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April 20th, 2019

How to Trim Brass Like a Pro — Smart Tips from PMA Tool

Eric Cortina Trimmer
The Giraud power trimmer indexes off the shoulder of the case. It is costly, but offers high production rates, trimming to length and chamfering in one operation.

The folks at PMA Tool, makers of arbor presses, neck-turning tools, and other case-prep tools, offer some good advice about case trimming on the PMA Tool Blog. Here we reprint a PMA blog post that explains case trimming basics and helps you choose the right case-trimming tool for your needs.

Case Trimming Basics
Trimming the cartridge case to the proper length is a crucial step in case preparation that should not be overlooked or underestimated. The cartridge case or the rifle can be damaged, or even worse you get badly injured. In most instances cases should be trimmed after firing and sizing. Trimming new brass is necessary for a lot of wildcats and can be beneficial in some instances, but by and large, trimming new brass is not necessary for most situations (unless you are neck-turning). Cases should be trimmed after you have sized the case, because the expander ball on the decapping pin can (and will) stretch the neck. Those of us who neck size should get into the habit of trimming after sizing as well. This is a good rule of thumb to go by, and hopefully it will keep you safe during the reloading and shooting process.

There are so many case trimmers out there that work, deciding which one is right for you can be confusing. Even though I have trimmed thousands of cases, using about every method possible, I can’t answer the question of what case trimmer is right for you because of all the variables that may be involved. I can, however shed some light on the subject.

Wilson Micrometer Case Trimmer

The two most popular designs of trimmers either index (1) off the base or the head of the case, (2) off the shoulder or datum line of the case. There are pros and cons to each and it all depends on what you are willing to live with.

Indexing off the Base (Case Head)
Let’s talk about the first one I have listed, indexing off the base, or the head of the case. The pros to this method are that you can achieve a very accurate over all length and that is after all, what it is all about. The cons to this method are that you can get some variation doing it this way. Let me explain, the base is not always square to the body or can be damaged during firing especially if it is fired through a military style rifle with a very aggressive ejector. These cases should be discarded, but sometimes they can be overlooked. This condition can lead to an over all length that is incorrect. The case head being out of square will be corrected upon firing, however that case will wind up being shorter than the rest of your cases, possibly creating a difference in the neck tension on the bullet. The more you can do to eliminate variables in your reloads the better off you are going to be. This method can also be very slow, and if the user gets careless the result will be a inconsistent over all length.

Forster Case Trimmer

Indexing off the Shoulder (Datum Line)
The second method I mentioned, trimming off the shoulder or the datum line of the case, has its pros as well. I have found this to be the quickest of the methods and very accurate as well. After the case has been sized through the die the dimensions (particularly the headspace) of the cases are usually very uniform and exact, this allows the case to be trimmed by indexing off the shoulder. This method can be done very quickly, by hand, or by powering either the case, or the trimmer. You also don’t have to worry about the case heads being out of square with the body using this method. Generally the trimming time is cut in half, and this leads to greater focus on the job, without becoming careless.

PMA tool case trimming trimmer micro-adjust

The PMA Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer indexes case length off of the shoulder of a properly fire-formed and full-length re-sized case. We accomplish this through the use of interchangeable Delrin™ inserts which capture the shoulder and neck of the case. This insert is contained in a spring-loaded tool head that rides on a linear bearing. When the case is captured within the tool head the tool head rotates along with the case, the spring allows for the case to self-align squarely to the cutter and allows you to control the feed rate into the cutter.

— Indexes off shoulder for easy, consistent trim length
— Fully rotating head with bearing for smooth operation keeps cuts square
— Large, ergonomic design fits the hand well
— Sharp carbide cutter for quick, smooth cuts with minimal bur
— Cases captured in Delrin™ (completely non-marring material)
— Spring loaded head allows complete control of rate of feed.

Our trimmer can be used in three ways. The first method utilizes our PMA Tool caseholder drivers and your power screwdriver, drill, case lathe, drill press or lathe. Trimming via this method the case is spun and fed into the trimmer while it is held in your hand. In the second method, the trimmer’s adjustment knob is removed (after adjusting and locking the setting) and the cutting shaft is chucked in a drill, drill press or lathe. Using this method, the case itself is held by hand and fed into the cutter. We’ve found this to be the quickest method to trim.

Summary
The choice is yours to make. I hope that this was some help to you, whether you are looking for your first trimmer or looking to replace the trimmer you have. Just remember to always put safety first and accuracy second, and you will start making little bug holes in no time.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. User submissions are welcome.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 20th, 2019

Doug Koenig Makes His Mark in PRS Production Division

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

“Koenig” (or König) means “king” in German. That is indeed appropriate for Doug Koenig, 18-Time Bianchi Cup winner, who is now starting to conquer the rifle world as well. Koenig, considered by many to be the best action pistol shooter on the planet, proved he’s an ace with rifles too, as he recently won two PRS matches in Production Division. Koenig, Captain of Team Ruger, was shooting a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), chambered in 6mm Creedmoor. Notably, Production Division limits rifles to $2000.00 for the gun ($4000.00 overall with scope). You can buy an RPR for around $1100.00 typically ($795.00 at GrabAGun), so Koenig was shooting against competitors with rifles that cost nearly twice as much. That’s impressive.

Koenig Wins Production Class at two Spring PRS Matches
Koenig took home a pair of Production Division titles at this year’s WAR Rifles Shootout and MAP Spring Shootout Precision Rifle Series (PRS) matches.

With a final score of 128.00 and a time of 58.51, team captain Doug Koenig took first place in Production Division at the WAR Rifle Shootout PRS match in Mount Victoria, MD. The WAR Rifle Shootout has a challenging 22-stage course of fire. Along with winning Production Division, Koenig also finished twelfth overall. “The tough course of fire and 15-25 mph winds at the War Rifle match were brutal, but my Precision Rifle, equipped with a Leupold VX-3i LRP and loaded with Hornady ammunition, continued to perform,” said Koenig.

Koenig then secured another Production Division win at the MPA Spring Shootout held at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, GA with a final score of 173.00 and a time of 58.89. “The MPA match had some long shots out to 800-1356 yards, but my factory rifle got the job done and helped me win my third production class title in a row. That proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to get started in PRS competition.”

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

According to PRS standards, Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration, and the retail price may not exceed $2,000.

Krieger Barrels Ruger Precision Rifles Pre-Fit Drop-In Chambered barrel RPR

Pre-Fit Barrel Options for the Ruger Precision Rifle
While PRS Production Division competitors like Koenig must stick with factory barrels, there’s no law that says you can’t upgrade your own RPR that’s not used in PRS matches. A barrel swap is probably the single best hardware upgrade you can make. A new custom barrel will improve inherent accuracy and shot-to-shot consistency. Krieger Barrels offers Pre-Fit barrels for the RPR in many popular chamberings including 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and .308 Win. These “Drop-In Ready” barrels come finish-chambered and threaded to fit the Ruger action, with factory-spec muzzle threads. The Ruger barrel attachment system allows correct headspace with a pre-chambered barrel. Krieger explains: “Thanks to Ruger’s proprietary barrel nut design, a competent gunsmith will be able to swap out your barrel using an AR15 barrel wrench and proper headspace gauges.”

Permalink Competition, Gear Review 6 Comments »
April 20th, 2019

Great Deal — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite for $229.99 at Midsouth

Chargemaster Lite Midsouth Sale

Do you need an electronic powder scale and dispenser? Check out this great deal at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Suggested retail for the ChargeMaster Lite is $299.99. Amazon’s best price for this unit is $269.49. But now you can get it for just $229.99 at Midsouth. So you can save at least $40 with this Midsouth sale. Put the money saved into bullets or powder.

The RCBS ChargeMaster Lite is the modern second generation Scale/Dispenser, descended from the original ChargeMaster. We have a 10-year-old first gen RCBS ChargeMaster in our loading room that is still going strong. The ChargeMaster Lite features an easy-to-use LCD touchscreen with many nice features. The hopper holds nearly one pound of powder. The unit comes with twin check weights and a convenient plastic cover for the powder pan. Your choice of propellant can be measured out 2 to 300 grains with a plus or minus accuracy of 0.1 grains.

Chargemaster Lite Midsouth Sale

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 1 Comment »
April 19th, 2019

Big Berger Bullets for U.S. Military Sniper Program and ELR

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Berger Match Solids are now government-endorsed. The U.S. military has selected Berger’s .375 caliber ELR Match Solid Bullet for the Extreme Sniper Strike Operations (ESSO) program (Phase 2). The ESSO program is a U.S. government project to develop a high performance, extreme long-range sniper weapon system built on a bolt-action, magazine-fed platform.

For ESSO, .375-cal Berger solids are loaded into the .375 EnABELR (Engineered by Applied Ballistics for Extreme Long Range) cartridge. This was designed to offer .375 CheyTac performance in a slightly shorter package that mag-feeds well.

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Bryan Litz, Berger’s Chief Ballistician said: “The .375 caliber Berger ELR Match Solid Bullets were optimized for use in the ESSO project, which requires high performance and reliability over many rounds in adverse conditions. In addition to meeting the needs of our US military, the Berger Match Solids provide proven, match winning performance for the ELR competition shooter as well.”

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

ELR Match Solid Bullets drive state-of-the-art ESSO weapon systems. The EnABELR is designed to reliably engage targets at distances out to 2500 meters.

Table 1 below presents basic load data for the .375 EnABELR. Considering the Berger .375 Cal 379gr and 407gr solid bullets were developed in conjunction with the EnABELR case, load data is provided to achieve certain landmark velocities with these bullets, for a range of suitable powders. According to Applied Ballistics, with a 30″ barrel, “the .375 EnABELR can safely push the Berger 379gr Solid to 2900 fps, and the Berger 407gr Solid to 2800 fps.”

Table 1 — .375 EnABLER Load Data
Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Table 2 — .375 EnABELR Comparative Velocities
Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Applied Ballistics notes that: “These are conservative, baseline velocities. Higher velocities are possible but the above performance is safely achievable well within pressure limits of the cartridge. Note the performance of the .375 EnABELR is driven by the high BC Berger Solid bullets. If the .375 CheyTac were loaded with the same bullets, the performance would be about the same. ”

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

About Berger Bullets
Berger manufactures precision projectiles and match-grade ammunition for Target, Hunting and Tactical applications in Mesa, AZ. Berger is part of the Capstone Precision Group, the exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Bergerbullets.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical 3 Comments »
April 18th, 2019

Smart Reloading: How to Set Optimal Case Neck Tension

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushings

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. A while back, the USAMU’s reloading gurus addressed a question frequently asked by handloaders: “How much neck tension is optimal, and how should I select a neck bushing size?” The USAMU offers a straight-forward answer, suggesting that hand-loaders start with a neck bushing that sizes the neck so that it is .003″ less than the loaded outside diameter with bullet in place. From there, you can experiment with more or less tension, but this is a good starting point for many popular cartridge types.

USAMU Reloading

Determining Optimal Case-Neck Tension

This week, we examine determining the correct case neck tension for optimum accuracy. Our method is simple, but relies on the use of case sizing dies which accept interchangeable neck diameter bushings graduated in 0.001″ increments. (Those readers using fixed-diameter dies with expander balls aren’t forgotten, however. Methods of tailoring these dies for proper neck tension will be found below.)

In our experience across many calibers, sizing case necks 0.003″ under the loaded-case neck diameter usually yields excellent accuracy. In other words, the sized case neck expands 0.003″ when the bullet is seated.

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushings

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushingsBushing Choice for Optimal Sizing
Over the years, we have periodically experimented with increasing neck tension to possibly improve accuracy. In testing with machine rests at 300/600 yards, accuracy often deteriorated as neck tension increased; thus, 0.003″ expansion (from sized neck to loaded neck) is where we usually start.

Using the .260 Remington as an example, our loaded cartridge case necks measure 0.292”. Simply subtract 0.003” from that, and use a bushing that sizes necks to 0.289” (after springback). There are exceptions — sometimes, brass may be a bit soft or hard. Some case necks might need, say, 0.001” more tension, but in general, this works well.

This .003″ standard of neck tension works very well for single-loaded, long range cartridges. Depending on your caliber and firearm, it MAY also work very well for magazine-fed cartridges. If this neck tension proves inadequate for your purpose, one can increase neck tension as needed while monitoring for possible accuracy changes.

Special Considerations for Coated Bullets: If you are using moly-coated bullets, this significantly reduces the “grip” of the case neck on the bullet, and you can expect to have to tighten your case necks accordingly — particularly for magazine-fed ammunition. In any event, we do not crimp rifle cartridges, and advise against it for accuracy handloads.

Tips for Using Expander Balls
Many savvy handloaders avoid the use of expander balls in high-accuracy reloading, if possible. These can stretch cases and/or disturb the concentricity of the case neck vs. case body. If using a die with an expander ball, tapering both ends of the ball and polishing it to a mirror finish can significantly reduce these effects. (Special carbide expander ball/decapping stem sets are available for this as well.)

The typical dies used with expander balls are intended to take any cases the user may find, and size them down well below the ideal “spec” to ensure any cases will give good neck tension. The necks are then expanded up to provide heavy to medium neck tension as the expander ball exits the neck. The brass is over-worked, leading to premature work-hardening, and seated-bullet concentricity may suffer. However, the cartridges produced are perfectly adequate for most handloaders. Those who seek finest accuracy generally prefer not to over-work their brass if possible.

Another Option — Custom-Honed FL Dies
There are companies which offer to convert one’s standard dies to accept neck bushings, and that gives excellent flexibility. Another, more “old-school” approach, is to have the neck of one’s FL die honed out to the desired diameter for sizing, based on one’s case neck thickness. The expander ball may then be reduced until it barely touches the case necks after sizing, or it may be eliminated entirely. However, once performed, this modification is permanent and leaves fewer options than the bushing route, if one later changes case neck thickness.

Those shooters who turn their case necks for optimum neck wall thickness uniformity, or for a tight-neck chamber, will want to take the reduced neck wall thickness into consideration. For example, when setting up a 7mm match rifle to use a standard hunting die without an expander ball, the slightly thinner necks resulted in a perfect 0.003″ reduction in the fired-neck diameter. The result was a low-cost die that fit with custom precision and yielded excellent, match accuracy!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
April 18th, 2019

New Product: Barrel Blizzard Dual-Fan Cooling Device

Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

Keeping your barrel cool has many important benefits — it will definitely enhance barrel life and can help maintain accuracy over the course of long shooting sessions. Now there is a new way to quickly dissipate heat from your rifle barrel — Barrel Blizzard

The makers of BarrelCool have created a new dual-fan barrel cooling device, called the Barrel Blizzard. Each powerful fan moves 30 cubic feet of air per minute — that’s serious cooling power. This unit is powered by a common USB-style battery. The housing mounts easily to the barrel, and the twin fans can each be adjusted 360° to various angles (You can even use one to cool the gun and the second to cool the operator on a hot day). This should be available very soon at the introductory price of $74.99

Reduce Barrel Cooling Time from 45 Minutes to 10 Minutes
How well does the Barrel Blizzard work? The makers tell us: “Repeated tests show that the Barrel Blizzard cuts barrel cool-down times significantly. What might take 45 minutes, can often be reduced to less than 10 minutes. And if you combine the new Barrel Blizzard with BarrelCool, the in-chamber fan, you can get a hot barrel down to near-ambient temperature in approximately 5 minutes.”

Barrel Cool-Down Times for Barrel Blizzard Alone and Blizzard + BarrelCool
Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

We think this product will definitely be popular with varmint shooters in the summer months. Those guys may shoot hundreds of rounds in a day. Many serious varminters bring along a couple spare rifles, so that they can swap rigs when one barrel heats up. With the Barrel Blizzard they may be able to keep shooting with minimal wait time, and no rifle change-outs. Byron Sumoba, one of the designers, notes: “With a rechargeable 2600 mAh battery. We are getting about 2.5 hours of continuous use out of a battery pack.”

Who can benefit from this product? The makers say this is “For the shooter wanting to drastically reduce their load development time at the range… or the varmint hunter looking to cool that barrel down and increase barrel life.”

Barrel Blizzard Can Also Cut Mirage
This system can also cut mirage, by reducing the hot air rising from your barrel. If a mirage band is not enough on hot days, you can just rotate one of the fans to send the flow down the barrel towards the muzzle. This will help reduce mirage coming off the barrel.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
April 17th, 2019

Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm Scope Review

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Review by James Mock
If you were charged with building a scope for F-Class or long range Benchrest, what features would you want? Vortex asked that question, received feedback from many competitors, and then set out to build a new high-magnification, zoom comp scope that would set a new “performance for price” standard.

The new Vortex Golden Eagle has features that this shooter really appreciates. It has a power range of 15x to 60x with a 52mm objective lens. Vortex has attempted to keep the weight as low as possible and the cost reasonable. My initial impression is that Vortex spared no expense in developing this scope. The “street price” for this premium scope is a reasonable $1499.00. Plus it has Unconditional Lifetime Warranty. Given its features, performance, and price, I believe that this scope will sell very well.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Here are the important features of the new 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle:

Quality Construction

Premium HD, extra-low dispersion glass
APO (apochromatic) objective lens system with index-matched lenses
XRP multi-coated lenses for max light transmission
ArmorTek extra-hard lens coating to protect lens from dust, dirt, and smudges
Fogproof and Waterproof (Argon gas purged)

Specifications

Field of View at 100 yards: 6.3 feet at 15X; 1.7 feet at 60X
Main Tube: One-piece 30mm
Length: 16.1 inches; Weight is 29.7 ounces
Objective Lens: 52mm
Eye Relief: 3.9 inches
Reticles: SCR-1 FCH; ECR-1 MOA

Testing the Golden Eagle

I recently tested a Golden Eagle with the ECR-1 reticle. On this model the Hash Marks subtend 1 MOA at 40X. There is also a fine crosshair reticle (SCR-1) available. Initial tests with the scope were done on June 28th and I was very impressed with what I saw. With a new scope I always shoot the square (box test) to test tracking and amount of movement. I shot the square today after shooting a 5-shot group at 250 yards (my longest available distance). Below is a picture of the box test target that I shot. Yes, shot #5 went through the exact same hole as shot #1.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Below is the 250-yard target I shot before doing the box test. To get to the 100-yard target, I clicked down 14 clicks (1/8th MOA) and the scope was spot on. It is really a pleasure to use instruments that do exactly what they are supposed to do. With the Louisiana mirage, I shot this orange/white target at 40X instead of the maximum 60X. I did not have any problem seeing the 6mm bullet holes at 40X. The optics in this scope are to my old eyes are as good as any that I have used (regardless of price).

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TRCompetition Test Success — Golden Eagle Delivers a Win
My next use of this scope was at our monthly 600-yard match on July 15th. It was a typical mid-July day in north Louisiana — very hot and humid with light switching winds. The mirage was terrible, but I managed to squeak out a victory with a 188/5X score out of 200/20X possible. I shot the Golden Eagle at 40X all day and it performed perfectly. No one could see bullet holes today, even with the high powered premium spotting scopes. This is a quality scope and it may be a “lucky” scope in that I did not expect a win with a 6mm Dasher barrel with 2500 or more rounds through it.

Point of Aim Test with Hood Scope Checker
I also tested the Golden Eagle for holding Point of Aim (POA). For this procedure, I used the Hood scope checker (loaned to me by Bart Sauter). To use this, one mounts two scopes side by side. Ideally one scope has proven its ability to hold POA. Here I used a Valdada 36X BR model as my control scope. It has proven over an 8-year period of time to hold its point of aim. I mounted these scopes on my BAT/Leonard 6mm PPC and adjusted each to the same point on the target.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

As one can see in the above picture, these are big scopes. After the first shot, I noticed that the reticle dot on the Vortex seemed to be about 1/8th MOA to the right of its original position. I stopped to check for ring slippage (which I had experienced in prior tests). There was no apparent slippage, so I checked the parallax and found that there was some parallax correction needed. This was probably the source of the apparent shift in point of aim, but I cannot be sure of that. I fired three more shots (checking after each) and found no shift.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

After testing for POA shift, I fired the remaining rounds using different aiming points. I fired 5 rounds (upper left) using the Vortex and 3 rounds to the right of those using the Valdada scope.

CONCLUSION — A Very Fine Optic at a Reasonable Price
While testing this Vortex Golden Eagle scope, I developed a real fondness for it. I appreciate its great optics, eye relief and crispness of adjustments. If I thought that this scope did not hold POA, I would use my old Valdada in the 600-yard matches in which I participate. Further testing has shown no tendency to shift point of aim.

If I am allowed to keep this scope until the fall, I am sure that I will be able to see 6mm bullet holes in the white at 600 yards. Seeing those 6mm holes is very difficult, but that is my dream for a premium high-powered scope. During the summer months in north Louisiana, the air is much too “dirty” to spot small holes at 600 yards. By October, there should be some conditions in which one can use the premium optics to see bullet holes in the white at 600.

In summary, let me say that this scope has become one of my all-time favorites because of its bright, clear images and its great reliability. If you are looking for a great long-range scope that is reasonable in cost, try the Golden Eagle from Vortex.– James Mock

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 5 Comments »
April 17th, 2019

Extreme Ammo: 5000 Ft-Lbs from the .500/.416 Nitro Express

300 .300 Winchester Win Magnum Mag Swedish Norma Cartridge of the Month Norma USA

When you need the ultimate in “knock-down” power, bigger is better. One of the most potent hunting rounds ever created is the mighty .500/.416 Nitro Express. For those who yearn for “More Power”, this is true “Extreme Ammo”.

Kreighoff unveiled the .500/.416 Nitro Express 3 ¼”, based on the proven .500 Nitro Express case, with a nice, long neck for good bullet tension, a good taper for easy feeding… and enough case capacity. The result was a winner — the .500/.416 NE pushes a 410-grain bullet at 2,325 fps, for just under 5,000 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle.

On the Norma website is a collection of Cartridge of the Month Articles, currently numbering 29. Here’s Norma’s run-down on an ultra-powerful big game cartridge, the .500/.416 Nitro Express.

300 .300 Winchester Win Magnum Mag Swedish Norma Cartridge of the Month Norma USA

The .500 / .416 Nitro Express

Text by Norma Staff Writers
The history of double rifle cartridges is a long and colored one. These cartridges were largely designed around the heavy-for-caliber cup-and-core round-nosed and full-patch bullets of yesteryear, and the guns were regulated for relatively close shooting. Almost all of the designs were rimmed cartridges; the rimmed case giving just about the best headspacing available. While the rimmed cartridges didn’t work very well in the repeating rifles, they work just fine in the single-shot and double rifles.

There are some double rifles chambered for the rimless and belted cartridges, but the rimmed cases offer the easiest and most positive extraction. The reputation and performance of the .416 Rigby (and later the .416 Remington) were undeniable, and while there are doubles chambered for these cartridges, Kreighoff saw the wisdom of a rimmed cartridge using a .416″-diameter bullet.

Early in 1996, Kreighoff unveiled the .500/.416 Nitro Express 3 ¼”, based on the proven .500 Nitro Express case, with a nice, long neck for good bullet tension, a good taper for easy feeding under duress, and enough case capacity to mimic the performance of the rimless .416s. The result was a winner — the .500/.416 NE pushes a 410-grain bullet at 2,325 fps, for just under 5,000 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. This ballistic formula has been used on the largest game on earth with great results, and in a double rifle, will allow for the reliable, immediate second shot that double rifle shooters have come to appreciate.

Photo courtesy Namibia Hunting Safaris.
Namibia Hunting safari

The .500/.416 NE bridges a huge gap between the .450/400 and the .450 NE, and offers a shooting experience closer to the .450/400, while giving plenty of power for hunting any and all dangerous game. I think that the .450/.400 and .500/.416 make a great choice for the traveling sportsman. When comparing the two, the .500/.416 offers a bit more frontal diameter (.416” v. .411”) and a considerable increase in velocity (2,325 vs. 2,050 to 2,125, depending on manufacturer), so it boils down to whether you desire a bit more reach-out-and-touch-‘em or the lesser recoil of the lighter cartridge. What I see in the .500/.416 NE is a double rifle cartridge with a performance level on par with the highly familiar .416 Rigby, yet available in the quick-handling double rifles. [Norma’s African PH .500/.416 NE ammo, loaded with excellent Woodleigh projectiles, is an excellent choice.]

Cartridge of the Month Norma USAIf you haven’t checked out NormaUSA’s website, you should. There you’ll find Norma’s Cartridge of the Month Archive. This great resource provides a detailed history of popular cartridges, along with a discussion of these cartridges’ hunting and target-shooting uses. There are currently 29 Cartridge of the Month articles, including the popular 6.5 Creedmoor.

Also on Norma-USA.com you’ll find information on Norma cartridge brass, bullets, powder and factory ammo. The site also offers a video archive plus links to Norma Reloading Data.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
April 16th, 2019

Brass Cleaning Options — Tumbling, Ultrasonic, Chemical & More

cartridge brass cleaning tumbler tumbling vibratory Wipe Out

Shiny brass — it may not shoot more accurately, but it does make you feel better about your hand-loaded ammo. While it’s not necessary to get brass “bright and shiny” after every firing, it is a good idea to clean powder residue, grime, and grit off your brass before you run cases into sizing dies. There are many ways to clean cartridge cases. A quick wipe with solvent on a patch may suffice for recently-shot cases. Older brass with baked-on carbon may require lengthy tumbling. Ultrasonic cleaning is another popular option that gets your brass clean inside and out.

Sinclair International has a series of helpful videos on brass cleaning. These short “how-to” videos, hosted by Bill Gravatt, Sinclair’s past President, cover the various processes you can use — tumbling, ultrasonic cleaning, chemical cleaning, and cleaning by hand.

Video ONE — Cleaning Brass in Vibratory or Rotary Tumbler

TIP: Brass that has recently been shot will clean more easily than brass that has been sitting many days or weeks. If your tumbling media is fresh the job should be done in an hour or less. It’s your choice whether to tumble with primers removed or with primers still in the cases. If you choose to tumble with primers out, we suggest you deprime with a depriming die, rather that put dirty brass into your sizing die. Some people like to add a teaspoon of liquid polish to the media. This does work, cutting tumble time, and making your brass more shiny. However, if you add liquid polish, do that BEFORE you add the brass and let the tumbler run for a 15 minutes to get the polish completely mixed into the media. Otherwise you can else up with gooey gunk inside your cases — a very bad thing.

Video TWO — Ulstrasonic Case Cleaning

TIP: There are many different types of solutions you can use. Soapy water suffices for some folks, particularly if you add a little Lemi-Shine. The Hornady and Lyman solutions work well, and can be used multiple times, provided you strain the solution to remove dirt and grit after cleaning sessions. Many ultrasonic cleaning machines have timers. Experiment with dwell time to see how long you need to immerse your brass. A very small amount of Ballistol in the solution will help lubricate your necks on the inside. This can make bullet seating go more smoothly, with more consistent neck tension.

Video THREE — Chemical Cleaners (Soaking without Ultrasound)

TIP: After using chemical cleaners, such as the Iosso solution, you need to water-rinse your brass thoroughly. A kitchen strainer helps with this (see video at 0:20). Also, don’t forget your brass in the chemical solution — follow the manufacturers recommendations and don’t exceed the recommended dwell time. Chemical cleaners work surprisingly well to remove grease and grime, and the solution can be re-used multiple times. However, if you want your cases to look bright and shiny (like new brass), you will probably have to tumble. [Editor: A very effective new chemical cleaner is the Brass Monkey product from the makers of Wipe-Out and Carb-Out. Add a teaspoon to a gallon of water then soak your brass for 20-30 minutes. It really works — the cases clean up dramatically].

Video FOUR — Manual Cleaning (By Hand)

TIP: Keep some oversize patches in your range kit. At the end of your shooting sessions, wipe off your fired brass with a patch dampened with a mild, non-corrosive solvent (once again Ballistol works well). Before the carbon sets up on your brass it is very easy to remove. For tougher jobs, you can use 0000 Steel Wool (as Bill recommends in the video). You may find that timely hand-cleaning lets you avoid tumbling altogether — or you may choose to tumble (or ultra-sound) your brass only after a half-dozen or so firings.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
April 16th, 2019

Applied Ballistics Spring Seminar — Register Now and Save

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

The Applied Ballistics 2019 Spring Seminar will be held at Snowbird Resort in Utah on June 1-2, 2019. The Seminar Fee is $625.00. However, now through April 21st you can use Code ABWIRE for $75 off registration. Note — Seminar fees do NOT include lodging! However, through May 4, 2019, attendees can reserve rooms at the Center-Cliff Lodge at the special seminar rate of $145.00 per night plus tax.

CLICK HERE to Register for $550 with Code ABWIRE

Primary speaker Bryan Litz will present material from his books, the Applied Ballistics Lab, and his experience shooting in various disciplines. Additional speakers addressing ballistics and long-range shooting topics will include Nick Vitalbo, Doc Beech, Alan Barnhart, Mitchell Fitzpatrick and other industry experts.

Seminar attendees will receive multiple Applied Ballistics products, all included in the registration fee:
1) Full library of Applied Ballistics Books and DVD set, valued at $275.
2) Applied Ballistics Analytics software, valued at $200.
3) Binder including hand-outs, articles, and worksheets.

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

Seminar Topics Will Include:

1. Trajectory Buildup – Baseline Trajectory, Gravity Drop, Vacuum Trajectory, and Aerodynamic Drag

2. Trajectory Features – Zeroing, Point Blank Range, Danger Space, and Uphill/Downhill Effects.

3. Sights – Tall Target Test (Sight Scale Factor and Cant), Aperture Sights, Turrets vs. Holding Reticles, and Extreme Adjustment for ELR.

4. Drag Modeling – What is a drag model, how is drag measured, how is a drag model used, and standard drag models.

5. Ballistic Coefficients – What is a BC, G1 and G7, Curve Fitting Challenges (averaged BCs, segmented BCs), and Estimating BCs.

6. Wind – Nature of wind, Mechanism of wind deflection (velocity scaling, lag time, wind deflection), near vs. far wind, wind measurement, terrain and vertical wind, competition Wind strategies, Wind coaching.

7. Basic Stability – Gyroscopic Stability Factor, Twist Rate Effects (muzzle velocity, precision, and BC).

8. Advanced Stability – Gyroscopic vs Dynamic Stability, Limit Cycle Yaw, Twist rate and Stability Effects in Transonic Flight, and Spin Decay.

9. Secondary Effects – Spin Drift, Coriolis, Aerodynamic Jump, Secondary Effects in Ballistic Solvers.

10. ELR Shooting – Transonic effects, Secondary Effects, Critical Nature of (Ranging, MV Measurement, Drag Modeling, Wind), Equipment Currently Being Used and Bullet Selection.

Applied Ballistics Snowbird utah spring seminar ELR

11. WEZ Analysis – What is WEZ, Confidence Environments, Precision (Wind, Range, MV), Accuracy (Sights, Trajectory Modeling, Secondary Effects, Calibration (Trueing)).

12. Ballistic Solvers – Components (Interface, Solver/Simulation, Model), Potential Accuracy, and walk-through of use with technical explanation of inputs.

13. Other Topics – Technology, Laser RangeFinders, Non-Linear Divergence, and Much More.

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 16th, 2019

Get S&W Pistol and AR15 Complete Lower for $379.99

Palmetto State Armory S&W Shield 9mm pistol AR15 AR AR-15 complete lower assembly

With this insanely good deal from Palmetto State Armory, you can get a pistol AND half an AR rifle for just $379.99 with FREE shipping. The deal is for a PSA AR-15 complete lower with Magpul stock PLUS a M&P Shield compact 9mm Pistol. This is an incredible deal. As Ammoland.com notes: “Compare that price [for pistol plus AR lower] to $430.00 for just the S&W M&P Shield 9mm Handgun elsewhere online.”

Smith & Wesson’s M&P Shield is a concealable, striker-fired polymer pistol with 3.1″ barrel. Overall legnth is 6.1 inches and unloaded weight is just 19 ounces. The Double-action-only (DAO) trigger break consistently at about 6.5 pounds.

The PSA AR-15 Complete Lower is the Magpul MOE Edition that features a quick-adjusting Magpul stock. This PSA lower will accept all AR15 magazines, however, no magazines are included. This quality, reliable lower assembly is reviewed in this video:

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April 15th, 2019

Bargain-Finder 186: 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. Midsouth — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $269.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $269.99. Amazing Deal. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $269.99, a fine price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $165.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items (such as the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

2. Amazon — Plano 52″ Two-gun Case, $81.15

Plano aw2 all weather 2-gun rifle case hard case FAA

This Plano two-gun case is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wheeled, heavy-duty firearms cases. This is offered in three sizes: 36″, 42″, and 52″. We like the biggest 52″ version, as it is long enough inside to fit most scoped match rifles. Alternatively, if you have a really long F-Class, ELR, or Palma rig, you can detach the barreled action from the stock, and run the two sections in the shorter 42″ case. The big case lets you easily carry TWO scoped hunting rifles. This case is strong enough for airline travel, meeting FAA requirements for checked baggage. Yes a Pelican 1750 is somewhat better, but that will cost $270.00.

This 52″ case is available now on Amazon for $81.15. That’s a very good deal. This same 52″ Plano AW2 case sells for $169.99 elsewhere.

Specifications for 52″ Case:
Exterior Size: 53.5″ x 17″ x 7″
Interior Size: 51.5″ x 14″ x 5.5″
Dri-loc Seal and Pressure Release Valve
Dual Stage Lockable Latches for Travel
Customizable Pluck-to-fit Foam
Easy Glide Enclosed Wheels

3. Savage — 10% Rebate on Savage, Stevens, and Fox Firearms

Savage Stevens Fox guns rifle rebate cash back tax season savings promotion Vista Outdoor

Get a 10% Factory Rebate for ALL Savage, Stevens, and Fox firearms purchased from now through May 15, 2019. This Tax Season Rebate could easily save you $50, $100, or even $150 on a fine hunting, tactical, or rimfire rifle. During this Tax Season Savings Event, you’ll receive 10% back on your purchase with a maximum $150 Rebate. The Rebate amount is calculated from the retail purchase price excluding taxes and shipping/handling fees. Rebate submission deadline is 6/14/2019. REBATE FORM HERE.

4. Midsouth — Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler LITE, $99.99

Frankford Aresenal Tumbler Sale

Wet-tumbling with stainless media gets large quantities of cartridge brass clean inside and out. If you’ve wanted to try wet-tumbling, here’s your chance. Midsouth has the Frankford Arsenal Platinum LITE Tumbler on sale for just $99.99 — a total steal. If you run large quantities of brass, you can get the larger-capacity Frankford Arsenal Platinum Tumbler for $179.99. Either one of these is a reliable, durable (and watertight) machine that should provide years of worry-free tumbling.

5. CDNN — Weatherby Vanguard 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $799.99

Weatherby Vanguard Modular rifle 6.5 Creedmoor

This is a great deal. MSRP on the Weatherby Vanguard Modular Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor was $1519.00. Now you can buy this rig for just $799.99 on sale. That’s less than you’d pay for most custom actions by themselves. Yes this Weatherby rifle qualifies for PRS Production class — it’s 100% within the rules. Put the hundreds of dollars you save into optics, ammo, and a suppressor — the 20″ barrel comes pre-threaded for brake or suppressor. This rifle has a nice 2-stage trigger, and Luth AR adjustable buttstock fitted to a CNC-machined anodized aluminum chassis. Weatherby guarantees SUB-MOA accuracy with premium ammo.

6. Amazon — Carbon Fiber Bipod and Pic Rail Adapter, $25.99

Carbon Fiber Bipod

Carbon Fiber BipodLooking for a new bipod that can work with a Picatinny rail? You’re in luck because we just found this 6″ – 9″ adjustable Carbon Fiber Bipod and M-Lok adapter combo for the amazingly low price of $25.99 including a handy adapter allowing you to securely attach the bipod to a standard Picatinny Rail. There are also versions with KeyMod or M-Lok Adapters for $27.99. Purchasers have given this unit high praise, with a 4.5-star rating. Here is an actual buyer review:

“Excellent bipod at an excellent price. It seems well-built and is far more rigid and sturdy than others like it. The bipod came with a Picatinny adapter [M-Lok or KeyMod optional]. Mounting was quick and easy. Overall I think this is by far the best bang-for-your-buck bipod.”

7. Midway USA — Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph, $324.86

Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph

All serious shooters need a modern, reliable chronograph to determine load velocity (and consistency). You need good velocity data for your ballistics AND to evaluate the consistency of your hand-loads. The Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph is one of the best on the market. Now you can get this fine Chrono for just $324.86, marked down from $380.00, a $55 savings! We like Magnetospeed chronos because you never need to go downrange to set up tripods and screens. Data can be downloaded to your mobile device.

8. Walmart — Keypad Handgun and Valuables Safe, $59.00

digital finger access handgun safe Tracker Walmart

This compact Tracker Safe features a digital keypad system that works with 3- to 8-digit passcodes you set. This allows fast access in an emergency — once you enter your code, the spring-loaded door flies open for immediate access to your weapon. You can also lock/unlock the safe with provided manual keys. Walmart offers this safe for just $59.00 with FREE shipping. That’s a bargain. This safe comes with mounting hardware for wall or floor installation. The interior has one shelf plus carpet-type padding.

9. Amazon — Boosteady Pack of 1000 Patches, $8.99 – $13.99

BOOSTEADY Pack of 1000 Professional Square Gun Cleaning Patches

A clean gun is a happy gun and since patches are the core of any cleaning regimen why not grab some great patches for a great price? Amazon sells 1000-count packs of Boosteady Professional Cleaning Patches starting at just $8.99 for 1″ square patches — a great bargain for 1000. Now you won’t feel so bad running a few extra patches every time you clean just make sure you got the last bit of crud out. Boosteady patches are very highly rated by purchasers and come in 1″ square ($8.99), 2″ square ($11.99), and 2.5″ square ($13.99) sizes, inside a convenient box.

10. Amazon — Universal Cleaning Mat, $19.99

Universal Cleaning Mat

If you’re like most people you spread out a towel before tearing your gun apart. This often leads to missing parts, a messy work area and when you spill anything it just soaks into your pad. Now you can pick up this universal cleaning mat that also includes a MAGNETIC parts keeper on the side. It’s nearly 4 feet long and is made of a oil and solvent resistant material for easy cleanup.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
April 15th, 2019

Six-Five Smackdown: The .260 Remington vs. 6.5×55 Swedish

6.5x55 SE, 6.5 Swedish 6.6x55mm .260 Rem Remington Laurie Holland comparison

The .260 Remington and the 6.5×55 Swedish (aka 6,5x55mm SE) are both very popular cartridges with hunters and target shooters. The 6.5×55 has a long military heritage and a great record as a hunting round. The .260 Rem, essentially a .308 Win necked down to .264 caliber, is a more recent cartridge, but it grows in popularity every year, being one of the top cartridges for tactical/practical competitions. It offers better ballistics and less recoil than the parent .308 Win cartridge. In our Shooter’s Forum, respected UK gun writer Laurie Holland provided a good summary of the differences between the two chamberings. Laurie writes:

Remington 260 CartridgeThe 6.5×55 case has 6 or 7% more capacity than the .260s, even more in practice when both are loaded to standard COALs with heavy bullets, which sees them having to seated very deep in the .260 Rem using up quite a lot of powder capacity. So loaded up for reasonable pressures in modern actions, the 6.5×55 will give a bit more performance.

The issue for many is what action length is available or wanted, the 6.5×55 requiring a long action. So sniper rifle / tactical rifle competitors will go for the .260 Rem with the option of the many good short-bolt-throw designs around with detachable box magazines (DBMs). If a bit more performance is needed, the .260 AI (photo right) can yield another 100-150 fps velocity, depending on bullet weight.

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, Reloading, Tech Tip 12 Comments »
April 15th, 2019

State Gun Law Guides — Online and Print Resources

Gun Laws by State PewPewtactical.com Pew Pew Byran Ciyou attorney book

Gun Laws by State PewPewtactical.com Pew Pew Byran Ciyou attorney bookWill you be traveling to other states this winter? Are you concerned about the laws that might apply when you are transporting firearms across state lines? Or are you puzzled about the requirements for obtaining a carry permit in your own state? If you have any of these (and related questions) you should definitely get some expert guidance on State statutes and regulations controlling firearms. To do that, you can purchase Attorney Bryan Ciyou’s comprehensive Gun Laws by State reference book. This is worth the money, and the $20 cost also includes access to an online legal database and other services.

If you don’t want to spend the twenty bucks, there is a good FREE alternative. There’s a very helpful set of State Law Summaries on the web, presented by PewPewTactical.com. Despite the silly name, the PewPewTactical website has an abundance of information that is particularly beneficial for pistol shooters and CCW holders.

One of the best features of PewPewTactical.com is the Gun Laws by State online reference guide. We looked through four of these State Law Summaries and were impressed by the depth of the coverage. But we caution — if you have specific legal questions, particularly with recently-enacted statutes, you should consult a licensed attorney for your state (or the state to which you will travel). In addition, some of the State Law Summaries have not been updated for a year or two. But they are still a good place to start. Below are links to state law articles from PewPewTactical.com. To access any State summary, simply click the State name below:

Gun Laws by State — FREE Summaries

CLICK state name to access each article.

Alabama Gun Laws

Alaska Gun Laws

Arizona Gun Laws

Arkansas Gun Laws

California Gun Laws

Colorado Gun Laws

Connecticut Gun Laws

Delaware Gun Laws

Florida Gun Laws

Georgia Gun Laws

Hawaii Gun Laws

Idaho Gun Laws

Illinois Gun Laws

Indiana Gun Laws

Iowa Gun Laws

Kansas Gun Laws

Kentucky Gun Laws

Louisiana Gun Laws

Maine Gun Laws

Maryland Gun Laws

Massachusetts Gun Laws

Michigan Gun Laws

Minnesota Gun Laws

Mississippi Gun Laws

Missouri Gun Laws

Montana Gun Laws

Nebraska Gun Laws

Nevada Gun Laws

New Hampshire Gun Laws

New Jersey Gun Laws

New Mexico Gun Laws

New York Gun Laws

North Carolina Gun Laws

North Dakota Gun Laws

Ohio Gun Laws

Oklahoma Gun Laws

Oregon Gun Laws

Pennsylvania Gun Laws

Rhode Island Gun Laws

South Carolina Gun Laws

South Dakota Gun Laws

Tennessee Gun Laws

Texas Gun Laws

Utah Gun Laws

Vermont Gun Laws

Virginia Gun Laws

Washington Gun Laws

West Virginia Gun Laws

Wisconsin Gun Laws

Wyoming Gun Laws

Washington, D.C. Gun Laws

Permalink - Articles, Handguns No Comments »
April 14th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Corbin Shell’s ELR Record-Setting .416 Barrett

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Today’s Sunday GunDay story features Corbin Shell’s remarkable, record-setting .416 Barrett. With a 40″ Krieger barrel secured in a massive barrel block, this is definitely a big boomer!

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Last month, Forum member Corbin Shell set a new Extreme Long Range (ELR) record. With no sighters or warm-up shots, Corbin put three (3) shots on a 36″ x 36″ steel plate at 2118 yards, establishing a new Cold Bore ELR World Record. The range was verified with three rangefinders and witnessed by 20+ awestruck shooters. Applied Ballistics reports: “There is a new official ELR World Record. 2118 yards. 3 for 3 cold bore.” This was also recognized as a record by the FCSA (Fifty Caliber Shooting Association).*

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

This record was set at the ELR Southeast Shootout held at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia, on March 2, 2019. The World Record attempt was made in compliance with all ELR Central Rules.

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron
Corbin Shell (on right) stands next to Joe Burdick, match director. That’s three hits on 36″ x 36″ plate.

ELR Ain’t Cheap — $6.55 Cost per Shot
Corbin told us: “Each round fired cost approximately $6.55. The breakdown is as follows: bullet $3.05, powder $0.80, primer $0.50, cartridge case $1.00 (based on five firings), barrel wear $1.20 per shot based on 1000 rounds of barrel life. Hitting steel at distance: PRICELESS!”

ELR Record .416 Barrett Rifle Components

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Action: BAT .50 caliber EX, multi-flat, with hard coat finish, extra CheyTac bolt.
Barrel: Krieger cut-rifled, .416 caliber, 40″ finish length, 1:9″ twist.
Barrel Block: Doyle Anglin Dixie Gunworks, integral Picatinny rail.
Muzzle Brake: Ryan Pierce 5-port magnum.
Stock: Designed and fabricated by Doyle Anglin, Dixie Gunworks. Obeche laminate, Indian Blanket color scheme. 48″ long excluding butt hardware.
Butt and Cheekpiece Hardware: Master Class/Alex Sitman, extended rods.
Scope: Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm MOA reticle item #25127. 100 MOA elevation/windage.
Bipod: Duplin Rifles by Clint Cooper. Weight: One pound, 2 ounces.
Gunsmith: Rifle builder was Doyle Anglin, Dixie Gunworks, Winder, GA.

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

ELR Record .416 Barrett Load

Projectiles: Cutting Edge Bullets 550gr Lazers
Powder: Vihtavuori 20n29
Primers: RWS Large
Cartridge Brass: Barrett .416

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

If you want to learn more about this record-setting rifle, Corbin has prepared a 6-page project history describing all the components and explaining how the rifle was constructed. This Build Document also contains a wealth of information about loading for the .416 Barrett cartridge.

Conditions During Record:
Corbin tells us: “This was shot in Blakely, Georgia at the Arena Training Facility in good Ole dense Southern air. Here are the atmospheric conditions when I shot: 70 degree temperature, 29.70-29.80 inches of mercury, 82% humidity, 1211 Density Altitude (DA).”

ELR Central Extreme Long Range Record Cold Bore Corbin Shell Georgia Krieger BAT Dixie Gunworks Sightron

Corbin noted that the unique barrel block with rail helps with ELR Optics: “This custom-made barrel block is drilled length wise to reduce weight. It incorporates an integral Picatinny rail which… facilitates mounting of … the Tacom Charlie/Delta TARAC prism system, without the need to bridge mount.” Charlie/Delta TARAC units effectively offset the view that comes into the scope, providing up to 625 MOA elevation.

ELR Cold Bore Shot Record Rules
Congratulations to the new ELR World Record Holder Corbin Shell. The record now stands at 2118 yards. This record was shot under a very specific set of rules established by ELR Central and industry leaders. For more ELR record information, go to ELRCentral.com. All ELR World Record results can be seen on the ELR Central’sEvent Results Page.


* Prior to Corbin Shell’s GA record, David Tubb shot a 2200-yard, 3-shot group that has been recognized as a FCSA record. However, because David had made a same-day attempt, within minutes, with a different rifle, this did not comply with the ELR Central Rules. So, at this time only Corbin Shell is recognized as the ELR Central World Record Holder.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing, News, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
April 13th, 2019

Applied Ballistics Offers Turnkey Solution for ELR Game

Applied Ballistics enabler .375 .338 Cheytac Lapua Magnum Berger Solids
.338 EnABLER (left) with Berger 300 gr Hybrid, and .375 EnABELR (right) with Berger 407 gr Solid.

Applied Ballistics .338 EnABELR and .375 EnABELR Cartridges
Applied Ballistics Weapons Division (ABWD) has announced the release of the new EnABELR cartridge. The EnABELR is a medium-capacity, magazine-feedable cartridge available in both .338 and .375 calibers. As you can see from this chart, when using the new Berger solid .375-cal bullets, the .375 EnABELR shows less drop at 2500 meters than the .338 Lapua Magnum and .375 CheyTac (with 400gr CE bullets).

Applied Ballistics enabler .375 .338 Cheytac Lapua Magnum Berger Solids

EnABLER Brass, Dies, Reamers, and Complete Rifles Available
Applied Ballistics will be offering all components required to shoot (and reload) the EnABELR cartridges including: chamber reamers, Peterson brass, ABWD-made reloading die sets, and complete tactical and competition rifle systems chambered in both .338 and .375 versions of the EnABELR cartridge.

Applied Ballistics enabler .375 .338 Cheytac Lapua Magnum Berger Solids

The .375-caliber version of the EnABELR has been selected for Phase 2 of the Extreme Sniper Strike Operations (ESSO) program, a government-funded project to develop a high-performance, Extreme Long Range sniper weapon system.

Applied Ballistics enabler .375 .338 Cheytac Lapua Magnum Berger Solids

Bryan Litz, Chief Ballistician for Applied Ballistics and Berger Bullets states that: “The EnABELR Cartridge and the new Berger .375 caliber Solids were optimized for use in the ESSO application which requires high performance, as well as reliability over many rounds in adverse conditions. In addition to meeting the needs of the military, these are also favorable properties for the serious competition shooter as well.”

Applied Ballistics enabler .375 .338 Cheytac Lapua Magnum Berger Solids

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Tactical 1 Comment »
April 13th, 2019

Build Your Own Rifle with Affordable Howa Barreled Actions

Howa 1500 Mini action barreled sale action HACT trigger Brownells deal

Right now, Brownells is running a big sale on Howa Barreled Actions, in a wide variety of chamberings. You may want to pick up one of these barreled actions, which start at $259.99. We like Howa actions — they are smooth, and they feature an excellent two-stage trigger. Howa also offers a unique Mini Action, which is great for a small-caliber varmint rig.

Howa Barreled Action Basics

The above video shows the basics of the Howa barreled actions, which are offered in Mini, Standard, and Long Action versions, with dozens of chamberings, from .204 Ruger all the way up to .300 Winchester Magnum. If you’re not familiar with Howa barreled actions you should be. Each barreled action comes with Howa’s Lifetime Warranty and is guaranteed to deliver sub-MOA performance at 100-yards when using premium factory ammo. The Howa 1500 barreled action also features a crisp two-stage trigger, three-position safety, 70° bolt throw, M16-style extractor, two-lug bolt design and a flat bottom receiver with an integral recoil lug.

Howa 1500 Mini action barreled sale action HACT trigger Brownells deal

Howa Barreled Action Project Videos

Brownells has created a series of helpful videos showing how to put together an accurate rifle using a Howa barreled action. We think this is a sensible, cost-effective option for a varmint rifle, or entry-level tactical rig. Not counting optics, you should be able to assemble a good shooting, general-purpose rifle for under $700.00.

1. Long-Range Precision Rifle Build
Here the Brownells team puts together a nice tactical rifle in an MDT modular aluminum chassis made specifically for the Howa 1500 action. Attached, AR-style, to the back end of the chassis, is a Luth-AR adjustable buttstock also sold by Brownells. An EGW Picatinny rail is fitted to the action for mounting a Nightforce optic. As you can see in the video, the entire build takes less than 10 minutes. Using this Howa 1500 heavy-barreled action, you can save hundreds over the cost of a factory tactical rifle, and we bet the accuracy will be better than you’ll get with some popular brands. We’ve seen heavy-barreled Howas shoot well under 1 MOA.

2. Hunting Rifle Build
In this video, Brownells puts together a general-purpose hunting rifle using the Howa 1500 barreled action. This was attached to a Hogue Overmolded stock with internal aluminum bedding block. Fitted to the top of the action is an EGW Picatinny Rail with a Sig Sauer scope in Leupold rings. As with the Precision Rifle build above, the entire assembly process took less than ten minutes. This was done with a standard-length Howa action, but the same procedure could be used with the Howa Mini Action, or a Long Action. NOTE: No separate bedding compound was used here. That’s an option that would extend build time significantly.

Check out the Prices for Howa Barreled Actions
Here are some of the Howa Barreled Actions currently in stock at Brownells. NOTE: This is just a partial sample — there are many other varieties:

.223 Rem, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Grendel, Mini Heavy Barrel, $389.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 26″ Heavy Barrel, $429.99
7mm-08, Std Cerakote, $579.99
7.62×39, Mini Light Barrel, $259.99
.308 Win, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $289.99
.308 Win, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $299.99
.30-06 Sprg, 22″ Sporter Barrel, Cerakote, $349.99
.300 Win Mag, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $279.99

Howa Barreled action sale Brownells PRS HACT Trigger

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 2 Comments »
April 13th, 2019

Cheap Tricks — Ten Handy Budget Items For Hand-Loaders

Budget reloading items

Useful reloading gear does not have to be costly. Here are ten handy (and very inexpensive) items that belong on your loading bench or in your range kit.

magnifying glassMagnifying Glass – We use a flat, 2″x2″ pocket 4x-8x magnifier. This folds up on itself. Very handy, we use it to inspect bullets and brass. Use this to check your flash holes for burrs, and check the meplats of your bullets before loading.

Clear 35mm Film Cannister – Use this to transfer the thrown powder charge to the little measuring cup that sits on your scale. That way you don’t get any kernel splash. Also if the charge weight is obviously off, it’s easy to dump back in the measure. A film canister works pretty well as a trickler too.

Compressed Air in a Can -- Get these at office supply stores. Use the can (with tube attached) to blow crud out of cases after cleaning the neck with a brush, and blast loose debris out of primer pockets.

Pin Vise – A simple pin vise with a #53 bit is perfect for deburring Lapua PPC and BR flash holes without reaming the flash-holes any larger. The Lapua PPC/BR flash-hole diameter is 1.5 mm, or 0.059″. Amazon.com sells a handy $8.28 pin vise kit with 10 bits, including the ideal 1.5mm bit. Other vendors offer a #53 pin vise bit that measures .0595″ or .060″ (depending or source). You can find pin vises and bits at hobby stores. Note — The model shown below is currently out of stock, but there are many pin vise sets offered from $7 to $15.

pin vise 1.5mm Lapua Flash hole

Bounce Dryer Sheets – The common dryer sheets eliminate “static cling” on your plastic reloading parts such as powder measure cylinders, powder funnels, and reloading press plastic bins. Thanks to Doc76251 for this tip.

BallistolBallistol Aerosol – Try using this versatile lubricant/solvent for full-length sizing. Spray some on a patch and you can wipe the carbon of your case necks. Then, continue to apply a very small amount of Ballistol on the case bodies — just thin sheen is all you need. Ballistol is super slippery, and easy to remove. For general full-length sizing (on small cases) it works great and doesn’t leave a gooey, waxy, or chalky residue. For heavier case-forming jobs, we recommend Imperial Die Wax.

Shotgun Mop – Stick this in the chamber when using Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner. This will seal off the chamber so the foam doesn’t flow into your action. For long chambers screw on one section of cleaning rod to aid extraction.

Colored Sharpie Marking Pens – Mark your bullets ahead of the bearing surface, and the color transfers to the target. This way you can shoot multiple loads at the same point of aim and discern which load shoots the tightest. (Recommended for 300 yards and beyond). With colored bullet tips you can test multiple loads “round robin” to equalize wind effects. When testing seating depths for example, you can mark the longer-seated set of bullets red and the shorter-seated set green and shoot them during the same sequence. Just look at the colored marks on the target to see which grouped better.

Sharpies Pens

Thin Latex Gloves – You should keep a box of inexpensive, disposable latex gloves (the kind doctors use) in your loading room. These will prevent contamination of primers or powder kernels that you handle directly. Also, use the gloves when handling fine blued tools or firearms to prevent transfering body oils and salts that promote rust.

Plastic Washers for Neck Mic – If you use a Sinclair Neck-wall Micrometer Gauge with integral stand, you can use thin plastic washers to adjust the height of the case on the mandrel. This makes it much easier to measure the same point on the case neck every time. Thanks to MikeCR for this tip (and photo).

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
April 12th, 2019

New Magazine for 6mmBR and 6 BR Improved Precision Rifles

PRS NRL magazine mag 6BR 6mmBr Norma 6 BRA Dasher BRX tactical short cartridge MDT

As the practical/tactical game has evolved, with low recoil and high accuracy becoming ever more important, many top competitors have moved to smaller cartridges such as the 6mm Dasher and its parent, the 6mmBR Norma. These cartridges deliver outstanding accuracy plus good barrel life. However, the “short, fat” 6BR/Dasher design doesn’t feed optimally in magazines designed for the .308 Win family of cases. Yes you can modify your own magazines (Mag Mod HERE), or buy a pricey conversion kit, but now there is a turn-key solution from MDT (Modular Driven Technologies).

MDT’s 6mm BR magazine fits the parent 6mmBR cartridge and all the popular varients including the 6 BRA, 6 Dasher, and 6 BRX. MDT says this new 12-round magazine is a “one-step solution [delivering] smooth, reliable feeding for the most popular rifle cartridges in precision rifle competitions.”

PRS NRL magazine mag 6BR 6mmBr Norma 6 BRA Dasher BRX tactical short cartridge MDT

MDT built this AICS-pattern mag for PRS/NRL competitors and anyone wanting to run 6mmBR-family cartridges in mag-fed actions: “The limiting factor for competitors running 6mm BR variants has been feeding. Until now, the only option has been to purchase an AICS-pattern magazine plus an additional kit to make the magazines work with the shorter cartridges. This solution costs upwards of $100 or more and can require additional tuning to work in most rifles.”

The MDT 6mm BR mag has a maximum internal length of 2.580″, which accommodates pretty much any 6mm bullet you’d want to use. These MDT magazines are crafted from quality steel, nitride-treated, then black Cerakote finished inside and out. To reduce friction between cartridge and magazine body, MDT added two internal ribs which provide a smooth transition from double stack to single-feed.

Magazine Conversion — Use .308 Win Mags with Modified Followers
A decade ago we showed our readers how to modify .308 Win magazines to feed the 6mmBR cartridge efficiently. This procedure, explained by Texas gunsmith, Mike Bryant, is easy to do with simple tools. You can modify most standard magazines, both internal-style and detachable style. CLICK HERE for full, step-by-step magazine conversion article.

The basic procedure involves trimming the rear of the magazine, and creating a rear stop with a block from a Remington .223 magazine. Next the .308 Win magazine follower is shortened and beveled. Some guys tweak the feed lips a bit, but this may not be needed. Many of our readers have performed this simple magazine modification and report their rifles feed quite reliably. One reader, who converted a 7mm-08 hunting rig into a 22 Dasher varmint rifle, tells us his modified mag feeds flawlessly.

PRS NRL magazine mag 6BR 6mmBr Norma 6 BRA Dasher BRX tactical short cartridge MDT

Permalink - Articles, Competition, New Product, Tactical 5 Comments »
April 12th, 2019

Pizza to Go — Complete with Shooting Targets on the Box

hunt brothers pizza target

hunt brothers pizza targetIn Tennessee, when you order a take-out pizza, you get a cardboard shooting target at no extra charge. Nashville, Tennessee-based Hunt Brothers Pizza has come up with a clever idea to promote pizza consumption among the hunting and shooting fraternity. They’ve put targets on the boxes — what a cool idea.

Hunt Brothers offers cardboard pizza boxes with five red and black bullseyes printed on the back. Now your used empty pizza boxes can do more than just take up space in the trash can. This is a pretty smart idea we think — it’s a great example of clever “dual-use” packaging. Hopefully pizza parlors in other locations nationwide will follow suit someday….

Give credit to The Firearm Blog for finding this story and publishing it first.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 3 Comments »