January 21st, 2021

Say What? Beware the Risks of Concussive Hearing Loss

Mark Kuczka Accurate Ordnance hearing protection dB noise muzzle brake PRS muffs earplugs concussion concussive hearing loss

Did you know you can damage your hearing even if you are wearing the best hearing protection available? Well, have you ever heard of concussion (or concussive) hearing loss? There is no amount of anything you can put in or over your ears to protect you from concussion loss. My audiologist explained to me the concussion comes through the facial bone structure and damages the ear’s tiny bones.

Editor’s NOTE: This a very important article that explains how you can suffer inner ear damage and hearing loss even if you use quality earplugs and/or muffs. Read that again — hearing loss even with typical hearing protection. This kind of concussive hearing loss can result from shooting with muzzle brakes in confined spaces. Using a suppressor (aka sound moderator) can reduce the risk of concussive hearing loss. You may not have the ability to use a suppressor, but this article explains how you should be more mindful of your hearing.

Why I Use a Suppressor (Preventing Concussive Hearing Loss)

Report by Mark Kuczka, Accurate Ordnance

It must have been the road noise. I thought I was having a hard time hearing my five year old daughter speaking to me on my cell phone because of the road noise. That old SUV was kind of loud inside. Until I switched the phone to my left ear and suddenly I could hear her just fine. Wait, what just happened? I moved the phone back to the right ear and there was that muffled voice again. That’s when I knew I had a problem.

“What?” Lots of us in the shooting community have lost some hearing along the way due to our time on the range or in the field. Those of us who hunt have certainly discharged a firearm or three without ear protection and without concern for our hearing. After all, it’s just one shot, right? How much can it hurt?

Actually, that one shot DOES hurt your hearing. Any sound over 140 dB is immediate hearing loss. It just happens to be killing a small amount of our hearing so most of us continued the practice without a care. Living with hearing loss now makes me wish I could go back 20 years and better protect my hearing. I can’t change what I did in the past, but going forward I can certainly do the most to protect the hearing I still have.

I decided to shoot about a year’s worth of matches with just braked rifles. That year is when I lost significant hearing in my right ear and some in the left. I’ve gone back to shooting only suppressed rifles whenever possible.

Mark Kuczka Accurate Ordnance hearing protection dB noise muzzle brake PRS muffs earplugs concussion concussive hearing loss

I shot my first suppressed firearm, a .22 LR pistol, in 2003. After a few rounds I wondered why everyone (who can do so legally) didn’t shoot suppressed? No one drives without a muffler. Why would you? Point is I immediately appreciated the hearing protection benefits of suppressors. That passion got me into the business of selling suppressors and it wasn’t long before I was one of the biggest retailers for companies like AAC, SWR, SilencerCo, Ops Inc. and others. [Editor: The author’s business, Accurate Ordnance, no longer sells suppressors. So this article is NOT a sales pitch. Mark just wanted to share his experience so others might protect their hearing.]

Mark Kuczka Accurate Ordnance hearing protection dB noise muzzle brake PRS muffs earplugs concussion concussive hearing loss

Did you know you can damage your hearing even if you are wearing the best hearing protection available? You’ve heard guys say, “I’ll wear plugs and muffs, so I’ll be just fine shooting that .50 BMG!” Well, ever heard of concussion (or concussive) hearing loss? Yeah, I hadn’t either. I’ll sum it up the way the last audiologist I spoke with about my hearing loss did – there is no amount of anything you can put in or over your ears to protect you from concussion loss.

A hand grenade went off right next to a buddy of mine. He lost some hearing as a result of the blast. No one is really surprised by that. I mean it is an EXPLOSION. It’s loud. Duh. But I had no idea the blast from a muzzle brake could basically hurt my hearing the same way. The doctor explained to me the concussion comes through the facial bone structure and damages the ear’s tiny bones. Same thing as what can happen through any TBI (traumatic brain injury).

Hearing loss diagram inner ear

I’ve owned quite a few different suppressors over the years and have shot just about everything out there. I’m still as big a fan as ever. However, I wanted to see if using a suppressor in PRS (Precision Rifle Series) and similar matches was actually a hindrance. Some people feel the added length and weight of a suppressor can make getting into some shooting positions slower or problematic. So I decided to shoot about a year with a muzzle brake instead of a suppressor. I sure regret that decision…

Getting Headaches at PRS Matches Was Warning Sign
It is fairly common in PRS matches to shoot through pipes, vehicles, inside “shoot houses” and around other obstacles that echo a rifle’s blast. I noticed I was starting to get headaches about halfway through a day of PRS match shooting. I knew the issue wasn’t hydration. I mean look, if you are peeing every other stage down at the amazing CORE range facility in mid-summer you are NOT dehydrated. So, what was causing the headaches? It wasn’t until I went back to shooting suppressed in those same environments that it became clear the little mini concussions from that muzzle brake was causing my headaches. And of course the doctors confirmed that.

Let me stop here and say I am NOT anti-brake. Muzzle brakes are useful tools and for some situations are the best tools. An aggressive brake can be more effective at reducing recoil than a good suppressor. A suppressor does add some recoil reduction, just not as much as most quality brakes. Don’t forget to factor other variables, such as caliber and rifle weight, into the equation though. For example, a 15-lb 6mm Creedmoor rifle doesn’t need much recoil reduction in the first place.

Mark Kuczka Accurate Ordnance hearing protection dB noise muzzle brake PRS muffs earplugs concussion concussive hearing loss

So, I started shooting matches long before the PRS even existed and always shot suppressed in those days. The suppressors made communication with a partner or RO easier and it was just a more pleasant shooting experience. On the recommendations of a few people I decided to shoot about a year’s worth of matches with just braked rifles. That year is when I lost significant hearing in my right ear and some in the left. I’ve gone back to shooting only suppressed rifles whenever possible and especially at matches. I’ve only once or twice found the extra length of the suppressor made it a little more inconvenient to run a stage, but not by much. Trust me, the points I missed were not because I took two extra seconds getting the muzzle in a port or window.

My hearing is something I value and will do everything to protect from this point forward. You’ll never again see me on a match field with an un-suppressed rifle. To me the minimal gains of running a braked rifle aren’t worth losing more hearing.

Choosing a Suppressor — What to Consider

Okay, so I have hearing loss that I can’t get back and realize I need to go back to shooting matches with a suppressor. But which one? I’ll still be shooting matches with custom fit plugs so I just need something to add a little recoil reduction and kill that concussion.

At our shop, Accurate Ordnance, we generally recommend direct-thread suppressor solutions to our customers. The main reason for that is all the problems we’ve seen with other fast-attach muzzle devices. It doesn’t take much tolerance stacking to result in accuracy issues. There are a few exceptions for us and the Rugged Suppressors products top the list. Since the Razor 762 uses a muzzle brake adapter on the rifle to attach the suppressor, I can use the same suppressor on my .223 Rem training rifle. My primary match rifles are chambered in 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor and the muzzle threads on those is a standard 5/8×24. My .223 Rem training rifle has .5×28 threads on the muzzle, which is standard for that caliber. Thus, the muzzle adapter interface lets me share the suppressors between all the rifles. And on that .223 Rem training rifle I have the option of switching the end cap on any of the Rugged products to a .223 aperture size, which makes the suppressors slightly more sound efficient (meaning quieter).

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January 20th, 2021

Doh! Make Sure Your Ammo Fits Your Chamber!

Ruptured Cartridge Case

If you don’t match your ammo to your chamber, bad things can happen, that’s for sure. A while back, Forum member BigBlack had an experience at the gun range that reminds us of the importance of safety when shooting. He encountered evidence that someone had fired the wrong cartridge in a 7mm WSM rifle. The problem is more common than you may think. This Editor has personally seen novices try to shoot 9mm ammo in 40sw pistols. BigBlack’s story is along those lines, though the results were much more dramatic. It’s too bad a knowledgeable shooter was not nearby to “intervene” before this fellow chambered the wrong ammo.

7mm-08 is Not the Same as a 7mm WSM
BigBlack writes: “I know this has probably been replayed a thousand times but I feel we can never be reminded enough about safety. This weekend at the range I found a ruptured case on the ground. My immediate thoughts were that it was a hot load, but the neck area was begging for me to take a closer look, so I did. I took home the exploded case and rummaged through my old cases until I found a close match. From my investigative work it appears someone shot a 7mm-08 in a 7mm WSM. Take a look. In the above photo I’ve put together a 7mm WSM case (top), the ruptured case (middle), and a 7mm-08 case (bottom).”

The photo reveals what probably happened to the 7mm-08 case. The shoulder moved forward to match the 7mm WSM profile. The sidewalls of the case expanded outward in the much larger 7mm WSM chamber until they lacked the strength to contain the charge, and then the case sides ruptured catastrophically. A blow-out of this kind can be very dangerous, as the expanding gasses may not be completely contained within the action.

Can’t Happen to You? Think Again.
This kind of mistake — chambering the wrong cartridge — can happen to any shooter who is distracted, who places even a single wrong round in an ammo box, or who has two types of ammo on the bench. One of our Forum members was testing two different rifles recently and he picked up the wrong cartridge from the bench. As a result, he fired a .30-06 round in a .300 Win Mag chamber, and the case blew out. Here is his story:

“I took two of my hunting rifles I have not used for over 25 years to the range yesterday to get new scopes on paper, a .30-06 and .300 Win Mag. I had four boxes of old Winchester factory ammo (two of each cartridge), which had near identical appearances. I accidentally chambered a .30-06 round in the Sako .300 Win Mag rifle. It sprayed powder on my face and cracked the stock at the pistol grip. If I had not been wearing safety glasses I might be blind right now.

Safety eyewear glasses
You should always wear protective eyewear, EVERY time you shoot.

“I feel lucky and am very thankful for being OK — other than my face looks funny right now. I am also grateful for learning a valuable lesson. I will never put two different cartridges on the bench at the same time again.”

READ More about this incident in our Shooters’ Forum.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
January 17th, 2021

Erratic POI? Check Your Scope — But It Could Be a Loose Barrel

loose barrel vortex scope optics point of impact change fix

Are you seeing unpredictable changes in Point of Impact on your target? Think you may have a scope issue? Well maybe not — when was the last time you checked your BARREL?

Yes scopes do fail, and scope bases/rings do get loose. But sometimes problems with erratic POI shifts are caused by a LOOSE BARREL. This issue came up recently in our Shooter’s Forum. One member complained that his zero was shifting from day to day — by as much as two inches at 100 yards. He was convinced he had a scope problem, based on erratic POI:

“I think my scope loses 1 to 3 MOA per day. When I shot my rifle Monday it was dead on. On Tuesday it was 1″ low. Then on Wednesday it was 1 or 2″ lower. I don’t get it. — the elevation knob never touched. Scope will track and return to zero that day perfect. Yes EVERYTHING has been checked, nothing loose. What is the chance the erector tube spring has gone south? For the record this is a Vortex GE. Never had a bad scope, but this has me wondering”. — LB

On Forum member told LB to send the scope right back to the manufacturer. Two other members suggested mounting the scope on a different rifle to test. Good advice. That’s generally a smart strategy before you conclude a scope has gone bad…

Could Problem Be the Scope Base?
Two Forum members, ExPiper and Dickn52, suggested checking the scope base, recounting their past experiences with troublesome bases. This was intelligent — anyone with a POI problem should check all the optics attachments:

“Went crazy one day chasing my impacts on a 100-yard target. Shots would group fine for three then go nuts for 4-5. I cranked and un-cranked for about an hour. Then I reached up and the base wobbled on the rifle. Removed scope, tightened base screws and back in business.” — Dickn52

“Years ago I had a problem [where] shots were climbing with almost every shot. I was blaming the scope. However, when removing the scope I noticed that the 20 MOA base was cracked and getting wider with every shot. Needless to say I replaced the base and the problem was solved. — ExPiper

Eureka Moment — The problem was the BARREL, not the Scope

There were many helpful suggestions, but member PirateAmmo steered LB to the real problem — a loose BARREL: “We had a problem on a home-built AR-platform rifle once, barrel was loose a tad…”

Member Snert chimed in: “Yep — I had a PPC that suddenly went 19″ low. Picked up gun off bench by barrel and felt a wiggle. I tightened the barrel and the POI went 19 inches up”.

Problem Solved — Barrel Tightened up and POI Back to Normal
The gentleman with the POI problem took the advice of PirateAmmo and checked his barrel. BINGO! Low and behold, the barrel WAS loose.

LB posted: “Barrel loose by about 2%, checked it twice before and didn’t find it the first two times”.

After LB re-tightened his barrel, his rifle started shooting normally again. No more shooting low by 1-2 inches. Problem solved. The fix didn’t cost a penny and now LB doesn’t have to send a perfectly good optic back to the manufacturer.

Lesson learned? Check ALL the variables before you assume a scope has gone bad. Along with the barrel, also check your action screw tension, and of course the scope base and rings.

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January 16th, 2021

Jim Borden Explains “Blueprinting” for Barrel Shoulders & Lugs

Jim borden accuracy blueprinting action receiver prussian blue shoulder lug barrel

Jim Borden, the very knowledgeable owner of Borden Accuracy, provided an interesting historical insight about barrel fitting and the term “blueprinting”. Jim recently posted on the Borden Accuracy Facebook page an explanation of the term “blueprinting” as it originally was used with respect to barrel/shoulder/lug fitting.

Jim borden accuracy blueprinting action receiver prussian blue shoulder lug barrelBarrel/Shoulder Fit and Blue-Printing
Jim told us: “Something often overlooked on barrel installation is the shoulder fit. Many are so overly obsessed with doing a crank-on fit of threads that the shoulder contact is overlooked. Full, solid barrel shoulder to recoil lug or action face is critical to optimum accuracy and precision.

Many years ago part of the ‘blueprinting’ of an action was the use of Prussian blue to ‘blueprint’ lug fit, thread fit, and barrel shoulder fit. It was a colloquial expression that had nothing to do referring to a blueprint or drawing of the action.” Bet you didn’t know that!

About the photo below, Jim noted: “the fuzzy look on the threads is a liberal coating of Never-Seez thread lubricant.”

Jim borden accuracy blueprinting action receiver prussian blue shoulder lug barrel
Look carefully to see the Prussian Blue applied to the barrel shoulder, plus Never Seez on threads.

Jim borden accuracy blueprinting action receiver prussian blue shoulder lug barrel

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January 15th, 2021

New SEB Mini-X Front Rest — Impressive New Features

SEB Coaxial Sebastian Lambang mini standard rest

Sebastian Lambang of SEBrests.com has done it again. He’s taken his very successful SEB Mini front tripod rest, and made it even better, with multiple enhancements. He calls the enhanced front rest the SEB “Mini-X”. This new Mini-X has some very impressive features, including a new, improved top bag and new tilt-adjustable fittings on the legs. The new Mini-X is currently featured on Seb’s Facebook Page

SEB Coaxial Sebastian Lambang mini standard rest

On the end of each legs are angle adjustments, which Seb calls an “ankle”. This allows the foot-pads to remain flat on uneven (non-level) ground. Each foot adjusts separately using a locking lever. You can adjust the angle and height in seconds using the blue locking lever and blue height adjustment wheel. See adjustment process in animated GIF photo below left:

SEB Coaxial Sebastian Lambang mini standard restSEB Coaxial Sebastian Lambang mini standard rest

New Configurable Side-Plate Design
For the new Mini-X, Seb changed the design of the side plates securing the sandbag: “The plates can be adjusted so the user can rotate the thin outer side plate to place the tension screw on either the lower or higher position. The old one is on the lower position. This screw height placement can make a difference on the side bag’s tension. The higher position would keep the stock in place — not moving up during recoil. In F-Class that is OK. People can use the lower holes for Benchrest Competitions.” Seb says the new-design side plates also have smoother, rounded edges.

SEB Coaxial Sebastian Lambang mini standard rest
Seb tells us the new Mini-X weighs 5.5kg (12.1 pounds) with sandbag empty. That makes it much easier to carry/transport that some heavy front rests.

SEB Coaxial Sebastian Lambang mini standard rest
Here are the new SEB Mini-X and standard Mini side-by-side. In the middle, you can see the new Mini-X side-plate with multiple holes for tension screw.

Standard Mini Rest Improvements

The original SEB Mini rest also has some enhancements for 2021. A new bag is available, and the height adjustment screws are now angled 10 degrees. This allows the adjustment shaft to be more vertical (straight up and down). That should make the height adjustments work more smoothly and adapt better to uneven ground. Here are recent photos from the factory. Note how the sandbag is lower in the center. This is designed to prevent the center “hump” that can form over time in conventional bags. A hump in the middle can prevent the stock from riding evenly, which can, in turn, allow rocking. This new bag should provide a better engagement on the sides of a flat-bottomed competition stock. We also expect improved tracking. F-Class bag is shown. There is also a benchrest bag version.

SEB Coaxial Sebastian Lambang mini standard rest

SEB Coaxial Sebastian Lambang mini standard rest

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, New Product, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
January 14th, 2021

Learn Basics of Reloading Process with Sinclair Int’l Videos

free reloading videos sinclair international

Sinclair International has created a series of instructional videos illustrating the basics of metallic cartridge reloading. The 8-Part series starts with reloading basics and provides step-by-step, how-to instructions that will help new reloaders get started. Detailed, animated illustrations show you what happens inside the chamber when shooting, and inside the dies during each step of reloading. The videos can be viewed on Sinclair International’s YouTube channel. Shown below is the first video in the series:

Each of the Sinclair videos is hosted by then Sinclair Int’l President Bill Gravatt (now with Creedmoor Sports). Bill doesn’t just show you “how”, he tells you “why”. The how-to segments cover case inspection, proper die set up, case sizing, primer installation, powder measuring, bullet seating, crimping, and even goes into the record keeping needed for the handloader. “We wanted to give shooters who haven’t reloaded a look at all the advantages of creating your own ammo and how easy it is to get started,” said Gravatt, “without telling them they had to have any certain brand or type of equipment to do the job.”

The Eight Video Topics Are:

Part 1 — Intro to Video Series
Part 2 — Intro to Reloading Safety
Part 3 — Metallic Cartridge Components
Part 4 — The Firing Sequence
Part 5 — Tools for Reloading
Part 6 — Loading Bottle-Neck Cartridges (2 videos)
Part 7 — Loading Straight Wall Cartridges
Part 8 — Reloading Series Conclusion

CLICK HERE to Watch all Sinclair Reloading Series Videos »

Reloading Tools
Shown below is Part 5 of the video series, covering the tools used for precision reloading.

Sinclair International Reloading Videos

We also strongly recommend the Part 4 Video to readers who are getting started in reloading. This “How Things Work” segment covers the sequence of events inside the chamber (and barrel) when the cartridge is fired. The video includes helpful graphics that show what happens to the primer, powder, cartridge, and bullet when the round is fired. The video also illustrates “headspace” and explains how this can change after firing. We think this video answers many common questions and will help reloaders understand the forces at work on their brass during the firing process.

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January 14th, 2021

Rust-Fighters Comparison Test — Ugly Truth Revealed in Video

See Results of Anti-Corrosion Product Test in Video

YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/uOB5eCReAQY

What anti-corrosion products really fight rust effectively? You’ll hear many opinions, but what do actual field tests reveal? One rifle shooter, who posts on YouTube as BlueonGoldZ, wanted to separate myth (and marketing claims) from reality, so he completed his own long-term rust test using metal samples. First he used ordinary tap water spray, and then he did a second, longer-duration test with a salt-spray solution. Nine different products were tested: Break Free CLP, Corrosion-X, Frog Lube, M-Pro 7, Outers, Pro-Shot Zero Friction, Rem Oil, Slip 2000, and Tetra Gun Triple Action CLP.

Rust Corrosion test video

BlueonGoldZ initially examined each product for its “beading” properties with a normal tap water spray. But the main test involved many multiple weeks of exposure after a “dense” salt-water spray. (No rust formed after two weeks tap water exposure, so the test was accelerated with salt-water exposure).

Rust Corrosion test video

The clear winners in the test, as shown by the screen shot above, were Corrosion-X (Best), and Frog-Lube (Second Best). The photo shows the test samples two weeks after being sprayed with salt water. The results are pretty dramatic — you can see with your own eyes what happened. We think this is a very useful bit of real-world research.

Results from Similar Long-Term Salt Exposure Test
Unfortunately, BlueonGoldZ’s test did NOT include Eezox, which we have found to be extremely effective (on a par with Corrosion-X). In another long-term test of corrosion preventatives, the two best rust fighters were Eezox and Corrosion-X in that order. Since that test was completed, Corrosion-X, already an excellent product, has been enhanced. CLICK HERE for Long-Term Salt Exposure Test Report.

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January 12th, 2021

SilencerCo Suppressors Range Tested by UltimateReloader

SilencerCo Suppressor Hybrid 300 Omega Osprey moderator sound

Our friend Gavin Gear of UlimateReloader.com got a chance to visit a SilencerCo dealer, The Range LLC in Yakima, WA. During his visit, Gavin was able to test a number of suppressors (aka “moderators” or “silencers”) for both rifle and pistols. Gavin has released a lengthy article covering his experiences. If you are in the market for a suppressor, we highly recommend you read Gavin’s SilencerCo Products Overview on UltimateReloader.com.

Gavin was able to test three SilencerCo suppressors: the Omega 300, the Hybrid, and the Osprey 45. In addition Gavin was able to handle the Maxim 9, an integrally suppressed 9mm handgun.

SilencerCo Suppressor Hybrid 300 Omega Osprey moderator sound

Gavin reports the Omega 300, which is rated up to .300 Winchester Magnum, is a very popular “can”. According to Gavin, the Omega 300 has become the best-selling rifle suppressor in history for important reasons. First, it has an integral muzzle brake. Second, it can work for multiple calibers, from .223 up to .308. Third, “It is very tough — .300 Win Mag rated, and full-auto rated”.

SilencerCo Suppressor Hybrid 300 Omega Osprey moderator sound
SilencerCo lineup, from left: Omega 300, Hybrid, Osprey 45

Gavin says the Hybrid Suppressor is an interesting concept: “One suppressor that you can configure for multiple calibers, both rifle and pistol. This includes the ability to change out the threaded mount on the muzzle end, and you can also swap out end caps that will optimize sound suppression for different calibers. The Hybrid… is full-auto rated, and can handle rifle cartridges up to and including .338 Lapua Magnum! But this suppressor can also be used for pistol applications…from 9mm up to 44 ACP.”

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January 9th, 2021

Ammo Box Clip Trick — Hold Open Your Box Lids

Cartridge Box Lid Holder

Here’s a handy invention by Forum member RayJay from Georgia. It’s a simple wire clip that will hold the lid of your plastic ammo box fully open during use. RayJay explains: “Everybody probably uses the cheap plastic cartridge cases. The only problem I have with them is the lid is always in the way and sometimes when trying to open the lid farther the cartridge box tips and you can dump out the cases. I did some cogitating and came up with these .061″ music wire clips. They work great and the unexpected benefit is that the cases are more stable while sitting at the bench.”

RayJay adds: “The round wire is ideal because it still allows a cartridge to fit in the hole where the clip is placed. Now all I need to do is make another 15 or 20 so I can have one in every case I own.”

Another Answer — Buy Better Ammo Boxes with Mechanical Hinges
Many common types of ammo boxes do have this annoying issue of the lids resisting opening and not staying fully open. However, some of the better boxes from Plano and MTM now have a proper hinge, so that the lid lies flat. Even the basic MTM P50 boxes now have a Mechanical Hinge so the lid opens all the way and lies flat when open (see video at 00:48):

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January 8th, 2021

Legislation (H.R. 95) Would Make It Easier to Buy Suppressors

Hearing Protection Act suppressor silencer thunderbeast
Thunder Beast Arms suppressors from the SilencerShop.

A bill has been introduced in the U.S. Congress to make it much easier to buy a suppressor (aka silencer). Well it’s about time! While other countries permit (and even encourage) suppressor use with minimal regulation, the USA still requires local police involvement, lengthy waits, onerous background checks, fingerprints, and a $200 tax stamp just to own a metal cannister that reduces the noise of a firearm. That doesn’t make sense. At last some politicians are working to change those restrictions.

The Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 95)

U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina has introduced H.R. 95, The Hearing Protection Act. This bill would remove firearm suppressors from the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA), eliminating onerous and duplicitous background checks. Instead, suppressors would be regulated under the 1968 Gun Control Act (GCA) with the same background check that is required for a retail firearm purchase.

Hearing Protection Act H.R. 95 Jeff Duncan NFA GCA

It makes sense to change the law. Currently it is a major, costly burden to obtain a suppressor even though firearm suppressors are legal to own and possess in 42 states. Some countries actually REQUIRE the use of a suppressor when hunting or recreationally shooting. In Europe, suppressors are widely available and can often be purchased in a hardware store without a background check. So why is America so different? Because we have stupid, antiquated laws that do not recognize the many benefits of suppressors.

H.R. 95 Hearing protection act suppressor silencer law tax stamp Class III

How to Obtain a Suppressor Currently — Too Many Hurdles and “Red Tape”
Under current law, an individual purchasing a suppressor must locate a retailer that is regulated as a NFA Class III dealer, complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Form 4 with the model and serial number of the suppressor, and obtain two passport photos and fingerprint cards from a local police department. The local chief law enforcement official must receive a completed copy of the application. Then the form, photographs and fingerprints must be sent to ATF along with a check to pay the $200 tax. Currently, it takes ATF about nine months to process the paperwork. Then, the customer can obtain the suppressor from the NFA Class III dealer upon an additional background check through FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Congressman Duncan’s legislation would eliminate those requirements and make suppressors available with the same paperwork, record-keeping, and background check procedure that is currently required for purchasing a firearm. So if you can buy a rifle, shotgun or pistol now, you could also buy a suppressor, with no extra fees, licenses, tax stamps, fingerprinting, or police approvals.

H.R. 95 Hearing protection act suppressor silencer law tax stamp Class III

“This legislation removes barriers to owning an accessory that makes recreational shooting and hunting safer, more accurate and allows shooting ranges to be better neighbors”, said Lawrence Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Firearm suppressors are a safety device designed to make recreational shooting safer. They were originally listed under the NFA over concerns of poaching during the Great Depression, but that never bore out. Even today, suppressors are exceedingly rarely used in crime.”

H.R. 95 Hearing protection act suppressor silencer law tax stamp Class III

Firearm suppressors reduce the report of a firearm from a level typically about 165 decibels — roughly equal to that of a jet taking off. Sound levels that high can cause instant and permanent hearing loss. A quality suppressor can reduce the sound by 30 to 35 decibels. That suppressed noise level is still loud, but will not permanently damage hearing. Suppressors work similarly to a car’s muffler, redirecting exhaust gases. The suppressor/silencer was first patented more than 100 years ago by Hiram Maxim.

H.R. 95 Hearing protection act suppressor silencer law tax stamp Class III

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January 7th, 2021

Videos Show How to Maintain and Optimize M1A Rifles

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA

Do you own an M1A rifle? If so, you’ll want to view a new video from Springfield Armory (SA). As part of SA’s new Workbench Video Series, this 9-minute video is a detailed guide to the M1A rifle. The video can benefit any M1A owner or shooter: “These in-depth videos were developed to help new gun owners safely care for and maintain their firearms, as well as provide a useful resource for seasoned gun owners”, notes Steve Kramer of Springfield Armory. In the video, firearms expert Steve Horsman provides a step-by-step guide for the popular M1A semi-auto rifle.

Springfield Armory M1A Workbench Video:

“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.

Ray Gross M1A service rifle

An evolution of the 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

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA

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. Each summer, the CMP hosts a major M1A Match at Camp Perry, sponsored by Springfield Armory. This is a popular event with 100+ competitors and significant cash prizes.

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 every M1A owner should definitely watch this video start to finish.

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January 6th, 2021

Reloading Manuals — Top Choices for a Handloader’s Library

reloading hand-loading reload data manual sierra berger hornady lyman

It’s great to be able to access online load data for your cartridges. You can quickly get load data for a particular powder and bullet weight. However, there are times when we prefer to consult old-fashioned printed/bound load manuals. The primary reason is that manuals produced by bullet- and tool-makers will, for a particular cartridge, include data for powders from multiple manufacturers. Having a single source can save you time and trouble. For example, if you want to find 6.5 Creedmoor loads using H4350 (Hodgdon), Reloder 16 (Alliant), and N150 (Vihtavuori) you would have to visit three different powder-maker websites, one after another. OR you can pick up a modern load manual and find everything in one place.

There are many excellent printed load manuals on the market. We have used the Berger Manual, Sierra Manual, Speer Manual, Lyman Manual, and Hornady Manual. We like the Berger and Sierra manuals for match rifle cartridges, and the Lyman and Hornady manuals for hunting loads and pistol cartridges. Unfortunately, the popular binder-format Sierra Manual is currently back-ordered. Get one if you can.

The Lyman Reloading Manuals have earn praise over the years:
“Every other reloading book I’ve used favors their own bullets over every other manufacturers. With Lyman you get an honest representation of a wide variety of different… manufacturers. [Lyman has] a ton of reloading data on just about any bullet style you can imagine. I’ve tried a wide range of their recipes and everyone I’ve tried has been spot on. The overall breadth of information this book covers is impressive.” Review by RangetoReal.com.

reloading hand-loading reload data manual Nosler 9 guide sierra berger hornady lymanNosler #9 Manual Features New Cartridges
If you are looking for the latest cartridge/bullet/powder updates, just last month (December 2020) Nosler released the new Nosler Reloading Guide #9, the latest in a respected series of hardback Nosler load manuals.

This 800-page guide covers 101 cartridge types. New in this edition you’ll find the popular 6mm Creedmoor, 6mm XC, 6.5 PRC, and 7.62×39, along with 20 Nosler, 22 Nosler, 24 Nosler, 27 Nosler and 33 Nosler. This manual is a good resource for PRS shooters and hunters. The Nosler #9 book draws from thousands of hours in the Nosler Ballistic Lab, along with the experience of many respected experts.

The book is available for $24.99 at Midsouth or $24.95 on Amazon. Keep in mind that much of the book’s latest load data is available for free on the Nosler.com online LOAD DATA Center. But to get ALL the data, PLUS all the technical articles, you’ll need to buy the book.

Along with the new Nosler #9 Manual, here are four other recommended Reloading Manuals:

Here Are Four General Instructional Books That Cover Reloading Procedures:

POWDER BURN RATE TABLE

Here is the most recent powder burn rate chart from Hodgdon/IMR that we could find. Click links below to access printable PDF. Note, some readers have suggested a couple powder ranking issues in the table. However, this is the latest official version from the IMR website, released in November 2019.


POWDER BURN RATE TABLE from HODGDON.COM

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

CLICK HERE to Download Chart as PDF File »

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January 2nd, 2021

Carbon Fiber Offerings — Complete Rifles, Stocks, Barrels

Sako 85 Carbon Fiber Wolf Hunting Rifle

Gun-makers and barrel builders have adopted aerospace technology, using carbon fiber in their stocks and composite barrels. Today you’ll find carbon components on dozens of rifle brands. Some rifles sport full carbon stocks AND carbon-wrapped barrels. Others features a carbon stock with steel barrel, or a carbon-wrapped barrel in a conventional stock. Carbon is definitely here to stay. This advanced material allows rifles to be lighter yet stronger. The advantages for the hunter in the field are real — a carbon-wrapped barrel can save quite a few pounds. Here are some of the most notable carbon applications we saw at SHOT Show.

Sako 85 Carbon Wolf

Sako 85 Carbon Fiber Wolf Hunting Rifle

One of the the best-looking carbon-stocked factory rifles is the Sako 85 Carbon Wolf, featured in our Top Photo. Introduced in 2018, this rifle features a full carbon composite stock, with the signature carbon fiber weave visible throughout. We found this rig very ergonomic and nice to handle. The advanced-design RTW carbon fiber stock offers quick, push-button adjustments for comb height and LOP. Though not carbon-wrapped, the conventional 24″ blued steel barrel is fluted, reducing the overall weight of the rifle. Without optics, this rifle weighs well under 8 pounds. We were impressed by the Carbon Wolf, but choked on the steep $3600.00 MSRP. Street price will be lower — EuroOptic.com is listing a $3148.00 price for the Sako 85 Carbon Wolf.

The Firearm Blog says: “The stock features Soft Touch coating. Is is not at all slippery or loud like some carbon stocks can be. The barrels are factory threaded as well. Both the weight and the balance of the Carbon Wolf rifle felt perfect. I may have to add one to my Finnish rifle collection.” This is offered in 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .30-06 Springfield, 7mm Mag, and .300 Win Mag.

Nosler M48 Long-Range Carbon Rifle

Nosler M48 Long Range Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle

Nosler offers the M48 Long-Range Carbon rifle with the addition of a PROOF Research, carbon fiber-wrapped, match-grade barrel that significantly reduces the overall weight of the rifle. The carbon-wrapped Proof barrel is mated to a trued M48 receiver and bedded in a Manners MCS-T carbon fiber-strengthened stock. Nosler says: “The Model 48 Long-Range Carbon is an excellent choice for mountain hunting, backcountry excursions and long range competition where weight is a concern.” This rifle has been offered in 6.5 Creedmoor, 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, 30 Nosler, .300 Win Mag, and 33 Nosler.

Christensen Arms TFM — Carbon Galore for 7.3-lb Rifle

Christensen Arms TFM Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle
Christensen Arms TFM Carbon Fiber Hunting Rifle

As you can see there’s a whole lot of carbon fiber in the Christensen Arms TFM rifle. With a carbon-wrapped barrel and full carbon-fiber stock, this handsome rig weighs just 7.3 pounds (short action) or 7.8 pounds (long action). The carbon-wrapped stainless barrel and fully-adjustable Aerograde carbon-fiber stock are mated to a precision-machined action via integrated carbon fiber pillars. In addition, the TFM includes an integrated, 20-MOA optics rail, detachable magazine, and a titanium side-port brake. Impressively, Christensen Arms guarantees 0.5 MOA (half-MOA) accuracy.

Manners Full-Carbon F-Class Stock

Manners F-Class Stock
Manners F-Class Carbon Fiber Stock

For many years now, Manners Composite Stocks has offered an ultra-stiff, Low-Profile ‘Fish Belly’ F-Class Stock. The shell is 100% carbon fiber with a very long, stiff fore-end. From the back of the action to the tip of the fore-end the stock measures 27″ long which is around 7 1/2″ longer than the Manners T4 stock. The idea is to provide a longer wheelbase to better balance the long, 30-32″ barrels favored by many F-Class competitors. The front half of the fore-end is very thin (from top to bottom) to achieve a low profile on the bags. Much thought has gone into controlling fore-end flex. The stock achieves greater vertical rigidity (less deflection under load) through an innovative “fish belly” design. The rounded undersection, like a canoe hull, strengthens the fore-end considerably.

Carbon Rival Rifle from Fierce Firearms

Proof Research Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

Fierce Firearms also offers a long-range hunting rig with a carbon-wrapped barrel. The Fierce RIVAL is an extremely light rig. Without scope or optional muzzle brake, the short-action version weighs just 6.5 pounds. It is available in a six different Camo finishes including Kuiu Vias and Kuiu Verde patterns. Then choose three different Cerakote finishes for the action. All this lightweight tech doesn’t come cheap. The Carbon rival starts at $2810.00. Add $100-$195 for your choice of steel or carbon muzzle brake. Fierce does offer a 0.5 MOA (half-MOA) accuracy guarantee, quite notable for an ultra-lightweight hunting rifle.

Weatherby Mark V with Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

Weatherby Proof Research Carbon Barrel
Proof Research Carbon-Wrapped Barrel

Weatherby now offers rifles with Proof Research carbon fiber-wrapped barrels. The aerospace-grade carbon fiber in the Mark V Carbon barrel makes the barrel up to 64% lighter than traditional steel barrels of the same contour. Weatherby claims the carbon-fiber technology improves heat dissipation — so the barrel does not heat up as quickly with extended strings of fire. The 26” #4 contour carbon-wrapped barrel has a cut-rifled, hand-lapped 416R grade stainless steel core with a flush thread cap and 5/8-24 muzzle threads. It’s finished in tactical grey Cerakote. The Mark V Carbon carries Weatherby’s SUB-MOA (at 100 yards) accuracy guarantee when used with Weatherby factory or premium ammunition.

How Good Are Proof Research Carbon Barrels? — Commentary by Mike Davis

Over the past 15 years Davis Custom Rifle has installed barrels from most major barrel manufacturers. We are very fortunate to have such quality barrel makers. I think Proof Research falls into that top-of-the-line category. Proof Research carbon-wrapped steel barrels are super light-weight, yet offer rigidity and superb accuracy. I have used them for 22-250, 6mm/6.5mm Creedmoor, .308 Win builds and multiple long range hunting rifles in .280, .280 AI, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, 28 Nosler, and 30 Nosler. These builds with Proof Research barrels typically deliver quarter-MOA accuracy or better.

Manners F-Class Carbon Fiber Stock

The Proof Research technology allows us to build lighter rifles with outstanding accuracy, easy cleaning, and the ability to shoot long strings without point of impact shift. It’s not hard to understand why hunting rifles with these capabilities are in high demand. Combined with other light-weight components (such as Titanium actions), it’s not difficult to get these rifles down to 6.25 to 7 pounds total weight before optics.

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January 2nd, 2021

Seven Smart Ways to Use Old Film Canisters

35mm film cannister tip bushings patches

While nearly everybody now favors digital photography over “old-fashioned” 35mm film, don’t toss those old 35mm film canisters, especially the clear Fuji-type with secure snap-in lids. Small plastic film canisters have a multitude of uses for the shooter and reloader.

Here Are Things You Can Do with Plastic Film Canisters:

1. Hold thrown powder charges. If you weigh powder charges after throwing them with a manual powder dispenser, throw the charges first into a film canister and then use that to drop the powder into the measuring pan on your scale. The canister will catch every kernel of powder. If you throw charges directly into a weighing pan, powder can sometimes bounce out. Using the film canister will help keep spilled powder off your loading bench and floor.

2. Store extra sets of foam ear-plugs in the canister. You never want to be without ear protection. This editor has four film canisters filled with plugs. Two go in the range kit, one goes in the car’s glove compartment, and a second stays in a lock box I use to transport pistols. This way I never find myself at the range without ear protection.

3. Place smaller cotton patches in film canisters, marked by caliber. If you use the water-tight Fuji-style canisters, you can even pre-soak the patches with solvent. You can have one canister for wet patches, another for dry patches. That saves time when you’re at the range, and avoids spillage. One caution–some solvents may react with plastic, so test this first before you put a solvent-filled canister in your range kit.

35mm film canister shooting gear rifle kit

4. Store your neck bushings, sorted by caliber in film canisters. With a permanent marking pen, you can mark the side or top of the canister with the bushing sizes, or caliber.

5. Store your favorite Bolt Grease (for rifles) or anti-seize compound (good for pistol slide rails), in the canister. You don’t need to fill it all the way up — a little dab will do ya. We only recommend this with the snap-top Fuji canisters.

6. Protect your muzzles with canisters, during transport. When shipping a rifle or barrel, slip the film canister over the muzzle, then secure it with electrical tape. This will protect the precious crown of a match barrel from dings or damage.

7. Protect front sights with linked film canisters. Forum member SPClark explains: “I’ve seen several shooters use film canisters to make up front match sight protection. Use some elastic cord between two canisters… that’s easy to remove once you get to the line.”

TELL US Your Tips!

There are countless other uses for 35mm film canisters. We invite readers to respond with their own tips on using these handy containers. If you don’t have some stashed in your workshop already, you can get empties for free at most film processing centers. The clear plastic Fuji canisters are the best — you can see what’s inside and the lids are watertight.

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January 1st, 2021

Five Fun & Games Targets for New Year’s Days 2021

shooting paper printable fly flies target

Today marks a New Year. 2020 is behind us (thank goodness!). We should start “Having Fun in 2021″. With that spirit, here are five “fun and games” targets. While each requires good conventional marksmanship skills — hitting a small aiming point — there are other strategies involved, such as playing darts or “making change” by hitting the right combination of coins. Most of us started shooting as kids, just plinking for fun. Here’s an opportunity to be like a kid again — to spend a day at the range just having fun with friends and family members.

Dartboard Target with Colored Rings

shooting paper printable dartboard shooting target

This printable Dartboard Shooting Target has the numbers inside the outer dartboard ring to allow a larger target. With this target you can shoot for the center bull, or actually play pub-style dart games, aiming for numbers and particular rings. If you don’t know how to play traditional dart games, visit NiceDarts.com for complete darts rules. One popular game is “Around The World”. The object is to hit the numbered zones, starting with number 1. Then you try for 2, 3, and so on. After hitting all the numbers 1 through 20, then hit the bullseye to win. CLICK HERE for Other Dart Board Color combinations.

American Coins Target — Make Change

shooting paper printable U.S. Coins quarters dimes nickels pennies target

This unique American Coin Target features actual-sized Eisenhower Dollars, Susan B. Anthony Dollars, and Kennedy Half Dollars in the top row. Below are rows of Quarters, Dimes, Nickels, and Pennies in descending order. NOTE: A U.S. Quarter has a diameter of approximately 1 inch, so it’s One MOA at 100 Yards. NOTE: When printing, select “100%” value and landscape mode — NOT “fit to page”! That will keep the dimensions of the coins accurate. Combining math with marksmanship, this target lets kids practice their math skills while having fun. Choose a money amount (such as $2.57 or $3.73), and “make change” by shooting a combination of coins.

NSSF Billiards Table Target

shooting paper printable billiard cue ball stripes solids target

NSSF Free Fun targetsThis Billiards Table Target offers 15 brightly-colored numbered balls with the cue ball at the bottom. Aim for the numbers, shooting 1-15 in sequence, or alternate between stripes and solids. You can also draw an “X” on the white cue ball (or attach a paster), and use that to set your zero. This target is fun for shooting outdoors with rifles at 50 or 100 yards or indoors with pistols.

This billiards target is part of a set of 12 Fun Targets from the NSSF. These were issued a couple seasons back for National Shooting Sports Month, held in August of each year. The other free targets include Golf Links, Bowling Pins, Fireworks, Baseball Diamond, Dutch Windmill, Water Balloons, Light Bulbs, Dartboard, and three Bullseye targets.

Flies in Circles Target

shooting paper printable fly flies target

Now you can boast to your buddies that you hit a fly on your target — 16 times. On this target, 16 flies with bright red eyes are arranged in a inside circles, 16 to a page. There are various ways to use the fly targets. Some shoot to hit the head only — so aim for those red eyes. There are 11 other variations of this Fly Target available on the Targets.WS website.

Tic-Tac-Toe Fun Game Target

shooting paper printable fly flies target

This Tic-Tac-Toe Shooting Game Target lets you challenge your shooting buddies at the range. One player can shoot the red triangles, while the other shoots the white zones, taking turns. You proceed just like a regular Tic-Tac-Toe game, alternating shots, with the goal of getting three of the same color in a row. This is a fun game for a parent and a young family member. You’ll find other fun targets on Targets4free.com.

Special BONUS — AccurateShooter.com Load Development Target

FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target
Right-Click target image to download printable PDF.

Our Load Development Target has been used by tens of thousands of shooters. It has proven very popular, since all your load data fits neatly in the boxes under each target. In fact this target is being employed by both rifle-makers (Bergara) and barrel-makers (including Criterion) to test their products. The target was designed for aiming efficiency. The red diamonds have 1/2″ sides and you can align your cross-hairs on the horizontal and vertical lines. It is a clean design that is easy to see even at 200 yards with a 20X scope. NOTE: When we test, we usually crank in a little elevation, setting the point-of-impact higher, so our shots fall in the gray circles. That way you leave the red diamonds intact for precise aiming.

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December 29th, 2020

B2B Precision Targets Are Great for Scope Tracking Tests

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

Wouldn’t it be great if you could put up one BIG target that would handle a myriad of important tasks at the range: Zeroing, Load Development, Click Value Verification, and Click Tracking Repeatability Tests. Well the team at Box to Bench Precision (B2B) has developed what may be the most versatile (and biggest) precision targets ever developed. With ultra-accurate grid geometry, and razor-sharp printing, B2B’s targets set a new standard for target precision.

Click Tracking Grid Target
B2B box bench precision targetsThe best procedure for checked the true value of your scope click values is to use a tall target that can dial in at least 25 MOA of “up”, and check where your cross-hairs air compared to exact pre-measured reference lins. B2B developed an advanced target just for that task. The 30″ tall by 23.5″ wide Rex Grid Target (shown below) provides a highly precise grid for testing elevation and windage clicks. The unique grid design has small tics denoting 1/4 MOA, 1/2 MOA, and 3/4 MOA. 1 MOA is marked with a “+” and the 5, 10, 15, 20, & 25 MOA elevation lines are bolded for better visibility. There are aiming points at 5 MOA intervals over the full grid.

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

This same target can also be used for “Box Tests” that verify click values and repeatability. with a box test you start in one corner with the initial shot (we recommend doing this with a warm barrel after a couple foulers). They you add “up” clicks to go straight up and take a second shot. Next add horizontal clicks to go across for the third shot. Then click down (the same number of cliks you went up) for the fourth shot. As a last step you reverse your horizontal clicks and take a fifth shot. If you have a good rifle and the scope clicks are repeatable, your fifth and final shot will be touching the first shot.

B2D’s Rex Grid Target can be used for Box Tests, as can B2B’s popularhttps://bit.ly/2BBe1jYLoad Development and Scope Tracking Target (left below) and B2B’s Sniper’s Hide 100-yard Target (right below).

B2B box bench precision targetsB2B box bench precision targets

B2B’s 100 Yard Long Range Load Development and Scope Tracking Target will perform many functions. This big, 30″ x 23.5″ target has specific aiming points for various tasks. In the upper left, there are 11 small orange circles for precision load testing. Over on the upper right are 7 more small, orange circles for doing a Seating Depth Comparison test.

The bottom half of the target has larger black-on-white circles that serve multiple functions. Use the corner circles to do a “Box Test” to confirm scope tracking. There’s another great feature on this target — running up the center of the target is a tall line that shows elevation in both MILs and MOA. That helps you confirm the TRUE click values of your optic. You’d be surprised how many scopes are slightly off — not exactly 1/4 MOA, 1/8 MOA, or 1/10 Mil as advertised. That’s why Long Range shooters absolutely need to verify their click values.

Buyers Praise the B2B Targets
We’ve handled the B2B Targets, which are printed on high-quality, tear-resistant card stock. We can attest the printing is very precise — with accurate elevation and windage values. These aren’t your ordinary targets — they are LARGE — nearly three feet tall. Verified buyers praise these targets:

“Thank you for talking to me about the MIL and MOA markers on your targets. They are very accurate. While using the Long Range 100-Yard Load Development/Scope Tracking target and my new scope, it helped me realize that my scope wasn’t tracking correctly (both turrets). So, I sent the scope to the manufacturer. When it came back, and using your target as my known constant… the scope is now ‘spot-on’ accurate. These targets are a great tool to gain a better understanding of your rifle, scope, turrets etc., all on one sheet.” — Stan, 2018

“Almost too nice to put holes in. I was in the printing industry for 35 years and these are really well done. Quality paper and precise printing … able to see bullet holes easily with these!” — Dan, 2018

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

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December 28th, 2020

Save Time and Barrel Life — Let DJ’s Hydro-Form Your Brass

Darrell Jones DJ's Brass hydraulic hydro-forming cartridge brass 6 Dasher 6mmBR 6BR BRX BRDX
Along with these popular cartridge types, DJ’s Brass can hydro-form 6 PPC, 30 PPC, 6 BRA, 30 BR, .260 AI, .284 Shehane and other wildcats.

Do you shoot a popular wildcat (such as the 6 BRA), but hate the hassle of fire-forming all your own cartridge brass? That takes time, costs money (in bullets and powder), and consumes precious barrel life. Well there IS a better solution — you can have your new brass hydro-formed to your exact specifications for a reasonable cost.

DJ’s Brass Service now offers custom case hydro-forming to your exact specs. Darrell Jones offers this service for a variety of popular cartridges: 6 PPC, 30 PPC, 30 BR, 6 BRA (BR Ackley), 6mm Grinch, 6 BRDX, 6 BRX, .260 Ackley, .284 Shehane and of course the very popular 6mm Dasher. After hydro-forming your brass, Darrell can also neck-up or neck-down the cases to meet your needs. For example, if you shoot a 22 Dasher, Darrell can hydro-form the cases to a 6 Dasher and then neck them down to .22 caliber. He can also turn the necks to your specs (for an additional charge).

» CLICK HERE for MORE INFO on Hydro-Forming Cartridge Brass

Darrell Jones DJ's Brass hydraultic hydro-forming cartridge brass 6 PPC 6PPC 6 Dasher 6mmBR 6BR BRX BRDXDarrell is a hydro-forming wizard who has perfected the process over the last couple of years. He has learned a few special techniques along the way to ensure uniform case-forming.

Without revealing any trade secrets, we can say the Darrell has very special dies and Darrell doesn’t use a mallet or hammer — he has a system that is much more consistent. Darrell tells us: “Many of my customers take this brass and load it ‘as is’ and go straight to a match and shoot some very nice groups.”

With Darrell’s hydro-forming service you don’t have to buy any special dies or other equipment. Darrell says: “Simply send me the brass you need or have it dropped-shipped to me along with a fired case that has not been sized. If you need formed brass for a new build (gun not yet fired), let me know and I will size the brass to fit within .001 of a PT&G GO gauge.”

Hydro-forming by Darrell costs $0.60 (sixty cents) per case with a minimum order of $60. Neck-turning is an additional $0.60 (sixty cents) per case (or $0.75 for magnums) plus actual return shipping. The turnaround is usually less than five days.

NOTE: After cases are hydro-formed by Darrell, every case is washed, cleaned and re-annealed. This cleaning and annealing process is included in the $0.60 (sixty cents) per case price — that’s all part of the Hydro-forming service.

For more information, visit DJsBrass.com, or call Darrell at (205) 461-4680. IMPORTANT: Contact Darrell for shipping instructions BEFORE sending brass for processing. In a hurry, don’t have time? Just call Darrell and he’ll make something work for you.

DJs Brass hydro-forming

Hydro-Forming Customer Reports

Here are testimonials from recent customers.

“Recently had Darrell Jones of DJ’s Brass Service hydro-form 6 BRX brass for me. The turn around time was very fast and the brass was to the exact specification I ask for. I actually shot the hydro-formed brass in a match [without further fire-forming]. It shot a 3.597″ — pretty amazing. Let DJ do the work for you!” — Mike Wilson (3 Time IBS Record Holder; 2013 and 2014 1000-yard IBS Shooter of the Year.)

“Darrell Jones of DJ’s Brass Service went far beyond the call of duty, to assist me [with my first] IBS match. I have had an interest in 1000-yard competition for many years and finally got the opportunity to try it. After researching the winning competitors, rifles, and rounds I ordered a Panda action with Krieger barrel in 6mm Dasher from Kelby’s. It was one week before the match and I had a rifle and no rounds. I contacted Darrell to hydraulically form 6mm Dasher from Lapua 6mm BR brass. He formed the brass and had it in the mail the next day[.] Since I have only reloaded for hunting or magazine fed rifles I was not familiar with proper seating to allow land engagement of the bullets for 1000-yard accuracy. Darrell took the time to advised me every step of the way to allow me to shoot a 3.158″ (5) shot group to win my first round of my first competitive match ever.” — Mike Youngblood

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December 27th, 2020

Is Your Twist Rate OK? Use Berger Twist Rate Stability Calculator

Berger twist rate calculator

Berger Twist-Rate Stability Calculator
Berger twist rate calculatorOn the Berger Bullets website you’ll find a handy Twist-Rate Stability Calculator that predicts your gyroscopic stability factor (SG) based on mulitiple variables: velocity, bullet length, bullet weight, barrel twist rate, ambient temperature, and altitude. This cool tool tells you if your chosen bullet will really stabilize in your barrel.


CLICK HERE to Go to TWIST RATE CALCULATOR PAGE »

How to Use Berger’s Twist Rate Calculator
Using the Twist Rate Calculator is simple. Just enter the bullet DIAMETER (e.g. .264), bullet WEIGHT (in grains), and bullet overall LENGTH (in inches). On its website, Berger conveniently provides this info for all its bullet types. For other brands, we suggest you weigh three examples of your chosen bullet, and also measure the length on three samples. Then use the average weight and length of the three. To calculate bullet stability, simply enter your bullet data (along with observed Muzzle Velocity, outside Temperature, and Altitude) and click “Calculate SG”. Try different twist rate numbers (and recalculate) until you get an SG value of 1.4 (or higher).

Gyroscopic Stability (SG) and Twist Rate
Berger’s Twist Rate Calculator provides a predicted stability value called “SG” (for “Gyroscopic Stability”). This indicates the Gyroscopic Stability applied to the bullet by spin. This number is derived from the basic equation: SG = (rigidity of the spinning mass)/(overturning aerodynamic torque).

Berger twist rate calculator

If you have an SG under 1.0, your bullet is predicted not to stabilize. If you have between 1.0 and 1.1 SG, your bullet may or may not stabilize. If you have an SG greater than 1.1, your bullet should stabilize under optimal conditions, but stabilization might not be adequate when temperature, altitude, or other variables are less-than-optimal. That’s why Berger normally recommends at least 1.5 SG to get out of the “Marginal Stability” zone.

In his book Applied Ballistics For Long-Range Shooting (3rd Ed.), Bryan Litz (Berger Ballistician) recommends at least a 1.4 SG rating when selecting a barrel twist for a particular bullet. This gives you a safety margin for shooting under various conditions, such as higher or lower altitudes or temperatures.

Story idea from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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December 26th, 2020

Do-It-Yourself Target Stand — Make it with PVC or ABS Pipe

PVC target stand
Assembly Diagram: Here are all the components of the target frame. The overall maximum assembled dimensions are roughly 26″ wide, 41″ deep, and 66″ tall (the cardboard is 2 x 3 feet).

PVC target standOne of the easiest ways to build a portable target stand is to use PVC pipe and connectors. Utah .308 Shooter “Cheese” has created a simple yet sturdy target frame, and he’s shared his design so you can build a similar frame easily and at low cost. The components are wood furring strips, 2″-diameter PVC pipes (and connections), and a 2’x3′ sheet of cardboard. The PVC base can be glued together, or, for easier transport and storage, you can leave some or all of the connections free. “Cheese” tells us: “I didn’t glue any of it together so I could disassemble it, shove it in a bag and take it anywhere.”

“All the parts are just pushed together and not glued. That way I can break it down and carry it all in a bag. Also, if a buddy (not me!) happens to shoot the stand, I can easily replace just the damaged piece. The last 6 inches of the furring strips are wittled-down a bit so they can be pushed into the upright pipes with a little friction. The cardboard is 2 x 3 feet, and I use a staple gun to attach it to the furring strips. Then I just staple the target onto the cardboard and go at it.

Of course you can modify the dimensions as desired. I chose the black ABS pipe over white PVC simply for cost — black ABS is a little cheaper. You can also glue some or all of the parts together, it’ll just be larger for transporting. In windy conditions, the thing likes to come apart. Duct tape might work well.

For weight, I thought about filling the two end pipes with sand and gluing test caps on each of their ends. The test caps still allow the pipes to slip into the elbows.”

Add Anchors or Internal Weight for Stability
On a very windy day, a PVC stand can shake or even topple over. There are a couple solutions to this. Some people fill the PVC pipe sections with sand to add weight, or you can put short sections of Re-BAR inside the long legs. One GlockTalk forum member noted: “I built [a frame] almost identical to this. I also take four pieces of wire coathanger bent into an inverted “U” shape to anchor the frame to the ground. It is so light that wind will knock the stand over [without anchors].”

You can find photos of a similar home-made PVC target stand (with a slightly different rear section) on the Box of Truth website. This also employs a PVC tubing base with wood uprights. We’ve also seen all-PVC target stands, but we’ve found that it is easier to attach the cardboard to wood strips than to PVC pipe. Also, if the upper section is wood, you can fit different height targets, while using the same base.

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December 25th, 2020

Christmas Video Showcase — 8 Great Videos from F-Class John

Nancy tompkins book f-class john videos
This image is from multi-time Nat’l Long Range Champion Nancy Tompkins, author of Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting. Nancy loves to photograph the Aurora Borealis.

As a Christmas present for our readers, today we showcase eight very informative videos from AccurateShooter Forum member F-Class John. A talented F-Class competitor with a smart, technically-focused mind, John has created a series of videos about reloading and precision loading tools, along with rifle and shooting accessories. Many of John’s product reviews are the most thorough and detailed you’ll find in video format. You’ll find over 120 informative videos on F-Class John’s popular YouTube Channel.

SEE ALL F-Class John YouTube Videos HERE »

Nancy tompkins book f-class john videos

21st Century Hydro Press and Arbor Press — Product Review

Many of the world’s top benchrest, long-range, and F-Class shooters prefer to seat their bullets using arbor-type presses with inline dies. This allows smooth, repeatable bullet-seating with very low run-out. One of the very best arbor-type seating presses ever created is the 21st Century Hydro Press. This offers plenty of leverage driving a precision ram. The Hydro Press also features a hydraulic line to drive a precision seating force gauge. Along with the Hydro Press, John tests 21st Century’s standard arbor press.

Cartridge Case Separation — Tell-Tale Warning Signs

If you reload and haven’t experienced a case separation yet then you are fortunate. It’s a fact of life in the shooting world. A bad case separation can have very unfortunate consequences. Therefore you need to watch for warning signs on your cartridge brass, so you stay safe. The video above shows what to look for — and how to recognize signs of incipient separation. One important factor leading to case head separation is improper head-spacing causing growth. To learn more about case head separation watch F-Class John’s follow-up video Case Head Separation Causes, identification and prevention.

Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge — Product review

Every person who makes precision hand-loads should have a quality concentricity gauge to measure run-out of case-necks and loaded rounds. Here John tests one of the best such tools on the market, the Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge. This measures the internal and external neck runout of cartridge cases as well as seated bullet runout. It can also measure the runout of the ogive, bearing surface, and boat-tail of individual bullets and can even measure primer pocket runout. John notes: “I think most precision shooters should have one of these to make sure their ammo is within their specs they’re happy with.”

How to Use a Barrel Tuner to Improve Accuracy and Repeatability

Erik cortina e.c. Tunner f-class john videosIn this video, John works with a barrel tuner created by Erik Cortina, a member of Team Lapua/Brux/Borden. A tuner can be useful in modulating barrel vibrations and that can translate to smaller groups on target. Sometimes the positive effects are quite noticeable. Tuners have been popular with short-range benchresters for many years and now they are becoming more common on top F-Class and Long Range rifles.

John says: “I’ve been using Erik’s E.C. Tuner for a while now and I really like what it’s done to help as my final step in load development. Just remember, a tuner is a tool, not a magician. You still need good load development practices, good brass prep, and solid skills but the tuner does help make great loads even better.”

Teslong Rigid 26″ Borescope with 4.5″ Monitor — Product Review

There are a variety of affordable Teslong digital borescopes for inspecting your barrels and diagnosing issues. All Teslongs deliver impressively sharp images/video. Some units plug into a laptop or tablet, while others work via a dongle to communicate wirelessly. Here John tests a 26″ rigid model borescope that comes complete with its own 4.5″ viewing screen. Priced at $129.99 on Amazon, this system is completely self-contained — you don’t need a laptop or smartphone. You don’t have to worry about connections and there are no Apps to install or configure. John says: “Teslong now offers a 26″ rigid rod model with a 4.5″ monitor. This allows you to use the unit without the need for any mobile device or computer.”

Dillon 550 vs. Dillon 750 for Precision Reloading — Pros and Cons

Progressive presses are not just for bulk reloading these days. Many top shooters, including 5-time National Long Range Champion John Whidden, use Dillon progressive presses to complete many cartridge loading operations more efficiently. Even in the F-Class world, Top Guns such as Erik Cortina have found ways to use Dillon progressives for bullet pointing, case prep and other repetitious tasks, even if a precision arbor press is used for final bullet seating. In this video, F-Class John compares two Dillon options: “If you’re deciding between a Dillon 550 or 750/650 reloading press for precision reloading, here are some pros and cons of each. Both are capable of producing high quality ammunition but each has their own quirks so knowing your capabilities and loading style is important when choosing one over the other.

AutoTrickler V3 — General Set-Up and Operational Advice

In this video, John offers some general advice for setting-up the AutoTrickler system. He notes that you want to set the initial drop weight (from the powder measure) in an optimal range: “When you set the original drop you need it to be about 1 to 1.5 grains below. Some people set it too close to the final weight they want and it actually doesn’t let the trickler unit work as efficiently, consistently and accurately as it will if you start 1 to 1.5 grains low.” John also explains how to hook up the cords and how to position the trickler unit. John places his AutoTrickler on a 30-lb piece of granite, with a thin polymer “anti-static” pad on top. John also uses a line conditioner and grounding wire to provide the best electrical flow to the scale and trickler. John also shows how the angle of the trickler unit can be adjusted. If you own an AutoTrickler or plan to purchase one, we definitely recommend you watch this entire video.

ShotMarker Power-User Tip — How to Test Unit without Shooting

The ShotMarker is an advanced system that plots shot location using electronic sensors mounted on a frame. ShotMarker arrays are now used in many competitions because they are reliable, precise, and much more affordable than competing systems. Invented by Canadian Adam MacDonald, the ShotMarker plots bullet entry on target using sensors activated by the bullet’s soundwaves.​ Using 8 high precision MEMS microphones placed in the corners of your frame, ShotMarker precisely measures the point of impact and down-range velocity of each shot, so that you can analyze your groups and shoot for score in competition. In this video, John shows how you can quickly and easily test your ShotMarker before deploying it at the range: “Here’s a quick and simple way to ensure your system is working 100% before taking a shot on it.”

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