March 11th, 2019

IWA Outdoor Classics 2019 Concludes Today

IWA Outdoor Classics hunting shooting firearms sports exhibition trade SHOT Show nuremberg germany
Some interesting Drive Band bullets were on display at IWA Show.

IWA Outdoor Classics Exhibition Concludes for 2019
As we publish this in the USA, the IWA Outdoor Classics trade show is drawing to a close. Today marked the last day of the 4-Day exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany. IWA is a big event, drawing over 1600 exhibitors, as well as nearly 50,000 show visitors from around the world. Here is our IWA Day 4 report, with more images from the show. Photo Credit for IWA images: NuernbergMesse / Frank Boxler and Thomas Geiger, All Rights Reserved.

IWA Outdoor Classics hunting shooting firearms sports exhibition trade SHOT Show nuremberg germany

Yes they like big boomers in Europe too. Here is an Austrian Steyr-Mannlicher HS .50-M1 in .50 BMG.

IWA Outdoor Classics hunting shooting firearms sports exhibition trade SHOT Show nuremberg germany

These state-of-the-art, computer-controlled commercial loading stations were on display at IWA.

IWA Outdoor Classics hunting shooting firearms sports exhibition trade SHOT Show nuremberg germany

The sound of silence. The new German-engineered Blaser R8 Ultimate Silence features an integral silencer. The over-sized barrel functions as the silencer.

IWA Outdoor Classics hunting shooting firearms sports exhibition trade SHOT Show nuremberg germany

Some of the best specialized competition shooting coats and pants are crafted in Europe.

IWA Outdoor Classics hunting shooting firearms sports exhibition trade SHOT Show nuremberg germany

Zeiss, a German company, produces some of the best rifle scopes in the world.

Spirit of the Hunt — IWA Showcases Hunting Gear and Clothing

At its heart, the IWA Outdoor Classics event remains a showcase for hunting products. The aisles included collections of antlers, hunting gear, and traditional Bavarian hunting clothing.

IWA Outdoor Classics hunting shooting firearms sports exhibition trade SHOT Show nuremberg germany

IWA Outdoor Classics hunting shooting firearms sports exhibition trade SHOT Show nuremberg germany

IWA Outdoor Classics hunting shooting firearms sports exhibition trade SHOT Show nuremberg germany

Parting Shot — Crack Open a Cold One with a Stag-Horn

Here’s just what you need to open a bottle of good German lager — a stag-horn bottle opener. Prost!

IWA Outdoor Classics hunting shooting firearms sports exhibition trade SHOT Show nuremberg germany

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product, News 1 Comment »
October 30th, 2018

From the Land of Fjords — Hunting in Norway

Norway Fjord Hunting Skorpen

This time of year, deer and elk hunters throughout the Northern Hemisphere trek into the wilds in search of game. To celebrate the hunting lifestyle, we’re reprising a story from Europe that showcases the beauty of nature that can be experienced on a hunting trip.

Norway Fjord Hunting SkorpenIf you need a break from your hum-drum day at the office, how about taking a virtual vacation to Norway, where you can explore the scenic mountains in the Fjord region?

Forum member Kenneth Skorpen (aka “Sal”) has created a cool video of a deer-hunting trip he took in Norway. He didn’t bag a buck on this trip, but the walk in the Fjordland mountains took Kenneth through some spectacular scenery. (At the 11:25 time mark you’ll see an amazing sunset over the Fjord.) Kenneth did encounter a doe that had fallen down the mountain, and apparently broken its neck (14:35 time mark). The terrain is very steep, and Kenneth observed that: “I feel fortunate to be able to do this, but I also feel very tired in my legs. Did you know that the hares around here have shorter left legs due to the steep hills?”

More Hunting/Shooting Videos from Norway
You can watch more interesting hunting and shooting videos from Norway on Kenneth Skorpen’s Streken Vertebrae YouTube Channel. Here are some links:

And here is another Skorpen video showcasing beautiful Norwegian landscapes. This was filmed during a February rifle testing session with targets at 1100 and 1400 meters. You’ll see some stunning snow-capped scenery here, starting at the 4:30 time mark.

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September 25th, 2018

Hunting Options for Fathers and Sons — Great Gear Choices

Hunting gear 1701 father son hunter hunting
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

One of the most memorable things a father and son can do is go hunting. Time spent in the field together builds bonds that last a lifetime. A young man will remember those special fall hunts he did with his Dad. And as he grows into maturity, that same young hunter will carry cherished memories forward all his life, along with an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors.

Hunting gear father son hunter hunting
Father and son deer hunting photo courtesy SportsmansGuide.com.

There are many elements to a successful hunt — location, game activity, weather, stalking skills, and yes, a little bit of luck. You can’t control the weather (or the whims of whitetails), but you can increase your odds of success with the right gear. Here are some items that will help a father and son on a hunting adventure this fall.

A Boy’s First Centerfire Hunting Rifle

We’ve found a great choice for a young man’s first centerfire rifle. The Howa Mini Action Youth Model in 6.5 Grendel, is a compact package with an accurate, moderate-recoil chambering. This special Youth Model has a shorter stock with 12.5″ length of pull (LOP). Weighing under 5.7 pounds with a light-contour 20″ barrel, this rifle is light enough for a young man to carry easily. The Howa 6.5 Grendel Youth Model may be hard to find at retailers, but if you shop around you can find examples on Gunbroker.com at attractive prices. If you can’t find the Youth Model, you can get a standard Howa Mini and cut the stock to shorten the LOP.

Hunting gear 1701 father son hunter hunting

Hunting gear 6.5 Grendel Howa Rifle Mini Action father son hunter huntingYes a young man could start off with a big .30-06 shooting 200-grain bullets. But we think it’s wise to begin with a smaller, lighter-recoiling caliber. There are countless cartridge choices, but the compact 6.5 Grendel offers a good balance of power and accuracy with moderate recoil. The 6.5 Grendel boasts ballistics superior to the venerable 30/30, so it is capable of taking whitetail deer and other medium-sized game. Recoil is milder than a 30-caliber. This cartridge also works great for target work. Factory hunting ammo is available from Federal, Hornady, and Alexander Arms.

Great Gear Items for a Father and Son Hunting Trip

Here are some recommended items that our staff owns or uses. All selections cost less than $100.00. If you have a family hunt planned, check out these useful items. The Remington pack carries both your rifle and your gear. The electronic muffs provide hearing protection while still allowing conversations. The walkie-talkies let you communicate with your base camp even miles away.

Remington Twin Mesa Day Pack

This comfortable Remington Pack provides lots of capacity on the inside, plus a special harness system for toting your rifle. That keeps your hands free for your rangefinder and binoculars. The pack is mesh-lined for comfort and has nicely padded hip belt and shoulder straps. Five outside pockets hold small items securely. Priced at $73.53 with free shipping, this pack is a good choice for a hunter’s carrying system.

Howard Leight Electronic Muffs

These Howard Leight Electronic Muffs are Amazon’s #1 Seller in the Safety Ear Muffs category. These offer 22 dB sound protection with the ability to still hear conversations and range commands. For regular use, we do recommend running plugs under these muffs for higher effective NRR.

Bog-Pod Shooting Sticks Bipod Hunting

We’ve used Bog-Pod shooting supports on varmint hunts. They’re great for down-angle shots from a ridge or kneeling shots to get above terrain obstacles. Bog-Pods adjust from 17″ to 39″.

Leica CRF 2000 laser rangefinder

Hunters need to know distance with precision. A compact Laser Rangefinder (LRF) will help you spot and range your prey. The Leica CRF 2000-B, one of the best hand-held LRFs on the market, is on sale now for just $399.00 — a great bargain!

Leica CRF 2000 laser rangefinder

Motorola 2-way 22 Chanel Radios

Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range shooting. The 22-CH Motorola T100 Two-Way Radio is an Amazon Favorite in FRS/GMRS Handheld Radios.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
September 11th, 2018

Cabela’s Deer Nation — Great Resource for Hunters

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

It’s hunting season in many areas of the country already. If you’re planning a fall hunt you want to do your homework — make sure your gear is checked out, your rifle zeroed, and your hunting grounds plotted. You’ll want to sight in your rifle, get the right clothing, make sure you have your hunting license, deer tags, and other needed paperwork.

Cabela’s has a ton of helpful information for hunters on its Deer Nation website. You’ll find numerous videos as well as articles from expert guides and experienced hunters.


This episode of Cabela’s Whitetail Season highlights ground hunting. While some hunters prefer a stand, the cover provided by the background and tall grasses can help with your stalks.


In this video, Bill Winke, host of Midwest Whitetail, shows how he hunts over small food plots.

Cabela’s Deer Nation portal offers over 100 informative articles for hunters. Here are six of our favorite features:

1. Hiding in Plain Sight — Finding Game

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

2. Binoculars Buyers Guide
(Very comprehensive and useful!)

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

3. Top Seven Hunting Apps for iOS and Android

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

4. How to Field Dress a Deer

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

5. Trail Camera Set-Up and Monitoring

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

6. Taking Kids Deer Hunting

Cabela's Deer Nation hunting info hunter tips

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March 27th, 2018

Umarex Hammer May Be World’s Most Powerful Air Rifle

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug

Umarex USA has a new .50-Caliber Air Rifle, which it claims is the world’s most powerful air gun. The new Umarex Hammer can launch a 550 grain slug at 760 fps, delivering an impressive 705 foot-lbs of energy at the muzzle. That energy total rivals a 10mm Auto Cartridge (220 grainer at 1200 fps). Not bad for an air rifle with an $815.99 MSRP.

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug

With lighter projectiles, the Umarex Hammer also delivers fairly high velocities — it can drive a 200 grain lead projectile at 1055 fps. That’s equivalent to a .45 ACP +P load. The design team at Umarex say this air rifle has the power to take deer and other game — when the animals are close enough.

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug

The Umarex Hammer has features you might find on a modern centerfire rifle: 29.5″ button-rifled barrel, straight-pull bolt, 8.5″ Picatinny rail, and quality trigger with 3-lb pull. The Made-in-USA Hammer is powered by an on-board, 24-cubic-inch carbon fiber cylinder filled at 4500 psi. The Hammer incorporates a Lightspeed™ valve and precision regulator that launches the projectiles with a 3000 psi air blast. Umarex says the Hammer is quite accurate — capable of putting three, 350- grain lead slugs in an inch at 50 yards.

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug
Photo courtesy 2BrothersAdventures, from Umarex Hammer Video.

Umarex Hammer Features

— Most powerful production air rifle on the planet
— Straight-pull bolt with 2 lb. cocking effort and just 2 in. of travel
— 24 cubic inch carbon fiber tank holds 4,500 psi compressed air
— Delivers three full-power shots @ 8 cubic inches per shot
— Patent-pending Lightspeed™ valve
— Button-rifled, 29.5″, .50-caliber barrel
— Quick Disconnect Foster air-filling fitting
— Modern stock design (with M-Lok slots) manufactured by PolyOne
— 43.75-inch overall length
— 8.5 pound overall weight unloaded without scope
— 3 pound trigger-pull weight
— Three safeties: hammer block, magazine lock-out, trigger block

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »
December 30th, 2017

104 Years Young, Clyde Roberts is America’s Oldest Active Hunter

Clyde Roberts 104 year old hunter virginia deer hunting
Photo courtesy Meghan Marchetti/Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries

You are as young as you feel. Virginian Clyde Roberts, widely regarded as America’s oldest active hunter, is 104 years of age. Now four years past the century mark, Clyde remains an active hunter who loves the outdoors. In fact Clyde has had a very successful season this year. American Hunter reports: “Roberts tagged three deer… during the 2017 Virginia season — a feat, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, only 6 percent of the state’s hunters accomplish.” On his latest hunt, with his son Mike by his side, Clyde harvested a large 8-point buck with his trusty .270 Win. That latest 8-pointer marks the 11th deer Clyde has taken since turning 100 years of age.”

Watch 2015 Video Interview with Clyde Roberts

Clyde Roberts 104 year old hunter virginia deer hunting
Photo courtesy Mike Roberts

2016 was a good year for Clyde as well. Last deer season, Clyde took the biggest buck of his life during an Election Day hunt with his granddaughter, Christin. It was also a solid 8-point buck, the largest animal Clyde has harvested in his 40-year hunting career. CLICK HERE for Christin Elliot’s account of her Muzzle-Loader hunt with her grandfather.

Clyde Roberts 104 year old hunter virginia deer hunting

Clyde Roberts Started Hunting After Retirement
Remarkably, Clyde didn’t start hunting until he retired about 40 years ago. Outdoor Hub reports: “Clyde’s son, Mike, reveals … that his father wasn’t always a hunter. He simply took it up as a hobby to pass time after retirement [at the age of 65]. Perhaps the best part about Mr. Robert’s hunting career, is that for decades he’s been reaping the benefits of a $5 lifetime hunting license he purchased from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries upon his retirement.”

Clyde has done well with his $5 lifetime hunting license, observing: “I suppose the State fish and game folks figured anyone retiring would not be around long enough for them to lose money. I have hunted and trapped on that $5 license for decades!”

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 1 Comment »
October 25th, 2017

Father and Son Hunting Adventures — Rifle and Gear Options

Hunting gear 1701 father son hunter hunting
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

One of the most memorable things a father and son can do is go hunting. Time spent in the field together builds bonds that last a lifetime. A young man will remember those special fall hunts he did with his Dad. And as he grows into maturity, that same young hunter will carry cherished memories forward all his life, along with an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors.

Hunting gear father son hunter hunting
Father and son deer hunting photo courtesy SportsmansGuide.com.

There are many elements to a successful hunt — location, game activity, weather, stalking skills, and yes, a little bit of luck. You can’t control the weather (or the whims of whitetails), but you can increase your odds of success with the right gear. Here are some items that will help a father and son on a hunting adventure this fall.

A Boy’s First Centerfire Hunting Rifle

We’ve found a great choice for a young man’s first centerfire rifle — at a great price. Right now the Howa Mini Action Youth Model in 6.5 Grendel is just $349.99 at Whittaker Guns. This special Youth model has a shorter stock with 12.5″ length of pull. Weighing under 5.7 pounds with a light-contour 20″ barrel, this rifle is light enough for a young man to carry easily. Add a discounted scope, and you can have the whole rig for under $550.00 complete.

Hunting gear 1701 father son hunter hunting

Hunting gear 6.5 Grendel Howa Rifle Mini Action father son hunter huntingYes a young man could start off with a big .30-06 shooting 200-grain bullets. But we think it’s wise to begin with a smaller, lighter-recoiling caliber. There are countless cartridge choices, but the compact 6.5 Grendel offers a good balance of power and accuracy with moderate recoil. The 6.5 Grendel boasts ballistics superior to the venerable 30/30, so it is capable of taking whitetail deer and other medium-sized game. Recoil is milder than a 30-caliber, and the accuracy is excellent. Factory hunting ammo is available from Federal, Hornady, and Alexander Arms.

Great Gear Items for a Father and Son Hunting Trip

Here are some recommended items that our staff owns or uses. All selections cost less than $100.00. If you have a family hunt planned, check out these useful items. The Remington pack carries both your rifle and your gear. The electronic muffs provide hearing protection while still allowing conversations. The walkie-talkies let you communicate with your base camp even miles away.

Remington Twin Mesa Day Pack

This comfortable Remington Pack provides lots of capacity on the inside, plus a special harness system for toting your rifle. That keeps your hands free for your rangefinder and binoculars. The pack is mesh-lined for comfort and has nicely padded hip belt and shoulder straps. Five outside pockets hold small items securely. Priced at $73.53 with free shipping, this pack is a good choice for a hunter’s carrying system.

Howard Leight Electronic Muffs

These Howard Leight Electronic Muffs are Amazon’s #1 Seller in the Safety Ear Muffs category. These offer 22 dB sound protection with the ability to still hear conversations and range commands. For regular use, we do recommend running plugs under these muffs for higher effective NRR.

Bog-Pod Shooting Sticks Bipod Hunting

We’ve used Bog-Pod shooting supports on varmint hunts. They’re great for down-angle shots from a ridge or kneeling shots to get above terrain obstacles. Bog-Pods adjust from 17″ to 39″.

Motorola 2-way 22 Chanel Radios

Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range shooting. The 22-CH Motorola MH230R Two-Way Radio is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in FRS/GMRS Handheld Radios.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
October 1st, 2017

Help for Hunters — Video Explains Terminal Ballistics

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

It’s hunting season, and we know many readers will be pursuing a prize buck this fall. But how will your hunting load perform? That depends on shot placement, energy, and terminal ballistics.

You’ve probably heard the term “Terminal Ballistics”. But do you really know what this refers to? Fundamentally, “Terminal Ballistics” describes the behavior of a projectile as it strikes, enters, and penetrates a target. Terminal Ballistics, then, can be said to describe projectile behavior in a target including the transfer of kinetic energy. Contrast this with “External Ballistics” which, generally speaking, describes and predicts how projectiles travel in flight. One way to look at this is that External Ballistics covers bullet behavior before impact, while terminal ballistics covers bullet behavior after impact.

The study of Terminal Ballistics is important for hunters, because it can predict how pellets, bullets, and slugs can perform on game. This NRA Firearm Science video illustrates Terminal Ballistics basics, defining key terms such as Impact Crater, Temporary Cavity, and Primary Cavity.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

External Ballistics, also called “exterior ballistics”, is the part of ballistics that deals with the behavior of a non-powered projectile in flight.

Terminal Ballistics, a sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior and effects of a projectile when it hits its target.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
September 29th, 2017

Hunting 101: How Hunters Can Stabilize Their Shooting Positions

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand
For hunters in a tree stand, SFC McPhail recommends a position with your weakside leg pulled up and firmly braced on the front rail of the treestand. You can then rest your support arm on your leg. This provides a rock-solid position when shooting from a stand.

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestandTeam USA Olympian and ISSF World Cup Winner SFC Michael McPhail is one of the world’s best smallbore rifle shooters. He is also an avid hunter, who enjoys harvesting game with centerfire rifles. In a USAMU video, McPhail shows how competition shooting positions can be adapted for hunters. McPhail shows how well-established positions can provide a more stable platform for hunters in the field. That can help ensure a successful hunt. McPhail demonstrates three positions: kneeling, supported prone, and sitting in a tree-stand.

Watch SFC McPhail Demonstrate Positions for Hunters (Good Video):

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail first demonstrates the kneeling position. Michael notes: “I like kneeling. It’s a little bit of an under-utilized position, but it’s almost as stable as prone. It allows you get up off the ground a little bit higher to [compensate for] vegetation. For kneeling start by taking your non-dominant foot and put that towards the target, while at the same time dropping down to a knee on the dominant leg. At the same time … wrap the sling around wrist and fore-arm, lean slightly into the target and take the shot.”

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail shows a nice “field expedient” use of your backpack. He shows how the basic prone position can be adapted, using the pack as a front rifle support. McPhail recommends pulling your dominant (strongside) leg forward, bent at the knee. According to Michael, this takes pressure off the abdomen, helps minimizes heart beat effects, and helps with breathing.

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August 10th, 2017

Is Bullet B.C. Important When Hunting? (Answer: It Depends)

Sierra Bullets Deer Hunting BC Ballistic Coefficient bullet
Game image courtesy OutdoorNebraska.gov/deer.

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box
Judging by the calls I’ve had through the years, I think some shooters might be placing too much importance on Ballistic Coefficient (B.C.). The best example of this comes from a call I had one day. This shooter called wanting the ballistic coefficient of one of our Sierra bullets. After I told him he seemed a little disappointed, so I ask him what his application was. Long range target, deer hunting in the woods? Talk to me.

As it turned out, he hunted deer in open timber. He very rarely shot beyond 100 yards. I pointed out to him that, under 200 yards, B.C. has little impact. Let’s compare a couple of bullets.

Let’s look at the trajectory of a couple of bullets and see how they compare. The .30 caliber 180 grain Round Nose #2170 RN and the 180 grain Spitzer Boat Tail #2160 SBT. The round nose has a B.C. of .240, while the SBT is .501. Starting both bullets out of the muzzle at 2700 FPS [with a 100-yard ZERO], at 200 yards the #2170 RN impacts 4.46″ low while the #2160 SBT impacts 3.88″ low. That’s a difference of only 0.58″ in spite of a huge difference in Ballistic Coefficient. If we compare out at 500 yards, then we have a [significant drop variance] of 14.27″ between these two bullets. [Editor: That difference could mean a miss at 500 yards.]

Distance to Your Prey is the Key Consideration
In a hunting situation, under 200 yards, having a difference of only .58” isn’t going to make or break us. But when elk hunting in wide open spaces it could mean everything.

The next time you’re choosing a bullet, give some thought about the distances you will be shooting. Sometimes B.C. isn’t everything. If you have any questions, please give the Sierra Bullets technicians a call at 800-233-8799.

sierra bullets ballistic coefficient hunting BC bullet logo customer support

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
October 31st, 2016

Position Shooting Tips for Hunters — How to Stabilize Your Shot

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

Team USA Olympian and ISSF World Cup Winner SFC Michael McPhail is one of the world’s best smallbore rifle shooters. He is also an avid hunter, who enjoys harvesting game with centerfire rifles. In this excellent short video from the USAMU, McPhail shows how competition shooting positions can be adapted for hunters. McPhail shows how well-established positions can provide a more stable platform for hunters in the field. That can help ensure a successful hunt. McPhail demonstrates three positions: kneeling, supported prone, and sitting in a tree-stand.

Watch SFC McPhail Demonstrate Positions for Hunters (Good Video):

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail first demonstrates the kneeling position. Michael notes: “I like kneeling. It’s a little bit of an under-utilized position, but it’s almost as stable as prone. It allows you get up off the ground a little bit higher to [compensate for] vegetation. For kneeling start by taking your non-dominant foot and put that towards the target, while at the same time dropping down to a knee on the dominant leg. At the same time … wrap the sling around wrist and fore-arm, lean slightly into the target and take the shot.”

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail shows a nice “field expedient” use of your backpack. He shows how the basic prone position can be adapted, using the pack as a front rifle support. McPhail recommends pulling your dominant (strongside) leg forward, bent at the knee. According to Michael, this takes pressure off the abdomen, helps minimizes heart beat effects, and helps with breathing.

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

Last but not least, McPhail shows some clever treestand tricks. McPhail recommends a position with your weakside leg pulled up and firmly braced on the front rail of the treestand. You can then rest your support arm on your leg. (That would be the left arm for a right-handed shooter). This provides a rock-solid position when shooting from a stand. The second half of the video shows how this works.

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July 28th, 2016

Norma Cartridge of the Month: 6.5×55 Swedish

6.5x55 Swede Swedish Norma Cartridge of the Month Norma USA

Cartridge of the Month Norma USAIf you haven’t checked out NormaUSA’s website, you should. There you’ll find Norma’s Cartridge of the Month Archive. This great resource provides a detailed history of popular cartridges, along with a discussion of these cartridges’ hunting and target-shooting uses. There are currently 26 Cartridge of the Month articles, the latest featuring the mighty .500/.416 Nitro Express cartridge.

Also on Norma-USA.com you’ll find information on Norma cartridge brass, bullets, powder and factory ammo. The site also offers a video archive plus links to Norma Reloading Data.

Here is a selection from 6.5×55 Swede Cartridge of the Month Article:

History of the 6.5×55 Swedish

A mild cartridge by modern standards, the 6.5×55 has impressive credentials in both the hunting field and in competition. It was developed jointly by Sweden and Norway in 1894 – one of the very first smokeless, small-bore rounds for military rifles. When Sweden boosted 6.5×55 performance in Mausers, Norway stayed with original loads in the less robust Krag. The 6.5×55 defended Scandinavia for most of a century thereafter. In 1990 the National Rifle Association of Denmark, Norway and Sweden renamed this cartridge the 6.5×55 SKAN and standardized its specifications. Still hugely popular among moose hunters there, it has also excelled in 300-meter free-rifle competition.

The long tenure of this cartridge spanned the post-war wildcatting era. Unfortunately for shooters keen to make something new of the 6.5×55 hull, its head diameter is .01 greater than that of the 7×57 (and the .270 and .30-06). The rim is thicker too. At 2.16 inches, cases mike .15 longer than the .308’s and .08 shorter than those of the 7×57 – though as originally loaded, its overall length (3.15 inches) exceeds that of the 7×57. In fact, it falls just 0.1 inch shy of the finished length of the 7mm Remington Magnum! In my view, the 6.5×55 merits at least a mid-length action, such as on Melvin Forbes’s New Ultra Light rifles. Shorter (typical .308-length) actions require deep bullet seating that throttles performance.

6.5x55 Swede Swedish Norma Cartridge of the Month Norma USA

You’ll look hard to find a better deer cartridge than the 6.5×55. Francis Sell, woodsman and rifle enthusiast whose book on blacktail deer hunting has no peer, favored the 6.5×55. Hunters coming of age in a magnum culture might question the round’s bona fides on animals as stout as elk and moose. But at modest ranges, with bullets like Norma’s factory-loaded 156-grain Oryx, it’s a sure killer. Modest recoil makes rifles pleasant to fire (read: accurate in hand!) and fast on follow-ups. In Africa the 6.5×55 – and similar 6.5×54 Mannlicher-Schoenauer – felled much bigger game than moose long before anyone necked down the .375 H&H! While its compact case won’t let the Swede match the likes of the .270 ballistically, it is a fine all-around choice for big game in the Lower 48.

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November 25th, 2010

Holiday Hunt — 6mmBR for Deer

Forum member Jerry S. posted this story yesterday in our Shooters’ Forum. It shows that, with the right bullet and good shot placement, the diminutive 6BR is more than enough cartridge for deer.

I decided to try something different this year. Instead of dragging out my trusty .44 Smith or the 6.5×55 Remington 700, I took my 6mmBR Norma Prairie Dog rifle deer hunting. We got a lot of wet sloppy snow the week before the opener and had a freezing drizzle on the first morning. I decided to hunt close to the house since my old bones couldn’t handle the trip to my normal hunting stand.

I set the 6mmBR P-dog rifle up on my shooting bench and began the long, cold wait. The deer trail I was watching is about 180 – 230 yards from where I was sitting.

Buck Lined up in Cross-hairs
At about 2:30 this afternoon, I was watching some does feeding along the trail and looked away for a minute then looked back and saw a third deer moving up behind them. A quick check in the spotting scope showed horns and I got behind the rifle. There is no safety on my P-dog gun so it wasn’t loaded and I quickly chambered a round. The does stepped into the woods and the buck stopped for a minute and looked right at me. I centered the cross hairs on his chest and touched the trigger. I could hear the impact as he leaped straight in the air and hit the ground running into the woods.

6mmBR and .338 Win Magnum

I figured it was a good hit, so I poured a cup of coffee and relaxed for a bit to let him tire out and drop. After my coffee, I picked up my 6.5×55 and went out to where he was shot. I was 190 yards from my bench and there was no blood. He was headed toward a swamp south of me so I figured I’d cut him off and see if I could cut his trail farther into the bush. I hadn’t gone ten yards when I came across a good blood trail.

Deer blood trail

I followed it for a few more yards and found him crumpled up. He had only gone 25 yards from where he was shot. While I was looking at him and taking photos, two more deer showed up. You can see one standing on the other side of my rifle.

Deer staring at hunter

My buddy brought his 4-wheeler over and helped me drag it to the house where we skinned it out. The bullet had taken the top off the heart and he was totally bled out. All in all, it was a successful hunt, and the 6mmBR did its job.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
March 23rd, 2010

Redding Adds 358/25 WSSM Dies for Indiana Hunters

Redding Reloading Equipment has responded to the requirements of Indiana Deer Hunters with the addition of the 358/25 WSSM to their line of regular production “Custom Series” reloading dies. The following 358/25 WSSM dies are available: full-length sizing die, neck-sizing die, and a 3-die deluxe set including both full-length and neck-sizing dies plus a seating die with crimp.

Redding 358/25 WSSM dies

This 358/25 WSSM wildcat cartridge has gained favor as an alternative to standard handgun calibers under Indiana’s hunting regulations, which allow the use of cartridges with a bullet diameter of .357″ or larger and a maximum case length of 1.625” during Indiana’s firearms deer season. The 358/25 WSSM can be used in both bolt action and modern sporting rifle styles. The round produces effective terminal ballistics on whitetail deer.

For more info or to order a current Redding catalog contact: Redding Reloading Equipment, 1089 Starr Road Cortland, NY 13045, or visit Redding-Reloading.com.

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April 17th, 2009

Deer 1, Hunter 0 — Or Why You Should Practice Before the Hunt.

Should you sight-in your rifle and practice shooting before you head off into the woods on your deer-hunting trip? Yes, indeed. In the video below we don’t know whether the unlucky hunter’s scope wasn’t adjusted correctly, or maybe he was just a miserable marksman. Many of you may have seen this video before, but it’s still pretty amazing. NOTE: If you are at work, you may want to turn down your volume before launching the video.

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