As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.

May 31st, 2007

New 6mm and 30-Cal Bullets from Clay Spencer

Recently, Jason Baney got hold of some of the new 103+ gr Spencer 6mm match bullets. Jason noted that these are some of the most consistent bullets he’s measured, and he hopes to test them soon at 1000 yards. We talked to Clay Spencer and Clay explained: “These bullets are so good because of the extra effort we put into making them–plus outstanding Niemi dies. We inspect each batch of jackets. If the jackets don’t meet my standards, they go back to J4. We also have very expensive pointing dies that do a superior job.”

Are the 103s available? Clay replied: “Right now we’re waiting on jackets, and I’ve got 9,000 bullets advanced-ordered. So folks will have to stand in line. But let me tell you, if I had 100,000 sitting here now, I could sell them all in a couple of days.” Clay does have 1400 6mm 95-grainers in stock that use the same design as the 103s, they are just scaled down. The first lots of the 103s were priced at $37.50/100, but Clay says the price will go up because jackets and cores have increased in price.

The big news is that Clay is working on a radical new 210gr long-range 30-caliber bullet, using completely new dies from Niemi. Clay reports: “We’ve produced the first 200 of these 210-grain 30s. Bobby Rosen will be testing them shortly. If these bullets shoot as well as we think, I’ll be committing to $11,500 in equipment and we’ll put the 30s in production. These 30s will be different than anything you can buy now–we’ve developed a new, shorter boat-tail design.”

Clay also produces 68gr 6mm match bullets, 52gr 22-caliber match bullets, and a 115gr 30-caliber bullet for the 30BR Score Shooters. For more info on the new 103+ gr 6mms, and the prototype 210gr 30-caliber projectile, visit Spencer Rifle Barrels, or call Clay Spencer at (434) 293-6836.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »
May 31st, 2007

NRA Nat'l Silhouette Championships

The 2007 NRA National Silhouette Championships will be held, from June 2 to August 22, over a number of weekends, at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM. The first set of matches, for Long Range Pistol and Smallbore (rimfire) pistol, will run June 2-9. Other National Champrionship matches are scheduled as follows:

Jul. 8-10 Smallbore Rifle | Smallbore Hunting Rifle

Jul. 12-14 High Power Rifle | High Power Hunting Rifle

Aug. 6-9 Black Powder Cartridge Rifle

Aug. 10-11 Black Powder Cartridge Rifle—Scope

Aug. 13-16 Cowboy Rifle

Aug. 19-22 Hunter’s Pistol | Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol

Entry forms and programs are available from NRA Competitive Shooting Division, Attn: Silhouette Dept., 11250 Waples Mill Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030. Be sure to include your complete mailing address and specify which championship you wish to enter. You can also call (703) 267-1474, send a fax to (703) 267-3941, or e-mail For more information on silhouette shooting see: Rifle Silhouette Shooting, and

Permalink Competition No Comments »
May 30th, 2007

6mm Match Bullet Diameters

There’s been some controversy surrounding the “ideal” 6mm bullet diameter. This is compounded by the fact that 6mm match barrels are available with both .236″ and .237″ land diameters. It has become quite clear to us that bullet diameter is an important variable to consider when choosing the best projectile for your particular barrel. Some barrels prefer “fat” bullets while other barrels prefer “skinny” bullets.

Jason Baney recently took the time to measure 12 different sets of 6mm Match Bullets, including a couple different lots of the same bullet design. Interestingly, Jason did measure the “old” Berger 105 VLD, the “new” Berger 105 VLD (first lot from the new die), and the “new, improved” Berger 105 VLD from the new die, after it was polished. Ten (10) Bullets were measured per type. Each bullet was measured three times (3X) around the largest circumference, normally where a pressure ring would be located (some bullets have a pronounced pressure ring, others do not).

6mm bullet diameters

Download this CHART as an MS Word Document.

Columns one and two of the chart show the smallest and largest bullet diameters measured for each 10-bullet sample. The third column shows the extreme spread over each 10-bullet set. Note, these numbers are NOT averages, but represent the “low” and “high” diameters for each set. (FYI: Jason noted that while the Lapua Scenars measured very consistently the earlier 2005 “JEVDAK” lot had noticeably smaller meplats than the current 2007 lot.) A Mitutoyo Micrometer was used, zero-checked for each bullet.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip No Comments »
May 30th, 2007

MidwayUSA Tumbler just $29.99

If you don’t have a vibratory tumbler yet, here’s a real bargain. Now through the end of June, 2007, MidwayUSA is selling its “Quick-N-EZ Tumbler”, item #587176, for just $29.99. At that price you can afford one of these just as a dedicated bullet-coater or parts cleaner. Most of the user reviews have been very positive, though some folks felt the older-style pumpkin-shaped bowl provided better agitation. Personally we think the wide-mouth bowl with clear top is a great idea. This lets you see the “work in progress” without having to unscrew the top. Click HERE for product reviews.

MidwayUSA bullet brass case tumbler

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
May 30th, 2007

Berger Plans New Load Manual

Berger Bullets plans to release a new Loading Manual at the 2008 Shot Show. This book, a collaboration between Walt Berger and writer Richard Mann, will include some of the history of Berger Bullets as well as load information. This is the first time Walt Berger’s load data has ever been published and the first time the story of Walt Berger and his bullets has been put in print. In the new book, Walt will cover many topics including the development of J4 Jackets and the VLD bullet, and how the bench rest world championships were started. Whether you’re a benchrest shooter, a big game hunter, or a collector of outdoor books, this new reference should be of great interest.

Permalink News No Comments »
May 29th, 2007

Super Shoot Final Results

The overall winner of the Super Shoot was Steve Robbins, topping a field of 346 competitors. Steve won the Two-Gun with a “Low Two” agg. Congrats Steve! His winning rig (built by Dwight Scott) featured a BAT Machines action, Scoville stock, Krieger barrel, March scope. He was shooting Bart’s Ultra bullets pushed by Vihtavuori N133 powder.

Lowell Hottenstein was second in the Two-Gun. Lowell also won the LV Grand Agg. Kent Harshman won the HV Grand Aggregate. Congrats to Kent Harshman for an impressive showing in challenging conditions. Steve Robbins was runner-up in the HV Grand Agg and HV 200.

HV Grand Agg Top 10:

3. LEE EUBER .2307
4. GENE BUCKYS .2443
5. JOE KRUPA .2457
6. DAVE BRUNO .2463
10. BART SAUTER .2555

Top 5 Shooters in the HV 200 were:

1. JOEL NADER .2195
4. GENE BUCKYS .2495
5. DAVE BRUNO .2536

Bob Hesotian had .199 Small Group.

Note, for the 200 yard scores, the actual average group size (in inches) is divided by two. Then this is combined with the 100-yard score for the Grand Aggregate.

Permalink Competition No Comments »
May 29th, 2007

Range Carts for Competition

Highpower shooters have a bunch of gear to carry to the firing line–pad, shooting jacket, scope stand, spotting scope, ammo, log-book and rifle(s). If you’re shooting F-Class, add a heavy front rest and 15-lb sand-bag to the list. A range cart makes life much easier, particularly if the shooting area’s a long way from the parking lot. Creedmoor Sports makes a folding range cart that is very popular with the iron sights crowd. This unit features 14″ ball-bearing wheels and the frame is made from solid aluminum–not lightweight tubing that can bend or crack. Lift a simple locking lever and the cart folds. The cart can be completely dis-assembled, without tools, to fit in a suitcase (collapsed size 30″ x 17″ x 8″). The Creedmoor cart retails for $499.00, and that includes a rifle case, tray, and rain-cover. The rifle case doubles as a rack/holster.

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart

Creedmoor Sports Range Cart

If $499.00 isn’t in the budget, or you’d like to build your own range cart with a lockable storage compartment, you should look at the carts used by Cowboy Action shooters. These wooden carts are heavy, but they provide a stable platform for multiple guns and a nice, solid perch for sitting. There are many do-it-yourself designs available. One of our favorites is the GateSlinger cart shown below. This well-balanced design breaks down into two pieces for transport. Click Here for cart plans, and read this “How-to Article” for complete instructions with many photos.

wooden range cart Gateslinger

The least expensive way to go is to purchase a Dolly (Hand Truck) at Harbor Freight, or a large warehouse store such as Home Depot. Make sure to get one with wheels at least 10″ in diameter, or you’ll have problems in rough terrain. The bigger the wheels the better. Normally you can find dollies for under $30.00. Just bolt a large box or milk crate to the bottom, and voilà, instant range cart. You can clamp a piece of wood at the top with slots for barrels on one side and a flat tray for ammo on the other. Use bungee cord or leather straps to hold the barrels in place. Having built a couple all-wood range carts (both collapsible and one-piece), this editor can assure you that starting with an inexpensive welded hand truck is the cheapest, simplest way to go overall. You can buy oversize, spoked wheels from (From the Northern Tool home page, search for “spoked wheels”.)

Permalink Gear Review No Comments »
May 28th, 2007

Memorial Day–Remember the Fallen

Permalink News No Comments »
May 27th, 2007

6BRX Barrel Life and Long-Term Accuracy

For the past year, Forum member John Skowron (John708) has been campaigning a 6BRX, built by Nat Lambeth (RustyStud). You’ll find the full history of John’s 6BRX project in this Forum Thread. With this rifle, John was the overall 1000-yard winner at Butner in February 2007.

6BRX 6BR improved

The 6mm BRX is based on the 6mm BR cartridge. The shoulder is moved forward, but the shoulder angle and case taper is the same as the parent cartridge. This way you can use standard dies for most purposes (although it is a good idea to have a custom full-length die so you can size the entire case body). Many of our readers have been interested in the 6mm Improved (BRX, Dasher etc.), but they’ve wondered about case durability and barrel life. John has answers for those questions:

6BRX Case Life
Case life running the Berger 105s at 3000+ fps is 14-15 reloads. Brass was discarded when the primer pockets became too loose. The 6BRX brass OAL after fireforming is 1.56″. Max OAL for the 6BRX is 1.58″. The brass never stretched enough to require trimming before discard. Anouther plus for the 6BRX and Lapua brass.

By the way don’t even bother with Remington-brand 6BR brass. The primer pockets were so loose after my standard fire-forming load I had to trash all the cases. Stick with the good stuff, Lapua.

6BRX Barrel Life
I now have 2570 rds through my 6mm BRX. I was just at the range today doing an accuracy test. I shot two 10-shot groups at 100 yards, one with 105gr Bergers, and the other with 107gr Sierras. Both were identical 0.44″ groups. Not bad for a rifle with 2500+ rounds through it.

Achieving this barrel life goal pretty much completes my 6mm BRX project. I’m now shooting a cartridge that has the same or better barrel life than the 260 Rem, it’s more accurate, with essentially equal wind drift. I’ll continue to post updates on barrel life. I think this barrel will last for another several hundred rounds.

Heavier Bullets
As far as shooting the DTAC 115s goes, I’ve temporarily abandoned that effort. The 105 Bergers, running 3050-3100 fps, give up very little wind drift to the 115s running at 2900-2950 fps. You might potentially get 3000 fps with the 115s using H4350 and throating the chamber to seat the bullets out. But since I very happy with the 105s and the way they’re performing at long range, I’m not going to change for now. [Editor’s Note: The Berger 105s in John’s latest reports were lot #559, from Berger’s new die.]

Permalink Tech Tip 4 Comments »
May 27th, 2007

Great Source for Used Precision Rifles, Scopes, Dies, Tools

How would you like to walk into a gunstore and find hundreds of quality, custom-built BR rifles, dozens of high-end scopes at 30-50% off new prices, plus mountains of premium reloading tools and accessories at bargain prices? Well, this isn’t a fantasy. Such a place really exists–it’s Bob White’s Shooters’ Corner in Lake Hopatcong, NJ, (973) 663-5159.

shooters corner the list

Bob maintains “The List” on the internet, an amazing inventory of Benchrest and Varmint rifles, plus assorted gear and accessories. And Bob is always adding new inventory. Here are a few samples (all subject to prior sale):

B6. 6PPC Light Varmint, Stolle Panda R/L action; 4 Krieger bbls w/.262 nk, 1 under 200 rnds, 3 others 1500-3000 rnds; Edge Mod fiberglass glue-in stock; Kelbly 3oz trig; Gunsmith: Hammond Rifles; 98% cond. This rifle has shot screamer grps, a teen agg & has won rookie of the year. $2375. w/best bbl; add’l bbls $100. ea.

B4. 30 Goodling 1000 Yd Hvy, 600/1000 yd gun in Imp 300 Wby Mag cal, Bat 8½” Mod “M” w/ejector R/L action; 30” Broughton 10”T bbl, 5R rifling, 1.35 dia w/.334 nk under 300 rnds; Shehane Tracker (African Obeche Lam) stock w/pillar glassbedding; Jewell 2oz trig; includes Bat 30MM scope mnts, custom Goodling dies & 50 loaded ctgs; Gunsmith: Sid Goodling; 99% cond. A sharp potential long range winner at a bargain price. $2395. ($3400. invested)

B21. 6PPC Light Varmint, Viper R/L action; 2 Shilen bbls w/.262 nk under 500 & c.275-300 rnds; Bruno/McMillan fiberglass glue-in stock; Jewell 2oz trig; Gunsmith: Stevens Accuracy; exc cond. A competitive rig using state of the art components at a good price. $2099.

V2. 6BR Remington 40X LH, Mod 40X-KS L/L action; factory 27¼” SS bbl w/10” twist .266 nk under 50 rnds; McMillan fiberglass stock w/factory glassbedding; 40X 2½ lb trig; includes Leupold 1” mnts w/lapped rings & cases; as new w/factory papers in orig case. An excellent caliber & shooter about new. $1895. (a $2300. value)

V16. 6MM Rem Custom Varmint, Rem 700 R/R action converted to single shot, action completely trued w/oversize recoil lug; Shilen SS match 26” bbl w/muzzlebrake c.300 rnds; factory lam wood bolt-in stock, pillar glassbedded w/filled magazine area; Jewell 8oz trig w/safety; inclu loaded rnds & load data; Gunsmith: B. White; 98% cond. An extremely accurate varminter which lets you see your hits. $949. (over $1850 invested)

V25. 22 BR Carry Varminter, Rem 700 action, Shilen SS match bbl 24” cryoed #4 contour w/.247 nk c.400 rnds, factory wood stock w/pillar glassbedding, factory Rem trig 2lb, inclu Leupold scope mnts & c.100 loaded ctgs, Gunsmith: Kelbly, Inc, exc cond. This 7¾ lb beauty gives 4100 fps w/40 grain bullets, $795, (Redding comp die set avail, $125.)

Plus there are listings for scopes, rests, dies, bullet-making gear, even reloading books and magazines. If you are interested in a new precision BR or Varmint rifle, or you’re looking for a great deal on gear, check out “The List”.

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
May 26th, 2007

Neck Chamfering and Bullet Jackets

Shaving bullet jackets is a problem reloaders encounter from time to time. It can be caused by excessive neck tension, burrs on the case mouth, or over-aggressive chamfering that leaves a ragged edge on the case mouth. Larry Medler discovered some rounds where the bullet jackets were getting shaved. Diagnosing the problem, he found that this was caused by his outside neck chamfer. He was using a powered screwdriver to rotate the case, and over-cutting plus tool chatter was causing the case neck to roll inwards. This created a thin, sharp edge that actually cut into the bullet jacket as the bullet was being seated.

bullet jacket shavingneck chamfering

Larry has a Load Force 250 measuring instrument that records the dynamic bullet seating force and displays the results on a computer screen. Larry noted that spikes in seating force were associated with the cases where the bullets were shaved. Inspecting the cases, Larry realized what was happening. Chamfering the outside after doing the inside allowed his tools to cut too much. Combined with tool chatter, this actually created a sharp, ragged edge that rolled inward towards the bullet: “I discovered I had rolled the case mouth rim inward while deburring the outer edge. When deburring the case mouth on the outside edge, every now and then I could hear some tool chatter. The effects of this chatter really show in the picture.”

bullet seating force

The above chart shows the dynamic bullet seating force for the bullet with the shaved jacket. Note the large initial force used to cut and scratch the bullet outer surfaces. The final seating force of 47 pounds is just before the Wilson Seating Die bottoms out and the force on the load cell jumps. The chart below shows normal bullet seating force.

bullet seating force

As a fix, Larry decided to reverse the neck deburring operations. Now he deburrs the outside first. This reduces tool chatter and prevents the edge from rolling over, because the neck thickness has not been thinned by inside chamfering. While Larry uses a powered screwdriver to speed his case processing, the lesson applies to those who chamfer manually as well–do the outside first and never overcut.

Remember, you simply want to remove burrs and create a slight chamfer. You don’t want to thin the brass significantly at the case mouth. This is why it is important to be very careful when using a deep-angle cutter such as the K&M inside neck chamferer. Click HERE to read Larry’s full report on neck chamfering, with more details on use of the Load Force 250 measuring instrument. Using device such as this, or a K&M arbor press equipped with a seating force gauge, will help you diagnose problems with your neck tension and reloading procedures.

Permalink Reloading No Comments »
May 26th, 2007

Free Muffs with .204 Ruger Brass

Here’s a nice offer from Midsouth Shooters Supply for varminters who shoot the .204 Ruger. If you buy two 50-count boxes of Hornady .204 Ruger brass, Midsouth will give you a FREE pair of Silencio RBW71 Hearing Protectors. These NRR 25-rated muffs are “Hornady Red” with Hornady’s logo imprinted on the side. The muffs normally sell for about $10.00. The brass, Midsouth item 003-8604, costs just $21.03 per box of 50. Act soon, supplies are limited.

Hornady Ruger .204 Brass

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
May 25th, 2007

Texas Long-Range Rifle Championship

On May 26th and 27th, the Texas State Rifle Association’s (TSRA) Long Range State Championship will be held at the Ft. Wolters Shooting Sports Club in Mineral Wells, TX, 76067. Call Dick Curry at (817) 475-3189 or email curr320[at] for more information. This match will be for Palma Class, F-Class Open, F-Class T/R, and on Sunday afternoon there will be an Any Sights/Any Rifle competition. Past U.S. F-Class Champion Jeff Cochran (photo below) and many other top shooters will be at this match. The course of fire consists of NRA targets at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. Click HERE for an article describing the basics of long-range matches of this type and the different rifle classifications.

Jeff Cochran F-Class

Texas State Rifle Association TSRA

Permalink News No Comments »
May 25th, 2007

Expander Tool for New Brass

Lapua brass is so good that you’ll be tempted to just load and shoot, if you have a “no-turn” chamber. However, some minimal case prep will ensure more uniform neck tension. This will produce better accuracy, more consistent bullet seating, and lower Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation (ES/SD). Lapua brass, particularly 6BR, 6.5×47, .243 Win and .308 Win comes from the factory with tighter-than-optimal necks. Before you seat bullets, at a minimum, you should inside chamfer the case mouths, after running an expander mandrel down the necks. The expander mandrels from both Sinclair and K&M will both leave the necks with enough neck tension (more than .001″) that you can then seat bullets without another operation. Put a bit of lube on the mandrel before running it down the necks–but remove any lube that gets inside the necks before seating bullets.

Both Sinclair and K&M Tools make a die body specifically to hold expander mandrels. The Sinclair version, item NT-EXP, is shown below. This $17.90 unit fits caliber-specific expander mandrels ($7.95) which measure approximately .001″ less than bullet diameter for each caliber. Once you run the Sinclair expander mandrel down the necks of Lapua brass, after you account for brass spring-back, you’ll have about .002″ neck tension. This will make the process of seating bullets go much more smoothly, and you will also iron out any dents in the case mouths. Once the case mouths are all expanded, and uniformly round, then do your inside neck chamfering/deburring. The same expander mandrels can be used to “neck-up” smaller diameter brass, or prepare brass for neck-turning. Note: an alternative to this procedure is to full-length size every case with an expander ball in place, prior to loading. That works too, but many reloaders may prefer to simply expand the necks, when using Lapua brass.

Sinclair Expander Tool Mandrel

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
May 25th, 2007

Super Shoot Daily Results

Kelbly’s Firearms Industry Super Shoot (FISS), one of the most important Benchrest matches in the world, is running this week in North Lawrence, OH. Here are preliminary “Top 10″ results. Scheduled matches are: LV 100 Wednesday, HV 100 Thursday, HV 200 Friday, and LV 200 Saturday. On Wednesday there were excellent conditions. It was hot (90° F), but there were mild winds, mostly left to right. On Thursday conditions were similar but “but the Agg’s were smaller and more 0’s shot. Wind picked up around 1 and didnt let up” according to JDS, posting on

Day 1 — Light Varmint 100 yards
2. Lowell Hottenstein .1932
4. LARRY COSTA .2116
5. JAMES MOCK .2128
9. ALLIE EUBER .2266
Small Group by Ron Hoehn, .091
Day 2 — Heavy Varmint 100 yards
1. BILL GAMMON .1594
3. LEE EUBER .1894
5. JOE KRUPA .1920
6. LARRY COSTA .2062
10T. JEFF STOVER .2212
Small Group by Lee Euber, .072
Permalink Competition No Comments »