October 1st, 2020

How to Read Mirage to Find Wind Direction and Strength

South Texas Mirage Reading article

This was one of our 25 Most Popular Articles in 2017. We’re repeating it for those of you who may have missed it the first time around. Diagrams from SouthTexasShooting.org.

South Texas marksmanship trainingThere is an excellent article about Mirage on the South Texas Marksmanship Training Center (STMTC) website. This article explains what causes mirage and how mirage can move the perceived aiming point on your target. Most importantly, the article explains, in considerable detail, how you can “read” mirage to discern wind speeds and wind directions.

Mirage Is Your Friend
While hot days with lots of mirage can be frustrating, mirage can reveal how the wind is flowing (and changing). If you learn how to recognize and read mirage patterns, you can use that information to shoot higher scores. That’s why many leading long-range shooters tell us: “Mirage is your friend.” As the STMTC article explains: “A mirage condition is not a handicap, since it offers a very accurate method of perceiving small wind changes[.]”

CLICK HERE to Read Complete Mirage Article

Mirage Illustrated with Diagrams
With simple but effective graphic illustrations, this is one of the best explanations of mirage (and mirage reading) we have found on the internet. This is a “must-read” for any serious competitive shooter. Here is a brief sample from the article, along with an illustration. NOTE: the full article is six times longer and has 8 diagrams.

South Texas Mirage Wind Diagram displacement

The term “mirage” as used by the shooter does not refer to a true mirage, but to heat waves and the refraction of light as it is bent passing through air layers of different density. Light which passes obliquely from one wind medium to another it undergoes an abrupt change in direction, whenever its velocity in the second medium is different from the velocity in the first wind medium; the shooter will see a “mirage”.

The density of air, and therefore its refraction, varies with its temperature. A condition of cool air overlaying warm air next to the ground is the cause of heat waves or “mirage”. The warm air, having a lower index of refraction, is mixed with the cooler air above by convection, irregularly bending the light transmitting the target image to the shooter’s eye. Figure 1 shows (greatly exaggerated) the vertical displacement of the target image by heat waves.

South Texas Mirage Reading article

Heat waves are easily seen with the unaided eye on a hot, bright day and can be seen with spotting scope on all but the coldest days. To observe heat waves, the scope should be focused on a point about midway to the target. This will cause the target to appear slightly out of focus, but since the high power rifle shooter generally does not try to spot bullet holes, the lack in target clarity is more than compensated by clarity of the heat waves.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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October 1st, 2020

Polish Inside of Seating Stems to Avoid Ring Marks on Bullets

Seating Stem Reloading Tip Sierra Bullet .223 Remington compressed loads

Here’s a helpful hint for hand-loaders from Sierra Bullets. While this article focuses on Sierra’s new Tipped Match-King bullets, the recommended solutions apply to other bullet types as well. The article explains how sharp edges on a seating stem can cause a ring to be pressed into the bullet jacket — especially with compressed loads that resist downward bullet movement. Here Sierra technician Rich Machholz diagnoses the problem and provides a solution.

Seating Stem Reloading Tip Sierra Bullet .223 Remington compressed loads

Solutions for Ring Marks Caused by Seating Stems

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz
Now that the new Tipped MatchKing® (TMK) bullets are being shipped and shooters are putting them to use I have received several calls regarding marking on the bullet ogive from the seating stem.

The cause can be traced to one of several things. In the .223 and especially with the long, 77 grain TMK seated at 2.250” or even 2.260” most loads of Varget® and Reloder® 15 are compressed loads, sometimes heavily compressed. This puts a great deal of pressure on the bullet through the seating stem. The result of all this pressure is a mark of varying depth and appearance on the ogive of the bullet. [Editor: We have seen this issue with a variety of other bullet types/shapes as well, including non-tipped VLDs. The solution is profiling the internal cone of the seating stem to match your bullet shape.]

Some older seating stems might even bear against the tip of the bullet which can make a slight bulge in the jacket just below the junction of the resin tip and the copper jacket in a compressed load. If this is the case there is not a ready fix other than calling the die manufacturer and requesting a new deeper seating stem.

Polish Your Seating Stem to Remove Sharp Internal Edges
If the seating stem is of proper depth the culprit most generally is a thin sharp edge on the inside taper of the seating stem. This is an easy fix that can be accomplished by chucking a spare 77 grain bullet in your drill, coating it with valve grinding compound or even rubbing compound or in a pinch even tooth paste.* Remove the seating stem assembly from the seating die. Turn the drill on and put the seating stem recess over the spinning bullet with the polishing compound to break or smooth the sharp edge that is making the offending mark. This might take more than one application to get the proper polish depending upon what you use, but the more you polish the better the blend of angles which will [ensure the stem matches the bullet contours, not leaving a sharp ring].

If the above is a little more than you care to tackle you might try very fine emery cloth twisted to a point that can be inserted into the mouth to the seating stem and rotated to polish the inside to eliminate any sharp edges that might be present.

Load Advice for 77gr TMKs in the .223 Rem
And last but certainly not least. Actually, even though we don’t say you need additional data for the TMKs, remember you are dealing with heavily-compressed loads in some cases because of the additional bullet length. Due to the additional length of these new bullets and in the interest of gaining some room in the case you might consider trying a slightly faster extruded powder like BenchMark or the 4895s or an even more dense powder like the spherical H335®, CFE223 or TAC. The extra room will allow for trouble free bullet seating also.

Good luck and remember we are no further away than your telephone: 1-800-223-8799.

Sierra Bullets Match-King Reloading Bullet Seating

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October 1st, 2020

Fall Season Rebates on Rifles, Ammo, and Security Safes

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While a number of major rebates and promotions ended yesterday (9/30/2020), we found other great rebate offers that are good this month, and in some cases through the end of 2020. If you are looking for a new hunting rifle or hunting ammunition, these promotions offer significant savings.

1. Savage Arms — Savage 110 Rebate

Factory Rebate Savage Thompson Center T/C rifle gunsafe winchester hornady ammo ammunition

Purchase any Savage 110 with AccuFit, 110 Apex or Engage Hunter models and receive a $75 Rebate from Savage. This rebate applies to purchases from any Savage dealer.
EXPIRES OCTOBER 24, 2020
CLICK HERE for REBATE Form

2. Remington Arms — 2020 Fall Rifle Rebate

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Remington is offering $75 and $50 Rebates on rifles purchased from 8/1/20 through 12/15/20. Get $75 off all Rem Model 700 hunting rifles. Consumer Rebates are MAIL-IN ONLY.
EXPIRES DECEMBER 15, 2020
CLICK HERE for REBATE Form

3. Thompson/Center — $75 Fall Rebate

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Get up to a $75 Factory Rebate with the purchase of select Thompson/Center rifles.
BUY T/C® VENTURE™ II Rifle and get a $75 PREPAID Card
BUY T/C® COMPASS® II Rifle and get a $50 PREPAID Card
BUY T/C® COMPASS® UTILITY OR T/CR22® Rifle and get a $25 PREPAID Card
EXPIRES NOVEMBER 30, 2020
CLICK HERE for REBATE Form

4. Winchester Ammunition — Big Game 2020

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Between August 1, 2020 and October 30, 2020 you can earn $10 back for each box of eligible Winchester centerfire rifle ammunition you purchase. Save up to $20 Total.
EXPIRES OCTOBER 30, 2020
CLICK HERE for REBATE Form

4. Hornady — Safe and Secure 2020

Factory Rebate Savage Thompson Center T/C rifle gunsafe winchester hornady ammo ammunition

Receive two free boxes of Hornady Critical Defense Ammo (value $68) when you purchase Hornady Security products: RAPiD Safe 4800KP RFID, RAPiD Safe 2700KP/2600KP, RAPiD Safe AR Wall Lock or AR Gunlocker, RAPiD Safe Shotgun Wall Lock, RAPiD Safe Night Guard, RAPiD Safe Ready Vault, RAPiD® Safe 2700/2600, and RAPiD® Vehicle Safe RFID.
EXPIRES DECEMBER 31, 2020
CLICK HERE for REBATE Form
SHOP Qualifying Products HERE

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