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August 8th, 2022

BargainFinder 359: 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.

NOTE: All listed products are for sale to persons 18 years of age or older. No products are intended for use by minors.

1. Bullet Central — Krieger and Bartlein Pre-Fit Barrels

pre fit barrels
Great quality pre-fit barrels, ready to mount to your rifle

Do you own a Kelbly, BAT, or Impact action and need a new barrel but don’t want the hassle (and cost) of having a smith chamber and headspace the barrel? Consider a Krieger or Bartlein Pre-Fit Barrel from Bullet Central. On BulletCentral.com you’ll find a wide range of barrels in various calibers for multiple action types. Place your order for professionally-chambered, custom-grade barrels that you can install yourself.

2. EuroOptic — Trijicon Riflescope Clearance

eurooptic trijicon scope riflescope sale discount
Trijicon makes excellent optics, now with HUGE discounts

Trijicon scopes are some of the best value riflescopes on the market. They have good glass, are sharp, and very reliable. And now, EuroOptic is offering Trijicon riflescopes at crazy low clearance prices. You can save over $1600 on the Ten Mile 4.5-30x56mm scope and save over $1100 on the Ten Mile 3-18x50mm model. With Trijicon discounts exceeding 60%, this could be the best deal you’ll see on scopes of this quality.

3. MidwayUSA — Caldwell Rock BR Rest + Rear Bag, $109.99

Caldwell Rock rest and rear bag
Good inexpensive system for varminters or sight-in duties

Need a good basic front rest and rear bag to sight-in that hunting rifle? Here’s a solid, functional benchrest set-up at a great price. This Caldwell Rock BR Rest and Bag Combo is great combo deal for just $109.99. This will more than suffice for testing a hunting rifle or basic bench-work. Upgrade the rear bag later. The front rest adjusts for both windage and elevation. This is a very good deal — consider that the Rock BR Rest by itself sells for $135.99 on Amazon.

4. CDNN Sports — Talon Armament Gryphon GAR15, $499.99

AR-15 AR PA-15 Modern sporting rifle sale discount palmetto armory
Get a quality AR-platform .223/5.56 rifle while you can

With the anti-gunners in Congress pushing radical legislation, it may be time to pick up an AR-platform Modern Sporting Rifle before it’s too late. The Democrats in Washington are pushing for a complete ban on modern, mag-fed semi-automatic rifles. But right now, for just $499.99, you can get the Talon Armament Gryphon GAR15 rifle. This features a 16″, 1:7″-twist barrel, with a 15″ M-LOK rail on the handguard, and adjustable T-Force stock. Save hundreds with this deal.

5. Midsouth — Lyman Presses and Reloading Kits on Sale

Lyman Single Stage Victory Press C-Frame Ideal Turret Press reloading kit sale
Big discount on quality Lyman Single Stage Victory Press

Lyman makes excellent single-stage and turret presses. Right now you can save up to 22% on Lyman presses and reloading kits at Midsouth. The versatile Victory Single Stage Press is marked down to $149.99, a $46.00 savings. Lyman’s compact Ideal C-Frame Press is on sale by itself for $98.99 or get a full Ideal C-Frame Reloading Kit with this press, powder measure, primer tool, reloading handbook and more for just $234.99. There is also a deluxe Kit with Lyman 8-station Turret Press for $439.99.

6. CDNN Sports — AR-15 Magazines Starting at $8.99

cdnn ar15 ar-15 MSR magazine mag high-capacity polymer aluminum steel sale
Huge selection of metal and polymer AR mags 5rd to 42rd

The gun-grabbers in Congress intend to ban AR-15s, and you know they want to outlaw full-capacity magazines as well. If you own an AR-platform modern sporting rifle (MSR), you might want to get a good supply of magazines while you still can. CDNN Sports offers a huge selection of AR15 magazines at very attractive prices. Choose metal or polymer with capacities from 5 rounds to 42 rounds. For High Power matches and varmint duties, we like the straight, 20-round mags.

7. Midsouth — 1000 9mm Bullets + 1000 JAG Cases, $239.99

9mm brass bullet reloading sale
Great deal for 9mm reloaders — 1000 bullets and 1000 cases

Here’s a great deal for pistol shooters who handload 9mm Luger ammunition. Midsouth offers a 9mm Loader Pack featuring 1000 124gr FMJ bullets and 1000 JAG brand new brass cases. This is a great deal for anyone who reloads large supplies of 9mm ammo for fun shooting or competition.

8. Amazon — Smart Weigh Gem20 Digital Scale, $24.99

gem 20 powder scale

Great little accurate, repeatable scale at amazing price — Watch the VIDEO!

The Smart Weigh Gem20 scale is an excellent option for those looking to reduce velocity Extreme Spread by weighing powder precisely to the kernel, without having to spend $1000 on a laboratory grade scale. At this low price (under $25 currently), this is also great option as a back-up or travel scale used at the range. Verified purchasers, including the maker of the video above, have praised the scale. Watch the video to see how precise it is — the scale can measure kernel by kernel. Use the “mode” button to select grains. The scale can also weight in grams, ounces, and other modes. Use the tare function to zero with powder pan. This scale ships with two 10g calibration weights.

9. MidwayUSA — Real Avid AR-15 Cleaning Kit with Mat, $28.22

avid AR5 ar-15 cleaning kit mat tool kit sale
Great accessory for AR15s, cleaning kit and mat with diagrams

We can recommend the Real Avid AR-15 Cleaning Kit/Smart Mat for all AR owners. This includes a large, padded, oil-resistant mat with printed AR parts diagram and a built-in parts tray. The tool kit, in zippered pouch, has key tools needed to disassemble and clean your AR. The kit also includes the Real Avid Field Guide. At $28.22, this combo set costs less than the Real Avid Cleaning Kit by itself.

10. Amazon — 12″ x 12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $10.99

Sight-in 12
Great for hunting rifle Sight-In and easy to estimate group size

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $10.99, or a 25-pack for $19.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating. One example: “Excellent quality and durability. The adhesive is really strong and the splatter contrast is [great].”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Optics Post comment »
August 7th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: Marksman Inspired by Grandfather’s Legacy

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather

Jeff Hansen of Utah now holds Distinguished Rifleman Badge #2561. Jeff’s journey to Distinguished status began with a box filled with his grandfather’s old shooting medals, which led him to the Camp Perry National Matches in Ohio.

Though he had no intention of shooting competitively, only arriving to see the ghosts of his grandfather and uncles, he was so moved by the ambiance of Perry that he began his own marksmanship career — eventually leading him to a prestigious Distinguished Badge.

At the 2022 National Matches, Jeff fired his best scores yet. In the National Trophy Individual (NTI) Match, he reached an overall score of 487-9X for 52nd overall out of nearly 790 competitors. And at the 600-yard line he shot an outstanding 199-5X out of a 200 possible.

“He was on the range with me shooting that 199″, Jeff said of his grandfather. “I felt like he was right there when I finished up. I just hope other people see this and see what I’ve tried to do – if I can do this, they can do this”, he said. “Chase that dream”.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather
Left to Right: Alvin Hansen, Ray Hansen, and Jeff’s Grandfather Lou Hansen at Camp Perry.

Inspired by My Grandfather to Become a Distinguished Marksman

Article based on CMP Report by Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen earned his Distinguished Rifleman Badge in 2022 – a journey which began with his Grandpa’s own marksmanship tales from the 1920s and 1930s.

As early as I can remember, my grandfather, Lou, was a huge influence in my life. He was a great marksman. My dad, Ed Hansen, would tell me about the hunting trips they would go on and how Grandpa would make incredibly long shots to get an amazing bull elk or mule deer, only taking one shot to do so. He was always taking me hunting and fishing and shooting – lots of sleepovers where I didn’t actually sleep much, if any, because I would be so excited for the adventures that were going to happen with him the next day.

Whether it was hunting ducks, pheasants, chukars or just shooting, it didn’t matter. It was always an awesome experience with him. Life was great. Then, we got some tough news – my grandfather had leukemia. He fought a courageous battle with it for a couple of years, then in 1978, when I was 8, he passed away. Needless to say, I was devastated.

Inspired by Grandfather’s Shooting Medals
Not too long after he passed away, my dad brought home a box from Grandpa’s. It was full of medals. He carefully removed them and told me they were from when my grandfather competed in rifle matches with his brothers (Alvin Hansen, a U.S. Army veteran of World War I in France, Ray Hansen, and Oscar Hansen) at Camp Perry, Ohio, in the late 1920s to 1937.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather
Shooting medals from 1920s and 1930s with picture of Lou Hansen and his brothers.

My Grandpa was really humble – never said much about his trips to Camp Perry or his accomplishments there. Seeing the contents of the box, my grandfather became an even bigger hero to me. The medals he earned that impressed me the most were the three President’s Hundred brassards from 1935, 1936 and 1937 – along with many others.

I grew up looking at those medals thinking I wish I could do that maybe, someday. My life moved forward. My dad, a U.S Air Force veteran, and I both loved hunting, fishing, and shooting and still went as often as we could. Later, I got married and now have three daughters and one son. As my family grew up, we also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and shooting together.

Then, life threw some blows. My dad passed away suddenly in November 2014, and my mom fought a fierce battle with cancer for a few years before passing away in March 2018. Not long after she passed away, I found myself hanging [my grandpa’s] medals on the wall in my own home. Seeing them there got me thinking about how awesome it would be to go to Ohio and watch the President’s Match – not shoot, just watch.

In July 2018, I went. I’ve got to admit there were a few tears in my eyes driving between the two iconic lighthouses at the entrance to Camp Perry. I loved it.

The year I came happened to be the year SFC Brandon Green of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit cleaned the President’s Match — a record that still holds today. I got to talking to one of the Army Reserve team guys, asking him questions about competing, and he couldn’t believe I was there just to watch. I showed him some pictures of my grandfather’s medals, scorebook, and of Camp Perry in the 1930s. Matt Goad and Jon Arcularius of the Army Reserve team came over to look at them.

They said, “Hey, you can’t come all the way out here with a family history like that and not shoot here!”

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather

They offered to sign me up for the NTI match the following day and even said they would get a rifle, ammo, and anything else I would need. That was so awesome, but I couldn’t make it work – I was flying back home the next day. Although I didn’t shoot, they did get me all the information I needed to get started.

I loved every minute of my first Camp Perry trip. It was because of the people there, showing me such kindness and taking me under their wings, that I thought, “I’ve shot all my life and hunted, and I’ve always liked marksmanship. This is something I can do.”

When I got home, I ordered a White Oak upper and started changing parts on my AR-15 to make it ready for matches. I was ready in the spring of 2019 and started shooting mostly small matches.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather
Grandpa Lou was humble and never talked about his achievements at Camp Perry.

At first, all I wanted to do with my rifling career was get a President’s Medal — following in my Grandpa’s footsteps. I didn’t know what “going Distinguished” was all about. I got a Silver Achievement Medal in the first match I went to, then started to go to more matches. Through that, I caught wind that winning President’s is one thing, but you’ll get to President’s if you excel your skills and go Distinguished. So, that became the new goal.

By summer, I was traveling to EIC matches and earned my first points at Nampa, Idaho, on July 21, 2019. After that, it was time to head back to Perry for the President’s and the NTI.

I didn’t do as well as I wanted, but it was an amazing experience to be competing where my grandfather had. I struggled the rest of the year and didn’t earn any more points until 2020. It was tough trying to find matches during COVID, but I ended up earning 12 more points by the end of the year. I missed a hard leg at Twentynine Palms, California, by X-Count, and things got tough after that.

I figured I needed to step up the way I was practicing, so I got a Shot Marker electronic target system and some wind flags so I could practice full distance. I’m very lucky that I can practice 30 minutes from home any time I want on public land.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather
At the 2022 National Matches, Jeff fired a superb 199-5X at the 600-yard line.

Starting in the first part of December, I had some extremely hard things going on in my personal life, and I didn’t feel like practicing. I didn’t even pick up my rifle for two months. I missed the first EIC in Phoenix in January, and before I knew it, February was half gone. Then, one of my friends talked me into going to the Western CMP Games in Phoenix in March.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather

Practice was tough, and sometimes I wondered why I was even trying. Tons of things were going wrong, and I was about DONE. I wanted to quit, many times. [But then] Western Games was fun, and I did well, but gained no points.

Navy Matches were coming around at the end of April, so I practiced as much as I could and made the trip. With several friends going, it would be great getting together after the matches and have a good time. I shot well the first day as well as on that Saturday. I even shot my personal best National Match Course score. Then Sunday, May 1, was the real test – the EIC match.

I struggled in standing and dropped a few more points than usual. Sitting was the same – rapid prone was good. Slow prone went well. The wind had some fairly big changes, but I worked through it and ended up with 477-11X. I figured there’s no way I’m making the cut for a hard leg this time and headed to the pits to finish out the match. We finished and waited for the results.

Jeff Hansen CMP Camp Perry distinguished badge marksman Lou Hansen grandpa grandfather

When the results were posted, I couldn’t believe it – I FINALLY GOT THAT HARD LEG! I did it. On top of earning my goal at last, it’s awesome to have my friend Jeff Lovat (#2383) be the one to present me with my Distinguished pin. (That President’s Hundred medal is still out there – maybe next year!)

The Honor of Earning the Distinguished Marksman Badge
Though I certainly enjoy earning my Distinguished Badge, the greatest thing I have gained from accomplishing this is without a doubt all the friends and people I have gotten to know along the way. To all my shooting friends, thanks for not letting me quit – part of this accomplishment is yours too.

To all of you that are working toward that goal, don’t ever quit. Keep practicing, and your day will come. Never quit until you reach your goals.

No matter what, I do know one thing. When I walk that stage at Perry at the 2022 National Matches and get my Distinguished Badge officially presented to me — well my father, my grandfather and his brothers will be walking it with me.

About the Distinguished Badge Program

To earn a Distinguished Badge, a competitor must earn 30 Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) points or more in a qualifying competition. Individuals earn the 6, 8 or 10 “leg” points based on score and a percentage of match participation, with at least one “hard” leg, worth 8 or 10 points. Currently, the CMP administers Distinguished Badges for:

Service Rifle
Service Pistol
.22 Rimfire Pistol
Junior Air Rifle
Smallbore Rifle

International Shooter
Distinguished Marksman Badge
Distinguished Air Rifle and Air Pistol
Distinguished Service Revolver Badge

To lean more about the Distinguished Badge Program, visit the CMP website.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 7th, 2022

Protect Yourself — Check for Possible Brass Case Wall Failure

cartridge case separation

We are re-publishing this article at the request of Forum members who found the information very valuable. If you haven’t read this Safety Tip before, take a moment to learn how you can inspect your fired brass to determine if there may be a potential for case separation. A case separation can be dangerous, potentially causing serious injury.

cartridge case separationOn the highly-respected Riflemans’ Journal blog, created by our late dear friend German Salazar*, there was an excellent article about Cartridge Case-Head Separation. In this important article, Salazar (aka GS Arizona) examined the causes of this serious problem and explained the ways you can inspect your brass to minimize the risk of a case-head separation. As cases get fired multiple times and then resized during reloading, the cases can stretch. Typically, there is a point in the lower section of the case where the case-walls thin out. This is your “danger zone” and you need to watch for tell-tale signs of weakening.

The photo below shows a case sectioned so that you can see where the case wall becomes thinner near the web. You can see a little arrow into the soot inside the case pointing to the thinned area. This case hadn’t split yet, but it most likely would do so after one or two more firings.

cartridge case separation

Paper Clip Hack for Detecting Problems
The article provided a great, easy tip for detecting potential problems. You can use a bent paper clip to detect potential case wall problems. Slide the paper clip inside your case to check for thin spots. GS Arizona explains: “This simple little tool (bent paper clip) will let you check the inside of cases before you reload them. The thin spot will be immediately apparent as you run the clip up the inside of the case. If you’re seeing a shiny line on the outside and the clip is really hitting a thin spot inside, it’s time to retire the case. If you do this every time you reload, on at least 15% of your cases, you’ll develop a good feel for what the thin spot feels like and how it gets worse as the case is reloaded more times. And if you’re loading the night before a match and feel pressured for time — don’t skip this step!”


* Sadly, German Salazar passed away unexpectedly on June 21, 2022 at age 62. German was a great inspiration to this site and help guide the creation of the AccurateShooter Forum. A brilliant man, expert attorney, and top-tier marksman, German will be sorely missed in the shooting sports world. We plan a more lengthy In Memoriam tribute to German in the weeks ahead.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip Post comment »
August 7th, 2022

Design Your Own Custom Targets with FREE Target Generator

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

Are you a do-it-yourself kind of guy with a creative eye? Then you’ll love the FREE Target Generator from the folks at ShooterShed.com. This free, interactive webpage allows you to design a variety of fun targets, including grids, benchrest-type Score Shooting targets, sight-in targets, and even playing card targets. Choose the paper size and orientation (vertical or horizontal), then select the number of target elements on the page. For example, you could have four (4) bulls or 52 playing cards. Then click the Style TAB to choose your target style. Use the OPTIONS TAB to overlay a grid on the target, choose squares or diamonds, or include load information blocks. For bullseye targets, you can control the number, color, and spacing (diameter) of the rings. LINK to TARGET GENERATOR.

Click the TARGET STYLE TAB to select one of many target styles, including NBRSA Benchrest targets and 20+ types of NRA bullseye targets, scaled to distance:

Benchrest
Bullseye
Shapes
NRA High Power
NRA Pistol
NRA Rimfire
Images
Playing Cards
Load Test Blocks

Creating new targets is fast and easy. No computer graphics skills required! We created this green diamonds grid target in just five minutes using the ShooterShed Target Generator:

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

And here is a handy target with short-range range Benchrest competition-style box/circle aiming points, along with fields for entry of gun/load data:

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

The program provides a preview of each target you generate. There are controls to choose border and fill colors. If you like a particular design, save the file, and then print as many targets as you want. Check it out, this program is fun and handy to use. Here are four (4) targets your Editor created just for this article. With a bit of practice, you can be generating your own custom targets in minutes.

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest
Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

About the Creator of the Target Generator
The Target Generator program was created by Rod Brown of Sheridan, Wyoming. Rod tells us: “I build custom rifles and coach shooters. I’ve got a 100-yard range out my back door. I shoot short- and long-range benchrest competitively around the country. I’m a full-time software development consultant and an FFL holder. When I’m not developing custom software for my clients, I’m usually fiddling in the shop, building a custom benchrest rifle, traveling to a match, chambering a barrel, or reloading some ammunition.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip Post comment »
August 6th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: 7 Informative Videos from Tactical Hyve

tactical hyve training pistol rifle video sights trigger milrad reticle ar15 self defense

There are many tactical-style video producers on YouTube. Many of these guys, to be honest, aren’t very knowledgeable about firearms, nor are they particularly good shooters. By contrast, videos hosted by Tactical Hyve regularly feature top Action Pistol, PRS and 3-gun competitors as well as military SPECOPS veterans. The vets include SEAL team members who really know their stuff. The Tactical Hyve YouTube channel currently hosts over 560 videos! Here are seven of our favorite Tactical Hyve videos featuring highly-skilled instructors.

TACTICAL HYVE LINKS
– Tactical Hyve Channel | https://www.youtube.com/c/TacticalHyve
– Tactical Hyve Website | https://tacticalhyve.com
– Tactical Hyve Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/tacticalhyve
– Marksmanship Standards | https://go.tacticalhyve.com/marksmanship-standards-guide-1

1. How to Aim a Pistol with Iron Sights or Red Dot

We recommend this video for persons training for a CCW permit, or who are getting started in pistol shooting competition. The video shows proper technique for using iron sights. In addition, it offers some important advice for shooting with Red Dots. Shooting with Red Dot sights can be easier than with iron sights because you only have to put the dot on the target, rather than align front blade with rear notch. But it does take some familiarization to get things right. And persons with astigmatism can have challenges with Red Dot sights.

2. Five Most Common Pistol Shooting Mistakes

In this video, Myles, the founder of Tactical Hyve, talks about the five most common pistol shooting mistakes he sees in classes and how to correct them. Many folks begin pistol shooting without a qualified instructor. Or they try to imitate what they see on TV. This can lead to new pistol shooters forming bad habits. This video helps handgunners correct those bad habits. This popular video has 1.9 million views.

3. Dry-Fire Techniques with Pistol Master Champion J.J. Ricaza

Released on 8/4/22, this is the latest video from the Tactical Hyve YouTube channel. The featured shooter, J.J. Ricaza, a multi-time Steel Challenge champion, is one of the top 10 action pistol shooters in the country. Racaza show how to dry fire like a grandmaster in this video. Dry-firing lets you polish your technique at home, and improve your skills without the cost of live ammunition.

4. Reticle Types Reviewed — MOA and MilRAD

In this video, Billy Leahy, former USCG Precision Marksmanship Instructor, talks about the common optics reticles you’ll encounter. This is a good video to watch if you are shopping for a new scope and are considering a variety of reticle types, both MilRAD (Milliradian) and MOA, SFP and FFP. In this video, Leahy covers the following reticles:

Standard Mil Dot
Leupold TMR
Nightforce Mil-XT
Horus Tremor3
Vortex EBR-7C (MRAD)
Vortex EBR-2C (MRAD)
Vortex EBR-4 (MOA)

5. Use of Tripods for Precision Rifle Competitions

In this video, retired Green Beret and nationally-ranked precision rifle shooter, Scott Satterlee, shares precision rifle tripod shooting tips. This is a “must-watch” video for PRS/NRL shooters who may use tripods in competition. This video can also benefit hunters who might use a tripod in the field.

6. Pistol and Rifle Methods for CROSS-Dominant Shooters

What is “Cross Dominance” and how do you adjust for it? Those questions are answered in this video. If your dominant eye is opposite your dominant hand, then you are cross-dominant. For example, this Editor is right-handed but my LEFT eye is dominant. So I am cross-dominant. This video starts with a simple exercise to determine your dominant eye. Then the video shows how to hold a pistol correctly if you are cross-dominant. Finally, the video shows techniques that benefit cross-dominant rifle shooters.

7. Setting Up an AR-15 for Home Defense

In this video, retired Navy SEAL Mark “Coch” Cochiolo shares how his primary AR for home defense is set up. Coch reviews various optics choices and he also explains how to mount a lamp on your home defense rifle(s). The AR-15 set-ups of ten other tactical experts are revealed in a Tactical Hyve web article. See:

tactical hyve ar15 ar-15 defense rifle

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, Tactical Post comment »
August 6th, 2022

When and How to Use Bore-Snakes for Barrel Cleaning

Barrel brush bore-snake boresnake shake barrel cleaner brush

Handloading USAMU Facebook Bore Cleaning

In years past the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Facebook page regularly released reloading “how-to” articles each week. One “Handloading Hump Day” post covered bore-cleaning, specifically the use of pull-through style bore-snakes. Visit the USAMU Facebook page for other helpful tips.

Barrel Cleaning with Bore-Snakes

Today, we’ll shift from handloading to rifle bore cleaning and maintenance, with information courtesy of the USAMU’s Custom Firearms Shop. We recently had some inquiries about bore cleaning, and this seems a good opportunity to share. After all, even the best handloads won’t yield their full potential in a poorly-cleaned and maintained rifle.

NOTE: Hoppes claims a trademark on the term “BoreSnake” (one word, no hyphen). For this article, the USAMU has used the term in hyphenated form, two words. We believe the USAMU is referring to a Hoppes Brand Boresnake, not a different bore cleaning rope.

BORE-SNAKES: MIRACLE REPLACEMENT FOR THE CLEANING ROD?
The experiences of our both firearms test specialist and this writer have given no evidence that proper use of a clean bore-snake will damage a match barrel. Of course, one does not pull the bore-snake at an angle to the crown when removing it — pull it straight out, parallel to the bore’s direction, to prevent crown wear over time.

USAMU Handloading facebook page bore snake cleaningBore-snakes are very useful for some applications (primarily a hasty, interim wipe-down). In [my] experience they cannot replace a thorough cleaning with a proper rod and brushes. While the experiment cited here involves rimfire, it may help illustrate. Several years ago, the writer used his new, personal Anschutz to investigate the bore-snake issue. It had been fired ~350 rds with match ammo and had had 3 typical rod/brush cleanings.

Next, starting with a clean bore, the writer fired 300 more rounds without cleaning in order to build up a “worst-case” fouling condition. Afterwards, the writer examined the bore with a Hawkeye bore scope. There was a uniform, grey film down the entire barrel, with some small, intermittent lead build-up at and just forward of the throat.

Some bore-cleaning rope products feature separate, detachable bronze brush and bore mop segments. This allows more usage options (e.g. mop only), and makes it easier to clean the brush elements:
Barrel brush bore-snake boresnake shake barrel cleaner brush

A new bore-snake was then wet with solvent and pulled through the bore. The Hawkeye revealed that the grey fouling was gone, and much of the visible fouling at the throat was reduced. However, nine more passes with the bore-snake, checking after each with the Hawkeye, revealed no further improvement in cleaning. The writer then cleaned with two wet patches, observed, then one stroke of a new, wet bronze brush, and one wet patch to clean out residue.

USAMU Handloading facebook page bore snake cleaning

The Hawkeye showed a significant reduction in fouling at the throat; it was virtually gone. A second pass with a wet bronze brush and a wet patch removed the remaining fouling. Scrubbing the bore further, checking to see how much fouling was removed, revealed no significant improvement. The reason for this test was to learn what’s needed to get (and keep) this Anschutz clean with minimal cleaning rod use — and thus, minimal risk of bore damage/wear. Leaving fouling in the bore promotes corrosion over time.

Obviously, this applies to a nice, smooth rimfire match barrel, using good, well lubed ammo. It doesn’t apply directly to the use of copper-jacketed bullets, which leave a stubborn fouling all their own. However, it does suggest that while the bore-snake can be helpful and a useful field-expedient, to truly clean a rifle barrel one will still need a good quality rod, bronze brush and solvents. [Editor: Add a good-fitting cleaning rod bore guide.]

SO, WHAT ABOUT BORE SNAKES FOR BARREL BREAK-IN?
The goal of barrel break-in is to fire each shot through a clean barrel, preventing copper buildup and allowing the bullets their best chance at burnishing sharp edges. Thus, it seems this purpose would be best served by one’s usual rods, brushes and rod guides.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Reloading Post comment »
August 6th, 2022

Target Shooting with Vintage Military Rifles — CMP Book

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

CMP Guide to Target Shooting with Vintage Military Rifles
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has released VMR: Target Shooting With Vintage Military Rifles, a detailed book by Gary Anderson, Director of Civilian Marksmanship Emeritus. Gary himself was a world-class marksman who earned two Olympic Gold medals in rifle shooting.

The CMP says this 284-page illustrated book is “likely the most comprehensive manuscript ever written about the methods of training and competing with popular American and foreign vintage military rifles.” Fans of vintage military rifles will likely find this 18-chapter book “to be the most complete coverage of the topic, from a competitor’s and historian’s point of view”, said Christie Sewell, CMP Programs Chief.

Anderson definitely has the credentials — he won Olympic Gold Medals in Tokyo and Mexico City in the 1960s. Gary also set multiple U.S. and international records. The originator of the CMP’s competitive vintage rifle program, Anderson set out to present a detailed manual covering all aspects of shooting vintage military rifles. The book covers 1903 Springfield, U.S. Krag, 1917 U.S. Enfield, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine and many more, including rifles from “across the pond.”

Target Shooting With Vintage Military Rifles Topics:

Origins and Fundamentals of Marksmanship
Operation, Cleaning, Loading & Unloading
Sight Adjustment, Zeroing & Fine Tuning
Highpower Rifle Match Procedures
Firing Rifles in Competition
Prone, Sitting and Standing Position Building
Using a Scorebook/Databook
Strategies for Improvement
Critical Value of the Sling
Rifle and Range Safety

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

Purchase Online at CMP E-Store
This new Gary Anderson book is sold through the CMP E-Store for $29.95. You can also print out and submit the CMP Publications order form (order item NLU # 792, $29.95). The CMP stores in Alabama and Ohio will also carry the new Gary Anderson book.

Gary Anderson CMP Director shooting vintage military rifle training book

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August 5th, 2022

Pistol Matches Can Be Fun — Basics for IDPA Pistol Shooting

IDPA Practical Pistol Concealed carry handgun competition

Most of our readers are rifle guys, but it’s definitely fun to shoot a pistol match a few times a year. You don’t need a lot of equipment, and if you shoot IDPA (Int’l Defensive Pistol Assn.) matches, you can really win with a $400 pistol and $20.00 worth of bulk 9mm ammo. That’s a bargain compared to what you’ll spend on a competitive Benchrest or F-Class rig and custom rifle hand-loads.

If you want to get into the IDPA game, Shooting Sports USA has a good article that explains the basic rules and classifications. IDPA is not your grandad’s bullseye pistol match. There is movement and action. Stages are timed, and competitors engage targets from cover if available. Singled-handed shooting is sometimes required, as is shooting while moving. You can compete with pretty much any handgun suitable for self-defense — but no $4000 Raceguns with fancy optics. The fact that you can be 100% competitive without spending a ton of money is what makes IDPA so popular.

Shooting Sports USA polled IDPA shooters at the 2016 IDPA Nationals to determine their favorite gun brands and models. The #1 choice was the 9mm Glock 34 for the SSP (Standard Service Pistol) and ESP (Enhanced Service Pistol) Classes. Next most popular was the Smith & Wesson M&P Pro.

IDPA Practical Pistol Concealed carry handgun competition
IDPA Gun Chart from Shooting Sports USA.

IDPA targetAlong with SSP and ESP, there are three other main IDPA classes: Custom Defensive Pistol (CDP) for .45 ACPs (mostly 1911 types), Concealed Carry Pistol (CCP), and Revolver (REV). All classes have a minimum power factor. Scores are based on time and shot placement on the IDPA target.

IDPA Scoring System
The official IDPA Target (right) has multiple scoring zones. If you don’t hit the target’s center mass zone or head zone (both appear green in illustration), you drop one or three points. Here’s the formula: Score (in seconds) = Time + Points Down + Penalties. In IDPA, “points down” (and penalties) are added to your time. If you hit the outer edge of the target, you get 3 points down. Nearer center can be 1 point down. Center hit or head shot is 0 points down. See IDPA Scoring for Dummies.

IDPA glock 34 pistol carry match

Five Tips for New IDPA Shooters

This Editor got his start in competitive shooting with local IDPA matches. I shot a 9mm Glock 34, and a 9mm SIG Sauer P226, and even did one match with a .38 Spl S&W Snubbie. I eventually settled on the SIG P226, as it fit my hand better than the Glock, was more accurate, and was every bit as reliable. The P226 also pointed better than the Glock for me — something that helps with target acquisition. Here are FIVE TIPS for new IDPA competitors:

1. Dry-Fire Practice at Home
You can improve your grip and sight acquisition dramatically with 30 minutes of dry-firing every week. Get some quality snap caps and go to it. One tip — don’t do this in your back-yard if the nosy neighbors can see. We had one friend who was dry-firing in his yard and got an unexpected visit from the local police (with guns drawn). That can turn out badly to say the least…

2. Practice One-Handed Shooting (Both Strong-Hand and Weak-Hand)
Most of the worst misses I saw during IDPA matches were during stages requiring one-handed shooting. A lot of pistol shooters have spent all their time shooting two-handed. That’s the best technique, but in an IDPA match, you may be required to shoot one-handed. If you’re a righty, shooting with the left hand only will feel really weird, and your accuracy will be poor unless you practice. We suggest starting your one-handed training with a rimfire pistol, then transition to your centerfire pistol.

3. For 9mm, Don’t Bother to Hand-load Your Ammo
This may seem like sacrilege, but if you’re only shooting one match a month, it’s probably not worth the time and money to reload 9x19mm. I did reload my 9mm ammo on a progressive for a couple years. After looking at money and time, I just started buying bulk commercial 9mm which worked fine. I was only saving a few cents per round by reloading, and that wasn’t worth the time invested.

4. Get a Good Holster That Fits Right
In IDPA matches you normally draw from holster during the match. I saw a lot of people struggle because they had Kydex holsters that would not release easily, or leather holsters that fit too tight or rocked during draw. Try a few different brands at the local store.

5. Be Smooth, Be Calm, and AIM Your Shots
Many folks come into IDPA thinking it’s all about speed. But there are score zones on the official IDPA target, so you need to focus and AIM. Don’t just “run and gun”. If you stay calm, align your sights in the center of the target for EVERY shot, you will end up with a higher score with fewer “points down”. Speed will come with time. It is better to make sure each one of your shots is a hit.

Read the rest of this entry »

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August 5th, 2022

FREE Creedmoor Data Book Scoring App for Android + iOS (Apple)

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple Android

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple AndroidTired of carrying old-fashioned paper Score Books? Well now you can go digital — Creedmoor Sports offers a full-featured Scoring Book App that lets you plot your shot locations/scores using an Android device or Apple iPhone or iPad. The price is right — FREE! Just visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to download the App for FREE.

Record Match and Practice Data
This new App, available for free in the Apple App Store, and the Google Play Store provides all the same functions and capabilities of the traditional, spiral-bound print-format Creedmoor Rifle Data/Score Book, but with the convenience and ease of recording your match and practice information with your mobile device. With this App you can break your 20 shot slow-fire segments into either 10- or 20-shot targets, and also opt for sighting shots. All the specific event data can also be recorded, such as location, wind, light etc., along with wind and elevation adjustments.

creedmoor scoring app

CLICK HERE for iOS (Apple)

creedmoor scoring app

CLICK HERE for Android OS

creedmoor scoring app

COMMUNICATIONS Restrictions: In some matches you are not allowed to have electronic communication ability, so you may have to set your iPhone to “Airplane Mode”, or use this only with an iPod (which does not have two-way communication capability).
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August 5th, 2022

Save Money with Brownells Summer Discount Codes

Brownells coupon shopping discount code June 2018

With inflation and rising prices, it’s more important than ever to take advantage of discounts and promotions. We’ve located the latest Discount Codes for Brownells Purchases that can save you 10% (or more) on your purchases. These Brownells Discount Codes qualify you for significant savings on guns, ammo, parts, and reloading components at Brownells. Use these Codes during check-out and the savings will reduce your net cost. For example, save $55 on a $500 purchase, $30 off $300, or $25 off $250 –saving 10% or more. If you’re planning a big buy, use code AUGUST120 to save a whopping $120 on a purchase of $1000 or more. NOTE: Some of these discount codes expire at the end of August, while others may expire at any time, so don’t hesitate. If one Code doesn’t work, try another.

Coupon Code: AUGUST120 — $120 off $1000
Expiration date: Expires 8/31/2022

Coupon Code: AUGUST55 — $55 off $500
Expiration date: Expires 8/31/2022

Coupon Code: AUGUST25 — $25 off $250
Expiration date: Expires 8/31/2022

Coupon Code: 30off100 — $30 off $300
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Coupon Code: 10off100 — $10 off $100
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Coupon Code: BACK15 — $15 OFF $150
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: Q63 — FREE Shipping with $99+ Order
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

In addition, Brownells is offering FREE 2-Day Shipping on most orders with $49.95 Annual Membership

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August 4th, 2022

Blueprinting Rem 700 Action — “How-To” with Rifleshooter.com

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizing

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizingYou may have heard the phrase “blueprinting an action”, but do you know what that really means? Do you know what operations are done to an action during the blueprinting process? To help you understand, gunsmith Bill Marr of RifleShooter.com has created a helpful article showing a Rem 700 blueprinting job start to finish. This article spotlights how the procedures can be done with manual tools. Bill, who runs 782 Custom Gunworks Ltd., can also perform many of these operations with modern automated machinery. In fact, Bill has written a follow-up article on Truing a Rem 700 receiver with a Lathe.

READ Full Action Blueprinting Article HERE with 30+ Photos »

Bill explains: “Blue-printing, or truing a rifle action, ensures the receiver face, threads, lugs, bolt lugs, and bolt face are square to the center line of the receiver.” In Bill’s informative article, Bill shows how he blueprints a Remington 700 short action receiver with .308 Win bolt face. He covers the following procedures step by step:

Action Disassembly
Ream Minor Diameter of Receiver Threads
Square the Receiver Lugs
Square the Face of the Receiver
Lap the Bolt Lugs
Square the Bolt Face

Bill employed a variety of tools from Brownells to complete the blueprinting job, including: Remington 700 Armorer’s Kit; Manson Receiver Accurizing Kit; Bolt Lapping Kit; Bolt Face Truing Tool; Manson Receiver Ring Facing Cutter; Multi-Vise with Jaw Pads; Silicone Carbide Abrasive; and Do-Drill Cutting Oil.

Highlights from the Rifleshooter.com article:

1. Chasing the Threads

We use the bushings to guide the receiver tap. This chases the threads and ensures they are square.

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizing

2. Truing the Receiver Face

Using the receiver facing tool, the front of the receiver is trued. The tool is placed over the tap and turned by hand. We used Do Drill to lubricate it.

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizing

3. Lapping the Lugs

The bolt lapping tool screws into the front of the action and applies rearward pressure on the bolt face. A little bit of lapping compound is placed on the front of the receiver lugs. The bolt handle is then raised and lowered repeatedly. Note — it is critical that we do not get any lapping compound on any other surfaces.

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizing

4. Truing the Bolt Face

On this bolt, the central part of the bolt face was low. After the truing operation, this Rem 700 bolt face is now completely square to the action.

Bill Marr Rifleshooter.com truing Remington Rem 700 action accurizing

READ Blueprinting Rem 700 Action with Lathe Article HERE »

IMPORTANT: Rifleshooter.com states: “This article highlights our project and is presented for information purposes only. This provides an overview of the process and should not be attempted without the guidance and supervision of an experienced gunsmith“.

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August 4th, 2022

GUNFEST at Sturgis Rally in South Dakota — August 5-7, 2022

Sturgis south dakota gunfest 2022 gunborker sig sauer

This week, as part of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, there will be shooting range demo days — the inaugural GUNFEST 2022 presented by GunBroker.com. This 3-day event at the Buffalo Chip Shooting Complex gives visitors the opportunity to test out the latest firearm products, ammunition, accessories and more in a supervised, controlled environment.

Participating companies include: AMMO Inc., Bellmark, Boss Bullets, GunBroker, IWI, KelTec, Kimber, SIG Sauer, Silencer Central, Springfield Armory, Umarex, and Walther.

Sturgis south dakota gunfest 2022 gunborker sig sauer

GUNFEST 2022 offers visitors the chance to try out live ammunition, thermal optics, air guns, shotguns, rifles, and handguns in private shooting lanes. The event is free and open to the public — but shooters must purchase the ammunition they use.

GUNFEST is a three-day shooting event held August 5th, 6th, and 7th at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Shooting Complex. General admission is free but shooters must pay for ammo. Attendees will have the opportunity to try out new firearms and suppressors. The event runs from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 5-7, 2022.

Location: Buffalo Chip Shooting Complex – 20622 Fort Meade Way, Sturgis, South Dakota

Sturgis south dakota gunfest 2022 gunborker sig sauer

Guidelines for Participation at GUNFEST
Participants must first register with valid ID. Those who want to test firearms must then purchase an “ammunition punchcard” offering 25, 50, 75, or 100-round ammunition “round experiences”.

The event website explains: “When you decide what firearm you’d like to experience you will let the Sponsor booth’s representative know what you’d like to shoot. The Sponsor booth’s representative will then have their assigned GUNFEST RANGE OFFICER escort you and the firearm you’ve selected to experience into 1 of the Sponsor’s private shooting lanes.

It is here, AND ONLY HERE, ammunition will be provided to the participant to shoot at the various steel targets down range within the assigned range lane. NO ammunition will leave the range firing line and NO REFUNDS on ammunition purchases.”

This Video was filmed in 2017 at the Sturgis Shooting Complex during Rally Week:

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August 4th, 2022

Estimate Crosswind Deflection WITHOUT a Meter — WIND HACK

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

Applied Ballistics Wind Hack

Any long range shooter knows that wind is our ultimate nemesis. The best ways of overcoming wind are to measure what we can and use computers to calculate deflection. The Applied Ballistics Kestrel is a great tool for this. As good as our tools may be, we don’t always have them at our fingertips, or they break, batteries go dead, and so on. In these cases, it’s nice to have a simple way of estimating wind based on known variables. There are numerous wind formulas of various complexity.

Applied Ballistics Crosswind Estimation Wind hack G7 BC

The Applied Ballistics (AB) Wind Hack is about the simplest way to get a rough wind solution. Here it is: You simply add 2 to the first digit of your G7 BC, and divide your drop by this number to get the 10 mph crosswind deflection. For example, suppose you’re shooting a .308 caliber 175-grain bullet with a G7 BC of 0.260 at 1000 yards, and your drop is 37 MOA. For a G7 BC of 0.260, your “wind number” is 2+2=4. So your 10 mph wind deflection is your drop (37 MOA) divided by your “wind number” (4) = 9.25 MOA. This is really close to the actual 9.37 MOA calculated by the ballistic software.

WIND HACK Formula

10 mph Cross Wind Deflection = Drop (in MOA) divided by (G7 BC 1st Digit + 2)

Give the AB wind hack a try to see how it works with your ballistics!

Some Caveats: Your drop number has to be from a 100-yard zero. This wind hack is most accurate for supersonic flight. Within supersonic range, accuracy is typically better than +/-6″. You can easily scale the 10 mph crosswind deflection by the actual wind speed. Wind direction has to be scaled by the cosine of the angle.

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August 3rd, 2022

Save Money on Factory Ammo — 15 Good Online Ammo Sources

online internet ammo ammunition purchasing

Though the worst shortages are behind us, quality ammunition remains hard to find, or fairly costly, particularly for popular cartridge types such as .22 LR, 9x19mm (9mm Luger), .357 Mag, .223 Rem (5.56×45) and 6.5 Creedmoor. And 12ga shotguns ammo has also been in short supply. In this article we list 15 reliable online sources for factory-loaded ammo. You may want to bookmark this page so you can quickly scan and price-check multiple vendors. In addition, you can use a service such as AmmoSeek.com. NOTE: There are complex laws restricting online ammo purchases by California residents.

Online Ammo Vendors — 15 Solid Choices

Bass Pro Natchez loaded ammo
Brownells Brownells loaded ammunition ammo
Bruno Shooters Supplies Bruno's loaded ammo ammunition
Cabela’s Cabela's loaded ammo ammunition
Creedmoor Sports Creedmoor loaded ammo Ammunition
Graf & Sons Graf Graf's loaded ammo ammunition
KYGUNCO kygunco loaded ammo ammunition
Lucky Gunner Luck gunner loaded ammo ammunition
Midsouth Shooters Supplies Midsouth loaded ammo ammunition
MidwayUSA MidwayUSA loaded ammo ammunition
Natchez Shooters Supplies Natchez loaded ammo ammunition
Palmetto State Armory PSA Palmetto loaded ammo ammunition
Precision Reloading Precision Reloading loaded ammo ammunition
Sportsman’s Warehouse Sportsmans warehouse loaded ammo ammunition
TrueShot Gun Club TrueShot Reloading loaded ammo

Why Should You Shop for Ammo Online?
By shopping online for ammo, you can save money, get a wider selection, and often get bulk discounts. GunDeals.com explains the advantages: “Online purchases will save you a lot of money, and that is the biggest advantage, but that is not all, it will also save your time, deliveries are usually really fast, but one of the most important advantages is definitively the huge selection. You will be able to find any ammo brand online[.]” With online retailers you can quickly compare prices, and you will often get a discount on a large order (300 rounds or more) that is not available in local stores. Note, with some large vendors such as Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse you can order online then pick up in a local store.

Are There Restrictions on Online Ammo Purchasing?
In most (but not all) U.S. states is it legal to order ammunition online to be shipped to your residence. However, you MUST check your State and local laws and regulations. In some states and/or cities, it is ILLEGAL to purchase ammunition online for shipment across state lines with direct delivery. For example, in California, all ammo must be purchased from a licensed ammo dealer/vendor with a state background check (so much for the Second Amendment)*. Likewise Washington DC, Hawaii, and Alaska do not allow online ammunition purchases. And there are restrictions in New York City.


*In some instances ammo can be purchased online from an out-of-state seller who will then ship to an authorized, in-state California vendor who may transfer the ammo for a fee with background checks as required by CA law.

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August 3rd, 2022

Even with Suppressed Firearms Hearing Protection is Important

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB
Silencer-equipped AR photo courtesy The Silencer Shop.

OK, you’ve paid the tax stamp and acquired your new suppressor (aka “silencer” or “moderator”). Do you still need to wear earplugs or muffs? Absolutely. Even with that expensive new “can”, your rifle could be generating over 140 decibels (dB) of noise — about the same as as an unmuffled 9mm pistol shot. That’s loud enough to create permanent hearing loss with repeated exposure.

Firearms Are Loud: 140 dB to 175 dB

Audiology group ASHA explains: “Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage hearing. Almost all firearms create noise that is over the 140-dB level. A small .22-caliber rifle can produce noise around 140 dB, while big-bore rifles and pistols can produce sound over 175 dB. Firing guns in a place where sounds can reverberate, or bounce off walls and other structures, can make noises louder and increase the risk of hearing loss. Also, adding muzzle brakes or other modifications can make the firearm louder. People who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot[.] Audiologists see this often, especially during hunting season when hunters and bystanders may be exposed to rapid fire from big-bore rifles, shotguns, or pistols.” Source: ASHA, Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure.

suppressor silencer moderator facts fiction sound levels noise decibles dB

Suppressors, On Average, Reduce Noise Levels about 30 Decibels
In an article for Ammoland, gunwriter Sam Hoober says that you can expect about 30 decibels (dB) of noise reduction from the average suppressor: “Looking at a few different products, SilencerCo attests their suppressors reduce the sound pressure of a 9mm gunshot to anywhere from 125.7 dB to 131.5 dB, depending on the model. Advanced Armament Co, another popular supplier, attests a 23 dB to 33 dB reduction or down to 127 dB. Liberty Suppressors, another manufacturer, attests a reduction of 24 dB to 38 dB, depending on model and other factors. In short, we can presume something on the order of 30 dB of attenuation as an average.”

Using that 30 dB number you can quickly discern that you’ll still need hearing protection — good hearing protection — when shooting any suppressed firearm (even a .22 LR). “Spikes of 130 dB and more can result in permanent hearing damage instantly”. Source: NRA Blog.

The Myth of the “Quiet” .22 LR
The NRA Blog notes that “many rimfire shooters, particularly those using the beloved .22 Long Rifle cartridge, argue that the small .22 LR caliber doesn’t produce enough sound to damage your hearing”. So, is that really true. or is it a myth?

In fact, a .22 LR can be much louder than you think — a .22 LR pistol can produce sound levels of 134 dB. That’s well above the normal human pain threshhold.

Sound Levels for Common Noises:

9mm Luger pistol: 160 dB

Jet aircraft engine (near): 140 dB

.22 LR pistol: 134 dB

Normal human pain threshold: 120 dB

Noisy Nightclub: 110 db

Riding Motorcycle at 65 mph: 103 db

Power Lawnmower: 95 dB

Hearing damage possible: 85 dB (sustained for 8+ hours)

Ringing Telephone: 80 dB

Normal conversation: 60 dB


The Risk of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be progressive and irreversible. If you are a shooter, this is serious business. As the NRA Blog cautions: “You may not even realize you’re harming your hearing. Hearing loss occurs gradually, and can go effectively unnoticed until symptoms become severe. By then, the damage is done.”

Nobody wants to go deaf. But we often see shooters without effective hearing protection when they are walking around a few yards behind the firing line. That’s bad — even if you are away from the firing line, gunshot noises can damage your hearing. You MUST use effective hearing protection every time you go to the range. Good foam earplugs costs mere pennies but they can prevent deafness in your later years. Many folks also wear muffs over plugs.

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August 3rd, 2022

Changing Primer Type CAN Alter Pressure and Velocity

Primer Wolf CCI Federal Muzzle velocity FPS reloading

We are often asked “Can I get more velocity by switching primer types?” The answer is “maybe”. The important thing to know is that changing primer types can alter your load’s performance in many ways — velocity average, velocity variance (ES/SD), accuracy, and pressure. Because there are so many variables involved you can’t really predict whether one primer type is going to be better or worse than another. This will depend on your cartridge, your powder, your barrel, and even the mechanics of your firing pin system.

BE SAFE: Be cautious when changing primer types. Glen Zediker recommended decreasing your load ONE FULL GRAIN when changing to a different primer type, one that you haven’t used before.

Interestingly, however, a shooter on another forum did a test with his .308 Win semi-auto. Using Hodgdon Varget powder and Sierra 155gr Palma MatchKing (item 2156) bullets, he found that Wolf Large Rifle primers gave slightly higher velocities than did CCI-BR2s. Interestingly, the amount of extra speed (provided by the Wolfs) increased as charge weight went up, though the middle value had the largest speed variance. The shooter observed: “The Wolf primers seemed to be obviously hotter and they had about the same or possibly better ES average.” See table:

Varget .308 load 45.5 grains 46.0 grains 46.5 grains
CCI BR2 Primers 2751 fps 2761 fps 2783 fps
Wolf LR Primers 2757 fps 2780 fps 2798 fps
Speed Delta 6 fps 19 fps 15 fps

You can’t extrapolate too much from the table above. This describes just one gun, one powder, and one bullet. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) as they say. However, this illustration does show that by substituting one component you may see significant changes. Provided it can be repeated in multiple chrono runs, an increase of 19 fps (with the 46.0 grain powder load) is meaningful. An extra 20 fps or so may yield a more optimal accuracy node or “sweet spot” that produces better groups. (Though faster is certainly NOT always better for accuracy — you have to test to find out.)

WARNING: When switching primers, you should exercise caution. More speed may be attractive, but you have to consider that the “speedier” primer choice may also produce more pressure. Therefore, you must carefully monitor pressure signs whenever changing ANY component in a load. In his books, the late Glen Zediker recommended decreasing your load ONE FULL GRAIN when changing to a different primer type, one that you haven’t used before.

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August 2nd, 2022

Case Prep — Primer Pocket and Flash-Hole Conditioning

USAMU Handloading hump day flash hole primer pocket uniforming case prep RCBS Lyman
Case Prep Xpress photo courtesy Lyman Products.

In the past the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit published a series of reloading “how-to” articles on its USAMU Facebook page. One “Handloading Hump Day” article covered two basic case prep chores — uniforming primer pockets and deburring flash-holes. Visit the USAMU Facebook page for other tips.

USAMU Handloading hump day reloading tips

Primer Pocket & Flash-Hole Conditioning

This week, we’ll address a question that frequently arises: “Do you uniform primer pockets and deburr flash-holes?” As we tailor our handloading methods to the specific needs of each instance, the answer, not surprisingly, is “Sometimes!” However, don’t flip that dial just yet, as what determines our approach may be helpful in deciding how to address one’s own techniques. Moreover, we have a buried “Easter Egg” morsel that may bring a chuckle, as well as useful safety information!

Generally, the USAMU Handloading Shop does not uniform primer pockets (PP) or deburr flash holes (FH) of our rifle brass. We’re certainly not against it… Rather, this reflects the very high volume of ammunition we load, the fact that very few cases are ever re-loaded for a second firing, and the types of brass we use. However, as a need is perceived, we DO deburr flash holes. Of interest, we have fired many very small, 1000-yard test groups and aggregates using weight-selected, domestic brass that had not had PPs uniformed or FHs deburred.

USAMU Handloading hump day flash hole primer pocket uniforming case prep RCBS Lyman

Before and After — On the left is a fired, deprimed 7.62×51 case with primer residue intact. On the right the primer pocket has been uniformed to SAAMI specs. Note the shiny finish at the bottom of the pocket — evidence of the the removal of metal when uniforming the primer pocket.

As to the type cases we use, many thousands of our long-range 5.56mm cases come to us from the arsenal with the primer of our choice pre-installed and staked-in, per usual practice. Obviously, we cannot uniform either FHs or PPs on this live, primed brass. However, after careful sorting, inspection and preparation, we do obtain match-winning results with it.

Shooters who reload their brass several times may decide to uniform PPs and deburr FHs, especially on their “300-yard and beyond” brass. Here, they will use the cases many times, while the uniforming is performed only once. Also, most handloaders only process moderate amounts of brass, compared to our multi-thousand round lots.

Having high quality Long Range (LR) brass helps. Many of the better brass manufacturers [make] their flash holes so that no burrs are created. Still, it does pay to inspect even THESE manufacturer’s products, as occasional slips are inevitable. Very rarely, some of the best makers will have a significant burr in, say, 1 per 1000 or 2000 cases, and it’s worth catching those.

Exceptions can always be found. Recently, we began processing a large lot of match brass from a premier manufacturer. We were startled to find that every case had a significant burr in the FH — something we’d never before seen from this maker. We then broke out the FH deburring tools and went to work.

Some observers have noted that it can be difficult to truly verify the contribution to accuracy of these procedures — particularly when firing from the shoulder, in conditions. Members of this staff, as individual rifle competitors, do often perform these operations on their privately-owned LR rifle brass. One could ascribe this to the old High Power Rifle maxim that “if you think it helps, then it helps.”

However, a World Champion and Olympic Gold/Silver medalist here commented on his own handloading (for International competition, which demands VERY fine accuracy). He noted that he did seem to see a decline in accuracy whenever he did not uniform FHs, deburr FHs and clean primer pockets before each reloading. (One might be tempted to counter that only a truly World Class shooter could reliably detect the difference.) However, with the wisdom of decades experience, our Champion also remarked that “It could have been that I just wasn’t shooting as well that day.”

For those who do opt for these procedures, note that various tool models may have adjustable depth-stops; pay attention to the instructions. Some FH-deburring tools (which enter the case mouth, not the primer pocket) are dependent upon uniform case length for best results.

USAMU Handloading hump day flash hole primer pocket uniforming case prep RCBS Lyman

Above is a flash-hole deburring tool on an RCBS powered case-prep unit. These case prep machines can save a lot of pain and misery, helping one perform various functions quickly and efficiently.

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August 2nd, 2022

How Suppressors Are Manufactured — Start to Finish Video

SilencerCo suppressor manufacturing production video Assembly

Watch this video to see how a sound suppressor (aka “silencer”, “moderator”, or “can”) is constructed, start to finish. It’s more complicated than you might expect — there are quite a few stages in the process. The video below shows the fabrication of a SilencerCo Octane 45 suppressor:

SilencerCo writes: “What, exactly, goes into making a silencer? It may be more than you’d expect. From cutting metal to chemical baths, to extensive quality control every step of the way, our streamlined process is more than just a few steps. Watch our newest video, HOW IT’S MADE: Octane 45, to catch a glimpse behind SilencerCo’s doors.”

SilencerCo suppressor
Photo courtesy UltimateReloader.com.

suppressor fact and fiction moderator silencer

How Loud Are Unsuppressed Rifles?
Firearms Are Loud — 140 dB to 175 dB. ASHA explains: “Almost all firearms create noise that is over the 140-dB level. Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage hearing. A small .22-caliber rifle can produce noise around 140 dB, while big-bore rifles and pistols can produce sound over 175 dB. Firing guns in a place where sounds can reverberate, or bounce off walls and other structures, can make noises louder and increase the risk of hearing loss. Also, adding muzzle brakes or other modifications can make the firearm louder. People who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot[.]” Source: ASHA, Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure.

How Much Does a Good Suppressor Really Reduce Firearm Sound Levels?
That depends on the rifle, the cartridge, and the effectiveness of the suppressor. American Hunter explains: “Suppressors retard the speed of propellant gases from the cartridge that rapidly expand and rush out of the barrel. It’s these gases that produce the loud boom that’s heard for miles. A suppressor’s series of internal baffles slows these gases so they are not all released at once, thereby muffling the sound.” Many good commercial suppressors can achieve 30-35 dB sound suppression. However, Zak Smith of Thunder Beast Arms says: “There are a bunch of manufacturers who publish values that are not reproducible, or use an ad-hoc test instead of a mil-spec test. In many cases we’ve tested the exact same suppressors they’ve advertised with 30-40 dB reductions and found they are actually in the high 20s instead.”

Again, for this reason, we recommend that hunters use ear protection, such as electronic muffs, even when shooting suppressed.

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August 2nd, 2022

Gun Digest 2023 Annual Available Soon — Pre-Order Now

Gun Digest 2023 77th Annual 592-page Gun book

This is a great resource for firearms fans. The Gun Digest 2023, 77th Edition, can be pre-ordered now for $37.99 through the Gun Digest store or Amazon.com. Gun Digest states “Orders Anticipated To Ship Early August 2022″, while Amazon lists a 9/6/2022 publication date.

This 592-page resource covers rifles, shotguns, handguns, muzzleloaders, airguns, optics and more. We like the print edition, but there is also a Kindle eBook version for $16.00 on Amazon. Both paperback and Kindle versions provide hundreds of photos plus new product roundups, in-depth product tests, and scores of articles and stories.

Gun Digest 2023 Editor-in-Chief Phil Massaro has assembled a large team of respected industry authors for the new book, including Craig Boddington, Joe Coogan, Ron Spomer, Patrick Sweeney, Jim Supica, Thomas Gomez, Tom Turpin, Wayne van Zwoll, Bob Campbell and many more.

Gun Digest 2023 covers hunting, personal defense, target shooting, gunsmithing, and collecting. Historical articles look at the role played by firearms in our country. There are Updated Ballistics Tables, and the catalog section shows off the newest offerings in rifles, handguns, shotguns, muzzleloaders and air rifles. Here are some of the key topics from last year’s 2022 edition:

Gun Digest 2022 76th Annual 592-page Gun book

Reports from the Field cover the newest firearms and accessories. A Testfire section brings readers up to date on product performance. And the annual photo essay spotlights the finest custom and engraved guns.

Other Good Books from Gun Digest Media
Gun Digest Media produces numerous other quality books for rifle, pistol, and shotgun owners. Here are four volumes we recommend. These are offered in both paperback and eBook versions:

Cartridges of World Digest Gun book gunsmith gunsmithing rifles Digest Gun book patrick sweeney
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August 1st, 2022

BargainFinder 358: AcccurateShooter’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.

NOTE: All listed products are for sale to persons 18 years of age or older. No products are intended for use by minors.

1. Bruno’s — Large Selection of McMillan Stocks 10% OFF

mcmillan stock sale
Great savings on quality McMillan fiberglass stocks

McMillan stocks are world-renowned for competition, tactical/precision, benchrest, and hunting applications. We found a rare deal on McMillan stocks at Bruno Shooters Supply. Find one for your next rifle project and save 10% instantly during checkout. Bruno’s has 60+ McMillan stocks available now for 10% OFF. There are many stock varieties — benchrest, hunting, tactical, F-Class. Some of these stocks may also qualify for FREE Shipping.

2. Midsouth — Berger Bullets In Stock!

berger bullet sale
Grab these great Berger Bullets before they sell out

Berger makes top-tier competition bullets but the most popular calibers have been in short supply lately. The good news is that Midsouth Shooters Supply just got a huge shipment of Berger bullets in many calibers and grain weights. This is one of the biggest Berger bullet drops we’ve seen in the past year, so don’t hesitate if you need good match bullets.

3. Graf & Sons — Ammo Sale with FREE TRI-Can Carrier

ammo sale
Good prices with excellent three-compartment ammo carrier

Here’s a great chance to stock up on quality .223 Rem ammunition. Right now Grafs.com is running a big sale on .223 Remington Ammo from leading makers such as Federal, Norma, Nosler, Barnes, and Winchester. As an additional incentive, if you spend $150 or more on in-stock ammo, you get the excellent Berry Tri-Can ammo carrier for free.

4. Amazon — Teslong Rigid Borescope with Monitor, $135.99

teslong borescope sale
Excellent borescope complete with monitor — everything you need

Teslong borescopes let you evaluate barrel fouling and gauge the effectiveness of your cleaning regimen. We recommend the $135.99 Teslong Borescope with rigid shaft and Teslong monitor. This can use either the included monitor or your mobile device. There are other good Teslong models. We also like the rigid shaft no monitor version for $99.99 which plugs into your smartphone or tablet. There is also a less expensive flexible unit with monitor for $76.28. This uses a flexible cord rather than a metal shaft.

5. Natchez — Major Rifle and Pistol Ammunition Sale

ammunition sale
Excellent prices, large selection of pistol and rifle ammunition

If you’re in the market for ammunition, check out the giant Natchez Ammo Mix Sale. You’ll find an great assortment of brands and calibers all at prices up to 35% off. This is a great time to stock up with quality ammo for pistols and rifles.

6. Midway — Magpul Bipod Sale

magpul bipod sale
Strong high-quality bipods at significant savings, good for PRS

Whether you’re a hunter, plinker, or target shooter, a sturdy bipod is a must. And, right now, the excellent Magpul Bipods are available at significant discounts — up to 20% off normal retail prices. NOTE: You must add the bipod to your MidwayUSA shopping cart to see the near 20% Off prices: $89.99 for Magpul 933 M-Lok, $89.99 for 933 Picatinny Rail, and $104.99 for Magpul Sling Stud QD.

7. Midsouth — Lyman Tac-Mat Shooting Mat, $56.31

lyman tac-mat padded long range shooting mat
Thick padded mat offers more comfort with good length and carry handle

Comfort counts when you’re on the ground for hours. We like this Lyman Tac-Mat 71″ x 36″ shooting mat. It has more padding than most mats, providing significantly better comfort. Midsouth is currently offering these excellent Lyman mats for $56.31 in tan or $56.31 in black. That’s a great deal. This same Lyman shooting mat currently costs $75.19 on Amazon.

8. Amazon — OTIS Elite Cleaning Kit, $99.99

otis cleaning kit sale
Very complete universal kit for all firearms

All firearms owners need quality tools for cleaning their pistols, rifles, and shotguns. A good choice is the Otis Elite Cleaning Kit. This universal gun cleaning kit comes complete with over 60 components for all rifles, pistols, shotguns and inline muzzleloaders, including a full tactical cleaning kit all contained in a lightweight, portable case and the best part is that it’s made in the USA.

9. Amazon — Crosman Legacy Air Rifle, $47.25

crosman airgun sale

Here’s a great bargain in a basic airgun. This works for short-range plinking and can be a good training rig for someone new to shooting. The .177 Caliber Crosman Legacy air rifle which weighs just under five pounds boasts an all-weather synthetic stock and forearm. This Crosman Legacy can shoot .177 pellets or BBs with a built-in 850 BB reservoir. This inexpensive, little air rifle comes complete with 4x15mm scope and fiber optic front/rear blade sights.

10. Amazon — Tactical Pistol Light, $30.99

tactical pistol light
Good price on rugged lamp that fits pistol front rails

Do you own a Glock, Sig, HK, CZ, or Walther pistol with a standard under-barrel frame rail? A useful accessory is the 600 Lumen AUCLAYTEC Tactical Pistol Light. Get the unit with one battery for $30.99, or (as shown) with two batteries for $32.99. Crafted from aircraft aluminum, this pistol light comes with rechargeable battery and charger.

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