September 16th, 2021

NRL22 & NRL22X — Fun and Challenging Rimfire Tactical Series

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

The National Rifle League (NRL) started off sponsoring major centerfire tactical matches, similar to PRS competitions. That proved successful so the NRL added a .22 LR Rimfire series, called NRL22. The NRL22 rimfire discipline has been a major success, as rimfire guns are fun to shoot and ammo is very affordable. The most popular NRL22 matches have drawn up to 200 rimfire competitors. And now there is a companion rimfire long-range series, NRL22X. Learn more about NRL22 and NRL22X at NRL22.org.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangersNRL22 is a great way to get into competition shooting with minimal expense. There are five (5) classes: Open, Base, Ladies, Young Guns (8-16) and Air Rifle. Base Class is for the budget-minded shooter — the combined MSRP of Rifle and Optic may not exceed $1200.00 (so you could spend $700 on a rifle and $500 on a scope for example). That keeps the sport affordable. Open, Youth, and Ladies Classes have no price limits on Rifle and Optic. Visit NRL22.org to find an NRL22 match near you.

The NRL also sponsors NRL22X matches. These involve significantly longer distances for greater challenge. The latest NRL22X match is the XLR Rimfire Rumble, to be held in Grand Junction, Colorado this Saturday, September 18, 2021.

The two videos above from Long Range Shooters of Utah feature footage from the January 2019 course of fire from the NRL22 Rimfire Competition Series. Note the snow-capped hills in the lower video. Useful commentary explains how competitors establish their shooting positions.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangersHow to Participate in NRL22 and/or NRL22X
If you want to get started in NRL22 or NRL22X competition, you’ll need an NRL22 annual membership. These run from $25-$85 depending on class and discipline. CLICK HERE for annual membership information.

NRL22 Membership Benefits Include:
– Eligibility to participate in all NRL22 matches
– Eligibility to participate in all NRL22X matches
– Welcome gift (not all welcome gifts are the same)
– Scoring and Ranking for all events
– Newsletters and updates
– Eligibility for special NRL22 raffles and giveaways
– Access to special NRL discounts from participating sponsors

NRL22 Publishes Monthly Courses of Fire
This video from a Utah NRL22 Match features shooters from each of the four rimfire classes. With the NRL22 program, scores from from local matches like this are ranked against scores from other matches nationwide. In advance of match dates, NRL22.org publishes 5 courses of fire to be used in that month. Each course of fire will always include 2 prone stages, 1 positional, 1 barricade, and a fifth that can be any of those. Details of the course of fire, including target distances, target sizes, time limits, and barricade profiles, are listed at NRL22.org.

Official NRL22 Rimfire Steel Target Package
To facilitate consistent NRL22 match scoring, there is an official NRL22 Rimfire Steel Target Kit. Crafted by JC Steel Targets from AR500 steel, this kit from JC Steel Targets includes 8 hanging targets, 4 KYL (Know Your Limits) targets, plus all needed hangers. That’s lot of steel and hardware for $394.99. There is also an official 2020/2021 Expansion Target Package with 5 more hanging targets for $79.95.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

About NRL22 Tactical/Practical Competition
NRL22 tactical precision Airgun Air rifle classThe goal of NRL 22 is to make Precision Rifle competitions more available to every community. However, nearly all localities have access to 100-yard ranges and most shooters own a .22 LR rifle. The NRL22 program is designed so any facility with a 100-yard range can host matches. Participants at local NRL22 events can then attend a National Championship. NRL22 started with four classifications: Open, Base, Ladies, and Young Guns (8-18 age). Air Rifle is the new fifth class. For the 2018/2019 Competition Season, over 700 shooters attended NRL22 matches. In the 2019/2020 Competition Season, the NRL22 expects significant growth and is excited to welcome new members and clubs.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

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September 14th, 2021

Yes You Need to Clean Muzzle Brakes — Here’s How to Do It

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

Many hunters and precision rifle competitors use muzzle brakes because these ported devices reduce felt recoil significantly. That make s real difference getting back on target for quick follow-up shots. While many rifle owners appreciate the benefits of muzzle brakes, they may also neglect their brakes, allowing hard carbon and powder residue to build up. Not good. You should regularly clean your muzzle brake to remove fouling and carbon build-up.

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

As Mark Edgreen posted: “Carbon build up on the crown and in the brake is a recipe for poor accuracy.” And another gunsmith reported that customers complained about guns that “shot out way too early” but they only needed to have the brakes cleaned.

Gunsmith and PRS/NRL competitor Jim See recently reminded his Facebook Fans about the importance of cleaning muzzle brakes: “How many times do I have to say it? You need to maintain your rifles. Clean your muzzle brakes people!”. Jim, who runs Elite Accuracy LLC, notes that hard carbon build-up in brakes can definitely harm accuracy. Look at this example:

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

Muzzle Brake Cleaning Methods
There are various methods for cleaning a brake, we list a variety of techniques, but we would start with NON-corrosive ultrasound. You’ll want to remove the muzzle device before doing these tasks.

1. Use Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine with cleaning solution. This may be the most efficient method: “I place my brake in the ultrasonic cleaner. Shiney as new.” (Jim Moseley).

2. Spray with commercial Carb Cleaner and brush. Then apply anti-corrosion coating.

3. Soak in half hydrogen peroxide and half vinegar. Suggestion: “Let sit over night and carbon melts off. Brush remaining carbon off, rinse and put the brake back on.” Apply anti-corrosive before mounting.

4. Soak in 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar and brush. (Be sure to apply anti-corrosion coating, such as Eezox, after soaking).

5. Tumble in liquid solution with stainless pins. Comment: “Comes out slightly faded, but perfectly clean on stainless, non-painted brakes though.” Warning — do NOT do this with threaded brakes — tumbling could affect threads of screw-on brakes. Also, tumbling can harm painted or Cerakote finishes.

Gunsmithing Tip: By fitting the muzzle brake so that the barrel crown is slightly forward, it is easier to wipe carbon fouling off the end of the barrel. See photo:

barrel cleaning muzzle brake break device port carbon removal

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September 6th, 2021

Suppressors for Hunting — What You Need to Know

There is an informative article on the NRA’s American Hunter website regarding suppressor use for hunting. The article, What Hunters Need to Know About Suppressors, answers common questions about licensing, tax stamps, and suppressor types. The article explains the history of the $200 tax stamp which must be paid when acquiring a suppressor:

“Why the Tax? In 1934 … the federal government, while battling gangsters such as Al Capone, heavily restricted silencers with passage of the first National Firearms Act. Hoping to gain an advantage on criminals that often had better weapons than cops, the Feds placed a mandatory ‘sin’ tax on silencers that was so high it would effectively ban their purchase by all but the wealthiest individuals. In 1934, $200 was the equivalent of $3,500 today. The $200 tax still stands despite no evidence that a simple metal tube is capable of causing crime.” — American Hunter

The American Hunter article also discusses how well suppressors actually reduce noise. User should be aware that the sound level of a large, centerfire hunting cartridge will still exceed 130 decibels (dB) on average, even with a typical suppressor (silencer) in place. For that reason, we recommend that hunters continue to wear ear protection even when they shoot suppressed.

For example, Thunder Beast Arms says its latest Ultra 9 Suppressor will reduce the report of a .308 Win to 132-134 dB: “The ULTRA 9 will suppress a typical .308 bolt-action rifle down to approx. 132-134 dB. It also has very little or no ‘first round pop’ (FRP) in most applications.” NOTE: These dB levels are measured in accordance with MIL-STD-1474D using BK 2209 SLM offset one meter from muzzle.

How Loud Are Unsuppressed Rifles?
Firearms Are Loud — 140 dB to 175 dB. Audiology group ASHA explains: “Almost all firearms create noise that is over the 140-dB level. Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage hearing. A small .22-caliber rifle can produce noise around 140 dB, while big-bore rifles and pistols can produce sound over 175 dB. Firing guns in a place where sounds can reverberate, or bounce off walls and other structures, can make noises louder and increase the risk of hearing loss. Also, adding muzzle brakes or other modifications can make the firearm louder. People who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot[.] Audiologists see this often, especially during hunting season when hunters and bystanders may be exposed to rapid fire from big-bore rifles, shotguns, or pistols.” Source: ASHA, Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure.

suppressor fact and fiction moderator silencer

How Much Does a Good Suppressor Really Reduce Firearm Sound Levels?
That depends on the rifle, the cartridge, and the effectiveness of the suppressor. The American Hunter article explains: “Suppressors retard the speed of propellant gases from the cartridge that rapidly expand and rush out of the barrel. It’s these gases that produce the loud boom that’s heard for miles. A suppressor’s series of internal baffles slows these gases so they are not all released at once, thereby muffling the sound.” Many good commercial suppressors can achieve 30-35 dB sound suppression. However, Zak Smith of Thunder Beast Arms says: “There are a bunch of manufacturers who publish values that are not reproducible, or use an ad-hoc test instead of a mil-spec test. In many cases we’ve tested the exact same suppressors they’ve advertised with 30-40 dB reductions and found they are actually in the high 20s instead.”

Again, for this reason, we recommend that hunters use ear protection, such as electronic muffs, even when shooting suppressed.

Choosing a Suppressor for Hunting Use
The American Hunter article explains that there are many types of suppressors on the market. Bigger suppressors are heavier, but they normally are more effective. You also have a choice in muzzle attachments:

“For most hunting applications, direct thread is the best choice. If you intend to buy only one suppressor yet you have multiple guns, it’s advantageous to buy a model sized and rated for the largest caliber you intend to use. While a suppressor made specifically for a .223 Rem. will reduce the sound of that round slightly better than a model made for .30 caliber, for example, you can use a .30-caliber can for smaller calibers — but not vice-versa. In general, the bigger the can, the more it reduces sound. Smaller suppressors, however, are easier to carry in the woods.” — American Hunter


Chart from American Suppressor Association.

States Where Suppressor Ownership is Allowed
Currently, the following 42 states allow private ownership of suppressors: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY. NOTE: Suppressors are legal in Connecticut and Vermont, but hunting with silencers is not allowed in those states.

How to Apply for a Suppressor
To acquire a quality suppressor, you’ll first need to shop around, comparing verified performance. Unfortunately some manufacturer’s dB claims are exaggerated. Give due consideration to size, weight, and durability. When you’ve selected a brand and model, find a Class 3 dealer authorized by the ATF to sell suppressors. You must fill out ATF Form 4, get fingerprinted, and pass a background check. Along with two completed copies of Form 4, submit your fingerprint card, passport photo and a check for $200 to the ATF. Then you wait for the ATF to process your application. American Hunter says the average ATF suppressor processing wait time is now nine months.

BENEFITS OF SILENCERS

NOISE REDUCTION
According to OSHA, the threshold for a hearing safe impulse noise is 140 dB. Without hearing protection, exposure to any impulse noise over 140 dB causes varying degrees of permanent noise-induced hearing loss, which can also lead to tinnitus. Most well-engineered silencers take the dB level of their host firearm well below 140 dB, making those silencers effective primary hearing safety devices. You should always still wear hearing protection (muffs or plugs) when using suppressors.

RECOIL REDUCTION
By containing the explosion at the muzzle, suppressors significantly reduce perceived recoil energy, reduce the rifle’s rearward movement on recoil, and reduce rifle torquing and muzzle flip. The reduction of recoil (and rifle torquing/hopping) lessens shooter fatigue and helps the shooter get his sight picture back on target rapidly after firing. With smaller calibers, a suppressor may enable the shooter to maintain a nearly-continuous sight picture, following the shot into the target. In addition, by reducing felt recoil (and muzzle blast), a suppressor can help inexperienced shooters avoid flinching.

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August 29th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: King of point28 Miles — Rimfire ELR Match in MN

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics

No this isn’t the King of 2 Miles ELR event. But it is the rimfire equivalent — the King of 0.28 Miles (roughly 500 yards). Every year in Minnesota a challenging rimfire match is held at the scenic Rush Lake Range. This combines PRS-style stage shooting out to 300+ yards, along with prone rimfire ELR shooting out to the full “point28 miles”. The 2021 King of point28 Miles match kicked off on August 27, 2021, and concludes today, August 29, 2021. CLICK HERE for LIVE Video from 8/29/21 match, courtesy Applied Ballistics LLC.

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics

The King of point28 Miles match features custom-painted steel targets
king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics
Here is an interesting rimfire rig with a unique front end.

Video from 2019 Match (Don’t mind the distorted first frame — the video is excellent!)

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballisticsTactical Rimfire and .22 LR Rimfire ELR
As conducted in recent years, the King of point28 Miles has been a unique “hybrid” type of competition. The match begins with multiple tactical-style stages with steel targets at various distances. Many of the steel targets are custom-painted, some with elaborate faces. Some stages included PRS/NRL-style barricades or support structures. In past years there have been some specialty targets such as the Accushot One-Shot Challenge (see right) which uses playing cards.

After the shorter stages, there is the namesake “point28 Miles” competition, with dozens of competitors lined up prone shoot distant targets — starting at about 300 yards and moving out progressively to targets 0.28 miles away (about 500 yards). How challenging is that? Consider this — at 500 yards a .22 LR rimfire cartridge may be only traveling 610 fps while a 10mph 90-degree wind can deflect the bullet 8.75 feet off point-of-aim!*

CLICK HERE for LIVE Video from the 8/29/2021 match, ELR stages.

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics
Competitor in Long-Range prone event with Masterpiece Arms (MPA) Chassis rifle.

Custom Personal Drag Models (PDMs) for Rimfire Competitors
The Team from Applied Ballistics was on hand for the King of point28 match. They brought the AB Mobile Lab trailer with its computers, sensors, and advanced Doppler Radar equipment. The Doppler Radar was employed to create custom ballistic profiles (aka “Personal Drag Models”) for 90+ shooters.

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics

Personal Drag Models (PDMs) provide shooters with exact, precise ballistics data for their preferred ammo as fired in their match rifles. This is especially important for rimfire ammo which may start supersonic, then go transonic, and finish well subsonic during much of its flight. Bryan Litz explains: “The Doppler Radar system allows us to track the bullet’s velocity as it flies down-range. As the bullet’s velocity decays, that’s what tells you the ballistic coefficient, the drag, and [other factors].”

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics

Prizes Galore for King of point28 Miles Competitors

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics
With a big list of sponsors, the King of point28 Miles Match always has an impressive prize table. Vudoo Gunworks and Accurate Rifle Systems also provided a Match Charity Rifle.

king of point28 miles KO2M rimfire .22 LR ELR applied ballistics
Interesting 4-wheeled range carts from sponsor Range Tactical Gear. Carts are priced from $395 to $650.


* Trajectory calculated with JBM Ballistics based on .22-cal 40gr bullet with 1150 fps muzzle velocity and 0.125 G1 BC. With that BC and MV, the drop at 500 yards from 100-yard zero is 20.1 MOA. Rimfire bullets launched at higher MVs, or which have higher BCs, will exhibit less drop and less wind drift.

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August 26th, 2021

MIL vs. MOA — Angular Measurements for Optics Explained

Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series
Visit PrecisionRifleBlog.com for a discussion of MIL vs. MOA.

Many guys getting started in long range shooting are confused about what kind of scope they should buy — specifically whether it should have MIL-based clicks or MOA-based clicks. Before you can make that decision, you need to understand the terminology. This article, with a video by Bryan Litz, explains MILS and MOA so you can choose the right type of scope for your intended application.

This March-FX 5-40x56mm Tactical FFP scope features 0.05 MIL Clicks.
Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series

You probably know that MOA stands for “Minute of Angle” (or more precisely “minute of arc”), but could you define the terms “Milrad” or “MIL”? In a helpful video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballitics explains MOA and MILs (short for “milliradians”). Bryan defines those terms and explains how they are used. One MOA is an angular measurement (1/60th of one degree) that subtends 1.047″ at 100 yards. One MIL (i.e. one milliradian) subtends 1/10th meter at 100 meters; that means that 0.1 Mil is one centimeter (1 cm) at 100 meters. Is one angular measurement system better than another? Not necessarily… Bryan explains that Mildot scopes may be handy for ranging, but scopes with MOA-based clicks work just fine for precision work at known distances. Also because one MOA is almost exactly one inch at 100 yards, the MOA system is convenient for expressing a rifle’s accuracy. By common parlance, a “half-MOA” rifle can shoot groups that are 1/2-inch (or smaller) at 100 yards.

What is a “Minute” of Angle?
When talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA (four clicks on a 1/4-MOA scope). That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by an MOA subtension increases with the distance.

one MOA minute of angle diagram

MIL vs. MOA for Target Ranging
MIL or MOA — which angular measuring system is better for target ranging (and hold-offs)? In a recent article on his PrecisionRifleBlog.com website, Cal Zant tackles that question. Analyzing the pros and cons of each, Zant concludes that both systems work well, provided you have compatible click values on your scope. Zant does note that a 1/4 MOA division is “slightly more precise” than 1/10th mil, but that’s really not a big deal: “Technically, 1/4 MOA clicks provide a little finer adjustments than 1/10 MIL. This difference is very slight… it only equates to 0.1″ difference in adjustments at 100 yards or 1″ at 1,000 yards[.]” Zant adds that, in practical terms, both 1/4-MOA clicks and 1/10th-MIL clicks work well in the field: “Most shooters agree that 1/4 MOA or 1/10 MIL are both right around that sweet spot.”

READ MIL vs. MOA Cal Zant Article.

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August 22nd, 2021

Sunday GunDay: .22 LR Conversion Kit for AR-15 Platform

.22 LR 22LR rimfire AR AR15 AR-15 conversion kit bolt magazine savings ammo ammunition

Over the past 18 months, popular ammo types, such as .223 Rem and 9mm, have been hard to find at reasonable prices. The high cost of .223 Rem centerfire ammo has driven more folks to shooting .22 LR rimfire ammo, both for fun and practice. This Sunday we look at a smart solution that allows you to shoot .22 LR ammo from your existing .223/5.56 AR-15 platform rifle. This is great because it allows low-cost training with no change in rifle balance, ergonomics, and/or optics.

The CMMG Bravo .22 LR Conversion Kit provides a replacement bolt/bolt carrier along with three 25-round magazines with special .22 LR-fitted followers and ammo slots. This allows you to shoot rimfire ammo from any AR-15 chambered for the .223 Rem (5.56×45). The CMMG Bravo has an integrated extension that fits into your current chamber. The rimfire bullet passes through this extension and then enters the barrel.

.22 LR 22LR rimfire AR AR15 AR-15 conversion kit bolt magazine savings ammo ammunition
The CMMG Bravo conversion Kit comes with blowback-operated .22 LR bolt carrier, rubber protector for bolt carrier tip, and three 25-round polymer magazines. To use, simply replace the rifle’s .223 Rem bolt and carrier with the Bravo .22 LR conversion unit and load up the included magazine(s) with rimfire ammo.

To use the CMMG Kit, simply remove the centerfire bolt/bolt carrier, and replace it with the CMMG silver colored bolt shown above. CMMG states: “For best performance use a round-style hammer as notched hammers can cause function issues.” Testers have stated that high-velocity .22 LR ammo works best, and CMMG notes that “36gr plated-nose bullets have proven to be the best choice for function.” The copper-plated bullets help reduce fouling.

Ultimate Reloader Tests CMMG .22 LR Conversion Kit

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com recently tested the CMMG .22 LR AR Conversion Kit. He observed that installation was very straight-forward and the CMMG magazines worked well. He and fellow tester Travis Fox shot the unit both slow-fire and rapid-fire successfully.

Gavin and Travis found the CMMG Kit easy to install and fun to use. With an AR that can shoot both .223 Rem and .22 LR, it’s like having “two guns in one”. Travis was impressed with the ease of use: “It is so simple to change over to the CMMG .22 LR AR kit! It took me about 68 seconds the very first time I tried. Each time after that it took me about 40 seconds — it’s that simple. It takes longer to fully load one of the mags than it does to switch over from .223/5.56 to .22 LR and back.”

The AR shot very well with the higher-velocity ammo types. 100% functioning was achieved with both 40gr Federal Game Shok ammo and American Eagle High Velocity 38gr Copper-plated HP ammo. NOTE: CMMG does recommend high-velocity Copper-plated rimfire ammunition.

Maintenance Tip — After converting back to your centerfire .223 Rem (5.56), Travis says “make sure to clean the gas tube and components as .22 LR tends to run dirty”. READ Full Test on UltimateReloader.com.

CMMG Bravo Conversion Kit Gets Thumbs Up from Gavin and Travis
“Does this conversion kit get the Ultimate Reloader stamp of approval? Absolutely! In these times of ammunition/component scarcity this gives options to shooters. Finding bulk .22 LR can sometimes be easier than 223/5.56. This kit gives that option at a great price. Any chance to keep skills up and familiarize new shooters to a platform is a good thing. Basically two rifles for a lot less than another rifle.”

.22 LR 22LR rimfire AR AR15 AR-15 conversion kit bolt magazine savings ammo ammunition

How to Install CMMG Bravo .22 LR Conversion Kit

The Brownells video below shows the installation process step-by-step:

In this instructional video, a Brownells gunsmith demonstrates (step by step) how to install, disassemble, clean, lubricate, and reassemble the CMMG AR-15 .22 LR Conversion Kits. Clear the rifle and make safe before you start the conversion. Separate the upper and lower, remove the standard bolt carrier group. You then install the conversion bolt and connect the upper and lower as normal.

Details of CMMG .22 LR Conversion Kit

.22 LR 22LR rimfire AR AR15 AR-15 conversion kit bolt magazine savings ammo ammunition

“For years I’ve had a CMMG conversion kit. It’s a drop-in system that’s … very reliable and it’s accurate. The [CMMG conversion] has lower recoil [and is] great for training. Even though ammo prices have gone through the roof, .22 LR is still cheaper to shoot than anything else.” — SootchGear

.22 LR 22LR rimfire AR AR15 AR-15 conversion kit bolt magazine savings ammo ammunition

This SootchGear video shows how to install the CMMG Bravo unit. The video also compares the original CMMG .22 LR bolt assembly with the latest integrated CMMG Bravo at 2:00-3:50. The older unit had a brass adapter and separate chamber insert. The host also tests a CMMG-equipped AR with various types of ammo. Watch a rapid-fire sequence starting at 1:48 time-mark.

Field Test with Two ARs — Rapid Fire .22 LR Testing

.22 LR 22LR rimfire AR AR15 AR-15 conversion kit bolt magazine savings ammo ammunition

The video below demonstrates rapid-fire .22 LR performance with two different ARs using CCI Mini-Mag ammo. The CMMG conversion is fast and easy: “In a matter of seconds you go from 5.56 to .22 LR”. Watch rapid-fire at 5:40 with CCI Mini-Mags in red/black rifle. Then the tester shoots a variety of ammo in a .223 Wylde-chambered all-black AR, starting at 9:40. The Mini-Mags worked flawlessly, but there were a couple fail-to-cycle sequences in extreme rapid-fire with cheaper “bulk” ammo. The lesson here is use good quality, high-velocity ammo.


NOTE: This 2018 video shows an earlier CMMG .22 LR conversion bolt that features a brass adapter and separate chamber insert. The current CMMG Kit has unitized bolt without a separate adapter or insert.

Interestingly, the Mini-Mag .22 LR ammo shot fine in the .223 Wylde-chambered AR. However, CMMG cautions: “Since .223 WYLDE is NOT a mil-spec chamber, we cannot guarantee fit or function with our 22LR conversion kits.”

Reviews from CMMG Bravo .22 LR Rimfire Conversion Kit Purchasers:

“Get it. Bought this for my Rock River AR. Bolt system goes in [easily] and fits perfectly. Took it to the range and put over 150 rounds through, only failing to feed/fire two rounds. I most definitely recommend this product to anyone looking to shoot their standard AR-15 .223 rifle on a budget.” — Pew P.

“I got this just yesterday and in two days time I have put a couple thousand rounds through it and no hick-ups. I have no complaints.” — Seth

“Best buy for anyone during this ammo crisis. Ammo is extremely expensive and hard to find. It was a ‘no-brainer’ once I found this kit. Ran 200 rounds to break it in for about $20 and had maybe 3 failures. Accurate up to 50 yards (I haven’t tried further) without optic adjustments.” — Joshua M.

“Purchased one of these in January. Took it to the range shortly after for my daughters to try out. We have three ARs and this thing functioned flawlessly. We practiced swapping out the 5.56 carrier with this back and forth, flawless. Enjoyed it so much now I’m purchasing another one.” — J.B.

“Great product. I bought this due to the high cost of ammo. I wanted to still shoot my AR and this was an alternative. This thing works great… works flawless with different types of .22 LR, from premium CCI to the cheap stuff. I recommend this to anyone thinking about getting one.” — Thom

* You can get also CMMG Conversion Kits from Brownells with one (1) 25rd mag for $219.99, or with three (3) 25rd mags for $249.99. There is also a CMMG kit with three (3) 10-rd mags for $249.99 for areas with capacity restriction.

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August 22nd, 2021

Giant 14.5x114mm Cartridge Dwarfs .338 Lapua Magnum

14.5x114 mm cartridge Russia South Africa
Photo courtesy Elardus de Lang, Truvelo Manufacturers Armoury, South Africa.

Believe it or not, here is a cartridge that makes a .338 Lapua Magnum look like a toy. The 14.5x114mm cartridge was designed as a MG and rifle-fired anti-materiel round. To translate from the metric system to caliber and inches, the round is a mammoth .57 caliber which measures 4.49 inches to the case mouth, and 6.13 inches overall. That jumbo-sized case holds a whopping 655 grains of powder. Commonly-loaded projectiles weigh 920-1030 grains. The 993gr armor-piercing projectile has a muzzle velocity of approximately 1006 meters per second (3300 fps) and can penetrate 30-32 millimeters of RHA steel at a range of 500 meters.

The top photo comes from Elardus De Lang, a Forum member who works at the Truvelo Manufacturers Armoury in South Africa. Elardus also provided an impressive video showing the massive 14.5x114mm being shot from prone with a Truvelo-built bolt-action rifle. Elardus tells us: “Here is a video, with a slow-motion ending, of our 14.5x114mm anti-materiel rifle being fired in our indoor testing facility. This caliber is a true beast! It propels a 993gr Armor-Piercing Incendiary bullet to 3300 fps, burning 480 grains of powder in the process. [This shows] that rifles of that power level can actually be shootable. The concussion indoors is something to experience……every shot feels like you are being punched in the face, and the heat from the muzzle flash actually hits you like a wave!”

14.5x114mm Cartridge Design and Dimensions
The 14.5×114mm has 42.53 ml (655 grains H2O) cartridge case capacity. The exterior shape of the case was designed to promote reliable case feeding and extraction in bolt action rifles and machine guns alike, under extreme conditions. Cartridges typically use lacquered steel cases, but some countries also use brass cases for the 14.5x115mm.

14.5x114 mm cartridge Russia South Africa

All dimensions are in millimeters (mm). Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2, or 22.5 degrees. The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 455 mm (1:17.91″) with eight lands/grooves. According to official guidelines, the 14.5×114mm can handle up to 360 MPa (52,213 psi) piezo pressure.

14.5x114 mm cartridge Russia truvelo manufacturers armoury South Africa

14.5x114mm Cartridge History
The 14.5×114mm (.57 Cal) is a heavy machine gun and anti-materiel rifle cartridge used by the Soviet Union, the former Warsaw Pact, modern Russia, and other countries. It was originally developed for the PTRS and PTRD anti-tank rifles, but was later used as the basis for the KPV heavy machine gun that formed the basis of the ZPU series anti-aircraft guns that is also the main armament of the BTR series of armoured personnel carriers from the BTR-60 to the BTR-80 and for heavy anti-material sniper rifles. The cartridge was designed in 1939 and first issued in 1941.

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August 19th, 2021

3D Cutaway Animations Reveal How AR15 Rifles Work

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

Americans love AR-platform rifles. However, they can be maintenance-intensive, as hot gasses are directed right back into the action to operate the bolt. Because ARs have a somewhat unique (and dirty) semi-auto operating system, we think all AR owners should learn how their rifles operate — from the inside out. This feature provides an “inside look” at the AR, with X-Ray and Cutaway views created through advanced 3D computer modeling.

AR15 Functions Revealed with 3D Computer Animation

Ever wondered how the parts inside an AR15 work together? Just exactly how does the reciprocating bolt carrier feed rounds from the magazine? How do the elements in the trigger group work and reset after each shot? How does the gas system bleed gas from the barrel and operate the bolt carrier? These and other questions are answered in this eye-opening video from 45Snipers. Using “cutaway” 3D computer animation, this 5-minute video shows all features of an AR15 inside and out. This fascinating firearms animation allows the viewer to look inside the upper and lower receivers, into the bolt carrier, chamber, barrel, and magazine.

This video starts off slow and has annoying background music, but it is well worth watching if you own or shoot any AR-platform rifle. It illustrates all the key operations during the charging, loading, firing, and ejection processes. The cutaway animation shows how rounds are stripped from the magazine and then chambered. It then shows how every part of the trigger group works, and how the firing pin strikes the primer. You can even watch the bullet move down the barrel before the empty shell casing is removed from the chamber and tossed out the ejection port. Here are sample frames from the video:

ar-15 AR15 3D animation video youtube cutaway 5.56 AR .233 Rem

How AR-Platform Rifles Work — General Introduction
To help reader understand the general operation of AR-type rifles, this video shows the control functions of an AR and how the upper and lower sections work together.

Cutaway 3D Animation of AR15/M16 Action — Watch Video

Here is an excellent “cutaway” animation by Thomas Schwenke that shows how an AR-15 functions — how the entire loading cycle works from start to finish.

AR platform rifles are semi-automatics version of the M16. These feature distinctive upper and lower receivers which can be readily separated via front and rear pins. The upper includes the barrel, handguard, forward gas tube, and bolt assembly, while the lower contains grip, trigger group, fire selector, and mag well. In addition the lower is attached to the stock which encloses the buffer assembly.

3d firearms modeling gun CGI software encylopedia gun disassembly

The original ArmaLite AR-15 was a select-fire, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed rifle designed by American gun manufacturer ArmaLite in 1956. It was based on Armalite’s AR-10 rifle chambered for the 7.62×51 NATO (.308 Win). In 1959, ArmaLite sold its rights to the AR-10 and AR-15 to Colt. Some key modifications were made — most notably, the charging handle was re-located from under the carrying handle to the rear of the receiver. The redesigned rifle was adopted by the U.S. military as the M16 carbine, which went into production in March 1964.

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August 16th, 2021

Bargain Finder 308: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or 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. Cabela’s — Savage Axis XP Rifle with 3-9X Scope, $359.99

savage rifle sale rebate
$309.99 after REBATE complete with Weaver 3-9x40mm scope

savage rifle saleLooking for a solid, reliable hunting rifle for under $400? Head to Cabela’s for this Savage Axis XP Bolt-Action Rifle in TrueTimber Strata camo. Available in a wide range of calibers/chamberings, including .223 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, 7mm-08, .308 Win and .30-06, this Axis XP includes a mounted Weaver 3-9x40mm scope. NOTE: There is currently a $50.00 Savage Factory Rebate on this Axis XP rifle. That lowers your net cost to just $309.99! (Rebate 8/15/21 through 9/8/2021.)

Savage Axis XP Features:
TrueTimber Strata camo synthetic stock
Factory mounted Weaver 3-9x40mm scope
Many available chamberings
Detachable box magazine
2-position tang safety

2. Midsouth — 9mm Loader Pack 1K Bullets + 500 Brass, $199.99

9mm reloading components
Just add primers/powder — great value for 1000 bullets and 500 cases

If you load for 9mm Luger (aka 9x19mm), and need brass and bullets, head over to Midsouth for this 9mm Brass & Bullets Loader Pack. You get 1000 115gr FMJ bullets and 500 pieces of JAG Headstamp 9x19mm brass. This is a great way to get started or beef up your 9mm reloading components. We recommended Vihtavuori powders, and Federal or CCI primers for the 9mm Luger cartridge.

3. Bruno Shooters Supply — Kelbly Actions In-Stock

kelbly panda action sale
Superb actions for match rifles available now (no wait)

The thought of building a new rig can be daunting in today’s economy with massive wait times and out of stocks everywhere. One bright light in an otherwise dark world of parts availability are the Kelbly actions currently IN-STOCK at Bruno Shooters Supply. These won’t last long but if you’re planning a new custom rifle build, Kelbly actions are an outstanding option. No wait time is a big plus.

4. KYGUNCO — Anderson AM-15 Lower Receiver, $38.99

ar sale
Quality 100% reliable lower at lowest price anywhere

The AR-15 has definitely become America’s rifle — good for action sports, home defense, and varmint hunting. If you’re planning to build a new AR-platform Modern Sporting Rifle, start with a good lower. And right now you can get a quality Anderson Mfg. ANDERSON AM-15 Lower Receiver for just $38.99 — the lowest price we’ve seen in LONG time. This lower has milspec dimensions and will accept standard lower parts kits, trigger sets, and grips. Getting a good, name-brand lower for under $40 is tough to beat.

5. PMA Tool — Ball Bearing Priming Tool, $135.95

pma hand primer
Outstanding Tool — Great Reviews from our Forum members

This is one of the best priming tools you can buy — at any price. Forum members have given high praise to the PMA Ball Bearing Drive Priming Tool. This advanced tool offers super-smooth operation with excellent “feel”. The innovative ball bearing drive system complements high quality stainless construction. It is offered with no shell holder for $125.95, or with shell holder of your choice for $135.95. Grab one to start priming like a pro.

6. Brownell’s — 300rds 5.56×45 Ammo + 10 PMAG Mags, $359.99

223 ammo magazine sale
Nice combo deal with TEN quality magazines.

.223 Rem (5.56×45) ammo has been hard to find at decent prices. Now you can get 300 rounds of good Winchester 5.56 ammo, plus ten (10) excellent PMAG 30rd magazines, all for just $359.99. This is a good package for someone getting started with an AR-15. This 5.56 Winchester Ammo and PMAG Gen2 30rd Magazines combo pack is a very good deal. Heck you could pay $190.00 for the ten mags alone. You get 10 high quality PMAGs plus 300 round of Winchester M193 NAT0 5.56×45 ammo.

7. Natchez — Caldwell DFT2 Lead Sled Shooting Rest, $159.99

lead sled
Great price — costs up to $220 elsewhere; good for sight-in tasks

When sighting-in or practicing with a large-caliber hunting rifle, a Lead Sled can provide a solid and stable platform. With heavy bags in place, Lead Sleds stay put even when shooting heavy loads. If you’ve been looking to add a Lead Sled to your range gear, here is a great deal. Right now Natchez has the top-of-the-line Caldwell Lead Sled DFT 2 Shooting Rest for just $159.99. NOTE: You must add to cart to see this great price (this sled sells for $200+ elsewhere). Caldwell’s DFT 2 Lead Sled features a dual frame design that disperses the maximum amount of recoil energy, and can hold up to 100 pounds of lead shot for stability. (Bags sold separately.)

8. Amazon — AILEMON 6X Laser Range Finder, $69.99

rangefinder sale
Budget LRF does the job, and it can be recharged via USB

Every hunter should have a rangefinder to accurately determine range to your target. Here is a good basic 6-power Laser Rangefinder that fits the budget of any hunter and is RECHARGEABLE. The AILEMON 6X Laser Range Finder can range out to 1200 yards, with a high-precision continuous scan for fast, accurate results. Unlike most LRFs, which require replaceable batteries, the AILEMON features a rechargeable battery that can be charged with a standard USB cable. Many vehicles now have USB outlets.

9. Amazon — Resetting AR-500 Popper Target, $43.99

reset poppper target
Self-resetting Poppers are fun, everyone should have a couple

Nobody likes getting up to reset targets, or worse yet, having to replace targets that break or wear out easily. If you’re looking for a sturdy target that resets itself, check out the Highwild AR500 12″ Classic Popper Steel Shooting Target. Made from 3/8″-thick AR500 steel, this Popper can take hit after hit. Since it resets on its own all you need to worry about is keeping your magazines loaded.

10. Amazon — Front and Rear Shooting Bags Set, $12.92

ace hunter front rear bag rest
Handy low-cost bags for varmint work or NRL22 competitions

ace hunter sandbags front rearSometimes all you need is a simple front bag rest and squeeze bag in the rear and we found a great deal. These bags will suffice for basic varmint duties, sight-in for a hunting rifle, or barricade work in an NRL22 match. The Ace Hunter Front and Rear Bag Combo is available in 3 colors (Black, Green, and Camo). For just $12.92 you get both front and rear bags, which can be linked for transport.

These bags ship unfilled so must add your preferred fill material (depending on application) — try lighter fill such as rice for field carry, with heavier sand for bench work.

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August 10th, 2021

How to Clean Your AR15 — Black Rifle Maintenance Videos

AR15 AR AR-15 MSR black rifle cleaning maintenance bolt lubrication
Scottsdale Gun Club offers an AR-15 Cleaning Clinic on 10/22/21.

AR-platform rifles can be maintenance-intensive beasts. They need regular inspection, cleaning, and lubrication. But some AR owners make the situation worse by not regularly cleaning important small parts, or by using too MUCH oily/greasy lubricants in the wrong places. A properly maintained and lubricated AR15 can shoot hundreds of rounds (between cleanings) without a problem. If you learn where (and where not) to apply lubricant, you’ll find that your AR will run more reliably and the task of cleaning the bolt, bolt carrier, and upper receiver internals will be less of a burden.

Here we showcase videos that show how to field-strip an AR-15, inspect the key parts, clean components, and lubricate internal parts as needed. Along with these videos, we recommend you read a comprehensive AR-15 Gun Cleaning Clinic article on the Brownells website. This explains in detail important procedures that the videos might only cover in a few seconds.

If you want to keep your black rifle running smoothly and reliably, you must clean it regularly and follow the correct maintenance procedures. Here are five videos that explain how to properly disassemble and clean AR-platform rifles.

AR15 AR-15 AR bolt carrier cleaning videos

1. How To Clean Your AR-15 | Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

This is a quick 90-second starter video that may help new AR owners. Ricky Lehnhardt of OTIS Technology demonstrates the basics of cleaning and maintaining your AR-15. Lehnhardt does a good job identifying the points that need cleaning on the inside of ARs. However he works very quickly in the video. You may want to pause the video at some points. Also, Lehnhardt employs a cable for pulling patches and brushes through the barrel. Yes this is fast and easy. However, for match AR rifles, we recommend that you instead use a cleaning ROD with fitted bore guide.

2. Take-Down and Full Cleaning of AR-15 by Jerry Miculek

Here ace shooter Jerry Miculek takes down and cleans an AR-platform rifle belonging to his daughter Lena. This is a good video because Lena’s rifle was “run hard and packed up dirty” so you can see where carbon and grease build up. This 35-minute video is very thorough. Jerry is one of the nation’s top action carbine shooters, so listen carefully to his advice on cleaning and lubrication.

3. AR-15 Maintenance: Field-strip, Clean and Lubricate an AR-15

Gunsite Academy instructor and gunsmith Cory Trapp demonstrates the proper way to field-strip, clean, and lubricate an AR-15 carbine. In this 30-minute video, Trapp offers several important technical tips and hints. For example, at 11:05 Trap demonstrates how to determine if your bolt needs new gas rings. Along with cleaning procedures, this video explains how to inspect key components and how to function-test your AR before each shooting session.

4. AR-15 Dissassembly and Cleaning Guide

This video does a good job, with close-ups, showing how to remove the bolt carrier and clean the inside of the upper receiver. Then you can see how to work with various tools to clean the bolt, bolt carrier, and inside of chamber. We also recommend that you inspect the ejector recess and extractor recess. When we’ve inspected ARs that failed to cycle properly, we have often found nasty gunk (mixture of carbon, greasy lube, and brass particles) in these areas.

5. Basic AR-15 Quick and Easy Field Maintenance

In this NSSF-sponsored video, pro shooter Ryan Muller demonstrates basic, quick field maintenance of his AR-15. This would be for a quick cleaning and lubrication of the reciprocating parts. This covers rapid maintenance in the field. For full field-stripping and thorough cleaning, watch the previous videos.



Handy Mat for Cleaning AR Rifles

When working on an AR-15, it’s smart to have a pad that can absorb solvents and cushion your upper and lower. The $24.99 Real Avid Smart Mat is a good choice. This features printed take-down instructions and it has a handy parts tray on the right side. The mat rolls up for convenient storage. Click HERE to learn more.

AR15 AR AR-15 MSR black rifle cleaning maintenance bolt lubrication

Vital Inspections You Should Do After Disassembly

Last but not least, here are recommended inspections you should do every time you do a full field-strip and cleaning of your black rifle:

AR 15 maintenance and inspection

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August 10th, 2021

Jumbo Playing Card Targets — FREE to Download

NRA Playing Card targets

With so many Americans locked down under governmental “Stay at Home” orders, we know folks may be playing cards for entertainment. Well here’s another card game you can play — but with rifles and pistols. If you can get to a public range that is still open, or if you’re lucky enough to be able to shoot on your own property or BLM lands, here’s a unique set of Playing Card Targets, courtesy of the NRA.

A while back, the NRA Blog has published a nice set of super-sized playing card targets. These boast a variety of aiming points (large and small) so they work well for rifles as well as pistols. On the Queen of Diamonds, aim for the large bull-style designs in the “red zone” or aim for the smaller dots on the periphery. For a real challenge, try to shoot each one of the 26 small red diamonds in the curved, central white stripes.

On the Five of Clubs target, you can aim for the smaller club symbols, or shoot for the orange, purple, and green “dripping paint” bulls in the large, central club. The Ace of Spades target offers a colored bullseye in the center, plus a very small bullseye in the letter “C”. That should provide extra challenge for those of you with very accurate rifles. Enjoy these targets.


Click Any Image to Download Printable PDF Target:

NRA Playing Card target NRA Playing Card target
NRA Playing Card target NRA Playing Card target
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August 8th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Springfield M1A at Camp Perry

Springfield M1A match high power rifle

2021 CMP Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry
Today we feature the M1A rifle. This is the one day in the year when the rugged M1A rifle, descended from the M1 Garand, is the star of the show at Camp Perry. The 14th Annual Springfield Armory M1A Match takes place today, August 8, 2021 at the CMP National Rifle Matches.

History of the Springfield M1A Match
The Springfield Armory M1A match began with one man’s idea and passion. Springfield Armory’s Mike Doy witnessed the waning of classic M1 Garand and M1A rifles from the competitive High Power firing lines. “I really wanted to get those M1A rifles out of safes and closets and back out onto the field. So [13] years ago, I promoted the idea of running an M1A-specific match at Camp Perry. That first year we had over 600 competitors and spectators.” Now the match offers some of the biggest pay-outs at Camp Perry. In recent years, Springfield Armory has donated over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner.

Folks, take the time to WATCH this 3-minute video. It has great match footage of Camp Perry and interviews with M1A competitors. Well worth watching!

Springfield M1A match Nick Till
Nick Till in 2009 M1A Match. Nick was the 2007 Service Rifle Nat’l Champion. Photo courtesy NRA Blog.

Springfield M1A at Camp Perry National Matches
For many years, the semi-auto version of the M14 was “top dog” in iron sights Service Rifle competition. Now that discipline is dominated by .223 Rem (5.56×45) AR-type rifles, but the bigger .308-caliber rifle, now sold as the M1A, remains popular. The CMP hosts a major M1A Match every year at Camp Perry, sponsored by Springfield Armory. Significant prizes are awarded. In past years M1A Match competitors took home over $25,000 worth of cash and merchandise. This year’s Springfield M1A match will be held at Camp Perry on August 8, 2021.

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA
Photo courtesy Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Springfield M1A Match 2016 — Rapid Fire Sitting Stage

In the April 2018 issue of Shooting Sports USA, you’ll find a good article on the civilian version of the M14, now sold commercially as the Springfield M1A. An evolution of the battle-proven M1 Garand, the M14 was designed to shoot the 7.62×51 (.308 Win) round instead of the larger .30-06 Springfield cartridge used in WWI, WWII and Korea. While the vast majority of today’s M1As are chambered for .308 Win/7.62×51, Springfield Armory also produces a 6.5 Creedmoor version.

Ray Gross M1A service rifle

Dick Jones reports that accurized M14/M1As could post remarkable scores: “The accuracy potential of the M14/M1A is unquestionable. During their reign as service rifles, they produced multiple perfect 200 scores at 600 and 1000 yards in the hands of top shooters. This is a difficult feat with a modern, scoped, magnum-caliber rifle and remarkable with an iron-sighted battle rifle. Good competition rifles can group 10 shots under one MOA, and the meticulously-massaged rifles used by the top shooters during my career would consistently put up 10 shots under an inch at 200 yards off a test cradle.”

In this video, YouTube Reviewer Hickok 45 compares the M1 Garand and the M14/M1A:

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA

“Descended from the M1 Garand, the M14 utilized multiple improvements that made it a far superior firearm for combat and a much better rifle for competition.” — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA.

M1A Match Equipment Rules and Course of Fire
Renewed interest in the M1A, coupled with major sponsorship from Springfield Armory, led to the the first dedicated Camp Perry M1A match in 2008. That first-ever match proved a huge success, drawing over 500 shooters. This year, match organizers also expect hundreds of shooters.

Equipment rules allow pretty much all types/grades of M1As in the match. The one-day course of fire consists of 50 shots at 300 yards on the NRA MR-65F target, as follows: 5 sighters; 20 shots slow-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire, kneeling or sitting; and 10 shots slow-fire standing. Here are photos from the 2014 Springfield MIA match, courtesy NRA General Operations.

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

See how the modern M1A is built in this Springfield Armory Video:

As racing improves automobiles, competition improves firearms, and the current crop of Springfield M1As, from the Basic to the top-of-the-line Super Match and Loaded models, reflects the years of development. The M14 and its variants are … still considered by many to be the best battle rifle in the history of the U.S. Military. — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA

Military Version Operation Revealed — M14 Training Film

The original military version of the M1A was the select-fire M14. The 27-minute official U.S. Army video below demonstrates the operation of the M14. Field-stripping is shown from the 5:13 time-mark through 8:30. Cut-away drawings show the M14’s gas operation at 8:40.

Watch M14 Functioning Cycle Starting at 9:25 Mark:

The M14’s complete 8-step functioning cycle is demonstrated from the 9:25 time-mark through 22:41. These eight operations are: 1) Feeding; 2) Chambering; 3) Locking; 4) Firing; 5) Unlocking; 6) Extracting; 7) Ejecting; and 8) Cocking. This movie is fairly long, but fans of battle rifles will find it well worth their time. Every M1A owner should definitely watch this video start to finish.

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August 6th, 2021

TECH TIP: How to Take-Down and Maintain Your AR Bolt

AR15 Bolt Disassembly

Accurate, modular, and supremely versatile, the AR15 is America’s favorite semi-auto rifle. But let’s face it, the AR is a maintenance hog. The AR’s gas tube blows carbon and soot right into the middle of the bolt assembly where it cakes on to the metal. The AR bolt also has many tiny parts, and small recesses, which must be cleaned regularly. This author has seen numerous ARs fail simply because there was gunk (dried lube, carbon, brass shavings) in the ejector slot or extractor spring recess.

A Clean AR is a Happy AR — Whether You Run ‘Wet’ or ‘Dry’
There are various schools of thought when it comes to maintaining an AR. Some folks prefer to run their AR “dry” with minimal lube on the lugs and friction surfaces. Other shooters prefer to run their ARs “wet”, with lots of lube. But whatever your preference, you need to clean your AR regularly. And nothing is more important than the AR’s bolt/carrier assembly. Because it is involved in feeding, firing, and extracting, the AR-15 bolt/carrier assembly can be considered the most critical portion of the AR-15 from a maintenance standpoint.

Bolt Take-Down Guide on Top Quark Blog
The editor of the Top Quark Blog has created an excellent illustrated AR15 Bolt Take-Down Guide that shows how to disassemble an AR15 bolt and carrier for regular cleaning. Even if you’re an experienced AR15 shooter, you can learn something from this page (sample at right), and you may want to bookmark it for future reference. The photos are large and clear and there are helpful hints for each step of the process.

The author knows his stuff and offers some important insights. For example, he notes that “Extractor springs in most AR15 bolt assemblies are fairly weak, and this can lead to various extraction-related failures. One of the few high points about Colt assemblies is their usage of higher-strength extractor springs. You can tell the difference by looking at the inner plastic insert. ‘Normal’ springs feature a blue plastic insert, Colt strong springs have a black insert.”

There is one notable oversight on this page — the author doesn’t cover disassembly and cleaning of the ejector assembly. This is actually quite important. A few small brass shavings, combined with carbon and lube in the ejector slot, WILL cause malfunctions. In fact, when this editor is called to diagnose problem ARs, the first things I look at (after swapping magazines) are the ejector recess and the slot for the extractor. Clogged ejectors are responsible for fail-to-ejects and other jams. It is essential that you keep the ejector hole clean. Old, gooey lube residues mixed with carbon and tiny brass shavings in the ejector recess will create all sorts of problems. As shown in the diagram below, it is simple to remove the ejector (#6) and ejector spring (#5), by drifting the ejector retaining pin (#4).

AR15 Bolt Assembly Diagram


NOTE: The original Quark Blog Article appears to be offline (See Quark LINK.) However, this excellent article has been preserved via the WayBack Machine Internet Archives. CLICK HERE to access the Full Quark Blog Article via WayBack Machine Archive.

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August 3rd, 2021

GAP Grind PRS Match on Shooting USA Tomorrow

GAP Grind 2020 Shooting USA Scoutten TV

This week, Shooting USA TV spotlights the 2020 GAP Grind, the largest and most popular PRS Pro-Am Tactical match. The 2020 GAP Grind/Bushnell Pro/Am took place last October at the K&M Precision Shooting Complex in Finger, Tennessee. The 3-day event, the biggest PRS match of the year, included professional and “amateur” classes with both individual and team competition. Competitors ranged from top professionals to those shooting their first-ever tactical match.

SHOW TIMES: This Shooting USA Episode airs Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central. If you miss the regular broadcast, you can stream the show at any time on Vimeo for $0.99 per episode.

The GAP Grind is held at the impressive K&M Shooting Complex in Tennessee:

Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
The GAP Grind is a challenging, “high tempo” match with minimal down-time between stages. Over the course of 20+ stages, competitors will fire 200+ shots at a variety of steel, paper, moving, and reactive targets out to 1,200 yards. Targets vary in size/difficulty based on the shooter’s position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages include “stressors” — i.e. time limits or required movement(s).

GAP Grind 2020 Shooting USA Scoutten TV

The GAP Grind typically attracts over 300 competitors — half experienced shooters and the other half newcomers to the sport. The key to growing the shooting sports is attracting new shooters. The best way to bring in “new blood” seems to be the Pro-Am type format. At the GAP Grind, experienced shooters share their knowledge and guide the new shooters through the competition.

GAP Grind 2020

Great video shows K&M Complex — overhead and action shots — Click II pause to halt:

GAP Grind 2020 Shooting USA Scoutten TV

GAP Grind Hardware

You’ll find the latest and greatest PRS hardware at the GAP Grind. Notable in 2019 was the fact that many top competitors “stepped down” from the 6.5/6mm Creedmoor to the smaller, more efficient 6mm Dasher, 6BRA and other 6mm cartridges. The Dasher offers excellent accuracy with less recoil than the 6.5 Creedmoor. Also, many top shooters are now running Kahles optics. Photo by Shelley Giddings.

BONUS: NRA Membership Discount for Shooting USA Viewers

Shooting USA offers discounts on NRA Memberships. You can save $10 on an annual membership, $15 on a 3-year membership, $25 on a 5-year membership, or $500 on a Life Membership. CLICK HERE for more information on the NRA website.

shooting usa nra membership

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August 2nd, 2021

Bargain Finder 306: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or 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. Creedmoor Sports — American Practice Bullets, Save 20-30%

Creedmoor Sports discount practice bullets .22 6mm .308 factory seconds Sierra
Save money on big brand bullets so you can practice more often

Creedmoor Sports is offering 500-ct bulk packs of factory second bullets. You can snatch up these American Bullet Company Practice Bullets in .22, 6mm, and .308 calibers at exceptionally low prices. These are factory ‘seconds’ from a very well-known manufacturer (think green) that are bulk-packed and ready to load. Get a box of 500 bullets at huge savings over regular prices. NOTE: There may be minor cosmetic issues with the bullets, or weight variances. In today’s world of component shortages, this is a great way to save money, and/or do more live fire practice with a lower cost per shot.

2. Sportsman’s WHSE — Savage 110 Elite Precision, $1749.99

savage mdt target rifle
Competitive PRS Production Class Rig with MDT Chassis

Excellent Video Review of Savage 110 Elite Precision in 6mm Creedmoor

PRS Production Class has a $2500 limit. With this Savage 110 Elite Precision you get a very competitive 6mm Creedmoor rifle, with a top-quality chassis, for $1749.99. That’s hundreds less than similar quality boutique-brand PRS Production rigs. Put the money saved into optics. The Savage Arms 110 Elite Precision boasts a Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) Adjustable Core Competition (ACC) Chassis, a full-length forearm ARCA rail, titanium nitride-coated “blueprinted” action, and effective muzzle brake. This Guns & Ammo video showcases the Elite Precision’s notable features.

3. Whidden Gunworks — 6mm Dasher Starter Kit, $305.09

6mm Dasher Starter Kit
Turn-key solution for 6mm Dasher Shooters with great dies

The 6mm Dasher is very popular in PRS and Mid-range Benchrest. And a 6mm Dasher just won the F-Open Mid-Range Nationals convincingly. If you’re ready to build a Dasher, consider the 6mm Dasher Starter Kit from Whidden Gunworks. The kit includes your choice of standard dies, 100 pieces of Lapua 6mmBR brass, 6mm Dasher Hydraulic Form Die, and a 6mm Dasher Case Gauge. This is everything you need to get up and running with this match-winning wildcat cartridge.

4. Creedmoor Sports — Sierra Bullets PLUS FREE Ammo Box

sierra bullet sale
Good Deal on Sierra bullets plus handy Ammo Box

Sierra makes some of the highest-quality bullets on the market. Right now Creedmoor Sports has most popular Sierra Bullets in stock and ready to ship in many calibers. Most of the popular MatchKing bullet types have the meplats “tipped” at the factory for consistent BC and improved long-range performance. NOTE: If you purchase at least $150 in Sierra bullets you’ll get a FREE high-quality Plano Ammo Box.

5. KYGUNCO — Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol, $205.99

Taurus G2c 9mm Luger carry ccw pistol handgun sale
Great Deal on Reliable 12rd 9mm Carry Pistol

The Taurus G2c is a good little compact carry gun at a VERY attractive price — a third what you might pay for a 9mm Glock 19 these days. KYGUNCO has the black-on-black 9mm Taurus G2c for just $205.99 (cash price). That’s the best deal we’ve seen on a major brand 9mm pistol in a long time. At 6.25″ OAL, and weighing just 21.2 oz. unloaded, this affordable 9mm handgun is a true compact. Despite its small size, the G2c boasts a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

6. Amazon — RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme, $188.99

rcbs rock chucker single stage press rockchucker
Strong, versatile full-size press with lifetime warranty

With the shortages of good factory ammo, more shooters are hand-loading than ever before. That means that good reloading presses have been hard to find at reasonable prices. But here’s a good deal on a great press. Right now Amazon has the legendary RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme for under $190.00. This strong, capable press and allows you to do myriad reloading tasks: decapping, neck-sizing, FL-sizing, crimping, and even swaging bullets. RCBS offers a rock-solid lifetime warranty.

7. Amazon — Caldwell The Rock BR Rest, $140.79

caldwell rock rest
Good basic rest for Varmint work and sighting-in rifles

Right now the green-framed Caldwell Rests are deeply discounted on Amazon. If you’re looking for something you could use in competition as well as varminting, check out the Caldwell Rock BR at $140.79. The Rock BR model is stable and works well for varmint shooting. If you want something lighter and more basic, the Rock Deluxe at $75.19 is an excellent value. Or if you prefer a compact, lightweight front rest for basic rifle and pistol work, consider a Rock Jr. at $35.54.

8. Natchez — CCI Blazer 9mm Ammunition, $19.99

blazer 9mm ammo sale
Very reliable 9mm practice ammo at a good price

Finding quality 9mm Luger ammo at a decent price has been difficult lately. But here’s a good deal at Natchez. Quality, aluminum-case CCI Blazer 9mm 115gr ammo is now just $19.99 per 50-count box. That’s HALF the cost of 9mm pistol ammo at some other vendors. NOTE: Having aluminum cases, this ammo is NOT reloadable. But, in our experience it is reliable and accurate.

9. Amazon — KUBEI USB Rechargeable Digital Scale, $24.99

digital powder scale
Compact scale with USB-rechargeable battery at great price

Everyone can use an inexpensive, compact scale for loading at the range or sorting bullets or maybe even primers. One very affordable option KUBEI USB Rechargeable Digital Scale. Unlike most other inexpensive digital scales, this comes with a large dust cover with a “window” for your powder pan. Notably, this scale can be conveniently recharged with a standard USB cable — no batteries to replace ever! We have heard positive reports from Forum members about this $24.99 portable scale, which offers 9 types of weight units, calibration weight, and fold-down protective lid.

10. Amazon — Tactical Hard Case, Customizable Foam, $89.99

tactical hard case TSA
Solid, strong wheeled case for ARs, or hunting rifles

Whether driving or flying, you need a good, strong case to protect your firearms. This affordable TSA-approved HQ ISSUE Tactical Rifle Hard Case has room for an AR, handguns, and accessories or a couple hunting rifles (with moderate-length barrels). NOTE: This case has rollers — something you don’t typically find on cases at this price point. The included pluckable foam interior can be easily customized to fit your rifle. External dimensions are: 43″ x 16″ x 7″.

11. Amazon — LEE Perfect Powder Measure, $22.95

lee perfect powder throw
Low-cost unit will work for basic powder-dispensing duties

Sometimes you just need a simple but effective way to throw powder charges without a big investment. For basic powder-throwing tasks the LEE Perfect Powder Measure can do the job. With a simple adjustment you can throw anywhere from 2 grains to over 70 grains. This is fine for most pistol charges. For more accurate rifle handloads, you can throw the charge within a grain and then trickle up to the final load weight using using a scale and separate trickler.

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July 29th, 2021

BLING Tactical — Red Hot Savage 10 BA Stealth

Savage 10 BA Stealth Red black custom 6.5 Creedmoor

On the 6.5 Creedmoor Facebook page we found an eye-catching Savage Model 10 BA Stealth. Rifle owner Derek P. has done some important upgrades, starting with a wicked, spiral-fluted McGowen barrel with red-painted flutes. The red theme was carried over to the chassis which combines fire-engine red with matte black in the middle. The scope rings and even the magazine were painted red to match as well. The whole effect is very striking, as you can see.

Savage 10 BA Stealth Red black custom 6.5 Creedmoor

The barrel is a 29-inch 1:8″-twist McGowen. The optic is a 4.5-27x56mm Vortex Razor HD GenII with sunshade. That supper-stable rear sandbag is a Protektor DR Bag, one of our favorites. The front sandbag is also a Protektor. The front Rest is the new Protektor Aluminum Rest with Mariners Wheel. Look carefully and you’ll see a flat 2.5″-wide block on the underside of the forearm. That improves stability and tracking.

Savage 10 BA Stealth Red black custom 6.5 Creedmoor

What we really like is the upgraded rear buttstock section. This is NOT standard by any means. Rifle owner Derek has fitted an aftermarket XLR Tactical Lite Buttstock that sits properly in that Protektor DR rear bag. This unit combines an adjustable buttpad with a nice cheek-rest (with upgraded pad from Tactical Works). And, very importantly, the XLR can be fitted with a “tactical bag rider” or you can easily make your own bag rider.

Savage 10 BA Stealth Red black custom 6.5 Creedmoor

As the Savage 10 BA Stealth Comes from the Factory
This video shows a box-stock Savage 10BA Stealth. Note how different the stock buttstock/cheekpiece assembly is compared to Derek’s Red Hot Savage.

Savage 10 BA Stealth Red black custom 6.5 Creedmoor

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July 26th, 2021

How to Range Targets with MIL-Reticle Optics

NRA Video Milrad MIL mil-dot range reticle

MIL-system scopes are popular with tactical shooters. One advantage of MIL scopes is that the mil-dot divisions in the reticle can be used to estimate range to a target. If you know the actual size of a target, you can calculate the distance to the target relatively easily with a mil-based ranging reticle. Watch this helpful NRA video to see how this is done:

Milliradian Definition and Yardage Ranging Formula
“MIL” or “Milrad” is short-hand for Milliradian, a unit of angular measurement. The subtension of 1 mil equals 3.6 inches at 100 yards or 36 inches at 1,000 yards. (In metric units, 1 mil equals 10 centimeters at 100 meters or 1 meter at 1,000 meters.) Knowing this subtension and knowing the size of the target (or a reference object near the target) allows the distance to the target to be estimated with considerable accuracy. The formula used to calculate range (in yards) based on MIL measurement is:

Height of Target in inches (divided by 36) x 1000, divided by the number of mils.

NRA Video Milrad MIL mil-dot range reticle

For example, if a 14″ tall target spans 3 mils from top to bottom, the distance is 129.67 yards calculated as follows: 14/36 x 1000 = 389, then divided by 3 = 129.67. You can also use a different conversion to find distance in meters.

Can You Estimate Range with an MOA-Marked Reticle? Yes You Can…
Reader Josh offers this handy advice: “It worth noting that the ability to measure range is not unique to mil-based systems. A MIL is just another unit for measuring angles, and any angular measurement will work. Considering that just about everybody knows that 1 MOA is about an inch per hundred yards, similar formulae can be developed for ranging with MOA marks. The advantage with mils is the precise relationship between units — the MOA-inch measurement is imprecise (being off by 0.047″) — so in principle MILs are a better unit”.

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July 26th, 2021

PRS/NRL How-To: Practical Shooter’s Guide by Marcus Blanchard

Marcus Blanchard Practical Shooter's Guide

Thinking of getting started in the Practical/Tactical shooting game? Looking for ways to be more stable when shooting from unconventional positions? Then you may want to read Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training). Unlike almost every “how to shoot” book on the market, Blanchard’s work focuses on the shooting skills and positions you need to succeed in PRS matches and similar tactical competitions.

Blanchard provides clear advice on shooting from barricades, from roof-tops, from steep angles. Blanchard says you need to train for these types of challenges: “I believe the largest factor in the improvement of the average shooter isn’t necessarily the gear; it’s the way the shooter approaches obstacles and how they properly train for them.”

Marcus Blanchard Practical Shooter's Guide

Blanchard also offers good tips on shooting fundamentals. Here’s an example:

Blanchard on Trigger Control
“There will always be some amount of wobble when shooting in positions other than prone, and timing the shot to go off when the reticle is within the target is difficult to accomplish when poor trigger techniques are employed. The most common [mistake] I have seen is ‘slapping’ the trigger. The finger is usually hovering off the trigger, and when the shooter determines that NOW is the time to fire, they quickly pull their finger to the rear and ‘slap’ the trigger. The finger never pulls the trigger in the same place and often provokes a sympathetic contraction of the rest of the muscles in the hand, which results in unwanted movement before the bullet exits the muzzle.”

Author Marcus Blanchard has the credentials. A Marine Corps veteran, Blanchard is a regular Top 10 finisher in Precision Rifle Series events. In 2015 Blanchard was ranked 8th overall (nationwide) in the PRS series at year’s end. In 2016 Blanchard won the New Mexico Precision Rifleman’s Championship.

Check out the Table of Contents to see the Topics Covered:

Practical Shooter's Guide Tactical training book
Click image above to view larger Table of Contents.

6.5 Guys Recommend Practical Shooter’s Guide
The 6.5 Guys have reviewed Blanchard’s book and they recommend it highly: “What’s a good book for the beginning shooter who wants to get into long range precision rifle or the intermediate shooter who wants to improve his scores? [The Practical Shooter’s Guide] is particularly useful because it explores firing from various positions and props that are encountered in long range precision rifle [events]. This knowledge is completely missing from more traditional books where the shooter is usually slung up and shooting at a paper target. Marcus… goes into considerable detail about shooting from rooftops, reverse rooftops, side slopes, tank traps, barricades etc. This is the type of information that is very difficult to find. We consider ourselves reasonably knowledgeable shooters and this book provided us with new and useful information.” CLICK HERE for 6.5 Guys REVIEW.

6.5 Guys Review Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide

Frank Galli rifle marksmanship PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instructionPrecision Rifle Marksmanship
Another excellent book for PRS/NRL shooting is Precision Rifle Marksmanship: The Fundamentals by Frank Galli, founder of SnipersHide.com.

Former USMC scout-sniper Frank Galli explains that there is no voodoo when it comes to precision rifle marksmanship, but there ARE techniques that, when practiced, make the difference between good marksmanship and great marksmanship. Understanding the reasons that a bullet hits or doesn’t hit its intended target at ultra-long distances is a crucial element to learning.

Galli’s explanations of how to understand and compensate for wind speed and direction are excellent. In this book, Galli offers great wind-reading advice.

Published in 2020, Galli’s treatise is four years newer than Blanchard’s book, so it includes more of the latest gear and equipment. Galli’s book covers the fundamentals of precision marksmanship with easy-to-understand methodology. The book follow the same instruction process Galli uses in his live marksmanship classes (CLASS REPORT HERE).

Published in 2020, this well-illustrated, 272-page book covers the latest equipment (scopes, LRFs, chassis systems, magazines, bags, bipods, tripods) favored by tactical competitors in PRS/NRL type matches.

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July 24th, 2021

Savage 110 Elite Precision — $1750 Rig for PRS Production Class

Savage Arms model 110 Elite Precision rifle PRS NRL ELR tactical modular rifle

Looking for a match-worthy PRS/NRL rig for under $1750.00? Check out Savage’s Elite Precision Model 110. GunsAmerica Digest recently did a very thorough test of the 110 Elite Precision, declaring that this modern Savage is “Competition-Ready Out of the Box.” The Savage’s $1750 price is well under the PRS $2500 Production Division limit.*

Is this an outstanding deal at $1750? Absolutely. Consider this, the recently-released Proof Research MDT Chassis Rifle, which shares the SAME MDT ACC Chassis, has a $5699.00 MSRP! For that amount of hard-earned cash, you could buy THREE Savage Elite Precisions AND have $449 left over ($1750 x 3 = $5250)! Put the $3949 saved into optics and reloading gear (or a couple mortgage payments).

The Savage 110 Elite Precision has many notable features:

1. Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) Adjustable Core Competition (ACC) Chassis
2. Trigger adjusts from 1.5-4.0 pounds
3. Barrel comes with timed muzzle brake from factory
4. MDT ACC Chassis easily accepts Weights and Accessories
5. Takes AICS-compatible Magazines
6. Titanium Nitride coated bolt body

This rifle boasts an excellent MDT ACC modular chassis. GunsAmerica stated: “Combined with the excellent trigger, an AR-compatible vertical grip, flared magazine well, and AICS mag system (along with a host of additional features), the 110 Elite Precision comes with everything you need [for PRS/NRL matches].” The stock has ARCA rails on the fore-end and M-LOK mounting points for accessories and/or weights. You can add an additional 9 pounds of steel to customize the balance/mass of the rifle to improve stability and minimize recoil.

Savage Arms model 110 Elite Precision rifle PRS NRL ELR tactical modular rifle
The Cheekpiece and Buttpad are adjustable, along with Length of Pull (LOP).

Another reviewer noted that the 110 Elite Precision has important accurizing tweaks from the factory: “Key upgrades include a blueprinted action … Savage squared the receiver face and cleaned up the receiver threads to ensure they’re concentric with the barrel’s bore. This combination goes a long way in eliminating the occasional flyer that can ruin a good group or cause a miss in a match.” Source: GunsandAmmo.com.

Accuracy with Factory Ammo
What kind of accuracy can you expect? Decent for a factory barrel and factory ammo. With Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, shooting off a sled, the test rifle delivered 1.1-MOA average groups. We would expect considerably better accuracy using a proper front rest with a bag-rider fitted to the fore-end. Likewise, the gun would almost certainly shoot better with handloads with Lapua brass and Berger bullets. Handling was good: “The Elite Precision is about as shootable as it gets. The 12.6-pound rifle produces very little recoil with the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, and … the ACC chassis can be weighted to control recoil even further.” NOTE: We have discussed accuracy with other Savage 110 Elite Precision owners, who have reported considerably better accuracy. But as with most large-maker factory rifles, the accuracy of the barrel is unpredictable. If you want a half-MOA guarantee, you’ll need to spend more (see footnote).

Savage Arms model 110 Elite Precision rifle PRS NRL ELR tactical modular rifle

Actual owners have been impressed with the 110 Elite Precision. One buyer posted: “You couldn’t build a complete PRS rifle that is this good of a platform for even close to the price!” GunsAmerica tester Jordan Michaels concurred that this rig is a great choice for PRS/NRL factory-class: “If you’re in the market for a rifle to compete in a long-range competition, the Savage 110 Elite Precision is an excellent choice.”

Here is a detailed examination of the Savage Elite Precision in 6mm Creedmoor:


* The PRS “Production Class” price limit is now $2500.00 as stated in the 2021 PRS Rulebook (Rule 2.3.1). To qualify as Production Class, the rifle must have that manufacturer’s stamp on the barrel, so you can’t cheat and slip a Krieger or Bartlein on the Savage (Rule 2.3.11). Another under-$2500 alternative is the newly-introduced MasterPiece Arms MPA BA PMR Pro Rifle II (Product Match Rifle) priced at $2499.00. This rifle, which comes with a Half-MOA Accuracy Guarantee, has been approved for use in PRS Production Division. The MPA includes many competition-related features while staying under the $2,500 price limit for this class. It is available in either a Black or Tungsten Cerakote® finish. It uses a MPA/Curtis Short Action with Lothar Walther hand-lapped barrel. MORE INFO.

PRS Production Division MPA BA PMR Pro Rifle II $2500

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July 20th, 2021

The Tack-Driving AR — Secrets to AR Platform Accuracy

AR-X AR15 Upper

One Shooters’ Forum member asked: “What makes an AR accurate? What parts on an AR can really affect accuracy — such as free-floating handguards, barrels, bolts, bolt carriers?” He wanted an honest, well-informed answer, not just sales pitches. Robert Whitley posted a very detailed answer to this question, based on his experience building/testing scores of AR-platform rifles. Robert runs AR-X Enterprises, which produces match-grade uppers for High Power competitors, tactical shooters, and varminters.

AR-X AR15 Upper

Building an Accurate AR — What is Most Important

by Robert Whitley
There are a lot of things that can be done to an AR to enhance consistent accuracy, and I use the words “consistent accuracy” because consistency is a part of it (i.e. plenty of guns will give a couple great 5-shot groups, but won’t do a very good 10- or 20-shot groups, and some guns will shoot great one day and not so good on others).

Here are 14 key things we think are important to accuracy.

1. Great Barrel: You’ll want a premium match-grade barrel, well-machined with a good crown and a match-type chambering, true to the bore and well cut. The extension threads must also be cut true to the bore, with everything true and in proper alignment.

2. Rigid Upper: A rigid, heavy-walled upper receiver aids accuracy. The typical AR upper receiver was made for a lightweight carry rifle and they stripped all the metal they could off it to make it light to carry (which is advantageous for the military). The net result are upper receivers that are so thin you can flex them with your bare hands. These flexible uppers are “strong enough” for general use, but they are not ideal for accuracy. Accuracy improves with a more rigid upper receiver.

3. True Receiver Face: We’ve found that truing the receiver face is valuable. Some may argue this point but it is always best to keep everything related to the barrel and the bore in complete alignment with the bore (i.e. barrel extension, bolt, upper receiver, carrier, etc.).

4. Barrel Extension: You should Loctite or glue the barrel extension into the upper receiver. This holds it in place all the way front to back in the upper receiver. Otherwise if there is any play (and there typically is) it just hangs on the face of the upper receiver completely dependent on the face of the upper receiver as the sole source of support for the barrel as opposed to being made more an integral part of the upper receiver by being glued-in.

AR-X AR15 Upper5. Gas Block: You want a gas block that does not impose pointed stress on the barrel. Clamp-on types that grab all the way around the barrel are excellent. The blocks that are pinned on with tapered pins that wedge against the barrel or the slip on type of block with set screws that push up from underneath (or directly on the barrel) can deform the bore inside of the barrel and can wreck the accuracy of an otherwise great barrel.

6. Free-Float Handguard: A rigid, free-float handguard (and I emphasize the word rigid) really makes a difference. There are many types of free-float handguards and a free-float handguard is, in and of itself, a huge improvement over a non-free-float set up, but best is a rigid set-up. Some of the ones on the market are small diameter, thin and/or flexible and if you are shooting off any type of rest, bipod, front bag, etc., a rigid fore-end is best since ARs want to jump, bounce and twist when you let a shot go, as the carrier starts to begin its cycle before the bullet exits the bore.

Robert Whitley AR Accurate accuracy aR15 barrel trigger MSR gunsmithing

7. Barrel Contour: You want some meat on the barrel. Between the upper receiver and the gas block don’t go real thin with a barrel (we like 1″ diameter if it’s workable weight-wise). When you touch off a round and the bullet passes the gas port, the gas system immediately starts pressuring up with a gas impulse that provides vibrations and stress on the barrel, especially between the gas block back to the receiver. A heavier barrel here dampens that. Staying a little heavier with barrel contour through the gas block area and out to the muzzle is good for the same reasons. ARs have a lot going on when you touch off a round and the gas system pressures up and the carrier starts moving (all before the bullet exits the bore) so the more things are made heavier and rigid to counteract that the better — within reason (I’m not advocating a 12-lb barrel).

8. Gas Tube Routing Clearance: You want a gas tube that runs freely through the barrel nut, through the front of the upper receiver, and through the gas key in the carrier. Ensure the gas tube is not impinged by any of them, so that it does not load the carrier in a stressed orientation. You don’t want the gas tube bound up so that when the gas tube pressures up it immediately wants to transmit more force and impulse to the barrel than would normally occur. We sometimes spend a lot of time moving the gas block with gas tube on and off new build uppers and tweaking gas tubes to get proper clearance and alignment. Most gas tubes do need a little “tweaking” to get them right — factory tubes may work OK but they typically do not function optimally without hand-fitting.

9. Gas Port Tuning: You want to avoid over-porting the gas port. Being over-gassed makes the gas system pressure up earlier and more aggressively. This causes more impulse, and increases forces and vibration affecting the top end and the barrel. Tune the gas port to give the amount of pressure needed to function properly and adequately but no more.

10. Front/Back Bolt Play: If accuracy is the game, don’t leave a lot of front/back bolt play (keep it .003″ but no more than .005″). We’ve seen factory rifles run .012″ to .015″ play, which is OK if you need to leave room for dirt and grime in a military application. However, that amount of play is not ideal for a high-accuracy AR build. A lot of front/back bolt play allows rounds to be hammered into the chamber and actually re-formed in a non-consistent way, as they are loaded into the chamber.

11. Component Quality: Use good parts from a reputable source and be wary of “gun show specials”. All parts are NOT the same. Some are good, some are not so good, and some aftermarket parts are simply bad. Don’t be afraid to use mil-spec-type carriers; by and large they are excellent for an accuracy build. Also, remember that just because a carrier says “National Match” or something else on it does not necessarily mean it’s any better. Be wary of chrome-plated parts as the chrome plating can change the parts dimensionally and can also make it hard to do hand-fitting for fit and function.

AR-X AR15 Upper

12. Upper to Lower Fit: A good upper/lower fit is helpful. For quick and dirty fit enhancement, an Accu-Wedge in the rear helps a lot. The ultimate solution is to bed the upper to a specific lower so that the upper and lower, when together, are more like one integral unit. For the upper receivers we produce, we try to get the specs as close as we can, but still fit the various lowers in the market place.

13. Muzzle Attachments: Don’t screw up the muzzle (literally). Leave as much metal on the barrel at the muzzle as you can. People like to thread the muzzle for a flash hider, suppressor, muzzle brake, or some other attachment, but if you really want accuracy, leave as much metal as you can there. And, if you have something that screws on, set it up so that it can be put on and have it stay there without putting a lot of torque and stress on it right where the bullet exits the bore. If you are going to thread the end of the barrel, make it concentric with the bore and make sure what you screw on there is as well. For all muzzle attachments, also ensure that the holes through which the bullet passes through are dead true to the bore. Many aftermarket screw-on things are not so good that way. Anything that vents gas should vent symmetrically (i.e. if it vents left, it should vent equally right, and likewise, if it vents up, it should vent down equally). Uneven venting of gas can wreck accuracy.

14. Quality Ammunition: Ammo is a whole story by itself, but loads that are too hot typically shoot poorly in an AR-15. If you want accuracy out of an AR-15, avoid overly hot loads. Shown below are test groups shot with four (4) different uppers, all with moderate loads. These four uppers all pretty much had the same features and things done to them as explained in this article, and they all shot great.

AR-X AR15 Upper

Robert Whitley
www.6mmAR.com

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