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February 8th, 2023

The .244 Remington — Why and How It Failed to Succeed

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

What we now know as the “6mm Remington” was originally called the .244 Remington. The cartridge was renamed because it was not a commercial success initially, being eclipsed by the .243 Winchester. The .244 Remington and the 6mm Remington are identical — only the name was changed. Why was the .244 Remington an “also-ran” to the .243 Win? Sierra Bullets Ballistics Technician Paul Box provides some answers…

Was Anything Wrong With The .244 Remington?

by Ballistic Technician Paul Box for Sierra Bullets Blog

The year was 1955. A time of carhops, drive-in movies, and Buffalo Bob. It was also the year that Winchester introduced the .243 Win and Remington counter-punched with the .244 Remington (now more commonly known as the 6mm Remington). The .243 Win was based off the time-proven .308 Win case while Remington chose the old war horse, the 7×57.

We’ve all read countless times how Winchester chose the 1:10″ twist, while Remington adopted the 1:12″ twist for their .244 Rem rifles. The first complaint in the gun magazines of that era was how the faster twist Winchester could handle 100 grain bullets, while Remington’s [12-twist factory rifles were supposedly limited to 90 grain bullets].

The first complaint I remember reading was that the 100-grainer was better suited for deer-sized game and the 1:12″-twist wouldn’t stabilize bullets in this weight range. Now, let’s look at this a little closer. Anybody that thinks a 100-grainer is a deer bullet and a 95-grainer isn’t, has been drinking too much Kool-aid. In all honesty, it’s all about bullet construction and Remington had constructed the [90s] with light game in mind. In other words, Remington got it right, but due to a lack of knowledge at the time on both bullet construction and stability, the .244 never gained the popularity it deserved. At that time, Sierra had the 100gr SMP and Hornady offered a 100gr RN that would both stabilize in the slower 1-12″ twist. The .244 Remington provides another classic example of how the popularity of a cartridge suffered due to a lack of knowledge.

.244 Rem vs. .243 Win — What the Experts Say
Respected gun writer Chuck Hawks says the .244 Remington deserved greater acceptance: “The superb 6mm Remington started life in 1955, the same year as the .243 Winchester. It was originally named the .244 Remington. Although the 6mm lost the popularity contest to the .243, it is one of my favorite rifle cartridges, and much appreciated by reloaders generally. The .244 Rem and 6mm Rem cartridges are completely interchangeable, and anyone with a .244 Rem rifle can shoot [6mm Rem] ammunition in complete safety (or vice-versa). Remington .244 rifles made from 1958 on can stabilize all 6mm bullets, while those made in 1955 through 1957 are limited to loads using spitzer bullets not heavier than 90 grains for best accuracy.”

Nathan Foster, author of The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges, states: “In 1963 Remington attempted to regain ground by releasing .244 rifles with a new 1:9″ twist to handle heavier bullets. The cartridge was renamed the 6mm Remington and new ammunition was loaded giving the hunter the choice of either an 80gr bullet for varmints or a 100gr bullet for deer. In comparison to the .243 Win, factory loads for the .244/6mm Remington are slightly more powerful while hand loads increase this margin further.”

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

Was the .244 Remington Actually Better than the .243 Winchester?
The .244 Remington (aka “6mm Remington”) has a velocity advantage over the .243 Winchester due to a slightly larger case capacity. The longer case neck of the .244 Remington is considered desirable by handloaders. We like the added capacity and long neck of the original .244 Remington. As renamed the “6mm Remington”, the cartridge HAS developed a following, particularly with varmint hunters looking for a high-velocity 6mm option. But it never achieved the success of the .243 Winchester for many reasons. As a member of the .308 family of cartridges, the .243 Winchester has certain obvious advantages. First, you can simply neck down .308 Win brass, which was available at low cost from many sources. Moreover, a .308 Win or 7mm-08 full-length sizing die could be used for body sizing. Still the .244 Remington (6mm Remington) presents an interesting “what if?” story…

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February 5th, 2023

Sunday GunDay: Cartridge Showcase — .17 to .50 Caliber and Up

caliber cartridge video showcase reviews cgi .22 LR flat-shooting

For today’s Sunday Gunday Feature, we provide a selection of videos showcasing rifle and pistol cartridge types — from tiny .17 caliber cases to 30mm cases (and a few even bigger rounds). Two of the videos use advance computer animation to provide 3D views of dozens of cartridge types. Then there are some expert commentaries by Jerry Miculek and Ron Spomer discussing the characteristics and performance of various cartridge types. Finally, we provide two videos that discuss rimfire cartridges and show how .22 LR rounds are produced in a modern CCI factory.

90 Different Rifle Cartridge Types in Computer Animation

In this rifle ammunition comparison animation there are 90 different cartridge types, from very small (.22 Flobert) to very, very big (20mm Vulcan). This video employs sophisticated, 3D CAD animation to showcase 90 different rifle cartridges, one after the other, in sequence. It covers from .17 Caliber up to 20mm. Obviously a lot of time and effort went into this video, but it really is cool to see so many different cartridge types in one 3.5-minute video.

caliber cartridge video showcase reviews cgi .22 LR flat-shooting

After the full line-up is complete at 1:41, the video then provides other smaller comparison, such as multiple large hunting cartridges (2:15) and .22 Caliber cartridges (2:45, see above). All the cartridge models are made using Autodesk Inventor software, and then the “line-up” animation was completed with Autodesk Showcase.

Cartridge Types Included (in Caliber Order, then Metric Order):

1) .17 HM2
2) .17 HMR
3) .204 Ruger
4) .218 Bee
5) .22 Flobert
6) .22 Hornet
7) .22 LR
8) .22 Magnum
9) .22 PPC
10) .22 Short
11) .220 Jaybird
12) .223 Rem/5.56x45mm
13) .223 WSSM
14) .224 Weatherby Magnum
15) .225 Winchester
16) .240 Weatherby Magnum
17) .243 Winchester
18) .25 Remington Auto
19) .250 Savage
20) .25-06 Remington
21) .256 Winchester Magnum
22) .257 Roberts
23) .260 Remington
24) .264 Winchester Magnum
25) .270 Weatherby Magnum
26) .270 Winchester
27) .280 British
28) .280 Remington
29) .284 Winchester
30) .30 Carbine
31) .300 H&H Magnum
32) .300 Rem Ultra Magnum
33) .300 Savage
34) .300 Winchester Magnum
35) .300 Win Short Mag (WSM)
36) .30-06 Springfield
37) .303 British
38) .30-30
39) .308 Norma Magnum
40) .308 Winchester
41) .32 Winchester Special
42) .325 WSM
43) .338 Lapua Magnum
44) .35 Whelen
45) .350 Remington Magnum
46) .375 H&H Magnum
47) .376 Steyr
48) .408 Cheyenne
49) .416 Remington Magnum
50) .416 Weatherby Magnum
51) .444 Marlin
52) .450 Marlin
53) .450 Nitro Express
54) .458 Win Magnum
55) .45×70
56) .460 Weatherby Magnum
57) .465 H&H Magnum
58) .470 Nitro Express
59) .50 BMG / 12.7×99 NATO
60) .500 jeffery
61) .505 Gibbs
62) .577 Nitro Express
63) .577 Tyrannosaur
64) .600 Nitro Express
65) .700 Nitro Express
66) .950 JDJ
67) 4.6×30 mm
68) 4.6x30mm
69) 5.6×50 Magnum
70) 5.7x28mm
71) 5mm/SMc
72) 6mm LEE
73) 6.5×55 Swedish
74) 6.5×6 mm Schuler
75) 6.8mm Remington SPC
76) 6mm PPC
77) 6×45 mm
78) 7mm Weatherby Magnum
79) 7mm Remington Magnum
80) 7mm Rem Ultra Magnum
81) 7.62×39 mm FMJ
82) 7.7×58 Arisaka
83) 7.95×57 Mauser
84) 8mm Remington Magnum
85) 9.3x62mm
86) 9.3×64 Brenneke
87) 14.5x114mm
88) 20mm Vulcan
89) 25mmx137mm
90) 30mmx173mm

Ammunition Size Line-Up — from Tiny to Massive

This animation video shows the size comparison of ammunition from a 2.34mm rimfire caliber to the massive 800mm caliber shell of the Schwerer Gustav railway cannon used by German forces in World War II. This video includes many common rifle and pistol cartridges/calibers, but also includes large artillery ammunition. This video has very good CGI Graphics. Below is part of the line-up from the .17 Remington Fireball (far left) to the famed .50 BMG (far right):

caliber cartridge video showcase reviews cgi .22 LR flat-shooting

Ammunition Types Showcased in this video:

2.34mm rimfire
2.7mm Kolibri
3mm Kolibri
4.25 mm Liliput
.17 Hornady Mach 2
.17 Remington Fireball
.17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire
.22 Long Rifle
.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire
HK 4.6×30mm
4.6×36 Loffelspitz
5.45mmx18 MPTs
5.7×28mm SS190
.280 British 7×43
.297/230 Morris Short
.297/230 Morris Long
.30 Pedersen 7.65×20mm
7.92×33mm Kurz
.300 Winchester Short Magnum
8×50mmR Mannlicher
.499 LWR
.577/450 Martini–Henry
.600 Nitro Express
.470 Nitro Express
.50 Beowulf
.50 BMG
20×102 M55A3
25×137 M793
30×173 CPIC
30×211 vz.53
35×228 Oerlikon KD
L43 40x311mmR
L/70 40×365mmR
L/70 57mm
84×618mmR QF 20-PDR
120mm DM53
100mm TK APFSDS
Obusier de 400 modèle
BL 18-inch railway howitzer
Obusier de 520 modèle
600mm Karl-Gerät
800mm Schwerer Gustav

Popular Cartridges/Calibers for Self-Defense and Hunting

This video focuses on popular calibers/cartridges used for self-defense and hunting. It provides a quick but informative overview of the capabilities (and intended uses) of many types of pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammunition. The video discusses the pros/cons of various cartridge types and explains how you would select ammo for a particular purposes (e.g. skeet loads vs. defense shotshells). If you are considering buying a carry pistol and are undecided about caliber choice, this is a good video to watch.

Flattest-Shooting Cartridges by Caliber (Ron Spomer)

In this 15-minute video, hunting expert Ron Spomer examines a variety of standard and wildcat cartridges from .17 caliber all the way to .338 caliber. For each caliber, Ron picks a flat-shooting “winner” and provides some ballistics comparison tables. This video is quite popular, with over 550,000 views on YouTube.

Ammo Types and Calibers — Jerry Miculek Explains the Basics

In this video, legendary shooter Jerry Miculek talks about popular types of pistol and rifle ammunition and the various bullet options used for plinking, competition, and self-defense. Jerry, one of the greatest pistol shooters on the planet, provides useful insights on cartridge selection and bullet choices. Jerry notes: “There are a TON of different types of ammunition” so he explains the basics. And Jerry answers common questions such as: “What is the difference between ball and hollow-point bullets?” and “What type of gun takes rimmed cartridge versus rimless?”.

.22 Caliber Rimfire Cartridges — Some Key Facts Revealed

We recommend all .22 rimfire shooters watch this video from Old English Outfitters. It explains some important facts and clarifies some common misconceptions about to .22 caliber ammunition. To learn more about modern .22 LR rimfire ammo, we also recommend the video below, which shows how CCI .22 LR ammunition is manufactured, start to finish.

BONUS Video — How .22 LR Ammunition Is Made

22 .22 Plinkster Youtube Video CCI Speer Rimfire Ammo Ammunition plant Lewiston Idaho

YouTube host 22Plinkster toured the CCI/Speer production facility in Lewiston, Idaho. While touring the plant, 22Plinkster was allowed to capture video showing the creation of .22 LR rounds from start to finish. This is a fascinating video, well worth watching.

This revealing video shows all phases of .22 LR ammo production including cupping, drawing, annealing, washing, drying, head-stamping, priming, powder charging, bullet seating, crimping, waxing, inspection, and final packaging. If you’ve got ten minutes to spare, we really recommend you watch the video from start to finish. You’ll definitely learn some new things about rimfire ammo.

The text in this article is Copyright 2023 by AccurateShooter.com. No text shall be republished on any other site without authorization and payment of license fees.

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February 5th, 2023

G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficients — What You Need to Know

G1 G7 BC drag models

Over the past 12 months, this article was one of the TOP 20 most-read Daily Bulletin features. We’re reprising it today for those who may have missed it the first time. The above diagram comes from a TiborasurasRex YouTube Video comparing G1 and G7 BC models. CLICK HERE to watch the video.

The better, up-to-date ballistics programs let you select either G1 or G7 Ballistic Coefficient (BC) values when calculating a trajectory. The ballistic coefficient (BC) of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. You’ve probably seen that G7 values are numerically lower than G1 values for the same bullet (typically). But that doesn’t mean you should select a G1 value simply because it is higher.

Some readers are not quite sure about the difference between G1 and G7 models. One forum member wrote us: “I went on the JBM Ballistics website to use the web-based Trajectory Calculator and when I got to the part that gives you a choice to choose between G1 and G7 BC, I was stumped. What determines how, or which one to use?”

The simple answer is the G1 value normally works better for shorter flat-based bullets, while the G7 value should work better for longer, boat-tailed bullets.

G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficients — Which Is Right for You?
G1 and G7 refer both refer to aerodynamic drag models based on particular “standard projectile” shapes. The G1 shape looks like a flat-based bullet. The G7 shape is quite different, and better approximates the geometry of a modern long-range bullet. So, when choosing your drag model, G1 is preferable for flat-based bullets, while G7 is ordinarily a “better fit” for longer, boat-tailed bullets.

G1 G7 Ballistic coefficients

Drag Models — G7 is better than G1 for Long-Range Bullets
Many ballistics programs still offer only the default G1 drag model. Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting, believes the G7 standard is preferrable for long-range, low-drag bullets: “Part of the reason there is so much ‘slop’ in advertised BCs is because they’re referenced to the G1 standard which is very speed sensitive. The G7 standard is more appropriate for long range bullets. Here’s the results of my testing on two low-drag, long-range boat-tail bullets, so you can see how the G1 and G7 Ballistic coefficients compare:

G1 BCs, averaged between 1500 fps and 3000 fps:
Berger 180 VLD: 0.659 lb/in²
JLK 180: 0.645 lb/in²

The reason the BC for the JLK is less is mostly because the meplat was significantly larger on the particular lot that I tested (0.075″ vs 0.059″; see attached drawings).

For bullets like these, it’s much better to use the G7 standard. The following BCs are referenced to the G7 standard, and are constant for all speeds.

G7 BCs:
Berger 180 VLD: 0.337 lb/in²
JLK 180: 0.330 lb/in²

Many modern ballistics programs, including the free online JBM Ballistics Program, are able to use BCs referenced to G7 standards. When available, these BCs are more appropriate for long range bullets, according to Bryan.

[Editor’s NOTE: BCs are normally reported simply as an 0.XXX number. The lb/in² tag applies to all BCs, but is commonly left off for simplicity.]
This article is copyright 2023 AccurateShooter.com. No 3rd Party republication of this article is allowed without advance approval and payment of licensing fees.

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February 3rd, 2023

Four Vital Ammo Checks You Should Always Do Before Shooting

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

Here’a useful article by Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager Carroll Pilant. This story, which originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog, covers some of the more common ammo problems that afflict hand-loaders. Some of those issues are: excessive OAL, high primers, and improperly-sized cases. Here Mr. Pilant explains how to avoid these common problems that lead to “headaches at the range.

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

I had some gentlemen at my house last fall getting rifle zeros for an upcoming elk hunt. One was using one of the .300 short mags and every 3rd or 4th round would not chamber. Examination of the case showed a bulge right at the body/shoulder junction. These were new cases he had loaded for this trip. The seating die had been screwed down until it just touched the shoulder and then backed up just slightly. Some of the cases were apparently slightly longer from the base to the datum line and the shoulder was hitting inside the seating die and putting the bulge on the shoulder. I got to thinking about all the gun malfunctions that I see each week at matches and the biggest percentage stem from improper handloading techniques.

One: Check Your Cases with a Chamber Gage

Since I shoot a lot of 3-gun matches, I see a lot of AR problems which result in the shooter banging the butt stock on the ground or nearest solid object while pulling on the charging handle at the same time. I like my rifles too well to treat them that way (I cringe every time I see someone doing that). When I ask them if they ran the ammo through a chamber gage, I usually get the answer, “No, but I need to get one” or “I didn’t have time to do it” or other excuses. The few minutes it takes to check your ammo can mean the difference between a nightmare and a smooth running firearm.

A Chamber Gauge Quickly Reveals Long or Short Cases
Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

Size Your Cases Properly
Another problem is caused sizing the case itself. If you will lube the inside of the neck, the expander ball will come out a lot easier. If you hear a squeak as the expander ball comes out of a case neck, that expander ball is trying to pull the case neck/shoulder up (sometimes several thousandths). That is enough that if you don’t put a bulge on the shoulder when seating the bullet … it can still jam into the chamber like a big cork. If the rifle is set up correctly, the gun will not go into battery and won’t fire but the round is jammed into the chamber where it won’t extract and they are back to banging it on the ground again (with a loaded round stuck in the chamber). A chamber gage would have caught this also.

Bad_Primer_WallsOversizing cases also causes problems because the firing pin doesn’t have the length to reach the primer solid enough to ignite it 100% of the time. When you have one that is oversized, you usually have a bunch, since you usually do several cases at a time on that die setting. If the die isn’t readjusted, the problem will continue on the next batch of cases also. They will either not fire at all or you will have a lot of misfires. In a bolt action, a lot of time the extractor will hold the case against the face of the breech enough that it will fire. The case gets driven forward and the thinner part of the brass expands, holding to the chamber wall and the thicker part of the case doesn’t expand as much and stretches back to the bolt face. If it doesn’t separate that time, it will the next time. When it does separate, it leaves the front portion of the case in the chamber and pulls the case head off. Then when it tries to chamber the next round, you have a nasty jam. Quite often range brass is the culprit of this because you never know how many times it has been fired/sized and in what firearm. Back to beating it on the ground again till you figure out that you have to get the forward part of the case out.

Just a quick tip — To extract the partial case, an oversized brush on a cleaning rod [inserted] and then pulled backward will often remove the case. The bristles when pushed forward and then pulled back act like barbs inside the case. If you have a bunch of oversized case that have been fired, I would dispose of them to keep from having future problems. There are a few tricks you can use to salvage them if they haven’t been fired though. Once again, a case gage would have helped.

Two: Double Check Your Primers

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

Another thing I see fairly often is a high primer, backwards primer, or no primer at all. The high primers are bad because you can have either a slam fire or a misfire from the firing pin seating the primer but using up its energy doing so. So, as a precaution to make sure my rifle ammo will work 100% of the time, I check it in a case gage, then put it in an ammo box with the primer up and when the box is full, I run my finger across all the primers to make sure they are all seated to the correct depth and you can visually check to make sure none are in backwards or missing.

Three: Check Your Overall Cartridge Length

Trying to load the ammo as long as possible can cause problems also. Be sure to leave yourself enough clearance between the tip of the bullet and the front of the magazine where the rounds will feed up 100%. Several times over the years, I have heard of hunters getting their rifle ready for a hunt. When they would go to the range to sight in, they loaded each round single shot without putting any ammo in the magazine. On getting to elk or deer camp, they find out the ammo is to long to fit in the magazine. At least they have a single shot, it could be worse. I have had hunters that their buddies loaded the ammo for them and then met them in hunting camp only to find out the ammo wouldn’t chamber from either the bullet seated to long or the case sized improperly, then they just have a club.

Four: Confirm All Cases Contain Powder

No powder in the case doesn’t seem to happen as much in rifle cartridges as in handgun cartridges. This is probably due to more handgun ammo being loaded on progressive presses and usually in larger quantities. There are probably more rifle cartridges that don’t have powder in them than you realize though. Since the pistol case is so much smaller internal capacity, when you try to fire it without powder, it usually dislodges the bullet just enough to stick in the barrel. On a rifle, you have more internal capacity and usually a better grip on the bullet, since it is smaller diameter and longer bearing surface. Like on a .223, often a case without powder won’t dislodge the bullet out of the case and just gets ejected from the rifle, thinking it was a bad primer or some little quirk.

Sierra Bullets Reloading Blog Matchking Carroll Pilant

For rifle cases loaded on a single stage press, I put them in a reloading block and always dump my powder in a certain order. Then I do a visual inspection and any case that the powder doesn’t look the same level as the rest, I pull it and the one I charged before and the one I charged after it. I inspect the one case to see if there is anything visual inside. Then I recharge all 3 cases. That way if a case had powder hang up and dump in the next case, you have corrected the problem.

On progressive presses, I try to use a powder that fills the case up to about the base of the bullet. That way you can usually see the powder as the shell rotates and if you might have dumped a partial or double charge, you will notice as you start to seat the bullet if not before. On a progressive, if I don’t load a cartridge in one smooth stroke (say a bullet tipped over sideways and I raised the ram slightly to reset it) Some presses actually back the charge back adding more powder if it has already dumped some so you have a full charge plus a partial charge. When I don’t complete the procedure with one stroke, I pull the case that just had powder dumped into it and check the powder charge or just dump the powder back into the measure and run the case through later.

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February 2nd, 2023

How to Verify Your Scope’s True Click Values — Box Test

Click Optics MOA turrent verification test

Let’s say you’ve purchased a new scope, and the spec-sheet indicates it is calibrated for quarter-MOA clicks. One MOA is 1.047″ inches at 100 yards, so you figure that’s how far your point of impact (POI) will move with four clicks. Well, unfortunately, you may be wrong. You can’t necessarily rely on what the manufacturer says. Production tolerances being what they are, you should test your scope to determine how much movement it actually delivers with each click of the turret. It may move a quarter-MOA, or maybe a quarter-inch, or maybe something else entirely. (Likewise scopes advertised as having 1/8-MOA clicks may deliver more or less than 1 actual MOA for 8 clicks.)

Nightforce scope turretReader Lindy explains how to check your clicks: “First, make sure the rifle is not loaded. Take a 40″ or longer carpenter’s ruler, and put a very visible mark (such as the center of an orange Shoot’N’C dot), at 37.7 inches. (On mine, I placed two dots side by side every 5 inches, so I could quickly count the dots.) Mount the ruler vertically (zero at top) exactly 100 yards away, carefully measured.

Place the rifle in a good hold on sandbags or other rest. With your hundred-yard zero on the rifle, using max magnification, carefully aim your center crosshairs at the top of the ruler (zero end-point). Have an assistant crank on 36 (indicated) MOA (i.e. 144 clicks), being careful not to move the rifle. (You really do need a helper, it’s very difficult to keep the rifle motionless if you crank the knobs yourself.) With each click, the reticle will move a bit down toward the bottom of the ruler. Note where the center crosshairs rest when your helper is done clicking. If the scope is accurately calibrated, it should be right at that 37.7 inch mark. If not, record where 144 clicks puts you on the ruler, to figure out what your actual click value is. (Repeat this several times as necessary, to get a “rock-solid”, repeatable value.) You now know, for that scope, how much each click actually moves the reticle at 100 yards–and, of course, that will scale proportionally at longer distances. This optical method is better than shooting, because you don’t have the uncertainly associated with determining a group center.

Using this method, I discovered that my Leupold 6.5-20X50 M1 has click values that are calibrated in what I called ‘Shooter’s MOA’, rather than true MOA. That is to say, 4 clicks moved POI 1.000″, rather than 1.047″ (true MOA). That’s about a 5% error.

I’ve tested bunches of scopes, and lots have click values which are significantly off what the manufacturer has advertised. You can’t rely on printed specifications–each scope is different. Until you check your particular scope, you can’t be sure how much it really moves with each click.

I’ve found the true click value varies not only by manufacturer, but by model and individual unit. My Leupold 3.5-10 M3LR was dead on. So was my U.S.O. SN-3 with an H25 reticle, but other SN-3s have been off, and so is my Leupold 6.5-20X50M1. So, check ‘em all, is my policy.”

click values scope Mrad moa scope test

From the Expert: “…Very good and important article, especially from a ballistics point of view. If a ballistics program predicts 30 MOA of drop at 1000 yards for example, and you dial 30 MOA on your scope and hit high or low, it’s easy to begin questioning BCs, MVs, and everything else under the sun. In my experience, more than 50% of the time error in trajectory prediction at long range is actually scope adjustment error. For serious long range shooting, the test described in this article is a MUST!” — Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics LLC.

Bryan also uses a Tall Target Test to determine true click values. CLICK HERE to read a detailed, explanatory article about Litz’s Tall Target Test.

This article, as published in AccurateShooter.com, contains copyrighted content. It shall not be republished in whole or in part without advanced permission in writing. The act of republishing constitutes legal consent to licensing fees.

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January 31st, 2023

What Level of Accuracy is “Good Enough” for Your Discipline?

Jim See Elite Accuracy
This impressive 15-round group was shot by Jim See of Elite Accuracy.

Different Shooting Disciplines Demand Different Levels of Precision/Accuracy
In the rapid-fire 3-Gun game, you could probably “clean” most stages with a 2-MOA rifle. By contrast, in the short-range group benchrest game, to compete with the best, you’ll need a rifle that shoots in the “ones” (i.e. 0.1-0.19 MOA) in perfect conditions. In 1000-yard F-Class competition, the top shooters want a rifle that will hold one-third-MOA of vertical at that distance.

What is your standard of accuracy? How good is “good enough”. Jim See, a skilled gunsmith and successful PRS competitor, recently answered that question for his tactical discipline. For the kind of matches Jim shoots, he likes to have a rifle that will hold half-MOA for five (5) shots, 3/4-MOA for 15 shots, and 1 MOA for twenty shots. Remarkably, Jim’s rifle can do that with factory ammo. Above is an impressive 15-shot group shot with .260 Remington Federal Premium Ammo.

Jim See Elite Accuracy

“I say it all the time, my loads need to print 5 under 1/2″, 10 under 3/4″, and 20 under 1″. It’s simple, if a hot barrel will keep 20 rounds fired in succession under my standard it will be a good barrel and load for Precision Match Shooting. Federal Premium Gold Metal Match .260 with Sierra bullets made the cut for me today. 15 consecutive shots under 3/4 MOA.” –Jim See

It’s said that you “can never have too much accuracy”, but there are acceptable standards for each discipline, and they’re not the same. A 100/200 yard Benchrest shooter will be sorely disappointed with a rifle/ammo set-up that can only deliver half-MOA. On the other hand, a PRS competitor like Jim See can achieve great success with a lesser degree of precision. This means you can save time and money. You can run your barrels longer between cleanings, and you don’t have to go “full OCD” when loading your ammo. The PRS shooter does not need to weigh-sort primers, or load powder to single-kernel standards. Proof is the performance. Jim See recently took third place at the Spearpoint Shootout, and he has been a podium finisher at other events. Learn more about Jim’s gunsmithing and training operations at EliteAccuracy.com.

Download This Load Development Target

Jim’s target seemed a bit familiar. AccurateShooter.com created this Diamond and Dot Target a few years back. On each aiming point, there are high-contrast black horizontal and vertical lines for aligning your cross-hairs. The gray circle lets you see the bullet impacts above, without obliterating the red diamond, which is quite useful for precise aiming (we put fine cross-hairs on the points of the diamond). This target sheet includes data entry tables below each of the three aim points. There are many other free targets out there, but this format is very popular. We’re pleased to see Jim using it. You can download this and dozens of other FREE Targets from the AccurateShooter.com Target Page.

AccurateShooter precision load development free target

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January 31st, 2023

Shooting on a Spinning Planet — Explaining the Coriolis Effect

Whittington Coriolis Effect
Photo by Dustin Ellermann at Whittington Center Range.

The Coriolis Effect comes into play with extreme long-range shots like this (2100 yards at Raton, New Mexico). The rotation of the earth actually moves the target a small distance (in space) during the long duration of the bullet’s flight.

Coriolis Effect Bryan Litz Applied BallisticsWhen you’re out at the range, the Earth seems very stable. But it is actually a big sphere zooming through space while spinning around its axis, one complete turn every 24 hours. The rotation of the earth can create problems for extreme long-range shooters. During extended bullet flight times, the rotation of the planet causes an apparent deflection of the bullet path over very long distances. This is the ballistics manifestation of the Coriolis Effect.

Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics discusses explains the Coriolis Effect in his Ballistics Books and Seminars. Bryan notes that Coriolis is “a very subtle effect. People like to make more of it than it is because it seems mysterious.” In most common shooting situations inside 1K, Coriolis is not important. At 1000 yards, the Effect represents less than one click (for most cartridge types). Even well past 1000 yards, in windy conditions, the Coriolis Effect may well be “lost in the noise”. But in very calm conditions, when shooting at extreme ranges, Bryan says you can benefit from adjusting your ballistics solution for Coriolis.

Bryan explains: “The Coriolis Effect… has to do with the spin of the earth. You are basically shooting from one point to another on a rotating sphere, in an inertial reference frame. The consequence of that is that, if the flight time of the bullet gets significantly long, the bullet can have an apparent drift from its intended target. The amount [of apparent drift] is very small — it depends on your latitude and azimuth of fire on the planet.”

Coriolis Effect Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

Coriolis is a very subtle effect. With typical bullet BCs and velocities, you must get to at least 1000 yards before Coriolis amounts to even one click. Accordingly, Bryan advises: “Coriolis Effect is NOT something to think about on moving targets, it is NOT something to think about in high, uncertain wind environments because there are variables that are dominating your uncertainty picture, and the Coriolis will distract you more than the correction is worth.”

“Where you could think about Coriolis, and have it be a major impact on your hit percentage, is if you are shooting at extended range, at relatively small targets, in low-wind conditions. Where you know your muzzle velocity and BC very well, [and there are] pristine conditions, that’s where you’re going to see Coriolis creep in. You’ll receive more refinement and accuracy in your ballistics solutions if you account for Coriolis on those types of shots. But in most practical long-range shooting situations, Coriolis is NOT important. What IS important is to understand is when you should think about it and when you shouldn’t, i.e. when applying it will matter and when it won’t.”

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January 30th, 2023

BargainFinder 384: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

NOTE: All listed products are for sale to persons 18 years of age or older. No products are intended for use by minors.

1. Sportsman’s WH — Gun Sale + $100 Smith & Wesson REBATE

smith wesson firearm frenzy 2023 $100 rebate discount sportsman's warehouse
Get $100 S&W Factory Rebate on top of discounts

Right now you can get a $100 Rebate on dozens of popular Smith & Wesson Firearms (and there are lesser rebates on other S&W guns). When you combine this $100 S&W Factory Rebate with the already discounted prices at Sportsman’s Warehouse you have some exceptional bargains. Here are three examples of the great deals : M&P 9mm M2.0 Optics Ready pistol $499.99 after rebate; M&P 45acp M2.0 Compact pistol $489.99 after rebate; M&P15 Sport II 5.56mm NATO 16″ AR type rifle $669.99 after rebate.

2. Midsouth — LEE Breechlock Challenger Press Kit, $144.99

Lee press sale
Heck of a deal on a good press and complete reloading system

For under $150 you can get pretty much everything you need to reload, except dies. This LEE Breech Lock Challenger Kit includes Press, Powder Dispenser, Scale, Hand Primer Tool, Funnel, Chamfer Tool, Primer pocket tool, and more. We like the press — the handle is adjustable and the primer-catching system sends spent primers into a receptacle for no mess cleanup. This $144.99 LEE Kit comes complete with the Breechlock Quick Change die system. If you are looking to get started in handloading, or want a back-up second press with accessories, this is a great deal.

3. Amazon — Dragon AR600 Steel Gongs, $12.99-$76.99

Dragon steel AR500 gong targets reactive Amazon
High-quality 4″, 6″, 8″, 10″, 12″ AR500 steel gongs

Shooting steel is fun — you get instant gratification from hearing the “clang” and seeing the gong swing. Shooting steel is also good practice for PRS/NRL events and ground-hog matches. Right now, you can get some great deals on quality AR500 steel targets. These Dragon Target Gongs start at just $12.99 for a 4″-diameter, 3/8″-thick gong. Larger 6″, 8″, 10″, and 12″ gongs are offered in 3/8″ and 1/2″ thicknesses, and a 3-pack of 8″ gongs is available. A 6″-diameter gong is $18.99 (3/8″ thick) or $23.99 (1/2″ thick). The largest 12″-diameter gong in the heavy 1/2″ thickness is $57.99. NOTE: All these Dragon gongs have a center hole allowing more hanging options.

4. KYGUNCO — Complete Radical Firearms AR-15 Rifle, $399.99

kygunco ar15 ar-15 radical socom 5.56.
Complete AR-15 rifle for less than you might pay for assembled upper

You can’t beat this price for a complete AR-15 — $399.99 from KYGUNCO with Free Shipping. You could easily pay MORE for an assembled upper alone. The Radical Firearms RPR AR-15 rifle features MIL-STD upper and lower receivers along with 15″ RPR rail system. The 16″ 1:7″-twist barrel is 4140 Chrome Moly Vanadium. The lower is forged 7075 T6 aluminum with Type III anodizing. The buttstock is adjustable and there is a long rail on the top of the aluminum forearm for mounting optics and accessories.

5. Palmetto SA — CCI 9mm 115gr FMJ 1000 Rounds, $299.99

9mm luger 9x19mm CCI
Quality, reliable CCI 9mm ammo, 1K case works out to $15 for 50 rounds

This is reliable, made-in-USA 9mm ammo, with good brass and quality CCI FMJ bullets. The $299.99 case price works out to just $15.00 per 50 rounds — a great value. This isn’t much more expensive than remanufactured 9mm ammo, and you have the assurance of NEW brass and major brand quality control. Note: This is a loose pack with all 1000 rounds in a single large, heavy-duty box.

6. Powder Valley — 500 Sierra 9mm Bullets with Can, $99.99

Sierra 9mm bullets bargain sale Powder Valley
Great price on 9mm bullets with bonus Sierra Ammo Can

A 500-ct can of Sierra 9mm 115gr FMJ bullets is on sale now for $99.99 at Powder Valley Inc.. You get 500 FMJ bullets PLUS a sturdy polymer ammo can at a $50 savings off the normal price. Act soon as this $50 savings ends at 11:59 pm on Friday 2/03/23, or while supplies last. Replenish your 9mm bullet stock and take advantage of this Sierra Bullets + Ammo Can Sale.

7. Midsouth — A-Zoom Snap Cap Sets, $7.15 and up

rifle tool sale
Snap Caps for dry-fire training — big selection of cartridge types

All shooters can benefit from dry-fire training. And for that you definitely need Snap Caps. A-Zoom offers a wide range of Snap Cap Kits for rimfire and centerfire rifles and pistols. There is even a jumbo Snap Cap for 12ga shotguns. For semi-auto pistols we recommend the orange StrikerCaps ($7.15 2-pack). These stay in place in the chamber — just rack the slide to reset the trigger. For a large pistol collection, try the $21.96 Pistol Variety Pack with five different cartridge types: .22 LR, .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, .45 ACP. There’s also a $31.37 Military/LE Variety Pack with 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .223 Rem, .308 Win, and 12 Gauge shotshell.

8. Amazon — Walkie Talkies with LED Flashlight, $23.99

walkie talkie radio pair led flashlight bargain
Popular 22 Ch FRS radio set with built-in flashlights

Campers, hunters, and hikers can all use this budget-priced MOICO Walkie-Talkie Set, now just $23.99 on Amazon. These offer 22 FRS channels, with a max 5 mile range (in open country). These work well when communicating between the shooting line and target pits downrange. One great feature is a built-in-LED flashlight — making these Walkie-Talkies great for camping and night-time use.

9. Amazon — Real Avid 19-in-1 Multi-Tool, $39.99

rifle tool sale
Versatile Multi-Tool with great features for gun owners

We’re big fans of multi-tools and this 19-in-1 Real Avid Multi-Tool is one of the best for gun guys. This compact 19-in-1 handgun multi-tool is a “must have” for any handgun owner. This tool can handle a multitude of tasks — e.g. changing grips, mounting accessories, field disassembly, adjusting laser sights, and even gunsmithing repairs. This tool does it all.

10. Amazon — Field Dressing Kit, $69.97

Field Dressing knife kit
Must-have kit for game hunters — very useful

For the hunters out there, here’s a nice kit to prepare game meat. The versatile Knine Outdoors Field Dressing Kit offers a great selection of tools for a low price. This very complete Dressing Kit includes: 12″ Boning Knife, 9-1/2″ Gut-Hook Skinner, 8-1/2″ Hawkbill blade knife, 8-1/2″ Caping Knife, 12″ Gut-Hook Butcher Axe, 10-1/2″ Skinning Cleaver, 8-1/2″ Bone Saw, Ribcage Spreader (7″ to 12″), 9-1/4″ Game Shear, 11-7/8″ x 7-7/8″ Cutting Board, Knife and Shear Sharpener, and Cleaning Gloves.

11. AAF Nation — T-Shirt or Hoodie, $23.95 or $39.95

t-shirt hoodie shooter bargain
Popular hoodie and/or shirt with great message for older shooters

Let’s face it, many of us are not so young anymore… but we still can shoot! That’s the message of these clothing items. Against a background of a bullseye target, the illustration reads: “Too old to fight, too slow to run, but I can still shoot pretty darn good.” Choose either a hoodie version for $39.95, a regular T-shirt for $23.95, or long sleeve shirt for $29.95. Purchasers report the items are sized properly. One hoodie buyer posted: “This hoodie is warm and comfortable. It is well-made and has a good print job!”

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January 30th, 2023

Get Brass Super-Clean — Wet Tumbling with Stainless Media

Stainless Tumbling Media Brass Cleaning

On our main Accurateshooter.com website, you’ll find a comprehensive review of the STM system for cleaning cartridge brass with stainless media. To clean brass with stainless media, start with five pounds of small stainless pins sold by StainlessTumblingMedia.com. Place these along with a gallon of water, a little liquid cleaner, and two pounds of cartridge brass in a rotary tumbler, and run the machine for one to four hours.

CLICK HERE for Stainless Media Brass Cleaning System Review »

Forum Member Tests STM System
Our reviewer, Forum member Jason Koplin, purchased the STM media and a new Thumler’s Tumbler. He then tested the STM cleaning procedure on his own brass, including some extremely dirty and tarnished “range pick-up” brass. Jason was thoroughly impressed with how well the STM process worked — as you can see from the “before and after” photos below. Brass which looked like it was ready for the scrap heap was restored to “like-new” appearance. Check it out:

stainless tumbling Media

stainless tumbling Media

Works Great on Both Rifle Brass and Pistol Brass
The process works equally well on both rifle brass and pistol brass (see below). Jason observed that one surprise benefit of the STM cleaning procedure is a big reduction in noise in his reloading room. Jason said the water-filled rotary tumbler was much quieter than his vibratory tumblers.

.45 ACP pistol Brass STM Stainless Media

.45 ACP pistol Brass STM Stainless Media

You’ll want to read Jason’s full review which shows more before and after images. The full article features a “how-to” video created by Forum member Cory Dickerson, the young man who pioneered the stainless tumbling process and founded STM. The video shows how to load brass, media, and cleaner solutions into the tumbler, and how to separate media from brass once the tumbling is done.

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January 29th, 2023

Sunday GunDay: Beyond .223 Rem — Alternative AR Cartridges

AR15 AR AR-15 cartridge alternative

Instead of using the standard .223 Remington or 5.56x45mm NATO round, you have many options for an AR-15. Dozens of cartridge variants have been tried in AR-15s. Some of the most noteworthy and popular alternative chamberings for AR-15s are:

20 Practical — This is simply the .223 Rem necked down to .204 caliber. Requires new barrel. Same bolt, same magazines. Best bang for the buck.
.224 Valkyrie — A necked-down version of the 6.8 SPC, the .224 Valkyrie was introduced by Federal a few seasons back. It has better ballistics than the .223 Remington, if used with a suitable barrel.
6mm ARC — Relatively new cartridge that works well for varminting, self-defense, tactical competitions, and deer hunting. Good selection of bullets and factory-loaded ammunition.
6.5 Grendel — Accurate and proven across the course, the 6.5 Grendel requires a new barrel, bolt, and magazines. Most use the 6.5 Grendel for competitive shooting and/or hunting.
.300 Blackout — Moderately expensive, the .300 Blackout requires a barrel change. This is used for home defense, and hunting. WARNING — with some bullets this round can be chambered in a .223 Rem barrel, with disastrous consequences.
.458 SOCOM — Pretty expensive, requires new barrel and bolt. The .458 SOCOM round is typically used for hunting though it was originally designed for Close Quarters Battle (CQB).

Of these six options, our favorite is the 20 Practical, followed by the 6mm ARC and 6.5 Grendel. The 20 Practical is a great varminting round. Check out our featured 20 Practical AR Rifle Report. This 20 Practical cartridge is highly effective on small varmints, and has shown outstanding accuracy in AR-platform rifles crafted by Robert Whitley.

20 Practical — High-Velocity, Affordable Alternative

The 20 Practical is simply a .223 Remington necked down to .204 caliber. This efficient little cartridge can launch 32-grainers at over 4200 fps, with impressive results on P-Dogs. This makes the 20 Practical a great choice for an AR-based varmint rifle.

20 Practical20 Practical Ultimate Varminter
A decade ago, as a “proof-of-concept”, AccurateShooter.com created a 20 Practical AR15 Ultimate Varminter with a custom 20-caliber upper from Robert Whitley of AR-X Enterprises, LLC. That project rifle was ultra-accurate — every 5-shot group out of the gun was less than the size of a dime. That gun was auctioned off, but Robert Whitley continues to produce custom 20 Practical AR15 uppers. (The 20 Practical cartridge is simply the .223 Rem necked down to 20 caliber — you can use standard .223 brass and load with standard .223 Rem dies. Just swap in a smaller expander and use smaller neck bushings.)

6mm ARC — Popular New SAAMI Cartridge Promoted by Hornady

In June 2020, Hornady introduced the 6mm ARC, a new SAAMI cartridge optimized for AR-platform rifles*. The new 6mm ARC is basically a 6.5 Grendel necked down to 6mm, with the shoulder moved back around .030″. That pushed-back shoulder does reduce case capacity (and velocity), but we assume Hornady did that to create a shorter, proprietary chamber so people could not simply neck-down Lapua 6.5 Grendel brass, as has been done for years with Robert Whitley’s outstanding 6mm AR wildcat.

CLICK Image for official SAAMI Specifications:
6mm ARC brownells bolts cartridge loaded ammunition hornady

If you are intrigued by the 6mm ARC, you’ll find the products you need at Brownells — uppers, barrels, bolts, and magazines. Brownells also sells Hornady-made 6mm ARC factory-loaded ammo but most is out-of-stock currently. MidwayUSA currently has Hornady 108gr ELD Match 6mm ARC ammo in stock. For general information, see 6mm ARC Info Page.

What Is the 6mm ARC Cartridge?
6mm ARC brownells bolts cartridge loaded ammunition hornadyThe 6mm ARC cartridge is a modern SAAMI-spec cartridge based on the 6.5 Grendel case necked down for 6mm bullets, with the shoulder moved back 0.030. Yes it is designed to run in AR15-platform rifles. You’ll need a new barrel, bolt, and mags. If you already have an AR chambered in 6.5 Grendel, the ONLY thing you need to change is the barrel. Everything else — bolt, magazines, gas system – is compatible with 6mm ARC.

▶ Official SAAMI Cartridge (not wildcat)
▶ Fits standard AR15-platform rifles
▶ Fits Short/Mini action bolt rifles
▶ Efficient short, fat case design
▶ 30-degree case shoulder

For more INFO, see 6mm ARC Info Page.

What Do I Need To Shoot the 6mm ARC?
Faxon and Ballistic Advantage are already producing barrels, with more manufacturers sure to follow. All the other required components are already on the market for 6.5 Grendel rifles. Aero Precision already offers complete 6mm ARC uppers.

If you’re converting a standard 5.56×45 mm (.223 Rem) AR15 upper to shoot 6mm ARC, you’ll need a 6mm barrel, a Type II 6.5 Grendel bolt carrier group, and new magazines. Some folks have suggested standard AR mags will work, but trust us, you want the magazines that have been designed for 6.5 Grendel. All the hardware you need is currently available at Brownells.

6mm ARC brownells bolts cartridge loaded ammunition hornady

While 6-6.5 Grendel shooters are known to run stout pressures, the new 6mm ARC cartridge has a relatively moderate Maximum Average Pressure (MAP) rating of 52,000 psi according to the official SAAMI specifications. For a variety of reasons, is wise to keep pressures in a semi-auto rifle moderate. Don’t chase the velocities you might get in a bolt-action gun.

The 6.5 Grendel — Accurate, Plus Good for Hunters

The 6.5 Grendel round is one of the most accurate cartridges for the AR-15 platform. The 6.5 Grendel round offers a larger-diameter, .264-caliber (6.5mm) bullet running at good velocities. This provides ample energy for smaller game and deer. The 6.5 Grendel is often used for hunting deer up to 300 yards.

6.5 Grendel

History of the 6.5 Grendel Cartridge
The 6.5 Grendel originated as a 6mm PPC necked up to 6.5 mm. After Alexander Arms relinquished the “6.5 Grendel” Trademark, the 6.5 Grendel was standardized as an official SAAMI cartridge. It has become popular with target shooters and hunters alike because it is accurate, efficient, and offers modest recoil. Good for small to medium game, the 6.5 Grendel has been offered in lightweight hunting rifles, such as the Howa 1500 Mini Action.

6.5 Grendel Saami Hornady Brass

.224 Valkyrie Cartridge — Impressive with Heavy .22-Cal Bullets

224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMK

The new .224 Valkyrie was introduced in 2019 as a Hot Rod cartridge that will work in AR15s. Basically a 6.8 SPC necked down to .22 caliber, the Valkyrie has a shorter case than the .223 Remington (and 5.56×45 NATO). This allows you to load the longest, heaviest .224-caliber bullets and still feed reliably from an AR15-type magazine. Designed to rival the .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with modern, high-BC bullets. We expect some bolt-action PRS shooters might adopt the .224 Valkyrie. Why? Reduced recoil. With the 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie offers ballistics similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor but with significantly less felt recoil. It can also be a viable alternative to a .22-250 for varminters using an AR platform.

22 valkyrie .22-250
Image from Social Regressive .224 Valkyrie Youtube Video.

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com found a superbly accurate load with Berger 80.5gr bullets. Watch this video to learn more:

Sierra Bullets has published extensive load data for the .224 Valkyrie. This covers over a dozen powder types — many more than the Hodgdon database. Sierra’s .224 Valkyrie load data covers projectiles from 50 grain all the way up to 95 grains. With the 90 to 95 grain bullets, the little Valkyrie can give 6mm match cartridges a real run for their money — offering similar ballistics with less recoil. When selecting a barrel for the long .224-cal bullets, specify a fast enough twist rate: “Sierra recommends a 1:6.5″-twist barrel for the #9290 22 cal 90 gr HPBT bullet. However, for cartridges like the Valkyrie, that can push them over 2650 fps muzzle velocity, a 1:7″-twist barrel will stabilize the bullet correctly.”


CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Complete Sierra .224 Valkyrie LOAD DATA.

.224 Valkyrie vs. .22-250 Remington
The Social Regressive explains: “There are two key reasons why the .224 Valkyrie is unique and desirable. First, it is specifically designed to fit the limitations of the AR-15 platform. It does so even when loaded with gigantic bullets, like the 90-grain SMK that Federal announced. The .22-250 Rem is too long and too fat to work in the AR-15 platform; it needs an AR-10 bolt and magazine.”

The .224 Valkyrie has been marketed as a low-recoil round that can stay supersonic to 1300 yards and beyond (with 90gr Sierra MatchKings). Here a Sniper’s Hide duo shots an AR-platform .224 Valkyrie at distances out to 1550+ yards. To be honest, the accuracy wasn’t that impressive. However this test confirms that the .224 Valkyrie does launch the long, heavy projectiles at high enough velocities to prove superior to the standard .223 Rem. Frank Galli (aka “Lowlight”) teams up with Brian Whalen of Colorado Precision Rifle at the Blue Steel Ranch in New Mexico.

The .300 Blackout — Risky Business

The .300 Blackout appeals to folks who want a .30-caliber defense round. This can be loaded at various velocities. Loaded at subsonic speeds and shot with a suppressor, the .300 BLK offers very low sound levels. Unfortunately, that .300 Blackout cartridge can fit in a .223 Rem chamber. Shooting a .308-caliber bullet in .223 bore is a recipe for disaster.

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56

.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56The .300 AAC Blackout aka “300 BLK”, is a compact 30-caliber cartridge designed to work in AR-15 rifles. It has a shorter cartridge case to accommodate the bigger 30-caliber bullet while still fitting in a standard AR-15 magazine. Unfortunately, that’s the danger. A careless shooter can toss a .300 Blackout cartridge in with .223 Rem rounds without noting. And because the case-head size is the same as the .223 Rem (5.56×45) the rifle’s bolt assembly will happily chamber and fire the .300 BLK round. Problem is, that forces a .308 diameter bullet down an undersized .223-caliber bore. Not good!

This images were provided by Tactical Rifle Shooters on Facebook. The message was clear: “Don’t try to run 300 Blackout in your .223/5.56mm. It won’t end well. The problem is identical rifles and identical magazines but different calibers.”

Image from Accurate Shooter Forum. Cutaway shows the jammed .30-Cal bullet:
.300 AAC Blackout 300 BLK kaboom accident blowup cartridge failure barrel .223 Rem 5.56

For those who MUST have a .300 Blackout, here are some things you can do:

1. Use different colored magazines for .300 Blackout vs. .223 Remington.
2. Mark .223 Rem upper handguards with the caliber in bright paint.
2. Fit all your uppers with caliber-labeled ejection port covers.
4. Mark all .300 BLK Rounds with heavy black marker.

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January 28th, 2023

Engraving Artistry by Jesse Kaufmann Master Engraver

Jesse Kaufmann Black Hills engraving remington stock checkering
Impressive engraving by Jesse Kaufmann. Note how the scope rings have been engraved to perfectly match the engraving pattern on the Remington 547 action.

Who says fine craftsmanship is dead? There’s a modern day engraving wizard up in South Dakota, Jesse Kaufmann, who produces some of the most handsome engraving we’ve seen. Jesse, who operates Black Hills Gunstocks and Engraving LLC, is a true master at metal engraving and he also does superb stock checkering. Here are some examples of Jesse’s engraving work:

Jesse Kaufmann Black Hills engraving remington stock checkering

Jesse Kaufmann Black Hills engraving remington stock checkering

This 14-minute video showcases dozens of Jesse Kaufmann’s Engraving examples:

CLICK HERE to see many more engraving examples »

Jesse Kaufmann Black Hills engraving remington stock checkering

Jesse Kaufmann Black Hills engraving remington stock checkering

Jesse Kaufmann Black Hills engraving remington stock checkering

Jesse Kaufmann engraving stock checkering black hillsAbout Jesse Kaufmann, Master Engraver
Jesse Kaufmann was a professional stockmaker for Dakota Arms for over a decade. In 2009, he was inducted in the American Custom Gunmakers Guild as a checkering specialist. In January 2017, Jesse was awarded his Master Engraver certification by the Firearms Engravers Guild of America. With his broad skill set, Jesse is able to offer his clients a unique and complete package of stock work, finish, checkering, and engraving for a custom package that is all completed under one roof by his own hands.

Jesse Kaufmann’s work has been featured in American Rifleman, American Hunter, FEGA’s The Engraver, Sports Afield, Waidmannsheil Journal of German Gun Collectors Assn., Gun Digest 71st Edition, Modern Custom Guns Volume 2, Dangerous Game Rifles 2d. Edition. For more info, visit BlackHillsgunstocksandengraving.com, email blackhillsgunstocks [at] gmail.com, or call Jesse at (605) 499-9090 after 5:00 pm. SEE Gallery of Work.

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January 28th, 2023

Gas Gun Reloading Rules — USAMU Tips for ARs, Garands, M1As

Reloading for Service Rifles
SFC Lance Dement as featured in CMP’s First Shot Online.

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) has published a great series of reloading “how-to” articles on its Facebook Page. This post covers key factors to consider when loading ammunition for Match Rifles and Service Rifles, with a particular focus on self-loading “gas guns”. Visit the USAMU Facebook Page regularly for other, helpful reloading and marksmanship tips.

We offer some “cardinal rules” to help new gas-gun handloaders with safety and efficiency. These address both Match Rifle and Service Rifle versions of the AR15, M1 Garand, M1A, and M110. However, they can also improve safe reloading for many other auto-loaders such as M1 Carbines, FALs, SIGs, etc. The author distilled these principles many years ago to help focus on the essential aspects of these rifles.

RULE ONE: Service Rifles Are Not Benchrest Rifles
Gas-guns require a relatively loose fit between ammunition and chamber (vs. bolt actions) for safe, smooth operation. Many techniques, such as neck sizing and keeping cartridge headspace quite tight, are popular in the extreme bolt gun accuracy realm. However, they are of little value with Service Rifles, and some could even be hazardous. Before adopting a specialized technique, seriously consider whether it is appropriate and beneficial in a gas-gun.

RULE TWO: Never Compromise Safety to Obtain Accuracy
Example: If choosing a brand of great, but ultra-sensitive match primers offers possibly better accuracy at the risk of slam-fires in your design of rifle, don’t do it! You are issued exactly two eyes and ten fingers (best-case scenario). Risking them trying to squeeze 0.25 MOA better accuracy out of an M1A, etc. simply isn’t worth it.

Reloading for Service Rifles

RULE THREE: Tailor the Precision to Your Individual Skill and Your Rifle’s Potential
This has been addressed here before, but bears repeating for newcomers. If you are struggling to break out of the Marksman Class, or using a CMP M1 “As-Issued,” then laboriously turning the necks of your 600-yard brass is a waste of time. Your scores will improve much faster by practicing or dry-firing. On the other hand, if the reigning champions anxiously check your scores each time you fire an event, a little neck-turning might not be so far-fetched.

Verifying Load Improvements — Accuracy hand-loading involves a wide variety of techniques, ranging from basic to rather precise. Carefully select those which offer a good return on investment for your time and labor. In doubt? Do a classic pilot study. Prepare ammo for at least three or four ten-shot groups with your new technique, vs. the same with your standard ammo. Then, pick a calm day and test the ammo as carefully as possible at its full distance (e.g. 200, 300, or 600 yards) to verify a significant improvement. A little testing can save much labor!


This video explains the procedure for ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP.

RULE FOUR: Be Your Own Efficiency Expert
Serious Service Rifle shooters generally think of ammunition in terms of thousands of rounds, not “boxes”, or even “hundreds”. Analyze, and WRITE DOWN each step in your reloading process. Count the number of times each case is handled. Then, see if any operations can be dropped or changed without reducing safety or accuracy. Eliminating just two operations saves 2000 steps per 1000 rounds loaded. Conversely, carefully consider any measurable benefits before adding a step to your routine.

RULE FIVE: In Searching for Greater Accuracy with Efficiency, Look for System Changes
For example, instead of marking your 300-yard rounds individually to differentiate them from your 200-yard ammo, would a simple change in primers work? If accuracy is maintained, using brass-colored primers for 200 and silver for 300 provides an indelible indicator and eliminates a step! Similarly, rather than spending hours selecting GI surplus brass for weight and neck uniformity, consider splurging on some known, high-quality imported match brass for your 600-yard loads. Results should be excellent, time is saved, and given limited shooting at 600 yards, brass life should be long.

RULE SIX: Check All Your Primers Before Packaging Your Loaded Ammo
This seems simple and even intuitive. However, many slam-fires (which were much more common when M1s and M1As were the standard) are due, at least in part, to “high” primers. Primers should be seated below flush with the case head. The USAMU has addressed this at length in a previous column, but each round should be checked for properly-seated primers before they are packaged for use.

Reloading for Service Rifles

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January 22nd, 2023

SHOT Daily — All Four 2023 SHOT Show Digital Magazines

SHOT daily magazine issuu free digital publications

If you couldn’t attend SHOT Show 2023, don’t despair. You can now access complete digital editions of the official SHOT Show Daily Magazines provided to SHOT Show attendees and exhibitors. CLICK HERE to access all the SHOT Daily magazines distributed at SHOT Show 2023. In addition, you will find FREE digital issues of SHOT Business magazines from 2022.

SHOT daily magazine issuu free digital publications

CLICK Above PHOTO to Load Page with all Four Magazine Issues

Each of the four (4) issues contains a major product review, and many interesting shorter features. We highly recommend the major feature stories. In the Day 1 Edition, check out the Guns 2023 article starting on page 28. In the Day 2 Edition, look for the Optics 2023 article starting on page 30 and Ammo 2023 on page 22. New Knives are featured in the Day 3 Edition. In the Day 4 Edition, there is a summary of new Accessories starting on page 22. CLICK HERE to see ALL FOUR SHOT Daily 2023 magazines.

SHOT Show 2023 daily magazine new guns rifles pistols
SHOT Show 2023 daily new scopes and optics

Even if you’re not interested in the latest retail trends it’s worth browsing all four issues, because there are a number of articles relating to Second Amendment issues, range operations, hunting, and competitive shooting. In addition, you’ll find many shorter items of interest to rifle shooters.

SHOT daily magazine issuu free digital publications

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January 21st, 2023

Sierra Ballistics Resources — 60+ Authoritative Articles for FREE

Sierra Bullets Ballistics Resources

Need some informative reading material for winter days? Here’s a vast resource available free from Sierra Bullets. Here are links to over 60 articles with information on bullets, ballistic coefficients, wind drift, up/down angles, temperature effects, tailwind effects and much more. Most of these resources come from the respected Sierra Reloading Manuals, 4th and 5th Editions. There are enough articles to read one per week for a year!

Major Ballistics Reference Articles
The Ballistic Coefficient by William T. McDonald & Ted C. Almgren (Adobe .PDF)
Deflections and Drift of a Bullet in a Crosswind by William T. McDonald (Adobe .PDF)
Inclined Fire by William T. McDonald

Table of Exterior Ballistic Coefficients
(5th Edition Reloading Manual)

Rifle
Handgun
.22 Rimfire

Exterior Ballistic Tables
(4th Edition Reloading Manual)

Rifle Tables – Select by Bullet
Handgun Tables – Select by Bullet
Silhouette Tables – Select by Bullet

5th Edition Manual Exterior Ballistics Section
Section 1.0 Introduction
Section 2-2.1 The Ballistic Coefficient Explained
Section 2.2 Bigger Is Not Always Better
Section 2.3 How the Ballistic Coefficient is Measured
Section 2.3.1.1 Measurement Procedure
Section 2.3.1.2 Important Precautions and Points to Consider
Section 2.3.2 Initial Velocity and Time of Flight Method
Section 2.3.3 Doppler Radar Method
Section 2.4 Lessons Learned from Ballistic Coefficient Testing
Section 2.5 Examples of Ballistic Coefficient Measurements
Section 3.0 Exterior Ballistic Effects on Bullet Flight
Section 3.1 Effects of Altitude and Atmospheric Conditions
Section 3.2 Effects of Wind
Section 3.3 Effects of Shooting Uphill or Downhill
Section 3.4-3.4.1 Trajectory Considerations for Sighting in a Gun
Section 3.4.2 Determining Zero Range from Firing Test Results
Section 3.4.3 Sighting in for a Change in Shooting Location
Section 3.5 Point Blank Range
Section 3.6 Maximum Horizontal Range of a Gun
Section 3.7 Maximum Height of Fire of a Gun
Section 4.0 Six Degree of Freedom Effects on Bullet Flight
Section 4.1 Basic Physical Concepts
Section 4.2 Yaw of Repose and Resulting Crossrange Deflection
Section 4.3 Turning of a Bullet to Follow a Crosswind and Resulting Deflections
Section 4.4 Turning of a Bullet to Follow a Vertical Wind and Resulting Deflections
Section 5.0 Trajectory Tables
Section 6.0 Sierra’s Infinity Exterior Ballistics Software

4th Edition Manual Exterior Ballistics Section
Section 2.0 Introduction
Section 3.0 Historical Summary
Section 4.0 The Ballistic Coefficient
Section 4.1 Basic Definitions
Section 4.2 Ballistic Coefficients Effects on Bullet Trajectories
Section 4.3 How the Ballistic Coefficient is Measured by Firing Tests
Section 4.4 Lessons Learned From Ballistic Coefficient Measurements
Section 4.5 Ballistic Coefficient Variations with Muzzle Velocity near the Speed of Sound
Section 4.6 Ballistic Coefficient Dependence on Coning Motion
Section 5.0 Exterior Ballistics Topics
Section 5.1 Effects of Altitude and Atmospheric Conditions
Section 5.2 Effects of Altitude and Uphill/Downhill Shooting
Section 5.3 Wind Effects
Section 5.3.1 Headwinds and Tailwinds
Section 5.3.2 Crosswinds
Section 5.3.3 Winds from Any Direction
Section 5.4 Changing the Zero Range
Section 5.5 Point Blank Range
Section 5.6 Muzzle Velocity Dependence on Cartridge Temperature
Section 6.0 Equations of Bullet Flight
Section 6.1 Differential Equations of Bullet Motion
Section 6.2 Drag Force and the Drag Function
Section 6.3/Section 6.3.1 Siacci’s Method/The Change of Independent Variables
Section 6.3.2 The Assumption
Section 6.4 Mayevski’s Analytical Form of the Drag Model
Section 6.5 Closed-Form Solutions for Trajectory Parameters
Section 6.6 Other Useful Equations
Section 6.6.1 References

Sierra Bullets Ballistics Resources

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January 16th, 2023

SHOT Daily 2023 — FREE Digital Magazines from SHOT Show

shot daily 2023

SHOT Show 2023 ran January 17-20, 2023. Here are FREE digital magazines covering many new products displayed at the show. We’ve embedded three digital versions of the SHOT Daily print magazine provided to SHOT Show attendees. You can navigate page by page with the left/right white arrows in the gray box below. To quickly scan through an entire 60+ page digital magazine, use the slide bar. When you find content you want to read, use the zoom control or click the FULL SCREEN brackets icon at lower right.

We highly recommend two big feature stories. In the Day 1 Edition, check out the Guns 2023 article starting on page 28. You can also read the New Rifles section of this story on the SHOT Show Website. In the Day 2 Edition, look for the Optics 2023 article starting on page 30.

CLICK Full Screen (brackets) icon at lower right of dark gray box to read.
Recommended Stories: Guns 2023, pages 28-40; New Products, pages 64-66

shot daily 2023
shot daily 2023

CLICK Full Screen (brackets) icon at lower right of dark gray box to read.
Recommended Stories: Ammo 2023, pages 22-29; Optics 2023, pages 30-40; New Products, pp. 54-58

shot daily 2023

CLICK Full Screen (brackets) icon at lower right of gray box to read.
Recommended Stories: Knives 2023, pages 22-26; Electronics 2023, pp. 28-32; New Products, pp. 48-50

shot daily 2023

UPDATE: SHOT Daily Day 4 Magazine has been released. CLICK HERE for SHOT Daily Day 4 2023.

ENJOY the Final Day of SHOT Show 2023!

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