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GUNS Magazine Digital April 2011 - Page 24
• J A C O b G O t t f R E d S O N • thE CAMERA SIGht An innovative use of the simple camcorder. have never had an original thought in my life. And if I did, I I wouldn’t know what to do with it. That is not a problem for Chris Self of Selma, Ala. He is not only an innovator, he has the ability to make his ideas reality. Some months ago I reported on a Variable Gantry Mount (VGM) built by Chris Self. Instead of using clicks on the riflescope or hashmarks for holdover, the base mount has a small handle that moves from one position to another. The positions are aligned by screws along the mount to which the small handle is moved. For a biggame rifle with a long-range, flatshooting cartridge, you might have 10 positions, each sighted in at 100yard increments out to 1,000 yards. Sliding the handle to the 10th position takes only a fraction of a second, and it doesn’t wear out the scope’s internals. It works! While that is only an example of the mount’s many uses, Chris has had great success with it on shooter’s competitive guns, highpowered pistols, thunderbooming rifles, you name it. Although this model is no longer available, the new little cameras are even more sophisticated and retail starts at around $329. A small memory disk is mounted on the right side near the bottom. The camera will take single photos or movies of the animal, the shot or whatever you might want to record. failing Eyes As it turns out, Mickey Coleman, a benchrest shooter, machinist and rifle builder, whose eyesight is failing, is a friend of Chris’. Another of Chris’ friends has developed macular degeneration, restricting his vision to just a few inches. Chris Self is an idea man and an innovative inventor. Give him a problem and he will not only solve it, but build it. His friends having problems seeing got Chris’ brain churning on their plight. Chris and Mickey found a small, inexpensive video camera and set to work. They located the image center of the camera’s lens and then marked the spot on the screen with a small triangular piece of electrical tape. They worked out the details of the camera and mount for a test run. They discovered some interesting things along the way. The camera can be used to shoot around corners, as well as some fun shooting over their shoulder, the target being behind them. The possibilities seem endless and an inexpensive way for some people to resume hunting or simply to have loads of fun. The prototype that Chris sent me uses Chris’ VGM mount. He built a camera mount to fit on top of the VGM to hold the camera and that allows windage for sighting in. That gave him an expedient way to accomplish his test run. He is currently working on another mounting system. On A .308 Chris and Mickey had been using the camera and mount on a .22 rifle and were astonished at the variety of things it would do. I wanted to see the effects of mounting it on something larger and chose one of my .308 tactical rifles. Mounting the VGM on the Picatinny rail of the Nesika action took only seconds. I gathered up some Black Hills 175-grain match rounds and drove to the range. I stapled a 6" diameter bull on the backer, chris self of selma Alabama is the inventor of the Variable Gantry mount (the black base mount on the picatinny rail). in the rear of the mount is a small, knurled screw. That screw is loosened and then moved to the positions shown as white dots, representing 100 yards, 200 yards or any other yardage you set it up for. To this, chris machined a mount (shown still in the white) to which the sony handicam is mounted. The screw on top of the mount is loosened and the screw on the side used to adjust windage. chris is working on a better system, but this one proved his concept. 24 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • APRIL 2011