October 31st, 2019

Pumpkin Blastin’ with High Explosives — Amazing Stuff

Halloween Wallpaper explosion pumpkin
Image from WallpapersBuzz.

Today is October 31st, Halloween (originally “All Hallows Eve”). That means it’s pumpkin time. Just how much fun can you have with pumpkins? Watch these two videos and find out. In the first video, the RatedRR team sends a few orange gourds to pumpkin heaven using Det Cord, C4, and binary explosives. The sequence starting at the 2:00 minute mark in the first video is truly amazing. WARNING: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Watch Pumpkin Blasting with Explosives

In the next video, a pumpkin carved as a Death Star serves as the target for a .50 caliber rifle (looks like a Barrett M82 .50 BMG). As you may guess, the pumpkin Death Star suffers the same fate as the Hollywood version in Star Wars. NOTE: At the 0:42 mark in the video, a graphic displays “30,000 FPS”. That’s the high-speed camera’s frame-per-second rate, NOT the projectile velocity in feet-per-second.

Watch .50 BMG Rifle vs. Death Star Pumpkin

Warning: These demonstrations were carried out on closed ranges by experienced professionals certified to use explosives. Possession of C4 and Det Cord may be a violation of various Federal, State, and local laws. Detonating cord and C4 are classified as high explosives and are regulated by the BATFE. Don’t even think about trying to repeat these stunts on your own.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tactical No Comments »
October 31st, 2019

.223 Rem Barrel Cut-Down Test — Velocity Loss by the Inch

.223 Rem Cut-Down Test barrel UMC m855

Most of us own a .223 Rem rifle. Now, thanks to our friends at Rifleshooter.com we can assess exactly how velocity changes with barrel length for this popular cartridge.

Rifleshooter.com performed an interesting test, cutting the barrel of a .223 Rem rifle from 26″ all the way down to 16.5″. The cuts were made in one-inch intervals with a rotary saw. At each cut length, velocity was measured with a Magnetospeed chronograph. To make the test even more interesting, four different types of .223 Rem/5.56 ammo were chron’d at each barrel length. The Rifleshooter.com team that conducts these tests has a full-service gun shop, 782 Custom Gunworks — visit 782guns.com.

READ RifleShooter.com 5.56/.223 Barrel Cut-Down Test Article.

Test Barrel Lost 25.34 FPS Per Inch (.223 Rem Chambering)
How much velocity do you think was lost, on average, for each 1″ reduction in barrel length? The answer may surprise you. The average speed loss of the four types of .223/5.56 ammo, with a 9.5″ shortening of barrel length, was 240.75 fps total (from start to finish). That works out to an average loss of 25.34 fps per inch.

5.56/.223 Barrel Cut-Down Speed Test 26″ to 16.5″ Start FPS at 26″ End FPS at 16.5″ Total Loss Average Loss Per Inch
UMC .223 55gr 3182* 2968 214 22.5 FPS
Federal M193 55gr 3431 3187 244 25.7 FPS
Win m855 62gr 3280 2992 288 30.3 FPS
Blk Hills .223 68gr 2849 2632 217 22.8 FPS

*There may have been an error. The 25″ velocity was higher at 3221 fps.

See inch-by-inch Barrel Cut-Down Velocity data HERE.

Rifleshooter.com observed: “Cutting the barrel from 26″ to 16.5″ resulted in a velocity reduction of 214 ft/sec with the UMC 223 55-grain cartridge, 244 ft/sec with the Federal M-193 cartridge, 288 ft/sec with the Winchester M855 cartridge and 217 ft/sec with the Back Hills 223 68-grain match cartridge.”

How the Test Was Done
The testers described their procedure as follows: “Ballistic data was gathered using a Magnetospeed barrel-mounted ballistic chronograph. At each barrel length, the rifle was fired from a front rest with rear bags, with five rounds of each type of ammunition. Average velocity and standard deviation were logged for each round. Once data was gathered for each cartridge at a given barrel length, the rifle was cleared and the bolt was removed. The barrel was cut off using a cold saw. The test protocol was repeated for the next length. Temperature was 45.7° F.”

CLICK HERE to Read the Rifleshooter.com Test. This includes detailed charts with inch-by-inch velocity numbers.

See More Barrel Cut-Down Tests on Rifleshooter.com
Rifleshooter.com has performed barrel cut-down tests for many other calibers/chamberings including 6mm Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, and .338 Lapua Magnum. See these test results at Rifleshooter.com.

.308 Win barrel length cut test

Much Different Results with 6mmBR and a Longer Barrel
The results from Rifleshooter.com’s .223/5.56 test are quite different than the results we recorded some years ago with a barrel chambered for the 6mmBR cartridge. When we cut our 6mmBR barrel down from 33″ to 28″ we only lost about 8 FPS per inch. Obviously this is a different cartridge type, but also our 6mmBR barrel end length was longer than Rifleshooter.com’s .223 Rem start length. Velocity loss may be more extreme with shorter barrel lengths. And, of course, different cartridge types and powder/bullet combinations will yield different results.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 30th, 2019

AR15 3D Animation — See How an AR Really Works

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

Ever wondered how the parts inside an AR15 work together? Just exactly how does the reciprocating bolt carrier feed rounds from the magazine? How do the elements in the trigger group work and reset after each shot? How does the gas system bleed gas from the barrel and operate the bolt carrier? These and other questions are answered in this eye-opening video from 45Snipers. Using “cutaway” 3D computer animation, this 5-minute video shows all features of an AR15 inside and out. This fascinating firearms animation allows the viewer to look inside the upper and lower receivers, into the bolt carrier, chamber, barrel, and magazine.

This video starts off slow and has annoying background music, but it is well worth watching if you own or shoot any AR-platform rifle. It illustrates all the key operations during the charging, loading, firing, and ejection processes. The cutaway animation shows how rounds are stripped from the magazine and then chambered. It then shows how every part of the trigger group works, and how the firing pin strikes the primer. You can even watch the bullet move down the barrel before the empty shell casing is removed from the chamber and tossed out the ejection port. Here are sample frames from the video:

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

Video find by Grant Ubl. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Tactical, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 29th, 2019

M1 Carbine Matches — CMP Competition with Retro Rifles

M1 Carbine Match CMP

One of the CMP’s most popular competitions is the M1 Carbine Match. The little carbines are easy to hold and easy to shoot, with relatively low recoil compared to an M1 Garand or M1903 shooting the full-power .30-06 cartridge. Unfortunately, genuine GI-issue M1 Carbines are now hard to find at affordable prices. The CMP has announced: “CMP’S Carbine Inventory has been exhausted and we do not expect to receive any additional shipments.” Authentic, “all-original” M1 Carbines are going for $1500 to $1800.00 these days on Gunbroker.com.

CMP M1 Carbine Matches — Growing in Popularity
The CMP M1 Carbine Match is part of the CMP Games program that already includes Garand, Springfield and Vintage Military Rifle Matches. “As-issued” U. S. Military M1 Carbines are fired over a 45-shot course of fire at 100 yards on either the old military “A” target or the “SR” target. The course includes 5 sighters and 10 shots for record prone slow fire in 15 minutes, a 10-shot rapid fire prone series in 60 seconds, a 10-shot rapid fire sitting series in 60 seconds and 10 shots slow fire standing in 10 minutes.

CMP M-1 carbine games

CMP M1 Carbine Match at Western CMP Games
CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

New Production M1 Carbines

auto ordnance M1

Thankfully, you don’t need to source a real WWII-era M1 to enjoy CMP M1 Matches. You can now get a brand new, American-made M1 Carbine clone for HALF the price of old CMP rifle. Brownells is now offering American-made Auto Ordnance brand .30-Caliber M1 Carbines that look, feel, and shoot just like the originals, for a lot less money. There are two versions:

Another producer of M1 Carbine replica rifles is Inland Manufacturing, a modern company which shares the name of a leading WWII M1 Carbine maker. These made-in-the-USA, newly manufactured M1 Carbines are very authentic copies of the original carbines from the World War II era. With a $1139.00 starting MSRP, they feature authentic 1944-type adjustable sights, push button safety, round bolt, “low wood” walnut stock, and a 10–round or 15-round magazine. There are three (3) versions: M1 1944 style, M1 1945 style, and M1A1 Paratrooper model.

CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

GunsAmerica.com report compares new Inland M1 Carbines side-by-side with original vintage M1 Carbines: “We had to get in close to tell the difference. Overall, the two examples we were able to handle looked great and held up when next to the originals. The stampings are even close to correct with a few minor differences that were chosen to stop the new Inlands from being mistaken for originals. Take a look at the photos and see for yourself.” READ M1 Carbine Review.

CMP M-1 Rimfire Carbine Citadel

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October 29th, 2019

Amazing Arms — Head-Turning Guns from Our Archives

swing-out breech blockThis one-of-a-kind .50-caliber rifle was crafted by the late J.T. Smith. Along with the lever-actuated falling block, it has a massive swing-out breech block — like an artillery piece.

Beautiful and Historic Firearms
We’ve collected some of the most eye-catching firearms featured on AccurateShooter.com over the past decade. There are famous pistols, a shotgun owned by a princess, the fanciest Savage ever made, and some beautiful examples of engraving and stock-making. Enjoy this collection of firearms eye candy.

Centennial 1911 from Colt — Marking 100 Years
In 2011, to celebrate the 100th birthday of the 1911 hangun, Colt created a spectacular, fully-engraved “Anniversary Edition” pistol. J.M. Browning’s 1911 pistol was officially adopted by the U.S. Army on March 29th, 1911. {The U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy adopted the 1911 pistol roughly two years later). This Centennial 1911 is pimped to the max, complete with gold inlay and genuine ivory grips.

Savage President’s Engraved Savage 99 Rifle
When you run the company, you get some pretty nice stuff — in this case you get what may be the most elegant Savage ever made. This rifle was created for Joseph V. Falcon, who served as President of Savage Arms. This highly embellished Savage 99 lever-action rifle is chambered for the .300 Savage. It features deluxe checkering and gold inlays.

World’s Most Perfect Colt Paterson — Worth Nearly $1 Million
This 1836 Colt Paterson Revolver sold in 2011 for $977,500 at auction. That set a world record (at the time) for the sale of an American firearm. The very rare, ivory-gripped Texas Paterson Revolver, with a 9-inch barrel and attached loading lever, is the finest known surviving example of Samuel Colt’s first revolver, produced in Paterson, New Jersey.

Stunning Engraved Trio — Colt, Mauser, and Luger
Here is a matching set of three three beautifully engraved pistols by the late Indiana engraving wizard Ben Shostle — a Luger, a Mauser, and a diminutive Colt. By themselves, these three matching pistols would make a prized handgun collection. Photo courtesy Amoskeag Auction Company.

Gun porn glamour rifle pistol shotgun stunning engraved Luger Colt Mauser Walther

Princess Diana’s Westley Richards Shotgun
This stunning Westley Richards & Co. shotgun was made for the 1981 nuptials of Lady Diana Spencer and HRH Prince Charles. It is rare, has a unique history of ownership, and is also elaborately decorated.

Princess Diana Gun porn glamour rifle pistol shotgun stunning

Butch Cassidy’s Colt Wheelgun
This revolver isn’t so pretty, but it has an impressive heritage — it belonged to Butch Cassidy. Butch Cassidy’s famous “Amnesty Colt” Revolver sold to a foreign museum for $175,000. The handgun was offered as part of a collection of Western guns and memorabilia auctioned in Casitas Springs, California.

Butch Cassidy Gun

The Right Stuff — Chuck Yeager’s Gold-Plated Beretta
Here’s another pistol with a famous owner “The Right Stuff” Pilot, Chuck Yeager, the first human to break the sound barrier. This Beretta has extra value because it was owned by pilot Chuck Yeager. Photo NRA Museum.

Chuck Yeager Beretta

Stunning Mauser Custom — Master-grade Wood and Steel
Forum member Kurz posted a dream gun owned by a friend in England. Kurz included a quote from a book created by the rifle’s owner: “There, with my father’s words ringing in my ears, I shall take that ‘step forward’ and order a perfect machine based on the Mauser ’98 action, built from metal and wood by master craftsmen who truly understand that ‘reliable’ and ‘mechanical integrity’ have as much relevance today as they did all those years ago.”

Rifle engraved

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Handguns 1 Comment »
October 29th, 2019

Safety Tip for Loading With Coated Bullets

Moly Danzac Bullet Coating Anti-friction HBN

Coating bullets with a friction-reducing compound such as Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly) offers potential benefits, including reduced barrel heat, and being able to shoot longer strings of fire between bore cleanings. One of the effects of reduced friction can be the lessening of internal barrel pressures. This, in turn, means that coated bullets may run slower than naked bullets (with charges held equal).

To restore velocities, shooters running coated bullets are inclined to “bump up” the load — but you need to be cautious.

Be Careful When Increasing Loads for Coated Bullets
We caution shooters that when your start out with coated bullets in a “fresh barrel” you should NOT immediately raise the charge weight. It may take a couple dozen coated rounds before the anti-friction coating is distributed through the bore, and you really start to see the reduced pressures. Some guys will automatically add a grain or so to recommended “naked” bullet charge weights when they shoot coated bullets. That’s a risky undertaking.

We recommend that you use “naked” bullet loads for the first dozen coated rounds through a new barrel. Use a chronograph and monitor velocities. It may take up to 30 rounds before you see a reduction in velocity of 30-50 fps that indicates that your anti-friction coating is fully effective.

We have a friend who was recently testing moly-coated 6mm bullets in a 6-6.5×47. Moly had not been used in the barrel before. Our friend had added a grain to his “naked” bullet load, thinking that would compensate for the predicted lower pressures. What he found instead was that his loads were WAY too hot initially. It took 30+ moly-coated rounds through the bore before he saw his velocities drop — a sign that the pressure had lowered due to the moly. For the rounds fired before that point his pressures were too high, and he ended up tossing some expensive Lapua brass into the trash because the primer pockets had expanded excessively.

LESSON: Start low, even with coated bullets. Don’t increase your charge weights (over naked bullet loads) until you have clear evidence of lower pressure and reduced velocity.

danzac moly coated coat bullets

danzac moly coated coat bullets

Procedure After Barrel Cleaning
If you shoot Moly, and clean the barrel aggressively after a match, you may want to shoot a dozen coated “foulers” before starting your record string. Robert Whitley, who has used Moly in some of his rifles, tells us he liked to have 10-15 coated rounds through the bore before commencing record fire. In a “squeaky-clean” bore, you won’t get the full “benefits” of moly immediately.

To learn more about the properties of dry lubricants for bullets, read our Guide to Coating Bullets. This covers the three most popular bullet coatings: Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly), Tungsten Disulfide (WS2 or ‘Danzac’), and Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN). The article discusses the pros and cons of the different bullet coatings and offers step-by-step, illustrated instructions on how to coat your bullets using a tumbler.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
October 28th, 2019

Bargain Finder 214: 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 Sunday afternoon or 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, $299.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $299.99. Great Deal. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $299.99, 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 — Bushnell CONX Rangefinder and Kestrel, $499.99

Bushnell Kestrel combo laser rangefinder

With this bundle deal, you get a “smart” Bushnell Elite CONX laser rangefinder (LRF) PLUS a Kestrel Sportsman Ballistics Weather Meter for just $499.99. The LRF, which is rated to 1,760 yards (one mile), communicates via Bluetooth with CONX App on both iOS and Android smartphones. You can load three Custom Ballistic curves and ARC rifle mode provides bullet-drop/holdover in MOA or Mils with multiple sight-in distance options. The LRF body is tripod compatible and waterproof. There is even a diopter adjustment for image sharpness.

3. Palmetto State Armory — 9mm S&W Pistol and PSA Lower, $299.99 with Rebate

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 $299.99 after S&W $50 Rebate ($349.99 PSA price before rebate). The deal is for a PSA AR-15 complete lower with Magpul MOE stock PLUS a M&P Shield compact 9mm Pistol. This is an incredible deal. The S&W M&P Shield 9mm Handgun sells for over $400 elsewhere online. S&W Rebate Info HERE.

4. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Great Gun Sale (100 guns on sale)

great gun sale

If you’re in the market for a new handgun, rifle, or shotgun, then head over to the Sportsman’s Warehouse Great Gun Sale. There are 100 different firearms on sale — hunting rifles, shotguns, defensive pistols — you name it. There are so many options, we decided to link the full sale page, so you can pick your own favorites from 100 different gun options.

5. CDNN — Bushnell Equinox Z Night Vision Binoculars, $189.98

Bushnell night vision Equinox Z binoculars

Hunters can benefit from a binocular night-vision solution. Right now the impressive Bushnell Equinox 2×40 Night Vision binoculars are just $189.88 at CDNN Sports. This is a great deal, a real bargain. These same Equinox Z Binoculars currently sell for $325.98 on Amazon, nearly twice as much! Equinoz Z features include: optical clarity, powerful infrared illumination to 500 feet, image capture, video recording capability, and day/night viewing. Most competitive night vision are monoculars.

6. Palmetto State Armory — $30 Rebate on Savage Hunting Rifles

Savage Hunting Rifle Rebate

Palmetto State Armory is running a promo on Savage hunting rifles this month. Purchase any AXIS/Trophy/Apex or Engage Hunter and receive a $30 Mail-In-Rebate. If you’re looking for a deer rifle with a nice camo finish — this is a good deal. Rifles start at just $329.99, so with the $30 rebate your net cost is just $299.99. NOTE: This $30 Savage Factory Rebate applies to purchases made from ANY Savage dealer, as long as you purchase from 10/1/2019 through 10/30/2019. For example, the rebate applies to Savage rifles purchased through Cabela’s or MidwayUSA.

7. Amazon — Teslong Digital Borescope, $49.99

teslong digital borescope

The impressive Teslong digital borescope offers capabilities that rival optical systems costing $700 or more. This compact, electro-optical, cable-type borescope outputs sharp, high-resolution images and VIDEO to desktop computers, laptops, as well as Android tablets and smartphones. Check out our Full Teslong Review complete with inside-the-barrel videos. At $49.99 this is a great value. NOTE: This unit does NOT currently work with iPhones and iPads.

8. Midsouth — New .308 Win Lake City Brass, $74.99/250 cases

Lake City .308 Win 7.62x51 cartridge brass M1A

Midsouth Shooters has acquired a large quantity of excellent Lake City 7.62×51 (.308 Win) Primed Brass. NOTE, this is New Brass that has never been fired. However it is described as “pull-down”, meaning the brass had originally been assembled into loaded ammo. The brass comes PRIMED with CCI #34 primers, with crimped primer pockets. The brass is sold in 250-count bags for $74.99. That works out to just $0.30 per case — a great deal for primed, strong Lake City Brass. This is good stuff for M1As and hunting rifles.

9. Amazon — Jialitte Scope Bubble Level, $10.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

All serious rifle shooters need a scope level. This nicely designed Jialitte Scope Bubble Level features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. Price is just $10.99 with free shipping. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product — nearly all verified buyers rated this five stars.

10. Amazon — MTM Cleaning Rod Case, $22.89

mtm cleaning rod case discount

Good cleaning rods are expensive and can be easily damaged if you’re not careful. To protect those valuable cleaning rods, we recommend the MTM cleaning rod case which holds four rods as well as cleaning supplies. This case protects your rods both at home and while traveling. With this handy, durable case you can stop worrying about bending or breaking those important cleaning rods.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
October 27th, 2019

New StaBALL 6.5 Powder from Winchester — Temp Stable

Winchester ball spherical propellant powder temperature stable staBALL 6.5

Winchester has just introduced a new ball propellant, StaBALL 6.5, which it claims is very temp-stable. This means velocities and pressures should not vary greatly across a wide range of ambient temperatures. Winchester states: “StaBALL 6.5 is the world’s first temperature-insensitive Ball Powder, stable in extreme-hot or extreme-cold temperatures.” Winchester also claims StaBALL 6.5 can offer 30-200 fps greater velocities than other powders with similar burn rates. This new powder also has additives to reduce copper fouling. StaBALL 6.5’s burn rate and load density is good for popular cartridges such as .223 Rem, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .270 Win. If StaBALL 6.5 can really deliver excellent metering, temp stability, more speed, AND less fouling — Winchester could really have a winner.

Winchester ball spherical propellant powder temperature stable staBALL 6.5

Metering Advantages of Ball Propellants
As there are existing very temp-stable extruded powders, such as Reloder 16 and H4350, what’s the big deal here? Well ball powders, with their small spherical granules, flow easily and meter well. This means ball powders can be thrown in manual powder measures with great precision. So StaBALL 6.5 could have advantages for hand-loaders using manual powder measures or progressive presses with mechanically-operated charge dispensers.

Reloading Data is ONLINE Now

Reloading Data is NOW Available on the Winchester website for a wide variety of cartridges including: 22 Nosler, .223 Rem, 224 Valkyrie, 22-250 Rem, 6GT, 6×47 Lapua, 6mm Creedmoor 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, .270 Win, 7mm-08, .30-06, 300 WSM and more. To get official LOAD DATA, scroll below the product description, select a cartridge type, and then click the RED “Get Reloading Data” tab. Here are two of 13 listed load options (55-115 grain bullets) for the 6mm Creedmoor:

Winchester ball spherical propellant powder temperature stable staBALL 6.5

Winchester’s StaBALL 6.5 Product Description States:

StaBALL 6.5 is the world’s first temperature-insensitive BALL® Powder, stable in extreme-hot or -cold conditions. It provides optimal loading density in cartridges appropriate for the burn speed, which is ideal for 6mm Creedmoor, 6GT, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7MM-08, .270 Winchester, and many more.

Typical of a ball powder, precise metering contributes to improved velocity and pressure standard deviations, ingredients that are paramount to match grade accuracy!

This “environmentally green” propellant has copper fouling reducer additives, meaning longer durations of competition and field shooting without having to clean the bore. Precision accuracy throughout the match!

Velocity levels obtainable, depending on the cartridge, are 30-200 fps greater than other propellants in its class.

StaBALL 6.5 powder is available in 1 lb. and 8 lb. containers.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News, Reloading 6 Comments »
October 27th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: German Centerfire Rifle with Rimfire Conversion

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

Shoot Rimfire Ammo from your Centerfire Rifle

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could shoot .22 LR rimfire ammo from your regular hunting or tactical rifle? That would be ideal for low-cost training right? Well, this IS possible, provided you have a rifle that was designed with a .22 LR conversion in mind. One such firearm is the remarkable Sauer 202 from Germany. This impressive centerfire rifle is available with a factory-engineered .22 LR rimfire conversion. Read on to learn how Sauer’s cool .22 LR conversion works.

Sauer 202 Rifle: .308 Win/6.5×55 with .22 LR Conversion
Forum member “Tooms” sent us a report on his very special Sauer 202 with a .22 LR conversion kit. Sauer 202 rifles feature a “Quick-change barrel system”. The barrel is clamped into the receiver with crossbolts providing tension. This allows barrels to be swapped in a few minutes with simple tools.

Tooms, from Denmark, explains: “The rifle began as a Sauer 202 Avantgarde Gold in .308 Win. I have added a 6.5×55 match barrel, plus a wide flat-bottom match fore-arm with rail for handstop and bipod. The .22 LR system [originally] cost $1000.00 [including] barrel, bolt, magazine well assembly, and magazine. The barrel is attached by three cross-bolts and the magazine well assembly is attached by one screw that fits into the barrel.”

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

Using this “Quick-change system”, Tooms can easily remove his centerfire barrel and swap in a .22 LR barrel. Then he places the factory conversion kit into the magazine well. This kit provides a rimfire bolt, a fitted sleeve for the rimfire bolt, and a magazine housing. This is a full Sauer factory-designed system so it works flawlessly. With the bolt closed, you can see the “new” .22 LR chamber in the front section of the loading port. On the silver section of the bolt you can see the rimfire extractor on the side.

sauer 202 varmint rifle 22LR

The .22 LR Conversion Really Works
The Sauer 202 Varmint rifle shoots very well with the .22 LR conversion, as the 50m target at right shows. Though quite expensive, the conversion kit essentially transforms your centerfire rifle into fully functional, mag-fed precision rimfire rifle. That makes the Sauer 202 much more versatile as a hunting platform. It also allows you to cross-train with inexpensive ammo. You don’t have to purchase another scope, trigger, or stock. And you enjoy the exact same stock fit and ergonomics whether you’re shooting centerfire or rimfire. In some countries where gun ownership is severely restricted, it may be easier, from a legal standpoint, to purchase a .22 LR conversion kit than to obtain a permit for a second rifle.

The Sauer 202 rifle line-up has been replaced by the Sauer 404 series which has much in common. To learn more about the complete line of Sauer rifles visit the J.P. Sauer USA website. You’ll also find more information on the primary J.P. Sauer & Sohn German website, www.Sauer.de. Though out of production, some Sauer 202s are still for sale at EuroOptic.com.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
October 26th, 2019

Federal Now Offers Custom-Loaded Precision Ammunition

Federal custom handloading center hand-loaded rifle shotshell ammo ammunition Berger Sierra Nosler

Don’t have time to hand-load your own ammo, or don’t have all the equipment and dies needed? There’s a new option — something that’s actually quite revolutionary in the ammo industry. Federal is now offering custom-loaded ammunition. You choose the cartridge type and bullet type and Federal technicians put the ammo together. Think about it — this could be an interesting option for hunters who only need a few rounds a year, or if you want to try out a bullet/cartridge combo for the first time.

Order Federal Custom Ammunition ONLINE through the Federal Custom Shop.

Federal custom handloading center hand-loaded rifle shotshell ammo ammunition Berger Sierra Nosler

“Each round is painstakingly handloaded to order by our team of expert engineers in our state-of-the-art reloading workshop. Veteran craftsmen combine the best components with extra quality checks at every stage for the most consistent velocity, accuracy, and overall performance. Loads are then hand-checked for final inspection and cleaned before being custom-packed in durable, personalized packaging.”

10 Centerfire Cartridge Types and Many Bullet Options
Currently, you can choose from 10+ rifle cartridge types and a wide selection of quality bullets from Berger, Sierra, Nosler, Federal, Barnes, Swift, and more. Along with rifle ammo, Federal will offer custom TSS Shotshells. NOTE: Federal Custom Shop ammo will be sold direct-to-consumer only.

Right now, centerfire rifle shooters can choose more than 10 different cartridges including 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-284 Norma, 257 Weatherby, 243 Winchester, 257 Roberts +P, and more. Shotshell customers can custom order a large variety of 10-gauge and 28-gauge loads.

“If it’s not in Federal’s vast catalog as factory-loaded ammo, we may have it listed on our website as a load we will custom hand-load for you,” notes Federal Ammunition President Jason Vanderbrink. “For example, Barnes 120-grain Tipped TSX in 6.5-284 Norma and 28-gauge TSS turkey loads aren’t products we list in our catalog, but you can certainly order them through our Custom Shop.”

The Custom Shop handloading center is located at Federal’s main factory in Anoka, Minnesota. For more information, including how to order, what specific load options are available, and shipping details, visit: FederalPremium.com/custom-shop.html.

Federal custom handloading center hand-loaded rifle shotshell ammo ammunition Berger Sierra Nosler

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News, Reloading No Comments »
October 25th, 2019

IBS Match Report — 2019 100/200 Meter Score Nationals

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
View through 6X scope at 2019 Metric Score Nationals in South Carolina. This is exactly what Jeff Stover’s camera recorded — it is not a Photoshop job.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-CarolinaMatch Report by Jeff Stover, IBS President
“You need to come shoot with us” said Jim Cline at the January 2019 meeting of the IBS. Jim is both a Match Director at Mid-Carolina and an IBS Vice-President. I, as IBS President, considered it for a few seconds. Virtually all of my shooting is short-range group, but I wanted to see why IBS Score Benchrest was so hot — and growing — in the Southeast. “I will be down in October for the Score Nationals” was my response. Bottom line — The event was great, and I should have made the trip years earlier.

The Mid-Carolina Rifle Club is located about 35 miles southeast of Columbia, South Carolina. It sports 20 solid and well-designed concrete benches. A nice feature is the very deep, behind-the-firing-line roof for cleaning rifles, and chatting with fellow shooters.

The main competition at the Score Nationals is for the “Varmint for Score” 13.5-pound rifles. The cartridge of choice is the 30 BR (6mmBR parent cartridge). The extra .065″ bullet diameter over a 6mm helps with the Best Edge Scoring, but the 30 BR gives nothing away to the 6PPC in the accuracy department. As any score shooter can tell you, the 30 BR is an inherently accurate cartridge that is relatively easy to tune.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Firing Line at Mid-Carolina Rifle Club with ample behind-the-Line roof coverage.

It was a dream shoot for me. I don’t have a VFS 30 in my gun cabinet, but that was all taken care of. Both rifle and ammo came courtesy of Mike Clayton, one of the circuit’s top shooters. All I needed to bring were my rests! Mike’s rifle was a laser which I did not fully exploit. Mike showed true Southern Hospitality.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Mike Clayton ready to pull the trigger on his 30 BR rifle.

About 70 shooters made their way to Orangeburg. More had preregistered but the threat of Tropical Storm Nestor kept a few away. The storm was projected to bring 25+ mph gusts and heavy rain on Saturday. Those dire predictions did not materialize. We had somewhat light, but quickly switching, winds and mostly light rain. It was a dreary day for 100 meter competition but the mood along the firing line was convivial.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Tropical Storm Nestor delivered only rain and switchy breezes instead of the predicted gales.

At 100 meters, Brud Sheats led the way with a very nice 250-23X. On his heels were Ronnie Milford and Jim Cline with 22 and 21 Xs respectively. Jim and Ron are leading the Score Shooter of the Year standings. In 6-power class, Jim Cline’s had a good 250-14X for high score with Dewey Hancock 3 Xs behind.

IBS meter 100 200 score Emilee nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

Young Lady Shines at Her First Registered Match
Above is young competitor Emmalee McMurry (from eastern Tennessee) with her 6 PPC Heavy Varmint rifle. This was her very FIRST registered match. Her father Bill is her coach and mentor. Using her 6 PPC she shot two really good targets, a 50-5X and 50-4X. I shot next to her, and was impressed — she has composure and was very comfortable shooting a bench gun. If she stays with it, she could be a future force in Score Benchrest competition. — Jeff Stover, IBS President

Sunday, the targets and stationary backers were moved to the 200 meter butts. The weather started as Saturday had finished — light misty rain with some fog and 10 mph switchy wind. By mid-morning, however, the rain stopped and around lunchtime things brightened. After lunch the sun started to make more frequent appearances and the Orangeburg mirage returned. At the conclusion of the 200 meter stage only three of 65 shooters shot “clean” — i.e. a 250 score, with a 50 on every target.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Jim Cline aligning rifle. The multiple bolts are for his Light and Heavy VFS rifles and 6X Hunter Class rifle.

Mid-Carolina Rifle Club Extends the Red Carpet with Fine Food
All shooters were treated to a free grilled chicken and macaroni and cheese luncheon. In the evening, for a small charge, the Mid-Carolina club hosted a catered prime rib dinner. It was the “real deal” — premium beef carved to order. We had hoped for a pleasant Carolina evening instead of poor weather, but the great food made up for it.

At 200 meters, Brud Sheats lost none of his score-shooting mastery from Saturday. He won VFS 200 with a 250-5X. Ken Habadank followed with a Creedmoored 5X and Miles Gibby was 3rd with a 250-2X. The golden rule of score shooting is “stay clean”. That is, shoot a 50 on every target (five tens). The Xs are gravy, especially at 200. Anthony Isner shot a really nice 12 Xs in those conditions. But a wayward shot cost him a point on one target. A 250 beats a 249 despite the X counts. Having won both yardages Mr. Sheats won the 100-200 Grand aggregate with a 500-28X. Ken Habadank’s second place was six Xs behind. Miles Gibby, the only other 500 shooter, had 17 Xs to complete the podium.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

See Complete 2019 100m/200m IBS Score Nationals Match Results HERE on IBS Website.

So what about the 6-power-max optics rifles? Shooting a 6-power scope at 100 meters is tough enough. At 200, well, it is twice as difficult, especially in Sunday’s conditions. Anthony Isner’s 243-4X won the day followed by Maine’s Orland Bunker at 242-3X. In the 6X Grand Agg, Dewey Hancock took the title with a 491-16X, closely followed by Brian Fitch with a 490-16X.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
After Cease Fire is called, competitors show detached bolts to ensure safety.

Great Match — With Many Fine Shooters Returning to the Ranks
This was a fine, well-run match by any standard. I did not embarrass myself with a score rifle, so that was a plus! I made the trip to see “what’s what”, and was delighted to find a range full of enthusiastic and fun competitors. And these fellows really know how to shoot. I talked to several shooters who have come back to the sport after years, if not decades, of being away from benchrest. The PR efforts of Jim Cline, Ronnie Milford and other stalwarts in the region are beating the drum and many are answering the call.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
Score Benchrest rifles racked and ready for the next relay.

IBS meter 100 200 score nationals national championship benchrest South Carolina Mid-Carolina
30 BR ammo with timer, and bolt lube, on bench.

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October 24th, 2019

Massive Fire Destroys Pac-Nor Barreling Plant in Oregon


A fire consuming the Pac-Nor Barreling Oregon factory was the lead story for the Curry Coastal Pilot.

The Pac-Nor Barreling production center in Oregon burned to the ground yesterday morning, October 23rd. The 7000-square-foot barrel-making facility located near Brookings, Oregon, was destroyed in a massive fire that apparently started with an electrical fault. There were nine workers in the facility at the time the fire broke out. All exited the building safely.

Millions of dollars of production machinery and barrels were lost in the fire. The Pac-Nor facility is insured, but Pac-Nor owner Chris Dichter said he was not sure if the plant would be re-built: “Thirty-five years of my life went up in this fire. I am 66 years-old and I don’t know if I have the time left. It took my lifetime to find all the machinery in this plant.”

UPDATE 10/26/19: Our Forum members contacted Pac-Nor and learned that the Dichters plan to rebuild the facility: “I got an e-mail from Kathy Dichter and she said six months to a year to rebuild, hopefully. She also said you could follow their progress on Facebook. That’s great news for the shooting community.”

The building and machinery inside were worth between four and six million dollars, Dichter estimated. There is insurance, but it is not clear whether Pac-Nor will resume production in the future.

How did the fire start? Chris Dichter said there were sparks when an electical conduit for a lathe was removed from a wall socket. Then when power was shut off from the main breaker, there was a blast of flame from the wall, almost like an explosion. Dichter declared: “I’d never seen anything go like that. It blew up with smoke and fire. It sounded like a tree fell on the plant.”

READ Full Pac-Nor Fire Report in Curry Coastal Pilot »

We recommend you read this story — it provides the most information on how the fire started. Pac-Nor owner Chris Dichter is quoted extensively.

Pac-Nor Fire Update with 11 Photos (Curry Coastal Pilot) »

This story has the most complete collection of Pac-Nor fire photos.

Del Norte Triplicate Report with Pac-Nor Fire Photos »

Early report with six Pac-Nor Fire photos.

Pac-Nor Barreling Inc., founded in 1985, was a major producer of precision rifle barrels in North America. Pac-Nor offered a huge variety of barrel lengths and contours, and had a vast selection of reamers for chamberings from .17 to .50 caliber. Pac-Nor was also well-known for its popular pre-chambered, “pre-fit” barrels. These provided affordable accuracy upgrades for factory rifles. This Editor has a Pac-Nor 3-groove 6mmBR pre-fit barrel that proved superbly accurate. That barrel, and the Savage rifle to which it was fitted, helped inspire this website, which started as 6mmBR.com.

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October 24th, 2019

SAFETY NOTICE: Hodgdon Recalls ALL IMR 4007 SSC Powder

hodgdon imr 4007 ssc recall safety notice

PRODUCT SAFETY WARNING AND RECALL NOTICE FOR IMR 4007 SSC POWDER
Hodgdon and IMR are officially announcing a product safety warning and recall notice for IMR 4007 SSC smokeless powder. All lots of powder are included in the recall. IMR has received reports that this particular powder, sold in 1 pound and 8 pound containers, could become unstable due to possible rapid deterioration. Use of this product may result in combustion, fire damage and/or possible serious injury.

What to do if you have IMR 4007 SSC Powder

1. If you are in possession of IMR 4007 SSC, STOP USING THE PRODUCT IMMEDIATELY! Fill the powder container with water, which will render the product inert and safe for disposal.

2. Mail, email or fax a copy of the powder label with the lot number to the contact information below, and include your name, address, phone and email. Be sure to reference the IMR 4007 SSC recall.

EMAIL: help@imrpowder.com
CALL: 1-800-622-4366 or 913-362-9455
FAX: 913-362-1307
WRITE: Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc., 6430 Vista Drive. Shawnee, KS 66218

3. You may select a replacement IMR smokeless powder product of your choice, which will be shipped to you at no charge.

What to Do With Ammo Already Loaded with IMR 4007 SSC
If you have loaded the powder subject to this recall into ammunition, we recommend that you pull the bullets, remove the powder and wet the powder with water for safe disposal. IMR deeply regrets any inconvenience this may cause, but we believe in safety first.

Need More Recall Information?
You can get more information about this IMR 4007 SSC recall by emailing help@imrpowder.com. You can also call 1-800-622-4366 or 913-362-9455, or send a fax to 913-362-1307.

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October 24th, 2019

Tunnel Vision — Amazing Accuracy in Sierra’s Test Tunnel

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels
NOTE: There are ten (10) shots in the group, but for simplicity we are only displaying five (5) shot circles. Adding more circles won’t change the measurement because the two most distant shots, which determine group size, ARE included.

What kind of 200-yard accuracy can you get in an enclosed, underground test range? Would you believe 0.162 MOA at 200 yards with a .338? Have a look at these test targets from Sierra Bullets. Like most bullet manufacturers, Sierra does live-fire bullet testing to ensure that Sierra projectiles perform as promised, with repeatable accuracy. Sierra tests bullets in its own underground test complex. Sierra’s 300-meter test range is the longest, privately-owned underground bullet test facility in the Western Hemisphere.*

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels

Day in and day out, various bullet types are tested using a big collection of barreled actions. These barreled actions are clamped in stout, return-to-battery test fixtures. These big, heavy test fixtures provide near-perfect repeatability (with no human-induced holding or aiming errors).

Sierra Bullets 10-Shot Groups at 200 yards
Check out these 10-shot test groups shot at the Sierra Test Range at 200 yards. Note that the numbers listed on each sample are actual measurements in inches. To convert to MOA, cut those numbers in half (to be more precise, divide by 2.094, which is 1 MOA at 200 yards). For example, the 0.340″ middle group works out to 0.162 MOA at 200 yards.

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrelsScan-Verified 0.162 MOA Accuracy at 200 Yards
To verify the accuracy of Sierra’s measurements, we measured the middle (.338 caliber) 10-shot group with our On-Target Group Measurement software. We registered a group size reading of 0.339″ — within one-thousandth of the Sierra measurement. The calculated group size in MOA (Minute of Angle) is 0.162.

That’s amazingly good for ten rounds of big .338 caliber bullets. A FIVE-shot 0.162 MOA group at 200 would be considered excellent at any benchrest match. But remember this target has TEN shots. The current, one-target IBS world record for ten shots at 200 yards is 0.245″, set by Ed Watson in 1999.

Bevy of Barreled Actions for Bullet Testing
Sierra Bullets uses dozens of barreled actions for testing bullets in its enclosed, 200-yard test range. Each barrel has its own logbook to track the barrel’s usage.

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels
Click Photo to Zoom


*Even Longer Test Tunnels Exist in Europe: At Stadeln in Germany, RWS (now part of RUAG) owns a 500 meter tunnel (above ground level) which has existed for decades. In Thun, Switzerland, RUAG has a fully-instrumented 500 meter underground tunnel. Near Ulm, Germany, there is a 5-lane 300 meter underground shooting range that is open to the public.

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October 23rd, 2019

Bullet Pointing 101 — How to Point Match Bullet Tips

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Tech Tip by Doc Beech, Applied Ballistics Support Team
I am going to hit on some key points when it comes to bullet pointing. How much pointing and trimming needed is going to depend on the bullet itself. Specifically how bad the bullets are to begin with. Starting out with better-quality projectiles such as Bergers is going to mean two things. First that you don’t need to do as much correction to the meplat, but also that the improvement is going to be less. NOTE: We recommend you DO NOT POINT hunting bullets. Pointing can affect terminal performance in a bad way.

NOTE the change in the bullet tip shape and hollowpoint size after pointing:
Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Don’t Over-Point Your Bullets
What is important here is that you never want to over-point. It is far better to be safe, and under-point, rather than over-point and crush the tips even the slightest bit. To quote Bryan Litz exactly: “Best practice is to leave a tiny air gap in the tip so you’re sure not to compress the metal together which will result in crushing. Most of the gain in pointing is taking the bullet tip down to this point. Going a little further doesn’t show on target”. So in essence you are only bringing the tip down a small amount… and you want to make sure you leave an air gap at the tip.

Salazar Whidden Bullet Pointer system

Also keep in mind, bullet pointing is one of those procedures with variable returns. If you only shoot at 100-200 yards, bullet pointing will likely not benefit you. To see the benefits, which can run from 2 to 10% (possibly more with poorly designed bullets), you need be shooting at long range. Bryan says: “Typically, with pointing, you’ll see 3-4% increase in BC on average. If the nose is long and pointy (VLD shape) with a large meplat, that’s where pointing has the biggest effect; up to 8% or 10%. If the meplat is tight on a short tangent nose, the increase can be as small as 1 or 2%.” For example, If you point a Berger .308-caliber 185gr Juggernaut expect to only get a 2% increase in BC.

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Should You Trim after Pointing?
Sometimes you can see tiny imperfections after pointing, but to say you “need” to trim after pointing is to say that the small imperfections make a difference. Bryan Litz advises: “If your goal is to make bullets that fly uniformly at the highest levels, it may not be necessary to trim them.” In fact Bryan states: “I’ve never trimmed a bullet tip, before or after pointing”. So in the end it is up to you to decide.

Pointing is Easy with the Right Tools
The process of pointing in itself is very simple. It takes about as much effort to point bullets as it does to seat bullets. We are simply making the air gap on the tip of the bullet ever-so smaller. Don’t rush the job — go slow. Use smooth and steady pressure on the press when pointing bullets. You don’t want to trap air in the die and damage the bullet tip. You can use most any press, with a caliber-specific sleeve and correct die insert. The Whidden pointing die has a micrometer top so making adjustments is very easy.

Bryan Litz actually helped design the Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System, so you can order the Pointing Die and Inserts directly from Applied Ballistics. Just make sure that you pick up the correct caliber sleeve(s) and appropriate insert(s). As sold by Applied Ballistics, the Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System comes with the die, one tipping insert, and one caliber-specific sleeve. To see which insert(s) you need for your bullet type(s), click this link:

LINK: Whidden Gunworks Pointing Die Insert Selection Chart

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October 23rd, 2019

Hornady Offers Reloading App — Data $0.99 Per Cartridge Type

Hornady reloading handbook cartridge Mobile App Android IOS

The Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading is now available in Mobile App form. Hornady has released FREE Mobile Apps for Android and iOS (Apple) Mobile Devices. You get a lot of information for free. However, most of the actual load data is surcharged. You can buy all current load data for $19.99, or use the “à la carte” option to purchase load data for 99 cents each per cartridge type.

For example, if you wanted .223 Rem, .284 Win, .308 Win, you’d pay $2.97 (3 x $0.99). Frankly, we’d just use the FREE information available from the Hodgdon and Vihtavuori online Reloading Centers. But we understand some folks will prefer the convenience of an App with a wide variety of powder brands all in one place. Hornady’s full data collection covers hundreds of cartridges — .17 Hornet to 50 BMG (for rifle) and .22 Hornet to .500 S&W (for pistol). Folks say the App is easy to navigate and simple to use. For more information, visit Hornady.com/reloadingapp.


Download Hornady Android App | Download Hornady iOS App

What you get for free — Included with the FREE APP are hundreds of pages of reloading information including rifle and handgun bullet guides, the basics of reloading, tips and techniques plus limited free data on newer cartridge releases such as .224 Valkyrie, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 300 PRC and more.

Hornady reloading handbook cartridge Mobile App Android IOS

The App features over 200 cartridge types with a variety of loads using Hornady bullets, including A-Tip Match, ELD Match and ELD-X. Velocity and powder charts are included with each cartridge for easy reference. The database includes popular established powders plus new powders such as Power Pro 2000 MR, IMR 4451 and 7977, CFE Pistol, BE-86, Reloder 23, 26, 33 and 50, Accurate LT-30 and 32. Popular powders such as Reloder 17, Superformance, and LeverEvolution® have also been expanded.

Included with the free download are hundreds of pages of reloading information, bullet guides, tips and techniques plus limited free data on recent offerings such as 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and 300 PRC. Beyond that, reloaders must pay for load data on particular cartridges. Reloading data is available for download in three ways: Á la carte ($0.99 per cartridge type), Full Data Purchase for App ($19.99), or Annual Subscription ($19.99/year recurring).

Subscription Option — If you pay $19.99 per year you get full access to Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading 10th Edition data, plus new data developed for the 11th Edition, plus automatic updates. Subscribers will also get a printed edition of the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading (11th Edition) when it is released in the fall of 2020.

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October 22nd, 2019

21st Century Hydro Press and Arbor Press Review with Videos

21st Century Shooting Hydro Press Hydraulic Arbor Press bullet seating

Hydro Press and Arbor Press from 21st Century Shooting

Gear Review by F-Class John
Inline dies, used with arbor presses, continue to dominate the world of precision reloading. While arbor presses have remained mostly unchanged, 21st Century Shooting offers the Hydro Bullet Seating Press, a radical departure from your average arbor press. If you are looking for improved “feel” and feedback on bullet seating pressure, you should definitely check out the Hydro Press. This design has been around for a while now but has remained unchallenged since its inception. The 21st Century Hydro Press still remains a category leader (and the choice of many top competitors) for good reason.

Arbor presses have traditionally worked by using a gear-driven ram operated with a rotating handle. This allows for a compact design but often lacks the tactile feel and smooth operation that many reloaders want. The 21st Century Hydro Bullet Seater works by using simple mechanical leverage coupled with a hydraulic pressure gauge to seat bullets in a smooth motion all while helping you keep track of seating pressures.

21st Century Shooting Hydro Press Hydraulic Arbor Press bullet seating

Editor: Many top shooters believe they can seat bullets with greater precision using the 21st Century Hydro Press. I personally get more consistent seating, which seems to improve accuracy and even help a bit with lowering ES. The Hydro Press gives you excellent feedback when seating bullets. That has helped me detect a case with too much neck tension, or a case that may have doughnut issues. When the gauge does something odd or spikes, you are alerted to a possible issue.

In this video, John Perkins of 21st Century Shooting Shows how the Hydro Seater functions.

You might be asking why or how simple a simple mechanical lever gives you an advantage over gear driven systems and the answer is simple, leverage. The Hydro Seater is equipped with a long arm that comes straight up and out from the front and uses a set of hinges that connect to the ram. This elongated arm provides lots of leverage allowing easy force modulation. This smoothly applies pressure to the seating die in one fluid motion. This transfer of power helps seat bullets smoothly in even the tightest of necks without any jerky or stuttering movements.

Working at the same time is a hydraulic pressure gauge using internal oil. I found this gauge was incredibly sensitive, accurate, and repeatable compared to spring-driven gauges. The Hydro gauge read-out really gives the user the chance to sort ammo by seating pressure should they choose. In my particular case I only use it to cull out noticeably high or low ones as “blow off” rounds and am perfectly happy if the rest fall within a given pressure range. The nice thing is that the press allows you to be as picky as you want.

21st Century Shooting Hydro Press Hydraulic Arbor Press bullet seatingCompact 21st Century Standard Arbor Press
Not to be outdone by its big brother, 21st Century offers a Standard Arbor Press as well, in both right-hand and left-hand versions. Affordably priced at $108.99, this small arbor press in made to the same exacting standards as the Hydro Seater and has some nice features of its own compared to other small arbors.

The large, knurled adjustment knob is one of my favorite features. It tightens securely, yet it allows for easy raising or lowering of the head unit without the need for hex wrenches. 21st Century’s basic arbor press also has a slightly canted lever arm which allows the user to apply pressure more easily and consistently compared to some other arbor presses. While this press is small enough to fit many range bags, it can be disassembled quickly with a single Allen wrench.

While I own the 21st Century Hydro Press for use at home, the Standard Arbor Press goes with me to out-of-town events, so I can adjust bullet seating depth at the match. I love using it for this purpose since the little press is so easy to transport, and then set up and use on the road. The seating action is smooth, and there is plenty of leverage.

Seating my bullets long before I travel gives me the ability to set them to adjust for any throat erosion that may occur. This also ensures my bullets are seated correctly, by eliminating any potential bullet weld or problems from the bullets accidentally bouncing in your luggage. I like the confidence of knowing that my bullets are properly seated before a big match, especially when it has been days or weeks since I loaded them.

SUMMARY — 21st Century Makes Great Bullet Seating Presses

Whether you need a premium bullet-seating Press such as the Hydro Bullet Seater or a basic, easy-to-transport Arbor Press, 21st Century Shooting has a excellent option for you. The Hydro Press offers outstanding bullet seating “feel” and consistency, with an ultra-smooth operation. The basic Arbor Press is well-made, compact, and also yields excellent results. Both these presses are built for a lifetime of use, using high-quality materials.

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October 22nd, 2019

Range Day Checklist — What To Bring, and How to Organize Gear

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

Before your head to the range for some late-season practice, run through a checklist so you won’t forget essential items. Springfield Armory, maker of the M1A series of rifles and many popular handguns, has published a thorough Range Day Checklist. While this is oriented more for pistol shooters, many suggestions will help rifle shooters as well.

Packing the essentials, a few extras and having a plan will help you make the most of your day at the range. Here are highlights from Springfield Armory’s Range Day Checklist. Read the full article for more details including a flow-chart showing target options.

READ FULL Article on Springfield Armory BLOG HERE »

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

RANGE BAG — What to Pack

You need a range bag that works for you and all of your equipment. We suggest getting one with several compartments to keep your range items organized. Some shooters prefer one large bag, many like the new backpack style, still others want multiple smaller bags – either way, you will need plenty of room.

Before you head to the range, pack your Range Bag(s) with these basic requirements:

Hearing Protection
Make sure you have ear protection. You may want to also throw in a spare set in case you misplace one, or a friend needs to borrow a pair. Basic ear plugs or earmuffs do the job, but high-quality electronic headsets are a worthwhile investment for both safety and convenience. They amplify voices (safe noise levels), compress harmful noise levels – and you don’t have to remove your earmuffs to hear someone speak. Backup batteries are a must with electronic headsets.

Eye Protection (Ballistic Glasses)
Quality eye protection is another must-have, but it doesn’t have to be fancy (or expensive). Your eyewear should however be performance rated by ANSI Z87.1. This standard protects your eyes from high velocity and high mass impact. Grab a pair of safety glasses you’d wear in the shop, or you can opt for something more stylish from Oakley or ESS.

Magazines & Mag Loader
You can’t shoot if you forget your magazines. Many shooting bags have specific compartments that hold mags individually. Also… always number your magazines. This helps to identify and separate any magazines that are not properly functioning or need to be cleaned. It’s also nice to have a magazine loader. They’re inexpensive and easy on the thumbs. Our SME’s favorite manufacturer is MagLULA.

Cleaning & Tool Kit
Toss in a portable cleaning kit designed for your firearm, along with any other maintenance tools you might find handy. You don’t need anything elaborate — just enough to make sure your gun and magazines stays in good working condition.

Cleaning Cloth(s)
Cleaning solution
Screw driver
Bore snake or barrel brush
Gun-specific take down tool
Gun oil

Allen wrenches
Flashlight
Pocket knife
Squib rod
Hand sanitizer or better yet D-Lead wipes
Miscellaneous Items

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

AMMO & AMMO CAN
An ammo can is good to have — either the new, polymer-style varieties or military surplus steel cans. You will also need a container for your spent brass. Any sort of receptacle with a lid works, from an empty cardboard box or military steel can, to a 5-gallon bucket. One of my favorites is old freezer storage bags.

BE PREPARED — First Aid Kit
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. A small first aid and trauma kit should be a part of everyone’s range bag. Hopefully you will never need the plastic gloves and quick clotting agent, but sterile wipes and bandaids are more likely to occasionally come in handy. Also, don’t forget the sun protection: Sunscreen, Hat, lip blam, and of course plenty of water for Hydration.

PRACTICE LOG
Practice makes perfect … so keep a practice log. Keeping a log is beneficial, as you can revisit old drills to continually re-test your skill level and compare results. If you’re old school, a physical paper training book / log works fine. Put it in your range bag. More of a smart phone junkie? Try the RangeLog app.

MAKE YOUR MARK — Put Your Name on Your Gear
It’s also not a bad idea to put your name on your gear. It greatly increases your chance of getting misplaced items back. A lot of equipment looks alike; shooting bags, earmuffs, magazines, etc. I’m betting I’m not the only one who has come home from the range without my earmuffs [more than once].

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

» READ Rob Leatham 1911 Pistol Tips (Great Article!)

Here are some tips on shooting a 1911 pistol from handgun ace Rob Leatham: Not sure how best to zero your new 1911? Who better to learn from than Team Springfield’s championship shooter Rob Leatham.

Springfield Armory shooting tips

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October 22nd, 2019

Hot Ticket for NRL22 — CZ 457 or CZ 455 in MDT ACC Chassis

NRL22 MDT chassis CZ 527

We love the NRL22 rimfire tactical series. When you consider the amount of fun you experience per dollar expended, NRL22 .22LR rimfire competition is hard to beat. You enjoy the challenge of PRS-type shooting at reduced distances, and much reduced cost. In the NRL22 series you can be completely competitive with .22 LR ammo costing 15 cents a round. That’s a fraction of what you’d spend making your own centerfire handloads, or buying match-grade, factory-loaded centerfire ammo.

NRL22 MDT chassis CZ 527

There’s a new option for NRL22 competitors competing in the Open Class. Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) now offers its ACC Chassis for the popular CZ 457 series of rimfire rifles. There are nine different CZ 457 variants currently offered. You can get the CZ 457 Training Rifle for around $400 (MSRP is $449.00). Simply install your CZ 457 barreled action in the MDT ACC chassis and you’re got a high-quality rimfire system with ergonomics that duplicate a full-size centerfire ring. NOTE: MDT also offers an ACC chassis that fits the CZ 455 series, predecessor to the CZ 457. The ACC CZ 457/455 chassis systems cost $999.00 — too expensive we think, but then quality ain’t cheap. Purchase from MDTTAC.com.

NRL22 MDT chassis CZ 527

MDT ACC Chassis System (Shown with Centerfire Actions)

MDT Tactical ACC adjustable core chassis PRS rifle system

The MDT ACC (Adjustable Core Competition) Chassis was designed around an integrated, modular weight system that allows shooters to fine tune chassis weight and balance point. A series of weights (up to 9 lbs. of steel) can be added to either the buttstock, interior fore-end or exterior fore-end. With action, barrel, scope and accessories, shooters can configure their rifles upwards of 25-30 lbs. in the ACC. Other features include: full 17” ARCA/RRS fore-end, flared mag well, extended barricade stop, widened thumb shelf, and adjustable cheek riser/length of pull.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical 1 Comment »
October 21st, 2019

Bargain Finder 213: 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 Sunday afternoon or 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. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Great Gun Sale (100 guns on sale)

great gun sale

If you’re in the market for a new handgun, rifle, or shotgun, then head over to the Sportsman’s Warehouse Great Gun Sale. There are 100 different firearms on sale — hunting rifles, shotguns, defensive pistols — you name it. There are so many options, we decided to link the full sale page, so you can pick your own favorites from 100 different gun options.

2. EuroOptic.com — Vortex Scope Clearance Sale, Save Hundreds

Vortex Optics Viper Razor Scope discount sale

Vortex scopes have become very popular for good reason. Vortex scopes deliver great performance for the price and Vortex offers a rock-solid lifetime warranty. Right now at EuroOptic.com you can save hundreds on Vortex Viper, Razor, and Strike Eagle riflescopes. Six of the deals are shown above, but there are more options on EuroOptic’s Vortex Close-Out Sale Page.

3. Grafs.com — Berger .22-Cal 85.5 gr Bullets, $37.99

berger bullets

Did you read our recent article on the new Meplat Reduction Technology (MRT) that Berger is incorporating into their bullets and couldn’t wait to grab some? Grafs.com now has the 85.5 gr 22-caliber (.224) bullets in stock. This high-BC .22 caliber bullet could potentially be a game-change for F-TR and Palma shooters. The BC is very consistent and initial testing has shown great accuracy potential.

4. Gander Outdoors — .308 Win Ruger Precision Rifle, $799.82

ruger precision

The Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) is hard to beat for the price among entry-level chassis rifles. And here is one of the best prices for an RPR that we’ve ever seen. If you’re in the market for an RPR, grab this .308 Win RPR for a just $799.82. If you’re looking for a 6mm version, check out this Ruger Precision Rifle in 6mm Creedmoor for $1071.99.

5. Bruno’s — RCBS ChargeMaster Combo, $259.95

chargemaster rcbs

Newer, App-controlled powder scale/dispensers have recently entered the marketplace, but the original RCBS ChargeMaster Combo Powder Dispenser continues to be a reliable workhorse preferred by many dedicated hand-loaders. Grab one of these ChargeMaster Combos for just $259.95 at Bruno’s. That’s a steal — other vendors are charging $348.00 or more! This ChargeMaster will provide years of reliable service. We do recommend using the check weights before each loading session to calibrate the scale.

6. Bruno’s — Flavio Fare Triggers Now in Stock

flavio fare trigger

If you’re looking for a trigger that is amazingly crisp and has the lightest, most reliable trigger pull on the market, then check out Flavio Fare Triggers. These triggers are used by some of the top shooters in the country. If you looking for a competitive advantage, grab one and see what the hype is about.

7. Amazon — BOG-POD Field Bi-Pod, $38.68

field bipod

If you’re looking for a versatile, stable and easy-to-carry field support, check out the latest BOG-POD Camo Bipod. Featuring adjustable legs with a 40-degree max angle, the BOG-POD Bipod can be used while sitting, standing, or kneeling. This kid of support is highly recommended for shooting on hills where a conventional bipod doesn’t offer enough elevation. Watch the video below to see the BOG-POD in action.

8. Amazon — Scent Safe Travel Bag, $26.81

scent safe travel bag

Here’s a valuable product for hunters. This Scent-Safe product helps mask odors that give away your location to your prey. Store your gear in the Hunter Specialties Scent Safe Travel Bag to help ensure a successful hunt. As one reviewer said, “I use these to store my bow hunting clothes during and between seasons, after washing with them scent control soap, to keep outside scents away. I add a few earth scented wafers to the inner pockets which does a good job adding a cover scent. Take the whole bag with me on hunts and just remove what I need for each hunt. What I don’t use stays in the bag and scent free for the next hunt.”

9. CHL Targets — Official Competition Targets and Fun Targets

CHL Targets

Finding quality competition targets (at a good price) can be challenging if you don’t need 300 at a time. CHL Targets has a very complete selection of targets at great prices. CHL sells official NRA, IBS, and NBRSA match targets. In addition, CHL Targets offers splatter-type reactive targets. All competition, sight-in, and fun targets are sold at very competitive prices. Quantity discounts are offered for ranges and clubs.

10. Midsouth Shooters — 17 HMR V-Max 500 Round Brick, $89.99

17 hmr ammo

Here’s a great deal for varmint shooters with 17 HMR rifles. Midsouth has the Hornady 17 HMR brick of 500 for a low price of $89.99. That works out to just 18 cents per round — cheap enough that you can blast sage rats all days long and never worry about running out of ammo.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics No Comments »