January 5th, 2017

Berger Bullets Joins Nammo Group — How This Benefits Shooters

Berger Joins Nammo group Lapua Vihtavuori

Berger Bullets is becoming part of the Nammo Group, joining Lapua, Vihtavuori, and SK Ammo. This is big news, as it combines one of America’s leading bullet-makers with a major global enterprise that produces superior loaded ammunition, powder, bullets, and brass. This is potentially a boon for shooters as Nammo’s resources will help Berger increase production capacity, expand its line of products (including loaded ammunition), develop new bullet types, and invest in new, advanced machinery that should increase output and efficiency. In addition, we do expect to see new lines of loaded ammo combining Lapua brass with Berger match bullets. That combo will be tough to beat. Overall, this is a very positive development for Berger which will be able to call upon Nammo’s engineering expertise and advanced production technologies. It’s also a great thing for shooters, who can expect improved availability of the most popular Berger projectiles.

Berger Joins Nammo group Lapua VihtavuoriBerger Will Be Leaving California
As part of the acquisition of Berger Bullets by the Nammo Group, Berger plans to relocate its operations, moving its factory from the current Fullerton, California location. Berger will definitely be leaving California in the future.

Eric Stecker, Berger’s President, says the exact timing of the move has not yet been set, nor has the location been chosen. Arizona is high on the list of potential sites, but Berger is considering other states as well. Once the new factory location is determined, Eric says he expects the move to be completed “by December 2018 at the latest”.

In this exclusive AccurateShooter.com interview, Berger President Eric Stecker talks about Nammo’s acquisition of Berger Bullets and explains how that will bring about important positive changes, including increased production capability.

Notice from Berger Bullets

We take great pride and tremendous pleasure in announcing that Berger Bullets has joined forces with the Nammo Group. This Norwegian/Finnish corporation control many premium brands including Lapua (Brass, Bullets, Ammo), Vihtavuori Powder, and SK Rimfire Ammunition.

The joining of Berger Bullets with these world renowned, premium brands ushers in a new era of quality, performance and product availability for the discerning shooter. Today, under the Nammo Group ownership, we join three other companies that share a strong passion and commitment to precision shooting performance. We are very excited to join forces with these premium quality brands, which are committed to precision and quality.

Nammo Resources Will Help Berger Grow
The Nammo Group brings to Berger Bullets a level of support that is rivaled by few and bested by none. Nammo will support us in many areas including production capability expansion, advanced engineering, innovative product development, and the opportunity to share technology between all of these top quality brands.

Our immediate goal is to significantly improve the availability of Berger products. Throughout our history the demand for Berger Bullets has exceeded our capacity even as we’ve grown our output capabilities numerous multiples over the last few decades. Our first obligation to our customers is to improve the availability while we remain committed to our highest level of quality in the industry. Much of what has made Berger Bullets successful will remain unchanged. Bryan Litz is developing more great bullets for Berger and our technicians will still be answering your emails and calls.

Our website will remain at www.BergerBullets.com and all methods of contacts will remain the same for now. As we run across any changes, we’ll make sure we keep you updated on our website and through emails. So please, keep your information current on your email subscription and we promise to keep you posted.

Berger Joins Nammo group Lapua Vihtavuori

The Nammo Group, www.Nammo.com, supplies high performance products to the aerospace & defense industry. Its core businesses are military and commercial ammunition; shoulder-fired systems; rocket motors; and demilitarization services. Nammo has 2,100 employees located in 12 countries.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 13 Comments »
November 14th, 2016

SAKO Factory Tour in Finland — And Tests For Hunters

Beretta Factory SAKO Tour Finland

Beretta, makers of fine shotguns, rifles, and pistols, also owns Finnish rifle-maker SAKO. In this article, which first appeared in the Beretta Blog, hunting guide Mia Anstine writes about her visit to the Sako factory and her live-fire shooting test to secure her hunting permit. CLICK HERE for full story.

Visting the SAKO Factory in Finland, by Mia Anstine
What a joy to wake up in Finland and prepare for a tour of Sako. I enjoyed a European breakfast with a view of downtown Helsinki. Shortly I joined the hosts and writer’s group, and we boarded the bus for a ride to Riihimaki, to the manufacturing facility.

Sako built its original manufacturing facility during World War I. To this day they still utilize the original buildings but have also grown over the years to include larger production areas and updated equipment.

Video shows Sako Rifle-Making and Hunting in Finland’s Backcountry (worth watching):

Beretta Holding’s acquisition of the Sako company brought additional opportunity for growth. The company added state-of-the-art machinery which has aided in increased production. However, they’ve still maintained their signature quality-built products by keeping the human element integrated throughout the production line.

After a quick tour of the Sako facility, we headed to the shooting range. We shot a number or Sako and Tikka rifles, but first, we sighted in our hunting rifles in preparation for a brown bear and moose hunt. I would be hunting with a Sako model 85 Hunter chambered in 9.3 mm. (Editor: For fans of this big 0.366 caliber, Sako offers both 9.3x62mm and 9.3x66mm Sako chamberings).

Beretta Factory SAKO Tour Finland

Hunters Must Pass Marksmanship Tests
To hunt bear in Finland, you must first pass a hunting test as well as shooting test. The timed, live-fire event [requires] five rounds in the kill zone of a brown bear at 100 meters. Of course, the ever-courteous Finns had ladies go first, so I felt more than a bit of pressure, and I know I shot a bit faster than necessary. Regardless, I cycled rounds and passed with ease.

Next, we headed to a different bay at the shooting range where we experienced the hunting test from days of old. In this test, we shot from standing position at a moose target. First, we shot three rounds in the kill zone, from 100 meters, and then three at the moose target as it raced by, from right-to-left and left-to-right, at 20 kilometers per hour. While this test is no longer required, it was a pleasure to try our hands at it.

CLICK HERE for full story on BERETTA BLOG

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 2 Comments »
October 11th, 2016

Berger Bullets Joins Nammo Group

Berger Bullets Nammo Press release Nammo group Lapua brass ammunition

Breaking News: Berger Bullets Joins Nammo Group

The Nammo Group, parent of Lapua and Vihtavuori, has announced the acquisition of Berger Bullets, one of the USA’s leading bullet makers. With Berger Bullets joining the Nammo Group, this teams America’s ultra-premium bullet-maker with what is arguably the world’s most respected cartridge brass and ammunition-maker. This is huge news. For competition shooters this may be a “marriage made in heaven”. Many top shooters, including champions like Bryan Litz and John Whidden, are already shooting Berger bullets in Lapua brass. This merger will make it easier for the two companies (Berger and Lapua) to optimize the performance of factory ammo, as well as to optimize brass for use with Berger match projectiles.

A spokesman for Lapua said that Lapua will continue to make bullets in Europe while Berger will conduct its regular operations in the USA: “Lapua will still make bullets, and it will be ‘business as usual’ for Berger at this time. There are no plans to change production sites to consolidate product lines. Berger will continue to operate as an independent business, just under the Nammo umbrella.” NOTE: This acquisition will be subject to regulatory approvals by U.S. governmental authorities.

On firearm industry analyst believes this merger is a “win-win” for both Berger and Nammo: “This will help Berger export more product to the European market while it will give Nammo a stronger connection to the huge U.S. firearms market, expanding Nammo’s North American customer base”. Nammo president/CEO Morten Brandtzæg concurred, stating: “Having Berger Bullets on board is the perfect match for Nammo. Their products, which are complementary to our other premium brands, will strengthen our group’s strategic position in the U.S. commercial ammunition market.” This acquistion WILL include Berger’s ABM Ammunition and J-4 Jackets product lines.

Here is the press release issued by the Nammo Group, which is headquartered in Norway and has 2,100 employees in 12 countries:

Berger Bullets Nammo Press release Nammo group Lapua brass ammunition

(more…)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 6 Comments »
August 22nd, 2015

Lapua Launches Lapua Club for Customers

Lapua Club membership promotion contest

Lapua, the Finnish maker of premium cartridge brass, bullets, and ammunition, has created a new Lapua Club for Lapua’s customers and product users. By signing up for the Lapua Club, you can get access to “members-only” data. In addition, by registering multiple products, you can get rewards such as Lapua hats and holsters. For each product registered you’ll also get a chance to win instant prizes or a Grand Prize Whitetail Hunt.

CLICK HERE for LAPUA CLUB Registration Information

How to Sign Up for the Lapua Club
Join the Lapua Club by scanning the QR code on your 2015 Lapua ammunition box, Lapua cartridge case box, or Lapua bullet package. Use your mobile phone to read the QR code on your Lapua package(s), or go to http://www.club.lapua.com/en/campaign/lapua-club/ and directly type in the code. (NOTE: Packages that do not have a QR code may have a card in the box with the QR code.) By registering your package(s) you become entitled to exclusive Lapua Club member benefits.

NOTE: Lapua recommends that customers register each cartridge package separately. The more products you register, the more Lapua gear you can get:

By registering 5 products or more you can qualify for a Lapua Cap.

By registering 10 products or more you can qualify for a Lapua Holster.

Lapua notes: “If you have purchased multiple cartridge packages, you should register all of them separately. Each package code … gives you a chance to win instant prizes and take part in our main [contest]. Whether or not your package codes won an instant prize, each of them will also compete for the grand prize: a ticket to the Lapua White Tail Hunt 2015 event.”

Register your Lapua Products by entering the QR code on Lapua product packages.
Lapua Club membership promotion contest

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 11 Comments »
December 4th, 2014

New Lapua Brass for 2015: 300 BLK, 7mm-08, 8x57mm JS

Every year we anxiously await the new product announcement from Lapua. In 2014, Lapua brought out new bullets and new cartridge brass — .221 Fireball and .50 BMG. For 2015, Lapua once again brings out new brass offerings, this time three new flavors of cartridge brass, all made to Lapua’s exacting standards. First, Lapua will introduce factory 300 AAC Blackout (300 BLK) brass. This promises to take this highly-efficient, AR-friendly .30-caliber cartridge to another accuracy level. Second, Lapua will offer premium brass for the 7mm-08 cartridge, a very popular round among hunters and silhouette shooters. Lastly, in 2015, Lapua will produce 8x57mm JS brass. That’s good news for fans of this classic Mauser cartridge.

Lapua 2015 cartridge brass casing 300 blackout blk 7-08 7mm-08 Remington 8x57mm JS 8x57

300 AAC Blackout Brass

Lapua’s Press release states: “Few cartridges have generated as much immediate interest as the 300 Blackout. Standardized by AAC, this diminutive cartridge is derived from the 223 Remington. Intended specifically for use in suppressed firearms, the versatility of the Blackout has appealed to a much broader range of shooters than just the audience for which it was originally designed. [Originally] intended to drive 220 grain bullets at subsonic velocities, the switch to lightweight bullets such as the 125 grain offerings delivers performance very similar to the venerable 7.62×39 cartridge. This makes the 300 Blackout potent enough for a wide range of shooting tasks, from certain tactical applications to many short range hunting situations involving medium-sized game. The ability for many 5.56mm/223 systems to be switched over to the 300 Blackout, merely by changing barrels, makes this an incredibly versatile combination. Lapua brings over nine decades of case manufacturing knowledge, precision and quality to the new Blackout, assuring the shooter of the very best performance.”

Lapua 2015 cartridge brass casing 300 blackout blk 7-08 7mm-08 Remington 8x57mm JS 8x57

7mm-08 Remington Brass

Lapua 2015 cartridge brass casing 300 blackout blk 7-08 7mm-08 Remington 8x57mm JS 8x57Lapua notes that it’s new 7mm-08 brass is made to very high standards, benefiting hunters as well as competitors: “The 7mm-08 came to dominate the High Power Silhouette rifle game shortly after its introduction, offering a superb combination of power, light recoil and accuracy. Since then, it has also been used to win National Championships in High Power competition, and become a staple for hunters as well. With ballistic performance exceeding that of the time honored 7x57mm Mauser, but suited to a shorter action, the 7mm-08 is an ideal cartridge for most big game hunting. Lapua brings… state-of-the-art manufacturing methods, combined with old world craftsmanship, to the production of these cases. Primer pockets and flash holes are held to strict tolerances to withstand repeated firings and reloadings. After final necking of the case, they are finished with the proper anneal [for] accuracy and durability.” Lapua also notes that it offers two new 7mm Scenar bullets, which will work very well in the new 7mm-08 cartridge brass.

8x57mm JS Brass

Last but not least, Lapua is producing 8x57mm JS brass. Lapua notes that: “When the 8x57mm JS cartridge was introduced in 1905, its innovative use of a high velocity and relatively light weight pointed bullet design revolutionized infantry combat. An outgrowth on the original 8x57J military round, the 8x57mm JS round served the German military in both world wars, and became a popular sporting cartridge in any area where there was a strong German influence. From African plains game to European stag and boar, the 8mm Mauser has earned an enviable reputation as a big game round in a wide array of conditions. Accurate, versatile and powerful, the 8x57mm JS still serves the sporting community well for a host of hunting applications. In answer to the requests of the many devotees of this fine cartridge, Lapua is pleased to announce our introduction of the new 8x57mmJS case. The new 8x57mmJS will deliver the same accurate, reliable performance for which Lapua cases are world renowned. This means tough, durable cases that will not only withstand repeated loadings, but retain their accuracy shot after shot. [Lapua’s 8x57mm JS brass offers] very tight tolerances in neck wall concentricity and overall uniformity.”

Lapua 2015 cartridge brass casing 300 blackout blk 7-08 7mm-08 Remington 8x57mm JS 8x57

See Lapua’s New Products at SHOT Show 2015
If you plan to attend SHOT Show in Las Vegas, stop by and visit the Lapua Exhibit (booth #11929). With luck, samples of the new 7mm-08, 300 BLK, and 8×57 JS brass will be available to view. Lapua engineers will be on hand to talk about Lapua brass and bullets, and explain the production processes that make Lapua brass so durable and consistent. In recent years, in the world of centerfire competition, Lapua brass has absolutely dominated the winner’s circles as well as the record-books.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 16 Comments »
October 5th, 2014

Short-Range Benchrest Shooting Techniques Demonstrated

Benchrest Shooting Finland free recoilIn these two videos from the Rekyyli Ja Riista (Recoil and Game) YouTube Channel, you can see how a modern, short-range benchrest rifle is shot. Note how the gun tracks superbly, returning right on target, shot after shot. As a result, the shooter doesn’t have to adjust the rifle position after firing (other than pushing the gun forward), so he can quickly load and fire within seconds of the previous shot. Good rests and consistent, smooth bolt actuation keep the gun from rocking.

It does take practice to perfect the right technique for shooting free recoil (or nearly free recoil — with just a pinch on the trigger guard). And, of course, you must have a very good bag/rest set-up and the stock geometry and rifle balance must be perfect. The ammo caddy also helps by placing the cartridge up high, right next to the left-aide loading port. Hats off to Forum member Boyd Allen for finding these videos. Boyd told us: “Watch carefully — Now this is how it’s done.” [Work Warning: Loud gunshot noises — Turn Down Volume before playback.]

Permalink - Videos, Competition 7 Comments »
July 5th, 2014

Download FREE Updated Vihtavuori Reloading Guide PDF

The digital version of the Vihtavuori Reloading Guide (13th Edition) has been updated. It can be downloaded for FREE in PDF Format.

CLICK HERE to Download Vihtavuori Reloading Guide (Updated June, 2014)

Vihtavuori Reloading GuideIn this latest update, two new calibers have been added: .221 Remington Fireball and .300 AAC Blackout. (Lapua now makes .221 Fireball brass.) In addition, there is updated data for the popular .260 Remington cartridge. That’s good news as we know that many of our readers are looking for load data for the .260 Rem. Vihtavuori makes a variety of powders well-suited for both hunting and match loads in the .260 Rem.

The Vihtavuori Reloading Guide covers more than 20 different types of VV reloading powders. It was most recently updated in June, 2014. The online reloading info database at Vihtavuori.com has also been updated.

Vihtavuori Reloading Guide

Data Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Reloading 10 Comments »
March 14th, 2014

See Lapua Rimfire and Centerfire Ammo Being Made

Lapua brass and Scenar BulletsLapua has a very cool video — “eye candy” for any precision shooter. Definitely WATCH THIS VIDEO. This 12-minute video contains a surprising amount of “hard” info on Lapua products. As well, there are some amazing segments showing Lapua brass and rimfire ammo being produced. Watch carefully and you’ll see most of the processes used for forming and loading brass. Another short segment shows a Lapua technician inspecting a case for run-out. Neat.

The video spotlights some of the important American and international records set with Lapua ammo. You’ll see top 300m and Olympic rifle shooters in action, and there are also short comments from many champions, including American Benchrest legend Tony Boyer.

NOTE: This is long video — you may need to let it buffer (pre-load) for 10-20 seconds before playback. If that doesn’t work, let the entire video load, then hit the replay button.
Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this VideoPress video.

Yes, this video is first and foremost a marketing tool, but that doesn’t lessen that fact that it is fascinating to watch. We suspect many of you will want to save the video to your computer for future viewing. That’s easy to do. Just click on the link below. (Note: After downloading, we suggest that PC users play it back through Windows Media Player. You can then drag the Media Player corners to expand the video viewing size.)

CLICK HERE to download 25mb Lapua Video (fast connection recommended).

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
January 20th, 2014

Nammo Announces Acquisition of Vihtavuori

Nammo Lapua acquires VihtavuoriIt’s official. Representatives of Lapua announced at SHOT Show 2014 that Nammo has purchased Vihtavuori, acquiring the “VV” line of propellants, and, most importantly, taking over Vihtavuori’s powder production facility in Vihtavuori, Finland.

This means that Vihtavuori is now officially under the Nammo umbrella as is Lapua, producer of brass, bullets, and loaded ammunition. Lapua engineer Tommi Tuuri has visited the Vihtavuori plant in person. Tommi says all operations are going well and the plant is running at normal capacity (but Nammo does plan some upgrades in the months ahead). Vihtavuori powders will continue to be imported into the United States as before and the powders will be made available through existing distribution channels.

Learn More about Nammo Purchase of Vihtavuori Powder Factory


The Vihtavuori Powder factory is located in Vihtavuori, Finland. Click marker to zoom.

View Larger Map

Permalink - Videos, News 1 Comment »
December 19th, 2013

Nammo Buys Vihtavuori Plant from Eurenco — It’s Official

Vihtavuori powder fans can rest a bit easier now…

Nammo buys Vihtavuori Powder FactoryBreaking News: Just hours ago the Nammo Group announced that it has acquired the Finnish company Eurenco Vihtavuori OY, which produces Vihtavuori powders. This deal was finalized through the signing of a Share Purchase Agreement today, December 19, 2013.

The official press release adds that: “The agreement is subject to approval by French authorities. Filing is done and approval is expected to be granted within short time.” CLICK HERE to read Nammo/Eurenco Press Release PDF.

Nammo Lapua buys shares of Eurenco Vihtavuori Finland

Permalink News 2 Comments »
December 14th, 2013

Lapua 2014 News — .221 Fireball and .50 BMG Brass, 7mm Bullets

Lapua just dropped a bombshell — multiple bombshells, in fact. Lapua just announced that it will be producing .221 Fireball brass and .50 BMG brass starting early 2014. This will be the first truly match-grade brass ever offered for the .221 Fireball. That’s great news for varminters, who can use Lapua’s new .221 Fireball brass “as is” or neck it down to .20 Vartarg or 17 Fireball. Tactical shooters can also use the .221 Fireball brass to make the .300 Whisper and 300 Blackout sub-sonic cartridges. At the other end of the spectrum, ultra-long-range shooters now have a new ultra-premium brass source for the mighty .50 BMG. This is potentially a “game-changer” for fifty-cal shooters who have had to “make do” with military surplus brass for the most part. Lapua says the new brass, both .50 BMG and .221 Fireball, should be in the USA by early April, 2014. Sorry, no pricing info is yet available.

Here is the Lapua Product Announcement for .221 Fireball and .50 BMG Brass:

Lapua Nammo .221 Fireball 50BMG fifty caliber .50 cartridge brass cases Finland

New 180-Grain and 150-Grain 7mm Scenar-L Bullets
The other big news from Lapua is the release of two new 7mm (.284 caliber) Scenar-L target bullets. Recognizing the popularity of 7mm cartridges among F-Class Open Division shooters, Lapua will offer a high-BC, 180-grain bullet. As part of the “L” series, this new 180-grainer bullet should exhibit extreme consistency in base-to-ogive measurements and bullet weight. We expect this new 180gr projectile to be extremely accurate in the .284 Winchester, .284 Shehane, 7mm WSM, and 7mm RSAUM — popular chamberings for F-Class and long-range benchrest shooters. No BC information has been released yet, but we expect the BC number to be quite high, giving this bullet great wind-bucking capability. In addition to the new 180gr 7mm Scenar-L, Lapua will offer a new 150gr 7mm bullet. This is optimized for medium range competition in Silhouette and Across-the-Course competition. It should offer great accuracy, but with less felt recoil than its 180-grain bigger brother.

Lapua Nammo 7mm .284 Scenar L 180 VLD .221 Fireball 50BMG fifty caliber .50 cartridge brass cases Finland

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News 13 Comments »
December 7th, 2013

Benefits of Sound Suppressors Demonstrated in Surefire Video

If you are considering purchasing a sound moderator (aka “suppressor” or “can”) for one or more of your rifles, a video from Surefire explains the many benefits of modern suppressors. Sound moderators not only reduce the audible sound coming from a firearm, but they also reduce flash signature, dust signature, and recoil.

Surefire Suppressor

In the video below, Surefire highlights the features and benefits of its line of quick-attach suppressors. These are crafted from special alloys that are “stronger at 1000° F than stainless steel is cold.” While the video focuses on the use of suppressors by military and police personnel, these devices are also beneficial for hunters and competitive tactical shooters.

YouTube Preview Image

Noise Reduction
A shot from a .308 Win rifle can be as loud as 167 db to the shooter. Notably, the noise level can be just as great to someone positioned one meter away (Source: 1999 Finish Suppressor Trials). What’s worse is that popular muzzle brakes can INCREASE shooters’ noise exposure by 5 to 10 db. The noise level at which hearing damage can occur is about 140 db. A quality modern suppressor can reduce .308 Win rifle shot noise levels to 130 db or less.

Finland Suppressor Test Trials

Surefire SuppressorFlash Signature Reduction
For a varminter, a quality suppressor can reduce the visible muzzle flash from a rifle by 90% or more. That’s important when hunting at night. The bright flash can both spook game and temporarily degrade the hunters’ night vision. Using a suppressor can help the shooter maintain his night-adapted vision.

Recoil Reduction
Recoil reduction is a real benefit. In 1992, Finland’s National Board of Labor Protection tested a variety of suppressors on both bolt-action hunting rifles and select-fire military rifles. The study concluded that recoil reduction was significant: “Suppressors reduced recoil energy by 20 to 30 percent, or about as must as muzzle brakes, making powerful bolt-action hunting rifles considerably less painful to shoot (especially repeated shots in training).”

Dust Signature
When firing prone, a rifle with a muzzle brake kicks up a large cloud of dust. (Watch video at 3:00). In a military situation, this dust signature can reveal the shooter’s position — with potentially disastrous consequences. For a tactical competitor, the dust may prevent recognition of a hit while impeding a rapid second-shot. For the varminter, the dust cloud is a nuisance that may prevent him from seeing his hits, while sending critters scurrying back into cover.

Message to Politicians — Suppressors Will Save Tax Dollars
Here is an interesting finding from the 1992 Finland Suppressor Project: “The unit price of a mass-produced suppressor may be reduced to $50 to $70 (1992 prices). [This low cost] will make cost-effectiveness of the suppressor far better than that of any shooting range [sound-proofing]… and, actually, also better than the cost-effectiveness of hearing protection, especially when several persons are present while just one of them is shooting at a time.” Too bad most politicians can’t seem to understand these points. They still view suppressors as evil tools employed by gangsters, rather than proven safety devices that will reduce noise pollution.

Is the “price of noise” something we really need to consider from a public policy standpoint? Absolutely. In 2004 the Veterans Administration paid out $633.8 million in compensation to 378,982 vets whose main disability is hearing loss. Only a small fraction of those vets saw combat; most damaged their hearing during weapons training activities.

Resources:
Finnish Suppressor Trials 1999 Chart
Finnish Suppressor Trials 1999 (.308 Sound Measurements)
Finnish Suppressor Project 1992 (English Summary)
Finnish Suppressor Project 1992 Procedures

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 19th, 2013

Video Reveals Lapua’s Commitment to Quality

Lapua brass and Scenar BulletsIn a world where too many companies have down-graded product quality and durability, we’re lucky there are some fanatical Finns who build great stuff for shooters. For serious handloaders, the cartridge brass of choice is made by Lapua in Finland. Lapua brass lasts longer than most other brands of cartridge brass, with industry-leading case-to-case uniformity. How do the Finns manage to make such good brass and loaded ammo? This informative video provides insights into Lapua’s “passion for precision”. This “must watch”, 12-minute video contains a surprising amount of “hard” info on Lapua products, with segments showing Lapua brass and rimfire ammo being produced. Watch carefully and you’ll see most of the processes used for forming and loading brass. Another short segment shows a Lapua technician inspecting a case for run-out.

The video spotlights some of the important American and international records set with Lapua ammo. You’ll see top 300m and Olympic rifle shooters in action, and there are also short comments from many champions, including American Benchrest legend Tony Boyer.

NOTE: This is long video — you may need to let it buffer (pre-load) for 10 seconds before playback. If that doesn’t work, let the entire video load, then hit the replay button.
Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this VideoPress video.

Yes, this video is first and foremost a marketing tool, but that doesn’t lessen that fact that it is fascinating to watch. Lapua’s video also does a great job making our sport seem important and exciting — NRA take note! We suspect many of you will want to save the video to your computer for future viewing. That’s easy to do. Just click on the link below. (Note: After downloading, we suggest that PC users play it back through Windows Media Player. You can then drag the Media Player corners to expand the video viewing size.)

CLICK HERE to download Lapua Video (Lo-Res, 24 megs).

CLICK HERE to download Lapua Video (Hi-Res, 258 megs, fast connection recommended).

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
May 25th, 2013

Lapua’s Champion Shooters Visit Lapua Factory in Finland

To celebrate its 90th anniversary, Lapua invited six of its shooting team members to visit the firm’s ammunition factory in Lapua, Finland. The team members hailed from six countries around the world: Kevin Nevius (USA), Eva Friedel (Germany), Josselin Henry (France), Charlotte Jakobsen (Denmark), Kim-Andre Lund (Norway), and Peter Sidi (Hungary). Watch the video to follow these six shooters as they tour the Lapua ammo factory, and then compete in a 100m/600m fun match at Lapua’s test range.

See Lapua Ammunition Factory from the Inside

After being greated by Nammo Lapua CEO Raimo Helasmäki, the six lucky shooters got to tour production facilities, visit the old cartridge factory museum, and share ideas with Lapua R&D engineer Tommi Tuuri. The engineer observed: “No matter how much you calculate, there are always some surprises — things you can only know from the test runs.”

Lapua Factory Visit

Lapua Factory VisitCompetition at 100m and 600m
The trip finished with a friendly “bragging rights” match at Lapua’s own Ampumarata Shooting Range. These six champions had to quickly master two very different rifles, a Panda-actioned 6PPC benchrest rig for 100m and a SAKO TRG-42 in .338 Lapua Magnum for long range (600m). Kim-Andre Lund from Norway won the benchrest match with a 0.157″ (3.98mm) group. Not bad for a position shooter not familiar with this kind of gun, or this rest configuration. Kim observed: “I think maybe I’m in the wrong discipline, maybe benchrest is the thing for me”. Check out his target at right.

The USA’s own Kevin Nevius posted the top score with the big .338 LM. Kevin had a great time: “I’m a bonafied gun nut… so to come to a factory that manufactures ammunition is a dream come true.”

Lapua Factory Visit

Lapua Factory Visit

This video features a factory walk-through showing bullet-making, cartridge forming, and bullet packaging. Near the end (at 5:40 time-mark) is a fascinating sequence showing the high-speed robotic arms that pick loaded ammunition from the assembly line.

Lapua Factory Visit

Lapua Factory Visit

Beautiful Lapua 6.5-284 brass awaits packaging and shipping.
Lapua Factory Visit

Permalink - Videos, News 1 Comment »
June 20th, 2012

Eurenco to Sell Vihtavuori Plant, But Production Should Continue

Eurenco VihtavuoriEurenco (European Energetics Corporation) is a French company owned by the SNPE Group. Eurenco specializes in production of propellants and explosives. Eurenco currently owns and operates five modern production plants in Belgium (Clermont), Finland (Vihtavuori), France (Bergerac, Sorgues) and Sweden (Bofors AB, Karlskoga). Readers are doubtless familiar with Vihtavuori powders, which are marketed and distributed by the Nammo Lapua group based in Finland. Though Nammo Lapua distributes Vihtavuori powder, Eurenco actually owns the Vihtavuori factory located in Vihtavuori, Finland.

Eurenco Looks for Buyer for Vihtavuori Plant
On June 18, Eurenco stated that it is “considering” selling the Vihtavuori Ltd. production facility to a third party. This factory currently employs 100 workers, and has annual revenues of $15 million Euros.

Eurenco VihtavuoriEurenco hopes to sell the plant to a Finnish company, and we are informed that at least one investment group from Finland is interested. Eurenco revealed no immediate plans to shut the facility or to curtail production while Eurenco seeks a buyer. However, Eurenco said that the primary reason for selling the plant was reduced military demand for Vihtavuori products in recent years.

Read Related News Story from Finland. (Use Google Translator for English Version).

No Change in Vihtavuori Powder Distribution in USA
We discussed the potential Vihtavuori factory sale with Adam Braverman, U.S. representative for Nammo Lapua. Adam first noted that Nammo Lapua is NOT a potential buyer for the plant: “That’s not on the table.” But Adam emphasized that he forsees no changes to the current Vihtavuori distribution scheme: “Vihtavuori powder buyers should expect ‘business as usual’. We do not forsee any price or product availablity changes in the short term. There is plenty of powder inventory available, so we can fill all existing demands through the end of 2012.” While Eurenco looks for a new owner of the Vihtavuori plant, there will be no changes to the current system of distribution of Vihtavuori powders in the USA. Adam said: “There is plenty of powder in the European warehouses, and Nammo Lapua will continue to export Vihtavuori propellants to the USA importers (Hodgdon and Kaltron) who will distribute them to our retailers. We do not anticipate any supply shortages.”

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October 13th, 2011

Nammo-Lapua Exec Visits NRA Headquarters and AUSA Show

NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia was recently visited by Raimo Helasmaki of the Nammo Group. Based in Finland, Nammo is the parent company of Lapua, manufacturer of ammunition and reloading components. Helasmaki, Executive VP of Nammo’s Small Caliber Division, was in the Washington, DC area for the annual Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) trade show. We’re glad to see a top European executive travel to the USA where he can get direct feedback from American shooters on his company’s product line.

nammo lapua ausa

nammo lapua ausa

CLICK HERE for AUSA 2011 Annual Meeting & Exposition Web Site

Lapua was founded in 1923 as a state-owned cartridge company. Over the years, Lapua kept perfecting its product in response to the needs of its worldwide customer base. Lapua remains an industry leader, creating some of the most accurate ammunition, brass, and bullets on the planet. Proof is in the performance — 80% of the Biathlon medals at the 2010 Winter Olympic in Munich were won by athletes using Lapua ammunition.

nammo lapua ausa

Helasmaki met with several NRA officials in Fairfax, including NRA’s General Operation Executive Director Kayne Robinson. To wrap things up, he toured the National Firearms Museum, guided by Phil Schreier, Senior Museum curator (at left in photo above).

Photos and story courtesy The NRA Blog.
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January 26th, 2011

SHOT Show Report: Lapua .260 Rem Brass and “L” Series Bullets

You’ve probably heard by now, but this is big news, so it bears repeating. Lapua has started production of .260 Remington cartridge brass. Lapua hopes to deliver the first shipments to the USA by late March, 2011. This is a very positive development for hunters, high power shooters, and tactical shooters. With the latest generation of powders (including Reloder 17), the .260 Remington is a potent cartridge with the 140gr-class bullets, and it hammers with the Lapua Scenar 123s or Berger 130s, and H4350-speed powders. In the video below, Kevin Thomas, Lapua’s USA Marketing Manager, provides more specifics about the .260 brass, and Lapua’s other new-for-2011 products.

Lapua 105 L ScenarOn the bullet front, Lapua is proudly rolling out its new “L” series of projectiles, starting with the 6mm 105gr Scenar and then expanding to the whole Scenar match bullet line. NOTE: These are NOT new bullet designs — Lapua is not changing the bullet shapes, weights, or internal construction. So you’ll be getting the same bullets, only with tighter tolerances, and improved quality control.

Lapua has tightened its production tolerances for the L series of bullets. Lapua claims that the L series of bullets will be more uniform in weight, with improved concentricity. Length from base of bullet to ogive will be held to very tight tolerances. Apart from the notations on the box, the new Lapua L bullets will be marked with an “L” crest stamped on the bullet heel. Lapua claims this tiny stamp will not affect accuracy nor reduce the bullet’s ballistic coefficient.

Lapua explains: “We have set out to tighten all measures and requirements, including our already famous quality control standards.” Scenar L bullets will exhibit: “closer weight tolerances, tighter jacket wall concentricity standards, and greater uniformity in every dimension, starting from the gilding metal cup, lead wire and jacket forming, ending up to core-jacket assembly, boat tail pressing and tipping.”

Lapua 105 L Scenar

Lapua Scenar L 105 6mmTesting the Scenar Ls for Uniformity
Are the new Scenar “L” series bullets actually more uniform than previous Scenars (which were really very, very good)? Based on my quick test of 20 sample bullets pulled at random from a box, I would say the 105gr Scenar Ls are some of the most uniform factory bullets ever. Adam Braverman gave me a box of the new 105gr Scenar “L” bullets. I randomly chose twenty (20) bullets, and measured them base to ogive using a Hornady comparator. With the exception of one bullet, everything was pretty much “dead on”. I listed two at 0.7125″, but they were awfully close to the others. Basically, except for the one bullet measuring 0.711″, they were all the same within the practical resolution of my calipers. Very impressive indeed.

All Bullets within One-Tenth of Grain
Next I checked for weight uniformity. I weighed each of the 20 bullets twice, using a calibrated RCBS ChargeMaster scale. NOTE: This is NOT a lab quality scale. The 0.1 grain total spread among the bullets is within the scale’s range of error. But I did weigh each bullet at least twice, and the ones that were one-tenth of a grain light I weighed four times. Three bullets out of the twenty measured 105.2 grains. All the rest were 105.3 grains. Remarkable.

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July 1st, 2010

New Lapua 22-250 Brass is Ultra-Consistent in Weight

Lapua’s new 22-250 brass has finally started to arrive on dealers’ shelves. Forum member William P. (aka “Heath”) just got two boxes of the new brass. Both boxes have the same lot number. Heath was kind enough to sort the brass and report his findings.

Lapua 22-250 brass

Based on Heath’s 200-count sample, we can say this new brass is very, very consistent in weight. The total weight spread (delta) for 200 cases was just 1.4 grains! And the vast majority, 83%, were within 0.7 grains in weight (160.3 – 161.0). For the varminter, sorting may be superfluous. Once again, Lapua has produced a superb new product, and we love the new, blue plastic boxes.

FYI, you 6mm shooters should know that the Lapua 22-250 brass can be made into quality 6XC brass. And it’s even easier to create a 6-250 wildcat. In May, Robert Whitley explained how he created a tack-driving 6-250 Wildcat from the new Lapua 22-250 brass.

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January 16th, 2009

SHOT Show Report: New Products from Lapua

For precision rifle shooters, Lapua brass is about as good as it gets. It is definitely the preferred cartridge brass for short-range benchrest, 600-yard benchrest, and F-Class competition. Jason visited the Lapua booth to find out what new products the Finnish manufacturer will offer in 2009. In the video below, Sales Manager Adam Braverman reviews Lapua’s new offerings.

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Lapua Revives .222 Remington Line
The big news is the re-introduction of .222 Remington brass. In late 2008 we revealed that Lapua would resume production of .222 Rem brass, and now we’ve learned that Lapua will be producing .222 Rem loaded ammo as well. Notably, this new .222 Rem brass (and ammo) will be produced “in-house” by Lapua. We expect it will meet the same exacting standards as other Lapua match brass. The .222 brass will be available immediately, and you should soon find it in stock at Grafs.com.

Lapua bullets BC

NEW 300gr, .338 Scenar Bullet
Big bore shooters will be pleased to know that Lapua has introduced a new 300gr, .338-caliber Scenar match bullet. When launched from the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge, the new GB528 300-grainer will stay supersonic past 1500 meters. And even at 1700 meters it still carries over 1000 Joules of energy. You won’t find the 300gr Scenar in a silver cardboard box, however. From now on, Lapua match bullets will arrive in durable blue plastic containers. That’s progress we guess.

Lapua bullets BC

New BC Data Available for QuickTARGET
The ballistic coefficient of the new 300-grainers, as well as most other Lapua bullets, can now be inputed directly into the QuickTARGET ballistics program. BC values for Lapua bullets were confirmed with actual “real world” testing using Doppler radar.

Lapua bullets BC

No luck this year for .260 Rem and Short Mag Shooters
Despite persistent rumors, we won’t be seeing .260 brass or Short Mag brass from Lapua this season — though Lapua hasn’t ruled this out for some time in the future. Lapua does invite input from shooters, particular on the Short Magnum question. If Lapua feels there is adequate demand, it might (we stress might) consider production of a short mag. The question is “which short magnum?” The WSM family certainly has been more widely adopted thus far, but for match shooters, particularly 7mm shooters, the Remington SAUM may be a more efficient (and potentially more accurate) case. Right now, Lapua is leaning to the WSM, according to our sources.

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