June 28th, 2020

Need to Swap Barrels? Get Grizzly Barrel Vise for $38.95

Grizzly Barrel Vise clamping barrel swap

Grizzly.com has a handy product that should prove very useful for readers who need to swap barrels. This CNC-Machined aluminum barrel vise can be used in your home workshop, or on the road. In the field the vise can be fitted to a block of wood which can then be temporarily clamped to a bench. Or, as you can see below, you can mount the vise to a trailer hitch for use during a match or varmint hunt. The barrel vise is currently ON SALE for just $38.95.

Grizzly Barrel Vise clamping barrel swap

This vise was designed by a member of the U.S. Shooting Team for quickly changing barrels up to 1.5 inches in diameter. Made of T-6061 Aluminum, the top clamping part of the vise is spring loaded so you can hold the gun with one hand while tightening the two nuts with the other. Grizzly notes: “Sometimes the action and scope can even remain on the rifle stock while the barrel is changed out.”

Clamping Range: Secures 7/8″ to 1.5″ Diameter Barrels
Block Dimensions: 5″ x 2.5″ x 1.4″ (Upper); 7.5″ x 2.5″ x 1.1″ (Lower)
Bolt Diameter: 3/4″ | Mounting: Use 1/2″ Hex Bolts to secure

IMPORTANT: This vise was designed for 7/8″ to 1.5″-diameter barrels. It may not work correctly with barrel diameters outside that range, or with unusual barrel contours. Not recommended for fine, polished blued steel barrels unless you protect the barrel surface before clamping. For most situations, where practical, we would remove the barreled action from the stock before using the vise.

Product Tip from EdLongRange. We welcome Reader Submissions.
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June 27th, 2020

Krieger Barrel Shines in .22 LR Rimfire Ammo Testing

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom
All photos hosted on Imgur as posted by Padom.

Serious riflemen know that Krieger makes outstanding centerfire barrels that hold world records and have won many National Championships. But did you know that Krieger makes great rimfire barrels too? Well, Krieger does make outstanding .22 LR rimfire match barrels that can deliver impressive accuracy.

Sniper’s Hide moderator “Padom” recently tested a variety of rimfire ammo types, employing five different barrels: Krieger, Bartlein, Benchmark, Lilja, and Green Mountain. He tested at both 50 yards and 100 yards. FULL Rimfire TEST REPORT HERE.

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom

Reporting on the 50-yard test, Padom posted: “Had a virtually dead calm day today for 50-yard RimX testing (Keystone Accuracy RimX barreled action with 1:16″ Krieger 20″ barrel). A few infrequent 3 mph gusts but pretty dead [calm] and the target showed. This Krieger just barely edged out the Bartlein by 0.003″ with a 0.177″ 6×5 with SK Rifle Match. The 10×5 was 0.198″. The best lots of Center-X weren’t far behind either. This is the first Krieger rimfire [barrel] I’ve shot and it didn’t disappoint.”

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom
Padom noted: “Winds were much calmer tonight than this morning so the 100-yard Krieger test was a success. Winds were pretty consistent [at] 3-5 mph.”

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padomTest Results at 100 Yards
Padom then tested ammo at 100 yards, again using his Krieger rimfire barrel: “To recap, the Krieger shot the best 50-yard results of the barrels tested so far, just barely beating the Bartlein but it was so close you can call the 50-yard results equal (.005). Well the Krieger beat all the barrels tested to date at 100 yards by a pretty good margin with Center-X. The 10×5 was incredible as well at just barely over 0.6″ showing the results were very consistent. A second lot of Center-X was right there with the previous 100-yard 6×5 best results just barely over 0.6. The third lot of Center-X shot a respectable 0.75″ 6×5. This Krieger sure is shooting very nicely. I’m really looking forward to shooting it at 300 and 400 yards[.]”

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom

Components Tested: 20″ Krieger M24 barrel, .22 LR Match Eachus chamber 0.046 headspace, Zermatt RimX Action, Bix’N Andy TacSport Pro 2-Stage Trigger, RimX 10rd magazine, XLR Envy Pro Folding Chassis, Athlon Cronus BTR 4.5-29x56mm MIL scope.

Shooting Set-up: 100 Yards Prone with Bipod and Rear Bag.

Krieger barrel .22 LR center-X rimfire ammo ammunition testing Sniper's Hide padom

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June 27th, 2020

.300 Blackout Fired in .223 Rem AR — Recipe for Disaster

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56
Photos and Facebook post by Tactical Rifle Shooters

Yet another .300 Blackout disaster. Unfortunately, that .300 Blackout cartridge can fit in a .223 Rem chamber. Shooting a .308-caliber bullet in .223 bore is a recipe for disaster.

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56The .300 AAC Blackout aka “300 BLK”, is a compact 30-caliber cartridge designed to work in AR-15 rifles. It has a shorter cartridge case to accommodate the bigger 30-caliber bullet while still fitting in a standard AR-15 magazine. Unfortunately, that’s the danger. A careless shooter can toss a .300 Blackout cartridge in with .223 Rem rounds without noting. And because the case-head size is the same as the .223 Rem (5.56×45) the rifle’s bolt assembly will happily chamber and fire the .300 BLK round. Problem is, that forces a .308 diameter bullet down an undersized .223-caliber bore. Not good!

This images were provided by Tactical Rifle Shooters on Facebook. The message was clear: “Don’t try to run 300 Blackout in your .223/5.56mm. It won’t end well. The problem is identical rifles and identical magazines but different calibers.”

For those who MUST have a .300 Blackout, here are some things you can do:

1. Use different colored magazines for .300 Blackout vs. .223 Rem.
2. Fit all your uppers with caliber-labeled ejection port covers.
3. Mark .223 Rem upper handguards with the caliber in bright paint.
4. Mark all .300 BLK Rounds with heavy black marker.

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56

Comments by Folks Who Viewed these .300 Blackout Disaster Photos:

“The .300 Blackout is simply a badly-designed round. A properly-designed round would have had a feature in the shape that would have prevented cross loading in the first place.” — D. Santiago

“I almost made that mistake… I had a magazine of 300 BLK inserted in my .223/5.56 all night. Fortunately, I never pulled the trigger. Once I realized the mistake, I almost got ill. [After that incident] I no longer own a 300 BLK.” — B. Welch

“Happened to me hog hunting from a helo. Gun exploded in my face.” — B. Hood

“Fire-forming projectiles [is] so wrong in centerfire!” — M. Stres

“Had some dude come into the store the other day wanting .300 Blackout ammo to shoot in his 5.56 AR. It took 15 minutes of explaining for him to understand you got to have a .300 Blackout Upper!” — R. Williams

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tactical, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
June 27th, 2020

With Social Unrest — Indoor Ranges Are Important for Training

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report
Photo courtesy Silver Eagle Group Shooting Range, Northern Virginia.

With the civil disorder, rioting, and looting happening in major U.S. cities, many Americans are getting very serious about armed self-defense. But if you own defensive firearms, you definitely need to train with them. Indoor ranges are most convenient for those who live near urban centers, where the biggest threats to public safety currently exist. This article talks about indoor firearms training and the proper procedures you should follow at indoor ranges.

This Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules and Etiquette

FIVE IMPORTANT SAFETY PROCEDURES for Indoor Ranges

1. Follow the Three Fundamental Rules for Safe Gun Handling
ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

2. Follow ALL Range Officer Instructions
ROs are the first and final authority on any range and their decisions are generally final. Arguing with a Range Officer may just get you thrown out.

3. Don’t Bother Others or Touch Their Guns
Respect other shooters’ privacy unless a safety issue arises. Do NOT engage other shooters to correct a perceived safety violation unless absolutely necessary – inform the RO instead. NEVER handle or touch another shooter’s firearm without their permission!

4. Know Your Range’s Rules
Review and understand any and all range rules and requirements/expectations. For example, what is the range’s maximum rate of fire? Are you allowed to collect your brass?

5. Know What To Do During a Cease Fire
IMMEDIATELY set down your firearm, pointed downrange, and STEP AWAY from the shooting booth (or bench). Range Officers do not want shooters trying to “secure/unload” their firearms in a cease fire situation — they want the shooters separated from their guns instantly.

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report

BAD RANGE BEHAVIOR — Five Things NOT to Do at the Range

Here are the five worst behaviors we’ve seen at indoor ranges. These behaviors are both dangerous and inconsiderate. Any one of these behaviors can get you permanently banned from an indoor range.

1. Sweeping other individuals after loading a weapon behind the firing line is very bad. All your weapons should be empty until you reach your shooting station.

2. Turning the handgun sideways while trying to clear a malfunction or insert/remove a magazine. This will point the muzzle at a fellow shooter. Or, after shooting a gun, the shooter fails to clear the weapon and then places the gun somewhere near the shooting station with the muzzle in an unsafe position.

3. Reacting unpredictably when firing a high recoil handgun. We’ve seen people take a second shot by accident with the muzzle way off target.

4. Not obeying range commands — in particular continuing to shoot during called cease-fires.

5. Poorly aimed shooting that hits target frames or carriers, causing ricochets.

Double-Up on Hearing Protection When Shooting Indoors
When shooting indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with plugs underneath.

indoor range survey results NSSF

For pistol shooting, we like the latest Howard Leight Impact Pro Muffs. These offer an impressive 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). In addition, these muffs are pretty comfortable and offer Headphone Functionality so you can connect to your smartphone, MP3 player, or other audio device. These muffs are a good value. They are currently offered for $39.50 on ALLMAX.

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

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June 26th, 2020

Don’t Overheat Your Ammo in Hot Summer Months

Heat Map USA color chart

Summer Solstice 2020 was June 20th, and July’s nearly here. That means “peak heat” summer conditions. It’s vitally important to keep your ammo at “normal” temps during the hot summer months. Even if you use “temp-insensitive” powders, studies suggest that pressures can still rise dramatically when the entire cartridge gets hot, possibly because of primer heating. It’s smart to keep your loaded ammo in an insulated storage unit, possibly with a Blue Ice Cool Pak if you expect it to get quite hot. Don’t leave your ammo in the car or truck — temps can exceed 140° in a vehicle parked in the sun.

Ammo cool storage

Bosch Insulated tool caseTo learn more about how ambient temperature (and primer choice) affect pressures (and hence velocities) you should read the article Pressure Factors: How Temperature, Powder, and Primer Affect Pressure by Denton Bramwell. In that article, the author uses a pressure trace instrument to analyze how temperature affects ammo performance. Bramwell’s tests yielded some fascinating results.

For example, barrel temperature was a key factor: “Both barrel temperature and powder temperature are important variables, and they are not the same variable. If you fail to take barrel temperature into account while doing pressure testing, your test results will be very significantly affected. The effect of barrel temperature is around 204 PSI per F° for the Varget load. If you’re not controlling barrel temperature, you about as well might not bother controlling powder temperature, either. In the cases investigated, barrel temperature is a much stronger variable than powder temperature.”

This Editor had the personal experience of 6mmBR hand-loaded ammo that was allowed to sit in the hot sun for 45 minutes while steel targets were reset. The brass became quite warm to the touch, meaning the casings were well over 120° on the outside. When I then shot this ammo, the bullets impacted well high at 600 yards (compared to earlier in the day). Using a Magnetospeed, I then chron-tested the sun-heated ammo. The hot ammo’s velocity FPS had increased very significantly — all because I had left the ammo out in the hot sun uncovered for 3/4 of an hour.

Powder Heat Sensitivity Comparison Test

Our friend Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog recently published a fascinating comparison test of four powders: Hodgdon H4350, Hodgdon Varget, IMR 4451, and IMR 4166. The first two are Hodgdon Extreme powders, while the latter two are part of IMR’s Enduron line of propellants.

CLICK HERE to VIEW FULL TEST RESULTS

The testers measured the velocity of the powders over a wide temperature range, from 25° F to 140° F. Hodgdon H4350 proved to be the most temp stable of the four powders tested.

Precision Rifle Blog Temperature Stability test hodgdon varget H4350 Enduron IMR 4451

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
June 26th, 2020

World Shooting Championship and Police Championship Cancelled

world shooting championshiop

NRA Cancels WSC and NRA Police Shooting Championships Due to COVID-19
No big money this year at the NRA World Shooting Championship — the event has been cancelled. And Likewise the NRA Police Shooting Championship will not take place in 2020. This is the Year of Pandemic, and two more major shooting events have fallen victim to COVID-19.

Yesterday the National Rifle Association (NRA) issued the following statement:

Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the many ensuing federal and state safety regulations and mandates, the NRA has made the difficult decision to cancel the NRA World Shooting Championship and the NRA National Police Shooting Championships. Both events were scheduled to be held in mid September 2020 in West Virginia and Mississippi respectively.

We share your disappointment that both these competitions that attract participants from across the globe had to be canceled. The NRA wishes everyone good health and the best of luck. Stay safe and healthy.

The WSC was a big deal. It attracted top multi-gun competitors such as Jerry Miculek, Dan Horner, Doug Koenig, and Bruce Piatt. The winner took home a fat check for $25,000. This unique 3-day multi-gun match tests competitors’ skills across twelve challenging stages involving nearly every major shooting discipline for rifles, shotguns, and pistols. This major match attracted both sponsored Pros and “regular Joes”. Shooters were split into two groups: a Professional Division for sponsored shooters, and the Amateur Division for non-sponsored competitors. All firearms, optics, and ammo were provided by match sponsors for both divisions.

This video shows features of past NRA World Shooting Championship

All Equipment Was Supplied at NRA World Shooting Championship
“What makes this event very unique, especially to a professional shooter, is all the equipment is supplied. You have to leave your ego at home and just try to adapt as best you can to the equipment that you have supplied.” — Jerry Miculek

world shooting championshiop

WSC stages encompassed everything from trap to bullseye pistol to PRS-style precision rifle. There was even a cowboy action stage with Henry “Golden Boy” lever-action rifles.

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June 26th, 2020

New, First-Time Gun Owners — More Support for 2d Amendment?

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

CCRKAB Hopes Millions of New Gun Owners Can Aid Second Amendment Battle
First concern over the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a huge increase in gun purchases. And the civil unrest, rioting, and looting that followed the death of George Floyd caused countless citizens to seek armed self-protection. COVID-19 and the riots convinced millions of Americans to become gun owners for the first time. These citizens wanted to protect their families, homes, and businesses. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA.org) hopes that these new gun owners may aid the fight to preserve the Second Amendment and gun rights in the USA.

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

“Look at all of the new people who suddenly decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms”, observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “We’ve witnessed something that is nothing short of a sea change… about gun ownership. We’ve heard anecdotal reports from all over the country about people flocking to gun shops who had never before owned a firearm. Now that they are gun owners, we expect them to be very protective of their rights”.

March, April, and May 2020 saw record numbers of background checks, according to FBI data and information from industry sources. For example in April 2017, gun sales set an all-time record — up 71% from the pervious year.

new gun buyers ccrkba second amendment

Gottlieb added: “We welcome all of these new gun owners to the firearms community… many of them are minorities, especially black and female citizens … from all age groups. They can… gain a new understanding of our efforts to protect the one fundamental right that actually protects all of the other rights.”

“This new wave of gun owners could become a formidable force during this year’s election,” Gottlieb noted. “From now on, we expect millions of new gun owners to pay closer attention to candidates, and reject those who would trample on their Second Amendment rights. With legions of new gun owners ready to protect these newly-discovered rights, it could be a pretty scrappy election year…”

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June 25th, 2020

Quest for Less Vertical — Six Primer Types Tested at 500 Yards

primer 500 yard testing node vertical H4895 BRA

Do primer types make a significant difference in accuracy or vertical dispersion at long range? The answer is “maybe”. Here’s one anecdotal study that tracked vertical variance among six different primer types. The tester is a good shooter with a very accurate rifle — four of the six 4-shot groups were under 2″ at 500 yards. This test doesn’t settle the question, but does suggest that it may be worth trying a few different primer types with your match ammo.

Here is a very interesting test for the 6 BRA (6mmBR Ackley) cartridge. Forum member James Phillips, a talented long-range benchrest shooter, tested SIX different primer types from three different manufacturers. To help determine vertical dispersion, James set his target out at 500 yards. He then proceeded to shoot 4-shot groups, in order, with each primer type. Velocities were recorded with a chrono. The photo above shows the results. James says: “I’ll retest the best two for accuracy and consistency with 10 shots each”. CLICK HERE for full-screen target photo.

Wheeler 6BR 6mmBR Ackley Improved James Phillips

As you can see, ALL the groups are pretty impressive. The smallest groups, 1.253″, was shot with CCI 400 primers. Next best (and very close) was CCI BR4, at 1.275″ for four shots. The “flat line” winner was the Remington 7.5, at upper left. There was almost no vertical. If you are intrigued by this interesting primer test, you can ask join the discussion in this Primer Test FORUM THREAD.

Primer Brand Group Size Velocity Extreme Spread Std Deviation
Remington 7.5 1.985″ 4 shot 2955 FPS 8 FPS 4.0 FPS
Federal 205M 2.200″ 4 shot 2951 FPS 11 FPS 4.8 FPS
Sellier Bellot SR 1.673″ 4 shot 2950 FPS 14 FPS 5.9 FPS
CCI 450M 2.341″ 4 shot 2947 FPS 14 FPS 6.6 FPS
CCI 400 1.253″ 4 shot 2950 FPS 3 FPS 1.3 FPS
CCI BR4 1.275″ 4 shot 2949 FPS 15 FPS 6.9 FPS

CARTRIDGE: 6mmBR Ackley, aka 6 BRA. Parent case is 6mmBR Norma. The 6 BRA is fire-formed to create a 40-degree shoulder and less body taper. Capacity is increased, but the neck is longer than a 6mm Dasher. The capacity is enough to get to the 2950+ FPS accuracy node. Some shooters say the 6 BRA is more forgiving than the 6mm Dasher. The 6 BRA is certainly easier to fire-form.

LOAD SPEC: 6 BRA (40° 6 BR Improved), 31.1 grains Hodgdon H4895, Bart’s 105gr “Hammer” bullets.

TEST REPORT — Conditions, Shooting Method, Loading Method

Tester James Phillips posted this report in our Shooters’ Forum:
Conditions: The testing was done in the morning over flags. The flags never moved or even twitched. I had as perfect conditions as I could have asked for. It was overcast so no mirage and no wind. There were no other shooters, just me.

Test Procedure: Each shot was precisely shot at my pace and centered the best possible using my Nightforce 15-55X scope. I did not use the round-robin method. Each four-shot group with the same was shot at one time. Then I moved onto the next primer. Everything felt right for each and every shot fired today. Of course I could repeat the test tomorrow and it could be exact opposite of today’s test. We can chase this forever. But [soon] I’m going to test the BR4 and 400 primer… for best accuracy and consistency for 10 shots each.

How Rounds Were Loaded: Each load was weighed to one (1) kernel of powder. So I know that’s as good as I can weigh them. Each bullet seating force was within 1# on my 21st Century hydraulic arbor press.

Previous Initial Load Testing: All groups were shot with 31.1 grains of H4895. During initial load testing I settled in on the Sellier & Bellot primer to finalize everything as it showed more promise over the CCI 450 Magnum I also tried. I was actually surprised to have seen the higher ES and SD from that primer today along with the vertical shown. [Editor: Look carefully — one shot from the CCI 450 is right in the center black diamond, stretching the vertical. By contrast the Rem 7.5 had almost no vertical.]

primer 500 yard testing node vertical H4895 BRA

Velocity and NODE Considerations: I was about 5-6 FPS above what appeared to been my optimum velocity of 2943-2945 FPS, so I’ll test 5 shots of 31.0 and 5 of 31.1 and see what happens from there. I can only assume my velocities where higher due to the higher humidity and of course temps were 5 degrees warmer this morning as well. It wasn’t far off but I noticed it.

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June 25th, 2020

Incipient Case-Head Separation — How to Detect the Problem

cartridge case separation

We are re-publishing this article at the request of Forum members who found the information very valuable. If you haven’t read this Safety Tip before, take a moment to learn how you can inspect your fired brass to determine if there may be a potential for case separation. A case separation can be dangerous, potentially causing serious injury.

cartridge case separationOn the respected Riflemans’ Journal blog there was an excellent article about Cartridge Case-Head Separation. In this important article, Journal Editor GS Arizona examined the causes of this serious problem and explained the ways you can inspect your brass to minimize the risk of a case-head separation. As cases get fired multiple times and then resized during reloading, the cases can stretch. Typically, there is a point in the lower section of the case where the case-walls thin out. This is your “danger zone” and you need to watch for tell-tale signs of weakening.

The photo below shows a case sectioned so that you can see where the case wall becomes thinner near the web. You can see a little arrow into the soot inside the case pointing to the thinned area. This case hadn’t split yet, but it most likely would do so after one or two more firings.

cartridge case separation

Paper Clip Hack for Detecting Problems
The article provided a great, easy tip for detecting potential problems. You can use a bent paper clip to detect potential case wall problems. Slide the paper clip inside your case to check for thin spots. GS Arizona explains: “This simple little tool (bent paper clip) will let you check the inside of cases before you reload them. The thin spot will be immediately apparent as you run the clip up the inside of the case. If you’re seeing a shiny line on the outside and the clip is really hitting a thin spot inside, it’s time to retire the case. If you do this every time you reload, on at least 15% of your cases, you’ll develop a good feel for what the thin spot feels like and how it gets worse as the case is reloaded more times. And if you’re loading the night before a match and feel pressured for time — don’t skip this step!”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 25th, 2020

Save $20 on MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chronograph — $159.99

Magnetospeed sporter MidwayUSA chron chronograph

This post essentially puts twenty bucks in your pocket if you need a chronograph. You see the MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chrono typically costs around $179.00 from most vendors. But right now MidwayUSA is running a special — the true “shopping cart price” is $159.99. That’s $20.00 cheaper than Midway’s regular price, and $19.01 cheaper than the lowest price we found anywhere else. But this special “Shopping Cart Discount” may not last long, so you may want to act quickly. We confirmed Midway’s $159.99 price on the morning of June 28, 2019.

Strapped on your barrel, the MagnetoSpeed Sporter records velocities accurately without requiring any hardware to be placed downrange. Everything is self-contained at your shooting station, so you no longer have to waste time setting up tripods and aligning the bullet path through old-fashioned chrono skyscreens. For most shooters, the MagnetoSpeed Sporter is all they need — they don’t need to spend $380.00 for the Deluxe MagnetoSpeed V3 Model. Here’s a video review which compares the Sporter to the more expensive V3 chronograph.

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June 24th, 2020

Efficient Big-Batch Case Lubrication — Best Methods

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. A while back, the USAMU’s reloading gurus looked at the subject of case lubrication. Tasked with producing thousands of rounds of ammo for team members, the USAMU’s reloading staff has developed very efficient procedures for lubricating large quantities of cases. This article reveals the USAMU’s clever “big-batch” lube methods. For other helpful hand-loading tips, visit the USAMU Facebook page on upcoming Wednesdays.

Rapid, High-Volume Case Lubrication

Today’s topic covers methods for quickly applying spray lube to cartridge cases prior to sizing. A typical order for this shop may be 25,000 rounds, so [speeding up] the lubrication process can be a real time-saver. While your ammunition lots probably aren’t this large, the efficient methods discussed here may help save a considerable amount of time over your handloading career. Our case lubrication rates range from 1500-1600 cases per hour, to 2400-2500 cases per hour, depending on caliber.

This shop uses virgin brass, whereas most home handloaders use fired brass, which necessitates some small changes at times. These will be discussed as they arise. Begin with fired brass that has been tumbled clean.

Ensure as much tumbling media as possible is removed from the brass, as when it gets into a size die, it can dent cases significantly. This is a good time to round out dents in the case mouths using a tapered tool to prevent damage from the decapping stem.

First, dump the clean cases into a large box or reloading bin. Shake the bin back and forth so that many cases are oriented with the mouths up. Next, pick up as many cases as is convenient with the mouths “up”, from natural clusters of correctly-oriented cases. With 7.62mm-size cases, this is usually 3-4, and with 5.56mm cases, this can be up to 8-10. Place the cases into the rack slots, mouth-up. Doing this in groups rather than singly saves considerable time. Once these clusters have been depleted, it will be time to re-shake the bin to orient more cases “up.”.

This photo shows a case lubrication rack made by a USAMU staffer.
accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

Naturally, adjust the spacing to best fit the calibers you reload. We have found this size … convenient for handling through the various phases of case lubrication/transfer to progressive case feeders for processing. Note that the 1/2-inch angle does not cover much of the critical case area at the base, just forward of the extractor groove, where most re-sizing force will be exerted. As the USAMU uses virgin brass, less lubrication is required for our brass than would be needed for Full Length (FL) sizing of previously-fired brass.

NOTE: The amount applied using our rack is easily enough for our purpose. If using fired brass, be sure to adequately lube this base area to avoid having cases stick in the full-length sizing die.

Using a spray lube, coat the cases adequately, but not excessively, from all sides. Be sure to get some lube into the case mouths/necks, in order to reduce expander ball drag and case stretching/headspace changes. The spray lube this shop uses does not harm primers or powder, and does not require tumbling to remove after lubing.*

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

Take a close look at the photo above. The USAMU shop uses a common kitchen turntable, which allows the rack to be rotated easily. We place this in a custom-made box which prevents over-spray on to floors and walls.

Angled Box Method for Smaller Cases to be Neck-Sized
A refinement of the above method which especially speeds processing of 5.56x45mm cases is as follows. A small cardboard box which holds about 100 cases is fitted with an angled “floor” secured by tape. With the smaller 5.56mm cases, usually about 8-10 cases per handful can be picked up, already correctly-oriented, and placed into the box together. This prevents having to place them into the rack slots, saving time.

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

HOWEVER, note that this does not allow nearly as much lube access to the case bodies as does the rack. For our purposes — neck-sizing and setting neck tension on new brass, this works well. If using this procedure with fired brass, take steps to ensure adequate lube to prevent stuck cases.

As always, we hope this will help our fellow handloaders. Good luck, and good shooting!


*A two-part test performed here involved spraying primed cases heavily, while getting more lube into the case mouth/body than even a careless handloader would likely apply. The second part of the test involved literally spraying considerable quantities of the lube directly into the cases, drenching the primers. After a several-day wait to allow the lube to penetrate the primers, they were then fired in a test barrel. All fired normally; no unusual reports were noted. This bolstered confidence that normal amounts of the lube would not adversely affect our ammunition, and we have been pleased with the results over several years.

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June 24th, 2020

The Sling’s the Thing — Tips on Sling Use by Dennis DeMille

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up
Dennis DeMille shows a young competitor at the CMP Western Games how to adjust his leather sling.

If you want to learn more about setting up your sling properly for position shooting, here are some tips from Dennis DeMille, a past Service Rifle Champion. Dennis explains how to choose a sling, and how to adjust it to fit properly.

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
Once you know how to set up your sling properly, you’ll want to practice. Dennis DeMille stresses the importance of dry-fire practice with sling and shooting coat. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

Brandon Green Sling shooting
SFC Brandon Green, 2018 Nat’l High Power Champion. Brandon, one of the nation’s best “hard-holders”, demonstrates proper use of sling in prone position.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition

So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, former Creedmoor G.M. Dennis DeMille explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competiting with the heavier than normal rifles.”

Configuring the Sling for the Standing (Offhand) Position
In this second in a series of Creedmoor InfoZone videos on the setup and use of the leather service rifle sling, Dennis DeMille details how to configure and best utilize the leather service rifle sling while shooting from the standing position.

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features
In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

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June 24th, 2020

Go Big or Go Home — Reloading .416 Barrett with 50 BMG Press

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

In the ELR game, particularly the King of 2 Miles (KO2M), it’s “go big or go home”. The top shooters run large-capacity cartridges that push large-caliber, ultra-high BC bullets at very high velocities. Bullets launched by cartridges such as the .416 Barrett can sustain supersonic velocities at Extreme Long Ranges — and that’s what it takes to win. The .416 Barrett can launch a 550-grain solid bullet at 3000+ FPS.

.416 Barrett cartridge ELR .50 BMG RCBS press
Photo from ELR Competitor Corbin Shell.

2018 and 2019 Kings of 2 Miles Loaded on RCBS Presses
So how do you load jumbo cartridges such as the .416 Barrett? It takes a big, heavy, super-strong reloading press. We’ve learned that the last two Kings of 2 Miles, Paul Phillips (2019) and Robert Brantley (2019) both loaded their KO2M ammo on RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG presses. Phillips loaded .416 Barrett ammo, while Brantley loaded custom .416 MCS rounds.

In 2018, Robert Brantley topped the field using his custom .416 MCS loads perfected on the AmmoMaster .50 BMG Press. This year, Brantley took a close second to 2019 KO2M winner Paul Phillips. Both Phillips and Brantley use the AmmoMaster .50 BMG single stage press kit and RCBS .416 Barrett dies to hand-load for extreme long-range. “My ammo has been much more consistent after switching to the RCBS press and dies,” remarked Phillips, who runs the Global Precision Group. Brantley said he uses RCBS products for most of his reloading needs — from the dies and AmmoMaster, to the ChargeMaster and Brass Boss. His custom .416 MCS loads launch a 550-grain bullet more than 3,100 fps.

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

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June 23rd, 2020

Improve Your Barricade Shooting Skills — PRS Champ Tells All

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

Report by Craig Arnzen, Area 419
As the PRS and other tactical/practical competitions continue to grow, a guy tends to wonder, just how good are the top competitors? And what are they actually doing (and viewing) as they complete a stage? Well, a great video from the new Long Range Precision Shooters YouTube Channel let us see what the best in the sport see through their scopes when they shoot.

This video features Dave Preston, 2015 National Champion and perennial powerhouse, shooting the PRS Skills barricade. Dave Preston is widely considered the best in the nation running this PRS stage. Dave nearly always shoots 100% with the fastest recorded time. In this video you’ll see him successfully engage all eight shots in under 43 seconds — that’s crazy fast. This includes a POV sequence (4:35 time-mark) showing the actual view through Dave’s scope as he completes the stage.

Watch this video! Dave offers excellent advice on gun-handling and body positioning for barricades. Listen to what he says and you WILL shoot better.

This video features the PRS Skills Barricade, an 8-round, 4-position stage featured at the majority of PRS matches throughout country. It’s called a “Skills Stage” as it is run the same way at every national match and gives shooters the ability to compare skill levels based on hit percentage and speed.

The target is a 10″ plate at 400 yards. There are four different positions, with two shots each. Most people run this stage in about 70 seconds, some in the mid-60s, the greats in the high 50s, and Dave does it in the low 40s… mighty impressive!

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

The Right Gear Aids Stability and Lets You Shoot Faster
Let’s also take a look at two pieces of gear that really helped Dave Preston get stable and shoot fast.

1. BARRICADE BAG — To Get Stable, Really Stable
In the video Dave is using a Solo Sac from Short Action Precision This bag was designed by USMC Solomon Mansalala, and $5 of every purchase goes to help the Marine Scout Snipers buy gear. It’s a very soft/dense bag and is popular at matches.

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

The other bag that sees a LOT of use, and is far and away the most used, is the patented Gamechanger Bag from Reasor Precision Solutions and Armageddon Gear.

2. MUZZLE BRAKE — To Make Your Follow-Up Faster
You’ll notice that in the video the rifle is very steady through firing, even though he is not applying a lot of pressure to the rifle. Dave is using a Hellfire Muzzle Brake from Area 419. Combined with the soft-recoiling 6mmBR cartridge he is able to spot his impacts and make adjustments, and can also make very fast follow-up shots as his rifle hasn’t bounced way off target.

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

This TECH TIP brought to you by Area 419
Oven anneal annealing Alpha Munitions Craig Arnzen Area419.com

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June 23rd, 2020

How to Form 30 BR Cases — Experts Explain Best Methods

30BR 30 BR case forming benchrest randy robinette al nyhus

30BR 30 BR case formingThe 30 BR is an amazing little cartridge. However, 30 BR shooters do have to neck-up 6mmBR or 7mmBR brass and then deal with some issues that can arise from the expansion process. One of our Forum members was concerned about the donut that can form at the new (expanded) neck-shoulder junction. Respected bullet-maker Randy Robinett offers tips on how to deal with the “dreaded donut”.

The Forum member was concerned about thinning the brass if he turned his 30 BR necks after expansion: “Everything I have found on 30 BR case-forming says to simply turn off the bulge at the base of the neck caused by the old 6BR shoulder. I expanded my first case and measured the neck at 0.329″ except on the donut, where it measures 0.335″. Looking inside the case… reveals a groove inside the case under the donut. Now, it is a fact that when I turn that neck and remove the donut, the groove is still going to be there on the inside? That means there is now a thin-spot ring at the base of the neck that is .005 thinner than the rest of the neck. Has anyone experienced a neck cracking on this ring?”

Randy Robinett, who runs BIB Bullet Co., is one of the “founding fathers” of the 30 BR who help prove and popularize the 30 BR for benchrest score shooting. Randy offers this advice on 30 BR case-forming:

While the thinner neck-base was one of our original concerns, unless one cuts too deeply INTO the shoulder, it is not a problem. For my original 30BR chamber, thirty (30) cases were used to fire 6,400 rounds through the barrel. The cases were never annealed, yet there were ZERO case failures, neck separations, or splits. The case-necks were turned for a loaded-round neck diameter of .328″, and, from the beginning, sized with a .324″ neck-bushing.

The best method for avoiding the ‘bulge’ is to fire-form prior to neck-turning (several methods are successfully employed). Cutting too deeply into the shoulder can result in case-neck separations. I have witnessed this, but, with several barrels and thousands to shots fired, have not [personally] experienced it. The last registered BR event fired using that original barrel produced a 500-27x score and a second-place finish. [That’s] not bad for 6K plus shots, at something over 200 firings per case.

Check out the 30 BR Cartridge Guide on AccurateShooter.com
You’ll find more information on 30 BR Case-forming in our 30 BR Cartridge Guide. Here’s a short excerpt from that page — some tips provided by benchrest for score and HBR shooter Al Nyhus:

30 BR Case-Forming Procedure by Al Nyhus
The 30 BR cartridge is formed by necking-up 6mmBR or 7mmBR brass. You can do this in multiple stages or in one pass. You can use either an expander mandrel (like Joe Entrekin does), or a tapered button in a regular dies. Personally, I use a Redding tapered expander button, part number 16307. This expands the necks from 6mm to .30 cal in one pass. It works well as long as you lube the mandrel and the inside of the necks. I’ve also used the Sinclair expander body with a succession of larger mandrels, but this is a lot more work and the necks stay straighter with the Redding tapered button. This button can be used in any Redding die that has a large enough inside diameter to accept the BR case without any case-to-die contact.

Don’t be concerned about how straight the necks are before firing them the first time. When you whap them with around 50,000 psi, they will straighten out just fine! I recommend not seating the bullets into the lands for the first firing, provided there is an adequate light crush-fit of the case in the chamber. The Lapua cases will shorten from approx. 1.550″ to around 1.520″ after being necked up to 30-caliber I trim to 1.500″ with the (suggested) 1.520 length chambers. I don’t deburr the flash holes or uniform the primer pockets until after the first firing. I use a Ron Hoehn flash hole deburring tool that indexes on the primer pocket, not through the case mouth. — Al Nyhus

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June 23rd, 2020

7 SAFE: Seven Vital Safety Tips for Reloaders

seven reloading safety tips powder primers brownells manual

You can never be too safe when hand-loading your own ammunition. This helpful Brownells video outlines the Seven Fundamental Reloading Safety Tips. This is important information for novice hand-loaders and a good refresher for those with reloading experience!

Summary of the Seven Safety Tips:

1. Store your reloading supplies in a safe and dry location, away from children and away from any possible source of ignition. It is also smart to keep your powder and primers separate.

2. Get and use respected reloading manuals, especially for new cartridges. Start low and work up slowly while watching for warning signs of pressure and/or case fatigue.

3. Locate your reloading activity where you will not be distracted. If you get interrupted, stop. (Distractions will eventually lead to mistakes.)

4. Do NOT mix powders. Keep your powders clearly marked and dated. You can use masking tape to write the date on the container.

5. If you load the same cartridge type for different firearms, make sure your ammo headspaces properly in each gun.

6. Check cases frequently. Look for split necks, case head separation or other signs of fatigue and excessive pressure.

7. If reloading military brass, be aware that case capacity is usually reduced, and initial loads should be at least 10-15% lower than published data.


Here are some other tips that will help your avoid making costly mistakes (such as using the wrong powder, or undercharging a case):

  • Powder Type — Always double-check the label on your powder containers. After placing powder in the powder measure, put a piece of tape on the measure with the powder type written on it. Some guys write the powder type on a card and place that right in the hopper.
  • Scale Drift — Electronic balances can drift. If you are using a digital powder scale, calibrate the scale with a test weight every 50 rounds or so.
  • Case Fill — If you throw more than one charge at a time, look INSIDE every case before seating a bullet. Squib charges can be dangerous if you don’t notice them before firing the next round.
  • Progressive Presses — When using a progressive press, consider using an RCBS Lock-Out Die. This will detect a low charge and stop the machine. These dies will work with RCBS, Hornady, and Dillon progressives.
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June 22nd, 2020

22 Creedmoor — Versatile Varmint and Tactical Cartridge

GunsAmerica Digest 22 Creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor is now one of the most popular cartridges chambered in factory rifles. It found favor among hunters and PRS competitors, but then its little brother the 6mm Creedmoor became widely adopted because the 6mm version delivered less recoil, equivalent or better ballistics, and lower bullet cost.

Now there’s a new Creedmoor kid on the block, the 22 Creedmoor. While this certainly can be used for PRS and tactical competition, the 22 Creedmoor seems to be ideally suited as a high velocity varmint round — something to replace the 22-250. You get 22-250 class velocities with a more modern cartridge design, and high-quality brass.

LEARN MORE about the 22 Creedmoor
There is an excellent write-up in the GunsAmerica Digest about the 22 Creedmoor cartridge. Reviewer Jeff Cramblit built a 22 Creedmoor rifle and tested it with a variety of bullet weights. He concluded it worked best as a varminter, but could also do PRS duty, provided it is loaded under the 3200 fps velocity limit common in PRS matches. CLICK HERE to read full GunsAmerica 22 Creedmoor test report.

Since there is not yet a SAAMI spec for the 22 Creedmoor, the cartridge is officially still a wildcat. However some ammo-makers are producing 22 Creedmoor loaded ammo right now: Copper Creek, Gunwerks, and Spark Munitions. We expect Hornady and possibly Federal might also produce loaded ammo in the near future. Currently Cooper Creek has the most 22 Creedmoor loaded ammo varieties, with 17 different bullet options from 60 grains to 95 grains. Copper Creek also offers load development packs with either Alpha or Hornady brass. Here are five Cooper Creek options with Sierra and Berger bullets:

GunsAmerica Digest 22 Creedmoor

In addition, multiple companies are now selling 22 Creedmoor cartridge brass: Alpha Munitions, Atlas ADG, Hornady, and Peterson Cartridge. The Peterson 22 Creedmoor brass is excellent.

Of course you can neck down high-quality Lapua 6mm Creedmoor brass. Lapua brass has outstanding consistency and durability. Choose from large primer or small primer types. Necking down is a simple one-step operation with a neck-sizing or full-length sizing die.

22 Creedmoor Brass from Peterson Cartridge
According to Derek Peterson, President of Peterson Cartridge, “We decided to build the tooling to make our .22 Creedmoor brass in response to the uptick in long-distance predator and varmint hunting. Plus the round is just straight-up fun to shoot. It is a low-recoil, flat shooting, wind-bucking round [that is] deadly accurate up to 800 yards.”

22 Creedmoor Peterson Brass

“When we designed the tooling for the .22 Creedmoor we set out to make casings with improved features”, Peterson added. “And we were successful. We increased the head hardness to tolerate higher pressures. And we increased our internal volume slightly to work better with the slow-burning powders [such as Reloder 26 or H1000].”

22 Creedmoor for Varmints — Video from the Varmint Fields of Eastern Oregon

Bullet Choices for 22 Creedmoor
If you have an appropriate twist-rate barrel, you can load the 22 Creedmoor with heavy 85-95 grain bullets. However, we think that the cartridge is better suited for lighter 65-80 grain bullets. This yields high velocities that provide explosive impacts on small varmints.

GunsAmerica Digest 22 Creedmoor
This GunsAmerica photo shows, L to R, 90gr Sierra MK, Hornady 88gr, 80gr, and 75gr .224 caliber bullets.

What is the Best Role for the 22 Creedmoor?
GunsAmerica tester Jeff Cramblit favors the 22 Creedmoor as a varmint round: “The performance of the 22 Creedmoor with 75-80 grain bullets makes it an outstanding varmint cartridge. I’ve seen claims of 80 grain Bergers at 3500 fps out of 26″ barrels, which would be devastating on any varmint. Loaded ammunition is available with bullets in the 70-75 range leaving 24” barrels at velocities around 3400+ fps, a bit more conservative than personal hand-loading, but still making it a very flat shooting, low recoiling round delivering impressive results.”

Jeff says the 22 Creedmoor will also work for PRS with heavier bullets: “I built the 22 CM to be a dual-purpose gun, or actually a 3-purpose gun. The first was for the coyotes and varmints previously mentioned. The second was for shooting PRS (Precision Rifle Series) style matches on occasion, and the third was for hunting deer-sized game. As with any multi-purpose tool there tends to be compromises.”

Source: The Amazing 22 Creedmoor — A Wildcat Worth a Hard Look

22 Creedmoor Cartridge Dimensions (No SAAMI Spec Yet)

22 Creedmoor Peterson Brass

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June 22nd, 2020

Fingers Blown Off by Smokeless Powder in a Muzzle-Loader

muzzleloader muzzle-loader smokeless black powder overcharge Kaboom fingers sever

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

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

Credit to The Firearm Blog for finding this story.

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June 22nd, 2020

Horner Wins USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals (Tactical Division)

Daniel Horner USPSA Florida multi-gun nationals

As a member of the USAMU, SFC Daniel Horner established himself as one of the top 3-Gun shooters on the planet. In fact, given his major championship titles, a strong argument can be made that Horner is the most successful Multi-Gun competitor in history — the best of the best. Now a civilian professional, Dan Horner competes as Team SIG Sauer’s 3-Gun ace.

Horner captured yet another prestigious Championship earlier this month, winning the 2020 USPSA National Championship. Horner finished first in the Tactical Division at the 2020 USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals at the Universal Shooting Academy in Frostproof, Florida, June 11-14, 2020. This is Daniel’s 12th victory at the prestigious Multi-Gun Nationals.

At the USPSA Nationals Horner competed through 12 stages with pistol, rifles, and shotgun. For pistol competition, Horner used a SIG Sauer P320 X5 LEGION pistol with iron sights. For the long-range competition, Horner used his SIG Sauer M400 rifle with a SIG Sauer TANGO6T riflescope, and a SIG KILO 3000BDX Rangefinder.

Daniel Horner USPSA Florida multi-gun nationals
Click Photo for full-screen diagram

Horner said the 2020 Multi-Gun Nationals were very tough — a special challenge:

“The competition at this year’s Multi-Gun Nationals was the best I’ve seen. Everyone that competed had obviously spent extra time training and practicing while they were at home over the past few months. With this being the first major nationals match since quarantine, the training showed and the competition was elevated. The accuracy and reliability of my SIG equipment, combined with my training routine, gave me the edge I needed to pull-off the victory[.]”

How Hot is Horner — Just Watch and Be Amazed

Here are two videos showcasing Horner’s Skills with Rifle and pistol. In the first video, Horner demonstrates how to move and shoot with an AR platform rifle. In the second video, Horner demonstrates his speed, mobility, and accuracy during the final stage of a 3-Gun Nation event.

Rifle Skills for Multi-Gun Competition — Grip, Stance, and Body Position

Daniel Horner Shreds 3-Gun Nation Stage with Blazing Speed

As a soldier with the USAMU, Horner was a true phenom with rifle, pistol, and shotgun, winning multiple 3-Gun titles against tough competition. When he was on his game, no one on the planet was better in the 3-Gun arena. His record of major multi-gun championships may never be rivaled. He has won over 125 major events/titles at the world, national, regional, and state level.

Daniel Horner Major Titles
10-Time USPSA Multi-Gun National Champion
4-Time 3-Gun Nation Pro Series Champion
2014 NRA World Shooting Championship Winner
2-Time Int’l Sniper Competition Team Winner
2-Time IDPA National Champion
IPSC Shotgun National Champion

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June 21st, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Father & Son Compete at 1000 Yards Together

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards
Young Trystan Williams with father Shawn Williams competing at recent 1000-yard Match at Deep Creek Range near Missoula, Montana.

For Father’s Day 2020, we feature a father and son duo who showed their skills at 1000 yards at the Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana. Representing the younger generation, Trystan Williams drilled a 3.205″, 46 score 5-shot group on his first-ever target shot in his first-ever match. That represents 0.305 MOA at 1000 yards! Trystan’s 6mm Dasher IBS Light Gun was built by his father, Shawn Williams of North Ridge Rifles. Both father and son were competing at an IBS match held June 13-14, 2020.

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards

Deep Creek 1000-Yard IBS Match — June 13-14, 2020
Report by Alex Wheeler
We are back to shooting after the draconian measures taking by our state have been lifted for the most part. Our regular match 7 and 8 where held as scheduled as well as a make-up match for match #2 which was canceled in March. Conditions for the weekend where variable, ranging from very good, low winds and mirage, to extreme wind and thunderstorm warnings. Surprisingly, as conditions worsened on Sunday and scores went down, some still managed very respectable groups.

One of the main highlights of the weekend was the shooting by 11-year-old Trystan Williams. This was Trystan’s very first time shooting in a match. His first 1000-yard Light Gun target ever was a 3.205″ 46 score. Trystan backed that up with a couple more excellent targets, a 3.143″ 46, and a 3.819″ 47. Trystan shot his own tuning targets Friday before the match and helped his Father Shawn Williams load the ammunition for the match. Shooting talent runs in the family, with father Shawn shooting back to back 4″, 10-shot groups in Heavy Fun class and Uncle Jim shooting three, 50-point scores in a row in LG class. An interesting note, Trystan shot some of the new Alpha Dasher brass on some targets, using his 6mm Dasher. Internal volumes are different than Lapua, requiring different powder charges, but accuracy seems to be on par.

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards

Ultra-Accurate 6mm Dasher Built by Dad
Trystan’s rifle features a 1.550″ BAT B dual-port action and Krieger 1:8″-twist HV barrel chambered in 6mm Dasher. The action is pillar-bedded in a wood laminate Deep Creek Tracker stock. Trystan shot off of a SEB NEO coaxial rest. Father Shawn Williams, a talented gunsmith, built Trystan’s rifle. Shawn is the owner of North Ridge Rifles in Helena, Montana.

Looking back at the firing line from behind the 1000-Yard Targets at Deep Creek.
Deep Creek Montana

Top-Performing Bullet Options for the 1000-Yard Game
V-Tac 103gr bullets from Vapor Trail have been performing very well this year. Trystan was shooting them, as well as Jim Williams and James Bradley. James shot the smallest group of the weekend, a 2.551″ 50 score with sorted V-Tacs in his 3-lug BAT action. James says they sort like a good lot of Bergers and they can’t be beat for the price. Even with the excellent custom bullets we have, you can still compete with a good lot of Bergers. Chris Bosse shot a 3.986″ 100 score in HG with his 6.5×47 Lapua on a Borden action and custom stock. He was jumping 140gr Berger Hybrids. Eight of those ten shots on the target went into a mid-two-inch cluster. That’s impressive.

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards Tom Mousel

Tom Mousel (shown above) had a very good weekend, winning group in each class he entered. Sweeping all three Lignt Guns matches. Tom was part of the development process of Roy Hunter’s impressive 103A bullet and Tom used them in all three of his rifles this weekend. Tom reports that tuning is key. Tom does full load development with every barrel, even if they are chambered the same. This weekend all three of Tom’s barrels were running a different powder charge, seating depth, and primer. Lesson here — every barrel is unique, so each needs its own load development process.

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards

It was great to see some good groups and scores, as well as see some new shooters and out of state shooters travel to the match. We’re all Looking forward to the next match at Deep Creek. CLICK HERE for Match Results (ZIP file).

Deep Creek Montana 1000 yard range
Deep Creek 1000-yard line: 46°55’35.03” N 114°14’45.40” W, elevation 3355′.

New Long Range Benchrest Trend — Loading at the Range
Loading at the range has become common practice at Deep Creek. While that load method is the norm for short-range Benchrest, it’s still uncommon in long range disciplines. Montana has very drastic weather changes on a daily basis and it’s unrealistic to expect a rifle to stay in tune though those changes. It’s tough to come pre-loaded and beat the guys loading at the range. You are relying on luck that the tune will not change. It does take a little more effort to bring all your gear. But in my opinion, the pay-off is worth the effort. Like many things in life, you get out what you put in. Loading at the range does provide a step forward in accuracy and that’s what Benchrest competition is all about. — Alex Wheeler

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards

Here is a birds-eye view video of the Deep Creek Range, taken with an aerial drone.

Trystan Shawn Williams Deep Creek Montana 1000 yards

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