April 5th, 2019

Half-MOA with Factory Ammo? Weatherby VMC Comes Close

Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis PRS rifle .308 Winchester American Rifleman
Three factory ammo types shot 0.53″, 0.55″, and 0.57″ respectively. That’s impressive.

Chassis rifles are hugely popular for PRS/NRL practical rifle competition. There are many good options for Production Class. You may not know that Weatherby, a company that built its reputation on hunting rifles, offers a great-shooting chassis rifle for PRS comps and other tactical disciplines.

Called the Vanguard® Modular Chassis (VMC), this rig has shown remarkable accuracy. Vanguard’s VMC features a Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) aluminum stock, Luth AR MBA-1 buttstock, and 22″ heavy barrel. The Weatherby Vanguard action is fitted with an adjustable 2-stage trigger. Priced at $1519.00 MSRP, this rifle can be campaigned in the PRS “Production Class”, which limits complete rifles to $2000.00 without optics. The rifle is offered in three chamberings: .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester.

Weatherby says its Vanguard Modular Chassis tactical rifle is very accurate. To back that claim, Weatherby offers a SUB-MOA accuracy guarantee — Weatherby guarantees the rifle will shoot .99” or smaller 3-shot groups at 100 yards when used with Weatherby® factory or premium ammunition.

Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis PRS rifle .308 Winchester American Rifleman

Near Half-MOA Accuracy with Factory Ammo (5-Shot Groups)
It turns out Weatherby’s accuracy claims are conservative. This tactical rifle is closer to a half-MOA rig than a 1-MOA gun. American Rifleman tested a .308 Win version of this rifle and recorded really stellar accuracy — close to half-MOA. What’s more, this rifle is not fussy — with a 1:10″-twist barrel it proved very accurate with six types of factory ammo, with three of types registering 0.57″ or better.

The rifle delivered near-half-inch 5-shot groups with two types of Hornady ammo along with Black Hills 168gr. The worst group of six ammo types tested, Black Hills 175gr, was 0.76″, still very impressive for factory fodder. With good hand-loads this gun could go well under half-MOA (for five shots).

Vanguard Modular Chassis FIVE-SHOT Factory Ammo Test Groups:

0.53 inches | Hornady 168gr Match BTHP (2718 fps)
0.55 inches | Hornady 155gr Steel Match (2612 fps)
0.57 inches | Black Hills 168gr BTHP (2608 fps)
0.66 inches | Federal Premium 168gr MatchKing BTHP (2659 fps)
0.70 inches | Hornady 155gr American Gunner (2697 fps)
0.76 inches | Black Hills 175gr BTHP (2603 fps)

NOTE: Group sizes are for 5-shot groups shot from bench at 100 yards with Caldwell pedestal rest and rear sandbag. Pentax Lightseeker 6-24x50mm scope. Velocities in FPS from PACT Chronograph.

READ American Rifleman’s FULL REVIEW of Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis Rifle

The accuracy testing was done by gunwriter Mike Detty, who notes: “My single best group was fired with Hornady’s Match 168-gr. BTHP ammunition. Five shots measured just slightly more than a half-inch. Hornady’s 155-gr. Steel Match ammo wasn’t far behind with a group of .55″. Also accounting for the small groups is the VMC’s wonderful trigger. It is a two-stage affair and the first stage has about 3/8” take up with about a pound of pressure until it reaches the second stage where another 1 ¾ lbs. was required to break the shot.”

Vanguard Modular Chassis FEATURES:
Action with Fully Enclosed Bolt Sleeve, Integral Recoil Lug
CNC-machined, hard-anodized, 6061 aluminum chassis
Fully adjustable LUTH-AR MBA-1 buttstock
Adjustable 2-stage trigger with 3-Position Safety

PRS Production Class Cost Limits
Production Division combined rifle and scope MSRP as listed on the company’s website shall not exceed $3,000 USD, the rifle shall not exceed $2,000 USD and the optic not exceed $2,000 USD. [Editor: For example, you could have a $2,000 rifle with a $1000.00 scope or vice-versa. The total system cannot exceed $3000. Rifle alone cannot exceed $2000.00 retail sale price.]
Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
April 5th, 2019

SAVE MONEY — AmmoSeek Finds Best Ammo Prices

Ammoseek search engine ammuntion reloading supplies

Here’s a great search service that can help you locate hard-to-find ammunition and reloading components — while saving money in the process. Ammoseek.com monitors more than a dozen online vendors — checking current pricing and available inventory, for pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammunition. Looking for .22 LR ammo for your rimfire trainer or .45 acp ammo for your 1911? Just select the cartridge type from the “Quick Seek” list on the right. Likewise you can find .223 Rem and .308 Win Rifle ammo with one click.

Ammoseek search engine ammuntion reloading supplies skagit arms WA
Got Ammo? Here’s just part of the vast inventory at Skagit Arms in Washington State.

Find .22 LR Ammo Quickly
Looking for hard-to-find .22 LR rimfire ammunition? Well AmmoSeek makes it easy — you don’t even have to enter any search words. Simply click on the highlighted links for AmmoSeek’s 22LR Page.

CLICK HERE for AmmoSeek.com .22 LR Ammo Search Results

Use Ammoseek.com to Find Reloading Components Too
Ammoseek.com also lets you search for reloading components, including powder, primers, brass, and bullets. This is a huge time-saver. You can instantly check a dozen or more vendors to see if a particular type of powder is in stock. Likewise, you can quickly check for primer availability. If you have a big match coming up and are short on primers — this could solve the problem.

Ammoseek search engine ammuntion reloading supplies

Story Tip by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
April 5th, 2019

The Rimfire Wheelgun — Why You Really Need One

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder
Early 6-shot Model 617 shown. Current Model 617s have 10-round cylinders.

“But Honey, I really do need a new gun….”

If you are looking for justification for getting a new handgun, show your spouse this article. Today we explain why every serious shooter should have a .22 LR wheelgun. Rimfire revolvers are versatile, reliable, easy-to-operate, and fun to shoot. A good .22 revolver will be considerably more accurate than 90% of the self-loading pistols you could buy. With a good a .22-caliber rimfire revolver you will learn sight alignment and trigger control. Plus you can practice with inexpensive ammunition.

The better .22 LR revolvers also hold their value. In particular, a Smith & Wesson Model 617 (or its predecessor, the Model 17, shown below) is a good investment. You could use your S&W wheelgun all your life and then pass it on to your kids. If you or your heirs ever wear out the barrel or cylinder, Smith & Wesson will replace the parts for free, forever. Think about that…

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

The Model 63 Kit Gun is a compact 6-shot (older) or 8-shot (newer) revolver. Older Model 63s are in high demand, so this is another Smith wheelgun that holds its value well…

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

Smith Wesson model 617 4 inchSmith & Wesson Model 617 — Smith’s Model 617 is extremely accurate, with a very crisp trigger (in single-action mode), and good sights. You can learn all the fundamentals with this ultra-reliable handgun, shooting inexpensive .22 LR ammo. The Model 617 is rugged, durable, and can give you a lifetime of shooting fun.

Once you have mastered the basics of shooting with a .22 LR, you can move on to larger caliber handguns suitable for self-defense. Below is a slide-show illustrating a S&W Model 617 ten-shot, with 6″ barrel. S&W also makes a 4″-barrel version of this revolver. (See: Shooting Demo Video with 4″ model 617.)

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Handguns 10 Comments »