June 11th, 2011

BLADE Show and Tactical Gear Expo This Weekend in Atlanta

The BLADE Show (and Int’l Cutlery Fair), the world’s largest combined trade show/exposition of handmade, factory and Antique knives, runs this weekend, June 10-12, at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia. The show is open to the general public. A one-day ticket is $15 (kids under 12 get in free with a paid adult). Visitors will get a bonus this year — the 2011 Tactical Gear Expo will be co-located with the BLADE Show at the Galleria. All attendees will have access to both shows with one admission.

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the BLADE Show, which showcases knives of all varieties at over 750 exhibitor tables and manufacturers’ booths. Exhibiting their wares will be famous custom knife-makers and major blade manufacturers, plus there will be many impressive knife collections on display, with some rare items valued in excess of $25,000!

Exciting demonstrations and informative seminars will be held over the weekend. Saturday morning there will be a knife and Tomahawk throwing exhibition, followed by a live, blade-forging demo at 12:30 pm. At 4:15 pm visitors can see jaw-dropping action at the 9th Annual BLADE Show World Championship Cutting Competition. Sunday will be busy as well, with a team of experts showing historical sword-fighting techniques in the morning, followed by afternoon blade-making seminars.

Guns, Knives, and All Things Tactical at Expo
The 2011 Tactical Gear Expo runs under the same roof as the BLADE Show, and entry is FREE with a BLADE Show ticket. The Tactical Gear Expo features manufacturers and suppliers of tactical firearms, tactical knives, self-defense gear for civilians, and all manner of law enforcement and military hardware. On display will be tactical firearms and accessories, duty gear, body armor, books/DVDs, flashlights, lasers, eyewear, edged weapons and more.

$10,000 Custom Knife Giveaway
Each BLADE Show attendee is eligible to win a special, engraved, 30th BLADE Show Anniversary knife crafted by the William Henry Studio. To enter, just fill out a form at the BLADE Show. The drawing will be held Saturday afternoon at the William Henry booth.

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June 11th, 2011

Winchester WXR Powder Rivals RL22 at Much Lower Cost ($13/lb)

Here’s a good deal for magnum shooters on a tight budget. If you need a quality, slow burn-rate powder suitable for large-capacity cartridges, check out Winchester WXR powder. Production of WXR has been discontinued, but quantities are still available. PrecisionReloading.com has 8-lb jugs of Winchester WXR for $104.49, which works out to just $13.06 per pound. Grafs.com has 1-lb containers of Winchester WXR for $13.99, on “close-out” pricing (limited quantities, no back-orders). Winchester WXR is a Swedish-made, double-base, slow-burning extruded propellant used in larger-size cartridges. WXR is an excellent choice for the .25-06, .270 Win, .30-06, 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, 7mm WSM and 300 WSM cartridges. Some industry observers have suggested that Winchester WXR is virtually the same as Alliant Reloder 22. We can’t confirm that, but the load recipes are similar. Keep in mind that, at $13.06 per pound, WXR is nearly six bucks per pound cheaper than Reloder 22 (in 5-lb containers).

The Reload Bench’s Burn Rate Comparison Chart shows WXR having a burn rate very close to Vihtavuori N165 and IMR 7828. In tests with a .25-06, WXR delivered velocities 30 to 60 fps higher than Reloder 22, with equal loads grain for grain (see WXR vs. RL22 report). In the .25-06, the WXR was slightly more energetic than Reloder 22, so a max load with WXR proved to be about 1.0 grain lower than a RL22 max load. Another WXR user writes: “I’ve been using it for the last three years in my 7 STW, 7mm Mag, 300 WSM, 300 Win Mag, .30-06 and .270 Win. It chronographs nearly identical to Reloder 22, so keep that in mind when working up loads with it. From what I’ve researched about it, the company in Sweden who makes powder for Norma, also makes Reloder 22 and made Win WXR. Remember powder can vary slightly from lot to lot, so start low and work your way up.”

Winchester Catalog with WXR Load Data (PDF File)

Burn rates (faster to slower):
152. H4831 (Hodgdon)
153. MRP (Norma)
154. Reloder 22 (Alliant)
155. WW785 (Winchester)
156. H450 (Hodgdon)
157. Mag Pro (Accurate)
158. N165 (Vihtavuori)
159. WXR (Winchester)
160. 7828 (IMR)

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