July 3rd, 2019

Shooting USA: 2019 New Products Plus Multi-Gun Nationals

USPSA Multi-Gun Championship Nevada boulder city SFC Daniel Horner

This week’s Shooting USA episode has two great features. Part One covers the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals, a 3-gun match with fast action. A lengthy second sequence covers new guns and gear at the 2019 NRA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. This Shooting USA Episode airs Wednesday July 3rd on the Outdoor Channel, at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 pm Central.

USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals

If you are a fan of 3-Gun competition, tune in to Shooting USA this week. The latest episode features the 2019 USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals held in Florida. You can see many of the nation’s top 3-Gun shooters attacking some very challenging stages with pistols, rifles, and shotguns.

USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals
Image from Sierry Whiskey Video from 2017 USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals.

Multi-gun competition has evolved considerably since it started 30 years ago. The firearms are more sophisticated, the optics are better, and the stage times are much faster. Still, the challenge remains the same: How fast can you shoot multiple targets, with the score determined by speed and accuracy? For the best in the sport, the answer is very fast indeed…

New Products for 2019 — Guns, Optics, Electronics and More

Shooting USA was in Indianapolis for the 2019 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. At the big event, Shooting USA’s teams found some interesting new products, such as Hornady’s impressive new A-Tip bullets, and new handguns from Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Volquartsen. Hornady also displayed a new Kestrel 5700 Meter with advanced 4DOF Ballistic Solver.

Canik TP9S-FX Pistol

Colt King Cobra Carry

Kestrel 5700 with Hornady 4DOF

Hornady A-Tip Bullets

EoTech Vudoo 5-25x50mm Compact Scope

Les Baer Gunsite Commemorative Pistol

Revolution Targets LR Frame

Smith & Wesson Model 610 10mm Revolver

Springfield Scorpion Precision Rimfire Pistol

Volquartsen St. Victor .308 AR Rifle

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Handguns, New Product No Comments »
July 2nd, 2019

Tuner TECH — POI Shift with Barrel Tuner Position Changes

Tuner Pascal Bukys Point of Impact shift test 6 PPC benchrest

6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine waveHave a good look at the photos below — this may be one of the most noteworthy target strings we’ve ever published. What you can see is the effect of barrel tuner position on point of impact (POI). You can clearly see that the tuner position alters the up/down POI location in a predictable fashion.

This remarkable 15-shot sequence was shot by French benchrester Pascal Fischbach using his 6 PPC fitted with a CG (Carlito Gonzales) action and a Bukys barrel tuner.

Pascal reports: “After [bullet] seating and load validation, I put the Bukys tuner on, screwing it out 10 turns. According to Carlito, the CG’s super stiff action-to-barrel fit gives a faster vibration modulus that is detrimental below 10 turns [position of the tuner].” Pascal’s procedure was to screw out the tuner 1/4 turn progressively from one shot to the next. He shot one bullet at each tuner position, with a total of 15 shots.

15-Shot Sequence with Tuner Changes
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave
CLICK HERE to SEE Large Version of Complete Test Strip (All 15 shots in a row).

Left Half of Target Strip (shots with 1/4 rotation change of tuner in sequence)
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

Right Half of Target Strip (shots with 1/4 rotation change of tuner in sequence)
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

Pascal observed: “Note the point of impact displacement [from shot to shot] tracks clearly along a sinusoide (sine wave curve).” This is indeed notable and significant! This shows how the tuner’s ability to change barrel harmonics can alter the position of the muzzle as each bullet exits, resulting in a higher or lower POI. Pascal sent his results to Carlito Gonzales in Argentina for analysis.

Pascal poses this question to readers: “Guess which three positions Carlito recommends to try?”

Editor’s Note: While this target sequence clearly shows how tuner position can alter bullet point of impact, this, by itself, does not tell us which tuner position(s) are best for accuracy. That will require further multi-shot group testing, involving careful experimentation with tuner position (and powder charge weights). But for those folks who doubt that a tuner can make a difference on a short, fat barrel, just take another look at the photos. The up/down changes are undeniable, and noteworthy in the wave pattern they follow.

Shooting Set-up and Test Conditions:
Pascal did this test at an outdoor range under very good conditions: “This was shot at my home range, outdoors, with four Smiley flags. The range is a narrow cut in high woods. Wind was consistent with readable flags. I started testing the tuner from 10 turns out and on to 15. I recently… found a sweet spot very close to the rearmost position of the tuner, so the rigidity provided by this super long tenon (just short of 70mm) was not a reason to overlook the recommended Bukys tuning procedure.”

6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
July 1st, 2019

BargainFinder 197: 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. Bud’s Gun Shop — Howa American Flag Chassis Rifle, $1100.99

Howa HCR APX American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS .308 Win Tactical Rifle

What better way to celebrate the 4th of July this week than with a Stars and Stripes rifle? Legacy Sports offers a special American Flag Chassis Rifle with a USA flag-theme red, white, and blue Cerakote finish and 3-chamber muzzle brake. Components include APC modular chassis and Luth-AR adjustable butt-stock. This special edition is sold with a Nikko 4-16x50mm scope and shipped in a hard case. Choose either the 6.5 Creedmoor version ($1100.99 at GunPrime.com), or the .308 Win version ($1116.52 at Bud’s GunShop). Note: Act soon — these special editions with scope are almost sold out!

2. EuroOptic — Minox Scope Sale, Up to 56% off

minox scope sale

Minox may not be a household name for riflescopes but make no mistake, Minox makes great scopes for the money. While Minox scopes are always attractively priced, right now they are a GREAT value over at EuroOptic. You can grab a variety of Minox scopes in popular zoom ranges for up to 56% Off. Heck of a bargain. A new Minox may just what you need to finish off that recent build. These German optics offer a great balance between performance and p;rice.

3. Brownells — HOWA 6mm Creedmoor barreled action, $429.99

howa barreled action

Choosing the parts for a custom build can be a daunting process and it often requires having a gunsmith properly headspace and build a barreled action. Now you can skip that step by picking up one of these Howa barreled actions in 6mm Creedmoor for $429.99 (on Sale). Barreled actions in many other popular chamberings are also available including 6.5 Grendel for $349.99 (on Sale), 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Win, .308 Win and more (SEE ALL). Howa barreled actions are sold in several barrel lengths/contours, and all come with an excellent HACT 2-stage trigger.

4. Midsouth — Nikon Special 4-12x40mm scope, $99.99

nikon scope sale

For you guys looking for a bargain scope for a hunting rifle (or maybe your son’s first rifle), here’s a great deal. Right now Midsouth is offering Nikon 4-12x40mm scopes with a BDC reticle for the crazy-low price of $99.99. This is a very good scope for the money. It comes with a solid guarantee and should offer years of reliable service on a hunting or varmint rifle. Put the money you save into brass and bullets.

5. Precision Reloading — Alliant Powder Sale, 15% Off

alliant powder sale

Dedicated hand-loaders should keep an ample supply of their favorite powders “for a rainy day” (or maybe new legislative regulations). If you’ve been waiting for a great sale, check this out. Precision Reloading is now offering 15% OFF all in-stock Alliant powders. This covers all Alliant powders on hand. But don’t wait long. This sale concludes July 2, 2019 at 11:59 pm.

6. Grizzly — Bald Eagle Priming Press, $80.97

grizzly priming press

Any serious competitor will tell you that consistent primer seating is one of the most critical steps in reloading. There are lots of choices out there for bench and hand-held primers but NONE of then match the Grizzly priming press which can be found for $80.97. It features a beautifully-made system that is click adjustable to .002″ and incredibly repeatable. If you’re in the market for something that’s easy on the hands and works like units that cost hundreds more give this one a look.

7. Midsouth — NEW Sierra 6th Edition Manual, $28.89

sierra loading manual

Yes you can get starting load data from friends (or websites) but official loading manuals help ensure you’re stay within safe margins. In addition, these printed manuals provide more data, more recipes, and more details than you can readily find online. We like Sierra Manuals because they cover a wide selection of powders (from all major propellant-makers) and Sierra’s max loads run on the conservative side. Midsouth now offers the new-for-2019 Sierra 6th Edition Loading Manual for just $28.89. This is the best price we’ve seen — save $8-$10 at Midsouth.

8. Amazon — MTM Stackable Ammo Crate/Utility Box, $13.59

mtm ammo box

Good storage, whether for ammo, survival supplies or any other items, is something shooters and outdoorsmen need in abundance. With that in mind, consider grabbing a few of these MTM Ammo Crate/Utility Boxes. These stackable polymer storage crates cost just $13.59. They are LOCKABLE and they have great carry handles. Grab a couple of them at this price. We best you’ll quickly find many good uses.

9. Cabela’s — Ruger EC9S Carry Pistol, $219.97

Ruger Carry Concealed handgun pistol sale bargain EC9S 9mm

Here’s a good little 9mm carry pistol for a crazy-low price. Right now, CDNN is selling the popular Ruger EC9S 9MM pistol for $219.97 — that’s $30 off the regular $249.99 price. This gun is light (17.2 ounces) and thin so it’s easy to carry discretely. The EC9S is 6″ overall with a 3.12″-long barrel. The EC9S features integral sights and ships with a single 7-round magazine.

10. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.99

Red Orange Neon 3

We like these bright, Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.99 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 0’Clock. NOTE: These stickers may qualify for FREE Shipping with combined orders over $25.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
June 30th, 2019

Sunday Gunday: Bart’s 6PPC Drills Five Shots in .088″ at 200!

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West
This would be an amazing group at 100 yards. But this 5-shot bughole was shot at TWO HUNDRED yards in competition by Bart Sauter of Bart’s Custom Bullets. And he did it with a borrowed barrel!

Be amazed. This five-shot group was shot at 200 yards in competition by bullet-maker Bart Sauter. Bart shot this astounding group with his 10.5-lb Light Varmint benchrest rifle at the recent East-West Match in St. Louis, Missouri. Had Bart been shooting an IBS match, this would have been a new IBS World Record, beating the .091″ by David Farrar in 2006. This .088″ group missed the NBRSA 200-yard 5-shot group record by a whisker — .013″ (thirteen thousandths). The listed NBRSA LV 200-yard Group record is 0.075″ shot by Johnnie Stewart a decade ago.

New record or not, this is one remarkably impressive group, shot by one very talented shooter and bullet-maker. Bart tells us he initially “held center” for the first three shots in the group. Then, watching his wind flags he noticed slight increase in the left-to-right condition, so he held 0.200″ to the left on shot 4 and it worked. Before shot 5, Bart detected another slight change, so he held 0.300″ left for the fifth and final shot. He explained: “If I had not held off for those last two shots, this group would have been about a flat four (0.400″).” Well done Bart!

“First three … bang bang bang … all went in one hole. Then I held left on shot 4 and it worked. On the last shot I held a little more, got lucky and it went in.” — Bart Sauter

In our Shooter’s Forum, Bart posted “This is my personal best-ever 5-shot group at 200 yards. I knew it was small, but was shocked to see it was a Zero! This will be a range record and record for the East/West match. Last group of the day! A nice way to end the match!”

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets .088 6PPC one-hole group 200 yards amazing

Here is the 6PPC LV rifle that shot the .088″ group. Yes that’s a concrete shooting bench inside a pretty nice cabin with hunting trophies on the walls. Bart explained: “We reload and shoot out of the Monkey Hut, especially during the winter. Most of the time we shoot outside at 100/200 from a a three-bench range.

Amazing Group Shot with Borrowed Krieger Barrel!
There’s a very interesting side-note to this story. You see Bart doesn’t even own the Krieger barrel that delivered this amazing .088″ 200-yard group. That’s right this superb barrel was a “loaner” — borrowed from Bart’s buddy Gary Sullivan. [Editor: Oh that we could all be so lucky with borrowed components.] With Sullivan’s blessing, Bart has since loaned the barrel yet again to ace Billy Stevens, who will be using it at the World Benchrest Championship in Canada, July 14-21, 2019.

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West
This photo shots Bart on the right and his good friend Billy Stevens on the left. Bart notes: “Billy is a 2-time Super Shoot Winner and 3-time USA World Benchrest Team member!”

Bart Sauter’s LV 6PPC Rifle Specifications

Chambering/Caliber: 6PPC
Gunsmith: Stevens Accuracy
Action: BAT DS RBLP Right Eject
Trigger: Jewell
Stock: Scarborough Carbon Fiber over Wood Skeleton
Barrel: Krieger — and it was borrowed!
Tuner: Bukys TSI Tuner

Bullet: Bart’s Avenger 68 grain BT
Powder: Accurate LT30
Charge: Stout load running 3407 FPS

Optic: 40x45mm IOR-Valdada 30mm tube
Rings: Benchsource Double Rings
Front Rest: Farley Joystick
Rear Bag: Edgewood Bunny Ear, very soft, gray leather — special order from Bruno’s.
Front Bag: Edgewood — same soft gray leather.

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West

Here is Bart’s target with a bullet removed. Bart was shooting his own 6mm 68gr Avenger bullets, a double-radius ogive design. The Avengers were seated about .004″ away from the lands: “I tried going into the lands and that didn’t seem to work, then I backed it off four thousandths [from contact] and the rifle liked that.” Bart drove those 68gr Avengers with a stout load of Accurate LT30 powder running 3407 FPS.

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West

Bart’s Comments on His Components and Accessories

OPTICS — Bart likes his new 40x45mm IOR-Valdada Benchrest Scope. He says that, so far, it has proved very reliable and holds zero exceptionally well. This new design features a worm drive side-focus, oversized ocular with true +/- diopter adjustment, long eye relief, and fast-focusing reticle. The 40X Valdada also boasts superb HD “double-compressed” Schott glass from Germany.

TUNER — Bart says the Bukys TSI Tuner definitely helps. He notes that once he finds the “sweet spot” for his barrel he can normally leave it alone: “With that type of tuner, I have to be in a very dire straight to move it. Normally I will set it for the lifetime of the barrel.”

REAR BAG — Bart’s rear bag is an unusual Edgewood with softer gray leather. He says this was a special order by Bruno Shooters Supply. Bart likes how the rear bag works with his carbon-stocked 10.5-lb rifle: “With PPCs we ‘ride on the ears’ — this older bag just seems to work really well for that style.”

SUPER FEET — Bart told us he uses Benchsource Super Feet for his front rest: “The bench tops at St Louis are very slick. Before I set up I’ll use a spray bottle with water and wet the bench where the Super feet and rear bag will go. This really helps to keep things from sliding around!”

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gunsmithing, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
June 29th, 2019

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

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

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

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

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Burn Rate Basics

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

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

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

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
June 29th, 2019

Trim, Chamfer, and Deburr Brass with Giraud Tri-Way Tool

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool
Close-up of the Tri-Way Trimmer with clear plastic chip guard removed.

Giraud Tool offers a case trimmer/chamferer device that works with a power drill (or other power source). Giraud’s patented Tri-Way Trimmer is a self-contained unit powered by your drill or motor. Using a sharp carbide blade it will trim your cases to length, deburr, and cut both inside and outside chamfers — all in one pass. That’s pretty impressive for a $105.00 tool that fits in the palm of your hand.

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Features
1. Fully adjustable for cartridge length (and depth of chamfer).
2. Carbide blade cuts a 15° inside case mouth chamfer and 45° outside chamfer.
3. Case holder supported by sealed ball bearing raceway.
4. Tool includes removable, transparent plastic chip guard.
5. Tool can work in any orientation (vertical, horizontal, or any angle).

The Giraud Tri-Way Trimmer is designed to be powered by a portable hand drill, drill press, or other dedicated rotating power source. The tool indexes off the shoulder of your cases, but the blade adjusts so that cartridge overall length (COAL) can be controlled with precision. Constructed out of 6061-T6 aluminum and 303 stainless steel, the Tri Way tool should last a lifetime. Note: This tool is not universal. The Tri Way is dedicated to a single cartridge and “related” cartridges with similar body dimensions. Thus you need a specific tool for each cartridge family. For example, the .308 Win tool will also trim .243 Win, .260 Rem, and 7mm-08.

Cartridge Sizes Available for Giraud Tri Way Trimmer:
.223 Remington (Also trims .17 Remington, .204 Ruger, .222 Remington, .222 Remington Magnum)
7.62 x 39mm (Russian)
.300 Blackout (Also trims .17 Rem Fireball, .20 Vartarg, .221 Fireball)
.308 Winchester (Also trims .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, 7mm-08)
.30-06 Springfield (Also trims .25-06, .270 Winchester, .280 Remington)
.300 Winchester Mag (Also trims .264 Winchester Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum, .308 Norma Magnum)

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 3 Comments »
June 27th, 2019

How to Ream Military Primer Pocket Crimps with Wilson Tool

Military crimp primer pocket reamer

Many shooters, particular those who shoot vintage military rifle matches, reload once-fired military cartridge brass. This brass may be high-quality and stout, but you may encounter a primer crimp* that interferes with the seating of a new primer. There are a variety of dedicated, military-crimp tools on the market, such as Dillon’s excellent Super Swage 600 tool that “rolls the crimp away”. But the Dillon tool costs $109.95 and takes quite a bit of room on your reloading bench. If you don’t want to drop a C-note and give up valuable bench space — here’s another (much cheaper) solution.

If you already have a Wilson case trimmer set-up, you can ream away those military crimps using an affordable Wilson accessory — the Primer Pocket Reamer (large #PPR210, small #PPR175). This $32.65 accessory is used in conjunction with a Wilson case trimmer and case-holder as shown above.

Military crimp primer pocket reamerWilson

In the respected Riflemans Journal website, the Editor, “GS Arizona”, showed how to use the Wilson primer pocket reamer to remove military crimps on Lake City .30-06 cartridge brass. He explains: “The case goes into the Wilson case-holder, the same one used for case trimming, and the reamer replaces the trimmer head in the tool base. The threaded rod on the left side, which is normally used to regulate trim length has no use for this operation and it is simply backed out. Hold the case-holder as you turn the reamer into the primer pocket, it cuts easily and quickly. The reamer will stop cutting when the proper depth is reached.”

Do you really need to do this operation with military-crimped brass? Yes, and here’s why: “Any attempt to prime the case without removing the crimp will simply result in a mangled primer that cannot be expected to fire and certainly won’t fire reliably.”

Vintage Military Rifle shooters often utilize surplus military brass with primer pocket crimps.
Vintage Military Rifle brass

*Why does military brass has a primer crimp? GS Arizona answers: “The crimp is nothing more than an intentional deformation of the case around the primer pocket, the purpose of which is to retain the primer in the case despite high pressure situations in machine guns and other automatic weapons where a loose primer may cause a malfunction. As reloaders, our task is to get rid of the remnants of the crimp in order to allow re-priming the case.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
June 26th, 2019

GUN INFO 101 — Headspace Defined and Illustrated

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

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

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

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

Forster Headspace diagram belted magnum rimfire

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

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

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
June 26th, 2019

Midsouth Shooters Supply 50th Anniversary Contest and Sale

Midsouth Shooters Supply 50th year anniversary contest giveaway discount sale

Midsouth Shooters Supply celebrates its 50th Anniversary in business. The company was founded in 1969 by David “Dirt” King and wife Connie. To mark this milestone, throughout July, customers will have the chance to win prizes, and get great deals on popular products, and have a chance to win prizes.

Midsouth Shooters Supply 50th year anniversary contest giveaway discount saleMidsouth has put together several giveaways with partners Lyman, Hornady, Nosler, Sierra Bullets, Del-Ton and more. CLICK HERE for complete descriptions of giveaway prizes. You can enter daily and increase your chances winning a Barrel of Hornady Frontier Ammo, a Nosler Liberty Rifle, a Del-Ton ECHO AR Rifle, or other great prizes.

Midsouth will start drawing winners on July 22, 2019 and continue every day until the Grand Finale on July 26th.

Check the Midsouth Home Page daily for deals, giveaways, coupons, and more details. Below are some of the Giveaway Prizes:

Midsouth Shooters Supply 50th year anniversary contest giveaway discount sale

Midsouth Giveaway Runs 6/26/19 through 7/24/19
The giveaway starts 6/26/19 and will last through 7/24/19. Midsouth will pick several giveaway winners during the birthday week in July. To learn how to enter (and for more giveaway details) CLICK HERE.


Midsouth 50th Birthday Giveaway Details HERE »

About Midsouth Shooters Supply:
What started as a modest, catalog-driven reloading supply company in remote New Market, TN, has grown into a technology driven, customer-focused powerhouse in Clarksville, TN. “It’s our 50th anniversary, and we’re growing faster than ever before,” said Michael Ryan, Midsouth’s VP of Marketing. “We’re focused on keeping up with the customer, and not necessarily the competition. We buy in bulk, break down the inventory ourselves to avoid packaging fees, and pass the savings along to the customer.”

What makes this 50th anniversary even more special? This June also marks the 50th anniversary of their owners, David and Connie King. The Mayor of Clarksville, TN, Joe Pitts, had a proclamation designating June 22, 2019 as David and Connie Day! Together, they’ve forged 50 years of commitment to each other, and Midsouth’s customers. Without their guidance and steadfast values, Midsouth wouldn’t be the premier online reloading and shooting supplier it is today.

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June 24th, 2019

BargainFinder 196: 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. March Optics — Retirement Sale, 30% Off All Scopes in Stock

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder March Optics 30% Off discount sale

March Optics delivers some of the most advanced (and unique) optics technology on the planet. But those top-of-the-line March scopes were always a big investment. But now, you can get superb, ultra-premium March scopes for 30% Off. Shiraz Balolia, President of March Optics USA, has decided to stop retailing optics. As a result, March scopes are now being discounted 30% — that’s a huge savings. This sale pricing applies to ALL March scopes, limited to stock in hand. Here are some of the deals:

1. Genesis Extreme Long Range Scope, $4865.00 (marked down from $6950.00)
2. 10-60x56mm High Master Tactical Turrets MTR-1, $2765.00 (marked down from $3950.00)
3. 8-80x56mm Tactical Turrets MTR-4, $2572.50 (marked down from $3675.00)
4. 5-40x56mm FFP Tactical Turrets FMA-2, $2572.50 (marked down from $3675.00)
5. 3-24x52mm FFP Tactical Turrets Illuminated FML-T1, $2572.50 (marked down from $3675.00)
6. 2.5-25x52mm Tactical Turrets Illuminated MTR-3, $2572.50 (marked down from $3675.00)

2. EuroOptic — Mauser M18 Rifles 30% Off (Great Deal)

mauser m18 hunting rifle sale germany

A huge shipment of Mauser M18 rifles is en-route to EuroOptic from Germany. In preparation for this rifle influx, EuroOptic has slashed prices on all M18s. Expect to save $200 to $250 per rifle. For example, the 6.5 Creedmoor M18 is marked down from $699 to $499 (save $200) while the .243 Win M18 is discounted from $699 to $459 ($240 savings). Eight chamberings will be available including the new 6.5 PRC as well as hunting classics like the .270 Win, .308 Win, .30-06 Springfield, and 7mm Remington Magnum. The Mauser M18 is a fine European-crafted rifle with a 3-lug bolt, smooth 60° bolt lift, and quality hammer-forged barrel. NOTE: Pending arrival, EuroOptic is taking back-orders which are effectively “pre-orders”.

3. Midway USA — Norma 6.5 Creedmoor Brass, 250 for $99.99

norma 6.5 Creedmoor brass PRS long range

The 6.5 Creedmoor is more popular than ever but like any super-trendy cartridge, supplies seem to be either out of stock or too expensive. If you have a 6.5 Creedmoor, check out this killer deal. You can get 250 Norma 6.5 Creedmoor cases for only $99.99. That works out to just forty cents per case — less than half what you’d pay for some other 6.5 Creedmoor brass. We can’t remember the last time we’ve seen such a great deal on quality brass for such a popular cartridge. But you better act soon — we expect this MidwayUSA deal to sell out quickly.

4. Natchez — Blazer Brass .45 ACP Ammo, Free Hazmat $150+

Blazer CCI .45 ACP Brass bargain free HazMat

We love our .45 ACP pistols, and we regularly shoot CCI Blazer Brass .45 ACP ammo. It has proved accurate and super reliable. Right now Natchez is offering a great deal — 500 230gr FMJ rounds for just $144.99, a $35.00 savings. Add a box or two of rimfire ammo to put your order over $150.00, then use CODE FH190621 during checkout and and you’ll qualify for FREE HazMat!

5. Midsouth — Rock Chucker Reloading Kit and Free Die, $269.49

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $269.49. Amazing Deal. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $269.49, a fine price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $165.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items, such as the Rock Chucker, that will last a lifetime. And now through 7/7/2019 you’ll get a free RCBS FL die set as a bonus. NOTE: This FREE DIE set is offered through RCBS and will ship separately after you submit a form.

6. Amazon — Plano 52″ Double Rifle Case with Wheels, $99.99

Plano double scoped rifle case with wheels

This Plano Double Scoped Rifle Case is an Amazon #1 Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is just $99.99 with FREE Shipping, while the equivalent SKB is around $240.00, so you can buy two Planos for the price of one SKB. The 51.5″ interior will fit most scoped competition rifles up to about 29″ barrels (measure your own rifle to make sure). If you separate the barreled action from the stock you can transport even ultra-long ELR rifles. The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money — plus there’s Free Shipping! There is also a smaller 42″ version for $64.99.

Exterior Dimensions: 53.5″ x 17″ x 7″
Interior Dimensions: 51.5″ x 14″ x 5.5″
Pluckable Interior Dimensions: 46″ x 10″
Features: Wheels, Secure Latches, O-Ring Seal, Pressure Relief Valve, Customizable Foam

7. Taurus G2c 9mm — $179.99 with Factory Rebate

Carry pistol $180 bargain Taurus G2C ccw handgun review discount sales

This is a good little gun at a great price. Taurus has a factory Rebate through 7/7/19. Palmetto State Armory is selling the sub-compact Taurus 9mm with black frame and stainless steel slide for just $209.99 with FREE Shipping. But the Taurus $30 Factory Rebate lowers your price to just $179.99 for this G2c. Or, if you like the milspec look, you can also get an OD-Green G2c G2c for $184.99 after rebate, just $5.00 more. Despite its small size, the G2c has a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

8. Graf’s — Platinum Case Prep & Trim + EZ Tumbler, $179.99

case prep and trim sale

If you want to step up your brass preparation game, here’s a great deal. Graf’s is offering the Frankford Arsenal Case Prep & Trim PLUS the EZ Tumbler for only $179.99. That’s an amazing deal considering you could pay $199.99 or more for the Prep & Trim unit by itself, and the EZ Tumbler is regularly $50 or more. This Grafs.com combo deal represents a savings of nearly $70.00.

9. Powder Valley — Alliant and CCI Factory Rebates

Vista Outdoor Alliant Powder CCI Primers bullets Speer Federal brass components reloading

Powder Valley notified us about some great Rebate offers from Alliant and CCI. If you need powder or primers, now is a great time to buy — this offer ends June 30, 2019! NOTE: These rebates are separate programs. To qualify for these rebates you need to buy at least 4 pounds of Alliant powder OR spend at least $100 on CCI components. You can’t mix and match to qualify — each program has its own minimums.

ALLIANT Powder — More Bang for your Buck$ Rebate
If you buy at least four (4) pounds of powder you get $2.00 back per pound, with a rebate limit of $20 (for ten pounds). Minimum purchase four (4) pounds required.

CCI — Primed for Action Rebate
Spend at least $100 on CCI® reloading primers to get 20% of the purchase price back. Rebate amount calculated on purchase price only, does not include taxes and/or shipping/handling fees. Maximum rebate $100 per person or household. Minimum spend $100 required.

10. Amazon — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $24.99

Shooting Mat

Looking for a good mat at a great price? For $24.99 now you can grab this NcStar Vism shooting mat. This has decent padding, and reinforced areas for elbows and knees. Full dimensions are: 69″ Long x 35″ Wide. This mat has straps for pre-loading your bipod. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up into a compact 19.50″ W x 8.50″ H package — about the same size as a sleeping bag. You can pay twice as much for a shooting mat and not get much more quality. Purchaser reviews have been very positive. This mat has earned 80% Five-Star buyer ratings on Amazon.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading, Tactical 1 Comment »
June 22nd, 2019

The Most Incredible Accuracy in History — But It’s Not a Record

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA
Want to see the details? CLICK HERE to view full-screen photo.

Five targets, each with FIVE shots in essentially one hole. The events of this story happened two years ago. We are reprising our report because this five-target Aggregate arguably represents the most impressive feat of 100-yard accuracy in the history of marksmanship on this planet.

Check out those five targets. The Aggregate (average) of all five targets is a tiny 0.0840 inches! These were shot by Gary Ocock at 100 yards in a California benchrest match on August 6, 2017. Though Gary’s 0.0840 Agg beats existing records, this was not a “sanctioned” match, so Gary’s killer Agg will NOT be submitted for IBS or NBRSA records. So, sadly, the Agg won’t appear in the record books, but this remains a spectacular, verified feat of rifle accuracy, accomplished in competition.

The argument can be made that this is the Most Accurate Gun Ever Built. As far as we can determine, no one has ever shot a smaller 5-target Agg anywhere, at any time.

The Unlimited Benchrest Record That Will Never Be (Official)

Report by Boyd Allen
Gary Ocock’s stunning unlimited Aggregate is beyond amazing. That’s an average of five, 5-shot groups of .0840. Shot under sanctioned match rules, but at an unsanctioned 100-yard fun match, this Aggregate is well under the current 100-yard official records of the IBS (.1386), and the NBRSA (.1242). The fourth of the five groups measured a minuscule .018, less than half the size of the existing NBRSA Unlimited record of .049 (also shot by Gary). Check it out:

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA
When the top 15 shooters all post teen Aggs, conditions must be pretty favorable. However there were some light switchy winds — Gary said that he shot better in the left to right condition.

GUN SPECIFICATIONS
Ocock’s red Jay Young Unlimited Railgun features one major difference from Young’s typical Railgun designs. The bottom of the barrel block is integral with the top (moving part), of the gun. The barrel is Ocock’s usual 1:13.5″-twist Krieger chambered for the 6 PPC. The BAT Neuvo action* is unusual in that its lugs are horizontal at lock-up instead of the usual vertical. With horizontal lugs, both lugs maintain contact with their abutments when the action is cocked. In the more normal configuration when cocked the top lug is forced off of its seat by a combination of the angle of the trigger cocking piece interface, the pressure of the striker spring, and bolt clearance at the rear of the action.

LOAD SPECIFICATIONS
Gary shot this remarkable Agg with well-used brass, Vihtavuori N133 powder, and self-made 66gr BT bullets** seated at “jam”. This amazing Agg was shot on the second day of a 2-day Unlimited Benchrest match. On Day 1 Gary had experimented with various loads using both surplus IMR 8208 and Vihtavuori N133, but was not satisfied with the results. For his first group on Day 2, Gary tried a light load of N133. After seeing the result, however, he decided to go to the other extreme — a super stout N133 load — with the same powder. As you can see, Gary’s willingness to experiment paid off.

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA

Notably, Gary used light neck tension. Ocock found that for these bullets and this barrel, light neck tension worked best (contrary to “normal” N133 benchrest practice). Ocock used a bushing that only produces .001″ difference between the diameters of sized and loaded case necks.

Comment on Ocock’s Achievement
Congratulations to Gary Ocock for superb shooting (and smart loading). Even though the match was not sanctioned (so the Agg will never be a record), Ocock has raised the bar very high, and given us a new standard of ultimate accuracy.

Though this 0.0840 Aggregate and 0.018 group will never go into the record group, they are still noteworthy. There’s virtually no doubt that they would have survived inspection by any record committee. Except for the lack of fixed backers, an IBS requirement (for detecting cross-fires), all other conditions were met for an officially-sanctioned match.

*The new BAT Neuvo actions are the result of a collaboration between Dwight Scott, and Bruce Thom, featuring Dwight’s ideas and BAT’s proven manufacturing expertise.

** Ocock shot his own, boat-tail match bullets, made with George Ulrich-crafted dies using Hood cores. Although he said that it had been a while since he had weighed any, his best guess was that they weigh something around 66.5 grains.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 7 Comments »
June 22nd, 2019

Reloading Basics: Neck Tension, Expander Balls, and Bushings

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box
One thing that plays a major role in building an accuracy load is neck tension. I think a lot of reloaders pretty much take this for granted and don’t give that enough thought.

So, how much neck tension is enough?

Thru the years and shooting both a wide variety of calibers and burn rates of powder, I’ve had the best accuracy overall with .002″ of neck tension. Naturally you will run into a rifle now and then that will do its best with something different like .001″ or even .003″, but .002″ has worked very well for me. So how do we control the neck tension? Let’s take a look at that.

First of all, if you’re running a standard sizing die with an expander ball, just pull your decapping rod assembly out of your die and measure the expander ball. What I prefer is to have an expander ball that [can give] you .002″ in neck tension [meaning the inside neck diameter is about .002″ smaller than the bullet diameter after passing the expander through]. If you want to take the expander ball down in diameter, just chuck up your decapping rod assembly in a drill and turn it down with some emery cloth. When you have the diameter you need, polish it with three ought or four ought steel wool. This will give it a mirror finish and less drag coming through your case neck after sizing.

Tips for Dies With Interchangeable Neck Bushings
If you’re using a bushing die, I measure across the neck of eight or ten loaded rounds, then take an average on these and go .003″ under that measurement. There are other methods to determine bushing size, but this system has worked well for me.

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

Proper Annealing Can Deliver More Uniform Neck Tension
Another thing I want to mention is annealing. When brass is the correct softness, it will take a “set” coming out of the sizing die far better than brass that has become to hard. When brass has been work hardened to a point, it will be more springy when it comes out of a sizing die and neck tension will vary. Have you ever noticed how some bullets seated harder than others? That is why.

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

Paying closer attention to neck tension will give you both better accuracy and more consistent groups.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 7 Comments »
June 21st, 2019

Wildcatter’s Road Map — Cartridge Conversion Book

handloaders guide cartridge conversion wildcat obsolete cartridges

Are you a confirmed wildcatter? Do you like to experiment with custom cartridge types? Or do you just like the extra performance you can get from a specialty cartridge such as a 20 Vartarg or 22-250 AI? Well, if you love wildcat cartridges, you’ll probably enjoy this book. Now available for the first time since 2003, The Handloader’s Manual of Cartridge Conversions explains the processes and tools needed to convert standardized brass into hundreds of different rifle and pistol cartridge types. A vast variety of case designs are covered — from vintage cartridge types to modern, cutting-edge wildcats.

handloaders guide cartridge conversion wildcat obsolete cartridges

This classic reference guide has been revised with an easy-to-search format, complete with a full index of hundreds of cartridges. This book belongs on the shelf of any hand-loader who enjoys making and shooting wildcat cartridges. However do note that much of the text is unchanged from earlier editions. For some cartridge types, the author recommends “parent” brass brands that are no longer available. In other situations, there may be more convenient conversions now offered. Nonetheless this is an important resource. As one verified purchaser explains: “Great reference for making the cartridges that are hard to get or no longer in production. Offers an alternative to the the time, expense and effort of having to re-chamber a classic. Saves ‘Grandpa’s shooters’ from becoming safe queens.”

wildcat cartridge case forming Killer Bee Hydraulic
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
June 17th, 2019

Bargain Finder 195: 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. Midway USA — Norma 6.5 Creedmoor Brass, 250 for $99.99

“norma

The 6.5 Creedmoor is more popular than ever but like any super-trendy cartridge, supplies seem to be either out of stock or too expensive. If you have a 6.5 Creedmoor, check out this killer deal. You can get 250 Norma 6.5 Creedmoor cases for only $99.99. That works out to just forty cents per case — less than half what you’d pay for some other 6.5 Creedmoor brass. We can’t remember the last time we’ve seen such a great deal on quality brass for such a popular cartridge. But you better act soon — we expect this MidwayUSA deal to sell out quickly.

2. Grafs.com — FREE Litz Book with $100 Lapua Bullet Buy

Graf's Graf Lapua Scenar bullet Litz applied ballistics free book
This is just one example. This deal works with ANY Lapua bullets purchased from Grafs.com.

Lapua makes great bullets. Bryan Litz writes great books. And now you can get both with this special promotion from Graf & Sons. Here’s the deal — if you buy at least $100.00 worth of Lapua bullets at Grafs.com, you’ll get a free Applied Ballistics book authored by Bryan Litz. You can mix and match any types of Lapua bullets — as long as the bullet order totals $100.00 or more. The book may be one of various Litz titles, such as Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting or Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets. NOTE: You do NOT get to pick the book title — you get what’s available. You want to move quickly on this deal — books are limited to supply on hand.

3. EuroOptic — FREE Kestrel 3500 with Leupold Mark 5HD Scope

leupold kestral deal

Leupold’s new Mark 5HD scopes are impressive. Make no mistake — Mark 5HDs are fine tactical optics fully capable of winning PRS/NRL matches. Available in 3.6-18x44mm, 5-25x56mm, and 7-35x56mm with a multitude of reticle choices, there’s something for every tactical shooter out there. And right now when you buy any Laupold Mark 5HD scope from EuroOptic.com you get a FREE Kestrel 3500NV, a $269.00 value. That’s a fantastic bonus! The FREE Kestrel will be added to your cart automatically at no extra cost.

4. Natchez — Weaver T-Series XR 36x40mm, $389.99

weaver scope sale

With so many zoom scopes on the market it’s easy to forget some of the best fixed power scopes out there. Weaver T-Series scopes have served benchrest shooters for decades and the new side-parallax Weaver XRs take the T-Series to a new level. You can pick up the Weaver T-Series 36x40mm XR Scope for the crazy low price of $389.99.(This has FCH with 1/16 MOA dot reticle.) You can also grab the 46X version for $569.99 or the Classic T-Series 36X with front objective parallax for just $329.99. All choices are great bargains.

5. Midsouth — Hornady 123gr 6.5mm bullets, 250 for $59.99

hornady 6.5 bullets

We featured 6.5 brass this week and here’s the matching bullet deal. You can grab 250 Hornady 123gr 6.5mm bullets for just $59.99. That’s a mere twenty-four cents per bullet! The 120-130gr class of 6.5mm bullets is an excellent choice for both paper-punching and PRS. These Hornady 123-grainers offer good accuracy with less recoil (and much lower cost) than the 140-145gr class of 6.5mm match bullets.

6. Federal 20% REBATE for Bullets, Brass, and Primers

federal component rebate

Reloading component costs add up quickly which is why we include this great rebate offer from Federal. Just purchase at least $100 worth of Federal reloading components (bullets, brass, and primers) and then fill out this form and you’ll get 20% back up to $100. The bottom line is that if you need any components, this is the time to stock up. NOTE: This Federal Rebate also applies to components purchased from other vendors such as Bruno’s, Midsouth, and Powder Valley.

7. Midsouth — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $269.49

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $269.49. Amazing Deal. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $269.49, a fine price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $165.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items,such as the Rock Chucker, that will last a lifetime. NOTE: This is listed at $299.99 on the Midsouth Home Page, but the product page now shows $269.49 and that’s what shows when you add the Kit to your shopping cart.

8. Area 419 — Master Funnel Kit, $90.00

area 419 funnel kit

Precision loading often requires dropping powder one case at a time and without the right gear this can cause issues. Bad powder funnels can cause bridging or stuck kernels leading to light loads in one case and heavy in another. These issues can be solved using the Master Funnel Kit from Area 419. This kit contains 6 caliber specific color coded heads (22 cal, 6mm/243, 6.5mm/264, 7mm/284, 30 cal, 338 cal) plus the funnel and stand. The funnel is specially designed to ensure powder doesn’t bounce out and the heads are securely threaded and designed to fit snugly on the shoulder of the brass. If you’re looking to upgrade your gear to the top of the line this is the one to get.

9. Amazon — Tipton Gun Butler, $23.49

Tipton Gun Butler caddy gun vise cleaning tray sale Amazon

Here’s a handy, portable gun caddy that works well for rifle maintenance chores at home or at the range. Right now the Tipton Gun Butler is marked down to $23.49. The Gun Butler offers a convenient platform for cleaning your gun or doing tasks such as scope mounting. Two removable forks/cradles hold a gun securely in place, while compartments and slots hold solvents, jags, brushes, mops, and tools. The Gun Butler features a convenient carrying handle, and slip-resistant rubber feet. NOTE: The front cradle may not work well with wide benchrest fore-ends.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 16th, 2019

Precision Reloading for Handguns — Smart Tips from the USAMU

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) fields pistol teams as well as rifle and shotgun competition squads. Consequently the USAMU’s Reloading Shop loads tens of thousands of pistol rounds every year. In this article, the USAMU’s handgun experts talk about reloading for handguns — with smart tips on how to achieve superior accuracy with 100% reliability. If you load for pistols, take the time to read this article, which offers important insights on COAL, primers, crimps and more.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

Optimize the Taper Crimp
One often-overlooked aspect of handloading highly-accurate pistol ammunition is the amount of crimp and its effect on accuracy. Different amounts of taper crimp are used with various handloads to obtain best accuracy. The amount is based on bullet weight, powder burn rate and charge, plus other factors. It is not unusual for our Shop to vary a load’s crimp in degrees of 0.001″ and re-test for finest accuracy.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice ReloadingUse Consistent Brass
Brass is also important to pistol accuracy. While accurate ammunition can be loaded using brass of mixed parentage, that is not conducive to finest results, particularly at 50 yards. It is important for the serious competitor/handloader to use brass of the same headstamp and ideally one lot number, to maximize uniformity. Given the volumes of ammunition consumed by active pistol competitors, using inexpensive, mixed surplus brass for practice, particularly at the “short line” (25 yards), is understandable. However, for the “long line” (50 yards), purchasing and segregating a lot of high-quality brass to be used strictly for slow-fire is a wise idea.

Importance of Uniform COAL
Uniformity of the Case Overall Length (COAL) as it comes from the factory is also important to achieving utmost accuracy. More uniform case lengths (best measured after sizing) contribute to greater consistency of crimp, neck tension, ignition/burn of powder charge, and so on. Cartridge case-length consistency varies from lot to lot, as well as by maker. Some manufacturers are more consistent in this dimension than others. [Editor’s note: It is easy to trim pistol brass to uniform length. Doing this will make your taper crimps much more consistent.]

Primers and Powders — Comparison Test for Accuracy
Pay attention to primer brands, powder types and charges. Evaluating accuracy with a Ransom or other machine rest at 50 yards can quickly reveal the effect of changes made to handload recipes.

Bullet Selection — FMJ vs. JHP
Bullets are another vital issue. First, there is the question of FMJ vs. JHP. A friend of this writer spent decades making and accuracy-testing rifle and pistol bullets during QC for a major bullet manufacturer. In his experience, making highly-accurate FMJ bullets is much more difficult than making highly-accurate JHPs, in large part due to the way the jackets are formed. Small die changes could affect accuracy of FMJ lots dramatically.

The CMP now allows “safe, jacketed ammunition” in Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) Service Pistol matches, although wadcutter ammunition is prohibited. Thus, the option to use very accurate JHP designs simplifies the life of CMP Service Pistol shooters in pursuit of the prestigious Distinguished Pistol Shot badge.

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful to any pistol shooters interested in accurate handloads, not just “Bullseye” shooters. Small tweaks to one’s normal routine can pay big dividends in improved accuracy and make practice and competition more rewarding.

Stay safe, and good shooting!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 15th, 2019

Get FREE Bryan Litz Book with $100 Bullets Order at Graf’s

Graf's Graf Lapua Scenar bullet Litz applied ballistics free book
This is just one example. This deal works with ANY Lapua bullets purchased from Grafs.com. You can mix and match, as long as you buy at least $100 worth of Lapua bullets.

Lapua makes great bullets. Bryan Litz writes great books. And now you can get both with this special promotion from Graf & Sons. Here’s the deal — if you buy at least $100.00 worth of Lapua bullets at Grafs.com, you’ll get a free Applied Ballistics book authored by Bryan Litz.

You can mix and match any types of Lapua bullets — as long as the bullet order totals $100.00 or more. The book may be one of various Litz titles, such as Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting or Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets. NOTE: You do NOT get to pick the book title — you get what’s available. You want to move quickly on this deal — books are limited to supply on hand.

If you order now, you can get the bullets to shoot, and give the book to Dad for a late Father’s Day gift.

Lapua Bullets — Accuracy & Consistency
Graf's Graf Lapua Scenar bullet Litz applied ballistics free bookIf you haven’t tried Lapua bullets yet you should. The Scenar-L bullets we have tested have proven extremely consistent in weight and base-to-ogive measurement.

And they shoot. We have a couple rifles that prefer Scenars over all other match bullets we have tried. We have won club matches with the 6mm Scenar-L 105s in a 6mmBR, while the 6.5mm 123gr Scenar and 136gr Scenar-L work superbly in our 6.5 Creedmoors.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News No Comments »
June 14th, 2019

TECH Tip: How to Reduce Run-Out with Seating Dies

USAMU Hump Day Reloading TIR run-out concentricity seating die stem

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. A while back the USAMU’s reloading gurus looked at the subject of cartridge run-out and what can be done to produce straighter ammo. Tasked with producing thousands of rounds of ammo for team members, the USAMU’s reloading staff has developed smart methods for improving concentricity, even with budget=price dies. For other hand-loading tips, visit the USAMU Facebook page.

Minimizing Runout with Standard Seating Dies

This USAMU article explains how to set up standard bullet seating dies dies to minimize Total Indicated Run-out (TIR). The loading process is described using a single-stage press since most handloaders have one. A high-quality run-out gauge is essential for obtaining consistent, accurate results.

Having sized, primed, and charged our brass, the next step is bullet seating. Many approaches are possible; one that works well follows. When setting up a standard seating die, insert a sized, trimmed case into the shellholder and fully raise the press ram. Next, back the seating stem out and screw the die down until the internal crimping shoulder touches the case mouth.

Back the die out ¼ turn from this setting to prevent cartridge crimping. Next, lower the press ram and remove the case. Place a piece of flat steel (or window glass, which is quite flat) on the shellholder and carefully raise the ram.

Place tension on the die bottom with the flat steel on the shellholder. This helps center the die in the press threads. Check this by gently moving the die until it is well-centered. Keeping light tension on the die via the press ram, secure the die lock ring. If one were using a match style, micrometer-type seating die, the next step would be simple: run a charged case with bullet on top into the die and screw the seating stem down to obtain correct cartridge OAL.

However, with standard dies, an additional step can be helpful. When the die has a loosely-threaded seating stem, set the correct seating depth but don’t tighten the stem’s lock nut. Leave a loaded cartridge fully raised into the die to center the seating stem in the die. Then, secure the stem’s lock nut. Next, load sample cartridges and check them to verify good concentricity.

USAMU Hump Day Reloading TIR run-out concentricity seating die stem

One can also experiment with variations such as letting the seating stem float slightly in the die to self-center, while keeping correct OAL. The run-out gauge will show any effects of changes upon concentricity. However, this method has produced excellent, practical results as evidenced by the experiment cited previously. These results (TIR Study 2) will reproduced below for the reader’s convenience.

First, however, let’s examine run-out figures of some factory-loaded match ammunition. This should give readers who are new to TIR gauges some perspective about the TIR ranges one might encounter.

TIR Study 1: 50 rounds Lake City M852 Match 7.62mm
(168 gr. Sierra MatchKings)
0.000” – 0.001” = 2%
0.001” – 0.002” = 30%
0.002” – 0.003” = 16%
0.003” – 0.004” = 22%
0.004” – 0.005” = 14%
0.005” – 0.006” = 14%
0.006” – 0.007” = 0%
0.007” – 0.008” = 2%

TIR Study 2: 50 rounds of .308 match ammo loaded using carefully-adjusted standard dies, vs. 50 using expensive “Match” dies from the same maker.

Standard dies, TIR:
0.000” — 0.001” = 52%;
0.001”– 0.002” = 40%;
0.002”– 0.003” = 8%.
None greater than 0.003”.

Lesser-quality “Match” dies, TIR:
0.000”– 0.001” = 46%;
0.001” — 0.002” = 30%;
0.002” — 0.003” = 20%;
0.003” — 0.004” = 4%.

Note: both samples were loaded using the O-Ring method, i.e. with a rubber O-Ring placed under the locking ring of the Full-length sizing die to allow that die to float.

These tips are intended to help shooters obtain the best results from inexpensive, standard loading dies. Especially when using cases previously fired in a concentric chamber, as was done above, top-quality match dies and brass can easily yield ammo with virtually *no* runout, given careful handloading.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 11th, 2019

Wet-Tumbling Cartridge Brass — Some Smart Solutions

Cartridge brass case tumbler thumblers wet brass stainless media lapua cleaning

Ace tactical shooter and gunsmith Jim See of Elite Accuracy LLC recently tested a Frankford Arsenal rotary brass tumbler. Like the older Thumbler’s Tumblers, this can tumble your cases in a liquid solution. The wet-tumbling process worked very well Jim reports. Posting on Facebook, Jim noted: “I was super impressed with the Frankford Arsenal rotary tumbler and cleaning packs they sent me. I ran 350 pieces of brass for one hour. They now look great.” Jim appreciated not having to deal with dry tumbling media, such as crushed walnut shells. Dry media produces dust and can leave residues or clog flash-holes.

Cartridge brass case tumbler thumblers Frankford Arsenal wet brass stainless media lapua cleaning

Interestingly, Jim recommends you try wet-tumbling WITHOUT using stainless media. At least give it a try. Tumbling without media simplifies the process and you don’t have to worry about pins stuck in flash-holes or case-necks*. Jim reports: “Stainless steel pins come with the Frankford kit, but mine hit the trash right out of the box. There is no need to clean the inside of your cases 100% and that’s all the pins add to the equation. The brass bumping brass with hot water and Frankford’s liquid cleaner works great all by itself.” One wag stated: “That’s great to hear. Stainless steel pins are a PITA.”

Other Facebook posters concurred with Jim’s evaluation of the Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler:

“I’ve had one for a couple years, and it works well. I usually run about 250-300 Dasher cases at once in it. But I use the pins because I’m OCD about clean brass.” — David W.

“I’ve had one for a year and a half and it definitely works with or without pins.” — Luke C.

“I got one about six months ago and have yet to use any SS media. I just use some dawn, distilled water, and Lemi Shine®. Turns nasty 5.56 range brass bright and shiny.” — Brian D.

“I don’t use the pins either and use a combination of Dawn soap and Lemi Shine.” — Jon N.G.

This video shows how to assemble and operate the Frankford rotary tumbler. But note, Jim See does NOT feel that it is necessary to use stainless media.

How to Dry Your Brass — Hair Dryer Vs. Machine

The downside of wet tumbling is that you end up with a pile of wet brass at the end of the cleaning cycle. There are many ways to dry brass, from drying in the sun to using a kitchen oven (be careful not to “overcook” your brass). One Facebook poster asked Jim: “What is your drying method for wet brass, and how long does it take?”

Jim See replied: “To start I just drain off the dirty water, and rinse the brass with clean hot water. Then I roll the brass on a towel for 30 seconds and put the brass in a one-gallon bucket. Next I insert a hair dryer in the bucket (with the brass) and let it run for about 5 minutes. With this procedure, the drying process for me is done in less than 10 minutes.”

Jack Lanhart has another method: “I use a food dehydrator. It takes 30 to 45 minutes.”

Cartridge brass case tumbler thumblers wet brass Frankford Arsenal stainless media lapua cleaning dryer dyhydrator frankford Lyman Cyclone

For those who don’t want to mess with towels and hair dryers, Frankford Arsenal offers a matching Platinum Series Case Dryer that simplifies the process of drying brass. Lyman also makes an excellent Cyclone Case Dryer. Both drying machines cost about $60.00 and both have multiple levels so you can separate different types of cartridge brass. Lyman states that “The forced heated air circulation of the Cyclone will dry your brass inside and out within an hour or two, with no unsightly water spots.” The Lyman dryer can also be used for ultrasonically-cleaned gun parts.

Cyclone Lyman Case cartridge dryer dehydrator


*The Frankford Rotary tumbler does include media separators if you choose to use the provided pins or other media. CLICK HERE for diagram showing how to use media separators.

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June 10th, 2019

Rimfire Shooting at 1000 Yards — 9-Year-Old Hits Target!

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

Here’s a feel-good story. ELR ace Paul Phillips took his 9-year-old daughter Addison to the range this past weekend, to try shooting at 1000 yards. Guess what, Addison got hits at 1000! That’s impressive enough, but get this, Addison made those shots with a .22 LR rimfire rifle! Yes a .22 LR will fly that far — but it took a whopping 342 MOA of elevation and five seconds of flight time.

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

Paul says: “So proud of my 9-year-old making impact at 1000 yards with her .22 rimfire. My 82-year-old dad also got hits at 1000. Amazing!” Paul adds: “My daughter is very excited to get into shooting sports. The .22 ELR game is very fun for her especially shooting suppressed subsonic. It helps her to learn the fundamentals without flinching.” After her success at 1000 yards, the little lady then made multiple hits on a silhouette at 322 yards (see below).

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

After Addison checked the ELR box at 1000 yards, she tried a 322-yard steel silhouette target. No problem — after many hits in the center, she put three into the top without any misses. This little girl can shoot!

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

The rifle features a Vudoo Gun Works rimfire action bedded in McMillan A6 stock by Alex Sitman. The barrel is a 20″ Bartlein, fitted with a GSL Technologies suppressor (see second photo above). On top is a Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm F2 scope fitted with a TACOM Charlie TARAC prism system that provides +800 MOA beyond the scope’s internal elevation. The rifle rested on a Phoenix Precision bipod. The ammo was Lapua Center-X subsonic, running 1090 FPS at the muzzle. Paul notes: “The 22 GSL silencer had no noticeable point of impact shift. It actually shot better groups with it on.”

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

Addison’s impressive shooting was done at the Marksmanship Training Center in Lake City, Michigan. This veteran-owned shooting facility is a very scenic venue as you can see:

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

Ballistics Prediction Was Nearly Perfect
The Applied Ballistics solution was within one MOA at 1000 yards. 1000 yards required 342 MOA up from the 100-yard zero. Flight time was over 5 seconds! MV was 1090 FPS. The target was a 6′ x 6′ F-Class frame, covered with white paper. That’s roughly 7 MOA, equivalent to about 3.5″ at 50 yards.

Comments from Facebook Fans (and Bryan Litz)

It’s in her genes — Brian R.

Like father like daughter! — Daryll B.

Dang! And I thought my son hitting at 400 was good! — George W.

Most people I know including myself did not believe that the .22 LR genuinely flew that far (despite the warning labels). — Robert S.

Applied Ballistics was within 1 MOA on a 342 MOA solution. We’ll have to tighten that up. — Bryan Litz

All in the Family — Three Generations
Along with Addison, father Paul Phillips and grandfather Rusty Phillips (right) all took shots at 1000 yards, and all three generations of Phillips got hits. The threesome took a total of 145 shots at 1000 yards and impacted 13 times. Paul observed: “We hit almost 1 in 10 shots [with] lots of close misses. Believe it or not, most were due to elevation not wind. There were 3-5 mph winds from 3-9 o’clock. To help see hits, John Droelle was spotting for us in the 1000-yard pits.”

Paul Phillips Addison 9 year old girl ELR 1000 yards rimfire .22 LR Center-X Lapua Vudoo Lake City MI

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills, Tactical 9 Comments »
June 9th, 2019

Ammo Reference Book Covers 200+ Cartridge Types

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

Do you use factory ammo in your hunting rifles? Perhaps you buy bulk centerfire ammo for your AR15 or varmint rifle. Then this book is for you.

If you ever shoot factory ammo, you should consider getting Ammo & Ballistics 6. This resource book lists over 2,600 different loads for 200+ cartridge types from 17 Mach 2 up to .700 Nitro Express, including the most popular centerfire and rimfire cartridges (both rifle and handgun). In this updated-for-2017 Sixth Edition, there are over 3,000 tables covering virtually every caliber and every load for all commercially-loaded hunting ammunition sold in the USA. Tables include velocity, energy, wind drift, bullet drop, and ballistic coefficients up to 1,000 yards.

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

Ammo & Ballistics 6 helps you select ammo for a hunt — quickly compare the velocity and knock-down power of various commercial ammo. This book can help you choose a caliber/chambering for your next hunting rig.

Verified Book Purchaser Reviews
“Outstanding reference guide for shooters and ballistic enthusiasts alike. Has data on velocity, energy delivered, Taylor KO index, windage and elevation on numerous loadings for hundreds of [cartridge types]. Each cartridge has all dimensions labeled (i.e rim, case length, neck, etc.), and has an informative description of the cartridges history/relevance.” — S. Step, 2017

“Great heaps of data! This volume has pages and pages of new data for .22LR like the hot Velocitor, and also on the .22 WMR from 30 grains up into the 50s. Most importantly there is lots of range data, drop, windage, kinetic energy, etc. — Terrific reference guide….” — E. Svanoe

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »