March 6th, 2021

Ten Cool Tips for Winter Shooting and Hunting

Winter hunting Norway Marcus Hom Haugland

Spring is on its way, but there is still plenty of snow on the ground in many parts of the country. 2021 has brought some unusually cold weather to many regions — witness the recent Texas Freeze-out.

If you plan to go shooting or hunting in the weeks ahead, while the weather is below freezing and snow is on the ground, you need to be prepared. You should always have the right equipment and make sure that you can contact help if something goes wrong (such as not being able to start your vehicle).

The folks at the Precision Rifle Network have created a good video on winter shooting and hunting. Host Marcus Hom provides his TOP 10 TIPS for wintertime shooting/hunting adventures. We recommend that any 4-season shooter watch this video.

TOP 10 TIPS for Winter Shooting and Hunting:

1. Wear Good Sunglasses — With snow on the ground, wearing sunglasses is a must because of the extra reflected light. You can get good sunglasses that also have ANSI Z87.1-approved impact protection.

2. Wear Protective, Moisture-Proof Clothing — Wear a set of Bibs and a long jacket. This will prevent you from getting snow inside your clothing when shooting prone.

3. Take Care of Your Hands — Bring good winter gloves, preferably with a waterproof outer layer. Make sure the inner gloves can work with your trigger/trigger guard.

4. Bring a Good Tripod — A tripod keeps you elevated so you can avoid laying down in snow or slush. That, in turn, avoids body heat loss. “Keeping out of the snow and shooting from an elevated position is pretty important in the wintertime.”

5. Protect Optics and Action — Keep your scope lenses and action clear of moisture, snow, and fog. You will want to have good caps on both lenses. Make sure the action remains closed, and consider some kind of wrap over the action until you’re ready to load and shoot.

6. Ranging Challenges — Laser range-finders don’t perform optimally with intense, bright, ambient light. Also, if it’s showing you may get false readings from snow particles. So take multiple readings to ensure you have the right distance. Also, if you have a reticle with MOA or MIL marks, and you know the size of your target, then you can range the target with the scope.

7. Drop and Windage Info (DOPE) Chart — Bring a waterproof, hard copy dope chart. Out in the field on cold days, a phone battery dies fast, and you’ll want to preserve that battery for emergency phone use if needed. So, you should keep a good old-fashioned drop chart in a waterproof laminate.

8. Muzzle Velocity Issues — Cold temperatures can lower muzzle velocity. Before you go, get an idea of how your velocity will change with low temperatures. Some powders are more sensitive to temperature than others, causing a noticeable reduction in muzzle velocity. A load you’ve worked out in summer may shoot LOW in winter because the actual velocity is low. Even with a “temperature stable” powder you may see a 10 fps slow-down. Do some winter velocity testing if you can before you go.

9. Keep Your Ammo Warm — A simple way to avoid muzzle velocity changes with low ambient temperatures is to keep you ammunition ON YOUR BODY. Have a pouch under your layered clothing where the ammo can be kept relatively warm. See video: 07:50

10. Safeguard Keys and Valuables — Keep keys and valuables in a secure, zippered pocket. “There is nothing worse than losing something… keys, phone, wallet. It’s really hard to find something when its buried under [many] inches of snow”. We also recommend keeping a spare vehicle key hidden on your car/truck. There are magnetic holders that can keep that spare key secure but safely hidden from view.

Winter hunting Norway Haugland

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March 6th, 2021

How to Hydro-Form Cartridge Brass — Save Money and Barrel Life

6mm Dasher hydroforming case die hornady

Can you form a wildcat cartridge such as the 6mm Dasher or 6 BRA (BR Ackley) without expending primer, powders, and bullets? Absolutely. Using the hydro-forming method you can form improved cases in your workshop with no firing whatsoever, so there is no wear on your precious barrel. Watch this video to see how it’s done for the 6 Dasher:

6 Dasher Case Hydro-Forming Demonstration:

Forum member Wes J. (aka P1ZombieKiller) has produced a helpful video showing how to form Dasher cases use the Hornady Hydraulic forming die kit. This includes a two-part die (body and piston), and a special shell holder. To form the case, you insert a primer in your virgin brass, top the case off with with a fluid (water or alcohol), then run the case up into the Hydro-forming die. A few stout whacks with a hammer and your case is 95% formed.

6mm Dasher hydroforming hydraulic 6mmBR hornadyHydro-Forming Procedure Step-by-Step:
1. Insert spent primer in new 6mmBR brass case.
2. Fill with water or alcohol (Wes prefers alcohol).
3. Wipe excess fluid off case.
4. Place case in special Hornady shell-holder (no primer hole).
5. Run case up into Hydraulic forming die.
6. Smack top piston of forming die 3-4 times with rubber mallet or dead-blow hammer.
7. Inspect case, re-fill and repeat if necessary.
8. Drain alcohol (or water) into container.
9. Remove primer (and save for re-use).
10. Blow-dry formed case. Inspect and measure formed case.

Wes achieves very uniform cartridge OALs with this method. He measured ten (10) hydro-formed 6 Dasher cases and got these results: two @ 1.536″; 2 @ 1.537″; and 6 @ 1.538″.

Three or Four Whacks Produces a 95%-Formed Case
With a Hornady hydro-forming die, hydraulic pressure does the job of blowing out the shoulders of your improved case. The process is relatively simple. Place a spent primer in the bottom of a new piece of brass. Fill the case with water, and then slip it into a special Hornady shell-holder with no hole in the middle. Then you run the case up into the forming die. Now comes the fun part. You gently insert a plunger (hydraulic ram) from the top, and give it three or four stiff whacks with a mallet (or better yet, a dead-blow hammer). Remove the plunger and you have a 95% formed case, ready to load.

Walter Queen Hydraulic Hornady DieSpecial Shell-Holder
Hornady supplies a shell holder made specifically for the hydro die; there’s no hole in the bottom of it. Just insert a spent primer into the primer pocket and you’re ready to go. The spent primer, combined with the solid shell holder, keeps the water from seeping out of the primer pocket. The primer pushes out a little bit during this process, but it’s impossible for it to come out because of the way the shell holder is designed. The shell holder has a grove which allows the case to slide out of the shell holder even when the primer protrudes a bit.

Another Option — Hydro-Forming by DJ’s Brass Service
If you want to hydro-form your brass to save barrel life but you don’t want to go through the effort, or purchase the hydro-forming dies, there is a very good option. Darrell Jones of DJ’s Brass Service will do the job for a modest charge. You send Darrel your brass and he does all the hard work, preparing perfectly formed brass. Darrell can also anneal and/or neck-turn your cases — all for a reasonable fee.

DJ's Brass hydroform hydro-formingDJ’s Brass Service offers case hydro-forming to your exact specs. Darrell Jones offers this service for a variety of popular cartridges: 6 PPC, 30 PPC, 30 BR, 6 BRA (BR Ackley), 6mm Grinch, 6 BRDX, 6 BRX, .260 Ackley, .284 Shehane and of course the very popular 6mm Dasher. After hydro-forming your brass, Darrell can also neck-up or neck-down the cases to meet your needs. For example, if you shoot a 22 Dasher, Darrell can hydro-form the cases to a 6 Dasher and then neck them down to .22 caliber. He can also turn the necks to your specs (for an additional charge). Hydro-forming by Darrell costs $0.60 (sixty cents) per case with a minimum order of $60 per hundred. NOTE: After cases are hydro-formed by Darrell, every case is washed, cleaned, and re-annealed. This cleaning and annealing process is included in the $0.60 (sixty cents) per case price.

DJ's Brass hydro-forming neck turning case forming

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March 6th, 2021

NRA Home Firearm Safety Resources

home gun safety NRA Blog

This article based on story by Jason J. Brown, Editor NRABlog.com
Americans are purchasing firearms at historically high levels, with more than 7 million new gun owners in 2020 and gun sales setting new records. There were over 2 million NICS-adjusted gun buyer background checks in January 2021, a 75% increase compared to January 2020.

NICS gun background checks NSSF

Gun ownership is a great responsibility, entailing not only a well-formed understanding of the basic rules of gun safety while shooting, but at all times. Gun safety is never more important than inside your own home. Gun safety isn’t just for gun owners — it’s a critical skill for everyone.

NRA’s Home Firearm Safety Course covers safe gun handling and storage fundamentals. The course requires no time on the range, and can be accomplished in as little as four hours. NRA Certified Instructors teach students the NRA three rules of safe gun handling, explore the types and basic function of firearms, and discuss primary causes of firearm-related accidents.

In the Home Firearm Safety Course, students will also learn about gun parts, ammunition, basic gun cleaning and care, and provide hands-on training on how to safely unload select types of guns. Each participant receives the NRA Home Firearm Safety handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, Basic Firearm Training Program brochure, and a course completion certificate.

home gun safety NRA Blog

The NRA’s network of more than 128,000 NRA Certified Instructors delivers the Home Firearm Safety Course at locations nationwide. To find a course near you or learn about other NRA Training programs, visit the NRA Training portal.

home gun safety NRA Blog

This story appears courtesy the NRA Blog.

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