April 22nd, 2018

AZTEC Mode for AMP Annealer — Create Custom Brass Profiles

AMP Annealer Annealing Aztec program sorting cartridge brass annealing

New Zealand-based Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) has released powerful new software called AZTEC Mode. This works with existing AMP annealing machines, offering unrivaled “custom tuning” for your brass. AZTEC Mode lets AMP owners calibrate their own cases without sending samples to New Zealand. Basically you take one brass case from your lot, and AZTEC runs a special test cycle. You’ll discard that one case, but the software will analyze the brass characteristics and develop a custom, optimized annealing profile for that exact type of brass. We think the AMP machines were already the most advanced annealers on the market, and AZTEC Mode makes the AMP even better.

AMP’s engineers tell us: “This AZTEC system is not a firmware update or patch. It is a major upgrade in the way the annealer operates”. AZTEC Mode can be downloaded (in locked format) from AMPAnnealing.com, and you can install using the USB cable supplied with the annealer. When downloaded, it will be locked. The Unlock Code can be purchased for $250.00 from Creedmoor Sports.

This 4-minute video explains the basic features of AZTEC mode:

AMP Annealer Annealing Aztec program sorting cartridge brass annealing

Patent-Pending AZTEC Mode software has been under development for quite some time. This very sophisticated software was unveiled at SHOT Show 2018, and now it is available for download and purchase. AMP’s team has worked hard in the past few months perfecting AZTEC Mode and it’s now ready for the end user. Watch this comprehensive video to see how AZTEC Mode works.

Here is a full 23-minute Instructional Video on AZTEC Mode:

AZTEC also comes with a “Sort Mode” comparator, which analyses the neck, shoulder and front section of the body. It is very sensitive to variables such as mass and dimensions. It is a work in progress. Annealing Made Perfect are conducting further research with ballistics laboratories to establish the best applications. AZTEC Mode is self-prompting and very simple to use with minimal technical expertise. AMP has prepared instructional videos showing how to install and use AZTEC Mode. You don’t have to be a computer whiz — just follow the instructions and you should find AZTEC pretty easy to use.

To buy AZTEC Mode software, use the USB cable supplied with the annealer and download the AZTEC Mode Software from AMPAnnealing.com. Then purchase the Unlock Code from Creedmoor Sports for $250.00. Customers will then receive an email from Annealing Made Perfect with the unlock code and instructions within 48 hours. AZTEC Mode is currently only available for Windows OS, with a version for Apple (Mac) iOS available soon.

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April 22nd, 2018

The .220 Swift — History of a Great Varmint Cartridge

Sierra Bullets 220 .220 Swift Cartridge powder loading Hodgdon

A History of the .220 Swift Cartridge

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box
Sierra Bullets 220 .220 Swift Cartridge powder loading HodgdonThis cartridge was introduced by Winchester in 1935 in their model 54 rifle. A year later, it was added as a standard cartridge in the model 70. What might not be common knowledge to some reloaders is that the prototype for the Swift was developed in 1934-35 by Grosvenor Wotkyns by necking down the 250 Savage case, but in the end, Winchester chose the 6mm Lee Navy case for the foundation for this cartridge.

This cartridge was far ahead of its time and for that reason it received a lot of bad press. We’ve all read the horror stories through the years. Many of those stories were just simply repeated from previous articles even the wording was just slightly different. So how bad was the Swift? Let’s take a deeper look.

Some of the early Swifts had soft barrel steel and some of the rare ones even had barrels that were .223 in bore size. This stemmed from the fact that the .22 Hornets prior to the end of World War II were .223 in bore size and some of these barrels were chambered in the Swift. It was rumored that the Swift peaked in pressure far too quick. I’ll bet they did with a turkey extra full choke barrel.

Burn rates of powders were limited at that time as well, so the Swift was limited in its true ability due to that. It was almost like building a funny car for drag racing when only kerosene was available.

One of the longest lasting black eyes was that it shot barrels out so fast. If you get the barrel branding iron hot and fail to clean it often this can happen. Common sense will go a long ways here. Keep the barrel as cool as you can and properly clean it every fifteen rounds or less will go a long way to improving accuracy life of a Swift.

Sierra Bullets 220 .220 Swift Cartridge powder loading Hodgdon

So what is the real truth about this cartridge? I’m glad you ask. I’ve been shooting the .220 Swift for over 43 years now. It is one of the best varmint cartridges I’ve ever owned. It is not hard to load for, it doesn’t suddenly peak in pressure and it isn’t the barrel burner that you’ve heard. Hodgdon powders once reported a Remington 40-X with over 3,000 rounds of full power loads averaged .344” for five, 5-shot groups. My findings have been the same. It isn’t as hard on barrels as it has been made out to be.

I’ve also read that down loading it slightly will help in barrel life. This is true, but if you buy a thoroughbred you want him to run. Barrels are threaded on the end for a reason. If you have enough fun to shoot out a Swift barrel, just rebarrel it.

The bottom line is enjoy the .220 Swift for what it was meant to be. The popularity of the Swift has slipped in the last twenty years and few factory rifles are now available in this caliber. There is no reason for this and I know the Swift will always have a strong and loyal following.

Sierra Bullets 220 Swift Cartridge Guide

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
April 22nd, 2018

Mobile App and Resources for NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits Rifle Association Dallas TX Texas May 2018

The NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits Event runs May 3-6 in Dallas, Texas. Here are some helpful resources for members planning to attend the NRA Convention. There will be over 800 Exhibitors displaying products at the 2018 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. You can see products from big name companies such as Berger Bullets, Leupold, Nightforce, Nosler, Redding, Remington, Ruger, Savage, Smith & Wesson, and Winchester. You can also meet with top hunting guides and outfitters.


Exhibitor List | Exhibitor Map | Event Schedule | Event Tickets

NRA Annual Meetings Registration

The 147th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits will take place at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, May 3-6 in Dallas, Texas. The Exhibit Hall will be open May 4-6. Along with the Exhibits, the event will feature seminars, workshops, special events, and more.

The NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits is FREE to all NRA members and their families (spouse and children under 18 years old). For faster entry bring your current NRA membership card with you.

NOTE: Pre-Registration has closed and badges are now being shipped out. Attendees can register on-site at the event in Dallas — bring your membership card or number with you.

Download Free NRA Annual Meetings Mobile App

NRA Annual Meetings 2018 Mobile App

Attendees should definitely official Mobile App for the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. This FREE App will help you locate your favorite exhibitors, keep track of special events, plan your time, and get important notifications. The App works with both Apple (iOS) and Android mobile devices.

NRA Annual Meetings 2018 Mobile App

LOCATION of 2018 NRA Annual Meetings in Dallas:

This year’s NRA Convention will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in downtown Dallas. Use this interactive map to plan your travel.

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