March 31st, 2018

Mega Cartridge — the 14.5x114mm (From Russia with Love)

14.5x114 mm cartridge Russia South Africa
Photo courtesy Elardus de Lang, Truvelo Manufacturers Armoury, South Africa.

Believe it or not, here is a cartridge that makes a .338 Lapua Magnum look like a toy. The 14.5x114mm cartridge was designed as a MG and rifle-fired anti-materiel round. To translate from the metric system to caliber and inches, the round is a mammoth .57 caliber which measures 4.49 inches to the case mouth, and 6.13 inches overall. That jumbo-sized case holds a whopping 655 grains of powder. Commonly-loaded projectiles weigh 920-1030 grains. The 993gr armor-piercing projectile has a muzzle velocity of approximately 1006 meters per second (3300 fps) and can penetrate 30-32 millimeters of RHA steel at a range of 500 meters.

The top photo comes from Elardus De Lang, a Forum member who works at the Truvelo Manufacturers Armoury in South Africa. Elardus also provided an impressive video showing the massive 14.5x114mm being shot from prone with a Truvelo-built bolt-action rifle. Elardus tells us: “Here is a video, with a slow-motion ending, of our 14.5x114mm anti-materiel rifle being fired in our indoor testing facility. This caliber is a true beast! It propels a 993gr Armor-Piercing Incendiary bullet to 3300 fps, burning 480 grains of powder in the process. [This shows] that rifles of that power level can actually be shootable. The concussion indoors is something to experience……every shot feels like you are being punched in the face, and the heat from the muzzle flash actually hits you like a wave!”

14.5x114mm Cartridge Design and Dimensions
The 14.5×114mm has 42.53 ml (655 grains H2O) cartridge case capacity. The exterior shape of the case was designed to promote reliable case feeding and extraction in bolt action rifles and machine guns alike, under extreme conditions. Cartridges typically use lacquered steel cases, but some countries also use brass cases.

14.5x114 mm cartridge Russia South Africa

All dimensions are in millimeters (mm). Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2, or 22.5 degrees. The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 455 mm (1:17.91″) with eight lands/grooves. According to official guidelines, the 14.5×114mm can handle up to 360 MPa (52,213 psi) piezo pressure.

14.5x114 mm cartridge Russia truvelo manufacturers armoury South Africa

14.5x114mm Cartridge History
The 14.5×114mm (.57 Cal) is a heavy machine gun and anti-materiel rifle cartridge used by the Soviet Union, the former Warsaw Pact, modern Russia, and other countries. It was originally developed for the PTRS and PTRD anti-tank rifles, but was later used as the basis for the KPV heavy machine gun that formed the basis of the ZPU series anti-aircraft guns that is also the main armament of the BTR series of armoured personnel carriers from the BTR-60 to the BTR-80 and for heavy anti-material sniper rifles. The cartridge was designed in 1939 and first issued in 1941.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 4 Comments »
March 31st, 2018

New CZ 527 Varmint MTR (Match Target Rifle)

CZ rifle 527 Varmint MTR 2018 new turkish walnut 6.5 Grendel .223 Rem Remington

CZ has a new rifle that should appeal to varminters and target shooters. The new CZ 527 Varmint MTR (Match Target Rifle) is designed to provide enhanced accuracy with a heavy-profile barrel and stock that works well from bench or bipod. The MTR features a fast Mini-Mauser action with a trigger that adjusts from 2.25 to 4.95 lbs (10 to 22 N).

Chamberings: .222 Rem (1:14″) | .223 Rem (1:9″) | 6.5 Grendel (1:8″)
Specs: OAL 44.5 inches | Barrel Length 25.6 inches | 8.8 pounds (without optic)

CZ rifle 527 Varmint MTR 2018 new turkish walnut 6.5 Grendel .223 Rem Remington
Click above photo for full-screen image with legible notations.

We wish we could tell you how the CZ 527 Varmint MTR shoots, but this rifle is so new that test samples haven’t made it to the USA yet. Based on experience with other CZ 527 models, we would expect about 1.2 MOA accuracy with decent factory ammo. With handloads you might get closer to 0.7 MOA for three shots. Sorry no USA price is available yet. However, the older CZ 527 Varmint, with a lesser-grade stock, has an MSRP of $725.00, so we expect the CZ 527 Varmint MTR to retail for around $875.00. We note that the latest model CZ 557 Varmint with similar, ergonomic Turkish Walnut stock has an $865.00 MSRP as listed in the 2018 CZ-USA Catalog.

CZ 527 Varmint MTR Features:
— Match-type stock design with wider, straight fore-end for good tracking on front rest.
— Slanted buttstock toe to adjust height in rear shooting bag
— Match-type ergonomic grip design with palm swell
— High-quality Turkish Walnut wood with oil finish
— Adjustable trigger pull from 2.25 to 4.95 lbs (10 to 22 N)
— Detachable 5-round all-metal magazine
— Heavy-contour 25.6″ (650 mm) hammer-forged barrel with threaded muzzle

CZ rifle 527 Varmint MTR 2018 new turkish walnut 6.5 Grendel .223 Rem Remington

Here is the manufacturer’s product description: “Thanks to the tried and tested CZ 527 system, the rifle is comfortable, reliable and fast to control. The trigger pull and pull weight may be set in the range between 10 and 22 N. Crucial for the high accuracy is the thick-walled 650 mm long barrel with a target pattern muzzle end and a thread for the attachment of accessories. The ergonomic walnut stock in oil finish is suitable for hunting as well as sport shooting. All users will also appreciate the superb ballistic properties of the 6.5 Grendel cartridge.”

CZ rifle 527 Varmint MTR 2018 new turkish walnut 6.5 Grendel .223 Rem Remington

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 3 Comments »
March 31st, 2018

Wind Wizardry — How to Use a Kestrel Correctly

Kestrel Wind Meter Direction Vane Applied Ballistics

A lot of folks use a Kestrel Wind Meter every time at the range. That’s a good thing. However, many Kestrel owners may not be employing the Kestrel properly when seeking wind direction.

A Kestrel Wind Meter will record wind speed with its impeller wheel. However, to get the most accurate wind velocity reading, you need to have your Kestrel properly aligned with the wind direction. To find wind direction, first orient the Kestrel so that the impeller runs at minimal speed (or stops), and only then turn the BACK of the Kestrel into the wind direction. Do NOT simply rotate the Kestrel’s back panel looking for the highest wind speed reading — that’s not the correct method for finding wind direction. Rotate the side of the Kestrel into the wind first, aiming for minimal impeller movement. The correct procedure is explained below by the experts at Applied Ballistics.

How to Find the Wind Direction with a Kestrel Wind Meter

Here is the correct way to determine wind direction with a Kestrel wind meter when you have no environmental aids — no other tools than a Kestrel. (NOTE: To determine wind direction, a mounted Wind Vane is the most effective tool, but you can also look at flags, blowing grass, or even the lanyard on your Kestrel).

Step 1: Find the wind’s general direction.

Step 2: Rotate the Wind Meter 90 degrees, so that the wind is impacting the side (and not the back) of the wind meter, while still being able to see the impeller.

Step 3: Fine-tune the direction until the impeller drastically slows, or comes to a complete stop (a complete stop is preferred). If the impeller won’t come to a complete stop, find the direction which has the lowest impact on the impeller.

Step 4: Turn the BACK of the Kestrel towards the direction from which the wind is blowing. Then press the capture button, and record your wind speed.

Do NOT simply point the Kestrel’s back into the wind until you get the highest wind speed — that’s not the correct method.

Permalink Tech Tip 1 Comment »
March 30th, 2018

Check Out the Legendary .009″ Group By Mac McMillan

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa.009″ — The Record That Stood for 40 Years.
In 1973 Mac McMillan shot an amazing 100-yard, .009″ five-shot group in a benchrest match. The .009″ group was measured with a 60x microscope for verification. Mac McMillan shot the group using a handbuilt prototype McMillan rifle with an early McMillan stock.

Mac’s .009″ group was the “Holy Grail” of rifle accuracy. This .009″ record was considered by many to be unbreakable, a record that would “stand for all time”. Well, it took 40 years, but someone finally broke Mac’s record with an even smaller group. In 2013, Mike Stinnett shot a .0077″ five-shot group using a 30 Stewart, a .30 caliber wildcat based on the 6.5 Grendel. Stinnett’s .0077″ group now stands as the smallest 100-yard group ever shot in registered benchrest competition.*
Read About .0077″ group HERE.

Stinnett’s success doesn’t diminish the significance of Mac McMillan’s .009″ group in the history of benchrest competition. For four decades Mac’s group stood as the ultimate standard of rifle accuracy*. For those of you who have never seen Mac McMillan’s .009″ group, here it is, along with the NBRSA World Record certificate. The target now hangs in the McMillan Family Museum.

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

*Somebody else might claim a smaller group, but unless moving backers or electronic targets were used, it cannot be verified. Moving target backers are used at registered benchrest matches to ensure that five (5) shots are actually fired in each group. That eliminates any doubt.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills 10 Comments »
March 30th, 2018

New Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer — Fast and Affordable

Lyman Cyclone Cartridge Brass drying Case Dryer

Here’s a new product that should please shooters who wet-tumble their brass with stainless media, or use ultrasonic cleaning machines to clean cartridge brass (and gun parts). Employing forced hot air circulation, the new Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer will dry a large quantity of brass in under two hours. Internal racks provide five drying levels. With “street price” under $60.00, the Cyclone Case Dryer is a very affordable and effective addition to an ultrasonic or rotary-tumbler cleaning system.

Lyman Cyclone Cartridge Brass drying Case Dryer

The Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer works fast. No need to wait overnight (or longer) to air-dry your brass. Lyman states that “The forced heated air circulation of the Cyclone will dry your brass inside and out within an hour or two, with no unsightly water spots.” The handy individual trays keep different types of brass separate. The dryer can also be used for gun parts that have been ultrasonically cleaned.

Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer Features:
• Holds up to 1000 .223 Rem cases or 2000 9x19mm Luger cases
• Works with cartridge brass cases or gun parts
• Fast drying time — Typically 1 to 2 hours
• Timer control can be set up to 3 hours
• Durable ABS trays with recessed handles

Watch How Cyclone Case Dryer Functions with both Cartridge Brass and Gun Parts

Cyclone Case Dryer 115V (Part #7631560) MSRP: $69.95
Cyclone Case Dryer 230V (Part #7631561) MSRP: $69.95

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
March 30th, 2018

TECH TIP: Use a Block to Maintain Front Bag Shape

John Loh Front Rest JJ Industries

front rest bag blockHere’s a simple solution for lumpy front sandbags. Cut a small block the width of your fore-end and place that in the front bag between matches. You can tap it down firmly with a rubber mallet. This will keep the front bag nice and square, without bunching up in the center. That will help your rifle track straight and true. Rick Beginski uses wood (see photo), while our friend John Southwick uses a small block of metal. The metal block might work a little better, but the wood version is easier to make with simple tools. John Loh of JJ Industries offers a slick Delrin block with a built-in bubble level. Loh’s block helps ensure that the actual top surface of your front bag is level, as distinct from the front rest assembly.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
March 29th, 2018

Registration Opens for All-American Field Target Championship

Crosman Field Target All-American Championship

Registration is open for the 2018 Crosman All-American Field Target Championship to be held July 20-22, 2018 in upstate New York. The Crosman All-American Field Target Championship will be held once again at the Rochester Brooks Gun Club, 962 Honeoye Falls #6 Road, Rush, NY 14543. Visit the Crosman website for Match Info and Schedule, or go directly to the Registration Page.

CLICK HERE for Match Info and Schedule | CLICK HERE to Register

crosman field target championship all-american

The event runs under American Airgun Field Target Association rules. Competitors attempt to knock down a variety of steel targets set at distances ranging from 15 to 50 yards. “The Crosman All-American Field Target Championship is one of the must-attend events for Field Target airgunners. We will have every level of competitor from the novice just getting started, to the world class competitor”, says Mark DeBoard, Manager of Shooting Services for Crosman.

The three-day competition features multiple shooting matches including the main two-day rifle event. There are five divisions for competitors: Open, Hunter, WFTF, Freestyle, and Pistol. In addition to the main rifle event, this year will also feature a pistol match, the Quigley Bucket Match and the Pyramyd Air Gunslinger match. The Bucket match re-creates famous scene in the movie “Quigley Down Under” in which the lead character shoots a bucket at 700 yards. Here the distances are scaled down a wee bit (wink). Competitors, using iron sights only, get 5 shots at a 1.75″ bucket placed at 55 yards.

This 2013 Video Explains the Field Target Discipline and Air Gun Classes

“Spots are limited, so please register soon,” says Crosman’s Mark DeBoard. “Field target is a fun event for all skill levels. Participants will benefit by shooting alongside members of Team USA and other [top shooters] from across the country.

Field Target Championship Crosman Rush New York

Tech Talk: Why the Big Side-Wheels on the Scopes?
Field Target rifles shoot pellets propelled by compressed air. These light-weight, low-BC projectiles drop very quickly, with a looping trajectory. In order to hit targets at distances out to 50 yards or so, you have to adjust your scope to compensate for pellet drop. But you can’t set the scope correctly without knowing the precise range to the target. This is the function of the big wheels on the side of the scope. Field Target Competitors use the parallax adjustment on high-magnification scopes to determine target range. The big wheel allows quick, yet precise parallax adjustment. Markings on the wheel show the shooter the scope settings required for the distance “dialed-in” via the over-size parallax wheel.

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March 29th, 2018

‘Big Boomer’ Galleries on Updated FCSA Website

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

50 Caliber Shooters AssociationFans of Heavy Artillery should head over to the updated and enhanced Fifty Caliber Shooters Association (FCSA) Image Gallery website. There you’ll find photo collections and animated slide-shows (there also a separate Video Collection) On the photo gallery page, you’ll find a map. Click on any gray range link to see images from that venue. There are also a series of articles covering FCSA competition along with the “care and feeding” of the big 50-caliber rifles.

The FCSA will host its 1000/600 Yard World Championship July 5 through 7, 2018 at the Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. This will follow the 2018 King of 2 Miles Competition at Raton, which runs July 2-4, 2018. CLICK HERE to Register for FCSA 2018 Championship.

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

About the FCSA
Founded in 1985, the FCSA is an international organization with members in 22 countries. Headquartered in Monroe, Utah, the FCSA has a membership of approximately 4000. While the FCSA provides a service to military and law enforcement with research and instruction as well as an active liaison in both communities, the primary charter of the FCSA is the promotion of the sporting use of the 50 BMG cartridge and its wildcat derivatives. The FCSA and its members have lead the way in refining .50-caliber cartridges, rifles, and 1000-yard plus shooting know-how. Members enjoy a quarterly magazine, a suppliers directory, a very active website, and access to literally the best repository of 50 BMG information on the planet. If you are interested in Mr. John Browning’s big 50, you should seriously consider joining the FCSA.

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Competition 1 Comment »
March 29th, 2018

Long-Time USPSA President Michael Voigt Succumbs to Cancer

Michael Voigt Voight death passes away cancer Maggie Reese

We are sad to announce that pro shooter and USPSA past President Michael Voigt has died after a battle with cancer. Michael passed away peacefully at home on March 24th in Corona, California. He is survived by his wife, Maggie Reese Voigt and his daughters. Michael has been one of the world’s top action shooters for the past 30+ years. Michael won dozens of major titles during his three decades of pistol, shotgun, and rifle competition. Voigt’s notable titles include: IPSC World Individual Championship (3 times), IPSC World Team Championship (7 times), IPSC Continental Shotgun title (2 times), and IPSC Continental Handgun title (2 times). He also won the USPSA Multi-Gun title numerous times.

Michael was President of the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) from 2000 to 2012. After 12 years leading USPSA, he then devoted his time and talents to advancing the firearms industry and training elite military and law enforcement forces around the world. The USPSA noted: “Michael has been a friend and mentor to many of us and has always been there to coach or help anyone along the way, he will be truly missed.”

As a National and World Champion shooter, Michael has been featured on 3-Gun Nation television series, NBC Sports, Versus, Pursuit, Sportsman’s and Outdoor Channel. He was one of the original Team Safariland competitive shooters and served on the team for 25 years along with Team Surefire.

Michael Voight death passes away cancer Maggie Reese
Here is Michael Voigt with his wife, Maggie Reese Voigt.

Michael’s wife, Maggie, also a pro shooter, posted this message on Facebook: “Dear Friends, my heart is broken. The love of my life, my soulmate, my precious husband Michael Voigt passed away after a long battle with cancer. We have been together for 11 years… I know we will be together forever.” Services and interment will be held Saturday, April 14th at 3:00 pm at Rose Hills Memorial Park, 3888 Workman Mill Road, Whittier, CA 90601. All are welcome to attend. Maggie added: “In lieu of flowers, I ask that you support the great passion of his life by donating to the USPSA Junior Program.”

Michael Voigt shared his knowledge in many ways, including this video.
Rest in Peace, Michael, we will miss you…

Permalink - Videos, Handguns, News 4 Comments »
March 28th, 2018

Kelly McMillan Video PodCast Features David Tubb and Others

Kelly McMillan video podcast David Tubb PRS ELR Regina Milkovich

Kelly McMillan recently released a Video Podcast featuring some very talented shooters including the legendary David Tubb. While Kelly has broadcast scores of audio interviews on his Taking Stock Radio Show, this is something even better — you can see Kelly’s guests on camera during the 68-minute-long Video Podcast:

David Tubb Talks Cartridge Design, ELR, and Much More
Kelly McMillan video podcast David Tubb PRS ELR Regina Milkovich

The show starts off with legendary marksman, David Tubb, winner of 11 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships as well as multiple National Long Range championships. Kelly notes: “Our first guest, David Tubb, is arguably the … winningest, competitive rifleman in history. Trophies aside, though, David’s biggest contribution to our shooting sports is his innovative mind. The underlying essence behind his company, Superior Shooting Systems, is the continued advancement of the ‘human factor’ in the shooting sports.” During this segment David addresses many topics, including cartridge design (6XC and 6.5 Creedmoor), ballistics, Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting, optics, stocks and more.

Regina Milkovich — Top PRS and Tactical Competitor
Kelly McMillan video podcast David Tubb PRS ELR Regina Milkovich
Facebook Photo and courtesy WellArmedWomen.

Kelly’s next guest is Regina Milkovich, the first woman in history to win a major practical/tactical precision rifle match outright. (Regina was the overall winner of the 2016 NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge.) Regina has been successful in many disciplines, and is now active in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS). Starting at the 44:50 time-mark in the video, Regina shows off her current PRS rifle, chambered for the 6XC cartridge. It features a McMillan stock, Defiance Action, Vortex Razor Gen 2 scope, and Timney trigger. Tactical shooters will want to watch this segment. Regina reviews the many accessories she uses both on and off the rifle. She shows the support bags she favors and discusses how the right choice of equipment can help improve your scores.

Kelly McMillan video podcast David Tubb PRS ELR Regina Milkovich
“[This is] one of my all-time favorite pictures” Regina told us. “It was taken in Vegas at a Sin City Precision match a couple of years ago.” Facebook photo.

Kelly also chats with Buzz Miller, an industry product development specialist who has worked with large gun-makers including FN USA, and Taurus. Buzz talks about how new gun designs are conceived, proto-typed, tested, and introduced into the marketplace. Buzz also discusses customer service among other topics. The main Buzz Miller segment begins at the 41:20 time-mark.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
March 28th, 2018

224 Valkyrie SAAMI “Blueprint” Now Available Online

SAAMI .224 224 Valkyrie chamber cartridge blueprint specifications spec

Plan to buy or build a 224 Valkyrie rifle this year? Well now you can get the official specifications for the new 224 Valkyrie cartridge and chamber. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI), has released its official 224 Valkyrie “blueprint” which you can now download for your records. SAAMI approved the Federal Premium 224 Valkyrie as an official new cartridge this past January. The 224 Valkyrie’s SAAMI standards documents are now published and available to the industry as a whole, as well as to the public.

VIEW SAAMI 224 Valkyrie Cartridge Spec and Chamber Spec PDF

SAAMI .224 224 Valkyrie chamber cartridge blueprint specifications specSAAMI allows free access to technical data and drawings for cartridge and chamber designs, which are posted in the Specifications section of SAAMI’s website. All cartridge and chamber drawing documents are contained within the ANSI/SAAMI Standards and can be found on www.saami.org. The New SAAMI Cartridge Cartridge/Chamber Designs for 224 Valkyrie can be viewed here: http://www.saami.org/PDF/224-Valkyrie-Introduction.pdf.

About the 224 Valkyrie Cartridge
Federal Premium’s 224 Valkyrie is based on a 6.8 SPC case necked down to 22 caliber. The Valkyrie has a shorter case than the .223 Remington (and 5.56×45 NATO). This allows you to load the longest, heaviest .224-caliber bullets and still feed reliably from an AR15-type magazine. The 224 Valkyrie offers flatter trajectories than other AR15 mag-friendly cartridges, including the 22 Nosler, .223 Rem, and 6.5 Grendel. With heavy projectiles, the 224 Valkyrie boasts impressive ballistics — it can stay supersonic past 1,300 yards. Plus it has roughly half the recoil of larger cartridges offering comparable ballistics, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor (see chart below).

.224 224 Valkyrie recoil ballistics 6.5 grendel creedmoor

SAAMI’s work creates standards for the cartridge, increasing safety, interchangeability, reliability, and quality for firearm manufacturers building rifles chambered for the 224 Valkyrie. Federal Premium Ammunition President Jason Vanderbrink notes: “SAAMI’s approval of the cartridge was a crucial step in legitimizing [the 224 Valkyrie] within the industry”.

The Role of SAAMI in Creating Uniform Ammunition Standards
SAAMI was founded in 1926 at the request of the federal government and tasked with creating and publishing industry standards for safety, interchangeability, reliability and quality, as well as coordinating technical data. SAAMI’s Technical Committee, which consists of firearm and ammunition industry experts, reviewed the 224 Valkyrie submission over a period of about six months. The official cartridge name, maximum cartridge and minimum chamber dimensions, pressure limits, test equipment, and other characteristics are all considered and scrutinized during the process.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tactical No Comments »
March 28th, 2018

Activate Your NRA Insurance Today (Or Be Sorry Tomorrow)

NRA Insurance activation armscare

Guys — take heed — NRA firearms insurance requires activation!! Coverage is not automatic. If you do not activate your insurance, you can’t claim coverage. Activate Now. The article below explains how….


Are you an NRA member? Think you have $2500 ArmsCare insurance coverage for your firearms, as a benefit of membership? Well there’s a catch. If you fail to ACTIVATE your NRA insurance, your claim will almost certainly be rejected if you suffer a loss. The NRA insurance webpage states:

“One of the benefits of NRA membership is your eligibility for $2,500 in ArmsCare Firearms Insurance. There’s no cost to you for this insurance, but you do have to activate it.”

NRA armscare insuranceMany NRA members are not aware of the activation requirement. That’s not surprising, as there’s no mention of this in many NRA membership solicitations. While the activation clause is disclosed in printed materials mailed to members, we bet that a large percentage of NRA members are not aware that their NRA insurance is essentially useless until “activated”. Just signing up for an NRA membership (and paying the dues) is not enough. You must activate the insurance or your claims can be rejected. Even if you have been a dues-paying NRA member for decades, you need to activate your insurance.

NRA Members CLICK HERE to Activate Your Insurance

This is the real deal. Forum members (with current, active NRA memberships) have had recent gun loss claims rejected because they had not “activated” their NRA insurance. Don’t suffer the same fate. If you are an NRA member, you should activate your ArmsCare insurance right now. Don’t delay. Your NRA ArmsCare insurance won’t become effective until you activate it!

Permalink News 4 Comments »
March 27th, 2018

Umarex Hammer May Be World’s Most Powerful Air Rifle

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug

Umarex USA has a new .50-Caliber Air Rifle, which it claims is the world’s most powerful air gun. The new Umarex Hammer can launch a 550 grain slug at 760 fps, delivering an impressive 705 foot-lbs of energy at the muzzle. That energy total rivals a 10mm Auto Cartridge (220 grainer at 1200 fps). Not bad for an air rifle with an $815.99 MSRP.

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug

With lighter projectiles, the Umarex Hammer also delivers fairly high velocities — it can drive a 200 grain lead projectile at 1055 fps. That’s equivalent to a .45 ACP +P load. The design team at Umarex say this air rifle has the power to take deer and other game — when the animals are close enough.

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug

The Umarex Hammer has features you might find on a modern centerfire rifle: 29.5″ button-rifled barrel, straight-pull bolt, 8.5″ Picatinny rail, and quality trigger with 3-lb pull. The Made-in-USA Hammer is powered by an on-board, 24-cubic-inch carbon fiber cylinder filled at 4500 psi. The Hammer incorporates a Lightspeed™ valve and precision regulator that launches the projectiles with a 3000 psi air blast. Umarex says the Hammer is quite accurate — capable of putting three, 350- grain lead slugs in an inch at 50 yards.

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug
Photo courtesy 2BrothersAdventures, from Umarex Hammer Video.

Umarex Hammer Features

— Most powerful production air rifle on the planet
— Straight-pull bolt with 2 lb. cocking effort and just 2 in. of travel
— 24 cubic inch carbon fiber tank holds 4,500 psi compressed air
— Delivers three full-power shots @ 8 cubic inches per shot
— Patent-pending Lightspeed™ valve
— Button-rifled, 29.5″, .50-caliber barrel
— Quick Disconnect Foster air-filling fitting
— Modern stock design (with M-Lok slots) manufactured by PolyOne
— 43.75-inch overall length
— 8.5 pound overall weight unloaded without scope
— 3 pound trigger-pull weight
— Three safeties: hammer block, magazine lock-out, trigger block

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
March 27th, 2018

MidwayUSA Savings Codes — Get up to $30 Off Now

MidwayUSA 20 30 dollars off promo codes

Here’s a new promotion that can save readers serious money. Right now MidwayUSA is offering a direct Cash-Off discount program. Save $10 on $100 or more of qualifying products, save $20 on $200+, or save a full $30 on a $300 (or more) of qualifying products. Spend more, save more — that’s how it works. But you have to act soon. This promo expires on 3/28/2018 at 11:59 PM, Central Time.

MidwayUSA 20 30 dollars off promo codes

How To Use the Discount Codes
First, go to the MidwayUSA 10/20/30 Promotion Page. Then:

1. Click the ‘Apply’ button
2. Add regularly priced, in-stock products without quantity limits to your cart to receive the discount.
3. See discount applied to qualifying products in your Cart or during Checkout.

What Products Are Excluded?
Sale, Clearance, quantity limited products, out of stock or special order products. Brands like 5.11, FN, Geissele, Galco, Garmin, Leica, Airforce, Atlas Bipods, Accu-Shot, Magpul, Nikon, Nightforce, Sitka Gear, Under Armour, Zero Tolerance & Gift Certificates do not count towards total.

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March 27th, 2018

How to Tame Vertical Stringing — Tips from Speedy

Speedy Vertical Stringing Tech tip

One of our Shooter’s Forum members recently built a new benchrest rifle. He was concerned because his groups were stringing vertically. This is a common problem that all precision shooters will face sooner or later. In addition to ammo inconsistencies, many other factors can cause vertical stringing. Accordingly, it’s important that you analyze your gun handling and bench set-up systematically.

Hall of Fame benchrest Shooter Speedy Gonzalez has written a helpful article that explains how to eliminate mechanical and gun-handling problems that cause vertical spread in your groups. Speedy’s article addresses both the human and the hardware factors that cause vertical. CLICK HERE to read the full article. Here are a few of Speedy’s tips:

Front Bag Tension — Vertical can happen if the front sand bag grips the fore-arm too tightly. If…the fore-arm feels like it is stuck in the bag, then the front bag’s grip is too tight. Your rifle should move in evenly and smoothly in the sand bags, not jerk or chatter when you pull the gun back by hand.

Sandbag Fill — A front sandbag that is too hard can induce vertical. Personally, I’ve have never had a rifle that will shoot consistently with a rock-hard front sandbag. It always causes vertical or other unexplained shots.

Stock Recoil — Free-recoil-style shooters should be sure their rifle hits their shoulder squarely on recoil, not on the edge of their shoulder or the side of their arm. If you shoulder your gun, you need to be consistent. You can get vertical if your bench technique is not the same every shot. One common problem is putting your shoulder against the stock for one shot and not the next.

Front Rest Wobble — You will get vertical if the top section of the front rest is loose. Unfortunately, a lot of rests have movement even when you tighten them as much as you can. This can cause unexplained shots.

Stock Flex — Some stocks are very flexible. This can cause vertical. There are ways to stiffen stocks, but sometimes replacement is the best answer.

Rifle Angle — If the gun is not level, but rather angles down at muzzle end, the rifle will recoil up at butt-end, causing vertical. You may need to try different rear bags to get the set-up right.

Last Shot Laziness — If the 5th shot is a regular problem, you may be guilty of what I call “wishing the last shot in”. This is a very common mistake. We just aim, pull the trigger, and do not worry about the wind flags. Note that in the photo below, the 5th shot was the highest in the group–probably because of fatigue or lack of concentration.

CLICK HERE for Speedy’s full article with more tips and advice.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 26th, 2018

Bargain Finder 131: 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. Hornady — Advanced 4DOF Mobile Ballistic App, FREE

Hornady Free Ballistic App


GET Apple iOS Version HERE | GET Android OS Version HERE

Hornady Ballistic Ballistics App Mobile 4DOF degrees of freedom aerodynamic jump Android Apple iOSHornady offers a FREE Ballistic Calculator App for iOS (Apple) and Android OS. This new Mobile Ballistic App includes Hornady’s advanced 4DOF™ calculator as well as a standard BC (ballistic coefficient) calculator. The Hornady Ballistic Calculator App is Bluetooth-enabled so it can communicate with select wind meters.

The Hornady Ballistic App is FREE but you do need to supply an email address. We found the App downloaded quickly and installed easily. While the Mobile Ballistic App is new, Hornady has offered a web-based online 4DOF Ballistic App since August 2016.

2. RCBS Buy Green Get Green Promo — Rebate up to $175.00

RCBS Promotion Get Green Rebate March 2018

Folks, you have just six more days to get up to $175.00 in RCBS rebates. The Buy Green, Get Green Rebate works for ANY RCBS product over $49.99. There’s no restricted list of “qualifying” products. The more you spend, the more you get back — up to $175.00 total in the form of a prepaid Visa Card. If you are considering purchasing a single-stage press, electronic powder dispenser, progressive press, or a full reloading kit, use this promotion. It is good for purchases made through March 31, 2018. Purchase any RCBS item between $49.99-$99.98 and receive $10 rebate. Purchase any RCBS item between $99.99-$299.98 and receive $25 rebate. Purchase any RCBS item between $299.99-$499.98 and receive $100 rebate. Purchase any RCBS item between $499.99 or more and receive $175 rebate. Rebate form must be submitted by April 30, 2018. NOTE: Amazon.com purchases are ineligible for this offer. REBATE INFO PAGE.

3. EuroOptic — Free $100 Gift Card with $559 Leica 2000-B

EuroOptic Leica CRF 2000 B rangefinder $100 Gift Card Free

Leica has long been a leader in the Laser RangeFinder market and the model CRF 2000-B is highly regarded among hunters. Now you can get this popular model for just $559.00 at EuroOptic.com, a very good value ($69 cheaper than Amazon). And, when you buy from EuroOptic you’ll get a $100.00 gift card. This lowers your effective price to just $459.00 — a heck of a deal for the “gold standard” in super compact laser rangefinders. The Leica 2000-B is small enough to carry in your pocket.

4. Cabela’s — Taurus Millenium G2 9mm Pistol, $199.99

Taurus millenium g2 carry pistol 199.99 free nra membership deal

Here’s a great deal on a 9mm carry pistol. Cabela’s is selling the Taurus Millenium G2 pistol for just $199.99. That’s a bargain — this pistol normally retails for about $300.00. But the deal gets even sweeter. When you buy a 9x19mm G2, Taurus will pay for your first year of NRA membership. That’s right — buy this carry gun and get a FREE one-year NRA membership. The Taurus Millenium G2 has a 3.2″ barrel and weighs just 22 ounces, unloaded. Overall length is 6.3″, and capacity is 12+1 rounds.

5. Natchez — Bushnell Elite 4500 8-32x40mm Scope, $419.99

Bushnell Elite Demo Scope 6-24x40mm Sale

Bushnell’s highly-regarded Elite 4500 Series scopes offer good performance and reliability for the price. Here’s a great deal on a Demo Bushnell 8-32x40mm Elite 4500 with Multi-X Reticle and 1″-diameter main tube. This would be a good choice for an F-Class or long-range varmint rifle. We’ve used this scope in a 600-yard Benchrest match and it worked well, though we would prefer a reticle with MOA-based hold-off marks. We do like the 1/8-MOA clicks for precision target work. NOTE: Natchez also has 6-24x40mm Bushnell 4500 Elite zoom scopes on sale now for just $329.99 (with Multi-X Reticle). That’s a crazy low price for an optic this good.

6. Stocky’s Stocks — M50 Hunting Stock with AccuBlock, $219.99

Stockys Stocks M50 accublock aluminum chassis hunting stock adjustable comb

Here’s a new product from Stocky’s Stocks, at a very good price. This new M50 Monte Carlo-style hunting stock for Rem 700-type actions offers great features you won’t find on some other stock costing three times as much. The action is supported by a built-in Aluminum Accublock chassis. The comb is adjustable for height, and the stock comes with a nice “Softkick buttpad”. A variety of premium finishes are available. If you are thinking of re-stocking your Rem 700 rifle or building a new hunting rig with a Rem 700 clone, this is an excellent choice — an outstanding value.

7. Amazon — Plano Tactical Rifle Case, $68.64

Plano tactical Rifle case 43

This Plano All-Weather Tactical Rifle Case is an Amazon Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is under $70.00, while the equivalent SKB is around $220.00, so you can buy three Planos for the price of one SKB. The 43″-long interior will fit most ARs and many hunting/varmint rifles (measure your own rifle to make sure). The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move through airports and parking lots. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money. Dimensions: 43″ X 13″ X 5″ (Interior); 46″ x 16″ x 5.5″ (Exterior).

8. Midsouth — Hornady BTHP Varmint Bullets, $52.29 for 500

Bulk .22 Cal varmint hornady bullets BTHP Midsouth Shooters Supply Free Shipping .223 Rem .224 Bulk Bullets varmint soft point Hornady

Need a boatload of bullets for varmint safaris, or high-volume .223 Rem training sessions? Then check out this deal from Midsouth Shooters Supply. Right now you can get 500 .22-Cal 62gr BTHP bullets for $52.29. That works out to just $10.46 per 100 bullets. You can also get 250 for $28.29. If you have high-volume applications for .224-diameter projectiles, this deal is hard to beat. You could easily pay two times as much (per hundred) for similar bullets elsewhere. Buying in bulk saves big bucks.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 2 Comments »
March 26th, 2018

Ogives, Meplats, Boat-Tails and Other Bullet Design Elements

Bullet Design Zediker

Noted gun writer Glen Zediker (author of Top Grade Ammo), regularly contributes tech articles to the Midsouth Shooters Blog. Glen’s most recent Midsouth Blog article covers Bullet Design. We suggest you read the article — even seasoned hand-loaders will learn a few things about projectile properties (and how to choose the right bullet design for your needs). Glen also wrote a recent Blog article on cartridge pressure signs, linked below

Read Zediker Bullet Design Article | Read Zediker Pressure Signs Article

Glen explains: “A ‘match’ bullet’s job is to perforate a piece of paper. A bullet designed for varmint hunting, on the other hand, is designed to produce explosive impact, and one for larger game hunting strives to strike a balance between expansion and penetration. However! No matter how it’s built inside, there are universal elements of any bullet design, and those are found on the outside.”

Bullet Design Zediker

In his article, Glen identifies the key elements of a bullet and explains how they are defined: “Base, that’s the bottom; boat-tail, or not (flat-base); shank, portion of full-caliber diameter; ogive, the sloping ‘nosecone'; tip, either open or closed (open it’s called the ‘meplat’). The shape of the ogive and the first point of ‘major diameter’ are extremely influential elements. The first point of major diameter can vary from barrel brand to barrel brand because it’s the point on the bullet that coincides with land diameter in the barrel — the first point that will actually contact the barrel as the bullet moves forward. When there’s a cartridge sitting in the rifle chamber, the distance or gap between the first point of major diameter and the lands is called ‘jump’, and, usually, the less there is the better.”

Bullet Design Zediker

Ogives Analyzed — Tangent vs. Secant Bullet Designs
Glen notes that bullet designs reflect secant or tangent profiles, or a combination of both: “The two essential profiles a bullet can take are ‘secant’ and ‘tangent’. This refers to the shape of the ogive. A tangent is a more rounded, gradual flow toward the tip, while a secant is a more radical step-in, more like a spike. Secants fly with less resistance (less aerodynamic drag), but tangents are [often] more tolerant of jump [or to put it another way, less sensitive to seating depth variations].”

Glen adds: “Ogives are measured in ‘calibers’. That’s pretty simple: an 8-caliber ogive describes an arc that’s 8 times caliber diameter; a 12-caliber is based on a circle that’s 12 times the caliber. The 8 will be a smaller circle than the 12, so, an 8-caliber ogive is more ‘blunt’ or rounded. Bullets with lower-caliber ogives are more tolerant of jump and (usually) shoot better, easier. Higher-caliber ogives [generally] fly better, farther. This is an important component in the ‘high-BC’ designs.”

Learn More in Zediker Books
Glen has authored a number of excellent books for hand-loaders and competitive shooters. Here are three of his most popular titles, including his latest book, Top Grade Ammo:

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
March 26th, 2018

Optimize Neck Tension with Bushings, Expanders, and Annealing

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box
One thing that plays a major role in building an accuracy load is neck tension. I think a lot of reloaders pretty much take this for granted and don’t give that enough thought.

So, how much neck tension is enough?

Thru the years and shooting both a wide variety of calibers and burn rates of powder, I’ve had the best accuracy overall with .002″ of neck tension. Naturally you will run into a rifle now and then that will do its best with something different like .001″ or even .003″, but .002″ has worked very well for me. So how do we control the neck tension? Let’s take a look at that.

First of all, if you’re running a standard sizing die with an expander ball, just pull your decapping rod assembly out of your die and measure the expander ball. What I prefer is to have an expander ball that is .003″ smaller than bullet diameter. So for example in a .224 caliber, run an expander ball of .221″. This allows for .001″ spring back in in your brass after sizing, and still gives you .002″ in neck tension. If you want to take the expander ball down in diameter, just chuck up your decapping rod assembly in a drill and turn it down with some emery cloth. When you have the diameter you need, polish it with three ought or four ought steel wool. This will give it a mirror finish and less drag coming through your case neck after sizing.

Tips for Dies With Interchangeable Neck Bushings
If you’re using a bushing die, I measure across the neck of eight or ten loaded rounds, then take an average on these and go .003″ under that measurement. There are other methods to determine bushing size, but this system has worked well for me.

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

Proper Annealing Can Deliver More Uniform Neck Tension
Another thing I want to mention is annealing. When brass is the correct softness, it will take a “set” coming out of the sizing die far better than brass that has become to hard. When brass has been work hardened to a point, it will be more springy when it comes out of a sizing die and neck tension will vary. Have you ever noticed how some bullets seated harder than others? That is why.

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

Paying closer attention to neck tension will give you both better accuracy and more consistent groups.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 8 Comments »
March 25th, 2018

How to Avoid ‘Scope Bite’ (Scope Placement Tips)

Kirsten Weiss Video YouTube Scope Eye Relief

This helpful video from our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss explains how to avoid “scope bite”. This can occur when the scope, on recoil, moves back to contact your forehead, brow, or eye socket area. That’s not fun. While common sense tells us to avoid “scope bite” — sooner or later this happens to most shooters. One viewer noted: “I have come close. I had a Win Model 70 in .375 H & H Mag and I was shooting over a large rock in a strange position. The scope hit my eye glasses hard enough to bend the wire frames and cause a little pain on the bridge of the nose from the nose piece. [That] made a believer out of me.”

Kirsten offers a good basic principle — she suggests that you mount your rifle-scope so that the ocular (eyepiece) of the scope is positioned at least three inches or more from your eyeball when you hold the rifle in your normal shooting position. From a technical standpoint, optical eye relief is a property of the scope, so you want to purchase an optic that offers sufficient optical eye relief (meaning that it allows you to see the full circle of light with your head at least three inches from the eyepiece). Then you need to position the optic optimally for your head/eye position when shooting the rifle — with at least three inches of eyeball-to-scope separation (i.e. physical eye relief).

NOTE: You should mount the scope to provide adequate eyeball-to-scope separation for the actual position(s) you will be shooting most of the time. For an F-TR rig, this will be prone. For a hunting rifle, your most common position could be sitting or standing. Your head position will vary based on the position. You can’t assume the scope placement is correct just because it seems OK when you are testing or zeroing the gun from the bench. When shooting from a prone or kneeling position you may find your eye considerably closer to the eyepiece.

Permalink - Videos, Optics, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
March 25th, 2018

High-Contrast EZ2C Targets Make Shooting Fun

EZ2C hi viz bright orange red targets

High-contrast targets make aiming (and seeing your bullet impacts) easier. EZ2C Targets, a family business in Pennsylvania, has developed a series of very bright, high-contrast targets printed with eye-popping fluorescent red/orange and Deep Black Inks. These are available from the EZ2C online store. A set of 11″x17″ Hi-Viz targets printed on quality white paper costs $8.50 for either 25 or 40 sheets, depending on design. A wide variety of designs are available — Bulleyes, Grids, Silhouettes, and Diamonds as well as many specialty targets. There are also 20 types of 3.5″ x 3.5″ Mini stick-on targets. These are printed with deep Black Ink on Fluorescent Red Self-Adhesive Label Stock.

EZ2C Fun Challenge Targets

EZ2C’s Battleship Target (Style 22) would be great for precision rifles at 100 or 200 yards. The red circles are about 3/4″ in diameter. That’s 0.36 MOA at 200 yards. That’s a good test for an accurate rifle (and for any shooting pals who boast that their guns can shoot “1/4 MOA all day long”.) The Dartboard target is great for a two-man shooting competition. You can shoot the numbers in order, or for more challenge, shoot the red rings (for each number), from the outer diameter to the middle. Just as in a real darts game, there are many variations.

EZ2C TargetEZ2C  bright neon orange high contrast Target

Here are some other EZ2C Targets. The pistol diagnosis target (second from left) shows how to correct your aim and hold, based on where your errant shots fall. The decreasing dots target is a fun challenge for rimfire cross-training. Set it at 200 yards for centerfire.

EZ2C bright neon orange high contrast printed Target

Get Customized Targets for Your Club or Business
EZ2C targets can be customized with the name/logo of your gun club or business. This is an excellent way to promote your organization or store. Here’s a suggestion — have your gun club print up customized targets to award as prizes at shooting matches.

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