December 18th, 2017

Valkyrie Video Fest — New .224 Valkyrie Unveiled

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison

Do we really need a new, high-performance .22-caliber cartridge for the AR15 platform (aka MSR 15). Federal thinks so. Federal has introduced a .22-Caliber Hot Rod cartridge — the .224 Valkyrie. Designed to out-perform the .223 Rem and .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the new .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with heavy, high-BC bullets.

The performance is impressive. Federal says that, when loaded with a 90-grain Sierra MatchKing bullet, the .224 Valkyrie will stay supersonic all the way to 1300 yards, while offering substantially less recoil than other AR-friendly cartridges such as the 6.5 Grendel.

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison

Here are three videos that give insight into the .224 Valkyrie cartridge and rifle options. We think the two applications that make most sense for this new cartridge are: 1) PRS Gas Gun matches (Open Class) — you get 6mm Creedmoor ballistic performance with much less recoil for faster shot transitions; and 2) Long-Range (400+ yards) varminting — you get performance similar to a 22-250 in a cartridge that works with your existing AR15 lower. That will really help with those long shots on P-dogs.

.224 Valkyrie PRS Gas Gun Demo Run

The new .224 Valkyrie is basically a 6.8 SPC case necked down to .22-caliber. You can use your existing AR15 lower, but you will need a dedicated .224-Valkyrie upper, or at the minimum a new barrel, modified bolt with proper bolt face, and 6.8-compliant mags. In this video, a shooter runs a tactical course using a rig chambered for the .224 Valkyrie. You can see how it functions 100%. This video also provides ballistic comparisons with other “enhanced performance” AR15 cartridges.

.224 Valkyrie vs. .22-250 Remington

The Social Regressive explains: “There are two key reasons why the 224 Valkyrie is unique and desirable. First, it is specifically designed to fit the limitations of the AR-15 platform. It does so even when loaded with gigantic bullets, like the 90-grain SMK that Federal announced. .22-250 Rem is too long and too fat to work in the AR-15 platform; it needs an AR-10 bolt and magazine.”

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison
Image from .224 Valkyrie Video from The Social Regressive, linked below.

“Does this mean that the 22-250 is now outmoded? Not even close. Varminters depend upon its flat trajectory and inherent accuracy. It’s a handloader’s dream cartridge, and the factory ammunition out there works well, too. If, however, you want a semiauto platform or you want to shoot longer distances, .224 Valkyrie looks like it will be the logical choice [with fast twist-rate barrels and high-BC bullets].”

New Savage MSR 15 in .224 Valkyrie

Savage Arms has a new AR15-platform rifle chambered in .224 Valkyrie. This will debut at SHOT Show 2018. The new Savage MSR 15 Valkyrie has some nice features: crisp two-stage trigger, adjustable gas system, and tough Cerakote finish on lower and upper. The 5R-rifled, 18″-long barrel comes from the factory with an effective muzzle brake. MSRP is $1499.00. We wish the barrel was a bit longer (at least 22″), but the adjustable gas system is a nice feature that lets you tune the cycling for your ammo and shooting discipline.

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison

Savage has high hopes for this rifle. With 90gr Federal factory ammo, it produces only half the recoil of larger cartridges with similar long-range performance. Here is a video showing a prototype Savage with a 22-inch barrel. The Ammo was Federal Premium pushing a 90gr SMK at 2680 fps. Note how “calm” the rifle stays on the bags. There is no muzzle lift and rearward recoil is minimal (see 0:10). You could work a varmint field very effectively with this rifle.

Savage MSR 15 Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 8 Comments »
December 18th, 2017

Bargain Finder 117: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Krieger — OverStock Barrels, 15% Off, with Quick Delivery

MOlle tactical stocking christmas Xmas

Smart shooters know that Krieger makes some of the best barrels in the world. For example, nearly half of the shooters at the recent World Benchrest Championship shot Kriegers. But to get a prized Krieger barrel, you normally have to pay full price, and sometimes wait many weeks. Not now — Krieger is running an end-of-year overstock inventory sale. Dozens of premium single-point, cut-rifled barrels are now on sale for 15%. Choose from a wide range of Calibers and Contours: .204, .224, 6mm, 6.5mm, .270, 7mm, .308, .338 — even the big magnums: .375, .416, .458 and .50 Caliber. CLICK HERE to see all 15% Off Krieger barrels.

Purchase info: All year-end, closeout-priced barrels require full payment at time of order (restocking fee for cancelled or returned barrels). Some barrels must be recontoured prior to sale. Call (262) 628-8558 for more information on a particular barrel. Barrels not requiring recontouring or other services should ship within two (2) weeks.

2. Amazon — FosPower 10200 mAh Waterproof Charger, $26.99

FosPower USB Battery pack waterproof shockproof LED

When you’re at the range or on a hunt, it’s smart to have a USB-output battery pack for smart phone, target-cam monitor, even a LabRadar. There are many battery packs available, but most are fairly fragile, with exposed ports. This “ruggedized” FosPower 10200 mAh charger is different. It is waterproof, dust-proof, and shock-proof. (IP67 certified: dust and water resistance for up to 3ft/1m for 30 minutes under water.) It can handle all that a PRS competitor or hunter can dish out. It even has a handy LED light. Right now it’s priced at $26.99 with FREE Shipping (on orders over $25.00).

3. Amazon — Weaver T-Series Classic 36x40mm Scope, $419.32

Weaver Classic T-Series 36x40mm scope

Benchrest Matches have been won (and many records set) with 36X Weaver T-Series optics. Our friend Boyd Allen observed “You can pay three or four times as much for a scope but not necessarily be more competitive — a 36X front objective Weaver is enough to win with…” The Classic T-Series Weaver has proven to be one of the most reliable high-magnification scopes ever made. The “old-fashioned” adjustable objective works well and the Weaver Micro-Trac turret system delivers precise and repeatable elevation and windage control. You can also save money on rings since the main tube is 1″ diameter. The Weaver T-36 with 1/8 MOA clicks and Fine Cross-hair reticle costs $419.32 at Amazon.com with free Prime Shipping. NOTE: If you don’t see that price, try our multi-vendor Product LINK for the best current deal. Other Classic T-Series 36X scopes with Target Dot Reticle or silver finish cost about $475.00.

4. Grafs.com — Caldwell Rock Front Rest, $119.99

Graf's Grafs.com Caldwell Rock Benchrest BR front rest iron with bag

The Caldwell Rock BR Front Rest is sturdy and stable. It ships with two front bags, a wide tri-lobe plus a conventional bag (shown above). The latter works quite well for rifles with narrow forearms — such as hunting rigs or ARs. This is a good option for a young shooter or someone getting started on a tight budget. We’ve used this rest on a varmint hunt and it worked well. Use the Mariner wheel for gross elevation changes and “fine tune” elevation by squeezing your rear sand bag. This same rest costs $139.61 at Amazon. Save $20.00 by purchasing through Grafs which also offers a single, flat $7.95 handling fee per order — no extra shipping charge. Purchase multiple items from Grafs.com and pay just one $7.95 fee.

5. Brownells — Breech Lock Reloading Kit $99.99 with Code M3P

Lee Challenger Brownells Reloading Kit

Here’s a great holiday gift for a friend or family member getting started in hand-loading. The Lee Breech Lock Challenger Reloading Kit includes Press (with quick change die system), Powder Measure, Scale, Priming Tool, Shell Holders, Reloading Tray, and Chamfer Tool. And you get all this for just $99.99 with discount code! Brownells’ current discounted Sale Price is $109.99, but you get $10.00 off with CODE M3P. That lowers your net cost to $99.99. Get the entire kit for under one hundred bucks. That’s a steal — this same kit sells for around $125.00 on Amazon.

6. RCBS — Buy Green Get Green Rebate Program

RCBS Buy Green Rebate Program Sale Discount Deal

Act quickly — RCBS’s best rebate program of 2017 runs out at 11:59 pm on December 31st. The Holiday 2017 Buy Green Get Green promo is simple — buy ANY RCBS product over $49.99 and you qualify. There’s no restricted list of “qualifying” products. The more you spend, the more you get back — up to $175.00 total. If you are considering purchasing a single-stage press, electronic powder dispenser, progressive press, or a full reloading kit, save big with this promotion. It is good for purchases made through the end of the year, December 31, 2017. Download REBATE Form HERE.

7. Amazon — Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge, $39.99

Lyman Trigger Pull gauge electronic Walmart Amazon

If you are serious about your precision firearms, you need one of these. We use the Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge to test the triggers on all our match and varmint rifles. The unit is precise and repeatable. Once you try one of these you won’t want to go back to crude spring trigger gauges. Amazon.com offers this unit for $39.99 with free shipping (third party sale).

8. CDNN — 51-Piece Driver Set (Flat, Phillips, Hex, Torx) — $9.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Outers Screwdriver 51-piece set torx phillips allen driver

This Outers-brand, 51-piece set contains all the drivers you could ever need: Flat-head, Phillips, Hex (Allen), and Torx. Priced under ten bucks, this driver set offers great value for the money. Even if you already own high-quality Allen and Torx wrenches, you can buy this as a spare set for your gun room. And this also makes a great holiday “stocking stuffer” for gun guys. These drivers work great for installing scope rings or bases, or everyday use around the home.

• Molded Driver with Magnetic Tip
• 15 Flat Head Bits
• 10 Hex Bits (inch)
• 9 Hex Bits (metric)
• 4 Phillips Bits
• 9 Torx Bits
• 2 Extra Long Phillips Bits
• 1 Hex to Square Adapter

9. Harbor Freight — Welding Cart (for Rifle Hauling) $55.99

Check out the Harbor Freight Welding Cart, item #65939. This cart is ON SALE right now for just $55.99. With a few bungee cords (and some creativity), the cart can be adapted for hauling your guns gear. It’s easy to add plastic side-panels on the bottom unit, and fit a barrel-holding system on the cross-tube. Overall size is 29-1/2″ L x 20″ W x 49″ H, and width between side rails is 18″. The wheels (with tires) are 20 3/4″ in diameter for smooth rolling. Consider that, if you made your own cart from scratch you could easily pay $30.00 or more just for the large-diameter wheels and axle. NOTE: This cart has air-filled tires. Be sure to inflate before you go to the Range!

10. Amazon — Tactical Stockings for Christmas

MOlle tactical stocking christmas Xmas

Don’t have a stocking to hold your small gift items? Well we’ve got you covered — check out these cool, heavy-duty stockings. These Garud Tactical Stockings come in four colors: Camo, OD Green, Black, and Khaki. They all feature 4 MOLLE attachments, rugged carry handle, hanging hook, swivel carabiners, outside draw pocket, and even Velcro USA Flag Patch. Get all this for the low price of $11.99 (black) or $14.49 (other colors). These stockings are sure to bring smiles to your tacticool family members and friends. Spend over $25.00 and these ship for free on Amazon.

Credit EdLongrange for Krieger Year-End Overstock Sale tip.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Tactical No Comments »
December 18th, 2017

Hodgdon Releases New Winchester WinClean 244 Pistol Powder

Winchester Winclean pistol powder Smith Wesson 637 .38 Special .357 hand loading

Hodgdon has just introduced a versatile new Winchester-brand pistol powder with a clean formulation. WinClean 244 is a modern, Winchester-branded propellant “ideally suited to .38 Special, .45 Auto, and 9mm standard loads.” That means WinClean 244 is designed for moderate pressure target loads. That’s good news for hand-loaders who enjoy target shooting with these popular cartridges.

Hodgdon, which markets Winchester powders, says that new WinClean 244 is consistent, and clean burning with a low flash: “The WinClean formulation reduces copper fouling and residue, extending accuracy for longer shooting periods.” It will be interesting to see if this is noticeably cleaner-burning than other popular powders. In pistol barrels we are actually less concerned with copper fouling than with general “sootiness” and carbon.

With its clean-burning qualities, “shooters are really going to like loading handgun cartridges with this powder” said Tim Vaitekunas, vice president of product development at Hodgdon. WinClean 244 powder, in 1-, 4- and 8-pound canisters, should be in stores in January 2018. Load Data is now available right now on the Hodgdon Reloading Data Center.

This Editor used to compete in Action Pistol matches, so I’ve loaded thousands of rounds of pistol ammunition using a wide variety of pistol propellants. I tend to favor Vihtavuori N310/N320 for .45 ACP, and Alliant powders for 9mm Luger, but it will be interesting to see how WinClean 244 works for these chamberings. Many powders work well for .38 Special loads, but new 244’s low flash could be an advantage there too.

Pistol Showcase — Candidates for WinClean 244

Winchester Winclean pistol powder Smith Wesson 637 .38 Special .357 hand loading

The Sig P210 SuperTarget is a modern 9mm Luger pistol with exceptional accuracy and one of the best out-of-the-box triggers you’ll ever try. Winchester WinClean 244 is suitable for a variety of bullet weights in the 9x19mm (9mm Luger) cartridge.

Winchester Winclean pistol powder Smith Wesson 637 .38 Special .357 hand loading

The 8-shot Smith & Wesson Model 627 Pro is an exceptional revolver that balances well and can shoot 1″ groups at 25 yards with tuned handloads. On this particular Model 627, featured on YouTube, the owner added a Hogue Pau Ferro wood grip, Hogue Extended Cylinder Release, and Wilson Combat trigger spring kit. In this kind of wheelgun, you can shoot moderate .38 Special target rounds loaded with new WinClean 244 powder.

Permalink Handguns, New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »