July 19th, 2018

AutoTrickler + AutoThrow System for Precise Powder Dispensing

autotrickler v2 auto-trickler autothrow autothrower powder dispenser force restoration scale
The AutoTrickler/AutoThrow system dispenses powder with 1-2 kernel accuracy in just 10-12 seconds.

Review by Craig Arnzen of Area419.com
Guys in the PRS world are finally ready to admit — the more accurate we want to be, the more we should borrow practices from the F-Class and Benchrest worlds. There are no better examples of this that have popped up in the last year than the widespread adoption of highly accurate powder dispensers and high-end annealing techniques.

I’ll talk about the annealers another time, but today I want to introduce you to the powder dispenser contraption that is popping up on reloading benches everywhere — the AutoTrickler plus AutoThrow running with an A&D FX-120i magnetic force restoration scale.

The setup is priced firmly between the standard RCBS Chargemaster and the high-end $3,800 Prometheus powder dispensers. Depending on how you outfit it, and where you buy it, an AutoTrickler/AutoThrow setup will cost between $900 and $1,200. Figure $500-$525 for the A&D scale, $399.00 for AutoTrickler + AutoThrow (for A&D), and up to another $300 for Area 419 accessories.

autotrickler v2 auto-trickler autothrow autothrower powder dispenser force restoration scale

The AutoTrickler V2 by itself is $229-$269 (depending on scale model), while the AutoThrow is $199.00 purchased separately. Current AutoTrickler owners can add the AutoThrow as an upgrade. It’s worth it — the AutoThrow speeds up the dispensing process dramatically. Watch this video with the smart guy who invented the AutoTrickler and AuthoThrow systems, Adam McDonald:

AutoTrickler Inventor Adam McDonald Demonstrates the AutoThrow System:

How the AutoTrickler + AutoThrow System Works
The “brain” of this system is a micro-processor that controls the motors on the AutoThrow powder dispenser and the AutoTrickler, taking more than 100 readings per second from the scale. The process starts with the AutoThrow first dropping 90% of the charge directly into the pan via a vertical drop tube. Then the AutoTrickler finishes dispensing the charge with super precision, using its horizontal tube. This two-stage process allows the system to throw powder within a kernel or two of your target weight every time — in just 10-12 seconds.

Powder is dispensed onto an A&D FX-120i scale (other models, including a Sartorius Entris 64-1S can also be used) that is able to detect and register the weight of individual kernels very quickly, providing data back to the “brain”. The initial powder drop from the AutoThrow gets you within about 2 grains and then the AutoTrickler finishes in just a few seconds with amazing accuracy. When set up right, this system can weigh repeatably to within one or two kernels of powder.

Area 419 Accessories for AutoTrickler and AutoThrow
The system can also be outfitted with milled aluminum accessories from Area 419, adding adjustability, stability, and ergonomics to the process. We sell a base for the AutoTrickler that adds weight (to reduce movement when the stepper motor runs) and has adjustable feet to help tune the powder flow, a larger cup with handle (to reduce powder splashing when dumped from above) and upgrades for the auto-throw that enhance powder capacity and reduce noise and vibration.

Area 419 accessories billet base powder cup autotrickler v2 auto-trickler autothrow autothrower powder dispenser force restoration scale

All in all, this is one of the most popular new ways to throw powder of the last year, and these systems are becoming common enough that we think they are here to stay. This video review by the 6.5 Guys offers some tips for setting up your AutoTrickler System with Area 419 base.

AutoTricker with Billet Base and AutoThrow Review by 6.5 Guys:

Product Purchase Links

AutoTrickler and AutoThrow: http://www.autotrickler.com/auto-trickler.html
Area 419 Accessories: http://www.area419.com/product-category/reloading/at-accessories/
Balance + AutoTrickler + AutoThrow Combo: https://ce-products.myshopify.com/products/

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

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May 31st, 2018

6.5×47 Tactical Tack-Driver — The Non-Creedmoor ‘Six-Five’

6.5x47 Lapua Tactical Rifle Ryan Pierce Brux Barrel H4350 Berger Hybrid

A couple seasons back we published our comprehensive 6.5×47 Lapua Cartridge Guide, researched by the 6.5 Guys. In case you’ve been wondering what kind of accuracy is possible for a tactical-type rifle chambered for this mid-sized cartridge, check out this tack-driver built by gunsmith Ryan Pierce. That’s a mighty impressive 0.206″ five-shot group fired with Berger 140gr Hybrids using a Brux cut-rifled barrel. The powder was Hodgdon H4350, a very good choice for this cartridge.

6.5x47 Lapua Tactical Rifle Ryan Pierce Brux Barrel H4350 Berger Hybrid

Ryan reports: “Here is a 6.5×47 I built for a customer. It features a trued Rem 700 action, Brux 1:8″ Rem varmint-contour barrel, Mcmillan thumbhole stock, Surgeon bottom metal, and 3-port muzzle brake. The customer’s preferred load is the same that has worked in the last couple dozen 6.5x47s I’ve built: 41.1-41.3 grains of H4350 with 140 hybrids .050″ off the lands. This should run about 2810-2815 fps from a 26″ barrel. The 3.128″ refers to length of a loaded round from the base to ogive including the Hornady ogive comparator tool.”

6.5x47 Lapua Tactical Rifle Ryan Pierce Brux Barrel H4350 Berger Hybrid

Yep, It Measures Up…
Lest anyone dispute Ryan’s measurement of this group (the internet is full of nay-sayers), 0.206″ is EXACTLY what we got when we measured this group using OnTarget software. See for yourself:

6.5x47 Lapua Tactical Rifle Ryan Pierce

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February 13th, 2018

Through the Looking Glass — 6.5 Guys Review New Optics

New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

In the highly competitive optics market, technology is always advancing. This year, we’ve seen some significant innovations in high-end scopes, plus improved features in more affordable, sub-$1000 optics. The new American-made Revic PMR 428 scope features a built-in ballistic calculator employing a micro-processor and multiple on-board sensors. This really represents a major step forward in “smart” optics. Fans of high-technology should check it out. Or, if value is paramount, for less than one-third of the price of the Revic, you can get a new Nikon FX1000 series scope. The 6-24x50mm model offers very impressive features for under $800 — a bargain these days.

Revic Optics Scope Has Built-In Computer and Ballistics Solver

New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

Ever wish your riflescope could calculate windage and elevation and display the shooting solution directly in the scope image? Well check this out — the new Revic PMR 428 scope is one of the most advanced optics ever offered to the public. The Revic has a micro-processor inside, plus sensors for temperature, air pressure, incline and cant (around bore axis). After the shooter inputs wind speed and direction, this allows the scope itself to indicate the correct windage and elevation corrections, plus adjust for shot angle. This really is a Big Deal, and we expect other top-end optics makers to follow suit in the years ahead. Right now Revic offers one 4-28x56mm PMR 428 Smart Scope for $2750.00. In this video, Steve Lawrence of 65Guys.com reviews the capabilities of the ground-breaking Revic PMR 428.

Impressive New Products from Nikon at Great Prices

New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

Jeremy Bentham, a Precision Rifle Series competitor, joined Nikon a year ago as a marketing manager. With his help, Nikon is making inroads into the Precision Rifle market with impressive products at very competitive prices. Here Steve chats with Jeremy about the latest offerings from Nikon, which recently celebrated its 100-year Anniversary. Jeremy presents Nikon’s new products for the tactical/practical market: 1) Stabilized Laser Rangefinder; 2) All-New FX1000 Tactical Scopes in 4-16X and 6-24X, with both MIL and MOA versions and optional illumination. The rangefinder is impressive — it eliminates 80% of perceived shake and also offers built-in angle compensation plus extended ranging capability. The new scopes are priced attractively — under $800. Bentham designed the new reticles which are clear and easy-to-use. These optics feature “high-speed” turrets (10 Mil or 25 MOA) with nice, tactile clicks. The 4-16x50mm model is $649.95 while the 6-24x50mm is $799.95 MSRP. These represent outstanding value for a big name, life-time warranty product.

U.S. Optics Offers B17 and B25 Scopes for Tactical Applications

The 6.5 Guys also checked out the new products from U.S. Optics. For 2018, U.S. Optics is featuring two impressive tactical scopes, the B17 and B25. Ed Mobley of 65Guys.com talks with Jake Vibbert of U.S. Optics. Jake explains that his company offers a wide variety of options, with both MOA- and Mil-based reticles. The B17 and B25 both feature a 34mm main tube, which helps deliver greater elevation adjustment. These B-series scopes offer a fast-focus eyepiece, and a true “tool-less” zero-set option. That’s a nice feature — you don’t have to find an Allen wrench in the middle of a competition.

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February 3rd, 2018

2018 Product Lines — Savage, Bergara, Legacy Sports Int’l

6.5 Guys Shot show 2018 savage, bergara, howa

Our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys seemed to be everywhere at SHOT Show. With tripods and cameras slung over their shoulders, Ed and Steve worked marathon hours, recording no less than 43 SHOT Show videos. They found all sorts of new and interesting products. They visited notable optics makers including March, Nightforce, Nikon, and Vortex. They interviewed major players in the PRS/Tactical Game including George Gardner of G.A. Precision, Tom Manners of Manners Composite Stocks, and Frank Galli, founder of Sniper’s Hide. And the 6.5 Guys also covered mainstream, large-volume rifle makers. That will be our focus here today, as we present the 6.5 Guys’ coverage of three key, long-arms builders or importers — Bergara, Legacy International, and Savage Arms.

Savage Arms — New Options for Precision Shooters

Savage Accufit 2018 products

We own a couple Savage rifles, so we know Savage centerfire rifles can deliver surprisingly good accuracy for the price. It is not unusual for Savage rifles in some chamberings to shoot 0.7 MOA right out of the box. And the barrel nut system allows you to easily swap in an aftermarket custom barrel to get even more accuracy. Here the 6.5 Guys look at Savage’s new-for-2018 offerings, including the Stealth Evolution and the long-action Model 110 BA with GRS stock. A new chambering has been added — the 6.5 PRC.

Bergara — Becoming a Player in the American Market

Bergara match rifle PRS, internal chassis

We have been impressed with Bergara’s development as a brand in the last few years. Bergara, a Spanish company, is serious about becoming a player in the American market. The company has listened to American shooters, building hunting and tactical rifles with key features valued by American customers. Bergara rifles offer a nice combination of comfortable ergonomics with some advanced engineering, such as the B14’s internal metal chassis. In this video, the 6.5 Guys look at the latest rifle offerings from Bergara.

Legacy Sports International — Howa and Lithgow Arms

Bergara match rifle PRS, internal chassis

Legacy Sports Int’l is the importer/distributor for a number of rifle manufacturers, including Howa, Lithgow Arms, and Citadel. In this video, Ed looks at the Howa KRG Bravo chambered in 6mm Creedmoor. This features the smooth-running Howa 1500 action with 2-Stage HACT Trigger, set in a Kinetic Research Group modular chassis. Priced at $1279.00 MSRP with sub-MOA guarantee, it is definitely a serious contender in the PRS Factory Class. Anyone looking at a Ruger Precision Rifle should also consider this Howa.

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January 20th, 2018

Choosing and Using a Progressive Press — 6.5 Guys Video

6.5 Guys Progressive Press video Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader

Progressive reloading presses offer shooters speed and efficiency in producing custom-tailored rifle and pistol ammunition. However, there is a wide choice of Progressive Presses and a bewildering array of options to consider. In this video, the 6.5 Guys and UltimateReloader.com’s Gavin Gear provide an overview of the leading Progressive Presses on the market along with key considerations for precision rifle shooters. If you are considering getting a Progessive for rifle ammo reloading, you should watch this informative, 25-minute video.

10 Tips for Reloading Precision Rifle Ammo on a Progressive Press:

1. Make sure the brass is very clean. Don’t mix old range pick-up brass with newer brass.

2. Apply a thin, spray lube to all cases before the sizing/loading cycle.

3. Consider priming your brass separately (with a hand or bench tool) before the operation. Then inspect the primers before loading powder and bullets.

4. Always wear eye protection when loading with the Progressive, particularly if you are priming cases.

5. With tape, mark the powder measure/dropper with the powder type and charge weight.

6. Cycle a few cases, sizing and adding powder but NOT seating bullets. Weigh the powder charges to ensure the powder measure is dispensing the correct charge. Sometimes this will change a couple tenths as it “settles down” after the first few charges.

7. Check the brass for shoulder bump and bullet seating depth carefully for the first few rounds, then check again periodically.

8. Try to maintain a steady pace and operate the handle the same way every time.

9. Visually inspect the powder charge in each case (before bullet seating), and use a lock-out die if your Progressive Press has enough stations.

10. Never, ever mix pistol and rifle powders! If you have previously loaded pistol ammo with your Progressive, make sure ALL the powder (every flake and kernel) is removed from all components of the powder-dropping system before you add rifle powder.

Loading Pistol Ammo on a Dillon

The .45 ACP is probably our favorite centerfire pistol cartridge. In this video, Gavin Gear shows how to load this popular round on a Dillon 550B Progressive Press:

Visit these sites for more Reloading and Precision Shooting Videos:

6.5 Guys
https://www.youtube.com/user/65guys
http://www.65Guys.com

Ultimate Reloader
https://www.youtube.com/ultimatereloader
http://www.UltimateReloader.com

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December 29th, 2017

BYOB — Build Your Own Barricade (for Tactical Training)

6.5 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence

Here’s a great Do-It-Yourself project for tactical shooters. Ed and Steve of the 65Guys.com have created a versatile wooden barricade designed for easy transport. The goal with this design was to create a stable barricade that offers a variety of shooting positions, but can also fit in the bed of a pick-up or the back of an SUV. The 69″ tall barricade is hinged in the middle, so it’s just 27″ wide. To deploy the Barricade you simply fold it open and then nest the lower wings in ground-level stands.

We call this the BYOB Project — Build Your Own Barricade. Anyone with basic wood-working skills should find the Barricade prettyeasy to make. The only tricky part is cutting the side Dado joints for the left and right lower wings. But when you’ve got it completed, you have a low-cost unit that is versatile and sturdy yet easy to pack in a truck and carry out on the range. In the video below the 6.5 Guys showcase their Gen 2 barricade and explain how to build one just like it.

Looking at the 6.5 Guys Modular Barricade
The Modular Barricade was drawn up by Steve in PowerPoint and then dimensions added. Once the entire plan was created, Steve cut components to size and then used ordinary wood screws and wood glue to assemble the barricade frame. This was done to ensure maximum rigidity due to the light weight construction using 2″ x 2″ frame members. A long piano hinge was used to allow the Barricade to fold in half, while still having high torsional rigidity. Each of the Barricade openings are 12″ x 12″ square. This consistent ‘window’ spacing allows interchangeable panels with different cut-out shapes to be placed at varies heights/locations in the Barricade.

Modular Barricade Key Features
— Lightweight construction using low-cost 2×2 wood beams.
— Collapsible frame with center hinges for easy transport and deployment.
— Multiple Support levels at 6″ vertical intervals (6″ variance R to L).
— Modular port design allows ports to be changed and moved as desired.

6.5 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence


CLICK HERE to Download 6.5 Guys Barricade Plans PDF »

6.5 Guys’ Modular Barricade — Construction Tips
The Modular Barricade can be constructed over a weekend with the proper materials and basic shop tools such as a power saw and electric screwdriver. Steve used a router for the side panel dado joints but a table saw could also be used for that task. Steve’s only real issue with the build involved the port panels — getting them to fit right. The 2″ x 2″ frame wood wasn’t always straight; even a small variation in the wood could cause a port panel to be too tight or too loose. Steve had to do a lot of extra sanding and planing to get the port panels to fit just right.

Where and How to Use the Barricade for Training
Because the 6.5 Guys’ Modular Barricade is so easy to move, you can simply pack it up and deploy it at your local range for practice. (Do ensure club/range rules allow shooting from barricades.) While the Barricade is designed to sit on the natural ground, the base stands can also be placed on concrete if your range does not allow deployment forward of the normal firing line. While you can use the Barricade for training on your own, Ed and Steve say novice shooters can benefit from a formal clinic.

In the video below, the 6.5 Guys discuss precision rifle training with Scott Satterlee, an instructor with Core Shooting Solutions. This video explains why new shooters should consider enrolling in a formal training clinic. Topics covered are: typical course format and “curriculum”, the gear needed to participate in a precision rifle clinic, and skills shooters should practice before attending the clinic.

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November 16th, 2017

The Custom-Honed Full-Length Die — Why You May Want One

Honed FL Forster Whidden Full-length dies
For some applications, we prefer a non-bushing FL die over a bushing die. Shown here are three Forster full-length sizing dies, with necks honed to three different dimensions: 0.265″, 0.266″, and 0.267″.

The Honed Full-Length Sizing Die Option

There are many good options in full-length (FL) sizing dies. Most precision hand-loaders prefer FL dies with neck bushings. These let you adjust the “grip” on your bullet by using larger or smaller bushings. FL bushing dies are available from Whidden Gunworks, Forster, Redding and other makers.

Conventional, non-bushing full-length sizing dies can create ultra-accurate ammo with very low run-out. But many conventional non-bushing FL dies have an undersized neck diameter so you end up with excess neck tension, and you work the brass excessively.

There is another effective option, one that promises extremely low run-out. The honed FL die is a full-length sizing die that has the necked honed to provide a precise fit to the case-neck. When done right, honed FL dies produce extremely straight ammo — as there are no issues with bushing alignment (or bushings that are not perfectly concentric). This Editor owns honed dies from Forster, Redding, and Whidden. They all perform extremely well, delivering match ammunition with extremely low run-out measured with a 21st Century Concentricity Gauge.

In one of the most popular articles we’ve ever published, Bugholes from Bipod, California shooter “Froggy” explained why he prefers honed dies for his tactical ammo.

Q: Do you FL size every time? Do you use custom dies?

Absolutely, I full length resize all of my brass every time I reload. And guess what? I’ve never had a feeding problem.

I do use a modified sizing die, without bushings. My FL resizing die has been custom-honed in the neck area to give .0015″ press fit on the bullet. I also put a slightly larger radius at the neck shoulder junction. I feel that this helps to seal the chamber. With this die, I get consistent neck tension every time–without bushings. Bushings are useful when you’re fishing around for a good load. But once you find the right amount of sizing for ideal neck tension, you can do this better with a customized FL die.

6.5 Guys Review Forster Honed Full-length Dies
The 6.5 Guys recently reviewed honed FL sizing dies from Forster, explaining the pros and cons of this type of reloading die. They explained that, if you load a wide variety of bullets from different manufacturers, you many want to stick with a Bushing FL die. However, if you have settled on a particular bullet and found the “ideal” neck tension, then a honed die may make sense.

In this Gear Update, the 6.5 Guys discuss a service offered by Forster Products to custom hone the neck diameter of its full-length sizing dies to the customer’s specifications (to the thousandth). Whidden Gunworks also offers custom-honed FL dies.

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October 12th, 2017

Getting Started in Precision Rifle Matches (Practical/Tactical)

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

Our friends, Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence, aka the “6.5 Guys”, have written an excellent article on getting started in practical/tactical competition. If you are new to the game, these tips can help you save money, progress faster, and have more fun. Here are article highlights, but we recommend you read the full story, 5 Tips for Attending Your First Precision Rifle Match, on www.65guys.com.

We often meet people who are new to long range precision shooting, and want to improve their knowledge and skill level. However, they aren’t sure if they are ready to sign up to compete in a match. They often ask, “What knowledge or skills are necessary to compete in a match?” Others may state, “I need to purchase this gear or that gear before I can attend a match”. For those guys who have a strong interest in precision rifle shooting, and who wish to chec out a precision rifle match, below are Five Tips to make it a positive experience.

TIP ONE: Make Plans and Commit to Go

First you need to start by finding a match to attend. This may entail a little bit of research and investigative work on your part to find what matches are scheduled in the next few months. We recommend starting with any match that may be within a reasonable driving distance. This may likely be a local “club” match, many of which are held on a regular basis. These make great venues because it will provide an opportunity to meet some of the regular attendees as well as shooters that are from your geographic area. Additionally, most of the smaller matches are a little more relaxed in terms of level of competitiveness.

Once you decide on the match you want to attend, do your homework. This means finding out if you need to pre-register or pre-pay the match fee. Commit to going by registering for the match and putting it on your schedule. Be sure to find other useful information for questions such as:

— What time should I arrive?
— Is there a mandatory safety briefing for new shooters at that venue?
— What is the travel time required to get to the match site?
— How many stages will there be?
— Is there a description of the stages available before the match?
— How many rounds should you bring?
— Are there special equipment requirements? (E.g. do you need chamber flags, is there a pistol stage?)

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

TIP TWO: Bring What You Have

(Don’t Spend a Fortune at the Start)
Some new shooters often assume they need a custom match rifle or all of the miscellaneous shooting gear associated with long range precision shooting to compete in match. While having a Kestrel weather meter and a high quality laser range finder and other shooting accoutrements are invaluable kit, you will find other shooters at your first match that will provide you with the information and coaching you need to get on target.

In fact, the only gear you really need to bring is a scoped rifle with a bipod and ammo capable of consistently shooting within one MOA. Also, be sure to know the ballistic drops or have a ballistic drop table prepared for your rifle/ammo to dial the correct DOPE on your scope for different target ranges. Many of the other participants at the match will be willing to let you borrow a support bag, bipod, tripod or other gear if you need one — just ask. Don’t use the excuse of not having the right gear to delay getting out to a match!

One reason not to make a big initial investment in a new rifle and assorted gear before competing, is we’ve seen a number of people come into the sport and try it for a year and then make the decision to move on to something else.

TIP THREE: Be Prepared to Learn

As a new shooter at a match, there is no better opportunity to learn. We often look to our local club matches as a group ‘training’ session to prepare for the bigger matches. You will find competitors at all levels of skill and many of your fellow shooters will enthusiastically provide helpful advice once they learn you are new to the sport. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions if you would like ideas for how to engage a stage, but also be sure to do more listening than talking as you receive guidance and tips from more experienced competitors.

Watch and observe other shooters and how they approach and ‘game’ a specific stage or course of fire. You’ll begin to recognize which shooting positions work best for different scenarios, and maybe even come up with some new ones that no one has thought of before.

Seeing what the better shooters do is an invaluable instructional tool. You can use your smart phone’s video camera to record other shooters (with their permission). When you’re ready to shoot, ask another shooter to record your performance. Watching yourself will point out needed areas of improvement.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

After each match conduct an informal after action review and summarize for yourself the things that went well and what you should continue to do. You should also identify the specific shooting skills you should develop and make a plan to integrate the appropriate practice drills into your practice sessions. Finally, if you maintain a shooter’s data book or journal you’ll want to note things such as:

After Action Review – How you did, what went well, things you need to work on in practice.
Stage Observations – Successful methods used for specific courses of fire. Note barricades, positions used, specific gear used for stages.
Gear Observations – How your rifle/gear performed, what new items you should add to your “buy list”.

TIP FOUR: Be Safe and Have Fun

You’ve all heard a parent or teacher say, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” The same can be said of the shooting sports. Safe handling of firearms is the number one rule at any match, and comes before the FUN part in terms of importance.

Before all matches start there will always be some form of a mandatory safety briefing. Make sure you know, understand, and follow any unique safety protocols for the match you attend. Some matches require all rifles have chamber flags inserted and are stowed in bags/cases while not on the firing line — other matches may not. If you run afoul of any safety rules, you risk the chance of being disqualified from a stage or worse, the entire match.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

The second rule is simply have fun. This starts with having a good attitude throughout the day. Keep in mind that as a new competitor you should think of a match as a solid day of practice and training. If you blow a stage, use it as an opportunity to diagnose what you could have done differently or what you need to improve on — then smile and drive on.

Any day at the range or shooting is a good day. A match is an opportunity to hang out with like-minded people who are passionate about shooting and impacting targets far-far away. Life is great when you are doing what you enjoy!

TIP FIVE: Make Friends

There is no better way to meet lots of precision rifle shooters and make friends than at a match. The people that attend the tactical precision matches on a regular basis are those that have ‘fallen into the deep end of the pool’ and are really into the sport. As a result, they have become part of the local precision shooting community. As you strike up conversations at the match, find out if your new-found friends visit specific forum boards or social media outlets, or if there are other matches they attend.

Precision shooters tend to congregate and share information in different corners of the Internet. It will serve you well to meet some of the guys in person at matches and be able to connect a face to a screen name. As you develop your friendships and develop a level of trust, you will find opportunities become available to shoot with others in your local area, or get ‘read-in’ on a secret honey-hole of a spot to shoot long distance. Additionally, the local shooting community will often find it more convenient to sell or trade gear and equipment locally than deal with buyers/sellers that are out of state.

>> CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE on 65Guys.com

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July 30th, 2017

Howa Mini Action Rifles Reviewed by 6.5 Guys

Howa Mini Action Rifle 6.5 Guys 65guys.com Legacy Sports 6.5 Grendel 7.62x39

We’ve been fans of the Howa Mini Action rifles since they were introduced a couple years ago. With actions that are nearly an inch shorter than typical “short actions”, these Mini Action rigs work great as a compact “truck gun” or carry-around varminter. Current chamberings are: .204 Ruger, .222 Rem, .223 Rem, 6.5 Grendel, and 7.62×39. There are 20″ lightweight, 20″ heavy contour, and 22″ standard contour barrel options.

6.5 Guy Ed Mobley Tests the 7.62×39 Howa Mini Action Rifle
Howa Mini Action Rifle 6.5 Guys 65guys.com Legacy Sports 6.5 Grendel 7.62x39

The Howa Mini Action rifles come with the excellent HACT 2-stage trigger and a 5-round or 10-round, synthetic detachable box mag (depending on caliber). The Mini Action’s bolt is 13% shorter than on regular short actions, providing a shorter, faster bolt throw. Weight is also reduced. This makes for a nice, compact (and very shootable) package.

6.5 Guys Test Howa Mini Actions in 6.5 Grendel and 7.62×39

The 6.5 Guys recently secured a pair of Howa Mini Actions, one chambered in 6.5 Grendel and the other in 7.62×39 Russian: “After trying out the Howa Mini Action rifles at SHOT Show 2017, we got a couple of loaners in 6.5 Grendel and 7.62×39 courtesy of Legacy Sports. These rifles are known for their smooth cycling and lightweight actions, as well as some unique chamberings for bolt rifles (6.5 Grendel, 7.62×39). Long story short, we really enjoyed them.” In fact Steve liked his 6.5 Grendel enough that he plans to purchase the gun. Get the full scoop in this VIDEO REVIEW:

The folks at Legacy Sports also conducted extensive accuracy tests of commercial ammunition in 6.5 Grendel and 7.62×39. The most accurate 6.5 Grendel ammo, with a stunning 0.29″ group, was Alexander Arms with Lapua 123gr Scenar; second best (0.56″ group) was Hornady with 123gr A-Max bullet. The most accurate 7.62×39 ammo was Hornady 123gr SST with a 0.62″ group in the 20″ Heavy Barrel version. View Howa’s Test Reports with these links:

6.5 Grendel Factory Ammo Data | 7.62×39mm Factory Ammo Data

Howa Mini Action Rifle 6.5 Guys 65guys.com Legacy Sports 6.5 Grendel 7.62x39
Click HERE for full-screen image.

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June 17th, 2017

Tactical TV — 6.5 Guys Interview Leading Tactical Match Directors

6.5 Guys sniper's hide PRS precision rifle national rifle league video interviews shot show 2017

Are you a tactical competitor, or are you considering getting started in the PRS series or other practical shooting competition? Then here are three videos you’ll definitely want to watch. Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence, aka the 6.5 Guys, interview PRS Director Shawn Wiseman, as well as the founders of the New National Rifle League. In addition, the 6.5 Guys catch up with Frank Galli, founder of Sniper’s Hide. These three interviews cover important developments in the tactical/practical disciplines, such as the new PRS Gas Gun Series.

Precision Rifle Series — Shawn Wiseman
6.5 Guys: We sat down with Shawn Wiseman of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS). We discussed the new divisions (gas gun and tactical) as well as the club series. We got authoritative answers in response to the many questions that have been floating around. Shawn discussed the challenges the PRS has faced with its rapid growth and how these challenges have been addressed.

6.5 Guys sniper's hide PRS precision rifle national rifle league video interviews shot show 2017

National Rifle League — Tyler Frehner and Travis Ishida
6.5 Guys: We met with Tyler Frehner and Travis Ishida of the new National Rifle League (NRL). The NRL is 501(c)3 non-profit organization that conducts a series of practical/tactical style matches around the country and promotes a range of outdoors-related public interest activities. The interview covers the formation of the National Rifle League, the goals of the program, and the match schedule for 2017.


6.5 Guys sniper's hide PRS precision rifle national rifle league video interviews shot show 2017

Snipers Hide — Frank Galli
6.5 Guys: Frank Galli shared his observations from SHOT Show as well as the future of Sniper’s Hide. Frank has been a terrific mentor and supporter of the 6.5 Guys. Frank talks about important developments for the Sniper’s Hide Forum. In addition, Frank discusses the evolution of the tactical disciplines and precision rifle hardware.

6.5 Guys sniper's hide PRS precision rifle national rifle league video interviews shot show 2017

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical 1 Comment »
June 14th, 2017

Make Your Own Lanolin-Based Case Lube

DIY yourself lanolin case lube lubricant One Shot Ultimate Reloader Gavin Gear 6.5 Guys

In the YouTube video embedded below, our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com shows who to make your own case lube using simple, inexpensive ingredients. As recommended by the 6.5 Guys, this Liquid Lanolin + Isopropyl Alchohol mix works well and is very cost-effective. You can make a pint of this home-brew Lanolin case lube for a fraction of the price of commercial aerosol spray lubes.

Complete Case Lube Instructions on UltimateReloader.com »

Gavin tells us: “Per the 65guys instructions, I ordered the same components and spray bottles, and these worked out great”:

1. Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 Ounce (2-pack)
2. Home Health Liquid Lanolin, 4 Ounce
3. Chemical Guys ACC_121.16HD-3PK Chem. Resistant Heavy Duty Bottle/Sprayer (16 oz.)

Gavin describes the exact mixing process on his Ultimate Reloader website. Gavin says this lube mix is a good complement to the Hornady One-Shot (pistol) and Dillon DCL (rifle) lubes he has used for pistol and rifle reloading sessions. CLICK HERE to read more.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 4 Comments »
April 3rd, 2017

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass Performs Great in Tough Field Test

6.5 Guys 6.5 creedmoor Lapua brass cartridge casing filed test 20 reload cycles

The verdict is in — Lapua’s new 6.5 Creedmoor brass is ultra-tough and very consistent. So sayeth the 6.5 Guys, who recently field-tested the brass, loading it to very stout levels. Even after 20 reloadings, the Lapua 6.5 CM brass held up extremely well. This brass, with its small primer pocket and small flash hole, really does out-perform other 6.5 Creedmoor brass offerings. Yes the Lapua brass is pricey, but it outlasts the alternatives, and, if the 6.5 Guys test is any indication, you can run higher velocities with this brass compared to other brands. Watch the 6.5 Guys Lapua brass test in this video:

If you have a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, or are considering getting a gun chambered for this cartridge, we strongly recommend you watch the full 6.5 Guys Video. Ed and Steve spent a lot of time conducting this test, and the video includes helpful summaries of their findings.

The Evolution of the 6.5 Creedmoor
Over the last few years the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has become increasingly popular among precision rifle enthusiasts. However, availability of brass cases was limited to only a few manufacturers. In early 2017 Lapua introduced to the market its own 6.5 Creedmoor case with a unique twist — the case has a small rifle primer pocket and small flash hole — like the 6mmBR Norma and 6.5×47 Lapua.

6.5 Guys 6.5 creedmoor Lapua brass cartridge casing filed test 20 reload cycles

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass — Test Protocol
The 6.5 Guys tested a box of Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge brass supplied by Graf & Sons. The project involved two phases. First the 6.5 Guys weighed and measured the cases to assess weight uniformity and dimensional consistency (which was impressive). Then came phase II — the “torture test”. The 6.5 Guys loaded the brass with a very stout charge of H4350 pushing 140gr Hornady ELD bullets*. The brass was loaded and shot over 20 times. This durability test was conducted to see how many repeated firings and resizing/reloading cycles the brass could handle. Remarkably, after 20+ loadings, the brass was still holding up — no “blown-out” primer pockets. This stuff is tough. The 6.5 Guys note: “You can go at least 20 reloadings without a split neck…but brass spring-back may be another issue.”

After 20 Load Cycles — Going to the Extreme
Once the Lapua cases had been shot 20+ times, the 6.5 Guys tried something more extreme. They stuffed the brass with a very hot load — a powder charge weight well beyond a sensible maximum. Even with this “beyond max” load, the Lapua brass held up but there was some evidence of pressure on the primers: “You do see some cratering on the primer with a Remington 700 that you don’t see with a Defiance action, but nothing to indicate a potential pierced primer.”

6.5 Guys 6.5 creedmoor Lapua brass cartridge casing filed test 20 reload cycles
WARNING: The 6.5 Guys deliberately used a very stout load for testing. Do not attempt to duplicate. This load was shot in a faster-than-average barrel with a chamber set up for long 140gr bullets. You may not be able to achieve similar velocities — maybe not even close. As with all hand-loading, always start low and work up charges in small increments.

6.5 Creedmoor vs. 6.5×47 Lapua — Battle of the Middle-Weights
With this new brass, does the 6.5 Creedmoor enjoy an edge over the 6.5×47 Lapua? The 6.5 Guys answer: “That’s hard to say. From a market share standpoint, the 6.5 CM is more popular in the USA. From a technical perspective, 6.5×47 Lapua offers near identical performance with better barrel life. But from our tests, you can drive a 140-grain bullet much faster with 6.5 Creedmoor than you ever can (safely) with a 6.5×47 Lapua. That’s our non-answer answer….”

The 6.5 Guys concluded that the 6.5 Creedmoor will enjoy a velocity advantage: “We’ve had a number of discussions with RBros and other folks about this. It appears that 6.5×47 still has the edge as far as barrel life. But it also looks like you can push a 140gr bullet pretty fast with the 6.5 CM — speeds that are not obtainable with the 6.5×47 Lapua.”

* Why were the Hornady 140gr ELDs chosen for testing? The 6.5 Guys wanted a bullet in the 140gr weight range. Beyond that, the choice was fortuitous. Ed explained: “Our bullet selection was quite scientific — we sat down at my reloading bench and looked around. Saw the Hornady 140 ELD Match and decided to roll with that.”

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 23 Comments »
February 16th, 2017

6.5 Creedmoor vs. Other Mid-Sized .264-Caliber Cartridges

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

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 options. 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.

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.” But now that Lapua is producing top-quality 6.5 Creedmoor brass with small primer pockets, we could have a “second generation” 6.5 Creedmoor that rivals ANY mid-sized cartridge for efficiency AND accuracy. We will soon know how well the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge performs with Lapua brass.

The first shipment of Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass has arrived in the USA. It features a small flash hole and small primer pocket. We have some for testing…

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass

New Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass Field Tests Soon
Our friends at 65Guys.com will be testing the new Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass next week. The goal will be to determine if Lapua’s new Small Primer Pocket/Small Flash Hole brass allows higher velocities than American-made brass (Hornady specifically). In addition the 6.5 Guys want to see how well the new Lapua brass holds up after dozen (or more) firing cycles. They’ll hammer the new brass pretty hard to see how it fares with repeated stout loads. Stay tuned…

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 Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 21 Comments »
February 14th, 2017

PRS Gas Gun Series Kicks Off This Weekend in Florida

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

The Precision Rifle Series (PRS) for tactical bolt guns has become hugely popular. Capitalizing on that success, the PRS has approved a new Gas Gun series for semi-auto rifles such as AR15s and AR10s. Since the launch of the PRS a few seasons back, Gas Gun shooters have wanted to play. Recognizing the interest among semi-auto shooters, the PRS ran two “prototype” Gas Gun matches last year.

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

Based on positive feedback from the 2016 test matches, PRS founders approved a full 2017 Gas Gun series which kicks off this week. The 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series opener will be held February 17-19, 2017 at the CORE Shooting Solutions range in Baker, Florida. Here’s a video showing CORE’s facility:

For the new PRS Gas Gun Series, rules and scoring procedures needed to be developed. Accordingly, a committee of top PRS shooters, Multi-Gun shooters, and Match Directors was assembled to develop the PRS Gas Gun Series Rule Book. Highlights of the Rules are listed below.

Last month, Shooting Sports USA interviewed PRS President Shawn Wiseman. In a Question and Answer session, Wiseman outlined key elements of the new “Gasser” PRS series. Here are samples from that interview:

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. No more than 50 percent of the stages can be unlimited round count and 25 percent of the targets must be 2 MOA or smaller. The scoring will be overall time plus penalties with the winner being the shooter with the fastest time including all penalties. 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 5 to 6X zoom range on the rifles. Bushnell, Kahles, Leupold, Nightforce and Vortex will continue to be the most popular.

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

PRS Gas Gun Series Rules

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.

Scoring and Penalties
The Gas Gun Series utilizes a time plus penalty-based scoring system for all match scoring. This means the score is the shooter’s total combined time on all stages plus any penalties accrued.

Penalties are as follows:
30 seconds for any rifle targets not engaged or neutralized.
15 seconds for any pistol targets not engaged or neutralized.
15 seconds for hitting a “No Shoot” target.
No more than 50% of the stages at a match can utilize an unlimited round count. At least 25% of the targets in Gas Gun Series match must be 2 MOA or smaller. Maximum distance is 800 yards.

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 tocompete 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 Light Division rifles are restricted to 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington calibers 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.

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical 1 Comment »
January 31st, 2017

New Optics Products Featured in 6.5 Guys SHOT Show Videos

65guys.com Ed Steve Scope Optics SHOT Show Videos Schmidt Bender Vortex Burris Nightforce Tactical Long Range 2017

Here’s a comprehensive “reveal” of the latest and greatest rifle optics for 2017, thanks to our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys. These two hard-working dudes visited dozens of product booths during SHOT Show, producing over 40 video interviews for 6.5guys.com. Below we’ve included the 6.5 Guys’ videos for Nightforce, Vortex, and Schmidt & Bender. Plus you’ll find links to other videos for Burris, Bushnell, Steiner, and U.S. Optics. Enjoy these videos, and for more great coverage of SHOT Show, visit the 6.5 Guys’ YouTube Channel.

NIGHTFORCE Optics — New for 2017

The big news at Nightforce’s SHOT Show booth was a new First Focal Plane (FFP) ATACR with a five times zoom range. The new 7-35x56mm ATACR offers tactical and long range shooters the ability to go from a wide field of view at seven power, all the way up to very high 35X magnification. That makes this one scope that can truly “do it all” — from short-range moving targets to 1000 yards and beyond.

Nightforce Atacr 7-35x56mm tactical FFP scope

VORTEX Optics — New for 2017

Vortex is releasing a new “Gen II” series of Viper PST riflescopes. The versatile Viper PST series can work for many disciplines — Target Shooting, 3-Gun, Hunting, or Precision Long Range. The new second generation PSTs offer many improvements.

NEW 2-10×32, 3-15×44, and 5-25×50: Vortex offers a wide magnification range with these three new PSTs. Each offers tall tactical turrets and side-focus parallax adjustment with integrated illumination. To ensure reliable return-to-zero, all new models feature the patented RZR Zero Stop from the Razor HD 5-20×50 riflescope. Reticles include Vortex’s new EBR-4 and EBR-2C with MOA or MRAD stadia to match your turrets. First Focal Plane reticles are available on select models.

Vortex 2017 optics PST Fury Laser Rangefinder scope tactical diamondback

SCHMIDT & BENDER — New for 2017

Schmidt & Bender had many premium riflescopes on display, none more impressive than the recently-introduced 5-45x56mm PM II “super-zoom” optic. This impressive (and razor-sharp) scope offers a remarkable 9X zoom ratio. That makes it suitable for a wide variety of shooting disciplines. A tactical competitor can dial back to 5-power for a wide field of view on close-in targets. Or, for 1000-yard shooting, crank the scope all the way up to 45-power. S&B says the scope is intended for “tactical ultra-long-range shooting”.

65guys.com Ed Steve Scope Optics SHOT Show Videos Schmidt Bender Vortex Burris Nightforce Tactical Long Range 2017

Also on display was the 5-25x56mm PM II Digital BT — this Bluetooth-enabled scope can project data from external devices, such as laser rangefinders, into the field of view. S&B is leading the way in the integration of optics and digital devices.

And There’s More — Burris, Bushnell, Steiner, and U.S. Optics
The 6.5 Guys also visited other optics makers including Burris, Bushnell, Steiner, and U.S. Optics. There were interesting offerings from all these scope manufacturers. Click the links below to watch four more 6.5 Guys videos covering new developments in the sport optics arena. The videos focus on products for tactical/practical and long-range shooting.

BURRIS | BUSHNELL | STEINER OPTICS | U.S. OPTICS

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics 2 Comments »
January 17th, 2017

Media Day at the Range 2017 — Highlights

Media Day Range 2017 IWI .338 LM
Shown is a new .338 Lapua Magnum rifle from Israel’s IWI. Impressively beefy rig.

For folks in the gun industry, the third Monday in January is the best day of the year. Held in conjunction with SHOT Show, Media Day at the Range lets us try out dozens of new rifles and pistols, as well as meet top gun designers and friends in the shooting sports. We saw some very interesting new products this year. Here are some of the most interesting “take-aways” from Media Day at the Range 2017 on January 16th.

Most Innovative — “The FIX” Rifle from Q

The star of Media Day, at least in the rifle category, was “The FIX”, a new modular rifle from the Q Team. This innovative rig features a totally unique bolt system with a 45° lift and a bolt housing that runs on rails (literally). This thing cycles fast and smoothly.

q rifle the fix modular tactical

The trigger, set at 2.5 pounds, was one of the best we’ve ever tried on a centerfire factory rifle. One has to admire the engineering on “The FIX”. This new rifle has definitely “raised the bar” for tactical-style rifles. It’s different, it works, and it offers real advantages for both hunters and tactical style shooters.

Savage 10 with Ergonomic GRS Stock

Perhaps the most ergonomic rifle we shot all day was the new Savage GRS-10 in a stiff, composite GRS stock. European-crafted GRS stocks feature a very comfortable hand-grip, plus fully adjustable cheek-piece and adjustable length of pull. As shown this rifle is very affordable for PRS production-class competition.

Savage GRS-10 Norway PRS Stock

To be frank, this Editor liked this rifle more than the Ruger Precision Rifle. A lot more. The GRS stock fit better, the Savage bolt cycled much more smoothly, the trigger was better, and the magazine seated more easily. If you don’t have to be “tacticool” with a metal stock, you should definitely consider this Savage. The new Savage GRS-10 will be offered in 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win chamberings. Here’s a video review by Guns America.

Blacktical Bolt-Action Rifles — The PRS Influence

We saw many new (or upgraded) PRS-style bolt action rifles in modular aluminum frames. There were offerings from Savage, Bergara, Tikka, and more. We’ll provide a more thorough run-down on these new guns next week. We really liked the new Tikka T3x TAC A1, while tactical shooters Ed and Steve (aka the 6.5 Guys) were impressed with the new Bergara: “Bergara has in-sourced chassis and triggers to produce very high quality offerings at a very competitive price. Handling, shooting and cycling the bolt on the $1150 MSRP Hunting and Match Rifle would lead one to believe the price tag was a mistake (maybe the first digit should have been a 2). We felt the same when we got behind the $1,699 Bergara Match Precision Rifle.”

Tikka T3x TAC A1
tikka T3x TA
C tactical rifle

Bergara Match Precision
bergara match precision PRS

Pistols — The Sounds of Silence

The most interesting handgun on display was SilencerCo’s Maxim 9, which features an integral suppressor. It looks bulky but it felt relatively normal in the hand. The silencer did tame muzzle lift as well as reduce sound levels dramatically. This is an impressive piece of engineering.

silencerco maxim 9 9mm suppressed pistol

There were many other pistols equipped with more conventional screw-on silencers. Here is a special edition Smith & Wesson M&P model.

S&W suppressor Can

Optics — High-End Models from Schmidt and Bender

There were many new optics on display at Media Day, none more impressive than the new 5-45x56mm PMII from Schidmt & Bender. Led by our good friend Kyle Brown, Schmidt & Bender USA had a strong presence at Range Day, with many optics models fitted to high-end tactical rifles. Jason Baney (shown below with Kyle), used one of these rifle/scope combos to make 5 of 5 hits on steel at 960 yards.

Jason Baney checks out the new 5-45x56mm PM II with help from Kyle Brown (left).
Schmidt Bender 5-45x56mm PM II Media Day Jason Baney Kyle Brown

Schmidt Bender 5-45x56mm PM II Media Day Jason Baney Kyle Brown

Meeting Old Friends

One of the great things about Media Day is the chance to re-connect with old friends. At the Winchester booth, it was great to see Kim Rhode, a six-time Olympic medalist (including three golds). She is the first Summer Olympian to win an individual medal at six consecutive summer games. Kim, a Californian, is leading efforts to challenge draconian new California laws that will severely restrict how ammo is distributed and sold in California. Kim said that, under the new ammo laws, she will not be able to obtain the special “International Loads” she shoots in competition. We wish Kim well in her efforts. We believe that California’s new laws restricting the purchase of ammunition are unconstitutional and, hopefully, will be challenged successfully in court.

Kim Rhode Olympic Skeet Trap Medalist California

Along with Kim we met with our friends Steve (L) and Ed (R), aka the 6.5 Guys, along with past Top Shot Champion Dustin Ellermann (in middle below).

6.5 Guys Ed Steve Dustin Ellermann Media Day

World Record AR Speed-Shooting by Jerry Miculek

At the Smith & Wesson shooting bay, we watched the legendary Jerry Miculek set a world speed record for 10 rifle rounds total on three targets. Before a cheering gallery of fans, Jerry drilled multiple sub-two second runs using his S&W M&P 15T semi-auto rifle. The fastest split was a 1.59 (but we’re waiting for final confirmation on that). We’re told that’s definitely a new world record. Jerry may not be getting any younger, but he’s still blazing fast. Jerry calls this 10-shot drill “STL” or Share the Love.

jerry miculek world record speed smith wesson

Ammunition — Polymer Jacketed Pistol Bullets

One of the more notable, recent developments in pistol ammo has been synthetic jacketed bullets. With a total polymer shell over a lead core, these are safer when shooting steel targets because they do not fragment like conventional, jacketed bullets. With no exposed lead or copper, there’s minimal contact between these materials and the barrel, so there’s less copper and lead fouling. Moreover, according to Federal’s test engineers, the red Syntech coating produced 12% less friction in the barrel. Here is the American Eagle 9mm Luger 115gr Total Syntec Jacketed ammo provided by Beretta at Media Day.

Synthetic Ammo Syntec Beretta Media Day Range

And that’s a wrap… now on to SHOT Show.

Media Day at Range

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Handguns, New Product, Optics, Tactical 1 Comment »
December 17th, 2016

Tac Talk: Six Tactical Slings Reviewed by 6.5 Guys

6.5 Guys tactical precision sling review
Photo shows Precision Rifle Sling from Armageddon Gear.

A good sling is a vital accessory for a hunting or tactical rifle. Along with enabling over-the-shoulder carry, a good “tactical” sling will also provide support for shooting from hasty or improvised shooting positions. In fact, in many tactical/practical precision matches there will be at least one positional shooting stage or a stage where only a sling may be used for support (that means no bipod, no tripod, no sandbags, and no shooting sticks). The 6.5 Guys, Ed and Steve, recommend tactical slings that allow quick set-up and easy adjustment. The best slings allow shooters to quickly slip into them and then make rapid fine-tuning adjustments to build a stable shooting position.

Six Tactical/Practical Slings are Reviewed in this Video:

In this episode, Ed and Steve provide an overview and compare/contrast different designs and the functionality of six popular slings from these suppliers: Armageddon Gear, Tab Gear, Rifles Only, Hard Target Interdiction, Short Action Precision, and Accuracy International.

To learn more about tactical/practical shooting disciplines, or to access more shooting gear/accessories reviews by Ed and Steve, visit 65guys.com and subscribe to the 6.5 Guys’ YouTube Channel.

6.5 Guys Slings tactical

Video Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink - Videos, Tactical 3 Comments »
December 1st, 2016

6.5 Guys Review $180.00 Magnetospeed Sporter Chrono

Magnetospeed Sporter Chrono Chron Chronograph Grafs.com 6.5 Guys

The 6.5 Guys have been testing the bargain-priced Magnetospeed Sporter chronograph. This compact chrono offers great utility at an affordable price — you can buy the Sporter for under $180.00. Strapped on your barrel, the MagnetoSpeed Sporter records velocities accurately without requiring any hardware to be placed downrange. Everything is self-contained at your shooting station, so you no longer have to waste time setting up tripods and aligning the bullet path through old-fashioned chrono skyscreens.

Watch Video Review of MagnetoSpeed Sporter by the 6.5 Guys:

The 6.5 Guys give the MagnetoSpeed Sporter two thumbs up:

“Optical chronographs have been in use for decades but can be cumbersome to deploy and don’t work well in certain weather conditions. The folks at MagnetoSpeed have addressed these shortcomings with a completely different technology that is extremely compact, cost effective, convenient to use, insensitive to weather conditions and, best of all, accurate.

We’ve been using the MagnetoSpeed since V1 and the only reason we use our optical chronographs is for situations where we cannot hang the bayonet from the gun barrel. This is the most convenient, accurate, and portable chronograph system that we have come across. You’re also less likely to damage your MagnetoSpeed when compared to optical chronographs (which seem to attract bullets). There are also a number of useful accessories available. As discussed in the video, the XFR adapter and associated smartphone application allows users with MagnetoSpeed Sporter and V3 displays to download their current (un-archived) shot series to their Android or iOS device.”

READ FULL MagnetoSpeed Sporter REVIEW on 6.5Guys.com

CLICK HERE for MagnetoSpeed Sporter specifications and operating instructions.

magnetospeed sporter

magnetospeed sporter

MagnetoSpeed Sporter in Stock Now at Grafs.com for $179.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Priced at just $179.99 at Grafs.com, the Magnetospeed Sporter model costs less than half as much as Magnetospeed’s V3 models. This chronograph attaches directly to your barrel so you don’t have to go downrange to position tripods and set up skyscreens. For most people, the Sporter model contains all the features they need. READ Magnetospeed Sporter Review.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
November 9th, 2016

6.5 Guys Talk about PRS, Reloading, Match Strategies and more…

65guys.com 6.5 Guys PRS Tactical Ed mobley steve lawrence

Gearlocker.nz, a New Zealand outdoor sports website, recently interviewed our friends Ed and Steve, aka the “6.5 Guys”. In this Gearlocker Video Interview, Ed and Steve cover many topics including Precision Rifle Series matches, gear selection, and effective hand-loading techniques. Kerry, the creator of Gearlocker.nz, writes: “The 6.5 Guys are Steve and Ed, two guys who decided to start documenting their progress in long-range practical precision shooting. They have built a dedicated following on YouTube and Facebook. Consistently putting out high-quality content [covering] their equipment choices and use, the 6.5 Guys have created a fantastic resource for anyone involved in shooting.”

Click image below to watch 6.5 Guys interview on Gearlocker.nz:
6.5 Guys Interview Gearlocker New Zealand

Who are the 6.5 Guys? They are Steve (left) and Ed (right), a pair of avid shooters based in the Pacific Northwest. They have released dozens of helpful videos on the 6.5 Guys YouTube Channel.

6.5 guys 65guy.com annealing video YouTube shooting

You can check out the 6.5 Guys’ website at www.65Guys.com. Below is a sample from one of the 6.5 Guys’ best articles — Five Tips on getting started in practical/tactical matches.

We often meet people who are new to long range precision shooting, and want to improve their knowledge and skill level. However, they aren’t sure if they are ready to sign up to compete in a match. They often ask, “What knowledge or skills [and gear] are necessary to compete in a match?”

TIP ONE: Make Plans and Commit to Go

First you need to start by finding a match to attend. We recommend starting with any match that may be within a reasonable driving distance. This may likely be a local “club” match, many of which are held on a regular basis. Once you decide on the match you want to attend, do your homework. This means finding out if you need to pre-register or pre-pay the match fee. Commit to going by registering for the match and putting it on your schedule.

>> CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE on 65Guys.com

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October 2nd, 2016

6.5 Guys Review of AMP Induction Annealer

Amp Annealing Machine Review 6.5 Guys 65guys.com
Photo by Bill Gravatt. Read Bill’s AMP review HERE.

Our good friends Ed and Steve (aka “The 6.5 Guys”) have just released an in-depth product review of the AMP Annealing system. Produced in New Zealand, the AMP (Annealing Made Perfect) unit is a sophisticated, microprocessor-controlled annealing machine that achieves ultra-consistent results through an electrical INDUCTION process.

AMP Annealing Machine Review by the 6.5 Guys:

Ed was so impressed with the AMP annealer that he purchased his own AMP to replace a carousel-type, dual-torch annealer he previously used. Ed tells us that “once you have the correct setting for your brass the AMP’s results are repeatable every time.” By contrast, Ed explained, “with butane torch systems you have to adjust the system when the ambient temperature changes, or even if your butane fuel is slightly different.” Ed says that, with his AMP system, he can anneal a case every few seconds. Yes it does require manually handling each case but “the actual annealing process is so fast, this really isn’t a big issue.”

Bill Gravatt AMP Annealing Machine
Photo from AMP Annealer Review by Bill Gravatt.

If you want to extend the useful life of your precious cartridge brass, then you should definitely consider annealing. And if you are in the market for an annealer, the new AMP machine deserves serious consideration. Though not inexpensive, it achieves excellent results according to the 6.5 Guys.

6.5 Guys’ AMP Annealer Review Key Points:

1. The AMP machine provides complete peace of mind that you are annealing properly — there is no guesswork. With a propane machine you have to calibrate dwell times which can be error prone. Even if you don’t change out your cartridge, dwell times will vary with temperature changes as this affects the propane pressure.

2. We noticed that the AMP machine produces brass that is more like factory brass from a hardness standpoint. Despite all our efforts and research around calibrating our propane machines, brass never seemed returned to factory condition and shoulder spring-back would increase with each reloading so we had to adjust our sizing dies. When a cartridge comes out of the AMP it is very, very close to new condition.

3. One of the things we dreaded was setting up our propane machine for different cartridges. With Ed’s OCD he would spend a good 30 minutes making sure everything was perfect. With the AMP machine you simply change out the pilot and select the proper program. It’s really straight-forward.

>>> READ AMP Annealer FULL REVIEW on 65guys.com

NOTE: We strongly recommend you read the Full AMP Annealer Review on 65guys.com. It contains a detailed explanation of the machines’ operation and the reviewers explain the pros (and cons) or the machine compared to flame-type annealers.

The current price for the AMP Annealer, with three pilots of your choice, is $995.00 USD. Additional pilots are $20.00 USD. For more info, visit www.AMPAnnealing.com.

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