December 24th, 2019

Tips for Selling Firearms Online Through Auctions and Classifieds

Gunbroker shooters forum gun classified ads

online sales auctionsThese days, online gun Auctions and Classifieds attract more attention than ever. With so many folks accessing the internet daily, many gun owners find it easier to sell their firearms online rather than in the local gun store. Online selling opens up a much larger audience. With nearly 50,000 members in the AccurateShooter Forum, we have a very active gun Classifieds area. And then of course, there are the big dogs — Gunbroker and GunsAmerica. You’ll find tens of thousands of guns for sale on those big sites.

Before selling your stuff online, you should survey the major online sales and auction sites, comparing their fees and features. The costs are NOT all the same. For example, though you can list an item on Gunbroker for free, if the gun sells you may end up paying a LOT of money. Confirm this with the Gunbroker FEE Calculator. Using Gunbroker’s Fee Calculator we determined that, for a $2500.00 gun, the seller will pay $93.75 in fees! Yes, that’s for a single sale. That’s why many sellers prefer to list their rifles on Benchrest.com, or right here on AccurateShooter.com for FREE. Currently, basic members get five (5) free adverts in a 12-month period, while Gold and Silver members get unlimited classifieds for 12 months.

SEVEN TIPS for Selling Your Gear Online

1. Include Good, Sharp Photos: A custom rifle or expensive optic will sell two to three times as quickly, at a higher price, if you include good sharp photos. We can’t over-emphasize the importance of good photos. For all products, show multiple angles, and include the original boxes if you still have them. For a rifle, include detail shots as well as a photo of the complete gun.

2. Resize Your Photos Before Posting: Remember that many readers have monitors that only display 800-1000 pixels in screen width. We recommend you size your photos down to 600×480 pixels, or 800×600 at the most.

3. Be Fair and Complete in Your Description: Buyers appreciate honesty and thoroughness in product descriptions. Potential buyers want details. For a rifle, list the gunsmith, barrel-maker, round count, and provide the specifications. If the rifle has a winning competition history, say so. Always highlight the positives in your description, but you should disclose significant flaws. A buyer will be more willing to purchase if he thinks the seller is 100% honest.

4. Don’t Forget Contact Info: We’re amazed by how many adverts omit key contact info. In a forum classified ad, include a first name, e.g. “Ask for Dan.” We also suggest you list your residence city and state. Some buyers will prefer to buy from a seller in their home state. When communicating with a buyer, provide your phone number and email address. We recommend that all buyers and sellers actually talk live on the phone before concluding high-value deals.

5. Make the Price Attractive: Buyers, everywhere, are looking for good deals. If you want your item to move quickly, set the price accordingly and don’t expect top dollar. Check comparable listings and then discount by 10-15% if you want the item to move fast.

6. Include a Call to Action: Advertisements can be twice as effective if they include a “Call to Action”, i.e. a statement that directly inspires the potential buyer to respond. Sample calls to action are: “Free Shipping — today only.” Or, you can use a time limit: “Special Sale Price good ’til the end of the month”.

7. Always Follow ALL Applicable Laws: Even in states where private face-to-face gun sales are allowed, we recommend ALWAYS using an FFL for firearms transfers. This will protect YOU the seller. In addition, do your homework. Don.’t sell to a buyer in a city or state (such as California) state or city where the particular firearm (such as an AR15) may be restricted

Classified Advert vs. Auctions
For benchrest, F-Class, Silhouette, Tactical or High Power rifles, you may get the best results posting a For Sale ad on a Forum that caters to the right discipline. You want your ad to reach the right audience. On the other hand, a GunBroker.com auction will have tens of thousands of potential buyers. Realistically, however, if you price your rig attractively, it should sell quickly in a Forum Classified Advert. Plus with conventional Classifieds, you can sell immediately — you don’t have to wait for the auction to end. For scopes and reloading equipment (but not firearms, actions, barrels etc.), also consider eBay, which still allows many gun-related items.

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December 24th, 2019

Gun Books on Sale — Build Your Shooting Sports Library

Krause book reloading shooting midsouth resource

It’s the holiday season — there’s no better time to get a good gun book. Amazon has hundreds of great gun titles, while Midsouth Shooters carries a good selection line of shooting and reloading books, many of which are ON SALE this week. Looking for reliable reference works on reloading, or a gift for a shooting buddy? Check out the recommended titles below. Match directors take note — books make great match prizes. Paperback books cost no more than wood plaques but they will provide valuable information for years instead of just gathering dust in a closet. If your club offers training programs, Amazon and Midsouth offer many titles that will help new shooters improve their skills.

Midsouth carries Glen Zediker’s excellent books, including Handloading For Competition, the recent Top-Grade Ammo and other titles.

Glen Zediker Handloading for Competition Glen Zediker Top Grade Ammo

Here Are Some Good Reloading Manuals and Practical Titles:

Berger Bullets Reloading Load Manual Berger Bullets Reloading Load Manual
Lyman 50th Reloading Load Manual Competitive AR zediker
abcs of rifle shooting long range handbook cleckner
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December 23rd, 2019

Bargain Finder 222: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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. Midsouth Shooters — Christmas Gift Guide with 128 Deals

midsouth shooters hornady berger lyman .22 LR ammo reloading christmas holiday sale

Midsouth Shooters is running a big Holiday Sale right now. Save up to 30% on a wide variety of products — Optics, Reloading Presses, Ammo, Bullets, Powder Measures, Tools, Triggers — you name it. In total, you’ll find 128 great deals on Midsouth’s Christmas Gift Guide webpage. We’ve featured six of our favorites above, including 10% Off all Berger products in stock. NOTE: PrecisionReloading.com is also offering 10% Off Berger products through 12/29/2019.

2. Palmetto State Armory — SIG Scope AND RangeFinder $229.99

Sig Sauer Whiskey 3 III 3-9x40mm Kilo1000 1000 laser rangefinder

Great deal for hunters — get a SIG Sauer Whiskey III 3-9x40mm riflescope PLUS a SIG Kilo Laser RangeFinder for just $229.99. That’s right, get BOTH products for $229.99 — less than you might expect to pay for the scope by itself. The 3-9X scope features a QuadPlex reticle, while the Kilo Rangefinder has a 5X monocular, Angle Correction, and 4x per second Hyperscan ranging. Put the money you save into other gear to enhance your hunt (such as a Satellite GPS).

3. Stocky’s — Rem 700 Composite Stock with Accublock, $99.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

These stocks were the first run of Stocky’s Long Range Composite Sporters. There is nothing wrong with these “factory seconds” except the barrel channels are narrower than current versions, so you may have to open up the barrel channels a bit (simple task). On Sale for $99.99, these are an Amazing Bargain. Designed for Rem 700 and Rem clone actions, these LRC Sporter Stocks are constructed from a high-fiber composite with precision aluminum Accublock® chassis molded into the stock.

4. Sportsman’s Warehouse — RCBS & Hornady Sale, 25% Off

rcbs hornady sale

We’ve seen reloading sales before but never two major brands with 25% OFF for all items in stock. Head over to Sportsman’s Warehouse and take advantage of the big RCBS and Hornady 25% Off SALE. Think of the savings — on a Progressive Press, you can save $120 or more. On a Reloading Kit you can save $80+, and on a Powder Scale/Dispenser you can save $70 or more. Hundreds of items are on sale now. But act quickly — this sale will end soon.

5. Amazon — Teslong WiFi Borescope (iOS Apple and Android)

teslong digital borescope

The impressive Teslong digital borescope has been a huge success. Our Forum members have raved about this unit. This compact, electro-optical, cable-type borescope outputs sharp, high-resolution images and VIDEO to desktop computers, laptops, as well as Android tablets and smartphones. And now there is a NEW WiFi Version that works with Apple iPhones and iPads, as well as Android WiFi devices and tablets, and Amazon Fire tablets (with software upgrade). Get the Wifi Teslong for $74.99.

6. EuroOptic — End of 2019 Sales, Many Brands

eurooptic sale

EuroOptic.com is one of the very best source for quality scopes and rifles. And now EuroOptic is running a huge 2019 Year End Sale with truly outstanding bargains. There are rifles, handguns, and premium optics at deep discounts. Even premium Kahles, Leica, Swarovski, and Zeiss optics are deeply discounted. If you want top-of-the-line equipment at the lowest possible price, check out EuroOptic’s YEAR END SALE today.

7. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Ruger 9mm SR9 Pistol, $249.95

ruger sr9 9mm compact pistol handgun

We’ve shot the Ruger SR9 9mm pistol and we like the ergonomics MUCH better than a Glock. The SR9 is comfortable with a slim, ergonomic grip, reversible backstrap, and narrow stainless slide. The Ruger SR9 also includes ambidextrous manual safety and magazine release, built-in Picatinny rail, and adjustable high-viz 3-dot sight system. If you are looking for a standard 9x19mm pistol (4.14″ barrel), this is a great value — $249.95 at Sportsman’s Warehouse

8. Graf’s — 2019 Holiday Sale on Lyman Products

Lyman products sale Graf Sons grafs.com discount

Through the end of 2019, Grafs.com is running a Holiday Sale, with great prices on Lyman products including Reloading Presses, Powder Dispensers, Case Prep Centers, Tumblers, BoreCams and more. The prices are very attractive. For example, the Lyman Case Prep Express is marked down from $149.99 to $119.99, a 20% Savings.

9. Graf’s — Platinum Case Prep & Trim + EZ Tumbler, $179.99

case prep and trim sale

If you want to step up your brass preparation game, here’s a great deal. Graf’s is offering the Frankford Arsenal Case Prep & Trim PLUS the EZ Tumbler for only $179.99. That’s an amazing deal considering you could pay $199.99 or more for the Prep & Trim unit by itself, and the EZ Tumbler is regularly $50 or more. This Grafs.com combo deal represents a savings of nearly $70.00.

10. Amazon — Bore-Snake Two-Pack, $7.99

Bore-Snake stocking stuffer two kit

While bore cleaning should be done with a good cleaning rod and fitted bore guide, there are times when Bore-Snakes can be handy, such as when cleaning pistols and 10/22s. Now on Amazon you can get two (2) convenient GogoKu Bore-Snakes for just $7.99. Get two of the same diameter (.22 up to 12ga), or choose a Kit with both .223 and .308 sizes. Great stocking stuffer for a shooter.

11. Amazon — 12″ x 12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $9.99

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $9.99, or a 25-pack for $17.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating. One example: “Excellent quality and durability. The adhesive is really strong. High contrast makes down range targeting easy and the splatter contrast is [great].”

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December 23rd, 2019

ShotBlock — In-Chamber Safety Plug Device NEW!

chamber flag plug orange Shot block safety device barrel brush

Here’s a new safety device that should prove useful for firearms, particularly pistols. The patented ShotBlock is a hi-viz orange foam chamber plug mated to an orange brush extension that goes in the barrel. This serves the same purpose as a Chamber Flag or Empty Chamber Indicator (ECI), but is more compact (and multi-purpose). With the Shot Block in place a round cannot be chambered. That should, with most firearms, render the gun safe, and unable to fire.*

Currently, the bright orange ShotBlock safety plugs are available for .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 SW, and .223 Remington. Soon versions will be offered for .45 ACP and .308 Winchester as well. Watch the Video to see how this works:

The ShotBlock works by blocking the ability to chamber a round. The ShotBlock is attached to an “extended protection indicator” (i.e. an orange nylon brush). The plug and brush are placed into the barrel with the wide end of the plug on the breech lip. The extended protection indicator (orange brush) can be trimmed to fit the barrel length. Having the tip of brush visible at the end of the gun barrel confirms the Shot Block is in the chamber. As an added benefit, you can spray an anti-corrosion product on the brush for long-term storage.

chamber flag plug orange Shot block safety device barrel brush

The inventors state: “Once the ShotBlock is in the barrel of the gun you can easily manipulate the weapon safely, and any attempt to load the firearm will cause the bullet to be wedged inside the Shot Block, and prevent the [cartridge] from going inside the breach.”

Shot Block is Patented
The inventor of the ShotBlock, Bill Masters, has been awarded two U.S. Patents for this product: Nos. 9,448,024 and 9,310,149, both for “Firearm Safety and Chamber Block Indicator”. Bill explains why he invented the ShotBlock: “I had the idea for the ShotBlock after visiting a shooting range with my wife. The owner brought it out of the case and held it facing my wife without clearing it. He finally handed it to me and I cleared it. I left there telling myself there should be an easy way to let the customer know it was safe … to prevent someone quickly loading the weapon and doing bad things with it.”

Bill Masters is an engineer, inventor, designer, entrepreneur, and business advisor. He holds the first 3D printing patent, along with patents for other 3D printing technologies and CAD. He founded Perception Kayaks, which revolutionized the industry through by using molded plastics instead of fiberglass.

For more information on the ShotBlock visit: www.TheShotBlock.com.

Alternative Product Available Soon from Chamber-View
Chamber-View will soon offer a chamber plug for pistols. Like the ShotBlock, Chamber-View’s Universal Empty Chamber Indicator (ECI) prevents a round from chambering. Unlike the ShotBlock, there is no barrel brush, but a large bright orange extension wing serves as an Empty Chamber Indicator:

chamber flag plug orange Shot block eci safety device barrel brush


* We are concerned however, that with some type of floating firing pins in semi-auto systems, it still might be possible to get a primer strike. This might happen if a round is stripped from the magazine and the firing pin moves forward from inertia as the pistol slide or bolt carrier moves forward rapidly and then stops. It’s unlikely a light strike could cause a round to fire, but check your firearm with dummy rounds before assuming it is 100% safe.

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December 23rd, 2019

1911s in a Nutshell — Field Stripping and Loading Info

Do you shoot a .45 ACP? We love this short, fat cartridge because it is inherently accurate, it makes big, easy-to-see holes in paper, and because it it works so well in the classic 1911 series of pistols. It is hard to beat a good, tuned model 1911 when it comes to trigger pull/reset and natural pointing ability.

Once you get the hang of it, 1911-type pistols are also easy to field strip for cleaning. Here is a video showing how to disassemble and reassemble your model 1911:

Model 1911 Field Stripping and Reassembly

.45 ACP Ammunition Loading Guide

If you “roll your own” .45 ACP cartridges, there are many good powder choices. Our favorites are Vihtavuori N320, AA No. 5, and Hodgdon TiteGroup, but there are many other good choices. You’ll find these three recommended powders (plus seven others) in this .45 ACP Reloading Guide from Nosler. We like the 180-190gr class of .45-cal bullets because they offer excellent accuracy with moderate recoil. However Nosler also offers a 230gr bullet load table if you prefer the heavy bullets in your .45 ACP handgun.

Nosler .45 ACP 45 reloading guide 185 grain bullet

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December 22nd, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Speedy’s Stunning 6 PPC Benchrest Rifle

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engraved
“Ultimate PPC” by Speedy with engraved Stiller Viper action. Titanium Rest by John Loh (R.I.P.).

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedJust in time for Christmas, today we feature a beautiful red rifle built by West Texas gunsmith Thomas “Speedy” Gonzalez many seasons back. With an eye-catching, one-of-a-kind engraved Stiller Viper action, and gorgeous red/black gelcoat finish, we think this rifle is one of the prettiest benchrest rigs ever made — and the color scheme fits the holiday season.

When Speedy set out to build the “ultimate PPC” for his own use, he wanted it to be as handsome as it was accurate. This stunning 6 PPC combines some very trick components with old-world detailing. When was the last time you saw an engraved receiver on a “race gun”? This rig combines modern high-tech components with classic good looks — the best of both worlds.

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engraved

This competition benchrest rig features an engraved Stiller Viper action, with integral scope rail, SAKO Extractor and non-fluted bolt. The action sits in a new Millenium BR-X carbon-fiber stock built by Robertson Composites (now closed). The bold red-on-black marbled finish is how the gelcoat came from Ian Robertson’s factory — the stock has not been painted. The slick front rest is a titanium Ultra-Rest machined by the late, great John Loh with design input by Speedy. John built only two of these in titanium, one for himself and one for Speedy. We’re sad to say John recently passed. R.I.P. John. The Leupold Competition scope sits in quad-screw bedded rings from S.G.& Y. Precision Rifles.

Speedy picked a very special barrel for this project–a 1:14 twist, 20.5″, 6-groove barrel, the last original Pat McMillan-crafted barrel in Speedy’s inventory. Speedy runs a .263″ neck. Bushing size depends on the load and the condition of his brass. Speedy’s match load is about 29.2 grains of the IMR 8208 “ThunderBird” powder (he stockpiled this great propellant years ago). Speedy feels that T-Bird may be the most user-friendly BR powder ever made: “Once you have a good load worked up with T-Bird, you can shoot it at most any location in the country, and in almost any conditions. It’s not fussy about temperatures or humidity.”

A Very Unique Viper Action, Two Years in the Making
This is no ordinary Viper action. The full engraving attracts your attention, but there are some slick “performance mods” Jerry Stiller added at Speedy’s request.

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedFirst, the action features a plain-Jane unfluted bolt, with a slight taper in the middle, a bit of a wasp-waist. Speedy prefers an unfluted design because it has superior wear characteristics. He’s found, when working with an aluminum action such as the Viper, the sharp flutes on the bolt will wear the inside of the action faster. In the interest of reduced wear, Speedy also requested a smaller-sized loading/ejection port. This provides for a larger front and rear receiver ring, which enhances bolt bearing surface. More bearing surface reduces point loading for less internal wear.

We were surprised that Speedy did not order a drop port for his Viper. He explained: “I’m a bag squeezer, so I keep my forearm right where the cases would exit the drop port. I’ve used the drop ports, but given my shooting style, I prefer a conventional port.” Speedy did decide to fit the bolt with a SAKO-style extractor. He believes this is easier to tune and can contribute to accuracy. Speedy told us: “With a conventional sliding plate extractor, like you find on the Stolle actions, there can be a bit of a side push as you chamber the round. I think this can affect the way the bullet enters the chamber. With the SAKO extractor there is no side-push so I can reduce the possibility of bullet misalignment.”

BR-X Stock — American Design, Canadian Craftsmanship
The BR-X carbon fiber stock represents a third-generation design. The original Millenium, built by Lee Six, was a hollow shell. This modern BR-X is carbon fiber over a foam core. In Light Varmint trim, it weighs just 1.5 pounds. Speedy tells us: “this BR-X has a low center of gravity, slight pistol grip, and the angles are really straight and true. It tracks well in the bags, and won’t lift out of the rear bag during recoil. That’s one of the purposes of the wedge-shaped rear section.”

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engraved

Speedy looked at the various benchrest stocks, and, with input from Tony Boyer, he worked out a design that mirrored many of the better features of existing designs with some significant enhancements. The first thing you’ll notice is that the geometry is very uniform. The flats on the side of the fore-arm are perfectly parallel. The underside of the fore-arm is seamless and completely flat. Speedy explained “one problem we’ve seen with stocks that have a mold seam in the middle is that sometimes the two halves of the mold don’t mate perfectly. Sometimes the mold is mismatched so one side is on a different plane. That creates all kinds of handling issues. If the bottom of the stock is convex, even a little bit, you lose a lot of stability.”

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedMuch thought went into the rear section of the stock. Speedy and Tony found that many stocks would start off tracking well, but by the end of the string they were pulling themselves out of alignment. Speedy noted that with some more conventional designs, they tended to ride up out of the rear bag after two or three shots. The BR-X works differently. It uses a wedge design, rather than a radius, so it tends to drive itself down into the bag on recoil. The BR-X is not the only stock to use a wedge in the rear, but it is different than other wedge designs. According to Speedy: “On most other wedge stocks, the wedge tapers towards the pistol grip, making the ‘V’ wider towards the end of the buttstock. This will change point of aim as the stock moves. The BR-X has a wedge that is a constant ‘V’, with no taper from the end to the pistol grip. This does make the gun track better and stay on target better.”

Competition Benchrest Terminology

Bughole: Very small group.
Mothball: The 10-ring on the standard Benchrest Target.
Tomato Stake: A worn out or otherwise inaccurate rifle barrel.
Screamer: A group measuring less than 0.100″ at 100 yards or less than 0.250” at 200 yards.
Weather Report: A Group “scattered” as a result of poor wind doping.
Wailing Wall: Place where targets that have been scored can be viewed by competitors.
Dope the Wind: Ccompensate for the effects of wind by shifting aiming points on the target.

Barrels–The Hunt for a ‘Hummer’
Top 6 PPC competitors often run through a number of barrels in the quest for a “hummer” that performs optimally. In addition to the Pat McMillen tube on this gun, Speedy uses barrels from Hart, Krieger, and Shilen. He’s tried a few from some other boutique barrel makers and they shot well, but he wasn’t satisfied with the barrel life. Some of them lost their competitive edge after just 500-600 rounds. He won’t name names in print, but you can call and ask. When choosing a barrel, Speedy recommends that you invest the time and call a few well-known smiths who regularly compete in high-level BR matches. Find out what’s working real well currently.

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedSpeedy says, “you can read the equipment lists from the big shoots, but the printed results can be deceiving. That winning barrel might have been produced a couple of years ago. Barrel-makers do have good runs and not-so-good runs. Do your homework and find out what’s working best right now.” Speedy prefers 6-groove barrels: “I’ve shot em all one time or another. It seems that the 6-groove barrels are easier to get to shoot. It seems at 200 yards bullets from a 4-groove barrel move more than from a 6-groove barrel. Both windage and elevation. I think Tony Boyer feels the same way.” [Editor’s Note: Speedy’s groove observations were made many seasons ago. Today, many top shooters are using 4-groove and 5-groove barrels, and 3-grooves have been successful in score competition.]

We asked about Speedy’s signature “SpiderWeb finish”. While the web design has esthetic appeal, there is a functional side as well: “Tests have shown that a bead-blasted barrel will shed heat faster than a highly polished barrel. With the SpiderWeb, we leave most of the bead-blast finish on the barrel, but the web effect gives the tube some visual appeal.”

Speedy Speaks — How to Succeed in Benchrest Competition

Let me begin by saying that benchrest competition is the most difficult sport I’ve ever tried. For the newcomer, it can be daunting. From the very word “go” you are thrown to the wolves. Most new competitors have about a two and a half or three-year window. After that, if they are not meeting their expectations, they get fed up and leave the sport. Considering the time, effort, and money they may have expended in that time, that’s an unfortunate outcome.

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedSo, how does one improve as a shooter and get to the point where you are meeting your goals? First you need to break down the shooting process into its parts–gun handling, loading technique, wind awareness, time management, bag set-up, and what I call ‘bench management’. Then you need a mentor. Benchrest is like golf–you can have the best equipment (best action, best stock, best rest) but you won’t get far without a knowledgeable veteran to monitor your progress and observe your technique. Without a mentor, benchrest is a rough game to play and you can reach a frustration point after a couple of years.

If you don’t have somebody who can sit and evaluate your loading style, bolt-working, follow-through, and wind-reading etc., you can develop bad habits that are hard to break. If there’s no one to monitor your shooting and see what you’re doing wrong, you’ll keep making the same mistakes. So how does one find a mentor? Well it’s not a bad idea to attend one of the shooting schools. But one-on-one training is best. Look for someone with a strong record in competition, but a person who is also patient. And when you find that person, show some loyalty. With most people who have been involved in the sport a while, if you show them allegiance, they will return that allegiance.

6mm PPC Basics — About the Cartridge

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engravedDeveloped by Louis Palmisano and Ferris Pindell (left and right in photo), the 6 PPC is the “King of the Hill” in short-range benchrest competition, the most accurate cartridge ever invented. It still completely dominates 100- and 200-yard Group BR Shooting. If you want to win in that game, you pretty much have to shoot a 6 PPC, or some close variant of the 6 PPC cartridge design.

Easily made from Lapua 220 Russian brass, the 6mm PPC has a small primer and small flash hole. The small flash hole/primer accounts for much of the 6 PPC’s superior accuracy, though nobody really knows precisely how or why. The “short, fat” shape and nearly straight body contribute to efficient, consistent combustion and good “chamber behavior”.

While SAKO has created an official SAAMI 6mm PPC round, called the 6PPC USA, most American 6 PPC shooters run tight match chambers cut with custom reamers. There will be variations from one reamer to another, enough so that custom dies are generally recommended for match guns. Here is a PT&G reamer spec’d by Speedy a while back. He prefers a .263″ neck because that works better than .262″ when he needs to use his tightest bushings to get more neck tension.

Speedy thomas gonzalez 6mm PPC 6PPC 6 PPC christmas red rifle stiller viper engraved

The 6 PPC’s case capacity, case size to bore ratio, and combustion properties seem to be just about ideal for the short 6mm match bullets. A 6BR can come close, but when the goal is shooting “zero” groups at 100 and 200 yards, the 6 PPC is the clear winner. Currently most 6 PPC shooters form their cases from Lapua 220 Russian brass. Norma also makes factory-formed 6 PPC cases, but Norma brass is not commonly used as most shooters believe it is less “tough” than Lapua brass and accordingly won’t last as long with very stout match loads.

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December 22nd, 2019

Tactical Tip: Head and Scope Position for Prone Shooting

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

In this video, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how proper head and scope position is a critical component to accurate shooting. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain. Cleckner cautions: “When you are in a good prone position, you don’t want any strain in your neck muscles or back.”

In the video, Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position:

“To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”.

“When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Scope head position prone shooting Ryan Cleckner long range shooting handbook

“Very often you’ll open your eyes and realize you need to move further back or further forward. Instead of moving your position [or head], move the scope and get it set up properly.”

Tip on Viewing Your Reticle:
Cleckner: “Sometimes it can be difficult to focus between the target and the reticle, even with the parallax adjusted properly. I recommend you focus only on the reticle. Just like the front sight on a rifle or a handgun, that reticle is what you can control, and it’s what matters. Focus on a crisp, clear reticle, in a stable platform, and all that’s left is trigger control.”

Long Range Shooting Handbook — A Good Resource
Cleckner’s Long Range Shooting Handbook covers a wide range of topics important for precision marksmanship — both shooting skills and technical matters. You can view Sample Chapters from Ryan’s Book on Amazon.com. Cleckner’s book is designed as an intro to key concepts such as MOA vs. Mils, External Ballistics, and Environmental Effects. Included are personal tips and advice based on Cleckner’s years of experience as a sniper instructor and special operations sniper.

The Long Range Shooting Handbook is divided into three main categories: What It Is/How It Works, Fundamentals, and How to Use It. “What It Is/How It Works” covers equipment, terminology, and basic principles. “Fundamentals” covers the theory of long range shooting. “How to Use It” gives practical advice on implementing what you’ve learned, so you can progress as a skilled, long range shooter.

Ryan Cleckner was a special operations sniper (1/75 RGR) and he served as a U.S. Army sniper instructor. Currently he works as a firearms industry executive and practicing firearms attorney.

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December 22nd, 2019

TSA Tips for Traveling with Firearms — What You Need to Know

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

If you will be flying with firearms this winter, you should read this article. You need to familiarize yourself with current Federal Regulations on gun transport before you get anywhere near an airport. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a web page that states the important requirements for airline passengers traveling with firearms and/or ammunition.

You’ll want to visit the TSA Firearms and Ammunition webpage, and read it start to finish. In addition, before your trip, you should check the regulations of the airline(s) with which you will fly. Some airlines have special requirements, such as weight restrictions.

Here are the TSA’s key guidelines for travel with firearms:

1. All firearms* must be declared to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
The term firearm includes:

    – Any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.
    – The frame or receiver of any such weapon.
    – Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer.
    – Any destructive device.

2. The firearm must be unloaded. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 – “A loaded firearm means a firearm that has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.”

3. The firearm must be in a hard-sided container that is locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can be pulled open with little effort cannot be brought aboard the aircraft.

4. If firearms are not properly declared or packaged, TSA will provide the checked bag to law enforcement for resolution with the airline. If the issue is resolved, law enforcement will release the bag to TSA so screening may be completed.

5. TSA must resolve all alarms in checked baggage. If a locked container containing a firearm alarms, TSA will contact the airline, who will make a reasonable attempt to contact the owner and advise the passenger to go to the screening location. If contact is not made, the container will not be placed on the aircraft.

6. If a locked container alarms during screening and is not marked as containing a declared firearm, TSA will cut the lock in order to resolve the alarm.

7. Travelers should remain in the area designated by the aircraft operator or TSA representative to take the key back after the container is cleared for transportation.

8. Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.

9. Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.

10. Small arms ammunition, including ammunition not exceeding .75 caliber for a rifle or pistol and shotgun shells of any gauge, may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as it follows the packing guidelines described above.

11. TSA prohibits black powder or percussion caps used with black-powder.

12. Rifle scopes are not prohibited in carry-on bags and do not need to be in the hard-sided, locked checked bag.

NOTE: The 12 guidelines are reprinted directly from the TSA web page here: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition.

More Airline Travel Tips from Tom McHale
Tom McHale has written an excellent article for the Beretta Blog, Ten Things You Need to Know about Flying with Guns. We suggest you visit the Beretta Blog to read this informative story. Here are two of Tom McHale’s Travel Tips:

Weigh your gun case and ammunition
Most airlines will allow up to 11 pounds of ammunition. And, like any luggage, you will be charged more for any baggage weighing more than 50 pounds. This sounds like a lot, but when traveling to the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun competition last year, my case with shotgun, rifle, pistol and ammunition tipped the scale past the 50 pound mark.

Pack ammo in the same locking case
This is another area that’s misunderstood and full of internet myth. Your ammo just needs to be stored in some type of safe container and not loose. Technically, you can keep ammunition in magazines, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It meets the letter of the law storage requirement, but too many airline and TSA agents will give you grief. Use a plastic ammo box or original cardboard packaging and you’ll be fine carrying that in the same lockable case as your gun.

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

*Please see, United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44 for information about firearm definitions.

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December 21st, 2019

U.S. Optics Introduces New Foundation Series Scopes for 2020

U.S. Optics Foundation Series Scopes 34mm milrad MIL FFP SFP

If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art scope with a 34mm main tube, consider the new Foundation Series™ riflescopes from U.S. Optics. There are four new models, three zooms (1.8-10x42mm, 3.2-17x50mm, 5-25x52mm) plus a 10X fixed power. These look impressive. Check out the features of the FDN 25X 5-25x52mm ($3449) below. There are so many options! Chose among 11 different reticle types, and three illumination colors (Red, Blue, Green). Get a black Anodized finish or order any one of 8 Cerakote colors. For Elevation adjustment, choose a 1/10 MIL knob or 6.5 Creedmoor, or .308 Win BDC knobs. The Rapid Focus Eyepiece is even available with optional internal level.

This all represents serious optics technology. But you’ll pay for it. MSRP on the FDN 25X starts at $3449.00.

U.S. Optics Foundation Series Scopes 34mm milrad MIL FFP SFP

The Foundation Series is machined from aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum and features a low profile ER3K elevation knob with a Zero Stop, capped US#1 windage knob, adjustable integrated parallax and illumination knob, rapid adjustable 180° magnification throw, and customizable options.

Foundation Series Models:

FDN FX10 10x42mm ($1999) | FDN 10X 1.8-10x42mm ($2499)
FDN 17X 3.2-17x50mm ($2899) | FDN 25X 5-25x52mm ($3449)

U.S. Optics Foundation Series Scopes 34mm milrad MIL FFP SFP

(more…)

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December 21st, 2019

Vortex Fury HD 5000 Rangefinder Binoculars Field Test

Vortex optics Fury HD 5000 LRF Rangefinder Binocs Binoculars Field Test Review

Vortex Fury HD 5000 LRF Binoculars Review

Field Test by Colton Reid, AccurateShooter Hunting Editor
As a solo backcountry hunter, I try to carry as little weight as possible. Each step is a reminder to bring only the most essential/effective equipment. Each item in my pack must earn its precious backpack real estate. That’s why I favor gear that serves multiple purposes — and binoculars are no exception. In a previous optics review, I field-tested Zeiss Victory RF 10×42 ranging binoculars and the results were beyond expectation — they are outstanding. However, such superior, upper-eschelon ranging optics from Zeiss cost over $3000.00. And Leica Geovid HD-B 3000 ranging binoculars cost around $2500.00.

For those looking for a more affordable option, there are several mid-range binoculars with integrated ranging capability. One popular choice is the Vortex Fury HD 5000 10×42 LRF Binoculars. Priced at around $1200 on Amazon, the Fury HD 5000 is half the price of some European LRF Binoculars. Yet the Fury HD 5000 LRF Binos still combine two optical systems (magnification and laser ranging) into one that is more valuable than the sum of the parts.

Vortex optics Fury HD 5000 LRF Rangefinder Binocs Binoculars Field Test Review

Vortex Fury HD 5000 Look and Feel
The Fury binoculars are compact and relatively light — a modest 2 pounds. They are covered by a rubber armor exterior that feels sturdy enough to survive some hard falls, but is also comfortable to hold. The compact size did offer a challenge in determining how best to place my thumbs (see top photo). The rangefinder controls (Measure, Menu) are easy to access and are distinguishable by the braille-like bumps that cover them. Considering that these buttons are going to be located and pressed without looking at the top of the binoculars each time, it was perhaps a poor design choice to place the raised Vortex logo adjacent to the controls. But after a little practice I was able to quickly locate the measure button when ranging in the field.

The eye cups are comfortable and offer four discrete eye relief positions. The focus and diopter knobs are large and easy to turn but also provide resistance to rotation. Resistance is useful for maintaining the previous positional setting.

Vortex optics Fury HD 5000 LRF Rangefinder Binocs Binoculars Field Test Review

Vortex Fury 5000 — Rangefinding Performance
The Vortex Fury’s rangefinder function, along with its menu, is simple and intuitive. In my humble opinion, simple is better. The display is a red LED projection in the right optic. As noted in another review, the red display can be difficult to distinguish against a tan/brown image, so I used max brightness at all times to ensure display visibility. The display menu covers the core items: distance (line of sight or angle compensated), measurement units (yards/meters), brightness, and the ability to display either the strongest “Best” signal or the “Last Result” to help range objects behind trees or brush. The rangefinder also enables scan mode (continuous ranging) that updates displayed distance every three-quarters of a second as you sweep over the terrain.

In the field, rangefinder performance was good. I could consistently range objects at distances out to around 1500 yards. Beyond that, the rangefinder struggled with hills, trees, and brush. Ranging Longer distances required a rock or something more reflective. I will likely never shoot targets at or beyond 1500 yards, but the ability to range objects at those distances is extremely useful when scouting in the field. I routinely use my rangefinder to measure the distance to my next vantage point or staging area for a stalk, which can be over a mile away.

Optics — How Good is the Glass?
I should first note that it is difficult to quantitatively compare optical systems without objective data from sophisticated scientific measurement systems used in optics labs. Consequently, I must rely on a qualitative comparison with a known reference. In this case I compared the Fury HD against my tried and true Swarovski Habicht porro-prism binoculars.

With that disclaimer, I would rate the Vortex Fury optics as good to very good. In ample daylight, the Fury and Habicht binoculars were comparable. The main difference being that the Fury required a more precise adjustment of the focus knob in order to capture a crisp image. In low light, the Habichts had the advantage. The Fury images appeared slightly darker than the Habichts and the image sharpness in the Fury seemed to degrade more quickly with the fading light.

That may be partially linked to lower light transmission but also to the more sensitive focus knob of the Fury. With that sensitivity it could be difficult to tell which knob position yielded the best image. That being said, I was still able to spot deer with the Furys in low light (see image). What is more, I didn’t have to switch between my binoculars and a rangefinder to determine distance or suffer the reorientation of a different magnification and field of view. That is a huge benefit!

The Verdict
Overall, I was happy with the Vortex Fury’s performance. Both the optics and rangefinder were what I would consider mid-range in terms of performance. But for a street price of about $1200.00, that is a good value. Yes you can do better, but you’ll have to pay more than twice as much. Considering my recommendation is always to buy the best optics you can afford, the Vortex Fury HD 5000 would be a good choice for serious hunters on a budget. These are solidly made. Vortex states the aluminum alloy body is nitrogen-purged, and O-ring sealed to provide a waterproof, fogproof and shockproof product.

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December 21st, 2019

NOTICE — Replace Batteries in Your Gun Safe Keypad Every Year

If the battery on your safe’s electronic lock is
more than a year old, or if it is not giving you the
right voltage, replace it today!

safe battery gunsafe sargent greenleaf

Gunsafe safe keypad control battery batteriesThis time of year, many of our readers are putting their guns away in a safe for the winter. It’s easy to just tuck the guns away and forget about them. But there’s something you should do before you shut the safe door. If you have a safe with an electronic keypad, you should replace the battery every year as a precautionary measure. Trust us, you don’t want to come back in a few months and find that the keypad memory is kaput, and you’re locked out. That can lead to frustration and an expensive locksmith visit.

Here’s a true story. I have one safe with a Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G) keypad. A couple years back, in early December, I went to get into the safe. I punched in the correct combination, but all I got was a rapid “beep, beep, beep, beep” after I finished the last combination entry. I tried again to ensure I entered the combination correctly (I did). But again, the locking system responded with multiple rapid beeps indicating something was wrong. And the safe would not open. Now I was worried….

I popped out the battery holder (which slides in from the bottom of the keypad housing on the door). I removed the battery and tested it with a volt-meter. The 12-month-old Duracell 9-volt battery only registered 6.1 volts.

Low voltage was the problem. I went down to the store and got a couple new 9V batteries. I tested the new batteries and both measured 9.4 volts output. I slipped one of the new 9V batteries into the keypad housing, punched in the combination and everything worked OK again. Eureka.

Most electronic locks for safes WILL “remember” the combination for a period of time even when the battery is low (and the keypad’s “brain” should retain the combination when you remove the battery for replacement). However, a dead battery, or extended periods of low voltage can give you problems. Don’t rely on wishful thinking…

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December 20th, 2019

New Lightweight Cross Bolt-Action Rifle from SIG Sauer

Sig Sauer cross hunting PRS precision rifle 3-lug

SIG Sauer has released the new Cross Rifle, a “crossover” rifle for hunting, competition, and long-range shooting. The Cross bolt-action rifle, built for precision, will be offered in .308 Winchester and 6.5mm Creedmoor with .277 SIG Fury Hybrid to follow. The design features a one-piece receiver with free-floating modular handguard and side-folding adjustable stock. Choose Black or First Lite Camo finish.

The Cross has some interesting design features:
— Two-stage Match Trigger adjusts from 2.5-4 lbs.
— Interchangeable flattop system that fits 0-MOA or +20-MOA rails.
— 3-Lug Bolt with 60° throw and interchangeable bolt handle. AI Mags.
— Light-weight 16″ barrel .308 Win version weighs just 6.2 pounds.

SIG designed the Cross series rifles for both hunters and PRS/NRL shooters: “Hunting rifles are typically focused on less weight, and accuracy is secondary. Precision rifles are designed for extreme accuracy, with no weight limitations. What was missing from the market was a true crossover. Our engineers took the best of both worlds and developed the CROSS featuring the characteristics of a hunting rifle, with the accuracy of a precision rifle”, said SIG Executive VP Tom Taylor.

Sig Sauer cross hunting PRS precision rifle 3-lug

Our hunting Editor Colton Reid, has been looking for a modular light-weight hunting rig with a folding stock for easy carry. SIG’s new Cross rifle could fit the bill. In .308 Win with 16″ barrel, the rifle weighs just 6.2 pounds (without optics), and is just 25″ overall with stock folded. That’s short enough to fit easily in a small day-pack. We’ll see if we can get one of these new Cross rifles for testing.

Sig Sauer cross hunting PRS precision rifle 3-lug
Sig Sauer cross hunting PRS precision rifle 3-lug

MSRP is $1779 and Gun Is Made in USA
The SIG Cross rifle retails for $1779.00, so it qualifies for PRS Factory Class. (We expect “street price” to be about $1550). SIG’s Tom Taylor noted that this is truly an “All-American” rifle: “Everything about the Cross from concept to completion… comes directly from our U.S. operations here in New Hampshire.” The Cross rifle was designed and built entirely at SIG Sauer’s New Hampshire facilities.

CROSS Rifle Specs (6.5 Creedmoor):

Overall Length: 35.5″
Folded Length: 27.0″
Barrel Length: 18″
Barrel Twist: 1:8″
Weight (w/o magazine): 6.4 lbs.

CROSS Rifle Specs (.308 WIN / .277 FURY):

Overall Length: 36.5″
Folded Length: 25.0″
Barrel Length: 16″
Barrel Twist: 1:10″ / 1:8.5″
Weight (w/o magazine): 6.2 lbs.

Factory Product Description
The CROSS Precision Bolt-Action Hunting Rifle is a lightweight precision rifle with a push button, foldable SIG precision stock, a one-piece aluminum receiver that eliminates the need for bedding the action, and AI magazines for creating the most accurate precision hunting platform.

The CROSS features a stainless-steel barrel with a free-float M-LOK handguard, a 2-stage match-grade trigger externally adjustable from 2.5 – 4 lbs., ambi-safety, a three-lug bolt design with a 60-degree throw and interchangeable bolt handle. The precision stock is spring-loaded for one-handed operation and can be fully adjusted in the field for length of pull and comb height with no tools. The rifle has a full-length replaceable Picatinny rail that allows for direct optics mounts, 20 MOA, and O MOA. The CROSS is available in 6.5 Creedmoor, 308 WIN, and the soon-to-be-released .277 SIG Fury Hybrid.

Permalink Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 4 Comments »
December 20th, 2019

USAMU Tips for Using a Progressive Reloading Press

Accurateshooter.com USAMU progressive press reloading

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. In this article, the USAMU’s reloading gurus help you avoid potentially disastrous mistakes with a progressive — such as double powder changes. The USAMU experts caution that: “beginners would be better served by starting on a single-stage press”. That said, owning a progressive makes sense if you shoot more than 100 centerfire rounds a week. If you own a progressive press, or are thinking of buying one, you should read this article.

USAMU Reloading

For those interested in progressives, we’ll examine different key features among the types and relate them to handloading processes. The first, and simplest, type is the manually-advanced progressive. The shellplate holds the several cartridges being processed with each stroke of the handle. On these presses, the loader must manually advance the shellplate after each handle stroke.

While this obviously slows production vs. a press that cycles the shellplate automatically, this feature does have advantages though. (The disadvantages follow shortly.) No case is advanced to the next station until the operator deliberately does so – which is especially helpful for the new handloader.

Problems that arise during loading can be diagnosed and fixed without fears of some “extra” operation happening unnoticed with cartridges at the other stations. Beginners NOTE: one way to positively prevent this risk is to remove the cases from each press station when a problem emerges, before beginning diagnosis. Usually, however, experienced loaders omit this step as a time-saving measure, being confident in their understanding of the loading machine, process and the appropriate remedy.

Progressive press reloading ultimate reloader USAMU

If all cartridge cases are left in place, the operator must monitor what’s happening at each station. For example, raising the press ram twice may result in a double-charge of powder. With rifle cartridges, this usually results in a massive powder over-flow, alerting the loader to the problem. With pistol cases or small rifle charges in large cases, such an over-flow isn’t guaranteed. [Editor — one way to be sure you don’t have an overcharge or undercharge is to use a Lock-Out Die — see below.] The manually-advanced progressive keeps all operations under the loader’s control at all times. This is intuitively easier for the beginning loader to understand and to operate with confidence.

However, this same characteristic can be problematic if the loader isn’t paying 100% attention to what they are doing during routine operation. Some new handloaders apparently aspire to load progressively while daydreaming and paying little attention to the operation. Their plan is to feed components in, like feeding potato chips to a monkey, while good ammo drops out at the other end. Unfortunately, such an approach may likely result in something other than “good” ammo dropping out at the end…

Forgetting to cycle the shellplate when appropriate will cause problems. As with all handloading, distractions MUST be kept to a minimum for safety purposes. Never watch TV, talk with friends, or have other distractions (such as a rambunctious pet or child) in the room when loading. Avoiding distractions will do much to ensure that one produces consistent, high-quality ammunition, free of defects. For example, when a case doesn’t line up correctly with the case mouth expander or powder drop tube, a difference in “feel” often alerts the loader to correct the problem without ruining a case. If one is interrupted or becomes distracted, be certain to examine ALL cases in the shellplate before resuming loading.

Better Safe Than Sorry — the RCBS Lock-Out Die
RCBS Makes a “Lock-Out Die” that senses the powder charge. This will halt the Progressive press if you have a double charge, or an undercharge. Your Editor has the Lock-Out Die on his RCBS Pro 2000. It has “saved his bacon” a half-dozen times over the years. It can be used on Dillon and Hornady progressives as well as RCBS machines.

Other advantages of the typical manually-advanced progressives are that they are usually simpler in design, with fewer moving parts to get out of adjustment. This appeals to the mechanically dis-inclined! Caliber conversion kits are usually cheaper and take less time to install. This especially benefits the enthusiast who reloads for a wide variety of calibers.

However, many popular manually-advanced progressives have fewer die stations than the higher-end, auto-advancing machines. One item that is very useful when actually dispensing powder on a progressive press is a cartridge case powder-level sensor. This warns if powder levels in each case are too high or too low; however, it does require a die station of its own.

This condition (incorrect powder charges) often results from powder (especially extruded rifle powder) “bridging” in the powder measure. That is, one charge doesn’t fully empty into its cartridge case. This leaves some extra powder hanging up in the measure to join the normal charge in the next case. With some extruded powders, this can be quite obvious without a sensor. However, the sensor can detect small variations that would not be obvious to even an experienced, attentive operator. Considering the machine’s potential to use a powder sensor in addition to one’s other customary dies is a wise idea.

Similarly, pistol shooters are best served to seat bullets and crimp cartridges in separate operations. This should be taken into account when selecting a progressive press. Whenever loading fully-progressively, choosing powders that dispense very easily, e.g., ball/spherical or very fine-grain extruded powders, can help keep charges quite uniform.

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December 20th, 2019

Pioneers of Precision Shooting — Legendary L.E. “Sam” Wilson

lewilson15001
Sam (L.E.) Wilson actively competed in benchrest matches until he passed. He’s shown here with an Unlimited benchrest rifle of his own design.

If you’ve used hand dies with an arbor press, chances are you’ve seen the L.E. Wilson company name. You may not know that the founder of L.E. Wilson Inc. was an avid benchrest competitor who pioneered many of the precision reloading methods we used today. Known as “Sam” to his friends, L.E. Wilson was one of the great accuracy pioneers who collected many trophies for match victories during his long shooting career.

lewilson1503

The photo above shows Sam (foreground) with all of his children at a shoot. Behind Sam are Jim, Jack and Mary, shooting in the Unlimited Class. What do they say — “the family that plays together stays together”? Note the long, externally-adjusted scopes being used. Learn more about Sam (L.E.) Wilson and his company on the L.E. Wilson Inc. Facebook Page.

lewilson1504

Unlimited Class was Sam’s favorite discipline, because in the “good old days” top competitors normally would craft both the rifle and the front/rear rests. This rewarded Sam’s ingenuity and machining/fabrication skills. In the “build-it-yourself” era, one couldn’t just order up an unlimited rail gun on the internet. How times have changed…

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December 19th, 2019

How NOT to Ventilate Your Costly Chronograph — Set-UP Tips

accurateshooter.com target chrony shoot chronograph damage chrono

“Shooting Chrony” is a product name. “Shooting Chrony” should not describe (post-mortem) what you have been doing to your chronograph. Sooner or later all of us may make a mistake, and ventilate our chronograph. With luck, the bullet just “wings” your chronograph, and the damage is minor. But if you hit the unit smack dab in the middle, you may have to retire your chrono for good.

A while back, Forum member Jeff M. (aka “JRM850″) experienced a “low blow” that put his Shooting Chrony out of commission. With tongue firmly in cheek, Jeff started a Forum thread entitled Chronograph Not Picking Up Shots in Bright Sunlight Anymore. Looking at the photo at top, the problem is obvious — he ventilated his Chrono.

This was Jeff’s first chrono kill in 23 years of use, so we shouldn’t be too critical. Jeff explained: “I didn’t realize a friend was shifting from a 300-yard target to 100 yards.” The agent of destruction was a low-traveling 58gr V-Max running at 3415 fps. What happened? Well, when one is shooting at 300 yards, the trajectory will be higher than at 100 yards. We should say, however, that this may have been a low shot, or the 100-yard aiming point may have been placed lower to the ground (closer to the bottom of the target frame), as compared to the 300-yard aiming point.

Other Forum members offered some sarcastic responses:

Try it on an overcast day – it might work again.

It looks like the V-Max performed just about as advertised.

Aww…a little duct tape and some Super Glue and you’re good to go.

If you are using a LabRadar or Magnetospeed, your chrono shouldn’t be in the line of fire, but for those will conventional chronos, here’s some good advice…

Double Check Your Aim Point and Trajectory BEFORE You Shoot
The lesson learned here is that you should never change targets (or aim points) without checking your bullet’s flight over the chronograph. We like to align the barrel so the bullet exits a good 6-8 inches above the electronics (check your manual for recommended shot height).

In addition, we always boresight the barrel so we can see the actual target through the bore. Then, with gun UNLOADED, bolt removed and action clear, we look back down the barrel so we can see daylight through the bore, with the gun set on solid rests. If you look through the middle of the “V” formed by the sky screen supports and you can’t see light shining through the barrel’s bore, you probably have a set-up problem and you should re-align the rifle.

accurateshooter.com target chrony shoot chronograph damage chrono

Use a Test Backer to Confirm Your Bullet Trajectory
You can put tape on the support rods about 6″ up from the unit. This helps you judge the correct vertical height when setting up your rifle on the bags. Another trick is to hang a sheet of paper from the rear skyscreen and then use a laser boresighter to shine a dot on the paper (with the gun planted steady front and rear). This should give you a good idea (within an inch or so) of the bullet’s actual flight path through the “V” over the light sensors. Of course, when using a laser, never look directly at the laser! Instead shine the laser away from you and see where it appears on the paper.

After you have used the laser boresighter to get the rifle centered up in the chrono’s “sweet spot”, confirm with a test shot or two (see photo). Even when using an in-chamber laser boresighter, it is not uncommon for the bullet’s actual point of impact to be different than the laser’s dot location.

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December 19th, 2019

Get Genuine Military-Issued SIG Sauer M17 Pistols

Sig Sauer M17 pistol milsurp surplus U.S. Army Modular Handgun system

Here’s a great opportunity for pistol collectors…

SIG Sauer is offering a limited number of authentic M17 pistols originally issued by the U.S. Army and fielded during the initial domestic and in-theater deployment of the Modular Handgun System. These unique firearms feature the original Coyote controls, the original government-issue markings and serial numbers, along with the U.S. Army specified orange rear and green front Night Sights. As these were fielded by the U.S. Army, their condition will vary, making each one uniquely different, and making this truly an opportunity to own a piece of history. Tom Taylor, SIG Executive VP notes: “These handguns [will be] coveted by both military and firearms collectors alike.”

The M17 Surplus handgun is a 9mm, striker-fired, P320-based handgun platform, featuring a coyote-tan PVD coated stainless steel slide, coyote-tan controls, a coyote-tan medium carry grip module, with the U.S. Government slide markings and serial numbers. The handguns are equipped with SIGLITE sights (orange rear & green front), removable night sight rear plates, and the same optic cut as specified by the MHS contract, ready to fit a SIG Sauer Electro-Optics ROMEO1Pro Optic. The M17 features an ambidextrous manual safety, ships with (1) 17-round and (2) 21-round magazines, includes an official SIG Sauer M17 Certificate of Authenticity, and comes packed just as the handguns are delivered to the U.S. Military. Limited quantities available soon. Call your local dealer for pricing/availability.

Sig Sauer M17 M18 P320 pistol modular handgun Army

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December 19th, 2019

Good Books for Gun Guys — Popular Print Publications

Creedmoor sports gun book title read crossword puzzle
Photo courtesy Nightforce Optics.

In these days of Smart Phones, WiFi-equipped cars, and Alexa digital assistants, conventional books may seem old-fashioned. But for presenting a wide range of information, with charts, tables, photos, and a handy index, there is much to be said for conventional paper publications. These can be used anywhere and anytime, even where there is no cell service. You can annotate the pages with your own comments, and make simple, manual bookmarks for your most-used pages.

Cartridge Comparison Guide Second EditionOne resource we use regularly is the Cartridge Comparison Guide, a remarkably comprehensive 340-page spiral-bound book. Covering over 250 cartridges, the 2nd Edition of the Cartridge Comparison Guide covers most available factory cartridges from .17 caliber all the way up to .50 caliber. This resource also compiles cartridge data from major manufacturers Barnes, Federal, Hornady, Norma, Nosler, Remington, Sierra, Swift, Weatherby, and Winchester. If you shoot factory ammo, you should definitely get the Cartridge Comparison Guide.

Shooters putting together a print-format resource library will have many good choices. Creedmoor Sports has a large library of books in stock, with many currently on sale. On the Creedmoor Sports Book/Video page, you will find dozens of great offerings. You can search by format, author, price, and even shooting discipline. In addition, while you’re visiting Creedmoor Sports, you’ll find many tools and shooting accessories on sale.

Here are six of Creedmoor Sports’ most popular book titles:

Creedmoor Sports books title sale discount

Here’s an interesting book for gun owners. Get away from the TV and test your skills on these gun-centric crossword puzzles. The Shooters Book uses terms and names relating to firearms, their use, and development. At 178 pages, this crossword puzzle/word search book offers something for all firearm enthusiasts. Each crossword puzzle has correlated word searches included to help solve it.

Creedmoor Sports books title sale discount

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December 18th, 2019

Holiday Stocking Stuffers for Gun Guys and Gals

AccurateShooter.com stocking stuffer tools

Christmas is just one week away, so today we’re featuring a hand-picked collection of “stocking stuffers” for precision shooters. Some of these are recent new inventions. All are handy items that you’ll use over and over again at the range, on your vehicle, and/or at your loading bench (so you’re allowed to buy them for yourself, even after Christmas).

B&T Industries BT62 Determinator — $7.95

Group Size Measuring plate Determinator

The acrylic BT62 Determinator measures groups with laser-cut concentric measuring rings. Check group size quick and easy — simply place the Determinator over shot group. Adjust until one of the circles crosses the center of the two outer-most holes. That gives you the center to center group measurement (1.5″ maximum). Alternatively, you can measure edge to edge (of the farthest shots) and then subtract the bullet diameter. Cool tool for gun guys. The supplied lanyard also glows in the dark.

Surveyor’s Tape (for Wind Indicators) — $1.99

Surveyor's Surveyor Flagging Tape fluorescent day-glow wind flag

Always watch the wind when you shoot. Inexpensive, Day-Glo Surveyors’ Tape (aka “Flagging Tape”), attached to a stake or target frame, makes a good wind indicator. It will flutter even in mild breezes, alerting you to both angle and velocity shifts. This should be part of every range kit. Don’t leave home without it. This can also be ordered from Creedmoor Sports for $3.95 per roll.

Cabela’s Multi-Tool (Various Colors) — $5.00

Cabela's Multi-tool blank stocking stuffer

You won’t find a more versatile tool at this amazingly low price — just $5.99! The Cabela’s multi-tool performs many functions. It features flat-nose pliers, wire-stripper, knife, Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, saw, bottle opener, and scissors. Nylon sheath included. This handy tool is available in size colors: Red, Green, Orange, Purple, Teal, and Silver. A nylon sheath is included.

Amazon — Bore-Snake Two-Pack — $7.99

Bore-Snake stocking stuffer two kit

While bore cleaning should be done with a good cleaning rod and fitted bore guide, there are times when Bore-Snakes can be handy, such as when cleaning pistols and 10/22s. Now on Amazon you can get two (2) convenient GogoKu Bore-Snakes for just $7.99. Get two of the same diameter (.22 up to 12ga), or choose a Kit with both .223 and .308 sizes. Great stocking stuffer for a shooter.

Work Sharp — Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener — $7.95

pivot plus knife sharpen sharpener worksharp amazon

The new, easy-to-carry Pivot Plus Knife Sharpener from WorkSharp provides a 3-stage honing process for keeping your knives sharp in the field.. Sharpen straight-edge blades with a few pulls on the carbide and ceramic v-cut sharpening slots, and hone your serrated blades with the diamond-coated rod. A great stocking stuffer, this little sharpener costs just $7.95 on Amazon.

Bullet Central — Magnifying Light, $12.95 – $19.50

Magnifying Light

If you’re like most shooters, you can use more light and magnification when inspecting brass and small gun parts. Here is the perfect tool to help and it doesn’t take up a ton of space. With the Bullet Central Magnifying Light you can ease your eyes and see into the primer pockets, flash holes or case-necks without straining. With your choice of battery-powered or rechargeable models, why not buy two and give one to your favorite range buddy?

Amazon — Camouflage Neoprene Scope Cover — $8.98

scope cover camo camoflage amazon neoprene

Here’s a great gift item for a hunter. This reversible Camo-pattern Neoprene Scope Cover fits scopes up to 10″ long and 45mm lens diameter. The cover cushions your scope and protects against moisture and scratches. Note: Along with Camo, there is also a black version with bright red trim.

Creedmoor Sports — Leather 20Rd +2 Ammo Holder — $25.00

Leather Ammo Holder Creedmoor Sports

This handsome red leather ammo holder secures twenty (20) rounds of .308 Win-size ammunition, in a handy plastic carrier. In addition there are loops for 2 more sighter rounds on the outside. This is a very nice gift for a target shooter or hunter. There is also a .223 Rem version in black leather. Both these leather ammo holders conveniently fit into a shooting coat pocket via a leather pocket flap.

CDNN — 51-Piece Driver Set (Flat, Phillips, Hex, Torx) — $6.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Outers Screwdriver 51-piece set torx phillips allen driver

This Outers-brand, 51-piece set contains all the drivers you could ever need: Flat-head, Phillips, Hex (Allen), and Torx. Priced at just $6.99, this driver set offers great value for the money. Even if you already own high-quality Allen and Torx wrenches, you can buy this as a spare set for your gun room. And this also makes a great holiday “stocking stuffer” for gun guys. These drivers work great for installing scope rings or bases, or everyday use around the home.

• Molded Driver with Magnetic Tip
• 15 Flat Head Bits
• 10 Hex Bits (inch)
• 9 Hex Bits (metric)
• 4 Phillips Bits
• 9 Torx Bits
• 2 Extra Long Phillips Bits
• 1 Hex to Square Adapter

Creedmoor Sports — ECI, Mag Block, and Dust Cover Flag

Empty chamber indicator ECI flag magazine block dust cover

Here are three handy items from Creedmoor Sports for rifle shooters. The red Empty Chamber Indicator is a “must-have” for every competitor shooter. And black rifle fans can use the special combo Open Bolt Indicator/Safety Flag that fits in an AR’s dust cover. The AR-15 Magazine Block adds ad extra measure of safety.

Amazon — Compact Bore Light, $8.52

Compact Bore Light

How many times have you gone to look into a barrel or dark corner of a gun only to find you just can’t see in there? You can easily solve this problem by picking up this Compact Bore Light for just $8.52 on Amazon. A bore light is a “must-have” item for handgun owners, and these are also handy for inspecting dies, rifle chambers, and tool interiors. Honestly for this price you should grab a couple so you have one in your range bag and another on your bench.

BONUS — TACTICAL STOCKINGS for Your Stocking Stuffers

MOlle tactical stocking christmas Xmas

Don’t have a stocking to hold your small gift items? Well we’ve got you covered — check out these cool, heavy-duty stockings. These Garud Tactical Stockings come in three camo varieties plus OD Green, Black, and Khaki. They all feature 4 MOLLE attachments, rugged carry handle, hanging hook, swivel carabiners, outside draw pocket, and even Velcro USA Flag Patch. Get all this for the low price of $12.99 (solid colors) or $14.99 (Camo). These stockings are sure to bring smiles to your tacticool family members and friends. And right now they ship for FREE on Amazon.

See More Stocking Stuffers in NRA Store »

Credit EdLongrange for BT62 Determinator suggestion.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals No Comments »
December 18th, 2019

Having a Merry Christmas with a .50 BMG Barrett M82

Barrett 50 Caliber .50 Ca Xmas Christmas shooting video

This 50 Cal Days of Christmas video features some fantastic slow-motion footage of a Barrett .50 Caliber M82. This bad boy pumps out some serious muzzle flash. Watch carefully at the 1:05 mark and you can see the .50-caliber projectile exit the muzzle brake and spin through the ball of smoke and flame. For best viewing, you may want to change your video settings to 720p or 1080p High Definition and view full-screen (using the video controls).

50 Caliber Barrett slow motion Christmas

The video carries “overkill” to the max, as the shooter uses his big Barrett to blast Christmas ornaments and a snow-globe. To top things off, at the 2:50 mark, the shooter fires the .50 cal at a pyro-equipped gingerbread house. (The gingerbread shot is taken from a standing hold no less!) The results (at 3:22) are impressive — gingerbread house becomes flaming gingerbread pudding.

50 Caliber Barrett slow motion Christmas

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December 18th, 2019

Get FREE Christmas Tree Target for Holiday Fun Shoots

Sierra Christmas Tree Target

CLICK HERE for printable PDF version of this target.

NOTE: The contest is OVER, so ignore information on the PDF about submitting targets — that’s from back in 2013.

Here’s a target for the holidays that can provide some fun at the range. This Christmas Tree Target was created by Sierra Bullets for a 2013 contest. This contest is now over, but you can still have fun with the target. This tree target is designed to be shot at 15 yards with pistol, or at 100 yards with rifle.

Sierra Christmas Tree TargetSanta’s Extra Accuracy Challenge
Start with the big circles, and then work your way down to the small circles (7,8,9,10) as you build your confidence. Shoot the gifts for bonus points.

For an extra challenge (with an accurate rifle), try working your way back up to the top, aiming for the X-Marks in the circles and finishing with the small, inset star at the top. Try to hit each X-Mark and then put your final shot in the inner star. Have fun!

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