May 23rd, 2019

Super Shoot Underway in Ohio at Kelbly’s Range

Kelbly Kelbly's Super shoot supershoot Ohio benchrest PPC group light heavy varmint

The 47th Annual Firearms Industry Super Shoot is underway right now at the Kelbly’s Range in North Lawrence, Ohio. This major annual event, held May 21-24 this year, attracts hundreds of the world’s top short-range benchrest-for-group shooters. At the Super Shoot, you’ll find the world’s best on the long firing line, including legends like Tony Boyer and Lester Bruno, and many other Hall of Fame PPC pilots.

Kelbly Kelbly's Super shoot supershoot Ohio benchrest PPC group light heavy varmint

The weather has been cold and blustery this year. But the group sizes have still been impressively small. Photo from Kelbly’s Range in Ohio courtesy Berger Bullets.

Past Super Shoot Highlights Video (Watch This — It’s Very Well Done!)

If you’ve never attended the Super Shoot before, and don’t know what to expect, Capstone Precision Group President Bill Gravatt offers some insights into this great event:

Super Shoot — What It’s All About

The excitement and anticipation leading up to a Super Shoot can be hard to explain to those who haven’t been to one. Every year, some shooters arrive at the Super Shoot a week early to dial in their rifles, learn wind conditions for the range, and enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow shooters. As the match draws closer, campers and RVs fill the area behind the range, and shooters stake out turf all over the property with their reloading and cleaning equipment setups.

Many shooters choose to load cartridges in the main barn directly behind the 60-bench firing line, while others decide to work in pop-ups, campers and other outbuildings around the facility. Benchrest shooters tend to load in small batches, and some most load cartridges between each match. Many shooters clean their rifles after each match, while others sometimes go two or three matches between cleanings, depending on the number of rounds they fire.

Another part of high-level benchrest competition that will amaze first-time attendees is the quality and amount of equipment benchrest shooters use. Just in front of the shooting benches and the targets, range flags of all kinds sprout up, from the typical “daisy wheel” flags to very sophisticated velocity indicators that show varying wind intensity. Shooters adjust their flags to align with the particular target in front of a specific bench, just slightly below the path of the bullet but still partially visible in the high-powered scopes.

Kelbly Kelbly's Super Shoot Benchrest IBS Tony Boyer Light Varmint Heavy

The rifles represent a variety of actions, usually custom, with heavy benchrest barrels by various barrel makers. The most popular cartridge used is the 6mm PPC, but occasionally you will run into someone using a Grendel necked to 6mm or 6mmBR-based case. Rifle rests used are typically heavy tripods or plate rests. You see a lot of Sinclair rests, Farley rests, SEB Rests, and a variety of others, including a few homemade rests. Bags are typically Edgewood, Protektor, and now some Lenzis.

Super Shoot — Runners, Pickers and the Pursuit of Perfection
The techniques vary between shooters, and they are interesting to observe. Some shooters “run” their targets and will shoot a quick sighter and then run all 5 shots as fast as they can before conditions change. Others are “pickers” and shoot each shot carefully, going back and forth between the record target and the sighter target to verify wind conditions and bullet drift. These guys will sometimes shoot up to 10 sighters and use the full seven minutes. Both styles of shooting work and many shooters use both techniques depending on the match conditions[.]

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May 23rd, 2019

Savage Offers Expert Advice on Updated Website

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

Savage Arms has completed a major overhaul of the Savage website. Now the SavageArms.com site is more mobile-friendly and easier to navigate. Savage has expanded information on its rifle products, and also updated the Expert Advice area. This section of the website offers informative technical articles/videos, as well as numerous helpful tips for hunters.

You’ll find 30 informative topics in the Expert Advice section of the updated Savage Arms website. Below are FIVE of our favorites. Click each item to view the full text and linked VIDEOS. Even if you don’t own a Savage, these features are useful. And all new shooters should definitely check out the Advanced Optics selection. This features a good video covering mirage and light refraction.

1. Advanced Optics — Stan Pate

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

Light refraction can wreak havoc on your ability to connect with a target at extreme long range. Stan Pate offers some good advice concerning mirage and refraction.

2. Gun Motion Management — Patrick Kelley

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

3. How to Mount a Scope

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

4. How to Sight In a Rifle

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

5. How to Adjust the Savage Accutrigger

Savage Arms Expert Advice website tech tips

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May 23rd, 2019

AR-Platform Rifle Cleaning Advice

AR15 cleaning procedure

AR-platform rifles run dirty — very dirty. The gas system blows carbon and powder residues back into the action and into the bolt carrier group. That’s why you need to clean your ARs regularly, and you have to pay special attention to the nooks and crannies in the bolt and bolt carrer. The majority of AR failures we’ve witnessed have been from a combination of lube, carbon, and tiny brass shavings that collected in the ejector recess and the extractor spring recess. After that, plain carbon build-up on the bolt can be a gun-stopper too. And you need to keep the barrel extension clean too.

If you’re new to the (dirty) world of ARs, here are two helpful videos from the folks who make Froglube. That line of cleaners/lubes is pretty good stuff, though not our first choice for all AR lubrication and cleaning chores. But these videos do provide many helpful tips. They show the disassembly process and highlight the “problem areas” to which you must pay special attention.

How to Clean Your AR-15 Bolt Carrier Assembly

How to Clean Your AR-15 Lower Receiver Assembly

NOTE: Froglube also makes a video showing AR upper, chamber, and barrel cleaning. There are practices shown there that we do NOT recommend. Nor do we recommend Froglube products for bore cleaning. We think there are more effective cleaning products.

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May 22nd, 2019

Fort Benning Multi-Gun Challenge on Shooting USA TV

Fort Benning Multi-gun 3-gun challenge

Action shooting fans should check out this week’s Shooting USA episode featuring the Fort Benning Multi-Gun Challenge. This is the only 3-gun match where civilians can run-and-gun on an active U.S. Army installation. The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia hosts a very tough and challenging multi-gun matches, one of the best 3-Gun events of the year.

Fort Benning Multi-gun 3-gun challenge

On this episode you can watch top competitors move through difficult stages that test strength and agility as well as marksmanship. Today’s Episode runs at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 pm Central.

Multi-gun competition tests shooters’ skills with rifle, pistol, and shotgun, running stages “on the clock”. You must be fast AND accurate to successfully complete a course of fire. Check it out:

Getting Started in 3-Gun Competition

Thinking of getting started in 3-Gun competition? In this NSSF video, Top Shot Finalist Chris Cerino reviews the hardware you’ll need for multi-gun matches. Chris talks about carbine configurations — including barrel, handguard, and optics options. In reviewing shotguns, Chris discusses shotshell caddies and the high-capacity extended tubular magazines now available. Cerino also demonstrates pistol techniques and explains the key features of a belt/holster rig for 3-Gun competition.

3-Gun Champ Offers Advice on 3-Gun Gear and Safety

SFC Dan Horner, a past winner of the 3-Gun Nation Championship, is one of the country’s best multi-gun competitors. A USAMU stand-out for many years, Horner now shoots (as a civilian) for Team SIG Sauer. Here Horner offers some tips on 3-Gun hardware and safety procedures:

Adapting to New Equipment
There’s a lot of hardware in 3-Gun Competition. To succeed you need mastery of ALL the tools: “New competitors should know how to operate all their equipment. They should spend time getting familiar with their equipment. I spend exponentially more time ensuring the gear is right than I do shooting.”

Dan Horner 3-Gun USAMU
Dan Horner USAMU 3-gun ssg

Safety in 3-Gun Competition
Everyone practicing with shotguns, rifles and pistols must keep safety as top priority. “Obviously, safety is the No. 1 priority, but after that, the focus should be on developing specific skills,” noted Horner. A good three-gunner must not only be fast, but he or she must also be accurate and be able to adapt to a wide variety of shooting positions. And strategy is involved too. Successful 3-gunners develop a ‘plan of attack’ for each stage.

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May 19th, 2019

Flying with Firearms — What You Need to Know

Massad Ayoob, Flying, FAA, TSA, airport security

Shooting Industry Magazine has released a helpful blog article concerning airline travel and firearms. Written by well-known shooting instructor, gun writer (and part-time police officer) Massad Ayoob, the article covers key points travelers must understand before carrying firearms into an airport zone. In his article Flying with Firearms, Ayoob warns travelers that “State gun laws change frequently” and that “our country is a 50-piece patchwork quilt of gun laws”.

Here are some of the recommended resources gun-toting travelers should consult before they head to any airport in the United States:

Flying with Firearms — Familiarize Yourself With The Laws
by Massad Ayoob
State gun laws change frequently, including reciprocity on concealed-carry permits even in the gun-friendly “red states.” Here are a few sources I recommend for you and your customers.

Online, the best and most up-to-date source of gun laws I’ve found is www.Handgunlaws.us. For smart phones, the best app I can recommend is Legal Heat (www.mylegalheat.com).

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are the authoritative sources on flying with firearms.

The controlling TSA regulation can be found at www.tsa.gov, search “Firearms.” The FAA’s controlling regulation is 108.11. To view the FAA’s controlling regulation, visit www.govinfo.gov, click “Advanced Search” and enter “14 CFR 108.11” — the first result contains the report.

TSA Tips on Traveling with Firearms:

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May 16th, 2019

American Rifleman TV — Watch Featured Episodes

American Rifleman television 2019 2020 premiere shows

If you’re like most of us NRA members, you get a copy of American Rifleman magazine in the mail every month. It’s an excellent publication. You may not know that there is a TV version of the magazine — American Rifleman on the Outdoor Channel. This quality television series is broadcast via cable television, and many episodes can be streamed live through the internet, so you can watch on your mobile devices.

The 2019/2020 American Rifleman new season kicks off in a few weeks. In the meantime, you can watch some interesting past episodes. There are a dozen American Rifleman videos on the Outdoor Channel Preview Page. In addition, numerous ad-free episodes are available on YouTube.

Leupold Factory Tour:

Founded in 1907, Leupold & Stevens produces high-quality optics (with a legendary warranty) in Beaverton, Oregon. Leupold scopes are favorites for hunters as well as competitive shooters. In this episode, American Rifleman TV takes a tour of the Leupold & Stevens factory in Oregon.

Nosler Hunting Rifle Showcase:

Nosler doesn’t just sell bullets and loaded ammunition. Nosler also crafts high-quality Nosler-branded hunting rifles. This video covers the creation of a Nosler rifle start to finish in Nosler’s production facility in Central Oregon. Nosler has offered rifles since 2005. Nosler’s goal was to offer quality hunting rifles that “must be simple, rugged, fully weather-resistant, and provide minute-of-angle accuracy with readily available factory ammunition.”

Springfield Armory M1A Review:

The Springfield Armory M1A is a civilian, semi-auto rifle based on the U.S. Military’s M14. Your Editor owned an M1A, and it was a fun gun. In High Power and Service Rifle competition, low-recoil 5.56 (.223) AR-platform rifles have displaced the M1A, but there is a hugely popular Springfield M1A Match every year at Camp Perry. The M1A Match at Perry offers over $25,000 in cash and prize awards each year.

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May 13th, 2019

Tikka T1x in 17 HMR Shows Excellent Accuracy

tikka t1x 17hmr varmint rifle .22 LR 22 LR hornady tnt
This 17 HMR Tikka T1x test gun features a prototype Picatinny rail from 782 Gun Works.

One of our favorite new rimfire rifles is the Tikka T1x, available in 17 HMR, and .22 LR. Priced at $468.00 at EuroOptic.com, the T1x cycles smoothly and shows excellent accuracy out of the box. The T1x has an action footprint like Tikka’s T3 Centerfire action so it can use many stocks made for the T3. KRG will soon offer a $369.00 Bravo Chassis stock for the T1x. With the KRG Bravo T1x Stock you can have a rimfire that feels like a full-size PRS rifle.

Read GunsAmerica Digest 17 HMR Tikka T1x Review »

How does it shoot? That’s the key question. Clay Martin of GunsAmerica Digest recently tested a Tikka T1x in 17 HMR. He liked the gun and said it delivered impressive accuracy:

“Using 20 grain Hornady XTP ammunition and a Bushnell Forge scope, my T1x turned in [100-yard] groups just over ½ MOA. For a rimfire, that is pretty remarkable. For a rimfire with a relatively lightweight barrel, it is shocking. The barrel is also threaded from the factory, ready to go for suppressors.”

tikka t1x 17hmr varmint rifle .22 LR 22 LR hornady tnt

Tester Clay Martin really liked the T1x, noting the comfortable stock and nice bolt function. On the test rifle the trigger was set at 3.5 pounds, not bad for a varmint rifle, but Clay wanted it lighter. Tikka says the T1x trigger will adjust down to 2 pounds*. Martin also wished the T1x came with a Picatinny rail standard. For his tests he added a +20 MOA rail from 782 Gun Works.

GunsAmerica’s test rifle showed outstanding accuracy for a factory rifle that costs $468.00. (Add $369 for the KRG Bravo Stock and you’ll have a GREAT PRS rimfire trainer for under $840.00.) With Hornady 20gr ammo, shooting from prone with bipod, the tester got just over one-half MOA for multiple groups at 100 yards. We expect that, with a better rest set-up, shooting from a bench, that could be even better. In his T1x Review Video Clay declares: “This is absolutely nuts… for a rimfire at 100 yards. The Tikka will consistently do just a little over a half-inch. So, we can say that the Tikka absolutely likes the 20gr Hornady and that the accuracy level is… what we expect from the Tikka brand name.”

Another Option: Tikka T1x in .22 LR

At the 2018 SHOT Show Media day at the range, we shot a Tikka T1x in .22 LR and liked it. We thought the trigger was fine. We liked the feel of the bolt, and the action seems very well made — on a par with the centerfire Tikkas. The magazines are also very well-made and feed superbly. We have no problem with the Optilock rings mounted to the top of the action. These rings (with inserts) are excellent.

T1X Tikka rimfire .22 LR 22LR

* Clay Martin complained that that trigger was not adjustable. Perhaps he was given misinformation from the distributor. Tikka says the trigger adjusts from 2 to 4 pounds. See T1x Instruction Manual, page 15.

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May 11th, 2019

Be a Better Pistolero — Handgun Shooting Fundamentals

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment
Photo courtesy St. Bernard Indoor Shooting Center.

Do you enjoy shooting pistols for sport, or perhaps you carry a handgun for self-defense? If you’re like most of us, you might benefit from a “refresher course” on the fundamentals of handgun shooting. The NRA has created a useful Infographic that covers important basics of handgun marksmanship — key things such as Sight Alignment and Trigger Control.

Here are the first two (2) lessons. Click the link below to see all SIX (6) training topics: Sight Alignment, Sight Focus, Trigger Control, Breath Control, Hold Control, and Follow-Through.

CLICK HERE for ALL SIX PISTOL LESSONS

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment

VIEW ALL Six Handgun Fundamentals

Video Shows Sight Alignment, Grip, Stance, Trigger Control and More
In this USAMU video, SGT Shane Coley talks about the basics of sight alignment and trigger control. But then SGT Coley talks about other important control factors such as grip, arm position, and body stance. For rapid-fire shooting, you need to have a good arm and body positioning to control recoil and get back on target quickly. This video is a valuable complement to the NRA Infographic because it demonstrates all the important pistol fundamentals during live fire, at the range.

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May 10th, 2019

Fast Firing Using Benchrest Stock With Adjustable Rudder

Wheeler Rudder stock tracker Alex Tom Mosul

In the benchrest game, both 100/200 yard disciplines and Long Range, it’s important that your rifle track smoothly and repeatably every time. You want the rifle to come straight back without twisting, rocking, or hopping on the bags. When you’re trying to drill your entire 5-Shot or 10-Shot string quickly, it’s also important that the gun returns to the same position after each shot. When the scope crosshairs return to virtually the exact point of aim, you can make successive shots with minimal aim adjustments.

For top “runners” who try to get five shots down-range in under 20 seconds, not having to make significant aiming corrections with your front rest controls can really speed up the process. Shooting quickly permits the competitor to “stay in the condition”, sending all his shots to the target before the wind direction or wind velocity changes.

TEN Shots in 20 Seconds at 1000-Yard Match

To see how rapid shooting works, watch this video of Tom Mosul, one of the USA’s best 1000-yard shooters. In a 10-shot Heavy Gun relay, Tom shoots his 17-lb Light Gun chambered for a 6mmBR Improved cartridge. He pulls the trigger for the first time at 00:20 and he fires his tenth (and last) shot at 00:40. Tom makes TEN SHOTS in 20 seconds, an average of just 2.0 seconds per shot!

TEN Shots in 31 Seconds at 1000-Yard Match

This second video, filmed from the side, shows Tom Mosel shooting a different 17-pounder. Again, note how smoothly the stock slides back and forth. Here Tom completes Ten Shots in 31 seconds, with the first shot at 00:13, and the tenth (last) at 00.44.

Adjustable Stock Rudder Through-the-Lens Video

Gunsmith Alex Wheeler sells stocks with an adjustable metal “rudder” or “keel” on the underside of the rear section of the stock. This rudder is the only part of the stock that contacts the rear bag. This aluminum rudder can adjust slightly left to right as well as adjust up/down for angle. Some guys want the keel nearly flat while others prefer the keel to be slightly lower in the rear.


This video shows how the cross-hairs stay on target once the stock rudder is adjusted properly. Alex adjusted this particular rudder by shimming the height* and moving the back of the rudder to the right.

The rudder’s horizontal adjustability allows benchrest shooters to correct for stock flaws that might adversely affect tracking. Essentially, by adjusting the rudder, you can achieve perfect alignment. Alex Wheeler explains: “If you pull your rifle back in the bags and the cross hair moves, your stock is not straight. The easiest fix is to use an adjustable rudder. They come standard on all my stocks.”

Wheeler explains: “The white box in the center of the 1000-yard target is four inches square. With a properly-adjusted rudder it’s easy to obtain less than one inch of cross-hair movement at 1000 yards.” You can see that, once Alex made the rudder adjustment, there’s hardly any detectable movement. Alex adds, “the more you play with it, the better you get it.”

tracking rudder Wheeler mcmillan stock

*Initially Alex says he is going to shim the front. Later in the video Alex says he shimmed the rear. It can be a trial/error process. Credit Boyd Allen for finding these videos.

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May 10th, 2019

Fundamentals — Sight Alignment and Trigger Control

Marksmanship Fundamentals iron sights USAMU

This video from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit focuses on two key fundamentals of marksmanship: 1) Sight Alignment; and 2) Trigger Squeeze. This video can assist any Service Rifle or metallic sights shooter. The USAMU instructor explains: “You’ve probably heard a lot about fundamentals — Breathe, Relax, Aim, Squeeze… Well that gives a shooter a lot to think about. Here we teach two main firing tasks: 1) align the sights, and 2) squeeze the trigger without moving the rifle. This allows the shooter a much more simplified format.”

The following tips are transcribed from the video:

Task One: Sight Alignment
Sight alignment is the process of putting the tip of the front sight post, the rear aperture, and the shooter’s eyeball all on the same plane. It’s very important to maintain the tip of the front sight post centered in the rear aperture. Just .002″ of deviation can cause a miss at 300 meters. Allow your eye to do its job. While firing, the focus should remain on the tip of the front sight.

Task Two: Trigger Control
Your second firing task is [to] fire the rifle without moving it. This is done through proper trigger control. You’ve probably heard a lot of words about trigger control — “surprise break”, “snatch”, “pull”, “squeeze”… well we teach one thing here: “smooth”. No matter the speed at which I engage the trigger, it’s always going to be smooth. Imagine trying to pull the trigger straight through the rear of the buttstock, holding it to the rear while the gun recoils. It’s important to constantly engage the trigger, never letting your trigger finger disengage from the trigger while firing. This is achieved through natural trigger finger placement.

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May 9th, 2019

NRA Expands Competitive Shooting at Camp Atterbury, Indiana

NRA Competition center Camp Atterbury 2020 Shooting Sports USA
In 2020, Camp Atterbury will host Smallbore, High Power, and Pistol National Matches.

Big changes are coming to Indiana. First, all the major NRA National Match Championships — Smallbore (.22 LR) Rifle, High Power Rifle, and Precision Pistol — will be consolidated at Camp Atterbury, IN, starting in 2020. In addition, the NRA plans to create a major competition center at this National Guard facility, a “brand new, competitive shooting Mecca in Indiana.” This was revealed in an NRA-TV interview with Cole McCulloch, NRA Director of Competitive Shooting.

McCullough declared: “This is a great opportunity to establish a state-of-the-art facility at Camp Atterbury in cooperation with the Indiana National Guard[.]” As reported by John Parker, Editor of Shooting Sports USA, major upgrades are coming to Camp Atterbury in the upcoming months:

“State-of-the-art facility is an understatement…. For example, the pistol range will feature a mind-boggling, 300 individual points of fire, all of them covered. There will be two, 1000-yard High Power rifle ranges, which will include the proper pit/target systems and parking that will operate on one area of the base. Pistol and smallbore will be located on a totally separate part of the base, meaning they won’t have to split range time. This provides more flexibility for scheduling matches.”

Camp Atterbury Indiana national guard NRA high power smallbore matches championships

The NRA has big plans for Camp Atterbury, envisioning that it will host other popular shooting disciplines, beyond the traditional NRA Smallbore and High Power events. According to Shooting Sports USA, in the future Camp Atterbury may host Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitions, 3-Gun Events, America’s Rifle Challenge matches and more. “The possibilities are limitless.”

NRA Competition center Camp Atterbury 2020 Shooting Sports USA

As part of the development of Camp Atterbury as a central hub for firearms competition, the current Camp Atterbury welcome center will be converted to a training center with “multiple training simulators” open to the public. At this training facility, jointly leased by the NRA and the Indiana National guard, visitors will be able to learn about a variety of shooting disciplines.

All Major Disciplines at Camp Atterbury in 2020
Starting in the summer of 2020, Camp Atterbury will host the NRA National Matches for Smallbore Rifle, High Power Rifle, and Precision Pistol. It will also continue to host the NRA Long Range Championship. This will consolidate multiple major National Championships all in one location.

How is Camp Atterbury as a match venue? Very good. Here is a report from a 2017 Nat’l Match competitor, as posted on Facebook:

Just got back from U.S. Nationals at Camp Atterbury … Here are my observations:

1. The range was outstanding. Facing the south wasn’t a problem.
2. On-base accommodations were great and inexpensive.
3. The base is only 45 minutes from Indianapolis International Airport.
4. The base is close to towns with restaurants and shopping.
5. The transportation to and from the pits [was in] air conditioned vans.
6. By all accounts the event ran smoothly.

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May 8th, 2019

SHOT Show 2019 — Shooting USA TV Product Showcase

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter

SHOT Show Special Episode on May 8, 2019
If you watch just one episode of Shooting USA TV this year, it should be this week’s SHOT Show Special. Tonight, May 8, 2019, enjoy a full hour of SHOT Show coverage at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central. Jim Scoutten’s team works hard every January, bringing you highlights from the gun industry’s largest trade show. Jim, son John Scoutten, and other staffers prowled the 12 miles of aisles in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, visiting many of the 1,600+ exhibitors. This episode provides a “first look” at the new guns, optics, and gear introduced for 2019. Click HERE to learn more about this week’s 2019 SHOT Show episode.

2019 SHOT Show Highlights: Ruger Precision Rimfire, Hornady 300 PRC, JP MR-19, Kestrel HUD, Manners Stocks, Savage MSR-10, Volquartsen Ultralite, Walter Q5 Match, and much more.

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter

Shooting USA Hour AIR TIMES
Shooting USA’s SHOT Show Special will air for a full hour on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 on the Outdoor Channel. Here are the air times, but you should check your local schedule. Look for Shooting USA TV on the Outdoor Channel.

Wednesday Night Schedule:
Eastern Time – 9:00 PM
Central Time – 8:00 PM
Mountain Time – Check Listings
Pacific Time – 9:00 PM

Here are some of the 50+ new products featured on the SHOT Show Special:

Ruger Precision Rimfire
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
JP Enterprises MR-19
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Hornady 300 PRC
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Kestrel HUD Display
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Manners Stocks CS2-S
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2018 AccurateShooter
Walter Q5 Match
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Sig Sauer 9mm P365
Sig P365 9mm SHOT Show 2018 shooting usa
Volquartsen UltraLite 17 HM2
 SHOT Show 2019 shooting usa

Savage MSR 10 Competition
Savage MSR SHOT Show 2019 shooting usa
Bushnell LMSS Spotter with Red Dot
 SHOT Show 2019 shooting usa
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May 3rd, 2019

Carry Gun Bargains — Five Pistols under $250.00

Carry pistol $250 bargain ccw handgun review discount sales

We frequently receive inquiries about compact self-defense pistols. Many folks ask: “What’s a good compact pistol I can carry or keep in a vehicle during trips?” Of course, there is the Glock 19. And the new Sig Sauer P365 is quite good. But they are both around $500.00. You can spend half that and still get a reliable carry pistol with lifetime warranty and good ergonomics.

Here are five compact and sub-compact handguns, all available now for under $250.00. In fact, our final choice, the Keltec P32, is currently just $149.00. That’s a serious bargain … it’s a buyers’ market right now.

1. Walther Creed 9mm — $249.99 at CDNN sports

Walther Creed  9mm carry pistol handgun bargain cdnn sale discount

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $249.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

2. Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield — $249.00 at GunPrime.com

We like Smith & Wesson compact pistols. Many users find the grip more comfortable than a Glock, and we like Smith & Wesson customer support. Right now Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield on sale for just $249.00. This striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol features a 3.125″ barrel, thumb safety, and ships with two magazines. You’ll find a full review of this pistol, from a lady’s perspective, on Guns.com.

3. Ruger EC9 9mm — $209.99 at Brownells with CODE M8Y

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe striker-fired Ruger EC9 features a 3.12″ barrel and measures 6.0″ overall. This 1.07-lb EC9 is slim for easy concealment. Weighing just 1.07 lbs., this is definitely an “all-day carry” option. With Brownell’s current sale pricing and promo codes, you can get this little pistol for just $209.99 delivered (see right). You heard that right. Sale price is currently $219.99 with a $10 handling charge. However, during check-out you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost, so that your all-up price, delivered to your FFL, is just $209.99.

That’s a great price for a reliable gun backed by Ruger. Here is a recent review from verified buyer: “It’s an LC9 with fixed sights that are milled into the slide. Same trigger. Same frame. Sweet shooter. Perfect for concealed carry. Can’t beat it for the price.”

4. Taurus G2c 9mm — $184.99 with Factory Rebate

Carry pistol $185 bargain Taurus G2C ccw handgun review discount sales

This is a good little gun at a great price. Taurus is running a factory rebate through the end of May 2013. Palmetto State Armory has the OD Green-frame Taurus G2c 9mm for just $209.99 with FREE shipping. But the Taurus $25 Factory Rebate lowers your price to just $184.99 for this G2C. Or, if you like basic black, you can get a black-framed G2c for $174.99 after rebate. Despite its small size, the G2c has a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

5. KelTec P32 .32 ACP – $149.00 at GunPrime

Keltec .32 acp P32 P-32 pocket CCW concealed pistol handgun $149

Here’s a very small gun, in a small caliber. This is a choice for those seeking “ultimate concealability”. The P32 can be carried in a pants pocket, or small purse. The .32 ACP cartridge doesn’t have the stopping power of a 9mm of course, but this can be a good back-up gun (with ankle carry), or it can serve when a larger 9mm just isn’t practical. Currently Gunprime.com has the Keltec P32 for just $149.00. That’s just about the cheapest price you’ll find for a new American-made carry gun. The P32 has low-profile sites and a 7-round magazine.

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May 3rd, 2019

Video Reports from 2019 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

NRA 2019 annual meetings and exhibits video collection

Didn’t make it to the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Indianapolis last week? Not to worry. Here are four videos created at the NRA convention. There was so much to see, with 800+ exhibitors, and 15 acres of guns and gear. Most of these video creators have additional NRA Meetings & Exhibits segments on their respective YouTube Channels.

Address by President Donald Trump at NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

This hour-long video includes the full speech by the President. Definitely worth watching. We are lucky to have a Chief Executive who respects the Second Amendment and gun rights.

Featured Rifles at NRA Convention — GunBlast.com

Jeff Quinn of GunBlast.com visits multiple booths in this video, the first of four 2019 NRA Show videos produced by Gunblast. Quinn visits Colt (0:26), Ruger (1:00), Savage (3:16), Springfield Armory (3:46), CZ-USA/Dan Wesson (4:30), Henry Rifles (4:20), Auto-Ordnance (7:05), Smith-Wesson & T/C (9:35) Alexander Arms (10:47) among others. The “Trump AR” from Auto-Ordnance (shown above) is featured at the 12-minute mark. CLICK HERE to see three other GunBlast videos from the 2019 NRA Show. This page has links to ALL the 50+ manufacturers showcased in the four GunBlast Show Videos.

Pistols and Rifle at NRA Convention — ClassicFirearms

This lengthy 25-minute video showcases a wide variety of interesting firearms, starting with Remington rifles. Next up are some innovative FosTech AR-platform rifles (6:20), followed by Beretta (11:48), Delton (15:00), and some other smaller vendors. There are two other NRA Show videos (Day 1, Day 2) from Classic Firearms.

Women Talk Guns at NRA Convention — The Daily Caller

Here ladies from the Daily Caller interviewed attendees at the 2019 NRA Convention. One hot topic was how women can protect themselves with CCW handguns. One video viewer noted: “We need more of these videos promoting positive and healthy firearm ownership. Women, families, mother or daughter etc… enjoying their right to enjoy sport shooting or have self defense confidence.” Another viewer posted: “There’s nothing more attractive than beautiful conservative women who love the 2nd Amendment!”

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May 2nd, 2019

Female Participation in the Shooting Sports — Today’s Trends

shooting industry magazine women woman's issue hunting

The shooting sports are not a “man’s game” these days. Far from it. More and more women have taken up target shooting. A recent survey showed an 80% increase in the number of women target shooters from 2001 to 2016. In total, six million American ladies participated in target shooting in 2016. Likewise hunting has become more popular with American women. Female hunters in the USA numbered 1.1 million in 2016. That represents a 104% increase from 2001.

Recognizing that ladies are an ever-increasing part of the shooting sports, Shooting Industry Magazine just released its first-ever Woman’s Issue dedicated to female shooters and huntresses. This May 2019 special issue can be accessed for FREE online. CLICK HERE to READ.

While the issue is focused primarily on SELLING products to women, there is some very useful information that can help match directors and club officials. The magazine interviews many business owners and range directors who have developed female-focused shooting and training programs.

NRA Convention, Jessie Harrison
Above and below — the world’s best female Action Pistol shooter, Jessie Harrison.

shooting industry magazine women woman's issue hunting

Female Participation in Shooting Sports and Hunting
The Shooting Industry Woman’s Issue spotlights female participation in target shooting and hunting. One key article summarizes a nationwide survey conducted by Southwick Associates. One interesting finding was that much of the increase in female participation can be tracked to younger ladies: “Female participation in both hunting and shooting may be highest among younger women[.]” Notably, 16% of respondents among target shooters in the 16-24 age category were female. Southwick concludes: “Future generations of hunters and shooters will contain more women than ever before”.

shooting industry magazine women woman's issue hunting

The Shooting Industry Magazine Woman’s Issue has more than a dozen articles focusing on women in the shooting sports. We found some good advice from industry leaders and shop owners on developing products for women shooters, CCW holders, and hunters:

“When the ‘shrink it and pink it’ mentality is applied to hunting and outdoor gear, it can be perceived by some as an insult to a woman’s ability and competence. Women, expecially avid female hunters, want to be taken seriously.” –Brenda Weatherby, Weatherby Inc.

“I’m glad to bring a female perspective to a predominantly male industry. In general, men and women have different concerns/issues specifically when carrying a concealed handgun.” — Melissa Torres, Owner Scoots Place

“Seek a woman’s advice and input on any gear you want to bring to market for a female.” — Jessica Hazelaar, Owner Eclipse Holsters

shooting industry magazine women woman's issue hunting

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May 1st, 2019

Brawl at Rifles Only on Shooting USA TV This Week

ShootingUSA Bushnell brawl Impossible Shots

Today, May 1st, 2019, Shooting USA TV features The Brawl at Rifles Only, a tactical competition that draws top long-range shooters from military, law enforcement and civilian shooting communities. The match is held at the famed Rifles Only range in Kingsville, Texas. The Brawl is a one-of-a-kind physical and mental challenge that tests shooters’ abilities to read wind, figure ballistics, and adapt to difficult shooting scenarios. There is even a helicopter stage. This Shooting USA episode airs on the Outdoor Channel at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 pm Central.

ShootingUSA Bushnell brawl rifles only Impossible Shots

Helicopter Stage at 2014 Brawl in Texas:

Shooting from a helicopter, shooting off of a wire, and shooting from the physically demanding maze called the Mouse Trap. These are just a few of the unique courses of fire at the Bushnell Brawl, part of the PRS series. Over the course of two days, competitors tackle more than a dozen stages. In addition, Bushnell hosted a special one-day event for the new PRS Production Class. This new division should attract new shooters by limiting the cost of equipment — making PRS competition more affordable.

This image is from The Brawl Barricade Stage (CLICK HERE to Watch Barricade Video):
Bushnell Brawl PRS tactical texas barricade

PRS Production Division — Lowering the Cost of Entry

The Production Division is a new PRS classification. Under Production Division rules, the rifle must not exceed $2000.00, and rifle + scope combined must not exceed $4000.00. All other accessories, such as bipod, support bag, and the sling, can be added at the shooter’s own discretion. Even with these cost limits, you can put together a great rig: “There’s a lot of gear out there that’s not that expensive,” says Production Division Match Director Jacob Bynum. For example, you can get the new Howa KRG Bravo in 6.5 Creedmoor for $1034.99. Then use Brownells CODE V2F to save 10% for a net price of $941.50 with Free Shipping. NOTE this is a 1-DAY Special 10% OFF Code (check for other discount codes in the future). With an $800 Nikon FX1000 FFP MRAD optic, and $109 Game Changer Bag, you’re good to go for well under $2000.00 complete. Here’s the Howa KRG Bravo:

Howa 1500 krg bravo tactical rifle

Shooting USA Hour on Wednesday Primetime

9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific
8:00 PM Central Time

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April 30th, 2019

Scope Comparisons — Video Resources on the Web

riflescope optic scope test video comparison review product movie

Are you shopping for a long range optic? Unfortunately, it is pretty much impossible to “test drive” a half-dozen or more optics. Thankfully, there are some video reviews on the internet that are, for the most part, helpful. Pew Pew Tactical (PPT) recently did a lengthy comparison of nine long range scopes. For each model PPT examined clarity, eye relief, reticle design, parallax, and windage/elevation travel. For each optic PPT also provides short videos showing the operation of the controls. FULL PPT REVIEW HERE.

NINE Long Range Scopes Compared
1. Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50mm
2. Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50mm
3. Leupold VX3i LRP 8.5-25×50mm
4. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56mm
5. Burris XTR II 5-25×50mm
6. Steiner PX4i 4-16×56mm
7. EOTech Vudu 5-25×56mm
8. Primary Arms 6-30×56mm
9. Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56mm

The Firearm Blog — $2500 Leupold vs. $400 Athlon

This is actually a pretty good video. The host, Joel, tests and compares the Leupold Mark 5 vs. the Athlon Argos. Joel considers a variety of performance categories including clarity, tracking, elevation travel, ergonomics, and reticle options. This video asked the question “Can a $400 scope hang with a much higher priced optic?” You might be surprised how well the Athlon actually did.

Kalibre 22 — High-End Tactical Optics Comparison

In this video, Todd Hodnett explains the pros and cons of different brands and types of scopes. Scopes tested include Horus, Leupold, Nightforce, Schmidt & Bender, and Vortex. He uses the scopes in the field, and actually does a pretty good job describing the pros and cons of each model.

Top 10 Reviews — Manufacturer Marketing Videos Compilation

This video covers ten different scope models, from budget to high-end. For the most part the scopes appear in cost order, with the more affordable optics first. This YouTube video is mostly pieced together from manufacturer marketing footage, but it does cover a wide variety of scope options.

Please note, the above video does has some actual review segments, but nearly all the content is provided by the scope makers. So the Top 10 rankings are somewhat arbitrary. Nonetheless it is handy to have ten scopes covered in a single video. In order of appearance, here are the ten scopes featured, with video time marks if you want to “fast forward” to particular models.

TEN Scopes In Order of Display
10. Burris Veracity Riflescope: 00:23
9. Vortex Viper PST Gen II Riflescope: 01:24
8. Nikon BLACK FX1000 Riflescope: 03:18
7. ATN X-Sight 4K PRO Riflescope: 04:29
6. Bushnell Engage™ Riflescope 06:00
5. Leica Magnus i Riflescope: 07:50
4. Nightforce ATACR 5-25x56mm F1 Riflescope: 08:29
3. Vanguard Endeavor RS IV Riflescope: 10:31
2. Leupold Mark 8 Riflescope: 12:33
1. Swarovski Z8i Riflescope: 14:21

Great Deals on Vortex Now
Looking for a great deal on a new scope? Leading vendor EuroOptic has a wide variety of Vortex Scopes at deeply discounted close-out prices now:

riflescope optic scope test video comparison review product movie

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April 30th, 2019

Boomer Time — G.A. Precision Upgrades an Armalite .50 BMG

Wide Open Magazine video .50 Caliber 50 BMG Fifty G.A. Precision GA 50-Cal
This Armalite AR-50A1 .50 BMG rifle was modified by G.A. Precision.

If you’re a fan of big boomers, and love shooting steel, then definitely watch this Wide Open Magazine video. This covers a .50 BMG build by our friends at G.A. Precision (GAP). The rifle started as an Armalite AR-50A1 ($3359.00 MSRP). Then GAP fluted the barrel and swapped the factory muzzle brake with a more compact brake from American Precision Arms*. Then, as modified, the entire rig was given a rugged Cerakote finish.

The video has nice background music, great aerial drone footage, and of course some serious firepower. Using Hornady .50 BMG ammo, GA Precision’s George Gardner and his Wide Open friends shoot the big Fifty from the bench as well as prone. Enjoy!

Wide Open Magazine video .50 Caliber 50 BMG Fifty G.A. Precision GA 50-Cal

Wide Open Magazine video .50 Caliber 50 BMG Fifty G.A. Precision GA 50-Cal

About the .50 BMG Cartridge

The .50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG, aka 12.7×99mm NATO or 50 Browning) is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s, entering official service in 1921. Under STANAG 4383, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries.

.50 Browning Machine Gun 50 BMG Noreen Rifle

John Browning had the idea for this round during World War I in response to a need for an anti-aircraft weapon, based on a scaled-up .30-06 Springfield design, used in a machine gun based on a scaled-up M1919/M1917 design that Browning had initially developed around 1900. According to the American Rifleman: “The Browning .50 originated in the Great War. American interest in an armor-piercing cartridge was influenced by the marginal French 11 mm design, prompting U.S. Army Ordnance officers to consult Browning. They wanted a heavy projectile at 2700 FPS, but the ammunition did not exist. Browning pondered the situation and, according to his son John, replied, ‘Well, the cartridge sounds pretty good to start. You make up some cartridges and we’ll do some shooting’.”

* In the video, George mistakenly says “American Patriot Arms”, but the brake is made by Georgia-based American Precision Arms.

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April 27th, 2019

Introduction to Auto-Indexing Progressive Presses

USAMU Progressive Press auto  self-advancing

On Wednesdays, The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit regularly publishes reloading “how-to” articles on the USAMU Facebook page. One recent “Handloading Hump Day” article, part 5 of a six-part series, relates to reloading on Progressive Presses. This article concerns proper procedures for Auto-Indexing Progressives, which advance the shell-plate with every pull of the handle. Auto Progressives are very efficient, but they also require special attention and focus, because so many things are happening at once. If you run a progressive press now, or are considering getting a progressive, we recommend you read this article. Visit the USAMU Facebook page for other helpful handloading guidance.

Progressive Loading Presses — Self-Advancing Shellplate Type

USAMU Progressive Press auto  self-advancing
Photo courtesy UltimateReloader.com.

Recently, we addressed manually-operated progressive presses for the beginning handloader. This type press requires one to manually advance the shellplate after each handle stroke. An advantage for beginners is that nothing happens at any station until the loader wants it to. This helps users avoid problems from clearing malfunctions without noticing that the shellplate has advanced itself. (Read Previous USAMU Article on Manual Progressives.)

The next, more luxurious type progressive press advances the shellplate automatically whenever the handle is cycled. [Editor: This is also called an “Auto-Indexing” Progressive Press.] Typically, each stroke automatically sizes and primes a case, operates the powder measure (if used) and seats a bullet. Some also have case feeders that automatically put a new case in the shellplate with every cycle. Others require the loader to insert a case each cycle. With both types, the loader usually puts a bullet on each sized/primed/charged case.

[CAVEAT: While our Handloading Shop has several progressive presses, ALL of our powder charges are thrown/weighed by hand. We do not use powder measures on our presses. Our progressives are used for brass preparation, priming, seating, etc., but not for fully-progressive loading.]

The manually-advanced press can be a boon to beginners, but as one gains experience it can be a mixed blessing, depending on one’s style. If one pays close attention to every operation and loads without distractions, the manual press is very reliable and allows full scrutiny of each round as it is loaded. However, if one easily drifts into day-dreaming, or isn’t focused on paying careful attention at all times, the manual progressive can be a bit of a liability. The opportunity for forgetting a powder charge, leading to a squib load, is ever-present. [Editor: A lock-out die can help reduce the risk of a squib load, or a double-charge. See below.]

The automatically-advancing progressives help prevent this by ensuring a powder charge will be dropped each time the handle is operated. Experienced handloaders often appreciate this feature due to the savings of time and effort. Individual preferences between the two press styles are influenced by several factors. These include one’s comfort with more- vs. less-complicated mechanisms, how often one changes calibers (case feeders often must be converted, in addition to dies and shellplates), how many rounds one loads annually, relative ease of changing primer mechanisms from small to large, etc. Automatic progressives and their caliber conversion kits tend to be significantly more expensive than manual progressives and caliber conversions from the same maker.

One USAMU handloader, who likes simple, bullet-proof machines and maximum efficiency when converting presses, owns two manually-advanced progressives. One is set up for large primers, and the other for small primers. He can change calibers in the twinkling of an eye. As he loads for many different calibers, this fits his style. Another handloader here is just the opposite. He loads for a few calibers, but in larger quantities. He much prefers his self-advancing press with case-feeder for its speed. He makes large lots of ammo in a given caliber before switching, to improve overall efficiency. His caliber conversion kits are more expensive than those for the manually-advanced progressive, but he uses fewer of them.

Whichever type one chooses, it is VERY important to buy quality gear from a manufacturer with a long, well-established track record for quality, durability and good customer support. Avoid jumping on the “latest, greatest” model until it has a proven track record. For example, this writer knows a loader who got a brand-new, expensive, self-advancing model press some years back, shortly after its introduction. As is too often the case these days, the manufacturer released it before all the “bugs” were worked out.

Better Safe Than Sorry — the RCBS Lock-Out Die
RCBS Makes a “Lock-Out Die” that senses the powder charge. This will halt the Progressive press if you have a double charge, or an undercharge. Your Editor has the Lock-Out Die on his RCBS Pro 2000. It has “saved his bacon” a half-dozen times over the years. It can be used on Dillon and Hornady progressives as well as RCBS machines.

It would not fully seat primers to the correct depth. No amount of adjustment, extra force, or fiddling would do better than to seat primers barely flush with the case head. Any inattention could result in a slightly “high” primer, protruding above the case head. It created a risk for slam-fires, particularly in semi-autos without spring-retracted firing pins, such as the M1 or M1A. In desperation, he had a machinist buddy study the problem and machine a new part to correct it. No dice. Its engineering didn’t permit full primer seating, even with extended parts. He now wishes he’d heeded his shooting buddies’ advice to stick with the “tried and true,” reliable performer they all used.

Whichever press one selects, see if the maker has a kit or list of commonly-replaced parts. Having needed springs, pins, etc. on hand in the rare event that one breaks or “goes missing” can save the day when one is busy loading for a match! Another tip for improving one’s overall loading efficiency (rounds loaded with minimal set-up/tear-down time) is to plan one’s handloading by primer size. For example, if your machine is set to use small primers, load all the calibers that you intend to that take small primers, before converting the press to load large-primer calibers.

In our next chapter, we’ll discuss peculiarities of progressive loading for rifle cartridges, with remedies for problems such as excessive cartridge-case headspace variation when sizing, tips for ensuring best powder charge consistency, and so on. Until then, be safe, and good shooting!

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April 25th, 2019

RCBS Reloading Videos — How to Load Better Ammo Safely

RCBS reloading equipment instruction video series chargemaster progressive rock chucker press case prep

RCBS makes some of the most rugged and durable reloading products you can buy. The RCBS Rock Chucker press is legendary — for good reason. The Editor uses one that has been in my family over twenty years. I also own an RCBS 2000 progressive press that has loaded many thousands of rounds, and features the excellent APS strip priming system. RCBS is serious about reloading, so this company has created a very complete series of instructional videos showing reloading precedures and equipment. You’ll find over 60 videos on the RCBS Video Resources Page and RCBS YouTube Channel.

We encourage readers to check out the RCBS Videos. They can help you master the basics of handloading — case prep, priming, sizing, and bullet seating. In addition, these videos can help you select the right equipment for your loading bench. Videos show presses, case tumblers, ultrasonic cleaning machines, powered case prep centers, and more.

Here are three of our favorite RCBS Reloading videos, along with links to a dozen more:

Basic Safety Precautions for Reloading

Every novice hand-loader should watch this video. It covers the key safety principles you should follow, such as “Don’t use components of unknown origin”. We would add — always double check the labels on your powder bottles, and if you don’t know 100% what powder is in your powder measure — dump it out. Some of the most serious injuries have occurred when reloaders put pistol powder in rifle cases.

Setting Up the Sizing Die Correctly

This video address the common complaint some novices have when their hand-loadeed cartridges won’t chamber properly. Kent Sakamoto explains how to set up the sizing die properly to size the case body and bump the shoulder.

Choosing a Case Cleaning System

Here Kent Sakamoto looks at the three main types of brass cleaning systems: Vibratory Tumbler, Wet Tumbler (with media), and Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine. Kent reviews the pros and cons of each system.

More RCBS Reloading Videos

Here are twelve more helpful videos from RCBS. These cover both reloading techniques and reloading equipment. There are currently over 60 videos on the RCBS YouTube Channel.

Reloading How-To Videos
Case Trimming, Deburring, Chamfering
Measuring Case Length
Crimping — When and How to Crimp
Primer Pocket Cleaning
Priming with a Hand Tool
How to Use an Ultrasonic Machine

Reloading Equipment Videos
Rock Chucker Supreme Kit
RCBS ChargeMaster Lite
RCBS Pro 2000 Progressive Press
Universal Case Prep Center
Summit Single-Stage Press
RCBS Turret Press

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