August 1st, 2020

The Hazards of Old Ammo — Watch Out for Internal Corrosion!

300 Winchester Magnum winmag reloading hand-loading powder corrosion
Above is a 26-year-old hand-loaded .300 Winchester Magnum case that failed to fire. After the misfire, the shooter used an inertial (impact) bullet puller to pull the bullet. In the process the case-neck sheared off.

Here’s a cautionary tale from the Tactical Rifle Shooters Facebook group. This real-world example explains why you should be cautious of old ammunition. Here serious internal corrosion was discovered.

Old Ammunition — Why You Should Be Careful

Commentary by Tactical Rifle Shooters
The subject often comes up as to whether it is safe to shoot old ammunition. Historically my answer has always been yes, since over the years I have shot military surplus ammo dating back to World War II (1939-1945) and never had a problem. With over 40 years in competitive shooting, I’ve also had boxes of factory ammo that were 30+ years old and all worked flawlessly.

But I had an interesting experience this week shooting some .300 Winchester Magnum (WinMag) that I had loaded for competition with Reloder 22 back in 1993. I was breaking in a new barrel so just shooting any old ammo that I had. Of the 20 rounds, 15 shot perfectly, three had a fraction of a second hang-fire, and two didn’t shoot at all.

SMART TIP: If you have old ammunition, pull one bullet to see what’s going on inside.

So I pulled the bullets using a hammer-type impact (inertial) bullet puller. What I found was verdigris-like corrosion inside the necks, with one neck completely separating. One reason for this could be that dissimilar metals (copper and brass) can set up a reaction resulting in corrosion. Like I said, this is the first time I’ve seen this, but will definitely be more aware when shooting old hand-loads in the future.

300 Winchester Magnum winmag reloading hand-loading powder corrosion

Above is one of the 26-year-old reloaded .300 WinMag cartridges which had failed to fire. To check the internal condition, the bullet was removed using an impact (inertial) bullet puller. Note the verdigris-like corrosion and crack in neck.

300 Winchester Magnum winmag reloading hand-loading powder corrosion

Here’s a close-up of the same .300 Winchester Magnum hand-load from 1993 showing serious corrosion inside the neck. (This was a fail-to-fire.) The powder was Alliant Reloder 22. If you have old ammo, it wouldn’t hurt to pull one bullet to see what’s going on inside.

CREDIT Tactical Rifle Shooters Facebook Group for this Ammo Tech Tip and photos.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 1st, 2020

“Aim Small, Miss Small” with Decreasing Size Targets

Right Click and “Save as” to download printable PDF versions of target.

In the hit Hollywood movie “The Patriot”, the hero Benjamin Martin (played by Mel Gibson), tells his sons: “Aim small, miss small”. That advice was given to help his sons survive encounters with the British redcoats, but the “aim small, miss small” mantra can benefit target shooters as well.

We have found that novice and intermediate shooters can often improve their accuracy simply by using targets with smaller, more precise aiming points. Inexperienced shooters can benefit by starting with a large-size aiming circle, and then progressing to smaller and smaller target dots. This lets the shooter increase the challenge as his gun-handling becomes more steady and his aim improves.

Here are two rimfire training targets with “big to small” target circles. Start with the largest circles, then move to the smaller ones in sequence. This systematic drill provides increasing challenge shot-by-shot. Novices often are quite surprised to see their accuracy improve as they move from bigger to smaller aiming points. That provides positive feedback — always a good thing.

Right Click and “Save as” to download printable PDF versions of target.

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August 1st, 2020

Young People Nationwide Compete in SASP Nat’l Championship

Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

The sound of bullets ringing steel were heard all over the country over a three week period in July, during the 2020 Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) National Virtual Championship. Over 248,000 rounds were sent down range as SASP athletes competed from their home ranges around the country. Photo and match results were posted on social media. Scores were then tallied and compared among hundreds of entrants. The ability to compete at Nationals from their home range gave teams all over the country the opportunity to finish the season as a team, competing for the national title.

Just last year, the SASP National Championship surpassed the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF), to become the largest Action Shooting Match in history. Despite a heavily altered 2020 season, the SASP community continued to break records for participation with 1,656 event entries for the 2020 SASP National Championship.

Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

“Virtual” Championship Held at Multiple Locations throughout the USA
Traditionally held at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio, the 2020 SASP Nationals were instead conducted in a multi-location “virtual” format. This arrangement was made “in order to protect the safety of our athletes, coaches, and familie” according to SASP National Director, Rick Leach. “The nature of our sport puts athletes and range officers in close proximity, which we could not in good conscious do with thousands of athletes in Ohio this year. We received hundreds of photos and videos from teams competing in Nationals from their home range.”

You can see SASP 2020 National Championships Results online. Just select the firearm category and class of shooters. For example, here are Centerfire Pistol Men’s results for all categories. Click image to zoom.

Scholastic Action Shooting Program SASP

“This year we saw participation grow to states that are not always able to make the journey to Ohio each year for Nationals,” said SASP Director of Development, Kelvin Walton. “Although the spectacle of teams converging on the Cardinal Center to compete is part of the Nationals experience, the SASP community made the most out of an unusual season.”

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