July 1st, 2020

GAP Grind and World Shooting Championship on Shooting USA TV

GAP Grind G.A. Precision Precision PRS CMP Western Games

Shooting USA will broadcast a great episode today, January 15, 2020. There are three segments worth watching. First the TV show spotlights the popular GAP Grind, a Pro-Am PRS event at the K&M Precision complex in Tennessee. Then this episode covers the NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC) in Virginia. This unique Pro-Am event challenges shooters with a dozen stages, employing a wide variety of pistols, rifles, and shotguns supplied by the manufacturers. The WSC offers huge rewards — over $250,000 in cash and prizes! Finally, there is a historical feature on the Spencer Rifle this week.

SHOW TIMES: This Shooting USA Episode airs July 1, 2020 (Wednesday) at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central.

PART ONE– 2019 GAP Grind Feature on Shooting USA

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).

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

The GAP Grind attracts over 300 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 G.A. Precision Precision PRS CMP Western Games

Shooting USA TV gap grind
Josh Temnnen Facebook photo.

GAP Grind Hardware
You’ll find the latest and greatest PRS hardware at the GAP Grind. Notable in 2019 was the fact that many top competitors “stepped down” from the 6.5/6mm Creedmoor to the smaller, more efficient 6mm Dasher, 6BRA and other 6mm cartridges. The Dasher offers excellent accuracy with less recoil than the 6.5 Creedmoor. Also, many top shooters are now running Kahles optics. Photo by Shelley Giddings.

Giddings GAP Grind

PART TWO — NRA World Shooting Championship

WSC World Shooting Championship WV Peacemaker Glengary

In 2019, its sixth consecutive year, the NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC) returned to the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, West Virginia. One of the nation’s biggest Pro-Am events, the WSC attracted many of the USA’s top professional shooters, along with talented amateurs. [NOTE: This year’s 2020 WSC has been cancelled due to COVID-19.]

This unique 3-day multi-gun match, held Sept. 18-21, 2019 tested competitors’ skills across twelve challenging stages involving nearly every major shooting discipline for rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Stages included fan favorites like 3-Gun, High-Power Silhouette, Cowboy Action, and more. For more information on the match, check out wsc.nra.org or email NRAhighpower@nrahq.org.

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June 30th, 2020

Berger 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Shoots Great in PRS Rifle

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Is factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition good enough to win a PRS or NRL competition? The answer is a resounding “YES” if we’re talking about Berger ammunition. Produced with Berger match bullets and premium Lapua brass, this Berger 6.5 ammunition demonstrated excellent accuracy, impressive velocity, and very good ES/SD numbers. When tested at 1000 yards with an MPA-stocked PRS rig with Rem 700 action, this ammo showed just half-MOA of vertical, and produced a group that would have been a 50-1X in F-Class competition. That’s quite impressive for a PRS rig.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

This ammo test was performed by our friend Erik Cortina from Texas. Erik is a top F-Class competitor who also shoots tactical matches (for fun and glory). Erik recently built a new 6.5 Creedmoor with a Remington 700 action. Though this rifle sports a top-shelf MPA chassis and premium Kahles scope, Erik calls this his “budget build” because it has a plain Rem 700 factory action rather than the elite Borden actions he normally runs. Erik’s actions of choice are the Borden Mountaineer for PRS and Borden BRM-XD for F-Class.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Erik posted: “Shot my budget 6.5 Creedmoor today with Berger Bullets factory ammo. I shot five rounds over the chrono to get speed. I used BC info from the box and it all lined up properly. I adjusted my ECTuner to tune load and it took just 15 shots to get it shooting well. It’s simple with good components.”

This Berger factory ammo features Berger 130gr Hybrid OTM Tactical bullets. The Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cases have a large rifle primer. You can see this ammo displays good velocity with Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation rivaling good hand-loads.

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brass

Erik Cortina Berger Factory ammo ammunition OTM tactical PRS rifle MPA chassis Lapua brassCortina says the very accurate Brux barrel and razor-sharp 6-24x56mm Kahles scope help achieve this kind of outstanding performance at 1000 yards. Here are the key components for Erik’s latest PRS rig:

Masterpiece Arms BA Competition Chassis
Brux Heavy Varmint 26-inch, 1:8″-twist barrel
Remington 700 Action (custom bolt knob)
ECTuner (by Erik Cortina)
Kahles 6-24x56mm MIL Scope
MPA 1-piece 30mm Scope Mount

Barrel Tuner by Erik Cortina — Fits Behind Muzzle Brake
This rifle features a barrel tuner designed and crafted by Erik Cortina. You can the ECTuner alone, or, as you can see, the ECTuner can be fitted BEHIND a muzzle brake. Erik tells us: “The ECTuner allowed me to tune the barrel to my ammo rather than tuning the ammo for barrel as is done when reloading. With the tuner, there is no need to try different brands of ammo as they can all be tuned to shoot as good as possible in my rifle.”

MPA Chassis Configuration Guide
Erik’s “budget” PRS rifle employs a MasterPiece Arms (MPA) BA Competition Chassis with Rapid Adjustment Technology (RAT). This MPA Arms Video shows how to set up an MPA Chassis to suit the owner:

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June 30th, 2020

Watch Reloading Videos from Hodgdon Powder Company

Hodgdon Reloading Center Video

Hodgdon Reloading Center VideoHodgdon Powder Company (Hodgdon) offers a series of professionally-produced, “how-to” instructional videos through its online Reloading Data Center. These 3.5-minute videos present rifle, pistol, and shotshell reloading basics in an easy-to-understand,step-by-step format. These mobile-friendly, informative videos can also be viewed on a smart phone or tablet.

To watch the reloading videos go to the Reloading Data Center at hodgdon.com. Click to the right/left of the displayed video to switch between pistol, rifle, and shotgun videos. Or, for your convenience, we have embedded the Rifle and Pistol videos here. Just click to watch!

Click to Watch Hodgdon Rifle Reloading Video:

Click to Watch Hodgdon Pistol Reloading Video:

In addition to these videos, Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center (RDC) provides a wealth of information on Hodgdon®, IMR®, and Winchester® propellants. Along with reliable load data, you’ll find explanations of reloading basics, safety procedures, plus answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).

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June 29th, 2020

Shocking Stuff — Pistol Competitor Nearly Kills Range Worker

RSO Range Safety violation

Here is a video every shooter should watch. It reminds us that our sport demands 100% attention. Lose track of individuals down-range and the results could be tragic. This video will give you chills (starting at about the 0:25 mark). We need to remember to follow all the firearms safety rules, and apply them all the time. At the range, all it takes is one brief moment of inattention to create a life-threatening situation. Never assume the downrange area is safe. Use your own eyes and ears.

This video shows a competitor shooting a stage at an action pistol match. He starts when instructed by the Range Safety Officer (RSO). But unbeknownst to both RS0 and competitor, a volunteer is downrange working on targets. Watch carefully. At 0:27 the shooter sweeps left to right, engaging a paper silhouette target to his right. Then, at 0:30, as he begins a mag change, his head turns downrange. A few yards away is a white-shirted range worker! The shooter yells “Hey what’s going on?!”

What’s going on indeed… The RSO should have ensured that nobody was downrange before the shooter even stepped up to the firing line. If other competitors standing to the side had been alert, they might have seen the worker changing targets and called for a halt. And the target-worker himself — even if he was wearing earmuffs, he should have noticed that live fire had commenced just yards away…

We also have to wonder about the stage design. This set-up made it very difficult to see downrange. The white panels (see 0:10-0:20) definitely hid the target worker from view. In hindsight, given the way the stage was laid out, this was truly an “accident waiting to happen”. It’s fortunate that no one got injured in this incident. But this chilling video provides a lesson to all shooters — “Safety First”.

How could this “near-fatality” have been averted? Post your comments below.

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June 26th, 2020

World Shooting Championship and Police Championship Cancelled

world shooting championshiop

NRA Cancels WSC and NRA Police Shooting Championships Due to COVID-19
No big money this year at the NRA World Shooting Championship — the event has been cancelled. And Likewise the NRA Police Shooting Championship will not take place in 2020. This is the Year of Pandemic, and two more major shooting events have fallen victim to COVID-19.

Yesterday the National Rifle Association (NRA) issued the following statement:

Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the many ensuing federal and state safety regulations and mandates, the NRA has made the difficult decision to cancel the NRA World Shooting Championship and the NRA National Police Shooting Championships. Both events were scheduled to be held in mid September 2020 in West Virginia and Mississippi respectively.

We share your disappointment that both these competitions that attract participants from across the globe had to be canceled. The NRA wishes everyone good health and the best of luck. Stay safe and healthy.

The WSC was a big deal. It attracted top multi-gun competitors such as Jerry Miculek, Dan Horner, Doug Koenig, and Bruce Piatt. The winner took home a fat check for $25,000. This unique 3-day multi-gun match tests competitors’ skills across twelve challenging stages involving nearly every major shooting discipline for rifles, shotguns, and pistols. This major match attracted both sponsored Pros and “regular Joes”. Shooters were split into two groups: a Professional Division for sponsored shooters, and the Amateur Division for non-sponsored competitors. All firearms, optics, and ammo were provided by match sponsors for both divisions.

This video shows features of past NRA World Shooting Championship

All Equipment Was Supplied at NRA World Shooting Championship
“What makes this event very unique, especially to a professional shooter, is all the equipment is supplied. You have to leave your ego at home and just try to adapt as best you can to the equipment that you have supplied.” — Jerry Miculek

world shooting championshiop

WSC stages encompassed everything from trap to bullseye pistol to PRS-style precision rifle. There was even a cowboy action stage with Henry “Golden Boy” lever-action rifles.

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June 24th, 2020

The Sling’s the Thing — Tips on Sling Use by Dennis DeMille

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up
Dennis DeMille shows a young competitor at the CMP Western Games how to adjust his leather sling.

If you want to learn more about setting up your sling properly for position shooting, here are some tips from Dennis DeMille, a past Service Rifle Champion. Dennis explains how to choose a sling, and how to adjust it to fit properly.

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
Once you know how to set up your sling properly, you’ll want to practice. Dennis DeMille stresses the importance of dry-fire practice with sling and shooting coat. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

Brandon Green Sling shooting
SFC Brandon Green, 2018 Nat’l High Power Champion. Brandon, one of the nation’s best “hard-holders”, demonstrates proper use of sling in prone position.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition

So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, former Creedmoor G.M. Dennis DeMille explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competiting with the heavier than normal rifles.”

Configuring the Sling for the Standing (Offhand) Position
In this second in a series of Creedmoor InfoZone videos on the setup and use of the leather service rifle sling, Dennis DeMille details how to configure and best utilize the leather service rifle sling while shooting from the standing position.

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features
In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

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June 23rd, 2020

Improve Your Barricade Shooting Skills — PRS Champ Tells All

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

Report by Craig Arnzen, Area 419
As the PRS and other tactical/practical competitions continue to grow, a guy tends to wonder, just how good are the top competitors? And what are they actually doing (and viewing) as they complete a stage? Well, a great video from the new Long Range Precision Shooters YouTube Channel let us see what the best in the sport see through their scopes when they shoot.

This video features Dave Preston, 2015 National Champion and perennial powerhouse, shooting the PRS Skills barricade. Dave Preston is widely considered the best in the nation running this PRS stage. Dave nearly always shoots 100% with the fastest recorded time. In this video you’ll see him successfully engage all eight shots in under 43 seconds — that’s crazy fast. This includes a POV sequence (4:35 time-mark) showing the actual view through Dave’s scope as he completes the stage.

Watch this video! Dave offers excellent advice on gun-handling and body positioning for barricades. Listen to what he says and you WILL shoot better.

This video features the PRS Skills Barricade, an 8-round, 4-position stage featured at the majority of PRS matches throughout country. It’s called a “Skills Stage” as it is run the same way at every national match and gives shooters the ability to compare skill levels based on hit percentage and speed.

The target is a 10″ plate at 400 yards. There are four different positions, with two shots each. Most people run this stage in about 70 seconds, some in the mid-60s, the greats in the high 50s, and Dave does it in the low 40s… mighty impressive!

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

The Right Gear Aids Stability and Lets You Shoot Faster
Let’s also take a look at two pieces of gear that really helped Dave Preston get stable and shoot fast.

1. BARRICADE BAG — To Get Stable, Really Stable
In the video Dave is using a Solo Sac from Short Action Precision This bag was designed by USMC Solomon Mansalala, and $5 of every purchase goes to help the Marine Scout Snipers buy gear. It’s a very soft/dense bag and is popular at matches.

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

The other bag that sees a LOT of use, and is far and away the most used, is the patented Gamechanger Bag from Reasor Precision Solutions and Armageddon Gear.

2. MUZZLE BRAKE — To Make Your Follow-Up Faster
You’ll notice that in the video the rifle is very steady through firing, even though he is not applying a lot of pressure to the rifle. Dave is using a Hellfire Muzzle Brake from Area 419. Combined with the soft-recoiling 6mmBR cartridge he is able to spot his impacts and make adjustments, and can also make very fast follow-up shots as his rifle hasn’t bounced way off target.

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

This TECH TIP brought to you by Area 419
Oven anneal annealing Alpha Munitions Craig Arnzen Area419.com

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June 23rd, 2020

7 SAFE: Seven Vital Safety Tips for Reloaders

seven reloading safety tips powder primers brownells manual

You can never be too safe when hand-loading your own ammunition. This helpful Brownells video outlines the Seven Fundamental Reloading Safety Tips. This is important information for novice hand-loaders and a good refresher for those with reloading experience!

Summary of the Seven Safety Tips:

1. Store your reloading supplies in a safe and dry location, away from children and away from any possible source of ignition. It is also smart to keep your powder and primers separate.

2. Get and use respected reloading manuals, especially for new cartridges. Start low and work up slowly while watching for warning signs of pressure and/or case fatigue.

3. Locate your reloading activity where you will not be distracted. If you get interrupted, stop. (Distractions will eventually lead to mistakes.)

4. Do NOT mix powders. Keep your powders clearly marked and dated. You can use masking tape to write the date on the container.

5. If you load the same cartridge type for different firearms, make sure your ammo headspaces properly in each gun.

6. Check cases frequently. Look for split necks, case head separation or other signs of fatigue and excessive pressure.

7. If reloading military brass, be aware that case capacity is usually reduced, and initial loads should be at least 10-15% lower than published data.


Here are some other tips that will help your avoid making costly mistakes (such as using the wrong powder, or undercharging a case):

  • Powder Type — Always double-check the label on your powder containers. After placing powder in the powder measure, put a piece of tape on the measure with the powder type written on it. Some guys write the powder type on a card and place that right in the hopper.
  • Scale Drift — Electronic balances can drift. If you are using a digital powder scale, calibrate the scale with a test weight every 50 rounds or so.
  • Case Fill — If you throw more than one charge at a time, look INSIDE every case before seating a bullet. Squib charges can be dangerous if you don’t notice them before firing the next round.
  • Progressive Presses — When using a progressive press, consider using an RCBS Lock-Out Die. This will detect a low charge and stop the machine. These dies will work with RCBS, Hornady, and Dillon progressives.
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June 22nd, 2020

Horner Wins USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals (Tactical Division)

Daniel Horner USPSA Florida multi-gun nationals

As a member of the USAMU, SFC Daniel Horner established himself as one of the top 3-Gun shooters on the planet. In fact, given his major championship titles, a strong argument can be made that Horner is the most successful Multi-Gun competitor in history — the best of the best. Now a civilian professional, Dan Horner competes as Team SIG Sauer’s 3-Gun ace.

Horner captured yet another prestigious Championship earlier this month, winning the 2020 USPSA National Championship. Horner finished first in the Tactical Division at the 2020 USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals at the Universal Shooting Academy in Frostproof, Florida, June 11-14, 2020. This is Daniel’s 12th victory at the prestigious Multi-Gun Nationals.

At the USPSA Nationals Horner competed through 12 stages with pistol, rifles, and shotgun. For pistol competition, Horner used a SIG Sauer P320 X5 LEGION pistol with iron sights. For the long-range competition, Horner used his SIG Sauer M400 rifle with a SIG Sauer TANGO6T riflescope, and a SIG KILO 3000BDX Rangefinder.

Daniel Horner USPSA Florida multi-gun nationals
Click Photo for full-screen diagram

Horner said the 2020 Multi-Gun Nationals were very tough — a special challenge:

“The competition at this year’s Multi-Gun Nationals was the best I’ve seen. Everyone that competed had obviously spent extra time training and practicing while they were at home over the past few months. With this being the first major nationals match since quarantine, the training showed and the competition was elevated. The accuracy and reliability of my SIG equipment, combined with my training routine, gave me the edge I needed to pull-off the victory[.]”

How Hot is Horner — Just Watch and Be Amazed

Here are two videos showcasing Horner’s Skills with Rifle and pistol. In the first video, Horner demonstrates how to move and shoot with an AR platform rifle. In the second video, Horner demonstrates his speed, mobility, and accuracy during the final stage of a 3-Gun Nation event.

Rifle Skills for Multi-Gun Competition — Grip, Stance, and Body Position

Daniel Horner Shreds 3-Gun Nation Stage with Blazing Speed

As a soldier with the USAMU, Horner was a true phenom with rifle, pistol, and shotgun, winning multiple 3-Gun titles against tough competition. When he was on his game, no one on the planet was better in the 3-Gun arena. His record of major multi-gun championships may never be rivaled. He has won over 125 major events/titles at the world, national, regional, and state level.

Daniel Horner Major Titles
10-Time USPSA Multi-Gun National Champion
4-Time 3-Gun Nation Pro Series Champion
2014 NRA World Shooting Championship Winner
2-Time Int’l Sniper Competition Team Winner
2-Time IDPA National Champion
IPSC Shotgun National Champion

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June 20th, 2020

Precision Rifle Expo Will Be Held in September 2020

Precision rifle expo 2020 Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia

Yes, there WILL be a Precision Rifle Expo in 2020! With the economy reopening, event organizers have confirmed that the popular gathering WILL take place in September. This year, the PRE will be held September 26-27, 2020, at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia. Registration is now open.

The Precision Rifle Expo (PRE) has opened registration for its 3rd annual, 2-day event featuring top brands in the tactical/precision rifle market. Manufacturers will showcase actions, optics, ammo, reloading equipment, stocks, chassis, electronics, supporting equipment (bags and tripods), rifles, triggers, suppressors, and much more. There will be training sessions on precision handloading, wind reading, marksmanship, ballistic devices, and PRS competition.

The event will continue to offer hands-on instruction plus demonstration of rifle systems at long range, along with displays from 50+ important companies. At last year’s event exhibitors included Applied Ballistics, AMP Annealing, MPA, Vudoo Gunworks as well as many action builders and optics manufacturers.

Precision rifle expo 2020 Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia
Attendee Registration for Event
Attendees may register now for the 2020 PRE. Pre-registration is $35 with onsite registration at $50. Pre-registrants will not receive a ticket and are asked to proceed to the Check-In Tent where a wrist band will be provided for admission. This year, attendees will not have to pre-register for any of the classes. Classes will be posted on the website and at the event.

PRE organizers state: “2020 promises attendees an outstanding opportunity to access the exhibitor tent, attend multiple education classes taught by leading names in the precision rifle category, and various range experiences. Novices and professionals, competitors, and industry experts, all converge on one of the Country’s premier shooting facilities to learn from each other and test their skills[.]”

Here is a video covering last year’s event:

Exhibitor Companies Can Still Register with the 2020 Precision Rifle Expo
Would you like to exhibit your company’s products at the 2020 PRE? There are still Exhibitor spaces available. Contact Phil Cashin at 770-401-3572 or precisionrifleexpo@gmail.com for more info or to reserve your exhibit space.

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres with Ranges out to 2100m

arena training facility Georgia

The 2300-acre Arena Training Facility is a premier shooting facility with multiple shooting ranges from 50m to 2100m. Arena’s 1000-yard covered Known Distance range offers multiple benches, steel and paper targets out to 1000 yards. On Arena’s UKD (unknown distance) range shooters can engage steel out to 2300 yards. This 2100m UKD range boasts a 3-Story Shooting Tower, Air-Conditioned Shoot House, and multiple Positional Challenges.

At the 2018 EXPO, Long-Range Clinics were held on the 1000-yard Range:
arena training facility Georgia Precision Rifle expo

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June 19th, 2020

Great Guide for Do-It-Yourself AR-Platform Rifle Projects

AR15 Varmint rifle AR gunsmithing robert whitley
AR15 Varmint rifle AR gunsmithing robert whitley

AR15 construction guideMany of our readers use AR-type rifles for Service Rifle matches, varmint hunting, 3-Gun competition, or defensive use. AR-platform rifles can be configured in a multitude of ways to suit the application. But if you plan to put together your own purpose-built AR rifle, how do you get started?

For AR Do-It-Yourselfers, we suggest reading Glen Zedicker’s book, the Competitive AR-15 Builders Guide. Following on Zedicker’s The Competitive AR15: Ultimate Technical Guide, the Builders Guide provides step-by-step instructions that will help non-professional “home builders” assemble a competitive match or varmint rifle. This book isn’t for everyone — you need some basic gun assembly experience and an aptitude for tools. But the AR-15 Builders’ Guide provides a complete list of the tools you’ll need for the job, and Zedicker outlines all the procedures to build an AR-15 from start to finish.

One of our Forum members who purchased the AR-15 Builders Guide confirms it is a great resource: “Much like any of the books Mr. Zediker puts out this one is well thought-out and is a no nonsense approach to AR building. I can not stress how helpful this book is from beginner to expert level.”

Along with assembly methods, this book covers parts selection and preparation, not just hammers and pins. Creedmoor Sports explains: “Knowing how to get what you want, and be happy with the result, is truly the focus of this book. Doing it yourself gives you a huge advantage. The build will honestly have been done right, and you’ll know it! Little problems will have been fixed, function and performance enhancements will have been made, and the result is you’ll have a custom-grade rifle without paying custom-builder prices.” Other good resources for AR projects is Gunsmithing the AR: The Bench Manual, and the Building Your AR from Scratch DVD.

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June 19th, 2020

Learn About Action Shooting — Live Q&A Today with USAMU

Live USAMU Q & A facebook conference

Do you enjoy 3-Gun competition or other types of “Action Shooting”? Then you should visit the USAMU Facebook Page today Friday, June 19th at 2:00 pm Eastern.

There will be a LIVE Q & A session today. Members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) will answer questions about Action Shooting, about the USAMU in general, and about the U.S. Army. This is a great opportunity to communicate directly with some of the top 3-gun shooters in the nation. If you have specific questions, then post a comment on the USAMU’s Facebook page before the session.

Want to learn more about Action Shooting? This Virtual Tour Video first tours the USAMU training center. Then team members show the rifles, pistols, and shotguns they use in Multi-Gun competition.

SFC Daniel Horner — Greatest 3-Gunner Ever?

Though now a civilian competing for SIG Sauer, SFC Daniel Horner was a USAMU superstar. One of the best 3-Gun competitors in history, Horner was blazing fast (and wicked accurate) with all three guns.

Daniel Horner SFC USAMU 3-gun Multi-gun champion

As a soldier with the USAMU, Horner was a true phenom with rifle, pistol, and shotgun, winning multiple 3-Gun titles against tough competition. When he was on his game, no one on the planet was better in the 3-Gun arena. His record of major multi-gun championships may never be rivaled. He has won over 125 major events/titles at the world, national, regional, and state level.

Daniel Horner Major Titles
10-Time USPSA Multi-Gun National Champion
4-Time 3-Gun Nation Pro Series Champion
2014 NRA World Shooting Championship Winner
2-Time Int’l Sniper Competition Team Winner
2-Time IDPA National Champion
IPSC Shotgun National Champion

Rifle Grip, Stance, and Body Position for Action Shooting Competition
In this action-packed video, SFC Horner gives tips on how to properly handle a semi-automatic rifle, including grip, stance and body position.

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June 18th, 2020

AR Trigger Round-Up: Geissele, Elftmann, Timney, and ALG

AR15 AR10 Trigger Geissele Timney Elftmann 2-stage ALG Defense modularTrigger images from PrimaryArms.com, which sells all the triggers reviewed here: Geissele, Elftmann, Timney, and ALG Defense.

Are you thinking of upgrading the trigger system for your AR-platform rifle? There are dozens of options available, from $45 up to $300. Thankfully, Brownells has created video reviews of some of the more popular AR trigger options from Timney, Geissele, and ALG Defense. And we included a video review of the highly-regarded Elftmann Match Trigger. If you want the best solution for Service Rifle competition, you might favor the Geisselle. For ease of installation, it’s hard to beat the Timney, a “drop-in” module. Like the Timney, the super-smooth Elftman is a drop-in module. At $249.00 it’s pricey, but it is one of the best AR triggers out there. If you’re on a tight budget, the best “bang for your buck” may be the “Perfected Mil-Spec” ALG which starts at around $45.00.

Geissele Enhanced Two-Stage Trigger

Geissele makes a variety of quality AR trigger sets both single-stage and two-stage. Many High Power competitors like the two-stage Geissele trigger. This delivers a repeatable, controlled pull through the first stage with a very clean break in the second stage. The Super Dynamic Enhanced Trigger, shown above, features a distinctive, trigger blade. Reviewer Thomas Conroy says: “The flat surface is very easy to press against. Both stages are light and very distinct.”

Elftmann Drop-In Match Trigger

Though pricey ($249.00 at PrimaryArms.com), we really like the Elftmann AR trigger. It combines the best of both worlds — the precision and smoothness of the Geissele with the Timney’s ease of installation. This single stage trigger is user-adjustable from 2.75 to 4 pounds pull weight. It is offered with either straight or curved trigger blade. Primary Arms says: “The amazingly short take-up, glass-rod crisp break and [near-zero] over-travel can be compared to the finest custom 1911 triggers.” The above video shows the installation process start to finish. There is also a “mil-spec” version for $162.00 at Primary Arms.

Timney Drop-In Trigger Module

This trigger module is available for both the AR15 and the AR10 platform (as covered in the above video). Timney triggers are easy to install and come with multiple pin size and pull-weight options. Reviewer Thomas Conroy confirms that the single-stage Timney “breaks cleanly and crisply. This trigger is modular, meaning that the trigger, sear, hammer, and spring are all encased in a bright, shiny yellow aluminum housing.”

ALG Defense Trigger — Higher-Quality Basic AR Trigger

According to Thomas Conroy, ALG triggers “are the perfected version of the standard, non-adjustable mil-spec original trigger. They have the same geometry, but are made to higher quality standards, and come with … hardened and smoothed-out sear contact surface to eliminate all grittiness.” These are also offered in a nickle-boron coated version. Available for under $50.00, the ALG is a well-made, low-cost option for shooters who want a better factory-type trigger system.

GET MORE INFO about AR-Platfrom Triggers

Learn more about Geissele, Timney and ALG triggers, plus two more AR trigger options (CMMG and Rock River Arms) in a Trigger Comparison Review by Thomas Conroy on Ammoland.com. And here is a very current (April 2020) review of 10 popular AR triggers:

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June 18th, 2020

NRA Firearm Science Videos Offer Insights on Many Topics

NRA firearms science videos ballistics chronography mil-dot eye dominance

NRA Media offers a series of informative videos about the Science of Shooting, covering a wide range of topics, from eye dominance to long-range ballistics. These videos feature high production values, with super-slow motion segments, as well as helpful computer graphics to illustrate the principles covered.

The videos are narrated by Jessie Duff, a top action pistol shooter (and the first women ever to achieve USPSA Grand Master status). Jessie is assisted by talented shooters such as Top Shot Season 4 Champion Chris Cheng. There are over forty videos in the Firearm Science Video Series. Here are five NRA videos, with links to others below. You’ll find all NRA Firearm Science Videos HERE

BULLET TRAJECTORY — Factors at Play and Zeroing Strategies

Host Jessie Duff and Veteran Air Force Sniper and Long Range Expert George Reinas help us understand the factors behind bullet trajectory. NOTE: There are some exaggerations in the graphics in the videos, and inconsistent terminology use, but it’s still a helpful basic primer on the subject of trajectories.

SHOOTING POSITIONS — Prone, Standing, Sitting, Kneeling

Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Gray demonstrates the four positions used by competition shooters: Prone, Standing, Sitting, and Kneeling. Helpful overlay graphics show how the human skeleton aligns in each of these positions. This video should help hunters as well as competitive position shooters. If you shoot silhouette, definitely watch this video!

ZEROING RIFLES for Long Range — Tech Tips

The process of zeroing rifles for long range is covered in this Firearm Science video featuring George Reinas, a veteran Air Force sniper. George demonstrates how to adjust his scope to compensate for bullet drop at long range. Our friend Dennis Santiago was involved in the making of this video, which was filmed at the Burbank Rifle & Revolver Club in Southern California.

CHRONOGRAPHS — Calculating the Speed of a Bullet

pistol shooting science Jessie Duff NRA Ballistic PendulumThis video shows a conventional chronograph with front and rear light sensors. The bullet first trips the front sensor and then the rear sensor as it flies over the unit. The difference in sensor time is used to calculate bullet speed. This is not the only kind of chrono in common use today. The popular MagnetoSpeed chrono works by tracking the bullet as it passes over two magnetic sensors mounted on a bayonet-style fixture on the barrel.

The high-tech LabRadar chronograph employs Doppler Radar to measure the speed of a bullet without the need to send the round directly over sensors. No need to set up tripods down-range. Just set the unit near your rifle’s muzzle, on the side. There is also an inertial trigger accessory for LabRadars. Interestingly, this video also explains how, in the days before electric lamps, digital processors, and radar, scientists used a mechanical “Ballistic Pendulum” to calculate bullet velocity using Newtonian physics. The Ballistic Pendulum (shown at right) was first used in the mid 1700s.

EYE DOMINANCE — How to Determine Which Eye is Dominant

Host Jessie Duff and longtime shooter Krystie Messenger demonstrate how eye dominance affects aim and teach you how to determine your dominant eye in this edition of Firearm Science. There are very simple tests you can do to determine your eye dominance. This Editor is right-handed but left-eye dominant. All competitive shooters should check for eye dominance. If you are cross-dominant, you can alter your head position or put a paper patch on one frame of your shooting glasses.

Other NRA Firearm Science Videos

Firearm Science: Using Mil-Dots to Estimate Range

Firearm Science: Terminal Ballistics

Firearm Science: Rimfire vs. Centerfire

Firearm Science: Eye Protection

Firearm Science: Shooting Moving Targets

Firearm Science: Trigger Control (Pistol)

Firearm Science: Aiming Handguns

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June 17th, 2020

How to Clean Firearms Video Series from Hoppe’s

Hoppe's gun cleaning how to videos youtube #9

Hoppe’s has added another new video to its “How to Clean” Series, which provides step-by-step cleaning instructions on some of today’s most popular firearms. The 15-part video series can be seen on YouTube, Hoppes.com, and Hoppe’s Facebook page. There will eventually be 15 videos in the series. Currently, there are 8 Hoppe’s How-to-Clean videos live on Youtube.

Developed to provide effective, yet easy-to-follow cleaning instructions for a variety of different firearms, the Hoppe’s video series is a very helpful resource for first time gun owners. The “How to Clean” series also serves as a valuable refresher course for any firearms enthusiast. In the videos, host Luke Williams (Outdoors By Luke), covers recommended cleaning procedures for numerous popular rifles, pistols and shotguns. Below we link four videos from the series: Remington 700, MSR-15, Mossberg 500, and Smith & Wesson M&P Shield.

How to Clean Remington 700 Rifle

IMPORTANT NOTE: Here at AccurateShooter.com, with our custom match rifles, we may use different methods than shown above. Our preferred cleaning procedures may employ both different tools and different cleaning solvents/supplies. For example we like to use Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner with two applications while the barrel is still warm. With every new barrel, we recommend cleaning conservatively until you learn what works best for your particular barrel and shooting style. Long strings of rapid-fire shooting can create tough barrel-fouling issues that may not arise when shooting slow-fire and cleaning every 40-50 rounds. In addition, some powder types foul much worse than others.

How to Clean AR-Platform MSR-15 Rifle

How to Clean Mossberg 500 Shotgun

How to Clean Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Pistol

These Videos Are Particularly Useful for New Gun Owners
“As the industry welcomes more first time firearms owners than ever before, the need to provide helpful cleaning instructions has never been greater”, said Eliza Graves, Sr. Brand Manager for Hoppe’s. “Through our instructional video series, longtime and novice gun owners alike can easily find helpful tips that will keep their firearms running like new”.

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June 17th, 2020

Home Defense: Shotgun vs. Pistol — What’s Your Best Option?

Home defense shotgun NSSF Clint Thunder Ranch
Shotgun Photo from Superior Security Concepts.

With the recent riots and civil unrest in the USA, many Americans are taking a much more serious look at armed self-defense. Hopefully the disturbances in cities will diminish with time (and better civic leadership), but we understand why citizens in large cities are more concerned than ever with the need to protect themselves, their families, and their homes and businesses.

Shotgun vs. Handgun — which is better for home defense? That’s a question that inspires strong opinions on both sides. We think the best answer may be “both”. There are some situations where a pistol is most handy, while there are other situations where the power (and lethality) of the shotgun clearly wins out. Some would argue that the shotgun offers an “intimidation” factor that may better resolve a threat without a shot being fired.

The NSSF, in cooperation with Thunder Ranch Training Center, has created an interesting video that examines the Shotgun vs. Handgun debate. As the Cheaper Than Dirt Blog notes: “The primary argument against the shotgun is a longer length leading to less maneuverability. On the other hand, the pistol offers better maneuverability, but lacks the stopping power of a shotgun”. Moreover, the pistol may be less accurate, according to some critics. This NSSF video looks at the question from a logical standpoint — making some surprising points.

Home defense shotgun NSSF Clint Thunder Ranch

As you can see in this still frame (above) from the video, the shooting stance of the pistol shooter (Clint) is NOT much more compact than that of the two shotgunners (compare actual muzzle positions). So a shotgun may actually be more handy inside a home than some people realize. Clint concludes that the gun selection debate “is all very easily solved by only one question: ‘If someone was going to run across a bedroom at you and they had a big knife, would you rather shoot him one time with a pistol or one time with a shotgun?’ When you answer the question you figure out why this [shotgun length] doesn’t really bother us. We simply take these [shotguns] and use them in a slightly different manner…”

In this video, Thunder Ranch Director Clint Smith explains why the overall length of a shotgun, as held in firing position against the shoulder, is not really that much greater than the “shooting stance length” of a handgun held in a proper firing position (with arms extended). Accordingly gun length/size should not be the deciding factor when choosing a firearm for home defense.

Whatever Weapon You Choose — Train with It
Fundamentally, you should use the firearm that is 100% reliable, and with which you have trained regularly. Mastery of a defensive firearm — whether shotgun or handgun — needs to be second-nature. You should be able to operate all the controls (safety, pump, decocker, slide, bolt handle etc.) by “instinct” based on hours of training. Likewise you should know how to operate the light/laser if your defensive firearm is so equipped. Importantly, you should be able to reload in darkness, and clear malfunctions without panicking.

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June 16th, 2020

Chain Detonation in Primer Tube — When Bad Things Happen

RCBS Primer Progressive strip APS dillon detonation

What can happen when the bottom-most primer in a primer feed tube goes off? A big bang, that’s what. Some or all of the primers in the vertical feeding tube can go off in a chain detonation. That’s exactly what happened to Dustin Ellermann, Top Shot Season 3 Champion. Scary experience, but thankfully Dustin was not injured. He writes: “Super thankful that I was wearing my Wiley X eye protection this weekend when I was reloading some .223 rounds. My press detonated nearly 100 small rifle primers. Shown here is the magazine feed tube. Not fun but it could have been much worse. Stay safe!”

When working with progressive reloading presses, you should definitely wear eye protection. Dustin’s chain detonation experience proves that — without a doubt. Remember you only have one set of eyes!

RCBS APS Strips — Alternative to Primer Tubes
RCBS Primer Progressive strip APS dillon detonationWhen you stack a column of primers in a single metal tube, you’re asking for trouble. As Dustin Ellermann learned, when one primer fires, the entire column can follow suit in a chain detonation. Thankfully, you do have options when it comes to primer feeding on a progressive press. RCBS developed an innovative, smart system with primers in horizontal plastic strips. Instead of being stored in a vertical tube, primers are placed in flat, plastic “APS” strips, with a ring of plastic separating each primer. Moving horizontally, primers are never stacked, so the chance of a chain detonation is reduced dramatically. The re-usable APS strips are color-coded for different primer types. You can buy CCI “pre-loaded” primer strips, or you can insert any brand of primers into strips using an RCBS strip-loader tool.

RCBS APS Strip Priming System
This video shows how to use APS primer strips wiht a bench-mounted priming system.

AccurateShooter.com Editor Uses Strip Primers
This Editor owns an RCBS Pro-2000 progressive press. The RCBS strip-priming system was one key reason I selected the RCBS Pro-2000 over similar-priced progressives from Dillon and Hornady. I believe the strip primer system is safer, more positive, and easier to use. Before I purchased my RCBS progressive, I “road-tested” the competition. I loaded hundreds of rounds on each of four different progressives: Dillon 550B, Dillon 650, Hornady Lock-N-Load, and RCBS 2000. I was concerned about the primer feed tubes on the Dillons, and I found the RCBS rotary powder measure was much more precise (and easier to adjust) than the sliding bar system on the Dillon machines. The RCBS priming system was definitely more fool-proof than the system on the Hornady press (a first-generation L-N-L that had issues with primer feeding). After “test-driving” blue, red, and green brand progressives extensively, I settled on the RCBS Pro-2000. A decade later, I still think I made the right choice. I like the APS strips for big jobs, and I can also use them in the RCBS hand-priming tool (shown below). With the strips, it’s easy to prime 20 or 40 cases at a time, and then switch to another type of primer for comparison testing.

RCBS Primer Progressive strip APS dillon detonation

APS Tool press mounted RCBSThe APS priming system also works with press-mounted priming tool, bench-mounted tool, and APS hand-tool. EdLongRange uses the press-mounted tool: “I also like the APS approach but use the press-mounted unit (saves your hands/wrists — and I haven’t had a need for a progressive press in over 20 years). Loading the primers in the strips is a bit of a PITA but very manageable. As with all tools there is a learning curve.” CLICK HERE for video showing strip-loading tool and press-mounted APS tool. The RCBS press-mounted tool is no longer in production by RCBS, but you can still find it in some stores or via eBay.

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June 16th, 2020

6-6.5×47 vs. Milk Jug at 1000 Yards in Crazy Winds

This website focuses on rifle accuracy and precision — normally indicated by small groups and high scores. But sometimes reactive targets are fun too — particularly when you can hit them at very long range. Here’s a video of a 6-6.5×47 Lapua hitting a milk jug at 1000 yards. This video was filmed during the Long Range Shooters of Utah 1000-Yard Milk Jug Challenge a while back. A remote camera shows a 95gr Sierra MatchKing penetrating a filled jug. The jug was hit with the fifth shot — you can see the fluid leaking out at 0:57. NOTE: Because the remote camera is positioned well off to the side, the jug-penetrating shot appears to impact low and slightly right (as seen in the inset close-up frame). The jug is actually suspended in front of the white square, and that’s where the fifth shot went, right through the bottom section of the jug.

Congrats to Mr. Clint Bryant of Green River, Wyoming for hitting the jug in challenging conditions. Clint had to dial 11 minutes of windage to compensate for a strong cross-wind (see 2:30 time-mark). Clint’s 6-6.5×47 cartridge is a variant of the 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge, necked down to 6mm. This 6-6.5×47 case drives the 95gr SMKs at 3100 FPS, making for a very effective (and accurate) coyote cartridge. Rick’s rifle was a Savage Model 12, with 30″ barrel, in an aftermarket stock, topped by a Leupold scope.

Here is the parent case, the 6.5×47 Lapua:

6.5x47 Lapua

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June 14th, 2020

Got a P-Dog Trip Planned? Bring along a 17 HMR Rimfire Rig

Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin Ellermann 17 HMR

We are coming into peak Prairie Dog season. For long shots you’ll definitely want a centerfire. We like the 20 Practical in an AR and a 22 BR/BRA in a bolt-action. That will have you covered out to 700 yards. But for shorter shots on small critters — say inside 150 yards — it makes sense to have an accurate 17 HMR rimfire rig. Today’s 17 HMRs are capable of surprising accuracy, rivaling a good centerfire rig, but with less recoil and much lower cost per shot. And the 17 HMR offers more than double the velocity of a .22 LR — up to 2650 fps with a 17-grain bullet.

Top Shot former Champion Dustin Ellerman likes his Volquartsens, and we can see why. With one of his favorite 17 HMR rimfire varmint rigs, he’s seen some outstanding accuracy with CCI ammo. A few seasons back, on his Facebook page, Dustin reported: “Prepping for prairie dogs and I’m floored by this cold, sub-half-inch group shot with the Volquartsen Custom 17 HMR at 100 yards.” This thumbhole-stock rifle features a Bowers Group USS suppressor, and 3-12x56mm Meopta Scope. Dustin tried different types of CCI 17 HMR ammo. This small group was shot with CCI A17 ammo.

Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin Ellermann 17 HMR

What’s the effective range of a 17 HMR on prairie dogs? You might be surprised. in 2015, Dustin took another Volquartsen 17 HMR on a Prairie Dog hunt in Wyoming. He was impressed with the rifle (shown below) and the little rimfire cartridge. Dustin says the effective range of the 17 HMR is farther than one might expect: “I made hits out to 300 yards. 200 yards was easy as long as the wind wasn’t too bad.”

Here’s the Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin used in Wyoming in 2015:
Volquartsen 17 HMR Dustin Ellermann 17 HMR

After that 2015 P-Dog expedition, Dustin became a fan of the 17 HMR cartridge: “Never paid it much attention before now because the ammo is five times more expensive than .22 LR and I mostly target shoot. However, for prairie dogs, the 17 HMR is amazing!” Consider this — Hornady’s 17 HMR ammo pushes a 17gr V-Max bullet at 2550 fps, twice as fast as typical .22 LR rounds.

Prairie Dog Adventure with Savage A17
This video shows a successful Prairie Dog hunt. Watch and you’ll see hits out to 160 yards (00:50), proving the effective range of the 17 HMR cartridge. The host is shooting a Savage A17 semi-auto 17 HMR rifle in a Boyds laminated stock.

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June 12th, 2020

Angular Measurement — Mil vs. MOA — What You Need to Know

Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series
Visit PrecisionRifleBlog.com for a discussion of MIL vs. MOA.

Many guys getting started in long range shooting are confused about what kind of scope they should buy — specifically whether it should have MIL-based clicks or MOA-based clicks. Before you can make that decision, you need to understand the terminology. This article, with a video by Bryan Litz, explains MILS and MOA so you can choose the right type of scope for your intended application.

This March-FX 5-40x56mm Tactical FFP scope features 0.05 MIL Clicks.
Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series

You probably know that MOA stands for “Minute of Angle” (or more precisely “minute of arc”), but could you define the terms “Milrad” or “MIL”? In his latest video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballitics explains MOA and MILs (short for “milliradians”). Bryan defines those terms and explains how they are used. One MOA is an angular measurement (1/60th of one degree) that subtends 1.047″ at 100 yards. One MIL (i.e. one milliradian) subtends 1/10th meter at 100 meters; that means that 0.1 Mil is one centimeter (1 cm) at 100 meters. Is one angular measurement system better than another? Not necessarily… Bryan explains that Mildot scopes may be handy for ranging, but scopes with MOA-based clicks work just fine for precision work at known distances. Also because one MOA is almost exactly one inch at 100 yards, the MOA system is convenient for expressing a rifle’s accuracy. By common parlance, a “half-MOA” rifle can shoot groups that are 1/2-inch (or smaller) at 100 yards.

What is a “Minute” of Angle?
When talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA (four clicks on a 1/4-MOA scope). That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by an MOA subtension increases with the distance.

one MOA minute of angle diagram

MIL vs. MOA for Target Ranging
MIL or MOA — which angular measuring system is better for target ranging (and hold-offs)? In a recent article on his PrecisionRifleBlog.com website, Cal Zant tackles that question. Analyzing the pros and cons of each, Zant concludes that both systems work well, provided you have compatible click values on your scope. Zant does note that a 1/4 MOA division is “slightly more precise” than 1/10th mil, but that’s really not a big deal: “Technically, 1/4 MOA clicks provide a little finer adjustments than 1/10 MIL. This difference is very slight… it only equates to 0.1″ difference in adjustments at 100 yards or 1″ at 1,000 yards[.]” Zant adds that, in practical terms, both 1/4-MOA clicks and 1/10th-MIL clicks work well in the field: “Most shooters agree that 1/4 MOA or 1/10 MIL are both right around that sweet spot.”

READ MIL vs. MOA Cal Zant Article.

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