August 5th, 2021

How to Detect Flaws in Cartridge Brass — Case Diagnostics

Case Diagnostics 101 Sierra Bullets .223 Rem 5.56 brass cartridge safety

Ever wondered what caused a particular bulge or marking on a case? And more importantly, does the issue make the case unsafe for further use? Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks offers some insight into various issues and their causes in two Case Diagnostic articles from the Sierra Blog.

Incipient Case-Head Separation
This is a Winchester .308 Win case that has a real issue. This case has a very obvious incipient case head separation in the process of becoming a complete failure.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This is most commonly caused by over-sizing the case causing there to be excess headspace on the case. After a few firings and subsequent re-sizing, this case is just about ready to come completely apart. Proper die adjustment is certainly a requirement here. Of course this case is not safe to reuse.

Excessive Pressure (Load Too Hot)
If you will notice in the picture of the case rim, there are two pressure signs to notice. First, look at the primer. It is basically flattened to about the max of what could be considered safe. If this was the only pressure sign noted, I would probably be fine with this load, but would constantly keep an eye on it especially if I was going to use this load in warmer temperatures. This load could easily cross into the “excess pressure” realm very quickly.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

There is another sign of pressure that we cannot ignore. If you’ll notice, there is an ejector mark apparent that is located over the “R” of the R-P headstamp. This absolutely tells us that this load would not have been in the safe pressure range. If there were any of these rounds loaded, they should not be fired and should be dis-assembled. This case should not be reloaded.

Split Case-Neck
Here we have an R-P .22-250 case that has died the death. Everything looks fine with this case except the neck is split. This case must be tossed.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

A split neck is a normal occurrence that you must watch for. It is caused by work-hardening of the brass. Brass cases get harder with age and use. Brand new cases that are stored for a period of time can become hard enough that they will split like this case within one to two firings. I have had new factory loads do the same thing. Then as we resize and fire these cases repeatedly, they tend to get harder and harder. Eventually they will split. The life of the case can be extended by careful annealing practices. This is an issue that would need to be addressed in an article by itself. Of course this case is no longer usable.

In the classes that I teach, I try to use examples like this to let the students see what they should be looking for. As always, if we can assist you, whether you are new to reloading or very experienced, contact us here at Sierra Bullets by phone at 1-800-223-8799 or by email at sierra@sierrabullets.com.

Dented Case Body
Here we have a Lake City 7.62×51 (.308 Win.) case with two heavy marks/dents in the case body.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This one may be a bit of a mystery. It appears as if this case may have been caught in the action of a semi-auto rifle when the firearm jammed or the case failed to clear during the cycling process. I probably would not reload this case just to prevent any feeding problems. This also appeared to be a factory loaded round and I don’t really see any pressure issues or damage to the case.

Multiple Problems — Lake City 5.56×45 unknown year.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This case has suffered multiple failures and cannot be re-used. First its has have a very rounded shoulder that is split. Upon first look it was obvious that this round had been a victim of excess pressure. The firearm (perhaps an AR?) was apparently not in full battery, or there was possibly a headspace issue also. While taking a closer look, the primer was very flat and the outside radius of the primer cup had been lost. High pressure! Then I also noticed that there was an ejector mark on the case rim. This is most certainly an incident of excessive pressure. This case is ruined and should be discarded.

CLICK HERE for MORE .223 Rem Case Examples in Sierra Blog

To see more examples, view both Part I and Part II of the Case Diagnostics from Sierra Bullets:

» Reloading 101: Case Diagnostics Part I
» Reloading 101: Case Diagnostics Part II

It is very important to observe and inspect your cases before each reloading. After awhile it becomes second nature to notice the little things. Never get complacent as you become more familiar with the reloading process. If ever in doubt, call Sierra’s Techs at 1-800-223-8799.

Sierra Bullets Case Diagnostics Blog

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
August 4th, 2021

Bullet Geometry Basics: Tangent, Secant, and Hybrid Ogives

secant tangent hybrid ogive Bryan Litz Applied ballistics 200X Berger Hybrid bullet, .308 30 Caliber

In discussions of ballistics, you’ll see references to “tangent”, “secant”, and “hybrid” bullet shapes. We know that, for many readers, these terms can be confusing. To add to the confusion, bullet makers don’t always identify their projectiles as secant or tangent designs. This article provides a basic explanation of tangent, secant, and hybrid ogive bullet designs, to help you understand the characteristics of these three basic bullet shapes.

Tangent vs. Secant vs. Hybrid
Most match bullets produced today use a tangent ogive profile, but the modern VLD-style bullets employ a secant profile. To further complicate matters, the latest generation of “Hybrid” projectiles from Berger Bullets feature a blended secant + tangent profile to combine the best qualities of both nose shapes. The secant section provides reduced drag, while the tangent section makes the bullet easier to tune, i.e. less sensitive to bullet seating depth position.

hybrid bullet

Berger Bullets ballistician Bryan Litz explains tangent and secant bullet ogive designs in a glossary section of his Applied Ballistics website, which we reprint below. Bryan then explains how tangent and secant profiles can be combined in a “hybrid” design.

How Bullet Ogive Curves are Defined
While the term “ogive” is often used to describe the particular point on the bullet where the curve reaches full bullet diameter, in fact the “ogive” properly refers to the entire curve of the bullet from the tip to the full-diameter straight section — the shank.

Understanding then, that the ogive is a curve, how is that curve described?

LITZ: The ogive of a bullet is usually characterized by the length of its radius. This radius is often given in calibers instead of inches. For example, an 8 ogive 6mm bullet has an ogive that is a segment of a circular arc with a radius of 8*.243 = 1.952”. A .30-caliber bullet with an 8 ogive will be proportionally the same as the 8 ogive 6mm bullet, but the actual radius will be 2.464” for the .30 caliber bullet.

For a given nose length, if an ogive is perfectly tangent, it will have a very specific radius. Any radius longer than that will cause the ogive to be secant. Secant ogives can range from very mild (short radius) to very aggressive (long radius). The drag of a secant ogive is minimized when its radius is twice as long as a tangent ogive radius. In other words, if a tangent ogive has an 8 caliber radius, then the longest practical secant ogive radius is 16 calibers long for a given nose length.”

Bryan Litz Explains Hybrid Design and Optimal Hybrid Seating Depths

Ogive Metrics and Rt/R Ratio
LITZ: There is a number that’s used to quantify how secant an ogive is. The metric is known as the Rt/R ratio and it’s the ratio of the tangent ogive radius to the actual ogive radius for a given bullet. In the above example, the 16 caliber ogive would have an Rt/R ratio of 0.5. The number 0.5 is therefore the lowest practical value for the Rt/R ratio, and represents the minimum drag ogive for a given length. An ogive that’s perfectly tangent will have an Rt/R ratio of 1.0. Most ogives are in between an Rt/R of 1.0 and 0.5. The dimensioned drawings at the end of my Applied Ballistics book provide the bullets ogive radius in calibers, as well as the Rt/R ratio. In short, the Rt/R ratio is simply a measure of how secant an ogive is. 1.0 is not secant at all, 0.5 is as secant as it gets.

Berger Hybrid bullet, .308 30 CaliberHybrid Bullet Design — Best of Both Worlds?
Bryan Litz has developed a number of modern “Hybrid” design bullets for Berger. The objective of Bryan’s design work has been to achieve a very low drag design that is also “not finicky”. Normal (non-hybrid) secant designs, such as the Berger 105gr VLD, deliver very impressive BC values, but the bullets can be sensitive to seating depth. Montana’s Tom Mousel has set world records with the Berger 105gr VLD in his 6mm Dasher, but he tells us “seating depth is critical to the best accuracy”. Tom says a mere .003″ seating depth change “makes a difference”. In an effort to produce more forgiving high-BC bullets, Bryan Litz developed the hybrid tangent/secant bullet shape.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip No Comments »
August 3rd, 2021

Tool Time: Sort Cases By Neck-Thickness with Sinclair Tool

Sinclair Case Neck Sorting tool reloading benchrest neck-turning

Case Neck thickness sorting gauge Sinclair accurateshooter.comHe who dies with the most toys wins — right? Well Sinclair has another interesting gadget you can add to your reloading bench. The Sinclair Case Neck Sorting Tool lets you quickly sort brass by neck-wall thickness. For those who shoot “no-turn” brass, this can improve neck-tension consistency. Large variances in neck-wall thickness can cause inconsistent neck “grip” on the bullet. Generally, we’ve found that more consistent neck tension will lower ES and (usually) improve accuracy. We know some guys who shoot no-turn 6mmBR brass in competition with considerable success — but their secret is pre-sorting their brass by neck-wall thickness. Cases that are out-of-spec are set aside for sighters (or are later skim-turned).

Watch Case Neck Sorting Tool Operation in Video

How the Case Neck Sorting Tool Works
Here’s how the Sinclair tool works. Cases are rotated under an indicator tip while they are supported on a case-neck pilot and a support pin through the flash hole. The unit has a nice, wide base and low profile so it is stable in use. The tool works for .22 through .45 caliber cases and can be used on .17- and .20-caliber cases with the optional carbide alignment rod. The MIC-4 pin fits both .060 (PPC size) and .080 (standard size) flash holes. Sinclair’s Case Neck Sorting Tool can be ordered with or without a dial indicator. The basic unit without dial indicator (item 749-006-612WB) is priced at $59.99. You can also buy the tool complete with dial indicator (item 749-007-129WB) for $89.99. IMPORTANT: This sorting tool requires caliber-specific Case Neck Pilots which must be ordered separately.

Editor’s Comment: The purpose of this Sinclair tool is rapid, high-quantity sorting of cartridge brass to ascertain significant case-neck-wall thickness variations. Consider this a rapid culling/sorting tool. If you are turning your necks, you will still need a quality ball micrometer tool to measure neck-wall thickness (to .0005) before and after neck-turning operations.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
August 2nd, 2021

Bargain Finder 306: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

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

1. Creedmoor Sports — American Practice Bullets, Save 20-30%

Creedmoor Sports discount practice bullets .22 6mm .308 factory seconds Sierra
Save money on big brand bullets so you can practice more often

Creedmoor Sports is offering 500-ct bulk packs of factory second bullets. You can snatch up these American Bullet Company Practice Bullets in .22, 6mm, and .308 calibers at exceptionally low prices. These are factory ‘seconds’ from a very well-known manufacturer (think green) that are bulk-packed and ready to load. Get a box of 500 bullets at huge savings over regular prices. NOTE: There may be minor cosmetic issues with the bullets, or weight variances. In today’s world of component shortages, this is a great way to save money, and/or do more live fire practice with a lower cost per shot.

2. Sportsman’s WHSE — Savage 110 Elite Precision, $1749.99

savage mdt target rifle
Competitive PRS Production Class Rig with MDT Chassis

Excellent Video Review of Savage 110 Elite Precision in 6mm Creedmoor

PRS Production Class has a $2500 limit. With this Savage 110 Elite Precision you get a very competitive 6mm Creedmoor rifle, with a top-quality chassis, for $1749.99. That’s hundreds less than similar quality boutique-brand PRS Production rigs. Put the money saved into optics. The Savage Arms 110 Elite Precision boasts a Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) Adjustable Core Competition (ACC) Chassis, a full-length forearm ARCA rail, titanium nitride-coated “blueprinted” action, and effective muzzle brake. This Guns & Ammo video showcases the Elite Precision’s notable features.

3. Whidden Gunworks — 6mm Dasher Starter Kit, $305.09

6mm Dasher Starter Kit
Turn-key solution for 6mm Dasher Shooters with great dies

The 6mm Dasher is very popular in PRS and Mid-range Benchrest. And a 6mm Dasher just won the F-Open Mid-Range Nationals convincingly. If you’re ready to build a Dasher, consider the 6mm Dasher Starter Kit from Whidden Gunworks. The kit includes your choice of standard dies, 100 pieces of Lapua 6mmBR brass, 6mm Dasher Hydraulic Form Die, and a 6mm Dasher Case Gauge. This is everything you need to get up and running with this match-winning wildcat cartridge.

4. Creedmoor Sports — Sierra Bullets PLUS FREE Ammo Box

sierra bullet sale
Good Deal on Sierra bullets plus handy Ammo Box

Sierra makes some of the highest-quality bullets on the market. Right now Creedmoor Sports has most popular Sierra Bullets in stock and ready to ship in many calibers. Most of the popular MatchKing bullet types have the meplats “tipped” at the factory for consistent BC and improved long-range performance. NOTE: If you purchase at least $150 in Sierra bullets you’ll get a FREE high-quality Plano Ammo Box.

5. KYGUNCO — Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol, $205.99

Taurus G2c 9mm Luger carry ccw pistol handgun sale
Great Deal on Reliable 12rd 9mm Carry Pistol

The Taurus G2c is a good little compact carry gun at a VERY attractive price — a third what you might pay for a 9mm Glock 19 these days. KYGUNCO has the black-on-black 9mm Taurus G2c for just $205.99 (cash price). That’s the best deal we’ve seen on a major brand 9mm pistol in a long time. At 6.25″ OAL, and weighing just 21.2 oz. unloaded, this affordable 9mm handgun is a true compact. Despite its small size, the G2c boasts a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

6. Amazon — RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme, $188.99

rcbs rock chucker single stage press rockchucker
Strong, versatile full-size press with lifetime warranty

With the shortages of good factory ammo, more shooters are hand-loading than ever before. That means that good reloading presses have been hard to find at reasonable prices. But here’s a good deal on a great press. Right now Amazon has the legendary RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme for under $190.00. This strong, capable press and allows you to do myriad reloading tasks: decapping, neck-sizing, FL-sizing, crimping, and even swaging bullets. RCBS offers a rock-solid lifetime warranty.

7. Amazon — Caldwell The Rock BR Rest, $140.79

caldwell rock rest
Good basic rest for Varmint work and sighting-in rifles

Right now the green-framed Caldwell Rests are deeply discounted on Amazon. If you’re looking for something you could use in competition as well as varminting, check out the Caldwell Rock BR at $140.79. The Rock BR model is stable and works well for varmint shooting. If you want something lighter and more basic, the Rock Deluxe at $75.19 is an excellent value. Or if you prefer a compact, lightweight front rest for basic rifle and pistol work, consider a Rock Jr. at $35.54.

8. Natchez — CCI Blazer 9mm Ammunition, $19.99

blazer 9mm ammo sale
Very reliable 9mm practice ammo at a good price

Finding quality 9mm Luger ammo at a decent price has been difficult lately. But here’s a good deal at Natchez. Quality, aluminum-case CCI Blazer 9mm 115gr ammo is now just $19.99 per 50-count box. That’s HALF the cost of 9mm pistol ammo at some other vendors. NOTE: Having aluminum cases, this ammo is NOT reloadable. But, in our experience it is reliable and accurate.

9. Amazon — KUBEI USB Rechargeable Digital Scale, $24.99

digital powder scale
Compact scale with USB-rechargeable battery at great price

Everyone can use an inexpensive, compact scale for loading at the range or sorting bullets or maybe even primers. One very affordable option KUBEI USB Rechargeable Digital Scale. Unlike most other inexpensive digital scales, this comes with a large dust cover with a “window” for your powder pan. Notably, this scale can be conveniently recharged with a standard USB cable — no batteries to replace ever! We have heard positive reports from Forum members about this $24.99 portable scale, which offers 9 types of weight units, calibration weight, and fold-down protective lid.

10. Amazon — Tactical Hard Case, Customizable Foam, $89.99

tactical hard case TSA
Solid, strong wheeled case for ARs, or hunting rifles

Whether driving or flying, you need a good, strong case to protect your firearms. This affordable TSA-approved HQ ISSUE Tactical Rifle Hard Case has room for an AR, handguns, and accessories or a couple hunting rifles (with moderate-length barrels). NOTE: This case has rollers — something you don’t typically find on cases at this price point. The included pluckable foam interior can be easily customized to fit your rifle. External dimensions are: 43″ x 16″ x 7″.

11. Amazon — LEE Perfect Powder Measure, $22.95

lee perfect powder throw
Low-cost unit will work for basic powder-dispensing duties

Sometimes you just need a simple but effective way to throw powder charges without a big investment. For basic powder-throwing tasks the LEE Perfect Powder Measure can do the job. With a simple adjustment you can throw anywhere from 2 grains to over 70 grains. This is fine for most pistol charges. For more accurate rifle handloads, you can throw the charge within a grain and then trickle up to the final load weight using using a scale and separate trickler.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Tactical No Comments »
August 1st, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The ammunition from the freezer shot at 2451 fps.

Frozen FPS

The room temperature ammunition shot at 2500 fps.

Room Temperature FPS

The heated ammunition shot at 2596 fps.

Sierra Bullets Ammunition Ammo temperature temp test hot cold

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

Sierra Bullets Ammunition Ammo temperature temp test hot cold

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

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
August 1st, 2021

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

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

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

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

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

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

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

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

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

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Reloading No Comments »
July 31st, 2021

Video Showcase: Wisdom from Keith Glasscock

Keith Glasscock winning wind youtube channel f-Class f-Open ES SD loading

Keith Glasscock is one of America’s greatest F-Class shooters, as well as a highly respected wind coach. A High Master, Keith finished second overall at the 2021 NRA F-Class Long Range Championship in F-Open division. He also finished second at the 2020 Nationals, tied with F-Open winner Pat Scully on points, but with fewer Xs. And he took second also at the 2019 Nationals. His consistency is unrivaled, which means he definitely knows the secrets of long range wind calling and loading ultra-accurate ammo.

Keith has a popular YouTube Channel with new content every week. On Keith’s Winning in the Wind channel, Keith offers 60+ informative videos on a wide range of topics including wind reading, reloading, component selection, load development, and training. For today’s Video Showcase, we offer four of our favorite Keith Glasscock videos. Each video has important points that can benefit any competitive rifle shooter, whether you shoot in local 100-yard fun matches or compete at the National Level in F-Class, LR Benchrest, Palma, or High Power.

How to Find (and Fine-Tune) Seating Depth

This is Keith’s most popular video. Keith definitely knows how to maximize accuracy by finding the optimal seating depth for each particular barrel. He is achieving groups in the high Ones for three shots. That would be good for a short-range benchrest cartridge, but Keith is achieving that with a .284 Winchester which has much more recoil. If you shoot F-TR or F-Open or even PRS, you should watch this video.

How to Lower your ES/SD and Reduce Vertical at Long Range

This is Keith’s first video in a series on how to improve long range groups, precision, and accuracy by reducing velocity Extreme Spread (ES) and Standard Deviation (SD). To achieve the lowest ES you need to look at multiple processes, including precision powder weighing, careful seating, brass annealing, and primer selection. Another factor is bullet selection. Not all bullets of the same nominal caliber and weight class have exactly the same bullet diameter or shape. Sometimes you can get better accuracy AND lower ES by trying a different brand of bullet. We have found bullet diameters, of the same stated caliber, can vary by up to .0008″ (eight ten-thousandths). Some barrels like the fatter bullets, while other barrels may favor the skinny bullets.

How to Find Bullet-to-Rifling Touch Point

Before you even start to load for a new rifle you need to know the point at which the bullet in a loaded round will first touch the rifling. (This will be a base to ogive measurement on your round). Beyond that point you are “in the lands”. If you load shorter than that base-to-ogive length you are “jumping” your bullets. Some cartridge/bullet combos typically shoot best in the lands, while with other bullets and cartridges, jumping is the way to go. Additionally, with some disciplines it is wise to jump your bullets since you may have to unload a chambered round while on the firing line. In this video Keith shows a number of methods to determine “length to lands” with repeatable precision.

Field Test and Review of SEB Mini-X Coaxial Front Rest

While gear reviews are not the primary focus of Keith’s YouTube Channel, Keith does talk about products he likes and uses. In this video. Keith reviews the SEB Mini-X, the newest coaxial tripod rest from SEB Rests. The Mini-X offers fast, precise windage and elevation adjustment with the joystick control. The unit is much easier to pack and transport than a large, heavy front rest such as a SEB NEO or Farley. The latest Mini-X also has upgraded foot controls that make it easier to level the rest on uneven ground. For more info, see our SEB Mini-X Report.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Shooting Skills No Comments »
July 30th, 2021

Don’t Show This Shooting Sports Spending Poll to Your Wife!

Shooting Poll AccurateShooter.com

OK guys, you probably want to keep this page confidential. Your spouse probably doesn’t want to be reminded about all the times you ignored the “Honey Do” list and headed off to the range instead. And she certainly doesn’t want to know how much you spend every year on your gun hobby.

Answer these two polls to see how dedicated (or should we say “obsessed”) a gun guy you really are. Once you vote you can see how your shooting (and spending) habits compare to other readers. Full results display after you select an answer and click the “Vote” button.

Click to vote in our current Readers’ polls.
Click “View Results” to see what other readers have selected.

The rifle cartridge money clip is a real product from ReleaseMeCreations.com. You can, of course, make your own cartridge money clip with a Dremel tool for free.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News No Comments »
July 28th, 2021

New, Affordable Practice Bullets from Creedmoor Sports

American Bullet Company practice bullets bthp factory seconds 6mm .224 .308 sale bargain

While reloading components remain in short supply, there is a new source for affordable rifle bullets in popular calibers. Creedmoor Sports is now offering American Bullet Company (ABC) Practice Bullets in .22, 6mm, and .308 calibers. These are factory seconds from a major American manufacturer.

Creedmoor Sports explains that it may make sense to shoot less expensive bullets during practice sessions, particularly for sling-shooters: “We believe a key to winning a competition is the practice time you put in leading up to the match. ABC Practice Bullets are an excellent alternative for competitors who may not want to use their expensive bullets during a practice session and save their best loads for a match.” With these ABC Practice Bullets you can save 20-30% off the price of first-run, major brand BTHP bullets. With those savings, you spend less money per round, so live-fire practice doesn’t bust your budget.

American Bullet Company practice bullets bthp factory seconds 6mm .224 .308 sale bargain

For some disciplines, these bullets aren’t just for practice. We predict the ABC 6mm bullets will work well in PRS/NRL matches with popular calibers 6mmBR, 6 Dasher, 6 GT, 6-6.5×47 Lapua, and 6mm Creedmoor.

American Bullet Company practice bullets bthp factory seconds 6mm .224 .308 sale bargain

ABC Practice Bullets are factory seconds, but they’re still great for training. Along with the 6mm 107gr bullets, Creedmoor is offering .22-Caliber (52gr, 55gr, 77gr) and .308-Caliber (125gr, 168gr, 175gr) practice bullets. All offerings have very attractive pricing, starting at $17.80/100 (for .22 Cal 55gr).

NOTE: All ABC Practice Bullets are sold in 500-ct boxes (by weight). All bullets in each 500-ct boxes will be from the same lot in each box. However, lots may vary from box to box.

How These Practice Bullets May Vary from First-Run Bullets
Issues separating American Bullet Company Practice Bullets from factory first-run bullets may include:

  • Minor scratch marks on the jacket
  • Polishing media or compound in the hollow point
  • Boat tail dimensions that vary slightly from the print
  • Weight variance — total weight variance of 2.0 grains across the lot
  • Other minor cosmetic defects

American Bullet Company practice bullets bthp factory seconds 6mm .224 .308 sale bargain

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News No Comments »
July 27th, 2021

Reloading Manuals — Good Choices for Handloaders

reloading hand-loading reload data manual sierra berger hornady lyman

It’s great to be able to access online load data for your cartridges. You can quickly get load data for a particular powder and bullet weight. However, there are times when we prefer to consult old-fashioned printed/bound load manuals. The primary reason is that manuals produced by bullet- and tool-makers will, for a particular cartridge, include data for powders from multiple manufacturers. Having a single source can save you time and trouble. For example, if you want to find 6.5 Creedmoor loads using H4350 (Hodgdon), Reloder 16 (Alliant), and N150 (Vihtavuori) you would have to visit three different powder-maker websites, one after another. OR you can pick up a modern load manual and find everything in one place.

There are many excellent printed load manuals on the market. We have used the Berger Manual, Sierra Manual, Speer Manual, Lyman Manual, and Hornady Manual. We like the Berger and Sierra manuals for match rifle cartridges, and the Lyman and Hornady manuals for hunting loads and pistol cartridges. Unfortunately, the popular binder-format Sierra Manual is currently back-ordered. Get one if you can.

The Lyman Reloading Manuals have earn praise over the years:
“Every other reloading book I’ve used favors their own bullets over every other manufacturers. With Lyman you get an honest representation of a wide variety of different… manufacturers. [Lyman has] a ton of reloading data on just about any bullet style you can imagine. I’ve tried a wide range of their recipes and everyone I’ve tried has been spot on. The overall breadth of information this book covers is impressive.” Review by RangetoReal.com.

reloading hand-loading reload data manual Nosler 9 guide sierra berger hornady lymanNosler #9 Manual Features New Cartridges
If you are looking for up-to-date cartridge/bullet/powder information, in late 2020 Nosler released the Nosler Reloading Guide #9, the latest in a respected series of Nosler load manuals.

This 800-page guide covers 101 cartridge types. New in this edition you’ll find the popular 6mm Creedmoor, 6mm XC, 6.5 PRC, and 7.62×39, along with 20 Nosler, 22 Nosler, 24 Nosler, 27 Nosler and 33 Nosler. This manual is a good resource for PRS shooters and hunters. The Nosler #9 book draws from thousands of hours in the Nosler Ballistic Lab, along with the experience of many respected experts.

The book is available for $24.99 at Midsouth or $24.95 on Amazon. Keep in mind that much of the book’s latest load data is available for free on the Nosler.com online LOAD DATA Center. But to get ALL the data, PLUS all the technical articles, you’ll need to buy the book.

Along with the new Nosler #9 Manual, here are four other recommended Reloading Manuals:

Here Are Four General Instructional Books That Cover Reloading Procedures:

POWDER BURN RATE TABLE

Here is the most recent powder burn rate chart from Hodgdon/IMR that we could find. Click links below to access printable PDF. Note, some readers have suggested a couple powder ranking issues in the table. However, this is the latest official version from the IMR website, released in November 2019.


POWDER BURN RATE TABLE from HODGDON.COM

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

CLICK HERE to Download Chart as PDF File »

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
July 27th, 2021

Polish Inside of Seating Stems to Avoid Ring Marks on Bullets

Seating Stem Reloading Tip Sierra Bullet .223 Remington compressed loads

Here’s a helpful hint for hand-loaders from Sierra Bullets. While this article focuses on Sierra’s new Tipped Match-King bullets, the recommended solutions apply to other bullet types as well. The article explains how sharp edges on a seating stem can cause a ring to be pressed into the bullet jacket — especially with compressed loads that resist downward bullet movement. Here Sierra technician Rich Machholz diagnoses the problem and provides a solution.

Seating Stem Reloading Tip Sierra Bullet .223 Remington compressed loads

Solutions for Ring Marks Caused by Seating Stems

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz
Now that the new Tipped MatchKing® (TMK) bullets are being shipped and shooters are putting them to use I have received several calls regarding marking on the bullet ogive from the seating stem.

The cause can be traced to one of several things. In the .223 and especially with the long, 77 grain TMK seated at 2.250” or even 2.260” most loads of Varget® and Reloder® 15 are compressed loads, sometimes heavily compressed. This puts a great deal of pressure on the bullet through the seating stem. The result of all this pressure is a mark of varying depth and appearance on the ogive of the bullet. [Editor: We have seen this issue with a variety of other bullet types/shapes as well, including non-tipped VLDs. The solution is profiling the internal cone of the seating stem to match your bullet shape.]

Some older seating stems might even bear against the tip of the bullet which can make a slight bulge in the jacket just below the junction of the resin tip and the copper jacket in a compressed load. If this is the case there is not a ready fix other than calling the die manufacturer and requesting a new deeper seating stem.

Polish Your Seating Stem to Remove Sharp Internal Edges
If the seating stem is of proper depth the culprit most generally is a thin sharp edge on the inside taper of the seating stem. This is an easy fix that can be accomplished by chucking a spare 77 grain bullet in your drill, coating it with valve grinding compound or even rubbing compound or in a pinch even tooth paste.* Remove the seating stem assembly from the seating die. Turn the drill on and put the seating stem recess over the spinning bullet with the polishing compound to break or smooth the sharp edge that is making the offending mark. This might take more than one application to get the proper polish depending upon what you use, but the more you polish the better the blend of angles which will [ensure the stem matches the bullet contours, not leaving a sharp ring].

If the above is a little more than you care to tackle you might try very fine emery cloth twisted to a point that can be inserted into the mouth to the seating stem and rotated to polish the inside to eliminate any sharp edges that might be present.

Load Advice for 77gr TMKs in the .223 Rem
And last but certainly not least. Actually, even though we don’t say you need additional data for the TMKs, remember you are dealing with heavily-compressed loads in some cases because of the additional bullet length. Due to the additional length of these new bullets and in the interest of gaining some room in the case you might consider trying a slightly faster extruded powder like BenchMark or the 4895s or an even more dense powder like the spherical H335®, CFE223 or TAC. The extra room will allow for trouble free bullet seating also.

Good luck and remember we are no further away than your telephone: 1-800-223-8799.

Sierra Bullets Match-King Reloading Bullet Seating

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 7 Comments »
July 26th, 2021

Bargain Finder 305: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

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

1. Midsouth — Birthday Sale on Rifle Kits, Ammo, Bullets, Mags

Midsouth Shooters AR Kit hornady bullets brass magazines
Big Savings on AR Kits, Hornady Bullets, Pistol Load Packs

Right now Midsouth Shooters is celebrating its 52nd year in business with a big Birthday Sale. Save $70 on a full AR kit — everything you need but the Lower. Or get a great 9mm Reloaders Pack with 1000 115gr Bullets and 500 pieces of new, unprimed brass. Midsouth also has a wide selection of Hornady Bullets on sale in 500-ct “sleeves”. There are both pistol (9mm, .38, .45) and rifle bullets (.224, .308) at huge savings. You’ll also find 9mm Luger and 5.56×45 (.223 Rem) loaded ammo on sale. Last but not least you can get ten (10) 30rd AR magazines for just $99.00.

2. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Winchester .22 LR Wildcat, $219.99

sportsmans warehouse winchester wildcat rimfire .22 LR 22LR rifle sale
Removable lower receiver, Picatinny rails, good trigger, great price

Here is a fun little semi-auto .22 LR rifle at a crazy low price — $219.99 at Sportsman’s Warehouse. The Winchester Wildcat takes Ruger 10/22 mags, and has some great features, such as field-removable lower receiver, ambidextrous controls, integral Picatinny rails and rear barrel access. It has a good trigger and shoots well. In many respects the Wildcat beats the Ruger 10/22 while costing considerably less. The lower receiver assembly is easily removed from the upper assembly by pushing a button — no tools required.

3. Midsouth — Lyman Gen6 Powder Scale/Dispenser, $218.99

Free Shipping Lyman Powder Scale Dispenser ChargeMaster Natchez Gen6 deals of week AccurateShooter
Reliable — nice shielded design with side port, good value

Like the RCBS ChargeMaster, this Lyman Gen6 Powder System will automatically dispense and weigh powder charges. This unit features a touch screen, rapid warm-up, anti-static/anti-drift technology, and electronic shielding to resist interference from other electronic devices. One notable feature is a side port to quick-drain the powder. Right now this Lyman Gen6 Scale/Dispenser is on sale at Midsouth for $218.99. That’s a very good deal as this same Lyman unit sells for $293.99 elsewhere.

4. Grafs.com — Leupold SX4 Spotting Scopes, $699.99 or $899.99

leupold sx-44 spotting scopes sale straight angled $100 off Graf's
Save $100 on Angled or Straight spotters, 65mm or 85mm objection

Graf & Sons is running a sale on Leupold SX4 Pro Guide Spotting Scopes. Choose straight or angled, either big 85mm front objective or the smaller 65mm. Save $100 on any and all SX4 models. We prefer the smaller version for hunting/varminting, and the bigger 85mm for competition spotting duties. This is a high-quality optic with an outstanding warranty. If you shoot prone, you’ll want the angled version.

5. Midsouth — Lyman Tac-Mat Shooting Mat, $56.63

lyman tac-mat padded long range shooting mat
Thick padded mat offers more comfort with good length and carry handle

Comfort counts when you’re on the ground for hours. We like this Lyman Tac-Mat 71″ x 36″ shooting mat. It has more padding than most mats on the market, providing better comfort. Now $56.63 at Midsouth, this is a VERY good deal. This same Lyman shooting mat is $89.89 on Amazon.

6. Amazon — Frankford Case Tumbler Master Kit, $73.99

frankford arsenal tumbler
We’ve used this Combo Kit for many seasons — very good value right now

Keeping your brass clean is one of the best ways to keep your dies (and reloading presses) clean as well. If you’re looking for a new, affordable setup to clean cartridge brass, consider the Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ Case Tumbler Master Kit. You get everything needed to dry-tumble your brass and remove the media. This is all available now for a very low $73.99. You could pay that much for a good vibratory tumbler alone.

7. LAXAmmo — TulAmmo 9mm Ammo 1000 rounds, $319.89

tulammo pistol 9mm luger ammo sale Midsouth
Great deal on 9mm Luger ammo — $16 per 50rd box

This TulAmmo 9mm ammo will work for pistol practice. The big appeal of this Russian-made steel-cased ammo in PRICE. Get 1000 rounds for $319.89 — that works out to $16 per 50rd box ($0.32/round), a third of the price some vendors are asking for 9mm Luger ammo. You can also purchase 500 rounds for $169.95. NOTE: This ammo is non-corrosive. However it has STEEL cases so it is NOT reloadable.

8. Amazon — Bluetooth Digital Anemometer, $25.99

wind meter sale
Measures wind velocity with Bluetooth connection to Smartphone App

To shoot successfully at long range, you need precise wind speed readings. This “smart” Digital Anemometer (windmeter) records Max/Min/Average wind speeds and ambient temperature which display on-screen. Importantly, the unit also outputs wind readings to your smartphone via Bluetooth. This allows you to mount the wind meter downrange and view wind speeds via a smartphone App. The unit’s base is threaded for tripod mounting. This is a pretty impressive system for under thirty bucks.

9. Amazon — EILIKS Multi-Tool Kit, $32.99

Amazon camping emergency tool kit 24-piece EILIKS knife flashlight cord, blanket
Very versatile kit for vehicle and camping

The 24-piece EILIKS Multi-Tool Kit it a great item for your vehicle. This contains a nice survival knife and flashlight, plus 22 other emergency survival tools: paracord bracelets, wire saw, water bottle clip, emergency blanket, flint stone, scraper, blow fire tube, 4pcs fire tinder, whistle, saber card, survival pen, multi-use spoon fork, 2 carabiners, 4pces ishing tools and box. The full 8″x4″x2″ kit will fit in most vehicle glove compartments, and can be attached to belt or pack with included ranger band. List price was $48.99, so the $32.99 price is 33% Off.

10. Midsouth — Radians Outback Shooting Glasses, $5.88

radians outback shooting safety eyewear glasses
Quality name-brand shooting eyewear — buy multiples at this price

Every shooter needs eye protection EVERY TIME you go to the shooting range. Right now Midsouth has the good Radians clear Lens Outback Shooting Glasses for just $5.88. These ANSI Z87.1 Radians Shooting Glasses provide 99.9% UVA/UVB protection with the coated lenses. These offer excellent wrap-around protection and are fairly light and comfortable. A handy neck cord is included. With this low $5.88 price, you can buy 3 or 4 sets and keep spares in your vehicles, so you always have protective eyewear for yourself and your friends.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
July 25th, 2021

Save Money This Summer with Brownells Discount Codes

Brownells discount code savings bargain

If you’ve been thinking about a big purchase at Brownells, here are some money-saving codes. Brownells is currently offering $40 Off a $450+ purchase, $20 Off a $250+ purchase, $15 Off a $150+ purchase, and $10 Off a $100+ purchase. It’s simple to get these discounts — there are no buyers’ clubs to join, no forms to fill out. Just use the appropriate Discount Code during online check-out.

Listed below are the Codes to use. Simply use the appropriate Code for your purchase at Brownells.com. As these Codes may be deactivated without notice, if one Code doesn’t work, try a different Code and you can still save some buck$. Also if the highest value code no longer works, try a lesser value CODE.

Brownells discount code savings bargain

Coupon Code: VST — $40 Off $450 or more
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: VSJ — $20 Off $250 or more
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: SAE — $15 off $150 or more
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: TAG — $15 off $150 or more
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: PTT — $10 Off $100 or more
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: RSA — $10 Off $100 or more
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: RTA — $10 Off $100 or more
Expiration date: Unknown

NOTE: All these codes have no listed expiration date, so Brownells could terminate them at any time. Accordingly, we recommend you do your shopping soon.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News No Comments »
July 23rd, 2021

How to Select and Set Up a Decapping Die

universal Decapping die sinclair lee redding

One of our Forum members complained that he wasn’t able to set his primers flush to the rim. He tried a variety of primer tools, yet no matter what he used, the primers still didn’t seat deep enough. He measured his primers, and they were the right thickness, but it seemed like his primer pockets just weren’t deep enough. He was mystified as to the cause of the problem.

Well, our friend Boyd Allen diagnosed the problem. It was the decapping rod. If the rod is adjusted too low (screwed in too far), the base of the full-diameter rod shaft (just above the pin) will contact the inside of the case. That shaft is steel whereas your case is brass, a softer, weaker metal. So, when you run the case up into the die, the shaft can actually stretch the base of the primer pocket outward. Most presses have enough leverage to do this. If you bell the base of the primer pocket outwards, you’ve essentially ruined your case, and there is no way a primer can seat correctly.

The fix is simple. Just make sure to adjust the decapping rod so that the base of the rod shaft does NOT bottom out on the inside of the case. The pin only needs to extend through the flash hole far enough to knock the primer out. The photo shows a Lyman Universal decapping die. But the same thing can happen with any die that has a decapping rod, such as bushing neck-sizing dies, and full-length sizing dies.

Universal decapping die

Whenever you use a die with a decapping pin for the first time, OR when you move the die to a different press, make sure to check the decapping rod length. And it’s a good idea, with full-length sizing dies, to always re-check the height setting when changing presses.

There are a variety of decapping dies currently on the market, with models available from Lee, Lyman, Hornady, RCBS, Redding, and Sinclair Int’l.

Lee Universal Decapping Die on SALE for $10.96
Speaking of decapping tools, Midsouth Shooters Supply sells the Lee Universal Decapping Die for just $10.96 (item 006-90292), a very good deal. There are many situations when you may want to remove primers from fired brass as a separate operation (prior to case sizing). For example, if your rifle brass is dirty, you may want to de-cap before sizing. Or, if you load on a progressive press, things will run much more smoothly if you decap you brass first, in a separate operation.

Lee universal decapping die

Decapping Dies for Cases with Smaller Flashholes

TAKE NOTE: Some Euro Small Flash Holes are spec’d at 1.5mm or 0.059″, and max out at about .062″, so these need a smaller die pin.

The low-cost Lee Universal Decapping Die will work with cartridges from 17 Fireball all the way up to big Magnums. However, NOTE that the decapping pin supplied with this Lee die is TOO LARGE for LAPUA 220 Russian, 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win (Palma) and Norma 6 PPC flash holes. Because the pin diameter is too large for these brass types, you must either turn down the pin, or decap with a different tool for cases with .059-.062″ flash-holes.

Sinclair Int’l offers a Stainless Decapping Die that comes with both .080 and .060 Pins. The $39.99 die ships with three decap pins for standard .080″ flash holes, and two pins for .060″ flash holes

Redding makes a Universal Decapping Die with an optional smaller-diameter decapping rod for the smaller .059-.062″ flash holes found on the BR and PPC cases. The use of this die is explained in the video below:

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 23rd, 2021

Dry Lube Inside Case Necks for Smoother Bullet seating

Forster original caseneck case neck brass dry mica lube lubricator system

If you want smoother bullet seating, inside neck lube can help. Forum member Ackleyman II likes to add a little Mica powder inside his case necks before seating bullets. This is easily done with the Forster three-brush neck lube kit. Ackleyman tells us: “Many loads that I have will not shoot well with a dry neck compared to a neck that is cleaned and lubed with this [Forster Dry Lubricator] — the best $15 you have ever spent.”

The Forster Case Neck Lubricator features three brushes attached to a tough, impact-resistant case with holes for bench mounting. The brushes accommodate all calibers from 22 to 35 caliber. The kit includes enough “motor mica” to process 2000 to 3000 cases and has a cover to keep dust and grit from contaminating the mica. By moving the case neck up and down on the correct mica-covered brush, the neck can be cleaned and lubricated at the same time.

Function: Lubricate case necks for easier resizing
Contents: Kit with base, lid, and three nylon brushes
Lubricant: Includes 1/10 oz. of Motor Mica, enough to process 2000-3000 cases

Neck Lubrication After Ultrasonic Cleaning or Wet Tumbling with Pins
If you wet-tumble your cases with stainless media and solvents or ultrasonically clean your brass, you may find that the inside of the case necks get too “squeaky clean”. The inside surface of the neck looses lubricity. In this situation, applying a dry lube can definitely be beneficial. CLICK HERE to see story about ultrasonic cleaning.

Ultrasonic Brass Cleaning

ultrasonic brass cleaning neck lubricant moly dry lube

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 21st, 2021

A Worthwhile Wildcat — the 6mm-223 for XTC Competition

6mm 223 sinclair

Intro: Ron Dague wanted a new gun that was similar to his trusty .223 Rem rifle, but which fired 6mm bullets. There is a superb choice of bullets in this caliber, and Ron found that the 95gr Berger VLD could be driven to a healthy 2604 FPS by the small .223 Rem case. This 6mm wildcat based on the common .223 Remington offers excellent accuracy and very low recoil — something very important in the cross-the-course discipline. In addition, Ron’s 95gr load with Alliant Reloder 15 delivered an ES of just 4 fps over ten shots. That exceptionally low ES helps achieve minimal vertical dispersion at 600 yards.

6mm 223 Across the course McMilland stock Ron Dague Sinclair InternationalBy Ron Dague, Sinclair Reloading Tech
From Sinclair’s GunTech Articles Archive

I have watched a change in thinking for NRA High Power across the course in match rifles and calibers. There are several [popular chamberings]: 6mm AR, 6.5 Grendel, 6XC, and 6.5 Creedmoor. I have seen these rifles perform and all have done very well.

When I started this project I was looking for a cartridge that shoots and feeds well from a magazine[.] I had shot the .223 Rem in my 722 Remington and knew it had fed well so I chose the .223 Remington necked up to 6mm.

The 6mm-223 gives me what I have in the standard .223 only with a better selection of bullets. I wanted a better 600-yard bullet with a higher BC than provided by the 80 and 82 grain bullets. I also wanted a 600-yard line bullet with a .500 or better B.C. for those shots that should be 10 ring or better but seem to find the 9 ring no matter how well I held and broke the shot.

6mm 223 sinclairPutting the 6mm-233 Project Together
My project started with ordering a 6mm barrel from Bartlein with a 1-8″ twist. I called Pacific Tool and ordered the 6mm-223 reamer. I found a used Remington 700 action at a local gun shop and already had a Remington 40X stock. I then started putting the gun together.

I already had a .223 Remington match rifle, and I wanted the 6mm-223 to be as close to the same as I could make it. I installed the barreled action in a wood 40X stock to work up load data and work out any magazine feeding issues. While I was working on that, I looked for a McMillan Baker Special stock and finally found one to finish this project. I bedded the action and stock, then took the rifle to the range to check zeros on the sights and scope. I was surprised that I didn’t have to change anything on the sights. I thought changing the stock would cause sight changes. The thought went through my head, “Maybe the 40X stock isn’t all that bad”.

Here’s line-up of 6mm bullets. The Berger 95gr VLD is in the middle.
berger 6mm bullet hornady sierra line up 6mm 233

I took the new rifle to the first match of the year, a National Match Course match, and my off-hand score was 83, rapid sitting 95, rapid prone 95, and slow fire prone 197 — for total aggregate 470. This may not be my best work, but on match day the wind was blowing about 15 mph and the temp was around 40° F, with rain threatening. This was a reduced course of fire — we shot at 200 and 300 yards on reduced targets.

I used 70gr Berger bullets for this match, loaded in Remington brass with 25 grains of VihtaVuori N540 and Federal 205M primers. When I worked up loads for this rifle, N540 gave the best accuracy with the best extreme spread — 2,950 fps with an extreme spread of 20 fps on a 10-shot string. The load for 600 yards was with a 95gr Berger VLD bullet, with 23.0 grains of Reloder 15, Lapua cases, and the same Federal 205M primers. This load is 2,604 fps, with an extreme spread of 4 fps over a 10-shot string. I’ve shot this load at several 3×600 yard matches, and the accuracy has proven to be very good. At the last 3×600 match, my scores were as follows: 199-10x and 198-11X with scope, and 193-10X with iron sights. Best 600-yard score so far with iron sights was 198-12X.

6mm-223 Rem Rifle Specifications: 700 BDL action and floor plate, Bartlein 6mm 1:8″ twist, McMillan Baker Special stock in Desert Camo, Centra front and rear sights, Ken Farrell bases with stripper clip guide, Sinclair hand stop, and Jewell trigger. Gunsmith Neil Keller helped me with the metal work and instructed me on the action work and rebarreling.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading 3 Comments »
July 21st, 2021

Changing Primer Type CAN Alter Pressure and Velocity

Primer Wolf CCI Federal Muzzle velocity FPS reloading

We are often asked “Can I get more velocity by switching primer types?” The answer is “maybe”. The important thing to know is that changing primer types can alter your load’s performance in many ways — velocity average, velocity variance (ES/SD), accuracy, and pressure. Because there are so many variables involved you can’t really predict whether one primer type is going to be better or worse than another. This will depend on your cartridge, your powder, your barrel, and even the mechanics of your firing pin system.

BE SAFE: Be cautious when changing primer types. Glen Zediker recommended decreasing your load ONE FULL GRAIN when changing to a different primer type, one that you haven’t used before.

Interestingly, however, a shooter on another forum did a test with his .308 Win semi-auto. Using Hodgdon Varget powder and Sierra 155gr Palma MatchKing (item 2156) bullets, he found that Wolf Large Rifle primers gave slightly higher velocities than did CCI-BR2s. Interestingly, the amount of extra speed (provided by the Wolfs) increased as charge weight went up, though the middle value had the largest speed variance. The shooter observed: “The Wolf primers seemed to be obviously hotter and they had about the same or possibly better ES average.” See table:

Varget .308 load 45.5 grains 46.0 grains 46.5 grains
CCI BR2 Primers 2751 fps 2761 fps 2783 fps
Wolf LR Primers 2757 fps 2780 fps 2798 fps
Speed Delta 6 fps 19 fps 15 fps

You can’t extrapolate too much from the table above. This describes just one gun, one powder, and one bullet. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) as they say. However, this illustration does show that by substituting one component you may see significant changes. Provided it can be repeated in multiple chrono runs, an increase of 19 fps (with the 46.0 grain powder load) is meaningful. An extra 20 fps or so may yield a more optimal accuracy node or “sweet spot” that produces better groups. (Though faster is certainly NOT always better for accuracy — you have to test to find out.)

WARNING: When switching primers, you should exercise caution. More speed may be attractive, but you have to consider that the “speedier” primer choice may also produce more pressure. Therefore, you must carefully monitor pressure signs whenever changing ANY component in a load. Glen Zediker recommends decreasing your load ONE FULL GRAIN when changing to a different primer type, one that you haven’t used before.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 19th, 2021

Bargain Finder 304: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

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

1. Amazon — LongShot LR-3 Target Camera System, $724.08

burris eliminator III laser ranging scope 4-16x50mm $400 savings discount MAP
Best Long Range Target Camera you can buy — save $75 now

This superb Longshot LR-3 Camera system combines a high-definition camera with a special receiver. This set-up delivers sharp, live images at distances up to two miles with excellent 2688 x 1512 HD resolution. Integrated software lets you mark your shots. This is a good deal — other vendors are selling the LR-3 for $799.00. NOTE: If you want the BulletProof Warranty, we recommend you buy direct from LongShot. You can get the LR-3 System WITH Warranty for $838.00. We do recommend purchasing the BulletProof Warranty — that way LongShot will repair or replace your unit if it is damaged by gunfire or other hazard.

2. Midsouth — LEE 60th Anniversary Challenger Kit, $197.58

lee 60th Anniversary Kit Challenger Kit sale
Excellent kit with Press, Priming Tool, Powder Measure, and much more

It’s been a while since we’ve seen reloading gear both in-stock and at reasonable prices especially for starting kits. Check out this LEE 60th Anniversary Challenger Kit which features a Breech Lock Challenger Press with Large and Small Primer Lever Arms, Deluxe Perfect Powder Measure, Safety Powder Scale, Modern Reloading 2nd Edition, Deluxe Quick Trim, Bench Prime, Priming Tool Shell Holder Kit, Case Conditioning Kit, Powder Funnel and some Lee Case Lube. This is really a great starting kit for anyone looking to get into reloading and probably won’t last long. This is great bargain — the Press alone is worth $100, and the priming tool and powder measure both worth very well.

3. Brownells — Blackhawk Gun Case and Holster Sale

blackhawk gear sale
Significant discounts on quality Gun Cases, Mats, Holsters

If you’re in the market for shooting gear head over to Brownell’s for their sitewide Blackhawk Sale. Blackhawk has been an industry leader for decades and for good reason. They make everything from gun cases to holsters to slings. With this sale, you’ll find significant discounts on very good gun cases, and we like the multi-functional Blackhawk Stalker Drag Mat. This double-duty item works as a rifle carry case AND a padded shooting mat — great product.

4. Roger’s — Federal XM193 5.56x45mm Ammo, 400rd $279.99

.223 5.56 bulk ammo sale
Quality mil-spec AR15 ammo at good price with ammo can

Bulk .223 Rem (5.56×45) ammo has been hard to find these days at reasonable prices. But Roger’s Sporting Goods now has Federal XM193 5.56×45 ammo on sale. Get 400 rounds of 55gr XM193 NATO Rifle Ammunition for just $279.99 ($.70/rd). This is high-quality, ultra-reliable new production ammo shipped in a military-grade metal ammo can. XM193 is rated at 3165 FPS.

5. Sportsman’s WHSE — Savage 6.5 CM Rifle + Scope, $359.99

savage rifle sale
With scope included, it’s like getting rifle for $220!

Here’s a stellar deal on a decent 6.5 Creedmoor hunting rig. Get the rifle PLUS the scope for just $359.99. Sportsman’s Warehouse is selling the Savage Axis XP Scope Combo for only $359.99. The rifle comes complete with a Bushnell 4-12x40mm scope. The rifle boasts a rugged black synthetic stock and is fitted with a carbon steel, 22″ sporter-contour, button-rifled barrel chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. This package rifle is ready to shoot, right out of the box, thanks to the mounted and bore-sighted Bushnell optic.

6. Amazon — EZ-Aim Targets, Grid or Bullseye, 13pk $1.46/$1.49

paper target sale
Incredible deal on 13-packs of Grid or Bullseye targets

This may be the deal of the year on quality targets. Why print targets at home and waste your ink when you can pick up a 13-pack of these EZ-Aim Sight-in Grid Targets for only $1.46! These are nicely sized 12″x12″ grid targets with a large center bull and 4 other orange aim points in the corners. These targets are great for sight-in and/or load development as the 1″ grid provides a quick reference for scope clicks and group sizes. If you prefer multiple small bulls, try the EZ-Aim 11-Spot Target Pack. There are 11 orange bulls on each 12″x12″ sheet. A 13-pack costs $1.49.

7. EuroOptic — 15% OFF Holosun Sights

holosun sights sale
Significant 15% discount on All Holosun Sights at EuroOptic.com

It’s hard to deny the impact that holosights have had on the pistol market. They’re lightweight, easy to use. and help shooters get on target faster and more accurately than ever. If you looking to upgrade a pistol, consider Holosun sights. Right now, at EuroOptic, you can get 15% off with code HOLO15. Features include Holosun’s Green Super LED with up to 50k hours battery life, Multi-Reticle System, Solar Failsafe, and Shake Awake.

8. Graf & Sons — Nikon Laser Rangefinder Sale

rangefinder sale
Good, reliable basic rangefinders on SALE 12-22% Off

Knowing how far you’re shooting is critical both when hunting and target shooting. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend big money on a Laser rangefinder. Right now Graf & Sons has slashed prices on Nikon Laser Rangefinders. There are a variety of models starting at just $149.95 for the Prostaff 1000 6x20mm. The yellow body Forestry Pro II model can range and then display the angles of multiple targets.

9. Amazon — Front and Rear Shooting Bags Set, $12.92

ace hunter front rear bag rest
Handy low-cost bags for varmint work or NRL22 competitions

ace hunter sandbags front rearSometimes all you need is a simple front bag rest and squeeze bag in the rear and we found a great deal. These bags will suffice for basic varmint duties, sight-in for a hunting rifle, or barricade work in an NRL22 match. The Ace Hunter Front and Rear Bag Combo is available in 3 colors (Black, Green, and Camo). For just $12.92 you get both front and rear bags, which can be linked for transport.

These bags ship unfilled so must add your preferred fill material (depending on application) — try lighter fill such as rice for field carry, with heavier sand for bench work.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
July 19th, 2021

Tech Tips for Priming Cases More Efficiently and Safely

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool
The anvil is the tripod-shaped thin metal piece protruding above the bottom of the primer cup. Getting the primer sitting fully flush on the bottom of the case primer pocket, without crunching it too much, requires some keen feel for the progress of primer seating.

top grade ammo book Glen Zediker

Sadly, Glen Zediker passed away on October 1, 2020. But his technical insights and helpful advice live on thanks to his written works — his books and articles. In two informative Midsouth Blog articles, Glen Zediker presented helpful advice on priming. First he examined what happens to the primer itself as it is seated in the cup. Glen then explained why some “crush” is important, and why you never want to leave a high primer.

Glen also reviewed a variety of priming tools, including his favorite — the Forster Co-Ax Bench Primer Seater. Then he offers some key safety tips. Glen provides some “rock-solid” advice about the priming operation. You’ll find more great reloading tips in Glen’s Top-Grade Ammo book.

Priming Precision vs. Speed
Glen wrote: “The better priming tools have less leverage. That is so we can feel the progress of that relatively very small span of depth between start and finish. There is also a balance between precision and speed in tool choices, as there so often is.”

Benchtop Priming Tools — The Forster Co-Ax
Glen believed that the best choice among priming options, considering both “feel” and productivity, may be the benchtop stand-alone priming stations: “They are faster than hand tools, and can be had with more or less leverage engineered into them. I like the one shown below the best because its feeding is reliable and its feel is more than good enough to do a ‘perfect’ primer seat. It’s the best balance I’ve found between speed and precision.”

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool

Load Tuning and Primers
Glen cautioned that you should always reduce your load when you switch to a new, not-yet-tested primer type: “The primer is, in my experience, the greatest variable that can change the performance of a load combination, which is mostly to say ‘pressure’. Never (never ever) switch primer brands without backing off the propellant charge and proving to yourself how far to take it back up, or to even back it off more. I back off one full grain of propellant [when I] try a different primer brand.”

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool

Priming Safety Tips by Glen Zediker

1. Get a good primer “flip” tray for use in filling the feeding magazine tubes associated with some systems. Make double-damn sure each primer is fed right side up (or down, depending on your perspective). A common cause of unintentional detonation is attempting to overfill a stuffed feeding tube magazine, so count and watch your progress.

2. Don’t attempt to seat a high primer more deeply on a finished round. The pressure needed to overcome the inertia to re-initiate movement may be enough to detonate it.

3. Keep the priming tool cup clean. That’s the little piece that the primer sits down into. Any little shard of brass can become a firing pin! It’s happened!

These Tips on Priming come from Glen’s excellent book Top-Grade Ammo, available at Amazon.com.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
July 18th, 2021

Sanoski Wins Precision Rifle Challenge Shooting 6 Dasher

6mmBR 6 Dasher Ken Sanoski MDT magazine PRS NRL

Berger-sponsored shooter Ken Sanoski claimed the top spot at the 2021 Hornady Precision Rifle Challenge (PRC) Match, winning the Open Division with the highest overall score. The 2021 Hornady PRC event was held July 9-10 outside of Evanston, WY on Hornady’s private ranch. Sanoski competed with an Exodus rifle chambered in 6mm Dasher with Berger 109gr Long Range Hybrid Target (LRHT) projectiles loaded in Lapua brass (fire-formed to 6mm Dasher).

“The Hornady PRC precision rifle series was exactly what you expect from a national-level 2-day match. Strong winds, small targets, and a stacked field of shooters”, commented Sanoski. “My Exodus Rifles in 6mm Dasher using Lapua fire-formed brass and Berger 109gr LRHTs were the winning combination to put me at the top of the leaderboard.”

Berger’s Long Range Hybrid Target projectiles feature an optimized hybrid-ogive design which easily tunes to your rifle, offers superior exterior ballistics, and high Ballistic Coefficients (BCs). Berger BCs are Doppler-verified with less than 1% BC variation. That verified BC helps make ballistic calculations ultra-precise for a high hit percentage.

6mm Dasher — A Winning Wildcat

6mmBR 6 Dasher Ken Sanoski MDT magazine PRS NRLThe 6mm Dasher has long been a winning wildcat in the 600-yard and 1000-yard benchrest game. This efficient 6mmBR Improved cartridge, with a 40-degree shoulder, has also been adopted by many top PRS/NRL shooters.

The Dasher, quite simply, offers a winning combination of accuracy, low ES/SD, and moderate recoil. You can run a 105-109gr 6mm bullet at a very accurate 2950 fps node (or even higher in some barrels). And with its 40-degree shoulder, the brass is very stable. The cartridge that wins in benchrest now also wins in PRS.

The only downside to shooting a 6mmBR or 6 Dasher in PRS/NRL were issues with magazine-feeding due to the relatively short Cartridge OAL, compared to a 6mm Creedmoor or 6XC. Thankfully, that feeding issue has been solved via dedicated shorter-length actions and redesigned magazines.

As the practical/tactical game has evolved, with low recoil and high accuracy becoming ever more important, many top competitors have moved to smaller cartridges such as the 6mm Dasher and its parent, the 6mmBR Norma. These cartridges deliver outstanding accuracy plus good barrel life. However, the “short, fat” 6BR/Dasher design doesn’t feed optimally in magazines designed for the .308 Win family of cases. But now there is a turn-key solution from MDT (Modular Driven Technologies) — a magazine perfect for 6BRs and Dashers.

MDT Magazine for 6 Dasher, 6mmBR and Short Cartridges
PRS NRL magazine mag 6BR 6mmBr Norma 6 BRA Dasher BRX tactical short cartridge MDT

MDT’s 6mm Dasher/BR magazine fits the parent 6mmBR cartridge and all the popular variants including the 6 BRA, 6 Dasher, and 6 BRX. MDT says this new 12-round magazine is a “one-step solution [delivering] smooth, reliable feeding for the most popular rifle cartridges in precision rifle competitions.”

MDT built this AICS-pattern mag for PRS/NRL competitors and anyone wanting to run 6mmBR-family cartridges in mag-fed actions: “The limiting factor for competitors running 6mm BR variants has been feeding. Until now, the only option has been to purchase an AICS-pattern magazine plus an additional kit to make the magazines work with the shorter cartridges. This solution costs upwards of $100 or more and can require additional tuning to work in most rifles.”

Primal rights PRS NRL magazine mag 6BR 6mmBr Norma 6 BRA Dasher BRX tactical short cartridge MDT

If you can’t afford MDT’s complete $89.99 6mm/Dasher AICS magazine, you can get a mag conversion kit from Primal Rights for half the price — $45.00. This is offered in 4+1 round or 10-round versions. Primal Rights states: “The 6BR AICS Magazine Conversion [delivers] reliable feeding of short standard bolt face cartridges such as the 6BR, 6.5 Grendel, 6 Dasher, and 6BRX. If you have ever tried to run a 6BR [or Dasher] out of a standard un-modified AICS magazine, you were probably met with the same disappointment the rest of us were… unreliable feeding.”

The Primal Rights 6BR AICS Mag Conversion Kit has been tested extensively with 6BR, 6.5 Grendel, 6 Dasher, and 6BRX. For these short cartridges, Primal Rights has logged “thousands of rounds of trouble-free operation” with the Mag mod kit.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Gear Review, News No Comments »