Barrett Firearms Mfg., famed for its big .50-cal sniper rifles, just introduced a new line of ultra-light hunting rifles. Barrett’s new Fieldcraft rifles feature carbon/Kevlar stocks and light-contour barrels. First unveiled at the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville this weekend, Barrett’s new Fieldcraft rifles are expected to go on sale in the fall of 2016.
So why is Barrett now building ultralight rifles, the “polar opposite” of a 32-pound Model 82A1? The answer is that many of Barrett’s top execs are avid hunters, and they wanted a rifle that was accurate, yet easy to carry in the field. Company President Chris Barrett explained: “Even though we are known for making the world’s finest military-grade rifles, we love to hunt. Recently we introduced the Barrett Sovereign shotgun line, and now we have created the ultimate hunting rifle.” All the new Fieldcrafts are designed to be as light as possible for each specific caliber. The goal is to allow the rifle to be carried further and longer in the field.
Fieldcraft actions are scaled for each family of chamberings. The high-precision stainless steel barrels are machined to ideal contours and lengths for the specific application and caliber. Initial Fieldcraft rifles will be available in select, popular chamberings and will include left-hand models. In the future, Barrett plans to offer additional calibers and configurations.
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Will you be heading to the varmint fields this summer? Proper planning is key to a safe, satisfying, and productive varmint holiday. Of course you’ll be busy reloading, but you should make a check-list of all the gear and supplies you need. Bring a variety of rifles if possible — you’ll need to switch off as one barrel gets hot, and the chambering that works best for your close shots may not be ideal for those longer shots out past 400 yards. Here are some tips from our Forum members that can help you shoot more effectively, and avoid problems on your varmint hunt. Here’s one key tip: at your shooting station, put a strip of surveyor’s tape on a tall stake to show the wind direction. Then shoot in the direction the wind blows. This will minimize the effect of cross-winds.
From PatchHound: “The gear you bring will make or break a trip out to Prairie Dog land. A lot has to do with where you going and how far you are from [civilization]. For starters, bring lots of water. It will be hot in Wyoming in a few more weeks but it don’t hurt to bring warm clothes in case it snows. It’s best to wear leather boots unless you’re real good at dodging cactus while walking around. Good sunsceen will save the day too. [What you need to bring] really depends on whether you’re shooting on some friendly ranch or 100 miles in the middle of [a wilderness area]. Good survival gear is a good thing to have for the latter!”
From Stoner25mkiv: “I’d suggest an adjustable bipod if you are going to do any walking. A laser rangefinder is a huge asset. Have a fanny pack or backpack for extra ammo, water, bore-snake, etc. when you go on your walkabouts. We also take a couple pivoting benches, heavy movers’ pad/blanket, sandbags (Uncle Bud’s Bulls Bag) for shooting from near the vehicle. Boonie hat for blocking the sun, sun glasses, sunscreen. High leather boots.
Anyway, on to the rifles…consider bringing a 17 HMR, .223 Ackley bolt gun, .223 Ackley AR, and a 243 WSSM. Some years the 17 HMR isn’t removed from its case. We had a couple windless days and the 17 was lots of fun. I’d walk into the dogtown and then lay down and wait. After five minutes or so I’d have dogs within easy rimfire range, and out to as far as I’d care to stretch the rimfire. 275 yards was about it.”
From CTShooter: “The .204 [Ruger] is a laser beam and good to 400 yards easy. Forget the rimfire! Do you have a portable bench that pivots? Bring bipod, binocs. Bring a LOT of water. I have a milspec sniper shooter’s mat/drag bag with shoulder straps. It is good to carry everything when you want to wander off and shoot prone with bipod. Here’s a view through my 6BR in ND.”
From RJinTexas: “In most of the locations that we’ll be shooting we’ll usually set up a minimum of 200 yards from the edge of a major dog town. We’ll start by working over the close-in dogs and shooting our way out, some of these towns may run in excess of 500/600 yards deep. I believe that a rimfire will put you at a distinct disadvantage. The only rimfire that will somewhat work is the 17 HMR and you can reload for your 204s for close to the cost of HMR ammo and you’ll be less apt to be under-gunned. Your 204 will work well out to 300/400 yards unless the wind is blowing hard. We classify a 10-mph crosswind as a very calm day and what makes it a little more challenging is that it is usually also gusting. I only took my 17 HMR once, I’ve since even quit taking my 17 Mach IV because when the wind blows hard it range is limited to around 200 yards. Gusting wind will play havoc with 25gr pills.”
From Wes (P1ZombieKiller): “[For my first PD trip] there are so many things I was not ready for. The one thing that I did bring (that no one told me about) was a canopy. I’m glad I did. Even though the weather was [near perfect], I know that sun can humble you real fast. With my pop-up canopy, I could shoot all day without getting killed by the sun. You had to tie the canopy down real well or the wind would blow it across the pasture.
We sat on shooting benches that pivot 360°, and are fast and easy to set up. Most all shots were 175-250 yards. I just felt comfortable at that range. It was more fun for me to be able to film the hits, and the camcorder I was using just did not get good video past 350 yards. The digital zoom distorted the image too much. I knew I would only get this one chance to film my first P-dog outing, and I wanted to get it on film for [posterity].” To learn more about P1’s first Prairie Dog Trip, visit his Website.
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One of the features we enjoy on the NRA Blog is the Friday Feast Recipe of the Week. Each Friday, the NRA Blog offers up a new delicious food item as the Friday Feast for hunters. This week’s Feast combines two things we love — Italian pasta and Elk meat. Article author Emily Rupertus shares our passion for pasta: “I love pasta. I can’t get enough of it! So when I came across this Classic Elk Lasagna, I couldn’t resist sharing with you! You have to try this perfect twist on a classic comfort food.” After assembling your Lasagna in a big cast-iron skillet and covering with tin-foil, bake the Elk Lasagna in a 400° oven for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil, add more cheese and continue to bake uncovered for ten more minutes.
1/2 Package of Lasagna Noodles
1 lb Ground Elk Meat (you can substitute ground venison or antelope)
1 Medium Sweet Onion (chopped)
2 Cloves Garlic (chopped)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cups Tomato Sauce
32 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 8 oz. Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (sliced)
There’s a chap in New Zealand who has produced some of the most valuable (and well-researched) books on hunting you can buy. Nathan Foster’s Long Range Hunting series of books is a gold mine for rifle shooters seeking verified, first-hand knowledge of the performance of hunting cartridges, plus expert “how-to” advice on field skills, stalking, marksmanship, and ballistics.
Right now, Foster’s company, Terminal Ballistics Research (TBR), is offering Easter Special discounts on its most popular book titles. For starters, as a Easter weekend promotion, you can get 15% off the Practical Guide To Long Range Shooting in paperback or eBook format. This book is chock-full of information that will benefit competition marksmen as well as long-range hunters. You’ll find good advice on use of BDC and Mil-dot reticles, plus extensive sections on ballistics.
Other TBR books by Nathan Foster are on sale as well:
The U.S. House of Representatives. in a decisive 242-161 vote last week. passed H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act. Because the SHARE Act is the most important pro-sportsmen and pro-hunting legislation in a generation, this legislation was a top priority for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Twelve Democrats joined the Republican majority to ensure passage. Only four Republicans voted against the SHARE Act. All attempts to amend the legislation with unfavorable provisions were defeated. Favorable amendments were passed. Read the NSSF press release.
On LongRangeHunting.com, you’ll find a good article by Shawn Carlock about wind reading. Shawn is a veteran law enforcement marksman and a past USPSA national precision rifle champion. Shawn offers good advice on how to estimate wind speeds and directions using a multitude of available indicators — not just your wind gauge: “Use anything at your disposal to accurately estimate the wind’s velocity. I keep and use a Kestrel for reading conditions….The Kestrel is very accurate but will only tell you what the conditions are where you are standing. I practice by looking at grass, brush, trees, dust, wind flags, mirage, rain, fog and anything else that will give me info on velocity and then estimate the speed.”
Shawn also explains how terrain features can cause vertical wind effects. A hunter on a hilltop must account for bullet rise if there is a headwind blowing up the slope. Many shooters consider wind in only one plane — the horizontal. In fact wind has vertical components, both up and down. If you have piloted a small aircraft you know how important vertical wind vectors can be. Match shooters will also experience vertical rise when there is a strong tailwind blowing over an up-sloping berm ahead of the target emplacements. Overall, Shawn concludes: “The more time you spend studying the wind and its effect over varying terrain the more successful you will be as a long-range shooter and hunter.”
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Here’s good news for suppressor owners in the Great Lakes state. The Michigan legislature has approved the use of suppressors for hunting. On February 11th, Michigan became the 38th state to allow for the use of firearm suppressors while hunting when the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) voted 4 – 1 to approve an amended version of Wildlife Conservation Order Amendment No. 1 of 2016. The measure became effective immediately.
The American Suppressor Association led a coalition working to legalize suppressor hunting in Michigan. Other organizations involved were the National Rifle Association (NRA), the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), and Safari Club International (SCI).
“We are incredibly excited that hunters in the great state of Michigan can now use suppressors to help protect their hearing while they’re in the field,” said Knox Williams, President of the American Suppressor Association. “It was a pleasure working to educate the NRC Commissioners and members of the DNR on the realities of suppressor use. We applaud their decision to remove the prohibition on suppressor hunting without the two restrictive provisions. In doing so, they have done their part to ensure that the next generation of hunters does not have to sacrifice their hearing.”
Our friend Paul Phillips (above), is pleased with this change: “With this new Law that passed in Michigan Today, I will be hunting with my GEMTECH arrow silencer. I can’t wait for Spring to start Shooting ELR.”
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In some parts of the country, hunters are now required to use lead-free bullets. Expect restrictions on lead-based ammo to become more widespread in the years to come. Recognizing this, Lapua has upgraded its line of Naturalis bullets. Fitted with a distinctive green polymer tip, Naturalis bullets employ lead-free 99% copper construction. A hollow cavity provides reliable, uniform expansion, and the solid copper bullet body offers excellent knock-down power and weight retention.
The latest lead-free Naturalis bullets boast less drag and enhanced expansion. These third-generation Naturalis projectiles have been streamlined for better aerodynamics. In addition, Lapua has lowered the velocity threshold for consistent expansion by roughly 100 fps. This significantly broadens the velocity range in which the bullets will reliably expand.
Naturalis bullets feature extremely high weight retention, as demonstrated in the video above. (Note: the video has graphic sequences showing game flesh). The mushrooming of the bullet starts immediately on impact. The expansion process is started by the green polymer “valve” at the tip of the bullet, leading the bullet to expand symmetrically and without fragmentation. Watch the video for a demonstration of Naturalis bullet performance in ballistic media and game animals.
Naturalis lead-free bullets are available as components for handloaders, or loaded into Lapua factory-made cartridges. The Naturalis bullet line ranges in weight from 90 grains (6mm) up to 250 grains (9.3 mm). Bullets are offered in most popular calibers: 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, .308 (7.62mm), 8mm, .338, and 9.3 mm. Naturalis bullets and factory ammo are available from major retailers such as Grafs.com.
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Here’s an item of interest to hunters (and maybe a few F-Open shooters). Nosler has just introduced a new magnum-type cartridge, the 30 Nosler. Sharing the same parent case as the 26 and 28 Nosler® cartridges, the 30 Nosler® has the case capacity to launch big 30-caliber bullets at impressive velocities (3000 FPS for a 210-grainer). Nosler says the 30 Nosler combines the best qualities of other 30-cal magnums: “The 30 Nosler® easily meets the velocity of the 300 Weatherby, headspaces on the shoulder like a 300 RUM, has an efficient powder column like the 300 WSM and fits in the same standard length action of a 300 Winchester Magnum.”
30 Nosler Will Function in a Standard Length Action
The 30 Nosler has a C.O.A.L. of 3.340″ allowing this cartridge to be operated in a standard length action for lighter weight and shorter bolt throw when compared to magnum-length actions.
The 30 Nosler is a SAAMI-standardized cartridge so there will be standardized dimensions for brass, dies, and chamber reamers. Nosler will support this new cartridge with Nosler Brass, Trophy Grade™ Ammunition and a series of M48 hunting rifles. The initial offerings in Nosler’s Trophy Grade™ Ammunition will be:
Nosler® Trophy Grade™ Ammunition: 180gr AccuBond® 3200 fps
Nosler® Trophy Grade™ LR Ammunition: 210gr AccuBond® LR 3000 fps
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A unique, comprehensive Cartridge Comparison Guide is available as a 340-page, spiral-bound book. Covering over 250 cartridges, the updated Second Edition of the Cartridge Comparision Guide is the product of many years of labor by Andrew Chamberlain, a Utah-based hunter. Andrew says his Guide “compares every factory available cartridge from the 17 calibers up to the 50 caliber cartridges”. (Sorry, most wildcat cartridges are not covered.) Chamberlain’s Guide also compiles cartridge data from major ammunition manufacturers such as Barnes, Federal, Hornady, Norma, Nosler, Remington, Sierra, Swift, Weatherby, and Winchester. It shows the optimal velocity achieved for each bullet weight and calculates bullet energy, recoil, and powder efficiency. Large color photos illustrate handgun and rifle cartridges.
The Cartridge Comparison Guide provides data for thousands of cartridge/bullet/velocity combos. Quick reference data sheets and ballistics charts cover Trajectory, Velocity, and Energy out to 500 yards. The Cartridge Comparison Guide also offers a firearms lexicon, plus Appendices covering Cartridge Selection for Game Animals, Bullet Selection/Design, Bullet Expansion, Wound Channel Characteristics and more.
New Content in Second Edition of Cartridge Comparison Guide
The Cartridge Comparison Guide (Second Edition) costs $32.95 plus shipping and tax. CLICK HERE to visit the Online Store where you can order the 340-page book. Here’s what’s new in the Second Edition:
Addition of Shotgun Ammunition (Both Slug and Shot loads).
Momentum Calculation for all Rifle, Shotgun and Handgun loads.
Integration of Shotgun Slug Ammunition with Center Fire Rifle Data Tables.
Factory Load Summary Added (Shows manufacturers and loads produced).
One factory load and one hand load for every bullet weight available in each cartridge.
Over 90 pages of additional ballistics content (roughly 35% more than in First Edition).
The Cartridge Comparison Guide has been awarded the POMA Pinnacle Award for Excellence. (POMA, the Professional Outdoor Media Association, is the trade association for outdoor writers).
Great Resource for Hunters
One of Chamberlain’s main goals in creating the Cartridge Comparison Guide was to help hunters select the “right cartridge for the job.” According to Chamberlain: “This started as a personal project to gather information on the more popular cartridges commonly used for hunting. I began comparing cartridge performance, versatility, bullet selection, powder efficiency, recoil generation vs. energy produced, standing ballistic data for different environments, etc.” Chamberlain adds: “I wanted to find the best all-around performing cartridge and rifle that a guy on a budget could shoot.”
Giant Cartridge Poster for Computer Wallpaper (1665×1080 pixels)
Here’s a great illustration of hundreds of cartridges and shotshell types. For dedicated reloaders, this would work great as desktop “wallpaper” for your computer. CLICK HERE for full-size image.
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SHOT Show in Las Vegas is just two weeks away. Here are some of the interesting new products that will debut at SHOT Show. You can find these items and hundreds more new-for-2016 products at the SHOW Show New Product Center.
The Newcon Optik Spotter LRF is a combined spotting scope and laser rangefinder — the first of its kind. This unique piece of equipment integrates a Newcon Optik Laser Rangefinder with a 15-45X Spotting Scope with etched mil-dot reticle. Newcon Optik claims a 5500m maximum range for the LRF. The integrated scope/LRF is housed in a rugged yet light-weight MIL-SPEC housing. We like the idea of a combined Spotter/LRF. Will other companies try to copy Newcon Optik’s innovative design?
Mason Target Systems — AR500 Steel Target With Shot Sensor
The MTS Target System “Pescadero” unit combines a rugged AR500 steel target with a durable electronics and sensor package that allows shooters to view their shots on a mobile App. With on-board power and wireless communication technology, the system will display shot location to the shooter positioned hundreds of yards away. So you can hear the “ding” of steel and then see your exact shot location on your smart phone or tablet. To aid aiming, the Pescadero target can mount self-healing polymer targets to the AR500 steel plate. Visit MasonTargetSystems.com for more information.
Schweitzer Optics — First-Ever Double FOV Scope
Here is a very innovative new hunting scope that actually displays a 3.5 X view AND and 1.0 X view simultaneously. Schweitzer claims this is the first and only double Field of View (FOV) sports optic in the world. This innovative optical technology doesn’t come cheap — Schweitzer’s Eagle Eye 3.5 dual POV scope retails for $2500.00.
Annealing Made Perfect — Induction Annealing Machine
No more flaming torches (and burned fingers). The AMP Annealing system anneals through electrical induction. This micro-processor controlled, precision-calibrated induction annealer provides exact and repeatable neck hardness. With the various AMP-made pilot inserts, the machine will handle popular cartridge types from .17 Caliber all the way up to 460 Weatherby. Anneal times are pre-programmed for optimal results.
Accu-Tac — SR-5 Tactical Bipod
The Accu-Tac SR-5 Bipod is crafted from high-quality billet aluminum. The SR-5 mounts quickly and securely to a 1913 Picatinny rail. The bipod’s wide stance provides good stability. Ratcheted leg extensions adjust to five different heights, and then retract quickly with a one-button retraction lever. Legs can be deployed in a conventional 90-degree orientation, or at a 45-degree angle either forwards or rearwards.
Lyman Products — Cyclone Rotary (Wet) Tumbler
Lyman is introducing a new Rotary Tumbler for 2016. Designed for use with stainless (pin-type media) and liquid, this Cyclone Tumbler gets brass thoroughly clean inside and out. The large capacity drum holds up to 1000 pieces of .223 Rem brass and features a rubber lining to protect brass and greatly reduce operating noise. The included two-piece sifter pans make separating cases and pins easy.
Swiss+Tech Products — Tac20 Firearms Multi-Tool
This new multi-function gun tool contains 4 driver bits, 2 Torx drivers, 2 Allen drivers, gun pin punch, sight wrench, castle nut wrench, flat screwdriver, bottle opener, knife, and LED flashlight. It even contains a fitting with a male thread connection for attaching cleaning rods. That’s clever. All totaled, the Tac20 multi-tool offers 20 features — that’s a lot of functionality in a small, compact package from Swiss+Tech Products.
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Thomas Haugland, a Shooters’ Forum member from Norway, is a long-range target shooter and hunter. He has created an interesting video showing how to gauge wind velocities by watching trees, grass, and other natural vegetation. The video commentary is in English, but the units of wind speed (and distance) are metric. Haugland explains: “This is not a full tutorial, but rather a short heads-up to make you draw the lines between the dots yourself”. Here are some conversions that will help when watching the video:
.5 m/s = 1.1 mph | 1 m/s = 2.2 mph | 2 m/s = 4.5 mph
3 m/s = 6.7 mph | 4 m/s = 8.9 mph | 5 m/s =11.2 mph
There’s a chap in Poland named Łukasz Pietruszka, who is a bonafide “Wizard of Wood”. Lukasz handcrafts unique custom stocks, selling them through his LP Gunstocks company. Many of his most eye-catching stocks are for airguns (particularly Field Target rifles), but he also produces fine stocks for rimfire and centerfire hunting rifles. Lukasz is a master carver who includes exquisite details on many of his stocks. Some of these designs, crafted from exotic hardwoods, raise stock-crafting to an art form.
Check out the figure on this Turkish Walnut stock by Łukasz Pietruszka.
You can see a variety of Lukasz’s stocks in a video sampler. If you’re a fan of fine wood, you’ll love this video. So pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy this 16-minute video interlude.
Watch Video in High Definition
NOTE: We recommend you view this video in high definition, in wide screen format. To do this, start the video, then click on the gear-shaped icon at the lower right-hand corner of the video frame (it’s located just to the right of the clock icon). If you have a fast internet connection, select 720P or 1080P from the pop-up menu. (1080P is the highest resolution.) Now select theater mode or full-screen mode using the small icons on the lower right of the frame.
Radical ‘Shockwave’ from LP Gunstocks
Here is a truly amazing bit of craftmanship. The images below show a one-of-a-kind Shockwave stock created by Łukasz for a Steyr Field Target air rifle. Over the top? Perhaps… but you have to admire the imaginative design and exquisite worksmanship.
Video find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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The R-F Cam Cradle is a smart new product that lets you securely mount a Laser Rangefinder (LRF), digital camera, and spotting scope all on a single tripod. The “game-changing” feature of the R-F Cam Cradle is that it allows you to colimmate (i.e. precisely align) all your optics on the same spot. This way you can simultaneously aim all three devices at a long range target by simply moving the tripod head. A tactical shooter can easily range his target while watching the wind though his spotting scope. And the long-range hunter can range and film his prey as he watches it through the spotter. This unit costs $179.95 from DefensiveEdge.net.
You’ll find a detailed product evaluation of the R-F Cam Cradle on the LongRangeOnly.com website. Reviewer Sam Millard uses the R-F Cam Cradle in the field with a variety of optics and rangefinders. Millard explains how the R-F Cam Cradle conveniently allows combined use of spotting scope, LRF, and compact video camera.
Millard was very impressed with the system: “I field-tested the R-F Cam Cradle in the mountains of northern Idaho and the wide open spaces of eastern Wyoming. I believe the most effective way to use the cradle is in a long range ambush; get the spotting scope, camera, and LRF aligned on a landmark, then lock it down. The LRF and spotter won’t be aligned perfectly, but they’ll be well within the field of view of each other, requiring only a gentle tilt of the tripod to center the beam of the LRF on the target. At ELR distances, a well-supported LRF is crucial to obtaining an accurate range. This mount makes it easy, and doesn’t require displacing your spotting scope to get it done.”
See R-F Cam Cradle Demonstrated in the Field:
Having a video camera mounted in alignment with spotting scope is great for Long Range applications notes Millard: “The camera mount is my favorite feature of the R-F Cam Cradle. It allows co-witnessing the video camera to the spotting scope, then aiming the field of view of both with one movement of the tripod head. This is a great improvement to the normal way of recording the shot and spotting at the same time, which previously required two tripods or a clamp-on head for the camera, both of which required separate aiming of the camera and spotting scope.”
R-F Cam-Cradle Product Details
Manufacturer: RLC Customs
Vendor: Defensive Edge, Inc.
Rathdrum, ID DefensiveEdge.net
Order Phone: (208) 687-2659
Material: 3/16” 53 Series aluminum
Finish: Powder-coated Matte Black
Total Weight: 16.5 ounces
Mount: ¼-20 Threaded Standard Camera Mount
Retail price: $179.95
Shawn Carlock of Defensive Edge explains: “The R-F Cam Cradle is a way for one person to run everything. Otherwise it’s really difficult to run the spotting scope, run the video camera, run the rangefinder, get dope — do all those different things. So RLC Customs has come up with the idea to put everything together in one platform, where you can sync it together and use it effectively, as a cluster.”
Product Find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions
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Click Map to launch interactive webpage with info for all 50 states.
Going hunting this year? Need to find out about hunting licenses, deer tags, local regulations, and the best hunting areas? Then visit WheretoHunt.org. This website has an interactive map of the country. Simply click on a state to find the info you need. For all 50 states, the NSSF has compiled information about hunting license and permits, where to hunt, hunter education classes, laws and regulations and more. For each state you’ll also find a link for required applications and license forms. Have a safe and productive hunt this year.
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Today is Thanksgiving. What better way to celebrate the occasion than to blast away at some bearded gobblers (of the paper variety). Here’s our custom Turkey Day target, ready for some family fun. This special Turkey Bullseye Target was created by our friend and Forum member Pascal (aka “DesertFrog”). CLICK HERE for FREE Turkey Target.
Get a Full Set of Animal Targets
For your convenience, we’ve packaged the Turkey Target along with five (5) other varmint/animal-themed targets. These are all offered in .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format for easy printing.
IMR just announced its latest Enduron powder, IMR 4955, which features a medium-slow burn rate similar to Hodgdon H4831 or IMR 4831. The IMR Enduron powders are clean-burning, temp stable, and feature a proprietary coating that helps reduce copper fouling. We are looking forward to trying IMR 4955 based on our positive experience with IMR 4166. We have used Enduron 4166 and have seen excellent accuracy in .308 Winchester and 6mm BR rifles.
IMR 4955 lands between IMR 4451 and IMR 7977 on the burn rate chart. Hodgdon, which distributes IMR powders, says that IMR 4955 works very well for cartridges such as 25-06 Remington, .270 Winchester, and the .300 Winchester Magnum. Perhaps this will prove a good choice for the .284 Win and .300 WSM as well (F-Open shooters take note). If you are currently using H4831 or H4831sc you should probably give IMR 4955 a try.
Hodgdon says IMR 4955 offers some important advantages:
1. IMR 4955 has a small kernel size. This allows the powder to flow through powder measures easily and meter very accurately.
3. IMR 4955 is very insensitive to temperature changes, so shooters should see uniform velocities across a broad temp range.
3. IMR 4955 has very good load density for medium and big game hunting cartridges (such as the .270 Win and .300 Win Mag).
4. Like other Enduron powders, IMR 4955 boasts a special additive that helps reduce copper fouling as the rifle is fired.
IMR 4955 Should Be Available Early Next Year
— Load Data is Online Now
IMR 4955 will be available in early 2016 in one-pound and eight-pound containers. With the addition of IMR 4955 to the series of Enduron powders, reloaders have a new, advanced-formulation powder that should work for a wide variety of popular cartridges — from the .260 Rem up to big magnums. Reloading data for IMR 4955 is now available online in the Hodgdon Reloading Data Center. Below is a sample of Hodgdon/IMR load data for IMR 4955 as used in the .300 Win Mag cartridge.
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Recommended Books about Hunting
There’s no shortage of good hunting-related reading material. Here are some of the best books written about hunting. You can find all these titles on Amazon.com. Many are offered in eBook format as well as printed versions. Click on the link(s) below to preview a sample from each book.
Hunting season is here — and we know many of our readers will soon head to the woods in pursuit of deer, elk, or other game. To make a good shot, it’s wise to rest your rifle when possible. In this video, methods for stabilizing a rifle in the field are demonstrated by Forum member Thomas Haugland, who hails from Norway. Thomas focuses on practical field shooting skills for hunters. In this video, Thomas (aka ‘Roe’ on Forum and Sierra645 on YouTube) shows how to verify his zeros from bipod and then he demonstrates improvised field rests from the prone, kneeling, and sitting positions.
Thomas explains: “In this video I focus on basic marksmanship techniques and making ready for this year’s hunt. As a last check before my hunting season, I got to verify everything for one last time. My trajectory is verified again, the practical precision of the rifle is verified. I also practice making do with the best [improvised] rest possible when an opportunity presents itself. After getting knocked in the face by a 338LM rifle during a previous filming session, I had to go back to basics to stop [flinching]. I include some details from bipod shooting that hopefully some hunters will find useful. Fingers crossed for this years season, good luck!”
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If you’ve been considering the new Nightforce SHV scope for a hunting application, head over to LongRangeHunting.com. There you’ll find an in-depth field test of the 4-14x56mm SHV by Nicholas Gebhart. This is a very thorough review — Gebhardt checks every feature of the scope and comparison tests the SHV against the more costly Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x50mm. Gebhardt even put the SHV scope in his freezer for a weekend to ensure there was no fogging.
Overall, Gebhardt was very pleased with the SHV: “Optical clarity, image brightness, contrast and resolution were all extremely good.” The tester also liked the MOAR reticle in his scope. He didn’t think it was too “busy” though he thought the hold-over lines would benefit from numbers: “Nightforce’s MOAR was easy to use and provided a clear sight picture for engaging small targets. The line thickness is perfect for both precise shot placement and visibility. My personal preference however would be for the even hash marks to be numbered for the entire lower portion of the reticle.” Gebhart noted that the SHV’s side parallax knob had yardage marking numbers that proved accurate (and handy to use) — most other scopes just have lines.
Nightforce SHV vs. Nighforce NXS
How did the new SHV stack up against the NXS in a side-by-side comparison? Gebhardt was impressed with the $995.00 SHV, saying it held its own with the pricier NXS model: “I took about 30 minutes to evaluate the optics of the SHV and see how it compared to an older Nightforce NXS 3.5-15X50. Both of these scopes are made in Japan but given the price differential, I expected to see some difference in the optical quality. To my surprise, I couldn’t find any optical difference between the two except for a very slight possibility of a brighter image with the SHV.”
Nicholas Gebhardt has been an active hunter primarily pursuing mule deer, antelope, coyotes and prairie dogs since he was old enough to legally hunt. Nicholas is also a precision rifle competitor and a Captain in the Montana National Guard.
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