July 14th, 2017

Boy Scouts Of America Team up with Vista Outdoor Brands

Boy Scouts America Vista Outdoors Savage Arms merit badge rifle camelbak Bell helmet

Vista Outdoor Inc. (“Vista Outdoor”) (NYSE: VSTO) has entered into a wide-ranging partnership with the Boy Scouts of America. Vista Outdoor is now the official conservation sponsor of the Scouts, while Vista Outdoor brands Federal Premium, CCI, Savage, Gold Tip, CamelBak and Bell have become official partners with the Scouts for Shooting Sports, Archery, Hydration and Wheeled Safety.

Boy Scouts America Vista Outdoors Savage Arms merit badge rifle camelbak Bell helmetRyan Bronson, Vista Outdoor’s Director of Conservation stated: “This historic partnership will help … support over 2 million Scouts in their ability to enjoy the outdoors and be responsible citizens. Vista Outdoor and its brands have a long history of working with the Boy Scouts, and this partnership is the next logical step.”

“Scouting takes young people on adventures and lessons of character and leadership in the most remarkable class room imaginable – the outdoors,” said Brad Farmer, Assistant Chief Scout Executive leading the Office of Development for the Boy Scouts of America. “We are honored to partner with Vista Outdoor, an organization that shares our respect for the outdoors and long-lasting commitment environmental stewardship. In Scouting, we learn to leave no trace so that others can have the opportunity to experience the outdoor classroom as we have for generations.”

Boy Scouts America Vista Outdoors Savage Arms merit badge rifle camelbak Bell helmet

As the official conservation sponsor, Vista Outdoor is the presenting sponsor of the “Conservation Trail” at this year’s 2017 National Jamboree. In addition to the conversation sponsorship, Vista Outdoor brands became official partners of the Scouts in the following roles:

• Savage, Federal Premium, and CCI – official Shooting Sports Partners
• Gold Tip – official Archery Partner
• CamelBak – official Hydration Partner
• Bell – official Wheeled Safety Partner

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May 8th, 2017

Bargain Finder 85: 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. Cabela’s — Remington 700 ADL Commemorative Rifle, $549.99

Remington 700 ADL Commemorative Hunting Rifle

Each week, Cabelas.com offers select Guns of the Week at special discounted prices. This week one choice is a special 200th Anniversary Remington 700 ADL with upgraded stock. This handsome rifle is $100.00 off, marked down to $549.99 from $649.99. The figured Walnut stock features deluxe Fleur de Lis checkering, plus a Commemorative grip cap. This special model 700 ADL with 24″ blued barrel is offered in three popular chamberings: .243 Winchester, .270 Winchester, and .30-06 Springfield.

2. Amazon — Frankford Complete Master Tumbler Kit, $53.46

Master tumbler reloading kit Frankford Arsenal

This Master Tumbler Kit contains everything you need to tumble rifle or pistol brass. Now on sale for $53.46 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 at $67.99. At $53.46 it is a total steal — you could easily pay that much for a decent vibratory tumbler alone.

3. Grafs.com — 60 for 60 Specials Starting Tuesday, May 9th

Grafs.com Graf Sons sixty anniversary 60 sale discount 60% off

This year Graf & Sons is celebrating its 60th year in business. To mark this milestone, Graf’s is having a series of big sales, with huge discounts (up to 60%), and some free product give-aways. This Tuesday, May 9th, Grafs.com will run a special 60 for 60 Flash Sale. This starts at 12:00 PM CT and has items up to 60% off, plus prizes including Free Ammo. An example of the great deals are Walker Ear Muffs at $4.99, 60% off the regular $11.99 price. NOTE: Flash Sale starts TUESDAY May 9, 2017.

4. Monmouth Reloading — Nosler RDF Bullets, $28-$29 per 100

Monmouth Nosler RDF bullets 6mm 6.5 mm Creedmoor 140 175 105 reduced drag factor

Nosler’s line of RDF (Reduced Drag Factor) bullets have high BCs for their weight. Precision shooters are reporting outstanding accuracy. Given their high performance and consistency, RDF bullets represent a superior value. At Monmouth Reloading you can get Nosler RDFs for under $29 per 100 for popular 6mm, 6.5 mm, and .30-Cal sizes. That’s up to $20 less per box than some premium brands.

.30 Cal 175 grain $28.99/100 (0.536 G1)
6.5mm 140 grain $28.50/100 (0.658 G1)

6mm 105 grain $27.99/100 (0.571 G1)
.224 70 grain $25.49/100 (0.416 G1)

5. Cabela’s — Sellier & Bellot Primers, $19.99/1000

Sellier Bellot Primer Sale Small Rifle Pistol Cabela's

There’s a new line of primers on the market, produced by Czech factory Sellier & Bellot. You can save up to 30% compared to name-brand American primers. For example, the S&B Small rifle primers are now just $19.99 at Cabelas.com, compared to $28.00 for CCI Small Rifle Primers at Powder Valley. We’ve shot the S&B pistol ammo and it was very reliable so we wouldn’t hesitate to use these primers for practice ammo in rifle or pistol. This is an attractive option for high-volume reloaders.

6. B&H — Kowa TSN-601 Angled Spotting Scope Body, $269.00

wind mirage spotter spotting scope

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Kowa TSN-601 Angled Body for just $269.00 from B&H Photo. An eyepiece will run another $275.00 or so. Though relatively inexpensive, the TSN-601 is used by many top marksmen. This doesn’t have the resolution of the $1500+ spotters but this is fine for viewing mirage and spotters.

7. Grafs.com — Magnetospeed Sporter $178.99

Deals of Week magnetospeed sporter grafs.com

If you have been waiting to get a Magnetospeed… wait no longer. Priced at just $178.99 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. Using Magnetospeed’s XFR adapter (sold separately), data can be transferred easily from the display module to your mobile device. READ Magnetospeed Sporter Review. Brownells also has the Magnetospeed Sporter at $179.99, and (for a limited time) you can get FREE Shipping with Brownells CODE “MAY”.

8. Sportsman’s Guide — CCI .22 LR Ammo, $3.49 per Box!

CCI rimfire ammo bargain discount $3.32 box

This is the cheapest price we’ve seen in a long time for name-brand .22 LR Rimfire ammo. The sale price of $3.49 per 50-ct box works out to just seven cents a round for this 40gr CCI Blazer rimfire ammo. At that price can enjoy rimfire plinking without worrying about cost — just like the “good old days”. Member price is even lower — $3.32 per box. Grab this CCI Ammo at this rock-bottom price before it sells out.

9. 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.

10. Amazon — RCBS Quick-Change Powder Funnel Kit, $11.99

Amazon RCBS Powder funnel quick kit

This is versatile, affordable funnel system works with virtually all cartridge types, from 17 Remington up to 500 S&W. Even if you have a fancy metal funnel, its worth having one of these kits on your reloading bench. The RCBS Quick Change Powder Funnel Kit features five (5) adapters that match case mouth diameter for efficient loading: 17-20 caliber, 22-264 caliber, 27-284 caliber, 30-375 caliber, 40 caliber and higher. The Funnel Kit includes a handy 4-inch drop tube.

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March 29th, 2017

What You Need to Know About Primers — Explained by an Expert

Primer Priming Tool Magnum primers foil anvil primer construction reloading powder CCI
Winchester Pistol Primers on bench. Photo courtesy UltimateReloader.com.

There is an excellent article about primers on the Shooting Times website. We strongly recommend you read Mysteries And Misconceptions Of The All-Important Primer, written by Allan Jones. Mr. Jones is a bona fide expert — he served as the manager of technical publications for CCI Ammunition and Speer Bullets and Jones authored three editions of the Speer Reloading Manual.

» READ Full Primer “Mysteries and Misconceptions” Article

This authoritative Shooting Times article explains the fine points of primer design and construction. Jones also reveals some little-known facts about primers and he corrects common misconceptions. Here are some highlights from the article:

Primer Priming Tool Magnum primers foil anvil primer construction reloading powder CCISize Matters
Useful Trivia — even though Small Rifle and Small Pistol primer pockets share the same depth specification, Large Rifle and Large Pistol primers do not. The standard pocket for a Large Pistol primer is somewhat shallower than its Large Rifle counterpart, specifically, 0.008 to 0.009 inch less.

Magnum Primers
There are two ways to make a Magnum primer — either use more of the standard chemical mix to provide a longer-burning flame or change the mix to one with more aggressive burn characteristics. Prior to 1989, CCI used the first option in Magnum Rifle primers. After that, we switched to a mix optimized for spherical propellants that produced a 24% increase in flame temperature and a 16% boost in gas volume.

Foiled Again
Most component primers have a little disk of paper between the anvil and the priming mix. It is called “foil paper” not because it’s made of foil but because it replaces the true metal foil used to seal early percussion caps. The reason this little disk exists is strictly a manufacturing convenience. Wet primer pellets are smaller than the inside diameter of the cup when inserted and must be compacted to achieve their proper diameter and height. Without the foil paper, the wet mix would stick to the compaction pins and jam up the assembly process.

Read Full Primer Story on ShootingTimes.com:
http://www.shootingtimes.com/ammo/ammunition_st_mamotaip_200909

VIDEOS about PRIMERS
Here are two videos that offer some good, basic information on primers:

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January 2nd, 2017

Bargain Finder 68: 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 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. Bruno’s — LabRadar Doppler Radar Chronograph, $559.95

Bruno Shooters Bruno's LabRadar Chronograph Doppler Radar Chrono

The LabRadar is the most advanced chronograph on the market. When it was first released, you had to wait months to get one of these Doppler Radar units. Now they are in-stock and ready to ship at Bruno Shooters Supply for $559.95. Once you learn how to position and adjust the LabRadar, you should find the machine reliable and versatile. We do recommend getting a separate battery pack. If you are considering purchasing a LabRadar Chronograph, we strongly suggest you read the very thorough and informative LabRadar Review by Ray Gross, Captain of the USA F-TR team.

2. CDNN — ANSI Z87.1-Approved Safety Eyewear, $1.35 Each

Safety Glasses Sale Discount Pyramex Winchester Z87.1

You won’t find a better deal on name-brand ANSI Z87.1-approved safety glasses. Choose from Pyramex, Radians, or Winchester brands on sale now at CDNN Sports. We have used Pyramex safety eyewear for years. These are lightweight, comfortable and fairly rugged. The Radians Maverick features a stylish silver frame, while the Winchester eyewear features wrap-around amber lenses.

3. Eurooptic.com — Leupold VX-6 Scope Super-Sale

Leupold VX-6 Optics Side focus tactical long range optic sale scope

Eurooptic.com has received hundreds of brand-new Leupold VX-6 riflescopes, and will sell them at very deep discounts. Leupold’s VX-6 line spans 15 models, all with 6:1 zoom magnification ranges. From the 1-6x24mm CDS optic to the impressive 7-42x56mm Side Focus Target model, you can find a VX-6 for virtually any rifle application. And now you can save hundreds by purchasing overstock VX-6s on sale.

4. Natchez — Weaver T-Series 36x40mm Scope, $369.99

Weaver Classic T-Series 36x40mm scope

Benchrest Matches have been won (and many records set) with 36X Weaver T-Series optics. Our friend Boyd Allen observed “You can pay three or four times as much for a scope but not necessarily be more competitive — a 36X front objective Weaver is enough to win with…” The Classic T-Series Weaver has proven to be one of the most reliable high-magnification scopes ever made. The “old-fashioned” adjustable objective works well and the Weaver Micro-Trac turret system delivers precise and repeatable elevation and windage control. Now just $369.99 at Natchez, this is a great deal.

5. Able Ammo — 247 Rounds .223 Rem, HP Bullets

.223 Remington Rem Hornady XTP bullet ammo ammunition varmint sale

Here you go — instant varmint safari. This Hornady-made .223 Rem ammo features quality hollowpoint bullets, rather than the not-so-accurate FMJ bullets with most bulk .223 ammo. This stuff is much more accurate (with lower ES/SD) than other low-priced ammo. Users report sub-MOA accuracy with this stuff. If you’re planning a varmint safari this spring but don’t have the time (or gear) to reload, pick up a couple boxes of this stuff and you’re good to go. There are 247 rounds in each polymer ammo “can”. This ammo usually comes loaded with Hornady’s XTP (eXtreme Terminal Performance) bullets which work great on varmints.

6. Amazon.com — Lee Universal Shell Holder Set, $26.62

Lee shellholder Shell Holder Kit Set RCBS reloading Sale deals of week AccurateShooter

Every hand-loader needs one of these Lee Universal Shell Holder Sets. The kit contains 11 shell-holders for most popular rifle and pistol cartridge types. This editor bought one of these kits 25 years ago, and I still use it every week. It’s nice having one, compact container that has every shell-holder I need for both pistol and rifle cartridges. Even if you prefer more expensive Redding shell-holders, this 11-piece kit serves as a valuable back-up. Right now the Shell Holder Set is on sale at Amazon.com for $26.62, with free shipping for Amazon Prime members.

7. Natchez — 1k Rounds Blazer 9mm (Brass Cased), $199.99

9mm Blazer Brass Cased

This is quality, CCI made-in-USA ammo with reloadable, brass casings. We have used this CCI-made Blazer 9mm ammo in Sig, HK, and Glock pistols and it performed very well. This stuff won’t last long at this price (less than $0.20 per round). If you need 9mm practice ammo, order soon — this very same 1000-round case of Blazer 9mm ammo costs $60.00 more at MidwayUSA. Blazer Brass is loaded in boxer-primed, reloadable brass cases for added value.

8. EABCO.NET — $20 Off $200.00 Order

EABCO Arthur Brown Discount New Years Sale

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January 2nd, 2017

TECH Tip: Check Your Primer Tools If You Have Primer Problems

Priming Tool APS CCI magnum Primers Lee RCBS Priming

From time to time, we all encounter a primer that doesn’t go off. It’s normal to attribute the problem to a bad primer. But sometimes there are other explanations. George S., one of our Forum members, experienced a couple failures to fire, but he learned that the issue was his priming TOOL, not his primers. Here’s what George told us. There’s a lesson to be learned:

“I had issues with CCI 450s when I had my first 6BR barreled. I had probably three or four out of 20 rounds that failed to fire. the primers were dented but didn’t fire. I called CCI since I had bought a case of them. The tech was decent enough but had the audacity to tell me I was not seating the primers all the way in the pocket. I proceeded to let him know I had been reloading longer than he had been alive and I knew how to seat a primer.

Turns out that I did and I didn’t! I was using the RCBS primer tool I had used for years and the primers felt just fine to me. I finally decided to check the tool and since I had a new one I took the seating pins out and measured them. The seating pin on the tool I had been using for years was shorter by a few thousandths! I then used the pin from the new primer tool and darned if the primers that didn’t seat down to the bottom of the cup.

I switched to a K&M primer tool for seating the CCI primers and have not had a problem since. It was the combination of harder cup and lack of proper seating. I did call the CCI tech back and apologized for being an idiot.”

Another Forum member witnessed a problem cause by misuse of a priming tool: “I did … see a failure to fire on a Rem 9 1/2 primer only a week ago. That was in the new Rem muzzleloader that uses a primed case to ignite the pellets. After watching the muzzleloader’s owner seat his primers, I believe that it was operator error not the primer. He was seating the primer and then squeezing the priming tool so hard that his hands hurt after a few. We got that corrected.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
December 30th, 2016

Get CCI Holiday Pack Rimfire Ammo for $3.99 Per Box

.22LR rimfire ammo special

OK, you guys can now officially stop complaining about the price of rimfire ammunition. Right now Cabelas.com is offering “Holiday Packs” of 40gr CCI standard velocity LRN ammo. Price is $3.99 for 50 rounds, with no limits (until inventory is sold). If you need good, reliable plinking ammo… place your order soon. Here’s a review from a recent purchaser: “Good Deal! I ordered 40 boxes and got them all. I have already used a box and they work great! I may need to order more before they are all gone! Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes.”

NOTE to California-based readers — you may want to stock up on affordable .22 LR ammo before the ammo-buyer licensing requirements take effect on 1/1/2018. New laws will prohibit all mail-order ammo sales for California residents.

Terms of Sale: Online Only, Do Not Call, one coupon per order.
Item number#: IK-219647; SKU#: 931GFT ($4.99); Sale Price $3.99 per 50-round box.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
December 20th, 2016

Christmas Rimfire Fun with .22 Plinkster

22 plinkster velocitor CCI Christmas ornament trick shot

YouTube gun video producer .22 Plinkster has unbridled curiosity when it comes to .22 LR performance. A while back he wanted to see how many Christmas ornaments could be penetrated by one .22 LR round. To answer that burning question, Mr. Plinkster lined up 40 plastic Xmas bulbs in a row and then fired a single round of CCI .22 LR Velocitor ammo through the bunch. Did the bullet penetrate a dozen ornaments? Two dozen? What do you think? Watch the video to find out the surprising answer. The CCI Velocitor ammo is rated at 1435 fps.

22 plinkster velocitor CCI Christmas ornament trick shot

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August 26th, 2016

Reference Guide for Factory Ammo Includes 190+ Cartridge Types

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

If you ever shoot factory ammo, you should consider getting Ammo & Ballistics 5. This resource book lists over 2,600 different loads for 190 cartridge types from 17 Mach 2 up to .700 Nitro Express, including the most popular centerfire and rimfire cartridges (both rifle and handgun). There are over 1,400 tables with ballistics data for nearly all commercially-loaded hunting ammunition sold in the United States (as of 2013, the publication date). Tables include velocity, energy, wind drift, bullet drop, and ballistic coefficient.

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

This book can be helpful when choosing ammo for a hunt. You can quickly compare the velocity and knock-down power of various types of commercial ammo. In addition, this book can help you choose a caliber/chambering for your next hunting rig, as you can compare factory load options.

Book Purchaser Reviews
“The data contained in this book is invaluable. If you don’t understand momentum vs. energy, MER and MEPBR, this book will help you gain an understanding. If you don’t know what the Taylor Knock Out (KO) Index is, this book will enlighten and inform.” — Daryl ID

“Great heaps of data! This volume has pages and pages of new data for .22LR like the hot Velocitor, and also on the .22 WMR from 30 grains up into the 50s. Most importantly there is lots of range data, drop, windage, kinetic energy, etc. — Terrific reference guide….” — E. Svanoe

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
August 17th, 2016

Vista Outdoor Opens New Headquarters in Farmington, Utah

Vista Outdoor Public traded CCI Alliant Bushnell

On August 10th, Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO), officially opened its new 33,000-square-foot Utah corporate headquarters to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by state and local officials, community partners, members of the media, and employees.

“We are proud to call Farmington home,” said Vista Outdoor CEO Mark DeYoung. “We’re committed to being a strong partner for this community, and we value our relationships with the state, county and city leaders who helped make this headquarters a reality. We chose Utah because of its focus on outdoor recreation as an economic driver, the business-friendly environment, a talented workforce and balanced quality of life, as well as amazing geography and the availability of four seasons for outdoor recreation.”

Founded in 2015 when ATK (Alliant Techsystems*) spun off its sporting goods division from its aerospace business, Vista Outdoor is a leading global manufacturer of outdoor consumer products as well as firearms. Vista Outdoor’s 50 product brands include such well-known names as Bell Helmets, Blackhawk, Bushnell, CamelBak, CCI, Federal Premium Ammunition, and Savage Arms.

CLICK HERE for Vista Outdoor Brands. | CLICK HERE for Vista Outdoor Company History

Vista Outdoor Public traded CCI Alliant Bushnell

Building Constructed with Utah Wood and Stone
The new Headquarters building uses locally-sourced natural materials such as wood and stone in many design elements. The main lobby atrium includes a “living wall” made with live plants and a central staircase with an expansive view of the Wasatch Mountains, bringing the feeling of “outdoors” inside. The back lobby features a fireplace/campsite.

“Vista Outdoor and its brands are committed to conservation and environmental stewardship,” said DeYoung. “We believe in the responsible use of natural resources and in conserving the wild places where our employees and our consumers go to pursue their outdoor adventures.”


*Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) came into being as an independent company in 1990 when Honeywell spun off its defense businesses to shareholders. ATK got into the ammo business in 2001 when it acquired Blount International. ATK grew with later acquisitions of Weaver Optics (2008), Blackhawk (2010), Savage Arms (2013), and Bushnell (2013).

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August 13th, 2016

Ultimate Reloader Reviews the Lee Auto Bench Prime

Lee Auto Bench Prime Primer tool Ultimate Reloader

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com recently reviewed Lee Precision’s new lever-operated, bench-mounted priming tool. The Lee Auto Bench Prime features a hopper-style primer feeder set at an angle. Gavin likes the tool, reporting that primers feed well and seat fully with very little effort. And switching from large to small primer size (or vice-versa) is quick and easy. Overall, Gavin says the Lee Auto Bench Prime has earned a place in his reloading room: “This is now my tool of choice for off-press priming. The Lee Auto Bench Prime is easier to use than a hand priming tool, and more efficient.”

Watch UltimateReloader.com’s Lee Auto Bench Prime Gear Review


READ Full Review on Ultimate Reloader.com

Gavin tells us that the system worked well: “All in all, I’m really liking the LEE Auto Bench Prime. In the video, I prime both small primer .223 Rem brass and large primer .308 Win cases. I was impressed with how easy it was to seat the primers, and how quickly the process goes.”

How the Lee Auto Bench Prime Performs
Gavin had three important “take-aways” from his initial loading sessions with the Lee Auto Bench Prime:

1. I was surprised by the low effort needed to prime cases — it’s pretty amazing.
2. You can quickly and easily install shellholders and change primer sizes.
3. The folding primer tray works very well. It’s a great setup from my testing so far.

Are there any negatives with the tool? Gavin noted that, in the course of loading 100+ rounds, once or twice he had to tap the triangular tray to get the primer to feed: “That’s not a big deal, and may smooth out with time”.

Lee Auto Bench Prime Primer tool Ultimate Reloader

Tool Costs Under $30.00
Available at Grafs.com for just $28.59, the Lee Auto Bench Prime tool is very affordable. It costs much less than competitive bench-mounted priming tools from Forster and RCBS.

NOTE: this tool requires dedicated Auto Prime shell holders (sold separately), but that’s a relatively small added expense. A set of Lee shell-holders (shown at right) costs less than $20.00 (street price).

Lee Shell-holders
Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
August 4th, 2016

How Rimfire Ammo is Made — CCI/Speer Factory Tour Video

22 .22 Plinkster Youtube Video CCI Speer Rimfire Ammo Ammunition plant Lewiston Idaho

22Plinkster Tours CCI/Speer Idaho Factory
Trickshot artist and YouTube host 22Plinkster recently got a chance to tour the CCI/Speer production facility in Lewiston, Idaho. This large plant produces both rimfire and centerfire ammunition. While touring the plant, 22Plinkster was allowed to capture video showing the creation of .22 LR rounds from start to finish. This is a fascinating video, well worth watching.

This revealing video shows all phases of .22 LR ammo production including cupping, drawing, annealing, washing, drying, head-stamping, priming, powder charging, bullet seating, crimping, waxing, inspection, and final packaging. If you’ve got ten minutes to spare, we really recommend you watch the video from start to finish. You’ll definitely learn some new things about rimfire ammo.

.22 Plinkster was literally up to his neck in ammo while touring the CCI/Speer Idaho ammo plant. He says: “This was truly a dream come true for me. I can’t thank the people at CCI and Speer enough for allowing me to do this. I couldn’t possibly show everything that went on at the factory. However, hopefully I showed you enough for you to grasp the concept of how rimfire [ammo] is made.”

22 .22 Plinkster Youtube Video CCI Speer Rimfire Ammo Ammunition plant Lewiston Idaho

Speer Brothers Brought Ammo Production to Lewiston
Here is an interesting historical footnote. Today’s large CCI/Speer operation in Idaho can be traced back to the companies founded by the Speer brothers. After settling in Lewiston in 1944, Vernon Speer started Speer Bullets. A few years later, in 1951, Vernon’s brother Dick (with partner Arvid Nelson) started Cascade Cartridges Inc., a producer of small-arms ammunition and primers. Yes, as you may suspect, Cascade Cartridges Inc. is now CCI, a Vista Outdoor company, and one of the largest manufacturers of primers and loaded ammunition. Today, the CCI/Speer Lewiston plant produces both Speer bullets and CCI-branded ammunition and primers. Vista Outdoor’s predecessor, ATK, acquired the plant in 2001. Vernon Speer died in 1979, and Dick Speer died in 1994.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
May 18th, 2016

Rimfire .22 LR Penetration Tests Yield Surprising Results

.22 LR Rimfire drywall 22Plinkster penetration test

The .22 Long Rifle (.22 LR) round is widely regarded as a relatively weak cartridge with very little penetrating power. Compared to most centerfire ammo that’s certainly true. But the venerable .22 LR actually packs more punch than you might expect. A recent test by rimfire specialist 22Plinkster demonstrated that the little .22 LR has enough power to drive a bullet through multiple walls.

In this video, 22Plinkster tests two types of .22 Long Rifle ammo, seeing how far a .22 LR bullet will pass through sheets of 1/2″-thick drywall. He shoots CCI Velocitor and CCI Stinger ammo types from both a pistol and a rifle. The results may surprise you. Shot from a pistol, the CCI Stinger ammo penetrated Nine (9) drywall sheets. Out of the rifle, the CCI Velocitor Ammo passed through Eleven (11) sheets, while the CCI Stinger stuck in the eleventh board, after passing through Ten (10) sheets.

The rimfire ammo’s penetrating power surprised .22 Plinkster: “I was really surprised that [the ammo] went through as many [dry wall boards] as it did. I was thinking four, maybe five tops …” He points out that the rifle penetration of 11 sheets was “equivalent to five walls, maybe six walls. If you were shooting in your house, and you had 1/2″ drywall, it would go through five walls. Now, that’s pretty scary that a .22 Long Rifle could do that.”

.22 LR Rimfire drywall 22Plinkster penetration test

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
March 30th, 2016

Ammo Sale at Cabelas.com With $5.00 Shipping Code

Winchester 9mm .45 ACP ammo FMJ

Got Ammo? If you need bulk .223 Rem ammo for 3-Gun practice or a varmint safari, or if you want to stock up on pistol ammo, now’s a great time to shop. Cabelas.com is running a promotion this week with great prices on a wide variety of ammo. There are nearly 60 ammo varieties on sale. Some of the best deals are shown below. The 9mm Luger prices are low enough that it’s hard to justify hand-loading if you value your time at all.

Along with the savings on ammo prices, you can save on shipping costs. Through 4/1/2016, you can get $5.00 Shipping on orders of $99.00 or more. Use code 36SPRING during checkout. This $5.00 shipping offer will cover ammunition.

Federal American Eagle .223 Rem Rifle Ammo (55gr FMJ)
with Cabela’s Dry-Storage Box, 300 Rounds $124.99.

Federal American Eagle AR .223 Rem 5.56 55gr FMJ

CCI Blazer Brass 9mm Luger FMJ Ammo, $10.99 for 50 Rounds.

CCI Blazer Ammo handgun 9mm FMJ

Winchester .45 ACP FMJ Ammo, 200 Rounds in Wood Box, $89.99.

Winchester 9mm .45 ACP ammo FMJ

CCI Herters .40 SW TNJ Ammo (Nylon-coated Lead) $13.99 for 50 Rounds.

Winchester 9mm .45 ACP ammo FMJ

This TNJ (total nylon jacket) ammo features aluminum cases and lead bullets that are fully sheathed with a blue polymer (nylon) coating

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
February 27th, 2016

What Gun Guys Buy — 2015 Favorite Brands Survey Results

Hodgdon Federal Winchester Hornady brass bullets ammo powder reloading consumer survey Southwick Associates

What brands are favored by gun guys? Well here are the results of 2015 consumer surveys conducted by Southwick Associates. The surveys asked hunters and shooters to indicate their favorite brands for hunting and shooting product categories. This “Top Brand” list was compiled from 2015 internet-based surveys conducted through HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com websites.

In 2015, most frequently purchased brands included:

  • Top reloading powder brand: Hodgdon
  • Top reloading bullet brand: Hornady
  • Top reloading primer brand: CCI
  • Top rifle ammunition brand: Federal
  • Top handgun ammunition brand: Winchester
  • Top shotgun ammunition brand: Winchester
  • Top blackpowder brand: Pyrodex
  • Top scopes brand: Leupold
  • Top binoculars brand: Bushnell
  • Top GPS device brand: Garmin
  • Top trail camera brand: Moultrie
  • Top muzzleloader brand: CVA
  • Top knife brand: Buck
  • Top holster/ammo belt brand: Blackhawk

The list above is only a fraction of all hunting and shooting categories tracked by Southwick Associates. Along with many other product categories, Southwick Associates also tracks the percentage of sales occurring across different retail channels, total spending per category, average prices, and demographics for hunters and shooters buying specific products. Additional information tracked includes total days spent hunting and shooting, type of hunting, preferred species and where they go.

Information for many other product categories is available from Southwick Associates, a market research firm specializing in the hunting, shooting, sport=fishing, and outdoor recreation markets. Additional details available include total consumer spending by category, breakouts for caliber and gauge, type of retailer, average retail prices, customer demographics, and more.

Permalink News, Reloading 3 Comments »
February 24th, 2016

Vista Outdoor is Hiring — Many Good Jobs Offered

Vista Outdoor job employment opportunities

Looking for a great job in the Shooting Sports industry? Well Vista Outdoor, America’s largest firearms/ammo/optics/sporting accessories maker, has some key job offerings. Vista Outdoor (formerly the sporting unit of ATK) is a corporate giant operating dozens of major brands including: Alliant Powder, Bushnell, CCI, Federal Premium, RCBS, Savage Arms, Simmons, Speer, and Weaver.

Key Vista Outdoor Jobs Available Now…

1. Product Manager — Ammunitions/Pistols
Position is responsible for managing all aspects of product development, from concept development to commercialization, for firearms product categories. He or she will aggressively grow the business by thoroughly understanding the marketplace, competition and by developing products that address global consumer and retailer needs.

2. Senior Marketing Manager — Firearms
The Senior Marketing Manager for Firearms at Vista Outdoor will have full responsibility for all marketing within the Firearms Global Product Lane. This position will report to the V.P. of Marketing and New Product Development for Shooting Sports. This position will manage all aspects of consumer marketing for all firearms brands.

3. Senior Product Manager — Optics
Vista’s Overland Park, KS location is seeking a Senior Product Manager — Optics to add to our team. The Senior Product Manager is responsible for managing all aspects of product development from concept development to commercialization for our line of Sports Optics.

4. Product Manager — Tactical Products
The Product Manager will achieve annual top and bottom line metrics through new product development in support of the global tactical strategy. This position will be responsible for leading all aspects of R&D, concept and product development, commercialization, and launch.

5. New Product Development Engineer — Federal Ammunition
This role will work alongside Product Development Engineers, Product Marketing and Insights Staff, members of the Product Innovation Team and will map out and pursue future new products for Vista Outdoor Shooting Sports Ammunition Company.

In addition to the positions presented above, Vista Outdoor currently lists over 70 more job opportunities on its corporate Careers webpage. Vista Outdoor is headquartered in Utah and employs approximately 5,800 workers. Current Vista Outdoor opportunities include: Project Manager III, Legal Business Manager, Purchasing Manager, Export/Import Specialist, Senior Tax Analyst, Pistol & Rifle Product Line Specialist, Senior Database Developer, Manufacturing Engineers (I, II, III), Financial Analyst, Environmental Lead, Community Relations Specialist, and many more.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
December 16th, 2015

How Changing Primers Can Affect Velocity in the .308 Win

primer CCI Wolf .308 Win Reloading

It may seem obvious, but you need to be careful when changing primer types for a pet load. Testing with a .308 Win rifle and Varget powder has confirmed that a primer change alone can result in noteworthy changes in muzzle velocity. To get more MV, you’ll need a more energy at some point in the process — and that potentially means more pressure. So exercise caution when changing primer types

We are often asked “Can I get more velocity by switching primer types?” The answer is “maybe”. The important thing to know is that changing primer types can alter your load’s performance in many ways — velocity average, velocity variance (ES/SD), accuracy, and pressure. Because there are so many variables involved you can’t really predict whether one primer type is going to be better or worse than another. This will depend on your cartridge, your powder, your barrel, and even the mechanics of your firing pin system.

Interestingly, however, a shooter on another forum did a test with his .308 Win semi-auto. Using Hodgdon Varget powder and Sierra 155gr Palma MatchKing (item 2156) bullets, he found that Wolf Large Rifle primers gave slightly higher velocities than did CCI-BR2s. Interestingly, the amount of extra speed (provided by the Wolfs) increased as charge weight went up, though the middle value had the largest speed variance. The shooter observed: “The Wolf primers seemed to be obviously hotter and they had about the same or possibly better ES average.” See table:

Varget .308 load 45.5 grains 46.0 grains 46.5 grains
CCI BR2 Primers 2751 fps 2761 fps 2783 fps
Wolf LR Primers 2757 fps 2780 fps 2798 fps
Speed Delta 6 fps 19 fps 15 fps

You can’t extrapolate too much from the table above. This describes just one gun, one powder, and one bullet. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) as they say. However, this illustration does show that by substituting one component you may see significant changes. Provided it can be repeated in multiple chrono runs, an increase of 19 fps (with the 46.0 grain powder load) is meaningful. An extra 20 fps or so may yield a more optimal accuracy node or “sweet spot” that produces better groups. (Though faster is certainly NOT always better for accuracy — you have to test to find out.)

WARNING: When switching primers, you should exercise caution. More speed may be attractive, but you have to consider that the “speedier” primer choice may also produce more pressure. Therefore, you must carefully monitor pressure signs whenever changing ANY component in a load.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
June 3rd, 2015

LR Primer Types Tested for Velocity, ES/SD, Group Size and More!

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed
Click Photo to read full test results in Target Shooter Magazine.

If you shoot a .308 Win, or any cartridge that uses a Large Rifle (LR) primer, you should read an important new article by Laurie Holland in Target Shooter Magazine. Holland, a talented shooter from the UK, tested no less than sixteen (16) different large primer types using a custom F-TR target rifle shot from the bench. Laurie loaded .308 Win ammo* with 16 LR primer varieties and then tested for average velocity, ES/SD, and group size. This may be the most comprehensive and thorough LR primer test ever done. Here are the primer types tested:

CBC Magtech 9½
CCI 200 LR
CCI BR2 Match
CCI 250 Magnum
Federal 210
Federal 210M Match
Federal 215M Magnum Match
Fiocchi Large Rifle
Kynoch Large Rifle
Murom KVB-7 (PMC LR)
Norma Superflash LR
PMC LR Magnum
Remington 9½ LR
Remington 9½ M Magnum
Sellier & Bellot LR
Winchester WLR

LINK: READ Large Rifle Primer Test Complete (16 Primer Types)

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed
Test Rig: Osprey Rifles-built F-TR rifle with Savage PTA action, 32″ Bartlein 1:12″-twist ‘Heavy Palma’ barrel, and Dolphin Gun Company modular stock with an F-Open/Benchrest fore-end.

Some of Laurie’s results may surprise you. For example, would you guess that Sellier & Bellot primers had the lowest ES, by a significant margin? And get this, among ALL the primers tested, Rem 9½M Magnum primers produced the lowest velocity, while Rem 9½ LR (non-magnum) primers yielded the highest velocity. (The total velocity spread for all primers was 35 fps). That’s counter-intuitive and it’s odd that Rems were at opposite ends of the speed spectrum among ALL primers tested.

“The rationale for doing side-by-side tests is to see what effect primer choice has on ballistics, i.e. average velocities and MV consistency. There are a great many views on the subject, a few based on tests (including primer flame photography) but most apparently hearsay.” — Laurie Holland

Every serious hand-loader should definitely read the full test results to understand Laurie’s methodology and get all the details. This is an important test, with significant findings. But if you can’t spare the time right now, here are some highlights below:

Primer with Lowest Velocity: Remington 9½ M Magnum (2780 fps)
Primer with Highest Velocity: Remington 9½ LR (2815 fps)
Primer with Lowest ES/SD: Sellier & Bellot LR (12/3.1 fps)
Primer with Highest ES/SD: Remington 9½ M Magnum (47/14.0 fps)
Primer with Smallest Group Size: Remington 9½ LR (0.43″ average, three 5-shot groups)
Primer with Biggest Group Size: CBC Magtech 9½ (0.7″ average, three 5-shot groups)

Editor’s Comment: Laurie shot three, 5-shot groups at 100 yards with each primer type. The average group size for the top six primers varied by only 0.10″ (0.43″ to 0.53″), so one can’t conclude that one type is much better than another. Total group size variance (from best to worst) was 0.27″.

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed

“The biggest surprise to me … came from an elderly (at least 10 years) lot of Czech Sellier & Bellot standard caps with an ES of 12 and SD of 3.1 fps, way below those of the nearest competitor. By contrast to the Fiocchis, they were an almost slack fit in the cases and this may have contributed to their consistent performance.” — Laurie Holland

NOTE: Values in chart are based on 15-Shot strings. The ES/SD numbers will therefore be higher than is typical with five-shot strings.

Target Shooter Magazine Laurie Holland Primer Comparison Test Magnetospeed

Testing 16 primer types was a huge task — we commend Laurie for his hard work and thoroughness. This extensive test is an important contribution to the “knowledge base” of precision shooting. Laurie’s findings will doubtless influence many hand-loaders who hope to produce more consistent ammunition, or achieve better accuracy. Credit should also be given to Target Shooter Magazine for publishing the results. Well done gentlemen…


*Reloading method for Test Ammo: “Test batches consisted of 16 or 17 rounds for each primer, charges thrown by an RCBS ChargeMaster and checked on lab-quality electronic scales, adjusted if necessary to within ± 0.04gn, so any charge weight variation would be under 0.1 grain which equates here to 5 fps.”
Permalink - Articles, Reloading 19 Comments »
March 9th, 2015

Vista Outdoor — Parent of Bushnell, CCI, Federal, Savage & More

You may not have heard of Vista Outdoor (NYSE: VSTO), but you’ll know many of the brands under its corporate umbrella: Alliant Powder, Blackhawk, Bolle, Bushnell, CCI, Federal Premium, Outers, RCBS, Savage Arms, Simmons, Speer, Weaver. To learn more about Vista Outdoor’s operations and products, visit www.vistaoutdoor.com or Vista Outdoor’s Facebook Page.

Vista Outdoor Public traded CCI Alliant Bushnell

CLICK HERE for Vista Outdoor Brands. | CLICK HERE for Vista Outdoor Company History

So what is Vista Outdoor? This corporate giant used to be the sporting division of ATK (Alliant Techsystems*). In February of this year, ATK split into two separate companies. The outdoor sports/hunting/shooting brands (with annual revenues of $2.3 billion) were consolidated into Vista Outdoor. The aerospace/military contract operations of ATK were continued in a second company, Orbital ATK. Vista Outdoor, now head-quartered in Clearfield, Utah, is a standalone, publicly-traded outdoor sports and recreation company with approximately 5,800 employees worldwide.

In a recent interview with GearJunkie.com, Vista Outdoor’s Chairman/CEO Mark DeYoung revealed that Vista Outdoor will release scores of new products in 2015:

Q: Looking ahead for this year, what to-be-released products are you most excited about?

A: Bushnell has a rangefinder for golf that is innovative. We introduced it at the PGA Show. The A17 rifle from Savage is big news — we sold out of a whole year’s capacity at the SHOT Show. Overall, there are about 130 new products coming this year from our brands[.]

Vista Outdoor Public traded CCI Alliant Bushnell

Vista Outdoor Started Trading as VSTO on February 10, 2015
Vista Outdoor “went live” as a separate, publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange on February 10, 2015. Here is the official press release:

Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO), which previously operated as the Sporting Group of Alliant Techsystems Inc. (“ATK”), announced today the successful completion of its spin-off from ATK (NYSE: ATK) into a standalone, publicly traded outdoor sports and recreation company.

On February 9, 2015, ATK distributed to its stockholders two shares of Vista Outdoor common stock for every share of ATK common stock held as of record on February 2, 2015. Vista Outdoor common stock will begin “regular-way” trading under the symbol “VSTO” on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) today, February 10, 2015, when markets open.

“Today marks the creation of a new leading commercial and consumer-products company focused on innovative solutions, strategic customer partnerships, execution excellence and creating long-term shareholder value,” said Mark DeYoung, Vista Outdoor Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our consumers depend on our products to deliver quality and performance in a variety of outdoor environments and activities. Our mission is to bring the world outside, and to support and facilitate the success of outdoor enthusiasts as they strive to achieve their own rugged independence.”

About Vista Outdoor Inc.
Vista Outdoor is a leading global designer, manufacturer and marketer in the growing outdoor sports and recreation markets. The company operates in two segments, Outdoor Products and Shooting Sports, and has more than 30 well-recognized brands that provide consumers with a wide range products in the ammunition, firearms and outdoor accessories categories. Vista Outdoor is headquartered in Utah and has manufacturing operations and facilities in 10 U.S. States, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.

*Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) came into being as an independent company in 1990 when Honeywell spun off its defense businesses to shareholders. ATK got into the ammo business in 2001 when it acquired Blount International. ATK grew with later acquisitions of Weaver Optics (2008), Blackhawk (2010), Savage Arms (2013), and Bushnell (2013).

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 1 Comment »
January 20th, 2015

New Semi-Auto 17 HMR Savage A17 Rifle is a Winner

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Semi-auto 17 HMR — could this be the perfect light-recoiling fun gun and squirrel slayer? With its new A17, Savage has created a gun that should be hugely popular. If you like the Ruger 10/22, you’ll love the A17. It shoots a more powerful cartridge, and has a stronger action and a better trigger. With a beefy steel action that looks like it belongs on a centerfire, this gun is strong. With quality barrels (fitted, as you’d expect, with a barrel nut), the A17 is accurate. And with the capability to launch 17 HMR rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger this gun is a hoot to shoot. The ability to get a quick second shot (without disturbing the rifle by working the bolt) will be a game-changer in the varmint fields.

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Watch Us Shoot the New A17 (Rapid-Fire at 1:50):

Star of the Show
Jason and I both felt that the star of this 2015 Industry Range Day was this modestly-priced little Savage A17 in 17 HMR. MSRP is $469.00 we were told. No one knows the “street price” yet but we expect that to be about $370.00. Both of us wanted to own one of these compact new rifles (Jason tried to buy one on the spot) — what does that tell you? With a strong steel action, the A17 is accurate, fun, and ultra-reliable.

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Jason put the gun through three rapid fire drills — firing as fast as he could pull the trigger. We could not get the A17 to malfunction in any way. It just ripped through magazines like a sewing machine. Flawless operation. Bill Dermody of ATK says “this is one of the most thoroughly tested Savage rifles ever. We put over half a million test rounds through the rifle during development. That’s why it’s so reliable.”

The Magic Chicklet
Look below at the A17 bolt. The little black hardened metal piece (called a “chicklet” by the Savage engineers) is the secret ingredient. It works like a retracting lug, allowing the A17 to operate in delayed blow-back mode. That permits the A17 to function flawlessly with the energetic 17 HMR cartridge.

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Optimized 17 HMR Ammo That’s 100 FPS Faster
CCI has developed new, higher-velocity 17 HMR ammo for the A17. Because Savage is now part of the ATK conglomerate, CCI is now Savage’s sister company. So, CCI and Savage cooperated during the development of the A17. CCI found a way to get more speed from the 17 HMR and Savage engineered an action and bolt that are strong enough to handle the new 17 HMR ammo, which runs 100 fps faster than other 17 HMR ammo on the market.

Savage ATK 
CCI A-17 A17 rimfire 17 HMR varminter

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 45 Comments »
August 24th, 2014

Primers on Sale at Bullets.com with $20.00 Hazmat

Need primers? Bullets.com is running a sale right now with a wide variety of primer types from all the major primer manufacturers. Millions of primers are in stock now, ready to ship. To make the deal even better, Bullets.com charges just twenty bucks ($20.00) for the Hazmat Fee. You can mix and match primers and powders and ship with the single $20.00, plus actual shipping charges.

Click this link for all Bullets.com PRIMER deals

bullets.com

Save Even More with Large Orders
Here are some examples of in-stock items ON SALE now. Note, with many of these primer types, you can save even more by ordering 5000 primers. For example, if you order 5000 CCI 450 primers the price per box is just $26.55. If you buy 5000 Rem 7 1/2 primers, the price is just $30.56, a significant savings over the $34.65 single box price.

  • CCI BR4 Small Rifle Primers, Item # BL3911, $49.46
  • CCI 400 Small Rifle Primers, Item # BL3905, $24.75
  • CCI 450 Small Rifle Magnum Primers, Item # BL3909, $27.45
  • Federal Gold Medal Large Pistol Match Primers, Item # BL3923, $32.90
  • Remington 7-1/2 Small Rifle BR Primers, Item # BL11316, $34.65
  • Winchester WSR Small Rifle Primers, Item # BL8030, $29.66
  • Winchester Large Rifle Primers, Item # BL8028, $28.76
Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »