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September 30th, 2021

Hail to the New QUEEN of 2 Miles — Lindsey Paul

King of 2 Miles Queen Lindsey Paul Raton ELR Ryan Cheney

This lady can shoot! Lindsey Paul is now officially the top ELR ace on the planet. The talented Texan beat a large field of competitors, including many past KO2M Champions, all guys. We congratulate Lindsey on her outstanding performance, including 3 hits in 5 shots at the max distance, 2.0 miles (3520 yards). No other competitor had more than one hit at 3520 yards, and only four other finalists even had one hit at that distance. Lindsey was shooting a .375 CheyTac cartridge with Cutting Edge 400gr solids.

K02M runner-up Ryan Cheney was leading the field most of the event, being the only shooter to hit ALL his targets (without a miss) at 1692, 2097, and 2376 yards, along with 4 of 5 at 2727 — the best at that distance. But Lindsey came through spectacularly at the final 3520-yard distance. One observer noted: “Ryan had it in the bag before Lindsay got hot — three out of five at 3520 yards is HOT!”

King of 2 Miles Queen Lindsey Paul Raton ELR Ryan Cheney

This was an impressive year, proving that the ELR game continues to evolve, with ever-greater overall performances by the ranks of talented shooters. Match Directors posted: “Every year we get more hits at Two Miles and this has been the best ever — 3 of 5 from Lindsey and five shooters hitting the 2 mile target: Lindsey Paul, Ryan Cheney, Jay Dvorsky, Peter Renwick, and Curtis Roman”.

Here are Results from the K02M Finals held Wednesday, 9/29/2021:
King of 2 Miles Queen Lindsey Paul Raton ELR Ryan Cheney

The K02M Match Organizers Posted this Report on the K02M Facebook Page:

FINAL RESULTS FROM 2021 KO2M
NRA Whittington Center, Raton, New Mexico
27-29 September, 2021

Congratulations to all shooters, spotters and teams that drove to Raton from all over the USA and even more to those that hit the targets. Special thanks to the sponsors that made the prize table possible.

A special mention to the King (Queen) of 2 Miles 2021 Lindsay Paul, along with Rei Hoang, and Jaclyn Bryan. [They] proved that women can be as good or better shooters than men. I hope that each year we have more and more women shooters.

Congratulations too for Ryan Cheney who shot so well that he nearly made it to King.

A special mention to all the spotters that drove their shooters to the targets and are always there in their shadow. They all deserve an applause.

We have proven the point, once again, that hits at 2 Miles are possible and not just luck.

Thanks to all for being at KO2M
King of 2 Miles Team

King of 2 Miles Queen Lindsey Paul Raton ELR Ryan Cheney

The Queen of 2 Miles Thanks Her Team and Sponsors
Here is Lindsey’s Report on her Achievement — being the first woman ever to win the King, oops, make that QUEEN of 2 Miles Competition.

“I don’t even know where to start! What a wild ride this year this has been. First and foremost thank you to my amazing guy Robert for being the best spotter I could ask for. He is responsible for making most of this happen with his great wind calls, corrections and support. Thank you to the rest of my team.

Jeff had tough conditions with shade on targets for his final round making spotting misses impossible but still finished with a super-respectable 6th place. Shane has come a long way in a short time and did great as well with a 19th place finish, just below the cutoff for the finals. I’m really proud of my performance as Robert’s spotter. He forgot to write down his dope for target 3 and I still managed to help him get on target and he finished in 26th. Jay we missed the hell out of you and hope you are back to 100% soon!

Thank you to my sponsors Alamo Precision Rifles, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, and Kenneth Johnson at K&P Rifle Barrels. The amazing Cutting Edge Bullets struck again! They just flat out work!

My Applied Ballistics PDM (Personal Drag Model) was nearly spot on out to two miles. Your contribution to shooting sports is beyond remarkable. We couldn’t do what we do without your support.

I was concerned about switching to an Accu-Tac bipod right before this match but I’m dang sure a believer now! I picked up a Nightforce scope of the prize table which was just what I needed as I was borrowing one. Thank you to them and all of the other sponsors who stepped up to support this match and the shooting community.

DNA Custom Engraving also made me the coolest challenge coin ever!”

King of 2 Miles Queen Lindsey Paul Raton ELR Ryan Cheney

Lindsay added praise for her competitors: “Congratulations to all the shooters, NRA Whittington Center is my favorite place to shoot but it can sure be challenging. Ryan Cheney made me work for it, congratulations man, you shot excellent! Rei and Jaclyn how awesome was it to have three ladies in the finals?! Congratulations to both of you!”

King of 2 Miles Queen Lindsey Paul Raton ELR Ryan Cheney

Lindsey Set a FCSA Cold Bore World Record in August 2021
Lindsey is definitely a top talent in the ELR game. Back in August 2021 she set a new FCSA Cold Bore World record at 1.5 miles (2464 yards). Lindsey posted: “WHAT A DAY! I set a new cold bore world record with 3 impacts at 2464 yds! I’m so thankful for an awesome team and my damn fine Alamo Precision Rifles .375 CheyTac. The 400gr Cutting Edge Lazers shined as usual!”

King of 2 Miles Queen Lindsey Paul Raton ELR Ryan Cheney

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
September 30th, 2021

Smith & Wesson Will Move Headquarters to Tennessee

smith wesson massachusetts Tennessee second amendment factory headquarters move

Big news in the gun industry. Smith & Wesson (S&W) announced today it will move its headquarters out of Massachusetts and relocate in Tennessee. In addition, a large share of S&W’s manufacturing operations will be transferred from Massachusetts to the Second Amendment-friendly state of Tennessee. Smith & Wesson will also shut down facilities in Connecticut and Missouri, in connection with the Tennessee relocation.

The main reason for the move was recent anti-gun legislation in Massachusetts. According to Fox News: “The legislation, if enacted, would prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing products that accounted for more than 60% of its revenue last year.” Specifically, pending bill SD. 2588 (“An Act to Stop Mass Shootings”) would bar the manufacturing of “any assault weapon or large capacity feeding device”.

When the process is complete, S&W will have just three manufacturing and distribution facilities in the USA. S&W will continue to make revolvers in Massachusetts, however, and S&W Operations in Holton, Maine will continue without change. Approximately 1000 S&W jobs will remain in Massachusetts after the move. But 750 jobs will be re-located to the new S&W headquarters/production center in Maryville, Tennessee. The move is slated to take place in 2023 at an estimated cost of $138,000,000 to build new facilities and transfer tooling/machinery.

Smith & Wesson Massachusetts
Manufacture of most S&W semi-auto rifles and pistols will be moved out of Massachusetts.

Fox Business noted that restrictive, Democratic Party-sponsored legislation in Massachusetts is compelling S&W to leave: “Gun maker Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. will relocate its headquarters to Tennessee next year due to proposed firearms legislation in its home state of Massachusetts. The legislation, if enacted, would prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing products that accounted for more than 60% of its revenue last year.” Smith & Wesson was founded in Connecticut in 1856, and has been headquartered in Springfield Massachusetts for most of its 165 years of operation. Smith & Wesson was founded by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson as the “Smith & Wesson Revolver Company” in 1856.

A S&W press release cited these key factors in the decision to move:

1. Support for the Second Amendment
2. Business friendly environment
3. Quality of life for employees
4. Cost of living and affordability
5. Access to higher education institutions
6. Availability of qualified labor for its operations and headquarter functions
7. Favorable location for efficiency of distribution

Recently proposed legislation in Massachusetts, if enacted, would prohibit the company from manufacturing certain firearms in the state. Mark Smith, S&W CEO/President said:

“After an exhaustive and thorough analysis, for the continued health and strength of our iconic company, we feel that we have been left with no other alternative. These bills would prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing firearms that are legal in almost every state in America and that are safely used by tens of millions of law-abiding citizens every day exercising their Constitutional Second Amendment rights, protecting themselves and their families, and enjoying the shooting sports. While we are hopeful that this arbitrary and damaging legislation will be defeated in this session, these products made up over 60 percent of our revenue last year, and the unfortunate likelihood that such restrictions would be raised again led to a review of the best path forward for Smith & Wesson.”

Smith further praised Tennessee’s leaders: “The strong support we have received from the State of Tennessee… combined with the quality of life, outdoor lifestyle and low cost of living in the Greater Knoxville area has left no doubt that Tennessee is the ideal location for Smith & Wesson’s new headquarters. We would like to specifically thank Governor Lee for his decisive contributions and the entire state legislature for their unwavering support of the Second Amendment and for creating a welcoming, business-friendly environment.”

S&W’s Tennessee factory and headquarters construction will commence in the 4th quarter of this year and is expected to be completed by mid-2023.

Permalink Handguns, News No Comments »
September 30th, 2021

How to Succeed When Hunting — Tips & Tactics from Kristy Titus

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

As part of NRA Women TV, hunting guide Kristy Titus hosts a series of videos that explain important strategies and shooting skills for hunters. Titus, co-host of the Team Elk TV show, is a certified instructor who has hunted around the globe. She grew up in the outdoors, running pack mules in Oregon with her father. In these videos, Kristy discusses demonstrates field positions that can be employed during a hunt. She also explains preparation for a hunt, including fitness training.

Click each link below to watch other Kristy Titus Hunting Videos.

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Kristy Titus preparing for hunt positional shooting hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Kristy Titus follow up shots hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting ethical shots position

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

“When it comes to bolt-action rifle fit, there is no ‘one size fits all’,” says Titus. “When picking out your rifle [consider options] after the purchase to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.”

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 29th, 2021

GAP Grind This Weekend in Tennessee — Huge Prize Table

GAP Grind 2021 PRS Tactical Shooting USA Scoutten TV

This weekend, October 1-3, 2021, the 2021 GAP Grind Pro/Am takes place at the K&M Precision Shooting Complex in Tennessee. The 3-day event, the largest and most popular PRS Pro-Am Tactical match, includes professional and “amateur” classes with both individual and team competition. Match organizers expect nearly 400 competitors, who, collectively, will send 80,000+ rounds downrange. And there will be LOTS of prizes — the prize table boasts “hundreds of thousands of dollars in gear” provided by scores of sponsors. And 20+ companies are setting up booths on-site to showcase and sell their products.

GAP Grind 2021 PRS Tactical Shooting USA Scoutten TV
Dozens of sponsors make for one of the richest prize tables in all the shooting sports.

The GAP Grind is held at the impressive K&M Shooting Complex in Tennessee:

Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
The GAP Grind is a challenging, “high tempo” match with minimal down-time between stages. Over the course of 20+ stages, competitors will fire 200+ shots at a variety of steel, paper, moving, and reactive targets out to 1,200 yards. Targets vary in size/difficulty based on the shooter’s position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages include “stressors” — i.e. time limits or required movement(s).

GAP Grind 2020 Shooting USA Scoutten TV

The 2021 GAP Grind will have nearly 400 competitors — half experienced shooters and the other half newcomers to the sport. The key to growing the shooting sports is attracting new shooters. The best way to bring in “new blood” seems to be the Pro-Am type format. At the GAP Grind, experienced shooters share their knowledge and guide the new shooters through the competition.

GAP Grind 2020

Great K&M Complex video — overhead and action shots — Click II pause button to halt:

GAP Grind 2020 Shooting USA Scoutten TV

GAP Grind Hardware

You’ll find the latest and greatest PRS hardware at the GAP Grind. Notable in recent seasons was the fact that many top competitors moved down from the 6.5/6mm Creedmoor to the smaller, more efficient 6mm Dasher, 6BRA, 6GT and other 6mm cartridges. The 6mm Dasher offers excellent accuracy with less recoil than the 6.5 Creedmoor. New magazine designs allow very reliable feeding with the shorter cartridges.


Photo by Shelley Giddings.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical No Comments »
September 29th, 2021

Get Ready for Hunting Season with Realistic Game Targets

hunting NRA Blog Target deer buck turkey hog PDF printable target

Hunting season has started in many parts of the country… or will very soon. Before you head out to the hunting fields, you may want to practice your shooting on specialty paper targets designed expressly for hunters. Here is a selection of game targets which can help you achieve success this hunting season.

Realistic Game Targets with Marked Vital Zones

Serious hunters may prefer to practice with photo-realistic game targets with animal profiles that look like the real thing. Champion offers realistic “X-Ray” game animal targetss. These X-Ray targets display the bone structure and heart/lung position of game animals. These are popular with hunters, as are Champion’s Critter Targets Set with 5 different realistic animals in a 10-pack. CLICK HERE to view X-Ray Animal Targets and Critter Targets.

Animal deer target Birchwood Casey realistic deer buck
Unfortunately this large ELK X-Ray target has been discontinued, but you may still find it in some stores. CLICK HERE to view large version.

Animal deer elk target Birchwood Casey realistic deer buck

Birchwood Casey offers a Realistic Deer Target that shows the vital Hit Zone. The target comes with four (4) replaceable Shoot-N-See overlays. A target twin-pack with the overlays is $7.60 at Amazon.com.

Animal deer target Birchwood Casey realistic deer buck

FREE Printable Game Targets from the NRA

To help you prepare for your fall hunts, NRABlog.com has created a set of color practice hunting targets. You can hone your skills on a trio of bucks, three wild hogs, or three turkeys. Each target features three red bullseyes, centered on the animals. You can print the targets in black and white, but they look best in color. Click on each image below to download a FREE printable PDF file.

Right-Click Each Image to Download Printable PDF File:

hunting NRA Blog Target deer buck turkey hog PDF printable target

hunting NRA Blog Target deer buck turkey hog PDF printable target

hunting NRA Blog Target deer buck turkey hog PDF printable target

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
September 29th, 2021

NRA 2021 Members’ Meeting on 10/02/21 in North Carolina

NRA Annual members meeting 2021 charlotte North Carolina NC Sheraton Hotel

You probably know by now that the NRA 2021 Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Houston was cancelled at the last minute. The big event, originally slated for September 3-5, 2021, was called off because of health concerns related to the COVID Delta Variant.

What you probably did NOT know, was that the NRA has rescheduled its official Annual Members’ Meeting for Saturday, October 2, 2021 in North Carolina. The rescheduled event is now set for a single day at the Sheraton/Le Meridien Hotel Complex in Charlotte, NC. Space is limited, but it appears registration is still possible for NRA members (with their membership number).

NRA Annual members meeting 2021 charlotte North Carolina NC Sheraton Hotel

How to Register Online (NRA Membership Number Required)

To register for the event, you must first go to the NRA Annual Members’ Meeting Page, then click the blue button labeled “REGISTER NOW”.

2021 NRA Annual Members' meeting charlotte NC carolina Sheraton

Next, on the eTix Registration Start page that appears when you click REGISTER NOW, you must scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, until you see a green tab labeled “Register”. Warning — this may be blocked by the cookie permission pop-up. On most browsers the green tab was NOT visible until the cookie warning was removed.

WARNING: Do NOT click on the blue link at the top of the page labeled “NRA Annual Member’s Meeting”. That will take you to an eTix dead-end that says “No Tickets Available”.

IMPORTANT: You must Scroll ALL the way down to the bottom of the page. Look for the “Number of Registrants” and GREEN button labeled “Register”. It looks like this on a large screen:

2021 NRA Annual Members' meeting charlotte NC carolina Sheraton

or like this on mobile devices:

2021 NRA Annual Members' meeting charlotte NC carolina Sheraton

Then select the number of tickets and click the green bar. You will be prompted to insert your NRA membership number(s) for the tickets you want. This should be a NINE digit number per member (do NOT use the first three zeros that may appear on some NRA communications).

If you do everything right, you should see this page:

2021 NRA Annual Members' meeting charlotte NC carolina Sheraton

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
September 28th, 2021

King of 2 Miles Event Kicks Off in Raton, New Mexico

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

The 2021 King of 2 Miles ELR competition officially commenced yesterday at the Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. This unique event, the “Olympics” of Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting, attracts many of the best marksmen on the planet, campaigning rifles capable of mind-blowing accuracy at extreme distances. The bullet, barrel, and optics technology on display was impressive — as was the amazing marksmanship. Ryan Cheney is leading the KO2M Qualifications after Day 1&2, shooting perfect 3-for-3s without a miss at 1692, 2097, and 2376 yards, and getting one hit at the most distant 2550-yard target. SEE Day One and Two Results.

Here are some of the cartridges used in ELR Competition. With these high-capacity cartridges, many competitors are using ultra-precision lathe-turned solid bullets.

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range
Big ELR Cartridges left to right: .460 Steyr, .416 Barrett, .375 CheyTac, 33XC, .338 Lapua Magnum, and .300 Remington Ultra Magnum.

Top Results in 2021 Qualifications
Here are the sixteen highest-scoring shooters at the 2021 KO2M match, after two days of qualifications. The Top 16 advance to the Finals tomorrow.

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

Watch K02M Run from 2019 with 360-degree Views
Here is Bryan Litz Shooting K02M in 2019. NOTE, you can slide left/right to get a 360-degree view of the firing line — give it a try! View on Facebook, if 360° movie does not appear on your device.

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

Here are Target Distances and Angles
Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

Paul PhillipsPaul Phillips, 2019 K02M Champion, posted: “I’m very happy with Clay Rhoden with Longshot Cameras and James Devoglaer with KVR Ranch. They performed very well today in qualifications. They hit every plate out to 2550 yards [after the cold bore target]. [This was] their first time at King of 2 Miles!”

Shown below is the ammunition Paul Phillips loaded for his Global Precision Group team using Cutting Edge lathe-turned bullets:

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

Applied Ballistics Brings High-Tech Gear to the KO2M Competition
The Applied Ballistics Team arrived early in Raton to do testing with their high-tech Doppler Radar equipment. This can provide very precise custom ballistics profiles for the ELR rifles. When you’re shooting at these extreme ranges, your come-up tables have to be perfect.

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

“Goooooood Moooooorning New Mexico! It’s a BEAUTIFUL day on the range! We’re setting up the Mobile Lab on the Cooper Range at the NRA Whittington Center and we’ll be hanging out in this gorgeous place.”

Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range
Ko2m king 2 two miles raton new mexico whittington ELR Extreme long range

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
September 28th, 2021

Hodgdon Closes GOEX Black Powder Production Plant in Louisiana

Hodgdon Powder Goex black powder camp minden closure

Hodgdon Powder Company, on 9/27/2021, announced that it would be shutting down the GOEX Black Powder production center at Camp Minden in Louisiana. This was the last remaining black powder factory in the United States. This could mean “hard times ahead for traditional muzzle-loading and BPCR shooting” (source: NAMLhunt.com). Here is the official announcement on the Hodgdon website:

“Effective immediately, Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc. has made the decision to cease manufacturing operations at the company’s Camp Minden, Louisiana site while evaluating strategic options for the black powder business.

The business will wind down operations while an evaluation process on the future of the black powder business takes place. Strategic options for the GOEX and Olde Eynsford brands of black powder, along with the manufacturing capabilities, will include a potential sale of the business. All affected employees will be retained through December 31, 2021 to assist in an orderly closing of the site and receive severance commensurate with their years of service to the company.

The Hodgdon Powder Co., Inc has been honored to have been a part of the GOEX Powder legacy and sustains a fond appreciation for sporting customers who have enjoyed shooting GOEX powders.”

Hodgdon Powder Goex black powder camp minden closure

Ironically, the GOEX logo states “The Tradition Continues”.
With this announcement, GOEX might be gone for good.

Here is a related report by the NRA’s American Rifleman:

The closure eliminates the only domestic source of blackpowder in the United States. According to a company press release, Hodgdon will evaluate “strategic options for the black powder business”, including a potential sale of the company.

GOEX Powder has a long, storied history that starts in 1802 with the building of a blackpowder plant on the Brandywine River in Delaware by E.I. Du Pont de Nemours. Production expanded with the building of the Belin plant in Moosic, Penn., in 1912, and the facility supplied military blackpowder during both world wars, as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars. In the 1970s, the Belin plant was incorporated into the GOEX family, and production moved to Minden, LA, in 1997. [In 1969] GOEX was purchased by Hodgdon Powder Company [which] spent years updating equipment at the Minden facility, enhancing employee safety and blackpowder quality.

Despite Hodgdon’s efforts, the GOEX facility at Camp Minden has a history of manufacturing incidents stretching back to 1998, including a June 2011 incident where 1,000 pounds of blackpowder exploded. The latest incident at GOEX occurred on June 18, 2021, when an explosion required the evacuation of 15 employees inside the facility. Nobody was injured, but the plant observed a 24- to 48-hour waiting period to ensure that nothing else at the facility ignited.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, News No Comments »
September 28th, 2021

6mm Creedmoor Load Data from Sierra

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets
NOTE: The 6mm Creedmoor now does have an official SAAMI specification. It is no longer just a wildcat.

CLICK HERE for Sierra Bullets 6mm Creedmoor LOAD DATA PDF »

Sierra Bullets Load Data 6mm Creedmoor reloading tips

Sierra Bullets has published load data for the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge, a necked-down version of the popular 6.5 Creedmoor. Sierra has released very comprehensive 6mm Creedmoor load data, covering fifteen (15) different bullets from 55 to 110 grains. NOTE: Hornady-brand brass was used for Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor load tests, not the newer, superior Lapua 6mm Creedmoor brass with small primer pockets. Hand-loaders using the stronger Lapua 6mm Creedmoor brass may want to to adjust their loads.

Sierra writes: “As soon as the 6.5 Creedmoor was released in 2007, a 6mm version was being envisioned. After the 6mm Creedmoor demonstrated its worth at 1000 yards it began to catch the attention of Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitors. The 6mm Creedmoor is a great fit for those looking for an AR platform-friendly cartridge. It delivers velocities very similar to the .243 Win and yet fits the AR10 magazine length[.] The 30-degree shoulder makes this a very efficient case and helps prolong case life as well. The 6mm Creedmoor works well with powders such as H4350, [RE-16], RE-17, and Ramshot Hunter for heavier long-range bullet weights. Slightly faster powders such as RE-15, Win 760, and Vihtavuori N540 work well with lighter weight bullets.”

Sierra Bullets Tested for 6mm Creedmoor Load Data
55gr BlitzKing (#1502)
60gr HP (#1500)
70gr HPBT (#1505)
70gr BlitzKing (#1507)
75gr HP (#1510)
80gr SBT (#1515)
85gr Spitzer (#1520)
85gr HPBT (#1530)
90gr FMJBT (#1535)
95gr HPBT (#1537)
95gr TMK (#7295)
100gr Spitzer (#1540)
100gr SBT (#1560)
107gr HPBT (#1570)
110gr HPBT (#1575)

In developing its 6mm Creedmoor load data, Sierra tested a very wide selection of propellants, two dozen overall. For the smaller bullets, fast-burning powders such as Benchmark, H4895, and CFE223 were tested. For the heavier 100+ grain bullets, Sierra tested a selection of medium-burn-rate powders including H4350, Reloder 16, Reloder 17, Varget, and Superformance. Sierra did a very thorough job. We know this information will be welcomed by 6mm Creedmoor shooters.

Don’t know what powder to try first? For the 107-110 grain bullets, if you want best accuracy and low ES/SD, our Forum members recommend Alliant Reloder 16 and Hodgdon H4350. If you are seeking max velocity with the 110-grainer, look at Hodgdon Superformance and Reloder 19.

Here are Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor Load Data Charts for 90-95 grain bullets plus the 107gr MK and 110gr MK. There are five other tables for other bullet types.

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets


BONUS: PRB 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor Load Survey

The Precision Rifle Blog compiled Load Data from PRS Competitors, for both 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor. This is a good place to start. PRB surveyed the match loads for “173 of the top-ranked precision rifle shooters in the country”. One cautionary note: These PRS guys may be loading fairly hot, so work up gradually, 0.3 grains at a time. CLICK HERE.

PRB precision rifle blog pet loads what pros use 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm CM

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 27th, 2021

Bargain Finder 314: 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 State Armory — Ruger American Camo Rifles, $599.99

ruger predator rifle sale
Excellent deer rifle with brake — save $100 with this deal

Hunting season is here. If you need a reliable deer rifle at a good price check out the Ruger American Rifle GO Wild edition. This popular Ruger rifle boasts a great “GO Wild” camo finish and the barreled action is coated for durability. The 22″ barrel is fitted with a factory muzzle brake for reduced recoil. The 3-lug bolt with 70° throw provides good scope clearance and dual cocking cams aid smooth cycling. This rifle is on sale now in 6.5 Creedmoor for $599.99 or 7mm-08 Rem for $599.99. That’s $100 off the regular price. Or get the 450 Bushmaster version for $549.99. Ruger offers this camo-stocked Ruger American in many other chamberings including .243 Win, 6.5 PRC, .25-06, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg, and .300 Win Mag.

2. MidwayUSA — RCBS MatchMaster, $649 net w/ $250 Gift Cert.

rcbs matchmaster sale
Buy advanced RCBS MatchMaster, get $250 Midway Gift Certificate

Want to upgrade to a more advanced, sophisticated powder scale/dispenser? Here’s a great deal from MidwayUSA. If you purchase a RCBS MatchMaster for $899, MidwayUSA kicks in a $250 gift certificate. Spend that $250 on dies, tools, ammo, optics — anything MidwayUSA sells. With the certificate providing an effective $250 price reduction, this is the best deal we’ve seen on the MatchMaster, which offers twin dispensing tubes and multiple modes.

3. Amazon — Kestrel 5700 Weather Meter with LiNK, $399.00

kestrel wind meter sale
Kestrel with LiNK is “must have” for serious long range shooters

The excellent Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Weather Meter with LiNK offers wind measuring PLUS ballistics calculation. The Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Weather Meter measures wind, altitude, and all critical weather and ballistic variables to calculate an accurate aim point for long-range shooting. No more DOPE cards, re-zeroing or guessing at the wind. This compact tool combines onsite environmental measurements with a powerful G1/G7 ballistics calculator to deliver precise elevation and windage solutions.

4. Bruno Shooters Supply — Sierra MatchKing Bullet Sale

bruno shooters sierra SMK matchking 7mm .284 .30 caliber .308 .22
Excellent prices on hard-to-find .224, 7mm, and .30-Cal match bullets

Sierra MatchKing Bullets have won many championships and set records. Right now Bruno’s is offering big savings on popular .224, .284 (7mm), and .308 caliber Sierra Matchkings. Hot deals include 100ct box of 7mm 197gr Matchkings for just $47.65, 500ct box of 7mm 180gr MatchKings for $201.80, 100ct box of .308 175gr MatchKings for $38.95, and 500ct box of .224 77gr MatchKings for $135.00. Competition Tip — These 7mm bullets have worked great for F-Open shooters and the .30-Cal SMKs are excellent for M1 Garands and 1903 Springfields. Tipped MatchKings are also on sale at great prices.

5. Midsouth — Meopta Scope Sale

meopta scope sale
Meopta scopes offer excellent value for the money

When you think of quality scopes do you think of Meopta? If you don’t you should because they make great scopes that fit a number of price ranges. Check out the Meopta Scope Sale over at Midsouth where you can find scopes for just about any use at some great prices.

6. Amazon — Caldwell E-Max Shadows, $69.99

electronic hearing production
Compact NRR23 electronic plugs protect without interfering with cheek weld

Electronic earmuffs are effective, but they are bulky and can be awkward to use with some rifles. Conventional ear plugs provide great sound blocking, but you will have trouble hearing range commands and/or spotter’s shot calls. Get good protection and convenience with Caldwell E-Max Shadows Electronic Hearing Protection devices. These slick earbud-style units feature NRR23 noise reduction, quality stereo sound, illuminated on/off indicator, 4-hour auto-shutoff, and multiple foam insert tips for custom fit.

7. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Wet/Dry Media Separator, $42.99

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Wet/Dry Media Separator
Durable, high-capacity media separator at bargain price

Whether you tumble wet or tumble dry, separating your brass from the tumbling media is critical. For separation duties, the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Wet/Dry Media Separator kit works great. This kit, now just $42.99 at Amazon, includes everything you need to easily remove all types of media from your brass. The kit even has a built-in strainer to catch stainless media before it ends up on the floor or sink.

8. Amazon — Hornady Rechargeable Dehumidifier, $27.92

hornady dehumidifer
Protect gun collection in your safe with advanced dehumidifier

Gun owners need to control the humidity levels in their gun safes and storage vaults. One efficient, modern tool for this task is the Hornady Rechargeable Dehumidifier, on sale now for $27.92 on Amazon. This electrical unit helps control humidity to help prevent rust and mildew. Simply charge the unit and place in your safe to draw unwanted moisture away from your valuables. When the moisture-control crystals change color, then recharge the unit with a 110v outlet.

9. Amazon — 7-Point Temp Labels, $22.36 (10-pack reversible )

temperature strips for shooting
Monitor Barrel temps precisely with adhesive strips

As you shoot, your barrel gets hot and that’s not good for barrel life or accuracy. One of the best ways to monitor barrel heat is with Digi-Sense Reversible 7-Point Horizontal Temperature Labels which attach directly to your barrel(s). These will display a range of 86 to 140 degrees F. That covers the majority of barrel heat ranges you’ll encounter. To measure higher temperatures, there is also a high-range Digi-Sense Temp strip that covers 140 to 194 degrees F.

10. Midsouth — Tula .223 Rem 55gr 1000rd Case, $469.99

223 ammo sale
Great value for reliable 55gr .223 Rem Tula ammunition

Ammo prices are finally starting to come back down. For someone looking for affordable basic .223 Remington ammunition, here is the best deal we’ve found in recent weeks. Midsouth Shooters is selling a 1000rd Case of Tula .223 Rem ammo for just $469.99. That’s just 47 cents per round for reliable 55gr FMJ ammo. NOTE: This is steel-cased, NON-reloadable ammo.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
September 27th, 2021

ELR Italian Style — Extreme Shot One Mile Italia

Gary Costello Tapani Italy italia Extreme Shot One Mile Italia

While the King of 2 Miles event kicks off today in Raton, New Mexico this week, another Extreme Long Range (ELR) competition just concluded in Trapani on the west coast of the Italian island of Sicily. The challenging Extreme Shot One Mile Italia in Sicily took place September 22-26, 2021.

Gary Costello Tapani Italy italia Extreme Shot One Mile Italia
Gary Costello Tapani Italy italia Extreme Shot One Mile Italia

Our British friend Gary Costello took top honors. He reports: “The end of a fantastic week in Sicily, competing at the Extreme Shot One Mile Italia competition. It was great to take home the win. All credit goes to my shooting partner/spotter Stuart who did the business! And congratulations to the other podium winners: Second Place Iacono Rosario and Third Place Rod Formosa. A big thanks to the organizers for a great competition. We made many new friends. See you all next year!”

Gary Costello Tapani Italy italia Extreme Shot One Mile Italia

Click below to watch Official Video of Extreme Shot One Mile Italia winner Gary Costello’s final string. The video records the shots in real time as his spotter was seeing it. This last string had steel targets at 1400m, 1500m, and 1640m. The 1400 and 1500m targets were 60x70cm plates while the most distant 1640m target used a 70x80cm plate. 1640 meters is 1.019 miles.

If you watch this video closely, you can see Gary’s 33XC bullets score hits, including a clear hit on the 1640m target (starting at 3:10 time-mark). Gary’s shots produced visible dark spots on the steel.

Gary Costello Tapani Italy italia Extreme Shot One Mile Italia

Gary was shooting the 33XC cartridge with Berger 300 OTM Bullets. His big ELR rifle, built by GS Precision in the UK, features a BAT ‘M’ RBLP action, Manners LRT carbon stock, and Benchmark 34″, 1:7.5″-twist, five-groove barrel. Gary notes that barrel only had 30 shots through it when the match began. The scope was a March 5-42x56mm HM FFP wide angle with MIL FML-3 reticle.

Gary Costello Tapani Italy italia Extreme Shot One Mile Italia

The event offered a long range challenge set in the beautiful Sicilian countryside with targets placed from 500m to 1640m (one mile is 1609.34 meters). We love the location, and participants praised the event.

Gary Costello’s Post-Match Report:

Q: How is the range in Trapani and what were the wind/weather conditions during the match?

Gary: The range is situated in a valley with distant tall hills. This makes a great backstop. The weather, as you would expect, was warm, usually 80-85 degrees F. The wind was strong, predominately from the left going up the valley. However, it was being affected by the topography. Some of the closer targets were as difficult as the long ones due to the conditions.

Gary Costello Tapani Italy italia Extreme Shot One Mile Italia
This shows the target locations at the Sicily range except for the cold bore and “surprise” targets.

Q: What do you like about ELR competition?

Gary: This was my first ELR competition. I have been ‘lurking’ for a while and made a trip to France for KO2M back in 2019 (just to watch). ELR is very different to F-Class. However the fundamentals are similar. I do like the longer ranges and the challenges these create to make contact. An accurate rifle is essential.

Gary Costello Tapani Italy italia Extreme Shot One Mile Italia

Q: How did you like Sicily and the hospitality of fellow competitors?

Gary: Sicily is fantastic, with super-friendly people. All the guys at the range and the organizers bent over backwards to accommodate and help. Plus there were fantastic lunches delivered daily! Logistics and COVID restrictions didn’t make the trip easy. However it was all worth it.

Gary Costello Tapani Italy italia Extreme Shot One Mile Italia

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 1 Comment »
September 27th, 2021

Weatherby Introduces Backcountry 2.0 Ultralight Hunting Rifles

Weatherby ultralight carbon backcountry 2.0 rifle titanium action
Light is Right — Weatherby’s Backcountry 2.0 rifles weigh as little as 4.7 pounds (before optics).

Here is good news for backcountry hunters. Weatherby’s new Backcountry 2.0 carbon-stocked hunting rifles weigh well under 6 pounds before optics. There is even one titanium action model series that weighs just 4.7 pounds. The 2.0 series now offers both standard steel receivers or even lighter titanium receivers. And Backcountry 2.0 Carbon models are equipped with a new carbon fiber stock that is the lightest in the industry — weight a mere 20 ounces for standard actions. For further weight savings, some models feature a tensioned carbon fiber-wrapped barrel. But all that high-tech doesn’t come cheap — MSRP for the titanium action carbon barrel model is $3749.00!

Ultralight Carbon Stock — Weatherby’s new Blacktooth stock features a Carbon Link™ bedding system which engages the recoil lug and distributes recoil throughout the stock without the weight of a traditional aluminum bedding block. This makes the overall stock lighter and stiffer.

Weatherby ultralight carbon backcountry 2.0 rifle titanium actionREAD Weatherby Backcountry 2.0 Field Test by Peterson’s Hunting

Along with the new ultra-light elements, these Weatherbys have premium Mark V features: 54-degree bolt lift for fast cycling, fluted bolts, TriggerTech triggers, and Cerakote finish on metal parts. All the Backcountry 2.0 series rifles have a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee.

Weights for Backcountry 2.0 Models range with chamberings:

Backcountry 2.0 – 5.3 lbs (.308 Win) to 6.2 lbs (.257 WBY MAG) (MSRP $2499.00)
Backcountry 2.0 Ti – 4.7 lbs (.308 Win) to 5.6 lbs (.257 WBY MAG) (MSRP $3349.00)
Backcountry 2.0 Carbon – 5.8 lbs (6.5 Creedmoor) to 6.6 lbs (.257 WBY MAG) (MSRP $2999.00)
Backcountry 2.0 Ti Carbon – 5.3 lbs (6.5 Creedmoor) to 6.6 lbs (.257 WBY MAG) (MSRP $3749.00)

Weight Saving Secrets — How Weatherby Achieved Such Light Weights
GunsAmerica Digest reports: “A huge amount of the weight savings comes thanks to the updated carbon fiber Blacktooth stock by Peak 44. This stock uses what they call their Rock Solid Carbon Link bedding system which eliminates the need for a metallic bedding block. The Blacktooth stock weighs less than 20 ounces. The Backcountry 2.0 [series adds] both a carbon fiber stock and either fluted #1 MOD-profile or #2 MOD-profile carbon steel barrels or #4 MOD-profile BSF carbon fiber-tensioned barrel to achieve these light weights.” READ GunsAmerica Review.

Weatherbuy ultralight carbon backcountry 2.0 rifle titanium action

To mitigate recoil Weatherby developed its new 3DHEX® recoil pad — the gun industry’s first production 3D-printed pad. The 3DHEX’s three-dimensional honeycombed design extends the duration of the recoil pulse — taking away the sharp kick. Weatherby explains: “With the same amount of recoil spread out over a much greater time period, felt recoil is greatly reduced[.]” Backcountry 2.0 rifle recoil is also reduced by factory-fitted Accubrakes, contoured to match barrel profile.

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September 26th, 2021

Sunday Gunday: Shiraz’s F-Open Dynamic Duo — .30 Cal and 7mm

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut

Pair of Premium F-Open Rifles with Kelbly Golden Bear Actions

Report by Shiraz Balolia, CEO Grizzly Industrial
This project was started 2-3 years ago when I decided to build two brand-new rifles based on the Cerus riflestock chassis. I had my own highly-figured woods and sent them to Will at Cerus Rifleworks. Within a few months I received back two very nice-looking stock blanks but unfortunately they were made for a regular recoil pad system. I was going to install the R.A.D. (Recoil Absorption Device) systems and failed to mention that to Will. Further the thumbhole slot for the adjustment knob was through-cut on both sides of the stock and placed in a position where it would interfere with the R.A.D. recoil system installation. Accordingly, some serious modifications were in order.

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut

Modifying the Cerus Stocks and Installing the R.A.D. System
The very first thing I did was plug up the thumbhole slot in each bank and then installed decorative caps in highly-figured contrasting woods. I also wanted the thumb-knob adjustment to be accessible and adjustable using only one finger so I shifted the whole system forward and to the right. I was now able to install the R.A.D. recoil system (see below) without interfering with the cheekpiece adjustment.

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut

Next, I installed the bottom wider track for my rear bag and also carved out the finger grooves in the grip. The blanks were quite long so I cut off approximately two inches from the front end of each stock and also deepened the large tracking cavity under the fore-ends. I went ahead and inlaid my name in Mother-of-Pearl on the Walnut stock.

Gold Kelbly Actions for Two World-Class Tack-Drivers
The two sequentially-numbered Golden Bear F-Class actions (057 and 058) arrived from Kelbly at different times and the stocks were sent to Alex Sitman at Masterclass Stocks for bedding the actions into the stocks. Alex does an outstanding job on pillar bedding and has done most of my rifles for many years.

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut

The stocks were then sent to Sims Guitar Finishing for clear coating with “wet look” finish on the stocks. Chambering of the barrels was done in-house by Dave, our top engineer at Grizzly Industrial. Dave has chambered most of my rifles in recent years. Both he and I have been trained by Gordy Gritters in precision chambering. Finally, the rifles were assembled, scopes installed, and tested out. Both are tack-drivers made for world-class competition.

Shiraz Tests his .300 Shiraz F-Open rifle. As you’d expect shooting heavy 215gr Berger Hybrids, the recoil is significant, but the rifle tracks perfectly with smooth return to battery.

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut

Rifle #1 – Walnut Stocked .300 Shiraz

• Chambered for .300 Shiraz (modified .300 WSM)
• Stock made of highly-figured Walnut with Curly Maple inner laminations
• Kelbly Golden Bear F-Class action
• Bartlein 1:10″-twist barrel, 31″ length
• March 10-60x56mm High Master scope with Barrett rings
• Bald Eagle tuner
• Jewel trigger

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut

Rifle #2 – Curly Maple Stocked .284 Shiraz

• Chambered for .284 Shiraz (modified .284 Winchester)
• Stock made of highly-figured Curly Maple as well as Walnut and Wenge inner laminations
• Accents and inlays as well as the base shoe are made of Curly Koa wood
• Kelbly Golden Bear F-Class action
• BRUX 1:9″-twist barrel, 31″ length
• March 10-60x56mm High Master scope with March rings
• Bald Eagle tuner
• Jewel trigger

Two Improved Cartridges — .300 Shiraz and .284 Shiraz

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut

The two rifles run their own respective “Improved” cartridges. The dark walnut rig runs the .300 Shiraz which is based on the .300 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM). The maple 7mm runs the .284 Shiraz derived from the .284 Winchester. Shiraz developed these two improved cartridge designs to boost the performance of the parent cartridges which are both quite popular among F-Open competitors. The .284 Shiraz has similarities to the popular .284 Shehane wildcat.

.300 Shiraz Load Information: Shiraz loads his .300 Shiraz with Berger 215gr Hybrids, CCI BR2 Primers, and Hodgdon H4350 Powder. This load produces groups under quarter-MOA.

.284 Shiraz Load Information: The .284 Shiraz (shown below) is loaded with Berger 180gr Hybrids, again with CCI BR2 Primers, and H4350 powder. And like Shiraz’s .30-cal rifle, this handsome 7mm rig delivers sub-quarter-MOA grouping capability.

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut

Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut
Shiraz Balolia F-Open twin rifles Cerus Kelbly Golden Bear action figured walnut
This stock is made from highly-figured Curly Maple with Walnut and Wenge wood inner laminations. Accents and inlays and the base shoe are made of Curly Koa wood.

About Shiraz Balolia

Shiraz Balolia is the founder and CEO of Grizzly Industrial. He is also one of the USA’s leading F-Class shooters. He has been a Team USA member and F-Open Team USA Captain, and in individual competition he won three straight Canadian F-Open Championships (2014, 2015, 2016). That Canadian Three-Peat is definitive proof of Shiraz’s stellar long-range shooting talent.

In the video below, created when Shiraz was F-Open Team USA Captain, Shiraz works with Palma Team Coach Gary Rasmussen. With the target at 800 yards, Shiraz shows how a shooter works with a wind coach. Three cameras are employed to show the target, the shooter, and the spotter’s-eye view.

This video starts with a lesson on target reading, then Shiraz and Gary work together to judge the wind. Watch as Shiraz makes ten straight “10 point” center hits at 800 yeards. A inset frame in the video shows bullet placement after each shot. This video is highly recommended for all long-range competitive shooters and coaches.

Here is Shiraz (top left) with Team Grizzly, the 2018 U.S. F-Open Championship Team. Members are: Shiraz Balolia, Emil Kovan, David Mann, John Myers, Trudie Fay (Coach).

F-Open Team Grizzly Shiraz Balolia

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Shooting Skills No Comments »
September 26th, 2021

Improve Your Shooting Skills with Multi-Discipline Training

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Guest Article By Michelle Gallagher, Berger Bullets
Let’s face it. In the world of firearms, there is something for everyone. Do you like to compete? Are you a hunter? Are you more of a shotgun shooter or rifle shooter? Do you enjoy running around between stages of a timed course, or does the thought of shooting one-hole groups appeal to you more? Even though many of us shoot several different firearms and disciplines, chances are very good that we all have a favorite. Are we spreading ourselves too thin by shooting different disciplines, or is it actually beneficial? I have found that participating in multiple disciplines can actually improve your performance. Every style of shooting is different; therefore, they each develop different skills that benefit each other.

How can cross-training in other disciplines help you? For example, I am most familiar with long-range prone shooting, so let’s start there. To be a successful long-range shooter, you must have a stable position, accurate ammunition, and good wind-reading skills. You can improve all of these areas through time and effort, but there are other ways to improve more efficiently. Spend some time practicing smallbore. Smallbore rifles and targets are much less forgiving when it comes to position and shot execution. Long-range targets are very large, so you can get away with accepting less than perfect shots. Shooting smallbore will make you focus more on shooting perfectly center shots every time. Another way to do this with your High Power rifle is to shoot on reduced targets at long ranges. This will also force you to accept nothing less than perfect. Shoot at an F-Class target with your iron sights. At 1000 yards, the X-Ring on a long range target is 10 inches; it is 5 inches on an F-Class target. Because of this, you will have to focus harder on sight alignment to hit a center shot. When you go back to the conventional target, you will be amazed at how large the ten ring looks.

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Also, most prone rifles can be fitted with a bipod. Put a bipod and scope on your rifle, and shoot F-TR. Shooting with a scope and bipod eliminates position and eyesight factors, and will allow you to concentrate on learning how to more accurately read the wind. The smaller target will force you to be more aggressive on your wind calls. It will also help encourage you to use better loading techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than making a correct wind call on that tiny target, only to lose the point out the top or bottom due to inferior ammunition. If you put in the effort to shoot good scores on the F-Class target, you will be amazed how much easier the long-range target looks when you return to your sling and iron sights. By the same token, F-Class shooters sometimes prefer to shoot fast and chase the spotter. Shooting prone can help teach patience in choosing a wind condition to shoot in, and waiting for that condition to return if it changes.

Benchrest shooters are arguably among the most knowledgeable about reloading. If you want to learn better techniques about loading ammunition, you might want to spend some time at benchrest matches. You might not be in contention to win, but you will certainly learn a lot about reloading and gun handling. Shooting F-Open can also teach you these skills, as it is closely related to benchrest. Benchrest shooters may learn new wind-reading techniques by shooting mid- or long-range F-Class matches.

Michelle Gallagher Cross TrainingPosition shooters can also improve their skills by shooting different disciplines. High Power Across-the-Course shooters benefit from shooting smallbore and air rifle. Again, these targets are very small, which will encourage competitors to be more critical of their shot placement. Hunters may benefit from shooting silhouette matches, which will give them practice when shooting standing with a scoped rifle. Tactical matches may also be good, as tactical matches involve improvising shots from various positions and distances. [Editor: Many tactical matches also involve hiking or moving from position to position — this can motivate a shooter to maintain a good level of general fitness.]

These are just a few ways that you can benefit from branching out into other shooting disciplines. Talk to the other shooters. There is a wealth of knowledge in every discipline, and the other shooters will be more than happy to share what they have learned. Try something new. You may be surprised what you get out of it. You will certainly learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You might develop a deeper appreciation for the discipline you started off with, or you may just discover a new passion.

This article originally appeared in the Berger Blog. The Berger Blog contains the latest info on Berger products, along with informative articles on target shooting and hunting.

Article Find by EdLongrange.

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September 26th, 2021

Tech Tip: How to Determine a Barrel’s True Twist Rate

FirearmsID.com barrel rifling diagram
Erik Dahlberg illustration courtesy FireArmsID.com.

Sometimes you’ll get a barrel that doesn’t stabilize bullets the way you’d anticipate, based on the stated (or presumed) twist rate. A barrel might have 1:10″ stamped on the side but it is, in truth, a 1:10.5″ twist or even a 1:9.5″. Cut-rifled barrels, such as Kriegers and Bartleins, normally hold very true to the specified twist rate. With buttoned barrels, due to the nature of the rifling process, there’s a greater chance of a small variation in twist rate. And yes, factory barrels can be slightly out of spec as well.

After buying a new barrel, you should determine the true twist rate BEFORE you start load development. You don’t want to invest in a large supply of expensive bullets only to find that that won’t stabilize because your “8 twist” barrel is really a 1:8.5″. Sinclair International provides a simple procedure for determining the actual twist rate of your barrel.

Sinclair’s Simple Twist Rate Measurement Method
If are unsure of the twist rate of the barrel, you can measure it yourself in a couple of minutes. You need a good cleaning rod with a rotating handle and a jag with a fairly tight fitting patch. Utilize a rod guide if you are accessing the barrel through the breech or a muzzle guide if you are going to come in from the muzzle end. Make sure the rod rotates freely in the handle under load. Start the patch into the barrel for a few inches and then stop. Put a piece of tape at the back of the rod by the handle (like a flag) or mark the rod in some way. Measure how much of the rod is still protruding from the rod guide. You can either measure from the rod guide or muzzle guide back to the flag or to a spot on the handle. Next, continue to push the rod in until the mark or tape flag has made one complete revolution. Re-measure the amount of rod that is left sticking out of the barrel. Use the same reference marks as you did on the first measurement. Next, subtract this measurement from the first measurement. This number is the twist rate. For example, if the rod has 24 inches remaining at the start and 16 inches remain after making one revolution, you have 8 inches of travel, thus a 1:8″-twist barrel.

Determining Barrel Twist Rate Empirically
Twist rate is defined as the distance in inches of barrel that the rifling takes to make one complete revolution. An example would be a 1:10″ twist rate. A 1:10″ barrel has rifling that makes one complete revolution in 10 inches of barrel length. Rifle manufacturers usually publish twist rates for their standard rifle offerings and custom barrels are always ordered by caliber, contour, and twist rate. If you are having a custom barrel chambered you can ask the gunsmith to mark the barrel with the twist rate.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
September 25th, 2021

Today is National Hunting and Fishing Day

2021 National Hunting Fishing Day license where to hunt

Today, September 25, 2021, is National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD). We’re proud to recognize how important hunting is for millions of Americans — as a source of food for families and as an important connection with nature and the outdoors. The NFHD website has helpful resources for hunters, and in this article we provide links for Where to Hunt, How to get Hunting Licenses, and Hunter Education.

This month we hope some of our readers can take new shooters afield and introduce them to hunting. Many hunters receive their first introduction to hunting from family or friends as a tradition passed down from generation to generation. There are over 9.2 million hunters in the United States. Join the millions of dedicated hunters to enjoy a fulfilling experience in the outdoors.

2021 National Hunting Fishing Day license where to hunt

National Hunting and Fishing Day

hunter education national hunting fishing day

To have a successful hunt you must first get to areas where game thrives. Finding the right places to hunt is essential. The NSSF offers a nationwide Where-to-Hunt database of hunting areas. You can click on a particular state, then specify the specicies you wish to hunt. This is a very useful resource.

hunter education national hunting fishing day

In most states, when hunting game animals, you’ll need a hunting license and/or zone permit. The Federal Fish & Wildlife Service has state-by-state listing for hunting licenses on FWS.gov. Click the box below to learn how to get hunting licenses in your region.

hunter education national hunting licenses fishing day

For all hunters, whether they have mentors to guide them or not, the most important first step into the woods begins with a state-certified hunter education course. Click the box below to see hunting education opportunities around the nation.

hunter education national hunting fishing day

Game Resources — To learn more about different game species, click these NSSF links:

Game Animals Resources | Game Birds Resources


2021 National Hunting Fishing Day license where to hunt

FREE Printable Deer Hunting Target

To help you prepare for a fall hunt, here is a free, printable Deer Practice target. Hone your skills on a trio of bucks with a red bullseye centered on the animals. You can print the targets in black and white, but they look best in color. Right-click the image below to download a FREE printable PDF file.

hunting NRA Blog Target deer buck turkey hog PDF printable target

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 25th, 2021

Twenty Tips for Hunters to Have a Safe and Successful Hunt

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

Today is National Hunting and Fishing Day. To help the avid hunters among our readers, here are Twenty Tips that can help ensure a safe and successful hunt. These tips have been compiled from our AccurateShooter Hunting Forum, with help from Hunting Editor Colton Reid (who has already been out hunting this month). Some items are preparatory — such as working with maps, sighting in the rifle, and improving physical fitness. We also talk about equipment — having the right gear, from proper boots to a GPS for multi-day hunts.

Of course there are entire volumes written on hunting, but these 20 Tips can benefit all hunters. Follow these suggestions and you should have a safer hunting experience with greater likelihood of success. If you liked these pointers, you’ll find two dozen more helpful hints on the NSSF Website.

hunting fishing day Hunting guide

Preparations Before The Hunt

1. Map Your Hunt and Notify Others — Before your hunt, make a plan and notify friends and family members about WHERE you are going and your intended return date and time. Print out a Google Satellite map and locate landmarks and trailheads. Mark where you plan to park your vehicle and give a copy of this map to friend and/or family members. A hunter may injure himself by falling off a rock, or tumbling in a creek-bed. After that kind of injury the hunter may be confused or unable to walk. If you get stranded in the wilderness, you want trusted persons to know where you are. So, before you leave on a trip, provide a map to a friend or family member. Show them where you will leave your vehicle, and where you expect to be every day of your hunting adventure.

2. Licenses and Permits — Make sure you have a valid hunting licenses and all the necessary tags. Begin this process with ample time before your intended hunt(s). The NSSF adds: “If you are crossing state or national borders, find out about any special considerations you must take care of. Border crossings can mean knowing about firearm transport laws or Chronic Wasting Disease-related regulations.”

3. Work on Your Fitness — On a multi-day hunt you may be trekking many miles. You need to be in good shape. If you are out of shape you may be putting yourself in a precarious situation, particularly if you underestimate the terrain difficulty. As the NSSF says: “Not being able to handle the conditions lessens your chances of success, can turn a great experience into an agonizing one and can endanger your health.”

4. Do Your Homework — Study the area you will be hunting. Talk to other hunters. Look at satellite photos. Get a real sense of the walking and terrain challenges. For a multi-day hunt, MAKE a PLAN. The NSSF states: “Eliminate surprises. Learn as much about where you will be staying, the area you will be hunting, what the weather might be like and what you need to bring[.]”

5. Rifle and Ammo — Make sure your rifle is sighted-in and your ammo is tested. Sight-in your rifle with the ammo you plan to use on your hunt. CLICK HERE for 4-Shot Sight-in Method. After sighting-in from the bench, confirm your zero by shooting from typical hunting positions (kneeling and with forearm supported on a rock or post).

hunting rifle sighting in target

6. Shooting Positions — Practice the shooting positions you will use in the field. Practice sitting, kneeling, and prone positions. You should also practice with shooting sticks, using your day pack as a rest, and with a bipod. Try to have a rock-steady rest before taking your shot.

Hunting Positions

7. Back-Up Irons — If possible, select a rifle with back-up iron sights. While modern scopes are very durable, they can and do fail (glass can crack). If you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your hunt, back-up iron sights can keep you in the game even if your riflescope fails.

8. Communications and GPS — Bring a GPS if you are in a wilderness area far from civilization. It’s a good idea to bring a cell phone, but you may not have coverage if you’re quite a distance from populated areas. A smart-phone also doubles as a digital camera to record your trophies. For navigation and safety, consider getting Garmin inReach Explorer+. This high-tech handheld unit features interactive SOS, connecting you to the GEOS 24/7 search-and-rescue monitoring center. They also allow you to send and receive text messages, no matter where you are, via advanced inReach satellite technology. Yes you can communicate even if you are miles from the nearest cell tower.

9. Select Good Gear — Make sure you have GOOD BOOTS that are comfortable — you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet. You may want a pack with harness for your rifle so you have both hands free. On a multi-day trip, make sure you can carry enough water, and that you will stay warm enough at night. Good practices for backpacking apply to multi-day hunts.

10. Make a Gear Checklist — Create a complete checklist of the gear and supplies you need. That includes arms, ammunition, rangefinder, binoculars, proper clothing (including spare clothes), hunting accessories, sleeping gear (on multi-day hunts), toiletries, medications. Don’t forget a good first aid kit — lots of bad things can happen during any wilderness trip. You can cut a hand, break an ankle or worse.

During The Hunt

11. Have a Plan — know where you plan to go and when. Try to be where you want in the early morning and early evening hours when deer are likely most active.

12. Take Your Time — If you spot a deer and get too excited and don’t take your time you may spook him. Go slow and glass. If possible, wait for the animals to bed down and relax. Then work out the best way to approach your prey. Remember, “You get so few opportunities, don’t screw it up!”

13. Glass More, Walk Less — Let your eyes do the walking — get good binoculars and use them. With their heightened senses of smell and hearing, deer/elk are able to spot you way better than you can spot them. If you are walking around a lot, chances are you are getting spotted by your prey.

14. Riflescopes Are Not Binoculars — Never use a riflescope as a substitute for binoculars. The temptation to do so is real, but when one does this, one is by definition pointing the muzzle of the gun at unknown targets. We like binoculars with built-in rangefinders. When glassing at long range, try supporting your binoculars on your pack.

hunting scopes binoculars Zeiss Colton Reid

15. Be Sure of Your Target before Shooting — Every year during whitetail season, farmers are forced to spray-paint their cattle or risk having them “harvested” by hunters who don’t bother confirming the species in their sights. Hunters with “buck fever” can make mistakes. When in doubt, don’t shoot.

hunting scope deer rifle

16. Know When to Unload — When finished hunting, unload your firearm before returning to camp. You should also unload your gun before attempting to climb a steep bank or travel across slippery ground.

17. Bring Hearing Protection — While pursuing and stalking your prey you’ll want full sensory use of your ears. But when you’re finally ready to take the shot, slip in hearing protection. A shot from a large-caliber hunting rifle can exceed 170 decibels. Unprotected exposure to noise from a SINGLE 170+ dB shot can cause permanent hearing damage. (Source: ASHA.org). If you make a follow-up shot, you double that noise hazard. Therefore a hunter with a non-suppressed rifle should have hearing protection available.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

You can keep a pair of quick-insert plugs on a cord around your neck. Or, get a lightweight neck band with earbuds, such as Howard Leight Quiet Band QB2HYG, 3M Safety Band, or Sellstrom Band, all with a good 25 dB Noise Reduction Rating. You can keep these lightweight bands around your neck, for quick deployment before you shoot.

hunting safety annual day top 20 tips

“Once a hunter is successful, the REAL work begins.” — Colton Reid

18. Harvesting the Animal — When dressing your animal, be careful with the meat. You’ll want very sharp knives. Some hunters prefer knives with replaceable, razor-sharp blades. Don’t rush the task. Make sure you don’t get moisture or dirt on meat. The three spoilers of meat are heat, moisture, and dirt.

19. Pace Yourself When Packing Out — If you DO succeed, and bring down a big buck, will you be able to dress the animal and carry out the meat? Always be prepared to hike out with extra weight. If you are successful, make sure not to waste the meat you worked so hard for. Choose a pack that can help you carry a heavy load. Remember, this is not an insignificant challenge — you may be carrying 60 to 100 extra pounds in addition to your other gear. Again, take your time. Rest as needed. Don’t hurt yourself.

20. Remember to Enjoy the Experience — Our Hunting Editor, Colton Reid, offers this sage advice to all hunters, but particularly to novices: “Have fun, and appreciate your hunt, whether you bag a buck or not. It is a privilege to experience the wilderness and to get away from the city. Enjoy it while you’re out there. And keep your spirits up. You may get tired, but remember that ‘comes with the territory’. At the end of the day, yes you may be exhausted. And you may want to quit and go home. But stay positive, stay focused. Be patient, the experience is worth it.”

hunting fishing day Hunting guide
CLICK HERE for Hunter Training/Mentoring Programs State-by-State.

Prepare For Your Hunt — Get Fit and Practice Positions

As part of the NRA’s Tips & Tactics video series, Kristy Titus explains how to prepare for a hunt. Titus, co-host of the Team Elk TV show has hunted around the globe. She grew up in the outdoors, running pack mules in Oregon with her father. In this video, Kristy discusses fitness training and demonstrates field positions that can be employed during a hunt.

Kristy explains: “Hunting can lead you into some steep, rough country. It’s really important that you train both your body and your mind to handle the elements and the rigors of hunting So, if you plan on going on a mountain hunt, get out and train your body. Train with your firearm. Get off the bench and have some fun with this. Do some positional shooting or, if you want to add a stress dynamic… have someone put you under a time parameter.”

Visit WhereToHunt.org

There’s a great online resource for hunters that will help you find game locations in your state and ensure you have all the proper permits and game tags. WheretoHunt.org features an interactive map of the country. For all 50 states, the NSSF has compiled information about hunting license and permits, where to hunt, hunter education classes, laws and regulations and more. For each state you’ll also find a link for required applications and license forms.

Click Map to Get State-by-State Hunting INFO
Where to Hunt hunting license game location

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September 25th, 2021

.223 Rem vs. 5.56x45mm NATO — What You Need to Know

.223 Rem Remington 5.56 SAAMI CIP 5.56x45 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge ammo pressure test luckygunner ultimatereloader Gavin Gear

Probably the most popular centerfire rifle round in the Western Hemisphere is the .223 Remington and its metric match, the 5.56x45mm. Though many folks use “.223 Rem” and “5.56×45″ interchangeably, there are some meaningful differences in specifications for the original .223 Rem and the 5.56x45mm cartridge, as adopted by the U.S. military and NATO armies. The default chamber throats are slightly different and the .223 Rem is rated at 55,000 PSI vs. 62,366 PSI for the 5.56x45mm.*

.223 Rem vs 5.56x45mm — Key Differences
There is a truly outstanding, very thorough article on the subject, published by LuckyGunner.com.** This involved extensive testing, with pressure monitors, of 5.56x45mm ammo in .223 Rem chambers. Those tests revealed the peak pressures. Here is one of the ammo test charts:

.223 Rem Remington 5.56 SAAMI CIP 5.56x45 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge ammo pressure test luckygunner ultimatereloader Gavin Gear

NOTE: “The observed chamber pressure for Federal XM855 5.56mm ammunition in a .223 Rem chamber exceeded .223 maximum pressures, but not by a massive amount. The ninth shot (the red line) was an underpowered cartridge which exhibited significantly lower velocity and pressure than the other rounds, so it was excluded from the average velocity and pressure numbers for this chamber.”

And if you’re curious, LuckyGunner also fired .223 Rem ammo in a 5.56x45mm NATO-chambered AR15 rifle. As you would expect, the peak pressures were significantly lower, but the .223 Rem ammo still cycled the semi-auto AR-platform rifle perfectly well:

.223 Rem Remington 5.56 SAAMI CIP 5.56x45 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge ammo pressure test luckygunner ultimatereloader Gavin Gear

READ FULL LuckyGunner .223 Rem vs. 5.56x45mm ARTICLE »

UltimateReloader.com Explains .223 Rem vs. 5.56x45mm
To explain the key differences between the .223 Rem and 5.56x45mm cartridges our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com has created a very thorough 12-minute video. This covers the cartridge specifications and explains key considerations for hand-loaders. Gavin also addresses the oft-asked question “Can I shoot 5.56x45mm ammo in my .223 Rem chamber?” Gavin’s video is definitely worth watching. In fact, this is one of the most popular videos Gavin has ever created — it has been watched nearly 4.5 million times on YouTube.

What Exactly Is the 5.56x45mm NATO Cartridge?
The 5.56×45mm NATO is a rimless bottle-necked intermediate cartridge family standardized by NATO with development work by FN Herstal. It consists of the SS109, SS110, and SS111 cartridges. Under STANAG 4172, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries.

Bullet diameter: 5.70 mm (0.224 in)
Maximum pressure (EPVAT): 430.00 MPa (62,366 psi)
Maximum pressure (SCATP 5.56): 380.00 MPa (55,114 psi)
Case length: 44.70 mm (1.760 in)
Rifling twist: 178 mm or 229 mm (1 in 7 in)
Parent case: .223 Remington (M193)

Ammo-Maker Federal Premium Compares .223 Rem and 5.56x45mm
Here is a video from ammo-maker Federal Premium explaining the difference between .223 Remington and 5.56x45mm NATO. Federal states that you may experience excessive pressures when firing a 5.56x45mm in a standard .223 Remington chamber:

One leading gunwriter has addressed the question of shooting 5.56x45mm ammo in .223 Rem chambers. He advocates caution (for more info, SEE pressure tests by LuckyGunner.com):

“I have received a slew of questions — many from first time AR-type rifle buyers — about the .223 Rem and the 5.56×45 mm NATO cartridges. Can I shoot 5.56×45 mm NATO in my .223 and vice-versa? Are these the same cartridge?

Externally, the two cartridge cases are identical. The main differences are that 5.56×45 mm NATO operates at a higher chamber pressure (about 60,000 PSI versus 55,000 PSI on the .223 Rem.) and the 5.56’s chamber is slightly larger than that of the .223 Rem. Also, the throat or leade is longer in the 5.56×45 mm chamber. What does this mean? You should not shoot 5.56×45 mm NATO out of a rifle that is chambered in .223 Rem [with a standard short throat]. And be aware that some .223 Rem ammunition will not reliably cycle through some AR-style .223 Rem rifles, but it usually does. As a matter of fact, I have not encountered any difficulty with current .223 Rem. loads cycling through a 5.56 mm AR-style rifle.” — Mark Keefe, Editor, American Rifleman


* According to the official NATO proofing guidelines, the 5.56×45mm NATO case can handle up to 430.0 MPa (62,366 psi) piezo service pressure. The U.S. SAAMI lists Maximum Average Pressure (MAP) for the .223 Remington cartridge as 55,000 psi (379.2 MPa) piezo pressure with deviation of up to 58,000 psi (399.9 MPa). The chamber for military 5.56×45mm NATO has a longer throat prior to the bullet contacting the rifling which results in lower pressures when firing 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition. If 5.56×45mm NATO is used in rifles chambered for .223 Remington the bullet will be engraving the rifling when chambered. which can increase pressures past SAAMI Max levels. NOTE: The C.I.P. standards for the C.I.P. civilian .223 Remington chamber are much closer to the military 5.56×45mm NATO chamber.

** The full-length LuckyGunner article is well worth reading. It even provides specifications for a number of .223 Rem reamer types, and compares the original .223 Rem, the 5.56x45mm NATO, and the modern .223 Wylde chamberings.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tactical, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 24th, 2021

PickleForks — Bolt-On F-Class Bag-Rider Rails for Eliseo Tubeguns

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork forend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

Do you have an Eliseo Tubegun that you use for sling-shooting competitions, but would like to try your hand at F-Class Open matches? Well here is a low-cost, yet very effective add-on that can transform your TubeGun into a serious F-Open rifle. The bolt-on rails also work great for load development if you want to use a front rest with 3″-wide front bag for greater stability and repeatability.

Competition Machine’s Gary Eliseo is a very smart designer as well as a talented shooter. The inventor/builder of the popular Competition Machine Tubegun chassis systems, Gary offers a bolt-on bag-rider accessory. Gary call this his PickleFork fore-end extension. The Pickleforks are rails that fit to the sides of the tubular fore-end/handguard on his chassis systems. This allows you to use a pedestal-style front rest for F-Class competition.

Pickleforks also provide a much more stable platform for load testing, varmint hunting, or any kind of rest-assisted precision shooting. These PickleForks transform a Tubegun into an ultra-stable, straight-tracking rig when used with a competition-style front rest.

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork forend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

Gary explains: “Now you can have the same super low-boreline, long ‘wheelbase’ and vertical sides of our innovative F1 F-Class chassis system for your tube chassis. The new PickleForks attach directly to the sides of the F-Class/Tactical fore-ends, no modifications are required. They are very rigid with no flex or twist and make the rifle track like it’s on rails.” The new Eliseo Competition Machine PickleForks are offered for a very reasonable $70.00 per pair, with Cerakote finish. (You get two metal units, one for each side of the fore-arm). For more information, visit www.GotXRing.com or call (928) 649-0742.

Eliseo Tubegun Chassis Pickle-Fork Picklefork forend fore-end F-TR F-Class Bag Rider

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, News 1 Comment »
September 24th, 2021

Practical Shooting Skills for Hunters — Field Rests

Field rest hunter hunting hunting day stalk stalking rifle resting

Thomas Haugland HuntingTomorrow, September 25, 2021, is National Hunting and Fishing Day. Hunting season is here — and we know many of our readers will soon head to the woods in pursuit of deer, elk, or other game. To make a good shot, it’s wise to rest your rifle when possible. In this video, methods for stabilizing a rifle in the field are demonstrated by Forum member Thomas Haugland, who hails from Norway. Thomas focuses on practical field shooting skills for hunters. Thomas (aka ‘Roe’ on Forum and Sierra645 on YouTube) shows how to verify his zeros from bipod and then he demonstrates improvised field rests from the prone, kneeling, and sitting positions.

Thomas explains: “In this video I focus on basic marksmanship techniques and making ready for this year’s hunt. As a last check before my hunting season, I got to verify everything for one last time. My trajectory is verified again, the practical precision of the rifle is verified. I also practice making do with the best [improvised] rest possible when an opportunity presents itself. After getting knocked in the face by a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle during a previous filming session, I had to go back to basics to stop [flinching]. I include some details from bipod shooting that hopefully some hunters will find useful. Fingers crossed for this years season, good luck!”

How to Stalk Game — Tips from Thomas
If you liked that video, here is another valuable video from Thomas. In this “How to Approach Deer” video, Thomas explains the basics of a successful stalk. If you are headed into deer country this fall, definitely watch this video.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »