Hodgdon Chief Executive Officer to Retire in One Year
How would you like to run one of the most respected firearms industry enterprises in the world? Well there will be a job opening at the top, the very top, in one year. Hodgdon Powder Company today announced the future retirement of Hodgdon Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Shepherd. On December 31, 2017, Shepherd will retire from his current position and transition into his new role as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hodgdon Powder Company.
“Tom has been our Chief Executive Officer for nearly 15 years, serving in this role since 2002,” said Bob Hodgdon, current Hodgdon Chairman of the Board. “In his tenure, Tom has lead us to record sales growth and positioned Hodgdon for the future. We have been working on this succession plan for some time now, and the entire Hodgdon family, the Hodgdon Board and all Hodgdon employees are excited for Tom as he prepares for the next stage of his career with Hodgdon.” Bob Hogdon and J.B. Hodgdon, sons of company founder Bruce Hodgdon, will continue to serve on the Hodgdon board.
As part of the succession planning process, Hodgdon is now moving forward with a search for a new Chief Executive Officer. This search will include both internal and external candidates and is expected to conclude by mid-year 2017.
About Hodgdon Powder Company
Established in 1947 by Bruce and Amy Hodgdon, today, sons Bob and J.B. have grown Hodgdon Powder Company into the largest US supplier of smokeless, blackpowder and blackpowder substitute propellants. The company distributes gunpowder under the Hodgdon®, IMR®, Winchester®, Goex® and VihtaVuori® brands.
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Barnard makes great actions, many of which come complete with superb two-stage triggers. For a long-range competition rifle, a Barnard action is a very good choice. And now you can save up to $150.00 on Barnard Precision actions, complete with trigger. Our friend, 4-Time National Long-Range Champion John Whidden, decided to offer a special Holiday Promotion for shooters. A wide selection of Barnard actions have been discounted 10% (ten percent). This is a great opportunity to save money.
Whidden Gunworks has many Barnard actions on sale. These include repeater actions and actions that will fit large magnums — so there’s something for every application. John Whidden tells us: “As a part of this sale, Whidden Gunworks is offering $50 off barrel installations for any in-stock action sold. We have in-stock barrels from both Bartlein and Lilja. If you hurry, there is time to have your barrel installed on your new action by Christmas!”
This sale is limited to the models shown below and the inventory on hand:
Barnard Action Q & A with John Whidden
Q: In addition to the Model P, What Other Actions Does Barnard Produce?
Whidden: Many shooters familiar with the Barnard Model P, but we now carry six (6) other Barnard actions. These include the PC action with multiple bolt/port options, the Model SM repeater (with Rem 700 footprint), and the PLM which is a perfect fit for the big .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge.
Q: What Are the Key Features of Barnard Actions?
Whidden: Barnard actions have won a reputation for accuracy, robustness, and exceptional straightness and quality in manufacture. Their design is very rigid and stiff. The three-lug bolt gives a short bolt-lift. These qualities are available in the full line of of Barnard actions. The fact that many models include the excellent Barnard trigger make them a good value among custom actions.
Q: What Barnard Actions Do You Recommend for Particular Disciplines?
Whidden: For those interested in F-Class and Long Range Benchrest shooting styles the Model PC is very attractive. The PC is the same size and footprint as the familiar Model P except that the PC offers different bolt/port configurations. Available in the PC are right bolt/left port, left bolt/right port, and dual ports. The Model S and SM actions will accept Remington pattern triggers and fit into stocks inletted for the Rem 700. This gives PRS shooters the chance to have a superb action with a three-lug configuration for their use. The PL and PLM are sized for the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge and wildcats based on that case-head size.
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This article first appeared in 2014. We are reprising it at the request of many readers who are fans of the .30-06 cartridge.
The “Old Warhorse” .30-06 Springfield cartridge is not dead. That’s the conclusion of Forum member Rick M., who has compared the 1000-yard performance of his .30-06 rifle with that of a rig chambered for the more modern, mid-sized 6.4×47 Lapua cartridge. In 12-16 mph full-value winds, the “inefficient and antiquated” .30-06 ruled. Rick reports:
“I was shooting my .30-06 this past Sunday afternoon from 1000 yards. The wind was hitting 12-16 mph with a steady 9 O’clock (full value) wind direction. My shooting buddy Jeff was shooting his 6.5×47 Lapua with 123gr Scenar bullets pushed by Varget. Jeff needed 13 MOA left windage to keep his 6.5x47L rounds inside the Palma 10 Ring. By contrast I only needed 11.5 MOA left windage with my .30-06. I was shooting my ’06 using the 185gr Berger VLD target bullet with H4350. I managed the same POI yet the .30-caliber bullet only needed 11.5 MOA windage. That’s significant. From this experience I’ve concluded that the Old Warhorse ain’t quite dead yet!”
Rick likes his “outdated” .30-06 rifle. He says it can deliver surprisingly good performance at long range:
“To many of the younger generation, the Old Warhorse .30-06 is ‘outdated’ but I can guarantee that the .30-06 Springfield is a VERY ACCURATE cartridge for 1000-yard shooting (and even out further if need be). With some of the advanced powders that we have today, the .30-06 will surprise many shooters with what it’s capable of doing in a good rifle with the right rate of twist. My rifle has a 1:10″ twist rate and I had it short-throated so that, as the throat erodes with time, I could just seat the bullets out further and keep right on shooting. My recent load is Berger 185gr Target VLDs pushed by IMR 4350. This is a very accurate load that moves this bullet along at 2825 fps.”
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If the battery on your safe’s electronic lock is more than a year old, or if it is not giving you the right voltage, replace it today!
This time of year, many of our readers are putting their guns away in a safe for the winter. It’s easy to just tuck the guns away and forget about them. But there’s something you should do before you shut the safe door. If you have a safe with an electronic keypad, you should replace the battery every year as a precautionary measure. Trust us, you don’t want to come back in a few months and find that the keypad memory is kaput, and you’re locked out. That can lead to frustration and an expensive locksmith visit.
Here’s a true story. I have one safe with a Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G) keypad. A couple years back, in early December, I went to get into the safe. I punched in the correct combination, but all I got was a rapid “beep, beep, beep, beep” after I finished the last combination entry. I tried again to ensure I entered the combination correctly (I did). But again, the locking system responded with multiple rapid beeps indicating something was wrong. And the safe would not open. Now I was worried….
I popped out the battery holder (which slides in from the bottom of the keypad housing on the door). I removed the battery and tested it with a volt-meter. The 12-month-old Duracell 9-volt battery only registered 6.1 volts.
Low voltage was the problem. I went down to the store and got a couple new 9V batteries. I tested the new batteries and both measured 9.4 volts output. I slipped one of the new 9V batteries into the keypad housing, punched in the combination and everything worked OK again. Eureka.
Most electronic locks for safes WILL “remember” the combination for a period of time even when the battery is low (and the keypad’s “brain” should retain the combination when you remove the battery for replacement). However, a dead battery, or extended periods of low voltage can give you problems. Don’t rely on wishful thinking…
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Match Report by David and Donna Matthews
The 2016 IBS 1000-Yard National Championships were held September 4-5 at the Cool Acres Sporting Camp in Swainsboro, Georgia. The event was well attended with 87 Registered Light Gun shooters and 76 Heavy Gun competitors. After a hurricane-filled practice day, the competitors put forth their best effort to master the sometimes tricky Georgia range. The 1000-Yard National Match for 2016 featured a three-target Aggregate for each Division (i.e. six targets total for both classes).
The Cool Acres Range and Facility is one of the best in the country. The facility features a wide 1000-yard range lined with Georgia pines on each side. Conditions held constant for most relays. Mother Nature blessed the shooters with temperatures that were cooler than during preceding weeks. The management of Cool Acres put on a great event this year. In addition, upgraded restrooms and a new cleaning shed were added — these were very much appreciated by all. Several shooters had very positive comments about the upgrades and changes made to the Cool Acres facility in Swainsboro.
The Two-Gun Champion and Overall winner was Tom Mousel from Montana with 24 rank points. Tom also won the Light Gun Overall title. Notably, Tom placed first in Light Gun Group with a stunning 3.356″ Group Agg — remember this was at 1000 yards folks. That’s a 1/3 MOA Agg at 1000 yards — truly remarkable precision.
Tom came to Georgia with one thing on his mind and that was winning. He accomplished that with his Wheeler Accuracy-built 6mm Dashers with Krieger barrels. Tom ran Vapor Trail bullets pushed by Hodgdon H4895. Finishing second in the Two-Gun Overall was 2015 winner Jim Bauer with 36 rank points. Jim took First Place honors in Light Gun Score with his Gordy Gritters-built 6mm Dasher shooting Vapor Trails pushed by Hodgdon Varget powder. The bright star of the show was Junior Division Winner Amber Brewer. Remarkably, this talented young lady topped the entire Heavy Gun field, winning Heavy Gun Score (97.667 average) and winning Heavy Gun Overall against all comers (of all ages). Her father, Henry Brewer Jr., played a role in her HG win — Henry smithed Amber’s class-winning 6.5×47 Lapua Heavy Gun, and even crafted the stock. Amber shot Berger bullets with H4895. Sally Bauer was top female shooter with her Douglas-barreled 6mm Dashers LG and HG, both built by Gordy Gritters. Sally also shot Vapor Trail Bullets with Varget.
Mousel won Light Gun Group with a stunning 3.356″ 5-shot Group Aggregate. That’s a 1/3 MOA Agg at 1000 yards — amazing, awe-inspiring accuracy.
Overall Winner Tom Mousel shot the 6mm Dasher cartridge in both Light Gun and Heavy Gun Classes. This little wildcat, shown below, has accuracy to spare. Alex Wheeler smithed Tom’s Rifles. Tom is shown below at his home range in Montana with an older rifle (not one used in Georgia this year).
Big Prize Table — Over $18,000 Worth of Hardware
Over $18,000 worth of prizes were awarded at this year’s IBS 1000-Yard Nationals. Prizes included: Nightforce scopes, Sightron Scopes, SEB Coaxial Rest, BAT Action, Bench Source Annealing Machine, Defiance Action, Baity Action, Shehane stocks, reloading tools, Sierra bullets, Berger bullets, and much more. Many thanks go to Stanley Taylor from Douglas Barrels for his time and energy in acquiring prizes for the match. And the IBS thanks ALL of the generous sponsors for the 2016 1K Nationals.
Great Southern Hospitality and BBQ
On Saturday evening competitors were rewarded with a fantastic Southern meal prepared by the talented cooks of Real South BBQ from Swainsboro, Georgia, sponsored by Vapor Trail Bullets.
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This video from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit focuses on two key fundamentals of marksmanship: 1) Sight Alignment; and 2) Trigger Squeeze. This video can assist any Service Rifle or metallic sights shooter. The USAMU instructor explains: “You’ve probably heard a lot about fundamentals — Breathe, Relax, Aim, Squeeze… Well that gives a shooter a lot to think about. Here we teach two main firing tasks: 1) align the sights, and 2) squeeze the trigger without moving the rifle. This allows the shooter a much more simplified format.”
The following tips are transcribed from the video:
Task One: Sight Alignment
Sight alignment is the process of putting the tip of the front sight post, the rear aperture, and the shooter’s eyeball all on the same plane. It’s very important to maintain the tip of the front sight post centered in the rear aperture. Just .002″ of deviation can cause a miss at 300 meters. Allow your eye to do its job. While firing, the focus should remain on the tip of the front sight.
Task Two: Trigger Control
Your second firing task is [to] fire the rifle without moving it. This is done through proper trigger control. You’ve probably heard a lot of words about trigger control — “surprise break”, “snatch”, “pull”, “squeeze”… well we teach one thing here: “smooth”. No matter the speed at which I engage the trigger, it’s always going to be smooth. Imagine trying to pull the trigger straight through the rear of the buttstock, holding it to the rear while the gun recoils. It’s important to constantly engage the trigger, never letting your trigger finger disengage from the trigger while firing. This is achieved through natural trigger finger placement.
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A fire in the home is always to be feared. And a fire in your reloading room can be disastrous. Near your reloading bench you probably have flammable solvents, and maybe gunpowder. What would happen if an electrical fire started in your reloading room? Would you be alerted? Do you have a proper fire extinguisher at hand?
Here’s a true story from Forum Member Joe O. (aka “Joecob”) that provides a valuable safety lesson. After Joe started up his old tumbler, an internal connector worked loose, causing an arc which started a fire in his basement reloading area. Luckily Joe had a functioning smoke detector, and a fire extinguisher.
Very few of us would worry about fire when we plug in a tumbler or other AC-powered reloading tool. But there is always the possibility of a malfunction and a fire. Quick thinking (and a handy extinguisher) prevented serious damage to Joe’s reloading room and house — but things could have been worse (much worse), had Joe not responded quickly.
Fire in the Reloading Room — Report by Joecob
The day before ‘Sandy’ hit I was cleaning brass the way I always have. I set the vibratory tumbler on the back of my reloading bench in the basement. I loaded the media hopper with 40 fired empty brass cases (and walnut media), plugged the cord in, turned the tumbler on and went back upstairs to watch TV. I could hear the tumbler running in the background.
About half an hour later I heard the basement smoke alarm go off. I ran downstairs. Flames were licking from the melting plastic of the tumbler.
I grabbed the nearby ABC cannister extinguisher and squirted out the fire and soaked the charred bench areas with water. Good thing I had the extinguisher! And I was glad I religiously store powder and primers properly — away from the bench (and everything else).
What caused the fire? It looks like an internal AC connector finally vibrated loose enough to arc and ignite the plastic. WHEH! I had been using that thing for 25 years the same way without mishap. Guess I should have known to periodically check the guts of a thing that plugs in and vibrates for a living?
Today I went out and bought a new even bigger ‘Pro’ ABC extinguisher, plus a dual-detector smoke alarm, and an ultrasonic cleaner. That experience was scarier than the storm. I hope this true account might help someone else to avoid a bad experience.
In his account, Joe refers to an “ABC” cannister fire extinguisher. The “ABC” refers to the fire classification rating: Class A (trash, wood, and paper), Class B (liquids and gases), and Class C (energized electrical equipment) fires. There are many brands of ABC-rated extinguishers.
The rechargeable Kidde 210 unit contains four pounds of a multipurpose monoammonium phosphate dry chemical extinguishing agent. It has a discharge time of 13 to 15 seconds, a discharge range of 10 to 15 feet, and an operating pressure of 100 PSI. The seamless aluminum cylinder measures 4.5 inches in diameter and 15.7 inches tall. The Kidde 210 has a six-year limited warranty.
Check Your Fire Extinguishers Regularly
Forum member Steve Urban says: Make sure to inspect your extinguisher every year. Turn it upside down and then right-side up. You should be able to feel the powder move freely in the extinguisher. If not, it is time to get a new one.
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At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Today we have something special — a bunch of exceptional “Cyber Monday” Deals as well as carry-over Black Friday Bargains. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories we found. You’ll need to act quickly because many of these deals expire at 11:59 PM tonight (11/28/2016) or on Tuesday. 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. Brownells — Cyber Monday Guns, Optics, Parts, Ammo & More
Brownells has gone “whole hog” for Cyber Monday this year. Visit Brownells’ Cyber Monday Page and you’ll find deep discounts on firearms, optics, mags, reloading tools, ammo, gun parts and accessories. It’s easy to navigate — as there are big topical buttons for all the key product line. To further motivate Cyber Monday shoppers, Brownells is offering FREE Shipping with Code L9L. And, if you spend $200.00 or more, you can get FREE shipping plus 10% OFF your order with Code L9M. To see all Brownells Cyber Monday deals, CLICK HERE.
2. CDNN Sports — Cyber Monday Rifle Deals
CDNN is running a Cyber Monday Sale with deep discounts on numerous rifles and pistols. You’ll find great deals on Colt, Remington, and Ruger rifles. But what really caught our attention were the BROWNING BARGAINS. Check out the prices on these smooth-cycling A-Bolt III rifles (as low at $449.00 net after Browning Rebate). And what’s even better, CDNN includes a 3-9x40mm Thompson Center Scope and rings with each A-Bolt III. NOTE: Sale ends Tuesday November 29, 2016 at Noon CST. If you want one of these rifles — don’t delay!
Our friends at EuroOptic.com have rolled out some exceptional deals for Cyber Monday. Buy a Sightron Scope and get a $50.00 Gift Card. You’ll also find great deals on Leica CRF-1600B and CRF-1000R Laser Rangefinders. Last but not least, prices have been slashed on Leupold’s highly-respected Mark IV scopes. With EuroOptic’s Close-Out Pricing, save $200-$300 on these Mark IVs.
4. Midsouth — Lock ‘N Load Complete Reloading Kit, $249.99
The Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Kit comes with everything you need to turn out high-quality handloads. The Kit includes: Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic single-stage press, Hornady Powder Measure, Digital Scale, Two-Volume Hornady Reloading Manual, Three Lock-N-Load Die Bushings, Reloading Block, Chamfer/Debur Tool, Hand Priming Tool, and One Shot™ Case Lube. We’ve used this press and it is excellent. The L-N-L bushings allow fast die changes.
Creedmoor Sports has many items on sale this Cyber Monday. You’ll find discounts on Creedmoor-brand ammo, shooting mats, shooting gloves, and books. But the deal that really caught our attention was the Shooting Coat Special. Today you can save $30.95 on Creedmoor’s famous Canvas Shooting Coat. Regularly $140.95, this coat is now just $110.00 — that’s a 22% markdown.
Plus on Cyber Monday you can get FREE Ground Shipping on ALL in-stock items in the Creedmoor online store. This special expires at 11:59 pm, November 28, 2016.
6. Cabelas.com — Cyber Week Deals on Guns, Ammo, & Gear
Now through December 3, 2016, Cabela’s is offering CyberWeek Deals on a wide range of products. Here are four of the best shooting/hunting bargains we found:
7. Gander Mountain — Money Off Codes Save Up to $100 on Orders
Gander Mountain carries a large selection of outdoor gear, reloading products, and hunting accessories. This national retailer also sells pistols, shotguns, and rifles. If you find an item of interest at GanderMountain.com, save cash with Coupon Code CYBER2016. This saves $20 on $100+ orders, saves $50 on $250+ orders, and saves a whopping $100 on $500+ orders. NOTE: This promotion expires November 28, 2016 at 11:59 pm EST.
8. Sportsman’s Guide — Cyber Monday Specials
For Cyber Monday, Sportsman’s Guide has slashed prices on 140+ items. Hunters will find a wide selection of footwear and camo hunting apparel on sale. In addition, there are bargains on hunting accessories such as game cameras, gloves, and winter wear. Shown above are some very good deals we found on the Cyber Monday Sale Page.
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The digital archives of Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) features an Expert Forum on Wind Reading. This outstanding article on wind reading starts off with a section by ballistics guru Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting. Then four of the greatest American shooters in history share their personal wind wisdom. Lanny Basham (Olympic Gold Medalist, author, Winning in the Wind), Nancy Tompkins (Past National HP Champion, author, Prone and Long-Range Rifle Shooting), David Tubb (11-Time Camp Perry National Champion), and Lones Wigger (Olympic Hall of Fame) all offer practical wind-reading lessons learned during their shooting careers.
Shooting Sports USA magazine (SSUSA) has a modern, mobile-friendly website with tons of great content. Log on to www.ssusa.org. There you’ll find current news stories as well as popular articles from the SSUSA archives. The SSUSA website also includes match reports, gear reviews, reloading advice, plus expert marksmanship tips from the USAMU.
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Are you a safe hunter? Go through this checklist to find out. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has created a helpful Safety Checklist for hunters. This Hunting Safety Checklist was produced as part of the NSSF’s “Hunt S.A.F.E.” campaign which encourages hunters (and all firearm owners) to secure their firearms when not in use, and to focus on safe firearm handling and storage. The Hunting Safey Checklist helps hunters follow good, safe practices in the field and at home.
“Hunting is a time-honored tradition for many Americans, and the hunting season brings a wave of excitement and activity for all enthusiasts,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “It’s also a good time of year to remind firearm owners about … safe and responsible gun handling and storage.”
This is the MOTHER LODE of GUN INFO. If you’d like to have instant access to 6300+ gun schematics and descriptions of 64,300+ firearms, then consider signing up for a Firearms Guide subscription. The annual subscription is on sale right now for just $24.95 as a Cyber Monday Special. That’s a 38% savings ($15.05) off the regular $40.00 annual fee.
You may be familiar with the Firearms Guide when it was distributed as a DVD. Now the 7th Edition is a fully interactive, subscription-based online database of firearms and ammo, which is also the most complete guide to global gun values on the web. The amount of imagery is amazing — there are tens of thousands of photos and over 6300 schematics, which help you work on a firearm or identify key components/parts. Published since 2009, the Firearms Guide permits detailed searches of antique and modern guns and side by side comparisons of search results. Guns are cross-referenced with the ammunition database.
Guns and ammo are presented with prices, specifications, features, ballistics, and up to 12 high-rez zoom-able color pictures. GUN VALUES are provided for dealers and gun collectors. You can access thousands of printable and zoom-able GUN SCHEMATICS (diagrams or exploded views) with parts lists and blueprints for professional gunsmiths.
If you are a gun collector, or just an information junkie, you’ll find the Firearms Guide to be an invaluable resource. The scope is truly worldwide, with coverage of gun makers in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, South America, South Africa, and Asia as well as North America. The online database’s search capability lets you search by gun caliber, manufacturer, and key features (e.g. “.223 Rem, Colt, folding stock”). There are 14 different search criteria — this allows you to “drill down” precisely to find the gun you want in seconds. Shown below are typical profiles of listed products:
About the Firearms Guide Database Firearms Guide has been published from 2009 to 2015 on DVDs and sold through Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, the NRA and other vendors. In 2016 Firearms Guide was transformed into a subscription-only, online searchable guns and ammo reference and gun value guide for industry professionals and enthusiasts. Firearms Guide is a proud sponsor of the NRA.
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Do you enjoy shooting pistols for sport, or perhaps you carry a handgun for self-defense? If you’re like most of us, you might benefit from a “refresher course” on the fundamentals of handgun shooting. The NRA has created a useful Infographic that covers important basics of handgun marksmanship — key things such as Sight Alignment and Trigger Control. Here are the first two (2) lessons. Click the link below to see all SIX (6) training topics: Sight Alignment, Sight Focus, Trigger Control, Breath Control, Hold Control, and Follow-Through.
Video Shows Sight Alignment, Grip, Stance, Trigger Control and More
In this USAMU video, SGT Shane Coley talks about the basics of sight alignment and trigger control. But then SGT Coley talks about other important control factors such as grip, arm position, and body stance. For rapid-fire shooting, you need to have a good arm and body positioning to control recoil and get back on target quickly. This video is a valuable complement to the NRA Infographic because it demonstrates all the important pistol fundamentals during live fire, at the range.
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The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) fields pistol teams as well as rifle and shotgun competition squads. Consequently the USAMU’s Reloading Shop loads tens of thousands of pistol rounds every year. In this article, the USAMU’s handgun experts talk about reloading for handguns — with smart tips on how to achieve superior accuracy with 100% reliability. If you load for pistols, take the time to read this article, which offers important insights on COAL, primers, crimps and more.
Optimize the Taper Crimp
One often-overlooked aspect of handloading highly-accurate pistol ammunition is the amount of crimp and its effect on accuracy. Different amounts of taper crimp are used with various handloads to obtain best accuracy. The amount is based on bullet weight, powder burn rate and charge, plus other factors. It is not unusual for our Shop to vary a load’s crimp in degrees of 0.001″ and re-test for finest accuracy.
Use Consistent Brass
Brass is also important to pistol accuracy. While accurate ammunition can be loaded using brass of mixed parentage, that is not conducive to finest results, particularly at 50 yards. It is important for the serious competitor/handloader to use brass of the same headstamp and ideally one lot number, to maximize uniformity. Given the volumes of ammunition consumed by active pistol competitors, using inexpensive, mixed surplus brass for practice, particularly at the “short line” (25 yards), is understandable. However, for the “long line” (50 yards), purchasing and segregating a lot of high-quality brass to be used strictly for slow-fire is a wise idea.
Importance of Uniform COAL
Uniformity of the Case Overall Length (COAL) as it comes from the factory is also important to achieving utmost accuracy. More uniform case lengths (best measured after sizing) contribute to greater consistency of crimp, neck tension, ignition/burn of powder charge, and so on. Cartridge case-length consistency varies from lot to lot, as well as by maker. Some manufacturers are more consistent in this dimension than others. [Editor’s note: It is easy to trim pistol brass to uniform length. Doing this will make your taper crimps much more consistent.]
Primers and Powders — Comparison Test for Accuracy
Pay attention to primer brands, powder types and charges. Evaluating accuracy with a Ransom or other machine rest at 50 yards can quickly reveal the effect of changes made to handload recipes.
Bullet Selection — FMJ vs. JHP
Bullets are another vital issue. First, there is the question of FMJ vs. JHP. A friend of this writer spent decades making and accuracy-testing rifle and pistol bullets during QC for a major bullet manufacturer. In his experience, making highly-accurate FMJ bullets is much more difficult than making highly-accurate JHPs, in large part due to the way the jackets are formed. Small die changes could affect accuracy of FMJ lots dramatically.
The CMP now allows “safe, jacketed ammunition” in Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) Service Pistol matches, although wadcutter ammunition is prohibited. Thus, the option to use very accurate JHP designs simplifies the life of CMP Service Pistol shooters in pursuit of the prestigious Distinguished Pistol Shot badge.
Hopefully, these tips will be helpful to any pistol shooters interested in accurate handloads, not just “Bullseye” shooters. Small tweaks to one’s normal routine can pay big dividends in improved accuracy and make practice and competition more rewarding.
Stay safe, and good shooting!
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Three leading steel target manufacturers are running some very exciting sales promotions this weekend. Customers can save 25% to 35% on quality steel targets from MGM Targets, ShootSteel.com, and X-SteelTargets.com. With a big order, you can also get FREE shipping from each of these target markers. If you want to get steel targets at bargain prices, don’t delay — these promotions expire soon.
MGM Targets — 25% Off Everything
MGM Targets is one of the leading steel target producers on the planet. MGM offers a huge variety of targets, from simple steel gongs to elaborate shooting arrays and spinning targets. Now through Tuesday, November 29th, MGM targets is offering 25% Off its in-stock target inventory (except for cardboard and Sportsman Series targets). In addition, you can get FREE Shipping on orders of $250.00 or more. For orders placed before Midnight on 11/29/2016, MGM guarantees delivery by Christmas. A reactive MGM target could be a great Xmas gift item for a shooter in the family. Promo pricing is good through end of day, November 29, 2016.
The Real Deal of Steel — Why You Need Some Steel Options
We love steel targets for a variety of applications. Even if you prefer shooting paper at long range, setting up a gong at your target distance lets you quickly confirm your zero. Hearing the reassuring “clang” as you hit the steel confirms that you’ll be on paper. If you are a tactical or PRS shooter, you’ll be shooting steel at your matches, so it makes perfect sense to have steel practice targets. Last but not least, reactive steel targets are great for novice shooters as they provide “instant gratification” when one scores a hit.
ShootSteel.com 28% Off Everything
ShootSteel.com has put almost all its entire steel target inventory on sale at 28% Off. Use Code “28OFF” for that deal. In addition, a variety of Blowout Steel Targets will be offered at huge savings — 33.8% Off. Use Code “CyberMonday” for these exceptionally-priced Blowout items. ShootSteel.com also offers FREE Shipping on orders over $199.00. Offers can’t be combined, orders will not be combined. Don’t delay — the sale runs through the end of day Monday, November 28th (CyberMonday).
X-Steel Targets 25% Off Everything
X-Steel Targets is running a great sale this weekend, with nearly its whole line of Steel targets priced at 25% Off. Use Code “Black16″ during checkout to get the 25% Off pricing. In addition, X-Steel Targets has a host of Bargain Bin items at up to 35% Off regular price. Different items will be added to the Bargain Bin each day. NOTE: The Bargain Bin items are in limited supply. Once they are gone, they are gone. X-Steel Targets also offers FREE Shipping on orders over $250.00. This offer expires on 11/28/2016 at 11:59 pm.
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Many shooters are familiar with ballistics tables, weather programs, and even wind meters for smart devices, but few may know about a very handy Leveling Tool that comes factory-installed on Apple iPhones. The leveling function is a little-known option in Apple’s Compass App. It works well for a multitude of tasks.
There are a numerous reasons that a leveling tool should be in every rifleman’s range bag. From leveling optics during mounting to figuring out how much extra compensation is going to be required for a tricky angled shot, knowing just how far off things are from plumb can go a long way towards realizing success in the field.
This writer has used the leveling app on his iPhone to level a rifle on a rest while at the range. It definitely worked for “field expedient” leveling duties. That’s especially important for long-range applications. Just one degree of cant (tilt) can move your point of impact 7 inches at 1000 yards.
Of course, the iPhone level doesn’t use an actual bubble to find angles. Rather, it relies on the device’s sophisticated accelerometer to do so, and with a great degree of accuracy. Navigating to the level is done by first selecting the Compass App, at which point the device will need to be calibrated by rotating it a full 360 degrees. Once the compass is fully calibrated, simply make right swipe gesture to bring up the level — it will start operating immediately.
From there, use is intuitive and easy, like most iPhone Apps. Switching from horizontal plane to vertical is done by simply changing the physical axis of the phone. How do you know when you’ve got things just right — well the entire lower half of the screen turns green when everything is perfectly level. You’ll also see a zero° read-out, like this:
Bottom Line: If you already own an iPhone, you should definitely give this App a try. The price is right (free), and for a wide variety of tasks the iPhone Level App is actually pretty handy.
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As part of its weekend-long Black Friday Sellathon, EuroOptic.com is offering numerous Nightforce “Demo” scopes at deep discounts. These were typically show models that have seen very little (if any) use. The full Nightforce Lifetime factory warranty still applies to all these demo optics. You can save hundreds of dollars with these Nightforce Demo Deals this weekend. The EuroOptic team tells us: “Most demo items are like new. However, some may have a few marks. Read the description to learn the condition of each product. Call (570) 368-3920 with questions.”
There are twenty or so Nightforce demo scopes on sale. Here are three representative examples. To see all the Demo Scopes, CLICK THIS LINK. Then, from the Black Friday II Page, click the “NF Demo Riflescopes” button.
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Bargain Shoppers rejoice. It’s Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and there are some amazing bargains to be had on guns, ammo, reloading supplies, optics and more. Here are some of the best Black Friday Deals we found. NOTE — some of these days are TODAY ONLY. Other promotions may be good through Sunday or Monday. For example the Remington Rebate is good for purchases through 11/27/2016. But if you see a deal you like — don’t hesitate.
Remington Black Friday Long Gun Rebates
You can save big this Black Friday weekend with Remington Rebates. Save up to $100.00 on Remington rifles, including the popular SPS models. These rebates are valid on purchases made from 11/24/16 through 11/27/16. All requests must be postmarked by 12/19/16.
MidwayUSA — Rock Chucker Reloading Kit, $204.99 after Rebate
This is one of the best basic reloading kits you can buy, and right now you can get it for an insanely low $204.99 price (after RCBS $75.00 Rebate). This could be the deal/steal of the year! This kit includes a strong Rock Chucker Press, RCBS Powder Measure, Balance Beam Scale, Priming Tool, Chamfer Tool, Funnel, Case Tray, Lube Pad, Case Neck Brush, and even a reloading manual. You can even get free shipping (orders over $150) with Code FSCYBER2016. This offer ends 11/28/2016 at 11:59 pm Central Time. CLICK HERE for $75.00 RCBS Rebate Form
Rebate Terms: Spend at least $275.00 and get $75 Back! Offer valid on all RCBS products. Purchase must be made November 24 – December 2, 2016. Rebate form must be received by January 31, 2017.
Brownells — Get up to $40 OFF $300 Plus Free Shipping
In addition to significant price reductions on a host of products, Brownells is offering special Black Friday Savings across the board, along with Free Shipping. During check-out, use the codes below for discounts and Free Shipping.
Get Free Shipping on all orders over $25.00 with Code L6H
Get $10 Off all $100 orders and Free Shipping with Code L6J
Get $25 Off all $200 orders and Free Shipping with Code L6K
Get $40 Off all $300 orders and Free Shipping with Code L6L
EuroOptic.com — Huge Savings on Minox Scopes
Minox, a German company, makes excellent optics with good glass. Minox scopes have always represented great value for money, and now you can save even more. For Black Friday, EuroOptic.com has slashed prices on its Minox scopes — and today you can save up to $150.00. Above are just some of the Minox scopes on sale. These would be a good choice for a hunting or varmint rifle. In addition to the low pricing, Eurooptic.com is offering Free Shipping on all scopes through 12/1/2016.
Cabelas.com — Sig Kilo 2000 RangeFinder $349.99
This Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 is a very good laser rangefinder that performs as well as some other brands costing nearly twice as much. You’ll get performance on par with a Zeiss Victory or Leica CRF for hundreds less. User reports on the Sig Kilo LRF have been very positive.
Sportsman’s Outdoor SuperStore — 400+ Black Friday Deals
Sportsman’s Outdoor Superstore has over 400 Black Friday deals, with great pricing on long guns and ammunition. The deals are really too numerous to list here. You should really go to Sportsman’s Black Friday Deal Page and see for yourself. Here are a few examples: Mossberg 88 12ga Shotgun, $218.00; S&W 15-22 M&P Rifle, $329.00; Ruger 17HMR American Rimfire, $239.00; Browning Ear Muffs, $14.99.
MidwayUSA — NRA Life Membership $600.00
Here’s a great deal if you have been considering an NRA Life Membership. Right now you can purchase a Life Membership for just $600.00. That’s a whopping $900.00 savings over the regular $1500.00 price.
GunBuyer.com — Walther and Ruger Compact 9mm Pistols
Looking for a compact yet reliable 9mm carry gun? GunBuyer.com has good Black Friday deals on popular handguns, plus good CCI 9mm Ammo. Easy to conceal and accurate, the Walther PPS M2 is an excellent little pistol, the carry choice of AccurateShooter’s system admin. The Ruger LC9S has become one of the most popular 9mm handguns because it is slim, sleek, and affordable. You can get this Ruger for under $300.00. CCI’s brass-cased 9mm Blazer ammo is excellent training ammunition for any 9mm handgun. We have found this ammo to be very reliable and it is reloadable.
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As a holiday treat for our readers, we are reprising a video feature about hunting in Norway. After watching this video, you may want to head off to Vesterålen in northern Norway…
This is one of the finest shooting videos we’ve ever seen. Set in the scenic Vesterålen archipelago of northern Norway, this high-quality 15-minute video is part Nat Geo travelog, part ballistics lesson, part gear review. We wish we had the opportunity to join Ulf Lindroth and Thomas Haugland on their remarkable shooting adventure. This video was originally created for Great Britain’s Fieldsports TV Channel.
This is an outstanding video, recommended for anyone interested in long-range hunting.
Long range shooters Lindroth and Haugland traveled to the Arctic Circle to field test a new .338 LM Blaser R8 (in GRS stock) fitted with a Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35x60mm scope. (Ammo is Norma-brand .338 Lapua Magnum). The video shows how they confirm the ballistics of the Norma factory ammo in the Blaser R8 rifle system.
Ulf and Thomas initially test out the system confirming drop at multiple yardages, and then use the rifle for practical accuracy. Ulf says: “If you know your hunting will demand a long shot, and you want to push the limit but still be sure to make the first-shot kill… If you want to do an ethical hunt, if you want to push that limit, you have to do [this kind of testing].”
Ulf Lindroth (above) observed: “We shot [at 808 meters] observed the misses, clicked our way into the target, and now we have the true drop at that distance… in this air pressure, in this temperature. From there we can start working to find our TRUE trajectory. And when we have THAT… we can get serious about some target shooting.”
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How is a modern, metal-chassis rifle built? This very cool video from Masterpiece Arms answers that question. The nicely-edited video shows the creation of a Masterpiece Arms tactical rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the manufacturing process are illustrated: 3D CAD modeling, CNC milling of the chassis, barrel threading/contouring, chamber-reaming, barrel lapping, laser engraving, and stock coating. If you love to see machines at work, you will enjoy this video…
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Looking for culinary inspiration for your holiday gatherings? The NRA Blog offers three special (and delicious) Wild Game Recipes for your family feasts: Honey Mustard Planked Wild Turkey Breast, Mushroom-Stuffed Wild Boar Roast with Black Truffle Sauce, and BBQ Brined Pigeon. These recipes come from some of the country’s best chefs, and they all seem mouth-watering. You’ll find a full list of ingredients plus step-by-step cooking tips.
One of the many advantages to hunting is the assortment of game you can gather that lasts for an extended period of time. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to stick with a whole turkey from the store and a ham hock.
We have three unique spins on wild game recipes that will suit your dining table perfectly. Even if you’re one of those hunters who enjoys a quick hunt the morning of Thanksgiving, these recipes will make your holiday more delicious than ever. — NRABlog.com
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