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October 24th, 2019

SAFETY NOTICE: Hodgdon Recalls ALL IMR 4007 SSC Powder

hodgdon imr 4007 ssc recall safety notice

PRODUCT SAFETY WARNING AND RECALL NOTICE FOR IMR 4007 SSC POWDER
Hodgdon and IMR are officially announcing a product safety warning and recall notice for IMR 4007 SSC smokeless powder. All lots of powder are included in the recall. IMR has received reports that this particular powder, sold in 1 pound and 8 pound containers, could become unstable due to possible rapid deterioration. Use of this product may result in combustion, fire damage and/or possible serious injury.

What to do if you have IMR 4007 SSC Powder

1. If you are in possession of IMR 4007 SSC, STOP USING THE PRODUCT IMMEDIATELY! Fill the powder container with water, which will render the product inert and safe for disposal.

2. Mail, email or fax a copy of the powder label with the lot number to the contact information below, and include your name, address, phone and email. Be sure to reference the IMR 4007 SSC recall.

EMAIL: help@imrpowder.com
CALL: 1-800-622-4366 or 913-362-9455
FAX: 913-362-1307
WRITE: Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc., 6430 Vista Drive. Shawnee, KS 66218

3. You may select a replacement IMR smokeless powder product of your choice, which will be shipped to you at no charge.

What to Do With Ammo Already Loaded with IMR 4007 SSC
If you have loaded the powder subject to this recall into ammunition, we recommend that you pull the bullets, remove the powder and wet the powder with water for safe disposal. IMR deeply regrets any inconvenience this may cause, but we believe in safety first.

Need More Recall Information?
You can get more information about this IMR 4007 SSC recall by emailing help@imrpowder.com. You can also call 1-800-622-4366 or 913-362-9455, or send a fax to 913-362-1307.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 23rd, 2019

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 5 Comments »
October 23rd, 2019

Hornady Offers Reloading App — Data $0.99 Per Cartridge Type

Hornady reloading handbook cartridge Mobile App Android IOS

The Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading is now available in Mobile App form. Hornady has released FREE Mobile Apps for Android and iOS (Apple) Mobile Devices. You get a lot of information for free. However, most of the actual load data is surcharged. You can buy all current load data for $19.99, or use the “à la carte” option to purchase load data for 99 cents each per cartridge type.

For example, if you wanted .223 Rem, .284 Win, .308 Win, you’d pay $2.97 (3 x $0.99). Frankly, we’d just use the FREE information available from the Hodgdon and Vihtavuori online Reloading Centers. But we understand some folks will prefer the convenience of an App with a wide variety of powder brands all in one place. Hornady’s full data collection covers hundreds of cartridges — .17 Hornet to 50 BMG (for rifle) and .22 Hornet to .500 S&W (for pistol). Folks say the App is easy to navigate and simple to use. For more information, visit Hornady.com/reloadingapp.


Download Hornady Android App | Download Hornady iOS App

What you get for free — Included with the FREE APP are hundreds of pages of reloading information including rifle and handgun bullet guides, the basics of reloading, tips and techniques plus limited free data on newer cartridge releases such as .224 Valkyrie, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 300 PRC and more.

Hornady reloading handbook cartridge Mobile App Android IOS

The App features over 200 cartridge types with a variety of loads using Hornady bullets, including A-Tip Match, ELD Match and ELD-X. Velocity and powder charts are included with each cartridge for easy reference. The database includes popular established powders plus new powders such as Power Pro 2000 MR, IMR 4451 and 7977, CFE Pistol, BE-86, Reloder 23, 26, 33 and 50, Accurate LT-30 and 32. Popular powders such as Reloder 17, Superformance, and LeverEvolution® have also been expanded.

Included with the free download are hundreds of pages of reloading information, bullet guides, tips and techniques plus limited free data on recent offerings such as 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and 300 PRC. Beyond that, reloaders must pay for load data on particular cartridges. Reloading data is available for download in three ways: Á la carte ($0.99 per cartridge type), Full Data Purchase for App ($19.99), or Annual Subscription ($19.99/year recurring).

Subscription Option — If you pay $19.99 per year you get full access to Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading 10th Edition data, plus new data developed for the 11th Edition, plus automatic updates. Subscribers will also get a printed edition of the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading (11th Edition) when it is released in the fall of 2020.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 2 Comments »
October 22nd, 2019

21st Century Hydro Press and Arbor Press Review with Videos

21st Century Shooting Hydro Press Hydraulic Arbor Press bullet seating

Hydro Press and Arbor Press from 21st Century Shooting

Gear Review by F-Class John
Inline dies, used with arbor presses, continue to dominate the world of precision reloading. While arbor presses have remained mostly unchanged, 21st Century Shooting offers the Hydro Bullet Seating Press, a radical departure from your average arbor press. If you are looking for improved “feel” and feedback on bullet seating pressure, you should definitely check out the Hydro Press. This design has been around for a while now but has remained unchallenged since its inception. The 21st Century Hydro Press still remains a category leader (and the choice of many top competitors) for good reason.

Arbor presses have traditionally worked by using a gear-driven ram operated with a rotating handle. This allows for a compact design but often lacks the tactile feel and smooth operation that many reloaders want. The 21st Century Hydro Bullet Seater works by using simple mechanical leverage coupled with a hydraulic pressure gauge to seat bullets in a smooth motion all while helping you keep track of seating pressures.

21st Century Shooting Hydro Press Hydraulic Arbor Press bullet seating

Editor: Many top shooters believe they can seat bullets with greater precision using the 21st Century Hydro Press. I personally get more consistent seating, which seems to improve accuracy and even help a bit with lowering ES. The Hydro Press gives you excellent feedback when seating bullets. That has helped me detect a case with too much neck tension, or a case that may have doughnut issues. When the gauge does something odd or spikes, you are alerted to a possible issue.

In this video, John Perkins of 21st Century Shooting Shows how the Hydro Seater functions.

You might be asking why or how simple a simple mechanical lever gives you an advantage over gear driven systems and the answer is simple, leverage. The Hydro Seater is equipped with a long arm that comes straight up and out from the front and uses a set of hinges that connect to the ram. This elongated arm provides lots of leverage allowing easy force modulation. This smoothly applies pressure to the seating die in one fluid motion. This transfer of power helps seat bullets smoothly in even the tightest of necks without any jerky or stuttering movements.

Working at the same time is a hydraulic pressure gauge using internal oil. I found this gauge was incredibly sensitive, accurate, and repeatable compared to spring-driven gauges. The Hydro gauge read-out really gives the user the chance to sort ammo by seating pressure should they choose. In my particular case I only use it to cull out noticeably high or low ones as “blow off” rounds and am perfectly happy if the rest fall within a given pressure range. The nice thing is that the press allows you to be as picky as you want.

21st Century Shooting Hydro Press Hydraulic Arbor Press bullet seatingCompact 21st Century Standard Arbor Press
Not to be outdone by its big brother, 21st Century offers a Standard Arbor Press as well, in both right-hand and left-hand versions. Affordably priced at $108.99, this small arbor press in made to the same exacting standards as the Hydro Seater and has some nice features of its own compared to other small arbors.

The large, knurled adjustment knob is one of my favorite features. It tightens securely, yet it allows for easy raising or lowering of the head unit without the need for hex wrenches. 21st Century’s basic arbor press also has a slightly canted lever arm which allows the user to apply pressure more easily and consistently compared to some other arbor presses. While this press is small enough to fit many range bags, it can be disassembled quickly with a single Allen wrench.

While I own the 21st Century Hydro Press for use at home, the Standard Arbor Press goes with me to out-of-town events, so I can adjust bullet seating depth at the match. I love using it for this purpose since the little press is so easy to transport, and then set up and use on the road. The seating action is smooth, and there is plenty of leverage.

Seating my bullets long before I travel gives me the ability to set them to adjust for any throat erosion that may occur. This also ensures my bullets are seated correctly, by eliminating any potential bullet weld or problems from the bullets accidentally bouncing in your luggage. I like the confidence of knowing that my bullets are properly seated before a big match, especially when it has been days or weeks since I loaded them.

SUMMARY — 21st Century Makes Great Bullet Seating Presses

Whether you need a premium bullet-seating Press such as the Hydro Bullet Seater or a basic, easy-to-transport Arbor Press, 21st Century Shooting has a excellent option for you. The Hydro Press offers outstanding bullet seating “feel” and consistency, with an ultra-smooth operation. The basic Arbor Press is well-made, compact, and also yields excellent results. Both these presses are built for a lifetime of use, using high-quality materials.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 21st, 2019

Bargain Finder 213: 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 Sunday afternoon or 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. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Great Gun Sale (100 guns on sale)

great gun sale

If you’re in the market for a new handgun, rifle, or shotgun, then head over to the Sportsman’s Warehouse Great Gun Sale. There are 100 different firearms on sale — hunting rifles, shotguns, defensive pistols — you name it. There are so many options, we decided to link the full sale page, so you can pick your own favorites from 100 different gun options.

2. EuroOptic.com — Vortex Scope Clearance Sale, Save Hundreds

Vortex Optics Viper Razor Scope discount sale

Vortex scopes have become very popular for good reason. Vortex scopes deliver great performance for the price and Vortex offers a rock-solid lifetime warranty. Right now at EuroOptic.com you can save hundreds on Vortex Viper, Razor, and Strike Eagle riflescopes. Six of the deals are shown above, but there are more options on EuroOptic’s Vortex Close-Out Sale Page.

3. Grafs.com — Berger .22-Cal 85.5 gr Bullets, $37.99

berger bullets

Did you read our recent article on the new Meplat Reduction Technology (MRT) that Berger is incorporating into their bullets and couldn’t wait to grab some? Grafs.com now has the 85.5 gr 22-caliber (.224) bullets in stock. This high-BC .22 caliber bullet could potentially be a game-change for F-TR and Palma shooters. The BC is very consistent and initial testing has shown great accuracy potential.

4. Gander Outdoors — .308 Win Ruger Precision Rifle, $799.82

ruger precision

The Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) is hard to beat for the price among entry-level chassis rifles. And here is one of the best prices for an RPR that we’ve ever seen. If you’re in the market for an RPR, grab this .308 Win RPR for a just $799.82. If you’re looking for a 6mm version, check out this Ruger Precision Rifle in 6mm Creedmoor for $1071.99.

5. Bruno’s — RCBS ChargeMaster Combo, $259.95

chargemaster rcbs

Newer, App-controlled powder scale/dispensers have recently entered the marketplace, but the original RCBS ChargeMaster Combo Powder Dispenser continues to be a reliable workhorse preferred by many dedicated hand-loaders. Grab one of these ChargeMaster Combos for just $259.95 at Bruno’s. That’s a steal — other vendors are charging $348.00 or more! This ChargeMaster will provide years of reliable service. We do recommend using the check weights before each loading session to calibrate the scale.

6. Bruno’s — Flavio Fare Triggers Now in Stock

flavio fare trigger

If you’re looking for a trigger that is amazingly crisp and has the lightest, most reliable trigger pull on the market, then check out Flavio Fare Triggers. These triggers are used by some of the top shooters in the country. If you looking for a competitive advantage, grab one and see what the hype is about.

7. Amazon — BOG-POD Field Bi-Pod, $38.68

field bipod

If you’re looking for a versatile, stable and easy-to-carry field support, check out the latest BOG-POD Camo Bipod. Featuring adjustable legs with a 40-degree max angle, the BOG-POD Bipod can be used while sitting, standing, or kneeling. This kid of support is highly recommended for shooting on hills where a conventional bipod doesn’t offer enough elevation. Watch the video below to see the BOG-POD in action.

8. Amazon — Scent Safe Travel Bag, $26.81

scent safe travel bag

Here’s a valuable product for hunters. This Scent-Safe product helps mask odors that give away your location to your prey. Store your gear in the Hunter Specialties Scent Safe Travel Bag to help ensure a successful hunt. As one reviewer said, “I use these to store my bow hunting clothes during and between seasons, after washing with them scent control soap, to keep outside scents away. I add a few earth scented wafers to the inner pockets which does a good job adding a cover scent. Take the whole bag with me on hunts and just remove what I need for each hunt. What I don’t use stays in the bag and scent free for the next hunt.”

9. CHL Targets — Official Competition Targets and Fun Targets

CHL Targets

Finding quality competition targets (at a good price) can be challenging if you don’t need 300 at a time. CHL Targets has a very complete selection of targets at great prices. CHL sells official NRA, IBS, and NBRSA match targets. In addition, CHL Targets offers splatter-type reactive targets. All competition, sight-in, and fun targets are sold at very competitive prices. Quantity discounts are offered for ranges and clubs.

10. Midsouth Shooters — 17 HMR V-Max 500 Round Brick, $89.99

17 hmr ammo

Here’s a great deal for varmint shooters with 17 HMR rifles. Midsouth has the Hornady 17 HMR brick of 500 for a low price of $89.99. That works out to just 18 cents per round — cheap enough that you can blast sage rats all days long and never worry about running out of ammo.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics No Comments »
October 21st, 2019

Orange Crush — Tour of Lyman Headquarters in Connecticut

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader factory tour lyman products Mark 7 connecticut

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com recently made a pilgrimage to Connecticut, home base for Lyman Products. He went East to talk with Lyman’s design engineers and learn about the latest products in development by Lyman. Gavin wrote: “During my visit I got to see the factory, meet the team, and even get a behind-the-scenes look at some products to come.”

Gavin noted that Lyman’s management, design team, and production are all under one roof. That definitely streamlines Lyman’s product development process, and helps explain why the Connecticut-based company has been so successful: “At Lyman headquarters you have the CEO, the Engineering team, the Marketing team, machinists, laboratory staff, and warehouse workers all under one roof.”

Gavin Gear Mark 7 Ultimate Reloader factory tour lyman products connecticut

Gavin found the production area very impressive: “When you step into this area… it’s pure action! Lots of parts on racks, material waiting to be machined, CNC machines running, and machinists running machines. Lyman is one of the few companies to use American cast iron, an American manufacturing facility, with American labor start-to-finish. They are able to do this because of how efficient their process has become. Heavy iron comes from nearby and is machined/assembled on-site, and then shipped to distributors and retailers. Outsourcing (like powder coating) is done close-by as to avoid excessive transport cost and to quicken turn-around time.”

Lyman Now Offers Advanced Mark 7 Reloading Systems

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader factory tour lyman products connecticut

Big News — Lyman now sells the highly sophisticated Mark 7 Reloading system. Lyman acquired Mark 7 Reloading earlier this year. The Mark 7 machines represent the most advanced, automated progressive reloading systems available to the general public. The computer-controlled Mark 7 machine makes a Dillon look downright primitive.

This Video Shows Mark 7 Reloading Machines in Action:

Now in its sixth year of operation, Mark 7 Reloading produces a full line of reloading presses ranging from hand operation to light commercial operation. Here’s a detailed video showcasing the Mark 7 reloading system. In this video Gavin Gear interviews Lyman engineer Spencer Carroll:

About Lyman Products — Nearly 140 Years Serving Shooters and Reloaders
Lyman Products, founded by avid outdoorsman William Lyman, has been innovating firearms and reloading accessories and gear for almost 140 years. The proud history of Lyman Products began in the late 1800s when William Lyman created the Lyman No. 1 Tang Sight — a major improvement in rifle sighting. Now a century and a half later, Lyman continues to introduce popular and innovative products, such as the Lyman BoreCam, Case Trim Express, Case Prep Express, and Brass Smith Series Reloading Presses.

See Latest Lyman Products at NASGW Expo in Orlando
Lyman Products will be exhibiting at the 2019 National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) Expo & Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, October 22 – 25, 2019. Along with the new Mark 7 reloading machines, Lyman Products will showcase its other respected brands: Pachmayr, TacStar, A-Zoom, Trius, Butch’s, and Targ-Dots.

Gavin Gear Mark 7 Ultimate Reloader factory tour lyman products connecticut

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, News, Reloading No Comments »
October 18th, 2019

Giveaway Contests — Many Chances to Win Guns & Gear

gun giveaway contest free guns emails capture ammo prizes

Are you feeling lucky? Then you may want to take a chance at some product giveaway contests that are running this month of October. Here are ten notable giveaway promotions offering readers a chance to win rifles, pistols, ammo, and firearms accessories. To find over 60 more prize offerings, visit GunGiveways.net.

gun giveaway contest free guns emails capture ammo prizes

Be aware that the true chances of winning are always very low, and most of the vendors use these contests to capture your email address for marketing purposes. Expect to get solicitations sent to that email. Accordingly, you may not want to use your primary email. However, you still need to provide a valid name and real email address. Otherwise your entry could be disqualified. Firearms prizes subject to legal transfer restrictions.

Colt 1911, Walther PPQ Match, Timney Triggers Package Giveaway
Vendor: GunTalk | Value: $7,329 | Deadline: 10/31/19

S&W Performance Center 460XVR Revolver + Texas Whitetail Hunt Package Giveaway
Vendor: Wyoming Experiences | Value: $7,179 | Deadline: 10/31/19

gun giveaway contest free guns emails capture ammo prizes

Steyr AUG, Lone Wolf Custom Glock, Steel Targets + Ammo Package Giveaway
Vendor: GunsandGadgets | Value: $6,462 | Deadline: 10/31/19

SIG Sauer P226 Legion, M400 Tread AR Pistol + Gun Stuff Package Giveaway
Vendor: Sportsman’s Warehouse | Value: $4,937 | Deadline: 10/31/19

Beretta 92 Elite LTT Pistol + BA .300 BLK Pistol Package Giveaway
Vendor: Ballistic Advantage | Value: $3,500 | Deadline: 10/31/19

gun giveaway contest free guns emails capture ammo prizes

Aero Precision M5 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle + Ammo Giveaway
Vendor: GAT Daily | Value: $2,120 | Deadline: 12/1/19

Tavor X95 5.56 Rifle Giveaway
Vendor: FirearmsPolicy Coalition | Value: $1,999 | Deadline: 10/31/19

Kimber Hunter Black 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle Package Giveaway
Vendor: GunWinner.com | Value: $1,228 | Deadline 11/10/19

gun giveaway contest free guns emails capture ammo prizes

Aanderson AM-9 9mm PCC Rifle Package Giveaway
Vendor: Shoot-on.com | Value: $1,170 | Deadline: 10/22/19

Howa M1500 Lightning 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle Giveaway
Vendor: Gallery of Guns | Value: $570 | Deadline: 10/19/19

gun giveaway contest free guns emails capture ammo prizes

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News No Comments »
October 18th, 2019

Out-of-Control Gun Lust — “I May Need an Intervention!”

Hoarding AccurateShooter Forum AR

Forum member Kevin (aka “N10Sivern”), revealed he needs some help with a compulsion — a compulsion to keep buying more and more guns and ammo. Particularly ARs, all shapes and sizes of ARs. Way too many ARs. You could say he has an ARdiction….

In a Forum Thread, Kevin posted: “I may need an intervention. Trying to clean my office and pulled this stuff out. I’m missing an AR10 lower somewhere and an AR15 upper. I’ll find them before the day is done. I have a big box full of parts as well, and 4 barrels still in the cardboard tubes. Sigh. This is gonna be a lot of Cerakoting for me.”

Another Forum member said: “For the love of God, man. Delete this thread lest you be accused of hoarding!”

Kevin replied: “I guess I am hoarding a little. But it’s good hoarding right?”

And then he posted this “Mail Call” photo:

Hoarding AccurateShooter Forum AR

Kevin’s caption: “It only gets worse. Mail Call today: 20″ .308 Ballistics Advantage barrel, 26″ Savage 25-06 barrel, 700 pieces of .38 special, 300 pieces of .357 magnum, 500 pieces .308 Win, gas tube, Hornady Modified Case Gauge. I have more crap on the way too.”

Forum Member’s Chime In…
Kevin’s “Need Intervention” post drew plenty of comments from other Forum Members:

“God! It is so refreshing to see that my illness is widespread with little hope (or desire) for a cure. I smiled reading each post.” — Gary0529

“You know you have a problem when you open a drawer and find components you forgot you bought.” — JoshB

“It’s not hoarding if you intend to use it. Says he who has 12,000 primers.” — Uthink

“I guess I’ll go ahead and volunteer to help you with your obviously much needed intervention… send me the pictured items and then you’ll no longer have to deal with those nasty temptations. Just think about it, you’ll have less clutter in your office plus you’ll not have to fret over the need for any cerakoting either. I’m just one human being volunteering to help out another fellow human being who needs help!” — PikesPG

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tactical 5 Comments »
October 16th, 2019

Save $$ By Using Lake City 5.56x45mm Once-Fired GI Brass

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. A recent “Handloading Hump Day” post covered preparation of once-fired 5.56x45mm brass. This article, the first in a 3-part series, has many useful tips. If you shoot a rifle chambered in .223 Rem or 5.56x45mm, this article is worth reading.

This week, Handloading Hump-Day will answer a special request from several competitive shooters who asked about procedures for morphing once-fired GI 5.56mm brass into accurate match brass for NRA High Power Rifle use. The USAMU has used virgin Lake City (LC) 5.56 brass to win National Championships and set National Records for many years. In this 3-part series, we’ll share techniques proven to wring match-winning accuracy from combat-grade brass.

GI brass has an excellent attribute, worth noting — it is virtually indestructible. Due to its NATO-spec hardness, the primer pockets last much longer than most commercial brass when using loads at appropriate pressures.

Preparing Once-Fired GI 5.56 Brass for Reloading (Part 1 of 3)

Assuming our readers will be getting brass once-fired as received from surplus dealers, the following steps can help process the low-cost raw material into reliably accurate components.

1. Clean the Brass
First, clean the brass of any dirt/mud/debris, if applicable. Depending on the brass’s condition, washing it in a soap solution followed by a thorough rinsing may help. [This step also extends the life of the tumbling media.] Approaches range from low-tech, using gallon jugs 1/2 full of water/dish soap plus brass and shaking vigorously, to more high-tech, expensive and time-consuming methods.

cleaning Lake City 5.56 brass

2. Wet-Tumbling Options (Be Sure to Dry the Brass)
When applying the final cleaning/polish, some use tumblers with liquid cleaning media and stainless steel pins for a brilliant shine inside and out, while others take the traditional vibratory tumbler/ground media approach. Degree of case shine is purely personal preference, but the key issue is simple cleanliness to avoid scratching ones’ dies.

If a liquid cleaner is used, be SURE to dry the cases thoroughly to preclude corrosion inside. One method is to dump the wet brass into an old pillow case, then tilt it left/right so the cases re-orient themselves while shifting from corner to corner. Several repetitions, pausing at each corner until water stops draining, will remove most water. They can then be left to air-dry on a towel, or can be dried in a warm (150° F-200° F max) oven for a few minutes to speed evaporation.

Shown below are Lake City cases after cleaning with Stainless Media (STM). Note: STM Case cleaning was done by a third party, not the USAMU, which does not endorse any particular cleaning method.

3. Inspect Every Case
Once dry, inspect each case for significant deformation (i.e., someone stepped on it), damaged mouths/necks and case head/rim damage. Some rifles’ ejectors actually dig small chunks of brass out of the case head — obviously, not ideal for precision shooting. Similarly, some extractors can bend the case rims so badly that distortion is visible when spinning them in one’s fingers. These can be used for plinking, but our match brass should have straight, undamaged rims.

Dented case mouths are common, and these can easily be rounded using a conical, tapered tool, [such as a .223 expander mandrel. A dummy 7.62 or .30-06 cartridge with a FMJ spitzer can also work.] If most of your brass is of one headstamp, this is a good time to cull out any odd cases.

4. Check the Primers Before Decapping
Your clean, dry and inspected brass is now ready for full-length sizing, decapping and re-priming. Historically, primer crimps on GI brass have caused some head-scratching (and vile language) among handloaders. Our next installment will detail efficient, easy and practical methods to remove primer crimp, plus other useful handloading tips. Until next week, Good Shooting!

NOTE: The USAMU Handloading (HL) Shop does not RE-load fired 5.56 brass. We use virgin LC brass with our chosen primer already staked in place. However, our staff has extensive personal experience reloading GI brass for competition, which will supplement the Shop’s customary steps. In handloading, as in life, there are many ways to accomplish any given task. Our suggestions are note presented as the “only way,” by any means. Time for loading/practicing is always at a premium. Readers who have more efficient, alternative methods that maintain top accuracy are invited to share them here.

Accuracy Potential of Mil-Surp 5.56×45 Brass

So, how accurate can previously-fired GI surplus brass be in a good National Match AR-15? Well, here’s a data point from many years ago that might be of interest. A High Power shooter who wrote for the late Precision Shooting magazine took a Bill Wylde-built AR match rifle to a registered Benchrest match. His first 5-round group ever fired in a BR match was officially measured at 0.231″ at 200 hundred yards. This was fired in front of witnesses, while using a moving target backer that confirmed all five rounds were fired.

He recounted that his ammo was loaded progressively with factory 52gr match bullets and a spherical powder using mixed years of LC brass with no special preparation whatsoever. Obviously, this was “exceptional”. However, he had no difficulty obtaining consistent 0.5-0.6 MOA accuracy at 200 yards using LC brass and a generic “practice” load that was not tuned to his rifle.

Saving Money by Using GI Brass

So, with good commercial brass readily available, why would one go to all the extra steps necessary to process fired GI brass? [Editor: It’s about saving money.]

Economically, it makes great sense. When the author was actively practicing and competing with the service rifle, he had ~3,000 rounds of 5.56mm brass, which allowed him to load during winter and spend most time in the summer practicing. If one were wealthy and wanted to shoot nothing but the finest imported brass, the current cost of 3,000 is ~$1920 (plus shipping.)

Dropping down to good, but less-expensive new, U.S. commercial brass brings the price to a much more realistic ~$720. However, at current rates, the same amount of surplus GI once-fired brass costs between $120 — $150, leaving lots of room in the budget for other expenses. [Editor: that’s less than 10% of the cost of the best imported brass.]

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 15th, 2019

Wind Wisdom from Experts Bryan Litz and Emil Praslick III

Wind reading coaching bryan litz Ben Avery Phoenix wind video

Wind effects are complex. In trying to access wind speeds and angles, you’ll want to watch multiple indicators — mirage, dust, wind-flags, grass movement, and more. You’ll also need to be concerned about wind cycles. In the video below, Bryan Litz talks about variable wind speed along a bullet’s flight path. A respected ballistics guru, Bryan is the founder of Applied Ballistics and a designer of Berger’s Hybrid Match projectiles. He is also a past F-TR National Champion and a High Master Palma ace.

In this video, Bryan discusses how wind effects can vary in intensity at different points along the bullet’s flight path to the target. Sometimes the firing line is sheltered, and the strongest winds come into effect in the middle of the trajectory. Bryan concludes: “Wind matters everywhere … but the best thing you can do is try to get a handle on the wind [velocity and angle] where you are. That may or may not represent the wind down-range — that’s when you have to look downrange and make a judgment[.]”

Litz Competition Tip: Select your wind shooting strategy carefully. For beginners and veterans, most points are typically lost to wind. Successful shooters put a lot of thought into their approach to wind shooting. Sometimes it’s best to shoot fast and minimize the changes you’ll have to navigate. Other times it’s best to wait out a condition which may take several minutes. Develop a comfortable rest position so you have an easier time waiting when you should be waiting.

More Wind Tips from Wind Wizard Emil Praslick
In these two short videos, Emil Praslick III, former coach of the USAMU and USA National long range teams, explains how to find the wind direction and how to confirm your no-wind zero. Praslick is widely considered to be one of the best wind coaches in the USA.

When Winds Are EXTREME — Near Gale Force at Ben Avery

This video shows INSANE winds at NBRSA 100/200 Benchrest Nationals. This was filmed at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, AZ during the recent NBRSA 100/200 yard National Championships. Extreme to say the least. Based on what we’re seeing here, there are 20-25 mph crosswinds, with gusts to 35 mph — near Gale Force. Video by Hall-of-Fame Benchrest competitor Gene Bukys.

Texas gunsmith Mike Bryant reports: “This video shows the Unlimited Class 200 at the Nationals in Phoenix. I had three 10-shot groups in the low 2″ range with a 2.228″ being my big group and was glad they weren’t bigger. Thursday and Friday were the worst of the windy days. Unfortunately those were the days for the UL 200 and it was about as windy through most all of the Sporter 200.”

Excellent Wind Reading Resource

The Wind Book for Rifle Shooters covers techniques and tactics used by expert wind-readers. The authors provide a wind-reading “toolbox” for calculating wind speed, direction, deflection and drift. They explain how to read flags and mirage, record and interpret your observations, and time your shots to compensate for wind. Here are two reviews:

This is a must-have book if you are a long-range sport shooter. I compete in F-Class Open and when read it from cover to cover, it helped me understand wind reading and making accurate scope corrections. Buy this book, read it, put into practice what it tells you, you will not be disappointed. — P. Janzso

If you have one book for wind reading, this should be it. It covers how to get wind speed/direction from flags, mirage, and natural phenomenon. This is the best book for learning to read wind speed and direction. — Muddler

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
October 15th, 2019

Creedmoor Sports Celebrates 40 Years with 40-Day Giveaway

Creedmoor sports dope roller 40 year anniversary 40-day giveaway
Since 1979, Creedmoor Sports has served the rifle shooting community. Over that time, the company has been dedicated to manufacturing the best products to help shooters succeed at every level of competition.

2019 Marks the 40th Year in Business for Creedmoor Sports. To celebrate this 40-Year milestone, Creedmoor is running a 40-Day Giveaway, with new prizes each day for 40 days. Sign up once a day for 40 chances to win! Daily prize packages are worth up to $500. Prize packages may include tools, shooting accessories, and/or reloading components from top companies such as Anschutz, Lapua, Berger, Dillon Precision, Forster, Redding, LabRadar, and Whidden Gunworks. (Full list below.)

How to Enter Creedmoor Sports 40-Day Giveaway
Starting October 15, 2019, go to Creedmoorsports.com and click on the 40-Day Giveaway Banner. Click each day to see the prizes and sign up. Overall you will have 40 chances to win. CLICK Contest Banner.

Creedmoor sports dope roller 40 year anniversary 40-day giveaway

“We wanted to do something HUGE to celebrate and thank our customers and partners for all of their support over the years. Jim Hill started Creedmoor Armory (now Creedmoor Sports) back in 1979 — it’s awesome to see how far we’ve come. We couldn’t have done it without the incredible support of our customers and suppliers. We’re excited to continue to innovate the shooting sports and help shooters hit the 10-ring for another 40 years.” — Brent Books Creedmoor Sports GM

Alphabetical List of Partners Providing Prizes for Creedmoor Sports 40-Day Giveaway:

Anschutz
Berger Bullets
Civilian Marksmanship Program
Dewey Manufacturing
Dillon Precision
Fields Slings
Forster Products
Hornady
ITC Marksmanship
Kelbly’s
LabRadar
LAM Firearms
Lanny Basham/Mental Management
Lapua
Lyman
MISO
Redding
RFP Sports
Ron Brown Slings
Shooter’s Puzzle Book
SK
Tec-Hro
Technical Marketing
VihtaVuori
Whidden Gunworks
Zanders Sporting Goods

Noteworthy New Products at Creedmoor Sports
While you are visiting the Creedmoor Sports website at www.creedmoorsports.com, check out Creedmoor’s new Deluxe Long-Range Rifle Case. This is just what you need for that long-barreled F-Class or Palma rifle. Available in both 55″ and 60″ sizes, this deluxe padded case features large, external zippered pockets that can hold ammo, accessories, Kestrel, shooting logs and more.

Another innovative product is Creedmoor’s new DOPE Roller — the world’s first Quick-Detach Ballistic Data Turret. The DOPE Roller displays windage/elevation data without requiring shooters to break position from behind the rifle. Display ballistic data by wrapping a simple adhesive label around the DOPE Roller. The DOPE Roller mounts to quick-detach sling swivel studs, offering mounting points for Picatinny rails, MLOK rails, and Keymod rails, and many chassis designs.

Creedmoor sports dope roller 40 year anniversary 40-day giveaway

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Hot Deals, New Product, News No Comments »
October 11th, 2019

Revolver Kaboom Provides Important Safety Lessons

Revolver kaboom wheelgun explosion mistake reloading powder safety

This shocking Revolver Kaboom resulted from “user error”. Our friends at Midsouth Shooters provided this cautionary tale, noting that you must ALWAYS be careful when hand-loading any ammo. Check your loads and don’t have multiple powder containers in your reloading area.

Revolver kaboom wheelgun explosion mistake reloading powder safety

“Ever wonder what happens when you don’t pay attention to detail? A word of advice from the reloader who brought this in — always double-check the load data.

Thankfully, the shooter was unharmed in the explosion. A live round we recovered from the remaining portions of the cylinder contained 12.8 grains of powder. The shooter had multiple powders on his bench and was unable to recall which one had been used while loading.” — Midsouth Shooters

Revolver kaboom wheelgun explosion mistake reloading powder safety

How to Avoid Kabooms

1. Never have more than one powder container open on your reloading bench at the same time — when you are finished with a powder, seal the bottle and put it away.

2. If there is already powder sitting in your dispenser, and you’re not 100% sure what it is — throw it out. We suggest, whenever you fill a powder hopper, put a piece of paper in the powder hopper with the name of the powder and the date.

3. When loading a new cartridge or when using a new powder, get load data from more than one source. Always load conservatively to start!

4. Always double-check your Load Data before starting the loading process.

5. In short handgun cases, bullet seating depth can make a BIG difference in pressure levels. Be sure to check your Cartridge OAL.

Revolver kaboom wheelgun explosion mistake reloading powder safety

Credit Boyd Allen for Finding this content.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Reloading 4 Comments »
October 10th, 2019

Walmart Halts Sales of .223 Rem and Handgun Ammunition

Walmart ammo ammunition ban stop selling AR15 rifle shotgun

Walmart is yielding to anti-gun forces one step at a time. First the national retail chain stopped selling handguns in 1993. Next in 2015, Walmart stopped selling “black rifles” — AR-15 platform firearms. Then in 2018 Walmart raised the age for gun purchases from 18 to 21. And the latest restrictions involve ammunition. Walmart announced it would not longer sell ANY pistol ammunition. And Walmart now won’t sell .223 Rem (5.56×45) ammunition commonly used in ARs and “modern sporting rifles”. What comes next? If a criminal uses a shotgun in a multiple-death incident, will Walmart stop selling shotguns?

1993 — Walmart halts sales of all handguns.
2015 — Walmart halts sales of AR-15 type rifles.
2018 — Walmart raises minimum age for firearm purchase from 18 to 21 years.
2019 — Walmart halts sales of all pistol ammunition.
2019 — Walmart halts sales of all .223 Rem (5.56×45) ammunition.

Walmart Expands Its Anti-Gun Agenda

Article based on Report by Midsouth Shooters Blog

Walmart has been steadily rolling back its support of the Second Amendment since 1993 when it stopped the sale of all handguns in every state except Alaska. Then, in 2015 it ended the sale of AR-15 style MSR rifles, and any toy or airgun resembling any “military-style rifle used in mass shootings”. Last year, Walmart raised the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, two weeks after the Parkland, Florida school shooting. And Walmart rolled out another set of restrictions after the recent shooting at a Walmart Super Center in El Paso, Texas.

“Walmart may not sell the ammo you need, and more companies beholden to the pressure of the vocal minority may follow suit. Effectively, Walmart has been bullied into kowtowing to the social justice warriors, and woke-ninjas in the vocal minority.” — Midsouth Blog

In a memo to employees, Walmart CEO, Doug McMillon, stated: “After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons.”

Walmart has also stated that it will no longer sell handgun ammo. McMillon previously said Walmart was responsible for 2% of firearm sales in the U.S. and 20% of ammunition sales. Walmart expects its share of ammunition sales to drop to between 6% and 9% as a result of the newly-announced changes. The company will continue to sell shotguns and rifles [But for how long? — Editor].

“In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again,” McMillon said in a memo. “The status quo is unacceptable.” In this 2015 video, McMillon explained the decision to stop selling AR-platform rifles.

Walmart ammo ammunition ban stop selling AR15 rifle shotgun

Changes to Walmart Gun Carry Policies
Another rider on the new Walmart policy affects customers who open-carry in their stores. If shoppers openly carry guns into Walmart stores going forward, store managers may ask the shopper to leave and safely secure their gun in their vehicle before returning to the store. “The policies will vary by location, however, and shoppers who are openly carrying guns may not always be asked to leave the store,” a Walmart spokesman said.

“As long as a Hornady is at Hornady, we will never sell direct to Walmart. They are no friend of the industry.” — Jason Hornady, 2007

Walmart CEO Calls for More Gun Control
“We encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger,” McMillon said. “We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the re-authorization of the Assault Weapons Ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness.”

Commentary from Midsouth Shooters
Walmart may not sell the ammo you need, and more companies beholden to the pressure of the vocal minority may follow suit. Midsouth will continue to sell the ammunition and reloading supplies you need, regardless. Our Second Amendment right is a sacred right, and for you to protect your family with the tools available, you need access to fairly priced ammunition and firearms.

Midsouth Shooters supply

Midsouth Shooters was founded on the tenants of honesty, family, and fairness, rooted in American and God. For a company, or organization, to be swayed by knee-jerk reactions sets a precedent of allowing the mob to dictate overreaching policies which put many in harms way. Effectively, Walmart has been bullied into kowtowing to the social justice warriors, and woke-ninjas in the vocal minority.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 19 Comments »
October 9th, 2019

New High-BC 85.5 grain .224-Caliber Bullet from Berger

Berger hybrid target MRT Meplat reduction technology 85.5 grain .224 22 caliber bullet

This could be big news for F-TR and Palma competition, where cartridge options are limited to .223 Rem and .308 Win. Berger is introducing a NEW, very high-BC, 22-caliber Long Range Hybrid Target Bullet. Stated Ballistic Coefficents (BCs) are: 0.524 G1 and 0.268 G7. That’s near the top among .22-cal bullets and makes this 85.5 grain projectile a very viable long-range option. Want to try some? These should be available very soon. Pre-order now from Creedmoor Sports, MidwayUSA, and other vendors.

» SEE Full Report with Test Targets on Berger Site

Berger hybrid target MRT Meplat reduction technology 85.5 grain .224 22 caliber bullet

This new 85.5gr bullets boast smaller, more uniform meplats, giving them a higher long-range BC. The meplat enhancement is achieved with “Meplat Reduction Technology” (MRT). Berger Engineer Garett Stoddard, who spearheaded the MRT project, explains: “Every bullet nose is formed with optimal swage pressure determined by force instead of length. In addition to reducing a projectile’s drag by shrinking its meplat diameter, this technique takes the inherent meplat inconsistencies that plague OTM style projectiles and brings them closer to the rotational axis. This is a key factor to the consistent balance of the bullet in flight.” The new 85.5s, like all other Berger projectiles, are made with precise Berger/J-4 bullet jackets which boast +/- .0003″ jacket TIR (total indicated runout).

Berger hybrid target MRT Meplat reduction technology 85.5 grain .224 22 caliber bullet

7-Twist Barrels Recommend for new 85.5gr MRT Berger
The 85.5gr Long Range Hybrid Target Bullet’s G7 BC of .268 is achieved with optimal stability from a 1:7″-twist barrel. Berger says “Excellent accuracy may also be attained with 1:8″-twist rifle barrels, resulting in a slightly decreased BC value”.

Initial Test Results Are Very Positive
A third party tester, shooting the new 85.5-grainer in Arizona, reported excellent performance at 1000 yards: “The projectile performed extremely well at 1000 yard in spite of only being driven to ~2800 to 2850 fps. This projectile is clearly competitive at 1000 yards in a Palma rifle as tested. With a slightly longer throat and a faster-twist barrel, I am confident the 85.5 Hybrid would be a viable option for those looking to shoot .223 Rem in Long Range competitions.”

Meplat Reduction Technology Enhances Shot-to-Shot Consistency
Berger says: “Utilizing advanced and proprietary manufacturing processes, Berger’s innovative Meplat Reduction Technology (MRT) System applies controlled pressure along the projectile nose, producing a homogeneous and repeatable bullet profile for the industry’s most consistent Ballistic Coefficients (BC). While a high BC is desirable to competitive shooters, shot-to-shot BC consistency is critical when engaging targets to 1000 yards and beyond.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, New Product 3 Comments »
October 7th, 2019

Bargain Finder 211: 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 — Ruger American .30-06 Hunting Rifle, $319.99

ruger american rifle
ruger american rifle

Even with so many new cartridge types, the venerable .30-06 Springfield remains a trusted and effective hunting round. Moreover, you can find good .30-06 hunting ammo at most any sporting goods store. Whether you’re looking for an affordable hunting rifle or perhaps a first rifle for a family member, check out this .30-06 Ruger American Rifle with Wolf Camo finish. CDNN’s current sale price is just $319.99 — a great bargain. Ruger offers a great warranty.

2. Amazon — Teslong Digital Borescope, $49.99

teslong digital borescope

The impressive Teslong digital borescope offers capabilities that rival optical systems costing $700 or more. This compact, electro-optical, cable-type borescope outputs sharp, high-resolution images and VIDEO to desktop computers, laptops, as well as Android tablets and smartphones. Check out our Full Teslong Review complete with inside-the-barrel videos. At $49.99 this is a great value. NOTE: This unit does NOT currently work with iPhones and iPads.

3. Amazon — Custom Damascus Hunting Knife, $59.99

custom hunting damascus knife

Having a good hunting knife on your hip when you’re out in the field is a necessity. Whether dressing your game, making kindling, or getting out of dangerous situations, the importance of having a good knife can’t be overstated. If you’re looking for new one or maybe a gift for that new young hunter in your life, take a look at this custom Damascus hunting knife complete with leather sheath. It can do a myriad of tasks while looking great with that Damascus steel blade.

4. Caldwell — 30% Off FieldPod Magnum, TreePod, & ChairPod

Deadshot field support tripod Treepod Fieldpod chairpod

Deadshot field support tripod Treepod Fieldpod chairpodCaldwell makes some excellent, adjustable field supports for hunters and varminters. Right now AccurateShooter readers can save 30% on Caldwell’s Fieldpod Magnum, Treepod, and Chairpod shooting rests. The Treepod is ideal for treestand hunters. The versatile Fieldpod Magnum is stable and sturdy yet can be easily carried into the field. The ChairPod provides comfortable seating with adjustable rifle rest. You can save big with this special 30% off discount for AccurateShooter.com readers and Forum members.

For example, the excellent Fieldpod Magnum is reduced from $179.99 down to $125.99 — that’s a GREAT deal. The 30% discount appears when you add an item to the Caldwell shopping cart and then proceed to check-out.

5. Natchez — ChargeMaster Lite Powder Dispenser, $199.99

rcbs chargemaster lite

Precise powder dispensing is critical for accurate loads. Among the many electronic scale/dispensers on the market, RCBS’s ChargeMaster Lite is a very good choice. This week Natchez is selling the ChargeMaster Lite for only $199.99. That’s a great price — almost $40 cheaper than Amazon. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to buy, don’t delay.

6. Amazon — Vortex Ranger 1500 Rangefinder, $329.00

vortex ranger rangefinder

For a safe (and ethical) hunt, you should know the precise distance to your prey. We recommend a laser rangefinder. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a small fortune for a good LRF these days. The Vortex Ranger 1500 is rated to 1500 yards, with built-in Angle Correction. The Range 1500 is also great for ranging targets during UKD tactical matches. Right now this Vortex LRF is on sale for just $329.00 on Amazon. And for $20 more ($349.00) you can pick up the Vortex Ranger 1800 rated to 1800 yards.

7. Bullet Central — Bix’N Andy TacSport Triggers

tacsport trigger

Bix’N Andy competition triggers are considered superior for good reason. However they’re not always the best for PRS matches where it can get wet and dirty. That’s why Bix’N Andy introduced the TacSport Series Triggers which feature a durable housing built for extreme environments. These are better for shooting in wet or dusty conditions. Choose from a variety of Bix’N Andy trigger shoes.

8. Grafs — Browning Hunting Ammo Sale

browning hunting ammo sale

It’s hunting season so you’ll want to grab some effective hunting ammunition at attractive prices. Head over to Grafs.com for the current Browning Hunting Ammo Sale. The sale includes nearly all Browning hunting ammunition types, so you should find good options for all popular calibers/chamberings.

9. Brownells — Sinclair Chamber Cleaning Kit, $36.99

sinclair chamber cleaning tool kit

Most shooters clean their barrels and bolts but many fail to properly clean their chambers. Don’t make this mistake — clean your chambers regularly on both hunting and match rifles. We recommend a dedicated chamber cleaning kit. The Sinclair Chamber Cleaning Tool Kit provides everything you need to properly get debris, powder and grease out of the chamber. That helps ensure every round loads and extracts properly.

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

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $9.99, or a 25-pack for $17.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, New Product, Optics No Comments »
October 7th, 2019

AutoTrickler V3 Updates — Report by UltimateReloader

UltimateReloader Gavin Gear Powder dispenser Autotrickler v3 update report

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com has been testing the AutoTrickler V3, a microprocessor-controlled powder-dispensing system that works with super-precise force restoration scales. Combining an automated powder measure with a motorized trickler, the AutoTrickler can deliver a full powder charge, with single-kernel precision, in a few seconds.

» GO TO AutoTrickler V3 Report on UltimateReloader.com

AutoTrickler inventor Adam MacDonald has developed numerous enhancements to his powder-dispensing system, which will be incorporated into the latest AutoTrickler V3 production version. Gavin Gear reviews all these important new features in a new video released on October 6, 2019. Check it out:

Key Enhancements for AutoTrickler V3 Production Version:

1. Improved, Larger-Capacity Clear Powder Hopper
The new clear plastic powder hopper is much larger than the old Lee red-colored hopper it replaces. That’s good news for folks loading large magnum cartridges.

2. Taller Glass Powder Cup and Improved Diffuser
When the main powder charge comes down from the hopper, it passes through a plastic “diffuser” into a glass cup. Both these products have been enhanced.

3. New Simple V-Shaped Stop for Powder Cup
With the V3, it is easier to center the powder cup on the scale unit. Gavin explains: “Instead of a ramp and ‘landing pad’, the cup stop is now a super-simple angled back stop. If you push the cup back towards the center of the pan, it will guide itself into the centered position every time.”

Here is the original AutoTrickler V3 Video Report from UltimateReloader.com:

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October 6th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Chris Nichols’s 600-Yard Light and Heavy Guns

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Chris Nichols with potential world record (1.297″ 4-Target Agg) Heavy Gun Targets!

Report by Bart Sauter, Bart’s Custom Bullets
Chris Nichols is one of the best 600-yard shooters in the game. This 2019 season he compiled one of the most impressive mid-range benchrest seasons ever. Check out the stats — Chris’s nine-match, Two-Gun Group Aggregate (Agg) for the year is 1.983″! That’s under two inches average at 600 for 72 record targets fired in competition. Many 600-yard shooters aspire to shoot a single, 4-target Agg that measures 1.983″, but doing that for 72 targets is amazing!

And of the nine matches Chris shot, he took SIX Overall Two-Gun wins — a 67% win ratio. And in the process Chris also shot what is possibly the smallest 4-target Heavy Gun Agg ever recorded — 1.297 inches. Hey readers — that Agg works out to 0.206 MOA average group size — well under quarter-MOA for four, 5-shot groups at 0.34 MILES (600 yards)!

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Chris with 0.665″ group at 600 yards. This is the smallest HG group fired in the IBS in 2019.

The Equipment: 6mm Dasher Light Gun and Heavy Gun
Chris likes to run 1.550 stainless steel Bat “B” actions, Jewell triggers, Brux or Bartlein barrels. He prefers wooden stocks as he feels they produce a better resonance for Long Range rifles. Chris has his own stock design crafted by Johnny Byers. Imagine a Wheeler LRB stock front half mated with an McMillan ST 1000 rear section and you have Chris’ stock! It features a Wheeler-type, 4″-wide fore-end with an ST 1000 low-comb profile in the back. Both Light Gun and Heavy Gun sport Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle scopes mounted with Harrell’s double screw tall rings. Chris does NOT use either muzzle brake or tuner.

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina
Here is Chris at his home range with his Light Gun (17 lbs. max).

Chris Nichols’s Heavy Gun is a true heavy coming in at around 42 pounds. It was responsible for the HG Agg of 1.297″ (potential new world record). His season-long aggregate with his Heavy Gun was 1.861″ for 36 targets! This rifle has similar components as his Light Gun, except the barreled action rides in a barrel block in a McMillan HBR 50 BMG stock.

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina

Both rifles ride a top of a Sinclair competition rest with a Protector DR Flat Top rear bag. When Chris goes to HG gun he simply switches tops (made by Daniel Greenlaw) on his front rest to accommodate the larger forend. As Chris says ,” This keeps things simple and exactly the same. ” Just the way he likes it.

Reloading for the 6mm Dasher
Chris’s load choice for both LG and HG is Hodgdon Varget pushing 105gr Berger VLDs. He uses CCI 450 primers, seated with an old Lee hand primer. When it comes to reloading, Chris likes to keep things as simple as possible. “If people saw me reloading they’d probably laugh!” Chris revealed that he doesn’t anneal or clean his cases. He just sprays them down with Hornady One Shot Case Lube, resizes, then runs a brush down the necks, and cleans the primer pockets. The only cleaning his cases get is when he wipes the lube off of them. Chris WILL trim and chamfer as needed.

Chris says seating consistency is critical — he uses a K&M Arbor press with force dial indicator. I asked if there were certain numbers he looks for when seating. Chris replied, “I’m only concerned with consistency and not a certain number, 5 pounds or 60 pounds. It doesn’t matter as long as they are the same. I take what the brass gives me.”

Tuning the 6mm Dasher for Record-Setting Accuracy
I asked Chris what was special about his Dasher and how he kept it tuned and so competitive? His reply is something all shooters should pay careful attention to: “[Success] starts with having a good reamer, bullets and barrels. But more than that, it’s KNOWING your Cartridge, KNOWING your bullets, and KNOWING your barrels! I’ve shot it so much I just know what to do. I’m comfortable with it. I know how to get it to shoot and when it’s not, I have a pretty good idea how to get it back in tune. Once you know your equipment, then you can learn how to get the most out of it.”

IBS Benchrest Chris Nichols Heavy Gun Record HG aggregate north carolina

Chris has a range at his house and he tunes at 300 yards. He looks for consistent, 300-yard 5-shot groups of 0.600″ or less! He wants to see nice round groups! Not groups with four in and one out or vertical strings. Chris starts by finding “touch” (to the lands) then he moves the bullets .002″ off the lands and begins tuning. Chris has found that usually somewhere around .008-.012″ off the lands is where his Berger 105gr VLDs shot best. I asked Chris what’s the biggest factor contributing to his success? He said, one big thing was that he can do his own work. That’s a huge advantage.

Look for Accuracy First, Velocity Second
Early on Chris had it in his mind that for a 6mm Dasher to shoot best he needed to achieve a certain velocity range — 2990 to 3030 FPS. The problem was he wasn’t paying attention to what the target was telling him. He’d get to the speed he was looking for but the accuracy wasn’t there. Once he started slowing the speeds down and giving the barrel what it wanted, then the accuracy came! Also with the slower speeds came better consistency.

Chris Nichols’s Tuning Tips for 6mm Dasher:

• Take consistency over speed.
• Only change one thing at a time and run it to the ground.
• Every barrel is a little different, so give it what it wants.
• Pay attention to what your target is telling you.
• Don’t be afraid to REDUCE your powder load.

Chris Nichols’s Advice for New Shooters
Chris says the best thing a new shooter can do is align themselves with knowledgeable people, and if they will talk, listen! Next, be ready to buy the best equipment or be ready to buy it twice. Chris also says: “Don’t cheap-out on sighters. Sighters need to be just as good as your record rounds.”

In the Beginning — Learning the 600-yard Benchrest Game
Chris’s shooting career began in 2012. His first win came in 2014. He was shooting beside guys like Sam Hall, Larry Isenhour, Mike Hanes, Jeff Godfrey James Coffey, and Chad Jenkins, who are very tough competition indeed. He said when he won he was ecstatic and he’ll never forget it! That first trophy had him feeling like he’d just won the Nationals! Chris shot a 6BR for the first two years of his career, before switching to the 6 Dasher. I asked him why he switched? He said, “guys were starting to shoot the Dasher and winning with it!”

I asked Chris if he had a mentor and he said, “not really”. He learned by watching the guys who consistently finished Top 5 at matches and occasionally asked them a question. Not two questions, just one! Chris didn’t want to push his luck by asking too much. Then Chris would take that information and test it and apply it to his own shooting. Chris says, “he learned mainly by the ‘school of hard-knocks’. The good thing about learning that way is it sticks with you!”

Chris Nichols 2019 600-Yard Win List and Statistics

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October 5th, 2019

Hybrid Bullets: How to Optimize Your Seating Depths

Berger Hybrid Bullet

Every year at SHOT Show in January, bullet-makers showcase their latest and greatest projectiles for hunters and paper-punchers. we plan to get the “inside scoop” on new bullet designs from Berger, Hornady, Lapua, Nosler and Sierra.

A while back, at SHOT Show 2012 we chatted with Berger Ballistician Bryan Litz about Berger’s popular line of Hybrid bullets. Berger now offers a wide range of Hybrids in multiple calibers and weights. In fact, for .30-Caliber shooters, Berger now offers many seven (7) Hybrid match bullets, with weights from 155 grains up to 230 grains. Two .338-caliber OTM Tactical Hybrids were introduced in 2012 (a 250-grainer and a 300-grainer).

Bryan tells us: “The hybrid design is Berger’s solution to the age old problem of precision vs. ease of use. This design is making life easier for handloaders as well as providing opportunities for commercial ammo loaders who need to offer a high performance round that also shoots precisely in many rifles with various chamber/throat configurations.”

For those not familiar with Hybrid bullets, the Hybrid design blends two common bullet nose shapes on the front section of the bullet (from the tip to the start of the bearing surface). Most of the curved section of the bullet has a Secant (VLD-style) ogive for low drag. This then blends in a Tangent-style ogive curve further back, where the bullet first contacts the rifling. The Tangent section makes seating depth less critical to accuracy, so the Hybrid bullet can shoot well through a range of seating depths, even though it has a very high Ballistic Coefficient (BC).

In the video we asked Bryan for recommended seating depths for 7mm and .30-Caliber Hybrid bullets. Bryan advises that, as a starting point, Hybrid bullets be seated .015″ (fifteen thousandths) off the lands in most barrels. Watch the video for more tips how to optimize your loads with Hybrid bullets.

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October 2nd, 2019

Four Vital Ammo Checks — Avoid Big Problems at the Range

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

Here’a useful article by Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager Carroll Pilant. This story, which originally appeared in the Sierra Blog, covers some of the more common ammo problems that afflict hand-loaders. Some of those issues are: excessive OAL, high primers, and improperly sized cases. Here Mr. Pilant explains how to avoid these common problems that lead to “headaches at the range.

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

I had some gentlemen at my house last fall getting rifle zeros for an upcoming elk hunt. One was using one of the .300 short mags and every 3rd or 4th round would not chamber. Examination of the case showed a bulge right at the body/shoulder junction. These were new cases he had loaded for this trip. The seating die had been screwed down until it just touched the shoulder and then backed up just slightly. Some of the cases were apparently slightly longer from the base to the datum line and the shoulder was hitting inside the seating die and putting the bulge on the shoulder. I got to thinking about all the gun malfunctions that I see each week at matches and the biggest percentage stem from improper handloading techniques.

One: Check Your Cases with a Chamber Gage

Since I shoot a lot of 3-gun matches, I see a lot of AR problems which result in the shooter banging the butt stock on the ground or nearest solid object while pulling on the charging handle at the same time. I like my rifles too well to treat them that way (I cringe every time I see someone doing that). When I ask them if they ran the ammo through a chamber gage, I usually get the answer, “No, but I need to get one” or “I didn’t have time to do it” or other excuses. The few minutes it takes to check your ammo can mean the difference between a nightmare and a smooth running firearm.

A Chamber Gauge Quickly Reveals Long or Short Cases
Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

Size Your Cases Properly
Another problem is caused sizing the case itself. If you will lube the inside of the neck, the expander ball will come out a lot easier. If you hear a squeak as the expander ball comes out of a case neck, that expander ball is trying to pull the case neck/shoulder up (sometimes several thousandths). That is enough that if you don’t put a bulge on the shoulder when seating the bullet … it can still jam into the chamber like a big cork. If the rifle is set up correctly, the gun will not go into battery and won’t fire but the round is jammed into the chamber where it won’t extract and they are back to banging it on the ground again (with a loaded round stuck in the chamber). A chamber gage would have caught this also.

Bad_Primer_WallsOversizing cases also causes problems because the firing pin doesn’t have the length to reach the primer solid enough to ignite it 100% of the time. When you have one that is oversized, you usually have a bunch, since you usually do several cases at a time on that die setting. If the die isn’t readjusted, the problem will continue on the next batch of cases also. They will either not fire at all or you will have a lot of misfires. In a bolt action, a lot of time the extractor will hold the case against the face of the breech enough that it will fire. The case gets driven forward and the thinner part of the brass expands, holding to the chamber wall and the thicker part of the case doesn’t expand as much and stretches back to the bolt face. If it doesn’t separate that time, it will the next time. When it does separate, it leaves the front portion of the case in the chamber and pulls the case head off. Then when it tries to chamber the next round, you have a nasty jam. Quite often range brass is the culprit of this because you never know how many times it has been fired/sized and in what firearm.’Back to beating it on the ground again till you figure out that you have to get the forward part of the case out.

Just a quick tip — To extract the partial case, an oversized brush on a cleaning rod [inserted] and then pulled backward will often remove the case. The bristles when pushed forward and then pulled back act like barbs inside the case. If you have a bunch of oversized case that have been fired, I would dispose of them to keep from having future problems. There are a few tricks you can use to salvage them if they haven’t been fired though. Once again, a case gage would have helped.

Two: Double Check Your Primers

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

Another thing I see fairly often is a high primer, backwards primer, or no primer at all. The high primers are bad because you can have either a slam fire or a misfire from the firing pin seating the primer but using up its energy doing so. So, as a precaution to make sure my rifle ammo will work 100% of the time, I check it in a case gage, then put it in an ammo box with the primer up and when the box is full, I run my finger across all the primers to make sure they are all seated to the correct depth and you can visually check to make sure none are in backwards or missing.

Three: Check Your Overall Cartridge Length

Trying to load the ammo as long as possible can cause problems also. Be sure to leave yourself enough clearance between the tip of the bullet and the front of the magazine where the rounds will feed up 100%. Several times over the years, I have heard of hunters getting their rifle ready for a hunt. When they would go to the range to sight in, they loaded each round single shot without putting any ammo in the magazine. On getting to elk or deer camp, they find out the ammo is to long to fit in the magazine. At least they have a single shot, it could be worse. I have had hunters that their buddies loaded the ammo for them and then met them in hunting camp only to find out the ammo wouldn’t chamber from either the bullet seated to long or the case sized improperly, then they just have a club.

Four: Confirm All Cases Contain Powder

No powder in the case doesn’t seem to happen as much in rifle cartridges as in handgun cartridges. This is probably due to more handgun ammo being loaded on progressive presses and usually in larger quantities. There are probably more rifle cartridges that don’t have powder in them than you realize though. Since the pistol case is so much smaller internal capacity, when you try to fire it without powder, it usually dislodges the bullet just enough to stick in the barrel. On a rifle, you have more internal capacity and usually a better grip on the bullet, since it is smaller diameter and longer bearing surface. Like on a .223, often a case without powder won’t dislodge the bullet out of the case and just gets ejected from the rifle, thinking it was a bad primer or some little quirk.

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

For rifle cases loaded on a single stage press, I put them in a reloading block and always dump my powder in a certain order. Then I do a visual inspection and any case that the powder doesn’t look the same level as the rest, I pull it and the one I charged before and the one I charged after it. I inspect the one case to see if there is anything visual inside. Then I recharge all 3 cases. That way if a case had powder hang up and dump in the next case, you have corrected the problem.

On progressive presses, I try to use a powder that fills the case up to about the base of the bullet. That way you can usually see the powder as the shell rotates and if you might have dumped a partial or double charge, you will notice as you start to seat the bullet if not before. On a progressive, if I don’t load a cartridge in one smooth stroke (say a bullet tipped over sideways and I raised the ram slightly to reset it) Some presses actually back the charge back adding more powder if it has already dumped some so you have a full charge plus a partial charge. When I don’t complete the procedure with one stroke, I pull the case that just had powder dumped into it and check the powder charge or just dump the powder back into the measure and run the case thru later.

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October 1st, 2019

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

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

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

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

Universal decapping die

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

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

Lee universal decapping die

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

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

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