June 15th, 2021

.375 Enabler — Extreme Ammo for Extreme Long Range (ELR)

Berger 379 grain 379gr solid bullet .375 caliber enabler

The .375 EnABELR Cartridge — Big and Fast

The .375 EnABELR cartridge is slightly shorter than a .375 CheyTac so it allows the round to mag-feed. Applied Ballistics is currently using brass made by Peterson. The .375 EnABELR has achieved impressive velocities — 2990 FPS — with prototype Berger 379-grain solid bullets fired from a 1:7″-twist 30″ barrel. Applied Ballistics may also test 1:8″-twist and 1:9″-twist barrels. READ Bullet Testing Report.

The .375 EnABELR cartridge was designed to offer .375 CheyTac performance in a slightly shorter package: “The problem with the .375 CheyTac is that, when loaded with the highest performance .375 caliber bullets (379-407 gr Berger Solids, and the 400-425 grain Cutting Edge Lazers) the round is not magazine feed-able in any action that’s sized for CheyTac cartridges.

Berger 379 grain 379gr solid bullet .375 caliber enabler

“Knowing the .375 CheyTac produced substantial performance, and that it was just too long for magazine feeding, made it easy to converge on a design for the .375 EnABELR. We just had to make the case short enough to achieve magazine length with the desired bullets, while adding a little more diameter to keep the case capacity similar to the .375 CheyTac. The resulting basic shape is quite similar in proportions to the successful .338 Norma Magnum Cartridge which, interestingly, was selected as the cartridge for General Dynamics Lightweight Medium Machine Gun (LWMMG).”

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defense
Here is Mitchell Fitzpatrick, shooting the 375 EnABELR in an ELR Competition.

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defense

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading Post comment »
June 15th, 2021

Don’t Roast Barrels! Monitor Barrel Temp with IR Thermometers

infrared pocket pen battery thermometer

Monitor Barrel Heat with Pocket Infrared Gauges
You never want to run the barrel of a precision rifle too hot. Excessive barrel heat kills accuracy, increases copper fouling, and can cause rapid barrel throat wear. Over the years people have devised various means to cool their barrels — from electric fans to dunking in tubs of ice water.

But how do you know if your barrel is too hot? Consider a “non-contact” thermometer that reads your barrel’s “infrared signature”. The small pocket-sized, non-contact Infrared (IR) thermometers are ideal for shooters at the range or in the prairie dog fields. Such thermometers are handy and inexpensive. You can buy these mini IR pen thermometers for under $15.00 from Amazon, Walmart, and other vendors.

infrared pocket pen battery thermometer

Pen-Sized Thermometers
Just 3.2″ long, and weighing an ounce, these handy IR pen thermometers are small enough to carry in your pocket, and will easily stow in any range bag/box. The Yidexin unit, sold by both Amazon and Walmart, can measure from -58 to 428 °F (-50 to 220 °C). You can also find considerably larger hand-held IR thermometers for industrial applications. These can measure up to 716 °F. But for quick measurement of barrel temps, we prefer the small pen IR thermometers that fit in a pocket. A little IR thermometer like this is a gadget that every serious shooter should have. Given the cost of replacing barrels these days (up to $700 for barrel, chambering and fitting), can you afford NOT to have a temp gauge for your match or varmint barrel?

TECH TIP — How to Get More Consistent Readings
When using IR Thermometers on shiny steel barrels, sometimes the polished surface throws off the beam, causing inconsistent readings. You can solve this problem by simply putting a piece of masking tape on the area where you take your reading. Some other folks use a grease pencil to create a non-reflective spot to read. Forum Member Jon B. says: “I used an Exergen infrared in the HVAC industry. Without the grease crayon they sold, you couldn’t get an accurate reading with shiny metals.”

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
June 15th, 2021

The Modern Linear Compensator — Design and Function

Brownells Linear compensator video

In this interesting video, Brownells Gun Tech Caleb Savant covers the topic of linear compensators, aka “blast diffusers” or “linear blast devices”. These are quite different in function from a typical muzzle brake and they are NOT a sound suppressor. Unlike a traditional muzzle brake, a linear compensator directs the muzzle blast forward, AWAY from the shooter. This is not only good for the shooter but also for folks next to the shooter, either at the range or in a CQB law enforcement or military situation.

A “Linear Compensator”, also known as “blast diffuser”, my look similar to a muzzle brake. But it works differently. A typical muzzle brake shoots blast out the side, and can be pretty annoying for someone positioned next to the shooter. By contract, the Linear Compensator direct blast force more forward. This helps reduce perceived recoil, and importantly doesn’t send hot gasses left and ring to nearby shooters or observes. Muzzle brake output can be very annoying. This Editor once was shooting next to a .338 Lapua Magnum with a brake, just a couple feet away. With each .338 LM shot I could feel heat on arms/hands and actually feel the bones in my forearm vibrate.

Attachment Methods — Direct Thread Mounting vs. Quick-Attach Mounting
Linear compensators have become much more popular in recent years as AR-15 pistols and SBRs have proliferated. Some linear comps, such as popular models from Midwest Industries and the Troy Claymore, attach directly to the muzzle, just like a traditional flash hider or muzzle brake.

Other Linear Compensators are slip-on, quick-attach components that mount OVER another muzzle device. For example, the VG6 Precision CAGE Device (Concussion Altering Gas Expansion) attaches directly over one of their standard muzzle devices. Almost every company that makes a sound suppressor also offers a linear compensator, which typically attaches to the muzzle the same way as the silencer.

Video find by Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
June 14th, 2021

V² Finale F-Class Tournament Concludes in Tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

The first Annual V² Finale, held this weekend in Tennessee, has concluded. This new-format match pitted F-Class competitors against each other in a bracket-style double elimination match. This was a very elite field, selected via a Points series. All targets were placed at 1000 yards, with a Euro-Style 5V target. In something unusual for an American F-Class match, ALL shooting was done via PAIR FIRING, with shooters going head-to-head with alternating shots, 15 per shooter in the brackets and then 10 per shooter in the final two-man showdowns for F-TR and F-Open divisions.

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

The competition was fierce but we have final results of this tough F-Class tournament. Congratulations to the V² Finale 2021 winners who earned fame, glory, and large cash pay-outs: Tracy Hogg (F-TR) and William (Bill) Kolodziej (F-Open). Additional top finishers are listed below, with links for FULL RESULTS below the table.


F-TR Winner – Tracy Hogg | F-Open Winner – Bill Kolodziej

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

F-TR Final Full Results | F-Open Final Full Results

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

The event, hosted at the modern Dead Zero Shooting Park in Tennessee, was sponsored by Vihtavuori and Vortex Optics. Along with helping to defray the range costs, these sponsors provided prizes to top shooters. In 2021 shooters qualified for the event through a nationwide points series, with 32 slots for F-Open and 32 slots for F-TR. The match organizers encourage F-Class competitors to shoot points series matches in the future, to qualify for next year’s event: “Earn some points so you can be part of V² Finale II in 2022.”

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V² Points Series and Finale Info Packet | V² Facebook Page

Big Pay-Outs for Participants
The V² Finale was first and foremost a money match. This event offered the highest payout ever for F-Class competition. Cash awards are distributed to the top 8 shooters for each equipment category, as a percentage of the overall match fee pool. The actual amounts will depend on match fees and attendance. We don’t have final numbers yet but payouts for positions 1-8 in each class were estimated to be:

1st Place: $3840 (40%)
2nd Place: $1920 (20%)
3rd Place: $960 (10%)
4th Place: $450 (4.6%)

5th Place: $300 (3.125%)
6th Place: $300 (3.125%)
7th Place: $300 (3.125%)
8th Place: $300 (3.125%)

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee
Erik Cortina with Bryan Blake. Note the innovative, new spotting scope support Bryan crafted.

V2 finale f-class f-open f-tr match tennessee

Permalink Competition, News, Shooting Skills Post comment »
June 14th, 2021

BargainFinder 299: 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. KYGUNCO — Savage Axis II Precision, $799.99

barnard sms action
Compares well with tactical rigs costing much more

Here’s a smart choice for PRS/NRL Factory Class. Get the Savage Axis II Precision rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor for $799.99. Add a high-quality scope and you’ll have a complete set up for well under $2K with money left over for bipod, support bags, and other accessories. If you are looking for a metal chassis varmint rifle, Sportsman’s Warehouse has the .223 Rem Axis II Precision in stock for $829.99.

2. MidwayUSA — Crimson Trace 5-Series Tactical Scope Sale

bushnell scope sale
Really amazing deals on excellent FFP optics for PRS/NRL applications

KILLER DEAL on high-quality First Focal Plane MilRad optics, ideal for PRS/NRL tactical applications. These high-tech Crimson Trace scopes are over HALF OFF now. Grab the 3-24x56mm for $699.99 (61% OFF) or the 3-18x50mm for $599.99 (62% OFF). Both feature 34mm main tubes, tons of elevation, and advanced MR1-MIL illuminated reticles. We’ve looked through these optics and they have good glass and nice controls. These scopes feature EZ Mount Leveling Indicators for quick, precise mounting. All Crimson Trace scopes come with FREE Batteries for life and a Lifetime Protection Warranty.

3. Sportsman’s WHSE — Hornady Press Kit + Ultrasonic Bundle

Hornaday Class Press Reloading Kit Ultrasonic Cleaning machine Bundle sale
Save $120 on this reloading Kit/Sonic Bundle, $519.99 Value

With the shortage of loaded ammo, millions of gun owners are getting into hand-loading. Here’s a good starter kit at a great price. This Hornady Bundle Kit combines a complete reloading set-up with a Hornady ultrasonic cleaning unit. For just $399.99 you get a single-stage press, quality powder measure, digital scale, priming tool, powder trickler, funnel, case prep tools and more. All that would easily be worth the $399.99 price. But with this deal you get all that PLUS a quality L-N-L Sonic 2L ultrasonic cleaning machine as well. This is one of the best bundles we’ve seen — act soon before it sells out.

4. Midsouth — Tumbler Kit Pro with Separator/Sorter, $89.99

midsouth tumbler media separator arsenal tumbler
Ample capacity, great reviews, and good value right now

Keeping your brass clean is one of the best ways to keep your dies (and reloading presses) clean as well. If you’re looking for an affordable setup to clean cartridge brass, consider the Midsouth Tumbler Kit Pro. You get everything needed to dry-tumble your brass and then remove the media. Get the combo kit now for a very low $89.99, including Vibratory Tumbler, Media Separator (with bucket), Media, and Brass Polish. The Tumbler Kit Pro will handle 600-1000 handgun cases, or 250-450 rifle cases (depending on size). Nearly all verified purchaser reviews have been five stars.

5. MidwayUSA — Stable Table Portable Shooting Bench, $178.39

caldwell shooting bench stable table midwayusa sale
Hard to beat bench at this price; swivel seat, 60-lb total weight

The Caldwell® Stable Table, a 60-lb tripod-style bench, offers a 34″L x 23″W top surface with a bench seat that adjusts from 16″ to 22″ in height. The polymer top has two integrated carry handles. These handles double as anchors for two gun-holding forks that can be used when cleaning your rifle. Leg adjustments keep the table and seat parallel even on uneven ground. The overall unit breaks down into seven pieces using a quick-release pin system. Maximum weight capacity is 350 pounds. This bench has earned 80% 5-star reviews from actual purchasers.

6. Sportsman’s WHSE — GET $50 Coupon with $200 Purchase

browning summer rebate rifles X-Bolt 2021
Get a $50 Store Coupon with $200 single-item purchase

Here’s a great “Father’s Day Bounceback” promo good through June 20, 2021. Through the 20th if you spend $200 at Sportsman’s Warehouse, you’ll qualify for a $50.00 COUPON. The flyer says: “You read that right, now through June 20 get a $50 coupon when you spend $200 or more on a single purchase. We’ll send you a code to use online between July 5-18, 2021.” Remember to get the $50 coupon, the $200 (or more) must be on a single purchase — you can’t add up multiple items.

7. Browning — Summer Rebate, Save up to $50 on Guns

browning summer rebate rifles X-Bolt 2021
Great Price on versatile self-Loader for plinking or NRL22

Get up to $50 back when you buy an eligible new Browning firearm at retail between May 28 and July 5, 2021. This applies to NEW guns purchased from a Browning Dealer. You get $50 Off Citori shotguns, $25 Off X-Bolt rifles (and A5 or Maxus II shotguns), and $10 Off Browning pistols. To submit your rebate request, visit Rebates.browning.com.

8. MidwayUSA — Viktos 1911 Tactical Boots — $99.00 (Save $80)

viktos tactical hunting boot footwear half price 2021
Strong yet light boots with good ankle support — big savings

These Viktos Boots can serve many functions — hiking, work, pretty much any outdoor activity. The combination of leather and nylon offers good protection with lighter weight than an all-leather boot. We liked this $99 deal so much this Editor bought a pair. These same Viktos boots sell elsewhere for $180.00.

9. Amazon — Motion-Sensor LED Interior Light, $13.99

gun safe light vault cabinet motion sensor light motion sensing LED magnet lamp
Activates when door opens, Rechargeable, 3 LED Light Levels

Here’s a great accessory for your Gun Safe or closet. This rechargeable LED Lamp turns itself on when you open the door, and off when you close the door. Select three brightness levels: 10LED, 20LED, 30LED. With the supplied 3M adhesive magnetic strip you can easily attach the light to the inner walls of your gun safe. And then quickly remove the unit for charging with a standard USB cord (no batteries to replace!). It works, it’s handy, and it’s inexpensive — just $13.99 on Amazon (plus you may see a $2.00 off coupon). These motion-sensor LED lamps can also be used in garages or stairwells.

10. Amazon — Howard Leight MAX Earplugs, $9.50/50 Pairs

accurateshooter.com review Max-1 Howard Leight ear plugs

20 Pairs
50 Pairs

Best NRR (33 dB), Very Comfortable, Great Value

These Howard Leight NRR 33 Max Plugs are your Editor’s favorite foam earplugs. Between shooting, motorcycling, and mowing lawns, I probably have Max plugs in my ears 2-3 days a week. This is a very good price for a bulk pack of 50 pairs. NRR 33 is the best Noise Reduction Rating you’ll find for plugs alone. And if you act soon, you can get free shipping to boot.

Permalink Gear Review, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading Post comment »
June 14th, 2021

Bryan Litz Wins 2021 Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge Casper Wyoming

A major ELR match took place this past weekend in Wyoming, the Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge. A familiar name finished first — Applied Ballistics founder Bryan Litz. Bryan had a convincing victory over some 220 other shooters. Bryan earned praise from his colleague and past K02M winner Mitchell Fitzpatrick: “Congrats to Bryan Litz on winning the 2021 Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge! This match is tough, and winning it is no small feat… especially considering there were 221 competitors this year. Bryan and I were both shooting Barrett MRADs in .300 Norma with Nightforce 5-25 ATACR scopes, shooting Berger Bullets 245gr Elite Hunters pushed by VV N565. Absolutely killer combination.”

The match was held June 12-13 2021, at the Tillard 55 Ranch near Casper, Wyoming. This major ELR competition feature some amazing terrain, plus targets out to 2100 yards.

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge Casper Wyoming

After the match, Bryan told us: “I learned a lot shooting this match last year. Came back with a better plan and more suitable equipment (stock Barrett MRAD in .300 Norma Magnum, Berger 245gr Hybrids, Vihtavuori N565). I also got a lot of great advice from my team-mates who are more experienced in this kind of competition. For ballistics I ran the Garmin Tactix with the Personal Drag Model (PDM) from Radar testing on Friday — it was SPOT ON.

Thanks to Scott Satterlee and his awesome crew of ROs. This match takes a lot of work to set up. Also thank Nick Setting and all the sponsors… especially title sponsor Nightforce. Looking forward to coming back next year!”

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge Casper Wyoming
Here’s Bryan taping data to his rifle — a tip he got from Chase Stroud.

Personal Drag Models Set with Doppler Radar

Bryan Litz wasn’t just there to compete. Prior to the match Bryan and his Applied Ballistics Team helped competitors develop custom Long Range Ballistics curves for their loads and rifles. This was done with sophisticated Doppler Radar units. As Bryan noted: “Doesn’t get any better than a [ballistics] model built from a Radar track of YOUR bullets from YOUR rifle, the day before the match.”

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge Casper Wyoming

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge Casper Wyoming
During Personal Drag Model testing, participants would shot 10 rounds under the Radar. Once the PDM data was gathered, Bryan explained to the testers how to use the custom curve with Applied Ballistics software.

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge Casper Wyoming

Match Was a Sell-Out with Huge Prize Table

Was this a popular event? Does this ELR stuff generate interest among commercial sponsors?

Absolutely. With 221 shooters, the event was a “sell-out”, with many folks who had to be turned away. The list of sponsors is staggering — over 60 companies — so the prize tables were over-flowing with gear. With great scenery and this treasure trove of prizes, we understand why the match is so popular.

2021 Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge Sponsors
Accuracy International USA
Alamo Precision Rifles
American Precision Arms
American Rifle Company, Inc.
Applied Ballistics LLC
BadRock Rifles
Barrett
Bartlein Barrels, Inc
Bison Tactical
Bix’n Andy USA
Blue Mountain Precision
Brux Barrels
Bullet Central
Burris Optics
Cole-Tac
Cutting Edge Bullets
Defiance Machine
Elite Iron
Foundation Stocks
Garmin
GRAYBOE
Gunwerks
Hawkins Precision
Hawk Hill Custom
Hornady
H-S Precision
Impact Shooting
Kahles North America
Kelbly’s Actions
Kestrel Ballistics
KMW Long Range Solutions
Kreiger Barrels
Leupold Optics
Lilja Precision Rifle Barrels
Lone Peak Arms
Magnetospeed LLC
Modular Driven Technologies – MDT
Mile High Shooting Accessories
Nightforce Optics
Precision Rifle Works
PROOF Research
Really Right Stuff SOAR
Reasor Precision
Sako
Sawtooth Rifles
SilencerCo
SPUHR
SWAROVSKI OPTIK Hunting
Revic
Terminus Actions
Tikka
Timney Triggers
Triggertech
U.S. Optics
Vapor Trails
Warhorse Development
Warner Tool Company
West Texas Ordnance
WieBad.com
XLR Industries
Zermatt Arms
ZRO Delta

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Nightforce ELR Steel Challenge Casper Wyoming

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical Post comment »
June 13th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Doan Trevor Custom Rifles and Wood Stocks

Doan Trevor custom wookd stock gunsmithingDetail from Doan Trevor rimfire prone stock (Fiddleback Walnut) with Stiller 2500 X Action.

New Mexico Gunsmith Doan Trever is a true wizard with wood. At Doan Trevor Custom Rifle Building, he crafts stunning figured wood stocks, and also builds complete wood-stocked and fiberglass-stocked rifles that shoot as good as they look. Doan is a true master, with a mind for function and an eye for beauty. The ability to hand-craft wood is becoming a lost art. For this Sunday, we celebrate four projects crafted by Doan: two complete rifle, a special F-Class stock built for multiple actions, and an F-TR stock for a Sako action. Visit DoanTrevor.com to view find dozens of other stunning stocks and complete rifles.

Mausingfield America Rifle with English Walnut Stock

Doan told us: “This is a highly figured piece of English Walnut with burls and flowers. Along the bottom of the stock there’s a burl/flower that looks like an owl and one side looks like the Sandia Mountains. This rifle is in 30 PCR. Doan adds: “The owner is enjoying this rifle immensely.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

Walther KK500 (Twin Trigger), English Walnut Laminate Stock with Fiddleback Accents

About this unique rig Doan notes: “This left-handed rifle has two triggers. It has an electronic trigger AND a mechanical trigger. With the wood stock option, the charging cable needs to be modified modify in order to clear the trigger extension to be able to charge. Also, keeping with aesthetics, I made it able to remove the trigger guard in order to charge more easily. Removing the trigger guard does not change the bedding.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

American Walnut F-Class Stock with Figured English/Claro Walnut Fore-End Inlay

Doan explains: “The owner has three actions with the same barrel block mounting system. He wanted to be able to use one stock. I built a bedding system that would accomplish this task. The two pieces of Claro Walnut on the fore-end are mirror copies.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

F-TR Stock for Sako 85 with Johnny Byer Stock Blank

Here’s a handsome F-TR rig. Doan reports: “The pistol grip cap is a piece of Screw Bean Mesquite Wood from my old front yard in Albuquerque. (I live in Rio Rancho, NM now.) Take a look at the bottom photo with the blue background, the rifle doesn’t have any stippling yet. Sometimes, you have stippling as the last step. There’s no room for error when this order of events is necessary.”

Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
Doan Trevor gunsmithing
VIEW more photos HERE

About Doan Trevor

Doan Trevor is a master gunsmith and stock-maker who works in the old style. He still hand-crafts stocks from start to finish, and does all the metal-work on the custom rifles he builds. Starting with highly-figured woods, Doan carves and shapes his stocks largely by hand, with meticulous attention to detail. Each rifle he builds is optimized for its intended discipline, and custom-fitted for the customer.

Doan Trevor

With photography by Doan’s talented wife Sue, Doan has created a website, DoanTrevor.com, that is a feast for the eyes. You can see beautiful wood-stocked rifles being hand-crafted. Doan also illustrates how he creates custom metal parts, and how he beds barreled actions into the finished stocks.

Definitely visit Doan’s website. Be sure to click on the site’s secondary pages: Rifle Building, Woodworking, and Metalworking. There you’ll find info on wood-working plus hundreds of high-quality photos.

Doan Trevor gunsmithing

doan trevor gunsmith wood stock builderContact Doan Trevor

Doan Trevor Custom Rifle Building
Website: DoanTrevor.com
Email: doantrevor@gmail.com
Phone: 714-457-5566

Products and Services: Custom rifle building for High Power, F-Class, Long Range, and Smallbore shooters. Fancy Wood and Fiberglass Rifle Stocks, Custom Grips for Rifles, and Offset Sights.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, News 3 Comments »
June 13th, 2021

Beat the Heat — Keep Ammo Cool During Hot Summer Days

Heat Map USA color chart

The Summer Solstice is June 20, 2021, just a week away. And July is nearly here. That means “peak heat” summer conditions. It’s vitally important to keep your ammo at “normal” temps during the hot summer months. Even if you use “temp-insensitive” powders, studies suggest that pressures can still rise dramatically when the entire cartridge gets hot, possibly because of primer heating. It’s smart to keep your loaded ammo in an insulated storage unit, possibly with a Blue Ice Cool Pak if you expect it to get quite hot. Don’t leave your ammo in the car or truck — temps can exceed 140° in a vehicle parked in the sun.

Ammo cool storage

Bosch Insulated tool caseTo learn more about how ambient temperature (and primer choice) affect pressures (and hence velocities) you should read the article Pressure Factors: How Temperature, Powder, and Primer Affect Pressure by Denton Bramwell. In that article, the author uses a pressure trace instrument to analyze how temperature affects ammo performance. Bramwell’s tests yielded some fascinating results.

For example, barrel temperature was a key factor: “Both barrel temperature and powder temperature are important variables, and they are not the same variable. If you fail to take barrel temperature into account while doing pressure testing, your test results will be very significantly affected. The effect of barrel temperature is around 204 PSI per F° for the Varget load. If you’re not controlling barrel temperature, you about as well might not bother controlling powder temperature, either. In the cases investigated, barrel temperature is a much stronger variable than powder temperature.”

This Editor had the personal experience of 6mmBR hand-loaded ammo that was allowed to sit in the hot sun for 45 minutes while steel targets were reset. The brass became quite warm to the touch, meaning the casings were well over 120° on the outside. When I then shot this ammo, the bullets impacted well high at 600 yards (compared to earlier in the day). Using a Magnetospeed, I then chron-tested the sun-heated ammo. The hot ammo’s velocity FPS had increased very significantly — all because I had left the ammo out in the hot sun uncovered for 3/4 of an hour.

LESSON: Keep your ammo cool! Keep loaded ammo in the shade, preferably under cover or in an insulated container. You can use a SEALED cool pack inside the container, but we do NOT recommend H20 ice packs. And don’t have the container do double duty for food and beverages.

Powder Heat Sensitivity Comparison Test

Our friend Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog recently published a fascinating comparison test of four powders: Hodgdon H4350, Hodgdon Varget, IMR 4451, and IMR 4166. The first two are Hodgdon Extreme powders, while the latter two are part of IMR’s Enduron line of propellants.


CLICK HERE to VIEW FULL POWDER TEST RESULTS »

The testers measured the velocity of the powders over a wide temperature range, from 25° F to 140° F. Hodgdon H4350 proved to be the most temp stable of the four powders tested. [NOTE: New Alliant Reloder TS 15.5 has also proved very temp stable in AccurateShooter’s range tests.]

Precision Rifle Blog Temperature Stability test hodgdon varget H4350 Enduron IMR 4451

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip Post comment »
June 13th, 2021

How to Use a Collet-Type Bullet Puller

Hornady cam-lock bullet puller ammunition UlimateReloader

When you make a reloading mistake, you may need to “pull down” assembled ammo. The embedded UltimateReloader.com video demonstrates how to use the Hornady Cam-Lock bullet pulling system.

When Reloading Goes Bad — The Danger of Over-Charging
Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com was recently reloading some 9mm pistol ammo with his Hornady progressive press. As part of his reloading procedure, he visually checks the cases — and he noticed that the charges seemed high. Sure enough, his most recently-produced rounds were about two grains over spec. He diagnosed the issue: “I was using a powder measure without a baffle. What happened was, over the course of the loading session, things settled in, and the charge level increased.”

Not knowing just when his powder measure started delivering too much powder, Gavin decided, for safety’s sake, to pull down all the ammo he had just reloaded. Yes that’s time-consuming, but it’s better than the alternative — having a dangerous Kaboom while shooting. With fast-burning pistol powders, a two-grain over-charge could cause a blown case, damaged firearm, and/or serious injury.

Watch Cam-Lock Bullet Puller Used to Remove Bullets from Loaded Ammo:

Use of Bullet Puller starts 4:00 minutes into video.

Gavin says it is vitally important to perform safety checks during the reloading process: “You’ve got to do it — check every single round to make sure there IS powder, and that there’s not too MUCH powder. Double, Triple, Quadruple check your components… and your powder charges. You can’t be too careful.”

To pull down a loaded round, first place the cartridge in the shellholder on your press ram. Then raise the round up into the bullet puller device installed where a die would go. The Hornady Cam-lock bullet puller works by clamping the bullet in a collet when you flip down the red-coated lever. Then, with the case held by the rim in the shell-holder, the bullet exits the cartridge as the press ram is lowered. It takes time, but it’s pretty fool-proof once you get the hang of it. This entire process is illustrated in Gavin’s video, starting near the four-minute mark.

Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet puller Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloder.com

The Hornady Cam Lock Bullet Puller has four (4) key components: 1. Cam-Lock die body; 2. Cam-Lock lever; 3. Stem; and 4. Collet (Caliber-specific).

NOTE: In order to use this tool, you’ll need the appropriate collet for each diameter range of bullets you intend to pull. For example use collet #3 for 6mm, collect #6 for 7mm, and collet #7 for .308 Caliber.

Hornady cam-lock bullet puller ammunition UlimateReloader

RCBS Lockout Lock Out die Dillon HornadyRCBS Lock-Out Die
A good safety option for users with progressive presses is the RCBS Lock-Out Die. This has a charge detection rod that dips into each case after powder has dropped. You adjust the die to the proper charge height for your desired load. If the actual dispensed charge is too high or too low, the Lock-Out Die senses the problem and stops the press from advancing to the next case (it does this by preventing the ram/shellplate from fully elevating). We’ve used the Lock-out die with success for both pistol and rifle cartridges. It’s sensitive to about one-half grain with pistol powders.

This Lock-Out Die works with Hornady and Dillon progressives as well as with RCBS progressives. It does take up one die station on the press.

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June 12th, 2021

How to Prep Mil-Surp 5.56 Lake City Brass — Save Money

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit regularly publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. One excellent “Handloading Hump Day” post covered preparation of once-fired 5.56x45mm brass. This article, the first in a 3-part series, has many useful tips. If you shoot a rifle chambered in .223 Rem or 5.56x45mm, this article is worth reading.

This week, Handloading Hump-Day will answer a special request from several competitive shooters who asked about procedures for morphing once-fired GI 5.56mm brass into accurate match brass for NRA High Power Rifle use. The USAMU has used virgin Lake City (LC) 5.56 brass to win National Championships and set National Records for many years. In this 3-part series, we’ll share techniques proven to wring match-winning accuracy from combat-grade brass.

GI brass has an excellent attribute, worth noting — it is virtually indestructible. Due to its NATO-spec hardness, the primer pockets last much longer than most commercial brass when using loads at appropriate pressures.

Preparing Once-Fired GI 5.56 Brass for Reloading (Part 1 of 3)

Assuming our readers will be getting brass once-fired as received from surplus dealers, the following steps can help process the low-cost raw material into reliably accurate components.

1. Clean the Brass
First, clean the brass of any dirt/mud/debris, if applicable. Depending on the brass’s condition, washing it in a soap solution followed by a thorough rinsing may help. [This step also extends the life of the tumbling media.] Approaches range from low-tech, using gallon jugs 1/2 full of water/dish soap plus brass and shaking vigorously, to more high-tech, expensive and time-consuming methods.

cleaning Lake City 5.56 brass

2. Wet-Tumbling Options (Be Sure to Dry the Brass)
When applying the final cleaning/polish, some use tumblers with liquid cleaning media and stainless steel pins for a brilliant shine inside and out, while others take the traditional vibratory tumbler/ground media approach. Degree of case shine is purely personal preference, but the key issue is simple cleanliness to avoid scratching ones’ dies.

If a liquid cleaner is used, be SURE to dry the cases thoroughly to preclude corrosion inside. One method is to dump the wet brass into an old pillow case, then tilt it left/right so the cases re-orient themselves while shifting from corner to corner. Several repetitions, pausing at each corner until water stops draining, will remove most water. They can then be left to air-dry on a towel, or can be dried in a warm (150° F-200° F max) oven for a few minutes to speed evaporation.

Shown below are Lake City cases after cleaning with Stainless Media (STM). Note: STM Case cleaning was done by a third party, not the USAMU, which does not endorse any particular cleaning method.

3. Inspect Every Case
Once dry, inspect each case for significant deformation (i.e., someone stepped on it), damaged mouths/necks and case head/rim damage. Some rifles’ ejectors actually dig small chunks of brass out of the case head — obviously, not ideal for precision shooting. Similarly, some extractors can bend the case rims so badly that distortion is visible when spinning them in one’s fingers. These can be used for plinking, but our match brass should have straight, undamaged rims.

Dented case mouths are common, and these can easily be rounded using a conical, tapered tool, [such as a .223 expander mandrel. A dummy 7.62 or .30-06 cartridge with a FMJ spitzer can also work.] If most of your brass is of one headstamp, this is a good time to cull out any odd cases.

4. Check the Primers Before Decapping
Your clean, dry and inspected brass is now ready for full-length sizing, decapping and re-priming. Historically, primer crimps on GI brass have caused some head-scratching (and vile language) among handloaders. Our next installment will detail efficient, easy and practical methods to remove primer crimp, plus other useful handloading tips. Until next week, Good Shooting!

NOTE: The USAMU Handloading (HL) Shop does not RE-load fired 5.56 brass. We use virgin LC brass with our chosen primer already staked in place. However, our staff has extensive personal experience reloading GI brass for competition, which will supplement the Shop’s customary steps. In handloading, as in life, there are many ways to accomplish any given task. Our suggestions are note presented as the “only way,” by any means. Time for loading/practicing is always at a premium. Readers who have more efficient, alternative methods that maintain top accuracy are invited to share them here.

Accuracy Potential of Mil-Surp 5.56×45 Brass

So, how accurate can previously-fired GI surplus brass be in a good National Match AR-15? Well, here’s a data point from many years ago that might be of interest. A High Power shooter who wrote for the late Precision Shooting magazine took a Bill Wylde-built AR match rifle to a registered Benchrest match. His first 5-round group ever fired in a BR match was officially measured at 0.231″ at 200 hundred yards. This was fired in front of witnesses, while using a moving target backer that confirmed all five rounds were fired.

He recounted that his ammo was loaded progressively with factory 52gr match bullets and a spherical powder using mixed years of LC brass with no special preparation whatsoever. Obviously, this was “exceptional”. However, he had no difficulty obtaining consistent 0.5-0.6 MOA accuracy at 200 yards using LC brass and a generic “practice” load that was not tuned to his rifle.

Saving Money by Using GI Brass

So, with good commercial brass readily available, why would one go to all the extra steps necessary to process fired GI brass? [Editor: It’s about saving money.]

Economically, it makes great sense. When the author was actively practicing and competing with the service rifle, he had ~3,000 rounds of 5.56mm brass, which allowed him to load during winter and spend most time in the summer practicing. If one were wealthy and wanted to shoot nothing but the finest imported brass, the current cost of 3,000 is ~$1920 (plus shipping.)

Dropping down to good, but less-expensive new, U.S. commercial brass brings the price to a much more realistic ~$720. However, at current rates, the same amount of surplus GI once-fired brass costs between $120 — $150, leaving lots of room in the budget for other expenses. [Editor: that’s less than 10% of the cost of the best imported brass.]

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June 12th, 2021

TEN Shots (100-6X) in 4.554″ at 1000 — Watch This on Video!

Scott Nix Dasher Record

6mm DasherHow well can the little 6mm Dasher perform at 1000 yards when the conditions are good, and the shooter is riding a hot streak? Well here’s a shot-by-shot record of Scott Nix’s 4.554″ ten-shot group shot at the Deep Creek Range outside Missoula, Montana at the Northwest 1000-yard Championship a few years back. All 10 shots were centered for a 100-6X score. That’s about as good as it gets. If Scott had stopped after 5 shots, his group would have been under three inches.

Video Demonstrates Amazing 1000-Yard Accuracy
Watch the video. You can see the group form up, shot by shot. It’s pretty amazing. Scott’s first shot (at the 45-second mark of the video) was right in the X-Ring, and four of Scott’s first five shots were Xs. That’s drilling them! This video was recorded from the pits at the 1000-yard line, during record fire.

Deep Creek Range
The Deep Creek Range in Missoula, MT is one of the nicest places to shoot in the Intermountain West region. The range is located in the mountains within a few minutes drive of Missoula, and there is camping on-site. When conditions are good at Deep Creek, records get broken. To learn more about shooting at Deep Creek, contact Jamey Williams at jameydan[at]gmail.com.

Here is an aerial view of the Deep Creek Range (Drone video by David Gosnell):

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June 12th, 2021

Koenig Precision Rifle Match in Colorado This Weekend

Doug Koenig Ruger PRS Precision rifle competition Colorado Cameo grand junction

Many notable shooting matches are being held this month. As Pandemic restrictions recede, competitive shooters are getting back to the range, and that’s definitely a good thing. F-Classers are competing in Tennessee this weekend (see V² Finale Report), and PRS/NRL aces will be competing in Colorado.

The Colorado tactical match is something new — the inaugural Koenig Shooting Sports Precision Rifle Competition. This challenging event takes place this weekend, June 12-13, at the Cameo Shooting and Education Complex outside Grand Junction, Colorado. Doug Koenig will serve as the match director.

Doug Koenig Ruger PRS Precision rifle competition Colorado Cameo grand junction

This two-day event is expected to attract some of the best precision rifle competitors in the nation, all vying for points to earn an exclusive spot at the year-end PRS Pro Series Finale. Utilizing the picturesque landscape and natural terrain props found at the Cameo Shooting Complex, each competitor’s skills will be put to the test while engaging an assortment of steel, reactive, and automated moving targets at distances from 300 to over 1000 yards.

“I want to thank Ruger not only for their support but also for their continued commitment to this sport,” commented Koenig. “The introduction of the Ruger Precision Rifle disrupted the world of PRS by making it a much more affordable discipline to participate in, so it is only fitting that they are the presenting sponsor of this exciting event.”

Doug Koenig Ruger PRS Precision rifle competition Colorado Cameo grand junction

Doug Koenig and the Ruger Precision Rifle
“Koenig” (or König) means “king” in German. That is indeed appropriate for Doug Koenig, 19-Time Bianchi Cup winner, who is now starting to conquer the rifle world as well. Koenig, considered by many to be the best action pistol shooter on the planet, proved he’s an ace with rifles too, as he has had multiple PRS Production Division victories. Koenig, Captain of Team Ruger, shoots a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), chambered in 6mm Creedmoor. Notably, Production Division limits rifles to $2000.00 for the gun ($4000.00 overall with scope). You can buy an RPR for around $1350.00 typically ($1320.99 at KyGunCo).

In this video, Gavin Gear Shows How to Accurize a Ruger Precision Rifle:

This Interesting Cut-Away Animation Shows How the Ruger Precision Rifle Functions:

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June 11th, 2021

V² Finale F-Class Tournament Underway in Tennesee

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park

V² Finale Double Elimination Tournament at 1000 Yards
A new kind of F-Class Tournament is being held in Tennessee over the next three days. The V² (“V-Squared”) Finale, sponsored by Vihtavuori and Vortex Optics, is a double-elimination shooting match, conducted much like a basketball tournament. There are 32 competitor places each in F-Open Division and F-TR — for 64 places total. In each round there is “pair firing”. Two shooters compete head-to-head with three, 15-round strings, all at 1000 yards. The winner of each two-person match-up proceeds, while the loser goes into a loser’s bracket… so everyone has a second change to win some of the prizes. This event is about more than trophies and glory — it is also about winning big piles of cash — $28,000 in total.

V² Finale F-Open Bracket LIVE | V² Finale F-TR Bracket LIVE

64 shooters, who earned entry with points garnered in previous matches, have been invited to compete for $28,000 in prize monies. The V² Finale is held at the Dead Zero Shooting Park in Tennessee, an impressive, modern facility. The Dead Zero 1000-yard range is equipped with ShotMarker electronic targets. That means that scoring is quick, there is no waiting for targets to be marked, and, importantly, no pit duties for the competitors.

V² Points Series and Finale Info Packet | V² Facebook Page


This video, created last year explains the V² Finale Rules and Course of Fire.

The V² Finale itself is conducted over three (3) days. It’s a double-elimination tournament — this means that everybody has the opportunity to shoot at least two matchups. A loss in the primary bracket will seed you into the elimination bracket, where you will have the opportunity to continue on and potentially work your way back to shoot for the overall Championship.

The V² Finale is a pair-fire, best two of three format, with 15-shot strings (45 rounds max per person per bracket). If one shooter wins the first TWO strings, the third string is not fired. The idea behind this pair-firing is to have both competitors for each stage shooting at the exact same time, in the exact same conditions, on the exact same target. The only person you are competing against is the person next to you. The competitors who wins two out of three matches in the matchup will advance.

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park

V² Finale Bracket Match Results

READ THIS!! You can scroll UP and Down with your mouse, and thereby see the Loser’s bracket for both F-Open and F-TR.
READ THIS!! You can use the BRACKET Pull-Down Menu (Upper Right) to select Winner’s and Loser’s Brackets, or choose Top 16 and Top 8.
READ THIS!! You can pull box to left to see more on the right side, using mouse (or finger on smartphone).
READ THIS!! The boxes below are live feeds from the Match Website. Click links below to view Bracket Results on FULL SCREEN.
READ THIS!! This is NOT a static image, it will change as results are filled in. You can come back to this page and see more results as the event progresses.

V² Finale F-Open Bracket LIVE | V² Finale F-TR Bracket LIVE

F-Open Event Results in Real Time — Use Mouse to Scroll!

F-TR Event Results in Real Time — Use Mouse to Scroll!

The V² Finale match, sponsored by Vihtavuori Powders and Vortex Optics, takes place June 11-13 at the Dead Zero Shooting Park in Tennessee. This is a limited-field event for the top 32 F-Open and 32 F-TR competitors who have accrued the most points for the 2020-2021 season. The match will be a double-elimination bracket system (e.g. NCAA March Madness) where shooters are matched up against a single opponent for each round. As opposed to a typical match where you shoot against the entire field, this type of competition allows for two shooters to go head to head pair-fire style, competing under the exact same conditions. No wind alibis. No relay roulette. No excuses. Keep advancing and you will find yourself in the finals where you’ll have a chance to win the prestige of being the best F-Open or F-TR shooter in the country plus some serious prize money and awards.

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park
The V² Finale firing line on 6/11 at the Dead Zero Shooting Park.

Thanks to the generous support from Vihtavuori Powders and Vortex Optics, more than 85% of the entry fees are awarded back to the shooters in the form of cash prizes, awarded all the way down to 8th place for each category. The creators of the V² points series noted: “This type of reward for performance is one of the core reasons why we created the V² Finale and why you won’t find any prize tables.”

For more details see the V² Series Information Packet or visit the V² Series Facebook Page.

Vihtavouri Supports Innovative V² Finale Match Format
“Vihtavuori is honored to partner with Vortex Optics for the inaugural V2 F-Class Point Series Finale. We’re excited to be onsite and support the world’s best long range shooters who will compete in a match they designed themselves,” stated Geoff Esterline, Marketing Director for Capstone Precision Group.

v2 f-tr f-open f-class shooting tournament finale point series tennessee dead zero shooting park

Why Was the F-Class Points Series Created? (Official Statement)
Everyone in the F-Class world knows about their local, state and regional matches and many of those shooters attend the Southwest Nationals and F-Class National Championship each year. These matches are often challenging and feature some of the best shooters in the country at any given time. As great and exciting as those matches are, they have some key limitations – they don’t answer the question of consistency over peak performance. They allow for random chance to play a role in results, in the form of target service, conditions, or “relay roulette”, among other factors. Basically, they don’t allow for a true measure of shooter performance over time, and more specifically, in a true test of head-to-head competition. It was partly with this in mind that we created the F-Class Points Series to collect and award points with the ultimate goal of putting on a one-of-a-kind, limited-field, matchup-style event that will give competitors a format to prove that the best indicator of skill is reliable consistency, not peak performance. A points system will allow us to track consistent performance over the course of a yearlong FPS season, culminating in an invitation to join the limited field of the V² Finale for the top 64 qualifying competitors.

Map for Dead Zero Shooting Park

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June 11th, 2021

Luke Johnson Wins Lapua Silhouette Super Shoot in Ridgway PA

Lapua Super Shoot rimfire .22 LR Center-X STandard Hunter class silhouette match

Congratulations to Lapua’s Rimfire Performance Center Manager, Luke Johnson, on winning the Lapua Silhouette Super Shoot. Johnson won the Standard Rifle class with a score of 176 out of a possible 200 and a shot a perfect 40 out of 40 in the Hunter Rifle to win the class with an aggregate score of 185.

With Johnson’s perfect score in Hunter Rifle, he joins the elite 4-member club of registered masters who have shot a perfect score in both Standard and Hunter Rifle silhouette disciplines. Johnson obtained his perfect score in Standard Rifle at the 2017 National Silhouette Championship.

The Lapua Super Shoot took place May 29-30, 2021 at the “Silhouette Capital” of the USA, Ridgway Rifle Club in Ridgway, PA. It consisted of 3 x 120 round relays, all fired from the standing position. For each relay, shooters engage ten chickens at 40 meters, ten pigs at 60 meters, ten turkeys at 77 meters and ten rams at 100 meters.

“This was my 3rd perfect 40/40 of my silhouette career, all have been shot with tested Lapua Center-X,” stated Johnson, “There have only been 10 different competitors to ever fire a perfect score in registered competition. This was a special 40/40 with it being my first in Hunter Rifle class.”

Lapua Super Shoot rimfire .22 LR Center-X STandard Hunter class silhouette match

Choosing the Perfect Ammo for His Rifle
Johnson’s Lapua Center-X .22 LR ammunition is matched to his firearms at Lapua’s Rimfire Performance Center indoor facility. Unique lots of ammunition are tested at 50 and 100 meters simultaneously, identifying the best performing ammunition for purchase. This service is available to all shooters who wish to gain a competitive advantage. Readers take note — you can do this type of ammo testing for your own rimfire rifles. CLICK HERE to schedule ammo testing at either of Lapua’s Rimfire Performance Centers located in Mesa, AZ or Marengo, OH.

About Luke Johnson — Past National Silhouette Champion and All-American
Johnson, a native of Marysville, PA, brings a long background of competitive shooting and hunting to Capstone. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. While pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree, Luke was a 4-year letterman for the University’s D1 Rifle Team. In addition to his 3P/Prone shooting pedigree, Luke is a High Master rifle silhouette competitor. Highlights of his competitive background include: NRA Smallbore Rifle Silhouette Champion, NCAA & CRCA All-American, USA Junior National Champion (50 meter rifle).

Lapua Super Shoot rimfire .22 LR Center-X STandard Hunter class silhouette match

About Lapua Bullets, Brass, and Ammunition
Lapua produces the highest-quality, small-caliber cartridges and components for civilian and professional use. Lapua is a part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Lapua.com.

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June 11th, 2021

Speed Up Bore Cleaning Chores with Wash Bottles

Wash Bottle

rifle bore cleaner bottle

Small patches are not very efficient at distributing bore cleaning liquids inside your bore. The problem with a tight-fitting patch is that the solvent gets squeezed off in the first few inches. You can switch to a smaller jag, or a bore mop, but there is an even better way to get an ample amount of solvent in your bore. Just spray directly into the bore with a wash bottle, an inexpensive plastic bottle with an L-shaped dispensing neck, tapered at the end.

When using the wash bottle, you can either just plug the breech and spray from the muzzle end (where most copper fouling is), or, alternately, put the wash bottle neck directly in the chamber and spray forward. When spraying from the chamber forward, you may need to use a rubber O-Ring to seal off the action… depending on the bore size and the particular wash bottle’s neck spout diameter. We prefer to plug the breech ans squirt from the muzzle.

Bottle Solvent Application Great for Smaller Bores
Using wet patches or wet brushes is an inefficient way to really saturate the tight bores of 17s, 20s, and 22s. Even with a cotton bore mop, most of the solvent will be squeezed out before it gets to the end of the bore, where most copper fouling occurs. For these smaller 17, 20, and 22-caliber bores, you can just take the wash bottle and stick the tapered nozzle right in the chamber. The tapered end will press fit in the throat, sealing off the chamber. With the barrel slightly nose-down, give the bottle a couple good squirts until the solvent mists out the muzzle. In just a few seconds, this will put more solvent in the bore than a half-dozen wet patches.

A solvent-filled wash bottle is also handy for wetting your brushes. It’s much easier to saturate a bore brush (without spilling solvent on your stock), by using the wash bottle. You can get wash bottles from USPlastic.com, Amazon.com, or lab supply stores.

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
June 10th, 2021

Full Schedule for 2021 CMP National Matches at Camp Perry

Camp Perry National Matches

Good news — there is still time to register for the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. Visit the National Matches Registration Page today. These historic matches include High Power Rifle, Long Range Rifle, Vintage Military, Smallbore Rifle, Rimfire Sporter, and Pistol matches. The National Rifle and Pistol Matches have been part of Camp Perry tradition since 1907. After being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Matches will be held again, but with some important changes:

— No First Shot Ceremony
— Squadding Reduced to Half Maximum Capacity
— Limiting Firing Points
— Social Distancing and Mask Wearing
— No Public Awards Ceremonies

2021 Camp Perry National Matches

About the National Matches

Held annually at Camp Perry, the National Matches include the CMP National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools, the National Games Rifle Matches, the National Smallbore Matches and the National Long Range Matches. These matches are conducted by a partnership of the CMP and Ohio National Guard.

2021 Camp Perry National Matches

2021 National Matches Program | National Matches Registration

Since their inception, the National Matches have become a huge, national shooting sports festival with well over 4,500 annual participants. Training participants and competitors range from novices to many of the world’s best. This year the CMP National Matches commence July 12, 2021 and conclude August 14, 2021.

National Matches Registration Links and Entry Forums

Pistol Online Registration
Rimfire Online Registration
Smallbore Online Registration
Rifle Online Registration
Long Range Online Registration

Printable Pistol Entry Form
Printable Rimfire Entry Form
Printable Rifle Entry Form
Printable Long Range Entry Form


2021 National Matches Calendar (Click to Zoom)

National Matches Calendar

National Matches Schedules

National Matches Phases

CMP National Trophy Pistol & Games Matches
National Rimfire Sporter Match
CMP Smallbore Matches
CMP Highpower Rifle Championships
CMP National Trophy Rifle Matches
CMP National Games Events
CMP Long Range Matches

Event Schedules

Welcome Center (In Processing) Calendar
National Trophy Pistol Match Schedule
National Rimfire Sporter Schedule
National Smallbore Championships Schedule
HP Rifle LR Relay Rotation
National Trophy Rifle & CMP Games Schedule
National Long Range Match Schedule

Camp Perry 2021 National Matches

Camp Perry Rimfire Sporter

Camp Perry Map and Directions

View Camp Perry Site Map

Camp Perry National Matches 2021Housing and Lodging — In the summer of 2021, Camp Perry on-base housing and RV spaces WILL be available. Visit the Camp Perry Lodging Conference Center website for more details and reservation links. This offers very affordable lodging and/or camping options. A barracks bed starts at $16.10/night. Reserve a 4-person hut for $58.65 per night.

Small Arms Firing Schools — We’re informed that the Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS) are still on the schedule for 2021, with a reduced number of spots available. The CMP suggests you sign up early if you wish to participate.

Camp Perry 2021 National Matches

Camp Perry 2021 Vintage Sniper National Matches

FIREARM INSPECTIONS
All firearms, to be used in any CMP Games or CMP Service Rifle event, are required to be inspected by a CMP sanctioned armorer prior to any live fire at every event. Competitors will be required to present all applicable scorecards to the CMP Armorer in order to complete the inspection process. Upon completion of the firearm inspection process, each scorecard will receive a stamp of approval from the CMP Armorer, indicating that no safety violations or rules compliance issues were observed at the time of inspection. Each rifle will also receive an inspection tag, verifying participation in the inspection process.

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June 10th, 2021

Zombies in the Heartland 2021 3-Gun Match Is Big Success

zombies heartland hornady 2021

Hornady’s 2021 Zombies in the Heartland 3-Gun Match
Nearly 400 zombie hunters armed with handguns, shotguns, and rifles converged in Grand Island, Nebraska, June 4-6, 2021 to battle the “undead” during the 9th Annual, Zombies in the Heartland 3-Gun Match hosted by Hornady and the Heartland Public Shooting Park.

zombies heartland hornady 2021

Shooters from 20 different states tested their talent in the 10-stage match. Specially developed reactive zombie targets kept shooters engaged and entertained. Participants shot from a suspended motorcycle, through a burned-out auto yard, and while sitting in a parked pickup truck where shooters were required to turn the wheel to see targets.

The top shooters in each class were:

Open: Jon Wiedell, 1st overall
Tactical: Riley Kropff, 2nd overall
Amateur: Jeremiah Ochsner
PCC: Kelly Neal

Lady: Dakota Overland
Junior: Logan Toland
Senior: Tony Holmes
Super Senior: Jerry Miculek, 3rd overall

For complete Zombie Match results visit https://practiscore.com/results/new/137200.

“We look forward to this match every year,” said Jeremy Millard, Hornady Engineer and Match Director. “Competitors from many different states travel to this match because they enjoy the environment, stages and camaraderie,” Millard added.

“The Zombie Match would simply not be possible without the help of our amazing volunteers” said Steve Hornady, President. “In addition, all of the sponsors that donate to this match – thank you. We had a prize table valued at $130,000 this year, that’s incredible,” Hornady added.

Zombies in the Heartland Highlights Video. This well-made 2017 video is worth watching! This video offers Shooter’s POV views of many stages including full auto:

zombies heartland 2021

ZOMBIES HEARTLAND 2021

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June 10th, 2021

Indoor Range Shooting — Tips for a Better, Safer Experience

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report
Photo courtesy Silver Eagle Group Shooting Range, Northern Virginia.

Over 8 million Americans purchased their first firearm, typically handguns, over the last year and a half. These first-time gun owners definitely need to train with their new guns. In addition, all CCW permit holders should definitely practice regularly. For many, pistol practice is an indoor experience. Indoor ranges are most convenient for those who live near urban centers, where the biggest threats to public safety currently exist. This article talks about indoor firearms training and the proper procedures you should follow at indoor ranges.

This Video Covers Basic Gun Range Safety Rules and Etiquette

FIVE IMPORTANT SAFETY PROCEDURES for Indoor Ranges

1. Follow the Three Fundamental Rules for Safe Gun Handling
ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

2. Follow ALL Range Officer Instructions
ROs are the first and final authority on any range and their decisions are generally final. Arguing with a Range Officer may just get you thrown out.

3. Don’t Bother Others or Touch Their Guns
Respect other shooters’ privacy unless a safety issue arises. Do NOT engage other shooters to correct a perceived safety violation unless absolutely necessary – inform the RO instead. NEVER handle or touch another shooter’s firearm without their permission!

4. Know Your Range’s Rules
Review and understand any and all range rules and requirements/expectations. For example, what is the range’s maximum rate of fire? Are you allowed to collect your brass?

5. Know What To Do During a Cease Fire
IMMEDIATELY set down your firearm, pointed downrange, and STEP AWAY from the shooting booth (or bench). Range Officers do not want shooters trying to “secure/unload” their firearms in a cease fire situation — they want the shooters separated from their guns instantly.

NSSF indoor range survey pistol shooters Southwick Associates range report

BAD RANGE BEHAVIOR — Five Things NOT to Do at the Range

Here are the five worst behaviors we’ve seen at indoor ranges. These behaviors are both dangerous and inconsiderate. Any one of these behaviors can get you permanently banned from an indoor range.

1. Sweeping other individuals after loading a weapon behind the firing line is very bad. All your weapons should be empty until you reach your shooting station.

2. Turning the handgun sideways while trying to clear a malfunction or insert/remove a magazine. This will point the muzzle at a fellow shooter. Or, after shooting a gun, the shooter fails to clear the weapon and then places the gun somewhere near the shooting station with the muzzle in an unsafe position.

3. Reacting unpredictably when firing a high recoil handgun. We’ve seen people take a second shot by accident with the muzzle way off target.

4. Not obeying range commands — in particular continuing to shoot during called cease-fires.

5. Poorly aimed shooting that hits target frames or carriers, causing ricochets.

Double-Up on Hearing Protection When Shooting Indoors
When shooting indoors we recommend quality muffs with earplugs underneath, offering double protection. When inside an enclosed range, with other shooters blasting away right next to you, you really need effective hearing protection. But you also need to hear range commands and be able to communicate. That’s why we recommend electronic muffs with plugs underneath.

indoor range survey results NSSF

For pistol shooting, we like the latest Howard Leight Impact Pro Muffs. These offer an impressive 30 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). In addition, these muffs are pretty comfortable and offer Headphone Functionality so you can connect to your smartphone, MP3 player, or other audio device. These muffs are a good value. These are an Amazon’s Choice for $56.35.

Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Muffs NRR 30

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June 9th, 2021

Iron Man Silhouette Event at Montana’s Deep Creek Range

Erich Mietenkorte silhouette shooting Missoula Montana Deep Creek

Ace silhouette shooter Erich Mietenkorte (Team SK/Lapua) offers this report from Montana. Erich took top honors in Centerfire Silhouette (both standard and hunter rifle), while earning a first and second in the rimfire classes. Here is Erich’s report:

There’s a reason they call it the “Iron Man” Regional Silhouette Championship — shooting eight rifle matches over two days is no easy task! The four smallbore matches on Saturday were met with very windy conditions but I was able to shoot through it to finish 1st in standard rifle and 2nd in hunter rifle.

Erich Mietenkorte silhouette shooting Missoula Montana Deep Creek

Erich Mietenkorte silhouette shooting Missoula Montana Deep CreekGreat Conditions for Centerfire Matches
The wind died down on Sunday and we had great conditions for the High Power rifle events (bolt-action centerfire). Four matches later I finished first in both standard and hunter rifle classes. After the scores from all eight matches were totaled up, I finished first overall and won the “Iron Man” Aggregate trophy.

These results wouldn’t be possible without the amazing products from SK Ammunition, Lapua, Berger Bullets, and Vihtavuori Powders. Thank you for your support!

Thanks to all of the people who put on a great match at the beautiful Deep Creek Range in Missoula, Montana. All of your hard work is truly appreciated!

Erich Mietenkorte silhouette shooting Missoula Montana Deep Creek

Erich Mietenkorte silhouette shooting Missoula Montana Deep Creek

Erich Mietenkorte silhouette shooting Missoula Montana Deep Creek

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
June 9th, 2021

Pre-Fit Solution — Don’t Waste Time with a Funky Factory Barrel

Savage Pre-Fit Criterion Barrel

Savage Criterion BarrelIn our Shooters’ Forum, you’ll find a lengthy thread about accuracy problems with a Savage LRPV, chambered in 6mmBR. The gun would repeatedly split groups at 100 yards, and at 300 yards, the “flyers” would open up the groups to 1.5 MOA or larger. Interestingly, the factory test target (at right) showed a split group — not a good sign.

The gun’s owner, forum member LR_Shooter, tried a variety of tweaks: “I did this, done that… [changed] torque, tang floated, bedded action, recut chamber, and [adjusted firing pin]”. But nothing really helped. Frustrated, LR_Shooter asked his fellow Forum members for help. Much advice was proffered, including the novel idea of removing the middle action screw in the Savage 3-screw target action. Some of the advice proved helpful, but none of the suggested remedies produced a major improvement. This rifle, out of the box, tossed flyers and no amount of tweaking (or changes in shooting technique) really cured the basic problem. That is, until, the factory barrel got replaced…

New Criterion Pre-Fit Barrel Works Wonders
LR_Shooter acquired a Criterion pre-fit barrel from Jim Briggs at Northland Shooters Supply (NSS). These pre-fits are designed for easy installation with the standard Savage barrel nut. Wouldn’t you know it, with a new 30″ heavy-contour barrel on the LRPV, the gun started shooting way better. No more crazy fliers, no more split groups, no more excessive vertical. And the improvement came without any other major modifications. LR_Shooter reports: “I got a replacement barrel from Jim at NSS. It is a 30″ bull Criterion barrel. So far, without playing with torque screws and having my old setup… I’m very satisfied with the barrel I got. Now I have no problem getting [groups] under 0.25 MOA. Finally this thing can shoot!” The targets below, shot with the new Criterion barrel, speak for themselves. The left target was shot at 100 yards, while the target on the right was shot at 300 yards (very impressive).

Targets Shot with Savage LRPV Fitted with Criterion Barrel
Savage Criterion Barrel

Read Thread on Savage Accuracy Issues Fixed By Criterion Barrel

Moral of the Story — Sometimes A New Barrel Really Is the Right Solution
All of us have struggled at times with a rifle that won’t live up to expectations. This Editor personally struggled for over a year with a .260 Rem Savage with a factory tube. The gun tended to split groups and the POI walked as the barrel heated. I tried one powder/primer combination after another, working through a variety of seating depths over many months. I was persistent. Out of stubbornness, I just believed that sooner or later I’d find the magic load.

Well folks, sometimes there’s really nothing you can do about a sub-par barrel. It is what it is. To really improve a gun’s accuracy (particularly a gun with a factory tube), you may need to open your wallet and get a quality aftermarket barrel. Spending months trying one recipe after another may simply be an overwhelming waste of powder, bullets, and your precious time.

Albert Einstein supposedly said: “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” Well that sort of describes my efforts with my .260 Rem. Once I had enough evidence that my barrel split groups no matter what load combo (and seating depth) I tried, it was time to pony up for a new barrel. When I did finally screw on a nice PacNor 3-groove SuperMatch, that Savage suddenly became a true tack-driver. As re-chambered in 6mmBR with the Pac-Nor, in calm conditions, my Savage will now consistently shoot in the twos with heavy bullets, and it can sometimes dip down into the ones with Berger 80gr flat-base bullets. The moral of the story here is simple — don’t waste weeks or months chasing your tail with a barrel that just won’t deliver (after a reasonable amount of testing). Save up for a custom barrel, get it chambered properly, and stop your cycle of frustration.

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