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March 16th, 2021

St. Patrick’s Day Sale — AR Components, Pistols, Optics and More

Palmetto Armory St. Patrick's Day Sale AR 15 pistol rifle lower upper

Palmetto State Armory (PSA) is running a St. Patrick’s Day Sale, with some impressive bargains on handguns, rifles, and AR components (uppers, lowers, stocks, grips, bolt sets). Hundreds of items are on sale. Most are AR-related, but there are also many pistols and optics on sale, along with stocks, triggers, and more. Here are eight great deals that turned our heads this St. Patty’s Day:

St. Patrick’s Day Sale Great Deals
Palmetto Armory St. Patrick's Day Sale AR 15 pistol rifle lower upper Palmetto Armory St. Patrick's Day Sale AR 15 pistol rifle lower upper
Palmetto Armory St. Patrick's Day Sale AR 15 pistol rifle lower upper Palmetto Armory St. Patrick's Day Sale AR 15 pistol rifle lower upper
Palmetto Armory St. Patrick's Day Sale AR 15 pistol rifle lower upper Palmetto Armory St. Patrick's Day Sale AR 15 pistol rifle lower upper
Palmetto Armory St. Patrick's Day Sale AR 15 pistol rifle lower upper Palmetto Armory St. Patrick's Day Sale AR 15 pistol rifle lower upper

St. Patrick’s Day Shooting Coat Sale

Here is a special St. Patrick’s Day Sale Item from Creedmoor Sports. This Green Coat is certainly appropriate today, when “wearing the green” is a part of the tradition. A wide range of sizes, from 30 to 58 is available. For a few dollars more you can add a Sling Harness section or a Terry Cloth Collar piece.

Creedmoor Sports St. Patrick's day shooting coat Deluxe Canvas Shooting Coat

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics, Tactical No Comments »
March 16th, 2021

Great Gun Cases for Valuable Rifles — Protect Your Investment

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Now that you’ve spent thousands of dollars on the new benchrest, PRS, ELR, or hunting rifle (and thousands more on optics), how are you going to get it to the range and/or hunting grounds? It’s important to transport your valuable firearms in high-quality gun cases. Good padded soft cases can work, but for long-distance hauling (and all air transport), we recommend hard cases with quality foam inside.

Choosing a Rifle Transport Case

Before he retired, Forum member Ron D. served as a Police Officer at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Ron offers some very important advice for shooters traveling with firearms and expensive optics: “Buy the best [rifle case] that you can afford. Don’t cry when your $3,000+ Benchrest rifle has a cracked stock or broken scope. Think about what it would be like to travel across the country and arrive with a damaged rifle. Remember the Samsonite commercial. (For you younger shooters, it shows a monkey throwing the suitcase around in his cage at the zoo.)

Baggage handling is NOT a fine art. There is no guarantee that your rifle case will be on top of all the other baggage. Then there is shifting of baggage in the belly of the plane. Ponder that for a while. Rifle and pistol cases must be locked. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that a simple pry tool will open most case locks. There is not much that you can do to disguise a rifle case. It is what it is, and opportunists know this. Among thieves, it doesn’t take long for the word to get around about a NEW type of case.”

Customizing the Foam Interiors of Gun Carry Cases

For the best fit of your firearms and accessories in a foam-interior hard case, you should customize the foam to fit. Some cases have “pluckable” foam. With these you remove small squares one an a time until the stored items fit. With other cases with dense foam interiors, you’ll need to cut the foam to fit. Here are two videos that show the process of tailoring foam to a rifle using an electric cutting tool. Watch these videos carefully — they can really help create the best custom-fit for your firearms.


firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Pelican 1750 Waterproof Travel Vault Case

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Guncases.com, an Optics Planet company, offers a wide selection of quality, durable gun cases. One of the best units offered is Pelican 1750 Waterproof Rifle Case – Travel Vault Protector. If you’re headed to a very rainy/snowy climate, or transporting your rifle on a boat, consider this option. The waterproof Pelican 1750 case measures 53.00″ x 16.00″ x 6.12″ outside and weighs 25.5 pounds unladen. It features an O-Ring Seal, Pressure Relief Valve, and a lifetime warranty. It is offered in three colors, OD Green, Black, and Desert Tan, starting at $269.95. This is pricey, but it is one of the highest-rated cases you can buy.

Pelican Vault Series Rifle Cases

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Pelican Products, known for premium hard-shell transport cases also offers a more affordable VAULT series of cases. Pelican’s VAULT cases offer durability and security at a lower price point. VAULT cases range in price from $39.99 to $199.99 and are backed by a 1-year guarantee. The VAULT rifle cases all feature wheels, easy-to-use push-button latches, and four stainless steel lock hasps for security. There is also a brightly colored Hi-Viz strip on the front of Pelican’s VAULT cases. This will make it easier to spot your case at airport baggage areas. The model V800 double-rifle case features a 53″ x 16″ x 6″ interior. That’s long enough for F-Class rifles and tactical rigs with brakes. The model V770 single-rifle case is 50″ × 10″ × 6″ inside. That’s still big enough for most hunting, varmint, and benchrest rifles.

SKB Double Rifle Case

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

GunCases.com also offers SKB Gun Cases. The SKB model 2SKB-5009 Double Rifle Case is an excellent choice carrying two rifles long distances. This has a very tough exterior with a metal middle frame for extra strength. Priced at $286.24 on Amazon, this case has exterior dimensions: 56″ L x 16.5″ W x 9.5″ H. This photo shows the case carrying both an M1A and an M1 Garand. NOTE: The foam is not really customizable. This is not the best choice if you plan to carry a single rifle and a spotting scope and a second barrel.

Plano Two-Gun All-Weather Tactical Case

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

This Plano two-gun case is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wheeled, heavy-duty firearms cases. This is offered in three sizes: 36″, 42″, and 52″. We like the biggest 52″ version, ($117.49 on Amazon), as it is long enough inside to fit most scoped match rifles. Alternatively, if you have a really long F-Class, ELR, or Palma rig, you can detach the barreled action from the stock, and run the two sections in the shorter 42″ case, now just $75.99 on Amazon. The big case lets you easily carry TWO scoped hunting rifles. That’s great because this case is strong enough for airline travel, meeting FAA requirements for checked baggage. This Plano case offers a good balance between strength and weight, all for a reasonable cost. Yes a Pelican 1750 is somewhat better, but that will cost at least $270.00 — over twice as much.

Plano now offers advanced versions of its All Weather series with “Rustrictor” technology. These Rustrictor cases, which sport RED handles and latches, come with built-in anti-corrosion technology — a rust-preventive Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) infused into the resin and into foam emitter blocks. If you often shoot in wet environments, or leave guns in a case for more than a few hours, you should probably upgrade to the Plano Rustrictor cases, currently priced at $97.76 for the 42″ model and $184.99 for the 52″ wheeled case.

Video Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 16th, 2021

Changes in Humidity Can Alter Powder Burn Rates — IMPORTANT

Tech Tip Norma Powder gunpowder moisture temperature humidity

Most shooters realize that significant changes in temperature will alter how powders perform. That’s why you want to keep your loaded ammo out of the hot sun, and keep rounds out of a hot chamber until you’re ready to fire. But there are other factors to be considered — HUMIDITY for one. This article explains why and how humidity can affect powder burn rates and performance.

We’ve all heard the old adage: “Keep your powder dry”. Well, tests by Norma have demonstrated that even normal environmental differences in humidity can affect the way powders burn, at least over the long term. In the Norma Reloading Manual, Sven-Eric Johansson, head of ballistics at Nexplo/Bofors, presents a very important discussion of water vapor absorption by powder. Johansson demonstrates that the same powder will burn at different rates depending on water content.

Powders Leave the Factory with 0.5 to 1.0% Water Content
Johansson explains that, as manufactured, most powders contain 0.5 to 1% of water by weight. (The relative humidity is “equilibrated” at 40-50% during the manufacturing process to maintain this 0.5-1% moisture content). Importantly, Johansson notes that powder exposed to moist air for a long time will absorb water, causing it to burn at a slower rate. On the other hand, long-term storage in a very dry environment reduces powder moisture content, so the powder burns at a faster rate. In addition, Johansson found that single-base powders are MORE sensitive to relative humidity than are double-base powders (which contain nitroglycerine).

Tests Show Burn Rates Vary with Water Content
In his review of the Norma Manual, Fred Barker notes: “Johansson gives twelve (eye-opening) plots of the velocities and pressures obtained on firing several popular cartridges with dehydrated, normal and hydrated Norma powders (from #200 to MRP). He also gives results on loaded .30-06 and .38 Special cartridges stored for 663 to 683 days in relative humidities of 20% and 86%. So Johansson’s advice is to keep powders tightly capped in their factory containers, and to minimize their exposure to dry or humid air.”

Confirming Johansson’s findings that storage conditions can alter burn rates, Barker observes: “I have about 10 pounds of WWII 4831 powder that has been stored in dry (about 20% RH) Colorado air for more than 60 years. It now burns about like IMR 3031.”

What does this teach us? First, all powders start out with a small, but chemically important, amount of water content. Second, a powder’s water content can change over time, depending on where and how the powder is stored. Third, the water content of your powder DOES make a difference in how it burns, particularly for single-base powders. For example, over a period of time, a powder used (and then recapped) in the hot, dry Southwest will probably behave differently than the same powder used in the humid Southeast.

Reloaders are advised to keep these things in mind. If you want to maintain your powders’ “as manufactured” burn rate, it is wise to head Johannson’s recommendation to keep your powders tightly capped when you’re not actually dispensing charges and avoid exposing your powder to very dry or very humid conditions. The Norma Reloading Manual is available from Amazon.com.

Real-World Example — “Dry” H4831sc Runs Hotter

Robert Whitley agrees that the burn rate of the powder varies with the humidity it absorbs. Robert writes: “I had an 8-lb. jug of H4831SC I kept in my detached garage (it can be humid there). 43.5-44.0 gr of this was superbly accurate with the 115 Bergers out of my 6mm Super X. I got tired of bringing it in and out of the garage to my house for reloading so I brought and kept the jug in my reloading room (a dehumidified room in my house) and after a few weeks I loaded up 43.5 gr, went to a match and it shot awful. I could not figure out what was going on until I put that load back over the chronograph and figured out it was going a good bit faster than before and the load was out of the “sweet spot” (42.5 – 43.0 gr was the max I could load and keep it accurate when it was stored in less humid air). I put the jug back in the garage for a few weeks and I now am back to loading 43.5 – 44.0 gr and it shoots great again. I have seen this with other powders too.”

If you have two jugs of the same powder, one kept in a room in your house and one somewhere else where it is drier or more humid, don’t expect the two jugs of the same lot of powder to chrono the same with the same charge weights unless and until they are both stored long enough in the same place to equalize again.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »