May 13th, 2011

Gun Sales Continue to Rise (Based on NICS Reports)

We don’t quite know why, but Americans appear to be using their tax refunds to build up their gun collections — April gun sales reached an all-time high. Maybe it’s a concern with looming inflation — a strategy to “buy now” before prices go up. For whatever reason, gun sales are up substantially this April compared to the same period in 2010 (and previous years).

NICS Background Checks in April Are 15.2% Higher Than Last Year
The NSSF announced that gun purchases were up 15.2% in April 2011 compared to April 2010. This is based on the NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 843,484 compared to the NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 731,955 in April 2010. This marks the eleventh straight month-over-month increase in NSSF-adjusted NICS figures.

NSSF Gun Sales NICS

Though not a direct correlation to firearms sales, the NSSF-adjusted NICS data provides a more accurate picture of current market conditions. The adjusted NICS data was derived by NSSF by subtracting out all NICS purpose code permit checks used by several states such as Kentucky, Iowa and Utah for CCW permit application checks as well as checks on active CCW permit databases.

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May 13th, 2011

Custom Die Reamer and Blank for $107.50

Those who shoot wildcat cartridges, or who shoot older cartridges that aren’t used much anymore, know that finding good dies can be a big challenge. It can also be an expensive undertaking if you go to a gunsmith and ask for a custom sizing die to be made from scratch. Now Pacific Tool and Gauge (PT&G) has changed that situation, making custom dies more affordable. Now you can order a custom-fitted die reamer, PLUS a high-grade die blank, for just $107.50. Of course you still need a smith to run the reamer into the die, but this should still let you save significantly on cost. And, if you have friends who shoot the same cartridge, you can make multiple dies using that same reamer. We are currently thinking of having some BRDX sizing dies made. This offer will make that project more affordable. CLICK HERE for more info, or call PT&G at (541) 826-5808.

PT&G Custom Die Special
Solid Pilot Die Reamer and Die Blank – $107.50

Story Tip by EdLongRange. We welcome submissions from our readers.
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May 13th, 2011

6.5 Creedmoor Finds Favor with Tactical Competitors

6.5 Creedmoor AmmunitionWhile the venerable .308 Winchester is still the chambering of choice for most tactical shooters, a growing number of tac competitors are switching to the 6.5 Creedmoor (as well as other 6.5mm chamberings such as the 6.5×47 Lapua and .260 Remington). Among the 6.5mm options, the 6.5 Creedmoor offers the advantage of high quality, relatively affordable factory ammo.

Can the 6.5 Creedmoor win tactical matches with factory ammo? Absolutely. Team Hornady’s Tony Gimmellie used Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor 120gr Match ammo to win the Oregon Sniper Challenge, held May 22-23, at the Douglas Ridge Rifle Club in Eagle Creek, Oregon. Tony said, “Hornady’s 6.5 Creedmoor ammo delivered ½ MOA accuracy from [my] POF gas piston rifle, allowing me to stay well ahead of the competition.”

To learn more about the 6.5 Creedmoor, along with the other popular 6.5mm cartridges used for tac comps, we recommend three articles by Accurateshooter.com contributor Zak Smith:

6.5 Creedmoor vs. the .308 Winchester
In the first article above, Zak explains: “Why 6.5 mm instead of .30 caliber? Put simply, they sling the long, slim, high-BC 6.5 mm bullets at respectable velocity. It duplicates or beats the .300 Win Mag’s trajectory with less recoil than a .308 Win. Compared to the 175 Sierra MK fired from a .308 Win, the 6.5 mm will have 27% less wind drift and about 10 MOA less drop at 1000 yards. Despite a 35-grain deficit in bullet mass, the 6.5 Creedmoor will retain 18% more energy and hit the target 260 fps faster.”

6.5 Creedmoor Ammunition

6.5mm Cartridges — Comparative Ballistics Performance by Zak Smith
Put in order of ballistic performance, the 6.5 Creedmoor and the .260 Remington are almost neck-and-neck, pushing the same weight bullets at about the same velocities from almost identical case capacities. The 6.5×47 Lapua in factory form lags by 100 to 200 fps due to less powder capacity; however, it has already gained a reputation for having a strong case that puts up with the high pressures some reloaders push in their custom rifles. The .260 Remington’s main problem for the reloader is lack of high-quality and affordable brass and to date there has only been one factory load produced which was appropriate for serious long-range competition for the non-reloader. The 6.5×47 was designed for intermediate-range competition and very accurate ammunition is available from Lapua; however, these factory loads are at a ballistic disadvantage at long range compared to the .260 Remington and the 6.5 Creedmoor.

There will always be those who bash new cartridges, claiming that they don’t do anything better than their favorite cartridge. By this logic, we’d all be shooting .30-06. Put simply, the 6.5 Creedmoor is what the .260 Remington should have been. It looks like Hornady has the right mind-set to make its new cartridge a success in the competitive and practical market, unlike Remington who basically let the .260 languish in a few hunting rifles. The 6.5 Creedmoor enjoys additional case capacity over the 6.5×47 Lapua, which allows better ballistics at a lower peak chamber pressure.

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