June 30th, 2020

Berger 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Shoots Great in PRS Rifle

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Is factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition good enough to win a PRS or NRL competition? The answer is a resounding “YES” if we’re talking about Berger ammunition. Produced with Berger match bullets and premium Lapua brass, this Berger 6.5 ammunition demonstrated excellent accuracy, impressive velocity, and very good ES/SD numbers. When tested at 1000 yards with an MPA-stocked PRS rig with Rem 700 action, this ammo showed just half-MOA of vertical, and produced a group that would have been a 50-1X in F-Class competition. That’s quite impressive for a PRS rig.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

This ammo test was performed by our friend Erik Cortina from Texas. Erik is a top F-Class competitor who also shoots tactical matches (for fun and glory). Erik recently built a new 6.5 Creedmoor with a Remington 700 action. Though this rifle sports a top-shelf MPA chassis and premium Kahles scope, Erik calls this his “budget build” because it has a plain Rem 700 factory action rather than the elite Borden actions he normally runs. Erik’s actions of choice are the Borden Mountaineer for PRS and Borden BRM-XD for F-Class.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Erik posted: “Shot my budget 6.5 Creedmoor today with Berger Bullets factory ammo. I shot five rounds over the chrono to get speed. I used BC info from the box and it all lined up properly. I adjusted my ECTuner to tune load and it took just 15 shots to get it shooting well. It’s simple with good components.”

This Berger factory ammo features Berger 130gr Hybrid OTM Tactical bullets. The Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cases have a large rifle primer. You can see this ammo displays good velocity with Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation rivaling good hand-loads.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brassCortina says the very accurate Brux barrel and razor-sharp 6-24x56mm Kahles scope help achieve this kind of outstanding performance at 1000 yards. Here are the key components for Erik’s latest PRS rig:

Masterpiece Arms BA Competition Chassis
Brux Heavy Varmint 26-inch, 1:8″-twist barrel
Remington 700 Action (custom bolt knob)
ECTuner (by Erik Cortina)
Kahles 6-24x56mm MIL Scope
MPA 1-piece 30mm Scope Mount

Barrel Tuner by Erik Cortina — Fits Behind Muzzle Brake
This rifle features a barrel tuner designed and crafted by Erik Cortina. You can the ECTuner alone, or, as you can see, the ECTuner can be fitted BEHIND a muzzle brake. Erik tells us: “The ECTuner allowed me to tune the barrel to my ammo rather than tuning the ammo for barrel as is done when reloading. With the tuner, there is no need to try different brands of ammo as they can all be tuned to shoot as good as possible in my rifle.”

MPA Chassis Configuration Guide
Erik’s “budget” PRS rifle employs a MasterPiece Arms (MPA) BA Competition Chassis with Rapid Adjustment Technology (RAT). This MPA Arms Video shows how to set up an MPA Chassis to suit the owner:

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Tactical 2 Comments »
June 30th, 2020

Design Your Own Custom Targets with Target Generator

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

Are you a do-it-yourself kind of guy with a creative eye? Then you’ll love the FREE Target Generator from the folks at ShooterShed.com. This free, interactive webpage allows you to design a variety of fun targets, including grids, benchrest-type Score Shooting targets, sight-in targets, and even playing card targets. Choose the paper size and orientation (vertical or horizontal), then select the number of target elements on the page. For example, you could have four (4) bulls or 52 playing cards. You can include a grid on the target, or tell the program to include load information blocks. For bullseye targets, you can control the number, color, and spacing (diameter) of the rings. LINK to TARGET GENERATOR.

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

The program provides a preview of each target you generate. If you like a particular design, save the file, and then print as many targets as you want. Check it out, this program is fun and handy to use. Here are four (4) targets your Editor created just for this article. With a bit of practice, you can be generating your own custom targets in minutes. Have fun.

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest
Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

About the Creator of the Target Generator
The Target Generator program was created by Rod Brown of Sheridan, Wyoming. Rod tells us: “I build custom rifles and coach shooters. I’ve got a 100-yard range out my back door. I shoot short- and long-range benchrest competitively around the country. I’m a full-time software development consultant and an FFL holder. When I’m not developing custom software for my clients, I’m usually fiddling in the shop, building a custom benchrest rifle, traveling to a match, chambering a barrel, or reloading some ammunition.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
June 30th, 2020

Watch Reloading Videos from Hodgdon Powder Company

Hodgdon Reloading Center Video

Hodgdon Reloading Center VideoHodgdon Powder Company (Hodgdon) offers a series of professionally-produced, “how-to” instructional videos through its online Reloading Data Center. These 3.5-minute videos present rifle, pistol, and shotshell reloading basics in an easy-to-understand,step-by-step format. These mobile-friendly, informative videos can also be viewed on a smart phone or tablet.

To watch the reloading videos go to the Reloading Data Center at hodgdon.com. Click to the right/left of the displayed video to switch between pistol, rifle, and shotgun videos. Or, for your convenience, we have embedded the Rifle and Pistol videos here. Just click to watch!

Click to Watch Hodgdon Rifle Reloading Video:

Click to Watch Hodgdon Pistol Reloading Video:

In addition to these videos, Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center (RDC) provides a wealth of information on Hodgdon®, IMR®, and Winchester® propellants. Along with reliable load data, you’ll find explanations of reloading basics, safety procedures, plus answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).

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June 29th, 2020

Bargain Finder 249: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

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. Palmetto Armory — Savage A17 .17 HMR American Flag Model

savage american flag start stripes a17 .17 hmr varmint rifle

Stars & Stripes Stock, Reliable Delayed Blowback Action, 10-Round Mags

The 4th of July is just five days away. What better way to celebrate the nation’s birthday (and your Second Amendment freedoms) than with a new rifle sporting the Stars and Stripes. With its handsome American Flag-theme stock, this semi-auto Savage A17 features a 22″ barrel chambered for the .17 HMR rimfire round (10-rd magazine). We’ve used A17s and they are fun and surprisingly accurate. This American Flag model A17 is $440.98 at Palmetto State Armory.

2. Grafs.com — Free Reloading Scale with $75 Sierra Purchase

sierra bullets ammo free frankford arsenal digital scale ds-750

FREE Scale — Great for Loading at Range or Weight-Sorting Components

Even if you have a high-end force restoration scale and/or a electronic powder dispenser, it’s great to have a compact digital scale for weight-sorting components and loading at the range. Right now Graf’s will give you a FREE Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Digital scale with a modest Sierra purchase. Buy at least $75.00 worth of Sierra bullets (all types) or Sierra loaded ammo and you get the DS-750 scale for free.

3. Palmetto Armory — Buck Mark Camper UFX Pistol, $299.99

browning buckmark .22 LR pistol Camper UFX

Very Accurate, Legendary Reliability, Great Ergonomics

The Browning Buck Mark is a classic, and for good reason. These pistols are reliable, well-balanced, have a good trigger, and they are very accurate. And now you can get one for under $300.00. Palmetto State Armory has the Browning Buck Mark Camper UFX with 5.5″ Barrel on sale for $299.99, discounted from $340.89. This Buck Mark Camper UFX is a great .22 LR pistol, at a very attractive price.

4. Amazon — Kestrel 3000 Pocket Wind Meter, $149.00

Kestrel 3000 Wind Meter Sale Amazon

Read Wind Speed and Direction, Peak Gust, Temp, Humidity, and More

Very popular with Amazon buyers, the impressive Kestrel 3000 enjoys 86% 5-Star Ratings. This versatile Weather Meter records wind speed, wind gust, average wind speed, temperature, humidity, dew point and more. Every precision shooter should have a wind meter, and this is an affordable entry-level unit. NOTE: This Kestrel 3000 does NOT include built-in Applied Ballistics software (to get that feature you’ll have to pay $599.00 for a Kestrel 5700). No worries — you can run a separate mobile App on your phone, such as Ballistic, which uses the JBM Ballistics engine and costs just $12.99.

5. Natchez — Hornady Lock-N-Load Headspace Gauge, $33.49

hornady headspace gauge

Gauge Tool plus 5 Bushings, Essential for Precision Hand-loading

Are you checking your headspace to ensure you’re pushing your shoulders back the correct amount? If you’re not using a tool like the Hornady Headspace Gauge with 5 bushings then you are just guessing and you’ll never know for sure. Using one of these headspace gauges is one of the best ways to control your full-length sizing and thereby improve the consistency of your handloads.

6. Amazon — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $29.99

Shooting Mat

85% 5-Star Buyer Reviews, Easy Rolled-Up Transport, Decent Padding

Here’s a very good mat for just $29.99. This NcStar Vism shooting mat boast decent padding, and reinforced areas for elbows and knees. Full dimensions are: 69″ Long x 35″ Wide. This mat has straps for pre-loading your bipod. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up into a compact 19.50″ W x 8.50″ H package — the size of a sleeping bag. You can pay twice as much for a shooting mat and not get much more quality. This mat has earned 85% Five-Star buyer ratings on Amazon.

7. MidwayUSA — Dual Steel Gong System with Frame, $71.99

Viking Solutions Crossbar steel gong dual AR500

Twin AR500 Steel Gongs, Easy Set-Up and Take-Down

Who doesn’t like shooting steel? The “clang” of hitting a steel target at long range provides instant gratification. This patented Viking Solutions Gong Target System features two 3/8″-thick, AR500 Steel Gongs (8″ and 10″) suspended by chains. The support frame consists of 2 leg stands and 2 crossbar sections. Assembled, the crossbar is 32″ above ground level. Right now this unit is on sale for $71.99 — 20% off the regular price.

8. Amazon — Long Range Shooting Handbook, $19.85

“Long

Most Popular Practical LR Training Book, Respected Author

Ryan Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook is the best-selling modern book on practical rifle skills. Ryan Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook is designed as an intro to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper. You can view Sample Chapters on Amazon.com.

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

9. CDNN — 51-Piece Driver Set (Flat, Phillips, Hex, Torx) — $8.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Outers Screwdriver 51-piece set torx phillips allen driver

Everyone Can Use This — Four Driver types (51 pieces) at Great Price

This Outers-brand, 51-piece set contains all the drivers you could ever need: Flat-head, Phillips, Hex (Allen), and Torx. Priced under ten bucks, this driver set offers great value for the money. Even if you already own high-quality Allen and Torx wrenches, you can buy this as a spare set for your gun room. And this also makes a great holiday “stocking stuffer” for gun guys. These drivers work great for installing scope rings or bases, or everyday use around the home.

• Molded Driver with Magnetic Tip
• 15 Flat Head Bits
• 10 Hex Bits (inch)
• 9 Hex Bits (metric)
• 4 Phillips Bits
• 9 Torx Bits
• 2 Extra Long Phillips Bits
• 1 Hex to Square Adapter

10. Amazon — Howard Leight MAX Earplugs, $8.60/50 Pairs

accurateshooter.com review Max-1 Howard Leight ear plugs

20 Pairs
50 Pairs

Best NRR (33 dB), Very Comfortable, Great Value

These Howard Leight NRR 33 Max Plugs are your Editor’s favorite foam earplugs. Between shooting, motorcycling, and mowing lawns, I probably have Max plugs in my ears 2-3 days a week. This is a very good price for a bulk pack of 50 pairs. NRR 33 is the best Noise Reduction Rating you’ll find for plugs alone. And if you act soon, you can get free shipping to boot.

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June 29th, 2020

PRS Starts New Rimfire Series to Compete with NRL22

PRS rimfire series

Way back in 2008 we shot rimfire tactical events in California. These 22 LR Tactical Precision Matches were fun, with affordable rifles and low-cost ammo. And since you don’t have to spend long hours loading ammo, rimfire tactical matches are also great for people with limited free time. You experience the fun of shooting tactical comps with much lower cost and WAY less prep time.

rimfire tactical

Over the past few seasons, NRL22 competitions have become popular nationwide. Now the leaders of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) are planning to join the rimfire tactical game. Earlier this month, PRS organizers announced that the PRS will launch a new PRS Rimfire Series for 2020-2021:

The 2020-2021 PRS Rimfire Series is Launching Soon!
The PRS has been inundated with requests to put the PRS engine, national infrastructure, and outstanding partnerships behind the launch of a brand new PRS Rimfire Series for the 2020 and 2021 season. Over the last few months match directors, regional directors, our shooters, and PRS industry partners have communicated loud and clear that you want a Rimfire Series done the PRS way — and done right.

The Ruger Precision Rimfire should be a popular Factory Class option for PRS Rimfire

Rimfire tactical shooting offers outstanding “bang for the buck” compared to centerfire PRS. Rifles cost less, and .22 LR ammo costs a fraction of centerfire rounds. You don’t have to spend hours hand-loading your ammo. Travel time is reduced because you only need a range with targets out to 200 yards or so.

John Parker, Editor of Shooting Sports USA, explains the appeal of a rimfire PRS series: “PRS … has evolved into a top-tier shooting league, complete with a slick website and leaderboard rankings with data gathered from regional matches held across the country. The group plans to take the same approach with the proposed rimfire series[.] By throwing its hat into precision rimfire competition, PRS joins established .22 LR long-range games like the Lapua Practical Rimfire Challenge and NRL22[.]”

PRS Rimfire Series
With ergonomics identical to a full-size centerfire fire, the .22 LR Bergara B-14 could become a popular choice for the future PRS Rimfire series. Photo by UltimateReloader.com.

PRS Seeks Input from Match Directors and Competitors
The PRS leadership is excited about its new national rimfire series: “Match Directors, shooters, and our partners appreciate that nothing that comes close to the PRS national level organization, leadership, experience and unrivaled website capabilities. Our series score tracking capabilities from the individual club level to the national level are simply unmatched.

We know that the rimfire community is primarily at your local club level and we have ensured that clubs will be able to provide their shooters with a PRS series that is easy to be a part of and provides loads of PRS benefits. Every PRS Rimfire club will have [its] own club page on our website that automatically calculates and tracks internal club rimfire series scores using the same simple upload system you have all come to love. Scores from each Rimfire Club will populate the corresponding Regional PRS Rimfire Series, modeled after the booming PRS Regional Series. Rimfire shooters will compete for standings at their local club level and also within their region… all rimfire shooters will receive a PRS Rimfire profile that tracks all of their scores, highlights their equipment, and celebrates their achievements.

Over the next few weeks, we will be gathering more of your input. We are forming a PRS Rimfire Committee composed of shooters, industry partners, and match directors. If you are a shooter, sponsor, or MD and would like to be a part of this conversation, email info@precisionrifleseries.com.”

PRS rimfire league NRL22 tactical .22 LR

PRS Rimfire Preview — .22 LR Long Range Precision Match in Minnesota
Want a preview of PRS Rimfire competition? In this video, Dave Timm of GunsandTactics.com shoots a Vudoo V-22 bolt gun in the Minnesota .22 LR Long Range Precision Rimfire Match at the Rush Lake Range. This PRS-style match had targets out to 300 yards during the main match, followed by a long range challenge out to 465 yards. Dave’s Vudoo Gunworks V-22 rifle features a Grayboe Ridgeback stock and Trijicon Accupower 4.5-30x56mm FFP scope. Dave was shooting Lapua Center-X .22 LR ammunition.

READ MORE about Vudoo Gunworks V-22 Rifle HERE »

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical No Comments »
June 29th, 2020

Shocking Stuff — Pistol Competitor Nearly Kills Range Worker

RSO Range Safety violation

Here is a video every shooter should watch. It reminds us that our sport demands 100% attention. Lose track of individuals down-range and the results could be tragic. This video will give you chills (starting at about the 0:25 mark). We need to remember to follow all the firearms safety rules, and apply them all the time. At the range, all it takes is one brief moment of inattention to create a life-threatening situation. Never assume the downrange area is safe. Use your own eyes and ears.

This video shows a competitor shooting a stage at an action pistol match. He starts when instructed by the Range Safety Officer (RSO). But unbeknownst to both RS0 and competitor, a volunteer is downrange working on targets. Watch carefully. At 0:27 the shooter sweeps left to right, engaging a paper silhouette target to his right. Then, at 0:30, as he begins a mag change, his head turns downrange. A few yards away is a white-shirted range worker! The shooter yells “Hey what’s going on?!”

What’s going on indeed… The RSO should have ensured that nobody was downrange before the shooter even stepped up to the firing line. If other competitors standing to the side had been alert, they might have seen the worker changing targets and called for a halt. And the target-worker himself — even if he was wearing earmuffs, he should have noticed that live fire had commenced just yards away…

We also have to wonder about the stage design. This set-up made it very difficult to see downrange. The white panels (see 0:10-0:20) definitely hid the target worker from view. In hindsight, given the way the stage was laid out, this was truly an “accident waiting to happen”. It’s fortunate that no one got injured in this incident. But this chilling video provides a lesson to all shooters — “Safety First”.

How could this “near-fatality” have been averted? Post your comments below.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Handguns, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
June 28th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Trio of Tack-Driving Thumbhole Varmint Rifles

gunday sunday varmint rifles Richard Franklin Custom rifles virginia thumbhole

Mr. Smith’s Tack-Driving Thumbhole Trio
What is it they say? “Can’t have too much of a good thing?” We’ll in the case of Sam Smith of Wisconsin, that goes for beautiful wood-stocked thumbhole rifles that shoot like the blazes. This week we feature a troika of thumbholes, all smithed and stocked by Richard Franklin of Richard’s Custom Rifles (Richard is now retired but still offers DVDs). Not content with a single caliber or twist, Sam commissioned three different chamberings and barrel twist rates.

First, in Fiddleback Walnut — a 6PPC Walking Varminter
thumbhole varmint rigThe most elegant of the three thumbholes is this handsome .261″-neck 6PPC. The blue-printed Rem 700 action is pillar-bedded in a highly-figured stock of laminated Curley Fiddleback Walnut, in Richard’s #004 pattern. Richard uses three sections of wood bonded together so the outside looks like a single piece of Walnut.

The lead photo at top, and the image at right show more details of this rifle. The grain really takes on a rich color in sunlight, with the Tiger-stripe figure showing brilliantly through the clearcoat. Believe it or not, Sam doesn’t even consider this one of his best-looking rifles. Sam tells us, “these three thumbhole stocks are not even close to the prettiest guns Richard has built for me–you should see the Maple ones he did for me–they are unbelievable.”

Sam tells us the gun’s 1:14″-twist Krieger barrel is a hummer — it regularly shoots one-holers at 100 yards. Sam has even logged some groups in the Zeros with the gun–awesome accuracy for a varmint rifle/Sam tells us that, using VV N133 and 58gr V-max bullets, this gun is absolutely deadly on prairie dogs out to 500 yards. (SEE: One-hole Sample Target.)

Rifle #2 — Cherry and Walnut Together in a 6mm Rem Improved

gunday sunday varmint rifles Richard Franklin Custom rifles virginia thumbhole

When more knock-down power or more distant targets are in order, Sam pulls out his 6mm Rem Improved 1:12″-twist thumbhole Varminter. Like the other two guns, this features a pillar-bedded Remington 700 action and Krieger barrel. While the 6mm AI’s #004 stock shares the same shape and form as the 6PPC above, it is much more colorful, employing a seven-layer laminate in Cherry and Walnut, covered with multiple coats of automotive clear-coat. One of Sam’s favorite varminters, this rifle sees more range use than his 6PPC because “the PPC is so accurate I want to keep the round count down.” That’s not to say the 6mm Improved is any slouch in the accuracy department. Using VV N160 and 75gr V-max bullets, the gun averages in the 2s and 3s. The best group to date was .189″ with the 87gr V-Max (See V-Max Target below). Chalk that up to another superbly accurate Krieger barrel combined with outstanding chambering work by Richard.

6mm Rem Improved with 87gr V-Max at 100 Yards
6mm Rem improved target

Rifle #3 — Fast-Twist 6.5-284 with Benchrest Forearm

6.5-284 with Benchrest Forearm

Last but not least is Sam’s handsome 6.5-284 (below), also in a laminated Walnut and Cherry stock. The Krieger barrel is a Heavy Varmint contour, with an 8-twist and .290″ neck. This gun hasn’t been shot much yet, but during initial testing it grouped in the mid-threes with 53gr of H4831 and 142gr Sierra MKs. You’ll note the stock is a bit different than the other two guns–this is the #005 stock pattern, which boasts a 3″-wide, flat forearm. It is identical to the #004 from the recoil lug rearward. Sam tells us that the #005 tracks better than the #004, though he prefers the rounded forearm of the #004 for a walking varminter.

Sam’s all-time favorite stock pattern in Richard’s #007, a roll-over comb design with conventional wrist and Cooper-style Beavertail forearm. Sam has a similar Maple #007 that he says is “even nicer than the gun in the picture.”

Nice Wood? You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!
After this trio of thumbhole rifles, Sam commissioned two more rifles — a matched pair in 6mm BR Norma and 6PPC, done up in absolutely amazing 500 year-old Turkish Walnut, sourced from a one-of-a-kind 48″ diameter Burl. What does a piece of wood like this cost? Trust us, if you have to ask, you couldn’t possibly afford it. Let us just say these are some of the most spectacularly figured blanks ever shipped from Turkey and they are priced accordingly. Here’s a preview, taken right before Richard bonded the first stock together. The lower two pieces look lighter because of the flash angle but the upper section more accurately shows how all three pieces appear in natural light. “Wow” is right!

gunday sunday varmint rifles Richard Franklin Custom rifles virginia thumbhole

Richard Franklin is Now Retired in Montana
The last we heard, gunsmith Richard Franklin was enjoying his retirement years up in Montana. On RichardsCustomRifles.com Richard posted: “I built fine custom rifles and for many years. I was the first stock maker to laminate woods such high-grade walnut, fiddleback maple and other fancy woods. I designed my own ideas into my patterns and carved, finished, pillar bedded thousands of stocks on the rifles I built. My most popular stock pattern was my Model 11 thumbhole.

I love building rifles but my health has forced me to retire and to take time to smell the roses. I made many great videos on how to build rifles and have been selling them for many years. They are still in great demand.” CLICK HERE to check out Richard’s DVDs about rifle building and varmint hunting.

gunday sunday varmint rifles Richard Franklin Custom rifles virginia thumbhole

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June 28th, 2020

Tactical Treatises — Four Good Books for PRS/NRL Competitors

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Are you looking to get started in PRS and NRL practical precision rifle competition? Or perhaps you’d like to advance your skill set so you can place higher in big matches (and get your hands on some of those prize table items)? Of course there is no substitute for trigger time in the field, but there ARE some great print resources. These four books can help you select the right equipment, improve your shooting skills, make better wind calls, increase your fitness level, and develop a more efficient between-match training program.

Tactical Practical PRS Precision Rifle Series NRL NRL22 good books

1. IMPACT! — Training and Preparing for Precision Rifle Matches

Rodney Maze, $19.99 Paperback, $4.99 Kindle

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Impact!, by PRS competitor Rodney Maze, is an entry/intermediate level guide to preparing yourself and your equipment to compete in precision rifle type matches. It will also benefit anyone looking to learn about practical-style long range and precision shooting. We recommend you check it out for yourself — there are 20 Pages of free sample content on Amazon. Topics covered include:

— Rifle, optic, and equipment selection
— Setting up your rifle, bags, tripods for PRS/NRL matches
— Understanding ballistics and how to record and use ballistic data
— Techniques for using holdovers for multi-target stages
— Gun skills, rapid fire techniques, clearing malfunctions
— Shooting off of barricades, and specialty stages
— Effects of wind and how to improve your wind calls
— Tips for live fire and dry fire practice
— Preparing yourself and your equipment for a match
— Mental strategies and techniques

Impact! is illustrated with plenty of photographs. Topics are divided logically, and concepts are explained in clear language. Also included is an extensive glossary of terms used in precision shooting and a list of additional resources you can use to further pursue your precision shooting knowledge. This book also includes a handy Appendix with formatted pages for recording data about your rifle, scope, and ammunition. There is also a Wind table for recording your rifle “dope” and wind hold-offs. Lastly, Impact! has a useful table of unit conversions.

2. Practical Shooter’s Guide

Marcus Blanchard, $19.99 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle

Marcus Blanchard Practical Shooter's Guide

Thinking of getting started in the Practical/Tactical shooting game? Looking for ways to be more stable when shooting from unconventional positions? Then you may want to read Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training). Unlike almost every “how to shoot” book on the market, Blanchard’s work focuses on the shooting skills and positions you need to succeed in PRS matches and similar tactical competitions. Blanchard provides clear advice on shooting from barricades, from roof-tops, from steep angles. Blanchard says you need to train for these types of challenges: “I believe the largest factor in the improvement of the average shooter isn’t necessarily the gear; it’s the way the shooter approaches obstacles and how they properly train for them.”

3. Long Range Shooting Handbook

Ryan Cleckner, $19.85 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle

Ryan Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook is the best-selling modern book on practical rifle skills. A former U.S. Army sniper instructor, Cleckner is knowledgeable, and his text is well-organized and chock full of good information. You can view Sample Chapters on Amazon.com.

Ryan Cleckner’s highly-regarded Long Range Shooting Handbook is designed as an intro to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. This book will benefit any long-range shooter, not just PRS/NRL competitors.

4. Official U.S. Army Sniper Training and Operations Manual

From U.S. Army Sources, $17.59 paperback.

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

This U.S. Army Sniper Training Manual is a very comprehensive resource, with over 450 pages of information in a large 8.5″x11″ format. NOTE: Unlike other editions on Amazon, this is NOT the basic, outdated FM 23-10. This is the completely-overhauled 450+ page edition (FM 3-22.10). Heavily illustrated, this is a very useful resource for tactical/practical precision shooter. Employed as the “textbook” for the U.S. Army Sniper School at Fort Benning, GA, this big manual explains ranging methods, rifle handling, optics selection and operation, and rifle maintenance.

There is also extensive discussion of ballistics, wind reading, and weather effects. Practical competitors will appreciate the discussions of moving targets, range estimation, and range safety procedures. One reviewer explains: “This book contains the distilled wisdom of the Sniper School’s instructors and expert marksmen, giving you over 450 pages of unique insight into the long range combat shooter’s art.”

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June 28th, 2020

Need to Swap Barrels? Get Grizzly Barrel Vise for $38.95

Grizzly Barrel Vise clamping barrel swap

Grizzly.com has a handy product that should prove very useful for readers who need to swap barrels. This CNC-Machined aluminum barrel vise can be used in your home workshop, or on the road. In the field the vise can be fitted to a block of wood which can then be temporarily clamped to a bench. Or, as you can see below, you can mount the vise to a trailer hitch for use during a match or varmint hunt. The barrel vise is currently ON SALE for just $38.95.

Grizzly Barrel Vise clamping barrel swap

This vise was designed by a member of the U.S. Shooting Team for quickly changing barrels up to 1.5 inches in diameter. Made of T-6061 Aluminum, the top clamping part of the vise is spring loaded so you can hold the gun with one hand while tightening the two nuts with the other. Grizzly notes: “Sometimes the action and scope can even remain on the rifle stock while the barrel is changed out.”

Clamping Range: Secures 7/8″ to 1.5″ Diameter Barrels
Block Dimensions: 5″ x 2.5″ x 1.4″ (Upper); 7.5″ x 2.5″ x 1.1″ (Lower)
Bolt Diameter: 3/4″ | Mounting: Use 1/2″ Hex Bolts to secure

IMPORTANT: This vise was designed for 7/8″ to 1.5″-diameter barrels. It may not work correctly with barrel diameters outside that range, or with unusual barrel contours. Not recommended for fine, polished blued steel barrels unless you protect the barrel surface before clamping. For most situations, where practical, we would remove the barreled action from the stock before using the vise.

Product Tip from EdLongRange. We welcome Reader Submissions.
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June 27th, 2020

Krieger Barrel Shines in .22 LR Rimfire Ammo Testing

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom
All photos hosted on Imgur as posted by Padom.

Serious riflemen know that Krieger makes outstanding centerfire barrels that hold world records and have won many National Championships. But did you know that Krieger makes great rimfire barrels too? Well, Krieger does make outstanding .22 LR rimfire match barrels that can deliver impressive accuracy.

Sniper’s Hide moderator “Padom” recently tested a variety of rimfire ammo types, employing five different barrels: Krieger, Bartlein, Benchmark, Lilja, and Green Mountain. He tested at both 50 yards and 100 yards. FULL Rimfire TEST REPORT HERE.

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom

Reporting on the 50-yard test, Padom posted: “Had a virtually dead calm day today for 50-yard RimX testing (Keystone Accuracy RimX barreled action with 1:16″ Krieger 20″ barrel). A few infrequent 3 mph gusts but pretty dead [calm] and the target showed. This Krieger just barely edged out the Bartlein by 0.003″ with a 0.177″ 6×5 with SK Rifle Match. The 10×5 was 0.198″. The best lots of Center-X weren’t far behind either. This is the first Krieger rimfire [barrel] I’ve shot and it didn’t disappoint.”

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom
Padom noted: “Winds were much calmer tonight than this morning so the 100-yard Krieger test was a success. Winds were pretty consistent [at] 3-5 mph.”

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padomTest Results at 100 Yards
Padom then tested ammo at 100 yards, again using his Krieger rimfire barrel: “To recap, the Krieger shot the best 50-yard results of the barrels tested so far, just barely beating the Bartlein but it was so close you can call the 50-yard results equal (.005). Well the Krieger beat all the barrels tested to date at 100 yards by a pretty good margin with Center-X. The 10×5 was incredible as well at just barely over 0.6″ showing the results were very consistent. A second lot of Center-X was right there with the previous 100-yard 6×5 best results just barely over 0.6. The third lot of Center-X shot a respectable 0.75″ 6×5. This Krieger sure is shooting very nicely. I’m really looking forward to shooting it at 300 and 400 yards[.]”

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom

Components Tested: 20″ Krieger M24 barrel, .22 LR Match Eachus chamber 0.046 headspace, Zermatt RimX Action, Bix’N Andy TacSport Pro 2-Stage Trigger, RimX 10rd magazine, XLR Envy Pro Folding Chassis, Athlon Cronus BTR 4.5-29x56mm MIL scope.

Shooting Set-up: 100 Yards Prone with Bipod and Rear Bag.

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom

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June 27th, 2020

.300 Blackout Fired in .223 Rem AR — Recipe for Disaster

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56
Photos and Facebook post by Tactical Rifle Shooters

Yet another .300 Blackout disaster. Unfortunately, that .300 Blackout cartridge can fit in a .223 Rem chamber. Shooting a .308-caliber bullet in .223 bore is a recipe for disaster.

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56The .300 AAC Blackout aka “300 BLK”, is a compact 30-caliber cartridge designed to work in AR-15 rifles. It has a shorter cartridge case to accommodate the bigger 30-caliber bullet while still fitting in a standard AR-15 magazine. Unfortunately, that’s the danger. A careless shooter can toss a .300 Blackout cartridge in with .223 Rem rounds without noting. And because the case-head size is the same as the .223 Rem (5.56×45) the rifle’s bolt assembly will happily chamber and fire the .300 BLK round. Problem is, that forces a .308 diameter bullet down an undersized .223-caliber bore. Not good!

This images were provided by Tactical Rifle Shooters on Facebook. The message was clear: “Don’t try to run 300 Blackout in your .223/5.56mm. It won’t end well. The problem is identical rifles and identical magazines but different calibers.”

For those who MUST have a .300 Blackout, here are some things you can do:

1. Use different colored magazines for .300 Blackout vs. .223 Rem.
2. Fit all your uppers with caliber-labeled ejection port covers.
3. Mark .223 Rem upper handguards with the caliber in bright paint.
4. Mark all .300 BLK Rounds with heavy black marker.

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56

Comments by Folks Who Viewed these .300 Blackout Disaster Photos:

“The .300 Blackout is simply a badly-designed round. A properly-designed round would have had a feature in the shape that would have prevented cross loading in the first place.” — D. Santiago

“I almost made that mistake… I had a magazine of 300 BLK inserted in my .223/5.56 all night. Fortunately, I never pulled the trigger. Once I realized the mistake, I almost got ill. [After that incident] I no longer own a 300 BLK.” — B. Welch

“Happened to me hog hunting from a helo. Gun exploded in my face.” — B. Hood

“Fire-forming projectiles [is] so wrong in centerfire!” — M. Stres

“Had some dude come into the store the other day wanting .300 Blackout ammo to shoot in his 5.56 AR. It took 15 minutes of explaining for him to understand you got to have a .300 Blackout Upper!” — R. Williams

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tactical, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
June 27th, 2020

With Social Unrest — Indoor Ranges Are Important for Training

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report
Photo courtesy Silver Eagle Group Shooting Range, Northern Virginia.

With the civil disorder, rioting, and looting happening in major U.S. cities, many Americans are getting very serious about armed self-defense. But if you own defensive firearms, you definitely need to train with them. Indoor ranges are most convenient for those who live near urban centers, where the biggest threats to public safety currently exist. This article talks about indoor firearms training and the proper procedures you should follow at indoor ranges.

This Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules and Etiquette

FIVE IMPORTANT SAFETY PROCEDURES for Indoor Ranges

1. Follow the Three Fundamental Rules for Safe Gun Handling
ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

2. Follow ALL Range Officer Instructions
ROs are the first and final authority on any range and their decisions are generally final. Arguing with a Range Officer may just get you thrown out.

3. Don’t Bother Others or Touch Their Guns
Respect other shooters’ privacy unless a safety issue arises. Do NOT engage other shooters to correct a perceived safety violation unless absolutely necessary – inform the RO instead. NEVER handle or touch another shooter’s firearm without their permission!

4. Know Your Range’s Rules
Review and understand any and all range rules and requirements/expectations. For example, what is the range’s maximum rate of fire? Are you allowed to collect your brass?

5. Know What To Do During a Cease Fire
IMMEDIATELY set down your firearm, pointed downrange, and STEP AWAY from the shooting booth (or bench). Range Officers do not want shooters trying to “secure/unload” their firearms in a cease fire situation — they want the shooters separated from their guns instantly.

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report

BAD RANGE BEHAVIOR — Five Things NOT to Do at the Range

Here are the five worst behaviors we’ve seen at indoor ranges. These behaviors are both dangerous and inconsiderate. Any one of these behaviors can get you permanently banned from an indoor range.

1. Sweeping other individuals after loading a weapon behind the firing line is very bad. All your weapons should be empty until you reach your shooting station.

2. Turning the handgun sideways while trying to clear a malfunction or insert/remove a magazine. This will point the muzzle at a fellow shooter. Or, after shooting a gun, the shooter fails to clear the weapon and then places the gun somewhere near the shooting station with the muzzle in an unsafe position.

3. Reacting unpredictably when firing a high recoil handgun. We’ve seen people take a second shot by accident with the muzzle way off target.

4. Not obeying range commands — in particular continuing to shoot during called cease-fires.

5. Poorly aimed shooting that hits target frames or carriers, causing ricochets.

Double-Up on Hearing Protection When Shooting Indoors
When shooting indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with plugs underneath.

indoor range survey results NSSF

For pistol shooting, we like the latest Howard Leight Impact Pro Muffs. These offer an impressive 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). In addition, these muffs are pretty comfortable and offer Headphone Functionality so you can connect to your smartphone, MP3 player, or other audio device. These muffs are a good value. They are currently offered for $39.50 on ALLMAX.

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

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June 26th, 2020

Don’t Overheat Your Ammo in Hot Summer Months

Heat Map USA color chart

Summer Solstice 2020 was June 20th, and July’s nearly here. That means “peak heat” summer conditions. It’s vitally important to keep your ammo at “normal” temps during the hot summer months. Even if you use “temp-insensitive” powders, studies suggest that pressures can still rise dramatically when the entire cartridge gets hot, possibly because of primer heating. It’s smart to keep your loaded ammo in an insulated storage unit, possibly with a Blue Ice Cool Pak if you expect it to get quite hot. Don’t leave your ammo in the car or truck — temps can exceed 140° in a vehicle parked in the sun.

Ammo cool storage

Bosch Insulated tool caseTo learn more about how ambient temperature (and primer choice) affect pressures (and hence velocities) you should read the article Pressure Factors: How Temperature, Powder, and Primer Affect Pressure by Denton Bramwell. In that article, the author uses a pressure trace instrument to analyze how temperature affects ammo performance. Bramwell’s tests yielded some fascinating results.

For example, barrel temperature was a key factor: “Both barrel temperature and powder temperature are important variables, and they are not the same variable. If you fail to take barrel temperature into account while doing pressure testing, your test results will be very significantly affected. The effect of barrel temperature is around 204 PSI per F° for the Varget load. If you’re not controlling barrel temperature, you about as well might not bother controlling powder temperature, either. In the cases investigated, barrel temperature is a much stronger variable than powder temperature.”

This Editor had the personal experience of 6mmBR hand-loaded ammo that was allowed to sit in the hot sun for 45 minutes while steel targets were reset. The brass became quite warm to the touch, meaning the casings were well over 120° on the outside. When I then shot this ammo, the bullets impacted well high at 600 yards (compared to earlier in the day). Using a Magnetospeed, I then chron-tested the sun-heated ammo. The hot ammo’s velocity FPS had increased very significantly — all because I had left the ammo out in the hot sun uncovered for 3/4 of an hour.

Powder Heat Sensitivity Comparison Test

Our friend Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog recently published a fascinating comparison test of four powders: Hodgdon H4350, Hodgdon Varget, IMR 4451, and IMR 4166. The first two are Hodgdon Extreme powders, while the latter two are part of IMR’s Enduron line of propellants.

CLICK HERE to VIEW FULL TEST RESULTS

The testers measured the velocity of the powders over a wide temperature range, from 25° F to 140° F. Hodgdon H4350 proved to be the most temp stable of the four powders tested.

Precision Rifle Blog Temperature Stability test hodgdon varget H4350 Enduron IMR 4451

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
June 26th, 2020

World Shooting Championship and Police Championship Cancelled

world shooting championshiop

NRA Cancels WSC and NRA Police Shooting Championships Due to COVID-19
No big money this year at the NRA World Shooting Championship — the event has been cancelled. And Likewise the NRA Police Shooting Championship will not take place in 2020. This is the Year of Pandemic, and two more major shooting events have fallen victim to COVID-19.

Yesterday the National Rifle Association (NRA) issued the following statement:

Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the many ensuing federal and state safety regulations and mandates, the NRA has made the difficult decision to cancel the NRA World Shooting Championship and the NRA National Police Shooting Championships. Both events were scheduled to be held in mid September 2020 in West Virginia and Mississippi respectively.

We share your disappointment that both these competitions that attract participants from across the globe had to be canceled. The NRA wishes everyone good health and the best of luck. Stay safe and healthy.

The WSC was a big deal. It attracted top multi-gun competitors such as Jerry Miculek, Dan Horner, Doug Koenig, and Bruce Piatt. The winner took home a fat check for $25,000. This unique 3-day multi-gun match tests competitors’ skills across twelve challenging stages involving nearly every major shooting discipline for rifles, shotguns, and pistols. This major match attracted both sponsored Pros and “regular Joes”. Shooters were split into two groups: a Professional Division for sponsored shooters, and the Amateur Division for non-sponsored competitors. All firearms, optics, and ammo were provided by match sponsors for both divisions.

This video shows features of past NRA World Shooting Championship

All Equipment Was Supplied at NRA World Shooting Championship
“What makes this event very unique, especially to a professional shooter, is all the equipment is supplied. You have to leave your ego at home and just try to adapt as best you can to the equipment that you have supplied.” — Jerry Miculek

world shooting championshiop

WSC stages encompassed everything from trap to bullseye pistol to PRS-style precision rifle. There was even a cowboy action stage with Henry “Golden Boy” lever-action rifles.

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June 26th, 2020

New, First-Time Gun Owners — More Support for 2d Amendment?

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

CCRKAB Hopes Millions of New Gun Owners Can Aid Second Amendment Battle
First concern over the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a huge increase in gun purchases. And the civil unrest, rioting, and looting that followed the death of George Floyd caused countless citizens to seek armed self-protection. COVID-19 and the riots convinced millions of Americans to become gun owners for the first time. These citizens wanted to protect their families, homes, and businesses. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA.org) hopes that these new gun owners may aid the fight to preserve the Second Amendment and gun rights in the USA.

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

“Look at all of the new people who suddenly decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms”, observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “We’ve witnessed something that is nothing short of a sea change… about gun ownership. We’ve heard anecdotal reports from all over the country about people flocking to gun shops who had never before owned a firearm. Now that they are gun owners, we expect them to be very protective of their rights”.

March, April, and May 2020 saw record numbers of background checks, according to FBI data and information from industry sources. For example in April 2017, gun sales set an all-time record — up 71% from the pervious year.

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

Gottlieb added: “We welcome all of these new gun owners to the firearms community… many of them are minorities, especially black and female citizens … from all age groups. They can… gain a new understanding of our efforts to protect the one fundamental right that actually protects all of the other rights.”

“This new wave of gun owners could become a formidable force during this year’s election,” Gottlieb noted. “From now on, we expect millions of new gun owners to pay closer attention to candidates, and reject those who would trample on their Second Amendment rights. With legions of new gun owners ready to protect these newly-discovered rights, it could be a pretty scrappy election year…”

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June 25th, 2020

Quest for Less Vertical — Six Primer Types Tested at 500 Yards

primer 500 yard testing node vertical H4895 BRA

Do primer types make a significant difference in accuracy or vertical dispersion at long range? The answer is “maybe”. Here’s one anecdotal study that tracked vertical variance among six different primer types. The tester is a good shooter with a very accurate rifle — four of the six 4-shot groups were under 2″ at 500 yards. This test doesn’t settle the question, but does suggest that it may be worth trying a few different primer types with your match ammo.

Here is a very interesting test for the 6 BRA (6mmBR Ackley) cartridge. Forum member James Phillips, a talented long-range benchrest shooter, tested SIX different primer types from three different manufacturers. To help determine vertical dispersion, James set his target out at 500 yards. He then proceeded to shoot 4-shot groups, in order, with each primer type. Velocities were recorded with a chrono. The photo above shows the results. James says: “I’ll retest the best two for accuracy and consistency with 10 shots each”. CLICK HERE for full-screen target photo.

Wheeler 6BR 6mmBR Ackley Improved James Phillips

As you can see, ALL the groups are pretty impressive. The smallest groups, 1.253″, was shot with CCI 400 primers. Next best (and very close) was CCI BR4, at 1.275″ for four shots. The “flat line” winner was the Remington 7.5, at upper left. There was almost no vertical. If you are intrigued by this interesting primer test, you can ask join the discussion in this Primer Test FORUM THREAD.

Primer Brand Group Size Velocity Extreme Spread Std Deviation
Remington 7.5 1.985″ 4 shot 2955 FPS 8 FPS 4.0 FPS
Federal 205M 2.200″ 4 shot 2951 FPS 11 FPS 4.8 FPS
Sellier Bellot SR 1.673″ 4 shot 2950 FPS 14 FPS 5.9 FPS
CCI 450M 2.341″ 4 shot 2947 FPS 14 FPS 6.6 FPS
CCI 400 1.253″ 4 shot 2950 FPS 3 FPS 1.3 FPS
CCI BR4 1.275″ 4 shot 2949 FPS 15 FPS 6.9 FPS

CARTRIDGE: 6mmBR Ackley, aka 6 BRA. Parent case is 6mmBR Norma. The 6 BRA is fire-formed to create a 40-degree shoulder and less body taper. Capacity is increased, but the neck is longer than a 6mm Dasher. The capacity is enough to get to the 2950+ FPS accuracy node. Some shooters say the 6 BRA is more forgiving than the 6mm Dasher. The 6 BRA is certainly easier to fire-form.

LOAD SPEC: 6 BRA (40° 6 BR Improved), 31.1 grains Hodgdon H4895, Bart’s 105gr “Hammer” bullets.

TEST REPORT — Conditions, Shooting Method, Loading Method

Tester James Phillips posted this report in our Shooters’ Forum:
Conditions: The testing was done in the morning over flags. The flags never moved or even twitched. I had as perfect conditions as I could have asked for. It was overcast so no mirage and no wind. There were no other shooters, just me.

Test Procedure: Each shot was precisely shot at my pace and centered the best possible using my Nightforce 15-55X scope. I did not use the round-robin method. Each four-shot group with the same was shot at one time. Then I moved onto the next primer. Everything felt right for each and every shot fired today. Of course I could repeat the test tomorrow and it could be exact opposite of today’s test. We can chase this forever. But [soon] I’m going to test the BR4 and 400 primer… for best accuracy and consistency for 10 shots each.

How Rounds Were Loaded: Each load was weighed to one (1) kernel of powder. So I know that’s as good as I can weigh them. Each bullet seating force was within 1# on my 21st Century hydraulic arbor press.

Previous Initial Load Testing: All groups were shot with 31.1 grains of H4895. During initial load testing I settled in on the Sellier & Bellot primer to finalize everything as it showed more promise over the CCI 450 Magnum I also tried. I was actually surprised to have seen the higher ES and SD from that primer today along with the vertical shown. [Editor: Look carefully — one shot from the CCI 450 is right in the center black diamond, stretching the vertical. By contrast the Rem 7.5 had almost no vertical.]

primer 500 yard testing node vertical H4895 BRA

Velocity and NODE Considerations: I was about 5-6 FPS above what appeared to been my optimum velocity of 2943-2945 FPS, so I’ll test 5 shots of 31.0 and 5 of 31.1 and see what happens from there. I can only assume my velocities where higher due to the higher humidity and of course temps were 5 degrees warmer this morning as well. It wasn’t far off but I noticed it.

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June 25th, 2020

Incipient Case-Head Separation — How to Detect the Problem

cartridge case separation

We are re-publishing this article at the request of Forum members who found the information very valuable. If you haven’t read this Safety Tip before, take a moment to learn how you can inspect your fired brass to determine if there may be a potential for case separation. A case separation can be dangerous, potentially causing serious injury.

cartridge case separationOn the respected Riflemans’ Journal blog there was an excellent article about Cartridge Case-Head Separation. In this important article, Journal Editor GS Arizona examined the causes of this serious problem and explained the ways you can inspect your brass to minimize the risk of a case-head separation. As cases get fired multiple times and then resized during reloading, the cases can stretch. Typically, there is a point in the lower section of the case where the case-walls thin out. This is your “danger zone” and you need to watch for tell-tale signs of weakening.

The photo below shows a case sectioned so that you can see where the case wall becomes thinner near the web. You can see a little arrow into the soot inside the case pointing to the thinned area. This case hadn’t split yet, but it most likely would do so after one or two more firings.

cartridge case separation

Paper Clip Hack for Detecting Problems
The article provided a great, easy tip for detecting potential problems. You can use a bent paper clip to detect potential case wall problems. Slide the paper clip inside your case to check for thin spots. GS Arizona explains: “This simple little tool (bent paper clip) will let you check the inside of cases before you reload them. The thin spot will be immediately apparent as you run the clip up the inside of the case. If you’re seeing a shiny line on the outside and the clip is really hitting a thin spot inside, it’s time to retire the case. If you do this every time you reload, on at least 15% of your cases, you’ll develop a good feel for what the thin spot feels like and how it gets worse as the case is reloaded more times. And if you’re loading the night before a match and feel pressured for time — don’t skip this step!”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 25th, 2020

Save $20 on MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chronograph — $159.99

Magnetospeed sporter MidwayUSA chron chronograph

This post essentially puts twenty bucks in your pocket if you need a chronograph. You see the MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chrono typically costs around $179.00 from most vendors. But right now MidwayUSA is running a special — the true “shopping cart price” is $159.99. That’s $20.00 cheaper than Midway’s regular price, and $19.01 cheaper than the lowest price we found anywhere else. But this special “Shopping Cart Discount” may not last long, so you may want to act quickly. We confirmed Midway’s $159.99 price on the morning of June 28, 2019.

Strapped on your barrel, the MagnetoSpeed Sporter records velocities accurately without requiring any hardware to be placed downrange. Everything is self-contained at your shooting station, so you no longer have to waste time setting up tripods and aligning the bullet path through old-fashioned chrono skyscreens. For most shooters, the MagnetoSpeed Sporter is all they need — they don’t need to spend $380.00 for the Deluxe MagnetoSpeed V3 Model. Here’s a video review which compares the Sporter to the more expensive V3 chronograph.

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June 24th, 2020

Efficient Big-Batch Case Lubrication — Best Methods

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. A while back, the USAMU’s reloading gurus looked at the subject of case lubrication. Tasked with producing thousands of rounds of ammo for team members, the USAMU’s reloading staff has developed very efficient procedures for lubricating large quantities of cases. This article reveals the USAMU’s clever “big-batch” lube methods. For other helpful hand-loading tips, visit the USAMU Facebook page on upcoming Wednesdays.

Rapid, High-Volume Case Lubrication

Today’s topic covers methods for quickly applying spray lube to cartridge cases prior to sizing. A typical order for this shop may be 25,000 rounds, so [speeding up] the lubrication process can be a real time-saver. While your ammunition lots probably aren’t this large, the efficient methods discussed here may help save a considerable amount of time over your handloading career. Our case lubrication rates range from 1500-1600 cases per hour, to 2400-2500 cases per hour, depending on caliber.

This shop uses virgin brass, whereas most home handloaders use fired brass, which necessitates some small changes at times. These will be discussed as they arise. Begin with fired brass that has been tumbled clean.

Ensure as much tumbling media as possible is removed from the brass, as when it gets into a size die, it can dent cases significantly. This is a good time to round out dents in the case mouths using a tapered tool to prevent damage from the decapping stem.

First, dump the clean cases into a large box or reloading bin. Shake the bin back and forth so that many cases are oriented with the mouths up. Next, pick up as many cases as is convenient with the mouths “up”, from natural clusters of correctly-oriented cases. With 7.62mm-size cases, this is usually 3-4, and with 5.56mm cases, this can be up to 8-10. Place the cases into the rack slots, mouth-up. Doing this in groups rather than singly saves considerable time. Once these clusters have been depleted, it will be time to re-shake the bin to orient more cases “up.”.

This photo shows a case lubrication rack made by a USAMU staffer.
accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

Naturally, adjust the spacing to best fit the calibers you reload. We have found this size … convenient for handling through the various phases of case lubrication/transfer to progressive case feeders for processing. Note that the 1/2-inch angle does not cover much of the critical case area at the base, just forward of the extractor groove, where most re-sizing force will be exerted. As the USAMU uses virgin brass, less lubrication is required for our brass than would be needed for Full Length (FL) sizing of previously-fired brass.

NOTE: The amount applied using our rack is easily enough for our purpose. If using fired brass, be sure to adequately lube this base area to avoid having cases stick in the full-length sizing die.

Using a spray lube, coat the cases adequately, but not excessively, from all sides. Be sure to get some lube into the case mouths/necks, in order to reduce expander ball drag and case stretching/headspace changes. The spray lube this shop uses does not harm primers or powder, and does not require tumbling to remove after lubing.*

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

Take a close look at the photo above. The USAMU shop uses a common kitchen turntable, which allows the rack to be rotated easily. We place this in a custom-made box which prevents over-spray on to floors and walls.

Angled Box Method for Smaller Cases to be Neck-Sized
A refinement of the above method which especially speeds processing of 5.56x45mm cases is as follows. A small cardboard box which holds about 100 cases is fitted with an angled “floor” secured by tape. With the smaller 5.56mm cases, usually about 8-10 cases per handful can be picked up, already correctly-oriented, and placed into the box together. This prevents having to place them into the rack slots, saving time.

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

HOWEVER, note that this does not allow nearly as much lube access to the case bodies as does the rack. For our purposes — neck-sizing and setting neck tension on new brass, this works well. If using this procedure with fired brass, take steps to ensure adequate lube to prevent stuck cases.

As always, we hope this will help our fellow handloaders. Good luck, and good shooting!


*A two-part test performed here involved spraying primed cases heavily, while getting more lube into the case mouth/body than even a careless handloader would likely apply. The second part of the test involved literally spraying considerable quantities of the lube directly into the cases, drenching the primers. After a several-day wait to allow the lube to penetrate the primers, they were then fired in a test barrel. All fired normally; no unusual reports were noted. This bolstered confidence that normal amounts of the lube would not adversely affect our ammunition, and we have been pleased with the results over several years.

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June 24th, 2020

The Sling’s the Thing — Tips on Sling Use by Dennis DeMille

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up
Dennis DeMille shows a young competitor at the CMP Western Games how to adjust his leather sling.

If you want to learn more about setting up your sling properly for position shooting, here are some tips from Dennis DeMille, a past Service Rifle Champion. Dennis explains how to choose a sling, and how to adjust it to fit properly.

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
Once you know how to set up your sling properly, you’ll want to practice. Dennis DeMille stresses the importance of dry-fire practice with sling and shooting coat. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

Brandon Green Sling shooting
SFC Brandon Green, 2018 Nat’l High Power Champion. Brandon, one of the nation’s best “hard-holders”, demonstrates proper use of sling in prone position.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition

So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, former Creedmoor G.M. Dennis DeMille explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competiting with the heavier than normal rifles.”

Configuring the Sling for the Standing (Offhand) Position
In this second in a series of Creedmoor InfoZone videos on the setup and use of the leather service rifle sling, Dennis DeMille details how to configure and best utilize the leather service rifle sling while shooting from the standing position.

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features
In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

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