As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











February 28th, 2022

Bargain Finder 336: 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. Graf’s — Peterson Catridge Brass In Stock

peterson rifle brass
Peterson brass is strong and consistent, good selection of cartridge types

Peterson makes great brass for a wide variety of popular cartridges. Peterson has earned a great reputation for its consistent, long-lasting match-grade brass. Right now Graf’s has Peterson brass IN STOCK for a wide range of cartridge types — from small varmint rounds to F-Class cartridges all the way up to big magnums for ELR. Whether you shoot a .22-cal or even a .408 CheyTac round, you should find in-stock Peterson brass that suits your needs.

2. EuroOptic — Vortex Optics Closeout Sale (Save Hundred$)

vortex scope optics sale
Huge discounts on excellent scopes with superb warranty

Need a scope for your next rifle project, but have a limited budget? You can save hundreds of dollars with EuroOptic’s Vortex Optics Close-Out Sale. EuroOptic has FFP and SFP Vortex scopes with a variety of feature sets and magnification ranges — all at crazy low prices. All Vortex scopes on sale are brand new, with full factory warranty.

3. Creedmoor Sports — American Practice Bullets

cheap bulk bullets sale
Major discounts on big-name factory bullets; great for practice

We can all use more live fire practice. To shoot more without breaking your budget, we recommend these American Practice bullets. These are good quality “big name” bullets in a wide range of calibers. You can get 500 bullets for a fraction of their normal costs. CLICK HERE for the full selection. We recommend: 77gr .224 bullets; 107gr 6mm bullets; and 168gr .308 bullets. With these deals you can practice more often.

4. Powder Valley — Accurate Powders IN STOCK, Low Prices

large rifle transport case nylon SKB Pelican Plano Bulldog
Good selection of Accurate-brand powders at VERY favorable prices

For a long time, Powder Valley Inc. has been one of the best resources for reloading supplies. Powder Valley is a highly ethical company, run by honorable folks who have worked hard to hold down prices on powder and primers. Powder Valley has also been a staunch supporter of AccurateShooter since the beginning. Right now Powder Valley has a good selection of Accurate-brand powders in stock at very fair prices — from $27.25/lb (Accurate #2) to $34.50/lb (Accurate 4064). If you could use one of the available Accurate-brand powders, head over to Powder Valley today.

5. Midsouth — Hornady V-Max Bullet Sale

hornady v-max tipped hunting varmint bullets
Get high-quality, first-rate tipped hunting bullets at bargain prices

V-Max bullets are favored by game hunters and varmint shooters. Right now Hornady V-Max bullets, in a wide assortment of calibers/weights, are on sale at Midsouth. The Hornady V-MAX polymer tip increases the ballistic coefficient and also initiates dramatic expansion upon impact — even at velocities as low as 1600 fps. For varmint hunting in .20, .224, and 6mm calibers, the V-Max bullets are a great choice, and now you can save big. 22-Caliber shooters can select 40gr, 50gr, 53gr, and 55gr bullets all for just $21.59 for 100 bullets.

6. Palmetto SA — S&W M&P15-22 Sport Rimfire Package, $449.99

smith wesson NRL22 .22 LR rimfire AR smallbore rifle discount palmetto
Good, reliable rimfire AR clone for NRL22 and cross-training

This Smith & Wesson AR-style M&P15-22 provides the fun of an AR15 with the low cost of rimfire ammo. This can work well for cross-training or NRL22 matches. The S&W M&P15-22 SPORT features a slim M-LOK handguard that easily accepts a variety of accessories without removing the handguard. The M&P15-22 SPORT comes standard with removable Magpul MBUS front and rear folding sights. This $449.99 package includes 3 magazines and a nice gun case.

7. Midsouth — Bulldog Rifle Case 54″, $69.99

large rifle transport case nylon SKB Pelican Plano Bulldog
Good deal on excellent case for long rifles up to 52.5″

Highly rated by purchasers, the Bulldog Long Range Rifle Case fits rifles up to 52.5″ long. This premium 54″ soft case is on Sale Now for $69.99 at Midsouth, 18% off the regular $84.99 price. The Bulldog LR works great for long-barreled match rifles. This versatile case boasts a tough 600-dernier water-resistant outer shell, plus quilted inner lining with Velcro tie downs. There are two zippered center pockets plus an external zippered pocket at front. The main compartment zippers are lockable. Choose either Dark Tan (shown), or Matte Black for the same $69.99 price.

8. Amazon — Lyman Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress, $119.99

lyman brass smith
Efficient, well-designed power trimmer that indexes off shoulder

Trimming brass is critical to precision reloading. However, with most case trimmers it’s a pain to adjust trim length, plus the hand-cranking becomes tiresome. A better, more efficient case trimming solution is offered by the Lyman Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress. We like this case trimmer for good reason. The smart design allows for .001″ trim length adjustments with the click of a dial. The tool ships with 10 bushings that cover the most popular neck sizes on the market. To see a video of the Case Trim Xpress in action, check out our Lyman Case Trim Xpress Review.

9. Amazon — Caldwell The Rock Jr. Front Shooting Rest, $35.19

RCBS the rock rifle rest
Low-cost rest works for young shooters and as back-up varminting rest

Simple and light can be good. When teaching youngsters to shoot or when sighting in a hunting rig, this Caldwell Rock Jr. Rest may be all you need. Weighing under 5.5 pounds, this compact rest is easy to set up. It offers 7.75″ vertical adjustment. One verified buyer states: “After lugging [a heavy front rest] to and from the range a few times I realized it was just too big and heavy for what I really needed. This little rest is inexpensive, yet it’s ideal for sighting-in firearms and airguns, and for informal shooting. A hint: Lubricate the elevation screw and the thrust washer that sits under the elevation wheel with a dab of lithium grease, and your adjustments will be smoother and easier.”

10. Brownells — Wipe-Out Foam Cleaner, $10.99

wipeout cleaner
Wipe-Out Foam is effective, particularly when used right after shooting

Walking the firing line at the Berger SW Nationals, one cleaning product was mentioned over and over again and for good reason. Sharp Shoot R Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner is a no-nonsense, easy-to-use bore cleaner that does a great job. We get best results with two applications of Wipe-Out after some wet patches. If you’re tired of long brushing sessions, give Wipe-Out a try — it really reduces brushing required. This is a good deal. The same 5 oz. can is $23.87 on Amazon!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
February 28th, 2022

Second Amendment Foundation Urges Support for Ukrainians

2022 Ukraine russia invasion gun rights
Russian Invasion of Ukraine by Homoatrox — Own work — Creative Commons License.

Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) Urges Support of Ukrainian Gun Owners
Ukraine is in crisis, but Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder and executive vice president, says American gun owners can help: “We’re calling on our fellow gun owners and rights activists to support Zbroya, the Ukranian Gun Owners Association (UGOA).”

UGOA is a member organization of the Int’l Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), which SAF helped organize more than a decade ago. Now, more than ever, gun owners in Ukraine are in dire need of support, because civilian arms rights has never been more important in that nation.

2022 Ukraine russia invasion gun rights

“Our brother and sister gun owners in the Ukraine are fighting for their lives,” Gottlieb said, “and now is the time for gun owners across the country and around the world to step up and help them in their hour of need.” Contributions may be made directly to the UGOA. CLICK HERE to visit UGOA website.

When IAPCAR was founded, Gottlieb recalled, “We stressed the importance of civilian arms rights because when a nation is threatened with its very existence, responsibility for that nation’s defense invariably falls to the people, the patriots willing to take up arms and stand on the front lines of freedom.”

“If anyone wonders why the right to keep and bear arms is so important, they only need to watch the evening news for the answer. More than 200 years ago, our fledgling nation had to fight for its very existence. Times have changed, but for the people of Ukraine, the circumstances are very much the same. This young nation is battling raw aggression, and that fight involves our fellow gun owners. Help us help our friends and allies in Ukraine.”

EDITOR: I have visited Ukraine twice, and still have friends there in Kiev and Odessa. What is happening right now is tragic for the Ukrainian people, who suffered mightily in the 20th Century due to Stalin-caused massed famines, followed by Nazi oppression.

Permalink - Articles, News 3 Comments »
February 28th, 2022

Design Your Own Custom Targets with FREE Target Generator

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

Are you a do-it-yourself kind of guy with a creative eye? Then you’ll love the FREE Target Generator from the folks at ShooterShed.com. This free, interactive webpage allows you to design a variety of fun targets, including grids, benchrest-type Score Shooting targets, sight-in targets, and even playing card targets. Choose the paper size and orientation (vertical or horizontal), then select the number of target elements on the page. For example, you could have four (4) bulls or 52 playing cards. Then click the Style TAB to choose your target style. Use the OPTIONS TAB to overlay a grid on the target, choose squares or diamonds, or include load information blocks. For bullseye targets, you can control the number, color, and spacing (diameter) of the rings. LINK to TARGET GENERATOR.

Click the TARGET STYLE TAB to select one of many target styles, including NBRSA Benchrest targets and 20+ types of NRA bullseye targets, scaled to distance:

Benchrest
Bullseye
Shapes
NRA High Power
NRA Pistol
NRA Rimfire
Images
Playing Cards
Load Test Blocks

Creating new targets is fast and easy. No computer graphics skills required! We created this green diamonds grid target in just five minutes using the ShooterShed Target Generator:

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

And here is a handy target with short-range range Benchrest competition-style box/circle aiming points, along with fields for entry of gun/load data:

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

The program provides a preview of each target you generate. There are controls to choose border and fill colors. If you like a particular design, save the file, and then print as many targets as you want. Check it out, this program is fun and handy to use. Here are four (4) targets your Editor created just for this article. With a bit of practice, you can be generating your own custom targets in minutes.

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest
Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

About the Creator of the Target Generator
The Target Generator program was created by Rod Brown of Sheridan, Wyoming. Rod tells us: “I build custom rifles and coach shooters. I’ve got a 100-yard range out my back door. I shoot short- and long-range benchrest competitively around the country. I’m a full-time software development consultant and an FFL holder. When I’m not developing custom software for my clients, I’m usually fiddling in the shop, building a custom benchrest rifle, traveling to a match, chambering a barrel, or reloading some ammunition.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
February 27th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: The Smallest 100-yard 5-Shot Group in History

world record Michael stinnett group .0077
Look and be amazed! In competition, a rifle drilled FIVE perfectly-overlapped bullet holes — the last virtually indistinguishable from the first — at a target a football field (100 yards) away.

Today we feature a benchrest rifle that earned its place in history by setting a small-group record in 2013 that may never be broken. This .30-caliber benchrest rig shot a 0.0077″ five-shot group at 100 yards. That’s the smallest 100-yard group ever shot in competition by ANY gun at 100 yards in history. And we may never see anything smaller in our lifetimes.

Record .008 .0077 group rifle

In setting that .0077″ (seventy-seven ten-thousandths of an inch) record, the shooter, Mike Stinnett, broke a record that stood for four decades — the 0.009″ five-shot group credited to Mac McMillan. The previous NBRSA Light Varmint Record of .009″ for five shots (at 100 yards) was set on 9/23/1973, 49 years ago. Experts considered that record “untouchable”, “unassailable” — in other words “unbreakable.” But Mike broke Mac’s record 40 years after it was set.

The Record-Setting Rifle and Cartridge
The gun that produced the historic .0077″ group was a Light Varmint-class Benchrest rifle chambered as a .30-caliber wildcat, the 30 Stewart. That cartridge is based on the 6.5 Grendel case necked up. The load had Hodgdon H4198 powder behind BIB 114gr, 10-ogive bullets. Notably, the record-setting ammo was pre-loaded before the match.

The Smallest 100-yard Group in History

All target shooters strive for perfect shot placement. Well one man has come closer to perfection than any other shooter who ever lived. You are looking at Michael Stinnett’s .0077″ NBRSA world-record group, the smallest 100-yard 5-shot group ever shot in the history of rifle competition. The group was certified at .0077″ (though labeled .008″ on the range-signed target below). A moving backer verified that this was FIVE shots — no question about that. You may be surprised but this was NOT shot by a 6 PPC, but rather a .30-caliber wildcat, based on the 6.5 Grendel.

world record Michael stinnett group .0077

Group Is Smaller than ANY 100-yard Group Shot in ANY Class

Mike’s amazing group stands as a NBRSA Light Varmint Class record. But it is also smaller than the current NBRSA 5-shot, 100-yard records for ALL other classes, even Unlimited (Rail Gun). Likewise Stinnett’s .0077″ group is smaller than the IBS records for ALL classes:

Official Benchrest 5-Shot 100-Yard World Records
Sanction Light Varmint Heavy Varmint Sporter Unlimited
NBRSA 0.0077″ Mike Stinnett 0.027″ Ralph Landon 0.041″ Jerry Thornbrugh 0.049″ Gary Ocock
IBS 0.051″ Mark Shepler 0.052″ J. Ventriglia 0.060″ J. Neary 0.045″ Gary Ocock


All NBRSA Group Size Records | ALL IBS Group Size Records

Better than any Rail Gun too — Mike Stinnett’s .0077″ group was smaller that ANY group shot in ANY class — event Unlimited Rail Guns, as shown below:

Below is a larger-than-life-size view. Using this photo we measured the group with target-calculating software, and it came out .006″ (the software only goes to three digits). We recognize that it would be much better to work from the real target rather than a photo, so we are not challenging the official measurement in the least. But this does confirm that this is a phenomenally small five-shot group.

world record Michael stinnett group .0077

kelbly speedy shorty panda action

Stinnett Sets .0077″ Record with a .30-Caliber Modified Grendel Cartridge, Pre-Loaded
Many folks have asked about the gun and ammo that produced the .0077″ group. The rifle was chambered as a .30-caliber wildcat, the 30 Stewart, which is based on the 6.5 Grendel case necked up. Mike was using Hodgdon H4198 powder behind BIB 114gr, 10-ogive bullets. Notably, the record-setting ammo was pre-loaded before the match. Unfortunately, we don’t have a photo of the target yet — it is still in the hands of the official NBRSA certification committee. However, Mike has been kind enough to tell us about his rifle and his load.

Mike Stinnett .0077″ Record Group Equipment Report

Mike reports: “Several guys have asked so here is my equipment listing. The hardware build actually started in 2008 with the goal of building two identical Benchrest rifles which could be used for both group and score. The idea was to shoot 6PPC and a .30 Cal without a base rifle change.”

Record-Setting Rifle Equipment and Components

Action: Kelbly Panda “Speedy Shorty” with solid bolt and PPC-diameter bolt face. Kelbly was asked to build several actions which were identical with the intent to eliminate any variance in head space between the two new rifles. This helped me use a single set-up on sizing dies for both rifles and ammo is interchangeable. Both actions were sent to Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez to be blue-printed and have Jewell triggers installed.

Reamer: 30 STEWART (I just call it a 30 PPC as that is what everyone expects, but it is in fact a custom design and Ralph deserves about 99% of the credit).

Barrels: Krieger was selected for the barrels. After discussions with Randy Robinett of BIB Bullets, a 1:17″ twist was identified as the correct, safe solution. Ralph Stewart has cut all my chambers using a custom-designed reamer. [Our goal] was consistent headspace and Ralph has been able to keep my barrels within .0002 variance. The barrel tuner also comes from Ralph Stewart.

  • Stock: Larson (including action bedding)
  • Scope: Leupold 45X Competition in Kelby Single Screw Tall Rings
  • Brass: Lapua (Base case is 6.5 Grendel)
  • Bullets: Randy Robinett (BIB) 30 Cal. 114gr, 10 Ogive (secondary bullet; primary is 112gr BIB)
  • Powder: H4198 – Stout Load with 2980 FPS Velocity
  • Front Rest: Farley Coaxial
  • Bags: Micro Fiber
  • Flags: Graham Wind Flags (large)

About the Cartridge — 30 Stewart (Based on Lapua 6.5 Grendel Parent Brass)
Mike explains: “Our goal was to shoot H4198 as the optimal powder for stability. There were several versions of the reamer before we settled on the current configuration. I am optimized for the 10 Ogive BIB bullet, powder to the base of the bullet. I found in testing the small 30-cal case did not like compression at all. The bullet is seated only 0.12″ into the case with zero freebore.

Cases were initially created with the .220 Russian (like a PPC) but I later decided it was better to build from the 6.5 Grendel. I size the brass and bump the shoulder back until it will fit into the chamber, fill to shoulder with International Clays, cotton wad packed on top. I have a fire-forming barrel. (I would not recommend this Clays and cotton wad method in a good barrel.) After initial fire-forming, I then mandrel the neck up the rest of the way to .30 caliber, turn the necks and trim.

It takes at least 8 firings to fully form a case! If you fire only three loads I find the brass does not have a sharp shoulder or any pressure on the bolt so any die selection is incorrect. Brass continues to harden well past 25 firings. I have match brass with well over 500 rounds fired, and I have never blown a case or neck yet (using my forming method).

For loading I use a Hornady Custom Shop Sizing Die and a Ralph Stewart Custom Seating Die. For those who are curious, yes the small group was fired with pre-loaded rounds. I do this now and then with local matches or may load 50 in a batch for one match.”

Mike wanted to thank his smiths, Randy Robinett, and all the folks involved in running the matches: “A big THANKS — as these are the guys that make our matches possible and without question maintain the integrity of the targets and record system. I was very fortunate to have all the right people in the right places for this match and my record. As for measurement – I only saw the target for about 10 seconds up close and can say I’m very happy I did not have to measure that group! Thanks again to everyone!” — Mike Stinnett

kelbly speedy shorty panda action

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
February 27th, 2022

If You’re Not Using Wind Flags You’re Throwing Away Accuracy


Forest of Windflags at World Benchrest Championships in France in 2011

There’s a simple, inexpensive “miracle device” that can cut your groups in half. If you’re not using this device, you’re giving away accuracy. The “miracle device” to which we refer is a simple wind indicator aka “windflag”. Using windflags may actually improve your accuracy on target much more than weighing charges to the kernel, or spending your life savings on the “latest and greatest” hardware.

Remarkably, many shooters who spend $3000.00 or more on a precision rifle never bother to set up windflags, or even simple wood stakes with some ribbon to show the wind. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a varminter, or someone who just likes to punch small groups, you should always take a set of windflags (or some kind of wind indicators) when you head to the range or the prairie dog fields. And yes, if you pay attention to your windflags, you can easily cut your group sizes in half. Here’s proof…

Miss a 5 mph Shift and You Could DOUBLE Your Group Size

The table below records the effect of a 5 mph crosswind at 100, 200, and 300 yards. You may be thinking, “well, I’d never miss a 5 mph let-off.” Consider this — if a gentle 2.5 mph breeze switches from 3 o’clock (R to L) to 9 o’clock (L to R), you’ve just missed a 5 mph net change. What will that do to your group? Look at the table to find out.

shooting wind flags
Values from Point Blank Ballistics software for 500′ elevation and 70° temperature.

Imagine you have a 6mm rifle that shoots half-MOA consistently in no-wind conditions. What happens if you miss a 5 mph shift (the equivalent of a full reversal of a 2.5 mph crosswind)? Well, if you’re shooting a 68gr flatbase bullet, your shot is going to move about 0.49″ at 100 yards, nearly doubling your group size. With a 105gr VLD, the bullet moves 0.28″ … not as much to be sure, but still enough to ruin a nice small group. What about an AR15, shooting 55-grainers at 3300 fps? Well, if you miss that same 5 mph shift, your low-BC bullet moves 0.68″. That pushes a half-inch group well past an inch. If you had a half-MOA capable AR, now it’s shooting worse than 1 MOA. And, as you might expect, the wind effects at 200 and 300 yards are even more dramatic. If you miss a 5 mph, full-value wind change, your 300-yard group could easily expand by 2.5″ or more.

If you’ve already invested in an accurate rifle with a good barrel, you are “throwing away” accuracy if you shoot without wind flags. You can spend a ton of money on fancy shooting accessories (such as expensive front rests and spotting scopes) but, dollar for dollar, nothing will potentially improve your shooting as much as a good set of windflags, used religiously.

Windflags Sources and Options

Which Windflag to buy? There are many vendors selling windflags of various types, some with daisy wheels others without. You may want to go to a match and see what types works best for you. CLICK HERE for the Benchrest Central Classifieds with multiple windflag types and accessories for sale. Here is a sample:

shooting wind flags

Aussie Windflag photo courtesy BenchRestTraining.com (Stuart and Annie Elliot).

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
February 27th, 2022

Download FREE Classic Shooting Books

download free gun books

Free Classic Shooting BooksIn today’s inflationary economy, FREE is good. Here’s a list of classic, older shooting books that can be downloaded for FREE from Google Books. This list includes many classic treatises on rifle marksmanship that still have value for today’s competitive shooters. In addition, we’ve included illustrated firearm histories, such as Townsend Whelen’s fascinating book, The American Rifle, and The Gun and its Development (9th Ed.), by William Wellington Greener.

In the list below, the title link will take you to the Google Books page for each book. You can read the entire book online, or (in most cases) you can download it to your computer as a PDF file and save it (or print it). You can also create your own Google Library and save the books there for access from any computer.

Irish RiflemenIrish Riflemen in America, Sir Arthur Blennerhassett Leech, 1875, 216 pages.

Cartridge Manufacture, Douglas Thomas Hamilton, 1916, 167 pages.

The Gun and its Development, William Wellington Greener, 1907, 786 pages.

The Bullet’s Flight From Powder to Target, Franklin W. Mann, 1909, 384 pages.

Modern Rifle Shooting From the American Standpoint, W. G. Hudson, 1903, 155 pages.

The American Rifle, Townsend Whelen, 1918, 637 pages.

Townsend WhelenSuggestions to Military Riflemen, Townsend Whelen, 1909, 243 pages.

Manual for Rifle Practice, George Wood Wingate, 1879, 303 pages.

How I Became a Crack Shot — With Hints to Beginners, W. Milton Farrow, 1882, 204 pages.

Description and Rules for the Management of the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1903, United States Army Ordnance Dept., 1904 (5th rev. 1914), 72 pages.

Springfield 1903 rifle U.S. Army

HOW TO DOWNLOAD and READ FREE BOOKS

To download a book, first click the title from the list above. Then, on the Google book page, look for the row of buttons under the book title. Click the “Download PDF” Button. This will load the full book as a PDF into your browser. You can then save this to your computer or tablet hard drive. Choose a location to hold your new e-book, and click “save”. Alternatively, click the blue “READ for Free” button and the book will appear right on the Google site, with navigation (forward/back) arrows at the top of the page.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 26th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies — Videos of Cool Products for Handloaders

Daily Bulletin Saturday Movies Tool time reloading product video review

For this Saturday-at-the-Movies session we offer a selection of videos featuring interesting tools and products for handloaders. If you spend much time in your reloading room, these tools can save you time and help you load better ammo in less time. Today’s feature products range from sophisticated, premium tools such as 21st Century powered neck-turning lathe, to basic add-ons such as Lee Breech Lock Bushings, which are very handy if you load a variety of cartridge types.

21st Century Powered Neck-Turning Lathe



Power is activated by the red button on the end of the blue, horizontal feed handle:

Do you neck-turn hundreds of cases annually? Then you deserve this outstanding tool. The 21st Century Innovation Powered Neck-Turning Lathe may well be quite simply the best system ever created for quickly and precisely uniforming (and reducing) the neckwall thickness of cartridge brass. We have the original manual 21st Century neck-turning lathe, and can attest that it works great. With this powered system you can turn necks faster and more efficiently, with less effort. This is like going from a stick shift to an automatic transmission. The cases feed very smoothly and the results are beautiful. Note: The videos show the version as first marketed by 21st Century Shooting, which now operates as 21st Century Innovation.

The Powered Neck-Turning lathe is a modular system. Swing the bar from right to left to feed the case. The power head (with case holder) glides on stainless steel rails for smooth movement. This allows very precise feed rate. Power is supplied via a button that is built into the end of the feed handle. Push the red button to make the case spin. It’s as simple as that.

Hornady OAL Tool and Hornady Bullet Comparator

Gun Tech Steve Ostrem explains how to properly use Hornady’s Overall Length Gauge to determine length-to-land precisely. The OAL Gauge uses a “Modified Case” that threads onto the tool and holds a bullet. Push on the back of the gauge until you feel the bullet just touch the rifling. (We do this gently at first, tapping the rod a couple time to ensure the bullet is aligned correctly). Once you’ve got the length, then use the tool with a comparator on your calipers to get the length-to-lands. NOTE: We recommend taking the measurement 3-4 times in a row to get a reliable number. With a little practice your should be able to get repeatable measurements within .0015″.

Henderson Power Case Trimming/Chamfering Machine Test

F-Class John tests some of the finest reloading and shooting equipment you can buy. Recently he added the impressive Henderson Gen 3 Powered Trimmer to his inventory of tools. John is now a Henderson fan. He likes the speed, precision, and repeatability of the $779.00 Henderson machine, which trims-to-length and chamfers the case mouth all in one pass. Unlike some other trimming tools, the Henderson indexes off the overall case length NOT the shoulder. John found this worked just fine for his .284 Winchester brass, which has all been full-length sized prior to trimming.

Watch the video to see the Henderson trimmer in action. The dual, parallel horizontal support shafts provide precise alignment of the case as it moves inward toward the cutter blade. The Taper-Lock cutter provides a 14-degree inside chamfer and 30-degree outside chamfer. The trimming process is very consistent case after case, and the Henderson’s design captures brass shavings effectively.

This related video shows a comparison with the popular Giraud Powder Trimer

As noted in this comparison, John liked the precision of the Henderson trimmer and the overall design of the machine, which offers good ergonomics and very precise alignment of the cases. Cycling is smooth and positive, as you can see from the videos. The Giraud is also an excellent machine for bulk trimming/chamfering but the Henderson has some advantages.

Concentricity Checking with Accuracy One Gauge

Every serious hand-loader needs a quality concentricity gauge. The Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge boasts a smart design that delivers precise, repeatable results. We like the unit’s easy adjustability and its ability to work in a variety of configurations. The Accuracy One Gauge measures internal and external neck runout of cartridge cases as well as seated bullet runout. It can also measure the runout of the ogive, bearing surface, and boat-tail of individual bullets. And it can even measure your primer pocket runout.

Lee Die Lock Rings and Spline Drive Breech Lock Bushings


Lee precison die lock ring spline clamp O-ring

Lee precison die lock ring spline clamp O-ringIn this recent video Gavin Gear reviews three types of die accessories from LEE. These work for virtually all standard dies, not just LEE-brand reloading dies. The new LEE basic silver-finish die lock rings now feature splines for enhanced grip and compatibility with LEE’s new die lock ring wrench (photo right). They still boast a rubber 0-Ring that helps “float” the die for improved concentricity. Gavin also reviews Lee’s Spline Drive Breech Lock Bushings for use with presses fitted with LEE’s Breech Lock system. These Breech Lock bushings allow rapid change-out of dies without modifying the setting. The colorful new bushings feature splines on top that work with the new Lee Lock ring wrench shown above. In addition, the Breech Lock Bushings have a clamp to preserve die depth setting.

Tools Galore — Affordable Tools and Accessories for Reloaders

This detailed 15-minute video from the Bolt Action Reloading YouTube Channels, features a variety of lower-cost products/tool that help with key reloading tasks. The video looks at hand priming tools, case prep tools, Lyman stepped loading blocks, powder tricklers, expander mandrels, powder trickler, long-tube funnels and more! If you are getting started in hand-loading, this is a very helpful video to watch. It covers a lot of ground, illustrating options for tool types.

reloading tools videos
This Lyman case prep tool is one of many products reviewed in this 15-minute video.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
February 26th, 2022

2022 NRA Nat’l Matches at Camp Atterbury — Final Schedule

NRA National Matches Calendar schedule 2022 summer Camp Atterbury Indiana

The NRA has released the final 2022 National Rifle and Pistol Match schedule. The 2022 NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships will be held July 8 through August 7, 2022 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. A National Match Calendar for next summer has been released, which we publish below.

NRA National Matches Calendar schedule 2022 summer Camp Atterbury Indiana

The 2022 NRA Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Atterbury will start with OTC (Over the Course) High Power Rifle competition. This is unlike 2021 when the Nationals at Atterbury started with Smallbore events. In 2022 the Smallbore 3-position event runs from July 25 through July 29. Some competitors have lamented that this overlaps with the Long Range Championship (July 23-28), so shooters will have to choose one or the other. The 1-Mile Extreme Long Range Challenge match returns to the National Matches Calendar after being dropped in 2021.

High Power OTC Events and Championship: 8-14 July, 2022
Precision Pistol Championships: 17-23 July, 2022
High Power Mid-Range Championship: 16-21 July, 2022
High Power Long Range Championship: 23-28 July, 2022
Smallbore 3-Position Nationals: 25-29 July, 2022
Smallbore Prone Nationals: 30 July – 7 August, 2022
Extreme Long Range Challenge: 5-7 August, 2022

The 2022 NRA High Power Across the Course, Mid-Range, and Long Range Championships will be fired on the ranges of Camp Atterbury. Matches will begin on July 8 and run through August 7. This year the NRA revives the Extreme Long Range Challenge, which will run August 5-7. All registrations will be handled through the NRA Competition Portal.

CLICK HERE to View Full Screen CALENDAR »

NRA National Matches Calendar schedule 2022 summer Camp Atterbury Indiana

Camp Atterbury covered rifle range

The new covered range at Camp Atterbury was a big hit in 2021 during the Precision Pistol and Smallbore Rifle Championships. This was built with the help of the State of Indiana, Indiana National Guard, the NRA, and the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
February 26th, 2022

Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer — Big Capacity, Fast Function

Lyman Cyclone Cartridge Brass drying Case Dryer

Here’s a product that should please handloaders who wet-tumble their brass with stainless media, or use ultrasonic cleaning machines to clean cartridge brass (and gun parts). Employing forced hot air circulation, the new Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer will dry a large quantity of brass in under two hours. Internal racks provide five drying levels. Now available for under $60.00 on Amazon, the Cyclone Case Dryer is a very affordable and effective addition to an ultrasonic or rotary-tumbler cleaning system.

Lyman Cyclone Cartridge Brass drying Case Dryer

The Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer works fast. No need to wait overnight (or longer) to air-dry your brass. Lyman states that “The forced heated air circulation of the Cyclone will dry your brass inside and out within an hour or two, with no unsightly water spots.” The handy individual trays keep different types of brass separate. The dryer can also be used for gun parts that have been ultrasonically cleaned.

Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer Features:
• Holds up to 1000 .223 Rem cases or 2000 9x19mm Luger cases
• Works with cartridge brass cases or gun parts
• Fast drying time — Typically 1 to 2 hours
• Timer control can be set up to 3 hours
• Durable ABS trays with recessed handles

Watch How Cyclone Case Dryer Functions with both Cartridge Brass and Gun Parts

Cyclone Case Dryer 115V (Part #7631560) MSRP: $86.25
Cyclone Case Dryer 220V (Part #7631561) MSRP: $86.25

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
February 25th, 2022

Tactical Guru Ryan Cleckner on Gun Talk Radio this Sunday

Ryan Cleckner long rage tactical Tom Gresham Gun Talk

There’s a good episode of Gun Talk Radio this Sunday, 2/27/2022. This week’s lead guest is respected author and former U.S. Army sniper instructor Ryan Cleckner. Host Tom Gresham and Cleckner discuss hunting, long range shooting, and tactical training. Ryan Cleckner is the author of the best-selling Long Range Shooting Handbook.

This broadcast airs Sunday, February 27, 2022 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern time on 270+ radio stations nationwide. Listen on a radio station near you or via LIVE Streaming. This week you can also enter Gun Talk’s Good Guy Giveaway Contest.

Effective Rifle Training with Ryan Cleckner
Along with his written work, Ryan Cleckner has created many good shooting videos for the NSSF, such as his excellent Understanding MOA Video. He also produces content for GunUniversity.com. Ryan is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. This video below, covering the fundamentals of shooting, has been viewed over 2.9 million times. It’s worth watching, particularly for guys getting started in PRS/practical competitions.

In this video, Ryan Cleckner reviews proper technique for rifle shooters. A stable platform, sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control are key fundamentals to shooting properly.

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Tip on Trigger Control:
Cleckner: “Trigger control is pretty straightforward, as long as you think about it as a continuous process, and not just one thing that happens. I like to think about it as drawing a line in the dirt. I like to think about this constant pressure that I’m adding as I draw this line straight back, and then… continuing to draw that line even as the rifle goes off. That’s the good follow-through you’ll need.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource

Ryan Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook is designed as an introduction to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. It also include advice on shooting positions, and gun handling. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com.

Gun Talk Radio — Podcast Archive

If you miss the live show broadcast on Sunday, past broadcasts can be heard online via the GUNTALK PODCAST Site and Apple iTunes. The Gun Talk Podcast Archive has hundreds of past shows you can access via the internet. Here’s an informative, recent podcast relating to optics purchasing and scope installation.

Gun Talk Podcast from 2/20/2022 — How Much to Pay for Optics

All Gun Talk shows are also archived as podcasts for download or online listening. Gun Talk is also available on YouTube, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and GunTalk.com.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
February 25th, 2022

Headspace — How to Measure This and Set Dies Accordingly

Brownells Headspace Gauge cutaway chamber drawing SAAMI ANSI

Do you know what the inside of a rifle chamber (and throat zone) really looks like? Do you understand the concept of headspace and why it’s important? If not, you should read the Brownells GunTech article Gauging Success — Minimum Headspace and Maximum COL. This article explains the basics of headspace and shows how to measure headspace (and length to lands) in your barrels with precision. The article also explains how to adjust your full-length sizing dies to “bump the shoulder” as needed.

Why is headspace important? The article explains: “Controlling headspace and setting proper C.O.L. also represent improved safety and reduced cost of handloading. Excessive headspace can cause case head separation and gases in excess of 60,000 PSI escaping from a rifle’s chamber. Too little headspace can result in a chamber forced bullet crimp and a bullet that becomes an obstruction more than a properly secured projectile. Excessive C.O.L. can result in a rifling-bound bullet, a condition that could result in spikes of excessive pressure.” [Editor’s NOTE: It is common for competitive benchrest shooters to seat bullets into the rifling. This can be done safely if you reduce your loads accordingly. With some bullets we often see best accuracy .010″ (or more) into the lands. However, this can generate more pressure than the same bullet seated .010″ away from initial lands contact. As with all reloading, start low and work up gradually.]

Brownells Headspace Gauge cutaway chamber drawing SAAMI ANSI

How is headspace specified? Most cartridges used within the United States are defined within ANSI/SAAMI Z299.3-4. Brownells explains: “In the case of the .243 Winchester, as an example, there are pressure specifications, cartridge drawings and, as pictured above, chamber drawings. Armed with a chamber drawing, each manufacturer producing a firearm for the .243 Winchester knows the proper standard dimension to cut chambers and set headspace. Notice there are two headspace reference dimensions for the chamber. The upper is a place in the chamber where the shoulder is .400″ in diameter; the “datum” or “basic” line. The lower is the 1.630″~1.640″ minimum – maximum dimension from the breech face (bolt face) to that point in the chamber that measures .400″.”

The actual headspace of any firearm is the distance from the breech face to the point in the chamber that is intended to prevent forward motion of a cartridge.

Finding Cartridge Length to Lands with OAL Gauge
Using a comparator on a set of calipers, you can quickly determine cartridge base-to-ogive length. This is the measurement from the base of the case to the forward-most full diameter section of the bullet, which is for convenience called the ogive. (Technically, the “ogive” is the full curve from bullet tip back to full-diameter ring). Shown here, that ogive is 0.243″ diameter.

The next step is using a modified (threaded) case with a Hornady OAL tool to determine Length-to-Lands (LTL) in your rifle’s chamber. During this measurement process, the modified case, with a bullet in its neck, is inserted in the chamber. Go slow, take your time. Here are 5 tips that will help you get repeatable and reliable LTL measurements:

1. Start with a clean chamber and clean barrel throat.
2. Make sure the modified case is fully screwed down and seated on the OAL Gauge. It can sometimes unscrew a bit during repeated measurements.
3. Insert the modified case slowly and gently, but ensure the shoulder of the modified case is fully seated on the end of the chamber.
4. Push the gray plastic rod GENTLY. It is common for the bullet to be tilted a bit. You want to allow the bullet to self-center in the throat BEFORE you apply much pressure. Then tap a couple times and push until you feel resistance. Do NOT push too hard — that will jam the bullet in the lands.
5. Repeat the measurement at least 3 more times. If you follow our instructions, you should, typically, get a repeatable measurement, within 0.0015″ or so, 3 out of 4 times.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
February 24th, 2022

.223 Rem Velocity by Barrel Length — Cut-Down Test Results

.223 Rem Cut-Down Test barrel UMC m855

Most of us own a .223 Rem rifle. Now, thanks to our friends at Rifleshooter.com we can assess exactly how velocity changes with barrel length for this popular cartridge.

Rifleshooter.com performed an interesting test, cutting the barrel of a .223 Rem rifle from 26″ all the way down to 16.5″. The cuts were made in one-inch intervals with a rotary saw. At each cut length, velocity was measured with a Magnetospeed chronograph. To make the test even more interesting, four different types of .223 Rem/5.56 ammo were chron’d at each barrel length. The Rifleshooter.com team that conducts these tests has a full-service gun shop, 782 Custom Gunworks — visit 782guns.com.

READ RifleShooter.com 5.56/.223 Barrel Cut-Down Test Article »

Test Barrel Lost 25.34 FPS Per Inch (.223 Rem Chambering)
How much velocity do you think was lost, on average, for each 1″ reduction in barrel length? The answer may surprise you. The average speed loss of the four types of .223/5.56 ammo, with a 9.5″ shortening of barrel length, was 240.75 fps total (from start to finish). That works out to an average loss of 25.34 fps per inch.

5.56/.223 Barrel Cut-Down Speed Test 26″ to 16.5″ Start FPS at 26″ End FPS at 16.5″ Total Loss Average Loss Per Inch
UMC .223 55gr 3182* 2968 214 22.5 FPS
Federal M193 55gr 3431 3187 244 25.7 FPS
Win m855 62gr 3280 2992 288 30.3 FPS
Blk Hills .223 68gr 2849 2632 217 22.8 FPS

*There may have been an error. The 25″ velocity was higher at 3221 fps.

See inch-by-inch Barrel Cut-Down Velocity Data HERE »

Rifleshooter.com observed: “Cutting the barrel from 26″ to 16.5″ resulted in a velocity reduction of 214 ft/sec with the UMC 223 55-grain cartridge, 244 ft/sec with the Federal M-193 cartridge, 288 ft/sec with the Winchester M855 cartridge and 217 ft/sec with the Back Hills 223 68-grain match cartridge.”

How the Test Was Done
The testers described their procedure as follows: “Ballistic data was gathered using a Magnetospeed barrel-mounted ballistic chronograph. At each barrel length, the rifle was fired from a front rest with rear bags, with five rounds of each type of ammunition. Average velocity and standard deviation were logged for each round. Once data was gathered for each cartridge at a given barrel length, the rifle was cleared and the bolt was removed. The barrel was cut off using a cold saw. The test protocol was repeated for the next length. Temperature was 45.7° F.”

CLICK HERE to Read the Rifleshooter.com Test. This includes detailed charts with inch-by-inch velocity numbers.

See More Barrel Cut-Down Tests on Rifleshooter.com
Rifleshooter.com has performed barrel cut-down tests for many other calibers/chamberings including 6mm Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, and .338 Lapua Magnum. See these test results at Rifleshooter.com.

.308 Win barrel length cut test

Much Different Results with 6mmBR and a Longer Barrel
The results from Rifleshooter.com’s .223/5.56 test are quite different than the results we recorded some years ago with a barrel chambered for the 6mmBR cartridge. When we cut our 6mmBR barrel down from 33″ to 28″ we only lost about 8 FPS per inch. Obviously this is a different cartridge type, but also our 6mmBR barrel end length was longer than Rifleshooter.com’s .223 Rem start length. Velocity loss may be more extreme with shorter barrel lengths. And, of course, different cartridge types and powder/bullet combinations will yield different results.

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
February 24th, 2022

How Cartridge Brass (and Bullets) Are Made — Great Norma Video

Norma factory ammo production video

Guys — honestly, if you do anything today on this site, watch this video. You won’t be disappointed. Guaranteed. This is a very informative (and surprisingly entertaining) video. Every serious hand-loader should watch this video to see how cartridge cases are made. Your Editor has watched the video 5 times now and I still find it fascinating. The camera work and editing are excellent — there are many close-ups revealing key processes such as annealing and head-stamping.

VERY Informative Video Show Cartridge Brass and Ammunition Production:

Norma has released a fascinating video showing how bullet, brass, and ammunition are produced at the Norma Precision AB factory which first opened in 1902. You can see how cartridges are made starting with brass disks, then formed into shape through a series of processes, including “hitting [the cup] with a 30-ton hammer”. After annealing (shown at 0:08″), samples from every batch of brass are analyzed (at multiple points along the case length) to check metal grain structure and hardness. Before packing, each case is visually inspected by a human being (3:27″ time-mark).

The video also shows how bullets are made from jackets and lead cores. Finally, you can watch the loading machines that fill cases with powder, seat the bullets, and then transport the loaded rounds to the packing system. In his enthusiasm, the reporter/narrator does sometimes confuse the term “bullets” and “rounds” (5:00″), but you can figure out what he means. We definitely recommend watching this video. It’s fascinating to see 110-year-old sorting devices on the assembly line right next to state-of-the art, digitally-controlled production machinery.

Video tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review No Comments »
February 24th, 2022

CMP Warns Against High-Pressure Loads in Garands and 1903s

CMP .30-06 ammo ammunition safety warning M1 Garand m1903 1903a3 50000 CUP high pressure

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has issued an ammunition safety advisory to all users of M1 Garands, M1903s, and M1903A3 rifles. Ammunition that is loaded beyond 50,000 Copper Units of Pressure (CUP) and using bullets weighing more than 172 grains should be limited to modern rifles, and NOT USED in old military rifles aged 70+ years.

CMP .30-06 ammo ammunition safety warning M1 Garand m1903 1903a3 50000 CUP high pressure

After this warning was issued by the CMP, the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) provided further safety recommendations for owners or older firearms:

CRPA Ammunition and Older Firearms Guidelines
Many of us have either purchased or inherited firearms in excess of 25 years of age. The issue … noted as an example by the Civilian Marksmanship Program in regards to certain ammunition leads as they apply to the M1 Garand is not isolated to that particular firearm. The CRPA… has seen similar issues exposed with other [older] firearms when using modern loads. We strongly advise you to check with the manufacturer for recommended load limitations before purchasing modern ammunition for an older firearm.

CRPA also recommends these safety procedures:

Have a gunsmith check your older firearm for safety prior to using it.

Take a reloading class to help develop a safe load for your older firearm.

Inspect older ammunition for defects such as a green patina or rust build up on the cases or crystallization on the projectiles. If defects are observed, the CRPA suggests disassembling the ammo into components for proper recycling and disposal.

Storage of Ammo for Older Rifles
The CRPA also cautioned that you should be cautious about older ammo that may be decades old, including old milsurp ammunition. The CRPA advises:

1. Store ammunition in a cool, dry, location where little temperature fluctuation occurs.
2. If storing ammunition in an air/watertight ammo can, utilize water absorbent silica packs and place packs in the can with the ammunition.
3. Conduct periodic checks every 12-24 months and replace the silica packs as needed.

CRPA Notification provided by EdLongrange

.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
February 23rd, 2022

How to Detect Flaws in Cartridge Brass — Case Diagnostics

Case Diagnostics 101 Sierra Bullets .223 Rem 5.56 brass cartridge safety

Ever wondered what caused a particular bulge or marking on a case? And more importantly, does the issue make the case unsafe for further use? Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks offers some insight into various issues and their causes in two Case Diagnostic articles from the Sierra Blog.

Incipient Case-Head Separation
This is a Winchester .308 Win case that has a real issue. This case has a very obvious incipient case head separation in the process of becoming a complete failure.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This is most commonly caused by over-sizing the case causing there to be excess headspace on the case. After a few firings and subsequent re-sizing, this case is just about ready to come completely apart. Proper die adjustment is certainly a requirement here. Of course this case is not safe to reuse.

Excessive Pressure (Load Too Hot)
If you will notice in the picture of the case rim, there are two pressure signs to notice. First, look at the primer. It is basically flattened to about the max of what could be considered safe. If this was the only pressure sign noted, I would probably be fine with this load, but would constantly keep an eye on it especially if I was going to use this load in warmer temperatures. This load could easily cross into the “excess pressure” realm very quickly.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

There is another sign of pressure that we cannot ignore. If you’ll notice, there is an ejector mark apparent that is located over the “R” of the R-P headstamp. This absolutely tells us that this load would not have been in the safe pressure range. If there were any of these rounds loaded, they should not be fired and should be dis-assembled. This case should not be reloaded.

Split Case-Neck
Here we have an R-P .22-250 case that has died the death. Everything looks fine with this case except the neck is split. This case must be tossed.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

A split neck is a normal occurrence that you must watch for. It is caused by work-hardening of the brass. Brass cases get harder with age and use. Brand new cases that are stored for a period of time can become hard enough that they will split like this case within one to two firings. I have had new factory loads do the same thing. Then as we resize and fire these cases repeatedly, they tend to get harder and harder. Eventually they will split. The life of the case can be extended by careful annealing practices. This is an issue that would need to be addressed in an article by itself. Of course this case is no longer usable.

In the classes that I teach, I try to use examples like this to let the students see what they should be looking for. As always, if we can assist you, whether you are new to reloading or very experienced, contact us here at Sierra Bullets by phone at 1-800-223-8799 or by email at sierra@sierrabullets.com.

Dented Case Body
Here we have a Lake City 7.62×51 (.308 Win.) case with two heavy marks/dents in the case body.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This one may be a bit of a mystery. It appears as if this case may have been caught in the action of a semi-auto rifle when the firearm jammed or the case failed to clear during the cycling process. I probably would not reload this case just to prevent any feeding problems. This also appeared to be a factory loaded round and I don’t really see any pressure issues or damage to the case.

Multiple Problems — Lake City 5.56×45 unknown year.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This case has suffered multiple failures and cannot be re-used. First its has have a very rounded shoulder that is split. Upon first look it was obvious that this round had been a victim of excess pressure. The firearm (perhaps an AR?) was apparently not in full battery, or there was possibly a headspace issue also. While taking a closer look, the primer was very flat and the outside radius of the primer cup had been lost. High pressure! Then I also noticed that there was an ejector mark on the case rim. This is most certainly an incident of excessive pressure. This case is ruined and should be discarded.

CLICK HERE for MORE .223 Rem Case Examples in Sierra Blog

To see more examples, view both Part I and Part II of the Case Diagnostics from Sierra Bullets:

» Reloading 101: Case Diagnostics Part I
» Reloading 101: Case Diagnostics Part II

It is very important to observe and inspect your cases before each reloading. After awhile it becomes second nature to notice the little things. Never get complacent as you become more familiar with the reloading process. If ever in doubt, call Sierra’s Techs at 1-800-223-8799.

Sierra Bullets Case Diagnostics Blog

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
February 23rd, 2022

Historic Colt M1911 Survived 2060-Mile Escape from Corregidor

Corregidor Pistol NRA

What a tale this rusty Colt could tell — this M1911 pistol is more than a vintage military side-arm. It is a symbol of courage, determination, and triumph over adversity. This pistol was carried on a 2,060-mile open-boat ocean crossing from the Philippines to Australia. In May of 1942, the skipper and 17 crewmen of the Minesweeper U.S.S. Quail courageously decided to sail from Manilla to Darwin, Australia rather than surrender to the Japanese. Lt. J.H. Morrill and his crew made that long ocean journey in a 36-foot launch, braving enemy air and sea forces and dangerous ocean conditions.

This pistol is part of the NRA Museum Collection in Fairfax, Virginia. This historic Colt M1911 was a featured “Gun of the Day” on the NRA Museum Facebook Page where you’ll find hundreds of other interesting firearms. We believe the remarkable story of this pistol deserved to be told here…

Colt M1911 Pistol — Escape from Corregidor
The minesweeper U.S.S. Quail was the last operational American naval vessel in the Philippines when Japan began its occupation of the country in May 1942. After his vessel was disabled at the strategically-important island of Corregidor near the entrance to Manilla Bay, Lt. Commander J. H. Morrill scuttled the ship and gave his crew a choice: either surrender to the Japanese or attempt to escape, by sea, to Allied territory thousands of miles away. Rather than surrender, 17 crew members elected to join Morrill on a dangerous passage in a 36-foot open launch/lifeboat. Gear was scavenged including this M1911 recovered from a dead serviceman. With few charts or navigational aids, Morrill and his men successfully completed an epic 58-day 2,060-mile journey to Australia and safety.

The Japanese bomb Corregidor in 1942:
Corregidor Pistol NRA

Corregidor Pistol NRA

Corregidor Island today, with War Memorial:
Corregidor Pistol NRA

Credit NRA Museum, Corregidor.org, and U.S. Government photo from Wikipedia.

Permalink - Articles, Handguns No Comments »
February 23rd, 2022

J.P. Sauer Releases 270th Anniversary Limited Edition Rifles

270th anniversary j.p. sauer sohn rifle collection

Blaser Group will soon be offering a rare selection of Sauer rifles — the J.P. Sauer and Sohn’s 270th Anniversary Collection of rifles. Only 10 sets of this special limited-edition collection were made and only one set is currently available for sale here in the United States. The set includes four rifles: a Sauer 100, Sauer 101, and Sauer 404 all chambered in .270 caliber, along with a Sauer 303 in .308 caliber. Designed to be beautiful, accurate, and museum-grade in appearance, these rifles feature stunning wood stocks (Grade 5 in the Sauer 100 and Grade 7 in the S101, S303 and S404). These Limited Edition rifles boast the most modern materials and technology available, with Sauer’s 270th anniversary logo in black and gold on the custom grip cap.

“These elegant and accurate Sauer rifles represent 270 years of craftsmanship from Germany’s oldest hunting rifle manufacturer, and they are rare with only 10 sets made for the entire world,” said Jason Evans, CEO of Blaser Group. “We are now offering Set Number Three for sale here in the United States.”

270th anniversary j.p. sauer sohn rifle collection

For more information, visit Sauer.de/en/270-years/anniversary-rifles.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product, News No Comments »
February 22nd, 2022

30 BR Brass Perfected by Parosky — Expanded and Neck-Turned

paul parosky 30BR 30 BR Lapua cartridge brass neck-turned expanded 6mmBR processed benchrest score

Here’s good news for 30BR shooters. Paul Parosky, maker of the excellent PRP Custom Bullets, is now offering 30BR neck-turned brass. This can save you considerable time and effort forming 30BR cases from Lapua 6mmBR brass. And the neck-turning is superb, again representing time save (and no tools to buy). You will soon be able to order this 30BR brass from Bruno Shooters Supply. If you communicate with Amy at Bruno’s, Paul may be able to neck-turn to your specific thickness. Paul notes: “Here are necks turned for a 0.330 neck. I’ll try my best to accommodate anyone’s neck dimensions as they wish. Just message Amy Bruno Parosky (at Bruno’s) for details.”

paul parosky 30BR 30 BR Lapua cartridge brass neck-turned expanded 6mmBR processed benchrest score

About this Neck-Turning set-up — Paul Parosky notes: “For neck-turning I’m using an old drill press that has been re-worked. The cutter and spindle are all indicated before neck turning to ensure no runout. The RPM is around 520. The lube I use is a mixture of royal and mystery oil.”

Why the 30 BR Dominates 100/200 Benchrest for Score Competition
The 30BR, along with some wildcat variants, remains the dominant cartridge in short-range (100/200) benchrest-for-score competition. The 30BR’s .308″-diameter bullets are larger than the 6mm bullets used by the 6PPC (which rules group BR competition). The bigger 30-Cal diameter has an advantage in touching scoring rings. In addition, the 30BR is also relatively easy to tune, and barrel life is considerably better than with smaller-caliber benchrest cartridges. For more information, see our AccurateShooter 30BR Cartridge Guide.

30 BR 30BR cartridge benchrest competition

Cases are Expanded, Then Neck-Turned
To produce his 30BR brass, Parosky first uses a series of expander mandrels. Then he neck-turns with power using a converted drill press. Paul tells us: “This is done the old school way, I use three different tapered expander mandrels, then neck-turn it to the proper neck chamber, then run them up through a FL expander mandrel to ensure necks are straight. Then I clean all the cases.”

paul parosky 30BR 30 BR Lapua cartridge brass neck-turned expanded 6mmBR processed benchrest score

Paul Parosky Can Also Neck-Turn 6PPC Brass

Paul Parosky also expands and neck-turns 6PPC cases that are made from parent Lapua .220 Russian cartridge brass. Here, illustrating his 6PPC neck-turning operation, is a Paul Parosky post on the USA Benchrest & Extreme Precision Shooters Facebook page.

paul parosky 30BR 30 BR Lapua cartridge brass neck-turned expanded 6mmBR processed benchrest score

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading No Comments »
February 22nd, 2022

500-Shot Group at 300 Meters — Now That’s a Serious Test

Sierra Bullets 500 round tunnel test

For load development, some guys shoot 3-shot groups. Other guys shoot 5-shot groups, or even 10-shot strings. But for testing its projectiles, Sierra Bullets takes it to another level entirely. A while back Sierra was testing its .30-Caliber 175gr HPBT MatchKing in the Sierra underground tunnel. The results appear above — a FIVE HUNDRED Round group!

500 Shots Form 0.82 MOA Group at 300m (328 yards)
Sierra’s trigger-pullers sent five full boxes of bullets down-range at a single target. The photo above shows the result of 500 shots taken in a 300 meter test tunnel. The raw group size, edge to edge of the farthest shots, is about 3.13 inches, as shown on the calipers’ metal linear scale. Subtract a .308″ nominal bullet diameter* to get the 2.823″ on the digital readout. So you’re seeing a 2.823″ group at 300 meters (328 yards). One MOA at this distance is 3.435″ so this 500-round group is 2.823 divided by 3.435 or 0.82 MOA (0.8218 MOA to be precise).

This 500-round group was shoot as part of a pressure/velocity test for a commercial customer. The cartridge was .308 Winchester, loaded at 2.800″. The powder was Reloder 15. A 26″ barrel was shot from a return to battery rest. The gun was cleaned every 125 rounds and two foulers shot.

What do you think — could you beat this group from a bench for 500 rounds?

One Facebook poster joked: “500-round group? Everyone knows anything less than 1000-round groups are a waste of time and statistically irrelevant.”

Test Tunnel Sierra

Sierra Bullets Test Tunnel Barrels

Sierra’s 300 Meter Testing Tunnel
Ever wonder how (and where) Sierra tests its bullets? The answer is underground, in a 300-meter test tunnel located under Sierra’s factory in Sedalia, Missouri. The photo above shows the construction of the tunnel back in May, 1990. Like most bullet manufacturers, Sierra does live-fire bullet testing of its projectiles. Sierra’s 300-meter test range is the longest, manufacturer-owned underground bullet test facility in the world. In years past, Sierra offered free visits to the test tunnel as part of a factory tour.

* Normally, to get an exact group size, you should subtract the TRUE bullet hole size, which is usually smaller than the nominal bullet diameter. E.g. a .308 bullet hole may show on paper as .298 or so. But here, for simplicity, we are subtracting .308″ because we do not have the original target to measure.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
February 21st, 2022

Bargain Finder 335: 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. Midsouth — Multiple Popular Powders in Stock

midsouth reloading powder propellant in stock sale
Good powders — Accurate, Hodgdon, Ramshot, IMR, & Vihtavuori in stock

Good news for handloaders — Midsouth has received significant quantities of popular reloading powders, including LT30, LT32, H322, H390, H50BMG, Ramshot TAC, VV N133, VV N320, and more. CLICK HERE to all propellants in stock. N133 is a top powder for the 6 PPC, LT30 and LT32 are top choices for short-range score cartridges, VV N320 is our favorite powder for .45 ACP, and Ramshot TAC is a great choice for .223 Rem and varmint loads. Head over to Midsouth today to see if there’s something you need.

2. Sportsman’s WHSE — Bergara B-14 HMR Rifle, $799.99

bergara b-14 hmr presidents day sale
Nice versatile rifle for hunting, target shooting, and tactical matches

Sportsman’s Warehouse is running a President’s Day Sale with significant savings on guns, optics, and ammo. Among the best gun deals are Bergara B-14 HMR rifles. Get a Bergara B-14 HMR in 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, or .300 Win Mag for $799.99. That’s $150.00 off the regular price. Other Bergara Models are on sale as well, including the B-14 HMR Wilderness HMR in .300 PRC (26″ bbl) for $949.99. Act soon, this sale ends at 11:59 pm on 2/21/2022.

3. CDNN Sports — Walther P22 Nickel Ported, $439.99

kreiger barrel sale
Cool ported pistol for rimfire games — accurate with great ergonomics

For .22 LR gun games, such as Rimfire Challenge matches, this Walther P22 is a good choice. The ported P22 combines low recoil/minimal muzzle flip with best-in-class ergonomics. This P22 pistol offers interchangeable backstraps, plus ambidextrous magazine release and slide safety. With its compensated (ported) barrel this gun delivers fast follow-up shots. A rare feature for a rimfire, the P22 is covered by the Walther Lifetime Limited Warranty. The P22 has a 5″ barrel and weighs 16 ounces with empty magazine. NOTE: Supply is limited.

4. Palmetto SA — Vortex 1-8x24mm Scope + Mount, $299.99

vortex scope AR15 AR10 cantilever rail mount rings
Smart cantilever set-up for AR rifles, save $200.00 with Code “STRIKE”

If you are looking for an affordable turn-key scope solution for your AR-platform rifle, check out this Vortex 1-8x24mm Strike Eagle GEN2 Scope + Mount Combo System. This combo includes a riflescope PLUS a Vortex cantilevered scope mount that positions the optic in the right position on a AR15 or AR10 rifle. You can see how the system works on an AR15 above. AR owners have been very happy with this combination. The Strike Eagle offers a true 8X zoom ratio with an illuminated AR-BDC3 Reticle optimized for ARs. Listed retail price is $499.99 but you save $200.00 with CODE “STRIKE”. That lowers your net cost to $299.99 for scope and mount.

5. MidwayUSA — Hoppes Gun Vise and Cleaning Kit, $24.86

Hoppes gun vise free cleaning kit
Good basic gun vise at great price with bonus cleaning kit

The Hoppe’s Gun Vise is a good basic support for working on your firearms. And right now its offered for a crazy-low $25.86 sale price. Clamping brackets in the front and rear hold your rifle or shotgun securely without scratching. The vise is made out of a durable, chemical resistant polymer and has multiple compartments for cleaning chemicals, tools, and accessories. Included with this vise is a 12-piece Cleaning Kit for rifles, pistols, and shotguns. This gun vise has multiple compartments for tools and adjustable feet.

6. Amazon — BOG Deathgrip Aluminum Tripod, $139.99

Bogpod black aluminum deathgrip PRS tripod hunting
Versatile tripod mounts quickly, securely — use for PRS/NRL or hunting.

This is a great tripod for long-range hunters and PRS/NRL competitors. The clamp-type head quickly secures to your rifle’s forearm for a secure shooting solution. The BOG Deathgrip Aluminum Tripod is on sale now on Amazon for $139.99. If weight is critical, there is also a lighter BOG carbon fiber tripod for $223.96 at Grafs.com and $240.27 on Amazon. For the extra $84 (Graf’s price) you save a pound in total weight (7.5 lbs for carbon vs. 8.5 lbs for aluminum).

7. Natchez — CCI Blazer 9mm Ammo, $16.99/50 or $17.49/50

CCI Blazer 9mm ammunition pistol ammo
Quality 9mm pistol ammo at ultra-attractive prices

Do you carry a 9mm or use one for IDPA matches? Then check out this deal. Right now Natchez has CCI Blazer 9mm Luger (9x19mm) ammo on sale — both brass-cased and aluminum-cased. If you reload, pay a few bucks more for the brass-cased Blazer 9mm ammo ($17.49/50). If you don’t reload for 9mm, then shoot the aluminum-cased Blazer variety at just $14.99 for 50 rounds. Both Blazer types work fine — we’ve shot hundreds of rounds of the stuff in Glocks, SIGS, Rugers, and HKs with no issues whatsoever. Grab this bargain — the same ammo was selling for $28+ a few months ago.

8. Amazon — Frankford DS-750 Reloading Scale, $30.60

frankford arsenal ds-750 digital reloading scale
Reliable, affordable, compact scale for reloaders

Right now this Frankford Arsenal DS-750 digital scale is 36% off at Amazon. This is a handy, precise little scale that is good for loading at the range, or for weight-sorting components. The DS-750 offer +/- 0.1 grain accuracy and weighs up to 750 grains. One nice feature is auto-shutoff after 60 seconds of inactivity. That saves on battery life. This won’t replace a premium scale, but it can serve many duties for reloaders. The scale measures in grains, grams, carats, and ounces and runs on 2 AAA batteries.

9. Harbor Freight — 8-Drawer Wood Tool Chest, $84.99

AccurateShooter Deals of week bargain discount savings Wood Tool Chest Harbor Freight
Handsome wood chest is great for holding small tools

This Wood Tool Chest makes a great addition to your reloading room. The eight (8) drawers can hold the many small tools and accessories used for hand-loading, such as bushings, shims, uniforming tools, mandrels, neck-turners and more. A deeper top compartment (under the lid) holds wrenches and other larger tools. The price is just $84.99 at Harbor Freight. A lockable sliding wood panel fits in place to cover the drawers when not in use. This locking panel also secures the drawers during transport.

10. Amazon — Jialitte Scope Bubble Level, $10.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1
Great price for handy product every rifle shooter can use

All serious rifle shooters need a scope level. This nicely designed Jialitte Scope Bubble Level features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. Price is just $10.99 with free shipping. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level.

BONUS — RCBS Reloading Sweepstakes

rcbs reloading sweepstakes contest matchmaster Press midwayusa

Now through February 28, 2022 (2/28/22), you’ll have a chance to RCBS Reloading gear prizes worth $1918.97 (combined total). The various RCBS prizes include: RCBS MatchMaster Digital Powder Scale & Dispenser, RCBS Rebel Master Single Stage Press Kit, RCBS Case Prep Kit, RCBS Rotary Case Tumbler. CLICK HERE for entry info. No purchase necessary to enter contest.

Permalink Gear Review, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »