October 28th, 2018

What’s Up with Those Pesky Flyers?

Sierra Bullets Reloading Flier Flyer load development groups

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf
Occasionally someone will ask, “Why did I get a flyer that didn’t go in with the rest of my group?” If I had an answer that would stop flyers from happening, I would be rich.

There are many reasons why this can happen. Everything from gripping a forearm differently to variations in the brass casing, the list goes on and on. Most of the time the flyer is usually shooter induced and sometimes what you may think is a flyer, is just part of your group. There are a lot of shooters, that go out and test a load and they may shoot a 3/8” group at 100 yards and think that load is good. But I have seen far too many times that you can shoot another group, same load, same rifle and the next time you may get a 1 ¼” group.

Sierra bullets load development flyer group measurement target

The total opposite can also occur. You may shoot a 1 ¼” group and turn around and follow it with a 1/2″ group without changing anything. If you only shot the one group, you might decide that load wasn’t any good and move on to something else without really knowing what that load was capable of.

To really determine how a particular load is performing we need to shoot multiple groups and take an average of the group sizes to really see what that rifle/load combination is really capable of.

I suggest shooting a minimum of three 5-shot groups and averaging the group sizes before deciding if the load is acceptable or not. Obviously the more rounds you shoot for a group and the more groups that you shoot, you will get a much better representation of what that particular combination can do.

Now I’m not saying to go out and shoot 30 groups with 50 rounds in each group to determine how well your load is shooting. That would be a bit pointless, in some cases it would be time to re-barrel your rifle before your load development was finished.

In most cases, I feel that three to five, 5-shot groups will give you a pretty good representation of how a load will perform in that specific firearm.

Sierra Bullets reloading advice tips information

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
October 27th, 2018

How to Neck-Size Cases with LEE Collet Die

LEE Precision Collet Die

For those who prefer to neck-size their brass (rather than full-length-size), the LEE Collet Die is a popular, inexpensive option. It works by having collet tangs or “fingers” press the neck against a central mandrel. The benefit is that you get a very straight neck, which is sized consistently from top to bottom. Canadian shooter Jerry Teo explains: “LEE Collet Dies produce sized cases with very low runout (measured runout is under .001″ using a Sinclair concentricity gauge). You also don’t get the build-up of brass at the base of the neck, as can happen with bushing neck dies. The neck-shoulder junction stays nice and crisp.”

LEE Precision Collet DieTIP ONE — Adjusting Tension
LEE Collet dies don’t have a specific mechanical adjustment for neck tension. But you CAN easily modify the die to provide more or less tension. If you want to adjust the neck tension using a Lee Collet die, you can simply chuck the mandrel in a drill and reduce the diameter with some sand-paper (to increase neck tension) or you can order a mandrel the next caliber larger and turn it to whatever diameter you want (the larger the mandrel diameter, the less the neck tension). You can also order custom mandrels from Lee sized to any diameter you want.

Regarding neck tension, Boyd Allen makes an important point: “The only way to properly get more neck tension with collet dies is to either reduce the diameter of the mandrel, or order a smaller-diameter mandrel from Lee. I remind folks that adjusting the die position to have more toggle at the top of the ram stroke (not the factory recommended method), or leaning on the press handle with more force than recommended will NOT increase neck tension.”

Lee also offers Custom Collet Dies, made from two fired cases. Lee offers custom standard collet dies for $70.00 (plus S/H) and custom large collet dies for $160.00 (plus S/H). CLICK HERE to ORDER.

TIP TWO — Polish and Tune for Easy Case Removal
Some users have complained that their Collet Dies grab the case-neck too firmly, making the case hard to remove. There are solutions to this problem. First inspect the collet fingers and smooth the inner surface up a bit with polishing compound or an extra-fine sanding pad. Second, you can open up the fingers a little bit. LEE recommends that if your Collet Die is sticking, take a steel punch and tap the fingers apart a little bit so that the natural “unloaded” position is wider. Lastly, you should lightly lubricate the outside of the collet fingers (see arrows) before you re-assemble the die. This will ensure they slide smoothly. Also, to prevent the collet fingers from closing too tight, never load up the die with your press without putting a case in place first. Without a case neck between the collet fingers and the mandrel, the collet can clamp itself too tight as you raise the ram.

TIP THREE — Always Have a Case Inside When Operating Collet Die
Our friend Boyd Allen tells us that you need to follow directions and NEVER operate the die without a case inside. Boyd explains: “This is because doing so will spring the quadrents of the collet inward so that they interfere with the insertion of a case, and the user will have to figure out how to undo the damage if the die is to operate properly. This advice would not be needed if everyone read the instructions before using the die…. but many times, they don’t. Another thing that I tell new users is to take the die apart so that they will have a better chance of understanding how it works.”

TIP FOUR — Size Twice and Spin Your Case 1/8th Turn
After reaching fully “down” on your press handle, withdraw the case about an inch and manually rotate it about 1/8th (NOT 1/4 or 1/2) turn while still in the shell-holder, then size again. This will place the die’s collet petals on the four “high spots” of the case neck and will result in a rounder, more evenly-sized neck with slightly more bullet tension. This takes only about one second more per case and is well worth the slight extra effort. (We thank reader Stonecreek for this smart tip).

Here’s a good video that explains how to use a Lee Collet Die to Neck-Size .243 Win brass:

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October 26th, 2018

Stick, Flake, and Ball — Do You Know Your Powder Properties?

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener’s Reloading & Shooting Supply recently published a helpful introduction to reloading powders. Widener’s online Guide to Smokeless Powders shows the various types of powders, and explains how the differences in powder kernel/flake size and shape, and burn rate affect performance. We recommend you visit Widener’s website and read the Powder Guide in full.

Take a close look at these illustrations which show the key differences between the four main powder types: extruded (stick) powder, ball (spherical) powder, flattened ball powder, and flake powder.

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Burn Rate Basics

Widener’s Guide to Smokeless Powders also has a useful discussion of Burn Rate (a confusing topic for many hand-loaders). Wideners explains: “While a gun powder explosion in the cartridge seems instantaneous, if you slow it down you will actually find that each powder has a different ‘burn rate’, or speed at which it ignites.” This video shows powders with two very different burn rates. Watch closely.

Different burn rates suit different cartridge types notes Widener’s: “In general a fast-burning powder is used for light bullets and low-speed pistols and shotguns. Medium-rate powders are used for magnum pistols, while high-velocity, large bore rifle cartridges will need slow powders[.]

It should be noted that burn rate does not have a standardized unit of measurement. In fact, burn rate is really only discussed in comparison to other powders; there is no universal yardstick. Specifics will change by cartridge and bullet types[.]”

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October 25th, 2018

Cartridges of the World — Great 680-Page Resource

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of the World (15th Edition), belongs in every serious gun guy’s library. This massive 680-page reference contains illustrations and basic load data for over 1500 cartridges. If you load for a wide variety of cartridges, or are a cartridge collector, this book is a “must-have” resource. The latest edition (release date 10/24/2016) includes 50 new cartridges and boasts 1500+ photos. This printed reference guide is $30.20 at Amazon.com, while a Kindle eBook version costs $19.99.

The 15th Edition of Cartridges of the World includes cartridge specs, plus tech articles on Cartridge identification, SAAMI guidelines, wildcatting, and new cartridge design trends. In scope and level of detail, Cartridges of the World is the most complete cartridge reference guide in print. Cartridges of the World now includes a 64-page full-color section with feature articles, including an interesting feature on the .300 Win Mag.

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

(more…)

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October 24th, 2018

Tech Tip: Don’t Store Brass and Ammo Near Ammonia Solvents

Ammonia Solvent Brass Cracking MTM

Chances are that many of you have packed away your ammo and shooting supplies for the winter. Maybe you put your brass in a storage bin that might also contain solvents, old rags, or used bore swabs. Well, if you use any ammonia-based solvents, we suggest you separate the brass and ammo and keep it away from potential ammonia vapors. This is because long-term exposure to ammonia fumes can cause cracks to form in your brass. This can lead to case ruptures and possible injury.

This case-cracking phenomenon has been called Season Cracking, a form of stress-corrosion cracking of brass cartridge cases. Season cracking is characterized by deep brittle cracks which penetrate into affected components. If the cracks reach a critical size, the component can suddenly fracture, sometimes with disastrous results. If the concentration of ammonia is very high, then corrosion is much more severe, and damage over all exposed surfaces occurs. The brass cracking is caused by a reaction between ammonia and copper that forms the cuprammonium ion, Cu(NH3)4, a chemical complex which is water-soluble. The problem of cracking can also occur in copper and copper alloys such as bronze.

Season Cracking was originally observed by the British forces in India a century ago. During the monsoon season, military activity was reduced, and ammunition was stored in stables until the dry weather returned. Many brass cartridges were subsequently found to be cracked, especially where the case was crimped to the bullet. In 1921, in the Journal of the Institute of Metals, the phenomenon was explained by Moor, Beckinsale, and Mallinson. Apparently ammonia from horse urine, combined with the residual stress in the cold-drawn metal of the cartridges, was responsible for the cracking.

Ammonia Solvent Brass Cracking MTM
Don’t store ammunition (or brass) for long periods in a box or container holding ammoniated solvents:

The Australia Department of Defense (AUSDOD) has also explored the problem of brass cracking caused, at least in part, by exposure to ammonia. A study was done to see whether the amount of cracking (from ammonia exposure) varied according to the duration and temperature of the annealing process used on the brass. CLICK HERE to read AUSDOD Research Report.

Story idea from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
October 23rd, 2018

Great Book: Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting Vol. 2

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

If you buy one book about Long Range Shooting, this should be it. Based on sophisticated testing and research, this 356-page hardcover from Applied Ballistics offers important insights you won’t find anywhere else. Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting – Volume II, the latest treatise from Bryan Litz, is chock full of information, much of it derived through sophisticated field testing. As Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets (and a trained rocket scientist), author Bryan Litz is uniquely qualified. Bryan is also an ace sling shooter and a past F-TR National Champion. Moreover, Bryan’s company, Applied Ballistics, has been a leader in the Extreme Long Range (ELR) discipline.

AUDIO FILE: Bryan Litz Talks about Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2. (Sound file loads when you click button).

Volume II of Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting ($39.95) contains all-new content derived from research by Applied Ballistics. Author Bryan Litz along with contributing authors Nick Vitalbo and Cal Zant use the scientific method and careful testing to answer important questions faced by long range shooters. In particular, this volume explores the subject of bullet dispersion including group convergence. Advanced hand-loading subjects are covered such as: bullet pointing and trimming, powder measurement, flash hole deburring, neck tension, and fill ratio. Each topic is explored with extensive live fire testing, and the resulting information helps to guide hand loaders in a deliberate path to success. The current bullet library of measured G1 and G7 ballistic coefficients is included as an appendix. This library currently has data on 533 bullets in common use by long range shooters.

Bryan tells us that one purpose of this book is to dispel myths and correct commonly-held misconceptions: “Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting aims to end the misinformation which is so prevalent in long range shooting. By applying the scientific method and taking a Myth Buster approach, the state of the art is advanced….”

Bullet Dispersion and Group Convergence
Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

Part 1 of this Volume is focused on the details of rifle bullet dispersion. Chapter 1 builds a discussion of dispersion and precision that every shooter will benefit from in terms of understanding how it impacts their particular shooting application. How many shots should you shoot in a group? What kind of 5-shot 100 yard groups correlate to average or winning precision levels in 1000 yard F-Class shooting?

Chapter 2 presents a very detailed investigation of the mysterious concept of group convergence, which is the common idea that some guns can shoot smaller (MOA) groups at longer ranges. This concept is thoroughly tested with extensive live fire, and the results answer a very important question that has baffled shooters for many generations.

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-orderPart 2 of this Volume is focused on various aspects of advanced hand-loading. Modern Advancements (Vol. II) employs live fire testing to answer the important questions that precision hand loaders are asking. What are the best ways to achieve MVs with low ES and SD? Do flash hole deburring, neck tension, primer selection, and fill ratio and powder scales sensitivity make a difference and how much? All of these questions are explored in detail with a clear explanation of test results.

One of the important chapters of Part 2 examines bullet pointing and trimming. Applied Ballistics tested 39 different bullet types from .224 through .338 caliber. Ten samples of each bullet were tested for BC in each of the following configurations: original out of the box, pointed, trimmed, pointed and trimmed. The effect on the average BC as well as the uniformity in BC was measured and tabulated, revealing what works best.

Part 3 covers a variety of general research topics. Contributing author Nick Vitalbo, a laser technology expert, tested 22 different laser rangefinders. Nick’s material on rangefinder performance is a landmark piece of work. Nick shows how shooters can determine the performance of a rangefinder under various lighting conditions, target sizes, and reflectivities.

Chapter 9 is a thorough analysis of rimfire ammunition. Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets, 2nd Edition presented live fire data on 95 different types of .22 rimfire ammunition, each tested in five different barrels having various lengths and twist rates. Where that book just presented the data, Chapter 9 of this book offers detailed analysis of all the test results and shows what properties of rimfire ammunition are favorable, and how the BCs, muzzle velocities and consistency of the ammo are affected by the different barrels.

Chapter 10 is a discussion of aerodynamic drag as it relates to ballistic trajectory modeling. You will learn from the ground up: what an aerodynamic drag model is, how it’s measure and used to predict trajectories. Analysis is presented which shows how the best trajectory models compare to actual measured drop in the real world.

Finally, contributing author Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog presents a study of modern carbon fiber-wrapped barrels in Chapter 11. The science and technology of these modern rifle barrels is discussed, and then everything from point of impact shift to group sizes are compared for several samples of each type of barrel including standard steel barrels.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
October 23rd, 2018

Primer Crater Cure — Firing Pin Hole Bushing by Greg Tannel

Crater moon primers greg tannel bushing firing pinCraters may look interesting on the moon, but you don’t want to see them on your primers. Certain mechanical issues that cause primer craters can also cause primer piercing — a serious safety problem that needs to be addressed. If you have a gun that is cratering primers (even at moderate pressure levels), there is a solution that works with many rifles — send your bolt to Greg Tannel to have the firing pin hole bushed.

Shooters who convert factory actions to run 6BRs, 6PPCs or other high-pressure cartridges should consider having the firing pin bushed. These modern cartridges like to run at high pressures. When running stout loads, you can get cratering caused by primer flow around the firing pin hole in the bolt face. The reason is a little complicated, but basically the larger the hole, the less hydraulic pressure is required to crater the primer. A limited amount of cratering is normally not a big issue, but you can reduce the problem significantly by having a smith fit a bushing in the firing pin hole. In addition to reduced cratering, bushing the firing pin often produces more consistent ignition.

CLICK HERE for Gre-Tan Firing Pin Hole Bushing Service INFO »

This is a highly recommended procedure that our editors have had done to their own rifles. Greg Tannel (Gre-Tan Rifles) is an expert at this procedure, and he does excellent work on a wide variety of bolts. Current price for a bushing job, which includes turning the firing pin to .062″, is $80.00, or $88.00 with USPS Priority Mail return shipping.

If you have a factory rifle, a bushed firing pin is the way to go if you are shooting the high-pressure cartridges such as 6PPC, 6BR, 6-6.5×47 and 6.5×47. This is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial upgrades you can do to your factory rifle. For more info on the Firing Pin Bushing process, visit GreTanRifles.com, or email greg [at] gretanrifles.com. After clicking the link for GreTanRifles.com, Click on “Services” > “Shop Services” and you’ll see a listing for “Bush Firing Pin Hole & Turn Pin”. CLICK that Box.

Gre-Tan Rifles firing pin bushingFiring Pin Hole Bushing by Greg Tannel

Work Done: Bush firing pin hole and turn pin
Functions: Fixes your cratering and piercing problems
Price: $80.00 + $8.00 return shipping
Total Price: $88.00

Actions for which Bushing is Offered: Remington, Winchester, Savage multi-piece pin, Sako, Kimber, Nesika, Stiller, BAT Machine, Kelbly, Lawton, Surgeon, Borden, Wichita, Hall, Ruger, Howa, Weatherby, Dakota, Pacific Tool, Phoenix, and Defiant bolt action rifle or pistol.

Actions for which Bushing is NOT Available: Case hardened receivers, ARs, Accuracy International (AI), Barnard, Big Horn, Cooper, Desert Tactical Arms, Kimber, Rosenthal, New Savage single piece pin, Rim fires, Falling block, Break open, Lever, Pump rifles, 1903-A3, CZ, Mauser.

How to send your bolt in to be bushed:
You can send your bolt snail mail, priority mail, or UPS (Please do not use FEDEX as it sometimes has delivery delays). Pack your bolt carefully and ship to: Gre’-Tan Rifles, 24005 Hwy. 13, Rifle CO 81650. Please include your name, phone number, and return shipping address.

Due to the high volume of work, turn around is 5 to 8 weeks on bushing a bolt. Three or more bolts will be sent back to you UPS and we will have to calculate shipping. We can overnight them at your expense. You can pay by check, money order, or credit card. For more information visit GretanRifles.com.

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October 23rd, 2018

Don’t Ruin Primer Pockets — Adjust Your Decapping Rod Properly

One of our Forum members complained that he wasn’t able to set his primers flush to the rim. He tried a variety of primer tools, yet no matter what he used, the primers still didn’t seat deep enough. He measured his primers, and they were the right thickness, but it seemed like his primer pockets just weren’t deep enough. He was mystified as to the cause of the problem.

Well, our friend Boyd Allen diagnosed the problem. It was the decapping rod. If the rod is adjusted too low (screwed in too far), the base of the full-diameter rod shaft (just above the pin) will contact the inside of the case. That shaft is steel whereas your case is brass, a softer, weaker metal. So, when you run the case up into the die, the shaft can actually stretch the base of the primer pocket outward. Most presses have enough leverage to do this. If you bell the base of the primer pocket outwards, you’ve essentially ruined your case, and there is no way a primer can seat correctly.

The fix is simple. Just make sure to adjust the decapping rod so that the base of the rod shaft does NOT bottom out on the inside of the case. The pin only needs to extend through the flash hole far enough to knock the primer out. The photo shows a Lyman Universal decapping die. But the same thing can happen with any die that has a decapping rod, such as bushing neck-sizing dies, and full-length sizing dies.

Universal decapping die

Whenever you use a die with a decapping pin for the first time, OR when you move the die to a different press, make sure to check the decapping rod length. And it’s a good idea, with full-length sizing dies, to always re-check the height setting when changing presses.

Lee Universal Decapping Die on SALE for $10.96
Speaking of decapping tools, Midsouth Shooters Supply sells the Lee Universal Decapping Die for just $10.96 (item 006-90292), a very good deal. There are many situations when you may want to remove primers from fired brass as a separate operation (prior to case sizing). For example, if your rifle brass is dirty, you may want to de-cap before sizing. Or, if you load on a progressive press, things will run much more smoothly if you decap you brass first, in a separate operation.

Lee universal decapping die

NOTE: Some Euro Small Flash Holes are 1.5mm or 0.059″.

The low-cost Lee Universal Decapping Die will work with cartridges from 17 Fireball all the way up to big Magnums. However, NOTE that the decapping pin supplied with this Lee die is TOO LARGE for LAPUA 220 Russian, 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win (Palma) and Norma 6 PPC flash holes. Because the pin diameter is too large for these brass types, you must either turn down the pin, or decap with a different tool for cases with .059″ flash-holes. Otherwise, the Lee Decapping Die works well and it’s a bargain.

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October 22nd, 2018

Bargain Finder 161: 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, optics, 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 — Tipton Gun Butler, $14.82

Tipton Gun Butler caddy gun vise cleaning tray sale Amazon

Here’s a handy, portable gun caddy that works well for rifle maintenance chores at home or at the range. Save big right now — the Tipton Gun Butler is marked down to $14.82. That’s 45% off the regular $26.99 price. The Gun Butler offers a convenient platform for cleaning your gun or doing tasks such as scope mounting. Two removable, non-marring forks/cradles (which snap into the base) hold a gun securely in place, while compartments and slots hold solvents, jags, brushes, mops, and tools. The Gun Butler features a convenient carrying handle, and slip-resistant rubber feet. The base is solvent-resistant polymer. NOTE: The front cradle may not work well with wide benchrest fore-ends.

2. Grafs.com — All Rimfire Ammo 15% Off (.22 and .17 Calibers)

Graf's Grafs.com rimfire .22 LR 17 HMR .17 WSM 22LR twenty-to ammo ammunition sale

Stock up on rimfire ammunition this week. Grafs.com has slashed prices on all in-stock rimfire ammo — .17 caliber and .22 caliber. Save 15% on a huge variety of rimfire ammunition for plinking, hunting, and target applications. All brands in-stock are discounted 15%: Aguila, Browning, CCI, Eley, Federal, Fiocchi, Hornady, Lapua, Norma, Remington, SK, Winchester, Wolf, and more. While most discounted rimfire ammo is .22 LR, this sale also includes .22 Short, .22 WMR, .17 HMR, .17 WSM, and 17 Mach2.

3. MidwayUSA — Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat, $39.99

Pro Series MidwayUSA shooting mat bipod tactical competition roll-up shoot mats

The MidwayUSA Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat is now on sale for just $39.99, 33% off the regular $59.99 price. The Pro Series mat measures a full 73.5″ x 35.5″. Zippered pockets on the front flap hold ammo or log books. And there are webbing “pockets” for bipod feet so you can pre-load your bipod with forward pressure. This quality mat boasts 0.35″ thick padding, multiple pockets, 6 grommets for staking, and a nice carry strap. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to about nine inches in diameter. NOTE: This mat is currently back-ordered, but MidwayUSA will honor the $39.99 sale price and inventories are expected very soon.

4. Brownells — SIG Kilo 850 Laser Rangefinder, $114.99

SIG Sauer Kilo 850 LRF laser rangefinder bargain sale price

Need a very affordable laser rangefinder (LRF) for that fall hunt? Here’s a deal that’s hard to beat. The SIG Kilo 850 Rangefinder is on sale at Brownells for $124.99 and you can get another $10 off (plus free shipping) with CODE “NBM”. That lowers your final price to $114.99 delivered. This Kilo 850 rangefinder is rated to 1200 yards on reflective objects and 800 yards on trees. The unit has a 4x20mm monocular and delivers both line of sight (LOS) or angle modified range (AMR) in yards or meters. NOTE: For CODE “NBM” to work, you must add the code on the FINAL Payment Page.

5. Ruger — Ruger Precision Rimfire, $399.99

The Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR rifle is in high demand, but you CAN get one now for $399.99 from Sportsmans Outdoor Superstore (MSRP: $529.00). That’s a good deal — this rifle sells elsewhere for up to $470.00. For PRS shooters and Ruger Precision Rifle owners, this .22 LR rifle offers the same ergonomics as their centerfire tactical rig, making it great for rimfire cross-training. This PRS-style .22 LR rig features an adjustable bolt throw that lets shooters change from a rimfire 1.5″ bolt throw to a centerfire-like 3″ bolt throw, reducing the chance of short-stroking your bolt in competition. The Ruger Marksman trigger adjusts from 2.25 to 5.0 pounds.

6. Natchez — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $269.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $269.99. Great Deal. Right now, Natchez is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $269.99, a great price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $160.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items (like the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

7. Natchez — Big Savings on Nikon Optics (Scopes, LRFs, Binocs)

Nikon natchez scope deal bargain refurbished sale discount

Need a scope or LRF for hunting season? Here’s a chance to save hundreds on a quality Nikon optic. Natchez Shooters Supply is offering exclusive deals on both new and refurbished Nikon riflescopes, rangefinders, and binoculars including camo finish optics for hunters. There are some truly excellent bargains. Here are some of the best deals on Nikon scopes at Natchez right now:

Nikon 2-10x50mm Monarch 5 scope (new), BDC Reticle
Now $319.99 (Reduced from $599.95 — Save $279.96)

Nikon 3.5-14x50mm ProStaff 5 scope (new), Illum. Nikoplex Reticle
Now $248.88 (Reduced from $579.95 — Save $331.07)

Nikon 4-12x40mm Active Target scope (new) , Realtree Camo, BDC Predator Reticle
Now $184.99 (Reduced from $329.95 — Save $144.96)

8. Midsouth — Hornady LnL Auto Charge Scale/Dispenser, $158.99

Hornady Lock and load auto charge scale powder dispenser sale discount

The Hornady Lock N Load Auto Charge Electronic Scale/Dispenser is now on sale for just $158.99 at Midsouth Shooters Supply, discounted way down from the regular $226.24 price. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on this product, making this a real bargain. If you are looking for an affordable combination digital scale and powder dispenser, check this out. By comparison, the RCBS ChargeMaster Lite sells for around $230.00. That means you can save around $70.00 by buying RED instead of GREEN.

9. CDNN — Ruger EC9S Carry Pistol, $229.99

Ruger Carry Concealed handgun pistol sale bargain EC9S 9mm

Here’s a good little 9mm carry pistol for a crazy-low price. Right now, CDNN is selling the popular Ruger EC9S 9MM pistol for $229.99 — that’s $70 off the regular $299.00 price. This gun is light (17.2 ounces) and thin so it’s easy to carry discretely. The EC9S is 6″ overall with a 3.12″-long barrel. The EC9S features integral sights and ships with a single 7-round magazine.

10. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.95

Red Orange Neon 3

We like these bright, Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.95 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 0’Clock. NOTE: These stickers may qualify for FREE Shipping with combined orders over $25.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
October 22nd, 2018

Incipient Case-Head Separation — How to Detect the Problem

cartridge case separation

We are re-publishing this article at the request of Forum members who found the information very valuable. If you haven’t read this Safety Tip before, take a moment to learn how you can inspect your fired brass to determine if there may be a potential for case separation. A case separation can be dangerous, potentially causing serious injury.

cartridge case separationOn the respected Riflemans’ Journal blog there was an excellent article about Cartridge Case-Head Separation. In this important article, Journal Editor GS Arizona examined the causes of this serious problem and explained the ways you can inspect your brass to minimize the risk of a case-head separation. As cases get fired multiple times and then resized during reloading, the cases can stretch. Typically, there is a point in the lower section of the case where the case-walls thin out. This is your “danger zone” and you need to watch for tell-tale signs of weakening.

The photo below shows a case sectioned so that you can see where the case wall becomes thinner near the web. You can see a little arrow into the soot inside the case pointing to the thinned area. This case hadn’t split yet, but it most likely would do so after one or two more firings.

cartridge case separation

Paper Clip Hack for Detecting Problems
The article provided a great, easy tip for detecting potential problems. You can use a bent paper clip to detect potential case wall problems. Slide the paper clip inside your case to check for thin spots. GS Arizona explains: “This simple little tool (bent paper clip) will let you check the inside of cases before you reload them. The thin spot will be immediately apparent as you run the clip up the inside of the case. If you’re seeing a shiny line on the outside and the clip is really hitting a thin spot inside, it’s time to retire the case. If you do this every time you reload, on at least 15% of your cases, you’ll develop a good feel for what the thin spot feels like and how it gets worse as the case is reloaded more times. And if you’re loading the night before a match and feel pressured for time — don’t skip this step!”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
October 21st, 2018

Tuner Basics: Guide to Selection and Use of Barrel Tuners

Barrel Tuner Gene Bukys Shadetree Engineering

We’re starting to see barrel tuners employed in more competitive disciplines than ever — from 100 yards to 1000 yards. And even some varmint hunters are employing tuners or tuner/brakes now. This allows them to dial in accuracy with different loads (when shooting hundreds of rounds in a weekend). Here’s a quick over-view of the potential benefits of tuners.

Commentary by Mark Walker, Sierra Bullets Product Development Manager
This story originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog. Visit SierraBullets.com.

Some people love tuners and others hate them. I use them on my rifles and I’ve had more than one person ask me why on earth I would put one of those things on my barrel. I’ve even had a national long range champion tell me to unscrew it and throw it into Lake Erie on my next trip to the pits at Camp Perry. However, there are other shooters that swear by them and have many match wins to back it up.

It’s an indisputable fact that tuners do have an effect on a rifle’s accuracy, however how much is somewhat open for debate. The large heavy target barrels that we use for benchrest or F-class may not be affected as much by a tuner as a lighter weight sporter type barrel. Each barrel that I’ve installed a tuner on not only showed improvement in accuracy but also displayed a wider load window. The increased accuracy is because of the ability to adjust the tuner to the load, however I believe the wider load window is due to the added weight of the tuner slowing down the barrel vibrations. These are both very important aspects of having a very accurate rifle.

Barrel Tuner Gene Bukys Shadetree Engineering

While better accuracy and a wider load window are two areas of improvement, I believe the most important feature of a tuner is the ability to adjust the tune during the middle of a match. This is especially important during matches where you must load all your ammo earlier and cannot make adjustments to the load during the match. If you happen to miss the load, instead of having to deal with a gun that isn’t shooting you can make an adjustment to the tuner and hopefully improve the accuracy of the rifle.

While I’ve laid out several ways that a tuner can help, there are also a few ways that tuners can cause problems. They add weight so if you are shooting a discipline that has weight limits on the rifle, you may not be able to install a tuner and still make weight. Sometimes, a barrel just doesn’t show improvement with a tuner installed. These are few and far between, but it is something to consider. If you make an adjustment to the tuner in a match, you need to make sure you move it in the right direction. Adjusting a tuner in the wrong direction can cause very large groups. And finally, if they aren’t tightened properly, tuners can come loose during firing which will cause a lot of problems as well.

As you can see, tuners have both positive and negative aspects. In my personal experience, the positives far outweigh the negatives so I will continue to use them on all of my competitive rifles. If you’ve been thinking about installing a tuner, hopefully some of the information that I’ve presented will help you make an informed decision.

Barrel Tuner

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
October 21st, 2018

30 BRX — A 30 BR Improved for Score Competition

30 BRX wildcat cartridge VFSForum member Al Nyhus is a top-level score shooter who has competed successfully with the 30BR cartridge in VFS (Varmint for Score) matches. Al has been working on an “improved” 30 BR cartridge that delivers extra velocity. Al’s 30 BRX cartridge is inspired by the 6mm BRX cartridge, popular in 600-yard benchrest and across-the-course competition. The 6mm BRX cartridge maintains the same sidewall profile and shoulder angle as the parent 6mmBR case. Likewise, the 30 BRX retains the 30° shoulder used on the popular 30 BR cartridge.

Al reports: “Thought you might like to see what I’ll be working with in my VFS gun this season. It’s a true 30 BRX — a 30 BR with the shoulder moved forward 0.100″ with the standard BR shoulder angle. Stan Ware of SGR Custom Rifles built one last season for Steve Grosvenor and I was really impressed by the performance of Steve’s gun. The 30 BR barrel on my VFS gun needed replacing, so the new 30 BRX got the nod.”

30 BRX Delivers 150-200 FPS More Velocity than 30 BR
Al’s testing shows the 30 BRX gives a solid 150-200 fps speed gain over the 30 BR at the top, while needing just 2.5-3.0 more grains of Hodgdon H4198 to do so. A 30 BR case holds on average 40.8 grains of water, while the 30 BRX holds 42.3 grains (roughly 4% more). So the 30 BRX delivers a 7% increase in velocity with a mere 4% increase in H20 capacity. That’s pretty good efficiency. [Editor’s Note: Assuming 34 grains of H4198 is a typical 30BR match load, Al’s increase of 2.5-3.0 grains for the 30BRX represents roughly a 7.5-8.5% increase in actual powder burned. That explains the higher velocities.]

Why did Nyhus decide to try an “improved” 30 BR? Al explains: “The 30 BRX was created to operate at a [higher] velocity level than can be achieved with the standard 30BR case, while at the same time keeping the easy-tuning characteristics of the standard 30BR case. We also wanted to use the same powders currently used with the 30BR and maintain similar operating pressures.” Is the 30 BRX harder to shoot because of the increased velocity? Al doesn’t think so: “In a 13.5-lb HV gun, the 30 BRX case is a pleasure to shoot with just a flea bite of recoil.”

Will the 30 BRX Replace the 30 BR in Score Competition?
The 30 BR is already an exceptionally accurate cartridge that dominates short-range Benchrest for Score competition. Will the 30 BRX make the standard 30 BR obsolete? Nyhus doesn’t think so. However, Al believes the 30 BRX offers a small but important edge in some situations: “On any given day, it’s the shooter that hits the flags best and makes the fewest mistakes that ends up on top. No amount of velocity will save you when you press the trigger at the wrong time. Missing a switch or angle change at 200 yards that results in 3/4″ of bullet displacement on the target can’t be compensated for with another 200 fps. That’s the hard fact of benchrest shooting. But on those days when, as Randy Robinett says, ‘our brains are working’, the BRX may offer enough of an advantage to turn a close-but-no-cigar 10 into an ‘X’ at 200 yards. Or turn a just-over-the-line 9 into a beggar 10.” Given the fierce competition in Score matches, an extra 10 or another X can make the difference between a podium finish and also-ran status.

By popular request, this story has been reprinted from 2011.

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October 18th, 2018

Hornady’s New-for-2019 Products — New Ammo, New Hardware

Hornady 300 PRC magnum 224 Valkyrie

Hornady was founded in 1949. That means the company will celebrate its 70th Anniversary next year in 2019. Befitting that milestone, Hornady will introduce a host of new (or enhanced) products. There are new ammo types, new bullets, new reloading products, and new security accessories. All of Hornady’s new-for-2019 products are showcased in this long (12-minute) video. Here are time markers:

300 PRC (1:05) | 6.5 Creedmoor Varmint (2:22) | Security Products (9:48) | Reloading Products (11:06)

Hornady Ammunition

As you’d expect, Hornady has many new loaded ammunition offerings for 2019. Most noteworthy is the new Outfitter line of hunting ammunition, designed for field use. Outfitter ammunition features corrosion-resistant, nickel-plated cases that are sealed watertight and topped with the GMX® bullet. Outfitter ammo will be offered in a wide range of calibers and bullet weights.

Hornady 300 PRC magnum 224 Valkyrie

Following its 6.5 PRC cartridge, next year Hornady will release its big brother — the 300 PRC. Watch the video above for a full description of this new magnum cartridge. Hornady touts this as “the Ultimate 30 Caliber Magnum”. However, one of our Forum members observed: “I found it strange that Hornady would come out with the 300 PRC, ‘the Ultimate 30 Caliber Magnum’, when Hornady already produces 300 Norma Magnum brass and ammo, ammo that has superior ballistics with the same bullet. I find exactly nothing ‘ultimate’ about this cartridge.”

Hornady 300 PRC magnum 224 Valkyrie

Hornady also will produce a variety of ammunition for the popular new .224 Valkyrie. This cartridge offers impressive performance in AR-platform rifles. And for you 6.5 Creedmoor fans, Hornady now offers a nice varmint ammo option loaded with 95gr V-Max bullet.

Hornady Reloading Products

Hornady reloading tumbler case dryer

Hornady reloading micrometer ball mic vernierFor 2019, Hornady will sell two new digitally-enabled gadgets for the reloading room. First is a new high-capacity case tumbler with a digital timer that cycles up to 8 hours. The large bowl handles up to 7.5 pounds of brass. In addition, Hornady will offer a new case and parts dryer with a digital controller.

Hornady also offers two new micrometers. Use the Standard Micrometer to measure external dimensions and lengths. Use the Vernier Ball Mic to measure case-neck and case-well thickness. Precision loaders should have both types.

Hornady Security Products — Gun Safe Accessories

Hornady will introduce more pistol safes and security boxes for 2019. But what really got our attention was a new line of accessories for gun safes. These include a Digital Hygrometer, a Golden-rod style Heating Rod, and both Canister-type and Electric Dehumidifiers.

Hornady safe accessories hygrometer

DIGITAL HYGROMETER — Hygrometer displays high/low for temperature and humidity on large touchscreen display. Install quick-connect bracket on safe wall or use fold-out stand. We like this product — it instantly shows the conditions in your gun safe.

Hornady safe accessories canister humidifier

CANISTER DEHUMIDIFIER — This can help prevent rusting. When the cap indicator changes color, re-activate unit by placing it in the oven. Unlimited recharges.

Hornady safe accessories canister humidifier

RECHARGEABLE DEHUMIDIFIER — Electrical unit helps controls humidity to help prevent rust and mildew. Moisture-control crystals change color when unit needs recharging via 110V electrical outlet.

Hornady safe accessories canister humidifier

12-INCH DEHUMIDIFIER ROD — Maintenance-free solution for humidity control in gun safes, cabinets and small enclosures. Mount vertically or horizontally with snap-on mounting brackets. Removable plug for easy installation.

Hornady New Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, News 2 Comments »
October 18th, 2018

Rimfire Resource: The Small-Bore Rifles Book

If you are shopping for a new rimfire rifle, particularly a .22 LR, you may want to pick up a copy of Small-Bore Rifles: A Guide for Rimfire Users by C. Rodney James. This provides a detailed history of rimfire cartridges and provides a look at a variety of rimfire rifles for various applications — target, plinking, varminting. SSUSA.org explains this book covers “every aspect of rimfire shooting, from a detailed history of its calibers and platforms, to a discussion of proper maintenance and expected accuracy[.]” American Rifleman Editor-in-Chief, Mark Keefe, writes: “This little book is the most useful treatment of the [.22 Long Rifle] I have read, and it is highly recommended for anyone serious about being a rimfire rifleman.”

You can view a 40-page sample of this book, including the index, on Amazon. CLICK HERE, then, when the page opens on Amazon.com, click the “LOOK INSIDE” link above the book cover image.

This book focuses primarily on the .22 LR (Long Rifle) cartridge. However, it does include extensive information on other rimfire chamberings, including .17 PMC/Aguila, .17 HMR, and .22 WMR. Here’s part of the 22 WMR section:

Here are reviews by recent verified purchases of the book:

“Everything you could ever want to know about the development of the .22 round, the ballistics of the same and the history of early bolt-action .22 rifles are presented in an easy-read style by a very knowledgeable author. There are plenty of color photographs and a lot of useful maintenance information throughout the book. I do have one complaint… the book has almost no information on semi-automatics.” — K. Greene

“A must-read book for the rimfire enthusiast. Much accurate information presented in an enjoyable format. From the earliest rimfire rounds to the latest 17s [are] all are covered in this book. Bolt actions, semi-autos and single-shot rifles are covered with the pros and cons of each. What makes for accuracy from the rifle to the cartridge is well covered.” — Ken Cook

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October 17th, 2018

Ultra-High BC Sierra MatchKings in .223, .264, and .308 Calibers

Sierra MatchKing 2018 New bullets 95gr 150gr 200gr 230gr .223 Rem .308 Win

Earlier this year, Sierra unveiled four ultra-high-BC MatchKing bullets in .224, .264 (6.5 mm), and .308 calibers. Sierra has released load data for these four new projectiles: 22 caliber 95gr HPBT MatchKing #1396, 6.5mm 150gr HPBT MatchKing #1755, 30 caliber 200gr HPBT MatchKing #2231, and 30 caliber 230gr HPBT MatchKing #2251. With the link below you can download all the new data which can be printed and added to the Sierra Bullets 5th Ed. Reloading Manual.


» GET 2018 New Bullet DATA from Sierra in PDF format

High-BC MatchKings Tipped at Factory
Sierra recently released a new-for-2018, 95-grain .224 projectile, Sierra product #1396, with a claimed G1 BC of 0.600 — mighty impressive for a .22-caliber bullet. Next up is the new 6.5mm (.264 caliber) 150-grainer with an 0.713 G1 BC. This could be a game-changer for the 6.5-284 and new 6.5 PRC short magnum. There are also two new .308-caliber MatchKings, a 200-grainer with 0.715 G1 BC, and a new 230-grainer with a stunning 0.800 G1 BC. Many of these New Generation MatchKings now come “tipped” from the factory for more uniform BC.

.224 Cal 95gr HPBT MatchKing #1396
6.5mm 150gr HPBT MatchKing #1755
.308 Cal 200gr HPBT MatchKing #2231
.308 Cal 230gr HPBT MatchKing #2251

Sierra Bullets Load Data MatchKing .223 .224 6.5 mm .308 200gr 230gr
Sierra MatchKing 2018 New bullets 95gr 150gr 200gr 230gr .223 Rem .308 Win

Sierra MatchKing 2018 New bullets 95gr 150gr 200gr 230gr .223 Rem .308 Win

Sierra MatchKing 2018 New bullets 95gr 150gr 200gr 230gr .223 Rem .308 Win

Sierra MatchKing 2018 New bullets 95gr 150gr 200gr 230gr .223 Rem .308 Win

Sierra bullets header

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 16th, 2018

PMA Micro-Die Adjuster and Whidden Click-Adjustable FL Dies

click-adjustable die micro-adjusting lock ring PMA Tool Whidden Gunworks

One of the most important aspects of precision reloading is setting the shoulder bump during the full-length (FL) sizing process. You want the amount of “bump” to be precise and identical for every loaded round. However, when you switch brands of brass you may need to change the die position to get the desired bump and case body sizing. And even with the same brand of brass, you may find that you need to adjust your FL die as the number of brass load cycles increases. Brass that has been fired many times will behave differently than new or near-new brass.

Also, even with the same cartridge type, brass loaded for a semi-auto rifle may need more bump than brass fired in a bolt gun. For example, with .223 Rem ammo, you’ll normally want to push the shoulder back farther if the ammo will be shot in a AR15 as opposed to a bolt-action rig.

So how do you make all these needed adjustments for your full-length dies? You can move a conventional locking ring up and down, but that can be a tedious, trial-and-error process. Some guys use shims in one-thousandth intervals, but that still requires taking your dies in and out of the press. Well there is a better way now…

PMA Tool Micro-Die Adjuster

Wouldn’t it be great if you could precisely adjust your FL die up and down in half-thousandth increments, with a simple indexed click. That is now possible with products offered by PMA Tool and Whidden Gunworks. PMA Tool offers a Micro-Die Adjuster that replaces your existing lock ring and can be used with nearly any 7/8-14 full length sizing die. The engraved marks correspond to approximately .001″ of shoulder bump adjustment. Splitting the engraved marks is therefore approximately equal to .0005″ (half a thousandth). Users love this product, saying it adds precision and saves time.

Whidden Click-Adjustable FL Sizing Die System

Whidden Gunworks offers a complete click-adjustable FL sizer die with a special, indexed ring. With Whidden’s patent-pending Click Adjustable Sizer Die system, the die and lock ring work together to allow rapid, precise bump adjustments. One click changes the bump .001″. It’s simple and fast. Included with the Click Adjustable Sizer Die is a shoulder bump gauge. John Whidden (in video below) explains:

“There has become a need for an easier way to adjust the sizer die properly. Until now there have been few options other than trial and error to get the shoulder setback correct. Anyone who has done this can attest that it’s a slow and imprecise job! Our die and lock ring work together to give the user a clicking feel to the adjustment. Each click moves the shoulder bump .001” so you can easily find the exact shoulder bump that you desire.” — John Whidden

General Tips on Setting Up and Using Sizing Dies

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October 15th, 2018

.223 Remington vs. 5.56x45mm — Facts vs. Fiction

.223 Rem Remington 5.56 SAAMI CIP 5.56x45 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge ammo pressure test luckygunner ultimatereloader Gavin Gear

Probably the most popular centerfire rifle round in the Western Hemisphere is the .223 Remington and its metric match, the 5.56x45mm. Though many folks use “.223 Rem” and “5.56×45″ interchangeably, there are some meaningful differences in specifications for the original .223 Rem and the 5.56x45mm cartridge, as adopted by the U.S. military and NATO armies. The default chamber throats are slightly different and the .223 Rem is rated at 55,000 PSI vs. 62,366 PSI for the 5.56x45mm.*

.223 Rem vs 5.56x45mm — Key Differences
There is a truly outstanding, very thorough article on the subject, published by LuckyGunner.com.** This involved extensive testing, with pressure monitors, of 5.56x45mm ammo in .223 Rem chambers. Those tests revealed the peak pressures. Here is one of the ammo test charts:

.223 Rem Remington 5.56 SAAMI CIP 5.56x45 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge ammo pressure test luckygunner ultimatereloader Gavin Gear

NOTE: “The observed chamber pressure for Federal XM855 5.56mm ammunition in a .223 Rem chamber exceeded .223 maximum pressures, but not by a massive amount. The ninth shot (the red line) was an underpowered cartridge which exhibited significantly lower velocity and pressure than the other rounds, so it was excluded from the average velocity and pressure numbers for this chamber.”

And if you’re curious, LuckyGunner also fired .223 Rem ammo in a 5.56x45mm NATO-chambered AR15 rifle. As you would expect, the peak pressures were significantly lower, but the .223 Rem ammo still cycled the semi-auto AR-platform rifle perfectly well:

.223 Rem Remington 5.56 SAAMI CIP 5.56x45 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge ammo pressure test luckygunner ultimatereloader Gavin Gear

READ FULL LuckyGunner .223 Rem vs. 5.56x45mm ARTICLE »

UltimateReloader.com Explains .223 Rem vs. 5.56x45mm
To explain the key differences between the .223 Rem and 5.56x45mm cartridges our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com has created a very thorough 12-minute video. This covers the cartridge specifications and explains key considerations for hand-loaders. Gavin also addresses the oft-asked question “Can I shoot 5.56x45mm ammo in my .223 Rem chamber?” Gavin’s video is definitely worth watching. In fact, this is one of the most popular videos Gavin has ever created — it has been watched over 300,000 times on YouTube.

What Exactly Is the 5.56x45mm NATO Cartridge?
The 5.56×45mm NATO is a rimless bottle-necked intermediate cartridge family standardized by NATO with development work by FN Herstal. It consists of the SS109, SS110, and SS111 cartridges. Under STANAG 4172, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries.

Bullet diameter: 5.70 mm (0.224 in)
Maximum pressure (EPVAT): 430.00 MPa (62,366 psi)
Maximum pressure (SCATP 5.56): 380.00 MPa (55,114 psi)
Case length: 44.70 mm (1.760 in)
Rifling twist: 178 mm or 229 mm (1 in 7 in)
Parent case: .223 Remington (M193)

Ammo-Maker Federal Premium Compares .223 Rem and 5.56x45mm
Here is a video from ammo-maker Federal Premium explaining the difference between .223 Remington and 5.56x45mm NATO. Federal states that you may experience excessive pressures when firing a 5.56x45mm in a standard .223 Remington chamber:

One leading gunwriter has addressed the question of shooting 5.56x45mm ammo in .223 Rem chambers. He advocates caution (for more info, SEE pressure tests by LuckyGunner.com):

“I have received a slew of questions — many from first time AR-type rifle buyers — about the .223 Rem and the 5.56×45 mm NATO cartridges. Can I shoot 5.56×45 mm NATO in my .223 and vice-versa? Are these the same cartridge?

Externally, the two cartridge cases are identical. The main differences are that 5.56×45 mm NATO operates at a higher chamber pressure (about 60,000 PSI versus 55,000 PSI on the .223 Rem.) and the 5.56’s chamber is slightly larger than that of the .223 Rem. Also, the throat or leade is longer in the 5.56×45 mm chamber. What does this mean? You should not shoot 5.56×45 mm NATO out of a rifle that is chambered in .223 Rem. And be aware that some .223 Rem. ammunition will not reliably cycle through some AR-style .223 Rem. rifles, but it usually does. As a matter of fact, I have not encountered any difficulty with current .223 Rem. loads cycling through a 5.56 mm AR-style rifle.”
– Mark Keefe, Editor, American Rifleman


* According to the official NATO proofing guidelines, the 5.56×45mm NATO case can handle up to 430.0 MPa (62,366 psi) piezo service pressure. The U.S. SAAMI lists Maximum Average Pressure (MAP) for the .223 Remington cartridge as 55,000 psi (379.2 MPa) piezo pressure with deviation of up to 58,000 psi (399.9 MPa). The chamber for military 5.56×45mm NATO has a longer throat prior to the bullet contacting the rifling which results in lower pressures when firing 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition. If 5.56×45mm NATO is used in rifles chambered for .223 Remington the bullet will be engraving the rifling when chambered. which can increase pressures past SAAMI Max levels. NOTE: The C.I.P. standards for the C.I.P. civilian .223 Remington chamber are much closer to the military 5.56×45mm NATO chamber.

** The full-length LuckyGunner article is well worth reading. It even provides specifications for a number of .223 Rem reamer types, and compares the original .223 Rem, the 5.56x45mm NATO, and the modern .223 Wylde chamberings.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
October 15th, 2018

Bargain Finder 160: 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, optics, 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. CDNN — Browning A-Bolt III Rifle, $349.99 with Rebate

Browning A-Bolt Composite Hunting Stalker Rifle Rebate Bucks Hunter

Here’s an awesome deal on Browning hunting rifles. Browning will give you $100 Cash Back on a wide selection of hunting rigs. For example CDNN now offers the A-Bolt III Composite Stalker in .30-06 Springfield for just $449.99. With Browning’s $100.00 Rebate, you net cost is just $349.99. The same deal is offered for other chamberings, including .243 Win, .270 Win, and 7mm Rem Mag. That’s a great price — you could pay that much just for a custom barrel. NOTE: This Browning Bucks $100 Rebate Program also applies to Browning rimfire rifles and shotguns. There is a $50 Rebate for X-Bolt rifles. To make this deal even sweeter, CDNN is now offering a FREE 3-9x40mm Bushnell scope with each A-Bolt III Rifle sold. Check it out:

Browning A-Bolt Composite Hunting Stalker Rifle Rebate Bucks Hunter

2. Precision Reloading — Discounts on All Powders in Stock

Precision Reloading Powder Sale

Right now Precision Reloading is running a big sale on reloading powders. Save 10% or more on all leading powder brands: Accurate, Alliant, Hodgdon, IMR, Norma, Ramshot, Vihtavuori, and Winchester. The sale applies to all one-pound containers, as well at 5-lb and 8-lb jugs. If you need powder, don’t hesitate — this promotion ends 10/19/2018 at 11:59 pm. NOTE: In addition to powders, Precision Reloading has CCI primers on sale this week — save up to 17% on all CCI primer types.

3. Midsouth — Lyman Brass Smith Ideal Press, $69.99

Lyman C-Frame Ideal compact press cast iron

Lyman’s new Ideal compact press works great as a second, lighter-duty press. It also is a good choice for loading at the range. It can easily be mounted to a range bench with C-clamps. With its cast-iron body, this C-Frame press is stronger than other presses in its price class. If you are looking for a secondary press for decapping, bullet-seating and other tasks not requiring heavy leverage, this is an excellent choice. The Lyman Ideal costs just $69.99 at Midsouth Shooters Supply.

4. Midsouth — 10% Off All Sierra Bullets

Midsouth Shooters Sierra Bullet Bullets Sale

Need match or hunting projectiles? All Sierra bullets are on sale right now at Midsouth Shooters Supplies. Save 10% on Sierra match, hunting, and varmint bullets, including regular and tipped bullets. Competitors take note — Sierra’s MatchKing bullets are top performers in many disciplines. The 6mm and 6.5mm MatchKings are great for PRS, and the new heavy (183gr and 197gr) 7mm MatchKings (pointed at the factory) have worked great for F-Open shooters. Here are some of the great deals:

6mm 110gr BTHP MatchKing (100) — $36.18 marked down from $40.20
6.5mm 142gr BTHP MatchKing (100) — $39.45 marked down from $43.84
7mm 183gr BTHP MatchKing (100) — $44.255 marked down from $49.16

5. MidwayUSA — Big Sale on Zeiss V4, V6, and V8 Riflescopes

Midway MidwayUSA Zeiss scope optics V4 V6 hunting riflescope Sale

Zeiss makes great scopes with superb glass, reliable tracking, and very positive clicks. Now you can save hundreds on Zeiss V4, V6, and V8 optics. The V4 is an affordable scope for hunters, while the V8 Line offers a stunning 8X zoom ratio. The V6 models, with 6X zoom ratio, are outstanding scopes that compete very well with Nightforce and other top brands on price and performance. Competition and long range shooters should definitely look at the V6 line-up. NOTE: These discounts are part of a Zeiss Field Days promotion running through 10/29/2018. See similar incentives at other retailers.

6. EuroOptic — Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B 2200 LRF Binoculars

leica geovid binocular 10x42 HD HD-B 2200 3000 Eurooptic Sale

Leica’s outstanding Geovid 10×42 binoculars feature a built-in laser rangefinder rated to 2000 yards. We’ve used this HD-B 2000 unit and the optics are superb and the rangefinding is super fast. When placed on a tripod for support we were amazed at the ranging ability of these Geovids. Give credit to great glass, minimal beam divergence and Leica’s excellent error correction software. Act now and you can save $1000 over the original price. Note: This is discontinued model that has been replaced by the newer Leica HD-B 3000, priced at $2999.00.

7. Brownells — Sig P320 9mm Pistol, $399.99

Brownells Sig Sauer p320 pistol carry compact 9mm

The new SIG P320 is one of the best compact 9mm carry guns on the market. Accurate, slim, and reliable, it has earned praise from owners and reviewers alike. Yes we would rather carry a P320 than a sub-compact Glock. This modular, striker-fired pistol features a sub-compact grip, slim slide, and Night Sights. Safety features include a striker safety and disconnect safety. Brownells’ sale price is $399.99, marked down from $579.99. NOTE: Some buyers report you can get an extra $20 OFF with code “M8Y” entered on the final payment screen.

8. Midsouth — Hornady 17 HMR Ten Boxes for $84.99

Hornady 17 HMR week deal varmint V-Max ammo ammunition sale

Varmint hunters take note. Here’s a great deal on premium 17 HMR ammo. Midsouth is selling 500 rounds of Hornady 17 HMR ammo for $84.99. That works out to just $8.50 per 50-rd box — the best price we’ve seen in a while. Loaded with 17gr V-Max bullets, this ammo is accurate — expect about 1 MOA at 100 yards in a good rifle. The V-Max bullets are effective on small varmints out to 200 yards.

9. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.95

Red Orange Neon 3

We like these bright, Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.95 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 0’Clock. NOTE: These stickers may qualify for FREE Shipping with combined orders over $25.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
October 13th, 2018

Machine Gun Shoot This Weekend at Knob Creek in Kentucky

knob creek KY Kentucky Machine gun shoot

Twice a year, select-fire fans head to the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky, for the nation’s largest Machine Gun Shoot. A bi-annual event, the Machine Gun Shoot is typically held on the second weekend of both April and October. The latest Machine Gun Shoot is happening RIGHT NOW. It started on Friday, October 12th and runs all weekend through Sunday the 14th. The highlight of every Machine Gun Shoot is the Saturday Night Shoot, where scores of guns send regular and tracer bullets down-range. An estimated 1.25 million rounds will be expended during the October Night Shoot.

Participants are machine gun dealers, collectors and enthusiasts from all over the country. The Machine Gun Shoot itself consists of three days of machine gun shooting, dealer displays, shooting competitions and the spectacular Saturday Night Shoot. Participants shoot at a wide variety of used appliances, abandoned vehicles, and barrels of fuel with pyrotechnic charges attached. The pyrotechnic charges are set off by bullet impacts, creating large mushroom clouds and fireballs. With the tracers and explosive fireballs, this is an amazing experience. Check out the video:

Click Triangle to Watch Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot Video (Warning: Very Loud Audio)

A few seasons back, Top Shot Season 4 Champ Chris Cheng was on hand to record the firepower. Chris writes: “About an hour before dark, folks are out on the range setting up all sorts of explosives while a crowd builds, anxiously awaiting what we all know is coming. The lights go out, and the next thing you know machine guns are going off for almost 20 straight minutes. This year’s October 2013 edition did not disappoint. Check out the video below — other than the beginning, my favorite part is at the 5:50 mark [when a Mini-Gun opens fire from the right].”

knob creek KY Kentucky Machine gun shoot

Photos of Knob Creek Gun Range, West Point
This photo of Knob Creek Gun Range is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

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October 10th, 2018

Dewey Aluminum Jags Eliminate “False Positives”

Aluminum jag copper eliminator Dewey

Conventional brass jags work great — except for one thing. They can react to solvents, leaving a blue “false positive” on patches. In recent years, jag-makers have experimented with many different materials in an effort to cure the solvent-reaction problem. Today we have polymer jags, nickel-plated jags, and stainless steel jags. And the latest innovation is the aluminum jag from Dewey.

Aluminum jag DeweyJ. Dewey Mfg. offers a series of “Copper Eliminator” jags and brush adapters made from aircraft-grade aluminum with the same hardness as brass. Dewey claims that its aluminum jags will not become embedded with grit or particles that could harm your bore. At the same time, Dewey’s aluminum jags will not react to ammoniated bore solvents that can turn patches blue green when used with brass jags. Dewey aluminum jags are offered with either male OR female 8/32 threads. The $5.25 aluminum jags and $3.70 brush adapters are offered in a wide variety of calibers. You can order from Dewey Mfg. or Sinclair Int’l.

Story Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome submissions from our readers.
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