October 12th, 2017

How to Avoid Misfires with .22 LR Rimfire Ammunition

rimfire Ammo 22 plinkster cheaper than dirt

“22 Plinkster” is an avid shooter who has produced a number of entertaining videos for his YouTube Channel. In the video below, he tackles the question “Why Do Misfires Occur in .22 LR Rimfire Ammunition?” This is the most common question posed to 22 Plinkster by his many viewers. He identifies four main issues that can cause .22 LR misfires or faulty ignition:

1. Damaged Firing Pin — The dry firing process can actually blunt or shorten the firing pin, particularly with older rimfire firearms. Use of snap caps is recommended.
2. Poor Ammunition — Some cheap brands have poor quality control. 22 Plinkster recommends using ammo from a manufacturer with high quality control standards, such as CCI and Federal.
3. Age of Ammunition — Rimfire ammo can function well for a decade or more. However the “shelf life” of rimfire ammunition is not infinite. You ammo’s “lifespan” will be shortened by heat, moisture, and humidity. You should store your rimfire ammo in a cool, dry place.
4. Mishandling of Ammunition — Tossing around ammunition can cause problems. Rough handling can cause the priming compound to be dislodged from the rim. This causes misfires.

rimfire Ammo 22 plinkster cheaper than dirt

Image courtesy Cheaper Than Dirt Shooters Log.
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October 12th, 2017

Lyman E-Zee Case Gauge Measures Over 70 Cartridge Types

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gage

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gageLyman’s popular E-Zee Case Length Gauge is now bigger and better. The new version II of Lyman’s Case Gauge is much larger than the original version. The Case Gauge II now measures more than 70 cartridge types — way more than before. This tool is a metal template with SAAMI-max-length slots for various cartridge types, including relatively new cartridges such as the .204 Ruger and Winchester Short Magnums. This tool allows you to quickly sort brass or check the dimensions. If you have a bucketful of mixed pistol brass this can save you hours of tedious work with calipers. You can also quickly check case lengths to see if it’s time to trim your fired brass.

If you load a wide variety of calibers, or do a lot of pistol shooting, we think you should pick up one of these Lyman Case Gauge templates. They are available for under twenty bucks at Brownells ($18.99) and Amazon.com ($17.77). The E-Zee Case Gauge has long been a popular item for hand-loaders.

NOTE: For years the E-Zee Case Gauge had a silver finish with black lettering, as shown above. Some of the most recent production of E-Zee guages have a new “high contrast” look, with white lettering on a black frame. You may get either version when you order online (Brownells shows silver, Amazon shows black). We actually prefer the older version.

Case Gauge Should Last a Lifetime
Easily measure the case length of over 70 popular rifle and pistol cases with Lyman’s new E-Zee Case Length Gauge II. This really is a “must-have” piece of kit for any gun owner who hand-loads numerous pistol and rifle calibers.

This rugged, precisely-made metal gauge makes sorting or identifying cases fast and accurate. The template is machined with SAAMI max recommended case lengths. Made from metal, with no moving parts, the E-Zee Case Gauge II should last a lifetime.

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October 11th, 2017

Measure Shoulder Bump Precisely with Harrell’s Bump Collar

Harrell’s Precision sells “semi-custom” full-length bushing dies for the PPC and 6BR chamberings. While the Harrell brothers do not cut the die to spec, they carry a large selection of dies made with slightly different internal dimensions. When you send in your fired brass, the Harrells choose a die from inventory with just the right amount of sizing (diameter reduction) at the top and bottom of the case. Given the quality, and precise fit, Harrell’s full-length dies are a good value at $75.00 plus shipping.

Bump Measuring Collar
The Harrell brothers provide a nice bonus item with each full-length die — a neat, little shoulder bump measuring device as shown in the photo at right. Hornady/Stoney Point sells a stand-alone tool that does the same job, but the Harrell’s bump collar is simpler and faster. To measure your shoulder bump, simply place the Harrell’s bump collar over the front of your deprimed case (before sizing) and measure the OAL with your calipers. Then size the case in your full-length die, replace the collar and repeat the measurement. You want to set your die so the shoulder moves back about .001″ to .0015″ for most applications. (With semi-auto guns you may want more bump.)

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October 10th, 2017

Slick Tricks: Techniques and Tools for Big-Batch Case Lubrication

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. A while back, the USAMU’s reloading gurus looked at the subject of case lubrication. Tasked with producing thousands of rounds of ammo for team members, the USAMU’s reloading staff has developed very efficient procedures for lubricating large quantities of cases. This article reveals the USAMU’s clever “big-batch” lube methods. For other helpful hand-loading tips, visit the USAMU Facebook page on upcoming Wednesdays.

Rapid, High-Volume Case Lubrication

Today’s topic covers methods for quickly applying spray lube to cartridge cases prior to sizing. A typical order for this shop may be 25,000 rounds, so [speeding up] the lubrication process can be a real time-saver. While your ammunition lots probably aren’t this large, the efficient methods discussed here may help save a considerable amount of time over your handloading career. Our case lubrication rates range from 1500-1600 cases per hour, to 2400-2500 cases per hour, depending on caliber.

This shop uses virgin brass, whereas most home handloaders use fired brass, which necessitates some small changes at times. These will be discussed as they arise. Begin with fired brass that has been tumbled clean.

Ensure as much tumbling media as possible is removed from the brass, as when it gets into a size die, it can dent cases significantly. This is a good time to round out dents in the case mouths using a tapered tool to prevent damage from the decapping stem.

First, dump the clean cases into a large box or reloading bin. Shake the bin back and forth so that many cases are oriented with the mouths up. Next, pick up as many cases as is convenient with the mouths “up”, from natural clusters of correctly-oriented cases. With 7.62mm-size cases, this is usually 3-4, and with 5.56mm cases, this can be up to 8-10. Place the cases into the rack slots, mouth-up. Doing this in groups rather than singly saves considerable time. Once these clusters have been depleted, it will be time to re-shake the bin to orient more cases “up.”.

This photo shows a case lubrication rack made by a USAMU staffer.
accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

Naturally, adjust the spacing to best fit the calibers you reload. We have found this size … convenient for handling through the various phases of case lubrication/transfer to progressive case feeders for processing. Note that the 1/2-inch angle does not cover much of the critical case area at the base, just forward of the extractor groove, where most re-sizing force will be exerted. As the USAMU uses virgin brass, less lubrication is required for our brass than would be needed for Full Length (FL) sizing of previously-fired brass.

NOTE: The amount applied using our rack is easily enough for our purpose. If using fired brass, be sure to adequately lube this base area to avoid having cases stick in the full-length sizing die.

Using a spray lube, coat the cases adequately, but not excessively, from all sides. Be sure to get some lube into the case mouths/necks, in order to reduce expander ball drag and case stretching/headspace changes. The spray lube this shop uses does not harm primers or powder, and does not require tumbling to remove after lubing.*

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

Take a close look at the photo above. The USAMU shop uses a common kitchen turntable, which allows the rack to be rotated easily. We place this in a custom-made box which prevents over-spray on to floors and walls.

Angled Box Method for Smaller Cases to be Neck-Sized
A refinement of the above method which especially speeds processing of 5.56x45mm cases is as follows. A small cardboard box which holds about 100 cases is fitted with an angled “floor” secured by tape. With the smaller 5.56mm cases, usually about 8-10 cases per handful can be picked up, already correctly-oriented, and placed into the box together. This prevents having to place them into the rack slots, saving time.

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

HOWEVER, note that this does not allow nearly as much lube access to the case bodies as does the rack. For our purposes — neck-sizing and setting neck tension on new brass, this works well. If using this procedure with fired brass, take steps to ensure adequate lube to prevent stuck cases.

As always, we hope this will help our fellow handloaders. Good luck, and good shooting!


*A two-part test performed here involved spraying primed cases heavily, while getting more lube into the case mouth/body than even a careless handloader would likely apply. The second part of the test involved literally spraying considerable quantities of the lube directly into the cases, drenching the primers. After a several-day wait to allow the lube to penetrate the primers, they were then fired in a test barrel. All fired normally; no unusual reports were noted. This bolstered confidence that normal amounts of the lube would not adversely affect our ammunition, and we have been pleased with the results over several years.

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October 9th, 2017

Bargain Finder 107: 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. B&H — Kowa TSN-501 20-40X Angled Spotting Scope, $349.00

B&H Kowa TSN 501 Compact spotting scope bargain 20-40X

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Kowa TSN-501 Angled Spotting Scope for just $349.00 from B&H Photo. This is a super-compact scope with 50mm objective and built-in 20-40X eyepiece. Though relatively new, the small, light-weight TSN-501 can perform basic spotting tasks effectively. This doesn’t have the resolution of the $1500+ spotters but this is fine for viewing mirage and shot markers. Put the money you save into barrels and bullets.

2. Grafs.com — Caldwell Long Range Target Cam System, $329.99

Amazon Caldwell Precision Long Range Target System Cam Camera
Labradar chronograph

Forum members have purchased this Caldwell Target Cam System and they’ve found that it works reliably, providing a clear signal to any WiFi-enabled mobile device (smartphone, iPad, Laptop). One member specifically tested the unit at 1000 yards and it functioned fine. NOTE: This system does NOT have a zoom camera lens, so you need to position the camera within 10 yards or so of the target. But if you place it to the side a bit, this shouldn’t be a problem. This system comes with a nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands. You get a very capable system for under $330.00. Graf’s offers free shipping after a flat $7.95 handling charge.

3. WikiArms — Savage A17 Target with Wood Stock, $465.99

Savage A17 Target Laminated Thumbhole 17 HMR

The heavy-barrel, wood thumbhole-stock version of Savage’s popular A17 rifle is probably our favorite factory 17 HMR. That means it’s our first choice for 100- to 200-yard varmint busting. Right now you can get this A17 Target model with laminated thumbhole stock for under $470.00. Trip’s Defense sells it for $465.99, while Classic Firearms has the A17 Target for $469.99. NOTE: If these dealers are sold out, find other vendors HERE: WikiArms A17 Thumbhole Sellers.

Savage A17 target thumbhole 17 HMR

These A17 Target models feature 22″ button-rifled heavy barrels and Boyds’ gray wood laminate stocks. As with all A17s, the wood-stocked Target models feature a case-hardened receiver, chromed bolt with large charging handle, 10-round rotary mag, and user-adjustable AccuTrigger. These rifles boast a delayed blowback action for reliable semi-auto cycling with the 17 HMR cartridge.

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

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

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

5. Bullets.com — Norma .22LR Ammo (Match 22 & Tac 22)

Norma Match 22 Tac .22 LR Ammo rimfire ammunition bullets.com

Need quality .22 LR rimfire ammo at an affordable price? Consider Norma. Most folks think Norma only produces centerfire ammo and cartridge brass. As a result, people haven’t been looking for Norma rimfire ammo. Their loss is your gain. Accurate, reliable Norma .22 LR ammunition is in-stock right now at leading online vendors. This is good quality ammo, made in Europe. Bullets.com has Norma Tac-22 ammo in stock at $4.75 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL7819). In addition, Bullets.com offers Norma Match-22 ammunition at $6.50 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL11887).

6. Grafs.com — Hornady Auto Charge, $179.99 + Free Range Bag

Grafs.com Graf Hornady L-N-L Scale Dispenser Sale Discount

Here’s an excellent promo from our friends at Grafs.com. Hornady’s versatile Lock-N-Load Auto Charge™ Powder Scale and Dispenser is on sale for $179.99. And now for a limited time you get a FREE deluxe range bag ($43.99 value) with the purchase of the Hornady Scale/Dispenser. This is a good unit with a nice keypad. NOTE: You can also get the FREE Range Bag when you buy the Hornady Case Prep Center at Grafs.com for $419.99. That’s pretty pricey — getting Scale/Dispenser with the Range Bag is the better deal.

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

Amazon target dots discount free shipping sight-in target

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

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

Folding Wood Work Bench Home Deport Reloading

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

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October 9th, 2017

TECH Tip: Check Your Primer Tools If You Have Primer Problems

Priming Tool APS CCI magnum Primers Lee RCBS Priming

From time to time, we all encounter a primer that doesn’t go off. It’s normal to attribute the problem to a bad primer. But sometimes there are other explanations. George S., one of our Forum members, experienced a couple failures to fire, but he learned that the issue was his priming TOOL, not his primers. Here’s what George told us. There’s a lesson to be learned:

“I had issues with CCI 450s when I had my first 6BR barreled. I had probably three or four out of 20 rounds that failed to fire. the primers were dented but didn’t fire. I called CCI since I had bought a case of them. The tech was decent enough but had the audacity to tell me I was not seating the primers all the way in the pocket. I proceeded to let him know I had been reloading longer than he had been alive and I knew how to seat a primer.

Turns out that I did and I didn’t! I was using the RCBS primer tool I had used for years and the primers felt just fine to me. I finally decided to check the tool and since I had a new one I took the seating pins out and measured them. The seating pin on the tool I had been using for years was shorter by a few thousandths! I then used the pin from the new primer tool and darned if the primers that didn’t seat down to the bottom of the cup.

I switched to a K&M primer tool for seating the CCI primers and have not had a problem since. It was the combination of harder cup and lack of proper seating. I did call the CCI tech back and apologized for being an idiot.”

Another Forum member witnessed a problem cause by misuse of a priming tool: “I did … see a failure to fire on a Rem 9 1/2 primer only a week ago. That was in the new Rem muzzleloader that uses a primed case to ignite the pellets. After watching the muzzleloader’s owner seat his primers, I believe that it was operator error not the primer. He was seating the primer and then squeezing the priming tool so hard that his hands hurt after a few. We got that corrected.”

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October 8th, 2017

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

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

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

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

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Burn Rate Basics

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

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

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

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October 8th, 2017

Download Official U.S. Military Specification Standards (MIL-STD)

Looking for authentic U.S. Military Specification Standards (MIL-STD) for gun parts, safety products, or other hardware? Log on to EverySpec.com. This website provides FREE access to the complete archive of U.S. Government spec sheets and technical manuals. You can quickly access and download thousands of public domain U.S. Government documents. For example, we searched for “Picatinny” and came up with MIL-STD-1913 “Dimensioning of Accessory Mounting Rail for Small Arms Weapons”. With one click we downloaded the file as a PDF. Then a search for “M118″ yielded the engineering drawing for 7.62×51 M118 LR Match ammo. Pretty cool.

Using EverySpec.com is fast and easy. And everything you find and save is FREE. Search as often as you like — there are no limits on search requests or downloads. You can either search by keyword, or Federal Supply Class Code (FSC). CLICK HERE for a complete list of FSCs for all products.

Here are FSCs for a few common product types. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of other FSCs — for everything from Office Supplies (FSC 7510) to Nuclear Projectiles (FSC 1110).

1095 — Miscellaneous Weapons (incl. Knives)
1240 — Optical Sighting and Ranging Equipment
1395 — Miscellaneous Ammunition (incl. Small Arms)
3455 — Cutting Tools for Machine Tools
6140 — Batteries, Rechargeable
6230 — Electric Portable Lighting Equipment
7640 — Maps, Atlases, Charts and Globes
8340 — Tents and Tarpaulins
8405 — Outerwear, Mens

Credit Gunsmith Thomas ‘Speedy’ Gonzales for finding this resource. Thanks Speedy!
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October 7th, 2017

Reloading Tip: How to Set Optimal Case Neck Tension

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushings

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. A while back, the USAMU’s reloading gurus addressed a question frequently asked by prospective handloaders: “How much neck tension is optimal, and how should I select a neck bushing size?” The USAMU offers a straight-forward answer, suggesting that hand-loaders start with a neck bushing that sizes the neck so that it is .003″ less than the loaded outside diameter with bullet in place. From there, you can experiment with more or less tension, but this is a good starting point for many popular cartridge types.

USAMU Reloading

Determining Optimal Case-Neck Tension

This week, we examine determining the correct case neck tension for optimum accuracy. Our method is simple, but relies on the use of case sizing dies which accept interchangeable neck diameter bushings graduated in 0.001″ increments. (Those readers using fixed-diameter dies with expander balls aren’t forgotten, however. Methods of tailoring these dies for proper neck tension will be found below.)

In our experience across many calibers, sizing case necks 0.003″ under the loaded-case neck diameter usually yields excellent accuracy. In other words, the sized case neck expands 0.003″ when the bullet is seated.

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushings

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushingsBushing Choice for Optimal Sizing
Over the years, we have periodically experimented with increasing neck tension to possibly improve accuracy. In testing with machine rests at 300/600 yards, accuracy often deteriorated as neck tension increased; thus, 0.003″ expansion (from sized neck to loaded neck) is where we usually start.

Using the .260 Remington as an example, our loaded cartridge case necks measure 0.292”. Simply subtract 0.003” from that, and use a bushing that sizes necks to 0.289” (after springback). There are exceptions — sometimes, brass may be a bit soft or hard. Some case necks might need, say, 0.001” more tension, but in general, this works well.

This .003″ standard of neck tension works very well for single-loaded, long range cartridges. Depending on your caliber and firearm, it MAY also work very well for magazine-fed cartridges. If this neck tension proves inadequate for your purpose, one can increase neck tension as needed while monitoring for possible accuracy changes.

Special Considerations for Coated Bullets: If you are using moly-coated bullets, this significantly reduces the “grip” of the case neck on the bullet, and you can expect to have to tighten your case necks accordingly — particularly for magazine-fed ammunition. In any event, we do not crimp rifle cartridges, and advise against it for accuracy handloads.

Tips for Using Expander Balls
Many savvy handloaders avoid the use of expander balls in high-accuracy reloading, if possible. These can stretch cases and/or disturb the concentricity of the case neck vs. case body. If using a die with an expander ball, tapering both ends of the ball and polishing it to a mirror finish can significantly reduce these effects. (Special carbide expander ball/decapping stem sets are available for this as well.)

The typical dies used with expander balls are intended to take any cases the user may find, and size them down well below the ideal “spec” to ensure any cases will give good neck tension. The necks are then expanded up to provide heavy to medium neck tension as the expander ball exits the neck. The brass is over-worked, leading to premature work-hardening, and seated-bullet concentricity may suffer. However, the cartridges produced are perfectly adequate for most handloaders. Those who seek finest accuracy generally prefer not to over-work their brass if possible.

Another Option — Custom-Honed FL Dies
There are companies which offer to convert one’s standard dies to accept neck bushings, and that gives excellent flexibility. Another, more “old-school” approach, is to have the neck of one’s FL die honed out to the desired diameter for sizing, based on one’s case neck thickness. The expander ball may then be reduced until it barely touches the case necks after sizing, or it may be eliminated entirely. However, once performed, this modification is permanent and leaves fewer options than the bushing route, if one later changes case neck thickness.

Those shooters who turn their case necks for optimum neck wall thickness uniformity, or for a tight-neck chamber, will want to take the reduced neck wall thickness into consideration. For example, when setting up a 7mm match rifle to use a standard hunting die without an expander ball, the slightly thinner necks resulted in a perfect 0.003″ reduction in the fired-neck diameter. The result was a low-cost die that fit with custom precision and yielded excellent, match accuracy!

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October 7th, 2017

Excellent Factory Ammo Offered by Creedmoor Sports

Creedmoor Sports Ammunition Powder Anniston Alabama

You may not know this, but Creedmoor Sports sells very high-quality loaded ammunition crafted with top-quality bullets and premium-grade Lapua brass for .308 Win and .30-06. We have friends who have shot some of this ammo in .223 Rem and .308 Win, and it is very impressive. The 6.5 Creedmoor ammo is capable of winning PRS matches outright. Creedmoor’s rifle cartridge match ammunition includes:

.223 Rem: (55gr FMJ, 68gr HPBT, 69gr TMK, 75gr HPBT, 77gr TMK)
6.5 Creedmoor: (140gr HPBT Hornady, 140gr HPBT Nosler, 142gr Sierra — all Hornady brass)
.308 Win: (155gr, 167gr, 168gr Sierra, 175gr all in Lapua Brass; also precision hunting in other brass)
.30-06 Springfield: (167gr Lapua Scenar HPBT in Lapua Brass)

Use Coupon Code CS929 to receive Free Ground Shipping on orders over $99!

Creedmoor Sports Ammunition Powder Anniston Alabama

Oh, the beauty of it — all that Lapua brass. From Finland with love….

Creedmoor Sports Ammunition Powder Anniston Alabama

What does 13,005 pounds (6.5 tons) of powder look like? That would last most reloaders a few seasons. Hoarders, eat your hearts out….

Creedmoor Sports Ammunition Powder Anniston Alabama

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October 6th, 2017

The Firing Sequence — What Happens Inside Cartridge & Chamber

Sinclair International Reloading Videos

Sinclair International has produced an eight-part video series on metallic cartridge reloading, hosted by Sinclair’s former President Bill Gravatt. The entire series can be viewed (for free) via Sinclair’s YouTube Channel. While this set of videos starts with the basics, it covers many more advanced aspects of reloading as well. Accordingly, both novice and experienced reloaders can benefit from watching the eight videos. We think everyone should watch Video No. 2. Introduction to Reloading Safety, which provides guidelines for safe reloading practices.

Watch Firing Sequence Video

We also strongly recommend Video No. 4 to readers who are getting started in reloading. This “How Things Work” segment covers the sequence of events inside the chamber (and barrel) when the cartridge is fired. The video includes helpful graphics that show what happens to the primer, powder, cartridge, and bullet when the round is fired. The video also illustrates “headspace” and explains how this can change after firing. We think this video answers many common questions and will help reloaders understand the forces at work on their brass during the firing process.

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October 2nd, 2017

Bargain Finder 106: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Bud’s Gun Shop — Howa (LSI) 6.5 Creedmoor GRS, $772.00

Buds gun shop Howa 1500 6.5 Creedmoor GRS Berserk stock Bargain sale $772

This is a heck of a deal. Fine action, great stock, really great price. For comparison, Savage sells its similar 6.5 Creedmoor Model 10 GRS for $1449.00 MSRP (street price $1250.00). Frankly, we prefer the Howa 1500 action and trigger, though we like the versatility of the Savage barrel nut system. Hard to go wrong here with Bud’s Gun Shop’s $772.00 price. That’s for payment via money orders, checks, or echecks; credit card price is $795.16. Get $772.00 price HERE.

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

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

2. Sportsman’s Guide: GSG .22 LR Sig-Clone Pistol, $199.99

.22 LR 22 Rimfire GSG ATI Firefly Sig Sauer P228 pistol polymer german sport guns

Everyone should have a good .22 LR rimfire pistol. As an owner of a Sig P226 (9mm), this Editor smiled when I saw this German-made rimfire pistol. A virtual clone of Sig’s full-size P-series pistols, this polymer-framed rimfire gun offers excellent ergonomics. Priced at just $199.99 at Sportsman’s Guide, this GSG lets you practice your handgunning with low-cost .22 LR ammo. This suppressor-ready GSG FireFly features a 4″ barrel with threaded muzzle. Shown is the handsome Flat-Dark-Earth (Tan) finish. The same GSG is also offered in a matte black and olive drab finishes, but we like the tan best. Very nice offering for under $200.00. NOTE: Though this looks like an aluminum-framed Sig, the frame is polymer, like a Glock or HK.

3. Amazon — RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press, $112.49

Amazon.com Amazon RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Reloading Press Sale

We said this was a good deal when priced around $135.00. Well now the Rock Chucker is just $112.49 at Amazon — matching the lowest price we’ve seen in years. The RCBS Rock Chucker remains a classic — a big, strong, versatile press that can handle most reloading chores with ease. And now you can get a genuine Rock Chucker Supreme for $112.49 — an insanely great deal. The Rock Chucker offers plenty of leverage for case-sizing and the “O” is tall enough for long cartridges. The Rock Chucker has a very strong base and should last a lifetime.

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

Leupold VX-6 Scopes Closeout Sale Discount hunting

Natchez Shooters Supplies is running a big sale on Leupold VX-6 scopes. You can save hundreds of dollars on a wide variety of VX-6 optics, from 1-6x24mm up to 3-18x50mm models. If you are looking for a high-quality hunting optic at a great price check out these deals. For example, Leupold’s 2-12x42mm FireDot (Illum.) Duplex VX-6 scope is marked down from $1199.99 to just $749.99 — a $450.00 savings! Shown above are four hot deals, but a dozen Leupold VX-6 models on are sale now.

5. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.85

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 3000 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $16.85, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

6. Natchez — Surplus SKB 5041 Transport Cases, $129.99

SKB Rifle Case Military Surplus 50

Natchez has obtained a supply of British MOD Surplus SKB 5041 rifle cases. These were ordered as mine detector cases, but were never issued. Natchez has removed the foam cut for the detectors and replaced it with new 2-piece convoluted foam. Interior dimension of the case is 50″x14.5″x5″ so this will hold long-barrel match rifles comfortably. These are extremely high-quality cases, very tough and rugged, waterproof with gaskets. These cases feature four SKB patented trigger latches, four reinforced padlock locations, and inline wheels. Though in excellent condition, some case may have minor exterior scuffs. You won’t find a better case at anywhere near the price. These normally retail for $299.99.

7. Pro Precision Rifle — Bolt Fluting 30% Off

Pro Precision Rifles Bolt fluting bolt knob install installation

Pro Precision Rifles (PPR) is having a big sale during the month of October for bolt knob installations and bolt fluting on Remington bolts. During this promo you can get a bolt fluted for just $50.00. Likewise, installing a custom bolt knob is just $50.00. That’s one-third off both services. Bolt fluting is normally $75.00 as is bolt knob installation. So you can save $25.00 with either service. Your final price is $50.00 for each service + $7.50 return shipping (or $12.00 SH with insurance).

PPR’s owner tells us: “This pricing includes all my knobs, including the Two-Tone, that usually runs $10.00 more due to the extra machining required. Coated knob or polished knobs are no additional charge”. If you guys want to add a cool custom touch to your favorite bolt-gun, take advantaged of this October special by visiting www.boltfluting.com.

8. CDNN — Zebra Muffs and Fashion Safety Glasses Set, $6.99

Champion Zebra Muffs tortoise shell sunglasses safety glasses eyewear

Guys, here’s just what you need (maybe) to convince the significant other to join you for a day at the range — a combo set of “high-fashion” ear muffs and ANSI-rated safety glasses. The comfortable, zebra-print muffs provide 21 dB of noise reduction (we recommend running plugs underneath them). The stylish, tortoise-shell pattern Bella Ballistica™ shooting eyewear has passed MIL-PRF-31013 ballistic tests and meets ANSI Z87+ high-velocity requirements with a chic designer appearance. The lady in your life just might appreciate the stylish eyewear and distinctive muffs, earning you “bonus points”. And she’ll never suspect you only spent seven bucks!

9. Amazon — Mystery Deal of the Week, Big Name Brand 40% Off

Mystery Deal hunting optics 40% Off

Here’s an excellent product from one of the most prestigious names in the Optics industry. You’ll be amazed at the quality of this product for the low $258.12 price. Honestly you’d expect to pay three times as much for a product like this, which has received five stars from 60% of verified buyers. Today’s selling price is a full 40% off the original third-party sale price. If you have a new hunting rifle build in progress, this could be exactly what you need to top off your new deer-slayer. CLICK HERE to view the Mystery Deal of the Week.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
September 26th, 2017

Wet Tumbling Brass with Stainless Media — Eye-Opening Results

Stainless Tumbling Media Brass Cleaning

On our main Accurateshooter.com website, you’ll find a comprehensive review of the STM system for cleaning cartridge brass with stainless media. To clean brass with stainless media, start with five pounds of small stainless pins sold by StainlessTumblingMedia.com. Place these along with a gallon of water, a little liquid cleaner, and two pounds of cartridge brass in a rotary tumbler, and run the machine for one to four hours.

CLICK HERE for Stainless Media Brass Cleaning System Review »

Forum Member Tests STM System
Our reviewer, Forum member Jason Koplin, purchased the STM media and a new Thumler’s Tumbler. He then tested the STM cleaning procedure on his own brass, including some extremely dirty and tarnished “range pick-up” brass. Jason was thoroughly impressed with how well the STM process worked — as you can see from the “before and after” photos below. Brass which looked like it was ready for the scrap heap was restored to “like-new” appearance. Check it out:

stainless tumbling Media

stainless tumbling Media

Works Great on Both Rifle Brass and Pistol Brass
The process works equally well on both rifle brass and pistol brass (see below). Jason observed that one surprise benefit of the STM cleaning procedure is a big reduction in noise in his reloading room. Jason said the water-filled rotary tumbler was much quieter than his vibratory tumblers.

.45 ACP pistol Brass STM Stainless Media

.45 ACP pistol Brass STM Stainless Media

You’ll want to read Jason’s full review which shows more before and after images. The full article features a “how-to” video created by Forum member Cory Dickerson, the young man who pioneered the stainless tumbling process and founded STM. The video shows how to load brass, media, and cleaner solutions into the tumbler, and how to separate media from brass once the tumbling is done.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
September 25th, 2017

Access FREE Tech Articles from Applied Ballistics

Want to improve your understanding of Ballistics, Bullet Design, and other shooting-related tech topics? Well here’s a treasure trove of gun expertise. Applied Ballistics offers three dozen FREE tech articles on its website. Curious about Coriolis? — You’ll find answers. Want to understand the difference between G1 and G7 BC? — There’s an article about that.

“Doc” Beech, technical support specialist at Applied Ballistics says these articles can help shooters working with ballistics programs: “One of the biggest issues I have seen is the misunderstanding… about a bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) and what it really means. Several papers on ballistic coefficient are available for shooters to review on the website.”

Credit Shooting Sports USA Editor John Parker for finding this great resource. John writes: “Our friends at Applied Ballistics have a real gold mine of articles on the science of accurate shooting on their website. This is a fantastic source for precision shooting information[.] Topics presented are wide-ranging — from ballistic coefficients to bullet analysis.”

READ All Applied Ballistics Articles HERE »

Here are six (6) of our favorite Applied Ballistics articles, available for FREE as PDF files. There are 31 more, all available on the Applied Ballistics Articles Webpage.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 25th, 2017

Bargain Finder 105: 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 — Savage 11/111 Rifle with Bushnell Scope, $349.99

Savage 11/111 Bushnell scope rebate sale package hunter hunting

Need a reliable sub-MOA hunting rifle? Here’s heck of a deal on rifle AND optic. Right now you can purchase a Savage model 11/111 for $349.99 after $100 mail-in rebate from Savage. And get this — that price includes a 3-9x40mm Bushnell Trophy scope. That’s right, you get a brand new Savage rifle plus a new Bushnell scope, all for $349.99 after rebate. This has got to be the best rifle deal around for the 2017 hunting season. Chose the Long Action model 111 or the Short Action model 11. Fifteen popular chamberings are offered, so you’re sure to find a caliber/cartridge that suits your hunting requirements. Choices are: .243 Win, .25-06, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, 6.5×284 NORMA, .270 Win, .270 WSM, 7mm-08, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .30-06 Spr, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, .338 Federal, and .338 Win Mag.

2. Amazon — Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII Scope, under $970.00

AccurateShooter Deals of Week Sightron Scope Optics Sale
Match photo courtesy Varide Cicognati, Sightron dealer in Italy.

This 10-50x60mm Sightron recently faired very well in recent tests when compared to high-magnification scopes costing twice as much. It displayed excellent repeatability and click precision. It may not have the fancy name, but this 10-50X optic is definitely good enough to win long-range benchrest and F-Class matches. It is now available with MOA grid or Fine Cross Hair reticles for under $970.00. At that price, the Sightron is over $1350 cheaper than the 15-55X Nightforce. It is even $400+ cheaper than the old 12-42x56mm NF Benchrest scope. On a value-for-money basis, then, the Sightron 10-50x60mm makes sense for competitors on a budget. The money you save (vs. 15-55X NF) will pay for a nice BAT, Borden, or Kelbly custom action. NOTE: Other versions with Mil-Dot or Target Dot reticles currently run $1050-$1090 on Amazon.

3. CDNN — Walther Creed 9mm Pistol, $269.99

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $269.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

4. Grafs.com — Hornady Auto Charge, $179.99 + Free Range Bag

Grafs.com Graf Hornady L-N-L Scale Dispenser Sale Discount

Here’s an excellent promo from our friends at Grafs.com. Hornady’s versatile Lock-N-Load Auto Charge™ Powder Scale and Dispenser is on sale for $179.99. And now for a limited time you get a FREE deluxe range bag ($43.99 value) with the purchase of the Hornady Scale/Dispenser. This is a good unit with a nice keypad. NOTE: You can also get the FREE Range Bag when you buy the Hornady Case Prep Center at Grafs.com for $419.99. That’s pretty pricey — getting Scale/Dispenser with the Range Bag is the better deal.

5. MidwayUSA — Packable Shooting Mat, $19.99

MidwayUSA roll packable shooting mat light weight mat

Here’s a heck of a deal on a good light-weight shooting mat. MidwayUSA has slashed the price on its Packable Shooting Mat. Available in Coyote Tan or Olive Drab, this 67″ Long x 31″ Wide padded mat is now just $19.99. This Packable Mat has some nice features, such as 12″ front flap, elbow pads, 0.15″ thick padding, and six staking grommets. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to a 9″ x 4.5″ package, secured with a heavy strap. If you need a low-cost, basic shooting mat, check out this deal. Weighing just 1.5 pounds, this a good, light-weight mat to keep in a vehicle or to use on a “walk-around” varminting hunt.

6. Amazon — Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge, $46.32

Lyman Trigger Pull gauge electronic Walmart Amazon

If you are serious about your precision firearms, you need one of these. We use the Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge to test the triggers on all our match and varmint rifles. The unit is precise and repeatable. Once you try one of these you won’t want to go back to crude spring trigger gauges. Amazon.com offers this unit for $46.32 with free shipping (third party sale).

7. Bullets.com — Norma .22LR Ammo (Match 22 & Tac 22)

Norma Match 22 Tac .22 LR Ammo rimfire ammunition bullets.com

Need quality .22 LR rimfire ammo at an affordable price? Consider Norma. Most folks think Norma only produces centerfire ammo and cartridge brass. As a result, people haven’t been looking for Norma rimfire ammo. Their loss is your gain. Accurate, reliable Norma .22 LR ammunition is in-stock right now at leading online vendors. This is good quality ammo, made in Europe. Bullets.com has Norma Tac-22 ammo in stock at $4.75 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL7819). In addition, Bullets.com offers Norma Match-22 ammunition at $6.50 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL11887).

8. Amazon — AR500 Steel 8″-Diameter Gong, $19.95 Delivered

Reactive Target AR500 Steel Gong Free Shipping 8 inch 8

We like reactive targets. It’s fun to “ring steel” and see a target move instantly when hit. For just twenty bucks (including shipping), it’s hard to go wrong with this 8″ AR500 Steel Gong. The 8″-diameter size is big enough for zeroing at 200 yards, yet offers a nice challenge at 500 yards and beyond. There is also a 6″-diameter model for just $14.00.

9. Amazon — Mystery Deal of the Week with 57% Price Reduction

Mystery Deal of the Week Stabilized Optic

Here’s a versatile, compact product that every hunter and tactical competitor can use. It can replace two or three common gear items and includes a high-tech system that makes it work better, helping you get on target faster and spot game easier, even in low light. When introduced, this item earned great reviews when it sold for $499.99. Now it is available through Amazon for just $215.00. That’s a full 57% off the original price. We think any game hunter or PRS shooter will want this high-tech unit. The super-low price makes it hard to resist.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
September 24th, 2017

Advanced RL 23 and RL 26 Powders for Magnum Cartridges

Alliant Bofors Nitrochemie Reloader Reloading RL Reloder powder 22 23 25 26

Ever heard of Alliant Reloder 23? Or Reloder 26? These two relatively new European-produced Reloder propellants were introduced in 2014. Most folks haven’t tried these Reloder powders because it took quite a while for the first shipments of RL 23 and RL 26 to arrive in the USA. But now these two new propellants are available in the USA, with substantial inventories in stock at some larger vendors. For example, Powder Valley has both RL 23 and RL 26 in stock now at $23.50 per pound. Many other vendors have ample RL 23, but RL 26 is a bit harder to find.

From our Forum members who shoot large magnum cartridge types with heavy bullets, we have heard good things about both RL 23 and RL 26. Reports from the field indicat that both these powders are delivering impressive velocities with low velocity ES/SD.

What are the characteristics of RL 23 and RL 26? That question was answered recently by Paul Furrier who works for ATK, the parent company of Alliant Powders. Posting in our Shooters’ Forum, Paul writes:

“Let me provide some factual info about these products. Some of the stuff that gets propagated is not correct. Reloder 23 is produced by our Swedish partner Bofors, and Reloder 26 is produced in Switzerland by our extremely capable partner Nitrochemie. I have seen it stated that they are both made by Bofors, so that is incorrect.

I have also noticed people are equating Reloder 23 to Reloder 22, and Reloder 26 to Reloder 25. Both of those statements are definitely incorrect. We do state that the performance of Reloder 23 is similar to Reloder 22, and it is, in general burn speed terms, but they are most certainly not the same. We have worked quite a lot of recipes for Reloder 23, and they are not the same as Reloder 22. Reloder 26 is definitely slower burning than Reloder 25, so there shouldn’t be any confusion there either.”

Alliant Bofors Nitrochemie Reloader Reloading RL Reloder powder 22 23 25 26

Furrier says that RL 23 is NOT sensitive to temperature shifts: “Reloder 23 was developed to bring a truly temp-stable powder to the Reloder 22 burn-speed range using Bofors new process technology. This is the second product developed for us with this TZ® process, the first being AR-Comp™. We see terrific efficiencies, SDs, accuracy and flat temp response from these powders. Please try them, I think you will be impressed.”

Speed and More Speed with RL 26
Think of Reloder 26 as a high-velocity powder for big cartridges. Furrier explains: “Reloder 26 is produced with Nitrochemie’s latest generation EI® process technology. This is the same impregnation coating process used to produce Reloder 17, Reloder 33, and Reloder 50 for us, and it is fantastic. The “so what” on Reloder 26 is great ballistic efficiency, high bulk density so you can get more of the slow powder into the case to harness the energy, and decent, predictable extreme temp response. Reloder 26 is not as flat at temps as the TZ or Australian materials, but it is very manageable, usually in the 0.5 fps/°F range (depending on the application). Just as important, the pressure increases at hot are very manageable. We are using quite a bit of this powder in our Federal factory ammo due to the fantastic ballistics and accuracy.

Both of these new Reloder powders contain decoppering agent to help reduce coppering up your barrels, but this is nothing new for us. Bofors began adding decoppering agent to our Reloder rifle powders in the 2002 timeframe, and all our Swiss Reloders except 17 contain their proprietary additive. (We may include it in 17 at some point also, but right now we like it just the way it is.) Sorry we didn’t have a snappy name figured for the decoppering agents, we just did it.

Both of these new Reloder powders are also produced to the current highest level of ‘green’ technology. Actually, all of our Alliant rifle, pistol and shotshell reloading powders meet the current (tough) European requirements for elimination of nasty ingredients. They do not contain any dinitrotoluene or dibutylphthalate, which are a couple of the nasties that are commonly used in smokeless powders.
Thank you for your interest in our new powders.” — Paul Furrier, ATK

Reloder 23

Like AR-Comp™, new Reloder 23 from Alliant Powder performs consistently across temperature extremes. Its sophisticated TZ® technology manipulates the response of the material and resists the natural tendency to generate more pressure at higher temperatures and less pressure at lower temperatures. Reloder 23 is perfect for long-range target shooters seeking performance similar to Reloder 22 with world-class temperature stability.

Features & Benefits:
 TZ technology provides exceptionally consistent velocities across temp extremes
 Contains proprietary de-coppering additive
 Ideal for long-range target shooting
 Excellent lot-to-lot consistency
 Formulation contains no DNT or DPB
Made in Sweden for Alliant Powder

Reloder 26

Reloder 26 offer high velocities in large magnum cases. Achieve awesome ballistics with new Reloder 26 from Alliant Powder. The propellant’s burn speed falls between that of Reloder 22 and Reloder 33, and it incorporates EI® technology to produce extremely high velocities in magnum cartridges. Reloder 26 has a high bulk density that allows larger powder charges, and it provides a consistent, controlled response to temperature changes.

Features & Benefits:
 EI technology produces extremely high velocities in magnum cartridges
 Contains proprietary de-coppering additive
 Controlled temperature stability
 Excellent lot-to-lot consistency
 Formulation contains no DNT or DBP
Made in Switzerland for Alliant Powder

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 22nd, 2017

The Science of Annealing — Facts Uncovered, Myths Busted

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the Full Test Reports

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

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

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

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

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

Examining Different Brands of Brass — What the Tests Revealed

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

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

Stage Two Conclusions:

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

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

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

Case Variations: Brand to Brand, and Lot to Lot

Here is a sample from AMP’s test report:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMR Enduron Powders — Excellent Extruded Propellants

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

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

IMR Legendary Powders provided this summary of Enduron Properties:

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

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

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

CLICK HERE to Learn More about IMR Enduron Powders

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

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

Bargain Finder 104: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Monmouth Reloading — Massive Inventory Liquidation Sale

Monmouth Reloading Bullet AR15 AR10 parts sale inventory liquidation

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

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

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

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

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

Ruger 17 HMR American Compact

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

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

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

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

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

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

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

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

FosPower USB Battery pack waterproof shockproof LED

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

7. Bullets.com — Handgun Safe, $44.95

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

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

8. MidwayUSA — 25-50% Off Hunting Clothing

MidwayUSA hunting clothing sale hunter fall camo camouflage

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

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

AccurateShooter.com Mystery Deal of the Week Lenovo

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

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

Bullet Pointing 101 — How to Point Match Bullet Tips

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

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

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

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

Salazar Whidden Bullet Pointer system

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

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

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

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

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

LINK: Whidden Gunworks Pointing Die Insert Selection Chart

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »