model is the one that I would choose for hunting. If you’re a government-trained sniper, the extra 4 inches might not mean too much to you, because you could probably shoot a fly off an Elk’s ass without hurting the animal. However, if you’re not an elite shooter, the 24-inch barrel will increase your range by at least 100 yards and, more importantly, increase your accuracy at any range you feel comfortable shooting at. This rifle is a little heavier at 9.5 lbs and has a lower twist rate than the .308 Winchester to allow for heavier ammo.

 

Specs:

 

Delta 5 6.5 Creedmore Rifle
Weight 9.5 lbs
Barrel Length 24″
Overall Length 44″
Twist Rate 1:8″
Magazine Capacity 5
Caliber 6.5 Creedmore
MSRP 2,199.99

Pros:

  • Incredible Accuracy
  • Extended range
  • Durable
  • Double-Safety trigger mechanism
  • 1.4 lbs trigger pull weight
  • Adjustable cheek-riser

Cons:

  • A steep price, especially knowing you still need a scope

Features:

  • 11 M-Lok attachment points
  • 3 M-Lok attachment points for a sling
  • Magpul magazine
  • Adjustable cheek-riser
  • Configurable buttstock
  • Cold-Hammer-Forged Barrel makes it ready to use right out of the box

Why You Should Buy This Gun

I can’t recommend this rifle enough to any serious hunter who is looking for an advantage over the elements and the superiority of animal sense of smell and impeccable hearing. You’ll be able to accurately reach your target from distances over 400 yards with ease and stay far enough so the prey can’t hear or smell you (still stay downwind of your target). With a 24-inch barrel and a heavier bullet, this rifle is made for hunting in places like the Rocky Mountains, Cascades, and the Alaskan Wilderness. For the same price as the 20-inch barrel, you’ll get a rifle with more reach and accuracy without a ton of added weight.

 

 

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DANIEL DEFENSE DDM4A1

The Daniel Defense M4A1 is the same style rifle manufactured specifically for our SOCOM soldiers with the RIS II and the cold-hammer-forged barrel coated in heavy Phosphate and lined with chrome. The M4 rifle is one of the most popular rifles in the world, with hundreds of thousands sold over the last couple of decades. Almost every gun company produces a model of the AR-15/M4, so what separates Daniel Defense from the competition? The precision that Daniel Defense offers in their productions is due to the advanced CNC machine that cuts and molds the aircraft-grade aluminum into the perfect rifle, every time. The receivers are hard anodized coated to ensure incredible longevity and durability while maintaining its high standard of performance. The DD M4A1 also feels better because the weight distribution is more even than most other AR model rifles, providing great stability and increasing your control of the gun.

Specs:

DD M4A1
Weight 6.74 lbs
Overall Length 31.5″-34.5″
Barrel Length 14.5″
Twist Rate 1:7″
Caliber 5.56 mm NATO
Magazine Capacity 30, 32
Rail System RIS II
MSRP $1,910.00

 

Pros:

  • Made from the highest quality materials
  • Adjustable buttstock provides easy customization
  • Requires no additional tools for customization
  • Incredibly durable
  • Reliable enough for SOCOM to carry in war

Cons:

  • Comparable brands will save you $500-700
  • Doesn’t come with standard sights

Features:

  • Patented QD Swivel Attachment Point for rapid release
  • CNC machined
  • Cold-Hammer-Forged Barrel
  • Pinned and welded for easy suppressor attachment
  • RIS II for a maximum level of customization
  • Interchangeable buttstock, pistol grip, and receivers.

 

Why You Should Buy This Gun

This M4 is one of the best on the market, and the price tag is not the only indication of its superiority. Once you hold this M4A1 from Daniel Defense, you’ll understand why its so expensive and sought after by sportsmen all over the country. If you need a home defense weapon or love to go plinking, this gun will not let you down in any way; just ask the Navy SEALS or Army Special Forces, soldiers, that trust their lives with this tool.

 

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DANIEL DEFENSE DDM4 V7 M-LOK 16” 5.56MM NATO RIFLE

 

The V7 model of the Daniel Defense M4 looks to be very similar to the original M4A1 design, but other than how it produced, it’s completely different. First, the barrel is 16″ providing more accuracy at longer ranges and is not equipped with the patented RIS II. The V7 model is made with the MFR XS rail system, which cuts the weight down significantly enough to notice the difference. The MFR XS is equipped with 7 different M-Lok positions for easy customization fo your rifle. The free-floating design reduces the felt recoil of the gun and allows for the Picatinny rail on the upper receiver to be sleek and streamlined to avoid any interference with the sight picture. This incredibly well-designed rifle is a great alternative if you want to save a few hundred dollars versus the RIS II.

 

Specs:

DD M4 V7 M-Lok
Weight 6.2 lbs
Overall Length 32.3″-35.9″
Barrel Length 16.0″
Twist Rate 1:7″
Caliber 5.56 mm NATO
Magazine Capacity 30, 32
Rail System MFR XS
MSRP $1,750.00

Pros:

  • M-Lok Attachment holes
  • The extended barrel provides better accuracy and range
  • MFR XS rail system is lightweight and durable
  • Cheaper than the M4A1

Cons:

  • Still very expensive versus the competition
  • Sights sold separately

Features:

  • Free-floating barrel
  • Extra lightweight from the MFR rail system
  • Incredible built-in flash suppressor in the muzzle
  • 7 M-Lok holes for maximum customization
  • Cold-Hammer-Forged Barrel

Why You Should Buy This Gun

The Daniel Defense M4 V7 model provides better accuracy and range than the M4A1 and comes in at $200 less on average. In my opinion, this is one of the best M4 rifles you could own for the price, quality, and versatility that it offers a shooter. I would buy the V7 model over the A1 model if I had a choice because of the features and increased performance from range.

 

 

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Does Daniel Defense Offer a Warranty?

Yes! Daniel Defense offers a 100% money-back guarantee on any dysfunction of the product that was produced by them. If you have any issues with your gun, such as defects in the barrel, upper & lower receivers, trigger assembly, etc…, then all you have to do is fill out this form, and they will either fix the issue or give you a brand new product. The warranty doesn’t cover the installation of any other attachments from another manufacturer. This is why it’s always important to read the manuals or get professional gunsmithing help if you have concerns about customizing your gun.

Does Daniel Defense Offer a Military or Law Enforcement Discount?

Yes, if you’re a veteran or active duty member of the Armed Forces, you are eligible for a discount on most products they offer. If your a veteran, send them your DD214 and a copy of your photo ID to take advantage of this discount, which could save you a lot of money. Active-duty soldiers just need to send them a copy of your CAC Card for proof of service, and police officers only need to provide evidence they are actively serving as a law enforcement officer.

Conclusion

Daniel Defense is one of the more established and renowned weapons manufacturers in the country because of the attention to detail and quality of materials used to produce their weapons. If you had any doubt about purchasing a gun from Daniel Defense, look to the SOCOM community and the level of trust they put in this company to help defend themselves and freedom across the globe. 100% of their products are made in America, and they continue their support of the Armed Forces by offering discounts on their products for the men and women who defend our nation abroad and in their respective communities at home.

Capturing Realistic Waterborne Operations

Contrary to what Apple has people believing, taking photos requires just a little more skill than pointing your phone in the general direction of something you want to capture. It takes a little bit of knowleged and experience, especially when we’re talking about capturing realistic operations. Considering our background here at RE Factor Tactical, we figured, what better topic to discuss than waterborne operations photography. If you have such skills already and are interested in pursuing a career in waterborne photography, outside of the military, keep reading!

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan U. Kledzik/Released

Capturing Realistic Waterborne Photography

Believe it or not, there are plenty of places and companies you can use your skills to take the perfect picture on water. Companies that use and appreciate a background in military photography and video/film production are everywhere. Think about all of the careers that operate on the water. They most likely require a photographer if they’re attempting to get their name out there.

Below are a few places you can look to put your skills to use.

Adventure Companies

Adventure Rib Rides might not be the first company you think about when looking for a job using your military photography skills. However, that’s precisely what they’re looking for. The company not only appreciates it, but they also specialize in military photography, video/film production, and whale watching. Yes, you read that correctly, whale watching. Imagine being in a career that not only lets you utilize a skill you have but lets you have fun using it. Adventure Rib Rides is one of those places.  You’ll have the opportunity of adventure while getting to take some pretty awesome photos.

Of course, this isn’t the only company needing some good quality photographers who know how to work on water. Consider reaching out to companies that specialize in white water rafting, competitive fishing tournaments, or water rescue.

Work with Local Law Enforcement

If you’re trying to find a place to get some realistic photos, what better way than to work with your local law enforcement agencies. If you live anywhere near water, consider talking with your local department in charge of water operations. You’ll have to get clearance to conduct your photo shoot in the area, but it’s worth a shot, especially if you’re trying to build up your portfolio.

Tips on Waterborne Operations Photography

Now, let’s say you got a gig with a company like Adventure Rib Rides or your local LE department. Now you have to look the part. Here are a few tips to consider when trying to make your shoot realistic, without putting yourself in danger or having your viewer think your work is garbage.

Watch the Weather

If you’re doing photography outside, trust us, you want to watch the weather. If you’re not trying to get a shot during a torrential downpour, you’re going to want to keep an eye out, because the last thing you want to do is get rained out. Then, all the work you put toward set-up is pretty much out the door.

The weather can make or break your photo session. Sometimes you want it to be dreary, other times, you need full sun. If you’re looking to do a photo session when it’s sunny out, maybe take a look at the forecasted weather, so you’re not out on the water during a cloudy day. Waterborn operation photography is typically outside, so the weather is going to matter.

Work Throughout the Sunset

Have you ever noticed how beautiful sunset photos are? That’s because the photographer goes out later in the evening and spends his or her time taking pictures through the sunset. Then they sort through hundreds, if not thousands of photos, so they can pick out the perfect one.

Sunset and sunrise make for some awesome photos. And sunsets, in particular, are magnificent for photos taken on water.

Look the Part

Remember, we’re doing waterborne photography here, so you’re most likely going to be out on a boat. The last thing you want to do is not have your boat look the part. This, of course, goes for all of your actors and props. If what you’re using doesn’t look the part, then nothing about your photo will say realistic. It doesn’t matter how good the picture looks, if you’re trying to tell a story, tell it right.

The point is to have realist photos, no matter what the operation is. This will take some coordination on your part. You’ll have to get with companies, departments, etc. and make sure you’re authorized to be there. You’ll have to schedule around the weather. And lastly, you’ll have to be willing to put in the hours to get that perfect sunset photo.