April 26th, 2017

Ultimate Large Rifle Primer Shoot-Out — 16 Types Tested

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed
Click Photo to read full test results in Target Shooter Magazine.

Mother of All LR Primer Tests
If you shoot a .308 Win, or any cartridge that uses a Large Rifle (LR) primer, you should read an important article by Laurie Holland in Target Shooter Magazine. Holland, a talented shooter from the UK, tested no less than sixteen (16) different large primer types using a custom F-TR target rifle shot from the bench. Laurie loaded .308 Win ammo* with 16 LR primer varieties and then tested for average velocity, ES/SD, and group size. This may be the most comprehensive and thorough LR primer test ever done. Here are the primer types tested:

1. CBC Magtech 9½
2. CCI 200 LR
3. CCI BR2 Match
4. CCI 250 Magnum
5. Federal 210
6. Federal 210M Match
7. Federal 215M Magnum Match
8. Fiocchi Large Rifle
9. Kynoch Large Rifle
10. Murom KVB-7 (PMC LR)
11. Norma Superflash LR
12. PMC LR Magnum
13. Remington 9½ LR
14. Remington 9½ M Magnum
15. Sellier & Bellot LR
16. Winchester WLR

LINK: READ Large Rifle Primer Test Complete (16 Primer Types)

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed
Test Rig: Osprey Rifles-built F-TR rifle with Savage PTA action, 32″ Bartlein 1:12″-twist ‘Heavy Palma’ barrel, and Dolphin Gun Company modular stock with an F-Open/Benchrest fore-end.

Some of Laurie’s results may surprise you. For example, would you guess that Sellier & Bellot primers had the lowest ES, by a significant margin? And get this, among ALL the primers tested, Rem 9½M Magnum primers produced the lowest velocity, while Rem 9½ LR (non-magnum) primers yielded the highest velocity. (The total velocity spread for all primers was 35 fps). That’s counter-intuitive and it’s odd that Rems were at opposite ends of the speed spectrum among ALL primers tested.

“The rationale for doing side-by-side tests is to see what effect primer choice has on ballistics, i.e. average velocities and MV consistency. There are a great many views on the subject, a few based on tests (including primer flame photography) but most apparently hearsay.” — Laurie Holland

Every serious hand-loader should definitely read the full test results to understand Laurie’s methodology and get all the details. This is an important test, with significant findings. But if you can’t spare the time right now, here are some highlights below:

Primer with Lowest Velocity: Remington 9½ M Magnum (2780 fps)
Primer with Highest Velocity: Remington 9½ LR (2815 fps)
Primer with Lowest ES/SD: Sellier & Bellot LR (12/3.1 fps)
Primer with Highest ES/SD: Remington 9½ M Magnum (47/14.0 fps)
Primer with Smallest Group Size: Remington 9½ LR (0.43″ average, three 5-shot groups)
Primer with Biggest Group Size: CBC Magtech 9½ (0.7″ average, three 5-shot groups)

Editor’s Comment: Laurie shot three, 5-shot groups at 100 yards with each primer type. The average group size for the top six primers varied by only 0.10″ (0.43″ to 0.53″), so one can’t conclude that one type is much better than another. Total group size variance (from best to worst) was 0.27″.

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed

“The biggest surprise to me … came from an elderly (at least 10 years) lot of Czech Sellier & Bellot standard caps with an ES of 12 and SD of 3.1 fps, way below those of the nearest competitor. By contrast to the Fiocchis, they were an almost slack fit in the cases and this may have contributed to their consistent performance.” — Laurie Holland

NOTE: Values in chart are based on 15-Shot strings. The ES/SD numbers will therefore be higher than is typical with five-shot strings.

All ES/SD Values from 15-Shot Strings

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed

Testing 16 primer types was a huge task — we commend Laurie for his hard work and thoroughness. This extensive test is an important contribution to the “knowledge base” of precision shooting. Laurie’s findings will doubtless influence many hand-loaders who hope to produce more consistent ammunition, or achieve better accuracy. Credit should also be given to Target Shooter Magazine for publishing the results. Well done gentlemen…


*Reloading method for Test Ammo: “Test batches consisted of 16 or 17 rounds for each primer, charges thrown by an RCBS ChargeMaster and checked on lab-quality electronic scales, adjusted if necessary to within ± 0.04gn, so any charge weight variation would be under 0.1 grain which equates here to 5 fps.”
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 11 Comments »
April 25th, 2017

A Dozen Handy Items to Pack in Your Range Kit

Range Kit Gear shellholder safety dozen essentials

The shooting season is now in full swing. When you head to the range you’ll want to be prepared. That means collecting all the gear you’ll need at the range. It’s easy to forget small, critical items, so we’ve provided a checklist of the small “extras” you should pack before you head out to the range. In addition to rifle, rests, ammo, targets, and cleaning gear, here are a dozen essentials you should include in your range bag.

Shell-Holder — If you don’t have calipers, you can use a shell-holder to check for excessive case expansion from hot loads. If a fired case doesn’t slip into the shell-holder easily, your load is definitely TOO HOT.

Extra Earplugs — Always use ear protection when shooting. We bring a 35mm film canister with extra sets of foam earplugs.

Hex Wrench or Screwdriver for action screws — Action screws can work loose with time. Always bring the appropriate hex wrench or screwdriver whenever you go to the range.

Small Wrench for Scope Rings — Check the tension of your scope base and ring fasteners before you go. Bring along a small Torx wrench for the ring screws (or other tool that fits your fasteners).

Normal and Under-sized Jags — It is often wise to use one-caliber undersize jags when applying solvent with cotton patches. You should have a couple sizes in your range kit.

Extra Batteries — Bring extra batteries for all your electronic gear — which can include chronograph, windmeter, digital camera, GPS etc.

Small Notebook and Pen or Pencil — Use the notebook to record chron data, log group sizes, and make notes about wind and weather conditions.

Adhesive dots — Bring a few sheets of adhesive dots (sold at office supply stores). Use small white or black dots as target pasters. Use larger red or orange dots as aiming points (target centers).

Folding Chair or Camp Stool — This comes in handy if you’re spotting for another shooter, or if you reload away from the firing line.

Water Bottle — You can’t shoot well if you’re dehydrated. Bring at least two quarts of water with you and keep a bottle at the bench.

Surveyors’ Tape and Wood Stakes — You can make inexpensive wind indicators using surveyors’ tape attached to the top of wood stakes.

Small Plastic Ruler — Use this to measure your group sizes. A transparent (see-through) ruler works best. Rulers are also useful for drawing lines on targets.

This list is not intended to be exclusive. There are many other items you may wish to include. Obviously bring safety glasses, and Sharpie-type pens are always handy to mark targets. We invite our readers to add other “essentials” to the list. The important thing is to plan ahead, packing your key items before you drive to the range.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
April 24th, 2017

Bargain Finder 83: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Kentucky Gun Co. — Ruger Prec. Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor, $1168.01

6.5 Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle

Here’s a great deal if you’re looking for a GEN2 6.5 Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle for PRS events or other bolt-action tactical applications. The 6.5 Creedmoor is the hot ticket for this rifle, and RPRs with this chambering have been in short supply. You’ll find many sellers charging $1400.00+ for this rifle, if they have it at all.

This week you can get a GEN2 Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor for just $1168.01 from Kentucky Gun Company, with FREE Shipping to boot. The “Cash Price” price is even cheaper, $1133.99. And GunPrime.com also has the 6.5CM RPR for $1199.00 this week. Curious about the differences between the GEN2 Ruger Precision Rifle and the original Model? CLICK HERE for a complete spec comparison and a video (scroll down landing page).

2. Midsouth — Norma Tac-22 .22 LR Ammo, $3.99/box

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

This Norma .22 LR ammo shoots WAY better than you’d expect given the low price — just $3.99 per 50ct box at Midsouth. These test targets come from Champion Shooters Supply. That vendor reports: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.” We suggest you grab some of this Tac-22 while you can at these rock-bottom prices.

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

3. Natchez — Surplus SKB 5041 Transport Cases, $129.99

SKB Rifle Case Military Surplus 50

Natchez has obtained a supply of British MOD Surplus SKB 5041 rifle cases. These were ordered as mine detector cases, but were never issued. Natchez has removed the foam cut for the detectors and replaced it with new 2-piece convoluted foam. Interior dimension of the case is 50″x14.5″x5″ so this will hold long-barrel match rifles comfortably. These are extremely high-quality cases, very tough and rugged, waterproof with gaskets. These cases feature four SKB patented trigger latches, four reinforced padlock locations, and inline wheels. Though in excellent condition, some case may have minor exterior scuffs. You won’t find a better case at anywhere near the price. These normally retail for $299.99.

4. Sportsmans Outdoor — S&W M&P9 Shield, $239.99 after Rebate

Smith Wesson S&W M&P Shield 9mm 9x19

Here’s an awesome deal on a popular Smith & Wesson 9mm carry pistol. The M&P9 Shield (with thumb safety) is priced at just $314.99 at Sportsmans Outdoor Superstore. But it gets better — Smith & Wesson is offering a $75.00 Rebate. That lowers your net cost to just $239.99. That’s half what you might pay for a similar 9mm Glock. Good reason to buy American, and S&W’s warranty is rock solid. NOTE: This same M&P9 pistol without thumb safety is offered by Brownells for $359.99, or $284.99 after mail-in rebate.

5. Midsouth — 20-60x60mm Vortex Spotting Scope, $399.99

Vortex Spotting Scope Midsouth bargain

This is a very good spotting scope for the price. Yes it gives up some low-light performance to a spotter with an 80mm objective, but otherwise it is a good performer, and we can’t think of much that will touch this Vortex Diamondback spotting scope for anywhere near the $399.99 sale price. Choose from angled or straight version for the same $399.99 price, which includes the 20-60X zoom eyepiece.

6. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Master Tumbler Kit, $67.99

Master tumbler reloading kit Frankford Arsenal

This Master Tumbler Kit contains everything you need to tumble rifle or pistol brass. Now on sale for $67.99 with free shipping, this Kit contains: Vibratory Tumbler, Rotary Media Separator, Plastic Bucket, 3 lbs. Cleaning Media, and 4 oz. Brass Polish.

7. Powder Valley — Reloder 16 Powder, 1-pound and 8-pound

Powder Valley H4350 RL16 Reloder 16 powder PRS 6.5 Creedmoor

Powder Valley now has Alliant Reloder 16 (RL16) in stock in both 1-lb ($23.95) and 8-lb ($178.95) containers. If you’re not familiar with this relatively new propellant, we can tell you that RL16 may be the best replacement yet for hard-to-find Hodgdon H4350. Burn rate is very similar to H4350, and RL16 is extremely temp-stable. Most importantly, our Forum members are reporting outstanding accuracy with Reloder 16. It is well suited for mid-sized cartridges such as 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5×47 Lapua, and .260 Remington. If you like H4350, we recommend you try a pound of Alliant’s impressive Reloder 16.

8. Monmouth Reloading — 500 Lake City 5.56 Cases, $35.00

Monmouth deals of week ar15 5.56 brass .223 Rem once-fired Lake City LC

500 pieces of Lake City brass for just thirty-five bucks? Yep, that’s a great deal for anyone who needs .223/5.56 brass for varmint safaris and tactical comps. Monmouth Reloading is selling genuine, once-fired Lake City 5.56x45mm brass sourced direct from the U.S. Military. NOTE: CLICK HERE and then select 500-ct pack — the 1000-ct is out of stock. Monmouth reports: “Our current stock of Lake City 5.56 looks to be all newer year Lake City head stamp but may contain a small percentage of other NATO headstamps. Lake City is a popular, reliable brass, normally capable of many reloads.” Monmouth includes 1% overage to account for any damaged brass. NOTE: Brass has crimped primers, so the pockets will need to be reamed or swaged prior to reloading.

9. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs, $31.11

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Muffs hearing protection Howard Leight earmuffs sale bargain

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs, even if you prefer shooting with earplugs and/or standard muffs. Electronic muffs are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $31.11, with free Prime Shipping. This is good deal — these NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
April 23rd, 2017

Polish Inside of Seating Stems to Avoid Ring Marks on Bullets

Seating Stem Reloading Tip Sierra Bullet .223 Remington compressed loads

Here’s a helpful hint for hand-loaders from Sierra Bullets. While this article focuses on Sierra’s new Tipped Match-King bullets, the recommended solutions apply to other bullet types as well. The article explains how sharp edges on a seating stem can cause a ring to be pressed into the bullet jacket — especially with compressed loads that resist downward bullet movement. Here Sierra technician Rich Machholz diagnoses the problem and provides a solution.

Seating Stem Reloading Tip Sierra Bullet .223 Remington compressed loads

Solutions for Ring Marks Caused by Seating Stems

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz
Now that the new Tipped MatchKing® (TMK) bullets are being shipped and shooters are putting them to use I have received several calls regarding marking on the bullet ogive from the seating stem.

The cause can be traced to one of several things. In the .223 and especially with the long, 77 grain TMK seated at 2.250” or even 2.260” most loads of Varget® and Reloder® 15 are compressed loads, sometimes heavily compressed. This puts a great deal of pressure on the bullet through the seating stem. The result of all this pressure is a mark of varying depth and appearance on the ogive of the bullet. [Editor: We have seen this issue with a variety of other bullet types/shapes as well, including non-tipped VLDs. The solution is profiling the internal cone of the seating stem to match your bullet shape.]

Some older seating stems might even bear against the tip of the bullet which can make a slight bulge in the jacket just below the junction of the resin tip and the copper jacket in a compressed load. If this is the case there is not a ready fix other than calling the die manufacturer and requesting a new deeper seating stem.

Polish Your Seating Stem to Remove Sharp Internal Edges
If the seating stem is of proper depth the culprit most generally is a thin sharp edge on the inside taper of the seating stem. This is an easy fix that can be accomplished by chucking a spare 77 grain bullet in your drill, coating it with valve grinding compound or even rubbing compound or in a pinch even tooth paste.* Remove the seating stem assembly from the seating die. Turn the drill on and put the seating stem recess over the spinning bullet with the polishing compound to break or smooth the sharp edge that is making the offending mark. This might take more than one application to get the proper polish depending upon what you use, but the more you polish the better the blend of angles which will [ensure the stem matches the bullet contours, not leaving a sharp ring].

If the above is a little more than you care to tackle you might try very fine emery cloth twisted to a point that can be inserted into the mouth to the seating stem and rotated to polish the inside to eliminate any sharp edges that might be present.

Load Advice for 77gr TMKs in the .223 Rem
And last but certainly not least. Actually, even though we don’t say you need additional data for the TMKs, remember you are dealing with heavily-compressed loads in some cases because of the additional bullet length. Due to the additional length of these new bullets and in the interest of gaining some room in the case you might consider trying a slightly faster extruded powder like BenchMark or the 4895s or an even more dense powder like the spherical H335®, CFE223 or TAC. The extra room will allow for trouble free bullet seating also.

Good luck and remember we are no further away than your telephone: 1-800-223-8799.

Sierra Bullets Match-King Reloading Bullet Seating

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
April 20th, 2017

Wicked Accurate Low-Cost Rimfire Ammo — Norma Tac 22

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo
Photo from Champion Shooters Supply. Groups shot with Anschutz 1913 match rifle at 50 yards.

Check out that group. That’s impressive accuracy at 50 yards. You’d expect to pay $10.00 or more per box for rimfire ammo that can shoot this well. But get this — you can now get the Norma Tac-22 for just $3.99 per box. That’s right, this is some of the lowest-priced “Big Name” rimfire ammo you can buy, yet it offers top-tier accuracy. Low cost with high performance — that’s hard to beat.

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

The target photos above come from Champion Shooters Supply, which may have gotten an exceptional lot. This vendor tells us: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.”

We agree. We just ordered some Norma Tac-22 ourselves. Grab it while you can at these rock-bottom prices. The best deal we found on Norma Tac-22 ammo was $3.99 per box at Midsouth (Click below).

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

Other vendors with this Norma Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire ammo:

Bullets.com, $5.25/box | Champion Shooters Supply, $4.80/box | Grafs.com, $6.29/box

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
April 18th, 2017

Powder Column Height Varies with Case-Filling Methods

powder drop tube

Most of us assume that if we weigh our powder carefully (down to the tenth of a grain or less) we can achieve a uniform powder fill from case to case in our handloads. Weighing does ensure that the weight of the propellant in each case is the same, but is the column of powder the same by volume each time? “Not necessarily” is the answer. An interesting experiment by our friend Boyd Allen demonstrates that the manner in which you place kernels in the case can make a significant difference in the height of the powder column within the brass case.

Using a Gempro 250 scale, Boyd measured exactly 30.6 grains of Vihtavuori N-133 powder. He then inserted this powder in the same cartridge case multiple times. (The case has a fired primer in place.) But here is the key — Boyd used various filling techniques. He did a slow fill, and a fast fill, and he also experimented with tapping and drop tubes. What Boyd discovered was that you can start with the exact same weight of powder (in fact the very same set of kernels), yet end up with vary different fill heights, depending on how you drop the kernels into the case. Look at the photos. Despite variations in lighting, the photos show the same 30.6 grains of powder, placed in the same cartridge, with four different methods.

Using funnels with long drop tubes packs kernels more tightly, creating a shorter powder column. That allows you to get more propellant (by weight) into the case.

powder drop tube

Boyd Explains the Procedure Used for his Experiment.

EDITOR’s NOTE: So there is no misunderstanding, Boyd started with a weighed 30.6 grain charge. This identical charge was used for ALL four fills. After a fill the powder was dumped from the case into a pan which was then used for the next fill technique to be tried. So, the powder weight was constant. Indeed the exact same kernels (of constant weight and number) were used for each fill.

Boyd writes: “I used the same powder for all fills, 30.6 gr. on a GemPro 250 checked more than once. All fills employed the same RCBS green transparent plastic funnel. The fast drop with the funnel only overflowed when it was removed from the case neck, and 15 granules of powder fell on the white paper that the case was sitting on. The fast-funnel-only drop with tapping, was done with the funnel in place and the case and funnel in one hand, while tapping the case body with the index finger hard, many times (about 20 fast double taps). My idea here was to “max out” the potential of this tapping technique.

The slow drop with the funnel and 10″-long .22 cal. Harrell’s Precision drop tube, was done by holding the scale pan over the funnel and tapping the spout of the pan repeatedly on the inside of the funnel about 1/3 down from the top, with the scale pan tilted just enough so that the powder will just flow. Many taps were involved, again, to max out the technique.

Again, to be clear, after each case filling, the powder was poured from the case back into the scale pan carefully. You may notice the similarity between the fast drop with the drop tube, and the funnel only with tapping. Although I did not photograph it, fast tube drop and tapping (combined) improved on tapping alone, but only to about half as far down the neck as the slow with drop tube. Due to the endless possible permutations, I picked four and left it at that.

I believe that I can make the rough judgment that the scale pan funnel and drop tube technique, which involved a longer drop period, and probably less velocity at the top of the tube, left more room in the top of the case neck than the slow drop from the measure with the same drop tube. You have both pictures, so you can make the comparison.” — Boyd

Does Powder Column Height Variance Make a Difference?
Boyd’s experiment proves pretty conclusively that the method of dropping a given weight of powder can affect the height of the powder column in the case and the degree of powder compression (when a bullet is seated). He showed this to be true even when the exact same set of kernels (of constant weight) was used in repetitive loadings. This raises some interesting questions:

1. Will subsequent cartridge transport and handling cause the powder to settle so the variances in powder column height are diminished?

2. If significant inconsistencies in powder column height remain at time of firing, will the difference in fill level hurt accuracy, or result in a higher extreme spread in velocity?

3. Is there any advantage (beyond increased effective case capacity) for a tight (low level) fill vs. a loose (high level) fill?

We don’t know the answer to these follow up questions. This Editor guesses that, if we tested low-fill-height rounds vs. high-fill-height rounds (all with same true fill quantity by weight), we might see meaningful differences in average velocity. I would also guess that if you fired 10 rounds that exhibited quite a difference in powder column heights, you might see a higher ES/SD than if you shot 10 rounds loaded with a very consistent powder column height (either high or low). But further testing is needed to determine if these predictions are true.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 6 Comments »
April 18th, 2017

Tough Brass — Peterson .308 Win Brass Strong After 32 Firings

Peterson Cartridge Brass .308 Winchester torture test range accuracy IMR 4064 Sierra 155 Palma bullet
Here are five Peterson .308 Win casings after 32 loading/firing cycles (31 at SAAMI max). The brass remained intact, with no cracks. The circles below the shoulders are markings from pressure testing.

This story comes from the Peterson Cartridge website.

Torture Testing Peterson .308 Win Brass — 32 Load Cycles

Recently Peterson’s ballistician had some extra time in his schedule, and asked what he should work on next. He was told, “Just for the heck of it, see how many times you can fire our .308s before you experience failure.” So that’s what he set out to do.

He took five casings out of inventory and loaded them at SAAMI max pressure, which is the pressure we use for all of our longevity testing. It is a hot load, and he did the firing out of Peterson’s Universal Receiver. This way he could measure pressures and velocities each shot. He shot all five, 20 times. (It takes a long time to do that. Load five casings. Shoot five times. Back into the lab to reload, back into the indoor range to shoot, back into the lab, and so forth.)

After 20 firings with no sign of case deterioration, Peterson’s tester asked if he should keep going. “Sure, let’s see how long these can go”, was the reply. So he shot them five more times. Same result. All casings still in good shape. We told him to keep going. He shot each of them six more times. At this point each of the five casings had been fired 31 times. After several days of this the casings were still in good shape but “ballistician fatigue” was setting in. Finally he said, “Let me take these cases to an outdoor range and see how they do for accuracy.” The Peterson team agreed.

Five Shots at 100 Yards after 32 Load Cycles:

Peterson Cartridge Brass .308 Winchester torture test range accuracy IMR 4064 Sierra 155 Palma bullet

For the 32nd firing, the cases were loaded with a somewhat lighter load, and then tested for accuracy. The test rifle was a Tikka T-3 bolt action, with a 20 inch, 1:11″-twist barrel. After 32 firings the primer pockets had opened about 0.002″ (two-thousandths) but were still tight enough for further use. There were no cracks or signs of head separation. The tester put five shots in three holes at 100 yards. The group was 1.5 inches for the five shots, on a somewhat windy day.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 8 Comments »
April 17th, 2017

Bargain Finder 82: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Amazon.com — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $279.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $229.99, after manufacturer’s rebate. Right now, Amazon is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $279.99. That’s a great deal considering all the hardware you get. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $150.00+. But here’s the real incentive — this Rock Chucker Supreme Kit qualifies for a Buck$ or Bullets Rebate — choose either $50 or 500 Speer bullets. If you take the fifty bucks ($50), that reduces your net cost to just $229.00 for the entire RCBS Reloading Kit. That’s a total steal. NOTE: Cabelas.com also sells this RCBS Kit for the same $279.99 (before rebate).

2. Grafs.com — Burris Scope Close-Outs, Huge Savings

Graf's grafs.com Burris Scope close-out discount sale

Graf & Sons is now offering various Burris scopes with Close-Out Pricing– up to $40% off. If you are looking for a budget-priced, medium-range zoom scope for your hunting or varmint rifle, check out these deals. For example, the Burris Predator Quest 4.5-14x42mm (Side Focus) Scope is now just $199.99 — that a 38% savings. In addition to these optics close-outs, Grafs.com is offering FREE Shipping for a limited time. You can get FREE Shipping with orders totalling $100.00 or more. This shipping deal is valid through 4/18/17 at 11:59 PM.

3. PT&G — Howa Barreled Actions with Trigger, $350.00

Howa Weatherby Nosler Barreled Action HACT Trigger discount sale

Howa makes excellent, smooth-running actions, and the Howa HACT 2-stage trigger is WAY better than most domestic factory triggers. Right now you can save big bucks on Howa barreled actions, complete with HACT trigger and trigger-guard. Pacific Tool & Gauge (PT&G) sourced a truckload of Howa barreled actions, which are now on sale. Available at $350.00 are: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, .22-250, .243 Win, 7mm-08, and .308 Win. Choose from light- or heavy-barrel contours. For $390.00 you can get .375 Ruger, 7mm Rem Mag. These barreled actions would be great for custom hunting/varmint rifle projects — many have factory camo finishes. Howa barrels typically deliver easy sub-MOA accuracy (and often much better). Some of these barreled actions may carry Weatherby or Nosler markings, but they were all made at the Howa factory in Japan.

4. Midsouth — .224-Cal 62 Grain BTHP Bullets, $24.86 for 250

Bullet Midsouth Special 65 grain hollow point varmint bullet

Headed out for a varmint safari soon? Need inexpensive bullets for your .223 Rem or 22-250? Then check out this deal on from Midsouth Shooters Supply. Get 250 BTHP 62gr .224-Caliber bullets for just $24.99. That’s just $9.94 per hundred. At that price, it doesn’t hurt so much when you shoot 1000+ rounds over a weekend. With good expansion, these bullets work great on prairie dogs and other small critters. Note: These sale bullets ship in a bag. Midsouth also offers bulk pricing on 500-bullet and 1000-bullet quantities.

5. Stocky’s Stocks — Composite Stock with Bedding Block, $179.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a killer deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $179.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with a matte black, tan, or olive baked-on textured finish for $199.99.

6. Cabela’s — Mossburg Shotgun in Waterproof Case, $469.99

Mossberg 500 shotgun scatter gun pistol shotgun marine mariner floating tube bug-out bag

Here’s the perfect weapon to repel boarders or fight zombies! OK, you may not really NEED a pistol-grip shotgun, but this thing is just so cool. The Mossburg 500 Mariner shotgun has a durable Marinecoat finish and comes in a Int’l Orange storage case that floats. Keep this pump-gun on your boat, in your truck, or make it part of your “bug-out kit”. The floating tube’s heavy-duty synthetic seal is factory-tested to be airtight and waterproof to 40 feet. With a 6-round capacity, this Mossberg shotgun features an 18.5″ cylinder-bore barrel with bead front sight. It even ships with a knife and a multi-tool. There is also a matte black version with a green tube for just $349.99.

7. Amazon — Motorola Walkie Talkies, $48.99 per Pair

Deals of Week Motorola Walkie Talkie Radio Weather Channel

Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range shooting. They let you reset targets and talk to back to the firing line. These are also very handy on hunts. The Motorola MH230R Two-Way Radio is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in FRS/GMRS Handheld Radios. This under-$50.00 set offers 22 channels with a claimed range up to 23 miles (We’ve used them and they worked at 3 miles line of sight). The kit includes: 2 radios, 2 belt clips, 1 dual drop-in charger, 1 charging adapter, 2 NiMH rechargeable battery packs. Run-time is about 10 hours — plenty for a full day of shooting. There is also a newer version, the Motorola T260 for $58.99.

8. Amazon — AR500 Steel 8″-Diameter Gong, $19.95 Delivered

Reactive Target AR500 Steel Gong Free Shipping 8 inch 8

We like reactive targets. It’s fun to “ring steel” and see a target move instantly when hit. For just twenty bucks (including shipping), it’s hard to go wrong with this 8″ AR500 Steel Gong. The 8″-diameter size is big enough for zeroing at 200 yards, yet offers a nice challenge at 500 yards and beyond. There is also a 6″-diameter model for just $14.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
April 16th, 2017

How Much Accuracy is Enough — What Works for Your Discipline?

Jim See Elite Accuracy
This impressive 15-round group was shot by Jim See of Elite Accuracy.

Different shooting disciplines demand different levels of precision/accuracy. In the rapid-fire 3-Gun game, you could probably “clean” most stages with a 2-MOA rifle. By contrast, in the short-range group benchrest game, to compete with the best, you’ll need a rifle that shoots in the “ones” (i.e. 0.1-0.19 MOA) in perfect conditions. In 1000-yard F-Class competition, the top shooters want a rifle that will hold one-third-MOA of vertical at that distance.

What is your standard of accuracy? How good is “good enough”. Jim See, a skilled gunsmith and successful PRS competitor, recently answered that question for his tactical discipline. For the kind of matches Jim shoots, he likes to have a rifle that will hold half-MOA for five (5) shots, 3/4-MOA for 15 shots, and 1 MOA for twenty shots. Remarkably, Jim’s rifle can do that with factory ammo. Above is an impressive 15-shot group shot with .260 Remington Federal Premium Ammo.

Jim See Elite Accuracy

“I say it all the time, my loads need to print 5 under 1/2″, 10 under 3/4″, and 20 under 1″. It’s simple, if a hot barrel will keep 20 rounds fired in succession under my standard it will be a good barrel and load for Precision Match Shooting. Federal Premium Gold Metal Match .260 with Sierra bullets made the cut for me today. 15 consecutive shots under 3/4 MOA.” –Jim See

It’s said that you “can never have too much accuracy”, but there are acceptable standards for each discipline, and they’re not the same. A 100/200 yard Benchrest shooter will be sorely disappointed with a rifle/ammo set-up that can only deliver half-MOA. On the other hand, a PRS competitor like Jim See can achieve great success with a lesser degree of precision. This means you can save time and money. You can run your barrels longer between cleanings, and you don’t have to go “full OCD” when loading your ammo. The PRS shooter does not need to weigh-sort primers, or load powder to single-kernel standards. Proof is the performance. Jim See recently took third place at the Spearpoint Shootout, and he has been a podium finisher at other events. Learn more about Jim’s gunsmithing and training operations at EliteAccuracy.com.

Download This Load Development Target

Jim’s target seemed a bit familiar. AccurateShooter.com created this Diamond and Dot Target a few years back. On each aiming point, there are high-contrast black horizontal and vertical lines for aligning your cross-hairs. The gray circle lets you see the bullet impacts above, without obliterating the red diamond, which is quite useful for precise aiming (we put fine cross-hairs on the points of the diamond). This target sheet includes data entry tables below each of the three aim points. There are many other free targets out there, but this format is very popular. We’re pleased to see Jim using it. You can download this and dozens of other FREE Targets from the AccurateShooter.com Target Page.

AccurateShooter precision load development free target

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition No Comments »
April 16th, 2017

Pin Vise with 1.5mm Bit Fits Lapua BR/PPC Flash Holes

Folks have asked if there is a tool that can remove obstructions from a Lapua small, BR-sized flash hole without opening the hole size. The Lapua PPC/BR flash hole is spec’d at 1.5mm, which works out to 0.059055″. Most of the PPC/BR flash-hole uniforming tools on the market use a 1/16″ bit which is nominally 0.0625″, but these often run oversize — up to 0.066″.

If you want to just clear out any obstructions in the flash hole, without increasing the flash hole diameter, you can use an inexpensive “pin vise” with an appropriate drill bit. For $1.00, eHobbyTools.com sells a 1.5mm pin vise bit, item 79186, that matches the Lapua flash hole exactly. Other vendors offer a #53 pin vise bit that measures .0595″ or .060″ (depending or source). An 0.0595″ bit is close enough. You can find pin vises and bits at hobby stores.

Pin vises Lapua Flash hole

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 13th, 2017

300 Blackout Basics — Specs and Cartridge INFO

300 BLK AAC Blackout

As the .30-Cal cartridge of choice for the AR15 platform, the 300 AAC Blackout, also known as 300 BLK, has become quite popular with black rifle owners. You can now purchase quality factory ammo and even premium Lapua 300 BLK brass. Some folks wonder — “why consider a 300 BLK”? Here are the key reasons you may want to acquire a 300 AAC Blackout upper for your AR:

FIVE REASONS to Shoot the 300 BLK:

1. Easy Conversion: Use your current AR lower, bolt/carrier, buffer, and magazine. The only part you need to change is the barrel.
2. Hunting Capability: 300 BLK conforms to state hunting regulations which may require a cartridge larger than .22 caliber. The 300 BLK shoots .308 caliber bullets.
3. Suppressor-Friendly: You can shoot heavier bullets subsonic. The subsonic capabilities of the 300 BLK make it ideal for use with a suppressed AR.
4. Great Barrel Life: With a .30-caliber bore and a modest powder charge, barrel life is outstanding.
5. Great Brass: No Case forming is required — just buy Lapua 300 BLK brass.

The 300 AAC Blackout was created by Advanced Armament Corp. and Remington primarily for the military as a way to shoot .30-caliber bullets from the M4/AR15 platform while using standard magazines. As explained by Robert Silvers, AAC’s R&D Director: “[You can] shoot 30 caliber from your AR while still using normal magazines with full capacity. Even the bolt stays the same, and all that changes is the barrel.” CLICK HERE for more information.

300 BLK AAC Blackout magazine

The concept of putting a .30-caliber bullet in a shortened 223 case has been done before, but not as an industry-wide standard that anyone can make products for, royalty-free. SAAMI, the industry standards organization, adopted and standardized the AAC 300 Blackout earlier this year. The SAAMI diagram for the 300 BLK is shown below.

300 AAC Blackout SAAMI Diagram
300 Blackout SAAMI Cartridge Specification

Affordable Factory 300 BLK Ammo is Available
Remington now sells a variety of 300 BLK ammo: 1) 125 grain open-tip match with a custom Sierra bullet; 2) 220gr subsonic, and 3) 125gr AccuTip (photo below). While the 300 BLK is easy (and inexpensive) to reload, Remington and AAC recognized that most people are not reloaders. So Remington will be budget-priced UMC-brand 300 BLK ammo through at just $12.99 per box — that’s less than most other rifle cartridges than are more powerful than the .223.

300 AAC BLK ammo

The 300 AAC Blackout definitely works for hunters who want to use their AR15-platform rifle. And it also serves as a specialized 30-Cal “rule-beater” that lets 3-Gun competitors “make major” with a low-recoil cartridge that also offers long barrel life. For those who need to run a .30-caliber cartridge from a standard AR15 platform (as opposed to the AR10), the 300 AAC Blackout makes sense. But for hunters using a bolt gun, there are any number of tried and true options, such as the 7.62×39, .30-30, and, of course, the .308 Winchester (7.62×51 NATO).

WARNING: With some bullet options (and setback during chambering) 300 Blackout rounds will go into a .223 chamber and fire. Putting a .308-caliber bullet in a .224-diameter barrel is a recipe for disaster. You can blow up your gun and sustain serious injury. That’s why we recommend you have a dedicated 300 BLK upper and mark your magazines. Also, always, always check your .223 magazines to ensure no 300 BLK rounds worked their way in when you loaded the mags. There have been a number of Kabooms recorded from 300 BLK rounds fired in a .223 Rem/5.56×45 chamber. CLICK HERE to see actual 300 BLK in .223 Rem chamber.

Other 300 BLK Resources
300 BLK by AAC: An Introduction by Paul Erhardt.
300 AAC Blackout Ammo Review
AAC .300 BLK AR-15, The Gun Blog.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tactical 4 Comments »
April 12th, 2017

Gun Industry Tops $51.3 Billion in Economic Imparct

NSSF National Shooting Sports Economic Impact Reports 2015 2016

Guns are big money. In the past eight years, the dollars generated by the production and sales of guns and ammo have more than doubled. In fact, total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $51.3 billion in 2016, a 168% increase. Meanwhile the total number of gun industry full-time jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to more than 300,00, an 81% increase in that period, according to a report released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the industry’s trade association. Read NSSF Report Highlights HERE.

Big Annual Growth — Numbers Up 15% from 2015 to 2016
The shooting industry’s economic impact rose from $49.3 billion in 2015 to $51.3 billion in 2016, a nearly 15% year-over-year increase. We can expect trends to slow down a bit with the election of President Trump, but recent years have still shown remarkable growth.

NSSF Gun Industry economic impact chart taxes

$6.5 Billion in Tax Revenues Generated
The firearms and ammunition industry generates sizable tax revenues. In the USA the industry and its employees pay over $6.5 billion in federal and state taxes including property, income and sales taxss.

NSSF Gun Industry economic impact chart taxes

The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2017 provides a state-by-state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid. Download the full NSSF Report HERE.

More Jobs, More Support for Conservation, More Tax Revenues
“Our industry is proud to be one of the truly bright spots in our economy as an unprecedented number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. “In response to that growing market, we have increased our direct workforce dramatically over the last decade. In addition, since 2008 we increased federal tax payments by 156%, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 138% and state business taxes by 107%.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
April 10th, 2017

Bargain Finder 81: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Sportsman’s Guide — CCI .22 LR Ammo, $3.49 per Box!

CCI rimfire ammo bargain discount $3.32 box

This is the cheapest price we’ve seen in a long time for name-brand .22 LR Rimfire ammo. The sale price of $3.49 per 50-ct box works out to just seven cents a round for this 40gr CCI Blazer rimfire ammo. At that price can enjoy rimfire plinking without worrying about cost — just like the “good old days”. Member price is even lower — $3.32 per box. Grab this CCI Ammo at this rock-bottom price before it sells out.

2. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs, $38.76

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Muffs hearing protection Howard Leight earmuffs sale bargain

Muffs hearing protection Howard Leight earmuffs sale bargainEvery shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs, even if you prefer shooting with earplugs and/or standard muffs. Electronic muffs are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $38.76, with free Prime Shipping. This is good deal — these NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category. See All Price Options. For another $7.99 you can get a handy Zippered Carry Case for these Electronic Muffs

NOTE: For regular, sustained shooting we recommend muffs and/or earplugs with a higher NRR rating.

3. Cabela’s — Sellier & Bellot Primers, $19.99/1000

Sellier Bellot Primer Sale Small Rifle Pistol Cabela's

There’s a new line of primers on the market, produced by Czech factory Sellier & Bellot. You can save up to 30% compared to name-brand American primers. For example, the S&B Small rifle primers are now just $19.99 at Cabelas.com, compared to $28.00 for CCI Small Rifle Primers at Powder Valley. We’ve shot the S&B pistol ammo and it was very reliable so we wouldn’t hesitate to use these primers for practice ammo in rifle or pistol. This is an attractive option for high-volume reloaders.

4. Cabela’s — Winged 1/2″-Padded Shooting Mat, $44.99

Shooting Mat Cabelas custom wings large flaps

This is a very good mat at an attractive price. This thickly-padded mat has twin side wings for gear. Sale priced at $44.99 at Cabela’s, this offers great value for the money. With 1/2″-thick padding, this mat is comfortable, and the large side wings keep your gear off damp, mucky, or dusty ground. The left wing has a zippered compartment while the right wing has a large pouch that can hold ammo box, rangefinder, or other gear. Up front is a handy bipod stop. Deployed, the mat is an ample 73-1/2″ long x 35-1/2″ wide. The mat rolls up into a convenient package complete with adjustable shoulder strap. With a Lifetime Guarantee, this mat has earned very positive user reviews — 4.8 out of 5 stars. One owner declared: “This is a great shooting mat … rivals many other mats in a much higher price range. The added wing area has plenty of room for ammo, elbows and miscellaneous gear. It has two sewn-in bipod stops and the padding is just right. It is very well built, love it!” — LHeffy.

5. Cabela’s — Tikka TSR-1, $1499.99 (McRee Precision Stock)

Tikka TSR-1 Rifle PRS Factory Class

Here’s a good deal on a modular rifle for the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) Factory Class. This Tikka TSR-1 features a versatile folding McRees Precision Stock. On sale this week for $1499.99 at Cabelas.com, this TSR-1 is $300 Ccheaper than Tikka’s new T3 X TAC A1. In fact the TSR-1 may be preferred by shooters who prefer a slimmer foreend or need a folding stock. ($1798.00 at Eurooptic.com). PRS Factory Class shooters should definitely consider the TSR-1 at $1499.99. Other vendors are currently charging up to $1935.00 for the TSR-1.

6. GSL Technology — $200 Discount on Sound Suppressors

GSL Moderator Suppressor NFA Tax Stamp Sale $200 OFF

Many guys are putting off purchase of a suppressor in hopes that Congress will eliminate the $200.00 Federal tax stamp currently required for “can” purchases. Relying on poiliticians to perform is problematical to say the least. Here’s an alternative — the folks at GSL Technology are offering $200.00 off high-grade suppressors. So, in effect, the suppressor-maker is picking up the tab for your $200.00 Tax Stamp. NOTE: This special offer is good for Online Purchases Only and the Offer Expires at 11:59 pm on April 30, 2017.

7. Amazon — Discovery Scope Level $13-$16 (1″, 30mm)

Optical Rifle Scope bubble level Discovery 30mm 1 inch 34mm Amazon

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This Discovery scope level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It is available with inner diameters to fit scopes with either 1″ or 30mm main tubes. The 1″ version is just $12.95 while the 30mm model is $13.95. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product: 89% of verified buyers rated this five stars.

8. Amazon — Ten-Pack of 2″-Diameter Splatter Targets, $8.99

Bargain Coupon Code Kelbly Kelbly's Panda Action stock

We use these splatter targets for fun shoots and practice at 300 and 400 yards. When hit, each shot displays as a bright, neon-green/yellow circle. That makes it easy to spot your shots, even with relatively low-power optics. These targets also work great for handgun practice at shorter distances. For just $8.99 you get ten sheets each with 16 stick-on circles — a total of 160 target bulls.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Tactical No Comments »
April 8th, 2017

Hand-Loading as Stress Relief for the Modern-Day Man

Sierra Bullets Blog handloading stress relief

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin for Sierra Bullets Blog
A lot of calls that come into the Sierra Customer Service Center are made by shooters [of retirement age]. Most of the time the shooter used to reload back when they were [younger] and stopped in order to raise a family, pursue a career, or both. Maybe their father or grandfather taught them back in the day and they are looking for an answer to the new whatchamacallit they found on the internet. The point is they are coming back to it because it was fun.

Reloading Can Provide Stress Relief
As a father of three, a husband, a brother, a son and son-in-law, and a friend and neighbor, I get pulled in a lot of directions. In all honesty, reloading and shooting has become a stress relief for me even though I work in the shooting industry.

Sometimes, the shooting gets put on hold for other more important things but there will always be another project or repair to accomplish. There are a lot out there that have found a way to balance the work life, the family life, and the play life. I would like to applaud you on your efforts because it is a hard thing to accomplish.

Remember to take time and relieve that stress. Do something fun, especially if it is shooting that special hand-load you just made.

AccurateShooter Comment — Hand-Loading and the Creative Process
Reloading your own precise ammo can be rewarding in many ways. First it allows you a temporary escape from work pressures, “Honey-Dos”, filing your taxes — whatever. It’s just you and Mr. Rockchucker spending quality time in the loading room. Second, hand-loading is a creative process that engages the mind. During load development, you are like an inventor, selecting a powder charge, choosing the bushing size, experimenting with seating depths, working to perfect your load.

Lastly, the process of hand-loading is rewarding because you are building something start to finish. You begin with components — bullets, brass, and powder, and end up with a finished product that (hopefully) is better than the best factory ammo you could buy. It is enormously satisfying to start with piles of bullets and brass and end up with beautiful hand-loads that can deliver great accuracy.

This post originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
April 6th, 2017

Going Big (.338 and Beyond) — Big Bore Basics with Bryan Litz

Big Bore Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics .416 Barrett .376 CheyTac .408 CheyTac .50 BMG BC Solid Bullets

In this video Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics offers tips on Big Bore shooting (i.e. .338 caliber and above). Bryan offers advice on bullet selection and he explains the challenge of handling the blast, noise, concussion, and recoil of big boomers such as the .416 Barrett and .50 BMG.

Bryan goes big … very big, shooting a monster .50 BMG bullpup.
Watch the recoil pulse shove Bryan backwards at 1:40 time-mark:

Big Bore Basics — Tips for Shooting Big Boomers by Bryan Litz
There are some unique things to consider with big-bore shooting. One is bullet design. For long-range shooting you want high-BC bullets. You get high BC from heavy bullets and bullets that have low drag. The interesting trade-off in big calibers is that there are a lot more lathe-turned solid bullets in copper and brass available than there are in the smaller calibers. You’ve got bullets that have slightly lower drag profiles but they are made of materials that are slightly less dense (than lead) so they are relatively light for their caliber. With that trade-off, the BCs might not be as high as you think for big calibers, although the bullets are heavy enough that they carry a lot of energy.

Energy really has a lot to do with shooting these big-caliber rifles. As with any kind of shooting, the fundamentals of marksmanship are the most important thing. However, it can be hard to maintain good fundamentals (e.g. trigger control and sight alignment) when you’re burning 100 grains of powder. There’s a lot of concussion (you want a muzzle brake no matter what your cartridge is above .338). It certainly can be challenging with all the muzzle blast and all the energy coming out of the barrel.

For long-range shooting with big bore rifles, you are still looking for the same things that you want with smaller-caliber rigs. You want a high-performance bullet, you want consistent ammunition, and you want a good fire solution to be able to center your group at long range. Basically you’re just dealing with the challenges that the high energy brings, and being smart about your bullet selection.

Big Bore Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics .416 Barrett .376 CheyTac .408 CheyTac .50 BMG BC Solid Bullets

In the video above, Bryan is shooting the DesertTech HTI bullpup. This rifle can shoot four (4) big bore chamberings, with barrel conversion kits for: .375 CheyTac, .408 CheyTac, .416 Barrett, and .50 BMG. These can be quickly swapped in the HTI chassis, which employs an internal barrel-clamp system.

Big Bore Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics .416 Barrett .376 CheyTac .408 CheyTac .50 BMG BC Solid Bullets

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 5th, 2017

Save Big Bucks with Midsouth’s Spring Clearance Sale

Midsouth Spring Inventory Clearance Sale Leupold Scopes Nosler Redding

Right now Midsouth Shooters Supply is running a Spring Inventory Clearance Sale. Everything in the Clearance Sections just got marked down 10% below the previous sale pricing. There are a lot of great bargains here — everything from big name optics to reloading dies to loaded ammo and much more. Hundreds of items are on sale, even top-quality items such as Sierra MatchKing bullets and Norma brass. If you need a scope or dies, you should definitely check out the sale. Likewise if you want factory ammo for a hunting rig, you’ll find some great bargains.

Here’s Some of the Cool Stuff on Sale, at Very Low Prices:

Sierra 7mm and .308 MatchKing Bullets
Federal Primers
Lyman Sonic Cleaning Machine
Hornady Reloading Tools
Norma 22 PPC Brass
Leupold Scopes
Leupold Binoculars
Burris Scopes

Vihtavuori N310 and N350 Powder
Redding Competition Dies
Redding TiN Neck Bushings
RCBS Reloading Dies
Nosler .260 Rem and 300 WSM Ammo
Leica CFR Rangefinders
Weatherby/Howa stocks
Handgun Holsters and Gun Cases

Midsouth Spring Inventory Clearance Sale Leupold Scopes Nosler Redding

Clearance Sale Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
April 3rd, 2017

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass Performs Great in Tough Field Test

6.5 Guys 6.5 creedmoor Lapua brass cartridge casing filed test 20 reload cycles

The verdict is in — Lapua’s new 6.5 Creedmoor brass is ultra-tough and very consistent. So sayeth the 6.5 Guys, who recently field-tested the brass, loading it to very stout levels. Even after 20 reloadings, the Lapua 6.5 CM brass held up extremely well. This brass, with its small primer pocket and small flash hole, really does out-perform other 6.5 Creedmoor brass offerings. Yes the Lapua brass is pricey, but it outlasts the alternatives, and, if the 6.5 Guys test is any indication, you can run higher velocities with this brass compared to other brands. Watch the 6.5 Guys Lapua brass test in this video:

If you have a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, or are considering getting a gun chambered for this cartridge, we strongly recommend you watch the full 6.5 Guys Video. Ed and Steve spent a lot of time conducting this test, and the video includes helpful summaries of their findings.

The Evolution of the 6.5 Creedmoor
Over the last few years the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has become increasingly popular among precision rifle enthusiasts. However, availability of brass cases was limited to only a few manufacturers. In early 2017 Lapua introduced to the market its own 6.5 Creedmoor case with a unique twist — the case has a small rifle primer pocket and small flash hole — like the 6mmBR Norma and 6.5×47 Lapua.

6.5 Guys 6.5 creedmoor Lapua brass cartridge casing filed test 20 reload cycles

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass — Test Protocol
The 6.5 Guys tested a box of Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge brass supplied by Graf & Sons. The project involved two phases. First the 6.5 Guys weighed and measured the cases to assess weight uniformity and dimensional consistency (which was impressive). Then came phase II — the “torture test”. The 6.5 Guys loaded the brass with a very stout charge of H4350 pushing 140gr Hornady ELD bullets*. The brass was loaded and shot over 20 times. This durability test was conducted to see how many repeated firings and resizing/reloading cycles the brass could handle. Remarkably, after 20+ loadings, the brass was still holding up — no “blown-out” primer pockets. This stuff is tough. The 6.5 Guys note: “You can go at least 20 reloadings without a split neck…but brass spring-back may be another issue.”

After 20 Load Cycles — Going to the Extreme
Once the Lapua cases had been shot 20+ times, the 6.5 Guys tried something more extreme. They stuffed the brass with a very hot load — a powder charge weight well beyond a sensible maximum. Even with this “beyond max” load, the Lapua brass held up but there was some evidence of pressure on the primers: “You do see some cratering on the primer with a Remington 700 that you don’t see with a Defiance action, but nothing to indicate a potential pierced primer.”

6.5 Guys 6.5 creedmoor Lapua brass cartridge casing filed test 20 reload cycles
WARNING: The 6.5 Guys deliberately used a very stout load for testing. Do not attempt to duplicate. This load was shot in a faster-than-average barrel with a chamber set up for long 140gr bullets. You may not be able to achieve similar velocities — maybe not even close. As with all hand-loading, always start low and work up charges in small increments.

6.5 Creedmoor vs. 6.5×47 Lapua — Battle of the Middle-Weights
With this new brass, does the 6.5 Creedmoor enjoy an edge over the 6.5×47 Lapua? The 6.5 Guys answer: “That’s hard to say. From a market share standpoint, the 6.5 CM is more popular in the USA. From a technical perspective, 6.5×47 Lapua offers near identical performance with better barrel life. But from our tests, you can drive a 140-grain bullet much faster with 6.5 Creedmoor than you ever can (safely) with a 6.5×47 Lapua. That’s our non-answer answer….”

The 6.5 Guys concluded that the 6.5 Creedmoor will enjoy a velocity advantage: “We’ve had a number of discussions with RBros and other folks about this. It appears that 6.5×47 still has the edge as far as barrel life. But it also looks like you can push a 140gr bullet pretty fast with the 6.5 CM — speeds that are not obtainable with the 6.5×47 Lapua.”

* Why were the Hornady 140gr ELDs chosen for testing? The 6.5 Guys wanted a bullet in the 140gr weight range. Beyond that, the choice was fortuitous. Ed explained: “Our bullet selection was quite scientific — we sat down at my reloading bench and looked around. Saw the Hornady 140 ELD Match and decided to roll with that.”

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 18 Comments »
April 3rd, 2017

Bargain Finder 81: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Cabela’s — Winged 1/2″-Padded Shooting Mat, $44.99

Shooting Mat Cabelas custom wings large flaps

This is a very good, thickly-padded mat, with unique features — twin side wings for gear. Sale priced at $44.99 at Cabela’s, this offers great value for the money. With 1/2″-thick padding, this mat is comfortable, and the large side wings keep your gear off damp, mucky, or dusty ground. The left wing has a zippered compartment while the right wing has a large pouch that can hold ammo box, rangefinder, or other gear. Up front is a handy bipod stop. Deployed, the mat is an ample 73-1/2″ long x 35-1/2″ wide. The mat rolls up into a convenient package complete with adjustable shoulder strap. With a Lifetime Guarantee, this mat has earned very positive user reviews — 4.8 out of 5 stars. One owner declared: “This is a great shooting mat … rivals many other mats in a much higher price range. The added wing area has plenty of room for ammo, elbows and miscellaneous gear. It has two sewn-in bipod stops and the padding is just right. It is very well built, love it!” — LHeffy.

2. CDNN Sports –$1.50 Safety Eyewear and $10.00 Muffs

Earmuffs Eyewear CDNN Cheap Sale Clearance

CDNN is selling off all its remaining inventory of Safety Eyewear and Hearing Protection. Accordingly, you can purchase ANSI-Z87.1-Rated Eyewear for $1.50, and a set of NRR25 Muffs for just $10.00. At these prices, you can outfit the whole family, or donate a few sets to your local youth program. We’ve learned it’s always good to have spare eye and ear protection — keep extra sets in your range bags and vehicle glove boxes.

3. Aero Precision — Upper & Lower Kit, FDE Cerakote, $193.49

AR AR16 Upper and Lower Aero Precision Kit

Thinking of putting together an accurate AR for the new PRS Gas Gun series (or 3-Gun matches)? Here’s a good place to start. Aero Precision now offers a $193.49 kit with stripped Upper and Lower Receivers — both with a durable Flat Dark Earth (Magpul FDE) Cerakote finish. Just add barrel, buttstock, trigger group, controls, and your bolt carrier group. Note: This Kit will work with the .223 Rem and similar-length, larger-caliber cartridges such as the 6mmAR and 6.5 Grendel. If you want to shoot a 6.5 Creedmoor, you’ll need an AR10 platform rifle.

4. Midsouth — GECO .22 LR Bolt Action Ammo, $42 for 500 Rds

Shooting Mat Cabelas custom wings large flaps

This a very good deal on quality, European-made GECO .22 LR rimfire ammunition. This is optimized for use in bolt-action rifles. Test lots have proven reliable with much better than average ED and SD and solid accuracy. GECO is a good brand, part of the Swiss RUAG family of companies. The price, $42.00 for a 500-round Brick (10 boxes), is just 8.4 cents per round. Though still very affordable, this GECO .22 LR ammo is way better than typical domestic “bulk pack” rimfire ammo.

5. Grafs.com — Sightron SIIB Scope Clearance Sale, 46-47% Off

Sightron Graf's Grafs.com Scope Sale SIIB

As part of its Spring Inventory Clearance Sale, Grafs.com is offering Sightron SIIB scopes at rock-bottom prices. If you are looking for a reliable medium-power zoom optic for a varmint rig or hunting rifle, check out these bargains: Sightron 3-12x42mm Plex and Sightron 4-15x42mm Target AO Plex.

We like the 4-16x42mm Sightron SIIB with adjustable front objective for just $329.99. That’s 47% off the regular price. The 15X is enough power for most prairie dog shooting and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with an adjustable front objective — these systems are very positive and “dead nuts” reliable.

6. CDNN Sports — Ruger 17 HMR American Compact $279.99

Ruger 17 HMR American Compact

With ballistics far superior to a .22 LR, the 17 HMR is ideal for Prairie Dogs and small varmints out to 180 yards or so. Now you can get a reliable, name brand 17 HMR rifle for a very attractive price. That’s right, CDNN Sports is selling the 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire Compact, with 18″ barrel, for just $279.99. That includes two (2) comb units and a FREE padded carry sling. FFL required.

7. Amazon — Plano Double Rifle Case with Wheels, $113.99

Plano double scoped rifle case with wheels

This Plano Double Scoped Rifle Case is an Amazon Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is under $115.00, while the equivalent SKB is around $240.00, so you can buy two Planos for the price of one SKB. The 51.5″ interior will fit most scoped competition rifles up to about 29″ barrels (measure your own rifle to make sure). The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move through airports and parking lots. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money (plus there’s Free Shipping for Prime Members).

8. Amazon — 630 1″-Diameter Target Spots, $9.65 Delivered

Amazon target dots discount free shipping sight-in target

We use 1″-diameter Target Spots for sight-in and practice at 100-300 yards. These bright red/orange self-adhesive dots are easy to see. At 100 yards the high-contrast black diamond centers provide precise aiming points. We found this 10-pack of target spots on Amazon at a rock-bottom price. You get 630 total stick-on dots for just $9.65 with FREE Shipping. You can also get 360 Birchwood Casey 1″ dots from Midsouth for just $3.15, but shipping is extra. If you’re already ordering something from Midsouth, you may want to add the dots to your order.

9. Amazon — Cotton Cleaning Patches, 800 for $9.99 – $17.99

Amazon bulk pack patches 800 cotton flannel

Got patches? Here’s a great deal on 100% cotton flannel patches. There are many sizes available, starting at $9.99 for 800 one-inch “17 Cal” patches. For 6mm rifles, we actually like the 1.25″ round “22/223″ sized patches priced at $11.99 for 800. Choose either round patches or square patches in most sizes. We generally like round patches for use with spire-tip jags, but some shooters prefer to wrap their patches around a jag or brush and square patches work better for wrapping. The large, 2″-square .30 Cal patches cost $17.99 for 800. These prices include FREE Shipping for Prime Members.

10. Amazon — Leight MAX NRR33 Earplugs, $7.45 for 50 Pairs.

Max NRR 33 db ear plugs

These Howard Leight NRR33 Max plugs are your Editor’s favorite foam earplugs. They seal out noise better than any others I’ve tried. Between shooting, motorcycling and mowing lawns, I probably have Max plugs in my ears 2-3 days a week. This is a very good price for a bulk pack of 50 pairs (100 plugs). And if you act soon, you can get free shipping to boot.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
April 1st, 2017

.17 Incinerator — Ultimate Varmint Cartridge with Mach 5 Speed

.17 Caliber Incinerator Wildcat Varmint cartridge

In the world of varmint cartridges, it’s all about speed. Higher velocity delivers flatter trajectories, and more dramatic impacts on critters. To achieve higher speeds, handloaders have experimented with many extreme wildcats — big cases necked down to a smaller calibers. Here we present what may be the most extreme wildcat cartridge of all, the .17 Incinerator — a .50 BMG necked down to .17 caliber. Created by Ammo-One, a custom cartridge company, the .17 Incinerator offers blistering performance. The special lathe-turned 33gr projectiles* exit the barrel at 5883 Feet Per Second — that’s over Mach 5, five times the speed of sound.

Mach 5 is 3836.35 mph at sea level, which equates to 5626.64 Feet Per Second (FPS). The remarkable .17 Incinerator achieves this stunning velocity by burning over 230 grains of powder in a highly modified .50 BMG case. The velocity of this cartridge (still well over Mach 5 at 100 yards) delivers an incredible amount of energy on target. A hit literally vaporizes a varmint, as you can see from the image below.

.17 Caliber Incinerator Wildcat Varmint cartridge
For more dramatic varmint images, visit www.FogAmmo.com.

It takes a special barrel to shoot the .17 Incinerator. Kent Wilson of Ammo-One, who helped develop this extreme wildcat, explains: “The speeds are so great we had to use a custom 3-groove, polygonal-rifling 1:20″-twist barrel to keep the bullets from disintegrating on launch. The polygonal land/groove geometry reduces bullet engraving, which also helps keep the bullets in one piece. Also we must use solids — regular jacketed bullets can’t handle these speeds”.

Even More Speed — the .17 Incinerator Improved
While the .17 Incinerator is commercially available, there is an even more extreme “Improved” version of this case, with a radical 50-degree shoulder that yields even greater case capacity. The .17 Incinerator Improved (17 IN-IMP), shown below, can hold 20 grains more powder, promising velocities approaching Mach 5.5 or 6189.3 FPS. Now that’s really cookin’!

Incinerator .17 Caliber varmint wildcat cartridge

*Because of the ultra-high velocity generated by the .17 Incinerator, solid bullets must be used. Conventional jacketed projectiles would disintegrate before they reached the target.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 17 Comments »
April 1st, 2017

Vortex and Hornady Introduce Revolutionary Bullet-Cam Ammo

Vortex Hornady Bullet-Cam Bullet Video Camera Micro-miniature video streaming lens

Vortex Optics and Hornady have joined forces to create what may be the most remarkable new bullet technology in the past 20 years. Vortex has adapted a miniature video system to fit inside the tips of rifle bullets. The micro-sized camera/transmitter was originally developed for miniature spy drones. Vortex cleverly figured out to make these tiny little video cameras work when carried on a spinning projectile launched from a rifle.

Vortex Hornady Bullet-Cam Bullet Video Camera Micro-miniature video streaming lens

The revolutionary bullet-cam is the equivalent of the camera in the nose of a “smart” bomb or missile, but micro-miniaturized. This new technology allows you to literally watch your bullet fly into the target. For long-range shots with extended flight times, the view is mesmerizing. Hunters should be very excited. With the Bullet-Cam, you can record the “shot of a lifetime” on a trophy hunt. One has to commend Vortex for achieving this electro-optical breakthrough. Kudos also to Hornady for incorporating the micro-optics into shootable ammunition.

Vortex Video Shows New Bullet-Cam in Action:

A live feed from the Bullet-Cam streams right to your device for instant viewing. Once the Bullet-Cam hits the target, recording stops and the video is automatically uploaded to the VTX Cloud where it can be shared to social media.

Vortex Hornady Bullet-Cam Bullet Video Camera Micro-miniature video streaming lens

Software Indexing Magic Creates Stable, Viewable Image
How is the image viewable though the bullet is spinning at thousands of RPM? The answer is surprisingly simple — and achieved through software. The bullet RPM is referenced by a microprocessor, so the camera’s software simply snaps a picture of the target every few micro-seconds, when the target is in exactly the same orientation. The lens is spinning, but it only captures visual data once every rotation (i.e. image capture is rotationally-indexed). This “stream of stills” is then blended into the video feed. What the viewer sees is a stable movie as though the camera was mounted on a non-rotating, fin-stabilized projectile. This rotationally-sequenced image-capture process made the whole project possible. We’re told that the Pentagon was so impressed with the technology that it is looking to fit Bullet-Cams into a variety of spin-stabilized ordnance, including artillery shells and large-caliber (.50 BMG) sniper rounds.

Vortex Engineer Ian Klemm, a top F-TR shooter, helped develop the innovative Bullet-Cam. Ian says: “Our goal with … Vortex products is to allow our customers to see things clearly from all vantage points. When it comes to bullet impact though, shooters have had to relay on traditional optics to determine accuracy from long distances. We were determined to provide an additional point of view (POV) to improve precision and overall performance. [We want] shooters to have the most advanced tools in the industry, to achieve the most accurate shots. With the Bullet-Cam you will always know if you are way off or dead on.”

Vortex Hornady Bullet-Cam Bullet Video Camera Micro-miniature video streaming lens

Ten Bucks Per Shot — Great for Hunters
Considering the technology involved, the Bullet-Cam product is suprisingly affordable. A box of ten (10) cam-equipped cartridges is only $99.99. So, for about ten bucks per shot, you can actually see your shots fly downrange and into the target. That’s something that’s never been possible with sporting ammunition. This new technology unlocks a whole new world for precision shooters. And for hunters — the Bullet-Cam literally allows you to record the shot of a lifetime on a trophy animal. You can then share that memorable experience via Facebook, Twitter or other social media.

Vortex Hornady Bullet-Cam Bullet Video Camera Micro-miniature video streaming lens

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Optics 31 Comments »