January 28th, 2014

2014 QuickLOAD Data Update CD Now Available

QuickLoad SoftwareGot QuickLOAD software? Then it’s time to upgrade your data files. The makers of QuickLOAD have released a new CD with updated data files (for propellants and projectiles). Updated just before SHOT Show, the new CD is current as of January 12, 2014. This data update disk adds the latest available powder, cartridge, and bullet files to your current version of QuickLOAD/QuickTARGET. This disk will work for QuickLOAD versions 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 and early 3.8.

Price for the update disk is $15.95. In the North America, order from Neconos.com, or call 800-451-3550 (9 am to 5 pm Pacific Time). In the United Kingdom, you can get the update disk from JMS Arms, Merrivale, London Road, Handcross, West Sussex, RH17 6BA, England, Phone: 01444 400126.

QuickLOAD is a pretty amazing program. Using information for over 1200 cartridges, 250 powders, and 2500 bullet types, QuickLOAD allows you to predict velocities and pressures for your hand-loaded ammo. You can check predicted pressures with different powder choices and seating depths before loading an actual round. If you do not yet own QuickLOAD, you can now order the latest Version 3.8 of this unique software. Priced at $152.95, the latest version 3.8 contains all the updates through January 12, 2014. This can be purchased for $152.95 from Neconos.com. For a full explanation of the features and benefits of QuickLOAD software, click the link below.

READ Full QuickLOAD Software Review

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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January 28th, 2014

Safety Tip for Shooting Coated Bullets

Coating bullets with a friction-reducing compound such as Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly) offers potential benefits, including reduced barrel heat, and being able to shoot longer strings of fire between bore cleanings. One of the effects of reduced friction can be the lessening of internal barrel pressures. This, in turn, means that coated bullets may run slower than naked bullets (with charges held equal). To restore velocities, shooters running coated bullets are inclined to “bump up” the load — but you need to be cautious.

Moly Danzac bullets

Be Careful When Increasing Loads for Coated Bullets
We caution shooters that when your start out with coated bullets in a “fresh barrel” you should NOT immediately raise the charge weight. It may take a couple dozen coated rounds before the anti-friction coating is distributed through the bore, and you really start to see the reduced pressures. Some guys will automatically add a grain or so to recommended “naked” bullet charge weights when they shoot coated bullets. That’s a risky undertaking.

Instead we recommend that you use “naked” bullet loads for the first dozen coated rounds through a new barrel. Use a chronograph and monitor velocities. It may take up to 30 rounds before you see a reduction in velocity of 30-50 fps that indicates that your anti-friction coating is fully effective.

We have a friend who was recently testing moly-coated 6mm bullets in a 6-6.5×47. Moly had not been used in the barrel before. Our friend had added a grain to his “naked” bullet load, thinking that would compensate for the predicted lower pressures. What he found instead was that his loads were WAY too hot initially. It took 30+ moly-coated rounds through the bore before he saw his velocities drop — a sign that the pressure had lowered due to the moly. For the rounds fired before that point his pressures were too high, and he ended up tossing some expensive Lapua brass into the trash because the primer pockets had expanded excessively.

LESSON: Start low, even with coated bullets. Don’t increase your charge weights (over naked bullet loads) until you have clear evidence of lower pressure and reduced velocity.

Procedure After Barrel Cleaning
If you shoot Moly, and clean the barrel aggressively after a match, you may want to shoot a dozen coated “foulers” before starting your record string. Robert Whitley, who has used Moly in some of his rifles, tells us he liked to have 10-15 coated rounds through the bore before commencing record fire. In a “squeaky-clean” bore, you won’t get the full “benefits” of moly immediately.

To learn more about the properties of dry lubricants for bullets, read our Guide to Coating Bullets. This covers the three most popular bullet coatings: Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly), Tungsten Disulfide (WS2 or ‘Danzac’), and Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN). The article discusses the pros and cons of the different bullet coatings and offers step-by-step, illustrated instructions on how to coat your bullets using a tumbler.

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January 26th, 2014

12.4 mm for 40 Shots at 50m — New Record at Eley Test Center

Two new 50m rimfire 40-shot group size records were set last week at the Eley test range in Fellbach (Stuttgart), Germany. This range employs an electronic target system that automatically calculates shot placement with great precision. The rifles are secured in clamping fixtures during testing. On January 21st, a new 13.2 mm record was set, follow by an even-better 12.4 mm record (that’s 0.488″). The previous record was 13.3 mm set in 2007.

Eley Rimfire Record Target overlay Germany Bauman Bleiker

Before we go further, we need to explain how these 40-shot records are determined. The record is not 40 shots fired in one single, continuous string at a single target. Instead the record is based on the software-calculated “consolidated” group size of four, separate 10-shot groups. Software at the Eley test range is capable of over-laying four, 10-shot groups so they appear as one large “consolidated” group. These “consolidated” 40-shot group overlays have been recognized as new records.

Here are the target images. The first row shows four separate targets. The second rows shows the consolidated overlay of 40 shots, along with consolidated score numbers.

Record 1, 13.2 mm Consolidated Group (Score 426.7)
Michael Baumann, Bleiker Rifle, Eley lot 1014–01002

Eley Rimfire Record Target overlay Germany Baumann Bleiker

Record 2, 12.4 mm Consolidated Group (Score 427.7)
Michael Baumann, Bleiker Rifle, Eley lot 1014–06005

Eley Rimfire Record Target overlay Germany Bauman Bleiker

The first record was a 40-shot, 13.2 mm group (Score 426.7), which broke the previous record by 0.1 mm. The second record (using the same equipment) was a fantastic group size of 12.4 mm (Score 427.7), breaking the new record by 0.8 mm. Both records were set with Eley rimfire ammo produced in 2014 just 10 days before the test.

ELEY now offers three Test Ranges located in Birmingham UK, Stuttgart Germany, and Winters, Texas. All three ranges have two 50-meter lanes ideal for testing .22 Rifles and Free Pistols. USA and German ranges also have the ability to test Free Pistols and Rapid Fire Pistols at 25m. For more information on Eley’s customer test ranges, go to: http://www.eley.co.uk/en/test-ranges

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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January 19th, 2014

Western Powders Offers Updated Reloading Guide Edition 5.0

Western Powder Accurate Ramshot Reloading GuideAccurate makes some outstanding propellants, including LT-32, a favorite among short-range benchrest shooters. Ramshot X-Terminator is also a great powder for a many applications. You’ll find up-to-date load data for these and other Accurate, Ramshot, and Blackhorn propellants in the new Western Powders Reloading Guide Edition 5.0. This printed resource guide includes the most current handgun and rifle Load Data for Accurate and Ramshot powders. The Guide offers a variety of helpful articles on subjects from Reloading Basics to Gun Cleaning.

Western Powder Accurate Ramshot Reloading Guide

Western Powder Accurate Ramshot Reloading Guide

Western’s print-format Reloading Guide is offered for $2.99 delivered. (The guide itself is free — the $2.99 covers shipping and handling.) It’s nice to have a “hard-copy” guide to keep in the loading room. However, if you want immediate access to load data for Accurate propellants and Ramshot powders, there are online reloading resources for both brands. Click the links below:

Western Powder Accurate Ramshot Reloading Guide

Accurate Powder
Online Load Data


Ramshot Powder
Online Load Data

Western Powder Accurate Ramshot Reloading Guide

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January 18th, 2014

17 Win Super Mag Rimfire — Shoots Great, As Promised

The 17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire cartridge (aka 17 Win Super Mag or 17 WSM) debuted last January. There was lots of buzz about this new, high-velocity rimfire cartridge in 2013, but the ammo was hard to get. Also, months passed before rifles chambered for the new cartridge were available. Now that situation is changing. Winchester has been producing 17 WSM ammo for a year now, actually making twice as much 17 WSM ammo as originally planned.

Winchester 17 Win Super Mag Super Magnum WSM 3000 fps rimfire

And now you can finally get a rifle to shoot the speedy little cartridge, the fastest rimfire round ever created. Browning offers a Falling Block chambered in 17 WSM, Savage has its new B-Mag rifle in 17 WSM, and Volquartsen is taking orders for an impressive, semi-auto 17 WSM. So the future is bright for this little cartridge, which can drive a 20-grain bullet at 3000 FPS, or a 25-grain bullet at 2600 FPS.

Savage B-Mag Rifle Chambered in 17 Win Super Mag.
Winchester 17 Win Super Mag Super Magnum WSM 3000 fps rimfire

Easy One-MOA Accuracy, Even in High Winds
We had a chance to shoot some 25-grain 17 WSM ammo through a new Savage B-Mag rifle. This polymer-tipped ammo showed its capability to buck the wind way better than .22 LR ammo (or even 17 HMR). In gusty 15-20 mph winds, Jason was still able to put five shots inside an inch or so at 100 yards.

Watch Jason Shoot 17 Win Super Mag in Savage B-Mag Rifle. In Second Part of Video, Winchester Staff Talks about 17 WSM Ammo Availability:

The B-Mag rifle worked well. The trigger is surprisingly good, with a crisp break at around 3.5 pounds. The B-Mag employs a “cock-on-close” design. Last year we tried an early production prototype B-Mag, and the bolt closure was very heavy. Though Savage claims there were no significant design changes, we can tell you the B-Mag is improved. Bolt closure takes less effort and the feeling as you drop the bolt handle is much smoother. (Perhaps the firing pin spring rate has been softened.) We did get a misfeed from the rotary-style magazine when cycling very rapidly. However, if you slow down a bit it works fine. You also must make sure the bolt is pushed ALL the way forward before you begin to rotate the bolt handle downwards.

Winchester 17 Win Super Mag Super Magnum WSM 3000 fps rimfire

Winchester 17 Win Super Mag Super Magnum WSM 3000 fps rimfire

Click Boxes to View Larger Charts

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January 15th, 2014

Rise of the Machines — Berger Doubles Bullet-Making Capacity

Berger Bullets New Machines Production Increase Bryan LItz

Berger’s customers said “Make more bullets!”, and the company listened. Over the next few months Berger will more than double its capacity, by adding SIX new bullet-making machines, up from five at the beginning of 2013. You can do the math: 5 + 6 = 11. That means that Berger will have more than twice as many machines turning out bullets for the yellow and orange boxes. Bringing six new machines online represents a major commitment by Berger to increased production. This has been the “number one priority” for the company according to Berger ballistician Bryan Litz.

Bryan explained that Berger has already increased its output in recent months. In 2013 Berger produced 45% more bullets than in 2012. That’s a big boost. But, Bryan added, even with that 45% greater output, demand was out-stripping supply. So Berger determined the best long-term solution was to increase production capacity… and that meant acquiring new bullet-making machines. So 2014 will mark the “Rise of the Machines” at Berger, and that’s good news for fans of Berger Bullets. Within a few months you should see much greater availability of Berger bullets at gun stores and online vendors.

Bryan Litz Explains That Berger is Doubling Production Capacity This Year (SHOT Show Report)

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January 15th, 2014

Save 10% on All Norma Products — Special Offer

Norma makes good stuff. And now, you can save 10% on all Norma products, thanks to Bullets.com. As a special way of saying “thanks” to AccurateShooter.com readers and Forum members, Bullets.com will knock 10% off the price of all Norma brass, ammunition, and other Norma products now through the end of January. To qualify for the discount, use Discount Code 14ACC10JAN (the first character is the digit “1″). FYI, Bullets.com does have Norma .22 LR ammo in stock. (Click here for Norma Tac .22 LR Ammo at $5.95 per box.) You may want to grab some rimfire ammo (as well as centerfire ammo and/or Norma brass) and take advantage of this January Promo.

Bullets.com discount coupon January

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January 13th, 2014

Digital Edition of Litz Accuracy and Precision Book Is Now Available

digital edition accuracy and precision for long range shooting bryan litzMore and more people are reading books on tablet computers and eReader devices such as the Kindle and Nook. Recognizing the demand for digital resource works, Applied Ballistics has just releases of its first eBook — a digital version of Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting. This work (which has sold 5000 hard copy versions), is now available in electronic format for both Kindle and Nook eReaders. iPad users can use the Kindle app to access the eBook.

This book discusses how to evaluate multiple variables to improve your hit percentage. It explains how to correct the trajectories for drop, wind deflection, etc. through the use of Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) analysis. WEZ is applied throughout the book, showing readers how to get more rounds on targets, more reliably. Case studies (with live fire verification for many scenarios) show what things affect your hit probability at long range.

All formats of the eBook are sold for $27.99 (hardcopy is $34.99). The Kindle book is available directly from Amazon.com, while the Nook version can be purchased from BarnesandNoble.com.

Free eReader Content on Applied Ballistics Website
If you have a Kindle, Nook, or iPad, you should visit the Ballistics website. You’ll find many free technical articles you can download as PDF files or in Kindle format or Nook format. To access these FREE articles, select the “Recreational” or “Professional” tabs on the top of the Applied Ballistics home page, then choose the “Articles” link from the pull-down menu. Bryan Litz tells us: “We recently updated our website and we’ve included a number of free articles about bullet design, long-range ballistics, and aspects of WEZ analysis. You don’t need an eReader for these — just download the PDF versions.”

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January 12th, 2014

Barrel Stub Gauges — Handy for Many Reloading Tasks

Next time you have a barrel fitted, consider having your gunsmith create a “stub gauge” from a left-over piece of barrel steel (ideally taken from your new barrel blank). The outside diameter isn’t important — the key thing is that the stub gauge is created with the same reamer used to chamber your current barrel, and the stub must have the same bore diameter, with the same land/groove configuration, as the barrel on your rifle. When properly made, a stub gauge gives you an accurate three-dimensional model of the upper section of your chamber and throat. This comes in handy when you need to bump your case shoulders. Just slide a fired case (with spent primer removed) in the stub gauge and measure from base of case to the end of the gauge. Then, after bumping, re-measure to confirm how much you’ve moved the shoulder.

Barrel Stub Gauge

In addition, the stub gauge lets you measure the original length to lands and freebore when your barrel was new. This gives you a baseline to accurately assess how far your throat erodes with use. Of course, as the throat wears, to get true length-to-lands dimension, you need take your measurement using your actual barrel. The barrel stub gauge helps you set the initial bullet seating depth. Seating depth is then adjusted accordingly, based on observed throat erosion, or your preferred seating depth.

Forum member RussT explains: “My gunsmith [makes a stub gauge] for me on every barrel now. I order a barrel an inch longer and that gives him enough material when he cuts off the end to give me a nice case gauge. Though I don’t have him cut that nice-looking window in the side (as shown in photos). That’s a neat option. You can tell how much throat erosion you are getting from when it was new as well. For measuring initial seating depths, this is the most useful item on my loading bench next to calipers. Everyone should have a case gauge made by there smith if you have a new barrel put on.”

Forum member Lawrence H. has stub gauges made with his chamber reamers for each new barrel. He has his smith cut a port in the stub steel so Lawrence can actually see how the bullet engages the rifling in a newly-cut chamber. With this “view port”, one can also see how the case-neck fits in the chamber. Lawrence tells us: “My stub gauges are made from my barrels and cut with my chamber reamers. With them I can measure where my bullets are ‘touching the lands’ and shoulder bump dimensions. This is a very simple tool that provides accurate information.” To learn more about stub gauges, read this Forum Thread. The photos above and below show Lawrence’s stub gauges:

Barrel Stub Gauge

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Reloading 3 Comments »
January 10th, 2014

Winchester Ammunition Unveils New Products for 2014

On January 13, 2014, Winchester Ammunition will roll out new products during Media Day at the Range (held at the Boulder City Range outside Las Vegas, NV). We’ll have reporters on hand to check out new ammo options and new hardware from other manufacturers. Here’s a sneak preview of some new products that will be unveiled on Monday. In the box below you can scroll though Winchester’s 2014 new products, which include Winchester Match Rifle Ammo (.223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .338 LM) Win3Gun ammunition, Win1911 cartridges, new VarmintX ammo, and the new Long Beard XR and Defender shotgun ammo.

Winchester Ammunition 2014 New Products

To learn more about these new items and other products visit Winchester.com. There you’ll find the latest product new, Information on Rebates and Special offers, plust a free online Ballistics Calculator.

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January 8th, 2014

Volquartsen Semi-Auto 17 WSM Debuts at 2014 SHOT Show

.17 Winchester Super Magnum RimfireIt’s been a long time coming, but we are finally starting to see supplies of Winchester’s 17 Winchester SuperMag (17 WSM) rimfire ammunition, along with factory rifles chambered for the fast little 17 WSM cartridge (it runs up to 3000 fps). Leading the way among new 17 WSM firearms is a hot little rifle from Volquartsen Custom. This new Volquartsen semi-auto 17 WSM will be unveiled at SHOT Show next week in Las Vegas.

Volquartsen’s engineers tell us: “The 17 Winchester SuperMag was introduced at the 2013 SHOT Show. Soon after that we went to work on a semi-auto platform for this exciting round. Visit us in SHOT Show Booth #11329 to find out more about this exciting new rifle.”

About the 17 WSM
17 WSM semi-auto prototypes have been built and tested. Volquartsen will begin taking orders at the 2014 SHOT Show. The initial release will feature a laminated wood stock, stainless steel receiver and a stainless steel bull barrel.

  • Standard magazine capacity will be 8 rounds.
  • The rifle will utilize a direct blowback action.
  • We are pursuing additional stock options as well as options for a lightweight version of the rifle, however there is no anticipated release date for either.
  • The 17 WSM cartridge necessitates a different action than our 17 HMR rifles. Unfortunately, 17 HMR rifles cannot be converted to 17 WSM.

.17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire

.17 Winchester Super Magnum RimfireNew 3000 FPS Rimfire Round
Winchester has created a new, high-velocity 17-caliber rimfire cartridge, the .17 Winchester Super Magnum (aka .17 WSM). Winchester offers .17 WSM ammo with a choice of three bullet types: 20gr plastic tip (Varmint HV), 25gr plastic tip (Varmint HE), and a 20gr JHP (Super-X). The 20-grain varieties boast a 3000 FPS muzzle velocity, earning honors as the fastest Rimfire ammo ever made.

.17 Winchester Super Mag Specifications
Symbol Sub Brand Bullet Weight Muzzle Velocity
S17W20 Varmint HV 20-gr Plastic Tip 3,000 fps
S17W25 Varmint HE 25-gr Plastic Tip 2,600 fps
X17W20 Super-X 20-gr JHP 3,000 fps

Winchester claims that all .17 WSM ammo types shoot much flatter than the .22 Win Mag and .17 HMR, while delivering 150 percent more energy than both. In addition, the .17 WSM “bucks the wind” better than any other rimfire ammo — exhibiting significant less horizontal drift at extended ranges.

17 wsm winchester super magnum rimfire

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January 8th, 2014

Notice to New Yorkers: SAFE Act Blocks Mail-Order Ammo Sales

SAFE Act New York Ammo SalesNew York SAFE Act Blocks Mail-Order
and Online Ammo Sales Next Week

If you live in New York state, in one week you will no longer be able to purchase ammunition from an online vendor and have that shipped directly to your home or business. Effective January 15, 2014, New York’s SAFE Act mandates that all ammo sales be conducted through a face-to-face transaction with a registered New York “brick and mortar” ammunition dealer. Retailers are alerting New York-based customers that the final day to order ammo online will be January 14, 2014.

The SAFE Act requires that, starting January 15th, all New York ammunition purchases be made face-to-face, with buyers subject to background checks. At this point, no online retailer has announced a procedure that will allow online ammo sales to continue for New Yorkers. Online sales are not outlawed per se, but the ammo would somehow have to be shipped to a New York-based ammunition dealer who would then conduct the requisite background checks.

In a communication with WGRZ-TV, NY State Police spokesperson Darcy Wells declared that two requirements will go into effect on January 15, 2014.

“The first is the law that requires all sellers of ammunition to register with state police and the second law that requires all ammunition transfers to take place face-to-face and be facilitated by a New York State ammunition dealer. These provisions will go into effect on [January 15, 2014],” Wells explained.

In addition, the SAFE Act requires background checks on purchasers of ammunition. However, at present, there is no system in place to do this:

“The SAFE Act law also provides that background check and record keeping requirements imposed on all retail sellers of ammunition are scheduled to take effect 30 days after the Superintendent of the New York State Police certifies that a statewide license and record database is created for such a process. That certification has not yet been made and the system is still being developed.” Read Related Story.

“Just like the rest of the SAFE Act, there are a lot of questions with no answers,” said Jack Taylor, who sells guns and ammunition in Batavia, NY. “We don’t really know how we’re gonna do it, because I don’t think they (State Police) know how their gonna do it… it may happen sometime later in the year, but nobody seems to know,” Taylor told WGRZ-TV

While several groups have filed lawsuits challenging various provisions of the SAFE Act, as of this writing, no legal ruling will forestall or block the ammunition sales restrictions from taking effect on January 15th. The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) is trying to restore New Yorkers’ rights to purchase ammunition from online vendors. To support that effort, AmmoMan.com is donating 2% of all New York orders to the NYSRPA to help fund legal expenses.

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