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May 19th, 2022

Reloading Tip: Pulling Bullets Using Press-Mounted Collet Tools

Collet Bullet Puller Hornady RCBS Press Mount Reloading

Do you have some ammo that got loaded incorrectly, perhaps with the wrong powder? Then you’ll want to disassemble the ammo for safety’s sake. You can use an impact puller to do this task, but if you have more than a dozen rounds or so, you may prefer to use a collet-style bullet puller. These work very quickly and positively, making quick work of big jobs. The efficiency of the collet-style puller is worth the investment if you frequently disassemble ammo. These devices retail for under $25.00 (collets sold separately). Normally, you’ll need a specific collet for each bullet diameter. But collets are not that costly, so this isn’t a big deal, particularly if you only load a few calibers, such as .223, 6mm, and .308.

Hornady and RCBS use different mechanisms to tighten the collet around the bullet. On the Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller, a lever-arm on the top of the bullet puller serves to tighten the collet around the bullet. Simply rotate the lever from the vertical to the horizontal position to grab the bullet. Lower the ram to remove the case. The bullet will drop out when you return the lever arm to the vertical position. This is demonstrated in the video below:

Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller Demonstrated

Collet bullet-pullers resemble a loading die with a lever or handle on the top. They screw into a standard reloading press. Hornady and RCBS both make collet-style bullet pullers. They use the same basic principle — the device tightens a collet around the bullet, and then the bullet is separated from the case by lowering the press ram. NOTE: Collet pullers may leave small marks on your bullets, unlike impact (kinetic) pullers.*

Hornady collet bullet pullerLike the Hornady tool, the RCBS Bullet Puller employs a collet to grab the bullet. However, the RCBS tool tightens the collet in a different way. The head of the RCBS tool is threaded internally. By rotating the lever arm clockwise in a horizontal circle you squeeze the collet around the bullet. To remove the bullet, after lowering the press ram, simply spin the lever arm back in the opposite direction. The use of the RCBS tool is demonstrated in these two videos:

RCBS Collet Bullet Puller Demonstrated:

WARNING: When removing bullets from loaded cartridges, always make sure there are no obstructions or debris in your shell-holder or under the loaded round. NEVER engage a primer seating accessory on your press when working with loaded rounds. You can cause a round to discharge by contacting the primer! Also, we recommend you keep your head and torso away from the bullet puller tool at all times.

*By contrast, impact pullers rarely mark bullets, particularly if you put a little bit of foam or paper wadding in the closed end of your impact puller. When dismantling loaded rounds, powder kernels can get trapped in the wadding, so you should remove and replace the wadding before changing to cartridges loaded with a different powder type (assuming you intend to save the powder).

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
May 18th, 2022

Shooting USA TV Features $75K Armaggedon Gear Cup

Armageddon Gear AG Cup Invitational Shooting USA

Fans of PRS/NRL competition should watch Shooting USA today March 16, 2022. This action-packed episode features the 2021 Armageddon Gear (AG) Cup Invitational, a major PRS event with $75,000 in cash prize awards. The show airs today, Wednesday 5/18/22 at 9:00 PM Eastern/Pacific (8:00 PM Central) on the Outdoor Channel. You can also stream the show anytime on Vimeo for $0.99.

$75,000 in cash prizes makes the AG Cup the biggest cash money match in Precision Rifle Competition. It’s an elimination format shot over three days of challenging stages of fire at K & M Precision’s ranges in West Tennessee. In this episode, match organizer Tom Fuller joins John Scoutten to narrate the action and the award of the cash in extended coverage of the match. The 2020 AG Cup showcased an all-star line-up of tactical talent with the nation’s top PRS/NRL marksmen invited to the three-day match in TN.

Highlights of 2020 Armageddon Gear Cup Tactical Match:

shooting usa armageddon gear cup 2021 tom fuller
Armageddon Gear Founder Tom Fuller competes in PRS and supervised the latest AG Cup.

SHOOTING USA TV Air Times
View Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel Wednesdays 9:00 PM (Eastern and Pacific) + 8:00 PM Central.
NOTE: If you miss today’s 5/18/22 broadcast, you can still view the show on Vimeo for a small 99-cent fee, or just $1.99 per month unlimited. LINK HERE: Shooting USA on Vimeo.

Shooting USA Garand Presidents 100
Shooting USA is available On Demand via Vimeo.com. Watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $1.99 and watch as many shows as you like with limited commercial interruptions.

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May 17th, 2022

Krieger Cut-Rifled Barrel-Making — Start to Finish on Video

Krieger Barrels Cut Rifling Cut-Rifled Barreling

How Krieger Builds Barrels

This video shows the process of cut-rifled barrel-making by Krieger Barrels, one of the world’s best barrel manufacturers. Krieger cut-rifled barrels have set numerous world records and are favored by many top shooters. The video show the huge, complex machines used — bore-drilling equipment and hydraulic riflers. You can also see how barrels are contoured, polished, and inspected.

For anyone interested in accurate rifles, this is absolutely a “must-watch” video. Watch blanks being cryogenically treated, then drilled and lathe-turned. Next comes the big stuff — the massive rifling machines that single-point-cut the rifling in a precise, time-consuming process. Following that you can see barrels being contoured, polished, and inspected (with air gauge and bore-scope). There is even a sequence showing chambers being cut.

Click Arrow to Watch Krieger Barrels Video:

Here is a time-line of the important barrel-making processes shown in the video. You may want to use the “Pause” button, or repeat some segments to get a better look at particular operations. The numbers on the left represent playback minutes and seconds.

Krieger Barrel-Making Processes Shown in Video:

00:24 – Cryogenic treatment of steel blanks
00:38 – Pre-contour Barrels on CNC lathe
01:14 – Drilling Barrels
01:28 – Finish Turning on CNC lathe
01:40 – Reaming
01:50 – Cut Rifling
02:12 – Hand Lapping
02:25 – Cut Rifling
02:40 – Finish Lapping
02:55 – Outside Contour Inspection
03:10 – Engraving
03:22 – Polish
03:50 – Fluting
03:56 – Chambering
04:16 – Final Inspection

Krieger Barrels

Pratt & Whitney Cut rifling hydraulic machine

“At the start of World War Two, Pratt & Whitney developed a new, ‘B’ series of hydraulically-powered rifling machines, which were in fact two machines on the same bed. They weighed in at three tons and required the concrete floors now generally seen in workshops by this time. Very few of these hydraulic machines subsequently became available on the surplus market and now it is these machines which are sought after and used by barrel makers like John Krieger and ‘Boots’ Obermeyer. In fact, there are probably less of the ‘B’ series hydraulic riflers around today than of the older ‘Sine Bar’ universal riflers.” — Geoffrey Kolbe, Border Barrels.

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May 16th, 2022

Field Test Report on Savage A17 Rimfire in .17 HMR

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

One of our favorite cartridges for small varmints is the 17 HMR. Yes, the newer 17 WSM rimfire has better ballistics, but 17 HMR ammunition is considerably less expensive, and you have a much larger selection of rifles and pre-chambered aftermarket barrels. And out to 150 yards or so the 17 HMR is great on ground squirrels and prairie dogs.

If you are looking for a 17 HMR varmint rifle, one rig you should definitely consider is the Savage A17. Now that this model is offered with laminated stock options, you can get a fine little 17 HMR rifle for about $475.00. We do prefer the laminated stock A17s (both standard and thumbhole models) over the basic polymer-stocked version, priced at $440.00.

Savage A17 thumbhole stock

How does an A17 shoot? That question was answered a couple seasons back by Varminter.com in a First Hunt Report. Accurate and affordable, the Savage A17 is also the first .17 HMR to feature a delayed blow-back action. Eric Mayer, Editor of Varminter.com, put the semi-auto Savage A17 through its paces.

CLICK HERE for Savage A17 First Hunt Report on Varminter.com

Mayer wanted to see how the new Savage would perform, accuracy-wise, and he also wanted to see how the A17 fared in the field. Mayer achieved one-MOA accuracy with the Savage A17 using the latest CCI-brand ammo, and he demonstrated the A17 is wickedly effective on ground squirrels. Below we’ve provided highlights from Varminter.com’s Savage A17 First Hunt Report.

“I [collected] as many versions of the currently available .17 HMR ammunition as I could get my hands on. I had already picked-up and tested the new CCI A17 ammunition, so I filled up my ammo safe with other CCI ammunition, as well as Hornady and Winchester, including the lead free 15.5 grain NTX versions, also from Hornady and Winchester. After spending some time at the bench, I saw that this rifle shot the CCI A17 ammunition best, with most groups hovering right around 1″ to 1.20″ at one hundred yards, and some of the other ammo choices in the 1.25″ to 1.50″ range. This was with a warm barrel and in-between cleanings during the break-in process.”

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

Mayer found the A17 was easy to maintain: “I was very impressed by the ease of pulling the rifle apart for cleaning out in the field. Even with the scope mounted, I was able to quickly and easily remove the parts needed to give me complete access to the barrel through the breach, so cleaning was a breeze.”

A17 Reliability Lessons — Seat Those Rotary Magazines Correctly Folks
Some early A17 purchasers have noted occasional failures to feed. We believe this is because the magazine was not fully seated (and locked in place) in the firearm. The experience of Varminter.com’s Editor seems to confirm this. Mayer reports “As I began to shoot the rifle, I experienced what a few others have reported, with the magazine falling out while shooting. I quickly realized that I was not snapping the magazine into place every time. I found that popping in the magazine while the bolt was pulled, or locked back, resolved the issue. I did have a few failures to feed, but only on some of the older ammunition I was shooting, namely the first year Hornady ammo and the lead free ammo (which is about 3-4 years old). The newer ammo did not have any issues and functioned well, even while shooting some 10-round ‘mag-dumps’. The trigger is on the heavy side.”

A17 Reliability Shown in Video
The Savage A17 went through a very thorough manufacturer’s testing process before it was released to the market. In fact Savage put over 500,000 test rounds through A17 prototypes. When AccurateShooter.com tested the A17 at Media Day — it worked flawlessly, so long as you make sure the magazine is fully seated. We had zero issues, making us think that reported issues may be related to “driver error”; specifically not seating the magazine properly. Watch AccurateShooter.com video with rapid fire sequence.

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May 14th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Gun Safes — Features and Installation

Gunsafe gun safe saturday movies video showcase vault security modular

Today’s Saturday Showcase covers gun safes. Every firearms owner should have a secure, quality gun safe with ample capacity. There are numerous choices in gun safes — but we have one key bit of advice — buy BIGGER than you think you need, because your gun collection will likely grow over time. Also you should consider the fire rating of your safe. There are other key factors to consider, such as wall thickness, lock type, shelf and storage layout, and humidity control. We recommend that all Bulletin readers read our detailed, Gun Safe Buyers Guide. This in-depth 9400-word article covers ALL these topics:

Anti-Corrosion
Budget Safes
Bolt Layout
Door Seals
Fire Proofing
Handgun Storage
Hinges
Humidity Control
Installation Tips
Interior Layout
Interior Lighting
Locks–Dial vs. Digital
Modular Safes
Rotary Racks
Size and Weight
Temperature Control
Wall Thickness
Water Proofing

Technical Features of Gun Safes — What You Need to Know

This is a very sensible, informative video that examines the technical features of gun safes. You’ll learn about the steel “gauge” or thickness, the different types of hinges, lock controls, and fire-proofing options. We think anyone contemplating purchase of a large home safe should watch this video, prepared by a respected safe retailer in Las Vegas.

Assembly of SnapSafe Titan XXL Double Door Modular Safe

In this video Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com shows the unpacking and assembly of a large, twin-door SnapSafe modular safe. This video shows how individual panels are assembled one by one, and how the twin doors are attached. Gavin also shows the process of installing the interior insulation panels which provide basic fire protection. Remarkably, this entire XXL modular safe can be put together with simple tools in less than an hour. SEE Full Article HERE.


Gunsafe gun safe saturday movies video showcase vault security modular

Features of a Quality Safe under $1000

Even if you already have a safe, this video is well worth watching. The host shows a variety of accessories and upgrades that all gun safe owners should consider. The host explains why you should have a dehumidifier or Golden Rod. He also shows how to install handy interior lights that activate automatically when the door is opened.

The Gun Vault — The Next Step Beyond a Jumbo Gun Safe

If you have a very large gun collection and are building a new custom home, you may want to consider a Gun Vault. This is essentially a large, secure room, with a very heavy door and thick walls. In this interesting video, Atlas builds a large walk-in gun vault using the Gallow Tech Shelving System and a Fort Knox Gun Vault door.

After the Fire — What Actually Happens in a Burned Safe

In this video, the hosts open a “fireproof” gun safe that went through an actual house fire. See what happens when a gun safe that is supposed to be fireproof actually is exposed to a major fire. The results are surprising to say the least. This video shows that you need to do your homework before buying a “fireproof” safe. Understand how the fire rating systems work, and learn how the interior materials and construction make a big different in real world fire protection.

Mechanical Locks vs. Electronic Locks — What You Need to Know

One important decision when buying a gun safe is the choice of locking mechanism. Should you go with a mechanical lock or an electronic lock? There are pros and cons to both dial locks and e-locks, and as long as you get a quality lock, neither is a bad choice. To help you make your decision, This video explains the differences between the two, and reasons why you might choose one over the other.

How to Assemble a Modular Safe with Simple Tools

For gun owners who move frequently, or who may live in an upstairs apartment or condo, a modular safe makes sense. Steelhead Outdoors, based in Minnesota, offers three different safes: Nomad 26, 32, and Nomad 38. The video below shows how to assemble a Steelhead Outdoors Nomad series safe. If you have basic skills, these safes can be assembled easily in 60-90 minutes. Steelhead recommends having two people to do the job. The entire safe ships in four (4) boxes. Wrenches are included with the safe.

This time-lapse video shows the entire process of assembling the safe, start to finish.

Guide to Quick Access Handgun Safes

A quick access safe can keep your pistol secure, but also readily accessible. But not all of these devices are created equal. This video explains the features you need in a small pistol safe. The video also examines the pros and cons of seven different handgun safes. We recommend that you do NOT keep your handgun safe in plain view, such as on a bedside table. There are other locations where you still have quick access, without tempting home intruders.

Wireless Hygrometer Reports Temperature and Humidity Inside Safes

The Hornady Security® Wireless Hygrometer monitors temperature and humidity in real-time, all without opening the gun safe. The wireless hygrometer employs a remote sensor inside your safe, which measures temperature and humidity data. This data is then sent to an external base display. Wireless technology eliminates the need to open the safe and check the storage environment, preventing temperature and humidity spikes from the outside air.

The display features a large touchscreen that shows current high/low data from both the base and remote units in Fahrenheit or Celsius. The hygrometer pairs with Hornady Security’s in-safe dehumidifiers to combat oxidation-causing moisture.

Gun Safe Installation Recommendations

Every safe, when possible, should be anchored in place with heavy-duty fasteners. Ideally, use multiple bolts in the bottom of the safe, anchored to concrete or solid foundation. Choose the appropriate lag bolts or anchors for the material below your safe. If you can’t mount to the floor, bolt the safe to wall studs. You can locate the position of the studs with an inexpensive electronic “Stud Sensor” available at home supply stores.

Check the thickness of your safe floor. If the steel on the bottom of your safe is fairly thin, place a steel backing strip between the bolt heads and the safe bottom. (Large washers will work, but a backing strip is better.) Without such reinforcement, the bolt heads may pull right through thin-gauge steel if the safe is rocked, or levered from the bottom with a pry-bar.

Locate your safe in the corner of a room or in a recess that blocks access to one or more sides of the safe. On many gun safes, the steel on the top, sides, and rear is thinner than on the door. Blocking access to the sides makes it much more difficult to use power tools on the sides, where the safe is most vulnerable. It’s also wise to place the safe in a relatively tight space with limited room to maneuver. Anything that makes the safe harder to move helps deter would-be thieves.

Many people place their safe in a garage or basement. That’s not necessarily a bad idea, but people also tend to store their tools in the same locations. Don’t store your power tools next to the safe. One safe-maker told us how a customer’s safe was defeated using the owners’ own cutting torch which was stored right next to the safe!

Inspect the area around the safe. Avoid locations where there are a lot of wood beams, paint cans, or other combustible material nearby. In the event of a serious house-fire, these items will fuel the flames, increasing the likelihood that items inside your safe will be heat-damaged. Chris Luchini, co-author of Rec.Gun’s Guide to Gun Safes, offers some practical advice: “Get an alarm system. If the burglars hear an alarm go off, they are less likely to stick round to finish the job. Alarms on both the house and the safe area are a good idea.”

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May 14th, 2022

M1A Tech Tips and Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

Do you own a Springfield M1A (or wish you did)? Then you should watch this 5-minute video from the American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI). This video shows the basics of the operation of the popular M1A rifle, the civilian version of the military M14. In this video, gunsmith John Bush field-strips the M1A and shows how the bolt, op rod, and trigger group fits together and operates. This video contains excerpts from the M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course, AGI Course #1584. The full Armorer’s Course is available on DVD from www.AmericanGunsmith.com.

Watch Highlights of AGI M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course:

Springfield M1A rifle camp perry m14 .308 win AGI

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

2022 CMP Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

The 15th annual Springfield Armory M1A Match will take place during the 2022 CMP National Rifle Matches. The CMP will host the event on Sunday, August 7, 2022, the same weekend as the Garand/Springfield/Vintage Military matches. Competitors of all experience levels are encouraged to bring their M1A rifles to Camp Perry and compete. CLICK HERE for Online REGISTRATION. The match is open to all individuals ages 12 and above. For more information contact the CMP at competitions@thecmp.org or call 419-635-2141 ext. 724 or 714.

Springfield M1A match high power rifle

The Springfield Armory M1A match began with one man’s idea and passion. Springfield Armory’s Mike Doy witnessed the waning of classic M1 Garand and M1A rifles from the competitive High Power firing lines. “I really wanted to get those M1A rifles out of safes and closets and back out onto the field. So 11 years ago, I promoted the idea of running an M1A-specific match at Camp Perry. That first year we had over 600 competitors and spectators.” Now the match offers some of the biggest pay-outs at Camp Perry. In recent years, Springfield Armory has donated over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner.

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May 13th, 2022

Inaugural SIG Freedom Days Event Draws Over 4000 Participants

Ben Avery Sig Sauer Freedom days shooting event

SIG Freedom Days — one of the biggest shooting events in America — was a huge success last weekend. Over 4000 firearms fans attended the first-ever SIG Freedom Days fun shoot/gear demo at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

Ben Avery Sig Sauer Freedom days shooting event

Over the weekend of May 6-8, 2022, 4000+ guests participated in the inaugural SIG Freedom Days — a unique, consumer-focused shooting experience. Attendees had the opportunity to shoot a wide variety of SIG Sauer firearms including the new SPECTRE series guns, the P320/P320-M17/P320-M18, the EDC P365 series, and the MCX rifle in multiple configurations. Participants also enjoyed an exclusive first look at the soon-to-be-released CROSS PRS and P320 X10. Additionally, many attendees were able to shoot the SIG SAUER Next Generation Squad Weapons: the MCX-SPEAR (XM5) and the SIG-LMG (XM250).

The event included live daily demonstrations from Team SIG’s pro shooters: Max Michel, Dan Horner, Lena Miculek, and Jerry Miculek. There were also machine gun demonstrations, K9 demonstrations and more. But the big attraction was being able to shoot a variety of SIG Sauer firearms. The $75/day fee included ammunition for pistols, rifles, and shotguns.

SIG FREEDOM DAYS Participants Were Able to:

— Shoot nearly 50 new and existing SIG SAUER firearms
— Learn from world-class SIG SAUER Academy Instructors
— Shoot Mossberg Shotguns and Xpedition Archery Crossbows
— Shoot the SIG SAUER “Next Generation” Machine Gun (additional fee)
— See stage presentations by pro shooters, industry leaders, and personalities
— Watch live demos by Team SIG pros Max Michel, Dan Horner, Lena Miculek, and Jerry Miculek.

Ben Avery Sig Sauer Freedom days shooting event

“As a company we challenged ourselves to… bring our brand right to the consumer outside of the typical tradeshow and retail environment and offer enthusiasts, second amendment advocates, [and] SIG lovers an authentic hands-on total SIG experience. SIG Freedom Days connected the consumer with the product in a first-of-its-kind range event…”, stated Tom Taylor, SIG SAUER Chief Marketing Officer & Executive VP, Commercial Sales.

SIG Freedom Days major sponsors included USCCA,, Mossberg Shotguns, XPEDITION Archery, 5.11 Tactical, Guns.com, Fieldcraft Survival, and Black Rifle Coffee Company. Additional sponsors included Arizona Fish & Game, Hogue Knives, Silencer Shop, Tactacam, and Timney Triggers. Non-profit partners included the Best Defense Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition.

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May 10th, 2022

1911 Mastery — Todd Jarrett Explains Proper 1911 Hold

Todd Jarrett

Todd Jarrett is one of the world’s best handgun shooters. A multi-time World Champion, Todd knows a thing or two about semi-auto pistols, particularly 1911s and 1911-based raceguns. Jarrett holds four World titles, nine National titles and has won more than 50 Area championships, as well as many other action shooting events. Jarrett is the only USPSA Triple Crown Winner and he holds four USPSA National titles: Open, Limited, Production, and Limited-10. Jarrett revealed in an interview that between 1988 and 2001 he shot about 1.7 million rounds during practice: “I had a gun in my hand for two hours every day for 10 years to develop my skill level”.

In the video below, Todd explains how to get the proper grip on your handgun, and how to employ a proper stance. We’ve watched many videos on pistol shooting. This is one of the best handgun instructional videos we’ve seen. Todd explains, in easy-to-understand terms, the key elements of grip and stance. One very important point he demonstrates is how to align the grip in your hand so that the gun points naturally — something very important when rapid aiming is required. If you watch this video, you’ll learn valuable lessons — whether you shoot competitively or just want to have better control and accuracy when using your handgun defensively.

model 1911 wilson pistol

Related Article: Thumbs-Forward Shooting Grip for 1911s
“Shooting semiautomatic pistols using the thumbs-forward method really becomes useful … where speed and accuracy are both needed. By positioning the thumbs-forward along the slide (or slightly off of the slide) you are in essence creating a second sighting device: wherever your shooting thumb is pointing is where the pistol is pointing. This makes it incredibly fast to draw the pistol, get your proper grip, and press forward to the target without needing to hunt around for the front sight.” — Cheaper Than Dirt Blog.

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May 8th, 2022

Dance of the Aussie Windflags — Slow-Motion Windflag Videos


Photo of Aussie Wind Flags courtesy BRT Shooters Supply.

A while back our Aussie friend Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply recently filmed some interesting videos at the QTS range in Brisbane, Australia. Stuart told us: “I was shooting in an Air Gun Benchrest match here in Brisbane, Australia. I finished my target early and was awaiting the cease fire and took a short, slow-motion video of windflag behavior.” You may be surprised by the velocity changes and angle swings that occur, even over a relatively short distance (just 25 meters from bench to target).

Here are windflags in slow motion:

The flags show in the videos are “Aussie Wind Flags”, developed by Stuart Elliot. These are sold in the USA by Butch Lambert, through Shadetree Engineering.

Here is a video in real time:

Stuart says this video may surprise some shooters who don’t use windflags: “Many people say the wind doesn’t matter. Well it sure does — whether for an airgun at 25 meters or a long range centerfire at 1,000.” This video illustrates how much the wind can change direction and velocity even in a small area.

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May 7th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Gun Digest Reloading Series

Gun Digest reloading video series Phil Massaro youtube

Gun Digest reloading video series Phil Massaro youtubeDo you have a friend who is getting started in hand-loading? Or would you like a refresher course in some of the more important aspects of reloading? Today’s video showcase provides a wealth of information. In these videos, Philip Massaro, Editor-in-Chief of the Gun Digest Annual, explains the techniques handloaders should employ to create safe and accurate pistol and rifle ammunition. These videos are part of an 11-Video Reloading Series from Gun Digest.

After the intro video, there is a video on case resizing, with a focus on full-length sizing. Next Massaro explains how primers work and he demonstrates how to seat primers. There is a video dedicated to bullet choice, followed by a video on bullet seating, both with and without crimping. Today’s video showcase concludes with a helpful video on troubleshooting, showing how to check your ammo and disassemble rounds when something isn’t right.

CLICK HERE to Watch All 11 Gun Digest Reloading Videos »

Basics Of Reloading
What goes into reloading ammo? Here are the five basic handloading steps — removing the primer, resizing the case, inserting a new primer, adding powder, and seating a new bullet. Gun Digest also has a related video on Reloading Tools, explaining the basic tools you’ll need: dies, press, scale, powder measure or powder-dispensing machine, and measuring tools.

Case Prep and Resizing
The reloading process starts with your cartridge brass. You need to remove carbon from the case exterior, check for case damage and signs of incipient separation. And it often makes sense to clean the primer pockets. It’s also wise to check case length, and chamfer/debur the case necks (as needed). Then the cases should be resized before loading. We recommend full-length resizing for rifle rounds.

Primer Types Explained
What is the difference between a large rifle primer and a magnum large rifle primer? Can you use magnum primers in standard cartridges and vice versa? These are among the topics discussed in this video.

Priming Procedures — Using Press or Hand Tool — and Powder Throwing
In this video, Philip Massaro tackles primer installation, the first process of assembly in reloading and case charging. Learn the differences between large and small primers, and how to use a primer cup accessory on a single stage press. Then Massaro shows various methods to dispense the correct powder charge.

Bullets — How to Select the Right Projectile for your Application
Not every bullet is appropriate for every job. Find out what projectile you’ll need to win a shooting match or put meat on the table. Not all bullets are created equal — hunting bullets are different than match bullets and varmint bullets are different than big game projectiles. With this in mind, Phil Massaro examines different bullet designs — including a look at Nosler’s line of projectiles.

Cartridge Completion — Bullet Seating
In this installment, Philip Massaro covers the final step in cartridge assembly, bullet seating. He covers how to use a micrometer seating die for reloading, as well as various ways to crimp handgun bullets. Massaro demonstrates seating bullets for the .357 Mag, .45 ACP, .30-06 Springfield, and .458 Win Magnum cartridges. The video also covers using a roll-crimp and taper crimp.

Reloading Troubleshooting
This is a very important video, that shows how to troubleshoot potential problems with handload ammunition. The host shows how to check for potential case head separation and other brass problems. He shows how to get stuck cases out of dies using the drill and tap procedure. Also covered are collet bullet pullers and inertia hammers for removing seated bullets from cases. This is necessary if you mistakenly seat too deeply or forget to charge the case with powder.

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May 6th, 2022

Air Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide

pyramyd air airgun field target pnematic

We like air rifles both for fun shooting and for competition. However, so many options are now available that is easy to get overwhelmed with the choices. Thankfully, there is a good book that helps air rifle shooters make informed decisions about air guns and accessories. Steve Markwith’s comprehensive resource, Air Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide offers a wealth of useful information. This 154-page book is now available for $12.95 (paperback) or $9.95 (Kindle).

Air Rifle book olympic

Steve Markwith Air Rifle Pneumatic airgun book Amazon.com Free download
This is a very informative book explaining the ins and outs of air rifles, their capabilities and limitations. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering purchasing an air rifle for marksmanship practice or small game hunting.” – L. Stanek, Verified Amazon Reviewer

Read Free Sample Chapters Online
If you go to Amazon.com and click on the cover of this book, you can view a FREE preview with extensive samples from many chapters. The book covers all the most important types of air rifle systems, both pre-charged pneumatics and other self-charging guns. Markwith reviews the wide variety of pellets available, offering suggestions for particular applications. You’ll also find a useful discussion of Airgun Power, Range, and Accuracy. This will help you pick the right air rifle.

Markwith explains the many attractions of airguns. They are not considered firearms (in most jurisdictions) so they can be purchased at local shops or mail-order outlets without FFL fees or background checks. You’ll find a huge online selection of airguns at PyramydAir.com that can ship direct to you — no FFL required. Air rifles are also quiet and very inexpensive to shoot. While .177 and .22 caliber air rifles are most common, there are also larger-caliber airguns offered for hunting or special applications.

Pyramyd Air has dozens of helpful videos about air rifles and air pistols.

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May 5th, 2022

How-To Feature: Jewell Trigger Installed in Kelbly Panda Action

Erik Cortina Lapua Jewell Trigger Panda Stolle Action Kelbly Kelbly's

In the video below, Forum member (and F-Class ace) Erik Cortina shows how to install a Jewell Benchrest trigger into a Kelbly F-Class Panda action. You could follow the same simple procedure to install a Jewell in a standard Panda action. Kelbly’s sells both standard and long versions of the F-Class Panda action. Both versions feature integral recoil lugs in the front.

To see more detail in this “how-to” video, you can zoom it to full-screen size. Simply click the full-screen icon (4-cornered frame) just to the right of the YouTube logo in the lower right.

Erik Cortina Lapua Jewell Trigger Panda Stolle Action Kelbly Kelbly's

Erik Cortina Lapua Jewell Trigger Panda Stolle Action Kelbly Kelbly's

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May 3rd, 2022

How to Remove a Case Stuck in a Die — Case Removal Kits

By Pete Petros, Lead Reloading Technician, Sinclair International

We have all been there — you place a piece of tumbled brass in the shell-holder of your press, raise it into the die, and suddenly it is like somebody hit the brakes. The case is stuck in the die. Your first instinct is to reverse it out. You crank on the handle, and BANG! The rim rips off the case head and you are looking at a piece of brass stuck in the die.

A stuck case is one of the boo-boos that all of us reloaders have faced from time to time. If proper lubrication is applied, then it should not be a problem. No matter if you are a seasoned reloader or new to it, this situation can happen. Take your time, use the proper procedures, and you will be back in business in no time! This article explains how to avoid stuck cases (through proper lubrication) and how to use a stuck case removal system.

What Causes Stuck Cases
One of the first common mistakes reloaders face is the stuck case. It can be caused by too much or too little lube. Too much and a vacuum can be formed causing the case to become suctioned into the die. Too little lube and friction is the culprit. So what is the cure? There is no exact cure, but the best lube that we have found so far is just a dab of Imperial Sizing Die Wax on your fingers and applied in a thin coat on the body of the case, not the shoulder or neck. Too much of this wax can cause the vacuum effect, or can eventually load your die up with gobs of residue. If it is applied to the shoulder area, or the leftover wax moves up into the shoulder region of the die, you will see dents or dimples in the shoulder. [AccurateShooter.com Editor’s Note: For normal full-length sizing of small cases such as 220 Russian/PPC, 6mmBR, 6.5 Grendel, or 6.5×47 Lapua we recommend Ballistol (aerosol) lube. It is very slippery, goes on very thin, and does not gum up the die.]

A great way to ensure that your dies are clean is to use a simple chamber mop with a dab of your favorite solvent on it and clean out the die. Be sure all of the solvent is out after cleaning by spraying the die out with Quickscrub III or use a clean chamber mop. If you are storing your dies, you can apply a thin coat of a good oil to protect the steel such as TM oil or Starrett M1 Spray.

This video shows how to use an RCBS Stuck Case Removal Kit:

Using a Stuck Case Removal Kit
If you do stick a case in your die there are a few good stuck case removal kits available. Each one works in a similar fashion. I have found the Hornady kit very effective and easy to use. [Editor: Forster, Lyman, and RCBS also make good kits for removing a case stuck in a die.]

lyman stuck case kit

hornady stuck case kit

Basically what you do is remove the die from the press. Unscrew the decapping assembly and pull it out as far as you can. You then need to drill/tap threads into the stuck case head (this is why it is suggested to unscrew the decapping assembly as far as you can to get it clear of the drill bits). Once this is done screw the die back into the press. You then install the included shellholder attachment on the shellholder ram, and thread it into the case via a small wrench. With some elbow grease you can reverse the stuck case out of the die with the leverage of the press, and not damage the die.

However if the case is stuck… REALLY stuck, you may pull out the threads on the case and you are still left with a stuck case in the die without any way to pull it out. If the case is really difficult to remove even with the use of a stuck case removal kit, do not try to be Hercules with the press ram. Here is a trick that may work. Take the die with the stuck case and place it in your freezer for a couple of hours. Then repeat the removal with the cold die. The freezing temperatures may cause the brass to contract, and make removal easier. If this does not work it is recommended to send it to the die manufacturer. They will be able to remove the case without damaging the die.

Another fix if you can remove the decapping assembly completely is to use a tap hammer and a punch or small wooden dowel to knock the stuck case out. This isn’t the best way since it is very possible that you will damage the die internally or externally on the threads, or both. Send the die to the manufacturer to have this done properly. You will be happier in the long run.

This article appears courtesy Sinclair International. It first appeared in Sinclair’s Reloading Press Blog.

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May 2nd, 2022

SMT Electronic Targets at NRA High Power National Matches

NRA High Power National Matches Camp Atterbury Silver Mountain electronic Targets

Big news for High Power rifle shooters — Electronic Targets will be employed at the 2022 High Power Rifle National Matches at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. That means faster relays, quicker scoring, and NO PIT DUTY!

The 2022 NRA High Power National Matches will run at Camp Atterbury from July 8-28, 2022. Registration is now open. Click HERE to Register.

Silver Mountain Targets Electronic Targets at Camp Atterbury This Summer
The NRA has confirmed that the Silver Mountain Targets electronic target system will be deployed for the High Power Rifle phases of the 2022 National Matches at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The Silver Mountain Targets (SMT) technology, the “fourth generation of Electronic Target System”, is an OPEN SENSOR system fitted to conventional wood target frames. It uses four sensors to plot shot location (and score value) with great precision. Scores are transmitted via a WiFi network to mobile devices placed at each shooting station. Along with shot location, the score values are listed and recorded on the receiving devices.

“The NRA has been working with the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association (ISRPA), as well as the Central Indiana High Power Rifle Shooters (CIHPRS) in order to bring electronic targets to the NRA National Matches”, said Joseph P. De Bergalis, Jr., Executive Director of NRA General Operations.

Camp Atterbury SMT electronic targets silver mountain

Over the past three years, the NRA has confirmed that Silver Mountain Targets systems have worked very effectively in rifle competition. The SMT sensor technology is now proven in competition: “In 2019, the ISRPA chose Silver Mountain Targets for our High Power matches including the ISRPA Across the Course State Championships and the Governor’s Cup match in 2019″, said ISRPA President Charles Hiltunen. “We did an extensive comparison of alternatives and Silver Mountain Targets best fit our needs. Since then we have been very happy with the targets.”

NRA High Power National Matches Camp Atterbury Silver Mountain electronic Targets

“Silver Mountain Targets is very excited to be chosen for the very first deployment of this technology at the NRA National Matches. Our advanced modular architecture represents the latest in electronic target technology,” said SMT’s David Schnelle. “The system is designed to be easily expandable and provide a high level of reliability. System components are battery-powered to simplify deployment on a military range and allows the system to even operate if there is a power outage. Communications between targets and the firing line is a highly reliable WiFi connection, utilizing any WiFi-capable device to display competitors’ shots.”

“The National Rifle Association is pleased to continue our improvements at Camp Atterbury in order to better serve the competitive shooting community and further promote the shooting sports”, said Cole McCulloch, Director of NRA Competitive Shooting.

“With the Silver Mountain Target system, we will be able to run more relays in less time and reduce demands on competitors and staff. We are also very pleased that technical representatives from Silver Mountain Targets will be on-site for the entire championship to ensure optimum performance and to train NRA staff and volunteers on the technology.”

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May 1st, 2022

Bio-Mechanics of Marksmanship — Skeletal Support

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray
Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Have you ever wondered how Olympic-class position shooters hold their aim so steady? Those bulky shooting coats help, but there is a lot of bio-mechanics involved also. Top shooters employ their body structure to help support the weight of their rifles, and to steady their aim. This interesting video, produced by GOnra Media, demonstrates rifle hold and body alignment for prone, standing, sitting, and kneeling positions. Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Corkish (formerly Jamie Gray) demonstrates the proper stance and position of arms and legs for each of the positions.

Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Corkish Demonstrates Shooting Positions

Ideally, in all of the shooting positions, the shooter takes advantage of skeletal support. The shooter should align the bones of his/her arms and legs to provide a solid foundation. A shooter’s legs and arms form vertical planes helping the body remain stable in the shooting position.

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Science Shooting 3P Position Jamie Gray

Jamie Corkish, London 2012 Gold Medalist in Women’s 3 X 20, has retired from top-level competitive shooting. However, Jamie remains involved in the shooting sports as a Public Relations/Marketing representative for ELEY, a leading maker of rimfire ammunition. Jamie also works with shooting clubs and educational institutions to promote smallbore target shooting.

Images are stills from GOnraMedia video linked above.
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April 30th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: .22 LR Rimfire Handguns for Self-Defense

22LR .22 LR long rifle handgun pistol twenty-two revolver video review

We think everyone should have a .22 LR pistol or revolver (and probably both). Whether for plinking, target shooting, or self-defense, a good .22 LR can perform a multitude of tasks. Today, with the help of YouTube reviewers, we look at a variety of .22 LR pistols, focusing on compact .22s that can serve for self-protection, as well as plinking fun.

Can a .22 LR be an effective defense weapon? One retired officer posted: “As a police officer I saw more people killed by .22 or small caliber than with a 9mm or larger. I would not want to be shot by one. The benefits I see are minimal recoil, the ability to conceal, easier follow-up shots, [and] cheap ammo meaning more range time and training.”

Top .22 LR Handguns for Self-Defense — Video Reviews

LuckyGunner’s Top Compact Rimfire Handguns
Ammo supplier LuckyGunner.com has a very active YouTube Channel. There you’ll find numerous videos pertaining to .22 LR firearms and shooting. In this video, LuckyGunner host Chris Baker provides specific recommendations for compact .22 LR pistols and revolvers suitable for CCW use. This video focuses primarily on small and light rimfire pistols and revolvers.

Best Small .22 LR Rimfire Handguns for Concealed Carry

Best Six .22 LR Handguns for Defensive Use — 22 Plinkster
YouTube host 22 Plinkster has shot hundreds of thousands of .22 LR rounds through dozens of .22 LR handguns and rifles. Here are his “Pick Six” of compact .22 LR handguns that can work for self-defense. All of these pistols are compact and relatively light-weight. 22 Plinkster adds: “I didn’t list a few handguns in this video for a few reasons. Yes, there are other great options out there, but other guns can’t be concealed as easy as the guns that are in this video. Pistols like the Walther PPQ or the Taurus TX22 will make my top 5 list, just not this one.”

22 Plinkster’s “Pick Six” of .22 LR Pistols

Big Collection of Rimfire Pistols from the Major Manufacturers
This lengthy 53-minute video reviews nearly 20 semi-auto .22 LR Pistols. This is one of the most comprehensive comparison on the internet. The reviewer compares the Glock 44 with many other options on the market, including rimfire pistols from Beretta, Ruger, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Taurus, Walther and more. Target-style pistols are reviewed as well as smaller carry-style .22 LR pistols.

Numerous .22 LR Pistols Compared with Close-ups and Descriptions of features

Ten .22 LR Handguns compared including three rimfire revolvers
The next video, below, is another round-up with ten different .22 LR handguns. There are semi-autos from Beretta, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, and Walther. This video also features the tiny North American Arms .22 revolver, the classic S&W Model 63 revolver, and the Ruger LCR-22 compact carry revolver. The reviewer praised the Ruger SR22, which his wife carries. He says the “SR22 has so far been flawless — not one misfire. It is incredibly accurate and reliable. At only 0.9″ thick it is very conceable”.

Top Ten Concealed Carry .22 LR Pistols with Commentaries

The Effectiveness of the .22 LR Cartridge is Under-Rated

The folks from Lucky Gunner state: “Pocket pistols and revolvers chambered for the humble .22 LR are easily dismissed as carry guns suitable only for novices and the elderly. While there are some definite drawbacks to relying on a small gun that fires small bullets for self-defense, it also may have significant advantages that even skilled and experienced shooters can benefit from.” This video has been viewed 3.5 million times!

.22 LR Mini-Mag Tested in Ballistic Gel — You May Be Surprised
Here are two videos that reveal how a .22 LR Mini-Mag performs in test gel. In both videos, testers shoot the CCI .22 Mini-Mag into ballistic gel. The results are pretty impressive. This is still a .22 LR cartridge, but the potent Mini-Mag packs some punch, particularly at close ranges.


Of course a larger centerfire round carries more energy. But the Mini-Mag can do the job. One knowledgeable YouTube commenter, a retired LEO with 41 years of service, stated: “NEVER underestimate the power of a .22 LR CCI Mini-Mag. During my career, when working with a Medical Examiner, I [witnessed] bodies riddled with a .22. I don’t have to paint GORY details.”

BONUS Video: How .22 LR Ammunition is Made

If you’ve never seen how .22 LR rimfire ammunition is made, check out this video filmed at the Federal ammunition production plant in Anoka, Minnesota. This narrated video shows every stage of the process, from the melting of lead for the bullets to the final packing into boxes. The video host observes: “We were offered a rare glimpse into Federal’s rimfire plant in Anoka, MN to watch how .22 LR ammunition is made. We all know the basic components involved — each cartridge consists of a case with primer, propellant, and a bullet. Watching them all come together on a massive scale with a choreographed dance of modern automated machinery is a surprisingly gratifying experience.”

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April 30th, 2022

Barrel Tech — Precision Barrel Bore-Honing Technology

Sunnen honing barrel hone CNC computer honer machine Pac-nor

Some custom barrel makers are now honing barrels (after drilling) to improve bore diameter uniformity, smooth the interior finish, and reduce barrel lapping times. For years, large-scale manufacturers of hammer-forged barrels have employed honing. Now the process is being used by smaller, “boutique” barrel-makers. This article explains how and why barrel honing is done. Take the time to watch the video. For anyone with an interest in barrel-making, this video from Sunnen Products Co. is an eye-opener.

Barrel Honing Process Demonstrated (Worth Watching!):

Barrel Bore honing cut-rifled rifling hammer forging accurateshooter.com

For custom barrel makers, honing is a time-saver and cost cutter. A few minutes on a honing machine can cut lapping times in half, leaving a cross-hatched surface finish in single or low double-digit Ra. Honing is the same process used to make diesel fuel injectors with bore roundness and straightness controlled to fractions of a micron (<0.000040"), with surface finish Ra ≤0.15 µm (6 µin).

A key manufacturing process used for hammer-forged barrels is now getting attention from the makers of custom button-rifled barrels. This process is precision bore-honing. Honing produces a high-quality bore surface fast, which is critical to hammer forging. (Why is honing so important with hammer forging? Surface finish is the one feature of the barrel that cannot be controlled in hammer forging. Surface imperfections in a barrel blank tend to be amplified as the blank is formed on the rifling mandrel. And if the bore is chromed afterwards, imperfections in the surface finish become even more obvious.)

Honing dramatically improves bore diameter size uniformity and accuracy, surface finish and roundness throughout the length of the barrel. It can certainly be used in place of a pre-rifling lap. The chief difference between a lapped and honed bore is the direction of the finish lines in the bore. Honing leaves fine spiraling crosshatch lines, while a lap leaves lines going longitudinally in the bore. After rifling the manufacturer can remove the crosshatch finish with a quick lap if desired. Honing is fast, accurate, and can be automated. Its surface quality and geometry can duplicate lapping, except for the longitudinal lines of the lapped finish.

In 2015 Frank Green of Bartlein Barrels told us: “We worked with Sunnen and we did all the initial testing on the prototype machine for them. The machine works great! We ordered and received … a new manufactured machine with the changes we wanted on it and [subsequently] ordered a second one.”

Pac-Nor PacNor Barreling honing hone Sunnen lapping barrel
The Sunnen hone secures the barrel blank in a 3-jaw chuck, with honing oil pumped into one end while the tool works from the opposite end. Sunnen’s specialized Long Bore Tool uses metal-bond diamond or CBN superabrasives to quickly remove reamer marks, waviness, tight spots and other imperfections left by upstream processes.

Sunnen states that: “Honing is an ideal replacement for hand-lapping barrel blanks before rifling. It quickly removes reamer scratches and surface waviness without labor-intensive hand lapping. By producing a consistent bore diameter (±0.0001″ or less), parallelism, roundness and surface finish end to end, honing yields more consistent performance from rifling buttons and cutters, resulting in a constant groove depth. The ideal bore geometry reduces distortion of the bullet shape.”

Barrel Bore honing cut-rifled rifling hammer forging accurateshooter.com

Computer-Controlled Bore-Honing
Honing can be done with great precision through the use of advanced, computer-controlled honing machines. Sunnen Products Company offers an advanced machine for .17 to .50-caliber barrels (see control panel below). The spindles on this machine can correct bore size imperfections so small only an air gauge can measure them. The consistency this allows improves bore uniformity, which, in turn, produces more accurate barrels for the precision market.

Barrel Bore honing cut-rifled rifling hammer forging accurateshooter.com

Barrel Bore honing cut-rifled rifling hammer forging accurateshooter.com

Sunnen Products Company is the world’s largest vertically-integrated manufacturer of honing systems, tooling, abrasives, coolants, and gauging for precision bore-sizing and finishing. Sunnen’s customers include manufacturers of diesel and gas engines, aerospace components, hydraulic components, oil field equipment, and gun/cannon barrels. Sunnen employs more than 600 people worldwide.

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April 30th, 2022

Brownells Do-It-Yourself Videos Show How to Upgrade Firearms

Brownells do it yourself videos

Brownells’ Do-It-Yourself (DIY) video series provides logical, step-by-step installation help for triggers, stocks, and springs. Nine separate videos cover Brownells various DIY Kits. Not sure if you’re up to the project? Just watch each video to see what’s involved. The nine DIY kits are:

  • Brownells DIY Remington 870 Stock Upgrade Kit 080-000-850
  • Brownells DIY Power Custom 10/22 Trigger Upgrade Kit 080-000-851
  • Brownells DIY Remington 700 Trigger Replacement w/o Trigger 080-000-852
  • Brownells DIY Remington 700 Trigger Replacement with Timney Trigger 080-000-853
  • Brownells DIY S&W J Frame Revolver Upgrade Kit080-000-862
  • Brownells DIY AR-15 Performance Upgrade Installation080-001-155WB
  • Brownells DIY Magpul MOE AR15 Stock Upgrade Installation084-000-386WB
  • Brownells DIY Glock Pistol Sight Upgrade Kit 080-000-919WB
  • Brownells DIY Ruger MKIII Upgrade Kit 930-000-046WB

This video shows Remington 700 after-market trigger installation:

In the Do-It-Yourself videos, Brownells’ Gun Techs proceed step-by-step, showing you exactly how to install the parts on your gun. Each kit also comes with complete, illustrated instructions you can take to the bench. To learn more, click the links above, or CLICK HERE to visit Brownells’ DIY Kit online page.

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April 25th, 2022

For Sling Shooters — How to Set Up and Use Slings Optimally

Dennis DeMille Creedmoor Sports Rifle Sling video training set-up
Dennis DeMille shows a young competitor at the CMP Western Games how to adjust his leather sling.

If you want to learn more about setting up your sling properly for position shooting, here are some tips from Dennis DeMille, a past Service Rifle Champion. Dennis explains how to choose a sling, and how to adjust it to fit properly.

Dennis DeMille High PowerThe Benefits of Dry-Fire Training
Once you know how to set up your sling properly, you’ll want to practice. Dennis DeMille stresses the importance of dry-fire practice with sling and shooting coat. Dry-Fire training is essential to the sling disciplines. Dennis DeMille, a national Service Rifle Champion, told us that, for every minute he spent in actual competition, he would spend hours practicing without ammunition. While in the USMC, Dennis would practice in the barracks, working on his hold and dry-firing:

“The most important thing is to spend time off the range practicing. Most of what I learned as a High Power shooter I learned without ammunition — just spending time dry firing and doing holding exercises. Holding exercises will really identify the weak parts of your position. The primary purpose of dry firing is to get you used to shooting an empty rifle. If you can shoot a loaded rifle the same way you shoot an empty rifle then eventually you will become a High Master.”

Brandon Green Sling shooting
SFC Brandon Green, 2018 Nat’l High Power Champion. Brandon, one of the nation’s best “hard-holders”, demonstrates proper use of sling in prone position.

Setting-Up a Leather Service Rifle Sling for Competition

So you made the mistake of disassembling your leather service rifle sling, or are intimidated about how to use one? In this Creedmoor Sports InfoZone video, former Creedmoor G.M. Dennis DeMille explains how to set up and use a sling. The covers the basics — Dennis starts with a totally disassembled leather service rifle sling and shows you how to set it up properly.

Tip: “Many shooters shy away from using a leather sling because they have never been taught how to use one. That’s unfortunate. In my opinion a leather sling offers more support than a web sling, which is important when competiting with the heavier than normal rifles.”

Configuring the Sling for the Standing (Offhand) Position
In this second in a series of Creedmoor InfoZone videos on the setup and use of the leather service rifle sling, Dennis DeMille details how to configure and best utilize the leather service rifle sling while shooting from the standing position.

Tip: “Putting the Frogs in different hole will change the amount of added elevation a sling provides.”

Looking at Sling Types — Comparing the Features
In this video Dennis showcases a large variety of shooting slings. He explains the strong points of each type so you can choose the sling best suited to your discipline and shooting style.

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April 24th, 2022

Sunday GunDay: 6PPC Falling Block Ultra-Lightweight 97D

eben arthur brown model 97D falling block single shot 6 PPC rifle

While a 16.5-pound benchrest gun is wonderfully stable on the bench, it’s not what you want in a field rifle. There is much to be said for a slim, light-weight, and easy-handling firearm when it comes to a walking varmint adventure. Eben Brown, who runs E. Arthur Brown Company, has created just such a rifle — the Model 97D Falling Block. When chambered for the 6PPC cartridge it delivered quarter-MOA accuracy in a splendidly portable package that tips the scales at just over six pounds without scope. The Model 97D is fairly unique in its lightweight and compact format — that makes it a great field-carry varmint rig. [Editor’s Note: This is an older article and we use some more recent photos of other model 97D Rifles to better illustrate the design and layout.]

eben arthur brown model 97D falling block single shot 6 PPC rifle
Catalog photo of EABCO Model 97D Falling Block rifle.

Excellent Accuracy Made Easy for Sport Shooters

by Eben Brown, E. Arthur Brown Company
You don’t have to be a benchrest competitor to enjoy shooting one of the most accurate centerfire cartridges in the world, the 6mm PPC. With no complicated brass forming or finicky reloading processes, you can be shooting near half-inch groups right from the start and hone your skills to near quarter-inch groups by your second outing–at least that’s how it worked for me, and I’m NOT a good bench rest shooter! Developed by Louis Palmisano and Ferris Pindell, the 6PPC has won more bench rest accuracy competitions than any other cartridge. Easily made from Lapua .220 Russian brass, the 6mm PPC has a small primer and uniquely small flash hole that is credited for much of its inherent accuracy. The “short, fat” shape and nearly straight body contribute to efficient, consistent powder burning and stable chamber performance (it grips the chamber well during ignition).

Eabco model 97D 6ppcThe Brown Model 97D — A Slim, Accurate 6-Pound Rifle
The 97D was developed from the EABCO “BF” falling block silhouette pistols that have won world championships and set 500-meter distance records. In operation, the 97D falling block slides perpendicularly and closes the breech with absolutely zero camming leverage. This makes it a perfect test-bed to measure the chamber performance needed for hand-loading most other single-shot rifles accurately. At the reloading bench, I worked up a load with the now fully shaped 6mm PPC brass. I full-length sized the brass, trimmed, and primed each case the same as I would with any other cartridge, and began loading. With the resultant load, I easily shot a 5-shot 1/4″ group, a personal best for me. See target photo at right.

Making 6mm PPC Cartridges
Full-length size, prime, charge with powder, and seat a bullet… sounds like what you do with any other cartridge, doesn’t it? In fact, the only difference with 6mm PPC is that it has to be fired once (fire-formed) to expand to its final shape and size. But even fire-forming shots produce exceptional accuracy. I shot several 3/4″ groups while fire-forming at 100 yards, with my best group at nearly half-inch–so the time spent fire-forming was wonderful! In the photo, the parent .220 Russian case is on the left, while the fire-formed 6PPC case is on the right.

The EABCO 6mm PPC Chamber
– 6PPC without Neck-turning!

We dimensioned our 6mm PPC chamber reamer to cut a chamber that fits Lapua 220 Russian brass closely without neck-turning. Naturally we recommend you use the Lapua brass for best results.

[Editor’s Note: We asked Eben if he had tried a 6BR chambering in a model 97D. He explained that, because of the extractor design, the falling block action works better with a smaller rim diameter: “The larger .308 rim width creates some issues. This design works best with cartridges no wider than the 30/30 case, or the 7.62×39 case, from which the 22 Russian case was derived. Cases with .308-sized rims develop more bolt thrust and work best with a different type of extractor than we use in the 97D. I love the 6BR, but I recommend the 6PPC for our 97D.”]

6mm PPC Reloading Data for Model 97D

The following loads were worked up in a Model 97D Rifle with 24″ barrel chambered for 6mm PPC with the chamber neck reamed to .275″ to fit Lapua brass without neck-turning. Lapua 220 Russian brass was full-length sized and fire-formed to 6mm PPC using 65gr V-Max bullets, CCI BR4 primers, and 24.5gr of VV N135 powder. Eben cautions: Load at Your Own Risk — Always start 10% low and work up

eben brown 97D Rifle 6ppcThe following optimum loads were worked up with Vihtavuori N135, 58gr and 65gr V-Max bullets, and CCI BR4 primers. Please Note: There really is no “standard” for 6mm PPC. It can be finicky. But once you find what works best for you, the cartridge performs superbly. The accuracy will astound you.

Model 97D Specifications

OAL (with 24″ Barrel): 38″

Approx. Weight without Scope: 6-6.5 lbs.

Barrel: 17-26″ Chromoly or Stainless

Stock: Walnut w/Hardwood Grip Cap

Trigger: Tuned 16-24 ounces

This video shows the Loading Technique for Model 97D Rifle

Powder Selection — Choosing the Right Propellant
I’ve found that my maximum single-shot loads reach the same level of performance as bolt gun loads when I use one level slower burning powder type and proper chamber preparation. For example, when the VihtaVuori loading guide shows a maximum with VV N133, my best single shot load ends up being with the slower burning VV N135. Here’s the simplest way to proceed: Use a starting load from the loading guide and increase the powder charge until you detect some resistance to block movement with your thumb. Next, charge a case with that same amount of powder, tap it to settle, and look to see if the case is full to the base of the neck. If it’s not full, step up to the next slower-rated powder and repeat the load development process. There’s a powder burn rate chart for all brands of powder in the front of the current VihtaVuori Loading Guide. When you have the maximum load that will fill the case and still allow the 97D single-shot to open and eject freely after firing, you’re ready to shoot some groups!

Loading for Best Chamber Performance
In the model 97D rifle you can check chamber performance easily. After firing a shot, see if you can press the block downward with only your thumb on the top of the block. If it moves freely, you’ve got good chamber performance.

I use three pressure indicators when developing loads on the Model 97D. First I check the block with my thumb. Then I check to see if the cartridge sticks at all when ejecting. And finally, I check the primer for the excessive flattening that would indicate too much pressure. Generally, the hottest load that still allows the gun to open and eject freely ends up being my most accurate shooting load.

Chamber Preparation
Best chamber performance happens when a cartridge grips the chamber and does not drive backward significantly. When you want something to grip (rather than slip), you want to make sure there is no lubricant on the gripping surfaces. Case forming lube and gun oil are the two lubricants you want to remove. Clean your 6mm PPC cases after sizing (I wipe mine with a paper towel and Windex). Clean your chamber with a chamber sized jag and patch wetted with acetone. (Note: protect your chamber with a thin coat of Clenzoil when you’re not out shooting.)

Conclusions of a Single-Shot Sport Shooter
I love the 6mm PPC! It was easy to hand-load for the cartridge and it was easy to get excellent results. The group shot on this page was with the 65gr bullet and a rifling twist of 1:10. I usually recommend a 1:12 twist and the 58gr bullet because customers have reported superb accuracy (better groups than I can shoot). But the 5-shot ¼” group I shot with this set-up is my personal best ever–so naturally I’m thrilled!

While it’s hard to beat the 6PPC’s accuracy in a Model 97D rifle, my company currently offers the rifle in a variety of chamberings including 17 Hornet, 219 Donaldson Wasp, and 6mm BRM. The 97D Standard features a blued 24″ chrome-moly barrel, French Gray receiver, anodized buttstock transition, 2-ring scope mount and swivel studs.– Eben Brown

About the production Model 97D Rifles: “The 97D is a small frame single shot rifle that’s suitable for big game as well as small game and varmint hunting. It originally evolved from our World Champion long range silhouette pistol action and incorporates the same accurate gun making processes. The 97D action itself is inherently accurate and simple. Onto this we fit an EABCO Accuracy Barrel, precision turned and threaded between centers. Each chamber is individually reamed on-center and individually head spaced. We feel the crown is so critical to accuracy that we leave it until after the gun is finished. Our 11 degree target crowns are cut last and left bright — our trademark finishing touch.”

Rifle report text and photos Copyright © Eben Brown All Rights Reserved. All other content Copyright © AccurateShooter.com, All Rights Reserved.

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