July 5th, 2018

.243 Winchester — The Forgotten Long-Range Cartridge

John Whidden gunworks long range championship nra indiana camp perry 2016 2017 atterbury

John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks used the .243 Winchester cartridge to win the 2017 NRA Long Range Championship, his fifth LR title at Camp Perry (and second in a row). John selected the .243 Win because it offers excellent ballistics with manageable recoil. John says that, at least for a sling shooter, the .243 Win is hard to beat at long range. Yes, John says, you can get somewhat better ballistics with a .284 Win or .300 WSM, but you’ll pay a heavy price in increased recoil. Here’s John’s story of how he wins with a .243 Win.

Great Ballistics with 6mm 105s at 3275 FPS
Running at an impressive 3275 FPS, Berger 6mm 105 grain Hybrids deliver ballistics that are hard to beat, according to John Whidden:

“My .243 Win shoots inside a 6.5-284 with 142-grainers. Nothing out there is really ahead of [the .243], in 1000-yard ballistics unless you get into the short magnums or .284s and those carry a very significant recoil penalty. In the past I did shoot the 6.5-284. I went to the .243 Win because it had similar ballistics but had much less recoil. It doesn’t beat me up as much and is not as fatiguing.

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anshutz

With the .243 Win, there’s no tensing-up, no anticipating. With the reduced recoil (compared to a 7mm or big .308), I can break and shoot very good quality shots. I find I just shoot better shots with the .243 than I ever did with the 6.5-284.”

The .243 Winchester — Good Enough to Win LR Championships

by John Whidden, Five-Time National Long Range Champion
My experience with the .243 cartridge for use as a Long Range High Power cartridge dates back about 10 years or so. After building a .300 WSM, I realized that the recoil was hurting the quality of my shots. The WSM shot great, but I couldn’t always execute good shots when shooting it. From here I built a 6.5-284, and it shot well. I also had a very accurate 6mmBR at the time, and my logic in going to the .243 Win was to get wind performance equal to the 6.5-284 with recoil similar to the 6mmBR. The experiment has worked out well indeed!

John Whidden gunworks long range championship nra indiana camp perry 2016 2017 atterbury

Championship-Winning Load: Berger Bullets, Lapua Brass, and Vihtavuori N160
For a load, currently I’m shooting Lapua brass, PMC primers (Russian, similar to Wolf), VihtaVuori N160 single-base powder, and Berger 105 grain Hybrid bullets. I switched to the Hybrid bullets fairly recently at the beginning of the 2015 season. Previously I shot the 105gr Berger hunting VLDs, and in testing I found that the Hybrids were just as accurate without having to seat the bullet into the lands. The velocity of this combination when shot through the excellent Bartlein 5R barrels (32” length) is around 3275 FPS. Surprising to some, John does load his ammo on a Dillon Progressive press (with help from his ultra-precise Auto-trickler).

For my match ammo, I seat the Berger 105 Hybrids well off the lands — my bullets are “jumping” from .035″-.060″. I only use one seating depth for ammunition for multiple guns (I know some benchrest shooters will stop reading right here!) and the bullets jump further in the worn barrels than in the fresh barrels. The bullets are pointed up in our Bullet Pointing Die System and are moly-coated. The moly (molybdenum disulfide) does extend the cleaning interval a little bit, probably 20% or so. The Lapua .243 Win brass is all neck-turned to .0125″ thickness.

Whidden’s .243 Win Ammo is Loaded on a Dillon
My loading process is different than many people expect. I load my ammo on a Dillon 650 progressive press using our own Whidden Gunworks dies. However powder charges are individually weighed with a stand-alone automated scale/trickler system from AutoTrickler.com (see below). Employing a high-end force restoration scale, this micro-processor controlled system offers single-kernel precision. The weighed charges are then dropped into the cases with a funnel mounted to the Dillon head.

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

The Lapua .243 Win brass is full-length sized every time, and I run one of our custom-sized expanders in my sizer die. The expander measures .243″ which yields the desired .001″ neck tension. In my experience, the best way to get consistent neck tension is to run an expander in the case neck at some point. When sizing the case neck by a minimal amount such as is the case here, I don’t find any negative points in using an expander in the sizer die.

In my experience, the keys to accurate long range ammo are top quality bullets and the most consistent neck tension you can produce. From these starting points, the use of quality components and accurate powder measurement will finish out the magic.

John Whidden National Long Range Championship Camp Perry 2016 Wind Reading

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Tech Tip No Comments »
May 20th, 2017

How to Prematurely Kill a Barrel — .243 Win Fast Firing Test

barrel life test rapid fire cooling

Can sustained rapid-fire shooting with no cool-down period wear out a quality barrel more quickly? The answer is “Yes” according to Forum member LCazador, who did an interesting comparison test with two .243 Winchester barrels. He started off with two, identical, match-grade HV taper stainless barrels. Both were NEW at the start of testing, and LCazador shot the same load through each: 95gr match bullets with 38 grains of Hodgdon Varget. After giving both barrels the same, gentle 20-round break-in, 300 rounds were then fired through each barrel — in very different ways. Barrel condition and wear were monitored with a borescope.

Barrel One — Slow Fire, Cool Down Periods, Cleaning Every 50 Rounds
At the end of the 300-round test, Barrel One looked brand new. There was none of the severe fire cracking found in Barrel Two. This barrel was shot no more than 10 times without a cool down and firing was done at a much slower pace. Cleaning for this barrel was done every 50 shots.

Barrel Two — Fast Firing, No Waiting, Cleaning Every 100 Rounds
The second barrel, which received hard use and minimal cleaning, was severely damaged with severe fire cracking at the leade and throat. As a result, the barrel had to be re-chambered. This barrel was shot 100 rounds at time without cleaning and was shot up to 20 times in succession without a cool down.

LESSON LEARNED — Heat Kills Barrel Life
Don’t let your barrel get too hot, and keep it clean. One afternoon can ruin a barrel!

Hawkeye Borescope imageMonitoring Barrel Wear with Borescope
Some folks worry too much about what their borescopes reveal — many barrels do not have to be “squeaky clean” to perform well. In fact some barrels run better after ten or more fouling shots. However, a borescope can be very helpful when your barrel starts losing accuracy for no apparent reason. Forum member FdShuster writes:

“A borescope is a positive way of backing up your suspicions when the rifle starts to throw an occasional (soon followed by more frequent) wild shot. Using the scope is also an excellent way to determine that the cause is barrel wear and not simply a need for a concentrated cleaning session to remove built up copper and more importantly, carbon fouling.

I’ve had a few barrels that gave every indication of being shot out. But I ‘scoped them out and found the cause to be nothing more than requiring a good cleaning. They then returned to their usual performance. There’s no guessing involved when you are able to get ‘up close and personal’ using the scope. The borescope also provides an excellent view of the all-important condition of the crown. My borescope is one of the most valuable investments I’ve ever made.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
August 26th, 2016

Whidden on Winning at Long Range: Part 2 — The Cartridge

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks used the .243 Winchester cartridge to win the 2016 NRA Long Range Championship, his fourth LR title at Camp Perry. John selected the .243 Win because it offers excellent ballistics with manageable recoil. John says that, at least for a sling shooter, the .243 Win is hard to beat at long range. Yes, John says, you can get somewhat better ballistics with a .284 Win or .300 WSM, but you’ll pay a heavy price in increased recoil.

.243 Winchester — The Forgotten 6mm Cartridge for Long Range

by John Whidden, 2016 National Long Range Champion
My experience with the .243 cartridge for use as a Long Range High Power cartridge dates back about 10 years or so. After building a .300 WSM, I realized that the recoil was hurting the quality of my shots. The WSM shot great, but I couldn’t always execute good shots when shooting it. From here I built a 6.5-284, and it shot well. I also had a very accurate 6mmBR at the time, and my logic in going to the .243 Win was to get wind performance equal to the 6.5-284 with recoil similar to the 6mmBR. The experiment has worked out well indeed!

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

Championship-Winning Load: Berger Bullets, Lapua Brass, and Vihtavuori N160
For a load, currently I’m shooting Lapua brass, PMC primers (Russian, similar to Wolf), VihtaVuori N160 single-base powder, and Berger 105 grain Hybrid bullets. I switched to the Hybrid bullets fairly recently at the beginning of the 2015 season. Previously I shot the 105gr Berger hunting VLDs, and in testing I found that the Hybrids were just as accurate without having to seat the bullet into the lands. The velocity of this combination when shot through the excellent Bartlein 5R barrels (32” length) is around 3275 FPS.

For my match ammo, I seat the Berger 105 Hybrids well off the lands — my bullets are “jumping” from .035″-.060″. I only use one seating depth for ammunition for multiple guns (I know some benchrest shooters will stop reading right here!) and the bullets jump further in the worn barrels than in the fresh barrels. The bullets are pointed up in our Bullet Pointing Die System and are moly-coated. The moly (molybdenum disulfide) does extend the cleaning interval a little bit, probably 20% or so. The Lapua .243 Win brass is all neck-turned to .0125″ thickness.

Whidden’s .243 Win Ammo is Loaded on a Dillon
My loading process is different than many people expect. I load my ammo on a Dillon 650 progressive press using our own Whidden Gunworks dies. However powder charges are individually weighed with a stand-alone automated scale/trickler system from AutoTrickler.com (see below). Employing a high-end force restoration scale, this micro-processor controlled system offers single-kernel precision. The weighed charges are then dropped into the cases with a funnel mounted to the Dillon head.

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

The Lapua .243 Win brass is full-length sized every time, and I run one of our custom-sized expanders in my sizer die. The expander measures .243″ which yields the desired .001″ neck tension. In my experience, the best way to get consistent neck tension is to run an expander in the case neck at some point. When sizing the case neck by a minimal amount such as is the case here, I don’t find any negative points in using an expander in the sizer die.

In my experience, the keys to accurate long range ammo are top quality bullets and the most consistent neck tension you can produce. From these starting points, the use of quality components and accurate powder measurement will finish out the magic.

Great Ballistics with 6mm 105s at 3275 FPS
Running at an impressive 3275 FPS, Berger 6mm 105 grain Hybrids deliver ballistics that are hard to beat, according to John Whidden:

“My .243 Win shoots inside a 6.5-284 with 142-grainers. Nothing out there is really ahead of [the .243], in 1000-yard ballistics unless you get into the short magnums or .284s and those carry a very significant recoil penalty. In the past I did shoot the 6.5-284. I went to the .243 Win because it had similar ballistics but had much less recoil. It doesn’t beat me up as much and is not as fatiguing.

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anshutz

With the .243 Win, there’s no tensing-up, no anticipating. With the reduced recoil (compared to a 7mm or big .308), I can break and shoot very good quality shots. I find I just shoot better shots with the .243 than I ever did with the 6.5-284.”

John Whidden National Long Range Championship Camp Perry 2016 Wind Reading

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Reloading 9 Comments »
August 19th, 2016

New Temp-Stable Alliant Reloder 16 Now Available

Reloder Reloader 16 Alliant Powder Propellant Bofors TZ temperature stability temp stable H4350

Here’s an important announcement for anyone who uses a powder in the 4350 range. Alliant is now shipping the all-new Reloder 16 powder. The burn rate is slightly faster than Reloder 17, and a bit slower than Varget or Reloder 15. Notably, this new Reloder 16 powder is very temp stable. AccurateShooter.com was shown “top secret” test results comparing Reloder 16 with other popular propellants, including Hodgdon Extreme series powders. The results for Reloder 16 were remarkable. Reloder 16 showed extremely constant velocities even with very high ambient temps — so this is a powder you can shoot even on hot Arizona summer days.

CLICK HERE for Reloder 16 Suggested Load Recipes

This is NOT just a slower version of Alliant’s double-based Reloder 15 (which words great in the 6mmBR and Dasher cartridges). Reloder 16 is a completely new formulation, produced in Sweden by Bofors for Alliant. Reloder 16 utilizes TZ technology, which manipulates the response of the propellant and resists the natural tendency to generate more pressure at higher temperatures and less pressure at lower temperatures.

Reloder Reloader 16 Alliant Powder Propellant Bofors TZ temperature stability temp stable H4350

As a result, Reloder 16 offers outstanding temperature stability. Based on the test results we’ve seen, if you are using H4350 or IMR 4451 currently, you should definitely give Reloder 16 a try. The powder also boasts excellent lot-to-lot consistency and contains a proprietary de-coppering additive.

Reloder Reloader 16 Alliant Powder Propellant Bofors TZ temperature stability temp stable H4350

Match and Hunting Cartridge Applications:
Alliant tells us that Reloader 16 “is ideal for traditional hunting cartridges, such as .30-06 Springfield and .270 Winchester, as well as 6.5mm target loads and tactical applications wherein temperature stability is required.” We also think the powder may work very well in these popular match cartridges: 6XC, .243 Win, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, .284 Win, and .300 WSM. For example, Alliant’s Load Data Sheet shows a 2772 FPS load with 142gr SMKs in the .260 Rem.

Permalink New Product, News, Reloading 3 Comments »
August 13th, 2016

New Howa Tactical Rig — Howa Chassis Rifle (HCR)

Howa HCR Chassis Rifle PRS Tactical Aluminum stock HACT Trigger

Here’s an item for tactical and Precision Rifle Series (PRS) shooters. Howa is releasing a new rifle with a modular metal chassis. The new Howa HCR (Howa Chassis Rifle) combines a Howa 1500 barreled action with a modern, fully-adjustable aluminum chassis. The Howa’s MSRP is $1299.00, so the HCR is directly competitive with the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR). Available chamberings are: .223 Remington, .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester.

Howa HCR Chassis Rifle PRS Tactical Aluminum stock HACT Trigger

Mounted on an AR-style buffer tube system, the Howa HCR utilizes the fully adjustable LUTH-AR MBA-3 stock. Length of Pull is adjustable form 12.5″ to 16.75″. Comb height is also adjustable to fine tune for scope height-over-bore. Weight with a 24″ barrel is 10.2 pounds (before optics), so this Howa HCR is lighter that some similar rifles on the market.

Howa HCR Chassis Rifle PRS Tactical Aluminum stock HACT Trigger

Howa HCR Features

• Howa 1500 Barreled Action with 20″ and 24″ Heavy Barrel options
• Black 6061-T6 Aluminum Chassis with Free-Float M-LOK Forend
• LUTH AR Buttstock with LOP Adjustment (12.5″ to 16.75″) and Adjustable Comb
• 10-RD ACCURATE Detachable, Teflon-coated Steel Magazine
• Two-Stage H.A.C.T. Trigger
• 3 Position Safety

Howa HCR Chassis Rifle PRS Tactical Aluminum stock HACT TriggerThe HOWA HCR features an adjustable, two-stage HACT trigger, set for about 3 pounds (combined stages). Crisp and repeatable, this is an excellent trigger for a factory gun. In our opinion, the HACT trigger is clearly superior to the trigger on the Ruger RPR, as well as the Savage AccuTrigger. And there is no annoying Glock-style safety lever in the middle of the trigger blade.

Available in .223 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win chamberings.

NOTE: For all chamberings, 24″ barrels are offered, with 20″ options for the .223 Rem and .308 Win as well. Twist rates are 1:9″ for .223 Rem, 1:10″ for .243 Win, 1:8″ for 6.5 Creedmoor, and 1:10″ for .308 Win. We think .243 Win shooters will NOT be happy with the 1:10″ twist. We would prefer to see a 1:8″-twist for the .243 Win so it can shoot the 105-115 grain 6mm bullets. Most competitive 6mm shooters will want a true 8-twist or even a 1:7.5″.

Permalink New Product, Tactical 11 Comments »
June 6th, 2016

Bargain Finder 38: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Sportsmans SuperStore — .243 Win Ruger Prec. Rifle, $1049.50

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Ruger Precision Rifle RPR Tactical .243 Win 6mm PRS modular stock

The Ruger Precision Rifle has been one of the hottest-selling long guns in America since its releases. It has pretty much been sold out for months. And Ruger just bumped the price on the new Gen2 edition up to $1599.00 MSRP. The Superstore got hold of some of some Gen 1 production RPRs in .243 Winchester. These rifles are IN STOCK and on sale for $1049.50. That’s a great price. The venerable .243 Win cartridge is a good choice for this rifle — Gavin Gear of UltimateReloder.com has an RPR chambered in .243 Win that has proven very accurate.

2. Monmouth Reloading — 1000 Lake City 5.56 Cases, $68.95

Monmouth deals of week ar15 5.56 brass .223 Rem once-fired Lake City LC

1000 pieces of Lake City brass for under seventy bucks? Yep, that’s a deal and a half. Monmouth Reloading is selling genuine, once-fired Lake City 5.56x45mm brass, thick-walled and sourced direct from the U.S. Military. Monmouth reports: “Our current stock of Lake City 5.56 looks to be all newer year Lake City head stamp but may contain a small percentage of other NATO headstamps. Lake City is a popular, reliable brass, normally capable of many reloads.” Monmouth includes 1% overage to account for any damaged brass. NOTE: Brass has crimped primers, so the pockets will need to be reamed or swaged prior to reloading.

3. Midsouth Shooters Supply — All Berger Bullets Now 10% Off

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Berger bullets Match Hybrid ammo sale bargain

Need super-high-quality match, hunting, or varmint bullets? Then visit Midsouth Shooters Supply. Now through June 13, 2016, Midsouth has placed its entire stock of Berger Bullets on sale. You can save 10% off Midsouth’s already competitive prices, even on Berger’s most popular projectiles, such as the 6mm 105gr Match Hybrid, 6.5mm 130g Matcrh AR Hybrid, and the ultra-high BC 7mm 180gr Match Hybrid.

4. CDNN Sports — HK 416 .22LR Rimfire Rifle, $379.99

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week .22LR rimfire discount HK 416 ar15 tactical rifle ammo sale bargain

If you are looking for an AR-type .22 LR rifle for cross-training and rimfire tactical matches, the HK 416 is a fine choice. Made by Walther under license, these HK 416 D145RS rimfire rifles are accurate and reliable. This is a good deal at $379.99! The HK 416 normally sells for $550.00 to $600.00. One purchaser writes: “Great .22. I have had this gun a couple of months and have put about 500 rounds of 5 different brands of ammo through it. Not one FTE. I have shot other brands that can’t get through one 30-round mag without a failure.” CLICK HERE for Product Details.

5. Natchez — Hornady 22-Cal Varmint Bullets, $9.99 Per 100

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Hornady VArmint .223 .224 bullets 55 grain

Headed out for a varmint safari soon? Need inexpensive bullets for your .223 Rem or 22-250? Then check out this deal on Hornady 55-grainers from Natchez. Get 100 Soft Point .224-Caliber FB bullets for just $9.99. At that price, it doesn’t hurt so much when you shoot 1000+ rounds over a weekend. With good expansion, these bullets work great on prarie dogs and other small critters. Note: These sale bullets ship in a bag, not the box as shown.

6. Amazon.com — Howard Leight Electronic Earmuffs $40.97

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Muffs hearing protection Howard Leight earmuffs sale bargain

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs, even if you prefer shooting with earplugs and/or standard muffs. Electronic muffs are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $40.97. This is good deal — these NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category. NOTE: For regular, sustained shooting we recommend muffs and/or earplugs with a higher NRR rating.

7. Natchez — RCBS ChargeMaster Dispenser, $279.99

RCBS Chargemaster scale dispenser Natchez

Here’s a very good deal on the popular RCBS ChargeMaster combo scale/powder dispenser. This unit sells elsewhere for up to $389.00. You may want to act quickly as sale pricing changes frequently. This item is also available on Amazon.com for $296.99 with free shipping for Prime members.

8. Harbor Freight – 8-Drawer Wood Tool Chest

AccurateShooter Deals of week bargain discount savings Wood Tool Chest Harbor Freight

This Wood Tool Chest makes a great addition to your reloading room. The eight (8) drawers can hold the many small tools and accessories used for hand-loading, such as bushings, shims, uniforming tools, mandrels, neck-turners and more. A deeper top compartment (under the lid) holds wrenches and other larger tools. The price is just $79.99. A lockable sliding wood panel fits in place to cover the drawers when not in use. This locking panel also secures the drawers during transport.

9. Bullets.com — Handgun Safe $49.95

AccurateShooter Deals of week bargain discount savings Ruger American Rifle 17 HMR

This pistol safe keeps your handguns secure while still permitting instant “push-button” access. The three-button lock can be personalized with 3- to 8-digit codes, and there is a key override. This safe will hold two (2) full-sized pistols and can also store passports, cash, or other valuables. The spring-loaded door gives you near-instant response. The all-steel case also includes mounting holes for fixing the safe to floor or shelf.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
January 16th, 2016

Corbin’s Curly Maple Masterpiece — .243 Win Prone Rifle

.243 Win 1000 yard Maple rifle

As a visual treat for our Daily Bulletin readers, we went back to our Gun of the Week archives to showcase a very special rifle. This humdinger could be the prettiest prone rifle we’ve ever seen. Commissioned for Forum member Corbin S., this is one handsome rifle, built with all-premium components and a stunning Curly Maple thumbhole stock with adjustable cheekpiece. The rifle is chambered in .243 Winchester. It features a custom stainless RBRP action Nesika R action, with keycuts in the bottom instead of recoil lug. A Grünig & Elmiger trigger has been specially modified (milled and pinned) to work with the Nesika action. The barrel is a 30″ Broughton 5R Palma-contour tube, and there is another 30″ Broughton 6BR barrel that Corbin uses at shorter ranges. The trigger guard, fore-arm rail, cheek adjuster, and 4-way adjustable butt assembly are all custom metal, designed by Dan Gleason. The stock is cut from exhibition-grade fiddleback maple (from Cecil Fredi Gunstocks in Las Vegas) with a Gaboon Ebony tip wood and butt-plate spacer.

.243 Win Maple rifle

Very Accurate with Fast-Flyin’ Berger 105s
Corbin tells us the gun will put five shots into the size of a quarter at 300 yards “when he does his part.” Corbin shoots pointed Berger 105gr VLDs and 45.5 grains of H4831SC. That load runs 3180 fps. He can push it faster, but “that’s where the node was and where it shoots best”, according to Corbin.

Forum member Jim Hardy has seen (and shot against) this beautiful rifle. He reports:

“A casual observer might think that the trigger guard, cheek plate and butt plate hardware are Anschutz — as the stock takes on the Anschutz prone pattern. However, this is ALL custom metal. The G&E trigger breaks like a glass rod and will makes my BR triggers feel inferior at best. I had the pleasure of holding, shouldering, and lusting over this gun at Camp Perry last year, and it is even more impressive in person. The killer is that there is yet ANOTHER one in a beautiful, dark figured walnut owned by Corbin’s shooting partner. BTW, both guns will hammer at 1000 yards prone.”

.243 Win 1000 yard Maple rifle
.243 Win 1000 yard Maple rifle

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
July 25th, 2015

‘Also-Ran’ Cartridges — The .244 Remington (aka 6mm Rem)

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

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

Was Anything Wrong With The .244 Remington?

by Ballistic Technician Paul Box for Sierra Bullets Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Permalink News 2 Comments »
October 30th, 2014

How to Wear Out a Barrel in One Afternoon…

Can sustained rapid-fire shooting with no cool-down period wear out a quality barrel more quickly? The answer is “Yes” according to Forum member LCazador, who recently did an interesting comparison test with two .243 Win barrels. He started off with two, identical, match-grade HV taper stainless barrels. Both were NEW at the start of testing, and LCazador shot the same load through each: 95gr match bullets with 38 grains of Hodgdon Varget. After giving both barrels the same, gentle 20-round break-in, 300 rounds were then fired through each barrel — in very different ways. Barrel condition and wear were monitored with a borescope.

Barrel One — Slow Fire, Cool Down Periods, Cleaning Every 50 Rounds
At the end of the 300-round test, Barrel One looked brand new. There was none of the severe fire cracking found in Barrel Two. This barrel was shot no more than 10 times without a cool down and firing was done at a much slower pace. Cleaning for this barrel was done every 50 shots.

Barrel Two — Fast Firing, No Waiting, Cleaning Every 100 Rounds
The second barrel, which received hard use and minimal cleaning, was severely damaged with severe fire cracking at the leade and throat. As a result, the barrel had to be re-chambered. This barrel was shot 100 rounds at time without cleaning and was shot up to 20 times in succession without a cool down.

Don’t let your barrel get too hot, and keep it clean. One afternoon can ruin a barrel!

Hawkeye Borescope imageMonitoring Barrel Wear with Borescope
Some folks worry too much about what their borescopes reveal — many barrels do not have to be “squeaky clean” to perform well. In fact some barrels run better after ten or more fouling shots. However, a borescope can be very helpful when your barrel starts losing accuracy for no apparent reason. Forum member FdShuster writes:

“A borescope is a positive way of backing up your suspicions when the rifle starts to throw an occasional (soon followed by more frequent) wild shot. Using the scope is also an excellent way to determine that the cause is barrel wear and not simply a need for a concentrated cleaning session to remove built up copper and more importantly, carbon fouling.

I’ve had a few barrels that gave every indication of being shot out. But I ‘scoped them out and found the cause to be nothing more than requiring a good cleaning. They then returned to their usual performance. There’s no guessing involved when you are able to get ‘up close and personal’ using the scope. The borescope also provides an excellent view of the all-important condition of the crown. My borescope is one of the most valuable investments I’ve ever made.”

Permalink Tech Tip 8 Comments »
September 27th, 2014

Mid-Sized Cartridge Comparison

We are often asked “what’s the difference between the 6×47 Swiss Match, the 6XC, and the 6.5×47 Lapua necked down to 6mm?” All three cartridges have 30° shoulders and fit a .308-sized boltface. However, alone among the three, the 6mm-6.5×47 has a small primer pocket and small flash hole. The 6×47 Swiss Match (made by RUAG), and the 6XC (produced by Norma), have a large primer pocket and large flash hole, just like a .308 Winchester.

Forum member DesertLefty has provided a line-up photo, with 6mmBR and .260 Rem cases provided for comparison. As you can see, the three mid-sized cases (6x47SM, 6.5×47 Lapua, and 6XC) are very similar.

6mm Cartridge Comparison

The Swiss Match has the longest neck, while the 6XC enjoys the highest capacity. But performance is very similar among the three cartridges (with the 6.5×47 necked down to 6mm), and the same powders, particularly H4350, IMR 4007SSC, and N160 work well in the 6×47 SM, the 6XC, and the 6-6.5×47 Lapua. Alliant Reloder 17, slightly faster than H4350 but with a flatter (less “peaky”) burn curve, could also prove a good choice for both the 6XC and 6mm-6.5×47.

6XC vs. 6-6.5×47
Often the question is posed “Which is better, the 6XC or 6mm-6.5×47″. The correct answer seems to be “it depends”. Current batches of Norma-made 6XC brass are very good, while certain lots of 6.5×47 Lapua brass have somewhat disappointing neckwall uniformity, demanding neck-turning for best accuracy. Overall, however, the two cases (6mm-6.5×47 and 6XC) are nearly identical in performance. Some shooters believe the Lapua brass holds up better under full-power loads. On the other hand, Norma 6XC brass from DavidTubb.com is a bit less expensive than 6.5×47 brass.

The parent 6.5×47 Lapua case is rated at 63,090 psi, while the new CIP rating for the 6XC is 63,844 psi (4400 BAR). Though the 6mm-6.5×47 has slightly less powder capacity than the 6XC, max velocities with 105-108gr bullets are quite similar. However, you should not substitute loads from the 6XC directly to the 6mm-6.5×47 or vice-versa. Because of the different case capacities and primer sizes, you should work up loads separately for each cartridge.

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March 25th, 2014

1000-Yard Shooting with Surgeon Scalpel .243 Win

Forum member Stan from Northern California (aka BigBamBoo) has produced a cool video showing a 1000-yard shooting session with his Surgeon Rifles .243 Win. As he shot prone from bipod, Stan filmed with two cameras, one aimed at the shooter and the other zoomed way out at the target 1000 yards away. Using frame in frame editing, Stan combined the two camera viewpoints so you can watch his trigger-pulling and simultaneously see what’s happening downrange. Stan hits steel five times in a row.

YouTube Preview Image

Surgeon RiflesIf you listen carefully, you can hear the steel ring about three seconds after each shot (it takes that long for the sound to travel back). On a couple shots you’ll see dust kick up at the side of the target — but that’s not a miss. Remember his bullet is impacting on steel and what you’re seeing is dust kicked up on ricochet by a bullet fragment.

The main purpose of Stan’s shooting session was to evaluate a new Badger FTE muzzle brake. Watch the video and you can see that the big brake dramatically reduces both rearward movement and bipod hop. Stan was very happy with the brake’s effectiveness, as it allows him to keep his scope on target, and cycle quickly for the next shot. Stan reports: “Just keep an eye on the rifle. Watch the recoil — it’s greatly reduced with the muzzle brake. Makes spotting my shots very easy.”

LOAD: Lapua .243 Winchester brass, Sierra 107gr MatchKings, Wolf LR primers, 40.1 grains of H4350 powder.

Stan posts: “I recently sent my Surgeon Scalpel in .243 back to Surgeon to have a Badger FTE muzzle brake installed. Got a chance between rain storms to get to the range and do some shooting. As you can hear in the video…the wind was blowing pretty hard. But that just adds to the fun of shooting at long range. Turn up the volume and you should be able to hear the five hits on steel. If you set the playback resolution to 480p or better and go ‘full screen’, you should be able to see most of the hits.”

Why is the Sound of the Hit Delayed So Long?
The speed of sound at sea level, in dry 59° air, is 1116 fps. With the steel target 3000 feet (1000 yards) away, it takes 3000/1116 or 2.69 seconds for the sound of each hit to reach the shooter.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 22 Comments »
April 25th, 2013

What is an “Overbore” Cartridge? Let’s Look at Some Numbers…

Forum Member John L. has been intrigued by the question of “overbore” cartridges. People generally agree that overbore designs can be “barrel burners”, but is there a way to predict barrel life based on how radically a case is “overbore”? John notes that there is no generally accepted definition of “overbore”. Based on analyses of a wide variety of cartridges, John hoped to create a comparative index to determine whether a cartridge is more or less “overbore”. This, in turn, might help us predict barrel life and maybe even predict the cartridge’s accuracy potential.

John tells us: “I have read countless discussions about overbore cartridges for years. There seemed to be some widely accepted, general rules of thumb as to what makes a case ‘overbore’. In the simplest terms, a very big case pushing a relatively small diameter bullet is acknowledged as the classic overbore design. But it’s not just large powder capacity that creates an overbore situation — it is the relationship between powder capacity and barrel bore diameter. Looking at those two factors, we can express the ‘Overbore Index’ as a mathematical formula — the case capacity in grains of water divided by the area (in square inches) of the bore cross-section. This gives us an Index which lets us compare various cartridge designs.”

OVERBORE INDEX Chart

Overbore Index Chart

So what do these numbers mean? John says: “My own conclusion from much reading and analysis is that cartridges with case volume to bore area ratio less than 900 are most likely easy on barrels and those greater than 1000 are hard on barrels.” John acknowledges, however, that these numbers are just for comparison purposes. One can’t simply use the Index number, by itself, to predict barrel life. For example, one cannot conclude that a 600 Index number cartridge will necessarily give twice the barrel life of a 1200 Index cartridge. However, John says, a lower index number “seems to be a good predictor of barrel life”.

John’s system, while not perfect, does give us a benchmark to compare various cartridge designs. If, for example, you’re trying to decide between a 6.5-284 and a 260 Remington, it makes sense to compare the “Overbore Index” number for both cartridges. Then, of course, you have to consider other factors such as powder type, pressure, velocity, bullet weight, and barrel hardness.

Overbore Cases and Accuracy
Barrel life may not be the only thing predicted by the ratio of powder capacity to bore cross-section area. John thinks that if we look at our most accurate cartridges, such as the 6 PPC, and 30 BR, there’s some indication that lower Index numbers are associated with greater inherent accuracy. This is only a theory. John notes: “While I do not have the facilities to validate the hypothesis that the case capacity to bore area ratio is a good predictor of accuracy — along with other well-known factors — it seems to be one important factor.”

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 7 Comments »
September 20th, 2012

Fiocchi Issues Warning and Recall for 22-250 and .243 Win Ammo

ammunition recall Fiocchi 243 Win 22-250Fiocchi of America is recalling various lots of 22-250 Remington and .243 Winchester centerfire rifle ammunition. There is a serious safety issue affecting certain lots of Fiocchi ammo types: 22250B, 22250HVD, 243SPB, 243HSB, and 243SPD. The problem involves the loading of multiple bullets in a single cartridge. If you have any Fiocchi ammo from the affected product lots listed below you should return it immediately. The following ammunition products are affected by this recall:

ammunition recall Fiocchi 243 Win 22-250

Text of Fiocchi’s Recall Notice:

Through extensive evaluation Fiocchi has determined that the above lots of 22-250 and 243 may have been loaded with multiple bullets that can cause excessive pressure. This ammunition with multiple bullets may cause firearm damage rendering the firearm inoperable, and subject the shooter or bystanders to a risk of personal injury when fired. DO NOT USE THE ABOVE LISTED FIOCCHI 22-250 REM. OR 243 WIN. AMMUNITION OF SPECIFIED LOT NUMBERS. The ammunition lot number is black ink stamped inside one of the box end tuck flaps that you would open to remove the 20-round carrier.

To determine if your ammunition is subject to this notice, review the ITEM and LOT NUMBER. If the item number AND last three digits of the lot number match the above listed products, please return the ammunition to FIOCCHI of America via United Parcel Service (UPS) or FedEx Ground. Securely pack the ammo in a strong fiberboard box with packing materials to make it “snug” in the box. You will need an “LQ” label to ship the ammunition. To get the “LQ” label, [CLICK this LINK] or you can call the factory customer service directly at 417-449-1039 or email service@fiocchiusa.com prior to shipping. Affix the “LQ” label to the package with packing tape ensuring that all sides are adhered to the carton and ship to:

FIOCCHI OF AMERICA, INC., ATTN. Recall, 6930 N. FREMONT RD., OZARK, MO 65721

Fiocchi will provide replacement product upon receipt of your return. Please include your name, street address, phone number (required for return shipping), and email address with your return. Ammunition cannot be shipped to post office boxes.

This notice only applies to above listed Fiocchi 22-250 Rem. and 243 Win ammunition with the above lot numbers. If you have questions concerning this ammunition recall, please call customer service directly at 417-449-1039, write to the above address, email service@fiocchiusa.com, or visit our website, www.fiocchiusa.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 2 Comments »
June 13th, 2011

2011 Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge Match Video

TBRC 2011This video has highlights and interviews from the 2011 Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge (TBRC) in Northern California. Some 66 shooters competed in a multi-stage event held May 27-29, 2011 by the Nor Cal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC). You’ll see the latest tactical hardware and shooting techniques in this lengthy (35 minute) video.

The video shows bolt guns being shot from a variety of positions: prone, kneeling, sitting, standing, and off barricades. Match Director Vu Pham explains some of the more interesting courses of fire in the match. There are also interviews with many of the competitors. If you The last 10 minutes or so of the video covers the awards ceremony at the end of the match. If your time is limited, you may want to skip that section.

CLICK HERE for more TBRC 2011 photos. | Complete Match Results and Match Summary by Vu Pham.

2011 TBRC Match Results

Top 10 Overall
1. Kuehl, Francis 1,450.12 5X 100.0% 260 Rem
2. Emmons, Richard 1,228.78 3X 84.7% 6XC
3. Milkovich, Tim 1,199.00 2X 82.7% 6XC
4. Powers, Todd 1,188.35 4X 81.9% 260 Rem
5. McGinnis, Matt 1,187.00 1X 81.9% 243 Win
6. Jefferies, James 1,181.91 4X 81.5% 243 Win
7. Keim, Jason 1,181.35 3X 81.5% 243 Win
8. Denny, Jacob 1,169.15 2X 80.6% 260 Rem
9. Kerr, Ryan 1,163.42 1X 80.2% 243 Win
10. Gardner, George 1,162.85 2X 80.2% 243 Win

Special Categories
Top 308 Win Shooter: Tim Canupp, 943 0X

Top Long Range Shooter: David Skit 647 4X

Top Steel Shooter: Francis Kuehl 886.12

Fastest Shooter: Francis Kuehl 42.88 seconds

Top LE/Mil Shooter: Tim Milkovich

2011 TBRC prone with barricades

Story Tip from Edlongrange. Photo courtesy ThePackingRat.net. We welcome submissions by readers.
Permalink - Videos, Competition 2 Comments »
February 14th, 2011

New Featured Rifle Story — The Bear’s 6mm Super LR

Barry O. (aka “TheBlueEyedBear”) is a long-time AccuateShooter Forum member and friend of the site. Each year he manages to acquire another good-looking, great shooting rifle. In 2009 he took delivery of an amazing 4000 fps 300 WSM varminter, and for 2010 he put together a fantastic 6mm Super LR long-range varminter on a BAT SV action. Barry actually sourced many of the components for his new rifle through our AccurateShooter Forum Free Classifieds. CLICK HERE to read all about Barry’s new BAT-Actioned varmint rifle, the latest in our popular Gun of the Week Series.

CLICK Photo to Read Full Story
BlueEyedBear Gun

The Richard Franklin walnut LowRider stock (above) for Barry’s new rifle came from fellow Forum member “Preacher”, who also did most of the metal work. The gun is chambered as a 6mm Super LR. This is a 30°, long-necked wildcat based on the .243 Winchester parent case. The 6mm Super LR was developed by Robert Whitley, who wanted something similar to the 6XC, but with “more boiler room” to push the 115s comfortably at 2950-3050 fps.

6mm Super LR Gun

The 6mm Super LR wildcat is easy to make. Robert Whitley figured out how to reform domestic .243 Win brass with one simple pass through a Redding 6mm Super LR full-length sizing die. Robert has commissioned these dies from Redding. He’s got them in stock right now. Call Robert at (215) 348-8789 to order. You can learn more about the 6mm Super LR on Whitley’s www.6mmAR.com website.

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 6 Comments »
August 19th, 2010

Whidden Shares Secrets of Championship Long-Range Rifles

John Whidden NRA Long Range championshipJohn Whidden of Whidden Gunworks used a collection of .243 Winchester and .308 Win rifles to win his third NRA National Long-Range Championship this week at Camp Perry. We had a chance to discuss Whidden’s winning guns during a long telephone conversation with John yesterday, as he motored back to Nashville, Georgia. John revealed some interesting facts about his long-range arsenal.

For the “Any sights, Any Rifle” and “Iron Sights, Any Rifle” stages of the Long-Range Championship, John used three different .243 Win rifles. He shoots the same load in all his .243s: Berger 105gr VLD bullets (moly-coated) with N160 powder and PMC (Russian) primers. The bullets are seated very long, with about .001″ neck tension, so the bullets “soft-seat” themselves into the rifling as he closes the bolt. This way he can use the same ammo in different guns and the bullets always find the same seating depth relative to the rifling. John uses a very stout load of N160 that drives his Berger 105s at about 3,300 fps. No that is not a misprint. John launches thin-jacket 105s at 3,300 fps and he doesn’t have an issue with bullet blow-ups. Moly helps keep the heat down, but John’s Broughton 5C (canted land) barrels are key. These are gentler on the jackets than barrels which have very tall or sharp lands.

Berger 105 VLD BulletsJohn shoots the Berger 6mm 105gr VLDs because they are a proven commodity that seem to work in a variety of barrels and cartridges: “We need something that is very reliable from an accuracy standpoint, match in and match out. The 105s are more reliably accurate over a range of different cartridges, barrels, and conditions. I’ve considered using the 115s, but I’ve heard mixed results. Across the whole range of variables, the 105s and 107s always seem to work for people but I’ve heard a lot of mixed results with the 115s.”

At 3,300 fps, the 105s deliver ballistics that are hard to beat, according to John: “My .243 shoots inside a 6.5-284 with 142s. Nothing out there is really ahead of [the .243], in 1000-yard ballistics unless you get into the short magnums or .284s and those carry a very significant recoil penalty. In the past I did shoot the 6.5-284. I went to the .243 because it had similar ballistics but had much less recoil. It doesn’t beat me up as much and is not as fatiguing.

With the .243… there’s no tensing-up, no anticipating. With the reduced recoil, I can break and shoot very good quality shots. I find I just shoot better shots with the .243 than I ever did with the 6.5-284.”

John’s primary “Any Sights” .243 is built on a Winchester m70 action, it has a Broughton 32″, 1:8″ twist 5C (canted land) barrel. This gun shot very well, but he did have a firing pin issue during the Remington Band of Brothers match on Day 1 of the Long-Range competition, so he was forced to bring out his back-up “Any Sights” gun. This features a Stolle Panda action, and Broughton 30″, 1:8″ twist 5C barrel. Both guns employ a Nightforce 8-32x56mm Benchrest Scope. John joked: “I’ve done a lot of hauling back-up guns across the country for no reason in the past, but this time it mattered a lot.”

For the “Iron Sights, Any Rifle” stages Whidden uses a .243 Win with a Gilkes-Ross action, Warner Rear Sight, and CG front sight with +0.5 diopter. As with John’s scoped .243s, this gun has an 8-twist, light Palma contour, Broughton 5C barrel. This is the same gun and 32″ barrel John used to set the Leech Cup record in 2008. It has about 650 rounds through the barrel. The chambering, as with his other “Any Rifle” guns, is a “plain vanilla .243 Win”.

.308 Palma Rifle Shooting 185gr VLDs with N140
Whidden’s .308 Winchester Palma Rifle is the same rifle we featured as our Gun of the Week Number 59 (photo below). It’s the same gun with the same barrel, a 32″ Broughton 10-twist with 5C rifling, light Palma contour. Round-count on this barrel is over 3000! John’s current .308 Win load is a very stout charge of N140 power, PMC primers, and 185gr Berger moly-coated VLDs. The brass is Lapua .308 Win with the standard large primer pocket/large flash holes. He turns his case-necks for a .333″ loaded round in a .343″-necked chamber, which was cut with the popular “95 Palma” reamer. As with his .243s, John loads his .308 ammo long and “soft-seats” his bullets with bolt closure.

John Whidden .308 Gun of the Week

John Whidden .308 Rifle

Barrel Selection is Key to Running 6mm VLDs at Very High Velocities
Given John’s success with the .243 Winchester at Camp Perry, we asked him why more competitors weren’t using this cartridge at Perry. The combination of great ballistics and moderate recoil seems hard to beat. John explained: “There were several other .243s on the line. Lamar Jones, my travel partner, shot a .243, and there were a couple other guys out there. But there are more 6.5s I think. If there were an equipment list, I would be pretty certain that the 6.5-284 would be the majority in the ‘Any Rifle’ category.”

Importantly, John explained that it takes the right hardware to run the heavy 6mm bullets at high velocities. Bullet blow-up is a risk. John told us: “At the velocities I’m running the 105gr VLDs in the 243s, barrel brand selection is really important. You absolutely have to shoot a barrel that is easy on bullets to run these velocities. To avoid bullet blow-ups at these speeds, you can’t shoot barrels that have the tallest and sharpest rifling, such as you find with some cut-rifled barrels. I’m still shooting the thin-jacket Berger VLDs. I haven’t even switched to the thick-jacket bullets. To do this you need a rifling solution that is kinder to the bullet. The point I’m trying to drive home is that barrel selection is a very important factor. If my barrels didn’t work we would have smoked a lot of bullets. But that’s not the case with the Broughtons. I haven’t blown up a .243 bullet through a Broughton barrel.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading No Comments »
May 28th, 2010

Armalite Now Offering AR-10s Chambered in .243 Win

For the first time in six years, Armalite is producing a special run of semi-auto AR-10 rifles chambered in .243 Winchester. The .243 Win chambering is excellent for long-range target shooting as well as hunting most North American deer species (you want a bigger round for Elk). The new Armalite features a 20″ barrel, 2-stage “tactical” trigger, and a flat-top receiver with Picatinny rail. Units should start shipping in late July, with an MSRP of approximately $1600.00.

Armalite .243 Winchester AR10

Permalink New Product 1 Comment »
January 11th, 2010

New Tactical Bolt Action Rifles from Les Baer

Les Baer Custom (LBC) is a highly respected maker of “semi-custom” 1911 pistols and AR platform rifles. Now Baer moves into the precision bolt-action rifle market with impressive new offerings for 2010. Baer will sell two different bolt-guns, each fitted with a Stiller custom action and a cut-rifled barrel made in-house by LBC. Available chamberings (for both models) are .243 Win, .260 Rem, or .308 Win (later this year LCB will release a .338 Lapua). Remarkably, Baer guarantees these new guns can deliver half-MOA 10-shot groups with match grade ammo.

The new Les Baer Custom bolt-action rifles all feature a Stiller Tac 30 action with Picatinny rail, Wyatt precision floor plate with Wyatt detachable box magazine (DBM), along with a “match grade” 24″ cut-rifled, 5-groove LBC barrel. A Timney match trigger with 2.5-lb pull is fitted, and both action and barrel are coated in a matte-black Dupont S finish.

Les Baer tactical rifle

Two different Bell & Carlson composite stock designs are offered. The LBC Tactical Recon Bolt Action Rifle features a tactical-style stock, similar in appearance to the SAKO TRG stock. It has a vertical pistol grip, undercut toe, plus an adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable buttplate. MSRP for the “Tactical Recon” model is $3560.00.

Les Baer tactical rifle

If you want a lighter rifle with a more conventional stock, the LBC Tactical Varmint Classic features a varmint-style composite stock with a narrower fore-arm, “standard” wrist-grip shape, and a straight comb. There is a small hook in the underside of the buttstock. Like the “Tactical Recon” model, the “Tactical Varmint” features a Stiller action, Wyatt bottom metal/magazine, and 24″ cut-rifled barrel. MSRP for the “Tactical Varmint” is $3410.00.

New Les Baer Bolt-Guns have 10-shot Half-MOA Guarantee
We talked with Les Baer yesterday, and he told us that the prototype Baer tactical rifles have show outstanding accuracy during testing, producing some 1/2″ groups at TWO hundred yards. Accordingly, Baer is offering one of the best guarantees in the business. Both LBC tactical bolt-guns “are guaranteed to shoot 10-shot groups under 1/2 MOA with match grade ammo.”

Les Baer tactical rifle

The new LBC rifles will debut next week at SHOT Show in Las Vegas. We hope to get our hands on one for field testing. It will be interesting to see if the rifles can really put 10 shots inside one-half inch (center to center) at 100 yards.

Permalink New Product, News 8 Comments »