May 25th, 2019

New Carbon-Wrapped Barrels from Helix 6 Precision

Helix 6 Precision Barrel carbon fiber proof research

Are you looking to shave POUNDS from your hunting rig or varmint rifle? There is a new option for folks looking for a weight-saving, carbon fiber-wrapped barrel. You’ve probably heard about Proof Research. That’s a good company that crafts good products. But now Proof Research has some competition — Helix 6 Precision in Washington State.

Helix 6 Precision Barrel carbon fiber proof research

Helix 6 Precision crafts button-rifled, carbon-wrapped barrels in both conventional and “pre-fit” configurations. Pre-fits are offered for Savage rifles as well as the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) series. These pre-fit barrels are not cheap. A 6.5 Creedmoor RPR pre-fit costs $995.00, while the Savage pre-fits are also just under a grand. The conventional barrel blanks cost $895.00 in .224, .243, .264, .284, and .308 calibers. The larger .338 caliber barrels run $945.00.

Helix 6 Precision Barrel carbon fiber proof research

While Helix 6 barrels do offer significant weight savings, the founders of Helix 6 say low mass wasn’t the number one design goal: “Accuracy was paramount and weight reduction was secondary. We’ve taken the industry’s most advanced carbon fiber engineering and pushed the technology further with our proprietary … carbon fiber process.”

The founders of Helix 6 Precision say they build some of the best carbon/steel hybrid barrels on the market: “Our unique carbon fiber-layup design dampens barrel harmonics for better accuracy. Each barrel is cut from a 416R stainless steel core, and carbon fiber-wrapped using the Helix 6 Precision’s advanced process. This creates match-grade accuracy barrels with high heat dispersion that are 30% lighter than a steel barrel of the same contour. The bores are … hand-lapped for precision accuracy.” Helix 6 claims its barrels are “lighter, stronger, and faster cooling than anything else available on the market.”

Myth vs. Reality — What Carbon Can and Cannot Do

Carbon fiber is formed using thin strands of carbon bonded together with a plastic polymer resin. The resulting material is very strong and light weight. There’s a reason Formula 1 cars are crafted with carbon-fiber composites. But is a carbon-wrapped barrel the right option for you? Here are some factors to consider:

Weight Savings — There’s no doubt that a carbon-wrapped barrel will weigh less than an unfluted stainless steel barrel with identical length and contour (outside diameters). Helix 6 claims a 30% weight reduction compared to a conventional stainless steel barrel. That’s significant.

Accuracy — Carbon-wrapped barrels are NOT commonly being used for F-Class or Benchrest competition. However, Proof Research carbon-wrapped barrels have performed well in PRS competitions in the hands of top shooters. So, we can conclude that carbon accuracy is good enough for the PRS/NRL tactical game, at least at the local club level.

Heat Dispersion — Carbon-wrapped barrel-makers claim their hybrid design disperses heat better than an all-steel barrel. Some independent testers disagree, saying: “hold on now — the carbon actually acts as an insulator, so more heat is retained in the barrel”. The jury is still out. One thing that is true is that the carbon barrels seem to generate less mirage from barrel heat. Ask yourself, “if less heat is coming OFF the barrel, where is that heat retained?” But the reduced mirage could be a function of the black woven surface which may release heat differently than polished steel.

Standard, Pre-Fit, and Custom Barrel Options
Helix 6 Precision barrels are available as pre-fit barrels for both Savage and the Ruger Precision Rifle in many popular long-range cartridges. Barrel blanks are sold in five calibers from .224 to .338. Helix 6 can also thread and chamber a barrel for any precision rifle. Helix 6 Precision also builds one-off barrels to fit individual needs.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
May 21st, 2019

New McMillan A-10 Stock for Smaller-Stature Shooters

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Not all rifle shooters are created equal…

Some have smaller stature. Ladies, on average, have smaller torsos and shorter arms than men. Junior shooters are also smaller than adults. For all these types of competitors, particularly ladies and juniors, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks has created the new A-10 stock. This new stock is shorter, lighter, and more compact than other popular McMillan stocks, such as the A-5 and A-6. It has a modified, more-forward grip, and the LOP adjusts down to 12 inches.

The A-10 incorporates features of McMillan’s popular tactical stocks but in a more compact format to match the ergonomic needs of smaller-frame shooters. The new A-10 is a well-balanced tactical design that combines a thinner forearm like the A3-5, a butt hook similar to the A-5, and the sleek lines of the A-6.

The vertical grip is positioned further forward than other A-series stocks, which allows for a more relaxed 90-degree trigger finger placement and shorter trigger reach — perfect for shooters with smaller hands. The grip also features a small shelf to assist in consistent hand placement and reduce fatigue. To further accommodate smaller-frame shooters, the adjustable buttstock can deliver a length-of-pull as short as 12 inches. An adjustable cheek-riser ensures optimal head alignment.

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Britainy McMillan, McMillan VP of Operations, explained how the A-10 was developed:

“We consulted many of the top shooters in the country throughout the R&D process of the A-10, including Regina Milkovich, one of the top competitors in PRS competition. We wanted to know what the pros would like to see in a precision stock, and the result is the A-10.

We feel this is the optimal rifle platform not only for women and other small-stature shooters, but especially for the youth shooter. The overall design, coupled with full adjustability in length-of-pull and cheek piece height, provides a stock that younger shooters can ‘grow with and not grow out of.’ We also went with the A-10 designation because this is a totally new stock in the McMillan lineup.”

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Permalink New Product, Tactical No Comments »
May 17th, 2019

Got Gong? Cool New Printed Gongs from Field & Cave Outfitters

field & cave outfitters color printing gong ar ar500 ar550 steel armor plate special

Here’s a cool new product offering from Field & Cave Outfitters (FNC). For years, FNC has offered very high-quality steel targets made from tough AR550 and AR500 armor steel. New for 2019, Field & Cave is offering 10″-diameter steel Gongs with printed designs. Multiple design options are offered including an IBS-type 600-yard blue/white bullseye, 4-bullseye red/white pattern, and a version with seven (7) crosses with diamond centers, based on AccurateShooter’s popular load development target.

These cool new 10″ printed gongs are all reasonably priced. The cost is $22.99 with 3/8″-thick AR500 armor steel, or $31.99 with heavier, 1/2″-thick AR550 armor steel. And for just $2.00 more per plate, you can get printing on BOTH front and back sides of the gong.

field & cave outfitters color printing gong ar ar500 ar550 steel armor plate special

Field & Cave Outfitters can also print a custom design with the name of a range, or a specialized graphic. This could include the title of a match or sanctioning organization and be awarded as a TROPHY. We love the idea of a Gong Trophy — an Steel Gong is WAY more useful than a wood plaque that will just gather dust in the closet. We predict Gong Trophies will become popular with shooters and match directors alike.

How long does the printed pattern last? Well that depends on how many hits you make and the calibers you shoot. FNC’s Travis Frazer explains: “Sure, you’re gonna shoot the printed designs and paint over them eventually, but we aren’t charging much for the printing service, either — just $3.00 for one side, $5.00 for both. Compare our printed prices to others without it, and I think you’ll agree.”

Pricing for Customized Trophy Gongs
Travis tells us: “We’re also offering printed gongs as trophies for match directors. Pricing will be about $50 per LOT for the artwork and about $5.00 each to print, plus the price of the gong itself. It should be about the same or less than what guys pay for plaques or trophies, and in my opinion, much cooler and more useful. Contact us through the website for more details.”

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May 15th, 2019

Peterson Cartridge Now Produces Loaded Ammunition

Peterson Cartridge ammo ammunition
Peterson now offers 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, and .300 Norma Mag loaded ammo.

Peterson Cartridge, a leading USA-based cartridge brass maker, is expanding its product line. Peterson recently announced that it will produce loaded ammunition. This new Peterson Precision Ammunition, of course, features Peterson brass, along with bullets from Berger, Hornady, and Sierra. There will be four (4) ammo types initially: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win Match, and .300 Norma Mag. (NOTE: We’ve also seen a photo labeled “7mm” so perhaps a .284 Win is on its way, or maybe a 7mm SAUM?)

The ammo is reasonably priced. For example, the 6.5 Creedmoor ammo costs $35.00 for 20 cartridges, or $1.75 per round. Here are the product specs for the four cartridge types currently offered. You can access Full DROP CHARTS by clicking each photo below.

6mm Creedmoor Peterson cartridge ammo Ammunition

6mm Creedmoor
Projectile: Hornady 108 Grain ELDM
Velocity: 3080 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.536

6.5 Creedmoor Peterson Cartridge ammo ammunition

6.5 Creedmoor
Projectile 1: Sierra 142 Grain SMK
Velocity: 2700 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.595
Projectile 2: Hornady 140 Grain ELDM
Velocity: 2750 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.646
Projectile 3: Hornady 147 Grain ELDM
Velocity: 2650 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.697

Peterson Cartridge .308 Win Winchester ammo ammunition

.308 Win Match
Projectile 1: Sierra 168 Grain Tipped MatchKing
Velocity: 2803 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.535
Projectile 2: Sierra 175 Grain Tipped MatchKing
Velocity: N/A
G1 BC: 0.545

Peterson Cartridge .300 300 Norma mag magnum ammunition ammo

.300 Norma Magnum
Projectile: Berger 215 Grain Hybrid Target
Velocity: 2950 FPS (24″ bbl)
G1 BC: 0.696

This ammo is all assembled in the USA, using Peterson brass and American components: “The entire manufacturing process, from creating the brass to loading the full rounds of precision ammunition takes place in our manufacturing facility located in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. Peterson Cartridge is dedicated to producing the best American-Made ammunition possible.”

Peterson Cartridge
761 Commonwealth Drive, Suite 201
Warrendale, PA 15086
Phone: (724) 940-7552
Email: info@petersoncartridge.com

Peterson ammo tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
May 14th, 2019

Precision Expander Mandrels from 21st Century Shooting

21st Century Shooting expander mandrels die body precision

You can benefit from these precision mandrels, trust us…

Controlling cartridge neck tension is a critical aspect of accurate reloading. A very small change in the amount of grip on the bullet can actually have a noticeable effect on accuracy (and group size). You can tune neck tension with different size bushings used with FL-sizing or neck-sizing dies. You can also adjust neck “grip” by annealing your brass, or turning your necks for reduced neck-wall thickness.

But perhaps the most precise way to tune neck grip on the bullet is to use Precision Expander Mandrels. Many top shooters size their case necks down pretty far with a full-length sizing die then use a precision neck mandrel as a final step. This expands the neck back to the precisely-desired neck diameter. Because you are working from the “inside out”, variances in neck-wall thickness become less important. This also ensures you have a perfectly-round internal neck geometry for seating your bullet. (Yes, unfortunately some neck bushings are not perfectly round inside.)

For guys who want ultra-precise control over neck tension (and “grip” on the bullet), 21st Century Shooting now offers Precision Expander Mandrels in .0005 (one-half thousandth) increments. These will be available for most popular match calibers including: .224, 6mm, .25, 6.5mm, .270, 7mm, .308, and .338 calibers. These mandrels cost $17.99 each, or you can get a complete set of nine mandrels in .0005 increments (for one caliber) for $144.99. Listed below are the nine 6mm mandrels:

21st Century Shooting expander mandrels die body precision

John Perkins, owner of 21st Century tells us: “Finally! We have our expander mandrels up and ready to order on our website here: http://www.xxicsi.com/expander-mandrels.html.” This is a big deal. James Crofts, past National F-TR Champion, says “WooHoo — great news!”

To get best results with these precision mandrels, John recommends using the 21st Century Expander Die Body, part #904. Watch video for set-up tips:

John adds: “We are still in the midst of turning all of these so some calibers will ship when they are completed. Should have them all done by end of next week or so! Thanks for your patience while we got these set up and in process!”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 8th, 2019

SHOT Show 2019 — Shooting USA TV Product Showcase

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter

SHOT Show Special Episode on May 8, 2019
If you watch just one episode of Shooting USA TV this year, it should be this week’s SHOT Show Special. Tonight, May 8, 2019, enjoy a full hour of SHOT Show coverage at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central. Jim Scoutten’s team works hard every January, bringing you highlights from the gun industry’s largest trade show. Jim, son John Scoutten, and other staffers prowled the 12 miles of aisles in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, visiting many of the 1,600+ exhibitors. This episode provides a “first look” at the new guns, optics, and gear introduced for 2019. Click HERE to learn more about this week’s 2019 SHOT Show episode.

2019 SHOT Show Highlights: Ruger Precision Rimfire, Hornady 300 PRC, JP MR-19, Kestrel HUD, Manners Stocks, Savage MSR-10, Volquartsen Ultralite, Walter Q5 Match, and much more.

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter

Shooting USA Hour AIR TIMES
Shooting USA’s SHOT Show Special will air for a full hour on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 on the Outdoor Channel. Here are the air times, but you should check your local schedule. Look for Shooting USA TV on the Outdoor Channel.

Wednesday Night Schedule:
Eastern Time – 9:00 PM
Central Time – 8:00 PM
Mountain Time – Check Listings
Pacific Time – 9:00 PM

Here are some of the 50+ new products featured on the SHOT Show Special:

Ruger Precision Rimfire
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
JP Enterprises MR-19
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Hornady 300 PRC
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Kestrel HUD Display
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Manners Stocks CS2-S
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2018 AccurateShooter
Walter Q5 Match
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2019 AccurateShooter
Sig Sauer 9mm P365
Sig P365 9mm SHOT Show 2018 shooting usa
Volquartsen UltraLite 17 HM2
 SHOT Show 2019 shooting usa

Savage MSR 10 Competition
Savage MSR SHOT Show 2019 shooting usa
Bushnell LMSS Spotter with Red Dot
 SHOT Show 2019 shooting usa
Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Handguns, New Product, News 1 Comment »
May 8th, 2019

Good Books for Gun Guys — Popular Print Publications

Creedmoor sports gun book title read crossword puzzle
Photo courtesy Nightforce Optics.

In these days of Smart Phones, WiFi-equipped cars, and Alexa digital assistants, conventional books may seem old-fashioned. But for presenting a wide range of information, with charts, tables, photos, and a handy index, there is much to be said for conventional paper publications. These can be used anywhere and anytime, even where there is no cell service. You can annotate the pages with your own comments, and make simple, manual bookmarks for your most-used pages.

Thankfully there are still many great books for shooters in print. Creedmoor Sports has a large library of books in stock, with many currently on sale. Plus Creedmoor Sports offers FREE Shipping with code CS19 for orders over $99.00. On Creedmoor Sports’ Book/Video page, there are dozens of great offerings. You can search by format, author, price, and even shooting discipline.

Here are six of Creedmoor Sports’ most popular book titles:

Creedmoor Sports books title sale discount

Here’s an interesting book for gun owners. Get away from the TV and test your skills on these gun-centric crossword puzzles. The Shooters Book uses terms and names relating to firearms, their use, and development. At 178 pages, this crossword puzzle/word search book offers something for all firearm enthusiasts. Each crossword puzzle has correlated word searches included to help solve it.

Creedmoor Sports books title sale discount

Permalink New Product, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
May 6th, 2019

Bargain Finder 189: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Gensec Armament — 17 HMR Rossi RB17 Rifle, $135.99

Rossi RB17 17 HMR sale rifle varmint Hornady Magnum rimfire varminter

If you enjoy hunting small varmints (such as ground squirrels), or plinking out to 200 yards, you really should get a 17 HMR. This little rimfire cartridge is very effective on small varmints and is much flatter shooting than a .22 LR. What 17 HMR to buy? Well if you’re on a tight budget, consider the Rossi RB17. This handy bolt gun boasts a nicely designed stock, a 5-round magazine, 21″ barrel, plus scope bases attached to the action. And you can get one for under $140! Right now the RB17 is just $135.99 at Gensec Armament and $136.48 at Guns Midwest. (Compare More Vendors).

2. Krieger Barrels — Discounted Overstock Barrels

krieger barrels

Krieger barrels have a strong tradition of being at the top of leaderboards year after year. But like any good barrel company they often need to be ordered months ahead of time. A little-known secret is that Krieger maintains a supply of Krieger overstock barrels that are priced to move and available right now. These are absolutely first-run quality, but just represent excess volume in particular contours and calibers. We’ve ordered Krieger overstock barrels and have never been disappointed — especially when the barrel shows up a week later.

3. Grizzly Industrial — Bald Eagle Slingshot Rest, $129.97

bald eagle front rifle rest

Maybe you’re just getting into F-Class or just need a good stable front rest to shoot from and don’t want to spend a ton of money on one. Don’t worry because Grizzly now has the Bald Eagle BE1129 aluminum slingshot rest for an amazingly low $129.97 Closeout price. Just add your favorite front bag and you’re ready to go with a competition quality elevation adjustable rest. They also have the Bald Eagle BE1209 – Big Fifty Rest on sale now for $205.00, nearly 50% off. With a much wider span and cast-iron legs, the Big Fifty is designed for larger guns up to .50 caliber. Either way, these rests are a great value.

4. Bullet Central — Buy BAT Action + Bix’N Andy Trigger, Save $50

bat action bix n andy trigger

BAT actions are certainly some of the finest actions on the market. Likewise, Bix’n Andy triggers are some of the very best triggers. However, it’s rare to see either of them on sale. For a limited time, Bullet Central is offering a $50 DISCOUNT with the purchase of a Bat action plus a Bix’n Andy trigger. This is about as good a deal as you’ll find on either product. If a new gun build is in your future this is a good time to pick up a premium action and trigger and save some bucks in the process.

5. Amazon — Caldwell Stable Table Lite, $109.99

Caldwell stable table

Here’s a great product for varmint hunters, and shooters who test their rifles in locations without fixed benches. Yes there are other portable benches, but these may weigh over 120 pounds and cost hundreds of dollars. The Caldwell Caldwell Stable Table Lite is a affordable, transportable option. The stable table weighs under 30 pounds and costs about $110.00. That makes it very viable as a movable varmint bench. This weatherproof folding table folds flat and is only about 8″ thick when packed up.

Photos don’t do this product justice, guys. You should really watch the video to see how the Stable Table Lite works. The video shows how the table deploys easily and how you can swing the seat to either side. Any shooter looking for a light-weight, affordable, easily-transported shooting table should definitely consider this product.

6. Taurus G2c 9mm — $184.99 with Factory Rebate

Carry pistol $185 bargain Taurus G2C ccw handgun review discount sales

This is a good little gun at a great price. Taurus is running a factory rebate through the end of May 2013. Palmetto State Armory has the OD Green-frame Taurus G2c 9mm for just $209.99 with FREE shipping. But the Taurus $25 Factory Rebate lowers your price to just $184.99 for this G2c. Or, if you like basic black, you can get a black-framed G2c for $174.99 after rebate. Despite its small size, the G2c has a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

7. Natchez — Hornady Lock-N-Load Headspace Gauge, $33.49

hornady headspace gauge

Are you checking your headspace to ensure you’re pushing your shoulders back the correct amount? If you’re aren’t using a tool like the Hornady Headspace Gauge with 5 bushings then you are just guessing and you’ll never know for sure. Using one of the headspace gauges is one of the best ways to control your full-length sizing and thereby improve the consistency of your handloads.

8. Costco — Cannon 72-Gun Executive Safe, $749.99 Delivered

Cannon CS72 Executive 72-gun safe vault delivered sale $749.99

Right now CostCo is offering the Cannon CS72 Executive Series 72-Gun Safe for just $749.99 DELIVERED! That’s a great price for a HUGE safe with 43.8 cubic feet of internal space. This 649-pound behemoth measures 59″H x 45″W x 28″D and weight 696 pounds (over 1/3 of a ton!). This is built strong with 1″ thick composite door, six 1″-diameter locking bolts, and 60-minute fire rating. NOTE: The $749.99 price includes “Standard shipping via common carrier” to the lower 48 states. This is a great value. You could easily pay $1600 or more for a safe this size from a local vendor.

9. Amazon — Caldwell Front and Rear Bag Set (Unfilled), $20.16

Caldwell deadshot front rear bag sandbag sale varminter
Caldwell deadshot front rear bag sandbag sale varminter

This is a functional, “field expedient” system that’s easy to haul around and only costs $20.16. Varminters can keep these bags in a vehicle for deployment any time. Act quick — this is a special sale price at Amazon.com. This unfilled bag combo sells for up to $33.00 elsewhere. This inexpensive system works surprisingly well, particularly with “standard” rifles with narrow fore-ends. Rather than sand, you can fill with rice or media to make the bags lighter. This system features a heavy-duty clip and D-Ring for linking the two bags for easy carry. Caldwell DeadShot bags are crafted from durable, water-resistant 600 denier polyester. Bag dimensions (filled) are: FRONT 11″ x 8.5″ X 6″; REAR 5″ x 5″ x 4.5″.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, New Product, Optics No Comments »
May 4th, 2019

ELR Steel Shooting with Field & Cave Outfitters

Travis frazier field cave outfitters texas ranch one mile steel ELR extreme long range giant gong
These targets were set at one mile (1760 yards). Travis Frazer (with rifle) and friend Curtis went a combined 5 for 5 at this distance.

They say that “Everything is Bigger in Texas”. Well that’s apparently true, at least when it comes to steel targets — really BIG steel targets. Our friends at Field & Cave Outfitters (FCO), based in Mesquite, Texas, recently delivered a trailer-load of super-sized steel targets to a large ranch. The Field & Cave team placed a total of 117 steel targets on 34 frames at distances from 25 yards to 1760 yards (one statute mile).

Travis frazier field cave outfitters texas ranch one mile steel ELR extreme long range giant gong
It took Field & Cave Outfitters a big trailer to haul 117 steel targets.

Naturally, after setting the targets up (on 34 frames), Travis Frazer and buddy Curtis Attaway tested the steel — with considerable success. In fact, Travis and Curtis managed to go five-for-five with the One Mile targets. That’s mighty impressive when you consider neither man had ever shot past 1200 yards before. Travis provides a yardage-by-yardage account of his Steel Shooting Adventure below. Enjoy!

Travis frazier field cave outfitters texas ranch one mile steel ELR extreme long range giant gong
Along with the jumbo-sized targets for Extreme Long Range (ELR), Field & Cave Outfitters supplied numerous smaller gongs and plates for shorter distances, starting at 25 yards.

Building a Rifle Shooter’s Paradise and Ringing Steel at One Mile

By Travis Frazer, Field & Cave Outfitters

Friend and gunsmith Johnathon Stigall of Crimson Accuracy introduced me to a customer looking to build a private range on his very expansive ranch. Curtis Attaway, a fellow shooting nut, served as facilitator for the ranch owners who ordered a vast array — 117 steel targets and 34 frames to be set up from 25 yards to a full mile. The largest was a 63″-diameter round gong cut from 3/8″ A46100 armor to serve as a One Milliradian-sized target at one mile. (Meaning the diameter of the target equals 1 Mil at 1 Mile.)

“What do you get the guy that has everything — several sections of land, a range out to one mile? Lots of steel, naturally. We delivered 117 steel targets and 34 frames!” — Travis Frazer

After about eight weeks of production time, we delivered and set up the targets in late April 2019. Upon arrival at the property, Curtis and I met the ranch manager and two hands. Luckily we had a tractor, truck, trailer, and mobile power — all the tools necessary to get things done. We worked from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm and only managed to get the long-range rifle targets set. We put steel at 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 750, 1000, 1100, 1320 (3/4 mile), 1450, 1600, and 1760 yards (1 mile). All the targets were accessible from the same elevated shooting position on the side of a hill.

Travis frazier field cave outfitters texas ranch one mile steel ELR extreme long range giant gong

Shooting Steel from 200 Yards to One Mile
Luckily, after the work was done there was still some daylight left. Optical conditions were near perfect and the wind, while still pretty stiff, had come around to straight out of 6 O’Clock. Curtis brought his 6.5×55 Swede and 28 Nosler. I brought my 6.5×47 Lapua hunting rifle. We took turns shooting — Curtis was prone on his UTV trailer, I was lying in the bed of my truck. We started at 200 yards, each shooting a single round at a steel torso silhouette. We continued taking one shot per distance, making adjustments to what our ballistic APPs suggested, based on the observed impacts on the targets. We continued scoring first-round hits until we reached one thousand yards. After a few shots, getting centered at 1K, we continued on, hitting more than we missed.

Travis frazier field cave outfitters texas ranch one mile steel ELR extreme long range giant gong

I ran out of elevation trying to engage the 1450-yard target. I needed 67 MOA of “up” and only had 60. After three shots and zero hits with varying amounts of hold-over on a Full Scale IPSC torso, I called it quits with the little 47.

Meanwhile, Curtis put a 195gr Berger out of his 28 Nosler on a half-inch-thick AR550 torso at 200 yards to confirm his zero and stress-test the steel. Both passed with flying colors. After that, it was straight to 1100 yards where he scored a first-shot hit, then followed it up with a second shot about two inches to the right. He continued to walk it out, scoring a first round hit at 1320 then 1600. We couldn’t see the hit at 1600 because a tree line obscured the lower third of the 58″ diameter gong. We only knew he hit it because of the glorious ring!

Knowing that he hit it low, Curtis dialed up to one mile, but ran out of travel three minutes short. He backed the power down to 24X so his reticle would subtend properly, held the three minutes and let one fly. He was rewarded with a first-, second-, and third-round hits — the third being almost perfectly centered on the 63-incher. He let me get behind the trigger and told me where to hold. I hit the 63″ gong on the first try, so I decided to give the smaller, half-Mil 37″ target a shot.

That two and a half-second flight time seemed like an eternity. I had resigned to the fact that I missed… but then I saw the 37″ plate swing with the impact. Incredible! The impact was centered horizontally, about 10″ below the top edge (see top photo). That Crimson Accuracy-smithed 28 Nosler made two newbies look like old pros at ELR. The ranch manager watching through the spotting scope couldn’t believe what he was seeing. What he didn’t know is that neither could we!

Travis frazier field cave outfitters texas ranch one mile steel ELR extreme long range giant gong

For more information on these steel targets, visit FieldandCaveOutfitters.com. You can also post questions for Travis Frazer on this AccurateShooter Forum Thread.

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April 29th, 2019

New A-Tip Match Bullets from Hornady Have Aluminum Tips

hornady aluminum atip a-tip bullet doppler radar match high-bc

Hornady has a new line of A-Tip bullets, fitted with precision aluminum tips. These machined, aluminum tips resemble the plastic tips used in many other bullets, but Hornady says its aluminum tips are longer and more uniform than typical plastic tips. Also aluminum tips will not deform during flight:

“We wanted to incorporate aluminum tips in a full line of match bullets for years because we can make longer tips than we can with polymer materials,” said Joe Thielen, Assistant Director of Engineering. “This longer tip is a key component that helps move the center of gravity of the bullet rearward, thus enhancing in-flight stability and reducing dispersion.”

hornady aluminum atip a-tip bullet doppler radar match high-bc

Hornady claims the new A-Tip bullets have more consistent bullet-to-bullet Ballistic Coefficients (BCs) than conventional fully-jacketed bullets or plastic-tipped bullets. Hornady’s new A-Tip bullets are pricey. Expect to pay from $75 to $85 per 100-ct box of 6mm, 6.5mm, and .30-Cal A-Tips. These bullets should be available by late June 2019 from Graf & Sons, Midsouth Shooters Supply, and other vendors.

There are currently five A-Tip bullet types in three calibers: 6mm (.243), 6.5mm (.264), and .308 (7.62mm). These have impressive claimed G1/G7 BCs for their respective sizes and weights. Here are the A-Tip Bullets that can be pre-ordered now for expected delivery in late June:

hornady aluminum atip a-tip bullet doppler radar match high-bc

A special A-Tip bullet seating stem (shown above) is required for optimal bullet seating. A-Tip bullet BC values have been measured at Mach 2.25 and corrected back to ICAO Standard Atmosphere (sea level, 59° F, 29.92 inHg, 0% humidity). For Mach 2.0 and Mach 1.75 BCs, go to hornady.com/BC.

A Different Kind of Packaging
Hornady delivers A-Tip bullets in lot-specific 100-count sequences. Unlike most bullets, these new A-Tips are NOT bulk-washed (presumably so as not to dent/chip the tips. Hornady provides a polishing bag.

hornady aluminum atip a-tip bullet doppler radar match high-bc

Here’s what Hornady explains:

“Right off the press, the projectiles are sequentially packed, for ultimate lot consistent performance, ensuring your projectiles are truly YOURS every step of the way. Think of it like shooting with clones of your load every time (100 in each box)! Minimal handling throughout the process means there’s less of a chance of YOUR bullet being marred, scuffed, or altered, which is why each box is packaged with a Polishing Bag for you to give the final buff to your beautiful new projectiles!”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News, Tactical 14 Comments »
April 19th, 2019

Big Berger Bullets for U.S. Military Sniper Program and ELR

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Berger Match Solids are now government-endorsed. The U.S. military has selected Berger’s .375 caliber ELR Match Solid Bullet for the Extreme Sniper Strike Operations (ESSO) program (Phase 2). The ESSO program is a U.S. government project to develop a high performance, extreme long-range sniper weapon system built on a bolt-action, magazine-fed platform.

For ESSO, .375-cal Berger solids are loaded into the .375 EnABELR (Engineered by Applied Ballistics for Extreme Long Range) cartridge. This was designed to offer .375 CheyTac performance in a slightly shorter package that mag-feeds well.

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Bryan Litz, Berger’s Chief Ballistician said: “The .375 caliber Berger ELR Match Solid Bullets were optimized for use in the ESSO project, which requires high performance and reliability over many rounds in adverse conditions. In addition to meeting the needs of our US military, the Berger Match Solids provide proven, match winning performance for the ELR competition shooter as well.”

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

ELR Match Solid Bullets drive state-of-the-art ESSO weapon systems. The EnABELR is designed to reliably engage targets at distances out to 2500 meters.

Table 1 below presents basic load data for the .375 EnABELR. Considering the Berger .375 Cal 379gr and 407gr solid bullets were developed in conjunction with the EnABELR case, load data is provided to achieve certain landmark velocities with these bullets, for a range of suitable powders. According to Applied Ballistics, with a 30″ barrel, “the .375 EnABELR can safely push the Berger 379gr Solid to 2900 fps, and the Berger 407gr Solid to 2800 fps.”

Table 1 — .375 EnABLER Load Data
Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Table 2 — .375 EnABELR Comparative Velocities
Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

Applied Ballistics notes that: “These are conservative, baseline velocities. Higher velocities are possible but the above performance is safely achievable well within pressure limits of the cartridge. Note the performance of the .375 EnABELR is driven by the high BC Berger Solid bullets. If the .375 CheyTac were loaded with the same bullets, the performance would be about the same. ”

Berger Applied Ballistics Extreme Snikper Strike Operations Solid .375 caliber enabelr Bryan Litz

About Berger Bullets
Berger manufactures precision projectiles and match-grade ammunition for Target, Hunting and Tactical applications in Mesa, AZ. Berger is part of the Capstone Precision Group, the exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Bergerbullets.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical 3 Comments »
April 18th, 2019

New Product: Barrel Blizzard Dual-Fan Cooling Device

Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

Keeping your barrel cool has many important benefits — it will definitely enhance barrel life and can help maintain accuracy over the course of long shooting sessions. Now there is a new way to quickly dissipate heat from your rifle barrel — Barrel Blizzard

The makers of BarrelCool have created a new dual-fan barrel cooling device, called the Barrel Blizzard. Each powerful fan moves 30 cubic feet of air per minute — that’s serious cooling power. This unit is powered by a common USB-style battery. The housing mounts easily to the barrel, and the twin fans can each be adjusted 360° to various angles (You can even use one to cool the gun and the second to cool the operator on a hot day). This should be available very soon at the introductory price of $74.99

Reduce Barrel Cooling Time from 45 Minutes to 10 Minutes
How well does the Barrel Blizzard work? The makers tell us: “Repeated tests show that the Barrel Blizzard cuts barrel cool-down times significantly. What might take 45 minutes, can often be reduced to less than 10 minutes. And if you combine the new Barrel Blizzard with BarrelCool, the in-chamber fan, you can get a hot barrel down to near-ambient temperature in approximately 5 minutes.”

Barrel Cool-Down Times for Barrel Blizzard Alone and Blizzard + BarrelCool
Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

Barrel Blizzard Cooling Device

We think this product will definitely be popular with varmint shooters in the summer months. Those guys may shoot hundreds of rounds in a day. Many serious varminters bring along a couple spare rifles, so that they can swap rigs when one barrel heats up. With the Barrel Blizzard they may be able to keep shooting with minimal wait time, and no rifle change-outs. Byron Sumoba, one of the designers, notes: “With a rechargeable 2600 mAh battery. We are getting about 2.5 hours of continuous use out of a battery pack.”

Who can benefit from this product? The makers say this is “For the shooter wanting to drastically reduce their load development time at the range… or the varmint hunter looking to cool that barrel down and increase barrel life.”

Barrel Blizzard Can Also Cut Mirage
This system can also cut mirage, by reducing the hot air rising from your barrel. If a mirage band is not enough on hot days, you can just rotate one of the fans to send the flow down the barrel towards the muzzle. This will help reduce mirage coming off the barrel.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
April 13th, 2019

Build Your Own Rifle with Affordable Howa Barreled Actions

Howa 1500 Mini action barreled sale action HACT trigger Brownells deal

Right now, Brownells is running a big sale on Howa Barreled Actions, in a wide variety of chamberings. You may want to pick up one of these barreled actions, which start at $259.99. We like Howa actions — they are smooth, and they feature an excellent two-stage trigger. Howa also offers a unique Mini Action, which is great for a small-caliber varmint rig.

Howa Barreled Action Basics

The above video shows the basics of the Howa barreled actions, which are offered in Mini, Standard, and Long Action versions, with dozens of chamberings, from .204 Ruger all the way up to .300 Winchester Magnum. If you’re not familiar with Howa barreled actions you should be. Each barreled action comes with Howa’s Lifetime Warranty and is guaranteed to deliver sub-MOA performance at 100-yards when using premium factory ammo. The Howa 1500 barreled action also features a crisp two-stage trigger, three-position safety, 70° bolt throw, M16-style extractor, two-lug bolt design and a flat bottom receiver with an integral recoil lug.

Howa 1500 Mini action barreled sale action HACT trigger Brownells deal

Howa Barreled Action Project Videos

Brownells has created a series of helpful videos showing how to put together an accurate rifle using a Howa barreled action. We think this is a sensible, cost-effective option for a varmint rifle, or entry-level tactical rig. Not counting optics, you should be able to assemble a good shooting, general-purpose rifle for under $700.00.

1. Long-Range Precision Rifle Build
Here the Brownells team puts together a nice tactical rifle in an MDT modular aluminum chassis made specifically for the Howa 1500 action. Attached, AR-style, to the back end of the chassis, is a Luth-AR adjustable buttstock also sold by Brownells. An EGW Picatinny rail is fitted to the action for mounting a Nightforce optic. As you can see in the video, the entire build takes less than 10 minutes. Using this Howa 1500 heavy-barreled action, you can save hundreds over the cost of a factory tactical rifle, and we bet the accuracy will be better than you’ll get with some popular brands. We’ve seen heavy-barreled Howas shoot well under 1 MOA.

2. Hunting Rifle Build
In this video, Brownells puts together a general-purpose hunting rifle using the Howa 1500 barreled action. This was attached to a Hogue Overmolded stock with internal aluminum bedding block. Fitted to the top of the action is an EGW Picatinny Rail with a Sig Sauer scope in Leupold rings. As with the Precision Rifle build above, the entire assembly process took less than ten minutes. This was done with a standard-length Howa action, but the same procedure could be used with the Howa Mini Action, or a Long Action. NOTE: No separate bedding compound was used here. That’s an option that would extend build time significantly.

Check out the Prices for Howa Barreled Actions
Here are some of the Howa Barreled Actions currently in stock at Brownells. NOTE: This is just a partial sample — there are many other varieties:

.223 Rem, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Grendel, Mini Heavy Barrel, $389.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $399.99
6.5 Creedmoor, 26″ Heavy Barrel, $429.99
7mm-08, Std Cerakote, $579.99
7.62×39, Mini Light Barrel, $259.99
.308 Win, 20″ Heavy Barrel, $289.99
.308 Win, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $299.99
.30-06 Sprg, 22″ Sporter Barrel, Cerakote, $349.99
.300 Win Mag, 24″ Heavy Barrel, $279.99

Howa Barreled action sale Brownells PRS HACT Trigger

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 2 Comments »
April 12th, 2019

New Magazine for 6mmBR and 6 BR Improved Precision Rifles

PRS NRL magazine mag 6BR 6mmBr Norma 6 BRA Dasher BRX tactical short cartridge MDT

As the practical/tactical game has evolved, with low recoil and high accuracy becoming ever more important, many top competitors have moved to smaller cartridges such as the 6mm Dasher and its parent, the 6mmBR Norma. These cartridges deliver outstanding accuracy plus good barrel life. However, the “short, fat” 6BR/Dasher design doesn’t feed optimally in magazines designed for the .308 Win family of cases. Yes you can modify your own magazines (Mag Mod HERE), or buy a pricey conversion kit, but now there is a turn-key solution from MDT (Modular Driven Technologies).

MDT’s 6mm BR magazine fits the parent 6mmBR cartridge and all the popular varients including the 6 BRA, 6 Dasher, and 6 BRX. MDT says this new 12-round magazine is a “one-step solution [delivering] smooth, reliable feeding for the most popular rifle cartridges in precision rifle competitions.”

PRS NRL magazine mag 6BR 6mmBr Norma 6 BRA Dasher BRX tactical short cartridge MDT

MDT built this AICS-pattern mag for PRS/NRL competitors and anyone wanting to run 6mmBR-family cartridges in mag-fed actions: “The limiting factor for competitors running 6mm BR variants has been feeding. Until now, the only option has been to purchase an AICS-pattern magazine plus an additional kit to make the magazines work with the shorter cartridges. This solution costs upwards of $100 or more and can require additional tuning to work in most rifles.”

The MDT 6mm BR mag has a maximum internal length of 2.580″, which accommodates pretty much any 6mm bullet you’d want to use. These MDT magazines are crafted from quality steel, nitride-treated, then black Cerakote finished inside and out. To reduce friction between cartridge and magazine body, MDT added two internal ribs which provide a smooth transition from double stack to single-feed.

Magazine Conversion — Use .308 Win Mags with Modified Followers
A decade ago we showed our readers how to modify .308 Win magazines to feed the 6mmBR cartridge efficiently. This procedure, explained by Texas gunsmith, Mike Bryant, is easy to do with simple tools. You can modify most standard magazines, both internal-style and detachable style. CLICK HERE for full, step-by-step magazine conversion article.

The basic procedure involves trimming the rear of the magazine, and creating a rear stop with a block from a Remington .223 magazine. Next the .308 Win magazine follower is shortened and beveled. Some guys tweak the feed lips a bit, but this may not be needed. Many of our readers have performed this simple magazine modification and report their rifles feed quite reliably. One reader, who converted a 7mm-08 hunting rig into a 22 Dasher varmint rifle, tells us his modified mag feeds flawlessly.

PRS NRL magazine mag 6BR 6mmBr Norma 6 BRA Dasher BRX tactical short cartridge MDT

Permalink - Articles, Competition, New Product, Tactical 4 Comments »
April 11th, 2019

New Vortex Razor Rangefinder Claims Extreme Ranging Ability

vortex razor lrf laser rangefinder 4000 yards range test review

Vortex 4000 Laser Rangefinder under $500.00

Review by Derek for EuroOptic.com
Laser rangefinders are one of the fastest evolving products in the shooting industry. A decade ago, a laser rangefinder capable of 3000+ yard performance would have had the same price tag as a brand new truck and would have been rarely seen outside of a military operation. Even a laser rangefinder capable of 1200-yard performance a decade ago would have come with a hefty price tag. Now in 2019 however, nobody expects to pay more than $450 for a laser rangefinder capable of that rated performance.

vortex razor lrf laser rangefinder 4000 yards range test review

That brings us to today — Vortex Optics just released a brand new laser rangefinder dubbed the Razor HD 4000. The Vortex Razor HD 4000 seems to perfectly fill a void between the economical Ranger LRF 1800 Monocular and the premium Fury HD 5000 Rangefinding Binocular in Vortex’s line-up of rangefinders. Retailing at $499.99, the Vortex Razor HD 4000 is a compact 7x monocular rangefinder. Vortex boasts that the Razor HD 4000 is capable of ranging reflective objects out 4000 yards, trees out to 2500, and deer-sized targets out to 2200 yards. Additionally, the device will deliver measurements as close as 5 yards and can compute angle correction of +/- 70 degrees. The angle correction is a big plus for hunters working in hilly country, where up-angle and down-angle shots are common.

I was able to look over the Razor HD 4000 and get a good feel for the device. This new LRF is now available for $499.99 and will begin shipping to customers on 4/11/2019. The configuration of the device’s controls is fairly ergonomic as you’d expect with most monocular laser rangefinders. I was able to briefly test the ranging capabilities but due to environmental constraints the farthest reading I got was approximately 2400 yards on a reflective target, but I do suspect that the Razor HD 4000 is capable of more. [Editor’s NOTE: In the real world, even a 2400-yard reflection return is outstanding and on a par with some far more expensive 3000-yard rated LRFs.]

Tripod Adaptability and Quality Accessories
We’re please to note the Razor HD 4000 has 1/4×20 female threaded socket on the underside for attachment to a tripod. [Editor: We wish all Laser Rangefinders had this feature.] Another neat but easily missed feature is that the battery cap has a tab that flips out and can be used to unscrew the cap. This makes swapping out the battery easier when you don’t have your multi-tool or are wearing gloves. The unit also comes in a rigid soft case, a wrist lanyard/ tether, and a heavy duty pocket clip.

vortex razor lrf laser rangefinder 4000 yards range test review

Vortex has recently hit home runs with the Razor scopes, Diamondback Tacticals and Viper PSTs just to name a few. I am willing to bet this Razor HD 4000 is going to be a great performer as well.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
April 7th, 2019

Plano All-Weather 2-Gun Rifle Case — Airline Capable

Plano aw2 all weather 2-gun rifle case hard case FAA

This Plano two-gun case is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wheeled, heavy-duty firearms cases. This is offered in three sizes: 36″, 42″, and 52″. We like the biggest 52″ version, as it is long enough inside to fit most scoped match rifles. Alternatively, if you have a really long F-Class, ELR, or Palma rig, you can detach the barreled action from the stock, and run the two sections in the shorter 42″ case. The big case lets you easily carry TWO scoped hunting rifles. That’s great because this case is strong enough for airline travel, meeting FAA requirements for checked baggage. This Plano case offers a good balance between strength and weight, all for a reasonable cost. Yes a Pelican 1750 is somewhat better, but that will cost $270.00.

This 52″ case is available now on Amazon for $81.15. That’s a very good deal. This same 52″ Plano AW2 case sells for $169.99 elsewhere.

Specifications for 52″ Case:
Exterior Size: 53.5″ x 17″ x 7″
Interior Size: 51.5″ x 14″ x 5.5″
Dri-loc Seal and Pressure Release Valve
Dual Stage Lockable Latches for Travel
Customizable Pluck-to-fit Foam
Easy Glide Enclosed Wheels

Plano aw2 all weather 2-gun rifle case hard case FAA

These Plano All-Weather 2-Gun cases offer a water-resistant and dust-proof seal. NOTE: While Plano claims this case is water-PROOF, some buyers have observed slight moisture leakage from the ends. But as long as you don’t immerse the case or leave it out in intense rain for long periods it should be OK for most duties. You’ll have to pay three times as much for a much heavier, mil-spec hard case that is truly 100% waterproof. For most users, this case will do the job. The foam padding provides excellent protection.

Purchasers are generally happy with this top-selling case:

“Great value for the $$. From what I have seen on the range this is very well-built for the money. You will spend triple digits more to get better. Opens flat. Thick fiber-plastic case with formed ridging, good latches and spots for locks. Case has a fitted rubber gasket to ensure water resistance. Foam is dense and easy to use.” — The Critic, October 2018

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals, New Product, News 1 Comment »
April 4th, 2019

Affordable Nikon Scopes for Hunters — Prostaff P5 Series

Nikon prostaff P5 1
With the $329.95 4-16x42mm P5, a Howa Barreled Action, and a Stocky’s Stock, you could put together a really nice varmint rifle for well under a grand!

Need an affordable new optic for your hunting or varmint rifle? Consider the new Prostaff P5 Series from Nikon. Prostaff P5 scopes all boast a 4X zoom ratio, generous eye relief, and available BDC (bullet drop compensating) reticles. Choose your desired magnification range: 2-10X, 3-12X, 4-16X, or 6-24X. The biggest P5, the 6-24x50mm with BDC, has an MSRP under $450.00, making it a very affordable choice for a side-parallax varmint scope. Being able to zoom all the way from 6X to 24X is handy on a prairie dog safari. Deer hunters should consider the P5 2.5-10x40mm. It is just $229.00 MSRP. All these scopes come with a great “No Fault” lifetime warranty.

Nikon prostaff P5 1
Engineered for low mass, PROSTAFF P5s feature all-aluminum zoom ring, plus focusing eyepiece.

Nikon P5 Reticle Options

Nikon prostaff P5 1

The Prostaff P5 is the first one-inch tube riflescope in Nikon’s hunting lineup to offer its new MK1-MOA long-range reticle. Together with precise, 1/4-MOA turrets, the MK1-MOA reticle provides precise visual reference points for ranging, holdovers and windage corrections. The renowned BDC reticle and Nikoplex reticles are also offered for those that either want a ballistic compensating reticle or a single aiming point respectively. All reticle options are supported by Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic App for quick referencing in any field situation.

Nikon prostaff P5 1

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics No Comments »
April 2nd, 2019

Vortex C.O.B.R.A. Smart-Scope + Personal Assistant

Vortex April Fools video cobra c.o.b.r.a. smartscope voice activation humor joke video optics

Yesterday, April Fools Day, websites offered their best prank stories to readers. Our own 7.6 Creedmoor satire fooled more than a few folks it seems. There were some pretty good spoof videos as well, none better than this very funny production from our friends at Vortex Optics. The video showcase Vortex’s new C.O.B.R.A., a state-of-the-art smart-scope with the capabilities of an Alexa-type digital assistant. Watch the video — you’ll see that the clever C.O.B.R.A. has a mind of its own. Enjoy!

C.O.B.R.A. from Vortex
Introducing Vortex C.O.B.R.A., the Combat Optic Battle Ready Assistant, a virtual personal assistant fine-tuned with features specifically for hunters and shooters. Embedded into select Vortex riflescopes, you can now control your smart-scope with the power of your voice. Bore-sighting, dialing turrets, adjusting magnification, and setting your zero stop are just some of the hundreds of tasks that can be accomplished with simple hands free commands. Get C.O.B.R.A, and get your scope working for you!

Vortex April Fools video cobra c.o.b.r.a. smartscope voice activation humor joke video optics

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
April 1st, 2019

The NEW 7.6 Creedmoor — Best .30-Cal Cartridge Ever?

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

Leveraging the incredible success of the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, ammo-makers and rifle manufacturers have teamed up to produce a bigger Creedmoor cartridge — the 7.6 Creedmoor. The latest addition to the Creedmoor line gets its name from its 7.62mm bullet dimension. Yep, that makes it a .30-cal cartridge, but the creators stuck with the metric title for consistency. Makes sense. We like the way “7.6 Creedmoor” sounds and we bet consumers will too. The 6.5 Creedmoor has been a singular success — it is by far the most popular new cartridge introduced in the last decade. We think the 7.6 Creedmoor could become equally successful in short order.

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

In creating the new 7.6 Creedmoor, the product engineers were primarily concerned with accuracy, reliability, and compatibility. In a brilliant marketing stroke, the 7.6 Creedmoor’s designers crafted this cartridge to be 100% compatible with existing .308 Winchester and 7.62×51 rifles. So you can shoot the 7.6 Creedmoor safely in your existing .308 Win deer rifle or F-TR rig. As one ammo-maker’s marketing manager told us: “The 7.6 Creedmoor gives you everything you liked about the .308 Win, with a trendy name and the undeniable Creedmoor cachet. The 6.5 Creedmoor has become hugely popular. We expect the new 7.6 Creedmoor to do as well, or better!” We agree. Consider this — the 7.6 Creedmoor offers much better barrel life than the 6.5 Creedmoor, along with better bullet selection, particularly for hunters. With these advantages, how could the 7.6 Creedmoor not become a huge hit? The Creedmoor name alone should ensure success.

We discussed the new 7.6 Creedmoor with Dennis DeRille, one of the “founding fathers” of the 6.5 Creedmoor. Dennis said — “The Creedmoor name is synonymous with innovation and tactical success. This new 7.6 should live up to its name as it delivers .308 Win performance in a package for the 21st Century.”

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

Reassuring .308 Win Ballistics and Die Compatibility
Another great feature of the new 7.6 Creedmoor is that you can use existing .308 Win dies and reloading components. That excited one PRS shooter: “I had all this old .308 brass and .30-Cal bullets sitting around. When I heard about the 7.6 Creedmoor I said ‘Wow this is great, I can use this stuff in a Creedmoor now’. I know it will be accurate based on the name alone. That’s cool — tacticool!”

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

Because the new 7.6 Creedmoor shares case capacity and design details with the venerable .308 Win, it also shares the .308 Win’s impressive ballistics performance. “Whatever you can do with a .308 Win, you can do with the 7.6 Creedmoor… and then some!” says Hornady. Here is a chart showing projected velocities for the 7.6 Creedmoor with various barrel lengths and bullet weights.

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

NRA Approves 7.6 Creedmoor for F-TR Competition
Currently, NRA competition rules restrict F-TR rifles to the .308 Win (7.62×51) and .223 Rem (5.56×45) chamberings. But that’s going to change. Starting in June 2019, the NRA will allow 7.6 Creedmoor rifles in all F-TR matches. In addition, the 7.6 Creedmoor can be used in service rifles such as the popular M1A. It’s great to see this old battle rifle updated with Creedmoor accuracy and performance.

USA and Foreign Ammo Makers will Produce 7.6 Creedmoor Ammo
7.6 Creedmoor factory-loaded ammunition will be available from all major USA ammo-makers including Federal, Hornady, CCI, and Remington. As well, foreign ammo-makers Hirtenberger, Sellier & Bellot, and Prvi Partizan have pledged to produce 7.6 Creedmoor ammunition. That’s good news for shooters who want affordable Creedmoor ammo. One ammo-maker told us: “The whole industry is excited about the 7.6 Creedmoor. To be honest, .308 Win ammo sales have been declining for a number of years. Now we can repackage those same great components and market them to a new set of consumers reared on the 6.5 Creedmoor. This is a great deal for ammo-makers, who know how excitable Creedmoor fan-boys can be!”

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, New Product, News 100 Comments »
March 31st, 2019

Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper Powder Scale/Dispenser Review

Frankford Arsenal intelli-dropper intellidropper powder measure scale dispenser test review video

Product Review by F-Class John
The Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Intellidropper is the latest automated powder scale/dispenser to hit the market. This new-for-2019 machine offers a unique powder calibration mode and the first-ever, mobile APP-controlled powder dispensing system. With a retail price under $200, does the new Intellidropper live up to its promises? We’ll cover the key product features one by one, testing Frankford’s claims:

Feature 1 — Powder Calibration (Custom Profiles)
Feature 2 — Mobile APP Control with Load Database
Feature 3 — 1/10th of a Grain Accuracy

The $200 Intellidropper from Frankford Arsenal looks fairly similar to other electronic scale/dispensers. It has a digital touch-screen, a powder hopper, and a collection pan. But look a little deeper and you can see that it’s a whole lot more. Frankford Arsenal has brought new software technology to the table, with a Bluetooth controller/database APP. What’s more, this new machine has an innovative powder calibration mode, a software “brain” that helps the unit dispense powder with greater speed and precision.

As a technophile I find few things more annoying than technology developed or implemented for the wrong reasons or in the wrong way, so I was pretty apprehensive when I saw this was a ‘smart’ powder measure. I would soon be proved wrong. Unboxing was as easy as pulling out the unit, power cord, powder hopper, and a couple accessories. I simply plugged it in, leveled it on my work surface, allowed it to warm up, then calibrated it using the easy-to-use instructions. Once I was done with calibration, I could immediately begin dropping powder. It was then time to test Frankford’s claims about this new machine.

Frankford Arsenal intelli-dropper intellidropper powder measure scale dispenser test review video

Powder Calibration
First came the powder calibration mode. Zero the tray, click the “Powder Cal” button and the machine instantly begins to dispense your powder at various rates. As it does this the machine’s “brain” records its ability to flow/dispense the powder most efficiently. In just a few minutes the unit knew the fastest and most consistent way to drop that particular powder. The beauty of this system is that it’s so fast and easy to use that I can picture myself using this anytime I change powder without giving it a second thought. As easy as the calibration was, I was left wondering if it really made a difference. A test of calibrated versus non-calibrated throws showed an average of 22 seconds for calibrated throws vs. nearly 40 seconds non-calibrated. This demonstrated a major improvement with Frankford’s powder calibration system. Once I was done with the powder calibration it came time to add the APP.

Intellidropper Controller APP — How It Works
Frankford offers Intellidropper APPs for both iOS (Apple) and Android phones. A quick search in the iOS and Android APP stores turned up the free Intellidropper APPs. Once downloaded and installed, the APP activated easily and then automatically connected to my Intellidropper unit. Simply ensure your Bluetooth is turned on and that’s it. There was no pairing or manual connections necessary, just open the APP, count to three and now you can control your unit from your phone or tablet. I was expecting this to be a novelty that did nothing more than let me replace the touchpad on the unit but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Touch the menu button at the bottom and now you can enter as many loads as you want including caliber, bullet, powder, powder charge, OAL, firearm, primer and brass used. This allows you to create a database of all your favorite cartridge types, bullets, and powders. For example you could have 10 different .308 Win loads, all with different bullets and/or powders. Or you could have 10 different cartridge types with many different loads for each. The software remembers the powder type and charge weight. Loads from the database can be instantly sent to the unit, which will then rapidly dispense the exact charge weight the APP commands. I found this system provides just enough options to work efficiently without cluttering it up with needless functions. It really is the right balance of style and substance that made this a joy to use and kept me wanting to play with it more. Frankford Arsenal’s tech team told us that Frankford is committed to keeping the firmware, software, and APP updated over time. This should ensure that you can use this unit for many years to come.

WARNING: The Intellidropper is smart but it does NOT know what powder the human user has poured into the hopper! You obviously need to confirm you have the correct powder in the hopper before you send a command from the APP!

Powder Weighing Precision — The Tenth of a Grain Standard
Like the RCBS ChargeMaster, the Intellidropper is really two machines in one — a powder dispenser AND a SCALE that weighs the dispensed powder. Even with its cool APP and fast dispensing speed, to be a winner, the Intellidropper must be able to WEIGH CHARGES accurately and repeatedly. Frankford Arsenal claims this machine can weigh charges with ± 1/10th of a grain accuracy. With that in mind, I put it to the test. After giving the unit the recommended 15-minute warm-up, I ran twenty H4350 loads with a target weight of 50.8 grains. The machine was fast — the average drop time was just 22 seconds.

Frankford Arsenal intelli-dropper intellidropper powder measure scale dispenser test review video

How did the Intellidropper do? After each of the twenty loads was dispensed, I then double-checked the actual charge weight, using a $600+ lab-quality scale. As confirmed with the lab scale, every one of the 20 Intellidropper-thrown charges was within the stated variance, i.e. plus or minus one-tenth of a grain. Not only that but I found the average drop time to be only 22 seconds with H4530. It may vary with other types of powders, but I expect that drop time to stay fairly consistent when calibrated correctly.

CONCLUSION: Intellidropper is Fast, Accurate, and Software Works Well
The Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper is an impressive, affordable Scale/Dispenser that throws charges accurately and consistently. It has a very handy software APP and more practical features than anything else out there. In the world of sub-$300 powder measures, this $200 machine seems to have hit a home run — this machine demands your serious attention. I try to review products strictly based on the manufacturers’ claims and how they deliver on them. In the case of the Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper, it delivers on those promises. Of course, the $200 Intellidropper won’t replace a Prometheus — it is not for handloaders who demand to measure each charge down to the kernel. But the Intellidropper certainly doesn’t claim single-kernel accuracy, and it costs a fraction of the Prometheus.

Want More Info? This UltimateReloader.com Video reviews the Intellidropper’s key features:

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