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

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October 19th, 2017

Definitive Book for AR-Platform Gear-A-Holics

AR AR15 Armalite Black Rifle Book Gun Digest
Photo Courtesy Cabela’s Gun Sports

Kevin Muramatsu’s black rifle book, the Gun Digest Guide to Customizing Your AR-15, is a great resource for fans of AR-platform rifles. All the AR options you can imagine are covered: suppressors, premium barrels, adjustable stocks, free-float handguards, ergonomic grips, buffer systems, tactical lights and much more. Those planning an AR rifle build will find application-specific suggestions for 3-Gun, Service Rifle, High Power (Space Gun), Hunting, and Self-Defense use.

AR AR15 Armalite Black Rifle Book Gun Digest AR AR15 Armalite Black Rifle Book Gun Digest

Firearms expert Muramatsu offers advice on choosing the right stock/barrel/optics configuration for your particular game. He also discusses the wide variety of options for slings, grips, magazines and other accessories. With over 520 photos, the book includes a large photo gallery of customized ARs, and includes bonus coverage of the FAL and other “tactical” firearms. The Gun Digest Guide to Customizing Your AR-15 is available from Amazon.com for $21.87, and a Kindle eBook version is offered for $14.99. The book is also sold by Barnes & Noble, and most other major booksellers.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical No Comments »
October 12th, 2017

Getting Started in Precision Rifle Matches (Practical/Tactical)

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

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

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

TIP ONE: Make Plans and Commit to Go

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

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

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

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

TIP TWO: Bring What You Have

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

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

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

TIP THREE: Be Prepared to Learn

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

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

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

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

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

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

TIP FOUR: Be Safe and Have Fun

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

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

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

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

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

TIP FIVE: Make Friends

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

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

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

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October 5th, 2017

Building a Precision Tactical Rifle — Step by Step on Video

masterpiece arms tactical rifle gunsmithing milling CNC CAD

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

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

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

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

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September 29th, 2017

New, Full-Featured $1100 APC Tactical Rifle from Howa

Howa HCR APX American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS Tactical Rifle

Howa has introduced a new rifle in a modular chassis, the Howa APC (Australian Precision Chassis) model. Developed for PRS and tactical competitions, this rifle is priced right ($1089.00 starting MSRP) and is offered in a variety of popular chamberings: .223 Rem, .22-250, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win. In the 6.5 Creemoor Chambering with 26″ heavy barrel, we think this could become quite popular with “Factory Class” PRS shooters. The Howa APC has a smooth-running action, excellent 2-stage trigger, and the affordable MSRP allows $1800 or more for optics. (PRS Factory Class guns must be under $3000.00, combined, for rifle + scope).

Howa HCR APX American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS Tactical Rifle

This is a nicely-equipped rifle. All Howa APCs include a 2-stage, creep-free HACT trigger, with three-position safety. The LUTH-AR MBA-4 stock boasts an adjustable comb height, and adjustable LOP from 12.5″ to 16.75″. The rifle is offered with 20″ and 24″ heavy barrels in .223 Rem, .22-250; 24″ and 26″ heavy barrels in .243 Win, and 6.5 Creedmoor; and 20″, 24″, and 26″ heavy barrels in the .308 Win. Threaded barrel options are available. Some models come with a +20 MOA EGW Scope Rail. All Howa ACRs come with Lifetime Warranty and Sub-MOA Guarantee.

Howa APC Features:
• Black 6061-T6 Aluminum Chassis with Hogue Grip
• Free-Float M-LOK Fore-end
• LUTH AR MBA-4 Buttstock Adjustable cheekpiece,
• 2 Stage H.A.C.T. Trigger with 3-Position Safety
• 10 Round Detachable Box Magazine
• MSRP: $1089.00 to $1205.00 for Rifle Only (no scope).

Howa HCR APX American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS Tactical Rifle

The Howa APC is also offered in a scoped package with a Nikko Stirling Diamond LR 4-16x50mm scope and +20 MOA EGW rail for optics. The scope has ¼ MOA clicks, zero-stop turrets, and illuminated reticle. Howa APC Scoped Package MSRP: $1,405.00 to $1,565.00.

Coming Soon: American Flag Version
Legacy Sports, Howa’s importer, will soon offer a special American Flag Edition of this rifle, using the same APC chassis but with a USA flag-theme red, white, and blue Cerakote finish and 3-chamber muzzle brake. This special edition is sold with a Nikko 4-16x50mm scope and shipped in a hard case.

Howa HCR ACR American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS Tactical Rifle

Howa Sub-MOA Accuracy Guarantee
Howa rifles are guaranteed to deliver sub-MOA performance of 1 inch or less at 100 yards with premium factory ammunition. Guarantee is not transferable. All Howa rifles purchased in the U.S. on or after January 1, 2017 are covered by this offer.

Permalink New Product, Tactical 1 Comment »
September 22nd, 2017

Great Deal on 6.5 Creedmoor Howa for PRS and Tac Comps

Howa HCR Chassis Rifle PRS Tactical Aluminum stock HACT Trigger

Here’s a great deal if you are looking for a smooth-running 6.5 Creedmoor rig in a modular chassis for PRS and tactical competitions. Right now you can get the Howa HCR chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor for just $867.00 at Bud’s Gun Shop (Check, eCheck or M/0 price). The new Howa HCR (Howa Chassis Rifle) combines a Howa 1500 barreled action with a modern, fully-adjustable aluminum chassis. MSRP for this HCR rifle is $1299.00, so this $867.00 price is a great deal for a 6.5 Creedmoor Howa with a very good two-stage trigger and 1:8″-twist 24″ barrel. Other chamberings are: .223 Remington, .243 Winchester and .308 Winchester (price may vary).

Mounted on an AR-style buffer tube system, the Howa HCR utilizes the fully adjustable LUTH-AR MBA-3 stock. Length of Pull is adjustable from 12.5″ to 16.75″. Comb height is also adjustable to fine tune for scope height-over-bore. Weight with a 24″ barrel is 10.2 pounds (before optics), so this Howa HCR is lighter than some similar rifles on the market.

Howa HCR Features

• Howa 1500 Barreled Action with 24″ Heavy Barrel
• Black 6061-T6 Aluminum Chassis with Free-Float M-LOK Forend
• LUTH AR Buttstock with LOP Adjustment (12.5″ to 16.75″) and Adjustable Comb
• 10-RD ACCURATE Detachable, Teflon-coated Steel Magazine
• Two-Stage H.A.C.T. Trigger
• 3 Position Safety

Howa HCR Chassis Rifle PRS Tactical Aluminum stock HACT TriggerThe HOWA HCR features an adjustable, two-stage HACT trigger, set for about 3 pounds (combined stages). Crisp and repeatable, this is an excellent trigger for a factory gun. In our opinion, the HACT trigger is clearly superior to the trigger on the Ruger RPR, as well as the Savage AccuTrigger. And there is no annoying Glock-style safety lever in the middle of the trigger blade.

Also available in .223 Rem, .243 Win, and .308 Win chamberings (price may vary)

NOTE: For all chamberings, 24″ barrels are offered, with 20″ options for the .223 Rem and .308 Win as well. Twist rates are 1:9″ for .223 Rem, 1:10″ for .243 Win, 1:8″ for 6.5 Creedmoor, and 1:10″ for .308 Win. We think .243 Win shooters will NOT be happy with the 1:10″ twist. We would prefer to see a 1:8″-twist for the .243 Win so it can shoot the 105-115 grain 6mm bullets. Most competitive 6mm shooters will want a true 8-twist or even a 1:7.5″.

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September 6th, 2017

PRS Tactical and Vintage Sniper Matches on Shooting USA TV

GAP Grind PRS Tennessee John Scoutten Shooting USA

GAP Grind PRS Tennessee John Scoutten Shooting USA

GAP Grind PRS Competition and Vintage Sniper Rifle at Talladega — that’s what you get in a double-feature episode of Shooting USA TV, now available on YouTube. This is a killer episode, with great coverage of two rapidly-growing shooting sports. The GAP Grind is the biggest PRS tactical match of the year, while Vintage Sniper Rifle matches have proven popular with competitors of all ages, from 18 to 80. Learn all about these shooting disciplines in this 48-minute Shooting USA production. Photos, unless otherwise indicated, come from Ramia Whitecotton’s GAP GRIND 2016 photo album

PRS Competition — the GAP Grind

This Shooting USA episode features the Bushnell GAP Grind Pro-Am, a tough tactical/practical match in Tennessee with 300 competitors. Conducted in association with the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the GAP Grind features a Pro/Am format — new shooters partner with an experienced shooters for the two-day, 25-stage event. This year John Scoutten teamed up with novice shooter Jen Hodson.

Yes this video includes the GAP Grind PRS match. Click the arrow and it should begin with the PRS segment, 28 minutes into the episode:

One stage required the use of “human support” by one’s team-mate. Here Shooting USA’s John Scoutten provides a strong shoulder for female competitor Jen Hodson.
Shooting USA John Scoutten GAP Grind PRS tactical competition

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 John Scoutten GAP Grind PRS tactical competition

On the first day of the Bushnell GAP Grind, teams are scored together. On the second day team members still work together but scores are logged individually. This is a difficult event with awkward positions, barriers, and other challenges. Targets vary in size, shape, and distance. One of the toughest targets is the 500-Yard Mover. And the shooting platform (below) offered a double-decker challenge…

GAP Grind PRS match

Here’s a “Dawn Patrol” shot from Bryan Sikes. He mastered this stage: “6:00 am cold bore — nailed it!”
Shooting USA John Scoutten GAP Grind PRS tactical competition

Vintage Sniper Rifle Competition at Talladega

Talladega Marksmanship Park Vintage Sniper Rifle CMP

In this episode, Shooting USA features the Vintage Sniper Match at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park. This is a popular two-man team event, for shooter and spotter, using military rifles in service up to 1953. One added challenge is the time limit. The team has only 20 seconds to complete each shot — That’s 20 seconds for the spotter to read the conditions, and for the shooter to pull the trigger.


File photo from Vintage Sniper match at Camp Perry. At Talladega, there are video target monitors at each shooting station.

Shooting USA Vintage Sniper USAMUGuns of Grandfathers…
In this episode two USAMU marksmen, SGTs Daniel Crody and Robert Shoup, compete with an Springfield M 1903 A4 reproduction topped with a vintage optic. “For me it holds a little bit of sentimental value,” says SGT Crody. “I did have two grandfathers in World War II. It is definitely a pleasure holding a piece of history… and to be able to see and feel what these guys had as far as tools to operate with.”

“It’s a match that brings a different type of competitor out. It brings a nostalgic competitor out. You’ll see World War II time-period rifles, sniper-type rifles that were used during World War II, Korean War era,” says the CMP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Johnson. “The optics are either original optics or current reproduction of old optics.”

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical 3 Comments »
August 11th, 2017

Ruger Issues Safety Bulletin for Ruger Precision Rifle

Ruger Precision Rifle Safety Bulletin

Ruger has issued a Product Safety Bulletin for certain Ruger Precision Rifles due to the potential for interference between the aluminum bolt shroud and the cocking piece (also known as the firing pin back). This can lead to light primer strikes. The real problem is that: “If the rifle fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, it may fire when the bolt handle is subsequently lifted”. NOTE: Ruger Precision Rifles with polymer bolt shrouds are NOT affected.

Although only a small percentage of rifles appear to be affected and there are no reported injuries, Ruger is offering replacement aluminum bolt shrouds for affected rifles in order to eliminate the possibility of bolt/shroud interference. View Safety Bulletin PDF

AFFECTED RIFLES: Ruger Precision Rifles (regardless of caliber) that have an aluminum bolt shroud and fall within the following serial number ranges are potentially affected:

SN 1800-26274 to 1800-78345 OR SN 1801-00506 to 1801-30461

Ruger Precision Rifle Safety Bulletin

If you believe your rifle is affected or are unsure if your rifle is affected, you can request a FREE replacement bolt shroud by visiting Ruger.com/RPRSafety.

DESCRIPTION OF ISSUE
Some Ruger Precision Rifles may experience interference between the aluminum bolt shroud and the cocking piece (aka the firing pin back). In rare instances, the interference can disrupt the firing mechanism and cause it to not function properly. Possible results of this interference are light primer strikes or, in extreme cases, the rifle may not fire when the trigger is pulled. If the rifle fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, it may fire when the bolt handle is subsequently lifted. In rifles where this condition exists, the issue often resolves itself as parts wear and interference is reduced.

CLICK IMAGE Below to Read Full RPR Safety Bulletin PDF

Ruger Precision Rifle Safety Bulletin

Permalink Gunsmithing, News, Tactical No Comments »
July 16th, 2017

Tactical .260 Rem from Short Action Customs in Ohio

260 rem tactical rifle

260 rem tactical rifleA popular feature of our Shooters’ Forum is the long-running Pride and Joy thread. There you’ll find photos and descriptions of dozens of interesting rifles — from rimfire rigs to big-bore boomers. Forum member Ryan M. (aka “Dieselgeek”) posted a handsome .260 Remington tactical rifle built by Short Action Customs in Wellington, Ohio. The rifle features top-of-the-line hardware. The coated, stainless Alpha 11 action (from Defiance Machine) carries a Bartlein M24-contour 26″ barrel with muzzle brake. The stock is a thumbhole T5A from Manners Composites, fitted with APA bottom metal for AW magazines. On top is a Bushnell ERS 3-21x50mm scope with G2 reticle. Riding on an under-mounted rail is an Atlas bipod with quick-release lever.

(more…)

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical 3 Comments »
July 2nd, 2017

6.5 Creedmoor Load Data from Nosler

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895

As part of its online Load Data Center, Nosler offers very complete load data for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This medium-sized cartridge has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical and PRS shooters. The 6.5 Creedmoor combines excellent accuracy, good mag-feeding, good barrel life, moderate recoil, and reasonable component cost. That’s why this cartridge has caught on quickly. GET ALL 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data.

6.5 Creedmoor Velocity Test Rifleshooter.com barrel cut test Nosler Load Data
How does barrel length affect 6.5 Creedmoor Muzzle Velocity?
CLICK HERE for RifleShooter.com barrel cut-down velocity test.

According to the Sierra Load Manual: “Developed in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design. This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines. With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5 mm (i.e. .264 caliber). Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Varget, Win 760, and RE-17.”

Click Image to Load PDF File for Listed Bullet Weights

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895 Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895
Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895

In addition to the data sheets shown above, Nosler offers 6.5 Creedmoor data for a 100 grain Ballistic Tip and Partition bullets.

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tactical No Comments »
June 15th, 2017

Great Deal on Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm — Save Hundreds

Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm FFP MOA scope sale EuroOptic.com

Our “inside source” at EuroOptic.com just let us know about a very hot deal coming up. Next week a bunch of overstock Vortex 6-24×50 PST EBR-1 MOA scopes will be arriving, and you’ll be able to save hundreds on these excellent optics. EuroOptic.com will offer this scope for $789.99. It sells elsewhere for up to $989.00. You can order now* for delivery by the end of the month with Free Shipping (these scopes are expected to arrive next week). Download Scope Manual.

Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm FFP MOA scope sale EuroOptic.com

The Viper PST 6-24×50 EBR-1 riflescope on sale is a First Focal Plane (FFP) scope with EBR-1 reticle. This optic offers 1/4 MOA adjustments, 12 MOA per rotation, 65 MOA Total Elevation, and 65 MOA Total Windage. The etched-glass reticle features MOA-based subtensions (see illustration). Rugged and strong, this Viper PST features a single piece 30mm tube, hard anodized ArmorTek finish, tactical-style turrets, side focus parallax, and CRS zero stop. The scope carries a full lifetime warranty and is rated as fogproof/shockproof/waterproof.

Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm FFP MOA scope sale EuroOptic.com

Editor’s Comment: While hard-core tactical competitors may prefer a Second Focal Plane (SFP) scope, this 6-24X FFP Viper PST is a great general-purpose optic choice for varminting or club-level target shooting. It delivers a lot of performance for the price. Clicks on this scope are positive, we like the zero-stop feature, and the MOA hash-marks are handy for hold-offs and hold-overs.

*The EuroOptic.com website says “Back-ordered”. Don’t fret. You CAN place an order now and it will fill when the scopes arrive next week.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
June 7th, 2017

Smart Choice: CZ 455 for Rimfire Cross-Training

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

Are you looking for a .22 LR Rimfire rifle that has the look and feel of a centerfire rig? Then check out the CZ 455 rimfire rifle featuring a black-finished, laminated wood stock. This gun, dubbed the “Varmint Tacticool” by CZ-USA, features a 5-round detachable magazine and adjustable trigger. And recently CZ added a Suppressor-Ready version fitted with a 16.5″ barrel and threaded muzzle.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

The original CZ-455 Varmint Tacticool was built as an affordable tactical trainer with the ergonomics and stock profile of a full-size centerfire tactical rig. The Tacticool’s stock looks similar to the Manners Composites stock on CZ’s 455 Varmint Precision Trainer, but the wood-stocked ‘Tacticool’ version is much less expensive. The CZ 455 with Manners stock retails at $940.00 MSRP while the latest suppressor-ready Tacticool model lists for $549.00 MSRP. The $391.00 you save will buy a LOT of ammo (or a scope).

Tacticool Accuracy Demo — Nailing Match-Sticks at 30 Yards — Five for Five

We like the looks of the CZ-455 ‘Tacticool’, and the stock has some nice features. The butt-hook stock has ambidextrous palm swells on the grip and a raised comb to provide a comfortable cheek weld for shooting with a scope. The fore-end features a wide, beavertail swell for greater stability on a front sandbag. There are two (2) sling swivel studs so you can attach both a sling and a bipod.

At $940 MSRP, the CZ 455 Precision Trainer in Manners Stock is much more expensive.

CZ-455 Tacticool Varmint rifle .22LR

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May 23rd, 2017

MPA Chassis Finds Favor with PRS and Tactical Competitors

MasterPiece Arms MPA BA tactical PRS Comp Competition Chassis

According to a Precision Rifle Blog survey, the MasterPiece Arms (MPA) chassis system is the second most popular stock in the PRS game, and it’s gaining ground fast. MPA was second only to Manners Stocks in popularity among the top 100 PRS shooters. Remarkably, the MPA chassis experienced a nine-fold increase in use in 2016 over the previous year. This thing is really catching on.

MasterPiece Arms MPA BA tactical PRS Comp Competition Chassis

Here MPA President Phil Cashin Shows How to Set Up the MPA BA Chassis:

2015 PRS Champion David Preston (who is currently ranked #1 in Precision Rifle Series standings) favors MPA Chassis systems: “I chose the MPA BA Chassis because of its adjustability, versatility, and company’s willingness to adapt to shooters needs and suggestions. It’s the most comfortable and reliable stock on the market.”

MasterPiece Arms MPA BA tactical PRS Comp Competition Chassis

One reason the MPA Chassis works so well is that MPA’s president, Phil Cashin, is an active PRS shooter who regularly tests out features in competition. He also gets feedback from other PRS competitors: “We’re always implementing feedback and suggestions from shooters into our products. In fact, the idea for our EVG grip, which has a rest on it to better support your trigger finger, came directly from a suggestion that David Preston, 2015 PRS Champion, gave me at a match.”

New MPA BA Competition Chassis

The “latest and greatest” MPA stock system is the MPA BA Competition Chassis. This offers the best features of the original MPA BA Chassis system plus some new, notable enhancements. With the elimination of the monopod, weight is reduced. A movable barricade stop comes standard. The buttstock offers full adjustability for length-of-pull, cheek height, and buttpad height/cant.

MasterPiece Arms MPA BA tactical PRS Comp Competition Chassis

Rotating, Multi-Position Barricade Stop — Aids stability when shooting on a variety of barricades.
Trinity Rail System — Allows closer bipod when shooting off oil drums or similar props.
Modified Magazine Well — This “Ryan Castle” magwell allows fast side-loading of mags into chassis.
Rear Bag-rider Attachment — Improves tracking/stability in rear sandbag.

MPA Production Class Rifle with Savage Action

Along with its chassis systems, MPA offers a complete rifle for the PRS Production Division:

Masterpiece arms MPA Production Rifle PRS MPA PCR Savage BA Lite

To fit PRS Production Class Rules (PCR), MPA has developed the new $1999.99 BA Lite PCR Competition Rifle built around a Savage Model 12 short action. The Savage action is upgraded with a Rifle Basix 2-lb trigger, and the adjustable, MPA BA Lite Chassis offers a bag rider, barricade stop, and even a built-in bubble level. Bipods can be attached up front to a rail, with optional spigot mount. MPA PCR Rifles come with stainless Bergara barrels, 22-26 inches in length, fitted with MPA muzzle brakes. Chamberings offered are: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6-6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5×47 Lapua, .243 Win, and .308 Win. The PCR rifle includes a 10-round AICS-type magazine.

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May 21st, 2017

Review Shooting Fundamentals with Ryan Cleckner Video

Still Tac30 action tactical rifle Ryan Cleckner book
Photo by Forum member GAT. Chambered in 6-6.5×47 Lapua, this rifle features a Stiller TAC30 action, Krieger barrel, Harrells brake, Konohawk Stock, and Sightron SIII 6-24x50mm scope.

Ryan Cleckner has created many good shooting videos for the NSSF, such as his excellent Understanding MOA Video. Ryan is noted for his ability to explain complex topics in an easy-to-comprehend manner. This video, covering the fundamentals of shooting, has been viewed over 1.6 million times. It’s worth watching, particularly for guys getting started in PRS/practical competitions.

In this video, Ryan Cleckner reviews proper technique for rifle shooters. A stable platform, sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control are key fundamentals to shooting properly. This is basic stuff, but Cleckner presents it in a clear, logical fashion. This is a good video for novice shooters.

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Tip on Trigger Control:
Cleckner: “Trigger control is pretty straightforward, as long as you think about it as a continuous process, and not just one thing that happens. I like to think about it as drawing a line in the dirt. I like to think about this constant pressure that I’m adding as I draw this line straight back, and then… continuing to draw that line even as the rifle goes off. That’s the good follow-through you’ll need.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner has authored a book, the Long Range Shooting Handbook, which expands on the topics covered in the above video. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com.

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

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

As a long-range shooting expert, Ryan Cleckner has impressive credentials. Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) with multiple combat deployments, and he has served a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and attorney.

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March 16th, 2017

Ringing Steel at 1500 Yards — With a Little Help from AB Kestrel

6.5 Creedmoor 1500 yards applied ballistics kestrelIt’s not easy to place a first shot on target at 1500 yards. You must measure the wind speed with precision, know your exact muzzle velocity, and have a sophisticated ballistics solver. In this short video from Ryansrangereport.com, the shooter manages a first-round hit on a steel silhouette at 1500 yards. He used a Kestrel 4500 NV Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics software to figure out the trajectory for his 6.5 Creemoor rounds.

The Kestrel recorded a wind velocity, and the internal software calculated a solution of 17 Mils elevation (that’s 928 inches of drop) with 2.5 Mils windage. “Bang” — the shooter sends it, and 2.6 seconds later “Clang” he had a hit (flight time was 2.6 seconds). Bryan Litz observes: “This is the science of accuracy (in the form of an Applied Ballistics Kestrel) being put to good use at 1500 yards”.

Later in the video (1:05-1:15) the shooter places three rounds on steel at 1000 yards in just 10 seconds. The three shots all fall within 10″ or so — pretty impressive for rapid fire. The shooter reports: “[In my 6.5 Creedmoor] I’m using a 136gr Lapua Scenar L. This bullet has impressed me. It screams out of my barrel at 2940 fps and holds on all the way out to 1,500 yards.”

The rifle was built by Aaron Roberts of Roberts Precision Rifles (RPRifles.com). Chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor, it features a Leupold Mark VI 3-18x44mm scope.

Roberts Precision Rifles
19515 Wied Rd. Suite D
Spring, Texas 77388
Phone: 281-651-5593
Email: rprifles @ gmail.com

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March 15th, 2017

Shooting USA TV Features Vintage Sniper and Tactical Matches

Talladega Vintage Sniper Match Shooting USA

We recommend you tune in to Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel tonight. Tonight’s episode features both a Vintage Sniper Rifle competition and the GAP Grind, one of the most popular tactical matches. The show airs at 9:30 PM ET, 8:30 PM Central, 7:30 PM MTN, and 6:30 PM Pacific.

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Talladega

This week, Shooting USA features the Vintage Sniper Match at the CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park. This is a two-man team event, for shooter and spotter, using military rifles in service up to 1953. One added challenge is the time limit. The team has only 20 seconds to complete each shot — That’s 20 seconds for the spotter to read the conditions, and for the shooter to pull the trigger.

Shooting USA Vintage Sniper USAMUGuns of Grandfathers…
In this episode two USAMU marksmen, SGTs Daniel Crody and Robert Shoup, compete with an Springfield M 1903 A4 reproduction topped with a vintage optic. “For me it holds a little bit of sentimental value,” says SGT Crody. “I did have two grandfathers in World War II. It is definitely a pleasure holding a piece of history… and to be able to see and feel what these guys had as far as tools to operate with.”

Who can identify this rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

“It’s a match that brings a different type of competitor out. It brings a nostalgic competitor out. You’ll see World War II time-period rifles, sniper-type rifles that were used during World War II, Korean War era,” says the CMP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Johnson. “The optics are either original optics or current reproduction of old optics.”

GAP Grind on Shooting USA

Shooting USA GAP Grind Jim Scotten Jen

Tonight’s Shooting USA episode also features the Bushnell GAP Grind, a tough tactical/practical match in Tennessee with 300 competitors. The Grind runs a Pro-Am format — new shooters partner with an experienced shooters for the two-day, 25-stage event. This year John Scoutten teamed up with new shooter Jen Hodson. Even with the challenges, Jen had a great time at the GAP Grind. “I will definitely be back!” says Jen, shown here:

Shooting USA GAP Grind Jim Scotten Jen
Ramia Whitecotton Facebook photo.

On the first day of the Bushnell GAP Grind, teams are scored together. On the second day team members still work together but scores are logged individually. This is a difficult event with awkward positions, barriers, and other challenges. Targets vary in size, shape, and distance. One of the toughest targets is the 500-Yard Mover.

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March 14th, 2017

The Insufferables — 7 Annoying Shootists You’ll Find at Matches

Here’s a very funny video that should put a smile on your face — especially if you’ve ever competed in action shooting events. This tongue-in-cheek video from the SuperSetCA team identifies seven (7) annoying/insufferable types of shooters you’ll find at shooting matches. You can’t help but chuckle watching this video. The satire is “dead on” — we’ve all met these kind of clowns at one time or another.

Seven Types Shooters Comedy spoof lampoon

Among the personality types lampooned by the video are the “way too serious” type, the completely unprepared type, the “Hollywood” show-off, the “always an excuse” type, and of course the “I’m too old for this” competitor. As a shooter past age sixty, this Editor might even fall into that category — at least when it comes to “run and gun” games. When I’m asked to gallop around a range carrying heavy gear, yes I’ve been known to mutter: “I’m too [insert swear word] old for this….”

Seven Types Shooters Comedy spoof lampoon

Here’s an extra challenge for you. According to the video’s producers, there are several TV and/or Movie references sprinkled throughout. Can you name them all (with run-times)? (Hint, look for Lethal Weapon and Matrix spoofs).

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February 16th, 2017

6.5 Creedmoor vs. Other Mid-Sized .264-Caliber Cartridges

6.5 Creedmoor Rifleshooter.com velocity barrel cut cut-down test saw blade

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 options. 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.

When asked to compare the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6.5×47 Lapua, Rifleshooter.com’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.” But now that Lapua is producing top-quality 6.5 Creedmoor brass with small primer pockets, we could have a “second generation” 6.5 Creedmoor that rivals ANY mid-sized cartridge for efficiency AND accuracy. We will soon know how well the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge performs with Lapua brass.

The first shipment of Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass has arrived in the USA. It features a small flash hole and small primer pocket. We have some for testing…

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass

New Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass Field Tests Soon
Our friends at 65Guys.com will be testing the new Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass next week. The goal will be to determine if Lapua’s new Small Primer Pocket/Small Flash Hole brass allows higher velocities than American-made brass (Hornady specifically). In addition the 6.5 Guys want to see how well the new Lapua brass holds up after dozen (or more) firing cycles. They’ll hammer the new brass pretty hard to see how it fares with repeated stout loads. Stay tuned…

Sierra 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data Manual reloading .264

Here are three tables from the Sierra Bullets Reloading Manual (5th Edition). IMPORTANT — This is just a sample!! Sierra has load data for many other 6.5mm bullet types, including FB, Spitzer, SBT, HPBT, and Tipped MK from 85 grains to 142 grains. To view ALL 6.5 Creedmoor DATA, CLICK HERE.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 21 Comments »
February 14th, 2017

Hornady Match Ammo Reviewed by Brownells

Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo
Photo courtesy AmmoSquared.com sales.

Each week, Brownells releases a new product video. This week’s review spotlights Hornady match bullets and factory ammo of interest to PRS and tactical shooters. Hornady’s ELD Match ammunition is now offered in the popular 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor chamberings, along with .223 Rem, 6.5 Grendel, 260 Rem, .308 Win, .30-06, .300 Win Mag, and .338 Lapua Mag. This ammo is loaded with Hornady’s ELD Match bullets which feature heat-resistant tips. The ELD bullet line offers impressive BCs at prices that are quite a bit more affordable than some other match bullets. For example, a 100-ct box of 130gr 6.5mm ELD Match bullets is $32.46 at Midsouth.

For 6.5 Creedmoor shooters, three bullet weights will be offered in factory-loaded 6.5 Creedmoor ELD Match ammo: 120 grain (SKU: 81491), 140 grain (SKU: 81500), and 147 grain (SKU: 81501). Hornady’s 6mm Creedmoor ELD Match ammo is offered in one weight, 108 grain (SKU: 81391).

The 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor chamberings are very popular with PRS competitors. These cartridge types offer excellent accuracy, and a good ballistics with moderate recoil. Many factory rifles, such as the impressive new Tikka T3X A1, are offered in the 6.5mm chambering.

Tikka 6.5 Creedmoor

This video also features Hornady’s new Black Ammunition designed for gas guns. Offerings include 5.45x39mm, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, 300 AAC BLK, 450 Bushmaster, and .308 Win. The 6.5 Grendel ammo attracted our attention. That chambering is inherently accurate and could be used successfully in an XTC match rifle or in the new PRS Gas Gun Series.

Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo

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February 13th, 2017

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass Has Arrived at Graf & Sons

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge brass

The most hotly-anticipated cartridge brass, the new-for-2017 6.5 Creedmoor cases from Lapua, arrived late last week at Graf & Sons. With the strength and uniformity for which Lapua brass is famous, this new brass should definitely “raise the bar” for 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor shooters. Note — the new Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass features a small flash hole and small primer pocket. As of 9:00 am Monday morning this brass is in stock at Grafs.com priced at $119.99 per 100-ct box, with a max order of five (5) boxes.

UPDATE: The 6.5 Creedmoor brass sold out after we posted this story. But there will be more coming. You can ask Graf’s to be notified as soon as the next shipment arrives.

Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge brass

TECH TIP: For those who have been loading Hornady or other-brand 6.5 Creedmoor brass with large primer pockets and large flash holes, you may need to reconfigure your reloading tools. Check your sizing die — you may need to change to a smaller-diameter decapping rod. In addition you’ll need to use a small primer size “pusher” on your priming tool.

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