November 8th, 2017

Dave Emary Retires as Hornady Senior Ballistician

Hornady 17 HMR 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance David Dave Emary Retire retirement senior ballistician

Dave Emary is concluding his 24-year career at Hornady. Although retiring from full-time duties, Emary will continue with Hornady as a consultant. AccurateShooter.com wants to acknowledge Dave’s decades of important work in the gun industry. Brilliant, dedicated, and forward-thinking, Dave has been one of the top minds in our industry for many years. He will be missed. He can claim credit for many of the most important innovations in cartridge and bullet design in recent decades.

Ask Dave Emary what he liked best about his job as senior ballistics scientist at Hornady, and he’d tell you that it was finding better ways to do things. “At the heart of me, I’m a tinkerer,” Emary said.

To borrow an expression from aeronautics, this Air Force veteran is inclined to “push the envelope,” to think outside the box. “I’m not one willing to just go with the status quo,” Emary said.

Over his 24-year tenure with the company, Emary helped accomplish some of the biggest breakthroughs at Hornady. Although Emary said he was merely in the right place at the right time, the list of projects he influenced in one way or another is a long one.

Dave Emary the Innovator
Fans of Hornady products will quickly recognize the names of ammunition lines such as Critical Defense®, Precision Hunter™ and LEVERevolution®, or cartridges like the 6.5 Creedmoor and 17 HMR, but those are just a few of the dozens Emary worked on after being hired as bullet/ammo lab manager in 1994. For his groundbreaking work, Emary was honored as one of Outdoor Life’s Top 25 for Innovation in 2007.

Emary came by his interest in ballistics naturally, growing up on a farm near Wakeman, Ohio, where he began shooting when he was 10 years old. His dad had a .22, and he shot a lot of small game, rocks and other targets of opportunity.


In this 2008 video, Dave Emary talks about the “new” 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge.

Hornady 17 HMR 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance David Dave Emary Retire retirement senior ballistician

Father And Son at the Vintage Sniper Match

Dave Emary was a key figure in starting the CMP’s Vintage Sniper Rifle Match. Dave was instrumental in bringing the new match to fruition and he says his father was his inspiration. Below, Dave Emary and his father Robert reflect on the success of the first Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Match held at Camp Perry.

Vintage Sniper David Emary Dave Hornady

Robert Emary (above right) was a decorated World War II scout sniper who parachuted into Holland after the Normandy Invasion and fought all the way to the Eagle’s Nest. (Photo: CMP The First Shot)

Vintage Sniper David Emary Dave Hornady
Dave Emary was a competitive shooter. This photo shows Dave (left) and “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (right) shooting the Vintage Sniper Team Match at Camp Perry. (Photo: NRA Blog)

Q and A with Dave Emary

There is an interesting interview with Dave Emary on the Hornady Blog. Dave shares some insider knowledge on how new cartridge types are developed and SAAMI/CIP standardized. And Dave also comments on his favorite new and old cartridges:

Q: Which Hornady rounds have you helped design?

A: This list gets pretty long, Light and Heavy Magnum, A-MAX Match bullets, V-MAX bullets and the Varmint Express line, 450 Marlin, 17 HMR, 204 Ruger, 17 M2, LEVERevolution bullets and ammunition, 308 and 338 Marlin Express, Ruger Compact Magnums, Critical Defense bullets and ammunition line, 6.5 Creedmoor, Critical DUTY bullets and ammunition, Superformance propellants and ammunition. There’s probably some I’ve forgotten.

Q: What is your personal favorite caliber and why?

A: I love the 6.5 Creedmoor. It provides exceptional accuracy along with being very easy and comfortable to shoot. The external and terminal performance offered by 6.5 mm bullets for the ease of shooting is unmatched. At this point in time it is the only bolt action hunting rifle I own. I occasionally pick it up rather than my lever guns to go hunting. It almost seems unfair hunting with it because of how accurate and flat it shoots and how effective it is.

Hornady 17 HMR 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance David Dave Emary Retire retirement senior ballistician

Q: Which historic calibers do you admire and which is the greatest in your view?

A: It’s hard to look past the .303 British and 8×57 because of their tremendous historic significance. I would also rate the .30–06 in with the previous two. The other cartridge I think really started the present day commercial sporting ammunition designs is the 30–30 Winchester. It was one of the first high velocity, smokeless, commercial offerings and lead the way for cartridge development that eventually far eclipsed it.

Dave Emary’s Background — Physics, Astronomy, Air Force Service, and Ballistics
After earning his Bachelor of Science in physics from Bowling Green State University, Dave worked for a year at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico before joining the U.S. Air Force. In the Air Force, he earned a second bachelor’s degree, in aeronautical/astronomical engineering. He served for six years, rising to the rank of captain.

After the Air Force, Emary worked at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC), the largest ordnance-testing facility in the U.S. outside the government. “That’s where I really got into the ballistics side of things,” Emary said. Among other things, research by Emary and his colleagues led to the development of the electromagnetic railguns now being used by the U.S. Navy that launch projectiles at 4,500 mph.

From there, he went to work for St. Marks Powder in Florida, the nation’s largest gun propellant producer. There, his work caught the attention of Steve Hornady, who offered Emary a job. “Dave had built a reputation as an innovative thinker and problem solver, and I wanted those qualities for our team,” Hornady said.

Dave Emary Returns to EMRTC as Engineering Director
Although he has retired from Hornady, Dave Emary will still use his skill set and vast ballistics knowledge in a new job at a familiar place — as Director of Engineering at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center. EMRTC is internationally recognized in explosives research and testing. For Emary, it’s just his way of easing into retirement.

“I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to be a member of this industry, Hornady Manufacturing and to have been afforded the opportunities I have been given,” Emary said. “I thank the Lord every day for the success I have had, which has been enormously aided by many other people.” — Dave Emary

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 3 Comments »
November 8th, 2017

Shooting USA TV Features Bianchi Cup Competition

2017 NRA Bianchi Cup Columbia MO Action Pistol Championship
Match pistol photo courtesy Clark Custom Guns.

Bianchi Cup Pistol MatchThis week’s edition of Shooting USA, which airs Wednesday, November 8, features the NRA Bianchi Cup. This competition is one of the most prestigious and popular events in the world of handgun shooting. Officially, the annual competition in Columbia, Missouri is known as the National Championship of NRA Action Pistol. But to everybody, world-wide, it’s the Bianchi Cup, the trophy named for one of the founders, John Bianchi. In the past 30 years the match has become the richest handgun tournament in the world, with cash and prizes for the best scores on four stages of fire. Shooting USA will spotlight top male and female Bianchi Cup competitors in both wheelgun and and semi-auto pistol divisions. Along with North American shooters, the Bianchi Cup draws top handgun competitors from around the globe. Shooting USA airs Wednesday nights, on the Outdoor Channel, at 9:30 pm, and 1:30 am (Thursday) — East Coast Times.

CLICK HERE to Preview Bianchi Cup Episode on Shooting USA »

John Scoutten and S&W shooter Julie Golob report the action from the Bianchi Cup. This year shooters from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan traveled to Columbia, Missouri in search of the perfect 1920 match score. Each round is the aggregate of the four (4) fired events: Practical, Barricade, Falling Plate, and Moving Target Events. Each of the four events requires 48 shots to complete. 480 points possible on each event. Three of the four are scored on the NRA tombstone P1 target. You must hit in the 10-ring or inner X-Ring on EVERY shot to shoot a “clean” 1920.

Bianchi Cup Pistol Doug Koenig 2017

27 Years ago Doug Koening set the standard with a 1920. Since then, every Open shooter knows that he or she must “clean” this match (i.e. score a “1920”) to have a chance to take the title of “Champion”. The X-Count is the tie-breaker.

Bianchi Cup Pistol Doug Koenig 2017
Here are the top four women shooting the Practical Event during the Colt Championship Final. From top: 2017 Bianchi Women’s Champion Cherie Blake, third place SFC Katie Bahten, second place Anita Mackiewicz, and fourth place Jessie Duff. Shooting Sports USA Photo

This Bianchi Cup Preview, filmed a few seasons back, offers the perpective of newcomers to the game…

Bianchi Cup — Classic Course of Fire
The MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup is a combination of Speed and Accuracy. Competitors shoot from both standing and prone positions and are also required to shoot with both strong and weak hands at various stages. Stages may combine stationary and moving targets. As conceived by former police officer and holster-maker John Bianchi, the Bianchi Cup originated in 1979 as a Law Enforcement Training match. The Course of Fire consists of four separate matches:

  • The Practical Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at distances from 10 yards to 50 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Barricade Event: From within shooting boxes and behind barricades, a shooter fires at targets on either side of the barricade at different distances and under varying time limits.
  • The Falling Plate Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at 8 inch round steel plates arranged in banks of six at distances from 10 to 25 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Moving Target Event: From within shooting boxes at distances ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the shooter fires at a target moving from left to right with the target being exposed for only 6 seconds.

Due to the high accuracy required in each stage of the Bianchi Cup, the tournament is widely considered one of the most difficult handgun championships on the planet.

Bianchi Cup Revolver

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November 8th, 2017

Great Video Shows Custom 6.5×47 Lapua Rifle Build by S&S

S&S Precision 6.5x47 Custom Rifle gunsmithing Texas Stick Starks

Here’s one of the most popular videos from the Daily Bulletin archives. If you’ve ever wondered how a top-flight, custom rifle is built, watch carefully….

S&S Precision 6.5x47This video, produced for the folks at S&S Precision in Denton, Texas, shows a full custom 6.5×47 bench rifle being crafted from start to finish. It is a fantastic video, one of the best precision rifles video you’ll find on YouTube. It shows every aspect of the job — action bedding, chambering, barrel-fitting, muzzle crowning, and stock finishing.

You’ll be amazed at the paint job on this rig — complete with flames and four playing cards: the 6, 5, 4, and 7 of spades. Everyone should take the time to watch this 13-minute video from start to finish, particularly if you are interested in stock painting or precision gunsmithing. And the video has a “happy ending”. This custom 6.5×47 proves to be a real tack-driver, shooting a 0.274″ three-shot group at 400 yards to win “small group” in its first fun match. NOTE: If you have a fast internet connection, we recommend you watch this video in 720p HD.

We’re told that the founder of S&S Precision, the inimitable “Stick” Starks, is retiring from full-time gunsmithing duties. This video is a nice tribute to Stick’s dedication to his craft for so many decades.

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