September 11th, 2017

Bargain Finder 103: 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. Grafs.com — Lapua Bullets on Sale, Up to 49% Off

Grafs Grafs.com Lapua Scenar Scenar-L Bullet sale discount HPBT

You know Lapua makes truly superior brass, but have you tried Lapua bullets yet. You should. The Scenar and Scenar-L match bullets are outstanding. In one of our rifles (a 6mmBR), Lapua’s original 105gr Scenar bullets out-shot every other projectile we tried. And the Scenar-L bullets are some of the most consistent bullets (for weight and base-to-ogive) we’ve ever measured. Now you can get these outstanding Lapua match bullets, plus excellent Lapua hunting bullets at major savings. Here are some of the best deals on great Scenar-L Match Bullets now at Grafs.com:

.224 Cal 77gr HPBT Scenar-L: $24.99/100 (Save 46%) (Great for Service Rifle)
6mm (.243) 90gr HPBT Scenar-L: $369.99/1000 (Save 18%) (Great XTC and PRS Bullet)
6.5mm (.264) 120gr HPBT Scenar-L: $259.99/1000 (Save 39%) (Great for 6.5 Creedmoor)
7mm (.284) 180gr HPBT Scenar-L: $28.99/100 (Save 46%) (Superb F-Open Bullet)
.308 Cal 155gr HPBT Scenar-L: $299.99/1000 (Save 37%) (Excellent Palma Bullet)
.308 Cal 220gr HPBT Scenar-L: $30.99/100 (Save 46%) (Excellent F-TR Bullet)

2. CDNN — Winchester XPR Hunting Rifle, $279.99 After Rebate

Winchester XPR Hunting Rifle Vias Camo CDNN Cabelas Rebate

Looking for a good hunting rifle at a great price? Check out this promotion for the Winchester XPR. This is a fine-handling rig with a smooth bolt and many chambering options. Right now at CDNN Sports the basic gray-stocked Winchester XPR is on sale for $379.99. But here’s the kicker, Winchester is offering a $100.00 Mail-In Rebate. That drops your net cost to just $279.99. That’s an insanely good deal. You can also get the XPR in Vias Camo for $299.99 after rebate.

3. Midsouth — Norma Tac-223 .223 Rem Ammo, $5.99/20 rounds

Norma .223 Rem Tac-22 Ammunition AR15 ammo

Planning a late-season varmint hunt, or need some reliable ammo for a 3-Gun match? Look no further. This .223 Remington Norma Tac-223 FMJ is good ammo, a lot better than bulk commercial reloads, and not much more money. On sale now for $5.99 for a 20-round box, this quality Norma ammo is just thirty cents ($0.30) per round! You can also get this ammo by the case at Brownells, $244.99 for 800 rounds.

Here are two reviews from actual Midsouth customers who bought and shot this ammo:

“Amazingly accurate, great for target practice and plinking, and Norma brass! Believe it would be very good for varmit hunting. Price point is awesome for what you get from this ammunition. ordering more now.” Pat, Ohio

“I purchased this [Tac-223] ammo primarily for the Norma cartridge brass. It shoots great and the brass is top notch.” — Jim, Kentucky

4. DeGuns.net — S&W M&P 9mm, $399.99/$324.99 after Rebate

Smith Wesson M&P pistol handgun 9mm 9x19mm sale rebate

Here’s a great deal on a very reliable, accurate full-size 9x19mm pistol — the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm in Flat Dark Earth finish. We like the distinctive color with contrasting matte black ambidextrous controls. For the next week, this 9mm pistol is on sale for just $399.99. To sweeten the deal further, this handgun qualifies for a $75.00 Smith & Wesson Rebate. Act soon — this DeGuns Deal is good through September 16, 2017.

5. Amazon — Lyman BoreCam (Digital Borescope), $174.49

Bargain Deal Lyman Borecam Midsouth Shooters

Here’s the best deal we’ve found on an excellent product in high demand. The Lyman BoreCam is an electro-optical borescope with a digital display. You can record “stills” on a SD card. Our Forum members really like the BoreCam (although some wish the digital view-screen was larger). Amazon.com now has the Lyman BoreCam for $174.49 (seller Optics Planet) or $182.24 with free Prime Shipping. Grab it while you can at that price. Other vendors are charging a LOT more. For example, MidwayUSA’s price is $259.99!

6. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $179.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $179.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $199.99.

7. BangitAmmo.com — CCI Blazer Brass .45 ACP Ammo, $11.99

Bargain Deal CCI Brass Ammo Ammunition .45 ACP

This is quality, American-made ammo with reloadable brass cases. This is cheaper than just about any name-brand .45 ACP ammo on the market offered in single-box lots. We’ve shot a lot of this ammo and it functioned 100% in 1911s, Sig P220, Glock m21, HK USP and other .45 ACP handguns. Price is $11.99 for a 50-round box ($0.24/round).

8. Brownells — Hornady Auto Charge Powder Dispenser, $139.99

Hornady Auto Charge powder dispenser scale brownells sale

Right now at Brownells the Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Charge electronic powder dispenser/scale is on sale for $149.99. That’s a great deal but there’s more — with Brownells Coupon CODE M3P you can get the AutoCharge for just $139.99 and shipping is just one cent ($0.01) more at Brownells right how. So you can get the Hornady Auto Charge for $140.00 delivered. Hard to beat that.

9. Cabela’s — Savage 12 FV Rifle, $319.99

Savage 12 FV FCV hunting rifle .223 Rem 6.5 Creedmoor rebate Visa Card

Here’s a good deal on a Savage hunting rifle. Purchase a Model 12 FV for $319.99 from Cabela’s. This is a sweet deal if you’re looking for a basic, no-frills hunting or varminting rifle. Cabela’s offers five chamberings at this price: .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, 22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. NOTE: The Cabela’s website includes a link to a $100 Savage rebate. That is for the 12 FCV, a different model. This basic 12 FV is not rebate eligible. But it’s still a good deal at $319.99.

10. Amazon — Mystery Deal, 28% off Typical Price, $199.00

Mystery Deal Optics AccurateShooter Daily Bulletin Amazon

Here’s our second Mystery Deal of the Week. Rest assured this is a very high quality product — at a very compelling price: $199.00 at Amazon. This item sold for $299.99 last summer, and around $270.00 just two months ago. Grab this steal-of-a-deal now. This big-name product will help you get on target all the way out to 1250 yards. We can say with some confidence you won’t find a better-performing, comparable product that represents such a good value. CLICK HERE to see the Mystery Deal.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 10th, 2017

NEW Rifle Load Development and Scope Testing Target

Box to Bench Precision Scope tracking load development target

An outfit in Washigton State, Box to Bench Precision, has developed an oversize (23.5″ x 30″) precisely-scaled target designed for load development and scope testing. This target is very innovative. On the target you’ll find various clusters of aim points for various tasks. Upper left are orange aiming spots for testing various powder charges. In the upper right quadrant are more red aim points to be used when testing bullet seating depth. Running down the center of the target is a vertical line with horizontal marks showing precise MOA and Mil heights at 100 yards — use this feature to verify your click values.

This waterproof 23.5″ x 30″ target costs $6.99 from BoxtoBenchPrecision.com:
Box to Bench Precision Scope tracking load development target

And there’s more. In the lower right quadrant (far right) are three black targets to be used for chrono work. With these you can record cold velocity, hot barrel velocity and a “Final Velocity”. Over in the lower left quadrant, in the left-most column, are three dot targets for zeroing and recording group size with load data. Finally, four more black/white targets can be used for a scope box test (aka “shooting the square”). With a box test, you move from target to target, clicking in sequence to each corner of the square in sequence, evenutally returning to your original aim point. If your scope tracks correctly, the last box test shot should end up right on top of the first shot.

Record the Entire Load Development Process on One Target
For those used to shooting at conventional bulleyes or benchrest targets, this target may seem confusing, but it can really help organize and simplify the process of load development. We like the idea of having a single, durable target that performs double-duty — serving for load development as well as scope checking. And we like the fact that the target is pretty strong — the maker says: “The target is Tear-Resistant and Water-Proof”. We’d expect a maker based in the Pacific NW to design a target that can handle wet weather.

Box to Bench Precision Scope tracking load development target

How to Order
So how much does all this target technology cost? A single, 23.5″ x 30″ target costs $6.99. A pack of three targets costs $19.47, while a five-target pack runs $29.95 (which works out to $5.99 per target). Targets ship in a durable cardboard tube. If you like what you see and want to order these targets, visit the Box To Box Precision Online Store.

Permalink New Product, News, Reloading No Comments »
September 9th, 2017

Reloading Gear Review: Lee Classic Cast Breech-Lock Press

Lee Classic Cast Breech Lock Press

The Lee Classic Cast “O”-style press has always been an excellent value — it works as well as some other presses costing twice as much. And now Lee has improved on its Classic Cast Press design by adding a breech-lock fitting in the top. This allows you to swap dies in and out in seconds, once your dies are equipped with breech-lock quick-change bushings. The Lee Classic Cast Breech Lock press is available for under $120.00. That makes it a bargain compared to other heavy-duty single-stage presses. MidwayUSA offers this press (item #824144) for $105.29, while Natchez Shooters Supplies sells the press (item #LEE90999) for $110.49.

Lee Classic Cast Breech Lock PressBreech-Lock System Allows Fast Die Exchanges
With the Lee Breech-Lock Press system, the die drops straight in from the top. Then, with a quick 1/6th (60°) turn, the die locks firmly in place (like the breech on an artillery canon). The interrupted three-start thread assures dies return and lock into the exact same position each time. Bushings cost $7.43 each at Midsouth. If you prefer, you can leave a bushing in the press, and screw your dies in normally. But consider that it normally takes a dozen or more turns to screw in a normally threaded die. The Breech-lock system is way faster.

The Lee Classic Cast press features a strong, cast-iron frame and all-steel linkage. The large 1 1/8″-diameter ram is guided by over twelve square inches of ram bearing surface. We like the fact that you can mount the handle on either side, and adjust handle angle and length. As Lee explains: “The start and stop position is adjustable with a 48-tooth, ratchet-type handle clamp. In addition, the handle length is completely adjustable. Shorten [it] when you’re loading handgun and short rifle cases.”

Lock-Ring Eliminator Quick-Change Bushings
With Lee’s basic quick-lock bushings, you control vertical die position with the normal locking ring that seats against the top of the bushing. That works fine, but Lee also offers a handy Lock-Ring Eliminator Bushing (Lee SKU 90063). This clever design combines bushing and lock-ring into a single part. The Eliminator is turned from a solid piece of steel and the lock ring is integrated into the design of the part. With the Eliminator you’ll get the most repeatable and precise die positioning because lock ring and bushing are all one piece. Moreover, some guys say the Eliminator Bushings are easier to grab and remove than the standard Lee Breech-Lock Bushings.

Lee Classic Cast Breech Lock Press

Press owners have praised their Lee Classic Cast Breech-Lock units. Here are reports from two MidwayUSA customers:

Five Stars: Perfect single stage press. Loads accurately 6mm BR and 308 Win for competition. Large clearance is also great for my 460 Wby and 30-378 Wby. Pistol rounds in 44 mag and 45 ACP also load easy. The press has a lot of leverage for full-length rifle case sizing. Nice primer disposal system. Lowest price for its class. This unit beats my Lyman press by several miles…. ” — J. Davidson, California

Five Stars: This thing is outstanding and better than my old RCBS partner press. Once you get the sweet setting of the die, lock it in place and next time you load, you need not fumble to find the best setting. Breech lock is the key. I load a lot of .308 Win and .223 Rem for my ARs and this requires full-length sizing. Lee meets the challenge with no flex and excellent ram/die fit and alignment. Another nice feature is that the breech-lock inserts have a lock preventing [them] from unlocking. [T]he spent primer disposal is perfect vs. RCBS where primers can miss the primer catcher. The handle can also be placed left or right as needed and shortened for small cases or pistol to reduce the handle travel.” — E. Stanley, Rockford, IL

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 7th, 2017

Six Great Gear Items for Shooters — All Under Twenty Bucks

cheap tricks under $20 gear

Some top-flight components for a great-shooting rifle surely aren’t cheap — like a custom action ($1200 and up). And a premium, match-grade scope could set you back two grand or more. But there are still some great items that cost under $20.00 that can benefit any gun-owner. Here are our selection of six great shooting accessories under twenty bucks. Many of these are top-selling items on Amazon. The first item, a motion-sensitive light for your gun safe, has been a big hit with our readers.

1. Amazon — Motion-Sensitive Interior Light for Gun Safes, $9.95

gun safe light vault cabinet motion sensor light motion sensing LED magnet lamp

Let there be light. Here’s a great accessory for your Gun Safe. This “smart” LED lamp turns itself on when you open the door, and off when you close the door. There’s a built-in magnet so you can easily attach the light to the inner walls or “ceiling” of your gun safe. It works, it’s handy, and it’s inexpensive — just $9.99 with free shipping for Prime members (or otherwise free shipping for $25+ orders). We bought two for our own firearms vault. This can provide 14 hours of light with three AA batteries (not included). Very versatile, these motion-sensor lamps can also be used in closets. NOTE: This item has been very popular with our readers, who have purchase six dozen already.

2. Amazon — Discovery Scope Level, $8.99 (30mm)

Optical Rifle Scope bubble level Discovery 30mm 1 inch 34mm Amazon

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This Discovery scope level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It is available with inner diameters to fit scopes with either 1″ or 30mm main tubes. The popular 30mm version is now on sale for just $8.99 while the 1″ model is $9.99. (That’s right, the bigger version is cheaper right now). You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product: 84% of verified buyers rated this four or five stars.

3. Amazon — 34 dB Noise Rating Ear Muffs, $17.45

34dB NRR 32 hearing protection earmuffs

These 34 dB NRR earmuffs provide excellent sound protection without being too heavy and bulky. At at $17.45, they are a great bargain. The lower section of the muff is trimmed for a narrower profile — that helps with rifle and shotgun stocks. The headband is adjustable and has comfortable padding. Select from ten color options: black (above), grey, pink, purple, teal, white, green, blue, red, and Coyote Brown (our favorite). These Pro For Sho Muffs have earned a 4 1/2 star consumer rating, with over 1,600 Amazon customer reviews. NOTE: These fit pretty tight. If you have a very large hat size you might want a different brand.

4. Midsouth — Lee Universal Decapping Die, $10.95

Lee Universal Decapping die

Midsouth sells the Lee Universal Decapping Die for just $10.95 (item 006-90292), a very good deal. There are many situations when you may want to remove primers from fired brass as a separate operation (prior to case sizing). For example, if your rifle brass is dirty, you may want to de-cap before sizing. Or, if you load on a progressive press, things will run much more smoothly if you decap you brass first, in a separate operation. The Lee Universal Decapping Die will work with cartridges from 17 Fireball all the way up to 45-70. However, NOTE that the decapping pin supplied with this Lee die is TOO LARGE for LAPUA 6.5×47, 6BR, 220 Russian, and Norma 6 PPC flash holes. Because the pin diameter is too large for these brass types, you must either turn down the pin, or decap with a different tool for cases with .059″ flash-holes. Otherwise, the Lee Decapping Die works well and it’s a bargain.

5. Amazon — Bore Stores Rifle Cases Starting at $14.99

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $14.99 – $23.00 from Amazon.com. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ SSG Scoped Shotgun Bag. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.

6. Midsouth — Lyman Bleacher Loading Blocks, $6.14

Max NRR 33 db ear plugs

Lyman’s new Bleacher Block stepped cartridge holders are great. Use the different levels for sorting brass. Or, migrate the brass from top to bottom as you proceed through case prep stages. Made of durable polymer, Bleacher Blocks are molded in three sizes. The smallest size (with 0.388″-diam holes) fits .223 Rem-size case heads. The middle size (with 0.485″-diam holes) fits .308 Win-size case heads. The biggest Bleacher Block has 0.565″-diameter recesses for magnum-size cases. All three cartridge block sizes hold fifty (50) rounds. Purchase any size for just $6.14 per Block at Midsouth.

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
September 5th, 2017

Thinking Outside the Box — Stan Ware’s Wicked No-Neck Wolfpup

Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

Think you need a relatively long case-neck for good accuracy? Think again. Stan Ware broke all the rules with his radical Wolfpup cartridge, proving that a near-no-neck design can deliver match-winning accuracy. Read on to learn how the Wolfpup works…

Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesRetired gunsmith Stan Ware is a talented shooter who’s not afraid to think “outside the box”. Stan competes in both Hunter Benchrest (HBR) and Varmint for Score (VFS) disciplines. In his quest to build the ultimate Hunter Benchrest cartridge, Stan created the radical “Wolfpup” wildcat, based on a 6mmBR parent case. Noting the dominance of 30 BRs in VFS matches, Stan wondered if a stretched 30 BR could work in HBR competition. The challenge was case capacity. Under HBR rules the cartridge must hold at least 45.0 grains of water, equal to the capacity of the classic 30/30 case.

To get the requisite HBR case capacity, Stan figured he needed to boost the volume of a 30 BR case significantly, so he would have to move the shoulder forward — a lot. He did this by running a 30 BR reamer deeper and deeper, test-firing brass along the way. After three reamer passes, he ended up with the capacity he needed (the Wolfpup holds 45.3 grains of water). But then he looked at the finished product — a case with almost no neck, and he wondered “how could this possibly work?”.

Stan Ware SGR Custom RiflesFrom Trashbin to Winner’s Circle
Ware’s prototype Wolfpup ended up so short-necked, so unlike any “normal” cartridge, that Stan figured it was “dead on arrival”. Stan told us: “I said ‘this ain’t going to work’ and I threw the brass in the trash can. Honest. But later I thought I better shoot it and see what it does.” There was one problem — Stan didn’t have a seating die. He noticed the short neck provided a bit of tension after fire-forming, so he literally seated some bullets, BIB 118s and 125s, with his fingers. For powder he used H4198 and started with 35 grains, one grain more than a 30 BR load. Stan then did a pressure work-up: “I actually went up to 41.0 grains and didn’t have a sticky bolt. I ended up at 37.9 grains of Hodgdon 4198 — that gave 3150 fps, where the sweet spot is.” (Later testing revealed a second accuracy node at about 3020 fps, using 36.4 grains of H4198).

Stan’s radical short-necked Wolfpup shot great from the get-go. Once he found the right velocity node, the gun shot in the ones and zeros with both 7-ogive and 10-ogive bullets, both 118s and 125s. The Wolfpup proved easy to tune — it’s not finicky at all. And it’s a winner. Stan began shooting the Wolfpup in 2006 in both VFS and HBR matches and the ‘Pup’ started winning matches right away. In 2007, Stan won the Wisconsin State VFS Championship shooting the Wolfpup. In June 2010 at a Webster City, Iowa VFS match, Stan won the Grand Agg and posted high X-Count for the match, while placing first at 100 yards and second at 200 yards. How’s that for a cartridge that almost ended up in the trash bin?

Does Stan deserve an award for “most innovative benchrest cartridge design”? Stan chuckles at that notion: “I’m not a hero, not a genius. I really didn’t do anything. The fun part is thinking outside the box — for me anyway. Shooting is an age-old process of experimentation. You never learn it all.”

Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom Rifles

Stan Ware Wolfpup HBR SGR Custom RiflesWhy Does It Work?
How can such a radical case design perform so well? “That’s a good question,” Stan admitted. He then explained: “The 30 BR is inherently accurate, so I figured something based on the 30 BR should be accurate too. My personal belief is that the short neck doesn’t hurt you. Plus if the throat in the barrel is straight, the bullet can self-align. If the chamber is good, the bullet will self-center in the throat. In a regular case there’s not much room to do that, so a bullet can start off-center, and you don’t get the same results every time. A bullet in a conventional case is stopped from self-centering by the stiffer neck, particularly in a tight-clearance BR gun.”

Reloading the .30 Wolfpup
Stan’s Wolfpup chamber has a neck dimension of 0.330″. He turns his necks for a 0.327″ loaded round. Bullets are jammed .020″ forward of first contact with the lands. When he closes the bolt it pushes the bullet back in the case — almost a soft seat. Stan notes: “To start with I normally bump the shoulder .0005-.001″ so they go in easy. Just by doing that I get a little neck tension. I also use a bushing. Right now I’m running a .322, but it’s not particularly sensitive. I’ve tried one-thousandths increments up to a .325 bushing and couldn’t tell a lot of difference.” For bullet seating, Stan uses a Wilson 30 BR seater die into which he ran the chamber reamer. This gives perfect case fit during seating operations.

Stan Ware Wolfpup SGR Custom Rifles

About the Illustrated Gunstock
You’ll notice Stan’s stock contains scenes from Vietnam and a quotation. Here’s the story. A Vietnam combat veteran, Stan served “in-country” with the Army’s 509th Non-Divisional Combat Unit (out of Fort Riley) from 1965-1966. Shortly before he left Vietnam, Stan went to a shop to have a souvenir lighter engraved. He asked the vendor for an appropriate inscription. The shop’s metal-worker engraved: “War is a tragedy. It takes mans’ best to do mans’ worst.” That message, along with the combat scenes, were hand-painted on Stan’s rifle by his wife Susan, a talented artist. She spent more than 20 hours painting the rifle stock.

Photos courtesy Ryan Ware and Stan Ware.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading No Comments »
September 4th, 2017

Bargain Finder 102: 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. CDNN — Browning A-Bolt III Composite Stalker, $349.99 NET

CDNN Sports Browning Bucks Abolt AB3 A-Blot III Composite Stalker Realtree Xtra hunting rifle

Hunting season is coming soon. Here’s a rifle with a smooth three-lug action and good trigger that can take any game in North America. The Browning A-Bolt III is justifiably respected as a solid hunting rifle. This AB3 Composite Stalker model, with a synthetic stock blued barreled action, normally retails for $600.00+. Now it’s on sale for under $449.99. What’s more, Browning is currently offering a $100.00 Browning Bucks Rebate for any Browning firearm purchased before September 30, 2017. That drops your net cost for this hunting rifle to just $349.99.

CDNN Sports Browning Bucks Abolt AB3 A-Blot III Composite Stalker Realtree Xtra hunting rifle

Chose your favorite short-action or long-action cartridge. Available chamberings at this price include: .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, 7mm-08, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .300 WSM, .30-06 Sprg, 300 Win Mag. The .270 Win and .30-06 versions are also available with Realtree Xtra Camo (above) for the same $349.99 after-rebate price.

2. Natchez — Leupold VX-6 Scopes Closeout, Save Hundreds

Leupold VX-6 Scopes Closeout Sale Discount hunting

Looking for a good scope for your hunting rifle? Natchez Shooters Supplies is running a big sale on Leupold VX-6 scopes. You can save hundreds of dollars on a wide variety of VX-6 optics, from 1-6x24mm up to 3-18x50mm models. If you are looking for a high-quality hunting optic at a great price check out these deals. For example, Leupold’s 2-12x42mm Illum. FireDot LR Duplex model is marked down from $1039.50 to just $749.99 — a 28% savings! Shown above are four hot deals, but a dozen Leupold VX-6 models on are sale now.

3. Bruno’s — Big Labor Day Sale on (Nearly) Everything In Stock

Camo Tuesday Deals of Week camouflage hunting gear

Celebrate Labor Day with big savings. Bullets, brass, powder, optics, dies, tools, stocks, barrels, actions — all this and more is on sale at Bruno Shooters Supply right now. You’ll find savings on pretty much everything Bruno’s sells (except MAP-price items). But you have to act quickly. This storewide sale ends tomorrow, 9/5/2017 at 11:59 PM. You snooze, you loose. NOTE: You don’t need a special discount code — the sale prices are already shown online. This Sale runs through Tuesday, September 5 at 11:59 PM MST. No Back-orders with sale pricing.

4. Midway USA — Camo Tuesday Sales on Hunting Gear

Camo Tuesday Deals of Week camouflage hunting gear

This year, MidwayUSA’s 6th Annual Camo Tuesday™ will feature deep discounts on select MidwayUSA hunting clothing, footwear, ammunition, optics and more from brands like Irish Setter, Federal, and Vortex just to name a few. “Camo Tuesday [is] Black Friday for the hunter and marks the first official shopping day of the fall hunting season,” said Jeff Larkin, VP Marketing. “This year’s Camo Tuesday event … will be bigger and better than ever with some really great products from top brands at unbelievable prices!” Head over to MidwayUSA.com on September 5th to take advantage of the great deals. You can also enter the 2017 Camo Tuesday Sweepstakes with a Hunting Clothing Package prize.

5. Amazon — Sig Kilo 1250 Rangefinder, $199.99

sig kilo 1250 laser rangefinder $199 Amazon

Hunting season is coming soon. That means going through your gear check-list before you head to deer country. If you don’t have a quality, compact Laser Rangefinder, here’s a great deal. The 6x20mm SIG Kilo 1250 Camo Rangefinder is now on sale for under $200.00. This is a very accurate LRF, that ranges deer-sized targets at long distances quickly. The scan mode is very fast (4X per second) and this offers both line of sight (LOS) or angle modified range (AMR). The unit is compact and light — a bonus for hunters. There are more expensive Laser Rangefinder that can range farther, but this $199.99 Kilo 1250 will definitely do the job on a hunting trip for one-third the price.

6. Midsouth — All Hazmat Fees Reduced to $19.99 (up to 50 lbs.)

Midsouth Shooters Supply Hazmat Hazardous Material Shipping Discount Powder Valley Hodgdon IMR Alliant

UPDATE: Midsouth Has Extended this offer through Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 at 11:59 PM!

Some online vendors bill up to $40.00 per shipment for Hazardous Materials Charges, the notorious “HAZMAT FEE”. As a Labor Day weekend special, Midsouth has reduced its Hazmat Fee to just $19.99 per shipment, for any combination of powders and primers up to 50 pounds in weight. And yes, you can combine powder and primers in the same order, to ship both with one $19.99 hazmat fee. Right now is a good time to buy. Midsouth has a good selection of most popular powders (though Hodgdon H4350 and Alliant Reloder 16 are still back-ordered).

7. Powder Valley — $10 Off $100 Orders (with eMail Sign-Up)

Powder Valley Hodgdon IMR Alliant

Save ten bucks on your next powder order from Powder Valley Inc., one of the most respected vendors of powder, primers, bullets, and brass in the businesses. Simply subscribe to Powder Valley’s newsletter to earn your $10 Savings. As a subscriber, you’ll get timely tips on sales, and product arrivals — such as the latest shipment of Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass. Powder Valley has long had some of the most competitive pricing on reloading components.

8. Amazon — Motion-Sensitive Interior Light for Gun Safes, $9.95

gun safe light vault cabinet motion sensor light motion sensing LED magnet lamp

Let there be light. Here’s a great accessory for your Gun Safe. This “smart” LED lamp turns itself on when you open the door, and off when you close the door. There’s a built-in magnet so you can easily attach the light to the inner walls or “ceiling” of your gun safe. It works, it’s handy, and it’s inexpensive — just $9.99 with free shipping for Prime members (or otherwise free shipping for $25+ orders). We bought two for our own firearms vault. This can provide 14 hours of light with three AA batteries (not included). Very versatile, these motion-sensor lamps can also be used in closets.

9. Amazon — Mystery Deal of the Week, 30% Off Normal Price

AccurateShooter Mystery Deal Bargain Amazon reveal savings

We’re adding something new to our Weekly Bargain Round-Up — a Mystery Deal of the Week. This will be a high-quality item that has 4+ star user reviews, and is selling at least 25% off the normal price. The item this week is under $100.00 and is an outstanding value. It works as well as competitive products costing $220 or more. HINT: This Mystery Deal item will be handy for all rifle shooters traveling to and from a range. Above is a recent price chart. You can see this is a super value right now. CLICK HERE to see the Mystery Deal.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
September 3rd, 2017

Trimming Cases with the New Stainless L.E. Wilson Trimmer

Wilson stainless case trimmer clamp micrometer video Bill Gravatt Creedmoor sports

How do you trim your cases? We use a variety of tools, including power case trimmers. But our go-to trimmer for Benchrest-type cartridges is the L.E. Wilson Trimmer unit, now available in a handsome and durable stainless assembly. This thing is slick. It trims very precisely with the use of Wilson case holders combined with a micrometer-type stop for length control. As sold complete with micrometer, quick clamp, and metal stand, this new Wilson Stainless Trimmer is $139.95 at Creedmoor Sports. We think that’s a fair price for a unit that can last a lifetime, trimming many thousands of cases.

In this video, Bill Gravatt demonstrates the new Stainless Wilson trimmer. Gravatt offers some smart tips so this video is worth watching even if you’ve used a Wilson trimmer before:

Tips for Trimming with Wilson SS Micrometer Trimmer:

1. After inserting brass in the case holder, tap the case lightly to ensure it seats fully.

2. When starting your case-trimming session, do one or two test cases to check cut length. Adjust length with micrometer, then test length again. If “good to go”, set length stop. NOTE: Release the Stop Screw to make major adjustments. Use the Micrometer to make fine adjustments, in .001″ increments.

3. After trimming operations, be sure to chamfer case mouth after cutting to remove burrs. NOTE: After you have made the chamfer, we recommend gently spinning the chamfer tool backwards a couple times in the case neck. This will burnish/smooth the newly-cut champing, which helps with bullet seating.

Features of Deluxe Wilson Stainless Case Trimmer with Micrometer

    — Long lasting Stainless finish with Micrometer adjustment.
    — New 304 Stainless Steel Handle included with Micrometer Trimmer.
    — Rotary-style clamp swings to secure case-holder — quick and easy.
    — Larger stop screw adjustment from 3/8″ (old) to 1/2″ (new) with increased width on stop nut. Coated with black oxide for a long lasting durable finish.
    — Made in the USA with American Steel.
    — Power Adaptor compatible.

Wilson stainless case trimmer clamp micrometer video Bill Gravatt Creedmoor sports

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
September 3rd, 2017

Siebel’s Slick, 6-6.5×47 Varminter Delivers Speed and Accuracy

VarmintsForFun.com 6-6.5x47

A while back, John Siebel, creator of the Varmints for Fun website, put together a 6-6.5×47 Varminter with a Lilja 10-twist barrel and BAT RBRP three-lug action. Richard Franklin smithed the gun using a Model 10 Varminter stock, one of Richard’s own stock designs.

Varmintsforfun.com 6-6.5x47 LapuaVarmint Loads with 75gr and 87gr V-Maxs
Our Forum readers have asked for recommended 6-6.5×47 Lapua loads for the lighter bullets. Well, John has some useful load data that should provide excellent starting points for 75gr and 87gr projectiles. John writes: “The 75s and 87s will be my main groundpig/varmint rounds. I have worked up loads for all of them but I need to work on the 95s to fine tune them for the egg shoot. I used CCI 450 primers for all loads. They have shown to reduce ES greatly. This case has a small primer pocket and I reasoned with the slower burning powders I wanted to get my velocity as high as possible. I had plenty of H414 and N550 … so that’s what I tried. Velocities and case fullness seemed to be pretty dang good.”

John favored Vihtavuori N550 for the 75 V-Max, while H414 was his powder of choice for the 87gr V-Max. John found these two powders offered near 100% fill density. There are other good powder choices for these bullets. For pure accuracy, you may want to try the 80gr Berger Varmint bullet — it has shot superbly in our 6BRs.

Varmintsforfun.com 6-6.5x47 Lapua

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Reloading 4 Comments »
August 28th, 2017

Build Your Own Portable Reloading Bench with B&D WorkMate

portable reloading benchA while back, we featured a portable reloading bench built on a Black & Decker Workmate. That proved a VERY popular do-it-yourself project so we’re showing it again, in case you missed it the first time.

Texan Robert Lewis made himself a great portable reloading bench from plywood mounted to a Black & Decker Workmate. The bench, roughly 22″ x 19″ on top, folds up to fit easily in your car’s trunk or behind the seats in a pick-up truck cab. Four recessed bolts hold the wood top section to the collapsible B&D Workmate.The sides and back of the unit are attached to the base with small nails. There is a small shelf (also nailed in place) which can be used to clamp a powder measure or hold a scale. Shown in the photo is a Harrell’s Benchrest measure and Harrell’s single-stage “C” press.

Click for Detail of Top.
portable shooting bench

The whole unit can be built for about $65.00 with pine, or $80.00 with oak (as shown). Robert explained: “The Workmate was $40. If someone bought a 2’x4′ sheet of 3/4″ oak plywood, I think it is around $30. Using pine plywood would be about half that. Fasteners were $3. Spar Urethane would be $5.”

Robert told us: “I used a couple ideas I found on the web. The Larry Willis website gave me the idea to use the Black and Decker Workmate as a base. I found the Workmate on sale for $40 and the top is made from oak plywood I had in my shop. I sealed the wood with three coats of Spar Urethane. The whole thing folds into a nice package for transportation to and from the range.”

Editor’s NOTE: In the time that’s transpired since we first ran this story, the price of a Black & Decker workmate has gone up. However you can still pick a WM225 Workmate for under $65.00. Target is currently selling WM225 Workmates for $64.99.

Click HERE for FREE WORKBENCH PLANS.

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
August 27th, 2017

Controlling Grip on Bullet — Why Bushing Size is Only One Factor

case neck bushing reloading die tension bullet release

Many novice hand-loaders believe that neck bushing Inside Diameter (ID) size is the only important factor in neck tension. In fact, many different things will influence the grip on your bullet and its ability to release from the case neck. To learn the ins and outs of neck tension, take some time and read this article carefully.

Neck Tension (i.e. Grip on Bullets) Is a Complex Phenomenon
While we certainly have considerable control over neck tension by using tighter or looser bushings (with smaller or bigger Inside Diameters), bushing size is only one factor at work. It’s important to understand the multiple factors that can increase or decrease the resistance to bullet release. Think in terms of overall brass-on-bullet “grip” instead of just bushing size (or the internal neck diameter in non-bushing FL dies).

Bullet grip is affected by many things, such as:

1. Neck-wall thickness.
2. Amount of bullet bearing surface (shank) in the neck.
3. Surface condition inside of neck (residual carbon can act as a lubricant; ultrasonic cleaning makes necks “grabby”).
4. Length of neck (e.g. 6mmBR neck vs. 6mm Dasher).
5. Whether or not the bullets have an anti-friction coating.
6.The springiness of the brass (which is related to degree of work-hardening; number of firings etc.)
7. The bullet jacket material.
8. The outside diameter of the bullet and whether it has a pressure ridge.
9. Time duration between bullet seating and firing (necks can stiffen with time).
10. How often the brass is annealed.
11. Amount (length) of neck sized (e.g. you can size only half the neck).
12. Interior diameter of bushing, or neck section of non-bushing die.

— and there are others…

One needs to understand that bushing size isn’t the beginning and end of neck tension questions, because, even if bushing size is held constant, the amount of bullet “grip” can change dramatically as the condition of your brass changes. Bullet “grip” can also change if you alter your seating depth, and it can even change if you ultrasonically clean your cases.

Redding neck bushingsIn our Shooters’ Forum a reader recently asked: “How much neck tension should I use?” This prompted a Forum discussion in which other Forum members recommended a specific number based on their experience, such as .001″, .002″, or .003″. These numbers, as commonly used, correspond to the difference between case-neck OD after sizing and the neck OD of a loaded round, with bullet in place. In other words, the numbers refer to the nominal amount of interference fit (after sizing).

While these commonly-used “tension numbers” (of .001″, .002″ etc.) can be useful as starting points, neck tension is actually a fairly complex subject. The actual amount of “grip” on the bullet is a function of many factors, of which neck-OD reduction during sizing is just one. Understanding these many factors will help you maintain consistent neck tension as your brass “evolves” over the course of multiple reloadings.

Seating Depth Changes Can Increase or Decrease Grip on Bullet
You can do this simple experiment. Seat a boat-tail bullet in your sized neck with .150″ of bearing surface (shank) in the neck. Now remove the bullet with an impact hammer. Next, take another identical bullet and seat it with .300″ of bearing surface in another sized case (same bushing size/same nominal tension). You’ll find the deeper-seated bullet is gripped much harder.

PPC lapua brassNeck-Wall Thickness is Important Too
I have also found that thinner necks, particularly the very thin necks used by many PPC shooters, require more sizing to give equivalent “grip”. Again, do your own experiment. Seat a bullet in a case turned to .008″ neckwall thickness and sized down .003″. Now compare that to a case with .014″ neckwall thickness and sized down .0015″. You may find that the bullet in the thin necks actually pulls out easier, though it supposedly has more “neck tension”, if one were to consider bushing size alone.

In practical terms, because thick necks are less elastic than very thin necks, when you turn necks you may need to run tighter bushings to maintain the same amount of actual grip on the bullets (as compared to no-turn brass). Consequently, I suspect the guys using .0015″ “tension” on no-turn brass may be a lot closer to the guys using .003″ “tension” on turned necks than either group may realize.

Toward a Better Definition of Neck Tension
As a convenient short-cut, we tend to describe neck tension by bushing size alone. When a guy says, “I run .002 neck tension”, that normally means he is using a die/bushing that sizes the necks .002″ smaller than a loaded round. Well we know something about his post-sizing neck OD, but do we really have a reliable idea about how much force is required to release his bullets? Maybe not… This use of the term “neck tension” when we are really only describing the amount of neck diameter reduction with a die/bushing is really kind of incomplete.

My point here is that it is overly simplistic to ask, “should I load with .001 tension or .003?” In reality, an .001″ reduction (after springback) on a thick neck might provide MORE “grip” on a deep-seated bullet than an .003″ reduction on a very thin-walled neck holding a bullet with minimal bearing surface in the neck. Bushing ID is something we can easily measure and verify. We use bushing size as a descriptor of neck tension because it is convenient and because the other important factors are hard to quantify. But those factors shouldn’t be ignored if you want to maintain consistent neck tension for optimal accuracy.

Consistency and accuracy — that’s really what this all about isn’t it? We want to find the best neck tension for accuracy, and then maintain that amount of grip-on-bullet over time. To do that you need to look not only at your bushing size, but also at how your brass has changed (work-hardened) with time, and whether other variables (such as the amount of carbon in the neck) have changed. Ultimately, optimal neck tension must be ascertained experimentally. You have to go out and test empirically to see what works, in YOUR rifle, with YOUR bullets and YOUR brass. And you may have to change the nominal tension setting (i.e. bushing size) as your brass work-hardens or IF YOU CHANGE SEATING DEPTHS.

Remember that bushing size alone does not tell us all we need to know about the neck’s true “holding power” on a bullet, or the energy required for bullet release. True bullet grip is a more complicated phenomenon, one that is affected by numerous factors, some of which are very hard to quantify.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 5 Comments »
August 20th, 2017

TECH Tip: Safe Loading Practices for Different Bullet Shapes

USAMU Reloading Bullet Safety

This article, from the USAMU Facebook Page, concerns reloading safety. In the relentless quest for more speed and flatter ballistics, some hand-loaders load way too hot, running charges that exceed safe pressure levels. Hint: If you need a mallet to open your bolt, chances are your load is too hot. Stay within safe margins — your equipment will last longer, and you won’t risk an injury caused by over-pressure. In this article, the USAMU explains that you need to account for bullet shape, diameter, and bearing surface when working up a load. Don’t assume that a load which is safe for one bullet will be safe for another even if both bullets are exactly the same weight.

USAMU Reloading tips Army Marksmanship

Today, we continue our handloading safety theme, focusing on not inadvertently exceeding the boundaries of known, safe data.

Bullet manufacturers’ loading manuals often display three, four, or more similar-weight bullets grouped together with one set of load recipes. The manufacturer has tested these bullets and developed safe data for that group. However, seeing data in this format can tempt loaders — especially new ones — to think that ALL bullets of a given weight and caliber can interchangeably use the same load data. Actually, not so much.

The researchers ensure their data is safe with the bullet yielding the highest pressure. Thus, all others in that group should produce equal or less pressure, and they are safe using this data.

However, bullet designs include many variables such as different bearing surface lengths, hardness, and even slight variations in diameter. In fact, diameters can occasionally range up to 0.001″ by design. Thus, choosing untested bullets of the same weight and caliber, and using them with data not developed for them can yield excess pressures.

This is only one of the countless reasons not to begin at or very near the highest pressure loads during load development. Always begin at the starting load and look for pressure signs as one increases powder charges.

Bullet Bearing Surface and Pressure
Bullet bearing surface length (BSL) is often overlooked when considering maximum safe powder charges and pressures. In Photo 1, note the differences in the bullets’ appearance. All three are 7 mm, and their maximum weight difference is just five grains. Yet, the traditional round nose, flat base design on the left appears to have much more BSL than the sleeker match bullets. All things being equal, based on appearance, the RN/FB bullet seems likely to reach maximum pressure with significantly less powder than the other two designs.

Photo 1: Three Near-Equal-Weight 7mm Bullets with Different Shapes
USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparison Safety Reloading

Due to time constraints, the writer used an approximate, direct measurement approach to assess the bullets’ different BSLs. While fairly repeatable, the results were far from ballistics engineer-grade. Still, they are adequate for this example.

Bullet 1 (L-R), the RN/FB, has a very slight taper and only reaches its full diameter (0.284 inch) very near the cannelure. This taper is often seen on similar bullets; it helps reduce pressures with good accuracy. The calculated BSL of Bullet 1 was ~0.324″. The BSL of Bullet 2, in the center, was ~0.430″, and Bullet 3’s was ~ 0.463″. Obviously, bullets can be visually deceiving as to BSL!

Some might be tempted to use a bullet ogive comparator (or two) to measure bullets’ true BSL for comparison’s sake. Unfortunately, comparators don’t typically measure maximum bullet diameter and this approach can be deluding.

Photo 2: The Perils of Measuring Bearing Surface Length with Comparators
USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparision Safety Reloading

In Photo 2, two 7mm comparators have been installed on a dial caliper in an attempt to measure BSL. Using this approach, the BSLs differed sharply from the original [measurements]. The comparator-measured Bullet 1 BSL was 0.694” vs. 0.324” (original), Bullet 2 was 0.601” (comparator) vs. 0.430” (original), and Bullet 3 (shown in Photo 2) was 0.602” (comparator) vs. 0.463” (original). [Editor’s comment — Note the very large difference for Bullet 1, masking the fact that the true full diameter on this bullet starts very far back. You can use comparators on calipers, but be aware that this method may give you deceptive reading — we’ve seen variances just by reversing the comparators on the calipers, because the comparators, typically, are not perfectly round, nor are they machined to precision tolerances.]

Thanks to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit for allowing the reprint of this article.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
August 19th, 2017

Federal Offers Syntech Polymer-Coated Bullets for Hand-Loaders

Syntech Federal polymer coated coating jacket component bullets handgun pistol

Here’s something that may benefit pistol shooters, especially those who shoot steel and often shoot at indoor ranges. Federal Syntech bullets are now available as reloading components in 9mm, .40 Cal (10mm), and .45 Caliber. These bullets feature a total synthetic jacket (TSJ) polymer coating. The potential for reduced wear and fouling is real — when tested against conventional FMJ ammunition, Federal claims Syntech produced an average of 12% less barrel friction and 14% less heat. By eliminating the conventional bullet jacket, the Syntech design greatly lessens bullet “splashback” when shooting steel. Note, however, Syntech bullets still have a conventional lead core. This means they may not be allowed in ranges with lead restrictions.

Syntech Bullets Tech Information | Syntech Bullets LOAD DATA for 9mm, .40 SW, .45 ACP

Syntech Federal polymer coated coating jacket component bullets handgun pistol

Syntech Bullet Features & Benefits
• Polymer-encapsulated Syntech bullet prevents metal-on-metal contact in the bore.
• Eliminates copper and lead fouling.
• Decreases heat and friction, extending barrel life.
• Significantly reduces the required frequency of cleaning.
• Absence of a copper jacket minimizes splash-back on steel targets.

Part No. / Description / MSRP
AE9SJCB1 / 9mm, .355″ 115-grain Syntech, 100-count / $16.95
AE40SJCB1 / .40 cal., .400″ 165-grain Syntech, 100-count / $18.95
AE45SJCB1 / .45 cal., .451″ 230gr Syntech, 100-count / $21.95

For years this Editor has loaded his .45 ACP and .44 Mag handguns with polymer/moly matrix-coated bullets from Precision Bullets in Texas. Those poly/moly-encased lead bullets shot VERY accurately and I found that my barrels fouled much less than with conventional lead bullets. Likewise, there was much less cylinder fouling on my revolvers. If the American Syntech bullets work as well as those Precision bullets, I think the Syntech line will be a winner. Syntech bullets should benefit any high-volume pistol shooter, particularly competitors who shoot steel.

Permalink Handguns, New Product, Reloading No Comments »
August 19th, 2017

What’s Up with Those Pesky Flyers?

Sierra Bullets Reloading Flier Flyer load development groups

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf
Occasionally someone will ask, “Why did I get a flyer that didn’t go in with the rest of my group?” If I had an answer that would stop flyers from happening, I would be rich.

There are many reasons why this can happen. Everything from gripping a forearm differently to variations in the brass casing, the list goes on and on. Most of the time the flyer is usually shooter induced and sometimes what you may think is a flyer, is just part of your group. There are a lot of shooters, that go out and test a load and they may shoot a 3/8” group at 100 yards and think that load is good. But I have seen far too many times that you can shoot another group, same load, same rifle and the next time you may get a 1 ¼” group.

Sierra bullets load development flyer group measurement target

The total opposite can also occur. You may shoot a 1 ¼” group and turn around and follow it with a 1/2″ group without changing anything. If you only shot the one group, you might decide that load wasn’t any good and move on to something else without really knowing what that load was capable of.

To really determine how a particular load is performing we need to shoot multiple groups and take an average of the group sizes to really see what that rifle/load combination is really capable of.

I suggest shooting a minimum of three 5-shot groups and averaging the group sizes before deciding if the load is acceptable or not. Obviously the more rounds you shoot for a group and the more groups that you shoot, you will get a much better representation of what that particular combination can do.

Now I’m not saying to go out and shoot 30 groups with 50 rounds in each group to determine how well your load is shooting. That would be a bit pointless, in some cases it would be time to re-barrel your rifle before your load development was finished.

In most cases, I feel that three to five, 5-shot groups will give you a pretty good representation of how a load will perform in that specific firearm.

Sierra Bullets reloading advice tips information

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
August 14th, 2017

Gary Ocock Shoots Amazing 0.0840 Aggregate with Railgun

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA
Want to see the details? CLICK HERE to view full-screen photo.

Check out those five targets. The Aggregate (average) of all five targets is a tiny 0.0840 inches! These were shot by Gary Ocock at 100 yards in a California benchrest match on August 6, 2017. Though Gary’s 0.0840 Agg beats existing records, this was not a “sanctioned” match, so Gary’s killer Agg will NOT be submitted for IBS or NBRSA records. So, sadly, the Agg won’t appear in the record books, but this remains a spectacular, verified feat of rifle accuracy, accomplished in competition.

The argument can be made that this is the Most Accurate Gun Ever Built. As far as we can determine, no one has ever shot a smaller 5-target Agg anywhere, at any time.

The Unlimited Benchrest Record That Will Never Be (Official)

Report by Boyd Allen
Gary Ocock’s stunning unlimited Aggregate is beyond amazing. That’s an average of five, 5-shot groups of .0840. Shot under sanctioned match rules, but at an unsanctioned 100-yard fun match, this Aggregate is well under the current 100-yard official records of the IBS (.1386), and the NBRSA (.1242). The fourth of the five groups measured a minuscule .018, less than half the size of the existing NBRSA Unlimited record of .049 (also shot by Gary). Check it out:

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA
When the top 15 shooters all post teen Aggs, conditions must be pretty favorable. However there were some light switchy winds — Gary said that he shot better in the left to right condition.

GUN SPECIFICATIONS
Ocock’s red Jay Young Unlimited Railgun features one major difference from Young’s typical Railgun designs. The bottom of the barrel block is integral with the top (moving part), of the gun. The barrel is Ocock’s usual 1:13.5″-twist Krieger chambered for the 6 PPC. The BAT Neuvo action* is unusual in that its lugs are horizontal at lock-up instead of the usual vertical. With horizontal lugs, both lugs maintain contact with their abutments when the action is cocked. In the more normal configuration when cocked the top lug is forced off of its seat by a combination of the angle of the trigger cocking piece interface, the pressure of the striker spring, and bolt clearance at the rear of the action.

LOAD SPECIFICATIONS
Gary shot this remarkable Agg with well-used brass, Vihtavuori N133 powder, and self-made 66gr BT bullets** seated at “jam”. This amazing Agg was shot on the second day of a 2-day Unlimited Benchrest match. On Day 1 Gary had experimented with various loads using both surplus IMR 8208 and Vihtavuori N133, but was not satisfied with the results. For his first group on Day 2, Gary tried a light load of N133. After seeing the result, however, he decided to go to the other extreme — a super stout N133 load — with the same powder. As you can see, Gary’s willingness to experiment paid off.

Gary Ocock Rail Gun Unlimited Target Visalia CA 6 PPC IBS NBRSA

Notably, Gary used light neck tension. Ocock found that for these bullets and this barrel, light neck tension worked best (contrary to “normal” N133 benchrest practice). Ocock used a bushing that only produces .001″ difference between the diameters of sized and loaded case necks.

Comment on Ocock’s Achievement
Congratulations to Gary Ocock for superb shooting (and smart loading). Even though the match was not sanctioned (so the Agg will never be a record), Ocock has raised the bar very high, and given us a new standard of ultimate accuracy.

Though this 0.0840 Aggregate and 0.018 group will never go into the record group, they are still noteworthy. There’s virtually no doubt that they would have survived inspection by any record committee. Except for the lack of fixed backers, an IBS requirement (for detecting cross-fires), all other conditions were met for an officially-sanctioned match.

*The new BAT Neuvo actions are the result of a collaboration between Dwight Scott, and Bruce Thom, featuring Dwight’s ideas and BAT’s proven manufacturing expertise.

** Ocock shot his own, boat-tail match bullets, made with George Ulrich-crafted dies using Hood cores. Although he said that it had been a while since he had weighed any, his best guess was that they weigh something around 66.5 grains.

Permalink Competition, Reloading, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 14th, 2017

Important Reloading Safety Tips from Sierra Bullets

Sierra Bullets Reloading Tips

Here are some really smart tips for hand-loaders compiled by Sierra Bullets. These suggestions were submitted by Sierra’s Facebook fans — and some are very valuable indeed. Some of these tips will help you load more accurate ammo. Other selections will help you stay SAFE — which should always be your #1 priority. For example, we concur with the advice to “Check and Double Check. Everything. Every Time”. Also definitely keep “One powder on the bench at a time” — that could be a life-saver. You may want to print these “words of wisdom” and place them on a wall in your loading room.

Reloading Safety Tips — Sound Advice

ALWAYS START LOW: “Just because a load manual says X grains of X powder with X bullet is max, your rifle could reach max pressure a grain or two before what the book says. Start low and work up.” — Walter Coats

BE SAFE: “Check and double check. Everything. Every time. Only one type of powder on the bench at a time.” — Glen Lundgren

DON’T RUSH: “Be patient, don’t be in a hurry, have fun and find your rhythm. Just tell your family you’re putting yourself in ‘time-out’. They will understand.” — Erik Dyal

POWDER RULE #1: “One powder on the bench at one time, it might save your life.” — James A. Kimery

STAY FOCUSED: “Relaxed but concentrated attention. Have fun enjoying a great hobby and pastime but stay focused.” — Jim Caldwell

POLICE LOADING AREA: “Keep your reloading bench area clean and put items away ASAP.” — Eric J. Ford

BE PATIENT: “Focus, Focus, Focus — be patient — it AIN’T a race.” — William Stanley

RECORD YOUR LOADS: “Write down on a small card what you’re loading – bullet weight, powder weight, type of powder, and primer. And put it in the powder hopper. I am unloading .45 FMJ because I forgot what type powder was in the hopper.” — Michael Conniff

HAVE a PROCEDURE for INTERRUPTIONS: “If, for any reason, you have to leave the bench while in the process of dropping powder charges, turn the next case to be charged upside down in the loading block so you know where you left off.” — Bill Tinsley

LABEL EVERYTHING: “OCD is a good habit to have with your loading bench. CLEARLY label everything!” — Andy Pynckel

HAVE a GOAL: “Never start reloading or developing a load without a specific goal in mind. Second keep meticulous records.” — Peter Eick

RESEARCH THE JOB: “Read all you can about it before you start!” — Keith Shively

KEEP TRACK: “I put all my primed brass upside down (primer up) and as I charge the casing, I (of course) flip it primer down.” — Mark Ewing

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
August 13th, 2017

Free Finger Amputation with Your Muzzle-Loader

muzzleloader muzzle-loader smokeless black powder overcharge Kaboom fingers sever

What you see above is what happens when you shoot the wrong powder in a muzzle-loader. Specifically, a charge of smokeless powder was used instead of black powder or black powder substitute. The difference in energy (by weight and volume) between black powder and modern smokeless powder is huge. You should never, ever run smokeless powder in a black powder recipe. The result can be catastrophic. In this case the hapless shooter lost a couple fingers. So he got a free twin-digit amputation, thanks to his reloading mistake. The lesson to learn here is to always double-check your propellant before loading. And never “re-bottle” smokeless powder into a different container with a different label (or worse yet, no label at all).

This incident happened in Indiana a couple years back. As reported by the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR), this was a classic case of “user error”: “Corporal Eric Doane worked a firearm accident last night in Martin County that resulted in the shooter losing a couple fingers. This is what can happen when you shoot smokeless powder out of a muzzle-loader designed for black powder.”

Credit to The Firearm Blog for finding this story.

Permalink News, Reloading 2 Comments »
August 8th, 2017

RCBS ChargeMaster Lite Video Review Marathon

RCBS ChargeMaster Lite video reviews

Many thousands of hand-loaders, including this Editor, acquired the original RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 powder scale/dispenser. Mine has worked well for many years. Yes I do have to watch for scale drift, and I use a high-end Force-Restoration scale when loading for major matches, but the original ChargeMaster has served me well, throwing thousands of charges over the years.

NEW RCBS ChargeMaster Lite

Now there is a newer version of the ChargeMaster, the RCBS Chargemaster Lite. This new-for-2017, one-piece unit has some features we really like. The new touch screen is easy to use and the powder tray cover slips off easily — no more hinges to fight. Most importantly the CM Lite has a redesigned, fluted dispensing tube which delivers powder kernels in a smooth flow with no clumps. The RCBS Rep told us “No more McDonald’s straw required”. We tested the unit and it does seem like the newly-designed dispensing tube is better. In fact, this new design will be adapted to the next generation of larger ChargeMasters. The ChargeMaster Lite ships complete with calibration check weights and cleaning brush. MSRP is $299.95 with “street price” around $250.00 at Amazon.

If you’re interested in the RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, here are three recent video product reviews. By watching these videos you can see all the features of the ChargeMaster Lite demonstrated. In the third video, the host also “compares and contrasts” the ChargeMaster Lite with the original ChargeMaster 1500, explaining the differences between the two units. Have at it:

Panhandle Precision ChargeMaster Lite Bench Test and Demo (Good Detailed Review):

Here is the RCBS Press Release: “The new RCBS ChargeMaster Lite packs unparalleled powder-measuring accuracy in a compact package. The one-piece unit features an LCD touchscreen display that ensures accurate data input. The hopper holds nearly a pound of smokeless powder, and can dispense anywhere between 2 to 300 grains with a +/-0.1-grain accuracy.”

UltimateReloader ChargeMaster Lite Unboxing:

Original ChargeMaster 1500 vs. ChargeMaster Lite:

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 4 Comments »
August 8th, 2017

Smart Shopper: Compare Ammo Pricing with WikiArms

Wikiarms live ammo tracking

Wikiarms live ammo trackingIf you’re looking for loaded ammunition at affordable prices, WikiArms.com can help you find a good deal. WikiArms constantly searches the listings of ammo vendors across the web. Then WikiArms ranks the offerings by cost per round, low to high. This way you can instantly compare prices from multiple vendors including Ammomen, Ammunition Depot, Brownells, Cheaper Than Dirt, Lucky Gunner, Natchez, Slickguns, SG Ammo, Sportsmans Guide, and Walmart. Search bots refresh pricing constantly so listed prices are normally current within five minutes. WikiArms even displays the amount of product currently in stock for each vendor.

Using WikiArms is easy. Just click your choice of caliber (such as .22 LR, 9mm, or .308 Win) on the navigation bar, or hit the Good Deals link (bottom left column) to see a variety of cartridge types all at one time. WikiArms is fast, and it is FREE to use. Check it out.

WikiArms also tracks prices on reloading components — bullets, brass, primers, and powders. From the WikiArms Home page, look at the left column under the “Reloading” header. From there you can select the type of components you want.

There are some great deals now on quality .223 Rem ammo. Brownells is selling 800 rounds of Norma .223 Rem for $218.70 shipped with code “JNS”. That’s just $0.27 per round for very good stuff.

Wikiarms live ammo Brownells .223 Rem Remington bulk ammo sale

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
August 7th, 2017

Bargain Finder 98: 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. CDNN — Savage Model 11/111 with Scope $349.99 after Rebate

Deals of Week Savage Bushnell Hunter XP 11 111 scope sale hunting rifle

Looking for a good basic hunting rifle, complete with optic? This Savage Special is hard to beat. Right now you can buy a Savage Hunter XP Model 11 (short action) or Model 111 (long action) for just $449.99 complete with 3-9x40mm Bushnell scope. But it gets even better — Savage Arms is offering a $100.00 Mail-In Rebate that lowers your net cost to a mere $349.99. That’s right — get Savage hunting rig, complete with scope, in your choice of 15 chamberings, for just $349.99.

Available Model 11 chamberings: .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, 7mm-08, .270 WSM, .308 Win, .300 WSM, .338 Federal

Available Model 111 chamberings: .25-06, 6.5-284 Norma, .270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, .30-06, .300 Win Mag, .338 Win Mag

2. Grafs.com — Hornady Auto Charge, $179.99 + Free Range Bag

Grafs.com Graf Hornady L-N-L Scale Dispenser Sale Discount

Here’s an excellent promo from our friends at Grafs.com. Hornady’s versatile Lock-N-Load Auto Charge™ Powder Scale and Dispenser is on sale for $179.99. And now for a limited time you get a FREE deluxe range bag ($43.99 value) with the purchase of the Hornady Scale/Dispenser. This is a good unit with a nice keypad. NOTE: You can also get the FREE Range Bag when you buy the Hornady Case Prep Center at Grafs.com for $419.99. That’s pretty pricey — getting Scale/Dispenser with the Range Bag is the better deal.

3. Natchez — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $249.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $249.99, a great deal. Right now, Natchez is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $249.99. That’s a great deal considering all the hardware you get. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $150.00+. Considering all you get, this is a heck of a deal. The Natchez price is $70-$90 cheaper than many other vendors. For example, MidwayUSA’s price is $329.99 for this same kit!

4. MidwayUSA — 1500 Rounds Norma Tac-22 Ammo, $136.99

Deals of Week Norma Tac-22 Tac22 ammo
.22 LR 22LR rimfire smallbore ammo Norma Tac-22

Check out those groups. That’s impressive accuracy at 50 yards. You’d expect to pay $10.00 or more per box for rimfire ammo that can shoot this well. But you can now get the Norma Tac-22 for just $4.56 per box at MidwayUSA in this package deal — 1500 rounds in Ammo Can for $136.99. NOTE: The target photos below come from Champion Shooters Supply, which may have gotten an exceptional lot. This vendor tells us: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.” This works out to just nine cents a round for good .22 LR rimfire ammo which has proved quite accurate in both bolt-action and semi-auto rimfire rifles. You may want to stock up.

5. Bruno’s Everything Sale — Ends Monday, August 7 at 11:59 PM

Bruno Shooters Supply sale discount July

Bullets, brass, powder, optics, dies, tools, stocks, barrels, actions — all this and more is on sale at Bruno Shooters Supply right now. You’ll find savings on pretty much everything Bruno’s sells (except MAP-price items). But you have to act quickly. This storewide sale ends TODAY, August 7th at 11:59 PM. You snooze, you loose. NOTE: You don’t need a special discount code — the sale prices are already shown online, good for today (8/7/2017) only.

6. EuroOptic.com — Huge Savings on All Sightron Scopes

Schmidt Bender Moving sale Eurooptic Eurooptic.com scope discount

EuroOptic is moving to a larger facility. To ease the transition, EuroOptic needs to reduce its large Sightron Optics inventory. Accordingly, Sightrons are marked down with very large price reductions. Our source at EuroOptic says: “All IN STOCK Sightrons are reduced to liquidate — these are going fast at these prices.” There are some great deals here for folks looking for medium-magnification tactical and hunting scopes. Along with riflescopes, Sightron spotting scopes are also on sale.

7. CDNN — Browning Stainless Buck Mark, $279.99 After Rebate

Browning Buckmark Stainless Camper UFX Pistol Handgun .22 LR 22 rimfire
Browning bucks

Everyone needs a good .22 LR rimfire handgun, and the Browning Buck Mark is a classic. This stainless, bull barrel version is marked down this week to $329.99. That’s a very good deal, but you can save even more with Browning’s $50 Rebate. Buck Marks, with their excellent triggers and great ergonomics, are fun to shoot and VERY accurate. This is a pistol you can keep for a life-time. Browning says: “Every Buck Mark starts out as a solid piece of aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum alloy, and then is CNC-machined to exacting tolerances. The crisp single-action trigger, hand reamed chamber, target crowned barrel and finely adjustable target sights mean the Buck Mark comes ready for fun straight from the box.” There is also a blued Buck Mark version priced at $289.99 (or $239.99 after Rebate).

8. Midsouth — All Starline Pistol Brass 15% Off

Midsouth Shooters Supply Starline Pistol Brass reloading

Among pistol brass options, Starline is some of the best stuff you can buy. Strong and consistent, Starline is a good choice for stout cartridges such as the 10mm Auto, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .500 S&W. We also like Starline for our .45 ACP loads. Right now you can get significant savings on Starline’s entire stock of cartridge brass (both regular and nickle-plated). Midsouth is running a 15% Off Starling Sale now through 8/8/2017. Take advantage of these 15% Off Savings before the sale ends on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 11:59 PM.

9. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.79

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With 2850+ customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $16.79, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
August 4th, 2017

How to Reload With Hand Dies and Arbor Press

arbor press hand die

Creedmoor Sports has released a series of helpful “how-to” videos in its new InfoZone web page. In the latest InfoZone video Bill Gravatt shows how to seat bullets using L.E. Wilson Hand Dies and an Arbor Press. The basic process is simple, particularly with a micrometer-top seating die. That makes it easy to adjust and set seating depth. Before you start seating bullets, you want to adjust the height of the arbor so the stroke is appropriate to the height of your die.

Bill Gravatt Shows How to Use Hand Seating Dies — Creedmoor INFOZONE

ARBOR PRESS TECHNIQUE: When using an arbor press, smooth is good. You don’t want to slam the handle down quickly. Try to repeat the same motion each time. You can also experiment by seating the bullet part way, then rotate the cartridge (in the die) and do the final seating with a second stroke. If your arbor press has a force gauge, note both the max value of the gauge needle and how it moves as you seat the bullet. If the needle spikes too rapidly, or bounces back and forth irregularly, set that cartridge aside and/or mark it. You could have neck tension issue with that case or some other fault. You might even have a bad bullet. That’s rare, but can happen. The key to success is moving the press arm in a smooth motion every time, maintaining the same down-pressure with each cartridge.

Here Bill Gravatt Offers a Simple Tip for Adjusting Wilson Seating Dies

One of our Forum readers asked “How can I get a custom in-line seater for my new rifle?”. First, we would say that, if you are not shooting an unusual Wildcat, check first to see if L.E. Wilson makes a stainless Micrometer Seater Die for your rifle. These dies are a joy to use, and we’ve found the fit to be exceptionally good with many calibers. Typically priced from $90-$100, Wilson stainless micrometer-top seaters are available for dozens of cartridge types: .204 Ruger, 20 BR, .222 Rem, .223 Rem, 22 PPC, 22 BR, .22-250, .223 WSSM, 6 PPC, 6mmBR, 6XC, 243 Win, .243 WSSM, 25 WSSM, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5-284, 26 Nosler, .270 WSM, 7mm-08, .284 Win, 28 Nosler, 7mm RUM, 30 BR, 30 IHMSA, .308 Win, .300 WinMag, .338 Edge (and MORE).

If you do want a custom seater die, the process is relatively simple. Purchase a die blank from Wilson and have your gunsmith run the chambering reamer in. Forum member Gunamonth explains: “I start with a Wilson seating die blank. They’re available from Sinclair and other vendors. Just run the reamer in. For some of my rifles, where I wanted the stainless die with the micrometer adjustment, I bought a smaller die and had the smith ream it with the chamber reamer. That’s how I had my 6 Dasher and 6mm AI seaters made. With the Dasher I stared with a 6mmBR Micrometer die.”

Wilson inline seater die and blank

SEATER STEM TIP: If, on your seated bullets, you are seeing a sharp line around the jacket near the ogive, you may want to smooth out the leading edge of the Wilson seater stem (see above left). Do this by putting a little lapping compound on one bullet and manually spin this around in the stem. Without much effort you’ll have a smooth bullet/stem interface.

Micrometer Top Add-on
We really like micrometer tops on a seating die. But what if Wilson doesn’t make a micrometer top seater for your chambering? Don’t despair, Sinclair Int’l sells a $39.99 micrometer top that can be added to Wilson standard seaters or to a custom seater die made from a Wilson die blank.

Wilson inline seater die and blank

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »