June 20th, 2017

Major Brand Factory Second Bullets Sale at MidwayUSA

Factory seconds blemished blem bullets 6mm 7mm .308 MidwayUSA Nosler Hornady Sierra

MidwayUSA is running a big sale on Factory Second and Blemished Bullets. These bullets normally perform just as well as regular bullets, but they may have water spots or other cosmetic defects. MidwayUSA has a very large selection of seconds/blem bullets on sale for both rifles and pistols. Here are some of the best deals we found among the quality varmint and match rifle bullets. All these selections are discounted 30%:

.224 Caliber (5.56mm) 50gr Polymer Tip Spitzer, $13.49/100 (30% Off)
.224 Caliber (5.56mm) 52gr HPBT Match, $13.29/100 (30% Off)
.224 Caliber (5.56mm) 53gr Polymer Tip BT Varmint, $13.29/100 (30% Off)
.224 Caliber (5.56mm) 77gr Nosler HPBT Match, $18.89/100 (30% Off)
.243 Caliber (6mm) 65gr Polymer Tip Spitzer Varmint, $16.09/100 (30% Off)
.264 Caliber (6.5mm) 123gr Polymer Tip BT Match, $20.29/100 (30% Off)
.264 Caliber (6.5mm) 140gr HPBT Match, $21.69/100 (30% Off)
.308 Caliber 155gr Polymer Tip Spitzer BR Match, $20.99/100 (30% Off)
.308 Caliber 168gr Polymer Tip Spitzer BT Match, $21.69/100 (30% Off)
.308 Caliber 195gr BTHP Match, $24.49/100 (30% Off)
.308 Caliber 208gr Polymer Tip Spitzer BT Match, $25.89/100 (30% Off)

Factory seconds blemished blem bullets 6mm 7mm .308 MidwayUSA Nosler Hornady Sierra

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May 27th, 2017

Video Demonstrates Lock-N-Load Press Conversion Kit

Lock N load Conversion Kit Die bushing twist lock Hornady

Would you like to swap dies in and out of a reloading press in just seconds, with a quick twist of the wrist? Hornady’s Lock ‘N Load twist-lock hardware makes that possible. This time-saving system uses “die bushings” that screw on to your dies. Don’t have Hornady press? No problem — the Lock-N-Load system can be used with non-Hornady presses via the Lock-N-Load Conversion Kit. This includes three die bushings and one press conversion insert. The adapter will work with RCBS RockChuckers and any other reloading press using a 1-1/4-12 thread. The Lock-N-Load Conversion Kit costs just $14.59 at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Watch this video to see how it works.

Product and video tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.

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May 19th, 2017

Make Your Own Threaded Case for Measuring Length to Lands

Hornady Stony Point Tool OAL O.A.L. gauge bullet seating length ogive checker

In this video, Forum member Erik Cortina shows how to create a custom modified case for use with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge (formerly the Stoney Point Tool). While Hornady sells modified cases for many standard cartridges, if you shoot a wildcat such as the 6mm Dasher or .284 Shehane, you’ll need to create a custom modified case*. And even if you shoot a standard cartridge such as the .308 Winchester you can get more consistent measurements if you make a custom modified case from a piece of brass fired in your chamber.

The process is straight-forward. Take a piece of brass fired in your chamber and full-length size it (with about .002″ shoulder bump). Then you need to drill out the primer pocket. Erik uses a mini-lathe for the operation, but this general process can be done with a drill press or other tools. Erik shows how to do this with a 0.290″ HSS (High Speed Steel) drill bit on a mini-lathe. After drilling the hole comes the tricky part — you need to tap the case with the precise 5/16″ x 36 threads per inch (tpi) right-hand thread that matches the male thread on the O.A.L. Gauge. This 5/16″ x 36 tpi tap is pretty uncommon, but you can order it from Amazon.com if you can’t source it locally.

Hornady Stony Point Tool OAL O.A.L. gauge bullet seating length ogive checker

If you use a mini-lathe, Erik suggests loosening the tailstock slightly, so it can float while cutting the threads. Erik also says: “Make sure you get the tap on pretty tight — it’s going to want to spin.” Erik turns the case at about 100 rpm when tapping the threads. Once the case and tap are rigged, the actual tapping process (see video at 6:00) takes only a few seconds. While the mini-lathe makes the tapping process go more quickly, the threading can also be done with other systems.

TIP: Don’t just make one modified case, make three. That gives you one for your range kit, one for your home reloading bench, plus a spare (since you WILL eventually lose or misplace one).


Here’s the Stuff You Need

Hornady Stony Point Tool OAL O.A.L. gauge bullet seating length ogive checker

5/16″-36 TPI Threading Tap
The required thread is somewhat uncommon. You need a 5/16″ – 36 tpi Right Hand Thread Tap. If you can’t find it locally, Amazon.com carries the correct tap. Erik notes: “The 5/16-36 tpi tap is not a common size. I think Hornady did this on purpose to make it more difficult for the average guy to make his own modified cases.”

0.290″ Drill Bit
Erik uses an 0.290″ HSS “L” drill bit. (This “L” Letter Gauge code designates a 0.290″ diameter bit). A close metric equivalent would be 7.3 mm (0.286″). Erik says: “A 9/32″ drill will also work but it will be harder to run the tap in since the hole will be .281″ instead of .290″ with the Letter Gauge L bit.”

Tips for Using O.A.L. Gauge with Modified Case
We’ve noticed that many folks have trouble getting reliable, consistent results when they first start using the Hornady O.A.L. Gauge (formerly the Stoney Point Tool). We’ve found this is usually because they don’t seat the modified case properly and because they don’t use a gentle, consistent method of advancing the bullet until it just kisses the lands.

Here is our suggested procedure for use the O.A.L. Gauge. Following this method we can typically make three of four measurements (with the same bullet), all within .001″ to .0015″. (Yes, we always measure multiple times.)

1. Clean your chamber so there is no build-up of carbon, debris, or lube. Pay particular attention to the shoulder area.

2. Screw the modified case on to the O.A.L. Gauge. Make sure it is seated firmly (and doesn’t spin loose). Note, you may have to re-tighten the modified case after insertion in the chamber.

3. Place your selected bullet so that the ogive (max bullet diameter) is behind the case mouth. This prevents the bullet from “snagging” as you insert the tool in the action.

4. Insert the O.A.L. Gauge into your chamber smoothly. Push a little until you feel resistance. IMPORTANT — You need to ensure that the shoulder of the modified case is seated firmly against the front of your chamber. You may have to wiggle and twist the tool slightly. If you do not have the modified case seated all the way in, you will NOT get a valid measurement.

5. Advance the bullet slowly. (NOTE: This is the most important aspect for consistency!). Push the rod of the O.A.L. tool gently towards the chamber. DON’T shove it hard! Easy does it. Stop when you feel resistance.

6. IMPORTANT. After gently pushing on the rod, give the end of the rod a couple forward taps with your finger. If your bullet was slightly skewed, it may have stopped too far back. Adding a couple extra taps will fix that. If the bullet moves after the taps, then again push gently on the rod. NOT too much! You just want to push the bullet until it just “kisses” the lands and then stops. Do NOT jam the bullet into the rifling. If you do that you will never get consistent results from one measurement to the next.

* For a $15.00 fee, Hornady will make a custom modified case for you if you send two fired pieces of brass. Send two fired cases and $15.00 check to: Hornady Manufacturing, Attn: Modified Cases, 108 S. Apollo St., Alda, NE 68810. More Info HERE.

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May 1st, 2017

Bargain Finder 84: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

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

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

Nosler’s line of RDF (Reduced Drag Factor) bullets have very high BCs for their weight. Precision shooters are reporting outstanding accuracy. Given their high performance and consistency, RDF bullets represent a superior value. At Monmouth Reloading you can get Nosler RDFs for under $29 per 100 for popular 6mm, 6.5 mm, and .30-Cal sizes. That’s up to $20 less per box than some premium brands. Based on user reports, we recommend you start with these pretty far out from the lands. One shooter using the 6.5 mm 140-grainer reports: “This bullet likes to jump. Berger Hybrids liked a jump of about 0.010″ – 0.020″. Once I seated the RDFs to jump 0.045″, my groups shrank to about 0.3 MOA. You cannot beat the price or performance of this bullet!”

.30 Cal 175 grain $28.99/100 (0.536 G1)

6.5mm 140 grain $28.50/100 (0.658 G1)

6mm 105 grain $27.99/100 (0.571 G1)

.224 70 grain $25.49/100 (0.416 G1)

2. Amazon.com — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $279.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $229.99, after manufacturer’s rebate. Right now, Amazon is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $279.99. That’s a great deal considering all the hardware you get. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $150.00+. But here’s the real incentive — this Rock Chucker Supreme Kit qualifies for a Buck$ or Bullets Rebate — choose either $50 or 500 Speer bullets. If you take the fifty bucks ($50), that reduces your net cost to just $229.00 for the entire RCBS Reloading Kit. That’s a total steal. NOTE: Cabelas.com also sells this RCBS Kit for the same $279.99 (before rebate).

3. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.45

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 2700 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $16.45, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths. These are inexpensive but will do the job for basic tasks.

4. Natchez — Surplus SKB 5041 Transport Cases, $129.99

SKB Rifle Case Military Surplus 50

Natchez has obtained a supply of British MOD Surplus SKB 5041 rifle cases. These were ordered as mine detector cases, but were never issued. Natchez has removed the foam cut for the detectors and replaced it with new 2-piece convoluted foam. Interior dimension of the case is 50″x14.5″x5″ so this will hold long-barrel match rifles comfortably. These are extremely high-quality cases, very tough and rugged, waterproof with gaskets. These cases feature four SKB patented trigger latches, four reinforced padlock locations, and inline wheels. Though in excellent condition, some case may have minor exterior scuffs. You won’t find a better case at anywhere near the price. These normally retail for $299.99.

5. Amazon — Lyman Case Prep Xpress $103.99

Lyman Case Prep Xpress Express Brass Reloading PrpeDeals Week Accurateshooter

The Lyman Case Prep Xpress lets you chamfer inside and out, brush your necks, clean/uniform primer pockets, and ream military crimps. On sale at Amazon.com with $103.99 Prime pricing, this is a good deal. Lyman’s Case Prep Xpress sells elsewhere for $130.00 or more. Here is a review from a Verified Purchaser: “The unit is quiet, sturdy, and the attachments do what they are supposed to do. It already has made a difference in my reloading speed, and most importantly, my comfort. I highly recommend this unit.” (Strafer, 4/7/14)

6. Midsouth — Norma Tac-22 .22 LR Ammo, $3.99/box

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

This Norma .22 LR ammo shoots WAY better than you’d expect given the low price — just $3.99 per 50ct box at Midsouth. These test targets come from Champion Shooters Supply. That vendor reports: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.” We suggest you grab some of this Tac-22 while you can at these rock-bottom prices.

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

7. Midsouth — Hornady LnL Auto Charge Scale/Dispenser, $159.99

Hornady Lock and load auto charge scale powder dispenser sale discount

The Hornady Lock N Load Auto Charge Electronic Scale/Dispenser is now on sale for just $159.99 at Midsouth Shooters Supply, discounted way down from the regular $226.24 price. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on this product in a long time, making this a real bargain. If you are looking for an affordable combination digital scale and powder dispenser, this is very attractive pricing. By comparison, the new RCBS ChargeMaster Lite sells for around $250.00 and is back-ordered at most vendors. That means you can save at least $90.00 by buying RED instead of GREEN.

8. Amazon — Cotton Cleaning Patches, 800 for $9.99 – $17.99

Amazon bulk pack patches 800 cotton flannel

Got patches? Here’s a great deal on 100% cotton flannel patches. There are many sizes available, starting at $9.99 for 800 one-inch “17 Cal” patches. For 6mm rifles, we actually like the 1.25″ round “22/223″ sized patches priced at $11.99 for 800. Choose either round patches or square patches in most sizes. We generally like round patches for use with spire-tip jags, but some shooters prefer to wrap their patches around a jag or brush and square patches work better for wrapping. The large, 2″-square .30 Cal patches cost $17.99 for 800. These prices include FREE Shipping for Prime Members.

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April 27th, 2017

Flat Rate Shipping Offer at Midsouth Shooters Supply

Got a big shooting shopping list? Then here’s a great opportunity. Now through April 30th at 11:59 PM you can get $9.00 flat-rate shipping from Midsouth Shooters Supply, with a $99.00 minimum order. That can translate to significant savings on big orders, or heavy items. Compare the true shipping costs from other vendors to see what a good deal this can be (some vendors charge $15 to ship a couple boxes of ammo). Note: Regular hazmat charges apply to powder, primers, and other hazmat items.

If you’re shopping at Midsouth, here are some of the very good values you might want to check out:

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April 1st, 2017

Vortex and Hornady Introduce Revolutionary Bullet-Cam Ammo

Vortex Hornady Bullet-Cam Bullet Video Camera Micro-miniature video streaming lens

Vortex Optics and Hornady have joined forces to create what may be the most remarkable new bullet technology in the past 20 years. Vortex has adapted a miniature video system to fit inside the tips of rifle bullets. The micro-sized camera/transmitter was originally developed for miniature spy drones. Vortex cleverly figured out to make these tiny little video cameras work when carried on a spinning projectile launched from a rifle.

Vortex Hornady Bullet-Cam Bullet Video Camera Micro-miniature video streaming lens

The revolutionary bullet-cam is the equivalent of the camera in the nose of a “smart” bomb or missile, but micro-miniaturized. This new technology allows you to literally watch your bullet fly into the target. For long-range shots with extended flight times, the view is mesmerizing. Hunters should be very excited. With the Bullet-Cam, you can record the “shot of a lifetime” on a trophy hunt. One has to commend Vortex for achieving this electro-optical breakthrough. Kudos also to Hornady for incorporating the micro-optics into shootable ammunition.

Vortex Video Shows New Bullet-Cam in Action:

A live feed from the Bullet-Cam streams right to your device for instant viewing. Once the Bullet-Cam hits the target, recording stops and the video is automatically uploaded to the VTX Cloud where it can be shared to social media.

Vortex Hornady Bullet-Cam Bullet Video Camera Micro-miniature video streaming lens

Software Indexing Magic Creates Stable, Viewable Image
How is the image viewable though the bullet is spinning at thousands of RPM? The answer is surprisingly simple — and achieved through software. The bullet RPM is referenced by a microprocessor, so the camera’s software simply snaps a picture of the target every few micro-seconds, when the target is in exactly the same orientation. The lens is spinning, but it only captures visual data once every rotation (i.e. image capture is rotationally-indexed). This “stream of stills” is then blended into the video feed. What the viewer sees is a stable movie as though the camera was mounted on a non-rotating, fin-stabilized projectile. This rotationally-sequenced image-capture process made the whole project possible. We’re told that the Pentagon was so impressed with the technology that it is looking to fit Bullet-Cams into a variety of spin-stabilized ordnance, including artillery shells and large-caliber (.50 BMG) sniper rounds.

Vortex Engineer Ian Klemm, a top F-TR shooter, helped develop the innovative Bullet-Cam. Ian says: “Our goal with … Vortex products is to allow our customers to see things clearly from all vantage points. When it comes to bullet impact though, shooters have had to relay on traditional optics to determine accuracy from long distances. We were determined to provide an additional point of view (POV) to improve precision and overall performance. [We want] shooters to have the most advanced tools in the industry, to achieve the most accurate shots. With the Bullet-Cam you will always know if you are way off or dead on.”

Vortex Hornady Bullet-Cam Bullet Video Camera Micro-miniature video streaming lens

Ten Bucks Per Shot — Great for Hunters
Considering the technology involved, the Bullet-Cam product is suprisingly affordable. A box of ten (10) cam-equipped cartridges is only $99.99. So, for about ten bucks per shot, you can actually see your shots fly downrange and into the target. That’s something that’s never been possible with sporting ammunition. This new technology unlocks a whole new world for precision shooters. And for hunters — the Bullet-Cam literally allows you to record the shot of a lifetime on a trophy animal. You can then share that memorable experience via Facebook, Twitter or other social media.

Vortex Hornady Bullet-Cam Bullet Video Camera Micro-miniature video streaming lens

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Optics 31 Comments »
March 20th, 2017

Bargain Finder 79 — AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Cabela’s — Vortex Crossfire 6-24x50mm, $179.99 with Code

Cabela's vortex crossfire ii scope 6-24x50mm varmint vplex reticle coupon code sale

Here’s a killer deal if you want a very affordable medium magnification zoom optic for target work or a varmint rifle. We like the 6-24 magnification range for a prarie dog rifle. You have both a wide field of view available and sufficiently high magnification (24X) to see small prey at 400 yards. This has a simple but reliable front parallax control. This scope is on sale at Cabela’s for $199.99, but this week you can save an additional $20.00 with CODE “176YF20″.

2. Grafs.com — Magnetospeed Sporter $178.99

Deals of Week magnetospeed sporter grafs.com

If you have been waiting to get a Magnetospeed… wait no longer. Priced at just $178.99 at Grafs.com, the Magnetospeed Sporter model costs less than half as much as Magnetospeed’s V3 models. This chronograph attaches directly to your barrel so you don’t have to go downrange to position tripods and set up skyscreens. For most people the Sporter Model contains all the features they need. Using Magnetospeed’s XFR adapter (sold separately), data can be transferred easily from the display module to your mobile device. READ Magnetospeed Sporter Review.

3. Grafs.com — Jewell BR Trigger 1.5-3.0 oz. $169.99 ($30 Off)

AR16 stripped upper lower Aero Precision sale

The Jewell trigger is still probably the most commonly-used trigger in benchrest competition. Right now at Grafs.com you can get a Remington 700-compatible Jewell benchrest trigger for $169.99 — that’s $30.00 of the regular price. This single-stage trigger adjusts from 1 ounce to 3 ounces pull-weight, and has a crisp, precise release. This will fit Rem 700 actions as well as Rem-compatible custom actions. This trigger does NOT have a safety and it is NOT recommended for hunting applications. (Sale tip from EdLongrange.)

4. CDNN Sports — Ruger American Ranch Rifle (Tan), $349.99

Ruger American Ranch Rifle 5.56 .223 223 Remington Varmint Bolt Action

Here’s a nice little varmint rifle from Ruger with good features and performance at a killer price: $349.99. You could pay that much just for a barrel. This .223 Rem rifle features a 16.5″ hammer-forged barrel barrel threaded 1/2″-28 at the muzzle for brake or suppressor. The action, which features a 70° three-lug bolt, and Picatinny-style scope rail, sits in an aluminum bedding block. The crisp trigger adjusts down to 3 pounds. With a weight (before optics) of 6.1 pounds, this is a handy carry-around varminter. We like this rifle. For $349.99 it’s a steal.

5. Bullets.com — Bald Eagle Range Bags, $24.95 – $29.95

Bald Eagle Range Bag

High-quality Bald Eagle Range Bags are now on sale at Bullets.com. These versatile bags are very well- made and durable. With thickly-padded slab sides and padded internal dividers, these bags hold their shape and don’t collapse like most range bags. We use the larger 20″ bag to transport our spotting scope and MagnetoSpeed chrono. The smaller 15″ bag will hold ammo, rangefinder, Kestrel, shooting glasses and all your miscellaneous gear. We have used these bags for years and endorse them. The Cordura nylon fabric is tough, and the zippers are high-quality. With these sale prices, $24.95 for the 15″ size and $29.95 for the 20″ size, you won’t be disappointed. A variety of colors are offered: Red, Black, Green, Camo, Navy (15″ only), and Pink (15″ only).

6. Midsouth — 17 HMR V-Max Ammo, $9.75 for 50 rounds

17 HMR Hornady Midsouth V-Max Vmax Sale

Need 17 HMR ammo for your planned 2017 varmint safaris? Then grab this Hornady V-Max ammo while you can at $9.75 for a 50-round box. This is a great price. Other vendors are selling the same Hornady ammo for as much as $13.50 per box. We’ve used this ammo and it was very accurate out of both semi-auto (Savage A17) and bolt-action (CZ 455) 17 HMR rifles.

7. Sportsman’s Guide — Frankford Arsenal Case Tumbler Kit

AccurateShooter Deals of week bargain discount savings Frankford Arsenal Case Tumbler Kit Media Separator bargain sportmans Guide

For just $69.99, this Frankford Arsenal Kit provides everything you need to clean brass: Vibratory Tumbler, Rotary Media Separator, Bucket, Corn Cob Media (3 lbs.), and Brass Polish. The Case Tumbler holds up to 600 9mm cases or 350 .223 Rem cases. The separator system is generous, with a 3.5-gallon bucket. NOTE: Sportsman’s Guide Buyers Club members can purchase for $62.99.

8. Grafs/Midsouth — Vista Outdoor $10 Rebate and T-Shirt Offer

Vista Outdoors Rebate $10 Savage CCI Federal Speer Tasco Weaver Alliant powder

With Vista Outdoor’s 2nd Amendment Rebate, you can get $10 back and a T-Shirt. Purchase $50 or more of select Vista Outdoor products to receive a $10 mail-in rebate. Purchase $100 to get a limited-edition 2nd Amendment t-shirt. This promotion can be combined with all other current offers for Vista Outdoor brands. Featured brands include: Alliant Powder, Bushnell, CCI, Champion, Federal, Hoppes, RCBS, Savage, Simmons, Speer, Tasco, Weaver and more. Purchase products through Grafs.com, Midsouth and other leading retailers. Rebate Offer valid through March 31, 2017.

9. NRA & MidwayUSA — NRA Life Membership, $600.00

NRA Life Membership $600.00 Offer discount

Here’s the best deal going right now on an NRA Life Membership. This normally costs $1500.00, but if you CLICK HERE, you can get a life membership for just $600.00, thanks to an NRA/MidwayUSA promotion. You can also save on 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year NRA memberships. Note: This is a limited-time offer.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
February 26th, 2017

RCBS Lock-Out Die Helps Prevent Faulty Charges on Progressives

RCBS Lock-out dieIf you load pistol or rifle ammo with a progressive press, we strongly recommend you get a Lock-Out Die from RCBS. This unique reloading die will prevent your progressive press from advancing if the dispensed powder charge is more or less than about 0.3 grains too high or too low. The Lock-Out Die really works. Your Editor uses it on his RCBS 2000 progressive press. I can affirm that a Lock-Out Die has “saved my bacon” a half-dozen times over the years when there was an over-charge (which could cause a Kaboom) or a low charge (which could cause a squib load).

The Lock-Out Die works by using a central die detection rod that sets its vertical position based on the height of the powder column in the case. Through an ingenious design, if the powder column height is too low or too high, the rod locks in place as you start to pull the press handle. This halts the press before the ram can lift and the cartridge plate can advance. Unlike a beeping alarm system (which can be ignored or defeated), the Lock-Out Die physically stops the movement of the press ram and prevents a bullet being seated in the “problem” case.

RCBS Lock-out dieIt takes a bit of tweaking to get the Lock-Out Die detection rod setting just right, but once it is correctly positioned, the Lock-Out Die works smoothly in the background. The Lock-Out Die won’t interfere with the loading process unless it detects a high or low charge — and then it positively stops the progressive loading cycle.

While crafted for use in RCBS progressive presses, the RCBS Lock-Out Die can also be used on a Dillon XL Progressive (see video below) or Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive — though it does take up one station which could otherwise be used for a final crimp die (after the seating die). The RCBS 2000 has one more station than a Dillon 550/650, so it’s an ideal platform for using the Lock-Out Die.

Learn More at UltimateReloader.com
On the UltimateReloader.com website, run by our friend Gavin, you’ll find an excellent two-part series on the function and set-up of the RCBS Lock-Out Die. Part One explains how the Lock-Out Die functions, using cut-away illustrations. Part Two shows how to install and adjust the Lock-Out Die on various progressive presses. The video below shows setup of the RCBS Lock-Out Die on the Dillon XL-650 progressive press.

Images © 2011 UltimateReloader.com, used by permission.
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February 21st, 2017

Why Does Load Data Vary Between Reloading Manuals?

load manual sierra reloading hornady data

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks
One of the first things new reloaders notice is that load data varies between reloading manuals. The Sierra Bullets Technicians frequently get inquiries asking us to explain why the load data appears to be inconsistent. This article explains five key factors that can influence published load data.

Example of load data variances for two 168 grain bullets:

Sierra Reloading Manual Hornady Load Reloading

Here are five reasons why the load data varies:

The Bullet
Basically, the similarities in the .30 caliber 168 grain Match bullets (for example) end with weight and diameter. The bullets likely have dimensional differences such as bearing surface length. Bearing surface has a large effect on pressure and velocity. There are also differences in boat tail, flat base, ogive and over-all lengths, which each help determine the cartridge over-all-length (COAL). With different COAL’s, we can expect changes in pressure and velocity also. In some calibers there are differences in bullet diameter with different bullet manufacturers.

It is also worth noting that bullet manufacturers do not all use the same copper alloy for their jackets. This produces more or less friction that results in load pressures and velocities. The solid copper bullets also vary quite a bit in comparison to a lead core and copper jacketed bullet.

The Gun
Each gun is unique, even if you are using the same make, model, and caliber. Special consideration should be used to consider that not all firearm chambers are the same either, creating more variables that need consideration. There can be drastic differences in the throat length. This controls the amount of “jump” that a bullet experiences when the cartridge is fired.

The Powder
Within normal manufacturing tolerances, you can see some variation in a given powders burn rate between different lots of the same powder. So naturally when two different Manuals are produced, it would be doubtful that the same lots would be tested.

The Cartridge Cases
New cases are almost always near minimum specs in dimension. A load fired in a new case would likely have slightly more pressure that when fired in a re-sized case. This would certainly be true if we were loading into fire-formed cases that have had minimal re-sizing done. Fired cases that are full length resized most of the time be slightly larger than the new unfired cases. This gives you differences in case capacity. The same powder charge placed within a new case and a full length resized case will produce different pressure levels and probably different velocities.

Conditions
Temperature can cause pressure increases or decreases. Hot temperatures tend to cause pressures to increase, while cold temperatures will usually do the opposite. Humidity and altitude can impact pressures and velocities likewise.

Conclusion
As you can see, an amazing number of variables effect any load combination. With the differences in the manuals, you’re just seeing firsthand examples of what took place when the data was collected with that particular set of components and firearm. Think of a reloading manual as a report. In essence, a reloading manual says, “We tried this particular component combination, and these are the results we obtained.”

Remember that you may or may not reach the same maximum load safely. There is no “one load fits all bullets.” The minimum load data offers a safe place to start. The maximum load data listed should always be regarded as a safety guideline and not necessarily a goal! Your gun should shoot accurately without breaching the maximum load data. The best advice is: always start low and work your load up!

If you have questions about variances in load data or other reloading questions, please call our ballistic technicians at 1-800-223-8799 or send us an email at sierra [at] sierrabullets.com.

Sierra Bullets Blog reloading information

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
January 30th, 2017

Bargain Finder 72: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Midsouth — Earmuffs (26 NRR) and Safety Eyewear, $14.20

Midsouth Shooting Glasses Muffs earmuff sale combo

We can all use an extra set of muffs and safety glasses. Here’s an inexpensive combo that’s ideal as a spare set stashed in your vehicle or range kit. The muffs are surprisingly comfortable and carry a 26 dB Noise Reduction Rating. The adjustable, clear Radians safety glasses are comfortable and ANSI Z87.1-rated. We actually use Radians safety glasses and they work just fine. This muffs/eyewear combo is nice to have on hand when you invite friends or family members to the range.

2. Grafs.com — Hornady Tumbler and Ultrasonic Combo, $99.99

Graf's Grafs.com Hornady cleaner tumbler Vibratory Ultrasound Ultrasonic Cleaner sale free shipping

Save big bucks on this combination of Hornady Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine AND Hornady Vibratory Tumbler (media sold separately). We generally tumble pistol brass, while using an ultrasonic machine for dirty rifle brass. The L-N-L Sonic machine can clean metal tools/components as well as brass. With this special Graf’s promotion, you can get both units for just $99.99. In addition, you can get FREE Shipping. Right now Grafs.com is offering FREE Shipping on all orders over $75.00 (some exclusions apply). NOTE: With our best match brass we generally just wipe the outside of the cases and lightly brush the necks (leaving a little carbon inside the necks helps bullet seating).

3. CDNN Sports — Walther CCP 9mm, $379.99

CCP Walther Carry Pistol 9mm CDNN sale

We like the compact Walther pistols. This 9mm CCP has a better trigger than the S&W M&P compact, and a more ergonomic grip than the Glock 19. Walther’s CCP features a special gas-delayed blowback system that reduces felt recoil. The 1.4-lb CCP is thin (1.18″), making this an excellent choice for concealed carry. This model features a thumb safety and 5.5-lb trigger pull. The CCP ships from CDNN for $379.99 with two (2) 8-rd magazines. That’s a good deal for a quality carry gun.

4. Amazon.com — RCBS Rockchucker Supreme Press, $126.99

Amazon.com Amazon RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Reloading Press Sale

The RCBS Rock Chucker remains a classic — a big, strong, versatile press that can handle most reloading chores with ease. And now you can get a genuine Rock Chucker Supreme for $126.99 — a very good deal. The Rock Chucker offers plenty of leverage for case-sizing and the “O” is tall enough for long cartridges. The Rock Chucker has a very strong base and should last a lifetime. We’re not fans of the Rock Chucker’s priming system but most serious reloaders use a separate priming tool.

5. Grafs.com — Hornady Reloading Kit with Sonic Cleaner, $299.99

Hornady Reloading Kit Press Sonic Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine

This Hornady Reloading Kit is a great deal at $299.99 (30% off Graf’s regular price). This kit comes with everything you need: Lock-N-Load single stage press, L-N-L Powder Measure, Digital Scale, Powder Trickler, Funnel, 9th Ed. Handbook of Cartridge Reloading, 3 L-N-L die bushings, handheld priming tool, universal reloading block, chamfering and deburring tool, primer turning plate and One Shot Case Lube. Plus this Kit includes a bonus FREE Lock-N-Load Sonic Case Cleaner, which costs $59.99 by itself on sale at Graf’s. NOTE: This reloading Kit also qualifies for Hornady’s Get Loaded Free Bullets promotion.

6. Amazon — Bushnell 3-9x40mm Bushnell for $115.46

Bushnell 3-9x40mm Scope Amazon.com

No, that’s not a misprint. This 3-9x40mm Bushnell scope, optimized for .223 Rem rifles, is just $112.00 right now at Amazon.com. The price on this scope was slashed more than $140.00. Now it’s priced 56% below the regular price. Act soon as this offer won’t last long. Note: This super low $115.46 price may not come up using Amazon’s internal search. You need to click the Amazon Private Sale Link which give you a list of all pricing options.

7. MidwayUSA — Pro Series Shooting Mat, $29.99

$29.99 Pro Series Shooting Mat Midway USA Hot deal

Here’s a heck of a deal on a very good shooting mat. MidwayUSA has slashed the price on its Pro Series Shooting Mat (in Olive Drab). You can get this 73.5″ x 35.5″ padded mat for just $29.99. This Mat has some very nice features, such as a Bipod Pre-load Web, 0.35″ thick padding, and multiple pockets. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to about nine inches in diameter and fitted with a nice carry strap. Midway normally sells this Pro Series Mat for about $60.00, so the $29.99 price is a total steal. If you need a good basic shooting mat check out this deal.

8. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.45

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With nearly 2600 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $16.45, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

9. Walmart — 16-Gun Security Safe, $353.77

Walmart Stackon Gun Safe 16-gun

Could you use a secondary safe for reloading room, workshop, or bedroom? This Stack-on 16-Gun Safe fills the bill. Rated for 16 long guns, this smaller safe can realistically hold 8 or so scoped rifles. But it can also hold your handguns, rangefinders, cameras, jewelry and other valuables. Let’s face it, your primary gun safe is probably full so you could use a second safe to hold smaller items. Walmart’s current “Roll-Back” price is just $353.77. And right now the home delivery charge is a mere $9.99.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
January 8th, 2017

Clean Your Reloading Dies Before First Use

Hornady Die cleaning

After purchasing a new set of dies from Forster, Hornady, Redding, or Whidden Gunworks, you’ll want to disassemble the dies, inspect then, and then remove the internal grease and/or waxy coatings placed on the dies by the manufacturer. This short video from Hornady shows how to de-grease and clean dies as they come “out of the box” from the manufacturer. A convenient aerosol spray cleaner is used in the video. You an also use a liquid solvent with soft nylon brush, and cotton patches. NOTE: After cleaning you may want to apply a light grease to the external threads of your dies.

Clean Your Sizing Dies and Body Dies Regularly
These same techniques work for cleaning dies after they have been used for reloading. Many otherwise smart hand-loaders forget to clean the inside of their dies, allowing old case lube, gunk, carbon residue, and other contaminants to build up inside the die. You should clean your dies fairly often, particularly if you do not tumble or ultrasound your cases between loadings. It is most important to keep full-length sizing and body dies clean. These dies accumulate lube and carbon residue quickly.

Permalink - Videos, Reloading 1 Comment »
January 1st, 2017

6.5 Creedmoor — Velocity and Barrel Length — What to Expect

Rifleshooter.com 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test

What do you get when you cut a 6.5 Creedmoor-chambered barrel down to just over 16 inches? A lot more velocity than you might think. Our friends at Rifleshooter.com recently did a barrel cut-down test with 6.5 Creedmoor test rifle, shortening the barrel from 27 to 16.1 inches in one-inch increments. Surprisingly, with a 142gr Sierra MK, the total velocity loss (as measured with a Magnetospeed) was just 158 FPS, an average of 14.4 FPS per inch of barrel length. With the lighter 120gr A-Max bullet, the total velocity loss was 233 FPS, or 21.8 FPS average loss per inch of barrel.

CLICK HERE to SEE All Velocity Values at All Barrel Lengths

To perform this velocity test, our friend Bill, Rifleshooter.com’s editor, built up a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle using a Remington Model 7 action, 1:8″ twist Green Mountain CM barrel, and MDT LSS Chassis, all obtained from Brownells.com.

Test Procedure
Five (5) rounds of each type of cartridge were fired at each barrel length and the velocity data was recorded with a MagnetoSpeed V3 barrel-mounted chronograph. The rifle was then cleared and the barrel was cut back one inch at a time from 27″ to just over 16″. NOTE: During this winter test, the air temperature was a very chilly 23° F. One would expect higher velocities across the board had the outside temperature been higher.

Read Full Story with All Test Results at Rifleshooter.com

The photo below shows how the barrel was cut down, inch-by-inch, using a rotary saw. The barrel was pre-scored at inch intervals. As the main purpose of the test was to measure velocity (not accuracy) the testers did not attempt to create perfect crowns.

Rifleshooter.com 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test

6.5 Creedmoor vs. Other Mid-Sized 6.5mm Cartridges
The 6.5 Creedmoor is a very popular cartridge with the tactical and PRS crowd. This mid-size cartridge offers good ballistics, with less recoil than a .308 Winchester. There’s an excellent selection of 6.5mm bullets, and many powder choices for this cartridge. When compared to the very accurate 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor offers similar performance with less expensive brass. For a tactical shooter who must sometimes leave brass on the ground, brass cost is a factor to consider. Here’s a selection of various 6.5 mm mid-sized cartridges. Left to right are: 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor with 120gr A-Max, 6.5 Creedmoor with 142gr Sierra MK, and .260 Remington.

6.5 Creedmoor Rifleshooter.com velocity barrel cut cut-down test saw blade

When asked to compare the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6.5×47 Lapua, Rifleshooter.com’s editor stated: “If you don’t hand load, or are new to precision rifle shooting, get a 6.5 Creedmoor. If you shoot a lot, reload, have more disposable income, and like more esoteric cartridges, get a 6.5×47 Lapua. I am a big fan of the 6.5×47 Lapua. In my personal experience, the 6.5×47 Lapua seems to be slightly more accurate than the 6.5 Creedmoor. I attribute this to the quality of Lapua brass.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tactical 2 Comments »
December 12th, 2016

Powder Valley’s $20,000 Giveaway — 12 Days of Christmas

Powder Valley Inc. Giveaway 12 days of Christmas Ammo Bullets Press Lapua Sierra Berger

Are you feelin’ lucky? Well here’s your chance to win. Over the next twelve days (through December 23, 2016), Powder Valley is giving away a total of $20,000 worth of products from big name suppliers. That’s an average of $1,667 worth of product prizes every day. This is top-of-the-line stuff, including Powder from Accurate, IMR, Ramshot, and Vihtavuori, Bullets from Berger, Berry’s, Hornady, Lapua, and Sierra, Brass from Lapua, Hornady and Nosler, Ammo from Hornady, Nosler, Lapua, and Silver State Armory. Each day there will be a new set of prizes. Today’s prize is a Hornady reloading press.

It’s easy to qualify to win one of the Daily Giveaway prize packages. Simply visit Powder Valley’s Facebook Page, and make a comment on the featured Daily Giveaway Post. You don’t have to fill out any forms, but you must have a Facebook account so you can comment. Each day the folks at Powder Valley will select winners from among the visitors who commented. Today (Dec. 12th) there will be one winner of the Hornady Press. In days ahead there can be multiple daily winners — as many as 20 to 30 per day. NOTE: You can enter multiple times by commenting on multiple days, but sorry, if you win, you are no longer eligible.

Powder Valley Daily Giveaway

The Powder Valley 12 Days of Christmas promotion starts today, December 12th, 2016. To enter, you must visit the Powder Valley Facebook Page. Once there, scroll down to find the Giveaway of the Day. Today’s Giveaway is a Hornady Press. Look for the post shown below. You need to comment on that post to be entered. Winners will be selected by lottery from those who comment. Each successive day through December 23rd, there will be another product giveaway post.

Powder Valley Inc. Giveaway 12 days of Christmas Ammo Bullets Press Lapua Sierra Berger

To be entered in this Powder Valley Contest, you need to go to the Powder Valley Facebook Page and post a Facebook Comment for the Daily Prize story. The give-away for today, December 12th, is a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Press. NOTE: You need to post your comment on Powder Valley’s Facebook Site, NOT HERE. And you need to comment each day to be entered in that particular day’s contest. To have repeat chances to win you need to comment on multiple days. Got it?

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
December 7th, 2016

Powered Case Prep Unit on Sale — Plus Get 100 FREE Bullets

Case Prep Trio Hornady Free Bullets chamferer

Here’s a really good deal on a very handy reloading product, the Case Prep Trio. This versatile device features three powered heads and ships with both Inside Chamferer and Outside Chamferer tools. You can add optional accessories such as large/small primer pocket cleaners, primer pocket reamer, case neck brushes, and other 8-32 threaded tools.

Case Prep Trio Hornady Free Bullets chamfererThis $79.99 deal at Midsouth is the best price we’ve found (the unit normally sells for $95.00 or more). Plus, if you purchase by the end of 2016, you get 100 FREE Bullets from Hornady. If you figure those 100 bullets are worth thirty dollars or so, that brings your net cost for the Case Prep Trio to around fifty bucks. Hard to argue with that. We have this tool and it’s a very welcome addition to our loading bench that definitively saves time and reduces hand fatigue.

Case Prep Trio Hornady Free Bullets chamferer

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
November 28th, 2016

Bargain Finder 63: Cyber Monday 2016 Special Edition

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Today we have something special — a bunch of exceptional “Cyber Monday” Deals as well as carry-over Black Friday Bargains. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories we found. You’ll need to act quickly because many of these deals expire at 11:59 PM tonight (11/28/2016) or on Tuesday. 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. Brownells — Cyber Monday Guns, Optics, Parts, Ammo & More

Week Deals Cyber Monday Black Friday Brownells Sinclair

Brownells has gone “whole hog” for Cyber Monday this year. Visit Brownells’ Cyber Monday Page and you’ll find deep discounts on firearms, optics, mags, reloading tools, ammo, gun parts and accessories. It’s easy to navigate — as there are big topical buttons for all the key product line. To further motivate Cyber Monday shoppers, Brownells is offering FREE Shipping with Code L9L. And, if you spend $200.00 or more, you can get FREE shipping plus 10% OFF your order with Code L9M. To see all Brownells Cyber Monday deals, CLICK HERE.

2. CDNN Sports — Cyber Monday Rifle Deals

Week Deals Cyber Monday Black Friday CDNN Browning A-Bolt III

CDNN is running a Cyber Monday Sale with deep discounts on numerous rifles and pistols. You’ll find great deals on Colt, Remington, and Ruger rifles. But what really caught our attention were the BROWNING BARGAINS. Check out the prices on these smooth-cycling A-Bolt III rifles (as low at $449.00 net after Browning Rebate). And what’s even better, CDNN includes a 3-9x40mm Thompson Center Scope and rings with each A-Bolt III. NOTE: Sale ends Tuesday November 29, 2016 at Noon CST. If you want one of these rifles — don’t delay!

3. EuroOptic.com — Leupold, Sightron, Leica Cyber Monday Deals

Eurooptic Leupold Sightron Deal Optics discount

Our friends at EuroOptic.com have rolled out some exceptional deals for Cyber Monday. Buy a Sightron Scope and get a $50.00 Gift Card. You’ll also find great deals on Leica CRF-1600B and CRF-1000R Laser Rangefinders. Last but not least, prices have been slashed on Leupold’s highly-respected Mark IV scopes. With EuroOptic’s Close-Out Pricing, save $200-$300 on these Mark IVs.

4. Midsouth — Lock ‘N Load Complete Reloading Kit, $249.99

Shooting Coat Cyber Monday Free Shipping Creedmoor Sports

The Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Reloading Kit comes with everything you need to turn out high-quality handloads. The Kit includes: Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic single-stage press, Hornady Powder Measure, Digital Scale, Two-Volume Hornady Reloading Manual, Three Lock-N-Load Die Bushings, Reloading Block, Chamfer/Debur Tool, Hand Priming Tool, and One Shot™ Case Lube. We’ve used this press and it is excellent. The L-N-L bushings allow fast die changes.

5. Creedmoor Sports — $30 Off Shooting Coat & FREE Shipping

Shooting Coat Cyber Monday Free Shipping Creedmoor Sports

Creedmoor Sports has many items on sale this Cyber Monday. You’ll find discounts on Creedmoor-brand ammo, shooting mats, shooting gloves, and books. But the deal that really caught our attention was the Shooting Coat Special. Today you can save $30.95 on Creedmoor’s famous Canvas Shooting Coat. Regularly $140.95, this coat is now just $110.00 — that’s a 22% markdown.

Plus on Cyber Monday you can get FREE Ground Shipping on ALL in-stock items in the Creedmoor online store. This special expires at 11:59 pm, November 28, 2016.

6. Cabelas.com — Cyber Week Deals on Guns, Ammo, & Gear

Shooting Coat Cyber Monday Free Shipping Creedmoor Sports

Now through December 3, 2016, Cabela’s is offering CyberWeek Deals on a wide range of products. Here are four of the best shooting/hunting bargains we found:

1. SIG Sauer® KILO 2000™ Rangefinder, $349.99 (regularly $499.99).
2. Remington® 700™ ADL Bolt-Action Rifle and Scope Combos, $409.99 (regularly $459.99).
3. Frankford Arsenal® Platinum Series Rotary Tumbler, $129.99 (regularly $184.99).
4. Kershaw 3/4-ton Knife (2.75″ blade), $9.99 (reg. $29.99). Editor: Great buy at $9.99! I bought two.

7. Gander Mountain — Money Off Codes Save Up to $100 on Orders

Shooting Coat Cyber Monday Free Shipping Gander Mountain Mtn discount Code

Gander Mountain carries a large selection of outdoor gear, reloading products, and hunting accessories. This national retailer also sells pistols, shotguns, and rifles. If you find an item of interest at GanderMountain.com, save cash with Coupon Code CYBER2016. This saves $20 on $100+ orders, saves $50 on $250+ orders, and saves a whopping $100 on $500+ orders. NOTE: This promotion expires November 28, 2016 at 11:59 pm EST.

8. Sportsman’s Guide — Cyber Monday Specials

Week Deals Cyber Monday Black Friday Sportsman's Guide shotgun target gong

For Cyber Monday, Sportsman’s Guide has slashed prices on 140+ items. Hunters will find a wide selection of footwear and camo hunting apparel on sale. In addition, there are bargains on hunting accessories such as game cameras, gloves, and winter wear. Shown above are some very good deals we found on the Cyber Monday Sale Page.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
November 23rd, 2016

Lapua Now Offers 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge Brass

Lapua Creedmoor 6.5 Brass cartridge 1.5mm tactical case

Here’s great news for mid-size cartridge fans, and especially PRS and tactical shooters. Lapua just announced it will produce 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge brass, which should be available in the first quarter of 2017. This premium-quality brass features a small primer, and 1.5mm flash hole (as found on Lapua’s 6mmBR, 6.5×47 Lapua, and 220 Russian brass). We expect Lapua’s 6.5 Creedmoor brass will set new standards for accuracy and case life for this popular mid-sized cartridge. Of course Lapua’s new 6.5 Creedmoor brass can also be necked down and loaded in 6mm Creedmoor configuration. With the small primer pocket and proven strength of Lapua brass, we think 6.5 Creedmoor shooters will see enhanced cartridge velocities with the ability to maintain tight primer pockets even with very stout loads. And we expect accuracy to be on a par with Lapua’s excellent 6.5×47 Lapua brass. Taken together, this is an exciting product release. Here is Lapua’s official announcement:

Lapua Creedmoor 6.5 Brass cartridge 1.5mm tactical case

We are happy to announce the addition of the 6.5 Creedmoor case to the Lapua line! Despite a relatively short time on the marketplace, the 6.5 Creedmoor has made a tremendous splash in the field, rapidly becoming one of the most requested cases we hear about from shooters. Lapua’s 6.5 Creedmoor is designed to function in a short action, which is also a plus for hunters, vitally concerned with the rifle’s weight and compactness. In fact, many of the same features which make for a successful competition cartridge, translate nicely to the hunting fields as well.

For most species of mid-size game such as deer or boar, the Creedmoor will prove to be a deadly performer. And while the selection of high grade Match bullets in the 6.5 bore size is tremendous, there’s no shortage of exceptionally good hunting bullets either. The 6.5s as a group have always been known as excellent performers on game.

Lapua Creedmoor 6.5 Brass cartridge 1.5mm tactical caseMade with Lapua’s typical dedication to precision, our new 6.5 Creedmoor case has been refined just a bit, to make it an even better performer. We’ve opted for the small rifle primer, which normally produces an optimized ignition and better accuracy than large primers in mid-sized cartridges like the Creedmoor.

We’ve also incorporated our smaller-diameter flash hole (1.5mm, rather than the industry-standard 2.0mm), which has proven to provide enhanced accuracy, and is used in a number of our other accuracy-oriented cases. In this respect, the new 6.5 Creedmoor joins the ranks of our other dedicated accuracy cartridges such as the .220 Russian (6mm PPC), the 6mmBR Norma, the 6.5×47 Lapua, and the .308 Win Palma cases.

And naturally, the new 6.5 Creedmoor will be made with our well-known Passion for Precision. Strictest control over the metallurgy, the forming and drawing processes, precise annealing all performed under the watchful eyes of our production experts. For you, the handloader, that means the durability for which our cases are famous, combined with consistency and long life. Already proven in competition, we predict that the 6.5 Creedmoor will be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.

Comment on Lapua’s new 6.5mm Creedmoor
Our British friend Laurie Holland was excited about the new 6.5 Creedmoor brass from Lapua: “With this and Peterson Cartridge on the bandwagon, plus another U.S. brass maker… the Creedmoor’s momentum is becoming impressive.” Laurie observes: “A small primer Lapua-cased 6.5mm Creedmoor is in effect a 6.5X47 Lapua ‘Improved’!” That’s a pretty interesting concept indeed. Which makes us wonder if the .260 Remington has finally been fully eclipsed. With Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass you can probably get very, very close to .260 Rem performance in a much more efficient case.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News 13 Comments »
November 2nd, 2016

NEW Sierra 6mm 110-Grain MatchKing with Claimed 0.617 G1 BC

Sierra 6mm 110gr matchking bullet BC 0.617

Sierra’s new 110gr 6mm MatchKing is so new you won’t even find it on Sierra’s website. But MidwayUSA has it listed as “coming soon”. This new bullet, optimized for a 1:7″-twist barrel, promises class-leading ballistics. The listed G1 Ballistic Coefficient (BC) is an impressive 0.617 (sorry, no G7 BC has been stated). That’s 12.8% higher than the 0.547 G1 BC Sierra claims for its older 107gr MatchKing. That’s a very significant improvement. We attribute the reduced drag of the new 110-grainer to an improved hybrid-ogive bullet shape along with much smaller meplats. Sierra has not yet confirmed that it is pointing the meplats of the new 6mm 110s at the factory, but we expect that may be the case. In this respect the 110-grainers could be like Sierra’s excellent 183gr 7mm MatchKings, which come with tight, pointed tips right out of the box.

Sierra 6mm 110gr matchking bullet BC 0.617

G1 vs. G7 and Listed BCs vs. Tested BCs — What You Need to Know

Manufacturer-listed G1 Ballistic Coefficients of 6mm Match Bullets
Sierra 110gr HPBT MK Sierra 107gr HPBT MK Berger 105gr Hybrid Tgt Hornady 108gr ELD
G1 BC = .617 @ 2500+ fps G1 BC = .547 @ 2500+ fps G1 BC = 0.536 G1 BC = 0.536

If you look at the table above you’ll see that Sierra’s claimed 0.617 G1 BC for the new 110gr MK is higher than the 0.536 Berger lists for its 105gr 6mm Hybrid and higher than the 0.536 Hornady lists for the new 108gr 6mm ELD Bullet. We do think Sierra’s 110-grainer will prove to have the highest BC of the bunch, based on recent comparison tests by Sierra.

Let’s explain… Sierra lists a 0.547 G1 BC for its 107-grain MatchKing. Sierra tells us that the the .547 listed BC is for the current lots of 107-grainers which are pointed by Sierra. Sierra’s Matt Reams states that the new 110-grainers definitely have less drag than the current Sierra 107gr MKs or Berger 105gr Hybrids: “We have shot the pointed 107s side by side (raced) in our 300-meter range next to the [Berger] 105s and our pointed 107s had a higher BC between those two lots. In the comparison we did, our lot of new pointed 107s had a slightly higher BC than the [Berger] 105s. The 110s are significantly higher than both.”

In the real world, Sierra’s new 110gr 6mm MatchKing may not have as big an edge over the competition as it seems from Sierra’s claimed 0.617 G1 BC. (The G7 numbers may be closer.) Nonetheless, we do expect that Sierra’s new 110-grainer will be very competitive, and may actually have best-in-class BC. And if the new 110gr SMKs come “tipped” from the factory that will be a very good thing.

Anybody currently shooting a heavy 6mm bullet in competition should look at the new 110gr MatchKing when it becomes available. It could prove to be a winner. NOTE However — Sierra recommends a true 1:7″-twist barrel to stabilize the new 110-grainers.

New Product Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News 20 Comments »
October 28th, 2016

New Convertible Case Prep Duo Tool from Hornady

Hornady 2017 Case Prep Duo reloading tool case chamfering

Wouldn’t it be great if a power screwdriver could also serve as a two-station case prep machine? Well now that’s possible with Hornady’s new Case Prep Duo. This rechargeable unit has a battery-powered motor that drives a dual spindle head. The back half of the unit rotates and tilts so you can use the tool in pistol grip mode or with a straight (inline) body. NOTE: The photo above shows the SAME tool in both modes — angled grip mode and inline mode.

Hornady says that “this cordless, rechargeable multi-function tool accommodates case neck brushes, primer pocket cleaners, and chamfer/deburr accessories. With the easy-to-swivel body and integrated rubber feet, use it in the straight configuration on your bench top, or rotate it … for an ergonomic, handheld power tool. Use with the 8-32 spindle head for various reloading functions or remove the spindle head and use as a powered screwdriver with standard 1/4-inch hex bits (not included).” The Case Prep Duo comes complete with deburr and chamfer heads, plus plug-in charger. The unit is affordable — MSRP is just $64.59 and we expect “street price” to be around $55.00.

IMPORTANT: The Case Prep Duo has a removable dual-drive (twin spindle) head. You can remove that head and use the Case Prep Duo as a standard, powered screwdriver. WATCH the VIDEO (at 00:20) to see how this works.

Hornady 2017 Case Prep Duo reloading tool case chamfering

Permalink New Product, Reloading 2 Comments »
October 7th, 2016

Vanguard Modular Chassis Rifle — Half-MOA with Factory Ammo

Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis PRS rifle .308 Winchester American Rifleman

Weatherby has a new modular rifle for PRS comps and other tactical disciplines. Called the Vanguard® Modular Chassis (VMC), this rifle features a Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) aluminum stock, Luth AR MBA-1 buttstock, and 22″ heavy barrel. The Weatherby Vanguard action is fitted with an adjustable 2-stage trigger. Priced at $1519.00 MSRP, this rifle can be campaigned in the PRS “Production Class”, which limits complete rifles to $2000.00 without optics. The rifle is offered in three chamberings: .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester.

Weatherby says its Vanguard Modular Chassis tactical rifle is very accurate. To back that claim, Weatherby offers a SUB-MOA accuracy guarantee — Weatherby guarantees the rifle will shoot .99” or smaller 3-shot groups at 100 yards when used with Weatherby® factory or premium ammunition.

Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis PRS rifle .308 Winchester American Rifleman

Near Half-MOA Accuracy with Factory Ammo
It turns out Weatherby’s accuracy claims are conservative. This tactical rifle is closer to a half-MOA rig than a 1-MOA gun. American Rifleman recently tested a .308 Win version of this rifle and recorded really stellar accuracy — close to half-MOA. What’s more, this rifle is not fussy — with a 1:10″-twist barrel it proved very accurate with six different types of factory ammo.

In fact, the rifle delivered near-half-inch 5-shot groups with two types of Hornady factory ammo, and the worst group (of six ammo types) was 0.76″, still very impressive for factory fodder. With good hand-loads this gun could go well under half-MOA (for five shots).

Vanguard Modular Chassis FIVE-SHOT Test Groups with Factory Ammo:

0.53 inches | Hornady 168gr Match BTHP (2718 fps)
0.55 inches | Hornady 155gr Steel Match (2612 fps)
0.57 inches | Black Hills 168gr BTHP (2608 fps)
0.66 inches | Federal Premium 168gr MatchKing BTHP (2659 fps)
0.70 inches | Hornady 155gr American Gunner (2697 fps)
0.76 inches | Black Hills 175gr BTHP (2603 fps)

NOTE: Group sizes are for 5-shot groups shot from bench at 100 yards with Caldwell pedestal rest and rear sandbag. Pentax Lightseeker 6-24x50mm scope. Velocities in FPS from PACT Chronograph.

READ American Rifleman’s FULL REVIEW of Weatherby Vanguard Modular Chassis Rifle

The accuracy testing was done by gunwriter Mike Detty, who notes: “My single best group was fired with Hornady’s Match 168-gr. BTHP ammunition. Five shots measured just slightly more than a half-inch. Hornady’s 155-gr. Steel Match ammo wasn’t far behind with a group of .55″. Also accounting for the small groups is the VMC’s wonderful trigger. It is a two-stage affair and the first stage has about 3/8” take up with about a pound of pressure until it reaches the second stage where another 1 ¾ lbs. was required to break the shot.”

Vanguard Modular Chassis FEATURES:

CNC-machined, hard-anodized, 6061 aluminum chassis
Fully adjustable LUTH-AR MBA-1 buttstock
Hogue Overmolded grip with finger grooves
Adjustable high-quality, Two-stage trigger
Fully Enclosed Bolt Sleeve
Integral Recoil Lug
3-Position Safety

PRS Production Class Cost Limits
Production Division combined rifle and scope MSRP as listed on the company’s website shall not exceed $3,000 USD, the rifle shall not exceed $2,000 USD and the optic not exceed $2,000 USD. [Editor: For example, you could have a $2,000 rifle with a $1000.00 scope or vice-versa. The total system cannot exceed $3000. Rifle alone cannot exceed $2000.00 retail sale price.]
Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration.

Permalink New Product, Tactical No Comments »
August 19th, 2016

New Hornady Ballistics Calculator Uses Doppler Radar Bullet Data

Hornady Ballistics Calculator 4DOF Doppler Vertical Jump Spin Drift Angle of Attack

Here’s a significant new addition to our knowledge base for Long-Range shooting. Hornady has released a new Ballistics Calculator that employs bullet profiles derived from Doppler radar testing and 3D projectile modeling. Hornady’s Patent Pending 4DOF™ Ballistic Calculator provides trajectory solutions based on projectile Drag Coefficient (not static G1/G7 ballistic coefficients) along with the exact physical modeling of projectiles and their mass and aerodynamic properties. This new 4DOF (Four Degrees of Freedom) calculator also accounts for spin drift and the subtle VERTICAL effects of crosswinds.


We strongly recommend you watch this video from start to finish. In greater detail than is possible here, this video explains how the 4DOF System works, and why it is more sophisticated than other commercially-offered Ballistics calculators. There’s a LOT going on here…

Aerodynamic Jump from Crosswind Calculated
According to Hornady, the 4DOF Ballistics Calculator “is the first publicly-available program that will correctly calculate the vertical shift a bullet experiences as it encounters a crosswind.” This effect is called aerodynamic jump. The use of radar-derived drag profiles, correct projectile dynamics, aerodynamic jump, and spin drift enable the Hornady® 4DOF™ ballistic calculator to provide very sophisticated solutions. Hornady says its 4DOF solver is “the most accurate commercially available trajectory program … even at extreme ranges.”

“Current ballistic calculators provide three degrees of freedom in their approach — windage, elevation, and range — but treat the projectile as an inanimate lump flying through the air,” said Dave Emary, Hornady Chief Ballistician. “This program incorporates the projectile’s movement in the standard three degrees but also adds its movement about its center of gravity and subsequent angle relative to its line of flight, which is the fourth degree of freedom.”

Using Doppler radar, Hornady engineers have calculated exact drag versus velocity curves for each bullet in the 4DOF™ calculator library. This means the 4DOF™ calculator should provicde more precise long range solutions than calulators that rely on simple BC numbers or drag curves based with limited data collection points. Emary adds: “The Hornady 4DOF also accurately calculates angled shots by accounting for important conditions that [other ballistic] programs overlook.”

“This calculator doesn’t utilize BCs (Ballistic Coefficients) like other calculators,” added Jayden Quinlan, Hornady Ballistics Engineer. “Why compare the flight of your bullet to a standard G1 or G7 projectile when you can use your own projectile as the standard?” That makes sense, but users must remember that Hornady’s 4DOF projectile “library” includes mostly Hornady-made bullets. However, in addition to Hornady bullets, the 4DOF Calculator currently does list seven Berger projectiles, six Sierra projectiles, and one Lapua bullet type. For example, Sierra’s new 183gr 7mm MatchKing is listed, as is Berger’s 105gr 6mm Hybrid.

This Video Explains How to Use Hornady’s New 4DOF Ballistics Calculator

Hornady Ballistics Calculator 4DOF Doppler Vertical Jump Spin Drift Angle of Attack

Using the 4DOF™ Ballistic Calculator:
The Hornady 4DOF Ballistic Calculator provides trajectory solutions based on projectile Drag Coefficient (not ballistic coefficients) along with exact physical modeling of the projectile and its mass and aerodynamic properties. Additionally, it calculates the vertical shift a bullet experiences as it encounters a crosswind, i.e. “aerodynamic jump”. The use of drag coefficients, projectile dynamics, aerodynamic jump, and spin drift enable the 4DOF Ballistic Calculator to accurately measure trajectories even at extreme ranges. It is ideal for both long range and moderate distances and is available for the low-drag precision bullets listed in the drop down menu of the calculator. For calculating trajectories of traditional hunting and varmint bullets using BCs (ballistic coefficients), you can use Hornady’s Standard Ballistics Calculator.

Hornady Ballistics Calculator 4DOF Doppler Vertical Jump Spin Drift Angle of Attack

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