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 19th, 2019

IMR Enduron Powders — Accurate, Temp Stable, and Versatile

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

Have you tried IMR Enduron powders yet (IMR 4166, 4451, 4955, and 7977)? We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen. IMR’s line of Enduron extruded powders offer excellent temp stability, reduced copper fouling, and good load density for many popular cartridges (such as .223 Rem, 6mmBR, .308 Win, .30-06, 300 WSM to name a few). Some of our Forum members have reported excellent results with IMR 4166 in the 6mmBR, Dasher, 6.5×47 Lapua and .308 Win. One member wrote: “in my 6.5×47… 4166 gives speeds and accuracy pretty much exactly the same as Varget.” And other shooters have observed reduced copper fouling with Enduron series powders, so IMR’s Enduron anti-fouling chemistry does seem to work.

IMR Legendary Powders provided this summary of Enduron Properties:

Varmint hunters, big game hunters, match shooters and military snipers all seek powders that are insensitive to temperature changes. These powders all have it. This translates to point of impact and group size remaining the same, no matter what temperature conditions prevail. Another huge benefit is an additive that prevents copper fouling from building during dozens of rounds being fired. Here the advantage is top accuracy for longer periods of time, and less cleaning time.

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

A third major accomplishment with this technology is ideal load density. Experienced reloaders know that a case-filling load often delivers the most uniform velocities and best accuracy. We see this in popular match cartridges such as the 6PPC, 6mmBR, 6BRA, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win. These new Enduron powders offer excellent “full case” load density for the most commonly used cartridges with popular bullets.

CLICK HERE to Learn More about IMR Enduron Powders»

These three powders, IMR 4166, IMR 4451 and IMR 7977, are environmentally friendly by not having any ingredients harmful to the environment. Add to that, the three of them cover the most popular cartridges from .204 Ruger up to the mighty 500 Nitro Express, and the handloader “has it all”.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
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 12th, 2019

Get Ready for Precision Rifle Expo September 28-29 in Georgia

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.

Video Shows Arena Training Facility And EXPO Live-Fire Demos

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 Sept. 28-29. Registration includes access to the exhibition tent and the range locations, plus the educational classes for both days.

Precision Rifle Expo 2019 Arena training blakely GA Georgia

All Types of Products Will Be on Display
The 2019 Precision Rifle EXPO will present products from dozens of top companies all in one place. This year over 50 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 Series National Rifle League Arena Training Facility Blakely Georgia September meeting

Video Showcases Last Year’s Precision Rifle EXPO:

Precision Rifle EXPO 2019 Exhibitor List

At the 2019 EXPO, there will be over 50 Exhibitors. On hand will be leading rifle-makers along with producers of chassis, optics, barrels, and stocks. There will also be specialty manufacturers such as AMP Annealing, Kestrel, and Magnetospeed. And the Capstone Group will be there with Berger Bullets, Lapua Brass/Ammo, SK Ammo, and Vihtavuori Powder.

Accurate Ordnance
Alpha Munitions
Annealing Made Perfect AMP
Applied Ballistics
Area 419
Armageddon Gear
Army Sniper Assoc.
Atlas Bipod/AccuShot
BadRock
Barrett
Beretta
Bergara
Berger Bullets
Bore Tech
BraceBuilt
Burris
Cole-TAC
Daniel Defense
Defiance
Devil Dog Arms
Federal
Helix 6 Precision
ISC
Kahles
Kestrel
KG Mada
Kiote
Knights Armament
Lapua
Leupold
Magnetospeed
MasterPiece Arms MPA
McMillan Stocks
MDT Chassis
Nightforce
Peterson Brass
PhoneSkope
Proof Research Barrels
Really Right Stuff RRS
Rifles Only
Rugged Suppressors
SAKO
SilencerCo
Silent Legion
SK Ammo
Steiner Optics
Stiller’s Actions
Swanny’s Gear
Swarovski Optics
Tikka
Timney Triggers
Trigger Tech
Ulfhednar
Victrix Armaments
Vihtavuori
Vortex
Vudoo Gunworks
Warne Scope Mounts

Arena Training Facility — 2300 Acres with Ranges out to 2100m

arena training facility Georgia

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.

At last year’s EXPO, Long-Range Clinics were held on the 1000-yard Range:
arena training facility Georgia Precision Rifle expo

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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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 »
August 10th, 2019

New Champion Vanquish Electronic Muffs with Bluetooth

Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone
The Vanquish Pro ($109.99 on Amazon) has BlueTooth. The basic model does NOT have Bluetooth.

Many readers use electronic muffs during matches so they can hear range commands. The Howard Light Impact Sport muffs are popular and affordable at around $53.00 on Amazon. Now there is a new alternative from Bushnell/Champion — the Vanquish Series electronic muffs. These feature ultra-fast under 1 millisecond sound compression with HD speakers. The Vanquish Pro and Pro Elite models offer Bluetooth connectivity, so users can take phone calls or listen to music at the range. The Elite models also offer Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). On all Vanquish models, the earpads are a nice soft foam for comfort, and the shell design is angled at the rear to provide more clearance on gunstocks. That’s smart.

Vanquish Muffs Offer Ultra-Fast Reaction Time with less than 1 millisecond Sound Compression:
Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone

So far, Vanquish muff users have been impressed. Audio quality is good. The 3X sound amplification on the basic model ($54.00 on Amazon) provides ample volume for conversations (Pro Model goes up to 5X). The ear foam is soft for all-day comfort. Top PRS competitor Bryan Sikes states: “Been a big fan of these new muffs for a while. been using the Vanquish Pros and it’s nice to listen to some Taylor Swift via Bluetooth or take a call if I need to when denting primers. Comfortable and less than half the cost of Sordins.”

Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone

Consider Running Plugs Under Muffs
The basic Vanquish Muffs have a 22 NRR (Noise Reduction Rating), same as the Howard Leight Impact Pros. That’s not enough, in our opinion, for sustained multi-hour exposure to firearm noises, particular indoors, or outdoors on a busy firing line. The Vanquish Pro ($109.99 on Amazon) has a better 24 NRR, but we would still recommend using ear-plugs under the muffs, for superior noise reduction. We like the Howard Leight MAX-1 plugs, which offer 33db NRR by themselves.

Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone
Bushnell Champion Vanquish Pro Electronic earmuffs muffs hearing protection 22 NRR 24 Bluetooth music smartphone

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
August 8th, 2019

FREE Shooting Bench Plans — 14 Build Your Own Bench Designs

Free shooting bench plansFREE shooting Bench Plans
Do you like the Chris Byrne bench at left? For more details, CLICK HERE.

FREE Bench Plans on the Web

Building your own portable shooting bench is a great do-it-yourself project. You can build a sturdy bench for well under $100 in materials. Compare that to some deluxe factory-built benches which may cost $600.00 or more. You’ll find a wide assortment of home-built shooting bench designs (both portable and fixed) on the internet. Renovation Headquarters has links to FREE Plans and building instructions for fourteen (14) different shooting benches. There are all-wood shooting bench designs as well as benches that combine a wood top with a metal sub-frame or legs.

CLICK HERE for Shooting Bench FREE Plans Webpage »

Among Renovation HQ’s fourteen featured shooting benches, here are five designs we liked:

Larry Willis Shooting Bench

Sandwiched Plywood top, 1.5″ Galvanized Pipe Legs

Manuel Ferran’s
Steel Shooting Bench

Steel (welded) legs and frame, painted plywood top. Folds flat.

eHow Permanent All-Wood
Shooting Bench

Heavy-duty, very solid and sturdy, but easy to build. Good for right- or left-handed shooters.

Bill Clarke’s
Basic Shooting Bench

Restaurant table Cast Metal Pedestal Base, plywood top.

Missouri Hillbilly’s
All-Wood Bench

3/4″ ACX Plywood with 4×6 Beams and Legs

Heavy Wood Bench That Converts to Three Sections for Transport
In addition to the fourteen benches mentioned above, here is an interesting break-down bench design. Call it a “semi-portable” bench. The legs and frame are made from stout 4×4 post segments so the bench is fairly heavy. However, this bench can break down into three (3) sections for easier transport to and from the range. Dado-cut channels assure proper top alignment. This might be a good choice if you plan a multi-day excursion to a location without fixed benches. This three-leg bench design can be made from easy-to-locate materials. Note: The dimensions of this bench are are larger than typical fixed benches to accommodate 50 BMGs and other big rifles. CLICK HERE for more details.

FREE shooting Bench Plans

(more…)

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
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

Permalink Competition, Tactical No Comments »
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.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills, Tactical No Comments »
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.

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical No Comments »
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.

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical 4 Comments »
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.

Permalink Gear Review, Optics, Tactical 3 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 »
June 12th, 2019

Scope Smarts — Five Videos That Explain Optics Topics

Optics rifle scope sight-in video parallax scope mounting

Rifle accuracy is pointless unless you can see your target and aim precisely. That’s why good optics are so important for precision shooting — from 50 yards out to a mile and beyond. Today’s premium scopes can be very expensive — you’ll see optics costing $3000 or more on many competition F-Class and PRS rifles. This article covers important “Riflescope Knowledge”, including how to adjust for parallax, and how to properly sight-in your scoped rifle. In addition there’s a helpful video defining Minute of Angle (MOA) plus two videos showing how to mount scopes.

Rifle Sight-In Process — Start to Finish

Here Ryan Cleckner shares his process for sighting in a scoped rifle. This helpful video covers the full process: bore-sighting, 25-yard shot confirmation, shooting groups, making adjustments at 100 yards, and finding mechanical zero. Looking for more valuable rifle instruction? Then check out Ryan Cleckner’s book, Long Range Shooting Handbook.

How to Adjust for Parallax

Most precision rifle scopes have parallax adjustment, but what is it and why do you need to adjust it? In this Shooting USA video, John Paul of JP Rifles defines parallax and explains why you need to set parallax correctly for the distance to your target. The video then show how to adjust parallax correctly. a process which should start with the scope’s ocular focus.

Understanding Minute of Angle (MOA)


MOA scope milradian minutes angle ryan cleckner

In this video, Ryan Cleckner explains the measurement term “minute of angle” (MOA) and how to use MOA adjustments on your scope to compensate for bullet drop at varying distances. MOA is an angular measurement, used often in long range shooting, that is 1/60th of one degree of a circle. One MOA represents 1.047″ at 100 yards and 10.47″ at 1000 yards. Want to learn more? Read Ryan Cleckner’s article Understand and Using Minute of Angle.

How to Mount a Riflescope

When mounting a scope you want to use quality rings, and ensure that the scope is leveled properly. In addition, you need to adjust the fore/aft position of the scope so that eye relief is correct. Ideal scope position may be different when shooting from the bench vs. shooting prone. In this Shooting USA video John Paul of JP Rifles reviews scope mounting basics.

Scope Mounting on a PRS Precision Rifle

Optics rifle scope sight-in video parallax scope mounting

Here the MasterPiece Arms (MPA) Academy experts show how to mount a scope on a PRS-type tactical rifle. Special considerations for tactical shooters are discussed. The video also shows recommended tools for scope mounting operations.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Optics, Tactical No Comments »
June 2nd, 2019

Sunday GunDay: .308 Win for PRS and NRL Tactical Division

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

This .308 Win was purpose-built for PRS/NRL tactical competition. With all the focus on the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, and smaller 6mm cartridges, it’s easy to forget that the PRS has a Tactical Division limited to .223 Rem and .308 Winchester. This gun was built by Jim See of Elite Accuracy LLC to compete in that class, which also has a .308 bullet-weight limit of 178 grains, and a velocity limit of 2800 fps.

With those restrictions, this is truly a Tactical Tack-Driver, as you can see from those 100-yard targets in the photo above. This gun seems to shot great with everything Jim has tried. He started the season with Sierra 168gr Tipped MatchKings. Later he switched to 168gr Berger Hybrids. For both bullet types he uses Varget powder, CCI 200 primers, and Lapua large primer .308 Win brass. His current match load runs about 2765 FPS, with impressive 5-7 FPS standard deviation. The gun hammers — even at very long range. Jim told us: “That soda bottle was shot at one mile with a 168gr Berger Hybrid on top of Varget.” Jim says the 1:9″ twist rate helps deliver a “clean sub-sonic transition” at that distance.

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger
With its heavy-contour barrel, the gun weighs in at a hefty 22 pounds, including optics and bipod. If you like this rig, Jim See can build you one just like it, or with the chambering of your choice. Visit EliteAccuracy.com to learn more about Jim’s gunsmithing services.

This rig features a RBRP Impact Precision 737 Action which was designed specifically for PRS-type tactical applications. This action features an integral lug, and built-in +20 MOA Picatinny rail. Both receiver and bolt are black-nitrided for slickness and durability. Jim loves the action: “It is really slick operating. It functions really well and doesn’t get gummed up with dirt or grit, so it has caught on for the PRS/NRL game. This action has won a major share of 2-day PRS matches this past season.”

Barrel Is a Resurrected .300 WSM
This rifle has one “resurrected” component — the barrel. The 1.25″ straight-contour, 1:9″-twist Brux was originally chambered as a .300 WSM finished at 30 inches. As acquired from Pat Scully, the barrel had 1200 WSM rounds through it. See then re-chambered the Brux as a .308 Winchester, finished it at 25 inches, and attached a 4-baffle side-discharge muzzle brake. Jim says the brake really helps control muzzle lift.

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

Jim See .308 Win Tactical Rifle Specifications:

Action: Impact Precision 737R
Action Finish: Black Nitride (bolt + body)
Barrel: Brux 1:9″ twist, 25″ finished
Chambering: .308 Win, PT&G Std. Match Reamer
Muzzle Brake: Custom 4 baffle, side discharge
Trigger: Trigger-Tech Diamond, straight shoe
Magazine: Accuracy International

Scope: Vortex Razor HD Gen II, 4.5-27x56mm FFP EBR reticle
Scope Base: Integral +20 MOA rail
Stock: J. Allen Enterprises (JAE) chassis
Front Rail: JAE Swiss ARCA rail
(extends bipod mount 2″ forward)
Bipod: Atlas PSR

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

Running the Rifle in Competition
Jim says this rifle performed well right out of the gate: “For about three years I wanted to shoot Tactical division and in 2018 it happened to work out. I decided it was a good year to test the .308 Win waters and see how the .308 could stack up competitively against the Open Class rifles.

I dug around the shop and found an 11-twist 30″ M-24 from an old F-class rifle and chopped it down to 23″ and fit it to an Impact action. [EDITOR: This barrel was later replaced with the 1:9″ Brux finished at 25 inches.] I had not received my 168gr Berger Hybrids yet so I ran the Sierra 168gr Tipped MatchKings in the first couple matches of the season. Those SMKs were used for the target and chrono pictures here.

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

The first spring match was ‘The Battle for Breakneck’ in Nebraska. This is a true field match with mostly prone stages with a few natural rock barricades thrown in for positional shooting. The yardages went out to a little over 1400 yards. I went in feeling good and shot very well in the windy conditions, hitting targets out to 1350 yards. I finished with a score of around 105 out of 135 points. The Open Class winner shot a 117 score I believe. I ended up being First-Place Tactical and 16th overall in a field of 100 shooters.”

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

Consistency and Preparation — Keys to Success in PRS/NRL Competition
Through his Elite Accuracy LLC company, Jim offers skills training for tactical shooters. When we asked Jim if he had any advice for PRS/NRL competitors, Jim replied: “Consistency is what will continually put you at the top of a match. In addition, your gear needs to be prepared (100% sorted out) and your mind needs to be prepared and ready. Don’t let your mind get in your own way. Mental preparation and confidence will be key to success.”

Jim See Elite Accuracy .308 Win Winchester Brux Impact PRS NRL Precision Vortex Viper Lapua Berger

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
May 23rd, 2019

Suppressor Myth Busting — Do Silencers Degrade Accuracy?

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

Shooting Sports Suppressor SoundAre sound suppressors useful in competition shooting? In some disciplines, and in venues where sound “moderators” are permitted, the answer is “yes”. Some years ago Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA), published an interesting article about the use of sound suppressors (aka “cans”). The article explores the use of suppressors in Europe and in tactical matches in North America. You’ll also find an explanation of the rules and regulations governing suppressor ownership and use in the United States.

Former SSUSA Editor Chip Lohman tested three rifles from the bench and found that suppressors did not harm accuracy (at least with these rigs). In fact, all three test rifles (.223 Rem, .308 Win, and .338 Lapua Magnum), shot slightly better 5-shot groups at 200 yards with a suppressor than without. However, the suppressors did alter point of impact. Interestingly, velocity standard deviation (SD) values were lower with suppressors in place for all three test rifles. This observation calls for further study.*

CLICK HERE to Read Suppressor Article in Shooting Sports USA.

Shooting Sports Suppressor Sound

So the use of suppressors in competition could be a good thing. However, in the United States, current NRA High Power rules prohibit the use of sound suppressors. NRA Rule 3.16.1 subsection (a) states: “Sound Suppressors are not authorized for use in High Power competition.” In addition, there are some practical problems with suppressors — the heat rising off of a naked suppressor can create mirage problems (that’s why some shooters wrap their cans with a cover).

Despite such issues, it is now common to see moderators on rifles used in non-NRA-sanctioned tactical matches such as the Precision Rifle Series. For example, many competitors in the popular Steel Safari field challenge match use suppressors. The photo below shows our friend Zak Smith competing in the Steel Safari with his suppressed Accuracy International rifle.

Zak Smith Thunder Beast Steel Safari Suppressor

Commentary — What Can We Conclude?
Obviously, this three-rifle SSUSA test was not definitive. One well might observe different results with different types of suppressors, fitted to different kinds of rifles. Mounting a suppressor to any barrel will certainly affect harmonics and “tune”. But this SSUSA study does suggest that tactical shooters, who are allowed to use suppressors in competition, may find that the benefits of suppressors (significantly reduced recoil and less noise) outweigh any meaningful accuracy loss, at least in PRS-type matches.

*The article cautions that one should not extrapolate too much from the SD numbers, given the low number of test shots. Chronograph-maker Ken Oehler, when asked to comment on the SD values stated: “[You should] report the observed SDs, but draw no conclusions until… you can do more testing with larger sample sizes.”
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May 21st, 2019

New McMillan A-10 Stock for Smaller-Stature Shooters

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Not all rifle shooters are created equal…

Some have smaller stature. Ladies, on average, have smaller torsos and shorter arms than men. Junior shooters are also smaller than adults. For all these types of competitors, particularly ladies and juniors, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks has created the new A-10 stock. This new stock is shorter, lighter, and more compact than other popular McMillan stocks, such as the A-5 and A-6. It has a modified, more-forward grip, and the LOP adjusts down to 12 inches.

The A-10 incorporates features of McMillan’s popular tactical stocks but in a more compact format to match the ergonomic needs of smaller-frame shooters. The new A-10 is a well-balanced tactical design that combines a thinner forearm like the A3-5, a butt hook similar to the A-5, and the sleek lines of the A-6.

The vertical grip is positioned further forward than other A-series stocks, which allows for a more relaxed 90-degree trigger finger placement and shorter trigger reach — perfect for shooters with smaller hands. The grip also features a small shelf to assist in consistent hand placement and reduce fatigue. To further accommodate smaller-frame shooters, the adjustable buttstock can deliver a length-of-pull as short as 12 inches. An adjustable cheek-riser ensures optimal head alignment.

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

Britainy McMillan, McMillan VP of Operations, explained how the A-10 was developed:

“We consulted many of the top shooters in the country throughout the R&D process of the A-10, including Regina Milkovich, one of the top competitors in PRS competition. We wanted to know what the pros would like to see in a precision stock, and the result is the A-10.

We feel this is the optimal rifle platform not only for women and other small-stature shooters, but especially for the youth shooter. The overall design, coupled with full adjustability in length-of-pull and cheek piece height, provides a stock that younger shooters can ‘grow with and not grow out of.’ We also went with the A-10 designation because this is a totally new stock in the McMillan lineup.”

McMillan A-10 rifle stock fiberglass stocks womens junior smaller stature ergonomic

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May 17th, 2019

Tactical 22 — MPA Rimfire PRS Trainer With CZ Action

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.

To succeed at the PRS game you need position shooting practice — and lots of it. Thankfully you can train affordably using a .22 LR rimfire rig. Decent rimfire ammo can be purchased for 7 to 10 cents per round, an order of magnitude cheaper than centerfire ammo. For the best results, you’ll want your rimfire trainer to sport the same ergonomics and “feel” as your centerfire match rifle. You can get just that Masterpiece Arms 22BA, a “turn-key” PRS rimfire cross-training rig. The 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 $1850.00.

MPA colors .22 LR rimfire trainer

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.

MPA BA rifle .22 LR rimfire
Masterpiece Arms centerfire chassis systems have won 5 out of 12 recent PRS matches (story HERE).

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

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