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March 1st, 2011

New AR-Comp Powder from Alliant — Details Revealed

AR-Comp Alliant PowderHere’s the latest info on Alliant’s new AR-Comp powder. We had a chance to talk with Dick Quesenberry of Alliant, who revealed more details about this new propellant. First, Dick explained that AR-Comp is an advanced re-formulation of Reloder 15, a double-base Bofors powder. There are changes to internal and external chemistry to provide much better pressure/velocity stability across a wide range of temperatures.

AR-Comp Offers Uniform Velocities over a Wide Temp Range
Tests were done with .223 Rem and .308 Win ammo, loaded with AR-Comp and maintained at temps from -20° F to +160° F in a controlled test center. The ammo itself was heated or cooled to targeted temps before testing. Across that entire range of temperature, -20° F to +160° F, the ammo loaded with AR-Comp showed a variation of only 20 fps in muzzle velocity. The primary bullet type tested was a 77gr .224 bullet and the secondary was a 175gr .308 bullet.

Burn Rate Like Varget: Though this is a reformulation of Reloder 15, the burn rate of AR-Comp is slightly faster than Reloder 15. Alliant told us: “Reloder 15 is slightly slower, in burn rate, than Varget. The new AR-Comp, with the enhancements, ended up slightly faster than Reloder 15, so it is now very close to Varget in burn rate”. This is the result of the “tuning” of the powder to be much less temp-sensitive.

Meters Like Reloder 15: AR-Comp is a small-kernel, double-base extruded powder like Reloder 15, so it will continue to meter just like Reloder 15. The load density should be the same as Reloder 15.

Loaded Ammo: We asked if any manufacturer will be using AR-Comp in loaded ammo. Dick told us that he is “not allowed to release that information at this time”. Draw your own conclusions, but remember that Alliant is owned by ATK, which makes Federal rifle ammo.

Available in Summer 2011: Allliant hopes to ship AR-Comp in “June or July” of 2011, provided the DOT Classification process moves at a normal schedule. The powder is ready to go, Alliant is just waiting on the DOT to provide shipping authorization.

Reloder 15 Will Stay in Production: Fans of Alliant’s Reloder 15 don’t need to worry. Alliant will keep Reloder 15 in production. “We don’t drop powder lines”, said Quesenberry.

AR-Comp First in Series of New Alliant Temp-Stable Powders
Alliant has been working on AR-Comp for quite some time. This represents a major evolution for Alliant’s powder line. AR-Comp will be the first in a series of “new generation” temp-stable powders from Alliant. Quesenberry noted: “Our goal was to provide a powder that offers stable pressures in all temperatures. Shooters want to be able to stay with the same load in winter and in summer, in cold or in hot conditions.”

Quesenberry added: “We’ve been working on this quite a while. AR-Comp is the first example and we hope to extend this to other rifle powders. It’s a tough job. You have to balance the performance carefully. If you tweak it one way, say to improve the low temp performance, you lose something at the upper end. If you tweak it for the top end, you loose something at the bottom. You have to hit that balance. We worked very hard to do just that and we think shooters will be impressed with the results.”

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March 1st, 2011

Gander Mtn. Opens High-Tech Training Facility in Florida

Gander AcademyGander Mtn. has opened a 20,000 square-foot, high-tech firearms training facility in Lake Mary, Florida. The new Gander Mtn. Academy in Florida offers modern multi-media classrooms, live-fire ranges, a state-of-the-art “Virtual Range”, as well as interactive shooting simulators that let you test your skills in defensive scenarios. In the Academy’s high-tech virtual “V-Range™”, shooters can sharpen their skills and master their mechanics “without spending time and money firing endless rounds of expensive live ammo”.

V-Range™ Video

The virtual range (V-Range) is set up like a conventional firing line, but the targets are projection screens with 2,000,000 pixels per lane. You “shoot” with real pistols modified to fire laser beams, not bullets. Students can zoom the target screens to examine their results and then save their targets as digital image files (sent via email).

Virtual Simulators with ‘Real-Life’ Scenarios
Along with the V-Range, the Gander Mtn. Academy offers two high-tech simulators, the Pro V SIM 180™, and a 300-degree “surround” enclosure, the Pro V SIM 300™. Gander Mtn. Academy is the first and only firearms facility to offer this cutting-edge simulation technology to the public.

V-SIM 300

The V-SIM 180 and V-SIM 300 environments are designed to help you make quick decisions involving a wide range of real life situations. V-SIM 180 and V-SIM 300 training sessions cost $40 and $50 respectively for 30-minute time-blocks. The simulator scenarios run the gamut—from numerous self-defense options to a variety of situations commonly found while hunting and shooting outdoors. After the simulator session, participants can play back and review their performance (with instructor feedback) in video debriefing rooms equipped with Hi-Def monitors and performance-auditing software. Students can even upload video clips of their simulator sessions to YouTube.

More Gander Mtn. Academies Slated to Open Soon
The Florida Gander Mtn. Academy is the first of four high-tech training centers Gander Mtn. plans to open this year. The second location, in La Cross, Wisconsin, is slated to open in April, 2011. In summer, Gander Mtn. plans to open training Academies in Greensboro, North Carolina and Roanoke, Virginia. For more information, visit the Gander Academy Website, or call 1-888-5GANDER.

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