November 6th, 2018

Super Slow Motion Video Reveals Hunting Bullet Performance

Federal has created an award-winning Bullet Breakdown Video (below) that demonstrates how various hunting bullets perform in ballistic gelatin. This and other videos are found on Federal Premium Ammunition’s YouTube Channel. The Bullet Breakdown Video features four bullet types used in Federal Ammo: Nosler Ballistic Tip; Sierra GameKing; Trophy Bonded Tip; and Barnes Triple-Shock X-Bullet. (Note: you may want to turn down the volume before playback.)

Federal’s high-resolution, slow-motion video-graphy helps demonstrate which loads are the best for specific uses. The ultra-slo-mo footage provides a detailed view of each bullet penetrating ballistic gelatin blocks. These blocks closely mimic animal tissue and clearly display performance characteristics.

“The Bullet Breakdown Video is a great tool for hunters trying to decide on ammunition type,” said Federal’s Jason Nash. “Properly preparing for the hunt is crucial-and not all bullets are made the same. The bullet is the one link between hunter and game and can be the difference between success and failure. This video helps show hunters how different bullet construction affects terminal performance[.]” For more info, visit

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January 12th, 2017

Try Barnes, Berger, and Nosler Bullets with Sample Packs

Bullet Proof Samples

Bullet Proof SamplesBullet Proof Samples offers 12-count packs of big-name bullets. This lets you try out many different bullet types without forking out big bucks for larger 50-ct or 100-ct boxes. Currently, Bullet Proof Samples offers projectiles from Barnes, Berger Bullets, and Nosler. The sample packs range in price from $5.99 (for 22-cal varmint bullets) to $17.49 (for a .30-Cal Barnes LRX). The Berger Bullets sample packs run $6.99 to $10.49, with the larger 7mm and 30-cal bullets at the upper end of the range. On a per-bullet cost basis, it’s still much cheaper to purchase a “normal” 100-ct box, but the sample packs let you “test before you invest.”

Berger’s Michelle Gallagher tells us: “We receive frequent feedback from shooters who are looking for bullets in small pack quantities so that they can test different bullets without the expense of buying full boxes. Bullet Proof Samples… has done an exceptional job of addressing that concern. Bullets are packaged in blister packs, so they can be clearly seen. Each pack contains 12 bullets. They offer Nosler, Barnes and Berger in a variety of weights and calibers. Bullet Proof Samples is not a Berger Bullets LLC company, but we are supportive of their efforts[.]”

Story idea by EdLongrange.
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July 16th, 2015

Barnes Calculates Ballistics Using Doppler Radar Speed Data

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedom

How do you build better (more precise) ammo drop tables? With radar, that’s how. Barnes Bullets is using Doppler Radar to develop the drop tables for its new Precision Match line of factory ammunition. The Doppler radar allows Barnes to determine actual velocities at hundreds of points along a bullet’s flight path. This provides a more complete view of the ballistics “behavior” of the bullet, particularly at long range. Using Doppler radar, Barnes has learned that neither the G1 nor G7 BC models are perfect. Barnes essentially builds a custom drag curve for each bullet using Doppler radar findings.

Use of Doppler Radar to Generate Trajectory Solutions

by Barnes Bullets, LLC
Typical trajectory tables are generated by measuring only two values: muzzle velocity, and either time-of-flight to a downrange target, or a second downrange velocity. Depending on the test facility where this data is gathered, that downrange target or chronograph may only be 100 to 300 yards from the muzzle. These values are used to calculate the Ballistic Coefficient (BC value) of the bullet, and the BC value is then referenced to a standardized drag curve such as G1 or G7 to generate the trajectory table.

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedomThis approach works reasonably well for the distances encountered in most hunting and target shooting conditions, but breaks down rapidly for long range work. It’s really an archaic approach based on artillery firings conducted in the late 1800s and computational techniques developed before the advent of modern computers.

There is a better approach which has been utilized by modern militaries around the world for many years to generate very precise firing solutions. Due to the sizeable investment required, it has been slow to make its way into the commercial market. This modern approach is to use a Doppler radar system to gather thousands of data points as a bullet flies downrange. This radar data is used to generate a bullet specific drag curve, and then fed into a modern 6 Degree of Freedom (DOF) [ballistics software program] to generate precise firing solutions and greatly increase first-round hit probability. (The 6 DOF software accounts for x, y, and z position along with the bullet’s pitch, yaw, and roll rates.)

Barnes has invested heavily in this modern approach. Our Doppler radar system can track bullets out to 1500 meters, recording the velocity and time of flight of that bullet every few feet along the flight path. Consider the graph below showing a bullet specific drag curve referenced to the more common G1 and G7 curves:

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedom

Neither of the standard curves is a particularly good match to our test bullet. In the legacy approach to generating a downrange trajectory table, the BC value is in effect a multiplier or a fudge factor that’s used to shift the drag curve of the test bullet to try and approximate one of the standard curves. This leads to heated arguments as to which of the standardized drag curves is a better fit, or if multiple BC values should be used to better approximate the standard curve (e.g., use one BC value when the velocity is between Mach 1 and Mach 2, and a different BC value when the velocity is between Mach 2 and Mach 3.) Barnes’ approach to creating trajectory tables is to generate bullet-specific drag curves, and use that data directly in a modern, state-of-the-art, 6 DOF ballistics program called Prodas to generate the firing solution.

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 16th, 2014

How Barnes Bullets Are Made — Views from Inside the Factory

Barnes Bullets FactoryMany of our readers have been interested in learning how modern bullets are made. While a “boutique” bullet-maker, supplied with appropriate cores and jackets, can craft bullets using relatively simple hand dies and manual presses, factory production is different. The major bullet-makers, such as Barnes, employ huge, complex machines to craft their projectiles on an assembly line.

Modern hunting bullets are made with a variety of sophisticated (and expensive) machines, such as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) lathes, giant multi-stage presses, and hydraulic extruding machines that draw lead ingots into lead wire. Barnes offers an “inside look” at the bullet production process in a series of videos filmed at its Mona, UT factory. We’ve embedded four videos from the series here. These videos can also be viewed on the Barnes Bullets YouTube Channel.

Milling Slots in TSX All-Copper Bullet
This video shows how the slots (between the drive bands) in the TSX all-copper bullet are cut. The slots reduce the bearing surface that contacts the rifling. This helps reduce friction and heat, extending the life of barrels used with all-metal, drive-band bullets:

Varminator Bullets Produced in Jumbo Transfer Press
Here is the transfer press used in the production of Varminator and MPG Bullets. The process begins with a giant spool of flat copper material. The copper is stamped into jackets and eventually the formed Varminator bullets are ejected one by one into a bucket.

CNC Lathe Turns Bullets Automatically
In the video below, a Bar-Feed CNC crafts mono-bloc bullets from metal bar stock. Barnes uses a small CNC lathe to turn .50-caliber bullets from brass bar stock. We’re not sure which bullet is being made in this video. The material looks to be sintered metal. In the close-ups you can gold-colored shavings from when the machine was previously used for CNC-turned brass bullets.

Accuracy Testing in 100-yard Tunnel
Barnes regularly tests bullet samples for accuracy. In the video below, a Barnes technician loads sample rounds and tests them for accuracy in a 100-yard tunnel. The rounds are shot through a special fixture — basically a barreled action connected to parallel rods on either side. This allows the testing fixture to slide straight back on recoil (see it move back at 1:07-08 minute mark). Note how the tester actuates the trigger, which is oriented upwards, just the opposite of a normal rifle. The technician taps the upward-pointing trigger shoe lightly with a metal rod. Could this upside-down trigger orientation be useful in benchrest shooting — perhaps with railguns? It could make for an interesting experiment.

Story suggestion by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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April 11th, 2013

Bullet Sample Packs Save Money During Load Development

Sinclair Int’l now carries Bullet Sample Packs from Bullet Proof Samples LLC. These 12-bullet packs are available for Berger, Barnes, and Nosler bullets in popular weights, types, and calibers. With the sample packs, during load development, you can try out a variety of projectiles without investing in an entire box of each type. That’s smart. Sample packs range in price from $5.99 to $15.99 (for twelve bullets per pack). Most of the Berger bullet packs are priced under $10.00, with many in the $6-$7 range.

bullet samples

CLICK HERE for the Sinclair Int’l bullet sample pack webpage. (Once there, select Barnes, Berger, or Nosler). You’ll also find the sample packs on page six of the Sinclair Int’l print catalog. To place an order, or for additional information, call 800-717-8211 or visit

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January 3rd, 2013

Barnes .204-Caliber Varmint Grenade Bullets on Sale

Here’s a good deal for fans of the “Terrific Twenties” — .204-caliber, low-recoil cartridges. Midsouth Shooters Supply now has Barnes 26gr “Varmint Grenade” bullets on sale. Midsouth has marked down 250-count boxes of these 26-grainers from $36.74 (reg. price) to $31.99 (sale price). The promo price works out to just $12.79 per hundred bullets. If you have a .204-Cal rifle, and are planning a prairie dog safari or ground squirrel hunt in the months ahead, you may want to grab these bullets while they’re on sale. These 26-grainers will work with 20-Cal cartridges from the .204 Ruger all the way down to the diminutive .20 Vartarg.

Barnes .204 Varmint Grenade

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October 5th, 2012

How Bullets are Made — Inside Look at the Barnes Factory

Barnes Bullets factory machinesBarnes Bullets has produced some videos showing the processes used to make Barnes’ popular TSX (all-copper), Match Burner (lead-core, copper jacket), and Varmint Grenade (copper jacket, powdered metal core) bullets.

Drawing Copper Wire for TSX Bullets
The first video features the TSX. These all-copper bullets start by drawing and cutting solid copper wire into slugs. The material is first drawn down to the correct diameter and then cut to the proper weight on a large industrial shear press. Great care is taken to ensure the most consistent weight possible. The machines are checked frequently. The video below show how copper wire is sized (in the first black box on the green machine) and then travels over a series of rollers to the cutting station.

Extruding Lead Wire for Bullet Cores
The second video shows the extrusion of lead core material for Barnes’ Originals and Match Burner bullets. First, soft lead is melted into 16″ long by 2 ½” round ingots. The ingots are then fed into a large steel tube and hydraulically forced through a cone at about 3500 psi, producing lead wire. This extrusion process makes the lead wire to the correct diameter. The lead wire is then fed into a cutter that chops it into the correct weight. After cutting, the lead cores are sorted and again fed into the bullet presses.

Powdered Metal Mixing for Varmint Grenade Bullets
The third video shows the mixing of metal for the composite cores in Varmint Grenade bullets. This powdered metal core is one reason why Varmint Grenades fragment so explosively on impact. The core for these bullets (identical to the MPG bullet) is made from a very fine copper and tin powder. After mixing, the metal powder matrix is fed via the hopper into the Fetta press. This machine then feeds the powder into a chamber where it is compressed into a solid core that can be put into a copper jacket. In the video, the powdered metal is fed into the machine on the left. It’s a bit difficult to see, but there is a bottom punch that matches each top punch. The two punches come together to form the core.

This is a very expensive, high-output machine. Fully tooled and set at a reasonable speed, it can make upwards of 90,000 cores per hour!

Story Tip by EdLongRange. We welcome reader story ideas.

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August 13th, 2012

Barnes, Berger, Nosler Bullets Now Offered in Sample Packs

Bullet Proof SamplesBullet Proof Samples now offers 12-count packs of big-name bullets. This lets you try out many different bullet types without forking out big bucks for larger 50-ct or 100-ct boxes. Currently, Bullet Proof Samples offers projectiles from Barnes, Berger Bullets, and Nosler. The sample packs range in price from $5.49 (for 22-cal varmint bullets) to $15.99 (for a .30-Cal Barnes LRX). The Berger Bullets sample packs run $6.49 to $10.49, with the larger 7mm and 30-cal bullets at the upper end of the range. On a per-bullet cost basis, it’s still much cheaper to purchase a “normal” 100-ct box, but the sample packs let you “test before you invest.”

Bullet Proof SamplesBerger’s Michelle Gallagher tells us: “We receive frequent feedback from shooters who are looking for bullets in small pack quantities so that they can test different bullets without the expense of buying full boxes. We’re pleased to be associated with the launch of Bullet Proof Samples. This is a new company who has done an exceptional job of addressing that concern. Bullets are packaged in blister packs, so they can be clearly seen. Each pack contains 12 bullets. They will be offering Nosler, Barnes and Berger in a variety of weights and calibers.

This effort will be featured in an upcoming issue of American Rifleman and will launch officially this week. Bullet Proof Samples is not a Berger Bullets LLC company, but we are supportive of their efforts and believe that they will be addressing a need in the shooting community that is presently unavailable.”

Story idea by EdLongrange.
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July 8th, 2011

Good Deals on Barnes Bullets at E. Arthur Brown (EABC0)

barnes bulletsE. Arthur Brown has just started stocking Barnes Bullets. To promote this new line of projectiles, EABCO is offering “Lowest Introductory Internet Prices” on some of Barnes’ most popular bullets: Triple Shock (TSX), Tipped Triple Shock (TTSX), and Varmint Grenade. The folks at EABCO explained: “We figured the best way to launch our Barnes Bullet Line would be to offer the most popular bullets at the lowest prices. The good people at Barnes gave us a ranking by sales volume, so we picked the top 20 (and added three personal favorites), to come up with the listing you see on the right”.

Ship Up to 20 Boxes of Bullets for Just $8.00
To sweeten the deal, EABCO is offering flat-rate USPS shipping. EABCO will charge just $8.00 to ship up to 20 boxes of bullets. Mix and match bullet types and bullet brands if you want. The $8.00 shipping offer applies to Berger, Hornady, and Lapua bullets also. But you need to select “$8 Bullets Only Shipping” during check-out. If you buy a large quantity of bullets, you can save a bundle with that shipping offer.

Qualities of Barnes Bullets
TSX bullets are widely known for their accuracy, consistent expansion on impact, and solid, weight retention. The “Triple Shock” name refers to the three grooves formed into the bearing surface. The Tipped Triple Shock is an enhanced-BC version of the Triple Shock with a polymer tip instead. Barnes claims that the higher BC of the TTSX tipped bullets provides a flatter trajectory for long-range shots. The popular lead-free Varmint Grenade bullets combine a composite (lead/tin) frangible core with a hollow cavity and copper jacket. These are designed to virtually disintegrate inside predators, minimizing pelt damage. Watch the video below for a dramatic demonstration of how Varmint Grenades perform when launched a very high velocities.

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January 31st, 2011

Barnes Offers New Match and Hunting Bullets for 2011

Barnes Bullets is introducing a bunch of new bullets for 2011. Precision shooters will be interested in the new Match Burner line of bullets, as well as Barnes’ LRX series of long-range projectiles. For the large-caliber shooters, Barnes has also expanded its line of Banded Solids, in weights from 250 grains (.338 caliber) all the way up to 535 grains (.500 Jeffries).

The new Barnes Match Burner bullets are designed for competitive target shooting. The new Match Burners for 2011, listed below, are slated to ship to vendors in March.

Barnes match burner bullets

Caliber Weight Description
223 Cal 52-grain Flat Base Match
223 Cal 69-grain Boattail Match (1:10″ Twist or Faster)
223 Cal 85-grain Boattail Match (1:7″ Twist or Faster)
6MM 68-grain Flat Base Match
6MM 105-grain Boattail Match
6.5MM 140-grain Boattail Match
30 Cal 155-grain Boattail Palma
30 Cal 175-grain Boattail Match

New Long-Range X Bullets Based on Tipped Triple-Shock Design
The all-new Long-Range X Bullet® (LRX) line includes four new bullets. Designed after the best-selling Tipped Triple-Shock™ X Bullet® (TTSX), the new LRX bullet design increases B.C. values by increasing ogive and boat tail lengths to improve the bullets’ long-range ballistic performance. LRX bullets are manufactured with the proven 100-percent copper, lead-free bodies. The bullet’s polymer tip initiates expansion, causing the nose cavity to open instantly on contact, doubling the bullet’s original diameter. Barnes claims the LRX bullets allow clean, quick kills even at extreme ranges.

Barnes LRX bullets

Caliber Weight Description
7MM 145-grain Boattail
30 Cal 175-grain Boattail (1:11″ Twist or Faster)
30 Cal 200-grain Boattail (1:10″ Twist or Faster)
338 Lapua 265-grain Boattail

Solid Bullets with Drive Bands
Barnes Banded Solids are made from free-machining brass. A series of bands cut into the bullet’s shank moderate engraving pressure and help reduce barrel wear. Weight-matched with Triple-Shock X Bullets of the same caliber, Banded Solids can be interchanged with expanding TSX bullets without varying point of impact.

Precision machined from the same tough material, Banded Solid Spitzers deliver maximum concentricity, consistent density and match-grade accuracy. According to Barnes, the Banded Solid Spitzers, provide deep penetration without deformation. Barnes says these bullets can “Kill fur-bearing animals cleanly with minimal damage to valuable pelts”.

Barnes Banded Solids

Caliber Weight Description
.338 Cal 250-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
9.3MM 250-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
9.3MM 286-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
.375 Cal 270-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
.375 Cal 300-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
.375 Cal 350-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
.416 Cal 350-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
.416 Cal 400-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
.422″ (404 JEFF) 400-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
.458 Cal 450-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
.458 Cal 500-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
.504″ (505 GIBBS) 525-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
.510″ (500 JEFF) 535-grain Banded Solid Round Nose
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May 29th, 2010

New 12th Edition of Cartridges of the World Available

Since it was first released in 1965, Cartridges of the World by Frank Barnes, has been considered the definitive print resource on firearm cartridges. The current 12th Edition, edited by Holt Bodinson, was released late last year. The 568-page 12th Edition now describes over 1500 cartridges (from 0.1 inch to 0.95 inch caliber). This edition has interesting new articles on cartridge design and performance. The book includes dimensions, illustrations, a short history, and sample loading data for over 1500 different cartridges, including virtually every significant cartridge introduced since the early 1870s, with separate chapters on rimfires, shotgun shells, sporting rifle cartridges from the United States and Canada, Britain, and Europe, plus handgun cartridges, military cartridges, and limited production “wildcat” and “proprietary” cartridges. You won’t find all the narrow-focus or obscure wildcats, but the book is still a useful resource, well worth owning. It’s a “must-have” item for any serious cartridge collector.

Frank C. Barnes (1918-1992) began collecting information on handgun cartridges at the early age of 12, thanks to his father, a police officer. Frank Barnes was an innovative cartridge designer, who invented the original 308 x 1.5″ Barnes, predecessor of the 30BR case. Before Frank began a law enforcement career, he was a college professor. Frank was also a pilot, and a race-car driver.

Cartridges of the World was first published in 1965. It’s lived through 12 editions and can be found on many reloaders’ bookshelves today. Suggested retail for the book is $32.99, but MidwayUSA currently sells the 12th Edition for $19.99 plus shipping (Midway item 242319). offers the book for $21.77 with free shipping on combined orders over $25.00.

AMAZON LINK: Cartridges of the World (12th Ed.): Complete Reference for Over 1500 Cartridges

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January 5th, 2010

Freedom Group (Cerberus) Acquires Barnes Bullets

Cerberus Capital Managment, through its Freedom Group holding company, has acquired yet another well-known gun industry company: Barnes Bullets. On December 31, 2009, Freedom Group, Inc. entered into a purchase agreement to acquire certain assets of Barnes Bullets.

In recent years, Cerberus/Freedom Group has acquired Remington, Bushmaster, Marlin, H&R, DMPS and other smaller firearms-related companies. By acquiring Barnes, the Freedom Group gains entry into the ammunition component business at a time when brass, bullets, and powder remain in high demand. As the Freedom Group continues to build a vertically integrated firearms-related mega-corp, one wonders if Cerberus will look to acquire a powder-maker next. Freedom Group already sells Remington-brand factory-loaded ammunition.

Barnes Bullets, located in Mona, Utah, is the industry-leading supplier of copper bullets, including copper-tin composite core bullets. Barnes is a major player in the “lead-free” bullet market. This has become important as lead-core bullets have been banned in many hunting areas, and lead-free bullets are required in many indoor shooting facilities. Barnes Bullets will continue day-to-day operations at Utah facility under the guidance of company founder, Randy Brooks.

Ted Torbeck, CEO of the Freedom Group, Inc. stated: “With the acquisition of Barnes, the Freedom Group continues to demonstrate our commitment to the ammunition business. Barnes offers a premium line of high performance bullets for the hunting and shooting communities; and for law enforcement, military and commercial consumers. We are excited about their R&D capabilities and the breadth of the products they bring to our portfolio.”

Cerberus Freedom Group

Freedom Group is now one of the world’s largest producers of guns and ammo. Freedom Group brands include Remington, Bushmaster, DPMS/Panther Arms, Marlin, H&R, NEF, LC Smith, Parker, EOTAC, AAC, Dakota and INTC. The company distributes its products throughout the U.S. and in over 80 foreign countries. Learn more at

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April 20th, 2009

April Deals at Midsouth Shooters Supply

Some good deals are to be had among Midsouth Shooters Supply’s April Specials.

Barnes M/LE Bullets on Sale
Barnes Bullets has introduced a new line of Military Law Enforcement (M/LE) lead-free bullets. Based on technologies Barnes developed for military applications, this new line of bullets should be popular for self-defense, hunting, and the fast-growing Tactical market. Sale items include include the all-copper TAC-X™ rifle bullets and Barnes’ new RRLP™ (Reduced Ricochet, Limited Penetration) bullets. TAC-X are a solid copper projectile that provides controlled, double-diameter expansion — a good choice for hunters. The RRLP bullets feature a frangible, powdered-metal copper-tin core inside a guilding metal jacket. These open-tip bullets combine accuracy with explosive fragmentation.

Last but hardly least, Midsouth offers the new 50-Caliber TAC-LR™ Long Range bullets. These high-BC, solid-brass beauties are individually milled on CNC equipment. Two types are available, a long-nosed secant ogive style (035-51075) and a tangent ogive style (035-51076). Both 50-cal projectiles are priced at $32.90 for 20 bullets. That’s expensive yes, but still much cheaper than comparable milled 50-cal solids from “boutique” bullet-makers. Barnes’ 750gr secant ogive TAC-LR bullet has an amazing 1.070 BC.

TAC LR Barnes 50 Caliber

Allen 50″ Euro Gun Case
The Allen “Euro” is a quality 50″-long case with enough interior space to handle 29-30″ barrels. This deluxe case features a fatter/taller front section to fit guns with wide forearms or attached bipods. This is a very nice soft case for a long-barreled varmint rifle or F-Class gun with a larget scope. It features very thick foam padding (1.5″ per side) and multiple, velcro-closed external pockets. Midsouth Shooters Supply offers this case in hunter green (item 168-91550) for $35.09. Supplies are limited so don’t hesitate! A similar Allen-made case in blue or tan sold as the Remington Yukon.

Allen 50

Montana Xtreme Solvent with Free Bolt Grease
Though the end of April, if you purchase a 4 ounce bottle of Montana X-Treme bore solvent for $5.86, Midsouth will include a FREE syringe of X-Treme Gun Grease as no extra cost. The Gun Grease normally retails for about $4.50 buy itself. Every bolt-gun owner should have some grease in a syringe applicator to prevent galling of the lugs.

Midsouth Owner Interviewed
In related news, Midsouth Shooters Supply owner David King was recently interviewed by WKRN television in Nashville, TN. When asked about the current ammo shortage, King said this is the most accute shortage he can remember: “I’ve been doing this since the early 60s and it’s never been like this … The ’94 shortage was tough, but not like this.” In fact, King said it’s so bad one of his dealers sold more ammunition in one day than he did in all of 2007. According to King, the surge in ammo sales began after the Presidential election in November and has continued unabated due to concerns that Congress will impose new regulations on firearms, ammunition, and reloading components. King said ammo-makers are producing product as fast as they can but he expects in may take a full year before the balance of supply and demand situation returns to normal.

CLICK HERE to view David King interview (top right on new page)

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