August 1st, 2021

SonDay GunDay: Father Trains Son with Single-Shot .22 LR Rifle

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

Today we present a feel-good story about the connection between father and son, and how that bond can grow through marksmanship training — father teaching son. This story features Kelly Bachand, and his young son Charles, who recently shot together at the Skyline Range in Alabama. We have known Kelly for many years, first meeting him when he was a young, prodigy Palma (Fullbore) shooter. As a college student he was holding his own with many of the top sling shooters in the country. Kelly later became a bit of a shooting celebrity as the youngest-ever contestant on the History Channel’s Top Shot TV show.


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Here is Kelly’s report from his session with son Charles: “Today was the first shooting trip in about six months with Charles and he had a ball! We practiced all of the necessary safety rules, began working on some ideas that will help with accuracy, and learned to shoot prone!”

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting
Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

Kelly added: “I didn’t bring a shooting mat with me to Alabama so when we decided to try prone he had to lay on the ground and we used the soft rifle case under his elbows. He loved it!”

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

Kelly notes that “Charles loved shooting prone and enjoyed shooting our new swinging target (see videos below). I enjoy teaching Charles so much, he is such an intelligent and joy-filled little guy.”

About Father Kelly Bachand

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

Top Shot Kelly BachandYou may recognize Kelly Bachand. He was the youngest competitor on the History Channel’s popular Top Shot TV series. After graduating from the Univ. of Washington with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Kelly works for Aerojet Rocketdyne in Operations Leadership. Kelly’s life has progressed as he first became a husband (to wife Valerie) and then devoted father to three children. Throughout the years, Kelly maintained his interest in target shooting. Kelly is a talented Palma rifle shooter who has competed in major championships. Kelly is the real deal — a genuine marksman. It is great that he is able to share his skills with his young son Charles, who clearly enjoys learning marksmanship with his Dad.

Kelly represented the USA at the 2007, 2011, and 2015 World Long Range Fullbore Championships. In 2007 he was a member of the Gold Medal-winning Under-21 USA Young Eagles team. In 2011 he was the wind coach of the Silver Medal-winning Under-25 USA Young Eagles, and was a firing member of Bronze Medal-winning USA Palma Team. In 2015 he was a firing member of the Silver-Medal winning USA Palma Team. Although Kelly hasn’t competed since the 2015 World Championships, Kelly is still a member of the USA National Rifle Team. Kelly looks forward to competing again one day, perhaps in Palma, PRS, or one of several other firearms disciplines he enjoys.



Keystone Arms Crickett Precision Rifle — Great First Rimfire under $300.00
The little single-shot Crickett Precision Rifle Kelly acquired is very affordable. The base model rig has a $349 MSRP but you can find it for under $270 at some vendors. Or you can get a complete package with scope and bipod for $310-$350. That makes training with your young family members affordable.

The Crickett Precision Rifle from Keystone Sporting Arms is a scaled-down version of popular PRS designs. It features an adjustable comb, “Crickettinny” Rail that accepts Weaver or Picatinny-style rings, and a lower rail mount on the fore-end for the bipod. Sized perfectly for young boys and girls, this single-shot .22 LR is a good choice for a first rimfire rifle,

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

The Crickett Precision Rifle (CPR) is available in a variety of external colors/finishes, including this patriotic Stars and Stripes model (the “Amendment” Package). The CPR is offered as a base rifle or as a package with 4x28mm scope and bipod. Kelly bought the base model and added a Red Dot optic, which he purchased separately. Kelly explained: “I bought the version without a scope and bipod, then put a Red dot on top — that’s easy for a 4-year old to understand because it has infinite eye relief.”

Kelly Bachand Charles son father .22 LR Crickett first shooting

Here’s a Review of the Keystone Arms Crickett Precision Rifle with another Father & Son Team

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August 1st, 2021

How Ammo Temp Can Affect Velocity — Freezing to 130 degrees F

Sierra Bullets Ammunition Ammo temperature temp test hot F-Class Ammo cold
In this .308 Win test, 70° F ammo shot 96 FPS slower than ammo heated to 130.5° F. And the 130.5° ammunition was 145 fps faster than ammo taken right out of the freezer (at 25.5° F). That’s a huge difference…

summer heat ammunition temperature velocityToday is the first day of August. That means most parts of the country will soon be encountering peak summer heat. Some ranges in the Western states have already recorded temperatures well over 100 degrees F during matches. When dealing with extreme summer heat, you should make a serious effort to keep your ammo at reasonable temperatures. When possible, keep ammo in a cooler in the shade.

Never leave boxes of ammo out in the hot sun. Even with powders advertised as “temp stable” you can see significant velocity increases when ambient temps reach 90 degrees and above. This article explains how temperature extremes (both hot and cold) can alter bullet velocities. The velocity differences between very cold ammo and very hot ammo can be very large, as this article explains.

EDITOR’s NOTE: The Sierra tester does not reveal the brand of powder tested here. Some powders are much more temp sensitive than others. Accordingly, you cannot extrapolate test results from one propellant to another. Nonetheless, it is interesting to see the actual recorded velocity shift with ammo temperature variations in a .308 Win.

Written by Sierra Chief Ballistician Tommy Todd
This story originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog
A few weeks ago I was attending the Missouri State F-Class Match. This was a two-day event during the summer and temperatures were hot one day and hotter the next. I shot next to a gentleman who was relatively new to the sport. He was shooting a basically factory rifle and was enjoying himself with the exception that his scores were not as good as he hoped they would be and he was experiencing pressure issues with his ammunition. I noticed that he was having to force the bolt open on a couple of rounds. During a break, I visited with him and offered a couple of suggestions which helped his situation somewhat and he was able to finish the match without major issues.

He was shooting factory ammunition, which is normally loaded to upper levels of allowable pressures. While this ammunition showed no problems during “normal” testing, it was definitely showing issues during a 20-round string of fire in the temperatures we were competing in. My first suggestion was that he keep his ammunition out of the direct sun and shade it as much as possible. My second suggestion was to not close the bolt on a cartridge until he was ready to fire. He had his ammo in the direct sunlight and was chambering a round while waiting on the target to be pulled and scored which can take from a few seconds to almost a minute sometimes.

This time frame allowed the bullet and powder to absorb chamber [heat] and build pressure/velocity above normal conditions. Making my recommended changes lowered the pressures enough for the rifle and cartridge to function normally.

Testing Effects of Ammunition Temperature on Velocity and POI
After thinking about this situation, I decided to perform a test in the Sierra Bullets underground range to see what temperature changes will do to a rifle/cartridge combination. I acquired thirty consecutive .30 caliber 175 grain MatchKing bullets #2275 right off one of our bullet assembly presses and loaded them into .308 Winchester ammunition. I utilized an unnamed powder manufacturer’s product that is appropriate for the .308 Winchester cartridge. This load is not at the maximum for this cartridge, but it gives consistent velocities and accuracy for testing.

I took ten of the cartridges and placed them in a freezer to condition.

Sierra Bullets Ammunition Ammo temperature temp test hot F-Class Ammo cold

Sierra Bullets Ammunition Ammo temperature temp test hot F-Class Ammo cold

I set ten of them on my loading bench, and since it was cool and cloudy the day I performed this test I utilized a floodlight and stand to simulate ammunition being heated in the sun.

Sierra Bullets Ammunition Ammo temperature temp test hot F-Class Ammo cold

I kept track of the temperatures of the three ammunition samples with a non-contact laser thermometer.

The rifle was fired at room temperature (70 degrees) with all three sets of ammunition. I fired this test at 200 yards out of a return-to-battery machine rest. The aiming point was a leveled line drawn on a sheet of paper. I fired one group with the scope aimed at the line and then moved the aiming point across the paper from left to right for the subsequent groups.

NOTE that the velocity increased as the temperature of the ammunition did.

The ammunition from the freezer shot at 2451 fps.

Frozen FPS

The room temperature ammunition shot at 2500 fps.

Room Temperature FPS

The heated ammunition shot at 2596 fps.

Sierra Bullets Ammunition Ammo temperature temp test hot cold

The tune window of the particular rifle is fairly wide as is shown by the accuracy of the three pressure/velocity levels and good accuracy was achieved across the board. However, notice the point of impact shift with the third group? There is enough shift at 200 yards to cause a miss if you were shooting a target or animal at longer ranges. While the pressure and velocities changed this load was far enough from maximum that perceived over pressure issues such as flattened primer, ejector marks on the case head, or sticky extraction did not appear. If you load to maximum and then subject your ammunition to this test your results will probably be magnified in comparison.

Sierra Bullets Ammunition Ammo temperature temp test hot cold

This test showed that pressures, velocities, and point-of-impact can be affected by temperatures of your ammunition at the time of firing. It’s really not a bad idea to test in the conditions that you plan on utilizing the ammo/firearm in if at all possible. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to also test to see what condition changes do to your particular gun and ammunition combination so that you can make allowances as needed. Any personal testing along these lines should be done with caution as some powder and cartridge combination could become unsafe with relatively small changes in conditions.

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August 1st, 2021

Best Guide for Factory Ammo — .17 HM2 to .700 Nitro Express

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

Do you use factory ammo in your hunting rifles? Perhaps you buy bulk centerfire ammo for your AR15 or varmint rifle. Then this book is for you.

If you ever shoot factory ammo, you should consider getting Ammo & Ballistics 6. This resource lists over 2,600 different loads for 200+ cartridge types from .17 Mach 2 up to .700 Nitro Express, including the most popular centerfire and rimfire cartridges (both rifle and handgun). In this updated-for-2020 Sixth Edition, there are over 3,000 tables covering virtually every caliber and every load for all commercially-loaded hunting ammunition sold in the USA. Tables include velocity, energy, wind drift, bullet drop, and ballistic coefficients up to 1,000 yards.

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

Ammo & Ballistics 6 helps you select ammo for a hunt — quickly compare the velocity and knock-down power of various commercial ammo. This book can also help you choose a caliber/chambering for your next hunting rig.

Verified Book Purchaser Reviews
“Outstanding reference guide for shooters and ballistic enthusiasts alike. Has data on velocity, energy delivered, Taylor KO index, windage and elevation on numerous loadings for hundreds of [cartridge types]. Each cartridge has all dimensions labeled (i.e rim, case length, neck, etc.), and has an informative description of the cartridges history/relevance.” — S. Step, 2017

“Great heaps of data! This volume has pages and pages of new data for .22LR like the hot Velocitor, and also on the .22 WMR from 30 grains up into the 50s. Most importantly there is lots of range data, drop, windage, kinetic energy, etc. — Terrific reference guide….” — E. Svanoe

Ammo & Ballistics 6 contains data and illustrations on virtually every sporting cartridge sold in the USA. This 2020 Edition covers 200-plus cartridge types from .17 Mach 2 up to .700 Nitro Express.

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