Editor’s Note: We originally ran this story in 2010. Since then we have had many reader inquiries about using .22-250 Lapua brass for a 6mm cartridge. Well our friend Robert Whitley worked hard on that concept a few years back, when Lapua .22-250 brass first became available. He came up with a nice 30°-shoulder wildcat that matches the accuracy of the best mid-sized 6mm cartridges. Read all about Whitley’s 6mm-250 Imp 30 below.
Our friend Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com has come up with a new, accurate 6mm wildcat based on the new Lapua .22-250 brass that has just started arriving. Robert provides this report:
“I just received a box of the new Lapua .22-250 cases — beautiful brass! My real desire with it was to make it into a 6mm version, preferably something that was ‘no neck-turn’ with a .308 Win-type body taper that would work well in bolt gun and semi-auto magazines and would have a capacity to allow superior velocities. I considered the 6XC, but since you have to bring a whole lot of the shoulder of the brass up into the neck (when you re-form the brass from .22-250 to 6XC) that would necessitate neck-turning it because with Lapua brass the shoulder metal is thicker than neck metal of the brass.
I wanted a simple ‘neck it up and shoot it’ approach so I made up a 6mm-250 Improved 30 cartridge (i.e. 6mm-250 Improved with a 30 degree shoulder) and this thing works great — just neck up the brass, load it and shoot it! The case is like a 6XC with a .030″ longer body and a .030″ shorter neck, which works out fine if you are going to be shooting mainly the 105-108 gr bullets (which it will do very well shooting 2950 – 3000 fps). If you want to hot-rod things, which I do not, I am certain the case can push the 105-108 gr bullets a fair amount faster.
I set it up and throated the reamer for the Sierra 107s and the Berger or JLK 105 VLDs (i.e. a .090″ free bore on the reamer) and it works great with them. If I was going to use it with the Lapua 105s or the Berger 108s I would add about .025″ – .030″ to the freebore of the reamer (i.e. make the freebore around .115″ to .120″).
The great thing is you can use a 6XC die set for it without modification, and all you need to do is keep the dies about .030″ up off the shell holder from their normal position and use them as is. You can make a spacer washer about .030″ thick that you can put on and take off the 6XC dies and use the dies for both cartridges (i.e. 6XC and 6mm-250 Imp 30).
6mm-250 Imp 30 Shows Great Accuracy
Fire-forming loads are real accurate. Here is a 10-shot group I shot prone at 100 yards shooting fire-forming loads with it — the group is the size of a dime. For fire-forming I use a milder, but still very accurate load: 32.0 grains of N140 with a Sierra 107 and a BR2 primer. For fire-formed cases you can jump up to N160 (around 38-40 grains — depending on lot) and it will push the 105-108 gr bullets real accurately in the 2950-3000 fps range, with low ES and SD. This cartridge has a neck length of .268″ which is plenty long for a 6mm shooting bullets with varying bearing surface lengths. The reamer diagram (link below) leaves about a .003″ neck clearance over a loaded round, which seems to work out very well for a ‘no-turn neck’ set-up.
So there you have it … the 6mm-250 Imp 30 is simple, easy to make, accurate as all get out, there are available factory die sets you can use, and it uses great new Lapua brass — what’s not to like!”
After we posted Erik Cortina’s video featuring the trimming of 7mm Shehane cartridges with a Giraud Power Trimmer, many of our readers asked: “What’s a 7mm Shehane? How does it differ from a standard .284 Winchester?” To answer that question, we’re reprising a “cartridge profile” we ran a couple seasons back. This talks about the qualities of the 7mm Shehane, and includes a reamer print. The 7mm Shehane is an excellent “upgrade” to the .284 Win. The added capacity may not seem like much, but it allows some Shehane shooters to reach a higher, optimal velocity node.
7mm is the caliber to beat in F-Class Open Division (though many guys are looking hard at the big 30s.) With a standard .284 Winchester, or better yet, a .284 Improved, you can drive the high-BC Berger 180gr bullets to competitive velocities. A .284 Improved will shoot well inside a 6.5-284, and you’ll probably get significantly longer barrel life (at least 1800 rounds vs. as little as 1200 for the 6.5mm).
The straight .284 Win is a good cartridge, but in most barrels, it can’t push the 180s at 2900-2950 fps velocity levels*. A lot of barrels will top out at about 2850. That’s where the .284 Shehane comes into play. The .284 Shehane is a slightly modified wildcat that retains the same 35° shoulder as the parent case. However, by blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with H4831sc. With N560 or Reloder 17 you can go even faster.
Scotland’s Grant Taylor used the .284 Shehane to finish 3rd overall in the 2009 individual F-Class World Championships at Bisley, England. Grant reports: “I have a .284 Shehane and it’s very accurate with superb vertical spreads at 1000 yards. I have to thank Jim Hardy for putting me onto the caliber, it has awesome accuracy. I’m getting 2930-2950 fps with spreads in the 3-5 fps range. I use Hodgdon H4831sc powder, CCI BR2 primers, and pointed 180gr Bergers.”
Forum member Jim Hardy has shot the .284 with great success. He tells us: “In my humble opinion, the .284 Shehane is the best balanced long range round there is — bar none. I (perhaps_ have shot more of this chambering than anyone else, and it has proven better than I ever expected. Here is why:
You have to shoot a 30 Cal magnum with a 240gr bullet to equal the performance of most 7mm chamberings with the 180 Berger VLD. With the .284 Shehane, you have a .308 bolt face, medium action, and Lapua brass. You use less powder than the 7 mags, and have great accuracy and ballistics even while fire-forming. The .284 Shehane shoots inside the 6.5 AND the straight 284, the 300 WSM, and the 300 Win Mag with less recoil. The .284 Shehane offers twice the competitive barrel life of the 6.5-284, an easy 2950 fps with H4831 SC, [and it] can run 3000+ with N560 and Reloder 17, which is right there with the 7mm WSM. What is not to love about the 284 Shehane? It is a no-brainer for long range — F-Class or Prone or 1000-yard Benchrest.”
*Some exceptional barrels chambered in straight .284 Win can reach 2900 fps with the 180s. Ryan Pierce, who recently set a 450-24X Pending F-Open record, has a 32″ Brux barrel that is delivering 2900 fps with the straight .284. However, Ryan acknowledges that his velocities are not typical: “A lot of .284 Win barrels top out at around 2850 fps with the 180s.”
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Is that target good enough? Yes that’s really five (5) shots. This amazing group was shot, in competition, with 6 PPC cartridges loaded with Accurate LT-32 powder. If you’d like to try out this powder in your rifle, Western Powders has released loading data for the LT series of powders. LT-32 is a good choice if you’re currently using propellants with burn rates similar to Vihtavuori N133 or Hodgdon Benchmark powders. (Caution: NEVER simply substitute loads powder for powder. Always start low and work up when trying a new powder). The other powder in Accurate’s LT series, LT-30, has a burn rate similar to Hodgdon H4198. LT-30 is a superb performer in the 30 BR cartridge. LT-30 also is a good choice for small varmint cartridges such as the 17 Rem Fireball.
Download FREE Reloading Guide for Accurate and Ramshot Powders
You can also download the complete Western Powders Reloading Guide in PDF format. This covers Accurate and Ramshot propellants.
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Georgia-based PolyCase Ammunition has developed innovative polymer-based composite cartridge cases and injection-molded bullets. With a patent-pending design, the polymer cartridge cases are lighter than brass or steel cases, yet are heat-tolerant, and relatively easy to manufacture. These cases will be initially produced for .223 Remington, plus a variety of pistol cartridge types (.380 ACP, .38 SPL, 9mm Luger). PolyCase cartridge cases blend patented heat-resistent polymers with metal elements in the case base. According to the manufacturer, “the net effects are greatly reduced weight (compared to comparable loaded ammunition), durability… and competitive pricing.” Other companies have experimented with polymer cartridge cases in the past — none have successfully perfected the technology in a commercially successful product. Could PolyCase be the first?
PolyCase Ammunition — Material Characteristics
– PolyCase Pistol Cartridge Cases are 11.5 to 20% lighter than brass-cased ammunition.
– PolyCase Rifle Cartridge Cases are 23 to 60% lighter than brass-cased ammunition.
– PolyCase Cartridge Cases are self-lubricating — a positive factor compared to brass or steel cases.
PolyCase Bullets — Injection-Molded Blend of Copper and Plastic
PolyCase has developed its own unique bullets for use in pistol ammunition. PolyCase Cu/P™ bullets are precision injection-molded from a cutting-edge copper-polymer compound. These molded bullets will be offered in both polymer cases and conventional brass cases. (Early in the design process, PolyCase determined that molded bullets work well in both brass and plastic cases). PolyCase co-owner Paul Lemke (Lt. Col. U.S. Army, Ret.) says: “We are able to use essentially the same molds to produce bullets for brass casings and bullets for our polymer casings”.
PolyCase Pioneers Injection-Molded Bullet Technology
Powdered metal has been around for decades, but blending powdered metal with polymers and injection molding precise parts is a fairly modern process. While processes like sintered metal bullets and pressure-formed shotgun pellets have become commonplace, PolyCase is the first American company to produce and sell a completely injection-molded bullet.
For over a century most bullets have been mass-produced with a process called cold-forming. Lead and copper were shaped with brute force in punches and dies to create projectiles. While this is still a viable and effective way to produce bullets, other manufacturing methods are now available. By applying injection-molding technology, Polycase has developed a new type of bullet that has many advantages, as least for handgun applications. Bullets weigh approximately 70% as much as lead bullets with similar profiles. Lighter weight means higher velocities and less recoil. In addition, PolyCase bullets are lead-free, and low ricochet — two qualities important for indoor and close-range training. The injection-molding process also reduces weight variations (compared to cast lead bullets), and ensures excellent concentricity. Molding also allows unique shapes that are impossible to produce with conventional bullet-making methods (see photo).
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Werner Mehl of Kurzzeit.com produced a 10-minute video for the 2010 SHOT Show. This amazing video became a huge hit on YouTube, with over 45,600 “likes”. With the 2015 SHOT Show coming up, we thought you’d like another view. This super-slow-motion video has been watched over 10 million times, making it one of the most popular shooting-related videos in history. Employing cameras recording at up to 1,000,000 (one million) frames per second, Mehl’s bullet flight video has been called “astounding”, “mesmerizing”, and a “work of art.” If you haven’t seen it yet, sit back and enjoy!
LINK: Kurzzeit.com Video System and BMC-19/PVM-21 Chronograph
Click the link above to learn more about Werner Mehl and his super-sophisticated camera systems that can record at 1,000,000 frames per second. On the same linked page you can learn about the advanced PVM-21 chronograph (now sold as the BMC-19) designed by Werner. Operating “all-infrared, all the time”, the PVM-21 is the best optical chronograph we have tested for very low light conditions, or very tricky light conditions.
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AccurateShooter.com has added something NEW to our Shooter’s Forum. We recently launched a new Ballistics & Bullets Board, with Bryan Litz as the “Guru in Residence”. Bryan and his team at Applied Ballistics will help answer your questions about bullet trajectories, wind drift, BC values, bullet sorting methods, meplat trimming/pointing, and other general ballistics matters. This is your chance to get your questions answered by Bryan, a expert ballistician, and an ace long-range shooter. In addition, our new Ballistics Forum area features free excerpts from Applied Ballistics’ respected publications, including Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting, and Bryan’s new book, Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting. CLICK HERE for FREE Samples.
If you have a ballistics question, or are simply curious about subjects such as bullet pointing, trajectory prediction, ballistics programs, ballistic coefficients, etc., then visit our Shooters’ Forum and join the discussion in our new Ballistics & Bullets Board.
Get $5.00 Off Applied Ballistics Books
As a special benefit for AccurateShooter.com Forum members, Applied Ballistics is offering $5.00 off Books and DVDs. If you haven’t acquired one of Bryan’s books yet, here’s a way to get with the program and save five bucks in the process. CLICK HERE for $5.00 discount info.
Get Answers from the Man Who Literally
‘Wrote the Book’ on Ballistics…
As an aerospace engineer, Bryan worked six years for the government on air-to-air missile designs. He is now owner of Applied Ballistics and Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets. Bryan is also a champion long range shooter, so he brings a great deal of practical knowledge and experience to the table regarding the science of accuracy.
A Place to Share Knowledge and Advance the Science of Ballistics Applied Ballistics is pleased to sponsor AccurateShooter.com’s new Ballistics & Bullets Board: “The new Ballistics Forum area provides an established place for shooters go and discuss ballistics-related issues in general. In addition to this basic objective of connecting shooters to each other, the staff of Applied Ballistics will frequent the Forum to provide expert advice on ballistics, and the use of ballistics programs. Bryan Litz will regularly visit the ballistics Forum, looking for ways to help shooters with ballistics questions. Beyond that, we’re eager to take suggestions on what kinds of tests we might consider for the AB Laboratory. We’re here to advance the science of ballistics, and we’d like to do that in ways that benefit the greatest amount of people. The ballistics forum gives us a place to explore these questions. We can answer the questions that we know, and formulate tests to explore those questions we don’t understand as well, then share the results online for everyone to see.”
How to Find the Ballistics & Bullets Board
To join in the discussions, visit our Shooters’ Forum. Scroll down until you see “Ballistics & Bullets Board, Presented by Bryan Litz and Applied Ballistics”. Just click on the orange title and you’re “in like Flynt”.
Guests can read all the topics. However, if you want to post or start a thread you’ll need to REGISTER with our Forum. There’s no charge (membership is FREE), and registration only takes a few minutes.
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Get an inside look at the how ammunition is made with this step-by-step production guide from Hornady. The video begins by showing the stages in production of a lead-core jacketed bullet with exposed tip, such as the Hornady Interlock. Next, at the 1:38″ time-mark, the video shows how cartridge cases are made, starting with small brass cups (photo right). The brass is lengthened in a series of stages involving annealing, drawing, polishing, and the formation of the case head with primer pocket. Finally, at the 2:40″ time mark, the video shows how bullets and powder are seated into cartridge cases on the Hornady assembly line. In the final production stages, the completed ammunition is tested and packaged.
Watch Ammo Production Video
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Writing for the ELEY Bulletin, USA Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Emmons provides rock solid advice for anyone involved in competitive shooting. Matt talks about dealing with pressure, and how to maintain concentration and focus. Matt says two keys to maintaining focus are practice and imagination….
Sports Shooting Psychology – Concentration
Concentration – staying focused in stressful competition situations
There are books… totally devoted to concentration, so I what I am about to write is only my opinion and take on the subject matter. There are so many aspects to the game of shooting, whether it be rifle, pistol, or shotgun. At the same time, one of the constants is concentration. Concentration is one of the things that allows you to be your best and keeps you in the “zone” when you are performing extremely well. It’s also a piece of the puzzle that has often disappeared when things go awry.
So how do you concentrate when the pressure is on? The exact recipe will be slightly different for different people, of course. Two important things for anyone, however, are practice and a great imagination! If you never practice focusing intently on anything, or especially during training, you will never learn to do it when you really want to. You must practice every situation that could occur during an important competition and practice what you will do so that you can continue to be your best. That means imagining and practising what you will do in the biggest match of your life when things are going incredibly well. How will you react? How will you work with it so that you continue to perform beautifully?
What will you do if you are in that same biggest match of your life and something goes wrong? How will you keep your poise, get back on track, and do what you’re capable of to achieve your goal? The answer depends on you. A great shooter needs to have a great imagination and needs to be able to look deep inside themselves to know how they might react in every different situation. If something doesn’t feel comfortable or there is nervousness, that means the athlete needs to work on preparing for it in training so that if the situation happens in a competition, there will be no lapse in concentration. There is a plan and it has be rehearsed so that it flows effortlessly.
I certainly can’t recommend any “quick fixes” to help anyone concentrate better. That doesn’t really exist. A couple things that always help in stressful situations, however, are these:
– Breathe!! Stop and take a few slow, deep breaths to slow the heart down. You’ll be surprised how much this can help.
– Keep your thoughts rational and focused on things you can control. Any worries about “what if’s” or things out of your control are completely useless and will only take your concentration off of what you’re trying to do.
– Stay in the moment! Good or bad, the past is done! You cannot change it. If the past was great, enjoy it for a moment and move on to now. If it was bad, learn what you can from it and move forward. The future is what you create. Every future moment is this current moment. Enjoy and make the best of this current moment and the future moments will come by themselves. Make the current shot the best shot you can possibly make, enjoy it then repeat on the next one.
– Picture what you want to see happen. Imagine a short video of the “your perfect shot” and play it over and over again in your head. Keep it short, keep it simple.
– Lastly, no matter whether it’s your club championship or the Olympic Games, remember why you are shooting. Hopefully you are in that particular moment because you love the game. At the heart, that is why we play any game – because we enjoy it! Never forget that no matter how stressful any competition might be. Aligning the sights and making a great shot is a whole lot of fun to do wherever and whenever you do it.
Good luck and great shooting — Matt Emmons
About ELEY Ammunition Established in 1828, ELEY now produces some of the most consistently accurate .22 LR rimfire ammunition in the world. Countless championship medals have been earned with ELEY rimfire ammo, and most current smallbore ISSF world records were set with ELEY ammo. ELEY maintains a large production and testing facility in Birmingham, West Midlands, in the UK. ELEY employs a team of specialists (including many Six Sigma qualified engineers) with extensive knowledge of internal and external ballistics, powder dynamics, and advanced production methods. ELEY has always been at the forefront of the ammunition industry, pushing technological boundaries which have resulted in patented new methodologies and techniques.
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More and more shooters are “wet-tumbling” their brass (in liquid) with reusable polishing media, rather than using dry media in a vibratory tumbler. The “wet-cleaning” method works best with a rotary tumbler fitted with a water-tight, horizontal drum to hold your brass, cleaning solution, and stainless, pin-type media. The rotary tumbler of choice has been the Thumler’s Tumbler Model B Heavy-Duty. That is a great, sturdy machine, but now you have a more affordable option.
Frankford Arsenal has introduced a “Platinum Series” rotary tumbler designed to clean cartridge brass with liquid and stainless media.The watertight, polymer drum rides on four rollers which rotate the drum around its horizontal axis. Two filters are provided so you can quickly separate your brass and media. A built-in timer allows you to set tumbling sessions up to three hours. Frankford Arsenal says its new product will clean up to 1000 cases of .223 Rem brass. That’s impressive capacity.
The Frankford Arsenal rotary tumbler is sold by major retailers including Grafs.com and Cabelas. You’ll find the best prices online.
Update 12/28/2015: The Amazon special has expired. As with all sales, timing is everything. Check the link at right for current pricing. You can also check with other vendors such as Midsouth Shooters Supply.
How to Wet-Clean Your Brass in a Rotary Tumbler
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 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. The process works equally well on both rifle brass and pistol brass. Jason observed that one surprise benefit of the STM cleaning procedure is a big reduction in noise. Jason said the water-filled rotary tumbler was much quieter than his vibratory tumblers.
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Forum member Toby Bradshaw is one lucky dude. He recently acquired a “previously owned” 30BR benchrest rifle from fellow forum member Al Nyhus. This 17-year-old gun has to be a candidate for “Second-Hand Rifle of the Year.” You see, Al’s cast-off 30BR still shoots tiny little dots — as its new owner discovered. Al Nyhus reports: “That gun won literally piles of trophies, plaques and patches for me. It will win any time and any where for ‘ya if you hit the flags right.”
Here are the first three-shot groups out of the gun, during load testing by its new owner. Yeah, we would take that. Needless to say, Toby is delighted with his “hand-me-down” purchase. If only all new benchrest rifles could shoot this way!
Bradshaw Bags a 17-Year-Old Panda-Actioned 30BR from Al Nyhus
Toby tells us: “I took advantage of Al Nyhus’s move from score shooting to drag racing, and picked up his ’97 vintage Panda 30BR. I hauled my gear to the range to zero the Leupold 45x that I put in the Kelbly high rings, and to produce three snug cases to send to the Harrells for a FL bushing die. I expanded and neck-turned a few gold box 6BR culls, leaving just 0.001 clearance in the chamber to produce a fitted neck, since I don’t yet have a sizing die (but did get a Wilson seater die from Al). I have 1000 118gr 7-ogive bullets on order from Ronnie Cheeks, but I bought 200 Berger 115gr FB to do some fireforming and practice until the Cheeks bullets arrive.
I bore-sighted, adjusted the scope to the first bullet hole, and verified the adjustment with a second shot in the middle of the 100-yard score target sheet (visible in the photo).
After running an H4198 pressure test without any drama, I loaded the once-fireformed brass with a stout load of H4198, bullets still at the jam, and shot two 3-shot groups with a 2-click scope adjustment in between. You can see the results above. I’d say that’s not bad for a ‘used’ rifle with no real load development on my part.”
Toby Bradshaw’s story about his “hand-me-down” 17-year-old rifle reinforces what we’ve been saying for a long time about the little 30BR cartridge. Necked-up from the parent 6mmBR Norma case, the 30BR is, without question, one of the most inherently accurate cartridges ever invented. And it is forgiving….
Compared to the other dominant short-range accuracy cartridge, the 6 PPC, the 30BR tends to be less finicky, and easier to tune. The 30BR offers broad accuracy nodes. Also, we often find that 30BRs are relatively insensitive to seating depth. It’s not uncommon for a good 30 BR to shoot quality bullets equally well at a variety of seating depths, both in the lands and out of the lands.
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Want to watch some very cool super-slow-motion videos of projectiles drilling bugholes and blasting through stuff? Then check out these videos from Remington’s R&D Center. We guarantee you’ll be entertained. You’ll find some truly amazing high-speed videography. Many video sequences are captured with ultra-high-speed cameras running hundreds of thousands of frames per second. This allows stunning slow-motion playback.
You’ve no doubt heard the term “tack-driver”. Are there rifles that really drive tacks? Well Remington has given us something just as good — a “nail driver”. In the video below, you can see a bullet “hit the nail on the head”, driving a nail into the target. Very cool indeed…
Driving Tacks — Hitting Nailheads with Bullets (Slow Motion)
Remarkable High-Speed Photography Shows Bullet Performance
You can see some amazing things — bullets busting concrete blocks, smashing through wood, drilling ballistic gelatin, and tearing through skin and gel (so you can see how bullets would perform in game animals). Our favorite sequence shows five shots forming a nice, clustered group — you can actually see the bullets fly into the paper target one after another. Here are some of the video highlights.
Five Shots with .30-06 into Paper (Slow Motion)
Busting Concrete Blocks with Bullets (Slow Motion)
Bullets Penetrate through Skin and Gelatin (Slow Motion)
Dances with Gel (Slow Motion)
Story tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Here’s a valuable web resource our readers should bookmark for easy access in the future. ShootForum.com offers a vast Bullet Database, which includes over 3900 bullet designs in all. We counted nearly 200 different 6mm bullets! The bullet info comes from the makers of QuickLOAD Software. Access to the online database is FREE. Most database entries include Caliber, Manufacturer, Stated Bullet Weight, True Bullet Weight, Length, Sectional Density (SD), and Ballistic Coefficient. In many cases multiple BCs are provided for different velocity ranges.
The database is great if you’re looking for an unusual caliber, or you want a non-standard bullet diameter to fit a barrel that is tighter or looser than spec. You’ll find the popular jacketed bullets from major makers, plus solids, plated bullets, and even cast bullets. For those who don’t already own QuickLOAD software, this is a great resource, providing access to a wealth of bullet information.
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If you need rimfire ammunition, Powder Valley Inc. (PVI) just received a large shipment of SK .22 LR ammunition from Europe. This is good quality, German-made ammo, much better than the bulk-pack Federal and Winchester fodder. SK is run by the same parent company that owns Lapua. Right now the practice-grade 40gr .22LR SK Standard ammo is $5.50 per box of 50 cartridges, while the rifle Match grade ammo is $8.40 per box. Act quickly ladies and gents. This will probably sell out pretty quickly. To find this on the PVI site, click “Ammo” then “Rifle Ammo” then “Lapua”.
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Sierra has announced a new line of plastic-tipped MatchKing bullets. “Say What!? — that can’t be right…” you may be thinking. MatchKings have always been jacketed, hollowpoint bullets. Until now, plastic tips have been reserved for other Sierra projectiles, such as BlitzKing varmint bullets. But that is changing with the introduction of Sierra’s line of Tipped MatchKing (TMK) bullets featuring green acetal resin tips.
Plastic Tips Offer Better BC
Sierra says the plastic tips on TMKs enhance the Ballistic Coefficient (BC): “The major advantage of adding a tip to the bullet is the reduction of drag, producing a more favorable ballistic coefficient.” Stated BCs for the new TMK bullets are listed below. These BC numbers look good, and they have been verified with real-world testing: “We shot [all the new TMKs] multiple times (we actually test our BC numbers instead of letting a computer tell us what it is) and those numbers are all proven out!”
There will be six (6) new TMK bullets, two in .224 caliber, and four in .308 caliber. The six new tipped bullet types should be available in “early 2015″. Sorry, Sierra will not be offering 6mm, 6.5mm, or 7mm TMKs for the time being, although Sierra will introduce more TMK varieties in the future. Currently, Sierra is focusing on “the most popular calibers”. Notably, the new 22-Cal 77gr TMK has a 0.420 BC — identical to the BC of Sierra’s 80gr non-tipped HPBT MatchKing. So, you get the BC of a heavier bullet in a lighter projectile that can be pushed faster. That’s big news for .223 Rem and 22-250 shooters.
New Bullet Shapes Along with Plastic Tips
In addition to the bullet tip, some of these new TMK bullets have slightly modified shapes compared to previous-generation, non-tipped MatchKings (SMKs) of like caliber/weight. Sierra’s technicians reported: “The [plastic] point on the tip is smaller than the meplat on a SMK and if you look, you will also see the ogive on most of these [new TMKs] have been changed as well. Most of the big BC gains are from the reshaped ogives from the legacy SMK product.”
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This 50 Cal Days of Christmas video features some fantastic slow-motion footage of a Barrett .50 Caliber M82. This bad boy pumps out some serious muzzle flash. Watch carefully at the 1:05 mark and you can see the .50-caliber projectile exit the muzzle brake and spin through the ball of smoke and flame. For best viewing, you may want to change your video settings to 720p or 1080p High Definition and view full-screen (using the video controls).
The video carries “overkill” to the max, as the shooter uses his big Barrett to blast Christmas ornaments and a snow-globe. To top things off, at the 2:50 mark, the shooter fires the .50 cal at a pyro-equipped gingerbread house. (The gingerbread shot is taken from a standing hold no less!) The results (at 3:22) are impressive — gingerbread house becomes flaming gingerbread pudding.
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We first featured this story in 2010, but the results of this rimfire ammo test have been of such widespread interest that we try to bring the test to readers’ attention every year.
In 2010, the staff of AccurateReloading.com Forum completed a massive .22LR Rimfire Ammunition Testing Project. Some 55 different types of ammo were tested, using a highly-accurate Swiss-made Bleiker rifle, with a 2-stage trigger. All ammo varieties were tested at 50 yards, 75 yards, and 100 yards, shooting five, 5-shot groups at each distance. Though these tests were completed some time ago, many readers have requested a “reprint” of the ammo rankings, so we’ve republished this data below.
The results are fascinating to say the least (and perhaps eye-opening). The tester observed: “I got some amazing groups, and some which are, frankly, absurdly bad! This has re-enforced what I had experienced with 22 ammo in the past — that is being consistently inconsistent.”
While we strongly caution that .22LR rimfire ammo may work well in one gun and not another, and ammo performance can be improved through the use of barrel tuners, the AccurateReloading.com research provides invaluable guidance for smallbore shooters. Overall, the testers burned through over 4,000 rounds of ammo, and you can see the actual test targets online. To read all the test reports, and view target photos visit AccurateReloading.com.
0.162 Eley Tenex Ultimate EPS
0.164 Lapua Midas Plus
0.177 Lapua Polar Biathlon
0.187 Eley Match EPS
0.193 Eley Match
0.203 Lapua Midas M
0.215 Lapua Center X
0.216 Western Value Pack
0.229 Lapua Signum
0.241 Lapua Master L
0.243 Eley Pistol Match
0.256 Olin Ball
0.256 Akah X-Zone
0.261 Lapua Midas L
0.261 Lapua Master M
0.263 Eley Tenex Semi Auto
0.270 Lapua Super Club
0.272 Eley Tenex
0.303 Lapua Standard Plus
0.312 CCI Standard Velocity
0.319 RWS R 50
0.319 Eley Standard
0.328 SK High Velocity
0.339 Eley Club Xtra
0.340 Winchester T22
0.356 Federal Champion
0.362 Eley Subsonic HP
0.371 CCI Mini Mag
0.376 Federal American Eagle
0.377 Norinco Target
0.380 Sellier & Bellot Club
0.384 Eley Club
0.387 Eley Sport
0.392 Swartklip Match Trainer
0.398 Federal Gold Medal
0.403 Swartklip HV
0.409 Eley Match Xtra Plus
0.424 Sellier & Bellot Std
0.443 Remington Target
0.461 Lapua Crow HP
0.475 Eley Silhouex
0.498 Eley High Velocity
0.513 Winchester Super X
0.516 Kassnar Concorde
0.539 CCI Blazer
0.560 Winchester Supreme Pistol
0.576 Norinco Pistol Revolver
0.593 SK Standard
0.611 Sellier And Bellot HP
0.626 SK Standard HP
0.686 Logo HV
0.956 Pobjeda Target
0.274 Lapua Center X
0.283 Lapua Standard Plus
0.295 Eley Tenex Ultimate EPS
0.307 Lapua Midas M
0.329 Lapua Master M
0.346 Eley Match
0.373 Lapua Polar Biathlon
0.399 RWS R 50
0.432 Lapua Midas L
0.448 Eley Tenex Semi Auto
0.467 Eley Match EPS
0.474 Lapua master L
0.491 Eley Match Xtra Plus
0.494 CCI Standard
0.496 Eley Subsonic HP
0.507 Eley Sport
0.512 Federal American Eagle
0.513 SK High Velocity
0.514 Eley Standard
0.516 Eley Tenex
0.516 Lapua Crow HP
0.532 Western Value Pack
0.533 Fed. Champion Target
0.535 Lapua Midas Plus
0.564 Akah X Zone
0.566 Olin Ball
0.573 Eley Club Xtra
0.616 Lapua Signum
0.631 Winchester T22
0.639 Swartklip HV HP
0.641 Eley Club
0.642 Eley Silhouex
0.647 CCI Mini Mag
0.679 Eley Pistol Match
0.682 Swartklip Match Trainer
0.690 Federal Gold Medal
0.692 Remington HV
0.703 Lapua Super Club
0.720 Winchester Super X
0.738 Eley High Velocity
0.759 Kassnar Concorde
0.765 Sellier And Bellot Club
0.770 Winch. Supreme Pistol
0.770 Norinco target
0.775 CCI Blazer
0.802 Norinco Pistol Revolver
0.841 LVE Logo HV
0.855 Sellier & Bellot Std
0.923 Sellier & Bellot HP
0.934 SK Standard HP
1.017 Remington Target
1.257 Totem Standard
1.442 SK Standard
1.578 Pobjeda target
0.455 Eley Match
0.510 Lapua Midas Plus
0.549 Lapua Midas M
0.611 Lapua Polar Biathlon
0.611 Eley Tenex Ultimate EPS
0.619 Eley Match EPS
0.622 Eley Club
0.630 Lapua Center X
0.631 RWS R50
0.679 Eley Tenex Semi Auto
0.694 Lapua Midas L
0.729 Eley Tenex
0.739 Lapua Master L
0.753 Lapua Super Club
0.785 Lapua Master M
0.831 Eley Sport
0.851 Eley Match Xtra
0.859 Lapua Standard Plus
0.867 Akah X-Zone
0.877 Eley Pistol Match
0.907 Norinco Target
0.924 Eley Silhouex
0.939 CCI Standard
0.952 Eley Subsonic HP
0.970 Olin Ball
0.978 Kassnar Concorde
0.995 Eley Club Xtra
1.009 Western Value Pack
1.032 Federal Champion
1.087 Norinco Pistol Revolver
1.100 CCI Mini Mag
1.112 Lapua Crow HP
1.143 Winchester T22
1.142 Federal Gold Medal
1.144 federal American Eagle
1.156 Swartklip Hollo Point
1.165 Lapua Signum
1.170 Swartklip Match Trainer
1.175 Fed. Champion Value Pk
1.182 SK high Velocity
1.224 Winchester Super X
1.358 Eley Standard
1.367 Remington High Velocity
1.375 CCI Blazer
1.414 Eley High Velocity
1.450 Remington Target
1.504 LVE Logo
1.813 SK Standard
1.879 S&B Club
1.947 S&B Hollow Point
2.073 SK Standard HP
2.221 S&B Standard
2.266 Pobjeda Target
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Powder Valley Inc. (PVI), a leading vendor of ammo and reloading components, warned us to be prepared for price hikes on Lapua-brand cartridge brass, bullets, and loaded ammunition:
“Lapua has announced a 4-8% price increase for 2015. Anyone who would like to order at 2014 prices please do so now. We will accept backorders on all Lapua from now until December 12 and these items will be filled at 2014 prices as soon as the items become available.”
Cutting to the chase, Powder Valley is saying it will honor current Lapua prices for back-orders, so long as you place your order by December 12th, 2014. So, if you need brass (or those ultra-consistent Lapua Scenar-L bullets), order now before the price goes up. Of course, you can also buy in-stock Lapua brass/bullets inventory from PVI and other major vendors including Bullets.com, Bruno Shooters Supply, Grafs.com, and Midsouth Shooters Supply.
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With Christmas less than three weeks away, our readers’ thoughts are turning to holiday decorations, Yuletide gatherings, and “Where the heck can I find some darn .22 LR ammo!” Sad to say, you won’t find large quantities of .22 LR rimfire ammunition on the shelves of Wally World — those days are long gone. Affordable rimfire fodder remains in (relatively) short supply in the USA. However, if you’re willing to harness the power of the internet, you should be able to find the rimfire ammo you need.
We use three specialty search engines to locate bulk .22 LR ammo (and centerfire ammo as well): Ammoseek.com, Gunbot.net, and Slickguns.com. There are others, but these are three of the most effective. Here’s what we found this morning of December 6, 2014, using these three websites.
It’s really easy to find .22 LR ammo using Ammoseek.com. There is a handy “Quick Seek” .22 LR search link that instantly searches 108 different vendors. Shown below is just a partial list of the 481 items we found in seconds using Ammoseek’s .22 LR Quick Link. For future reference, bookmark the following link: http://ammoseek.com/ammo/22lr.
Link Ammoseek.com, Gunbot.net provides single-click search capability for .22 LR rimfire ammo. Simply click on the “22LR” Link on Gunbot’s home page, and within a few seconds you’ll get results from dozens of online ammunition suppliers. And of course you can select other popular types of ammo with a single click as well. For the best deals, select “Sort by Price” with the sort pull-down menu (by default it displays the newest result first.) We’ve highlighted the sort field in the illustration below so you don’t miss it. (You’ll probably want to click “in-stock only” as well.) Bookmark this GunBot .22 LR Quicklink to speed up your next 22LR search: http://gunbot.net/ammo/rimfire/22lr/.
NOTE: Gunbot.net is slower than Ammoseek.com. However Gunbot.net’s page is clean and simple, not plagued by distracting banners.
The Slickguns.com site is a little different than Ammoseek and Gunbot, because it covers a wider range of products, including firearms, knives, shooting accessories and more. With so many options, it’s easy to get lost on the Slickguns.com home page. Here’s a tip for ammo-shoppers — first click the “Ammo” link at the top. Then pick “22 LR” from the list of ammo types. For easy reference, bookmark this link: http://www.slickguns.com/category/ammo?caliber=3.
NOTE: You can pick other ammo types from the list of “Popular Calibers”. Here’s what you’ll see on Slickguns.com’s Ammo Page:
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Every year we anxiously await the new product announcement from Lapua. In 2014, Lapua brought out new bullets and new cartridge brass — .221 Fireball and .50 BMG. For 2015, Lapua once again brings out new brass offerings, this time three new flavors of cartridge brass, all made to Lapua’s exacting standards. First, Lapua will introduce factory 300 AAC Blackout (300 BLK) brass. This promises to take this highly-efficient, AR-friendly .30-caliber cartridge to another accuracy level. Second, Lapua will offer premium brass for the 7mm-08 cartridge, a very popular round among hunters and silhouette shooters. Lastly, in 2015, Lapua will produce 8x57mm JS brass. That’s good news for fans of this classic Mauser cartridge.
300 AAC Blackout Brass
Lapua’s Press release states: “Few cartridges have generated as much immediate interest as the 300 Blackout. Standardized by AAC, this diminutive cartridge is derived from the 223 Remington. Intended specifically for use in suppressed firearms, the versatility of the Blackout has appealed to a much broader range of shooters than just the audience for which it was originally designed. [Originally] intended to drive 220 grain bullets at subsonic velocities, the switch to lightweight bullets such as the 125 grain offerings delivers performance very similar to the venerable 7.62×39 cartridge. This makes the 300 Blackout potent enough for a wide range of shooting tasks, from certain tactical applications to many short range hunting situations involving medium-sized game. The ability for many 5.56mm/223 systems to be switched over to the 300 Blackout, merely by changing barrels, makes this an incredibly versatile combination. Lapua brings over nine decades of case manufacturing knowledge, precision and quality to the new Blackout, assuring the shooter of the very best performance.”
7mm-08 Remington Brass
Lapua notes that it’s new 7mm-08 brass is made to very high standards, benefiting hunters as well as competitors: “The 7mm-08 came to dominate the High Power Silhouette rifle game shortly after its introduction, offering a superb combination of power, light recoil and accuracy. Since then, it has also been used to win National Championships in High Power competition, and become a staple for hunters as well. With ballistic performance exceeding that of the time honored 7x57mm Mauser, but suited to a shorter action, the 7mm-08 is an ideal cartridge for most big game hunting. Lapua brings… state-of-the-art manufacturing methods, combined with old world craftsmanship, to the production of these cases. Primer pockets and flash holes are held to strict tolerances to withstand repeated firings and reloadings. After final necking of the case, they are finished with the proper anneal [for] accuracy and durability.” Lapua also notes that it offers two new 7mm Scenar bullets, which will work very well in the new 7mm-08 cartridge brass.
8x57mm JS Brass
Last but not least, Lapua is producing 8x57mm JS brass. Lapua notes that: “When the 8x57mm JS cartridge was introduced in 1905, its innovative use of a high velocity and relatively light weight pointed bullet design revolutionized infantry combat. An outgrowth on the original 8x57J military round, the 8x57mm JS round served the German military in both world wars, and became a popular sporting cartridge in any area where there was a strong German influence. From African plains game to European stag and boar, the 8mm Mauser has earned an enviable reputation as a big game round in a wide array of conditions. Accurate, versatile and powerful, the 8x57mm JS still serves the sporting community well for a host of hunting applications. In answer to the requests of the many devotees of this fine cartridge, Lapua is pleased to announce our introduction of the new 8x57mmJS case. The new 8x57mmJS will deliver the same accurate, reliable performance for which Lapua cases are world renowned. This means tough, durable cases that will not only withstand repeated loadings, but retain their accuracy shot after shot. [Lapua’s 8x57mm JS brass offers] very tight tolerances in neck wall concentricity and overall uniformity.”
See Lapua’s New Products at SHOT Show 2015
If you plan to attend SHOT Show in Las Vegas, stop by and visit the Lapua Exhibit (booth #11929). With luck, samples of the new 7mm-08, 300 BLK, and 8×57 JS brass will be available to view. Lapua engineers will be on hand to talk about Lapua brass and bullets, and explain the production processes that make Lapua brass so durable and consistent. In recent years, in the world of centerfire competition, Lapua brass has absolutely dominated the winner’s circles as well as the record-books.
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A while back, Forum member BigBlack had an experience at the gun range that reminds us of the importance of safety when shooting. He encountered evidence that someone had fired the wrong cartridge in a 7mm WSM rifle. The problem is more common than you may think. This editor has personally seen novices try to shoot 9mm ammo in 40sw pistols. BigBlack’s story is along those lines, though the results were much more dramatic. It’s too bad a knowledgeable shooter was not nearby to “intervene” before this fellow chambered the wrong ammo.
7mm-08 is Not the Same as a 7mm WSM
BigBlack writes: “I know this has probably been replayed a thousand times but I feel we can never be reminded enough about safety. This weekend at the range I found a ruptured case on the ground. My immediate thoughts were that it was a hot load, but the neck area was begging for me to take a closer look, so I did. I took home the exploded case and rummaged through my old cases until I found a close match. From my investigative work it appears someone shot a 7mm-08 in a 7mm WSM. Take a look. In the photo below I’ve put together a 7mm WSM case (top), the ruptured case (middle), and a 7mm-08 case (bottom).”
You can see from the photo what probably happened to the 7mm-08 case. The shoulder moved forward to match the 7mm WSM profile. The sidewalls of the case expanded outward in the much larger 7mm WSM chamber until they lacked the strength to contain the charge, and then the case sides ruptured catastophically. A blow-out of this kind can be very dangerous, as the expanding gasses may not be completely contained within the action.
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