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May 19th, 2022

Reloading Bench — How to Optimize Case Neck Tension

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box
One thing that plays a major role in building an accuracy load is neck tension [one of the factors that controls the “grip” on a bullet]. I think a lot of reloaders pretty much take this for granted and don’t give that enough thought.

So, how much neck tension is enough?

Through the years and shooting both a wide variety of calibers and burn rates of powder, I’ve had the best accuracy overall with .002″ of neck tension. Naturally you will run into a rifle now and then that will do its best with something different like .001″ or even .003″, but .002″ has worked very well for me. So how do we control the neck tension? Let’s take a look at that.

First of all, if you’re running a standard sizing die with an expander ball, just pull your decapping rod assembly out of your die and measure the expander ball. What I prefer [for starters] is to have an expander ball that is .003″ smaller than bullet diameter. So for example in a .224 caliber, run an expander ball of .221″. If you want to take the expander ball down in diameter, just chuck up your decapping rod assembly in a drill and turn it down with some emery cloth. When you have the diameter you need, polish it with three ought or four ought steel wool. This will give it a mirror finish and less drag coming through your case neck after sizing.

Tips for Dies With Interchangeable Neck Bushings
If you’re using a bushing die, I measure across the neck of eight or ten loaded rounds, then take an average on these and go .003″ under that measurement. There are other methods to determine bushing size, but this system has worked well for me.

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

Proper Annealing Can Deliver More Uniform Neck Tension
Another thing I want to mention is annealing. When brass is the correct softness, it will take a “set” coming out of the sizing die far better than brass that has become to hard. When brass has been work hardened to a point, it will be more springy when it comes out of a sizing die and neck tension will vary. Have you ever noticed how some bullets seated harder than others? That is why.

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

Paying closer attention to neck tension will give you both better accuracy and more consistent groups.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
May 19th, 2022

Reloading Tip: Pulling Bullets Using Press-Mounted Collet Tools

Collet Bullet Puller Hornady RCBS Press Mount Reloading

Do you have some ammo that got loaded incorrectly, perhaps with the wrong powder? Then you’ll want to disassemble the ammo for safety’s sake. You can use an impact puller to do this task, but if you have more than a dozen rounds or so, you may prefer to use a collet-style bullet puller. These work very quickly and positively, making quick work of big jobs. The efficiency of the collet-style puller is worth the investment if you frequently disassemble ammo. These devices retail for under $25.00 (collets sold separately). Normally, you’ll need a specific collet for each bullet diameter. But collets are not that costly, so this isn’t a big deal, particularly if you only load a few calibers, such as .223, 6mm, and .308.

Hornady and RCBS use different mechanisms to tighten the collet around the bullet. On the Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller, a lever-arm on the top of the bullet puller serves to tighten the collet around the bullet. Simply rotate the lever from the vertical to the horizontal position to grab the bullet. Lower the ram to remove the case. The bullet will drop out when you return the lever arm to the vertical position. This is demonstrated in the video below:

Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller Demonstrated

Collet bullet-pullers resemble a loading die with a lever or handle on the top. They screw into a standard reloading press. Hornady and RCBS both make collet-style bullet pullers. They use the same basic principle — the device tightens a collet around the bullet, and then the bullet is separated from the case by lowering the press ram. NOTE: Collet pullers may leave small marks on your bullets, unlike impact (kinetic) pullers.*

Hornady collet bullet pullerLike the Hornady tool, the RCBS Bullet Puller employs a collet to grab the bullet. However, the RCBS tool tightens the collet in a different way. The head of the RCBS tool is threaded internally. By rotating the lever arm clockwise in a horizontal circle you squeeze the collet around the bullet. To remove the bullet, after lowering the press ram, simply spin the lever arm back in the opposite direction. The use of the RCBS tool is demonstrated in these two videos:

RCBS Collet Bullet Puller Demonstrated:

WARNING: When removing bullets from loaded cartridges, always make sure there are no obstructions or debris in your shell-holder or under the loaded round. NEVER engage a primer seating accessory on your press when working with loaded rounds. You can cause a round to discharge by contacting the primer! Also, we recommend you keep your head and torso away from the bullet puller tool at all times.

*By contrast, impact pullers rarely mark bullets, particularly if you put a little bit of foam or paper wadding in the closed end of your impact puller. When dismantling loaded rounds, powder kernels can get trapped in the wadding, so you should remove and replace the wadding before changing to cartridges loaded with a different powder type (assuming you intend to save the powder).

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
May 19th, 2022

Make Your Own Empty Chamber Indicator for Rimfire Rifles

Medler Rimfire Empty Chamber Indicator

Larry Medler has come up with a smart little invention — a simple, inexpensive Empty Chamber Indicator for rimfire rifles. It is made from a section of plastic “weed-wacker” line and a wooden ball from a hobby shop. Larry says he was inspired by Juniors who used something similar for their 17-Caliber Air Rifles.

How to Make the Empty Chamber Indicator

Construction Method: First, drill a 7/64″ diameter hole all the way through the 1″-diameter wooden ball. Then enlarge half of that 1″-long hole using a 13/64” diameter drill. Next insert an 8″ piece of heavy duty (0.095″ diameter) weed wacker line through the ball, leaving about 2″ on the side with the bigger-diameter hole. Then, with the short end of the line, fold over the last half-inch so the line is doubled-over on itself. Then slide the line into the ball, stuffing the doubled-over section through the 13/64″ (large) hole. Finally, pull the longer end of the line until the doubled-over section is flush with the outside of the ball. This gives you a sturdy line attachment without messy adhesives. When the assembly’s complete, hold the ECI by the tail and dip the ball in yellow paint. If you’re making more than one ECI, you can drill horizontal holes in a spare block of wood and use that as a drying rack.

rimfire sporter
At a Rimfire Sporter match like this, all shooters must have an Empty Chamber Indicator.

The Empty Chamber Indicator for Smallbore Rifles
Larry explains: “At all Highpower rifle matches, silhouette matches, and other shooting events I have attended, Open Bore Indicators (OBI), or what are now called Empty Chamber Indicators (ECI) have been mandatory. The NRA’s yellow ECI for Highpower rifles is easy to use and has been well-received by the shooters. However, I had not seen a truly workable ECI for 22 rimfire rifles — until I visited Michigan’s Washtenaw Sportsman’s Club where I saw juniors using ECIs for their 17 Caliber Air Rifles. Someone at the club made the empty chamber indicators by attaching an 8″ piece of weed wacker line to a 1″-diameter wooden ball, painted bright yellow. I now make similar ECIs for the 22 rimfire silhouette matches I run.”

Permalink Competition, Tech Tip Post comment »
May 18th, 2022

CMP Training Courses at National Matches This Summer

Camp Perry CMP instruction clinic

Ready to learn more about marksmanship? This summer, the CMP will offer a wide selection of training programs at the National Matches at Camp Perry. CMP training courses serve all levels of shooters, with personalized instruction for all. During this year’s National Matches, there will be an array of educational courses taught by experts, including USAMU team personnel and coaches. Courses span from junior to advanced, delivering a little something for everyone.

Camp Perry CMP instruction clinic

Participants in CMP National Matches clinics receive one-on-one instruction. Here is a quick guide (ranked from Advanced to Beginner) for scheduled learning events at the 2022 Camp Perry National Matches, which run July 12 through August 13, 2022.

ADVANCED – Team CMP Advanced Highpower Clinic:
Led by members of CMP Gold (CMP’s own competitive Highpower squad), the Advanced Highpower Clinic offers more complex instruction in service rifle competition techniques using classroom and range discussion. Though the class traditionally utilizes only dry-fire training on the range, in 2021, a 600-yard live-fire portion was added. This course is only open to those who have attended the Advanced Small Arms Firing School at least once and have an “Expert” classification with the CMP or National Rifle Association.

CMP National Matches Camp Perry Brandon Green USAMU marksmanship training
The Advanced High Power Clinic, led by Team CMP members including Bob Gil (above), provides advanced training on wind reading, mental management and more.

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED – Junior Smallbore and Air Rifle Camp:
The camp is open to intermediate and advanced junior athletes who shoot both three-position smallbore and standing or international air rifle. Instruction is held on CMP’s outdoor Petrarca Range and within the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center indoor air range, both located on the grounds of Camp Perry. Participants must be between the ages of 12 to 20 and currently involved in three-position smallbore competition matches and international air rifle. Camp will cover safety and a reinforced understanding of the fundamentals, among several other points of interest. Those juniors hoping to move their marksmanship careers on to college are encouraged to sign up for this valuable course.

Camp Perry CMP instruction clinic
Camp Perry CMP instruction clinic

INTERMEDIATE – U.S. Marine Corps Junior Highpower Clinic:
The three-day clinic gives focus to more advanced training outside of fundamentals, including weather conditions, how to read wind, equipment use, shooting positions and rulebook standards. Juniors in the clinic spend one day in the classroom, followed by two days of live-fire on the range at 200, 300 and 600 yards. Those young athletes who would like to attend this clinic must first attend the Rifle Small Arms Firing School.

BEGINNER – Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS):
One of the most popular events of the National Matches, the SAFS course is a combination of classroom education and hands-on instruction on fundamentals, competition basics and safety. Training is led by members of military marksmanship teams as well as certified CMP instructors. At the conclusion of the course, students fire real competitions on the range, with instructors nearby. Equipment is provided by the CMP, with participants only needing a willingness to learn in order to attend. Currently, the CMP offers Small Arms Firing Schools for Pistol (M9), Smallbore Rifle, .22 caliber Rimfire Sporter Rifle and Highpower Rifle (M16) during the National Matches as well as an Advanced SAFS course for further training.

small arms firing school camp perry

BEGINNER — As-Issued Military Rifle Clinics:
Any CMP Games competitors who have not previously fired in one of these matches are required to attend a clinic before they fire. All other competitors in these matches are encouraged to attend as well. These free one-hour clinics will cover the Garand-Springfield-Vintage Matches with instruction and demonstrations. Topics include match rules, shooting positions and techniques, scoring and pit pulling procedures and how to fire the courses of fire. The clinic is open to all competitors. More experienced juniors may attend the USMC clinic, taught by current marksmanship professionals.

BEGINNER — M1 Maintenance Clinic:
CMP Armorers will present this two-hour clinic on disassembly, assembly and maintenance of the M1 Garand Rifle. Special attention will be given to accurizing steps that can be taken with the rifle while maintaining its legality for CMP-sanctioned As-Issued Military Rifle Matches. Topics such as head space, barrel installation, component purpose/function, general rifle assembly, rifle/component maintenance and various other techniques will be covered during the course.

Camp Perry CMP instruction clinic

MORE INFORMATION on Camp Perry Training Programs

Learn more about these training clinics and other educational opportunities, visit the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/cmp-national-matches/clinics.

Article based on story by Ashley Brugnone, CMP Staff Writer

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills Post comment »
May 18th, 2022

Optimal Barrel Twist Rate — Factors to Consider

Glen Zediker Twist Rate .223 Rem Barrel Top Grade Ammo Midsouth
Here’s an extreme range of .224-Caliber bullets: 35gr varmint bullet and 90gr match bullet. Of course, along with bullet length/design, you need to consider MV when choosing twist rate.

Even with the same caliber (and same bullet weight), different bullet types may require different rates of spin to stabilize properly. The bullet’s initial spin rate (RPM) is a function of the bullet’s muzzle velocity and the spin imparted by the rifling in the barrel. You want to ensure your bullet is stable throughout flight. It is better to have too much spin than too little, according to many ballistics experts, including Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. The late Glen Zediker put together some basic tips concerning barrel twist rates and bullet stability. These come from Glen’s book, Top Grade Ammo.

Choosing the Right Twist Rate
I’d always rather have a twist too fast than not fast enough. Generally… I recommend erring toward the faster side of a barrel twist decision. 1:8″ twist is becoming a “new standard” for .224 caliber, replacing 1:9″ in the process. The reason is that new bullets tend to be bigger rather than smaller. Don’t let a too-slow twist limit your capacity to [achieve] better long-range performance.

Base your next barrel twist rate decision on the longest, heaviest bullets you choose to use, and at the same time realize that the rate you choose will in turn limit your bullet choices. If the longest, heaviest bullet you’ll shoot (ever) is a 55-grain .224, then there’s honestly no reason not to use a 1:12″. Likewise true for .308-caliber: unless you’re going over 200-grain bullet weight, a 1:10″ will perform perfectly well.

Glen Zediker Twist Rate .223 Rem Barrel Top Grade Ammo Midsouth

Bullet Length is More Critical than Weight
Bullet length, not weight, [primarily] determines how much rotation is necessary for stability. Twist rate suggestions, though, are most usually given with respect to bullet weight, but that’s more of a generality for convenience’s sake, I think. The reason is that with the introduction of higher-ballistic-coefficient bullet designs, which are longer than conventional forms, it is easily possible to have two same-weight bullets that won’t both stabilize from the same twist rate.

Evidence of Instability
The tell-tale for an unstable (wobbling or tumbling) bullet is an oblong hole in the target paper, a “keyhole,” and that means the bullet contacted the target at some attitude other than nose-first.

Glen Zediker Twist Rate .223 Rem Barrel Top Grade Ammo MidsouthIncreasing Barrel Length Can Deliver More Velocity, But That May Still Not Provide Enough Stability if the Twist Rate Is Too Slow

Bullet speed and barrel length have an influence on bullet stability, and a higher muzzle velocity through a longer tube will bring on more effect from the twist, but it’s a little too edgy if a particular bullet stabilizes only when running maximum velocity.

My failed 90-grain .224 experiment is a good example of that: I could get them asleep in a 1:7″ twist, 25-inch barrel, which was chambered in .22 PPC, but could not get them stabilized in a 20-inch 1:7″ .223 Rem. The answer always is to get a twist that’s correct.

These tips were adapted from Glen’s popular 2016 book, Top-Grade Ammo, now $38.95 on Amazon. That work has numerous helpful articles on technical topics. Here are links to this title and other books by Glen Zediker.


Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip Post comment »
May 18th, 2022

Shooting USA TV Features $75K Armaggedon Gear Cup

Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational Shooting USA

Fans of PRS/NRL competition should watch Shooting USA today March 16, 2022. This action-packed episode features the 2021 Armageddon Gear (AG) Cup Invitational, a major PRS event with $75,000 in cash prize awards. The show airs today, Wednesday 5/18/22 at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific (8:00 PM Central) on the Outdoor Channel. You can also stream the show anytime on Vimeo for $0.99.

$75,000 in cash prizes makes the AG Cup the biggest cash money match in Precision Rifle Competition. It’s an elimination format shot over three days of challenging stages of fire at K & M Precision’s ranges in West Tennessee. In this episode, match organizer Tom Fuller joins John Scoutten to narrate the action and the award of the cash in extended coverage of the match. The 2020 AG Cup showcased an all-star line-up of tactical talent with the nation’s top PRS/NRL marksmen invited to the three-day match in TN.

Highlights of 2020 Armageddon Gear Cup Tactical Match:

shooting usa armageddon gear cup 2021 tom fuller
Armageddon Gear Founder Tom Fuller competes in PRS and supervised the latest AG Cup.

SHOOTING USA TV Air Times
View Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel Wednesdays 9:00 PM (Eastern and Pacific) + 8:00 PM Central.
NOTE: If you miss today’s 5/18/22 broadcast, you can still view the show on Vimeo for a small 99-cent fee, or just $1.99 per month unlimited. LINK HERE: Shooting USA on Vimeo.

Shooting USA Garand Presidents 100
Shooting USA is available On Demand via Vimeo.com. Watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $1.99 and watch as many shows as you like with limited commercial interruptions.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Tactical Post comment »
May 17th, 2022

Three Press Comparison Test: Rock Chucker, Co-Ax, Summit

RCBS Rockchucker Rock Chucker Forster Co-Ax Coax Summit single-stage Press Hornady Laurie Holland Target Shooter

“The press is the heart of the handloading operation, also traditionally the most expensive single tool employed…” — Laurie Holland

British competitive shooter Laurie Holland has reviewed three popular, single-stage reloading presses for Target Shooter Magazine (targetshooter.co.uk). Laurie bolted up a Forster Co-Ax, RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme, and RCBS Summit to his reloading bench and put the three presses through their paces. These three machines are very different in design and operation. The venerable Rock Chucker is a classic heavy, cast-iron “O”- type press that offers lots of leverage for tough jobs. The smaller RCBS Summit press is an innovative “upside-down” design with a large center column and open front. It offers a small footprint and easy case access from the front. The Co-Ax is unique in many respects — dies slide in and out of the upper section which allows them to “float”. The cartridge case is held in the lower section by spring-loaded jaws rather than a conventional shell-holder.

READ Reloading Press Three-Way Comparison Review »

If you are considering purchasing any one of these three presses, you should read Laurie’s article start to finish. He reviews the pros and cons of each press, after processing three different brands of brass on each machine. He discusses ergonomics, easy of use, press leverage, smoothness, priming function, and (most importantly), the ability to produce straight ammo with low run-out. The review includes interesting data on case-neck run-out (TIR) for RWS, Federal, and Norma 7x57mm brass.

RCBS Rockchucker Rock Chucker Forster Co-Ax Coax Summit single-stage Press Hornady Laurie Holland Target ShooterReview Quick Highlights:

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme
“My expectations of the antediluvian RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme’s performance weren’t over high to be honest as I mounted it in the place of the Summit. As soon as I sized the first of the stretched RWS cases though, I saw why this press has been such a long-running favorite. The workload was considerably reduced compared to the other two presses and doing 40-odd cases took no time at all with little sweat — it just eats hard-to-size brass.”

RCBS Summit Press
“Despite its massive build and long-stroke operating handle, [the Summit] took more sweat than I’d expected, even if it was somewhat less work than with the Co-Ax. Although the Summit is apparently massive, I noticed that the die platform would tilt fractionally under the heaviest strains[.] It is nevertheless a very pleasant press in use and bullet seating was a doddle — the few examples tried proving very concentric on checking them afterwards. The optional short handle would be valuable for this task.”

Forster Co-Ax
“[On the Co-Ax], the operating handle is above the machine, located centrally [with] twin steel links at the top end of the press dropping down to the moving parts. The Co-Ax incorporates [many] novel features, principally its automatic and multi-case compatible shell-holder assembly with spring-loaded sliding jaws, very neat spent primer arrangements that allow hardly any gritty residues to escape and foul the moving parts and, the snap-in/out die fitment that allows rapid changes and lets the die ‘float’ in relation to the case giving very concentric results. I own this press and it meets my handloading needs very well.”

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading Post comment »
May 17th, 2022

Krieger Cut-Rifled Barrel-Making — Start to Finish on Video

Krieger Barrels Cut Rifling Cut-Rifled Barreling

How Krieger Builds Barrels

This video shows the process of cut-rifled barrel-making by Krieger Barrels, one of the world’s best barrel manufacturers. Krieger cut-rifled barrels have set numerous world records and are favored by many top shooters. The video show the huge, complex machines used — bore-drilling equipment and hydraulic riflers. You can also see how barrels are contoured, polished, and inspected.

For anyone interested in accurate rifles, this is absolutely a “must-watch” video. Watch blanks being cryogenically treated, then drilled and lathe-turned. Next comes the big stuff — the massive rifling machines that single-point-cut the rifling in a precise, time-consuming process. Following that you can see barrels being contoured, polished, and inspected (with air gauge and bore-scope). There is even a sequence showing chambers being cut.

Click Arrow to Watch Krieger Barrels Video:

Here is a time-line of the important barrel-making processes shown in the video. You may want to use the “Pause” button, or repeat some segments to get a better look at particular operations. The numbers on the left represent playback minutes and seconds.

Krieger Barrel-Making Processes Shown in Video:

00:24 – Cryogenic treatment of steel blanks
00:38 – Pre-contour Barrels on CNC lathe
01:14 – Drilling Barrels
01:28 – Finish Turning on CNC lathe
01:40 – Reaming
01:50 – Cut Rifling
02:12 – Hand Lapping
02:25 – Cut Rifling
02:40 – Finish Lapping
02:55 – Outside Contour Inspection
03:10 – Engraving
03:22 – Polish
03:50 – Fluting
03:56 – Chambering
04:16 – Final Inspection

Krieger Barrels

Pratt & Whitney Cut rifling hydraulic machine

“At the start of World War Two, Pratt & Whitney developed a new, ‘B’ series of hydraulically-powered rifling machines, which were in fact two machines on the same bed. They weighed in at three tons and required the concrete floors now generally seen in workshops by this time. Very few of these hydraulic machines subsequently became available on the surplus market and now it is these machines which are sought after and used by barrel makers like John Krieger and ‘Boots’ Obermeyer. In fact, there are probably less of the ‘B’ series hydraulic riflers around today than of the older ‘Sine Bar’ universal riflers.” — Geoffrey Kolbe, Border Barrels.

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May 17th, 2022

Test Your Gun Smarts with Shooting Sports Crossword Puzzle

shooting sports crossword puzzleLike crosswords? Like guns? Well, thanks to Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA), you can try a crossword puzzle that tests your knowledge of gun stuff and competitive shooting. In the February 2013 digital edition of Shooting Sports USA magazine, you’ll find a crossword puzzle created just for shooters. There are some easy items, such as the location of the annual NRA National Pistol Championships (see story above). Other entries are more difficult, and may require some research. To print the crossword puzzle before you start working, click this Page 12 link, and then select the print icon. Spoiler alert — all the answers appear on PAGE 14 of the same February issue of SSUSA.

NOTE: These pages may be slow to load, but don’t fret, they WILL appear if you’re patient.

shooting sports crossword puzzle

CLICK HERE for Crossword Puzzle Answers.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News Post comment »
May 16th, 2022

BargainFinder 347: Accurateshooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, 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. Brownells — RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit, $399.99

RCBS Rebel Master Reloading kit Press uniflow measure primer tool brownells
Good press, quality measure, and very complete set of tools

This fine RCBS Rebel Reloading Kit contains all one needs to get started in reloading. This Kit includes: Rebel Single-Stage Reloading Press, Uniflow-III Powder Measure, 1500gr digital scale, hand priming tool, deburring tool, case loading block, powder funnel, hex key set, accessory handle with neck brushes, primer pocket brush, spray case lube, and Speer #15 manual. Currently $399.99 at Brownells, this Kit is a good deal. The exact same Rebel Kit is $439.99 at MidwayUSA and Cabela’s.

2. KYGUNCO — Citadel 12ga Semi-Auto Shotgun, $209.99

shotgun 12 ga semi-auto defense tactical discount kyguncoAmazing deal for under $210 — Sights, good ergos, action and forearm rails

Looking for a semi-auto defensive 12 gauge? This Citadel Warthog offers reliable function, nice ergonomics, and the features you want, all for just a crazy-low $209.99 cash price ($216.29 Credit Card). This nice scattergun boasts a black metal finish and black synthetic stock with black pistol grip. It comes standard with raised tactical rear sight and ghost ring front sight plus a Picatinny rail on the action and on the forearm (for lights etc.). This shotgun includes 3 extended choke tubes. A recent buyer was pleased: “Reliable, great ergonomics, will cycle everything”.

3. Midsouth — SALE on all LEE Presses and Reloading Kits

midsouth LEE tool kit press reloading sale discount
Big savings on all LEE presses, ACP, APP, and reloading kits

LEE makes good basic presses, and the LEE quick-change bushing system for dies is a real time-saver. LEE’s new ACP and APP systems work great for bulk priming and case prep functions. Some top F-Class shooters are now priming with the LEE ACP unit which is very efficient and consistent. Right now all LEE press products and Press kits are on sale at Midsouth. You can save 10-25% on dozens of LEE products. CLICK HERE for all LEE products on sale at Midsouth.

4. Brownells — Magpul PRS Lite Stock for ARs, $99.99

Magpul prs lite stock bag-rider varmint rifle
Excellent AR buttstock that rides bags well, with nice cheekpiece

We like this Magpul PRS Lite Stock for target and varmint work with ARs. The long, straight section on the lower part of the buttstock, with its shallow angle, rides a sandbag WAY better than a typical AR buttstock. This PRS Lite buttstock provides plenty of cheek-height adjustment, as well as 1.4 inches in length-of-pull adjustment. This buttstock, now $99.99 at Brownells, sells elsewhere for $114 or more. We would put this stock (or something similar) on any AR rifle shot from a bench or used with a rear bag. This buttstock is offered in three colors: Black, Flat Dark Earth, or OD Green.

5. Graf & Sons — $70 Rebate on Leupold SX-2 Spotting Scope

leupold alpine sx-2 spotting scope sale instant rebate
Save $70 on quality HD Leupold Spotters now through June 5, 2022

The Leupold SX-2 Alpine HD (High Definition) spotting scope provides exceptionally clear glass and high light transmission. Now through June 5, 2022 you can get a $70 instant rebate when you purchase Leupold SX-2 spotters. Choose the 20-60x60mm SX-2 for $329.99 at Graf’s, or the bigger 20-60x80mm SX-2 for $429.99 at Graf’s. These sale prices include the $70 discount. Savings are automatically applied to the purchase of the following SX-2 Alpine HD models at participating retailers.

6. Natchez — ChargeMaster Combo Dispenser/Scale, $309.99

leupold alpine sx-2 spotting scope sale instant rebate
Effective, very reliable dispenser with detachable scale

The RCBS ChargeMaster was a game-changer for reloaders. And this original-style unit is still preferred by many users because it is very fast and the scale section can be detached and used separately. The ChargeMaster Combo features the ChargeMaster 1500 Scale and ChargeMaster Dispenser. Average dispensing time is less than 30 seconds for a 60gr powder charge. Priced at $309.99 at Natchez on sale, this is a real bargain. The same unit sells for $409.99 on Amazon (100 bucks more). NOTE: If you want to control your scale/dispenser via a Mobile App, we recommend the newer model ChargeMaster Supreme, $408.49 at Precision Reloading.

7. KYGUNCO — .22 LR, .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 SW Ammo Deals

kygunco pistol ammo ammunition sale .380 .40sw 9mm .22 LR
Great deals on quality USA-made pistol and rimfire ammo

KYGUNCO is running a great Ammo Sale right now. Save on popular pistol ammo types. Federal 115gr 9mm is just $16.49 for 50rds. And CCI Blazer .40 SW is $23.70 (50 rds), while Winchester .380 ACP is $20.99 (50 rds). And rimfire ammo is on sale as well — get 333 rounds of Winchester .22 LR ammo for just $24.18 (a mere $0.07/rd).

8. Palmetto State Armory — Norma TAC-22 Ammo, $4.19/box

tac22 22lr ammo sale
Excellent rimfire ammo at a GREAT price — .22 LR Deal of the Year

We’re repeating this deal because we’ve found no other .22 LR ammo that rivals Norma TAC-22 at anywhere near the price — just over 8 cents per round ($4.19/box). If you shoot NRL22 or just practice for fun, grab some Norma TAC22 .22 LR ammo at Palmetto State Armory. On sale at just $4.19 per 50-round box, this TAC-22 ammo is a truly spectacular bargain. In our test, it out-shot some ammo that costs $8 per box. During testing with a CZ 457, one of our Editors had multiple 5-shot groups at 50 yards that were typically one ragged hole (all shots touching). He observed “It’s amazingly good ammo for the money”.

9. Midsouth — Lyman 51st Ed. Reloading Manual, $26.99/$28.99

lyman reloading manual handbook cartridge load data
Good, comprehensive, many powder options, with color illustrations

Everyone should have a good hard copy reloading manual. With a print manual, you can bookmark key pages, quickly compare various powder/bullet combos, and you don’t need a computer in your loading room. We like the Lyman Reloading Manual because it includes all major powder makers. New cartridges in this 51st Edition include 224 Valkyrie, 22 Nosler, 24 Nosler, 6mm ARC, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 6.5 Weatherby RPM, 6.8 Western, 300 PRC, and more. Choose Hard Cover for $28.99 or Soft Cover for $26.99. Both are good deals — the softcover Lyman 51st Reloading Handbook costs $44.97 on Amazon.

10. MidwayUSA — Hoppes Universal Cleaning Kit, $9.99

hoppes black universal gun cleaning kit brushes mop jag patches
Everything you need to clean pistols, rifles, and shotguns — super-low price

This versatile cleaning kit originally retailed for $39.99. Now just $9.99 on sale, this Hoppes Black Universal Cleaning Kit includes 2 oz. of Hoppe’s High-Performance Gun Cleaner, 2 oz. of Hoppes Precision Gun Oil, a 3-piece aluminum cleaning rod, 5 bronze brushes, 3 nylon jags, 2 cotton mops, one nylon shotgun slotted tip, one shotgun adapter, and cleaning patches, all packaged in a reusable storage case. Killer deal — you could pay $9.99 just for the five brushes.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, New Product, Reloading Post comment »
May 16th, 2022

Field Test Report on Savage A17 Rimfire in .17 HMR

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

One of our favorite cartridges for small varmints is the 17 HMR. Yes, the newer 17 WSM rimfire has better ballistics, but 17 HMR ammunition is considerably less expensive, and you have a much larger selection of rifles and pre-chambered aftermarket barrels. And out to 150 yards or so the 17 HMR is great on ground squirrels and prairie dogs.

If you are looking for a 17 HMR varmint rifle, one rig you should definitely consider is the Savage A17. Now that this model is offered with laminated stock options, you can get a fine little 17 HMR rifle for about $475.00. We do prefer the laminated stock A17s (both standard and thumbhole models) over the basic polymer-stocked version, priced at $440.00.

Savage A17 thumbhole stock

How does an A17 shoot? That question was answered a couple seasons back by Varminter.com in a First Hunt Report. Accurate and affordable, the Savage A17 is also the first .17 HMR to feature a delayed blow-back action. Eric Mayer, Editor of Varminter.com, put the semi-auto Savage A17 through its paces.

CLICK HERE for Savage A17 First Hunt Report on Varminter.com

Mayer wanted to see how the new Savage would perform, accuracy-wise, and he also wanted to see how the A17 fared in the field. Mayer achieved one-MOA accuracy with the Savage A17 using the latest CCI-brand ammo, and he demonstrated the A17 is wickedly effective on ground squirrels. Below we’ve provided highlights from Varminter.com’s Savage A17 First Hunt Report.

“I [collected] as many versions of the currently available .17 HMR ammunition as I could get my hands on. I had already picked-up and tested the new CCI A17 ammunition, so I filled up my ammo safe with other CCI ammunition, as well as Hornady and Winchester, including the lead free 15.5 grain NTX versions, also from Hornady and Winchester. After spending some time at the bench, I saw that this rifle shot the CCI A17 ammunition best, with most groups hovering right around 1″ to 1.20″ at one hundred yards, and some of the other ammo choices in the 1.25″ to 1.50″ range. This was with a warm barrel and in-between cleanings during the break-in process.”

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

Mayer found the A17 was easy to maintain: “I was very impressed by the ease of pulling the rifle apart for cleaning out in the field. Even with the scope mounted, I was able to quickly and easily remove the parts needed to give me complete access to the barrel through the breach, so cleaning was a breeze.”

A17 Reliability Lessons — Seat Those Rotary Magazines Correctly Folks
Some early A17 purchasers have noted occasional failures to feed. We believe this is because the magazine was not fully seated (and locked in place) in the firearm. The experience of Varminter.com’s Editor seems to confirm this. Mayer reports “As I began to shoot the rifle, I experienced what a few others have reported, with the magazine falling out while shooting. I quickly realized that I was not snapping the magazine into place every time. I found that popping in the magazine while the bolt was pulled, or locked back, resolved the issue. I did have a few failures to feed, but only on some of the older ammunition I was shooting, namely the first year Hornady ammo and the lead free ammo (which is about 3-4 years old). The newer ammo did not have any issues and functioned well, even while shooting some 10-round ‘mag-dumps’. The trigger is on the heavy side.”

A17 Reliability Shown in Video
The Savage A17 went through a very thorough manufacturer’s testing process before it was released to the market. In fact Savage put over 500,000 test rounds through A17 prototypes. When AccurateShooter.com tested the A17 at Media Day — it worked flawlessly, so long as you make sure the magazine is fully seated. We had zero issues, making us think that reported issues may be related to “driver error”; specifically not seating the magazine properly. Watch AccurateShooter.com video with rapid fire sequence.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
May 16th, 2022

NRA-ILA Leadership Forum — Donald Trump and Other Leaders

NRA NRA-ILA leadership forum Houston 2022 annual meeting President donald trump ted cruz speaker

The National Rifle Association (NRA) announced former President Donald Trump will address the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum on Friday, May 27, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. The Forum begins at 2:00 pm local time in Texas. Other noted political leaders will also speak, including U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Former President Trump will address NRA members at the 2022 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum in Houston. This will be the sixth time he has appeared at the NRA-ILA annual event.

NRA NRA-ILA leadership forum Houston 2022 annual meeting President donald trump ted cruz speakerAt the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum, Mr. Trump will be joined in a celebration of Second Amendment rights by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Senator John Cornyn, Senator Ted Cruz, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

Trump Judicial Appointees
Respect the Second Amendment

“Donald Trump is the most enthusiastic supporter of the Second Amendment to occupy the Oval Office in our lifetimes”, said Chris Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director. “President Trump’s Supreme Court appointments ensure that the Second Amendment will be respected for generations to come.”

“President Trump delivered on his promises by appointing judges who respect and value the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and in doing so helped ensure the freedom of generations of Americans. NRA members … thank him for his support for our right to keep and bear arms” stated Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive V.P. and CEO.

Jason Ouimet, executive director of NRA-ILA, added: “President Trump has always stood tall for the constitutional freedoms in which his fellow NRA members believe. During COVID-19, President Trump declared firearms and ammunition retailers to be ‘critical infrastructure’, prompting states to reopen gun stores that had been forcibly closed. President Trump recognizes the Second Amendment is about liberties that belong to all Americans, and knows that our right to self-defense is non-negotiable. Join us on May 27 in Houston[.]”

NRA NRA-ILA leadership forum Houston 2022 annual meeting President donald trump ted cruz speaker

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May 15th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: 20 PPC Pistol — Great for Varmint Adventures

varmint 20 ppc rampro pistol John Seibel
varmint 20 ppc rampro pistol John Seibel

This week’s featured firearm belongs to John “SnakeEye” Seibel, founder of the VarmintsForFun website. In recent years, John has become a “true believer” in the little 20-Caliber cartridges. He says this light-recoiling 20 PPC, Rampro-actioned pistol is perfect for a quick shot on a critter, taken from the front seat of his truck. John tells us: “A long-range pistol is an ideal truck gun in my opinion. It stows in a small area and doesn’t take up the room a rifle does. Just keep ear protection near by at all times! I’ve taken varmints as far as 400+ yards with this 20 PPC pistol, so why would you need a rifle?”

Perspectives on Pistols for the Varmint Hunter

by John Seibel
I decided to try my hand at shooting varmints with a pistol one day when I grew tired of wrestling a rifle around in the truck for a quick shot. Many times when traveling around on the farm you’ll spy a groundhog or fox that usually isn’t more than 200 yards away. A single-shot pistol like the Thompson Contender could fit the bill. With its compact length, around 20 inches, a long-barrel pistol can lay on the truck’s passenger seat for easy access. I usually keep my two leather brick-style sandbags laying beside the console and seat. I have a box made from hard rubber that I lay across the top of the door. I then lay the two bags on top. This makes a nice platform to rest the pistol’s forearm. I like to use a forearm that is at least two inches wide. That lets the gun lay steady—almost like you are shooting from a bench rest. For the shooting hand, I prefer a pistol grip with finger grooves and a slight overhang or flare for the web of your hand.

As for optics, I tried long-eye-relief pistol scopes but they lacked the magnification you need for long-range target shooting or varminting. Those pistol scopes have really long eye-relief because they are designed to work with the pistol held at arm’s length. When shooting at the bench or from a truck that’s not what you want. By the time you find the target and get your eye in the exact location, the varmint has moved on or died of old age! After much fiddling around with pistol-type scopes, I finally decided to use rifle scopes on my long-range pistols. The minimum I use is a 4.5-14×40. Eye relief on a Leupold 4.5-14x40mm is about 3.5 inches at 4.5 power. Field of view is better with rifle scopes too and it’s easier to acquire your target. For this type of shooting a light-recoiling caliber is essential or you will have scope-eye bad! I currently have three long-range pistols and use them to shoot 17M4, 20 PPC, 22 BR, and .223 Rem. The featured gun may be the most accurate of my pistols, and your editor thinks it’s the most handsome of the three.

varmint 20 ppc rampro pistol John Seibel

The Rampro Pistol Project — Working with John Illum
A couple of years ago I called John Illum of Rampro about building the ultimate long-range pistol. It just so happens that John was a big time long-range pistol shooter. I told him that I wanted a gun that didn’t recoil badly and wouldn’t torque when fired. As I am a quadriplegic, with no grip in my hands, the gun had to handle well under recoil so I didn’t drop it. Recoil had to be straight back–no twisting.

Well Illum listened to me and came up with a gun that performs just the way I wanted. Illum suggested a rear grip stock of his own design. It has a 2.25″ wide forearm and a rear grip with a slight palm swell that fits your hand perfectly. Another nice feature is the finger grips. It has an extended overhang or “beavertail” that fits comfortably in the web of your hand. Of course it had to be walnut! I chose Rampro’s STP small action with a PPC bolt. His bolt uses a Sako-type extractor. The action is a single-shot. Being right-handed, I chose a right bolt, left port configuration. This works really well in a pistol. You can load with your left hand and see the round laying in the action–that’s what you want in a pistol without a safety.

Gun Specifications
John Illum’s Rampro actions are chrome-moly steel. Commonly you’d see them blued, but I had him put a brushed nickel finish on the action and rings. From a few feet away it looks like stainless. The trigger is Illum’s own design set at 8 ounces, and there’s no creep that I can detect. The action has Remington barrel threads and will accept Remington type triggers. One neat thing is that the action was milled with an integral recoil lug (much like the current Surgeon Action). And the bolt is milled all in one piece–no soldered-on handles. My only gripe with this bolt handle is that it could be a tad longer, but it still is manageable for a single-shot. You’ll also note how slick and streamlined the scope rings are. Illum made those as well. His rings mount to the action via two screws from the inside of the ring, a very elegant set-up for sure. (I currently have a 6.5-20x40mm Nikon scope on this gun. If I had to do this project over again the only thing I would change would be installing a 30mm scope because I like ‘em!).

The barrel is a PacNor Super-Match heavy taper with flutes milled by John Illum, who did all the gunsmithing on this pistol. Twist rate is 1 in 12 inches, with an 11° crown, polished to a mirror finish. The barrel was bead-blasted on the exterior to cut glare. I had Illum cut a 20 PPC minimum-spec chamber, with a .237″ neck. That way I don’t have to turn necks on the Lapua Brass (220 Russian necked down to .204). This is a varmint gun–there’s no need for turned necks. [Editor’s Note: Rampro is no longer in business. However, John tells us “I haven’t had any problems with the action so far. If I did, most competent gunsmiths could fix them easily.”]

Handgun Handling Tips
If you want to shoot a long-range pistol but have never have shot this kind of gun before, try to find a mentor — someone with a gun like this who can school you a bit in the correct technique. The first thing you notice is that you have no comb or cheek piece to help align your head and neck. And getting used to the optics takes some practice. Most people fit a pistol-type (long eye-relief) scope, but these can be awkward to use, and somewhat frustrating at first — the field of view is very restricted. Move your head very slightly and you can lose the sight picture completely. You can solve that problem by using a standard rifle scope, but that will put your head very close to the eye-piece — just three to four inches. With that arrangement, if you don’t hold the gun correctly … POW instant scope-eye!

Now once you get the hang of shooting a long-range pistol you will find it can be just as accurate as a rifle. But there is a trick to shooting them. Shooting a long-range pistol is a whole new world — you need to hold it just right. If you don’t let the gun roll back a little (i.e. if you grip too hard) you will get vertical stringing. I hold my hand against the back of the grip to guide the gun but let it almost free recoil. Looking at how compact the pistol is, you might think “Hey, this would make an ideal ‘walking-around’ varminter.” Well, that’s not really the case. For real precision shooting a solid benchrest type set-up is a must. You can attach a bipod to a long-range pistol, but you would need a flat surface. A fence-post top would work pretty well without a bipod if you carry a small light bag. Overall though, this type of pistol works best as a sandbag gun. For a walking-around gun, you’d be happier with a rifle I think.

Load Development and Accuracy
When I built this gun, Hornady had just released the 32gr V-Max (see footnote), a good match for my barrel’s 1:12″ twist. I choose the 20 PPC because of the very good Lapua brass (220 Russian parent case). I figured teaming Lapua brass with the little .204 bullet would offer excellent accuracy combined with very low recoil. My expectations were fulfilled. The brass proved to be excellent and the PacNor loved the little V-Max pills.

I tried quite a few different loads and most powders that I tried worked very well. These included: H322, Benchmark, AA 2460, and Reloader 7. Amazingly, with just 14″ of barrel, all of these powders delivered impressive velocities–ranging from 3914 to 4074 fps. I settled on 48 Harrell’s clicks of Accurate Arms (AA) 2460, which drives the 32gr V-Maxs to 3995 fps.

With AA 2460 the gun will shoot in the low 3s at 100 yards consistently — as long as I steer the gun right, which takes some practice. I think groups in the low 0.3″ range is excellent for a non-benchrest factory bullet. Despite having no buttstock to grab, recoil on my 20 PPC pistol is very minimal — it just rocks back into your hand. The main problem is to keep the scope from smacking you, since I used a rifle scope with short eye-relief. Muzzle flash and noise are tolerable but DO NOT shoot one of these without good ear protection. Your ears are very close to the muzzle.

I also have a 20 PPC rifle built on a BAT action with a Richard’s #008 laminated stock cut down in size. That gun’s 1:9″-twist Lilja barrel lets me shoot the Berger 50gr LTB bullets. In the wind, these perform quite a bit better than the 32s. My two favorite loads for the 50 grainers are: a) 26.0gr VV N135, CCI 450 primers, 3615 fps; and b) 27.3gr Hodgdon Varget, CCI 450s, 3595 fps. The BAT 20 PPC also shoots really well with the 40gr V-Max, pushed by N135 and Fed 205M primers.

Pistol Action Legal Issues
One important thing to remember if you build a pistol is to make sure the receiver came from the factory as a pistol and was titled as a pistol. Rifle actions are illegal to use as a pistol. Yes, that’s a nonsensical law, but it’s still on the books. You can use factory pistol actions such as the XP 100.

If you want a new custom action such as a BAT (my favorite), you can order it as a pistol action and when you get it, register it as a pistol. Note, in some states there may be additional fees, waiting periods, or restrictions for pistol actions (as opposed to rifle actions). Check your local laws before ordering the action.

Future Trends in Varmint Hunting — Plenty of Twenties

I think these sub-caliber rounds, both 20s and the 17s, are the future of recreational varminting, at least out to medium distances. The Twenties offer low recoil, excellent accuracy, and components keep getting better and better. The bullet-makers are finally making high-quality bullets in appropriate weights. Compared to something like a 22-250, I’ve noticed that my 20 PPC rifle has a lot less noise, a plus when you want to be quiet around other people and varmints.

The flat trajectory is another big advantage in the field. With the 20 PPC, zeroed at 100 yards, I can pretty much hold dead center and get hits out to 300 yards or so without touching the scope to add elevation. [Editor: The same is true with the 20 Practical cartridge, basically a .223 Rem necked down to .20 Caliber. It has proven very accurate and easy to tune.]

The 20-Caliber cartridges we have now, in particular the 20 PPC and 20 BR, are very well-refined. You don’t have to do a lot of tuning or tinkering to have a very accurate, effective varmint-slayer. In fact, if I could dream up a signature “20 VFF” (Varmints For Fun) cartridge it would basically be the 20 PPC. In truth, nearly any of the popular 17- or 20-Caliber cartridges will perform well if you start with top-quality brass. The sub-calibers have less recoil and burn less powder, and there are very good components for most varmint and target-shooting applications. To me it seems that these small calibers work so well because of good components, low recoil, and efficient cartridge designs (particularly in the VarTarg and PPC cases).

varmint 20 ppc rampro pistol John Seibel

WARNING: For your own safety, ALWAYS reduce all starting charges by 10% and work up carefully! Ambient temperature changes, powder lot variations, and differences in barrel friction can result in significantly increased pressures.

20 PPC LOAD MAP
Bullet GR Maker Powder Charge Primer Case Velocity
fps
Barrel
Twist
Comments
32 Hornady
V-Max
H322 27.6 Rem 7½ Lapua 4000 Lilja 1:12 WarrenB Form Load
32 Hornady
V-Max
AA 2460 29.5 Rem 7½ Lapua 3995 PacNor 1:12 SnakeEye
Pistol Load
32 Hornady
V-Max
H4198 25.1 CCI BR4 Lapua 4222 PacNor 1:12 A. Boyechko Load
39 Sierra
BlitzKing
H322 26.0 Rem 7½ Lapua 3700 Lilja 1:12 WarrenB Load
39 Sierra
BlitzKing
VV N540 28.8 CCI BR4 SAKO 4064 PacNor 1:12 D.Moore, Low 2s
40 Hornady
V-Max
VV N135 27.8 Fed 205m Lapua 3950 Lilja 1:9 SnakeEye Load
50 Berger
LTB
VV N135 26.0 CCI 450 Lapua 3615 Lilja 1:9 SnakeEye Load
50 Berger
LTB
Varget 27.3 CCI 450 Lapua 3595 Lilja 1:9 SnakeEye Load

Footnote: When first manufactured, the small Hornady 20-Caliber V-Max bullet was actually 33 grains, not 32 grains as sold currently. I still have some of the 33-grainers. I’ve observed no functional difference between the 33s and the current 32-grainers.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
May 15th, 2022

Three Generations Shoot Together — Grandfather, Father, & Son

father son grandfather young boy benchrest 6mmBR Cooper Montana varminter

We saw a heart-warming post on the Benchrest Shooting and Gunsmithing Facebook Group. Proud father Robb W. explained how three generations of his family — father, son, and grandfather — all recently attended a rifle match together. That’s terrific — three generations on the firing line. But to make things even more special, this was the 10-year-old boy’s very first match. The young man shot a 240-5X. Father Robb was delighted with his son’s performance: “Proud Dad day for sure!”.

father son grandfather young boy benchrest 6mmBR Cooper Montana varminter
We are glad to see the young man uses quality eye and ear protection. Good habit to start.

The rifle used by the young fellow is a Cooper Montana Varminter, chambered in 6mmBR Norma. That happens to be the same cartridge that inspired this Editor to start this website. Before we became AccurateShooter.com, our original site was called 6mmbr.com. You can still find great content on that site, including 100 in-depth Gun of the Week features. 6mmBR.com was launched 18 years ago.

father son grandfather young boy benchrest 6mmBR Cooper Montana varminter

One facebook poster noted: “Keep him shooting. I can tell you from experience, he will be the best shooting partner you will ever have.”

Another reader wrote wisely: “Good for him — Remember that he is the future.”

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May 15th, 2022

Protect Firearms with Bore-Stores and 3-Layer Storage Bags

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes that fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 33″-barrelled Black Powder Rifle. Bore-Stores can be purchased for $9.97 – $29.97 from Borestores.com. For most scoped rifles, we recommend the 10″x46″ SCR-1 case. The Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises will also craft custom sizes on request. For a long-barreled F-Class or ELR rig you may need a custom length. Or you can remove the scope and use the 7″x60″ MUS-1 Musket Bore-Store.

Bore-Store Handgun Cases | Bore-Store Rifle Cases | Bore-Store Shotgun Cases

Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
Just about the worst thing you can do for long-term storage (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust. Even in warm summer months, humid air can leave moisture in the foam.

Foam-lined hard caseRemember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some badly.

Consider Military-Style, Triple-Layer Bags for Long-Term Storage
While we prefer Bore-Stores for regularly-used guns, if you have heirloom firearms that will be kept in storage for very long periods without seeing any use, you may want to grease them up and place them in the thin, but rugged three-layer storage bags sold by Brownells. The bags are made from a three-layer laminate of polyester, aluminum, and polyethylene film, with a shiny silver exterior. Though the laminate is thin, the Brownells storage bags are puncture-resistant, and have a 0% moisture transmission rating so moisture can’t get inside. These bags are also resistant to petroleum-based chemicals and they won’t break down even in contact with soil or moisture.

3-layer Brownells storage bagHere’s one VITAL bit of advice for using these bags. Be absolutely sure, before you seal up the bags, that your guns are DRY and that all metal surfaces have been coated with an effective anti-corrosive, such as BoeShield T9 or Eezox. Brownells’ storage bags are inexpensive. A three-pak of 12″x 60″ rifle sacks (item 083-055-003WB) costs just $19.99 — under seven bucks a gun. That’s cheap insurance for rifles and shotguns that may cost thousands of dollars.

NOTE: If the Brownells bags are out of stock, consider the similar Dry-Packs 12″x65″ 3-layer gun storage bag. This features a handy Zip-lock closure and costs $16.99 on Amazon (see below).

Dry-Packs storage Gun Sacks

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May 14th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Gun Safes — Features and Installation

Gunsafe gun safe saturday movies video showcase vault security modular

Today’s Saturday Showcase covers gun safes. Every firearms owner should have a secure, quality gun safe with ample capacity. There are numerous choices in gun safes — but we have one key bit of advice — buy BIGGER than you think you need, because your gun collection will likely grow over time. Also you should consider the fire rating of your safe. There are other key factors to consider, such as wall thickness, lock type, shelf and storage layout, and humidity control. We recommend that all Bulletin readers read our detailed, Gun Safe Buyers Guide. This in-depth 9400-word article covers ALL these topics:

Anti-Corrosion
Budget Safes
Bolt Layout
Door Seals
Fire Proofing
Handgun Storage
Hinges
Humidity Control
Installation Tips
Interior Layout
Interior Lighting
Locks–Dial vs. Digital
Modular Safes
Rotary Racks
Size and Weight
Temperature Control
Wall Thickness
Water Proofing

Technical Features of Gun Safes — What You Need to Know

This is a very sensible, informative video that examines the technical features of gun safes. You’ll learn about the steel “gauge” or thickness, the different types of hinges, lock controls, and fire-proofing options. We think anyone contemplating purchase of a large home safe should watch this video, prepared by a respected safe retailer in Las Vegas.

Assembly of SnapSafe Titan XXL Double Door Modular Safe

In this video Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com shows the unpacking and assembly of a large, twin-door SnapSafe modular safe. This video shows how individual panels are assembled one by one, and how the twin doors are attached. Gavin also shows the process of installing the interior insulation panels which provide basic fire protection. Remarkably, this entire XXL modular safe can be put together with simple tools in less than an hour. SEE Full Article HERE.


Gunsafe gun safe saturday movies video showcase vault security modular

Features of a Quality Safe under $1000

Even if you already have a safe, this video is well worth watching. The host shows a variety of accessories and upgrades that all gun safe owners should consider. The host explains why you should have a dehumidifier or Golden Rod. He also shows how to install handy interior lights that activate automatically when the door is opened.

The Gun Vault — The Next Step Beyond a Jumbo Gun Safe

If you have a very large gun collection and are building a new custom home, you may want to consider a Gun Vault. This is essentially a large, secure room, with a very heavy door and thick walls. In this interesting video, Atlas builds a large walk-in gun vault using the Gallow Tech Shelving System and a Fort Knox Gun Vault door.

After the Fire — What Actually Happens in a Burned Safe

In this video, the hosts open a “fireproof” gun safe that went through an actual house fire. See what happens when a gun safe that is supposed to be fireproof actually is exposed to a major fire. The results are surprising to say the least. This video shows that you need to do your homework before buying a “fireproof” safe. Understand how the fire rating systems work, and learn how the interior materials and construction make a big different in real world fire protection.

Mechanical Locks vs. Electronic Locks — What You Need to Know

One important decision when buying a gun safe is the choice of locking mechanism. Should you go with a mechanical lock or an electronic lock? There are pros and cons to both dial locks and e-locks, and as long as you get a quality lock, neither is a bad choice. To help you make your decision, This video explains the differences between the two, and reasons why you might choose one over the other.

How to Assemble a Modular Safe with Simple Tools

For gun owners who move frequently, or who may live in an upstairs apartment or condo, a modular safe makes sense. Steelhead Outdoors, based in Minnesota, offers three different safes: Nomad 26, 32, and Nomad 38. The video below shows how to assemble a Steelhead Outdoors Nomad series safe. If you have basic skills, these safes can be assembled easily in 60-90 minutes. Steelhead recommends having two people to do the job. The entire safe ships in four (4) boxes. Wrenches are included with the safe.

This time-lapse video shows the entire process of assembling the safe, start to finish.

Guide to Quick Access Handgun Safes

A quick access safe can keep your pistol secure, but also readily accessible. But not all of these devices are created equal. This video explains the features you need in a small pistol safe. The video also examines the pros and cons of seven different handgun safes. We recommend that you do NOT keep your handgun safe in plain view, such as on a bedside table. There are other locations where you still have quick access, without tempting home intruders.

Wireless Hygrometer Reports Temperature and Humidity Inside Safes

The Hornady Security® Wireless Hygrometer monitors temperature and humidity in real-time, all without opening the gun safe. The wireless hygrometer employs a remote sensor inside your safe, which measures temperature and humidity data. This data is then sent to an external base display. Wireless technology eliminates the need to open the safe and check the storage environment, preventing temperature and humidity spikes from the outside air.

The display features a large touchscreen that shows current high/low data from both the base and remote units in Fahrenheit or Celsius. The hygrometer pairs with Hornady Security’s in-safe dehumidifiers to combat oxidation-causing moisture.

Gun Safe Installation Recommendations

Every safe, when possible, should be anchored in place with heavy-duty fasteners. Ideally, use multiple bolts in the bottom of the safe, anchored to concrete or solid foundation. Choose the appropriate lag bolts or anchors for the material below your safe. If you can’t mount to the floor, bolt the safe to wall studs. You can locate the position of the studs with an inexpensive electronic “Stud Sensor” available at home supply stores.

Check the thickness of your safe floor. If the steel on the bottom of your safe is fairly thin, place a steel backing strip between the bolt heads and the safe bottom. (Large washers will work, but a backing strip is better.) Without such reinforcement, the bolt heads may pull right through thin-gauge steel if the safe is rocked, or levered from the bottom with a pry-bar.

Locate your safe in the corner of a room or in a recess that blocks access to one or more sides of the safe. On many gun safes, the steel on the top, sides, and rear is thinner than on the door. Blocking access to the sides makes it much more difficult to use power tools on the sides, where the safe is most vulnerable. It’s also wise to place the safe in a relatively tight space with limited room to maneuver. Anything that makes the safe harder to move helps deter would-be thieves.

Many people place their safe in a garage or basement. That’s not necessarily a bad idea, but people also tend to store their tools in the same locations. Don’t store your power tools next to the safe. One safe-maker told us how a customer’s safe was defeated using the owners’ own cutting torch which was stored right next to the safe!

Inspect the area around the safe. Avoid locations where there are a lot of wood beams, paint cans, or other combustible material nearby. In the event of a serious house-fire, these items will fuel the flames, increasing the likelihood that items inside your safe will be heat-damaged. Chris Luchini, co-author of Rec.Gun’s Guide to Gun Safes, offers some practical advice: “Get an alarm system. If the burglars hear an alarm go off, they are less likely to stick round to finish the job. Alarms on both the house and the safe area are a good idea.”

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May 14th, 2022

M1A Tech Tips and Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

Do you own a Springfield M1A (or wish you did)? Then you should watch this 5-minute video from the American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI). This video shows the basics of the operation of the popular M1A rifle, the civilian version of the military M14. In this video, gunsmith John Bush field-strips the M1A and shows how the bolt, op rod, and trigger group fits together and operates. This video contains excerpts from the M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course, AGI Course #1584. The full Armorer’s Course is available on DVD from www.AmericanGunsmith.com.

Watch Highlights of AGI M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course:

Springfield M1A rifle camp perry m14 .308 win AGI

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

2022 CMP Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

The 15th annual Springfield Armory M1A Match will take place during the 2022 CMP National Rifle Matches. The CMP will host the event on Sunday, August 7, 2022, the same weekend as the Garand/Springfield/Vintage Military matches. Competitors of all experience levels are encouraged to bring their M1A rifles to Camp Perry and compete. CLICK HERE for Online REGISTRATION. The match is open to all individuals ages 12 and above. For more information contact the CMP at competitions@thecmp.org or call 419-635-2141 ext. 724 or 714.

Springfield M1A match high power rifle

The Springfield Armory M1A match began with one man’s idea and passion. Springfield Armory’s Mike Doy witnessed the waning of classic M1 Garand and M1A rifles from the competitive High Power firing lines. “I really wanted to get those M1A rifles out of safes and closets and back out onto the field. So 11 years ago, I promoted the idea of running an M1A-specific match at Camp Perry. That first year we had over 600 competitors and spectators.” Now the match offers some of the biggest pay-outs at Camp Perry. In recent years, Springfield Armory has donated over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner.

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May 14th, 2022

Can’t Find Bullets? Try American Bullet Company and Save Money

Factory seconds american bullet company .22 6mm .243 .308 discount bullets creedmoor sports

We’ve been hearing that top-name bullets are in short supply right now, particularly in popular .224, 6mm and .308 calibers. Here’s a new option for HPBT bullets that can serve for practice and local club matches. Creedmoor Sports now offers American Bullet Company bullets. These are “seconds” from a major bullet-maker, but they can be a good choice for competitors who want to spend more time on the range perfecting their position, trigger pull, and wind-reading skills.

Creedmoor Sports states: “American Bullet Company bullets technically are factory seconds, and are priced accordingly to provide more range time without breaking the bank. But, since Distinguished Rifleman Scott Young recently shot scores of 597 and 600 out of 600, with very high X counts, it’s easy to see they do not sacrifice on performance.” You can buy these bullets and save up to 50% compared to first-run offerings. Then you may want to sort the bullets by weight and/or base-to ogive measurement.

We think these are a good choice for service rifle shooters as well as M1 Garand, M1A, and 1903 Springfield shooters running .30-06 or .308 Win chamberings. And, at just $22.95 per 100 and $104.95 per 500, the 52gr and 55gr .224 bullets will also work well for high-volume varmint shooters.

These bullets are available in a .224, .243 (6mm), and .308 calibers in a variety of bullet weights. Choose 100-ct, 250-ct, or 500-ct boxes.

.224 Caliber: 52gr, 55gr, 69gr, 77gr
.243 (6mm) Caliber: 107gr
.308 Caliber: 125gr, 168gr, 175gr

Factory seconds american bullet company .22 6mm .243 .308 discount bullets creedmoor sports

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May 13th, 2022

Inaugural SIG Freedom Days Event Draws Over 4000 Participants

Ben Avery Sig Sauer Freedom days shooting event

SIG Freedom Days — one of the biggest shooting events in America — was a huge success last weekend. Over 4000 firearms fans attended the first-ever SIG Freedom Days fun shoot/gear demo at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

Ben Avery Sig Sauer Freedom days shooting event

Over the weekend of May 6-8, 2022, 4000+ guests participated in the inaugural SIG Freedom Days — a unique, consumer-focused shooting experience. Attendees had the opportunity to shoot a wide variety of SIG Sauer firearms including the new SPECTRE series guns, the P320/P320-M17/P320-M18, the EDC P365 series, and the MCX rifle in multiple configurations. Participants also enjoyed an exclusive first look at the soon-to-be-released CROSS PRS and P320 X10. Additionally, many attendees were able to shoot the SIG SAUER Next Generation Squad Weapons: the MCX-SPEAR (XM5) and the SIG-LMG (XM250).

The event included live daily demonstrations from Team SIG’s pro shooters: Max Michel, Dan Horner, Lena Miculek, and Jerry Miculek. There were also machine gun demonstrations, K9 demonstrations and more. But the big attraction was being able to shoot a variety of SIG Sauer firearms. The $75/day fee included ammunition for pistols, rifles, and shotguns.

SIG FREEDOM DAYS Participants Were Able to:

— Shoot nearly 50 new and existing SIG SAUER firearms
— Learn from world-class SIG SAUER Academy Instructors
— Shoot Mossberg Shotguns and Xpedition Archery Crossbows
— Shoot the SIG SAUER “Next Generation” Machine Gun (additional fee)
— See stage presentations by pro shooters, industry leaders, and personalities
— Watch live demos by Team SIG pros Max Michel, Dan Horner, Lena Miculek, and Jerry Miculek.

Ben Avery Sig Sauer Freedom days shooting event

“As a company we challenged ourselves to… bring our brand right to the consumer outside of the typical tradeshow and retail environment and offer enthusiasts, second amendment advocates, [and] SIG lovers an authentic hands-on total SIG experience. SIG Freedom Days connected the consumer with the product in a first-of-its-kind range event…”, stated Tom Taylor, SIG SAUER Chief Marketing Officer & Executive VP, Commercial Sales.

SIG Freedom Days major sponsors included USCCA,, Mossberg Shotguns, XPEDITION Archery, 5.11 Tactical, Guns.com, Fieldcraft Survival, and Black Rifle Coffee Company. Additional sponsors included Arizona Fish & Game, Hogue Knives, Silencer Shop, Tactacam, and Timney Triggers. Non-profit partners included the Best Defense Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition.

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May 13th, 2022

Five FUN FREE Printable Pistol Targets

Printable PDF Pistol Target free Jessie Harrison

While AccurateShooter.com focuses primarily on rifle disciplines, we know that most of our regular readers also own handguns. It’s fun to shoot pistols, both outdoors and indoors. With a short site radius, and the snap of pistol recoil, handguns can be challenging — but that’s part of the fun. We enjoy shooting revolvers and semi-auto pistols at distances from 25 feet to 50 yards. Here are some fun targets you can download and print for FREE. These should provide a fun challenge for your next handgun sessions.

1. Patriotic Stars Target with Three Score Values

Here’s a fun Patriotic Stars Target created by the NSSF for National Shooting Sports Month. Aim for the stars. The red stars are worth 3 points, the blue stars are 5 points, and the smallest white stars are worth 10 points. After aiming for the one-color stars, try to hit the center red, white, and blue star for added fun. You can also use this target with rifles at longer ranges.

nssf pistol stars stripes target fun PDF

2. Red Center Pistol Target

Here’s a NRA-type target for pistol shooting. The bright red center helps when shooting indoors because well-placed bullet holes are much more visible. This target includes data entry boxes to record gun type, score, and load data. This Red Center Target is one of many good free targets available at Targets4free.com.

targets4free free target NRA pistol red center rings

3. NSSF Billiards Table Target

shooting paper printable billiard cue ball stripes solids target

This Billiards Table Target offers 15 brightly-colored numbered balls with the cue ball at the bottom. Aim for the numbers, shooting 1-15 in sequence, or alternate between stripes and solids. You can also draw an “X” on the white cue ball (or attach a paster), and use that to set your zero. This target is fun for shooting outdoors with rifles at 50 or 100 yards or indoors with pistols.

4. Tic-Tac-Toe Fun Game Target

shooting paper printable fly flies target

This Tic-Tac-Toe Shooting Game Target lets you challenge your shooting buddies at the range. One player can shoot the red triangles, while the other shoots the white zones, taking turns. You proceed just like a regular Tic-Tac-Toe game, alternating shots, with the goal of getting three of the same color in a row. This is a fun game for a parent and a young family member. You’ll find other fun targets on Targets4free.com.

5. NRA Dartboard Target with Five Bullseyes

There are many dartboard-style targets available, but this one has the extra feature of FIVE notable black bullseye aiming points. That makes this NRA Dartboard Target quite good for handgun shooting. NOTE: You’ll want to set the target PDF file to print in landscape (horizontal) mode to get the best results with 8.5×11″ paper.

NRA dartboard target with bullseyes

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