December 10th, 2019

Ultimate Reloader Reviews Hawkeye Borescope Systems

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slide

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com recently tested Hawkeye Borescopes from Gradient Lens Corp., along with the impressive Hawkeye Video Slide System. Gavin observed: “When it comes to gunsmithing, gun inspection, and gun maintenance, a borescope can tell you things that nothing else can. And that’s why a borescope is an invaluable tool for gunsmiths, competition shooters, and gun enthusiasts.”

UltimateReloader.com MUST WATCH Video — See What Hawkeye Borescope Reveals:

READ Hawkeye Borescope Review on UltimateReloader.com »

A good borescope reveals the reality inside your barrel(s). There’s no more guesswork. All the issues associated with barrel will be revealed — carbon build-up, copper fouling, fire-cracking and more. Within a few seconds you can judge the state of your bore, and diagnose problems such as copper fouling and fire-cracking. Check out these two images. On the left is a brand new hand-lapped barrel. On the right is a barrel with heavy fire-cracking.

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slide

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slideGavin tested both 7″ and 17″ versions of the Hawkeye Borescope. He tested straight versions, and both long and short borescopes with a 90° eyepiece. For most tasks we prefer the 90° eyepiece. In addition to these systems, Gavin tested the the Hawkeye Video Slide and video image acquisition system, shown below.

The features are: 1. Video Slide support system; 2. Pistol barrel being inspected; 3. Borescope with quick-coupler equipped Sony camera; 4. Windows 10 PC Laptop running Hawkeye App with VIDEO Feed; 5. LED illumination for borescope.

Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader Hawkeye borescope video capture slide

“The Hawkeye Video Slide and video image acquisition system are not intended for consumers. They are primarily used by laboratories, gun OEMs, and other commercial customers,” Gavin notes. He used the Video Slide to provide the “next best thing” to viewing through the Hawkeye itself.



What You Can See with a Hawkeye Borescope

This Gradient Lens video shows how to correctly borescope your barrel:

Hawkeye borescope POV lensA precision optical borescope is a pricey tool, but it performs critical tasks for gun-owners, and a Hawkeye’s rigid optic tube offers some important advantages over a cheap endoscope on a flexible cord. To learn how a Hawkeye borescope can help you diagnose barrel issues, you should read a Rifle Shooter magazine feature story, What the Eye Can See.

In this article, writer Terry Wieland shows how to inspect for defects in new barrels, how to recognize different kinds of fouling (in both barrels and brass), and how to spot throat erosion in its early stages. Terry uses a Gradient Lens HawkEye BoreScope. The current generation of HawkEyes can be attached to a still or video camera to record digital images. The most interesting part of the article is on the second page. There, author Wieland provides photos of various types of internal flaws that can appear in barrels. This will help you spot pitting, excessive land wear, rust damage, and damage from corrosive primers.

Wieland notes that BoreScopes aren’t just for barrels: “The borescope has other uses as well. It can be used to examine the interior of a cartridge case to look for the beginnings of a case separation or to examine the interior of a loading die that is giving you trouble. When you consider the number of tubular objects that play such an important role in rifle shooting, it is a wonder we were ever able to function without such a method of studying bores.”

Hawkeye borescope POV lens

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December 8th, 2019

Christmas Rimfire Fun with .22 Plinkster

22 plinkster velocitor CCI Christmas ornament trick shot

YouTube gun video producer .22 Plinkster has unbridled curiosity when it comes to .22 LR performance. A while back he wanted to see how many Christmas ornaments could be penetrated by one .22 LR round. To answer that burning question, Mr. Plinkster lined up 40 plastic Xmas bulbs in a row and then fired a single round of CCI .22 LR Velocitor ammo through the bunch, using his Henry Golden Boy lever action rifle. Did the bullet penetrate a dozen ornaments? Two dozen? What do you think? Watch the video to find out the surprising answer. The CCI Velocitor ammo is rated at 1435 fps.

Christmas Ornament Penetration Test with Henry .22 LR Lever Action Rifle.

22 plinkster velocitor CCI Christmas ornament trick shot

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December 6th, 2019

Power to the People — Cortina Reviews Giraud Power Trimmer

Power Trimming Technology Saves Time
Trimming and chamfering brass are tasks hand-loaders grow to hate. Those chores are time-consuming and tiresome. Thankfully there are faster, better alternatives to manual trimming/chamfering. In this article, Forum member Erik Cortina shows how to use the Giraud tool which trims and chamfers in one operation. Erik has his own YouTube Channel dedicated to precision reloading and accurizing. Here we feature Erik’s video about the “mother of all brass trimmers”, the Giraud powered case trimmer. Erik says: “If you do volume reloading… this is the only trimmer to get. It not only trims to length but it also chamfers your case mouth inside and out.” In his video, Erik offers some very clever and useful tips that will help you get the most from your Giraud.

This is a manufacturer’s photo showing an older model.
Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

The Giraud trimmer is very precise. When set up correctly, it can trim brass with amazing consistency. In the video, Erik trims five pieces of brass in 15 seconds (6:32 mark). He then measures all five with precision calipers (7:00-8:08). All lengths are exact within .0005 (half a thousandth). Erik notes that the Giraud trimmer indexes off the case shoulder. As long as you have fire-formed brass with consistent base-to-shoulder dimensions, you should get very consistent trim lengths.

The secret to the system is a 3-way cutting head. This cutter can be swapped in and out in a couple minutes with wrenches provided with the kit. Erik has three different heads; one each for 6.5mm, 7mm, and .30 caliber. The video shows how to adjust the cutting heads to match caliber diameter (and to get the desired amount of inside/outside chamfer).

To trim and chamfer cases, you simply insert them nose-first into the cartridge-specific case-holder. Erik offers a smart tip — He uses a die locking ring to position the cartridge holder (3:15). This can be locked in place. Erik says die locking rings work much better than the hex-nuts provided by Giraud (with the hex-nut, one must re-set cut length each time you change case-holders.)

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

The Giraud can be used in either horizontal or vertical modes. Erik prefers to have the trimmer aligned vertically, allowing him to push cases down on the trimmer head. But the trimming unit has twin sets of rubber feet, allowing horizontal or vertical orientation.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Improved Case-Holder Made with Chamber Reamer:
For his .284 Shehane, Erik had to create his own case-holder (Giraud does not make one for that wildcat cartridge). Erik used his chamber reamer. To his surprise, Erik found that the brass was easier to trim in the custom case holder (compared to the Giraud-made spring-loaded holders). With a perfect fit, trimming and case extraction went more smoothly and the process was easier on his hands. (See 9:00-10:00). Based on Erik’s experience, you may want to create your own custom case-holder.

Trim Bullet Meplats Also
With a special bullet-holder fitting and meplat cutter head, the Giraud power trimmer can be used to trim bullet meplats. Trimming meplats can help make the Ballistic Coefficents of a batch of bullets more consistent. Uniforming meplats is also often done as a first step in the process of “tipping” bullets to improve BC.

Erik Cortina Meplat Giraud Case Trimmer YouTube Video Lapua

Giraud Power Trimmer

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December 4th, 2019

Suppressor Facts Revealed — How They Work

Suppressor silencer NSSF infographic decibel noise reduction moderator fact sheet

Curious about suppressors (aka “silencers”, “moderators”, or “cans”)? Below you’ll find an informative NSSF Infographic that covers the history, legal status, design, and operation of modern-day suppressors.

Here’s a cool video showing how suppressors work. This video features see-through rifle suppressors filmed with ultra-high-speed (110,000 frame per second) cameras. When played back in super-slow-motion, you can see the flame propagate through the suppressor and the bullet move through each baffle before it exists the muzzle. Check it out!

See Through Suppressor in Super Slow Motion (110,000 fps) — Click Arrow to Watch:

Suppressor Facts — What You Need to Know

In this infographic, the NSSF provides the history, specifications, benefits and uses of firearm suppressors. Don’t suppress your knowledge!

Suppressors reduce gunfire sound levels by using baffles that contain expanding gasses exiting a firearm’s muzzle when ammo is discharged. Suppressors are similar to car mufflers that were, in fact, developed in parallel by the same inventor in the early 1900s. Well-designed suppressors typically reduce the gun sound levels by 30-35 decibels (dB). Suppressors are becoming more popular even though it still takes many months to get approved. In fact, the number of suppressors registered with the ATF grew by over 1 million from 2011 to 2017. That’s a 355% increase.

Suppressor silencer NSSF infographic decibel noise reduction moderator fact sheet

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November 30th, 2019

Ultimate Reloader Achieves 100,000 Video Subscriber Milestone

Ultimate Reloader gavintoob video 100000 subscribers

Many of the best videos on reloading products and methods have been produced by Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com. Over the last 12 years, Gavin has released 465 videos showcasing reloading products, gunsmithing techniques, and gun testing. Thanks to Gavin’s movie-making skills and hard work, his GavinToobe YouTube Channel recently achieved the 100,000 subscriber milestone. Over the years Gavin’s videos have received over 17.7 million views. Gavin’s videos have benefited shooting enthusiasts and hand-loaders around the globe, and we congratulate Gavin and UltimateReloader.com!

Access ALL UltimateReloader.com GavinToobe Videos HERE »

Gavin posted: “Twelve years ago I started my YouTube channel. Shortly thereafter I started publishing ammunition, reloading and shooting sports content. In 2017 I quit Microsoft to work on Ultimate Reloader full time, and on 11/26/2019 I surpassed the 100,000 subscriber mark. WOW, it’s been sooooo much work, but sooooo much fun. Special thanks to my family for putting up with all of the times I’ve worked on this project ‘after hours’. I feel totally blessed. Very much appreciate my community, and also Jonathan Patton for helping me to understand online communities better. I also really appreciate Hornady for their help in getting me started (my first partner). Neil Davies — that’s you. Thanks everyone!”

To mark this major milestone, we’re featuring five of Gavin’s popular videos. The first is his 2019 Black Friday video covering bargains from Midsouth, Starline, KMS Squared, and Inline Fabrication.

Black Friday 2019 Special Bargains

Epic Reloading Hardware Test — 14 Single-Stage Presses
In this remarkable video, Gavin review fourteen (14) single-stage reloading presses. This is the most comprehensive reloading press comparison test ever done by anyone:

Most Popular Video — .223 Rem vs. 5.56×45
This is Gavin’s #1 Video of all time. His .223 Rem vs. 5.56×45 video has been viewed over 1.9 million times. It provides key facts about the similarities (and a few differences) between the .223 Remington cartridge and the 5.56x45mm NATO round.

1000 Yards with .224 Valkyrie
With 50,000+ views, this is one of Gavin’s most popular field shooting videos. Shooting on his scenic “home range” in the Washington mountains, Gavin developed a tack-driving load using Berger 80.5 gr bullets. See 100-yard results and Gavin’s remarkable first-round hit on steel at 1000 yards!

Buck Fever — Right in the Back Yard!
In this video, Gavin uses his new 300 PRC rifle to bag an impressive buck just 100 yards from his shop. For those of you who have hiked miles on a hunt, only to return home empty-handed, this will seem amazing. And yes, Gavin’s 300 PRC cartridge dropped the animal like a stone.

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November 29th, 2019

What is Your #1 Favorite Reloading Equipment Item?

Wilson hand die arbor press Sierra Bullets

Sierra Bullets asked a few hand-loaders to reveal their favorite reloading tool or accessory: “What is your favorite ‘don’t know how you ever lived without it’ piece of reloading equipment?” Some of the answers are listed below. We were interested to see some high-tech, micro-processor items mentioned, such as the AMP Annealer, and the AutoTrickler powder dispenser. Old standbys, such as the rugged RCBS Rockchucker and Dillon 650, also made the favorites list. You can nominate your own favorite reloading hardware in the comments section of the Sierra Bullets Blog.

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin answered: “A comparator gauge to measure from the base of a case to the ogive of the bullet. This bypasses the tip of the bullet, so I can repeat the same seating depth the next time I visit a specific combination.”

Forster Co-ax press

Bill, Editor of Rifleshooter.com, answered: “I have so many favorite reloading tools, it’s hard to pick one. But if I had to, it would be my Forster Co-Ax press. I like the ease [with which] you can change dies and that it doesn’t require traditional shell holders. It’s a great tool to have!”

Forster Co-Ax Press

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks answered: “I don’t know that you would actually call this equipment, but the item that comes to mind would be my reloading room/shoot house. I had always had to squeeze everything into a corner or even an unheated shed. After we bought our current house, I built a garage and placed it so that I had a window looking down a 250-yard range. I built a dedicated room with heat and A/C. It contains my reloading bench and a shooting bench. The shooting bench lets me slide open the window and shoot down the range. It is very handy to not have to load everything up to go to the range. It also makes load development a lot simpler and efficient. I don’t know how I ever got along without it.

I also wonder what I did before I acquired the Lyman 1200 DPS Powder Dispenser. This has made the process so much simpler and much easier. I also have a Lee Precison Universal Decapping Die that I would gladly spend the money on again. This may be a small thing, but it certainly is handy. The Lee would accommodate some very large cases that some of the others were too small for.”

Jon Addis answered: “Putting an A&D FX-120i scale with AutoTrickler and Auto-Throw on the bench has changed the way I reload. It’s kernel accurate in about 15 seconds. Saves time and reduces a variable. And of course, the system is made better by the Area 419 Billet Adjustable base for the trickler and Billet Powder Cup.”

This video shows the AutoTrickler V2 and Auto-Throw Combo:

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Carroll Pilant answered: “Dillon 550 and 650 presses.”

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box answered: “The Lee Precison hand priming tool.”

Sierra Bullets Chief Ballistician Tommy Todd answered: “A brass annealing machine and a RCBS Chargemaster complimented with a Sartorious scale.”

RCBS RockchuckerSierra Bullets Ballistician Gary Prisendorf answered: “RCBS Rock Chucker Press, it’s built like a tank, and it will last me a lifetime.”

Sierra Bullets Production Manager Chris Hatfield also answered: “RCBS Rock Chucker single-stage reloading press.”

Jeremy Kisner answered: “My Giraud trimmer has taken [three operations] and combined them into one easy task. I can now size my brass and then sit down and trim, chamfer, and debur to a 0.001″ tolerance in one motion.”

Dan Blake answered: “My Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) annealer. With consistent neck tension being one of the largest contributions to small Extreme Spread on muzzle velocities, I believe this induction annealer is truly the best on the market.”

This manufacturer-produced video shows how the AMP annealing machine operates:

Trevor Aldinger answered: “Area 419 Master Funnel Kit. In the past I’ve used plastic funnels and even other metal ones. This system fits case necks and flows much better than any others I’ve used, and there is no static since it’s metal. We spend a lot of time and money to get precise charges, I don’t want to lose or miss a kernel because of a cheap funnel.”

Area 419 Master Funnel kit

Tyler Riley answered: “My RCBS bench primer (priming tool). It has a lot more leverage than a hand primer and still has a good feel to how tight primer pockets are. Makes it much easier on my hands to prime large runs, especially new brass with tight pockets.”

Craig Arnzen answered: “My Annealeez [annealing machine] is one of the best tools in my reloading room. Neck tension is SO important, and annealing every firing really helps with that. This is an inexpensive tool that can anneal a lot of cases at once, and help me produce more consistent ammo.”

Josh Temmen answered: “Time is critical for me so my RCBS Chargemasters are indispensable (pun intended.) They cut down on time at my reloading bench while maintaining the weight tolerances required for long range shooting.”

Josh Bartlett answered: “I have my Dillon 650 set up with Whidden floating tool heads to do decapping and sizing on my match ammo. The case feeder and progressive function of the press save me a TON of time when doing lots of several hundred rounds.”

Ryan Brandt answered: “… A quality set of calipers. My reloading room is full of very nice equipment but little does more to satisfy my perfectionism than a good check with the calipers.”

Sierra Bullets

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November 28th, 2019

BLAZING AMMO — The Great SAAMI Ammo Fire Test

This important video shows what really happens when loaded ammunition burns. You will probably be surprised. Contrary to Hollywood notions, the ammo doesn’t ignite in a massive explosion. Far from it… basically the rounds “cook off” one by one, and the bullets release at relatively low velocity. We’ve featured this SAAMI research project before, but it is worth reprising for those who have not yet seen the burn tests.

A couple years back, SAAMI released an important video concerning ammo and fire. With professional fire-fighters standing by, over 400,000 rounds of ammo were incinerated in a series of eye-opening tests. If you haven’t had the chance to view this video yet, you should take the time to watch it now

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) has produced an amazing 25-minute video that shows what actually happens to sporting ammunition involved in a fire. This video shows the results of serious tests conducted with the assistance of professional fire crews. We strongly recommend you watch this video, all the way through. It dispels many myths, while demonstrating what really happens when ammunition is burned, dropped, or crushed.

Watch SAAMI Ammunition Testing Video

Video Timeline

  • 2:10 Impact Test (ignited outside firearm)
  • 3:40 65-foot Drop Test
  • 5:08 Bullet Impact (.308 Win firing)
  • 7:55 Blasting Cap Attacks
  • 9:55 Bulldozer and Forklift Tests
  • 12:20 Boxed Ammo Bonfire
  • 15:37 Bonfire without Packaging
  • 17:21 Retail Store Simulation Burn
  • 20:55 Truck Trailer Burn

Over 400,000 rounds of ammunition were used in the tests. Some of the footage is quite remarkable. Testers built a bonfire with 28,000 rounds of boxed ammo soaked in diesel fuel. Then the testers loaded five pallets of ammo (250,000 rounds) in the back of a semi-truck, and torched it all using wood and paper fire-starting materials doused with diesel fuel.

The video shows that, when ammo boxes are set on fire, and ammunition does discharge, the bullet normally exits at low speed and low pressure. SAAMI states: “Smokeless powders must be confined to propel a projectile at high velocity. When not in a firearm, projectile velocities are extremely low.” At distances of 10 meters, bullets launched from “cooked-off” ammo would not penetrate the normal “turn-out gear” worn by fire-fighters.

We are not suggesting you disregard the risks of ammo “cooking off” in a fire, but you will learn the realities of the situation by watching the video. There are some amazing demonstrations — including a simulated retail store fire with 115,000 rounds of ammo in boxes. As cartridges cook off, it sounds like a battery of machine-guns, but projectiles did not penetrate the “store” walls, or even two layers of sheet-rock. The fire crew puts out the “store fire” easily in under 20 seconds, just using water.

Additional Testing: Drop Test, Projectile Test, Crush Test, Blasting Cap Test

Drop Test
The video also offers interesting ammo-handling tests. Boxes of ammo were dropped from a height of 65 feet. Only a tiny fraction of the cartridges discharged, and there was no chain-fire. SAAMI concludes: “When dropped from extreme heights (65 feet), sporting ammunition is unlikely to ignite. If a cartridge ignites, it does not propagate.”

Rifle Fire Test
SAAMI’s testers even tried to blow up boxes of ammunition with rifle fire. Boxes of loaded ammo were shot with .308 Win rounds from 65 yards. The video includes fascinating slow-motion footage showing rounds penetrating boxes of rifle cartridges, pistol ammo, and shotgun shells. Individual cartridges that were penetrated were destroyed, but adjacent cartridges suffered little damage, other than some powder leakage. SAAMI observed: “Most of the ammunition did not ignite. When a cartridge did ignite, there was no chain reaction.”

Bulldozer Crush Test
The test team also did an amazing “crush-test” using a Bulldozer. First boxes of loaded ammo, then loose piles of ammo, were crushed under the treads of a Bulldozer. A handful of rounds fired off, but again there was no chain-fire, and no large explosion. SAAMI observed: “Even in the most extreme conditions of compression and friction, sporting ammunition is unlikely to ignite. [If it does ignite when crushed] it does not propagate.”

Blasting Cap Test
Perhaps most amazingly, the testers were not able to get ammunition to chain-fire (detonate all at once), even when using blasting caps affixed directly to live primers. In the SAAMI test, a blasting cap was placed on the primer of a round housed in a large box of ammo. One cartridge ignited but the rest of the boxed ammo was relatively undamaged and there was no propagation.

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November 28th, 2019

Lake City Ammunition Production Start to Finish Video

lake city army ammunition plant

Lake City Ammunition PlantWhat’s the next best thing to a stockpile of gleaming, freshly-loaded ammo? How about a movie showing gleaming, freshly-loaded ammo being made — from start to finish? The five-minute video below shows the ammunition production process at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri. Lake City is the largest producer of small arms ammunition for the U.S. military, producing roughly four MILLION small-caliber rounds every day.

This promotional video does go overboard at times (too many smiling employees gushing about quality control). Still, it is fascinating to watch the process of creating cartridges — from the drawing (or extrusion) of raw brass into casings to the placement of projectiles and primers.

Lake City Ammunition Plant

Quick History of Lake City Ammunition Plant
Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) is a 3,935-acre government-owned, contractor-operated facility in Independence, Missouri that was established by Remington Arms in 1941 to manufacture and test small caliber ammunition for the U.S. Army. The facility has remained in continuous operation except for one 5-year period following World War II. Remington Arms operated the plant from its inception until 1985. Then Winchester took over the facility from 1985-2000.

Prior to its acquisition by Northrup Grumman in 2018, Orbital-ATK ran the plant since late 2000, initially as Alliant Techsystems (ATK). Recently Olin Corporation announced that its ammunition division, Olin Winchester, LLC, has been selected by the U.S. Army to operate and manage the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant for the next seven years — Winchester will assume full operational control of the Lake City plant on October 1, 2020.

Credit GunsForSale.com for finding this YouTube Video.

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November 27th, 2019

Zombies and A-Tips on Doug Koenig’s TV Show

Doug Koenig Championship season zombies heartland hornady a-tip bullet factory

Doug Koenig’s Championship Season returns to the Pursuit Channel for its ninth season. On this week’s episode, Koenig shoots the Zombies in the Heartland multi-gun match in Nebraska. Sponsored by Hornady, the Zombies Match is one of the biggest 3-gun matches in the nation. Later in the episode Koenig visits Hornady’s bullet-making factory in Nebraska.

Doug Koenig’s Championship Season airs on the Pursuit Channel three times each week. NOTE: If you don’t have cable, you can view shows online on your computer or mobile device at Pursuituptv.com. Weekly Cable TV broadcast times are:

Wednesday at 5:30 pm (EST) | Friday at 9:00 pm (EST) | Saturday at 1:00 am (EST)

Click HERE to View Episodes on Computer or Mobile Device »

Koenig Competes in Zombies Match in Nebraska
Teaming up with Jason Hornady and his son, Doug travels to Nebraska to shoot the popular annual 3-Gun Zombies in the Heartland match. Using pistol, rifle, and shotgun, Doug’s team shoots the Open Division Industry Match and runs six challenging stages using zombie-themed props.

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

This “Pandemic” 3-Gun fun match, one of the biggest three-gun shoots in the nation, takes place each summer at the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. The Pandemic features a rich prize table worth over $150,000. Prizes include pistols, rifles, shotguns, scopes, AR uppers, gun parts, and gear of all kinds.

See A-Tip Bullets Crafted at Hornady Factory
In the second part of the episode, Doug visits the Hornady production facility to see how the new, sequentially-packaged A-Tip match bullets are made. These feature a very uniform aluminum tip for consistent BCs. Doug views 6mm 110 grain A-Tips as they roll off the manufacturing line. Doug plans to use this 6mm bullet in his future PRS competitions.

Doug Koenig Championship season zombies heartland hornady a-tip bullet factory
Hornady A-Tip match bullets koenig 110gr bullet

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November 26th, 2019

SIG Sauer Ships 100,000th M17/M18 Pistol to U.S. Military

Sig Sauer M17 M18 P320 pistol modular handgun Army

SIG Sauer recently announced the delivery of the 100,000th M17/M18 Modular Handgun System (MHS) pistol to the U.S. Military. The 100K delivery milestone came ahead of schedule and SIG Sauer says it has surpassed the performance standards of the government MHS contract. The SIG Sauer M17/M18 replaces the Beretta M9 (aka 92F) which served the U.S. Miltary since 1985. The M17 has a close civilian equivalent, the SIG Sauer model P320 pistol.

Sig Sauer M17 M18 P320 pistol modular handgun Army

“In the month of October 2019 SIG SAUER exceeded our manufacturing requirements by 30% and delivered a record-setting 12,100 handguns to the U.S. Military to achieve this historic milestone for SIG Sauer and the MHS program”, stated Ron Cohen, SIG President & CEO. “With the strict accuracy and acceptance specifications that the M17 and M18 are continuously exceeding, it’s clear that the success of this program can be directly attributed to the reliability, durability, and accuracy of the handgun, which has resulted in the high demand for both the M17 and M18 from every branch of the U.S. Military.”

The M17 and M18 handguns are a 9mm, striker-fired, P320-based handgun platform, featuring coyote-tan PVD coated stainless steel slides with black controls and utilize both 17-round and 21-round magazines. The M18 is a compact version of the M17. Both handgun types are equipped with SIGLITE front night sights, removable night sight rear plates, and manual safeties. To date SIG SAUER has delivered M17 and M18 handguns to all branches of the U.S. Military and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Sig Sauer M17 M18 P320 pistol modular handgun Army
P320/M17 image from KSGunGuy YouTube Video.

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November 22nd, 2019

Brownells Video Shows How to Cut Chamfer on Barrel Crown

brownells crown muzzle barrel bullet accuracy gunsmithing

This video from Brownells talks about a the crown of a barrel and how the crown’s condition affects accuracy. As the bullet leaves the barrel of the gun, the shape, alignment and the condition of the crown can affect the accuracy of your shot. A proper crown is essential to ensure that the bullet leaves the barrel correctly and that the propellant gasses behind the bullet are distributed evenly on firing. A square crown without burrs and a smooth transition will normally ensure consistency from shot to shot. By contrast, a damaged crown can cause unpredictable flyers that open your group. That’s why it’s important to have perfect crowns on all your barrels.

The video explains the different types of crowns that can be used. In addition, the video shows how you can chamfer your muzzle in a home shop. If you use a properly-sized pilot, cutting a shallow chamfer is something that most guys with some mechanical skill can handle. Just be sure to use lubricant, flush chips, and don’t rush the job. Cutting the barrel is another matter. At the 1:20 mark the video shows how to use a hack-saw to remove a damaged muzzle section. While this may be fine for an inexpensive rifle that needs a “quick fix”, we do NOT recommend using a hack-saw with a vise for a competition barrel. The reason is that it is too easy for a novice to produce a cut that is not square. We suggest letting a professional gunsmith cut and crown your competition barrels.

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November 21st, 2019

Practical Tactical — Video Training Series with Ryan Cleckner

practical PRS NRL shooting tactical rifle videos ryan cleckner

Former Army Ranger sniper instructor Ryan Cleckner is the author of the best-selling Long Range Shooting Handbook. Cleckner hosts a series of videos that cover shooting techniques appropriate for tactical and PRS-type disciplines. Here are five short videos that cover various aspects of shooting techniques and rifle set-up. We think PRS/NRL competitors (and long-range hunters) can benefit from these videos.

“Consistency is the key to accuracy. You need to think about a system of how you’r going to shoot that is not only comfortable, but [is] repeatable when you’re shooting.” — Ryan Cleckner

In this first video, Cleckner explains proper scope position. Ryan finds that some shooters place the scope too far forward or too far rearward. If the scope is too far back you may have issues with eye relief and stock reach to shoulder. If it is too far forward, you may have cheek-weld problems or get neck strain.

Cleckner offers a simple method to check your scope position: “To see if your scope is set up properly … close your eyes, lay your head on your gun, get completely comfortable, and only when you are set-up, then open your eyes. If you can’t see clearly through your scope, CHANGE something [such as comb height or scope position]”. “When you open your eyes, if you see some scope shadow [i.e. the black ring around the edge of the scope picture], figure out which way you need to move your head to get rid of that shadow, and then make adjustments to either your position, the rifle, or the scope.”

Cleckner prefers shooting off a bag when in the prone position, when that is practical. The bag provides a more stable support than a small Harris-type bipod, doesn’t require pre-loading the rifle, and there is less bounce or hop on recoil.

Former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how important it is to keep your rifle straight up and down when long-range precision shooting. Cleckner demonstrates with an AR-10 modern sporting rifle how slight cant to your rifle can cause a miss over long distances.

Here Cleckner covers some of the basic points of trigger control on tactical-style rifles. These basic principles apply to both single-stage and two-stage triggers. NOTE: For benchrest rigs, with ultra-light pull weights, more refined techniques may be appropriate.

In tactical events, when you’re shooting on the clock and loading from a detachable magazine, you should manipulate the bolt smoothly but strongly. Here Cleckner demonstrates how to cycle a tactical-type rifle. He says, “You should be running the bolt on your rifle with authority. Run it like you mean it!” NOTE: Completely different techniques are appropriate for custom benchrest rifles that manually feed.

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

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

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November 20th, 2019

President’s 100 Match and M1 Garand on Shooting USA TV

President's 100 Camp Perry Dennis Santiago
Looking downrange at the 600-yard targets. All Camp Perry photos courtesy Dennis Santiago.

Shooting USA TV has an excellent episode this week, with some great features for competitive shooters and fans of historic military rifles. Shooting USA covers the President’s 100 Match at Camp Perry, one of the most prestigious shooting competitions held each summer. In addition, Shooting USA spotlights the M1 Garand rifle. A legendary firearm that helped win WWII, the .30-06 Springfield M1 Garand remains popular in vintage military matches. There is also a major Garand Match each summer at Camp Perry. You can watch Shooting USA Wednesday nights on the Outdoor Channel at 8:00 pm Eastern/Pacific, 9:00 pm Central. Or, you can view each episode the following Thursday (and thereafter) on Vimeo.com

Shooting USA Garand Presidents 100

SHOOTING USA Covers the President’s 100 Match

The historic National President’s 100 Match is a huge event. In recent years, there have been over 1000 competitors, making this one of the biggest rifle events of the year. First held in 1878, the President’s 100 match is richly steeped in history. The top 100 competitors overall are designated as the President’s 100. They receive President’s 100 medallions and certificates.

Origins of the President’s Match
Dunfey USAMU President's MatchThe National Rifle Association’s President’s Match was instituted in 1878, as the American Military Rifle Championship Match. In 1884, the name was changed to the President’s Match for the Military Rifle Championship of the United States. It was fired at Creedmoor, New York until 1891. In 1895, it was reintroduced at Sea Girt, New Jersey. Today, the match is held at Camp Perry, Ohio.

The President’s Match was patterned after the Queen’s Match for British Volunteers. That British competition was started in 1860 by Queen Victoria and the NRA of Great Britain to increase the ability of Britain’s marksmen following the Crimean War.

The tradition of making a letter from the President of the United States the first prize began in 1904 when President Theodore Roosevelt personally wrote a letter of congratulations to the winner, Private Howard Gensch of the New Jersey National Guard.

After a hiatus in the 1930s and 1940s, The President’s Match was reinstated in 1957 at the National Matches as “The President’s Hundred.” The 100 top-scoring competitors in the President’s Match were singled out for special recognition.

Shooting USA Features the M1 Garand Vintage Military Rifle

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

This week’s Shooting USA episode tracks the origins and history of the Garand. An M1 Garand is a great addition to anyone’s personal firearms collection. It is a piece of living history — plus it can be used in Vintage Military rifle matches. Here are some resources for M1 Garand owners.

M1 Garand Maintenance Manuals
Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual comes with CMP rifles or can be purchased for $3.50 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen and I highly recommend it.” The CMP also offers many other M1 Garand print resources including:

M1 Garand Owner’s Guide (125 pages, Scott Duff)
M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide (155 pages, Walt Kuleck & Scott McKee)
Complete Guide to M1 Garand and M1 Carbine (296 pages, Bruce Canfield)

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

M1 Garand History

Jean Cantius Garand, also known as John C. Garand, was a Canadian designer of firearms who created the M1 Garand, a semi-automatic rifle that was widely used by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean War. The U.S. government employed Garand as an engineer with the Springfield Armory from 1919 until he retired in 1953. At Springfield Armory Garand was tasked with designing a basic gas-actuated self-loading infantry rifle and carbine that would eject the spent cartridge and reload a new round. It took fifteen years to perfect the M1 prototype model to meet all the U.S. Army specifications. The resulting Semiautomatic, Caliber .30, M1 Rifle was patented by Garand in 1932, approved by the U.S. Army on January 9, 1936, and went into mass production in 1940. It replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield and became the standard infantry rifle known as the Garand Rifle. During the World War II, over four million M1 rifles were manufactured.

John Jean C. Garand M1

Watch Shooting USA Shows Any Time with Video on Demand

Shooting USA Garand Presidents 100
Don’t get the Outdoor Channel? No problem. Shooting USA is now available on Demand, streamed online for Smart TVs, Computers, Tablets, and Phones with high speed connections. Weekly episodes are posted in full on Vimeo.com. You can watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $e.99 and watch as many shows as you like. Each show is High Definition with Limited Commercial Interruption.

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November 19th, 2019

Forster Co-Ax Press Features Showcased in Video

Forster Co-Ax Coax Reloading Press Grafs Grafs.com Sale Co-Axial rockchucker

In recent years, Forster Co-Ax® presses have been somewhat hard to find, as demand has out-stripped supply. However, right now Midsouth Shooters has Co-Ax presses in stock for $349.99. This price includes a set of jaws. The Co-Ax Single Stage Press accepts any standard 7/8″ X 14 reloading die, but Forster suggests using Forster Cross Bolt Lock Rings for best results. As the Co-Ax is back-ordered at most vendors, you may want to order soon.

If you are not yet familiar with the many unique features of the Forster Co-Ax, we recommend you watch the video embedded below. This shows how the press operates and highlights the design elements which set the Co-Ax apart from every other reloading press on the market.

Video Shows Special Features of Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press

Forster Co-Ax Press Video Review
This is a very thorough review of the Forster Co-Ax done by Rex Roach. This 14-minute video shows the key Co-Ax features, explaining how the floating case-holder jaws work (3:30 time-mark), how the dies are held in place (4:40 time-mark), how spent primers are captured (6:10 time-mark), and how to set the primer seating depth (10:00 time-mark). We’ve used a Co-Ax for years and we still learned a few new things by watching this detailed video. If you are considering purchasing a Co-Ax, definitely watch this video start to finish.

Forster Co-Ax Coax Reloading Press Grafs Grafs.com Sale Co-Axial rockchucker

The Co-Ax case-holder features spring-loaded, floating jaws. These jaws have two sets of openings, small and large. This allows the system to adapt to various rim diameters. The jaw plates can simply be reversed to switch from small jaw to large jaw. In the photo above, the Co-Ax is configured with the large jaw openings in the center.

Photos are screen shots from Forster Co-Ax Review by Rex Roach on YouTube.

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November 17th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Vudoo Gun Works V-22 Rimfire Rifle

Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle

This Sunday GunDay story features a .22 LR rifle built around a Vudoo Gun Works V-22 rimfire repeater action. The V-22 action, arguably one of the best tactical rimfire actions available, owes its lineage to the respected Remington 40X action. Many rimfire matches have been won with 40X actions, so we understand why Vudoo chose that design for a starting point. Vudoo then added some important enhancements, including a controlled-feed design. This makes the Vudoo a great choice for rimfire cross-training, rimfire tactical matches, and NRL22 competition. In the video below you can see the Vudoo Gun Works rifle used an a PRS-style, long-range precision rimfire match in Minnesota.

As it has the same footprint as a Remington 700, the Vudoo Gun Works V-22 action is 100% compatible with a wide variety of Rem 700 chassis, triggers, and rifle accessories. This allows you to have a rimfire trainer with near-identical ergonomics as a centerfire match rifle. Rimfire training provides valuable trigger time with dramatically lower ammo costs. Along with actions, Vudoo sells barreled actions, and complete rifles through its website: VudooGunworks.com.

In this video, Dave Timm of GunsandTactics.com employs a Vudoo V-22 in the Minnesota .22 LR Long Range Precision Rimfire Match at the Rush Lake Range. This PRS-style match had targets out to 300 yards during the main match, followed by a long range challenge out to 465 yards. Dave’s Vudoo Gunworks V-22 rifle features a Grayboe Ridgeback stock, Harris bipod, and Trijicon Accupower 4.5-30x56mm FFP scope. Dave was shooting Lapua Center-X .22 LR ammunition.

This course of fire was challenging. Dave explains: “Stages included barricades and barrels and props to shoot out to targets at 100, 169, and 214 yards. So we’re shooting a 6″ piece of steel at 214 yards with an awkward position and a .22! It’s a good challenge and it really forced you to get all your fundamentals together. You’d be surprised at how much movement [there is]. You feel that you’re steady but all of a sudden that reticle just doesn’t want to stop moving.”

Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle
Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle

This Minnesota Match is similar to a PRS-style competition, but for rimfire rigs. Dave said “This match was an absolute blast and pushed out the .22 LR round out to some distance.”

About the V-22 Action — Controlled-Feed Design

Vudoo Gun Works states: “Our V-22 runs a full-size short action bottom metal (DBM) and our V-2210 magazine has a [full-size] AICS form factor. The V-22 is the only controlled-round-feed .22 LR receiver out there. The bolt has full capture control of the cartridge from the time it leaves the magazine until it ejects the spent round out the ejection port. That means the round never touches anything during feed travel so the bullets won’t be nicked/dented during rapid cycling.”

Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle
Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle

V-22 Product Description from Vudoo Gun Works:
The V-22 has been designed from the ground up as a true-to-scale Rimfire receiver that fits the Rem 700 footprint [for] stocks and chassis[.]. It also runs a full size short action bottom metal (DBM) and our V-2210 magazine has an AICS form factor[.]

The V-22 has a very unique control-round-feed protocol. The bolt has full-capture control of the cartridge from the time it leaves the magazine until it ejects the spent round out the ejection port. The significance of that is two-fold. Great feed and extraction reliability and…equally as important, the cartridge is controlled in a way that it never touches anything on its entrance into the bore. There is no feed ramp, nor does the projectile go in at an angle that would damage it in any way. We all know how susceptible the soft lead of the .22 LR is to accuracy-degrading damage and minor nicks during the chambering process. [That kind of bullet damage] is eliminated in the V-22 geometry.

Vudoo v-22 v22 action rimfire rifle barreled action PRS NRL22

About Dave TimmDave is a police officer serving his community on night patrol. Dave serves as his agency’s lead firearms and use of force instructor. He also owns and operates the Learning Firearms training operation in Baxter, Minnesota. Dave’s company offers realistic practical training solutions.

Vudoo Gun works V-22 rimfire .22 LR rifle

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November 16th, 2019

Umarex Hammer May Be World’s Most Powerful Air Rifle

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug

Umarex USA offers an big-bore .50-Caliber Air Rifle, which it claims is the world’s most powerful air gun. The new Umarex Hammer can launch a 550 grain slug at 760 fps, delivering an impressive 705 foot-lbs of energy at the muzzle. That energy total rivals a 10mm Auto Cartridge (220 grainer at 1200 fps). Not bad for an air rifle with an $815.99 MSRP.

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug

With lighter projectiles, the Umarex Hammer also delivers fairly high velocities — it can drive a 200 grain lead projectile at 1055 fps. That’s equivalent to a .45 ACP +P load. The design team at Umarex say this air rifle has the power to take deer and other game — when the animals are close enough.

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug

The Umarex Hammer has features you might find on a modern centerfire rifle: 29.5″ button-rifled barrel, straight-pull bolt, 8.5″ Picatinny rail, and quality trigger with 3-lb pull. The Made-in-USA Hammer is powered by an on-board, 24-cubic-inch carbon fiber cylinder filled at 4500 psi. The Hammer incorporates a Lightspeed™ valve and precision regulator that launches the projectiles with a 3000 psi air blast. Umarex says the Hammer is quite accurate — capable of putting three, 350- grain lead slugs in an inch at 50 yards.

Umarex Hammer airgun air rifle .50 Caliber most powerful lead slug
Photo courtesy 2BrothersAdventures, from Umarex Hammer Video.

Umarex Hammer Features

— Most powerful production air rifle on the planet
— Straight-pull bolt with 2 lb. cocking effort and just 2 in. of travel
— 24 cubic inch carbon fiber tank holds 4,500 psi compressed air
— Delivers three full-power shots @ 8 cubic inches per shot
— Patent-pending Lightspeed™ valve
— Button-rifled, 29.5″, .50-caliber barrel
— Quick Disconnect Foster air-filling fitting
— Modern stock design (with M-Lok slots) manufactured by PolyOne
— 43.75-inch overall length
— 8.5 pound overall weight unloaded without scope
— 3 pound trigger-pull weight
— Three safeties: hammer block, magazine lock-out, trigger block

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November 16th, 2019

Five Worst States for Traveling with Firearms — Watch Out

Top Five 5 Worst states for Travel Guns Firearms

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. That means a large percentage of Americans will be on the road to visit relative. We know many of our readers have concealed carry permits or will otherwise be traveling with firearms. When crossing into different states with guns in a vehicle, you need to be mindful of all state and local laws and restrictions.

Five Worst States for Traveling with Firearms

This article appears in the Cheaper Than Dirt Shooter’s Log.
The U.S. is a patchwork of confusing and cumbersome laws that change the rules of what you can carry, where you can carry, and whether you can possess the firearm, ammunition of magazine at without running afoul of the local laws. Now, if every state was like Vermont, law abiding gun owners could freely travel with their firearms with no worries. Unfortunately, many states have a history of being hostile to traveling gun owners.

The federal “Firearms Owner Protection Act” allows travel through any state as long as the firearm is unloaded, in a locked case, and not easily accessible to the passengers. However, that is not to say that certain states that are less friendly to firearms have not created their own laws that would snare unsuspecting otherwise law-abiding firearm owners. This led us to name the Top 5 States to Avoid while traveling with a firearm this holiday season.

CONNECTICUT
Connecticut does not have any gun reciprocity agreements with other states. This means nonresidents are not allowed to carry handguns in Connecticut under a permit issued by another state.

HAWAII
Every person arriving into the state who brings a firearm of any description, usable or not, shall register the firearm within three days of the arrival of the person or the firearm, whichever arrives later, with the chief of police of the county where the person will reside, where their business is, or the person’s place of sojourn. GET Hawaii Firearms INFO HERE.

MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts imposes harsh penalties on the mere possession and transport of firearms without a license to carry. Prospective travelers are urged to contact the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau at (617) 660-4780 or contact the State Police. GET Massachusetts Firearms INFO HERE.

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the country. Your firearm must be unloaded, in a locked container, and not accessible in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that anyone traveling within the state is deemed to be aware of these regulations and will be held strictly accountable for violations. If you’re traveling through New Jersey, the N.J. State Police website provides information regarding transporting firearms within state lines. GET New Jersey Firearms INFO HERE.

NEW YORK
Use extreme caution when traveling through New York state with firearms. New York’s general approach is to make the possession of handguns and so-called “assault weapons” illegal. A number of localities, including Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Suffolk County, and Yonkers, impose their own requirements on the possession, registration, and transport of firearms. Possession of a handgun within New York City requires a New York City handgun license or a special permit from the city Police Commissioner. This license validates a state license within the city. Even New York state licenses are generally not valid within New York City unless a specific exemption applies. Possession of a shotgun or rifle within New York City requires a permit, which is available to non-residents, and a certificate of registration.

More Scary States for Gun Owners
Here are six other jurisdictions (five states and DC) where you need to be wary when traveling. California, for example, treats all handguns in vehicles as “loaded” if there is ammunition loaded into an attached magazine. It’s wise, when in California, to have handguns unloaded in a LOCKED case, with all ammunition or magazines in a separate section of the vehicle. These states (and DC) all have laws that can trap unsuspecting gun-owners. Be wary.

California
Delaware
Dist. of Columbia
Illinois
Maryland
Rhode Island

Top Five 5 Worst states for Travel Guns Firearms

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November 15th, 2019

Hornady Video Shows How Ammunition is Made

Hornady Manufacturing

Hornady ManufacturingIf you wonder how ammo is made, starting with raw metal, check out this video from Hornady. It shows how bullet jackets are formed from copper, followed by insertion of a lead core. The jacket is then closed up over the core with the bullet taking its final shape in a die (a cannelure is applied on some bullet types). Next the video shows how cartridge brass is formed, starting with small cups of brass. The last part of the video shows how cases are primed and filled with powder, and how bullets are seated into the cases, using an automated process on a giant assembly-line. CLICK Link below to watch video:

Hornady’s New 150,000-sq-ft Ammo Production Center
One year ago Hornady opened a new, state-of-the-art factory. The 150,000-sq-ft Hornady West Facility, featured in the video below, handles ammunition production and product distribution — Hornady produces millions of rounds annually. Hornady cartridge brass and bullets will continue to be produced at Hornady’s 100,000+ square foot factory in Grand Island, Nebraska. The Grand Island factory is open for tours Monday through Thursday. Hornady Manufacturing was founded by Joyce Hornady in 1949, so this year (2019) marks the company’s 70th anniversary.

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November 14th, 2019

Video Demonstrates Lock-N-Load Press Conversion Kit

Lock N load Conversion Kit Die bushing twist lock Hornady

Would you like to swap dies in and out of a reloading press in just seconds, with a quick twist of the wrist? Hornady’s Lock ‘N Load twist-lock hardware makes that possible. This time-saving system uses “die bushings” that screw on to your dies. Don’t have Hornady press? No problem — the Lock-N-Load system can be used with non-Hornady presses via the Lock-N-Load Conversion Kit. This includes three die bushings and one press conversion insert. The adapter will work with RCBS RockChuckers and any other reloading press using a 1-1/4-12 thread. The Lock-N-Load Conversion Kit costs just $15.59 at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Watch this video to see how it works.

Product and video tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.

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November 13th, 2019

Home Defense: Shotgun vs. Pistol — What’s Your Best Option?

Home defense shotgun NSSF Clint Thunder Ranch
Shotgun Photo from Superior Security Concepts.

Shotgun vs. Handgun — which is better for home defense? That’s a question that inspires strong opinions on both sides. We think the best answer may be “both”. There are some situations where a pistol is most handy, while there are other situations where the power (and lethality) of the shotgun clearly wins out. Some would argue that the shotgun offers an “intimidation” factor that may better resolve a threat without a shot being fired.

The NSSF, in cooperation with Thunder Ranch Training Center, has created an interesting video that examines the Shotgun vs. Handgun debate. As the Cheaper Than Dirt Blog notes: “The primary argument against the shotgun is a longer length leading to less maneuverability. On the other hand, the pistol offers better maneuverability, but lacks the stopping power of a shotgun”. Moreover, the pistol may be less accurate, according to some critics. This NSSF video looks at the question from a logical standpoint — making some surprising points.

As you can see in this still frame from the video, the shooting stance of the pistol shooter (Clint) is NOT much more compact than that of the two shotgunners (compare actual muzzle positions). So a shotgun may actually be more handy inside a home than some people realize. Clint concludes that the gun selection debate “is all very easily solved by only one question: ‘If someone was going to run across a bedroom at you and they had a big knife, would you rather shoot him one time with a pistol or one time with a shotgun?’ When you answer the question you figure out why this [shotgun length] doesn’t really bother us. We simply take these [shotguns] and use them in a slightly different manner…”

Home defense shotgun NSSF Clint Thunder Ranch

In this video, Thunder Ranch Director Clint Smith explains why the overall length of a shotgun, as held in firing position against the shoulder, is not really that much greater than the “shooting stance length” of a handgun held in a proper firing position (with arms extended). Accordingly gun length/size should not be the deciding factor when choosing a firearm for home defense.

Whatever Weapon You Choose — Train with It
Fundamentally, you should use the firearm that is 100% reliable, and with which you have trained regularly. Mastery of a defensive firearm — whether shotgun or handgun — needs to be second-nature. You should be able to operate all the controls (safety, pump, decocker, slide, bolt handle etc.) by “instinct” based on hours of training. Likewise you should know how to operate the light/laser if your defensive firearm is so equipped. Importantly, you should be able to reload in darkness, and clear malfunctions without panicking.

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