March 10th, 2012

300 New Shooters Attend ‘First Shots’ Programs in CA and FL

Intro Training Programs in CA and FL
More than 300 first-time shooters came out to six ranges in California and Florida this past weekend to attend NSSF’s First Shots events. The 20 filled-to-capacity seminars in these two areas served as yet another demonstration of the growing interest in gun ownership across America. “[We give] a sincere thank you to the ranges, their staff, volunteers and participants for making these events a huge success,” said Tisma Juett, NSSF’s First Shots manager. “First Shots also thanks Remington for providing all of the .22 ammo and Birchwood-Casey for the Shoot N See targets.”

Florida ranges offering First Shots Programs included: Hollywood Rifle & Pistol Club (Dania Beach), Arizona Shooting Range (Fort Lauderdale), and National Armory (Pompona Beach). California ranges that held events were Sacramento Valley Shooting Center (Sloughhouse), El Dorado Shooting Range (El Dorado), and United Revolver Club (Sacramento). Learn more about First Shots at NSSF.org/firstshots.

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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March 10th, 2012

Shot Order and Calibration When Using Electronic Scales

Here’s a tip that can help you score higher at matches and get more predictable results when weighing loads with an electronic scale. Kelly Bachand, a top prone shooter and electrical engineering major at the Univ. of Washington, tells us that all digital scales can drift. Therefore Kelly recommends re-calibrating electronic scales often. In addition — and this is key — Kelly recommends that you shoot the ammo in the exact order in which it was loaded. Arrange your loaded ammo in a box in the order of loading and shoot it first-loaded to last-loaded. (Or, if you prefer, shoot it last-loaded to first-loaded.) The important thing is to maintain the order and not mix everything up. That way, if your scale drifts, the effect of drift on charge weight will be incremental from one loaded round to the next, so point of impact change should be negligible. Conversely, if you shoot your last-loaded round right after your first-loaded round, the effect of scale drift is at its maximum, so powder charge varience is maximized. And that can produce a different point of impact (POI) on the target.

Tips on Loading with Electronic Scales
by Kelly Bachand
If you use a digital scale to measure powder charges, recalibrate the scale often. I like to do this about every 25 rounds or so. Additionally, most electronic scales rely on eddy currents for their precision. Eddy currents are easily disrupted by static electricity so keep a cloth or ground strap nearby to remove any static currents should the scale start acting up; I usually just use a fabric softener sheet that has gone through the dryer once.

Shoot Ammo in Order of Loading
I shoot my rounds in the same order or reverse order as I load them. If the charge weight varies due to scale drift during use, the difference will be gradual if I shoot in the same order as production (or reverse order). I should be able to adjust for the slight varience in charge weight without having any wildly high or low shots (see the charts below for a graphical demonstration). I usually load my ammunition just 100 rounds at a time. Give yourself plenty of time and remember that you will make your best ammunition when you are fully awake and alert.

Electronic powder scale chart

This graph demonstrates the effect a .01% (that’s 1/100th of 1 percent) difference in scale measurement would have over the course of 100 rounds assuming the desired load is somewhere between 46 and 47 grains. The final round made would have almost 1% less (or more) powder than the first, that’s almost an 0.5 grain difference from the first. If shot back to back, these rounds will invariably have different points of impact on the target.

Electronic powder scale chart

This graph demonstrates the same .01% difference in scale measurement but this time with a recalibration every 25 rounds. By recalibrating the scale every 25 rounds the furthest a weighed charge ever gets from the original is less than 0.25%. Again if the charge being weighed is between 46 and 47 grains then the 26th round made would vary from the 1st by .12 grains. Even that small difference would likely show on target.

Either way it is important to note that if the bullets are shot in the same (or reverse) order as they are made, the biggest difference from bullet to bullet in this example is less than .01 grains.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 18 Comments »
March 9th, 2012

FREE March Issue of Target Shooter Magazine — Online Now

The March 2012 edition of Target Shooter Magazine is now available for online viewing. This issue is full of informative articles, with excellent photography. If you prefer the convenience of print magazines, you’ll like Target Shooter’s “eZine” format. Target Shooter displays like a print magazine — so you can enjoy large, wide-format photos, and you can flip pages just like a regular magazine. There is also a handy index (just like a print mag) so you can quickly access all the articles of interest.

Target Shooter Magazine UK

This month, you’ll find many stories worth reading. Starting off, Laurie Holland hot-rods a Rem 700 SPS tactical rifle. After fitting the rifle with a new 26″ 1:7.9″-twist barrel and Manners Composite stock, Laurie shows that impressive accuracy can be achieved from the upgraded Remington SPS (chambered in .223 Rem). Laurie also continues his on-going series about reloading for the .308 Win. This month he tests Lapua small-flashhole brass with a variety of powders. Other highlights include a comparison test of air-splitters and tuners for airgun benchrest, and a guide to competition optics. Readers can download previous monthly editions plus a Shot Show supplement from the Target Shooter Magazine homepage, found at TargetShooter.co.uk.

Target Shooter Magazine UK

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March 9th, 2012

Diamond Labels Will Replace ORM-D Labels on Ammo Shipments

The days of the “ORM-D: Small Arms Cartridges” labels for ammo shipments are numbered. The Dept. of Transportation (DOT) is phasing out the current ORM-D ammo labels, replacing them with a larger striped diamond label that does not mention “Small Arms Cartridges”. This change is designed to harmonize U.S. shipping rules with United Nations standards. You can start using the new “Limited Quantity” diamond labels for ammo shipments immediately, but they are not mandatory — yet. You can continue to use the old ORM-D “Cartridges, Small Arms” labels until December 31, 2013. As of January 1, 2014 you MUST use the Striped Diamonds.

OFFICIAL UPS RULES — Elimination of ORM-D Classification
In an attempt to harmonize and align with international standards, the DOT has amended the 49CFR regulations regarding the ORM-D classification. Effective January 19, 2011, with the publication of the HM-215K final rule, the hazard class of ORM-D is being eliminated. Those materials may still be shipped classified as a limited quantity (“Ltd Qty”). In conjunction with ORM-D hazard class elimination in HM-215K, limited quantity ground shipments will no longer require shipping papers when prepared under the new rule. This includes those materials previously classed as Ltd Qty that required shipping papers via ground transport.

Ground Ltd Qty Marking
Air Ltd Qty Marking
NOTE: These illustrations are not true to scale. The actual default Ltd Qty Diamond label to be used for ammo shipments is much larger, about 5″ per side. A smaller 2″ per side version of the Ltd Qty striped diamond can be used on smaller packages.

There is a transition period for shippers to comply with the new classification, marking and labeling requirements. Until December 31, 2013 a limited quantity package containing a consumer commodity as defined in 171.8 may be reclassed as ORM-D, or until December 31, 2012 for ORM-D-Air material. UPS began accepting materials with the new markings effective April 1, 2011. Note: To be in compliance with TDG, Standard (ground) Ltd Qty shipments to Canada prepared under HM-215K require the verbiage ‘Limited quantity’ or ‘Ltd qty’ to also be marked on the carton.

Download OLD and NEW Label Formats
On the Parallax Curio and Relic Forum, a thread includes PDF samples of both the new Diamond Ltd Qty Labels and the current ORM-D Labels. The thread explains: “The good news is the new label doesn’t have any indicator that the package contains ammunition. The bad news is the new label is gigantic compared to the old ORM-D label. You are required to use one of the larger labels on one side of any package containing ammunition. If the package is too small for one of the larger labels then you are permitted to use one of the smaller labels instead. Because of the size requirement in the regulations, you only get two of each label on standard piece of printer paper.”

CLICK HERE for PDF Template with Large and Small Striped Diamond Ground Shipping Labels

If you want to still use the ORM-D Small Arm Cartridges Labels until the new Diamond Labels are mandatory, here are links to PDF sheets of ORM-D labels. These PDFs have many rows of labels per page so you can save printer paper. The black version and blue version will use up more printer ink, so you might want to use the white version to be more economical.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
March 8th, 2012

Brass Restoration Service Extends Life of Cartridge Brass

Bench Source Annealing machineWith the price of premium brass topping $90/100 for many popular cartridges, it makes sense to consider annealing your brass to extend its useful life. Forum member Darrell Jones offers a full range of brass prep, brass forming, and brass restoration (annealing, ultra-sonic cleaning) at very affordable prices. Starting at just $15 per 100 cases, Darrell’s company, DJ’s Brass, will anneal your used brass using state-of-the-art Bench-Source annealing machines. He can also ultrasonically clean cases for $15 per 100 ($20 per 100 for magnum cases larger than 0.473″ rim).

Custom Neck-Turning Services
Another great service DJ’s Brass provides is precision neck-turning. He can neck-turn any size case to your specified neck-wall thickness. The price is $0.30 per case (normal size) or $0.40 (magnum size) with a $20.00 minimum order. And if you’ve got a bucket of brass to neck-turn, that’s fine with Darrell — he recently neck-turned 1500 pieces of brass for one customer!

DJ's Brass Restoration Service

DJ’s Brass can process everything from .17 Fireball all the way up to the big magnum cases. And the job gets done quickly. Darrell has a 10-day turn-around guarantee. For most jobs, Darrell tells us, he gets the processed brass to the Post Office within three business days. DJ’s Brass charges only actual shipping fees, using USPS flat-rate boxes.

DJ's Brass Restoration Service

• Ultrasonic Cleaning + Annealing ($25.00/100 normal or $30/100 magnum)
• Ultrasonic Cleaning and Polishing ($15.00/100 normal or $20/100 magnum)
• Anneal Case Necks (after checking for splits) ($15.00/100 normal or $20/100 magnum)
• COAL Trim and Chamfer Case Mouths ($0.20 per case, $20.00 minimum order)
• Uniform and Square Primer Pockets ($0.15 per case, $20.00 minimum order)
• Expand Case Necks and Anneal brass (Call for Price)
• Create False Shoulder for Fire-Forming (Call for Price)

Muzzle Brake Tax Break Special: FREE cleaning of up to two (2) Stainless Muzzle Brakes with a minimum $50.00 order. Special good through April 17, 2012 (Tax Return Deadline for 2012).

DJ’s Brass Offers Specialized Custom Services
Darrell tells us: “At DJ’s Brass, we can handle all your brass refurbishing needs. From ultrasonic cleaning to custom annealing for specific wildcat cartridges. We can expand your necks from .22 caliber to .30 caliber and anneal shoulders for consistent bump-back. We can turn your case-necks and trim the brass to your specs. For some cartridge types, I can pre-form cases to assist in fire-forming a wildcat cartridge. We also remove the carbon build-up in muzzle brakes. Don’t lose your accuracy by having carbon build up and close off the clearance required for the most accurate bullet release through a muzzle brake.” Note: Extra charges apply for neck-turning and neck expansion operations, or specialized cartridge-forming operations. Please call 205-461-4680 for special services pricing.

DJ's Brass Restoration Service

Muzzle Brake – Tax Break Special for AccurateShooter.com Readers
Now through April 17, 2012 (Tax Due Date), Darrell is offering a Muzzle Brake – Tax Break Special for our readers. For all case prep/restoration orders of $50.00 or more, Darrell will ultrasonically clean one or two stainless muzzle brakes for no extra charge (offer does not apply to blued or coated muzzle brakes). For more info, visit DJsBrass.com or call Darrell Jones at 205-461-4680. IMPORTANT: Contact Darrell for shipping instructions BEFORE sending any brass for processing. ALL BRASS MUST BE DE-PRIMED before you send it.

Darrell has cleaned and annealed cases for shooters from across the country. Here are recent testimonials (this Editor reviewed all the original emails so I can confirm these are real):

“Your services were good with a quick turn-around time. Quality of the case annealing looked great[.]” — Tom, in Alaska

“The [300 Win Ackley] batch you did for me came back looking great.” — Chuck, in Arizona

“Since I started using Lapua brass, I’ve gotten gotten enough reloads out of them to notice that the necks were no longer sealing as well as I’d like. A friend suggested annealing them. I remembered seeing DJ’s ad on AccurateShooter.com and thought I’d give him a try. Not only did my [.308 brass] come back sorted exactly as I had sent them out, all had been so thoroughly cleaned that I realized I had been leaving lube on them after forming. DJ had taken the time to enclose a note cautioning me to brush the inside case necks and do a full-length resize for the first loading. And all 200 cases were back in my hands in DAYS, not weeks! Great service, great price, great follow up.” — Jim, in Alabama

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
March 8th, 2012

NCAA Rifle Championships March 9-10 at Ohio State

Dardas Andrea Jacksonville State NCAA rifle team

NCAA Rifle ChampionshipsThe nation’s top collegiate men and women shooters have converged on Ohio State University to compete in the 2012 NCAA Rifle Championships. The Championships run March 9-10 (Friday and Saturday) at the Converse Hall and French Field House in Columbus, Ohio. The undefeated Horned Frogs from Texas Christian University (TCU) look to upset the reigning champion Wildcats from the University of Kentucky (UK). You can follow the NCAA Rifle Championships on the NCAA.com website (rifle page). Event coverage will include live streaming video of some relays. The 8-minute video below includes profiles of top male and female shooters.

NCAA Rifle Championships

The following eight teams qualified (based on regular season aggregate scores) to compete in both air rifle and smallbore events: University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF), West Point Army, Jacksonville State, University of Kentucky, West Virginia University, University of Nevada, University of Texas El Paso (UTEP), and TCU. On Friday, March 9, the three-position smallbore shooters (both team and individual competition) will shoot 60 shots. The next day, air rifle competitors will take the line for 60 shots as well. According to NCAA rules: “the overall team champion will be determined by combining smallbore and air rifle team scores into one aggregate score for each institution.” The NCAA Rifle program has been in existence since 1980 and currently has 29 schools participating.

Individual and team competitions in smallbore three-position (60 shots) will be held Friday, March 9. Individual and team competitions in air rifle (60 shots) will be held Saturday, March 10. The overall team champion will be determined by combining the smallbore and air rifle team total scores into one aggregate score for each institution.

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March 8th, 2012

NSSF Launches New Voter Education Website for Gun Owners

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has launched GunVote, a voter education website at NSSF.org/gunvote. The new GunVote website provides links to voter registration information for all 50 states, a guide to political races in voter districts, the latest polls, and a selection of news articles covering the campaigns. GunVote also spotlights Candidates’ positions on Gun Rights and the Second Amendment.

“It’s great to see that so many individuals have become firearm owners, but these freedoms require constant support from elected officials at the state and federal levels,” said NSSF President/CEO Steve Sanetti. “Votes on legislation and appointments to the courts have profound effects on our firearms freedoms.” Sanetti noted that two landmark Supreme Court decisions reaffirming the individual right to own firearms — D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago — were both decided by 5-to-4 votes.

nssf gunvote website

COMMENTARY — Why You Should Participate in Upcoming Elections
The votes of target shooters, hunters and gun owners can make a huge impact in the 2012 election. Participating in the upcoming election begins by making sure to register, then becoming educated about the candidates running for office and discussing choices with family and friends so that they understand the importance of voting. The final step is going to the polls and (when necessary) helping others to get to the polls, too.

More Gun-Owners Need to Register and Vote
In the 2010 Congressional election, only 46.2 percent of women and 45 percent of men 18 and over reported voting, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Gun owners tend to be more active at the polls than this average, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Sanetti adds: “More gun owners need to vote. It’s critical that they do, and that they consider closely what candidates are saying… about our firearms freedoms.”

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March 7th, 2012

AccurateShooter Forum Gets New, More Powerful Server

We’ve upgraded the AccurateShooter.com Forum, giving it a bigger, faster server. The new dedicated Forum server has a faster processor, more storage space, and more memory — all of which improves the user experience.

The switch-over was accomplished yesterday at 1630 hours (Pacific Time). All existing threads and posts have been preserved. Post counts and buy/sell feedback have also been retained. By all indications, everything is going well so far. Forum users report that pages load faster and searches take less time: “Things move along very fast now!” (Frank G. aka 40X Guy).

Join a Community of Nearly 17,000 Serious Shooters
If you haven’t visited our Shooters’ Forum yet, log on to Forum.AccurateShooter.com and check out one of the best Message Boards for precision shooters on the web. We now have nearly 17,000 Forum members including many National and International Champions. For example, this morning 2011 NRA National High Power Champion Carl Bernosky was logged in. And UK and World F-Class Champion Gary Costello (aka “GLC”) regularly visits our Forum. If you want advice from guys who really know their stuff — it doesn’t get better than that.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
March 7th, 2012

SSG Ty Cooper of USAMU Wins MMA Shooter of Year Award

SSG (Staff Sgt.) Ty Cooper, a service rifle shooter/instructor with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, was selected as the Military Marksmanship Association (MMA) Soldier of the Year (SOY) for 2011. MMA president Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert Harbison made the announcement at the MMA Annual Membership Meeting. Harbison presented the Soldier of the Year Award to Cooper — a .45acp pistol donated by Smith & Wesson. Other MMA 2011 SOY nominees were: PFC Matthew Sweeney from the Action Shooting team; SGT Lawrence Cleveland from the Service Pistol team; SFC Thomas Rose, International Pistol; Shotgun team member SSG Josh Richmond; SFC Eric Uptagrafft from the International Rifle team; and SPC Billy Hankins from the Custom Firearms Shop.

Cooper Wins Big Matches After Deployment to Afghanistan
Ty Cooper had a remarkable year on and off the range. Cooper claimed his first Interservice individual championship at Quantico in July. He also won the long-range individual championship and was a member of the overall team champions, making it a clean sweep. A few weeks later, Cooper won the National Service Rifle Championship at Camp Perry, Ohio. All of this success was accomplished despite a deployment to Afghanistan that stretched into the spring.


SSG Cooper (center) with Lt.Col. R. Harbison (Ret.) (left) and Lt.Col. D. Hodne USAMU Commander (right).

“Looking back over the whole year I really am proud of being able to maintain the level of consistency it took to stay right there at the top,” said Cooper. “I think the thing I am most proud of was winning the two biggest matches that we have in our season in the same year. My goals kind of progressed as the summer went. I had never won an Interservice Championship and that was top of the list. I [also]had a burning desire to prove myself at the NRA Nationals and I won the Service Rifle National Championship.” When not shooting in competition, Coopper serves as a lead instructor for the service rifle team.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
March 6th, 2012

Optimizing Neck Tension with Bushing and Non-Bushing Dies

Redding Titanium TiNi BushingsWe are often asked: “What size neck bushing is best for Lapua 6mmBR brass in a ‘no-turn’ chamber?” The questioner planned to purchase a Redding Type ‘S’ full-length sizing die with neck bushings. The quick answer is that one should probably get both 0.265 and 0.266 bushings and see what works best. With the current “blue box” Lapua brass, a loaded 6BR round with an unturned neck will typically run about 0.268″ (depending on the bullet). A 0.266″ neck bushing, after springback, will give about 0.0015″ tension which can work well in a bolt gun. In a gas gun, we recommend running .003″ (or more) neck tension.

Alternative to Bushings — Honed Full-Length dies
Conventional, non-bushing full-length sizing dies can create ultra-accurate ammo with very low run-out. For some applications, we prefer a non-bushing FL die over a bushing die — so long as the neck tension is correct. But many FL dies have an undersized neck diameter so you end up with excess neck tension, and you work the brass excessively. Forster offers a simple, inexpensive solution — honing the neck diameter to whatever size you want.

If you purchase a Forster non-bushing, full-length sizing die, Forster will hone the neck dimension to your specs for about $10.00 extra. This way you can have a FL die that provides the right amount of tension for your particular load. Forster dies are relatively inexpensive so you can afford to have a couple of FL dies with necks honed to different diameters — such as 0.265″ and 0.266″ for a no-turn 6mmBR. The die itself is very affordable — currently Sinclair Int’l charges $33.95 for a Forster 6mmBR full-length sizing die (item FP6BRFL).


Forster FL dies, necks honed to .265″, .266″, and .267″.

Steve Rasmussen of IowaHighPower.com gave this a try. In fact, he had three dies made — each with a different neck dimension. Here’s his report: “My original Forster 6BR FL die sized the necks down a lot, less than 0.260″, .256″ if I recall correctly. I sent my die in and asked if they could supply two more FL dies (for three total) to have the necks honed to 0.265″, 0.266″, and 0.267″. The cost was $10 for my supplied die and $38.50 plus $10.00 honing fee for each additional die. Return shipping was $11.00 via USPS Priority Mail.”

The table below shows the neck diameter range of ten (10) sized cases using each die. Brass springback after sizing runs 1 to 1.3 thousandths. Steve was using the older, “brown box” Lapua brass with thicker necks so he needed the .267″ bushing. The older Lapua 6mmBR brass measures about 0.2695″ with bullet in place. Steve explained: “My loaded rounds are running 0.2697-0.2699 using [brown box] Lapua 6BR brass. So far the dies are working well. I sized 80 cases with the 0.266″ necked die. The shoulder is running 0.4582″ and 0.300″ up from the base is 0.4684″. I spun 20 of ‘em and 16 had a runout of one thousandth (0.001) and the other 4 at 1.5 thousandths (0.0015).” That shows that these honed Forster FL dies produce exceptionally straight sized cases.

Die Diameter Sized Brass Springback Neck Tension
0.267 Die 0.2683-0.2684 0.0013 0.0014
0.266 Die 0.2672-0.2674 0.0013 0.0025
0.265 Die 0.2659-0.2660 0.0010 0.0039
Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
March 5th, 2012

Primers and Pressure Analysis by James Calhoon

by James Calhoon
(First Printed in Varmint Hunter Magazine, October, 1995)

Primers and Pressures

In the course of talking to many shooters, it has become clear to me that the manufacturers of primers have done a less than adequate job of educating reloaders on the application of their primers. Everybody seems to realize that some primers are “hotter” than others and some seem to shoot better for them than others, but few reloaders know that primers have different pressure tolerances.

Primer Pressure signs

Primer Pressure Tolerance
When loading a .223 to the maximum, I was getting primer piercing before I reached case overloading. I don’t know what prompted me to try CCI 450s instead of the 400s which I had been using, but I did. Presto! No more piercing! Interesting!? A primer that has a hotter ignition and yet withstands more pressure! Thats when I decided that it was time to do a dissection of all primers concerned. The chart below shows my results.

Primers and Pressures

By studying the numbers (Cup “A” thickness), one can see which primers in the small rifle sections should be more resistant to primer cratering and/or piercing. Primer cup diameters are all similar and appear to follow a specification, but check out the cup thickness in the small rifle primers (Dimension “A”). Some cups are quite a bit thicker than others: .025″ for CCI 450 vs. .0019″ for Fed 200. Large rifle primers all appear to have the same cup thickness, no matter what the type. (As a note of interest, small pistol primers are .017″ thick and large pistol primers are .020″ thick.)

If you are shooting a 22 Cooper, Hornet, or a Bee, the .020″ cup will perform admirably. But try using the .020″ cup in a 17 Remington and you will pierce primers, even with moderate loads.

Considering that cup thickness varies in the small rifle primers, it is obvious that primer “flatness” cannot solely be used as a pressure indicator.

Another factor which determines the strength of a primer cup is the work-hardened state of the metal used to make the primer cup. Most primers are made with cartridge brass (70% copper, 30% zinc), which can vary from 46,000 psi, soft, to 76,000 psi tensile strength when fully hardened. Note that manufacturers specify the hardness of metal desired, so some cups are definitely “harder” that others.

What does all this mean to the reloader?
- Cases that utilize small rifle primers and operate at moderate pressures (40,000 psi) can use CCI 400, Federal 200, Rem 6 1/2, or Win SR. Such cases include 22 CCM, 22 Hornet and the 218 Bee. Other cases that use the small rifle primer can use the above primers only if moderate loads are used. Keep to the lower end of reloading recommendations.

– Cases that utilize small rifle primers and operate at higher pressures (55,000 psi) should use CCI 450, CCI BR4, Fed 205 and Rem 7 1/2.

– All the large rifle primers measured have the same thickness. Therefore choose based on other factors, such as accuracy, low ES/SD, cost, cup hardness, and uniformity.

Hope this clears up some primer confusion. If you want more information about primers, priming compounds, or even how to make primers, the NRA sells an excellent book called “Ammunition Making” by George Frost. This book tells it like it is in the ammo making industry.

Jim Calhoon Products

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 10 Comments »
March 5th, 2012

Modular Zanotti Safes Offer Easy Installation

We’ve received inquiries from readers who are looking for a gunsafe that is big and strong but can be broken down and transported more easily that a typical 800 to 1200-lb safe. One product that fits the bill is the Zanotti modular safe. It arrives in sections, none weighing more than 170 pounds. It is assembled in place, then can be dis-assembled when you need to move. The Zanotti is also well-suited for a gun-owner who lives in an apartment up many flights of stairs.

Zanotti take-down gunsafes

Zanotti Gun safeZanotti Armor safes are ideal for gun owners who need to move frequently or who live in a location where it is difficult to position a conventional safe. Zanotti safes arrive in three or four discrete shipping boxes. The safe is assembled by the owner, on site, in six steps. The heaviest component is the door, weighing 110 pounds in the 16-gun ZAI safe, and 175 pounds in the largest 52-gun ZAIII model. Five safe models are offered, ranging from 350 to 925 pounds assembled weight, without interior. Zanotti safes are popular with military personnel and others whose jobs force them to re-locate often. The safe can be assembled in under 30 minutes with no tools other than a hammer, and all you need is a hand dolly to move any component.

Guns Magazine reports: “The panels are interlocked by 3/8 inch, nickel-plated steel “L” shaped pins that slip into steel tubing sections welded to the interior surfaces of the panels. The slip fit is held to a tolerance of .003 inch, and the safes are completely assembled and hand-fitted at the factory to insure the panels will align properly. The body is made from 1/8 inch and 3/16 inch steel; the door from 3/16 inch steel; the locking bolts are 3/4 inch steel.” This is heavier gauge steel than you’ll find on most conventional gun safes.

Zanotti offers many deluxe interiors including a system of roll-out sliding drawers in the bottom of the safe. We think the sliding drawers are ideal for storing handguns and expensive items such as cameras and binoculars that you want to keep out of plain view. Mark Zanotti, the innovative creator of these modular safes, can also customize any interior to suit the customer’s particular needs.

Editor’s Note: For most applications, a conventional safe is still the best choice. Bolted in place, a conventional safe with welded walls will provide the best security and a conventional safe can provide increased fire protection. Zanotti safes do not employ a separate layer of sheet-rock or ceramic fire lining. The Zanotti is a special product for gun-owners with special needs. The units are well-made and Zanotti offers many nice custom interior features that you won’t find even on much more expensive conventional safes.

To learn more about gunsafe features and fire-proofing, read our Gunsafe Buyers’ Guide.

Permalink Gear Review 2 Comments »
March 4th, 2012

Hornady LnL AutoCharge Powder Dispenser on Sale for $186.01

Hey folks, here’s a very good deal if you want a combo electronic powder dispenser/scale. The Hornady Lock-N-Load AutoCharge typically retails for around $240 (currently it’s $229.99 at Cabelas and $249.99 at MidwayUSA). Right now, ManVentureOutpost.com has the AutoCharge for just $186.01 (plus shipping). That’s over $50 off typical retail. NOTE: You MUST use Coupon Code SPR2012 during checkout to get that $186.01 price. Act quickly — supplies are limited at that price.

3/5/2012 UPDATE — ManVentureOutpost.com Sold Out of this item, which is now back-ordered. ManVenture is still (apparently) honoring the $186.01 price (with SPR2012 Coupon Code).

CLICK HERE to get Hornady Lock-N-Load AutoCharge Dispenser for $186.01. Code SPR2012.

Hornady Lock-N-Load Powder Scale Autocharge dispenser Hornady Lock-N-Load Powder Scale Autocharge dispenser

Hornady AutoCharge Is Much Less Expensive than RCBS ChargeMaster
That price for the Hornady unit is about $155.00 less than typical pricing for the RCBS Chargemaster (Sinclair sells the Chargemaster for $340.99 plus shipping). For most tasks the Hornady performs quite well. However, RCBS ChargeMaster fans will be quick to note that there has been more accumulated knowledge on tweaking the RCBS machine. But if you want a bargain, consider the “red option” — the Hornady AutoCharge.

This Youtube video shows the Hornady Lock-N-Load AutoCharge in action.

If you want to learn more about the Hornady AutoCharge, there is a detailed review in Shooting.com.au, a popular Aussie gun forum. This product review features actual test results along with lots of sharp, jumbo-sized photos. Here is the summary of the reviewer’s test results: “Weighing [20 charges of a stick powder] on a Redding beam scale (the only other scale I have) showed that 12 were spot on and the remainder we fairly equally split between 0.1 grain under and 0.1 grain over according to this scale. I consider this to be more than adequate for me.”

CLICK HERE for Hornady Lock-N-Load AutoChage Dispenser REVIEW (Big PHOTOS)

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 1 Comment »
March 3rd, 2012

New Feature-Length DVD about International Sniper Competition

Sniper Comp DVDLegion Productions, creators of the Military Channel’s popular Top Sniper and Modern Sniper TV shows, has released a feature-length DVD covering the 9th Annual Sniper Comp at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Every year the U.S. Army Sniper School at Ft. Benning hosts the International Sniper Competition. The 9th Annual Comp drew top military marksmen from around the world. Thirty-two teams from the Army, Army National Guard, Marine Corps, Air Force, Special Forces, SWAT and three foreign countries competed in eighteen events and combat simulations over the course of seven very tough days.

Legion’s action-packed, 173-minute-long SNIPER COMP DVD follows elite sniper teams as they compete in one of the most demanding sniper challenges on the planet, a grueling event that tests participants’ marksmanship, endurance, stalking skills, and observational abilities.

SNIPER COMP HD Trailer (to view with Hi-Def 720p resolution, click the Gear Icon during playback).

DVD Proceeds Benefit Military Sniper Associations
NOTE: This production was created to raise money for deployed forces and to honor fallen soldiers. Profits from SNIPER COMP are donated to the U.S. Army Sniper Association and to the USMC Scout/Sniper Association. The SNIPER COMP video can be purchased for $15.49 through Amazon.com and Ebay.

Legion Productions is a film and television production company with offices in California and North Carolina. Legion Productions specializes in military- and weapons-themed film and television projects. In cooperation with Magpul Industries, Legion filmed and edited the very popular “Art of…” series of firearms training DVDs.

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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March 2nd, 2012

USA Shooting Viewpoint: Men vs. Women in Competitive Shooting

This article originally appeared on the USA Shooting website.

As the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of Olympic-style shooting in the United States, USA Shooting (USAS) welcomes the dialogue created by the recent article in the Wall Street Journal by Mark Yost titled: Taking Aim at an Old Debate: Can female athletes compete against men?. In shooting, yes — but not in the Olympics. In this article, Yost points out several interesting facts and observations about our sport. This dialogue allows us to engage the shooting community, expand our thinking and establish pathways for bettering our sport for the future.

You will get little argument from many of today’s top shooters, both male and female, as to the shooting abilities of women throughout USA Shooting’s ranks. The success of the collegiate programs like TCU and many intercollegiate programs in the U.S. only echo these beliefs as do some of the sport’s elite shooters like Kim Rhode, a four-time Olympic medalist in trap and skeet shooting, or Katy Emmons, a three-time Olympic medalist from the Czech Republic who is married to [U.S. Olympian] Matt Emmons.

Jamie Gray 2008 Olympic Shooter

“I am a born competitor and whether it is men or women I want to win,” said Jamie Gray, a 2008 Olympian in Rifle. “In a sport that is equal between men and women I would most definitely enjoy the competition. I started out only knowing that men and women compete against each other. It wasn’t until I learned shooting was an Olympic sport that I realized men and women didn’t compete against each other. It is exciting to me that there are still sports out there that men and women can be equal, however for other reasons it may be better that there are different categories for each.”

From 1968 through the 1980 Olympic Games, Olympic shooting events were mixed, with opportunities for women and men to participate regardless of gender. At the 1980 Games in Moscow, there were six shooting events contested. At the upcoming Games in London, there will be 15 events contested. Opportunities for women to compete in Olympic shooting have not shrunk with the dissolution of “mixed” events, but rather have grown as a result not only in our brand of shooting but across all platforms of the shooting sports. In Olympic competition, 14 women got the opportunity to compete in shooting at the 1980 and 1976 Olympic Games combined. Since that time, the numbers have risen from 77 in 1984 to 145 female competitors at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

China Shan Zhang 1992 Gold Medal SkeetShan Zhang Won Gold in 1992
Recent history also suggests that woman can perform alongside men in shooting competitions. At the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, female competitor Shan Zhang of China became the Olympic gold medalist that year in mixed-event skeet, topping a field of both men and women. Over two days of competition she produced a score of 373 out of 375, a new Olympic and world record. She also became the first woman in the history of the Olympic Games’ shooting competition, to beat all the male shooters in her event. Since that time, no mixed events have been held in an Olympic shooting competition.

“As a proud American female citizen, participating in a sport where gender-specific characteristics are not advantageous, I would overwhelmingly favor a chance to compete in a mixed event — or at least a women’s event with an equal number of targets as the men,” said Kelsey Zauhar, a USA Shooting National Team member in Shotgun.

USA Shooting“I think that anytime you have competition where size or strength is not a factor, females can absolutely compete with the males,” said USA Shooting National Team Pistol shooter and USAS Board member Sandra Uptagrafft. “The fundamentals of executing a good shot work the same regardless of gender, size or age. The question of why females no longer compete with males or why we have differing number of shots in the same events comes up often when I explain our sport to new people. It does seem sexist, but the fact that we have separate events from males in the Olympics actually is a good thing since more females can compete this way. There can only be so many people on the shooting line at one time. I personally am just happy to have a sport like shooting in which I can excel.”

FACTOID: Research by the National Sporting Goods Association shows female participation in target shooting grew by 46.5% between 2001 and 2010. And an October 2011 Gallup Poll found 23 percent of women own a gun. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, from 2001 to 2010, female participation in hunting grew by almost 37 percent.

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March 2nd, 2012

FREE Downloadable Classic Shooting and Firearms Books

Free Classic Shooting BooksIn today’s economy, Free is good. Here’s a list of older shooting books that can be downloaded for FREE from Google Books. This list, created by German Salazar, includes many classic treatises on marksmanship that still have value for today’s competitive shooters. In addition, we’ve included illustrated firearm histories, such as Townsend Whelen’s fascinating book, The American Rifle, and The Gun and its Development (9th Ed.), by William Wellington Greener.

In the list below, the title link will take you to the Google Books page for each book. You can read the entire book online, or you can download it to your computer as a PDF file* and save it (or print it). You can also create your own Google Library and save the books there for access from any computer.

The Bullet’s Flight From Powder to Target, Franklin W. Mann, 1909, 384 pages.

Irish Riflemen in America, Sir Arthur Blennerhassett Leech, 1875, 216 pages.

The American Rifle, Townsend Whelen, 1918, 637 pages.

Suggestions to Military Riflemen, Townsend Whelen, 1909, 243 pages.

Modern Rifle Shooting From the American Standpoint, W. G. Hudson, 1903, 155 pages.

Gun Development GreenerThe Gun and its Development, William Wellington Greener, 1907 (9th Ed.) 846 pages.

Manual for Rifle Practice: Including Suggestions for Practice at Long Range, George Wood Wingate, 1879, 303 pages.

How I Became a Crack Shot — With Hints to Beginners, W. Milton Farrow, 1882, 204 pages.

Cartridge Manufacture, Douglas Thomas Hamilton, 1916, 167 pages.

Description and Rules for the Management of the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1903, United States Army Ordnance Dept., 1904 (5th rev. 1914), 72 pages.

Springfield 1903 rifle U.S. Army

CLICK HERE for more FREE, downloadable Classic Shooting Titles.

*To download a book, first click the title from the list above. Then, once you’re at the Google book site, look for the icon that looks like a gear in the upper right-hand corner. Click that and a pull-down menu will appear. Select “Download PDF” from the menu — this will bring up a security question to make sure you are a human. Respond to the security question correctly and your normal download prompt will appear. Choose a location to hold your new e-book, and click “save”.
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March 2nd, 2012

New Nikon 3-9x40mm EFR Scope for Rimfire and Airgun Rifles

If you’re an airgun or rimfire shooter, you need a scope with the ability to focus at short distances, since you’ll typically be shooting at targets from 10 yards to 55 yards (50m). Scopes used for centerfire shooting may not be able to focus sharply at these close ranges. That’s why various manufacturers have developed EFR (Extended Focus Range) scopes.

Add Nikon to the list of EFR scope-makers. Nikon just introduced the ProStaff Target EFR 3-9x40mm riflescope featuring an adjustable objective lens that can focus from 10 meters to infinity. That’s right, Nikon’s affordable ($189.95) new 3-9X EFR scope goes all the way down to ten meters (about 33′). That makes it very useful for Airgun and BB gun shooters.

The waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof EFR boasts Zero-Reset turrets with 1/4-inch adjustments at 50 yards (i.e. 1/2″ at 100 yards). Make note of that — if you are shooting mostly at 100 yards and beyond, you don’t want this scope — it really has been set-up for the short stuff. Total adjustment at 100 yards is 80 MOA; that give you an adjustment range of about 40″ at 50 yards. Nikon’s new ProStaff 3-9x40mm Target EFR scope comes with a matte finish, and retails for just $189.95.

Nikon EFR 3-9x40 rifle scope

Like all Nikon riflescopes, the Target EFR is optimized for use with Nikon’s Spot On™ Ballistics program. The Spot On program can be purchased for iPhone, iPad and Android or utilized for free at nikonhunting.com/spoton.
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March 1st, 2012

New Orion Scanning System Approved for NRA Airgun Comps

Orion Scoring SystemLooks like the days of manual target scoring are numbered — at least for airgun shooters. Effective April 23, 2012 (after this year’s Sectionals) the NRA will accept targets digitally scanned and scored with the new Orion Scoring System. Produced by Shooter’s Technology in Virginia, the Orion System exceeds the accuracy standards set by the ISSF, and routinely scores shots within .04mm. Currently the Orion scoring system can work with 5m BB gun targets, 10m Air Rifle Targets, 10m Air Pistol Targets, and 50-foot smallbore (.22LR Rimfire) targets.

50m Smallbore Capability in Development
Orion is working hard on more powerful software that will be able to score 50m smallbore targets — but that’s still many months away.

The makers of the Orion Scoring System claim it can score targets faster, more accurately, and more reliably than scoring by hand using calipers and target plugs. Orion 2.0 will score a 12-bull air rifle target in about 5 seconds — that’s up to five times faster than manual methods. Single-shot accuracy is consistently between .04mm and .10mm, even for low velocity sporter air rifles. Multiple-shot accuracy (when two or more shots overlap on a target) is between .10mm and .25mm.

Orion Scoring System

The Orion Scoring System is a new technology that automates the scoring process. Shooters fire at specially-designed paper targets sourced from Orion. Once each stage of the match is completed, targets are collected and then digitized using commercial scanners. The Orion software reads the target image files, and scores each shot using an image processing algorithm.

Orion’s Dr. Erik Anderson explains how the system works: “Orion’s scoring process uses a computer vision algorithm known formally as ‘Visual Image Scoring’ (VIS). VIS works in a three-step process. First, VIS calculates the precise center of the aiming bull by extrapolating and using the edge of the aiming bull. Second, VIS locates the center of each shot using a similar process using data from the shot hole edge. Finally, the distance between these two locations, called the radial distance, is used to determine the score value. A key to Orion’s accuracy is using the complete shot hole edge. In comparison, manual methods of scoring only look at the inner most edge point and thus have a limited amount of data to determine the shot value.” Anderson says the Orion Scoring System can be as accurate as very expensive electronic targets, though the Orion requires a much smaller investment in hardware. The only special equipment a shooting club needs is a decent flatbed scanner for the targets. Orion says: “most flat-bed scanners manufactured in the last five years are likely to work with Orion.” Another advantage of the Orion System over electronic targets is that a physical copy of the target exists. The match results won’t disappear if someone fries a computer hard-drive.

Orion Scoring System

Orion Match Management and Score Publishing Functions
The Orion Scoring System can generate ranked results and instantly post them online. Once a shooting facility links up to Orion’s Online Results Center, match results (and target scores) can be uploaded for later viewing on the web. If the range lacks a web connection, the Orion score data can be captured on a thumb drive and moved to a computer hooked up to the web.

How Accurate is Orion?
Orion is designed to meet or exceed the accuracy requirements set by the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF):

Air Rifle: 0.125mm radial error
Air Pistol: 0.40mm radial error
50ft Rifle: 0.122mm radial error

How Fast is Orion?
The time it takes to score a set of targets depends on scanner speed and computer processing power. On a dual-core 2.6GHz machine, with Canon DR-6010C scanner, Orion will score:

An air rifle 3×20 set of targets in 1 minute 25 seconds
A smallbore 3×40 set of targets in 1 minutes 55 seconds
A 60 shot air pistol course in 2 minutes 30 seconds

Orion is available from three sources: Shooter’s Technology, the makers of the Orion Scoring System, Gold Medal Shooting, and 10.9.com. Orion is licensed on an annual basis. The first year license fee is $398. The fee for the second year (and each subsequent year) is $78. Separate licenses are required for air rifle, air pistol and 50-foot pistol. Both the National Three Position Air Rifle Council and USA Shooting have approved Orion-based scoring for airgun matches.

Story based on report by Kyle Jillson in The NRA Blog.
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March 1st, 2012

New Military Powders for 50 BMG — Just $4.88 per Pound

Here’s a good deal for you 50 BMG shooters. Wideners.com has NEW 8-lb jugs of military ball (spherical) powders on sale for just $39.00 per jug. That works out to just $4.88 per pound. Two types are offered at this price: WC867 and WC872. Both types are NEW never-loaded powders, not re-claimed or “pull-down” propellants. Wideners notes: “There is almost no difference between WC867 and WC872 powder and the same loading data is used for both. The slight differences will depend on the bullet used, the neck tension, whether you are shooting a bolt action or semi auto. Use loading data for AA8700, work loads up accordingly.”

While these powders are optimized for the 50 BMG, WC867 and WC872 can be used for other maxi-sized cartridges that require a very slow-burning propellent. To make this an even better deal, Widener’s will waive the Hazmat fee if you purchase six (6) 8-lb jugs: “Buy in Increments of 6 and we will pay the Hazardous Material Fee for you. That is 6, 12 or 18 Kegs etc.; if you buy less than 6, you will pay the Hazardous Materials Fees.” To order, visit Wideners.com or call 1-800-615-3006.

Wideners 50 BMG powder WC867 WC872

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 5 Comments »