September 3rd, 2017

Siebel’s Slick, 6-6.5×47 Varminter Delivers Speed and Accuracy

VarmintsForFun.com 6-6.5x47

A while back, John Siebel, creator of the Varmints for Fun website, put together a 6-6.5×47 Varminter with a Lilja 10-twist barrel and BAT RBRP three-lug action. Richard Franklin smithed the gun using a Model 10 Varminter stock, one of Richard’s own stock designs.

Varmintsforfun.com 6-6.5x47 LapuaVarmint Loads with 75gr and 87gr V-Maxs
Our Forum readers have asked for recommended 6-6.5×47 Lapua loads for the lighter bullets. Well, John has some useful load data that should provide excellent starting points for 75gr and 87gr projectiles. John writes: “The 75s and 87s will be my main groundpig/varmint rounds. I have worked up loads for all of them but I need to work on the 95s to fine tune them for the egg shoot. I used CCI 450 primers for all loads. They have shown to reduce ES greatly. This case has a small primer pocket and I reasoned with the slower burning powders I wanted to get my velocity as high as possible. I had plenty of H414 and N550 … so that’s what I tried. Velocities and case fullness seemed to be pretty dang good.”

John favored Vihtavuori N550 for the 75 V-Max, while H414 was his powder of choice for the 87gr V-Max. John found these two powders offered near 100% fill density. There are other good powder choices for these bullets. For pure accuracy, you may want to try the 80gr Berger Varmint bullet — it has shot superbly in our 6BRs.

Varmintsforfun.com 6-6.5x47 Lapua

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, Reloading 5 Comments »
August 26th, 2017

17 HMR Spotlight — Affordable Ammo and Accurate Varmint Rifles

Savage A17 varmint rifle 17 hmr rimfire

Everyone should own a rifle chambered for the 17 HMR. This is an inherently accurate cartridge, with minimal recoil. The 17 HMR, loaded with 17- or 20-grain bullets, is effective on small varmints well past 150 yards. The ballistics are way better than the .22 LR and .22 WMR. There are also a variety of good factory rifles available, including Savage’s innovative A17, now available in a nice, thumbhole laminated stock. And most importantly, the ammo is becoming more affordable. You can now get good 17 HMR ammo for under twenty cents per round.

The laminated thumbhole stock version of the Savage A17 is a great carry-around varminter.
Savage A17 varmint rifle 17 hmr rimfire

Savage A17 varmint rifle 17 hmr rimfireThere are great deals to be had right now on 17 HMR — you can pick up a 50-round box for under $9.00. A couple seasons back you might have to pay $12-$15 for the same stuff. The best deal we’ve found is at Midsouth Shooters Supply, which has Hornady 17 HMR ammo loaded with 17-grain V-Max bullets, for just $8.69 (17.4 cents/round).

Here are other current good deals, as found with the WikiArms.com ammo search engine:

Federal 17 HMR, 17gr TNT (50 rd), $8.99 at Outdoor Limited
CCI 17 HMR, 17gr V-Max (50 rd), $9.49 at Outdoor Limited
Hornady 17 HMR, 20gr XTP (50 rd), $9.99 at Outdoor Limited.
CCI 17 HMR, 20gr Game Point (50 rd), $10.24 at Bud’s Gun Shop

Volquartsen 17 HMR dustin ellermann

A while back we tested a variety of 17 HMR ammo types in a pair of 17 HMR rifles, a Ruger 77/17 and a Volquartsen (above), chronographing the ammo samples in both guns. Here are our chrono test results.

17 HMR data chrono chronograph

Dustin Ellermann (past Top Shot Champion) has tested both normal and subsonic 17 HMR ammo in another Volquartsen rifle. He got the best accuracy with the CCI-brand A17 ammo, which is optimized for the Savage A17 rifle. This impressive 100-yard group was shot with A17 ammo:

Dustin 17 HMR CCI suppressed ammo ammunition

Dustin 17 HMR CCI suppressed ammo ammunition

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
June 19th, 2017

Bargain Finder 91: Accurateshooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. CDNN — Browning Stainless Buck Mark, $279.99 After Rebate

Browning Buckmark Stainless Camper UFX Pistol Handgun .22 LR 22 rimfire

Everyone needs a good .22 LR rimfire handgun, and the Browning Buck Mark is a classic. This stainless, bull barrel version is marked down this week to $329.99. That’s a very good deal, but you can save even more with Browning’s $50 Rebate. Buck Marks, with their excellent triggers and great ergonomics, are fun to shoot and VERY accurate. This is a pistol you can keep for a life-time. Browning says: “Every Buck Mark starts out as a solid piece of aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum alloy, and then is CNC-machined to exacting tolerances. The crisp single-action trigger, hand reamed chamber, target crowned barrel and finely adjustable target sights mean the Buck Mark comes ready for fun straight from the box.” There is also a blued Buck Mark version priced at $289.99 (or $239.99 after Rebate).

2. Grafs.com — Caldwell Long Range Target Cam System, $329.99

Amazon Caldwell Precision Long Range Target System Cam Camera
Labradar chronograph

Forum members have purchased this Caldwell Target Cam System and they’ve found that it works reliably, providing a clear signal to any WiFi-enabled mobile device (smartphone, iPad, Laptop). One member specifically tested the unit at 1000 yards and it functioned fine. NOTE: This system does NOT have a zoom camera lens, so you need to position the camera within 10 yards or so of the target. But if you place it to the side a bit, this shouldn’t be a problem. This system comes with a nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands. You get a very capable system for under $330.00. Graf’s offers free shipping after a flat $7.95 handling charge.

3. Midsouth or Bruno’s — Labradar Chronograph and Accessories

Labradar chronograph

Midsouth Shooters Supply is now carrying the advanced Labradar chronograph. This unique unit allows you to measure your shots without having to set up a tripod and skyscreens downrange. When you start using a Labradar, you’ll never want to go back to old-style chronographs. You can also purchase the Labradar from Bruno Shooters Supply. Price is $559.95 from either vendor. NOTE: Very soon Labradar plans to offer Bluetooth functionality, allowing you to control the machine remotely with your mobile device. This functionality will come via new software — the Bluetooth transceiver is built-in to all current Labradar units, so you can buy one now and use Bluetooth later (when the software is released).

4. Lyman — $25.00 Off Top-Selling Products

Lyman rebate mail-in borecam cyclone powder measure, Case Prep Xpress

You can now get $25.00 Off five of Lyman’s top-selling products: BoreCam, Case Prep Xpress, Gen6 Powder Dispenser, Cyclone Rotary Tumbler, and AutoAdvance Target. With Lyman’s Summer Mail-In Rebate Program, you can earn a $25 rebate per select item bought from any Lyman dealer, online or direct from the Lyman website. Items must be purchased between June 9 and August 31, 2017 to qualify. CLICK HERE for the Rebate Redemption Form.

Products included in this Sizzling Summer Rebate Program include:

Case Prep Xpress (Item #7810220)
Borecam Borescope (Item #04055)
Cyclone Rotary Tumbler (Item #7631550)
Gen6 Compact Digital Powder System (Item #7750550)
AutoAdvance Remote Control Target System (Item #4320051)

5. Whittaker Guns — Howa Lightning 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $299.99

With this deal you can get a complete 6.5 Creedmoor Howa 1500 Rifle with HACT 2-Stage Trigger for just $299.99. That’s $150.00 less than the price of a Howa 1500 barreled action by itself! ($449.99 at Brownells). This is a no-frills rifle, but its hard to beat the $299.99 price for a solid, multi-purpose rifle. Use “As-Is” for hunting or drop it into a modular stock for tactical/practical games.

6. Amazon — RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press, $126.99

Amazon.com Amazon RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Reloading Press Sale

The RCBS Rock Chucker remains a classic — a big, strong, versatile press that can handle most reloading chores with ease. And now you can get a genuine Rock Chucker Supreme for $126.99 — a very good deal. The Rock Chucker offers plenty of leverage for case-sizing and the “O” is tall enough for long cartridges. The Rock Chucker has a very strong base and should last a lifetime. We’re not fans of the Rock Chucker’s priming system but most serious reloaders use a separate priming tool.

7. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.79

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With 2850+ customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $16.79, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

8. Midsouth — 17 HMR V-Max Ammo, $9.75 for 50 rounds

17 HMR Hornady Midsouth V-Max Vmax Sale

Need 17 HMR ammo for your planned 2017 varmint safaris? Then grab this Hornady V-Max ammo while you can at $9.75 for a 50-round box. This is a great price. Other vendors are selling the same Hornady ammo for as much as $13.50 per box. We’ve used this ammo and it was very accurate out of both semi-auto (Savage A17) and bolt-action (CZ 455) 17 HMR rifles.

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Reloading No Comments »
January 11th, 2016

Bargain Finder 17: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Cabelas.com — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $225.00, after manufacturer’s rebate. Right now, Cabela’s is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $300.00. That’s a good deal as this Reloading Kit sells elsewhere for up to $360.00. But he’s the real incentive — if you spend $300.00 on RCBS products in 2016, RCBS will send you a $75.00 rebate. That reduces your net cost to just $225.00 for the entire Kit.

2. Bullets.com — Bald Eagle Rest with Windage Top

AccurateShooter Deals Week Bullets.com Clearance Bald Eagle front rest windage top Sale
Bullets.com is offering aluminum-base front rests, with flex-shaft remote windage adjustment, for just $165.00! These front rests originally retailed for over $400.00 (with windage drive). But Bullets.com is having an “overstock” sale so you can get blow-out pricing on these rests.

3. Amazon — Minox 16-30x50mm Spotting Scope, $250.00

Deals of Week Minox Spotting Scope Compact

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to spotting scopes. For hunters, compact size and light weight are advantages. This little Minox MD 50 has sharp lenses yet weighs just 22 ounces. The max 30X magnification is plenty for seeing shot markers or watching mirage. Right now this compact Minox is on sale at Amazon.com for just $250.00. No it won’t match a $2300.00 Kowa Prominar, but for basic viewing tasks (and hunting duties) it will do a good job. It’s also an excellent choice for bullseye pistol shooters who need a lightweight, affordable spotting scope.

4. Hornady — 500 Free Bullets with Gear Purchase

Deal of Week Hornady Get Loaded  500 free bullets

Hornady has announced its “Get Loaded” Promotion for 2016. If you buy any of the qualifying products (listed above), you get 500 free bullets. We’ve taken advantage of these promos in the past. It’s a pretty good deal if need a reloading press, case prep center, or large ultrasonic cleaning machine. We’re impressed with the new pyramid-frame, open front iron press. 500 bullets is a nice incentive.

5. CDNN Sports — Remington .22 LR Bulk Ammo

Deal of Week Remington .22 LR Bulk Ammunition buck of ammo

Chose from a 525-round box for $54.88 or a jumbo 1400-round “bucket ‘o ammo” for $139.88. Both offerings feature 36-grain hollowpoint bullets. With the big bucket you get ammo for under ten cents ($0.10) per round. Yes we’d say that’s affordable .22 LR plinking ammo!

6. Brownells — Hornady V-Max Bullets on Sale

Deal of Week Hornady V-Max Varmint bullets sale Brownells.com

Here’s a super deal on plastic-tipped V-Max bullets — a favorite for varmint hunters. V-Max bullets are accurate and deliver plenty of “pop” on ground squirrels, prairie dogs and other small varmints. Brownells has clearance pricing on many types of V-Max bullets. For example, for just $14.98 per hundred, you can get the excellent 40-grain, .20-caliber V-Max or the equally good 50gr or 53gr, 22-cal V-Max. That’s a great price.

7. Natchez — CCI Blazer 9mm ammo, $9.99 for 50 Rounds

Deal of Week Hornady CCI Blazer 9mm Luger pistol ammo

This is the best price we’ve found this week on newly-manufactured 9mm pistol ammunition. And this is quality, CCI made-in-USA ammo with reloadable, brass casings. We have used this CCI-made Blazer 9mm ammo in Sig, HK, and Glock pistols and it performed very well. This stuff won’t last long at this price (less than $0.20 per round). If you need 9mm practice ammo, order soon.

8. Amazon — Best-Selling Nano LED Mini-Flashlight

Deal of Week Hornady CCI Blazer 9mm Luger pistol ammo

This handy Nano Keychain Light, an Amazon BEST SELLER, has a super-bright 5mm LED with a 100,000 hour lifetime. Verified purchasers say the Nano is “well-constructed” and “super-bright for its size”. Weighing just 0.36 ounces and measuring 1.47″ long, the Nano stows easily. A handy snap hook is included. Streamlight offers a limited lifetime warranty. Read the Amazon Reviews — people love this keychain Nano Light. It’s great for campers, and it’s a smart addition to a house emergency kit.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product No Comments »
June 17th, 2015

Varminter.com Reviews Ruger 77/17 in 17 WSM Rimfire

Ruger 77/17  17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire Win Super Mag or WSM review video AccurateShooter.com

The 17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire (aka Win Super Mag or WSM) is the fastest, most potent modern rimfire round you can buy. This cartridge, which uses a modified nail gun casing, drives 20gr bullets at 3000 fps. The 17 WSM offers superior ballistics to all .22 rimfires, and is a clear step ahead of the 17 HMR. That makes this round a potential “game-changer” in the varmint fields. To guage the capabilities of the 17 WSM, Varminter.com tested the cartridge in the new Ruger 77/17 bolt-action rifle. Click HERE for Varminter.com Ruger 77/17, 17 WSM Review.

17 WSM shoots faster than the 17 HMR, so the 20gr bullets don’t drift as much in the wind:
17 Win Super Mag Rimfire Magnum Ruger 77/18 Varminter.com review

Varminter.com reports: “The much-anticipated Ruger 77/17 chambered in the 17 Winchester Super Magnum (17WSM) has been released. Our Review Editor, William Chambers, put it through a full range test with all four currently-available ammunition loads. Afterwards, he took it on a short groundhog hunt[.] We put a lot of rounds through the guns we test, at targets, through chronographs and out in the field. This report includes all currently available 17 WSM ammunition and a sneak peek of the really nice Nikon Prostaff 5 riflescope.” READ REVIEW.

(more…)

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 6 Comments »
October 15th, 2014

New Stuff! Hornady Unveils New Ammo, New Tools for 2015

Hornady has just announced its new-for-2015 products — new ammo, new reloading equipment, new brass, and new shooting accessories. This is a big roll-out, with a slew of new products, including some very interesting reloading tools. CLICK HERE to See ALL NEW 2015 Hornady Products.

VIDEO PREVIEW: Hornady 2015 New Products Overview

New Hornady Rifle Ammunition
New rifle ammo to be introduced in 2015 includes: 17 Win Super Mag Rimfire (with 20gr VMax), Full Boar series with GMX bullets, .243 Win Superformance with 75gr V-Max, and .338 Lapua Magnum with 285gr A-Max. It appears that Hornady may also be expanding its Custom Int’l line of hunting ammo.

Hornady new brass ammo ammunition reloading tools cases

Hornady new brass ammo ammunition reloading tools cases

New Hornady Reloading Products
For 2015, Hornady is releasing a host of new reloading tools and accessories. Among the new reloading items this year are: Multi-Purpose Lock-N-Load® Quick Change Hand Tool (photo below), Lock-N-Load® Neck Turn Tool with power adapter (photo below), Lock-N-Load® Sonic Cleaner 7L, and Lock-N-Load® AP™ Primer Pocket Swage Tool (for Hornady L-N-L progressive press):

Hornady new brass ammo ammunition reloading tools cases

Hornady new brass ammo ammunition reloading tools cases

New Hornady Cartridge Brass — 15 New Varieties
This should make hand-loaders happy. Hornady will release 15 new types of Hornady-brand cartridge brass. Varminters should be happy with the new 22 Hornet, 220 Swift, and 6mm Rem offerings.

Rifle Brass
22 Hornet SKU 8602
220 Swift SKU 8615
6mm Rem SKU 8622
7mm-08 Rem SKU 8646
7x65R SKU 8641
300 Rem Ultra Mag SKU 87624
30-378 Weatherby SKU 8658
8×57 JRS SKU 8644
500-416 Nitro Express SKU 86877

Pistol Brass
380 Auto SKU 8710
9X18 Makarov SKU 8725
9MM Luger SKU 8720
38 Special SKU 8730
357 Mag SKU 8740
40 S&W SKU 8742

Hornady new brass ammo ammunition reloading tools cases

Permalink - Videos, New Product No Comments »
July 8th, 2013

Hornady Suspends Production of 150 Ammo Types and 150 Bullet Types for Balance of 2013

Hornady suspends ammo and bullet productionIn order to increase deliveries of its most popular types of ammunition and bullets, Hornady announced that it will temporarily suspend production of 150 bullet types and 150 ammo types. IMPORTANT: These bullet and ammo products are NOT being discontinued. Rather, these less-popular, suspended items will simply not be produced for the remainder of 2013. By doing this, Hornady can reduce tool/machinery changes and thereby increase production of products in highest demand. On July 2nd, Hornady issued this statement:

Dear Hornady Customer:

As you are aware, 2013 has been one of the most challenging years ever in the sporting arms industry. We are proud of the increases in production we have achieved this year, but we are still faced witha demand that exceeds our ability to produce.

In efforts to increase production, we have reviewed everything, refining procedures, adding people, and equipment when possible. One area that will help us produce more: cutting the number of changeovers in our production machinery.

In order to reduce changeovers, we are announceing the temporary suspension of over 150 ammunition items and 150 bullet items, for the balance of 2013.

Attached you will find the list of items that will be suspended. Our plan is to remove the orders for these items from our system, beginning July 10th, and notify you of the cancellations. We will continue to monitor and update this list as the market conditions change.

Our goal is to try to deliver more to every customer, and while this may impact certain categories, our overall delivery should improve.

Hornady has listed the suspended bullet/ammo items in ten pages of attachments sent out to Hornady wholesalers and retailers. One representative page (covering 6mm, 6.5mm, and 7mm bullets) is shown below. This is NOT the complete list — there are TEN (10) pages! Click on each link below to see suspended items listed by caliber, small to large.

hornady suspends ammo bullet productionSuspension List Contents by Page
1. Suspended Bullets .17 -.25 Caliber
2. Suspended Bullets .270 – .32 Caliber
3. Suspended Bullets .338 – .475 Caliber
4. Suspended Bullets 6mm – 7mm (See at right)
5. Suspended Bullets 8mm – 9mm and Suspended .17 – .223 Ammo
6. Suspended Ammo, .223, .243, 25-06, 270 Win, 280 Rem, 30 Carbine
7. Suspended Ammo 300 Wby Mag, 300 Win Mag, 30-06 Spr, 303 Brit
8. Suspended ammo 6.5 Creed, 6.5×55, 6.8 SPC, 7mm Rem Mag, 7×57 and larger metric
9. Suspended ammo 30-30, .308 Win, .338 Lap, .338 Win Mag, 35 Whelen, .357 Mag
10. Suspended ammo .357 Sig, 38 SPL, 380 ACP, 40 SW, 41 Mag, 44 Mag, 45 ACP, 45 Colt, and rifle 375 H&H, 404 Jef, 45-70 Govt

Notable Bullets on the Suspended List:
22832 – 22 Cal .224 80gr A-Max
22420 – 6mm .243 75gr V-Max
24562 – 6mm .243 105gr A-Max
26101 – 6.5mm .243 100gr A-Max
29402 – 7mm .284 162gr A-Max
29405 – 7mm .285 162gr BTHP Match
30314 – 30 Cal .308 155gr A-Max Moly
30715 – 30 Cal .308 178gr BTHP Match
30733 – 30 Cal .308 208gr BTHP Match
33102 – 338 Cal .338 200gr SST

Note, the above selection of “notable bullets” is just a “short list” of items that caught our attention. Remember 150 bullet types are being suspended for the balance of the year. With some items on the list, partial orders will be filled, or current orders will be filled, but no new orders taken.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 48 Comments »
December 23rd, 2011

More Zombie Marketing — Z-Max Varmint Bullets from Hornady

Hornady Varmint Bullet Z-MaxFollowing up on the success of its Zombie-Max ammunition, Hornady has introduced a new line of Z-Max Varmint Bullets fitted with “slime green”-colored plastic tips. What can we say — it’s a gimmick but it sells. P.T. Barnum would be proud. Hornady will initially offer seven (7) types of Z-Max bullets, in calibers .172 through 7.62 (.310), with weights from 20 grains to 123 grains.

17 Cal .172 20gr Z-MAX™

20 Cal .204 32gr Z-MAX™

22 Cal .224 40gr Z-MAX™

22 Cal .224 50gr Z-MAX™

22 Cal .224 55gr Z-MAX™
with cannelure

6mm .243 58gr Z-MAX™

7.62 Cal .310 123gr Z-MAX™

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 3 Comments »
April 22nd, 2011

Hornady Bullets on SALE, Plus FREE Shipping & Handling

hornady bullet saleGrafs.com is running a big sale right now on Hornady Bullets with many very popular projectiles marked down 12%.

And to sweeten the deal, for the next week, Grafs.com is waiving its $4.95 handling/insurance fee on any orders worth $60.00 or more. Graf’s already offers free shipping on most products, so this is a good deal, even if you’re only going to buy a couple boxes of bullets. Here are some of the Hornady Bullet Discounts:

  • 20gr V-MAX BULLET (.172, 100/box)
    $15.39 on sale, 12% savings
    Item #RN21710
  • 40gr V-MAX BULLET (.224, 100/box)
    $15.39 on sale, 12% savings
    Item #HRN22241
  • 50gr V-MAX BULLET (.224, 100/box)
    $15.39 on SALE, 12% savings
    Item #HRN22261
    • 58gr V-MAX BULLET (6mm, 100/Box)
      $17.79 on sale, 10% savings
      Item #HRN22411
    • 120gr A-MAX BULLET (6.5mm, 100/box)
      $23.59 on sale, 8% savings
      Item #HRN26172
    • 168gr BTHP MATCH BULLET (.308, 100/box)
      $23.99 on sale, 10% savings
      Item #HRN30501

    FREE Freight and No-Charge Handling/Insurance with $60 Purchase
    Grafs.com will waive the handling and insurance charge ($4.95 value) when you order at least $60 worth of in-stock merchandise. Freight is ALWAYS prepaid to the 48 states on regular ground service only except for target load ammo (see terms of service for details). Offer excludes closeout items and target loads. Offer expires Thursday, April 28th at midnight CST. NOTE: Hazmat and other special fees are NOT included. Call 800-531-2666 for any questions.

    Grafs.com shipping promotion

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
    November 22nd, 2010

    New .224-Cal Varmint Bullets From Hornady

    We recently had a chance to chat with Dave Emary, Hornady’s Chief Ballistics Scientist. Dave told us that varmint hunters should definitely check out two new .224-caliber bullets from Hornady, the 35gr NTX and the 53gr V-Max. Both bullets offer high-BCs for their weight class, along with excellent terminal performance.

    New Lead-Free NTX “California-Legal” Bullet
    First is the new 35gr NTX® BT plastic-tipped bullet. This is a lead-free California-compliant design. Designed with a boat-tail and extended ogive, the new 35gr NTX has better ballistics than most other bullets in its weight class. This bullet can be pushed to very high velocities by a standard .223 Remington cartridge. As you can see from the factory illustrations below, the new 35gr NTX bullet is far more streamlined that the previous 35gr flat-base V-MAX, and the NTX’s BC is much higher. So the NTX gives you a lead-free alternative, that has better ballistics to boot.

    Hornady NTX bullet

    New High-BC, 53gr V-Max May Be a “Game-Changer” for .223 Rem Shooters
    The second recently-released bullet is a new, High-BC, 53gr V-Max with a field-tested 0.290 G1 Ballistic Coefficient. That’s a very high BC for a .224-caliber bullet in this weight class. To demonstrate that point, the Berger 55gr BTHP Varmint bullet has a .210 G1 BC, while the Sierra 53gr FB MatchKing has a .224 G1 BC (above 2800 fps). How did Hornady achieve the higher BC? Emary tells us that this new bullet was designed with an extended ogive (nose section) to provide significantly better ballistics than other bullets in its weight class. Emary added: “With this .290 BC bullet and the higher velocities we get with the SuperFormance powder blends, the .223 Remington runs pretty darn close to a .22-250 with standard loads — you can run the ballistics numbers yourself.”

    Hornady V-Max 53

    Taking Up Emary’s Challenge — Running the Balllistics
    Given Dave’s challenge to “run the numbers” — we did just that. Hornady claims 3465 fps from its new SuperFormance .223 Rem factory ammo loaded with the 53gr V-Max. At 400 yards, this load will drop 20.8 inches from a 100-yard zero, and drift 15.6 inches in a 10 mph crosswind. (Figures calculated with JBM Ballistics, for 500′ altitude, 70° F.) To compare, Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center says a .22-250 can deliver 3713 fps with a 55-grainer pushed by a max load of IMR 4064. So, for the .22-250, assuming a .220 BC for the 55gr bullet, the drop at 400 yards (from 100-yard zero) is 20.4 inches, while the 10 mph wind drift is 20.2 inches (again according to JBM). So, it looks like Emary is right, assuming his .223 Rem velocities are real. At 400 yards, the .223 Rem with the 53-grainer has nearly identical drop and much less wind drift than a .22-250 shooting a conventional 55-grainer. Here are the numbers:

    Cartridge Muzzle Vel Bullet BC Drop at 400 yds Drift at 400 yds
    .223 Rem 3465 fps 0.290 BC (53gr) 20.8 inches 15.6 inches
    .22-250 3713 fps 0.220 BC (55gr) 20.4 inches 20.2 inches

    We asked Emary how the new 53-grainers hold up when driven at high velocities. Emary replied: “The 53-grainer has the tough V-Max jacket. You should be able to push it up to 4000 fps with no problems”.

    Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 6 Comments »
    October 17th, 2010

    Hornady Introduces Superformance Varmint Ammo

    In early 2011, Hornady will start shipping its new, “enhanced velocity” Superformance™ Varmint ammunition for four chamberings: 222 Remington, .223 Remington, 22-250, and .243 Winchester. This ammo uses proprietary, blended powder formulations to achieve faster velocities that most other factory-loaded ammo (for these cartridge types). In addition, the propellant burns more completely in the barrel, reducing the amount of ejecta (i.e. powder residue that exits the muzzle). By burning the powder more completely in the barrel, Hornady claims the Superformance ammo delivers higher velocities without increased recoil.

    Hornady Superformance Varmint Ammunition

    New 53gr V-Max for .223 Rem Ammo
    All four types of Superformance Varmint ammo are loaded with polymer-tipped V-Max bullets. The .223 Rem ammo features a new 53-grain V-Max bullet with a decent 0.290 G1 Ballistic Coefficient. Hornady claims that: “This new bullet… enables this load to produce trajectory and wind drift equaling that of a conventional 22-250″. Well, it may come close to factory loaded 22-250 rounds from other manufacturers, but any competent hand-loader can produce 22-250 or 22-6XC loads that easily outrun Hornady’s 53gr V-Max load. As with any advertising claims, run the numbers yourself. The chart below shows Hornady’s claimed velocities for its Superformance Varmint ammo:

    Hornady Superformance ammunition

    Hot-Rod Ammo?
    Hornady released a somewhat “over the top” video touting its Superformance Varmint Ammo. We chuckled at the drag-racing animation, but you will find some useful info in the second half of the video:

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