June 28th, 2020

Tactical Treatises — Four Good Books for PRS/NRL Competitors

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Are you looking to get started in PRS and NRL practical precision rifle competition? Or perhaps you’d like to advance your skill set so you can place higher in big matches (and get your hands on some of those prize table items)? Of course there is no substitute for trigger time in the field, but there ARE some great print resources. These four books can help you select the right equipment, improve your shooting skills, make better wind calls, increase your fitness level, and develop a more efficient between-match training program.

Tactical Practical PRS Precision Rifle Series NRL NRL22 good books

1. IMPACT! — Training and Preparing for Precision Rifle Matches

Rodney Maze, $19.99 Paperback, $4.99 Kindle

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

Impact!, by PRS competitor Rodney Maze, is an entry/intermediate level guide to preparing yourself and your equipment to compete in precision rifle type matches. It will also benefit anyone looking to learn about practical-style long range and precision shooting. We recommend you check it out for yourself — there are 20 Pages of free sample content on Amazon. Topics covered include:

— Rifle, optic, and equipment selection
— Setting up your rifle, bags, tripods for PRS/NRL matches
— Understanding ballistics and how to record and use ballistic data
— Techniques for using holdovers for multi-target stages
— Gun skills, rapid fire techniques, clearing malfunctions
— Shooting off of barricades, and specialty stages
— Effects of wind and how to improve your wind calls
— Tips for live fire and dry fire practice
— Preparing yourself and your equipment for a match
— Mental strategies and techniques

Impact! is illustrated with plenty of photographs. Topics are divided logically, and concepts are explained in clear language. Also included is an extensive glossary of terms used in precision shooting and a list of additional resources you can use to further pursue your precision shooting knowledge. This book also includes a handy Appendix with formatted pages for recording data about your rifle, scope, and ammunition. There is also a Wind table for recording your rifle “dope” and wind hold-offs. Lastly, Impact! has a useful table of unit conversions.

2. Practical Shooter’s Guide

Marcus Blanchard, $19.99 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle

Marcus Blanchard Practical Shooter's Guide

Thinking of getting started in the Practical/Tactical shooting game? Looking for ways to be more stable when shooting from unconventional positions? Then you may want to read Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide (A How-To Approach for Unconventional Firing Positions and Training). Unlike almost every “how to shoot” book on the market, Blanchard’s work focuses on the shooting skills and positions you need to succeed in PRS matches and similar tactical competitions. Blanchard provides clear advice on shooting from barricades, from roof-tops, from steep angles. Blanchard says you need to train for these types of challenges: “I believe the largest factor in the improvement of the average shooter isn’t necessarily the gear; it’s the way the shooter approaches obstacles and how they properly train for them.”

3. Long Range Shooting Handbook

Ryan Cleckner, $19.85 Paperback, $9.99 Kindle

Ryan Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook is the best-selling modern book on practical rifle skills. A former U.S. Army sniper instructor, Cleckner is knowledgeable, and his text is well-organized and chock full of good information. You can view Sample Chapters on Amazon.com.

Ryan Cleckner’s highly-regarded Long Range Shooting Handbook is designed as an intro to important fundamental concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. This book will benefit any long-range shooter, not just PRS/NRL competitors.

4. Official U.S. Army Sniper Training and Operations Manual

From U.S. Army Sources, $17.59 paperback.

PRS NRL precision rifle training book print resource manual gun handling instruction

This U.S. Army Sniper Training Manual is a very comprehensive resource, with over 450 pages of information in a large 8.5″x11″ format. NOTE: Unlike other editions on Amazon, this is NOT the basic, outdated FM 23-10. This is the completely-overhauled 450+ page edition (FM 3-22.10). Heavily illustrated, this is a very useful resource for tactical/practical precision shooter. Employed as the “textbook” for the U.S. Army Sniper School at Fort Benning, GA, this big manual explains ranging methods, rifle handling, optics selection and operation, and rifle maintenance.

There is also extensive discussion of ballistics, wind reading, and weather effects. Practical competitors will appreciate the discussions of moving targets, range estimation, and range safety procedures. One reviewer explains: “This book contains the distilled wisdom of the Sniper School’s instructors and expert marksmen, giving you over 450 pages of unique insight into the long range combat shooter’s art.”

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May 26th, 2020

Long Range Precision Video Series — Season 1 and 2

Ballistic Magazine Long Range Precision video series 1 2

Long Range Precision (LRP) is a useful series of videos product by Ballistic Magazine and sponsored by Remington, Barnes Bullets, and Eotech. All six of the Season 1 LRP videos are embedded below for easy “binge watching”. In addition, all seven Season 2 episodes can be watched online on BallisticMag.com.

In this video series host Sean Utley covers many gear-related topics including rifle configuration, scope selection, chambering choices, ammunition options, bipods/tripods, and chronographs. In addition, the series covers training methods, bullet ballistics, wind reading, and rifle handling.

Most of this is pretty basic stuff, but it can be helpful for newcomers to long range shooting. For example, Season 1 Episode 4 covers chambering options including 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester.

Season 1, Episode 1: Anatomy of a Long Range Precision Rifle

Season 1, Episode 2: Foundations of Long Range Shooting

Season 1, Episode 3: Mechanics of Long Range Shooting

Season 1, Episode 4: Best Calibers for Long Range Shooting

Season 1, Episode 5: Anatomy of Bullet Flight

Season 1, Episode 6: Critical Equipment for Long Range Shooting

Watch Latest Long Range Precision Season 2 Videos

Along with all these Season 1 videos, there are seven Season 2 videos available on BallisticMag.com. Season 2, Episode 2 is a good video on Adjusting for Wind. And if you are interested in learning how Doppler Radar is used to develop bullet designs, we recommend Episode 7 from Season 2. This 7-minute video covers the latest technology in ballistics radar. CLICK HERE to watch video.

Ballistic Magazine Long Range Precision video series 1 2

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May 14th, 2020

Getting Started in PRS/NRL Competition — Guns, Gear, & Ammo

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Many of our readers are thinking of trying out PRS-type competition. Tactical matches are becoming more popular every season. Along with F-Class, tactical/practical disciplines are the fastest-growing forms of competitive rifle shooting. Rich Emmons, one of the founders of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), has written an insightful article about getting started in the tactical game. This will help PRS novices pick the right equipment and understand the game. Here are highlights from Emmon’s “PRS — Intro to Competition” article, originally published on the PRS website. You may also want to read the current PRS FAQ Page.

Precision Rifle Series — Intro to Competition

by Rich Emmons, PRS President
Tactical Shooting with a precision rifle is not like other disciplines, there is no set course of fire or format. That is what makes it so fun!

GAP Grind PRS series
Photo from Ramia Whitecotton’s GAP GRIND 2016 photo album.

First, you have to ask yourself what do you want to accomplish. When I was introduced to long range shooting, immediately a light turned on for me, once I saw how easy it was to hit 300–600 yard targets. What I quickly learned from my first competition and the many that followed was there is so much to learn and shooting in competition put everything you thought you knew to the test. So back to the question: “What do YOU want to accomplish?”. The reality is you may not know yet, you just think it is cool to have a bad ass rifle and scope that can make almost any shot. Now if you’ve got that rifle and scope, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Watch PRS 2016 Championship

Getting Started — What to Expect
If you’re reading this, you have probably already have been bitten by the long range shooting bug. It can seem quite intimidating to just jump in with a new bunch of shooters you don’t know and shooting lingo you don’t quite understand yet. But here is the key — show up and shoot! I guarantee you if you show up to a match as a new shooter, other experienced shooters will guide you along and give you help on anything you need.

AUDIO: Click Button to hear Rich Emmons Talk about the Precision Rifle Series.

Now, a couple things you should just expect. You’re not as good as you think you are. Don’t expect to come into your first match and beat all the veterans. That just doesn’t happen unless you have had some really good coaching or other shooting competition experience to get you ready for this type of competition. If possible, find a local rifle club that has monthly long range matches, or any type of match will help prepare you for a larger PRS event. Getting involved with a rifle club and starting out shooting monthly matches is definitely the way to jump into competition shooting.

PRS equipment gear AREA 419 gear changer bag

The Gear You Need
The first question that many ask is: “What kind of rifle/caliber/scope do I need?” The easiest answer to this is, the best you can afford. It’s no secret the gear is expensive. It took me several years of buying sub-par gear and eventually trading up to figure this out. Now, a guy can get a real sense of pride of doing it on the cheap, or with a factory rifle. I’ve seen many old Savage 10FPs take down custom rigs that cost 10 times as much. And if that’s all you can afford, then eventually you will learn the limitations of yourself or your gear. As for choice of cartridge/caliber, the respected Precision Rifle Blog has analyzed five years worth of match results from the best tactical shooters in the nation. CLICK HERE to read a PRB article that reveals what cartridge types the “top guns” use.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Craig Arnzen of Area 419 has created a useful article reviewing the gear PRS shooters need, including support bags, hearing protection, and other key accessories such as muzzle brakes. This helpful article also covers factory ammunition options.

Area 419 Game Changer bag PRS tactical matches

Making Good Ammo
Producing quality reloads is something you have to master. It’s not hard at all, you just have to pay attention to detail, and eventually you are going to do something stupid like mis-priming your brass, or skip a row of brass when dumping your powder. Everybody has their own horror story of some reloading failure that cost them a stage or even a match. So load to perfection, work with your rifle to find what load it likes the best, then start your practice.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Practice Makes Perfect
You want to become ONE with your rifle, learning everything you can about its functionality. Getting comfortable with the operation of your rifle is key. Learn the feel of your trigger, dry-firing until you wear the paint off your bolt handle. Learn how the rifle works best — pay attention to little things like the sound and feel of the bolt feeding a round from the mag (or when it doesn’t). Learn how to remove a jammed round quickly, learn how to reload a magazine quickly. Learn to scan across a field and find targets in a quick manner, seeing the targets with your eye and coming into the scope on target. These are some of the basic practices that separate the new shooters from the seasoned ones.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

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April 25th, 2020

Bartlein Barrels Now Offers Carbon-Wrapped Barrels

Bartlein carbon carbon-wrapped barrel contour GA Precision tactical hunting barrels

Look for a lighter barrel for your latest hunting or PRS/NRL rifle? Well there’s a new option on the market. Bartlein Barrels, makers of premium benchrest, F-Class, tactical, ELR and hunting barrels, is now offering carbon fiber-wrapped barrels. These will be available in a variety of lengths/contours, and multiple carbon colors. Bartlein posted on Facebook: “We are thrilled to announce that Bartlein Barrels is now offering carbon fiber-wrapped barrels! With the help of Mission Specific Worldwide LLC, another Wisconsin-based company, we will be offering these barrels in limited contours and calibers.

Bartlein carbon carbon-wrapped barrel contour GA Precision tactical hunting barrels

Bartlein’s Matt Buettgen told our Forum: “Bartlein Barrels is proud to introduce its new line of Carbon Fiber-wrapped barrels. We will start off with three (3) contours, the #4 Bull Sporter, #13 Rem Varmint, and the #14 M24/M40. Lengths will be 20″, 22″, 24″, and 26″ finished lengths in any twist you like including Gain Twist and Left-Hand Twists. And just to make it a little more interesting, there are four colors: Black, Red, Green, and white/black marble. For more information give us a call at the shop or check out our Facebook Page.”

READ Forum Thread on Bartlein Carbon Fiber-Wrapped Barrels

CLICK HERE for Bartlein Carbon Fiber-Wrapped Barrel Available Stock List

Here is more information from George Gardner of GA Precision:

It’s been a hard thing to keep under wraps, no pun intended. But Bartlein Barrels is now offering carbon-wrapped barrels! We have been helping test these for a few months now and all I can say is they are very impressive. Same Bartlein accuracy and no point of impact shift at all as the barrel warms. Plus as a bonus, GA Precision will be offering colors: Red/Brown, Green and White. These colors really pop against the sunlight and accent various colors offered by composite and painted chassis stocks (see below). These color-wrap barrels are special order for 4-month delivery.

Bartlein carbon carbon-wrapped barrel contour GA Precision tactical hunting barrels

GA Precision already has good inventory of Standard Black Carbon barrels in all four contours in popular calibers and twists. See GA Precision website for details. These are available for immediate delivery.

NOTE: GA Precision currently offers FOUR (4) contours:

Bartlein #4 B Sporter | Bartlein #13 Remington Varmint

Bartlein #14 M/24-M40 | Bartlein 1.200″ Straight

Price is $700 + shipping for standard black carbon wrap, or $750 + shipping for colored carbon wraps.

Bartlein carbon carbon-wrapped barrel contour GA Precision tactical hunting barrels

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product, News 4 Comments »
April 19th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: 6XC II Precision Rifle for PRS and NRL Comps

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma
Rifle Crafted by PremierAccuracy.com. Inset 6XC II photo by 6mmAR.com.

With all the buzz about the 6.5 Creedmoor and its 6mm Creedmoor little brother, some folks forget that we’ve had an outstanding mid-sized, Across-the-Course cartridge for a long time — the 6XC. Pioneered by 11-time National High Power champion David Tubb, the 6XC has won national High Power championships, excelled in mid-range prone matches, and performed great in the varmint fields. It has also been used successfully by many Precision Rifle Series competitors. It’s no wonder — the 6XC has less recoil than a 6.5mm Creedmoor, there is a great selection of superb 6mm bullets, and Peterson 6XC brass is high-quality and reasonably priced ($69/100) from DavidTubb.com. Fine Norma 6XC brass is available from Grafs.com.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

PRS Rifle with Modern 6XC II Chamber
Forum member Grimstod posted this new 6XC II rifle in our long-running Pride and Joy Rifle Thread. Grimstod notes: “These 6XC Gen IIs seam to be a hot commodity lately. This one is for PRS. It features a Premier Accuracy Atlas action made by Kelbly. The bolt and heavy-taper, fluted barrel are Cerakoted to match. I really like the ejectors on these Atlas actions. The stock is a KRG X-Ray painted in Premier Accuracy exclusive colors. The Kelbly Atlas action does not have any modifications. So far every Kelbly action we have tried has had perfect timing and trigger fall. We have been supper pleased with them. I look forward to using a lot more of these excellent actions.”

What is the 6XC II you may ask? That designates a 6XC with a chamber dimension optimized for Norma brass. It turns out that Norma brass is a bit bigger at the bottom than the 22-250 brass from which the 6XC originated. Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com has created two new JGS reamer specs that fit the Norma brass perfectly, improving feeding and extraction. Here is Robert’s Report:

The 6XC II Chamber — Upgraded for Today’s Norma 6XC Brass

by Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com
The 6XC II Chamber works perfectly with the Norma 6XC brass and resolves the “sticky bolt lift” issue. The original 6XC chambering was designed based off the usage of 22-250 brass which typically has a web diameter in the range of .461″-.463″. The area of the chamber just forward of the web on the original 6XC chambering was .4695″ which left plenty of clearance.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

When Norma 6XC brass became available Norma appears to have developed the base of the case from the .308 Winchester line of cases which have a larger web diameter. The web diameter of the Norma brass typically measures right around .4685″ which leaves almost no diameter clearance.

As shooters would use Norma 6XC brass in an original 6XC chamber they typically would experience “sticky bolt lift” due to the lack of clearance and the fact that the large web diameter of the brass prohibited the re-size dies (no matter how small the base diameter was) from squeezing the brass down enough to create sufficient clearance. The 6XC II chamber resolves this issue. You can order 6XC II sizing dies from 6mmAR.com that work perfectly with this re-designed chambering. 6XC II die sets are in stock now — call (215) 348-8789 to order.

6XC II Long Range Reamer (Throated long for 105-115gr Bullets):
The 6XC II-LT reamer below is throated long to keep the full bearing surface of 110-115gr bullets forward of the neck/shoulder junction of the case. Note, 6mmAR.com has also developed a shorter-freebore version for 6mm bullets with shorter bearing surface. SEE shorter 6XC II Reamer Print.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

6XC II Chamber and Sizing Die Combo:

- Resolves the “sticky bolt lift” problem shooters experienced using the Norma 6XC Brass in the original 6XC chambers.

– Chamber accepts all 6XC brass or ammo with no modification. Take your existing 6XC brass or ammo and use it without issues.

– Works well with existing Norma 6XC brass, or 6XC brass made from re-formed Winchester and Remington 22-250 brass.

– 6XC II Sizing dies and die sets are available from 6mmAR.com and in stock.

6XC II custom dies redding

If you are looking for someone to chamber your rifle or re-barrel an existing rifle in the 6XC II chamber, Fred at Sabreco, Inc. in Skippack, PA, (610) 584-8228 can help you. He has the reamers for the cartridge as well as the head space gauges for the cartridge, and has had extensive experience chambering many barrels and rifles.

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April 18th, 2020

Bushnell’s New Match Pro — Big Performance, Small Price

Bushnell Match pro riflescope scope optic NRL PRS NRL22 FFP base class

Bushnell has introduced an impressive new riflescope, the Match Pro. Designed for PRS, NRL, and NRL22 competition, this new 6-24x50mm FFP scope promises great performance for a very affordable, under-$500 price that fits within NRL22 “base rifle” price limits.

CLICK HERE for Bushnell Match Pro Scope Product Info »

The new Match Pro series promises high-end features at entry-level price points: $499.99 (Illuminated) and $449.99 (Non-Illuminated). Standard features include: Parallax Down to 10 Yards, Etched Glass FFP MIL “Christmas Tree” Reticle, Locking Turrets, Tool-less Zero Reset,and Fully Multi-Coated Lenses.

Bushnell Match pro riflescope scope optic NRL PRS NRL22 FFP base class

“As more and more people enter into the world of precision matches, be it through the NRL22 or PRS, the need for a budget-minded scope… has never been greater,” said Greg Palkowitsh, Bushnell scope product manager. “The Match Pro riflescope [gives] shooters all of the features they need while still qualifying for base class and open class competition.” The Match Pro’s sub-$500 price point works with many of today’s top rimfire rifles to fall under the $1050 limitation for NRL22’s Base Class.

Bushnell Match Pro Standard Features:

First Focal Plane (FFP) Design

6-24 Power for 4X Zoom Ratio

30mm Main Tube

Locking Turrets with Tool-less Zero Reset

Side Parallax from 10 Yards to Infinity

10 MIL Locking Turrets with Tactile Clicks

18 MIL of Windage and Elevation Travel

Deploy MIL FFP Etched Glass Reticle

Fully-Multi Coated Optics

EXO Barrier™(weather protection)

Bushnell Match pro riflescope scope optic NRL PRS NRL22 FFP base class

Bushnell Match pro riflescope scope optic NRL PRS NRL22 FFP base class

Bushnell Match pro riflescope scope optic NRL PRS NRL22 FFP base class

Both the illuminated and non-illuminated Match Pro models will be available early May, 2020. CLICK HERE to visit the Match Pro product page which has detailed information and hi-rez photos. NOTE: First production will be limited, so Bushnell encourages consumers to sign up to be notified when the Match Pros are available.

Bushnell Match pro riflescope scope optic NRL PRS NRL22 FFP base class

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics No Comments »
January 28th, 2020

Watch Armaggedon Gear AG Cup on Shooting USA This Week

Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational Shooting USA

Precision Rifle fans should watch Shooting USA this week. On Wednesday, January 29th, Shooting USA offers a special full-hour edition devoted to the inaugural Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational. The first-ever AG Cup showcased an all-star line-up of tactical talent. Twenty of the nation’s top PRS/NRL marksmen were invited to a two-day event at the Arena Training Facility in Georgia. $41,000 in prize money was up for grabs, with the overall match winner guaranteed twenty thousand ($20,000) in cash!

Shooting USA runs on the Outdoor Channel Wednesdays 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central.
No Outdoor Channel on cable? Then you can subscribe to Stream the Broadcast on the internet
.

Armageddon Gear Website | Arena Training Facility Website

Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational Shooting USA

During this week’s Shooting USA special, John Scoutten and Armageddon Gear’s Tom Fuller report the action and interview top precision rifle shooters. The Grand Prize of $20,000 was awarded for the best overall score, based on accuracy and time. In addition, the winner of each of the 20 stages received a $1000 cash prize — serious money. During the show, you can watch the competitors adapt to challenging stage set-ups and weather conditions. With $1000 at stake for each stage, a single miss can cost big money on the firing line.

Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational Shooting USA

Side Match with TN Twister Target
At the inaugural AG Cup, there was a side match with a $500 prize for the competitor who hit all five TN Twister Target plates in the shortest time. The side-match employed a modular target system from Innovative Target. This system can mount TN Twister or TN Revolver multi-plate rigs, which bolt on to the IRT Head. This provides interesting challenges quite different from a static PRS plate target.

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres
The 2300-acre Arena Training Facility is a premier shooting facility with multiple shooting ranges from 50m to 2100m. Arena’s 1000-yard covered Known Distance range offers multiple benches, steel and paper targets out to 1000 yards. On Arena’s UKD (unknown distance) range shooters can engage steel out to 2300 yards. This 2100m UKD range boasts a 3-Story Shooting Tower, Air-Conditioned Shoot House, and multiple Positional Challenges.space.

arena training facility Georgia

Armaggedon Gear — Tactical Accessories
Armageddon Gear, founded by former U.S. Army Ranger Tom Fuller, sells support bags, gun cases, slings, suppressor covers, scope covers, and a wide variety of other accessories popular with the PRS/NRL crowd. Armageddon Gear now provides products to the U.S. Military, Law Enforcement, as well as PRS/NRL competitors.

Armageddon Gear Game-Changer Bag
Game Changer PRS bag

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December 20th, 2019

New Lightweight Cross Bolt-Action Rifle from SIG Sauer

Sig Sauer cross hunting PRS precision rifle 3-lug

SIG Sauer has released the new Cross Rifle, a “crossover” rifle for hunting, competition, and long-range shooting. The Cross bolt-action rifle, built for precision, will be offered in .308 Winchester and 6.5mm Creedmoor with .277 SIG Fury Hybrid to follow. The design features a one-piece receiver with free-floating modular handguard and side-folding adjustable stock. Choose Black or First Lite Camo finish.

The Cross has some interesting design features:
— Two-stage Match Trigger adjusts from 2.5-4 lbs.
— Interchangeable flattop system that fits 0-MOA or +20-MOA rails.
— 3-Lug Bolt with 60° throw and interchangeable bolt handle. AI Mags.
— Light-weight 16″ barrel .308 Win version weighs just 6.2 pounds.

SIG designed the Cross series rifles for both hunters and PRS/NRL shooters: “Hunting rifles are typically focused on less weight, and accuracy is secondary. Precision rifles are designed for extreme accuracy, with no weight limitations. What was missing from the market was a true crossover. Our engineers took the best of both worlds and developed the CROSS featuring the characteristics of a hunting rifle, with the accuracy of a precision rifle”, said SIG Executive VP Tom Taylor.

Sig Sauer cross hunting PRS precision rifle 3-lug

Our hunting Editor Colton Reid, has been looking for a modular light-weight hunting rig with a folding stock for easy carry. SIG’s new Cross rifle could fit the bill. In .308 Win with 16″ barrel, the rifle weighs just 6.2 pounds (without optics), and is just 25″ overall with stock folded. That’s short enough to fit easily in a small day-pack. We’ll see if we can get one of these new Cross rifles for testing.

Sig Sauer cross hunting PRS precision rifle 3-lug
Sig Sauer cross hunting PRS precision rifle 3-lug

MSRP is $1779 and Gun Is Made in USA
The SIG Cross rifle retails for $1779.00, so it qualifies for PRS Factory Class. (We expect “street price” to be about $1550). SIG’s Tom Taylor noted that this is truly an “All-American” rifle: “Everything about the Cross from concept to completion… comes directly from our U.S. operations here in New Hampshire.” The Cross rifle was designed and built entirely at SIG Sauer’s New Hampshire facilities.

CROSS Rifle Specs (6.5 Creedmoor):

Overall Length: 35.5″
Folded Length: 27.0″
Barrel Length: 18″
Barrel Twist: 1:8″
Weight (w/o magazine): 6.4 lbs.

CROSS Rifle Specs (.308 WIN / .277 FURY):

Overall Length: 36.5″
Folded Length: 25.0″
Barrel Length: 16″
Barrel Twist: 1:10″ / 1:8.5″
Weight (w/o magazine): 6.2 lbs.

Factory Product Description
The CROSS Precision Bolt-Action Hunting Rifle is a lightweight precision rifle with a push button, foldable SIG precision stock, a one-piece aluminum receiver that eliminates the need for bedding the action, and AI magazines for creating the most accurate precision hunting platform.

The CROSS features a stainless-steel barrel with a free-float M-LOK handguard, a 2-stage match-grade trigger externally adjustable from 2.5 – 4 lbs., ambi-safety, a three-lug bolt design with a 60-degree throw and interchangeable bolt handle. The precision stock is spring-loaded for one-handed operation and can be fully adjusted in the field for length of pull and comb height with no tools. The rifle has a full-length replaceable Picatinny rail that allows for direct optics mounts, 20 MOA, and O MOA. The CROSS is available in 6.5 Creedmoor, 308 WIN, and the soon-to-be-released .277 SIG Fury Hybrid.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 4 Comments »
November 21st, 2019

Practical Tactical — Video Training Series with Ryan Cleckner

practical PRS NRL shooting tactical rifle videos ryan cleckner

Former Army Ranger sniper instructor Ryan Cleckner is the author of the best-selling Long Range Shooting Handbook. Cleckner hosts a series of videos that cover shooting techniques appropriate for tactical and PRS-type disciplines. Here are five short videos that cover various aspects of shooting techniques and rifle set-up. We think PRS/NRL competitors (and long-range hunters) can benefit from these videos.

“Consistency is the key to accuracy. You need to think about a system of how you’r going to shoot that is not only comfortable, but [is] repeatable when you’re shooting.” — Ryan Cleckner

In this first video, Cleckner explains proper scope position. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain.

Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position: “To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”. “When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Cleckner prefers shooting off a bag when in the prone position, when that is practical. The bag provides a more stable support than a small Harris-type bipod, doesn’t require pre-loading the rifle, and there is less bounce or hop on recoil.

Former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how important it is to keep your rifle straight up and down when long-range precision shooting. Cleckner demonstrates with an AR-10 modern sporting rifle how slight cant to your rifle can cause a miss over long distances.

Here Cleckner covers some of the basic points of trigger control on tactical-style rifles. These basic principles apply to both single-stage and two-stage triggers. NOTE: For benchrest rigs, with ultra-light pull weights, more refined techniques may be appropriate.

In tactical events, when you’re shooting on the clock and loading from a detachable magazine, you should manipulate the bolt smoothly but strongly. Here Cleckner demonstrates how to cycle a tactical-type rifle. He says, “You should be running the bolt on your rifle with authority. Run it like you mean it!” NOTE: Completely different techniques are appropriate for custom benchrest rifles that manually feed.

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

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November 15th, 2019

PRS 101: Getting Started in Practical/Tactical Competition

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

Our friends, Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence, aka the “6.5 Guys”, have written an excellent article on getting started in practical/tactical competition. If you are new to the game, these tips can help you save money, progress faster, and have more fun. Here are article highlights, but we recommend you read the full story, 5 Tips for Attending Your First Precision Rifle Match, on www.65guys.com.

We often meet people who are new to long range precision shooting, and want to improve their knowledge and skill level. However, they aren’t sure if they are ready to sign up to compete in a match. They often ask, “What knowledge or skills are necessary to compete in a match?” Others may state, “I need to purchase this gear or that gear before I can attend a match”. For those guys who have a strong interest in precision rifle shooting, and who wish to chec out a precision rifle match, below are Five Tips to make it a positive experience.

TIP ONE: Make Plans and Commit to Go

First you need to start by finding a match to attend. This may entail a little bit of research and investigative work on your part to find what matches are scheduled in the next few months. We recommend starting with any match that may be within a reasonable driving distance. This may likely be a local “club” match, many of which are held on a regular basis. These make great venues because it will provide an opportunity to meet some of the regular attendees as well as shooters that are from your geographic area. Additionally, most of the smaller matches are a little more relaxed in terms of level of competitiveness.

Once you decide on the match you want to attend, do your homework. This means finding out if you need to pre-register or pre-pay the match fee. Commit to going by registering for the match and putting it on your schedule. Be sure to find other useful information for questions such as:

— What time should I arrive?
— Is there a mandatory safety briefing for new shooters at that venue?
— What is the travel time required to get to the match site?
— How many stages will there be?
— Is there a description of the stages available before the match?
— How many rounds should you bring?
— Are there special equipment requirements? (E.g. do you need chamber flags, is there a pistol stage?)

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

TIP TWO: Bring What You Have

(Don’t Spend a Fortune at the Start)
Some new shooters often assume they need a custom match rifle or all of the miscellaneous shooting gear associated with long range precision shooting to compete in match. While having a Kestrel weather meter and a high quality laser range finder and other shooting accoutrements are invaluable kit, you will find other shooters at your first match that will provide you with the information and coaching you need to get on target.

In fact, the only gear you really need to bring is a scoped rifle with a bipod and ammo capable of consistently shooting within one MOA. Also, be sure to know the ballistic drops or have a ballistic drop table prepared for your rifle/ammo to dial the correct DOPE on your scope for different target ranges. Many of the other participants at the match will be willing to let you borrow a support bag, bipod, tripod or other gear if you need one — just ask. Don’t use the excuse of not having the right gear to delay getting out to a match!

One reason not to make a big initial investment in a new rifle and assorted gear before competing, is we’ve seen a number of people come into the sport and try it for a year and then make the decision to move on to something else.

TIP THREE: Be Prepared to Learn

As a new shooter at a match, there is no better opportunity to learn. We often look to our local club matches as a group ‘training’ session to prepare for the bigger matches. You will find competitors at all levels of skill and many of your fellow shooters will enthusiastically provide helpful advice once they learn you are new to the sport. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions if you would like ideas for how to engage a stage, but also be sure to do more listening than talking as you receive guidance and tips from more experienced competitors.

Watch and observe other shooters and how they approach and ‘game’ a specific stage or course of fire. You’ll begin to recognize which shooting positions work best for different scenarios, and maybe even come up with some new ones that no one has thought of before.

Seeing what the better shooters do is an invaluable instructional tool. You can use your smart phone’s video camera to record other shooters (with their permission). When you’re ready to shoot, ask another shooter to record your performance. Watching yourself will point out needed areas of improvement.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

After each match conduct an informal after action review and summarize for yourself the things that went well and what you should continue to do. You should also identify the specific shooting skills you should develop and make a plan to integrate the appropriate practice drills into your practice sessions. Finally, if you maintain a shooter’s data book or journal you’ll want to note things such as:

After Action Review – How you did, what went well, things you need to work on in practice.
Stage Observations – Successful methods used for specific courses of fire. Note barricades, positions used, specific gear used for stages.
Gear Observations – How your rifle/gear performed, what new items you should add to your “buy list”.

TIP FOUR: Be Safe and Have Fun

You’ve all heard a parent or teacher say, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” The same can be said of the shooting sports. Safe handling of firearms is the number one rule at any match, and comes before the FUN part in terms of importance.

Before all matches start there will always be some form of a mandatory safety briefing. Make sure you know, understand, and follow any unique safety protocols for the match you attend. Some matches require all rifles have chamber flags inserted and are stowed in bags/cases while not on the firing line — other matches may not. If you run afoul of any safety rules, you risk the chance of being disqualified from a stage or worse, the entire match.

65 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence PRS Precision Rifle Series Competition Tips

The second rule is simply have fun. This starts with having a good attitude throughout the day. Keep in mind that as a new competitor you should think of a match as a solid day of practice and training. If you blow a stage, use it as an opportunity to diagnose what you could have done differently or what you need to improve on — then smile and drive on.

Any day at the range or shooting is a good day. A match is an opportunity to hang out with like-minded people who are passionate about shooting and impacting targets far-far away. Life is great when you are doing what you enjoy!

TIP FIVE: Make Friends

There is no better way to meet lots of precision rifle shooters and make friends than at a match. The people that attend the tactical precision matches on a regular basis are those that have ‘fallen into the deep end of the pool’ and are really into the sport. As a result, they have become part of the local precision shooting community. As you strike up conversations at the match, find out if your new-found friends visit specific forum boards or social media outlets, or if there are other matches they attend.

Precision shooters tend to congregate and share information in different corners of the Internet. It will serve you well to meet some of the guys in person at matches and be able to connect a face to a screen name. As you develop your friendships and develop a level of trust, you will find opportunities become available to shoot with others in your local area, or get ‘read-in’ on a secret honey-hole of a spot to shoot long distance. Additionally, the local shooting community will often find it more convenient to sell or trade gear and equipment locally than deal with buyers/sellers that are out of state.

>> CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE on 65Guys.com

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October 9th, 2019

New Toy for PRS Boys — MPA Matrix Chassis

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

MasterPiece Arms (MPA) has a new chassis system — the “MPA Matrix”. Derived from the MPA BA Chassis, the MPA Matrix Chassis offers a “multitude of configurations in grips, thumb rests, and trigger finger supports”. MPA claims the grip and hand area has over 100 different variations. The MPA Matrix has a fore-end two inches longer than the standard BA or BA Competition Chassis. Overall, the Matrix is fairly heavy, at 6.4 pounds, and pretty expensive, with a $1250-$1450 MSRP (depending on options). By contrast the MPA BA Hybrid Chassis costs $925.00 and weighs 3.5 pounds (without recoil pad).

CLICK Image for large MPA Matrix Photo:
MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

There are significant design differences between the MPA Matrix and MPA BA Hybrid (below). The Matrix, at 6.4 pounds, is also much heavier than the 3.5-lb BA Hybrid. Given that many PRS/NRL competitors favor heavier rifles for greater stability (and less felt recoil), the Matrix’s extra mass is probably a good thing.

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

The MPA Matrix features five different grip options (3 swept and 2 vertical), three different thumb-rest designs and four different trigger finger supports. That’s great for shooters who like to keep their thumb forward on the bolt side of the action. However, looking at the chassis, we’re really not sure we like the way the Matrix encircles the grip area. You’ve got hard metal behind the grip. The Matrix appears set up for resting the thumb of the trigger hand alongside the action. That can work for sure, but we think some shooters will prefer a more conventional vertical grip you can wrap your thumb around. A conventional grip will also have recoil cushioning for the web of the hand. See the BA Hybrid chassis for comparison. This Matrix is really VERY different in the grip area. But if you don’t like the Matrix, there are certainly other stock options available.

MPA masterpiece arms precison PRS stock Matrix

The new Matrix Chassis is designed for Remington Short Actions and Rem clones. The Matrix does offer good adjustability — the buttstock has an adjustable cheek riser and length of pull adjusts from 13.5 to 14.75 inches. Plus, the recoil pad adjusts for height and cant. You can get either an adjustable rear monopod or a bag-rider configuration. As you’d expect, the MPA Matrix has M-LOK slots along the fore-end sides and barricade stop holes along the bottom.

What was the concept behind the Matrix chassis? MPA’s President, Phil Cashin, states: “One of the things that we have seen in precision rifle shooting over the past couple of years is how many different methods a shooter used to engage a stock or chassis. Due to variations in hand size, finger thickness and length, as well as shooter preference on how they want to engage the chassis or stock, we’ve seen a lot of inconsistencies among the shooters in how they engage the rifle and where they position the pad of the trigger finger with the shoe of the trigger. This inspired us to create a system that would provide a more custom fit procedure for our customers by creating a chassis with more customized configurations.”

The MPA Matrix Chassis (MSRP $1250-$1450) is available in eight Cerakote colors: Graphite Black, Flat Dark Earth, Burnt Bronze, Tungsten, Gunmetal, Sniper Green, NRA Blue, and USMC Red. Custom H Series Cerakote colors are an additional $135, while camo patterns are $450 extra.

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October 4th, 2019

Genesis of PRS Rifle — Modeling, Milling, Manufacturing Video

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

How is a modern, metal-chassis rifle built? This very cool video from Masterpiece Arms answers that question. The nicely-edited video shows the creation of a Masterpiece Arms tactical rifle from start to finish. All aspects of the manufacturing process are illustrated: 3D CAD modeling, CNC milling of the chassis, barrel threading/contouring, chamber-reaming, barrel lapping, laser engraving, and stock coating. If you love to see machines at work, you will enjoy this video…

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CADmasterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

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September 26th, 2019

NRL22 Rimfire Tactical Matches are Fun and Affordable

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

The National Rifle League (NRL) started off sponsoring major centerfire tactical matches, similar to PRS competitions. That proved successful and the NRL added a .22 LR Rimfire series, called NRL22. The NRL22 rimfire discipline has been a success, as rimfire guns are fun to shoot and ammo is very affordable. The most popular NRL22 matches have drawn up to 150 rimfire competitors. Get more info at NRL22.org.

NRL22 is a great way to get into competition shooting with minimal expense. There are Five (5) classes: Open, Base, Ladies, Young Guns (8-16), and Air Rifle. Base Class is for the budget-minded shooter — the combined MSRP of Rifle and Optic may not exceed $1050.00 (so you could spend $550 on a rifle and $500 on a scope for example). That keeps the sport affordable. Open, Youth, and Ladies Classes have no price limits on Rifle and Optic. Visit NRL22.org to find an NRL22 match near you.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

The two videos above from Long Range Shooters of Utah feature footage from the January 2019 course of fire from the NRL22 Rimfire Competition Series. Note the snow-capped hills in the lower video. Useful commentary explains how competitors establish their shooting positions.

NRL22 Publishes Monthly Courses of Fire
This video from a Utah NRL22 Match features shooters from each of the four rimfire classes. With the NRL22 program, scores from from local matches like this are ranked against scores from other matches nationwide. In advance of match dates, NRL22.org publishes 5 courses of fire to be used in that month. Each course of fire will always include 2 prone stages, 1 positional, 1 barricade, and a fifth that can be any of those. Details of the course of fire, including target distances, target sizes, time limits, and barricade profiles, are listed at NRL22.org.

Official NRL22 Rimfire Steel Target Package
This video reviews the official NRL22 Rimfire Steel Target Kit. Crafted by JC Steel Targets from AR500 steel, this kit from JC Steel Targets includes 8 hanging targets, 4 KYL (Know Your Limits) targets, plus all needed Hangers. That’s lot of steel and hardware for $329.99.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

About NRL22 Tactical/Practical Competition
NRL22 tactical precision Airgun Air rifle classThe goal of NRL 22 is to make Precision Rifle competitions more available to every community. However, nearly all localities have access to 100-yard ranges and most shooters own a .22 LR rifle. The NRL22 program is designed so any facility with a 100-yard range can host matches. Participants at local NRL22 events can then attend a National Championship. NRL22 started with four classifications: Open, Base, Ladies, and Young Guns (8-18 age). Air Rifle is the new fifth class. For the 2018/2019 Competition Season, over 700 shooters attended NRL22 matches. In the 2019/2020 Competition Season, the NRL22 expects significant growth and is excited to welcome new members and clubs.

NRL22 rimfire tactical steel targets KYL JC Steel hangers

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September 1st, 2019

Sunday GunDay: New 6GT Cartridge Tested in 3 Tactical Rifles

6GT Cartridge Alpha Munitions GA Precision PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

The New 6GT Cartridge for Precision Rifle Competition

Report by Vu Pham
Earlier this year I was ready to build a 6 Dasher when I saw a lot of buzz on the interwebs about a new caliber George Gardner (Owner of GA Precision) and Tom Jacobs (Owner of Vapor Trail Bullets) designed, the 6GT. After some research and talking to George, I ditched the 6mm Dasher build and had GA Precision build me a 6GT on a GAP Templar action I already had in the safe. The reasons to try the 6GT in a new PRS-style rig were as follows:

1. Push a 110-115 grain class bullet at 2880-2930 FPS safely in the Sacramento heat.

2. Achieve a load that is reliable and predictable. The caliber must be easy-to-tune and predictable from barrel to barrel. I don’t want to spend weeks developing a new load each time I spin on a fresh barrel.

3. Be able to run the same mag in all my guns without having to tweak or use mag kits. The round must feed from AICS and AW magazines without major tweaking or hiccups.

4. Get good barrel life. The barrel needs to go 2200-2500 rounds with match-grade reliability and accuracy.

5. Have a competitive cartridge with the least possible recoil without sacrificing too much performance down range, compared to bigger options like the 6mm Creedmoor.

6GT Cartridge Alpha Munitions GA Precision PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project
6GT feeding from un-modified magazines has been flawless in all the rifles we tested. The 6GT feeds so well, I sometimes have to do a press check to ensure there is a round in the chamber.

On paper the 6GT seemed like the perfect cartridge for PRS- and NRL-style competition. It has the low recoil of a 6 Dasher, with good feeding and mag compatibility. With the 6GT, a competitor can push 105gr bullets at 3000+ FPS or run heavier bullets at 2800-2900+ FPS.

6GT Cartridge PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua 6GT 6mm Dasher cartridge fire-formed neck-turn project

Knowing that I would initially have to make my own 6GT brass and do quite a bit of load development, I enlisted the help of Dan Bertocchini with CS Tactical. Dan has a lot more experience with wildcats and is the man when it comes to this type of data gathering. He has been running a 6 Dasher for a few years so I was curious how he would compare the 6GT to his 6 Dasher.

Quick Summary: “I am really digging the 6GT and the capabilities it offers. It can launch 103gr Vapor Trails at 3000+ FPS or lob heavy 115gr DTACs in the low-to-mid 2900s comfortably. I think we will see this cartridge go mainstream in PRS/NRL-style competition in 2020.” — Vu Pham

The new 6GT Cartridge Was Tested in Three (3) Tactical Rifles:

Rifle 1: Vu’s 6GT 1.0
Builder: GA Precision
Action: Left Hand GAP Templar (large firing pin)
Barrel: Bartlein 7.7 Twist finished at 26″ with a 419 Hellfire Brake
Stock: KMW Sentinel
Optic: Vortex Razor Gen II 4.5-27x56mm EBR-7C MRAD
Bi-Pod: Harris
Trigger: Timney Calvin Elite
Magazines: AICS and AW
Support Bag: Wiebad Fortune Cookie

Rifle 2: Vu’s 6GT 2.0
Builder: Rubicon Precision
Action: Impact Precision 737
Barrel: Bartlein 7.0 Twist finished at 27″ with a 419 Hellfire Brake
Stock: XLR Industries Envy Chassis
Optic: Vortex Razor Gen II 4.5-27x56mm EBR-7C MRAD
Bi-Pod: Harris with Henderson Arca adapter
Trigger: Trigger Tech Diamond
Magazines: AICS and AW
Support Bag: Wiebad Fortune Cookie

Rifle 3: Dan’s 6GT
Builder: CS Tactical
Chambered by: Rubicon Precision
Action: Lone Peak Arms Fusion
Barrel: Proof 7.0 Twist finished at 28″ with a Muzzle Brake and More Brake
Stock: XLR Industries Envy Chassis
Optic: Minox ZP5 5-25x56mm MR4
Bi-Pod: Arca Cyke Pod (PRS)
Trigger: Trigger Tech Diamond
Magazines: MDT
Support Bag: Armageddon Gear OG Game Changer, Waxed Canvas

6GT Cartridge Alpha Munitions GA Precision LabRadar PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

Alpha Munitions Pre-Production 6GT Brass
6gt brass cartridge Alpha Munitions PRS 6mm DasherGeorge Gardner was kind enough to send us 50 pieces of Pre-Production Alpha 6GT brass for preliminary testing. Like the cases I formed from 6.5×47 Lapua brass, the Alpha 6GT brass will use a small rifle primer. Price from Alpha Munitions should be $1.15 per case, which is on par with Alphan’s other product line.

The first 7000 pieces of Alpha 6GT brass sold before I could even get my hands on any! The bigger batch of production brass is due later this year. To pre-order the brass, CLICK HERE.

The major difference between 6.5×47 Lapua-formed brass and Alpha 6GT brass is the case capacity. Alpha 6GT brass has 1.5 to 1.7 grains more case capacity. When a piece of 6.5×47 Lapua brass is formed into a 6GT, the walls of the case now become the shoulder and part of the neck. In a normal piece of brass, the shoulder and neck are typically thinner because of the thickness of the brass tapering from the body to neck.

While the cartridge design was optimized for Hodgdon Varget, the extra case capacity of the Alpha 6GT brass opens the door to Hodgdon H4350 (my favorite powder) and Alliant Reloder 16.

Test Results with Alpha Munitions 6GT Brass
Initial test results were as expected from a premium brass-maker. Dan and I both got excellent Standard Deviations and Extreme Spreads over my MagnetoSpeed V3 and his LabRadar. This string below was with 112gr Barnes Match Burners and 33.8 grains of Varget. Can’t complain about a 3 FPS Extreme Spread!

6GT Cartridge 600 yard target PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

Yes, H4350 Works with the Alpha Munitions Brass
Personally, I prefer running Alpha 6GT brass with H4350 rather than Varget pushing a heavier bullet. H4350 burns slower and cleaner which should equate to better barrel life. The Lapua-formed 6GT cases just do not have the capacity to reach the cartridge’s full capability with the slower burning powders.

Is the 6GT cartridge accurate? Definitely. Here is a 5-shot group at 600 yards shot by Dan. This was Alpha 6GT brass, with Hodgdon H4350 pushing Barnes 112gr Match Burner bullets.

6GT Cartridge 600 yard target PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

And here is a 4-shot, 600-yard group with reformed 6.5×47 Lapua brass, using Varget powder under a Barnes 112gr Match Burner.

6GT Cartridge 600 yard target PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

6GT Stress Test — Don’t Try this at Home!
Dan and I also did a “destruction test” to see how the Alpha 6GT brass would hold up when competitors push the cartridge to its limits. Please note that this is PRE-PRODUCTION brass and Dan and I probably exceeded max load for the majority of the duration of this test. Using Varget powder, we pushed 115gr DTACs at 2950+ FPS on a pretty hot day. We ran the charge weight up until the bolt was hard to lift.

6GT Cartridge PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

Using this very hot charge, we were able to get 14 firings before the primer pocket failed. That is pretty solid considering that this brass was a pre-production sample that Alpha said did not meet its primer pocket design requirements. With these results, I think a shooter pushing 110-115 grain class bullets in the low 2900s will get 16 to 20 firings from a piece of brass.

6GT Cartridge PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

Is the GT here to stay?
All signs are pointing to “Yes”. Dies are readily available from Hornady, RCBS, and Redding. Chamber reamers are being produced by PT&G and JGS that can be purchased through GA Precision.

Alpha Munitions is hard at work getting quality brass to the shooters. Quite a few people have already chambered up 6GT barrels before they even have brass in hand. I think we will see this cartridge go mainstream in PRS/NRL-style competition in 2020. With Alpha Munitions production brass almost ready to hit the shelves, I think we will see a lot more data come in from the field by the end of this year.

The Verdict — The 6GT Is Looking Great So Far
I am really digging the 6GT and the capabilities it offers. It can launch 103gr Vapor Trails at 3000+ FPS or lob heavy 115gr DTACs in the low to mid 2900s comfortably. George Gardner has texted me some pictures of very impressive groups pushing an 115gr DTAC at 3000 FPS with Alliant Reloder 16 (a very temp-stable powder with a burn rate close to H4350). That being said, if a guy wanted to push that type of speed and bullet weight, the 6mm Creedmoor is a better solution in my opinion. So far my “go to” 6GT load is a 112gr Barnes Match Burner at 2900 FPS. My other favorite load is a Hornady 108gr ELDM at 2970 FPS.

I think the down-range performance of the 6GT over a 6mmBR and the 6BR variants will be valuable on those days where shooting conditions are not as perfect. Recoil is about the same as the 6BR variants (6BRA, 6 Dasher etc.), but noticeably less than a 6mm Creedmoor. The extra energy down range will make a spotter’s job a bit easier when targets extend beyond 800 yards.

Forming GT Brass from Lapua 6.5×47
Before the new Alpha Munitions brass was available, I tested the cartridge using 6GT made from parent Lapua 6.5×47 Lapua brass necked-down and reformed. George Gardner walked me through the process of forming 6GT brass out of Lapua 6.5x47L. The process is time-consuming and is a huge PITA even with the correct tools. More detailed instructions can be found on my 6GT thread on the AccurateShooter Forum. READ Forum Thread HERE.

Here is a photo of what the brass looks like going through the forming/trimming process.
Left to right: 6.5×47 Lapua brass, sized with the 6GT bushing die with a .266 bushing, chopped/trimmed and turned, and fired-formed.

6GT Cartridge PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

The formed-from-Lapua 6GT brass performed well and is a good option if one has the time and desire, but I’ll be moving over to factory Alpha Munitions brass once it is readily available.

6GT Tested at 1000 Yards
After seeing what Tom Jacobs is doing with his benchrest gun running Alpha Munitions brass, there is no doubt the 6GT is plenty capable out to 1000 yards and beyond. I have a feeling the Benchrest and F-Open guys are going to dig this new 6mm cartridge as well, at least for 600 yards. Note, in this photo it appears Shot #5 is under a paster, but that might just be a Ballistic-X software input error, meaning that this is actually a 4-shot group. Either way it is still impressive.

6GT Cartridge PRS NRL brass 6.5x47 Lapua fire-formed neck-turn project

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July 19th, 2019

Heatstroke Open NRL Match This Weekend in Oklahoma

heatstroke open oklahoma
Here’s our friend Jim See, who won the 2015 Heatstroke Open, topping 120 other shooters.

The 2019 Heatstroke Open will be held July 19-21 near Camargo in NW Oklahoma. This major PRS match should attract 120+ competitors. The event schedule includes check-in and sight-in beginning at noon on Friday, July 19, followed by side matches. The two-day match begins on Saturday and concludes at the end of the shooting session on Sunday. An awards ceremony in town will conclude the event.

The Heatstroke Open is one of the longest-running Practical Precision matches in the country. This match venue is a natural terrain field with just a few man-made props. Many targets are tough while other are more-than-generous. Stage time-limits are enough to get all rounds off on each stage. No matter what the shooter’s experience level, this match should be challenging and rewarding. But note, wind reading is critical — conditions have been known to be pretty brutal. Here are three videos covering the last three Heatstroke Open Events in Oklahoma:

2017 Heatstroke Open

2016 Heatstroke Open

2015 Heatstroke Open

McMillan — Heatstroke Open Key Sponsor
McMillan Fiberglass Stocks is sponsoring this year’s Heatstroke Open as well as other events on the National Rifle League’s event roster. Through sponsorship, McMillan works to promote the NRL’s mission to encourage the growth and education of precision rifle shooting. CLICK HERE for complete listing of 2019 NRL-sanctioned matches.

Remaining Major 2019 NRL matches, and Match Directors:
Heatstroke Open – Camargo, Oklahoma, July 20-21, 2019 | Matt Clem, B.J. Bailey
Rock Lake NRL Steel Challenge – Cheney, Washington. Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2019 | Doug Glorfield
Monster Lake Mayhem – Cody, Wyoming, September 27-28, 2019 | Phillip Velayo, Caylen Wojcik
West Coast Showdown – Pala, California, October 19-20, 2019 | Jorge Ortiz, Scott Satterlee
2019 NRL Championship – Navasota, Texas December 6 – 8, 2019 | Dave Ferguson, Prentice Wink

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July 11th, 2019

Upcoming NRL Matches In Colorado and South Dakota

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match
Look carefully at this Colorado double rainbow. Note that the color spectra are reversed — sort of a mirror image. This is true of ALL double rainbows.

A great practical/tactical shooting match is happening this weekend in scenic Colorado. The High Country Precison Mile-High Shootout will be held July 12-14 at the Rio Ro Mo Ranch outside of Craig, Colorado. The match will include a mix of long-range and positional shooting on natural terrain. A 200- to 250-round course of fire can be expected for the competition.

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

The Mile-High Shootout starts on Friday, July 12 with check-in and open targets out to 1,300 yards. Saturday will be an all-day match. Sunday, the competition shooting will conclude mid-day, followed by an awards ceremony after lunch.

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

NRL PRS Colorado Mile-High Shootout tactical Match

McMillan Fiberglass Stocks will co-sponsor the Mile-High Shootout, the 12th match of the 2019 National Rifle League series. McMillan supports the National Rifle League in the goal of expanding practical rifle competition. McMillan notes: “Events such as these are important to help bring new shooters into the long-range shooting sports and are activities that are enjoyed by the entire family.”

This 2018 Mile-High Shootout Teaser Is Really Worth Watching — Plenty of Action!

South Dakota Steel Classic, August 16-18

NRL PRS south dakota steel classic tactical Match

Another great NRL Match is set for mid-August in South Dakota. The 2-day South Dakota Steel Classic will take place August 16-18, 2019 in St. Orient, South Dakota. This is a very popular match, and all 110 competitor slots have sold out. But check with Match Director Michael Kane for last-minute openings.

The South Dakota Steel Classic features multi-position precision shooting with targets from 25-1300 yards. Nearly all of the shots are practical in nature having a hunting or military-type application. CLICK HERE to learn more about this major NRL match in August.

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July 1st, 2019

National Rifle League (NRL) Adds Airgun Class to NRL22 Matches

NRL22 tactical precision Airgun Air rifle class

The National Rifle League (NRL) started off sponsoring major centerfire tactical matches, similar to PRS competitions. That proved successful and the NRL added a .22 LR Rimfire series, called NRL22. The NRL22 rimfire discipline has been a success, as rimfire guns are fun to shoot and ammo is very affordable. The most popular NRL22 matches have drawn up to 150 rimfire competitors.

With the success of the NRL22 series, the NRL is adding an Air Rifle class to NRL22 matches in the upcoming 2019/2010 competition season. NRL President Travis Ishida stated: “We are proud to now offer an Air Rifle classification to the monthly NRL22 matches that take place nationwide, and in several other countries.” The accuracy and performance of modern air rifles are impressive, so Ishida says it makes sense to “include them in the same Course of Fire” along with other NRL 22 Classes.

NRL22 tactical precision Airgun Air rifle class

If the NRL’s Airgun class catches on, there may be a stand-alone NRL Airgun series in the future. Tyler Frehner, NRL’s Director of Match Operations stated. “If this class of shooters grows… the Air Rifle class will become a stand-alone entity; a future division of NRL.” Justin Jacobson of Utah Airguns added, “This is going to open the door for Airguns like never before. Finally, Airgun hobbyists everywhere can compete near their hometown in a similar format to rimfires with the NRL.”

About NRL22 Tactical/Practical Competition
NRL22 tactical precision Airgun Air rifle classThe goal of NRL 22 is to make Precision Rifle competitions more available to every community. However, nearly all localities have access to 100-yard ranges and most shooters own a .22 LR rifle. The NRL22 program is designed so any facility with a 100-yard range can host matches. Participants at local NRL22 events can then attend a National Championship. NRL22 currently has four classifications: Open, Base, Ladies, and Young Guns (8-16 age). Air Rifle will be the new fifth class. For the 2018/2019 Competition Season, over 700 shooters attended NRL22 matches. In the 2019/2020 Competition Season, the NRL22 expects significanct growth and is excited to welcome new members and clubs.

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June 28th, 2019

Precision Rifle League in the UK — Orion Mountain Challenge

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

Tiff Dew, the founder of the UK’s Precision Rifle League (PRL) has posted: “I have dedicated the last dozen or so years of my life to establishing and developing the sport of precision rifle shooting over here in the UK. Having launched the Precision Rifle League, it is finally starting to take shape at a national level!”

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

Tiff added: “Maybe next year there might be a few more British shooters heading across the pond and perhaps a few US/International shooters might like to shoot the PRL over here?”

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

Well, after seeing these great photos, we definitely think some American shooters would like to shot a PRL match in the UK. And we welcome United Kingdom shooters to our PRS and NRL matches in the USA.

View 100+ More Great Photos on UK PRL Facebook Page »

PRL Orion Mountain Challenge in Cambrian Mountains
The Orion Mountain Challenge, the PRL’s third match of the year, was outstanding, as you can see from the photos. Nestled high amongst the Cambrian Mountains, Orion Firearms Training Limited’s facility provided the perfect venue for round three of the Precision Rifle League series. Forty-two shooters registered for the event. Participants reported: “The scenery was breathtaking and the weather simply sublime! Combined with excellent RCOs and a suitably complex course of fire, a very enjoyable weekend ensued.” NOTE: For these great images, Credit Philip Rowland Photography.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England
The United Kingdom’s PRL is not just for guys. Ladies enjoy the Challenge too!

About the UK’s Precision Rifle League

The Precision Rifle League hosts events throughout the United Kingdom. PRS Matches or “Challenges” as they are better known, take place from Scotland to Cornwall. Individuals can enter as many Challenges as desired. The PRL’s primary aim is to provide a positive resource for fellow shooters, helping to develop and expand precision rifle shooting in the UK.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

There are several precision rifle events across the UK. However until now, there has been no single point of reference for all these great shoots. The league is designed to address this, promoting these events and enabling shooters to see their progress on a national level.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

The PRL currently has two main classes: Open Division and Factory Division. After the final Challenge Match of the year is fired, trophies and prizes will be awarded to the top three in each division. In addition, there are sub-classes including International, Ladies, Parasport and others.

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains England

UK United Kingdom PRL Precision rifle league Orion Firearms Training Cambrian Mountains EnglandThe PRL Challenge Calendar for 2019:

May 4-5 – Spring Roundhouse Rifle Challenge

May 25-26 – Gardners Guns Challenge

June 15-16 – Orion Mountain Challenge

July 13-14 – Summer Roundhouse Rifle Challenge

September 7-8 – Orion Mountain Challenge & Sponsors Raffle

For further information and the PRL Forum, visit: PrecisionRifleLeague.co.uk.

Hundreds of other PRL photos from the UK are found on the PRL Facebook Page.

CREDIT Philip Rowland Photography for all these excellent images from the Orion Mountain Challenge.

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June 23rd, 2019

Tough Burris Tactical Rings with Inserts — Best Option for PRS?

Burris Pos-Align XTR tactical Rings preload elevation

For years we have touted the advantages of Burris Signature rings, with polymer Pos-Align Inserts. PRS/NRL shooters take not — this technology is available in a beefier, heavy-duty ring system for tactical rifles. The impressive Burris XTR Signature Rings offer six (6) clamping bolts per ring plus strong, dual steel base-clamps that self-center on Weaver or Picatinny rails. These aluminum XTR Signature Rings provide strength and holding power, plus the key benefits of Pos-Align inserts. As impressive as XTR rings are — they aren’t that expensive, with 1″-diameter XTRs starting at about $90.00 per pair (30mm and 34mm XTRs cost a bit more).

The polymer inserts in Signature rings perform three key functions. First, the inserts provide full, uniform scope-to-ring contact, with no need for lapping. You get a very secure “grip” on your scope without ring marks. Second, the Pos-Align inserts can provide elevation “pre-load”. With eccentric (offset) inserts, you can raise the back of the scope relative to the front, gaining up to 54 MOA of built-in elevation, without the need for expensive tapered bases. Third, the offset inserts can be rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise to shift point of impact. This lets you zero your rifle easily while keeping the turrets in the center of their travel.

Burris XTR Signature Rings are offered in 1″, 30mm, and 34mm diameters, and three (3) different heights: 1″, 1.25″, and 1.5″. Each ring set includes two sets of concentric inserts and one set each of the following offset inserts: +/-5 MOA, +/-10 MOA, +/-20 MOA. These allow you to “pre-load” elevation and/or center up your cross-hairs.

– Pre-load Elevation. No need for expensive tapered bases for long-range shooting.
– Correct misalignment caused by off-center receiver holes.
– Correct for bases or rings being slightly off-center.

How to Pre-load Elevation
To add elevation, set the Pos-Align Offset Inserts to raise the rear of the scope and lower the front. As long as there remains sufficient clearance between the front objective bell and the barrel, Burris recommends lowering the front of the scope the most and raising the rear of the scope the least. The amount of actual elevation “pre-load” will depend on the ring spacing (see chart). In the illustration, with 4.75 inches between ring centers, a +/- 20 MOA pair in the front combined with a -/+ 5 MOA pair in the rear will yield +25 MOA of total elevation. (If the rings are positioned further apart, you’ll get less elevation pre-load.)

Burris Pos-Align XTR tactical Rings preload elevation

Using Inserts to Adjust Point of Impact in Any Direction
Although it is convenient and most understandable to refer to the ring inserts as a “bottom” or “top” insert, the inserts may be rotated to any angle within the scope rings. This allows the shooter to correct the point-of-impact in any direction. The drawings below show how the inserts can be rotated to induce both elevation and windage changes at the same time.

Burris Pos-Align XTR tactical Rings preload elevation

Product tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.

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June 13th, 2019

Precision Rifle EXPO Returns to Georgia in September 2019

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL

Practical/Tactical fans, mark your calendars. The Precision Rifle EXPO is back for its second year, running September 28-29, 2019 at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, Georgia. Last year, over 800 attendees came to the two-day event. This year, manufacturers will be showing off actions, optics, ammo, reloading equipment, stocks, chassis, electronics, supporting equipment (bags and tripods), rifles, triggers, suppressors, and much more. There will be training sessions on precision handloading, wind reading, marksmanship, ballistic devices, and introduction to competition.

The event lets precision rifle enthusiasts connect with top manufacturers, rifle instructors, and leading tactical competitors. You can Pre-Register for $35, or pay $50 at the door in September. Registration includes access to the exhibition tent and the range locations, plus the educational classes for both days.

Video Showcases Last Year’s Precision Rifle EXPO:

Precision Rifle Expo Series National Rifle League Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia September meeting

All Types of Products Will Be on Display
The Precision Rifle EXPO offers a unique opportunity to check out the latest products from dozens of top companies all in one place. We expect over 40 companies will be at the EXPO, displaying complete rifles, actions, triggers, stocks, optics, reloading gear, ammo, electronics, rangefinders, chronographs, ear protection, support bags, bipods, tripods, and all manner of accessories.

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL
Nick Gadarzi in Utah NRL match with Leupold Mark 5HD™ 5-25×56mm, TMR reticle

Precision Rifle EXPO 2018 Exhibitor List

NOTE: There may be some changes for 2019, but there should still be 40+ Exhibitors.

Accurate Ordnance
Alpha Munitions
Atlas (B&T Industries)
Area 419
Armageddon Gear
Barrett
Berger
Bushnell
Cole-TAC
Curtis Custom
Defiance
Federal
GA Precision
Hunts Long Range
Kahles
Kelbly’s
Kestrel
Knights Armament
Lapua
Magnetospeed
Manners Stocks
MasterPiece Arms
McMillan Stocks
McWhorter Rifles
MDT Chassis
Nightforce
Proof Research Barrels
RCBS
Really Right Stuff
Rugged Suppressors
Schmidt & Bender
Sierra
SK Ammo
Stillers Precision
Swarovski
Timney
Trigger Tech
Vortex
Vudoo Rifles
Warnes Scope Mounts
West Texas Ordnance
Whidden Gun Works

Precision Rifle Expo Arena Blakely GA Georgia PRS NRL

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres
The 2300-acre Arena Training Facility is a premier shooting facility with multiple shooting ranges from 50m to 2100m. Arena’s 1000-yard covered Known Distance range offers multiple benches, steel and paper targets out to 1000 yards. On Arena’s UKD (unknown distance) range shooters can engage steel out to 2300 yards. This 2100m UKD range boasts a 3-Story Shooting Tower, Air-Conditioned Shoot House, and multiple Positional Challenges.space.

arena training facility Georgia

The Arena Training Facility is located approximately two hours from the Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta, Georgia and is centrally located in the Southeastern USA.

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