January 23rd, 2019

SHOT Show 2019 — The Doors Open

anschutz rimfire .22 LR fortner match rifles shot show 2019

SHOT Show 2019 kicked off Tuesday, with tens of thousands of exhibitors, media members, and invitees streaming into the Sands EXPO Center in Las Vegas. This firearms industry trade show just gets bigger every year. We visited many of our favorite vendors including Capstone Precision Group (Berger, Lapua, SK, Vihtavuori), McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, Zeiss Optics, Redding Reloading, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Anschutz, and Target Vision/Longshot.

Here are some quick highlights from Day One of SHOT Show, a little bit of everything: Rifles, pistols, ammo, reloading gear, and some notable shooters.

Capstone Precision Group: Berger, Lapua, SK and Vihtavuori

Lapua brass ammo SK bullets scenar Capstone Precision shot show 2019

Capstone Precision Group showcased new products from its four companies: Berger Bullets, Lapua, SK, and Vihtavuori. Lapua showcases cartridge brass and loaded ammo, including new 6.5 Creedmoor ammo with the ultra-consistent Scenar-L bullets. Capstone also told us to expect large quantities of brass to be arriving in the USA soon, including the high-demand 6mmBR brass.

Berger bullets ELR solid match projectiles Capstone Precision shot show 2019

Berger will release new loaded ammo in Lapua brass. Options will include 6mm Creedmoor, which should be popular with the PRS crowd. In addition, Berger will offer an impressive new line of solid projectiles. These ultra-high-BC ELF Match Solids have optimal shapes to stay supersonic at longer ranges. They are an impressive option for the Extreme Long Range game.

McMillan — 6012-Yard Shot with ELR Rifle

McMillan Beast paul phillips elr rifle 6012 yard shot

At the McMillan booth, members of the Global Precision Group (GPG) Team showcased an impressive .416 Barrett ELR rifle. Team leader Paul Phillips explained how the team managed (on the 22nd shot) to hit a 48″x32″ target at the incredible distance of 6012 yards. Our friend Derek Rodgers, reigning F-TR World Champion, told us that this shows how the ELR sport has evolved. The rifle features a McMillan ELR Beast stock with a Bartlein Barrel on a massive BAT 50 action.The .416 Barrett rounds were loaded with 550 grain Cutting Edge bullets.

McMillan Beast paul phillips elr rifle 6012 yard shot

A Tacom Charlie/Delta TARAC prism system was fitted in front of the Nightforce scope, allowing the team to put over 625 MOA of elevation on the shot while still being able to see the target. The ballistics numbers for this 6012-yard shot are pretty mind-boggling: 625 MOA of elevation was required, and the bullet was in the air for 17.1 seconds!

New Products from LongShot Target Cameras (aka TargetVision)

TargetVision longshot camera system clay rhoden wife video cam

Our first stop at the show was at the LongShot Target Cameras booth. Here we met with company founder, Clay Rhoden, the bright young man who has created the best-performing wireless target cameras on the market. Most folks know Rhoden’s company as TargetVision, but Clay said they are re-branding as LONGSHOT Target Cameras, to help emphasize the extreme range capabilities of his latest systems (the top tier Longshot cameras can operate out to one mile and beyond). Clay showed us two new products, the latest target camera (with easy-to remove battery pack), and a special camera that will transmit video from a spotting scope to your mobile devices. See the latest products at www.longshotcameras.com.

Light-Weight Camo Hunting Rifles from Weatherby

Weatherby Mark V ultra lightweight rifle camouflage Cerakote Camo

Hunters can spend hundreds of dollars on the latest camouflaged clothing in order to blend in to their environment, so why do gun makers continue to produce shiny hunting rifles? Well, this is one thing Weatherby has gotten right with the latest Weatherby Mark V ultra lightweight rifles. The rifle has the option of a rugged, matte Cerakote finish on action, bolt, and barrel, effectively eliminating glare. And did I mention it’s light weight? The full rifle weights a mere 5.75 pounds for non-magnum calibers. Weatherby guarantees sub-MOA accuracy with factory ammunition out of the box. Add a decent lightweight scope and this rifle is ready for a long backcountry hunt.

Hot New Sub-Compacts from SIG Sauer, Kimber, Walther

Kimber Evo Walther CCP SIG P365shot show 2019

For shooters who carry concealed or simply prefer a more compact pistol, three new handguns really stood out at shot show 2019: the SIG Sauer P365, Walther CCP M2, and the Kimber EVO. All three guns had a similar weight and feel at roughly 1” width, 6” length, and 1 lb when empty. The P365 has an advantage with a 10 + 1 round capacity, compared to the 7/8 of the EVO and CCP M2, but the CCP M2 is more competitively priced with an MSRP starting at $469. Retail for the P365 starts at $599 and the Kimber a surprising $925. Expect to see these guns in stores between spring and summer of 2019.

Smith & Wesson — Handguns Galore and New T/C Performance Center LRR

Smith Wesson T/C LRR long range rifle revolver magnum shot show 2019

Smith & Wesson is not just a handgun company. It markets rifles under its own brand name as well as via its Thompson Center Arms (T/C) division. At SHOT Show 2019 we saw the T/C Performance Center LRR (Long Range Rifle). With a $1211.00 MSRP, this offers great “bang for the buck” for shooters competing in PRS production division. These rigs feature a modular aluminum chassis, 24″ barrel, and adjustable cheekpiece. Available chamberings include .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win. And of course S&W continues to make great wheelguns, include some very BIG magnum revolvers:

Smith Wesson T/C revolver magnum shot show 2019

At the Anschutz Booth with Company President, Jochen Anschutz

anschutz rimfire .22 LR fortner match rifles shot show 2019

The German company Anschutz remains a world leader in rimfire rifles. The company’s match rifles have captured countless Gold Medals in Olympic target shooting and biathlong competition. Here company President Jochen Anschutz (left) shows the latest Biathlon rifle, featuring the impressive Fornter straight-pull action. With Jochen is Steven Bolter, North America Custom Shop Director. We were pleased to hear that Anschutz will be offering a new line of 17 HM2 (Mach2) rifles soon. That is an effective varmint round that’s considerable less expensive than 17 HMR.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Handguns, News No Comments »
January 16th, 2019

Save 15% NOW on Reloading Components, Tools, and Gear

Precision Reloading 15% Off sale January 2019 fifteen percent savings

Who doesn’t want to save money? If you can get a significant discount, you should really take advantage of that opportunity. Guys, we’ve been tracking prices on shooting sports products at vendors around the country. Sad to say, we’ve seen price increases across the board in 2019. Reloading components, loading tools, stocks, targets, electronic gadgets — you name it, the price trend is moving upwards. Thankfully our friends at Precision Reloading are holding the line. Even better, Precision Reloading is running a really significant promotion right now.

Take Note! For today and tomorrow, January 16 and January 17, you can get 15% OFF All ORDERS over $100.00. That’s right, save 15% on your purchases at Precision Reloading with Code 15OFF. If you buy a $400.00 item that could save you $60.00. Yes, this applies to pretty much everything in stock at Precision Reloading, including all major brands below (and dozens more including Lapua, Berger, Forster, Hodgdon, Nosler, RCBS, Redding, Sierra etc.).

Precision Reloading 15% Off sale January 2019 fifteen percent savings

If you need bullets, brass, powder, dies, presses, powder dispensers, check out this sale. It’s a very good deal. Use Code 15OFF at check-out to save 15% on your orders over $100.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
January 14th, 2019

Creedmoor Heaven — New Factory Ammo from Berger and Lapua

Berger Bullets Lapua Capstone 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm creedmoor ammo ammunition hunting lead free Naturalis

PRS and NRL shooters, as well as game hunters, now have new ultra-accurate Berger and Lapua factory ammo for the popular 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor chamberings. For shooters who do not have the time or equipment to hand-load, these new factory ammo options promise outstanding performance. We fully expect that these new offerings from Berger and Lapua will set new standards for accuracy and ballistic uniformity among commercial ammunition for the 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor. Lapua’s match ammo for the similar 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge has shown outstanding accuracy with ES/SD numbers rivaling high-quality hand-loads. (SEE 6.5x47L Test Results).

New Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Target and Lead-Free Hunting Ammunition
Lapua has added the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge to its line of Scenar-L Target ammo and its Naturalis Hunting ammunition offerings. The 6.5m Creedmoor 136 grain Scenar-L offers a high ballistic coefficient (BC) for long-range competitive target shooting, yet maintains SAAMI configuration for flawless function through all factory or custom rifle magazines. Lapua ammo will also be loaded with the excellent 123 grain OTM Scenar. One of our favorite bullets, the 123-grainer offers faster velocities (and less recoil) than its bigger brother, and may be the best choice for many PRS stages.

6.5 Creedmoor ammo loaded with the 140 grain Lapua Naturalis provides hunters a lead-free option for hunting in areas that ban lead bullets. Designed and manufactured from pure copper, Naturalis bullets will reliably retain 90-100% of their original weight. Lapua’s Naturalis projectiles produce consistent, controlled expansion at the widest velocity range on the market.

Related Story: Read Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass Test Results »

Berger Bullets Lapua Capstone 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm creedmoor ammo ammunition hunting lead free Naturalis

New Berger 6mm Creedmoor Target and Hunting Ammo
New 6mm Creedmoor Target Ammunition is loaded with Berger 105 grain Hybrid Target bullets, the “go-to” for PRS shooters and long-range accuracy enthusiasts alike. Built using premium-grade Lapua cartridge cases, Berger’s 6mm Creedmoor Target Ammunition provides the discriminating shooter the highest quality components and sub-MOA accuracy “off-the-shelf”, unequaled by the competition.

New Berger 6mm Creedmoor Hunting Ammunition is loaded with 95 grain Hybrid Classic Hunter bullets in premium Lapua brass. These top-flight components deliver lethal precision and sub-MOA accuracy — impressive for hunting ammo. The hybrid ogive design of the Classic Hunter projectile is the same as Berger Hybrid Target bullets, while allowing for SAAMI length configurations for efficiency in the field and reliable functioning through magazines.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
January 12th, 2019

GREAT Video on Making Brass and Precision Ammo — Watch Now

Norma factory ammo production video

Guys — honestly, if you do anything today on this site, watch this video. You won’t be disappointed. Guaranteed. This is a very informative (and surprisingly entertaining) video. Every serious hand-loader should watch this video to see how cartridge cases and loaded ammo are made. Your Editor has watched the video 5 times now and I still find it fascinating. The camera work and editing are excellent — there are many close-ups revealing key processes such as annealing and head-stamping.

VERY Informative Video Show Cartridge Brass and Ammunition Production:

Norma has released a fascinating video showing how bullet, brass, and ammunition are produced at the Norma Precision AB factory which first opened in 1902. You can see how cartridges are made starting with brass disks, then formed into shape through a series of processes, including “hitting [the cup] with a 30-ton hammer”. After annealing (shown at 0:08″), samples from every batch of brass are analyzed (at multiple points along the case length) to check metal grain structure and hardness. Before packing, each case is visually inspected by a human being (3:27″ time-mark).

The video also shows how bullets are made from jackets and lead cores. Finally, you can watch the loading machines that fill cases with powder, seat the bullets, and then transport the loaded rounds to the packing system. In his enthusiasm, the reporter/narrator does sometimes confuse the term “bullets” and “rounds” (5:00″), but you can figure out what he means. We definitely recommend watching this video. It’s fascinating to see 110-year-old sorting devices on the assembly line right next to state-of-the art, digitally-controlled production machinery.

Video tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
December 1st, 2018

Save Those Lapua Plastic Boxes — They Work as Ammo Carriers!

Lapua brass Ammo box

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.

USER TIPS: When transporting ammo you may want to put some foam over the loaded rounds. That will protect the bullet tips. Also, with shorter cartridges, this will help keep your loaded ammo and fired cases from moving around. You can also tape the FREE Redding Ammo Box Labels on the underside of the lids to list your load information.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
September 29th, 2018

Norm Harrold and His Championship-Winning F-Open Rig

F-Class Open F-Open Norm Norman Harrold Champion Championship 2018 Raton NM New Mexico 284 Shehane Berger Bullets

After Norm Harrold won the 2018 F-Open National Championship in Raton, New Mexico, setting a new 1000-yard National Record in the process, many of our Forum members wanted to see Norm’s championship-winning rifle, and learn more about Norm’s experience at the Nationals. Read on for coverage of Norm’s equipment and .284 Shehane ammo. Scroll down and you’ll find a detailed video showing how McMillan builds the advanced Kestros ZR stocks, like the one Norm used at Raton.

Norm posted: “I made it home from Raton 2018 F-Class Nationals and what an unbelievably amazing week I had. I was blessed enough to bring home a new F-Open 1000-yard record and the National Championship! Our Team McMillan took second in Mid-range and fourth overall in Long Range. I am so thankful and blessed to have this opportunity and to be able to do it with such a stand-up group of competitors and lifelong friends. Thanks to all our sponsors: McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, Nightforce Optics, Kelbly’s [Actions], Bartlein Barrels, and Berger Bullets.”

F-Class Open F-Open Norm Norman Harrold Champion Championship 2018 Raton NM New Mexico 284 Shehane Berger Bullets

Gun and Load: Norm’s F-Open rig features a McMillan Kestros ZR stock and Bartlein barrel chambered for the .284 Shehane, which has a bit more case capacity than a standard .284 Winchester. Norm loaded Berger 184gr 7mm bullets in Lapua brass. Norma revealed his load in an Erik Cortina YouTube Video. Fellow shooter Erik Cortina joked — “the minute this video goes live, the 184s will be hard to find”. Norm says “Stock up guys — they shoot good!”

F-Class Open F-Open Norm Norman Harrold Champion Championship 2018 Raton NM New Mexico 284 Shehane Berger Bullets

Here Norm Harrold shows his shooting form. Note how low the McMillan Kestros ZR forearm sits on Norm’s SEB NEO front rest. Norma also uses a large footprint rear bag for enhanced stability.

Harrold Shoots 200-22X to Smash 1000-Yard F-Open Record
On a rainy day at Raton, Norm shot brilliantly to set a new F-Open National Record: 200-22X at 1000 yards. (The previous record was 200-17X.) How could he get 22 Xs for a 20-shot string? Under NRA rules, if you shoot all Xs for the full string, you are allowed to keep shooting for as long as you can put shots in the X-Ring. Norm almost missed the chance to extend his X-Count. After his 20th shot, Norm recalled, “I said ‘I’m done, give me my target’, but … my shooting partner said ‘No! Keep shooting!’” So Norm did, drilling two more Xs to set the new National Record.

F-Class Open F-Open Norm Norman Harrold Champion Championship 2018 Raton NM New Mexico 284 Shehane Berger Bullets

Kelly McMillan Shows Design and Construction of the Kestros ZR:

In this video, Kelly McMillan explains the design features and construction methods for the Kestros ZR, a fiberglass Kestros with aluminum extension rails in the front. Kelly explains “how and why we made the stock the way we did” and he shows how to retro-fit standard Kestros stocks with the new front rails. On the ZR the rails are anchored to a reinforced area for extra rigidity. In addition, the cantilevered rails are milled to be perfectly parallel. If you shoot F-Class we strongly recommend you watch this video.

Kelly McMillan Kestros ZR front rail prototype
Kelly McMillan showed us the prototype Kestros ZR at the 2018 Berger Southwest Nationals.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Gunsmithing 1 Comment »
September 12th, 2018

The Mother of All Rimfire Ammo Tests — AccurateReloading.com

rimfire ammunition test

We first featured this story in 2010, but the results of this rimfire ammo test have been of such widespread interest that we try to bring the test to readers’ attention every year.

In 2010, the staff of AccurateReloading.com Forum completed a massive .22LR Rimfire Ammunition Testing Project. Some 55 different types of ammo were tested, using a highly-accurate Swiss-made Bleiker rifle, with a 2-stage trigger. All ammo varieties were tested at 50 yards, 75 yards, and 100 yards, shooting five, 5-shot groups at each distance. Though these tests were completed some time ago, many readers have requested a “reprint” of the ammo rankings, so we’ve republished this data below.

The results are fascinating to say the least (and perhaps eye-opening). The tester observed: “I got some amazing groups, and some which are, frankly, absurdly bad! This has re-enforced what I had experienced with 22 ammo in the past — that is being consistently inconsistent.”

While we strongly caution that .22LR rimfire ammo may work well in one gun and not another, and ammo performance can be improved through the use of barrel tuners, the AccurateReloading.com research provides invaluable guidance for smallbore shooters. Overall, the testers burned through over 4,000 rounds of ammo, and you can see the actual test targets online. To read all the test reports, and view target photos visit AccurateReloading.com.

Bleiker .22LR Rifle

The lists below rank the average accuracy (by brand) of five, 5-shot groups shot at 50, 75, and 100 yards. CLICK HERE for Complete Test Results with target photos.

50-Yard Results 75-Yard Results 100-Yard Results
0.162 Eley Tenex Ultimate EPS
0.164 Lapua Midas Plus
0.177 Lapua Polar Biathlon
0.187 Eley Match EPS
0.193 Eley Match
0.203 Lapua Midas M
0.215 Lapua Center X
0.216 Western Value Pack
0.229 Lapua Signum
0.241 Lapua Master L
0.243 Eley Pistol Match
0.256 Olin Ball
0.256 Akah X-Zone
0.261 Lapua Midas L
0.261 Lapua Master M
0.263 Eley Tenex Semi Auto
0.270 Lapua Super Club
0.272 Eley Tenex
0.303 Lapua Standard Plus
0.312 CCI Standard Velocity
0.319 RWS R 50
0.319 Eley Standard
0.328 SK High Velocity
0.339 Eley Club Xtra
0.340 Winchester T22
0.356 Federal Champion
0.362 Eley Subsonic HP
0.371 CCI Mini Mag
0.376 Federal American Eagle
0.377 Norinco Target
0.380 Sellier & Bellot Club
0.384 Eley Club
0.387 Eley Sport
0.388 Totem
0.392 Swartklip Match Trainer
0.398 Federal Gold Medal
0.403 Swartklip HV
0.409 Eley Match Xtra Plus
0.424 Sellier & Bellot Std
0.443 Remington Target
0.461 Lapua Crow HP
0.475 Eley Silhouex
0.479 Magtech
0.498 Eley High Velocity
0.513 Winchester Super X
0.516 Kassnar Concorde
0.539 CCI Blazer
0.560 Winchester Supreme Pistol
0.576 Norinco Pistol Revolver
0.593 SK Standard
0.611 Sellier And Bellot HP
0.626 SK Standard HP
0.686 Logo HV
0.956 Pobjeda Target
0.274 Lapua Center X
0.283 Lapua Standard Plus
0.295 Eley Tenex Ultimate EPS
0.307 Lapua Midas M
0.329 Lapua Master M
0.346 Eley Match
0.373 Lapua Polar Biathlon
0.399 RWS R 50
0.432 Lapua Midas L
0.448 Eley Tenex Semi Auto
0.467 Eley Match EPS
0.474 Lapua master L
0.491 Eley Match Xtra Plus
0.494 CCI Standard
0.496 Eley Subsonic HP
0.507 Eley Sport
0.512 Federal American Eagle
0.513 SK High Velocity
0.514 Eley Standard
0.516 Eley Tenex
0.516 Lapua Crow HP
0.532 Western Value Pack
0.533 Fed. Champion Target
0.535 Lapua Midas Plus
0.564 Akah X Zone
0.566 Olin Ball
0.573 Eley Club Xtra
0.616 Lapua Signum
0.631 Winchester T22
0.639 Swartklip HV HP
0.641 Eley Club
0.642 Eley Silhouex
0.647 CCI Mini Mag
0.679 Eley Pistol Match
0.682 Swartklip Match Trainer
0.690 Federal Gold Medal
0.692 Remington HV
0.703 Lapua Super Club
0.720 Winchester Super X
0.738 Eley High Velocity
0.759 Kassnar Concorde
0.765 Sellier And Bellot Club
0.770 Winch. Supreme Pistol
0.770 Norinco target
0.775 CCI Blazer
0.802 Norinco Pistol Revolver
0.841 LVE Logo HV
0.855 Sellier & Bellot Std
0.871 Magtech
0.923 Sellier & Bellot HP
0.934 SK Standard HP
1.017 Remington Target
1.257 Totem Standard
1.442 SK Standard
1.578 Pobjeda target
0.455 Eley Match
0.510 Lapua Midas Plus
0.549 Lapua Midas M
0.611 Lapua Polar Biathlon
0.611 Eley Tenex Ultimate EPS
0.619 Eley Match EPS
0.622 Eley Club
0.630 Lapua Center X
0.631 RWS R50
0.679 Eley Tenex Semi Auto
0.694 Lapua Midas L
0.729 Eley Tenex
0.739 Lapua Master L
0.753 Lapua Super Club
0.785 Lapua Master M
0.831 Eley Sport
0.851 Eley Match Xtra
0.859 Lapua Standard Plus
0.867 Akah X-Zone
0.877 Eley Pistol Match
0.907 Norinco Target
0.924 Eley Silhouex
0.939 CCI Standard
0.952 Eley Subsonic HP
0.963 Magtech
0.970 Olin Ball
0.978 Kassnar Concorde
0.995 Eley Club Xtra
1.009 Western Value Pack
1.032 Federal Champion
1.087 Norinco Pistol Revolver
1.100 CCI Mini Mag
1.112 Lapua Crow HP
1.143 Winchester T22
1.142 Federal Gold Medal
1.144 federal American Eagle
1.156 Swartklip Hollo Point
1.165 Lapua Signum
1.170 Swartklip Match Trainer
1.175 Fed. Champion Value Pk
1.182 SK high Velocity
1.201 Totem
1.224 Winchester Super X
1.358 Eley Standard
1.367 Remington High Velocity
1.375 CCI Blazer
1.414 Eley High Velocity
1.450 Remington Target
1.504 LVE Logo
1.813 SK Standard
1.879 S&B Club
1.947 S&B Hollow Point
2.073 SK Standard HP
2.221 S&B Standard
2.266 Pobjeda Target
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 8 Comments »
April 25th, 2018

Capstone Shooting Seminars at NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas PRS Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori

Capstone Precision Group will conduct four informative seminars about competitive shooting during the 2018 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. These seminars, designed as introductions to various shooting disciplines, will be led by top competitors. The 147th Annual NRA Convention runs May 3-6, 2018 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Visit Capstone at Booth #4517 to learn more about competitive shooting from the experts. The seminars will be held each day in Booth #4517, May 4, 5, and 6 on the schedule listed below.

F-Class Shooting – 10:00-10:30

Join members of the USA Rifle Team to learn about F-Class, what you need to get started and what resources are available to help you learn more. This session will be held by the leaders of the United States F-Open and F-TR Rifle Teams. Made up of over 40 members, the team will be traveling to South Africa in 2021 to represent our country.

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas PRS Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori
F-TR Team USA won the 2017 F-TR World Championship.

Precision Rifle Series (PRS) Shooting – 1:30-2:00

The Precision Rifle Series is one of the fastest growing competitive disciplines. Join two of the top series shooters to learn about all PRS has to offer and how you can join in on the fun. This session is led by Matthew Brousseau of Team Lapua and Missy Gilliland of Team Berger. Matthew is currently #1 in the series, and Missy has won numerous women’s and Top 10 daily awards.

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas PRS Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori
F-TR Team USA won the 2017 F-TR World Championship.

Juniors in Competitive Shooting – 10:45-11:15

Do you have a son or daughter who is interested in competitive shooting? Attend our Juniors in Competitive Shooting educational session to learn how get them started on the right foot. Madison Bramley and her father Dan will lead this discussion. At just 14, Madison has already competed and represented the US around the country, as well as Ireland and Canada.

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas PRS Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori
Madison Bramley at Berger SWN. Erik Cortina Facebook Photo.

Women in Competitive Shooting – 2:15-2:45

This is designed specifically for women who are interested in shooting competitively. Missy Gilliland of Team Berger and Gabby Pitre of Team VihtaVuori will talk about how they got their start in the competitive world and how you can get involved. Missy is a PRS shooter, and Gabby competes in Long Range, Mid-Range, and High Power Across the Course (XTC), so this session will cover many topics.

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori
Missy Gilliland photo courtesy Bushnell.com.

High Power Shooting – 3:00-3:30

Are you interested in High Power Rifle competitions? Let us break down the competition, what you need to get started and how you can get involved with our High Power seminar led by Gabby Pitre and Kevin Thomas. Gabby is a member of Team VihtaVuori and has been competing since she was eight years old. Kevin Thomas is a Capstone employee, and has years of experience both shooting and teaching High Power shooting skills. Both have won distinguished badges and been awarded President’s Hundred, among other accomplishments.

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori

About Capstone Precision Group
Capstone Precision Group is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Berger Bullets, Lapua Components and Munitions, Vihtavuori Propellants, and SK Rimfire products. Capstone Precision Group is a part of Nammo Group.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
April 2nd, 2018

Vihtavuori Reloading Data Updates for 2018

VV Vihtavuori finland powder propellant reloading recipe data information mobile app pistol rifle .260 Rem .45 Acp .223 Rem .338 Lapua Magnum 2018 update

Vihtavuori markets a full line of quality, European-made powders for rifles and pistols. Finland-based Vihtavuori is operated by the same parent company, Nammo, that owns Lapua and Berger Bullets. If you haven’t tried Vihtavuori powders yet, you may be pleasantly surprised. For loading .45 ACP, our favorite powder is VV N320 — it burns clean and is very accurate. Likewise, VV makes excellent powders for rifle applications — from small varmint cartridges to large magnums.

New Reloading Data Released
VV Vihtavuori finland powder propellant reloading recipe data information mobile appVihtavuori offers free reloading data on its website, and through a free Mobile App. And now those resources are even more complete…


Rifle DATA | Pistol DATA | Mobile APP

Last week, Vihtavuori added new reloading data for ten different cartridge types, including some of the most popular pistol and rifle cartridges. You’ll find new pistol data for 9mm Luger and .45 ACP, and extensive new load data for .223 Rem, .260 Rem, .308 Win, and .30-06 Springfield (among others). Overall the 2018 data update features over 20 new bullets, with more than 140 new lines! All new data is also available in FREE Vihtavuori Reload App for iOS and Android. The updated online information supplements Vihtavuori’s Reloading Databases, which have dedicated sections for Rifle Cartridges, Pistol Cartridges, and Cowboy Action.

New Reloading Data is available for these TEN cartridge types:

VV Vihtavuori finland powder propellant reloading recipe data information mobile app pistol rifle .260 Rem .45 Acp .223 Rem .338 Lapua Magnum 2018 update

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading 2 Comments »
January 25th, 2018

SHOT Show 2018 — Day Two Highlights with Cool New Products

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas
The most eye-catching display at SHOT Show 2018 was a 3D Hologram animation of the new SAR 9 pistol. Showing the pistol assembling itself in mid-air, the hologram was mesmerizing.

So many products — so little time. We saw some very interesting new products including new Berger Ammunition on our second day at SHOT Show. There were many interesting tools on displays as well as cool new rifles for hunters, varminters, long-range shooters, and tactical marksmen. We also met some old friends on Day Two, including the legend himself — Jerry Miculek.

To give you a feel for SHOT Show, here’s a nice teaser video filmed last year. This shows both Media Day and the events inside the Sands Convention Center. Though this is a year old, we definitely recommend it. Plus is has a LOT of pretty ladies. You won’t be disappointed — honest.

This Video is from 2017, But You Should Definitely Watch It — Lots of Pretty Ladies!

NEW — Berger Branded Ammunition in Lapua Brass

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Berger Bullets + Lapua Brass in factory-loaded ammo. You asked for it. Now it’s here. The new line of Berger Ammunition was unveiled at SHOT Show this week at the Capstone Precision Group booth. Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori, and SK Ammo are now all owned by Nammo Lapua, so we can have these great American-made bullets packaged with superior, European-made Lapua brass*. This is an exciting development. There will be three (3) lines of Berger Ammunition: Match Grade Target, Match Grade Hunting, and Match Grade Tactical. We’ll have a full report with field tests this spring.

NEW and IMPROVED — Lyman Higher Rez Borecam

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Better. Sharper. Higher Resolution. The new, upgraded Lyman Borecam® Digital Borescope is a serious candidate for best gunroom tool of the year. We really liked the original Borecam and recommended it highly. But now the new version is a LOT better. Now offering 300k resolution, you can really see finer details inside your bore. Trust us — the difference is VERY Noticeable. We could see very fine detail as never before. We like the fact that the lens wand is marked like a ruler so you can see your insertion depth and the handle has an indexing mark so you can keep track of your rotation. Great product. NOTE: The 300K means the camera delivers 300,000 pixels, i.e. 0.3 megapixel. For a square this is about 550×550. For a standard aspect ratio, this is similar to 640×480 resolution.

NEW — Walther KK500 .22 LR 3P Competition Rifle

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Walther unveiled a handsome new smallbore (.22 LR) competition rifle, the KK500. This is more compact, with a shorter length of pull, so it’s a great choice for smaller-framed competitors — women and junior. The new Walther KK500 position rifle features bold red/gray laminated grip and fore-end block, plus an eye-catching red bolt handle. Very nice rimfire rifle for serious 3P smallbore shooters.

NEW — RCBS 6-Station Brass Boss

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

We tried out the new Brass Boss from RCBS. This new machine features SIX (6) powered tool heads, plus brushes. Four of the tool heads run at variable speeds up to 350 rpm. Two other high-speed tool heads run up to 550 RPM. There is a convenient speed control knob on the side of the unit. This is a great feature — you can run at high RPM for hard jobs like removing military primer crimps, and then slow way down to do more precise tasks such as inside chamfering. We like the Brass Boss. It is a definite upgrade over the previous RCBS Trim-Mate. The new Brass Boss includes tools for all six stations: inside VLD chamfering tool, outside deburring tool, primer pocket cleaners (small/large), military crimp removers (small/large), primer pocket uniformers (small/large), case neck brushes (four diameters), and a tub of dry case neck lubricant. MSRP for the Brass Boss is $189.95. We expect “street price” to be around $155.00.

COOL — World’s Biggest Cutaway Cartridge?

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

At the Vista Outdoor booth, we saw a 4-foot tall replica rifle cartridge. This was a real eye-catcher. Many folks looking at the giant-sized mock cartridge had never seen a 3-D cutaway like this showing the construction of the primer along with the core and jacket of the bullet. Note to Vista Outdoor — Please send one of these jumbo cutaways for our AccurateShooter.com “Man-Cave”.

WILD — $18,000 Janz Plasma Finish Revolver

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Holy Mother of Mercy. This stunning Janz pistol costs $18,000. You can buy an entry-level Honda Civic for that! But does that Honda have a rainbow-colored Plasma finish like the Janz? And can the Civic swap barrel and cylinder assemblies to shoot multiple calibers? These top-of-the line Janz wheelguns are crafted in Germany in very small numbers. Just remember, beauty doesn’t come cheap.

NEW — Leica HD-B 3000 Geovid Rangefinder Binoculars

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

When we looked through the new HD-B 3000 Leica Geovids we were stunned. Superb clarity and sharpness. And the laser ranging was instantaneous — amazingly fast. The new Geovid HD-B 3000 delivers linear distance determination up to 3,000 yards (2,750 meters). This combo binocular/LRF has an ABC® ballistic brain inside which can output holdover, click adjustment, and equivalent horizontal range (EHR). Barometric pressure, temperature and angle are also included in the measurements. Impressive.

FUN — Selfie Time with Jerry Miculek — The Man, the Legend

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Where else but SHOT Show in Las Vegas can you get a selfie with the world’s greatest revolver shooter, the legendary Jerry Miculek. Jerry was signing autographs at the Hornady booth. Of course Jerry’s not just a wheelgun ace. He has been a top 3-Gun competitor and, at last year’s 2017 Industry Day at the Range, Jerry set a world rifle speed record shooting a S&W M&P15.

NEW — Lyman Brass Smith C-Frame Press

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Lyman has three new cast-iron presses on display: an O-Frame Single Stage, and 8-station Turret, and this compact Brass Smith C-Frame Ideal open front press. We liked them all but we think this new C-Frame press is an exceptional value. With beefy cast-iron construction, it is much stiffer than other presses in this category. The compound linkage is smooth. The base is big enough to provide good stability. For someone looking for a second press, or a smaller press to take to the range, the new Lyman may be the right solution. Thumbs up.

WEIRD — Virtual Reality Self-Defense Simulator

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

At the NRA Booth, CarryGuard, the NRA’s insurance program, had a half-dozen high-tech Virtual Reality simulators. Visitors could put on a pair of VR goggles, and then experience a variety of threat scenarios. This helps gun owners recognize true threats and respond in a proper manner. We like the cool Virtual Reality technology, but it still seemed weird to see grown men wearing goofy VR headgear and waving their arms around like circus clowns.

BAD ASS — Victrix Heavy Metal Tactical Rifles

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Victrix is an Italian rifle-maker that shows that has proven that the USA doesn’t have a monopoly on seriously “Bad Ass” weaponry. We saw a trio of Victrix Minerva Tactical rifles that look tough enough to survive the Zombie Apocalypse with ease. The Minerva’s beefy carry handle under the fore-end is an interesting feature — something similar might come in handy for big ELR rigs.

SMART — Burris Spotting Scope with Accessory Red Dot

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

Can you see an extra feature fitted to this Burris Signature HD Spotting Scope. Yep, that’s a Burris Red Dot Sight on the left side near the eyepiece. Smart idea — this helps you align the spotter quickly, particularly in low-light situations. After seeing this rig, we’re wondering how we might attach a red dot to our older spotting scopes. Hats off to Burris for this clever optics upgrade.

NEW and TEMPTING — Tikka T1x Rifle in .17 HMR

Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

When we first revealed the impressive new Tikka T1x rimfire rifle in .22 LR, some readers said: “Well the .22 LR version is nice but will it be available in .17 HMR? That’s what I really want”. Well ladies and gentlemen, Tikka WILL sell a 17 HMR version of the T1x (see above). We saw this on display at SHOT Show and smiled. This gun has a very nice trigger, smooth running bolt, and the magazine is easy to seat (unlike some other recent rimfire rigs). Fitted with a nice 3-18X scope and bipod, this could be a great carry-around varmint rifle. We hope to test one this spring.


* NOTE: With some cartridge types for which Lapua brass is not currently made, other brands of brass may be used. However, most Berger Ammunition will feature Lapua brass.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, News, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
December 26th, 2017

Vihtavuori Rolls Out Major Reloading Data Update

VV Vihtavuori finland powder propellant reloading recipe data information mobile app

VV Vihtavuori finland powder propellant reloading recipe data information mobile appVihtavuori offers free reloading data online, and through a free Mobile App. And now those resources are even better — Vihtavuori has completed a significant enhancement of its reloading information for hand-loaders. First, the Finnish powder company has added the new N565 powder to the data tables. But that’s just for starters.

A massive update has been completed with new bullets added for dozens of popular calibers: “We are happy to announce the addition of more than 130 lines of reloading data, with bullets by Barnes, Brenneke, Lapua, Berger, Sierra, Woodleigh, Hornady, Nosler and LOS”. The updated online information supplements the online Reloading Databases, which has dedicated sections for Rifle Cartridges, Pistol Cartridges, and Cowboy Action.


Rifle DATA | Pistol DATA| Mobile APP



POWDER MAKING: This video shows how Vihtavuori powder is produced:

NEW Cartridges Added

Vihtavuori’s latest December 2017 Load Data update includes information for these new cartridge types and bullet types:

.300 Norma Mag:
– Lapua 185grs / 12.0g
– Berger 215grs / 13.9g
– Lapua 220grs / 14.3g
– Berger 230grs / 14.9g

8x68S:
– Sierra 150grs / 9.7g
– Lapua 180grs / 11.7g
– Nosler 180grs / 11.7g
– Nosler 200grs / 13.0g

EXPANDED DATA for Many Cartridges

With its December 2017 load information update, Vihtavuori now offers data for the following chamberings and bullet weights:

7x57R:
– Barnes 150grs / 9.7g
– Brenneke 150grs / 9.7g
– Lapua 150grs / 9.7g
– Lapua 160grs /10.4g
– Barnes 174grs / 11.3g

7×64:
– Swift 140grs / 9.1g
– Barnes 150grs / 9.7g
– Sierra 174grs / 11.3g
– Brenneke 177grs / 11.5g
– Lapua 181grs / 11.7g

7 mm Rem Mag:
– Berger 180grs / 12.6g
– Berger 194grs / 12.6g

.308 Winchester:
– LOS 140grs / 9.1g
– Hornady 150grs / 9.9g
– LOS 150grs / 9.9g
– Woodleigh 150grs / 9.9g
– Berger 155grs / 10.0g
– LOS 155grs / 10.0g
– Sierra 155grs / 10.0g
– Hornady 165grs / 10.7g

.30-06 Springfield:
– Sierra 168grs / 10.9g
– Berger 185grs / 12.0g
– Woodleigh 240grs / 15.6g

8x57IS:
– Sierra 201grs / 13.0g

.338 Lapua Mag:
– Berger 250grs / 16.2g
– Lapua 250grs / 16.2g
– Barnes 280grs / 18.1g
– Berger 300grs / 19.4g

.300 Win Mag:
– Hornady 165grs / 10.7g
– Sierra 168grs / 10.9g
– Berger 200grs / 13.0g
– Barnes 200grs / 13.0g
– Woodleigh 200grs / 13.0g
– Berger 215grs / 13.9g
– Berger 230grs / 14.9g

.38 Special:
– H&N 157grs / 10.2g

9 mm Luger:
– H&N 145grs / 9.4g

Vihtavuori story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading 1 Comment »
November 12th, 2017

Primer Pocket Gauge — Cool Tool Checks for Loose Pockets

Repeated firings at stout pressures can cause primer pockets to grow in diameter. This can create an unsafe condition if your primers are not seating properly. Are your primer pockets “good to go”, or have they been pushed to the point of no return? Do you really know? Many guys try to gauge primer pocket tightness by “feel”, as they seat the primer. But that method isn’t precise. Now there’s a better way…

Primer depth diameter gauge brass cartridgeThe folks at Ballistictools.com have created a handy set of precision-machined gauges that let you quickly and accurately check your primer pockets. These gauges are offered in two sizes — for large and small primer pockets. A two-piece set of both large and small gauges costs just $19.99. These gauges let you quickly measure the depth of a primer pocket, and check if the crimp has been removed properly. Most importantly, the gauge tells you if the primer pocket has opened up too much. One side of the gauge has an enlarged diameter plug. If that “No-Go” side fits in the primer pocket, you should ditch the case — it’s toast.

Primer depth diameter gauge brass cartridge
CLICK HERE to order Primer Pocket Gauge Set from Ballistictools.com.

Precision ground from O-1 tool steel, these primer pocket gauges serve multiple functions. The inventor of these tools explains:

I created the prototype of this tool for my own use in brass processing. I needed a way to quickly and easily measure primer pockets that was reliable and did not require wasting a primer. This tool has been indispensable for me and I would never go back to the old method of uncertainty and guessing.

One side of this gauge is the “go” side which quickly tells you the depth of a primer pocket, whether any crimp is properly removed, and whether the primer pocket is loose. If it feels loose on the “go” side, use the other end of the tool, the “no go” side, to test to see if the primer pocket is too loose to hold a primer. If the no-go slides into the pocket, then you know to junk that brass.

Product tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Reloading 5 Comments »
September 22nd, 2017

The Science of Annealing — Facts Uncovered, Myths Busted

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

The science behind annealing during the manufacture of new cases is well-established. What happens after that, when we repeatedly reload and anneal those same cases, has always been somewhat of a “dark art”. To help separate scientific fact from fiction, the creators of the Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) Annealer machine have conducted detailed studies of cartridge brass. The AMP Team’s studies offer some remarkable insights, while disproving a number of myths about annealing. Will annealing tighten your groups? The evidence of these studies shows it could.

The test results are fascinating. The team compared brands of brass, sectioning brass to examine both alloy composition and thickness from case mouth to case-head (bottom). They also examined how carbon build-up affects next tension. And they determined how brass changes over multiple loading cycles. They even did a series of bullet-pull tests to analyze factors affecting neck tension. Here are some of the key subjects in the reports:

Brand by Brand Analysis — How the cartridge brass alloy varies among different manufacturers.
Bullet Release and Neck Tension — Tensile Bullet-Pull tests show factors affecting neck tension.
Neck Tension and Carbon — How carbon build-up inside the neck affects “neck tension”.
SS Tumbling and Hardness – How tumbling with stainless media affects brass hardness.
Case Cleaning (Ultrasound and Tumbling) — How case cleaning affects annealing.
Multiple Loadings — How brass performs when annealed every reload over 10+ cycles.

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

You really should read the reports — there are some fascinating revelations. The AMP team made longitudinal sections of various cases to show different case wall thicknesses and head geometry. These examples also show how the hardness of the case varies from the case mouth to the case-head. Both virgin and used, annealed cases were examined.

Bullet-Pull Tests — Using advanced tensile test equipment, AMP experimented with different combinations of dies, reloading sequences, and neck hardness to ascertain the best practice.
Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

Carbon Inside Your Case-Necks May Be a GOOD Thing
AMP’s testers found carbon in necks can be beneficial: “Even with identical interference fit and neck hardness, as the carbon layer increased (microscopically), the force to draw the bullet decreased. It would appear the carbon acted as a lubricant. Interestingly, the [pull force] standard deviation also improved, i.e. the case to case variation in the force required to draw the bullets decreased.”*

Read the Full Test Reports

The AMP team’s objectives were to clarify some misconceptions on just what annealing does and does not do, and also to establish the best practices for consistent results. They have consulted with three independent certified metallurgy laboratories to produce some definitive information. So far, the Stage 1 and Stage 2 reports have been released. The studies include a report on the general physical properties of cartridge brass, including grain structures, hardness scales, time/temperature annealing information, and what can cause de-zincification.

The FULL REPORTS, including comprehensive appendices, are found here:

Stage One: https://www.ampannealing.com/articles/40/annealing-under-the-microscope/

Stage Two: https://www.ampannealing.com/articles/42/annealing-under-the-microscope/

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

Examining Different Brands of Brass — What the Tests Revealed

Is Lapua brass harder than Norma? Is Lake City better than Remington? You’ll find answers to these and other questions in AMP’s annealing studies. One of the key findings in Stage 2 of Amp’s research is that brass from different manufacturers does vary in the distribution of material in the walls of the case.

Annealing Made Perfect Testing AMP cartridge Case hardness Lapua Norma Lake City

Stage Two Conclusions:

— Different brands of the same cartridge cases can require different annealing power settings due to differing case wall thickness in the neck and shoulder region. The greater the mass of brass to be annealed, the greater the power requirement. Lot to lot variation within the same brand can occur for the same reason.

— The bushing die used in this set of tensile bullet pull tests gave significantly more consistent results than the standard neck die with expander ball.

— Cases should be annealed every reload in order to get the best repeatability.

Case Variations: Brand to Brand, and Lot to Lot

Here is a sample from AMP’s test report:

Analyzing Different Brands of Brass
In our Stage One report, we demonstrated that there is insufficient variation in alloy composition between brands to account for the variations we experience when annealing different brands of the same cartridge case. We therefore sought to confirm that it is the mass of brass to be annealed which accounts for the difference. Below are sectioned samples of four different brands of .223 Remington cases.

Both the Lapua and Norma neck walls are 314* microns (0.01236”) at the mouth. The Lapua neck wall thickens to 348 microns at the junction of the neck and shoulder, and the Norma neck thickens to 325 microns. Through the shoulder, however, the walls of both cases thicken to 370 – 380 microns. Once past the shoulder, they both taper back to 314 microns, before starting to thicken again, moving towards the case head.

The Lapua case requires AMP Program 47 to anneal correctly. It is the heaviest of the four cases tested through the shoulder region. The Norma case, which is only slightly lighter through the same region, needs Program 43.

The Remington case is very similar to the Lapua and Norma cases in the neck region, but it actually thins fractionally through the shoulder and front section of the body. The AMP program setting for Remington 223R is P32.

The Lake City case is the thinnest throughout of all four samples. It only requires Program 28.

The above samples clearly demonstrate that the mass of brass to be annealed is critical to the power requirement for correct annealing.

To see how the AMP Induction Annealing Machine works, watch this video:

* However, in Stage Two of AMP testing, the testers experimented with clean, carbon-free necks with dry lube. There was some indication of greater tensile pull consistency with dry-lube, but AMP plans to do more testing.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 7 Comments »
September 7th, 2017

How to Use Lapua’s Advanced FREE Ballistics App

Lapua Ballistics App 6DOF degrees of Freedom solver doppler radar bullet BC Apple iOS Android OS mobile smartphone iphone

Lapua offers a sophisticated FREE Ballistics App for iOS and Android smartphones and mobile devices. This state-of-the-art App has many great features — much more than you’d expect for a free App. If you do much shooting past 300 yards, or use a wide variety of bullets and/or cartridge types, we recommend you download the App and give it a try. This article, written by a Lapua technician, explains how to use the App. This article is definitely worth reading — there are many important concepts and procedures discussed here that apply to all Ballistics calculators, not just the Lapua App. For more details, read the Lapua Ballistics App User Manual.

The Lapua Ballistics App is available for Android and iOS smart phones and mobile devices free of charge. For more info, visit www.lapua.com/lapuaballisticsapp.

Lapua Ballistics App Basics — How to Get Started

Lapua bullets trajectory 6DOF Ballistics App Hunting G1 G7

Article by Matti Paananen
As smartphones and tablets are constantly developed, ballistic software and Apps are also improving, and with their help our ability to hit targets can improve significantly. This is a short introduction on why and how to use a ballistic calculator, namely the Lapua Ballistics App, and a few pointers that will help you use the App effectively.

CLICK HERE for FREE 28-page Lapua Ballistics App USER GUIDE

Ballistics software and Apps are designed to help shooters and hunters make calculations to hit distant targets or take down game in the field by offering ballistic solutions. Lapua Ballistics is the first App utilizing the 6DOF calculation model.

Toying around with ballistics apps is always fun, but effective use of ballistic software requires general understanding of how they work. The App gets information from the user and by using mathematical formulas it provides the solution that will give the user a solid starting point to hit the target.

However, it is also important to remember that the App can’t think — it only calculates a solution based on your parameters. You will not know the error until you have already fired the shot.

1. SET UP YOUR SCOPE RETICLE AND RIFLE
Scope manufactures use different units per click, so it’s important that you use the correct unit in the App. For example, in your scope, one click can be 0.1 mil, 1/4 MOA, [or 1/8 MOA depending on the model]. You can find this information in your scope manual and also usually from the scope turrets. Setting your scope reticle is very important, partly because if you use the wrong unit in the App, the ballistic solution will not match your scope. To set up your scope reticle in Lapua Ballistics, go to Manage Rifle / Cartridge Data –> Add Rifle Cartridge Data (or choose to edit a Rifle/Cartridge combo you’ve already set up) –> Reticle –>.

Lapua 6DOF Ballistics App Hunting G1 G7

Another thing to setup in Lapua Ballistics is your scope height, i.e. Line of Sight to Bore in the Manage Rifle / Cartridge Data window. This is the distance between the center of the scope and the center of the bore. The default height is 45mm but with tactical rifles, the height can be even 70mm. So check! The height is easy to measure with a ruler. Then there’s also the twist rate of your rifle to set up — look it up in the rifle manual, it can also be stamped on the rifle barrel. The rifle twist rate is needed to calculate spin drift and bullet stability. Spin drift should be taken into account with longer distances, and it can be enabled or disabled in Lapua Ballistics.

2. SET UP YOUR BULLET CHOICE
You can add your bullet of choice from the bullet library, where you find all Lapua bullets. It is also possible to add information manually. In this case, you will need bullet weight, the ballistic coefficient BC and muzzle velocity. The Ballistic coefficient can be given in G1 or G7 values. G7 is designed for low-drag bullets with a boat tail and G1 is used for more traditional flat base bullets. Lapua on the other hand uses Doppler radar-based data to calculate a more accurate ballistic trajectory for Lapua bullets by 6DOF model. Anyway, it is good to remember that the ballistic coefficient changes with velocity, so all changes in a flight path cannot be predicted.

The following thing you will need to set up is the bullet’s actual muzzle velocity. You can reverse engineer the number based on your drop or by using a chronograph. It is good to remember that more rounds you shoot, the better average velocity you will get.

Lapua Bullets 6DOF Ballistics App Hunting G1 G7

Because temperature affects muzzle velocity, it would be good to shoot velocities in different temperatures and write them down. Those notes can be used with Lapua Ballistics as it is possible to set up the powder temperature variation in the App.

3. SET UP WEATHER CONDITIONS
Lapua Ballistics has settings for temperature, air pressure, and humidity. All these affect the ballistic solution and the chance to hit the target. In a nutshell, temperature affects the powder’s burn speed and in that way the bullet velocity. Air pressure and humidity also affect bullet drag.

If you are shooting approximately on sea level, you do not need to change air pressure values, but if you are shooting or hunting in mountain areas or where there is lot of elevation difference, you might want to check the air pressure. On sea level, the atmospheric pressure is 1013 hPa. The higher you go, the less air pressure you will have and thus less bullet drag. Some like to use handheld weather and wind meters that have a function to get actual air pressure and humidity, however the Get Current Weather function in Lapua Ballistics will give you the air pressure reading from your local and most close weather station, provided that your app is allowed to use your location data.

Lapua Bullets 6DOF Ballistics App Hunting G1 G7

Temperature is an important variable. To understand how velocity change in different temperatures, only way is to shoot and keep notes. Some ballistic software and apps have values for muzzle velocity in different temperatures. The user needs to input muzzle velocity in different temperatures in order to software to calculate the effect. More velocities in different temperatures the user adds, the more accurate the calculation will be.

4. SET UP A BALLISTIC SOLUTION
After we have set up our own rifle / cartridge data, there are few things that need to be taken into account when shooting: the distance to the target, the wind and our shooting skills. Distance can be measured for example with a laser rangefinder and then put in. Wind can also be measured with a wind gauge but it is important to remember that the wind in the target area can be very different from that in the shooting position. Lapua Ballistics gives a ballistic solution based on stationary wind, so in the end, the shooter’s task is to estimate how much the wind factor will be.

It’s good to remember that Lapua Ballistics is a starting point and designed to assist the shooter. Software and apps have ways of helping us adjust the sight and predict the ballistic solution but they will not replace the shooter. We still have to pull the trigger and record our range data. By keeping good range notes and with the support of good ballistic software like Lapua Ballistics, we should be able hit in all environments.

Watch Video for Explanation of Lapua Ballistics App Features

Article Find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 2 Comments »
August 1st, 2017

Flash-Hole Fix — Clearing Flash-Hole Obstructions in Your Brass

Flash-hole reamer

Even with high-quality brass from Lapua, Norma, and RWS, occasionally you may find one or two cases per box which have a small flake or obstruction in the flash-hole. This will appear like a thin crescent on one side of the flash hole (see photo). You should inspect ALL new brass before loading to identify any pieces with a partially-obstructed flash hole. It’s a good idea to remove any flake or thin crescent left as an artifact of the flash-hole forming process. Because the flash-hole itself is normally centered and of the correct diameter, it is not necessary to ream the flash-hole to a larger diameter. All you really need to do is remove the small obstruction(s). This can be done quickly with inexpensive tools.

Use a Small Pin Vise to Remove Flash-Hole Obstructions
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 “pin vise” with an appropriate drill bit. For $0.99, eHobbyTools.com sells a 1.5mm drill bit, item 79186, that matches the Lapua flash hole exactly. Other vendors offer a #53 pin vise drill bit that measures .0595″ or .060″ (depending or source). An 0.0595″ bit is close enough. You can find pin vises and these small-diameter drill bits at hobby stores.

Pin vises Lapua Flash hole

For quite some time, Sinclair Int’l has sold a similar device for small (PPC and BR-size) flash holes. Like the 07-3081 unit for large flash holes, the 073000 Reamer for small flash holes works from the outside, so it can index off the primer pocket. It reams to .0625″, and also costs $39.99. The standard dimension for Lapua 220 Russian and 6mmBR flash holes is 1.5mm or .0590″. This tool will permit standard-size decapping rods with .0625″ tips to work without binding. However, note that both Forster and Redding normally supply .057″ decapping pins with their PPC and BR dies. So, it is NOT necessary to ream your Lapua BR/PPC flashholes, unless you prefer to do so for uniformity. It IS, however, a good idea to check BR/PPC flash holes for burrs before loading the first time.

AccurateShooter Sinclair Flash Hole Reamer

NOTE: If you purchase either the 073081 or 073000 Sinclair Flash Hole Reamer tools, we recommend you mic the cutter tip before you process a bunch of cases. Sometimes a tip comes through that is oversize. This will ream the flash holes larger than you may intend.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
July 15th, 2017

Premium Lapua Scenar-L Bullets on Sale — 46% OFF

Graf's graf sons Lapua Scenar Scenar-L bullets sale discount

Lapua Scenar-L bullets are superb. We have found these bullets to be extremely consistent in weight and base to ogive measurement. In fact some of the first 6mm Scenar Ls were probably the most consistent factory bullets we’ve ever measured. Scenar-L bullets also shoot great. We have a couple 6mm barrels that prefer Scenars over any other bullet type, including custom projectiles. We think serious shooters owe it to themselves to try a box of Scenar-Ls for their favorite match rifle. And now .224, 7mm (.284), and .308 caliber shooters have the opportunity to grab some great Scenar-Ls for an amazingly low price. Right now Grafs.com is running a SALE on select Scenar-Ls in .224, .284, and .308 calibers. These are priced 46% Off, saving you up to $26.00 per 100-count box!

You better act soon, quantities are limited. We expect the 180gr 7mm Scenar-Ls will sell out right away, followed by the 220gr .308 Scenar-Ls shortly thereafter. These are both outstanding choices for F-class and long-range competition.


Lapua Scenar-L Bullets on Sale at Grafs.com »

77gr .223 Caliber | 180gr 7mm (.284 Caliber) | 220gr .308 Caliber

Graf's graf sons Lapua Scenar Scenar-L bullets sale discount

In addition to the three bullet types above, Grafs.com has 150gr 7mm Scenar-L bullets on sale.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
June 26th, 2017

Living History — Custer’s Ghost and the Trapdoor Springfield

1873 Springfield trapdoor carbing musket

1873 Springfield trapdoor carbing musketA few season back, Kevin Thomas of Lapua USA acquired a bit of living history — a reproduction Model 1873 Trapdoor Springfield. Here is Kevin’s story of his new rifle and the legacy it carries.

Yesterday marked the 141st Anniversary of Lt.Col. George Armstrong Custer’s historic ride into the valley of the Little Big Horn, along with 200+ men of the U.S. Seventh Cavalry. June 25, 1876 did not go well, as Custer and his men became a well-known, sad footnote in U.S. history. [Editor: Well it was sad for Custer fans. Native Americans have a different perspective.]

For years now, I’ve wanted one of the rifles Custer and his men carried that day, a Model 1873 Trapdoor Springfield, chambered for the 45/70 cartridge. I finally acquired one, when I walked into a gunstore a while back and saw a handsome repro Trapdoor sitting peacefully on the shelf. It called to me.

Somewhere in the distance, I could hear the bugle calls, the Sioux and Cheyenne war cries and the thundering of cavalry across the plain. It simply had to go home with me, and so it did. It seemed an especially insistent demand with this being the 138th anniversary and all, so I took it along to our regular Wednesday night practice session. All I can say is, I’m glad we don’t have to do rapid-fire with one of these in our matches today, because they do have a mule-like kick to them!

1873 Springfield trapdoor carbing musket

The Trapdoors were a cost saving measure that the Armory came up with at the end of the Civil War, to convert muzzle-loading Springfield muskets into breech-loading cartridge arms. A quick look will give several dead giveaways that many of the parts on the “new” rifle were actually interchangeable with the old 1861 and 1863 Springfield muskets. The parts that were altered or newly fabricated were relatively minor changes.

1873 Springfield trapdoor carbing musket

Above, you can see where these rifles got their name. Loading was done by flipping a lever which opened up a trap door that provided access to the chamber. Flipping that same lever and opening the trap door then ejected the case after firing.

1873 Springfield trapdoor carbing musket

Here is the opposite side, trapdoor open. The ring and slide on the side of the stock was to facilitate an attachment point for a lanyard that the troopers wore over their shoulders. Remember, they often used these while at a full gallop, not an easy feat!

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing No Comments »
June 24th, 2017

New Logistics Center for Capstone Precision Group LLC

Nammo AS Lapua Berger Bullets Vihtavuori SK ammunition brass bullets powder Capstone Precision Group LLC Sedalia Missouri MO logistics center new

Some major players in the shooting world — Lapua and Berger Bullets, have joined forces under the Nammo AS umbrella. And now, along with Vihtavuori and SK, these businesses will be operated together as Capstone Precision Group, LLC. And Capstone will soon have a new facility in Missouri. A new 30,000-square-foot logistics center has been leased in Pettis County, outside Sedalia. From here, products will be sent to dealers and wholesalers throughout the USA. Capstone Precision Group will invest almost $1 million to launch the new facility.

Missouri’s Governor welcomed Capstone: “Capstone Precision Group’s decision to grow its business in Missouri is great news for families in rural Pettis County. This new distribution center means new quality jobs for hard working Missourians,” said Gov. Eric Greitens. “We’re grateful to Capstone Precision Group for recognizing that Missouri is open for business and our people are ready to work.” LINK: Missouri Department of Economic Development.

NEW Logistics Center for Capstone Precision Group
Nammo AS, an international aerospace and defense company headquartered in Norway, announced that the newly-formed Capstone Precision Group LLC will launch its U.S. logistics center in Pettis County, outside Sedalia. This facility will be the U.S. logistics center for Capstone Precision Group’s four commercial ammunition brands — Lapua, Berger, VihtaVuori, and SK. Additionally, ammunition, components, and smokeless powder will be imported from Finland and Germany and distributed in the U.S. and also exported, while projectiles from the company’s Mesa, Arizona, location will be shipped to Missouri for packaging and distribution.

(more…)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading No Comments »
April 16th, 2017

Pin Vise with 1.5mm Bit Fits Lapua BR/PPC Flash Holes

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 “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.

Pin vises Lapua Flash hole

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
March 11th, 2017

Extreme Long Range — .338 Lapua Magnum at 2160 Yards

2160 yards 1.3 miles long range ELR .338 Lapua Magnum Ed Connors Speeded Gonzales
Ed Connors placed three consecutive shots all on target at 2160 yards for a sub-3/8 MOA group. Wow.

Amazing shooting — that’s how we’d describe what Ed Connors accomplished recently with his Speedy-built .338 Lapua Magnum LR rifle. Ed nailed a 3-shot group at 2160 yards that would be great at 1000 yards. Check out the target above. Now consider that the shooter was a full mile PLUS 400 yards away. That is truly remarkable accuracy.

At this distance, 2160 yards, one MOA is 22.61″. This three-consecutive-shot group, measuring about 8 inches, works out to less than 3/8 MOA. Think about that — most guys would be elated to shoot 3/8 MOA at two hundred yards. Ed did that at over two thousand yards!

That takes a great rifle, as well as great ammo. Ed says: “I believe in loading like a benchrest shooter to achieve these ultra long-range shots”.

Ed Connors 2160 yards steel shooting .338 Lapua Magnum

Rifle Specifications:
– .338 LM Rifle built by SG Rifles, LLC
– Surgeon Rifles Action (blueprinted by Speedy)
– Jewell Trigger (blueprinted by Speedy)
– McMillan Fiberglass Stock
– Nightforce 5-25x56mm ATACR Scope
– Bartlein 1:9″-twist 32″ Barrel, Speedy contour
– Amer. Prec. Arms “Fat Bastard” Muzzle Brake

Ammunition Specifications:
– Lapua .338 LM Brass turned with Nielsen “Pumpkin” turner.
– Hodgdon H1000 Powder, 90.8 Grains
– Remington 9 1/2 Magnum Primers
– Berger .338 Cal 300 grain Hybrid OTM Tactical Bullets seated .005″ off lands.
– Velocity: 2875 fps / SD 5.0

Ed Connors 2160 yards steel shooting .338 Lapua Magnum

Gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez writes: “Anytime you build a customer a rifle to work out beyond the 1000-yard mark you must work hand-in-hand with your customer and explain everything you are doing to ensure performance at distances most shooters never even contemplate (except in their dreams).

Ed was involved in all aspects of the projects from the reamer print to what we needed for both single-shot work and mag-fed function in timed competition. This was Ed’s very first work-out with his reborn Surgeon-actioned .338 Lapua Magnum. He did great to say the least!”

Pretty Darn Good at One Mile as Well…
While “tuning up” for his 2160-yard session. Ed also produced some very impressive results at one mile (1760 yards). Once he got “dialed in” he delivered three shots you can cover with the palm of your hand. That’s spectacular consistency at one mile.

2160 yards 1.3 miles long range ELR .338 Lapua Magnum Ed Connors Speeded Gonzales

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, News 6 Comments »