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

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical 10 Comments »
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.

Permalink Gear Review, News, Tactical No Comments »
March 1st, 2019

GREAT Video Showcases PRS Finale in Australia

PRS NRL Vortex Precision Rifle Series Tactical Australia Victoria Aussie

PRS and NRL fans — and really anyone interested in “move and shoot” type competitions — should definitely watch this video. It’s excellent. No hype folks — this Editor has watched dozens of PRS/tactical videos and this is one of the best filmed and edited. You get a real feel for the competition — the challenges, the gun-handling, the hardware, and, of course, the camaraderie.

GREAT VIDEO — WATCH PRS Finale Down Under in Australia:

NOTE: Click Speaker Icon to play audio.

PRS NRL Vortex Precision Rifle Series Tactical Australia Victoria Aussie

This video covers the 2018 Vortex Season Finale in Buchan, Victoria, Australia. This was the culmination of the Australia Precision Rifle Series (AUS PRS). To say it looks like fun is an understatement. We wish we could have participated.

PRS NRL Vortex Precision Rifle Series Tactical Australia Victoria Aussie

More Aussie PRS Matches in 2019 Starting This Month
There are more Aussie Matches in 2019, starting with a Victoria match at the end of this month, on March 29-31, 2019. So far, FIVE matches are locked in for the 2019 season, with another TWO being planned:

March 29th – 31st | SSAA Mildura, VIC

May 10th – 12th | Pracitcal Shooting SA (Monarto, SA)

June 28th – 30th | Eagle Park SSAA, VIC

July 26th – 28th | SSAA Darwin, NT

September 27th – 29th | Biggenden Rifle Club, QLD

NOTE: Two more match dates are pending…

PRS NRL Vortex Precision Rifle Series Tactical Australia Victoria Aussie

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical 1 Comment »
January 19th, 2019

New PRS Production Class Rifle from MasterPiece Arms

MPA production facotry class PRS competition rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm curtis action mag feed

There’s a formidable new option for PRS Production Class. MasterPiece Arms (MPA) is bringing out a new tactical/practicalcompetition rig, officially called the MPA BA PMR Competition Rifle. This new rifle has a $1999.99 price tag, making it suitable for Production Class. It will be offered with Curtis Action fitted to an X-Caliber, hand-lapped 26″ match barrel. Three chamberings will be available: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester.

MPA production facotry class PRS competition rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm curtis action mag feed

This rifle is designed specifically for the Production Class requirements of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) and has been approved for use within this division. It includes many competition-related features while staying under the $2,000 price limit for this class. It is available in either a Black or Tungsten Cerakote® finish. Accuracy is helped with a very good barrel — an X-Caliber, hand-lapped 416R Stainless premium barrel with a polished finish. The chamber is indicated within 0.0001” or less to the bore of the rifle.

The MPA BA PMR Competition Rifle utilizes the MPA BA Ultra Lite Chassis, CNC-machined from 6061 aluminum. The V-bedding system provides additional clearance for glass bedding action and straight section of the barrel. The chassis also includes a built-in inclinometer, thumb notch, lower mounted Picatinny Rail, 20 MOA Scope Rail, A2 Style Pistol Grip and is R.A.T. System compatible. The MPA Buttstock comes with an adjustable cheek riser and length of pull that are locked in position with a series of set screws that are embedded into the buttstock body. This is the same system MPA uses on its Standard BA Chassis, but without the thumb wheels.

MPA production facotry class PRS competition rifle 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm curtis action mag feed

Permalink Competition, New Product, News, Tactical 4 Comments »
December 31st, 2018

New Mag-Fed Action Optimized for 6 Dasher and 6BR Family

Borden super short 6 action 6mmBR Dasher BR Ackley BRA 6

The 6BR Improved cases have become very popular in tactical competitions. In fact the Precision Rifle Blog reports that the majority of Top 10 PRS and NRL shooters are now running some version of the 6mmBR Norma case — such as the 6mm Dasher, 6BRX, or 6BR Ackley. In fact “40% of those ranked in the top 10 in either league were running a 6mm Dasher”. This short, fat 6BR improved case can push the 100-107gr bullets to 2950+ fps, a well-known accuracy node. Yes the 6mm Creedmoor and 6XC can push heavy 6mm projectiles faster to be sure, but there is a trade-off in barrel life. The 6BR Improved cases represent a “sweet spot” for the tactical game, offering outstanding accuracy, with less recoil than bigger cartridges, including the 6.5 Creedmoor.

The only real downside to the short/fat 6BR-based cartridges is that they can be finicky when feeding from a magazine, at least without some modifications to the follower and feed lips. There are kits that can help with this, but now there is an even better solution — a premium custom action designed specifically to feed the 6mm Dasher (and similar cartridges) from a magazine. This action, the Borden Super Short 6, was recently, unveiled on Facebook by PRS competitor John Hargett. This action, available in both right- and left-hand versions, features a dedicated new Super Short 6 (SS6) magazine optimized for Dasher-sized cartridges. The bolt has a shorter throw than a standard Rem short action. We think this new action could become VERY popular with tactical shooters, and varmint hunters.

John Hargett says: “Installing spacer kits or possibly having a nose dive in full-size .308 mag is in the past! This will fit all 700 stocks and chassis and AICS bottom metal. So no need to change what you are already using. Borden creates a masterful action at an extremely affordable price.”

Borden super short 6 action 6mmBR Dasher BR Ackley BRA 6mm

Key Facts about the Borden Super Short 6 Action and SS6 Magazine:

1. Rem 700 Footprint
— The Borden Super Short 6 action is internally tailored to the 6mmBR cartridge and its wildcats, but externally maintains Rem 700 action dimensions. This means the action IS compatible with the stock and chassis you currently own. And, the Borden Super Short 6 comes in both right-hand and left-hand versions, with PVD coating available (on action and/or bolt).

2. Rem Trigger Compatibility — The Borden Super Short 6 action works with Rem-compatible triggers, and the actions are specifically timed to work with trigger of your choice.

3. Dasher-friendly New Mag Design — The patent-pending Super Short 6 magazine is sized right for the 6mm Dasher and all the 6BR family. The follower and feed lips are configured to allow smooth, reliable feeding with no “magazine nose dives”. Even with the optimal design, the SS 6 magazine will work with all chassis profiles and bottom metal made for AICS-type magazines.

Borden super short 6 action 6mmBR Dasher BR Ackley BRA 6mm

Here is the description from Borden Rifles website:

“The new action from Borden Accuracy (Borden Super Short 6) features a Rem 700 short action-compatible footprint with a shortened magazine well and shortened port set up specifically to reliably feed 6 BR, 6 Dasher, 6 BRA, 22 BR cartridges. The bolt has modified Borden bumps to aid in cycling in the dirty environment. The pictured action shows our standard bolt handle and tear drop knob. Production models will feature a handle that is threaded on the end so individuals can use their preferred knobs. I have been one of the individuals that developed the bolt timing and neutral handoff with the trigger for competition shooting to minimize rifle upset in the bags when closing the bolt. These actions will be available with either the neutral timed handoff or with about .03 to .035 inch cock on close. The cock on close option has much easier bolt lift that seems to be favored by PRS competitors. For now the bolts will have spiral flutes but future versions will have diamond flutes as an option. Development work will be done to also handle the .223 Rem and the PPC family.”

Precision Rifle Blog 6mmBR Dasher BR Ackley BRA 6mm

6mm Dasher and 6BR Wildcats Favored by Top PRS/NRL Shooters

According to the Precision Rifle Blog:

1. The vast majority of PRS Shooters surveyed are now shooting a 6mm cartridge of some kind.

2. While the 6mm Creedmoor is still very popular, the 6mm Dasher is now the #1 cartridge among leading PRS and NRL competitors surveyed. (SEE Chart HERE)

3. If you include the 6BRX, 6BRA, and original 6mmBR cartridge along with the 6mm Dasher, this full family of short, fat cartridges is now used by twice as many top PRS/NRL competitors as the 6mm Creedmoor. And the 6.5 Creedmoor has really fallen from favor.


Credit Boyd Allen for Borden Action product find. Credit PRB for data on PRS/NRL cartridge use.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, New Product, Tactical 9 Comments »
November 13th, 2018

CZ 455 .22 LR Varmint Precision Trainer in Manners Stock

CZ  455 rimfire precision PRS trainer .22 LR smallbore video TFBTV manners stock

Rimfire cross-training allows PRS competitors to build their skill sets without breaking the bank (or burning out nice custom barrels). One great .22 LR option for cross-training is offered by CZ (Česká Zbrojovka), the Czech arms-maker. The TFBTV video below spotlights the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer (VPT), a smooth-running .22 LR bolt action. This factory rifle was designed specifically as a training tool for precision long-range competition. It boasts a Manners composite stock and 20.5 or 24-inch heavy barrel. The 0.866″-diameter tube is threaded and suppressor-ready. The model 455 VPT is mag-fed and comes with a crisp trigger that adjusts to two pounds. Street price is around $830. That’s pricey for a rimfire — but you’re getting a premium Manners stock that would cost $534 by itself.

Field Testing the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer

.22 LR Rimfire from 50 to 300 Yards
CZ  455 rimfire precision PRS trainer .22 LR smallbore video TFBTV manners stockThe CZ 455 VPT proved accurate, recording half-inch groups at 50 yards with SK ammo: “[we] shot CCI standard, Federal match, and SK match through the rifle. It liked the SK ammo the best.” One goal of this test was to see how a .22 LR could perform beyond typical rimfire ranges, so reviewer Joel Wise (Precision Rifle Network) tested this rifle all the way out to 300 yards. Groups were about 1″ at 100 yards, but opened up considerably at 200 and 300. Joel concluded 300 yards was a practical max. We know that some tactical rimfire matches set targets out that far, but we think 200 yards might be a better practical limit for matches run with smallbore rifles. It’s not just the problem of running out of elevation in your scope. At 300 yards the effect of the wind is huge.

CZ  455 rimfire precision PRS trainer .22 LR smallbore video TFBTV manners stock

The CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer (VPT) features a mag-fed CZ 455 action, with .866″-diameter heavy barrel, in a rigid, high-tech Manners Composite stock. Feeding was very reliable.

CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer

The 455 VPT offers the same look and feel of a full-size tactical rifle. This 455 uses a Manners MCS-T4 stock assuring a rock solid platform for the 455 barreled action. The outer shell of the MCS-T4 is made with carbon fiber and fiber glass in multiple layers. The stocks can be custom-ordered with a heavy fill to match your current rifle weight to truly duplicate its feel.

Manners VPT Stock Available for Other Rimfire Platforms
Manners Composite Stocks offers versions of the CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer stock design that can be used with other barreled actions: “The 455 VPT stock is based on our MCS-T4 design. We offer this, fully inletted with pillars, for a variety of rimfire actions: Sako Quad, Savage Mark II, CZ 452, CZ 453, along with the 455.”

CZ 455 Varmint Precision Trainer

Inletting is complete, so this will be a drop-in solution if you already own one of the listed rimfire rifles. Tom Manners notes: “With this stock, some guys will bed the rear area of their action, but that’s not necessary — you can pretty much bolt ‘em in and go”.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical 1 Comment »
October 25th, 2018

PRS Basics — Getting Started in the Precision Rifle Series

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 four years worth of match results from the best tactical shooters in the nation. CLICK HERE to read a PRB article that reveals what 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

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
October 19th, 2018

National Rifle League Championship This Weekend in Oregon

National Rifle League NRL Vale Oregon Idaho Precision Rifle Shotoers of Idaho PRSID

It the world of practical/tactical competition there are now two major sponsoring organizations — the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) and the National Rifle League (NRL). The PRS has the most matches (and greater name recognition), but the NRL is definitely on the rise with some great events at sites around the country. This weekend, October 19th-21st, the NRL conducts its 2018 NRL National Championship at the Snake River Sportsman Range in Vale, Oregon. The 2018 NRL Championship will be hosted by the Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho (PRSID).

National Rifle League NRL Vale Oregon Idaho Precision Rifle Shotoers of Idaho PRSID

This is the final 2-day, National-level match of the NRL’s second season. The event will feature the season’s Top Competitors, plus Ladies, “Young Guns”, and special invitees. NRL President Travis Ishida told us: “The NRL is excited to have the opportunity to bring professional-level events to shooters across the nation. Our Championship is a culmination of a season’s hard work from everyone involved to find out who the best precision rifle competitor in the nation is. This match is going to be epic!”

National Rifle League NRL Vale Oregon Idaho Precision Rifle Shotoers of Idaho PRSID

CLICK HERE for NRL 2018 Championship Event Information »

NRL 2017 Championship Teaser Reel

NRL New Mexico NMLRS Event

NRL Mile-High Shoot-Out

2018 NRL Test The Best Oktoberfest Championship

Match Directors: Nate Lauerman / Jack Wilson
Event Cost: $275.00
Dates: October 19, 20, 21 (2018)
Round Count: 200 plus extra for sight-in/zero
Location: Snake River Sportsman range in Vale, Oregon
3600 Lytle Blvd, Vale, OR 97918

Precision Rifle Shooters of Idaho hosts the 2018 NRL Test the Best Oktoberfest Championship match. This match will determine the 2018 NRL Champion. Competitors who competed in the 2018 NRL season and received qualifying scores are invited to this match.

The closest airport is Boise, Idaho, 77 miles to the Southeast. Participants can stay at the Clarion Hotel in Ontario, Oregon, 20 miles from the Championship venue, the Snake River Sportsman Range. The Clarion offers discounted rates for NRL competitors.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
September 7th, 2018

Past PRS Champion Showcases Barricade Skills in New Video

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

Report by Craig Arnzen, Area 419
As the PRS and other tactical/practical competitions continue to grow, a guy tends to wonder, just how good are the top competitors? And what are they actually doing (and viewing) as they complete a stage? Well, a great video from the new Long Range Precision Shooters YouTube Channel let us see what the best in the sport see through their scopes when they shoot.

This video features Dave Preston, 2015 National Champion and perennial powerhouse, shooting the PRS Skills barricade. Dave Preston is widely considered the best in the nation running this PRS stage. Dave nearly always shoots 100% with the fastest recorded time. In this video you’ll see him successfully engage all eight shots in under 43 seconds — that’s crazy fast. This includes a POV sequence (4:35 time-mark) showing the actual view through Dave’s scope as he completes the stage.

Watch this video! Dave offers excellent advice on gun-handling and body positioning for barricades. Listen to what he says and you WILL shoot better.

This video features the PRS Skills Barricade, an 8-round, 4-position stage featured at the majority of PRS matches throughout country. It’s called a “Skills Stage” as it is run the same way at every national match and gives shooters the ability to compare skill levels based on hit percentage and speed.

The target is a 10″ plate at 400 yards. There are four different positions, with two shots each. Most people run this stage in about 70 seconds, some in the mid-60s, the greats in the high 50s, and Dave does it in the low 40s… mighty impressive!

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

The Right Gear Aids Stability and Lets You Shoot Faster
Let’s also take a look at two pieces of gear that really helped Dave Preston get stable and shoot fast.

1. BARRICADE BAG — To Get Stable, Really Stable
In the video Dave is using a Solo Sac from Short Action Precision This bag was designed by USMC Solomon Mansalala, and $5 of every purchase goes to help the Marine Scout Snipers buy gear. It’s a very soft/dense bag and is popular at matches.

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

The other bag that sees a LOT of use, and is far and away the most used, is the patented Gamechanger Bag from Reasor Precision Solutions and Armageddon Gear.

2. MUZZLE BRAKE — To Make Your Follow-Up Faster
You’ll notice that in the video the rifle is very steady through firing, even though he is not applying a lot of pressure to the rifle. Dave is using a Hellfire Muzzle Brake from Area 419. Combined with the soft-recoiling 6mmBR cartridge he is able to spot his impacts and make adjustments, and can also make very fast follow-up shots as his rifle hasn’t bounced way off target.

PRS Tactical precision Dave David Preston 2015 National Champion POV video barricade stage

More Long Range Precision Shooters Videos Coming Soon
I think this series from Long Range Precision Shooters (LRPS) will be a good one. They already have a couple more videos ready to release including one with 2018 King of 2 Miles Champion Robert Brantley. CLICK HERE for the LRPS YouTube Channel.

This TECH TIP brought to you by Area 419
Oven anneal annealing Alpha Munitions Craig Arnzen Area419.com

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Shooting Skills, Tactical 1 Comment »
April 23rd, 2018

MasterPiece Arms Chassis Systems Used by PRS Winners

Masterpiece arms chassis systems PRS tactical

Looks like MasterPiece Arms (MPA) stocks are a top choice for the tactical game. MPA chassis systems have been used to WIN 5 of the last 12 matches in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS). The MPA BA Chassis was used by David Preston to win the Carolina PRS Match, Defiance Long Range Shooting Experience (LRSE), and Rocky Mountain Mayhem PRS Match; by Matt Brousseau to win the Bushnell Lonestar Challenge; and by Matt Rooks to win the MPA Spring Shootout. Five of twelve works out to a 42% win percentage — pretty impressive considering all the stock/chassis options on the market today.

Masterpiece arms chassis systems PRS tactical

The MPA BA Chassis was recently surveyed to be the number one chassis/stock system used by PRS competitors in the PRS 2017 Finale Gear Survey. It experienced a 900% increase in use in 2017 from 2016, which was by far the biggest jump among all chassis systems used by PRS competitors.

Masterpiece arms chassis systems PRS tactical

MPA’s president, Phil Cashin, is an active PRS shooter. He finished in the top 100 in 2017 and qualified for the finale last year. Cashin, shown in the video below, regularly tests out new ideas and upgrades in actual competition and he regularly seeks out feedback from top tactical competitors. As they say, competition improves the breed.

Masterpiece arms chassis systems PRS tactical

MPA Production Class Rifle
MPA also offers a PRS Production Class Rifle (PCR) using the MPA Chassis system mated to a Savage Model 12 action. Production Class rifles may cost no more than $2000.00 before optics. Designed specifically for the new PRS Production Class, MPA’s PCR Competition Rifle offers many premium features yet stays under the $2,000 Class limit. The Savage action is upgraded with a Rifle Basix 2-lb trigger, and the adjustable, modular chassis offers a bag rider, barricade stop, and built-in bubble level.

Masterpiece arms chassis systems PCR PRS tactical

For more information on the MasterPiece Arms product line of rifles, chassis systems and accessories, visit www.Masterpiecearms.com.

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Tactical No Comments »
April 1st, 2018

PRS Launches New AirGun Series — Affordable Tactical Fun

Precision Rifle Series Tac Comps Tactical Practical GAP Air gun Airsoft PRASS Series

Practical/Tactical shooting disciplines such as the Precision Rifle Series are today’s fastest-growing forms of rifle shooting competition. More and more shooters are enjoying the fun of tactical-style matches shot “on the clock” from a host of challenging positions. PRS competitors must rapidly engage a number of reactive and steel targets, while shooting offhand, prone, behind barricades, off tripods, and from a wide range of other positions.

The popularity of the original centerfire PRS format, which now draws hundreds of competitors at major matches, spawned a PRS spin-off for rimfire shooters. A year ago, the Precision Rimfire Challenge (PRC) was launched. Modeled on centerfire PRS competition, the PRC is a new .22 LR rimfire shooting game. Call it “PRS Lite” — a practical-style, multi-stage match shot with .22 LR bolt-action and self-loading rimfire rifles.

With the success of rimfire tac comps, the PRS has decided it’s time for air-gunners to join the fun. Starting in May 2018, the PRS will offer airgun side-matches at the most popular PRS events, including the High Mountain Shootout (June), Heatstroke Open (July), and GAP Grind (October). Sponsored by AirGun WareHouse, the new PRS airgun side-matches will be run as a new, season-long Precision Rifle AirSoft Series (PRASS). Competitors can use a variety of pneumatic airguns from makers such as Beretta, Crosman, FN Airsoft, and KWA Airsoft.

“The Precision Rifle AirSoft Series (PRASS) is perfect for newcomers to the tactical game who want to start with a low-cost, ultra-safe competitive experience that still offers the look and feel of the PRS tactical lifestyle. It’s great for young people as well as individuals who may be wary of real firearms. This may prove ideal for Millenials.” — PRS Competition Committee

Precision Rifle Series Tac Comps Tactical Practical GAP Air gun Airsoft PRASS Series
If PRS (PR-“Es”) costs too much, try PRASS (PR-“Ass”), the AirSoft version. With AirSoft rifles costing less than $150.00, PRASS is way more affordable!

PRS Marketing VP Jeff Wilson expects the AirSoft Series to be a huge success: “We know that most purchasers of tactical-style rifles rarely, if ever, actually shoot their guns because it takes too much time to train, and the cost of ammo is prohibitive. In addition, many new shooters are sensitive to the noise and recoil of actual firearms. And, let’s face it, some guys want to look tough, but they’re really just weenies. Our AirSoft Series addresses all those concerns. The guns are inexpensive, the ‘ammo’ costs pennies, and the air is always free!” Wilson also noted that airguns provide an ideal introduction to the shooting sports for newcomers: “Airguns are easy to shoot, and they can be purchased without background checks or waiting periods. They are great starter tools for new shooters. You can experience our full PRS tactical lifestyle at a fraction of the price. While these days PRS is just too costly for many, PRASS will be affordable for all!”

Precision Rifle Series Tac Comps Tactical Practical GAP Air gun Airsoft PRASS Series
The AGM MK96 AirSoft Rifle looks just like the real thing. Yet it costs just $131.95 with optic. That’s less than 5% of what a good centerfire PRS rig would cost! CLICK HERE to order — No FFL Required!

The Precision Rifle AirSoft Series (PRASS) Offers Low-Cost Tactical Fun:

Permalink Competition, Tactical 3 Comments »
February 25th, 2018

PRS Continues to Grow — 49 Major Matches Set for 2018

PRS 2018 Match Schedule

Forty-Nine Major PRS Matches — Thousands of Participants
The Precision Rifle Series (PRS) for tactical-style rifles, remains one of the fastest-growing forms of rifle competition. For 2018, there will be more matches, in more venues around the country. This year’s PRS will include 43 Bolt Gun Series matches and six (6) Gas Gun Series matches. The bolt gun matches average 120 to 150 shooters while the gas gun matches typically draw 70 to 100 shooters. In addition to the Pro Series, there’s the PRS Club Series, which is estimated to have 2,000 to 3,000 participants.


2018 Bolt Gun Series Schedule | 2018 Gas Gun Series Schedule

The GAP Grind is always one of the most popular PRS matches of the year.
GAP G.A. Precision grind

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Many of our readers are thinking of trying out PRS-type competition. 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 article about getting started in PRS. this Getting Started article will help PRS novices pick the right equipment and understand the game. You may also want to read the PRS FAQ Page.

This Video Shows Highlights from a Major PRS Match

Hornady Commits to $50,000 Sponsorship
One of the reasons for the success of the PRS is the support of major sponsors such as Armalite, Bushnell, Nightforce, and now Hornady. Nebraska-based Hornady Manufacturing has become a sponsor of the 2018 Precision Rifle Series at the $50,000/year Patriot Level. Mollie Tobias, PRS Sponsorship director, explained the importance of sponsors such as Hornady. “Hornady, being one of the most respected brands in reloading components, is the perfect fit to help us appeal to and educate our shooters,” she said. “Hornady’s name recognition and brand reputation are a huge help to our series and communicate to the members that we are a premier series working with premier brands.”

We are pleased to see Hornady as a sponsor. Hornady produces loaded ammo as well as brass and bullets. According to PRS surveys of its members, many of those shooters are interested in reloading, and reloading supplies (bullets, brass, and powder) are among the most requested items for match prize tables.

PRS Gas Gun Series Precision Rifle

Permalink Competition, Tactical 1 Comment »
November 30th, 2017

How to Get Started in the PRS Game

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.

Watch PRS 2012 Championship (Click arrows icon to view full-screen version.)

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 three years worth of match results (2014, 2015, 2016) from the best tactical shooters in the nation. CLICK HERE to read an article that reveals what the “top guns” use. (CLICK HERE for PRB cartridge survey covering 2012-2014.)

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

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

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Tactical 5 Comments »
October 16th, 2017

PRS for the Very First Time — Gavin Gear Goes Gas Gun

Gavin Gear PRS Precision Rifle Series 22 Nosler AR15

Thinking of trying out the Precision Rifle Series, starting off with a gas gun? Well Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com did just that, competing in his first-ever PRS match up in Washington State. With its timed stages (some just 90 seconds long), Gavin learned that PRS is about speed as well as accuracy. As a PRS newbie, Gavin found the competition fun but challenging. Gavin’s account of his experiences, set forth in two articles with accompanying videos, will help other novice PRS competitors prepare for PRS-type matches and assemble the right equipment.


READ Gavin PRS MATCH REPORT | READ Gavin PRS GEAR REPORT

What PRS is All About
PRS is all about pushing your rifle skills to edge. You may have to hit targets at four different distances in 90 seconds- and dial in your dope between each shot. These kinds of challenges are super-difficult, but with enough experience and practice, it’s amazing what you can do. I saw guys that were so smooth, steady, fast, and accurate, it was mind blowing! It doesn’t come easy, and the guys at the top of the heap are super-dedicated. — Gavin Gear

This video has cool Aerial Drone footage, and in-depth explanation of stages:

Gavin’s First PRS Match: The Experience

By: Ultimate Reloader
Gavin told us that he’s wanted to try out the PRS game: “For a long time I’ve talked with friends about trying out a PRS-style match. Life has been busy, but when the right opportunity came, I decided to give it a try. My friend and shooting partner Jim Findlay offered to help me prepare, and told me it would be ‘fun to shoot gas guns together’. I decided I would shoot an AR-15, and thought that would be an ideal opportunity to try something new — the 22 Nosler. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting myself into, but that’s typically the way things happen when you’re really trying something new. It was a great experience, and it taught me a lot about shooting. I also made some great connections and friends during the match. If you are at all interested in PRS (Precision Rifle Series, or just Precision Rifle in general) I would suggest you enter and compete in a match. You most likely won’t regret it.”

READ Full Story of Gavin’s First PRS Match »

Gavin enjoyed his first match: “Overall, the match was more fun and more laid back than I thought it would be. The guys in our squad were all really helpful, and even loaned me gear to try out when they noticed my gear wasn’t right for a particular shooting activity. One such case was when Ken Gustafson (of KYL Gear) offered to loan me one of the bags he had made. Below you can see me shooting off the infamous unstable tippy tank trap with a KYL Gear bag, and I’ll have to say [the bag] was amazing. It helped me lock down my rifle and get on target. What a great feeling!”

Gavin did experience issues with his “stout” 22 Nosler loads: “I did run into some trouble — I had loaded my 22 Nosler rounds to max charge weight with Varget powder and experienced some failure-to-feed issues during the match. Initially I thought my bolt needed more lubrication, but [it was] between 96 – 100°F during the hottest part of the Match day.” With the ultra-high ambient temperatures, Gavin experienced over-pressure. Word to the wise — “Test everything you plan to use on match day, and take into account things like weather conditions as well”.

Gear Choices and Selection

Ultimate Reloader ultimatereloader.com PRS Gavin Gear match report 22 Nosler AR-15

Gavin tells us: “In order to be successful in a PRS match, you need a rifle that is accurate enough, extremely reliable, has great ergonomics, handles well, and fits your budget.”

READ Full PRS Gear Article on UltimateReloader.com »

22 Nosler AR-15 rifle used by Gavin in the PRS match
18″ 1:8-twist 22 Nosler Upper
Two Stage Match Trigger – .154″ Hi-Speed DMR (GEISSELE AUTOMATICS)
Hogue AR-15 rubber grip
Magpul PRS stock
Harris S-BRM 6-9″ bipod
Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm scope

Action Type — Bolt vs. Semi: While most PRS competitors use bolt-action rifles, there are classes of competition that specifically call for semi-automatic actions to be used. Even so, in Open Class where you can pick which action type you’d like to use, there’s a split between the two for various reasons. I used an AR-15 in my first match, and for comparison, I think I’ll use a bolt-action rifle in my next match!

Support — Bipods and Bags: I think the first thing I said when trying to shoot from a barricade was: ‘You have to be kidding’. For someone used to prone shots from a bipod (when shooting long-range) this new challenge seemed impossible. My reticle was literally all over the place trying to shoot a target at 400 yards. But over time things improved drastically! Part of this improvement came from practice and technique, and part came from using the right support systems, such as the Game Changer Bag from Armaggedon Gear:

Ultimate Reloader ultimatereloader.com PRS Gavin Gear match report 22 Nosler AR-15
Photo Courtesy Accurate Ordnance.

All the Gear Items You Need — Bags, Bipods, Optics and More
UltimateReloader.com’s PRS Gear Summary covers Rifle Choice (gas gun vs. bolt-action), chambering options, optics, support systems (bipods and bags), dope cards, accessories and much more. Both novice and experienced PRS competitors will find this article well worth reading.

Permalink Competition, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
July 24th, 2017

MasterPiece Arms Releases Rimfire Tactical Rifle

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire
Don’t worry — you can get this gun in eight different Cerakote colors: black, bronze, flat dark earth, gunmetal, marine red, NRA blue, green, and tungsten.

PRS and tactical shooters take note — you can now buy what may be the perfect “turn-key” PRS rimfire cross-training rig. The new rimfire MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle combines the proven CZ 455 action with a custom Spencer barrel and modern MPA modular chassis. With this chassis you can easily adjust length of pull, butt-pad height/cant, and cheek riser position. Chambered in .22 LR, the MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle can change to .22 WMR and 17 HMR through a simple barrel change. So, this gun can do double duty as a .22 LR trainer and a 17 HMR varmint slayer. Basic MSRP is $1599.00.

The MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle is available with numerous rugged Cerakote finishes: black, burnt bronze, flat dark earth, gunmetal, marine red, NRA blue, sniper green, and tungsten. Custom Cerakote colors cost $135 extra for the chassis body and/or $65 for the barreled action.

MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle Specifications:
Caliber: .22 LR (.22 WMR and 17 HMR via barrel change)
Action: CZ 455
Chassis: MPA CZ455 BA Chassis, 13.50″ – 14.75″ LOP
Barrel: 416RQ Stainless Steel Spencer / MPA barrel, 1:16″ twist
Barrel Length/Countour: 16-24” (customer specified), 0.920″ straight
Barrel Muzzle Thread: ½-28 TPI (if requested)
Trigger: CZ 455 Trigger (yoDave Trigger Upgrade, 1-3 lbs.)
Magazine: CZ 455 10 round polymer magazine with DIP floorplate
MSRP: $1,599.00

The CNC-machined MPA chassis has some very cool features: enhanced vertical grip, thumb notch, built-in bubble level, MPA trigger shoe, and spigot mount with lower-mounted Picatinny rail. The rig comes with a D.I.P. +25 MOA Picatinny scope base and you can add side Picatinny rails, as well as increase the distance from the spigot-mounted bipod to the rear support. The chassis is also compatible with a barricade stop system, an extra-cost option.

Why rimfire cross-training? Because this stuff is ten cents per round. Premium handloads can run $1.00/round (counting brass depreciation), and the best factory ammo can cost over $2.00/round.
tactical .22 LR rimfire norma

A Rifle is Only As Good As Its Barrel
The key to accuracy for any rimfire rifle is a great barrel. The MPA 22BA Bolt Action Rifle includes a precision drilled, reamed, and honed Spencer / MPA rifle barrel made from 416RQ stainless steel. The hand-lapped barrel is inspected with a video borescope. The chamber is indicated within 0.0001” or less to the bore of the rifle.

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, News No Comments »
June 20th, 2017

Tactical Twins: Micarta-Stocked PRS Rigs for SFC Brandon Green

SFC Brandon Green PRS Rifle Micarta Foundation Stocks

What does a two-time High Power National Champion choose for PRS comps? A set of twins. Twin rifles that is. SFC Brandon Green of the USAMU is one of America’s best marksmen. He’s excelled in Service Rifle and High Power disciplines, and now he’s getting very serious about the Precision Rifle Series (PRS). Brandon recently took delivery of “Twins” — two impressive rifles optimized for PRS competition. Green told us: “The Twins are ready for business! The silver one is a 6XC and the black one is a 6.5×47 Lapua”. Both rifles feature Impact Precision actions (with AICS-type mags), 24″ Proof stainless barrels, and Fat Bastard muzzle brakes. Rifle work was done by Stuteville Precision (Wade Stuteville) and Exodus Rifles (Joe Walls).

SFC Brandon Green PRS Rifle Micarta Foundation Stocks
In the 6XC, Brandon runs Berger 105gr VLDs in Norma 6XC brass. For the 6.5×47 Lapua he shoots 140gr Berger Hybrids or 143gr Hornady ELD-Xs in Lapua brass. Both rifles have stainless steel Proof barrels, but the 6.5x47L has a matte black Cerakote finish.

Brandon loves his new Twins. He said he likes the “feel” of the guns with the Foundation stocks: “These rifles weigh around 17 pounds with optics. They feel very solid under recoil — without the ‘tuning fork’ vibration you can get with a metal-chassis gun. They feel like a good wood-stocked gun, but the material is stronger and more rigid than wood. I’ve heard that guys are having success with these Foundation stocks with the actions installed without pillars or conventional bedding.” Currently Brandon is running both guns without action-screw pillars. He did have one skim-bedded, but he doesn’t think that was really needed. “Both rifles hammer now”, Brandon tells us.

Green Runs Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56mm FFP scopes on both rifles:
SFC Brandon Green PRS Rifle Micarta Foundation Stocks

High-Tech Micarta Stock Material
At first glance, those stocks may look like wood, but they are actually a special “Micarta” material that is strong, durable, and stable. Micarta, often used for knife handles, is a “a brand name for composites of fiberglass, carbon fiber, or other fabric in a thermosetting plastic.” The stock-maker, Foundation Stocks, says Micarta offers some distinct advantages over laminated wood or conventional fiberglass: “The solid block of material gives us a dense, homogenous material that is absent of any voids or air pockets commonly found in composite stocks. The high compression strength of the material allows us to build an action/DBM specific stock that requires no bedding or pillars. The material is very durable and stable in extreme environments. We use advanced CAD software to design and model our stocks, working in conjunction with action manufacturers and rifle builders to provide exact fitment.”

Here is a close-up of a Foundation Stock showing the distinctive Micarta texture:
SFC Brandon Green PRS Rifle Micarta Foundation Stocks

Tactical Competition vs. NRA High Power Competition
Brandon says PRS competition is tough: “PRS can be pretty humbling, but it’s been a lot of fun and a great challenge. For a shooter (like me) with a Service Rifle/High Power background, the variations in stages combined with the time limits can be very challenging. And the unusual shooting positions put a new spin on things. PRS is definitely a different ball game, but I really enjoy it. After the National Championships this summer I hope to shoot three or four PRS matches in September and October.”

SFC Brandon Green 2015 High Power National Championship
SFC Brandon Green honored as the 2015 High Power National Champion.

Life before the Twins… Here is Brandon, with his previous PRS rig, at the MasterPiece Arms Precision Rifle Shootout, a PRS event at the CORE Shooting Solutions Range in Florida:

SFC Brandon Green PRS Rifle Micarta Foundation Stocks

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Tactical 13 Comments »
June 17th, 2017

Tactical TV — 6.5 Guys Interview Leading Tactical Match Directors

6.5 Guys sniper's hide PRS precision rifle national rifle league video interviews shot show 2017

Are you a tactical competitor, or are you considering getting started in the PRS series or other practical shooting competition? Then here are three videos you’ll definitely want to watch. Ed Mobley and Steve Lawrence, aka the 6.5 Guys, interview PRS Director Shawn Wiseman, as well as the founders of the New National Rifle League. In addition, the 6.5 Guys catch up with Frank Galli, founder of Sniper’s Hide. These three interviews cover important developments in the tactical/practical disciplines, such as the new PRS Gas Gun Series.

Precision Rifle Series — Shawn Wiseman
6.5 Guys: We sat down with Shawn Wiseman of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS). We discussed the new divisions (gas gun and tactical) as well as the club series. We got authoritative answers in response to the many questions that have been floating around. Shawn discussed the challenges the PRS has faced with its rapid growth and how these challenges have been addressed.

6.5 Guys sniper's hide PRS precision rifle national rifle league video interviews shot show 2017

National Rifle League — Tyler Frehner and Travis Ishida
6.5 Guys: We met with Tyler Frehner and Travis Ishida of the new National Rifle League (NRL). The NRL is 501(c)3 non-profit organization that conducts a series of practical/tactical style matches around the country and promotes a range of outdoors-related public interest activities. The interview covers the formation of the National Rifle League, the goals of the program, and the match schedule for 2017.


6.5 Guys sniper's hide PRS precision rifle national rifle league video interviews shot show 2017

Snipers Hide — Frank Galli
6.5 Guys: Frank Galli shared his observations from SHOT Show as well as the future of Sniper’s Hide. Frank has been a terrific mentor and supporter of the 6.5 Guys. Frank talks about important developments for the Sniper’s Hide Forum. In addition, Frank discusses the evolution of the tactical disciplines and precision rifle hardware.

6.5 Guys sniper's hide PRS precision rifle national rifle league video interviews shot show 2017

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical 1 Comment »
May 26th, 2017

NEW Federal Factory Ammo Loaded with Berger Bullets

Berger Bullets Gold Medal Berger Federal ammo ammunition 6.5 Grendel 6.5 Creedmoor PRS tactical .223 Rem .308 Win

This is a very interesting development. Federal will produce a line of Federal Gold Medal ammunition loaded with Berger Bullets match projectiles and GM Match primers. The new Gold Medal Berger ammo will initially be offered for: .223 Remington, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. We expect this ammo to attract the attention of tactical and PRS shooters — Berger projectiles are currently favored by top PRS competitors. Depending on caliber, three different high-BC bullet types will be used: BT Target, Hybrid OTM, or Juggernaut OTM. These all feature a boat-tail design with a high BC for bullet weight. The 6.5 calibers will use Berger’s popular 130gr Berger Hybrid OTM bullet while the .308 Win uses the 185gr Juggernaut.

This new Gold Medal Berger ammo uses Federal Gold Medal match primers, Federal brass, and specially-formulated propellants. All the ammo is well under SAAMI-spec max OALs to function 100% in magazines. Federal says this ammo will “adhere to Federal Premium’s strictest specifications for accuracy, pressure and velocity”. This new GM Berger ammo line could be a match-worthy alternative for guys who don’t want to hand-load. We’re going to try some in 6.5 Creedmoor and see how it performs in terms of accuracy, ES/SD, ballistics, and temp stability. Should be an interesting test…

FEATURES of Gold Medal Berger Ammo:
• Most popular bullets at Precision Rifle Series events
• High ballistic coefficient
• Less wind drift and drop (than typical factory ammo)
• Excellent long-range accuracy
• Gold Medal match primer

Berger Bullets Gold Medal Berger Federal ammo ammunition 6.5 Grendel 6.5 Creedmoor PRS tactical .223 Rem .308 Win

Berger Bullets Gold Medal Berger Federal ammo ammunition 6.5 Grendel 6.5 Creedmoor PRS tactical .223 Rem .308 Win

Part No. / Description / MSRP
GM223BH73 / .223 Rem. 73-grain Berger BT Target / $32.95
GM65GDLBH130 / 6.5 Grendel 130-grain Berger Hybrid OTM / $34.95
GM65CRDBH130 / 6.5 Creedmoor 130-grain Berger Hybrid OTM / $34.95
GM308BH185 / .308 Win 185-grain Berger Juggernaut OTM / $34.95

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
May 17th, 2017

PRS 101: Practical Shooter’s Guide by Marcus Blanchard

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.”

Marcus Blanchard Practical Shooter's Guide

Blanchard also offers good tips on shooting fundamentals. Here’s an example:

Blanchard on Trigger Control
“There will always be some amount of wobble when shooting in positions other than prone, and timing the shot to go off when the reticle is within the target is difficult to accomplish when poor trigger techniques are employed. The most common [mistake] I have seen is ‘slapping’ the trigger. The finger is usually hovering off the trigger, and when the shooter determines that NOW is the time to fire, they quickly pull their finger to the rear and ‘slap’ the trigger. The finger never pulls the trigger in the same place and often provokes a sympathetic contraction of the rest of the muscles in the hand, which results in unwanted movement before the bullet exits the muzzle.”

Author Marcus Blanchard has the credentials. A Marine Corps veteran, Blanchard is a regular Top 10 finisher in Precision Rifle Series events. In 2015 Blanchard was ranked 8th overall (nationwide) in the PRS series at year’s end. In 2016 Blanchard won the New Mexico Precision Rifleman’s Championship.

Check out the Table of Contents to see the Topics Covered:

Practical Shooter's Guide Tactical training book
Click image above to view larger Table of Contents.

6.5 Guys Recommend Practical Shooter’s Guide
The 6.5 Guys have reviewed Blanchard’s book and they recommend it highly: “What’s a good book for the beginning shooter who wants to get into long range precision rifle or the intermediate shooter who wants to improve his scores? [The Practical Shooter’s Guide] is particularly useful because it explores firing from various positions and props that are encountered in long range precision rifle [events]. This knowledge is completely missing from more traditional books where the shooter is usually slung up and shooting at a paper target. Marcus… goes into considerable detail about shooting from rooftops, reverse rooftops, side slopes, tank traps, barricades etc. This is the type of information that is very difficult to find. We consider ourselves reasonably knowledgeable shooters and this book provided us with new and useful information.” CLICK HERE for 6.5 Guys REVIEW.

6.5 Guys Review Marcus Blanchard’s Practical Shooter’s Guide

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
February 14th, 2017

PRS Gas Gun Series Kicks Off This Weekend in Florida

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

The Precision Rifle Series (PRS) for tactical bolt guns has become hugely popular. Capitalizing on that success, the PRS has approved a new Gas Gun series for semi-auto rifles such as AR15s and AR10s. Since the launch of the PRS a few seasons back, Gas Gun shooters have wanted to play. Recognizing the interest among semi-auto shooters, the PRS ran two “prototype” Gas Gun matches last year.

PRS Director Shawn Wiseman Explains New Gas Gun Series in this Video:

Based on positive feedback from the 2016 test matches, PRS founders approved a full 2017 Gas Gun series which kicks off this week. The 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series opener will be held February 17-19, 2017 at the CORE Shooting Solutions range in Baker, Florida. Here’s a video showing CORE’s facility:

For the new PRS Gas Gun Series, rules and scoring procedures needed to be developed. Accordingly, a committee of top PRS shooters, Multi-Gun shooters, and Match Directors was assembled to develop the PRS Gas Gun Series Rule Book. Highlights of the Rules are listed below.

Last month, Shooting Sports USA interviewed PRS President Shawn Wiseman. In a Question and Answer session, Wiseman outlined key elements of the new “Gasser” PRS series. Here are samples from that interview:

SSUSA: What will be the format of the 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series matches?
Wiseman: The matches will be a two day format with 8 to 10 stages per day. No more than 50 percent of the stages can be unlimited round count and 25 percent of the targets must be 2 MOA or smaller. The scoring will be overall time plus penalties with the winner being the shooter with the fastest time including all penalties. There are three Divisions; Tactical Light for 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Rem. rifles, Tactical Heavy for 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Win., and Open for everything else up to .30 cal. The maximum distance will be 800 yards.

SSUSA: What guns do you expect to be popular?
Wiseman: In the Open Division, I expect to see a lot of 6.5 Creedmoors for two main reasons; it’s an inherently accurate cartridge and Hornady makes great ammo for the folks that aren’t into reloading. I think the Tactical Light Division will probably be the most popular. It is hard to say specifically what rifles will be the most popular but there are a few AR companies that are known for the accuracy. Armalite, GA Precision, LaRue and Seekins will all be very popular rifles in this Series. I think we will continue to see high-end optics with 5 to 6X zoom range on the rifles. Bushnell, Kahles, Leupold, Nightforce and Vortex will continue to be the most popular.

PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

PRS Gas Gun Series Rules

For the new PRS “Gasser” Competition, the PRS developed rules on gun types, scoring, match timing, penalties, safety and other key topics. CLICK HERE for Full PRS Gas Gun Series Rules.

Scoring and Penalties
The Gas Gun Series utilizes a time plus penalty-based scoring system for all match scoring. This means the score is the shooter’s total combined time on all stages plus any penalties accrued.

Penalties are as follows:
30 seconds for any rifle targets not engaged or neutralized.
15 seconds for any pistol targets not engaged or neutralized.
15 seconds for hitting a “No Shoot” target.
No more than 50% of the stages at a match can utilize an unlimited round count. At least 25% of the targets in Gas Gun Series match must be 2 MOA or smaller. Maximum distance is 800 yards.

Open Division: The Open Division rifles will not exceed a caliber of .30 or a velocity of 3,200 fps. A match DQ will result any rounds over the speed limit of 3,200 fps (+/- 32 fps for environmental factors and equipment discrepancies). Match Officials may request at any point during a match that a competitor fire their rifle through chronograph. If the bullet exceeds the 3,200 fps speed limit, the shooter will receive an automatic match DQ.

Tactical Light Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity tocompete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber. This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors use of their Service and Department-issued rifles. Tactical Light Division rifles are restricted to 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington calibers only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 77 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 3,000 fps.

Tactical Heavy Division: Intended to allow competitors the opportunity to compete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber. This promotes Active Duty military and law enforcement competitors use of their Service and Department issued rifles. Tactical Heavy Division rifles are restricted to 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester calibers only. Bullet weight cannot exceed 178 grains and muzzle velocity cannot exceed 2,800 fps. No modified wildcat rounds permitted to shoot in the Tactical Divisions Anyone discovered violating this rule will receive an automatic Match DQ. Tactical Division shooters will shoot the exact same COF as Open Division shooters.

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical 1 Comment »