February 22nd, 2021

What Caused the Ammo Shortage? When Will Things Get Better?

Federal ammunition vista outdoors cause ammo shortage primer production Remington CCI Jason Vanderbrink

In a recent Federal Season Podcast, Federal Ammunition’s President Jason Vanderbrink discusses the shortages of loaded ammunition we have experienced for many months now. And it’s not just loaded ammo — powder and primers are very hard to find and prices are crazy, with 1000 primers selling for $300 or more in recent Gunbroker auctions.

This Federal Podcast episode attempts to answer key questions about the unprecedented demand for ammunition. Ammo buyers want to know what caused the shortage, when supplies will become normal again, and what Federal and its sister brands are doing to meet consumer needs.

Click Green Arrow to Start Podcast Audio:


Fast forward to 00:45 to skip intro.

We applaud Federal for addressing the issue. Many shooters think there is some kind of conspiracy — suggesting that the Federal Government is buying all the ammunition, or that companies such as Federal or Hornady have halted production. That’s nonsense. In fact Federal, Hornady, and Olin (Winchester) are all running at full capacity.

However, consumer demand has increased dramatically. This is because of political developments, with tens of millions of gun owners fearful that the new Democratic administration will impose new taxes or restrictions on ammo. In addition, demand has been driven by new gun owners. The NSSF tells us that over 7,000,000 Americans purchased their first firearm in 2020. If each new gun buyer purchased just two, 50-round boxes of ammo, that equates to 700,000,000 rounds of ammo. Think about that… the gun industry would have to produce an additional 1.91 million rounds of ammo EVERY DAY just to fill the demands from new gun owners.

ammunition ammo federal shortage supply podcast Vanderbrink

In the podcast Federal’s President Vanderbrink emphasized that Federal is running at full capacity. Vanderbrink also discusses the shortages of components, particularly primers, which are produced by both Federal and sister company CCI.

Vanderbrink pointed out that Federal had been at less than full capacity in 2017-2019, but Federal had also invested in new capacity over the last five years and that investment is now paying off: “We are investing where we need to invest… we have hired hundreds of new workers.”

Primers Are in Short Supply Because They Are Being Used in Loaded Ammunition
Vanderbrink explains why primers are not getting to retail outlets. The answer is that Federal is using a larger percentage of its own primer production for loaded ammunition. “We are making a lot more ammunition today. Our internal primer needs have gone up exponentially as we are shipping more ammunition. [Previously] we’d sell excess [primer] capacity to the reloading market. As the ammunition business picked up in March 2020, it came at the expense of the reloading primers. We are taking a bigger share just to make our ammunition” (Podcast 08:30 – 09:50)

Remington Bankruptcy DID Affect Ammo and Primer Supplies
Remington’s business problems HAVE reduced ammo supply said Vanderbrink: “When we acquired Remington, that factory wasn’t making hardly any ammunition, so that just starved that market already that was constrained. As we’re getting Remington up and going right now, we’re going to make more ammunition, so the market WILL have more ammunition[.] Along with the social unrest, along with the Pandemic fears that people had… you had Remington not making much ammunition, so that just added to the backlog.” Vanderbrink noted that Federal acquired the Remington factory in October and it plans to increase Remington ammo production significantly over previous levels.
(Podcast 10:20 -11:20)

Ammunition Shortage is NOT Caused by Federal Government Buying Everything
Vanderbrink also said flat out that the shortage has NOT been caused by huge new government ammo buys or Federal redirecting production to the government. The allocation to the commercial sector is actually higher than in recent years.

Federal Ammunition shortage

Vanderbrink asked for patience. While conceding that the pandemic has created challenges, Vanderbrink declares that the ammo plants are running at full capacity: “We know, ammo seems hard to come by right now. But rest assured, we are building and shipping more and more every day[.]”

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December 21st, 2020

America’s Big Ammunition Plants Are Running at Full Capacity

CCI Federal Speer Remington Ammunition production ammo factory video

Why is factory ammunition so hard to find? That’s the question on many gun owners’ minds. There are some crazy rumors — that production has been slowed on purpose — or that there is a secret warehouse somewhere, full of ammo. In fact, those rumors are nonsense — the major ammo production facilities of Vista Outdoor are running around the clock to meet demand.

CCI Federal Speer Remington Ammunition production ammo factory video

That message was recently delivered in a video featuring Jason Vanderbrink, President of Vista Outdoor’s ammunition manufacturing division, which includes brands Federal, CCI, Speer, and Remington.


Millions of new gun owners have created an unprecedented demand for ammo in 2020.

Huge Demand from Millions of New Gun Owners
Vanserbrink points out some basic economics: “Seven million new shooters since March, times 2 boxes (a conservative estimate) is 700 MILLION new rounds of ammunition [that] our three factories have to produce. That is impossible to do in nine months.”

In this video, Vanderbrink asks for patience and seeks to quash rumors. While conceding that the pandemic has created challenges, Vanderbrink declares that the ammo plants are running at full capacity:

“We know, ammo seems hard to come by right now. But rest assured, we are building and shipping more and more every day[.] We are making ammunition every minute of every day … We are making more hunting ammo than we ever have. We are doing our damndest to meet the demand!”

CCI Federal Speer Remington Ammunition production ammo factory video

CCI Federal Speer Remington Ammunition production ammo factory video

CCI Federal Speer Remington Ammunition production ammo factory video

CCI Federal Speer Remington Ammunition production ammo factory video

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December 14th, 2020

Ammo and Primer Shortage Will Continue into 2021

CCI Vista Outdoor ammunition primer ammo shortage NSSF
Gander Outdoors in Kenosha, WI — reader-submitted photo on GMToday.com

The ammo and primer shortage is real, and it’s here to stay — well into 2021. That’s what industry experts tell us: “With [ammunition] demand far outstripping supply and inventory levels in the channel at all-time lows, we see strong demand continuing[.]” — Christopher Metz, CEO of Vista Outdoor

Certain types of ammunition, 9mm Luger for example, are very difficult to find these days. And what IS available is often marked up 300-400% over 2019 prices. Demand has far exceeded supply. And the ammo shortage won’t end any time soon. Vista Outdoor’s CEO Metz added: “Despite us producing flat-out for six months, there is no buildup of inventory at any of our customers. In fact, every one of them would like significantly more. Simply put, consumer demand continues to outpace our ability to supply.”

2020 2021 ammunition ammo shortage

Ammunition Shortage Impacts Primer Supply
Rifle and pistol primers are nearly sold out everywhere, with some less-than-reputable vendors now charging 4-5 times the normal price. So what’s going on here — why can’t you find primers? One reason is that primer producers such as Federal and CCI are using the vast majority of the primers they make to complete their loaded ammunition, which is flying off the shelves.

CCI Vista Outdoor ammunition primer ammo shortage NSSF

What is causing the ammo panic buying and primer shortage?
There are a number of key reasons:

1. Concerns over the recent election and potential Democratic Party control of U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and the White House;
2. General worry and paranoia caused by the COVID-19 pandemic;
3. Fear of new legislation banning guns and restricting ammunition purchases;
4. Social unrest and rioting led by BLM and left-wing activists and tolerated/encouraged by Blue State government officials; and perhaps most importantly,
5. The vast increase in the number of new gun buyers.

Huge Increase in Gun Purchasing in 2020
2020 will probably set an all-time record for gun purchasing in the USA. This spike in gun buying has been propelled by the greatest annual increase in gun ownership in U.S. history. According to data from the NSSF, roughly 6.2 million Americans purchased their first firearm in 2020. A NSSF dealer survey estimates that 40% of all gun sales were conducted to purchasers who have never previously owned a firearm. And women accounted for 40.2% of first-time gun purchases. We’ve never seen that kind of spike in gun ownership in a single year. This is unprecedented.

CCI Vista Outdoor ammunition primer ammo shortage NSSF

Ammo Shortage Will Continue for Many Months, Well into 2021
What are the prospects for greater availabilty of loaded ammo in the months ahead? Not so good according to Vista Outdoor CEO Christopher Metz whose company operates Federal, CCI, RCBS, Alliant, Blazer and many other shooting industry brands. Metz declared: “We currently have over a year’s worth of orders for ammunition.” That value of those back-orders exceeds ONE BILLION dollars. “This is unprecedented for our company. With demand far outstripping supply and inventory levels in the channel at all-time lows, we see strong demand continuing[.]”

There is some good news however — the former Remington ammo factory will start cranking out ammunition again. The American Rifleman reports: “Vista Outdoor has purchased the [Remington Outdoor] ammunition factory in Lonoke, Arkansas [and will resume] production at or near full capacity. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports 300 employees furloughed by the former owner of the plant will soon be recalled to join nearly 400 still working at the facility.”

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February 7th, 2020

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

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

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January 24th, 2020

Ammo Automation — How .223 Rem Ammunition is Made

Fog Ammunition .223 Remington Rem Ammo loading machine Sierra BlitzKing

Here’s an entertaining video from Fog Ammunition. Starting with boxes of bullets and bags of cartridge brass, this video shows how components are bulk-sorted, then .223 Rem ammunition is produced on a modern, linear multi-stage loading machine. In assembly-line fashion, cases are primed, powder is added, bullets are placed, final seating depth is set, and then the case is crimped.

If you’ve never seen an automated loader in action you should definitely watch this video. With this kind of machine, a new round is produced every second or so (see video 1:15 to 1:55). The .223 Remington ammunition featured in this video is loaded with Sierra BlitzKing bullets. Fog offers both rifle and pistol ammo loaded with quality components.

Video Shows Automated Loading Process Start to Finish (Worth Watching):

Fog Ammunition .223 Remington Rem Ammo loading machine Sierra BlitzKing

Fog Ammunition .223 Remington Rem Ammo loading machine Sierra BlitzKing

Fog Ammunition .223 Remington Rem Ammo loading machine Sierra BlitzKing

Fog Ammunition .223 Remington Rem Ammo loading machine Sierra BlitzKing

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December 8th, 2019

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, using his Henry Golden Boy lever action rifle. 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.

Christmas Ornament Penetration Test with Henry .22 LR Lever Action Rifle.

22 plinkster velocitor CCI Christmas ornament trick shot

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July 9th, 2019

Big News — Savage Arms Sold Off by Vista Outdoor

Savage Arms Management Sale Vista Outdoor divestiture sell-off buy-out

Big news for the shooting community! Just six years after it acquired Savage Arms, outdoor industry mega-corp Vista Outdoor is selling off Savage Arms. The firearms-maker will be acquired by a private investment group led by Savage’s current management. When the sale is complete, Vista Outdoor, parent company of dozens of outdoor brands such as Bushnell, Bell Helmets, CCI, Camelback, Federal, RCBS, and Weaver, will no longer produce firearms of any kind. The sell-back to the Savage management group will include Stevens Arms*, which primarily produces shotguns.

There were multiple reasons given for the sale, which include:
1. Cutting costs, reducing corporate debt, and consolidating operations at Vista Outdoor.
2. Focusing more on the ammunition brands Alliant, CCI, Speer, and Federal.
3. Giving Vista Outdoor’s “ammunition brands flexibility to work with any industry partner”.

In addition, we suspect that, given the current political climate and media antagonism towards gun-makers, Vista Outdoor’s leadership deemed that owning Savage was bad for the company’s overall image. The potential profits from Savage were simply not worth the negative press as well as the potential liabilities from gun-related lawsuits.

By the Numbers: Vista Outdoor acquired Savage Arms (and Stevens) in July 2013 for $315 million. The July 2019 sell-off of Savage Arms (and Stevens) for $170 million represents a $145 million loss for Vista Outdoor. That’s not a good business model.

Savage Arms Management Sale Vista Outdoor divestiture sell-off buy-out

Founded in 1894, Massachusetts-based Savage Arms is one of America’s oldest gun-makers. While it has produced a wide variety of firearms over the past 125 years, Savage is now best known for its affordable bolt-action hunting rifles that feature barrels attached by a barrel-nut. In recent years, Savage has also moved aggressively into the “black rifle” market producing its MSR series of AR-platform rifles in a variety of chamberings. Savage also produces a popular semi-auto Rimfire rifle, the Savage A17/A22 series.

Savage Arms Management Sale Vista Outdoor divestiture sell-off buy-out

Here is the official Press Release covering Vista Outdoor’s sale of Savage Arms to a group of investors headed by Al Kasper, Savage’s President and CEO (emphasis added):

Vista Outdoor Announces Sale of Savage Brand
Vista Outdoor Inc. (“Vista Outdoor”) (NYSE: VSTO) announced today that it has completed the sale of the legal entity operating its Savage Arms and Stevens firearms brands to a financial buyer for a total purchase price of $170 million, comprised of $158 million paid at closing and $12 million to be paid upon maturity of a five-year seller note issued by the buyer to Vista Outdoor in connection with the transaction.

The sale is part of Vista Outdoor’s previously announced transformation plan, which outlined the intent to reshape the company’s portfolio by cutting costs, consolidating leadership, paying down debt, and divesting certain brands, including both its eyewear brands and firearms brands, in order to pursue growth in product categories where the company believes it can be market leaders. As the company now looks forward, the focus is on ammunition, hunting and shooting accessories, hydration bottles and packs, outdoor cooking products, and cycling/ski helmets and accessories.

“Divesting our Savage brand was a key aspect of our transformation plan,” said Chris Metz, CEO of Vista Outdoor. “While it was a difficult decision to sell such an iconic brand, I remain confident that this was the correct choice to help Vista Outdoor grow in those categories where we can have leadership positions. Savage is a fantastic business, and it deserves to continue to evolve into other firearms categories. At this time, however, we simply do not have the resources to transform Savage into the full-service firearms company that it deserves to be and, therefore, we determined the brand would be better off with a different owner. We’re excited to see Savage reach its full potential under new ownership.”

Savage was acquired by Vista Outdoor’s predecessor, ATK, in 2013. ATK’s sporting business – which included Savage, Bushnell, Federal and CCI Ammunition, and dozens of other hunt/shoot accessories brands, spun off in 2015 to become Vista Outdoor.

“The Savage acquisition helped create Vista Outdoor, and we’re grateful for all the success the brand brought to our company over the past six years,” said Metz. “However, this divestiture now gives our ammunition brands flexibility to work with any industry partner to create the best products and meet our consumers’ needs.”

At closing, Vista Outdoor received gross proceeds from the divestiture of $158 million. Vista Outdoor will use the net after-tax proceeds of the sale to repay outstanding indebtedness.

“Reducing our debt is a key part of turning around our business,” said Metz. “Selling Savage and further reducing our overall leverage will improve our financial flexibility and better position the company for long-term growth. We’ve now rebuilt the company’s foundation to provide a more stable base upon which to grow. We have a portfolio of brands that all have the potential to be strong, market leaders in their respective categories and I’m proud of my team’s efforts in reshaping the portfolio over the course of the past year.”


*American firearms manufacturer J. Stevens Arms & Tool Company, now part of Savage Arms, introduced the .22 Long Rifle cartridge in 1887. Savage Arms was founded in 1894 by Arthur Savage in Utica, New York. Within 20 years Savage was producing rifles, handguns, and ammunition. Savage introduced the first hammerless lever-action rifle, the Model 1895, derived from Arthur Savage’s Model 1892 rifle that he had designed for Colt.

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting, News 6 Comments »
April 4th, 2019

NEW Spring 2019 Rebate Programs — Alliant, CCI, Federal, Speer

Vista Outdoor Alliant Powder CCI Primers bullets Speer Federal brass components reloading

Long-time site sponsor Powder Valley notified us about some great Rebate offers from Vista Outdoor companies Alliant, CCI, Federal, and Speer. If you need powder, primers, or bullets, now is a great time to buy. The rebated offers are good now through June 30, 2019. These rebates may also be available when you purchase qualifying products from other vendors Bruno’s, Graf’s, Midsouth, and Precision Reloading.

Vista Outdoor Alliant Powder CCI Primers bullets Speer Federal brass components reloading

1. ALLIANT Powder — More Bang for your Buck$ Rebate
If you buy at least four (4) pounds of powder you get $2.00 back per pound, with a rebate limit of $20 (for ten pounds). Minimum purchase four (4) pounds required. This is a great deal when you combine the rebate with Powder Valley’s already low prices.

2. Federal — Handload and Save Rebate
Spend at least $100 on Federal® reloading components (including bullets, brass and primers) to get 20% of the purchase price back. Rebate amount calculated on purchase price only, does not include taxes and/or shipping/handling fees. Maximum rebate $100 per person or household. Minimum spend $100 required.

3. CCI — Primed for Action Rebate
Spend at least $100 on CCI® reloading primers to get 20% of the purchase price back. Rebate amount calculated on purchase price only, does not include taxes and/or shipping/handling fees. Reloading components only; offer does not apply to percussion caps. Maximum rebate $100 per person or household. Minimum spend $100 required.

4. Speer — More Bullets for your Benjamins Rebate
Spend at least $100 on Speer® component bullets to get 20% of the purchase price back. Rebate amount calculated on purchase price only, does not include taxes and/or shipping/handling fees. Maximum rebate $100 per person or household. Minimum spend $100 required.

Get up to $320 Total Rebate — Alliant, CCI, Federal, and Speer
These Rebate Offers are good through June 30, 2019. Powder Valley explains that these rebates are all separate programs: “Each of these brands have their own rebate, No Mixing and Matching of these brands unless you want to participate in all four rebates. If you have any questions please read the Terms or call us to explain.” To get any particular rebate you’ll need to buy the qualifying amount of product for that particular brand. If you do all four Rebates, you could get a total of $320.00 back.

CLICK HERE for REBATE LINKs and MORE INFO »

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April 1st, 2019

The NEW 7.6 Creedmoor — Best .30-Cal Cartridge Ever?

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

Leveraging the incredible success of the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, ammo-makers and rifle manufacturers have teamed up to produce a bigger Creedmoor cartridge — the 7.6 Creedmoor. The latest addition to the Creedmoor line gets its name from its 7.62mm bullet dimension. Yep, that makes it a .30-cal cartridge, but the creators stuck with the metric title for consistency. Makes sense. We like the way “7.6 Creedmoor” sounds and we bet consumers will too. The 6.5 Creedmoor has been a singular success — it is by far the most popular new cartridge introduced in the last decade. We think the 7.6 Creedmoor could become equally successful in short order.

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

In creating the new 7.6 Creedmoor, the product engineers were primarily concerned with accuracy, reliability, and compatibility. In a brilliant marketing stroke, the 7.6 Creedmoor’s designers crafted this cartridge to be 100% compatible with existing .308 Winchester and 7.62×51 rifles. So you can shoot the 7.6 Creedmoor safely in your existing .308 Win deer rifle or F-TR rig. As one ammo-maker’s marketing manager told us: “The 7.6 Creedmoor gives you everything you liked about the .308 Win, with a trendy name and the undeniable Creedmoor cachet. The 6.5 Creedmoor has become hugely popular. We expect the new 7.6 Creedmoor to do as well, or better!” We agree. Consider this — the 7.6 Creedmoor offers much better barrel life than the 6.5 Creedmoor, along with better bullet selection, particularly for hunters. With these advantages, how could the 7.6 Creedmoor not become a huge hit? The Creedmoor name alone should ensure success.

We discussed the new 7.6 Creedmoor with Dennis DeRille, one of the “founding fathers” of the 6.5 Creedmoor. Dennis said — “The Creedmoor name is synonymous with innovation and tactical success. This new 7.6 should live up to its name as it delivers .308 Win performance in a package for the 21st Century.”

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

Reassuring .308 Win Ballistics and Die Compatibility
Another great feature of the new 7.6 Creedmoor is that you can use existing .308 Win dies and reloading components. That excited one PRS shooter: “I had all this old .308 brass and .30-Cal bullets sitting around. When I heard about the 7.6 Creedmoor I said ‘Wow this is great, I can use this stuff in a Creedmoor now’. I know it will be accurate based on the name alone. That’s cool — tacticool!”

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

Because the new 7.6 Creedmoor shares case capacity and design details with the venerable .308 Win, it also shares the .308 Win’s impressive ballistics performance. “Whatever you can do with a .308 Win, you can do with the 7.6 Creedmoor… and then some!” says Hornady. Here is a chart showing projected velocities for the 7.6 Creedmoor with various barrel lengths and bullet weights.

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

NRA Approves 7.6 Creedmoor for F-TR Competition
Currently, NRA competition rules restrict F-TR rifles to the .308 Win (7.62×51) and .223 Rem (5.56×45) chamberings. But that’s going to change. Starting in June 2019, the NRA will allow 7.6 Creedmoor rifles in all F-TR matches. In addition, the 7.6 Creedmoor can be used in service rifles such as the popular M1A. It’s great to see this old battle rifle updated with Creedmoor accuracy and performance.

USA and Foreign Ammo Makers will Produce 7.6 Creedmoor Ammo
7.6 Creedmoor factory-loaded ammunition will be available from all major USA ammo-makers including Federal, Hornady, CCI, and Remington. As well, foreign ammo-makers Hirtenberger, Sellier & Bellot, and Prvi Partizan have pledged to produce 7.6 Creedmoor ammunition. That’s good news for shooters who want affordable Creedmoor ammo. One ammo-maker told us: “The whole industry is excited about the 7.6 Creedmoor. To be honest, .308 Win ammo sales have been declining for a number of years. Now we can repackage those same great components and market them to a new set of consumers reared on the 6.5 Creedmoor. This is a great deal for ammo-makers, who know how excitable Creedmoor fan-boys can be!”

7.6 Creedmoor .308 Win 7.62x51 ballistics 6.5 tactical PRS tacticool

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, New Product, News 102 Comments »
March 3rd, 2019

How Rimfire Ammo is Made — Federal and CCI Videos Show All

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

CCI and Federal Premium are both brands of Vista Outdoor. Most CCI rimfire is produced in Idaho, while other Federal-branded rimfire ammo is produced in Federal’s Anoka, Minnesota facilities. Here we feature videos from both CCI and Federal ammo plants. Watch and learn how rimfire ammo is made.

Field & Stream Tours Federal Ammo Plant in Minnesota
A reporter for Field & Stream recently got a chance to tour the Federal ammunition production facility in Anoka, Minnesota. This large plant produces both rimfire and centerfire ammunition. While touring the plant, the reporter was allowed to capture video showing the creation of .22 LR rounds from start to finish. This is a fascinating video, well worth watching.

Note to Viewers — After Starting Video, Click Speaker Icon to HEAR audio!

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. We recommend you watch the video from start to finish. You’ll definitely learn some new things about rimfire ammo.

.22 LR Ammo Production in Idaho
Back in 2016, YouTuber 22Plinkster was able to tour the CCI Ammo plant in Lewiston, Idado. Here is the rimfire production video he produced.

The Manufacturing Process for .22 LR Rimfire Ammunition
Shooting Sports USA explains: “Rimfire cartridge cases are the oldest self-contained cartridge in existence, having been in continuous production since the mid-1850s. Rimfire cases are drawn from a thin piece of brass and formed with a hollow rim. A priming compound is then forced into the case using centrifugal force, where it is charged with powder and a bullet is seated in the mouth of the case. The case is then crimped around the bullet to ensure sufficient push and pull when the round is fired. When the firing pin strikes the thin brass rim of the case, the hollow rim is crushed and the primer is ignited.” Source: SSUSA.org 9/2/2017.

.22 LR ammunition photo
Photo courtesy BulkAmmo.com.

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January 18th, 2019

.22 LR Ammo Smackdown — 31 Rimfire Ammo Types Tested

Shooting Sports USA .22 LR 22LR Rimfire ammunition test subsonic hi-velocity lead-free hyper velocity suppressor match ammo plinking varmint hunting

Here’s a “must-read” article for .22 LR rimfire shooters. The recently-released October 2018 issue of Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) includes a great article with data on thirty-one (31) different types of popular .22 LR rimfire ammunition. The line-up includes low-speed, standard, and Hi-Velocity types, plus choices for plinking, varminting, and target applications. Brands tested include: Aguila, American Eagle, CCI, Federal, Fiocchi, Lapua, Remington, and Winchester. The slowest ammo, CCI Quiet-22 Lead RN, clocked 727 FPS. The fastest ammo, CCI Short-Range Green Lead-Free HP, ran 1735 FPS, more than twice as fast as the Quiet-22.

SSUSA .22 LR Rimfire Ammo TEST | SSUSA Oct 2018 Full Issue

For each ammo type, SSUSA lists the bullet weight, velocity (FPS), and average of two, 5-shot groups at fifty yards. The most accurate ammo was Lapua Center-X LRN, with a 0.37″ average 50-yard group size. Second best was Lapua X-ACT LRN at 0.42″. Ammo was tested from a bench with a Cooper Model 57-M rifle fitted with 3-9x33mm Leupold VX-2 scope. The ammo offerings were grouped into three categories: (1) Varmints/Small Game; (2) Target; and (3) Plinking. (See ammo tables below.)

Shooting Sports USA .22 LR 22LR Rimfire ammunition test subsonic hi-velocity lead-free hyper velocity suppressor match ammo plinking varmint hunting
Click for larger page-view.

Different types of .22 LR (Long Rifle) rimfire ammo have different applications. Subsonic ammo, typically, is best for 25m to 50m target work with precision rimfire rigs. Hi-Velocity .22 LR ammo provides a flatter trajectory for longer ranges. SSUSA explains: “The array of .22 LR loads… turns a person’s head every which way. Subsonic target loads are the key to decisive accuracy on targets, while hyper-velocity cartridges provide striking bullet expansion on small varmints. In between, standard and high-velocity .22 LRs are loadrf with a variety of bullet weights and styles for everything from small-game hunting to plinking[.]” READ Full SSUSA .22 LR Rimfire Ammo Story.

Rimfire Ammo Article tip from EdLongrange.
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October 5th, 2018

Changing Primer Types Can Alter Load Velocities and Pressures

Primer Wolf CCI Federal Muzzle velocity FPS reloading

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. Glen Zediker recommends decreasing your load ONE FULL GRAIN when changing to a different primer type, one that you haven’t used before.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 8 Comments »
August 20th, 2018

Bargain Finder 152: 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. Amazon — Caldwell Long Range Target Cam System, $313.99

Amazon Caldwell Precision Long Range Target System Cam Camera
Labradar chronograph

Forum members have purchased this Caldwell Target Cam System and they’ve found that it works reliably, providing a clear signal to any WiFi-enabled mobile device (smartphone, iPad, Laptop). Amazon is offering this complete system for $313.99, with FREE shipping. One member specifically tested the unit at 1000 yards and it functioned fine. NOTE: This system does NOT have a zoom camera lens, so you need to position the camera within 10 yards or so of the target. But if you place it to the side a bit, this shouldn’t be a problem. NOTE: This system comes with a nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands.

2. EuroOptic.com — Tikka T3 Liquidation Sale, Rifles from $349.00

EuroOptic Tikka t3 sale discount inventory reduction bargain .270 .308 .223 Win Mag .300

EuroOptic.com bought a large quantity of Tikka T3 rifles from the North American distributor. Now these T3s are being offered at huge discounts –some well below wholesale cost. Tikka rifles that typically retail for $600 to $1000 are selling for $359 to $600. Save Hundreds! This is an amazing offer if you are looking for a very high-quality hunting rifle at a rock-bottom price. To add to the incentive, the first 500 T3 purchasers will receive a FREE Badlands Tenacity Backpack, a $45.00 value.

3. Bullets.com — Liquidation Sale with Incredible Savings

Bullets.com going out business inventory reduction liquidation sale discount auction blow-out bullets powder dies redding

Bullets.com is closing up shop. For the past few months Bullets.com has selling off its inventory. There are still some great products left at really low prices — in many cases below wholesale cost. How about a 100-ct box of 197gr 7mm Sierra MatchKings for just $22.95. Awesome deal — MidwayUSA charges $49.99/100 for the same 197gr bullets! Or grab some very good Norma rimfire ammo for less than $3.00 a box. You’ll want to act soon to enjoy these bargains before they’re gone for good.

4. Brownells — CCI .22 LR Ammo, $24.99/500 or $89.96 for 2000

CCI rimfire .22 LR standard velocity ammo discount sale free shipping brownells $10 off

Here’s a great deal on big-name, rimfire ammo. Right now you can get a 500-round pack of CCI Standard Velocity 40gr LRN ammo for just $24.99. That works out to just five cents ($0.05) per round. But it gets even better. If you purchase at least four 500-rd packs (2000 rounds total), you also get FREE shipping and a $10.00 discount with CODE JDC. With that “JDC” discount code, your total price is just $89.96 for 2000 rounds delivered, or 4.5 cents per round! That’s a great deal on reliable CCI ammo that’s good for plinking and rimfire cross-training. NOTE: If the JDC code has expired, try CODE MCP for free shipping on $49+ orders.

5. VihtaVuori — $5.00 Per Pound Rebate on Vihtavuori Powders

Capstone Vihtavuori powder propellant N133 N140 rebate discount sale $60 cash back

Earn Up To $60 Cash Back On VihtaVuori Powders
The 2018 VihtaVuori Rebate Program is under way. For a limited time, earn $5.00 back per bottle when you purchase VihtaVuori powders. Offer is valid on qualifying purchases made between August 15, 2018 and October 15, 2018. Be sure to keep your receipts and note the labels. The Rebate application MUST include proof of purchase showing retailer name and date of purchase. And the Rebate Form MUST include the serial number for each VihtaVuori bottle purchased.

Bruno’s | Graf’s | Midsouth | Powder Valley | Precision Reloading

VV Rebate Start Date: 8/15/2018
VV Rebate End Date: 10/15/2018
Postmarked By Date: 11/30/2018
Minimum Purchase: One 1-pound bottle
Maximum Purchase: Twelve 1-pound bottles
Maximum REBATE is $60.00

6. Grafs.com — Lyman Summer Sale, 10-22% Off Select items

Grand sons Graf's lyman 15% Off sale trigger gauge tumbler borecam

Lyman has brought out some fine products in recent years, tools that offer excellent performance for the price. Now you can get a serious discount on a variety of Lyman products, including the popular Lyman BoreCam, and the Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge, our “go-to” tool for measuring pull weights. Here are some of the best Lyman Summer Sale deals at Grafs.com now:

Lyman BoreCam Digital Borescope — $199.99 (marked down from $229.99)
Lyman Turbo Pro Magnum Tumbler — $69.99 (marked down from $84.99)
Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge — $42.99 (marked down from $47.99)

7. CDNN — Winchester XPR Rifle $289.99 after $75 Rebate

Winchester XPR Rifle Rebate discount full hunting sale

We like the Winchester XPR as an affordable, entry-level hunting rifle. The three-lug bolt has a short throw, the mags seat easily and the rifle balances well. CDNN is offering the XPR for just $364.99. That’s a great price, but it gets even better. Winchester is offering a $75.00 factory rebate, lowering your net cost to just $289.99. That’s less than you’ll pay for a new custom barrel! This CDNN deal is available now for four popular chamberings: .243 Win, .308 Win, .270 Win, and .30-06 SPR. Winchester’s $75 Factory Rebate applies to any new Winchester XPR or Model 70 rifle purchased from August 1 through October 31, 2018. For more info, visit Winchester’s Trophy Season Rebate Page.

8. Champions Choice — Deluxe 58″-Long Rifle Case, $68.00

Champion's Choice extra long palma rifle case 58

Many of our readers shoot Palma, F-Class, and ELR rifles with long barrels (up to 35″). It’s difficult to find high-quality, well-padded cases that fit very long rifles. Champion’s Choice offers just such a product, the 58″ Deluxe Soft Rifle Case. With thick 1″ padding on each side, big pockets, and backpack straps, this black/blue/white gun case has earned rave reviews from our Forum members. There’s plenty of room for big scopes, and it even comes with an internal tube to hold your cleaning rod.

9. Amazon — 12″x12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $9.99

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $9.99, or a 25-pack for $17.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating. One example: “Excellent quality and durability. The adhesive is really strong. High contrast makes down range targeting easy and the splatter contrast is [great].”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
May 2nd, 2018

Vista Outdoor May Sell Off Savage Arms and Stevens

Vista outdoor divesting selling Savage Arms Steven rifles strategic reorganization

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

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

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

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

Vista outdoor divesting selling Savage Arms Steven rifles strategic reorganization

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

Vista outdoor divesting selling Savage Arms Steven rifles strategic reorganization

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, News 7 Comments »
March 8th, 2018

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 2 Comments »
January 25th, 2018

Primer Performance — Technical Insights by CCI 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:

Permalink - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 9th, 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 2 Comments »
September 25th, 2017

Bargain Finder 105: 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. CDNN — Savage 11/111 Rifle with Bushnell Scope, $349.99

Savage 11/111 Bushnell scope rebate sale package hunter hunting

Need a reliable sub-MOA hunting rifle? Here’s heck of a deal on rifle AND optic. Right now you can purchase a Savage model 11/111 for $349.99 after $100 mail-in rebate from Savage. And get this — that price includes a 3-9x40mm Bushnell Trophy scope. That’s right, you get a brand new Savage rifle plus a new Bushnell scope, all for $349.99 after rebate. This has got to be the best rifle deal around for the 2017 hunting season. Chose the Long Action model 111 or the Short Action model 11. Fifteen popular chamberings are offered, so you’re sure to find a caliber/cartridge that suits your hunting requirements. Choices are: .243 Win, .25-06, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, 6.5×284 NORMA, .270 Win, .270 WSM, 7mm-08, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .30-06 Spr, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, .338 Federal, and .338 Win Mag.

2. Amazon — Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII Scope, under $970.00

AccurateShooter Deals of Week Sightron Scope Optics Sale
Match photo courtesy Varide Cicognati, Sightron dealer in Italy.

This 10-50x60mm Sightron recently faired very well in recent tests when compared to high-magnification scopes costing twice as much. It displayed excellent repeatability and click precision. It may not have the fancy name, but this 10-50X optic is definitely good enough to win long-range benchrest and F-Class matches. It is now available with MOA grid or Fine Cross Hair reticles for under $970.00. At that price, the Sightron is over $1350 cheaper than the 15-55X Nightforce. It is even $400+ cheaper than the old 12-42x56mm NF Benchrest scope. On a value-for-money basis, then, the Sightron 10-50x60mm makes sense for competitors on a budget. The money you save (vs. 15-55X NF) will pay for a nice BAT, Borden, or Kelbly custom action. NOTE: Other versions with Mil-Dot or Target Dot reticles currently run $1050-$1090 on Amazon.

3. CDNN — Walther Creed 9mm Pistol, $269.99

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $269.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

4. Grafs.com — Hornady Auto Charge, $179.99 + Free Range Bag

Grafs.com Graf Hornady L-N-L Scale Dispenser Sale Discount

Here’s an excellent promo from our friends at Grafs.com. Hornady’s versatile Lock-N-Load Auto Charge™ Powder Scale and Dispenser is on sale for $179.99. And now for a limited time you get a FREE deluxe range bag ($43.99 value) with the purchase of the Hornady Scale/Dispenser. This is a good unit with a nice keypad. NOTE: You can also get the FREE Range Bag when you buy the Hornady Case Prep Center at Grafs.com for $419.99. That’s pretty pricey — getting Scale/Dispenser with the Range Bag is the better deal.

5. 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.

6. Amazon — Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge, $46.32

Lyman Trigger Pull gauge electronic Walmart Amazon

If you are serious about your precision firearms, you need one of these. We use the Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge to test the triggers on all our match and varmint rifles. The unit is precise and repeatable. Once you try one of these you won’t want to go back to crude spring trigger gauges. Amazon.com offers this unit for $46.32 with free shipping (third party sale).

7. Bullets.com — Norma .22LR Ammo (Match 22 & Tac 22)

Norma Match 22 Tac .22 LR Ammo rimfire ammunition bullets.com

Need quality .22 LR rimfire ammo at an affordable price? Consider Norma. Most folks think Norma only produces centerfire ammo and cartridge brass. As a result, people haven’t been looking for Norma rimfire ammo. Their loss is your gain. Accurate, reliable Norma .22 LR ammunition is in-stock right now at leading online vendors. This is good quality ammo, made in Europe. Bullets.com has Norma Tac-22 ammo in stock at $4.75 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL7819). In addition, Bullets.com offers Norma Match-22 ammunition at $6.50 per 50-rd box (SKU: BL11887).

8. Amazon — AR500 Steel 8″-Diameter Gong, $19.95 Delivered

Reactive Target AR500 Steel Gong Free Shipping 8 inch 8

We like reactive targets. It’s fun to “ring steel” and see a target move instantly when hit. For just twenty bucks (including shipping), it’s hard to go wrong with this 8″ AR500 Steel Gong. The 8″-diameter size is big enough for zeroing at 200 yards, yet offers a nice challenge at 500 yards and beyond. There is also a 6″-diameter model for just $14.00.

9. Amazon — Mystery Deal of the Week with 57% Price Reduction

Mystery Deal of the Week Stabilized Optic

Here’s a versatile, compact product that every hunter and tactical competitor can use. It can replace two or three common gear items and includes a high-tech system that makes it work better, helping you get on target faster and spot game easier, even in low light. When introduced, this item earned great reviews when it sold for $499.99. Now it is available through Amazon for just $215.00. That’s a full 57% off the original price. We think any game hunter or PRS shooter will want this high-tech unit. The super-low price makes it hard to resist.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
September 11th, 2017

Bargain Finder 103: 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. Grafs.com — Lapua Bullets on Sale, Up to 49% Off

Grafs Grafs.com Lapua Scenar Scenar-L Bullet sale discount HPBT

You know Lapua makes truly superior brass, but have you tried Lapua bullets yet. You should. The Scenar and Scenar-L match bullets are outstanding. In one of our rifles (a 6mmBR), Lapua’s original 105gr Scenar bullets out-shot every other projectile we tried. And the Scenar-L bullets are some of the most consistent bullets (for weight and base-to-ogive) we’ve ever measured. Now you can get these outstanding Lapua match bullets, plus excellent Lapua hunting bullets at major savings. Here are some of the best deals on great Scenar-L Match Bullets now at Grafs.com:

.224 Cal 77gr HPBT Scenar-L: $24.99/100 (Save 46%) (Great for Service Rifle)
6mm (.243) 90gr HPBT Scenar-L: $369.99/1000 (Save 18%) (Great XTC and PRS Bullet)
6.5mm (.264) 120gr HPBT Scenar-L: $259.99/1000 (Save 39%) (Great for 6.5 Creedmoor)
7mm (.284) 180gr HPBT Scenar-L: $28.99/100 (Save 46%) (Superb F-Open Bullet)
.308 Cal 155gr HPBT Scenar-L: $299.99/1000 (Save 37%) (Excellent Palma Bullet)
.308 Cal 220gr HPBT Scenar-L: $30.99/100 (Save 46%) (Excellent F-TR Bullet)

2. CDNN — Winchester XPR Hunting Rifle, $279.99 After Rebate

Winchester XPR Hunting Rifle Vias Camo CDNN Cabelas Rebate

Looking for a good hunting rifle at a great price? Check out this promotion for the Winchester XPR. This is a fine-handling rig with a smooth bolt and many chambering options. Right now at CDNN Sports the basic gray-stocked Winchester XPR is on sale for $379.99. But here’s the kicker, Winchester is offering a $100.00 Mail-In Rebate. That drops your net cost to just $279.99. That’s an insanely good deal. You can also get the XPR in Vias Camo for $299.99 after rebate.

3. Midsouth — Norma Tac-223 .223 Rem Ammo, $5.99/20 rounds

Norma .223 Rem Tac-22 Ammunition AR15 ammo

Planning a late-season varmint hunt, or need some reliable ammo for a 3-Gun match? Look no further. This .223 Remington Norma Tac-223 FMJ is good ammo, a lot better than bulk commercial reloads, and not much more money. On sale now for $5.99 for a 20-round box, this quality Norma ammo is just thirty cents ($0.30) per round! You can also get this ammo by the case at Brownells, $244.99 for 800 rounds.

Here are two reviews from actual Midsouth customers who bought and shot this ammo:

“Amazingly accurate, great for target practice and plinking, and Norma brass! Believe it would be very good for varmit hunting. Price point is awesome for what you get from this ammunition. ordering more now.” Pat, Ohio

“I purchased this [Tac-223] ammo primarily for the Norma cartridge brass. It shoots great and the brass is top notch.” — Jim, Kentucky

4. DeGuns.net — S&W M&P 9mm, $399.99/$324.99 after Rebate

Smith Wesson M&P pistol handgun 9mm 9x19mm sale rebate

Here’s a great deal on a very reliable, accurate full-size 9x19mm pistol — the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm in Flat Dark Earth finish. We like the distinctive color with contrasting matte black ambidextrous controls. For the next week, this 9mm pistol is on sale for just $399.99. To sweeten the deal further, this handgun qualifies for a $75.00 Smith & Wesson Rebate. Act soon — this DeGuns Deal is good through September 16, 2017.

5. Amazon — Lyman BoreCam (Digital Borescope), $174.49

Bargain Deal Lyman Borecam Midsouth Shooters

Here’s the best deal we’ve found on an excellent product in high demand. The Lyman BoreCam is an electro-optical borescope with a digital display. You can record “stills” on a SD card. Our Forum members really like the BoreCam (although some wish the digital view-screen was larger). Amazon.com now has the Lyman BoreCam for $174.49 (seller Optics Planet) or $182.24 with free Prime Shipping. Grab it while you can at that price. Other vendors are charging a LOT more. For example, MidwayUSA’s price is $259.99!

6. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $179.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $179.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $199.99.

7. BangitAmmo.com — CCI Blazer Brass .45 ACP Ammo, $11.99

Bargain Deal CCI Brass Ammo Ammunition .45 ACP

This is quality, American-made ammo with reloadable brass cases. This is cheaper than just about any name-brand .45 ACP ammo on the market offered in single-box lots. We’ve shot a lot of this ammo and it functioned 100% in 1911s, Sig P220, Glock m21, HK USP and other .45 ACP handguns. Price is $11.99 for a 50-round box ($0.24/round).

8. Brownells — Hornady Auto Charge Powder Dispenser, $139.99

Hornady Auto Charge powder dispenser scale brownells sale

Right now at Brownells the Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Charge electronic powder dispenser/scale is on sale for $149.99. That’s a great deal but there’s more — with Brownells Coupon CODE M3P you can get the AutoCharge for just $139.99 and shipping is just one cent ($0.01) more at Brownells right how. So you can get the Hornady Auto Charge for $140.00 delivered. Hard to beat that.

9. Cabela’s — Savage 12 FV Rifle, $319.99

Savage 12 FV FCV hunting rifle .223 Rem 6.5 Creedmoor rebate Visa Card

Here’s a good deal on a Savage hunting rifle. Purchase a Model 12 FV for $319.99 from Cabela’s. This is a sweet deal if you’re looking for a basic, no-frills hunting or varminting rifle. Cabela’s offers five chamberings at this price: .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, 22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. NOTE: The Cabela’s website includes a link to a $100 Savage rebate. That is for the 12 FCV, a different model. This basic 12 FV is not rebate eligible. But it’s still a good deal at $319.99.

10. Amazon — Mystery Deal, 28% off Typical Price, $199.00

Mystery Deal Optics AccurateShooter Daily Bulletin Amazon

Here’s our second Mystery Deal of the Week. Rest assured this is a very high quality product — at a very compelling price: $199.00 at Amazon. This item sold for $299.99 last summer, and around $270.00 just two months ago. Grab this steal-of-a-deal now. This big-name product will help you get on target all the way out to 1250 yards. We can say with some confidence you won’t find a better-performing, comparable product that represents such a good value. CLICK HERE to see the Mystery Deal.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 6th, 2017

Rimfire Genesis — How CCI .22 LR Rimfire Ammo is Made

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.

The Manufacturing Process for .22 LR Rimfire Ammunition
Shooting Sports USA explains: “Rimfire cartridge cases are the oldest self-contained cartridge in existence, having been in continuous production since the mid-1850s. Rimfire cases are drawn from a thin piece of brass and formed with a hollow rim. A priming compound is then forced into the case using centrifugal force, where it is charged with powder and a bullet is seated in the mouth of the case. The case is then crimped around the bullet to ensure sufficient push and pull when the round is fired. When the firing pin strikes the thin brass rim of the case, the hollow rim is crushed and the primer is ignited.” Source: SSUSA.org 9/2/2017.

.22 LR ammunition photo
Photo courtesy BulkAmmo.com.

Buried in CCI 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.

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