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March 31st, 2022

6.5 Creedmoor LOAD DATA from Sierra Bullets

Sierra Load Data 6.5 Creedmoor

Sierra Bullets has released extensive load data for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This medium-sized cartridge has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical and PRS shooters. The 6.5 Creedmoor combines excellent accuracy, good mag-feeding, good barrel life, moderate recoil, and reasonable component cost. That’s why this cartridge has caught on quickly, and is now one of the most popular chamberings in factory rifles.

Sierra Load Data 6.5 CreedmoorDeveloped in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design. This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines. With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5 mm (i.e. .264 caliber). Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Varget, Win 760, and RE-17. The light recoil and adaptability of the efficient 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has already proven itself in high power, precision rifle series and benchrest competitions. Couple that with respectable barrel life and its intrinsic accuracy potential and you have a recipe for success which should insure its legacy for decades to come.

Sierra 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data Manual reloading .264

Here are three tables from the Sierra Bullets Reloading Manual (5th Edition). IMPORTANT — This is just a sample!! Sierra has load data for many other 6.5mm bullet types, including FB, Spitzer, SBT, HPBT, and Tipped MK from 85 grains to 142 grains. To view ALL 6.5 Creedmoor DATA, CLICK HERE.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sierra Bullets 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data MatchKing Tactical
INDICATES MAXIMUM LOAD – USE CAUTION
LOADS LESS THAN MINIMUM CHARGES SHOWN ARE NOT RECOMMENDED.

Two More Great 6.5 Creedmoor Reloading Resouces

Want More 6.5 Creedmoor Load Info? View Starline’s 6.5 Creedmoor Guide by Gavin Gear:

Download full 6.5 Creedmoor Guide at StarlineBrass.com.

PRB 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor Load Survey
The Precision Rifle Blog compiled Load Data from PRS Competitors, for both 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor. This is a good place to start. PRB surveyed the match loads for “173 of the top-ranked precision rifle shooters in the country”. CLICK HERE.

PRB precision rifle blog pet loads what pros use 6.5 Creedmoor 6mm CM

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March 31st, 2022

Area 419 ZERO 9-Station Turret Press Ultimate Reloader Review

Area 419 Zero reloading turret 10 station reloading press ultimatereloader review gavin gear

Area 419 has just introduced the all-new ZERO reloading press, a 9-station turret press with some very unique features. This press was designed to be the most precise turret ever created. As tested by Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com, the new ZERO turret press delivered very impressive shoulder-bump consistency and ultra-low seated bullet run-out (about +/- 0.0005″). The numbers were as good as you can get from a quality single-stage press, so Area 419 did some impressive engineering. We would expect that, as this is an expensive product — MSRP is $1200.00. SEE FULL REVIEW on UltimateReloader.com.

The ZERO turret press lets you install up to nine (9) different reloading dies in the large top turret, which revolves around a central axis. But unlike most turret presses, the ZERO doesn’t have flex or wobble when you’re loading. This is because Area 419 includes a clever system for locking the turret in position after you’ve selected the die from your array. Area 419 also uses a unique system for securing shell-holders (see video at 12:00). This, likewise, adds to the precision of the press.

In the video above, you can see how the turret is secured with a “wedge clamp”. By loosening the wedge clamp you can index the press easily to any station. Then, when you have selected your die, you tighten the wedge clamp again. You can see this important procedure at 13:20 – 13:35 timemark in the video.

Area 419 Zero reloading turret 10 station reloading press ultimatereloader review gavin gear

ZERO Turret Press Has Very Smooth Operation
Gavin observed that this ZERO turret is both smooth and very precise, thanks to smart engineering and the use of multiple bearings. Area 419 describes the design features:

— Turret (zero-slop) eliminates variability induced when removing and resetting dies
— The turret head holds nine 7/8×14-threaded dies (1-1/4 thread in future)
— Available ram-stroke here is 4.4″, allowing use of very tall cartridge types.
— Adjustable/interchangeable handle setup for maximizing leverage/feel based on operation
— Internally contained primer-catch system, slide-out drawer

Important Features of ZERO Turret Press

Area 419 Zero reloading turret 10 station reloading press ultimatereloader review gavin gear

1. Press frame: 6061 Aluminum, clear anodized
2. Wedge clamp (locks turret into indexed position)
3. Turret (7075 aluminum and steel construction)
4. Adjustable handle with roller knob (set either left- or right-handed operation)
5. Bearings: Ball bearing plus roller thrust bearings for side plates
6. Ram riding in self-lubricated linear bearing
7. Spent primer catcher drawer

Milled from American billet aluminum and stainless steel, this press employs 14 bearings, including a self-lubricating linear sleeve bearing for the precision-ground 1.25″ ram. The linkage system also glides on bearings providing smooth operation with near-ZERO slop. The oversized ram features a 0.75″-diameter steel arm and ZERO-friction knob. The turret system is located with an oversized ball-detent system and secured using an over-sized, custom-made ZERO-point pull-stud. Locking the turret after indexing require only a half-turn of the supplied T-handle (see photo above). When indexing the turret, repeatability variance of the system should be less than .0005″.

The opening in the press will allow for sizing and seating of cases up to.338 Lapua Magnum, and will accept standard 7/8″ dies and standard shellholders. NOTE: Area 419 will be making and selling shellholders specifically fit to the system later in 2020.

SUMMARY — Impressive Press Delivers Precise Results
Gavin Gear was very impressed with Area 419’s new Zero Press, which he said offers the precision of a quality single-stage with the versatility of a turret: “There will always be people that prefer a traditional single-stage. Where the ZERO will be compelling is to those who want the precision of a single-stage without the need to screw dies in and out. Leaving your dies set can have benefits for precision as well — everything comes back to the ‘same place’ when dies are indexed into position. Screwing dies in and out can impose variation, and variation is the enemy of the ‘white lab coat shooter’. I plan on testing the ZERO press with ultra-high-end dies, and custom dies that I ream to my own specifications. I’m thinking that will show the true potential of this press!”

Area 419 ZERO Press Video with Operation Instructions

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March 31st, 2022

CMP Introduces New National Air Gun Event at Camp Perry

2022 Camp perry air gun championship junior adult july

CMP Introduces New National Air Gun Event for Adult and Junior Athletes
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has received several requests to sanction more air rifle and air pistol events for all age groups. So, in the summer of 2022, the CMP will offer the new Air Gun National Matches — a three-day set of matches for adult and junior athletes.

The inaugural National Air Gun Championship will be held July 16-18 as part of the 2022 Camp Perry National Matches. That schedule allows the CMP’s junior 3PAR National Championship, the Air Gun Championship, and the National Matches Smallbore events to all be fired consecutively, with the Air Gun events held at the Gary Anderson Competition Center at Camp Perry.

The National Air Gun event will include a day of training, a two-member team elimination match and two days of 60-shot competitions that includes a four-member team match. The 60 Shot matches are also considered USA Shooting Designated Ranking events.

2022 Camp perry air gun championship junior adult july

CLICK HERE to learn more about the new CMP National Air Gun Matches, including registration and entry fee information. Questions may be directed to Katie Harrington at kharrington@thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141, ext. 731.

Camp Perry Air Gun Championship Events 2022
July 16 – Training & Two-Member Team Elimination Match
July 17 – Air Gun Match 1 Championship
July 18 – Air Gun Match 2 Championship & Final

Additionally, the CMP has implemented new Distinguished Air Rifle and Air Pistol badge programs. Starting in 2022, Air Rifle and Air Pistol competitors of all ages, not just juniors, will be able to earn Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) credits for these badges in 60-shot National Matches Air Gun Championships, Monthly Matches as well as in CMP sanctioned Air Rifle and Air Pistol club matches.

The CMP currently maintains two state-of-the-art electronic target 10-meter indoor facilities: the South CMP Competition Center in Alabama and the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center in Ohio. International-style air rifle and air pistol matches offered throughout the year at the CMP’s Competition Centers include the Monthly Matches, Camp Perry Open, and Dixie Double. All are open to both adult and junior athletes.

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March 30th, 2022

Camp Perry Bullseye Pistol Shooting on Shooting USA Today

Camp perry bullseye pistol championship

Today, March 30, 2022, Shooting USA TV features bullseye pistol competition at Camp Perry. Traditional Bullseye pistol shooting can bring nearly a thousand competitors to Camp Perry each summer, as part of the CMP National Championships. For these Camp Perry pistol matches, targets are set at 25 and 50 yards. The shooting position is standing and firing one-handed in slow fire, timed fire, and rapid-fire.

SHOW TIMES: This Shooting USA Episode airs Wednesday, March 30, 2021 at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central. If you miss the regular broadcast, you can stream the show at any time on Vimeo for $0.99 per episode.

Camp Perry Pistol bullseye

Camp Perry Bullseye Pistol Competition
Camp Perry is synonymous with the oldest and most prestigious annual trophy matches in our nation’s history. And in a venue renowned for service rifle matches, the sport of precision pistol is no less important, no less challenging, and no less respected. The National Trophy Pistol Matches is all about traditional handgunning — the stance, the intense concentration, and of course, the one-handed grip. It’s all unmistakable as the game of Bullseye Pistol. Every year there are no fewer than 24 separate match trophies for the top Bullseye Pistol shooters, both military and civilian. And the very best will claim National Match Trophies and receive the President’s 100 Tab.

This video shows .45 ACP centerfire pistol competitors at Camp Perry

NTT National Trophy Team Pistol Match Camp Perry Gold Cup
Civilians and military shooters competed together at the 2019 NTT Pistol Match.

The 2021 National Matches encompass multiple pistol competitions, including a Centerfire Pistol 900 Aggregate, a .45 Pistol 900 Aggregate, and a CMP Revolver Match. To learn more about CMP events at the 2021 National Matches at Camp Perry, visit the CMP Nat’l Matches Website.

Camp Perry Pistol

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March 30th, 2022

Free Targets for Springtime Shooting Fun

shooting paper printable fly flies target

With April just two days away, we are well into the “swing of spring”. Here are six “fun and games” targets that can provide some fun springtime shooting opportunities, both indoors and outdoors. While each requires good conventional marksmanship skills — hitting a small aiming point — there are other strategies involved, such as playing darts or hitting the right combination of poker cards. Most of us started shooting as kids, just plinking for fun. Here’s an opportunity to be like a kid again — to spend a day at the range just having fun with friends and family members.

Dartboard Target with Colored Rings

shooting paper printable dartboard shooting target

This printable Dartboard Shooting Target has the numbers inside the outer dartboard ring to allow a larger target. With this target you can shoot for the center bull, or actually play pub-style dart games, aiming for numbers and particular rings. If you don’t know how to play traditional dart games, visit NiceDarts.com for complete darts rules. One popular game is “Around The World”. The object is to hit the numbered zones, starting with number 1. Then you try for 2, 3, and so on. After hitting all the numbers 1 through 20, then hit the bullseye to win. CLICK HERE for Other Dart Board Color combinations.

Atomic Target — Aim for Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons

atomic neutron electronic fun shooting target PDF

The Atomic Target was originally created as a contest for our readers. The design is by Michael Forester of Auckland, New Zealand. First aim for the bigger green and red neutrons and protons, then try your luck with the smaller, more challenging blue electrons. You can also use the four black and yellow Atomic warning symbols as bullseye targets.

Poker Target — Get the Best Hand

Dots Target

Poker players will enjoy this target. With this playing card-themed poker cards target, each shooter takes five shots and the one with the highest hand wins. You can also shoot for four-of-a-kind, against the clock, fastest four (without a mistake) wins.

Slot Machine Jackpot Target

Slot machine jackpot free shooting target

Enjoy a little Las Vegas-style fun on your next trip to the range. This cool Slot Machine Target has four sets of slot machine patterns each with three rows of three symbols. Connect three in a row to win — and hit the Jackpot! This is one of many colorful, free targets available from Targetz.com.

Flies in Circles Target

shooting paper printable fly flies target

Now you can boast to your buddies that you hit a fly on your target — 16 times. On this target, 16 flies with bright red eyes are arranged in a inside circles, 16 to a page. There are various ways to use the fly targets. Some shoot to hit the head only — so aim for those red eyes. There are 11 other variations of this Fly Target available on the Targets.WS website.

Tic-Tac-Toe Fun Game Target

shooting paper printable fly flies target

This Tic-Tac-Toe Shooting Game Target lets you challenge your shooting buddies at the range. One player can shoot the red triangles, while the other shoots the white zones, taking turns. You proceed just like a regular Tic-Tac-Toe game, alternating shots, with the goal of getting three of the same color in a row. This is a fun game for a parent and a young family member. You’ll find other fun targets on Targets4free.com.

Special BONUS — AccurateShooter.com Load Development Target

FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target
Right-Click target image to download printable PDF.

Our Load Development Target has been used by tens of thousands of shooters. It has proven very popular, since all your load data fits neatly in the boxes under each target. In fact this target is being employed by both rifle-makers (Bergara) and barrel-makers (including Criterion) to test their products. The target was designed for aiming efficiency. The red diamonds have 1/2″ sides and you can align your cross-hairs on the horizontal and vertical lines. It is a clean design that is easy to see even at 200 yards with a 20X scope. NOTE: When we test, we usually crank in a little elevation, setting the point-of-impact higher, so our shots fall in the gray circles. That way you leave the red diamonds intact for precise aiming.

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March 30th, 2022

Look Inside Ammo — Cutaway Cartridge Views

sliced cutaway ammo ammunition FOG diagram

Here’s something you don’t see every day — the inside of loaded cartridges, sliced halfway through. This lets you see how bullet core, jacket, cartridge case, powder, and primer all fit together. Give credit to the folks at FOG Ammunition for creating this interesting series of cut-through ammo images. We show four cartridges here: the .308 Winchester, 9mm Luger, 300 BLK, and .50 BMG. You’ll find two more (the .223 Remington and .45 ACP) at www.FogAmmo.com.

sliced cutaway ammo ammunition FOG diagram

This .308 Winchester model took on a different approach by only cutting the brass case and displaying the full bullet, primer and powder load. A spec amount of powder was used to create the model powder form. An estimated 10% volume was added during the forming process, along with an undetermined amount of air pockets.

sliced cutaway ammo ammunition FOG diagram

This bisection is a 9mm Luger Jacketed Hollow Point round with flake powder held together with super glue. After this self-defense round was cut by a trained professional the round was polished by hand. This might look like stick powder, but those are in fact flakes stacked up in cross-section. Designed in 1901 by Georg Luger, this popular cartridge is used by civilians, military, and law enforcement.

sliced cutaway ammo ammunition FOG diagram

For this model of the .300 AAC Blackout (aka 300 BLK), a Dremel tool was used to create a pie cut within the bullet and brass case. A measured amount of power, roughly 65% of spec charge, was placed inside the case with super glue. This cartridge was originally optimized for subsonic use with a suppressor, so the amount of powder used is small relative to the nominal case capacity. That leaves more room for the relatively large .30-caliber bullet.

sliced cutaway ammo ammunition FOG diagram

Last but definitely not least is the .50 Caliber BMG round (aka .50 Browning Machine Gun). Famed for its wartime use in the M2 Machine gun, the .50 BMG round is also used in civilian Long Range competitions. A typical .50 BMG cartridge holds over 225 grains of powder. That’s almost ten times the amount in a 5.56×45 NATO Round! To demonstrate the size of the .50 BMG, check out that .223 Rem for comparison.

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March 29th, 2022

CMP Awards Shooters Who Attend Multiple CMP Games

CMP Competition Awards games eastern western new england

Do you attend the CMP Games each year? Are you able to travel to multiple venues around the country? Then here is a special opportunity…

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has created a new set of awards for those competitors who attend multiple CMP Competition Games events (formerly known as CMP Travel Games) during a single year. Awards include collectible T-Shirts and free (or discounted) Competition Games entry fees.

CMP Competition Awards games eastern western new england

The first Competition Games event, the CMP Western Games, took place earlier this month in Phoenix, Arizona. The 2022 schedule also includes: Eastern Games (Butner, North Carolina), New England Games (Jericho, Vermont) and the Oklahoma Games (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma). Competitors that attend at least three of these four events will receive a collectible t-shirt and will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win free match fees to one Competition Game of their choice for the 2023 shooting season.

The Next CMP Competition Games Event is the Eastern Games, April 22 – May 1, 2022
CMP Competition Eastern games

Names will also be drawn to receive a 50% discount on match fees for one Competition Game for the 2023 shooting season. Four winners will be chosen for each drawing. Additional prizes will be awarded to those competitors who fire in all four Competition Games.

CMP Competition Games 2022 Schedule:

• March 11-20 – Western CMP Games & CMP HP Rifle Matches, Phoenix, Arizona

• April 22-May 1– Eastern CMP Games & CMP HP Rifle Matches, Butner, North Carolina

• Sept. 18-25 – New England CMP Games & CMP HP Rifle Matches, Jericho, Vermont

• Oct. 16-23 – Oklahoma CMP Games & CMP HP Rifle Matches, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

If you have questions about the Competition Games awards, please email Christina Roguski at croguski@thecmp.org or visit the CMP Competition Games website.

CMP Competition Eastern games

The Competition Games are regional events held around the country throughout the year, featuring CMP’s unique rifle and pistol outdoor matches. The Games offer a variety of competition and training activities for experienced marksmen as well as well as novice competitors.

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March 29th, 2022

GAP Grind 2021 on Shooting USA TV This Week

GAP Grind 2020 Shooting USA Scoutten TV

This week, Shooting USA TV spotlights the 2021 GAP Grind, the largest PRS Pro-Am Tactical match with nearly 400 competitors. The 2021 GAP Grind/Bushnell Pro/Am took place in October at the K&M Precision Shooting Complex in Finger, Tennessee. The 3-day event, the biggest PRS match of the year, included professional and “amateur” classes with both individual and team competition. Here are highlights from the 2021 event in this Area419-produced video:

GAP Grind 2021 in Tennessee:

SHOW TIMES: This Shooting USA Episode airs Wednesday, March 30, 2021 at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific; 8:00 PM Central. If you miss the regular broadcast, you can stream the show at any time on Vimeo for $0.99 per episode.

The GAP Grind is held at the impressive K&M Shooting Complex in Tennessee:

GAP Grind 2022 INFO: If you are interested in competing in the 2022 GAP Grind, Registration Opens June, 3 2022. The 2022 GAP Grind runs September 30 through October 2, 2022.

Lots of Action, with 20+ Stages
The GAP Grind is a challenging, “high tempo” match with minimal down-time between stages. Over the course of 20+ stages, competitors will fire 200+ shots at a variety of steel, paper, moving, and reactive targets out to 1,200 yards. Targets vary in size/difficulty based on the shooter’s position, distance, and time allotted. Most stages include “stressors” — i.e. time limits or required movement(s).

GAP Grind 2020 Shooting USA Scoutten TV

The GAP Grind typically attracts over 300 competitors — half experienced shooters and the other half newcomers to the sport. The key to growing the shooting sports is attracting new shooters. The best way to bring in “new blood” seems to be the Pro-Am type format. At the GAP Grind, experienced shooters share their knowledge and guide the new shooters through the competition.

GAP Grind 2020

Great video shows K&M Complex — overhead and action shots — Click II pause to halt:

GAP Grind 2020 Shooting USA Scoutten TV

GAP Grind Hardware

You’ll find the latest and greatest PRS hardware at the GAP Grind. Notable in 2021 was the fact that many top competitors “stepped down” from the 6.5/6mm Creedmoor to the smaller, more efficient 6mm Dasher, 6BRA and other 6mm cartridges. The Dasher offers excellent accuracy with less recoil than the 6.5 Creedmoor. Also, many top shooters are now running Kahles optics and we predict will be running the new Zeiss FFP scopes in 2022. Photo by Shelley Giddings.

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March 29th, 2022

Free Load Data Sheets and Ammo Box Label Templates

Reloading Data Form Ammo Box Template printing labels chronograph data sheet

Redding Reloading offers handy Handloader’s Data Sheets in printable PDF format. This FREE form allows hand-loaders to document their tool settings, bushing size, powder charge, load specs (COAL etc.), and case prep status. In addition, the form allows you to enter your load testing information, complete with chronograph data, group size, zero range, and wind/temp conditions. With this single, handy form you can document all the vital information for your particular cartridges and loads. We suggest you print these out, 3-hole-punch ‘em, and then keep them in a three-ring binder.

Download FREE Handloader’s Data Sheet (PDF)

We’ve seen various reloading log templates, but this Redding form (shown below) is better than most because it combines both reloading data AND range-test data in one place. You can see all key details of the reloading process (tool settings etc.) plus the end results — how the load actually performed over the chronograph and on paper. This form allows the user to capture a large amount of information for later use, while accurately track load development. CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD.

Reloading Data Form Ammo Box Template printing labels chronograph data sheet

FREE Ammunition Box Label Template
Reloading Data Form Ammo Box Template printing labels chronograph data sheetRedding also provides a FREE printable template for your ammo boxes (see photo at top of article). This lets you put all vital load info on your ammo boxes. There are fields for: Date, Cartridge, Powder, Grains, Bullet, Weight, Primer, Case type. Designed for Avery 5260 (or similar) label sheets, this template allows you to print 30 labels at one time. You can purchase the Avery 5260 peel-off printable label sheets at any office supply store.

Download Box Label Template (PDF)

Redding Ammo Box Template printing labels chronograph data sheet

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March 28th, 2022

Bargain Finder 340: 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. KYGUNCO — RemArms 700 Magpul Rifle starting at $988.99

remington rifle sale

Modern Magpul stock, versatile long-range target and hunting rig

Looking for a serious long-range rifle for under $1100? Check out these RemArms 700 Magpul rifles. Starting at just $988.99 for the 6.5 Creedmoor 22″ bbl version (without bipod), these are well-made, reliable, and accurate rifles with a nice modern Magpul stock. For $1054.99 ($66 more), you can get bipod-equipped versions in .308 Winchester or 6.5 Creedmoor, both with fluted 20″ heavy barrels. Currently out of stock is a .300 Win Magnum version with 24″ heavy barrel and bipod ($1054.99). When it becomes available again, we think the .300 Win Mag model would be a great long-range hunting rig for large game.

2. Midsouth — Hornady 168gr BTHP Match, $164.99 for 500

hornady bullet sale
Great price for quality 168gr .30-Caliber bullets

Do you need affordable .30-cal bullets for an M1 Garand or 1903 Springfield? Or perhaps you want to get started in F-TR with lower cost projectiles? If so, you can now grab 500 168gr BTHP Match grade .30-cal bullets for just $165.99. That works out to just $33 per hundred — a great deal. You could easily pay twice as much (or more) for some other brands. This is a good option if you don’t need the Heavy 185-220 grain bullets. These bullets have a good BC for their weight class.

3. Graf’s — Hornady Ammo Plant Progressive Press, $1299.99

hornady press sale
Excellent progressive press with case feeder and bullet feeder

Do you reload large quantities of pistol ammo, or .223 rifle ammo? Then you can save significant time with a quality progressive press. Right now you can save over $200 on the Hornady L-N-L Ammo Plant Progressive Reloading Press Kit. This is a complete loading system with a 5-station, auto-indexing press plus a brass feeder and bullet feeder. The system uses a precise and easily-adjusted powder measure that we prefer to the Dillon powder system. NOTE: After buying the press kit, you’ll need to purchase the appropriate shell plate and dies for your choice of cartrdige(s). Guys, this is a good deal — the same Hornady Ammo Plant system is currently $1525.99 at MidwayUSA.

4. Sportsman’s WHSE — Leupold SX-4 Pro Guide Spotting Scopes

vortex spotting scope sale
Good values on 20-60X and 15-45X Leupold Spotters

Looking for a quality spotting scope at a great price? Then check out the Leupold SX-4 Pro Guide HD spotting scopes on sale at Sportsman’s Warehouse. Chose the 15-45x65mm spotter for $699.99 or the bigger 20-60x85mm spotter for $899.99. Fully waterproof and fogproof, these Leupold spotters feature a rugged magnesium body plus an oversized eyepiece for all-day comfort. Both spotters offer Leupold’s Twilight Max HD Light Management System, which helps in low light conditions, while reducing glare in direct light. The 15-45x65mm SX-4 spotter is hard to beat at that $699.99 price.

5. Amazon — Tipton Compact Range Vise, $24.99

Tipton compact vise Amazon deal sale collapsible rifle cradle
Good, transportable product for working on hunting/varmint rifles

Tipton compact vise Amazon deal sale collapsible rifle cradleHere’s a very handy gun cradle that helps you clean and maintain rifles while at the range or at home. The Compact Range Vise folds and collapses to 11-1/4″, so it is easily transported. Two padded “V” brackets hold the rifle while protecting the finish during cleaning/maintenance operations. Made from solvent-resistant polymer, Tipton’s Compact Range Vise is durable and should last for years. NOTE: For typical hunting and varmint rifles this Range Vise works well, though it is not suited for wide-forearm benchrest or F-Open rigs.

Tipton compact vise Amazon deal sale collapsible rifle cradle

6. Creedmoor — Deluxe Fold-Up Shooting Mat, $99.99

shooting mat sale
Very comfortable mat — worth the money if you shoot often

If you do a lot of prone shooting you NEED a quality, comfortable mat. One of the best mats on the market today is the Creedmoor Deluxe Folding Mat. This offers double-thick jute padding under the textured elbow pad sections. Carrying handles are provided so equipment can be carried within the fold of the mat. The mat features a waterproof vinyl bottom and a marine finished top. The combination of these materials makes a comfortable and durable mat. NOTE: These mats are custom made by Creedmoor, so, for a modest extra fee, you can order extra knee-zone rubber, or additional padding in the top third.

7. Amazon — Torque-Controllable Screwdriver, $29.99

torque wrench sale
Everyone needs a tool like this to set fasteners correctly

When mounting a scope or installing an action, you need to set torque correctly or you risk damaging things. For basic tasks requiring precise torque levels, consider the Sanliang Torque Screwdriver Set. With a range of 10-70 inch pounds, this will perform a multitude of gunsmithing jobs. It’s easy to preset the torque —- simply pull down to unlock, then set the torque you need and push to lock. Includes a set of 10, 1/4’’ bits with convenient storage case.

8. Natchez — Bushnell Banner Rifle Scope – 3-9x40mm, $29.99

bushnell scope sale
Crazy-low price on basic hunting scope with good warranty

Here’s a VERY affordable optic that could be good choice for a youngster’s first rifle, or serve as a back-up for a hunting gun. Right now Natchez offers the Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm scope for just $29.99. You read that right — $29.99. You could pay more than that for a set of rings. Fitted with a Multi-X Reticle, this scope has a good 3-9X magnification range for hunting. It features Bushnell’s Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) lens coating for enhanced low-light performance.

Midsouth — .22 Caliber Aguila FMJ Bullets, 1000 for $99.99

bushnell scope sale
Great deal on bulk .224 and 9mm bullets

Need a large supply of budget-priced bullets for your AR15 or varmint rifle? Here’s an amazing deal — get 1000 55gr or 1000 62gr .224-caliber bullets for just $99.99. That’s right, 1000 bullets for under 100 bucks. These won’t rival high-quality Berger or Sierra bullets, but they will be adequate for varmint work, 3-gun practice, or plinking with your AR. If you load 9mm, you can also get 1000 115gr 9mm bullets for $99.99.

10. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Trickler, $17.99

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Inexpensive, works well, stable, tall enough

Every handloader can use a good powder trickler. However many tricklers are light and unstable, making them frustrating to use. We’ve been impressed with the Frankford Arsenal Trickler . This is a solid unit with some heft, with a hard rubber base. The mass and good design make this easy to use, allowing simple, accurate trickling.

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March 28th, 2022

Prone Shooting Technique — Mastering the Prone Position

prone shooting position smallbore highpower lones wigger nra sports usa

Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) offers a wide selection of informative articles on marksmanship techniques. If you shoot prone, “hard-holding”, you know how important proper positioning and technique can be. There is a SSUSA article that every prone shooter should read — whether you shoot air rifle, smallbore, or High Power. Compiled wtih the help of some of the country’s best prone marksmen, this article, How to Master Prone Shooting, provides a step-by-step guide to perfecting your prone position technique.

READ Full Article on Shooting Sports USA »

How to Master Prone Shooting — SSUSA by NRA Staff
The prone position is the most precise of the rifle shooting positions. It is used in many different shooting events at distances as close as 5 meters and as far away as 1,000 yards, and beyond that in long-range disciplines such as PRS and NRL. Prone shooting is very popular among shooters whose training time is limited, because it does not require as much practice. Age has little effect on a shooter’s ability to do well in prone; many older shooters are able to continue competing successfully in prone matches.

Here is a sample, listing STEP ONE, the basics of the prone position:

Step One: Study the Position
The prone position is steady because it is low, which gives a wide base of support to help keep the rifle still. Below are the key features of the prone position.

1. Straight line form left hand through left arm, side and leg.
2. Head tipped down comfortably.
3. Right hand grips rifle lightly.
4. Body lies behind rifle. Angle to rifle is 10 to 20 degrees.
5. Right knee bent slightly, toe pointing out.
6. Rifle lies on heel of left hand, fingers relaxed.
7. Left elbow rests to left of rifle.
8. Sling (if present) supports weight of rifle. Left arm relaxed.
9. Body rests slightly more on left side.
10. Left leg straight, toe pointing inward or straight back.

There are FIVE MORE STEPS described in detail with specific actions to perform, in the FULL Article. For example, in STEP FOUR (Sling Adjustment), the article explains: “Put the sling high on the arm and tighten the sling keeper. Wrap the arm around the sling so that the sling comes across the left hand and forearm.”

prone shooting position smallbore highpower lones wigger nra sports usa

prone shooting position smallbore highpower lones wigger nra sports usa

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March 27th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: 25 BR Peppermint — “Tweener” Caliber Works

Darrel Jones 25 br peppermint rifle

They say that a man can never have too much money or too much time. Darrell Jones would add that a man can never have too many BR-based rifles. Darrell had a fleet of BRs, in 22BR, 6mm BR, 6.5 BR, 7 BR, and 30 BR. But he was intrigued by the potential of a rifle in the .257 caliber. Could it shoot as well as a 6mm BR? Could it challenge the more popular calibers in the highly competitive 600-yard benchrest game? Through careful research and component selection, Darrell created a 25 BR rifle that proves the viability of the 25 BR as a competition round. Pushing 115gr high-BC Berger bullets at 2837 fps, Darrell’s 25 BR “Peppermint” won first place in its very first match.

The Barely Bigger BR — Exploring the .25 Caliber Option

Rifle Report by Darrell Jones
I decided to build a 25 BR after several weeks of deliberation and ruling out a .257 Ackley Improved. Part of my dilemma was that I wanted to shoot F-Class competition at 600 yards, and I was unsure about the accuracy potential of the 25 BR. However, I currently have several BRs chambered in 22 BR, 6BR, 6.5 BR, 7 BR, and 30 BR and they all shoot exceptionally well at 600 yards. This lead me to believe a 25 BR should deliver fine accuracy, just like its other BR siblings. Why wouldn’t a 25 BR shoot accurately provided that I built it with the right components? The feasibility saga began. I began searching diligently for custom 25-caliber bullets. Unfortunately, there are not many 25-caliber custom bullet makers. I actually found only two custom bulletsmiths who produce the 25s. I did look at Fowlers and then looked at Bergers. Both Jeff Fowler and Berger made 110-grain flat-base bullets when I was looking. [Editor — this 110gr bullet is no longer listed by Berger]. The Berger 110gr FB bullets (.414 ballistic coefficient) shot very well out of my 12-twist 25-06 Ackley. However, I wanted to shoot a heavier bullet if possible. Berger makes a 25-caliber 115gr VLD boat-tail with a high ballistic coefficient. This needs a 10-twist barrel.

Panda Action, McMillan Stock, Weaver T-36
As you can see, I went with a Panda polished action and a weighted McMillan BR stock painted metallic silver with red candy cane stripes thus the name “Peppermint”. This gun actually does double duty now as a 25 BR and 6 PPC switch barrel. When I want to run the gun as a 6 PPC for short range, I simply screw on the PPC barrel, then swap in a bolt (fitting the PPC bolt face) from another Panda action I own. That’s one advantage of owning custom Kelbly actions! Don’t even think about exchanging bolts between factory guns. Kelbly rings and a Weaver T-36 fixed-power scope handle the optical duties while a Jewell trigger set at one ounce takes care of the firing mechanism.

Chambering for the .25 Caliber BR Wildcat

I wanted a chamber that would let me shoot both the 110s and the 115s. I took some time surfing the net looking for rental reamers that had suitable throat dimensions. I found that Elk Ridge Reamer Rentals had a 25 BR pilot reamer available. I called and Elk Ridge faxed me a reamer diagram that indicated it was designed to tight SAMMI specs. I asked how often was the reamer used and was told “not very often”.

I did want a minimum no-turn neck optimized for Lapua brass. The drawing indicated that the reamer would cut a .281″ neck and a throat of 1.0315″. This was very close to ideal, though I did have to turn two thousandths off the necks of Lapua 6BR brass after I necked it up. I resized using a .277″ bushing and the loaded rounds came out to be .279″. Realizing that this was in the ball park, I decided to go with the Elk Ridge Reamer and build a 25 BR that could shoot 110gr or 115gr bullets. Now the question was where to get a match-grade 25-caliber barrel. I called quite a few of the custom barrel-makers, including BlackStar Barrels in Texas (no longer operating). I have had wonderful success with the BlackStar barrel on my 6BR “Chantilly” — it delivered great accuracy and impressive velocities. Since the 25 BR was so similar, I went with another BlackStar. I ordered a 10-twist, 6-groove, 1.250″-diameter straight-contour tube.

After chambering, the barrel finished at 1.245″ diameter and 27.5″ inches with an 11° crown. I actually had the throat lengthened to accept both Berger 110gr and 115gr bullets. The bases of the FB 110-grainers sit flush with the neck-shoulder junction, when they are seated .010″ into the lands. With the longer 115gr VLDs, the bottom of the bearing surface (i.e. start of boat-tail) is just about even with the neck-shoulder junction.

Accurate Load Development
The barrel broke in easily with just 10 shots, using a “shoot one and clean” process. The load I started with was 31.5 grains of Varget with CCI 450 primers. The Berger 110s and Berger 115s had the same Point of Impact (POI) at 100 yards. However, the 115s impacted two inches higher at 600 yards with the same load. That shows the benefits of a higher BC. Pushed by the CCI 450s and 31.5 grains of Varget, the 115-grainers were running about 2837 FPS. I boosted the load up to 32.0 grains but I noticed primer cratering, so I backed off, settling on 31.5 grains for the 115gr Berger VLD.

Peppermint Wins at 600 Yards

Darrell Jones 25 BR peppermintFor her debut in competition, I took “Peppermint” to our local 600 yard F-class match. Shooting the Berger 115s with 31.5 grains Varget, she won with a perfect score of 200 with 14 Xs. At my club, we use a SR3 target. The X-Ring measures 3″ in diameter and the 10-Ring measures 7″. At the match there were some very good shooters with top-flight custom rifles in accurate calibers such as 6.5-284 and 22 Dasher. I was very fortunate to come out on top, but I give the credit to Peppermint’s good bench manners and outstanding accuracy.

As you can see from the target, “Peppermint” is a very accurate rifle that has proven herself in competition. It takes a good gun to finish “on top” in her very first match. So far, I’m very happy with the project, and more than satisfied with the accuracy of the 25 BR. This is definitely a worthy cartridge for Egg Shoots, 500m varmint matches, and the 600-yard F-Class game.

BR-Based Cartridge Comparison
CALIBER 22 BR 6mm BR 25 BR 6.5 BR 7 BR 30 BR
Bullet 80gr SMK 107gr SMK 115gr Berger 107gr SMK 130gr SMK 118gr BIB
BC .420 .527 .522 .420 .391 na
Load Grains 31.0 H4350 30.0 Varget 31.5 Varget 32.0 Varget 34.0 AA2460 34.0 H4198
Barrel Length 27″ 27″ 27.5″ 27.5″ 28″ 24″
Velocity 3100 fps 2880 fps 2837 fps 2851 fps 2719 fps 2970 fps

Comparing the BR-Based Variants

Now that I have several calibers in the BR cartridge family, (22 BR, 6mm BR, 6.5 BR, 7 BR, and a 30 BR), it is my humble opinion that they each have their own place. A varmint hunter’s dream, the 22 BR can push a bullet faster and more accurately than the 22-250. With an 8-Twist barrel, the 22 BR can send an 80gr SMK to 600 yards with extreme accuracy.

The 6 BR can do it all. The 6mm caliber offers a wide variety of quality bullets suitable for any shooting situation. All the major custom barrel makers produce outstanding 6mm barrels in a full range of twists. Moreover, since the 6 BR cartridge is so popular, there is a great store of knowledge about reloading for the 6 BR. It is easy to find a load that will shoot superbly in any bullet weight.

The 25 BR has proved to be easily tuneable, proficient and not fickle. You can obtain extreme accuracy without great effort in load development. The 115gr Berger offers a good high-BC projectile for this caliber, making the 25 BR a viable alternative to the 6 BR. As I’ve shown, it is competitive with a 6 BR in head to head competition.

Compared to the 25 BR, the 6.5 BR has a small edge in ballistics. However, there are not many light bullet choices available, especially from custom makers. The 123gr Lapua Scenar is an excellent bullet with a .547 stated BC, but it may be a bit heavy for the case capacity.

The 7 BR was designed for silhouette shooting, and it excels at that task. The 7 BR can push a 130 grain bullet fast enough to knock over the steel silhouettes at 500 meters with real consistency.

The 30 BR is nothing less than outstanding. The 30 BR is now the dominant cartridge on the benchrest Score-shooting circuit. It is also highly accurate for group shooting at 200 yards and very capable of winning a 600-yard F-Class match. Barrel life of over 6,000 rounds is realistic.

I like all the “flavors” of BR derived from the 6mm BR Norma case. However, if I could only have one BR in my safe, give me my 8-Twist, 6 BR “Chantilly” and I will be a happy camper. The final point I would make is if a cartridge is stamped BR on the case, it will shoot extremely accurately if you can.

dj's brass darrell jones

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March 27th, 2022

Magnetospeed Sporter — Effective, Reliable and under $180.00

magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

If you have been waiting to purchase a chronograph… now is a great time to buy. You can get the affordable MagnetoSpeed Sporter for under $180.00. You can set up this device in a few minutes. Just mount the unit to the end of your barrel with a strap. You never have to go downrange to fiddle with a tripod or fuss with wires. The MagnetoSpeed Sporter is simple and effective — a no-hassle solution.

See MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chronograph Features Reviewed in Video

We’re impressed by the Sporter chrono, as are other shooters — this unit is very popular. Like the MagnetoSpeed V3, the Sporter faithfully records shots, even in complete darkness. Shot strings are recorded digitally and can be transferred to a smart phone via MagnetoSpeed’s XFR Adapter (and Apps).

The MagnetoSpeed Sporter chrono is less than half the price of previous MagnetoSpeed models. This is big news for shooters who always wanted a MagnetoSpeed but found the $379.00 cost (for V3 model) too pricey. The new Sporter Chronograph costs just $179.00 at Brownells and $179.00 at Amazon.

The Magnetospeed Sporter offers most of the features of the more expensive models (see chart below for details) and has a updated sensor. MagnetoSpeed says its new Sporter is “Ideal for contoured rifle barrels (sporter barrels) and long-barreled revolvers.” The Sporter Chronograph Kit (shown above) includes: Bayonet Sensor, 3.5 foot Data Cable, Remote Display (with Battery), Strap with thumb nut, Two V-block spacers, and compact storage box.

Available NOW: MagnetoSpeed Sporter $179.00 at Brownells and $179.00 at Amazon.

Q: Will the Sporter Chrono work with thicker barrel (i.e. greater than 1″ diameter)?

A: The manufacturer recommends the more upgraded V3 model, $380.00 on Amazon for thicker barrels. But, wink-wink, if you have a 1.25″ barrel you can get this to work, based on what we’ve seen. If you have a really fat barrel (up to 2.0″ diameter), get the V3. Magnetospeed also says the V3 is needed for airguns, shotguns, and muzzleloaders.

Click Image for Full-Screen Photo
magnetospeed sporter chrono chronograph test review product speed bullet trajectory price sale

The Sporter Chrono attaches quickly and easily. It has a 3.5-foot-long cord, and will work with Muzzle Brakes and Flash-hiders up to 2.7″ long. The video below covers the Sporter’s features and operation.

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March 26th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Impact Shooting Videos from So. Africa

Pieter Piet Malan PRS NRL Impact Shooting video channel Youtube

Pieter “Piet” Malan is a South African precision rifle shooter and hunter who has created an impressive YouTube Channel with over 300 videos. While Pieter’s Impact Shooting Channel focuses primarily on tactical PRS/NRL type disciplines, his channel also includes dozens of videos of interest to hunters and anyone who handloads rifle cartridges. We particularly like Pieter’s tech review videos which explain important reloading methods and showcase new products.

Here are five Peiter Malan tech videos. Topics include annealing, hydro-forming, case priming, MOA vs. MILs, and how to record video with spotting scopes. As a bonus for you hunters out there, we added Pieter’s recent hunting video, Kudu Hunting Paradise Part 2. After watching that, you’ll probably want to book an African Safari.

Annealing Cartridge Brass with AMP Annealer

With premium cartridge brass for popular match cartridges now approaching $1.20 (or more) per case, you want that new brass to last. But after multiple firings, even the best cartridge brass will start degrading. That’s where annealing comes in. Proper, precision annealing can restore case-neck consistency, reducing ES/SD and improving accuracy. Some top shooters anneal after every firing to keep their brass in top condition. Others will anneal after every 4-6 firings.

Today with the advanced AMP microprocessor-controlled annealing machine, brass cartridge annealing is easier yet more precise than ever. The AMP Annealer provides advanced electrical induction annealing with ultra-precise temperature control set perfectly for your cartridge type and brand of brass. In this video, Pieter shows how to use the AMP Annealer to anneal 6mm Dasher cases and other cartridge types.

Hydro-forming Dasher Brass Using Hammer Method

In this video, Pieter Malan explains the hydro-forming process for Dasher brass and shows how he does the job using the mallet method with hydro-forming dies. He shows that it takes some technique (and multiple hammer blows) to get a good result, with a case that will fit in the chamber.

Fire-forming 6mm Dasher brass can be fairly costly if you factor in barrel life along with the cost of components. If you figure a new 6mm custom barrel, chambered and fitted by a top smith, could cost $650.00 and may only be good for 1300 rounds (in competition), barrel cost per shot is $0.50 (fifty cents). Add the price of a bullet, powder, and primer, and you are approaching $1.00 per round. Given those numbers, it makes sense to hydro-form your 6mm Dasher brass. In the USA, DJ’s Brass will hydro-form and then anneal your cases for $0.60 per case. That’s not much more than the barrel cost per shot alone for fire-forming.

MOA (Minute of Angle) vs MRAD (Milliradians)

This is a good basic introduction to the two types of angular measurements used in modern optics. Benchrest and F-Class shooters tend to favor Minute of Angle (MOA) scopes. One MOA is 1.047″ at 1000 yards. Scopes may be calibrated with 1/4 MOA or 1/8 MOA click values. Tactical and military shooters tend to prefer the Milliradian (Mil or Milrad) system, normally with 1/10 Mil click values. A Milliradian is an SI-derived angular measurement — one thousandth of a radian (0.001 Radian). At 100 yards, a 0.1 Mil click is 0.36″, while a full Mil is 3.6 inches. And practically speaking, 1 Mil at 100 meters is equal to 10 centimeters. MORE INFO: MOA and Mils Explained.

Primal Rights CPS — World’s Most Expensive Priming Tool

Seating primers can be a “dark art”. Many top shooters prefer to seat “by feel” using a hand tool. Others prefer lever-equipped, bench-mounted tools that offer higher work-flow rates and less strain on the hands.

There are many bench-mounted priming options — Forster has a tool, as does RCBS, and Lee. At the top of the heap is the $600 Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater (CPS). This may be the most precise bench priming tool ever created. It is certainly the most expensive at $600.00. But the CPS delivers something special — superb, repeatable depth control, along with the ability to prime up to 1000 cases per hour. For some reloaders, that precision + productivity will justify the high price. In this video Pieter reviews his Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater.

How to Record Video Through Your Spotting Scope

There are many things viewed through a spotting scope that you might want to record for posterity — a successful hunting shot on a game animal, or steel targets being hit in a PRS match. In addition, after a match, it can be useful to study the wind conditions and mirage that occurred during a match. This can help improve your wind reading skills as you watch what unfolded.

In this video, Pieter shows how to mount a smartphone to the eyepiece of a spotting scope with a plastic adapter. This allows you to record, for posterity, what the scope is “seeing”. In addition, this allows the viewer to see the scope’s magnified image conveniently without having to strain into the eyepiece and focus on a very small exit pupil.

BONUS: Kudu Hunting Paradise Part 2 (2021)

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March 26th, 2022

6.5 Creedmoor — Cartridge History and Norma Hunting Feature

Norma hunting africa elk deer eland 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge
6.5 Creedmoor (right) shown with .308 Win (left) and .243 Win (center) for comparison.

Though most popular for competition applications (PRS and XTC), the 6.5 Creedmoor is also a capable hunting cartridge. This month Norma spotlights the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge and outlines the game-harvesting capabilities of Norma 6.5 Creedmoor factory ammunition.

Origins of the 6.5 Creedmoor
Dave Emary, senior engineer at Hornady, asked fellow competitive shooters about their “wish list” for a mid-sized round with long-range potential. It needed to offer efficiency, good ballistics, fine accuracy, and reliable feeding from a magazine. To achieve these goals, Emary necked the .30 T/C to .264 caliber (6.5 mm). The shoulder on this case is well to the rear, so long bullets with high ballistic coefficients can be used in short actions. The efficient Creedmoor case and its modest powder charge deliver hard hits on big game while keeping recoil modest. The case runs well in magazines sized for the .308 Winchester, and because it is efficient, the 6.5 Creedmoor delivers velocities very close to the .260 Remington (which is basically a 6.5-308 Win) with less powder. The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has shown excellent accuracy in PRS competition, though the 6mm Creedmoor has proven more competitive, given its reduced recoil. Overall the 6.5 Creedmoor has been a huge commercial success — the 6.5 CM is now one of the most-commonly chambered cartridges in new factory rifles.

Norma hunting africa elk deer eland 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge

Hunting with the 6.5 Creedmoor

by Wayne van Zwoll
I learned about the 6.5 Creedmoor by way of a rifle from Todd Seyfert at Magnum Research. The Remington 700 action wears a carbon-fiber barrel with a Krieger stainless core. GreyBull Precision added a stock and a modified 4.5-14X Leupold scope. Its 1/3-minute elevation dial is calibrated specifically for 130-grain boat-tail spitzers at Creedmoor velocities. “Spin the elevation dial to the distance in yards, and aim dead-on.” said GreyBull’s Don Ward. Prone with a sling, I was soon banging steel at 500 yards.

By the charts, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a superb cartridge for deer-size game. But I caught only a late elk season with this new rifle. The 6.5×55 and .260 had taken elk for me; surely the Creedmoor would as well. Alas, the close shot I’d wanted, to ensure precise bullet placement, didn’t come. When on the final evening Don and I spied a bull far off, there was no approach. “Your call,” he shrugged. “The air is dead-still.” I snugged the sling, prone, and dialed to the yardage. Ribs spot-lit by a sinking sun, the bull paused. Craaack! The animal spun, sprinted and fell. That shot was twice as long as any I’d ever attempted at elk.

Whitetail hunting with a Ruger 77, then a trip to sub-Saharan Africa with a T/C Icon, kept the 6.5 Creedmoor in my ammo pouch. The T/C dropped a Vaal Rhebok at 250 yards, in stiff wind. Shorter pokes on a variety of game produced consistently quick kills. I found the Creedmoor’s limit with an eland.

Norma hunting africa elk deer eland 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge
A high ballistic coefficient helped a Creedmoor bullet slice stiff wind 250 yards to this Vaal Rhebok.

Since then, I’ve seen several animals brought to bag by the 6.5 Creedmoor. And I’ve used it in a variety of rifles on paper and steel targets to 1,200 yards. It has become one of my favorite cartridges for deer-size game. Its mild report and recoil make it easy to shoot accurately. It seems an inherently accurate cartridge too. I’ve punched half-minute groups from production-class rifles. The proliferation of hunting loads for the 6.5 Creedmoor includes none better than Norma’s 130-grain Scirocco. This sleek, polymer-nose bullet, with its 15° boat-tail and a G1 BC over .550, flies very flat. In expansion and penetration tests, it opens reliably down to 1,750 fps, and drives straight and deep. A bonded bullet, it stays in one piece after high-speed impact, routinely retaining more than 80% of its original weight.

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
March 26th, 2022

How to Clear-Coat Laminated Wood Stocks

Laminated wood stocks offer an excellent combination of price and performance, and they can be obtained in a myriad of styles to suit your discipline — hunting, benchrest, tactical, silhouette, or high power. Laminated stocks can be a little trickier to finish compared to a hardwood such as walnut, as laminates are often delivered in bright or highly contrasting colors. Traditional wood finishes can alter the colors. Also, filling the pores in laminated stocks is an issue.

Automotive clear-coat products have become popular for finishing laminated wood stocks because they won’t alter the stock’s colors, and the clear-coat provides a durable weather-resistant finish. Clear-coat is also easy to “touch up” and it fills pores better than some other alternatives. Mike Ricklefs has written a comprehensive article on stock painting that includes a special section on clear-coating over laminated woods. If you want to clear-coat a stock, Mike’s article is a must-read!

In that Stock Painting Article, Mike offers these tips:

1. When finishing laminated stocks with clear-coat, you need to prepare the wood carefully, and build up quite a few thin layers one at a time. Begin by sanding, with progressively finer paper, all the way to 400 grit. Certain laminated stocks are so rough when they come from the stock-maker, that you may have to be very aggressive at first. But be careful with angles and the edges of flats. You don’t want to round these off as you sand.

2. After sanding, use compressed air to blow out all dust from the pores of the wood. This is very important to avoid a “muddy” looking finish. If you don’t blow the dust out with air before spraying the clear it will migrate out as you apply the clear. Also, after each sanding session, clean your painting area to remove excess dust. I also wet down the floor of my spray booth to keep the dust down.

3. Some painters recommended using a filler to close the pores. That’s one technique, but the filler can detract from the clarity of the final finish. Rather than use a pore-filling sealer, I use a high solids or “build” clear for the initial applications. This is slightly thicker than “finish” clear and does a good job of sealing the pores. Three (3) fairly heavy coats of “build” clear are applied. If you get a thick spot or a run in the finish at this point, it is not the end of the world but this does create more sanding work.”

There is a helpful thread in our Shooters’ Forum that discusses the use of clear-coating on laminated stocks. Member BHoges offered this advice: “Stick with Diamont, Glassurit, and Spies. If anyone has questions, I painted cars for a long time.”

Clear-coat Laminated woodForum member Preacher, whose bolt-action pistol is shown at right, states: “I buy my two-part clear-coat from the local NAPA dealer. They recommended Crossfire mixed 4:1. I really like the end results. There are six coats on that stock that were sanded down to bare wood for the first two, and then 600 wet-sanded for the other four coats. Two to three coats would be sufficient if the pores were filled first, but I would rather fill ‘em with the clear as it seems to make it appear deeper and I have the time to devote to it. I have PPG’s Deltron DC 3000 clear-coat on a few stocks of mine, but I like the NAPA better price wise, and it seems to hold up just as good as the Deltron.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
March 25th, 2022

.22 LR Tactical Trainer — Building a Top-Flight Rig

Remington 40X rimfire .22LR rifle suppressor Manners stock Bartlein Bushnell EFR front rail Defiance Mack Brothers Suppressor
Brian, a gunsmith at GA Precision, built this rimfire rig with GAP colleague Anthony Soukup.

On his Facebook page, Tactical competitor Bryan Sikes posted a photo of a rimfire rig we really liked. Brian works at GA Precision. He and fellow GAP gunsmith Anthony Soukup built this rifle. With a modified Rem 40X action, Manners stock, Bartlein barrel, and Mack Brothers suppressor, this rig has top-quality components stem to stern. And Bryan tells us this rifle performs as good as it looks: “This is the baddest little .22 LR trainer ever. I’m stoked about it. With the barrel length and can, it’s the exact length of my regular comp rigs.” With length, balance, and ergonomics near identical to Bryan’s centerfire competition rifles, this 40X is a superb training tool.

• Modified Remington 40X Action
• Calvin Elite Trigger
• Bartlein #5 22″ Barrel
• Mack Brothers Vapor Suppressor

• Bedded Manners T4-A Stock
• Defiance Embedded Front Rail (EFR)
• Harris Swivel Bipod with Handle
• Bushnell DMR2 Scope w/ G3 Reticle

Many readers wanted to know about the bottom metal and the detachable box magazine. Bryan Sike reveals: “The magazine setup is designed specifically to replicate my actual competition rifles. The bottom metal is for use with AI magazines and uses a standard M5 type inlet just like any centerfire completion rifle. In this case with the .22LR, Mike Bush designed a high reliability rimfire magazine using the same outside dimensions as an AI magazine. This rifle was built no different from any other. The action was modified and trued, barreled, fully bedded, etc. using ALL components common to centerfire match rifles.” The Rem 40X action was modified by Modacam Custom Rifles to work as a repeater with box mags.

Remington 40X rimfire .22LR rifle suppressor Manners stock Bartlein Bushnell EFR front rail Defiance Mack Brothers Suppressor

Bryan adds that a new rimfire action is in the works: “My preference is modified Remington 40X actions and the [Vudoo Gunworks V-22 Action]. Both of which are TRUE repeaters and don’t feed from a Savage magazine. This rifle feels nothing like a .22 LR and that was the whole point.”

Remington 40X rimfire .22LR rifle suppressor Manners stock Bartlein Bushnell EFR front rail Defiance Mack Brothers Suppressor

Why You Need a .22 LR Tactical Cross-Trainer

Many guys who shoot long-range tactical matches practice with .22 LR rifles of similar configuration. Rimfire ammo is way more affordable than centerfire, you do not need a big range facility, and shooting rimfire saves wear and tear on your centerfire rifle. Further, for learning how to read the wind, there really is no better training tool than a .22 LR, even as close as 50 yards.

Our Friend “DesertFrog”, who shoots tactical matches in Southern California, explains: “I used to shoot an average of 200 rounds of .308 Match ammo a month for training (50 per weekend). These days I shoot maybe an average of 50 rounds of .308 Win per month and probably around 600 rounds of .22 LR. Using mainly the .22 LR for practice did NOT hurt my standings in actual competitions. I shot my .308 just as well in matches, but saved the cost of hundreds of rounds of .308. If I didn’t reload and was still buying boxes of Federal Gold Medal Match .308 Win [at $1.75/round], this would be a savings of [$262.50 per month on the centerfire ammo (150 rounds).]” Money saved is money earned.

Targets for Rimfire Cross-Training

SPECIAL BONUS–Rimfire Tactical Precision Targets

These FREE targets by DesertFrog are offered in Adobe Acrobat format for easy printing.
CLICK HERE to download all six targets as a .ZIP archive.

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March 25th, 2022

How to Build Your Own Concrete Shooting Bench — Plans + Pix

build your own concrete shooting bench

Who hasn’t dreamed of having a professional-quality, permanent shooting bench on their own property? Well here’s an article that can help you make that dream come true. This “how-to” feature from the archives of RifleShooter Magazine shows how to build a quality concrete shooting bench step-by-step.

build your own concrete shooting bench

All aspects of the construction process are illustrated and explained. The author, Keith Wood explains: “Construction happened in three phases — first creating the slab foundation, then the support pillars (legs), and finally the table.”

Click image below to load article with slide show.
build your own concrete shooting bench

Each step in the process is illustrated with a large photo and descriptive paragraph. Starting with framing the foundation (Step 1), the article illustrates and explains the 15 Steps that produce the finished, all-concrete bench (see top photo).

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March 25th, 2022

Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge with Digital Read-Out

lyman digital electronic adjustable trigger pull weight gauge

We like Lyman’s Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge, which is faster and more precise than the previous model. The latest Lyman Pull Gauge measures trigger pull weights from 1 ounce to 12 pounds with resolution of 0.1 ounces (2.8 grams). It features an adjustable, 4-position rod which retracts into the gauge body. We think that anyone running match triggers below 2.5 pounds pull weight should have a gauge like this. Among the pull gauges on the market, we think the Lyman unit offers great performance for the price. This gauge has a $67.95 MSRP, but it’s now under $52.00 on Amazon.

Features: More Precise Strain Gauge | Improved Grip Shape | Adjustable Rod Lengths

Lyman’s Digital Trigger Pull Gauge is designed to be the fastest and most accurate trigger pull gauge available. State-of-the-art strain gauge technology allows for repeatable accuracy of 1/10 ounce (2.8 grams). The gauge features a large, easy-to-read LCD display and you can switch from ounces to grams with the push of a button. The gauge can also deliver a pull weight average of the last 10 readings. That’s very helpful, particularly when working with factory triggers that may not be very consistent.

The Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge features a solid, collapsible rod with four locking positions. Being able to adjust length makes it easier to use the gauge with a wide variety of firearms — pistols, rifles, and shotguns. The locking feature prevents the rod from flexing when applying pressure to the trigger. When not in use, the rod conveniently collapses into the gauge body, making the whole unit more compact. The new Trigger Pull Gauge comes in an internally-padded plastic case that can be easily stored in a drawer or on your work bench.

lyman digital electronic adjustable trigger pull weight gauge

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March 24th, 2022

Registration Open for 2022 National Matches at Camp Perry

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

Registration is Now Open for National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio
Held annually at Camp Perry, the National Matches include the CMP National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches, the Pistol and Rifle Small Arms Firing Schools, the National Games Rifle Matches, the National Smallbore Matches, and the National Long Range Matches. These matches are conducted by a partnership of the CMP and Ohio National Guard. Registration for the 2022 National Matches opened March 1st, 2022. Click the links below to register for particular disciplines. You can register online, or with a mail-in form.

The CMP National Matches have become a huge, national shooting sports festival with well over 4,500 annual participants. Competitors range from beginners to world and Olympic champions. There are a huge variety of events — from indoor air rifle matches, to long-range high power competitions.

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

National Matches Info

2022 National Match Calendar | National Match Program | Camp Perry MAP

How to Learn More about the CMP National Matches
CMP’s National Matches are open to the public and the CMPs encourages all marksman to participate in the Historic National Matches at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio. Watch the video below or contact the CMP staff with any questions you may have. Call (419) 635-2141 or email competitions@thecmp.org. Registration opens March 1, 2022.

National Matches 2022 REGISTRATION Links

Rifle Online Registration
Rifle Printable Registration PDF

Long Range Online Registration
Long Range Printable Registration PDF

Rimfire Sporter Online Registration
Rimfire Sporter Printable Registration PDF

2022 Pistol Online Registration
Pistol Printable Registration PDF

Smallbore Online Registration

Air Gun Online Registration

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

Junior Shooter Opportunities

The National Matches offers several options suitable for junior marksmen. A variety of matches and clinics (each supervised by CMP-trained professionals and staff members) are available to young rifle, pistol and air gun shooters, with safety guidelines. 2022 Camp Perry NM programs will include:

National Rimfire Sporter Match — specially designed for new and upcoming competitors.

National Matches Camps, Clinics and Schools — full of smallbore, rifle and pistol educational possibilities for youth at entry and advanced levels.

National Air Gun Events — fired at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry, Ohio, offering a mix of simple, fixed-position matches and open opportunities to accommodate young competitors learning marksmanship fundamentals in a controlled setting.

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

Each event of the National Matches is open to competitors of all ages, meaning with proper training, supervision and safety, juniors will gain the chance to compete on the firing line at a national level — next to some of the best marksmen in the world.

CMP National Matches 2022 Camp Perry Ohio rimfire high power junior prone

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