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September 21st, 2022

Neck-Turning TIP — Use Optimal Cutter Angle for Best Results

neck turning lathe cutter tip sinclair pma 21st Century

When neck-turning cases, it’s a good idea to extend the cut slightly below the neck-shoulder junction. This helps keep neck tension more uniform after repeated firings, by preventing a build-up of brass where the neck meets the shoulder. One of our Forum members, Craig from Ireland, a self-declared “neck-turning novice”, was having some problems turning brass for his 20 Tactical cases. He was correctly attempting to continue the cut slightly past the neck-shoulder junction, but he was concerned that brass was being removed too far down the shoulder.

Craig writes: “Everywhere I have read about neck turning, [it says] you need to cut slightly into the neck/shoulder junction to stop doughnutting. I completely understand this but I cant seem to get my neck-turning tool set-up to just touch the neck/shoulder junction. It either just doesn’t touch [the shoulder] or cuts nearly the whole shoulder and that just looks very messy. No matter how I adjust the mandrel to set how far down the neck it cuts, it either doesn’t touch it or it cuts far too much. I think it may relate to the bevel on the cutter in my neck-turning tool…”

neck turning lathe cutter tip sinclair pma 21st Century

Looking at Craig’s pictures, we’d agree that he didn’t need to cut so far down into the shoulder. There is a simple solution for this situation. Craig is using a neck-turning tool with a rather shallow cutter bevel angle. This 20-degree angle is set up as “universal geometry” that will work with any shoulder angle. Unfortunately, as you work the cutter down the neck, a shallow angled-cutter tip such as this will remove brass fairly far down. You only want to extend the cut about 1/32 of an inch past the neck-shoulder junction. This is enough to eliminate brass build-up at the base of the neck that can cause doughnuts to form.

K&M neck-turning tool

The answer here is simply to use a cutter tip with a wider angle — 30 to 40 degrees. The cutter for the K&M neck-turning tool (above) has a shorter bevel that better matches a 30° shoulder. There is also a 40° tip available. PMA Tool and 21st Century Shooting also offer carbide cutters with a variety of bevel angles to exactly match your case shoulder angle*. WalkerTexasRanger reports: “I went to a 40-degree cutter head just to address this same issue, and I have been much happier with the results. The 40-degree heads are available from Sinclair Int’l for $15 or so.” Forum Member CBonner concurs: “I had the same problem with my 7WSM… The 40-degree cutter was the answer.” Below is Sinclair’s 40° Cutter for its NT-series neck-turning tools. Item NT3140, this 40° Cutter sells for $14.99. For the same price, Sinclair also sells the conventional 30° Cutter, item NT3100.

Al Nyhus has another clever solution: “The best way I’ve found to get around this problem is to get an extra shell holder and face it off .020-.025 and then run the cases into the sizing die. This will push the shoulder back .020-.025. Then you neck turn down to the ‘new’ neck/shoulder junction and simply stop there. Fireforming the cases by seating the bullets hard into the lands will blow the shoulder forward and the extra neck length you turned by having the shoulder set back will now be blended perfectly into the shoulder. The results are a case that perfectly fits the chamber and zero donuts.”

* 21st Century sells carbide cutters in: 15, 17, 20, 21.5, 23, 25, 28, 30, 35, 40, 46 and 50 degrees. PMA Tool sells carbide cutters in: 20, 23, 30, and 40 degrees, plus other angles by special order.

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September 20th, 2022

6.5 Creedmoor — Cartridge History and Norma Hunting Feature

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

Though most popular for competition applications (PRS and XTC), the 6.5 Creedmoor is also a capable hunting cartridge. A few seasons back Norma spotlighted the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge and outlined the game-harvesting capabilities of Norma 6.5 Creedmoor factory ammunition. Here are highlights of that article, which may interest hunters this fall.

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

Norma hunting africa elk deer eland 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge

Hunting with the 6.5 Creedmoor

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

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

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

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

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

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
September 18th, 2022

Stick, Flake, and Ball — Do You Know Your Powder Properties?

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener’s Reloading & Shooting Supply recently published a helpful introduction to reloading powders. Widener’s online Guide to Smokeless Powders shows the various types of powders, and explains how the differences in powder kernel/flake size and shape, and burn rate affect performance. We recommend you visit Widener’s website and read the Powder Guide in full.

Take a close look at these illustrations which show the key differences between the four main powder types: extruded (stick) powder, ball (spherical) powder, flattened ball powder, and flake powder.

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Burn Rate Basics

Widener’s Guide to Smokeless Powders also has a useful discussion of Burn Rate (a confusing topic for many hand-loaders). Wideners explains: “While a gun powder explosion in the cartridge seems instantaneous, if you slow it down you will actually find that each powder has a different ‘burn rate’, or speed at which it ignites.” This video shows powders with two very different burn rates. Watch closely.

Different burn rates suit different cartridge types notes Widener’s: “In general a fast-burning powder is used for light bullets and low-speed pistols and shotguns. Medium-rate powders are used for magnum pistols, while high-velocity, large bore rifle cartridges will need slow powders[.]

It should be noted that burn rate does not have a standardized unit of measurement. In fact, burn rate is really only discussed in comparison to other powders; there is no universal yardstick. Specifics will change by cartridge and bullet types[.]”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
September 18th, 2022

.45 ACP Reloading — Vihtavuori N320 and Other Good Powders

VV N320 for .45 ACP

There’s an interesting thread in our Shooters Forum right now — all about good choices for a .45 ACP handgun. If you’re considering getting your first .45 ACP pistol, you should read that thread. If you already own one or more .45 ACP handguns, this article offers some good tips on handloading options.

Forum Thread: Which .45 ACP Handgun to Purchase — Members Offer Suggestions

VV N320 for .45 ACPGood Powder Choices for the .45 ACP
We know that many of our readers own .45 ACP handguns and load for this extremely accurate “classic” cartridge. When selecting a powder for the .45 ACP, there are many good options. All the major powder manufacturers make propellants with appropriate density and burn rate characteristics for the .45 ACP. Popular choices include: AA #5 (Accurate Powder); Bullseye (Alliant); Clays, HP-38, and Titegroup (Hodgdon); VV N310 and N320 (Vihtavuori); and WW 231 and WST (Winchester). We’ve tried all those powders in a variety of .45 ACP handguns. When we consider all the factors that make for a good pistol powder, we think Vihtavuori N320 is one of the best available propellants for the .45 ACP.

Vihtavuori N320 is very accurate, it meters well, and it burns clean, with minimal smoke and flash. If you haven’t tried VV N320 yet, you should.

Pros and Cons of Different Powders for the .45 ACP
This Editor has personally tried out eight or more different powders for the .45 ACP. Bullseye works but it is very dirty (both smoke out the barrel and sooty powder fouling on case). Though it otherwise burns clean, Titegroup leaves a singular (and nasty) high-temp flame streak on your brass that is hard to remove. AA #5 is a good choice for progressive press newbies as you use more powder so a double charge will (usually) be obvious. I like AA #5 but N320 was more accurate. Clays burns clean but some powder measures struggle with flake powders like this. WW 231 offered excellent accuracy and metered well, but it kicked out sparks with little pieces of debris that would hit me in the face. Who wants that?

I personally tried all the powders listed above with lead, plated, and jacketed bullets. After testing for accuracy, consistency, and ease of metering, I selected VV N320 as the best overall performer.

Vihtavuori N320

  • No powder tested was more accurate (WW 231 was equally accurate).
  • Meters very well in all kinds of powder measures.
  • Produces very little smoke from muzzle.
  • Does not put nasty burn streak on brass like Tite-Group does.
  • Low Flash — you don’t get particles and sparks flying out like WW 231.
  • Cases come out from gun very clean — so you can tumble less often.

Forum member and gunsmith Michael Ezell agrees that N320 is a good choice for the .45 ACP. Mike has also found that WW 231, while accurate, produces sparks and a large flash. Mike writes: “I first started using N320 after my first night shoot, while shooting IDPA/IPSC matches. It was astonishing how much of a fireball the WW 231 created. I was literally blinded by the flash while trying to shoot a match. As you can imagine, that didn’t work out very well. I went from WW 231 to N320 and never looked back…and the flash from it was a fraction of what a kid’s sparkler would give off. I have nothing but good things to say about [N320] after using both. Night shoots are a real eye-opener! When it comes to a personal protection… there is, statistically, a very high chance that if you ever have to use a gun to protect yourself or your family, it’ll be in the darkness[.] Being blinded by muzzle flash (and deafened by the noise) are things that should be considered, IMO.”

This Editor owns a full-size, all-stainless S&W 1911. After trying numerous powders, I found VV N320 delivered the best combination of accuracy, easy metering, consistency, clean burning qualities, and low muzzle flash. My gun has proven exceptionally accurate using N320 with bullets from 180 grains to 230 grains — it will shoot as accurately as some expensive customs I’ve tried. At right is 5-round group I shot offhand at 10 yards with my 5″ S&W 1911.

NOTE: The bullet hole edges are sharp because I was using semi-wad-cutters, and the target paper is thick. Rounds were loaded with Vihtavuori N320 and 200-grain SWCs from Precision Bullets in Texas. We shoot Precision’s coated bullets in many of our pistols. These projectiles are accurate and they seem to reduce fouling in our pistol barrels. You can learn about them in this video:

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September 17th, 2022

Bullet Pointing 101 — How to Point Match Bullet Tips

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Tech Tip by Doc Beech, Applied Ballistics Support Team
I am going to hit on some key points when it comes to bullet pointing. How much pointing and trimming needed is going to depend on the bullet itself. Specifically how bad the bullets are to begin with. Starting out with better-quality projectiles such as Bergers is going to mean two things. First that you don’t need to do as much correction to the meplat, but also that the improvement is going to be less. NOTE: We recommend you DO NOT POINT hunting bullets. Pointing can affect terminal performance in a bad way.

NOTE the change in the bullet tip shape and hollowpoint size after pointing:
Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Don’t Over-Point Your Bullets
What is important here is that you never want to over-point. It is far better to be safe, and under-point, rather than over-point and crush the tips even the slightest bit. To quote Bryan Litz exactly: “Best practice is to leave a tiny air gap in the tip so you’re sure not to compress the metal together which will result in crushing. Most of the gain in pointing is taking the bullet tip down to this point. Going a little further doesn’t show on target”. So in essence you are only bringing the tip down a small amount… and you want to make sure you leave an air gap at the tip.

Salazar Whidden Bullet Pointer system

Also keep in mind, bullet pointing is one of those procedures with variable returns. If you only shoot at 100-200 yards, bullet pointing will likely not benefit you. To see the benefits, which can run from 2 to 10% (possibly more with poorly designed bullets), you need be shooting at long range. Bryan says: “Typically, with pointing, you’ll see 3-4% increase in BC on average. If the nose is long and pointy (VLD shape) with a large meplat, that’s where pointing has the biggest effect; up to 8% or 10%. If the meplat is tight on a short tangent nose, the increase can be as small as 1 or 2%.” For example, If you point a Berger .308-caliber 185gr Juggernaut expect to only get a 2% increase in BC.

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Should You Trim after Pointing?
Sometimes you can see tiny imperfections after pointing, but to say you “need” to trim after pointing is to say that the small imperfections make a difference. Bryan Litz advises: “If your goal is to make bullets that fly uniformly at the highest levels, it may not be necessary to trim them.” In fact Bryan states: “I’ve never trimmed a bullet tip, before or after pointing”. So in the end it is up to you to decide.

Pointing is Easy with the Right Tools
The process of pointing in itself is very simple. It takes about as much effort to point bullets as it does to seat bullets. We are simply making the air gap on the tip of the bullet ever-so smaller. Don’t rush the job — go slow. Use smooth and steady pressure on the press when pointing bullets. You don’t want to trap air in the die and damage the bullet tip. You can use most any press, with a caliber-specific sleeve and correct die insert. The Whidden pointing die has a micrometer top so making adjustments is very easy.

Bryan Litz actually helped design the Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System, so you can order the Pointing Die and Inserts directly from Applied Ballistics. Just make sure that you pick up the correct caliber sleeve(s) and appropriate insert(s). As sold by Applied Ballistics, the Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System comes with the die, one tipping insert, and one caliber-specific sleeve. To see which insert(s) you need for your bullet type(s), click this link:

LINK: Whidden Gunworks Pointing Die Insert Selection Chart

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 6 Comments »
September 17th, 2022

Federal Gets Huge Contract for 5.56 Frangible Training Ammo

Federal ammunition AA50 5.56 frangible ammo U.S. Army

Federal Ammunition has been awarded a $115 million dollar, 5-year contract to produce U.S. Army’s new 5.56mm frangible training ammunition. This training ammo is officially called “AA40 5.56 mm NATO frangible ammunition (Semi-Jacketed Frangible Cartridge, MK311 MOD 3).” This new AA40 frangible ammunition will be used by the U.S. military for training with 5.56-caliber rifles and carbines. The fixed price contract, valued at $114,813,500, carries an estimated completion date of August 17, 2027, according to the Defense.gov contract report.

This new AA40 frangible training ammunition is quite different than conventional 5.56×45 NATO combat ammo used in M16s and other infantry weapons. The key difference is in the construction of the bullets. The AA40’s 50gr projectiles are lead-free and designed to fragment on impact. Shooting Sports USA notes: “[The AA40 ammo] is loaded with a 50-grain frangible bullet comprised of a non-toxic, copper and tungsten powder matrix in a gilding metal jacket. The frangible ammunition is designed to disintegrate into small fragments on impact, while the polymer compound round minimizes splash back and decreases ricochets, making it ideal for training applications.”

Federal ammunition AA50 5.56 frangible ammo U.S. Army

Biggest Contract in Federal’s 100-Year History
“This contract is historic,” said Jason Vanderbrink, President of Federal Ammunition. “It is the largest government contract awarded to Federal in its 100 years of operation and speaks volumes to the trust the United States military has in our American workforce assembling the best products for our servicemen and servicewomen.”

“Federal’s frangible training ammunition has been recognized as the best in the business by the United States military and this latest U.S. Army awarded contract continues that recognition,” said Federal’s V.P. of Government Sales David Leis. “The ammunition is designed to disintegrate into small fragments on impact, minimizing over-penetrating and ricochet hazards, making it ideal for training purposes.”

“Successfully executing on the AA40 contract requires large scale production capabilities combined with stringent quality control measures,” said Erik Carlson, Senior Director of Operations at Federal’s headquarters located in Anoka, Minnesota.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Tactical No Comments »
September 16th, 2022

Get Smart — Access AccurateShooter.com’s Tech Articles Archive

AccurateShooter.com technical articles

AccurateShooter.comReaders who have just recently discovered the Daily Bulletin may not realize that AccurateShooter.com has hundreds of reference articles in our archives. These authoritative articles are divided into multiple categories, so you can easily view stories by topic (such as competition, tactical, rimfire, optics, shooting skills etc.). One of the most popular categories is our Technical Articles Collection. On a handy index page (with thumbnails for every story), you’ll find over 120 articles covering technical and gunsmithing topics. These articles can help you with major projects (such as stock painting), and they can also help you build more accurate ammo. Here are six popular selections from our Technical Articles archive.

pillar Bedding

Stress-Free Pillar Bedding. Richard Franklin explains how to do a top-quality bedding job, start to finish.

Gun Safe Technical Buyers Guide

Gun Safe Buyers Guide. Our comprehensive Safe Buyers Guide examines the key features to consider in a safe — Wall Thickness, Volume, Shelving, Fire Rating, Lighting, Weight and more. We also explain the Pros/Cons of Dial vs. Digital (Keypad) locking systems.

Savage Action Tuning Torque Settings

Savage Action Tuning. Top F-TR shooter Stan Pate explains how to enhance the performance of your Savage rifle by optimizing the torque settings of the action screws.

Precision Case Prep for Reloading

Complete Precision Case Prep. Jake Gottfredson covers the complete case prep process, including brass weight sorting, case trimming, primer pocket uniforming, neck-sizing, and, case-neck turning.

rifle stock painting and spraying

Stock Painting Instructions. Step-by-step guide for stock painting by expert Mike Ricklefs. Mike shows both simple coverage and fancy effects.

Ultrasound ultrasonic CAse Cleaning

Ultrasonic Case Cleaning. This article reviews the recommended process for cleaning cartridge brass with ultrasonic cleaning machine. We cover the right liquid solutions, processing times, and case drying options.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
September 16th, 2022

Target Sports USA Prime Day Event on September 19, 2022

target sports usa ammunition ammo prime memberships contest Ford F150 truck giveaway

Target Sports USA, a major online ammo and shooting accessories vendor, celebrates Prime Day on September 19, 2022. The Prime event, which has featured daily specials, concludes on September 19 with a day of Ammo Deals. There is also a major prize — a new Ford F150 4X4 Truck worth $53,000! Target Sports USA created Prime Day to encourage ammo shoppers to become prime members. This entitles them to significant discounts, FREE shipping, and other benefits. SEE: TargetSportsUSA.com/t-ammoprime.aspx.

target sports usa ammunition ammo prime memberships contest Ford F150 truck giveaway

How to Win the PRIME DAY Ford F150 Truck Grand Prize

Four contestants will be randomly selected from entries all around the USA. Target Sports USA will give those four contestants an all-expense paid trip to tour its Connecticut warehouse and attend a party, where the PRIME TRUCK WINNER will be selected by drawing. The other three finalists will get thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. (See Prize Package Descriptions below).

How to Enter Contest: Those who sign up as new Target Sports USA Prime members ($95 per year) are automatically entered. You can also enter for FREE with a mail-in form. SEE CONTEST RULES.

What’s the Advantage of Being a PRIME MEMBER?
A Prime membership supplies extra discounts for shooting sports enthusiasts. For example, Target Sports USA Prime members get 8% off already great ammo prices, zero shipping cost, and a 3-hour priority alert notice about new or restocked items. The average Prime member yearly savings is $390.00.

target sports usa ammunition ammo prime memberships contest Ford F150 truck giveaway
target sports usa ammunition ammo prime memberships contest Ford F150 truck giveaway

To learn more, visit TargetSportsUSA.com

Contest Prizes — Details and Values
PRIZES: The four (4) confirmed eligible Winners will attend the October 22, 2022, Prime Day Party Event, to participate in a random drawing, where each Winner is to win ONE of the following prizes:

• One (1) Grand Prize Winner is to be awarded a 2022 FORD F-150, 4X4 Supercrew, 2.7L V6 Ecoboost, Iconic Silver Metallic exterior and Black/Medium Dark Slate interior Pickup Truck. Approximate Kelly Blue Book (KBB) vehicle value is $53,000. Includes a Target Sports USA package of accessories and ammo at an Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) $2,000. Total Grand Prize Pool Value is $55,000.
• One (1) First Prize Winner is to be awarded a QuiteKat Electric Bike. (ARV $5,000). Plus, a Target Sports USA Prize Package of Accessories (ARV $2,000). Total First Prize Pool is ARV $7,000.
• One (1) Second Prize Winner is to be awarded a Target Sports USA Prize Package of Accessories and Ammo (ARV $2,000). Plus, a Target Sports USA $1,000 Gift Card. Total First Prize Pool ARV is $3,000.
• One (1) Third Prize Winner is to be awarded a Target Sports USA Prize Package of Accessories and Ammo (ARV $2,000). Total Third Prize Pool ARV is $2,000 (USD).
• Total Grand to Third level Prize Pool ARV is $67,000 (not counting travel awards).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News No Comments »
September 15th, 2022

Nammo Will Build New Vihtavuori Primer Factory in Finland

Nammo vihtavuori VV rifle pistol primer finland factory 100th Anniversary

Nammo Announces Plans for Vihtavuori Primer Factory in Finland
During Vihtavuori’s recent 100th anniversary celebration, Nammo Group CEO Morton Brandzaeg announced plans for the construction of a new Vihtavuori primer factory in Vihtavuori, Finland. The new Vihtavuori factory was mentioned in Brandzaeg’s keynote speech to strategic partners in military and civilian markets. The new factory should commence production in 2025.

The €33 million Euro investment will help ensure the security of supply needs for Nordic defense forces and will bolster the resilience of Nammo’s supply chain. The new primer factory is scheduled for completion in 2025 to meet military needs, with consumer sales as early as 2027.

Nammo vihtavuori VV rifle pistol primer finland factory 100th AnniversaryThe new primer factory could eventually produce a projected 400 million primers annually. The factory will employ up to 50 new personnel. Nammo states the new primer factory “will help ensure the security of supply needs for Nordic defense forces and will bolster the resilience of Nammo’s supply chain”. The decision to establish the factory was made to ensure primer supplies for the Nordic Defense Forces and respond to the current high demand for commercial ammunition components.

Nammo CEO Brandzaeg stated, “Following Russia’s war with Ukraine, a credible and resilient defense is increasingly important in the Nordic region. This significant investment for Nammo underlines our commitment to supporting defense forces in the Nordic region to secure the future.”

About Vihtavuori: Since 1922, Vihtavuori has produced high-quality smokeless powder for civilian, military, and industrial markets. Vihtavuori propellants are world renowned for their temperature stability, clean burning characteristics, and excellent lot-to-lot consistency. Vihtavuori is imported by Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributors for Vihtavuori, Lapua, Berger, and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Vihtavuori.com.

About Nammo: The international Nammo Group is a Nordic defense company whose main markets are North America, the Nordic countries, and Europe. The Group operates in 12 countries with 28 different production facilities and employs approximately 2,700 people.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News No Comments »
September 11th, 2022

Sunday GunDay: Big Boomers — Shooting the Legendary .50 BMG

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

50 Caliber Shooters AssociationFans of Heavy Artillery should visit Fifty Caliber Shooters Association (FCSA) website. There you’ll find range maps, photo collections and animated slide-shows On the FCSA photo gallery page, you’ll find a map. Click on any gray range link to see images from that venue. There are also a series of articles covering FCSA competition along with the “care and feeding” of the big 50-caliber rifles.

For today’s Sunday GunDay feature we offer a short history of the legendary .50 BMG cartridge, along with some fun photos from FCSA matches in the Western USA.

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA
Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA

About the .50 BMG Cartridge

The .50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG, aka 12.7×99mm NATO or 50 Browning) is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s, entering official service in 1921. Under STANAG 4383, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries.

.50 Browning Machine Gun 50 BMG Noreen Rifle

John Browning had the idea for this round during World War I in response to a need for an anti-aircraft weapon, based on a scaled-up .30-06 Springfield design, used in a machine gun based on a scaled-up M1919/M1917 design that Browning had initially developed around 1900. According to the American Rifleman: “The Browning .50 originated in the Great War. American interest in an armor-piercing cartridge was influenced by the marginal French 11 mm design, prompting U.S. Army Ordnance officers to consult Browning. They wanted a heavy projectile at 2700 FPS, but the ammunition did not exist. Browning pondered the situation and, according to his son John, replied, ‘Well, the cartridge sounds pretty good to start. You make up some cartridges and we’ll do some shooting’.”

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

Are you a died-in-the-wool .50 BMG fan? Got a hankerin’ for heavy artillery? Then visit the FCSA Photo Gallery page. There you’ll find hundreds of photos from Fifty Caliber Shooting Association (FCSA) matches and 50 Cal fun shoots in eleven states plus Australia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. To access the photos from the Gallery Page, start by selecting a state/country and then click on the colored buttons for the event date (e.g. 2015-04).

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

Photo sets go all the way back to 2002, so you can see the evolution of the hardware over the years. Sample multiple archives to see the differences in terrain from one range to another — from Raton’s alpine setting to the hot, dry Nevada desert. This Gallery is really a treasure-trove of .50-Cal history. Here are a few sample images.

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

FCSA 50 Caliber Photo Gallery

Fifty 50 Caliber Shooters Association FCSA reloading
reloading fifty .40 BMG

Reloading Powder and Special Tools for .50 BMG

Alliant 50 BMG PowderAlliant’s Powder for 50-Caliber Applications
In 2009 Alliant unveiled Reloder 50, a slow-burn-rate powder designed primarily for long-range, .50-caliber rifle shooters. According to Alliant, the burn rate is “a little slower than Winchester 860″ and the powder is showing excellent lot-to-lot consistency. Load density is optimized for the 50 BMG and similar cases. Like Reloder 17, Reloder 50 employs a process which penetrates the kernels with the burn-rate-controlling chemical. This should allow a longer, flatter pressure curve, yielding more velocity than conventional powders can deliver. Alliant says that Reloder 50 offers “superior velocity and the ability to burn cleaner (with less residue)”. Reloder 50 comes in both 1-lb (#150527) and 8-lb (#150528) containers.

Forster and Lyman .50 BMG Trimmers
Big Fifty enthusiasts asked for a dedicated .50 BMG case trimmer, so Forster and Lyman created .50 Cal trimmers specifically for that cartridge. Forster’s cutter tip on its .50 BMG Case Trimmer is much sharper than the cutter on the Lyman 50 Cal AccuTrimmer. However, with the Forster tool you will pay more for that superior cutting ability — the Forster .50 BMG trimmer is $95.53 at Midsouth compared to $75.09 at Midsouth for the Lyman .50 BMG trimmer. Go head and pay the extra money for the Forster — the cutter head is much sharper, and we prefer the Forster’s collet-style case-holder. Bottom line — the Forster gets the job done more quickly, with less effort.

Forster 50 BMG case Trimmer

Giraud .50 BMG Case/Bullet Comparator
Giraud Tool makes a comparator for 50-Cal cartridges. The double-ended comparator is quite versatile. In one orientation you can measure base-to-ogive bullet length and also measure cartridge OAL from rim to bullet ogive. When reversed, you can use the comparator to measure cartridge headspace. The $33.00 Giraud .50 BMG Comparator gauge is constructed of 303 stainless and fits most any vernier, dial, or digital caliper. CLICK HERE for more info.

Giraud Tools 50 BMG comparator gauge

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September 9th, 2022

Lead-Free Bullet Option for Hunters — the Nosler E-Tip

Nosler eTip lead free unleaded no-lead hunting bullet copper solid Barnes TSX

In some areas of the country (California in particular), hunters are now forbidden to use bullets that contain lead. The Biden administration is currently pursuing a wide-scale ban on lead ammo on Federal lands. If you need a lead-free projectile for your deer rifle, consider Nosler’s E-Tip projectile. This has plenty of penetrating power and retained energy while complying with laws requiring “unleaded” ammunition. An “expansion chamber” behind the green polymer tip helps ensure reliable expansion with 95% weight retention. The video below shows a .30 caliber, 180gr lead-free ‎E-Tip‬ impressively power through TWO 12-inch blocks of Ballistics Gel at 100 yards. This was fired from a .308 Winchester.

Watch 180gr eTip Penetration and Expansion in Ballistic Gelatin:

Nosler eTip lead free unleaded no-lead hunting bullet copper solid Barnes TSX

Nosler claims the E-Tip (“Expansion Tip”) bullet has advantages over other solid copper hunting bullets: “Unlike the competitor’s one-piece designs, Nosler E-Tip bullets will not blow the petals off at extreme velocities nor will the low end expansion ever be questioned, as the minimum impact velocity is set at 1800 fps for standard calibers.” One hunter, posting on Facebook, gave the E-Tip high marks: “I have had the opportunity to take a pig with a 130 gr E-Tip from my .270 and they work flawlessly. My son took two pigs with his .300 Win Mag and 165gr E-Tips and they worked flawlessly as well.”

This video illustrates the design and construction of the Nosler eTip Bullet:

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September 8th, 2022

6.5 Creedmoor LOAD DATA Collection from Sierra Bullets

6.5 creedmoor load data sierra bullets

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

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

Sierra 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data Manual reloading .264

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

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

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

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

Two More Great 6.5 Creedmoor Reloading Resouces

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

Download full 6.5 Creedmoor Guide at StarlineBrass.com.

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

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

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September 5th, 2022

Ballistics and Bullet TECH — FREE Applied Ballistics Articles

Want to improve your understanding of Ballistics, Bullet Design, Bullet Pointing, and other shooting-related tech topics? Well here’s a treasure trove of gun expertise. Applied Ballistics offers dozens of FREE tech articles on its website. Curious about Coriolis? — You’ll find answers. Want to understand the difference between G1 and G7 BC? — There’s an article about that.

“Doc” Beech, technical support specialist at Applied Ballistics says these articles can help shooters working with ballistics programs: “One of the biggest issues I have seen is the misunderstanding… about a bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) and what it really means. Several papers on ballistic coefficient are available for shooters to review on the website.”

Litz applied ballistics PDF articles

Credit Shooting Sports USA Editor John Parker for finding this great resource. John writes: “Our friends at Applied Ballistics have a real gold mine of articles on the science of accurate shooting on their website. This is a fantastic source for precision shooting information[.] Topics presented are wide-ranging — from ballistic coefficients to bullet analysis.”

READ All Applied Ballistics Articles HERE »

Here are six (6) of our favorite Applied Ballistics articles, available for FREE to read online. There are dozens more, all available on the Applied Ballistics Education Webpage. After Clicking link, select Plus (+) Symbol for “White Papers”, then find the article(s) you want in the list. For each selection, then click “Download” in the right column. This will send a PDF version to your device.

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September 4th, 2022

BargainFinder 363: 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. Brownells — Labor Day Sale and $45 Off $300

brownells labor day 2022 sale ammo magazines uppers discount
15% OFF Coupon Code plus dozens of popular items on sale

Brownells is running a major Labor Day Weekend Savings Event, with lots of items on sale, plus a killer Discount Code. Use code LABORDAY to get a whopping $45 off a purchase of $300.00 or more — a 15% savings. If you won’t be spending that much, use code 10OFF100 to save $10 on a $100 purchase. Or for bigger buys use code September50 for $50 off $450. Note — the $45 Off Code expires Monday, September 5, 2022 at 11:59 pm.

2. MidwayUSA — Camo Tuesday September 6 — Major Discounts

MidwayUSA hunting sale camo tuesday
Major once-a-year 1-Day SALE on hunting gear

MidwayUSA’s Camo Tuesday is a huge hunting SALE marking the start of the fall hunting season. You’ll find killer deals on optics, camo gear, rangefinders, GPS units, hunting boots, ammunition, and more. But don’t hesitate. The Camo Tuesday SALE only happens once a year. Many of the best deals will expire at 11:59 PM Eastern time on 9/6/2022. Go to MidwayUSA.com on September 6th to get great hunting products at unbeatable prices. MidwayUSA is also offering a Camo Tuesday Sweepstakes Package worth $4749.96!

3. CDNN Sports — Mossberg 6.5 Creedmoor Scoped Rifle, $449.99

mossberg patriot super bantam camo hunting rifle 6.5 Creedmoor
Very affordable hunting rifle complete with 3-9x40mm scope

Hunting season is coming soon. If you’re looking for a starter hunting rifle for a family member, here’s a solid option. This Mossberg Patriot Super Bantam has a nice True Timber Strata Camo finish stock. It is chambered for the moderate recoil, yet very accurate, 6.5 Creedmoor round. Handy removable buttplate sections allow you to adjust the LOP for smaller-framed shooters. The very affordable $449.99 price includes a 3-9x40mm factory-mounted scope.

4. Palmetto State Armory — Labor Day Sale

labor day sale palmetto state armory AR-15 AR upper lower Pistol sale
Big Discounts on AR hardware, pistols, ammo and more

For the next few days, you can save big on AR uppers, AR lowers, pistols, triggers, and ammo at Palmetto State Armory. Shown above are just three of the dozens of deals offered this holiday weekend. There are also significant savings on magazines, red dot optics, riflescopes and more. CLICK HERE for Labor Day Deals.

5. Midsouth and Creedmoor Sports — FREE Shipping Orders $49+

Labor Day free shipping Midsouth Shooters discount
Labor Day free shipping creedmoor sports discount
Save $10, $20 or more with FREE Shipping through 9/6/2022

Midsouth and Creedmoor Sport are both running FREE Shipping promos for Labor Day Weekend. With Midsouth promo code LDSHIP22 you get FREE Shipping with all Midsouth orders over $49.00. This FREE Shipping offer is good through Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at 11:59 pm CST. For Creedmoor Sports, with promo code WORK22 get FREE Shipping for orders over $49.00 through NOON CT on September 6, 2022 (some exclusions apply).

6. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Up to $350 Off Christensen Arms

christensen arms hunting rifle sale
Very high quality hunting rifles with major discounts + $350 Mfg. Rebate

Hunting season is right around the corner. If you are looking for a top-of-the-line hunting rifle with a powerful chambering, we recommend Christensen Rifles. These are on sale now at Sportsman’s Warehouse. Save up to $350 or 28%. Some of the better deals are: Mesa Cerakote .300 WinMag, $899.99 (28% Off); Mesa .308 Win, $949.99 (27% Off); Mesa 28 Nosler, $949.99 (28% Off). There are dozens of chamberings available on sale as well. Along with this sale, Christensen Arms is offering a $350 cash rebate to purchasers who buy a Christensen Arms Mesa or Ridgeline rifle between September 1st and September 30th, 2022. CLICK HERE to learn more about the Mesa and Ridgeline consumer REBATE.

7. Natchez — Frankford Quick-N-Easy Case Tumbler Kit, $79.99

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

Keeping your brass clean is important (and essential if you anneal). 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 $79.99. You could pay that much for a good vibratory tumbler alone, yet this combo kit includes tumbler, media separator, bucket, brass polish, and media.

8. GrabaGun — Ruger 10/22 in TALO Precision Chassis, $488.99

lyman tac-mat padded long range shooting mat
Upgraded Ruger 10/22 with Precision-style chassis and scope rail

Getting started in NRL22 competition? Here’s a good choice that should deliver fast follow-up shots with good handling. This Ruger 10/22 TALO rig features a reliable Rugger 10/22 action fitted to a modern, PRS-style TALO Precision Chassis. There’s a long rail on top, straight forearm, pistol grip, and adjustable buttstock.

9. Midsouth — Lyman Tac-Mat Shooting Mat, $56.31

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 $56.31 in tan or $56.31 in black at Midsouth, this is a VERY good deal. This same Lyman shooting mat now costs $82.02 on Amazon — that’s 46% MORE!

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

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

Do you reload large quantities of pistol ammo, or .223 rifle ammo? Then you can save significant time with a quality progressive press. Right now you can save over $200 on the Hornady L-N-L Ammo Plant Progressive Reloading Press Kit. This is a complete loading system with a 5-station, auto-indexing press plus a brass feeder and bullet feeder. The system uses a precise and easily-adjusted powder measure that we prefer to the Dillon powder system. NOTE: After buying the press kit, you’ll need to purchase the appropriate shell plate and dies for your choice of cartrdige(s). Guys, this is a good deal — the same Hornady Ammo Plant system is currently $1519.99 at MidwayUSA.

11. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Trickler, $13.37

powder trickler sale
Inexpensive, works well, stable, tall enough

Every handloader can use a good powder trickler. However many tricklers are light and unstable, making them frustrating to use. We’ve been impressed with the Frankford Arsenal Trickler. Now just $13.37 on Amazon, this is a solid unit with some heft, with a hard rubber base. The mass, low center of gravity, and good design make this easy to use, allowing simple, accurate trickling.

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September 3rd, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: How Firearms Work — 3D Animations

Saturday movies Matt Rittman 3D animation AK47 AR-15 Glock 19 M16 bolt-action pump-action computer graphics Kar 98-K modern sporting rifle

372,000,000 views! Today’s five feature videos have, collectively, been viewed 372 million times on YouTube. Today’s Saturday special features five remarkable animated firearms videos from Matt Rittman, a very talented computer graphic artist. Matt employs multiple software programs to create these incredibly detailed animations. His software tools of the trade include Cinema 4D, Substance Painter, and Corona renderer. Don’t think this is easy. Some of these videos took over 500 man-hours to create. Enjoy!

AR-15 Full Animation — Components and Function

While there are other AR-15 animations on YouTube, we think this is the most accurate and creative, showing the function of a wide variety of components, including the bolt carrier, extractor, trigger, stock buffer, safety system, forward assist, and mag release. It also shows modes of a military M16, showing 3-round burst fire, and full-auto, employing disconnectors and auto sear. If you are planning to assemble/disassemble an AR, this is definitely worth watching start to finish. This video has recorded over 2 million views in just three weeks!

Elements of Video:

0:15 Ammunition Loading
0:58 Bolt Locking
1:37 Forward Assist
1:56 Firing Sequence
2:58 Extraction & Ejection
3:16 Hammer Reset / Cartridge Feed
3:48 Trigger Reset

4:00 Auto Fire
4:58 Burst Fire
6:22 Bolt Catch
6:40 Sights
7:33 Adjustable Stock
7:50 Ejection Port Cover

Mauser Kar-98K Bolt Action Rifle video

This elaborate 3D animation shows how a Mauser-type Karabiner 98 Kurz (aka Kar-98K) bolt-action rifle works. Substance Painter was used to create the wood stock texture. Creator Matt Rittman states that this 3.7 minute video took over 500 man-hours to create. You have to admire the dedication involved in that kind of hard work.

Elements of Video:

0:21 Cocking the Action
0:41 Loading
0:55 Ammunition Feeding
1:15 Firing Sequence

1:52 Extraction & Ejection
2:28 Safety Operation
2:59 Bolt Sleeve Lock

Glock 19 (Gen 4) — Inside and Out and Function

This 3D animation video shows the popular Glock 19 (Gen 4) pistol. This modern, polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol has constant trigger pull for all shots. Some folks call this a DAO (double-action-only) trigger but that’s not really correct. Unlike the Model 1911, on a Glock there is no external safety on the frame or slide. The trigger “shoe” (the part that contacts finger) includes a central blade. This prevents the gun from firing unless the trigger is depresses normally. Glock calls this the “safe action”. The creator, Matt Rittman states: “Cinema 4D was used to create each individual part, as well as animating everything. Substance Painter was used to create the main textures. Corona renderer was used to render everything. This animation [with 84.6 million views] took me over 500 hours to create.”

Elements of Video:

0:11 Basic Function
0:39 Case Extraction
0:47 Cartridge Loading
1:02 Trigger Reset
1:28 Trigger Safety

1:40 Firing Pin Safety
1:53 Drop Safety
2:06 Barrel Rifling
2:21 Cartridge Feed

How a Pump Shotgun Works

Pump shotguns are essential firearms for hunting and home defense. The clever design of pump-action shotguns make them reliable even when feeding large diameter, blunt-ended 12 gauge shot-shells.

Elements of Video:

0:26 Ammunition Loading
0:57 Shell Carrier
1:13 Shell Latches
1:47 Bolt Locking
1:57 Firing Sequence

2:17 Shotgun Shell Anatomy
2:33 Shot Propulsion
2:51 Extraction & Ejection
3:10 Hammer / Trigger Reset

How a Full-Auto AK-47 Rifle Works

With 226 million views, this AK-47 video might just be the most-watched firearms tech video on YouTube. The video highlights the design features the account for the AK’s legendary reliability. For viewers with an eye to detail Matt adds this clarification: “The firing pin does NOT puncture the bullet primer. It just strikes it against the anvil, initiating the firing sequence.”

Elements of Video:

0:17 Firing Sequence
0:27 Cartridge Anatomy
0:49 Extraction & Ejection

0:55 Ammunition Feed
1:01 Hammer Reset
1:23 Automatic Fire

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