August 26th, 2018

Cartridge Brass Wisdom for Semi-Auto Shooters by Zediker

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-16 reloading semi-auto brass safety primer resizing

Here are highlights from an article Glen Zediker wrote for the Midsouth Blog. In this article Glen focuses on cartridge brass for semi-auto rifles, AR-platform guns in particular. Glen notes that semi-autos are tougher on brass than bolt-action rifles, so you need strong, durable brass, that has been full-length sized. And you need to be careful about neck tension, and primers. The article starts with Glen’s recommendations for tough, hard brass, and then includes the points outlined below.

Glen is the author of many excellent books on reloading. This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

Handloading for Competition
by Glen Zediker

The Competitive AR-15
by Glen Zediker

Top-Grade Ammo
by Glen Zediker

ONE: Full Length-Size Cases with Adequate Shoulder Set-Back

This is a huge source of debate… amongst my readers, but, since now I’m strictly speaking of semi-auto needs I doubt there will be much dissent: full-length resize all cases! Most cases from most semi-autos will emerge with a pretty well-blown case shoulder [taming down an excessively functioning gas system can reduce this]. Make double-sure you’re sizing the cases down to at least 0.003 clearance. If you don’t there are safety and function problems ahead.

TWO: USE Sufficient Neck Tension

The case neck [must be] reduced an adequate amount to retain the bullet. There should be a minimum net difference of 0.003 inches (three-thousandths) between sized outside case neck diameter and loaded round outside case neck diameter. [Editor — that means at least three thou of “grip”.] Reason: don’t take a chance of inadvertent bullet movement during the recoil and feeding cycles. That movement can be back or forward! It’s easily possible for a bullet to jump ahead when the inertia from the bolt carrier assembly chambers the next round.

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-16 reloading semi-auto brass safety primer resizing

THREE: Use Tough Primers

Choose a tough primer! There’s a floating firing pin on an AR15 (M1A also) that is supposed to be held in check but that system doesn’t always work! If you load and extract a round and see a little dimple in the primer, that’s from the firing pin tapping off of it (again, created by inertia of bolt closing). A combination of a high primer and a sensitive primer cup assembly can create a “slam-fire”. Brands? CCI has some mil-spec primers that work well, and I’ve had great success with Remington 7-1/2. Some of the well-respected “match” primers are a little thin. The CCI and Remington also hold up well to the (sometimes) greater firing forces working on the primer (again, from the quick unlocking).

Here’s what I use from Midsouth.

FOUR: Be Sure to Seat Primers Below Flush

And, finally, make double-sure that each and every primer is seated to below flush with the case head! That’s true for any firearm (because it also means that the primer is fully seated) but imperative for safety in a semi-auto. This is especially an issue for those who use a progressive-type loading press.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading 1 Comment »
August 23rd, 2018

Use Pin Vise for Lapua 1.5mm Small Flash Holes

Pin vises Lapua Flash hole

Folks have asked if there is a tool that can remove obstructions from a Lapua small, BR-sized flash hole without opening the hole size. The Lapua PPC/BR flash hole is spec’d at 1.5mm, which works out to 0.059055″. Most of the PPC/BR flash-hole uniforming tools on the market use a 1/16″ bit which is nominally 0.0625″, but these often run oversize — up to 0.066″.

If you want to just clear out any obstructions in the flash hole, without increasing the flash hole diameter, you can use an inexpensive, five-dollar “pin vise” with an appropriate drill bit. For $1.00, eHobbyTools.com sells a 1.5mm pin vise bit, item 79186, that matches the Lapua flash hole exactly. Other vendors offer a #53 pin vise bit that measures .0595″ or .060″ (depending or source). An 0.0595″ bit is close enough. You can find pin vises and bits at hobby stores, and eHobbyTools sells pin vises for $4.99 to $7.99.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 24th, 2018

SIG Sauer Now Offers Component Rifle and Pistol Brass

Sig Sauer premium elite performance brass reloading components cartridge cases

Sig Sauer premium elite performance brass reloading components cartridge casesHere is interesting news, particularly for pistol shooters and PRS competitors. You can now get premium, induction-annealed cartridge brass from SIG Sauer, the noted maker of Swiss-designed pistols and rifles. SIG Sauer is now manufacturing pistol and rifle brass at its state-of-the-art ammunition facility in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Notably, all Elite Performance rifle shell cases are induction annealed for consistent neck tension and case longevity. SIG states this brass is “engineered to exacting tolerances” and “the geometric consistency … ensures each primer is held tightly in its pocket. Flash holes are precise with no burrs and the superior metallurgical properties of the SIG Sauer cases enable repeated reloading.”

Rifle Brass Pricing is Attractive
We haven’t tried SIG Sauer rifle brass yet, but we are tempted as pricing is competitive. For example, a 50-count bag of 6.5 Creedmoor brass costs $33.95 on SIG’s online store. Varminters take note — 50 22-250 brass cases cost $25.95, while a 100-ct bag of .223 Rem brass is $35.95 (just 36 cents each).

SIG rifle cases are available for these cartridge types: .223 Rem, 22-250 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 BLK, .308 Win, .and 300 Win Mag. Coming soon are .270 Win and .30-06 Springfield brass. Cases for most rifle cartridge types are sold 50 to a bag (100 for .223 Rem).

SIG Pistol Brass Sold Both Primed and Unprimed
SIG’s pistol brass is offered either primed or unprimed, at affordable prices. For example, 100 .45 ACP cases cost $33.95 primed, or $27.95 unprimed. 9mm Luger is even cheaper — just $25.95 for primed cases, or $20.95 for 9mm unprimed. To save time, we’d be tempted to buy the primed cases.

SIG pistol cases are available, primed or unprimed, in 100-ct bags for the following cartridge types: .380 Auto, 9mm Luger (9x19mm), .357 SIG, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, 40 S&W, 10mm Auto, .45 ACP.

Sig Sauer premium elite performance brass reloading components cartridge cases

COMMENT: Honestly, we don’t see many Benchrest and F-Class competitors moving away from Lapua brass which is superb, and holds the vast majority of records in those disciplines. However, for other disciplines, such as 3-Gun and Tactical matches, where you may not be able to recover your brass, it makes sense to consider cheaper alternatives. Likewise, varminters, who may shoot hundreds of rounds in an outing, may favor less costly cartridge brass.

“Each brass case undergoes rigorous in-line and post production quality assurance testing to ensure a flawless casing”, said Brad Criner, SIG Sauer’s Senior Director of Brand Management and Business Development. “The result is unparalleled durability and dependability.” All SIG Sauer Elite Performance ammunition and components are manufactured at SIG’s new ammo plant in Jacksonville, Arkansas. For more information on SIG cartridge brass visit the SIG Sauer Brass Webpage.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 5th, 2018

Lapua Brass Uniformity Confirmed with .260 Rem Measurements

If you have a rifle chambered in .260 Remington, you may be wondering if the Lapua .260 Brass is worth the money compared to domestic-made brass. Well, the answer is “yes” if you demand consistent weight and dimensional uniformity (including neckwall thickness).

Mike Harpster of Dead Center Sports took the time to weigh and measure Lapua .260 Rem brass. His test show this brass to be extremely uniform. Weight variance was less than one (1) grain in a 20-case sample. And case neckwall thickness was very consistent.

Report by Mike Harpster: Lapua .260 Rem Brass Test Results (with Comparisons)
I pulled twenty (20) pieces randomly from one Lapua box to do some measurements. I weighed them on my Mettler-Toledo digital lab scale and here are the individual weights of each case. Remarkably, the Lapua brass had less than one grain total weight variance among all 20 cases!

While checking the Lapua brass I remembered I had just received some Winchester brand .308 brass, so I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison between the two brands. I again pulled 20 cases at random from a bag of 50 and repeated the same measurements. The results are shown in the right half of the table below.

Weight Variance Lapua .260 Rem Brass vs. Winchester-Brand .308 Win Brass

LAPUA .260 Rem Brass Winchester .308 Win Brass
Average: 172.20 grains
ES: 0.94 grains
SD: 0.259
Average: 158.49 grains
ES: 2.64 grains
SD: 0.678

Winchester Brass Further Inspection
The flash holes on the majority of the Winchester brass were not round or centered and they had large burrs inside. The neck wall thickness was pretty consistent, varying only .0015″ (.0125″ – .014″). As you can see in the photo (right) many of the Winchester cases were badly dented while the Lapua brass showed very few minor dents. The annealing on the necks of the Lapua brass was clearly evident while the Winchester showed no signs of being annealed. [Editor’s note: Winchester tumble-polishes its brass before shipping — so you would not notice annealing coloration if annealing had been done.]

Lapua Brass Further Inspection
With sample Lapua .260 Rem cases, I also measured the neck wall thickness in four places with calipers, not the most accurate method but I feel confident that the thickness did not vary more than .001″ over the 20 cases (.0145-.0155). The inside diameter of the neck measured .260 which would give .004 of neck tension out of the box. I visually checked the flash holes and I did not find any flakes of brass or burrs inside, the holes were round and centered.

Summary — This Lapua Brass is Impressive
I have never done these measurements on any other brass so I don’t know how they compare, but I am very impressed with the overall quality of the Lapua .260 brass. If they prove to hold up to the repeated firings I get from my Lapua 6BR brass I believe .260 shooters will be very happy.

Mike Harpster — Dead Center Sports
105 Sunrise Drive
Spring Mills, PA 16875
phone: 814-571-4655
www.deadcentersports.com

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 4 Comments »
February 12th, 2018

Berger SW Nationals 2018 — Looking Back at a Great Event

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher

The 2018 Berger SW Nationals are now history. The fun, action, challenges, and rewards now pass into memories. Once again, the Berger SWN was a great shooting match — a great way to advance your shooting skills, reconnect with old friends, and enjoy warm weather. If you are a serious long-range shooter, this is definitely one of the best-managed, most rewarding matches on the planet. In 2018 the match “sold out” in a matter of hours. If you plan to go next year, watch for the registration notices. You don’t want to be left out.

Berger Southwest Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Capstone

2018 Berger Southwest Nationals Long Range Results

The SWN has three new individual champions. Congratulations to the three divisional Match Winners: Bob Sebold (F-Open), Phillip Kelley Jr. (F-TR), and Allen Thomas (Sling).

Top Five Overall – F-Open
Bob Sebold, 843-49X
Keith Glasscock, 843-38X
Jay Christopherson, 841-45X
Stephen Potter, 841-37X
James Crofts, 841-34X
Top Five Overall – F-TR
Phillip Kelley Jr., 838-35X
Ellis Berry, 837-42X
Niklas Montin, 836-35X
Peter Johns, 835-36X
Edward Shelley, 832-33X
Top Five Overall – Sling
Allen Thomas, 844-37X
Oliver Milanovic, 843-45X
Trudie Fay, 842-32X
Nancy Tompkins, 840-43X
Angus McLeod, 840-43X

View Complete SWN Match Results on McMillan Facebook Page »

Berger Southwest Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Capstone

The Berger SW Nationals are made possible through the principal support of Berger Bullets and Lapua, both part of the Capstone Precision Group, which also distributes Vihtavuori powder and SK Ammunition in the USA. Berger and Lapua both generously donated product prizes for 2018 SWN competitors.

Berger Southwest Nationals Berger Lapua Capstone

Today’s Champions… And Tomorrow’s New Talent

Here is the Sling Winner, Allen Thomas, with Bill Gravatt, President of Capstone Precision Group. (Bill was formerly the President of Sinclair International).

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Bob Sebold, of Team Lapua/Brux/Borden also won the individual F-Class SWN Title. He’s definitely one of the nation’s top F-Open pilots.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

There were a dozen or so talented juniors competing at the Berger SW Nationals. Some of the youngsters posted scores that would put the “old guys” to shame. We definitely expect to see some of these young shooters standing on the podium at future Berger SWN events. We asked them to strike a “cool pose” and the Harris boys delivered…

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Berger SW Nationals Gallery — Parting Shots

Does this competitor know something we don’t know. Perhaps he is testing a new “Stealth” rifle stock from McMillan. Or maybe this is some kind of Zen body/mind melding practice. We do advocate “dry firing”, but that normally involves holding a real rifle…

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Look carefully and you’ll see quite a lot reflected in this SWN competitor’s shooting eyewear. Can you identify the type of rifle?

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Michelle Gallagher — She’s probably smiling at an ‘X’ — or maybe she just nailed a tough wind call. The SW Nationals is a great event because of the hard work and dedication of talented folks like Michelle.

Berger Southwest Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Capstone

Can you name all the pieces of hardware in this image? We see at least a dozen. Don’t forget the little items like the bubble level and mirage shield.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

How do you anchor a SEB MINI coaxial rest in under ten seconds? With MAXI feet of course! These over-size hooves belong to shooter Mark Fairbairn, a very tall, MAXI-sized Australian. Who needs to pound those F-Class feet into the ground with a mallet when you can simply “stand and deliver”.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

We think some competitors came to Ben Avery just for the great Barbecue lunches — well that plus the great weather and the amazing prize table. Everyone goes home a winner in one way or another.

Berger Southwest Nationals food barbecue BBQ

Texas gunsmith Richard King showed us the biggest rifle action we’ve ever seen. This 13-lb monster is the BAT .50 BMG Action. Honestly it was HUGE — with the bolt fully extended it was the size of your forearm (to the finger tips). Richard joked “This weighs almost as much as an F-TR rifle (before optic) all by itself”.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News 3 Comments »
November 14th, 2017

6mm Creedmoor Reloading Data From Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

CLICK HERE for Sierra Bullets 6mm Creedmoor LOAD DATA PDF »

Sierra Bullets has recently released load data for the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge, a necked-down version of the 6.5 Creedmoor, a popular PRS, tactical, and hunting cartridge. Sierra has released very comprehensive 6mm Creedmoor load data, covering fifteen (15) different bullets from 55 to 110 grains. NOTE: Hornady-brand brass was used for Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor load tests, not the newer, stronger Lapua 6.5 CM brass with small primer pockets. Hand-loaders using Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass necked to 6mm may have to adjust their loads.

Sierra writes: “As soon as the 6.5 Creedmoor was released in 2007, a 6mm version was being envisioned. After the 6mm Creedmoor demonstrated its worth at 1000 yards it began to catch the attention of Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitors. The 6mm/6.5 Creedmoor is a great fit for those looking for an AR platform-friendly cartridge. It delivers velocities very similar to the .243 Win and yet fits the AR10 magazine length[.] The 30-degree shoulder makes this a very efficient case and helps prolong case life as well. The 6mm/6.5 Creedmoor works well with powders such as H4350, RE-17, and Ramshot Hunter for heavier long-range bullet weights. Slightly faster powders such as RE-15, Win 760, and Vihtavuori N540 work well with lighter weight bullets.”

Sierra Bullets Tested for 6mm Creedmoor Load Data
55gr BlitzKing (#1502)
60gr HP (#1500)
70gr HPBT (#1505)
70gr BlitzKing (#1507)
75gr HP (#1510)
80gr SBT (#1515)
85gr Spitzer (#1520)
85gr HPBT (#1530)
90gr FMJBT (#1535)
95gr HPBT (#1537)
95gr TMK (#7295)
100gr Spitzer (#1540)
100gr SBT (#1560)
107gr HPBT (#1570)
110gr HPBT (#1575)

In developing its 6mm Creedmoor load data, Sierra tested a very wide selection of propellants, two dozen overall. For the smaller bullets, fast-burning powders such as Benchmark, H4895, and CFE223 were tested. For the heavier 100+ grain bullets, Sierra tested a selection of medium-burn-rate powders including H4350, Reloder 16, Reloder 17, Varget, and Superformance. Sierra did a very thorough job. We know this information will be welcomed by 6mm Creedmoor shooters.

Don’t know what powder to try first? For the 107-110 grain bullets, if you want best accuracy and low ES/SD, our Forum members recommend Alliant Reloder 16 and Hodgdon H4350. If you are seeking max velocity with the 110-grainer, look at Hodgdon Superformance and Reloder 19.

Here are Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor Load Data Charts for the 107gr MK and 110gr MK. There are a half-dozen other tables for lighter-weight bullets.

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

Sierra Bullets Load Data 6mm Creedmoor reloading tips

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tactical No Comments »
October 7th, 2017

Excellent Factory Ammo Offered by Creedmoor Sports

Creedmoor Sports Ammunition Powder Anniston Alabama

You may not know this, but Creedmoor Sports sells very high-quality loaded ammunition crafted with top-quality bullets and premium-grade Lapua brass for .308 Win and .30-06. We have friends who have shot some of this ammo in .223 Rem and .308 Win, and it is very impressive. The 6.5 Creedmoor ammo is capable of winning PRS matches outright. Creedmoor’s rifle cartridge match ammunition includes:

.223 Rem: (55gr FMJ, 68gr HPBT, 69gr TMK, 75gr HPBT, 77gr TMK)
6.5 Creedmoor: (140gr HPBT Hornady, 140gr HPBT Nosler, 142gr Sierra — all Hornady brass)
.308 Win: (155gr, 167gr, 168gr Sierra, 175gr all in Lapua Brass; also precision hunting in other brass)
.30-06 Springfield: (167gr Lapua Scenar HPBT in Lapua Brass)

Use Coupon Code CS929 to receive Free Ground Shipping on orders over $99!

Creedmoor Sports Ammunition Powder Anniston Alabama

Oh, the beauty of it — all that Lapua brass. From Finland with love….

Creedmoor Sports Ammunition Powder Anniston Alabama

What does 13,005 pounds (6.5 tons) of powder look like? That would last most reloaders a few seasons. Hoarders, eat your hearts out….

Creedmoor Sports Ammunition Powder Anniston Alabama

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
April 13th, 2017

300 Blackout Basics — Specs and Cartridge INFO

300 BLK AAC Blackout

As the .30-Cal cartridge of choice for the AR15 platform, the 300 AAC Blackout, also known as 300 BLK, has become quite popular with black rifle owners. You can now purchase quality factory ammo and even premium Lapua 300 BLK brass. Some folks wonder — “why consider a 300 BLK”? Here are the key reasons you may want to acquire a 300 AAC Blackout upper for your AR:

FIVE REASONS to Shoot the 300 BLK:

1. Easy Conversion: Use your current AR lower, bolt/carrier, buffer, and magazine. The only part you need to change is the barrel.
2. Hunting Capability: 300 BLK conforms to state hunting regulations which may require a cartridge larger than .22 caliber. The 300 BLK shoots .308 caliber bullets.
3. Suppressor-Friendly: You can shoot heavier bullets subsonic. The subsonic capabilities of the 300 BLK make it ideal for use with a suppressed AR.
4. Great Barrel Life: With a .30-caliber bore and a modest powder charge, barrel life is outstanding.
5. Great Brass: No Case forming is required — just buy Lapua 300 BLK brass.

The 300 AAC Blackout was created by Advanced Armament Corp. and Remington primarily for the military as a way to shoot .30-caliber bullets from the M4/AR15 platform while using standard magazines. As explained by Robert Silvers, AAC’s R&D Director: “[You can] shoot 30 caliber from your AR while still using normal magazines with full capacity. Even the bolt stays the same, and all that changes is the barrel.” CLICK HERE for more information.

300 BLK AAC Blackout magazine

The concept of putting a .30-caliber bullet in a shortened 223 case has been done before, but not as an industry-wide standard that anyone can make products for, royalty-free. SAAMI, the industry standards organization, adopted and standardized the AAC 300 Blackout earlier this year. The SAAMI diagram for the 300 BLK is shown below.

300 AAC Blackout SAAMI Diagram
300 Blackout SAAMI Cartridge Specification

Affordable Factory 300 BLK Ammo is Available
Remington now sells a variety of 300 BLK ammo: 1) 125 grain open-tip match with a custom Sierra bullet; 2) 220gr subsonic, and 3) 125gr AccuTip (photo below). While the 300 BLK is easy (and inexpensive) to reload, Remington and AAC recognized that most people are not reloaders. So Remington will be budget-priced UMC-brand 300 BLK ammo through at just $12.99 per box — that’s less than most other rifle cartridges than are more powerful than the .223.

300 AAC BLK ammo

The 300 AAC Blackout definitely works for hunters who want to use their AR15-platform rifle. And it also serves as a specialized 30-Cal “rule-beater” that lets 3-Gun competitors “make major” with a low-recoil cartridge that also offers long barrel life. For those who need to run a .30-caliber cartridge from a standard AR15 platform (as opposed to the AR10), the 300 AAC Blackout makes sense. But for hunters using a bolt gun, there are any number of tried and true options, such as the 7.62×39, .30-30, and, of course, the .308 Winchester (7.62×51 NATO).

WARNING: With some bullet options (and setback during chambering) 300 Blackout rounds will go into a .223 chamber and fire. Putting a .308-caliber bullet in a .224-diameter barrel is a recipe for disaster. You can blow up your gun and sustain serious injury. That’s why we recommend you have a dedicated 300 BLK upper and mark your magazines. Also, always, always check your .223 magazines to ensure no 300 BLK rounds worked their way in when you loaded the mags. There have been a number of Kabooms recorded from 300 BLK rounds fired in a .223 Rem/5.56×45 chamber. CLICK HERE to see actual 300 BLK in .223 Rem chamber.

Other 300 BLK Resources
300 BLK by AAC: An Introduction by Paul Erhardt.
300 AAC Blackout Ammo Review
AAC .300 BLK AR-15, The Gun Blog.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tactical 5 Comments »
April 3rd, 2017

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass Performs Great in Tough Field Test

6.5 Guys 6.5 creedmoor Lapua brass cartridge casing filed test 20 reload cycles

The verdict is in — Lapua’s new 6.5 Creedmoor brass is ultra-tough and very consistent. So sayeth the 6.5 Guys, who recently field-tested the brass, loading it to very stout levels. Even after 20 reloadings, the Lapua 6.5 CM brass held up extremely well. This brass, with its small primer pocket and small flash hole, really does out-perform other 6.5 Creedmoor brass offerings. Yes the Lapua brass is pricey, but it outlasts the alternatives, and, if the 6.5 Guys test is any indication, you can run higher velocities with this brass compared to other brands. Watch the 6.5 Guys Lapua brass test in this video:

If you have a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, or are considering getting a gun chambered for this cartridge, we strongly recommend you watch the full 6.5 Guys Video. Ed and Steve spent a lot of time conducting this test, and the video includes helpful summaries of their findings.

The Evolution of the 6.5 Creedmoor
Over the last few years the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has become increasingly popular among precision rifle enthusiasts. However, availability of brass cases was limited to only a few manufacturers. In early 2017 Lapua introduced to the market its own 6.5 Creedmoor case with a unique twist — the case has a small rifle primer pocket and small flash hole — like the 6mmBR Norma and 6.5×47 Lapua.

6.5 Guys 6.5 creedmoor Lapua brass cartridge casing filed test 20 reload cycles

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass — Test Protocol
The 6.5 Guys tested a box of Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge brass supplied by Graf & Sons. The project involved two phases. First the 6.5 Guys weighed and measured the cases to assess weight uniformity and dimensional consistency (which was impressive). Then came phase II — the “torture test”. The 6.5 Guys loaded the brass with a very stout charge of H4350 pushing 140gr Hornady ELD bullets*. The brass was loaded and shot over 20 times. This durability test was conducted to see how many repeated firings and resizing/reloading cycles the brass could handle. Remarkably, after 20+ loadings, the brass was still holding up — no “blown-out” primer pockets. This stuff is tough. The 6.5 Guys note: “You can go at least 20 reloadings without a split neck…but brass spring-back may be another issue.”

After 20 Load Cycles — Going to the Extreme
Once the Lapua cases had been shot 20+ times, the 6.5 Guys tried something more extreme. They stuffed the brass with a very hot load — a powder charge weight well beyond a sensible maximum. Even with this “beyond max” load, the Lapua brass held up but there was some evidence of pressure on the primers: “You do see some cratering on the primer with a Remington 700 that you don’t see with a Defiance action, but nothing to indicate a potential pierced primer.”

6.5 Guys 6.5 creedmoor Lapua brass cartridge casing filed test 20 reload cycles
WARNING: The 6.5 Guys deliberately used a very stout load for testing. Do not attempt to duplicate. This load was shot in a faster-than-average barrel with a chamber set up for long 140gr bullets. You may not be able to achieve similar velocities — maybe not even close. As with all hand-loading, always start low and work up charges in small increments.

6.5 Creedmoor vs. 6.5×47 Lapua — Battle of the Middle-Weights
With this new brass, does the 6.5 Creedmoor enjoy an edge over the 6.5×47 Lapua? The 6.5 Guys answer: “That’s hard to say. From a market share standpoint, the 6.5 CM is more popular in the USA. From a technical perspective, 6.5×47 Lapua offers near identical performance with better barrel life. But from our tests, you can drive a 140-grain bullet much faster with 6.5 Creedmoor than you ever can (safely) with a 6.5×47 Lapua. That’s our non-answer answer….”

The 6.5 Guys concluded that the 6.5 Creedmoor will enjoy a velocity advantage: “We’ve had a number of discussions with RBros and other folks about this. It appears that 6.5×47 still has the edge as far as barrel life. But it also looks like you can push a 140gr bullet pretty fast with the 6.5 CM — speeds that are not obtainable with the 6.5×47 Lapua.”

* Why were the Hornady 140gr ELDs chosen for testing? The 6.5 Guys wanted a bullet in the 140gr weight range. Beyond that, the choice was fortuitous. Ed explained: “Our bullet selection was quite scientific — we sat down at my reloading bench and looked around. Saw the Hornady 140 ELD Match and decided to roll with that.”

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 23 Comments »
February 13th, 2017

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass Has Arrived at Graf & Sons

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge brass

The most hotly-anticipated cartridge brass, the new-for-2017 6.5 Creedmoor cases from Lapua, arrived late last week at Graf & Sons. With the strength and uniformity for which Lapua brass is famous, this new brass should definitely “raise the bar” for 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor shooters. Note — the new Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass features a small flash hole and small primer pocket. As of 9:00 am Monday morning this brass is in stock at Grafs.com priced at $119.99 per 100-ct box, with a max order of five (5) boxes.

UPDATE: The 6.5 Creedmoor brass sold out after we posted this story. But there will be more coming. You can ask Graf’s to be notified as soon as the next shipment arrives.

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge brass

TECH TIP: For those who have been loading Hornady or other-brand 6.5 Creedmoor brass with large primer pockets and large flash holes, you may need to reconfigure your reloading tools. Check your sizing die — you may need to change to a smaller-diameter decapping rod. In addition you’ll need to use a small primer size “pusher” on your priming tool.

Permalink News 8 Comments »
May 18th, 2014

Creedmoor Sports Will Be Producing Match-Grade Ammunition

Creedmoor Sports will be producing high-quality loaded ammunition very soon. This will be crafted with top-quality bullets, and premium-grade Lapua brass. General Manager Dennis DeMille tells us: “We received four pallets of brass today and we have 13,005 pounds of powder waiting for production.”

Here’s a preview of what will be on the market very soon:

Creedmoor Sports Ammunition Powder Anniston Alabama

Oh, the beauty of it — all that Lapua brass. From Finland with love….

Creedmoor Sports Ammunition Powder Anniston Alabama

What does 13,005 pounds (6.5 tons) of powder look like? That would last most reloaders a few seasons. Hoarders, eat your hearts out….

Creedmoor Sports Ammunition Powder Anniston Alabama

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 4 Comments »
December 19th, 2013

Lapua Brass Shipping Boxes Do Double-Duty As Ammo Caddies

Since 2010, Lapua has shipped its quality cartridge brass in sturdy blue plastic boxes. Here’s a handy tip for you — don’t toss the plastic boxes when you load up your brass! These are double-duty containers. If you’re not familiar with “Blue Box” Lapua brass, you may not realize that the boxes are designed to serve as 50-round carriers for your loaded ammo and fired cases. (Yes we know some folks who’ve been tossing out their blue boxes without knowing how the boxes work as caddies.)

Snapped in place under the box lid is a rectangular plastic grid that fits in the bottom of the box. Pop the grid loose and slide it into the box with the smooth side facing up. Side supports molded into the lower section hold the grid in place.

Lapua brass Ammo box

Voilà, instant Ammo Box! Each grid contains holes for fifty (50) loaded rounds or empty cases. The convertible plastic container/ammo box is a great idea that Lapua executed very nicely. Now you have even more motivation to purchase your cartridge brass from Lapua.

Lapua brass Ammo box

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 7 Comments »
June 12th, 2013

Lapua Brass in Many Popular Calibers Available Now

Lapua cartridge brass accurateshooter.comWe all know that reloading components have been in short supply in recent months. If you’ve been searching for quality brass, your wait may be over.

A boatload of Lapua cartridge brass has crossed the Atlantic, cleared customs, and is now in warehouses. Many large vendors report that they have ample supplies of Lapua brass in stock now. So if you need some cartridge cases, place your orders today.

Here is a summary of the cartridge types in stock, vendor by vendor. Sorry, no 6mmBR brass on hand at these outfits, but you’ll find most other types of Lapua rifle brass:

Lapua Rifle Cartridge Brass in Stock as of 6/12/2013
Creedmoor Sports Grafs.com Powder Valley Inc.
.220 Russian
.223 Rem
22-250 Rem
6.5×47
6.5×284 Norma
.260 REM
.308 WIN
.308 WIN Palma
.30-06 Spr
.220 Russian
6.5×47
.260 Rem
6.5×55 SE
6.5×284 Norma
.338 Lapua Mag
.220 Russian
.222 Rem
.223 Rem
22-250 Rem
.243 Win
6.5×47
.260 Rem
6.5×55 SE
6.5×284 Norma
7.62×39
.308 Win
.308 Win Palma
.30-06 Spr
.338 Lapua Mag
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March 15th, 2013

Lapua 90th Anniv. Web Site with Contest and Interactive Game

Lapua Anniversary Best Shot Contest PrizeTo celebrate its 90th Anniversary, Lapua has developed a special new web site with many cool features including contests, product videos, and an interactive shooting game. You’ll find an interesting historical timeline recounting the history of Lapua starting in 1923. The timeline covers development of the factory, important product releases, competition successes, and other important milestones.

Click here to visit Lapua’s new 90th Anniversary site.

Submit your “Best Shot” and Win Prizes
On the site, Lapua invites readers to submit a short description of their “best shot” made with Lapua ammo or components: “Sometimes things just click. When did you have your moment of absolute precision? Share it with us…” Prizes will be awarded each month for the most impressive “best shot” stories submitted by readers. CLICK HERE for more info.

Lapua Anniversary Best Shot Contest Prize

Play Interactive Biathlon Game
Site visitors can play an interactive shooting game featuring Biathon rifles and Lapua Polar Biathlon .22LR Ammo (other rifles and shooting disciplines will be added in the future). You’ll want to visit the Biathlon Game Page to see all the features, but we’ve embedded a sample here so you can see how it works. NOTE: you may have to use the scroll bars at the bottom and right sides. (This is because the game format is larger that our Bulletin “real estate”).

Watch Lapua Video

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »
May 1st, 2010

Whitley Creates Accurate 6mm Cartridge with 22-250 Lapua Brass

Lapua 22-250 brassOur friend Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com has come up with a new, accurate 6mm wildcat based on the new Lapua 22-250 brass that has just started arriving. Robert provides this report:

“I just received a box of the new Lapua 22/250 cases — beautiful brass! My real desire with it was to make it into a 6mm version, preferably something that was ‘no neck-turn’ with a .308 Win-type body taper that would work well in bolt gun and semi-auto magazines and would have a capacity to allow superior velocities. I considered the 6XC, but since you have to bring a whole lot of the shoulder of the brass up into the neck (when you re-form the brass from 22-250 to 6XC) that would necessitate neck-turning it because with Lapua brass the shoulder metal is thicker than neck metal of the brass.

I wanted a simple ‘neck it up and shoot it’ approach so I made up a 6mm-250 Improved 30 cartridge (i.e. 6mm-250 Improved with a 30 degree shoulder) and this thing works great — just neck up the brass, load it and shoot it! The case is like a 6XC with a .030″ longer body and a .030″ shorter neck, which works out fine if you are going to be shooting mainly the 105-108 gr bullets (which it will do very well shooting 2950 – 3000 fps). If you want to hot-rod things, which I do not, I am certain the case can push the 105-108 gr bullets a fair amount faster.

Whitley 6mm-260 22-250

I set it up and throated the reamer for the Sierra 107s and the Berger or JLK 105 VLDs (i.e. a .090″ free bore on the reamer) and it works great with them. If I was going to use it with the Lapua 105s or the Berger 108s I would add about .025″ – .030″ to the freebore of the reamer (i.e. make the freebore around .115″ to .120″).

The great thing is you can use a 6XC die set for it without modification, and all you need to do is keep the dies about .030″ up off the shell holder from their normal position and use them as is. You can make a spacer washer about .030″ thick that you can put on and take off the 6XC dies and use the dies for both cartridges (i.e. 6XC and 6mm-250 Imp 30).

Lapua 22-250 brass6mm-250 Imp 30 Shows Great Accuracy
Fire-forming loads are real accurate. Here is a 10-shot group I shot prone at 100 yards shooting fire-forming loads with it — the group is the size of a dime. For fire-forming I use a milder, but still very accurate load: 32.0 grains of N140 with a Sierra 107 and a BR2 primer. For fire-formed cases you can jump up to N160 (around 38-40 grains — depending on lot) and it will push the 105-108 gr bullets real accurately in the 2950-3000 fps range, with low ES and SD. This cartridge has a neck length of .268″ which is plenty long for a 6mm shooting bullets with varying bearing surface lengths. The reamer diagram (link below) leaves about a .003″ neck clearance over a loaded round, which seems to work out very well for a ‘no-turn neck’ set-up.

So there you have it … the 6mm-250 Imp 30 is simple, easy to make, accurate as all get out, there are available factory die sets you can use, and it uses great new Lapua brass — what’s not to like!”

CLICK HERE to download Whitley 6mm-250 Imp 30 Reamer Print.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 12 Comments »
July 31st, 2009

Reloading Components Offered by Holland's Shooters Supply

If you’re looking for hard to find reloading components, Darrell Holland reports that Holland Shooters Supplies has just received large shipments of powder, bullets, brass, and yes, primers.

Primer inventories now include: Remington, Winchester, and Wolf (small and large rifle; small and large pistol; plus Win shotgun primers). Popular powders in stock include: Hodgdon Varget (plenty), H335, H4895, H4350, H4831sc, H-1000, Retumbo; and Alliant Reloder 22

Holland’s has received substantial supplies of Lapua cartridge brass including: 223 Rem, 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5-284, 308 Win, and 338 Lapua. In addition Hollands has Winchester brass for 223 Rem, 22-250, 243 Win, 6mm Rem, 308 Win, and 30-06. Nosler brass is available in 280 Rem, 280 Ackly, and 7mm STW

Darrell says he’s also got good supplies of Berger, Nosler, and Sierra Bullets: “lots of 308 caliber 168s, 175s, and 210s, plus 50-80gr 224s.” Holland’s also has 70-107gr 6mms in stock, plus 6.5mm and 7mm bullets.

Tactical Pouch Ammo CarrierFor these reloading components at Holland’s, there is no limit on quantity — first come, first served. A $25.00 Hazmat will cover up to 50 lbs of powder and primers. To order, call Holland’s, (541) 439-5155, 9am to 3:00 pm Pacific Time.

While you’re visiting Holland’s website, check out the new $30 Tactical Shooter’s Pouch on the products page. This unique, ballistic nylon bag holds ammo in elastic loops, plus it’s big enough to carry range cards, a mildot master, spare parts, or even a PDA with a ballistics program.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 6 Comments »
April 4th, 2009

Lapua 6mmBR, 220 Russian, and .308 Win Brass at MidwayUSA

Lapua Brass Midwayusa

6mmBR, 220 Russian, .308 IN STOCK
MidwayUSA just received supplies of Lapua brass for the hard-to-find cartridges: 220 Russian, 6mmBR, .243, 6.5 Grendel, and .308. If you need Lapua brass in a hurry, you might want to jump on this, as Midway’s inventory will probably sell out quickly.

220 Russian, item 1270320316, $94.99 per 100-ct box
6mmBR, item 1270323515, $80.89 per 100-ct box
.243 Win, item 1270235456, $82.34 per 100-ct box
6.5 Gredel, item 1270213283, $104.99 per 100-ct box
.308 Win, item 1270187523, $70.99 per 100-ct box

Other Sources
Bruno Shooters Supply expects to have more Lapua brass within two weeks. Grafs.com expects another large shipment to arrive fairly soon as well.

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March 13th, 2009

Lapua Brass Arrives at MidwayUSA and Grafs.com

Lapua cartridge brassLapua cartridge brass has been in short supply recently. The good news is that a large shipment (of various cartridge types) recently arrived, and both MidwayUSA and Grafs.com are now again showing quantities in stock. Yes, MidwayUSA has 6mmBR, 220 Russian, and .308 Win brass now. You may still have to check multiple sources, and if you wait a week or so, the brass should get to other discount vendors such as Powder Valley. Cabela’s has Lapua brass in stock also… but no 6mmBR or .308 Win.

MidwayUSA now has Lapua 6mmBR brass at $82.99 per 100 (item 1270323515), 220 Russian brass at $97.99 per 100 (item 1270320316), and .308 Win brass at $72.99 per 100 (item 1270187523). MidwayUSA is also showing Lapua brass availability for: 20 Tactical, 222 Rem, 223 Rem, 7.62×39, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47, and 6.5-284, 6.5×55, and 30-06. Everything is pretty expensive — for example the 6.5×47 brass is $110.99 per 100 (ouch!).

Grafs.com hasn’t posted all the new Lapua brass it has received yet, but today Graf’s is showing availability of Lapua brass for: 222 Rem ($49.99/100), .243 Winchester ($72.99/100), 6.5×47 ($91.99/100), 7.62×39 ($46.59/100), 30-06 ($89.59/100). We don’t believe Grafs.com received 6mmBR brass in this shipment, but they should get some by early April.

If you still can’t find what you need, Cabela’s has the following types of Lapua rifle brass in stock: .243 Win ($69.99), 6.5×47 ($89.99/100), 6.5-284 ($99.99/100), 30-06 ($85.99/100), and .338 Lapua Magnum ($214.99/100).

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