April 5th, 2016

New Federal Syntech Ammo with Polymer-Encased Bullets

Federal American Eagel Syntec polymer encased bullet

Federal Ammunition is releasing a new line of range ammunition with polymer-encased projectiles. American Eagle Syntech is the first range-specific factory-loaded ammunition designed to reduce fouling and extend barrel life with a high-tech polymer bullet coating plus specially-formulated clean-burning powders. The potential for reduced wear and fouling is real — when tested against conventional FMJ ammunition, Federal claims Syntech produced an average of 12% less barrel friction and 14% less heat. Also, since Syntech bullets lack a metal jacket, there is less chance of ricochets on steel targets. Initially, three (3) types of Syntech ammo will be offered: 9mm Luger (115 grain); 40 S&W (165 grain); and .45 ACP (230 grain).

Federal American Eagel Syntec polymer encased bullet

For years this Editor has loaded his .45 ACP and .44 Mag handguns with polymer/moly matrix-coated bullets from Precision Bullets in Texas. Those poly/moly-encased lead bullets shot VERY accurately and I found that my barrels fouled much less than with conventional lead bullets. Likewise, there was much less cylinder fouling on my revolvers. If the American Syntech bullets work as well as those Precision bullets, I think the Syntech line will be a winner. Syntech bullets should benefit any shooter who frequents a range where lead ammo is not allowed.

Features & Benefits
• Polymer-encapsulated Syntech bullet prevents metal-on-metal contact in the bore, eliminating copper and lead fouling, while extending barrel life.
• Exclusive primer formulation provides reliable, consistent ignition.
• Clean-burning propellants minimize residue and fouling.
• Significantly reduces the required frequency of cleaning.
• Absence of a copper jacket minimizes splash-back on steel targets.

Federal American Eagel Syntec polymer encased bullet

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April 5th, 2016

Solvent-Resistant Jags — No More “False Positives”

Brass jags perform well for their intended purpose — with one hitch. Strong copper solvents can actually leech metal from the jag itself, leaving the tell-tale blue tint on your patches. This “false positive” can be frustrating, and may lead shooters to over-clean their barrels.

Nylon JagGunslick Nylon Spire-Point Jags
There are now some good alternatives to brass jags. The best may be the Gunslick® Nylon Snap-Lock™ jags shown at right. These never leave a “false positive”. A while back, Larry Bartholome, past USA F-Class Team Captain told us: “The best spear-type jags I have used are the GunSlick black nylon tips. I have used the model 92400 for the last couple years in my 6BR and 6.5-284s. Unlike the white plastic jags, these are strong and there’s no brass to worry about.” You can purchase these nylon jags directly from GunSlick just $1.49 each. At that price, they’re worth a try.

#92400 for 22 through 270 calibers: $1.49
#92421 for 30 through 375/8mm calibers: $1.49
#92423 for 38 through 38/9mm calibers: $1.49


MidwayUSA Nickel Cleaning Jags

MidwayUSA Nickel Cleaning JagsTipton Nickel-Coated JagsIf you prefer a metal jag, consider the Tipton Nickel-coated Ultra Jags, sold both individually and as a boxed set. We recommend the new-style, 12-Jag Kit from MidwayUSA (Midway item #812503, $16.99). This features an easy-to-use, clear-topped fitted caddy that can lie flat on your bench, or be attached vertically (to save space).All Tipton nickel-plated jags have 8-32 thread, except for the .17 caliber jag which has a 5-40 thread. The vast majority of user reviews have been very positive. A few guys have complained that the nickel-plated Tipton jags run oversize, but we use a .22-caliber jag in our 6mms anyway, so this hasn’t been a problem for us. The 6mm (.243 caliber) nickel-plated jag (MidwayUSA item 259834) costs $4.79.

Another Tipton 12-jag set (photo above right), covering .17 to .45 calibers, including a flip-top carry case, is offered by Midsouth Shooters Supply for $17.62 (Midsouth item 094-500012).


Clear-Coating Your Brass Jags
If you’re reluctant to give up your collection of brass jags (after all they’ve worked pretty well so far), try covering the jag itself with a thin, transparent coating. Forum Member BillPA says: “I give the brass jags a coat of clear lacquer or acrylic; that works for me”. You may need to experiment to find a coating that stands up to your favorite solvent. BillPA says: “The only solvent I’ve found that eats the lacquer off is TM Solution. Butch’s, Shooter’s Choice, or Wipe-Out don’t seem to bother it. Most of the time I use rattle-can clear lacquer”. If you’re feeling creative, you could even color-code your jags by adding tints to the clear-coat.

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April 5th, 2016

Scouting on Target — The Marksmanship Merit Badge

Boy Scout Merit Badge American Rifleman

Last year 43,196 young Americans earned a very special marksmanship distinction. Can you guess what that was? Here’s a hint — the award helps a young person become an Eagle Scout. That’s right, last year 43,196 Boy Scouts earned the Marksmanship Merit Badge for rifle shooting. This is one of the toughest badges to earn, according to Scouting leaders, but it is still one of the most popular badges among Scouts — it fact it is the second most earned elective merit badge. Since 1910, over 350,000 Scouts have earn Rifle Shooting Merit Badges. Millions more have participated in Boy Scout Shooting programs. Merit badges are offered for both Rifle Shooting and Shotgun shooting.

Mark Keefe, editor of the American Rifleman explains: “According to Scouting magazine, the Rifle Shooting Merit badge was number two of the non-required badges earned by all Boy Scouts cross country last year with 43,196 Rifle Shooting merit badges sewn on sashes. Since 2009, again according to Scouting, nearly 350,000 Rifle Shooting merit badges have been earned. That’s a lot of merit badges — and a lot of .22 Long Rifle downrange.”

Boy Scout Merit Badge American Rifleman

The Marksmanship Merit Badge has been offered by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) since the first Boy Scout Handbook in 1910. Keefe explains: “Back in 1910 to earn the ‘Marksman’ Badge of Merit, you had to ‘Qualify as a marksman in accordance with the requirements of the National Rifle Association.’ And NRA and the BSA of have had a strong partnership for more than a century, and both organizations remain committed to teaching firearms safety and marksmanship.”

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