December 31st, 2014

New Three-Lug Tempest Action from G.A. Precision

G.A. Precision (G.A.P.) has announced a new three-lug action, the Tempest. This unit features a large bolt knob with extended, curved bolt handle (similar to the bolt handle on the Accuracy International AX). Up front the Tempest boasts an integral recoil lug with extended front tenon section — for better support of heavy barrels. The Tempest’s distinctive feature is its three-lug bolt. Compared to a two-lug bolt, a three-lugger allows a short, 60&deg bolt lift (fewer degrees of lift to release). Like the G.A.P. Templar action, the new Tempest sports a Rem 700 footprint, though stock inletting would have to be altered slightly for the integral lug/tenon design.

G.A. Precision Tempest Templar 3-lug three lug action tactical receiver rem 700

Sorry guys, G.A.P. has not yet announced a retail price or delivery date (we did ask, but the folks at G.A.P. don’t even have a wholesale price from the 3rd-party manufacturer yet). Whatever it costs, the Tempest action will be popular. It has already inspired nearly 300 likes on the G.A.P. Facebook page.

G.A. Precision Tempest Templar 3-lug three lug action tactical receiver rem 700

G.A. Precision Tempest Templar 3-lug three lug action tactical receiver rem 700

Permalink New Product, Tactical 12 Comments »
December 31st, 2014

Patriotic Pistol-Caliber Carbine Give-Away

Are you feeling lucky on this last day of 2014? Well Cheaper Than Dirt is giving away a very unique (and very patriotic) rifle. The Just Right Carbine is a simple, blowback-action semi-auto rifle that can be configured to shoot three different pistol cartridges: 9mm, .40 SW, and .45 ACP. The Just Right Carbine bridges the power gap between long guns chambered for rimfire cartridges and those using full-power rifle rounds. With caliber conversion kits, this modular carbine can shoot the three most popular semi-auto pistol cartridges: 9mm, .40 SW, and .45 ACP. The give-away rifle is configured to shoot one caliber, the 9mm Luger (9mm parabellum).

Just Right Carbine

This special-release Stars and Strips Edition carbine is finished in an American Flag camouflage. American Rifleman magazine says this rifle is versatile and easy to operate:

“At first glance, the JR Carbine is just another AR variant. Though it shares numerous parts and an outward appearance with the ubiquitous AR platform, the JR is actually of a totally different design. Unlike the AR’s gas-operated action, the JR Carbine uses a simple blowback system similar to that of the Ruger 10/22. The bolt is held forward by spring pressure and is cycled by the energy of the fired round; there are no gas tubes or pistons involved. While it doesn’t use the AR’s operating system, the JR Carbine does share with the AR its modularity and some parts commonality, so many of the myriad of AR accessories can be used on the JR. The carbine uses a standard commercial diameter AR buffer tube so any buttstock compatible with a commercial AR can be fitted to the JR. Mil-spec and commercial AR parts are also interchangeable with the carbine’s AR-style trigger, grip, and safety[.]”

Just Right Carbine

How to Enter Contest: For a chance to win this rifle, visit the Cheaper Than Dirt Contest Registration Page and complete the online entry form. Limit one entry per person and e-mail address during the Sweepstakes Period.

Permalink New Product No Comments »
December 31st, 2014

2nd Amendment Foundation Challenges I-594 in Washington

vote no I 594 Court Legal lawsuit Second Amendment FoundationReport by Anette Wachter, 30CalGal.com
The ball is rolling to challenge the I-594 bill that passed in Washington state last November. This is perhaps the strictest gun control law out there. Why? Because it is like the Health Care Law. There are too many pages of undefined crap that they said they would figure out after it goes in to law.

Our local Second Amendment Foundation with Alan Gottlieb has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Tacoma, WA. The language in the new law is unclear to even law enforcement and the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). Have you gone to DOL’s website about this recently? There is no advice and the site just pushes you to your local law enforcement or the ATF. Local law enforcement officials do not want to enforce this law and do not know how to do so. And the ATF, a federal organization, is unclear [as to the impact of the law] as well.

The law will not be overturned so don’t get your hopes up. But they have to define it. It is so confusing. We need to get the ridiculous parts about transfers undone. So many people and agencies are affected by this unclear language.

vote no I 594 Court Legal lawsuit Second Amendment FoundationI just had dinner last night with Brian Judy of the NRA and Adina Hicks of the Protect Our Gun Rights Washington group. There will be an organized rally in Olympia on January 15th starting at 9:00 am. That’s on a weekday when the Legislature is again in session. Visits to Legislators start at 11:00. I will be there and I will go to the office of my district’s Representative. We need your support! If you are in Washington please join us out there.

Please call your legislator ahead of time and make an appointment to see them after the rally that day. The Washington Firearms Leadership and Activism Group (WAFLAG), Protect Our Gun Rights Washington, and the Gun Rights Coalition will host the event. Both the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and the Second Amendment Foundation are sponsoring the event also. Please read more details and the entire article by Dave Workman of TheGunMag.com HERE.

Permalink News 6 Comments »
December 30th, 2014

.260 Remington in the AR-10 Platform — A Smart Solution

The AR-10 was designed to handle the 7.62×51/.308 Winchester and other .308 “family” cartridges such as the .243 Win and .260 Remington. Our friend Dennis Santiago recently put together an AR-10 to shoot the accurate .260 Rem cartridge. Here is his initial report:

AR-10 Platform Chambered for .260 Remington by Dennis Santiago
I was very curious to see how the .260 works in the AR-10 compared to a .308. I’ve always thought about chambering a bolt gun in .260 but before doing so I thought it’d be good to try it using a less expensive entry point. With an AR platform’s easy interchanging of barrels, it seem like the best way to test out the .260 Rem chambering. So far, it’s most impressive.

DPMS LR-308 in .260 Remington getting function cycle tuned and zeroed
.260 Rem AR10 AR-10 Scenar H4350

I took the AR-10-type .260 Rem a step closer to being ready for matches yesterday. The first order of business was to confirm which buffer spring to use with both the 123 grain and 140 grain bullet loads. My .260 Rem loads, on average, are using 4-5 grains less powder than the .308 loads. In a semi-automatic action that means less gas/energy to work the mechanics. The solution in an AR-10 platform is to either cut coils in the .308 spring or use a weaker AR-15 buffer spring; yup they are not the same. In this case, a CS flat spring for the AR-15 did the trick.

I also put a very nice NightForce Benchrest 12-42x56mm scope that came via friend Mark Gravitt on it and got zeros. This scope’s 1/8th MOA clicks are nice. The AR-10 had previously mounted a NightForce F1, a more “field tactical” 3-15X system. This 12-42X scope now sets this gun up as more of a target cannon. Field of view is limited when your minimum magnification is twelve. Maybe I’ll put an auxiliary red dot on it just to find the target.

.260 Rem AR10 AR-10 Scenar H4350

Pet Loads: H4350 and Lapua 123gr Scenars
Comment by Daily Bulletin Editor
Over a two-year period, this Editor put a lot of rounds through a .260 Remington. I did a ton of load testing with that Savage-actioned rifle (before it was rebarreled as a 6mmBR Norma). I tried two dozen load recipes with five different powders and bullets ranging from 100 grains to 142 grains. Hodgdon H4350 was my “go-to” powder. As many 260 Rem shooters have discovered, H4350 is a winner in the .260 Rem. This propellant delivered the lowest ES in my rifle and nothing beat H4350 for consistent accuracy with bullets in the 120-140 grain range. My most accurate load was with Lapua 123gr Scenars, pushed by H4350 and CCI 250 primers. The 123gr Scenars worked well jumped as well as seated into the lands. Best accuracy, in my 24″-barreled .260 Rem, was right about 2950 fps. Other powders work well, but H4350 is a very good choice for the .260 Remington (as well as the smaller 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge).

Permalink Reloading, Tactical 7 Comments »
December 30th, 2014

Life and Death of a Barrel — Can Barrel Useful Life Be Predicted?

We can predict, with some certainty, how long a light bulb will last (in use), or a shingle roof, or even a nuclear reactor. But how about barrels? Is there a way to reliably estimate barrel life based on known characteristics? This article explains one effort to quantify barrel life…

Rifle Barrel Life CalculatorHow long will a barrel last before the accuracy “goes south”? There are so many variables involved (powder type, bore diameter, bullet coatings etc.) that it’s hard to predict. You might say “Well, my buddy has a .243 and he got 1500 rounds before the throat was shot out” — those kind of comparisons can be useful, but they’re not very scientific, and they won’t help much if you’ve got a gun in a new chambering (such as the 6.5×47) for which long-term test results are lacking.

Is there a more reliable way to predict barrel life — one that will work for a broad range of calibers? Well, Forum member MikeCr has developed an Excel spreadsheet that accounts for a number of variables, and gives a pretty good estimate of useful barrel life, whether you’re shooting a .223 Rem or a 338 Lapua Magnum. Mike’s program predicts barrel life using five variables: 1) Bullet Diameter; 2) Powder Charge weight; 3) Powder Heat Potential (KJ/kg); 4) Pressure (in psi); and 5) Bullet Coating (yes/no). Mike provides a table with Heat Potential ratings for most popular powder types. The user needs to know the pressure of his load. This can be estimated with QuickLOAD.

You can download the lastest version of Mike’s spreadsheet below. You’ll need Excel or an Excel viewer to open the file.

Click to Download Spreadsheet: Barrel Life Spreadsheet (Latest Version)

Shown below is Mike’s Spreadsheet, with variables for a 6BR shooting 105gr “naked” bullets with 30.3 grains of Hodgdon Varget powder. The formula predicts 2401 rounds of barrel life. That corresponds pretty well to what we’d expect for a 6BR — about 2500 rounds.

Barrel Life ProgramBarrel Life Program

Mike observes: “There has been a lot of discussion lately related to cartridge design and resulting barrel life. This is a really important factor to consider amongst a myriad of choices. Barrel life is controversial, and subjective. There are no clear-cut standards for comparison. But a few years ago, I put together a spreadsheet based on Bart Bobbit’s rule of thumb. It worked pretty good, only occasionally failing some tests when validated against posted barrel lives.

According to Ken Howell, I had to account for pressure. And Henry Child’s powder temperature testing provided another piece needed. So, I’ve tweaked it here and there to pass more tests. From 223 Rem to 300 UltraMagnum. Another element added, but turned off, is shot interval. I would need way more tests to lock in on this. But everyone knows, the faster you shoot, the worse the barrel life.

Anyway, another factor hard to define is ‘accurate’ barrel life. This cannot be quantified without standards. Barrels are replaced when expectations are no longer met. I feel that a [barrel] passes peak potential in a finite period due to throat erosion. But that don’t mean it’s toast, if it still shoots well enough. It’s just as likely that many of us never see that peak potential anyway. It’s a slippery thing. Point-blank BR competitors will toss a barrel when it leaves the 1s. I could get another 4000 rounds from it, and be content with its performance, I’m sure.”

NOTE: Mike says: “This spreadsheet may show a lower barrel life than you prefer. But it pretty well spotlights cartridges to stay away from if you plan much time at the range or in dog town.”

Editor’s Comment: Mike’s spreadsheet is a helpful tool, but it is NOT a definitive “take-it-to-the-bank” indicator of barrel life. Mike cautions that predicting barrel life involves so many different factors (including how hot the barrel is run), that the task is a bit like predicting tread life on car tires. Still, the spreadsheet is very helpful. It can certainly warn us that some chamberings (such as the 6-284) are likely to be barrel burners. That can help you make a smart decision when choosing a chambering for your next rifle.

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
December 30th, 2014

Amazing Deals: Get 40% Off At Midsouth on Clearance Items

Midsouth Shooters Supply Clearance Sale 2014Midsouth Shooters Supply is having a huge End-of-Year Sale. Hundreds of clearance items are marked down 40% (or more) through the end of 2014. For the next couple of days there are amazing deals to be had on ammo, optics, scope rings, gun cases, reloading dies, muzzle-loader rifles, cleaning supplies and much more. Below are some of the top deals we found this morning. (NOTE: This is just a tiny fraction of the hundreds of 40% OFF clearance items.) Remember, these deeply-discounted deals expire soon — you snooze, you lose.

Go to Midsouth End-of-Year Clearance Sale.

Sample Sale Items (hundreds more products are 40% off):

Midsouth Shooters Supply Clearance Sale 2014

Midsouth Shooters Supply Clearance Sale 2014

Midsouth Shooters Supply Clearance Sale 2014

Midsouth Shooters Supply Clearance Sale 2014

Midsouth Shooters Supply Clearance Sale 2014

Midsouth Shooters Supply Clearance Sale 2014

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
December 29th, 2014

Understanding Minutes of Angle (MOA) — Intro Video

In this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term, “Minute of Angle” (MOA) and explains how you can adjust for windage and elevation using 1/4 or 1/8 MOA clicks on your scope. This allows you to sight-in precisely and compensate for bullet drop at various distances.

one minute of angle

For starters, Ryan explains that, when talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA. That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by 1 MOA increases in linear fashion with the distance.

Story sourced by Edlongrange.
Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
December 29th, 2014

Squeeze Play — The Many Factors Involved in Neck Tension

Redding neck bushingsIn our Shooters’ Forum a reader asked: “How much neck tension should I use?” This prompted a Forum discussion in which other Forum members recommended a specific number based on their experience, such as .001″, .002″, or .003″. These numbers, as commonly used, correspond to the difference between case-neck OD after sizing and the neck OD of a loaded round, with bullet in place. In other words, the numbers refer to the nominal amount of interference fit (after sizing).

While these commonly-used “tension numbers” (of .001″, .002″ etc.) can be useful as starting points, neck tension is actually a fairly complex subject. The actual amount of “grip” on the bullet is a function of many factors, of which neck-OD reduction during sizing is just one. Understanding these many factors will help you maintain consistent neck tension as your brass “evolves” over the course of multiple reloadings.

Neck Tension (i.e. Grip on Bullets) Is a Complex Phenomenon
While we certainly have considerable control over neck tension by using tighter or looser bushings (with smaller or bigger Inside Diameters), bushing size is only one factor at work. It’s important to understand the multiple factors that can increase or decrease the resistance to bullet release. Think in terms of overall brass-on-bullet “grip” instead of just bushing size.

One needs to understand that bushing size isn’t the beginning and end of neck tension questions, because, even if bushing size is held constant, the amount of bullet “grip” can change dramatically as the condition of your brass changes. Bullet “grip” can also change if you alter your seating depth significantly, and it can even change if you ultrasonically clean your cases.

Bullet grip is affected by many things, such as:

  • 1. Neck-wall thickness.
  • 2. Amount of bearing surface (shank) in the neck.
  • 3. Surface condition inside of neck (residual carbon can act as a lubricant; ultrasonic cleaning makes necks “grabby”).
  • 4. Length of neck (e.g. 6BR neck vs. 6BRX).
  • 5. Whether or not the bullets have an anti-friction coating.
  • 6. The springiness of the brass (which is related to degree of work-hardening; number of firings etc.)
  • 7. The bullet jacket material.
  • 8. The outside diameter of the bullet and whether it has a pressure ridge.
  • 9. The time duration between bullet seating and actual firing (necks can stiffen with time).
  • 10. How often the brass is annealed

— and there are others…

Seating Depth Changes Can Increase or Decrease Grip on Bullet
You can do this simple experiment. Seat a boat-tail bullet in your sized neck with .150″ of bearing surface (shank) in the neck. Now remove the bullet with an impact hammer. Next, take another identical bullet and seat it with .300″ of bearing surface in another sized case (same bushing size/same nominal tension). You’ll find the deeper-seated bullet is gripped much harder.

PPC lapua brassNeck-Wall Thickness is Important Too
I have also found that thinner necks, particularly the very thin necks used by many PPC shooters, require more sizing to give equivalent “grip”. Again, do your own experiment. Seat a bullet in a case turned to .008″ neckwall thickness and sized down .003″. Now compare that to a case with .014″ neckwall thickness and sized down .0015″. You may find that the bullet in the thin necks actually pulls out easier, though it supposedly has more “neck tension”, if one were to consider bushing size alone.

In practical terms, because thick necks are less elastic than very thin necks, when you turn necks you may need to run tighter bushings to maintain the same amount of actual grip on the bullets (as compared to no-turn brass). Consequently, I suspect the guys using .0015″ “tension” on no-turn brass may be a lot closer to the guys using .003″ “tension” on turned necks than either group may realize.

Toward a Better Definition of Neck Tension
As a convenient short-cut, we tend to describe neck tension by bushing size alone. When a guy says, “I run .002 neck tension”, that normally means he is using a die/bushing that sizes the necks .002″ smaller than a loaded round. Well we know something about his post-sizing neck OD, but do we really have a reliable idea about how much force is required to release his bullets? Maybe not… This use of the term “neck tension” when we are really only describing the amount of neck diameter reduction with a die/bushing is really kind of incomplete.

My point here is that it is overly simplistic to ask, “should I load with .001 tension or .003?” In reality, an .001″ reduction (after springback) on a thick neck might provide MORE “grip” on a deep-seated bullet than an .003″ reduction on a very thin-walled neck holding a bullet with minimal bearing surface in the neck. Bushing ID is something we can easily measure and verify. We use bushing size as a descriptor of neck tension because it is convenient and because the other important factors are hard to quantify. But those factors shouldn’t be ignored if you want to maintain consistent neck tension for optimal accuracy.

Consistency and accuracy — that’s really what this all about isn’t it? We want to find the best neck tension for accuracy, and then maintain that amount of grip-on-bullet over time. To do that you need to look not only at your bushing size, but also at how your brass has changed (work-hardened) with time, and whether other variables (such as the amount of carbon in the neck) have changed. Ultimately, optimal neck tension must be ascertained experimentally. You have to go out and test empirically to see what works, in YOUR rifle, with YOUR bullets and YOUR brass. And you may have to change the nominal tension setting (i.e. bushing size) as your brass work-hardens or IF YOU CHANGE SEATING DEPTHS.

Remember that bushing size alone does not tell us all we need to know about the neck’s true “holding power” on a bullet, or the energy required for bullet release. True bullet grip is a more complicated phenomenon, one that is affected by numerous factors, some of which are very hard to quantify.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
December 29th, 2014

Peltor Shotgunner Muffs — Handy, Compact Protection

Peltor folding ‘Shotgunner’ ear muffs are on sale right now at Amazon.com. Available in red (#97013), dark green (#97012), or black (#97011), the muffs cost about $15.00 (red version), and you can get free shipping with an order over $35.00. That’s a good deal for a good product. This Editor owns two sets of these muffs. They are very lightweight and comfortable. Because they fit well, with gel foam cushions, they actually seem to work better than some big bulky muffs (with higher NRRs) that don’t seal so well. If used with plugs underneath, these are highly effective and very handy.

Peltor’s Shotgunner muffs feature tapered ear domes, cutaway on the lower half for stock clearance. We have not found any other muffs on the market that allow a better cheek weld, with less interference with the comb on a riflestock. These muffs also fold up into a very compact package. You can keep one set in your range kit and a spare set in your vehicle for back-up or if a friend needs hearing protection.


Peltor Shotgunner muffs
Permalink Gear Review 2 Comments »
December 28th, 2014

Mysteries of Cut Rifling Revealed in Krieger Barrel-Making Video

This video shows the process of cut-rifled barrel-making by one of the world’s best barrel manufacturers. See Krieger barrels being made, start to finish. Krieger cut-rifled barrels have set numerous world records and are favored by many top shooters. The video show the huge, complex machines used — bore-drilling equipment and hydraulic riflers. You can also see how barrels are contoured, polished, and inspected.

For anyone interested in accurate rifles, this is absolutely a “must-watch” video. Watch blanks being cryogenically treated, then drilled and lathe-turned. Next comes the big stuff — the massive rifling machines that single-point-cut the rifling in a precise, time-consuming process. Following that you can see barrels being contoured, polished, and inspected (with air gauge and bore-scope). There is even a sequence showing chambers being cut.

Here is a time-line of the important barrel-making processes shown in the video. You may want to use the “Pause” button, or repeat some segments to get a better look at particular operations. The numbers on the left represent playback minutes and seconds.

Krieger Barrel-Making Processes Shown in Video:

00:24 – Cryogenic treatment of steel blanks
00:38 – Pre-contour Barrels on CNC lathe
01:14 – Drilling Barrels
01:28 – Finish Turning on CNC lathe
01:40 – Reaming
01:50 – Cut Rifling
02:12 – Hand Lapping
02:25 – Cut Rifling
02:40 – Finish Lapping
02:55 – Outside Contour Inspection
03:10 – Engraving
03:22 – Polish
03:50 – Fluting
03:56 – Chambering
04:16 – Final Inspection

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
December 28th, 2014

Tips for Loading Straighter Ammo with Less Run-Out

This article originally appeared in Sinclair Intl’s Reloading Press Blog, which has been merged into the Gun Tech Section on Sinclair’s website, www.SinclairIntl.com

Steps to Minimize Bullet Run-Out

Poor bullet run-out can cause poor and inconsistent accuracy, and variations in bullet velocities. The truer the loaded round, the more consistent your results will be on paper and across the chronograph.

Sinclair Concentricity gaugeMeasuring Concentricity
We all know that low run-out is the goal. But how can you tell if your run-out is high or low? Run-out is generally measured in thousandths of an inch with a concentricity gauge. There are many concentricity gauges to choose from that work well. Some work on loaded rounds only, some have a bullet straightening feature, and a few work on both loaded rounds and empty cases for checking case neck concentricity. The tool of choice for the Sinclair Reloading Tech Staff is the Sinclair Concentricity Gauge (Part # 09-175).

This tool is a mainstay on my bench, and it is used about as much as I use my reloading press! The tool uses two sets of bearings that are set on lateral, length-adjustable anodized aluminum blocks to accommodate cartridges from .221 Fireball-sized cases up to .50 BMG. The indicator is set on a height adjustable swiveling base on a stand that can be used for checking bullet or case neck run-out. The adjustable blocks ride aligned in a precision-milled slot. The entire set up is on an anodized base plate that gives excellent support during the process that is crucial to operation and accuracy. Basically the operation consists of placing a loaded round (for checking bullet run-out) or an empty case (for case run-out) on the bearings with the indicator end touching the chosen point to be measured. The case is easily spun with one finger as the indicator measures the amount of run-out. Once this process has been done a few times it is a fast and accurate means of measurement. In terms of indicator type being used, whether dial or digital, I actually prefer a standard dial indicator over the digital type. My reason for this choice is that you can see the needle jump when run-out is present. I believe this to be easier and faster than looking at digital numbers while measuring. In the video below, Sinclair’s Bill Gravatt shows how to use the Sinclair Concentricity Gauge correctly.

YouTube Preview Image

Sizing Steps to Minimize Run-Out
One of the most common steps in the reloading process that contributes to bullet run-out occurs is the sizing operation. If improper techniques are used or there are issues with the sizing die set up, a once perfectly concentric case can become out of whack. By using the proper dies for your application, properly setting up the die/shell holder or floating the de-capping/expander assembly, you can eliminate problems before they happen.

Sinclair Concentricity gaugeMany of us on the technical staff choose the Redding Type-S series of dies. These are full-Length or neck sizing dies that utilize a removable/changeable neck bushing (sold separately) to size the neck according to your application. These dies are machined with true precision and quality in mind. The Type-S dies come with a standard de-capping assembly with a caliber-specific expander ball in place. In addition to this an undersized retainer to hold the de-capping pin is included with the die. In my experience with these dies I use the standard expander ball with new, unfired brass on the initial re-size. I will then use the undersized retainer in place of the expander ball with brass that has been fired. I have found this step crucial in my reloading regiment to minimize bullet run out. The use of the expander ball can cause a few thousandths of run-out when the case is being pulled back out of the sizing die. With the undersized retainer in place the only thing that touches the neck of the case in sizing is the bushing. If you prefer to use an expander ball, Redding offers caliber specific carbide floating expander balls that fit on the de-capping rod. This free floating expander ball will self center on the case neck, and reduce the amount of run-out that can be caused by a standard expander ball.

When setting up a Type-S sizing die, set the neck bushing into the die with the numbers facing down toward the body of the die. Tighten the de-capping assembly until it contacts the bushing and then back it off ¼ of a turn. This allows the bushing to free float in the die. You should be able to hear the bushing rattle if you shake the die. Having the bushing free floating self centers the neck, and again minimizes any run-out that can occur.

If you prefer other brands of sizing dies there are a few tricks that people use to minimize run-out as well. Many reloaders claim that the use of an O-ring at the base of the de-capping assembly lock nut will float the assembly and help self center during sizing. Another trick that has been used is to remove the retaining pin on the shell holder slot on the press ram, and use an O-ring in its place to hold the shell holder in place. This allows the shell holder to self center during sizing as well.

Seating Steps to Minimize Run-Out
Run-out issues can arise during the bullet seating process. To reduce run-out during seating, use a high-quality die with a sliding sleeve. The sliding sleeve perfectly aligns the case with the bullet to be seated. Good examples of these dies are the Redding Competition Micrometer bullet seating dies, Forster Ultra Seaters, or RCBS Competition Seating dies. All of these dies utilize a micrometer top to precisely set seating depth. They are all very high quality dies that have tight tolerances to maximize bullet straightness during seating.

We receive many questions about seating long pointed bullets such as the Berger VLD or Hornady A-Max. One problem that the reloader faces with longer bullets is that they are so long that the standard seating stem is not machined deep enough to contact these bullets properly. The point of the bullet “bottoms out” in the stem and the result is off-center seating and/or rings and dents on the bullet nose. If you plan on using such bullets, you should purchase a “VLD” style seating stem, which is cut to accommodate the longer bullets. The use of this stem results in truer seating of the bullet without leaving a ring or marring the tip of the bullet.

Besides using a traditional press and threaded seating die, another great way to get a true bullet seat is by using an arbor press and Wilson chamber-type seating die. These dies are cut to very tight tolerances and have proven themselves as the main choice for bench rest enthusiasts. The design of the die positively aligns the case with the bullet as they are both captured by the die before the bullet is pushed straight into the case by the stem. These seating dies are available with the standard seating cap and stem or an additional micrometer top can be added for precise adjustment. Wilson also offers a stainless seating die with an integral micrometer seating head.

Finally another trick used by many in the seating process is to turn the case while the bullet is being seated. Some people claim this will keep things straight. What they do is raise the ram in increments while seating and rotate the case in the shellholder in increments of 90 degrees from the original starting while the bullet is being seated. Personally I have tried this and have seen no significant difference at all. However you may be the judge of this one. It makes sense, and maybe I should try this a little more before I rule it out.

After the Rounds Are Loaded — Batch Sorting by Concentricity Levels
No matter how meticulous you are, and no matter how good your components and tools are, run-out will still show up. Reloaders can drive themselves crazy trying to make each and every loaded round a true “0” in run-out. You will still see some minimal amount no matter what you do. Set yourself a standard of maximum allowable run-out for your loads. For instance for my Long Range 600- and 1000-yard F-Class loads I like to see .002” or less. I average .0015” and see a few in the range up to .004”. I spin each loaded round on my Sinclair Concentricity Gauge and sort them by run-out. Those that run over .002” I use for sighters or practice. Though achieving zero run-out (on every round) isn’t possible, minimizing run-out can definitely help your performance. Not only will your loads shoot better but you will have one less thing to worry about when you are lining up the sights on the target.

Permalink - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
December 26th, 2014

Snow on the Ground? No Problem, Let’s Go Shooting!

East Coast buried in a winter whiteout? No problem — grab your snow shovel and go shooting. Here’s how hardy Forum Member Nick (aka “ChevyTruck 83″) coped with winter’s fury back in December 2012. Never underestimate the resourcefulness of a dedicated AccurateShooter Forum member….

snow shooting range snowmanWe admire the fortitude of Forum Member Nick who braved wintry December weather to enjoy a day at the range in his native Pennsylvania. A little snow on the ground couldn’t stop this intrepid shooter, who brought snow shovel and arctic gear to his range session. Folks, here’s a true “hardcore” fan of shooting! Despite the “relentless snow”, Nick reports that “at least it wasn’t windy”. Nick shot a variety of long guns, including his .22LR rimfires, a .223 Rem, and a .308. Not daunted by the cold, Rick said it was fun to “play like a kid once in a while.” That’s the spirit!

Nick reports: “There was no wind to speak of — just relentless snow. I’ll tell you what — it’s awesome to get out and play like a kid once in a while.”

Nick’s foray into the winter wonderland really puts things in perspective for “fair-weather” shooters. After viewing Nick’s Forum thread about his snowy range session, fellow Forum member DennisH observed: “I will never complain about our super hot sugar cane fields in south Louisiana ever again! We can hold matches 12 months a year. I have NEVER had, owned, or used a snow shovel.”

Permalink News, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
December 26th, 2014

A Parable for the Holidays — The Two Wolves

Tale of Two Wolves

During the Christmas season we get together with our families and enjoy the fellowship of our relatives and dear friends. For many, this holiday is a time to pause and look inwards — to examine how we can improve our relations with loved ones, and lead happier, more fulfilling lives together. To that end, consider the message of a Native-American parable, the Tale of Two Wolves.

The Tale of Two Wolves
An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.”

“One is evil: he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

The other is good: he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you — and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old chief answered . . .

“The one you feed.”

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December 25th, 2014

Happy Holidays to AccurateShooter.com Readers Worldwide

Christmas AccurateShooter.com Elk Canada

Christmas AccurateShooter.com Elk CanadaHoliday Greetings to Our Readers
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers and especially our 26,480+ Forum Members. This marks our tenth Christmas “in business”, and the site is stronger than ever thanks to our members and industry sponsors. AccurateShooter.com (and 6mmBR.com) are now accessed by over 150,000 unique users every week. Part of the reason for that success is the hard work of our volunteer helpers.

Unsung Heroes Deserve Recognition
I want to acknowledge some guys who have really helped out the site. Number one is JayChris, our IT guy — he keeps the servers running smoothly and maintains our Forum. We just updated the Forum software this week and Jay pulled that off without a hitch. Thanks also go to Jeff Williams, our “Answerman” who fields miscellaneous questions from our readers. We have a great place to test rifles thanks to our good buddy (and designated trigger-puller) Joe Friedrich. I also want to recognize our regular contributors, including German Salazar, Jason Baney, Robert Whitley, Mark LaFevers, and Vince Bottomley. And special thanks to Boyd Allen and EdLongRange who tirelessly supply story leads for the Daily Bulletin. These guys (and many others) have all contributed much time and effort.

Christmas AccurateShooter.com Elk Canada
You can download this photo as a FREE computer wallpaper from Wallpaperhere.com.

We also want to thank our major sponsors, without whose support the site could not provide the full AccurateShooter.com experience, with an active Forum, an archive of in-depth articles, and fresh content 365 days a year in our Daily Bulletin. We’re grateful to all our sponsors and advertisers.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
December 25th, 2014

Candy-Cane Barrel for Christmas

What do you get when you combine red Cerakote and barrel fluting? Well, a candy-cane AR barrel — just in time for the holidays. This unique barrel was created by Black Hole Weaponry in St. Helens Oregon. No this is not a Photoshop job. This barrel is really finished this way (as you can see in the close-up). Thanks to Anette Wachter, aka 30 Cal Gal, for finding this festive firearm fitting.

Candy Cane AR15 Barrel

Candy Cane AR15 Barrel

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
December 25th, 2014

From Russia with Love — A Mosin Nagant Like No Other

One of the most popular features of our Shooters’ Forum is the Official ‘Pride & Joy’ Rifle thread. There you’ll find dozens of interesting rifles, with photos and descriptions supplied by proud owners. Today we’re spotlighting one of the more interesting ‘Pride & Joy’ rifles unveiled this year, a Mosin Nagant “senior citizen”. This 72-year-old Russian bolt gun is not like any Mosin Nagant you’ve ever seen before. It has been brought into the 21st Century with a handsome target stock and some first-class upgrades, including Lothar Walther barrel and Timney trigger. Here’s a look at a very nice Russian rifle, belonging to Forum member Ben C. (aka “Grimstod”):

CLICK TO See Full-Screen Photo:

Video Shows Rifle Shooting Sub-Half-MOA from Bipod (in the Snow):

Name of rifle: Smyert Mk3 (Modified Mosin Nagant)
Make: Izhmekh/Izhevsk (“Izzy”) High Wall
Model: 91/30 | Year: 1942

Components and Specifications:

Barrel: Lothar Walther 26″
Contour: 1.18″ straight
Chambering: 7.62x54R, .310 bore
Stock: Bluegrass Tactical (Gen 1 & 2)
Trigger: Timney with Bluegrass trigger shoe
Magazine: Finnish No-Jam magazine
Scope mount: Rock Solid (looks like an action sleeve)
Scope: SWFA 20x42mm MRAD
Gunsmith: Sheppard
Bolt handle: Rock Solid with Surgeon tactical handle
Bipod: Versa Pod
Total Weight: 18.6 lbs

Grimstod’s Mosin Nagant Custom Shoots Under 0.5 MOA From Bipod
Even in harsh winter conditions, the rifle shot well. (I guess we should expect that for a Russian gun). The photo below shows a group shot from bipod. (The video shows Grimstod’s snow-bound range session). Grimstod calculated the group at 0.394 MOA measuring from outside edge to edge. Using our On-Target software, which measures center to center of most distant shots, we came up with 0.428 MOA. Still that’s impressive for an ancient action being shot in the dead of winter with snow falling. To learn more about this rifle (and view photos of the build process), visit the SurplusRifleForum.com.

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
December 24th, 2014

Labors of Love — Doan Trevor, Master Gun-Builder

We recently featured the “Hornady Number One”, a showcase rifle featureing a CAD-designed, machine-cut stock. While many viewers liked that one-of-a-kind Hornady rifle, others lamented the absence of hand-shaped curves on the Hornady’s angular stock. So, for fans of curvy, hand-crafted rifles, we’re presenting this homage to a truly great stock-maker, Doan Trevor, an artist in the old style.

Doan Trevor is a master gunsmith and stock-maker who works in the old style. He still hand-crafts stocks from start to finish, and does all the metal-work on the custom rifles he builds. Starting with highly-figured woods, Doan carves and shapes his stocks largely by hand, with meticulous attention to detail. Each rifle he builds is optimized for its intended discipline, and custom-fitted for the customer.

Doan Trevor

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

With the help of his talented wife Sue (who does the photography and builds the web pages), Doan has created a wonderful website, DoanTrevor.com, that is a feast for the eyes. You can see beautiful wood-stocked rifles being hand-crafted. Doan also illustrates how he creates custom metal parts, and how he beds barreled actions into the finished stocks.

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing
Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

Set aside a few minutes and visit Doan’s website. Be sure to click on the site’s secondary pages: Rifle Building, Woodworking, and Metalworking. You’ll find dozens of high-quality photos and fascinating information on gun-building.

Doan Trevor Customer Gunsmithing

For more information, visit DoanTrevor.com, or call (505) 890-0368, 10am-5pm M-F.

Doan Trevor RifleBuilding
4119 Lanceleaf Ct NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114
505-890-0368

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 3 Comments »
December 24th, 2014

New Rotary Tumbler for Wet-Cleaning Cartridge Brass

More and more shooters are “wet-tumbling” their brass (in liquid) with reusable polishing media, rather than using dry media in a vibratory tumbler. The “wet-cleaning” method works best with a rotary tumbler fitted with a water-tight, horizontal drum to hold your brass, cleaning solution, and stainless, pin-type media. The rotary tumbler of choice has been the Thumler’s Tumbler Model B Heavy-Duty. That is a great, sturdy machine, but now you have a more affordable option.

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series wet liquid horizontal rotary tumbler

Frankford Arsenal has introduced a “Platinum Series” rotary tumbler designed to clean cartridge brass with liquid and stainless media.The watertight, polymer drum rides on four rollers which rotate the drum around its horizontal axis. Two filters are provided so you can quickly separate your brass and media. A built-in timer allows you to set tumbling sessions up to three hours. Frankford Arsenal says its new product will clean up to 1000 cases of .223 Rem brass. That’s impressive capacity.

The Frankford Arsenal rotary tumbler is sold by major retailers including Grafs.com and Cabelas. You’ll find the best prices online.

Amazon Deal
Update 12/28/2015: The Amazon special has expired. As with all sales, timing is everything. Check the link at right for current pricing. You can also check with other vendors such as Midsouth Shooters Supply.

How to Wet-Clean Your Brass in a Rotary Tumbler
On our main Accurateshooter.com website, you’ll find a comprehensive review of the STM system for cleaning cartridge brass with stainless media. To clean brass with stainless media, start with five pounds of small stainless pins sold by StainlessTumblingMedia.com. Place these along with a gallon of water, a little liquid cleaner, and two pounds of cartridge brass in a rotary tumbler, and run the machine for one to four hours. CLICK HERE for Brass Cleaning System Review

YouTube Preview Image

Forum Member Tests STM System
Our reviewer, Forum member Jason Koplin, purchased the STM media and a new Thumler’s Tumbler. He then tested the STM cleaning procedure on his own brass, including some extremely dirty and tarnished “range pick-up” brass. Jason was thoroughly impressed with how well the STM process worked — as you can see from the “before and after” photos below. Brass which looked like it was ready for the scrap heap was restored to “like-new” appearance. The process works equally well on both rifle brass and pistol brass. Jason observed that one surprise benefit of the STM cleaning procedure is a big reduction in noise. Jason said the water-filled rotary tumbler was much quieter than his vibratory tumblers.

stainless tumbling Media

stainless tumbling Media

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 7 Comments »
December 23rd, 2014

Make Your Own PDF Targets with Interactive Target Generator

Are you creative? Do you like to design and customize things? Then you’ll love the Target Generator from the folks at ShooterShed.com. This free, interactive webpage allows you to design a variety of fun targets, including grids, benchrest-type Score Shooting targets, sight-in targets, and even playing card targets. Choose the paper size and orientation (vertical or horizontal), then select the number of target elements on the page. For example, you could have four (4) bulls or 52 playing cards. You can include a grid on the target, or tell the program to include load information blocks. For bullseye targets, you can control the number, color, and spacing (diameter) of the rings. LINK to TARGET GENERATOR.

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

The program provides a preview of each target you generate. If you like a particular design, save the file, and then print as many targets as you want. Check it out, this program is fun and handy to use. Here are five (5) targets your Editor created this morning just for this article. With a bit of practice, you can be generating your own custom targets in minutes. Have fun.

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest
Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

About the Creator of the Target Generator
The excellent Target Generator program was created by Rod Brown of Sheridan, Wyoming. Rod tells us: “I build custom rifles and coach shooters. I’ve got a 100-yard range out my back door. I shoot short- and long-range benchrest competitively around the country. I’m a full-time software development consultant and an FFL holder. When I’m not developing custom software for my clients, I’m usually fiddling in the shop, building a custom benchrest rifle, traveling to a match, chambering a barrel, or reloading some ammunition.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, New Product No Comments »
December 23rd, 2014

Second-Hand Rifle of the Year — 30BR That Still Shoots Dots

Forum member Toby Bradshaw is one lucky dude. He recently acquired a “previously owned” 30BR benchrest rifle from fellow forum member Al Nyhus. This 17-year-old gun has to be a candidate for “Second-Hand Rifle of the Year.” You see, Al’s cast-off 30BR still shoots tiny little dots — as its new owner discovered. Al Nyhus reports: “That gun won literally piles of trophies, plaques and patches for me. It will win any time and any where for ‘ya if you hit the flags right.”

Here are the first three-shot groups out of the gun, during load testing by its new owner. Yeah, we would take that. Needless to say, Toby is delighted with his “hand-me-down” purchase. If only all new benchrest rifles could shoot this way!

Al Nyhus Toby Bradshaw 30 BR 30BR wildcat benchrest Score Shooting H4198 Berger Bullets

Bradshaw Bags a 17-Year-Old Panda-Actioned 30BR from Al Nyhus
Toby tells us: “I took advantage of Al Nyhus’s move from score shooting to drag racing, and picked up his ’97 vintage Panda 30BR. I hauled my gear to the range to zero the Leupold 45x that I put in the Kelbly high rings, and to produce three snug cases to send to the Harrells for a FL bushing die. I expanded and neck-turned a few gold box 6BR culls, leaving just 0.001 clearance in the chamber to produce a fitted neck, since I don’t yet have a sizing die (but did get a Wilson seater die from Al). I have 1000 118gr 7-ogive bullets on order from Ronnie Cheeks, but I bought 200 Berger 115gr FB to do some fireforming and practice until the Cheeks bullets arrive.

I bore-sighted, adjusted the scope to the first bullet hole, and verified the adjustment with a second shot in the middle of the 100-yard score target sheet (visible in the photo).

After running an H4198 pressure test without any drama, I loaded the once-fireformed brass with a stout load of H4198, bullets still at the jam, and shot two 3-shot groups with a 2-click scope adjustment in between. You can see the results above. I’d say that’s not bad for a ‘used’ rifle with no real load development on my part.”

Toby Bradshaw’s story about his “hand-me-down” 17-year-old rifle reinforces what we’ve been saying for a long time about the little 30BR cartridge. Necked-up from the parent 6mmBR Norma case, the 30BR is, without question, one of the most inherently accurate cartridges ever invented. And it is forgiving….

Compared to the other dominant short-range accuracy cartridge, the 6 PPC, the 30BR tends to be less finicky, and easier to tune. The 30BR offers broad accuracy nodes. Also, we often find that 30BRs are relatively insensitive to seating depth. It’s not uncommon for a good 30 BR to shoot quality bullets equally well at a variety of seating depths, both in the lands and out of the lands.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 3 Comments »