November 5th, 2018

Bargain Finder 163: 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 Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, 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. RCBS — Save 25% on Select Dispenser/Scales, Progressive Presses, Prep Centers, and Ultrasonic Machines

RCBS 25% off sale November discount savings

RCBS wants you to “buy green” in November. Now through November 30, 2018 you can get 25% Instant Savings on a variety of RCBS’s most popular products, including the ChargeMaster Lite, ProChucker Progressive Presses, and both the Trim Mate and Universal Case Prep Centers. Ultrasonic cleaning machines are also discounted. This is easy-peasy — no forms to fill out and no waiting on rebates. Just shop at your favorite retailer, and you’ll find qualifying products 25% cheaper than last month.

Credit EdLongrange for finding this deal.

2. CDNN — Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis 6.5cm, $899.99

Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis Sale

Looking for an out of the box sub-MOA rifle for under $1000? CDNN has the Weatherby Vanguard Chassis Rifle on sale for $899.99. This features a Vanguard action affixed to a CNC-machined, 6061 aluminum chassis with a black, hard-anodized finish in two great calibers for only $899.99. You can also pick up the .223 Rem version $899.99 as well. This price probably won’t last long so grab it while you can.

3. Natchez — Burris MTAC 4.5-14x42mm Scope, $219.99

Burris MTAC Scope Sale

Need a practical mid-power, milrad scope at 60% off? Here’s a deal you don’t want to pass up. Natchez has the Burris MTAC 4.5-14x42mm tactical scope for just $219.99. The scope’s Ballistic Milling Reticle is a milrad-based reticle with .5 mil and 1 mil hash marks on the horizontal crosshair and top half of the vertical crosshair. These hash marks allow for precise distance measurement, and assist in proper hold-off for wind. At a savings of nearly $330, this is a steller optics bargain for anyone looking for a milrad scope.

4. Amazon — RCBS Partner Press, $79.99

RCBS Partner Press Sale

Wish you had a partner when you reload? Now you do when you pick up this RCBS Partner Press from Amazon for just $79.99. The Partner Press is easy to use and incredibly durable, yet is the most affordable press in the RCBS line. It’s perfect as a second press for different operations or a portable press for use at the range. You can also pick up an entire RCBS Master Reloading Kit on Amazon for $319.49

5. Bruno’s — CCI BR-4 Small Rifle Benchrest Primers, $47.95

CCI BR-4 Primer Sale

Screaming deal? Well, no. But when you need them you’ll wish you had stocked up at this price. Bruno’s has the hard-to-find CCI BR-4 small rifle primers marked down to $47.95. An independent researcher identified the use of CCI Benchrest primers as one of two factors that were the most significant contributors to tiny groups. If you’re not using these already and are looking to tighten your groups this just might be the answer. While not on sale you can also find the CCI BR-2 Large Rifle Primers for $54.60.

6. EuroOptic — Leica CRF 2000-B, $399.00

Leica 2000-B Rangemaster Laser LRF Rangefinder Sale Eurooptics.com

This may be the best deal we’ve seen on the vaunted Leica 2000-B Laser Rangefinder (LRF) with 7-power optic. This unit is rated out to 2000 yards on reflective objects (in real-world use it will laze a deer well past 800 if you can hold steady). The Leica 2000-B features air pressure and temperature sensors, plus on-board inclinometer. Angle correction works out to 1200 horizontal yards equivalent, with the true hold-over displayed in both MILs and MOA. The compact Leica CRF 2000-B weighs just 6.5 ounces and measures 4.5″ L x 2.25″ H x 1.25″ W. It has a waterproof outer shell.

7. Brownells — RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center, $93.99

RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center

Case prep can take forever, so why not save time and your hands with the Trim Mate Case Prep Center. Five gear-driven rotating heads turn the tasks of chamfering, deburring, primer pocket cleaning, military crimp removal, and flash hole deburring into a much easier job. Brownells now has the Trim Mate Case Prep Center on sale for just $93.99 marked down from $124.99, a 25% savings. A power case prep center speeds up tedious tasks dramatically, and your brass will probably come out more consistent. IMPORTANT: This savings is part of an RCBS November Promotion.

8. Midsouth — SALE on Nosler Bullets and Brass

Nosler match bullets brass midsouth sale

We like Nosler products. The brass is good, the hunting bullets are legendary, and Nosler match bullets display impressive performance for the price. Right now at Midsouth there are substantial discounts on a wide variety of Nosler brass and bullets. Hey 6.5 Creedmoor shooters — take note: 6.5 Creedmoor brass and the excellent 130gr and 140gr 6.5mm RDF HPBT bullets are on sale now.

9. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $17.85

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 3000 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $17.85, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

10. Midsouth — 250 Adhesive Precision Targets on Roll, $12.49

midsouth adhesive benchrest precision target roll

Midsouth offers 250 self-adhesive Benchrest Targets on a convenient roll. These stick-on targets work great for load development. The aiming diamond helps align the cross hairs of your scope for consistent shot placement. If you set your Point of Impact to the 1/4″ grid pattern at the top it’s easy to eyeball your group size. At the bottom are fields for your load info. Each Target sticker measures 6″ x 4″ with a 4.5″ x 2.5″ printed area. Midsouth sells the 250-target roll for $12.49, discounted this week from $14.99.

Credit our Bargain Hunter, Forum member F-Class John, who found most of the deals this week.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
November 3rd, 2018

Mossberg MVP LR — Interesting $700 Factory Rifle

Mossberg MVP rifle mag-fed varmint Long Range LR

Mossberg has a pretty nice rifle that would work well for varminting and tactical/practical games out to 1000 yards. You may not have seen this before, but we think it offers a decent turn-key solution for around $700. Mossberg’s MVP Long Range (LR) boasts a nice adjustable stock and some innovative features. The LR model comes with a 20″ or 22″ (6.5CM) barrel in three popular chamberings: .223 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. All barrels are threaded for suppressors or muzzle-brakes and come with a protective thread cap. Street price, without optics, is about $695.00 for 6.5 CM version. The .223 Rem accepts AR15 magazines while the .308 Win accepts AR10 and/or M1A mags. The LBA trigger adjusts from 3-7 pounds — we’d like to see it go a little lower for varmint work.

Mossberg MVP rifle mag-fed varmint Long Range LR
Mossberg MVP rifle mag-fed varmint Long Range LR

The MVP Long Range feature an adjustable-comb stock that’s comfortable and strong. The bottom (“toe”) of the rear stock is flat and straight, so it works well in a bag — that’s notably different than most factory rifles in this price range. We like this stock for shooting prone or from a portable bench on a varmint hunt. Gun weight is pretty light, 8 pounds (without optics) for the 6.5 Creedmoor version with 22″ barrel.

The MVP LR model features a pillar-bedded OD green stock with push-button adjustable Mosscote™ cheekpiece, patented LBA Adjustable Trigger (3-7 lbs.), oversized bolt handle, and Picatinny rail. All barrels are threaded for suppressors or muzzle brakes and come with a protective thread cap.

Mossberg MVP rifle mag-fed varmint Long Range LR
Mossberg’s MVP also comes in a shorter-barreled version with a more conventional stock and back-up iron sights. See that version in Mossberg’s article about Long Range shooting.

Mossberg MVP rifle mag-fed varmint Long Range LR
READ Sniper Central Review

Function and Accuracy Field Testing
So how does it shoot? Sniper Central did a full review of the rifle, chambered in .308 Win. They praised the gun’s general build quality and liked the stock. Bench testing yielded 0.8 to 1.5 MOA groups with four kinds of factory ammo. In fairness, Sniper Central’s set-up looked very wobbly, with cheap sandbags front and rear. We bet the MVP LR would shoot better with a proper front rest, or even a quality bipod.

Sniper Central did complain about feeding from the magazine: “The most glaring [fault was] the stiffness with which the rifle feeds from the magazine when there is more than one round in it. The feeding process is rough and stiff, which we think can be attributed to those two protrusions on the bottom of the bolt that aide in feeding from the double stack AR-style magazines.” (See photo below.) Sniper Central also was not impressed with the trigger: “As we mentioned earlier, the trigger has some take up before let-off and that take up is notchy and not very smooth, so there is some improvement to be had there.” The trigger did come in about 2.5 lbs on the test rifle, “light for a factory installed trigger”.

Mossberg MVP rifle mag-fed varmint Long Range LR

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, Tactical No Comments »
October 25th, 2018

PRS Basics — Getting Started in the Precision Rifle Series

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Many of our readers are thinking of trying out PRS-type competition. Tactical matches are becoming more popular every season. Along with F-Class, tactical/practical disciplines are the fastest-growing forms of competitive rifle shooting. Rich Emmons, one of the founders of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), has written an insightful article about getting started in the tactical game. This will help PRS novices pick the right equipment and understand the game. Here are highlights from Emmon’s “PRS — Intro to Competition” article, originally published on the PRS website. You may also want to read the current PRS FAQ Page.

Precision Rifle Series — Intro to Competition

by Rich Emmons, PRS President
Tactical Shooting with a precision rifle is not like other disciplines, there is no set course of fire or format. That is what makes it so fun!

GAP Grind PRS series
Photo from Ramia Whitecotton’s GAP GRIND 2016 photo album.

First, you have to ask yourself what do you want to accomplish. When I was introduced to long range shooting, immediately a light turned on for me, once I saw how easy it was to hit 300–600 yard targets. What I quickly learned from my first competition and the many that followed was there is so much to learn and shooting in competition put everything you thought you knew to the test. So back to the question: “What do YOU want to accomplish?”. The reality is you may not know yet, you just think it is cool to have a bad ass rifle and scope that can make almost any shot. Now if you’ve got that rifle and scope, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Watch PRS 2016 Championship

Getting Started — What to Expect
If you’re reading this, you have probably already have been bitten by the long range shooting bug. It can seem quite intimidating to just jump in with a new bunch of shooters you don’t know and shooting lingo you don’t quite understand yet. But here is the key — show up and shoot! I guarantee you if you show up to a match as a new shooter, other experienced shooters will guide you along and give you help on anything you need.

AUDIO: Click Button to hear Rich Emmons Talk about the Precision Rifle Series.

Now, a couple things you should just expect. You’re not as good as you think you are. Don’t expect to come into your first match and beat all the veterans. That just doesn’t happen unless you have had some really good coaching or other shooting competition experience to get you ready for this type of competition. If possible, find a local rifle club that has monthly long range matches, or any type of match will help prepare you for a larger PRS event. Getting involved with a rifle club and starting out shooting monthly matches is definitely the way to jump into competition shooting.

PRS equipment gear AREA 419 gear changer bag

The Gear You Need
The first question that many ask is: “What kind of rifle/caliber/scope do I need?” The easiest answer to this is, the best you can afford. It’s no secret the gear is expensive. It took me several years of buying sub-par gear and eventually trading up to figure this out. Now, a guy can get a real sense of pride of doing it on the cheap, or with a factory rifle. I’ve seen many old Savage 10FPs take down custom rigs that cost 10 times as much. And if that’s all you can afford, then eventually you will learn the limitations of yourself or your gear. As for choice of cartridge/caliber, the respected Precision Rifle Blog has analyzed four years worth of match results from the best tactical shooters in the nation. CLICK HERE to read a PRB article that reveals what the “top guns” use.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Craig Arnzen of Area 419 has created a useful article reviewing the gear PRS shooters need, including support bags, hearing protection, and other key accessories such as muzzle brakes. This helpful article also covers factory ammunition options.

Area 419 Game Changer bag PRS tactical matches

Making Good Ammo
Producing quality reloads is something you have to master. It’s not hard at all, you just have to pay attention to detail, and eventually you are going to do something stupid like mis-priming your brass, or skip a row of brass when dumping your powder. Everybody has their own horror story of some reloading failure that cost them a stage or even a match. So load to perfection, work with your rifle to find what load it likes the best, then start your practice.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Practice Makes Perfect
You want to become ONE with your rifle, learning everything you can about its functionality. Getting comfortable with the operation of your rifle is key. Learn the feel of your trigger, dry-firing until you wear the paint off your bolt handle. Learn how the rifle works best — pay attention to little things like the sound and feel of the bolt feeding a round from the mag (or when it doesn’t). Learn how to remove a jammed round quickly, learn how to reload a magazine quickly. Learn to scan across a field and find targets in a quick manner, seeing the targets with your eye and coming into the scope on target. These are some of the basic practices that separate the new shooters from the seasoned ones.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
October 3rd, 2018

Alliant Reloder 16 — Great Powder for Match Cartridges

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

Do You Like H4350? Then You Should Try Reloder 16 — It Is Accurate and Temp Stable
Alliant Reloder 16 is used now by many top shooters for cartridges that work well with Hodgdon H4350. In fact, we’d say that Reloder 16 is the best substitute for H4350 on the market. Alliant’s RL 16 is very temp stable, offers good velocity, and the accuracy is top tier. Some guys report slightly better accuracy than H4350 in the .284 Win, .260 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, and 6XC cartridges. If you currently use H4350, you should definitely give Alliant Reloder 16 a try. The powder also boasts excellent lot-to-lot consistency and contains a proprietary de-coppering additive.

Alliant powder Reloader Reloder 16 RL16 load data 6.5 Creedmoor .243 Win WinchesterThis 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. As a result, Alliant’s Reloder 16 offers truly outstanding temperature stability.

Reloder 16 Load Recipes »

Reloder 16 Load Data PDF »

Match and Hunting Cartridge Applications:
Alliant tells us that Reloder 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 will work well in these popular match cartridges: 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, .284 Win, and .300 WSM. For example, Alliant’s Reloder 16 Load Data Page shows a 2932 FPS load with Berger 130 grain Hybrid bullet in the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Alliant Reloder 16 Load DATA for 6.5 Creedmoor:

Alliant powder Reloader Reloder 16 RL16 load data 6.5 Creedmoor .243 Win Winchester

Alliant Reloder 16 Load DATA for .243 Winchester:

Alliant powder Reloader Reloder 16 RL16 load data 6.5 Creedmoor .243 Win Winchester
NOTE: This is a partial .243 Win Data set. More loads available HERE.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
September 30th, 2018

6mm Creedmoor Gas Gun — Savage MSR 10 Long Range

savage msr10 AR rifle 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor Creedmore PRS gas gun ballistics

Savage’s MSR 10 Long Range is now available in 6mm Creedmoor. We think this rifle is a good choice for PRS Gas Gun matches in the Open Division. This AR10-type rig can shoot a larger, more capable cartridge than a .223 Rem (or 224 Valkyrie). And we think the 6mm Creedmoor is definitely a good choice for tactical/practical applications. In fact in the first-ever PRS gas gun match, the winner ran a 6mm Creedmoor. (Story HERE).

The 6mm Creedmoor case design allows room for long, heavy bullets while still functioning in an AR10-size action. The 6mm Creedmoor has become popular with High Power and PRS shooters because it offers excellent accuracy, good ballistics, and moderate recoil. As explained below, the 6mm Creedmoor offers a flatter trajectory, with less recoil, compared to the “parent” 6.5 Creedmoor.

Savage’s semi-automatic MSR 10 Long Range boasts some nice features — such as a Magpul PRS Gen 3 stock, and non-reciprocating, side-charging handle. The MSR 10 Long Range also features a two-stage target trigger, plus upgraded barrel with 5R rifling and Melonite QPQ finish. MSRP is $2284.00.

Savage MSR 10 Long Range Features:
– Non-reciprocating side charging handle
– Fluted 22.5″ heavy barrel with Melonite QPQ finish, 1:7.5″-twist rate
– Custom forged upper/lower for unique look and compact size
– Magpul PRS Gen3 buttstock
– Free-float M-LOK rail
– Two-stage target trigger with nickel boron treatment; 2.5 to 4-pounds
– Chamberings: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester

Savage MSR 10 Long Range (6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win)

Ballistic Comparison: 6mm Creedmoor vs. 6.5 Creedmoor

Which has better ballistics, the 6mm Creedmoor or the original 6.5 Creedmoor? Well, the answer depends on your bullet choice and the speed of your load. We went to the Hodgdon Reloading Page and selected the MAX listed loads for H4350 for each cartridge, choosing Sierra’s 107gr MatchKing for the 6mm Creedmoor, and Sierra’s 142gr MatchKing for the 6.5 Creedmoor. Hodgdon’s max H4350 load for the 6mm Creedmoor with 107gr bullet yields 3009 fps at 60,300 psi (24″ barrel). The max H4350 load for the 6.5 Creedmoor with 142gr bullet runs 2694 fps at 59,800 psi (24″ barrel).

With these listed Hodgdon Max loads, the 6mm Creedmoor had a flatter trajectory and less wind drift. Here is a quick comparison, based on data from JBM Ballistics.

6mm Creedmoor with 107gr SMK
Hodgdon H4350 Max “Book” Load, 3009 fps

savage msr10 AR rifle 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor Creedmore PRS gas gun ballistics

600-Yard Drop = -11.5 MOA | 600-Yard Windage (10mph 90°) = 24.4 inches

6.5 Creedmoor with 142gr SMK
Hodgdon H4350 Max “Book” Load, 2694 fps

savage msr10 AR rifle 6mm 6.5mm Creedmoor Creedmore PRS gas gun ballistics

600-Yard Drop = -14.4 MOA | 600-Yard Windage (10mph 90°) = 25.8 inches

Commentary — Ballistics Comparisons and “Beyond Book” Loads
We are aware that some shooters are running faster loads in both 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor rifles. The ballistics comparison would also change with different bullet choices for one or both calibers. However, by using Hodgdon’s listed max loads with the SAME Powder this is a meaningful starting comparison for the two related chamberings. Bottom line, the 6mm Creedmoor shoots flatter and has less wind drift. It also definitely has less recoil. This 6mm Creedmoor load has 2150.8 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle. The listed 6.5 Creedmoor load has 2288.0 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle.

Of course we know some guys are running their 6.5 Creedmoor faster with 140gr-class bullets. That would alter the comparison. But if you ask most actual PRS competitors who have campaigned BOTH the 6mm Creedmoor and the 6.5 Creedmoor, they will tell you the 6mm Creedmoor has less recoil, and a somewhat flatter trajectory. That makes this new 6mm Creedmoor Savage MSR 10 rifle an interesting alternative to its 6.5 Creedmoor brother.

PRS Gas Gun Series 6mm Creedmoor AR10

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
August 19th, 2018

6.5 Creedmoor Load Data with Popular Powders

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895

We’re told the 6.5 Creedmoor is now the best-selling chambering in new bolt-action rifles sold in the USA. Accurate, versatile, with moderate recoil, the 6.5 Creedmoor serves hunters, paper punchers, and PRS shooters equally well.

As part of its online Load Data Center, Nosler offers very complete load data for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This medium-sized cartridge has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical and PRS shooters. The 6.5 Creedmoor combines excellent accuracy, good mag-feeding, good barrel life, moderate recoil, and reasonable component cost. That’s why this cartridge has caught on quickly. GET ALL 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data.

6.5 Creedmoor Velocity Test Rifleshooter.com barrel cut test Nosler Load Data
How does barrel length affect 6.5 Creedmoor Muzzle Velocity?
CLICK HERE for RifleShooter.com barrel cut-down velocity test.

According to the Sierra Load Manual: “Developed in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design. This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines. With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5 mm (i.e. .264 caliber). Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Varget, Win 760, and RE-17.”

Click Each Image to Load PDF File for Listed Bullet Weights

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895 Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895
Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895

In addition to the data sheets shown above, Nosler offers 6.5 Creedmoor data for a 100 grain Ballistic Tip and Partition bullets.

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tactical 3 Comments »
August 14th, 2018

6.5 Creedmoor Hunting Rifle Upgrade — Re-Stocking a Ruger

Ruger American Rifle Predator 6.5 Creedmoor Boyds Stock inletting bedding

The NRA’s American Rifleman showcased an interesting project this week — an upgraded Ruger American Rifle Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor. The video below shows how a laminated wood stock from Boyds Gunstocks was adapted for the Ruger. A Boyds Prairie Hunter model in gray laminate was selected. This was custom-bedded to the Ruger’s action using Brownell’s Acraglas.

Ruger American Rifle Predator 6.5 Creedmoor Boyds Stock inletting beddingAll Ruger American Rifle models employ dual aluminum V-Blocks to support the action. These fit slots in the underside of the action. Boyds makes its own version of these V-Blocks which were installed in the Boyds stock to secure the action.

Project leader Joe Kurtenbach says the size, shape, and geometry of the Boyds V-Blocks is very accurate, so they fit the Ruger action well. To further support the action, Acraglas bedding compound was applied to the inside of the stock, after release compound was applied to the barreled action. With this DIY bedding job, the Boyds laminated stock is definitely an improvement over this original “Tupperware” factory stock.

Ruger American Rifle Predator 6.5 Creedmoor Boyds Stock inletting bedding

DIY Bargain Hunter Upgrade
American Rifleman states: “The Ruger American has some great features—hammer-forged barrel, reliable action, crisp trigger — but many would not consider the molded, polymer stock to be among them. Luckily, there are aftermarket options to enhance the rifle’s utility and aesthetics. A durable, attractive stock from Boyds Gunstocks and some DIY action bedding, using Brownells Acraglas, is the next step in the precision-driven hunting rifle build.”

Choice of Gun and 6.5 Creedmoor Chambering
For this project, American Rifleman’s Joe Kurtenbach selected one of his favorite cartridges, the 6.5 Creedmoor. Introduced in 2007 by Hornady, the accurate, flat-shooting 6.5 Creedmoor has proven very popular with both hunters and tactical/PRS shooters. The Ruger American Rifle Predator was chosen for its affordable price, reliable action, and Ruger Marksman adjustable trigger.

In this video, Kurtenback explains how and why the 6.5 Creedmoor chambering and Ruger American Rifle were chosen for the Precision Hunter rifle build project.

Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
August 12th, 2018

6.5 Creedmoor Barrel Length Test — Velocity Per Inch Revealed

Rifleshooter.com 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test

Rifleshooter.com does some great original research — providing “hard data” you can’t find anywhere else. Here are the eye-opening results of Rifleshooter.com’s 6.5 Creedmoor barrel cut-down test. You may be surprised at the results. Read on…

What do you get when you cut a 6.5 Creedmoor-chambered barrel down to just over 16 inches? A lot more velocity than you might think. Our friends at Rifleshooter.com recently did a barrel cut-down test with 6.5 Creedmoor test rifle, shortening the barrel from 27 to 16.1 inches in one-inch increments. Surprisingly, with a 142gr Sierra MK, the total velocity loss (as measured with a Magnetospeed) was just 158 FPS, an average of 14.4 FPS per inch of barrel length. With the lighter 120gr A-Max bullet, the total velocity loss was 233 FPS, or 21.8 FPS average loss per inch of barrel.

» CLICK HERE to SEE All Velocity Values at All Barrel Lengths

To perform this velocity test, our friend Bill, Rifleshooter.com’s editor, built up a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle using a Remington Model 7 action, 1:8″ twist Green Mountain CM barrel, and MDT LSS Chassis, all obtained from Brownells.com.

Test Procedure
Five (5) rounds of each type of cartridge were fired at each barrel length and the velocity data was recorded with a MagnetoSpeed V3 barrel-mounted chronograph. The rifle was then cleared and the barrel was cut back one inch at a time from 27″ to just over 16″. NOTE: During this winter test, the air temperature was a very chilly 23° F. One would expect higher velocities across the board had the outside temperature been higher.

» Read Full Story with All Test Results at Rifleshooter.com

The photo below shows how the barrel was cut down, inch-by-inch, using a rotary saw. The barrel was pre-scored at inch intervals. As the main purpose of the test was to measure velocity (not accuracy) the testers did not attempt to create perfect crowns.

Rifleshooter.com 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test

6.5 Creedmoor vs. Other Mid-Sized 6.5mm Cartridges
The 6.5 Creedmoor is a very popular cartridge with the tactical and PRS crowd. This mid-size cartridge offers good ballistics, with less recoil than a .308 Winchester. There’s an excellent selection of 6.5mm bullets, and many good powder choices for this cartridge. When compared to the very accurate 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor offers similar performance with less expensive brass. For a tactical shooter who must sometimes leave brass on the ground, brass cost is a factor to consider. Here’s a selection of various 6.5mm mid-sized cartridges. Left to right are: 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor with 120gr A-Max, 6.5 Creedmoor with 142gr Sierra MK, and .260 Remington.

6.5 Creedmoor Rifleshooter.com velocity barrel cut cut-down test saw blade

When asked to compare the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6.5×47 Lapua, Rifleshooter.com’s editor stated: “If you don’t hand load, or are new to precision rifle shooting, get a 6.5 Creedmoor. If you shoot a lot, reload, have more disposable income, and like more esoteric cartridges, get a 6.5×47 Lapua. I am a big fan of the 6.5×47 Lapua. In my personal experience, the 6.5×47 Lapua seems to be slightly more accurate than the 6.5 Creedmoor. I attribute this to the quality of Lapua brass.” Now that Lapua offers 6.5 Creedmoor brass with small primer pockets, the 6.5 Creedmoor is even more attractive.

The creator of Rifleshooter.com also operates a Custom Rifle Building enterprise and gun shop in Long Island, New York: 782 Custom Guns Ltd.. He tells us: “We offer an unparalleled level of gunsmith machine shop services in the Long Island region. From precision rifles (USMC M40A3/A5/A6 XM3 clones) to customized Remington 870 and Mossberg 590 shotguns, and customized 1911s, chances are if you can dream it, we can build it!”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical, Tech Tip 13 Comments »
August 11th, 2018

Speer Releases Handloading Manual Number 15

Speer 15th reloading hand loading handloading manual book Amazon 6.5 creedmoor recipes

Speer Ammunition has just released the latest edition of its reloading handbook: The Speer Handloading Manual No. 15. Shipments of this new book are being delivered to dealers now. It will be available on Amazon next week. The MSRP for the new Speer Manual is $34.95. We think the new book is worth the price — it is well-organized and quite complete. But if you are not a fan of conventional books, be aware that you can get a significant portion of Speer’s rifle and pistol load data for FREE on Speer’s website.

Why Buy the Book?
» New DATA for 6.5 Creedmoor and 12 More New Cartridge Types
» Complete Instructions for Handloading Rifle and Pistol Cartridges
» Updates for More Than 120 Cartridge Types

This new edition is Speer’s largest volume yet, featuring updated recipes with the latest propellants for more than 120 legacy cartridges. In addition, the new 15th Edition includes load data for 13 popular new cartridges, including 6.5 Creedmoor, .204 Ruger, and 300 Blackout. The 15th Speer Handloading Manual also features authoritative articles by expert shooters.

FREE Online INFO and DATA from Speer

On its website, Speer-Ammo.com, Speer also offers Rifle and Pistol Reloading Data, Reloading Safety Page, Step-by-Step Handloading Guide, and helpful Glossary of Reloading Terms.

Rifle Reloading Data (FREE Searchable Database)
Pistol Reloading Data (FREE Searchable Database)
Step-by-Step Handloading How-To
Reloading Safety Page (Worth Reading!)
Reloading Glossary

Speer 15th reloading hand loading handloading manual book Amazon 6.5 creedmoor recipes

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
August 7th, 2018

Full-Featured $1150 APC Tactical Rifle from Howa

Howa HCR APX American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS Tactical Rifle

Howa has introduced a new rifle in a modular chassis, the Howa APC (Australian Precision Chassis) model. Developed for PRS and tactical competitions, this rifle is priced right ($1149.00 starting MSRP) and is offered in a variety of popular chamberings: .223 Rem, .22-250, .243 Win, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win.

In the 6mm Creedmoor or 6.5 Creedmoor chamberings with 26″ heavy barrel ($1199.00 MSRP), this could become quite popular with “Factory Class” PRS shooters. The Howa APC has a smooth-running action, excellent 2-stage trigger, and the affordable MSRP leaves a ton of money left over for optics and accessories. Under PRS Rule 2.3.3, PRS Production division guns must be under $4000.00, combined, for rifle + scope: “The rifle shall not exceed $2,000 USD and the optic not exceed $2,000 USD”.

Howa HCR APX American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS Tactical Rifle

This is a nicely-equipped rifle. All Howa APCs include a 2-stage, creep-free HACT trigger, with three-position safety. The LUTH-AR MBA-4 stock boasts an adjustable comb height, and adjustable LOP from 12.5″ to 16.75″. The rifle is offered with 20″ and 24″ heavy barrels in .223 Rem, .22-250; 24″ and 26″ heavy barrels in 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, and 6.5 Creedmoor; and 20″, 24″, and 26″ heavy barrels in the .308 Win. Threaded barrel options are available. Some models come with a +20 MOA EGW Scope Rail. All Howa ACRs come with Lifetime Warranty and Sub-MOA Guarantee.

Howa HCR APX American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS Tactical Rifle

Howa APC Features:
• Black 6061-T6 Aluminum Chassis with Hogue Grip
• Free-Float M-LOK Fore-end
• LUTH AR MBA-4 Buttstock Adjustable cheekpiece,
• 2 Stage H.A.C.T. Trigger with 3-Position Safety
• 10 Round Detachable Box Magazine

Produced in Australia, this is a very thorough Howa 1500 APC Video Review:

The Howa APC is also offered in a scoped package with a Nikko Stirling Diamond LR 4-16x50mm scope and +20 MOA EGW rail for optics. The scope has ¼ MOA clicks, zero-stop turrets, and illuminated reticle. Howa APC Scoped Package MSRP: $1,439.00 – $1499.00.

Howa APC American Flag Version
Legacy Sports, Howa’s importer, also offers a special American Flag Edition of this rifle, using the same APC chassis but with a USA flag-theme red, white, and blue Cerakote finish and 3-chamber muzzle brake. This special edition is sold with a Nikko 4-16x50mm scope and shipped in a hard case. See VIDEO of Stars and Stripes APC Rifle.

Howa HCR ACR American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS Tactical Rifle

Howa Sub-MOA Accuracy Guarantee
Howa rifles are guaranteed to deliver sub-MOA performance of 1 inch or less at 100 yards with premium factory ammunition. Guarantee is not transferable. All Howa rifles purchased in the U.S. on or after January 1, 2017 are covered by this offer.

Howa HCR APX American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS Tactical Rifle

Permalink New Product, Tactical 4 Comments »
June 19th, 2018

New 6mm Creedmoor Cartridge Brass from Lapua

Lapua 6mm 6.5mm Creedmore cartridge brass prs tactical varmint annealed

In the PRS game, the 6.5 Creedmoor has ruled the roost. However more and more serious competitors are moving to the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge because it offers lower recoil and a flatter trajectory (with some bullets). If you are a fan of the 6mm Creedmoor — take heart. Lapua has started production of 6mm Creedmoor cartridge brass, which should hit American shores later in the year. Yes this 6mm Creedmoor brass has small primer pocket and small flash hole — allowing it to stand up to repeated loading cycles with stout pressures.

Here is the official announcement…

Lapua 6mm Creedmoor Cartridge Brass

Lapua is pleased to announce the new 6mm Creedmoor case, a necked down version of the extremely popular 6.5mm Creedmoor designed to produce higher velocities, flatter trajectories, and reduced recoil.

Lapua 6mm 6.5mm Creedmore cartridge brass prs tactical varmint annealedCustomer demand for a 6mm version followed almost immediately after the release of the original Creedmoor case. Aside from the neck dimensions, our new 6mm Creedmoor cases shares the same features and characteristics that make Lapua the standard for 6.5 Creedmoor brass. It is a beautifully-drawn case, properly annealed at the neck and shoulder, with head metallurgy specifically chosen for durability, and the same small rifle primer, small flash-hole design that delivers the ultimate accuracy edge. The smaller 6mm bore diameter offers an excellent selection of proven low-drag match bullets that offer outstanding long range performance with even less recoil.

While the original 6.5 Creedmoor was designed with NRA High Power competition in mind, other disciplines, including the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), were quick to see the positive attributes of this cartridge. We know Lapua’s latest offering will find a niche with discerning shooters in demanding competitive disciplines.

We expect Lapua’s new 6mm Creedmoor cartridge brass to be favored by High Power shooters and serious varminters as well as tactical competitors. The Lapua 6mm Creedmoor cases will be available in the USA later in 2018.

The new Lapua 6mm Creedmoor Brass will definitely be a hit with PRS Competitors…
Lapua PRS tactical varmint hunting 6XC 6mm Creedmoor cartrdige brass
Photo from Ramia Whitecotton’s GAP GRIND 2016 photo album.

New product tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News, Tactical 13 Comments »
June 15th, 2018

PRS on a Budget? Savage 110 Tactical is Under $630.00

Savage Tactical 110 AccuStock PRS Factory Class

Looking for an affordable PRS Factory Class rifle? Savage has released an updated version of its model 110 that may fit the bill. The new Savage 110 Tactical comes in Grey or Desert Tan in three popular chamberings: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win. Street price is under $630.00. The 110 Tactical features a user-configurable stock with internal sub-chassis. It also features a suppressor-ready threaded barrel, a one-piece +20 MOA scope rail, and 10-round detachable box magazine. The Savage Accutrigger is adjustable.

Competitors will want to know about barrel configurations. All 110 Tacticals have medium-heavy contour barrels with threaded muzzles (and thread cap). 6.5mm Creedmoor versions sport a 24″ barrel. The 6mm Creedmoor version has a 26″ barrel, while the .308 Win is offered with either 20″ or 24″.

This video tests the 6.5 Creedmoor Model 110 Tactical with multiple ammo types:

Four types of factory ammo were tested in above video: Hornady American Whitetail 129gr, American Eagle 140gr, Hornady Match 140gr ELD, S&B Tactical 140gr FMJ. Three sets of handloads were also tested. These used 130gr Hornady ELD, 130gr Nosler RDF, and 122 Lehigh CC bullets in Hornady brass. All handloads used H4350 powder and Federal primers. Accuracy was not bad with handloads.

Savage Tactical 110 AccuStock PRS Factory Class

Savage AccuFit System for Comb and LOP Adjustments
The 110 Tactical’s AccuFit system lets you customize comb height and length-of-pull with different comb risers and stock spacers that install easily. The AccuStock sub-chassis secures the action three-dimensionally along its entire length. This aids accuracy and shot-to-shot consistency.

Key Features
• AccuFit system for comb height and length-of-pull
• Detachable 10-round Magpul AICS magazine
• Threaded heavy barrel with end cap
• 20 MOA EGW rail
• Gray or Desert Tan synthetic stock
• Tactical oversized bolt handle

Left-Hand Version in .308 Win Only
Savage will offer a left-hand .308 Win version of the 110 Tactical. Sorry southpaw 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor shooters — for now, only right-hand options are offered for those chamberings.

(more…)

Permalink Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
June 11th, 2018

What You Need to Get Started in PRS Competition

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list

Report by Craig Arnzen, Area419.com
It’s easy to think about shooting your first precision rifle match and worry about all of the gear and trinkets that you may need to make it through. In reality, the old rules apply — keep it simple.

We wanted to put together for you a no-nonsense list of the Top Five Gear Items you need for your first match. This list focuses on the “must-have” items you’ll need for PRS-Style competitions.

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list support bag dope scope

1. A Rifle (That is Reliable and Sub-MOA Accurate)

Your rifle is the most obvious piece of kit, but we can give you a little more information. Most of the guys you’ll find out there are shooting 6.5 Creedmoor. Yeah, there are guys using .308 Wins and 6mm Dashers, but the 6.5 Creedmoor makes up more than half of the rounds shot in PRS competition, when looking at both national and club matches. Your comp rig needs to be mag-fed and shoot better than 1 MOA. It DOESN’T need to be better than 0.5 MOA (half-MOA). With most targets being 2-3 MOA in size, a half-MOA gun will do just fine. More accuracy is better of course, but you don’t need an exotic quarter-MOA rig to win.

[Editor’s NOTE: PRS does offer a Gas Gun division, but most guys start out with a bolt-action rifle, which will be less maintenance-intensive than an AR-platform rig.]

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list support bag dope scope

Muzzle brakes, like our Area 419 Hellfire, are also very popular as much of the PRS game is recoil management. If you can’t see your misses, you’re sure to have more of them.

The rifle also needs an optic with repeatable clicks and a reticle with Mil- or MOA-based hashmarks. The clicks can be either Mil system or MOA system (Mil is more common), so long as the click values match the reticle (i.e. you don’t want 1/4-moa clicks with a Mil-marked reticle). How much power do you need? Anything that zooms in the mid-teens will suffice. I could shoot a match with a fixed 12X scope and not feel disadvantaged. We love the Kahles K624i, if you’re looking for a suggestion.

Oh, and you’ll want a bipod — but the choice in bipod deserves a whole separate article by itself. Nothing wrong with starting out with a Harris swivel. Then you might look at different bipods on other competitors’ rifles for comparison.

2. Ammunition — Factory Ammo and Hand-loads

Good ammo is important, but as we discuss above, 0.5 MOA is good enough. Also, speed is great but it matters FAR less than you’d think. Drop can be calculated with precision, and distances are normally known, so a slightly flatter trajectory doesn’t really matter. Wind matters, but the difference you’ll find when eeking out that last 50 fps is very, very small.

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list support bag dope ammo ammunition
Federal, Hornady, and Prime all make quality ammo that is widely used by shooters from local to national matches. Facebook photo by CReece.

Precision Handloads
If you want to run down the rabbit hole of finding that perfect ammo that shoots in the “twos” (0.2 MOA), get yourself an AutoTrickler and some of our billet aluminum accessories — you’ll love the setup.

3. A Versatile Support Bag

There are countless bag options. But there is ONE bag you’ll see everywhere, and for good reason. The Game-Changer from Armageddon Gear is aptly named. Many shooters use it as a barricade bag as well as a rear bag, meaning a guy could get away with using only this bag for an entire match. If you need another bag when you get there, ask someone in your squad, they’ll share. I promise.

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list support bag Gamechanger Game-changer Armageddon Gear dope scope

4. DOPE (Reliable Ballistics Info)

We’re not talking the kind of Dope you may find in a match outside Denver — we are talking about the kind that feeds you ballistic solutions. The software-enabled Kestrel is a very common item on the range, but you’ll also see lots of guys using mobile Apps such as Shooter or Applied Ballistics Mobile, and they have great results.

It’s also handy to have an armband or an item like the Hawk Hill data card holder for stages with various targets at differing ranges. Once the RO says “engage” and your mind stops working, you’ll appreciate having it written down.

5. Hearing Protection

PRS Competitors shoot with brakes and sometimes in enclosed spaces. That’s why you need serious hearing protection. We recommend NRR 33 earplugs, doubled up with Electronic Muffs to hear range commands. I have used the 33 dB NRR Mack’s foamies at matches for most of the last year, and the Howard Leight NRR 33 Max-1s are also very effective. The budget-priced (under $50) Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic muffs work well, but premium electronic muffs may be more comfortable.

PRS Precison Rifle Series getting started equipment list support bag Gamechanger Game-changer Armageddon Gear dope scope

Growing in popularity are high-tech, in-ear digital units like the ESP Stealth. I have a set of linked ESP Steaths on the way and hope to evaluate them soon. These are supposed to be very good, but the ESP Stealths cost $2100.00 per pair!

Think we missed something? Have more questions? Let us know.

Contact: Team@Area419.com

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills, Tactical 6 Comments »
May 27th, 2018

Register for GAP Grind — The “Granddaddy” of PRS Matches

GAP Grind 2016

The GAP Grind is one of the most popular tactical matches on the planet. So popular, in fact, that this 3-day Pro-Am event will likely “sell out” this year — with more interested shooters than available slots. To ensure you get a spot at the 2018 GAP Grind, which runs October 5-7, 2018, register early. GAP Grind Registration opens June 1st, 2018 at 9:00 am CST. The 2018 Grind will take place at the K&M Precision Rifle Training Shooting Complex in Finger, Tennessee.

Giddings GAP Grind

If you haven’t experienced major PRS Pro-Am event like the Grind, with hundreds of talented shooters, check out this video from ShootingUSA. Show host John Scoutten provides a competitor’s perspective.

Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
The GAP Grind is a notoriously challenging, “high tempo” match with minimal down-time between stages. Over the course of 20+ stages, competitors will fire 200+ shots at a variety of steel, paper, moving, and reactive targets out to 1,200 yards. Targets vary in size/difficulty based on the shooter’s position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages include “stressors” — i.e. time limits or required movement(s).

Shooting USA TV gap grind
Josh Temnnen Facebook photo

The GAP Grind is held at the impressive K&M Shooting Complex in Tennessee:

GAP Grind 2018 Rules

GAP Grind Hardware
Shelley Giddings, a skilled shooter of both firearms and cameras, snapped these images of state-of-the-art tactical rifles at the 2014 GAP Grind. See more firearms images on Shelley’s Facebook Page.

GAP Grind 2016

Giddings GAP Grind

Giddings GAP Grind

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical No Comments »
February 20th, 2018

One Gun for Hunting AND Competition — Bergara B14 HMR

Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester

For the second year in the row, one of the more popular rifles at SHOT Show was the versatile Bergara’s B14 Hunting and Match Rifle (HMR). Designed for the tactical, PRS, and long-range hunting markets the HMR features an ergonomic, adjustable stock fitted with an internal aluminum sub-chassis. The stock is comfortable in a variety of positions, making it suitable for both hunting and practical shooting comps. The HMR is now offered in five chamberings: 22-250, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5mm Creedmoor, .308 Win, and .300 Win Mag. They all use AICS-compatible box magazines. We’re pleased that all HMRs are guaranteed to produce sub-MOA groups at 100 yards using factory match-grade ammunition. Weight, without optics, is 9.15 lbs, about one pound less than the Ruger Precision Rifle. MSRP is $1,150.00. That’s a good value, but we wish Bergara included a scope rail from the factory.

Watch Video Starting at 6:30 for Bergara B14 HMR (Showing Internal Chassis):

The Spanish-made HMR boasts a molded synthetic stock with built-in machined aluminum mini-chassis. This mini-chassis allows secure, repeatable bedding for Bergara’s B14 action, which features two-lug bolt with coned bolt-head. The Chrome-Moly Bergara barrels are threaded 5/8″ x 24 at the muzzle for brakes or suppressors. The HMR uses a precision-machined bottom metal and is designed to accept AICS-style magazines.

Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester
Bergara HMR rifle PRS production class 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Winchester

The stock has a multi-stage textured finish, which looks good. Designed for both righties and lefties, the ambidextrous stock features an adjustable cheekpiece, and length of pull is adjustable with simple spacers. For slings and accessories, the HMR stock offers multiple flush cup QD mounts as well as multiple swivel studs for bipods and/or slings.

This should be an interesting addition to the line-up of factory rifles suitable for the PRS Series Production Class. But frankly, we think Bergara went too short with the barrels (or at least should offer longer barrels as options). In 6.5 Creedmoor, at 22″ you’re giving up 90 FPS or so compared to a 27″ (See Barrel Cut-Down Test). Additionally, we think most PRS competitors would prefer a different profile on the fore-end. Nonetheless for tactical guys who don’t like modular metal stocks, this is a pretty affordable option that can also work for hunting. NOTE: The new 6mm Creedmoor version does include a 26″ 1:8″-twist barrel. We like that. CLICK HERE for Bergara B14 HMR Owners Manual.

Bergara B14 HMR Rifle Specifications:

Chamberings: 22-250 Rem, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5mm Creedmoor, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag
Action Type: 2-lug action, sliding plate extractor, cone bolt nose and breech
Magazine: AICS style mag compatible – Includes one Magpul® PMAG AICS Magazine
Barrel Specs: 22-250 Rem (1:9″ twist; 24″), 6mm Creedmoor (1:8″ twist, 26″), 6.5 Creedmoor (1:8″ Twist, 22″); .308 Win (1:10″ twist, 20″), .300 Win Mag (1:10″ twist, 26″)
Mini-Chassis Material: 7075 T6 aluminum
Weight without scope: 9.15 pounds
MSRP: $1,150.00

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
January 23rd, 2018

Lyman Releases Long Range Precision Rifle Reloading Handbook

Lyman Precision Reloading Manual 6.5 Creemoor PRS Long Range

Lyman Products is offering a new reloading resource, the Lyman “Long Range Precision Rifle Reloading Handbook”. With the growing interest in Precision Rifle Series (PRS) events and Extended Long Range matches, Lyman saw the need for an up-to-date, reliable print resource for precision long range competitors. Lyman says this is “The first-ever reloading manual specifically written for the growing sport of precision long range shooting.”

Lyman’s new book covers the most popular cartridge types, and the premium components used by top shooters. The book covers the vast majority of popular cartridge types used in long range precision shooting. You’ll find .223 Rem, 6mm Dasher, 6×47 Lapua, 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem., 6.5-284 Norma, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, .300 Norma Mag, .338 Lapua Mag and more. The data section includes Berger and Lapua target bullets, as well as Sierra MatchKings and Hornady ELDs. A wide range of propellants from Accurate, Alliant, Hodgdon, IMR, Norma, VihtaVuori, Ramshot, and Winchester are reviewed.

Lyman Handbook Includes Articles by Leading Experts and Top PRS Shooters
The new handbook also includes articles by top PRS shooters and industry experts. Articles such as “PRS How-To” and “Rifle Systems for PRS” by Matt Gervais provide expert info and tips and techniques to start competing. An authoritative article by Hornady’s Dave Emary, “The History and Design of the 6.5 and 6mm Creedmoor” explains why these cartridges have become so popular for PRS and other applications. Emary’s “Reloading Considerations for Long Range Ammunition” is also highly recommended for both novice and experienced hand-loaders.

“As the leader in reloading data, we saw a need for an accurate and reliable source of reloading data for these precision, long-range loads,” said Trevor Mullen, Lyman’s Global Marketing VP. “Our process of compiling a new reloading handbook … is to work with the best in their field — reloaders, the manufacturers of ammunition and rifles, participants in the PRS sport, and our own staff of highly-skilled, highly knowledgeable test shooters. This new handbook [will help] those looking for that edge in PRS competitions.”

The “Long Range Precision Rifle Reloading Handbook”, priced at $16.98, will be available soon from online retailers. Within a short time you can also purchase the book from the Lyman web store. (It is not yet in stock).

Permalink Competition, Reloading No Comments »
January 10th, 2018

Load Data for the Popular 6.5 Creedmoor from Sierra Bullets

Sierra Load Data 6.5 Creedmoor

In the past few years, the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has become the leading cartridge for tactical/practical gun games. It offers excellent ballistics, moderate recoil, and good accuracy with a variety of powder and bullet combos. Along with the 6.5×47 Lapua, the 6.5 Creedmoor has demonstrated that a .264-Caliber mid-sized caliber is truly a jack of all trades — it can be accurate on paper, win PRS matches, and also harvest game during hunting season. If you own a 6.5 Creedmoor (or plan to get one) and hand-load your ammo, this post should provide a good start. Sierra Bullets now offers 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data for bullets from 120 to 142 grains — the most popular weight range for this chambering.

Sierra Bullets has released very complete load data for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This medium-sized cartridge has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical and PRS shooters. The 6.5 Creedmoor combines excellent accuracy, good mag-feeding, good barrel life, moderate recoil, and reasonable component cost. That’s why this cartridge has caught on quickly.

The Springfield M1A is now available in 6.5 Creedmoor. For Gas Guns like this, be sure to full-length-size your brass after every firing, with adequate shoulder bump.
M1A 6.5 Creedmoor Sierra Load Data

Sierra Load Data 6.5 CreedmoorDeveloped in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design. This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines. With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5 mm (i.e. .264 caliber). Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Varget, Win 760, and RE-17. The light recoil and adaptability of the efficient 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has already proven itself in high power, precision rifle series and benchrest competitions. Couple that with respectable barrel life and its intrinsic accuracy potential and you have a recipe for success which should insure its legacy for decades to come.

Sierra 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data Manual reloading .264

Here are three tables from the Sierra Bullets Reloading Manual (5th Edition). IMPORTANT — This is just a sample!! Sierra has load data for many other 6.5mm bullet types, including FB, Spitzer, SBT, HPBT, and Tipped MK from 85 grains to 142 grains. To view ALL 6.5 Creedmoor DATA, CLICK HERE.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Permalink News, Reloading, Tactical 2 Comments »
December 9th, 2017

Springfield Armory Now Offers 6.5 Creedmoor M1A Rifles

springfield armory M1a service rifle m14 6.5 CM Creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor craze goes one step further. Soon you can buy a Springfield M1A chambered for this mid-sized cartridge popularized by PRS shooters. Both bolt-action and AR-platform rifles chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor have been available for quite some time, but this is a new direction for the M1A, which has traditionally been chambered for the 7.62×51 NATO/.308 Winchester round. As chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor, Springfield’s M1A should be easier on shooters’ shoulders. The 6.5 Creedmoor M1A has 28% less recoil than the .308 Winchester version.*

The new 6.5 Creedmoor M1A features a 22″ medium-contour, 1:8″-twist stainless barrel with factory muzzle brake. The rifle comes with iron sights: .062 post front sight and .0520 aperture rear sight adjustable for ½ MOA windage and 1 MOA elevation. Springfield ships the rifle with a 2-stage trigger tuned to 4.5 – 5 pounds. A Springfield Armory Optics mount is available to fit a magnified optic, but, to be honest, we haven’t been very impressed with that mount.

springfield armory M1a service rifle m14 6.5 CM Creedmoor

Two stock options are offered: a basic black polymer stock (not recommended — it’s weak and flexy) or a deluxe “precision” stock with adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable LOP. The deluxe precision stock, shown above, is much more rigid, and can be configured with front underside Picatinny rail (see video). Rifle Specs HERE.

With the basic polymer stock, the 6.5 Creedmoor weighs 11.4 pounds (unloaded) and has a $1985.00 MSRP. With the adjustable precision stock, the gun is a bit heavier and retails for $2045.00 in either matte black or Flat Dark Earth (FDE).

“Having a 6.5 Creedmoor caliber in the M1A lineup gives long-range shooters more choices with the precision and accuracy they require,” says Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese. “They can choose the round they prefer…”, i.e. .308 Win or the 6.5 Creedmoor. Excellent factory ammo is available for both chamberings.

M1A Camp Perry 2009 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Win Winchester
Photo of 2009 M1A Match at Camp Perry. Shooter is Nick Till, 2007 Service Rifle Champion.

If you are looking for a robust semi-auto rifle that has an interesting legacy (the M1A was derived from the U.S. Military’s M14), this new M1A may suit your tastes. Every year at Camp Perry, Springfield Armory sponsors a very popular M1A match which attracts marksmen from around the country. We can’t say for sure that the 6.5 Creedmoor M1As will be allowed in M1A matches, but we would expect they will, though perhaps competing in a separate division.

Springfield Armory M1A with Basic Polymer Stock
springfield armory M1a service rifle m14 6.5 CM Creedmoor


* Comparative Recoil Energy in ft-lbs based on 12-lb rifle with 142gr 6.5 Creedmoor at 2710 FPS vs. 175gr .308 Win at 2600 FPS. Powder charge weight 41.0 grains for 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 48.0 grains for .308 Win. Calculated with online Recoil Calculator.

Permalink New Product, News, Tactical 2 Comments »
December 7th, 2017

Hardware and Rules for PRS Gas Gun Series

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

Ask most gun guys about the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), and they’ll tell you it’s a discipline for bolt-action “tactical” rifles. Yes that’s true, but PRS now has a “Gas Gun” series as well, and many local PRS-style matches also allow gas guns to compete in their own division.

Capitalizing on the success of the bolt-gun competitions, this year the PRS approved a new Gas Gun series for semi-auto rifles such as AR15s and AR10s. The inaugural 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series competition took place February 17-19, 2017 at the CORE Shooting Solutions range in Baker, Florida. This article explains the basics of the Gas Gun Series and offers some factory hardware options.

PRS Director Shawn Wiseman Explains New Gas Gun Series in this Video:

Gas Gun Series Basics — Interview with PRS President
Shooting Sports USA interviewed PRS President Shawn Wiseman.

SSUSA: What will be the format of the 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series matches?
Wiseman: The matches will be a two day format with 8 to 10 stages per day. There are three Divisions; Tactical Light for 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Rem. rifles, Tactical Heavy for 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Win., and Open for everything else up to .30 cal. The maximum distance will be 800 yards.

SSUSA: What guns do you expect to be popular?
Wiseman: In the Open Division, I expect to see a lot of 6.5 Creedmoors for two main reasons; it’s an inherently accurate cartridge and Hornady makes great ammo for the folks that aren’t into reloading. I think the Tactical Light Division will probably be the most popular. It is hard to say specifically what rifles will be the most popular but there are a few AR companies that are known for the accuracy. Armalite, GA Precision, LaRue and Seekins will all be very popular rifles in this Series. I think we will continue to see high-end optics with 5X to 6X zoom range on the rifles. Bushnell, Kahles, Leupold, Nightforce and Vortex will continue to be the most popular.

PRS Gas Gun Series Factory Firearm Options

While you can compete in the Gas Gun Series with an AR15, many Open Division competitors are favoring the larger AR10-platform rifles that can shoot the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor cartridges. Both Savage and Smith & Wesson offer AR10-type rifles optimized for this competition.

Smith and Wesson M&P 10, 6.5 Creedmoor

gas gun series PRS

S&W’s AR10-platform rifle is a leading choice for the PRS Gas Gun Division. The M&P 10 in 6.5 Creedmoor shows good build quality and good accuracy with factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. If you’re a fan of the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, the M&P 10 is a smart gas gun option. S&W offers good customer service and a rock-solid warranty. This rifle features a 2-Stage Match Trigger, Magpul MOE Stock, 15″ M-LOK handguard, and a 20″ barrel with 1:8″-twist 5R Rifling. MSRP is $2035.00.

Savage MSR-10 Long Range, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win

gas gun series PRS

The updated Savage MSR-10 Long Range is available now in .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor. Next month (January 2018), Savage will also release a 6mm Creedmoor version. This rifle features a Magpul PRS Gen3 Stock, Blackhawk 2-stage trigger, non-reciprocating side charging handle, and QPQ-treated heavy barrel (1:8″ twist for 6.5 Creedmoor; 1:10″ for .308 Win). MSRP for all chamberings is $2284.00.

New .224 Valkyrie for AR15 Platform
Another option would be the smaller AR15 chambered for the new .224 Valkyrie cartridge. This brand new offering from Federal is basically a 6.8 SPC necked down to .224 caliber. With the 90gr Sierra MatchKing, it offers ballistics comparable to a 6.5 Creedmoor, with less recoil.

PRS Gas Gun Series Rules

For the new PRS Gas Gun Series, a committee of top PRS shooters, Multi-Gun shooters, and Match Directors developed the PRS Gas Gun Series Rule Book. Highlights of the Rules are listed below.

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

For the new PRS “Gasser” Competition, the PRS developed rules on gun types, scoring, match timing, penalties, safety and other key topics. CLICK HERE for Full PRS Gas Gun Series Rules.

Open Division: The Open Division rifles will not exceed a caliber of .30 or a velocity of 3,200 fps. A match DQ will result any rounds over the speed limit of 3,200 fps (+/- 32 fps for environmental factors and equipment discrepancies). Match Officials may request at any point during a match that a competitor fire their rifle through chronograph. If the bullet exceeds the 3,200 fps speed limit, the shooter will receive an automatic match DQ.

Tactical Light Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity to compete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber (.223/5.56). This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors use of their Service and Department-issued rifles. Tactical Light Division rifles are restricted to 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington chamberings only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 77 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 3,000 fps.

Tactical Heavy Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity to compete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber. This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors’ use of their Service and Department issued rifles. Tactical Heavy Division rifles are restricted to 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester calibers only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 178 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 2,800 fps. No modified wildcat rounds permitted to shoot in the Tactical Divisions Anyone discovered violating this rule will receive an automatic Match DQ. Tactical Division shooters will shoot the exact same COF as Open Division shooters.

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November 30th, 2017

How to Get Started in the PRS Game

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Many of our readers are thinking of trying out PRS-type competition. Tactical matches are becoming more popular every season. Along with F-Class, tactical/practical disciplines are the fastest-growing forms of competitive rifle shooting. Rich Emmons, one of the founders of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), has written an insightful article about getting started in the tactical game. This will help PRS novices pick the right equipment and understand the game. Here are highlights from Emmon’s “PRS — Intro to Competition” article, originally published on the PRS website. You may also want to read the current PRS FAQ Page.

Precision Rifle Series — Intro to Competition

by Rich Emmons, PRS President
Tactical Shooting with a precision rifle is not like other disciplines, there is no set course of fire or format. That is what makes it so fun!

GAP Grind PRS series
Photo from Ramia Whitecotton’s GAP GRIND 2016 photo album.

First, you have to ask yourself what do you want to accomplish. When I was introduced to long range shooting, immediately a light turned on for me, once I saw how easy it was to hit 300–600 yard targets. What I quickly learned from my first competition and the many that followed was there is so much to learn and shooting in competition put everything you thought you knew to the test. So back to the question: “What do YOU want to accomplish?”. The reality is you may not know yet, you just think it is cool to have a bad ass rifle and scope that can make almost any shot. Now if you’ve got that rifle and scope, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Watch PRS 2016 Championship

Getting Started — What to Expect
If you’re reading this, you have probably already have been bitten by the long range shooting bug. It can seem quite intimidating to just jump in with a new bunch of shooters you don’t know and shooting lingo you don’t quite understand yet. But here is the key — show up and shoot! I guarantee you if you show up to a match as a new shooter, other experienced shooters will guide you along and give you help on anything you need.

AUDIO: Click Button to hear Rich Emmons Talk about the Precision Rifle Series.

Now, a couple things you should just expect. You’re not as good as you think you are. Don’t expect to come into your first match and beat all the veterans. That just doesn’t happen unless you have had some really good coaching or other shooting competition experience to get you ready for this type of competition. If possible, find a local rifle club that has monthly long range matches, or any type of match will help prepare you for a larger PRS event. Getting involved with a rifle club and starting out shooting monthly matches is definitely the way to jump into competition shooting.

Watch PRS 2012 Championship (Click arrows icon to view full-screen version.)

The Gear You Need
The first question that many ask is: “What kind of rifle/caliber/scope do I need?” The easiest answer to this is, the best you can afford. It’s no secret the gear is expensive. It took me several years of buying sub-par gear and eventually trading up to figure this out. Now, a guy can get a real sense of pride of doing it on the cheap, or with a factory rifle. I’ve seen many old Savage 10FPs take down custom rigs that cost 10 times as much. And if that’s all you can afford, then eventually you will learn the limitations of yourself or your gear. As for choice of cartridge/caliber, the respected Precision Rifle Blog has analyzed three years worth of match results (2014, 2015, 2016) from the best tactical shooters in the nation. CLICK HERE to read an article that reveals what the “top guns” use. (CLICK HERE for PRB cartridge survey covering 2012-2014.)

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Making Good Ammo
Producing quality reloads is something you have to master. It’s not hard at all, you just have to pay attention to detail, and eventually you are going to do something stupid like mis-priming your brass, or skip a row of brass when dumping your powder. Everybody has their own horror story of some reloading failure that cost them a stage or even a match. So load to perfection, work with your rifle to find what load it likes the best, then start your practice.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Practice Makes Perfect
You want to become ONE with your rifle, learning everything you can about its functionality. Getting comfortable with the operation of your rifle is key. Learn the feel of your trigger, dry-firing until you wear the paint off your bolt handle. Learn how the rifle works best — pay attention to little things like the sound and feel of the bolt feeding a round from the mag (or when it doesn’t). Learn how to remove a jammed round quickly, learn how to reload a magazine quickly. Learn to scan across a field and find targets in a quick manner, seeing the targets with your eye and coming into the scope on target. These are some of the basic practices that separate the new shooters from the seasoned ones.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

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