August 20th, 2015

How to Clean Brass with an Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine

Ultrasonic Cleaning RCBS Ultrasound .308 Winchester 7.62x51 brass casings

Do you have some old, tired brass that needs a thorough cleaning — inside and out? Consider using an ultrasonic cleaning machine. When used with the proper solution, a good ultrasonic cleaning machine can quickly remove remove dust, carbon, oil, and powder residue from your cartridge brass. The ultrasonic process will clean the inside of the cases, and even the primer pockets. Tumbling works well too, but for really dirty brass, ultrasonic cleaning may be a wise choice.

READ FULL UltimateReloader.com Article on Ultrasonic Case Cleaning.

Our friend Gavin Gear recently put an RCBS Ultrasonic cleaning machine through its paces using RCBS Ultrasonic Case Cleaning Solution (RCBS #87058). To provide a real challenge, Gavin used some very dull and greasy milsurp brass: “I bought a huge lot of military once-fired 7.52x51mm brass (fired in a machine gun) that I’ve been slowly prepping for my DPMS LR-308B AR-10 style rifle. Some of this brass was fully prepped (sized/de-primed, trimmed, case mouths chamfered, primer pockets reamed) but it was gunked up with lube and looking dingy.”

UltimateReloader.com Case Cleaning Video (7.5 minutes):

Gavin describes the cleaning exercise step-by-step on UltimateReloader.com. Read Gavin’s Cartridge Cleaning Article to learn how he mixed the solution, activated the heater, and cycled the machine for 30 minutes. As you can see in the video above, the results were impressive. If you have never cleaned brass with ultrasound before, you should definitely watch Gavin’s 7.5-minute video — it provides many useful tips and shows the cleaning operation in progress from start to finish.


The RCBS ultrasonic cleaning machine features a large 3-liter capacity, 60 watt transducer, and 100 watt ceramic heater. The RCBS ultrasonic machine can be found under $140.00, and this unit qualifies for RCBS Rebates ($10 off $50 purchase or $50 off $300.00 purchase). RCBS also sells 32 oz. bottles of cleaning concentrate that will make up to 10 gallons of Ultrasonic Solution.

Permalink - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
August 20th, 2015

Canadians Win F-Class Team Championship on Home Turf

Team 8-man championship Canada Connaught Ottawa Ontario Championships

Congratulations to Canada’s combined F-TR and F-Open squad for winning the 8-man National Team Match at the 2015 Canadian National F-Class Championships. Held recently at the Connaught Ranges in Ottawa, Ontario, this year’s F-Class Championship events were heavily attended by American and British shooters as Connaught will be the site of the 2017 World F-Class Championships.

At this year’s F-Class Championships at Connaught, there was a special eight-shooter International team event. Canada, Great Britain, and the United States each fielded 8-man National teams, with four F-TR shooters and four F-Open shooters. The course of fire consisted of three matches at 700, 800 and 900 meters, respectively.

The day started out with unusually low winds, but as the match progressed, mirage became heavy with tricky winds. When the dust settled, Canada was declared the winner with a score of 1743 with 159 V-Bulls, eleven points ahead of runner-up Great Britain and 13 points in front of third place Team USA. Canada deserves praise for its win, considering the strength of the American and British squads.

Canada’s Winning Team Personnel:

F-TR shooters: Bob Galloway, Dave Harry, Mark Iwanochko, and Paul Kahnert.
F-Open shooters: Jim Farrell, Barry Price, Alex Tkalitch, and Cal Waldner
Captain: Eric Bisson
Head Coaches: Kevin and Will Chou
Line coaches: Jonathan Laître and Richard Dreger

Here are impressive scores from the F-TR Shooters on the Canadian Team:
Team 8-man championship Canada Connaught Ottawa Ontario Championships

Line coach Jonathan Laître says that his fellow Canadian shooters are very proud of this team victory, which bodes well for the 2017 World F-Class Championships: “Team shooting in Canada looks promising for years to come with the dedication of all Team members. As our development Team also looks outstanding, we can’t wait for next season to come.”

Permalink News 4 Comments »
August 20th, 2015

Mythbusters Film Pistol Shot at 73,000 Frames Per Second

Mythbusters 1911 Bullet Pistol slow motion high speed Phantom .45 ACP

What if you could see a speeding bullet in the milliseconds it exits the muzzle of a pistol? How cool would that be… Well, the Mythbusters folks (Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman) have made that possible. Using an exotic Phantom super-high-speed camera running at 73,000 frames per second, the Mythbusters recorded a .45 ACP bullet being fired from a 1911-type handgun.

Watch Mythbusters Super-Slow-Motion Pistol Video:

What unfolds is spectacular. First you see a ball of flame as the bullet emerges from the barrel of the 1911, then two distinct, separate swirling clouds form as the bullet races toward the target. Watch the video a couple times — it’s mesmerizing.

Mythbusters 1911 Bullet Pistol slow motion high speed Phantom .45 ACP

Co-host Adam Savage is nearly rendered speechless by the remarkable slow-motion footage from the Phantom. Filmed at 73,000 frames per second, the video reveals a dance of pressure and fire that would otherwise be missed by the unaided eye.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 5 Comments »
August 19th, 2015

Dustin Dusts Wyoming P-Dogs with a 17 HMR

Dustin Ellermann Prarie Dog Wyoming Volquartsen 17 MHR Varmint Hunting

Dustin Ellermann Prarie Dog Wyoming Volquartsen 17 MHR Varmint HuntingTop Shot Champion Dustin Ellermann has been busy up in Wyoming slaying varmints. On his Facebook Page, Dustin wrote: “I’ve been helping some ranchers out with their prairie dog infestation in Wyoming. The 17 HMR Volquartsen Custom is amazing! The Meopta Sports Optics R1r is super nice as well. Can you guess how many prairie dogs I eliminated in two days?” (Facebook users post guesses HERE.)

Dustin says the effective range of the 17 HMR is farther than one might expect: “I made hits out to 300 yards. 200 yards was easy as long as the wind wasn’t too bad.”

Dustin was very impressed with the 17 HMR cartridge: “Never paid it much attention before now because the ammo is five times more expensive than .22 LR and I mostly target shoot. However, for prairie dogs, the 17 HMR is amazing!” Dustin is now a fan of the speedy rimfire round. Consider this — Hornady’s 17 HMR ammo pushes a 17gr V-Max bullet at 2550 fps, twice as fast as typical .22 LR rounds.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
August 19th, 2015

New Video Series from Applied Ballistics

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Long Range Shooting Video Youtube elevation transonic supersonic

Applied Ballistics has created a new series of YouTube videos about precision long range shooting. Featuring ace long-range shooter and professional ballistician Bryan Litz, these videos will address various topics of interest to long-range marksmen. In this week’s video, the first in the series, Bryan Litz answers the question, “Just What Is Long Range Shooting?” Bryan discusses how we define “long range” and the key factors shooters need to consider.

Applied Ballistics Video — What Is Long Range Shooting?

Bryan states: “I don’t think there is a clear definition of where Long Range starts.” But he offers this practical guideline: “The way I think of it, any time you’re making major adjustments to your zero in order to hit a target, due to gravity drop and wind deflection, THEN you’re getting into ‘Long Range’. For example, if you are zeroed at 100 yards and need to shoot to 600 yards, you have many feet of elevation [drop] to account for, and to me, that’s where it becomes Long Range.”

Extended Long Range and the Transonic Zone
Bryan adds a second concept, namely “Extended Long Range”. Litz says that: “Extended Long Range starts whenever the bullet slows to its transonic range. As the bullet slows down to approach Mach 1, it starts to encounter transonic effects, which are more complex and difficult to account for, compared to the supersonic range where the bullet is relatively well-behaved.” Bryan notes that bullets start to encounter transonic effects at about 1340 fps, quite a bit faster than the speed of sound, which is about 1116 fps at sea level in normal conditions (59° F).

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Long Range Shooting Video Youtube elevation transonic supersonic

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo Post comment »
August 19th, 2015

Interesting New Products at Brownells.com

Brownells new products Ammo Crate, AR-10 Bolt Titanium Nitride, Duracoat Durablue

Every week Brownells Merchandise Manager Paul Levy hosts a video featuring new products. We’ve seen these vid clips before, but three products in this week’s video really caught our attention. We like the new MTM Ammo Crate, and the new Durablue coating offers a great option for gun-owners who want a traditional-looking finish that is also durable. And for AR-10 owners, the gold-tone Titanium Nitride Bolt Carrier group promises smoother running with easier cleaning.

Products featured in this week’s video include:

MTM Ammo Crate. Wide, flat polymer box features O-ring seal for water resistance, and stackable shape for convenient storage. Integral handle makes for easy transport. Holds up to 85 lbs. of ammo, magazines, and any other type of supplies or gear. Available in 4½”- and 7¼”-deep models.

Brownells new products Ammo Crate, AR-10 Bolt Titanium Nitride, Duracoat Durablue

Titanium Nitride is an extremely robust, durable coating, and now it’s available on an AR-10 bolt carrier group. The new Prime Weaponry .308AR Titanium Nitride Bolt Carrier Group drops into AR-10 type .308 AR uppers. The tough gold-tone finish resists wear and corrosion, plus the slick surface speeds up the cleaning process.

Brownells new products Ammo Crate, AR-10 Bolt Titanium Nitride, Duracoat Durablue

Duracoat DuraBlue is a new spray-on coating that provides a deep, glossy finish like traditional bluing but without the worry of rust, scratches, or high cost. DuraBlue comes in an aerosol can or liquid form (for application with sprayer) in both glossy black and traditional blue. DuraBlue can be used on on all kinds of metal, even stainless steel and aluminum.

Brownells new products Ammo Crate, AR-10 Bolt Titanium Nitride, Duracoat Durablue

Permalink - Videos, New Product Post comment »
August 18th, 2015

Walther Builds its First-Ever .45 ACP Pistol

Walther Arms .45 acp M2 PPQ pistol handgun

Believe it or not, legendary German gun-maker Walther Arms has never produced a .45 ACP pistol. Until now that is. You see Walther just announced that it will (finally) build a handgun, the .45 ACP PPQ, chambered for the classic .45 ACP cartridge. John Moses Browning would approve.

The striker-fired, polymer-framed .45 ACP PPQ boasts a smooth, 5.6-lb trigger with a 0.4″ normal travel and a 0.1″ reset. The 4.25-inch barrel features polygonal rifling (like HK barrels). Both slide and barrel have a hard Tenifer finish (like Glocks). The new .45 ACP PPQ includes ambidextrous controls, slide serrations, and front Picatinny rail for mounting accessories. The pistol holds 12 rounds and is equipped with three internal safeties. Overall length is 7.4 inches, and width is 1.3 inches.

Walther Arms’ VP of Sales and Marketing, Cyndi Flannigan, states: “This new caliber and product offering is a benchmark for Walther and the PPQ. We have built it to the same exacting German standards that deliver the ultimate home defense and personal protection firearm.” The new M2 .45 ACP PPQ pistol is expected to ship to dealers in early October, 2015.

Click photo for full-screen version:
Walther Arms .45 acp M2 PPQ pistol handgun

Permalink Handguns, New Product 2 Comments »
August 18th, 2015

Trends: Significant Rise in Female Gun Ownership in USA

Lady Shooter Jessie Duff Corey Cogdell

Report based on story in NRABlog.com.

One of the most important trends in the shooting world is the rise in the number of females who own firearms. We know women can shoot — just look at champions such as Nancy Tompkins, Trudie Fay, Michelle and Sherri Gallagher, and Jessie Duff.

The number of female shooters and female gun owners have risen steadily in recent decades. According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2005, only 13 percent of women were female gun owners, but by 2011, that number rose to 23 percent. That’s a 77 percent increase in seven years.

Additionally, shooting ranges across the country have seen a 51.5 percent increase in the number of women who participate in target practice, and 41.8 percent increase in the number of women who participate in hunting activities over the past ten years (Source: National Sporting Goods Assn. cited in New York Times.)

Lady Shooter Jessie Duff Corey Cogdell

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August 18th, 2015

How To Choose the Right Bushing for Your Neck-Sizing Die

Redding neck die bushing size reloading tech tip Pat Ryan video

One of the most commonly-asked questions on our Shooters Forum is “what diameter bushing should I use with my neck-sizing die?” While we recommend that users obtain at least two bushings, you still have to know where to start. For hunting ammo and gas guns, we still recommend choosing a bushing that is 2 or 3 thousandths smaller than the neck diameter of a loaded round. However, in a bolt-action benchrest gun, you may well get superior accuracy with less neck tension. A while back Larry Isenhour set a spectacular 50-5X, 600-yard IBS record using very light tension — Larry employed a .268″ bushing for a .2695″ loaded round.

How to Select the Right Neck Bushing for your Cartridge Brass:

A while back, we discussed neck bushings during a visit to the Redding Reloading booth at the NRA Annual Meeting. In the video above, Patrick Ryan of Redding explains how to measure your cartridge brass and select the proper bushing diameter. Please note that Redding has changed its recommendations for benchrest neck sizing in recent years. Redding now recommends that benchresters start with a bushing that yields slightly less grip on the bullet.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading Post comment »
August 17th, 2015

Yanks Win Gold at Canadian F-Class Nationals

Canada Canadian F-Class F-TR Championship James Crofts Shiraz Balolia Team USA

The Canadian F-Class Championships took place last week at the Connaught Range outside Ottawa, Ontario. American shooters performed well, taking top honors in both the F-Open and F-TR divisions. In the F-Open class, Bullets.com President Shiraz Balolia won his second straight Canadian National Championship (he also won in 2014). This year he was shooting a .300 WSM. The long, heavy .30-Cal bullets offer a ballistic advantage… IF you can handle the additional recoil. Shiraz told us: “This [match] was particularly challenging and satisfying as there were some incredible shooters from around the world including two World Champions, three U.S. National Champions, Canadian National Champions, British Champions, and European Champions shooting alongside me. It was an honor to shoot alongside the best shooters in the world.”

A large number of American shooters ventured to Ontario for the Canadian F-Class Championships.
Canada Canadian F-Class F-TR Championship James Crofts Shiraz Balolia Team USA

James Crofts shot consistently to win the F-TR division, and Paul Phillips finished second. Of Jim, the “man to beat” in F-TR, fellow competitor Tom Hittle said: “Congratulations to James Crofts for the overall win in TR. It was well deserved. Thank you for all the guidance and tips over the last couple of years.” After the match, James told us: “I want to thank a few companies that helped me get where I am. BRUX Barrels — I have now won three Nationals with Brux barrels. Jim Borden from Borden Actions — your action was smooth and precise. And Ray Bowman (PR&T) who, hands down, builds the best rifles available. I have used two different PR&T rifles to win U.S. F-TR Nationals. Proof is with the gold medals.”

In Team competition, a “dark horse” squad from North Carolina pulled off a real upset, taking Gold for the 4-man team event. The “Team NC” boys (James Hittle, Tom Hittle, Ed Shelley, and Greg Denekamp), benefited from good wind-calling by the Hittles plus some very accurate rifles. Tom Hittle remarked: “Ray Bowman of PR&T rifles were used by each team member. Thank you Ray for incredible-shooting hammers.”

Canada Canadian F-Class F-TR Championship James Crofts Shiraz Balolia Team USA

Permalink Competition, News 11 Comments »
August 17th, 2015

Big Growth in Concealed Carry — 5% of Americans Have Permits

CCW Concealed Carry Permits Growing Handgun Permits

More guns, less crime — that’s the conclusion of a recently-issued report from the Crime Prevention Resource Center (CPRC). The CPRC Concealed Carry Report attributes some of the drop in crime rates to the fact that more Americans than ever before are carrying handguns for protection. In the past eight years, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared, growing from 4.6 million in 2007 to over 12.8 million this year. Overall, 5.2% of the U.S. adult population, i.e roughly one in twenty American adults, now has a concealed carry permit.

Here are some interesting findings in the 2015 CPRC Report:

  • 5.2% of the total adult U.S. population has a concealed carry permit.
  • The number of concealed handgun permits is growing at an ever-increasing rate. Over the past year, 1.7 million additional new permits have been issued – a 15.4% increase in just one single year. This is the largest ever single-year increase in the number of concealed handgun permits.
  • Five states now have more than 10% of their adult population with concealed handgun permits.
  • In ten states, a permit is no longer required to carry in all or virtually all of the state. This is a major reason why legal carrying handguns is growing so much faster than the number of permits.
  • Since 2007, permits for women has increased by 270% and for men by 156%.
  • Some evidence suggests that permit holding by minorities is increasing more than twice as fast as for whites.
  • Between 2007 and 2014, murder rates have fallen from 5.6 to 4.2 (preliminary estimates) per 100,000. This represents a 25% drop in the murder rate at the same time that the percentage of the adult population with permits soared by 156%. Overall violent crime also fell by 25 percent over that period of time.
  • States with the largest increase in permits have seen the largest relative drops in murder rates.


CLICK for Full CPRC Concealed Carry Permit Holders Report

CCW Concealed Carry Permits Growing Handgun Permits

Carry Permit Holders are Law-Abiding
Interestingly, concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In fact, police officers commit crimes at a higher rate (103 per 100,000, national average) than do concealed carry permit holders in Florida (12.8 per 100,000) and Texas (22.8 per 100,000).

Permalink Handguns, News Post comment »
August 17th, 2015

6mm-223 Across the Course Rifle Project

6mm 223 sinclair

Intro: Ron Dague wanted a new gun that was similar to his trusty .223 Rem rifle, but which fired 6mm bullets. There is a superb choice of bullets in this caliber, and Ron found that the 95gr Berger VLD could be driven to a healthy 2,604 fps by the small .223 Rem case. This 6mm wildcat based on the common .223 Rem offers excellent accuracy and very low recoil — something very important in the cross-the-course discipline. In addition, Ron’s 95gr load with Reloder 15 delivered an ES of just 4 fps over ten shots. That exceptionally low ES helps achieve minimal vertical dispersion at 600 yards.

6mm 223 Across the course McMilland stock Ron Dague Sinclair InternationalBy Ron Dague, Sinclair Reloading Tech
From Sinclair’s The Reloading Press

I already had a .223 Remington match rifle, and I wanted the 6mm-223 to be as close to the same as I could make it. I installed the barreled action in a wood 40X stock to work up load data and work out any magazine feeding issues. While I was working on that, I looked for a McMillan Baker Special stock and finally found one to finish this project. I bedded the action and stock, then took the rifle to the range to check zeros on the sights and scope. I was surprised that I didn’t have to change anything on the sights. I thought changing the stock would cause sight changes. The thought went through my head, “Maybe the 40X stock isn’t all that bad”.

Here’s line-up of 6mm bullets. The Berger 95gr VLD is in the middle.
berger 6mm bullet hornady sierra line up 6mm 233

I took the new rifle to the first match of the year, a National Match Course match, and my off-hand score was 83, rapid sitting 95, rapid prone 95, and slow fire prone 197 — for total aggregate 470. This may not be my best work, but on match day the wind was blowing about 15 mph and the temp was around 40° F, with rain threatening. This was a reduced course of fire — we shot at 200 and 300 yards on reduced targets.

I used 70gr Berger bullets for this match, loaded in Remington brass with 25 grains of VihtaVuori N540 and Federal 205M primers. When I worked up loads for this rifle, N540 gave the best accuracy with the best extreme spread — 2,950 fps with an extreme spread of 20 fps on a 10-shot string. The load for 600 yards was with a 95gr Berger VLD bullet, with 23.0 grains of Reloder 15, Lapua cases, and the same Federal 205M primers. This load is 2,604 fps, with an extreme spread of 4 fps over a 10-shot string. I’ve shot this load at several 3×600 yard matches, and the accuracy has proven to be very good. At the last 3×600 match, my scores were as follows: 199-10x and 198-11X with scope, and 193-10X with iron sights. Best 600-yard score so far with iron sights was 198-12X.

6mm-223 Rem Rifle Specifications: 700 BDL action and floor plate, Bartlein 6mm 1:8″ twist, McMillan Baker Special stock in Desert Camo, Centra front and rear sights, Ken Farrell bases with stripper clip guide, Sinclair hand stop, and Jewell trigger. Gunsmith Neil Keller helped me with the metal work and instructed me on the action work and rebarreling.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing 11 Comments »
August 16th, 2015

Experts Explain the Brain — How it Controls Shooting Skills

Shooting Sports USA Brain mental game psychology cerebellum

The NRA’s Shooting Sports USA has a “new and improved” website. The new mobile-friendly format makes it easy to access current articles as well as locate interesting archived stories.

One great recent Shooting Sports USA article, Shooting is 90% Mental, was penned by Chip Lohman (SSUSA’s former Editor). With the help of two very smart Ph.D types, Judy Tant and Mike Keyes, Lohman examines the mental processes involved in the shooting sports. Chip’s co-authors have impressive credentials. Dr. Judy Tant is a Clinical Psychologist and National Bullseye Pistol Champion. Dr. Michael J. Keyes, is a licensed Psychiatrist and former physician for the U.S. Shooting Team.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article in Shooting Sports USA Online Magazine.

If you shoot competitively, this is definitely a “must-read” article. The authors examine how the brain functions under stress, how “visualization” can be used to improved performance, how “brain speed” can be enhanced through proper training, and how the brain stores learned routines into “muscle memory.” And that’s just for starters — the article gives many concrete examples of techniques top shooters have employed to improve their “mental game” and shoot higher scores.

Brain Speed and Trigger Control:
Shooting Sports USA Brain mental game psychology cerebellumResearch: Scientists believe that the newer frontal lobe may not be able to keep up with “deep” brain signals that transmit at nearly 300 mph. This is explained when athletes talk about “letting go,” rather than over-thinking the shot. This conscious signal can take up to 0.3 seconds from recognizing the desired sight picture to moving the trigger finger—too long to capture the opportunity for a perfect shot. However, if the signal is initiated spontaneously in the cerebellum where such procedures are thought to be stored through repetition, the reaction speed is much quicker. Signals are processed by the “deep brain” almost twice as fast as the problem-solving frontal lobes.

Permalink - Articles, Shooting Skills Post comment »
August 16th, 2015

Case-Neck Chamfer Tools — Pick Your Angle

There are a wide variety of reloading tools designed to cut a slight chamfer in case necks and deburr the edge of the case mouth. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for an effective tool. A basic “rocket-style” 45° chamfering tool, such as the Forster, actually does a pretty good job taking the sharp edge off case mouths, particularly if you use a little scotch-pad (or steel wool) to smooth the edge of the cut. The $17.49 Forster chamfer tool, shown below, is a nicely-made product, with sharper cutting blades than you’ll find on most other 45° chamferers.

forster rocket 45 degree neck chamferer chamfer tool

Many folks feel they can get smoother bullet seating by using a tool that cuts at a steeper angle. We like the 22° cutter sold by Lyman. It has a comfortable handle, and costs just $10.45 at MidsouthShooterssupply.com. The Lyman tool is an excellent value, though we’ve seen examples that needed sharpening even when new. Blade-sharpening is easily done, however.

Sinclair International offers a 28° carbide chamferer with many handy features (and sharp blades). The $29.99 Sinclair Carbide VLD Case Mouth Chamfering Tool will chamfer cases from .14 through .45 caliber. This tool features a removable 28° carbide cutter mounted in the green plastic Sinclair handle. NOTE: A hex-shaft cutter head power adapter can be purchased separately for $14.99 (Sinclair item 749-002-488WS). This can be chucked in a power screwdriver or used with the Sinclair Case Prep Power Center when doing large volumes of cases.

K&M makes a depth-adjustable, inside-neck chamferer (“Controlled Depth Tapered Reaper”) with ultra-sharp cutting flutes. The latest version, which costs $45.00 at KMShooting.com, features a central pin that indexes via the flash hole to keep the cutter centered. In addition, the tool has a newly-designed handle, improved depth-stop fingers, plus a new set-screw adjustment for precise cutter depth control. We caution, even with all the depth-control features, if you are not very careful, it is easy to over-cut, slicing away too much brass and basically ruining your neck. We think that most reloaders will get better results using a more conventional chamfer tool, such as the Forster or Lyman.

K & M K&M neck chamferer reamer controlled depth

One last thing to note — tools like the K&M and the Sinclair chamferer are often described as VLD chamferers. That is really a misnomer, as bullets with long boat-tails actually seat easily with very minimal chamfering. In reality, these high-angle chamferers may be most valuable when preparing brass for flat-base bullets and bullets with pressure rings. Using a 22° or 28° chamferer can reduce the risk of cutting a jacket when using VLD bullets though — so long as you make a smooth cut.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 7 Comments »
August 16th, 2015

Do-It-Yourself Ammo Caddy Made from Wood Knife Block

Wood Knife Holder ammo caddy

Forum member Alex W. (aka “zfastmalibu”) came up with a clever adaptation of an item you may already have on your kitchen counter. By drilling a few strategically-placed holes in a wood knife-holding block, Alex created a handy, 20-round ammo holder for the bench. We’re not sure the wife will appreciate the new holes in her kitchen accessory, but we think this is a smart invention. Alex asked fellow Forum members: “What do you think, is there a market for it?” We think there is. Of course, with a ruler and an electric drill you could probably make your own version easily enough.

Get a Solid Wood Knife Block for under $25.00
Beechwood Knife blocks can be purchase for under $25.00 through Amazon.com. They are also available in solid walnut wood ($29.99), cherry wood ($29.99), and Bamboo wood ($29.99).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 1 Comment »
August 15th, 2015

Rule Britannia! Team GB Wins World Palma Team Championship

Great Britain Palma Team Championship Camp Perry Fullbore August Team USA England

Congratulations to the Great Britain Palma Rifle Team (GBPRT), winner of the 2015 ICFRA World Long Range Palma Team Championship match. The British team shot superbly, winning by 70+ points over runner-up Team USA. Great Britain’s 7106-827V score* set a new Palma Team Championship record, smashing the old record by 79 points. The British marksmen displayed stunning accuracy — Team GB had fully 102 more Vs than did the second-place American squad (A “V” is the equivalent of an “X” in American scoring). The Brits shoot great as a team. Consider this — Great Britain had eleven shooters with 50 or more V-bulls. Team USA had just three.

Team GB ran away with the match with a great team performance at 1000 yards on Day Two. As the GBPRT blog noted: “An awesome demonstration of GB shooting and coaching was made – superb use of the wind and the firers to not just hold our lead, but to win the range by a stonking 33 points.”

Great Britain 2015 Palma Team Highlights

  • Match record beaten by 79 points – 7106.827 (176 V-bulls more than last time*).
  • Individual record beaten by 3 points – 449.59 (Toby Raincock).
  • Highest 900-Yard Aggregate score – 2384.276.
  • Most consecutive Palma Team matches won – Four in a Row.
  • First team ever to win ALL six ranges.

NRA Palma Team Match Bulletin (Team Results) | CLICK HERE for Complete Team Results Spreadsheet.

Palma Team Match Camp Perry 2015

Great Britain’s Toby Raincock Shoots a Match for the Ages
The top individual shooter in the Team match was Great Britain’s Toby Raincock, who dropped only one point over two days to finish with 449-55V, a new record individual score that will be very hard to break. The next best individual score was the 447-49V by fellow Brit Jon Underwood. The top American shooter was John Whidden, who finished with a 445-45V.

The GBPRT website summed up the big victory as follows: “It was a glorious day for GB and more statistical analysis would tell you more of the depth of our victory[.] We won big and we were justly proud of years of hard work. The celebrations immediately after the match were wonderful and full of the beauty of our sport. All the teams gathered and shook hands. The runners up USA and South Africa were valiant fighters and all teams showed their appreciation for not only a great match but also a great win.

Team USA Takes Second

Great Britain Palma Team Championship Camp Perry Fullbore August Team USA England

The American team shot very well in finishing second, breaking the previous Palma Team match Aggregate record in the process. Team USA enjoyed a significant 25-point margin over third-place South Africa. John Whidden had a great match, finishing as the seventh-highest shooter overall.

Team USA member Kelly Bachand praised his team-mates and coaches: “I am extremely proud to have contributed to the USA’s silver medal in the 2015 Palma Trophy match. I feel very blessed to have been counted a member of this elite group of shooters and coaches.” Team USA’s shooting members included: Kelly Bachand, SFC Shane Barnhart, Tyrel Cooper, Mark DelCotto, SSG Amanda Elsenboss, Trudie Fay, Michelle Gallagher, SFC Brandon Green, Norman Houle, Bryan Litz, Kevin Nevius, Kent Reeve, Justin Skaret, SGT Eric Smith, Nancy Tompkins, John Whidden, (SFC Russ Theurer and Wayne Budbill alternates). Dennis Flaharty was Team Captain, SFC Emil Praslick III was head coach, Robert Mead was adjutant, and line coaches were: Norm Anderson, Ray Gross, Steve Hardin, Gary Rasmussen.

Jim Mauer added a farewell note for coach Praslick: “Special shout out to SFC Praslick. [Emil] will be retiring later this fall. It has been a challenging pleasure competing against him for the last six years. I wish you the best of luck in retirement Emil! You have left a lasting impression and legacy on the Army and the entire competitive marksmanship community.”


*The previous record score was 7027-651V set in Brisbane, Australia in 2011 by Team Great Britain. NOTE: the NRA Bulletin lists Great Britain’s Final Score as 7106-825V, rather than 7106-827V as noted on the GBPRT website. We don’t understand the discrepancy, but we will list the higher total until we receive clarification.

Permalink Competition, News 5 Comments »
August 15th, 2015

Huge Increase in U.S. Gun Production in Recent Years

Firearms sales BATFE Commerce Report Suppressors Gun Sales

More guns… more guns than ever. That’s what U.S. gun-makers have been cranking out. According to the latest BATFE Fireams Commerce Report, American gun manufacturers produced over ten million guns in 2013, the last full reporting period. That’s an all-time record.

The 2013 total of 10.885 million guns produced in 2013 represents a 27% increase over the 8.579 million guns made in 2012. What’s even more surprising, the 2013 total is nearly double the quantity product just three years before in 2010 — 5.459 million firearms. Any way you look at it, that’s a huge increase in firearms production in a very short time.

Firearms sales BATFE Commerce Report Suppressors Gun Sales

As a category, pistols (primarily semi-auto, and not counting revolvers) have seen the largest increase in production, rising from 662,973 in 1986 to 4,441,726 in 2013. Notably the number of wheelguns produced has actually declined from 761,414 in 1986 to 725,282 in 2013.

In recent years there has been a significant growth in the number of shotguns sold, due to increased consumer interest in scatterguns for sport and defense. The number of shotguns sold topped did break the million mark in 2013, rising from 949,010 in 2012 to 1.203 million in 2013, and increase of 27%.

There has also been a significant growth in NFA items sold over the last dozen years, lead by a huge increase in the number of suppressors. In fact, as we reported last week, from 2014 to 2015, the number of NFA-registered suppressors rose from 571,150 to 792,282. That’s a 39% increase in just one year! There are now nearly 800,000 suppressors now registered in the USA.

Firearms sales BATFE Commerce Report Suppressors Gun Sales

The BATFE Report, officially the Firearms Commerce in the United States Annual Statisical Update 2015, also included data on firearms imports and export. Notably, more than 3.6 million firearms were imported into the USA in 2014. Of those 2.1 million, or 58%, were handguns (pistols and revolvers).

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August 15th, 2015

Cerakote Gun Finishing — From Start to Finish

NIC Industries Cerakote Firearms Coatings

NIC Industries Cerakote Firearms CoatingsCerakote is an advanced, highly durable, heat-cured coating that offers excellent corrosion resistance when applied to firearms. Cerakote can be applied to both metals and plastics, and many top firearms manufacturers (and custom gun builders) now offer Cerakote finishes as an option on their shotguns, hunting rifles, and tactical arms.

While Cerakote is not difficult to use, application of Cerakote is not just a simple “spray and bake” process. Best results are achieved when firearms are carefully degreased and surface-prepped prior to application. The video below, produced by NIC Industries, the manufacturer of Cerakote, shows the application process from start to finish. If you watch the video you’ll learn the importance of careful, step-by-step product prep. Metals should be surface-blasted prior to coating, and curing times need to be adjusted to the material type (polymer vs. fiberglass vs. metal). Cerakote is offered in a wide variety of colors. Multi-color finishes, including camouflage, can be applied by a skilled operator.

The video above shows a professional technician applying Cerakote finish to rifles and pistols. All gunsmiths who plan to offer Cerokote finishes should definitely watch this video. NOTE: Cerakote Firearms Coatings are designed for professionals and should be applied by an NIC-trained application specialist or a coating professional with proper training and equipment. NIC Industries stresses that “it is critical to follow all these instructions”.

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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August 14th, 2015

Great Britain Takes Early Lead in Palma Team Championships

Palma Team USA World Fullbore Long Range Target Rifle Championships
Click above photo to view larger image.

Here’s an early report from the 2015 World Palma Team Championships being held at Camp Perry. After Day 1 of the Team Championships (conducted on August 13th), Great Britain is in the lead with a score of 3551-403. That gives the Brits a 30-point margin over their closest rival. Team USA holds second place with a score of 3521-359, followed by South Africa in third with a score of 3512-339.

Today, August 14th, is the final day of Palma Team Competition. We’ll see if Team USA can come from behind, or whether Team Great Britain can build on its Day One lead. Stay tuned for more updates, including the final results after today’s team matches.

Here is Junior Team USA member Dusty Taylor showing off her USA pride. Today is the final day of the Palma Team World Championships. Dusty says: “Go USA!!!!”

Palma Team USA World Fullbore Long Range Target Rifle Championships

Dusty Taylor photo by Anette Wachter of the U.S. Palma Team. Top photos by Berger Bullets.

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August 14th, 2015

Lou Murdica Wins Sniper King Benchrest Match in Tacoma

Berger Bullets Tacoma Rifle Benchrest Lou Murdica Shilen Barrels

As far as we can tell, the first-ever formal benchrest shooting match took place in 1944 at the Tacoma Rifle & Revolver Club in Tacoma, Washington. Known today as the “Sniper King Competition”, this is still a popular event, drawing top shooters from around the country.

Our friend Lou Murdica bested the competition this year to win the Sniper King competition and Benchrest shooting’s oldest trophy. Take a look at that target. That’s a TEN-Shot group at TWO hundred yards. That works out to 0.1299 MOA for ten shots. That’s might impressive…

Berger Bullets Tacoma Rifle Benchrest Lou Murdica Shilen Barrels

We have to give Lou credit for his shooting skills and loading spectacularly accurate ammo. Lou was running a Kelbly action, Shilen Barrel, and March scope. He loaded 6mm Berger 65gr BT bullets driven by Accurate LT 30 powder.

Have you ever shot a smaller TEN-shot group, even at 100 yards? If so, tell us about that, by posting a comment below.

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