November 29th, 2017

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match on Shooting USA TV Today

GAP Grind PRS Tennessee John Scoutten Shooting USA

The November 29, 2017 episode of Shooting USA TV features the Vintage Sniper Rifle at Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. Vintage Sniper Rifle matches have proven popular with competitors of all ages, from 18 to 80. These matches are conducted with two-man teams, using vintage rifles with old-style optics. Most shooters use bolt-action rifles such as the 1903 Springfield and Swedish Mauser, but there is also a semi-auto class popular with Garand shooters. You can watch this episode on the big screen or view this episode on YouTube. Click the arrow below to start the 48-minute show:

Broadcast Times: Wednesday 9:30 PM Eastern Time; 1:30 AM ET (Thurs). Earlier in Central, Mountain, and Pacific Time Zones. Check your local listings for the Outdoor Channel.

Vintage Sniper Rifle Competition at Talladega

Talladega Marksmanship Park Vintage Sniper Rifle CMP

In this episode, Shooting USA features the Vintage Sniper Match at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park. This is a popular two-man team event, for shooter and spotter, using military rifles in service up to 1953. One added challenge is the time limit. The team has only 20 seconds to complete each shot — That’s 20 seconds for the spotter to read the conditions, and for the shooter to pull the trigger.


File photo from Vintage Sniper match at Camp Perry. At Talladega, there are video target monitors at each shooting station.

Shooting USA Vintage Sniper USAMUGuns of Grandfathers…
In this episode two USAMU marksmen, SGTs Daniel Crody and Robert Shoup, compete with an Springfield M 1903 A4 reproduction topped with a vintage optic. “For me it holds a little bit of sentimental value,” says SGT Crody. “I did have two grandfathers in World War II. It is definitely a pleasure holding a piece of history…”

“It’s a match that brings a different type of competitor out. It brings a nostalgic competitor out. You’ll see World War II time-period rifles, sniper-type rifles that were used during World War II, Korean War era,” says the CMP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Johnson. “The optics are either original optics or current reproduction of old optics.”

Who can identify this vintage European rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
Vintage sniper match Talladega

BONUS: PRS Competition — the GAP Grind

NOTE: This 11/29/17 Shooting USA episode is a double feature that includes coverage of the GAP Grind, the biggest PRS tactical match of the year. Official called the Bushnell GAP Grind Pro-Am, this is a tough tactical/practical match in Tennessee with 300 competitors. Conducted in association with the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the GAP Grind features a Pro/Am format — new shooters partner with an experienced shooters for the two-day, 25-stage event. For the featured event, Shooting USA’s John Scoutten teamed up with novice shooter Jen Hodson.

Shooting USA GAP Grind

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November 29th, 2017

Changing Primer Types Can Alter Load Velocities and Pressures

Primer Wolf CCI Federal Muzzle velocity FPS reloading

We are often asked “Can I get more velocity by switching primer types?” The answer is “maybe”. The important thing to know is that changing primer types can alter your load’s performance in many ways — velocity average, velocity variance (ES/SD), accuracy, and pressure. Because there are so many variables involved you can’t really predict whether one primer type is going to be better or worse than another. This will depend on your cartridge, your powder, your barrel, and even the mechanics of your firing pin system.

Interestingly, however, a shooter on another forum did a test with his .308 Win semi-auto. Using Hodgdon Varget powder and Sierra 155gr Palma MatchKing (item 2156) bullets, he found that Wolf Large Rifle primers gave slightly higher velocities than did CCI-BR2s. Interestingly, the amount of extra speed (provided by the Wolfs) increased as charge weight went up, though the middle value had the largest speed variance. The shooter observed: “The Wolf primers seemed to be obviously hotter and they had about the same or possibly better ES average.” See table:

Varget .308 load 45.5 grains 46.0 grains 46.5 grains
CCI BR2 Primers 2751 fps 2761 fps 2783 fps
Wolf LR Primers 2757 fps 2780 fps 2798 fps
Speed Delta 6 fps 19 fps 15 fps

You can’t extrapolate too much from the table above. This describes just one gun, one powder, and one bullet. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) as they say. However, this illustration does show that by substituting one component you may see significant changes. Provided it can be repeated in multiple chrono runs, an increase of 19 fps (with the 46.0 grain powder load) is meaningful. An extra 20 fps or so may yield a more optimal accuracy node or “sweet spot” that produces better groups. (Though faster is certainly NOT always better for accuracy — you have to test to find out.)

WARNING: When switching primers, you should exercise caution. More speed may be attractive, but you have to consider that the “speedier” primer choice may also produce more pressure. Therefore, you must carefully monitor pressure signs whenever changing ANY component in a load. Glen Zediker recommends decreasing your load ONE FULL GRAIN when changing to a different primer type, one that you haven’t used before.

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