April 5th, 2021

New Alliant Reloder TS 15.5 Powder — Outstanding Test Results

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Outstanding New Powder from Alliant — Reloder TS 15.5
New Product Review by DasherDude
Alliant has devloped a new temperature-stable powder for long range applications. According to Alliant, this is a “slower burning version of the popular RL 15 with TZ technology” and brings some significant advantages over RL 15 and powders in the similar burn rate range (like Varget). The powder is named “Reloder TS 15.5″ (RL TS 15.5) and is created using the same TZ technology used in Reloder 16 (RL 16) and Reloder 23 (RL 23) whereby it manipulates the response of the propellant and resists the natural tendency to generate more pressure at higher temperatures and less pressure at lower temperatures. That makes RL TS 15.5 extremely stable across the full temperature range a shooter may encounter.

When Can You Get This New Alliant RL TS 15.5 Powder?
Alliant tells us that new RL TS 15.5 should start arriving on dealer’s shelves by the end of the month. Officially: “We will be putting it into distribution probably in April 2021 sometime”. Remember you heard about this powder here first.

The burn rate of RL TS 15.5 lies between RL 15 and RL 16 making it ideal for loading heavier bullets in .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, .223 Rem, and 6mm wildcats such as the 6mm Dasher or 6 BRA (BR Ackley). Being a bit slower than RL 15, new TS 15.5 offers higher velocities for the same charge weight as well as ability to load heavier charges for additional velocity without generating excessive pressure.

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Testing Reloder TS 15.5 in 6 Dasher and .308 Winchester

I got a chance to test a pre-production powder sample of RL TS15.5 from Alliant. In my own tests with my 6mm Dasher and .308 Win, I extensively compared it with Varget that I normally use in these cartridges. In both cases, the results were nothing short of spectacular.

Powder Characteristics and Metering
This is an extruded powder and looks and feels similar to RL 16. The kernels are about 0.03 – 0.04 grains each (with the resolution of A&D FX 120i scale). RL TS 15.5 meters very well, although I had to slightly adjust the AutoTrickler to get it to meter perfectly.

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

As I found, later in the testing, that the powder compresses before it can generate excessive pressure in the Dasher, a drop tube helps to fill the case more efficiently if higher charges and velocities are desired.

6mm Dasher Test Rifle and Load
For testing I used my 6mm Dasher benchrest match rifle. This has a BAT 3L action, 28″ Krieger barrel, and McMillan stock. I use Lapua brass with CCI 450 primers to propel Berger 105gr Hybrids and this combination shoots quite well.

Test Firearm: 6mm Dasher, Bat 3L, 28″ 6mm HV Krieger Barrel, McMillan Stock.
Components: Lapua fire-formed brass, CCI 450 primers, Berger 105 grain Hybrid
Powder: Alliant Reloder TS 15.5

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Load Testing and Velocities

Test in 6mm Dasher — Excellent Velocity, Low ES/SD
The testing comprised of shooting groups at 100 yards with increasing powder charges (OCW method) and then selecting a node. That node was found at 33.4 grains. The accuracy was excellent with remarkably low Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation (ES/SD)

My usual load is 32.9 grains of Hodgdon Varget which runs 2925 fps with an ES of around 12 fps and SD around 5 fps. For comparison, 32.9 grains of RL TS 15.5 delivered a velocity of 3022 fps. That is 97 fps greater than Varget for the same load weight (of RL TS15.5).

When used in the 6 Dasher, RL TS 15.5 had ES of 13 for 28 Shots — Remarkable!
Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

More Velocity Plus Consistent ES/SD
Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacementWith the Dasher since the new node (the sweet spot) was found at 33.4 grains, that resulted in a velocity of 3050 fps (a 125 fps velocity increase) from the same rifle setup. Not only did the velocity increase, but the SD was lowered to 3.6 with an ES of 13 (calculated over 28 shots). You read that right… 13 fps ES over 28 shots!

At 34 grains without any drop tube, the load was compressed. However, there were no pressure signs. That indicates that the 6 Dasher cartridge can be loaded with a higher charge, if a drop tube was used.

.308 Winchester Velocity Results
Similar results (velocity gains) were obtained from my .308 Win with Berger 200.20X bullets. For the same charge of 44.2 grains, I recorded about 100 fps higher velocity with RL TS 15.5, compared to Varget.

Accuracy Results at 100 and 300 Yards — Very Impressive

How does RL TS 15.5 shoot on paper? Very well indeed.

6mm Dasher Load Testing with Various RL TS 15.5 Charge Weights
The groups on paper told similar stories. For the OCW method, I shot groups of increasing charges at 100 yards and then selected 33.4 grains as the optimum charge (incidentally, it was one ragged hole).

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

While testing at 300 yards, the conditions were very windy but since I was testing for vertical, the point of aim was kept the same for every shot. No attempt was made to correct for wind, so the groups spread horizontally (15 mph, 3 o’clock wind) but the vertical spread of all the groups was under 0.3 MOA. That gives me great hopes for the long-range capabilities of the powder.

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Thoughts and Conclusions

For the past year, Alliant powders have been a welcome surprise for this tester and they have found a home in my reloading room. I struggled to find a load for my .284 Win with H4831sc and H4350 before trying out Reloder 16 and voila, it was perfect.

I have used Hodgdon Varget powder for a long time in both my 6mm Dasher and my .308 Winchester. With the .308 Win I’ve used various bullets from 168 to 200 grains. Varget has served me well. I do always need to keep the powder charge in check and so the velocities are held back a bit. Now RL TS 15.5 looks like a very impressive competitor to Varget.

With Reloder TS 15.5, Alliant seems to have delivered a harmonious mix of great accuracy, higher velocities, and lower SDs without creating excessive pressure. All of this is delivered with a very temperature-stable package. The higher velocities may allow some shooters to hit a new, better-performing node. These qualities are highly sought after by long range shooters. Accordingly, I have no qualms in saying that Alliant has created a winner here.

Alliant Official Load Data for Reloder TS 15.5

Along with the cartridge types shown below, Alliant has also released load data for .30-06 Springfield, 7x57mm Mauser, .270 Win, .260 Rem, 6.5 Grendel, .257 Roberts, 22-250 Rem, and 224 Valkyrie. CLICK for all data (larger format).

CLICK HERE for PDF with ALL Reloder TS 15.5 Load Data »

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement
Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 5th, 2021

Sako Marks 100th Anniversay of Manufacturing in Finland

Sako 100th Anniversary 100 years Finland

Sako Ltd. was founded on April 1, 1921. So this week Sako celebrates its 100th birthday. Now part of the Beretta firearms family, this prestigious Finnish firearms manufacturer has a rich history of producing quality rifles constructed by skilled master craftsmen.

The original Sako factory was established as part of the Finnish Civil Guard and was designed to meet its gun repair needs. The workshop became an independent financial unit on April 1, 1921. Sako marks that date as its moment of establishment. The workshop was initially called Suojeluskuntain Ase-ja Konepaja Osakeyhtiö (Civil Guard Firearm and Engineering Co Ltd). In 1927, it became a limited company with its name abbreviated to the acronym Sako.

The company then moved from Helsinki to a factory site in Riihimäki, where it continues to operate to this day. In Riihimäki, the assembly of a new model of rifle, the M28, began. Nicknamed ‘Pystykorva’ (the dog breed ‘Spitz’), this rifle proved to be of even better quality than similar weapons being used by Finnish defense forces. Simultaneously, the company also began to manufacture cartridges.

Sako 100th Anniversary 100 years Finland

During the 1950s, Sako entered the U.S. market. The Sako L46 rifle impressed American hunters. The L46’s build quality and excellent performance quickly drew loyal American customers, and exports of Sako products to the USA steadily increased year after year.

Sako 100th Anniversary 100 years Finland

One Million Tikka T3s Have Been Sold
For the past 21 years, Sako has seen major growth in yearly product volumes. In 2020, Sako manufactured and sold the one-millionth unit of the Tikka T3, a rare feat for any bolt action rifle. 2020 also saw the launch of the revamped Sako S20 hybrid rifle. This versatile rifle allows the user to switch between hunting or precision shooting by simply exchanging the fore-end and stock.

Also, Sako reached its all-time production record at more than 113,000 rifles produced in a year and broke its record for cartridge production with more than 11 million cartridges made. Additionally, Sako launched its first copper bullet designed and manufactured in-house, the Sako Powerhead Blade.

In 1996, Sako saw a huge success in their Sako 75 range of products, which was Sako’s first model to be designed as new from the very beginning. This success launched Sako into its next step with major international sales. In 1999, Beretta Holding Group acquired all the company’s shares. “At Beretta USA, we are proud to partner with the highly skilled and experienced men and women of SAKO as they continue to innovate and deliver top-quality, high-performing, precise, and reliable rifles to our demanding American customers,” Francesco Valente, GM and COO of Beretta USA, said.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News No Comments »
April 3rd, 2021

Register Soon for 2021 NRA National Championships in Indiana

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

Get ready to sign up folks! Registration for the 2021 NRA National Championships for Smallbore Rifle, High Power Rifle, F-Class, and Precision Pistol opens in five days. Online registration will open at 9:00 am Eastern Time on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Register for the 2021 NRA National Championships via the NRA Competitive Shooting Web Portal. Get a head start on registration by setting up your profiles at: Competitor.nra.org/Register.aspx

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

These 2021 NRA Championships will be held at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, from July 6, 2021 through August 28, 2021. Camp Atterbury has hosted the High Power Rifle Nationals since 2017. Here is the schedule:

Smallbore Rifle Championship: 6-18 July, 2021
Precision Pistol Championship: 20-25 July, 2021
F-Class Mid-Range Championship: 21-25 July, 2021
F-Class Long Range Championship: 27-30 July, 2021
Fullbore Championship: 1-7 August, 2021
High Power Mid-Range Championship: 9-13 August, 2021
High Power Long Range Championship: 14-19 August, 2021
ELR 1-Mile Championship: 20-21 August, 2021
Over-the-Course (OTC) Competition: 22-28 August, 2021

NOTE: Listed dates include registration/sign-up and/or practice day, and award ceremony.

See 2021 Camp Atterbury NRA National Championships calendar below. CLICK to view larger, full-screen, printable image that is easier to read. ENLARGE (+ with mouse) after loading to read small print.


CLICK CALENDAR to VIEW Full-screen PDF then click Enlarge (+)

NRA national match championships camp atterbury 2021 f-class high power mid-range Long range ELR pistol smallbore

Above is the Official Calendar for the 2021 NRA National Championships at Camp Atterbury. The 2021 NRA Nationals start with the Smallbore Championships, July 6 through Sunday, July 18. The Precision Pistol National Championships begin on Tuesday, July 20. The F-Class Mid-Range Nationals start July 22, with F-Class Long-Range commencing on July 27. Moving on to High Power Rifle, the Fullbore event runs August 1-7, while the Mid-Range Nationals begin on Tuesday, August 9, followed by the Long-Range Nationals starting on August 14, 2021. Then the NRA Extreme Long-Range (ELR) Championship begins on Friday, August 20 and concludes Saturday, August 21.

Camp Atterbury Indiana national guard NRA high power smallbore matches championships

John Parker, Shooting Sports USA Editor, says this should be an exciting summer for rifle shooters: “As for High Power Rifle, the 2021 NRA Mid-Range, Long-Range, F-Class Long-Range, F-Class Mid-Range and International Fullbore Championships will also be fired at Camp Atterbury. The matches will begin on July 23 and run through August 29. Plus, the Extreme Long-Range Championship is slated to return on August 20…. This popular event that debuted in 2017 at Camp Atterbury is a can’t-miss for ELR competitors [with] targets at one mile and beyond.”

To learn more about the 2021 NRA Nationals, visit compete.nra.org. And for the latest updates, subscribe to the free Shooting Sports USA Insider newsletter.

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
April 2nd, 2021

Notable New Rifles for 2021 — Gun.Deals Top Ten Selections

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 Hunting Rifle

The firearms and shooting accessories price-search website Gun.Deals has created a useful collection of new long guns for 2021. These run the gamut from tactical rifles to classic lever-action guns. There are new super light-weight models such as the Savage 110 Ultralite and the Nosler Model 48 Carbon Mtn. Rifle with carbon-stock and carbon-wrapped barrel. For young shooters, or folks looking for a fun yet very affordable .22 LR rig, there is the Winchester Wildcat 22 Suppressor Ready. And if you like something new and very different, there is the brand new straight-pull Savage Impulse Big Game. SEE ALL RIFLES.

Gun.Deals Top Ten New Rifles for 2021:

Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint
Savage Impulse Big Game
Winchester Wildcat 22 SR
CZ USA 557 Eclipse
Savage 110 Ultralite

Nosler Model 48: Mountain Carbon Rifle
Pursuit XT .50 Cal
Henry Rifles New Series
Red Arrows Weapons 300 Blackout Rifle
Uberti 1885 Courtney Stalking rifle, .45-70

From these 10 rifles, here are three of our favorites:

Springfield Armory Waypoint

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 Hunting Rifle

The new Model 2020 Waypoint rifles feature optional carbon-wrapped barrels, TriggerTech triggers, and carbon-fiber, hand-painted camo stocks. The excellent TriggerTech trigger easily adjusts from 2.5 to 5.0 pounds. The base Model 2020 Waypoint has a fluted stainless barrel. The carbon-wrapped barrel is an extra-cost option, as is the adjustable cheekpiece.

Springfield Armory Waypoint 2020 hunting rifle

Savage Impulse Straight-Pull Rifle

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

Savage’s new Impulse series of straight-pull bolt rifles is the first American-designed and crafted straight-pull centerfire rifle. The new Impulse features an innovative Hexlock bolt-locking mechanism with six spherical bearings that move radially outward into a ring in the barrel extension, thereby locking the bolt in place. That barrel extension is held in the receiver assembly by four cross-bolts on the lower front section. Ahead of the barrel extension is a conventional recoil lug and a familiar Savage barrel nut.

Winchester Wildcat 22 Suppressor Ready

Shooting Illustrated new 2021 products Winchester Wildcat rimfire suppressor ready .22 LR
Winchester Wildcat rimfire suppressor ready .22 LR

Winchester has introduced a Wildcat SR, a suppressor-ready version of its popular Wildcat 22 semi-auto .22 LR rifle. This new Wildcat SR comes with a 16.5″ barrel threaded 1/2-28 TPI at the muzzle (with muzzle cap). This will allow the Wildcat SR to fit most rimfire suppressors as well as many muzzle brakes.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, New Product, News 1 Comment »
April 2nd, 2021

Register Now for 2021 CMP National Matches at Camp Perry

Camp Perry 2021 national matches registration open cmp

CMP 2021 National Matches at Camp Perry — Registration
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has commenced registration for the 2021 National Trophy Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio. Guests may sign up for the historic annual event beginning April 1, 2021 on the CMP website.

CLICK HERE to REGISTER for the 2021 National Matches »

The 2021 National Matches kicks off with the Pistol phase on July 12, featuring 1911 As-Issued Match, Military & Police, GLOCK, Service Pistol EIC matches and Pistol Small Arms Firing School. New Pistol events have been added to the 2021 NM calender.

Camp Perry 2021 national matches registration open cmp

Following the Pistol series is the CMP’s Smallbore program. This will include 3-position, prone, and team matches for competitors of all ages. For the first time, a Smallbore Small Arms Firing School will be conducted for new and experienced marksmen, led by members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.

Camp Perry 2021 national matches registration open cmp

The remainder of the National Matches schedule includes modern and vintage Rifle competitions: Garand, Springfield and M1 Carbine matches, Rimfire Sporter, President’s Rifle, National Trophy Individual — plus several other favorites enjoyed by scores of competitors each year.

Camp Perry 2021 national matches registration open cmp

A 4-Man Team event and 800 Aggregate will also be fired on the CMP’s High Power electronic targets. The National Matches Rifle events will conclude in August with the Long Range series, fired on Camp Perry’s Viale Range.

During the summer, the National Match Air Gun events will be held at the CMP’s indoor airgun range, the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center. The air-conditioned range, which features state-of-the-art electronic targets, will be open throughout the National Match weeks. Rental equipment and pellets are available for a small fee.

New Product Demonstrations at 2021 National Matches
Also new in 2021, the CMP has created Industry Days. Conducted during the Pistol and Rifle phases Industry Days will feature vendor stations located around Camp Perry. Displays will highlight new technology with live-fire demonstrations and other interactive product demos.

Permalink Competition, Handguns, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
April 1st, 2021

Biden Orders All Military Terminology to Be Gender-Neutral

joe biden military language gender neutral racism systematic racism

By means of an Executive Order signed yesterday, U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered a ban on ALL military words/terms considered sexist or culturally insensitive. The President has ordered the Pentagon to immediately determine replacement nomenclature for offensive words such as “cockpit” and “chief”. Starting today, all military communications must be “gender-neutral” and not male-centric. To address the issue, the Pentagon is now forming a “Rapid Gender Neutralization Force” with top generals and admirals from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Phase One funding of $126.9 million has been allocated from the 2021 U.S. Special Operations budget to handle the Gender Neutralization project.

Among the military nouns, verbs, adjectives and acronyms that will be banned are the terms listed below, with the reason for the ban, and proposed replacements.

Cockpit — Not Gender Neutral (New: Pilot Enclosure)
Airman/Airmen — Not Gender Neutral (New: Aviator/Aviators)
Broadside — Offensive to Female Navy Personnel (New: Full Fire Sequence)
Chief and Chief of Staff — Native American Cultural Appropriation (New: Leader, Leader of Group)
Foxhole — Offensive to Female Infantry Personnel (New: Person Pit)
ASDIC — Offensive to Female Navy Personnel (New: Anti-Submarine Sonar ASS)

Military Phonetic Alphabet Changes (Mandatory Immediately)

In addition to the ordered changes in specific military terminology (as listed above), all U.S. Armed Services will immediately start using new Radio Phonetic Call-outs for particular letters of the alphabet. Here are the new Mandatory Radio/Telephone Comms Alphabet terms (with others pending):

“G Golf” (Issue — Golf, favored by white elites, perpetuates systemic racism) Replaced with “G Grim”.
“P Papa” (Issue — Not LGBTQ tolerant) Replaced with gender-neutral “P Parent”.
“K Kilo” (Issue — Promotes drug trafficking) Replaced with “K Kamala”.
“R Romeo” (Issue — Promotes male patriarchy) Replaced with “R Reset”.
“W Whisky” (Issue — Promotes alcohol abuse) Replaced with “W Woke”.
“Z Zulu” (Issue — Racism, Cultural Appropriation) — Replaced with “Z Zealot”

The phonetic alphabet is a list of words used to identify letters in a message transmitted by radio and/or telephone. The phonetic alphabet can also be signaled with flags, lights, and Morse Code.

joe biden military language gender neutral racism systematic racism

Is it Time for Major Changes in Our Military Language?

For many years, U.S. and NATO military leaders have called for progressive, inclusive terminology changes. Here are three recent articles in highly-respected military journals discussing the issue:

We need gender-neutral words to attract female service personnel:

“Why is adopting gender-neutral language so difficult for the Armed Forces? In 2017, a training establishment was widely ridiculed in the press for having suggested a fairly mild list of gender-neutral terms to replace words such as ‘chaps’ and ‘manpower’. Gendered language does more than just give offence[.] The real effects are … insidious, perpetuating stereotypes, damaging recruitment and retention and undermining the ability of the Armed Forces to harness the talents of its people. At the most severe, it affects mental health, damages unit cohesion and undermines operational effectiveness.”

Source: Wavellroom.com, Importance of Gender Neutral Language for Defense

joe biden military language gender neutral racism systematic racism
_______________

The horrible effects of military-forged toxic masculinity spills over into the business world:

“Military language infused in business systematically elevates traditionally ‘masculine’ qualities and traits as most … valued and important for moving up into the ranks of leadership. Those who don’t fit the mold struggle to rise. The cycle of ‘institutionalized masculinity’ represents a textbook example of how any ‘ism’ becomes institutionalized — racism, sexism, ageism, and anything else that gets ingrained and perpetuated into culture, ultimately reinforcing the status quo and keeping others on the fringe.”

Source: Inc.com, Sexist Military Language Infiltrates Business Culture
_______________

U.S. Male and Female Soldiers Show New Gender-Neutral Combat Uniforms

joe biden military language gender neutral racism systematic racism

Along with gender-neutral words, many military leaders now favor gender-neutral uniforms for all personnel. Shown above are U.S. soldiers field-testing a new gender-neutral combat uniform. It is believed that the U.S. Army is seriously considering issuing this type of combat clothing for the U.S. Army Rangers, which will be renamed the “Rangerettes” in accord with President Biden’s Executive Order.
_______________

UK Military leaders agree we must rid the English language of oppressive gendered language:

“Gendered language permeates the very fabric of the UK’s Armed Forces, from personnel answering the phone with ‘Sir’ to the widespread use of terms such as ‘unmanned’ and ‘airman’. The use of language that is male-centric only serves to create an image that the armed forces are made up only of men, when increasingly they are not.

It’s not about being ‘woke’ — Defense consultant Dr. Alex Walmsley said the debate around the use of gendered language is ‘evolving in a good way’ adding that the push to change the language used in defense was not just about ‘being woke’.

The idea of a woman performing a job whose title implies she is a man, even though women are able to serve in every role in the UK’s Armed Forces, means that change is a ‘no-brainer’. It is not a big deal; we’re not asking for HMS Prince of Wales to be called ‘Princess of Wales’, Walmsley pointed out.”

Gendered language is not only damaging to women, but also non-binary or transgender service members and defense industry professionals. Changing the words you use is such a minor thing[.] Retiring the term ‘manpower’ in favor of ‘personnel’ does not suddenly mean the UK can no longer conduct a freedom of navigation exercise in the South China Sea. — Emma Salisbury Ph.D.

Source: Army-Technology.com, Words Matter — A Case for Gender-Neutral Language in Defense

joe biden military language gender neutral racism systematic racism

Permalink - Articles, News, Tactical 19 Comments »
April 1st, 2021

PRS Launches New Sonic Tactical Series with “Impact” Scoring

PRS STS Match

With the current drastic shortage of reloading components — powder and primers in particular — many folks are finding it difficult to load sufficient live ammo for matches. And when you CAN find primers, they may cost as much as $300 per thousand! Even if you’re able to pay that crazy price for primers, if you can’t find suitable powder, then you can’t shoot.

Thankfully the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) team has developed a new form of competition ideal for this challenging era of component shortages. In the new Sonic Tactical Series (STS), the PRS organization offers an affordable, fun form of competition that is not powder/primer dependent at all. And STS competitors never have to worry about burning out those costly custom barrels. That’s because STS matches are all about the fun of tactical togetherness, without the hassle of hand-loading, or the frustration of misses. STS is all about fun with guns with zero cost-per-shot. Now that’s something we can all appreciate.

PRS STS Match

The new PRS Sonic Tactical Series (STS) will feature full multi-stage matches, complete with varied shooting positions, barricades, moving targets, and ranging exercises. You will do everything just like a normal PRS match, but without burning precious ammunition (or using up barrel life). All stages will be run via dry-fire but with AUDIBLE confirmation of “virtual” hits on target. The exciting shout of “Impact!” will confirm your hits after dry-firing at the target. Experiencing the adrenaline rush of hearing the word “Impact!” is what this game is all about, hence the Name Sonic Tactical Series (STS).

STS PRS Sonic Tactical Series
It’s fun to shoot STS Matches with your significant other. Ramia Whitecotton Facebook photo.

You can shoot an STS match without having to worry about loud noises or muzzle blast. All you’ll hear is that reassuring “Impact!” from your partner. BTW, this is a great way to get your wife or girlfriend involved in the shooting sports. She’ll enjoy instant gratification from your loud “Impact!” shout, with no painful recoil or blustery muzzle blast.

PRS STS Match

Any types of rifles can be used at STS matches including inexpensive Airsoft rigs. Put the money you save into your tactical wardrobe. Remember, a real man can never have too much camo!

All STS matches are conducted with two-person teams. The first team member will aim at the target, range it with his FFP MilRad reticle, center his crosshairs, and then yell “Bang”. His partner must wait the appropriate time and then yell “IMPACT” loudly, so everyone within two counties can hear. The two-person team that has the best correlation between true shot-over-distance time and the issuance of the word “Impact” will win the stage. So Be Loud and Be Proud!

PRS STS Match

In STS Matches, competitors work as a team. The triggerman ranges the target, then steadies his aim, and shouts “Bang!”. His partner calculates the exact flight time then yells “IMPACT!”… the louder the better!

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills, Tactical 3 Comments »
April 1st, 2021

Can’t Find Reloading Powder? 1000 Grain Bottles Coming Soon!

DOT small powder bottles

We all know reloading powder is in VERY short supply these days. And the most popular propellants, such as Varget, H4350, and Reloder 16, are almost impossible to find at reasonable prices. Thankfully, there is a new solution in the works — smaller containers. This should give handloaders a whole new way to source those precious powders needed for a day at the range. And even if the volume is limited, something is ALWAYS better than nothing, right?

The big (and small) news for reloaders is that the major powder suppliers plan to start shipping powders in more compact, easy-to-ship containers. Instead of buying a pound of powder, you will be able to purchase an efficient, handy 1000 grain container. These are light weight (just 1/7th of a pound) so they are convenient to transport and carry. And you’ll never have the problem of over supply. A 1000-grain container with load approximately 33 6mm BR rounds — that should be plenty for a day at the range. We’re blessed to have this new compact powder option thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

DOT small powder bottlesThe U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently approved new smaller containers for shipment of smokeless powder. The new containers are designed to hold 1000 grains, exactly one-seventh of a pound. That works out to 2.29 ounces of powder — quite a bit less than you are getting currently with one-pound (16 oz.) containers.

Here how it works out:
7000 grains = 1 pound = 16 ounces
1000 grains = 0.143 pounds = 2.29 ounces

Many products — from cereal boxes to Snickers bars — have been down-sized in recent years. Now downsizing has come to the powder marketplace. The strategy behind the smaller containers is simple. In a market where demand vastly outstrips available supply, the smaller containers allow powder-makers to generate more revenue with a given amount of powder inventory. Will consumers accept the smaller powder containers? Probably so — 1000 grains is enough to load 20-22 rounds of .308 Winchester. In the current marketplace (with many powders virtually impossible to find), most consumers would probably prefer to get 2.3 ounces of their favorite powder, rather than nothing at all. (NOTE: The major powder suppliers will continue to offer popular powders in 1-lb, and 8-lb containers. The new 1000-grain containers will be phased-in over time, as an alternative to the larger containers).

Why the small bottles? One industry spokesman (who asked not to be named) explained: “We’ve had a severe shortage of smokeless powder for nearly two years. The powder production plants are running at full capacity, but there’s only so much finished product to go around. By moving to smaller containers, we can ensure that our customers at least get some powder, even if it’s not as much as they want.”

Why are the new containers 2.3 ounces rather than 8 ounces (half a pound) or 4 ounces (one-quarter pound)? One of the engineers who helped develop the new DOT-approved container explained: “We looked at various sizes. We knew we had to reduce the volume significantly to achieve our unit quantity sales goals. Some of our marketing guys liked the four-ounce option — the ‘Quarter-Pounder’. That had a nice ring to it, but ultimately we decided on the 1000 grain capacity. To the average consumer, one thousand grains sounds like a large amount of powder, even if it’s really only 2.3 ounces. This size also made it much easier to bundle the powder in six-packs. We think the six-packs will be a big hit. You get nearly a pound of powder, but you can mix and match with a variety of different propellants.”

Less Bang for Your Buck?
We’re told the new 2.3-ounce powder bottles will retail for around $11.99, i.e. about $5.21 per ounce. At that price, it may seem like you’re getting less bang for your buck … but hey, something is better than nothing, right?

DOT small powder bottlesCurrently, when you can find them, quality reloading powders are going for $45-$60 per pound (in 1-lb containers). At $45 per pound, you’re paying $2.81 per ounce. That means that the new mini-containers will be roughly twice as expensive as current one-pounders ($5.21 per ounce vs. $2.81 per ounce).

Along with the 2.3-ounce containers, the DOT has approved “six-pack” consolidated delivery units that will hold six, 1000-grain containers. Some manufacturers plan to offer “variety packs” with a selection of various powders in the 1000-grain bottles. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a six-pack with H322, H4895, Varget, H4350, H4831sc, and Retumbo?

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News, Reloading, Tech Tip 8 Comments »
March 30th, 2021

Interesting New Products in Shooting Industry Magazine

Shooting Industry Magazine April 2021 new products Lapua Taurus

Shooting Industry (SI) magazine is often the first media source to reveal new firearms and gun-related products. And once again, in SI’s just-released April 2021 edition, we got our first glimpse of dozens of cool new guns and hardware. CLICK HERE to see all new featured products (best for mobile platforms) or CLICK HERE for magazine-style layout.

The current Shooting Industry issue spotlights 28 new products. We’ve select a half-dozen notables for our readers. There is an interesting WOOX Hybrid stock, new Lapua products, an impressive big-bore revolver from Taurus, the new Mark 7 Apex 10 progressive press, a rugged AR-friendly shooting rest, plus a handy totable cleaning kit from Otis.

Here Are Six Standouts from Shooting Industry April 2021:

WOOX Advanced Furiosa Micarta Rifle Chassis

Shooting Industry Magazine April 2021 new products woos furiosa micarta chassis

The new Furiosa Micarta Rifle chassis combines the best of both worlds — aircraft grade aluminum chassis strength with human-friendly ergonomics and a weather-resistant finish. The Furiosa Micarta’s outer shell casts off moisture as well as oils and solvents. The manufacturer claims the hybrid stock absorb vibrations, effectively providing harmonic dampening (as you would get with conventional wood or fiberglass stocks). The Woox Furiosa Micarta chassis is available for Remington 700, Howa 1500, Weatherby Vanguard, Sauer 100, and Tikka T3 actions.

Birchwood Casey — Alpha Shooting Rest (AR Optimized)

Shooting Industry Magazine April 2021 new products Lapua Taurus

Birchwood Casey’s new Alpha Shooting Rest features a tubular steel frame with non-slip rubber stock rest. Weighing in at a stout 35 pounds, with integrated weighted front, this Alpha Rest should be stable. It features adjustable leveling feet with bulls-eye bubble level, ambidextrous controls, and oversized adjustment knobs. Notably this Alpha Rest will accommodate ARs with 30-rd magazines. The front of the shooting rest maneuvers 2″ for windage, 3.5″ for elevation and 4.25″ to accommodate various rifle sizes.

Lapua — New Brass and Loaded Ammunition

Shooting Industry Magazine April 2021 new products Lapua brass 6.5 Creedmoor .284 Winchester PRC .223

Lapua now offers loaded match ammunition in 6.5 Creedmoor and .260 Remington plus loaded hunting ammunition in .223 Remington and 6.5 Creedmoor. Plus NEW BRASS — Lapua has added 6.5 PRC, .284 Win, .300 Win Mag, and 300 PRC cartridge cases to its 2021 product line. Cases are sold in boxes of 100. Errki Seikkula, Lapua Sales Manager, states: “Our new Lapua cartridge case offerings for 2021 display our continued commitment to the precision shooting disciplines which are popular in the USA and globally.” The .223 Rem hunting ammo features Lapua 50 Grain Naturalis bullets, while the new 6.5 Creedmoor hunting ammunition is loaded Lapua’s 156 Grain MEGA Soft Point.

Taurus Raging Hunter Revolver in .460 S&W

Shooting Industry Magazine April 2021 new products Taurus revolver .460 S&W
Shooting Industry Magazine April 2021 new products Taurus revolver .460 S&W

For 2021 Taurus introduces a new Raging Hunter Revolver chambered in .460 S&W. This beefy wheelgun features sleeved barrel construction, and factory porting to reduce muzzle rise. A Picatinny rail on the barrel shroud makes it easy to mount optics (to complement the adjustable rear iron sight). To help manage recoil (and provide a secure hold), the Raging Hunter features an ergonomic grooved grip with cushioned inserts. Taurus CEO Bret Vorhees states: “The Taurus Raging Hunter was a hit among … handgun hunters when we introduced it in 2019. We [now offer more] downrange performance with the new Raging Hunter in .460 S&W.” This revolver is offered in three barrel lengths: 5.12″ (top photo), 6.75″, and 8.37″ (second photo).

Mark 7 Apex 10 Professional-Grade Progressive Press


Video from UltimateReloader.com

TEN Stations in 2021! Mark 7, a Lyman brand, has introduced the new Apex 10, a 10-station progressive press compatible with the Mark 7 Autodrive, Mark 7 Primer Xpress, and all Mark 7 sensors. Apex 10 features include a 10 station tool head, Mark 7 mechanical powder measure, 11″ case feeder with speed adjustments, reverse setting, transparent trap door, metal construction, and case sensor activation technology. The Apex 10 also features shuttle disk priming system and double guide rod support. The new cast toolhead is designed to reduce flex under pressure.

OTIS Technology — Professional Pistol Cleaning Kit in Pouch

Shooting Industry Magazine April 2021 new products glock otis

Otis Technology’s new Professional Pistol Cleaning Kit is optimized to clean and maintain 9mm, .40 Cal and .45 ACP Glock pistols. But of course it can be used for other handguns as well. The kit includes three bronze and three nylon bore brushes, Memory-Flex cables and three caliber-specific ripcords. A steel pistol loop rod and Otis’s 8-in-1 Pistol T-Tool for pushing and resetting pins and front site adjustment are also included. The kit even comes with a magazine plate removal tool.

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March 27th, 2021

CMP Marksmanship 101 Training Programs in 2021

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU 2021

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will offer hands-on rifle and pistol training programs in 2021 at locations around the nation. The CMP’s Marksmanship 101 Program, formerly known as the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) On The Road, is designed to train beginners on rifle or pistol essentials and competition basics in a closely monitored setting, utilizing the talents of qualified CMP staff, trainers, and members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU).

Held at CMP Games matches and at various CMP Affiliated Clubs around the nation, the courses are led by certified CMP Master Instructors and talented members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. The course curriculum is based off of the Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS) offered at the annual National Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, which have been attended by countless individuals since 1918.

Upcoming Rifle Marksmanship 101 Classes:
New England Games, September 19, 2021, Jericho, Vermont
Oklahoma Games, October 17, 2021, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Talladega 600, November 16, 2021, CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, Talladega, Alabama

Upcoming Pistol Marksmanship 101 Classes:
New England Games, September 19, 2021, Jericho, Vermont
Oklahoma Games, October 17, 2021, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU 2021

Firearms and Ammunition Are Provided by CMP

Here is one of the biggest lures of the Marksmanship 101 Program — the CMP supplies guns and ammo! Rifles (AR-15), pistols (M9) and ammunition will be provided by the CMP at each location.

Programs Combine Classroom Learning and Outdoor Shooting

The Marksmanship 101 rifle and pistol courses train both adults and juniors in a safe and comfortable environment. Courses will be held at multiple locations. CMP Training Director Steve Cooper explains: “We know there are many people across the country who simply don’t have the time or means to travel to Ohio for the Small Arms Firing Schools during the National Matches, so, we decided to take the same basic curriculum and training on the road and customized the name.”

The Marksmanship 101 courses are a mix of indoor classroom learning and outdoor experiences on the range. Areas covered during the course include firearm safety, essential firing practices and handling, positioning and other competition skills, along with live firing on the range. Each course ends with applying everything learned to a true Excellence-In-Competition match on the range. “We always start our 101 events in a classroom environment, where we explain and demonstrate everything we’re going to do, very thoroughly,” Cooper said.

Program Requirements for Marksmanship 101

Since CMP Marksmanship 101 programs are designed to fit even those new to the marksmanship world, no previous firearm experience is required to attend. Participants ARE required to bring hearing and eye protection for the live-fire activities. Individuals should also dress according to weather conditions and may also bring any other desired competitive shooting equipment they wish to use.

cmp marksmanship 101 training program

How to Register for CMP Marksmanship Training Programs

Visit the CMP Marksmanship 101 website for Registration Links and other information. Once on the website, click your desired date and location to be sent to the CMP Competition Tracker page to complete registration. Questions regarding Marksmanship 101 may be directed to Amy Cantu at 419-635-2141 ext. 602 or acantu@thecmp.org.

CMP Marksmanship 101 Small Arms Firing School USAMU

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March 27th, 2021

Court Gun Rulings and Federal Gun Control on Gun Talk Radio

Biden socialism second amendment Kamala Harris liar gun control

You may want to monitor Gun Talk Radio this Sunday, March 28, 2021. This Gun Talk episode will be one of the most important of the year. The broadcast covers efforts in Washington to throttle the Second Amendment along with a shocking decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denying citizens the right to carry firearms. This broadcast airs Sunday, 3/28/21 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern time. You can interact with the Gun Talk team by calling 866-TALK-GUN with comments and questions.

Multiple Gun Rights Issues Covered on Sunday
Important topics include the 9th Circuit’s recent ruling in Young v. Hawaii that the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to bear arms outside the home, state preemption laws, a bid to end the FOID card, examining the partnership between the gun industry and the mental health industry. The show also covers the recent Boulder, Colorado shooting and a U.S. Senate hearing on the prevention of gun violence. Top Shot’s Chris Cheng testified in the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Gun Violence Prevention. Chris stops by to talk about the hearing. CLICK HERE for Video of testimony at Senate Hearing.

In this Gun Talk episode journalist Emily Miller examines the Ninth Circuit’s latest decision regarding open carry. CLICK HERE to read Miller’s analysis of that Circuit Court decision issued Friday, 3/24/2021.

Joe Biden Beto O'Rourke gun control AR15 AR-15 second amendment Tom Gresham Gun Talk coronavirus

Young v. Hawaii Decision Goes Against Supreme Court Precedents
Speaking about the 9th Circuit’s recent 7-4 ruling in Young v. Hawaii, the NSSF says that upholding Hawaii’s ban on carry ignores the clear language of the Second Amendment and U.S. Supreme Court precedent of the landmark 2008 Heller decision and 2010 McDonald decision, which displayed the exact opposite findings. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling underscores the need for the U.S. Supreme Court to accept firearm-related cases for review to settle the long-standing disputes. Lower courts have failed to apply Supreme Court precedents and are effectively treating the Second Amendment as a second-class right.

“The blatant defiance of the Supreme Court to undermine Heller and hollow out rights afforded to individuals by their Creator and clearly protected by the Constitution is unconscionable,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior VP and General Counsel. “It is with amazing boldness that the Ninth Circuit brazenly sets aside not just the previous findings of the Supreme Court, which legally they are bound to apply, but actively chooses to ignore plain English and refuses to acknowledge the right to bear arms. We look forward to filing an amicus brief when this heads to the Supreme Court.”

On Gun Talk Radio this week, Tom Gresham covers the shooting in Boulder and the calls for new gun control laws that were launched within minutes of the breaking news. With random attacks always comes talk of mental health, and Walk the Talk America’s Michael Sodini will address mental health issues on the Sunday show. In addition, Illinois State Senator Neil Anderson talks about lifting the Illinois requirement to have a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) in order to purchase or own a gun.

Gun Talk Radio Broadcast Times — and Podcast Archive

This broadcast airs Sunday, March 28, 2021 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern time on radio stations nationwide. Past podcasts can be heard online via the GunTalk Podcast Center and Apple iTunes. The Gun Talk podcast archive has many great shows. Click the link below to hear a recent show (1/3/2021) about mainstream media and financial industry bias against firearms and shooting sports enterprises.

Podcast about Boulder Colorado Shooting and Gun Control

Podcast about Impending Gun Control Laws:

Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio show airs live on Sundays from 2PM-5PM Eastern, and runs on more than 270 stations. Listen on a radio station near you or via LIVE Streaming. All Gun Talk shows can also be downloaded as podcasts through the GunTalk Podcast Center or Apple iTunes. Gun Talk is also available on YouTube and GunTalk.com.

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March 26th, 2021

What’s Wrong with This Picture — Look Carefully

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class
Click image to zoom full-screen.

What’s wrong (or right?) with this picture? Does the “F” in F-class refer to “Fauna”? Look carefully at this Bisley Range photo taken by Australian R. Hurley while looking downrange through his March 8-80X scope. The photo was taken in 2015 at the Bisley National Shooting Centre in the UK.

The Story Behind the Photo
British shooter T. Stewart reports: “I was there when this photos was taken. All I can say was that Mr. Hurley was firmly reminded that should said deer accidentally jump in front of his bullet … he would spend five years ‘At Her Majesty’s Pleasure’.”

“That morning we had five deer moving across the targets, literally blocking the V-Bull. Since we were on the 900-yard Firing Point, and elevated for such, obviously the bullet would pass well above them. But they do NOT move or flinch at the noise or passing bullets since they are not hunted on the Bisley Ranges. Earlier this year we saw a herd of 20 or so deer grazing slowly across the Range.”

More Fauna Findings…
Apparently Bisley is not the only place were “the deer and the antelope play”. In Canada, on the Connaught Ranges near Ottawa, Ontario, shooters often encounter a variety of wildlife. William McDonald from Ontario says: “Animals are a common sight on the Range. Along with deer we see geese, turkeys, and coyotes on a daily basis.”

Likewise, E. Goodacre from Queensland, Australia often sees ‘Roos on his home range: “I shoot at Ripley, Australia, and shooting is regularly interrupted by kangaroos. Our last silhouette match was delayed by an hour while 30 ‘Roos dawdled across — silly buggers!”

R. Hurley wasn’t the first fellow to view deer through his F-Class rifle’s scope. After seeing Hurley’s photo from Bisley, B. Weeks posted this image, saying: “Been there, done that!”

Bisley Range Deer England Centre UK Wildlife F-Class

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March 25th, 2021

Huge Increases in Guns and Ammo Sales — Infographic

2020 Gun sales NICS NSSF infographic
NSSF Photo. Related Story HERE.

How have gun sales grown in recent years in the USA? What states have the most new gun owners? How much ammo is produced each year? You’ll find answers to these and other questions in a new infographic produced by Bear Creek Arsenal.

2020 Gun sales NICS NSSF infographic

Here Are Some of the Key Findings:

1. Over 21 million NICS Adjusted background checks were done in 2020, a 59.7% increase over 2019 (and 34.3% higher than 2016). NSSF estimates that 40% of 2020 gun sales were to first-time gun buyers who numbered 8.4 million last year.

2. Of all U.S. States, Texas had the most NICS checks in 2020, with 1.8 million, followed by Florida with 1.6 million. Perhaps surprisingly, Democratic Party-controlled California recorded 1.23 million NICS checks.

3. Some “Blue States” have seen huge increases in gun sales, prompted by Leftist- and BLM-sponsored riots and social unrest. For example, Michigan saw a 180% increase in sales, while the District of Columbia saw a 140% increase. That is interesting because DC is definitely not a bastion of conservative Republicans. In fact, the District of Columbia is solid Democratic Party territory. This shows that concerns over personal safety/self-defense cut across party lines.

4. Over NINE BILLION rounds of ammunition were produced in 2020. This represents a total annual ammo value of $21.38 billion. Quote: “A reasonable extrapolation puts the amount of ammunition produced for the United States market [in 2020] at somewhat over 9 billion rounds, of which 5 billion are rimfire and 4 billion are centerfire rifle, pistol, and shotgun rounds.” Source: Dean Weingarten on Ammoland.com

2020 Gun sales NICS NSSF infographic

2020 Gun sales NICS NSSF infographic

2020 was definitely the year of the gun. Firearm sales were up 95% in the first half of 2020. And, according to the NSSF, there were nearly 8.4 million first-time-ever gun buyers in the USA in 2020. A NSSF dealer survey estimates that 40% of all gun sales were conducted to purchasers who have never previously owned a firearm. Women accounted for 40.2% of all first-time gun purchases. Notably, firearm purchases among African American men and women increased 58% over last year, the largest such increase of any demographic group.

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March 25th, 2021

Why You Should Use Expander Mandrels on New Brass

Expander Mandrel reloading case neck tension cartridge brass

Before you load that nice new cartridge brass for the first time, run an expander mandrel down the case necks. This will iron out dents and provide more uniform neck tension. Chose a mandrel diameter that provides appropriate neck tension.

Lapua brass is so good that you’ll be tempted to just load and shoot, if you have a “no-turn” chamber. However, some minimal case prep will ensure more uniform neck tension. Keeping your neck tension very uniform allows more consistent bullet seating. That, in turn, usually yields better accuracy, and lower Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation (ES/SD). Lapua brass, particularly 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win comes from the factory with tighter-than-optimal necks. Before you seat bullets, at a minimum, you should inside chamfer the case mouths, after running an expander mandrel down the necks. The expander mandrels from both Sinclair Int’l and K&M will both leave the necks with enough neck tension (more than .001″) so you can then seat bullets without another operation. We suggest putting a bit of lube on the mandrel before running it down the necks — but remove any lube that gets inside the necks before seating bullets.

Sinclair Expander Tool Mandrel

Both Sinclair and K&M Tools make a die body specifically to hold expander mandrels. The Sinclair version, is shown above. This $32.99 unit fits caliber-specific expander mandrels ($9.99) which measure approximately .001″ less than bullet diameter for each caliber. This is an updated “Gen II” design that completely captures the mandrel within the die so the mandrel cannot pull out. It also has an O-ring in the die cap that allows the mandrel to self-center within the case neck. Sinclair now offers three sizes of die bodies for expander mandrels: .17 -.338 Caliber (#749-011-715WS); .357 – .50 caliber (#749-008-843WS), and a special .50 Cal die body for large-diameter 50 BMG presses (#749-009-163WS, $39.99). All Generation II dies are machined from stainless steel and the standard diameter 7/8-14 dies include the Sinclair Stainless Steel Split Lock Ring.

Once you run the Sinclair expander mandrel down the necks of Lapua brass, after you account for brass spring-back, you’ll have about .002″ neck tension*. This will make the process of seating bullets go much more smoothly, and you will also iron out any dents in the case mouths. Once the case mouths are all expanded, and uniformly round, then do your inside neck chamfering/deburring. The same expander mandrels can be used to “neck-up” smaller diameter brass, or prepare brass for neck-turning.

Forum member Mike Crawford adds: “These expanders can also reduce runout from offset seating. Prior to bullet seating, expand the sized necks to force thickness variance outward. With the Sinclair system, the necks will springback fine, and will not be pulled out of center. This leaves plenty of tension, and bullets seated more centered. I do this, even with turned necks, to get improved seating.”

Mandrels vs. Expander Balls on Decapping Rods
If you haven’t acquired an appropriate expander mandrel for your brass, but you DO have a full-length sizing die with an expander ball, this will also function to “iron out” the necks and reduce tension. However, using a die with an expander ball will work the necks more — since you first size them down, then the ball expands them up again. Typically (but not always), run-out is worse when using an expander ball vs. an expander mandrel.


* This .002″ tension is what we have observed with Lapua 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win brass. This might vary with much smaller or larger cases, and of course a different brand of brass might yield different results. If you get too little tension with your current mandrel, you can get a smaller-diameter mandrel from 21st Century Shooting. 21st Century even offers low-friction Titanium Nitride-coated mandrels.

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March 24th, 2021

Big Snake — Colt ‘s New-Generation Anaconda .44 Mag Revolver

Colt Anaconda revolver wheelgun .44 Mag Magnum stainless steel snake 6

Good news for big bore revolver fans. Colt is bringing back its legendary Anaconda .44 Magnum Revolver. Colt has released this big-bore wheelgun for 2021, and both 6″ and 8″ barrel models are now leaving Colt’s factory. These new-generation Colts are hefty. Fitted with 6″ barrel Colt’s new Anaconda weighs 3.31 pounds (53 ounces) while the big 8″-bbl Anaconda tips the scales at 3.69 pounds (59 ounces).

Colt Anaconda revolver wheelgun .44 Mag Magnum stainless steel snake 6

Guns American Digest reports: “Now in production and starting to ship, the Anaconda is returning in both 6-inch and 8-inch models. The .44 is based on Colt’s updated .357 Magnum design, scaled up and reinforced for the hard-hitting cartridge. Of course, shooters can always shoot friendlier .44 Special ammunition at the range. These guns are returning with all the same looks as the originals, with full-length underlugs, ventilated rib topstraps, and Colt’s semi-bright polished finish. They ship with target sights including adjustable rear sights and a red ramp up-front.”

The Colt Anaconda is a double-action six shooter with forged stainless steel barrel and frame. Double Action trigger pull is 12 pounds with single action a smooth 5 pounds. The new Anacondas come standard with black Hogue over-molded rubber grips, but Python checkered wood grips can be fitted to Anacondas. For full-power .44 magnum loads, we recommend sticking with the Hogues.

Colt Anaconda revolver wheelgun .44 Mag Magnum stainless steel snake 6

Optics Options for Anaconda
Are you a handgun hunter? Then you’ll be pleased to note that the new Anaconda comes with frames already drilled and tapped for optics. This will allow the fitting of red-dot style optics as well as long-eye-relief hunting scopes.

Additional Calibers in the Future?
Will the Anaconda be offered in other calibers? Guns America Digest reports: “It’s possible that Colt also has plans for other chamberings, like .45 Colt, but for now, they’ll have no trouble finding buyers for their new-production .44 Magnum Anacondas. Even at the suggested retail pricing, which, in all fairness, is the same as the .357 Magnum Pythons.

Colt Anaconda MSRP is $1499.99
The 2021 Colt Anaconda is listed on the Colt website with a hefty $1499.00 MSRP, the same as the new-generation Colt Python Revolver in .357 Magnum.

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March 23rd, 2021

Trick-Shot Tuesday — Shooting Aspirin Pills Off Inflated Balloon

Balloon pill trick shot trickshot USAMU SPC Ivan Roe

Now here is an example of truly impressive marksmanship skills and amazing aiming from a USAMU soldier. From a standing position, SPC Ivan Roe shoots a tiny aspirin pill off the top of a balloon — without breaking the balloon. In fact, he does this twice … with iron sights no less.

Balloon pill trick shot trickshot USAMU SPC Ivan Roe

Watch Video to See Aspirin Pill Shot Twice off Balloon:

Balloon pill trick shot trickshot USAMU SPC Ivan Roe

The first time the pill sits on a small piece of tape just millimeters above the upper edge of the balloon (Time mark 00:40-45). But the second time, the aspirin pill lies flat on the top on the balloon — an even tougher challenge. Watch Ivan nail that flat pill again without hitting the balloon at 00:59. No that is truly impressive — and remember it was done from standing with Iron sights!

Balloon pill trick shot trickshot USAMU SPC Ivan Roe
SPC Ivan Roe was using a German Feinwerkbau, an elite precision air rifle favored by Olympic and World Cup competitors. Originally from Montana, SPC Roe is a member of the USAMU International Rifle Team.

Did you like this demonstration of Trick-Shot marksmanship? Then visit the USAMU’s Facebook Page. Every Tuesday the USAMU releases a new trick-shot video on Facebook and YouTube. CLICK HERE for the latest USAMU trick-shot video — hitting a poker chip on a fast-moving target frame with a pistol. Very impressive.

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March 22nd, 2021

Talladega Spring Classic in Alabama Was a Success

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Over the past six days the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) conducted a major spring shooting event — the Talladega Spring Classic held at the Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. This year’s event was a success, with participants enjoying a wide range of pistol and rifle competitions, plus training courses.

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Talladega Spring Classic 2021TALLADEGA SPRING CLASSIC 2021
Spring has sprung! From March 16 through 21, the CMP has hosted a major series of rifle and pistol matches at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. The March 2021 Spring Classic event at Talladega included a mix of both new and traditional rifle matches, along with pistol competitions, and a variety of training courses.

On the rifle firing lines were Service Rifles, Vintage Military Rifles, and Rimfire Sporter Rifles. And there were even M1 Garands being shot from the bench. In the pistol areas, both rimfire and centerfire matches were held.

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Spring Classic Featured New Benchrest Garand Match
The Talladega Spring Classic featured traditional matches plus some notable new events. Debuting this year was a Benchrest Garand Match. In addition there was a new Mid-Range 3×600 Rifle Match, and new Pistol 2700 Match. Along with the new events, the Spring Classic including CMP staple events including: Rimfire Sporter Rifle Match, .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC, Service Pistol EIC, and GSMM (Garand/Springfield/Vintage and Modern Military) Rifle matches.

Talladega Spring Classic

There were also multiple training sessions including: Long Range Rifle Clinic, Team CMP 600-Yard Clinic, Rifle Marksmanship 101 Course/M16 Match, and Pistol Marksmanship 101 Course/M9 Match. These classes allow participants the opportunity to learn marksmanship from skilled, certified instructors.

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

Talladega Spring Classic 2021

CMP Western Games Cancelled 2021 Phoenix Arizona Ben Avery Shooting Facility

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March 20th, 2021

Economic Impact of Gun Industry Has Doubled since 2008

Shooting gun industry ammunition ammo economic impact revenue economy 2020

The total economic impact of the firearm and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $63.5 billion in 2019, a 232% increase, while the total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to over 342,330, a 106% increase in that period, according to a report released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the industry’s trade association.

In just the last year, the industry’s economic impact rose from $60 billion in 2019 to $63.5 billion in 2020. Total jobs increased by 10,000+, from nearly 332,000 to over 342,330. The NSSF states: “The broader impact of the industry throughout the economy supports and generates business for firms seemingly unrelated to firearms, at a time when every job in America counts. These are real people, with real jobs, working in industries as varied as banking, retail, accounting, metalworking, and printing among others.”

The firearms/shooting industries help fund vital public services, by generating billions in Federal and state tax revenues. Since 2008 the gun industry has increased federal tax payments by 170%, state business taxes by 125% and Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 89%.

READ Full NSSF Economic Impact Report HERE »

Shooting gun industry ammunition ammo economic impact revenue economy 2020
Shooting gun industry ammunition ammo economic impact revenue economy 2020

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March 19th, 2021

The ABCs of Reloading is Good Resource for New Hand-Loaders

ABCs of Reloading 10th Edition Phil Massaro Gun Digest

With the skyrocketing prices of ammo, more shooters than ever are hand-loading pistol and rifle ammunition. But many novice reloaders tell us that it’s a bit overwhelming in the beginning. Just learning all the technical terms (e.g. ogive, meplat, ballistic coefficient, load density etc.) is difficult, and the task of selecting the right tools and gear can be daunting.

The first thing a new reloader should do is find an experienced reloading mentor. One can learn the basics much more quickly under the guidance of an experienced hand-loader who “knows the ropes”. We also recommend that newbies acquire a good basic reloading handbook — not just a list of load recipes, but a book that explains the processes.

One of the best handbooks available is The ABCs of Reloading (10th Edition, 2021) by Philip Massaro. Just released in March 2021, this reference contains 288 pages with hundreds of BW photos. The new 10th Edition is available from Gun Digest Store for $29.99 (or $24.99 for PDF Digital Book). You can also purchase from Amazon.com for $32.99.

ABCs of Reloading 10th Edition Phil Massaro Gun Digest

Since the first edition was published in the 1970s, the ABCs of Reloading series has taught countless firearms owners safe/reliable methods for creating their own ammunition. ABCs of Reloading provides beginners what they need to know to get started in reloading. From basic topics such as “How does a cartridge work?” and “What components do I need?” to more advanced discussions of cartridge pressure, headspace, and chrono testing, this is a great resource for new handloaders.

In addition, the sections on advanced reloading and new powders make the new edition valuable for experienced handloaders. And long-range shooters will benefit from the sections on making ultra-consistent ammo and fine-tuning for precision accuracy. Massaro’s coverage of new reloading gear and components is another bonus (shown below is the new RCBS MatchMaster powder dispenser).

ABCs of Reloading 10th Edition Phil Massaro Gun Digest

Review from purchaser of “The ABCs of Reloading”, 8th Edition:

“When I first got the itch to load my own ammunition, I was overwhelmed by the amount of information and terminology involved in this fascinating field/hobby. It was very difficult to take all the individual pieces of information that I had and form it into an understandable process. I was snowed in under a blizzard of data that I was piecing together through chat rooms and web sites. Phrases like ‘roll crimp’ and ‘headspace’ came at me in a blizzard. I could look up each phrase, understand each one as a piece, but still the whole picture was fuzzy. In essence, that is what this book will do for you — turn it all into a coherent, linear whole. The writing is very solid and clear, the illustrations are well-done and helpful, and the information is very complete. After reading this book, the entire process made sense to me, and more importantly, I was fully warned about the dos and don’ts of the reloading world. The coverage is very complete. Primers, powders, bullets, and … all necessary tools and accessories are discussed and explained. This is just a great book. It won’t make you an expert … but it will put you on the right road if you wish to become one.” — Mykal Banta

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March 17th, 2021

Sightron Offers New PLR Series Illuminated Scopes

Sightron optics Precsion long range PLR SFP FFP scopes zero stop illuminated riflescope

Sightron has launched its new Precision Long-Range (PLR) Riflescope Series. The Sightron SIII PLR Series offers high-end optics performance at reasonable prices, starting at $1325.00 MSRP. There will be three second focal plane (SFP) models: 6-24x50mm, 8-32x56mm, and 10-50x60mm. In addition there is an impressive new 6-24x50mm first focal plane (FFP) model.

Sightron optics Precsion long range PLR SFP FFP scopes zero stop illuminated riflescope

Sightron’s new SIII PLR riflescopes feature 30mm tubes, a new internal zero-stop mechanism, and several illuminated reticle options. All models sport a black satin finish with high visibility markings. The large, oversized tactical knobs are easy to adjust and are resettable to zero. The new internal zero-stop mechanism provides a tactile and audible positive stop for dead-on zero setting. The windage knob is marked for left and right, so there is no second-guessing when making adjustments. Click values for PLR scopes are either 1/4 MOA or 0.1 MRAD. Sightron’s patented ExacTrack Windage and Elevation System is standard on all models. ExacTrack provides super-precise windage and elevation adjustments while maintaining a positive point-of-contact with the internal erector tube.

Sightron optics Precsion long range PLR SFP FFP scopes zero stop illuminated riflescope

All PLR scopes boast Sightron’s Zact-7 Revcoat Plus™ Enhanced Lens Coating for increased light transmission and improved clarity. And all PLR reticles are illuminated with a side-mounted 11-position on/off rotary-type dial. The side-mounted focus system has been redesigned for improved close focus performance. These PLR scopes all ship with 3-inch sunshade, flip-up lens covers, Torx Key/Allen wrench, and CR2032 battery. Like all Sightron scopes, the PLR series optics are nitrogen-charged for a 100% waterproof and fog-proof system.

Sightron optics Precsion long range PLR SFP FFP scopes zero stop illuminated riflescope

First Focal Plane Scope for Tactical Disciplines
The new 6-24x50mm SIII PLR FFP riflescope features the first focal plane design favored by PRS/NRL and tactical shooters. This allows the shooter to range and holdover with speed and accuracy, knowing that the reticle dimensions will remain constant on all magnifications.

Sightron President Mack Matsumoto states: “Our engineers worked hard to improve the precision, function, and cosmetics of the already-popular SIII Long-Range Series. You will … experience a higher level of precision from the new internal Zero-stop to the Zact-7 Revcoat Plus multicoating technology that improves light transmission, color and clarity.”

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