May 1st, 2016

How to Make a Modified Case to Measure 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 fired cases and $15.00 check to: Hornady Manufacturing, Attn: Modified Cases, 108 S. Apollo St., Alda, NE 68810. More Info HERE.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 7 Comments »
April 27th, 2016

Press-Mounted Bullet Pullers — How to Use Them

Collet Bullet Puller Hornady RCBS Press Mount Reloading

In our Shooters’ Forum, a member recently noted that he needed to pull down (disassemble) some ammunition that was loaded incorrectly by one of his shooting buddies. You can use an impact puller to do this task, but if you have more than a dozen rounds or so, you may prefer to use a collet-style bullet puller. These work very quickly and positively, making quick work of big jobs. The efficiency of the collet-style puller is worth the investment if you frequently disassemble ammo. These devices retail for under $25.00 (collets sold separately). Normally, you’ll need a specific collet for each bullet diameter. But collets are not that costly, so this isn’t a big deal, particularly if you only load a few calibers, such as .223, 6mm, and .308.

Hornady and RCBS use different mechanisms to tighten the collet around the bullet. On Hornady’s Cam-Lock Bullet Puller, a lever-arm on the top of the bullet puller serves to tighten the collet around the bullet. Simply rotate the lever from the vertical to the horizontal position to grab the bullet. Lower the ram to remove the case. The bullet will drop out when you return the lever arm to the vertical position. This is demonstrated in the video below:

Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller Demonstrated

Collet bullet-pullers resemble a loading die with a lever or handle on the top. They screw into a standard reloading press. Hornady and RCBS both make collet-style bullet pullers. They use the same basic principle — the device tightens a collet around the bullet, and then the bullet is separated from the case by lowering the press ram. NOTE: Collet pullers may leave small marks on your bullets, unlike impact (kinetic) pullers.*

Hornady collet bullet pullerLike the Hornady tool, the RCBS Bullet Puller employs a collet to grab the bullet. However, the RCBS tool tightens the collet in a different way. The head of the RCBS tool is threaded internally. By rotating the lever arm clockwise in a horizontal circle you squeeze the collet around the bullet. To remove the bullet, after lowering the press ram, simply spin the lever arm back in the opposite direction. The use of the RCBS tool is demonstrated in this video:

RCBS Collet Bullet Puller Demonstrated:

WARNING: When removing bullets from loaded cartridges, always make sure there are no obsructions or debris in your shell-holder or under the loaded round. NEVER engage a primer seating accessory on your press when working with loaded rounds. You can cause a round to discharge by contacting the primer! Also, we recommend you keep your head and torso away from the bullet puller tool at all times.

*By contrast, impact pullers rarely mark bullets, particularly if you put a little bit of foam or paper wadding in the closed end of your impact puller. When dismantling loaded rounds, powder kernels can get trapped in the wadding, so you should remove and replace the wadding before changing to cartridges loaded with a different powder type (assuming you intend to save the powder).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 21st, 2016

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 »
April 3rd, 2016

Loading for the AR10 Using a Progressive Press

Lock and Load Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader AR-10
Gavin Gear tests .308 Win ammo with his DPMS LR-308B, AR10-type rifle.

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com owns a DPMS LR-308B, an AR10-type semi-auto rifle. Gavin finds that his DPMS has a healthy appetite for ammunition. So, he set up his Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive press to produce .308 Win ammo. This video shows the process of press set-up and operation, complete with Hornady’s automated Case Feeder and Bullet Feeder. Employing elevated rotary hoppers, the case feed and bullet feed systems really speed up production. The automated feeders allow the operator to produce cartridges without ever touching case or bullet with his hands.

If you need large quantities of .308 Win ammo for 3-Gun matches or tactical games, and if you value your time, a progressive press may be a wise investment. The progressive can load a complete round with every cycle of the press handle. With Case Feeder and Bullet Feeder in place, the Hornady L-N-L can easily crank out a new .308 round every 3-4 seconds (watch video at 5:25). Conservatively speaking, that’s 15 rounds per minute sustained production (and some guys can go even faster).

Get updates from UltimateReloader.com via Gavin’s twitter feed: @UReloader. To learn more about the Hornady Lock-N-Load Progressive Press (with case/bullet feed options), and to see a list of the dies and accessories Gavin uses, click the link below:

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feeder Part 5: Loading .308 for the AR-10

Lock and Load Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader AR-10

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
April 1st, 2016

First-Ever 50: New 750gr Titanium-Tipped Monster from Berger

Berger Solid Bullet Titanium TI removable threaded tip bullet .50 Caliber BMG Bryan Litz

The biggest Berger bullet ever is on its way. In early summer, Berger Bullets will unveil its first-ever .50-Caliber projectile and its first-ever solid. This new 750gr bullet, called the TItan (for Titanium), features heat-resistant CNC-machined Titanium bullet tips with threaded shafts. TItan bullet bodies are precisely tapped (with a fine pitch) to accept the threaded tips. This allows for ultra-precise tip alignment and perfect concentricity. Another benefit of this threaded attachment system is that hand-loaders can change out tips, selecting a particular tip profile for different applications. Initially three tip types will be offered: Hunting (for increased expansion), Match (for maximum BC), and Tactical (for military/LEO applications). The Match Tip gives the new TItan a spectacular 1.25 G1 BC.

The field-tested G7 BC is still “top-secret” but Bryan Litz reports: “The number we’ve seen with the prototype TItans is a game-changer… nothing will touch it.” How impressive is the new TItan? Bryan told us: “Look, I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but I’m building a new .50 just to shoot this thing, and we’re looking to go sub-MOA at 2500 yards.”

Berger Solid Bullet Titanium TI removable threaded tip bullet .50 Caliber BMG Bryan Litz

The Titanium bullet tips set the new Berger TItan apart from all other projectiles on the market. Berger Ballistician Bryan Litz noted: “We wanted the ability to adapt bullet performance to particular applications. With interchangeable bullet tips you can increase BC or increase terminal performance. In addition, with the Titanium material, we have the most heat-resistant bullet tips in the business. Compare the heat resistance of Titanium with any thing else — red, green, or otherwise.” Recently, Hornady rolled out a line of ELD™ match bullets with heat-resistant red plastic tips. Berger’s Titanium tips can withstand much higher temperatures than ANY polymer tips. “Our Titanium tips are essentially heat-proof. The amount of heat required to compromise the tips would melt your barrel first”, said a Berger production engineer.

Berger Bullets President Eric Stecker said the company considered other monikers for its super-sized .50 Caliber projectile before finalizing on the name “TItan”: “For the new .50 we needed something to top the ‘Juggernaut’ name we use for our big 30s. We thought about ‘Super-Solid’ and even considered calling the big .50 the ‘Berger King Whopper’, but that didn’t work for obvious reasons. We finally settled on ‘TItan’ because it means ‘big’ and has the Titanium connection, and we can trademark that. But Bryan and some of the production guys in the shop still call this big .50 the ‘Whopper'”.

Permalink News 27 Comments »
March 28th, 2016

Bargain Finder 28: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Midsouth — Major Brand Blem Bullets (.204 to .50 Cal)

Right now Midsouth Shooters Supply is running a big sale on Major Brand Blem Bullets. You can save 50% or more on a wide variety of bullet types and calibers. Whatever your preference — Poly Tips, BT Hollowpoints, Soft-Points — you’ll find something on sale. In all 42 types of bullets, from .22 to .50 caliber, are deeply discounted. Here are just a few of the great deals we found:

.204 (20 Cal) 45gr SP, $17.06 per 100
.224 (5.56 mm) 55gr SP, $9.53 per 100
.243 (6 mm) 87gr BTHP, $15.08 per 100
.264 (6.5 mm) 120gr Poly Tip, $18.54 per 100
.308 (7.62 mm) 195gr BTHP, $22.96 per 100
.338 (8.58mm) 225gr Poly Tip, $27.22 per 100

2. Grafs.com — Magnetospeed Sporter $179.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

If you have been waiting to get a Magnetospeed… wait no longer. Priced at just $179.99 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 Magnetspeed’s XFR adapter (sold separately), data can be transferred easily from the display module to your mobile device. READ Magnetospeed Sporter Review.

3. Bruno’s — Once-Used Nightforce Scopes, Save Hundreds

Bruno Shooters Nightforce competition scope sale optics

Bruno Shooters Supply currently offers six (6) Nightforce targets scopes that were used one-time-only at the Cactus Benchrest match. These were “previewed” for evaluation on a rifle but are virtually brand new. And yes they come with full factory warranty. Choose either the 15-55x52mm Comp model or the NEW fixed-power 42x44mm scope, with either Fine Cross Hair (FCH) or Target Dot Reticle. You can save some hundreds on these scopes. For example, the 15-55X scope is offered at $2125.00, compared to the $2352.00 normal price at other vendors. That’s a $227.00 savings.

4. CDNN Sports — Ruger American Ranch Rifle (Tan), $389.99

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

Here’s a nice little varmint rifle from Ruger with some nice features at a very attractive price, $389.99. 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.

5. Natchez — 300 Rounds .45 ACP in Can, $69.99 After Rebate

Federal Premium .45 ACP REbate Ammo Can

The classic .45 ACP is probably our favorite handgun cartridge for target work. Inherently accurate, the .45 ACP delivers big, easy-to-see holes on the target. Right now you can get 300 rounds of quality American Eagle 230gr .45 ACP FMJ ammunition for just $69.99 after the Federal Premium MFG Rebate. This Natchez .45 ACP Ammo Deal includes a rugged, lockable Federal Premium plastic Ammo Can.

6. Cabelas.com — Lyman Power Case-Prep Tool, $20.89

Lyman Case Prep Driver Power Tool

This Lyman cordless power tool is now just $20.89, marked down from $39.99. That’s a steal for a tool that handles most case-prep chores. The high-torque rechargeable driver runs at the correct speed for deburring and chamfering. The accessories have hex shafts that snap in and out of the driver (much like with a cordless screwdriver). The kit includes the power unit and seven (7) accessories: two case neck brushes, two double-ended primer pocket tools (large and small), an outside 45° neck-chamfer tool, an inside 30° neck-chamfer tool, and a combo standard/phillips screw-driver bit. Grab one for $20.89 at Cabelas.com.

7. MidwayUSA — Padded Scoped Rifle Case, $24.99

MidwayUSA Padded Rifle Case Sale Scoped

This 48″-long, thickly-padded gun case will hold most tactical-style rifles and hunting rifles. At a fraction of the cost of a big, cumbersome drag bag, this case may be all you need. The heavy duty padding is over 1″ thick on both sides to protect your rifle and optics investment from rough handling. A large pocket will hold a couple boxes of ammo and other accessories. We like this bag much better than the typical gun-store soft cases. It offers much better padding and more room for large scopes. It is on sale this week at MidwayUSA for just $24.99 in four colors: black, tan, OD green, and gray. In addition to the 48″ case shown, 40″ and 44″ versions are available.

8. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.95

Red Orange Neon 3

We like these bright Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.95 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 0’clock.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, New Product No Comments »
March 27th, 2016

Common Reloading Mistakes, and Their Cures — The Stuck Case

This article originally appeared in the Sinclair International Reloading Press.

We have all been there…..you place a piece of tumbled brass in the shell-holder of your press, raise it into the die, and suddenly it is like somebody hit the brakes. The case is stuck in the die. Your first instinct is to reverse it out. You crank on the handle, and BANG! The rim rips off the case head and you are looking at a piece of brass stuck in the die.

A stuck case is one of the boo-boos that all of us reloaders have faced from time to time. If proper lubrication is applied, then it should not be a problem. No matter if you are a seasoned reloader or new to it, this situation can happen. Take your time, use the proper procedures, and you will be back in business in no time! This article explains how to avoid stuck cases (through proper lubrication) and how to use a stuck case removal system.

What Causes Stuck Cases
One of the first common mistakes reloaders face is the stuck case. It can be caused by too much or too little lube. Too much and a vacuum can be formed causing the case to become suctioned into the die. Too little lube and friction is the culprit. So what is the cure? There is no exact cure, but the best lube that we have found so far is just a dab of Imperial Sizing Die Wax on your fingers and applied in a thin coat on the body of the case, not the shoulder or neck. Too much of this wax can cause the vacuum effect, or can eventually load your die up with gobs of residue. If it is applied to the shoulder area, or the leftover wax moves up into the shoulder region of the die, you will see dents or dimples in the shoulder. [AccurateShooter.com Editor’s Note: For normal full-length sizing of small cases such as 220 Russian/PPC, 6mmBR, 6.5 Grendel, or 6.5×47 Lapua we recommend Ballistol (aerosol) lube. It is very slippery, goes on very thin, and does not gum up the die.]

A great way to ensure that your dies are clean is to use a simple chamber mop with a dab of your favorite solvent on it and clean out the die. Be sure all of the solvent is out after cleaning by spraying the die out with Quickscrub III or use a clean chamber mop. If you are storing your dies, you can apply a thin coat of a good oil to protect the steel such as TM oil or Starrett M1 Spray.

Using a Stuck Case Removal Kit
If you do stick a case in your die there are a few good stuck case removal kits available. Each one works in a similar fashion. I have found the Hornady kit very effective and easy to use.

Basically what you do is remove the die from the press. Unscrew the decapping assembly and pull it out as far as you can. You then need to drill/tap threads into the stuck case head (this is why it is suggested to unscrew the decapping assembly as far as you can to get it clear of the drill bits). Once this is done screw the die back into the press. You then install the included shellholder attachment on the shellholder ram, and thread it into the case via a small wrench. With some elbow grease you can reverse the stuck case out of the die with the leverage of the press, and not damage the die.

However if the case is stuck….REALLY stuck, you may pull out the threads on the case and you are still left with a stuck case in the die without any way to pull it out. If the case is really difficult to remove even with the use of a stuck case removal kit, do not try to be Hercules with the press ram. Here is a trick that may work. Take the die with the stuck case and place it in your freezer for a couple of hours. Then repeat the removal with the cold die. The freezing temperatures may cause the brass to contract, and make removal easier. If this does not work it is recommended to send it to the die manufacturer. They will be able to remove the case without damaging the die.

Another fix if you can remove the decapping assembly completely is to use a tap hammer and a punch or small wooden dowel to knock the stuck case out. This isn’t the best way since it is very possible that you will damage the die internally or externally on the threads, or both. Send the die to the manufacturer to have this done properly. You will be happier in the long run.

This article appears courtesy Sinclair International. It first appeared in Sinclair’s Reloading Press Blog.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 8 Comments »
March 20th, 2016

Smart Tool Tip: Make Your Own Length-to-Lands Gauge

Here’s a tip we feature every year or so, because it is something that costs nothing, yet can be very useful in the reloading process. With a simple, easy modification to a fired case, you can determine the length to lands in your rifle barrel. As long as you set the tension right, the measurements should be repeatable, and you’ve just saved yourself $31 — the price of a commercial OAL gauge.

To achieve best accuracy with a rifle, you must control bullet seating depth very precisely, so all bullets end up in the same place relative to the entrance of the lands, every time. There may be multiple cartridge OALs which prove accurate. However, with each, you first need to determine a “zero” point — a reliable, and repeatable OAL where the bullet is “just touching” the lands.

There are tools, such as the Hornady (formerly Stoney Point) OAL Gauge, that will help you find a seating OAL just touching the lands. However, the tool requires that you use a special modified case for each cartridge you shoot. And, while we find that the Hornady OAL Gauge is repeatable, it does take some practice to get in right.

Make Your Own Length-to-Lands Gauge with a Dremel
Here’s an inexpensive alternative to the Hornady OAL tool — a slotted case. Forum member Andris Silins explais how to create a slotted case to measure length to the lands in your rifle:

“Here’s what I did to find length to lands for seating my bullets. I made four cuts into the neck of fire-formed brass. Then I pressed the bullet in lightly and chambered the entire gauge. As the cartridge chambers, the bullet slides back into the case to give you length to lands. It took less than five minutes to get it cut and working. A little light oil in the barrel just past the chamber helps ensure the bullet does not get stuck in the lands. It works great and is very accurate.

case OAL gauge home made

I made the cuts using a Dremel with a cut-off wheel. You can adjust tension two ways. First, you can make the cuts longer or shorter. Longer cuts = less tension. If you used only three cuts insted of four you would get more tension. The trick is to be gentle when you open and close the bolt. If you ram the bolt closed you may wedge the bullet into the lands. When you open the bolt it helps to keep a finger or two near by to guide the case out straight because the ejector wants to push it sideways.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
March 14th, 2016

Bargain Finder 26: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on 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 — Nosler .308 Match Monster Bullets, $119.99 for 500

AccurateShooter Deals of Week Midsouth Shooters Nosler Monster Match Bullets .308 Sale

Looking for high-quality, name-brand .308-caliber bullets? You won’t beat the price on these Nosler bullets from Midsouth Shooters Supply. Five options are offered: 155 grain, 168 grain, 168 grain (with cannelure), 170 grain, and 190 grain. The 155s and 168s are just $119.99 for FIVE HUNDRED bullets. The 170s cost $131.28/500 while the big 190s cost $137.74/500. Those are insanely good prices, any way you cut it. The price on the 168s works out to just $23.99 per hundred. You could easily pay $40.00 per hundred for bullets of this quality. These are not seconds or blems — the are quality Nosler-made bullets produced for Midsouth’s Match Monster bulk sales program.

2. Amazon.com — Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII Competition Scope

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

This 10-50X Sightron isn’t as good as a Nightforce 15-55X Competition scope, but it is definitely good enough to win long-range benchrest and F-Class matches. At $968.05, the Sightron is nearly $1400 cheaper than the 15-55X Nightforce. It is even $450 cheaper than the old 12-42x56mm NF Benchrest scope. On a value-for-money basis, then, the Sightron 10-50x60mm makes sense for competitors on a budget. The money you save (compared to a 15-55X NF) will pay for a BAT or Kelbly action, with money left over.

3. Southern Shooters — 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire

AccurateShooter Deals of week bargain discount savings Ruger American Rifle 17 HMR

With ballistics far superior to a .22 LR, the 17 HMR is ideal for Prairie Dogs and small varmints out to 180 yards or so. Now you can get a reliable, name brand 17 HMR rifle for a very attractive price. That’s right, Southern Shooters is selling the 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire, with 22″ barrel, for just $252.63. FFL required. For other vendors with this rifle, CLICK HERE.

4. Natchez Shooters Supply — Lyman Gen6 Scale/Dispenser

Free Shipping Lyman Powder Scale Dispenser ChargeMaster Natchez Gen6 deals of week AccurateShooter

Like the RCBS ChargeMaster, this Lyman Gen6 Powder System will automatically dispense and weigh powder charges. This unit features a touch screen, rapid warm-up, anti-static/anti-drift technology, and electronic shielding to resist interference from other electronic devices. It’s a good deal at $205.99.

5. Grafs.com — Hornady 17 HMR Ammo $10.99 for 50 Rounds

Hornady Varmint Express 17 HMR ammo Grafs.com

This is one of the best prices we’ve seen in recent years on 17 HMR ammo. We really like the V-Max bullets in 17 HMR ammunition — you get excellent accuracy plus the tipped design is very effective on small varmints. Grafs.com is having a big ammo sale right now, so you can get this quality Hornady 17 HMR ammo for just $10.99 per 50-round box. You could easily pay $16.00/box at a local gunstore. This is a GREAT deal — stock up while you can.

6. CDNN — Walther PPX M1 9mm for $299.99

AccurateShooter Deals of week CDNN Investments pistol handgun sale Walther 9mm 9x19mm PPX discount bargain coupon

It may be ugly, but this Walther PPX M1 is a very good 9mm pistol. This Editor has shot the PPX and, IMHO, it has a better trigger than the Glock, better ergonomics, and better accuracy. Right now you can get this German-made Walther 9mm pistol for under $300.00 — about half the price of a new Glock. Interested? Then read this Walther PPX Review. It confirms what we’ve said — this is a good pistol.

7. Amazon — AR500 10″ Steel Gong and Rack, $69.99

Amazon AR500 steel gong rack plate chain long range target

We love reactive targets for shooting at 300 yards and beyond. You’ll find that, even with a premium spotting scope, it can be hard to spot small bullet holes in paper much past 350 yards (unless viewing conditions are perfect). With a reactive steel target, however, you get instant confirmation of a hit. This Viking 10″ AR500 Steel Gong is a good size for shooting at 400-500 yards. At 500 yards, the 10″ diameter of the gong works out to 2 MOA. For guys looking for a budget-priced hard steel target, this is a good deal — the gong system comes with everything you need: AR500 (armored) round steel plate, chain, fasteners, and support rack.

8. Cabelas.com — Lyman Power Case-Prep Tool

Lyman Case Prep Driver Power Tool

This handy, cordless power tool handles most case-prep chores. The high-torque rechargeable driver runs at the correct speed for deburring and chamfering. The accessories have hex shafts that snap in and out of the driver (much like with a cordless screwdriver). The kit includes the power unit and seven (7) accessories: two case neck brushes, two double-ended primer pocket tools (large and small), an outside 45° neck-chamfer tool, an inside 30° neck-chamfer tool, and a combo standard/phillips screw-driver bit. Regularly $39.99, this tool is on sale for just $24.88 at Cabelas.com.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 1 Comment »
March 9th, 2016

The 6.5 Creedmoor — Profile of Popular Mid-Sized Cartridge

6.5 Creedmoor

We often get questions about the 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge — folks ask where they can find good resources for this cartridge, which is popular with Across-The-Course, High Power, and tactical shooters. We did some searching and found that the August 2011 digital edition of Shooting Sports USA has a good article for all fans of the 6.5 Creedmoor.

6.5 Creedmoor Development of the 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge
In the August 2011 Edition of Shooting Sports USA you’ll find a lengthy feature on the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This story covers the origin of the cartridge and its performance both as a match cartridge and as a hunting round. Hornady Chief Ballistician Dave Emary explained: “the original intent of the cartridge was as an across-the-course match cartridge. We envisioned it as an off-the-shelf round that would produced the accuracy and ballistics to compete in all match disciplines right out of the box. At the same time we realized that the same characteristics would make an exceptional hunting cartridge with the right bullets.”

6.5 Creedmoor

6.5 Creedmoor Annealing6.5 Creedmoor Brass No Longer Washed After Annealing
Here’s an interesting update on Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor brass and loaded ammo. In a move to improve case quality and neck uniformity, Hornady recently changed the 6.5 Creedmoor production process, eliminating the case-washing step after annealing. So now you will see annealing coloration on 6.5 Creedmoor brass, just like on Lapua brass. Dennis DeMille of Creedmoor Sports wanted to improve the consistency/uniformity of 6.5 Creedmoor case-necks. At Dennis’ suggestion, Hornady conducted tests which showed that the “standard industry practice” of washing brass could potentially alter the necks in undesirable ways. Bottom line, unwashed annealed brass was determined to have an accuracy edge over washed brass. Looking at these results, Hornady decided to forgo the post-anneal washing process. As a result, the latest 6.5 Creedmoor brass now displays the distinctive coloration left by neck/shoulder annealing. Learn something new every day, eh?

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tactical 2 Comments »
February 27th, 2016

What Gun Guys Buy — 2015 Favorite Brands Survey Results

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

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

In 2015, most frequently purchased brands included:

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

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

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

Permalink News, Reloading 3 Comments »
February 22nd, 2016

SHOT Show Special on Shooting USA TV This Wednesday

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2016 AccurateShooter

If you watch just one episode of Shooting USA TV this year, it probably should be this week’s hour-long SHOT Show Special. Jim Scoutten’s team of gun journalists work hard every January, bringing you highlights from the gun industry’s largest trade show. Jim, son John Scoutten, and other staffers prowled the 12 miles of aisles in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, visiting many of the 1,600+ exhibitors. This episode provides a “first look” at the new guns, optics, and gear introduced for 2016. The guys have a lot to show you in non-stop new product presentations. Click HERE to learn more about this week’s SHOT Show episode.

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2016 AccurateShooter

Shooting USA’s SHOT Show Special will air for a full hour on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 on the Outdoor Channel. Here are the air times, but you should check your local schedule. Look for Shooting USA TV on the Outdoor Channel.

Shooting USA Hour AIR TIMES BY TIME ZONE:
Eastern Time – 5:30 PM, 9:00 PM, 12:30 AM
Central Time – 4:30 PM, 8:00 PM, 11:30 PM
Mountain Time – 3:30 PM, 7:00 PM, 10:30 PM
Pacific Time – 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM, 9:30 PM

Here are some of the 50+ new products featured on the SHOT Show Special:

Savage A17 XP Rifle
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2016 AccurateShooter
Hornady L-N-L Iron Press
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2016 AccurateShooter
Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Sport
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2016 AccurateShooter
Sig P210 Standard/Target 9mm
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2016 AccurateShooter
SnapSafe Titan Modular Safe
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2016 AccurateShooter
Walther PPS M2 9mm
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2016 AccurateShooter
Permalink - Videos, New Product No Comments »
February 17th, 2016

First Look: The Hornady Lock-N-Load Iron Press

Hornady Lock load l-n-l iron reloading press single stage

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com got his hands on Hornady’s all-new, pyramid-style Lock-N-Load Iron reloading press. This single-stage press features a unique, open-front design that makes it easier to place and remove cases during reloading processes. The compact footprint of this Iron Press also allows for a variety of placement options.

This video shows the new open-front Hornady Iron Press:

Gavin installed the Iron Press on his bench which features horizontal metal channels (for placement flexibility). Gavin reports: “The arrival of this press is great in its timing. I’m just about to move from progressive loading of 6.5 Creedmoor (for the Ruger Precision Rifle) to single-stage precision reloading. This will be the perfect press for that task! Based on the feedback and questions I’ve gotten recently, I’ll compare the consistency between progressive presses and single-stage presses.”

hornady lock load iron press

To raise the Iron Press higher, Gavin used an Ultramount from Inline Fabrication: “I was hoping to make slight modifications to the Ultramount in order to adapt it for use with my Ultimate Reloader bench system, and that worked out just fine! Here’s a picture of the Ultramount bolted down: I can easily slide it side to side to make room for other items on my bench.” NOTE: After taking the pictures shown here, Gavin rotated the Ultramount 180 degrees. This moved the whole press forward (towards the operator), providing more bench clearance for the Iron Press linkage and handle.

READ FULL IRON PRESS ARTICLE on UltimateReloader.com

Permalink - Videos, New Product No Comments »
January 25th, 2016

Bargain Finder 19: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on 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. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs (Best Seller)

Accurateshooters deals of week Electronic Leight Howard Ear Muffs Safety

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs — they are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $36.30. These NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category. NOTE: For regular, sustained shooting we recommend muffs and/or earplugs with a higher NRR rating.

2. Grafs.com — Magnetospeed Sporter $179.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

If you have been waiting to get a Magnetospeed… wait no longer. Priced at just $179.99 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 Magnetspeed’s XFR adapter (sold separately), data can be transferred easily from the display module to your mobile device. READ Magnetospeed Sporter Review.

3. Cabelas.com — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $225.00, after manufacturer’s rebate. Right now, Cabela’s is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $300.00. That’s a good deal as this Reloading Kit sells elsewhere for up to $360.00. But he’s the real incentive — if you spend $300.00 on RCBS products in 2016, RCBS will send you a $75.00 rebate. That reduces your net cost to just $225.00 for the entire Kit.

4. Brownells — Hornady 17 HMR Ammo, $12.79 per box

Deal of Week 17 MHR Hornady ammo ammunition

If you have ever shopped for 17 HMR ammunition, you know it rarely goes on sale (it’s the law of supply and demand). Right now, as part of its “Red, White and Boom” ammo promo, Brownells.com is offering first-quality Hornady brand 17 HMR ammo for $12.79 per 50-count box. We’ve seen ammo this sell in gunshops for $16.50 per box. Stock up now for the spring varmint season.

5. CDNN Sports — Savage 93R17 for $219.99

Deal of Week Savage 17 MHR 93R17

No more excuses — you can add a 17 HMR to your collection for under $220.00. We think everyone should own a 17 HMR rifle. The 17 HMR is the perfect cartridge for dispatching ground squirrels and other small varmints. The round shoots faster and flatter than a .22 LR, and delivers more energy. This week CDNN Sports is offering the Savage 93R17 for just $219.99. This little rifle can provide years of service in the varmint fields, and the 93R17 is also a good youth training rifle.

6. Natchez — CCI Blazer 9mm ammo, $9.99 for 50 Rounds

Deal of Week Hornady CCI Blazer 9mm Luger pistol ammo

This is the best price we’ve found this week on newly-manufactured 9mm pistol ammunition. And this is quality, CCI made-in-USA ammo with reloadable, brass casings. We have used this CCI-made Blazer 9mm ammo in Sig, HK, and Glock pistols and it performed very well. This stuff won’t last long at this price (less than $0.20 per round). If you need 9mm practice ammo, order soon.

7. Walmart — 48-gun Stack-on Gun Safe

Deal of Week Walmart Stack-on Gun Safe 48 Gun Fire Safe

If you need a big safe to hold lots of guns, here’s a large-capacity Stack-On Safe that’s rated for 48 long-guns. Measuring 59″ high and a full 43″ wide, this safe is much bigger than the typical safes you find at CostCo and Sam’s Club. This safe is discounted $202 right now with “Rollback” pricing. One verified safe purchaser states: “The safe interior is nice for the price. Outside finish is great. All in all this is a GREAT value after looking at safes twice this price.”

8. Brownells.com — Hornady Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine, $49.99

AccurateShooter Deal Week Sale Bargain Hornady Sonic Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine Lock Load

Yes, you can get a name-brand Ultrasonic cleaning machine for under fifty bucks. This Hornady Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner, which sells elsewhere for $75-$85, is available at Brownells.com this week for just $49.99. This cleaning machine holds up to 200 .223 Remington cases, or 100 .308 Winchester cases.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
January 14th, 2016

Hornady Mfg. Acquires SnapSafe, Maker of Modular Safes

SnapSafe Modular vault gunsafe safe Hornady

Need a gun safe? Well now there’s a modular vault option from “Big Red”, Hornady Manufacturing. Hornady has acquired SnapSafe, manufacturer of modular safes. Delivered in sections and assembled on site, SnapSafe vaults combine steel-walled security with ease of mobility and installation. The heaviest segment of a SnapSafe is typically under 100 pounds so one adult male can lift and move the safe sections up stairs (or anywhere else). SnapSafe vaults feature 9-gauge steel walls, 8 chrome steel 3/4″ locking bolts, and a one hour (2,300°) fire rating.

SnapSafe modular gun vaults are delivered on a pallet right to your door and can be assembled in minutes. The assembly process is illustrated in the video above. Basically the safe bolts together — it’s a bit like assembling an IKEA cabinet. In addition to conventional safes, SnapSafe also manufactures lock boxes and auxiliary safes that can be stored in trunks, under beds, or in walls. SnapSafe products will be on display at booth #2119 at Shot Show, January 19-22. For more information on SnapSafe products, visit www.Snapsafe.com.

SnapSafe Modular vault gunsafe safe Hornady

Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »
January 11th, 2016

Bargain Finder 17: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on 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. Cabelas.com — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $225.00, after manufacturer’s rebate. Right now, Cabela’s is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $300.00. That’s a good deal as this Reloading Kit sells elsewhere for up to $360.00. But he’s the real incentive — if you spend $300.00 on RCBS products in 2016, RCBS will send you a $75.00 rebate. That reduces your net cost to just $225.00 for the entire Kit.

2. Bullets.com — Bald Eagle Rest with Windage Top

AccurateShooter Deals Week Bullets.com Clearance Bald Eagle front rest windage top Sale
Bullets.com is offering aluminum-base front rests, with flex-shaft remote windage adjustment, for just $165.00! These front rests originally retailed for over $400.00 (with windage drive). But Bullets.com is having an “overstock” sale so you can get blow-out pricing on these rests.

3. Amazon — Minox 16-30x50mm Spotting Scope, $250.00

Deals of Week Minox Spotting Scope Compact

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to spotting scopes. For hunters, compact size and light weight are advantages. This little Minox MD 50 has sharp lenses yet weighs just 22 ounces. The max 30X magnification is plenty for seeing shot markers or watching mirage. Right now this compact Minox is on sale at Amazon.com for just $250.00. No it won’t match a $2300.00 Kowa Prominar, but for basic viewing tasks (and hunting duties) it will do a good job. It’s also an excellent choice for bullseye pistol shooters who need a lightweight, affordable spotting scope.

4. Hornady — 500 Free Bullets with Gear Purchase

Deal of Week Hornady Get Loaded  500 free bullets

Hornady has announced its “Get Loaded” Promotion for 2016. If you buy any of the qualifying products (listed above), you get 500 free bullets. We’ve taken advantage of these promos in the past. It’s a pretty good deal if need a reloading press, case prep center, or large ultrasonic cleaning machine. We’re impressed with the new pyramid-frame, open front iron press. 500 bullets is a nice incentive.

5. CDNN Sports — Remington .22 LR Bulk Ammo

Deal of Week Remington .22 LR Bulk Ammunition buck of ammo

Chose from a 525-round box for $54.88 or a jumbo 1400-round “bucket ‘o ammo” for $139.88. Both offerings feature 36-grain hollowpoint bullets. With the big bucket you get ammo for under ten cents ($0.10) per round. Yes we’d say that’s affordable .22 LR plinking ammo!

6. Brownells — Hornady V-Max Bullets on Sale

Deal of Week Hornady V-Max Varmint bullets sale Brownells.com

Here’s a super deal on plastic-tipped V-Max bullets — a favorite for varmint hunters. V-Max bullets are accurate and deliver plenty of “pop” on ground squirrels, prairie dogs and other small varmints. Brownells has clearance pricing on many types of V-Max bullets. For example, for just $14.98 per hundred, you can get the excellent 40-grain, .20-caliber V-Max or the equally good 50gr or 53gr, 22-cal V-Max. That’s a great price.

7. Natchez — CCI Blazer 9mm ammo, $9.99 for 50 Rounds

Deal of Week Hornady CCI Blazer 9mm Luger pistol ammo

This is the best price we’ve found this week on newly-manufactured 9mm pistol ammunition. And this is quality, CCI made-in-USA ammo with reloadable, brass casings. We have used this CCI-made Blazer 9mm ammo in Sig, HK, and Glock pistols and it performed very well. This stuff won’t last long at this price (less than $0.20 per round). If you need 9mm practice ammo, order soon.

8. Amazon — Best-Selling Nano LED Mini-Flashlight

Deal of Week Hornady CCI Blazer 9mm Luger pistol ammo

This handy Nano Keychain Light, an Amazon BEST SELLER, has a super-bright 5mm LED with a 100,000 hour lifetime. Verified purchasers say the Nano is “well-constructed” and “super-bright for its size”. Weighing just 0.36 ounces and measuring 1.47″ long, the Nano stows easily. A handy snap hook is included. Streamlight offers a limited lifetime warranty. Read the Amazon Reviews — people love this keychain Nano Light. It’s great for campers, and it’s a smart addition to a house emergency kit.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product No Comments »
November 27th, 2015

Midsouth’s Black Friday Sale — Many Great Deals

Black friday midsouth shooters

We’ll here it is folks — “Black Friday”, the biggest selling day of the year. Many of our favorite vendors have put up some very special deals. CLICK HERE for the Special Black-Friday Deals from Midsouth Shooters Supply. All sale prices begin Friday 11/27/2015 at 12:01 am CDT and run through Midnight on Cyber Monday, 11/30/2015.


CLICK for Black Friday Special Pricing

Midsouth Black Friday

Black Friday X-Travaganza Contest — Enter to Win
Along with the special deals, Midsouth is running a Sweepstakes. You can enter via email, Facebook, or Twitter. Winners will be chosen on December 1, 2015. Prizes include a Hornady Lock-N-Load Progressive Press Package, and a Lyman/Sierra Bundle with digital Borescope, Ultrasonic Cleaning machine, and 1000 Sierra Bullets. To enter, CLICK HERE and then scroll to the bottom of the page.

Permalink News No Comments »
November 2nd, 2015

Bargain Finder 7: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a new “Deals of the Week” feature. If this proves popular, we’ll try to run this every Monday. Here are some of the best deals on 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. Sportsmans Superstore — .30-06 Ruger American Rifle, $299.99

Free Shipping Cabelas deals of week AccurateShooter

Want a quality deer rifle for under three hundred bucks? Look no further. Here’s an awesome deal for the hunting season. This long-action .30-06 Ruger American Rifle costs just $299.99 this week. If you prefer a short action, Sportsmans Outdoors Superstore has the same rifle in .308 Win for $319.41 (camo stock) or $339.88 (black stock).

2. Bruno Shooters Supply — Leupold Competition Scopes $999.99

Free Shipping Leupold Competition Scope 35X 40X Bruno Shooters Supply scope deals of week AccurateShooter

Here’s a good deal for benchrest shooters. Bruno’s is offering Leupold 35X and 40X Competition Series scopes for $999.99. That’s $100.00 less than we’ve seen anywhere else currently. And, for a limited time, Bruno’s is offering free shipping on Leupold scopes. Other Leupold scopes are 5% off regular prices while this sale is in effect.

3. Burris – $100 Off Burris Eliminator III LaserScope

Free Shipping Burris Rebate Eliminator 3 III Laserscope deals of week AccurateShooter
Free Shipping Burris Rebate Eliminator 3 III Laserscope deals of week AccurateShooter

Now through December 31st (2015), you can get $100 back on any Eliminator III with a mail-in rebate. The Burris Eliminator III combines a medium-powder zoom scope with a built-in laser rangefinder. We’ve used an Eliminator and it ranged successfully on steel plates out to 600 yards. We think this is a good product for a varmint hunter — it quickly returns yardages and shows the correct hold-over with an illuminated dot. Just put the dot on the target and “send it”. CLICK HERE for Rebate FORM.

4. Cabelas — FREE Shipping on orders of $99 or more

Free Shipping Cabelas deals of week AccurateShooter

For the next two days, through midnight on 11/3/2015, Cabela’s is offering FREE Shipping on orders of $99.00 or more. Yes this applies to ammo sales as well (though not to firearms or hazmat items). To qualify, use code “115HOT” during checkout. NOTE: Shipping charges may apply to large or heavy items. Act quickly, this offer expires soon.

5. Midsouth Shooters Supply — Hornady Progressive Press on Sale

Free Shipping Hornady Lock N Load Progressive AP Press Midsouth Sale deals of week AccurateShooter

The Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Progessive Press is on sale at Midsouth this week for $389.99. That’s $70.00 off the regular price. To further sweeten this deal, press purchasers can get 500 free bullets through Hornady’s “Get Loaded” promotion. We have used this press. It is strong and reliable. We favor Hornady’s easy-to-adjust, rotary-type powder measure over Dillon’s sliding-bar system.

6. Natchez Shooters Supply — Lyman Gen6 Scale/Dispenser

Free Shipping Lyman Powder Scale Dispenser ChargeMaster Natchez Gen6 deals of week AccurateShooter

Like the RCBS ChargeMaster, this Lyman Gen6 Powder System will automatically dispense and weigh powder charges. This unit features a touch screen, rapid warm-up, anti-static/anti-drift technology, and electronic shielding to resist interference from other electronic devices. It’s a good deal at $202.49.

7. Amazon.com — Lee Universal Shell Holder Set

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

Every hand-loader needs one of these Lee Universal Shell Holder Sets. The kit contains 11 shell-holders for most popular rifle and pistol cartridge types. This editor bought one of these kits 25 years ago, and I still use it every week. Even if you prefer more expensive Redding shell-holders, this 11-piece kit serves as a valuable back-up. Right now the Shell Holder Set is on sale at Amazon.com for $26.99, with free shipping on orders over $35.00. Get two kits and they’ll ship for free.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
October 31st, 2015

Hornady’s Rugged New Open-Front Iron Press

Hornady Iron Press Lock-N-Lock LNL 2016 single stage press rockchucker

Hornady has introduced an innovative new single-stage press with some very impressive features. The new-for-2016 Hornady Iron Press™ features a super-strong, pyramid-style cast-iron frame with an open front. A very clever optional “automatic” priming system shuttles primers from a vertical tube in the back to the shell-holder in the front. We’ve never really seen anything quite like this before. You really should watch the video — it shows the patented auto-priming system in action. This system appears to be a very smart piece of engineering — good job Hornady.

Watch this Video to See Gravity-Fed Shuttle Priming System (00:45, 01:00):

Hornady Iron Press Lock-N-Lock LNL 2016 single stage press rockchucker

The broad top of the beefy (26-lb.) Iron Press can hold case prep tools (such as chamfer tool and case-neck brush) and/or a box for bullets or brass. NOTE: This is NOT a turret press — you can only use one die at a time. However, Hornady offers an accessory “Die Caddy” (sold separately) that can hold up to three (3) more dies. That way you can quickly switch from a sizing die to a seater die (or vice-versa). What Hornady calls the “Accessory Mounting Deck” gives quick access to items such as trays for bullets or cases, chamfer and deburr tools, case neck brushes, primer pocket cleaners and other accessories. The Iron Press comes with the Lock-N-Load® bushing system which allows for rapid die changes.

Hornady Iron Press Lock-N-Lock LNL 2016 single stage press rockchucker

Optional Automatic Priming System
The optional auto-priming system is a real selling point for this new press we think. When you move the press handle rearwards, a horizontal bar toggles back to pick up a primer from the column in the rear of the press. Then this same bar move forwards to place the fresh primer in the center of the shell-holder. Hornady explains: “The available gravity-fed Automatic Priming System (sold separately or with the Lock-N-Load® Iron Press™ Reloading Kit), combined with the Accessory Mounting Deck, increases reloading efficiency by allowing more processes to occur simultaneously. The Iron Press™ is the first of its kind to allow the ability to deprime, pause, and remove the case to chamfer & deburr … then replace and prime.” Do watch the video to see the priming system in action.

Hornady Iron Press Lock-N-Lock LNL 2016 single stage press rockchucker

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Reloading 7 Comments »
October 28th, 2015

New Hornady ELD Bullets with Heat-Resistant Tips

Hornady ELD Low Drag Heat Resistant Bullet Tip Match Bullets Hunting

In 2016, Hornady will introduce new hunting and match bullets with high-tech, heat resistant tips. Hornady developed the new “Heat Shield” bullet tips after Doppler Radar testing showed that the Ballistic Coefficients (BCs) of old-style tipped bullets were degrading in flight in an unexplained manner. Hornady’s engineers theorized that the old-style plastic bullet tips were deforming in flight due to heat and pressure. Hornady claims this problem occurred with high-BC (0.5+ G1) tipped bullets from a variety of manufacturers. Hornady’s testers believed that, after 150 yards or so, the tips on high-BC bullets were actually melting at the front. That enlarged the meplat, resulting in increased drag.*

Consequently, Hornady developed a new type of bullet tip made from a heat-resistant polymer. Further long-range Doppler Radar testing seemingly confirmed that bullets equipped with the new tips did not suffer from the BC loss previously found. This allowed the bullets to maintain a higher, more consistent BC during the entire trajectory. The end result is a bullet with reduced vertical dispersion at long range (or so Hornady claims).

New Hornady ELD-X Hunting Bullets
For 2016, Hornady will bring out two lines of projectiles using the new tips. The first line of bullets, designed for hunting, will be called ELD-X, standing for “Extreme Low Drag eXpanding”. These feature dark red, translucent, heat-resistant tips. With interlock-style internal construction, these hunting projectiles are designed to yield deep penetration and excellent weight retention. Hornady will offer seven different ELD-X bullet types, ranging in weight from 143 grains (6.5mm) to 220 grains (.30 Cal):

6.5mm, 143 grain (G1 .620 / G7 .310)
7mm, 162 grain (G1 .613 / G7 .308)
7mm, 175 grain (G1 .660 / G7 .330)

.308, 178 grain (G1 .535 / G7 .271)*
.308, 200 grain (G1 .626 / G7 .315)
.308, 212 grain (G1 .673 / G7 .336)
.308, 220 grain (G1 .650 / G7 .325)

NOTE: We don’t know if the stated BC values are based on drag models or actual range testing. These new ELD-X hunting bullets will be loaded into a new line of Precision Hunter Ammo for a variety of popular hunting cartridges.

Hornady ELD Low Drag Heat Resistant Bullet Tip Match Bullets Hunting

New Hornady ELD Match Bullets
Along with its new hunting bullets, Hornady is coming out with a line of ELD Match bullets as well. Hornady’s engineers say the new molded “Heat Shield Tip” should be a boon to competitive shooters: “You can’t point up that copper [tip] as consistently as you can mold a plastic tip. With the ELD Match line, and the Heat Shield Tip technology… we now have a perfected meplat. These bullets allow you to shoot groups with less vertical deviation, or less vertical stringing, because the bullets are exact in their drag [factor].” There are currently four bullets in the ELD Match line:

.264 Caliber (6.5mm), 140 grain (G1 .610 / G7 .305)
.284 Caliber (7mm), 162 grain (G1 .627 / G7 .313)
.308 Caliber (7.62mm), 208 grain (G1 .670 / G7 .335)
.338 Caliber (8.6 mm), 285 grain (G1 .789)

Hornady will offer factory ammunition loaded with ELD Match bullets, starting with 6.5 Creedmoor ammo loaded with the 140gr ELD, and .338 Lapua Magnum ammo loaded with the 285gr ELD.

Better Tips Make a Difference — But other Factors Are Important
Hornady claims that its new Heat Shield Tips are more uniform than the meplats on conventional jacketed, hollow-point bullets. This, Hornady says, should provide greater bullet-to-bullet BC consistency than is possible with conventional, non-tipped bullets.

We have heard such claims before. Plastic tips are good, so long as they are inserted perfectly in the bullet. But sometimes they are crooked (off-axis) — we’ve seen that with various brands of tipped projectiles. Other factors will affect bullet performance as well, such as bullet weight, bullet diameter, and bullet bearing surface length. Even with perfectly uniform bullet tips, if bullet weights or diameters are inconsistent across a sample, you can still have accuracy issues (and pressure-related velocity variances). Likewise, if the bearing surface lengths vary considerably from one bullet to the next, this can increase velocity spread and otherwise have a deleterious effect on accuracy.

So, overall, we think Hornady has probably engineered a better bullet tip, which is a good thing. On the other hand there are many other factors (beyond tip uniformity) involved in long-range bullet performance. It will be interesting to test the new ELD Match bullets to see how they compare with the best hollow point jacketed bullets from other manufacturers.

MORE TECHNICAL DETAILS

* Hornady’s Chief Ballistician Dave Emary authored a technical report based on the Doppler Radar testing of a variety of tipped Bullets. CLICK HERE for Emary Report. Here are some of the report’s key observations and conclusions:

After early testing of prototype bullets it was observed that all currently manufactured tipped projectiles’ drag curves were convex, not concave and that abnormally low ballistic coefficients were being observed over long ranges. The drag was rapidly increasing at high velocities.

At this point extensive testing was done with all types of commercially-available tipped projectiles. They all exhibited this behavior to a greater or lesser extent depending on their ballistic coefficient and launch velocity. Most projectiles exhibited BCs relatively close to published values for 150 to 200 yards of flight. Beyond these distances they all showed BCs substantially below published values.

It was obvious that something was changing in the tipped projectiles to cause a rapid increase in drag at higher velocities. The drag increases were most noticeable from 100 to about 500 yards. Drag increases stopped at velocities below approximately 2,100 fps. This behavior was not observed with hollow point or exposed lead (spitzer) style designs. The problem magnified as the velocity was increased. The problem was worse for heavier, higher-BC projectiles that maintained higher velocities longer. After some consideration the answer was obvious and one that several people had wondered about for some time but had no way to prove their thoughts.

The tip of a bullet at 3,000 fps will see temperatures as high as 850 degrees F and decreasing as
the bullet slows down. These temperatures on the tip were a known fact. What wasn’t known was how long it would take at these peak and decreasing temperatures for the polymer tips to begin showing effects, if at all. As it turns out it is within the first 100 yards of flight. Currently-used polymers in projectile tips begin to have properties like rubber at approximately -65 to 50 degrees F and will melt at 300 to 350 degrees F, depending on the exact polymer.

All current polymer-tipped projectiles have tips that are at best softening and deforming in flight and under many circumstances melting and badly deforming. To cut through a lot of technical discussion the problem becomes worse at higher ambient air temperatures (summer) and higher launch velocities. Projectiles that have a high BC and retain velocity well see higher stagnation temperatures for longer lengths of time and have greater degradation of the tip. Simply put it is a heat capacity problem –temperature times time. This makes BCs for current tipped projectiles a rough average over some distance, dependent on atmospheric conditions and muzzle velocity, and does not allow the accurate prediction of downrange ballistics much beyond 400 yards.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 10 Comments »