January 18th, 2014

17 Win Super Mag Rimfire — Shoots Great, As Promised

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

Winchester 17 Win Super Mag Super Magnum WSM 3000 fps rimfire

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

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

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

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

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

Winchester 17 Win Super Mag Super Magnum WSM 3000 fps rimfire

Winchester 17 Win Super Mag Super Magnum WSM 3000 fps rimfire

Click Boxes to View Larger Charts

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January 15th, 2014

Rise of the Machines — Berger Doubles Bullet-Making Capacity

Berger Bullets New Machines Production Increase Bryan LItz

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

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

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

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January 15th, 2014

Save 10% on All Norma Products — Special Offer

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

Bullets.com discount coupon January

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January 13th, 2014

Digital Edition of Litz Accuracy and Precision Book Is Now Available

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

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

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

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

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January 12th, 2014

Barrel Stub Gauges — Handy for Many Reloading Tasks

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

Barrel Stub Gauge

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

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

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

Barrel Stub Gauge

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January 10th, 2014

Winchester Ammunition Unveils New Products for 2014

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

Winchester Ammunition 2014 New Products

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

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January 8th, 2014

Volquartsen Semi-Auto 17 WSM Debuts at 2014 SHOT Show

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

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

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

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

.17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire

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

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

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

17 wsm winchester super magnum rimfire

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January 8th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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January 6th, 2014

New Applied Ballistics Site Has Ballistics Calculator and More…

Applied Ballistics LLC has launched a completely updated website with many new features including an archive of FREE articles plus a full-featured online ballistics calculator. If you are interested in precision shooting, you should visit the “new and improved” Applied Ballistics website. Browse through the new content and try out the advanced Ballistics Calculator.

bullet data files

NEW Online Ballistics Calculator
There are many free online ballistics calculators, but the new Applied Ballistics web utility goes far beyond other web-based options. Bryan Litz states: “No ballistic solution can be more accurate than its inputs”. Accordingly, Applied Ballistics offers the most reliable BC data available — a built-in library of measured G1 and G7 BCs for over 200 bullets. The Online Ballistics Calculator also allows you to “offload” your results for use in the field in two ways. First, you can save a file for transfer to an Applied Ballistics Kestrel. (This process is supported with a ‘save profile’ option from the output page.) Alternatively, you can send the ballistics profile to Accuracy First DG to have a whiz wheel created.

bullet data files

The Online Ballistics Calculator has many “advanced” features. For example, you can enter sight scale factors to account for scopes which don’t track perfectly true, and also zero offsets which allows you to compensate for imperfect zeros. In addition, this is the first online ballistics program to provide dynamic WEZ (Weapon Employment Zone) analysis. This WEZ feature gives users the ability to calculate hit percentage on targets at a variety of ranges (and in various environments).

Bullet Data Files
The new website provides a number of detailed bullet data files. These data files include geometric dimensions, drag/BC data at multiple velocities, and detailed stability maps. The information is based on direct measurements and live fire testing conducted by Applied Ballistics.

bullet data files

Digital Media
The new Applied Ballistics website features a “digital library” of authoritative articles in PDF and eReader (Kindle, Nook) formats. You can download these FREE articles by clicking on the “Recreational” and “Professional” tabs at the top of Applied Ballistics Home Page, and then selecting “Recreational Articles” or “Professional Articles” from the pull-down menus.

Sample Ballistics Article
Gyroscopic (Spin) Drift and Coriolis Effect
Most long range shooters are aware of the effects of gravity, air resistance (drag), and wind vectors on their bullets’ trajectory. Gravity, drag, and wind are the major forces acting on a bullet in flight, but they’re not the only forces. In this article, Bryan Litz explains some of the more subtle forces that influence a bullet’s flight.

Sample Professional Article
300 Winchester Magnum vs. 338 Lapua Magnum WEZ Analysis
The specific intent of this Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) report is to compare the ballistic performance of the 300 Winchester Magnum to the 338 Lapua Magnum with several available ammunition types. Understanding how these weapons compare in terms of hit percentage is important in the context of modern military applications.

Special Projects
Applied Ballistics is involved in some advanced, special projects. The new website showcases some of these high end ballistics solutions. Bryan Litz notes: “We have an active ballistics laboratory, highly capable contractors and industry partners who all contribute to provide practical and accurate solutions for a range of recreational and professional applications.”

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January 3rd, 2014

New Diamond Labels Required for Ammunition Shipments

We ran this story in December, but we figure you guys needed a reminder, as we are now “well and truly” in 2014. Here’s the deal — “ORM D” is dead — you must NOT use “ORM D” labels on ammo shipments any more. Effective January 1, 2014, you must use the new DOT Diamond Labels instead.

The Dept. of Transportation (DOT) has superseded the ORM-D ammo labels, replacing them with a larger striped diamond label that does not mention “Small Arms Cartridges”. This change is designed to harmonize U.S. shipping rules with United Nations standards. So, starting January 1, 2014, you MUST use the new “Limited Quantity” striped diamond labels for all ammo shipments.

Ground Ltd Qty Marking
Air Ltd Qty Marking
NOTE: These illustrations are not true to scale. The actual default Ltd Qty Diamond label to be used for ammo shipments is much larger, about 5″ per side. A smaller 2″ per side version of the Ltd Qty striped diamond can be used on smaller packages.

CLICK HERE for PDF Template with Large and Small Striped Diamond Ground Shipping Labels

Download NEW Diamond Label Samples
The Parallax Curio and Relic Forum, has PDF samples of the new Diamond Ltd Qty Labels. The thread explains: “The good news is the new label doesn’t have any indicator that the package contains ammunition. The bad news is the new label is gigantic compared to the old ORM-D label. You are required to use one of the larger labels on one side of any package containing ammunition. If the package is too small for one of the larger labels then you are permitted to use one of the smaller labels instead. Because of the size requirement in the regulations, you only get two of each label on standard piece of printer paper.”

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January 3rd, 2014

Texas and California Lead Online Ammo Sales

Texas is a haven for hunters and shooting enthusiasts, so we’re not surprised that the Lone Star State leads the nation in online ammo sales. However, you might be surprised that California, with its liberal, anti-gun politicians, is a close second. Yes, California was the second-most active source of online ammo purchases in 2013, according to statistics from LuckyGunner.com, one of the nation’s leading online ammo vendors. In fact, California was number one in 2012. For 2013, Texas edged California for the top spot, followed by Florida, Michigan, and (surprise) New York.

online ammo sales

online ammo sales

More Online Ammo Buyers are Using Mobile Devices (Tablets and Smart Phones)
More and more people are connecting to the internet via mobile devices. And, apparently, they are using those devices to shop for ammo. Luckygunner.com saw a significant increase in orders from mobile devices in 2013. Fully 22.7% of Luckygunner’s visits were made via mobile devices in 2013, compared to 18.8% in the preceding year. AccurateShooter.com has seen a similar rise in the number of visitors connecting to our site via mobile devices (particularly smartphones).

online ammo sales

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December 30th, 2013

New 30 ARX — 6.5 Grendel Necked to .30 Caliber Beats 300 BLK

Robert Whitley 30 ARX ar15 6.5 grendelRobert Whitley of AR-X Enterprises has a new .30-caliber cartridge for AR-platform rifles. The new 30 ARX is based on the 6.5 Grendel parent case necked-up to .30 caliber. The 30 ARX mag-feeds flawlessly in an AR15, while offering excellent accuracy, good velocity, and serious knock-down power. Compared to a 300 AAC Blackout (300 BLK), the new 30 ARX holds much more powder so it can push bullets faster and harder. Whitley’s 30 ARX boasts 57% more case capacity than a 300 Blackout. As a result, the 30 ARX outperforms the 300 BLK by a large margin. In a 20″-barreled AR, the 30 ARX can drive a 125gr bullet at 2500+ fps, or launch a heavier 150gr bullet at 2400+ fps:

30 ARX Loads
H4198, CCI BR4 Primers,
Necked-up Lapua 6.5 Grendel Brass:

2419 FPS: 28.0 gr. H4198, Nosler 125gr Ballistic Tip Hunting Bullet (2.260″ OAL)
2517 FPS: 29.0 gr. H4198, Nosler 125gr Ballistic Tip Hunting Bullet (2.260″ OAL)
2363 FPS: 28.0 gr. H4198, Sierra 150gr BT Hunting Bullet (2.240″ OAL)
2441 FPS: 29.0 gr. H4198, Sierra 150gr BT Hunting Bullet (2.240″ OAL)

Robert Whitley 30 ARX ar15 6.5 grendel

Robert Whitley explains the advantanges of the 30 ARX for AR-platform rifles: “The 30 ARX is a cartridge designed from the get-go for use in an AR-15. The case length and chamber design of the 30 ARX are optimal. The case allows the use of many of the favorite .30-cal bullets, magazine fed out of an AR-15 and backed by some real power. Brass is easy to make with a simple necking-up process. Neck it up, load it and go shoot. Good 6.5 Grendel brass is readily available, and we have 30 ARX dies available.”

Watch One-Step Process for Forming 30 ARX Case from 6.5 Grendel Brass

With the ability of Lapua 6.5 Grendel brass to handle stout loads, the 30 ARX cartridge delivers 30-30 Winchester-class performance, from the modern, semi-auto AR-15 platform. The 30 ARX cartridge has sufficient case capacity to push popular .30-cal bullets fast and accurately even at moderate chamber pressures. The case has approximately 38 grains water capacity. With its 57% greater capacity than a 300 Blackout, the 30 ARX is a more versatile, more powerful hunting cartridge (at least when loaded to supersonic speeds). With 150gr bullets running in the 2500 fps range, the 30 ARX offers impressive knockdown power in a cartridge that fits an AR-15 magazine.

  • 30 ARX Cartridge OAL mag-feeds perfectly with a variety of .30-cal bullets.
  • Longer, heavier long-range bullets (with longer COAL) can be single-loaded.
  • Lapua 6.5 Grendel brass is excellent, strong brass, that is readily available.
  • AR-X Enterprises now offers die sets for the 30 ARX.
  • The neck up process is very easy. Simply lube the inside of the necks of 6.5 Grendel brass, run the brass through your re-size die (with .30 Cal expander in place).
  • Works well with a lot of commonly available powders such as: Hodgdon 4198, Vihtavouri N130, Accurate LT-32, Accurate AA1680.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 22 Comments »