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May 18th, 2011

Wilson Combat’s New 7.62×40 WT Cartridge for AR Platform

Wilson Combat has come up with a new cartridge, dubbed the 7.62×40 WT (Wilson Tactical). Basically it is a .223 Remington necked up to .308 caliber, i.e. a .30-.223 Rem Wildcat. The cartridge is designed to give .30-cal capability to a standard AR15, using the normal bolt assembly and standard AR15 magazines. An AR15 can be converted to shoot the 7.62×40 WT with just a barrel swap. Note: Don’t confuse this new cartridge with the 7.62×39, the Eastern Bloc military cartridge that has been around for decades. The 7.62×40 WT is not derived from the 7.62×39 in any way. The 7.62×39 has a larger rim size, more body taper, and requires a different magazine and bolt. There have been 7.62×39 adaptations for ARs, but most didn’t function well (usually because of magazine issues). Wilson Combat claims the 7.62×40 WT offers the hitting power of the 7.62×39, but with a cartridge design that feeds and functions 100% in an AR15.

Wilson Tactical 7.62x40 WT

The 7.62×40 WT was designed around an optimal overall cartridge length of 2.250” which is a perfect fit for standard AR mags without shoving the bullet too far down in the case. Wilson says that its 7.62×40 WT barrels are optimally throated for the 2.250″ COAL. Therefore, Wilson claims, the “7.62×40 WT does not suffer from the same inconsistent accuracy issues in the AR platform often seen with the 300 Whisper and 300 BLACKOUT.”

Wilson Tactical 7.62x40 WT

Here are comparative Velocity and Energy numbers for the 7.62×40 WT vs. other cartridges with which it will compete.

7.62×40 WT (16″ Barrel)
110 gr: 2450 FPS Muzzle Velocity and 1466 Foot Pounds of Energy
125 gr: 2400 FPS Muzzle Velocity and 1599 Foot Pounds of Energy
150 gr: 2200 FPS Muzzle Velocity and 1612 Foot Pounds of Energy

5.56 NATO (.223 Rem) (16″ Barrel)
55 gr: 3150 FPS Muzzle Velocity and 1212 Foot Pounds of Energy
62 gr: 3000 FPS Muzzle Velocity and 1239 Foot Pounds of Energy
77 gr: 2750 FPS Muzzle Velocity and 1293 Foot Pounds of Energy

7.62×39 (16″ Barrel)
123 gr: 2320 FPS Muzzle Velocity and 1470 Foot Pounds of Energy

6.8 SPC (16″ Barrel)
110 gr: 2550 FPS Muzzle Velocity and 1594 Foot Pounds of Energy

Wilson Tactical 7.62x40 WTAt first it looks like the 7.62×40 WT has more energy than a 7.62×39 and outruns a 6.8 SPC handily. But Wilson omitted some key data for the 7.62×39. Taking load info straight from the Hodgdon Reloading Center, a 7.62×39 can be loaded to 2408 fps with a 125gr bullet, or to 2192 fps with a 150gr bullet at relatively moderate pressures (under 41,000 CUP, or roughly 44,250 psi). A 7.62×39 launching 150-grainers at 2192 fps generates 1601 foot-pounds, virtually the same as Wilson’s 150gr load. So, the 7.62×40 WT has no real advantage (over the 7.62×39).

Is This Cartridge Needed at All?
The “T” in 7.62×40 WT stands for “Tactical”, but we don’t think many police or military units will adopt this round. The 5.56x45mm is too well-established in the AR15/M16 platform and the 7.62×39 is the smart .30-Cal choice for an AK. So what, then, is the real “niche” for the 7.62×40 WT?

We think this round may prove popular with hunters who want to shoot a much heavier bullet out of a standard AR. A 150gr projectile is nearly twice as heavy as the biggest projectile you can shoot from a .223 Rem AR. The bigger bullet should work better on some kinds of game. Wilson Combat says: “Designed for tactical/defense applications as well as hunting for medium-sized game such as deer and feral hogs. For hunting the 7.62×40 WT vastly out performs the 5.56 and is on par with the 6.8 SPC at ranges out to 175-200 yards. The VERY mild recoil of the 7.62×40 WT also makes it ideal for female and younger shooters as well as anyone that’s recoil sensitive.”

Wilson says the 7.62×40 has proven itself as a good hunting cartridge: “A LOT of Texas feral hogs, whitetail deer and predators lost their lives testing the terminal performance of this cartridge! The 7.62×40 WT has proven to be a VERY efficient killer on medium sized game with the 110gr Barnes TTSX, 125gr Nosler Ballistic Hunter and the 125gr Sierra Pro Hunter. Any of these three bullets perform admirably on deer and hogs under 150 lbs. or so, but we recommend the 110gr Barnes TTSX for large hogs. The 110gr Sierra HP is a great bullet in the 7.62×40 WT for varmints and predators, and has proven to be one of the most accurate bullets.”

Wilson Tactical 7.62x40 WTFor home defense, it could be argued that the 7.62×40 WT is better than the .223 Rem because the larger, slower .30-Cal projectile has less penetration (through walls), but that would have to be demonstrated with real-world testing. Moreover, there are frangible .224-cal bullets that minimize the risk of over-penetration indoors.

Some benchresters might even tinker with the 7.62×40 WT in a bolt gun for score competition, but we doubt it would prove competitive with the 30 BR which can push a 120gr bullet at around 3000 fps. Wilson’s cartridge does give a paper-puncher the ability to shoot a .30-caliber bullet from a rifle with a .223 bolt face, and that might be attractive to club shooters in informal score matches.

Wilson Combat will be selling 7.62×40 WT loaded ammunition (with 110gr or 125gr bullets), but it is also supporting the reloading market. Wilson offers 7.62×40 WT brass, Hornady 7.62×40 WT dies, and you’ll find extensive load data on the Wilson Combat website. For those who want to put together a 7.62×40 WT AR, Wilson offers pre-chambered 7.62×40 WT barrels, as well as complete 7.62×40 WT uppers. Barrels start at $249.95, while the 7.62×40 WT uppers retail for $1024.95.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 17 Comments »
May 18th, 2011

JBM-Powered Ballistics Software for Apple iPads

iPad Ballistics softwareA dedicated iPad version of Ballistic (‘Ballistic’ App), a full-featured ballistics calculator for the iPhone, is available for the growing numbers of iPad users. As with the iPhone version, ‘Ballistic’ App for the iPad is “powered by JBM Ballistics” so it offers very precise solutions — typically, at 600 yards, JBM will get you within two or three clicks, provided you have good bullet BC data and reliable MV from your chronograph.

The ‘Ballistic’ App for the iPhone and iPad features a library of over 3,100 projectiles; the library includes the latest 2010 commercial data and G7 military coefficients from Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Along with calculating bullet trajectories, this software has many extra features. There are several different target cards so you can input shot placement and scoring is calculated automatically. There is also a range log (for recording shooting sessions), a mildot and MOA range estimator, and a convenient load database for storing your reloading recipes.

Special features in the iPad edition of ‘Ballistic’ App include: fully integrated split-screen ballistics, favorites, and range log; full-screen, hi-resolution charts; ballistics calculations update automatically as you edit; larger target sizes in range log; and screens can rotate. The iPad Ballistic App (release 2.3.7) costs $19.99. The standard version for iPhone and iTouch units, costs $9.99. To learn more about this software, visit

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 2 Comments »
May 17th, 2011

Great Deal on Bulk 7mm Bonded Bullets at Midsouth

Midsouth Shooters Supply is offering huge discounts on “Blem” Bullets from a major manufacturer. They’ve almost run out of their .30-caliber blems, and the next batch to go on sale will be the 7mm (.284 bullets). Our “inside man” at Midsouth reports: “We decided to move some of the bigger quantities of the blem bullets we have in stock. They’ve been narrowed down to just about Eight SKUs (lot numbers) and we’re packing them up as 500-ct packs and slashing the price. The .308 150-grainer was the first to be offered and they are just about gone — they sold fast. Our GM this morning decided the next to go on sale is the 154gr 7mm bullet. These will be sold at just $89.99 per 500. They’re good bullets and if I had a 7mm I’d get some. I can’t say who the manufacturer is, but I can say there are bonded bullets similar to Accubond or Interbond.”

With a price of $89.99 for for five hundred 7mm (.284) bullets, that’s a great deal for big-name manufacturers’ bullets, even if there are some cosmetic defects. That bulk price works out to just $18.00 per hundred bullets! Midsouth can’t disclose the bullet manufacturer, but we can assure you it’s a big name company with a reputation for quality. If you need some good 7mm hunting bullets, you may want to jump on this deal before Midsouth sells out. Visit or CALL 1-800-272-3000 to order.

CLICK HERE for Midsouth’s 7mm Blem Bullet Sale

CLICK HERE for Complete Blem Bullet Sale Selection

Midsouth Blem Bullet Sale

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
May 17th, 2011

CMP Web Center for National Matches at Camp Perry

CMP National Matches Camp PerryThe National Matches, first held in 1903, have become a huge, national shooting sports festival with well over 6,000 annual participants. To help serve those shooters, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has launched a new web page, dedicated to the National Matches at Camp Perry. The CMP’s National Match Page now offers easy-to-use links to Registration Forms, Match Schedules, Rules, and event photo galleries. It’s very handy to have all the key links in one place. If you are thinking of visiting Camp Perry this year, whether as a shooter or a spectator, you should bookmark this page.

National Match Calendars
Pistol Registration
Rimfire Registration
Rifle Registration
Competitions Rulebook
National Match Results
Event Photos
History of the National Matches
Directions to Camp Perry

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 16th, 2011

Match Report: Eastern CMP Games and Creedmoor Cup

The 2011 CMP Eastern Games and Creedmoor Cup Matches took place the first week of May at Camp Butner, NC. The overall winner (no surprise) was current NRA National High Power Champion SGT Sherri Gallagher, who tallied a spectacular 797-50X. Finishing second was fellow USAMU shooter SSG Tyrell Cooper, with 794-41X. Sherri also had the highest individual score, 499-29X, in the 4-person Team Event. Sherri showed, once again, that she leads the field in High Power Match Rifle shooting. When Sherri is “on her game”, she’s hard to beat. You can see a large collection of Eastern Games photos from the Garand and Springfield matches (on Day 1) at the CMP online photo archive.

Sean Leighton won the Garand Match (289-3X) AND the Springfield Match (290-9X), and had the highest Three-Gun Aggregate with an 870-15X combined score. Great shooting Sean! In other specialty matches, Ken Lygren won the Carbine Match (356-1X), Doug Armstrong won the individual Vintage Sniper match (194-6X), and William Flagg Jr. won the Rimfire Sporter match. In 4-person team competition, USAMU teams took both Service Rifle (Craig Team, 1967-74X) and Match Rifle Divisions (Praslick Team, 1991-103X).

Complete results are found on the CMP Competition Tracker webpage. This includes Rifle Match Scores and Pistol Match Scores.

Creedmoor Cup Results

Match Rifle
1. SGT Sherri Gallagher, High Master, Agg 797 – 50X
2. SSG Tyrell Cooper, High Master, Agg 794 – 41X
3. SSG Armando Ayala, High Master, Agg 793 – 41X
4. Nat Guernsey, High Master, Agg 792 – 39X
5. John Friguglietti, High Master, Agg 783 – 32X

Service Rifle
1. SPC Kevin Trickett, High Master, Agg 793 – 34X
2. SSG Scott Grant, High Master, Agg 793 – 24X
3. SPC Augustus Dunfey, High Master, Agg 790 – 33X
4. SPC Amanda Elsenboss, High Master, Agg 789 – 25X
5. SFC Grant Singley, High Master, Agg 787 – 30X

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 16th, 2011

Precision Firearms with a French Flair

In our Shooters’ Forum, French shooter Aurelien posted some spectacular 400m groups shot with a “6×47″ built by Christian Salva. (We believe that is the 6mm based on the 6.5×47 Lapua cases, and not the RUAG 6×47, a separate cartridge.) If you want to see some cool-looking precision rifles (and target pistols) built with a continental flair, check out Christian’s website. Christian has built some wild-looking silhouette pistols, and we are intrigued by his barrel-block F-Class rifle, and thumbhole Varmint rifle.


Christian Salva gunsmith, France

Permalink Gunsmithing, News No Comments »
May 15th, 2011

Bushnell Releases 12x50mm Range-Finding Binoculars

Last year we reported on the Bushnell Fusion 1600 ARC rangefinding binoculars. As first introduced, the Fusion 1600 was sold as a 10×42 binocular with ten-power magnification. Now Bushnell has introduced a larger, more powerful 12×50 Fusion ARC model. This has larger, 50mm objective lenses, plus 12X magnification. With a “street price” under $900.00, the new 12×50 Fusion 1600 is less than half the price of the less powerful 10×42 Leica Geovids ($2349.00) or Zeiss Victory RF Binoculars (10×45, $2,799.00). That huge price advantage makes the Fusion very tempting — but can Bushnell’s 1600 ARC binos perform as advertised?

Don’t Expect to Range a WhiteTail at 1600 yards
There is BIG difference between ranging a water tower, and ranging a deer-sized animal. Bushnell lists three different effective ranging distances for the Fusion 1600, and Bushnell claims only 500-yard effectiveness on deer-sized objects (vs. 1000 yards on trees). This is fairly consistent with our LRF comparison tests.

You can see the features of Bushnell’s new 12×50 Fusion 1600 ARC rangefinding binoculars in the video below. This also shows the smaller 10×42 Bushnell Fusion for comparison. The video does a good job explaining the functional differences between the 12X and 10X units, helping you decide which one best fits your needs. Surprisingly, the bigger Fusion is only about one ounce heavier. If you have any interest in a combo bino/rangefinder you should watch this video. The reviewer concludes the Fusions represent good value for the money.

Bushnell 1600 ARC
Fusion 1600 ARC Features
The 12×50 roof prism binoculars feature built-in battery life indicator, twist-up eye pieces, and multi-coated optics with RainGuard. The Fusion 1600 is fully waterproof and submersible, meeting IPX7 “waterproof” specification. Owners have reported that the Fusion 1600 has good glass, and the red readouts are easy to see. Bushnell employs Vivid Display Technology™ (with four display brightness settings) to enhance display readability in all lighting conditions.

The built-in laser rangefinder features ARC (Angle Range Compensating) technology, which calculates the angle to the target (-90 to +90 degrees). ARC also and gives the hold-over range for the rifle shooter, and true horizontal distance for bow hunters. We like the fact that you can choose between Inches and MOA for holdover. There is a brush mode for measuring distances in heavy cover and a bullseye mode for ranging in open areas. The brush mode can filter out false returns from closer objects. This IS a useful feature that actually does work. The Fusion 1600 ARC laser rangefinder binoculars come with battery, neck-strap, and carrying case. Typical retail price for th 12×50 Fusion is around $900.00. For more info, visit or call 800-423-3537 for consumer inquiries.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 1 Comment »
May 15th, 2011

Zeiss Will Now Distribute Hensoldt Optics in USA

Carl Zeiss Sports Optics announced that it is taking over distribution of the Hensoldt line of optics in the United States effective May 1, 2011. The Hensoldt line of riflescopes and other optical instruments for military, law enforcement and civilian applications is produced by the Carl Zeiss Optronics division and had been distributed in the U.S. by HDC, LLC ( since 2008. Nathan Hunt, president of HDC, has joined the Carl Zeiss Optronics division in the U.S. as Vice President, Sights. In this role, Hunt will focus on the military market and help the Carl Zeiss Sports Optics team in Chester, VA, expand Hensoldt distribution in the USA.

“The Hensoldt line offers exceptional quality and versatility for elite marksmen, and Carl Zeiss Sports Optics is pleased to take over distribution of these optics to select dealers throughout the United States,” said Erik Schumacher, President of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. “At this year’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas, the Hensoldt line was shown in the same booth as the ZEISS Sports Optics line for the very first time and the response from dealers was overwhelmingly positive. We look forward to expanding the footprint of the Hensoldt line in conjunction with our sports optics business.”

The customer base for Hensoldt optics is comprised of police and law enforcement agency sniper units as well as the most discerning competitive marksmen and shooting enthusiasts who are looking for the absolute finest optics available. Hensolt produce a a select variety of high-end optics, including telescopic sights, spotting scopes, and hterml imaging systems. Hensoldt scopes are very expensive but the optics performance and build quality is absolutely top-of-the-line.

Permalink News, Optics No Comments »
May 14th, 2011

Disabled Vet Joins Team Smith & Wesson for Bianchi Cup

Texas native Trevor Baucom, a former U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot, has joined the ranks of Team Smith & Wesson as the S&W’s first disabled veteran shooter. At the NRA’s 2011 Annual Meeting, Baucom was introduced as the newest member of the S&W Team. One of Baucom’s first events will be the prestigious NRA Bianchi Cup, scheduled for May 25-29 in Columbia, Missouri.

Pilot Wounded in Afghanistan
Smith Wesson Trevor BaucomWith a distinguished service record of 13 years in the U.S. Army, CW3 Baucom was injured in a helicopter crash while serving his fourth deployment in Afghanistan. The injury, which occurred during a nighttime assault, left the Blackhawk command pilot paralyzed from the waist down. Once back in the USA, Baucom began his rehabilitation in Franklin, TN. There he met Shooting USA host Jim Scoutten, who encouraged Baucom to get involved in competitive shooting. The 31-year-old Vet began training with the goal of competing at the 2011 NRA Nat’l Action Pistol Championship, shooting against able-bodied competitors.

While the NRA Bianchi Cup will be Baucom’s first competitive shooting event, the avid hunter and recreational shooter is more focused on enjoying the experience than wondering what his score will be. That said, Baucom is training diligently to improve his X-count.

“For me, this is all about breaking down barriers,” said Baucom. “This opportunity presents a unique challenge for me to push my abilities. I hope that my participation will lead to other wounded warriors taking an interest in competitive shooting and that more matches like the Bianchi Cup will take a look at how they can open up spots for other disabled shooters.”

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 14th, 2011

GEAR REVIEW: Field Density Altitude Compensator

by Ian Kenney
A week before the fall Allegheny Sniper Challenge (ASC), I first saw Adaptive’s Field Density Altitude Compensator (FDAC). I was impressed by its capabilities and compact size and I managed to take one home from the ASC prize table the very next weekend. The FDAC comes from Adaptive Consulting and Training Services in Stafford, VA. The guys at Adaptive know a thing or two about long-range shooting — many of them are former USMC Scout Snipers. Their long-range shooting and combat experience helped them perfect the FDAC.

At first glance the $39.95 FDAC appears to be just another data card. However, in a number of ways, it is completely different than traditional data cards. The FDAC was designed to be simple and accurate, so that any military or civilian shooter could pick it up and, within minutes, effectively employ it. Anyone familiar with a Midot Master should find the FDAC simple and intuitive. Another plus is that, unlike electronic gadgets, the FDAC doesn’t need batteries or shielding from the elements. You don’t have to carry around extra batteries, chargers, and “ruggedized” weather-proof cases.

FDAC Offers Multiple Cards for More Precise Solutions
The FDAC is quite different than traditional data cards that calculate trajectories based on a single muzzle velocity in a given set of conditions. The problem with those traditional data cards is that, as soon as one variable changes, the card’s ballistic solution becomes less valid. The FDAC solves this problem by employing several cards for different muzzle velocities and using Density Dltitude to compensate for the differences in environmental conditions. For the uninitiated, Density Altitude combines the temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and elevation figures into one number that is more easily used over a wider range of conditions. Density Altitude can be obtained with a portable weather station (such as a Kestrel). If a portable weather meter is not available, the basic chart printed on the card itself works pretty well even when guessing at the physical altitude and temperature.

Adaptive FDAC ranging card
CLICK HERE for FDAC Users’ Guide PDF

FDAC Ballistic Solutions Deliver First-Round Hits in the Field
I first tested the FDAC at Reade Range in Pennsylvania, shooting from 500 to 1000 yards. I used the 2700 fps velocity card that came with my FDAC for the 175 Sierra Match King since that most closely matched what I had loaded up. Starting out with a cold bore shot from the 500-yard line, I obtained the density altitude using my Brunton ADC Pro, and slid the card over until the proper density altitude column was showing. With 3.2 mils of elevation and .2 mils of left wind dialed into my Nightforce 3.5-15×50 (first focal plane) scope, I went for my cold bore shot, hoping the FDAC would put me close. I was happily rewarded with a first round, center mass hit, just a little left of center.

The FDAC continued to shine at longer ranges. FDAC solutions gave me first-round hits at 600 and 800 yards, a second round hit at 1000 yards. Several weeks later I found myself in a field in rural North Carolina once again putting the FDAC to good use this time without any electronic aids. To my surprise, my guestimate of about 500’ for density altitude was pretty darn close to what the Kestrel my friend had was saying also. Just like at Reade Range, the FDAC values delivered cold bore hits that were nearly point of aim = point of impact. That demonstrated how well the FDAC worked in warm weather.

This winter I was able to see how the FDAC performed in cold conditions. In cooler, denser air, a bullet requires more elevation correction to get on target than it would need in warmer temps. So I went out one chilly January morning and confirmed that the FDAC can handle cold conditions. The FDAC solutions once again gave me first round hits from 250 yards to 730 yards. The little DA chart put me in the right vicinity for density altitude just by knowing my altitude and making a guess for the air temperature. Since I’ve started using the FDAC I’ve found that the data is either spot on or within about .2 mils of the correct dope at nearly all distances when using the correct density altitude column. This is very impressive. I found that the FDAC delivered practically the same data as popular digital PDAs and field ballistic calculators. But the FDAC can be even faster in use (once you become familiar with its operation), and, at $39.95, it costs a fraction of what a dedicated electronic ballistics solver would cost. The FDAC is practical, very accurate, inexpensive, compact, lightweight and never needs batteries — what’s not to like?

Below is a SnipersHide Video Review of the FDAC Tool

New Enhanced Milspec FDAC Released this Year
Adaptive has put much R&D into the FDAC and it shows. Thousands of Field Density Altitude Compensators have been provided to soldiers and marines, who are making good use of the devices. At the 2011 SHOT Show, Adaptive unveiled an enhanced FDAC, the MILSPEC-XR. This new version includes a new Density Altitude calculator, extended range dope for the .338LM and .300WM, as well as tools for slope dope and moving targets. Adaptive also offers conversion tables and compatibility charts so that the FDAC can be used with other bullets besides the original FDAC default projectiles. (For FDAC owners, the conversion charts are FREE!) The FDAC is truly one of those few products that I wish I had when I was deployed to Afghanistan. I highly recommend it to any long-range shooter using .308 Win, .300WM or .338LM cartridges (with a mil-based optic). For more information, or to order an FDAC tool, visit the Adaptive website,, or call (540) 657-8541.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Optics 10 Comments »
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.


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.

Permalink News No Comments »
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.
Permalink Gunsmithing, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
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 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.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 7 Comments »
May 11th, 2011

Stolle Panda Drop Port Conversion by S&S Precision Rifles

The Drop Port is a great feature for benchrest shooters. You can run a bolt without an ejector, yet your cartridge will extract smoothly and reliably each time you pull the bolt back. Stiller’s Precision Firearms pioneered the Drop Port design, and Jerry Stiller offers this as a popular option with his Cobra, Viper, Python, D-Back, and Diamondback actions. The Drop Port is amazing in its simplicity (watch video below). As you pull the bolt rearwards, the fired case slides downward into a funnel. As it tilts nose-down, the case rotates free of the six-o’clock extractor, falls nose first down the funnel, and finally exits through a hole in the bottom of the stock. Gravity does all the work.

S&S Panda Drop Port Conversion
Until recently, if you wanted a Drop Port, your only option was to purchase a Stiller action or engineer a conversion yourself. Now the owners of Kelbly Panda actions can enjoy drop-port functionality via a conversion performed by S&S Precision Rifles in Texas. The folks at S&S will mill a slot in the bottom of your action, and then install a drop funnel in your stock. The conversion work is done so well you’d think the Pandas were originally made as Drop Ports by Kelbly. Drop Port conversions will be available for popular small match cartridges including 22 PPC, 6 PPC, 6mmBR, 6BRX, 6 Dasher, 6.5 Grendel, and 30 BR (plus other wildcats in the BR family).

Conversion Will Be Costly — New Actions Are Best Candidates
This conversion will not be cheap. Because Drop Ports require a six o’clock extractor, you’ll probably need a replacement bolt for your Panda. S&S is in discussion with Pacific Tool & Gauge to provide these bolts. You can probably resell your existing bolt, but the upfront conversion cost could approach $400 with new bolt and labor. S&S hopes to announce firm pricing in 4-6 weeks. Don “Stick” Starks, S&S’s lead gunsmith, also cautions that this conversion is most cost-effective with Panda actions that have not yet been installed, or which are set up with pillars (as opposed to glue-ins). Stick explained: “If your Panda is already glued in, then we have to remove the action, mill the port, install the funnel, and then re-bed the whole thing. That’s going to substantially increase your cost. It’s more logical to do this on a Panda that has not yet be put in a rifle.”

In the video above, you can watch S&S Precision convert a Stolle Panda action to a Drop Port, and then see how the converted Panda functions. The rifle is a 30BR owned by FORUM member Truckincars, who also created the video.

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May 11th, 2011

AccurateShooter FORUM Upgrade Rolls Out Smoothly

Last night we moved our Shooters’ FORUM to a dedicated server and installed upgraded software. This should make the Forum faster and more secure. Many members have already observed that the Forum threads display more quickly and that the search is much faster. The “Look and Feel” is different, and you should find the layout more user-friendly — the buttons are more prominent and the main font sizes are larger (easier to read).

Thankfully, the FORUM “migration” (and upgrade) went smoothly. As far as we can tell, all the posts came through and there were no glitches with member accounts. NOTE: On the New FORUM you still use your Same Forum Log-in Name and Same Password (remember passwords are case sensitive). If you have bookmarked the previous FORUM location, you will be automatically directed to the new FORUM. However, we do request you re-set your bookmarks to:

Special Thanks to FORUM Member JayChris
We want to give special recognition to JayChris, one of our Forum members (and a darn good shooter). Jay, a super-smart IT specialist, volunteered many hours of skilled labor for this upgrade. He set up our new server and optimized the forum software to run faster and more efficiently. He also created new security protections to shield our FORUM against hackers. Jay went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the FORUM runs faster and more securely for his fellow forum members. Thanks Jay — you’re the man!

We have some requests for FORUM members using our upgraded FORUM:

PHOTOS: When posting photos, please keep them no larger than 600 pixels in width. This will ensure the layout displays correctly. To size your photos, use a basic image editing program such as Irfanview which is totally free to use.

CLASSIFIEDS: Those using our Free Classifieds are asked to read (and apply) our Guidelines for Avoiding Disputes. To eliminate potential problems, sellers should always disclose any defects, provide good photos, and insure shipments worth more than $50.00.

SAFETY FIRST: At all times, when describing reloading methods or listing suggested loads, remember that safety is the paramount concern. Be aware that a “practical max” load in your gun may very well be too hot in another rifle, so advise others to start at a lower point. Never list loads in terms of powder measure click values — always refer to grains. Don’t advocate reloading methods that depart from generally accepted safe practices. You may have developed some tricks and shortcuts, but remember that many readers are new to the reloading game.

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May 10th, 2011

Forum Upgrade This Evening (May 10, 10:00 pm Central)

Here’s a “heads up” for our Forum members and site visitors. This evening, we plan to install new software for our SHOOTERS’ FORUM. As a result, the FORUM will be offline for a couple hours on TUESDAY, May 10, starting at about 10:00 pm Central Time. After the upgrade, we will activate a new URL to bookmark. The upgraded forum software will be installed on a dedicated server. This should give us improved security and stability, and it should allow the FORUM to run faster. In addition, the upgraded software has a new “look and feel” that should improve the user experience. You will still be able to use your same forum name and password.

So guys… don’t freak out if you cannot access the FORUM tonight. God willing, everything will be in place within a few hours. If all goes according to plan, all existing FORUM threads and posts will be preserved — there will simply be a “time out” for two or three hours.

Graphics courtesy
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May 10th, 2011

SHOT Show Stays at Las Vegas Sands Expo Center Through 2014

SHOT Show, the “Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade” Show, will remain in Las Vegas through the year 2014. That’s the good news, as the vast majority of attendees want to keep the event in Vegas. The bad news is that SHOT Show will remain in the Sands Expo and Convention Center, a notoriously bad venue for both exhibitors and show visitors.

Sands Expo Center a Maze-Like Disappointment
In our view, the old Las Vegas Convention Center was a far better location. What’s wrong with the Sands Expo Center? You name it. The “host” hotel is the Venetian, which is way too expensive for most attendees, not to mention a nightmare to navigate. General “front door” access is poor and there is no on-site parking at all (you have to park at adjacent hotels on the strip). The lower levels are dungeon-like with poor lighting and bad acoustics. The conference rooms are hard to find and most are either too big or too small. The Sands Center has multiple, odd-shaped levels which lack logical ingress/egress points. Floorplans are inconsistent from level to level, and bathrooms are hard to locate. Some popular sections, such as the tactical/police displays, are exiled to upper halls that are hard to reach from the main entrance. Worst of all, to get into the show, most visitors must walk a quarter-mile through the dark, noisy, maze-like interior of the Venetian hotel. It is very easy to get lost in that nightmare of a hotel. On a 1:10 scale, we give the Sands Expo Center a “3” and that’s only because it’s (barely) big enough and the main hall is bright, with high ceilings (albeit with a leaky roof).

For years, the SHOT Show was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Paradise Road, adjacent to the Hilton Hotel. Starting in 2009, SHOT Show organizers needed to find another venue because the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) was undergoing a multi-year renovation, including a 500,000 square-foot floor-space expansion. We understand why the Sands Expo was selected as a temporary replacement, despite its many shortcomings. But now it’s time to get out of that poorly-designed facility. Over the past four years, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has pumped $890 million into the LVCC. Most of the work is done, and renovations should be completed by 2012.

Las Vegas Convention Center

Why is SHOT staying at the Sands Expo through 2014 if the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), a much better facility, should be available next year? We have no idea. We consider this a blunder of major proportions, an “epic fail” by the NSSF (owners of SHOT Show), and Reed Exhibitions (producers of SHOT Show).

Perhaps the NSSF was worried that LVCC renovations won’t be completed by January 2012 — but then that still doesn’t justify THREE more years at the Sands. Maybe it was just a money thing — accepting the lowest bid. At least some effort will be made to improve Sands Expo facilities. Steve Sanetti, NSSF President, stated: “SHOT Show attendees have made it clear to us that Las Vegas is their city of choice, and this agreement allows NSSF to meet their expectations. The Sands has responded to our requests for improvements … and this was a key factor in our decision.” The NSSF reports that “improvements will continue over the next three years — including enhanced cellular service, newly renovated lobby areas and rest rooms and other enhancements.” Well, you can put lipstick on a pig….

For those who like to plan ahead, here are SHOT Show dates for the next three years:

SHOT 2012: January 17-20 | SHOT 2013: January 15-18 | SHOT 2014: January 14-17

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May 9th, 2011

Chris Reed: History Channel’s Top Shot at the NRA Annual Meeting

This story, by Lars Dalseide, appears courtesy the NRA Blog

chris reed top shotChris Reed of The History Channel’s Top Shot TV Show has been a busy man as of late. The final episode of Season 2, which aired just over a week ago, saw Chris get the best of 10-time NRA pistol Champ Brian Zins during the final round to officially claim the title of Top Shot. Two days later, reporter Lars Dalseide found him on the floor of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the NRA’s 140th Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

“Oh man it’s been crazy at times,” said Reed. “Every day events like grocery shopping or a thing with the kids can turn into a mad house. But I’m enjoying it all while I can.”

A self-described “good ole country boy” from Tennessee, Chris Reed’s sudden rise to fame doesn’t mean his role in the household has changed all that much. He still gets the kids ready for school, performs assigned chores around the house, and prepares a mean dinner. Still, they were nice enough to reserve Tuesday nights to see if Dad could survive one more week on the show. “My friends and family have been very supportive throughout the show,” Reed explained. “We’ve all got together for a Top Shot party every Tuesday night for the last 12 weeks. It’s been a blast.”

Read has received plenty of attention: “It’s almost rock star status — Lot of folks ask for pictures and autographs … it’s been real nice. Get this, people in charge of my high school reunion called. They want to move it up a year and give it a Top Shot theme. That’s something.”

chris reed top shotEven though season two of The History Channel’s Top Shot has officially come to a close, that doesn’t mean the relationship built in the hills of Santa Clarita, California have ended as well.

“I still keep up with George and Joe. I’ve talked to Gunny quite a bit. We all stay fairly close and talk about once a week. If I can work it out, maybe come up to Camp Perry (for the Pistol Championships) and give Gunny the what for. I’m squared away on that.”

Text and photos copyright 2011 NRA Blog.

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May 9th, 2011

New Low Boy Benchrest Stock from Precision Rifle & Tool

Ray Bowman of Precision Rifle & Tool LLC (PR&T) has a new stock design, the Low Boy Benchrest, that combines the successful features of PR&T’s F-Class stock with a rear end better suited to shooting from the bench. As you may know, PR&T’s F-Class stock, in the hands of Charles Ballard and others, has been hugely successful in F-Class competition. The new Low Boy Benchrest stock borrows the same low-profile front end, but it is different from the tang rearward.

While the Low Boy F-Class stock is designed so you wrap your thumb around (like holding a pistol), the Low Boy BR stock is designed so you can slip your hand along the side, with thumb rested lightly behind the tang, in a central position. Unlike the F-Class stock, which is designed for full grip “hard-holding”, this stock is designed for shooting with a “light hold” style (or even free recoil). These stocks are very straight dimensionally, so they track well.

We think this stock will work very well for 600-yard and 1000-yard Light Gun Benchrest competition. This Editor likes the stock enough that I am considering using a Low Boy Benchrest stock for a future Light Gun project with a Stiller Viper Drop-Port. The Low Boy BR stocks are affordable — starting at $330.00 for an un-inletted version with a 3″-wide fore-end. Inletting adds just $25.00 to the total. PR&T can also pillar-bed your action in the stock for an additional $225.00.

Handsome Bat-Action BRX in Low Boy BR Stock
The blue-stocked rifle in the photos belongs to FORUM member Bo W. (aka “Sighter”). It is a 6BRX with a BAT MB, multi-flat action. The finish and painting work on the PR&T Low Boy BR stock was done by Tuck. Sighter rates the stock highly, but he thinks the standard configuration sits a bit high in the back: “I like the stock and it tracks fine, but I feel the F-Class style height causes it to ride a bit higher in the bags than needed. I talked about this with Ray Bowman [PR&T owner] and have since ordered two more Low Boy BR stocks. With the last two, Ray cut about 3/4″ off the bottom of the stock butt and kept about a .67″ flat so a double-stitch bag will work. It is now more similar to a Tracker.” Shown below is a Low Boy BR stock with the reduced height option.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 2 Comments »
May 9th, 2011

S&W Rebates for Active, Retired, Disabled Military and Reservists

Smith Wesson Military rebateSmith & Wesson now offers a rebate program providing substantial savings on gun purchases for active, retired, and disabled U.S. Military personnel and Reservists. This program, which runs now through December 31, 2011, provides rebates on M&P rifles, M&P pistols, and S&W revolvers. Rifle rebates are $100.00 while pistol and revolver rebates are $50.00. Purchase rebates are limited to one rifle, one pistol, and one revolver per customer. CLICK HERE for details.

CLICK HERE to download Rebate Coupon PDF

REBATE RULES: This offer is available to ALL active duty U.S. Military, Retired Military with retired Military Status, active National Guard Reservists and Disabled Veterans of all U.S. Military branches including U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Residents only. To qualify, customers must submit the following documentation: 1) the Redemption Coupon; 2) a copy of sales receipt; and 3) a copy of the front side of your Military ID card (active or retired) or, a copy of a Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) or, a copy of your Military Orders. All requests for rebates must be postmarked no later than January 16, 2012. If submitting LES or Military Orders, please attach a copy of your driver’s license. Factory direct and Law Enforcement Agency purchases do not qualify.

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