April 28th, 2018

.30-06 Revisited — The ‘Old Warhorse Ain’t Dead Yet’

.30-06 cartridge IMR 4350

This article first appeared in 2014. We are reprising it at the request of many readers who are fans of the .30-06 cartridge.

The “Old Warhorse” .30-06 Springfield cartridge is not dead. That’s the conclusion of Forum member Rick M., who has compared the 1000-yard performance of his .30-06 rifle with that of a rig chambered for the more modern, mid-sized 6.4×47 Lapua cartridge. In 12-16 mph full-value winds, the “inefficient and antiquated” .30-06 ruled. Rick reports:

“I was shooting my .30-06 this past Sunday afternoon from 1000 yards. The wind was hitting 12-16 mph with a steady 9 O’clock (full value) wind direction. My shooting buddy Jeff was shooting his 6.5×47 Lapua with 123gr Scenar bullets pushed by Varget. Jeff needed 13 MOA left windage to keep his 6.5x47L rounds inside the Palma 10 Ring. By contrast I only needed 11.5 MOA left windage with my .30-06. I was shooting my ’06 using the 185gr Berger VLD target bullet with H4350. I managed the same POI yet the .30-caliber bullet only needed 11.5 MOA windage. That’s significant. From this experience I’ve concluded that the Old Warhorse ain’t quite dead yet!”

.30-06 cartridge IMR 4350

Rick likes his “outdated” .30-06 rifle. He says it can deliver surprisingly good performance at long range:

“To many of the younger generation, the Old Warhorse .30-06 is ‘outdated’ but I can guarantee that the .30-06 Springfield is a VERY ACCURATE cartridge for 1000-yard shooting (and even out further if need be). With some of the advanced powders that we have today, the .30-06 will surprise many shooters with what it’s capable of doing in a good rifle with the right rate of twist. My rifle has a 1:10″ twist rate and I had it short-throated so that, as the throat erodes with time, I could just seat the bullets out further and keep right on shooting. My recent load is Berger 185gr Target VLDs pushed by IMR 4350. This is a very accurate load that moves this bullet along at 2825 fps.”

.30-06 cartridge IMR 4350

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 6 Comments »
January 12th, 2018

Father of all ARs — The Original Full-Auto AR-10

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Today, AR-platform rifles are hugely popular. Dozens of manufacturers sell AR-type rifles, in a wide variety of configurations and calibers. But before there were M16s and AR-15s, ArmaLite produced a 7.62×51 caliber rifle, the AR-10. Yes before there were millions of 5.56 black rifles, there was a .30-caliber big brother with reddish-brown furniture. Invented by Eugene (‘Gene’) Stoner for the Armalite company in the late 1950s, this is the father of all of today’s AR-platform rifles. Way ahead of its time, this remarkable, select-fire battle rifle weighed just 7.25 pounds as first developed.

If you’re curious about the AR-10, in this video, Jerry Miculek puts an original 1957-vintage AR-10 through its paces on the range. This extremely rare, early-production rifle was provided by Mr. Reed Knight and the Institute of Military Technology. (The gun in the video was actually produced in the Netherlands under license, see video at 4:40.) This AR-10 is the direct ancestor of the AR-15, M16, and many of the modern sporting rifles that we use today.

The AR-10 was slim and light, weighing in at around 7 pounds. Some folks might argue that the original “old-school” AR10 is actually better that some of today’s heavy, gadget-laden ARs. The AR-10’s charging “lever” was under the carry handle — that made it easier to manipulate with the gun raised in a firing position.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

You’ll notice there is no “forward assist”. Inventor Gene Stoner did not believe a separate “bolt-pusher” was necessary. The forward assist was added to solve problems encountered in Viet Nam. Some critics say the forward assist “only takes a small problem and makes it a big problem.” For today’s competition ARs (that are never dragged through the mud) the forward assist probably is superfluous. It is rarely if ever needed.

AR-10 Armalite Jerry Miculek

Note also that the handguards are fairly slim and tapered. Today, six decades after the first AR-10 prototypes, we are now seeing these kind of slim handguards (made from aluminum or lightweight composites) used on “full race” ARs campaigned in 3-gun competition.

History of the AR-10
The AR-10 is a 7.62 mm battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite, then a division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation. When first introduced in 1956, the AR-10 used an innovative straight-line barrel/stock design with phenolic composite and forged alloy parts resulting in a small arm significantly easier to control in automatic fire and over one pound lighter than other infantry rifles of the day. Over its production life, the original AR-10 was built in relatively small numbers, with fewer than 9,900 rifles assembled.

In 1957, the basic AR-10 design was substantially modified by ArmaLite to accommodate the .223 Remington cartridge, and given the designation AR-15. ArmaLite licensed the AR-10 and AR-15 designs to Colt Firearms. The AR-15 eventually became the M16 rifle.

AR-10 photos from Arms Izarra, a Spanish company specializing in de-militarized, collectible firearms. Interestingly, this particular AR-10 was produced in the Netherlands under license.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos 8 Comments »
December 13th, 2016

TECH TIP: Rebate Larger Case Rims to Shoot with PPC Actions

30BR 6 PPC rim rebated Butch Lambert

Many short-range Benchresters have thought about converting their 6 PPC to shoot a 30BR for score matches, or a Dasher for mid-range (or even 1000-yard) games. That way you have a rifle that does double duty, giving you the most bang for your buck. Though an action with a PPC bolt won’t normally work with 30BR/6BR/Dasher cases with their larger .308-class rim (0.4728″ diameter), there is a pretty easy solution that allows you to cycle these bigger cartridges with a 6PPC-style bolt (designed to fit .220 Russian rims).

“Rebating case rims … lets you shoot a 30BR in score matches using your PPC action. All you need is a new barrel. This saves buying another bolt, receiver, or rifle.” — Butch Lambert

Butch Lambert of ShadeTree Engineering provided this tip. Butch notes that many 6 PPC benchrest group shooters also enjoy shooting in score matches. But to be really competitive in the BR for score game, that means shooting a 30BR, which has a wider, .308-class rim (0.4728″ diameter). Likewise, if you want to compete in 600-yard registered BR events or in varmint matches, you probably want to run a bigger case, such as the 6BR, 6mm Dasher, or 6-6.5×47. Those cartridges also have the larger 0.4728″ rims.

30Br Butch Lambers 6 PPC

To convert a PPC-boltface action to shoot the bigger cases you can spend a ton of money and buy a new bolt. That can cost hundreds of dollars. The simpler solution is to turn down the diameter of the larger cases on a lathe. Butch explains: “We’ve seen plenty of interest in rebating case rims. This lets you shoot a 30BR in score matches using your PPC action. All you need is a new barrel. This saves buying another bolt, receiver, or rifle if you have a PPC boltface. Anyone who has access to a lathe can do this job pretty easily. Yesterday I turned 150 case in about an hour.” Below is the lathe form tool Butch uses to rebate the case rims.


Cutting Head for Rebating Rims

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
March 14th, 2016

New Equalizer Scoring Reticle for Score Matches

VFS Scoring Reticle

No doubt you’ve heard the term “reticle” before, but it probably brings to mind the cross-hair you see through a rifle-scope. This term “reticle” can also describe an optical aid used to score targets. This story discusses a new scoring reticle with precisely-defined circles etched on clear plexiglass. This scoring reticle (as attached to a magnifying crystal) is used to determine whether bullet holes fall inside or outside the scoring circles on targets. This unique new scoring reticle allows match scorers to “equalize” the shot placements of all popular calibers from .204 up to .308. This way, there’s a “level playing field” for all calibers, and any caliber rifle can compete on an equal basis with the 30s.

New ‘Equalizer’ VFS Scoring Reticle

by Ron Goodger
The ubiquitous controversy over the advantage of larger caliber bullets in VFS (Varmint for Score) matches still rages, but there is a simple solution that is being embraced by all to whom I have shown it. The concept is simple, and it accomplishes the same thing the UBR (Ultimate Benchrest) targets do with the advantage that it can be used on any target a club happens to have on hand.

I had heard shooters complain about the advantage that larger calibers have many times and wish there was a fair way to score targets that would level the playing field for all calibers. The UBR concept came along and I read up on it. When a match was held close enough that I could enter, I did so and observed first hand what it was all about. The UBR targets essentially make the distance from the bullet hole center to the scoring ring edge the same for each caliber by using different-sized rings on the caliber-specific targets. After seeing the accompanying disadvantages of using this method (the chief one being the large number of targets required by UBR rules and the resulting increased time required to hold a match), I began searching for a simpler way to accomplish the same thing. I was aware of a number of mid-West clubs wanting to make scoring fair but unwilling to use the UBR method because of the disadvantages.

VFS Scoring Reticle

I came up with an idea late in 2015 and designed a scoring reticle that would do the job. The following diagrams graphically explain how UBR and my scoring reticle accomplish the same thing. The illustration above shows how different caliber bullets hitting the same center point of impact will each just score the 10 ring edge on the different-sized, caliber-specific UBR 10 Rings . It is clear that it is the distance from the center of the bullet to the scoring ring that is made uniform by the different 10 Ring sizes.

VFS Scoring Reticle

The illustration below shows how my VFS scoring reticle accomplishes the same thing by scoring every shot with an .308-equivalent ring that circumscribes the inner caliber-specific ring. The dotted line shows that the center of each bullet hits the same distance from the edge of the scoring ring. It is clear that, using current VFS scoring techniques, the .224, .243, and .257 bullets would score misses. However, scoring each bullet with the .308 ring around the hole illustrates that all calibers would be scored the same.

Scoring Reticle Converts Any Caliber Shot to a .308-Equivalent Hole
VFS Scoring Reticle

The above photo of an IBS 100-yard target has a 6mm hole that is clearly a nine (9), using current scoring methods. But consider that, if a .308 bullet from a 30 BR hit in the very same location, that .30-caliber shot would score in the Ten Ring. Why should the 6mm bullet, whose center was just as close to the middle of the target, be penalized because of the bullet diameter? The image on the right shows the scoring reticle with the 6mm scoring ring centered on this hole. With this scoring reticle, the .308 ring around the 6mm hole clearly scores the 10 Ring, just as a 30-caliber bullet centered in the same spot would do. That is as fair as it can get.

VFS Scoring Reticle

The above image (two shots per frame) from a Hillsdale Michigan varmint target has two 6mm holes that scored a 16. Score values are 10 points for a shot in the white, 5 points for a shot in the orange, and 1 point for hitting the center dot. This was a match that had 30BRs shooting in it. The next photo shows how scoring this frame with the VFS reticle would have resulted in a 21 because the left side of the reticle’s .308 circle just extends into the 10-point white bulls-eye region. So, in effect, there were two (2) shots in the white for 2×10 points (based on the .308 equalizer effect of the reticle). This shows how the reticle will level the VFS playing field regardless of what target is being used.

VFS Scoring Reticle Features and Specifications
The 6mm circles have been placed in the center of the reticle because it is expected to be the most commonly-used caliber, and that makes it easier to see in the crystal. Any of the ring sets can be used for a .308. The sizes of the circles are guaranteed accurate to within .001″ on the outside edge of the circle by the reticle’s manufacturer. I have found the best magnifier crystal to use is a genuine Badash crystal that measures 3.25″ in diameter. They are available from several eBay sellers and are easily attached using a piece of packing tape about 3/4-inch wide around the edge of the reticle (visible on the crystal in the lower part of the photo). That makes the Plexiglas reticles easy to replace in the event they become scratched up from frequent use.

A number of Midwest rifle clubs have already purchased these scoring reticles. The Plexiglas reticles are available for $15.00 each plus $2.04 shipping from the author (does not include the crystal). Email him at LRGoodger [at] gmail dot com for more information.

Permalink Competition, New Product, Optics 7 Comments »
November 25th, 2015

Lapua Brass on Sale at Brownells

Lapua Brass Sale

Here’s something you don’t see very often — Lapua cartridge brass on sale. As part of its Back-to-Black promotion, Brownells has deeply discounted its inventories of Lapua Brass. For most cartridges/calibers, the price has been reduced at least $10.00 per 100-count box. Here are the sale prices, good through the end of the week:

.222 Rem – $53.99 (reg. $61.99)
.223 Rem – $53.99 (reg. $61.99)
220 Russian – $89.99 (reg. $99.99)
.22-250 – $89.99 (reg. $99.99)
6mmBR – $81.99 (reg. $91.99)
.243 Winchester – $89.99 (reg. $99.99)
6.5 Grendel – $89.99 (reg. $99.99)
6.5×47 Lapua – $99.99 (reg. $109.99)

260 Remington – $89.99 (reg. $99.99)
6.5×55 Swedish – $71.99 (reg. $81.99)
6.5-284 – $109.99 (reg. $124.99)
7.62×39 – $54.99 (reg. $59.99)
.308 Winchester – $69.99 (reg. $79.99)
.308 Win Palma – $76.99 (reg. $86.99)
.30-06 Springfield – $99.99 (reg. $109.99)
.338 Lapua Magnum – $239.99 (reg. $269.99)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
August 6th, 2014

Report from the NRA Fullbore Nationals by Kelly Bachand

Report by Kelly Bachand, for Kelly’s Gun Sales Blog.
Tuesday, August 5th, was the first day of the actual competition. The weather forecast was for rain with an 80% chance of thunderstorms. We somehow snuck through on that 20% and had great shooting weather all day. We shot 300 yards, 600 yards, and 800 yards on Tuesday with 15 shots at each. For the 300-yard line and part of the 600-yard line the wind came out of the west, as usual. Part way through the 600-yard line it started to switch and for the rest of the day it only came out of the north east or directly out of the east.

Kelly fullbore championship camp Perry

Int’l Fullbore Targets — More Challenging Than NRA Targets
The ICFRA (International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations) targets are sometimes smaller than the NRA targets we are used to shooting in the USA. The 300-yard target has an especially small bullseye; it must be just 2.5″ across or something. Interestingly, these targets are also 5-V targets as opposed to our 10-X targets. This means the maximum points that can be scored with each shot is 5 points (instead of 10) and the tie-break ring is called the V-Ring (instead of the X-Ring). As a rehearsal for the 2015 World Long Range Championships, I think the match is off to a great start. There have been some logistical issues that have come up (and they only would have by running this match), so I’m very hopeful that the match directors will have all of their ducks in a row next year.

In a match like this, with the relatively calm wind conditions we had today, the top few shooters will likely go the whole day without dropping a single point and they’ll do it with a pretty high V-count. That means scores of 75 with 10+ Vs at every yard line are likely what it takes to find yourself towards the top (75-15V is the maximum score possible). I had a 75-9V at 300 and I was quite pleased with the group I shot, it must have been just a few inches tall. As one of the previous US Palma Team members, all of my shots in this match are being plotted and evaluated as part of the US Palma Team try-outs. It’s a very good incentive to break great shots.

Trigger Certification Rules
One of the fun things about shooting with ICFRA rules is that after someone shoots a possible (gets all the possible points, like 75 out of 75) they have to immediately get their trigger pull-weight tested. [That’s interesting] because you get to watch your friends come off the line and you immediately know how they did and can quickly give them a thumbs-up and rush over to congratulate them.

There is some really great shooting going on. I saw a lot of high scores shot at 800 yards. One under-25 lady from across the pond (Chloe Evans) spent most of today showing all the rest of us how it is done. It looks like she finished the day with a 225-36V. For the day, I had a 224-30V out of a possible 225-45V. I highly recommend following the scores online:

CLICK HERE for Current Fullbore Match Results from NRA website.

Permalink Competition 1 Comment »
September 23rd, 2013

Need Bullets? Grafs.com Has Major-Brand Seconds on Sale Now

Graf and sons grafs.com factory seconds blem bullets projectiles discountAre you a high-volume shooter who needs large quantities of bullets at a reasonable cost? Well here’s a very good deal on name-brand bullets. Grafs.com has recently acquired a big inventory of factory seconds from a major, top-tier bullet maker. These bullets should shoot fine, but they may have water spots, discoloration, or some other cosmetic defect. We can’t reveal the manufacturer, but you may be able to figure it out from the list of bullets below. Here are some of the current offerings:

.224 Caliber (5.56 mm), 77gr HPBT, $18.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB2277)

.243 Caliber (6mm), 80gr SP Varmint, $15.59 per hundred (Item #: GRB2480)

.243 Caliber (6mm), 100gr SPT, $18.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB24100)

.308 Caliber, 155gr HPBT, $25.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB30155)

.308 Caliber, 168gr HPBT, $25.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB30168)

.308 Caliber, 175gr HPBT, $27.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB30175)

.308 Caliber, 220gr HPBT, $29.99 per hundred (Item #: GRB30220)

Graf and sons grafs.com factory seconds blem bullets projectiles discount

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
February 6th, 2013

6BR vs. 223 Rem and .308 Win — Recoil Comparison

6mmBR NormaMany visitors to the site ask us, “I’ve got a .223 and .308. What will a 6mmBR Norma (6BR) give me that I’m not getting already?” Well first you will probably average consistently smaller groups than your current .223 or .308 rifle (assuming the 6BR has a quality barrel and trigger). A good .308 Winchester can be superbly accurate, no question about that, but the lesser recoil of the 6BR works in the shooter’s favor over a long string of fire. Even with a Rem 700 or Savage action factory action, a 6BR with a benchrest stock, premium barrel, and a high-quality chambering job should deliver 5-shot groups in the high twos to mid-threes, provided you do your job. We have one 6BR rifle that shoots Lapua factory-loaded 6BR ammunition in the low twos and high ones. That’s exceptional, we admit, but it still shows how the 6BR is an inherently accurate cartridge, even with factory loads.

Compared to a .223, the 6BR offers a much better selection of high-BC projectiles, and will deliver considerably more power on the target. Compared to the .308 shooting 168gr MatchKings, a 6BR shooting 105-107gr bullets offers better ballistics all the way out to 1000 yards. Plus, for most people, the 6BR is just easier to shoot than a .308. Recoil is less than half of the .308 cartridge. Both the .308 and 6BR chamberings offer good barrel life, but the 6BR uses 15-18 grains less powder, saving you money. Here’s how the 6BR stacks up vs. a number of popular calibers:

Permalink News, Tech Tip 14 Comments »
November 9th, 2011

Berger Adds 215gr and 230gr Hybrids to .30 Caliber Bullet Line

Berger bulletsRecently, Berger released two new .30 caliber Hybrid Target bullets, a 215-grainer and a 230-grainer. With this new pair of projectiles, Berger now offers .30 Cal Hybrids in weights of 155 gr, 168 gr, 185 gr, 200 gr, 215 gr, and 230 grains. These bullets use a Hybrid nose designed by Bryan Litz to optimize long-range performance and enhance “tunability”. The Hybrid nose starts with a tangent shape and transitions into a secant shape. This allows these bullets to be much less seating-depth sensitive (than the VLD) while at the same time the secant portion reduces drag (for a higher BC). Berger’s Eric Stecker: “It is my understanding that each of these [new Hybrid] bullets has the highest BC of any bullets in their weight class. Combine this with being easier to tune and what you get is six new projectiles that raise the performance bar for .30 cal rifles.”

Berger Bullets .30 Cal Hybrids

Berger Rolled Out 11 New Bullet Designs in 2011
This has been a busy year for Berger Bullets. It has introduced eleven (11) all-new projectile designs. In addition, Berger re-labeled two of its popular bullets. Here’s a summary of the new offerings:

  • 6mm 105 gr Hybrid Target
  • .30 cal 155 gr Hybrid Target
  • .30 cal 168 gr Hybrid Target
  • .30 cal 185 gr Juggernaut Target (Name change — this was formerly called the 185 gr Long Range BT.)
  • .30 cal 185 gr Hybrid Target
  • .30 cal 200 gr Hybrid Target
  • .30 cal 215 gr Hybrid Target
  • .30 Cal 230 gr Hybrid Target
  • .22 Cal 77 gr OTM Tactical (Name change — this is the same bullet as the .22 cal 77 gr BT Target, but it’s new to the Tactical line).
  • .30 Cal 175 gr OTM Tactical (designed for .308 Win to be a transonic-stable option.)
  • .30 Cal 185 gr Juggernaut OTM Tactical (designed as a transonic-stable option for the 300 Win Mag.)
  • .30 Cal 230 gr Hybrid OTM Tactical (designed as a supersonic option for the 300 Win Mag.)
  • .338 Cal 300 gr Hybrid OTM Tactical (this is the redesigned Gen 2 version.)
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 5 Comments »
February 26th, 2010

Armalite Brings Back AR10(T) Carbine — Good for Hog Hunters

The basic AR15, with upgrades to barrel, trigger, optics and “furniture” has evolved into an extremely effective varminter, chambered in .223 Rem, or a .20-caliber such as the 20 Practical. Hunters have also adapted the AR10 platform, with its ability to fire a .308 Winchester-sized cartridge, for use on deer and Elk. Now ArmaLite has “re-introduced” a handy, compact AR10 carbine that should be ideal for hog hunters.

The folks at ArmaLite received many requests for a lighter, more compact version of the AR10. Armalite responded: “We did a small limited run and we’re pushing its use as a varmint hunter… especially good against wild boars. One of our ArmaLite gunsmiths got the idea from some buddies in Texas who are using their Ts against the wild hogs. This AR-10(T) Carbine combines the light weight and compact size of the carbine with the accuracy of the Target Model.” This AR10(T) carbine features a 16″, 1:11.25″ twist barrel, fitted to a forged, flat-top receiver with built-in Picatinny rail. With a compact 37.5″ length, the gun weighs 8.6 pounds (3.9 kg). Included with the rifle are one 10-round mag, and one 20-round mag. MSRP is $1892.00.

Armalite AR10 T Carbine

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
January 22nd, 2010

SHOT Show Report: New 'National Match' Die Sets, New Calibers, and Versa Pak Reloading Kit

Gas gunners take note — for 2010 Redding has created new “National Match” reloading sets in .223 Remington, .308 Winchester, and 30-06 Springfield. These new three-die sets are designed expressly for the AR15, M1A, and M1 Garand used in High Power comps and Garand matches. These kits include a full-length sizing die, a Competition Seater Die, and a taper crimp die. Previously these dies were only offered individually. If you’re shooting an AR, Garand, or M1A, these new sets may be just what you need.

In addition to the National Match die sets, Redding has added new calibers to its die catalog for 2010. Complete die sets will now be offered for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor, the 260 Rem Improved 40° (also know as the 260 Ackley), and the 458 Socom. This should please the growing numbers of High Power shooters using the 6.5 Creedmoor, and the tactical guys looking for more velocity than a standard 260 Rem can deliver.

New Complete Basic Reloading Set
For shooters just getting started in reloading, Redding has put together a new basic reloading package that contains virtually everything you need except a press and dies. Redding’s new Versa Pak includes a reloading scale, powder measure, case trimer, powder trickler, case lube pad, funnel, deburring tool, and other case prep tools. In addition, the Versa Pak comes with the Hodgdon Reloading Manual and Redding’s excellent Advanced Handloading DVD. The Versa Pak will retail for about $350.00. That may sound like a lot, but if you add up the cost of all the gear included in the Versa Pak, it is a good value. You’ll also save time (and shipping costs) by acquiring all the essential tools at one time.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink - Videos, New Product, News, Reloading No Comments »
December 15th, 2009

Review of Accuracy International AE MKII

Accuracy International AE MK IIOn the GunsandHunting.com (Shooting Illustrated) website, you’ll find a well-written, in-depth review of the updated Accuracy International AE MKII rifle in .308 Winchester. (The MKII title means the rifle has a threaded barrel with brake.) The reviewer, Steve Adelmann, is a former Army sniper, so he certainly knows his tactical rifles. Adelmann praised the rifle’s ergonomics and folding stock. He also said the detachable mag system is one of the best available: “AI’s rifles also allow the magazine to be pushed straight into and dropped from the magazine well[.] The feeding and function of the five- and 10-round magazines were flawless during my evaluation, totaling 230 rounds.”

We often hear claims about tactical rifles delivering “benchrest-quality accuracy” when shot from bipod with factory ammo. We always take such reports with a grain of salt. For this article, at 100 yards, Adelmann tested two types of factory ammo, and three sets of handloaded ammo. The average accuracy of ALL the ammunition, based on five, 5-shot groups for each type, was right around one MOA (see chart).

Accuracy International AE MK II

We’re pleased Adelmann published honest results with five groups per load. Some testers will only shoot one or two 3-shot groups, which can give a false impression of the rifle’s true accuracy. Adelman writes: “The rifle still managed sub-MOA performance with the best factory ammo and handloads averaged together for all distances.”

CLICK HERE for full Accuracy Int’l AE MK II Review

Photos and Charts © 2009 National Rifle Association

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review 7 Comments »
December 11th, 2009

Report from Arizona Palma State Championship

Match Report by German Salazar
This past week 89 shooters competed in what is traditionally the biggest winter Palma match in the USA — the 2009 Arizona Palma State Championship. Held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix on December 4-6, the event included Palma, F-Open and F-TR classes. Ben Avery’s High Power range has 100 firing points to 1000 yards and is renowned for challenging conditions and excellent match administration.

Trend Towards Heavy Bullets
Chatting with competitors, we noted an increase in the use of bullets heavier than 155 grains, with the Berger 185 being the most frequently mentioned alternative, although the Berger 175 was also in use as were Sierra and Berger 190 grain bullets. Competitor frustration with the availability of Varget and its ever-changing burn rate are driving an increased use of H4895, IMR 4320 and IMR 4064 in the Palma. Tubeguns were also much in evidence, being a Western favorite with large number of them on the line in the hands of the California and Arizona shooters. Gary Eliseo was on hand as always and had a good performance throughout.

Ben Avery Shooting Facility

Match Kicks Off With Tough Conditions
The match opened Friday, December 4, as all Palma matches do, with the 800-yard stage. Relay after relay battled cold north winds. Over half the competitors were High Masters, yet only two shooters fired scores of 150 — Tom Whitaker of California and Phil Hayes of Arizona. As the morning wore on and the competitors moved back to 900 and 1000 yards, the wind eased off a bit and scores improved with 150s becoming more common. At the end of the day, Whitaker’s 450-30X topped the list, followed by Bryan Litz of Berger Bullets and Kelly Bachand from Washington.

On Saturday morning, the desert chill remained, but the flags hung limply, raising hopes for high scores. Those expectations were realized as Bud Solis, a retired Seattle police officer, put up a sterling 450-25X to lead the day. Close behind (all with 449 scores) were Bachand, Gary Rasmussen (WA), German Salazar (AZ), and Randy Teissedre (CA). The final day, Sunday, conditions began relatively calm but progressively got windier with frequent direction changes. No one was able to master the conditions for a 450, but the mother-daughter duo from Prescott, AZ, Nancy Tompkins and Michelle Gallagher, came closest, each shooting a 449 with Nancy’s 29X just edging out Michelle’s 26X. David Littlefield (WA) and Jim O’Connell (CA) also shot 449s on Sunday.

Gallagher Wins Match, with Whitaker and Bachand One Point Behind
Michelle Gallagher posted a 3-day tally of 1345-81X, giving her a one-point victory over runner-up Tom Whitaker (1344-91X) and third place Kelly Bachand (1344-79X). Note that Tom had ten more Xs than Michelle, but came up just one-point shy. Bryan Litz finished fourth overall, with German Salazar in fifth (on a tie-breaker over Michael Storer). All the Top Ten are listed, with scores, in the table below. In Team Competition, the US Team coached by Gary Rasmussen compiled a 1787-95X, edging second-place Team Berger (1783-96X) and third-place Bald Eagles Grand Seniors (1782-75X).

CLICK HERE for Individual Match Results | CLICK HERE for TEAM Match Results

Litz Bachand palma championshipTop Ten Grand Aggregate
1. MICHELLE GALLAGHER: 1345-81X – MW
2. TOM WHITAKER: 1344-91X – HiSR
3. KELLY BACHAND: 1344-79X – HM
4. BRYAN LITZ: 1343-91X – HM
5. GERMAN SALAZAR: 1339-68X – HM
6. MICHAEL STORER: 1339-68X – HiJR
7. FELIX SOLIS: 1338-59X – HM
8. ROBERT GUSTIN: 1337-64X – HM
9. ALLEN SPIKER: 1335-50X – HM
10. JIM O’CONNELL – 1332-62X – HM

The F-Open Class was won by Rick Curtis of Phoenix at 1328-67X with Darren Sucato, another tough Phoenix shooter in second place. F-TR went to John Chilton with his factory Savage F-TR rifle putting up an impressive 1308-45X.

There are weekly matches in Phoenix for across the course High Power, Prone, F-Class, and Smallbore. A complete schedule is found on www.desertsharpshooters.com. The Arizona state association website ASRPA.com also has useful information.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 4 Comments »
July 8th, 2009

SoCal Tactical Match This Weekend

The 4th annual Southern California Precision Rifle Competition (SCPRC) will be held July 11-12, 2009 at the West End Gun Club, 20 minutes west of San Bernadino, CA. Match director Mark Archuleta, aka “Spaniard”, runs a great match, with a diverse and challenging course of fire. 50 shooters have already registered for the match, one of the most popular tactical comps on the West Coast. This year’s event will include night shooting, 10-12 core stages, and (new this year), a .22LR side match. For more information on the course of fire, and match rules, visit the WEGC Forum and Read this Thread for a complete run-down on the event.

Mark reports: “Surprises? we have a few of those, so be prepared. All targets will be 1 MOA or bigger. We have paper, reactive and some special targets. Some of the stages are a hybrid of the Sniper Comps you have seen on Discovery Channel. We will be shooting UKD (unknown distances) and LRF are allowed. You will be shooting from terrain (dirt) and barricade as before. There will be some angle shooting as well. The farthest shot will be about 625 yards at angle 5 – 10°, the closest roughly 75 yards.

This event draws top tactical marksmen from around the country. Mark noted: “Last year, at our third SCPRC, and we had shooters from all over the US.” You can see highlights from the 2008 event in our Shooters’ Forum, and below are some photos from the 2008 Match:

Vu Pham from Nor-Cal (above) hit both his cold bore shots on day 1 & 2 last July. There was a 3.5″ Clay pigeon set at about 325 yards, with roughly a 10° down angle. In 2006, 7 out of 22 shooters made the hit, in 2008, 12 out of 34 shooters made the hit. Some folks don’t think that the 10°-15° slope makes a difference, but it does.

Above, Phil demonstrates textbook bipod shooting: working the bolt, maintaining a solid cheek weld and keeping an eye on the next target.

Click Here for Complete 2009 SCPRC Tactical Match Information.

Permalink Competition 1 Comment »
April 11th, 2009

HOT DEALS for Easter Weekend

Barnes Varmint BulletsMany of the major online vendors are offering special deals over the Easter Weekend (or through the end of April). Here are some of the better promos we found today. Check the home pages of Grafs.com, Midsouth, and MidwayUSA for other current bargains.

Grafs.com 7.62×51 Ammo
Right now supplies of .223 and .308 mil-surp ammo are in high demand. Grafs.com has obtained a large quantity of quality 1982-83 vintage FNM (Portugese) 7.62×51 ammo. This is NON-CORROSIVE, lead-core, Berdan-primed ammo. Graf’s item MSA762X511, the FNM ammo is priced at $12.99 per 20-round box. For those wanting large quantities, there are sealed plastic 200-round (10 box) “battle-packs”. A full 1000-round wooden cases contains five (5) 200-round sealed “battle-packs”. Note: this Berdan-primed ammo is brass-cased, but is NOT reloadable.

Barnes Varmint Bullets

Midsouth Shooters Supply Turkey Load Rebate
Here’s a great deal for spring turkey hunters. Midsouth has teamed with Hevi-Shot to offer a cash rebate if you purchase Hevi-13 Turkey Shotshells. Max rebate is $15.00. Fill in the downloadable rebate form to receive $5.00 OFF per 5-round box of Hevi-13 Turkey Shotshells (Up to 3 boxes per household), or $7.50 OFF per 10-round box of Hevi-13 Turkey Shotshells (Up to 2 boxes per household).

Hevi-Shot Rebate

CLICK HERE to download HEVI-SHOT Rebate Form (.pdf file).

MidwayUSA Barnes Varmint Bullets
MidwayUSA is running a sale right now on its entire inventory of lead-free Barnes Varmint Grenade Bullets, in .204, .224, and .243 calibers. Varmint Grenade bullets feature a frangible copper/tin composite core. They are accurate bullets that can be driven at very high velocities without coming apart, yet they fragment explosively upon impact. Varmint Grenades range in size from a 26gr .204-caliber all the way up to a 62gr 6mm.

Barnes Varmint Bullets

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »