May 3rd, 2021

BargainFinder 293: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Palmetto SA — Complete AR Lower + Magpul Stock — $219.99

ar16 ar rifle sporting MSR palmetto .223 5.56 lower upper receiver sale discount bargain
Good complete lower with nice stock — add upper of your choice

Get that AR lower while you still can. This complete Palmetto State Armory lower with Magpul stock is fully assembled. It will take a standard upper, which you can build or purchase later without an FFL. The lower is the section that much be purchased through an FFL with a background check. On sale for $219.99, this complete PSA AR15 Lower features polished hammer and trigger components with nickel-plating for smoother trigger action. This lower is finished with an adjustable Magpul MOE Carbine Stock, Magpul MOE Trigger Guard, and Magpul MOE Grip.

2. Midsouth — Caldwell AR-500 Steel Targets, starting $14.79

Caldwell AR500 steel yellow target gong
Great deals for AR500 steel targets — watch video above right

Caldwell’s new bright, easy-to-see steel targets come in multiple shapes and sizes for competition, training, and recreational use. Made of AR-500 grade hardened steel, these bright yellow targets can withstand thousands of rounds. Rated up to a 3000 fps impact velocity and a 3500 ft-lb impact energy, these targets come in seven styles and sizes with three hanging solutions. These bright yellow AR500 targets are On Sale now at Midsouth, starting at just $14.79 for 5″ Gong Target.

3. Midsouth — RCBS Explorer Reloading Kit, $399.99

RCBS reloading press combo kit L-N-L Explorer
RCBS Kit includes all vital tools — good for new hand-loaders

Reloading tools have been in high demand. Many popular presses and combo kits have been sold out. Here’s good news — Midsouth has received Press Kits from RCBS. Great for folks getting started in reloading, this kit includes the single-stage press, powder measure, priming tool, trickler, digital scale, load manual, and various accessories. Get the RCBS Explorer Kit 2 for $399.99. If you want a bigger press, Midsouth also has the Rebel Master Reloading Kit for $488.95. This include everything in the Explorer kit, but with the beefier Rebel press plus a few more tools. Both kits are in-stock now, but could sell out soon.

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

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

KILLER DEAL on high-quality First Focal Plane MilRad optics, ideal for PRS/NRL tactical applications. These high-tech Crimson Trace scopes are over HALF OFF now. Grab the 3-24x56mm for $799.99 (55% OFF) or the 3-18x50mm for $699.99 (56% OFF). Both feature 34mm main tubes, tons of elevation, and advanced MR1-MIL illuminated reticles. We’ve looked through these optics and they have good glass and nice controls. These scopes feature EZ Mount Leveling Indicators for quick, precise mounting. All Crimson Trace scopes come with FREE Batteries for life and a Lifetime Protection Warranty.

5. Amazon — H&B Ultrasonic Heated Cleaning Machine, $77.98

lyman sonic cleaner
Quality ultrasonic heated cleaning machine at very good price

Looking to clean your brass and/or gun parts? The H&B Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine is a bargain at just $77.98 on Amazon. This unit features a heated tank for cleaning of cartridge barss and metal parts. The ultrasonic cavitation lifts and dissolves carbon, dirt, and any residue left on fired cases. Chose cycles from 90 to 480 seconds. Not only can you clean brass, but this unit can clean pistol slides, magazines, jewelry, and silverware. Note: This unit, an “Amazon Choice” with 89% 4- or 5-star reviews, is nearly identical to the unit Lyman has sold for $120+.

6. Midsouth — Lyman Ideal Reloading Press, $95.25

Lyman Ideal Brass Smith C-frame Reloading Press
Compact yet strong — good second press for range or home

Lyman’s Ideal compact press works great as a second, lighter-duty press. For loading at the range, it can easily be mounted to a bench. This cast-iron press is stronger than other small presses in its class. The Lyman Ideal C-Frame press costs just $79.99 at Midsouth. With good leverage in a compact size, this is a great press for the price.

7. Amazon — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $29.99

Shooting Mat
85% 5-Star Reviews, Easy Rolled Transport, Decent Padding

Here’s a very good mat for just $29.99. This NcStar Vism shooting mat boast decent padding, and reinforced areas for elbows and knees. Full dimensions are: 69″ Long x 35″ Wide. This mat has straps for pre-loading your bipod. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up into a compact 19.50″ W x 8.50″ H package — the size of a sleeping bag. You can pay twice as much for a shooting mat and not get much more quality. This mat has earned 85% Five-Star buyer ratings on Amazon.

8. Amazon — Lyman Pro Powder Funnel, $28.99

lyman pro funnel
Slick design prevents powder spillage — 6 inserts

Would you like the functionality of caliber-specific powder funnels, but don’t want to spend big money on multiple units? Then try the Lyman Pro Powder Funnel for $28.99. Six caliber-specific inserts effectively give the funnel a custom fit for your case neck sizes. This kit features a convenient carry case that holds the funnel plus six (6) inserts for 22, .243/6mm, .25/6.5mm, .270/7mm, .308 and .338 caliber rifle cartridges. NOTE: If this sells out, Midsouth has the Pro Powder Funnel with inserts for $27.45.

9. Amazon — MAXUS Dante Milligram Scale, $16.99

powder scale
Great price for nice hunting rifle; many calibers, coated action + barrel

Having a good compact utility scale is great for weighing bullets, primers, and brass. Everyone should have a small battery scale for loading at the range or sorting bullets by weight. Right now you can get a decent digital scale for a mere $16.99. Despite the low price, this MAXUS Dante Milligram Scale has earned good owner reviews. The scale reads up to 771 grains and comes with batteries, check weight, and powder pan.

10. Midsouth — Roll of 250 Stick-On Benchrest Accuracy Target

benchrest target adhesive stick-on load development Midsouth 6x4
Handy roll of adhesive targets with precise grid

Midsouth offers 250 self-adhesive Benchrest Targets on a convenient roll. These stick-on targets work great for anyone doing load development. Each target offers a precision 1/4″ grid at the top with diamond aiming box below. This is similar to official targets used in Benechrest matches, with the addition of the upper grid lines which allow you to instantly estimate group size. These targets also include an area to list your load components. Midsouth sells the 250-target roll for $14.99.

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May 3rd, 2021

Neck-Turning 101 — Basic Steps to Follow When Turning Necks

neck-turning basics reloading salazar

On our main AccurateShooter.com site, you’ll find a good article by GS Arizona on the Basics of Neck Turning. If you’re new to the neck-turning game, or are just looking for good tips on improving your neck-turning procedures, you should read that article. Below we offer some highlights and photos from the article, but you’ll need to read the whole story to view all the illustrations and follow all the procedures step by step.

Why Should You Consider Neck Turning?
Let’s assume that your rifle doesn’t have a tight neck chamber that requires neck turning; if you have a tight neck chamber, of course, the answer to the question is “because you have to”. For the rest of us, and that includes the vast majority of Highpower shooters, neck turning isn’t a requirement, but it can be a useful way to bring your ammunition a small but meaningful step closer to that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: perfection. I’m not talking about a theoretical improvement, but a real one, an improvement that lies in equalizing and optimizing the neck tension of your loaded rounds. Inconsistent neck tension is a real contributor to increased muzzle velocity variance which itself is a significant factor in increased elevation dispersion at long range. So there’s our basic reason for neck turning: to equalize and optimize neck tension in order to reduce elevation dispersion.

The Tools of the Trade
Here you see everything I use and a bit more. The press, a cordless screwdriver (always plugged in, turning is tough on the old battery), a couple of K&M neck turners (one set up for 6mm, the other for .30 caliber) an expander for each size, some Imperial lube, an old toothbrush or two to keep the cutter clean, a handle with a caseholder (for those emergencies when the screwdriver dies and there’s just one more case to go!), steel wool and a tubing micrometer finish the list of tools. Hey, I left the dial calipers out of the picture! They’re always handy, keep them around, but they are useless for measuring neck thickness, so don’t try. I usually use an Optivisor magnifier while I turn necks, very handy for a clear view of what’s happening on the neck.

neck-turning basics reloading salazar

Expanding the Neck
Put some lube on the inside of the case neck and run it into the expander. Really, this isn’t hard. I prefer to expand each case immediately before turning it as opposed to expanding all the cases and then turning them. Brass is somewhat springy and will tend to go back toward its original size; therefore, by expanding and turning immediately, you are more likely to have all cases fit the mandrel with the same degree of tightness and to get a more consistent depth of cut.

Cutter Adjustment for Cut Depth and Length
All the tools I’ve seen have pretty good adjustment instructions. The only thing they don’t tell you is that you should have five to ten spare cases to get it right initially. Anything of the right diameter will do while you learn, for instance, just use that cheap surplus .308 brass to do initial setup and save the precious .30-06 for when you know what you’re doing. Be patient and make your adjustments slowly; you’ll need to set the cutter for thickness as well as length of cut (just into the shoulder). The depth of cut (brass thickness) takes a bit of fiddling, the length of the cut is generally easy to set.

The Finished Product — A Perfectly Uniform Neck
If you read the whole article, and follow the procedures using quality tools, you should get very good results — with a little practice. To demonstrate, here’s an example of my finished, neck-turned brass. You’ll see there is a perfect, 0.0125″ thick neck. It’s very uniform around the circumference, usually I only see 1 or 2 ten-thousandths variance. Now, with the necks uniformed like this, we can select the bushing size that will give us our preferred neck tension and experiment with various levels of tension, secure in the knowledge that all of the cases will actually have the desired neck tension.

neck-turning basics reloading salazar

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May 3rd, 2021

Tunnel Vision — Amazing Accuracy in Sierra’s Test Tunnel

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels
NOTE: There are ten (10) shots in the group, but for simplicity we are only displaying five (5) shot circles. Adding more circles won’t change the measurement because the two most distant shots, which determine group size, ARE included.

What kind of 200-yard accuracy can you get in an enclosed, underground test range? Would you believe 0.162 MOA at 200 yards with a .338? Have a look at these test targets from Sierra Bullets. Like most bullet manufacturers, Sierra does live-fire bullet testing to ensure that Sierra projectiles perform as promised, with repeatable accuracy. Sierra tests bullets in its own underground test complex. Sierra’s 300-meter test range is the longest, privately-owned underground bullet test facility in the Western Hemisphere.*

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels

Day in and day out, various bullet types are tested using a big collection of barreled actions. These barreled actions are clamped in stout, return-to-battery test fixtures. These big, heavy test fixtures provide near-perfect repeatability (with no human-induced holding or aiming errors).

Sierra Bullets 10-Shot Groups at 200 yards
Check out these 10-shot test groups shot at the Sierra Test Range at 200 yards. Note that the numbers listed on each sample are actual measurements in inches. To convert to MOA, cut those numbers in half (to be more precise, divide by 2.094, which is 1 MOA at 200 yards). For example, the 0.340″ middle group works out to 0.162 MOA at 200 yards.

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrelsScan-Verified 0.162 MOA Accuracy at 200 Yards
To verify the accuracy of Sierra’s measurements, we measured the middle (.338 caliber) 10-shot group with our On-Target Group Measurement software. We registered a group size reading of 0.339″ — within one-thousandth of the Sierra measurement. The calculated group size in MOA (Minute of Angle) is 0.162.

That’s amazingly good for ten rounds of big .338 caliber bullets. A FIVE-shot 0.162 MOA group at 200 would be considered excellent at any benchrest match. But remember this target has TEN shots. The current, one-target IBS world record for ten shots at 200 yards is 0.245″, set by Ed Watson in 1999.

Bevy of Barreled Actions for Bullet Testing
Sierra Bullets uses dozens of barreled actions for testing bullets in its enclosed, 200-yard test range. Each barrel has its own logbook to track the barrel’s usage.

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels
Click Photo to Zoom


*Even Longer Test Tunnels Exist in Europe: At Stadeln in Germany, RWS (now part of RUAG) owns a 500 meter tunnel (above ground level) which has existed for decades. In Thun, Switzerland, RUAG has a fully-instrumented 500 meter underground tunnel. Near Ulm, Germany, there is a 5-lane 300 meter underground shooting range that is open to the public.

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