September 16th, 2013

Loading for a 16″ Naval Gun? Try these Really Big Powder Sticks…

Story by Boyd Allen
While many top competitive shooters trickle their stick powder charges to a kernel or two, that would be impractical when loading charges for giant naval guns. You may be surprised, but the shells fired by the U.S. Navy’s massive 14″ and 16″ naval guns were also propelled by stick-type extruded powders. You couldn’t trickle these ‘kernels’ though — a single stick or ‘grain’ can be over 2″ long. Take a look…

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

In connection with a Benchrest Central discussion that drifted to the subject of powders used in large naval guns, I heard from Joe McNeil, whose father was involved in manufacturing those very propellants as a DuPont employee. Joe writes:

“My Dad worked for the DuPont company for over 40 years. Every time the nation went to war he was assigned to the gun powder plants which DuPont ran for the government for $1.00 per year! His last assignment was at the Indiana Ordnance Plant in Jefferson, Indiana from 1952 through 1958. He had a display case made of all of the different powders made at the plant and left it to me. That’s why I have a grain of 16″ gun powder. He took me out to the Jefferson proving grounds once when they tested the powder in a 16″ gun. We watched from a half-mile away but it left a lasting impression when they fired that gun. They actually had a set of rings they fired through to test the performance of the powder and shell. This was a truly fond memory of my Dad and his work.”

Here are some pictures of the gun powder “grains” made during the Korean War at the Indiana Ordnance Works where Joe McNeil’s father worked.

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

Above is the display case with the different powders manufactured at the DuPont plant. They include: 37 MM/AA, 75MM Pack Howitzer, 50 Cal. 5010, 20 MM 4831, 30 Cal. 4895, 76 MM, 3″, 5″, 90 MM, 4.7″, 240MM, 8″, 280 MM, 175 MM, 155 MM Howitzer, 155 MM Gun M.P., 8″ Gun M.P., 12″, 14, 16″. There are different-sized ‘grains’ for specific rounds.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
September 16th, 2013

GunsAmerica Tests New Ruger American Rimfire Rifle

Recently, we profiled the all-new, bolt-action Ruger American Rimfireâ„¢ rifle. It’s modular, affordable (MSRP $329.00), and it will be offered in three rimfire chamberings: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and 17 HMR. Notably, the .22 versions can use all types of Ruger 10/22 magazines — that’s a huge plus for folks who already own a Ruger 10/22. After this new rifle was introduced, readers wondered how well it functions, and how the accuracy compares to the popular .22 LR bolt guns from CZ and Savage.

GunsAmerica Blog Review
GunsAmerica, a leading firearms buy/sell website, managed to get hold of one of these Ruger American Rimfire rifles, chambered in .22 LR. GunsAmerica’s staff put the rifle through its paces at the range, and came away very impressed. The test rifle shot sub-inch groups at 50 yards with Federal Lightning and CCI Stinger ammunition. We expect the rifle would shoot even better with quality, match-grade Lapua or Eley rimfire ammo. CLICK HERE for full GunsAmerica Rifle Review.

Given the smooth-working bolt, crisp 3-lb trigger, and comfortable stock with built-in bedding system, GunsAmerica concludes that this Ruger delivers a lot of performance for the $329.00 price. GunsAmerica’s writers are probably right in predicting that the Ruger American Rifle will be a hot-seller, stealing market share from other low-to-mid-priced rimfire brands (such as CZ):

“With this one new rifle Ruger has propelled itself to the front of the pack of the bolt-action rimfire market[.] While there are other great rimfire bolt guns out there at affordable prices, nobody is going to dispute that the Ruger American Rimfire has leapfrogged the entire market. The rifle is superb, and missing really nothing. These guns are going to fly off the shelves….”

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
September 16th, 2013

Instant Savings on Nikon Scopes, Rangefinders, and Binoculars

Nikon has announced some attractive money-saving promos for scopes, laser rangefinders and binoculars. Our readers will probably be most interested in the special savings on BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) Nikon scopes. To learn more about these promotions, visit NikonPromo.com. For more info on Nikon’s binoculars, riflescopes, rangefinders and spotting scopes, visit Nikonsportoptics.com.

Nikon BDC Extreme rifle scopes Laser Rangefinder sale promotion

BDC Riflescopes Instant Savings — Up to $100 Off
Starting on September 12, 2013 and running through October 27, 2013, the BDC Extreme Bonus Days promotion offers up to $100 instant savings on over 40 BDC riflescopes. These scopes’ BDC reticles allow shooters to quickly compensate for bullet drop at long ranges. This is very helpful on varmint-hunting safaris — you can use the hold-over lines rather than click elevation when moving back and forth between critters at different yardages.

Nikon id Tech Laser Rangefinder sale promotionLaser Rangefinder Promotion — Up to $70.00 Off
Nikon’s id TECH rangefinders have ID (incline/decline) Technology that helps you make angled shots correctly. From September 16 through November 10, 2013, up to $70 instant savings is availble for four Nikon id TECH rangefinders: Riflehunter 1000, PROSTAFF 7, Archer’s Choice, and Archer’s Choice MAX.

Instant Savings on Nikon Binoculars
In addition to the BCC Scope and rangefinder promos, Nikon is offering promos on binoculars. Instant savings (up to $100.00) are available on Nikon Monarch binoculars are available from September 11 through November 17, 2013. Up to $20 off the budget=priced Aculon A211 10×42 binocular is available from From September 12 through October 27, 2013.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »