June 4th, 2021

Quiet Bands — Light, Easy-to-Deploy NRR 25 Hearing Protection

Howard Leight Quiet Band qb2 hearing protection earband ear

Howard Leight intra-aural inner-aural ear plugs ear band hearing protectionEffective hearing protection is a must whenever you are shooting firearms or when you are in the vicinity of gun-shots. For ultimate protection, we recommend a good set of tapered foam earplugs, topped by muffs. However, there are situations when you may prefer lighter-weight hearing protection that can be quickly removed. For example, if you are standing well behind the firing line as an observer, or if you are working as a rangemaster or waddie some distance away from the shooters. In addition, game hunters may only need hearing protection for a few moments when they take their shot, so something light-weight that can be deployed in seconds is ideal.

In addition to traditional ear plugs and ear-muffs, band-style protectors provide a third sound-blocking option. Howard Leight, a top name in the sound-protection business, offers the popular “Quiet Band”, a device with soft foam plugs attached to a plastic band worn around the neck. This “Quiet Band” product is comfortable, easy-to-deploy, and surprisingly effective.

NOTE: We do NOT recommend these for normal, sustained use when shooting firearms, as when shooting a match. Use muffs over plugs for that. However, Quiet Bands work very well if you are spotting for a fellow shooter, or are near the firing line. These also work great when running noisy machinery such as leaf-blowers.

Howard Leight Quiet Band qb2Three Quiet Band Models
There are three (3) types of Leight Quiet Band® sound protectors. We prefer the QB2 Supra-aural model (item QB2HYG, NRR 25).

The recommended QB2 Quiet Band positions cone-shaped foam pads next to the ear openings and holds them there with light pressure from the orange-colored band. There is also an Inner-aural version (item QB1HYG, yellow band, NRR 27), and a Semi-aural model (item QB3HYG, red band, NRR 21).

Our preferred QB2 Supra-aural (orange band) model is just as comfortable as the QB3 (red band) version, and offers much better protection. The QB1 Inner-aural (yellow band) model requires that you place the ear buds in the ear canal, so it’s not really any easier to use than conventional earplugs. That’s why we like the QB2 Supra-aural model best of all. Other users agree. Here’s what two QB2 owners had to say:

Hickok45 leight qb2“I first saw these used by Hickok45 on YouTube and he talked positively about them. I got two and gave them a try. At first, I didn’t think they were going to work very well. After some fiddling, I found they work pretty darn good. With my ears, they fit the best if the band starts on top of my head, I insert the plugs then rotate the band behind my head. PRESTO, perfect fit. Shooting the 9mm and 12 gauge out back was comfortable with no ringing afterward. [They are] small and easy to transport — just throw in the range bag. Yet, they are big enough to keep around your neck out of the way[.] I highly recommend them to anybody needing banded hearing protection.” — Tom W.

“Great for woodworkers — These are lightweight AND very effective at reducing noise. When not in use the band hangs loosely around your neck, out of your way completely. Very cost effective for a great product!” — Sheri D.

Quiet Bands Are Much Less Expensive Than Earmuffs
Quiet Band® sound protectors can be purchased online for under $6.00 per set. We like the QB2 Version which comfortable and easy to put in place. These currently cost $5.99 for one set or $21.95 for three QB2 bands with 3 extra sets of plugs. Alternatively, you can get the Leight QB3 Supra-Aural for $5.00 or the Leight QB1 Inner-Aural for $5.35. The QB3 features a flatter ear pad while the QB1 is designed the insert in the ear canal like conventional plugs. We think the QB2 is the best choice for most users.

For QB1, QB2, and QB3 ear bands, replacement ear buds are available and sold by the pair. You can also buy a Ten-Unit Bulk Pack of QB2 Quiet Bands for $45.50 with free shipping. If you run shooting matches or training programs, you can buy these in bulk for your Range Officers and pit workers. And there is a similar Sellstrom Banded unit with blue plugs for just $3.18 on Amazon.

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June 4th, 2021

How Cartridge Overall Length (COAL) Affects Pressure & Velocity

Berger Bullets COAL length cartridge

Figure 1. When the bullet is seated farther out of the case, there is more volume available for powder. This enables the cartridge to generate higher muzzle velocity with the same pressure.

Berger Bullets COAL length cartridgeEffects Of Cartridge Over All Length (COAL) And Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) – Part 1
by Bryan Litz for Berger Bullets.
Many shooters are not aware of the dramatic effects that bullet seating depth can have on the pressure and velocity generated by a rifle cartridge. Cartridge Overall Length (COAL) is also a variable that can be used to fine-tune accuracy. It’s also an important consideration for rifles that need to feed rounds through a magazine. In this article, we’ll explore the various effects of COAL, and what choices a shooter can make to maximize the effectiveness of their hand loads.

Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI)
Most loading manuals (including the Berger Manual), present loading data according to SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute) standards. SAAMI provides max pressure, COAL and many other specifications for commercial cartridges so that rifle makers, ammo makers, and hand loaders can standardize their products so they all work together. As we’ll see later in this article, these SAAMI standards are in many cases outdated and can dramatically restrict the performance potential of a cartridge.

Bullet seating depth is an important variable in the accuracy equation. In many cases, the SAAMI-specified COAL is shorter than what a hand loader wants to load their rounds to for accuracy purposes. In the case where a hand loader seats the bullets longer than SAAMI specified COAL, there are some internal ballistic effects that take place which are important to understand.

Effects of Seating Depth / COAL on Pressure and Velocity
The primary effect of loading a cartridge long is that it leaves more internal volume inside the cartridge. This extra internal volume has a well known effect; for a given powder charge, there will be less pressure and less velocity produced because of the extra empty space. Another way to look at this is you have to use more powder to achieve the same pressure and velocity when the bullet is seated out long. In fact, the extra powder you can add to a cartridge with the bullet seated long will allow you to achieve greater velocity at the same pressure than a cartridge with a bullet seated short.

When you think about it, it makes good sense. After all, when you seat the bullet out longer and leave more internal case volume for powder, you’re effectively making the cartridge into a bigger cartridge by increasing the size of the combustion chamber. Figure 1 illustrates the extra volume that’s available for powder when the bullet is seated out long.

Before concluding that it’s a good idea to start seating your bullets longer than SAAMI spec length, there are a few things to consider.

Geometry of a Chamber Throat
The chamber in a rifle will have a certain throat length which will dictate how long a bullet can be loaded. The throat is the forward portion of the chamber that has no rifling. The portion of the bullet’s bearing surface that projects out of the case occupies the throat (see Figure 2).

Berger Bullets COAL length cartridge

The length of the throat determines how much of the bullet can stick out of the case. When a cartridge is chambered and the bullet encounters the beginning of the rifling, known as the lands, it’s met with hard resistance. This COAL marks the maximum length that a bullet can be seated. When a bullet is seated out to contact the lands, its initial forward motion during ignition is immediately resisted by an engraving force.

Seating a bullet against the lands causes pressures to be elevated noticeably higher than if the bullet were seated just a few thousandths of an inch off the lands.

A very common practice in precision reloading is to establish the COAL for a bullet that’s seated to touch the lands. This is a reference length that the hand loader works from when searching for the optimal seating depth for precision. Many times, the best seating depth is with the bullet touching or very near the lands. However, in some rifles, the best seating depth might be 0.100″ or more off the lands. This is simply a variable the hand loader uses to tune the precision of a rifle.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article with More Info

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June 4th, 2021

The King Reigns — Doug Koenig Wins His 19th Bianchi Cup

Doug Koenig Bianchi Cup 2021 19th championship champion

Doug Koenig Bianchi Cup 2021 19th championship championKoenig Triumphs for 19th Time
Team Ruger Captain Doug Koenig has just won the Bianchi Cup (NRA Action Pistol Championship) for the 19th time in his career. That is a remarkable accomplishment, as the the Bianchi Cup is considered by many to be the most unforgiving and difficult pistol competition on the planet. This legendary competition draws the top pistoleros from around the world. The Bianchi is Tough — for a chance to win overall, you basically have to “shoot clean”, with perfect stages.

Koenig won the Open Division and finished First Overall, capturing the title with a final 1920-182 Aggregate — truly impressive. Koenig took the win shooting a Ruger Custom Shop SR1911 Competition pistol. This championship was held at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club in Hallsville, MO.

Koenig nailed perfect scores of 480 on all four Bianchi Cup events: Practical, Barricade, Moving Target and Falling Plates. That quadruple perfect performance earned Koenig an Aggregate score of 1920. In addition he completed the match with 182 total X-Ring hits, six more than the nearest competitor. By the way, Koenig (aka König) means “King” in the German language. There is no question that Koenig is King of the Bianchi Cup.

“Winning the Bianchi Cup title for the 19th time in my career is very special on its own,” said Koenig. “But to do so after the difficult year we’ve all faced, and to do so wearing a Team Ruger jersey, has made this win that much more meaningful for me.”

What skills does it take to win a Bianchi Cup? You need speed, accuracy, control, and discipline. Koenig explains some of these techniques in these two videos below. You’ll find 30 more Doug Koenig Videos on the NSSF YouTube Channel:

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