February 8th, 2020

Zediker Examines Long Range Shooting with AR-Platform Rifles

AR15 ar-15 long range

Looking to shoot an AR-platform rifle out past 500 yards? Then you should read two articles by AR guru Glen Zediker. Author of The New Competitive AR-15 and The Competitive AR15 Builders Guide, Zediker is an expert when it comes to AR-platform rifles. Glen believes ARs have excellent long-range capability, provided they are built to high standards, with good barrels.

Glen says: “a properly configured AR-15 is easily capable of good performance at 500+ yards. Good performance means it can hit a 1-foot-square target all the time. Competitive shooters can cut that standard in nearly half (the X-Ring on an MR1 600-yard NRA High Power Rifle target is 6 inches, and high X-counts are commonplace among more skilled shooters).”

Published in the Cheaper than Dirt Shooter’s Log, Zediker’s articles first cover the history of the AR-15, and then explain how AR-platform accuracy can be optimized. Part One reviews the AR’s development as an accurate firearm, tracing its evolution from a Vietnam-era combat weapon to what is now a favored target rifle of High Power competitors. READ PART ONE.

Long Range AR AR-15 Glen Zediker Cheaper than dirt

Part Two discusses the specifics that make an AR accurate at 500 yards and beyond. Zediker talks about barrel configuration (profile and twist rate), bullet selection, floating handguards, and proper mounting of optics or iron sights. READ PART TWO.

Long Rang AR AR-15 Glen Zediker Cheaper than dirt

Here are some highlights from Long-Range AR-15 Part TWO:

Barrel Twist Rate
To stabilize anything longer than a 68- or 69-grain bullet, the barrel twist rate must be — at minimum– 1-in-8. Twist rates reflect how far the bullet travels along the lands or rifling to make one complete revolution. So, 1-in-8 (or 1-8, 1:8) means “one turn in eight inches.” I think it’s better to go a little faster in twist. There is nothing wrong with a 1:7 twist. The 90-grain bullets require a 1:6.5, and that is getting on the quick side. If you want to shoot Sierra 77s or equivalent, and certainly anything longer, 1:8 is necessary. By the way, it is bullet length, not weight, which constitutes the necessary twist rate to launch a stable bullet.

Optics Mounting
Correct optical sight positioning can be a challenge. With a flattop upper, I need a good inch additional forward extension at the muzzle side of the upper for the sight mount bases to avoid holding my head “back” to get the optimal view through the scope. A longer rail piece is necessary for my builds as a result.

Buttstock Length and Adjustment
An adjustable buttstock is valuable, and even more valuable if it’s well-designed. Mostly, a standard stock is too short, and the cheek area sits too low. Adding length helps a lot by itself. There are assemblies that replace the standard buttplate to allow for length and, usually, height and rotation adjustments for the buttpad. An elevation-adjustable cheekpiece is a big help to attain a solid position.

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August 16th, 2019

Scary Stuff — .300 Blackout Fired in a .223 Rem Barrel

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56
Photos and Facebook post by Tactical Rifle Shooters

Yet another .300 Blackout disaster. Unfortunately, that .300 Blackout cartridge can fit in a .223 Rem chamber. Shooting a .308-caliber bullet in .223 bore is a recipe for disaster.

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56The .300 AAC Blackout aka “300 BLK”, is a compact 30-caliber cartridge designed to work in AR-15 rifles. It has a shorter cartridge case to accommodate the bigger 30-caliber bullet while still fitting in a standard AR-15 magazine. Unfortunately, that’s the danger. A careless shooter can toss a .300 Blackout cartridge in with .223 Rem rounds without noting. And because the case-head size is the same as the .223 Rem (5.56×45) the rifle’s bolt assembly will happily chamber and fire the .300 BLK round. Problem is, that forces a .308 diameter bullet down an undersized .223-caliber bore. Not good!

This images were provided by Tactical Rifle Shooters on Facebook. The message was clear: “Don’t try to run 300 Blackout in your .223/5.56mm. It won’t end well. The problem is identical rifles and identical magazines but different calibers.”

For those who MUST have a .300 Blackout, here are some things you can do:

1. Use different colored magazines for .300 Blackout vs. .223 Rem.
2. Fit all your uppers with caliber-labeled ejection port covers.
3. Mark .223 Rem upper handguards with the caliber in bright paint.
4. Mark all .300 BLK Rounds with heavy black marker.

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56

Comments by Folks Who Viewed these .300 Blackout Disaster Photos:

“The .300 Blackout is simply a badly-designed round. A properly-designed round would have had a feature in the shape that would have prevented cross loading in the first place.” — D. Santiago

“I almost made that mistake… I had a magazine of 300 BLK inserted in my .223/5.56 all night. Fortunately, I never pulled the trigger. Once I realized the mistake, I almost got ill. [After that incident] I no longer own a 300 BLK.” — B. Welch

“Happened to me hog hunting from a helo. Gun exploded in my face.” — B. Hood

“Fire-forming projectiles [is] so wrong in centerfire!” — M. Stres

“Had some dude come into the store the other day wanting .300 Blackout ammo to shoot in his 5.56 AR. It took 15 minutes of explaining for him to understand you got to have a .300 Blackout Upper!” — R. Williams

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Tech Tip 18 Comments »
March 11th, 2019

Bargain Finder 181: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Palmetto State Armory — PSA 20″ 6.5 Grendel Upper, plus stock, grip, 2-stage trigger, and parts kit: $399.99

PSA Grendel Upper

The AR is a versatile platform. You can shoot multiple calibers with one lower, and a set of uppers — which can be swapped in seconds. Now you can add a versatile 6.5 Grendel upper for a killer price. We found this PSA 20″ rail-top upper in 6.5 Grendel complete with 20″ stainless 1:8″-twist barrel, 15″ M-Lok handguard, 9310 steel bolt, complete bolt carrier, and adjustable gas block. This kit also includes a stock, plus most of the parts needed to complete your lower (lower receiver NOT included). For $399.99 this is a heck of a deal. Take note — the 6.5 Grendel is a great little cartridge. It mag-feeds fine and you can get superb Lapua brass. The 6.5 Grendel is accurate, efficient, and excellent for BOTH precision target work AND deer hunting. For this price, with a modern 6.5 caliber cartridge, this is a great deal, and could be a significant upgrade for your AR15-platform rig.

2. Amazon — Universal Cleaning Mat, $19.99

Universal Cleaning Mat

If you’re like most people you spread out a towel before tearing your gun apart. This often leads to missing parts, a messy work area and when you spill anything it just soaks into your pad. Now you can pick up this universal cleaning mat that also includes a MAGNETIC parts keeper on the side. It’s nearly 4 feet long and is made of a oil and solvent resistant material for easy cleanup.

3. EuroOptic — Vortex Viper PST 5-25x50mm, $899.99
PLUS use CODE PST50 to get $100 Gift Card

Vortex Viper PST 5-25x50mm

Scopes in the 5-25X range are popular for a variety of shooting disciplines and calibers from 6mm to .50 cal for good reason. They offer wide field of view (at 5X) plus high magnification on the top end. Plus the latest models deliver plenty of elevation in a compact package. Now you can grab the very popular Vortex Viper PST 5-25x50mm in either 1/4 MOA or 0.1 MilRad click versions for a low $899.99. What’s more, use Code PST50 on check-out to receive a bonus $100 gift card from EuroOptic. That’s nearly $200 cheaper than other optics vendors right now.

4. Amazon — Carbon Fiber Bipod and Pic Rail Adapter, $25.99

Carbon Fiber Bipod

Carbon Fiber BipodLooking for a new bipod that can work with a Picatinny rail? You’re in luck because we just found this 6″ – 9″ adjustable Carbon Fiber Bipod and M-Lok adapter combo for the amazingly low price of $25.99 including a handy adapter allowing you to securely attach the bipod to a standard Picatinny Rail. There are also versions with KeyMod or M-Lok Adapters for $27.99. Purchasers have given this unit high praise, with a 4.5-star rating. Here is an actual buyer review:

“Excellent bipod at an excellent price. It seems well-built and is far more rigid and sturdy than others like it. The bipod came with a Picatinny adapter [M-Lok or KeyMod optional]. Mounting was quick and easy. Overall I think this is by far the best bang-for-your-buck bipod.”

5. Amazon — Laser Boresighting Tools, $5.49 – $10.99

Laser Boresighter

Do you have a new rifle or new scope that needs to be mounted? To speed up the process of sighting-in your rifle, a laser boresighter is a very handy tool. Grab laser boresight tools in the cartridge/caliber of your choice. If you get the no-neck, shoulder-only .308 Win version ($5.49 on Amazon) it should work with the entire .308 Win family, plus the 6mmBR and 6.5 Creedmoor families. For a few dollars more, there are cartridge-specific units for .223 Rem family, 7.62x39mm, .270/.30-06 and other types. These laser boresighters are cheap, easy to use, and effective. They’ll get you on paper quickly.

6. Midsouth — Hornady LNL Auto Charge Dispenser, $168.99

Hornady Powder Dispenser

Looking for a good electronic scale/powder dispenser for under $200.00? The Hornady LNL Auto Charge is one of the best bargain scale/dispensers. Enter your charge weight and watch it accurately dispense your load accurate to the tenth of a grain. For those of you who load multiple calibers and charges it can be programmed for easy use. Other competing electronic powder dispensers can cost $250 – $350, so the AutoCharge is a great value.

7. Creedmoor Sports — Made to Order Shooting Mat, $70.00

Field Shooting Mat

Tired of showing up to a match and finding your shooting mat is getting lost in the sea of other green or tan mats? Now you can get a made-to-order field shooting mats in one of 20 distinctive colors. Each one is MADE TO ORDER and very well-built for years of use. Getting your own distinctive mat ensures you can quickly find your place on the firing line. We also like the generous padding on this mat.

8. Amazon — MTM AC4C Ammo Crate with 4 Ammo Boxes, $22.99

MTM Ammo Carrier Crate Box

Here’s a very cool product from MTM at a great price. The versatile MTM AC4C Ammo Carrier features four, lockable polymer ammo cans in a fitted, four-slot 23.5″ x 11.3″ x 7.5″ carry crate. This makes it easy to haul four full ammo cans. Actual purchasers have raved: “Moments after I received this storage box set I ordered another. Very well built and great design. Awesome and a steal at the price.” Right now this is on sale at Amazon for just $22.99 with free shipping on orders over $25. The system includes four lockable, O-Ring 11.3″ x 7.2″ x 5″ ammo cans (AC30T) for multi-caliber ammo storage. The crate even includes tie-down points for transport in a cart or ATV. NOTE: Last year this MTM AC4C system sold for $39.99. The current $22.99 price represents a 43% savings!

9. RCBS 2019 REBATE Program — Get Up to $100 Back

RCBS 2019 Rebate press chargemaster case prep discount rebate sale

NOTE: Deadline for Purchase is March 17, 2019 — Next Sunday
RCBS just announced its first Rebate Program for 2019. Get up to $100 back on select RCBS® products. If you need an electronic Scale/Dispenser, Progressive Press, a Case Prep Center, Ultrasonic Machine, or Power Case trimmer you’re in luck. Here are the Rebates available for purchases made between 2/1/2019 and 3/17/2019. NOTE: The DEADLINE for mail-in or online submissions is 4/16/2019.

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November 24th, 2018

Out-of-Battery BANG! When Round Fires Before Bolt Fully Closed

out of battery kaboom bohica 50 bmg ar15

As posted in the Calguns.net a few years back, there was a nasty out-of-battery firing incident involving a BOHICA Arms .510 DTC AR15 upper. The cause of the out-of-battery firing is not certain but it appears that the ammo was not sized properly and the firing pin may have been stuck in the extended position. As a result, the round went off before the bolt was closed with the lugs seated. In the process, the bolt handle broke off, as the bolt retracted violently, actually ending up outside the bolt raceway.

out of battery kaboom bohica 50 bmg ar15

The shooter was badly injured, with broken bones and ligament damage to his left hand and tissue damage to his right hand. The shooter was holding the rifle with his left hand near the front of the chamber where a gas vent was located. Gas and shrapnel existed the vent hole causing the severe injuries to the left hand.

From range reports, it appears that the shooter had been struggling to chamber previous rounds, and was having trouble closing the bolt. After talking with one of the rangemasters, a poster on AR15.com reported: “The guy was using new reloads that weren’t exactly fitting well into his chamber. [The shooter] was slamming the bolt handle with his palm trying to get the cases to lock in. The guy was also slamming the bolt forward full force from the rearmost position back and forth trying to ram the cases into chamber in an attempt to squeeze the rounds in so the bolt could close. Finally, on one of the attempts … the possibly stuck firing pin rams into the primer and explodes the round when he slams the bolt forward (zero lug engagement hence the KB) and shooter puts himself into a world of hurt.”

Lessons Learned — Don’t Try to Force Oversize Ammo into a Chamber
By all reports, the shooter’s ammo wasn’t fitting his chamber properly. In an effort to force the ammo into the chamber, he worked the bolt with excessive force. That MAY have caused the firing pin to extend or the hammer to fall without the trigger being pulled. One theory is that the trigger system may have been modified, allowing the hammer to fall from the force of slamming the bolt forward. Others have speculated that the firing pin may have failed to retract because the bolt handle was over-torqued — a safety issue listed in the BOHICA manual.

out of battery kaboom bohica 50 bmg ar15

Whatever caused the out-of-battery firing, it appears that improperly-sized ammo (or a poorly-cut chamber) was the root cause of the problems. If you go to a range and find your bolt does not close easily over the ammo — STOP SHOOTING — don’t try to force the issue. Disaster may result. To paraphrase Johnnie Cochran: “If the ammo doesn’t fit, it’s time to quit”.

Photos by Wildcard, originally posted on Calguns.net.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
July 3rd, 2017

Bargain Finder 93: 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. Midsouth — Stars & Stripes AR Upper + Handguard, $279.99

AR15 Liberty Edition Stripped Billet Upper and 15

Tomorrow is Independence Day. Here’s the perfect product for the Fourth of July — a Red, White, and Blue AR upper. This “Stars & Stripes” Limited Edition combines the Guntec USA stripped Upper Receiver with the Guntec USA 15″ Keymod handguard, tricked out with a patriotic paint scheme. The upper may be used to build multiple calibers in the AR15 family such as .223 Remington, 6.5mm Grendel, and 300 AAC to name a few. NOTE: This is just a stripped upper receiver and handguard, NOT a “complete” upper. You’ll still need barrel, bolt/carrier, buffer tube, buttstock, and complete lower assembly.

2. Bullets.com — Big CLOSEOUT Sale on Ammo

Bullets.com ammo ammunition close-out sale discount Winchester .223 Rem

Bullets.com has a large selection of rifle, pistol, and shotgun ammunition on sale. You can get name-brand ammo at big savings right now. If you’re looking for factory pistol ammo you should definitely shop at Bullets.com this week. And there are even deals to be had on ultra-premium Lapua ammo — just about the best factory ammunition you can buy (at any price).

PMC Brand .380 ACP, $13.50 for 50 rounds ($0.265/rd)
Winchester Brand .40 S&W, $25.00 for 100 rounds ($0.25/rd)
Winchester Brand Q3131A1 5.56×45 (.223 Rem), $6.50 for 20 Rounds ($0.325/rd)
Lapua Brand, .308 Winchester, 155gr Scenar, $70.77 for 50 rounds, ($1.415/rd)

3. Amazon — RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press, $126.99

Amazon.com Amazon RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Reloading Press Sale

The RCBS Rock Chucker remains a classic — a big, strong, versatile press that can handle most reloading chores with ease. And now you can get a genuine Rock Chucker Supreme for $126.99 — a very good deal. The Rock Chucker offers plenty of leverage for case-sizing and the “O” is tall enough for long cartridges. The Rock Chucker has a very strong base and should last a lifetime. We’re not fans of the Rock Chucker’s priming system but most serious reloaders use a separate priming tool.

4. Amazon — Frankford Complete Master Tumbler Kit, $49.50

Master tumbler reloading kit Frankford Arsenal

This Master Tumbler Kit contains everything you need to tumble rifle or pistol brass. Now on sale for $56.07 with free Prime shipping, this Kit contains: Vibratory Tumbler, Rotary Media Separator, Plastic Bucket, 3 lbs. Cleaning Media, and 4 oz. Brass Polish. NOTE: We considered this an excellent deal when it was priced around seventy bucks. At $49.50 it is a total steal — you could easily pay more than that for a decent vibratory tumbler alone.

5. Whittaker Guns — Howa Lightning 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $299.99

With this deal you can get a complete 6.5 Creedmoor Howa 1500 Rifle with HACT 2-Stage Trigger for just $299.99. That’s $150.00 less than the price of a Howa 1500 barreled action by itself! ($449.99 at Brownells). This is a no-frills rifle, but its hard to beat the $299.99 price for a solid, multi-purpose rifle. Use “As-Is” for hunting or drop it into a modular stock for tactical/practical games.

6. MidwayUSA — Packable Shooting Mat, $19.99

MidwayUSA roll packable shooting mat light weight mat

Here’s a heck of a deal on a good light-weight shooting mat. MidwayUSA has slashed the price on its Packable Shooting Mat. Available in Coyote Tan or Olive Drab, this 67″ Long x 31″ Wide padded mat is now just $19.99. This Packable Mat has some nice features, such as 12″ front flap, elbow pads, 0.15″ thick padding, and six staking grommets. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to a 9″ x 4.5″ package, secured with a heavy strap. If you need a low-cost, basic shooting mat, check out this deal. Weighing just 1.5 pounds, this a good, light-weight mat to keep in a vehicle or to use on a “walk-around” varminting hunt.

7. Midsouth — Lee Auto Bench Priming Tool, $23.99

discount Lee Priming bench tool primer tray

This relatively new bench tool does the job very well, and it’s easy to change primer sizes and shell holders. The “feel” of this tool is very good (better than most other bench priming units). If you like to pre-prime cases before using a progressive — this $23.99 Lee Bench Priming Tool gets the job done fast. The tool includes a new folding tray with built-in primer-flipping feature that allows direct filling from common primer boxes. The tool mounting holes are spaced for the Lee Bench Plate system (#006-90251) or the device can be mounted directly to your workbench. REVIEWS by verified purchasers.

8. Amazon — Discovery Scope Level, $13-$16 (1″, 30mm)

Optical Rifle Scope bubble level Discovery 30mm 1 inch 34mm Amazon

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This Discovery scope level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It is available with inner diameters to fit scopes with either 1″ or 30mm main tubes. The 1″ version is just $12.99 while the 30mm model is $13.95. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product: 89% of verified buyers rated this five stars.

9. Bullets.com — Handgun Safe, $49.95

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

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

10. Amazon — 630 1″-Diameter Target Spots, $9.65 Delivered

Amazon target dots discount free shipping sight-in target

We use 1″-diameter Target Spots for sight-in and practice at 100-300 yards. These bright red/orange self-adhesive dots are easy to see. At 100 yards the high-contrast black diamond centers provide precise aiming points. We found this 10-pack of target spots on Amazon at a rock-bottom price. You get 630 total stick-on dots for just $9.65 with FREE Shipping. You can also get 360 Birchwood Casey 1″ dots from Midsouth for just $3.15, but shipping is extra. If you’re already ordering something from Midsouth, you may want to add the dots to your order.

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