September 2nd, 2016

ATF Defers Change to Smokeless Powder Classifications

NRA ILA ATF BATFE Bureau Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Wetted Nitrocellulose
Smokeless Powder Photo courtesy GunsAmerica.com, Reloading Powder Feature.

There has been a hue and cry on some internet sites about changes in smokeless powder classifications by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Writers have been concerned that recent interpretations by the ATF would make it much more difficult to store and transport reloading powders, which in turn could lead to price increases and/or powder shortages. Concern arose over the potential re-classification of “wetted” Nitrocellulose as a “high explosive”. Since “high explosives” are subject to more stringent rules, such re-classification would alter the way common smokeless propellants could be lawfully stored and transported.

Thankfully, there is good news. On August 31st the ATF issued an Addendum to its June 16 ATF Explosives Industry Newsletter saying that its policies regarding smokeless powders containing Nitrocellulose will not change… at least for now:

NRA ILA ATF BATFE Bureau Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Wetted Nitrocellulose

Based on this “Addendum”, it seems the ATF has tabled its proposal to classify Nitrocellulose-based smokeless powders as “high explosives”.

The NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA ILA) confirms that the ATF has backed off, so that current practices for powder storage and transport can continue unchanged. Thus hand-loaders should NOT face an impending powder shortage and/or price hikes. Here is the NRA ILA’s report:

ATF Delays Any Changes to Nitrocellulose Regulation
Earlier this summer, ATF released an Explosives Industry Newsletter that changed the agency’s treatment of nitrocellulose, the primary component in smokeless powders used in modern ammunition. This change had the potential to seriously disrupt ammunition supply in the United States because it changed a long-standing ATF policy that exempted properly “wetted” nitrocellulose from treatment as an explosive under federal law.

NRA and [shooting industry representatives] raised these concerns to ATF and any change in ATF’s treatment of nitrocellulose is now officially delayed. In an addendum to the earlier newsletter, ATF announced that it “will conduct further industry outreach concerning wetted Nitrocellulose. In the interim, previously authorized industry practices concerning wetted Nitrocellulose will NOT be affected.”

While the addendum doesn’t indicate that ATF has permanently abandoned this change to nitrocellulose regulation, smokeless powder manufacturers will be permitted to continue normal operation, at least for the time being. NRA will continue to work to ensure that any future change to nitrocellulose regulation will not affect ammunition supply.

ATF Industry Newsletter Caused Concern
The cause for firearms industry concern was the ATF’s statement about Nitrocellulose published in the June 2016 ATF Explosives Industry Newsletter. The key language is shown in the right column below. According to the NRA ILA, the ATF has, at least for the time being, decided NOT to change its policies regarding the storage and transport of “wetted” Nitrocellulose. Accordingly, “smokeless powder manufacturers will be permitted to continue normal operation”.

NRA ILA ATF BATFE Bureau Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Wetted Nitrocellulose

Permalink News, Reloading 2 Comments »
September 2nd, 2016

Max and Jessie Win World Speed Shooting Championships

Max Michel WSSC San Luis Obispo Jessie Duff

The 2016 World Speed Shooting Championships (WSSC) were held August 25-27 at the Hogue Action Pistol Range in San Luis Obispo, California. This prestigious U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) match attracted 125 competitors from around the world, who competed in eight precisely-configured Steel Challenge stages. At the WSSC, it’s all about speed — getting hits on steel in the shortest possible time. And no one on the planet is better at that than Max Michel Jr., King of the Steel Challenge.

This year, Max Michel captured another World Championship title, finishing 0.85 seconds ahead of second place K.C. Eusebio, with B.J. Norris placing third. This was Max’s fourth straight WSSC title and his seventh overall. We’d call that dominance. At this year’s competition, Max logged a best-ever overall score of 74.84, while setting a new world record on the final stage (Outer Limits). Max now owns the overall course world record and seven (of eight) stage world records.

Max Michel WSSC San Luis Obispo Jessie Duff

Not to be outdone by Max, Taurus® Team Captain Jessie Duff took her sixth consecutive Ladies Open WSSC Title, and Duff won the Overall Single Stack World Speed Shooting Championship as well. As in years past, Jessie dominated the Women’s Division, but she was most proud of her Single Stack Overall Victory: “To win an overall championship title has been a dream of mine since I started shooting, something I’ve spent all my time working towards. I couldn’t be more proud to win the overall Single Stack title with my Taurus, allowing them to share in this victory with me!”

With a 30-year heritage, the WSSC Steel Challenge Match draws the world’s top speed shooters — both men and women. The three-day match is unique in that competitors shoot different guns each day: Rimfire on Thursday, Iron Sights on Friday, and the full-boogie Open guns on Saturday. The stages are precisely set up with exact Steel Challenge target spacing and distances. That creates an equal playing field at all WSSC events so stage record times can be set at any WSSC venue.

Permalink Competition, Handguns No Comments »
September 2nd, 2016

KRG 180-Alpha Tactical Chassis for Savage Actions

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

Can a budget-priced Savage shoot like a Sako TRG 22? Well, adding a custom “pre-fit” barrel and a state-of-the-art chassis system can transform a “Plain Jane” Savage into a serious tactical rifle. And now Kinetic Research Group (KRG) offers a new fully-adjustable chassis that’s just the ticket for a Savage tactical conversion. Just get a used Savage action, spin on a Criterion, Pac-Nor, or Shilen pre-fit barrel, and add the new 180-Alpha Chassis from KRG.

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

KRG offers 180-Alpha Chassis for Savage rifles. This fully-adjustable, light-weight (3.5 lbs) chassis fits Savage short action rifles with 4.4″ action bolt spacing. The 180-Alpha features tool-less cheek-piece height adjustment, spacer Length-of-Pull (LOP) adjustment, buttpad height adjustment, and plenty of accessory mounting positions. Suggested retail price for the 180-Alpha starts at $768.00 for the side bolt-release version. A bottom-release model is slightly more.

CLICK HERE for Specifications of KRG 180-Alpha Stock for Savages.

Compare KRG’s 180-Alpha Chassis to the hardware on the real deal — a Sako TRG 22 with adjustable, folding stock (model JRSM416, shown below). This SAKO TRG22 rifle in .308 Winchester retails for $5,198.00. With KRG’s 180-Alpha chassis you can put together an ergonomically-similar tactical rifle for thousands less.

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

Using the KRG Chassis, a take-off Savage action, and a premium pre-fit barrel, you can build a similar system for around $1540.00. Here’s how we get that figure: $370.00 for Criterion pre-fit barrel, $400.00 for action (YMMV), and $768.00 for stock (Total $1538.00).

KRG produces other adjustable, modular chassis systems for bolt-action rifles. KRG’s popular Whiskey 3 Chassis system fits the Tikka T3, Remington® 700™, Sako M995, Badger M2008, and 700 Long Action. The KRG X-RAY Chassis fits the Rem 700 Short Action, and Tikka T3, and the 180 X-RAY fits the CZ-455, Howa 1500, and Weatherby Vanguard platforms.

KRG 180 alpha Savage Tactical chassis pre-fit PRS

Product Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Tactical No Comments »