July 31st, 2018

Reloder 23 and Reloder 26 — Good for Magnum Cartridges

Alliant Bofors Nitrochemie Reloader Reloading RL Reloder powder 22 23 25 26

Do you shoot a magnum cartridge? Here are two modern-formulation powders you may want to try: Reloder 23 and 26. We have been particularly impressed with Reloder 23. It has worked well in competition for target cartridges such as the 7mm RSAUM. Reloder 23 is like a slower version of Reloder 16 — a very temp-stable powder which has proven a worthy rival to H4350.

Ever heard of Alliant Reloder 23? Or Reloder 26? These two relatively new European-produced Reloder propellants were introduced in 2014. Most folks haven’t tried these Reloder powders because it took quite a while for the first shipments of RL 23 and RL 26 to arrive in the USA. But now these two new propellants are available in the USA, with substantial inventories in stock at some larger vendors. For example, Powder Valley has both RL 23 and RL 26 in stock now at $23.50 per pound. Many other vendors have ample RL 23, but RL 26 is a bit harder to find.

From our Forum members who shoot large magnum cartridge types with heavy bullets, we have heard good things about both RL 23 and RL 26. Reports from the field indicate that both these powders are delivering impressive velocities with low velocity ES/SD.

What are the characteristics of RL 23 and RL 26? That question was answered by Paul Furrier who works for ATK, the parent company of Alliant Powders. Posting in our Shooters’ Forum, Paul writes:

“Let me provide some factual info about these products. Some of the stuff that gets propagated is not correct. Reloder 23 is produced by our Swedish partner Bofors, and Reloder 26 is produced in Switzerland by our extremely capable partner Nitrochemie. I have seen it stated that they are both made by Bofors, so that is incorrect.

I have also noticed people are equating Reloder 23 to Reloder 22, and Reloder 26 to Reloder 25. Both of those statements are definitely incorrect. We do state that the performance of Reloder 23 is similar to Reloder 22, and it is, in general burn speed terms, but they are most certainly not the same. We have worked quite a lot of recipes for Reloder 23, and they are not the same as Reloder 22. Reloder 26 is definitely slower burning than Reloder 25, so there shouldn’t be any confusion there either.”

Alliant Bofors Nitrochemie Reloader Reloading RL Reloder powder 22 23 25 26

Furrier says that RL 23 is NOT sensitive to temperature shifts: “Reloder 23 was developed to bring a truly temp-stable powder to the Reloder 22 burn-speed range using Bofors new process technology. This is the second product developed for us with this TZ® process, the first being AR-Comp™. We see terrific efficiencies, SDs, accuracy and flat temp response from these powders. Please try them, I think you will be impressed.”

(more…)

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 4 Comments »
May 2nd, 2018

Vista Outdoor May Sell Off Savage Arms and Stevens

Vista outdoor divesting selling Savage Arms Steven rifles strategic reorganization

Vista Outdoor Announces Strategic Business Transformation Plan
Big news. Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO) may be selling off gun-makers Savage and Stevens, declaring it will “explore strategic options” for those brands. However, Vista Outdoor will retain its businesses that produce ammunition and reloading components: Alliant Powder, CCI, Federal Premium, and Speer. The sell-off of Savage and Stevens is not a sure thing yet, but Vista’s new CEO Chris Metz has been looking hard at the “bottom line” and he says that the gun-making brands have not been as profitable as expected. This is not just an exit from gun-making. Vista Outdoors executives have analyzed the company’s full portfolio of brands, and decision-makers have targeted other brands for sell-off. READ Vista Outdoor News Release.

The Wall Street Journal reported: “The company [Vista Outdoor, VSTO, -13.07% on 5/1/18] said Tuesday it would pare its brands to focus on business lines including ammunition and shooting accessories, water bottles and packs and outdoor cooking ware. It will explore the sale of several brands including Bell bike helmets, Giro snow goggles, Blackburn handlebar tape, Jimmy Styks paddle boards, and Savage and Stevens firearms[.]”

Notably, Vista Outdoor remains fully committed to the ammunition and components businesses. In an official news release, CEO Metz stated: “Vista Outdoor is excited about the potential of each of our core businesses, particularly ammunition, which is our largest core business. An increased focus on our heritage ammunition business will manifest itself in more innovative and breakthrough new products introduced over the next few years. We also anticipate that by prioritizing this business, we will be able to invest more capital to further enhance and expand our global leadership position.” Metz denied that the sell-of of Savage and Stevens was a response to a boycott by the REI outdoor retail chain. The CEO said that REI represents less than 1% of the company’s total sales.

CEO Metz acknowleged that revenues were down substantially for the past fiscal year (ending 3/31/18), and reduced gun sales were one reason: “Sales were $2.3 billion, down 9% from the prior year. The decline was caused by lower volume in Shooting Sports across all ammunition categories, lower pricing across the portfolio, and lower firearms sales as a result of decreased demand impacting the shooting sports industry. Additionally, Outdoor Products declines were caused by market conditions affecting shooting-related categories, including hunting and shooting accessories, optics, and tactical products.”

Vista outdoor divesting selling Savage Arms Steven rifles strategic reorganization

Vista Outdoor currently has a large portfolio of brands, including guns, gear, eyewear, ammunition, camping equipment, and much more. Top brands for guns and shooting, after Savage and Stevens, are: Alliant Powder, American Eagle, Blazer Ammunition, Bushnell, CCI, Federal Premium, RCBS, and Speer.

Vista outdoor divesting selling Savage Arms Steven rifles strategic reorganization

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, News 7 Comments »
April 24th, 2017

Bargain Finder 83: 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, 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. Kentucky Gun Co. — Ruger Prec. Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor, $1168.01

6.5 Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle

Here’s a great deal if you’re looking for a GEN2 6.5 Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle for PRS events or other bolt-action tactical applications. The 6.5 Creedmoor is the hot ticket for this rifle, and RPRs with this chambering have been in short supply. You’ll find many sellers charging $1400.00+ for this rifle, if they have it at all.

This week you can get a GEN2 Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor for just $1168.01 from Kentucky Gun Company, with FREE Shipping to boot. The “Cash Price” price is even cheaper, $1133.99. And GunPrime.com also has the 6.5CM RPR for $1199.00 this week. Curious about the differences between the GEN2 Ruger Precision Rifle and the original Model? CLICK HERE for a complete spec comparison and a video (scroll down landing page).

2. Midsouth — Norma Tac-22 .22 LR Ammo, $3.99/box

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

This Norma .22 LR ammo shoots WAY better than you’d expect given the low price — just $3.99 per 50ct box at Midsouth. These test targets come from Champion Shooters Supply. That vendor reports: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.” We suggest you grab some of this Tac-22 while you can at these rock-bottom prices.

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

3. Natchez — Surplus SKB 5041 Transport Cases, $129.99

SKB Rifle Case Military Surplus 50

Natchez has obtained a supply of British MOD Surplus SKB 5041 rifle cases. These were ordered as mine detector cases, but were never issued. Natchez has removed the foam cut for the detectors and replaced it with new 2-piece convoluted foam. Interior dimension of the case is 50″x14.5″x5″ so this will hold long-barrel match rifles comfortably. These are extremely high-quality cases, very tough and rugged, waterproof with gaskets. These cases feature four SKB patented trigger latches, four reinforced padlock locations, and inline wheels. Though in excellent condition, some case may have minor exterior scuffs. You won’t find a better case at anywhere near the price. These normally retail for $299.99.

4. Sportsmans Outdoor — S&W M&P9 Shield, $239.99 after Rebate

Smith Wesson S&W M&P Shield 9mm 9x19

Here’s an awesome deal on a popular Smith & Wesson 9mm carry pistol. The M&P9 Shield (with thumb safety) is priced at just $314.99 at Sportsmans Outdoor Superstore. But it gets better — Smith & Wesson is offering a $75.00 Rebate. That lowers your net cost to just $239.99. That’s half what you might pay for a similar 9mm Glock. Good reason to buy American, and S&W’s warranty is rock solid. NOTE: This same M&P9 pistol without thumb safety is offered by Brownells for $359.99, or $284.99 after mail-in rebate.

5. Midsouth — 20-60x60mm Vortex Spotting Scope, $399.99

Vortex Spotting Scope Midsouth bargain

This is a very good spotting scope for the price. Yes it gives up some low-light performance to a spotter with an 80mm objective, but otherwise it is a good performer, and we can’t think of much that will touch this Vortex Diamondback spotting scope for anywhere near the $399.99 sale price. Choose from angled or straight version for the same $399.99 price, which includes the 20-60X zoom eyepiece.

6. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Master Tumbler Kit, $67.99

Master tumbler reloading kit Frankford Arsenal

This Master Tumbler Kit contains everything you need to tumble rifle or pistol brass. Now on sale for $67.99 with free shipping, this Kit contains: Vibratory Tumbler, Rotary Media Separator, Plastic Bucket, 3 lbs. Cleaning Media, and 4 oz. Brass Polish.

7. Powder Valley — Reloder 16 Powder, 1-pound and 8-pound

Powder Valley H4350 RL16 Reloder 16 powder PRS 6.5 Creedmoor

Powder Valley now has Alliant Reloder 16 (RL16) in stock in both 1-lb ($23.95) and 8-lb ($178.95) containers. If you’re not familiar with this relatively new propellant, we can tell you that RL16 may be the best replacement yet for hard-to-find Hodgdon H4350. Burn rate is very similar to H4350, and RL16 is extremely temp-stable. Most importantly, our Forum members are reporting outstanding accuracy with Reloder 16. It is well suited for mid-sized cartridges such as 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5×47 Lapua, and .260 Remington. If you like H4350, we recommend you try a pound of Alliant’s impressive Reloder 16.

8. Monmouth Reloading — 500 Lake City 5.56 Cases, $35.00

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

500 pieces of Lake City brass for just thirty-five bucks? Yep, that’s a great deal for anyone who needs .223/5.56 brass for varmint safaris and tactical comps. Monmouth Reloading is selling genuine, once-fired Lake City 5.56x45mm brass sourced direct from the U.S. Military. NOTE: CLICK HERE and then select 500-ct pack — the 1000-ct is out of stock. Monmouth reports: “Our current stock of Lake City 5.56 looks to be all newer year Lake City head stamp but may contain a small percentage of other NATO headstamps. Lake City is a popular, reliable brass, normally capable of many reloads.” Monmouth includes 1% overage to account for any damaged brass. NOTE: Brass has crimped primers, so the pockets will need to be reamed or swaged prior to reloading.

9. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs, $31.11

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

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs, even if you prefer shooting with earplugs and/or standard muffs. Electronic muffs are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $31.11, with free Prime Shipping. This is good deal — these NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
January 21st, 2016

Eleven Shades of SHOT — Interesting New Products (and People)

SHOT Show 2016

Savage 10/110 BA Stealth
Savage’s new 10/110 BA Stealth tactical rifle

Here are eleven of the more interesting products (and people) we saw on Day Two of SHOT Show. This is only the tip of the iceberg folks. With 12.5 miles of aisles, and over 1600 Exhibitor booths, we can only show a tiny fraction of the products on display. There are tactical rifles and gear everywhere in sight. We also found some interesting target systems and reloading tools. Stay tuned for more product previews tomorrow from SHOT Show at the Sands Convention Center.

Savage 10/110 BA Stealth

Savage 10/110 BA Stealth

You asked for it — here it is — the new Savage 10/110 BA Stealth. This new rifle features a strong yet light aluminum chassis that accepts AR-compatible rear sections. Savage says the actions have been “factory blueprinted”. Available chamberings are: 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, .300 Win Magnum, and .338 Lapua Magnum. We shot this rifle, in .308 Win, at Media Day and we liked the ergonomics.

NEW Alliant Reloder 16 Powder

Alliant Reloder 16 powder

Alliant’s engineers showed us “top-secret” data charts comparing various popular powders. This new Reloder 16 is one of the most temp-stable propellants ever created. Burn rate is slightly faster than H4350. Initial accuracy results have been very promising. AccurateShooter.com will be testing this powder very soon. Stay tuned.

Savage A17 in Laminated Thumbhole Stock

Savage A17 wood thumbhole

Here is the 17 HMR Savage A17 in new laminated, thumbhole stock. We want one. The wood-stocked A17 balances well and feels good. This is a definite upgrade over the original plastic stock.

Vortex 6-24x50mm FFP Razor HD

Pardini Air Rifle

Vortex unveiled a very impressive new tactical scope, the 6-24x50mm Razor HD. Vortex says this top-of-line optics was engineered to compete with anything on the market — including the big-name German brands. The glass was excellent, and we loved the fact the elevation turret offers a full 25 MOA of elevation in one rotation. Great feature.

Pardini Competition Air Rifle

Pardini Air Rifle

Design for Olympics-level competition, this new Pardini is one of the most sophisticated air rifles ever made. It has a very sophisticated loading system that allow you to load pellets without changing your hold on the rifle. It was designed with input from Olympic Champion shooters.

Ken Oehler and the New System 88

Ken Oehler chronograph

Chronograph Guru Ken Oehler explained the capabilities of his “enterprise-grade” System 88. This combines a proof-channel chronograph at the firing line with sonic sensors at 1000 yards (and other distances in between if desired). This allows very precise calculation of true bullet BCs.

$38,000 JANZ Multi-Barrel, Multi-Caliber Revolver

Janz Revolver Wheelgun

You are looking at the world’s most expensive wheelgun, the JANZ multi-caliber system. Custom-built for each customer, this amazing revolver shoots multiple cartridge types — even rimfire. As far as we know this is the only revolver in the world that shoots .22 LR rimfire as well as centerfire cartridges up to .500 SW. The builder, JANZ-Praszisionstechnik GmbH, will craft the gun with as many barrels and cylinders as the owner wants. As shown in the photo, the price is around $38,000.

New Bullets from Sierra

Sierra Bullets

Sierra Bullets had its new Tipped MatchKings on display, and well as the very impressive new 7mm 183-grain MatchKings, which are “tip-uniformed” at the factory. Lester Bruno shot some of these 183-grainers and said they held amazing waterline at 1000 yards, indicating that the bullet-to-bullet BC is very consistent. Listed G1 BC for the 183gr MK, SKU #1983, is .707.

Jerry Miculek, World’s Fastest Wheelgunner

Sierra Bullets

We met up with the legendary Jerry Miculek at the Hornady Booth. The world’s fastest wheelgunner (and a darned good rifleman too) had fans lined up for autographs. What’s the secret to Jerry’s success? Hard work, hands of steel, and a positive attitude.

New Throat Erosion Gauge from PT&G

Janz Revolver Wheelgun

Pacific Tool and Gauge had a bunch of new products on display. One item that caught our eye was an interesting Throat Erosion Gauge. Index marks on the main shaft let you determine, with precision, how much your throat has moved. Screw-on, caliber-specific pilots let you gauge all popular calibers.

Sig Sauer 5-25x52mm “Whiskey 5″ SFP Scope

Sig sauer Whiskey 5 scope

We were very impressed with Sig Sauer’s optics, which offer a lot of capability for the price. The new 5-25x52mm Whiskey 5 optic offers positive controls and a nice illuminated reticle center (good for low light). The “street price” is around $1200.00 – $1300.00. READ Full Review Here.

Permalink New Product, News, Tactical 2 Comments »
January 6th, 2016

New Products Featured in Shooting Industry Magazine

Shooting Industry January product showcase 2016

You can see scores of new-for-2016 products in the free January digital edition of Shooting Industry magazine. The new product offerings are found in a 28-page feature article starting on page 76 and ending on page 104. In those pages you’ll find new items from leading companies such as: Alliant, Browning, Hodgdon, Hornady, Lyman, Nikon, Ruger, Vortex, and Weaver Optics.

Important New Products
You can also see the new products in Shooting Industry magazine’s regular website, on the New Product Showcase Page. As a teaser, here are three new products from that page — new Alliant Reloder 16 powder, a new Bench-top primer tool from Lee, and a handy Lyman maintenance mat. We are VERY interested in new Reloder 16 propellant. Alliant says RL16 has a burn rate similar to H4350/IMR4350, which would make RL16 ideal for many popular match cartridges.

NEW Product — Alliant Reloder 16 Powder

Alliant Reloder 16 Powder

Alliant Powder Reloder 16 is a propellant that performs consistently across temperature extremes. Its burn rate is slightly faster than Reloder 17’s — well within the 4350 burn speed band. This makes it ideal for traditional hunting cartridges as the .30-06 and .270 Win. It will work as well with 6.5mm target loads and tactical applications where temperature stability is required. The Alliant Powder Reloder 16 contains a de-coppering additive but no toxic DNT or DBP.

NEW Product — Lee Auto Bench Prime

Lee Precision Auto Bench Prime Priming Tool

The new Auto Bench Prime from Lee Precision is an easy-to-use bench-mounted priming tool with a large lever that provides good “feel” with plenty of mechanical advantage. The symmetrical design allows for right- or left-hand operation. The Auto Bench Prime includes priming assemblies for large and small primers and a folding tray with a built-in primer-flipping feature. This allows direct filling from large primer boxes. The unit uses special, but inexpensive priming tool shell holders.

NEW Product — Lyman Maintenance Mat

Lee Precision Auto Bench Prime Priming Tool

The new Essential Rifle Maintenance Mat from Lyman Products is a smart item that any gun-owner can use. This 10″ x 36″ cleaning/assembly mat features small compartments for tools, parts, and cleaning item. The mat’s firm yet cushioned synthetic rubber surface protects your firearms. The Mainteance Mat’s molded-in compartments keep small parts and screws handy, yet out of the way. The Lyman mat is chemically resistant and cleans up easily.

Permalink New Product, Reloading No Comments »
May 13th, 2013

ATK Acquires Savage Arms (Savage Sports Corporation)

ATK buys SavageATK announced that it will pay $315 million to acquire Caliber Company, the parent company of Savage Sports Corporation which runs Savage Arms, and Stevens. Savage will be integrated into ATK’s Sporting Group business which includes Federal Premium, Alliant Powder, CCI, RCBS, Speer, Champion Targets, and other outdoor sports brands.

The acquisition of Savage by ATK will expand ATK’s portfolio offering by adding a respected producer of long guns to its family of leading brands in the shooting and outdoor sports industries. ATK anticipates closing the transaction in the first quarter of its Fiscal Year 2014, which ends June 30, 2013.

Here is the text of ATK’s 5/13/2013 Press Release announcing the Savage Acquisition:

ATK (NYSE: ATK) announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Caliber Company, the parent company of Savage Sports Corporation (Savage). Savage is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hunting rifles and shotguns, delivering innovative products for more than 100 years. The acquisition would expand ATK’s portfolio offering by adding long guns to its leading brands in commercial and security ammunition, shooting sports and security-related accessories. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. ATK anticipates closing the transaction in the first quarter of its Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14), which ends June 30, 2013.

Under the terms of the transaction, ATK will pay $315 million in cash, subject to a customary working capital adjustment. This represents a trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2013 EBITDA multiple of approximately 5.5 times (unaudited). ATK believes the acquisition will be accretive to FY14 earnings per share. ATK will finance the acquisition with cash on hand and funds available under its existing credit facility.

“The acquisition will complement ATK’s growing portfolio of leading consumer brands,” said Mark DeYoung, ATK President and CEO. “This opportunity will allow us to build upon our offerings with Savage’s prominent, respected brands known for accuracy, quality, innovation, value and craftsmanship. Savage’s sales distribution channels, new product development, and sophistication in manufacturing will significantly increase our presence with a highly relevant product offering to distributors, retailers and consumers.”

Operating under the brand names of Savage Arms, Stevens, and Savage Range Systems, the company designs, manufactures and markets centerfire and rimfire rifles, shotguns and shooting range systems used for hunting as well as competitive and recreational target shooting. The company was organized in 1894 by Arthur Savage and has expanded into market-leading positions. Savage is located in Westfield, Mass. and Lakefield, Ontario, and employs approximately 600 skilled employees.

“Savage offers customers a unique value proposition that is unmatched by any other firearms manufacturer and will be a tremendous complement to ATK’s existing ammunition and shooting accessories portfolio,” said Al Kasper, Savage President and Chief Operating Officer.

ATK will integrate Savage within its Sporting Group business. ATK’s Sporting Group is the established leader in sporting and law enforcement ammunition and shooting accessories. ATK’s ammunition brands include Federal Premium, CCI, Fusion, Speer, Estate Cartridge and Blazer. ATK’s accessories brands include BLACKHAWK!, Alliant Power, RCBS, Champion targets and shooting equipment, Gunslick Pro and Outers gun-care products, and Weaver optics and mounting systems.

Caliber Company has been a portfolio company of Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), a leading middle market equity investment firm, since January 2012. NEP is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn.

ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with approximately 15,000 employees and operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. ATK is headquartered in Arlington, Va. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atk, or on Twitter @ATK.

Permalink - Articles, News 5 Comments »
August 5th, 2011

Alliant Introduces Black MZ™, New Black Powder Substitute

Alliant Powder has introduced a new Black Powder substitute, Black MZ™. This product is designed to work with all types of black powder firearms. We’re told this stuff is “on the trucks” — supplies are being shipped to vendors nationwide this month.

Why do we need another Black Powder substitute? Alliant claims this new propellant withstands moisture and significantly reduces the frequency (and difficulty) of bore cleaning: “Black MZ helps maximize shooting performance by resisting moisture and adverse weather conditions. Hunters can stay loaded in the field for days, only needing to insert a primer to get into the action. Black MZ won’t clump or corrode the barrel”.

Alliant designed Black MZ to deliver dependable ignition, lower barrel pressure and higher velocities. Alliant claims that “The clean-burning ignition of Black MZ is virtually non-corrosive, [and] greatly diminishes fouling”. Alliant adds that “wedged slugs, grimy barrels, stuck seater dies, and dwindling accuracy are greatly reduced by Black MZ.” Hopefully that’s not marketing hype. If, as claimed, Black MZ really does foul less than other BP substitutes, it should allow more shots between cleaning sessions. That would be a boon for BP shooters.

Black MZ’s enhanced performance derives from its high moisture tolerance and non-corrosive ignition. “We’re excited about what Black MZ can do for muzzleloader hunters and black powder cartridges. It helps take the hassle out of muzzleloading”, said Alliant’s Brand Director Rick Stoeckel. To learn more about Black MZ, or view load data, please visit www.AlliantPowder.com. Product designation: BLACKmz, 1 lb. bottle, Alliant Part No. 150524.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »