August 23rd, 2014
Are you a gun-loving number cruncher? Then you need to read a new Shooting Industry Magazine Report. This report, filled with reams of hard data from the past two decades, reveals the state of the gun-making industry. You may be stunned to see how firearm production has skyrocketed in the past few years. In fact, total U.S. firearm production rose to 8,872,456 units in 2012, compared to 6,351,479 in 2011. That’s a 39.7% increase. SEE MORE STATS.
U.S. Gun-Makers Set Production Records
The top three firearm manufacturers all increased production substantially in 2012 compared to 2011, setting new production records. In 2012, the #1 American gun-maker, Ruger, boosted production 48% over 2011 levels. The #2 company, Remington Arms, raised production 13% in 2012, while #3 Smith and Wesson increased production 31% in 2012 compared to the year before. What’s more, in 2012, each one of these three U.S. manufacturers built more than a million firearms. That’s an historic first according to Shooting Industry Magazine.
More Guns = Higher Demand for Ammo and Reloading Components
If you have been wondering “Where did all the powder and .22 LR ammo go?”, take a good look at the chart above. There has been an enormous boost in production in recent years. Unquestionably, many of the buyers of all those new guns are looking for ammo to shoot. This helps explain why ammo and reloading components are in short supply.
Gun Sales Are Below Record 2013 Levels, But Are Still Very High
Report Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Gun sales peaked in 2013, and there has been a slow-down in 2014. However, it does look like 2014 sales will outpace 2012. The Shooting Industry Magazine report declares: “During May 2014, NICS conducted 877,655 (NSSF-adjusted) background checks. While this was a 9.9% decrease, compared to May 2013, it was the second highest May in NICS history. More importantly, it was a 4% increase over May 2012. This trend — a decrease in background checks compared to 2013, but an increase compared to 2012 — is reflected in the early months of 2014.”
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July 30th, 2014
Story Based on Report by Kyle Jillson for NRABlog.com
Joseph Hendricks won the 2014 NRA High Power Rifle Championship with a 1789-76X Score. Hendricks topped a large field of 288 total competitors. In second place, two points behind, was past champion Norm Houle with 1787-85X. Defending 2013 High Power Champion SSG Brandon Green was a close third, with 1786-89X. Green had the high X-Count for the match. The top “Any Sights” competitor was Kenneth Lankford, whose 1780-76X was the eighth-highest total overall.
Great Shooting Takes Hendricks from Fifth to First on Final Day
Dawn on the final day of the 2014 NRA High Power Rifle Championship saw Joe Hendricks sitting in fifth place. But by sundown the Team Remington shooter had become the national champion. What happened in between was a shining example of consistency and perseverance.
Hendricks started the final day (Tuesday) four points down of the leader, tied for third but with a low X-Count. “I assumed everybody would go clean … so I needed to go clean just to maintain my spot,” Hendricks said. And clean he went. All 60 of Joe’s shots on Tuesday fell within the 10-ring. In fact, he hit straight 10s for the last 100 shots of the 180-shot championship. That is an impressive feat.
Three Generations of Hendricks on the Firing Line
Hendricks has the unique privilege to shoot with his son, Joe Hendricks, Jr., and his father, Gary Hendricks. The rest of his family was there to cheer him on as well.
Altered Course of Fire on Final Day
Tuesday’s matches followed an unusual break after severe winds on Monday caused a complete cancellation of the matches. Normally, on the final day of the High Power Championship, competitors shoot matches at 200, 300, and 600 yards. This year, due to the Monday cancellation, competitors did not fire a 200-yard match, but instead fired the 300-yard match and TWO 600-yard matches.
View Photos from 2014 High Power Championships
When everyone found themselves back on the firing line Tuesday morning, the wind had died down. “The winds weren’t too tricky. I shot two nice groups at 300. Not the X-count I wanted, but I got all the points,” Hendricks explained. “When I got back to 600 I just tried to do the same thing. The wind dropped off enough a couple times that if I shot I’d lose points, so I waited until it came back.”
Hendricks finished with 1789-76X, two points ahead of Norman Houle (1787-85X), a three-time High Power National Champion. In third place, with 1786-89X, was SSG Brandon Green, last year’s High Power Rifle Champion.
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May 29th, 2014
Looking for an inexpensive hunting rifle — something to harvest a buck this fall? American Rifleman Magazine has done a comparison review of four budget-priced, American-made bolt-action rifles: Mossberg ATR—$290; Remington 783—$320; Ruger American—$300; Savage Axis—$300. The costliest of the four is $320, leading review author John Barsness to write: “Considering inflation since 1950, they all cost considerably less than the Remington 721/722 did, so they really are valued priced.”
Highlights of Review
The Ruger stood out due to the three-lug bolt and steel bedding blocks, but otherwise the features were mixed up pretty well. Three of the four have adjustable triggers with little tabs in the blades to prevent unintended discharges; the lone exception is the [Savage] Axis. (This is a little strange, since Savage’s Accu-Trigger introduced the concept to American rifle shooters.)
The Mossberg’s action looks a lot like a Remington Model 700, and it’s the only rifle of the four to have a blind magazine. The other three use detachable-box magazines partly made of polymer, though in the Remington polymer parts are combined with sheet steel.
The Mossberg, Remington and Savage all have separate recoil lugs between the barrel and the front of the action, and all four rifles use lock-nuts to attach the barrels, a faster and, thus, less expensive way to set headspace.
All four have “plastic” trigger guards (on the Mossberg and Ruger they are integrally molded with the stock), soft recoil pads and sling-swivel studs.
All four rifles have more from-the-factory features than the typical “affordable” bolt-action hunting rifles of half a century ago, and better trigger pulls than the average factory rifle of any price 25 years ago. They shoot reasonably accurately to really well with the right ammunition, and none of them malfunctioned in any way during the testing. — John Barsness
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May 16th, 2014
Remington Outdoor Company (formerly the Freedom Group), announced some big changes yesterday. A half-dozen product lines were consolidated, some small manufacturing facilities were targeted for shut-down, and a host of jobs are being “relocated” to Remington’s new Huntsville, Alabama factory. In addition, certain product lines now being made in Ilion, New York, will be shifted to Alabama.
Remington spokesman Teddy Novin declared: “[On May 15, 2014] we announced the consolidation of multiple company plants into our Huntsville, Alabama facility. This was a strategic business decision to concentrate our resources into fewer locations and improve manufacturing efficiency and quality. We are working hard to retain as many [workers] from the affected facilities as possible.”
Doors Closing at Small Plants Around the Country
Numerous production facilities (currently operated by Remington sub-brands) will be shut down in multiple states, with business functions moved to Remington’s new 500,000-square-foot facility in Huntsville, Alabama. Most importantly, Bushmaster rifle production and the Remington 1911 production lines will be relocated from Ilion, New York to Huntsville. The DPMS plant in St. Cloud, Minnesota will be shuttered, with production shifted to Huntsville. Suppressor-maker Advanced Armament Corp. (AAC) will close its Lawrenceville, Georgia facility. Para-Ordance pistol production will halt in North Carolina and be shifted to Huntsville. Likewise,the Montana Rifleman (Kalispell, MT), TAPCO (Kennesaw, GA), and LAR Manufacturing (West Jordan, UT) production facilities will all be closed, with future production moved to Alabama. Below is a complete list of the consolidations and plant closures:
Sweet Home, Alabama — These Operations Will Be Moved:
- Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC, moved from Lawrenceville, GA)
- Bushmaster (moved from Ilion, NY)
- DPMS – Panther Arms (moved from St. Cloud, MN)
- LAR Manufacturing (moved from West Jordan, UT)
- Montana Rifleman (moved from Kalispell, MT)
- Para-Ordnance (moved from Pinevile, NC)
- Remington 1911 (moved from Ilion, NY)
- Tapco (moved from Kennesaw, GA)
We are also informed that some of the operations currently conducted at Remington’s Elizabethtown, Kentucky firearms plant and R&D facility will be moved to Huntsville, GA. However, we don’t have more specifics at this time.
The original Remington Arms Company was founded in 1816. Today’s Remington Outdoor Company, Inc. produces firearms, ammunition, and related outdoor products. The Firearms segment manufactures and sells sporting shotguns, rifles, handguns, modular firearms, and airguns under numerous brands including Remington, Bushmaster, Dakota, DPMS, Harrington & Richardson, Parker Gun, Marlin, Nesika, and Para-Ordnance. The Ammunition segment produces loaded ammo and bullets under Remington, UMC, Barnes, Dakota, and other brands. According to Businessweek, Remington Outdoor Company currently has 3,800 employees. George K. Kollitides is the Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board.
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May 16th, 2014
The U.S. Army has seen the benefits of the hard-hitting .300 Winchester Magnum (.300 Win Mag) round, and now it wants more — a lot more. The Army has ordered twenty million dollars worth of .300 Win Mag ammo from ATK, to be used primarily in the Army’s M2010 sniper rifle.
ATK has announced a five-year, fixed-price, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract with the U.S. Army for the production of Mk248 Mod 0, 190-grain and Mk248 Mod 1, 220-grain .300 Winchester Magnum (Win Mag) rifle ammunition. The Army has selected this ammunition for primary use in its M2010 Sniper rifle. According to ATK’s press release, the award has an estimated maximum value of $20 million over the life of the contract. The ammunition will be manufactured at ATK’s Anoka, Minnesota, Federal Premium Ammunition factory. Said ATK’s Sporting Group President Jay Tibbets, “We are proud the U.S. Army has selected our 300 Win Mag ammunition.”
M2010 Sniper Rifle with Suppressor (Click to Zoom)
The U.S. Army first issued M2010s to snipers at the U.S. Army Sniper School in January 2011. Army snipers have been using the M2010 in combat in Afghanistan since March 2011. The M2010′s .300 Win Mag round extends the engagement range over the M24 from 800 meters to 1,200 meters, enhancing lethality and standoff. The M2010 fires .300 Winchester Magnum ammunition to provide approximately 50% greater effective range compared to the M24′s 7.62x51mm NATO. The U.S. Army hopes that the additional effective range helps their snipers in engagements in mountainous and desert terrain in which the war in Afghanistan is fought. Note: As originally developed by Remington, the rifle was called the XM2010. As officially adopted by the U.S. Military, it is now designated the M2010.
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May 9th, 2014
Lake City vs. Lapua — which brass is harder? And how about Remington vs. Winchester? Is the widely-held belief that Win brass is harder than Rem brass really true? To help settle these burning questions (raised in a Forum thread), Forum member Catshooter recently sampled the base hardness of four brands of .223/5.56 brass. He employed a very impressive tool for the task — a $2,500 Ames Hardness Gauge. Catshooter explained that his Ames Guage “is FAA certified and approved for testing aircraft engine parts — it does NOT get any better than that!”
Catshooter measured four cases picked at random from batches of Lake City (LC) 2008 (5.56x45mm), Lapua .223 Rem Match, Winchester .223 Rem, and Remington R-P .223 Rem.
Photo Shows Ames Gauge Base Hardness Measurement on Lake City Brass
Photo Show Ames Gauge Base Hardness Measurement on Winchester Brass
Using Rockwell hardness standards (.062″x100kg, Rockwell “B”), the brass measured as follows:
LC 2008 = 96
Lapua 223 Match = 86
Winchester 223 = 69
Remington “R-P” = 49
Summary of Test Results
Catshooter writes: “For all you guys that have believed that Winchester cases were tougher than Remington — you are vindicated, they are a lot tougher! However, Lake City and Lapua are ‘the pick of the litter’”. Catshooter notes that both Lake City and Lapua are significantly harder than either Winchester and Remington .223 brass. That’s something that we’ve observed empirically (Lapua and LC stand up better to stout loads), but now we have some hard numbers to back that up. Hats off to Catshooter for settling the hardness debate with his Ames Hardness Gauge.
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April 24th, 2014
Remington has just introduced an all-new series of “Ultimate Muzzleloaders” that promise to “raise the bar” for muzzle-loading performance. These rifles, based on Rem 700 actions, feature a new type of ignition system with a special breech plug and a primed, brass case. The magnum-primer-fitted ignition casing is pushed onto the breech plug by the bolt (see illustration below). This creates a tight gas seal for the magnum primer, allowing reliable ignition of up to 200 grains of powder. That translates to higher velocities and more energy.
Video Shows How New AMP Ignition System Works:
Remington reports: “The Ultimate Muzzleloader sets a new performance threshold with the use of a closed breech system that provides a cleaner and hotter ignition. The AMP (Accelerated Muzzleloader Performance) ignition system uses a uniquely-sized brass case with a Remington 9 ½ large magnum rifle primer that is push fed into the breech plug creating a gas seal in the flash hole of the primer (see cutaway below). The result allows the shooter to load up to 200 grains of powder for increased range, energy, and on-game performance.
Using 200 grains of Triple Seven® Pellets in combination with Barnes’ Spit-Fire T-EZTM 250-grain muzzleloader bullets, the Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader gives the shooter the ability to reach velocities over 2400 fps. [A 300gr bullet can travel 2200 fps with 3300 ft-lbs. of energy.]”
Remington claims its new system yields “centerfire-like performance and accuracy out of a muzzleloader” with “higher velocities, greater energy, and further effective range.” In addition, the primed casings are easier to handle in the field compared to small 209 shotshell primers. Spare primed cases can be stored in a compartment below the receiver (see below).
Two stocks are offered — a gray/brown laminated stock or a gray Bell & Carlson M40 fiberglass stock. Both versions come with a 26″ stainless barrel. On the laminated model the barrel is fitted with rifle sights front and rear. The Rem 700 muzzleloader features an adjustable X-Mark Pro trigger, factory-set at about 3.5 pounds pull weight.
|M700 Ultimate Muzzleloader – Synthetic
26-inch SS Fluted Barrel
Bell & Carlson Medalist M40 Stock with Storage
X-Mark Pro® Adjustable Trigger, 2.5-5 Pounds
24 Primed Cases and 24 Projectiles
Ships in a Hard Case
MSRP – $1295
|M700 Ultimate Muzzleloader – Laminate
26-inch SS Fluted Barrel with Rifle Sights
Laminate Stock with Primed Case Storage
X-Mark Pro® Adjustable Trigger, 2.5-5 Pounds
24 Primed Cases and 24 Projectiles
Ships in a Hard Case
MSRP – $1295
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March 12th, 2014
Billion-dollar buyout of Big Green? Will a tech company with digital security/smart-gun technology take over Remington Outdoor Company? This is either the biggest business story of the year in the gun industry, or much ado about nothing — simply a publicity stunt by Global Digital Solutions, Inc. (GDSI).
Here’s the background. On March 11, 2014, GDSI announced that it was offering to acquire Remington Outdoor Company (previously known as Freedom Group), for $1.082 billion in cash plus shares of GDSI common stock. In connection with this offer, GDSI filed a Form 8-K with the SEC regarding three proposed transactions, including an unsolicited letter of intent to acquire Remington Outdoor Company, Inc. (Remington). The Form 8-K can viewed on the GDSE website.
Despite the Form 8-K filing, some observers believe that the GDSI buy-out offer is nothing more than a publicity stunt. According to the Shooting Wire, “Executives with Remington Outdoor Company (Remington) have described yesterday’s … announcement of plans by Global Digital Solutions to acquire Remington as ‘attention seeking in its worst form’.” That doesn’t sound like Remington is giving much credence to the $1.082 billion buy-out offer.
Is this for real? Will a company that has developed RFID tags and “smart-gun” technology acquire Remington, and related brands Bushmaster, DPMS, Marlin, H&R, AAC, Dakota Arms, Para USA and Barnes Bullets? What’s in it for GDSI? For one thing, Remington is generating a lot of cash right now. Remington Outdoor Company has estimated that its net sales for 2013 will be in the range of $1.250 billion to $1.275 billion and that its adjusted EBITDA will be in the range of $235 million to $240 million.
Richard Sullivan, CEO of GDSI, declared there are “powerful synergies” between Remington’s core businesses and the technologies GDSI has developed such as RFID tags and GPS tracking units. As reported on the CNN Money website, Sullivan said that “cyber-based technologies, coupled with enhanced digital product development” will be increasingly important to the military armament industry. That industry, Sullivan added, is “evolving rapidly toward a RFID/WiFi-enabled technology platform.” Remington is ripe for a high-tech overhaul, Sullivan believes: “In this dynamic environment, we see enormous opportunity to consolidate this market with a program of targeted acquisitions, including the proposed Freedom [Remington] transaction. Technological convergence is the future in the cyber/smart arms arena and we’re eager to leverage our proven history of success by helping Freedom and others navigate the transition from analog to digital.”
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February 16th, 2014
Remington Outdoor Company (Remington) will open a big new factory in Alabama. Remington, formerly the Freedom Group, encompasses 18 brands in the gun-making and outdoor industry. According to the Military Times and Alabama news media, Remington will be opening a 500,000-square-foot production facility near Huntsville, Alabama. This could bring as many as 2,000 jobs to the Huntsville area. The new plant is not earmarked for a specific brand in the Remington family, so it could produce a variety of firearms products. (Remington also operates factories in Kentucky and New York, and an ammunition plant in Arkansas.) After necessary build-outs, the Huntsville plant is expected to start production in 2015.
Meanwhile, New York state officials are claiming that Remington’s plans to open a new plant in Alabama will not take jobs from Remington’s major factory in Ilion, New York. A spokesman for N.Y. Governor Cuomo posted: “Some are misinformed, others gleefully spreading misinformation, but to be clear, no Remington jobs are leaving NY.” Remington currently employs about 1,300 workers at the one million-square-foot Ilion manufacturing plant. Despite New York state officials’ reassurances, the long-term fate of the Ilion plant (and N.Y. jobs) is unclear. Eight months ago, Remington stated: “Remington will not run or abandon its loyal and hard working 1,300 employees without considerable thought and deliberation.” That doesn’t sound like an unequivocal commitment….
According to the Military Times:
“Before settling on Huntsville, the company was courted by no less than 24 states and various localities hoping to add hundreds of new jobs to their economies. The selection of the Huntsville area makes sense, with a skilled and technical workforce already in place. The area is home to the Army’s Redstone Arsenal, which has 35,000 military and civilian employees.
Other major technical employers in the area, such as NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and Toyota, ensure ROC will have a large pool of talent to draw upon for its engineering, technical manufacturing and product development efforts. The fact that Alabama is regarded as a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights also played a role in the selection of the area.”
READ Related Story in Forbes about Remington Outdoor Company (Freedom Group)
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February 14th, 2014
Interest in the .222 Remington cartridge has revived following Lapua’s decision in 2009 to resume production of .222 Remington Brass. If you’re thinking of chambering a rifle in this very accurate caliber, or if you already have a .222 Rem, we’ve found a useful resource on the web for you.
Forum member Peter Simonsen has created a content-rich website, TripleDeuce.Net, with plenty of valuable info for .222 shooters. Peter tells us: “I started a little informative (non-commercial) web site about the .222 Remington, TripleDeuce.Net. You’re welcome to visit and share your thoughts and ideas.” Peter’s site includes extensive reloading advice, a list of recommended components, plus links to the major bullet-makers and powder manufacturers. His Reloading Page includes load data for a wide selection of bullets, while Peter’s photo archive shows cartridge diagrams and targets shot with Peter’s .222 Rem rifles. There is even an extensive section dedicated to the 20-222 Wildcat, an excellent varmint cartridge. The 20-222 is very efficient and very accurate.
Peter offers this advice for those getting started with the Triple Deuce cartridge:
“I religiously use the load data right off the Hodgdon web site. Recently I have gravitated toward using the old tried and true IMR4198 and H4198 powders for hunting using 40gr bullets. These two powders provide a velocity edge over the other powder choices while still maintaining safe and acceptable pressure levels. You can see this in the Hodgdon data where a max load of IMR4198 yields 3583 fps whereas H322 produces 3313 fps. So for hunting where higher velocity and terminal performance are important and accuracy is as good or close I would choose one of the two 4198 powders. This situation is similar, although not as dramatic, with 50gr bullets.
For target shooting H322 works extremely well. H4895 also provides impressive results and is a chosen powder for accuracy baseline testing by some manufacturers. I have begun experimenting with Vihtavuori N133 and Accurate 2015. Both seem very promising. But H322 and H4895 are two [dependable choices.]“
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October 29th, 2013
A common lament among our Forum members is that they can’t find affordable .22LR rimfire ammo for fun shooting and plinking. This stuff flies off the shelf whenever it appears. However, Natchez Shooters Supplies has received substantial shipments of Remington bulk-box rimfire ammo. Note, due to high demand, there is a one-box limit for the 500-count and 525-count boxes per customer per day. Here’s what we found in-stock today at Natchez:
Remington .22 LR 36gr Golden Bullet Plated HP, 525 rounds per box — $39.99 On SALE
(1 box limit per day)
Remington .22 LR 40gr Thunderbolt Hi-Vel, 500 rounds per box — $39.99 on SALE
(1 box limit per day)
Remington .22 LR 33gr Yellow Jacket HP, 100 rounds per box — $15.99
(3 box limit per day)
If you want the good stuff, Natchez also has Lapua .22 LR 40gr Midas+ ammo in stock at $17.99 for 50 rounds. Not cheap, but this is top-flight stuff that has won matches at the Olympics. There is no purchasing limit on this Midas+.
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October 21st, 2013
Report by Boyd Allen
This pistol belongs to Dan Lutke, a Bay Area benchrest shooter who publishes the results for the Visalia matches to the competitors and the NBRSA. He has been an enthusiastic competitor for an number of years, at various ranges, notably Visalia and Sacramento. The action is a Remington XP-100, to which a Kelbly 2 oz. trigger has been fitted. On top is an old Japanese-made Tasco 36X scope (these were actually pretty darn good). The Hart barrel (a cast-off from Dan’s Unlimited rail gun) was shortened and re-chambered for the 6x45mm, a wildcat made by necking-up the .223 Remington parent case. The custom stock/chassis was CNC-machined by Joe Updike from 6061 Billet Aluminum to fit the XP-100 action and mount a target-style AR grip with bottom hand rest. The gun was bedded and assembled by Mel Iwatsubu. In his XP-100 pistol, Dan shoots 65gr custom boat-tails with Benchmark powder.
TEN Shots in 0.303″ at 100 Yards
How does Dan’s XP-100 pistol shoot? Look at that target showing TEN shots at 100 yards, with eight (8) shots in the main cluster at the top. The ten-shot group measures .303″ (0.289 MOA), as calculated with OnTarget Software. Not bad for a handgun! What do you think, can your best-shooting rifle match the 10-shot accuracy of this XP-100 pistol?
This diagram shows the most common 6x45mm wildcat, which is a necked-up version of the .223 Remington parent cartridge. NOTE: The dimensions for Dan Lutke’s benchrest version of this cartridge may be slightly different.
Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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