March 21st, 2018

New, Affordable FX1000 FFP Tactical Scopes from Nikon

Nikon FX1000 FFP target precision rifle optic scope

Nikon has a new line of First Focal Plane (FFP) riflescopes designed for tactical and PRS shooters. The very affordable BLACK FX1000 series includes 4-16×50mm and 6-24×50mm variants, with the choice of FX-MOA or FX-MRAD reticles. The FX1000 line features 30mm main body tube, high speed 10 MIL or 25 MOA turrets (with nice, tactile clicks), integral zero stop, and Nikon No Fault Lifetime Repair/Replacement on the entire riflescope. Most important thing — all FX1000 scope are under $800.

Nikon FX1000 FFP target precision rifle optic scope

Burris, Bushnell, and Vortex should be concerned. We expect that Nikon will be stealing market share with the new, sub-$800 FX1000 line-up. This is solid choice for PRS production class, which is limited to $3000.00 total for rifle AND optic.

This Video Shows the Key Features of Nikon FX1000 Series FFP Scopes

Nikon offers 4-16×50mm and 6-24×50mm FX1000 models. The 4-16×50mm scopes provide 90 MOA/25 MRAD elevation adjustment range while the 6-24×50mm optics provide 60 MOA/17 MRAD elevation.

The BLACK FX1000 riflescopes are built on 30mm tubes from aircraft grade aluminum alloy with Type-III hard anodizing for ruggedness and durability. Waterproof, fog-proof and shock-proof, all BLACK FX1000 models are backed by Nikon’s lifetime, No Fault repair/replacement policy.

Nikon FX1000 FFP target precision rifle optic scope

Nikon FX1000 tactical scope

  • FX1000 4-16x50SF FX-MOA (MSRP $649.95)
  • FX1000 4-16x50SF FX-MRAD (MSRP $649.95)
  • FX1000 4-16x50SF Illuminated Reticle FX-MOA (MSRP $749.95)
  • FX1000 4-16x50SF Illuminated Reticle FX-MRAD (MSRP $749.95)
  • FX1000 6-24x50SF Illuminated Reticle FX-MOA (MSRP $799.95)
  • FX1000 6-24x50SF Matte Illuminated Reticle FX-MRAD (MSRP $799.95)
  • Here the 6.5 Guys interview Jeremy Bentham, a PRS Competitor who helped design the New FX1000 series scopes:

    Nikon’s new FX1000 optics feature “high-speed” turrets (10 Mil or 25 MOA) with nice, tactile clicks. PRS shooter Jeremy Bentham designed the new reticles which are clear and easy-to-use. The 4-16x50mm model is $649.95 while the 6-24x50mm is $799.95 MSRP. These represent outstanding value for a big name, life-time warranty product.

    Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
    March 15th, 2018

    Sierra Bullet Sale at Midsouth Through 3/18/2018

    Sierra MatchKing Tipped Bullet sale midsouth varmint bullets

    Need bullets for your 2018 High Power Campaign, F-Class Matches, PRS Comps, or Varmint Safaris? Check out this deal at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Now through March 18, 2018 at 11:59 pm, Midsouth has knocked ten percent (10%) off the price off all Sierra Bullets in stock. And Midsouth’s prices were already very competitive. The sale applies to all Sierra projectiles for rifles and pistols: match bullets, hunting bullets, varmint bullets, self-defense bullets.

    This is your opportunity to grab some of Sierra’s great new generation MatchKing bullets. Many of these new SMKs come with the bullets “tipped” at the factory for more uniform BC. We have hear very positive comments from shooters running the tipped SMKs in .30 Caliber, 7mm, 6.5 mm, and 6mm. If you are shooting F-Open, you should definitely try the new 197gr MatchKing, with its stellar 0.780 G1 BC. Likewise if you shoot PRS or mid-range benchrest, you should check out the new 110gr SMK. It boasts an impressive 0.617 G1 BC.

    More High-BC MatchKings in All Your Favorite Calibers
    Sierra now offers very slippery, heavy-for-caliber MatchKings that have raised the BC Bar for their respective calibers. For example, the 150gr 6.5mm bullet really “pushes the envelope”. In past years, 140-142 grains was considered “high end” for a 6.5mm match projectile. Here are Sierra’s BC Leaders for 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, and .308 calibers. Many of these New Generation MatchKings now come “tipped” from the factory for more uniform BC.

    Heavy-for-Caliber, Ultra-High BC Sierra MatchKings

    6mm (.243 Caliber)
    110 grain MatchKing #1575
    0.617 G1 BC

    7mm (.284 Caliber)
    197 grain MatchKing #1997
    0.780 G1 BC

    6.5 mm (.264 Caliber)
    150 grain MatchKing #1755
    0.713 G1 BC

    7.62mm (.308 Caliber) NEW
    230 grain MatchKing #2251
    0.800 G1 BC

    Sierra Bullets Midsouth Sale

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
    February 28th, 2018

    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


    Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip No 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 No Comments »
    February 15th, 2018

    Quarter-MOA, Half-MOA? How Much Precision Is Really Enough?

    Jim See Elite Accuracy
    This impressive 15-round group was shot by Jim See of Elite Accuracy.

    Different shooting disciplines demand different levels of precision/accuracy. In the rapid-fire 3-Gun game, you could probably “clean” most stages with a 2-MOA rifle. By contrast, in the short-range group benchrest game, to compete with the best, you’ll need a rifle that shoots in the “ones” (i.e. 0.1-0.19 MOA) in perfect conditions. In 1000-yard F-Class competition, the top shooters want a rifle that will hold one-third-MOA of vertical at that distance.

    What is your standard of accuracy? How good is “good enough”. Jim See, a skilled gunsmith and successful PRS competitor, has answered that question for his tactical discipline. For the kind of matches Jim shoots, he likes to have a rifle that will hold half-MOA for five (5) shots, 3/4-MOA for 15 shots, and 1 MOA for twenty shots. Remarkably, Jim’s rifle can do that with factory ammo. Above is an impressive 15-shot group shot with .260 Remington Federal Premium Ammo.

    Jim See Elite Accuracy

    “I say it all the time, my loads need to print 5 under 1/2″, 10 under 3/4″, and 20 under 1″. It’s simple, if a hot barrel will keep 20 rounds fired in succession under my standard it will be a good barrel and load for Precision Match Shooting. Federal Premium Gold Metal Match .260 with Sierra bullets made the cut for me today. 15 consecutive shots under 3/4 MOA.” –Jim See

    It’s said that you “can never have too much accuracy”, but there are acceptable standards for each discipline, and they’re not the same. A 100/200 yard Benchrest shooter will be sorely disappointed with a rifle/ammo set-up that can only deliver half-MOA. On the other hand, a PRS competitor like Jim See can achieve great success with a lesser degree of precision. This means you can save time and money. You can run your barrels longer between cleanings, and you don’t have to go “full OCD” when loading your ammo. The PRS shooter does not need to weigh-sort primers, or load powder to single-kernel standards. Proof is the performance. Jim See recently took third place at the Spearpoint Shootout, and he has been a podium finisher at other events. Learn more about Jim’s gunsmithing and training operations at

    Download This Load Development Target

    Jim’s target seemed a bit familiar. created this Diamond and Dot Target a few years back. On each aiming point, there are high-contrast black horizontal and vertical lines for aligning your cross-hairs. The gray circle lets you see the bullet impacts above, without obliterating the red diamond, which is quite useful for precise aiming (we put fine cross-hairs on the points of the diamond). This target sheet includes data entry tables below each of the three aim points. There are many other free targets out there, but this format is very popular. We’re pleased to see Jim using it. You can download this and dozens of other FREE Targets from the Target Page.

    AccurateShooter precision load development free target

    Permalink Reloading 3 Comments »
    February 13th, 2018

    Through the Looking Glass — 6.5 Guys Review New Optics

    New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

    In the highly competitive optics market, technology is always advancing. This year, we’ve seen some significant innovations in high-end scopes, plus improved features in more affordable, sub-$1000 optics. The new American-made Revic PMR 428 scope features a built-in ballistic calculator employing a micro-processor and multiple on-board sensors. This really represents a major step forward in “smart” optics. Fans of high-technology should check it out. Or, if value is paramount, for less than one-third of the price of the Revic, you can get a new Nikon FX1000 series scope. The 6-24x50mm model offers very impressive features for under $800 — a bargain these days.

    Revic Optics Scope Has Built-In Computer and Ballistics Solver

    New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

    New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

    Ever wish your riflescope could calculate windage and elevation and display the shooting solution directly in the scope image? Well check this out — the new Revic PMR 428 scope is one of the most advanced optics ever offered to the public. The Revic has a micro-processor inside, plus sensors for temperature, air pressure, incline and cant (around bore axis). After the shooter inputs wind speed and direction, this allows the scope itself to indicate the correct windage and elevation corrections, plus adjust for shot angle. This really is a Big Deal, and we expect other top-end optics makers to follow suit in the years ahead. Right now Revic offers one 4-28x56mm PMR 428 Smart Scope for $2750.00. In this video, Steve Lawrence of reviews the capabilities of the ground-breaking Revic PMR 428.

    Impressive New Products from Nikon at Great Prices

    New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

    Jeremy Bentham, a Precision Rifle Series competitor, joined Nikon a year ago as a marketing manager. With his help, Nikon is making inroads into the Precision Rifle market with impressive products at very competitive prices. Here Steve chats with Jeremy about the latest offerings from Nikon, which recently celebrated its 100-year Anniversary. Jeremy presents Nikon’s new products for the tactical/practical market: 1) Stabilized Laser Rangefinder; 2) All-New FX1000 Tactical Scopes in 4-16X and 6-24X, with both MIL and MOA versions and optional illumination. The rangefinder is impressive — it eliminates 80% of perceived shake and also offers built-in angle compensation plus extended ranging capability. The new scopes are priced attractively — under $800. Bentham designed the new reticles which are clear and easy-to-use. These optics feature “high-speed” turrets (10 Mil or 25 MOA) with nice, tactile clicks. The 4-16x50mm model is $649.95 while the 6-24x50mm is $799.95 MSRP. These represent outstanding value for a big name, life-time warranty product.

    U.S. Optics Offers B17 and B25 Scopes for Tactical Applications

    The 6.5 Guys also checked out the new products from U.S. Optics. For 2018, U.S. Optics is featuring two impressive tactical scopes, the B17 and B25. Ed Mobley of talks with Jake Vibbert of U.S. Optics. Jake explains that his company offers a wide variety of options, with both MOA- and Mil-based reticles. The B17 and B25 both feature a 34mm main tube, which helps deliver greater elevation adjustment. These B-series scopes offer a fast-focus eyepiece, and a true “tool-less” zero-set option. That’s a nice feature — you don’t have to find an Allen wrench in the middle of a competition.

    Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Optics 3 Comments »
    February 8th, 2018

    6.5 Creedmoor Cut-Down Test — Velocity Per Inch Revealed 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test does some great original research — providing “hard data” you can’t find anywhere else. Here are the eye-opening results of’s 6.5 Creedmoor barrel cut-down test. You may be surprised at the results. Read on…

    What do you get when you cut a 6.5 Creedmoor-chambered barrel down to just over 16 inches? A lot more velocity than you might think. Our friends at recently did a barrel cut-down test with 6.5 Creedmoor test rifle, shortening the barrel from 27 to 16.1 inches in one-inch increments. Surprisingly, with a 142gr Sierra MK, the total velocity loss (as measured with a Magnetospeed) was just 158 FPS, an average of 14.4 FPS per inch of barrel length. With the lighter 120gr A-Max bullet, the total velocity loss was 233 FPS, or 21.8 FPS average loss per inch of barrel.

    » CLICK HERE to SEE All Velocity Values at All Barrel Lengths

    To perform this velocity test, our friend Bill,’s editor, built up a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle using a Remington Model 7 action, 1:8″ twist Green Mountain CM barrel, and MDT LSS Chassis, all obtained from

    Test Procedure
    Five (5) rounds of each type of cartridge were fired at each barrel length and the velocity data was recorded with a MagnetoSpeed V3 barrel-mounted chronograph. The rifle was then cleared and the barrel was cut back one inch at a time from 27″ to just over 16″. NOTE: During this winter test, the air temperature was a very chilly 23° F. One would expect higher velocities across the board had the outside temperature been higher.

    » Read Full Story with All Test Results at

    The photo below shows how the barrel was cut down, inch-by-inch, using a rotary saw. The barrel was pre-scored at inch intervals. As the main purpose of the test was to measure velocity (not accuracy) the testers did not attempt to create perfect crowns. 6.5 Creedmoor cut-down test

    6.5 Creedmoor vs. Other Mid-Sized 6.5mm Cartridges
    The 6.5 Creedmoor is a very popular cartridge with the tactical and PRS crowd. This mid-size cartridge offers good ballistics, with less recoil than a .308 Winchester. There’s an excellent selection of 6.5mm bullets, and many good powder choices for this cartridge. When compared to the very accurate 6.5×47 Lapua cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor offers similar performance with less expensive brass. For a tactical shooter who must sometimes leave brass on the ground, brass cost is a factor to consider. Here’s a selection of various 6.5mm mid-sized cartridges. Left to right are: 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor with 120gr A-Max, 6.5 Creedmoor with 142gr Sierra MK, and .260 Remington.

    6.5 Creedmoor velocity barrel cut cut-down test saw blade

    When asked to compare the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6.5×47 Lapua,’s editor stated: “If you don’t hand load, or are new to precision rifle shooting, get a 6.5 Creedmoor. If you shoot a lot, reload, have more disposable income, and like more esoteric cartridges, get a 6.5×47 Lapua. I am a big fan of the 6.5×47 Lapua. In my personal experience, the 6.5×47 Lapua seems to be slightly more accurate than the 6.5 Creedmoor. I attribute this to the quality of Lapua brass.” Now that Lapua offers 6.5 Creedmoor brass with small primer pockets, the 6.5 Creedmoor is even more attractive.

    Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
    January 25th, 2018

    SHOT Show 2018 — Day Two Highlights with Cool New Products

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

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

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

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

    NEW — Berger Branded Ammunition in Lapua Brass

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

    NEW and IMPROVED — Lyman Higher Rez Borecam

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

    NEW — Walther KK500 .22 LR 3P Competition Rifle

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

    NEW — RCBS 6-Station Brass Boss

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

    COOL — World’s Biggest Cutaway Cartridge?

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

    WILD — $18,000 Janz Plasma Finish Revolver

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

    NEW — Leica HD-B 3000 Geovid Rangefinder Binoculars

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

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

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

    NEW — Lyman Brass Smith C-Frame Press

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

    WEIRD — Virtual Reality Self-Defense Simulator

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

    BAD ASS — Victrix Heavy Metal Tactical Rifles

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

    SMART — Burris Spotting Scope with Accessory Red Dot

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

    NEW and TEMPTING — Tikka T1x Rifle in .17 HMR

    Shot Show Day 2 Two Las Vegas

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

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

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, News, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
    January 23rd, 2018

    Lyman Releases Long Range Precision Rifle Reloading Handbook

    Lyman Precision Reloading Manual 6.5 Creemoor PRS Long Range

    Lyman Products is offering a new reloading resource, the Lyman “Long Range Precision Rifle Reloading Handbook”. With the growing interest in Precision Rifle Series (PRS) events and Extended Long Range matches, Lyman saw the need for an up-to-date, reliable print resource for precision long range competitors. Lyman says this is “The first-ever reloading manual specifically written for the growing sport of precision long range shooting.”

    Lyman’s new book covers the most popular cartridge types, and the premium components used by top shooters. The book covers the vast majority of popular cartridge types used in long range precision shooting. You’ll find .223 Rem, 6mm Dasher, 6×47 Lapua, 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem., 6.5-284 Norma, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, .300 Norma Mag, .338 Lapua Mag and more. The data section includes Berger and Lapua target bullets, as well as Sierra MatchKings and Hornady ELDs. A wide range of propellants from Accurate, Alliant, Hodgdon, IMR, Norma, VihtaVuori, Ramshot, and Winchester are reviewed.

    Lyman Handbook Includes Articles by Leading Experts and Top PRS Shooters
    The new handbook also includes articles by top PRS shooters and industry experts. Articles such as “PRS How-To” and “Rifle Systems for PRS” by Matt Gervais provide expert info and tips and techniques to start competing. An authoritative article by Hornady’s Dave Emary, “The History and Design of the 6.5 and 6mm Creedmoor” explains why these cartridges have become so popular for PRS and other applications. Emary’s “Reloading Considerations for Long Range Ammunition” is also highly recommended for both novice and experienced hand-loaders.

    “As the leader in reloading data, we saw a need for an accurate and reliable source of reloading data for these precision, long-range loads,” said Trevor Mullen, Lyman’s Global Marketing VP. “Our process of compiling a new reloading handbook … is to work with the best in their field — reloaders, the manufacturers of ammunition and rifles, participants in the PRS sport, and our own staff of highly-skilled, highly knowledgeable test shooters. This new handbook [will help] those looking for that edge in PRS competitions.”

    The “Long Range Precision Rifle Reloading Handbook”, priced at $16.98, will be available soon from online retailers. Within a short time you can also purchase the book from the Lyman web store. (It is not yet in stock).

    Permalink Competition, Reloading No Comments »
    January 10th, 2018

    GAP Grind Match on Shooting USA TV Today

    GAP Grind Shooting USA

    This Wednesday (January 10, 2018), Shooting USA TV features the GAP Grind Pro-Am held at the K&M Shooting Complex in Finger, Tennessee. Conducted in association with the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the GAP Grind features a Pro/Am format with professional and amateur competitors vying for individual glory and team honors. If you are a PRS shooter or are interested in practical, multi-position shooting you should definitely watch this episode.

    More Features in January 10, 2018 Hour-Long Episode:
    1. CMP Western Games in Arizona. The Western Games feature High Power, Vintage Military Rifle, M1 Carbine, and Rimfire Sporter Matches. Held at the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix, this is one of America’s biggest matches each year.
    2. Savage 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles. This week Shooting USA also spotlights two new 6.5 Creedmoor Savage rifles, a bolt action and an AR-platform MSR.
    3. Pistol Training with Lasers. Ace shooter Julie Golob uses on-gun lasers to help diagnose and correct common pistol shooting mistakes.

    Pistol shooting laser training Julie Golob

    New Broadcast Times for 2018: Wednesday 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 pm Central

    GAP Grind Feature on Shooting USA

    Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
    The GAP Grind is a notoriously challenging, “high tempo” match with minimal down-time between stages. Over the course of 20+ stages, competitors will fire 200+ shots at a variety of steel, paper, moving, and reactive targets out to 1,200 yards. Targets vary in size/difficulty based on the shooter’s position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages include “stressors” — i.e. time limits or required movement(s).

    Shooting USA Host John Scoutten (in Blue/White shirt) at a past GRIND

    Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
    The GAP Grind is a notoriously challenging, “high tempo” match with minimal down-time between stages. Over the course of 20+ stages, competitors will fire 200+ shots at a variety of steel, paper, moving, and reactive targets out to 1,200 yards. Targets vary in size/difficulty based on the shooter’s position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages include “stressors” — i.e. time limits or required movement(s).

    Shooting USA TV gap grind
    Josh Temnnen Facebook photo.

    The GAP Grind is held at the impressive K&M Shooting Complex:

    GAP Grind Hardware
    Shelley Giddings, a skilled shooter of both firearms and cameras, snapped these images of state-of-the-art tactical rifles at the 2014 GAP Grind. See more firearms images on Shelley’s Facebook Page.

    Giddings GAP Grind

    Giddings GAP Grind

    Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical No Comments »
    January 6th, 2018

    Ruger Precision Rimfire — New $400 .22 LR Modular Rifle

    Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

    The brand new Ruger Precision Rimfire could become one of 2018’s most popular rifles, if the success of its “big brother”, the centerfire Ruger Precision Rifle, is any indicator. This .22 LR rig offers a turn-key rimfire solution for tactical shooters, PRS competitors, and anyone who likes modular rifles. The Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle offers adjustable cheekpiece and length of pull, AR-style grip, free-floating M-Lok fore-end, and a 18″ barrel (1:16″ twist) that is pre-threaded for brakes or suppressor. You get all this for about $400.00 street price (MSRP is $529.00).

    CLICK HERE for Ruger Precision Rimfire Owner’s Manual PDF »

    Facebook Photo by Dustin S. who just purchased one. Looks good with optic, bipod, and suppressor.
    Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

    Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

    Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

    The Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR rifle is so new that no vendor has one in inventory yet. But you CAN pre-order one now for $399.99 from Sportsmans Outdoor Superstore (MSRP: $529.00). For PRS shooters and Ruger Precision Rifle owners, this may be an ideal rimfire cross-trainer, with ergonomics and balance like their centerfire rig. This PRS-style .22 LR rig has some very interesting features, including adjustable bolt throw that lets shooters change from a rimfire 1.5″ bolt throw to a short-action centerfire 3″ bolt throw, reducing the chance of short-stroking your bolt in competition. The Ruger Marksman trigger adjusts from 2.25 to 5.0 pounds.

    RUGER PRECISION RIMFIRE Important Features:
    Quick-Fit Stock with adjustable cheekpiece and adjustable LOP
    18″ barrel, pre-threaded for brakes and Silent-SR® suppressor
    Barrel can be removed and replaced easily with AR-style tools
    Picatinny scope rail with +30 MOA built-in elevation
    Front 15″ free-float M-Lok handguard
    Adjustable Trigger 2.25 to 5 pounds
    Accepts all Ruger 10/22 magazines

    Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

    Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

    Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

    Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

    Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR


    Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Tactical 16 Comments »
    December 29th, 2017

    BYOB — Build Your Own Barricade (for Tactical Training)

    6.5 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence

    Here’s a great Do-It-Yourself project for tactical shooters. Ed and Steve of the have created a versatile wooden barricade designed for easy transport. The goal with this design was to create a stable barricade that offers a variety of shooting positions, but can also fit in the bed of a pick-up or the back of an SUV. The 69″ tall barricade is hinged in the middle, so it’s just 27″ wide. To deploy the Barricade you simply fold it open and then nest the lower wings in ground-level stands.

    We call this the BYOB Project — Build Your Own Barricade. Anyone with basic wood-working skills should find the Barricade prettyeasy to make. The only tricky part is cutting the side Dado joints for the left and right lower wings. But when you’ve got it completed, you have a low-cost unit that is versatile and sturdy yet easy to pack in a truck and carry out on the range. In the video below the 6.5 Guys showcase their Gen 2 barricade and explain how to build one just like it.

    Looking at the 6.5 Guys Modular Barricade
    The Modular Barricade was drawn up by Steve in PowerPoint and then dimensions added. Once the entire plan was created, Steve cut components to size and then used ordinary wood screws and wood glue to assemble the barricade frame. This was done to ensure maximum rigidity due to the light weight construction using 2″ x 2″ frame members. A long piano hinge was used to allow the Barricade to fold in half, while still having high torsional rigidity. Each of the Barricade openings are 12″ x 12″ square. This consistent ‘window’ spacing allows interchangeable panels with different cut-out shapes to be placed at varies heights/locations in the Barricade.

    Modular Barricade Key Features
    — Lightweight construction using low-cost 2×2 wood beams.
    — Collapsible frame with center hinges for easy transport and deployment.
    — Multiple Support levels at 6″ vertical intervals (6″ variance R to L).
    — Modular port design allows ports to be changed and moved as desired.

    6.5 Guys Ed Mobley Steve Lawrence

    CLICK HERE to Download 6.5 Guys Barricade Plans PDF »

    6.5 Guys’ Modular Barricade — Construction Tips
    The Modular Barricade can be constructed over a weekend with the proper materials and basic shop tools such as a power saw and electric screwdriver. Steve used a router for the side panel dado joints but a table saw could also be used for that task. Steve’s only real issue with the build involved the port panels — getting them to fit right. The 2″ x 2″ frame wood wasn’t always straight; even a small variation in the wood could cause a port panel to be too tight or too loose. Steve had to do a lot of extra sanding and planing to get the port panels to fit just right.

    Where and How to Use the Barricade for Training
    Because the 6.5 Guys’ Modular Barricade is so easy to move, you can simply pack it up and deploy it at your local range for practice. (Do ensure club/range rules allow shooting from barricades.) While the Barricade is designed to sit on the natural ground, the base stands can also be placed on concrete if your range does not allow deployment forward of the normal firing line. While you can use the Barricade for training on your own, Ed and Steve say novice shooters can benefit from a formal clinic.

    In the video below, the 6.5 Guys discuss precision rifle training with Scott Satterlee, an instructor with Core Shooting Solutions. This video explains why new shooters should consider enrolling in a formal training clinic. Topics covered are: typical course format and “curriculum”, the gear needed to participate in a precision rifle clinic, and skills shooters should practice before attending the clinic.

    Permalink - Articles, Tactical, Tech Tip No Comments »
    December 8th, 2017

    Ten Great Gift Books for Precision Shooters

    AccurateShooter Christmas Book List recommended shooting books
    Rifle image from

    Christmas is coming soon. Books have always been popular holiday gifts. If you haven’t completed your holiday shopping, here are some recommended titles that should please the serious shooters and firearms enthusiasts on your shopping list. For shooting clubs, books also make great end-of-season member awards. Most of us would rather have a useful book than one more piece of wood to toss in a box in the closet.

    Here Are TEN BOOKS Recommended for Serious Shooters:

    Top-Grade Ammo
    by Glen Zediker, $27.99 (Softcover — Sale at Midsouth)

    Glen Zediker’s latest book, Top-Grade Ammo, is a great resource for all hand-loaders — beginners through advanced. This 314-page guide covers every aspect of the reloading process — component sorting, priming, sizing, bullet seating and more. With 430 photos, Top-Grade Ammo is a richly-illustrated, step-by-step guide to producing high-quality handloads. Unlike many reloading books, Top-Grade Ammo is current and up-to-date, so it covers modern practices and the latest precision reloading tools. While Zediker focuses on producing match-grade ammo for competition, this book will also help novice reloaders on a budget. This book features a special “lay-flat” binding so it’s easy to use as a benchtop reference. To view Chapter List and sample pages visit

    Modern Advancements in LR Shooting
    by Bryan Litz, $27.99 (Kindle), $41.95 (Hardcover)

    If you’re a serious long-range shooter, consider adding this book to your library. Relying on extensive ballistics testing, Modern Advancements contains some fascinating research results, including the effects of twist rate on muzzle velocity, BC, and precision. Other sections detail the evolution of modern rifle, bullet, and optics designs. And there is an important comparison test of chronographs. Laser rangefinders and wind measurement devices are explained in detail by contributing author Nick Vitalbo. This book is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to understand the current “state of the art” in today’s shooting world. There is a ton of “hard science” in this book — not just opinions.

    Practical Shooter’s Guide
    by Marcus Blanchard, $9.99 (Kindle), $19.99 (Softcover)

    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.”

    Nancy Tompkins Long Range book Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting
    by Nancy Tompkins, $45.00, (Hardcover, 2d Edition).

    Nancy Tompkins is one of the greatest long-range shooters in American history. She has won five National Long-range Championships. Tompkins’ treatise is a must-read for serious Palma, F-Class, and High Power shooters. The revised Second edition includes F-Class equipment and techniques, and newly updated information. Color pictures. Topics include Mental & Physical training, Reading Wind & Mirage Shooting Fundamentals, International Competition, and Loading for Long Range. Nancy Tompkins is a 4-time winner of the National Long Range Championships, and has won countless other major events. Nancy has been on six Palma Teams (as both a shooter and a coach).

    Tony Boyer Book rifle accuracy benchrest Long Range Shooting Handbook
    by Ryan Cleckner, $2.99 (Kindle), $22.46 (Softcover),

    Ryan Cleckner is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. Now Cleckner has authored a book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in Cleckner’s popular NSSF video series. The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on

    Tony Boyer Book rifle accuracy benchrest The Book of Rifle Accuracy
    by Tony Boyer, $34.50 (Softcover); $42.50 (Hardcover).

    Tony Boyer, the most successful shooter in the history of short-range benchrest competition, shares many of his match-winning tips in this 323-page book. The book covers all aspect of the benchrest discipline: loading, windflags, rest set-up, addressing the rifle, and match strategies. This is a high-quality publication, filled with valuable insights. Every serious benchrest shooter should read Tony’s book. Boyer has dominated registered benchrest in a fashion that will never be duplicated, having amassed 142 U.S. Benchrest Hall of Fame points. The next closest shooter, Allie Euber, has 47 Hall of Fame points. This handsome, full-color book is 323 pages long, with color photos or color illustrations on nearly every page.

    mike ratigan book Extreme Rifle Accuracy
    by Mike Ratigan, $42.49 (Softcover)

    This book should be on the shelf of every short-range benchrest shooter. (Shooters in other disciplines will find the book helpful as well.) Butch Lambert says Mike’s book is “far and away the best Benchrest book written. Very comprehensive, it touches on every aspect of our game.” Mike’s 368-page book is dedicated to getting the most from modern rifle accuracy equipment with an emphasis on shooting 100-200-300 yard group benchrest tournaments. This book covers the most popular hardware plus new equipment offerings are covered, including external mount scopes, actions, triggers, stocks, wind flags, and more. Also covered are rifle handling techniques, note taking, tuning, bullet selection, goals, and match strategies. Mike provides many tips that will help active competitors update their own competitive program.

    David Tubb High Power Rifle The Rifle Shooter
    by G. David Tubb, $34.95 (Softcover)

    This book by 11-time National High Power Champion David Tubb focuses on position shooting and High Power disciplines. Section One covers fundamentals: position points, natural point of aim, breathing, triggering mechanics and follow-through, sling selection and use, getting started, getting better, avoiding obstacles. Section Two covers mechanics of offhand, sitting, and prone positions. Section Three covers shooting skills, including wind reading and mental preparation. Section Four covers the technical side of shooting, with extensive disuctions of rifle design, load development, reloading barrel maintenance, and rifle fitting. We consider this book a “must-read” for any sling shooter, and there is plenty of good advice for F-Class shooters too.

    Bullseye Midnd Raymond Prior Creedmoor Sports Bullseye Mind
    (Mental Toughness for Sport Shooting)
    by Dr. Raymond Prior, $14.00 (Softcover).

    Having a Bullseye Mind means thinking in ways that create confidence and consistency, even under pressure. A “must-read” for competitive shooters, Bullseye Mind is a mental training book written specifically for the shooting sports. The book is well-organized, with handy highlighted lists and key “talking points”. Each chapter concludes with examples from a world-class shooters such as: Matt Emmons, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist; Vincent Hancock, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist; Jamie Corkish, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist; Petra Zublasing, 2014 World Champion/ISSF Shooter of the Year; and Nicco Campriani, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, 2010 World Champion. This book has earned rave reviews from competitive shooters who found it really helped their “Mental Game”. One recent purchaser states: “This book is as though you had a coach in your back pocket…”

    Cartridges of World 15th Edition Cartridges of the World (15th Edition)
    by W. Todd Woddard, $19.99 (Kindle), $33.54 (Softcover)

    Cartridges of the World (15th Edition, 2016), belongs in every serious gun guy’s library. This massive 680-page reference contains illustrations and basic load data for over 1500 cartridges. If you load for a wide variety of cartridges, or are a cartridge collector, this book is a “must-have” resource. The latest edition includes 50 new cartridges and boasts 1500+ photos. The 15th Edition of Cartridges of the World includes cartridge specs, plus tech articles on Cartridge identification, SAAMI guidelines, wildcatting, and new cartridge design trends. In scope and level of detail, Cartridges of the World is the most complete cartridge reference guide in print. Cartridges of the World now includes a 64-page full-color section with feature articles.

    Permalink Competition, Reloading, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
    December 7th, 2017

    Hardware and Rules for PRS Gas Gun Series

    PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

    Ask most gun guys about the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), and they’ll tell you it’s a discipline for bolt-action “tactical” rifles. Yes that’s true, but PRS now has a “Gas Gun” series as well, and many local PRS-style matches also allow gas guns to compete in their own division.

    Capitalizing on the success of the bolt-gun competitions, this year the PRS approved a new Gas Gun series for semi-auto rifles such as AR15s and AR10s. The inaugural 2017 PRS Gas Gun Series competition took place February 17-19, 2017 at the CORE Shooting Solutions range in Baker, Florida. This article explains the basics of the Gas Gun Series and offers some factory hardware options.

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

    Gas Gun Series Basics — Interview with PRS President
    Shooting Sports USA interviewed PRS President Shawn Wiseman.

    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. 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 5X to 6X zoom range on the rifles. Bushnell, Kahles, Leupold, Nightforce and Vortex will continue to be the most popular.

    PRS Gas Gun Series Factory Firearm Options

    While you can compete in the Gas Gun Series with an AR15, many Open Division competitors are favoring the larger AR10-platform rifles that can shoot the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor cartridges. Both Savage and Smith & Wesson offer AR10-type rifles optimized for this competition.

    Smith and Wesson M&P 10, 6.5 Creedmoor

    gas gun series PRS

    S&W’s AR10-platform rifle is a leading choice for the PRS Gas Gun Division. The M&P 10 in 6.5 Creedmoor shows good build quality and good accuracy with factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. If you’re a fan of the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, the M&P 10 is a smart gas gun option. S&W offers good customer service and a rock-solid warranty. This rifle features a 2-Stage Match Trigger, Magpul MOE Stock, 15″ M-LOK handguard, and a 20″ barrel with 1:8″-twist 5R Rifling. MSRP is $2035.00.

    Savage MSR-10 Long Range, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win

    gas gun series PRS

    The updated Savage MSR-10 Long Range is available now in .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor. Next month (January 2018), Savage will also release a 6mm Creedmoor version. This rifle features a Magpul PRS Gen3 Stock, Blackhawk 2-stage trigger, non-reciprocating side charging handle, and QPQ-treated heavy barrel (1:8″ twist for 6.5 Creedmoor; 1:10″ for .308 Win). MSRP for all chamberings is $2284.00.

    New .224 Valkyrie for AR15 Platform
    Another option would be the smaller AR15 chambered for the new .224 Valkyrie cartridge. This brand new offering from Federal is basically a 6.8 SPC necked down to .224 caliber. With the 90gr Sierra MatchKing, it offers ballistics comparable to a 6.5 Creedmoor, with less recoil.

    PRS Gas Gun Series Rules

    For the new PRS Gas Gun Series, a committee of top PRS shooters, Multi-Gun shooters, and Match Directors developed the PRS Gas Gun Series Rule Book. Highlights of the Rules are listed below.

    PRS Gas Gun AR15 AR10 Series Semi-auto tactical

    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.

    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 to compete using traditional military and law enforcement caliber (.223/5.56). 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 chamberings 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 News 1 Comment »
    December 3rd, 2017

    Howa How-To: Basics of Howa Rifles and Barrel-Swapping Tips

    Howa 1500 rifle Bill built this tactical rifle (top image) with a Howa 1500 action, Shilen barrel, and MDT chassis. Below is a factory Howa 1500 Multi-Cam rifle.

    Many of our readers are thinking of purchasing a Howa rifle or barreled action. These feature smooth-running actions with a good two-stage HACT trigger. But some folks have heard that it may be difficult to find stocks, or to fit an after-market barrel. That’s not true. There are many stock options available, and in this article, Bill of shows that it is easy to remove the factory-installed barrel with the right tools. We think a Howa makes a fine basis for a varmint rig or field rifle. Or you can build a tactical as Bill did. You can start with the factory barrel and when you want/need more accuracy, then have a gunsmith install a custom barrel from Krieger, Shilen, or other quality brand.

    What You Need to Know About Howa 1500-series Rifles

    Tech Feature by
    Consider this article the “Howa 1500 Overview”.’s editor mentioned there’s been a lot of interest in Howa rifles and barreled actions imported by Legacy Sports International. In addition to being able to buy a complete rifle from a dealer, Brownells sells barreled actions in a wide variety of calibers and configurations. In this post we are going to take a look at the Howa 1500 series.

    Howa Rifles — General Background
    Howa is a Japanese heavy machinery company. One of its product lines are firearms, which, are imported into the United States of America by two different companies, Legacy Sports International and Weatherby. Legacy sells the 1500 under the manufacturers name while Weatherby re-brands the guns as the Weatherby Vanguard. In general, the finishes on the Weatherby rifles are more refined than the LSI-imported 1500s.

    General Evaluation of Howa 1500 Rifles
    I’ve found Howa 1500s to be solid, entry-level rifles that are capable of sub-MOA accuracy out of the box. I’ve actually purchased two Howa rifles I’ve tested because I like them so much. The gun below, a Howa Mini-Action in 7.62×39 Russian, is one of my favorite factory guns to shoot. I’m running a Tract Optics Toric on it, these are solid little rifle scopes that offer great performance for the money.

    Howa 1500 rifle Bill

    Check out this three-shot group I drilled at 100 yards with the rifle above and 125-grain Sierras. It took a lot of work and load development to get there, but when it did, it worked well.

    Howa 1500 rifle Bill

    Howa 1600 HACT Two-Stage TriggerHowa 1500 HACT 2-Stage Trigger
    Howa 1500s feature the very nice Howa HACT trigger. This is an adjustable, two-stage trigger, set for about 3 pounds (combined stages). Crisp and repeatable, this is an excellent trigger for a factory gun. There is no annoying Glock-style safety lever in the middle of the trigger blade. The 2-stage design and pull weight range works well for a hunting rifle or a rig for PRS competition. says the Howa trigger is “one of the best factory triggers, along with Tikka. I’ve found the Howa trigger superior to a Remington 700 — the Howas doesn’t need to be replaced.

    Writing for the Western Outdoor News,, Steve Comus has field-tested the new HACT Trigger. Steve writes: “I always liked two-stage triggers, because of the way I could take-up the slack and then actually know when the rifle was going to go off. The take-up on the [HACT] trigger was fast and easy. The crisp, positive release when pressure was put on during the second stage [reminded me] of some of the target rifles I shot through the years.”

    Howa Actions — Three Options
    Howa offers three action lengths: Mini, Short, and Long. You can see the bolts for the three action lengths in the image below. The Mini-Action has similar external dimensions to the Remington Model Seven, however, the Mini-Action’s bolt does not travel as far to the rear. This is a mixed bag. The upside is you have a quicker action (shorter bolt throw). The downside is you are limited to shorter rounds such as the .223 Remington, 7.62×39mm Russian, and 6.5 Grendel. But if you need a bigger cartridge, just choose the standard or long action Howa variant.

    Howa 1500 rifle Bill

    Howa 1500 vs. Remington 700 — Important Differences
    Is the Howa 1500 a Remington 700 clone, or some kind of improved Remington 700? No, not really. While the top radius of the Howa 1500 does match the Model 700, and they can both use the same two-piece scope bases, there area number of differences.

    Howa 1500 rifle Bill

    If you look at the Howa 1500 alongside the Remington 700 you’ll note the M700 is a round action, while the Howa is a flat-bottom action. In many ways the Howa’s bottom half reminds me of a push-feed Winchester. This means the chassis and stocks that support a Howa 1500 are not V-block based like you’ll find on a 700, instead they have a flat bottom. While the bolt of the Howa is similar in external appearance to the Model 700, it does offer some improvements, notably an M16-style extractor and a firing pin assembly that can be easily removed without tools.

    Howa 1500 rifle Bill

    Howa 1500 action screws are metric and are in a different location from the 700. The Howa 1500 has an integral recoil lug that accepts the front action screw, this means you have more of the front action screw engaging the action. WARNING: If you install it into a poorly-fitted stock or action you may bind it.

    Can a Howa Action Be Used for a Custom Rifle Project?
    Absolutely! You can either buy a barreled action from Brownells and throw it in a chassis system/stock of your choice or you can use a stripped action to build a custom rifle. If you are in the chassis market, MDT offers a wide variety of chassis in different price ranges. All have worked well for me.

    How to Remove Howa Factory Barrel from Action
    You may have heard internet grumblings about removing Howa barrels. Some keyboard commandos say they are extremely difficult to remove without a relief cut. Well Bill at demonstrates that Howa barrels can be removed without trouble, provided you have the right tools. Watch this video:

    Watch Howa Barrel Removal Video — Quick and Easy (Click Speaker Icon for Audio)

    Q: Is it difficult to remove a barrel from a Howa 1500?
    A: Not very. I’ve heard from some smiths that worked on Howas (years ago) that the factory barrels are difficult to remove. However of the half dozen or so Howa barrels that I’ve pulled, they’ve been very easy. I use a Brownells action wrench with the top piece for a Rem Model 700 and the flat bottom resting against the flat on the wrench.

    Howa Actions Require Metric Barrel Threads
    It’s easy to thread a barrel for a Howa Action. You just have to cut metric threads — most lathes out there can cut them. I cut the threads below on a manual lathe using change gears. [Editor: John Whidden cuts metric tenon threads with a CNC lathe. “It’s easy,” John tells us, “No issue whatsoever.”]

    Howa 1500 rifle Bill

    Using Howa Actions for Custom Rifles
    I have built a few customs with Howa actions. Below is one of my favorite, a .308 Winchester. It consists of a Howa 1500 action, Shilen Select Match Remington Varmint contour barrel, and Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) ESS chassis. Great rifle and it hammers!

    Howa 1500 rifle Bill

    To learn more about Howa rifles and actions, visit Legacy Sports International. To buy a Howa barreled action, visit

    To learn more about modular chassis systems for Howa rifles, visit

    Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip No Comments »
    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 »
    November 24th, 2017

    New Hot-Rod .224 Valkyrie Cartridge from Federal

    Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

    Seems like new cartridges are being introduced every few months, particularly for the AR15 platform. This past January, Nosler gave us the .22 Nosler, a potent cartridge with better ballistics than the “plain vanilla” .223 Remington. American Rifleman reported: “Nosler is claiming its new [.22 Nosler] cartridge … can get 300 FPS and 25% more energy out of the AR platform” compared to the .223 Rem.

    New .224 Valkyrie from Federal
    Now Federal has introduced a .22-Caliber Hot Rod cartridge — the .224 Valkyrie. Designed to rival the .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the new .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with modern, high-BC bullets.

    Federal claims its .224 Valkyrie ammo loaded with the Sierra 90 MatchKing stays supersonic all the way out to 1300 yards. Watch the video above for details. Design-wise, the .224 Valkyrie has a medium-length neck, 30° shoulder. Unofficially, we are told this new cartridge is “based on on the .30 Remington/6.8 SPC case, necked down to .22 caliber”. (Source: TheFireArmBlog). It’s similar in appearance to a 6.5 Grendel necked to .22-Caliber, but the body is longer. Case capacity has been measured at 34.5 grs H2O, about 1.3 grains less than the .22 Nosler.

    Federal currently offers four types of .224 Valkyrie Ammunition: 75gr TMJ “American Eagle”, 60gr Nosler Ballistic Tip “Varmint”, 90gr SP “Fusion MSR”, and 90gr HP SMK “Premium”.

    Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

    COMMENTARY — Do We Need Another .22-Caliber Cartridge?
    Is the .224 Valkyrie really needed? Bolt-gunners can just shoot a 22-250 (or a 22 Dasher if you want a more efficient cartridge). But for guys who want a hot-performing .22-Caliber round that feeds and functions 100% in AR-Platform rifles, this .22 Valkyrie may make sense. Just as the .22 Nosler has found favor with some shooters, there may be a market for the .224 Valkyrie — both among varmint hunters and PRS Gas Gun Series competitors.

    Conceivably some bolt-action PRS shooters might adopt the .224 Valkyrie. Why? Reduced recoil. With the 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie offers ballistics similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor but with significantly less felt recoil. Check out this a chart from Federal showing comparative recoil levels (highlights added).

    Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

    Even with the heavy-for-caliber 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie delivers significantly less felt recoil than a 6.5 Creedmoor shooting 130gr or 140gr bullets. You get a similar trajectory and good wind-bucking ability, with less push. The reduced recoil CAN make a difference, particularly during rapid-fire strings. Since PRS is shot “on the clock”, less recoil could provide a competitive advantage.

    Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

    Cheaper to Shoot? Maybe, But Consider Barrel Life…
    Cost considerations might also drive some PRS shooters to the .224 Valkyrie. Quality .22-Cal bullets definitely cost less than match-grade 6.5 mm projectiles. Therefore, high-volume shooters may find the .224 Valkyrie more affordable to shoot. On the other hand, barrel life for the .224 Valkyrie will likely be shorter than with the 6.5 Creedmoor, so you may end up paying more in the long run. What you save on the cost of bullets you may have to invest in new barrels.

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical 23 Comments »
    November 14th, 2017

    6mm Creedmoor Reloading Data From Sierra Bullets

    6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

    CLICK HERE for Sierra Bullets 6mm Creedmoor LOAD DATA PDF »

    Sierra Bullets has recently released load data for the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge, a necked-down version of the 6.5 Creedmoor, a popular PRS, tactical, and hunting cartridge. Sierra has released very comprehensive 6mm Creedmoor load data, covering fifteen (15) different bullets from 55 to 110 grains. NOTE: Hornady-brand brass was used for Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor load tests, not the newer, stronger Lapua 6.5 CM brass with small primer pockets. Hand-loaders using Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass necked to 6mm may have to adjust their loads.

    Sierra writes: “As soon as the 6.5 Creedmoor was released in 2007, a 6mm version was being envisioned. After the 6mm Creedmoor demonstrated its worth at 1000 yards it began to catch the attention of Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitors. The 6mm/6.5 Creedmoor is a great fit for those looking for an AR platform-friendly cartridge. It delivers velocities very similar to the .243 Win and yet fits the AR10 magazine length[.] The 30-degree shoulder makes this a very efficient case and helps prolong case life as well. The 6mm/6.5 Creedmoor works well with powders such as H4350, RE-17, and Ramshot Hunter for heavier long-range bullet weights. Slightly faster powders such as RE-15, Win 760, and Vihtavuori N540 work well with lighter weight bullets.”

    Sierra Bullets Tested for 6mm Creedmoor Load Data
    55gr BlitzKing (#1502)
    60gr HP (#1500)
    70gr HPBT (#1505)
    70gr BlitzKing (#1507)
    75gr HP (#1510)
    80gr SBT (#1515)
    85gr Spitzer (#1520)
    85gr HPBT (#1530)
    90gr FMJBT (#1535)
    95gr HPBT (#1537)
    95gr TMK (#7295)
    100gr Spitzer (#1540)
    100gr SBT (#1560)
    107gr HPBT (#1570)
    110gr HPBT (#1575)

    In developing its 6mm Creedmoor load data, Sierra tested a very wide selection of propellants, two dozen overall. For the smaller bullets, fast-burning powders such as Benchmark, H4895, and CFE223 were tested. For the heavier 100+ grain bullets, Sierra tested a selection of medium-burn-rate powders including H4350, Reloder 16, Reloder 17, Varget, and Superformance. Sierra did a very thorough job. We know this information will be welcomed by 6mm Creedmoor shooters.

    Don’t know what powder to try first? For the 107-110 grain bullets, if you want best accuracy and low ES/SD, our Forum members recommend Alliant Reloder 16 and Hodgdon H4350. If you are seeking max velocity with the 110-grainer, look at Hodgdon Superformance and Reloder 19.

    Here are Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor Load Data Charts for the 107gr MK and 110gr MK. There are a half-dozen other tables for lighter-weight bullets.

    6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

    6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

    6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

    Sierra Bullets Load Data 6mm Creedmoor reloading tips

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tactical No Comments »
    October 31st, 2017

    6XC II — Great 6mm Option For Precision Rifle Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    6XC II Chamber and Sizing Die Combo:

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

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

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

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

    6XC II custom dies redding

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

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    October 21st, 2017

    New Hornady 6.5 PRC — Precision Rifle Cartridge

    Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge

    Hornady has introduced a new Short Magnum cartridge, the 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge). This will be offered as factory ammo in both a “Match” version (with 147gr ELD) and a “Precision Hunter” version (with 143gr ELD-X bullet). Presumably, in the future, Hornady will offer 6.5 PRC brass separately for hand-loaders, but Hornady has no time-line for brass availability. However, you can get 6.5 PRC brass right now from GA Precision at $86.00 per 100 cases. GA Precision’s George Gardner, who helped develop this cartridge, has posted: “It’s a non-rebated short mag based on a short RCM [Ruger Compact Magnum] case. It has 3-4 grains less capacity than the 6.5 SAUM which nets about 30-50 fps deficit to the SAUM.”

    The 6.5 PRC Match seems to be aimed at the PRS crowd and long-range tactical shooters. The product launch photo shows a tactical rifle and steel plate. Hornady says the 6.5 PRC was “designed to achieve the highest levels of accuracy, flat trajectory, and extended range performance in a sensibly-designed compact package. Utilizing moderate powder charges that result in repeatable accuracy, low recoil, and reasonable barrel life, the 6.5 PRC produces high velocities for target shooting with performance well beyond 1000 yards.”

    “High Velocities”? Wait a minute — here’s the ballistics chart from Hornady’s 6.5 PRC page. It shows a muzzle velocity of 2910 FPS. That’s not much better than a 6.5 Creedmoor (which can push 140s over 2800 fps), so we wonder about this. You have to ask — what is the point? Is there anything this 6.5 PRC can do that the venerable 6.5-284 can’t do just as well or better — with a standard bolt face?

    Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge Hunter ELD-X

    New 6.5 PRC Is a Short Magnum Requiring Magnum Bolt Face
    Dubbed the “big brother” to the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 6.5 PRC fits in short or medium actions with a standard magnum bolt face (.532”). The case geometry features a long cartridge case neck and 30-degree case shoulder. It sort of looks like a 6.5 Creedmoor on steroids. For its loaded 6.5 PRC Match Ammo, Hornady is showing a 2910 fps Muzzle Velocity with the 147gr ELD Match bullet. That’s not very impressive. Why go to the trouble?

    Comment — Does This New 6.5 PRC Cartridge Fill a Need?
    Honestly, we don’t get this. If you need more speed than a 6.5 Creedmoor and want to stick with a .264-diameter bullet, then shoot a .260 Rem or 6.5-284 using a standard bolt. This requires a magnum bolt face. The 6.5-284 is a barrel burner; the 6.5 PRC promises to be likewise. On the other hand it may work better than a 6.5-284 in a short-action magazine — that may be what Hornady is thinking…

    The 6.5 PRC clearly seems to be targeted at the PRS crowd. But we see many top PRS competitors moving DOWN in cartridge size, rather than up. Many PRS guys have stepped down from the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6mm Creedmoor, or even a 6mm Dasher. The benefit is less recoil, and cheaper bullets. Are there really many PRS shooters clamoring for a short magnum? We don’t think so.

    We’ll see if this new 6.5 PRC cartridge catches on — maybe some PRS guys will want this for long-range side matches. Rifle makers currently chambering the 6.5 PRC include GA Precision, Gunwerks, PROOF Research, Stuteville Precision and Seekins Precision.

    6.5 PRC Ammunition for Hunters — Also New for 2018
    Hornady will also sell a version of 6.5 PRC ammo design for hunters. The Precision Hunter version, shown below, is loaded with the 143-grain ELD-X Bullet. Again, however, we really don’t know why any hunter would want to shoot this cartridge, when you already have so many good choices, such as the 6.5x55mm Swede, and the original .284 Winchester, both of which can use a standard bolt face.

    Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge

    If you have a hunting rifle with a magnum-size bolt, why not shoot the 7mm RSAUM or 7mm WSM? Barrel life is not really an issue for hunters, so the smaller case capacity of the 6.5 PRC is not really an advantage. Perhaps the veteran hunters among our readers can enlighten us, using the comments section. Would you build a hunting rifle chambered for the 6.5 PRC?

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Tactical 45 Comments »