May 4th, 2019

Super Deal — Lake City 7.62×51 Primed Brass $49.99/250

Midsouth Shooters Lake City Surplus pull-down primed .308 Win 7.62x51 brass sale bulk 250

Do you shoot a Springfield M1A rifle chambered for the .308 Win/7.62×51? Or maybe you have a rugged, semi-auto FN-FAL in 7.62×51 NATO? Are you looking for very strong, durable brass you can shoot in these semi-auto battle rifles, without breaking the bank?

M1A Camp Perry 2009 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Win Winchester
Photo of 2009 M1A Match at Camp Perry. Shooter is Nick Till, 2007 Service Rifle Champion.

Semi-autos such as the M1A are tough on brass. You want brass that isn’t too costly, but at the same time is very strong and durable. For decades, USA-made Lake City brass have been a solid choice for 7.62×51 semis, and now you can get quality, unfired 7.62×51 Lake City brass for just $49.99 for 250 cases at Midsouth. That’s just $0.20 (twenty cents) per case! That’s a fourth what you’ll pay for premium, virgin .308 Winchester brass. These cases are never-fired brass, with CCI #34 primers seated in crimped, military-style primer pockets.

Midsouth Shooters Lake City Surplus pull-down primed .308 Win 7.62x51 brass sale bulk 250
springfield armory M1a service rifle m14 6.5 CM Creedmoor

This 7.62×51 Lake City brass comes from disassembled “pull-down” ammunition. It has NOT been fired, but it has been previously assembled. So, there may be some cosmetic issues with the brass. Note that these are primed cases. If you choose to neck-size or FL-size the brass before loading for the first time, REMOVE the decapping rod in your sizing die. This brass has LIVE PRIMERS!! Do NOT use a die with a decapping rod for the first loading of this brass. Got that guys? This is important!!

Midsouth Shooters Lake City Surplus pull-down primed .308 Win 7.62x51 brass sale bulk 250

We have shot FN-FAL-type rifles built on DS Arms semi-auto lowers with European uppers. Those beasts were tough on brass, so we relied on Lake City brass when available. If you have a FN-FAL or STG-58, you should give this Lake City primed, pull-down brass a try. (Federal Gold Medal Match ammo shot great in our DSA/STG-58 but the brass was toast after a few firings).

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

Bargain Finder 173: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Field & Cave Outfitters – AR500 Gong 5-Pack, $69.99

5pc AR500 Target Set

Field & Cave Outfitters is now running a great SALE on its 3/8″ AR500 Gong Combo Packs. These 5-Packs include 4″, 6″, 8″, 10″ & 12″ laser-cut steel round gongs with two hanging “ears”. For the rest of January, or while supplies last, Field & Cave is offering these for $69.99 DELIVERED! Grab one of these packs of AR500 targets before they run out. This super-low price won’t last long. These are not seconds or imports and are laser-cut in Texas from prime domestic NuCor AR500 plate. Gongs ship USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail, so customers are getting them in as few as two days after ordering (USA addresses only).

2. Bruno Shooters Supply – Krieger Barrel Sale, $25 Off

Krieger Barrel Sale

Krieger produces some of the finest cut-rifled barrels on the planet. They are in high demand, but thankfully Bruno’s always stocks a large selection of Krieger barrels in a variety of calibers and contours. Right now you can save $25 on super-premium Krieger barrels with Bruno’s barrel bargain days. All Krieger Barrels are now $25 off. Bruno’s has a great selection right now including some of the hard-to-find 6.5mm and .284 barrels.

3. Brownells — Kahr .40 S&W CT40, $269.99 with CODE “M8Y”

Kahr ct40 ct 40 sw S&w carry pistol sale discount brownells

We like Kahr pistols for self-defense. They are slim, the grips are comfortable, and the DAO triggers are pretty smooth. Kahr pistols are also an excellent value. Right now, the hard-hitting .40 S&W Kahr CT40 is on sale at Brownells. The CT40 features a polymer frame, stainless steel slide, 4″ barrel, and white bar-dot sight configuration. This pistol is just 0.94″ thick and weighs just 21.8 oz. with empty magazine. This is a slim, relatively light-weight carry option. Right now the CT40 is on sale at Brownells for $279.99 with a $10 FFL fee. Use Code M8Y to save $20 with free shipping. That lowers your net cost to $269.99 delivered — a heck of a bargain. Inset image from Guns America CT40 Review.

4. Optics Planet – Barska Biometric Weapon Safe, $299.49

Barska Biometric Safe

We see more people storing their guns and valuable in multiple safes. This way you can have rapid access to home-defense weapons, while still keeping your main collection in a big heavy safe. You may also want a secondary safe for a separate work-room or storage area. The Barska Biometric Safe is a great size for small rooms, yet it still holds full-size long guns. This safe features instant access with a Biometric scanner that reads the owner’s fingerprint. This Barska provides a very high-tech storage solution for $299.49 — a reasonable cost. Get one now and they’ll even throw in a FREE $25 value dehumidifier!

5. EuroOptic — Leica CRF 2000-B, $399.00

Leica 2000-B Rangemaster Laser LRF Rangefinder Sale Eurooptics.com

This may be the best deal we’ve seen on the vaunted Leica 2000-B Laser Rangefinder (LRF) with 7-power optic. This unit is rated out to 2000 yards on reflective objects (in real-world use it will laze a deer well past 800 if you can hold steady). The Leica 2000-B features air pressure and temperature sensors, plus on-board inclinometer. Angle correction works out to 1200 horizontal yards equivalent, with the true hold-over displayed in both MILs and MOA. The compact Leica CRF 2000-B weighs just 6.5 ounces and measures 4.5″ L x 2.25″ H x 1.25″ W. It has a waterproof outer shell.

6. Various Retailers – Springfield Gear Up Giveaway, $265 value

Springfield Gear Up Giveaway

The Springfield M1A rifle, descended from the military’s M14 battle rifle, has an impressive pedigree. If you’d like to add an M1A to your gun collection, now’s a great time to buy. When you purchase a qualifying M1A rifle, Springfield Armory will give you two (2) additional magazines plus a scope mount for FREE. Those mags and the mount represent a $265.00 value! In addition, you can buy Vortex scopes at significant savings — up to 57% off MSRP. Below are the Vortex scopes you can buy at a huge discount:

Springfield Gear Up Giveaway

For more details on the M1A promotion, CLICK HERE. You’ll find qualifying M1A rifles at Cabelas.com and other large retailers. If an M1A has been on your wish list, this is an attractive offer.

7. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $199.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $199.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $219.99.

8. Creedmoor Sports – MTM Tactical Range Box, $44.95

MTM Range Box

When you head to range do you always seem to leave something behind? Pick up this MTM Tactical Range Box and you’ll be able to fit everything you need inside — ammo, cleaning supplies, tools, target stickers, Kestrel and even a set of earmuffs. This range box include multiple small parts trays, plus two padded stirrups that anchor into the base so you can use the range box as a field cleaning stand. The MTM Range Box also has a vertical support bracket that fits in the magazine well of AR-platform rifles. On sale now at Creedmoor Sports for $44.95, this is an versatile item that can tote your ammo, accessories, and serve as a cleaning station at the range.

9. Amazon – Proster Wind Meter, $16.99

Proster Wind Meter

Wish you had a modern impeller-style wind meter but only shoot a couple matches a year and can’t justify spending $150 (or more) on one? This Proster wind meter has a very impressive 4.5 star overall rating (with hundreds of reviews), so buy with confidence. Now on sale for just $16.99, this is a very useful tool for a bargain basement price. Get this affordable Wind Meter to ensure you have reliable wind readings for ballistics calculations. And unlike a costly Kestrel, with this low-priced wind meter, you won’t feel too bad if it gets lost or misplaced some time.

Most Weekly Deals Sourced by F-Class John.

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Tactical 1 Comment »
November 28th, 2018

6.5 Creedmoor Movie Marathon — Watch FIVE 6.5 CM Videos

6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge video Norma lapua ruger precision rifle savage bergara PRS

The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has become extremely popular in the last few years. It is a favored cartridge among PRS and tactical competitors, and has been used successfully by deer hunters and High Power shooters. Notable major manufacturers such as Ruger and Savage are selling popular rifles chambered for this mid-sized cartridge. The availability of affordable factory rifles chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor further fuels its popularity.

To celebrate the 6.5 Creedmoor as 2018’s mid-size popularity contest winner, we’ve sourced five recent videos from YouTube. These videos cover loading for the 6.5 Creedmoor and also test accuracy in both custom and factory rifles. Enjoy this 6.5 Creedmoor Video Fest:

1. Gas Gun Shoot-Out: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. .308 Win

In this TFB TV video, testers put a 6.5 Creedmoor up against a .308 Winchester with AR-10 type rifles. The head-to-head test compares the ballistics, trajectory, recoil, and inherent accuracy of the two popular cartridge types. We can’t call this a definitive test because most 6.5 Creedmoor shooters run bolt-action rifles. The key take-aways are that the 6.5 Creedmoor has significantly less recoil, and a flatter trajectory (at least with typical factory ammo). Still, the video is a good starting point for anyone considering a gas gun in 6.5 Creedmoor.

2. Ruger Precision Rifle with Norma 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo

In this video Gavin Gear tests Norma-brand factory ammo in a Ruger Precision Rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Gavin reports: “Norma is known for its high-quality brass and ammunition. Recently, I saw that Norma had announced a new addition to their Professional Hunter lineup of ammunition: in 6.5 Creedmoor! I thought I should try some out with the Ruger Precision Rifle. As you saw in the video, this ammunition behaves more like match ammunition.”

3. 6.5 Guys Test Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass in Tactical Rifles

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.

4. Reloading for the 6.5 Creedmoor — Gear and Components

If you own a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, and plan to start hand-loading for the popular cartridge, this video may help you select effective load components. The video examines a wide variety of brass, powder, and bullets options for the cartridge. In addition the reviewer looks at various reloading dies and tools suitable for 6.5 Creedmoor hand-loading.

5. The Springfield Armory M1A — Now Offered in 6.5 Creedmoor

Many folks may not realize that Springfield Armory now makes an M1A chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. With considerably less recoil, this 6.5 CM version is easier to shoot than the classic 7.62×51 M1A: “Having a 6.5 Creedmoor caliber in the M1A lineup gives long-range shooters more choices with the precision and accuracy they require,” says Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
November 27th, 2018

Range Day Checklist — What To Bring, and How to Organize Gear

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

Before your head to the range for some late-season practice, run through a checklist so you won’t forget essential items. Springfield Armory, maker of the M1A series of rifles and many popular handguns, has published a thorough Range Day Checklist. While this is oriented more for pistol shooters, many suggestions will help rifle shooters as well.

Packing the essentials, a few extras and having a plan will help you make the most of your day at the range. Here are highlights from Springfield Armory’s Range Day Checklist. Read the full article for more details including a flow-chart showing target options.

READ FULL Article on Springfield Armory BLOG HERE »

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

RANGE BAG — What to Pack

You need a range bag that works for you and all of your equipment. We suggest getting one with several compartments to keep your range items organized. Some shooters prefer one large bag, many like the new backpack style, still others want multiple smaller bags – either way, you will need plenty of room.

Before you head to the range, pack your Range Bag(s) with these basic requirements:

Hearing Protection
Make sure you have ear protection. You may want to also throw in a spare set in case you misplace one, or a friend needs to borrow a pair. Basic ear plugs or earmuffs do the job, but high-quality electronic headsets are a worthwhile investment for both safety and convenience. They amplify voices (safe noise levels), compress harmful noise levels – and you don’t have to remove your earmuffs to hear someone speak. Backup batteries are a must with electronic headsets.

Eye Protection (Ballistic Glasses)
Quality eye protection is another must-have, but it doesn’t have to be fancy (or expensive). Your eyewear should however be performance rated by ANSI Z87.1. This standard protects your eyes from high velocity and high mass impact. Grab a pair of safety glasses you’d wear in the shop, or you can opt for something more stylish from Oakley or ESS.

Magazines & Mag Loader
You can’t shoot if you forget your magazines. Many shooting bags have specific compartments that hold mags individually. Also… always number your magazines. This helps to identify and separate any magazines that are not properly functioning or need to be cleaned. It’s also nice to have a magazine loader. They’re inexpensive and easy on the thumbs. Our SME’s favorite manufacturer is MagLULA.

Cleaning & Tool Kit
Toss in a portable cleaning kit designed for your firearm, along with any other maintenance tools you might find handy. You don’t need anything elaborate — just enough to make sure your gun and magazines stays in good working condition.

Cleaning Cloth(s)
Cleaning solution
Screw driver
Bore snake or barrel brush
Gun-specific take down tool
Gun oil

Allen wrenches
Flashlight
Pocket knife
Squib rod
Hand sanitizer or better yet D-Lead wipes
Miscellaneous Items

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

AMMO & AMMO CAN
An ammo can is good to have — either the new, polymer-style varieties or military surplus steel cans. You will also need a container for your spent brass. Any sort of receptacle with a lid works, from an empty cardboard box or military steel can, to a 5-gallon bucket. One of my favorites is old freezer storage bags.

BE PREPARED — First Aid Kit
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. A small first aid and trauma kit should be a part of everyone’s range bag. Hopefully you will never need the plastic gloves and quick clotting agent, but sterile wipes and bandaids are more likely to occasionally come in handy. Also, don’t forget the sun protection: Sunscreen, Hat, lip blam, and of course plenty of water for Hydration.

PRACTICE LOG
Practice makes perfect … so keep a practice log. Keeping a log is beneficial, as you can revisit old drills to continually re-test your skill level and compare results. If you’re old school, a physical paper training book / log works fine. Put it in your range bag. More of a smart phone junkie? Try the RangeLog app.

MAKE YOUR MARK — Put Your Name on Your Gear
It’s also not a bad idea to put your name on your gear. It greatly increases your chance of getting misplaced items back. A lot of equipment looks alike; shooting bags, earmuffs, magazines, etc. I’m betting I’m not the only one who has come home from the range without my earmuffs [more than once].

Springfield Armory Range Day 1911 pistol

» READ Rob Leatham 1911 Pistol Tips (Great Article!)

Here are some tips on shooting a 1911 pistol from handgun ace Rob Leatham: Not sure how best to zero your new 1911? Who better to learn from than Team Springfield’s championship shooter Rob Leatham.

Springfield Armory shooting tips

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review, Handguns 2 Comments »
March 14th, 2018

2018 SHOT Show on Shooting USA TV

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2018 AccurateShooter

If you watch just one episode of Shooting USA TV this year, it should probably be this week’s hour-long SHOT Show Special. Tonight, March 14, 2017, enjoy a full hour of SHOT Show coverage. Jim Scoutten’s team of gun journalists work hard every January, bringing you highlights from the gun industry’s largest trade show. Jim, son John Scoutten, and other staffers prowled the 12 miles of aisles in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, visiting many of the 1,600+ exhibitors. This episode provides a “first look” at the new guns, optics, and gear introduced for 2018. Click HERE to learn more about this week’s 2018 SHOT Show episode.

2018 SHOT Show Highlights: Ruger Precision Rimfire, Sig P365, M1A in 6.5 Creedmoor, MR-10 Bolt Action Comp Rifle, Colt Competition 1911, and a whole lot more.

Shooting USA SHOT Show 2018 AccurateShooter

Shooting USA Hour AIR TIMES
Shooting USA’s SHOT Show Special will air for a full hour on Wednesday, March 14, 2016 on the Outdoor Channel. Here are the air times, but you should check your local schedule. Look for Shooting USA TV on the Outdoor Channel.

Wednesday Night Schedule:
Eastern Time – 9:00 PM
Central Time – 8:00 PM
Mountain Time – Check Listings
Pacific Time – 9:00 PM

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

Ruger Precision Rimfire
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2018 AccurateShooter
S&W 686 Performance Center
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2017 AccurateShooter
Colt Competition 1911
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2017 AccurateShooter
Springfield M1A 6.5 Creedmoor
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2017 AccurateShooter
Remington M870 Magfed
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2017 AccurateShooter
JP Ent. MR-10 Tactical Bolt Gun
Shooting USA SHOT Show 2017 AccurateShooter
Sig Sauer 9mm P365
Sig P365 9mm SHOT Show 2018 shooting usa
Glock GEN5 Model 19X
Glock 19X 9mm SHOT Show 2018 shooting usa
Permalink - Videos, Handguns, New Product, News 1 Comment »
January 10th, 2018

Load Data for the Popular 6.5 Creedmoor from Sierra Bullets

Sierra Load Data 6.5 Creedmoor

In the past few years, the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has become the leading cartridge for tactical/practical gun games. It offers excellent ballistics, moderate recoil, and good accuracy with a variety of powder and bullet combos. Along with the 6.5×47 Lapua, the 6.5 Creedmoor has demonstrated that a .264-Caliber mid-sized caliber is truly a jack of all trades — it can be accurate on paper, win PRS matches, and also harvest game during hunting season. If you own a 6.5 Creedmoor (or plan to get one) and hand-load your ammo, this post should provide a good start. Sierra Bullets now offers 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data for bullets from 120 to 142 grains — the most popular weight range for this chambering.

Sierra Bullets has released very complete load data for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This medium-sized cartridge has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical and PRS shooters. The 6.5 Creedmoor combines excellent accuracy, good mag-feeding, good barrel life, moderate recoil, and reasonable component cost. That’s why this cartridge has caught on quickly.

The Springfield M1A is now available in 6.5 Creedmoor. For Gas Guns like this, be sure to full-length-size your brass after every firing, with adequate shoulder bump.
M1A 6.5 Creedmoor Sierra Load Data

Sierra Load Data 6.5 CreedmoorDeveloped in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design. This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines. With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5 mm (i.e. .264 caliber). Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Varget, Win 760, and RE-17. The light recoil and adaptability of the efficient 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has already proven itself in high power, precision rifle series and benchrest competitions. Couple that with respectable barrel life and its intrinsic accuracy potential and you have a recipe for success which should insure its legacy for decades to come.

Sierra 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data Manual reloading .264

Here are three tables from the Sierra Bullets Reloading Manual (5th Edition). IMPORTANT — This is just a sample!! Sierra has load data for many other 6.5mm bullet types, including FB, Spitzer, SBT, HPBT, and Tipped MK from 85 grains to 142 grains. To view ALL 6.5 Creedmoor DATA, CLICK HERE.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Permalink News, Reloading, Tactical 2 Comments »
January 7th, 2018

Can You Hit a Watch Face at 200 Yards — With Iron Sights?

Marksmanship M1A M14 .308 Win shooting watch challenge

Marksmanship M1A M14 .308 Win shooting watch challengeWhen two or more guys get together at a shooting range, sooner or later, a challenge will ensue. It’s a guy thing — guys are competitive. We’ve seen it on varmint hunting trips too: “Bet I can hit that P-dog at 700 yards.” “No you can’t.” “Yes I can.” “Wanna Bet?”

You know how it goes. There are challenges for pride, bragging rights, and often some money is involved, or perhaps a six-pack.

In this GunVenture video, three shooters take on the challenge of hitting the face of a watch at 200 yards using an M1A rifle with standard iron sights. The rules were exact — you had to hit the FACE of the watch, not just the strap. And the bullet had to penetrate the center of the watch — no splash shots or ricochets allowed. Not an easy shot — we figure that watch face is about 1.5″ in diameter or roughly 0.75 MOA at 200 yards. They were shooting factory .308 Win ammo with 155gr bullets — a Palma load.

GunVenture Video — 200 Yard Watch Challenge with Iron Sights M1A

One of the shooters, range owner Justin Watts, rose brilliantly to the challenge. You can see Justin’s remarkable shot at 3:20 time mark. Holding slightly for wind, he drilled the watch face dead center, obliterating it, but leaving most of the band intact. At 4:25 the video reveals that the whole center of the watch (the works) was blown out, leaving nothing but a rubber doughnut. Mighty Impressive.

Marksmanship M1A M14 .308 Win shooting watch challenge

After making the impressive shot, Justin explained to his buddies what they did wrong. Among other things they did not compensate for the wind. Justin also observed that the first shooter sent his shot right because of the M1A’s heavy trigger pull: “Probably what happened is the trigger pull is so heavy [he] pulled it to the right. Most of the time when you have a right-handed shooter and a heavy trigger like that, it’s going to pull you off to the right.”

Permalink - Videos, Competition 10 Comments »
December 26th, 2017

Hand-Loading for Semi-Auto Service Rifles — Six Key Rules

Reloading for Service Rifles
SFC Lance Dement as featured in CMP’s First Shot Online.

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) has published a great series of reloading “how-to” articles on its Facebook Page. This post covers key factors to consider when loading ammunition for Match Rifles and Service Rifles, with a particular focus on self-loading “gas guns”. Visit the USAMU Facebook Page each Wednesday for other, helpful “Handloading Hump-Day” tips.

We offer some “cardinal rules” to help new gas-gun handloaders with safety and efficiency. These address both Match Rifle and Service Rifle versions of the AR15, M1 Garand, M1A, and M110. However, they can also improve safe reloading for many other auto-loaders such as M1 Carbines, FALs, SIGs, etc. The author distilled these principles many years ago to help focus on the essential aspects of these rifles.

RULE ONE: Service Rifles Are Not Benchrest Rifles
Gas-guns require a relatively loose fit between ammunition and chamber (vs. bolt actions) for safe, smooth operation. Many techniques, such as neck sizing and keeping cartridge headspace quite tight, are popular in the extreme bolt gun accuracy realm. However, they are of little value with Service Rifles, and some could even be hazardous. Before adopting a specialized technique, seriously consider whether it is appropriate and beneficial in a gas-gun.

RULE TWO: Never Compromise Safety to Obtain Accuracy
Example: If choosing a brand of great, but ultra-sensitive match primers offers possibly better accuracy at the risk of slam-fires in your design of rifle, don’t do it! You are issued exactly two eyes and ten fingers (best-case scenario). Risking them trying to squeeze 0.25 MOA better accuracy out of an M1A, etc. simply isn’t worth it.

Reloading for Service Rifles

RULE THREE: Tailor the Precision to Your Individual Skill and Your Rifle’s Potential
This has been addressed here before, but bears repeating for newcomers. If you are struggling to break out of the Marksman Class, or using a CMP M1 “As-Issued,” then laboriously turning the necks of your 600-yard brass is a waste of time. Your scores will improve much faster by practicing or dry-firing. On the other hand, if the reigning champions anxiously check your scores each time you fire an event, a little neck-turning might not be so far-fetched.

Verifying Load Improvements — Accuracy hand-loading involves a wide variety of techniques, ranging from basic to rather precise. Carefully select those which offer a good return on investment for your time and labor. In doubt? Do a classic pilot study. Prepare ammo for at least three or four ten-shot groups with your new technique, vs. the same with your standard ammo. Then, pick a calm day and test the ammo as carefully as possible at its full distance (e.g. 200, 300, or 600 yards) to verify a significant improvement. A little testing can save much labor!

RULE FOUR: Be Your Own Efficiency Expert
Serious Service Rifle shooters generally think of ammunition in terms of thousands of rounds, not “boxes”, or even “hundreds”. Analyze, and WRITE DOWN each step in your reloading process. Count the number of times each case is handled. Then, see if any operations can be dropped or changed without reducing safety or accuracy. Eliminating just two operations saves 2000 steps per 1000 rounds loaded. Conversely, carefully consider any measurable benefits before adding a step to your routine.

RULE FIVE: In Searching for Greater Accuracy with Efficiency, Look for System Changes
For example, instead of marking your 300-yard rounds individually to differentiate them from your 200-yard ammo, would a simple change in primers work? If accuracy is maintained, using brass-colored primers for 200 and silver for 300 provides an indelible indicator and eliminates a step! Similarly, rather than spending hours selecting GI surplus brass for weight and neck uniformity, consider splurging on some known, high-quality imported match brass for your 600-yard loads. Results should be excellent, time is saved, and given limited shooting at 600 yards, brass life should be long.

RULE SIX: Check All Your Primers Before Packaging Your Loaded Ammo
This seems simple and even intuitive. However, many slam-fires (which were much more common when M1s and M1As were the standard) are due, at least in part, to “high” primers. Primers should be seated below flush with the case head. The USAMU has addressed this at length in a previous column, but each round should be checked for properly-seated primers before they are packaged for use.

Reloading for Service Rifles

Permalink Competition, Reloading 3 Comments »
December 9th, 2017

Springfield Armory Now Offers 6.5 Creedmoor M1A Rifles

springfield armory M1a service rifle m14 6.5 CM Creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor craze goes one step further. Soon you can buy a Springfield M1A chambered for this mid-sized cartridge popularized by PRS shooters. Both bolt-action and AR-platform rifles chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor have been available for quite some time, but this is a new direction for the M1A, which has traditionally been chambered for the 7.62×51 NATO/.308 Winchester round. As chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor, Springfield’s M1A should be easier on shooters’ shoulders. The 6.5 Creedmoor M1A has 28% less recoil than the .308 Winchester version.*

The new 6.5 Creedmoor M1A features a 22″ medium-contour, 1:8″-twist stainless barrel with factory muzzle brake. The rifle comes with iron sights: .062 post front sight and .0520 aperture rear sight adjustable for ½ MOA windage and 1 MOA elevation. Springfield ships the rifle with a 2-stage trigger tuned to 4.5 – 5 pounds. A Springfield Armory Optics mount is available to fit a magnified optic, but, to be honest, we haven’t been very impressed with that mount.

springfield armory M1a service rifle m14 6.5 CM Creedmoor

Two stock options are offered: a basic black polymer stock (not recommended — it’s weak and flexy) or a deluxe “precision” stock with adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable LOP. The deluxe precision stock, shown above, is much more rigid, and can be configured with front underside Picatinny rail (see video). Rifle Specs HERE.

With the basic polymer stock, the 6.5 Creedmoor weighs 11.4 pounds (unloaded) and has a $1985.00 MSRP. With the adjustable precision stock, the gun is a bit heavier and retails for $2045.00 in either matte black or Flat Dark Earth (FDE).

“Having a 6.5 Creedmoor caliber in the M1A lineup gives long-range shooters more choices with the precision and accuracy they require,” says Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese. “They can choose the round they prefer…”, i.e. .308 Win or the 6.5 Creedmoor. Excellent factory ammo is available for both chamberings.

M1A Camp Perry 2009 6.5 Creedmoor .308 Win Winchester
Photo of 2009 M1A Match at Camp Perry. Shooter is Nick Till, 2007 Service Rifle Champion.

If you are looking for a robust semi-auto rifle that has an interesting legacy (the M1A was derived from the U.S. Military’s M14), this new M1A may suit your tastes. Every year at Camp Perry, Springfield Armory sponsors a very popular M1A match which attracts marksmen from around the country. We can’t say for sure that the 6.5 Creedmoor M1As will be allowed in M1A matches, but we would expect they will, though perhaps competing in a separate division.

Springfield Armory M1A with Basic Polymer Stock
springfield armory M1a service rifle m14 6.5 CM Creedmoor


* Comparative Recoil Energy in ft-lbs based on 12-lb rifle with 142gr 6.5 Creedmoor at 2710 FPS vs. 175gr .308 Win at 2600 FPS. Powder charge weight 41.0 grains for 6.5 Creedmoor vs. 48.0 grains for .308 Win. Calculated with online Recoil Calculator.

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February 15th, 2017

AGI Armorer’s Course Video Shows Operation of M1A

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

Do you own a Springfield M1A (or wish you did)? Then you should watch this 5-minute video from the American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI). This video shows the basics of the operation of the popular M1A rifle, the civilian version of the military M14. In this video, gunsmith John Bush field-strips the M1A and shows how the bolt, op rod, and trigger group fits together and operates. This video contains excerpts from the M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course, AGI Course #1584. The full Armorer’s Course is available on DVD from www.AmericanGunsmith.com.

Watch Highlights of AGI M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course:

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

Registration Opens for 2017 CMP Springfield M1A Match
The 11th annual Springfield Armory M1A Match will take place during the 2017 National Trophy Rifle Matches. The CMP will host the event on Saturday, July 22, following the John C. Garand Match. Competitors of all experience levels are encouraged to bring their M1A rifles to Camp Perry and compete. Registration for the match will open April 1, 2017, and is open to all individuals ages 12 and above, with an entry fee of $50 (junior $25).

Springfield M1A match high power rifle

The Springfield Armory M1A match began with one man’s idea and passion. Springfield Armory’s Mike Doy witnessed the waning of classic M1 Garand and M1A rifles from the competitive High Power firing lines. “I really wanted to get those M1A rifles out of safes and closets and back out onto the field. So 11 years ago, I promoted the idea of running an M1A-specific match at Camp Perry. That first year we had over 600 competitors and spectators.” Now the match offers some of the biggest pay-outs at Camp Perry. In recent years, Springfield Armory has donated over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner.

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June 30th, 2016

American Rifleman Television Kicks Off 2016 Season

American Rifleman Television TV

Most gun guys know that the NRA publishes a monthly magazine called American Rifleman. What you may not know is that NRA also offers an American Rifleman television series on the Outdoor Channel. On each episode the hosts of American Rifleman TV review popular firearms (pistols, rifles, and shotguns). Most episodes include an historical segment. For example, in the 2016 Season Premiere, American Rifleman TV looks back at WWII, spotlighting The Men & Guns of the Pacific.

Highlights from other American Rifleman TV Episodes:

Springfield Armory M1A Review:

The Springfield Armory M1A is a civilian, semi-auto rifle based on the U.S. Military’s M14. Your Editor owned an M1A, and it was a fun gun. In High Power and Service Rifle competition, low-recoil 5.56 (.223) AR-platform rifles have displaced the M1A, but there is a hugely popular Springfield M1A Match every year at Camp Perry. The M1A Match at Perry offers over $25,000 in cash and prize awards each year.

Leupold Factory Tour:

Founded in 1907, Leupold & Stevens produces high-quality optics (with a legendary warranty) in Beaverton, Oregon. Leupold scopes are favorites for hunters as well as competitive shooters. In this episode, American Rifleman TV takes a tour of the Leupold & Stevens factory in Oregon.

Ruger American Rimfire Review:

Ruger offers both Standard and Compact models of its American Rimfire in two chamberings: .22 LR and .22 WMR. This rifle features a detachable, rotary magazine, like Ruger’s popular 10/22. The American Rimfire is a very affordable, yet reliable and surprisingly accurate rifle.

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June 18th, 2016

Ray Gross Parts with a Cherished Old Friend…

Ray Gross M1A M14 service rifle .308 .30-06 Distinguished rifleman badge
Old “Number 2″ belonging to Ray Gross. Click Photo for full-screen Image.

Ray Gross is captain of the United States F-TR Team. While he’s mostly involved in F-Class shooting these days, that wasn’t always the case. Ray is an experienced service rifle shooter, who secured his Distinguished Rifleman Badge 21 years ago. Ray has shot many different rifles during his competitive shooting career, but the rifle above has a special place in Ray’s heart. This old semi-auto earned Ray his Distinguished Badge, and he’ll never forget that…

Ray Gross M1A M14 service rifle .308 .30-06 Distinguished rifleman badge

“I said goodbye to an old friend last week…

Affectionately known as ‘Number 2′, she is the rifle that I earned my Distinguished Rifleman Badge with in 1995 (#1159).

That rifle was also responsible for a fair amount of Venison in the ’90s, as well. But since then, she has spent a lot of time in the closet. Last time I got her out was to destroy a bunch of hard drives containing evidence collected during my Computer Forensics days. She deserved better than that.

I will miss the beautiful sound of all that American steel slamming into battery when I tripped her bolt.” – Ray Gross

Ray Gross M1A M14 service rifle .308 .30-06 Distinguished rifleman badge

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May 7th, 2016

Springfield Offers $25,000 in Prizes for 10th Annual M1A Match

M1A Springfield RifleNick Till in 2009 M1A Match. Nick was the 2007 Service Rifle Nat’l Champion. Photo courtesy NRA Blog.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the NRA Springfield M1A Match, scheduled for July 31, 2016 at Camp Perry, Ohio. The Springfield M1A Match will kick off the 2016 NRA National High Power Rifle Championships. With this year’s anniversary M1A competition, more than 4,000 competitors will have shot the classic M1A for score from Camp Perry’s 300-yard line.

Big bucks will be at stake in this year’s M1A match. Springfield Armory is donating over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner. All competitors who register by July 15, 2016 will also receive a free Springfield M1A Match T-shirt.

springfield m1a match camp perry m14

Sponsored by Springfield Armory, the NRA Springfield M1A Match was conceived to promote use of this historic battle rifle, based on the military’s M14. “Springfield Armory has always been about heritage,” stated Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese. “I competed myself last year. It was incredibly inspiring to see hundreds and hundreds of our M1A rifles on the Camp Perry firing lines.”

M1A Match Course of Fire
Equipment rules allow pretty much all types/grades of M1As in the match. The one-day course of fire consists of 50 shots at 300 yards on the NRA MR-65F target, as follows: 5 sighters; 20 shots slow-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire, kneeling or sitting; and 10 shots slow-fire standing.

Video of 2009 M1A match at Camp Perry (NOTE: Loud wind noise — turn down speakers.)

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April 9th, 2015

Die Selection and Reloading for Reliability in AR10s

By Dennis Santiago
Dennis Santiago AR10 diesCompetition teaches you things. Compared to loading for benchrest bolt guns, producing ultra-reliable and accurate ammo for tight-chambered, semi-auto .308 target rifles requires a different approach to case prep. Smoothness of operation is much more important in a field course gun. Reliability trumps everything (even case life) for these types of guns.

In the photo below, there’s a Redding small base body die for bumping the shoulder and making sure the case body is at SAAMI minimum. This body die is not just nice to have. It is vital. There are also a full-length sizing die and a Lee Collet neck-sizer in that turret holder. One or the other gets used after the body size die depending on what rifle the ammo will be used in. The semi-auto rounds always go through the full-length sizing die. After that comes trimming and finally cleaning — then loading can begin. The cases are trimmed using a Gracey trimmer so everything’s the same each and every time. I use an RCBS Competition Seater Die to seat the bullets. One nice feature of this RCBS die is the open side slot that allows you to place bullets easily.

Dennis Santiago AR10 dies

It’s a long path methodology but uniformity is accuracy. More important for safety, controlling “stack-up” errors in the system solution is how one achieves reliability. The chamber-hugging philosophies of benchrest bolt guns do not apply well to AR-10s. Like most things, the right answer is context-dependent. Success is about accepting and adapting.

Dennis Santiago AR10 dies

Dennis Talks About Using a Semi-Auto in Tactical Competitions
I have succumbed to the Dark Side — deciding to put an AR-10 together. For tactical competitions you want a bolt gun most of the time but there are times the course of fire favors the use of a semi-auto. I was using an M1A that gives me 0.75 MOA performance but I heard people were getting almost bolt-gun-level, half-MOA accuracy out of their AR-10s — so I wanted to see if that was really achievable. A quarter-MOA difference in accuracy potential may seem tiny in practical terms but it will make a difference in competition. In a match, the difference between 3/4-MOA and 1/2-MOA can alter your hit probability on a small target by 20-30%.

The AR platform also lets you tinker with triggers, stock ergonomics and muzzle brakes that help in managing the dynamics of a long distance shot better. Well I found out you can get the incremental accuracy but there’s more work to do to get the same reliability. Being a curious sort, it’s worth it to me to explore it. It’s a far cry from as-issued M-1 shooting with whatever HXP is handy. This is definitely swimming in the deep end of the pool.

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January 29th, 2015

NEW “Loaded M1A” with Precision Adjustable Stock

Springfield Armory M1A M14 Camp Perry Loaded adjustable stock

Springfield Armory has taken the M1A into the 21st Century with an adjustable modular stock that makes this classic semi-auto rifle more versatile than ever. The adjustable stock on this Loaded M1A (MP9826, MSRP $2,021) offers many cool features. You can raise/lower the cheek-piece with a handy rotary knob. Likewise the buttplate can be moved in and out with a quick-adjusting knob, allowing length-of-pull adjustment up to 1.3 inches. The toe of the stock features a bag-rider section, making the gun more stable on a sandbag. Up front you’ll find an accessory rail plus a forward-angled swivel stud allowing easy bipod mounting. The included iron sights feature half-minute adjustments for windage and 1-MOA adjustments for elevation. The 22″ stainless steel barrel has a 1:11″ twist. Rifle weight with an empty magazine is 11.25 lbs.


At the 2015 SHOT Show, Rob Leatham runs through Springfield Armory’s new Loaded M1A Series rifle with an adjustable stock (MP9826, MSRP $2,021).

Click Image to See Full-Size Photo
Springfield Armory M1A M14 Camp Perry Loaded adjustable stock

Springfield Armory M1A M14 Camp Perry Loaded adjustable stock

MIA Match at Camp Perry is Popular
In 1974, Springfield Armory began offering a civilian-legal, semi-automatic version of the M14 known as the M1A™. M1As have enjoyed some success in Service Rifle and High Power Competition but today most Service Rifle shooters use the lighter-recoiling AR-platform black rifles. Nonetheless the M1A remains popular with American shooters and the annual M1A Match at Camp Perry offers serious, big-time prize money, thanks to Springfield Armory. In 2014 over $25,000 worth of cash and gear was awarded to Camp Perry M1A competitors, making the M1A Match the richest single rifle event at the NRA National Championships.

Springfield M1A match Camp Perry
Nick Till in 2009 M1A Match. Nick was the 2007 Service Rifle Nat’l Champion. Photo courtesy NRA Blog.

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October 3rd, 2014

Blast from the Past: M1 Garand and M14 Training Films

M1 GarandClassic American battle rifles have regained popularity via M1 Garand matches, service rifle matches, the M1A Match at Camp Perry, and Vintage Sniper competitions. If you own a classic M1 Garand, or an M1A, the modern semi-auto descendant of the M14, you should enjoy the two videos presented here. With help from our friend Grant G., we managed to located two original U.S. Army training films, one for the M1 Garand, and one for the M14. Both films use clever animated drawings to show the gas guns’ internal operations and cycling processes.

M1 Garand Training Film
Here is a U.S. Army training film for the M1 Garand (officially the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1). The M1 Garand was the first semi-automatic battle rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of a major nation, though other countries issued semi-auto rifles to special units. Gen. George S. Patton called the Garand “The greatest battle implement ever devised.”

Animated Diagrams Show M1 Garand Operational Cycle starting at 2:00-Minute Mark:

M14 Training Film
The successor to the M1 Garand was the M14. The 27-minute official U.S. Army video below demonstrates the operation of the M14. Field-stripping is shown from the 5:13 time-mark through 8:30. Cut-away drawings show the M14’s gas operation at 8:40.

M1 Garand

The complete 8-step functioning cycle is demonstrated from the 9:25 time-mark through 22:41. These eight operations are: 1) Feeding; 2) Chambering; 3) Locking; 4) Firing; 5) Unlocking; 6) Extracting; 7) Ejecting; and 8) Cocking. This movie is fairly long, but fans of battle rifles will find it well worth their time. Every M1A owner should definitely watch this video start to finish.

Watch M14 Functioning Cycle Starting at 9:25 Mark:

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July 25th, 2014

Get Up-to-Date Match Results from Camp Perry

The NRA maintains a webpage with the latest results for all the National rifle and pistol matches at Camp Perry. Click any of the links below to launch a page with match-by-match results. Once you navigate to the appropriate results page, click the particular match title (or 3-digit match number) to open a table with ranked lists of competitors with their scores. For example, the National High Power Rifle Championship is Match number 400.

CLICK for MATCH RESULTS

Over $25,000 Worth of Prizes at 2014 NRA Springfield M1A Match
The Springfield M1A Match was held Wednesday July 24, 2014. Sponsored by Springfield Armory, this popular event features big-money payouts and valuable hardware prizes. More than $25,000 in cash and prizes were awarded, with categories for shooters of all skill levels. There was a big turn-out for the event. Competitors were treated to bright, sunny skies yesterday. Here are photos from the match, courtesy NRA General Operations.

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

Springfield M1A Match Camp Perry

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October 14th, 2012

Guide to Tactical Rifles from Gun Digest

Gun Digest offers a users’ guide for tactical rifles. Authored by Patrick Sweeney (Guns & Ammo Handguns Editor), the 224-page Gun Digest Book of the Tactical Rifle covers tactical rifle types, ammo, reloading, and tactical accessories. Most of the book’s sixteen chapters are gun-specific — detailed discussions of particular rifles such as the M15/M1A, the FN-FAL, and the Sig 556. There are also dedicated chapters on Bullpups, Rimfires, and “Sniper Rifles” (both bolt-action and semi-auto).

While the book sports an AR15 on its cover, AR-platform rifles are NOT the major focus of the book. If you are only interested in ARs, this is not the book for you. However, if you want to learn more about a variety of modern arms, you should find the book a valuable resource. Gun Digest claims: “No other book covers as many different styles of tactical rifles, and is written by a more qualified author.”

Gun Digest Tactical Rifle Book

About the Author
The handguns editor for Guns & Ammo magazine, Patrick Sweeney is a also a credentialed gunsmith and police firearms instructor. He has written many of Gun Digest Books’ best-selling titles including: Gun Digest Book of the 1911, Vols. I and II; Gun Digest Big Fat Book of the .45 ACP, Gun Digest Book of the AR-15, Gun Digest Book of the AK and SKS, among other titles.

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June 12th, 2012

M1A Shooters Vie for over $27,000 Worth of Prizes This Summer

The NRA/Springfield M1A Match takes place August 5, 2012 at Camp Perry, Ohio. This special M1A match revives interest in the M14, and its modern derivatives. (Springfield’s M1A is a commercially-produced, semi-auto version of the M14.) At one time, M14-based match rifles dominated Service Rifle matches, but that’s history. Now M16/AR15 platform rule the roost in the Service Rifle game. But many shooters loved the old wood, .30-caliber rifles, leading to the creation of a special National Match just for M1A rifles. Renewed interest in the M1A, coupled with big-money sponsorship from Springfield Armory, led to the the first dedicated Camp Perry M1A match in 2008. That first-ever match proved a huge success, drawing over 500 shooters. Hundreds of M1A shooter are expected again this year.

NRA/Springfield M1A Match FAQ | NRA/Springfield M1A Match Entry Form

M1A Springfield RifleNick Till in 2009 M1A Match. Nick was the 2007 Service Rifle Nat’l Champion. Photo courtesy NRA Blog.

Over $27,000 Worth of Prizes for 2012 M1A Match
This year’s M1A Match will be the richest ever — with over $27,000 in cash and merchandise up for grabs. Springfield Armory has kicked in additional sponsorship to provide more payouts and prizes. The top three civilians receive prizes of $2,500, $1,500 and a M1A Rifle respectively. High Military, Woman and Senior receive $500 and a Springfield pistol each. The High Junior also receives $500 and an additional $500 is donated to their Junior Club. For everyone else who hasn’t already won a prize, $200 will be given out to 25 competitors using Lewis Class scoring. In addition, four Springfield pistols and two Springfield rifles will be awarded through prize drawings held during the match. No expert marksmanship needed for these — names are drawn out of a hat, all competitors have a chance to win.

M1A Springfield Rifle

M1A Match Course of Fire
Equipment rules allow pretty much all types/grades of M1As in the match. The one-day course of fire consists of 50 shots at 300 yards on the NRA MR-65F target, as follows: 5 sighters; 20 shots slow-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire prone; 10 shots rapid-fire, kneeling or sitting; and 10 shots slow-fire standing.

Video of 2009 M1A match at Camp Perry (NOTE: Loud wind noise — turn down speakers.)

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Story based on reports by Kyle Jillson in the NRA Blog.
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December 24th, 2010

New McMillan M3A Tactical Rifle

McMillan has released a new semi-auto tactical rifle, based on a Springfield Armory M1A receiver, glass-bedded by hand. McMillan’s new M3A rifle is configured for scope use, and features a CNC-inletted McMillan stock with adjustable cheekpiece. The gun takes M1A/M14 magazines. The M3A features a 6-groove, 10-twist, 18″ barrel, chambered in .308 Winchester. A notable option is a massive three-sided rail system. This allows the user to fit a scope very securely in either standard or front (scout scope) position. The side rails can carry other accessories such as lights or a back up red-dot scope. The trigger is a two-stage with pull weight of 5-6 pounds. Shown below is the M3A with optional full-length upper handguard tactical rail.

CLICK HERE for more information, or call (623) 582-9674 for pricing with desired options. A variety of McMillan rifles are showcased in the Video below.

YouTube Preview Image
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