May 18th, 2019

TECH Tip: How to Adjust FL Dies for Correct Shoulder Bump

Sinclair full length sizing die should bump set-back case
CLICK HERE for Sinclair Int’l 3-part video series on using Full-length Sizing Dies.

How Much Shoulder Bump Do You Want?

Some of our readers have questioned how to set up their body dies or full-length sizing dies. Specifically, AFTER sizing, they wonder how much resistance they should feel when closing their bolt.

Forum member Preacher explains:

“A little resistance is a good, when it’s time for a big hammer it’s bad…. Keep your full-length die set up to just bump the shoulder back when they get a little too tight going into the chamber, and you’ll be good to go.”

To quantify what Preacher says, for starters, we suggest setting your body die, or full-length sizing die, to have .0015″ of “bump”. NOTE: This assumes that your die is a good match to your chamber. If your sizing or body die is too big at the base you could push the shoulder back .003″ and still have “sticky case” syndrome. Also, the .0015″ spec is for bolt guns. For AR15s you need to bump the shoulder of your cases .003″ – .005″, for enhanced reliability. For those who have never worked with a body die, bump die, or Full-length sizing die, to increase bump, you loosen lock-ring and screw the die in further (move die down relative to shell-holder). A small amount (just a few degrees) of die rotation can make a difference. To reduce bump you screw the die out (move die up). Re-set lock-ring to match changes in die up/down position.

That .0015″ is a good starting point, but some shooters prefer to refine this by feel. Forum member Chuckhunter notes: “To get a better feel, remove the firing pin from your bolt. This will give you the actual feel of the case without the resistance of the firing pin spring. I always do this when setting up my FL dies by feel. I lock the die in when there is just the very slightest resistance on the bolt and I mean very slight.” Chino69 concurs: “Remove the firing pin to get the proper feel. With no brass in the chamber, the bolt handle should drop down into its recess from the full-open position. Now insert a piece of fire-formed brass with the primer removed. The bolt handle should go to the mid-closed position, requiring an assist to cam home. Do this several times to familiarize yourself with the feel. This is how you want your dies to size your brass, to achieve minimal headspace and a nearly glove-like fit in your chamber.”

We caution that, no matter how well you have developed a “feel” for bolt-closing resistance, once you’ve worked out your die setting, you should always measure the actual amount of shoulder bump to ensure that you are not pushing the shoulder too far back. This is an important safety check. You can measure this using a comparator that attaches to your caliper jaws, or alternatively, use a sized pistol case with the primer removed. See Poor Man’s Headspace Gauge.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
May 17th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, News Post comment »
May 17th, 2019

Tactical 22 — MPA Rimfire PRS Trainer With CZ Action

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire
Don’t worry — you can get this gun in eight different Cerakote colors: black, bronze, flat dark earth, gunmetal, marine red, NRA blue, green, and tungsten.

To succeed at the PRS game you need position shooting practice — and lots of it. Thankfully you can train affordably using a .22 LR rimfire rig. Decent rimfire ammo can be purchased for 7 to 10 cents per round, an order of magnitude cheaper than centerfire ammo. For the best results, you’ll want your rimfire trainer to sport the same ergonomics and “feel” as your centerfire match rifle. You can get just that Masterpiece Arms 22BA, a “turn-key” PRS rimfire cross-training rig. The MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle combines the proven CZ 455 action with a custom Spencer barrel and modern MPA modular chassis. With this chassis you can easily adjust length of pull, butt-pad height/cant, and cheek riser position. Chambered in .22 LR, the MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle can change to .22 WMR and 17 HMR through a simple barrel change. So, this gun can do double duty as a .22 LR trainer and a 17 HMR varmint slayer. Basic MSRP is $1850.00.

MPA colors .22 LR rimfire trainer

The MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle is available with numerous rugged Cerakote finishes: black, burnt bronze, flat dark earth, gunmetal, marine red, NRA blue, sniper green, and tungsten. Custom Cerakote colors cost $135 extra for the chassis body and/or $65 for the barreled action.

MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle Specifications:
Caliber: .22 LR (.22 WMR and 17 HMR via barrel change)
Action: CZ 455
Chassis: MPA CZ455 BA Chassis, 13.50″ – 14.75″ LOP
Barrel: 416RQ Stainless Steel Spencer / MPA barrel, 1:16″ twist
Barrel Length/Countour: 16-24” (customer specified), 0.920″ straight
Barrel Muzzle Thread: ½-28 TPI (if requested)
Trigger: CZ 455 Trigger (yoDave Trigger Upgrade, 1-3 lbs.)
Magazine: CZ 455 10 round polymer magazine with DIP floorplate
MSRP: $1,599.00

The CNC-machined MPA chassis has some very cool features: enhanced vertical grip, thumb notch, built-in bubble level, MPA trigger shoe, and spigot mount with lower-mounted Picatinny rail. The rig comes with a D.I.P. +25 MOA Picatinny scope base and you can add side Picatinny rails, as well as increase the distance from the spigot-mounted bipod to the rear support. The chassis is also compatible with a barricade stop system, an extra-cost option.

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire
Masterpiece Arms centerfire chassis systems have won 5 out of 12 recent PRS matches (story HERE).

Why rimfire cross-training? Because this stuff is ten cents per round. Premium handloads can run $1.00/round (counting brass depreciation), and the best factory ammo can cost over $2.00/round.
tactical .22 LR rimfire norma

A Rifle is Only As Good As Its Barrel
The key to accuracy for any rimfire rifle is a great barrel. The MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle includes a precision drilled, reamed, and honed Spencer / MPA rifle barrel made from 416RQ stainless steel. The hand-lapped barrel is inspected with a video borescope. The chamber is indicated within 0.0001” or less to the bore of the rifle.

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire

Permalink Gear Review, Tactical 3 Comments »
May 17th, 2019

Summer Savings — 25% Rebate on Winchester Primers

Winchester Primers rebate sale 25% discount brownells

Need primers? Here’s a great way to save on primers this summer. Now through August 15, 2019, There is a 25% factory rebate on Winchester primers. Here’s how it works. If you purchase at least $80 worth of Winchester-brand primers, you qualify for a $20 manufacturer’s rebate. That works out to a 25% savings ($20 is one-quarter of $80). Money saved is money earned!

» CLICK HERE For Winchester Primers REBATE Form

And if you buy a larger quantity of primers you save even more. For example, if you buy $100 worth of Winchester primers, you get a $25.00 rebate. If you buy $200 worth of Winchester primers you get the maximum $50 back under this promotion.

Winchester Primers rebate sale 25% discount brownells

This Winchester Rebate is good on purchases made on or before August 15, 2019, so you have plenty of time to shop. The rebate offer applies to virtually ALL Winchester brand primers – pistol, rifle, and shotshell. While we use Federal and CCI primers for most of our rifle hand-loads, we’ve favored Winchester pistol primers for many of our pistols. We’ve found Winchester pistol primers to be very reliable with all types of pistols and revolvers, and they work great with progressive reloading presses.

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May 16th, 2019

Rule Out “Driver Error” — Test Accuracy with Multiple Shooters

When a rifle isn’t shooting up to it’s potential, we need to ask: “Is it the gun or the shooter?” Having multiple shooters test the same rifle in the same conditions with the same load can be very revealing…

When developing a load for a new rifle, one can easily get consumed by all the potential variables — charge weight, seating depth, neck tension, primer options, neck lube, and so on. When you’re fully focused on loading variables, and the results on the target are disappointing, you may quickly assume you need to change your load. But we learned that sometimes the load is just fine — the problem is the trigger puller, or the set-up on the bench.

Here’s an example. A while back we tested two new Savage F-Class rifles, both chambered in 6mmBR. Initial results were promising, but not great — one gun’s owner was getting round groups with shots distributed at 10 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 8 o’clock, and none were touching. We could have concluded that the load was no good. But then another shooter sat down behind the rifle and put the next two shots, identical load, through the same hole. Shooter #2 eventually produced a 6-shot group that was a vertical line, with 2 shots in each hole but at three different points of impact. OK, now we can conclude the load needs to be tuned to get rid of the vertical. Right? Wrong. Shooter #3 sat down behind the gun and produced a group that strung horizontally but had almost no vertical.

Hmmm… what gives?

Shooting Styles Created Vertical or Horizontal Dispersion
What was the problem? Well, each of the three shooters had a different way of holding the gun and adjusting the rear bag. Shooter #1, the gun’s owner, used a wrap-around hold with hand and cheek pressure, and he was squeezing the bag. All that contact was moving the shot up, down, left and right. The wrap-around hold produced erratic results.

Shooter #2 was using no cheek pressure, and very slight thumb pressure behind the tang, but he was experimenting with different amounts of bag “squeeze”. His hold eliminated the side push, but variances in squeeze technique and down pressure caused the vertical string. When he kept things constant, the gun put successive shots through the same hole.

Shooter #3 was using heavy cheek pressure. This settled the gun down vertically, but it also side-loaded the rifle. The result was almost no vertical, but this shooting style produced too much horizontal.

A “Second Opinion” Is Always Useful
Conclusion? Before you spend all day fiddling with a load, you might want to adjust your shooting style and see if that affects the group size and shape on the target. Additionally, it is nearly always useful to have another experienced shooter try your rifle. In our test session, each time we changed “drivers”, the way the shots grouped on the target changed significantly. We went from a big round group, to vertical string, to horizontal string.

Interestingly, all three shooters were able to diagnose problems in their shooting styles, and then refine their gun-handling. As a result, in a second session, we all shot that gun better, and the average group size dropped from 0.5-0.6 inches into the threes — with NO changes to the load.

That’s right, we cut group size in half, and we didn’t alter the load one bit. Switching shooters demonstrated that the load was good and the gun was good. The skill of the trigger-puller(s) proved to be the limiting factor in terms of group size.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip Post comment »
May 16th, 2019

Save Big Right Now with Brownells Discount Codes

Brownells discount code savings bargain

If you’ve been thinking about a big purchase at Brownells, now is the time. Right now, May 16, 2019, Brownells is offering $35 Off a $300+ purchase or $70 Off a $600+ purchase. That’s a great bargain, effectively a 11.6% savings. Use Code MFX to save $35 on $300+, or use Code MFY to save $70 on the purchase of $600 or more.

These Discounts Expire at 11:59 pm CDT 5/16/19:
Brownells discount code savings bargain

Coupon Code: MFY — $70 Off $600 + Free S/H
Expiration date: May 16, 2019 at 11:59 PM CDT

Coupon Code: MFX — $35 Off $300 + Free S/H
Expiration date: May 16, 2019 at 11:59 PM CDT

Take note guys. These are one-day only discounts that expire at 11:59 pm CDT. Don’t delay if you’re thinking about a big purchase, such as a firearm or a barreled action.

More Brownells Discount Codes

If you miss these deals listed above, Brownells is still running some discounts for $99-$200 purchases. With a purchase of $200 and up, save $20 with Code M8Y. Or, with a purchase of $99 or more, you can save $10 with Code MDX. You can also get free Shipping/Handling for all purchases over $49 with Code VB5. That free shipping/handling could save you another $10-$20 easy. NOTE: These codes have no listed expiration date, but Brownells could terminate them at any time, so you should still act soon.

Coupon Code: M8Y — $20 off $200 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: MDX — $10 OFF $99 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: VB5 — Free S/H Over $49
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, News Post comment »
May 16th, 2019

American Rifleman TV — Watch Featured Episodes

American Rifleman television 2019 2020 premiere shows

If you’re like most of us NRA members, you get a copy of American Rifleman magazine in the mail every month. It’s an excellent publication. You may not know that there is a TV version of the magazine — American Rifleman on the Outdoor Channel. This quality television series is broadcast via cable television, and many episodes can be streamed live through the internet, so you can watch on your mobile devices.

The 2019/2020 American Rifleman new season kicks off in a few weeks. In the meantime, you can watch some interesting past episodes. There are a dozen American Rifleman videos on the Outdoor Channel Preview Page. In addition, numerous ad-free episodes are available on YouTube.

Leupold Factory Tour:

Founded in 1907, Leupold & Stevens produces high-quality optics (with a legendary warranty) in Beaverton, Oregon. Leupold scopes are favorites for hunters as well as competitive shooters. In this episode, American Rifleman TV takes a tour of the Leupold & Stevens factory in Oregon.

Nosler Hunting Rifle Showcase:

Nosler doesn’t just sell bullets and loaded ammunition. Nosler also crafts high-quality Nosler-branded hunting rifles. This video covers the creation of a Nosler rifle start to finish in Nosler’s production facility in Central Oregon. Nosler has offered rifles since 2005. Nosler’s goal was to offer quality hunting rifles that “must be simple, rugged, fully weather-resistant, and provide minute-of-angle accuracy with readily available factory ammunition.”

Springfield Armory M1A Review:

The Springfield Armory M1A is a civilian, semi-auto rifle based on the U.S. Military’s M14. Your Editor owned an M1A, and it was a fun gun. In High Power and Service Rifle competition, low-recoil 5.56 (.223) AR-platform rifles have displaced the M1A, but there is a hugely popular Springfield M1A Match every year at Camp Perry. The M1A Match at Perry offers over $25,000 in cash and prize awards each year.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, News Post comment »
May 15th, 2019

How to Shoot Standing — HP Champion Carl Bernosky Explains

Some folks say you haven’t really mastered marksmanship unless you can hit a target when standing tall ‘on your own hind legs’. Of all the shooting positions, standing can be the most challenging because you have no horizontally-solid resting point for your forward arm/elbow. Here 10-time National High Power Champ Carl Bernosky explains how to make the standing shot.

Carl Bernosky is one of the greatest marksmen in history. A multi-time National High Power Champion, Carl has won ten (10) National High Power Championships in his storied shooting career, most recently in 2012. In this article, Carl provides step-by-step strategies to help High Power shooters improve their standing scores. When Carl talks about standing techniques, shooters should listen. Among his peers, Carl is regard as one of the best, if not the best standing shooter in the game today. Carl rarely puts pen to paper, but he was kind enough to share his techniques with AccurateShooter.com’s readers.

If you are position shooter, or aspire to be one some day, read this article word for word, and then read it again. We guarantee you’ll learn some techniques (and strategies) that can improve your shooting and boost your scores. This stuff is gold folks, read and learn…


Carl Bernosky High PowerHow to Shoot Standing
by Carl Bernosky

Shooting consistently good standing stages is a matter of getting rounds down range, with thoughtfully-executed goals. But first, your hold will determine the success you will have.

1. Your hold has to be 10 Ring to shoot 10s. This means that there should be a reasonable amount of time (enough to get a shot off) that your sights are within your best hold. No attention should be paid to the sights when they are not in the middle — that’s wasted energy. My best hold is within 5 seconds after I first look though my sights. I’m ready to shoot the shot at that time. If the gun doesn’t stop, I don’t shoot. I start over.

2. The shot has to be executed with the gun sitting still within your hold. If the gun is moving, it’s most likely moving out, and you’ve missed the best part of your hold.

3. Recognizing that the gun is sitting still and within your hold will initiate you firing the shot. Lots of dry fire or live fire training will help you acquire awareness of the gun sitting still. It’s not subconscious to me, but it’s close.

4. Don’t disturb the gun when you shoot the shot. That being said, I don’t believe in using ball or dummy rounds with the object of being surprised when the shot goes off. I consciously shoot every shot. Sometimes there is a mistake and I over-hold. But the more I train the less of these I get. If I get a dud round my gun will dip.* I don’t believe you can learn to ignore recoil. You must be consistent in your reaction to it.

Carl Bernosky High Power5. Know your hold and shoot within it. The best part of my hold is about 4 inches. When I get things rolling, I recognize a still gun within my hold and execute the shot. I train to do this every shot. Close 10s are acceptable. Mid-ring 10s are not. If my hold was 8 inches I would train the same way. Shoot the shot when it is still within the hold, and accept the occasional 9. But don’t accept the shots out of the hold.

6. Practice makes perfect. The number of rounds you put down range matter. I shudder to think the amount of rounds I’ve fired standing in my life, and it still takes a month of shooting standing before Perry to be in my comfort zone. That month before Perry I shoot about 2000 rounds standing, 22 shots at a time. It peaks me at just about the right time.

This summarizes what I believe it takes to shoot good standing stages. I hope it provides some insight, understanding, and a roadmap to your own success shooting standing.

Good Shooting, Carl


* This is very noticeable to me when shooting pistol. I can shoot bullet holes at 25 yards, but if I’ve miscounted the rounds I’ve fired out of my magazine, my pistol will dip noticeably. So do the pistols of the best pistol shooters I’ve watched and shot with. One might call this a “jerk”, I call it “controlled aggressive execution”, executed consistently.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
May 15th, 2019

Peterson Cartridge Now Produces Loaded Ammunition

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

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

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

6mm Creedmoor Peterson cartridge ammo Ammunition

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

6.5 Creedmoor Peterson Cartridge ammo ammunition

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

Peterson Cartridge .308 Win Winchester ammo ammunition

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

Peterson Cartridge .300 300 Norma mag magnum ammunition ammo

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

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

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

Peterson ammo tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical Post comment »
May 15th, 2019

Great Deal on Tactical FFP Scope — 5-25x50mm Viper PST Gen II

Vortex Viper 5-25x50 EBR MRAD FFP scope deal bargain sale

If you’re shopping for a First Focal Plane Mil/Mil scope for tactical use and hunting, here is one of the best deals of the year. No doubt about it. Right now you can get the Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50mm MRAD FFP scope for just $699.00. That’s a whopping $300.00 off normal retail. This is a very good scope, and a killer deal for $699.99. We are told: “The Gen II PST scopes have been very reliable and they may well be the best sub $1K option out there. This scope is full-featured with well-thought-out FFP reticle, great feeling turrets, and illumination.”

This comes with the excellent EBR-2D reticle, which provides hold-over and windage hold-off indicators in a Christmas-tree style layout. This kind of reticle is preferred by many top PRS/NRL competitors. The EBR-2D is similar to Vortex’s most popular EBR-2C reticle but with a complete cross in the middle instead of an open pixel and the hold-over numbers (in the lower section) on the right edges rather than near the center line. Our tester Jason Baney notes: “I actually like this 2D better than the 2C.”

Vortex Viper 5-25x50 EBR MRAD FFP scope deal bargain sale

Here is an actual buyer’s review: “The EBR-2D is my new favorite reticle. It is definitely an upgrade from the EBR-2C which has poorly placed [hold-over] numbers. The glass is on par with my Viper HST… which is good. The turrets are nice, but less audible and less tactile than the Gen I turrets which were only 5 mils per rotation. Overall, it was a nice scope at a good price.”

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics, Tactical 1 Comment »
May 14th, 2019

Precision Expander Mandrels from 21st Century Shooting

21st Century Shooting expander mandrels die body precision

You can benefit from these precision mandrels, trust us…

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

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

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

21st Century Shooting expander mandrels die body precision

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

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

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

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 14th, 2019

Gun BOGO: Buy Taurus Pistol, Get FREE Rossi Rifle

Rossi Taurus Heritage Buy One get one Academy Sports RS22 PT111 G2C

NOTE: This deal is TIME-Limited. Reserve Guns no later than May 18, 2019.

What’s “BOGO”? That’s short for Buy One, Get One Free. Now, at Academy Sports & Outdoors, you can buy one gun, and get a second gun for free. When you buy a 9mm Taurus G2S pistol you get a Rossi RS22 .22 LR rimfire rifle at no extra charge. Can’t argue with that…

Rossi Taurus Heritage Buy One get one Academy Sports RS22 PT111 G2CAcademy Sports is offering a truly remarkable promotion. Here’s how it works — if you purchase a Taurus G2S compact 9mm pistol, you will get a semi-auto Rossi RS22 rimfire rifle for FREE! The Rossi is a handy self-loader complete with barrel-mounted iron sights. The RS22 normally sells for $149.99.

NOTE: This deal works with in-store firearms pick-up only, with normal NICS background check. All state and Federal firearms laws apply. You can NOT purchase the Taurus pistol and have your two firearms sent to a separate FFL. If there is not an Academy Sports store near you, then you’re out of luck. This is for In-Store Pickup ONLY — No Mail-Order.


Gunblast tested the Rossi RS22. This “dandy little rifle” performed great, with flawless semi-auto feeding and cycling. Accuracy was quite good. The tester praised the fit and feel of the stock. Buyer reports have been quite positive. The RS22 can also use 25-round Mossberg magazines.

To find the nearest store, go to www.Academy.com. Look at the extreme upper left, right at the top. Click on the link for “Find a store”. Type in your Zip Code and all stores within 250 miles will display.

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals Post comment »
May 14th, 2019

Locate Shooting Ranges with FREE Where to Shoot Mobile APP

where to shoot mobile app nssf range locator software

The Where To Shoot Mobile App quickly locates shooting ranges near you, drawing on North America’s most comprehensive directory of shooting ranges. Users can search by current location, state, or zip code. Once you locate a range, you can view activities offered along with a summary of range facilities. You can even get driving directions.

CLICK HERE for FREE Apple iPhone and iPad App | CLICK HERE for FREE Android App

Where to Shoot App for Android

where to shoot mobile app nssf range locator software

The app is modeled after NSSF’s popular WhereToShoot.org® website and is updated frequently with range information for every U.S. state and Canadian province. Once you’ve located a place to shoot, the App can provide directions to the range. The App also includes video tips for shooters, news, and firearm-safety information.

Where to Shoot iOS App for iPad

where to shoot mobile app nssf range locator software

Permalink News, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
May 13th, 2019

Bargain Finder 190: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. PSA — 6.5 Creedmoor Savage Axis II, $296.99 with Rebate

Savage Axis II Rifle discount Palmetto

The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge is the hottest thing going these days. And now you can get a good-looking, ultra-reliable 6.5 Creedmoor Savage Axis II rifle for under $300.00. The Axis II in Realtree Timber Camo is on sale now at Palmetto State Armory (PSA) for just $329.99. But you can save another 10% with the Savage Tax Season Rebate. That lowers your net cost to just $295.99 after rebate. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better-shooting hunting rig for anywhere near this price. This rifle weighs 6.2 pounds (before optics) with 20″, 1:8″-twist barrel. It comes with a Picatinny Rail mounted.

2. Precision Reloading — FREE HazMat on Alliant ($125 Minimum)

Alliant powder free hazmat reloder 15 16 17 23

Don’t delay! Now through 11:59 pm on Wednesday May 15, you can get FREE Hazmat on Alliant Powders at Precision Reloading. If you buy at least $125.00 of Alliant propellants, there is NO HazMat. And yes, Precision Reloading has the very accurate and temp-stable Reloder 16 in stock in both 1-lb and 8-lb containers. If you like H4350, you should definitely try Reloder 16. It works great in the 6mm Creedmoor, 6XC, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .284 Win match cartridges. You’ll find other great Alliant powders, such as Reloder 23 (like RL16 but slower), AR Comp, and Unique in stock at great prices.

3. Natchez — Weaver T-Series Classic 36x40mm Scope, $339.99

Weaver Classic T-Series 36x40mm scope

Benchrest Matches have been won (and many records set) with 36X Weaver T-Series optics. Our friend Boyd Allen observed “You can pay three or four times as much for a scope but not necessarily be more competitive — a 36X front objective Weaver is enough to win with…” The Classic T-Series Weaver has proven to be one of the most reliable high-magnification scopes ever made. The “old-fashioned” adjustable objective works well and the Weaver Micro-Trac turret system delivers precise and repeatable elevation and windage control. You can also save money on rings since the main tube is 1″ diameter. The Weaver T-36 with 1/8 MOA clicks and Fine Cross-hair reticle costs $339.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. NOTE: Natchez also has the classic T-36 scope with 1/8-MOA Dot reticle for $379.99.

4. Krieger Barrels — Discounted Overstock Barrels

krieger barrels

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

5. Bruno’s — Vihtavuori N133 On Sale with Low HazMat

Bruno Shooters vihtavuori free hazmat N133 6 PPC

Short-range Benchrest competitors (and varminters) here’s your chance to save on ultra-accurate Vihtavuori N133, a superb propellant for the 6 PPC and other smaller cartridges. Bruno Shooters Supply has N133 on Sale for $204.99 for 8 pounds. That works out to $25.62 per pound. In addition, you can get FREE HazMat if you buy four 8-lb kegs, or get half-price HazMat if you purchase two 8-pounders. One-pound containers are also available. Bruno’s has other attractive promotions currently including FREE Shipping on Jewell Triggers.

6. Midsouth — Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler LITE, $99.99

Frankford Arsenal Tumbler Sale

Wet-tumbling with stainless media gets large quantities of cartridge brass clean inside and out. If you’ve wanted to try wet-tumbling, here’s your chance. Midsouth has the Frankford Arsenal Platinum LITE Tumbler on sale for just $99.99 — a total steal. If you run large quantities of brass, you can get the larger-capacity Frankford Arsenal Platinum Tumbler for $179.99. Either one of these is a reliable, durable (and watertight) machine that should provide years of worry-free tumbling.

7. CDNN Sports — Walther Creed 9mm — $249.99

Walther Creed  9mm carry pistol handgun bargain cdnn sale discount

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $249.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

8. Amazon — MPow 28 NRR Safety Earmuffs, $10.99

Amazon Mpow nrr 28 dB ear muffs soft padding

These MPow 28 dB NRR earmuffs are Amazon’s “#1 Best Seller” in safety muffs. Purchasers report that the ear padding is quite pliant and comfortable (much better than most inexpensive muffs). Selling for just $10.99 on Amazon, these muffs are a great deal. These muffs work well for indoor pistol shooting, for free-recoil style benchrest shooting, or outdoors 3-Gun and action shooting. For PRS shooting or prone rifle shooting (with your head on the stock), we recommend a lower profile muff with earplugs underneath.

9. Amazon — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $24.99

Shooting Mat

Looking for a good mat at a great price? For $24.99 now you can grab this NcStar Vism shooting mat. This has decent padding, and reinforced areas for elbows and knees. Full dimensions are: 69″ Long x 35″ Wide. This mat has straps for pre-loading your bipod. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up into a compact 19.50″ W x 8.50″ H package — about the same size as a sleeping bag. You can pay twice as much for a shooting mat and not get much more quality. Purchaser reviews have been very positive. This mat has earned 79% Five-Star buyer ratings on Amazon.

10. Amazon — Jialitte Scope Bubble Level, $10.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

All serious rifle shooters need a scope level. This nicely designed Jialitte Scope Bubble Level features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. Price is just $10.99 with free shipping. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product — nearly all verified buyers rated this five stars.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics Post comment »
May 13th, 2019

Tikka T1x in 17 HMR Shows Excellent Accuracy

tikka t1x 17hmr varmint rifle .22 LR 22 LR hornady tnt
This 17 HMR Tikka T1x test gun features a prototype Picatinny rail from 782 Gun Works.

One of our favorite new rimfire rifles is the Tikka T1x, available in 17 HMR, and .22 LR. Priced at $468.00 at EuroOptic.com, the T1x cycles smoothly and shows excellent accuracy out of the box. The T1x has an action footprint like Tikka’s T3 Centerfire action so it can use many stocks made for the T3. KRG will soon offer a $369.00 Bravo Chassis stock for the T1x. With the KRG Bravo T1x Stock you can have a rimfire that feels like a full-size PRS rifle.

Read GunsAmerica Digest 17 HMR Tikka T1x Review »

How does it shoot? That’s the key question. Clay Martin of GunsAmerica Digest recently tested a Tikka T1x in 17 HMR. He liked the gun and said it delivered impressive accuracy:

“Using 20 grain Hornady XTP ammunition and a Bushnell Forge scope, my T1x turned in [100-yard] groups just over ½ MOA. For a rimfire, that is pretty remarkable. For a rimfire with a relatively lightweight barrel, it is shocking. The barrel is also threaded from the factory, ready to go for suppressors.”

tikka t1x 17hmr varmint rifle .22 LR 22 LR hornady tnt

Tester Clay Martin really liked the T1x, noting the comfortable stock and nice bolt function. On the test rifle the trigger was set at 3.5 pounds, not bad for a varmint rifle, but Clay wanted it lighter. Tikka says the T1x trigger will adjust down to 2 pounds*. Martin also wished the T1x came with a Picatinny rail standard. For his tests he added a +20 MOA rail from 782 Gun Works.

GunsAmerica’s test rifle showed outstanding accuracy for a factory rifle that costs $468.00. (Add $369 for the KRG Bravo Stock and you’ll have a GREAT PRS rimfire trainer for under $840.00.) With Hornady 20gr ammo, shooting from prone with bipod, the tester got just over one-half MOA for multiple groups at 100 yards. We expect that, with a better rest set-up, shooting from a bench, that could be even better. In his T1x Review Video Clay declares: “This is absolutely nuts… for a rimfire at 100 yards. The Tikka will consistently do just a little over a half-inch. So, we can say that the Tikka absolutely likes the 20gr Hornady and that the accuracy level is… what we expect from the Tikka brand name.”

Another Option: Tikka T1x in .22 LR

At the 2018 SHOT Show Media day at the range, we shot a Tikka T1x in .22 LR and liked it. We thought the trigger was fine. We liked the feel of the bolt, and the action seems very well made — on a par with the centerfire Tikkas. The magazines are also very well-made and feed superbly. We have no problem with the Optilock rings mounted to the top of the action. These rings (with inserts) are excellent.

T1X Tikka rimfire .22 LR 22LR

* Clay Martin complained that that trigger was not adjustable. Perhaps he was given misinformation from the distributor. Tikka says the trigger adjusts from 2 to 4 pounds. See T1x Instruction Manual, page 15.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
May 13th, 2019

Cartridge History: Ever Heard of the .244 Remington?

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

What we now know as the “6mm Remington” was originally called the .244 Remington. The cartridge was renamed because it was not a commercial success initially, being eclipsed by the .243 Winchester. The .244 Remington and the 6mm Remington are identical — only the name was changed. Why was the .244 Remington an “also-ran” to the .243 Win? Sierra Bullets Ballistics Technician Paul Box provides some answers…

Was Anything Wrong With The .244 Remington?

by Ballistic Technician Paul Box for Sierra Bullets Blog

The year was 1955. A time of carhops, drive-in movies, and Buffalo Bob. It was also the year that Winchester introduced the .243 Win and Remington counter-punched with the .244 Remington (now more commonly known as the 6mm Remington). The .243 Win was based off the time-proven .308 Win case while Remington chose the old war horse, the 7×57.

We’ve all read countless times how Winchester chose the 1:10″ twist, while Remington adopted the 1:12″ twist for their .244 Rem rifles. The first complaint in the gun magazines of that era was how the faster twist Winchester could handle 100 grain bullets, while Remington’s [12-twist factory rifles were supposedly limited to 90 grain bullets].

The first complaint I remember reading was that the 100-grainer was better suited for deer-sized game and the 1:12″-twist wouldn’t stabilize bullets in this weight range. Now, let’s look at this a little closer. Anybody that thinks a 100-grainer is a deer bullet and a 95-grainer isn’t, has been drinking too much Kool-aid. In all honesty, it’s all about bullet construction and Remington had constructed the [90s] with light game in mind. In other words, Remington got it right, but due to a lack of knowledge at the time on both bullet construction and stability, the .244 never gained the popularity it deserved. At that time, Sierra had the 100gr SMP and Hornady offered a 100gr RN that would both stabilize in the slower 1-12″ twist. The .244 Remington provides another classic example of how the popularity of a cartridge suffered due to a lack of knowledge.

.244 Rem vs. .243 Win — What the Experts Say
Respected gun writer Chuck Hawks says the .244 Remington deserved greater acceptance: “The superb 6mm Remington started life in 1955, the same year as the .243 Winchester. It was originally named the .244 Remington. Although the 6mm lost the popularity contest to the .243, it is one of my favorite rifle cartridges, and much appreciated by reloaders generally. The .244 Rem and 6mm Rem cartridges are completely interchangable, and anyone with a .244 Rem rifle can shoot [6mm Rem] ammunition in complete safety (or vice-versa). Remington .244 rifles made from 1958 on can stabilize all 6mm bullets, while those made in 1955 through 1957 are limited to loads using spitzer bullets not heavier than 90 grains for best accuracy.”

Nathan Foster, author of The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges, states: “In 1963 Remington attempted to regain ground by releasing .244 rifles with a new 1:9″ twist to handle heavier bullets. The cartridge was renamed the 6mm Remington and new ammunition was loaded giving the hunter the choice of either an 80gr bullet for varmints or a 100gr bullet for deer. In comparison to the .243 Win, factory loads for the .244/6mm Remington are slightly more powerful while hand loads increase this margin further.”

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

Was the .244 Remington Actually Better than the .243 Winchester?
The .244 Remington (aka “6mm Remington”) has a velocity advantage over the .243 Winchester due to a slightly larger case capacity. The longer case neck of the .244 Remington is considered desirable by handloaders. We like the added capacity and long neck of the original .244 Remington. As renamed the “6mm Remington”, the cartridge HAS developed a following, particularly with varmint hunters looking for a high-velocity 6mm option. But it never achieved the success of the .243 Winchester for many reasons. As a member of the .308 family of cartridges, the .243 Winchester has certain obvious advantages. First, you can simply neck down .308 Win brass, which was available at low cost from many sources. Moreover, a .308 Win or 7mm-08 full-length sizing die could be used for body sizing. Still the .244 Remington (6mm Remington) presents an interesting “what if?” story…

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 7 Comments »
May 12th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: 6mm BRA Practical Tactical Rifle for PRS

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex
That’s custom paint on the stock, NOT a Hydro-dip coating. Impressive paintwork!

Our Sunday GunDay showcase rifle belongs to Shane Sivertsen (aka SoDakDasher in our Forum). This eye-catching tactical rig was smithed by Travis Stevens at TS Customs in Miller, South Dakota. Shane tells us that Travis is a “top-notch builder who builds tack-driving rifles that are still extremely shooter-friendly. Plus he is one of the friendliest guys you’ll meet.”

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

This rifle features a Lone Peak Fuzion Action with Trigger Tech Diamond trigger (flat shoe). Up front is a Benchmark 26” MTU barrel chambered in 6mm BRA (a 40-degree 6mmBR Improved “BR Ackley”). It’s all nestled into a McMillan A5 stock with adjustable cheekpiece. Getting him on target is a Vortex Razor 4.5-27x56mm optic in Hawkins rings with a Vortex throw lever on the power ring for quick magnification changes. The Atlas PRS Bipod rides on an Area 419 ARCA rail up front. The barrel is finished off with a Piercision 5-Port Self-Timing Muscle Brake.

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision VortexCustom Camo-Pattern Paint Job
All work on this rig was performed at TS Customs, including Cerakoting the action. The pattern on the McMillan A5 stock is NOT a hydro-dip! That is a custom Kryptek camo paint-job done in-house by a TS Customs employee. Shane liked the Kryptek pattern from day one: “It’s always a good thing to do something a little different to your equipment to stand apart from the rest of the pack.” Shane says the paint pattern is the first thing everyone notices about the rifle.

6mm BRA Chambering
Shane spent quite some time trying to decide which 6mm cartridge to choose. After much deliberation with Travis, he chose the 6mm BRA, mainly due to the reputation this little cartridge has earned for accuracy and ease of tuning. This rifle is Shane’s second TS Customs-crafted rifle: “the [other] is basically the same action/barrel combo but set in an MPA chassis and chambered in 6mm Dasher.”

Excellent Accuracy with Varget and Berger 105gr Hybrids
Shane’s 6mm BRA is showing impressive accuracy: “Thanks to Mother Nature this spring (with cold, snowy weather), I have only been able to get 100 rounds fire-formed and the barrel broken-in. I started with 30.5 grains Varget in Lapua BR brass with CCI 450s and topped off with Berger 105gr Hybrids. Velocity averaged 2830 FPS with an SD of 4.7 from 10 rounds randomly picked from the lot.”

Shane knows there’s still more load development to do. But this rifle is grouping under one-half MOA and Shane says the gun can definitely out-shoot his abilities. He admits it’s still a work in progress but he is happy with the gun’s performance so far.

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

Shane praised his Piercision 5 port Muscle brake. Shane tells us: “While I am a suppressed shooter by preference, I wanted to give this brake a try. It works very well — the control and ability to stay on target for followups is remarkable. This brake works perfect on my 18-lb 6mm BRA and will be used indefinitely. Plus it will be a little payback to the other big-braked shooters on the line.”

PRS 6mmBR BRA 6mm PRS kryptec paint south Dakota precision Vortex

While it’s still such a new toy, Shane doesn’t expect to make any modifications in the near future. However he says he might “upgrade to a Tangent Theta optic by the end of this season.”

Permalink Gear Review, Tactical 1 Comment »
May 12th, 2019

Celebrate Mother’s Day Today

Nancy Tompkins Sherri Jo Gallagher michelle Sierra bullets Mid tompkins
Left to Right, Sherri Jo Gallagher, Mother Nancy Tompkins, and Michelle Gallagher — All Champions.

Nancy Thomkins Sherri Jo GallagherHappy Mother’s Day
Today we want to wish Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms around the world. All of us must remember that we literally owe our lives and our well-being to our mothers, who brought us into the world. Without the love, support, caring, and nurturing of our mothers, none of us would be here. So to mothers everywhere, we say:

“Thank you. Bless you. May your lives be filled with happiness today and everyday.”

At the top is a cherished photograph of the one of the greatest moms in the shooting community, Nancy Tompkins, along with her two little girls (who both turned into pretty darn good shooters themselves). On Nancy’s right is Michelle Gallagher, multi-time National Long-Range Championship. On the left is Sherri Jo Gallagher, who was the second woman in history to capture the NRA National High Power Championship at Camp Perry. Who was the first woman ever to accomplish that feat? You guessed it — Nancy Tompkins, Sherri’s mom, was the first-ever female High Power Champion. Nancy is married to another great shooter, Mid Tompkins. This is truly America’s “First Family of shooting”.

Nancy Tompkins Sherri Jo Gallagher

Nancy Tompkins long range prone shooting bookNancy Tompkins is one of the greatest long-range shooters in American history. She has won the National Long Range Championship 5 times (1986, 1997, 1999, 2003, and 2015), the across-the-course National High Power Championship (1998), the Metric Smallbore Nationals (2012), and the Fullbore Nationals (2012). She has also been the Wimbledon Cup winner (1993) and a 7-time Leech Cup winner (1995, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2011 and 2012). She has won both team and individual medals in the World Championships and has been on 8 Palma Teams (as both a shooter and a coach).

Tompkins’ treatise, Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting, is a must-read for serious Palma, F-Class, and High Power shooters. The revised Second Edition includes F-Class equipment and techniques, and newly updated information. Topics include Mental and Physical training, Reading Wind and Mirage Shooting Fundamentals, International Competition, and Loading for Long Range.

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May 12th, 2019

Gun Safe Great Debate — Electronic Vs. Dial Locks

Cannon EMP dual lok
Dual-Lock Technology: Cannon offers an innovative combined digital/mechanical lock system. This dual-access lock provides the rapid access of an electronic lock backed up by the assurance of a manual (rotary dial) combination lock.

Electronic (Keypad) Lock vs. Manual (Rotary) Lock

Smart gun owners know they need a good, solid gun safe. But when choosing a gun safe, what kind of lock should you select — electronic or mechanical? Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. This article will help you make the right choice for your needs and also get the most reliable performance from either type.

gunsafe gun safeGunsafes can be fitted with either an electronic keypad-style lock, or a conventional dial lock. In our Gunsafe Buyer’s Guide, we explain the important features of both dial and electronic lock systems. Many safe-makers will tell you that consumers prefer electronic locks for convenience. On the other hand, most of the locksmiths we’ve polled believe that the “old-fashioned” dial locks, such as the Sargent & Greenleaf model 6730, will be more reliable in the long run.

Here is the opinion of RFB from Michigan. He is a professional locksmith with over two decades of experience servicing locks and safes of all brands and types:

What a Professional Locksmith Says:
For the convenience of quick opening, the electronic locks can’t be beat. However, for endurance and years of trouble-free use, the electronics can’t compare with the dial lock.

I’ve earned my living, the past 22 years, servicing locks of all types. This includes opening safes that can’t otherwise be opened. I do warranty work for several safe manufacturers (including Liberty). What I’ve learned in all those years is that manual dial locks have very few problems. The most common is a loose dial ring which can shift either left or right, which will result in the index point being in the wrong place for proper tumbler alignment. This is simple to fix.

Electronic locks, however, can have all kinds of issues, and none (except bad key-pad) are easy to fix, and when one goes bad, it must be drilled into to open it. IMO, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ an electronic lock will ultimately fail, but a matter of ‘when’ it will fail. Over the past 10 years or so, since electronics have become more and more prevalent, I’ve had to drill open bad electronic locks vs. bad manual dial locks on a ratio of about 20-1.

My professional opinion is to get the manual dial lock, unless you’ve got a good friend who is a locksmith/safecracker.

How Secure is Your Lock?
RFB tells us that both dial and electronic locks offer good security, provided it’s a good quality lock made by LaGard, Sargent & Greenleaf, Amsec, or Kaba/Ilco. However, RFB warns that “Some of the ‘cheaper’ locks (both manual and electronic) however, are very simple to bypass.

An electronic lock that’s glued or ‘stuck’ to the door with double-sided tape, and has its ‘brain’ on the outside of the lock in the same housing as the keypad, and merely sends power to an inner solenoid via a pair of wires through the door, is a thief’s best friend. The good ones have the brain inside the safe, inaccessible from the outside.

No amateur can ‘manipulate’ either a good manual or electronic lock. Both give you a theoretical one million possible combinations. I say ‘theoretical’ because there are many combinations that cannot, or should not, be used. You wouldn’t set your combo on a dial lock to 01-01-01 etc., nor would you set an electronic to 1-1-1-1-1-1, or 1-2-3-4-5-6.”

Tips for Dial Locks
RFB notes that “The speed, and ease of use, of a manual dial lock can be improved upon, simply by having your combo reset using certain guidelines. Avoid high numbers above 50. Having a 1st number in the 40s, 2nd number anywhere from 0-25, and 3rd number between 25 and 35 will cut dialing time in half, without compromising security. (For mechanical reasons I won’t get into here, the 3rd number of a good manual dial lock cannot — or should not — be set to any number between 95 & 20).”

Tips for Electronic Locks
Electronic locks can have the combination changed by the user much more easily than dial locks. But, RFB explains: “That can be a double-edged sword. More than a few times I’ve had to drill open a safe with an electronic lock that has had the combo changed incorrectly by the user, resulting in an unknown number that nobody can determine. Also, don’t forget that electronic locks have a ‘wrong-number lock-out’. I would NOT rely on the normal quickness of an electronic 6-number combo in an emergency situation. If for any reason (panic etc.) you punch in the wrong number several times, the lock will shut down for a 5-minute ‘penalty’.

Replace Electronic Lock Batteries Every Year
To get the most life out of any electronic (keypad Lock), you should change the battery at least once a year, whether it needs it or not. Low voltage won’t necessarily shut down the lock, but using it in a low voltage situation is bad for the electronics, and eventually will cause lock failure. So, If you do nothing else to maintain your digital-lock safe, replace the battery every year. And get a fresh battery (with a release date) from the store — don’t just pull a battery out of a storage bin, even if it’s never been used. Old batteries can degrade, even when in storage.

Permalink - Articles, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
May 11th, 2019

Wow Factor: Muzzle Brake Blast Patterns Revealed

Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Test Blast Powder

A while back, the Precision Rifle Blog conducted a fascinating study of Muzzle Brakes. PRB figured out a way to show the actual “blast pattern” of gasses ejecting from the ports of muzzle brakes. The result was a fascinating (and eye-catching) series of images revealing the distinctive gas outflows of 20+ different types of muzzle brakes. If you are considering buying and installing a muzzle brake on your rifle, you should definitely review this important PRB Muzzle Brake Test.

GO to PRB Muzzle Brake Blast Pattern TEST PAGE »

For a prone shooter, particularly on dusty, dirty or sandy ground, muzzle blast is a major bummer. Muzzle blast can be very disturbing — not just for the trigger-puller but for persons on either side of the gun as well. Some muzzle brakes send a huge shockwave back towards the shooter, and others send blast towards the ground, kicking dirt and debris into the prone shooter’s face. If there was a way to illustrate those factors — shockwave and debris — that might help shooters select one brake design over another.

Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Test Blast Powder

Cal Zant at PrecisionRifleBlog.com applied a unique blend of creativity and resourcefulness to try to answer that question for 20+ muzzle brakes. Using high-speed photography and household products, he captured the blast pattern of 20+ different brake designs for easy side-by-side comparison. Can you figure out how Cal managed to show muzzle brake blasts so clearly? His “hi-viz” solution, revealed in the article, is very clever. See the eye-opening results for 20+ brakes, with illustrative photos, by visiting the Precision Rifle Blog Muzzle Brake Ground Signature Test Page.

Permalink - Articles, Tactical, Tech Tip 2 Comments »