April 28th, 2017

Shot Costs Calculated for .223 Rem, 6BR, 6XC, .308 Win, 6.5×284

Shooting Cost by Cartridge Caliber type USAMU

Estimating Actual Cost per Round by Caliber
This article comes from the USAMU, which provide shooting and reloading tips on its Facebook Page. This week’s USAMU TECH TIP outlines a ballpark-estimate method of calculating the actual cost per round of different calibers. Some applications, and some shooters, by virtue of their high level of competition, require the very best ballistic performance available — “Darn the cost, full speed ahead!

If you are in serious contention to win a major competition, then losing even a single point to inferior ballistic performance could cost you a national title or record. However, this “horsepower” does come at a cost! Some calibers are barrel-burners, and some offer much longer barrel life. Look at this comparison chart:

Estimated Cost Per Round by Cartridge Type

Below are some estimated total expense per round (practice and competition) based on component costs, type used, expected barrel life and a standard, chambered barrel cost of $520.00 across calibers.

5.56x45mm: $0.46/round (barrel life 6,000 rounds)*

6mmBR: $0.81/round (barrel life 2800 rounds)

6XC: $0.97/round (barrel life 2200 rounds)

.308 Win: $0.80/round (barrel life 4500 rounds)

6.5-284: $1.24/round (barrel life 1100 rounds)

*Note the high round count estimate for 5.56x45mm. This is a bit deceptive, as it assumes a period of “lesser accuracy” use. The USAMU says: “Much of the difference you see here between 5.56 and .308 is due to using the 5.56 barrel for 100-200 yard training with less-expensive, 55gr Varmint bullets after its long-range utility is spent”.

Moreover, while some applications require specialized, high-cost components, others do not. And, if the shooter is still relatively new to the sport and hasn’t refined his skill to within the top few percentile of marksmen, a more economical caliber choice can help stretch a limited budget. Translation: More skill per dollar!

In this post, the prices for all items mentioned here were taken from a major component supplier’s current advertisements, and all brass was of top quality, except in the case of 5.56mm. There, 200 top-quality, imported cases were reserved for 600-yard shooting, and the other brass used was once-fired Lake City surplus.

Cartridge cases were assumed to be loaded 10 times each. [Your mileage may vary…] Bullet prices assumed the use of less-expensive, but good-quality match bullets for the bulk of shooting as appropriate.

The cost of top-tier, highly-expensive match bullets was also calculated for a realistic percentage of the shots fired, based on ones’ application. Barrel life by caliber was taken from likely estimates based on experience and good barrel maintenance.

Brass Costs Based on 10 Loads Per Case
Often, handloaders may calculate ammunition cost per round by adding the individual costs of primers, powder charges and projectiles. Many don’t consider the cost of brass, as it is reloaded several times. Here, we’ll consider the cost of enough top-quality brass to wear out a barrel in our given caliber, at 10 loads per case, except as noted above.

Don’t Forget Amortized Barrel Costs
Few shooters factor in the full, true cost of barrel life. Depending on caliber, that can dramatically increase the cost per round. For example, consider a long-range rifle in 6.5/284 caliber. This cartridge performs amazingly well, but at a cost. Ballpark estimated barrel life [in a top-quality barrel] is 1100 rounds. Some wear out faster, some last longer, but this gives a rough idea of what to expect.

Accurate barrels are a joy to use, but they are an expendable resource!
Shooting Cost by Cartridge Caliber type USAMU

A top-quality barrel plus installation was estimated at about $520.00. At 1100 rounds, barrel life adds $0.47 per round to our total cost. Thus, what had started out as an [components-only estimate, with brass cost] of $0.76/round now totals $1.24 per shot!

Cost Considerations When Choosing a Catridge Type
Some shooters might ask themselves if they could meet their present needs with a more economical caliber. If so, that equates to more practice and matches per available dollar, and more potential skill increase on the available budget.

Each shooter knows his skill level, practice needs, and shooting discipline’s requirements. Some might shoot NRA Service Rifle or Match Rifle using a 5.56mm with a long barrel life. Others might be Match Rifle shooters faced with choosing between, say, a 6mm BR vs. 6XC. A realistic assessment of ones needs, performance-wise, may help guide the shooter toward a caliber that’s most optimized to their needs at the moment.

Admittedly, the factors affecting cost for any individuals circumstances can vary significantly. However, hopefully this will provide one useful method of evaluating one’s training and competition choices, based on their skill, goals and needs.

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April 28th, 2017

NRA Offers New Carry Guard Legal Insurance Program

carryguard NRA insurance program

Do you carry a firearm for self-protection, or perhaps keep a handgun in a vehicle during trips? Then you should consider signing up for a new insurance/training program offered by the NRA. Launched this week, the NRA’s Carry Guard program offers up to $1,000,000 in insurance/legal protection. This is combined with a comprehensive training program.

The Carry Guard program offers a 24/7 hotline for members. You get immediate response to secure bail bonds, legal retainers, and counseling. Importantly you can choose your own attorney from a nationwide attorney referral network. Members get up to $1,000,000 in insurance-backed protection for legal fees and will receive emergency support services in case of a self-defense incident. Spouses of NRA Carry Guard members are automatically covered, as are family members who live with a Carry Guard member and defend themselves in the home.

carryguard NRA insurance program

Three levels of protection are offered, with affordable monthly payments. When you consider that the cost of defending a civil lawsuit could easily exceed $150,000 just in legal fees, it’s smart to have some kind of legal insurance plan.

carryguard NRA insurance program

Carry Guard Training

Carry Guard members can access a variety of video tutorials. In addition, CarryGuard offers three-day training programs that combine classroom sessions with range training. The focus is on the real-life scenarios you might face. “We apply those [gun-handling] fundamentals to real-life situations, self-defense tactics and techniques, low-light shooting, force-on-force Air Soft scenarios and more. Students are evaluated on a course of fire where only a passing score earns eligibility to move to the next level.”

carry guard NRA insurance program

If you have questions about the Carry Guard Program, consult the Carry Guard FAQ page, call 1-866-NRA-5050, or use the NRA’s Contact Form.

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April 28th, 2017

Event Schedule for NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

Trump NRA annual meetings and exhibits Atlanta Georgia

It’s Friday, which means the Exhibit Hall of the 146th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits opens today at 9:00 am! The big attraction will be the 800+ exhibitors in the Hall — including virtually all the big name firearms manufacturers, ammo/component makers, optics makers, and shooting accessory suppliers. Along with the exhibitors, there are seminars, workshops, special events, and celebrity meet and greets now through Sunday the 30th. Here’s a quick glimpse of what’s happening today:

Regular Daily Events

NRA Booth, Booth #1912
National Firearms Museum, Booth #457
Pyramid Air – Air Gun Range, Room B309
Wall of Guns, Second Floor Hallway

Special Events

Trump NRA annual meetings and exhibits Atlanta Georgia

NRA-ILA Leadership Forum (ticket required)
Georgia World Congress Center, Hall A
Doors open at 11:00am
Event starts at 12:30 pm.

NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction (ticket required)
Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center
Event starts at 6:00 pm.

Celebrity Appearances

Julie Golob – Booth #4042 – 9:00am – 10:00am; 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Graham Allen – Booth #4748 – 10:00am – 11:30am
Leaspeed6 – Booth #1713 – 10:00am – 12:00pm
Doug Koenig – Booth #4042 – 10:00am – 11:00am; 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Jerry Miculek – Booth #4042 – 11:00am – 12:00pm; 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Lou Ferrigno – Booth# 1713 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Eva Shockey – Booth #4748 – 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Michael Waddel, Gregg Ritz, and Hal Shaffer – Booth #4042 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Adam Vinatieri – Booth #2429 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm
IraqVeteran8888 – Booth #1713 – 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Click here for a complete list of celebrity appearances.

Seminars/Workshops/Special Presentations

9:00am – 12:00pm, Room B405 – Clubs & Associations Workshop
11:00am – 12:30pm, Room B312 – B313a – Current and Emerging Threats: How It Affects You!
1:00pm – 2:15pm, Room B311 – Jennifer Broome: Choosing a Dog for Your Family
1:00pm – 5:00pm, Room B315 – Refuse To Be A Victim: Teaching Crime Prevention
2:00pm – 5:00pm, Room B312 B313a – Methods of Concealed Carry
2:00pm – 6:00pm, Room B313b – 314 – Sheepdogs: The Bulletproof Mind for the Armed Citizen
2:30pm – 3:30pm, Room B405 – NRA National High Power Rifle Championships Update
3:00pm – 4:30pm, Room B310 – Mental Dynamics of Shooting
3:00pm – 4:15pm, Room B311 – Making the Shot of a Lifetime: Positional Shooting Afield

Click here for a complete list of seminars, workshops, and special presentations.

To see the full schedule, visit www.nraam.org. For more information on events, exhibitors, and exhibit hall hours, visit www.nraam.org or download the Mobile App.

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