February 11th, 2019

2019 Berger Southwest Nationals — This Week in Arizona

The 2019 Berger Southwest Nationals, one of the biggest (and best) rifle competitions of the year, kicks off Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix, Arizona. The big match continues through Sunday, February 17th. This match attracts the top F-Class and sling shooters in the country, along with many talented foreign competitors.

Talk to the competitors and many will tell your that the SWN is their favorite match of the year. For those in Northern states, the chance to enjoy some Arizona sunshine is a big draw, along with the quality of the competition, and the camaraderie.

berger southwest nationals Berger SWN

The Berger SW Nationals are made possible through the principal support of Berger Bullets and Lapua, both part of the Capstone Precision Group, which also distributes Vihtavuori powder and SK Ammunition in the USA. Berger and Lapua both generously donated product prizes for 2019 SWN competitors.

Berger SW Nationals

Here’s a cool video from the 2016 Berger SW Nationals. This includes drone footage of the range:

Berger SW Nationals 2019

Berger SW Nationals 2019

Berger SW Nationals Southwest Arizona

Event Schedule for 2019 Berger SWN

Wednesday, 13 February 2019, 9:00 AM
Mid-Range Match – Three 20-shot matches at 600 yards. (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Any Sight, F-Open, F-TR)

Thursday, 14 February 2019, 9:00 AM
4-Man Palma Team Match – 15 shots for record at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. (Divisions – Palma, F-Open, F-TR)

Friday, 15 February 2019, 8:30 AM – Start of Grand Agg
Individual Palma Match – 15 shots for record at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. (Divisions – Palma, F-Open, F-TR)
Swap Meet at 1000 Yard Line after conclusion of Day’s Match

Saturday, 16 February 2019, 8:30 AM
Individual 1000 Yard Matches – Two 20-shot matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
4 Man Team Match – 20 shots at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
Banquet Dinner – Approximately 5:00 pm at Indoor Range.

Sunday, 17 February 2019, 8:30 AM
Individual 1000 Yard Matches – Two 20-shot matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Any Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Any Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
Awards Ceremony at the Indoor Range.

Sling Shooters in Palma Division
There will be many Eliseo tubeguns in the hands of the sling shooters. For the Palma division, the cartridge of choice is the .308 Winchester (7.62.x51). This versatile cartridge is still capable of extreme accuracy. Never underestimate a skilled sling shooter with a good Palma rifle.

Berger 2019 SW Nationals SWN

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CLICK HERE for Phoenix Travel and Lodging Information.


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Packing for the Match — Protecting Precious Cargo

Forum member David Christian will be attending the Berger SW Nationals this week. He has an impressive new F-Open rig and a top-flight SEB rest to bring. David’s Open-class rifle features a beautiful laminated stock, with Borden action and Kahles optic. With rest, and spotting scope, you’re looking at $6K easy, so David has packed his gear very carefully:

Berger 2019 SW Nationals SWN
Berger 2019 SW Nationals SWN
Berger 2019 SW Nationals SWN

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 1 Comment »
February 11th, 2019

Bargain Finder 177: 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. RCBS 2019 REBATE Program — Get Up to $100 Back

RCBS 2019 Rebate press chargemaster case prep discount rebate sale

RCBS just announced its first Rebate Program for 2019. Get up to $100 back on select RCBS® products. If you need an electronic Scale/Dispenser, Progressive Press, a Case Prep Center, Ultrasonic Machine, or Power Case trimmer you’re in luck. Here are the Rebates available for purchases made between 2/1/2019 and 3/17/2019. NOTE: The DEADLINE for mail-in or online submissions is 4/16/2019.

$50 REBATES: ProChucker 7 (88911) or ProChucker 5 (88910) Progressive Presses

$40 REBATES: Ultrasonic Case Cleaner 2 (87056), Universal Case Prep Ctr (90370), Trim Pro-2 Power Kit ( 90367), or Chargemaster Combo (98923)

$20 REBATES: Ultrasonic Case Cleaner (87055), or Chargemaster Lite (98940)

Credit EdLongRange for this RCBS Rebate Tip.

2. Natchez — Optics Clearance Sale

Optics Clearance Sale

Looking for a new riflescope, spotting scope, binoculars, or tripod? Natchez Shooters Supply is running a pretty compelling optics clearance sale on just about any kind of optic you can imagine, along with accessories. Brands include Leupold, Swarovski, Nikon, Burris and more. If you need a new optic, check out this clearance sale.

3. Bruno Shooters Supply & ArmOrAlly — Nosler Bullet Blowout

Nosler Clearance Sale

Nosler bullets are loved and appreciated from hunters to target shooters alike but finding them on sale isn’t always easy. Bruno Shooters Supply and ArmOrAlly.com are both running some of the best prices we’ve seen on Nosler bullets in a long time. Guaranteed that if you shoot Nosler you’ll find something you can’t live without between these two sites.

4. Sportsman’s Guide — 5-Gun Security Cabinet, $127.49

First Watch 5 gun cabinet

If you already own a full-size gun safe, but need secure storage for a workroom, office, or RV, here’s an affordable option. This 5-Gun Security Cabinet can also serve as a bedroom closet safe, to hold a couple long arms and other valuables. The First Watch 5-Gun Security Cabinet from Sportman’s Guide costs just $127.49 (or $114.79 member price). This can also serve as a secure locker for vacation homes. We’ve even seen people bolt these units to their campers or truck beds while traveling. NOTE: Add another item to get your total up to $150 and you can use promo code SG3480 to get a FREE $50 gift card by mail. This gift card deal runs through 11:59 pm on 2/12/2018.

5. CDNN — Ruger American .22 WMR with Scope, $289.99

Ruger american rimfire .22 WMR 22 WMR rifle with Bushnell

The .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) is an effective cartridge for varmints, with higher velocity and more range than the .22 LR. The barrel is easier to clean than a .17 HMR. If you’ve been looking to add a .22 WMR to your arsenal, here’s a great deal. Now you can pick up this .22 WMR Ruger American for just $289.99. That price even includes a 3.5-10X36mm Bushnell scope, rings, and scope covers. This is a nice little rifle with back-up iron sights and a decent trigger. If you figure the scope and rings are worth $90, you’re effectively getting the rifle for under $200.00. Sweet deal. By itself, without scope, this .22 WMR rifle sells for $320 elsewhere.

6. Walmart — Sportsman 2000 Watt Generator, $149.00

2000w Generator Walmart Sportsman

Have you been watching the news lately and wondered what you would do if bad weather hit your area and you found yourself without power? Do you wish you had a backup generator for the basics but can’t justify spending the money on a full-sized unit? Fear no more as Walmart has the Sportsman 2000W Generator for the amazingly low price of $149.00. It’s quiet, compact and has enough power just to keep the basic running that it’s tough to not grab one just in case you ever have a need. Read the reviews — buyers say this little unit works.

7. Midsouth Shooters Supply — Federal Pistol Ammo Rebate

Federal American Eagle Speed Blazer ammo discount rebate ammunition Vista Outdoor

Need pistol ammo? Want to save money? Then check out the latest promotion from Federal and other Vista Outdoor ammo brands. With this rebate you get $2.00 back for every 50-round box of centerfire ammo you buy, except for 9mm Luger (9x19mm) — that qualifies for a $1.00/box rebate. Now through March 31, 2019, rebates are offered for all these participating brands: Federal, Speer, Blazer, American Eagle, and Independence. You must buy at least 250 rounds (5 boxes) to qualify. Grab any of these pistol ammo brands and then submit the REBATE FORM. NOTE: Qualifying purchases must be made December 3, 2018 through March 31, 2019. The DEADLINE for mail-in or online submissions is April 30, 2019. To redeem online, visit Promotions.vistaoutdoor.com. MORE INFO here.

8. Amazon — Champion Precision Sight-In Target, $11.97

Sight-In Targets

Have you ever been ready to run to the range and blow off a few rounds only to find that you’re out of targets? If you’re like us that’s one of the most frustrating things that can happen when heading to the club and nobody likes using printer paper and a marker to make a target. Pick up this 100 count set of sight-in targets and you won’t have to run to the store last minute or dig through the range trash cans hoping to find a barely-used target. This is a great value — only 12 cents per target! Great deal.

9. Amazon – Proster Wind Meter, $16.99

Proster Wind Meter

Wish you had a modern impeller-style wind meter but only shoot a couple matches a year and can’t justify spending $150 (or more) on one? This Proster wind meter has a very impressive 4.5 star overall rating (with hundreds of reviews), so buy with confidence. Now on sale for just $16.99, this is a very useful tool for a bargain basement price. Get this affordable Wind Meter to ensure you have reliable wind readings for ballistics calculations. And unlike a costly Kestrel, with this low-priced wind meter, you won’t feel too bad if it gets lost or misplaced some time.

Most Weekly Deals Sourced by F-Class John.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
February 11th, 2019

This May Surprise You — Technique Matters When Case Filling

powder drop tube

The way you drop powder in the case will affect your max powder volume and the load density. Look at the photo above. These photos show the SAME 30.6 grains of powder using four different fill methods. If you are working with a powder that is below max safe pressure at your current “full case” (with room left for the bullet), and you want to get more velocity with that powder, consider a different case-filling technique.

Most of us assume that if we weigh our powder carefully (down to the tenth of a grain or less) we can achieve a uniform powder fill from case to case in our handloads. Weighing does ensure that the weight of the propellant in each case is the same, but is the column of powder the same by volume each time? “Not necessarily” is the answer. An interesting experiment by our friend Boyd Allen demonstrates that the manner in which you place kernels in the case can make a significant difference in the height of the powder column within the brass case.

Using a Gempro 250 scale, Boyd measured exactly 30.6 grains of Vihtavuori N-133 powder. He then inserted this powder in the same cartridge case multiple times. (The case has a fired primer in place.) But here is the key — Boyd used various filling techniques. He did a slow fill, and a fast fill, and he also experimented with tapping and drop tubes. What Boyd discovered was that you can start with the exact same weight of powder (in fact the very same set of kernels), yet end up with vary different fill heights, depending on how you drop the kernels into the case. Look at the photos. Despite variations in lighting, the photos show the same 30.6 grains of powder, placed in the same cartridge, with four different methods.

Using funnels with long drop tubes packs kernels more tightly, creating a shorter powder column. That allows you to get more propellant (by weight) into the case.

powder drop tube

Boyd Explains the Procedure Used for his Experiment.

EDITOR’s NOTE: So there is no misunderstanding, Boyd started with a weighed 30.6 grain charge. This identical charge was used for ALL four fills. After a fill the powder was dumped from the case into a pan which was then used for the next fill technique to be tried. So, the powder weight was constant. Indeed the exact same kernels (of constant weight and number) were used for each fill.

Boyd writes: “I used the same powder for all fills, 30.6 gr. on a GemPro 250 checked more than once. All fills employed the same RCBS green transparent plastic funnel. The fast drop with the funnel only overflowed when it was removed from the case neck, and 15 granules of powder fell on the white paper that the case was sitting on. The fast-funnel-only drop with tapping, was done with the funnel in place and the case and funnel in one hand, while tapping the case body with the index finger hard, many times (about 20 fast double taps). My idea here was to “max out” the potential of this tapping technique.

The slow drop with the funnel and 10″-long .22 cal. Harrell’s Precision drop tube, was done by holding the scale pan over the funnel and tapping the spout of the pan repeatedly on the inside of the funnel about 1/3 down from the top, with the scale pan tilted just enough so that the powder will just flow. Many taps were involved, again, to max out the technique.

Again, to be clear, after each case filling, the powder was poured from the case back into the scale pan carefully. You may notice the similarity between the fast drop with the drop tube, and the funnel only with tapping. Although I did not photograph it, fast tube drop and tapping (combined) improved on tapping alone, but only to about half as far down the neck as the slow with drop tube. Due to the endless possible permutations, I picked four and left it at that.

I believe that I can make the rough judgment that the scale pan funnel and drop tube technique, which involved a longer drop period, and probably less velocity at the top of the tube, left more room in the top of the case neck than the slow drop from the measure with the same drop tube. You have both pictures, so you can make the comparison.” — Boyd

Does Powder Column Height Variance Make a Difference?
Boyd’s experiment proves pretty conclusively that the method of dropping a given weight of powder can affect the height of the powder column in the case and the degree of powder compression (when a bullet is seated). He showed this to be true even when the exact same set of kernels (of constant weight) was used in repetitive loadings. This raises some interesting questions:

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Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 6 Comments »