Sierra has released two new Tipped MatchKing (TMK®) bullets that should find favor with PRS competitors and tactical shooters*. Sierra is producing a new 95 grain 6mm projectile and a new 130 grain 6.5mm bullet. Both feature acetal resin tips that lower drag by improving the ballistic coefficient (BC) and making the BC more uniform from bullet to bullet. The 95-grainer should work well as a higher-speed option in the .243 Win, 6mm Creedmoor, 6mm Dasher, and 6mmBR. We were able to push other 95gr bullets nearly 100 fps faster than 105gr bullets from a 6mmBR. For those shooting the 6.5×47 Lapua and 6.5 Creedmoor, the new 130gr TMK should be a near-ideal bullet weight. We know that Berger’s 6.5mm 130gr VLD works great in those mid-sized cartridges, so Sierra’s new 130-grainer should be in the “sweet spot”. Also, in the .260 Remington the 130gr TMK should be capable of velocities that hit predicted accuracy nodes with ease. The 6mm 95 grain TMK requires a twist rate of 1:9″ or faster to stabilize while the 6.5mm 130 grain TMK requires a twist rate of 1:8″ or faster to stabilize.
We expect the 130gr 6.5mm TMK to find favor with Tactical Shooters
* In addition, Sierra plans to add a 7mm 160gr TMK to the line-up, product #7660, but we don’t expect this to be used for tactical games because of the heavier recoil.
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If you’re looking for a space-saving handgun storage system, consider the Easy Use Gun Hangers from USA GunClub. These vinyl-coated, wire hangers organize handguns below the shelves in your gunsafe, freeing up storage space above the shelves. To use the handgun hangers, simply slide each hanger on the shelf and then slip your pistol’s barrel over the lower rod. Handgun Hangers are intended for guns with an overall length of 10 inches or shorter. They will fit shelves that are at least 11 inches deep and 5/8-1 inch in thickness. Handgun Hangers will hold handguns .22 caliber and up, though the fit is a bit snug on .22s. A four-pack of Handgun Hangers costs $9.95. This product is now Amazon’s #1 Best Seller among handgun storage accessories.
WARNING — Always Make Sure Handgun is UNLOADED when using Handgun Hangers!!
USA GunClub also offers an Over-Under Hanger that holds two handguns — one above the shelf, and one below. A two-pack of Over-Under Hangers (capable of holding four handguns) costs $9.99. This may be a good solution for you. This editor personally prefers the standard model, so I can use the upper surface of the shelf to hold odd-shaped items such as cameras, binoculars, and miscellaneous valuables.
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One side of this gauge is the “go” side which quickly tells you the depth of a primer pocket, whether any crimp is properly removed, and whether the primer pocket is loose. If it feels loose on the “go” side, use the other end of the tool, the “no go” side, to test to see if the primer pocket is too loose to hold a primer. If the no-go slides into the pocket, then you know to junk that brass.
Primer Pocket Growth and Useful Case Life
Repeated firings at stout pressures can cause primer pockets to grow in diameter. This can create an unsafe condition if your primers are not seating properly. Are your primer pockets “good to go”, or have they been pushed to the point of no return? Do you really know? Many guys try to gauge primer pocket tightness by “feel”, as they seat the primer. But that method isn’t precise. Now there’s a better way…
The folks at Ballistictools.com have created a handy set of precision-machined gauges that let you quickly and accurately check your primer pockets. These gauges (aka “gages”) are offered in two sizes — for large and small primer pockets. A two-piece set of both large and small gauges costs just $19.99. These gauges let you quickly measure the depth of a primer pocket, and check if the crimp has been removed properly. Most importantly, the gauge tells you if the primer pocket has opened up too much. One side of the gauge has an enlarged diameter plug. If that “No-Go” side fits in the primer pocket, you should ditch the case — it’s toast.
Precision ground from O-1 tool steel, The Ballistic Tools primer pocket gauges serve multiple functions. The inventor of these tools explains: “I created the prototype of this tool for my own use in brass processing. I needed a way to quickly and easily measure primer pockets that was reliable and did not require wasting a primer. This tool has been indispensable for me and I would never go back to the old method of uncertainty and guessing.”
Product tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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Here’s an interesting new technology for you hunters — color-shifting camouflage clothing. Cabela’s exclusive “ColorPhase” camo gear is temperature-sensitive. As the temperature declines, ColorPhase clothing migrates from greens to browns and then to grays. This is achieved with a unique, rapid-reacting, temp-sensitive die. According to Cabela’s, ColorPhase camo is printed with “rapid-change, temperature-activated dye.” Under normal conditions, ColorPhase camo will begin changing colors at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. So, with the cooler temperatures in the late hunting season, the gear should better match the grays and browns that dominate late October and November This would allow hunters to better blend in with their surroundings. At least that’s the theory….
Watch Video to Learn More about ColorPhase Camo Clothing
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IMR just announced its latest Enduron powder, IMR 4955, which features a medium-slow burn rate similar to Hodgdon H4831 or IMR 4831. The IMR Enduron powders are clean-burning, temp stable, and feature a proprietary coating that helps reduce copper fouling. We are looking forward to trying IMR 4955 based on our positive experience with IMR 4166. We have used Enduron 4166 and have seen excellent accuracy in .308 Winchester and 6mm BR rifles.
IMR 4955 lands between IMR 4451 and IMR 7977 on the burn rate chart. Hodgdon, which distributes IMR powders, says that IMR 4955 works very well for cartridges such as 25-06 Remington, .270 Winchester, and the .300 Winchester Magnum. Perhaps this will prove a good choice for the .284 Win and .300 WSM as well (F-Open shooters take note). If you are currently using H4831 or H4831sc you should probably give IMR 4955 a try.
Hodgdon says IMR 4955 offers some important advantages:
1. IMR 4955 has a small kernel size. This allows the powder to flow through powder measures easily and meter very accurately.
3. IMR 4955 is very insensitive to temperature changes, so shooters should see uniform velocities across a broad temp range.
3. IMR 4955 has very good load density for medium and big game hunting cartridges (such as the .270 Win and .300 Win Mag).
4. Like other Enduron powders, IMR 4955 boasts a special additive that helps reduce copper fouling as the rifle is fired.
IMR 4955 Should Be Available Early Next Year
— Load Data is Online Now
IMR 4955 will be available in early 2016 in one-pound and eight-pound containers. With the addition of IMR 4955 to the series of Enduron powders, reloaders have a new, advanced-formulation powder that should work for a wide variety of popular cartridges — from the .260 Rem up to big magnums. Reloading data for IMR 4955 is now available online in the Hodgdon Reloading Data Center. Below is a sample of Hodgdon/IMR load data for IMR 4955 as used in the .300 Win Mag cartridge.
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Nielsen-Kellerman has just announced its new K5 series of Kestrel weather meters. With optional blue-tooth capability, these “smart-phone savvy” Kestrels can export data wirelessly to smartphones and other wireless devices for use with Kestrel and Third Party Apps. Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics reports: “There have been some major changes. The physical design has been updated. You can also use it with Android or iPhone. It has an updated, higher-contrast screen. Don’t forget about the buy-back program!” You can trade in older Kestrel model to get a partial credit for a 5000-series unit under the NK’s Customer Loyalty Program. A very detailed review of the new Kestrel 5700 with Applied Ballistics is found in our Shooters’ Forum. This covers all the new features, including data transfer capabilities. The review also explains how to use Kestrel data in smartphone Apps. Click this link:
You can pre-order the new Kestrel 5700 with Applied Ballistics for delivery in two weeks. NOTE: To get the Bluetooth option you must select “Yes” under the “Add LiNK Wireless Connectivity” drop down menu. This is an added cost option ($100 for Elite, $140 for Sportsman).
Here is the official product release notice from Nielsen-Kellerman:
Nielsen-Kellerman is releasing its all-new K5 line of Kestrels, which replaces the Kestrel 4000 series. Loaded with features such as Android and iOS connectivity, a dual-color backlight screen, a weather vane and measurements of over 10 environmental variables, the K5 family is NK’s most user-friendly, innovative line yet.
This series includes the 5000 Environmental Meter, 5500 Weather Meter, 5100 Racing Weather Meter, 5200 Professional Environmental Meter, 5400 Heat Stress Tracker, Sportsman Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics, and Elite Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics. All are drop-tested, waterproof and dust-proof and just as rugged, reliable and dependable as previous Kestrels. All K5s use AA batteries, and they are backed by NK’s industry-leading 5-year warranty.
When customers spoke about past products, NK listened. “We painstakingly addressed every complaint or problem users had with the 4000 series,” says Alix James, NK’s CEO. She believes that optional connection with Kestrel LiNK, powered by Bluetooth Smart, is one of the line’s best features. “Data communication opens the door to creating solutions for users, especially where environmental measurements, decision-making tools and guidelines intersect,” she points out, adding, “being able to pull these measurements straight into an app is so powerful.” Michael Naughton, NK’s VP of Business Development, adds “K5 Kestrels can communicate to iOS and Android devices using Kestrel and third-party apps, and they’re compatible with software on Windows and Mac computers.”
Another standout feature is the lightweight, transportable weather vane mount, which “can be put up instantly for research, safety monitoring, hazmat response and more” says James. Other improvements include a high-contrast, high-resolution display screen that is easy to read in all lighting conditions, a dual-color LED backlight, and a corrosion-resistant battery compartment.
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Benchrest Hall-of-Famer Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez has teamed up with the Shurley Brothers on a new ARK series of wood laminate competition stocks. Speedy has combined the best features of various popular F-Class and Long-range Benchrest stocks into new designs to be produced by Shurley Brothers Custom in Austin, Texas. These stocks should be very straight and geometrically correct as they will be crafted on the Shurley Brothers’ new CNC mills. These stocks will be made with new-generation precision technology, not old school duplicating machines.
Initially two models will be offered: the “Hand of God” (HOG) and the “Spear of Destiny” (SOD). Both are designed for multiple shooting disciplines, so they should work well both for benchrest and for prone F-Open shooting. (FWIW, John Myers used a Speedy-crafted stock to win the 2015 Mid-Range National Championship). The forearm is 76mm (2.99″) to comply with F-Open limits. A wide variety of options will be available including adjustable Cheek Piece, adjustable length of pull, carbon fiber inserts, and exotic woods.
We like many aspects of the new stocks. First, the front of the stock is low profile, placing the barrel close to the bags for better tracking (and less hop). However, a deeper (top to bottom) section extends forward of the action — this is important. We have seen some low-profile stocks that suffer from forearm flex/hinging because they don’t leave enough wood under the action area. Speedy’s design eliminates this problem. Another nice feature of this stock is the subtle curve from the back of the action to the buttpad mount. Speedy calls this the “scooped cheek”. This allows the “driver” to shoot without face contact if he prefers, but it also allows for a higher buttpad position — which is useful when shooting heavy recoiling chamberings such as the .300 WSM.
Note how the comb area has a curve to provide clearance. For those shooters who prefer to have face contact on the gun, an adjustable Cheek Piece is offered.
Shurley Brothers Custom says these new ARK stocks are fully customizable for competition shooters with optional carbon fiber, adjustable R.A.D. systems, and many other features. The stocks, uninletted, will run $750.00. CNC-inletting (for action of your choice) is an additional $100.00. Here are some of the many available options:
— Pillar Bed and Inlet: $425.00
— Custom Wood Upgrade (Price Dependent On Wood): $100.00 – $500.00
— Full-length Carbon Fiber Stringers: $200.00
— Cheek Piece Addition: $100.00
— Cooling Ports (Buick Vents): $60.00
— R.A.D. System #2A: $335.00 (plus $100.00 to install)
— 3-Way Butt Plate: Call for Price
— Adjustable Neodymium Magnetic Cheek Piece: Call for Price
— Install Neodymium Magnetic Cheek Piece: $150.00
— Stock Finish & Clear Coat: $350.00
— Carbon Fiber Forearm Tunnel: $300.00
The underside of the forearm is relieved in the center, leaving twin outboard rails. This helps stabilize the rifle and aids tracking. (A conventional, flat forearm without rails tends to rock if there is any hump in the middle of the sandbag). Between the rails is a carbon-fiber stiffening insert.
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Weatherby’s new TacMark Rifles should be popular with long-range shooters (at least those with plenty of coin). We hope you like recoil — all three chamberings are powerful: .30-378 Wby. Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum, and .338-378 Wby. Magnum. To handle these powerful cartridge types, TacMark series rifles have a beefy receiver with integral recoil lug, set in a CNC-machined aluminum bedding system. The bolt is interesting — it has nine (9) lugs and a 54-degree bolt throw.
The composite stocks are adjustable for length of pull (13¼ inches to 14¾ inches), drop at comb, and drop at heel. The stock also has a near-vertical pistol grip with a trigger finger depression and a wide, flat-bottom fore-end with a stud for bipod and/or sling. The TacMark (11.25 lbs w/o scope) comes in black while the TacMark Elite (11.75 lbs w/o scope) is finished in High Desert Camo with black accents.
The $5000.00 TacMark Elite features a hand-lapped 28″ Krieger cut-rifled barrel*, fitted with a large muzzle brake. The Range Certified (RC) TacMark Elite is accompanied by an Oehler Ballistic Imaging System printout signed and certified by Ed or Adam Weatherby, verifying the accuracy. The Elite is guaranteed to shoot sub-MOA for three shots (and we suspect it can do a lot better than that).
The less expensive ($3600.00) TacMark also boasts a 28″ barrel — one of the longest barrels currently available on a factory rifle. This should be good for a little extra velocity. Both the TacMark and the TacMark Elite feature Weatherby’s Mark V action and Weatherby’s new LXX trigger, which is user-adjustable for pull weight down to 2.5 pounds. The Mark V TacMark and TacMark Elite rifles will be available through the Weatherby Custom Shop.
* A features list on the Weatherby website shows 26″ barrel length for the Elite. However the actual specifications show the barrel to be 28″ for both TacMark and TacMark Elite. You should verify barrel length before ordering.
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Here’s a very interesting spotting scope stand, from Forum member (and ace F-Class shooter) Monte Milanuk. You can see this stable rig can be adjusted super-low for prone shooting. The components are from Italian photography accessory maker Manfrotto (but it’s not as expensive as you might think).
Monte tells us about his spotting scope stand, which is really a conventional photography tripod adjusted to a very low position, with a special head:
This stand has a Manfrotto 322RC2 pistol-grip head to make positioning easier. It actually goes even lower, and much, much higher. Both the head and the tripod are about $170-ish each, so it’s a bit more expensive than a Ray-Vin, a little less than a Creedmoor Polecat, and a whole lot more flexible overall.
This Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod is actually a little on the big side – probably should have gone with a Manfrotto 190 model (couple inches shorter on the legs) so it can be a bit of a hassle to set up when you have to shoot two-to-a-mound a la Fullbore.
It’s probably not as [expensive] as you might think… a Ray-Vin F-Class stand (without head) is about $170 from Creedmoor Sports. A Ray-Vin stand head is $150, plus the outrigger attachment is another $100+. I’ve got two of them downstairs for when I used to shoot conventional prone[.]
Comments from Facebook Fans: Pretty high end setup, should work well for prone, not sure about other positions. — John T.
An excellent and sturdy Manfrotto stand. I have one that I use not only for a spotting scope but to mount the rifle on when allowed for unknown distance tactical matches.–Dennis Santiago
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Hornady has introduced an innovative new single-stage press with some very impressive features. The new-for-2016 Hornady Iron Press™ features a super-strong, pyramid-style cast-iron frame with an open front. A very clever optional “automatic” priming system shuttles primers from a vertical tube in the back to the shell-holder in the front. We’ve never really seen anything quite like this before. You really should watch the video — it shows the patented auto-priming system in action. This system appears to be a very smart piece of engineering — good job Hornady.
Watch this Video to See Gravity-Fed Shuttle Priming System (00:45, 01:00):
The broad top of the beefy (26-lb.) Iron Press can hold case prep tools (such as chamfer tool and case-neck brush) and/or a box for bullets or brass. NOTE: This is NOT a turret press — you can only use one die at a time. However, Hornady offers an accessory “Die Caddy” (sold separately) that can hold up to three (3) more dies. That way you can quickly switch from a sizing die to a seater die (or vice-versa). What Hornady calls the “Accessory Mounting Deck” gives quick access to items such as trays for bullets or cases, chamfer and deburr tools, case neck brushes, primer pocket cleaners and other accessories. The Iron Press comes with the Lock-N-Load® bushing system which allows for rapid die changes.
Optional Automatic Priming System
The optional auto-priming system is a real selling point for this new press we think. When you move the press handle rearwards, a horizontal bar toggles back to pick up a primer from the column in the rear of the press. Then this same bar move forwards to place the fresh primer in the center of the shell-holder. Hornady explains: “The available gravity-fed Automatic Priming System (sold separately or with the Lock-N-Load® Iron Press™ Reloading Kit), combined with the Accessory Mounting Deck, increases reloading efficiency by allowing more processes to occur simultaneously. The Iron Press™ is the first of its kind to allow the ability to deprime, pause, and remove the case to chamfer & deburr … then replace and prime.” Do watch the video to see the priming system in action.
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We like air rifles both for fun shooting and for competition. However, so many options are now available that is easy to get over-whelmed with the choices. Thankfully, there is a good book that helps air rifle shooters make informed decisions about air guns and gear. Steve Markwith’s new title, Air Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide offers a wealth of useful information. This 154-page paperback book is now available for $12.95. The book is also offered as a FREE Kindle download for Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited members. Check it out — you may be able to get the book for free.
Read Free Sample Chapters Online
If you go to Amazon.com and click on the cover of this book, you can view a FREE preview with extensive samples from many chapters. The book covers all the most important types of air rifle systems, both pre-charged pneumatics and other self-charging guns. Markwith reviews the wide variety of pellets available, offering suggestions for particular applications. You’ll also find a useful discussion of Airgun Power, Range, and Accuracy. This will help you pick the right air rifle for your application.
Markwith explains the many attractions of airguns. They are not considered firearms (in most jurisdictions) so they can be purchased at local shops or mail-order outlets without FFL fees or background checks. You’ll find a huge online selection of airguns at PyramydAir.com that can ship direct to you — no FFL required. Air rifles are also quiet and very inexpensive to shoot. While .177 and .22 caliber air rifles are most common, there are also larger-caliber airguns offered for hunting or special applications.
“This is a very informative book explaining the ins and outs of air rifles, their capabilities and limitations. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering purchasing an air rifle for marksmanship practice or small game hunting.” – L. Stanek, Verified Amazon Reviewer
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High-BC 7mm bullets are favored by many of the top long-range and F-Class (Open) shooters. Now, thanks to Sierra Bullets, there is a new “heavy-weight contender” in the 7mm match bullet category. Sierra has just introduced an all-new 183 grain 7mm HPBT MatchKing, part # 1983. This impressive new projectile boasts a 0.707 G1 Ballistic Coefficient (at 2300+ fps), plus — get this — it comes “tipped” from the factory. The final meplat tipping operation ensures a higher, more uniform BC. Recommended barrel twist rate is 1:8″ or faster.
Sierra says its new 183gr 7mm MatchKing has a modern, low-drag shape: “A sleek 27-caliber elongated ogive and a final meplat reducing operation (pointing) provide an increased ballistic coefficient for optimal wind resistance and velocity retention. To ensure precise bullet to bore alignment, a unique bearing surface to ogive junction uses the same 1.5 degree angle commonly found in match rifle chamber throats.
The new 7mm 183gr HPBT bullets will be available in boxes of 500 bullets (#1983C) with MSRP of $256.34 per box and boxes of 100 bullet (#1983) with MSRP of $51.80 per box. NOTE: Sierra states that “MatchKing® and Tipped MatchKing® bullets are not recommended for most hunting applications.”
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In 2016, Hornady will introduce new hunting and match bullets with high-tech, heat resistant tips. Hornady developed the new “Heat Shield” bullet tips after Doppler Radar testing showed that the Ballistic Coefficients (BCs) of old-style tipped bullets were degrading in flight in an unexplained manner. Hornady’s engineers theorized that the old-style plastic bullet tips were deforming in flight due to heat and pressure. Hornady claims this problem occurred with high-BC (0.5+ G1) tipped bullets from a variety of manufacturers. Hornady’s testers believed that, after 150 yards or so, the tips on high-BC bullets were actually melting at the front. That enlarged the meplat, resulting in increased drag.*
Consequently, Hornady developed a new type of bullet tip made from a heat-resistant polymer. Further long-range Doppler Radar testing seemingly confirmed that bullets equipped with the new tips did not suffer from the BC loss previously found. This allowed the bullets to maintain a higher, more consistent BC during the entire trajectory. The end result is a bullet with reduced vertical dispersion at long range (or so Hornady claims).
New Hornady ELD-X Hunting Bullets
For 2016, Hornady will bring out two lines of projectiles using the new tips. The first line of bullets, designed for hunting, will be called ELD-X, standing for “Extreme Low Drag eXpanding”. These feature dark red, translucent, heat-resistant tips. With interlock-style internal construction, these hunting projectiles are designed to yield deep penetration and excellent weight retention. Hornady will offer seven different ELD-X bullet types, ranging in weight from 143 grains (6.5mm) to 220 grains (.30 Cal):
NOTE: We don’t know if the stated BC values are based on drag models or actual range testing. These new ELD-X hunting bullets will be loaded into a new line of Precision Hunter Ammo for a variety of popular hunting cartridges.
New Hornady ELD Match Bullets
Along with its new hunting bullets, Hornady is coming out with a line of ELD Match bullets as well. Hornady’s engineers say the new molded “Heat Shield Tip” should be a boon to competitive shooters: “You can’t point up that copper [tip] as consistently as you can mold a plastic tip. With the ELD Match line, and the Heat Shield Tip technology… we now have a perfected meplat. These bullets allow you to shoot groups with less vertical deviation, or less vertical stringing, because the bullets are exact in their drag [factor].” There are currently four bullets in the ELD Match line:
Hornady will offer factory ammunition loaded with ELD Match bullets, starting with 6.5 Creedmoor ammo loaded with the 140gr ELD, and .338 Lapua Magnum ammo loaded with the 285gr ELD.
Better Tips Make a Difference — But other Factors Are Important
Hornady claims that its new Heat Shield Tips are more uniform than the meplats on conventional jacketed, hollow-point bullets. This, Hornady says, should provide greater bullet-to-bullet BC consistency than is possible with conventional, non-tipped bullets.
We have heard such claims before. Plastic tips are good, so long as they are inserted perfectly in the bullet. But sometimes they are crooked (off-axis) — we’ve seen that with various brands of tipped projectiles. Other factors will affect bullet performance as well, such as bullet weight, bullet diameter, and bullet bearing surface length. Even with perfectly uniform bullet tips, if bullet weights or diameters are inconsistent across a sample, you can still have accuracy issues (and pressure-related velocity variances). Likewise, if the bearing surface lengths vary considerably from one bullet to the next, this can increase velocity spread and otherwise have a deleterious effect on accuracy.
So, overall, we think Hornady has probably engineered a better bullet tip, which is a good thing. On the other hand there are many other factors (beyond tip uniformity) involved in long-range bullet performance. It will be interesting to test the new ELD Match bullets to see how they compare with the best hollow point jacketed bullets from other manufacturers.
MORE TECHNICAL DETAILS
* Hornady’s Chief Ballistician Dave Emary authored a technical report based on the Doppler Radar testing of a variety of tipped Bullets. CLICK HERE for Emary Report. Here are some of the report’s key observations and conclusions:
After early testing of prototype bullets it was observed that all currently manufactured tipped projectiles’ drag curves were convex, not concave and that abnormally low ballistic coefficients were being observed over long ranges. The drag was rapidly increasing at high velocities.
At this point extensive testing was done with all types of commercially-available tipped projectiles. They all exhibited this behavior to a greater or lesser extent depending on their ballistic coefficient and launch velocity. Most projectiles exhibited BCs relatively close to published values for 150 to 200 yards of flight. Beyond these distances they all showed BCs substantially below published values.
It was obvious that something was changing in the tipped projectiles to cause a rapid increase in drag at higher velocities. The drag increases were most noticeable from 100 to about 500 yards. Drag increases stopped at velocities below approximately 2,100 fps. This behavior was not observed with hollow point or exposed lead (spitzer) style designs. The problem magnified as the velocity was increased. The problem was worse for heavier, higher-BC projectiles that maintained higher velocities longer. After some consideration the answer was obvious and one that several people had wondered about for some time but had no way to prove their thoughts.
The tip of a bullet at 3,000 fps will see temperatures as high as 850 degrees F and decreasing as
the bullet slows down. These temperatures on the tip were a known fact. What wasn’t known was how long it would take at these peak and decreasing temperatures for the polymer tips to begin showing effects, if at all. As it turns out it is within the first 100 yards of flight. Currently-used polymers in projectile tips begin to have properties like rubber at approximately -65 to 50 degrees F and will melt at 300 to 350 degrees F, depending on the exact polymer.
All current polymer-tipped projectiles have tips that are at best softening and deforming in flight and under many circumstances melting and badly deforming. To cut through a lot of technical discussion the problem becomes worse at higher ambient air temperatures (summer) and higher launch velocities. Projectiles that have a high BC and retain velocity well see higher stagnation temperatures for longer lengths of time and have greater degradation of the tip. Simply put it is a heat capacity problem –temperature times time. This makes BCs for current tipped projectiles a rough average over some distance, dependent on atmospheric conditions and muzzle velocity, and does not allow the accurate prediction of downrange ballistics much beyond 400 yards.
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Nightforce has announced a limited re-release of its NXS 2.5-10x24mm scope, with enhancements. The 2.5-10 NXS has been discontinued since 2008, but has been requested by customers for several years due to its small size and successful use with the Mk12 5.56 Special Purpose Rifle (SPR) program. This slim, compact (9.9″ OAL) design has been popular for AR-platform rifles and hunting/safari rifles.
This limited run of NXS 2.5-10x25mm scopes will be offered with MOAR™ or Mil-R™ reticles at a $1,950.00 MSRP (street price should be lower). These scopes should be available by the first week of November from four retailers: EuroOptic, Sport Optics, Mile High Shooting Accessories, MidwayUSA.
Upgraded Controls for NXS 2.5-10x24mm
This limited run of NXS 2.5-10x24mm scopes will have some modern enhancements. A Nightforce PTL (Power Throw Lever), allows quick magnification changes even while wearing gloves. The elevation and windage turrets are updated, providing positive click-feel and easy-to-read numbers. Click values are 1/4 MOA (20 MOA per revolution) or .1 Mil-Radian (5 Mil-Rad per revolution). An elevation ZeroStop and capped windage adjustment are standard.
Click Image to download NXS 2.5-10x24mm Flyer in PDF Format:
The late Bill Myers was recognized as one of greatest rimfire smiths who ever lived. Myers crafted many match-winning, record-setting rimfire benchrest rigs. Here we feature one of Bill’s most interesting creations — a clamping action that allows a rimfire barrel to be indexed (rotated) around the bore axis.
Bill was a creative thinker, and his own exhaustive testing has convinced him that barrel indexing can enhance accuracy in rimfire benchrest guns. Myers did acknowledge that, particularly with a very good barrel, the advantages of indexing may be subtle, and extensive testing may be required. Nonetheless, Myers believed that indexing could improve rimfire accuracy.
Indexing with the Myers’ Clamping Action
To index the barrel, Myers simply loosens the three clamping-bolts and rotates the barrel in the action. Because there is no thread to pull the barrel in or out, the headspace stays the same no matter how much the barrel is rotated. In other words you can rotate the barrel to any position on the clockface and the headspace remains unchanged.
The Challenge of Barrel Indexing
With a conventional barrel installation, employing a shoulder with a threaded tenon, it is difficult to index the barrel. Even with a cone breech (photo right) that eliminates the problem of extractor cuts, you’d have to use shims to alter the barrel index position, or otherwise re-set the shoulder each time you screwed the barrel in further.
Clamping Action Allows Barrel to Be Rotated to Any Position
Bill has come up with a masterful solution to barrel indexing. He designed and built his own prototype custom action that clamps the barrel rather than holding it with threads. The front section of the action is sliced lengthways, and then clamped down with three bolts. A special bushing (the gold-color piece in photos) fits between the barrel and the action. By using bushings of different inside diameters, Bill can fit any barrel up to an inch or so diameter, so long as it has a straight contour at the breech end. To mount the barrel, Bill simply places the fitted bushing over the barrel end-shank, then slips the “sleeved” barrel into the front end of the action. Tighten three bolts, and the barrel is secure.
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Dave Diana is a clever fellow. He not only fabricated his own wireless Target Cam system, but he invented a mount that places the receiver/monitor unit conveniently next to his bench rifle. The hooded view-screen actually mounts to his SEB front Rest via a bracket. The monitor unit includes wireless receiver and a short directional antenna (see below):
Dave says his new CCTV monitor bracket on the SEB NEO rest is “working as planned”. However, after taking these photos, Dave did make a modification. Dave explained: “I found moving the monitor over to the left-hand side was more shooter-friendly. I can stay in a natural shooting position, look at the screen, see my windflags and shoot with little movement. The next task is to add a coffee cup holder somewhere to house my group tightener double expresso!”
Target Cam Monitor Has Built-In Receiver
Dave built a very nice system. He tells us: “The security camera is a 27x power zoom camera housed in a weather proof case that also houses the wireless transmitter. The monitor has a built-in receiver, and I am running spiral polarized antennas on both ends. The system will run all day long on the waterproof-cased, game-camera batteries.”
Here are the internals of the wireless camera system. Note the antenna at right.
Here is the entire system, with monitor/receiver placed conventionally on a tripod. Batteries are housed in waterproof plastic cases.
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If two barrels are better than one, then why not three? That’s the thinking behind the exotic new BD14 from Blaser, unveiled at the 2014 IWA Show in Germany. This “bockdrilling” three-barrel firearm works as a shotgun, large-caliber rifle, and small-caliber rifle all in one. Even with all those barrels, the BD14 is relatively light, at 3.3 kg (7.26 lbs) without optics. That makes this a nice, carry-around gun for stalking. As you’d expect from Blaser, the twin triggers are crisp and precise, with a pull weight of just 1.43 lbs (650 grams). The front trigger is for the large-caliber rifle barrel, while the rear trigger works both the shotgun and small-caliber barrels, via a tang-mounted selector. Sorry, we don’t yet have a USA-market price on this example of gun-making exotica, but you can bet it will be expensive.
Here’s what Blaser USA has to say about its unique three-barreled BD14:
“The ‘Bockdrilling’ is, put simply, an over/under (O/U) rifle-shotgun combination with a smaller caliber rifle-barrel… on the side. The barrel arrangement [allows] for an extremely slender receiver, making the BD 14 exceptionally huntable.
The brand new Vertical Block Lockup…has been filed for patent. It combines an extremely compact and solid block lockup in a closed system within the monoblock with the comfortable handling of a classic break-action rifle.
The double lock permits, if needed, a rapid second shot, the front trigger always releasing the large rifle-caliber. The … barrel selector actives the shotgun barrel when in position ‘top’ and activates the smaller rifle caliber in position ‘bottom’.”
Story idea from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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If you’ve been following the tactical message boards, you’ll hear a lot of buzz about FrogLube CLP. Among the zillions of gun cleaner/lubes on the market, FrogLube stands out for its ability to work well even in challenging environments. Intended for U.S. Navy SEAL operators’ use in extreme environments, FrogLube was developed by Larry Lasky (Captain, USN retired), a former Navy SEAL officer. FrogLube’s blend of ingredients has been extensively field tested. The makers of FrogLube claim that fouling is dramatically reduced in FrogLube-treated firearms. FrogLube is a decent carbon-cutter and it also provides protection against rust and corrosion (though there are better rust preventers on the market, such as Eezox).
NOTE: Don’t expect FrogLube to remove copper fouling in the barrel — you’ll need a real copper solvent, such as Montana X-Treme. Overall, though, as a general purpose CLP, FrogLube performs well.
I was introduced to this product by a Sig armorer. I tried it. I loved it. It works. Period. Just like everyone else is saying here. Here is my break down of it as a CLP. The “C”: I have found that putting it on warm metal makes it work great…just like they say. I rub the paste on, let it sit and penetrate. A few minutes later….wipe it off. Clean enough to eat on. I even tried it on my mountain bike chain and components after running out of degreaser. Worked better than anything I have ever tried. The “L”: Once you use it on the parts you will notice it’s still there, having saturated the parts. Great for lube and goes a long way. The “P”: I hunt waterfowl in very rugged and sloppy conditions. The thing about this product is that when they say it saturates the metal, it truly does. Great protective features. It’s still on there and after all that moisture not speck of rust anywhere, unlike even the best of of other CLPs. — J. Zabick
Crazy Good — This stuff is amazing. I use it on my knives, razors and, of course, guns. It smells great, leaves no oily residue and cleans like nothing else I have used. Get the paste and the oil because sometimes the oil is called for and sometimes you need the paste. Can’t recommend it enough. I have already ordered more. — K. Chariton
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Here’s a unique product that may be useful for practice sessions at 400 yards and beyond. Birchwood Casey now offers high-contrast, White/Black versions of its popular Shoot-N-C targets. There are four types of Shoot-N-C White/Black targets: 8″ Bulls-Eye X (#34802), 12″ Bulls-Eye X (#34019), and 12″ multi-diamond target (#34219), and 12″ x 18″ silhouette (#34615).
On all White/Black Shoot-N-C target types, the target background is all-white, and a large black “halo” or circle appears around each bullet hole. This makes the bullet impact much easier to see at long range. Normally it is very difficult to see 6mm (and smaller) bullet holes past 500 yards or so, unless conditions are absolutely perfect. At 800 or 1000 yards it can be nearly impossible to see even 30-caliber bullet holes in conventional paper targets. With these new white/black Shoot-N-C targets the large black ring surrounding each hit can be seen fairly easily, even at extreme ranges. NOTE: These targets work great with a target-cam — even if you have a monochrome monitor.
BIG news in the shooting sports industry — Ruger has entered the ammo business. Ruger now offers high-tech handgun ammunition, using licensed polymer-composite, lead-free bullet technology. According to the Shooting Wire: “Ruger’s new lead-free ammunition will be produced under a licensing agreement with Savannah, Georgia-based PolyCase Ammunition.”
Ruger’s new ARX line of lead-free ammo features injection-molded bullets that are much lighter than conventional projectiles, caliber by caliber: 56 grains for .380 ACP, 74 grains for 9x19mm, 107 grains for .40 SW, and 114 grains for .45 ACP. The lighter bullets fly faster, but ARX ammo still offers reduced perceived recoil.
Ruger ARX Ammo with Injection-Molded Matrix Bullets
The fluted projectiles are injection-molded from a copper/polymer matrix. This offers many advantages. First, being completing lead-free, these bullets can be used at indoor facilities that prohibit lead-based ammo. Second, because the composite bullets weigh 30% less than comparable lead-based projectiles, shooters experience noticeably less recoil (even though velocities are higher). Third, the composite matrix bullet has low-ricochet properties. When these bullets strike metal, they are designed to disintegrate (into a powder), rather than ricochet. This makes them well-suited for indoor use, or use with metal plates.
Shooting Wire Editor Jim Shepherd reports that ARX ammo delivers on its low-recoil promise: “Having spent time testing the PolyCase ammunition (largely in Ruger firearms), I know the reduction in felt recoil isn’t just hype. While firing PolyCase ARX ammunition in calibers ranging from .380 in small concealed carry pistols (including a Ruger’s LCP) up to .458 SOCOM in modern sporting rifles, the lessened felt recoil was noticeable.”
PolyCase Molded Bullet Design Technology
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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