February 21st, 2019

New CCI Clean-22 Rimfire Ammo with Polymer-Coated Bullets

CCI Clean 22 Bullets

CCI is introducing new .22 LR rimfire ammunition with polymer-coated bullets. This is actually a pretty important development. The bullet coating on CCI’s new Clean-22 ammo provides three main benefits:

1. Copper fouling in the barrel is greatly reduced.
2. Lead fouling in the barrel is greatly reduced.
3. Lead build-up in suppressors is reduced by 60-80%.

CCI will offer two versions of Clean-22 ammo: High Velocity (944CC, 1235 FPS MV) and Subsonic (934CC, 1070 FPS MV). Both feature 40gr lead bullets with polymer coatings. The High Velocity ammo has red-coated bullets, while the Subsonic has blue-coated bullets. MSRP for both is $9.95 for 100 rounds. This ammo is available right now from TargetSportsUSA for $6.99 per 100ct High Velocity or 100ct Subsonic.

Clean-22 High Velocity: 1235 FPS | Clean-22 Subsonic: 1070 FPS

CCI Clean 22 Bullets

CCI Clean 22 Bullets CCI Clean 22 Bullets

Clean-22 Ammo with Polymer-Coated Bullets
Clean-22 uses an exclusive polymer bullet coating to greatly reduce copper and lead fouling in the barrel without leaving a residue. It also cuts lead buildup in suppressors 60 to 80 percent. Both the Sub-Sonic and High Velocity loads feature a 40-grain round nose lead bullet with geometry that’s been optimized for accuracy. With dependable CCI priming and consistent propellant, Clean-22 provides reliable cycling through semi-automatics and all 22 LR firearms.

For more information, visit www.cci-ammunition.com.

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February 19th, 2019

Got Fifty? Add a .50 BMG to Your Collection for $2149.00

.50 Browning Machine Gun 50 BMG Noreen Rifle

No personal rifle collection is complete without a .50 BMG — the big boy. The single-shot, bolt-action Noreen is one of the most affordable Fifties. This 32-pound beast boasts a 34″ barrel with a massive muzzle brake. Simple and bomb proof, what more could you need? The .50 BMG Noreen Ultra Long Range (ULR) rifle features a single shot bolt action, 34″ barrel with 1:15″ twist, Noreen collapsible stock, A2 pistol grip, timney adjustable trigger, and Noreen muzzle brake with 1.25-12 thread. NOTE: The photo above shows one version with a custom camo paint job. You’ll have to do that yourself. The gun is available from EuroOptic.com at this $2149.00 price only with a matte black finish.

.50 Browning Machine Gun 50 BMG Noreen Rifle

The Noreen’s bolt is stout, sporting a large diameter bolt body. This jumbo-sized rifle comes with Timney trigger and AR-type pistol grip (which can be exchanged by purchaser). The wide bipod is included with the rifle. EuroOptic now offers the Noreen .50 BMG in Matte Black for $2149.00 price. Heck you could pay that much for a puny little .22 LR Anschutz. So go BIG instead — be the first on your block with a .50 BMG! You can also purchase this rig directly from Noreen Firearms, with a choice of four calibers: .338 Lapua Magnum, .408 CheyTac, .416 Barrett, and .50 BMG.

About the .50 BMG Cartridge

The .50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG, aka 12.7×99mm NATO or 50 Browning) is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s, entering official service in 1921. Under STANAG 4383, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries. John Browning had the idea for this round during World War I in response to a need for an anti-aircraft weapon, based on a scaled-up .30-06 Springfield design, used in a machine gun based on a scaled-up M1919/M1917 design that Browning had initially developed around 1900. According to the American Rifleman: “The Browning .50 originated in the Great War. American interest in an armor-piercing cartridge was influenced by the marginal French 11 mm design, prompting U.S. Army Ordnance officers to consult Browning. They wanted a heavy projectile at 2700 FPS, but the ammunition did not exist. Browning pondered the situation and, according to his son John, replied, ‘Well, the cartridge sounds pretty good to start. You make up some cartridges and we’ll do some shooting’.”

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February 18th, 2019

Bargain Finder 178: 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 — Weatherby Vanguard 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $799.99

Weatherby Vanguard Modular rifle 6.5 Creedmoor

This is a great deal. MSRP on the Weatherby Vanguard Modular Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor was $1519.00. Now you can buy this rig for just $799.99 on sale. That’s less than you’d pay for most custom actions by themselves. Yes this Weatherby rifle qualifies for PRS Production class — it’s 100% within the rules. Put the hundreds of dollars you save into optics, ammo, and a suppressor — the 20″ barrel comes pre-threaded for brake or suppressor. This rifle has a nice 2-stage trigger, and Luth AR adjustable buttstock fitted to a CNC-machined anodized aluminum chassis. Weatherby guarantees SUB-MOA accuracy with premium ammo.

2. NEW — Frankford Intelli-Dropper Scale/Dispenser, $199.99

powder scale dispenser chargemaster intellidropper intell-dropper frankford arsenal smart mobile app bluetooth

Intelli-Dropper Priced Under $200.00: The new Frankford Arsenal Intelli-Dropper will be available very soon from leading vendors such as Midsouth, Grafs.com, and MidwayUSA for around $199.99.

A new electronic powder scale/dispenser just hit the market to compete with units from Lyman, RCBS, and Hornady. The new Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series “Intelli-Dropper” is a true “new generation” device with an advanced brain that can “talk” to a Mobile App on your smartphone via BlueTooth. This way you can store powder and load information on your smartphone and then control the scale/dispenser from the App. The App also has bullet, cartridge, and powder databases. The Intelli-dropper can also manually trickle, so you can save time by throwing your charge and then just trickling to the final tenth.

3. Midsouth — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $299.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $299.99. Great Deal. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $299.99, a fine 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 $165.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items (such as the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

4. GunBuyer.com — Walther 9mm PPQ Q5 Match, $649.00

Walther competition PPQ Q5 match polymer pistol handgun 9mm

Are you looking to compete in Action Pistol Matches or 3-Gun Disciplines? Here’s a 9mm competition-ready pistol capable of winning Production Class right out of the box. The Walther PPQ Q5 Match can be used with iron sights or popular red dot optics. The gun balances well and the relieved slide helps reduce cycle time for fast transitions. At $649.00 from GunBuyer.com (the “best price anywhere”) the Walther PPQ Q5 Match is a fraction of the cost of a custom race gun. It’s a good choice for Production class.

5. Brownells — Presidents’ Day Sale — Big Discounts

Brownells Presidents Day Sale February 2019 discount Aero Precision Howa Barreled action

Brownells Howa Barreled Action RCBS ChargeMaster Lite powder dispenser Aero Precision Lower AR

Brownells is running a major Presidents’ Day Sale with huge price reductions on guns, barreled actions, uppers, lowers, reloading tools, accessories, loaded ammo and more. A quick glance at the Brownells website revealed many killer deals — some of the best prices we’ve seen in many months on many highly desirable products, such as Howa Barreled Actions, Aero Precision components, CCI Ammo, and even the RCBS ChargeMaster Lite. Don’t hesitate — this sale ends soon!

6. EuroOptic — 50% Off GRS Berserk Rem and Howa Stocks

Remington Howa Long Short GRS Berserk composite rifle stocks

Now through February 21st get 50% OFF select GRS Berserk Stocks for Remington and Howa actions. These Norwegian-crafted stocks combine outstanding ergonomics with advanced composite construction. Length of pull and cheek height adjust instantly with the push of a button. Combine one of these stocks with a Remington Barreled Action, and a Vortex Closeout Riflescope to create an outstanding LR prone or hunting rifle for under $1500.00.

7. EuroOptic — Leica CRF 2000-B, $399.00

Leica 2000-B Rangemaster Laser LRF Rangefinder Sale Eurooptics.com

Here’s a great deal on the vaunted Leica 2000-B Laser Rangefinder (LRF) with 7-power optic. This unit is rated out to 2000 yards on reflective objects. The Leica 2000-B features air pressure and temperature sensors, plus on-board inclinometer. Angle correction works out to 1200 horizontal yards equivalent, with the true hold-over displayed in both MILs and MOA. The compact Leica CRF 2000-B weighs just 6.5 ounces and measures 4.5″ L x 2.25″ H x 1.25″ W. It has a waterproof outer shell.

8. Champions Choice — Deluxe 58″-Long Rifle Case, $68.00

Champion's Choice extra long palma rifle case 58

Many of our readers shoot Palma, F-Class, and ELR rifles with long barrels (up to 35″). It’s difficult to find high-quality, well-padded cases that fit very long rifles. Champion’s Choice offers just such a product, the 58″ Deluxe Soft Rifle Case. With thick 1″ padding on each side, big pockets, and backpack straps, this black/blue/white gun case has earned rave reviews from our Forum members. There’s plenty of room for big scopes, and it even comes with an internal tube to hold your cleaning rod.

9. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $17.85

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 3800 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $17.85, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

10. Midsouth — 250 Adhesive Precision Targets on Roll, $12.49

midsouth adhesive benchrest precision target roll

Midsouth offers 250 self-adhesive Benchrest Targets on a convenient roll. These stick-on targets are great for load development. The aiming diamond helps align the cross hairs of your scope while the 1/4″ grid pattern makes it easy to eyeball your group size. At the bottom are fields for your load info. Each Target sticker measures 6″ x 4″ with a 4.5″ x 2.5″ printed area. Midsouth sells the 250-target roll for $12.49.

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February 18th, 2019

READ THIS — Powder Storage — How to Avoid Problems

Western Powders Blog SAAMI Storage

SUMMARY: Powder can have a very long shelf life. You need to watch for changes in smell and color. A reddish tinge, almost like rust on the powder, is a bad sign, as is a foul odor, not to be confused with a normal chemical smell. Either of these signs indicate it is time to dispose of your powder by means other than shooting.

Ever wondered about the stability of the propellants in your reloading room? There are some important things you should know about powder storage, to ensure consistent powder performance and safety. On its website, Western Powders (vendors of Accurate, Norma, and Ramshot powders) published an informative Q & A series entitled Dear Labby: Questions for our Ballistics Lab. Here are some excerpts that pertain to powder storage and shelf life. Worried that your powder may be too old? Western’s experts explain how to check your propellants for warning signs.

Proper Powder Storage

Q: I live in southern Arizona where it is very hot. I am told powders will become unstable if stored in an area not air-conditioned. My wife says no powder or primers in the house. Can powder be stored in a refrigerator? What about using a fireproof safe? I would appreciate your ideas. — M.C.

Lab Answer: SAAMI guidelines are pretty clear on issues of storage. They recommend storing smokeless powder in containers that will not allow pressure to build if the powder is ignited — ruling out gun safes and refrigerators.

CLICK HERE to Read SAAMI Guidelines for Powder Storage (PDF)

In their original containers smokeless powder’s lifespan is quite long, even in your hot, arid climate, typically longer than the average handloader would need to store them. Stored safely in a garage or outbuilding, your powder should last years. If you see the powder developing a reddish tint, or giving off a foul odor, it is time to discard it.

Clumps in Powder Container

Q: I ordered some of your Accurate 1680 powder back about in December. I just now opened it … and it is full of clumps. My knowledge tells me that means moisture. Am I wrong? I just now broke the seal and it has been stored in a ammo can with desiccant packs around it and a dehumidifier running 14-16 hours a day. I can’t imagine this being my fault, if this does indicate moisture. I don’t know if the pink part on the label is suppose to be red or not, but it is definitely pink, so if it was red I am wondering if I was shipped an old container? I hope that this isn’t bad and I am stuck with it…

Lab Answer: All powder contains a certain amount of moisture. When the powder is stored or during shipping, it can go through temperature cycles. During the cycling, the moisture can be pulled to the surface and cause clumping. Clumping can also be caused by static electricity if too dry or the powder has limited graphite content. You can break up the clumps before metering and they shouldn’t be a problem. This will not affect the powder performance, so your product is fine. Accurate 1680 labels are designed in Pink. As a side note, specification for testing powder is at 70° F and 60% humidity.

(more…)

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February 17th, 2019

Ballistics TIP: How Altitude and Air Pressure Affect Bullet Flight

Trajectory of Bullet fired at Sea Level

Trajectory of Bullet fired at 20,000 feet

You can do your own experimental calculations using JBM Online Ballistics (free to use). Here is an extreme example, with two printouts (generated with Point Blank software), one showing bullet trajectory at sea level (0′ altitude) and one at 20,000 feet. For demonstration sake, we assigned a low 0.2 BC to the bullet, with a velocity of 3000 fps.

Suunto AltimeterOne of our readers asked “What effect does altitude have on the flight of a bullet?” The simplistic answer is that, at higher altitudes, the air is thinner (lower density), so there is less drag on the bullet. This means that the amount of bullet drop is less at any given flight distance from the muzzle. Since the force of gravity is essentially constant on the earth’s surface (for practical purposes), the bullet’s downward acceleration doesn’t change, but a bullet launched at a higher altitude is able to fly slightly farther (in the thinner air) for every increment of downward movement. Effectively, the bullet behaves as if it has a higher ballistic coefficient.

Forum member Milanuk explains that the key factor is not altitude, but rather air pressure. Milanuk writes:

“In basic terms, as your altitude increases, the density of the air the bullet must travel through decreases, thereby reducing the drag on the bullet. Generally, the higher the altitude, the less the bullet will drop. For example, I shoot at a couple ranges here in the Pacific Northwest. Both are at 1000′ ASL or less. I’ll need about 29-30 MOA to get from 100 yard to 1000 yards with a Berger 155gr VLD @ 2960fps. By contrast, in Raton, NM, located at 6600′ ASL, I’ll only need about 24-25 MOA to do the same. That’s a significant difference.

Note that it is the barometric pressure that really matters, not simply the nominal altitude. The barometric pressure will indicate the reduced pressure from a higher altitude, but it will also show you the pressure changes as a front moves in, etc. which can play havoc w/ your calculated come-ups. Most altimeters are simply barometers that read in feet instead of inches of mercury.”

As Milanuk states, it is NOT altitude per se, but the LOCAL barometric pressure (sometimes called “station pressure”) that is key. The two atmospheric conditions that most effect bullet flight are air temperature, and barometric pressure. Normally, humidity has a negligible effect.

It’s important to remember that the barometric pressure reported on the radio (or internet) may be stated as a sea level equivalency. So in Denver (at 6,000 feet amsl), if the local pressure is 24″, the radio will report the barometric pressure to be 30″. If you do high altitude shooting at long range, bring along a Kestrel, or remember to mentally correct the radio station’s pressure, by 1″ per 1,000 feet.”

If you want to learn more about all aspects of External Ballistics, ExteriorBallistics.com provides a variety of useful resources. In particular, on that site, Section 3.1 of the Sierra Manual is reprinted, covering Effects of Altitude and Atmospheric Pressure on bullet flight.

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February 16th, 2019

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

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

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

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

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

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

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

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

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

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

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

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

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

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

17 mach 2 .17 hm2 volquartsen summit

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

17 Mach 2 hm2 .22 LR comparison

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

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

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

17 WSM Winchester Super Magnum

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

17 WSM Winchester Super Magnum lead-Free

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

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February 15th, 2019

Save Big Bucks During Brownells Presidents’ Day Sale

Brownells Presidents Day Sale February 2019 discount Aero Precision Howa Barreled action

Break out those credit cards ladies and gentlemen… Brownells is running a major Presidents’ Day Sale with huge price reductions on guns, barreled actions, uppers, lowers, reloading tools, accessories, loaded ammo and more. A quick glance at the Brownells website revealed many killer deals — some of the best prices we’ve seen in many months on many highly desirable products, such as Howa Barreled Actions, Aero Precision components, CCI Ammo, and even the RCBS ChargeMaster Lite.

Here are eight great deals we found this morning. Visit the Brownells SALE PAGE to see more bargains.

Brownells Howa Barreled Action RCBS ChargeMaster Lite powder dispenser
Aero Precision Lower AR Aero Precision Assembled AR Upper
BRN BRN-22 rimfire receiver action .22 LR CCI Blazer brass 9mm 9x19 ammo ammunition
Brownells AR Bolt 224 Valkyrie AR15 Upper AR Geissele trigger assembly

BRN 180

BRN-180 — Retro Or Cutting Edge?
Brownells’ new BRN-180 Upper is a gas-piston system that is compatible with AR Lowers but offers a folding stock. This system, inspired by the original AR-180, runs cleaner than a typical AR15. Designed in conjunction with PWS and FM Products, the Brownells BRN-180 Upper Receiver is inspired by the Armalite AR-180 of the 1960s. Developed as a successor to the original AR-15, the AR-180 was a civilian version of the AR-18, itself an upgrade on the M16 platform. The BRN-180 incorporates many AR-18/AR-180 improvements, including its robust and reliable gas piston operating system. The BRN-180 upper receiver is fully compatible with any standard AR-15 lower receiver. However, the BRN-180 can run a folding stock because a spring over the gas piston replaces the buffer in the stock.

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February 13th, 2019

GUN INFO 101 — Headspace Defined and Illustrated

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

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

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

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

Forster Headspace diagram belted magnum rimfire

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

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

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February 13th, 2019

Save Money with Brownells Discount Codes

Brownells coupon shopping discount code June 2018

Shopping for gun parts, ammo, or reloading supplies? You will want to check out Brownells current Discount Codes. These Codes will qualify you for significant savings plus FREE Shipping. Use these Codes during check-out and the savings will reduce your net cost. Get up to $20 off on a $200 purchase — that’s a 10% savings. Plus the free shipping/handling could save you another $10-$20 easy. NOTE: Some of these discount codes may expire at any time, so don’t hesitate.

Coupon Code: M8Y — $20 off $200 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: NCS — $15 OFF $150 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: LAV — $10 OFF $100 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: NBM — $10 OFF $99 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: NEP — $10 Off $75 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: VB5 or M7R — Free S/H over $49
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

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February 12th, 2019

How to Avoid a Train Wreck at the Berger SW Nationals

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics

Today is Day One of the Berger Southwest Nationals, at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix, AZ. There will be a 600-yard mid-range match. Many of the nation’s most talented F-Class and sling shooters will be there. But no matter what your skill level, it is still possible to make major mistakes, that can spoil the day and/or put you out of the running for the entire match.

Berger SW Nationals mid-range match
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

Berger SW Nationals mid-range match

In any shooting competition, you must try to avoid major screw-ups that can ruin your day (or your match). In this article, past F-TR National Mid-Range and Long Range Champion Bryan Litz talks about “Train Wrecks”, i.e. those big disasters (such as equipment failures) that can ruin a whole match. Bryan illustrates the types of “train wrecks” that commonly befall competitors, and he explains how to avoid these “unmitigated disasters”.

Urban Dictionary “Train Wreck” Definition: “A total @#$&! disaster … the kind that makes you want to shake your head.”

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballisticsTrain Wrecks (and How to Avoid Them)
by Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics LLC.

Success in long range competition depends on many things. Those who aspire to be competitive are usually detail-oriented, and focused on all the small things that might give them an edge. Unfortunately it’s common for shooters lose sight of the big picture — missing the forest for the trees, so to speak.

Consistency is one of the universal principles of successful shooting. The tournament champion is the shooter with the highest average performance over several days, often times not winning a single match. While you can win tournaments without an isolated stellar performance, you cannot win tournaments if you have a single train wreck performance. And this is why it’s important for the detail-oriented shooter to keep an eye out for potential “big picture” problems that can derail the train of success!

Train wrecks can be defined differently by shooters of various skill levels and categories. Anything from problems causing a miss, to problems causing a 3/4-MOA shift in wind zero can manifest as a train wreck, depending on the kind of shooting you’re doing.

Berger SW Nationals
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

Below is a list of common Shooting Match Train Wrecks, and suggestions for avoiding them.

1. Cross-Firing. The fastest and most common way to destroy your score (and any hopes of winning a tournament) is to cross-fire. The cure is obviously basic awareness of your target number on each shot, but you can stack the odds in your favor if you’re smart. For sling shooters, establish your Natural Point of Aim (NPA) and monitor that it doesn’t shift during your course of fire. If you’re doing this right, you’ll always come back on your target naturally, without deliberately checking each time. You should be doing this anyway, but avoiding cross-fires is another incentive for monitoring this important fundamental. In F-Class shooting, pay attention to how the rifle recoils, and where the crosshairs settle. If the crosshairs always settle to the right, either make an adjustment to your bipod, hold, or simply make sure to move back each shot. Also consider your scope. Running super high magnification can leave the number board out of the scope’s field view. That can really increase the risk of cross-firing.

2. Equipment Failure. There are a wide variety of equipment failures you may encounter at a match, from loose sight fasteners, to broken bipods, to high-round-count barrels that that suddenly “go south” (just to mention a few possibilities). Mechanical components can and do fail. The best policy is to put some thought into what the critical failure points are, monitor wear of these parts, and have spares ready. This is where an ounce of prevention can prevent a ton of train wreck. On this note, if you like running hot loads, consider whether that extra 20 fps is worth blowing up a bullet (10 points), sticking a bolt (DNF), or worse yet, causing injury to yourself or someone nearby.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics

[Editor’s Note: The 2016 F-Class Nationals will employ electronic targets so conventional pit duties won’t be required. However, the following advice does apply for matches with conventional targets.]

3. Scoring/Pit Malfunction. Although not related to your shooting technique, doing things to insure you get at least fair treatment from your scorer and pit puller is a good idea. Try to meet the others on your target so they can associate a face with the shooter for whom they’re pulling. If you learn your scorer is a Democrat, it’s probably best not to tell Obama jokes before you go for record. If your pit puller is elderly, it may be unwise to shoot very rapidly and risk a shot being missed (by the pit worker), or having to call for a mark. Slowing down a second or two between shots might prevent a 5-minute delay and possibly an undeserved miss.

train wreck Bryan Litz shooting tips ballistics4. Wind Issues. Tricky winds derail many trains. A lot can be written about wind strategies, but here’s a simple tip about how to take the edge off a worse case scenario. You don’t have to start blazing away on the command of “Commence fire”. If the wind is blowing like a bastard when your time starts, just wait! You’re allotted 30 minutes to fire your string in long range slow fire. With average pit service, it might take you 10 minutes if you hustle, less in F-Class. Point being, you have about three times longer than you need. So let everyone else shoot through the storm and look for a window (or windows) of time which are not so adverse. Of course this is a risk, conditions might get worse if you wait. This is where judgment comes in. Just know you have options for managing time and keep an eye on the clock. Saving rounds in a slow fire match is a costly and embarrassing train wreck.

5. Mind Your Physical Health. While traveling for shooting matches, most shooters break their normal patterns of diet, sleep, alcohol consumption, etc. These disruptions to the norm can have detrimental effects on your body and your ability to shoot and even think clearly. If you’re used to an indoor job and eating salads in air-conditioned break rooms and you travel to a week-long rifle match which keeps you on your feet all day in 90-degree heat and high humidity, while eating greasy restaurant food, drinking beer and getting little sleep, then you might as well plan on daily train wrecks. If the match is four hours away, rather than leaving at 3:00 am and drinking five cups of coffee on the morning drive, arrive the night before and get a good night’s sleep.”

Keep focused on the important stuff. You never want to lose sight of the big picture. Keep the important, common sense things in mind as well as the minutia of meplat trimming, weighing powder to the kernel, and cleaning your barrel ’til it’s squeaky clean. Remember, all the little enhancements can’t make up for one big train wreck!

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February 11th, 2019

Bargain Finder 177: 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. RCBS 2019 REBATE Program — Get Up to $100 Back

RCBS 2019 Rebate press chargemaster case prep discount rebate sale

RCBS just announced its first Rebate Program for 2019. Get up to $100 back on select RCBS® products. If you need an electronic Scale/Dispenser, Progressive Press, a Case Prep Center, Ultrasonic Machine, or Power Case trimmer you’re in luck. Here are the Rebates available for purchases made between 2/1/2019 and 3/17/2019. NOTE: The DEADLINE for mail-in or online submissions is 4/16/2019.

$50 REBATES: ProChucker 7 (88911) or ProChucker 5 (88910) Progressive Presses

$40 REBATES: Ultrasonic Case Cleaner 2 (87056), Universal Case Prep Ctr (90370), Trim Pro-2 Power Kit ( 90367), or Chargemaster Combo (98923)

$20 REBATES: Ultrasonic Case Cleaner (87055), or Chargemaster Lite (98940)

Credit EdLongRange for this RCBS Rebate Tip.

2. Natchez — Optics Clearance Sale

Optics Clearance Sale

Looking for a new riflescope, spotting scope, binoculars, or tripod? Natchez Shooters Supply is running a pretty compelling optics clearance sale on just about any kind of optic you can imagine, along with accessories. Brands include Leupold, Swarovski, Nikon, Burris and more. If you need a new optic, check out this clearance sale.

3. Bruno Shooters Supply & ArmOrAlly — Nosler Bullet Blowout

Nosler Clearance Sale

Nosler bullets are loved and appreciated from hunters to target shooters alike but finding them on sale isn’t always easy. Bruno Shooters Supply and ArmOrAlly.com are both running some of the best prices we’ve seen on Nosler bullets in a long time. Guaranteed that if you shoot Nosler you’ll find something you can’t live without between these two sites.

4. Sportsman’s Guide — 5-Gun Security Cabinet, $127.49

First Watch 5 gun cabinet

If you already own a full-size gun safe, but need secure storage for a workroom, office, or RV, here’s an affordable option. This 5-Gun Security Cabinet can also serve as a bedroom closet safe, to hold a couple long arms and other valuables. The First Watch 5-Gun Security Cabinet from Sportman’s Guide costs just $127.49 (or $114.79 member price). This can also serve as a secure locker for vacation homes. We’ve even seen people bolt these units to their campers or truck beds while traveling. NOTE: Add another item to get your total up to $150 and you can use promo code SG3480 to get a FREE $50 gift card by mail. This gift card deal runs through 11:59 pm on 2/12/2018.

5. CDNN — Ruger American .22 WMR with Scope, $289.99

Ruger american rimfire .22 WMR 22 WMR rifle with Bushnell

The .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) is an effective cartridge for varmints, with higher velocity and more range than the .22 LR. The barrel is easier to clean than a .17 HMR. If you’ve been looking to add a .22 WMR to your arsenal, here’s a great deal. Now you can pick up this .22 WMR Ruger American for just $289.99. That price even includes a 3.5-10X36mm Bushnell scope, rings, and scope covers. This is a nice little rifle with back-up iron sights and a decent trigger. If you figure the scope and rings are worth $90, you’re effectively getting the rifle for under $200.00. Sweet deal. By itself, without scope, this .22 WMR rifle sells for $320 elsewhere.

6. Walmart — Sportsman 2000 Watt Generator, $149.00

2000w Generator Walmart Sportsman

Have you been watching the news lately and wondered what you would do if bad weather hit your area and you found yourself without power? Do you wish you had a backup generator for the basics but can’t justify spending the money on a full-sized unit? Fear no more as Walmart has the Sportsman 2000W Generator for the amazingly low price of $149.00. It’s quiet, compact and has enough power just to keep the basic running that it’s tough to not grab one just in case you ever have a need. Read the reviews — buyers say this little unit works.

7. Midsouth Shooters Supply — Federal Pistol Ammo Rebate

Federal American Eagle Speed Blazer ammo discount rebate ammunition Vista Outdoor

Need pistol ammo? Want to save money? Then check out the latest promotion from Federal and other Vista Outdoor ammo brands. With this rebate you get $2.00 back for every 50-round box of centerfire ammo you buy, except for 9mm Luger (9x19mm) — that qualifies for a $1.00/box rebate. Now through March 31, 2019, rebates are offered for all these participating brands: Federal, Speer, Blazer, American Eagle, and Independence. You must buy at least 250 rounds (5 boxes) to qualify. Grab any of these pistol ammo brands and then submit the REBATE FORM. NOTE: Qualifying purchases must be made December 3, 2018 through March 31, 2019. The DEADLINE for mail-in or online submissions is April 30, 2019. To redeem online, visit Promotions.vistaoutdoor.com. MORE INFO here.

8. Amazon — Champion Precision Sight-In Target, $11.97

Sight-In Targets

Have you ever been ready to run to the range and blow off a few rounds only to find that you’re out of targets? If you’re like us that’s one of the most frustrating things that can happen when heading to the club and nobody likes using printer paper and a marker to make a target. Pick up this 100 count set of sight-in targets and you won’t have to run to the store last minute or dig through the range trash cans hoping to find a barely-used target. This is a great value — only 12 cents per target! Great deal.

9. Amazon – Proster Wind Meter, $16.99

Proster Wind Meter

Wish you had a modern impeller-style wind meter but only shoot a couple matches a year and can’t justify spending $150 (or more) on one? This Proster wind meter has a very impressive 4.5 star overall rating (with hundreds of reviews), so buy with confidence. Now on sale for just $16.99, this is a very useful tool for a bargain basement price. Get this affordable Wind Meter to ensure you have reliable wind readings for ballistics calculations. And unlike a costly Kestrel, with this low-priced wind meter, you won’t feel too bad if it gets lost or misplaced some time.

Most Weekly Deals Sourced by F-Class John.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
February 11th, 2019

This May Surprise You — Technique Matters When Case Filling

powder drop tube

The way you drop powder in the case will affect your max powder volume and the load density. Look at the photo above. These photos show the SAME 30.6 grains of powder using four different fill methods. If you are working with a powder that is below max safe pressure at your current “full case” (with room left for the bullet), and you want to get more velocity with that powder, consider a different case-filling technique.

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:

(more…)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 6 Comments »
February 10th, 2019

The “Batman” Pistol — Wicked XP-100 in 6-6.5×47 Lapua

Ernie Bishop Specialty Pistol Batman Dasher
Click Photo to View Larger Image

Here is Ernie Bishop’s pride and joy, a specialty pistol nicknamed “Batman” because the black carbon-fiber stock looks like the Batmobile. This is one sophisticated handgun. Complete with scope, the Batman pistol weighs under 7.5 pounds, thanks to the ultra-light stock. The carbon stock is 6 inches wide at the fore-end, yet weighs just one pound. Ernie tells us: “This gun shoots amazing and is easy to shoot especially with my SEB MAX Rest.” Ernie adds, “The gun will soon also have a field-usable rear-grip stock so I can shoot it prone from a bipod as well.”

The Batman pistol is chambered for the 6mm “Long Dasher”, a 6mm 40°-shouldered variant of the 6.5×47 Lapua. Ernie loads Berger 105gr Hybrid bullets pushed by Hodgdon H-4350 powder.

Gun Specifications
6.5x47 Lapua Dasher 40 degree improvedThe gun, crafted by Eric Wallance of Nawaka Firearms, features an XP-100 action, Jewell trigger, and 15″-long, Brux 1:8″-twist barrel with aluminum muzzle brake. Interestingly, this gun does not have a traditional recoil lug. Instead, gunsmith Wallace milled out a lug from the bottom of the XP-100 action to save weight. On top of the action, the rig carries a Sightron Inc S-III 6-24X56mm scope in Kelbly rings on a custom +20 MOA rail.

Long Dasher Wildcat
Shown at right is a “Long Dasher” 40° wildcat created by Forum member Sunbuilder. This is very similar to Ernie Bishop’s chambering, though there may be small variations related to reamer design (such as freebore). Sunbuilder’s 6-6.5×47 Improved (aka “Long Dasher”) reamer was made by Dave Kiff of Pacific, Tool & Gauge. This wildcat cartridge adds about 2.0 grains capacity to the 6.5×47 necked down to 6mm. The case certainly is impressive with that 40° shoulder. We’re just waiting for the tactical guys to starting run this improved cartridge with its original 6.5mm bore.

Here are three FIVE-shot groups at 500 yards, shot by Ernie’s Batman pistol. The first is marked with pink dots, the second with green dots, and the third is being measured with calipers:

Ernie Bishop Specialty Pistol Batman Dasher

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Handguns 2 Comments »
February 9th, 2019

Basics of Pistol Shooting — 11 Online Lessons

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

Do you know someone who wants to get started in pistol shooting? Here’s a helpful resource. The NRA now offers its Basics of Pistol Shooting Course in an online format. That makes it easy to cover the “classroom” phase of the course on your own time. The $60.00 online course includes 11 step-by-step lessons (to be followed by live range training). CLICK HERE to enroll in online Pistol Training Course.

nra pistol basic shooting training course

Train Online, Then Register for a Range Session
For the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course, Phase 1 is conducted in an online environment, completed on your own time (cost is $60.00, non-refundable). After successfully completing the online exam, students can register for Phase 2, the instructor-led training session. Phase 2 is conducted at your local range with an NRA-Certified Instructor. NOTE: There will normally be an additional fee for Phase 2. You must successfully complete BOTH Phase 1 and Phase 2 in order to receive your NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course certificate.

nra pistol basic shooting training course

Designed and developed by experts to accommodate busy schedules, the web-based course takes a blended learning approach to firearms training with both online and physical components. Students have 90 days to work through 11 online lessons before registering for Phase 2, the NRA Certified Instructor-led phase at a local range.

“Thanks to our online courses and network of more than 125,000 NRA Certified Instructors, it has never been easier to learn basic firearm skills,” said Kyle Weaver, NRA General Operations Exec. Director. The NRA offers other online training courses at Onlinetraining.nra.org. These offerings include a Range Safety Office (RSO) course, and a Range Development and Operations course.

Know someone getting started with handguns? Here is a useful video focusing on safety:

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Shooting Skills No Comments »
February 9th, 2019

Get Rebates on Pistol Ammunition — Five Popular Brands

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE for Federal Ammo Rebate Form »

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

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
February 8th, 2019

Cartridge Brass Wisdom for Semi-Auto Shooters by Zediker

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-16 reloading semi-auto brass safety primer resizing

Here are highlights from an article Glen Zediker wrote for the Midsouth Blog. In this article Glen focuses on cartridge brass for semi-auto rifles, AR-platform guns in particular. Glen notes that semi-autos are tougher on brass than bolt-action rifles, so you need strong, durable brass, that has been full-length sized. And you need to be careful about neck tension, and primers. The article starts with Glen’s recommendations for tough, hard brass, and then includes the points outlined below.

Glen is the author of many excellent books on reloading. This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

Handloading for Competition
by Glen Zediker

The Competitive AR-15
by Glen Zediker

Top-Grade Ammo
by Glen Zediker

ONE: Full Length-Size Cases with Adequate Shoulder Set-Back

This is a huge source of debate… amongst my readers, but, since now I’m strictly speaking of semi-auto needs I doubt there will be much dissent: full-length resize all cases! Most cases from most semi-autos will emerge with a pretty well-blown case shoulder [taming down an excessively functioning gas system can reduce this]. Make double-sure you’re sizing the cases down to at least 0.003 clearance. If you don’t there are safety and function problems ahead.

TWO: USE Sufficient Neck Tension

The case neck [must be] reduced an adequate amount to retain the bullet. There should be a minimum net difference of 0.003 inches (three-thousandths) between sized outside case neck diameter and loaded round outside case neck diameter. [Editor — that means at least three thou of “grip”.] Reason: don’t take a chance of inadvertent bullet movement during the recoil and feeding cycles. That movement can be back or forward! It’s easily possible for a bullet to jump ahead when the inertia from the bolt carrier assembly chambers the next round.

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-16 reloading semi-auto brass safety primer resizing

THREE: Use Tough Primers

Choose a tough primer! There’s a floating firing pin on an AR15 (M1A also) that is supposed to be held in check but that system doesn’t always work! If you load and extract a round and see a little dimple in the primer, that’s from the firing pin tapping off of it (again, created by inertia of bolt closing). A combination of a high primer and a sensitive primer cup assembly can create a “slam-fire”. Brands? CCI has some mil-spec primers that work well, and I’ve had great success with Remington 7-1/2. Some of the well-respected “match” primers are a little thin. The CCI and Remington also hold up well to the (sometimes) greater firing forces working on the primer (again, from the quick unlocking).

Here’s what I use from Midsouth.

FOUR: Be Sure to Seat Primers Below Flush

And, finally, make double-sure that each and every primer is seated to below flush with the case head! That’s true for any firearm (because it also means that the primer is fully seated) but imperative for safety in a semi-auto. This is especially an issue for those who use a progressive-type loading press.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading 1 Comment »
February 4th, 2019

Bargain Finder 176: 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. Grafs.com — All Lapua Products on Sale — Brass, Bullets, Ammo

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor PRS production class

If you want to win, and want brass that lasts, think Lapua. Over 90% of all modern benchrest records have been set with Lapua brass. What’s more, Lapua makes outstanding bullets. Lapua Scenars have delivered superb accuracy in our site’s benchrest and tactical rifles. As for factory ammo, again Lapua is hard to beat. We got our hands on some Lapua 90gr 6mmBR factory ammo a few seasons back. That stuff was amazing. It delivered honest 5-shot, quarter-MOA groups! If you want these superior Lapua products, now is a great time to buy. Grafs.com is running a giant sale on all Lapua-brand products, including brass, bullets, and loaded ammo. You’ll save at least 10% on everything, with many items 20-24% off, and select loaded ammo up to 59% off. Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor SR brass is discounted 22%, a great deal. Plus, if you spend $250 or more you’ll get a free box of Lapua Center-X.

2. GunPrime — 6mm Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle, $788.00

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor PRS production class

Get a Ruger Precision Rifle in 6mm Creedmoor for $788.00 complete. That price, which includes rings, is great for a Gen 2 model. If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) chambered for the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge, this is a killer deal. Right now GunPrimer.com is offering this popular tactical rig for under $800.00, in the 6mm Creedmoor chambering. This shoots faster and flatter than the 6.5 Creedmoor — so many PRS guys have switched to it. This is a good choice for the PRS production class, or you can take in to another level of performance with a Pre-Fit 26″ cut-rifled barrel from Krieger. This is the lastest RPR Gen 2 version with the upgraded handguards. Heck of a bargain boys — you can pay $1200 or more elsewhere for the same rifle.

3. Midsouth — 6.5mm 123gr Match Bullets, $119.99 for 500

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Midsouth Nosler Competition bullets 123 grain PRS BTHP 6.5mm .260

This is a great option for PRS and tactical shooters. These 6.5mm bullets work great with the popular 6.5mm cartridges such as 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 Grendel, and 6.5×47 Lapua. With a shorter length than the 140s, these fit magazines better. Plus we’ve found you can run these significantly faster than the 140gr class 6.5 mm bullets, so you are not giving up that much in drop or windage. G1 Ballistic Coefficient is .510
Reloading information is interchangeable with 6.5mm Nosler Custom Competition bullets with the same grain weight. NOTE: These Match Monster Bullets are NOT BLEMS!

4. Al’s — Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85mm Spotting Scope, $809.99

Vortex Razor 20-60x85mm 20x60 Spotter Sale Discount Spotting Scope

AMAZING DEAL — save $390.00! Other vendors sell this very same Razor HD spotter for $1199.
Here’s a great deal on a high-quality spotting scope from a top optics maker. AL’s Sporting Goods has last year’s model Vortex Razor 20-60x85mm spotter for only $899.99, including eyepiece. This impressive HD-glass spotter sells elsewhere for $1200.00. But it gets better — use Code ALS10 for another 10% Off, bringing the final price down to $809.99. This is a very good spotter for the money and Vortex has one of the best warranties in the business.

5. Powder Valley — Hodgdon Powders In-Stock at Great Prices

Powder Valley Hodgdon Powder deal bargain H4350 Varget H4831sc H4198 H4895

H4895, Varget, H4350 — these are all great powders for competition cartridges such as the 6mmBR Norma, 6 Dasher, 6.5 Creemoor, and .284 Shehane. Because these powders work so well, they can be hard to find. Right now Powder Valley has a great supply of these and other excellent Hodgdon powders (such as H4198 and H4831sc) in both 1-lb and 8-lb containers. For example H4350 and Varget are $27.35 for 1-pounders, while H4895 and H4198 are just $26.35 for a 1-lb bottle. An 8-lb jug of H4350 is $194.50, a lot less than you’d pay in most retail stores.

6. Sportsman’s Guide — Browning Buck Mark, $279.99 with Code

Browning Buck Mark Camper UFX 22LR .22 LR Pistol handgun bargain sale

Everyone should own a nice .22 LR rimfire pistol. The Browning Buck Mark is a classic, and for good reason. These pistols are reliable, well-balanced, have a good trigger, and they are very accurate. We have nothing but praise for the bull-barreled Buck Marks. And now you can get one for a super-low price. Sportsman’s Guide has the Browning Buck Mark Camper UFX with 5.5″ Barrel on sale for $299.99 ($284.99 member price). But it gets even better — if you use Code “WARRIOR” during check-out, you save $20.00, putting your total price at just $279.99 (or $264.99 for SG members). That’s a great deal on a very solid rimfire pistol that can serve you well for decades.

7. CDNN — Cleaning Set and Tool Kit in Wooden Box, $19.89

cleaning kit screwdriver kit

We doubt $20 spent any other way could deliver more utility (for a gun owner) than this Outers Combo Cleaning Kit and Driver Set. In a nice wooden box there is a 28-piece gun cleaning set, PLUS you get a 51-piece screwdriver and tool kit that includes Flat, Phillips, and Torx heads in multiple sizes. Here’s what you get for just $19.89:

28-Piece Cleaning Kit
Wooden Storage Box
3 Brass Rods
7 Bronze Brushes
7 Wool Mops
3 Slotted Plastic Loops
2 Spear-pointed Plastic Jags
Shotgun Adapter
Cleaning Cloths and Patches
51-Piece Screwdriver Driver Kit
Molded Driver with Magnetic Tip
15 Flat Head Bits
10 Hex Bits (inch)
9 Hex Bits (metric)
4 Phillips Bits
9 Torx Bits
2 Extra Long Phillips Bits
1 Hex to Square Adapter

8. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $199.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $199.99, 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 handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $219.99.

9. Amazon — Jialitte Scope Bubble Level, $10.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

All serious rifle shooters need a scope level. This nicely designed Jialitte Scope Bubble Level features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. Price is just $10.99 with free shipping. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product — nearly all verified buyers rated this five stars.

10. Amazon — 12″ x 12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $9.99

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $9.99, or a 25-pack for $17.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating. One example: “Excellent quality and durability. The adhesive is really strong. High contrast makes down range targeting easy and the splatter contrast is [great].”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
February 4th, 2019

Power to the People — Cortina Reviews Giraud Power Trimmer

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

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

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

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

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

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

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

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

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

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

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Giraud Power Trimmer

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
February 3rd, 2019

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 »
February 2nd, 2019

Bullet Concentricity Basics — What You Need to Know

Sinclair concentricity 101 eccentricity run-out reloading plans

Sinclair International reloading toolsSinclair International has released an interesting article about Case Concentricity* and bullet “run-out”. This instructional article by Bob Kohl explains the reasons brass can exhibit poor concentricity, and why high bullet run-out can be detrimental to accuracy.

Concentricity, Bullet Alignment, and Accuracy by Bob Kohl
The purpose of loading your own ammo is to minimize all the variables that can affect accuracy and can be controlled with proper and conscientious handloading. Concentricity and bullet run-out are important when you’re loading for accuracy. Ideally, it’s important to strive to make each round the same as the one before it and the one after it. It’s a simple issue of uniformity.

The reason shooters work with tools and gauges to measure and control concentricity is simple: to make sure the bullet starts down the bore consistently in line with the bore. If the case isn’t properly concentric and the bullet isn’t properly aligned down the center of the bore, the bullet will enter the rifling inconsistently. While the bore might force the bullet to align itself with the bore (but normally it doesn’t), the bullet may be damaged or overstressed in the process – if it even it corrects itself in transit. These are issues we strive to remedy by handloading, to maintain the best standard possible for accurate ammunition.

The term “concentricity” is derived from “concentric circle”. In simple terms it’s the issue of having the outside of the cartridge in a concentric circle around the center. That goes from case head and center of the flash hole, to the tip of the bullet.

Factors Affecting Concentricity

The point of using this term is to identify a series of issues that affect accurate ammunition. Ideally this would work best with a straight-walled case; but since most rifle cartridge cases are tapered, it equates to the smallest cross section that can be measured point by point to verify the concentric circle around the center. For the examples below, I’m working with .308 Winchester ammo.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 1: The cartridge.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 2: Centerline axis of the case, extending from flash hole to case mouth.

The case walls have to be in perfect alignment with the center, or axis, of that case, even if it’s measured at a thousandth of an inch per segment (in a tapered case).

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 3: Case body in alignment with its axis, or centerline, even in a tapered case.

The case neck must also be in alignment with its axis. By not doing so you can have erratic bullet entry into the bore. The case neck wall itself should be as uniform as possible in alignment and in thickness (see the M80 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge in Figure 5) and brass can change its alignment and shape. It’s why we expand the case neck or while some folks ream the inside of the neck and then turn the outside for consistent thickness, which affects the tension on the bullet when seated.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 4: Neck in alignment with center of the case axis.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 5: Variations in case neck wall thickness, especially on some military brass, can cause an offset of the bullet in its alignment. This is an M80 ball round. Note the distinct difference of the neck walls.

Having a ball micrometer on hand helps, especially with military brass like 7.62x51mm in a semi-auto rifle, where there are limits as to how thin you want the neck walls to be. In the case of 7.62 ball brass you want to keep the wall to .0145″.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 6: A ball micrometer like this RCBS tool (#100-010-268) can measure case neck thickness.

Turning the outside of the neck wall is important with .308 military cases regardless of whether you expand or ream the neck walls. There are several outside neck turning tools from Forster, Hornady, Sinclair, and others. I’ve been using classic Forster case trimming (#100-203-301) and neck turning (#749-012-890) tools for 40 years.

Bullet Run-Out
The cartridge, after being loaded, still needs to be in alignment with the center of the case axis. Figure 7 shows a bad example of this, a round of M80 ball. A tilted bullet is measured for what’s known as bullet “run-out”.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 7: An M80 round with the bullet tilted and not aligned with the axis. This will be a flyer!

Run-out can be affected by several things: (1) improperly indexing your case while sizing, which includes not using the proper shell holder, especially while using a normal expander ball on the sizing die (it also can stretch the brass). (2) The head of a turret press can flex; and (3) improper or sloppy bullet seating. This is also relevant when it comes to using a progressive press when trying to load accuracy ammo.

Mid Tompkins came up with a simple solution for better bullet seating years ago. Seat your bullet half way into the case, back off the seater die and rotate the case 180 degrees before you finish seating the bullet. It cuts down on run-out problems, especially with military brass. You also want to gently ream the inside of the neck mouth to keep from having any brass mar the surface of the bullet jacket and make proper seating easier. A tilted bullet often means a flyer.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 8: Proper alignment from the center of the case head to the tip of the bullet.

CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE With More Photos and Tips


*Actually some folks would say that if we are talking about things being off-center or out-of-round, we are actually talking about “eccentricity”. But the tools we use are called “Concentricity Gauges” and Concentricity is the term most commonly used when discussing this subject.

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 7 Comments »