May 21st, 2018

BargainFinder 139: 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. Cabela’s — .22 LR Savage A22 , $209.99 with Spinner Target

Savage A22 Bargain discount .22 LR free Champion Target

The A22 is Savage’s .22 LR version of its very popular A17 rimfire rifle. This rifle is an excellent starter rifle for a youngster, and it also can serve as a handy “truck gun” for dispatching small varmints. On sale now at just $209.99 at Cabela’s, this A22 Rifle is a great bargain. But it gets even better. Purchase this rifle and you get a free Champion Metal Spinner Target. Get Spinner Target REBATE HERE. Plus you get free shipping (to your FFL) with promo Code FREESHIP.

2. MidwayUSA — 240 Rds 5.56x45mm IMI, 77gr SMKs, $134.99

IMI Israel 5.56x45 .223 Rem Service Rifle Ammunition 77 grain 77gr Sierra MatchKing SMK

Planning some Service Rifle practice, but don’t have time to reload? Or are you shooting a PRS “Gas Gun” match in Tac Lite Division? Then you should give this IMI ammo a chance. If you aren’t aware, IMI (Israel Military Industries) is the primary military ammo producer for the nation of Israel. This is first-rate ammo produced to high standards. It’s rare to find ammo at this price loaded with premium match bullets — the 77 grain Sierra MatchKing. This sale price works out to $0.56 cents per round. The bullets alone would cost about 28 cents each. This IMI ammo usually sells for $0.90 to $0.96 per round so this is a bargain. The brass is pretty tough — worth reloading. And Sierra specifically designed the 77gr #9377 MatchKing to work optimally loaded to AR15 mag length. This ammo should fit most service rifle chambers even if labeled “.223 Rem”.

3. Amazon — Caldwell Rimfire Resetting Target, $19.99

Caldwell rimfire smallbore resetting target plinking ammo fun spinner frame

Made of heavy-duty steel, this Resetting Rimfire Target is 16.8″ wide x 22.5″ high x 1.8″ deep. Shoot the four lower plates then hit the upper plate to reset the group. Given the price, this metal target system is suprisingly durable — as long as you NEVER use it with centerfire ammo — it’s not built for that. A set of 2.5″ round adhesive target spots is include. NOTE, the Target is most stable with the frame “legs” pushed into the ground a bit. This may be difficult with hard, dry ground.

4. CDNN — Ruger 17 HMR Rifle with Scope and Ammo, $299.99

Ruger American Rimfire 17 HMR Rifle Bushnell scope CCI A17 Ammo sale

Here’s everything a varminter needs — rifle, scope, sling, and ammo — all for under $300.00. For fans of the 17 HMR, this deal is hard to beat. You get the bolt-action Ruger American Rimfire rifle chambered in 17 HMR, plus Bushnell A17 Rimfire Scope with Multi-X Reticle, plus 200 rounds of CCI A17 17grain Varmint Ammo (very good stuff), and a Winchester sling — all for just $299.99. If you figure the scope is worth $100 and the CCI ammo would cost $48.00, then you’re getting the Ruger rifle for $151.99. That’s highway robbery. Full Deal HERE.

5. Midsouth — Hornady 17 HMR Ten Boxes for $84.99

Hornady 17 HMR week deal varmint V-Max ammo ammunition sale

Varmint hunters take note. Here’s a great deal on premium 17 HMR ammo. Midsouth is selling 500 rounds of Hornady 17 HMR ammo for $84.99. That works out to just $8.50 per 50-rd box — the best price we’ve seen in a while. Loaded with 17gr V-Max bullets, this ammo is accurate — expect about 1 MOA at 100 yards in a good rifle. The V-Max bullets are effective on small varmints out to 200 yards.

6. MidwayUSA — Caldwell LR Target Cam System, $295.99

Caldwell wifi wireless 1 mile long range target cam system

Forum members have purchased this Caldwell Target Cam System and they’ve found that it works reliably, providing a clear signal to any WiFi-enabled mobile device (smartphone, iPad, Laptop). One member specifically tested the unit at 1000 yards and it functioned fine. NOTE: This system does NOT have a zoom camera lens, so you need to position the camera within 10 yards or so of the target. But if you place it to the side a bit, this shouldn’t be a problem. This system comes with a nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands. This is a good deal. Right now this very same system costs $349.95 on Amazon and $419.99 on Brownells.com! Save big with this sale pricing at MidwayUSA.

7. EuroOptics — Leica CRF 2000, $399.00

Leica 2000-B Rangemaster Laser LRF Rangefinder Sale Eurooptics.com

This may be the best deal we’ve seen on the vaunted Leica 2000-B Laser Rangefinder (LRF) with 7-power optic. This unit is rated out to 2000 yards on reflective objects (in real-world use it will laze a deer well past 800 if you can hold steady). The Leica 2000-B features air pressure and temperature sensors, plus on-board inclinometer. Angle correction works out to 1200 horizontal yards equivalent, with the true hold-over displayed in both MILs and MOA. The compact Leica CRF 2000-B weighs just 6.5 ounces and measures 4.5″ L x 2.25″ H x 1.25″ W. It has a waterproof outer shell.

8. Walmart — Stack-On 10-Gun Fire-Resistant Gun Safe, $249.99

Stack-On 10-Gun Fire resistant vault gunsafe Walmart

Here’s a good secondary safe for your workshop or home. Though budget priced, this Stack-On 10-Gun Safe is tall enough to hold match rifles. “Roll-back” priced at just $249.99, this fire-resistant safe offers great protection for the price — much better than a thin-walled “security cabinet”. External dimensions are approximately 55.25″ high x 16″ wide x 15.25″ deep. The safe has a robust 3-number rotary combination lock and is fire-rated for 30 minutes at up to 1400° F. Pick up this safe at your nearest Walmart, or you can have the safe delivered to your residence for another $49.97 shipping fee. This same safe sells elsewhere for up to $389.00.

9. Amazon — Sixty Glow Shot 6″ Splatter Targets for $14.99

Deals of Week 6

These Six-inch “splatter” targets display a bright yellow ring around each bullet hole. We like these adhesive Glow Shot targets for practice at 300-600 yards. The neon yellow on black provides high contrast so you can easily see 6mm bullet impacts at 600 yards. The 6″-diameter is one-MOA at 600 yards — a good aiming center size. Priced at just $14.99 for a sixty-count package, these are a good value compared to the larger Birchwood Casey Splatter Targets. Note: This Glow Shot target is also available in a Red Circle version, and Tri-Color version (red, yellow, and green).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, New Product, Optics No Comments »
May 21st, 2018

Hornady Zombies in the Heartland Pandemic Match, June 1-3

Pandemic 3-Gun Match Zombies in the Heartland Nebraska Hornady

Pandemic 3-Gun Match Zombies in the Heartland Nebraska HornadyPandemic: Zombies in the Heartland
Every year Hornady hosts the very popular Zombies in the Heartland event. This “Pandemic” 3-Gun fun match, one the biggest three-gun shoots in the nation, is just 11 days away. This event will take place June 1-3, 2018 at the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. The Pandemic traditionally has a rich prize table worth over $150,000. Prize include pistols, rifles, shotguns, scopes, AR uppers, gun parts, and gear of all kinds.

The Pandemic is a veritable theme park for shootists, with many fun stages and innovative targets. Many unique, reactive zombie targets have been developed specifically for this match. The use of paper targets has been minimized — so it’s mostly “bang and clang”.

There will be ten multi-gun stages this year. Rifles, pistols and shotguns are used on most stages. There are also fun side-matches. We highly recommend you watch the video below to see highlights from last year’s Pandemic.

2017 Zombies in the Heartland Highlights Video. Guys, this well-made video is WORTH WATCHING! This video offers Shooter’s POV views of many stages including full auto:

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

This year there will be ten (10) stages, each with a different shooting challenge. Shotguns, rifles and handguns will be used on most stages, which feature handgun targets from 1-15 yards, shotgun targets from 10-20 yards, and rifle targets from 1-200 yards, so be prepared for a variety of target presentations and engagements. There will also be side matches with full-auto demo firearms, exploding targets, specialty targets. View the Zombie Guide Page for more info.

2018 Pandemic General Guide | 2018 Pandemic Rules and Registration

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

Permalink Competition, Handguns, Tactical No Comments »
May 21st, 2018

Brownells Video Shows How to Cut Chamfer on Barrel Crown

brownells crown muzzle barrel bullet accuracy gunsmithing

This video from Brownells talks about a the crown of a barrel and how the crown’s condition affects accuracy. As the bullet leaves the barrel of the gun, the shape, alignment and the condition of the crown can affect the accuracy of your shot. A proper crown is essential to ensure that the bullet leaves the barrel correctly and that the propellant gasses behind the bullet are distributed evenly on firing. A square crown without burrs and a smooth transition will normally ensure consistency from shot to shot. By contrast, a damaged crown can cause unpredictable flyers that open your group. That’s why it’s important to have perfect crowns on all your barrels.

The video explains the different types of crowns that can be used. In addition, the video shows how you can chamfer your muzzle in a home shop. If you use a properly-sized pilot, cutting a shallow chamfer is something that most guys with some mechanical skill can handle. Just be sure to use lubricant, flush chips, and don’t rush the job. Cutting the barrel is another matter. At the 1:20 mark the video shows how to use a hack-saw to remove a damaged muzzle section. While this may be fine for an inexpensive rifle that needs a “quick fix”, we do NOT recommend using a hack-saw with a vise for a competition barrel. The reason is that it is too easy for a novice to produce a cut that is not square. We suggest letting a professional gunsmith cut and crown your competition barrels.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing No Comments »
May 20th, 2018

Suppressors — Why You Still Need Hearing Protection

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB
Silencer-equipped AR photo courtesy The Silencer Shop.

OK, you’ve paid the tax stamp and acquired your new suppressor (aka “silencer” or “moderator”). Do you still need to wear earplugs or muffs? Absolutely. Even with that expensive new “can”, your rifle could be generating over 140 decibels (dB) of noise — about the same as as an unmuffled 9mm pistol shot. That’s loud enough to create permanent hearing loss with repeated exposure.

Firearms Are Loud: 140 dB to 175 dB

Audiology group ASHA explains: “Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage hearing. Almost all firearms create noise that is over the 140-dB level. A small .22-caliber rifle can produce noise around 140 dB, while big-bore rifles and pistols can produce sound over 175 dB. Firing guns in a place where sounds can reverberate, or bounce off walls and other structures, can make noises louder and increase the risk of hearing loss. Also, adding muzzle brakes or other modifications can make the firearm louder. People who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot[.] Audiologists see this often, especially during hunting season when hunters and bystanders may be exposed to rapid fire from big-bore rifles, shotguns, or pistols.” Source: ASHA, Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure.

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB

Suppressors, On Average, Reduce Noise Levels about 30 Decibels
In an article for Ammoland, gunwriter Sam Hoober says that you can expect about 30 decibels (dB) of noise reduction from the average suppressor: “Looking at a few different products, SilencerCo attests their suppressors reduce the sound pressure of a 9mm gunshot to anywhere from 125.7 dB to 131.5 dB, depending on the model. Advanced Armament Co, another popular supplier, attests a 23 dB to 33 dB reduction or down to 127 dB. Liberty Suppressors, another manufacturer, attests a reduction of 24 dB to 38 dB, depending on model and other factors. In short, we can presume something on the order of 30 dB of attenuation as an average.”

Using that 30 dB number you can quickly discern that you’ll still need hearing protection — good hearing protection — when shooting any suppressed firearm (even a .22 LR). “Spikes of 130 dB and more can result in permanent hearing damage instantly”. Source: NRA Blog.

The Myth of the “Quiet” .22 LR
The NRA Blog notes that “many rimfire shooters, particularly those using the beloved .22 Long Rifle cartridge, argue that the small .22 LR caliber doesn’t produce enough sound to damage your hearing”. So, is that really true. or is it a myth?

In fact, a .22 LR can be much louder than you think — a .22 LR pistol can produce sound levels of 134 dB. That’s well above the normal human pain threshhold.

Sound Levels for Common Noises:

9mm Luger pistol: 160 dB

Jet aircraft engine (near): 140 dB

.22 LR pistol: 134 dB

Normal human pain threshold: 120 dB

Noisy Nightclub: 110 db

Riding Motorcycle at 65 mph: 103 db

Power Lawnmower: 95 dB

Hearing damage possible: 85 dB (sustained for 8+ hours)

Ringing Telephone: 80 dB

Normal conversation: 60 dB


The Risk of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be progressive and irreversible. If you are a shooter, this is serious business. As the NRA Blog cautions: “You may not even realize you’re harming your hearing. Hearing loss occurs gradually, and can go effectively unnoticed until symptoms become severe. By then, the damage is done.”

Nobody wants to go deaf. But we often see shooters without effective hearing protection when they are walking around a few yards behind the firing line. That’s bad — even if you are away from the firing line, gunshot noises can damage your hearing. You MUST use effective hearing protection every time you go to the range. Good foam earplugs costs mere pennies but they can prevent deafness in your later years. Many folks also wear muffs over plugs.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
May 20th, 2018

Tikka T3 — Video Reviews of Popular Hunting Rifle

Tikka T3 Review new zealand hunting scotland varmint rifle

The Tikka T3 rifle is very popular with hunters around the globe — for good reason. These rifles offer smooth-running actions, easy sub-MOA accuracy with good ammo, crisp triggers, and ultra-reliable detachable box magazines. The Tupperware stocks aren’t super-rigid, but they are comfortable and easy to handle. If you are looking for a hunting rifle, the Tikka T3 is a smart choice, offering good performance for the price (which starts at less than $580.00 for the T3 Lite version). The T3 series is offered in a wide selection of chamberings, from .204 Ruger up to the large magnums.

Here are two good Tikka T3 video reviews, the first from New Zealand, the second from Scotland. Both reviewers are experienced hunters who explain why the T3 is well-suited for hunting applications. In the first video, Mitch of BushBrothersNZ reviews a T3 with polymer stock and stainless barrel chambered for the .270 Win. Mitch focuses on the T3’s controls and functions, with particular attention to the operation of trigger, safety, and bolt.

In this second video, David, a hunter and wilderness skills teacher from Scotland, demonstrates the features (and remarkable accuracy) of a factory Tikka T3, chambered in .223 Remington. With David’s handloads, this rifle has grouped just over an inch at 250 yards, as shown near the end of the video.

Tikka Fox HuntingTikka Fox Hunting

David uses his rifle primarily for fox-hunting (often done at night). He employs a variable-power scope with an illuminated reticle to target his night-time prey. David offers many tips for predator hunters. He prefers an extra-high Harris bipod. With the bipod’s legs fully extended, he can assume a comfortable and solid sitting position. The rifle is supported on his shoulder and on the bipod, leaving both of his hands free. Being able to support the rifle without gripping it is a major advantage, David explains. This frees his hands to search for animals with binoculars or scan distances with his rangefinder.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
May 19th, 2018

New Affordable Cast-Iron C-Frame Press from Lyman

Lyman Brass smith reloading press ideal Gavin Gear UltimateReloader.com

Everyone needs a serious, full-size single-stage press such as the RCBS Rock Chucker for heavy-duty reloading tasks. But’s it’s also wise to have a smaller, more compact press for lighter duties such as decapping (primer removal), neck-sizing, and bullet seating. The new Lyman Brass Smith Ideal press fits that role perfectly, at an affordable price — about $80.00 retail.

With an $80 street price, Lyman’s new C-Frame press is an exceptional value. With beefy cast-iron construction, it is much stiffer than other presses in this compact category. The compound linkage is smooth. The base is big enough to provide good stability. For someone looking for a second press, or a smaller press to take to the range, the new Lyman Ideal may be the smart solution.

READ Full Lyman Ideal Press Review on UltimateReloader.com »

The Lyman Ideal press just started shipping. Our fiend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com got one of the very first. Gavin has created a helpful video showcasing the features of this compact press. Gavin was impressed, finding the Ideal press operated smoothly with plenty of power for most tasks. (We would still use a bigger press with more leverage for heavy case-forming duties). Here is Gavin’s video. The first 7 minutes cover unboxing and assembly. Starting at the 8-minute mark, Gavin uses the Ideal press to load 6.5 Creedmoor cases:

Lyman Ideal Press

The Lyman Brass Smith Ideal Press is a budget-friendly, cast iron single-stage reloading press built right here in the USA. Here’s the official info and specs:

The large opening and C frame design allows you to access the shell holder without hitting the support bar on other types of presses. Changing shell holders is a breeze and the press holds standard 7/8″x14 TPI dies from any manufacturer. The high quality steel ram is one inch in diameter and the 3 7/8″ opening allows you to reload cartridges up to 3.7 inches tall. The Brass Smith is a true ambidextrous press that can be accessed from either side and mounted the same.

Lyman Brass Smith Ideal Press — Specifications and Features:
Rugged Cast Iron Frame
Ambidextrous Design
Handles Cartridges Up To 3.7″ Long
Durable Powder Coat Finish
Compound Linkage and 1″ Diameter Ram
Accepts Standard 7/8″X14 Dies and Standard Shell Holders
Weight: 12.6 Lbs.

Stay Tuned — Lyman will be sending an Ideal Press to AccurateShooter.com. In the weeks ahead we will test this affordable C-Frame press both in the workshop and at the range…

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 19th, 2018

How to Zero A Hunting Rifle in Four Shots

hunting zero zeroing sight-in easy NSSF boresighting
Photo courtesy Vortex Optics.

Here’s a simple procedure that lets you get a solid zero for a hunting rifle in just four shots. Of course you probably want to fire a few more rounds to confirm your zero before you head off to your hunting grounds, but this will let you get on-target with a minimum amount of time and ammo expended. (This assumes your scope is securely mounted, and the bases are not drastically out of alignment.)

QUICK-TIP: The Key to this procedure is Dialing to Shot One Point of Impact (POI). Re-aim at center of target after SHOT ONE. Then with the rifle motionless, use the turrets to put the middle of the cross-hair on the first shot location.

1. First, remove the bolt and boresight the rifle. Adjust the position of the rifle so that, looking through the bore, you can see the center of the target with your eyes. Secure the rifle in the rests to maintain its position as boresighted. Then, without moving the rifle, center the reticle. That should get you on paper. With the rifle solidly secured in front and rear rests or sandbags, aim at the center of a target placed at your zeroing distance (50 or 100 yards). Confirm there are no obstructions in the barrel! Then load and fire SHOT ONE. Then, return the gun to the exact position it was when you pulled the trigger, with the cross-hair centered on the target as before.

2. Locate, in the scope, where your first bullet landed on the target. Now, while you grip the rifle firmly so it doesn’t move, have a friend adjust the turrets on your scope. While you look through the scope, have your friend turn the windage and elevation turrets until the cross-hairs, as viewed through the scope, bisect the first bullet hole on the target. In other words, use the turrets to move the center of the reticle to the actual position of shot number one. IMPORTANT: Dial the crosshairs to the hole — don’t move the rifle.

Watch NSSF Zeroing Video showing method of moving reticle to Shot 1 Point of Impact.

3. After you’ve adjusted the turrets, now re-aim the rifle so the cross-hairs are, once again, positioned on the target center. Keep the rifle firmly supported by your rest or sandbag. Take the SECOND SHOT. You should find that the bullet now strikes in the center of the target.

3-Shot Zero

4. Take a THIRD SHOT with the cross-hairs aligned in the center of the target to confirm your zero. Make minor modifications to the windage and elevation as necessary.

5. Finally, shoot the rifle from a field rest (shooting sticks, bipod, or rucksack) as you would use when actually hunting. Confirm, with SHOT FOUR, that your zero is unchanged. You may need to make slight adjustments. Some rifles, particularly those with flexy fore-arms, exhibit a different POI (point of impact) when fired from a bipod or ruck vs. a sandbag rest.

If you recently cleaned your rifle, you may want to fire two or three fouling shots before you start this procedure. But keep in mind that you want to duplicate the typical cold bore conditions that you’ll experience during the hunt. If you set your zero after three fouling shots, then make sure the bore is in a similar condition when you actually go out hunting.

Permalink Optics, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
May 19th, 2018

Water Transfer Printing for Rifle Stocks

hydro-dip stock finish

There’s a great new way to apply an eye-catching finish to fiberglass and synthetic stocks. Water Transfer Printing (aka Hydro-Dipping) can apply beautiful, stylized patterns to your stock, and the process costs less than a custom paint job. Hydro-dipping is ideal for applying amazing photo-realistic effects such as stone, wood burl, snakeskin, or faux carbon fiber. Hydro-dipping requires no harsh chemicals or high heat so there are no negative side effects. You just end up with an amazing, patterned finish on your stock.

Hundreds of different patterns are available. We like the carbon-look finish on benchrest guns and the snakeskin patterns on hunting and varmint rifles. Natural snakeskin designs, in this Editor’s opinion, are perhaps the most effective camouflage for the largely arrid backcountry in the American southwest.

hydro-dip stock finish

hydro-dip stock finish

Hydro-Dip of Idaho Does Great Work
While there are a half-dozen companies offering water transfer printing for rifle stocks, Forum member Francis B. recommends Hydro-Dip, LLC of Meridian, Idaho. Examples of Hydro-Dip’s work are shown above. Francis writes: “Scott, Adam, and old man Rod Springer own and run Hydro-Dip. This is a company that will ‘paint’ your rifle, tool box, trailer, airplane, whatever and will do an excellent job while doing it. Check out their archives of jobs done. You will be amazed. I’ve not had one of their jobs done for any of mine (yet) but I’m considering it. Those who have had their rifles done tell me the cost is very reasonable. I have seen a few stocks done and they are works of art.”

Hydro-dipping (water transfer printing) can be performed on virtually any metal or plastic surface. You can Hydro-dip car parts, archery gear, rifle stocks — you name it. Watch the process in the video:

CLICK VIDEO to See Hydro-Dipping Process!

Hydro-Dip of Idaho

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, New Product 7 Comments »
May 18th, 2018

Flip Your Target Colors for Better Long-Range Viewing

Negative target center reverse color image

At long range, small bullet holes are much easier to see “in the white” than in the black center of the normal High Power target. When you’re practicing at long range using a scoped rifle, one way to enhance your ability to see your bullet holes is to print a “negative” version of the regulation bullseye target so that your black center is now white.

How do you create a “negative” of a target image? Many image programs, including the FREE Irfanview software, have a “Negative” function in the pull-down menu. If you don’t see a “Negative” menu option in your program, look for a “substitute colors” option. Many printers also have a “reverse colors” function. If you can’t find a solution with your computer or printer, just take a normal bullseye target to a copy shop, and the staff can easily print you a set of targets with white centers in black fields.

Pentax PF-80 ED scopeForum member Watercam has a Pentax PF-80ED spotting scope that allows him to see 6mm bullet holes in the white at 600 yards. However, 6mm holes in the black are only visible out to 400 yards or so. Accordingly, Watercam uses a modified “reversed” black-to-white target for 600-yard practice. Watercam explains: “[Using the Pentax] With my 6mm and limited mirage I see defined, 6mm holes in the white out to 600. In the black, however, I can see bullets holes at about 400. I now use reverse-color targets for training without a pit partner at the 600-yard line.”

The Hi-Viz Solution — Day-Glo Pasters
If you’re not concerned with official scoring rings, you can use an all-white target with a bright, fluorescent target dot in the middle. A 2″- or 3″-diameter stick-on target dot is highly visible at 600 yards. Birchwood Casey Target Spots® assortment #33928-TSA offers neon orange target dots in 1″, 2″, and 3″ diameters.

Easel Pad flip chart target paper

TARGET TIP — Use Chart Paper
For practice backers for the Day-GLo pasters at long distance, use Flip Chart Paper (aka Easel Pads) marked with graph lines at 1″ intervals. Available either regular or self-stick, one sheet can hold 4-8 pasters and the white paper allows for easy spotting of the holes and quick estimation of group size. Get Flip Chart Paper at Amazon.com, Staples, or Office Depot.

Brits Use White-Field Target for F-Class
In the UK, some ranges are now using a “reverse-style” target with a mostly white area. Laurie Holland says this allows shooters to see shots much more easily. Laurie reports: “Here’s a photo of the 500/600 yard F-Class match target we use in PSSA comps at Diggle Ranges with club members Chris Hull (L) and Terry Mann (R). We now use this target form at all ranges up to 1K for F-Class, and, yes you can often see your hits at 600 yards on the target before the markers pull it. Regards from England — Laurie”.

Permalink Competition, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
May 18th, 2018

New Service Rifle Scope from Leupold: VX-4.5HD

Nightforce 4.5X24mm scope

Service Rifle shooters now have a new optics option — a 1-4.5X Leupold. This new scope fits CMP/NRA rules allowing up to 4.5X power for Service Rifles. Leupold’s new 1-4.5×24mm VX-4.5HD Service Rifle optic features a 30mm maintube and 1-4.5 power zoom with HD glass. It will be offered with both standard and illuminated Bull-Ring-style reticles.

“When the High Power Service Rifle competitions announced that they’d be allowing the use of riflescopes, with a 4.5 magnification maximum, consumers immediately turned to us for a solution”, said Vici Peters, product line manager for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “The VX-4.5HD delivers everything a Service Rifle competitor could want out of their optic, and is available with reticles that have been built to drive winning scores.”

VX-4.5HD Pricing vs. The Competition
With a base MSRP of $1820.00 and $1400 street price, this new Leupold is way more expensive than the 1-4x24mm $495.00 Konus XTC-30 Service Rifle scope. However, the Leupold’s street price undercuts the $1892.00 Nightforce 4.5x24mm Comp Scope by nearly $500.00. The March 1-4.5x24mm scope, at $2461.00 retail, is even more expensive, but the March does offer adjustable parallax, a valuable feature for longer ranges. We wish the new Leupold had adjustable parallax.

Nightforce 4.5X24mm scope
The new Leupold VX-4.5HD competes directly with the Nightforce 4.5x24mm Comp Scope shown above. Both the Leupold and NF lack the adjustable parallax of the March 1-4.5x24mm optic.

Competition Reticles with Smart Illumination Option
Two reticle types will be offered for the Leupold 1-4.5x24mm: 1) Bull-Ring Post; and 2) Illuminated FireDot Bull-Ring. At 4.5 power, the Bull-Ring will nearly be identical in size to the target’s bullseye. As magnification is turned down, the white ring around the bullseye can be adjusted to help center your aim. The FireDot Bull-Ring features MST (Motion Sensor Technology) that automatically deactivates illumination after 5 minutes of inactivity, and reactivates it when movement is detected.

More Affordable Options from Leupold
Interestingly, Leupold currently offers many other scopes that could be used for Service Rifle competition. Here are three that all cost much less than the VX-4.5HD:

1. VX-R Patrol 1.25-4x20mm, $779.99 MSRP
2. Mark AR Mod 1.5-4x20mm, $389.99 MSRP
3. VX Freedom 1.5-4x20mm, $259.99 MSRP

NOTE: None of the above Leupold scopes offer HD glass, and max magnification is 4X. If you want the 4.5X and premium lenses you have to pony up a lot more cash.

The new VX-4.5HD features a scratch-resistant Guard-Ion rain shedding coating. This scope also has Leupold’s proprietary Twilight Max HD Light Management System, which helps in low-light conditions, and also eliminates the image “wash-out” from direct sunlight. The VX-4.5HD is designed, machined, and assembled in the USA and backed by Leupold’s Full Lifetime Guarantee.

Permalink New Product, Optics 7 Comments »
May 18th, 2018

Remington Emerges From Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Remington emerges Chapter 11 Bankruptcy debt shares restructuring

Good news for fans of Big Green — Remington remains a going concern…

On 5/17/2018, Remington Outdoor Company (“Remington”) announced that it has emerged from Chapter 11 after successfully implementing the reorganization plan recently approved by the Delaware Bankruptcy Court. Basically, the bankruptcy proceeding has converted debt into equity allowing Remington to move forward with significantly reduced debt load and associated interest costs.

“The Plan provides a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring of the Company and converts over $775 million of the Company’s debt into equity,” stated the Remington press release.

“In addition, the Plan provides the Company with a new Asset Based Loan (“ABL”) facility of $193 million, the proceeds of which will refinance its prior ABL facility in full, a new $55 million First-In, Last-Out Term Loan and a new $100 million Term Loan.” The Plan received support from over 97% of the voting Term Loan Lenders and all of the voting Third Lien Noteholders.

“It is morning in Remington country,” said Anthony Acitelli, Chief Executive Officer of Remington. Mr. Acitelli continued, “We are excited about the future — producing quality products, serving our customers, and providing good jobs for our employees.”

Old Shared Cancelled, New Shares Issued to Previous Lenders
The bankruptcy essentially extinguished old Remington stock shares and replaced them with new shares: “As provided in the Plan, all shares of Remington’s common stock issued prior to the commencement of Remington’s bankruptcy proceeding were cancelled upon emergence, and Remington has issued new shares of common stock and, in some cases, warrants, to the holders of its previously outstanding funded debt in return for their allowed claims against Remington.”

Remington Has a Storied History
Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in New York, Remington is the oldest continuously-operating gun manufacturer in the United States. Even with its present difficulties, Remington still sells more sporting rifles and shotguns than any other American company. Remington has developed more cartridges than any other U.S. company. And it is the only American company that sells firearms AND ammunition under its own name.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
May 17th, 2018

Powder Temp Stability — IMR Enduron vs. H4350 and Varget

powder gunpowder temperature sensivity temp stability Hodgdon Extreme Varget H4350 IMR Enduron 4451 4166

A couple seasons back, PrecisionRifleBlog.com (PRB) published a significant field test of powder temperature stability. The test was designed to quantify the temperature stability of Hodgdon H4350 and Varget powders compared to IMR’s Enduron line of powders, specifically IMR 4166 and 4451. The results were very interesting, to say the least…

Hodgdon Extreme Series powders have attracted quite a fan base, with over 90% of the top shooters in the Precision Rifle Series choosing to run one of those powders. IMR offers a modern line of powders “with Enduron Technology” — which is also marketed to have “extreme temperature stability”. Sounds familiar! These new powders should compete directly with the Hodgdon Extreme Series, which gives shooters more temp-stable powder options to consider.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Powder Temperature Stability Test on Precision RifleBlog.com.

The top shooters in the PRS and veteran long-range shooters in other disciplines have learned to value a temperature-stable powder. That’s because a change in temperature can affect the trajectory or “flight path” of the bullet in two well-known ways:

1. Assuming all other environmental conditions remain the same, an increase in air temperature will cause a flatter trajectory due to a lower air density (easier for the bullet to cut through the air).

2. The same increase in temperature also causes the nitrocellulose-based powder inside the cartridge to burn at a higher rate, producing approximately four times the Point of Impact (POI) shift than just air temperature alone. (SEE: Temperature Effects On Zero on KestrelMeters.com.)

“The initial heat condition of your powder will affect the burn rate,” Bryan Litz explained at a recent Applied Ballistics Seminar. That means swings in ambient outside temperature can affect your internal ballistics, which will directly affect your muzzle velocity, which will change your bullet’s trajectory. Some powders are more affected by changes in temperature than others. So if your goal is first-shot hits and you may shoot in a variety of conditions — you should care about temperature stable powders.

The folks at PrecisionRifleBlog.com meticulously loaded 6.5×47 Lapua ammo with each powder using some of the best equipment available. This included the top-of-the-line Prometheus Gen II Powder Scale, which is capable of loading to the nearest kernel of powder. This ensured the powder charges were identical for each round of ammo. PRB’s testers explain the full set of equipment and steps in their loading process in the Full Test Report.

Magnetospeeed LabRadar chronograph chrono powder gunpowder temperature sensivity temp stability Hodgdon Extreme Varget H4350 IMR Enduron 4451 4166

Once they had a couple dozen rounds loaded with each powder, they went and shot them with each powder at 25° F, 65° F, and 140° F. The muzzle velocity of each shot was recorded using BOTH a LabRadar Doppler Radar and a MagnetoSpeed Chronograph. That provided two sets of velocity numbers. When placed and configured optimally, the LabRadar can measure muzzle velocity with +/- 0.1% accuracy, according to the manufacturer.

Here are the results from the PRB Powder Temp Stability Tests:

Magnetospeeed LabRadar chronograph chrono powder gunpowder temperature sensivity temp stability Hodgdon Extreme Varget H4350 IMR Enduron 4451 4166

You can see Hodgdon H4350 had the least variance in muzzle velocity, with just 25 fps over the 115° swing in temperature! That is very, very low. Hodgdon Varget was the second least temperature sensitive powder in this test, with 46 fps of variance in muzzle velocity between temperatures of 25° F and 140° F. IMR 4166 performed very similar to Varget, and proved to be fairly insensitive to large swings in temperature. IMR 4451 had the largest swing in muzzle velocity of the powders tested, but keep in mind just 68 fps over 115° F swing is still a good performance.

Most powders aren’t specially formulated to be temperature stable. So they would likely show much larger swings than what these four top-performing powders showed. However, Alliant’s relatively new Reloder 16 is an extremely temp-stable powder, with a burn rate that is a close match to H4350. Many F-Open competitors are now using Reloder 16 with considerable success.

PRB’s test team also noticed other interesting trends in the data. For example, variation in velocity does NOT appear to be linear across the full range of temperatures. By that, they mean the change per degree from 20° to 65° might be smaller or larger than the change per degree from 65° to 140°.

PRB’s testers talk about those things, provide a few other insightful views of the data, and discuss tools that can help you manage temp/muzzle velocity in the field in their full post. You can find that here: http://precisionrifleblog.com/2016/06/19/powder-temp-stability-hodgdon-extreme-vs-imr-enduron/

Permalink News, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
May 17th, 2018

Proper Sight Picture with Various Types of Sighting Systems

NRA sight picture alignment video

As part of the NRA Mentor Program, the NRA offers a helpful video about using sights. This covers all types of sighting systems — blade sights, aperture sights, V-notch sights, red dot sights, shotgun bead sights, and telescopic sights with reticles. For new shooters, this video can be helpful — it explains sight basics in very clear and comprehensible terms. And even for experienced shooters, this can provide some helpful tips on sight alignment, particularly when shooting pistols.

Additional information about using sights is contained in the NRA’s free Guide for New Shooters. This helpful 14-page digital publication provides the key firearms safety rules, explains range etiquette, and even has a section on gun cleaning. CLICK HERE to download Guide for New Shooters.

NRA sight picture alignment video

Training With Lasers — Trigger Control
Training with laser sights helps diagnose and improve trigger control errors by showcasing the importance of “surprise break” and follow-through. Working with gun-mounted lasers, which put a red or green dot right on the target, can quickly diagnose errors such as recoil anticipation, jerking the trigger, and breaking the wrist. This video shows how handgunners can use pistol-mounted lasers to correct bad habits and shoot more consistently.

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May 17th, 2018

Gun BOGO — Buy Taurus Pistol, Get Free .22 LR Rifle or Revolver

Rossi Taurus Heritage Buy One get one Academy Sports RS22 PT111 G2C

What’s “BOGO”? That’s short for Buy One, Get One Free. Now, at Academy Sports & Outdoors, you can buy one gun, and get a second gun for free. When you buy a 9mm Taurus pistol you can get a .22 LR rifle or .22 LR revolver at no extra charge. Can’t argue with that…

Rossi Taurus Heritage Buy One get one Academy Sports RS22 PT111 G2CAcademy Sports is offering a truly remarkable promotion — just in time for Father’s Day. Here’s how it works — if you purchase a Taurus PT111 or G2C compact 9mm pistol, you will get your choice of a semi-auto Rossi RS22 rimfire rifle OR a Heritage “Rough Rider” single action .22 LR Revolver with 6.5″ barrel. Either choice is a good deal. The Rossi is a handy self-loader complete with barrel-mounted iron sights. The Rough Rider is a good entry-level revolver that looks like a classic Colt. The RS22 normally sells for $149.99 while the Heritage sells for $179.99.

NOTE: This deal works with in-store firearms pick-up only, with normal NICS background check. All state and Federal firearms laws apply. You can NOT purchase the Taurus pistol and have your two firearms sent to a separate FFL. If there is not an Academy Sports store near you, then you’re out of luck. This is for In-Store Pickup ONLY — No Mail-Order.

To find the nearest store, go to www.Academy.com. Look at the extreme upper left, right at the top. Click on the link for “Find a store”. Type in your Zip Code and all stores within 250 miles will display.

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
May 16th, 2018

PRS Tactical Bean Bag Chair — The Numero Uno Bag

Numero Uno PRS Tactical shooting bag support huge jumbo giant

Here’s something that should make you smile. We know that PRS competitors love their support bags. At a PRS matches you’ll see all sizes and shapes of bags — rear sandbags, front bags, barricade bags, even bags you wear on your arms. And now the bag has evolved to the Nth Degree — the Numero Uno bag. This jumbo bag may seem like a joke, but it does offer some advantages.

On his Facebook page, Robert Brantley showed a fellow who used the “Mother of All Bags” in a recent PRS match. This huge camo-fabric bag seemed to be inspired by bean bag chairs. Brantley posted “The Numero Uno! When there’s only time for one bag, why settle for less?”

At the 1:05 time mark the shooter uses the Uno for low position support. It works!

This thing was big enough to support the shooter in seated position, three feet off the ground. We’re not sure about the filling but we suspect the Numero Uno is filled with lightweight packing materials or the material used inside sleeping bags.

Numero Uno PRS Tactical shooting bag support huge jumbo giant

Between stages, the Numero Uno also serves as a comfy back rest. Note the color-coordinated orange camo shooting jacket, orange rifle stock, and orange suppressor cover. Who says PRS guys can’t be fashionable too?

Numero Uno PRS Tactical shooting bag support huge jumbo giant

PRS Competitors Up in Arms about Big Bag

The giant Numero Uno bag stirred some controversy on Facebook:

“What’s next… the tactical couch?” — Jacob P.

“This is when they need to put rules on the amount of bags you can use. It’s to the point where it’s getting out of control, and PRS shooting is becoming a joke.” — Bryan L.

“This is getting out of control. Need to start restricting to one bag, one tripod. See where skill comes in and not so many crutches.” — Bryce H.

However, George Gardner of G.A. Precision was not too concerned: “Simmer down boys — the guy running it didn’t place well. I’m pretty sure it was more of a funny thing for him. What is the PRS supposed to do? Make a Size limit? He carried it all match long. I’m really not sure it was helpful but it made for great commentary.”

The True Origin of the Numero Uno

In truth, the super-sized Numero Uno bag was crafted by Armageddon Gear in jest. Watch this original Numero Uno spoof video with Armageddon’s owner Tom Fuller. You’ll see the the bag was created as a joke item. Tom’s wise-ass idea was that, if the PRS allowed only one bag in matches, then it should be the biggest bag possible — the Numero Uno. Enjoy…

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical 4 Comments »
May 16th, 2018

Good News for Gunsmiths — Major ITAR Changes Coming

ITAR Department of State Commerce Trump administration Rule Changes gunsmithing

This is good news for gunsmiths and small manufacturers who have been threatened by onerous regulations (and huge fees), under ITAR. With a Republican President in the White House, it looks like the Departments of Commerce and State are moving towards removing common gunsmithing activities (such as threading barrels or fitting brakes) that were potentially under the purview of ITAR. In addition, possible Federal rule changes would broadly move firearms and ammunition out from ITAR regulation. Generally speaking, it appears that the proposed rule changes will make Federal law more tolerant, so that producers of small firearms accessory parts would no longer have to register as ITAR manufacturers (with hefty annual fees).

As part of the Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative and ahead of expected publication in the Federal Register this week, the Departments of Commerce and State have posted the new proposed rules transitioning export licensing of sporting and commercial firearms and ammunition from the ITAR-controlled U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the EAR-controlled Commerce Control List. Thus, items removed from the USML would become subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

The NSSF states: “The new proposed rules represent significant change in the regulations controlling exports of our products, and all exporters need to review these important proposed rules.

NSSF is preparing comments on the rules for formal submission. We will be sending out a recap of the changes in the next few days. Please make sure all your export specialists have a chance to review and provide comments. NSSF will be drafting a comments letter for both rules based on this review.”

If you have points that you would like to see included, please email Kim Pritula (kpritula@comcast.net) and Elizabeth McGuigan (emcguigan@nssf.org).

Access New Proposed Federal Rules HERE:

Department of Commerce (click to view)

SUMMARY: This proposed rule describes how articles the President determines no longer warrant control under United States Munitions List (USML) Category I – Firearms, Close Assault Weapons and Combat Shotguns; Category II – Guns and Armament; and Category III – Ammunition/Ordnance would be controlled under the Commerce Control List (CCL). This proposed rule is being published simultaneously with a proposed rule by the Department of State that would revise Categories I, II, and III of the USML to describe more precisely the articles warranting continued control on that list.

Department of State (click to view)

SUMMARY: The Department of State (the Department) proposes to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to revise Categories I (firearms, close assault weapons and combat shotguns), II (guns and armament) and III (ammunition and ordnance) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to describe more precisely the articles warranting export and temporary import control on the USML. Items removed from the USML would become subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 2 Comments »
May 16th, 2018

The Honed-Neck FL Sizing Die Option — Alternative to Bushings

Custom honed FL dies non-bushing die Forster

Tired of messing around with neck bushings? Is there a simpler (and potentially better) solution for controlling case neck tension? Yes there is — the precision honed non-bushing die.

You can purchase a Forster non-bushing Full-length sizing die for many popular cartridge types for under $50.00. Then you can send that die to Forster, and Forster will custom-hone the neck for a nominal $12 fee plus return shipping*. When done right, the honed FL die can load ultra-straight ammo with the precise next tension you prefer for your brass and bullet choice.

Alternative to Bushings — Honed Full-Length dies
Conventional, non-bushing full-length sizing dies can create ultra-accurate ammo with very low run-out. For some applications, we prefer a non-bushing FL die over a bushing die — so long as the neck tension is correct. But many FL dies have an undersized neck diameter so you end up with excess neck tension, and you work the brass excessively. Forster offers a simple, inexpensive solution — honing the neck diameter to whatever size you want*.

If you purchase a Forster non-bushing, full-length sizing die, Forster will hone the neck dimension to your specs for $12.00 extra (plus shipping). This way you can have a FL die that provides the right amount of tension for your particular load. (The max amount of diameter change Forster can do is about .008″) Forster dies are relatively inexpensive so you can afford to have a couple of FL dies with necks honed to different diameters — such as 0.266″ and 0.267″ for a no-turn 6mmBR. The die itself is fairly inexpensive — currently Precision Reloading charges $41.49 for a Forster 6mmBR FL sizing die (Forster Part #018121).


Forster FL dies, necks honed to .265″, .266″, and .267″.

Steve Rasmussen of IowaHighPower.com gave this a try. In fact, he had three dies made — each with a different neck dimension. Here’s his report: “My original Forster 6BR FL die sized the necks down a lot [to about 0.260″]. I sent my die in and asked if they could supply two more FL dies (for three total) to have the necks honed to 0.265″, 0.266″, and 0.267″.” In addition to the purchase cost of two more FL-sizing dies, Steve paid $36 ($12 per die) for the three dies to be honed.

Steve’s honed dies produced very straight loaded ammo:
“Brass springback after sizing is running 1 to 1.3 thousandths. My loaded rounds are running 0.2697-0.2699 using [older Gold Box Lapua brass]. So far the dies are working well. I sized 80 cases with the 0.266″ necked die. The shoulder is running 0.4582″ and 0.300″ up from the base is 0.4684". I spun 20 of ‘em and 16 had a runout of one thousandth (0.001) and the other 4 at 1.5 thousandths (0.0015).”

*Here is Forster’s description of its Die Honing Service:

We custom hone the inside neck diameter by using a diamond stoning process. We enlarge the inside diameter to your specification to prevent over-sizing of the case neck due to thick neck walls. You may require this service for multiple reasons: 1) If you use some brands of brass cases which have thicker neck walls. 2) If you do not intend to outside neck turn case necks that have thickened after repeated firings. Please specify desired inside neck diameter. Note: 1) No more than .008″ stock removal from your existing die neck diameter is possible. 2) Honing is done in increments of one half thousandth of an inch (.0005″), meaning that your specified inside diameter must be either.XXX0″ or .XXX5″. FEES: $12.00 plus actual return shipping cost & insurance Please allow 1-3 weeks.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 15th, 2018

Tactical Tip: Head and Scope Position for Prone Shooting

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

In this video, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how proper head and scope position is a critical component to accurate shooting. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain. Cleckner cautions: “When you are in a good prone position, you don’t want any strain in your neck muscles or back.”

In the video, Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position:

“To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”.

“When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

“Very often you’ll open your eyes and realize you need to move further back or further forward. Instead of moving your position [or head], move the scope and get it set up properly.”

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

Ryan Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) and he served as a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and practicing firearms attorney.

Permalink - Videos, Optics, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
May 15th, 2018

Monitor Barrel Heat with Handy Temp Strips

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

You never want your barrel to get too hot. Accuracy suffers when barrels over-heat, and excessive heat is not good for barrel life. So how do you monitor your barrel’s temperature? You can check if the barrel is “warm to the touch” — but that method is not particularly precise. There is a better way — using temperature-sensitive strips. McMaster.com (an industrial supply house) offers stick-on temp strips with values from 86° F to 140° F. A pack of ten (10) of these strips (item 59535K13) costs $12.16 — so figure it’ll cost you about $1.20 per barrel for strips. That’s cheap insurance for your precious barrels. For best barrel life, try to stay under 120 degrees F.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

Forum member Nomad47 says: “I have temperature strips (bought at McMaster-Carr) on all my barrels. I try not to shoot when the barrel gets to 122 degrees or higher[.]” Here are photos of the McMaster-Carr temp strips on Nomad47’s customized Savage.

Barrel Heat Temp Temperature gauge strip McMaster Carr

Bad things can happen if your barrel gets too hot. First, with some barrels, the point of impact (POI) will shift or “walk” as the barrel heats up excessively. Second, even if the POI doesn’t change, the groups can open up dramatically when the barrel gets too hot. Third, if the barrel is very hot, the chamber will transfer heat to your loaded cartridge, which can lead to pressure issues. Finally, there’s considerable evidence that hot barrels wear out faster. This is a very real concern, particularly for varmint shooters who may shoot hundreds of rounds in a day. For this reason, many varminters switch among various guns, never letting a particular barrel get too hot.

Neconos.com offers Bar-L Temp Strips that visually display heat readings from 86 to 140 degrees. Think of these strips as compact, unbreakable thermometers. With adhesive backing, they can also be used to monitor barrel heating. Put a strip on the side of the barrel and the barrel’s temp will be indicated by a stripe that changes from black to green. There is also a “general purpose” strip that reads to 196 degrees (bottom row). The Benchrest strip (86F to 140F) is in the middle. Bar-L temp strips cost $9.00, or $25.00 for a 3-pack.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
May 15th, 2018

New Ramshot Long Range Tactical (LRT) Powder

Ramshot LRT Long Range Tactical powder propellant spherical load data

Western Powders has introduced a new spherical powder designed for large magnum cartridges such as the .338 Lapua Magnum. This new powder, Ramshot LRT, has an extremely slow burn rate. Being a spherical (ball) powder it meters well. It also offers very good velocities. The manufacturer states:

“As one of the slowest spherical powders ever developed, Ramshot LRT (Long Range Tactical) was created for high performance at extreme ranges. Designed specifically for the .338 Lapua Magnum using heavy, high ballistic coefficient bullets, LRT offers high load densities and low standard deviations for superior accuracy. Hunters who prefer the advantages of overbore magnums like the .257 Weatherby or 30 Nosler will find that LTR meters more easily and produces flatter trajectories than rival propellants.”

Though Ramshot LRT has just started to ship to retailers, Western Powders has compiled some initial load data for a variety of cartridges. Shown below is official load data for four large cartridge types (this is a partial list). Additional load data for Ramshot powders is found on the Ramshot Load Data Page. As with all load data, start conservatively, and stick to the exact components listed:

Ramshot LRT Long Range Tactical powder propellant spherical load data

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