January 20th, 2018

Choosing and Using a Progressive Press — 6.5 Guys Video

6.5 Guys Progressive Press video Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader

Progressive reloading presses offer shooters speed and efficiency in producing custom-tailored rifle and pistol ammunition. However, there is a wide choice of Progressive Presses and a bewildering array of options to consider. In this video, the 6.5 Guys and UltimateReloader.com’s Gavin Gear provide an overview of the leading Progressive Presses on the market along with key considerations for precision rifle shooters. If you are considering getting a Progessive for rifle ammo reloading, you should watch this informative, 25-minute video.

10 Tips for Reloading Precision Rifle Ammo on a Progressive Press:

1. Make sure the brass is very clean. Don’t mix old range pick-up brass with newer brass.

2. Apply a thin, spray lube to all cases before the sizing/loading cycle.

3. Consider priming your brass separately (with a hand or bench tool) before the operation. Then inspect the primers before loading powder and bullets.

4. Always wear eye protection when loading with the Progressive, particularly if you are priming cases.

5. With tape, mark the powder measure/dropper with the powder type and charge weight.

6. Cycle a few cases, sizing and adding powder but NOT seating bullets. Weigh the powder charges to ensure the powder measure is dispensing the correct charge. Sometimes this will change a couple tenths as it “settles down” after the first few charges.

7. Check the brass for shoulder bump and bullet seating depth carefully for the first few rounds, then check again periodically.

8. Try to maintain a steady pace and operate the handle the same way every time.

9. Visually inspect the powder charge in each case (before bullet seating), and use a lock-out die if your Progressive Press has enough stations.

10. Never, ever mix pistol and rifle powders! If you have previously loaded pistol ammo with your Progressive, make sure ALL the powder (every flake and kernel) is removed from all components of the powder-dropping system before you add rifle powder.

Loading Pistol Ammo on a Dillon

The .45 ACP is probably our favorite centerfire pistol cartridge. In this video, Gavin Gear shows how to load this popular round on a Dillon 550B Progressive Press:

Visit these sites for more Reloading and Precision Shooting Videos:

6.5 Guys
https://www.youtube.com/user/65guys
http://www.65Guys.com

Ultimate Reloader
https://www.youtube.com/ultimatereloader
http://www.UltimateReloader.com

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January 17th, 2018

Understanding Milliradians (Mils) and Mil-Dot Scopes

mildot ranging milliradian Milrad

We first ran this article in 2012, and it was very well received. Since then, many Forum members have requested an explanation of MILS and mildots, so we decided to run this feature again…

Mildot scope reticleIn this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term “MilliRadian” (Milrad) and explains how you can use a mildot-type scope to range the distance to your target. It’s pretty simple, once you understand the angular subtension for the reticle stadia dots/lines. Cleckner also explains how you can use the milrad-based reticle markings in your scope for elevation hold-overs and windage hold-offs.

Even if you normally shoot at known distances, the hold-off capability of milrad-reticle scopes can help you shoot more accurately in rapidly-changing wind conditions. And, when you must engage multiple targets quickly, you can use the reticle’s mil markings to move quickly from one target distance to another without having to spin your elevation turrets up and down.

WEB RESOURCES: If you want to learn more about using Milliradians and Mildot scopes, we suggest the excellent Mil-dot.com User Guide. This covers the basics you need to know, with clear illustrations. Also informative is The Truth about Mil Dots by Michael Haugen. Mr. Haugen begins with basic definitions: 1 radian = 2 PI; 1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian; 1 Milliradian = .0573 degrees.

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January 16th, 2018

Savage New Products — Adjustable Stocks, More Chamberings

Savage Arms 2018 new products Accufit AccuStock rifle stock MSR 10 Long Range

Savage Arms will launch more than two dozen new products at the 2018 SHOT Show, January 23-26 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The big news is the AccuFit stock system for the Model 110 rifle line. “Our new AccuFit System is designed to allow shooters to quickly adjust comb height and length-of-pull for a customized fit. This results in more consistent, more comfortable shooting”, says Beth Shimanski, Savage Senior Marketing Manager. These new Savages also feature the Accustock internal chassis with bedding block (see second video below).

AccuFit Adjustment System

Savage Arms 2018 new products Accufit AccuStock rifle stock MSR 10 Long Range

Accustock Embedded Chassis System

CLICK HERE for more videos showing new Savage Design and Engineering features.

More Chambering Options for Savage AR-Platform Rifles
Savage has added new chamberings for its MSR black rifle line-up. MSR 15 models will be newly offered in 224 Valkyrie, 22 Nosler, and 6.8 SPC. A 6mm Creedmoor version of the AR-10 platform MSR 10 Long Range has been added, and Savage will offer the hard-hitting .338 Federal chambering in the MSR Hunter rifle (along with 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win).

Savage 2018 New Product Highlights

Model 110 Storm with AccuFit: Features stainless steel action and barrel for adverse weather and conditions. Sixteen caliber and left-hand options.

Model 110 Long Range Hunter with AccuFit: Engineered for long-range shooting with a 26-inch barrel and muzzle brake. Nine caliber options, including 338 Lapua Magnum.

Model 110 Lightweight Storm: Easier to carry in field thanks to a lightweight stainless steel barrel and action. Length-of-pull is easily customized. Six caliber options.

AXIS II XP with New Stock: Popular package rifle with redesigned, ergonomic stock and Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 scope in full-size and compact models. Twenty caliber/configuration options.

MSR 15 Valkyrie: MSR 15 AR-type rifle chambered for the 224 Valkyrie. This new model features an adjustable gas block, furniture upgrades, and Elite Series Flat Dark Earth Cerakote finish.

MSR 15 Recon Long Range Precision: Equipped with alternate furniture options and chambered in all-new 224 Valkyrie, 22 Nosler, and 6.8 SPC.

MSR 10 Long Range in 6mm Creedmoor: AR-10 platform rifle design for long-range precision shooting. Chambered for the flat-shooting, modest-recoil 6mm Creedmoor cartridge.

MSR 10 Hunter in 338 Federal: Built specifically for hunters and chambered in the popular, hard-hitting .338 Federal.

B Series Compact and Left-hand: Extremely accurate bolt-action .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR options. Now available in compact and left-hand models.

A Series Pro Varmint: Semi-automatic options in .22 LR, .22 WMR and .17 HMR, all with Boyd’s Pro Varmint stock and 22-inch fluted, heavy barrel.

All of these new rifles, as well as more bolt-action and semi-auto centerfire and rimfire rifles, will be on display at SHOT Show Booth No. 14551. Most will be set up so visitors can handle the rifle and work trigger and bolt. To learn more about the new Savage rifles and their features, visit www.SavageArms.com.

Savage MSR 10 Long Range (6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win)

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January 12th, 2018

Father of all ARs — The Original Full-Auto AR-10

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Today, AR-platform rifles are hugely popular. Dozens of manufacturers sell AR-type rifles, in a wide variety of configurations and calibers. But before there were M16s and AR-15s, ArmaLite produced a 7.62×51 caliber rifle, the AR-10. Yes before there were millions of 5.56 black rifles, there was a .30-caliber big brother with reddish-brown furniture. Invented by Eugene (‘Gene’) Stoner for the Armalite company in the late 1950s, this is the father of all of today’s AR-platform rifles. Way ahead of its time, this remarkable, select-fire battle rifle weighed just 7.25 pounds as first developed.

If you’re curious about the AR-10, in this video, Jerry Miculek puts an original 1957-vintage AR-10 through its paces on the range. This extremely rare, early-production rifle was provided by Mr. Reed Knight and the Institute of Military Technology. (The gun in the video was actually produced in the Netherlands under license, see video at 4:40.) This AR-10 is the direct ancestor of the AR-15, M16, and many of the modern sporting rifles that we use today.

The AR-10 was slim and light, weighing in at around 7 pounds. Some folks might argue that the original “old-school” AR10 is actually better that some of today’s heavy, gadget-laden ARs. The AR-10’s charging “lever” was under the carry handle — that made it easier to manipulate with the gun raised in a firing position.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

You’ll notice there is no “forward assist”. Inventor Gene Stoner did not believe a separate “bolt-pusher” was necessary. The forward assist was added to solve problems encountered in Viet Nam. Some critics say the forward assist “only takes a small problem and makes it a big problem.” For today’s competition ARs (that are never dragged through the mud) the forward assist probably is superfluous. It is rarely if ever needed.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Note also that the handguards are fairly slim and tapered. Today, six decades after the first AR-10 prototypes, we are now seeing these kind of slim handguards (made from aluminum or lightweight composites) used on “full race” ARs campaigned in 3-gun competition.

History of the AR-10
The AR-10 is a 7.62 mm battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite, then a division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation. When first introduced in 1956, the AR-10 used an innovative straight-line barrel/stock design with phenolic composite and forged alloy parts resulting in a small arm significantly easier to control in automatic fire and over one pound lighter than other infantry rifles of the day. Over its production life, the original AR-10 was built in relatively small numbers, with fewer than 9,900 rifles assembled.

In 1957, the basic AR-10 design was substantially modified by ArmaLite to accommodate the .223 Remington cartridge, and given the designation AR-15. ArmaLite licensed the AR-10 and AR-15 designs to Colt Firearms. The AR-15 eventually became the M16 rifle.

AR-10 photos from Arms Izarra, a Spanish company specializing in de-militarized, collectible firearms. Interestingly, this particular AR-10 was produced in the Netherlands under license.

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January 10th, 2018

GAP Grind Match on Shooting USA TV Today

GAP Grind Shooting USA

This Wednesday (January 10, 2018), Shooting USA TV features the GAP Grind Pro-Am held at the K&M Shooting Complex in Finger, Tennessee. Conducted in association with the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the GAP Grind features a Pro/Am format with professional and amateur competitors vying for individual glory and team honors. If you are a PRS shooter or are interested in practical, multi-position shooting you should definitely watch this episode.

More Features in January 10, 2018 Hour-Long Episode:
1. CMP Western Games in Arizona. The Western Games feature High Power, Vintage Military Rifle, M1 Carbine, and Rimfire Sporter Matches. Held at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, this is one of America’s biggest matches each year.
2. Savage 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles. This week Shooting USA also spotlights two new 6.5 Creedmoor Savage rifles, a bolt action and an AR-platform MSR.
3. Pistol Training with Lasers. Ace shooter Julie Golob uses on-gun lasers to help diagnose and correct common pistol shooting mistakes.

Pistol shooting laser training Julie Golob

New Broadcast Times for 2018: Wednesday 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 pm Central

GAP Grind Feature on Shooting USA

Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
The GAP Grind is a notoriously 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).

Shooting USA Host John Scoutten (in Blue/White shirt) at a past GRIND

Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
The GAP Grind is a notoriously 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).

Shooting USA TV gap grind
Josh Temnnen Facebook photo.

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

GAP Grind Hardware
Shelley Giddings, a skilled shooter of both firearms and cameras, snapped these images of state-of-the-art tactical rifles at the 2014 GAP Grind. See more firearms images on Shelley’s Facebook Page.

Giddings GAP Grind

Giddings GAP Grind

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January 8th, 2018

Headspace 101: What You Need to Know

Can you list all the serious problems that excessive headspace can cause? For that matter, could you even explain what, exactly, is meant by the term “headspace”? If not, you should watch this instructional video from Brownells. This video defines the term “headspace”, explains why proper headspacing is critically important, and illustrates how headspace gauges work.

Headspace is a measurement from the bolt-face to a point in the chamber. This point of measurement will vary based on the type of cartridge. Improper headspace, either excessive or (conversely) under SAAMI specifications, can cause a variety of problems, many serious.

headspace brownells video barrel chamber

Problems Caused by Too Much Headspace
Excessive headspace issues can include: light primer strikes, failure to fire, bulged/blown cases, case separations, split shoulders, or unseated primers after firing. Case ruptures caused by excessive headspace can lead to catastrophic failures causing serious injury. That is why headspace is such an important measurement.

Problems Cause by Too Little Headspace
Insufficent (or excessively tight) headspace can prevent the firearm from going into battery, resulting in failure to fire or deformation of the cartridge case. Various feeding and functioning problems can be caused by cases with too little headspace, even if a round can be chambered (with effort).

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January 7th, 2018

Can You Hit a Watch Face at 200 Yards — With Iron Sights?

Marksmanship M1A M14 .308 Win shooting watch challenge

Marksmanship M1A M14 .308 Win shooting watch challengeWhen two or more guys get together at a shooting range, sooner or later, a challenge will ensue. It’s a guy thing — guys are competitive. We’ve seen it on varmint hunting trips too: “Bet I can hit that P-dog at 700 yards.” “No you can’t.” “Yes I can.” “Wanna Bet?”

You know how it goes. There are challenges for pride, bragging rights, and often some money is involved, or perhaps a six-pack.

In this GunVenture video, three shooters take on the challenge of hitting the face of a watch at 200 yards using an M1A rifle with standard iron sights. The rules were exact — you had to hit the FACE of the watch, not just the strap. And the bullet had to penetrate the center of the watch — no splash shots or ricochets allowed. Not an easy shot — we figure that watch face is about 1.5″ in diameter or roughly 0.75 MOA at 200 yards. They were shooting factory .308 Win ammo with 155gr bullets — a Palma load.

GunVenture Video — 200 Yard Watch Challenge with Iron Sights M1A

One of the shooters, range owner Justin Watts, rose brilliantly to the challenge. You can see Justin’s remarkable shot at 3:20 time mark. Holding slightly for wind, he drilled the watch face dead center, obliterating it, but leaving most of the band intact. At 4:25 the video reveals that the whole center of the watch (the works) was blown out, leaving nothing but a rubber doughnut. Mighty Impressive.

Marksmanship M1A M14 .308 Win shooting watch challenge

After making the impressive shot, Justin explained to his buddies what they did wrong. Among other things they did not compensate for the wind. Justin also observed that the first shooter sent his shot right because of the M1A’s heavy trigger pull: “Probably what happened is the trigger pull is so heavy [he] pulled it to the right. Most of the time when you have a right-handed shooter and a heavy trigger like that, it’s going to pull you off to the right.”

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January 3rd, 2018

SHOT Show Navigation — How to Find Your Way in Vegas

Shot Show 2018 Las Vegas Sands Convention Center
SHOT Show 2018 runs January 23-26 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Head to SHOT Show in Las Vegas in three weeks? Then you need to start your planning now. You’ll want to locate the companies you want to visit, and plan your booth-visiting route to make best use of your time. Thankfully, SHOT Show’s organizers offer an interactive SHOT Show Planner that lets you look up the exhibitors and plot their locations in the Sands EXPO Center. SEE Floor Plan.

The SHOT Show’s Interactive Floor Plan offers an easy-to-use Vendor Mapping feature. Simply enter the company name in the search field in the upper left. Then the Planner will locate the vendor’s booth(s) on the map and highlight the location for you. Easy-Peasy.

Shot Show 2018 Las Vegas Sands Convention Center

Getting to the SHOT Show Building

SHOT Show 2018 is held in the Sands Expo Convention Center, attached to the Venetian Hotel. If you don’t want to walk through the disorienting maze of that badly designed, over-priced hotel, you can enter through the Sands Avenue street entrance (taxi-cab stand). Word to the wise — avoid the SHOT Show shuttle buses if you can — riding them is a great way to catch a bad cold from other passengers who are sick.

On this interactive map you can use your mouse to re-center and zoom in/out.

(more…)

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January 3rd, 2018

The Whims of the Wind — Slow-Motion Windflag Video


Photo of Aussie Wind Flags courtesy BRT Shooters Supply.

A while back our Aussie friend Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply recently filmed some interesting videos at the QTS range in Brisbane, Australia. Stuart told us: “I was shooting in an Air Gun Benchrest match here in Brisbane, Australia. I finished my target early and was awaiting the cease fire and took a short, slow-motion video of windflag behavior.” You may be surprised by the velocity changes and angle swings that occur, even over a relatively short distance (just 25 meters from bench to target).

Here are windflags in slow motion:

The flags show in the videos are “Aussie Wind Flags”, developed by Stuart Elliot. These are sold in the USA by Butch Lambert, through Shadetree Engineering.

Here is a video in real time:

Stuart says this video may surprise some shooters who don’t use windflags: “Many people say the wind doesn’t matter. Well it sure does — whether for an airgun at 25 meters or a long range centerfire at 1,000.” This video illustrates how much the wind can change direction and velocity even in a small area.

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December 31st, 2017

Genesis of a Tactical Rifle — The Process of Creation

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

How is a modern, metal-chassis rifle built? This very cool video from Masterpiece Arms answers that question. The nicely-edited video shows the creation of a Masterpiece Arms tactical rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the manufacturing process are illustrated: 3D CAD modeling, CNC milling of the chassis, barrel threading/contouring, chamber-reaming, barrel lapping, laser engraving, and stock coating. If you love to see machines at work, you will enjoy this video…

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

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December 31st, 2017

Ruger Offers Ten Training Videos for New Shooters

Ruger New Shooter Academy handgun pistol training

Ruger is working to get new people involved in shooting sports through a new 10-part video series. Ruger’s American New Shooter Academy focuses on firearms safety and handgun skills training. There are ten, 5-9 minute episodes, all available now on GetZone.com and YouTube.

Watch Episode One of New Shooter Academy:

In the New Shooter Academy series, Firearms trainer Daniel Shaw starts from “square one” with four participants with little-to-no handgun firearms experience. Shaw works with the students to build good fundamentals and follow recommended safety procedures. “Recruiting new shooters and making sure they are properly trained is critical to the future success of shooting sports” said Jeff Siegel, CEO of Media Lodge, the company that produces the videos for Ruger.

CLICK HERE to watch Ruger’s American New Shooter Academy Series (All Episodes)

During their training sessions, participants used the Ruger American Pistol compact model chambered in 9mm Luger, with a manual safety. Additional products for the series were provided by CrossBreed Holsters®, TMG Target Systems, and Hornady.

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December 27th, 2017

The Bio-Mechanics of Shooting — Skeletal Support

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray
Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Have you ever wondered how Olympic-class position shooters hold their aim so steady? Those bulky shooting coats help, but there is a lot of bio-mechanics involved also. Top shooters employ their body structure to help support the weight of their rifles, and to steady their aim. This interesting video, produced by GOnra Media, demonstrates rifle hold and body alignment for prone, standing, sitting, and kneeling positions. Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Corkish (formerly Jamie Gray) demonstrates the proper stance and position of arms and legs for each of the positions. Ideally, in all of the shooting positions, the shooter takes advantage of skeletal support. The shooter should align the bones of his/her arms and legs to provide a solid foundation. A shooter’s legs and arms form vertical planes helping the body remain stable in the shooting position.

Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Corkish Demonstrates Shooting Positions

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Jamie Corkish, London 2012 Gold Medalist in Women’s 3 X 20, has retired from top-level competitive shooting. However, Jamie remains involved in the shooting sports as a Public Relations/Marketing representative for ELEY, a leading maker of rimfire ammunition. Jamie also works with shooting clubs and educational institutions to promote smallbore target shooting.

Images are stills from GOnraMedia video linked above.
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December 22nd, 2017

Christmas Rimfire Fun with .22 Plinkster

22 plinkster velocitor CCI Christmas ornament trick shot

YouTube gun video producer .22 Plinkster has unbridled curiosity when it comes to .22 LR performance. A while back he wanted to see how many Christmas ornaments could be penetrated by one .22 LR round. To answer that burning question, Mr. Plinkster lined up 40 plastic Xmas bulbs in a row and then fired a single round of CCI .22 LR Velocitor ammo through the bunch, using his Henry Golden Boy lever action rifle. Did the bullet penetrate a dozen ornaments? Two dozen? What do you think? Watch the video to find out the surprising answer. The CCI Velocitor ammo is rated at 1435 fps.

Christmas Ornament Penetration Test with Henry .22 LR Lever Action Rifle.

22 plinkster velocitor CCI Christmas ornament trick shot

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December 18th, 2017

Valkyrie Video Fest — New .224 Valkyrie Unveiled

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison

Do we really need a new, high-performance .22-caliber cartridge for the AR15 platform (aka MSR 15). Federal thinks so. Federal has introduced a .22-Caliber Hot Rod cartridge — the .224 Valkyrie. Designed to out-perform the .223 Rem and .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the new .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with heavy, high-BC bullets.

The performance is impressive. Federal says that, when loaded with a 90-grain Sierra MatchKing bullet, the .224 Valkyrie will stay supersonic all the way to 1300 yards, while offering substantially less recoil than other AR-friendly cartridges such as the 6.5 Grendel.

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison

Here are three videos that give insight into the .224 Valkyrie cartridge and rifle options. We think the two applications that make most sense for this new cartridge are: 1) PRS Gas Gun matches (Open Class) — you get 6mm Creedmoor ballistic performance with much less recoil for faster shot transitions; and 2) Long-Range (400+ yards) varminting — you get performance similar to a 22-250 in a cartridge that works with your existing AR15 lower. That will really help with those long shots on P-dogs.

.224 Valkyrie PRS Gas Gun Demo Run

The new .224 Valkyrie is basically a 6.8 SPC case necked down to .22-caliber. You can use your existing AR15 lower, but you will need a dedicated .224-Valkyrie upper, or at the minimum a new barrel, modified bolt with proper bolt face, and 6.8-compliant mags. In this video, a shooter runs a tactical course using a rig chambered for the .224 Valkyrie. You can see how it functions 100%. This video also provides ballistic comparisons with other “enhanced performance” AR15 cartridges.

.224 Valkyrie vs. .22-250 Remington

The Social Regressive explains: “There are two key reasons why the 224 Valkyrie is unique and desirable. First, it is specifically designed to fit the limitations of the AR-15 platform. It does so even when loaded with gigantic bullets, like the 90-grain SMK that Federal announced. .22-250 Rem is too long and too fat to work in the AR-15 platform; it needs an AR-10 bolt and magazine.”

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison
Image from .224 Valkyrie Video from The Social Regressive, linked below.

“Does this mean that the 22-250 is now outmoded? Not even close. Varminters depend upon its flat trajectory and inherent accuracy. It’s a handloader’s dream cartridge, and the factory ammunition out there works well, too. If, however, you want a semiauto platform or you want to shoot longer distances, .224 Valkyrie looks like it will be the logical choice [with fast twist-rate barrels and high-BC bullets].”

New Savage MSR 15 in .224 Valkyrie

Savage Arms has a new AR15-platform rifle chambered in .224 Valkyrie. This will debut at SHOT Show 2018. The new Savage MSR 15 Valkyrie has some nice features: crisp two-stage trigger, adjustable gas system, and tough Cerakote finish on lower and upper. The 5R-rifled, 18″-long barrel comes from the factory with an effective muzzle brake. MSRP is $1499.00. We wish the barrel was a bit longer (at least 22″), but the adjustable gas system is a nice feature that lets you tune the cycling for your ammo and shooting discipline.

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison

Savage has high hopes for this rifle. With 90gr Federal factory ammo, it produces only half the recoil of larger cartridges with similar long-range performance. Here is a video showing a prototype Savage with a 22-inch barrel. The Ammo was Federal Premium pushing a 90gr SMK at 2680 fps. Note how “calm” the rifle stays on the bags. There is no muzzle lift and rearward recoil is minimal (see 0:10). You could work a varmint field very effectively with this rifle.

Savage MSR 15 Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 7 Comments »
December 12th, 2017

Four Great Firearms Animations

Firearms 3D Animation Gun Videos Schematic

1. How an AR-15 Works

Ever wondered how the parts inside an AR-15 work together? Just exactly how does the reciprocating bolt carrier feed rounds from the magazine? How do the elements in the trigger group work and reset after each shot? How does the gas system bleed gas from the barrel and operate the bolt carrier? These and other questions are answered in this eye-opening video from 45Snipers. Using “cutaway” 3D computer animation, this 5-minute video shows all features of an AR15 inside and out. This fascinating firearms animation allows the viewer to look inside the upper and lower receivers, into the bolt carrier, chamber, barrel, and magazine. There’s a second AR-15 Video that shows all the internal and external parts of the AR-15 Rifle. CLICK HERE for AR Parts Animation.

2. How an AK-47 Works — With Parts Assembly

This animation shows how the AK-47 (officially Avtomat Kalasnikova model 1947) rifle functions. This very realistic video shows the component parts of the AK47 coming together. They you can see how the fire control system works to ignite the primer, sending the bullet down the barrel. Next you see how the gas piston pushes the bolt carrier rearward to chamber a new 7.62x39mm cartridge.

Tech Note: This high-quality 3D animation was created by Matt Rittman using Cinema 4D and After Effects software. Corona renderer was used in order to create realistic materials and reflections. Credit Forum member Captain Dave F. for finding this video.

3. How a Pistol Cartridge Fires

This cool 3D video from German ammo-maker GECO (part of the Swiss RUAG group of companies) unveils the inside of a pistol cartridge, showing jacket, lead core, case, powder and primer. Uusing advanced CGI rendering, the video shows an X-ray view of ammo being loaded in a handgun, feeding from a magazine. Then it really gets interesting. At 1:32 – 1:50 you’ll see the firing pin strike the primer cup, the primer’s hot jet streaming through the flash-hole, and the powder igniting. Finally you can see the bullet as it moves down the barrel and spins its way to a target. If you’ve ever wondered what happens inside a cartridge when you pull the trigger, this video shows all.

For Best Viewing, Click Gear Symbol and Select HD Playback Mode

4. How a Rifle Cartridge Fires

This CGI video shows what happens inside a rifle chamber and barrel when a cartridge fires. The 3D computer animation reveals every stage in the process of a rifle round being fired. X-Ray-style animation illustrates the primer igniting, the propellant burning, and the bullet moving through the barrel. The video then shows how the bullet spins as it flies along its trajectory. Finally, this animation shows the bullet impacting ballistic gelatin. Watch the bullet mushroom and deform as it creates a “wound channel” in the gelatin.

3D animation bullet ammunition in rifle

Watch Video – Cartridge Ignition Sequence Starts at 1:45 Time-Mark

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December 12th, 2017

Possible Progress on ITAR Regulation of Gunsmiths

ITAR Department of State Rule Change

If you are a gunsmith, or do any machine works on firearms, you need to know about ITAR, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations which are enforced through the U.S. Department of State (DOS). ITAR applies to companies that create sophisticated weapons systems. However, under DOS interpretations in recent years, ITAR may also apply to persons and businesses that do simple, basic gunsmithing tasks. That could require filling out lots of paperwork, and paying the Fed’s hefty fees, starting at $2250 per year. A Guidance Statement issued by the DOS Directorate of Defense Trade Counsels (DDTC) in July, 2016 (under the Obama Administration) gave rise to serious concerns that DOS was going to require every gunsmith to register under ITAR, under threat of massive fines and penalties. READ About DDTC ITAR Guidance.

Thankfully, it appears that the Trump Administration is working to narrow the scope of ITAR so that it would NOT apply to basic gunsmithing activities, and not apply to common gun accessories that are not exported. IMPORTANT: Changes have NOT been made yet, but it appears the Feds are heading in the right direction, with the DOS willing to modify its definition of “manufacturing” so ITAR would not embrace basic gunsmithing tasks such as threading a muzzle.

The Gun Collective reports that: “The Directorate of Defense Trade Counsels (DDTC) is working on revising the ITAR regulations which will help the gun industry[.] Gunsmiths having to pay hefty fees, register and comply with ITAR may no longer be a problem if this goes through as planned. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait for Congress to take action, but rather an agency, which appears to be taking initiative to get it done. As always, time will tell, so be sure to keep your eye on the Federal Register….”

While nothing has happened yet, it appears that this administration is working to revise ITAR. For members of the firearms industry, this is a big deal and will be beneficial to all. There is no reason that a gunsmith should be required to register and comply with ITAR to simply thread a muzzle. It will also allow companies to more easily export their products around the world. (Source: The Gun Collective)

The Gun Collective further noted that: “The topic that will be of the most interest to us would be the definition of manufacturing[.] You may remember DDTC’s July 2016 letter, which issued “Guidance” as to who would have to register under ITAR [and suggested] that now gunsmiths would have to register as well. The definition of manufacturing is an important one to define and one that had broad ranging implications as the industries covered under ITAR are wide ranging, everything from the firearms industry to airplanes and missiles. The Guidance stated that ITAR registration was required for gunsmiths who machined or cut firearms, such as the threading of muzzles or muzzle brake installation which required machining. At a hefty $2,250 a year to register, ignoring all of the other things that go along with ITAR, it is easy to see why this would be problematic for most small businesses.”

AECA DDTC Federal export manufacturer registration requirement criminal sanctions Annual fee NRA-ILA

Here is the key language in the DDTC’s “ITAR Registration Requirements – Consolidated Guidance” Ruling of 7/22/2016:

2. Registration Required – Manufacturing: In response to questions from persons engaged in the business of gunsmithing, DDTC has found in specific cases that ITAR registration is required because the following activities meet the ordinary, contemporary, common meaning of “manufacturing” and, therefore, constitute “manufacturing” for ITAR purposes:

a) Use of any special tooling or equipment upgrading in order to improve the capability of assembled or repaired firearms;

b) Modifications to a firearm that change round capacity;

c) The production of firearm parts (including, but not limited to, barrels, stocks, cylinders, breech mechanisms, triggers, silencers, or suppressors);

d) The systemized production of ammunition, including the automated loading or reloading of ammunition;

e) The machining or cutting of firearms, e.g., threading of muzzles or muzzle brake installation requiring machining, that results in an enhanced capability;

f) Rechambering firearms through machining, cutting, or drilling;

g) Chambering, cutting, or threading barrel blanks; and

h) Blueprinting firearms by machining the barrel.

Resources for ITAR Issues:

1. Proposed ITAR Revisions to Definitions of Defense Services and Technical Data LINK
2. DDTC 2016 ITAR Registration Guidance Letter LINK
3. Export Control Reform Act of 2016 LINK

Legal Brief ITAR Episode (August 2016):

Attribution: GunCollective.com and Ammoland.com under Creative Commons license.

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December 10th, 2017

December Feature Articles in Shooting Sports USA

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel Windmeter
The latest issue of Shooting USA magazine has a detailed EIGHT-page feature on the Kestrel wind meter. This story covers the development of the Kestrel and explains the advanced technologies now offered with the hand-held Kestrel systems.

The eZine version of Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) is available for free online. In the latest December 2017 issue you’ll find two excellent articles of interest to all serious rifle shooters. One covers the development of the Kestrel weather meter, which has evolved to serious levels of sophistication. Now premium Kestrels include built-in ballistic calculators and they can “talk” with mobile devices, sharing command functions and data. The second article covers shooting skills. In the first of a three-part series, Glen Zediker talks about NRA High Power rifle competition. Glen spotlights the skills you must master to move from the beginning level, Marksman, to higher levels.

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel WindmeterKestrel Technology Today
The December SSUSA issue features the origin of ballistics-enabled Kestrel weather meters. SSUSA’s Editor John Parker covers the history of the Kestrel, and explains how more and more features were packed into the handheld device as it evolved. Today’s Kestrel is so much more than an impeller with wind speed/direction read-outs.

The impressive Kestrel 5700 Elite with Applied Ballistics software is the latest model of a product that revolutionized long-range shooting by combining ballistic computer and weather meter in one portable device. Shooters can select either G1 or G7 ballistic coefficients, or to be even more specific they can select bullets from the Applied Ballistics custom curves library. With the Kestrel and its software, shooters can plot very precise trajectories, even to extreme long ranges.

READ Full Kestrel Technology Article in Shooting Sports USA »

Shooting Sports USA Kestrel Windmeter


Shooting Sports USA Glen Zediker High PowerMarksman to High Master
High Power Rifle competition originally evolved from the U.S. military course of fire. Climbing the classification ranks in NRA High Power Rifle can be daunting — it requires focus, practice and commitment to move up the ladder from Marksman all the way to High Master.

In Glen Zediker’s three-part series, “Climbing the High Power Ladder”, Glen shares his tips for competitors that are looking to improve their skills beyond the intermediate level. The first installment focuses on stepping past Marksman classification to Sharpshooter. Read PART ONE HERE. In the months ahead, look for parts Two and Three in future SSUSA issues. These will cover the next stages in the climb: Expert, Master, High Master.

READ Full High Power Ladder Article in Shooting Sports USA »


Shooting Sports USA Kestrel WindmeterDVD Resource for High Power Training
If you’re serious about improving your High Power skill set, we suggest you view a DVD by David Tubb, 11-time National High Power Champion. David’s instructional DVD, “The Art & Technique of the Modern Match Rifle”, is a great resource for any High Power or position shooter. This 2-disc DVD provides over 4.5 hours of instruction and shooting demonstrations. We can confirm that this video is packed with great information — novice High Power and prone shooters who apply David’s methods should definitely improve their scores.

David has included highlights from that DVD in a shorter promo video. While the shorter video is a sales tool, it’s very informative in its own right. Watch the video and you’ll learn a great deal just by watching how David shoulders his rifle, and how he adjusts and maintains his shooting position. David shows examples of prone, sitting, and standing positions. In the short “trailer”, David also provides helpful tips on adjusting sights, and placing the spotting scope.

If you shoot Service Rifle, High Power, or prone, you can benefit from watching this short sampler video. The full 2-disc DVD is available for $49.95 from Creedmoor Sports. With over 4.5 hours of content, the DVD covers all the across-the-course positions, the set-up and use of aperture sights and diopters, High Power and long range targets, the approach method in offhand, proper placement and use of spotting scopes. The DVD includes bonus footage of David shooting strings in all of the across-the-course positions.

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December 3rd, 2017

Watch Ammo Being Made in Revealing Video

Sellier Bellot Ammunition Videos

At SHOT Show last year we visited the Sellier & Bellot pavilion. You may not have heard of this company, but it is one of Europe’s older ammunition manufacturers. The video below shows ammunition being made from start to finish, starting with raw materials. This is a fascinating video that is well worth watching. It shows some amazing machines in operation:

Based in in Vlašim, Czech Republic, Sellier & Bellot was founded in August 5, 1825 by a German businessman of French origins called Louis Sellier. His family were royalists who fled France during the French Revolution. Louis Sellier began manufacturing percussion caps for infantry firearms in a factory in Prague, Bohemia on the request of Francis I, the Emperor of Austria. Sellier was joined by his countryman Jean Maria Nicolaus Bellot.

At the S&B booth, we also saw an interesting CGI video that shows what happens inside a rifle chamber and barrel when a cartridge fires can’t be seen by the naked eye (unless you are a Super-Hero with X-Ray vision). But now, with the help of 3D-style computer animation, you can see every stage in the process of a rifle round being fired.

3D animation bullet ammunition in rifle

In this X-Ray-style 3D animation illustrates the primer igniting, the propellant burning, and the bullet moving through the barrel. The video then shows how the bullet spins as it flies along its trajectory. Finally, this animation shows the bullet impacting ballistic gelatin. Watch the bullet mushroom and deform as it creates a “wound channel” in the gelatin.

Watch Video – Cartridge Ignition Sequence Starts at 1:45 Time-Mark

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December 2nd, 2017

Marksmanship Fundamentals: Finger Placement on Trigger

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

You can spend thousands on a fancy new rifle, but all that expensive hardware won’t perform at its best if you have poor trigger technique. One key element of precision shooting is trigger control. Our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss has produced a good video that shows how to refine your trigger technique for better accuracy. In this video, Kirsten talks about the actual placement of a shooter’s index finger on the trigger. It is important to have the finger positioned optimally. Otherwise you can pull the shot slightly left or slightly right.

Kirsten tells us: “Finger placement on the trigger might not seem like a big deal, but it actually is. The reason for this is because, depending on where your index finger is placed on the trigger, [this] translates to different muscle interactions with the gun.” Watch this video to see Kirsten demonstrate proper finger placement (and explain problems caused by improper finger positioning).

When you pull the trigger, you only want to engage the last section of your finger, in order to avoid unwanted muscle engagement and to achieve a smooth shot. Remember there is a “sweet spot” between the crease (first joint) and the tip of the finger. If you position the trigger in that “sweet spot”, you should see an increase in your accuracy. Don’t make the mistake of putting the trigger in the crease of your finger, as shown below.

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

Effects of Incorrect Finger Placements
You want to place the trigger shoe between the end of your finger and the first joint. If you place the trigger on the very tip of you finger you’ll tend to push the rear of the rifle to the left when engaging the trigger, causing shots to go right (for a right-handed shooter). On the other hand, if you put the trigger in the crease (first joint), you’ll tend to bring the rear of the rifle to the right, causing shots to fall left. This is illustrated below for a right-handed shooter.

kirsten joy weiss trigger placement shooting skills

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December 2nd, 2017

Timney Triggers Donates $500,000 to Cody Firearms Museum

Cody Firearms Museum Timney Triggers

Timney Triggers has stepped up to help preserve the history of American firearms. Recently Timney pledged $500,000 to the Cody Firearms Museum renovation project. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West recently announced its plan to fully renovate the Cody Firearms Museum, opening Summer 2019. Total project cost is estimated at $12,000,000 to house the 7000+ firearms in the Museum’s collection. The National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute of Museum & Library Services have provided large grants. Notably, however, the Timney Triggers’ donation is the first substantial contribution from a major gun industry company.

Cody Firearms Museum Timney Triggers

The CFM is planning a two-floor renovation that will cater to both firearms enthusiasts and the general public. Currently, there are approximately 3,000 firearms on display. After renovation, the museum will boast over 4,500 firearms on display, multiple shooting simulators, and hands-on inter-active displays. According to CodyEnterprise.com: “The plan is to produce a special exhibit of the collection’s top 75 guns and sprinkle other firearms exhibits throughout the rest of the 325,000-square-foot museum. That includes placing guns in the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Draper Museum of Natural History, the Whitney Western Art Museum and the Plains Indian Museum.”

Cody Firearms Museum Timney Triggers

John Vehr, Owner of Timney Triggers, stated: “Our industry must support and appreciate the benefits derived from having the finest gun museum in the world educate hundreds of thousands of people who visit AND are new to guns, on the historical importance and the positive aspects of our industry.”

Cody Firearms Museum Timney Triggers
Public domain photo from WikiMedia Commons.

Curator of the Cody Firearms Museum Ashley Hlebinsky commended Timney Triggers: “When we set out to plan the new museum, we wanted to make sure that not only our historic roots were fostered in the new museum, but that we would acquire representation from newer companies or companies whose stories haven’t been told previously in museums, solidifying their place in history.”

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