September 22nd, 2017

The Science of Annealing — Facts Uncovered, Myths Busted

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

The science behind annealing during the manufacture of new cases is well-established. What happens after that, when we repeatedly reload and anneal those same cases, has always been somewhat of a “dark art”. To help separate scientific fact from fiction, the creators of the Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) Annealer machine have conducted detailed studies of cartridge brass. The AMP Team’s studies offer some remarkable insights, while disproving a number of myths about annealing. Will annealing tighten your groups? The evidence of these studies shows it could.

The test results are fascinating. The team compared brands of brass, sectioning brass to examine both alloy composition and thickness from case mouth to case-head (bottom). They also examined how carbon build-up affects next tension. And they determined how brass changes over multiple loading cycles. They even did a series of bullet-pull tests to analyze factors affecting neck tension. Here are some of the key subjects in the reports:

Brand by Brand Analysis — How the cartridge brass alloy varies among different manufacturers.
Bullet Release and Neck Tension — Tensile Bullet-Pull tests show factors affecting neck tension.
Neck Tension and Carbon — How carbon build-up inside the neck affects “neck tension”.
SS Tumbling and Hardness – How tumbling with stainless media affects brass hardness.
Case Cleaning (Ultrasound and Tumbling) — How case cleaning affects annealing.
Multiple Loadings — How brass performs when annealed every reload over 10+ cycles.

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

You really should read the reports — there are some fascinating revelations. The AMP team made longitudinal sections of various cases to show different case wall thicknesses and head geometry. These examples also show how the hardness of the case varies from the case mouth to the case-head. Both virgin and used, annealed cases were examined.

Bullet-Pull Tests — Using advanced tensile test equipment, AMP experimented with different combinations of dies, reloading sequences, and neck hardness to ascertain the best practice.
Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

Carbon Inside Your Case-Necks May Be a GOOD Thing
AMP’s testers found carbon in necks can be beneficial: “Even with identical interference fit and neck hardness, as the carbon layer increased (microscopically), the force to draw the bullet decreased. It would appear the carbon acted as a lubricant. Interestingly, the [pull force] standard deviation also improved, i.e. the case to case variation in the force required to draw the bullets decreased.”*

Read the Full Test Reports

The AMP team’s objectives were to clarify some misconceptions on just what annealing does and does not do, and also to establish the best practices for consistent results. They have consulted with three independent certified metallurgy laboratories to produce some definitive information. So far, the Stage 1 and Stage 2 reports have been released. The studies include a report on the general physical properties of cartridge brass, including grain structures, hardness scales, time/temperature annealing information, and what can cause de-zincification.

The FULL REPORTS, including comprehensive appendices, are found here:

Stage One: https://www.ampannealing.com/articles/40/annealing-under-the-microscope/

Stage Two: https://www.ampannealing.com/articles/42/annealing-under-the-microscope/

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

Examining Different Brands of Brass — What the Tests Revealed

Is Lapua brass harder than Norma? Is Lake City better than Remington? You’ll find answers to these and other questions in AMP’s annealing studies. One of the key findings in Stage 2 of Amp’s research is that brass from different manufacturers does vary in the distribution of material in the walls of the case.

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

Stage Two Conclusions:

— Different brands of the same cartridge cases can require different annealing power settings due to differing case wall thickness in the neck and shoulder region. The greater the mass of brass to be annealed, the greater the power requirement. Lot to lot variation within the same brand can occur for the same reason.

— The bushing die used in this set of tensile bullet pull tests gave significantly more consistent results than the standard neck die with expander ball.

— Cases should be annealed every reload in order to get the best repeatability.

Case Variations: Brand to Brand, and Lot to Lot

Here is a sample from AMP’s test report:

Analyzing Different Brands of Brass
In our Stage One report, we demonstrated that there is insufficient variation in alloy composition between brands to account for the variations we experience when annealing different brands of the same cartridge case. We therefore sought to confirm that it is the mass of brass to be annealed which accounts for the difference. Below are sectioned samples of four different brands of .223 Remington cases.

Both the Lapua and Norma neck walls are 314* microns (0.01236”) at the mouth. The Lapua neck wall thickens to 348 microns at the junction of the neck and shoulder, and the Norma neck thickens to 325 microns. Through the shoulder, however, the walls of both cases thicken to 370 – 380 microns. Once past the shoulder, they both taper back to 314 microns, before starting to thicken again, moving towards the case head.

The Lapua case requires AMP Program 47 to anneal correctly. It is the heaviest of the four cases tested through the shoulder region. The Norma case, which is only slightly lighter through the same region, needs Program 43.

The Remington case is very similar to the Lapua and Norma cases in the neck region, but it actually thins fractionally through the shoulder and front section of the body. The AMP program setting for Remington 223R is P32.

The Lake City case is the thinnest throughout of all four samples. It only requires Program 28.

The above samples clearly demonstrate that the mass of brass to be annealed is critical to the power requirement for correct annealing.

To see how the AMP Induction Annealing Machine works, watch this video:

* However, in Stage Two of AMP testing, the testers experimented with clean, carbon-free necks with dry lube. There was some indication of greater tensile pull consistency with dry-lube, but AMP plans to do more testing.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 7 Comments »
September 19th, 2017

IMR Enduron Powders — Excellent Extruded Propellants

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

Have you tried the IMR Enduron powders yet (IMR 4166, 4451, and 7977)? We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen. IMR’s new line of Enduron extruded powders offer good temp stability, reduced copper fouling, and good load density for many of the most popular cartridges (such as .223 Rem, .308 Win, .30-06, 300 WSM to name a few). Some of our Forum members have reported excellent results with IMR 4166 in the 6mmBR, Dasher, 6.5×47 Lapua and .308 Win. One member wrote: “in my 6.5×47… 4166 gives speeds and accuracy pretty much exactly the same as Varget.” And other shooters have observed reduced copper fouling with Enduron series powders, so IMR’s Enduron anti-fouling chemistry does seem to work.

IMR Legendary Powders provided this summary of Enduron Properties:

Varmint hunters, big game hunters, match shooters and military snipers all seek powders that are insensitive to temperature changes. These powders all have it. This translates to point of impact and group size remaining the same, no matter what temperature conditions prevail. Another huge benefit is an additive that prevents copper fouling from building during dozens of rounds being fired. Here the advantage is top accuracy for longer periods of time, and less cleaning time.

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

A third major accomplishment with this technology is ideal load density. Experienced reloaders know that a case-filling load often delivers the most uniform velocities and best accuracy. We see this in popular match cartridges such as the 6PPC, 6mmBR, and .308 Win. These new Enduron powders offer excellent “full case” load density for the most commonly used cartridges with popular bullets.

CLICK HERE to Learn More about IMR Enduron Powders

These three powders, IMR 4166, IMR 4451 and IMR 7977, are environmentally friendly by not having any ingredients harmful to the environment. Add to that, the three of them cover the most popular cartridges from .204 Ruger up to the mighty 500 Nitro Express, and the handloader “has it all”.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 18th, 2017

Bargain Finder 104: 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. Monmouth Reloading — Massive Inventory Liquidation Sale

Monmouth Reloading Bullet AR15 AR10 parts sale inventory liquidation

Honestly, this is one of the best buying opportunities we’ve seen all year. Monmouth Reloading is having a huge inventory reduction sale. Prices have been slashed on brass, bullets, AR parts, barrels, and dozens of popular accessories. Aero Precision uppers are $50-$70 off. Nosler bullets are typically marked down 28-37%, with some example going for a fraction of the original cost. Prices on the popular Hornady ELD-X bullets have also been slashed. If you need bullets for a tactical/PRS rifle, or want to put together an AR-based gas gun, check out this sale and take advantage of the huge savings.

2. Amazon — Multi-Gun Backpack Case with Shooting Mat, $59.93

3-Gun Multigun Case Tactical gun carrier shoulder straps mag pouches sale amazon

Here’s a cool item for you tactical and 3-Gun guys. This unique gun case will haul shotgun, rifle, and pistol, plus magazines. A large, removable padded section serves as a shooting mat. This multi-gun rifle case even comes with built-in shoulder straps. What would you expect to pay for all this functionality — $150 or more? Think again. Right now this 3-Gun Carry Case with Shooting Mat costs just $59.93 at Amazon. User reviews have generally been quite positive, saying the case is well-made and very functional: “The shoulder straps make carrying the bag easier when fully loaded”; “The bag securely holds my two scoped rifles. Exterior pouches are excellent, pull-out pad is short, but sufficient. VERY good quality for the price.”

3. CDNN Sports — Ruger 17 HMR American Compact, $249.99

Ruger 17 HMR American Compact

This is a good little rifle in our favorite varmint chambering. With ballistics far superior to a .22 LR, the 17 HMR is ideal for prairie dogs and small varmints out to 180 yards or so. Now you can get a reliable, name brand 17 HMR rifle for a very attractive price. CDNN Sports is selling the 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire Compact, with 18″ barrel, for just $249.99. That includes two (2) comb units and a FREE padded carry sling. FFL required.

4. Natchez — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $249.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $249.99, a great deal. Right now, Natchez is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $249.99. That’s a great deal considering all the hardware you get. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $150.00+. Considering all you get, this is a heck of a deal. The Natchez price is $70-$90 cheaper than many other vendors. For example, MidwayUSA’s price is $329.99 for this same kit!

5. Cabela’s — Savage 12 FV Rifle, $319.99

Savage 12 FV FCV hunting rifle .223 Rem 6.5 Creedmoor rebate Visa Card

Here’s a good deal on a Savage hunting rifle. Purchase a Model 12 FV for $319.99 from Cabela’s. This is a sweet deal if you’re looking for a basic, no-frills hunting or varminting rifle. Cabela’s offers five chamberings at this price: .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, 22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. NOTE: The Cabela’s website includes a link to a $100 Savage rebate. That is for the 12 FCV, a different model. This basic 12 FV is not rebate eligible. But it’s still a good deal at $319.99.

6. Amazon — FosPower 10200 mAh Waterproof Charger, $24.99

FosPower USB Battery pack waterproof shockproof LED

When you’re at the range or on a hunt, it’s smart to have a USB-output battery pack for smart phone, target-cam monitor, even a LabRadar. There are many battery packs available, but most are fairly fragile, with exposed ports. This “ruggedized” FosPower 10200 mAh charger is different. It is waterproof, dust-proof, and shock-proof. (IP67 certified: dust and water resistance for up to 3ft/1m for 30 minutes under water.) It can handle all that a PRS competitor or hunter can dish out. It even has a handy LED light. Right now it’s priced at $24.99 with FREE Shipping on combined orders over $25.00.

7. Bullets.com — Handgun Safe, $44.95

AccurateShooter Deals of week bargain discount savings Ruger American Rifle 17 HMR

This pistol safe keeps your handguns secure while still permitting instant “push-button” access. The three-button lock can be personalized with 3- to 8-digit codes, and there is a key override. This safe will hold two (2) full-sized pistols and can also store passports, cash, or other valuables. The spring-loaded door gives you near-instant response. The all-steel case also includes mounting holes for fixing the safe to floor or shelf.

8. MidwayUSA — 25-50% Off Hunting Clothing

MidwayUSA hunting clothing sale hunter fall camo camouflage

Hunting Season is almost here. Time to get fully outfitted for this fall’s hunting adventures. Good Camo clothing can help make your hunt a success. Right now MidwayUSA has a large selection of camouflage outerwear on sale at up to 50% Off. Pants, shirts, vests, parkas, coats, rain jackets, bibs, hats, neck gaiters, and pull-overs are all marked down. CLICK HERE to see the MidwayUSA Hunting Clothing Deals

9. Mystery Deal — Versatile Digital Item, 32% under 2016 Pricing

AccurateShooter.com Mystery Deal of the Week Lenovo

Today’s Mystery Deal of the Week is something you’ll use at home as well as at the shooting range. This handy product will help you plot your trajectories, keep track of load data, get weather reports, and even see your bullet holes better (when coupled with a target cam). When introduced, this handy, high-tech gadget cost $285.00 (3rd party price). Now you can get one for under $120.00. Considering all that this product can do, it’s a bargain. We wouldn’t be surprised if purchasers might use this gadget ten or more hours per week.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics No Comments »
September 16th, 2017

Bullet Pointing 101 — How to Point Match Bullet Tips

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Tech Tip by Doc Beech, Applied Ballistics Support Team
I am going to hit on some key points when it comes to bullet pointing. How much pointing and trimming needed is going to depend on the bullet itself. Specifically how bad the bullets are to begin with. Starting out with better-quality projectiles such as Bergers is going to mean two things. First that you don’t need to do as much correction to the meplat, but also that the improvement is going to be less. NOTE: We recommend you DO NOT POINT hunting bullets. Pointing can affect terminal performance in a bad way.

NOTE the change in the bullet tip shape and hollowpoint size after pointing:
Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Don’t Over-Point Your Bullets
What is important here is that you never want to over-point. It is far better to be safe, and under-point, rather than over-point and crush the tips even the slightest bit. To quote Bryan Litz exactly: “Best practice is to leave a tiny air gap in the tip so you’re sure not to compress the metal together which will result in crushing. Most of the gain in pointing is taking the bullet tip down to this point. Going a little further doesn’t show on target”. So in essence you are only bringing the tip down a small amount… and you want to make sure you leave an air gap at the tip.

Salazar Whidden Bullet Pointer system

Also keep in mind, bullet pointing is one of those procedures with variable returns. If you only shoot at 100-200 yards, bullet pointing will likely not benefit you. To see the benefits, which can run from 2 to 10% (possibly more with poorly designed bullets), you need be shooting at long range. Bryan says: “Typically, with pointing, you’ll see 3-4% increase in BC on average. If the nose is long and pointy (VLD shape) with a large meplat, that’s where pointing has the biggest effect; up to 8% or 10%. If the meplat is tight on a short tangent nose, the increase can be as small as 1 or 2%.” For example, If you point a Berger .308-caliber 185gr Juggernaut expect to only get a 2% increase in BC.

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Should You Trim after Pointing?
Sometimes you can see tiny imperfections after pointing, but to say you “need” to trim after pointing is to say that the small imperfections make a difference. Bryan Litz advises: “If your goal is to make bullets that fly uniformly at the highest levels, it may not be necessary to trim them.” In fact Bryan states: “I’ve never trimmed a bullet tip, before or after pointing”. So in the end it is up to you to decide.

Pointing is Easy with the Right Tools
The process of pointing in itself is very simple. It takes about as much effort to point bullets as it does to seat bullets. We are simply making the air gap on the tip of the bullet ever-so smaller. Don’t rush the job — go slow. Use smooth and steady pressure on the press when pointing bullets. You don’t want to trap air in the die and damage the bullet tip. You can use most any press, with a caliber-specific sleeve and correct die insert. The Whidden pointing die has a micrometer top so making adjustments is very easy.

Bryan Litz actually helped design the Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System, so you can order the Pointing Die and Inserts directly from Applied Ballistics. Just make sure that you pick up the correct caliber sleeve(s) and appropriate insert(s). As sold by Applied Ballistics, the Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System comes with the die, one tipping insert, and one caliber-specific sleeve. To see which insert(s) you need for your bullet type(s), click this link:

LINK: Whidden Gunworks Pointing Die Insert Selection Chart

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
September 12th, 2017

Care and Feeding of .50 BMGs — What You Need to Know

fifty caliber shooting association

A while back we published an Introduction to .50-Caliber Shooting authored by James Patterson. James has written a companion piece for Sinclair’s Reloading Press that covers the “care and feeding” of the big .50 Cal match rifles.

50 BMG FCSA 50 Caliber 50 BMG

Owning and Feeding ‘The Big Bore’

Is The Challenge Of Big Bore Extreme Range Shooting And Hunting Right For You?
By James Patterson

Handling a 50 BMG
Is a 50 BMG caliber rifle difficult to shoot? Not at all. The relatively heavy weight of a standard rifle at 30 pounds or more combined with a very efficient muzzle brake makes it a pleasure to shoot. The typical recoil can be compared to a .243 rifle or a 12 gauge trap load. On the other hand, the burning of a typical load of 230 grains of powder combined with that muzzle brake makes the muzzle blast experience exhilarating. A first time shooter will fire, pause for a moment in awe at the muzzle blast, and then break out into what has become known as “The 50 caliber Grin”, almost impossible to wipe from ones face. My daughter started competing with the 50 BMG at 18 (115 lbs of tall skinny girl) and happily shoots 100+ rounds in the course of a match, her grin on the last round is as wide as on the first! Many members and competitors in the FCSA are women and many have distinguished themselves as excellent marksman having set world records on numerous occasions.

50 BMG Fifty Caliber Shooting Association

Fifty 50 Caliber shooting Association

Cost of Big-Bore Shooting
Is owning and shooting a 50 BMG caliber rifle expensive? Relatively speaking yes, but one must put it into perspective. Rifles may run from $2500 to $7000, maybe even more for a top of the line custom rifle. A good scope will set you back $500 to $1500. And while excellent commercial ammo is available it runs from $3 to $5 a round. Most serious shooters start reloading for the rifle as soon as practical, not only for the economics of reloading but also for the ability to fine tune custom ammo for their specific rifle. It’s a very rare match that is won shooting commercial ammo. I recently compared the cost of my hobby — owning, shooting, and competing with the 50 BMG — with a friend whose hobby is snowmobiling. Factoring in the cost of equipment, licensing, gasoline, clothing, etc. it was soon obvious that my hobby was significantly less expensive than his.

50 BMG FCSA Fifty Caliber

50 BMG FCSA fifty Caliber

FCSA 50 Caliber 50 BMG

Getting Started
FCSA 50 BMG Fifty Caliber Shooting AssociationSo how does one get started? You could do as I did, purchase a rifle not knowing what you were really getting into; or you could come out to a FCSA-sponsored event, shoot a number of different rifles, rub shoulders with those who have already taken the plunge, and see if this sport is right for you. While membership in the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association (FSCA) is required to compete at a FSCA event, membership is not required to come and experience first hand what is going on. If you have any inclination that you are interested in the extreme sport of long rang, big bore shooting then a year’s membership in the FCSA is only $60 ($20 for active duty military) a significant bargain if it helps you make just one well-informed equipment choice. In addition one of the primary functions of the FCSA is helping to identify active members near you who can help you understand just what is involved and help you ‘get your feet wet’ in this challenging sport.

FCSA 50 Caliber 50 BMG

Photos courtesy FCSA Photo Gallery.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing No Comments »
September 11th, 2017

Bargain Finder 103: 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 — Lapua Bullets on Sale, Up to 49% Off

Grafs Grafs.com Lapua Scenar Scenar-L Bullet sale discount HPBT

You know Lapua makes truly superior brass, but have you tried Lapua bullets yet. You should. The Scenar and Scenar-L match bullets are outstanding. In one of our rifles (a 6mmBR), Lapua’s original 105gr Scenar bullets out-shot every other projectile we tried. And the Scenar-L bullets are some of the most consistent bullets (for weight and base-to-ogive) we’ve ever measured. Now you can get these outstanding Lapua match bullets, plus excellent Lapua hunting bullets at major savings. Here are some of the best deals on great Scenar-L Match Bullets now at Grafs.com:

.224 Cal 77gr HPBT Scenar-L: $24.99/100 (Save 46%) (Great for Service Rifle)
6mm (.243) 90gr HPBT Scenar-L: $369.99/1000 (Save 18%) (Great XTC and PRS Bullet)
6.5mm (.264) 120gr HPBT Scenar-L: $259.99/1000 (Save 39%) (Great for 6.5 Creedmoor)
7mm (.284) 180gr HPBT Scenar-L: $28.99/100 (Save 46%) (Superb F-Open Bullet)
.308 Cal 155gr HPBT Scenar-L: $299.99/1000 (Save 37%) (Excellent Palma Bullet)
.308 Cal 220gr HPBT Scenar-L: $30.99/100 (Save 46%) (Excellent F-TR Bullet)

2. CDNN — Winchester XPR Hunting Rifle, $279.99 After Rebate

Winchester XPR Hunting Rifle Vias Camo CDNN Cabelas Rebate

Looking for a good hunting rifle at a great price? Check out this promotion for the Winchester XPR. This is a fine-handling rig with a smooth bolt and many chambering options. Right now at CDNN Sports the basic gray-stocked Winchester XPR is on sale for $379.99. But here’s the kicker, Winchester is offering a $100.00 Mail-In Rebate. That drops your net cost to just $279.99. That’s an insanely good deal. You can also get the XPR in Vias Camo for $299.99 after rebate.

3. Midsouth — Norma Tac-223 .223 Rem Ammo, $5.99/20 rounds

Norma .223 Rem Tac-22 Ammunition AR15 ammo

Planning a late-season varmint hunt, or need some reliable ammo for a 3-Gun match? Look no further. This .223 Remington Norma Tac-223 FMJ is good ammo, a lot better than bulk commercial reloads, and not much more money. On sale now for $5.99 for a 20-round box, this quality Norma ammo is just thirty cents ($0.30) per round! You can also get this ammo by the case at Brownells, $244.99 for 800 rounds.

Here are two reviews from actual Midsouth customers who bought and shot this ammo:

“Amazingly accurate, great for target practice and plinking, and Norma brass! Believe it would be very good for varmit hunting. Price point is awesome for what you get from this ammunition. ordering more now.” Pat, Ohio

“I purchased this [Tac-223] ammo primarily for the Norma cartridge brass. It shoots great and the brass is top notch.” — Jim, Kentucky

4. DeGuns.net — S&W M&P 9mm, $399.99/$324.99 after Rebate

Smith Wesson M&P pistol handgun 9mm 9x19mm sale rebate

Here’s a great deal on a very reliable, accurate full-size 9x19mm pistol — the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm in Flat Dark Earth finish. We like the distinctive color with contrasting matte black ambidextrous controls. For the next week, this 9mm pistol is on sale for just $399.99. To sweeten the deal further, this handgun qualifies for a $75.00 Smith & Wesson Rebate. Act soon — this DeGuns Deal is good through September 16, 2017.

5. Amazon — Lyman BoreCam (Digital Borescope), $174.49

Bargain Deal Lyman Borecam Midsouth Shooters

Here’s the best deal we’ve found on an excellent product in high demand. The Lyman BoreCam is an electro-optical borescope with a digital display. You can record “stills” on a SD card. Our Forum members really like the BoreCam (although some wish the digital view-screen was larger). Amazon.com now has the Lyman BoreCam for $174.49 (seller Optics Planet) or $182.24 with free Prime Shipping. Grab it while you can at that price. Other vendors are charging a LOT more. For example, MidwayUSA’s price is $259.99!

6. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $179.99

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 $179.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $199.99.

7. BangitAmmo.com — CCI Blazer Brass .45 ACP Ammo, $11.99

Bargain Deal CCI Brass Ammo Ammunition .45 ACP

This is quality, American-made ammo with reloadable brass cases. This is cheaper than just about any name-brand .45 ACP ammo on the market offered in single-box lots. We’ve shot a lot of this ammo and it functioned 100% in 1911s, Sig P220, Glock m21, HK USP and other .45 ACP handguns. Price is $11.99 for a 50-round box ($0.24/round).

8. Brownells — Hornady Auto Charge Powder Dispenser, $139.99

Hornady Auto Charge powder dispenser scale brownells sale

Right now at Brownells the Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Charge electronic powder dispenser/scale is on sale for $149.99. That’s a great deal but there’s more — with Brownells Coupon CODE M3P you can get the AutoCharge for just $139.99 and shipping is just one cent ($0.01) more at Brownells right how. So you can get the Hornady Auto Charge for $140.00 delivered. Hard to beat that.

9. Cabela’s — Savage 12 FV Rifle, $319.99

Savage 12 FV FCV hunting rifle .223 Rem 6.5 Creedmoor rebate Visa Card

Here’s a good deal on a Savage hunting rifle. Purchase a Model 12 FV for $319.99 from Cabela’s. This is a sweet deal if you’re looking for a basic, no-frills hunting or varminting rifle. Cabela’s offers five chamberings at this price: .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, 22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. NOTE: The Cabela’s website includes a link to a $100 Savage rebate. That is for the 12 FCV, a different model. This basic 12 FV is not rebate eligible. But it’s still a good deal at $319.99.

10. Amazon — Mystery Deal, 28% off Typical Price, $199.00

Mystery Deal Optics AccurateShooter Daily Bulletin Amazon

Here’s our second Mystery Deal of the Week. Rest assured this is a very high quality product — at a very compelling price: $199.00 at Amazon. This item sold for $299.99 last summer, and around $270.00 just two months ago. Grab this steal-of-a-deal now. This big-name product will help you get on target all the way out to 1250 yards. We can say with some confidence you won’t find a better-performing, comparable product that represents such a good value. CLICK HERE to see the Mystery Deal.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 9th, 2017

Hornady Video — How Ammo is Made, Start to Finish

Hornady Ammunition

Hornady AmmunitionAs precision hand-loaders, we normally assemble just one round at a time. That won’t cut it for an ammunition factory which needs to produce millions of rounds a month. To see how a modern factory achieves these kind of production levels, watch this video. It provides an inside look at the how ammunition is made with this step-by-step production guide from Hornady. The video begins by showing the stages in production of a lead-core jacketed bullet with exposed tip, such as the Hornady Interlock. Next, at the 1:38″ time-mark, the video shows how cartridge cases are made, starting with small brass cups (photo right). The brass is lengthened in a series of stages involving annealing, drawing, polishing, and the formation of the case head with primer pocket. Finally, at the 2:40″ time mark, the video shows how bullets and powder are seated into cartridge cases on the Hornady assembly line. In the final production stages, the completed ammunition is tested and packaged.

Watch Ammo Production Video

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
September 7th, 2017

How to Use Lapua’s Advanced FREE Ballistics App

Lapua Ballistics App 6DOF degrees of Freedom solver doppler radar bullet BC Apple iOS Android OS mobile smartphone iphone

Lapua offers a sophisticated FREE Ballistics App for iOS and Android smartphones and mobile devices. This state-of-the-art App has many great features — much more than you’d expect for a free App. If you do much shooting past 300 yards, or use a wide variety of bullets and/or cartridge types, we recommend you download the App and give it a try. This article, written by a Lapua technician, explains how to use the App. This article is definitely worth reading — there are many important concepts and procedures discussed here that apply to all Ballistics calculators, not just the Lapua App. For more details, read the Lapua Ballistics App User Manual.

The Lapua Ballistics App is available for Android and iOS smart phones and mobile devices free of charge. For more info, visit www.lapua.com/lapuaballisticsapp.

Lapua Ballistics App Basics — How to Get Started

Lapua bullets trajectory 6DOF Ballistics App Hunting G1 G7

Article by Matti Paananen
As smartphones and tablets are constantly developed, ballistic software and Apps are also improving, and with their help our ability to hit targets can improve significantly. This is a short introduction on why and how to use a ballistic calculator, namely the Lapua Ballistics App, and a few pointers that will help you use the App effectively.

CLICK HERE for FREE 28-page Lapua Ballistics App USER GUIDE

Ballistics software and Apps are designed to help shooters and hunters make calculations to hit distant targets or take down game in the field by offering ballistic solutions. Lapua Ballistics is the first App utilizing the 6DOF calculation model.

Toying around with ballistics apps is always fun, but effective use of ballistic software requires general understanding of how they work. The App gets information from the user and by using mathematical formulas it provides the solution that will give the user a solid starting point to hit the target.

However, it is also important to remember that the App can’t think — it only calculates a solution based on your parameters. You will not know the error until you have already fired the shot.

1. SET UP YOUR SCOPE RETICLE AND RIFLE
Scope manufactures use different units per click, so it’s important that you use the correct unit in the App. For example, in your scope, one click can be 0.1 mil, 1/4 MOA, [or 1/8 MOA depending on the model]. You can find this information in your scope manual and also usually from the scope turrets. Setting your scope reticle is very important, partly because if you use the wrong unit in the App, the ballistic solution will not match your scope. To set up your scope reticle in Lapua Ballistics, go to Manage Rifle / Cartridge Data –> Add Rifle Cartridge Data (or choose to edit a Rifle/Cartridge combo you’ve already set up) –> Reticle –>.

Lapua 6DOF Ballistics App Hunting G1 G7

Another thing to setup in Lapua Ballistics is your scope height, i.e. Line of Sight to Bore in the Manage Rifle / Cartridge Data window. This is the distance between the center of the scope and the center of the bore. The default height is 45mm but with tactical rifles, the height can be even 70mm. So check! The height is easy to measure with a ruler. Then there’s also the twist rate of your rifle to set up — look it up in the rifle manual, it can also be stamped on the rifle barrel. The rifle twist rate is needed to calculate spin drift and bullet stability. Spin drift should be taken into account with longer distances, and it can be enabled or disabled in Lapua Ballistics.

2. SET UP YOUR BULLET CHOICE
You can add your bullet of choice from the bullet library, where you find all Lapua bullets. It is also possible to add information manually. In this case, you will need bullet weight, the ballistic coefficient BC and muzzle velocity. The Ballistic coefficient can be given in G1 or G7 values. G7 is designed for low-drag bullets with a boat tail and G1 is used for more traditional flat base bullets. Lapua on the other hand uses Doppler radar-based data to calculate a more accurate ballistic trajectory for Lapua bullets by 6DOF model. Anyway, it is good to remember that the ballistic coefficient changes with velocity, so all changes in a flight path cannot be predicted.

The following thing you will need to set up is the bullet’s actual muzzle velocity. You can reverse engineer the number based on your drop or by using a chronograph. It is good to remember that more rounds you shoot, the better average velocity you will get.

Lapua Bullets 6DOF Ballistics App Hunting G1 G7

Because temperature affects muzzle velocity, it would be good to shoot velocities in different temperatures and write them down. Those notes can be used with Lapua Ballistics as it is possible to set up the powder temperature variation in the App.

3. SET UP WEATHER CONDITIONS
Lapua Ballistics has settings for temperature, air pressure, and humidity. All these affect the ballistic solution and the chance to hit the target. In a nutshell, temperature affects the powder’s burn speed and in that way the bullet velocity. Air pressure and humidity also affect bullet drag.

If you are shooting approximately on sea level, you do not need to change air pressure values, but if you are shooting or hunting in mountain areas or where there is lot of elevation difference, you might want to check the air pressure. On sea level, the atmospheric pressure is 1013 hPa. The higher you go, the less air pressure you will have and thus less bullet drag. Some like to use handheld weather and wind meters that have a function to get actual air pressure and humidity, however the Get Current Weather function in Lapua Ballistics will give you the air pressure reading from your local and most close weather station, provided that your app is allowed to use your location data.

Lapua Bullets 6DOF Ballistics App Hunting G1 G7

Temperature is an important variable. To understand how velocity change in different temperatures, only way is to shoot and keep notes. Some ballistic software and apps have values for muzzle velocity in different temperatures. The user needs to input muzzle velocity in different temperatures in order to software to calculate the effect. More velocities in different temperatures the user adds, the more accurate the calculation will be.

4. SET UP A BALLISTIC SOLUTION
After we have set up our own rifle / cartridge data, there are few things that need to be taken into account when shooting: the distance to the target, the wind and our shooting skills. Distance can be measured for example with a laser rangefinder and then put in. Wind can also be measured with a wind gauge but it is important to remember that the wind in the target area can be very different from that in the shooting position. Lapua Ballistics gives a ballistic solution based on stationary wind, so in the end, the shooter’s task is to estimate how much the wind factor will be.

It’s good to remember that Lapua Ballistics is a starting point and designed to assist the shooter. Software and apps have ways of helping us adjust the sight and predict the ballistic solution but they will not replace the shooter. We still have to pull the trigger and record our range data. By keeping good range notes and with the support of good ballistic software like Lapua Ballistics, we should be able hit in all environments.

Watch Video for Explanation of Lapua Ballistics App Features

Article Find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions
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September 6th, 2017

Rimfire Genesis — How CCI .22 LR Rimfire Ammo is Made

22 .22 Plinkster Youtube Video CCI Speer Rimfire Ammo Ammunition plant Lewiston Idaho

22Plinkster Tours CCI/Speer Idaho Factory
Trickshot artist and YouTube host 22Plinkster recently got a chance to tour the CCI/Speer production facility in Lewiston, Idaho. This large plant produces both rimfire and centerfire ammunition. While touring the plant, 22Plinkster was allowed to capture video showing the creation of .22 LR rounds from start to finish. This is a fascinating video, well worth watching.

This revealing video shows all phases of .22 LR ammo production including cupping, drawing, annealing, washing, drying, head-stamping, priming, powder charging, bullet seating, crimping, waxing, inspection, and final packaging. If you’ve got ten minutes to spare, we really recommend you watch the video from start to finish. You’ll definitely learn some new things about rimfire ammo.

The Manufacturing Process for .22 LR Rimfire Ammunition
Shooting Sports USA explains: “Rimfire cartridge cases are the oldest self-contained cartridge in existence, having been in continuous production since the mid-1850s. Rimfire cases are drawn from a thin piece of brass and formed with a hollow rim. A priming compound is then forced into the case using centrifugal force, where it is charged with powder and a bullet is seated in the mouth of the case. The case is then crimped around the bullet to ensure sufficient push and pull when the round is fired. When the firing pin strikes the thin brass rim of the case, the hollow rim is crushed and the primer is ignited.” Source: SSUSA.org 9/2/2017.

.22 LR ammunition photo
Photo courtesy BulkAmmo.com.

Buried in CCI Rimfire Ammo
.22 Plinkster was literally up to his neck in ammo while touring the CCI/Speer Idaho ammo plant. He says: “This was truly a dream come true for me. I can’t thank the people at CCI and Speer enough for allowing me to do this. I couldn’t possibly show everything that went on at the factory. However, hopefully I showed you enough for you to grasp the concept of how rimfire [ammo] is made.”

22 .22 Plinkster Youtube Video CCI Speer Rimfire Ammo Ammunition plant Lewiston Idaho

Speer Brothers Brought Ammo Production to Lewiston
Here is an interesting historical footnote. Today’s large CCI/Speer operation in Idaho can be traced back to the companies founded by the Speer brothers. After settling in Lewiston in 1944, Vernon Speer started Speer Bullets. A few years later, in 1951, Vernon’s brother Dick (with partner Arvid Nelson) started Cascade Cartridges Inc., a producer of small-arms ammunition and primers. Yes, as you may suspect, Cascade Cartridges Inc. is now CCI, a Vista Outdoor company, and one of the largest manufacturers of primers and loaded ammunition. Today, the CCI/Speer Lewiston plant produces both Speer bullets and CCI-branded ammunition and primers. Vista Outdoor’s predecessor, ATK, acquired the plant in 2001. Vernon Speer died in 1979, and Dick Speer died in 1994.

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September 5th, 2017

Thinking Outside the Box — Stan Ware’s Wicked No-Neck Wolfpup

Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

Think you need a relatively long case-neck for good accuracy? Think again. Stan Ware broke all the rules with his radical Wolfpup cartridge, proving that a near-no-neck design can deliver match-winning accuracy. Read on to learn how the Wolfpup works…

Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesRetired gunsmith Stan Ware is a talented shooter who’s not afraid to think “outside the box”. Stan competes in both Hunter Benchrest (HBR) and Varmint for Score (VFS) disciplines. In his quest to build the ultimate Hunter Benchrest cartridge, Stan created the radical “Wolfpup” wildcat, based on a 6mmBR parent case. Noting the dominance of 30 BRs in VFS matches, Stan wondered if a stretched 30 BR could work in HBR competition. The challenge was case capacity. Under HBR rules the cartridge must hold at least 45.0 grains of water, equal to the capacity of the classic 30/30 case.

To get the requisite HBR case capacity, Stan figured he needed to boost the volume of a 30 BR case significantly, so he would have to move the shoulder forward — a lot. He did this by running a 30 BR reamer deeper and deeper, test-firing brass along the way. After three reamer passes, he ended up with the capacity he needed (the Wolfpup holds 45.3 grains of water). But then he looked at the finished product — a case with almost no neck, and he wondered “how could this possibly work?”.

Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesFrom Trashbin to Winner’s Circle
Ware’s prototype Wolfpup ended up so short-necked, so unlike any “normal” cartridge, that Stan figured it was “dead on arrival”. Stan told us: “I said ‘this ain’t going to work’ and I threw the brass in the trash can. Honest. But later I thought I better shoot it and see what it does.” There was one problem — Stan didn’t have a seating die. He noticed the short neck provided a bit of tension after fire-forming, so he literally seated some bullets, BIB 118s and 125s, with his fingers. For powder he used H4198 and started with 35 grains, one grain more than a 30 BR load. Stan then did a pressure work-up: “I actually went up to 41.0 grains and didn’t have a sticky bolt. I ended up at 37.9 grains of Hodgdon 4198 — that gave 3150 fps, where the sweet spot is.” (Later testing revealed a second accuracy node at about 3020 fps, using 36.4 grains of H4198).

Stan’s radical short-necked Wolfpup shot great from the get-go. Once he found the right velocity node, the gun shot in the ones and zeros with both 7-ogive and 10-ogive bullets, both 118s and 125s. The Wolfpup proved easy to tune — it’s not finicky at all. And it’s a winner. Stan began shooting the Wolfpup in 2006 in both VFS and HBR matches and the ‘Pup’ started winning matches right away. In 2007, Stan won the Wisconsin State VFS Championship shooting the Wolfpup. In June 2010 at a Webster City, Iowa VFS match, Stan won the Grand Agg and posted high X-Count for the match, while placing first at 100 yards and second at 200 yards. How’s that for a cartridge that almost ended up in the trash bin?

Does Stan deserve an award for “most innovative benchrest cartridge design”? Stan chuckles at that notion: “I’m not a hero, not a genius. I really didn’t do anything. The fun part is thinking outside the box — for me anyway. Shooting is an age-old process of experimentation. You never learn it all.”

Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom Rifles

Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom RiflesWhy Does It Work?
How can such a radical case design perform so well? “That’s a good question,” Stan admitted. He then explained: “The 30 BR is inherently accurate, so I figured something based on the 30 BR should be accurate too. My personal belief is that the short neck doesn’t hurt you. Plus if the throat in the barrel is straight, the bullet can self-align. If the chamber is good, the bullet will self-center in the throat. In a regular case there’s not much room to do that, so a bullet can start off-center, and you don’t get the same results every time. A bullet in a conventional case is stopped from self-centering by the stiffer neck, particularly in a tight-clearance BR gun.”

Reloading the .30 Wolfpup
Stan’s Wolfpup chamber has a neck dimension of 0.330″. He turns his necks for a 0.327″ loaded round. Bullets are jammed .020″ forward of first contact with the lands. When he closes the bolt it pushes the bullet back in the case — almost a soft seat. Stan notes: “To start with I normally bump the shoulder .0005-.001″ so they go in easy. Just by doing that I get a little neck tension. I also use a bushing. Right now I’m running a .322, but it’s not particularly sensitive. I’ve tried one-thousandths increments up to a .325 bushing and couldn’t tell a lot of difference.” For bullet seating, Stan uses a Wilson 30 BR seater die into which he ran the chamber reamer. This gives perfect case fit during seating operations.

Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

About the Illustrated Gunstock
You’ll notice Stan’s stock contains scenes from Vietnam and a quotation. Here’s the story. A Vietnam combat veteran, Stan served “in-country” with the Army’s 509th Non-Divisional Combat Unit (out of Fort Riley) from 1965-1966. Shortly before he left Vietnam, Stan went to a shop to have a souvenir lighter engraved. He asked the vendor for an appropriate inscription. The shop’s metal-worker engraved: “War is a tragedy. It takes mans’ best to do mans’ worst.” That message, along with the combat scenes, were hand-painted on Stan’s rifle by his wife Susan, a talented artist. She spent more than 20 hours painting the rifle stock.

Photos courtesy Ryan Ware and Stan Ware.
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September 4th, 2017

Bargain Finder 102: 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 Composite Stalker, $349.99 NET

CDNN Sports Browning Bucks Abolt AB3 A-Blot III Composite Stalker Realtree Xtra hunting rifle

Hunting season is coming soon. Here’s a rifle with a smooth three-lug action and good trigger that can take any game in North America. The Browning A-Bolt III is justifiably respected as a solid hunting rifle. This AB3 Composite Stalker model, with a synthetic stock blued barreled action, normally retails for $600.00+. Now it’s on sale for under $449.99. What’s more, Browning is currently offering a $100.00 Browning Bucks Rebate for any Browning firearm purchased before September 30, 2017. That drops your net cost for this hunting rifle to just $349.99.

CDNN Sports Browning Bucks Abolt AB3 A-Blot III Composite Stalker Realtree Xtra hunting rifle

Chose your favorite short-action or long-action cartridge. Available chamberings at this price include: .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, 7mm-08, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .300 WSM, .30-06 Sprg, 300 Win Mag. The .270 Win and .30-06 versions are also available with Realtree Xtra Camo (above) for the same $349.99 after-rebate price.

2. Natchez — Leupold VX-6 Scopes Closeout, Save Hundreds

Leupold VX-6 Scopes Closeout Sale Discount hunting

Looking for a good scope for your hunting rifle? Natchez Shooters Supplies is running a big sale on Leupold VX-6 scopes. You can save hundreds of dollars on a wide variety of VX-6 optics, from 1-6x24mm up to 3-18x50mm models. If you are looking for a high-quality hunting optic at a great price check out these deals. For example, Leupold’s 2-12x42mm Illum. FireDot LR Duplex model is marked down from $1039.50 to just $749.99 — a 28% savings! Shown above are four hot deals, but a dozen Leupold VX-6 models on are sale now.

3. Bruno’s — Big Labor Day Sale on (Nearly) Everything In Stock

Camo Tuesday Deals of Week camouflage hunting gear

Celebrate Labor Day with big savings. Bullets, brass, powder, optics, dies, tools, stocks, barrels, actions — all this and more is on sale at Bruno Shooters Supply right now. You’ll find savings on pretty much everything Bruno’s sells (except MAP-price items). But you have to act quickly. This storewide sale ends tomorrow, 9/5/2017 at 11:59 PM. You snooze, you loose. NOTE: You don’t need a special discount code — the sale prices are already shown online. This Sale runs through Tuesday, September 5 at 11:59 PM MST. No Back-orders with sale pricing.

4. Midway USA — Camo Tuesday Sales on Hunting Gear

Camo Tuesday Deals of Week camouflage hunting gear

This year, MidwayUSA’s 6th Annual Camo Tuesday™ will feature deep discounts on select MidwayUSA hunting clothing, footwear, ammunition, optics and more from brands like Irish Setter, Federal, and Vortex just to name a few. “Camo Tuesday [is] Black Friday for the hunter and marks the first official shopping day of the fall hunting season,” said Jeff Larkin, VP Marketing. “This year’s Camo Tuesday event … will be bigger and better than ever with some really great products from top brands at unbelievable prices!” Head over to MidwayUSA.com on September 5th to take advantage of the great deals. You can also enter the 2017 Camo Tuesday Sweepstakes with a Hunting Clothing Package prize.

5. Amazon — Sig Kilo 1250 Rangefinder, $199.99

sig kilo 1250 laser rangefinder $199 Amazon

Hunting season is coming soon. That means going through your gear check-list before you head to deer country. If you don’t have a quality, compact Laser Rangefinder, here’s a great deal. The 6x20mm SIG Kilo 1250 Camo Rangefinder is now on sale for under $200.00. This is a very accurate LRF, that ranges deer-sized targets at long distances quickly. The scan mode is very fast (4X per second) and this offers both line of sight (LOS) or angle modified range (AMR). The unit is compact and light — a bonus for hunters. There are more expensive Laser Rangefinder that can range farther, but this $199.99 Kilo 1250 will definitely do the job on a hunting trip for one-third the price.

6. Midsouth — All Hazmat Fees Reduced to $19.99 (up to 50 lbs.)

Midsouth Shooters Supply Hazmat Hazardous Material Shipping Discount Powder Valley Hodgdon IMR Alliant

UPDATE: Midsouth Has Extended this offer through Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 at 11:59 PM!

Some online vendors bill up to $40.00 per shipment for Hazardous Materials Charges, the notorious “HAZMAT FEE”. As a Labor Day weekend special, Midsouth has reduced its Hazmat Fee to just $19.99 per shipment, for any combination of powders and primers up to 50 pounds in weight. And yes, you can combine powder and primers in the same order, to ship both with one $19.99 hazmat fee. Right now is a good time to buy. Midsouth has a good selection of most popular powders (though Hodgdon H4350 and Alliant Reloder 16 are still back-ordered).

7. Powder Valley — $10 Off $100 Orders (with eMail Sign-Up)

Powder Valley Hodgdon IMR Alliant

Save ten bucks on your next powder order from Powder Valley Inc., one of the most respected vendors of powder, primers, bullets, and brass in the businesses. Simply subscribe to Powder Valley’s newsletter to earn your $10 Savings. As a subscriber, you’ll get timely tips on sales, and product arrivals — such as the latest shipment of Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass. Powder Valley has long had some of the most competitive pricing on reloading components.

8. Amazon — Motion-Sensitive Interior Light for Gun Safes, $9.95

gun safe light vault cabinet motion sensor light motion sensing LED magnet lamp

Let there be light. Here’s a great accessory for your Gun Safe. This “smart” LED lamp turns itself on when you open the door, and off when you close the door. There’s a built-in magnet so you can easily attach the light to the inner walls or “ceiling” of your gun safe. It works, it’s handy, and it’s inexpensive — just $9.99 with free shipping for Prime members (or otherwise free shipping for $25+ orders). We bought two for our own firearms vault. This can provide 14 hours of light with three AA batteries (not included). Very versatile, these motion-sensor lamps can also be used in closets.

9. Amazon — Mystery Deal of the Week, 30% Off Normal Price

AccurateShooter Mystery Deal Bargain Amazon reveal savings

We’re adding something new to our Weekly Bargain Round-Up — a Mystery Deal of the Week. This will be a high-quality item that has 4+ star user reviews, and is selling at least 25% off the normal price. The item this week is under $100.00 and is an outstanding value. It works as well as competitive products costing $220 or more. HINT: This Mystery Deal item will be handy for all rifle shooters traveling to and from a range. Above is a recent price chart. You can see this is a super value right now. CLICK HERE to see the Mystery Deal.

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September 3rd, 2017

Trimming Cases with the New Stainless L.E. Wilson Trimmer

Wilson stainless case trimmer clamp micrometer video Bill Gravatt Creedmoor sports

How do you trim your cases? We use a variety of tools, including power case trimmers. But our go-to trimmer for Benchrest-type cartridges is the L.E. Wilson Trimmer unit, now available in a handsome and durable stainless assembly. This thing is slick. It trims very precisely with the use of Wilson case holders combined with a micrometer-type stop for length control. As sold complete with micrometer, quick clamp, and metal stand, this new Wilson Stainless Trimmer is $139.95 at Creedmoor Sports. We think that’s a fair price for a unit that can last a lifetime, trimming many thousands of cases.

In this video, Bill Gravatt demonstrates the new Stainless Wilson trimmer. Gravatt offers some smart tips so this video is worth watching even if you’ve used a Wilson trimmer before:

Tips for Trimming with Wilson SS Micrometer Trimmer:

1. After inserting brass in the case holder, tap the case lightly to ensure it seats fully.

2. When starting your case-trimming session, do one or two test cases to check cut length. Adjust length with micrometer, then test length again. If “good to go”, set length stop. NOTE: Release the Stop Screw to make major adjustments. Use the Micrometer to make fine adjustments, in .001″ increments.

3. After trimming operations, be sure to chamfer case mouth after cutting to remove burrs. NOTE: After you have made the chamfer, we recommend gently spinning the chamfer tool backwards a couple times in the case neck. This will burnish/smooth the newly-cut champing, which helps with bullet seating.

Features of Deluxe Wilson Stainless Case Trimmer with Micrometer

    — Long lasting Stainless finish with Micrometer adjustment.
    — New 304 Stainless Steel Handle included with Micrometer Trimmer.
    — Rotary-style clamp swings to secure case-holder — quick and easy.
    — Larger stop screw adjustment from 3/8″ (old) to 1/2″ (new) with increased width on stop nut. Coated with black oxide for a long lasting durable finish.
    — Made in the USA with American Steel.
    — Power Adaptor compatible.

Wilson stainless case trimmer clamp micrometer video Bill Gravatt Creedmoor sports

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September 1st, 2017

Berger Bullets on Sale at Midsouth

Berger Bullets Sale Midsouth VLD Hybrid

Got Bullets? Right now Midsouth Shooters Supply is running a big sale on Berger Bullets, including many Hybrid and VLD match projectiles in all the popular calibers. You can save $3-$5 on a 100-count box. CLICK HERE for BERGER BULLETS SALE.

Here are some of the best deals we found on some of the most popular Berger Bullets, caliber by caliber. Berger’s 7mm 180gr Hybrid is the bullet-to-beat in F-Open competition, and the new 200.20X is favored by many top F-TR shooters, including members of the world-championship-winning F-TR Team USA. The Berger 6mm 105gr Hybrid Target has long been a favorite of Benchrest, High Power, and PRS shooters, as loaded up in match rifles chambered for 6mmBR, 6mm Dasher, 6XC, or 6mm Creedmoor.

.20 Caliber 35gr Match Varmint HP, $24.43 marked down from $27.18
.22 Caliber 80gr Match Target VLD, $29.13 marked down from $32.40
.243 Caliber (6mm) 105gr Match Hybrid Target, $34.46 marked down from $38.32
.264 Caliber (6.5mm) 130gr Match Target VLD, $42.44 marked down from $47.21
.284 Caliber (7mm) 180gr Match Hybrid Target, $47.61 marked down from $52.96
.30 Caliber 200gr 200.20X Match Hybrid Target, $49.65 marked down from $55.22

Berger Bullets sale VLD Hybrid Match Bullets Midsouth Shooters

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September 1st, 2017

Smart Advice on Shipping Gun Parts and Firearms Accessories

Shipping information news Fedex UPS USPS postal service

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEXGun guys are always shipping stuff around the country — whether it’s a barrel to be chambered, or a scope that needs to go back for warranty repair. Or maybe you’ve sold some bullets or reloading dies you no longer need. To ensure your precious packages get to their destination in one piece, it’s important to take precautions when boxing up your items. And by all means insure packages for full value — even if your packaging is perfect, there is always the possibility that your shipment might be lost altogether. Sadly, that can happen, no matter which carrier you choose: Fedex, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Here are some tips for shipping gun stuff — we explain how to pack items properly and how to minimize the risk of loss.

Tips for Shippers
Dennis Haffner from McGowen Precision Barrels offers some advice on how to avoid damage when shipping gun parts or other valuable or heavy items. Dennis explains:

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX“First, I started double-packing the contents and in many cases double-boxing. I spend a fortune on heavy-reinforced shipping tape. If the contents are loosely packed, the package is going to get crushed. On real important items or delicate items, wrap the content in plastic and spray the inside void areas with non-expanding foam. They make shipping foam just for this. This method really works. Since I started paying more attention to packaging, I have just about wiped out my issues with all three companies (Fedex, UPS, USPS). Yes, I hate doing it, but in the long run for us, it’s cheaper.

Bullet shipments are the worst — a shipment of 500+ bullets can destroy a cardboard box. I have ordered bullets from individuals who put them in baggies and filled the remainder of the box with foam peanuts. That is not going to work. Any piece of metal, including a die, will puncture a cardboard box, or destroy a padded envelope. Just look at the tracking information and imagine your package bouncing around in the back of the shipping truck, probably under many other packages. My advice is to NEVER use padded envelopes. Barrel nuts or recoil lugs will most likely never make it.

ORM-D items are required to be shipped in heavily-reinforced, double-walled containers. The packages still get a little damage, but the contents usually survive.

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEXHow do shipments get damaged? Consider this — one of the shipping companies this year flipped (overturned) one of our new CNC machines (which rendered it useless). Maybe your small packages were in the same delivery truck as my CNC machine. I wonder how many little boxes were crushed underneath it.

As for USPS flat rate boxes — you would not believe what people try to stuff in these boxes. USPS finally put a weight limit on the boxes — they had to. I sometimes take my delicate items packed in an envelope or small box. I spray foam in a larger flat rate box and insert the smaller package, then fill the remainder of the void with foam. It works, and part usually arrives undamaged.”

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX
Shipping Rifle Barrels (PVC Tube and Tennis Ball Method)
A new match-grade barrel can cost $350 or more, and it might take six months (or more) to replace it, given the current wait time with top barrel-makers. So, you don’t want your nice new tube to get damaged in transit. Forum Member Chuck L. (aka “M-61″) offers these tips for shipping rifle barrels:

shipping gun parts UPS FEDEX“Packing a barrel can be a problem. Here’s a shipping method that won’t stop lost shipments but so far has stopped damage. Get a PVC pipe (of size appropriate to your barrel) with fitted caps for each end. Attach a cap to one end. Tape the barrel threads and tape over the muzzle. Then drop one standard tennis ball into the pipe. Place barrel in pipe. Next add whatever peanuts or foam you can jam in to support the barrel on the sides. Then place a second tennis ball into the opposite end of the PVC pipe. (So now you have a tennis ball on either end of your barrel.) With everything secure inside, attach the upper cap and tape it down securely. With this packing procedure, when the carrier launches the pipe like a javelin, at least the barrel will not come through like a spear and be gone. Label the pipe with very large address labels so no one suspects it’s just garbage laying around. This procedure may seem ridiculous but it has worked for me. Oh and definitely get insurance. If your item is insured, the shippers will look harder to find it.”

Editor’s Note: Fedex also makes a triangular-profile cardboard shipping box. This 38″ x 6″ x 6″ x 6″ Fedex Tube (designed for blueprints and posters) is free for the asking. For most barrels, there should be enough clearance to hold your PVC tube (with barrel packed inside tube). However, don’t ship the barrel inside the cardboard box by itself. Cap and pad the ends and bubble wrap it heavily, or better yet, use the PVC tube method described above, with the PVC tube inside the box.

For More Packing and Shipping Advice, Read this Forum Thread.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
August 28th, 2017

Bargain Finder 101: 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. EuroOptic.com — 12% Off Vortex Scopes, Spotters, LRFs

Eurooptic.com Vortex bargain sale 12% discount

EuroOptic.com is running a special sale this week on a wide selection of Vortex products, including some of the most popular competition scopes, such as the 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle. CLICK HERE to see all the deals. Do your own comparison shopping. You’ll see Eurooptic’s prices are excellent — you can save hundreds on some models. There are over 80 Vortex products on sale, including comp scopes, hunting scopes, tactical scopes, red dots, spotting scopes, and laser rangefinders.

2. Amazon — 34 dB Noise Rating Ear Muffs, $17.45

34dB NRR 32 hearing protection earmuffs

These 34 dB NRR earmuffs provide excellent sound protection without being too heavy and bulky. At at $17.45, they are a great bargain. The lower section of the muff is trimmed for a narrower profile — that helps with rifle and shotgun stocks. The headband is adjustable and has comfortable padding. These Pro For Sho Muffs have earned a 4 1/2 star consumer rating, with over 1,600 Amazon customer reviews. NOTE: These fit pretty tight. If you have a very large hat size you might want a different brand.

3. Lyman — $25.00 Off Top-Selling Products

Lyman rebate mail-in borecam cyclone powder measure, Case Prep Xpress

Rebate Ends August 31, 2017!

With Lyman’s Summer Rebate, you can now get $25.00 Off five of Lyman’s top-selling products: BoreCam, Case Prep Xpress, Gen6 Powder Dispenser, Cyclone Rotary Tumbler, and AutoAdvance Target. With Lyman’s Summer Mail-In Rebate Program, you can earn a $25 rebate per select item bought from any Lyman dealer, online or direct from the Lyman website. Items must be purchased no later than August 31, 2017 to qualify. CLICK HERE for the Rebate Redemption Form.

4. Natchez — Special 5 Reloading Press Kit, $199.99

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

Looking for a great holiday gift for a family member getting started in metallic cartridge reloading? This RCBS Kit has everything a new reloader needs: single-stage press, powder measure, scale, powder trickler, priming tool, cartridge tray, “rocket” chamfer tool, case lube and more. This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, on sale for just $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you may want to add an additional, large heavy press, but this will get the job done. For the combined package, with all the tools one needs to hand-load quality ammo — this is a stunningly good deal at $199.99.

5. Amazon — Weaver T-Series 36x40mm Scope, $449.95

Weaver Classic T-Series 36x40mm scope

Benchrest Matches have been won (and many records set) with 36X Weaver T-Series optics. Our friend Boyd Allen observed “You can pay three or four times as much for a scope but not necessarily be more competitive — a 36X front objective Weaver is enough to win with…” The Classic T-Series Weaver has proven to be one of the most reliable high-magnification scopes ever made. The “old-fashioned” adjustable objective works well and the Weaver Micro-Trac turret system delivers precise and repeatable elevation and windage control. You can also save money on rings since the main tube is 1″ diameter. The Weaver T-36 with 1/8 MOA clicks and Target Dot reticle costs $449.95 at Amazon.com with free Prime Shipping.

6. Amazon — RCBS Quick-Change Powder Funnel Kit, $9.99

Amazon RCBS Powder funnel quick kit

This versatile funnel system works with nearly all cartridge types, from 17 Remington up to 500 S&W. Even if you have a fancy metal funnel, it’s worth having one of these RCBS Kits on your reloading bench. The RCBS Quick Change Powder Funnel Kit features five (5) adapters that match case mouth diameter for specific cartridge ranges: 17-20 caliber, 22-264 caliber, 27-284 caliber, 30-375 caliber, 40 caliber and higher. The Funnel Kit includes a handy 4-inch drop tube. Price is $9.99 at Amazon with free shipping on orders over $25 total.

7. American Eagle Pistol Ammo, 25% OFF Manufacturer Rebate

Federal Premium American Eagle handgun pistol ammo ammunition sale rebate 25% off

Rebate Ends August 31, 2017!

Here’s a great Rebate offer from Federal Premium Ammunition. Now through August 31st, you can get 25% OFF the cost of Federal American Eagle brass-cased pistol ammo. We’ve used this ammo in .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP and we can say it’s good stuff — very reliable and cleaner that some other less-expensive brands. Midsouth Shooters Supply has qualifying American Eagle Ammo in a variety of calibers: .25 ACP, .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .38 SPL, .357 SIG, .357 Magnum, 40 S&W, .44 Rem Magnum, .45 ACP. Midsouth’s American Eagle Ammo starts at $13.03 for 50 rounds of 9mm Luger. The 25% OFF Rebate reduces the price to just $9.77 per 50-ct box. CLICK HERE for Rebate Form.

8. CDNN — Smith & Wesson Model 617 10-Shot Revolver, $679.99

This Editor’s first really accurate handgun was a Smith & Wesson model 617 that could easily stack ten shots in a dime at 10 yards. It remains my favorite and most-used handgun, and I will never part with it. What can we say about the model 617? Every serious gun guy should own one. The single-action trigger pull is superb, and the accuracy surpasses most any semi-auto rimfire pistol, except for a few, very, very expensive target pistols. We like the 6″ version for the longer site radius, but the 4″-barrel 617 is also very accurate, and it balances better. CDNN’s $679.99 sale price may seem like a lot of money, but MSRP is $829.00 and most dealers are charging $750.00 or more for a new 6″-barrel 617. Get one — you won’t regret it.

9. Home Depot — 72″ Wood Workbench for $77.62

Folding Wood Work Bench Home Deport Reloading

This patented Home Depot workbench assembles in a few minutes. Simply unfold the legs, pop in the shelf, and you are ready to start your project. Made from Premium 2×4 Hemlock fastened with glue and screws, this workbench is a great value. The bench (72″ wide x 35″ high x 22″ deep) can easily be stored when not in use. NOTE: The wood is unfinished (can be painted or stained).

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

Amazon target dots discount free shipping sight-in target

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

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
August 27th, 2017

Controlling Grip on Bullet — Why Bushing Size is Only One Factor

case neck bushing reloading die tension bullet release

Many novice hand-loaders believe that neck bushing Inside Diameter (ID) size is the only important factor in neck tension. In fact, many different things will influence the grip on your bullet and its ability to release from the case neck. To learn the ins and outs of neck tension, take some time and read this article carefully.

Neck Tension (i.e. Grip on Bullets) Is a Complex Phenomenon
While we certainly have considerable control over neck tension by using tighter or looser bushings (with smaller or bigger Inside Diameters), bushing size is only one factor at work. It’s important to understand the multiple factors that can increase or decrease the resistance to bullet release. Think in terms of overall brass-on-bullet “grip” instead of just bushing size (or the internal neck diameter in non-bushing FL dies).

Bullet grip is affected by many things, such as:

1. Neck-wall thickness.
2. Amount of bullet bearing surface (shank) in the neck.
3. Surface condition inside of neck (residual carbon can act as a lubricant; ultrasonic cleaning makes necks “grabby”).
4. Length of neck (e.g. 6mmBR neck vs. 6mm Dasher).
5. Whether or not the bullets have an anti-friction coating.
6.The springiness of the brass (which is related to degree of work-hardening; number of firings etc.)
7. The bullet jacket material.
8. The outside diameter of the bullet and whether it has a pressure ridge.
9. Time duration between bullet seating and firing (necks can stiffen with time).
10. How often the brass is annealed.
11. Amount (length) of neck sized (e.g. you can size only half the neck).
12. Interior diameter of bushing, or neck section of non-bushing die.

— and there are others…

One needs to understand that bushing size isn’t the beginning and end of neck tension questions, because, even if bushing size is held constant, the amount of bullet “grip” can change dramatically as the condition of your brass changes. Bullet “grip” can also change if you alter your seating depth, and it can even change if you ultrasonically clean your cases.

Redding neck bushingsIn our Shooters’ Forum a reader recently asked: “How much neck tension should I use?” This prompted a Forum discussion in which other Forum members recommended a specific number based on their experience, such as .001″, .002″, or .003″. These numbers, as commonly used, correspond to the difference between case-neck OD after sizing and the neck OD of a loaded round, with bullet in place. In other words, the numbers refer to the nominal amount of interference fit (after sizing).

While these commonly-used “tension numbers” (of .001″, .002″ etc.) can be useful as starting points, neck tension is actually a fairly complex subject. The actual amount of “grip” on the bullet is a function of many factors, of which neck-OD reduction during sizing is just one. Understanding these many factors will help you maintain consistent neck tension as your brass “evolves” over the course of multiple reloadings.

Seating Depth Changes Can Increase or Decrease Grip on Bullet
You can do this simple experiment. Seat a boat-tail bullet in your sized neck with .150″ of bearing surface (shank) in the neck. Now remove the bullet with an impact hammer. Next, take another identical bullet and seat it with .300″ of bearing surface in another sized case (same bushing size/same nominal tension). You’ll find the deeper-seated bullet is gripped much harder.

PPC lapua brassNeck-Wall Thickness is Important Too
I have also found that thinner necks, particularly the very thin necks used by many PPC shooters, require more sizing to give equivalent “grip”. Again, do your own experiment. Seat a bullet in a case turned to .008″ neckwall thickness and sized down .003″. Now compare that to a case with .014″ neckwall thickness and sized down .0015″. You may find that the bullet in the thin necks actually pulls out easier, though it supposedly has more “neck tension”, if one were to consider bushing size alone.

In practical terms, because thick necks are less elastic than very thin necks, when you turn necks you may need to run tighter bushings to maintain the same amount of actual grip on the bullets (as compared to no-turn brass). Consequently, I suspect the guys using .0015″ “tension” on no-turn brass may be a lot closer to the guys using .003″ “tension” on turned necks than either group may realize.

Toward a Better Definition of Neck Tension
As a convenient short-cut, we tend to describe neck tension by bushing size alone. When a guy says, “I run .002 neck tension”, that normally means he is using a die/bushing that sizes the necks .002″ smaller than a loaded round. Well we know something about his post-sizing neck OD, but do we really have a reliable idea about how much force is required to release his bullets? Maybe not… This use of the term “neck tension” when we are really only describing the amount of neck diameter reduction with a die/bushing is really kind of incomplete.

My point here is that it is overly simplistic to ask, “should I load with .001 tension or .003?” In reality, an .001″ reduction (after springback) on a thick neck might provide MORE “grip” on a deep-seated bullet than an .003″ reduction on a very thin-walled neck holding a bullet with minimal bearing surface in the neck. Bushing ID is something we can easily measure and verify. We use bushing size as a descriptor of neck tension because it is convenient and because the other important factors are hard to quantify. But those factors shouldn’t be ignored if you want to maintain consistent neck tension for optimal accuracy.

Consistency and accuracy — that’s really what this all about isn’t it? We want to find the best neck tension for accuracy, and then maintain that amount of grip-on-bullet over time. To do that you need to look not only at your bushing size, but also at how your brass has changed (work-hardened) with time, and whether other variables (such as the amount of carbon in the neck) have changed. Ultimately, optimal neck tension must be ascertained experimentally. You have to go out and test empirically to see what works, in YOUR rifle, with YOUR bullets and YOUR brass. And you may have to change the nominal tension setting (i.e. bushing size) as your brass work-hardens or IF YOU CHANGE SEATING DEPTHS.

Remember that bushing size alone does not tell us all we need to know about the neck’s true “holding power” on a bullet, or the energy required for bullet release. True bullet grip is a more complicated phenomenon, one that is affected by numerous factors, some of which are very hard to quantify.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 5 Comments »
August 26th, 2017

17 HMR Spotlight — Affordable Ammo and Accurate Varmint Rifles

Savage A17 varmint rifle 17 hmr rimfire

Everyone should own a rifle chambered for the 17 HMR. This is an inherently accurate cartridge, with minimal recoil. The 17 HMR, loaded with 17- or 20-grain bullets, is effective on small varmints well past 150 yards. The ballistics are way better than the .22 LR and .22 WMR. There are also a variety of good factory rifles available, including Savage’s innovative A17, now available in a nice, thumbhole laminated stock. And most importantly, the ammo is becoming more affordable. You can now get good 17 HMR ammo for under twenty cents per round.

The laminated thumbhole stock version of the Savage A17 is a great carry-around varminter.
Savage A17 varmint rifle 17 hmr rimfire

Savage A17 varmint rifle 17 hmr rimfireThere are great deals to be had right now on 17 HMR — you can pick up a 50-round box for under $9.00. A couple seasons back you might have to pay $12-$15 for the same stuff. The best deal we’ve found is at Midsouth Shooters Supply, which has Hornady 17 HMR ammo loaded with 17-grain V-Max bullets, for just $8.69 (17.4 cents/round).

Here are other current good deals, as found with the WikiArms.com ammo search engine:

Federal 17 HMR, 17gr TNT (50 rd), $8.99 at Outdoor Limited
CCI 17 HMR, 17gr V-Max (50 rd), $9.49 at Outdoor Limited
Hornady 17 HMR, 20gr XTP (50 rd), $9.99 at Outdoor Limited.
CCI 17 HMR, 20gr Game Point (50 rd), $10.24 at Bud’s Gun Shop

Volquartsen 17 HMR dustin ellermann

A while back we tested a variety of 17 HMR ammo types in a pair of 17 HMR rifles, a Ruger 77/17 and a Volquartsen (above), chronographing the ammo samples in both guns. Here are our chrono test results.

17 HMR data chrono chronograph

Dustin Ellermann (past Top Shot Champion) has tested both normal and subsonic 17 HMR ammo in another Volquartsen rifle. He got the best accuracy with the CCI-brand A17 ammo, which is optimized for the Savage A17 rifle. This impressive 100-yard group was shot with A17 ammo:

Dustin 17 HMR CCI suppressed ammo ammunition

Dustin 17 HMR CCI suppressed ammo ammunition

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
August 23rd, 2017

Seventy Years of Sierra Bullets — The Company History

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket
Here is the original Sierra manufacturing facility in Whittier, CA.

On August 22, 2017 it was announced that Sierra Bullets has been sold to Clarus Corporation (NASDAQ: CLAR), a Utah-based holding company that also owns Black Diamond Equipment Ltd., makers of ski and mountain gear/apparel. Given the importance of this acquisition, we thought our readers might want to learn more about Sierra’s history, and how it makes its bullets…

Sierra Bullets — How It Got Started

Report Based on Story by Carroll Pilant, Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager
What became Sierra Bullets started in the late 1940s in a Quonset hut in California. In 1947, three aircraft machinists, Frank Snow, Jim Spivey, and Loren Harbor, rented machine space to produce rivets for the aircraft industry along with fishing rod guides and rifle front sight ramps. In the post-WWII years, sport shooting was becoming hugely popular, but quality ammunition was in short supply. For shooting enthusiasts, reloading was the solution to the ammo supply shortage. Snow, Spivey, and Harbor recognized this, creating Sierra Bullets to help fill the void. Before long, they were selling a 53-grain match bullet to the Hollywood Gun Shop. These bullets are still in production today as the Sierra #1400 53-grain MatchKing.

A few years later, an accomplished competitive shooter named Martin Hull joined Sierra. Hull helped develop new bullet types and served as manager of Sierra’s ballistics laboratory for nearly 20 years. With Hull’s help, Sierra’s output grew rapidly. The California company outgrew several locations before it moved to a large facility in Santa Fe Springs, CA, in 1963.

New Owners and New President in the Late Sixties
In 1968, the Leisure Group bought Sierra Bullets. Other Leisure Group companies included Lyman Reloading, High Standard Manufacturing Company, Yard Man, Thompson Sprinkler Systems, Flexible Flyer Sleds, and Dodge Trophies (Which made the Oscar and Rose Bowl Game trophies).

Soon after purchasing Sierra, the Leisure Group hired Robert Hayden as President and General Manager. Hayden was a mechanical engineer who had worked for Remington Arms. Hayden remained the president of Sierra for 42 years, retiring in 2012 when Pat Daly became president.

Sierra Moves to Missouri
In 1990, Sierra relocated to Sedalia, Missouri, where the company remains today. Sierra Bullets now employs over 100 people including five full-time ballistic technicians who answer daily reloading and firearms questions by both phone and e-mail.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

The Making of MatchKings — How Sierra Produces SMKs

All Sierra bullets begin life as a strip of gilding metal, an alloy consisting of 95% copper and 5% zinc. To meet Sierra’s strict quality requirements, the gilding metal requires three times more dimensional and quality control standards than is considered standard in the copper manufacturing industry.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

A blanking press stamps out a uniform disc and forms the cup that will be drawn into the MatchKing jacket. The cup is then polished and sent to a draw press to be drawn into a jacket that is longer than needed for the future MatchKing, thus allowing for the trim process. Press operators constantly check concentricity to make sure we have only quality jackets. The jackets then go to a trimmer where they are visually inspected again.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

After being polished a second time, the jacket travels to the bullet press. In the meantime, 80-pound lead billets are being extruded into lead wire for the cores where great care is taken so that the core wire is not stretched. The core wire is lightly oiled before continuing to the bullet press to be swaged.

The lead core wire and trimmed jacket meet at the bullet press where the first stage forms a boattail on the jacket. The lead core is then formed on top of the bullet press and fed down into the jacket. In one stroke of the press, the MatchKing is formed.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

Quality control technicians pull samples from each lot of MatchKings to make sure they meet Sierra’s stringent standards. Samples are then sent to Sierra’s 300-meter underground test range (shown below) to be shot for accuracy on mechanical mounts referred to as “unrestricted return to battery rests” that Sierra designed and built in-house.

Sierra Underground Tunnel test facility Sedalia, Missouri

Sierra bullet sale Clarus Corporation

After inspection, the bullets are placed in the familiar green box along with reloading labels. They are then shrink-wrapped and shipped all over the world.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 2 Comments »
August 22nd, 2017

Sierra Bullets Sold to Clarus Corporation

Sierra Bullets Acquired Sold Clarus Corp. Black Diamond

Sierra Bullets has been acquired by Clarus Corporation (NASDAQ: CLAR) for the sum of $79,000,000, “subject to a post-closing working capital adjustment”. Sierra is one of the world’s leading producers of bullets for hunters, sportsmen, and target shooters. With revenues topping $30,000,000 per year, Sierra has long been a major force in the firearms world. Clarus, formerly Black Diamond Inc., is a Utah-based holding company which “seeks opportunities to acquire and grow businesses that can generate attractive shareholder returns”. Clarus also owns Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd., maker of outdoor equipment/clothing for the climbing, skiing and mountain sports markets.

Read Official Press Release » | Forum Discussion of Sierra Sale »

StreetInsider.com reports: “The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Clarus’ earnings per share. For the unaudited 12 months ended June 30, 2017, Sierra’s total revenues were approximately $32 million with EBITDA of approximately $12.5 million, representing a purchase price multiple of approximately 6.3x EBITDA. Sierra has a strong cash flow profile, generating free cash flow conversion of approximately 95% with limited ongoing capex requirements.”

“The team at Sierra has continued building on a 70-year legacy dedicated to the highest-level of precision in design, world-class manufacturing and quality control,” said Warren B. Kanders, executive chairman of Clarus. “These attributes have cultivated a diverse customer base of enthusiasts and industry OEMs that drive high recurring revenue and strong cash flow, which we expect to maximize through the utilization of our net operating loss carry forwards.”

Sierra’s President Pat Daly commented: “Our team takes great pride in developing and manufacturing the most precise and accurate bullets in the world. This is supported by our deep institutional knowledge of highly-specialized manufacturing processes that have produced leading products and created a significant competitive advantage. As the only pure-play bullet brand, it was important for us to partner with a team that shares our values and commitment to excellence, and we are excited to join the Clarus family. I look forward to staying on to continue driving our brand growth.” All senior management are expected to remain with Sierra under Clarus’ ownership.

Sierra Bullets

About Sierra Bullets
Founded in 1947 in California, Sierra Bullets is an American manufacturer of bullets. Based in Sedalia, Missouri since 1990, Sierra manufactures a wide range of bullets for both rifles and pistols. Sierra’s product line, recognized by iconic “green box” packaging, includes popular brands such as MatchKing, GameKing, and BlitzKing. Sierra bullets are used for precision target shooting, hunting, and defense purposes. For more information, visit SierraBullets.com.

News Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 4 Comments »
August 21st, 2017

Bargain Finder 100: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

Today marks a milestone — this is our 100th “Deals of the Week” feature. We’ve got some awesome deals this week, just as 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. Bud’s Gun Shop — Howa (LSI) 6.5 Creedmoor GRS, $799.00

Buds gun shop Howa 1500 6.5 Creedmoor GRS Berserk stock Bargain sale $799

This is a heck of a deal. Fine action, great stock, shockingly good price. For comparison, Savage sells its similar 6.5 Creedmoor Model 10 GRS for $1449.00 MSRP (street price $1250.00). Frankly, we prefer the Howa 1500 action and trigger, though we like the versatility of the Savage barrel nut system. Hard to go wrong here with Bud’s Gun Shop’s $799.00 price. That’s for payment via money orders, checks, or echecks; credit card price is $822.97.

Buds gun shop Howa 1500 6.5 Creedmoor GRS Berserk stock Bargain sale $799

Rifleshooter.com published a FULL REVIEW of this rifle: “Precise — The Howa GRS was capable of sub-MOA 5-shot accuracy out of the box. Value — The street price on these guns is well below the cost of a custom rifle. This would be a great entry-level gun. Stock — The length-of-pull and cheek-piece adjustments on the GRS were fantastic. Stock was extremely comfortable in alternate positions.” READ Rifleshooter.com REVIEW HERE.

Howa 1500 GRS 6.5 Creedmoor Specifications
Howa 1500 Heavy Barreled Action with HACT 2-Stage Trigger
GRS Berserk Stock (Pillar bedded 15% fiberglass-reinforced Durethane)
Accepts Detachable Box Mags (with extra-cost accessory kit)
Push button adjustment for comb height and length-of-pull

2. Total Eclipse Sales at Grafs.com and Midsouth Shooters Supply

Grafs Sons Midsouth Shooters total Eclipse sale 2017 rimfire Hornady Sierra Nosler

Now through 11:59 pm on August 21, 2017, you can get big savings at Grafs & Sons and Midsouth Shooters Supply. Both vendors are running big “Total Eclipse” Sales, with big discounts on ammo, bullets, brass, and reloading equipment. Grafs.com is offering 15% off rimfire ammunition, plus 10% off most everything else in stock (no back-orders). In addition, this Path of Total Savings SALE includes Free Shipping on orders of $75.00 or more.

At Midsouth, prices are reduced on products from Hornady Manufacturing, Nosler Inc., Sierra Bullets, and Starline Brass. Because those four companies are in the path of the total eclipse (as is Midsouth), they’ve been selected for the big promotion. You can get savings with up to 17% OFF PRODUCTS from each company.

3. Lyman — $25.00 Off Top-Selling Products

Lyman rebate mail-in borecam cyclone powder measure, Case Prep Xpress

ACT Soon — This rebate expires 8/31/17. You can now get $25.00 Off five of Lyman’s top-selling products: BoreCam, Case Prep Xpress, Gen6 Powder Dispenser, Cyclone Rotary Tumbler, and AutoAdvance Target. With Lyman’s Summer Mail-In Rebate Program, you can earn a $25 rebate per select item bought from any Lyman dealer, online or direct from the Lyman website. Items must be purchased no later than August 31, 2017 to qualify. CLICK HERE for the Rebate Redemption Form.

4. Bullets.com — Huge Reloading Powder Sale — Great Prices

bullets.com powder propellant hodgdon imr alliant vihtavuori powder sale

Got powder? If you need smokeless propellants for your rifles and pistols, head over to Bullets.com which has slashed prices on its powder inventory. There are great savings to be had here, honest. We compared Bullets.com’s inventory reduction sale pricing with some other online powder vendors. With Bullets.com’s current price cuts, you can SAVE $4-$7 per pound for even high-demand powders such as Varget. Bullets.com’s powder sale is scheduled to run through 8/23/2017; however, prices are subject to change. Here are examples of current Sale Prices.

Hodgdon CFE Pistol, $17.99/lb
Hodgdon Varget, $21.99/lb
Alliant Reloder 17, $22.95/lb
IMR 4064, $22.95/lb

Hodgdon CF3 223, $149.99/8 lbs.
IMR 8208 XBR, $159.99/8 lbs.
Hodgdon H4198, $169.95/8 lbs.
Hodgdon H4831sc, $175.00/8 lbs.

6. CDNN Sports — Walther PPS M2 9mm, $299.99 with Rebate

PPS M2 Carry Concealed Walther handgun pistol CDNN Rebate Sale

PPS M2 Carry Concealed Walther handgun pistol CDNN Rebate SaleGrab a Walther PPS M2 for under $300.00. This is a great little concealed carry pistol. You can run it with a flush mag for deep concealment or with an extended mag that provides a more comfortable grip (photo at right). This week, CDNN Sports is offering special sale pricing on the Walther PPS M2. Get $60 off regular the retail price. Combine that with Walther’s $100 manufacturer rebate, and you can get the PPS M2 for just $299.99.

We do like this little pistol — it’s comfortable, accurate, and has a decent trigger. The PPS M2 is the carry choice of our System Administrator. READ PPS M2 Review.

NOTE: The PPS M2 LE Edition 9mm is also on sale right now at Brownells for $419.99 (plus $10 handling charge). Use Code M4Y to get an extra 10% discount. That lowers what you pay Brownells to $388.00. After the $100 Walther Rebate, your net cost is $288.00.

7. Midsouth — Hornady Reloading Manual (9th Ed.) $9.99

Hornady 9th reloading manual

Late last year, Hornady released the 10th Edition of its reloading manual. That costs $28.04 at Amazon.com. But you can get the 900+ page 9th Edition Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading (hardback) for just $9.99 at Midsouth. We think that’s a great deal. All the key information is still there. The 9th edition covers 233 different calibers/cartridges (including 6.5 Creedmoor), plus 146 powders and 304 bullets! Each cartridge data section features Hornady bullets along with velocity and powder recipe tables. FYI — the 10th Edition adds the new ELD and ELD-X bullets, a handful of new cartridges plus IMR Enduron powders. But other than that, you’ll probably be very happy with the 9th Edition at one-third the price!

8. Amazon — Cotton Cleaning Patches, 800 for $8.99 – $17.99

Amazon bulk pack patches 800 cotton flannel

Got patches? Here’s a great deal on 100% cotton flannel patches. There are many sizes available, starting at $8.99 for 800 3/4-inch “17 Cal” patches. For 6mm rifles, we like either the 1-inch “22/.223″ patches or the 1 1/4-inch “.25/6mm” patches priced at $11.99 for 800. These are Amazon’s #1 seller for gun cleaning patches. Some shooters prefer to wrap their patches around a jag or brush and square patches work better for wrapping. The large, 2-inch .30 Cal patches cost $17.99 for 800. These prices include FREE Shipping for Prime Members.

9. MidwayUSA — Pro Series Folding Shooting Mat, $29.09

MidwayUSA folding padded shooting mat multi-cam

We like this folding shooting mat for three main reasons. First, it has nice half-inch-thick EVA high-density foam inside. That 0.5″ padding makes this mat MUCH more comfortable than thin mats when shooting from concrete or hard ground. Second, at 76″ long x 35.5″ wide, the mat is big enough for tall guys and there’s plenty of width for log-books, ammo boxes, and other gear. Third, the multi-cam pattern is distinctive. When you’re at a big match with many competitors, this mat is easy to spot, so you can quickly find your place on the firing line. The Pro Series Folding Shooting Mat is currently CLEARANCE SALE priced for $29.09, marked down from $109.99. Choose either Multi-Cam or OD Green for $29.09. NOTE: This is more like a work-out mat than a typical thin shooting mat. It does NOT roll into a small bundle, but this is much more comfortable for long shooting sessions on hard ground.

10. Amazon — Caldwell Front and Rear Bag Set (Unfilled), $11.29

Caldwell deadshot front rear bag sandbag sale varminter

This is a functional, “field expedient” system that’s easy to haul around and only costs $11.29! Varminters can keep these bags in a vehicle for deployment any time. Act quick — this is a special sale price at Amazon.com. This unfilled bag combo sells for up to $25.00 elsewhere. Yes this is a very inexpensive system, but it works surprisingly well, particularly with “standard” rifles with narrow fore-ends. Rather than sand, you can fill with rice or media to make the bags lighter. This system features a heavy-duty clip and D-Ring for linking the two bags for easy transport. The Caldwell DeadShot bags are crafted from durable, water-resistant 600 denier polyester.

BAG Dimensions (filled): FRONT bag 11″ x 8.5″ X 6″; REAR bag is 5″ x 5″ x 4.5″.

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