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February 17th, 2012

Windtronic 2 Omni-Directional Windmeter on Sale

Windtronic 2 Sale CreedmoorCreedmoor Sports has knocked ten bucks off the price of the Windtronic 2 Windmeter. For three days only (Feb. 17-19), the Windtronic 2 is ON SALE at Creedmoor Sports, for $89.00. Most every other source sells the Windtronic 2 for $99.00 or more.

Windtronic 2 Reads Wind from Any Angle
This unique product reads wind speed from any angle, because the impeller spins on a vertical axis (like a helicopter’s main rotor). By contrast, with most other windmeters you need to manually align the device in the correct direction. Those devices may deliver mis-reads unless you can manually turn the meter. However, with the Windtronic 2 you can “set and forget” — mount the device on a pole or tripod near your shooting station with the screen in view, and it’s good to go, no matter which way the wind blows. The Windtronic’s LCD display shows current wind speed, average wind speed, maximum wind speed and a Beaufort bar graph. A standard lithium battery should supply YEARS of service. Made in Germany by Kaindl Electronics, the Windtronic 2 comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Windtronic 2The Windtronic 2 features rotating cups mounted on a vertical axis. With this design you don’t have to align the unit with the wind, unlike the Kestrel WindMeter or SpeedTech WindMate™ devices. Many users feel the Windtronic’s unique design allows it to read wind speeds more accurately; it certainly can respond to shifting winds more easily. The omni-directional functionality of the Windtronic 2 allows it to be mounted on a stand or tripod and continuously display current wind speed, max wind speed, and average velocity. The Windtronic 2 does NOT gauge temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, or density altitude. The Windtronic only records wind speeds, but it does that task exceptionally well.

Permalink Competition, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
February 16th, 2012

High Copper Prices Create Market for Unwanted Cartridge Brass

With Copper Exchange prices edging towards $4.00/lb, cartridge brass in any condition is worth saving. (Prices reached $4.50/lb last year!) Even worn-out, split, or Berdan-primed brass with negligible value to reloaders can be worth real money given current scrap metal prices. People commonly leave .22 LR casings on the ground because they can’t be easily reloaded. Nowadays, it may be worth saving brass of any kind. In California, scrap metal dealers are paying $1.75 a pound for used cartridge brass — including buckets of used .22 LR casings.

Of course, if you have good pistol and rifle brass that’s worth reloading, don’t take it to a scrap dealer. You should be able to get more money selling the brass to reloaders via Forum Classifieds or Gunbroker.com. However, if you’ve got buckets of old, split, tarnished brass, .22 LR casings, or Berdan-primed cases and you don’t want to take the time to clean, inspect, and sort your cases… maybe you should just sell ‘em for scrap. For someone with hundreds of pounds of miscellaneous brass, current scrap prices can be attractive. In the past, at ranges, we’ve seen scores of milsurp Berdan-primed cases left on the ground since they are not easily reloadable. Now, we predict those cases will be collected and sold for scrap.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 2 Comments »
February 15th, 2012

Merkel RX Helix Straight-Pull Rifle — Teutonic Tour De Force

One of the most innovative rifles we tried at Media Day in January was the Merkel RX Helix, a very impressive piece of rifle engineering. Merkel claims the RX Helix is the fastest-cycling centerfire bolt action in the world. We can’t confirm that claim, but the Helix certainly cycles faster than any other centerfire bolt-gun this Editor has ever tried. (Yes, a Fortner biathlon action can be worked more rapidly, but that’s a rimfire). Both Jason and I really liked Merkel’s RX Helix. It balances well, the action is smooth, the wood is gorgeous, and the overall design thinking that went into this $3795.00 (MSRP) take-down rifle is very impressive. The Helix’s universal-sized action lets you shoot anything from a .222 Rem to a .300 Win Mag with the same gun. And — get this — you can really swap barrels (and change bolt heads) in under one minute with no tools, employing a dead-simple bolt-release lever concealed under the push-button-released removable forearm.

Merkel RX Helix rifle

Merkel RX Helix rifle

Merkel RX Helix rifleRotary 7-Lug Bolt
While the RX Helix is a straight-pull rifle, it retains the strength and safety of a rotary bolt head with seven locking lugs that seat in a barrel extension. Unlike a Blaser, the RX Helix has a fully-enclosed action housing. That’s an important safety feature. Moreover, since the RX Helix employs a closed action, the bolt body doesn’t travel outside that action. This means the shooter can maintain his cheekweld with an eye on the target as he cycles the bolt.

The RX Helix’s linear (back and forth) bolt-handle motion is transmitted to the bolt head through a 1:2 ratio “transmission” gearing system. This allows smooth and fast cycling without the rotational or tipping movement found on other straight-pull, bolt-action rifles, such as the Blaser.

Merkel RX Helix rifle

The Merkel linear-movement action cycles exceptionally fast, which allows for faster follow-up shots — a good thing if you’re hunting dangerous game. The RX Helix features a manual cocking lever on the tang and a direct trigger system. And here’s good news for southpaws — though Merkel does not make a dedicated left-hand version, lefties can very easily use their right hand to work the bolt while maintaining cheekweld. That may sound awkward, but with practice, it’s actually pretty efficient.

Merkel RX Helix rifle

Fast, Easy Disassembly and Barrel Exchanges
The video below shows how the Helix can be disassembled (for cleaning or transport) in a matter of seconds WITHOUT TOOLS. The forearm slips off with the push of a button. A short lever on the left side of the action holds the barrel. Simply rotate the lever and the barrel (with bolt head) slips off. That’s it — in 30 seconds the rifle is apart, and you don’t even need an allen wrench as with a Blaser.

The RX Helix has a universal action length that covers calibers from .222 Rem to .300 Win Mag. Changing calibers (or chamberings) takes less than a minute with the appropriate barrel, bolt-head and magazine. Weaver rails are integrated into the action, and iron sights with three-dot rear and one-dot front fiber-optic inserts are standard.

Merkel RX Helix rifle

The RX Helix is available with a standard black finish as well as four levels of design—Arabesque, Wild Boar, Spirit, and Deluxe. An all-carbon-fiber version is also available either with or without a carbon-wrapped barrel. The RX Helix comes in a wide range of popular calibers including .222 Rem, .223 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5×55 SE, .270 Win, 7×64, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg., 8×57 IS, 9.3×62, 7mm Rem Mag and .300 Win Mag. Barrel lengths vary according to caliber, and barrels, bolt-heads and magazines are available for caliber changes. MSRP for the standard black rifle with Grade 2 wood is $3,795.00.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 19 Comments »
February 15th, 2012

SHOT Show Special on Shooting USA Tonight

SHOT ShowFire up your VCRs boys, this is the episode of Shooting USA you don’t want to miss — the 2012 SHOT Show Special. Shooting USA’s hour-long 2012 SHOT Show Edition airs on the Outdoor Channel Wednesday February 15 at 3:00 PM, 8:00 PM, and 12:00 Midnight (Thurs) Eastern Time. (Check local listings for other time zones.) In this 60-minute special, the Shooting USA team checks out the latest and greatest guns and gear. Host Jim Scoutten and assistants John Scoutten, Mike Irvine and Jay Gilmore trek through the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas reporting on new products for 2012.

Here’s a 4-minute-long Preview of the SHOT Show Special:

While you’re tuned in to the Outdoor Channel to view the SHOT Show Special, you may want to catch this week’s Impossible Shots show as well. This week the trick shooters run Col. Jeff Cooper’s speed challenge, the El Presidente, using single-action six guns. In addition, the legendary Jerry Miculek engages multiple targets using both rifle and revolver. Impossible Shots airs Wednesdays at 6:30 pm and 11:00 pm Eastern Time.

Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »
February 14th, 2012

Match Report: Berger 2012 Southwest Long Range Nationals

Report by German Salazar
The 2012 Berger Bullets Southwest Long Range Nationals fired last week at Phoenix’s Ben Avery Shooting Facility left competitors from all over the US and Canada smiling and ready to return for next year’s event. With over 200 competitors from 40 states and several Canadian provinces, this was truly a national level event and the scores reflected that intensity. However, it wasn’t just about the shooting; as at any large rifle match, renewing old friendships, seeing friends from the AccurateShooter Forum and enjoying time and a few meals with them are just as important.

Complete Individual and Team Match Results will be linked here as soon as available.
F-Open Individual Grand Aggregate (RTF) | Palma Team Results (interim) (PDF)

Berger 2012 SW Nationals

The week began on Tuesday with a wind reading clinic by Mid Tompkins who knows more about how air moves across a rifle range than just about anyone. Next in line was Wednesday’s 600-yard match, a nice warm-up for the long-range shooting to come. Thursday we got down to business with a Palma team match. The sling winners were the US National Team composed of Trudie Fay, Bryan Litz, Justin Skaret and Peter Church. In F-Open, the winning team was Team Norma/Berger composed of Larry Bartholome, John Brewer, Danny Biggs, and Jim Murphy. The winning F-TR team was the Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Assn. squad, with Warren Dean, John Chilton, Steve Lockwood and German Salazar.

Berger 2012 SW Nationals

Individual shooting resumed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as one more team match at 1000 yards. Conditions throughout the week were picture perfect as cool mornings gave way to afternoons in the mid 70’s. One of the Canadian shooters mentioned that it was 35 below at home on Saturday while we were in shirt sleeves! The wind was challenging without ever being as vicious as it can be on certain days in Phoenix. More than one Eastern shooter was heard to comment that they had never seen wind as switchy as this. Overall, it tested one’s ability without reaching a level of frustration — just perfect. Trudie Fay was the overall winner in the sling category, Jim Murphy in F-Open and James Croft in F-TR, but many other shooters won cash and bullets from our generous sponsor Berger Bullets as well as many door prizes at the barbeque from Nightforce, Krieger, Leupold, Sierra and many others.

Put this match on your list for next year, it’s well worth the effort. We have 100 firing points (check out the photo below) and we’re ready to put them all to use!

Berger 2012 SW Nationals

All-Star Instructors Lead Clinic
Bryan LitzA training clinic was held on Feb. 7th (Day 1), with a true all-star cadre of instructors. The clinic started with Nancy Tompkins instructing sling shooters on proper position/shooting style, while Darrell Buell and Larry Bartholome did the same for F-TR and F-Open shooters. Mid Tompkins then conducted a lengthy wind clinic which featured a series of drills at 1000 yards to observe specific wind trends. Many shooters commented on the benefits of the exercise as well as the opportunity to get some ‘trigger time’ before the main event. Finally, Bryan Litz (photo right) gave a class on long-range ballistics.

Berger 2012 SW Nationals

Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
February 14th, 2012

Nosler Discounts “Over-Run” Brass and Bullets

Nosler is offering deeply discounted pricing on Over-Run brass in these calibers: 6.5×55 Swede, .338 Lapua Magnum, 30-378 Weatherby, and 340 Weatherby. You can save up to 33% on the single-box price. Nosler puts 50 cases in a box of 6.5×55 brass. However, there are only 25 cases per box for the other, larger cartridges.

Nosler Sale Products

In addition to the bargain brass, Nosler is also offering big discounts on select Custom Competition bullets, and Nosler Custom Ammunition. For example, a 250-count box of Nosler’s 190gr .308-Cal Custom Comp bullets is marked down to $69.95 from $91.00, a 23% savings. Visit Nosler’s Over-Run Sales Page to see all the discounted products.

Nosler Sale tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
February 13th, 2012

Shooter Profile: Rodrigo Rosa — A Rising High Power Star

Rodrigo RosaRodrigo Rosa is a rising star in the world of High Power shooting. Though he’s been shooting competitively for only four years, he is already a top contender at the national level. In 2011, the young marksman, who now lives and works in New Hampshire, was right up with the leaders at the NRA National High Power Championships. At Perry, Rodrigo finished second in the Across-the-Course phase and finished third in the Long Range National Championship. He was also on the winning 2d Amendment match team with Norm Houle. Over the last couple of years, Rodrigo has lead the field at New England High Power events. He was New Hampshire State Champ in 2010 and 2011, Massachusetts State Champ in 2011, and Mid-Range (and Across-The-Course) Vermont State Champion in 2009. Rosa is also a two-time NE Regional Across-the-Course Champion, winning titles in 2008 and 2011. That’s an impressive shooting resume for a young man who shot his first High Power match in 2008, and had to borrow money to get his first real match rifle.

Rodrigo tells us: “I had a good year in Camp Perry in 2011. My goal was only to perform well in the across-the-course event, so taking second place after Carl Bernosky by only 3 points and taking third place in the Long Range event was a real treat.”

What was the “secret” of Rosa’s meteoric rise from rookie shooter to podium performer at Camp Perry? Rodrigo replied: “Key factors? I would have to say dry-fire practice, and working on consistency and the ‘mental game’. I spent many hours dry-firing last winter, particularly working on my off-hand position. Despite such training my technique was still flawed at the beginning of the year. I could dry-fire very well but the results did not show on target. I believe that my ability to finally build a mental sequence that allows me to perform the same movements time-and-time again, on demand, made the greatest difference on my results.”

Interview with Rodrigo Rosa — Born to Shoot

We had the opportunity to chat with Rodrigo. He told us how he got started in competitive shooting. He then discussed his shooting techniques and his reloading methods. At our request, Rodrigo offers some tips for new sling-shooters. Rosa also revealed his preferences in hardware and shooting gear.

Rodrigo Rosa

AccurateShooter: Rodrigo, tell us about your background. How did you get involved in shooting?

Rosa: I grew up on a farm in Brazil. When I was about 11 years old my mom bought me an air rifle, and I later inherited my grandpa’s Winchester .22LR. I hunted many rabbits and ducks with that rifle until I was 17 years old when my studies became more important. I traveled to the USA in late 2004 to finish my Veterinary clinical training at Cornell University, where I met my wife-to-be. We got married in 2005 and moved to California for internships. It wasn’t until early 2007 when I decided to buy a rifle and join a gun club. All I could afford was a simple .308 hunting rifle. With the .308, I tried (with limited success) to hit small metal silhouettes at 600 yards. Despite my limited success I decided to educate myself about the shooting sports, predominantly by reading books by David Tubb and Nancy Tompkins, as well as foreign publications.

My wife Kate and I moved to New Hampshire in 2007, when I decided to take a personal loan to buy a better rifle, suited for High Power competition. I joined the Nashua NH Fish and Game Association and started to work on my skills. In late 2010 I met Norm Houle who became a good friend and gave me extra motivation to stay in the game.

AccurateShooter: What are your strengths and what are the areas where you need improvement. What training methods do you use to improve those weak points?

Rosa: My strengths are my ability to concentrate, attention to detail and perseverance. The areas I tend to work on the most are my mental systems. I know I am able to shoot a perfect score in any yard line and shooting position, so I spend most of my time coming up with ways to make my shooting sequence as meticulous and repetitive as possible. I believe I still have a lot of work to do….

AccurateShooter: What are the best and worst things about competing at Perry?

Rosa: 2011 was my second year competing in Perry (I also started the match in 2009 but had to leave early for a family issue). I had one of the best weeks of my life! Perry is a wonderfully beautiful and challenging range, and the friends I had the pleasure to share my time with were the highlight of the trip. From previous experience, I would say that the heat and humidity are the worst things
about Perry, but 2011 gifted the competitors with amazingly pleasant weather.

Rodrigo Rosa
zoom

AccurateShooter: Rodrigo, do you have any tips for novice High Power shooters?

Rosa: Start by investing in good equipment — buy quality and you will buy it only once. Seek the advice of successful shooters. All truly good shooters will be glad to share their “secrets”, for it is only worth winning when all competitors can shoot their best. Develop a safe, reasonably good load for your cartridge and quit messing with it! If you already have an accurate rifle your time is much better spent working on your hold than on developing loads. Be ready! Develop checklists, plans, mental sequences. The less you can worry about, and the more prepared you are for adverse situations at the firing line, the better your chances will be.

AccurateShooter: Speaking of load development, tell us what load you shoot, and what methods you use to create accurate ammo.

Rosa: I shoot the 6mmXC cartridge Across-the-Course and Long-Range (except for Palma, of course). I use Federal 210M primers, Norma brass, Hodgdon 4350 powder, Sierra 70gr bullets for 200 yards and DTAC 115gr bullets from 300 to 1000 yards. My loads are: 39.5 grains H4350 with the Sierra 70gr; 37.5 grains H4350 with DTAC 115gr for 300 yards; and lastly, for Mid-Range and Long-Range, I use a stout H4350 load with the DTAC 115s. (Editor: Start at 37.0 grains H4350 and work up with the 115s; Rodrigo’s long-range load is near max).

The most important steps of my reloading are accurate load weighing (I weigh ALL loads) and bullet selection. I select all the bullets I shoot from 600 to 1000 yards by bearing surface and length. I do not spend any time doing elaborate load testing (and re-testing). All I care about is having a reasonably accurate load that functions smoothly in my rifle.

Rodrigo Rosa
zoom image

Rodrigo RosaAccurateShooter: Tell us about your shooting coat and sling. Do you have any advice concerning coat fit and sling adjustment?

Rosa: I currently wear a Monard shooting coat. Proper fit is fundamental for anyone who wishes to be competitive in any category of position rifle shooting, and the folks at Monard certainly have got that down. My advice to anyone who is going to invest hard-earned money in a coat is to make sure that the maker uses at least 15 different measurements of his/her body. Anything less than that is not acceptable in my opinion. I also prefer the stiffness and coolness of canvas over leather. Leather tends to mold better to ones body but softens and shrinks when wet. Since High Power shooters must often shoot in the rain I believe that canvas is a more durable and stable material. For a sling I always used the Superior Shooting Systems Heart Breaker Sling. This is an extremely well-made sling crafted to last many decades. It is important to cut the new sling to fit one’s arm diameter so that the “hinge” is located between the arm and the hand. I did not know this important “trick” for the longest time until David Tubb called my attention to it at Perry last year.

Rodrigo Rosa

AccurateShooter: You shoot a Tubb 2000 match rifle. Tell us the features of the T2K you really like, and explain how you set up the sights and buttstock for different positions.

Rosa: The Tubb 2000 rifle is the only rifle I have ever shot Across-the-Course. It is an extremely user-friendly gun that truly allows the shooter to extract all that a competitive target rifle can offer. I used to have only one buttstock and was therefore forced to make adjustments between shooting positions. Now I have three buttstocks individually set up for each position — a major asset in my opinion. My off-hand buttstock is probably the least orthodox of the three. It has a good deal of added weight to help balance the gun and a very narrow buttplate. I like the narrow buttplate because it fits my small shoulder better. This plate is, however, kept mostly flat (very shallow curvature) in order to comply with NRA rules (less than 1/2 inch depth).

Canting — I truly enjoy the ability to cant the T2K rifle to fit my body. Anyone who watches me shooting seated will notice that I use a great amount of canting in that seated position. Canting is a major asset and can greatly improve most shooter’s position by increasing comfort. The key thing with canting is you must be consistent with the amount of cant you use (hint: learn how to use a bubble level).

Forearm — I have shortened the tubular handguard/fore-end of my rifle in order to improve balance as well. People occasionally ask me: Didn’t you get nervous about cutting such an expensive rifle? (I had taken a loan to buy the rifle and it wasn’t even paid for yet). My answer was “Not at all!” My philosophy is that if something does not fit you or does not do the job for which it was intended, then you MUST act on it. It is pointless to have a rather costly piece of machinery if it does not lead to 10s and Xs.

Sights — I use a Warner #1 rear sight and a “Right Sight” in the front. I currently use the “Houle Tube” sight extension tube (bloop tube) made by Norm Houle. This bloop tube has been a major improvement. It lets me have a short, balanced gun for off-hand and a long gun for sling-supported positions. I must admit that I did not believe these extension devices would repeat zero until I tried one. The Houle Tubes are incredible. These extensions come in 2″, 4″ and 6″ lengths and repeat zero flawlessly every time.

Gunsmithing — Dick Beaudoin from Derry, NH has done most of the customization work on my rifle. I want to give him credit. His patience and attention to detail has made all the difference.

Editor’s Comment: We thank Forum member Rodrigo Rosa for taking the time to share his knowledge with our readers. He is a very talented, yet humble young shooter who works diligently on his game. We have no doubt that one day we will see Rodrigo standing on top of the podium at Camp Perry. Boa sorte Rodrigo, we wish you 10s and Xs and continued success…

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News 11 Comments »
February 13th, 2012

Compact Video Cam Records What You See Through Scope

Idaho-based Hooker Tactical Safety & Defense has introduced an interesting new product that records images and video directly from your scope’s eyepiece, while still allowing the shooter to look through the scope. This system, dubbed the Third-Eye Sharp Shooter Eye-Cam (“Eye-Cam”), fits a small (8 oz.) video camera directly to the eyepiece of a riflescope. The Eye-Cam outputs live video to an iPhone, lap-top computer, or DVR. One can easily imagine the benefits of such a system for tactical and law enforcement marksmen, as well as game hunters. The key elements of a tactical engagement can be recorded, in real time, for later review and analysis. Or a hunter can record the results of his shot at a “once-in-a-lifetime” bull elk.

Hooker Tactical Sharp Shooter Eye-Cam

No Scope Modifications Required
The water-, shock-, and dust-resistant Eye-Cam is easily installed, with no modifications to your scope. Your scope’s zoom, elevation, and windage controls are not altered, and there are no changes to point of aim or point of impact. Unlike most other video adapters for scopes, the compact Eye-Cam does NOT block off the shooter’s view through the eye-piece. You can continue to use the scope normally. Hooker Tactical claims that the Eye-Cam does not distort or change the image viewed through the scope: “The clarity of the image… is as accurate and dependable as if the [Eye-Cam] was not there.”

Comment: Despite Hooker’s claims, we do suspect that the shooter would notice a slight reduction in brightness, and possible softening of focus at the edges — simply as the result of having another piece of glass placed between his eye and the scope’s actual eyepiece.

Hooker Tactical Sharp Shooter Eye-CamSharp Shooter Eye-Cam Costs $2370.00
The Hooker Tactical Eye-Cam retails for $2370.00. It weighs just 8 ounces. Hooker offers a variety of flexible collars that fit over scope eyepieces, allowing the Eye-Cam to be adapted to most popular scopes. Eye-Cams ship with collar of choice, video cables, power cable, 9-volt power supply, and a handy storage pouch. Hooker Tactical stands behind its product with a 2-year unconditional warranty for repair and replacement “with proper usage”. For more info, visit www.HookerTactical.com, or call Hooker Tactical at (208) 527-3395.

Click Here for Sharp Shooter Brochure PDF | Click Here for Sharp Shooter Spec Sheet PDF

Editor’s Comment: This is an intriguing product. While the Eye-Cam’s utility for hunters and law enforcement marksmen is obvious, we think the Eye-Cam could benefit competition shooters as well. The Eye-Cam could be particularly effective in shooter training, allowing a coach to see how well his student actually responds to hold-off calls and wind reads. The recorded video could also allow a shooter to review the effects of mirage as he proceeded through a course of fire. Video would also help a shooter develop techniques to hold the gun more steady and have a better follow-through.

While the Hooker Tactical Eye-Cam is very expensive ($2370.00), we think this is the predecessor of future products that will provide a variety of digital viewing/recording options for rifle shooters. As such products evolve (and become more affordable), we predict digital viewing technology will benefit precision shooters in many ways.

Low-Cost Alternative
MeoPix iPhone Adapter for Spotting Scopes
The Third-Eye Sharp Shooter Eye-Cam costs a whopping $2370.00. For a tiny fraction of that price (about $70), Meopta’s MeoPix digi-scoping adapter lets you record stills and movies directly to an iPhone from a spotting scope.

Though you won’t be able to record what you actually see through your riflescope, the Meopta adapter will perform many of the functions of the Eye-Cam, such as recording the results of hunting shots — so long as you’ve got your spotter aimed at the target. Meopta’s simple but cleverly-designed MeoPix lets you easily record photos and videos from your range and hunting sessions. Anything you can see through the spotting scope can be captured by an iPhone. Hunters can capture images of distant prey, and record successful shots on game.

The MeoPix bracket is a universal-type device that was developed to allow the iPhone 4 or 4s models to interface with ANY binocular or spotting scope eyepiece (fitted cup required). When mated to a long-range optic, the MeoPix transforms a smart phone into a handy, long-range photo and movie capturing tool. The Apple-approved MeoPix adapter attaches securely to the iPhone. Meopta claims the MeoPix bracket ensures precise alignment and excellent image quality.

Eye-Cam Tip by EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 9 Comments »
February 13th, 2012

New Rapid-Access Under-Desk Handgun Safe from GunVault

Here’s smart new product for someone who wants to keep a handgun safely secured, but quickly accessible under a desk at home or at a business. The new SpeedVault (from GunVault) is a drop-down safe that can be mounted under a desk or in various concealed locations. The handgun is cradled in a a holster-like protective foam lined interior. The SpeedVault offers a combination of covert placement and fast, reliable access.

The SpeedVault is constructed of tamper-proof, 18-gauge steel and available in digital lock or biometric finger print scanner. An activation button triggers a spring-loaded door that not only has a high-strength lock mechanism, but also performs reliably, time after time. Foolproof security is ensured with an audio and LED low battery indicator to help guard against direct tampering and unexpected power loss. Mounting hardware is included. The SpeedVault comes in two models, the SV 500 (with standard lock) for $199.99, and the SVB 500 (with fingerprint lock system) for $319.99. Dimensions are the same for both units: Width: 3.5″ W x 6.5″ front to back x 13″ top to bottom.

Fingerprint-Reading Biometrics (SVB Model Only)
The higher-priced SpeedVault Bio handgun safe uses biometrics, specifically fingerprint recognition, to access the safe contents rapidly. A high-performance algorithm is used to achieve speedy identification of enrolled fingerprints and at the same time has a very low False Reject Rate (FRR). The self-learning algorithm adds new details to the fingerprint templates each time a user touches the fingerprint sensor, reducing the chance of FRR. The system can handle up to 120 fingerprint templates.

Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »
February 12th, 2012

Commercial Sign Stands Make Great Target Holders

Need a portable, light-weight target stand? Here’s a clever, minimalist alternative to large wood-framed or PVC pipe target stands. Those will work, but they take up lots of space in ones vehicle and, unless you build a very solid base, they tend to rock back and forth, or even blow over in high winds.

For under $20.00 you can get a metal sign frame that can be staked directly in the ground. These sign frames, commonly used for real estate signs, are secure in high winds, and they are just about ideal if you need a simple target for zeroing during a varmint hunt. With most of these frames you can secure a cardboard target backer with zip ties or threaded fasteners. With some frames you just slide the cardboard backer into slots, so no fasteners are required. The most common “Empire-style” sign frame has a rectangular section at the top with two pointed ends about 10″ apart at the bottom. Put your foot on the crossbar to drive the frame into the ground. An angle-iron, Empire-style frame (no fasteners required) is offered by the fastrealestatesigns.com for $19.99.

target frame

target frameInexpensive Reinforced-Plastic Sign Frames
Shown at right is a plastic sign frame that requires no fasteners. Simply cut your cardboard target backer to 24″ (w) x 18″ (h) and slide it in from the top. Then stick the frame into the ground using the foot-slot near the bottom. These fiberglass-reinforced plastic sign frames are light yet surprisingly strong. They cost just $11.95 from Yardsigns.org. There is also an open top model ($10.95), and a larger, rectangular version ($15.95) with the legs placed 19″ apart.

Staked Frames Not For All Terrain
If you shoot where the ground is very hard or rocky, these stake-in-the-ground frames may not work so well. They need to be seated firmly in the soil. But if you shoot in an area with soft soil or grassy turf, these frames can be a handy solution. Simple, light-weight and easy to set-up, they make a nice “field expedient” target holder.

Permalink New Product 3 Comments »
February 11th, 2012

California Range Day Draws Hundreds of New Shooters

SLOSA Expo 2012Imagine if your shooting club organized a public range day and 1500 people attended (including hundreds of first-time shooters). Now imagine that taking place in “gun-phobic” California. Well, believe it or not, this really happened when the San Luis Obispo Sportsmen’s Association (SLOSA) hosted its first annual SLOSA Expo. The January event drew more than 1,500 attendees who shot nearly 40,000 rounds while trying out a variety of shooting disciplines under the guidance of 150 volunteers. As a model event, the SLOSA Expo demonstrates how successful a well-organized Range Day Promotion can be.

Expo Introduces Hundreds of New Shooters to the Sport
The purpose of the Expo is to raise gun-safety awareness and expose non-shooting members of the public to what the shooting sports have to offer. The Expo fulfilled its charter by drawing in 63% new shooters to the SLOSA range. In fact, one-quarter of Expo participants fired their first shots ever.

SLOSA Expo 2012At the SLOSA Expo, personal instruction, ammunition and loaner guns were provided at no cost to attendees — thanks to a grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Men, women and children of all ages came from as far as 100 miles away to participate in the free fun event. Visitors could try a variety of disciplines including: archery, sporting clays, action pistol, black powder, cowboy action, and much more.

“This one-day event did more to promote the 2nd Amendment and the range itself than 20 years of the range simply being open.” Said Kevin Wooley of Calguns.org. “Kudos to the volunteers.”

“We were elated at the interest and response from the community.” said Art Leach, President of SLOSA. “We expected no more than 500 people to come out for the Expo and were overjoyed to reach over 1,500 guests before 2 o’clock”. One reason for the event’s high attendance is the SLOSA Range’s unique location, just a few hundred yards from scenic California Highway 1.

SLOSA Expo 2012

“This is the first event of this magnitude I’ve heard of ever happening” said Maddy Cooley, Resources Director at SLOSA and author of the Expo grant. “The Expo will forever change the way firearms are viewed by [California] Central Coast residents.”

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink News, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
February 11th, 2012

Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Lady Shooter in Your Life

Valentines DayValentine’s Day is just three days away, so you better start planning how you’ll show some appreciation for the lady in your life. Of course there are the old reliables: flowers, chocolates, and dinner at a fancy restaurant. But if you want to do something really different this year, how about giving your special lady some “pretty in pink” shooting gear. (Don’t forget the flowers though… if you value your life.)

Natchez Shooters Supplies offers a variety of pink products for ladies. How about a set of pink electronic ear muffs from Champion Shooters? A portion of the proceeds from sales of these muffs goes to fighting breast cancer. These muffs only have a 21 NRR (not so great), but they do collapse for easy storage. The Champion Ladies Target Muffs, item CM40975, sell for just $34.95.

Pink Ear Muffs Champion

Natchez also offers pink cases for both pistols and rifles. The Bulldog-brand 52″ Pink Rifle/Shotgun Case will hold most rifles or shotguns without optics. This would be a great gift for a young girl who shoots trap or who uses an iron-sighted rimfire rifle (such as a CMP H&R M12). The case features a water-resistant outer shell with a soft, scratch-resistant, tricot inner lining. The pink long-gun case costs just $14.75 at Natchez, item JZBD254.

Pink bulldog Rifle Case

For the Pistol-Packin’ Mama in the family, the Outdoor Connection makes a hot pink, range case. This tough, leather-bottomed bag features padded central compartments for pistols, with accessory pockets on all four exterior sides. There is plenty of room to stow ammo boxes, muffs, trigger locks, and other shooting gear. The great thing about this bag is that it can do double-duty as a general travel case when it’s not being used to haul pistols to the range. Made from heavy 600-denier nylon, the pink Range Bag is On Sale for $21.95 at Natchez.

Pink bulldog Rifle Case

Last but not least, MizMac.com offers a Pink, Limited Edition 4-Gun Range Cart, that’s perfect for a gal who shots service rifle, High Power, or multi-gun matches. The cart features a steel frame, run-flat tires on chrome spoke rims, and it even has dual rear parking brakes. The Cart can hold four, full-size long guns in a vertical position. It’s also a great cart for shotgunners, as it has a lower storage compartment that will hold 18 boxes of 12ga shells. Just as important as its ammo carrying capacity, the Rugged Gear Cart has a built-in Six-pack Cooler, for those vital liquid refreshments. As sold by MizMac.com, the Rugged Gear Pink Range Cart retails for $389.99.

Pink Pistol Case

Permalink New Product, News 4 Comments »
February 10th, 2012

Evans Sets UK Benchrest Records with Accuracy Int’l Tactical Rifle

Forum member Darrel Evans from the UK pulled off a remarkable feat recently. He set multiple 600-yard UK benchrest records shooting a true, military-type tactical rifle, an Accuracy International AW chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. The gun had a custom 24″ fluted Border barrel, and bag-riding accessories, but other than that, Darrel’s gun was very much “as-issued” by the factory. Darrel pulled off this fine display of precision shooting at the December 27th 600-yard benchrest comp at England’s Diggle Ranges. (The Diggle, as you may know, is notorious for difficult conditions.)

Accuracy International 6.5x47

Report by Darrel Evans
Just thought that you all might like to know how I have been getting on with my Accuracy International AW chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. To make a long story short, I broke three UK records: smallest group of the day — 1.8″ at 600; smallest Agg for the day — 2.8″; and smallest Agg for the Light Gun class — 2.8″. All these records can be viewed on the UKBRA and TargetShooter websites.

Accuracy International 6.5x47

To say that I was ‘over the moon’ would be an understatement. I was happy that all of my hard work had paid off. I was delighted to set records on the rifle’s first outing since [adding bag riders]. The 600-yard benchrest comps over here are run as a winter competition and the winds at the Diggle are not very forgiving. I knew that the group was small as the markers were over lapping each other when the target board came back up. But when they told me that it was 1.823″ I knew that I had got a record, as the last record of 2.225″ was set by myself in 2009 on the first Comp with the 6.5×47 barrel on, this was then broken with a 2.18″ on a calm day later that year. Later I received an email from Vince Bottomley telling me that I also had the best factory Agg record and the Agg record for Light Gun class.

About Darrel’s 6.5×47 Accuracy International
My Accuracy International AW (AI-AW), a military rifle system, started life as a .308 Winchester when I first bought it. But after a lot of reading I decided to buy a 6.5×47 Lapua barrel for it. As you know the AI-AW rifle system is a very good switch-barrel design, so after a phone call to Graeham Clark at Sporting Services I bought a Border Barrels 24″ fluted barrel in 6.5×47 Lapua. My .308 barrel is now in my gun safe. After seeing how the 6.5×47 barrel shoots, I doubt the .308 tube will ever go on again.

The rifle falls in the Factory Class for our 600-yard BR comps. This also qualifies in the Light Gun class. Most folks say that a factory rifle will never beat the custom lads in the Light Gun class…. Well, sometimes it’s nice to see this happen. To help the rifle’s bench manners, I made a plate for the front so that it would sit on my compact front rest with a Farley joystick top. I also made a bar to fit on the bottom of the buttstock for the rear sandbag.

Accuracy International 6.5x47

Load Development and Accuracy Testing
Accuracy International 6.5x47After a lot of testing with different powder and bullet combos, I settled on 38.2 grains of Hodgdon Varget, with 130gr JLK bullets and CCI 450m primers. Velocity is 2914 fps. Seems that this is where it likes to be. In the photo below, you can see the results of a few different powders, but all with the fantastic JLK 130gr bullets. The 38.3 Varget load had all four rounds in nearly one hole and I pulled the fifth, so this was pretty much the load that I went with for my 600-yard Comp. The JLKs are really good, consistent bullets, and I think that the next barrel that I buy will be set up for these bullets and no other — they are that good. I seat the bullets at 2.157″ OAL, just kissing the lands. I could not go any further out as the bearing surface is short.

Accuracy International 6.5x47

Wrapping up his success story, Darrel added: “I hope that this is of some help to people who have a 6.5×47 or are thinking of building one. All the best for 2012.”

Accuracy International 6.5x47

Permalink Competition, News, Reloading 6 Comments »
February 10th, 2012

CSR-1 Rifle Auction — Proceeds Benefit M1 for Vets Program

Creedmoor Sports is currently running an auction of the very first CSR-1 rifle, the personal rifle of Creedmoor’s Gen’l Manager (and former National Champion) Dennis DeMille. NOTE: 50% of the total selling price will be donated to the M1 for Vets program. This CSR-1 rifle (serial number CS-0001) features a Pierce Engineering custom action in a Gary Eliseo Tube-gun chassis. The rifle will be up for auction through February 14, 2012. Current high bid is $3,600.00, as of 2/10/2012, 0900 Pacific Time.

This rifle currently belongs to Dennis DeMille. Dennis’s log book indicates the rifle only has 571 total rounds through it. Dennis reports: “With those few rounds I’ve posted some very good scores: 790-?, 498-23x, 497-?. I used this rifle to test various 6.5 Creedmoor loads from Hornady prior to the initial release of the round.” The rifle is still chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and comes with four (4) mags, single round follower, handstop, and gun log-book.

CSR1 Rifle Auction

This is your opportunity to own the very first CSR-1, and at the same time help support the M1 for Vetsprogram. Bids will be accepted either via email or phone. Log on to CreedmoorSports.com for more info. The highest current bid will be posted periodically during business hours.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 3 Comments »
February 10th, 2012

Leight Quiet Band — Comfortable Alternative to Plugs and Muffs

Effective hearing protection is a must whenever you are shooting firearms or when you are in the vicinity of gun-shots. For ultimate protection, we recommend a good set of tapered foam earplugs, topped by ear-muffs. However, there are situations when you may prefer lighter-weight hearing protection that can be quickly removed. For example, if you are standing well behind the firing line as an observer, or if you are working as a rangemaster or waddie some distance away from the shooters.

In addition to traditional ear plugs and ear-muffs, new band-style protectors provide a third sound-blocking option. Howard Leight, a top name in the sound-protection business, now offers the “Quiet Band”, a device with soft foam plugs attached to a plastic band worn around the neck. This “Quiet Band” product is comfortable, easy to deploy, and surprisingly effective.

Howard Leight Quiet Band qb2

Howard Leight Quiet Band qb2Three Quiet Band Models
There are three (3) types of Leight Quiet Band® sound protectors. We prefer the QB2 Supra-aural model (item QB2HYG, NRR 25). As shown in the photos, the NRR 25-rated QB2 positions cone-shaped foam pads next to the ear openings and holds them there with light pressure from the orange-colored band. There is also an Inner-aural version (item QB1HYG, yellow band, NRR 27), and a Semi-aural model (item QB3HYG, red band, NRR 21). Our preferred QB2 Supra-aural (orange band) model is just as comfortable as the QB3 (red band) version, and offers much better protection. The QB1 Inner-aural (yellow band) model requires that you place the ear buds in the ear canal, so it’s not really any easier to use than conventional earplugs. That’s why we like the QB2 Supra-aural model best of all. Other users agree. Here’s what two QB2 owners had to say:

Hickok45 leight qb2“I first saw these used by Hickok45 on Youtube and he talked positively about them. I got two and gave them a try. At first, I didn’t think they were going to work very well. After some fiddling, I found they work pretty darn good. With my ears, they fit the best if the band starts on top of my head, I insert the plugs then rotate the band behind my head. PRESTO, perfect fit. Shooting the 9mm and 12 gauge out back was comfortable with no ringing afterward. [They are] small and easy to transport — just throw in the range bag. Yet, they are big enough to keep around your neck out of the way[.] I can sit these Howard Leights down on the shooting bench without worrying about them getting dirty since the band is curved, placing the plugs in the air. I highly recommend them to anybody needing banded hearing protection.” — Tom W.

“Great for woodworkers — These are lightweight AND very effective at reducing noise. When not in use the band hangs loosely around your neck, out of your way completely. Very cost effective for a great product!” — Sheri D.

Quiet Band® sound protectors can be purchased from many online vendors for under $5.00 per set, which includes a spare pair of ear buds. Amazon.com has the Leight QB2 (by Sperian) for just $2.50 per set, while Enviro Safety Products currently sells the QB2 for $3.87 per set. Replacement ear buds are available and sold by the pair. Ten-unit Bulk packs are also available for $35.00 with free shipping.

Permalink New Product, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
February 9th, 2012

New Long-Range Shooting DVD Featuring Darrell Holland

Holland AGI long range DVDThe American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) has released a new Precision Long Range Shooting DVD. For what it’s worth, AGI guarantees this DVD can increase the hunter or tactical shooter’s accuracy by 37%. We’re skeptical of course, but that’s AGI’s claim. The DVD features gunsmith and long-range shooting expert Darrell Holland who narrates a multi-step course of instruction.

The DVD starts off with hardware — rifle, cartridges, and bullets. Next, ranging and equipment calibration are covered, followed by a discussion of optics and range finders. Shooting techniques are covered from the point of view of both the hunter and tactical shooter. Holland gives tips for bench and field shooting positions. Darrell also demonstrates field-expedient shooting techniques and accessories for optimum accuracy.

The DVD includes filmed demonstrations of precision shooting out to 600 yards. Developed exclusively for AGI customers, this DVD includes a set of tables for calculating aiming points for long-range shots. The AGI Secrets of Precision Long Range Shooting DVD is available at www.americangunsmith.com for $39.95 (Product ID# 322DVD).

Editor: This video is brand new, so we haven’t had a chance to preview it yet. Honestly, we don’t know whether it is worth the money. You probably can learn more in our own Shooters’ Forum for FREE. But there are few video/DVD resources for precision long-range shooting, so we thought this release was worth mentioning. Darrell Holland, the DVD’s featured expert, is a talented gunsmith, who runs highly regarded shooting clinics for long-range hunters. Darrell’s advice is probably going to be sensible and useful. Whether his coaching can actually increase a shooter’s accuracy 37% is for viewers to decide for themselves.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
February 9th, 2012

Fire-Forming Dasher Brass with Pistol Powder

Forum member Skeeter has a 6mm Dasher falling block varmint rifle. The Dasher case is based on the 6mm BR Norma cartridge with the shoulder blown forward about 0.100″ and out to 40°. This gives the Dasher roughly 3.5 grains added capacity compared to the standard 6BR.

Last year, Skeeter needed to form 300 cases for varmint holiday. Skeeter decided to fire-form his brass without bullets. This method avoids barrel wear* and saves on components. There are various ways to do this, but Skeeter chose a method using pistol/shotgun powder, some tissue to hold the powder in place, Cream of Wheat filled to within an 1/8″ of top of the neck, and a “plug” of tissue paper to hold it all in place. Shown below are cases filled with a pistol/shotgun powder charge topped with Cream of Wheat and then a tissue paper plug.

To ensure the case headspaced firmly in his Dasher chamber, Skeeter created a “false shoulder” where the new neck-shoulder junction would be after fire-forming. After chamfering his case mouths, Skeeter necked up all his cases with a 0.257″ mandrel (one caliber oversized). Then he used a bushing neck-sizing die to bring the top half of the neck back down to 0.267″ to fit his 0.269″ chamber. The photo below shows how the false shoulder is created.

After creating the false shoulder, Skeeter chambered the cases in his rifle to ensure he could close the bolt and that he had a good “crush fit” on the false shoulder, ensuring proper headspace. All went well.

The next step was determining the optimal load of pistol powder. Among a variety of powders available, Skeeter chose Hodgdon Titewad as it is relatively inexpensive and burns clean. The goal was to find just the right amount of Titewad that would blow the shoulder forward sufficiently. Skeeter wanted to minimize the amount of powder used and work at a pressure that was safe for his falling block action.

Working incrementally, Skeeter started at 5.0 grains of Titewad, working up in 0.5 grain increments. As you can see, the 5.0 grain charge blew the shoulder forward, but left it a hemispherical shape. At about 7.0 grains of Titewad, the edge of the shoulder and case body was shaping up. Skeeter decided that 8.5 grains of Titewad was the “sweet spot”. He tried higher charges, but the shoulder didn’t really form up any better. It will take another firing or two, with a normal match load of rifle powder and a bullet seated, to really sharpen up the shoulders. Be sure to click on the “View Larger Image” link to get a good view of the cases.


The process proved to be a success. Skeeter now has hundreds of fire-formed Dasher cases and he hasn’t had to put one bullet through his nice, new match-grade barrel. The “bulletless” Cream of Wheat method allowed him to fire-form in a tight-necked barrel without neck-turning the brass first. The only step now remaining is to turn the newly Dasher-length necks down about .0025″ to fit his 0.269″ chamber. (To have no-turn necks he would need an 0.271″ or 0.272″ chamber).

Skeeter didn’t lose a single case: “As for the fire-forming loads, I had zero split cases and no signs of pressure in 325 cases fire-formed. Nor did I have any misfires or any that disbursed COW into the action of the firearm. So the COW method really worked out great for me and saved me a lot of money in powder and bullets.” To learn more about Skeeter’s fire-forming process, read this Dasher Fire-Forming Forum Thread.

*Skeeter did have a fire-forming barrel, but it was reamed with a .269 chamber like his 10-twist Krieger “good” barrel. If he fire-formed with bullets, he would have to turn all 300 necks to .267″ BEFORE fire-forming so that loaded rounds would fit in the chamber. Judging just how far to turn is problematic. There’s no need to turn the lower part of the neck that will eventually become shoulder–but how far down the neck to turn is the issue. By fire-forming without bullets now he only has to turn about half the original neck length, and he knows exactly how far to go.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 12 Comments »
February 8th, 2012

The $49.99 DIY Range Cart — Courtesy Harbor Freight

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart CRC-1Some High Power shooters on the Forum asked about carts for carrying their gear to the range. You can certainly purchase a factory-made, purpose-built cart that folds up and has all the bells and whistles. The Creedmoor Sports CRC-1 (photo right) is a proven, quality product that works great. You’ll find these used by top shooters at Camp Perry. But the Creedmoor CRC-1 cart costs $499.95.

For a tenth that price ($49.99), plus a few dollars more for do-it-yourself enhancements, you can have a heavy-duty cart that will haul all your gear just fine, though it doesn’t fold up.

Check out the Harbor Freight Welding Cart, item #65939. This cart is ON SALE right now for just $49.99. Overall size is 29-1/2″ L x 20″ W x 49″ H, and width between side rails is 18″. The wheels (with tires) are 20 3/4″ in diameter for smooth rolling. Consider that, if you made your own cart from scratch you could easily pay $30.00 or more just for the large-diameter wheels and axle. Do note — this cart has air-filled tires. Be sure to inflate before you go to the Range!

As sold, the Harbor Freight Welding Cart isn’t quite ready for range use. But it’s easy to add plastic side-panels on the bottom unit, and fit a barrel-holding system on the cross-tube. I also suggest bolting/welding on extra spacers on the most forward underside edge of the bottom so that, at rest, the cart tilts slightly back. This ensures rifles and gear won’t flop forward. (A bit of extra lift also keeps the bottom plate out of the dirt and gravel.)

How to Upgrade Welding Cart for Range Use
Get a block of hard foam rubber. Cut keyhole slots in the rubber to grip the barrel and umbrella/scope stands. Mount the rubber block to the cross piece with self-tapping screws, or drill a horizontal channel in the rubber so the whole block fits over the cross-tube. On the lowest leading edge of the welding cart box (at ground level, front), fit a block of wood 2″ high (you can also fabricate metal extensions). This will make the cart lean back a little more, which helps stabilize the contents on sloping terrain.

You’ll want to enclose the sides of the bottom box area so small items don’t fall out. You can tack-weld aluminum side-plates if you want a fancy appearance. I prefer to just cut sheet plastic from a home improvement store. These plastic panels can be attached with screws or even zip-ties around tubing.

Run the plastic side panels up high enough that stuff like hats and muffs don’t fall out. After transport you can transfer ammo boxes and small items to the upper box (attached to the back side of the cross-tube).

The hardest component to find may be the hard rubber blocks for the barrel keeper, but you can also make a barrel-holding block out of wood, with some carpet to protect the barrels. The nice thing about the rubber is that it can be cut to snap over the barrels so you don’t need straps. Likewise, you can drill a hole transversely through the rubber, then slot it from the bottom and it will slide over the horizontal tubing with no fasteners needed.

Comment: This cart is heavy and it takes up a lot of space. You’ll need a station wagon, SUV or pickup truck to haul it around. But it’s cheap. The money you save on a range cart could pay for a new Krieger or Bartlein barrel, AND some new brass. Those things (new barrel and brass) will likely improve your scores more than having a fancy $500.00 range cart.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals, New Product 18 Comments »
February 8th, 2012

Hornady 6.5 Grendel Brass — Whitley Reports

Robert Whitley of AR-X Enterprises, LLC builds match-grade uppers for AR-platform rifles. Many of Robert’s favorite chamberings are based on the 6.5 Grendel case necked-down to 6mm. Until 2011, Lapua was the only source for 6.5 Grendel brass. As you’d expect, Lapua’s Grendel brass is truly excellent, but it is also pricey, and sometimes hard to find. Now Hornady is producing USA-made 6.5 Grendel brass. Robert Whitley has worked with the Hornady 6.5 Grendel brass for over a year now and he is able to assess its performance compared to the original Lapua version. Writing in our Shooters’ Forum, Robert reveals: “It’s decent brass but hot loads will loosen the primer pockets fast. With moderate loads you will get good case life and service from the brass and it can deliver excellent accuracy as well. Not Lapua but not bad either.”

Robert reports: “I was able to get my hands on some of Hornady’s 6.5 Grendel brass. My big question was how it would measure up, particularly the loaded necks, and whether it would be compatible with our existing 6mmAR and Turbo 40 die sets. As it turns out, this brass looks like a perfect fit for our existing die sets (and obviously 6.5 Grendel die sets too). Accordingly, folks with existing die sets will be able to use the Hornady brass without any issues.” However, as the loaded neck on the Hornady brass is .001″ (one-thousandth) slimmer than Lapua brass, you may want to try a smaller bushing when sizing Hornady Grendel brass.

Hornady 6.5 Grendel brass

The Hornady 6.5 Grendel brass has a LARGE Flash Hole, about .078″ versus .0591″ for Lapua brass. Dimensionally, the biggest difference is the shoulder diameter, with the Hornady brass measuring 0.428″ vs. 0.424″ for the Lapua brass. The Hornady is actually a better fit for 6mmAR chambers which are about 0.432″ at the shoulder. Interestingly, case H20 capacity is virtually identical. Water capacity of new, unfired Hornady 6.5 Grendel brass is 35.1 grains, while new, unfired Lapua Grendel brass holds 35.0 grains of H20. Both brands of Grendel brass increase to about 36.0 grains H20 capacity after firing and full-length sizing.

Here are some of the particulars of the Hornady cases:

Hornady 6.5 Grendel Brass Lapua 6.5 Grendel Brass
Flash hole diameter: ~ .078″
OAL of brass: Average 1.515″
Weight of cases: 111.7 to 113.0 grains
Web diameter, unfired: 0.4375″
Shoulder diameter, unfired: 0.428″
Loaded neck diameter: 0.2895″
6mmAR loaded neck: 0.270″
Flash hole diameter: 1.5mm (0.0591″)
OAL of brass: Average 1.515″
Weight of cases: 111.0 to 112.5 grains
Web diameter, unfired: 0.4385″
Shoulder diameter, unfired: 0.424″
Loaded neck diameter: 0.290″
6mmAR loaded neck: 0.271″
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 12 Comments »
February 7th, 2012

Read About F-Class and Field Target Comps in Shooting Sports USA

ssusa F-Class ChampionshipPast F-Open Class National Champion (and Forum Member) Larry Bartholome, has authored an authoritative article on the 2011 F-Class National Championship held last fall in Lodi, Wisconsin. Larry writes: “With a wind tunnel for a range, and rain that canceled the final team match, only the strongest stood on the winners’ podium when the Championships ended”. Larry provides a day-by-day guide to the match, with complete results for both F-Open and F-TR classes. You’ll find Larry’s article in the February 2012 edition of Shooting Sports USA.

You can read, for FREE, the digital version of Shooting Sports USA. CLICK HERE to read Larry’s article (pp. 20-22). Along with the report on the F-Class Nationals, there are many other items of interest in the February edition of Shooting Sports USA. You’ll find a 14-page 2012 Event Calendar that covers NRA competitions all across the country.

ssusa F-Class Championship

Field Target Air RifleIn addition, this month’s edition features a well-written, 4-page Guide to Field Target Competition by Jock Elliot. Field Target is a form of outdoor silhouette shooting using high-tech PCP Air Rifles with high-magnification scope. Check out the special Marauder Hybrid bullpup used by Team Crosman member Ray Apelles in the photo below. These high-end rigs are not cheap. A “full-race” Open Class Field Target rifle can cost up to $3000.00 with another $1000.00-$3000.00 for optics.

field Target air rifle

Permalink - Articles, Competition, News No Comments »