March 1st, 2019

What’s HOT from SHOT — Handgun Video Showcase

SHOT Show 2019 pistol Handgun ccw subcompact 1911 handgun

When covering SHOT Show 2019 our reporters focused primarily on rifles, optics, and reloading equipment, because this website is dedicated to rifle accuracy. However we know many of our readers are interested in pistols and revolvers, and we bet the majority of our Forum members own handguns. This Editor used to compete in IDPA and other pistol disciplines and I still love my semi-autos and wheelguns.

For you pistoleros, here are five videos covering some of the best new handgun options for 2019. The first video in the list covers multiple handguns — four recommended 1911-type pistols. Enjoy.

Top Four 1911 Pistols from SHOT Show 2019

Pistols Round-Up — Top New Handguns 2019

TOP Five Sub-Compact Handguns Under $500

New COLT Revolvers and 1911s

SIG Sauer P320X Compact


HANDGUN SKILLS — Pistol Training Target

nra pistol basic shooting training course

This 12″ Bullseye Pistol Diagnostic Target helps improve handgun marksmanship. The target diagnoses common problems based on shot impact zones. While this target is designed for righties, left-handed shooters can use the target too. Just observe the opposite tips.

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March 1st, 2019

After YouTube Censors Gun Videos — GetZone.com Offers Hosting

GetZone Getzone.com video gun firearms hunting hosting youtube channel Community Guidelines

YouTube Strikes Again — More Censorship, More Channel Freezes without Good Cause
YouTube is a “hostile environment” for firearms and the shooting sports. Last week, YouTube announced that, going forward, all strikes against videos that violate Community Guidelines will now carry the same punishment: a temporary ban from YouTube activity, with the length of time increasing with the strikes.

That’s right — a single “violation”, which might be triggered by an exaggerated or malicious complaint by anti-gunners, can result in a complete channel shut-down for a period.

Previously, YouTube had a “three strikes and you’re out” policy, but each strike had a different penalty. The first strike had resulted in a 90-day live-streaming freeze, while the second would result in a two-week freeze on video uploads, via techcrunch.com. In addition, YouTube has demonetized many gun-related channels, cutting off advertising revenues.

Responding to the YouTube censorship and often unjustified shut-downs of shooting-centric channels, GetZone.com is now offering a viable option for gun/hunting/reloading video producers. GetZone, a modern outdoor-focused digital platform, “welcomes gun-related YouTube channels that promote legal firearms, demonstration of their use, and lawful sales”.

GetZone.com Welcomes Gun and Hunting Video Producers
GetZone.com stated: “As attacks on our 2nd Amendment continue, it is more important than ever for the outdoor industry to have a trusted, dedicated video platform like GetZone.com. If you’re a banned YouTuber, or you know someone who is, [contact us] to get your videos hosted on GetZone.com. While YouTube continues to shut down gun-related content, there is a tremendous amount of quality firearms, training, and hunting information that producers need to distribute and viewers need to see.”

In addition to video content, GetZone.com offers discussion (comment) functionality moderated by users, thus providing the firearms community a reliable place to communicate.

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February 28th, 2019

Amazing Slow-Motion Video Shows Bullet Impacts

werner mehl kurzzeit.com high speed slow motion bullet video

Want to see a bullet hit a target in ultra-ultra-slow motion? Watch this video to witness some amazing things — such as a bullet jacket peeling back like a banana-skin (at time-mark 7:30). A while back, Werner Mehl of Kurzzeit.com produced a 10-minute video for the SHOT Show. This video has has been watched over 10.6 million times, making it one of the most popular shooting-related videos in history. Employing cameras recording at up to 1,000,000 (one million) frames per second, Mehl’s bullet flight video has been called “astounding” and “mesmerizing”. If you haven’t seen it yet, sit back and enjoy!

Watch This Video! It’s Really Something Special…

LINK: Kurzzeit.com Video System and PVM-21 Chronograph
Click the link above to learn more about Werner Mehl and his super-sophisticated camera systems that can record at 1,000,000 frames per second. On the same linked page you can learn about the advanced PVM-21 chronograph (now sold as the BMC-19) designed by Werner. Operating “all-infrared, all the time”, the PVM-21/BMC-19 is the best optical chronograph we have tested for very low light conditions, or very tricky light conditions.

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February 27th, 2019

Shooting USA TV — GAP Grind PRS and Zombies in the Heartland

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

Shooting USA will broadcast a great episode today, February 27, 2019. There are three segments worth watching. First the TV show spotlights the popular GAP Grind, a Pro-Am PRS event at the K&M Precision complex in Tennessee. Then this episode covers Hornady’s Zombies in the Heartland multi-gun match. This popular event, hosted in Nebraska every year, is one of the biggest three-gun shoots in the nation. Finally there is a historical feature on the 7-barrel Nock Volley gun from the late 1700s.

SHOW TIMES: This Shooting USA Episode airs February 27, 2019 (Wednesday) at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central.

PART ONE: 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).

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

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.

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

Giddings GAP Grind

PART TWO: Zombies in the Heartland

Pandemic 3-Gun Match Zombies in the Heartland Nebraska Hornady

Pandemic 3-Gun Match Zombies in the Heartland Nebraska HornadyPandemic: Zombies in the Heartland
Every year Hornady hosts the very popular Zombies in the Heartland event. This “Pandemic” 3-Gun fun match, one of the biggest three-gun shoots in the nation, was hosted by Hornady this past summer, June 1-3, 2018 at the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. The Pandemic featured a rich prize table worth over $150,000. Prizes include pistols, rifles, shotguns, scopes, AR uppers, gun parts, and gear of all kinds.

The Pandemic is a veritable theme park for shootists, with many fun stages and innovative targets. Many unique, reactive zombie targets have been developed specifically for this match. The use of paper targets has been minimized — so it’s mostly “bang and clang”.

There were ten multi-gun stages this past year. Rifles, pistols and shotguns are used on most stages. There were also fun side-matches. We highly recommend you watch the video below to see highlights from a past Pandemic.

2017 Zombies in the Heartland Highlights Video. Guys, this well-made video is WORTH WATCHING! This video offers Shooter’s POV views of many stages including full auto:

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

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February 27th, 2019

Cheap Tricks — Make Your Own Case Lube with Lanolin

DIY yourself lanolin case lube lubricant One Shot Ultimate Reloader Gavin Gear 6.5 Guys

Tired of spending $15-$25 for a can of spray lube that doesn’t last that long? For about the same price as a single 10 oz. can you can make your own effective spray lube that should last for multiple seasons and lube thousands of cases quickly and easily.

In the YouTube video embedded below, our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com shows how to make your own case lube using simple, inexpensive ingredients. As recommended by the 6.5 Guys, this Liquid Lanolin + Isopropyl Alchohol mix works well and is very cost-effective. You can make a pint of this home-brew Lanolin case lube that will lube thousands of cases — many more than a typical commercial aerosol spray can (that’s mostly compressed air).

Complete Case Lube Instructions on UltimateReloader.com »

Gavin tells us: “Per the 65guys instructions, I ordered the same components and spray bottles, and these worked out great”:

1. Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 Ounce (2-pack)
2. Home Health Liquid Lanolin, 4 Ounce
3. Chemical Guys ACC_121.16HD-3PK Chem. Resistant Heavy Duty Bottle/Sprayer (16 oz.)

Gavin describes the exact mixing process on his Ultimate Reloader website. Gavin says this lube mix is a good complement to the Hornady One-Shot (pistol) and Dillon DCL (rifle) lubes he has used for pistol and rifle reloading sessions. CLICK HERE to read more.

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February 24th, 2019

Billiard Chalks — Fun, Challenging Reactive Targets

AccurateShooter Billiard Chalks targets

Reactive targets — whether balloons, steel gongs, or clay birds — always add fun to a range session. But precision shooters may want something more challenging (i.e. smaller) than a clay bird when shooting inside 300 yards. For a change of pace, try shooting at inexpensive pool cue chalks. Less than 1″ square, these will test your marksmanship skills. (If you need a bigger target, that also makes a nice puff of “smoke”, try charcoal briquettes).

Pool Cue Chalks — Cheap, Fun, Dramatic

If you’re looking for a small target that makes a nice big cloud of color when hit, try billiard chalks — those little blue cubes you use to dust the end of pool cues. Measuring about 7/8″ per side, billiard chalks make very challenging targets at 100 and 200 yards. When you hit them, if you nail the circular “dimple” in the middle, they disintegrate impressively, tossing blue “smoke” in all directions. Billiard chalks are inexpensive. You can buy a dozen chalks online for about $3.00 — just 25 cents each. And the prices drop with more quantity. One gross of chalks (that’s 144 pieces) costs just $24.95 at ozonebilliards.com. That’s 17 cents each.

To see actual hits on chalk at 100 and 200 yards, watch the video below. (WARNING: Soundtrack is loud and advertisement may play before movie. Flash plug-in required for playback, so you may see a note that a Flash file is loading.) The movie-maker cautions that: “You’ll notice (in the video) that some of the hits are ‘wiffs’ instead of ‘poofs’. If you look at the picture above, you’ll see the 1/2 inch dimple in the cube face. If you don’t put the bullet in that dimple, it’ll ‘wiff’ on you.”

(more…)

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February 19th, 2019

Water Transfer Printing for Rifle Stocks

hydro-dip stock finish

There’s a great new way to apply an eye-catching finish to fiberglass and synthetic stocks. Water Transfer Printing (aka Hydro-Dipping) can apply beautiful, stylized patterns to your stock, and the process costs less than a custom paint job. Hydro-dipping is ideal for applying amazing photo-realistic effects such as stone, wood burl, snakeskin, or faux carbon fiber. Hydro-dipping requires no harsh chemicals or high heat so there are no negative side effects. You just end up with an amazing, patterned finish on your stock.

Hundreds of different patterns are available. We like the carbon-look finish on benchrest guns and the snakeskin patterns on hunting and varmint rifles. Natural snakeskin designs, in this Editor’s opinion, are perhaps the most effective camouflage for the largely arrid backcountry in the American southwest.

hydro-dip stock finish

hydro-dip stock finish

Hydro-Dip of Idaho Does Great Work
While there are a half-dozen companies offering water transfer printing for rifle stocks, Forum member Francis B. recommends Hydro-Dip, LLC of Meridian, Idaho. Examples of Hydro-Dip’s work are shown above. Francis writes: “Scott, Adam, and old man Rod Springer own and run Hydro-Dip. This is a company that will ‘paint’ your rifle, tool box, trailer, airplane, whatever and will do an excellent job while doing it. Check out their archives of jobs done. You will be amazed. I’ve not had one of their jobs done for any of mine (yet) but I’m considering it. Those who have had their rifles done tell me the cost is very reasonable. I have seen a few stocks done and they are works of art.”

Hydro-dipping (water transfer printing) can be performed on virtually any metal or plastic surface. You can Hydro-dip car parts, archery gear, rifle stocks — you name it. Watch the process in the video:

CLICK VIDEO to See Hydro-Dipping Process!

Hydro-Dip of Idaho

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February 18th, 2019

SHOT Show — 6.5 Guys Reveal New Rifles and Chassis Systems

65guys.com Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence Scope Optics SHOT Show Videos modular driven accuracy international seekins precision Tactical Long Range 2019

Every year our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys, produce informative SHOT Show videos. These two hard-working dudes visited dozens of product booths during SHOT Show 2019, producing over 40 video interviews for 65Guys.com. Ed and Steve roamed the Expo Center finding the latest and greatest rifles, stocks, optics, and accessories. Here are five 6.5 Guys Videos about new rifles and chassis systems. Next week we’ll feature more 6.5 Guys videos covering new optics. You can see all 42 SHOT Show 2019 videos from Ed and Steve on the 6.5 Guys YouTube Channel.

Modular Driven Technologies

modular driven ACC chassis

Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) produces impressive chassis systems with innovative features, including modular weights. MDT is now a top choice for the PRS/NRL tactical disciplines. Steve was quite impressed by the new MDT ACC. See more at MDTTac.com.

Accuracy International — Mile High Shooting Accessories

One of the most impressive rifles at SHOT Show 2019 was the massive Accuracy Int’l Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR) at the Mile High Shooting Accessories booth. The Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR) will be submitted for SOCOM’s multi-caliber rifle program. It is offered in a $19,544 deployment kit with three barrels: (.308 Win, .300 Norma Mag, and .338 Norma Mag).

Seekins Precision — Complete Rifles and Actions

2019 shot show 6.5 Guys chassis system rifles

Seekins Precision showcased some impressive custom actions plus complete rifles for both tactical competitors and long range hunters. We were impressed with the build quality of the Seekins precision rifles. We liked the new Seekins Havak Bravo, and the Seekins action has some interesting features, such as four locking lugs with 90° bolt throw. Full Seekins Havak Bravo Review.

Gunwerks — Long Range Precision Rifles

Gunwerks is more than a builder of expensive (some say over-priced) rifles. It also sells branded electro-optics, and suppressors. Gunwerks also runs shooting clinics, and has hundreds of training and hunting videos on the Gunwerks YouTube channel. We like what Gunwerks is doing in the media space. Here the 6.5 Guys showcase some of the latest rifle and stock options from Gunwerks. Steve said he liked the adjustability and ergonomics on the Gunwerks stocks.

Legacy Sports International (Howa)

Legacy Sports Int’l (LSI) offers a variety of hunting and tactical rifles featuring the smooth-running Howa actions from Japan. At SHOT Show 2019, Legacy previewed a new tactical rig featuring a modular MDT Oryx chassis and Howa 1500 barreled action. The 6.5 Guys got to shoot this rig during media day and were impressed. This will be offered for Howa Short, Long, and Mini Actions.

2019 shot show 6.5 Guys chassis system rifles

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February 16th, 2019

Rimfire 17s — Three Great Options: 17 HMR, 17 Mach 2, 17 WMS

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

There are three readily-available 17-caliber rimfire rounds now on the market: 17 HMR, 17 WSM, and 17 Mach 2(aka 17 HM2). Aguila also made a .17 rimfire, the .17 PMC/Aguila, but it never became popular. What should be your choice? The 17 HMR is a very popular round, available from multiple manufacturers — CCI, Hornady, and now Norma. The 17 Mach 2 (HM2) is making a resurgence, as it is less expensive than 17 HMR and it can be shot from rifles converted from .22 LR since it shares the .22 LR cartridge OAL. Finally the 17 WSM is, without question, the performance leader among .17-Cal rimfire rounds.

17 HMR — Still the Market Leader in 17-Cal Rimfires

The 17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) is popular and well-established. Ammo with a variety of bullet weights and designs is available. Most 17 HMR ammo is priced from $10-$12 per box, and you can get some better deals during sales.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

You can buy quality 17 HMR rifles from many makers at all price levels. The Savage A17 with laminated thumbhole stock is a good choice. There were some early issues with the A17, but Savage improved the magwell and now this rifle is very reliable and accurate, particularly with the CCI-brand A17 ammo.

The laminated thumbhole stock version of the Savage A17 is a great carry-around varminter.
Savage A17 laminated varmint rifle

Ruger now makes a .17 HMR version of the Ruger Precision Rifle. If you prefer a modular chassis type rig, this is a great option:

Here is a semi-auto 17 HMR fitted with a suppressor. Even with the cameraman just 20 feet away, you can barely hear the shot, and recoil is non-existent. (NOTE: be sure to turn on the sound icon). Varminter Magazine says: “No ground squirrels were spooked during these shots. Quiet is an understatement!”. This may be the ultimate stealth varminter set-up.

17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) — Best Bang for the Buck?

The 17 Mach 2 (17 HM2) is making a comeback. Now leading manufacturers are offering this efficient little rimfire cartridge in some nice rifles. Both Anschutz and Volquartsen will offer new 17 Mach 2 rifles in 2019. Check out this Volquartsen Summit from SHOT Show. It offers a slick, straight-pull toggle bolt, like you’d find on Olympic biathlon rifles.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

Considering that 17 HMR ammo costs $10 to $15 a box, the 17 Mach 2 is an excellent value by comparison. You can now get 50 rounds of CCI 17 Mach 2 for just $6.55 at Midsouth. Grab it while you can.

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

The Mach 2 propels the same 17gr V-Max bullet as the 17 HMR, but the Mach 2 runs about 16% slower — 2100 fps vs. 2500 for the 17 HMR. For many shooters, it makes sense to use the 17 Mach 2 rather than a 17 HMR. You save money, barrel life is a little longer, and the 17 Mach 2 is still a much more potent cartridge than the .22 LR. Check out this comparison, and note how the 17 Mach 2 has a much flatter trajectory than the .22 LR:

17 Mach 2 hm2 .22 LR comparison

Hornady’s 17 Mach 2 has a 2100 FPS muzzle velocity vs. 1255 FPS for .22 LR.

17 WSM — More Speed, More Energy, and Flatter Trajectory

The 17 WSM (“Winchester Super Magnum”) is the fastest, flattest-shooting rimfire round you can buy. It totally stomps the .22 LR, and even offers significantly better ballistics than the popular 17 HMR. Check out this comparison of three rimfire magnmum cartridges (17 WMS, 17 HMR, and 22 WMR):

17 WSM Winchester Super Magnum

And now lead-free 17 WSM ammo is available. This “unleaded” version is impressively flat-shooting. With a 100-yard zero, it drops only 4.3 inches at 200 yards. Compare that with a .22 LR which can drop 18 inches or more from 100 to 200 yards (based on 1150 fps MV).

17 WSM Winchester Super Magnum lead-Free

CLICK HERE for 17 WSM lead-free ammo test article.
17 WSM rimfire ammo test

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February 15th, 2019

Mercedes of Reloading Presses — $960 Turban Präzipress

Prazipress cnc reloading single stage press Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader YouTube

When is a single-stage reloading press worth close to a thousand bucks? When it’s made in Germany with CNC technology and crafted to aero-space precision standards. UltimateReloader.com’s Gavin Gear recently got his hands on a Turban 120mm Heavy Präzipress. This unit retails for 850 Euros (850,00 €), about $960 at current exchange rates. Gavin put the Präzipress through its paces, and came away VERY impressed. READ FULL REVIEW HERE.

Prazipress cnc reloading single stage press Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader YouTubeImpressive Test Results
Sizing once-fired 6.5mm Creedmoor cases with the Präzipress, Gavin achieved great results for shoulder “bump” consistency. The sizing results were nothing short of spectacular. After zeroing the first of ten cases, the remaining nine were essentially identical, showing as “0.000”, meaning less than half a thousandth of variation.

The Präzipress also delivered ultra-low run-out when seating bullets using a Forster die. On all ten test cases, the run-out was +/- 0.001″ (one-thousandth) or less.

Is this kind of press worth the money? Gavin says “yes” if you demand the highest level of precision in sizing and seating: “When you use this press, it’s immediately clear that there are no details neglected, and I can’t imagine one of these presses ever wearing out. Based on the precision tests I did with ammunition loading, it’s clear that this level of precision DOES make a difference for ammunition dimensions and consistency.”

Prazipress cnc reloading single stage press Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader YouTube

READ FULL Präzipress REVIEW on UltimateReloader.com HERE »

According to Gavin, the “Heavy” 120mm version of the Präzipress is massive and boasts many notable design features:

— Three guide rods with linear roller guides (I have not seen these on any other press)
— Ambidextrous operation (handle can be mounted on left or right side)
— Positive snap shellholder retainer (secure, but easy to insert/remove shellholder)
— 120mm opening accepts cartridges up to .338 Lapua Magnum length
— Enclosed spent primer catch system which contains debris
— Optimized leverage (VERY powerful mechanical advantage for sizing)
— Oversized handle (bar diameter) that minimizes flex

Prazipress cnc reloading single stage press Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader YouTube

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February 14th, 2019

Young 3-Gun Sensation Cheyenne Dalton

Cheyenne Dalton cute shooter 3-Gun Lyman Rimfire Challenge

One of America’s top young 3-gun shooters is a talented young lady from Missouri, Cheyenne Dalton. Now in her final year of High School, 17-year-old Cheyenne has been a top competitor in Rimfire Challenge events, as well as 3-gun matches and USPSA comps. Read more about Cheyenne in Shooting Sports USA.

Cheyenne Dalton cute shooter 3-Gun Lyman Rimfire ChallengeCheyenne’s skills have earned her support from leading companies including Lyman Products and Volquartsen. Lyman recently announced it would sponsor Cheyenne, a rising star in the shooting world. Dalton, who has been shooting competitively for 6 years, said her main goal is to introduce as many women and girls as she can to shooting sports. Dalton has helped promote the shooting sports through social media. Along with shooting tips, Cheyenne’s social media pages cover fishing, bluegrass music, and personal motivation. Cheyenne was even in a 2016 New Yorker article titled “The Gun Owners of the Parkland Generation.”

Dalton is a two-time Ladies Limited Rimfire World Champion, a one-time Junior Limited Rimfire World Champion, a Wyoming state games gold medalist in rimfire, and a High Lady Alabama state Rimfire Champion. Most recently, she was featured in the Fall 2018 edition of Recoil Magazine. Dalton will join the shooting team at Missouri Valley College in the Fall of 2019.

Cheyenne shows off her impressive 3-Gun speed and accuracy in this action video:

Junior 3-Gun sensation Cheyenne Dalton talks with Shooting USA at the NRA Show in Louisville:

Cheyenne Dalton cute shooter 3-Gun Lyman Rimfire Challenge

This outstanding video showcases Cheyenne’s musical talents as well as her shooting skills. Cheyenne is really a remarkable young lady, with a great work ethic.

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February 13th, 2019

GUN INFO 101 — Headspace Defined and Illustrated

Ultimate Reloader Brownells headspacing go gage gauge barrel gunsmithing
This illustration shows headspace measurement for the popular .308 Winchester cartridge, which headspaces on the shoulder. Image copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader.

In this Brownells Tech Tip, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem explains what headspace is and why it’s one of the most critical measurements for nearly all firearms. Even if you’re an experienced rifle shooter, it’s worth watching this video to refresh your understanding of headspace measurements, and the correct use of “GO” and “NO-GO” gauges.

Headspace Definition
In firearms, headspace is the distance measured from the part of the chamber that stops forward motion of the cartridge (the datum reference) to the face of the bolt. Used as a verb, headspace refers to the interference created between this part of the chamber and the feature of the cartridge that achieves the correct positioning. Different cartridges have their datum lines in different positions in relation to the cartridge. For example, 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition headspaces off the shoulder of the cartridge, whereas .303 British headspaces off the forward rim of the cartridge.

If the headspace is too short, ammunition that is in specification may not chamber correctly. If headspace is too large, the ammunition may not fit as intended or designed and the cartridge case may rupture, possibly damaging the firearm and injuring the shooter. (Source: Wikipedia)

Forster Headspace diagram belted magnum rimfire

Go gauge gage NOGO no-go field gaugesHeadspace Gauges
Headspace is measured with a set of two headspace gauges: a “Go” gauge, and a “No-Go” gauge. Headspace gauges resemble the cartridges for the chambers they are designed to headspace, and are typically made of heat-treated tool steel. Both a “Go” and a “No-Go” gauge are required for a gunsmith to headspace a firearm properly. A third gauge, the “Field” gauge, is used (as the name implies) in the field to indicate the absolute maximum safe headspace. This gauge is used because, over time, the bolt and receiver will wear, the bolt and lugs compress, and the receiver may stretch, all causing the headspace to gradually increase from the “factory specs” measured by the “Go” and “No-Go” gauges. A bolt that closes on “No-Go” but not on “Field” is close to being unsafe to fire, and may malfunction on cartridges that are slightly out of spec. (Source: Wikipedia)

To learn more, read Brownell’s longer article Headspace Gauges and How to Use Them. Among other things, this explains the relative lengths of “Go”, “No-Go”, and “Field” gauges. The “Field” is actually the longest: “The GO gauge corresponds to the SAAMI (Sporting Arms & Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute) minimum chamber length, while the FIELD gauge usually matches the maximum chamber depth, or slightly less. NO-GO gauges are an intermediate length between minimum and maximum, that, technically, is a voluntary dimension. A firearm that closes on a NO-GO gauge and does not close on a FIELD gauge may not give good accuracy and may have very short cartridge case life from the ammunition re-loader’s standpoint.”

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February 11th, 2019

2019 Berger Southwest Nationals — This Week in Arizona

The 2019 Berger Southwest Nationals, one of the biggest (and best) rifle competitions of the year, kicks off Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix, Arizona. The big match continues through Sunday, February 17th. This match attracts the top F-Class and sling shooters in the country, along with many talented foreign competitors.

Talk to the competitors and many will tell your that the SWN is their favorite match of the year. For those in Northern states, the chance to enjoy some Arizona sunshine is a big draw, along with the quality of the competition, and the camaraderie.

berger southwest nationals Berger SWN

The Berger SW Nationals are made possible through the principal support of Berger Bullets and Lapua, both part of the Capstone Precision Group, which also distributes Vihtavuori powder and SK Ammunition in the USA. Berger and Lapua both generously donated product prizes for 2019 SWN competitors.

Berger SW Nationals

Here’s a cool video from the 2016 Berger SW Nationals. This includes drone footage of the range:

Berger SW Nationals 2019

Berger SW Nationals 2019

Berger SW Nationals Southwest Arizona

Event Schedule for 2019 Berger SWN

Wednesday, 13 February 2019, 9:00 AM
Mid-Range Match – Three 20-shot matches at 600 yards. (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Any Sight, F-Open, F-TR)

Thursday, 14 February 2019, 9:00 AM
4-Man Palma Team Match – 15 shots for record at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. (Divisions – Palma, F-Open, F-TR)

Friday, 15 February 2019, 8:30 AM – Start of Grand Agg
Individual Palma Match – 15 shots for record at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. (Divisions – Palma, F-Open, F-TR)
Swap Meet at 1000 Yard Line after conclusion of Day’s Match

Saturday, 16 February 2019, 8:30 AM
Individual 1000 Yard Matches – Two 20-shot matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
4 Man Team Match – 20 shots at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Iron Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Iron Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
Banquet Dinner – Approximately 5:00 pm at Indoor Range.

Sunday, 17 February 2019, 8:30 AM
Individual 1000 Yard Matches – Two 20-shot matches at 1000 yards. Any Rifle-Any Sight (Any sight for F-Class shooters). (Divisions – Palma, Any Rifle-Any Sight, F-Open, F-TR)
Awards Ceremony at the Indoor Range.

Sling Shooters in Palma Division
There will be many Eliseo tubeguns in the hands of the sling shooters. For the Palma division, the cartridge of choice is the .308 Winchester (7.62.x51). This versatile cartridge is still capable of extreme accuracy. Never underestimate a skilled sling shooter with a good Palma rifle.

Berger 2019 SW Nationals SWN

Click image to see full-screen panorama.

CLICK HERE for Phoenix Travel and Lodging Information.


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Packing for the Match — Protecting Precious Cargo

Forum member David Christian will be attending the Berger SW Nationals this week. He has an impressive new F-Open rig and a top-flight SEB rest to bring. David’s Open-class rifle features a beautiful laminated stock, with Borden action and Kahles optic. With rest, and spotting scope, you’re looking at $6K easy, so David has packed his gear very carefully:

Berger 2019 SW Nationals SWN
Berger 2019 SW Nationals SWN
Berger 2019 SW Nationals SWN

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February 9th, 2019

Get Rebates on Pistol Ammunition — Five Popular Brands

Federal Speer American Eagle Blazer ammunition pistol ammo rebate Vista Outdoor 2019

Need pistol ammo? Want to save money? Then check out the latest promotion from Federal and other Vista Outdoor ammo brands. With this rebate you get $2.00 back for every 50-round box of centerfire ammo you buy, except for 9mm Luger (9x19mm) — that qualifies for a $1.00/box rebate. Now through March 31, 2019, rebates are offered for all these participating brands: Federal, Speer, Blazer, American Eagle, and Independence. You must buy at least 250 rounds (5 boxes) to qualify. CLICK HERE for qualifying ammo.

NOTE: Qualifying purchases must be made December 3, 2018 through March 31, 2019. The DEADLINE for mail-in or online submissions is April 30, 2019. To redeem online, visit Promotions.vistaoutdoor.com.

Federal Speer American Eagle Blazer ammunition pistol ammo rebate Vista Outdoor 2019

CLICK HERE for Federal Ammo Rebate Form »

Check out the Slow-Motion Footage of a 1911-type pistol shooting .45 ACP rounds. Bullet flights were captured at 73,000 frames per second:

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February 6th, 2019

Midweek Movies — More SHOT Show 2019 Product Videos

shot show 2019 savage proof research ultimate reloader gavin gear thompson center accuracy international AI

SHOT Show is the largest gun/hunting trade show in the world, with tens of thousands of products and accessories on display. For a gun guy, going to SHOT Show is like being a kid in a candy store.

We’ve seen that the SHOT Show 2019 videos we’ve showcased thus far have been very popular with our readers. So today we are bringing you five more SHOT Show videos, featuring products from Accuracy International, Proof Research, Savage, Thompson Center (T/C), and five pistol-makers.

Proof Research — Hi-Tech Barrels and Rifles

Here our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com learns about the carbon-wrapped Proof Research barrels. Being lighter than conventional barrels, these Proof Research barrels definitely offer an advantage for hunters packing into the wild.

Proof Research Carbon Barrels ultralight

The Proof Research carbon barrels have also performed very well in PRS/NRL tactical competitions. There is a lot of technical information shared in this interview, so it is definitely worth watching.

Thompson Center Arms (T/C) — Value Leader

Thompson Center Arms (T/C), a Smith & Wesson Company, is known for value-priced rifles that offer great “bang for the buck”. We’ve regularly featured T/C rifles in our Deals of the Week. There are some impressive guns in the T/C line-up, including the T/C LRR (Long Range Rifle).

Thompson Center T/C LRR PRS long range rifle

With an $1100 street price, this rig is a great value choice for PRS factory class. The rig balances well and we like the thumbwheel adjustments for LOP and cheek height.

Accuracy International $19.5K ASR with 3-Barrel Deployment Kit

If T/C guns are bargains, then the Accuracy International (AI) line of rifles is at the other end of the spectrum. At SHOT Show this year AI displayed its Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR) which will be submitted for SOCOM’s multi-caliber rifle program. This rig costs a hefty $19,544.00 as a “deployment kit” including three barrels (.308 Win, .300 Norma Mag, and .338 Norma Mag), two bolt bodies, key spare parts, magazines and a MilSpec transport case.

accuracy international AI .308 .300 Norma Magnum mag socom rifle .338

The AI ASR employs a QuickLoc barrel change system for rapid caliber swaps. The rifle features a new two-position, AR-type safety and redesigned 2.5-lb trigger. The fore-end tube includes an RRS™-compatible rail, integrated top rail, and M-Lok™ mounting interface.

Savage Hunting Rifles — Model 110 High Country

For 2019 Savage unveiled some handsome, versatile rifles for backcountry hunters. These rigs feature nice camo finishes, adjustable AccuFit cheekpieces and buttpads, and barrels threaded at the muzzle for brakes or suppressors.

Savage High Country model 110

We liked these new rifles, particularly the Model 110 High Country featured above. It has a tough corrosion-resistant finish and spiral-fluted barrel for weight savings.

Handguns — Some of the Best New Pistols for 2019

In this video, The Firearm Blog (TFB) presents its five favorite new-for-2019 handguns. TFB praised the new KelTec CP33, a VERY impressive new .22 LR rimfire target pistol, boasting a 33-round clear magazine. On Media Day, we shot the CP33 with a suppressor and were extremely impressed. The gun balances well, and the trigger is EXCELLENT — really surprisingly good. Glock attracted attention with the new Glock 43X and 48 silver-slide models. The 43X does offer more capacity (10 rounds) with a longer grip vs. the Glock 43. Buyers may be attracted by the silver PVD-finished slide. Frankly, that’s nothing more than cosmetics and the Glock still retains not-so-great ergonomics and a mediocre trigger. There are better striker-fired, DAO polymer-framed pistols out there, for less money.

New KelTec CP33 is a high-capacity winner, with a great trigger.
Keltec CP33

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February 6th, 2019

Splatter-Mania — Not-Your-Average Splatter Halo Targets

splatterburst target neo halo yellow
Splatterburst 1″ circles, 62 per sheet, 10-pk $8.99. These can be pasted on other paper backers.

We’ve all seen conventional splatter targets with a single large black bullseye. When a shot hits the target, a halo (usually neon yellow) appears around the bullet hole. This makes it easier to see your shot placements indoors, or at long range outdoors. Today we feature a variety of other targets that also offer the cool halo/splatter effect. We’ve found grids, multiple bull targets, sheets with 62 one-inch circle pasters, handgun training targets, and even white background splatter targets (that produce black halos). Try out some of these targets for fun (kids love plinking with splatter targets).

Shoot-N-C 12″x12″ Sight-In Grid, 5-pk $10.56

Shoot-N-C Handgun Training Target, 5-pk $7.99

splatterburst target neo halo yellow

Splatterburst 12″x12″ sight-in target, 10-pk $11.01

splatterburst target neo halo yellow

Splatterburst 3″ circles, 9 per sheet, 10-pk $8.99

Shoot-n-c splatter burst grid target

Shoot-N-C 12″ Grid Sight-in, 10-pk, $6.75
(black shot halos)

Shoot-n-c splatter burst grid target

Shoot-N-C 8″ White bullseye, 10-pk, $6.75
(black shot halos)

This Video Shows Black Shot Halos on White Background Target:
Ever Seen BLUE Splatter Targets?
Check Out These Big Dawg Targets…

splatterburst target neo halo blue big dawg

Big Dawg 4″ circles, 5 per sheet, 50-pk $22.99

splatterburst target neo halo yellow

Big Dawg 18″x24″ Silhouette, 10-pk $19.99

shoot n c silhouette handgun splatter target

Shoot-N-C Combo Pack, Bad Guy and Pistol Trainer, 5-pk, $14.99

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February 4th, 2019

Power to the People — Cortina Reviews Giraud Power Trimmer

Power Trimming Technology Saves Time
Trimming and chamfering brass are tasks hand-loaders grow to hate. Those chores are time-consuming and tiresome. Thankfully there are faster, better alternatives to manual trimming/chamfering. In this article, Forum member Erik Cortina shows how to use the Giraud tool which trims and chamfers in one operation. Erik has his own YouTube Channel dedicated to precision reloading and accurizing. Here we feature Erik’s video about the “mother of all brass trimmers”, the Giraud powered case trimmer. Erik says: “If you do volume reloading… this is the only trimmer to get. It not only trims to length but it also chamfers your case mouth inside and out.” In his video, Erik offers some very clever and useful tips that will help you get the most from your Giraud.

This is a manufacturer’s photo showing an older model.
Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

The Giraud trimmer is very precise. When set up correctly, it can trim brass with amazing consistency. In the video, Erik trims five pieces of brass in 15 seconds (6:32 mark). He then measures all five with precision calipers (7:00-8:08). All lengths are exact within .0005 (half a thousandth). Erik notes that the Giraud trimmer indexes off the case shoulder. As long as you have fire-formed brass with consistent base-to-shoulder dimensions, you should get very consistent trim lengths.

The secret to the system is a 3-way cutting head. This cutter can be swapped in and out in a couple minutes with wrenches provided with the kit. Erik has three different heads; one each for 6.5mm, 7mm, and .30 caliber. The video shows how to adjust the cutting heads to match caliber diameter (and to get the desired amount of inside/outside chamfer).

To trim and chamfer cases, you simply insert them nose-first into the cartridge-specific case-holder. Erik offers a smart tip — He uses a die locking ring to position the cartridge holder (3:15). This can be locked in place. Erik says die locking rings work much better than the hex-nuts provided by Giraud (with the hex-nut, one must re-set cut length each time you change case-holders.)

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

The Giraud can be used in either horizontal or vertical modes. Erik prefers to have the trimmer aligned vertically, allowing him to push cases down on the trimmer head. But the trimming unit has twin sets of rubber feet, allowing horizontal or vertical orientation.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Improved Case-Holder Made with Chamber Reamer:
For his .284 Shehane, Erik had to create his own case-holder (Giraud does not make one for that wildcat cartridge). Erik used his chamber reamer. To his surprise, Erik found that the brass was easier to trim in the custom case holder (compared to the Giraud-made spring-loaded holders). With a perfect fit, trimming and case extraction went more smoothly and the process was easier on his hands. (See 9:00-10:00). Based on Erik’s experience, you may want to create your own custom case-holder.

Trim Bullet Meplats Also
With a special bullet-holder fitting and meplat cutter head, the Giraud power trimmer can be used to trim bullet meplats. Trimming meplats can help make the Ballistic Coefficents of a batch of bullets more consistent. Uniforming meplats is also often done as a first step in the process of “tipping” bullets to improve BC.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Giraud Power Trimmer

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February 3rd, 2019

Scope Mounting — How to Avoid That Rude Poke in the Eye

Kirsten Weiss Video YouTube Scope Eye Relief

This helpful video from our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss explains how to avoid “scope bite”. This can occur when the scope, on recoil, moves back to contact your forehead, brow, or eye socket area. That’s not fun. While common sense tells us to avoid “scope bite” — sooner or later this happens to most shooters. One viewer noted: “I have come close. I had a Win Model 70 in .375 H & H Mag and I was shooting over a large rock in a strange position. The scope hit my eye glasses hard enough to bend the wire frames and cause a little pain on the bridge of the nose from the nose piece. [That] made a believer out of me.”

Kirsten offers a good basic principle — she suggests that you mount your rifle-scope so that the ocular (eyepiece) of the scope is positioned at least three inches or more from your eyeball when you hold the rifle in your normal shooting position. From a technical standpoint, optical eye relief is a property of the scope, so you want to purchase an optic that offers sufficient optical eye relief (meaning that it allows you to see the full circle of light with your head at least three inches from the eyepiece). Then you need to position the optic optimally for your head/eye position when shooting the rifle — with at least three inches of eyeball-to-scope separation (i.e. physical eye relief).

NOTE: You should mount the scope to provide adequate eyeball-to-scope separation for the actual position(s) you will be shooting most of the time. For an F-TR rig, this will be prone. For a hunting rifle, your most common position could be sitting or standing. Your head position will vary based on the position. You can’t assume the scope placement is correct just because it seems OK when you are testing or zeroing the gun from the bench. When shooting from a prone or kneeling position you may find your eye considerably closer to the eyepiece.

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February 1st, 2019

Ultimate Reloader SHOT Show — Ruger, Lyman, Hornady, Federal

ultimatereloader.com shot show hornady ruger rcbs 2019
Ultimate Reloader’s Gavin Gear is working on the most comprehensive reloading press comparison video.

UltimateReloader.com is a leading website showcasing reloading hardware and methodologies. Ultimate Reloader’s founder, Gavin Gear, regularly tests the latest and greatest reloading gear, including presses, case prep centers, cleaning systems and more. Gavin, shown above, is currently hard at work on “the mother of all” reloading press comparisons. He has secured 14 single-stage presses and set them up in his workroom/studio. This will be the most comprehensive reloading press video ever created.

Last week, Gavin was working hard in SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas, finding new products, and interviewing some important folks in the shooting sports industry. Here are four videos Gavin released this week for his Ultimate Reloader YouTube Channel.

New Products from Ruger for 2019

Gavin says: “I’m a big fan of Ruger rifles, in fact my first rifle was a Ruger 10/22! Since then I’ve published a lot of stories covering the Ruger Precision Rifle, and other Ruger products. While at the SHOT show this year I visited the Ruger booth, and got the scoop on the latest rifle offerings from Ruger.” Below is also an Ultimate Reloader preview video of the Ruger American Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor and “Go Wild Camo” livery.

Here are some interesting comments from Gavin’s YouTube viewers:

“It’s amazing how low price [Rugers are] while still being made in the USA. Great job Ruger!” — J. Allen

“I own the RPR in 6.5, 5.56 [.223 Rem], .22 rimfire. The rifles are cheap it’s the bi-pods, rings, optics that make you dig deep in the wallet.” — 2d Amendment

“I am really digging the Ruger American Go Wild Camo, what an absolutely beautiful gun[.] I had a friend … with the 22 inch barrel and is hitting solid MOA groups out to 200.” — F. Earnest

New Products from Lyman for 2019

Lyman Products rolled out three impressive new reloading presses last year. This included an 8-station turret press, a beefy O-frame press, and a versatile C-Frame compact press.

lyman new products 2019

Following up on last year’s successful product launches, for 2019 Lyman is releasing some impressive new tools and gear, including a cool new case trimmer and a deluxe shooting mat. In this video, Gavin interviews Lyman engineer Spencer Karoll, who discusses Lyman’s new product offerings.

Interview with Hornady President Steve Hornady

Gavin reports: “One of the great things about going to the SHOT Show is the people you get to talk with. At last year’s SHOT Show, I met Steve Hornady and talked for a few minutes. This year I [wanted] to have a conversation with Steve on camera! Steve was game, so here it is– a discussion about Hornady’s history, Hornady’s business philosophy, and Steve’s thoughts on new products like the 300 PRC.”

.224 Valkyrie Status Report — Info from Federal

Since its debut just before SHOT Show last year, the new .224 Valkyrie cartridge has been a “hot topic” in the gun industry. In this video interview Gavin covers the .224 Valkyrie’s first year. This video reveals key facts, clarifies misconceptions, and explains how Federal Premium has worked with the shooting community to realize the full potential of this cartridge.

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February 1st, 2019

Norma Now Offers .17 HMR and .22 WMR Rimfire Ammo

Norma 17HMR .17 HMR 22WMR .22 WMR Hornady magnum rimfire varmint ammo
Photo courtesy American Rifleman.

We are big fans of the .17 HMR round. It’s just about perfect for ground squirrels, and is effective on prairie dogs out to about 200 yards. The two main .17 HMR producers have been CCI and Hornady. Now we have a new player in the .17 HMR world — Norma — and that’s a good thing. For 2019, Norma® has expanded its rimfire line-up with the introduction of its new .17 HMR V-MAX. A great round for varmint hunters and small game hunters, the Norma .17 HMR V-MAX delivers fine accuracy and hard-hitting performance all the way out to 200 yards.

Norma 17HMR .17 HMR 22WMR .22 WMR Hornady magnum rimfire varmint ammo

Norma’s .17 HMR V-MAX is engineered to deliver high energy upon impact combined with good accuracy. With a 2560 FPS muzzle velocity rating, this ammo features a 17gr polymer-tipped V-MAX bullet designed for rapid expansion. MSRP for a 50-round box is $12.78. Expect “street price” under $10.00.

“The .17 HMR has a very loyal following among hunters and target shooters alike,” said Paul Lemke, General Manager for RUAG Ammotec USA. “With outstanding accuracy and excellent energy transfer, Norma’s new .17 HMR V-MAX lives up to the reputation of this … rimfire caliber.”

What rifle would you feed Norma’s new .17 HMR ammo? How about the new .17 HMR version of the Ruger Precision Rimfire Magnum. Here’s an informative video on that new modular bolt-gun, which is also available in .22 WMR. Reviewer 22 Plinkster gets good accuracy at 100 yards shooting 17gr CCI .17 HMR ammo. (The 20gr ammo was much worse).

About Norma — A company from Sweden
Norma is a registered trademark of RUAG Ammotec, a RUAG Group Company. Established in 1902 and based out of Amotfors, Sweden, Norma has built a reputation world-wide for its dedication to quality, precision and reliability For more information, visit Norma-ammunition.com.

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