May 1st, 2014
Need bullets? Check out the Blem Bullets Sale at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Quality bullets from a “big-name” manufacturer are now on sale at big savings. These bullets are priced 35% to 40% below normal retail levels. The “blem” bullets shoot fine but may have some cosmetic imperfections such as water spots or discoloration. Other bullets are marked down because there were production over-runs or packing errors.
Midsouth explains: “OEM Blem Bullets Are Back! These are overruns, cosmetically blemished and incorrectly packaged bullets from a major bullet manufacturer. Small blemishes mean big savings. As part of our agreement to sell these, we can not disclose the bullet manufacturer.”
Video Explains Blem Bullets Sale and Shows the Bullets:
If you want to take advantage of this special Midsouth sale, act quickly. Quantities are limited. Midsouth states: “Once these are gone, they are gone!”. Here are a few examples of the sale items — there are dozens of other bullets types on sale. CLICK HERE for List of Sale Bullets.
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April 30th, 2014
Alliant Techsystems (ATK or Alliant) is merging its aerospace/defense operations with Virginia-based Orbital Sciences. At the same time, ATK plans to spin off its sporting arms, ammo, and outdoor gear operations into a separate, stand-alone business. ATK sells sporting products under numerous brands including Alliant Powder, Blackhawk, Bushnell, CCI, Champion, Federal Premium, RCBS, Savage Arms, Speer, and Weaver Optics. The new Alliant sporting business will operate from Utah, while the merged Orbital-ATK aerospace business will be managed from Virginia.
According to the Washington Post: “The separation of ATK’s core segments gives it the opportunity to focus on its sporting goods sector, which has grown to a $2.2 billion business through several mergers and acquisitions over the past decade. The company manufactures commercial sporting equipment for hunters, shooters and law enforcement agencies.”
The announced merger of Alliant and Orbital, and the spin-off of the sporting business, should benefit Alliant shareholders. Alliant shares rose 8% yesterday. Alliant shareholders will own 53.8% of the new Orbital-ATK aerospace company, and Alliant shareholders will retain full ownership of the new spin-off sporting enterprise. Alliant’s current CEO and president, Mark DeYoung, will take over as chairman and CEO of the new sporting business.
Will the new Alliant Sporting operation continue to grow? Analysts believe that it will. Management has shown interest in building the company via more sporting industry acquisitions. Analysts believe the Alliant sporting division is poised for continued expansion. While Alliant’s aerospace operations have suffered in recent years from cuts in defense spending, the sporting division has seen impressive revenue growth.
According to StarTribune.com: “The sporting unit’s rocket-like growth has captured the attention of Wall Street analysts. Barclays Capital analyst Carter Copeland recently boosted his forecast on Alliant, noting that “over time … the sporting group has made a more significant portion of the total company’s sales and earnings. … The last seven quarters the business has posted average organic growth on a year-over-year basis of 23 percent.”
For those in the shooting community, the spin-off of ATK’s sporting operations is probably a good thing. The new company can focus on guns, ammo, and outdoor accessories, rather than aerospace programs with long development cycles. Likewise the new company should be more responsive to consumers, as it can adjust production to current market demands, rather than fixed government defense contracts. ATK officials stated that “the company’s Sporting and Aerospace/Defense businesses operate in two fundamentally different markets with very different operating dynamics, compliance requirements, customer sets and growth opportunities. As standalone companies, they will be more focused businesses, with clear and distinct strategic visions and objectives, additional operational flexibility and the financial strength to make the most of their unique opportunities in their respective industries.”
Under the terms of the transaction agreement, ATK will distribute ownership of Sporting to ATK shareholders in a spin-off transaction, following which, ATK shareholders will own 100 percent of Sporting. The spin-off will be immediately followed by a merger of Orbital with a subsidiary of ATK, with Orbital surviving the merger and becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of ATK. In connection with the merger, Orbital shareholders will receive 0.449 shares of ATK common stock for each share of Orbital common stock that they hold. Upon the closing of the merger, ATK shareholders will own approximately 53.8 percent of the combined company on a fully diluted basis and Orbital shareholders will own the remaining approximately 46.2 percent of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.
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April 23rd, 2014
Have you been struggling to find powder, primers, and .22 LR rimfire ammo? Well, now there’s a free web-based search service that can help you find what you need. The service costs nothing and you don’t have to sign up to run searches. We ran a quick search for .22 LR Ammo and found dozens of sources. We clicked the “in-stock only” option and ranked the results by price-per-round, low to high. Here’s what we found this morning — there were plenty of sources at $0.13-0.15 per round ($6.50-$7.50 per box), and Gander Mountain even had some Remington .22LR at $2.49 per box!
Click Box to ZOOM Image So You Can Read Results More Easily:
GunBot.net employs “search bots” to scour the internet for available inventories of ammo, powder, primers, brass and magazines. GunBot.net checks the inventories of over sixty retailers, including leading vendors AmmoMan, Bass Pro, Brownells, Cabelas, Cheaper Than Dirt, Grizzly, JG Sales, Dan Killough, Midsouth Shooters Supply, Midway USA, Powder Valley, Rainier Arms, Sinclair Int’l, Sportsman’s Guide,, Wholesale Hunter, and Wideners.
Results can be sorted by price or time (most recent results first). You can even get email alerts notifying you when the product you need is available. (To get alerts, you must first log-in and create an account with GunBot.net. There is no charge for this service.) GunBot.net’s search spiders work constantly, so results are normally very current. Pages auto-refresh when new “matching items” are found.
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April 19th, 2014
AccurateShooter Forum member Allan, aka “1066″, has improved the performance of his RCBS balance-beam scale with some simple hardware modifications. In addition, Allan has cleverly fitted an inexpensive video camera to one end of his scale. This camera outputs a signal to Allan’s laptop computer, giving Allan a magnified, “big-screen” view of the pointer tip of his scale. That lets Allan observe ultra-small movements of the beam. With the hardware upgrades and video display, Allan has crafted a system with usable sensitivity to a single grain of Varget powder.
Hardware “Mods” Enhance Scale Reliability and Sensitivity
To upgrade his scale, Allan first fabricated a new U-shaped pan suspension hanger on the end of the scale. This allowed the pan to center more reliably and consistently. Next Allan extended the pointer arm at the opposite end, and attached a very fine graduated vertical scale to provide a more precise visual read-out. This scale has marks corresponding to 0.1 grains (one-tenth of a grain).
To improve the function of the beam itself, Allan “cleaned-up” the knife edges on which the beam moves, and Allan also fabricated a simple “approach to weight” fixture (with foam cushion) that gives the beam a smoother transition as it nears max travel.
Inexpensive Video Camera Displays on Laptop Screen
Allan’s real genius was in fitting an inexpensive video camera to display a magnified image of the pointer at the end of the beam. Seeing the “big picture” really helps get the best precision from the scale. Allan acquired a cheap web-cam and attached it via a simple bracket to the RCBS scale. A USB cable delivers the video output to Allan’s laptop. Allan says the web-cam cost less than $20.00 on eBay and required no special software. It was a “plug and go” installation. With the video camera running, the onscreen image is “super-sized” so Allan can track the smallest movements of the pointer tip. You can see how the whole system works in the video below. To dispense powder, Allan uses a slick automated trickler, explained next.
TargetMaster Automatic trickler Uses “Electric-Eye” for Automatic Shut-off
The final element in Allan’s high-tech balance beam scale system is a Targetmaster automatic trickler. This unique UK-made trickler is very advanced. It has two components — a dispenser, and a remote sensor that “watches” the movement of the balance beam. Allan pushes a button to start the powder flowing. As the load in the pan approaches the correct weight, an electric eye senses the position of the balance beam. Once the beam “hits the mark” for a correct load, the remote sensor shuts off the trickler. It sounds complicated but it works perfectly.
TargetMaster Trickler Components and Operation
The TargetMaster automated Trickler is a pretty impressive piece of kit that can be adapted to a wide variety of balance beam scales. The components and functions of the TargetMaster automated trickler are shown in the video below, provided by the manufacturer in the UK. To learn more about this reloading accessory, visit TargetMasterUK.com.
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April 18th, 2014
Here’s a tip we feature every year or so, because it is something that costs nothing, yet can be very useful in the reloading process. With a simple, easy modification to a fired case, you can determine the length to lands in your rifle barrel. As long as you set the tension right, the measurements should be repeatable, and you’ve just saved yourself $31 — the price of a commercial OAL gauge.
To achieve best accuracy with a rifle, you must control bullet seating depth very precisely, so all bullets end up in the same place relative to the entrance of the lands, every time. There may be multiple cartridge OALs which prove accurate. However, with each, you first need to determine a “zero” point — a reliable, and repeatable OAL where the bullet is “just touching” the lands.
There are tools, such as the Hornady (formerly Stoney Point) OAL Gauge, that will help you find a seating OAL just touching the lands. However, the tool requires that you use a special modified case for each cartridge you shoot. And, while we find that the Hornady OAL Gauge is repeatable, it does take some practice to get in right.
Make Your Own Length-to-Lands Gauge with a Dremel
Here’s an inexpensive alternative to the Hornady OAL tool — a slotted case. Forum member Andris Silins explais how to create a slotted case to measure length to the lands in your rifle:
“Here’s what I did to find length to lands for seating my bullets. I made four cuts into the neck of fire-formed brass. Then I pressed the bullet in lightly and chambered the entire gauge. As the cartridge chambers, the bullet slides back into the case to give you length to lands. It took less than five minutes to get it cut and working. A little light oil in the barrel just past the chamber helps ensure the bullet does not get stuck in the lands. It works great and is very accurate.
I made the cuts using a Dremel with a cut-off wheel. You can adjust tension two ways. First, you can make the cuts longer or shorter. Longer cuts = less tension. If you used only three cuts insted of four you would get more tension. The trick is to be gentle when you open and close the bolt. If you ram the bolt closed you may wedge the bullet into the lands. When you open the bolt it helps to keep a finger or two near by to guide the case out straight because the ejector wants to push it sideways.”
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April 16th, 2014
Here’s a great video from German ammo-maker GECO (part of the Swiss RUAG group of companies). Employing advanced 3D rendering and computer graphics, this animation unveils the inside of a pistol cartridge, showing jacket, lead core, case, powder and primer. Next the video shows an X-ray view of ammo being loaded in a handgun, feeding from a magazine.
Then it really gets interesting. At 1:32 – 1:50 you’ll see the firing pin strike the primer cup, the primer’s hot jet streaming through the flash-hole, and the powder igniting. Finally you can see the bullet as it moves down the barrel and spins its way to a target. This is a very nicely-produced video. If you’ve ever wondered what happens inside a cartridge when you pull the trigger, this video shows all. They say “a picture’s worth a thousand words”… well a 3D video is even better.
For Best Viewing, Click Gear Symbol and Select HD Playback Mode
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April 14th, 2014
Here’s a new product from SIG SAUER — the company’s first-ever line of centerfire pistol ammo. If this stuff matches the quality of SIG’s firearms, then shooters should be very happy. Designed for personal defense, SIG SAUER Elite Performance Ammunition features a proprietary V-Crown™ stacked hollow point bullet for reliable expansion. The five introductory calibers and bullet weights are: 90gr .380 ACP, 124gr 9mm Luger, 125gr .357 SIG, 165gr .40 S&W, and 200gr .45 ACP. Instructors at the SIG SAUER Academy have fired tens of thousands of rounds in the development of this new ammo. And here’s more good news — SIG plans to bring out rifle ammunition in the near future.
“Every product SIG SAUER produces will have the same attributes for which our firearms are known around the world – reliability, accuracy, and unparalleled performance,” said Jeff Creamer, SIG SAUER director of product management. “We are excited to enter the ammunition market and will be adding additional bullet weights for pistols as well as rifle ammunition in the months ahead.”
Video Explains SIG SAUER Ammo Features
The proprietary SIG V-Crown stacked hollow point bullet features an additional smaller hollow point cavity behind the main cavity. This design, along with the V-shaped jacket skives, guarantees controlled, uniform expansion. Brass cases are Techni-crom® coated for enhanced lubricity, superior corrosion resistance, and reliable feeding and extraction. Elite Performance Ammunition is made in the USA. For more information, visit www.sigsauer.com/ammunition.
About SIG SAUER
SIG SAUER, Inc. is the largest member of a worldwide business group of firearms manufacturers that includes SIG SAUER GmbH & Co. KG in Germany and Swiss Arms AG in Switzerland. SIG SAUER is an ISO 9001: 2008 certified company with more than 1,000 employees. For more information on SIG SAUER and its products, visit www.sigsauer.com.
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April 7th, 2014
Matt Reams, the V.P. of Sales for Sierra Bullets, recently addressed the burning question in the minds of many shooters these days: “Where did all the .22LR rimfire ammo go — why can’t I find any?” Here is Matt’s answer, from the knowledgeable perspective of a firearms industry executive.
Why Can’t I Find .22 LR Ammunition? by Matt Reams
Even though Sierra Bullets does not make .22 LR ammo or projectiles, we are constantly asked “Why can’t I find any .22 LR ammo anywhere?” Even the conspiracy theorists are at a loss on this one as they can’t even blame it on the government. They toss around thoughts of warehouses full of .22 LR rotting away just to keep it out of their hands, but that does not seem very realistic – even to them.
So what is going on here? Why is it that 1.5 years later, the shelves are still empty and bricks of .22 LR can still be seen selling for upwards of $75-$100 at gun shows? I do not believe there is one answer, but rather a few. Here are my opinions on the matter, for what they are worth.
Hoarders – Some people are piling it away in their basements, garages, bunkers, and under their beds due to fear of not being able to find it again. This is not a huge factor in it, but it is still a factor to some degree. When these hoarders can’t find it on shelves, it only panics them more and causes them to buy even more when they do find it.
Gougers – These are the guys who prey on the fear of the hoarders. These are the guys that wait in line at Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. to buy up the daily allotment that Wal-Mart puts out at normal retail prices and then double or triple their price on the weekend gun show circuit. Again, not a huge factor, but keeping the shelves looking empty which keeps the panic level higher for those that are looking.
Demand – Now we are getting to the real meat of the issue. You hear manufactures say they are running 24/7 on their rimfire lines which is putting somewhere around 25-30 million rounds PER DAY (estimate on my part from numbers I have heard from the big rimfire guys) into the market – so how can there be a shortage? I have asked this myself – until we start doing even a little basic math. You hear all kind of numbers about how many firearms owners are in the USA, but you hear 70-80 million quite often. So for the sake of us not arguing that number – let’s cut it to 35 million. Do you know a gun owner that does not own at least one firearm chambered in .22 LR? Do you know any that are not looking for .22 LR ammo or would at least buy some if they saw it for normal prices? How many would they buy when they found it? A lot – right? But again, just to keep the argument on the low end, let’s say they would all be satisfied with just a single 500 pack. 35 million multiplied by 500 .22 LR rounds for them all – is 17.5 BILLION rounds. Let that sink in. Even at 25 million rounds being made PER DAY – that is 1.92 years’ worth of production.
Starts making some sense then doesn’t it? Hoarding and panic emptied the shelves. Gougers try and keep them empty and demand does keep them empty. Then factor in that I probably cut the real number of 22 LR shooters in half and probably underestimated the amount everyone would buy if they found it at normal prices by 300% and you can see how deep the problem really is and why it is not going to go away tomorrow. It also does not take into account the world market – just the USA.
How will it get better? Slowly. The hoarders will get to a point that they feel they have enough or will run out of money. The shelves will start getting enough on them that the gougers cannot buy it all. This will make people stop paying $50-$75 for a brick at gun shows. That will make it less profitable for the gougers to spend their money on and they will stop. The shelves will start to have product again which will ease people’s fears and get them back to buying what they need today instead of what they need for the decade. There is no fast answer.
Are the manufactures hiring people for extra shifts and adding capacity – sure they are. But it is easy to just expect them to ramp up production overnight to take care of our needs, but that is just not realistic. We get the same thing here. The market certainly has not grown 500% so what happens when companies add all that super expensive equipment when things get back to normal? They take a bath on it for sure and waste capital that they could have used to improve their company in a way that makes them stronger. Instead they just added equipment they may never need again and have to mothball while they lay off workers they no longer need. Not a great way to run a business and not a fair way to treat employees.
We all just have to trust that it will get better, do not buy more than we need and wait it out. It will not get better overnight. It will start out with a box here and there and then a few and then slowly the shelves will get back to having all the supply and selection we picky consumers are accustomed to and will certainly appreciate much more than we ever did before… if only for a little while.
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April 5th, 2014
On the Norma website, in the products area, you’ll find dozens of illustrated cartridge profiles. Many of these have been augmented with “Caliber Histories” providing background information, both historical and practical. These entries will benefit those interested in the origins and development of popular hunting and match cartridges. Many of the “Caliber Histories” also include information on bullets and twist rates.
CLICK HERE to access the Hunting Products page on Norma’s website. There, on the left, you’ll see a vertical list of 58 different cartridges. Click on any cartridge name and you’ll see an illustrated “overview”. For most (but not all) listed cartridges, there is also a gray tab labeled “Caliber History”. Click that tab to see a cartridge diagram and a few paragraphs explaining the cartridge’s lineage and design features. For example, the .280 Remington Caliber History explains: “This cartridge was constructed in 1957 for Remington’s model 740 Autoloader. It is basically a .30-06 necked down to accept 7mm bullets, but the shoulder was moved forward a little in order to prevent the cartridge from being loaded into .270 Win. rifles by mistake.” Many of the Caliber History entries offer recommended bullet weights and barrel twist rates. Shown below is the 6.5×55 Swede’s Caliber History:
Article tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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April 4th, 2014
Last year, to catch up with demand for its most popular products, Hornady temporarily halted production of a significant number of bullet types and ammunition products. Some shooters were upset because they were no longer able to get their favorite bullets. Well, here’s some good new guys — Hornady has resumed production of a number of bullet types, and four ammo varieties.
CLICK LINK to View Updated 2014 Production List.
Highlighted items have been removed from suspension.
We scanned over the updated production list (linked above), and we found these highlighted items, which should now be back in production. As Hornady may update the list with new items, we suggest you contact Hornady if your favorite projectile is not yet back in production.
Bullets Restored to 2014 Production
22492 22 CAL .224 52 GR A-MAX®
2250 22 CAL .224 53 GR HP MATCH
22281 22 CAL .224 60 GR V-MAX®
2278 22 CAL .224 68 GR BTHP MATCH
27352 270 CAL .277 140 GR SST®
27402 270 CAL .277 150 GR SST®
27200 270/6.8 .277 110 GR BTHP W/C
28402 7MM .284 162 GR A-MAX®
28405 7MM .284 162 GR BTHP MATCH
30311 30 CAL .308 140 GR MFX (308MX)
30310 30 CAL .308 140 GR MONOFLEX®
30370 30 CAL .308 150 GR GMX®
3072 30 CAL .308 180 GR BTSP
3560 9.3 CAL .366 286 GR SP-RP
Ammo Restored to 2014 Production
8218 AMMO 300 WIN MAG 195 GR BTHP
8115 AMMO 30-06 SPRG 165 GR BTSP
4747 470 CAL .474 500 GR DGX®
82741 AMMO 45-70 GOVT 250 GR MFX LVR
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April 1st, 2014
The number one complaint among our readers is: “I can’t find any rimfire ammo … where did it all go?” Well, though .22 LR ammo is in very short supply in the United States, you can find plenty of rimfire ammo in other countries around the globe, including many of the world’s most popular tourism destinations. With the availability of cheap .22 LR ammo overseas, you may want to plan an ammo-buying adventure in an exotic location. Sun, sand, and ammo galore make for a perfect getaway.
Recognizing the unprecedented demand for rimfire ammo, a new specialty travel company, Ammo-Ventures.com, is now offering “ammo buying spree” holidays in exotic destinations worldwide. Participants can jet off to Brazil, Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Thailand. All Ammo-Ventures tour participants will be allowed to purchase up to $3000.00 worth of rimfire ammo while on holiday. Ammo-Ventures will handle all the packing and shipping chores, and will arrange for your ammo to be air-freighted right to your residence in the good old USA. In addition, if you’re itching to go shooting once you return home, you can pack a limited amount of rimfire ammo in your regular luggage. From most locations you can bring back up to ten boxes (i.e. 500 rounds) of rimfire ammo in your checked luggage.
Along with ammo-shopping sprees in exotic locations, Ammo-Ventures offers its customers a wide variety of adventurous diversions and “daily escapes”. In Costa Rica, you can enjoy the famous San Jose nightlife, raft a wilderness river, or go deep-sea fishing in the Gulf of Papagayo. In the Philippines, tour participants can go on a jungle jeep tour or dive idyllic, unspoiled coral reefs in Palawan province. In Thailand, Ammo-Ventures offers remote beach getaways, plus scintillating Pattaya nightlife.
About Ammo-Ventures LLC
Ammo-Ventures LLC was founded in 2013 by Frank “Cisco” Leland and Sam “Stinger” Yee, two seasoned world travelers who are also avid shooting enthusiasts. They personally accompany each Ammo-Venture holiday. For over two decades these rugged adventurers have organized exotic travel holidays including “romantic adventure” tours to Thailand, the Philippines and Costa Rica. Cisco Leland says: “With our interest in shooting and tropical destinations it seemed natural to organize specialty travel trips for shootists who need to stock up on ammo. With the current ammo shortage in the United States, it makes more sense than ever before to visit an ammo-rich, gun-friendly tropical destination. Now you can enjoy the sun and the fun, and come home with with a crate full of ammo. If that sounds like the perfect vacation… well it is!”
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March 31st, 2014
Here’s a great search service that can help you locate hard-to-find ammunition and reloading components — while saving money in the process. Ammoseek.com monitors more than a dozen online vendors — checking current pricing and available inventory, for pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammunition. Need .45 acp ammo for your 1911? Just select “.45 ACP” from the “Quick Seek” list on the right. Likewise you can find .223 Rem and .308 Win Rifle ammo with one click.
Find .22 LR Ammo Quickly (Cabela’s Has Some Today)
Looking for hard-to-find .22 LR rimfire ammunition. That’s easy — you don’t even have to enter any search words. Simply click on the highlighted links for AmmoSeek’s 22LR Page.
CLICK HERE for AmmoSeek.com .22 LR Ammo Search Results
Use Ammoseek.com to Find Reloading Components Too
Ammoseek.com also lets you search for reloading components, including powder, primers, brass, and bullets. This is a huge time-saver. You can instantly check a dozen or more vendors to see if a particular type of powder is in stock. Likewise, you can quickly check for primer availability. If you have a big match coming up and are short on primers — this could solve the problem.
Story Tip by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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