June 17th, 2008

Whitley Shoots New 20 Practical AR

AccurateShooter.com has teamed with Robert Whitley and Carl Bernosky to develop a new AR15-based, 20-caliber rifle optimized for varminting. The chambering is a 20-223 with a PT&G (Kiff) reamer, aka the “20 Practical”, a name coined by Warren Brookman*. The cartridge uses standard .223 Remington brass. Case forming is simple — just neck down the brass (Robert did this in two steps, with .233″ and .225″ bushings). You do NOT have to move the shoulder back as with the 20 Tactical. You can even use your existing .223 Rem Redding dies by swapping out some internal components.

20 Practical AR

CLICK HERE to Watch 20 PRACTICAL AR VIDEO

20 Practical AR

While Carl is still working on special (top-secret) “furniture” to help the 20 Practical AR ride the bags, Robert was able to test the first complete 20 Practical AR upper built with a Bartlein barrel. Without any special load development, the gun has proved very accurate, putting 5 rapid-fire shots in a dime-sized group at 100 yards. Robert was using H335 with 40gr bullets. This load runs 3750 fps and Robert thinks more velocity may be possible with H335. We will also test other load recipes for both both 40gr and 32gr bullets. H322 should also be a good choice for both bullet weights. Quickload predicts H322 will send the 32-grainers past 4000 fps, and Warren Brookman says: “For both 32gr and 40gr bullets, Vihtavuori N133 is just about the perfect powder for the 20 Practical. It burns clean, delivers great accuracy and good velocity.”

Robert reports: “I loaded up some new brass today (Winchester brass, factory primed). I only used H335 and the Berger 40 gr BTHP bullets at about .010″ off the lands (2.228″ OAL). The thing is very accurate. First group shot off the bench after sight-in is shown in the video. Keep in mind this was done with no load work-up and I shot fast to ensure the video was not too long. The load was with 26.0 grains of H335 and the Berger 40-grainers going right around 3750 fps.”

20 Practical AR

If you shoot a .223 Rem currently it’s easy to load for the 20 Practical. You will need a Redding Type ‘S’ neck-bushing full-length sizing die, and Robert recommends a Redding Comp Seater. Then you’ll need some extra bits of kit:

1. Powder funnel that fits .20-Cal case mouths
2. Two neck bushings: .233″ and .225″
3. 20-Caliber cleaning rod with brushes, jag, patches, etc.
4. Decapping rod assembly for 20 Cal (a 204 Ruger one works perfectly — about $15)

20 Practical AR

*The 20 Practical chambering, a modern 20-223 Wildcat, was popularized by Warren Brookman, whose 20 Practical bolt gun was featured as our 61st Gun of the Week. In that 20 Practical Article, Warren explains the thinking behind the cartridge and shows how to adapt .223 Rem Redding dies.

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June 17th, 2008

Shelley Davidson, Great Innovator, Passes Away

We are very sad to announce that Texas shooter, Shelley Davidson, passed away this morning. He had cancer. Shelley was a great individual, and one of the most innovative and creative spirits we’ve ever seen in sport of Benchrest. In our conversations with Shelley, he was always full of interesting new ideas and concepts. And he always had a positive, forward-thinking attitude. He wasn’t satisfied with the status quo and was always thinking about new ways to “build a better mousetrap”. Butch Lambert notes, “you may remember Shelley as the builder of the Tinker Toy rifle. He developed the tuner that my company sells. Shelley really pushed the 30BR and its off-springs. He tried opposing magnets on the end of his barrels, he used an electric motor with a sensor to operate his powder measure, and many other things.”

Shelley Davidson’s Tinker Toy Rifle

Shelley will be missed but not forgotten. He was a credit to the sport, and we feel privileged to have been able to show some of Shelley’s innovations to the world.

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