February 1st, 2015

Eagle Eye Ammo — Impressive .308 Win Factory Loads

Our friend Anette Wachter, a member of the 2015 U.S. Palma Team, recently tested some .308 Win ammo from Eagle Eye Precision. We have heard good things about this ammunition, and Anette (aka 30 Cal Gal) confirms that it shoots great. Here is her impressive 200-yard test target. Anette posted: “Most amazing out of box ammo I have shot. First six rounds at 200 yards test [is shown at right].”

0.212 MOA at 200 yards
Using OnTarget group-measuring software, we measured Anette’s 6-shot group at 0.445″ (center-to-center). That’s 0.212 MOA. That’s right, Anette’s group measured under quarter-MOA at 200 yards. For reference, a dime is 0.705″ in diameter.

Anette’s Group was measured with On-Target Software.

Another U.S. Palma Team member, Top Shot competitor Kelly Bachand, has also tried Eagle Eye ammo. Kelly came away very impressed: “I’ve personally tested this ammunition and in my initial tests it was as consistent as anything I can hand-load myself. Eagle Eye Precision Ammunition is on the up and up, you’ll have to check it out.”

Eagle Eye Ammo is Verified to Shoot 1/2 Minute of Angle or Better
Remarkably, every lot of Eagle Eye ammunition is rifle-tested for accuracy. If it doesn’t shoot 1/2-MOA or better, it will not ship. Obviously Eagle Eye can’t guarantee its ammo will shoot this well in every customer’s rifle, but this is still an impressive standard. Eagle Eye states:

“At Eagle Eye Precision we guarantee every lot is tested to 1/2 minute of angle or better. One minute of angle equates to approximately 1 inch at 100 yards and 1/2 minute of angle is approximately 1/2 inch at 100 yards. For comparison, the diameter of a dime is approximately 0.7 inches. Therefore, Eagle Eye Precision 1/2 minute of angle (0.5 inch) groups are smaller than a dime at 100 yards. Eagle Eye Precision ammunition is test fired with real rifles (not accuracy barrels bolted to a bench) at 100 yards. If the group size from the test exceeds 1/2 inch we reject and scrap the lot. If we are not absolutely certain a lot of ammunition can shoot 1/2 minute of angle we do not ship it to customers.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 4 Comments »
February 1st, 2015

Plano AirGlides on Sale for $33.96 with Free Shipping

Plano airglide gun rifle case sale amazon

The popular vertical-loading AirGlide rifle case from Plano is on sale again. You may want to strike while the price is right. Amazon.com is offering the Plano AirGlide for $33.96 with FREE shipping for Amazon Prime Members. (Non-Prime members will be charged for shipping.)

UPDATE: The widget is now showing a higher price. However, after getting to Amazon, if you click on other sellers there is still a price under $35.00. On 2/5/2015, the lowest price was $31.41.

AirGlide Sale: $33.96 Plano AirGlide Scoped Rifle Case (up to 50″ OAL).

Among injection-molded rifle cases, Plano’s AirGlide™ case is unique in holding a rifle vertically, in foam cradles. This allows ample room for the 3″-wide fore-ends on BR and Varmint rifles. The foam blocks front and rear can even be trimmed for a custom fit, and velcro webbing straps hold the rifle securely. The AirGlide’s hinged top-opening lid provides clearance for all but the most massive target scopes, with no side load on the turrets. (We’ve found that some eggcrate foam-lined gun cases can put enough pressure on scope knobs to alter your zero.)

Plano Air-Glide Rifle Case

Airglide Will Hold a Benchrest Rifle with Wide Fore-end and 28″ Barrel
Measuring 51 1/2″L x 7 3/4″W x 12 1/4″H, the AirGlide can easily handle rifles up to 50″ in length. That should hold BR rifles with barrels up to 29″ (or 28″ if you have a thick recoil pad). With its 27.5″ barrel, my 6BR is exactly 49″ long (including pad) and there is about 1.3 inches to spare in an Airglide. If you have a real long barrel or extended buttplate, measure the gun first.

Priced attractively, the AirGlide has proven very popular with Varmint shooters and BR competitors. Lockable and airline-approved, the AirGlide is a unique product at an affordable price. This Editor owns three AirGlides and they are my favorite hardcases for transporting wide-stocked rifles to the range. (For airline transport, I do prefer a heavy-duty, wheeled aluminum safari case with internal locks.)

Plano Air-Glide Rifle Case
Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
February 1st, 2015

Over-Shooting the Berm — When a Mere 5 Degrees Can Be Deadly

In our Shooters’ Forum, there was an discussion about a range that was threatened with closure because rifle over-shoots were hitting a farm building over two miles from the firing line. One reader was skeptical of this, asking “how’s that possible — were these guys aiming at the stars?” Actually, you may be surprised. It doesn’t take much up-angle on a rifle to have a bullet land miles down-range. That’s why it’s so important that hunters and target shooters always orient their barrels in a safe direction (and angle). Shooters may not realize how much a small tilt of the barrel (above horizontal) can alter a bullet’s trajectory.

How many degrees of muzzle elevation do you think it would take to hit a barn at 3000 yards? Ten Degrees? Twenty Degrees? Actually the answer is much less — for a typical hunting cartridge, five to seven degrees of up-angle on the rifle is enough to create a trajectory that will have your bullet impacting at 3000 yards — that’s 1.7 miles away!

Five degrees isn’t much at all. Look at the diagram below. The angle actually displayed for the up-tilted rifle is a true 5.07 degrees (above horizontal). Using JBM Ballistics, we calculated 5.07° as the angle that would produce a 3000-yard impact with a 185gr .30-caliber bullet launched at 2850 fps MV. That would be a moderate “book load” for a .300 Win Mag deer rifle.

Gun Angle long range

Here’s how we derived the angle value. Using Litz-derived BCs for a 185gr Berger Hunting VLD launched at 2850 fps, the drop at 3000 yards is 304.1 MOA (Minutes of Angle), assuming a 100-yard zero. This was calculated using a G7 BC with the JBM Ballistics Program. There are 60 MOA for each 1 degree of Angle. Thus, 304.1 MOA equals 5.068 degrees. So, that means that if you tilt up your muzzle just slightly over five degrees, your 185gr bullet (2850 fps MV) will impact 3000 yards down-range.

Gun Angle long range

Figuring Trajectories with Different Bullets and MVs
If the bullet travels slower, or if you shoot a bullet with a lower BC, the angle elevation required for a 3000-yard impact goes up, but the principle is the same. Let’s say you have a 168gr HPBT MatchKing launched at 2750 fps MV from a .308 Winchester. (That’s a typical tactical load.) With a 100-yard zero, the total drop is 440.1 MOA, or 7.335 degrees. That’s more up-tilt than our example above, but seven degrees is still not that much, when you consider how a rifle might be handled during a negligent discharge. Think about a hunter getting into position for a prone shot. If careless, he could easily touch off the trigger with a muzzle up-angle of 10 degrees or more. Even when shooting from the bench, there is the possibility of discharging a rifle before the gun is leveled, sending the shot over the berm and, potentially, thousands of yards down-range.

Hopefully this article has shown folks that a very small amount of barrel elevation can make a huge difference in your bullet’s trajectory, and where it eventually lands. Nobody wants to put holes in a distant neighbor’s house, or worse yet, have the shot cause injury. Let’s go back to our original example of a 185gr bullet with a MV of 2850 fps. According to JBM, this projectile will still be traveling 687 fps at 3000 yards, with 193.7 ft/lbs of retained energy at that distance. That’s more than enough energy to be deadly.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 13 Comments »