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December 16th, 2012

Eley Opens New Rimfire Test Facility in Texas

Rimfire-ammo maker ELEY Ltd. recently opened a new test facility in Winters, Texas. On hand for the opening ceremony were triple Olympic Medal Winner Matt Emmons and 2012 Gold medal Winner Jamie Gray. Other notable shooters at the opening included legendary Olympian Lones Wigger and husband and wife team Sandra and Eric Uptagrafft. Media and industry were represented by NRABlog editor Chip Lohman, Corrie West of USA Shooting, and staff from Shilen Barrels and Stiller’s Precision Firearms.

Eric Uptagrafft praised Eley’s new facility: “To see this come to fruition is very exciting. It shows the level of support and dedication that Eley has as a partner of USA Shooting. I expect this will create a huge advantage for our team and our abilities to diligently do the testing that is required being an elite-level shooter.” Jamie Gray concurred: “It’s good to have a test range of this caliber in the United States because it makes it easier for [American shooters] to get out and test-fire more often. It’s easier for us to bring our guns to Texas than take them overseas, especially in England.”

Eley has invested heavily in the new two-lane test facility which allows pistol, rifle, and benchrest rimfire shooters to test their firearms with ELEY rimfire ammunition. Eley’s new Texas facility allows lot-by-lot batch testing to be done in the USA for the first time. Batch testing used to be limited to the UK, at ELEY’s Head Office. Earlier this year ELEY opened their second range in Stuttgart, Germany and now the third Winters, Texas. The facility will have the ability to test both .22 Rifles and Pistols with electronic target systems and advanced group-measuring software. All three Eley Test Centers have two 50-meter lanes for testing .22 Rifles and Free Pistols. The USA and Germany ranges also allow testing of Free Pistols and Rapid Fire Pistols at 25m.

Meanwhile, Out in Arizona….
We’re pleased that Eley has opened a two-lane facility in the USA. That’s great for shooters. But the new Eley facility is limited to 50m (fifty meters) maximum. By contrast, the new state-of-the-art Lapua Rimfire Service Center in Mesa, Arizona has the ability to record results at 50m AND 100m simultaneously. As your shots pass through special sensor grids positioned at both 50m and 100m, Lapua plots your group size at both distances during on the same string of fire. We think that’s a huge advantage for Lapua’s Arizona Test Center compared to Eley’s Texas facility. Another difference is that at Eley you can only test Tenex ammunition while at Mesa, you can test all types of Lapua rimfire ammo from the top of the line to the more economical products. That’s another significant advantage for the Lapua operation. But it’s great that American shooters now have a choice of two rimfire testing facilities within our national borders.

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December 16th, 2012

NECO Offers 6.5mm Match Bullets — New Solids and Normas

NECO a vendor of specialty reloading products include QuickLOAD software, recently revealed some impressive 6.5 mm bullet offerings — a new CNC-turned solid brass 107gr bullet and the hard-to-find Norma 130gr bullet (in both naked and moly-coated versions).

Solid Brass DaVinci 6.5mm Bullets
Solid Brass Neco Da Vinci bullet 6.5mmThe new solid brass NECO DaVinci Match Grade 6.5mm burner is an interesting High BC VLD-style design. Precision-machined on Swiss CNC machines, these bullets show exceptional dimensional and weight uniformity. And you won’t ever need to “tip” these bullets. The DaVinci 107-grainers feature a precision-drilled drilled hollow point and machined meplat. The DaVinci 107s are made from high-grade free machining brass. This is softer than copper but much harder and more durable than lead. If you’re wondering about the milled grooves in the body of the bullet, those are there to reduce the bearing surface area — a common design feature on solids. NECO is claiming: “Great lubricity resulting in less pressure than a solid copper or a jacketed bullet.” We haven’t tested this milled bullets yet but we hope to try them out soon in a 6.5×47 we have in the works. Initial tests by the manufacturer have soon good accuracy.

Thanks to a promotional offer from NECO, these new .264 caliber, 107gr bullets are more affordable than most other lathe-turned designs. Now through January 14, 2013, a 100-ct box of solid brass DaVinci 6.5mm bullets is $75.00. That’s not cheap, but it’s not outrageous when you considers some jacketed match bullets now run close to $50.00 per box. Currently only 107gr DaVincis are for sale, but NECO plans to offer 120gr 6.5mm solids in the future.

Norma 6.5mm 130gr Match Bullets
Norma 130 grain golden target bullet 6.5mmIn Europe, High Power-style shooting with 6.5mm rifles is extremely popular. In Germany and throughout Scandinavia, thousands of shooters compete in matches with 6.5×55 target rifles, notably the Sauer STR 200. One of the most popular projectiles is Norma’s 130gr match bullet. NECO now sells this bullet design in both naked (Golden Target) and moly-coated (Diamond Line) versions. Diamond Line 130s are moly-coated by Norma at the factory under license with NECO.

Both naked and coated Norma 130-grainers are affordable, priced at $34.95 per 100ct box, or $164.95 per 500ct box. Shooters have praised Norma’s 6.5mm 130gr match bullets. Check out these user reviews from

“Bullet has an excellent Litz G7 BC and a shorter ogive than the 130gr Bergers, making them more magazine friendly. Experience in my 26″ 1:8 barrel shows peak accuracy around 2900 fps with H4350, with another small node around 2960 fps.” — Paul, Sellersberg, IN

“Bought a box of 500 since the Berger 130s were in short supply due to competition season. First impressions: very well made, consistent weight, ogive, and bearing length. Loaded some up for my Savage 6.5×47 Bartlein 1:8″-twist 28″ and during load development at 200 yards I could shoot very small groups… with .409″ nice 5-shot clusters on a windy day. They seem to like just kissing the lands and you do not have to hot-rod them. Will buy another box of 500, these are very good mid range competition bullets and will use them in my next club match. Highly recommend!” — Steve, Nashville, TN

To see a 6.5×55 Sauer STR 200 rifle in action, watch the video. In this ‘Stangskyting’ competition, shooters have just 25 seconds to hit the target [at] 200-300m distance as many times as possible. In the video, a shooter named Børklop, using his Sauer STR 200, puts 16 rounds on target in just 25 seconds. (He starts with a round in the chamber and cycles through three, 5-round magazines). Børklop’s performance, with just a sling and iron sights, is impressive. Note that Børklop manipulates the Sauer’s bolt with his thumb and index finger, while pulling the trigger with his middle finger.

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions
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December 16th, 2012

Lesters Ammunition — “It Usually Works”

Looking for an amusing gift for your best shooting buddy, or a “conversation starter” to hang on the wall of your local shooting facility or club-house? Consider a frameable parody print from Blue Loon Fine Arts or a “retro-style” tin sign from Both vendors offer art that harkens back to outdoor hunting illustrations from the 1920s and 1930s. But when you look carefully, you’ll see there’s a twist that will leave art-viewers chuckling.

Lesters ammunition art

Among Blue Loon’s Golden Age Parodies are faux advertising sheets for “Lesters Ammunition”. Potential buyers of “America’s Cheapest Ammunition” are assured that “It Usually Works”. Well, that’s comforting. There is also a British version for “Lesters — The Empire’s Cheapest Ammunition”, illustrating a well-fed lion. These are offered as full-size wall posters or magazine-size framed prints, starting at $95.00. (Note to Amy Bruno — You should get one of these for your father.)

Lesters ammunition art

Cheap Tin Signs sells a 12.5″ x 16″ retro-style tin sign printed with the Lesters Bear-Eats-Hunter scene. This vendor offers other parody-style tin signs that should bring a smile to your hunting and shooting buddies. In addition, Cheap Tin Signs offers dozens of other (non-parody) tin signs, with vintage 30s-style artwork for Colt Revolvers, Winchester Rifles, and Smith & Wesson pistols.

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