September 17th, 2021

Color Your Bullet Tips to Define Shot Groups at Long Range

sharpie felt marker bullet color tip painting group paper target

When shooting groups at long range on paper it can be difficult to distinguish which bullet holes belong to a particular sequence of shots. If, for example, you shot three 5-shot groups at 600+ yards on a paper target, you would have 15 bullet holes on the target (assuming no misses). But at that distance it would be difficult to see the holes on target (even with a spotting scope). Accordingly, when you inspected the target up close, it would be hard to tell which shots belonged to which group. You might have a vague idea, but couldn’t be sure, without a target camera recording the shot sequence.

Here is a method to separate multiple shots into specific groups so you can better evaluate your load and shooting skills. The trick is pretty simple — mark your bullets with a color from a Sharpie or other felt marking pen. If you are shooting three 5-shot groups, mark five with red, five with green, and five with blue (or purple). Then, when you inspect the target, you can identify the group placements by the colors that appear on the paper.

sharpie felt marker bullet color tip painting group paper target

Round Robin: Using colors you can shoot “Round-Robin” to evaluate seating depths, neck tension, or other variables without having the shot order (and barrel heating) affect group sizes unequally. For example you might have three different neck tensions, each marked with a different color on the bullets. Then shoot Red, Blue, Green in that sequence for five total shots per color.

Smart Tip to Show Colors More Vividly

If the bullet inks are not showing up on your target paper clearly, here is a simple trick that can make the colors “bleed” to be more visible. In your range kit, bring some alcohol solution along with some Q-tips. Then dab the shots on the paper target lightly with wet Q-Tips. Here is the front of a target before and after application of alcohol:

sharpie felt marker bullet color tip painting group paper target

Forum Member NewbieShooter explains: “Dabbing a bit of alcohol on the bullet holes with Q-Tips makes the color pop a bit… especially on the back side.” See below:

sharpie felt marker bullet color tip painting group paper target

In short order you will see the colors spread into the paper, clearly marking the shot holes by distinguishing colors. If you were shooting a dark bullseye, view the the BACK side of the target to see the colors on a light background.

Credits: Bullet Tips photo by Forum Member Dave Way; Target photos by Forum Member NewbieShooter; Story tip from Boyd Allen.

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September 15th, 2021

Watch and Learn — Five Great Shooting USA Videos

Shooting USA video parallax wind reading Sherri Gallagher scope mounting AR cleaning field-stripping

For decades, ShootingUSA has been a leading video resource for the shooting sports and hunting. This popular cable TV show covers shooting matches, and provides expert information on precision shooting, gun maintenance, optics, and defensive firearms use. Here are five interesting videos all worth watching. Learn about wind-reading, gun maintenance, and optics.

1. Reading the Wind — SGT Sherri Jo Gallagher of USAMU

Sergeant Sherri Jo Gallagher of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) shows us how to read the wind in given conditions, and how to apply your wind assessment when aiming down-range. During her time with the USAMU, Sherri won the National High Power Championship, and was the first woman in history to earn the U.S. Army “Soldier of the Year” honors. Sherri comes from a legendary family of shooters — she was raised by Ace Marksman Mid Tompkins and mother Nancy Tompkins, the first female to win the NRA National High Power Championship.

2. Field-Stripping and Cleaning AR-Platform Rifles

Let’s face it — Black Rifles run dirty. On AR-platform rifles, the gas system blows carbon and powder residues back into the action and bolt carrier group. Accordingly, you need to clean ARs early and often, and you should fully disassemble the bolt carrier to access parts and recesses which accumulate greasy lube and hard carbon. This helpful video shows how to field-strip and clean AR-platform rifles. If you own an AR, this is definitely worth viewing. With over 1.9 million views, this is the #1 most-watched video on Shooting USA’s YouTube Channel.

2. MOA Defined — Jim Scoutten Explains Minute of Angle

Minute of Angle (MOA) — this is the most common measurement of group size, and hence rifle accuracy. You hear about shooters hoping to shoot 1 MOA or “half-MOA”, but many folks could not give you a precise definition. In fact MOA is an angular measurement that equates to one-sixtieth of one degree of Arc. In this video, host John Scoutten defines MOA. He then demonstrates how MOA translates to accuracy on target. He demonstrates one-half-MOA accuracy with a Les Baer Custom rifle. This company offers a three-shot, half-MOA guarantee for its rifles.

4. How to Adjust for Parallax

Most precision rifle scopes have parallax adjustment, typically a knob on the left side of the scope. but what exactly is “Parallax” and why do you need to adjust optics to ensure the parallax setting is optimal? In this Shooting USA video, John Paul of JP Rifles defines parallax and explains why you need to set parallax correctly for the distance to your target. The video then shows how to adjust parallax correctly, a process which should start with the scope’s ocular focus.

5. How to Mount a Riflescope

When mounting a scope you want to use quality rings, and ensure that the scope is leveled properly. In addition, you need to adjust the fore/aft position of the scope so that eye relief is correct. Ideal scope position may be different when shooting from the bench vs. shooting prone. In this Shooting USA video John Paul of JP Rifles reviews scope mounting basics.

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September 13th, 2021

Bargain Finder 312: 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. Sportsman’s Warehouse — $50 Off Ruger American Rifles

ruger american rifle sale
$50 Off Ruger hunting rifles — wide variety of styles and chamberings

All Ruger American rifles are $50 OFF this week at Sportsman’s Warehouse. These Ruger rifles can often shoot MOA or better with factory ammo — making them more than adequate for deer hunting. A wide selection of Ruger American rifles are ON SALE including Predator, Hunter, Compact, Ranch Rifle, and Go Wild Camo models. Most include a Picatinny scope rail. There is a huge choice of chamberings: .22-250, .243 Win, 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, 7mm-08, .308 Win, .30-06, .300 WSM, .350 Legend and others. If you need a new hunting rifle check out this Ruger sale.

2. Midsouth — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $399.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit
Kit includes press, powder measure, scale, manual and many tools

Everything you see above can be yours for just $399.99. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $399.99, a fine price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. This is good starter kit for any reloader, with sturdy items (such as the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

3. Midsouth — Lee Breech-Lock Hand Press, $47.66

lee hand press
Great value — versatile press, good for bullet seating at range

A good hand press is worth having. Whether seating bullets at the range or doing repetitive tasks at home while watching TV, a hand press can be very useful. One very affordable choice is the Lee Breech-Lock Hand Press. With its breech lock system, you can quickly and easily swap dies. And you can efficiently deprime fired brass with this tool’s built-in primer catcher. Here’s a video from F-Class John showing how you can use the hand press for bullet seating.

4. Midsouth — Match Monster .30 Cal bullets, 500ct $149.99

monster bullets sale
Under $30 per hundred for very good .308 168gr BTHP bullets

With current shortages, it’s been hard to find decent .30-caliber target bullets at a reasonable price. Here’s a good deal for you — Midsouth has Match Monster .30 Cal 168gr BTHP Bullets on Sale. Get a 500-ct box for only $149.99. That’s just $29.98 per hundred! These are “match quality” bullets so you can practice effectively with your .308 Win or .30-06 without breaking the bank.

5. Sportsman’s WHSE — Razor HD 20-60x85mm Spotter, $799.99

vortex razor scope
Very good spotter for the price with outstanding warranty

Vortex has updated its top-of-the-line Razor HD spotting scope, changing from an small-knob focus system to a single large focus ring. Now get the previous model Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85mm Spotting Scope at a huge discount. The $799.99 sale price is $800 less than the current 27-60x85mm Razor HD ($1599.00 on Amazon) — that’s HALF the price! This two-tone $799.99 spotter features premium High Definition (HD) glass for excellent sharpness/resolution with minimal chromatic aberration (color fringing). Exterior lenses are protected by ArmorTek – a scratch-resistant compound that repels oil, dirt, and fingerprints. Verified purchaser reviews have been very positive: “Great spotting scope at a great price”.

6. Graf & Sons — Cutting Edge Monolithic Bullets

cutting edge bullets
Superb solid copper bullets favored by top ELR competitors

Here is a great bullet option for ELR shooters, and hunters who are required to use lead-free projectiles. Grafs.com has the excellent Cutting Edge Bullets on sale now. These are lathe-turned, solid copper precision bullets. Cutting Edge Bullets feature a patented SealTite™ band (slightly larger than caliber diameter) which can help reduce gas blow-by and reduce copper fouling. IMPORTANT: These Cutting Edge Bullets are LEAD FREE so can be used in areas like California which ban hunting with bullets that contain lead. Please note that inventory is very limited for some bullet calibers/weights, so you should act soon.

7. Amazon — McJ Tools Ultimate Lock Rings 6-Pack, $34.99

mcj ultimate lock rings
Good rings are easy to adjust — custom wrench is handy

If you have dies from various die-makers, you probably have many different types of die lock rings, and some are annoying to adjust. Some of them are too small to grip and others lock in a way that can damage threads. You can standardize your rings with McJ Tools Reloading Ultimate Lock Ring set. Each pack comes with six (6) rings, a tailored steel wrench, a Hex key, and two (2) extra set screws so you’ll have everything you need. This system allows you to set your dies up and then tighten them down or easily remove them with the custom wrench without losing your setting.

8. Amazon — Frankford Universal Bullet Seating Die, $65.99

frankford arsenal universal seating die
Smart new Die System simplifies loading multiple cartridge types

Are you tired of buying another expensive seating die every time you try a new cartridge type? With the unique Frankford Arsenal Universal Bullet Seating Die you can have one die that loads multiple cartridge types. This clever bullet seating system includes 3 different stems and 9 sleeves allowing you to seat .224 to .338-caliber bullets with this one multi-caliber tool. Forum members using this system have praised it. NOTE: the universal seating die comes with the .308-caliber sleeve pre-installed. The other 8 sleeves are provided in the box.

9. MidwayUSA — Real Avid AR-15 Cleaning Kit with Mat, $31.99

avid AR5 ar-15 cleaning kit mat tool kit sale
Great accessory for AR15s, cleaning kit and mat with diagrams

We can recommend the Real Avid AR-15 Cleaning Kit/Smart Mat for all AR owners. This includes a large, padded, oil-resistant mat with printed AR parts diagrams and a built-in parts tray. The tool kit, in zippered pouch, has key tools needed to disassemble and clean your AR. The kit also includes the Real Avid Field Guide. At $31.99, this combo set costs less than the Real Avid Cleaning Kit by itself.

10. Amazon — Gun Swabs and Patch Combo, $14.49

cleaning patches
Handy Combo Pack — 600 patches for barrels and 400 swabs

Cleaning patches are a necessity in our sport, and swabs can be very useful. Swabs can clean out the gunk from deep inside your actions and efficiently place lube in tight places. Amazon currently offers a great combo kit with 600 Gun Patches and 400 6″ Gun Swabs. This kit will help you clean barrels and actions.

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September 12th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: John Whidden’s New .223 Rem Palma Rifle

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore
Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

.223 Rem for Long Range Palma, by John Whidden (5-Time Nat’l LR Champion)
We’ve seen quite an amount of interest in recent years in .223s for Long Range Palma shooting. Yes, the .223 Remington is a pretty light cartridge for long range use, but the specific rules of Palma shooting make it a choice worth considering.

Back in 2019, the Int’l Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations (ICFRA), the international governing body for Palma shooting, made a rule change allowing .223 Rem rifles to use bullets of less than 91 grains. Previously the rule allowed the use of bullets less than 81 grains in the .223 Rem, and we have long had the popular option of .308s shooting bullets less than 156 grains. These heavier bullets such as the 85.5gr Berger LR Hybrid and 90gr Berger VLD make the .223s quite competitive in the wind with the old standby .308 Winchester. The .223 does hold the obvious advantage of much lower recoil than the .308. [Editor: The reduced recoil is quite noticeable in the video below where John is shooting his .223 Rem rifle.]

John Whidden Shoots .223 Rem Palma Rifle with 90gr Berger VLDs

Watch video at 00:25 and you’ll see the recoil of Whidden’s .223 Rem Palma rifle is significantly less than a .308 Win Palma rig. John joked: “With the .223 Rem there is just a pop and a wiggle after the shot.”

.223 Rem Palma Rifle — Barnard Action, Tec-Hro Stock

The Barnard P action imported by Whidden Gunworks is the foundation for many winning Palma rifles. As soon as our USA shooters returned from the New Zealand Palma match in 2019 they were immediately requesting bolts to convert their actions to .223 Remington.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Given all of this interest in the .223 Rem, I decided to build one myself and see if all of these theories about wind performance held water. Starting with my Barnard P action, I worked with Tec-Hro in Germany to use one of their Fanatic stocks for the project. The Fanatic is a modern aluminum stock suitable for prone or Three Position use. The stock uses adapter blocks to work with a wide variety of rimfire actions such as Anschutz, Walther, and Feinwerkbau. As far as I know we were the first to test it out for centerfire use. After shooting the stock with my .308 Win barreled action installed to refine a few details and ensure the stock would stand up to recoil, I then mounted my .223 Rem barreled action and went to the range.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Prior to my range visit a decision was made concerning bullets and twist rate. After discussion with Mark Buettgen at Bartlein Barrels I ordered two barrels — a 1:7″-twist and also a 1:6.25″-twist. Mark was looking for some data using the Sierra 90gr MatchKing bullet and we expected that the faster twist rate might give the best success with that MatchKing bullet. When the barrels arrived they were chambered and installed on the rifle.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore
John uses a Warner rear adjustable sight with a Centra front sight.

Fast Twist-Rate Barrels for Long .223-Caliber Bullet
First up the 1:6.25″-twist barrel was installed and testing commenced. The barrel shot extremely well right out of the gate. All loads used Lapua brass and Vihtavuori N140 powder. I tested the Berger 85.5gr and 90gr bullets as well as Sierra 90gr and 95gr bullets. Testing with the 6.25-twist barrel went well with both of the Berger bullets looking especially good. Later the 1:7″-twist barrel was mounted and tested.

While both barrels were very accurate we decided that the 1:6.25″-twist barrel outshined the 1:7″-twist tube. Now we all know that some barrels are just a little more accurate than others. With such a small sample of data here (just two barrels) I’m not saying that a 1:6.25″-twist is decidedly better. In fact we have a number of customers shooting 7-twist barrels who are shooting them very well. With this particular rifle however, the 6.25-twist seems to be the more accurate of the two.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

.223 Rem Load Development for Palma Competition

The load I settled on is Lapua brass, Vihtavuori N140 powder, and Berger 90 grain VLDs which I moly-coat. I soft-seat the bullets into the lands with only .001″ neck tension or a little less.

Why the Berger 90gr VLD? The secret sauce is that the 90gr VLD is much superior in the wind after we point it up with the Whidden Pointing Die. The 85.5gr Hybrid bullet comes from Berger with this treatment already done while the 90gr VLD does not. When the 90-grainer is pointed up, the wind drift is a few percent better than the 85.5, given the velocities that I feel comfortable achieving with the rifle.

I settled on 2840 fps for the 90gr VLD and 2880 fps for the 85.5gr Hybrid from a 32″ barrel. When pointed up, the 90-grainer shoots flatter to 1000 yards by 1 MOA which indicates a G7 BC of .289 in my combination. Wind Drift in a 10 mph direct crosswind at 1000 yards is 70.8″ with this 90gr combination compared to 76.8″ for the 85.5gr load.

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullboreTesting in Competition — at Camp Perry
This past August 2021 at the CMP Long Range National Championships at Camp Perry I finally had the chance to shoot the rifle on a big stage. Winds that day were from almost directly 12:00 to about 1:30 switching headwinds. Velocity was around 8-10 mph meaning not the easiest or the hardest of conditions. I managed a third place finish in the Palma match. That proves the .223 Rem is definitely competitive in elite Palma events.

.223 Rem Performance in the Wind
My sense of the .223 Rem’s wind performance was that it was in line with the performance I’d expect from my .308 Win Palma gun. Of course the lack of recoil made the .223 Rem much easier to shoot well.

How to Order a Rifle Like This
Whidden Gunworks can build a rifle like this for Palma competitors who want to move to .223 Rem. John tells us: “We’ve built a number of these combinations of the Barnard P action, Tec-Hro Fanatic stock, and Bartlein barrel. They all shoot incredibly well and the ergonomics are top notch. One of the good points is that the current price of $3875.00 (without sights) makes it a bargain for a top-tier Palma rifle.”

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullboreAbout John Whidden
5-Time National Long Range Champion

John Whidden is founder and owner of Whidden Gunworks and a lifelong competitive shooter. Major shooting accomplishments include being a 5-Time U.S. National Long Range Champion, winner of the Australia National Queen’s Prize, and member of three USA Palma Teams. John is currently active in Long Range Highpower, 300 Meter Prone, and Smallbore prone events. John tells us that one secret of his success is having top equipment: “The mental component of Long Range competitive shooting is always challenging but having tremendous confidence in the accuracy of your equipment is a huge benefit. There’s nothing to start your Palma match off well like knowing that you are shooting the most accurate Palma rifle you’ve ever owned.”

Whidden Gunworks .223 Remington Barnard Action Palma fullbore

Whidden Gunworks stands ready to help with your shooting and reloading needs. Whidden Gunworks specializes in custom bolt action rifles, reloading dies, other reloading tools, and reloading components. Well known for match-grade custom rifles and high-quality reloading dies, Whidden Gunworks’ growing lineup includes components from Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori, and SK rimfire ammunition. Learn more by visiting www.WhiddenGunworks.com.

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September 10th, 2021

Gone in SIX Seconds — The Brutal Truth of Short Barrel Life

Stopwatch barrel life

This thought-provoking article has been one of the most popular Daily Bulletin features in recent years. We are republishing this story today for readers who may have missed it the first time around…

Here’s a little known fact that may startle most readers, even experienced gunsmiths: your barrel wears out in a matter of seconds. The useful life of a typical match barrel, in terms of actual bullet-in-barrel time, is only a few seconds. How can that be, you ask? Well you need to look at the actual time that bullets spend traveling through the bore during the barrel’s useful life. (Hint: it’s not very long).

Bullet-Time-in-Barrel Calculations
If a bullet flies at 3000 fps, it will pass through a 24″ (two-foot) barrel in 1/1500th of a second. If you have a useful barrel life of 3000 rounds, that would translate to just two seconds of actual bullet-in-barrel operating time.

Ah, but it’s not that simple. Your bullet starts at zero velocity and then accelerates as it passes through the bore, so the projectile’s average velocity is not the same as the 3000 fps muzzle velocity. So how long does a centerfire bullet (with 3000 fps MV) typically stay in the bore? The answer is about .002 seconds. This number was calculated by Varmint Al, who is a really smart engineer dude who worked at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, a government think tank that develops neutron bombs, fusion reactors and other simple stuff.

On his Barrel Tuner page, Varmint Al figured out that the amount of time a bullet spends in a barrel during firing is under .002 seconds. Al writes: “The approximate time that it takes a 3300 fps muzzle velocity bullet to exit the barrel, assuming a constant acceleration, is 0.0011 seconds. Actual exit times would be longer since the bullet is not under constant acceleration.”

We’ll use the .002 number for our calculations here, knowing that the exact number depends on barrel length and muzzle velocity. But .002 is a good average that errs, if anything, on the side of more barrel operating life rather than less.

So, if a bullet spends .002 seconds in the barrel during each shot, and you get 3000 rounds of accurate barrel life, how much actual firing time does the barrel deliver before it loses accuracy? That’s simple math: 3000 x .002 seconds = 6 seconds.

Stopwatch barrel lifeGone in Six Seconds. Want to Cry Now?
Six seconds. That’s how long your barrel actually functions (in terms of bullet-in-barrel shot time) before it “goes south”. Yes, we know some barrels last longer than 3000 rounds. On the other hand, plenty of .243 Win and 6.5-284 barrels lose accuracy in 1500 rounds or less. If your barrel loses accuracy at the 1500-round mark, then it only worked for three seconds! Of course, if you are shooting a “long-lived” .308 Win that goes 5000 rounds before losing accuracy, then you get a whopping TEN seconds of barrel life. Anyway you look at it, a rifle barrel has very little longevity, when you consider actual firing time.

People already lament the high cost of replacing barrels. Now that you know how short-lived barrels really are, you can complain even louder. Of course our analysis does give you even more of an excuse to buy a nice new Bartlein, Krieger, Shilen etc. barrel for that fine rifle of yours.

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September 9th, 2021

Headspace Basics — What You Need to Know

Ultimate Reloader Brownells headspacing go gage gauge barrel gunsmithing
This illustration shows headspace measurement for the popular .308 Winchester cartridge, which headspaces on the shoulder. Image copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader.

In this Brownells Tech Tip Video, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem explains what headspace is and why it’s one of the most critical measurements for nearly all firearms. Even if you’re an experienced rifle shooter, it’s worth watching this video to refresh your understanding of headspace measurements, and the correct use of “GO” and “NO-GO” gauges.

Headspace Definition
In firearms, headspace is the distance measured from the part of the chamber that stops forward motion of the cartridge (the datum reference) to the face of the bolt. Different cartridges have their datum lines in different positions in relation to the cartridge. For example, 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition headspaces off the shoulder of the cartridge, whereas .303 British headspaces off the forward rim of the cartridge. If the headspace is too short, ammunition that is in specification may not chamber correctly. If headspace is too large, the ammunition may not fit as intended or designed and the cartridge case may rupture, possibly damaging the firearm and injuring the shooter. (Source: Wikipedia)

Forster Headspace diagram belted magnum rimfire

Problems Caused by Too Much Headspace
Excessive headspace issues can include: light primer strikes, failure to fire, bulged/blown cases, case separations, split shoulders, or unseated primers after firing. Case ruptures caused by excessive headspace can lead to catastrophic failures causing serious injury. That is why headspace is such an important measurement.

Problems Cause by Too Little Headspace
Insufficent (or excessively tight) headspace can prevent the firearm from going into battery, resulting in failure to fire or deformation of the cartridge case. Various feeding and functioning problems can be caused by cases with too little headspace, even if a round can be chambered (with effort).

Go gauge gage NOGO no-go field gaugesHeadspace Gauges
Headspace is measured with a set of two headspace gauges: a “Go” gauge, and a “No-Go” gauge. Headspace gauges resemble the cartridges for the chambers they are designed to headspace, and are typically made of heat-treated tool steel. Both a “Go” and a “No-Go” gauge are required for a gunsmith to headspace a firearm properly. A third gauge, the “Field” gauge, is used (as the name implies) in the field to indicate the absolute maximum safe headspace. This gauge is used because, over time, the bolt and receiver will wear, the bolt and lugs compress, and the receiver may stretch, all causing the headspace to gradually increase from the “factory specs” measured by the “Go” and “No-Go” gauges. A bolt that closes on “No-Go” but not on “Field” is close to being unsafe to fire, and may malfunction on cartridges that are slightly out of spec. (Source: Wikipedia)

To learn more, read Brownell’s article Headspace Gauges and How to Use Them. Among other things, this explains the relative lengths of “Go”, “No-Go”, and “Field” gauges. The “Field” is actually the longest: “The GO gauge corresponds to the SAAMI minimum chamber length, while the FIELD gauge usually matches the maximum chamber depth, or slightly less. NO-GO gauges are an intermediate length between minimum and maximum, that, technically, is a voluntary dimension. A firearm that closes on a NO-GO gauge and does not close on a FIELD gauge may not give good accuracy and may have very short cartridge case life from the ammunition re-loader’s standpoint.”

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September 8th, 2021

Norma Ammo Now Available Direct from NormaShooting.com

norma ammo ammunition direct sales factory online free shipping

Good news for rimfire and centerfire shooters. Norma is now selling ammunition direct through its website at very competitive prices. What’s more you get FREE Shipping on all orders over $50, plus free insurance with all orders. A wide variety of ammunition is available now at NormaShooting.com. Norma states that Norma ammunition’s official online store, NormaShooting.com has both centerfire and rimfire ammunition “in stock, ready to ship” and “whether you need ammunition for target practice, hunting purposes or defensive measures, there is plenty of ammo for sale at Norma Shooting.”

Here are examples of current Norma ammo deals, in stock as of 9:00 am ET on September 8, 2021:

Norma 9mm Luger, 124gr FMJ, $19.99/50 rounds (Range and Training Ammo)
Norma TAC-22 Rimfire Ammunition, .22 LR 40gr, $79.99/500 rounds ($7.99/box or $0.16/rd)
Norma Whitetail 6.5 Creedmoor 140gr Softpoint, $29.99/20rds (Hunting Ammo)
.30-06 Springfield 150gr Softpoint, $31.99/20 rds (Hunting Ammo)

CLICK HERE for All Norma Ammunition In-Stock »

The Norma TAC-22 rimfire ammunition is very good. Here is an example of accuracy with a lot from 2017. Photo from Champion Shooters Supply. Groups shot with Anschutz 1913 match rifle at 50 yards.

Norma Tac-22 ammunition .22 LR Champion shooter supply

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September 7th, 2021

INFO on PRIMERS — What You Need to Know

Primer Priming Tool Magnum primers foil anvil primer construction reloading powder CCI
Winchester Pistol Primers on bench. Photo courtesy UltimateReloader.com.

There is an excellent article about primers on the Shooting Times website. We strongly recommend you read Mysteries And Misconceptions Of The All-Important Primer, written by Allan Jones. Mr. Jones is a bona fide expert — he served as the manager of technical publications for CCI Ammunition and Speer Bullets and Jones authored three editions of the Speer Reloading Manual.

» READ Full Primer “Mysteries and Misconceptions” Article

This authoritative Shooting Times article explains the fine points of primer design and construction. Jones also reveals some little-known facts about primers and he corrects common misconceptions. Here are some highlights from the article:

Primer Priming Tool Magnum primers foil anvil primer construction reloading powder CCISize Matters
Useful Trivia — even though Small Rifle and Small Pistol primer pockets share the same depth specification, Large Rifle and Large Pistol primers do not. The standard pocket for a Large Pistol primer is somewhat shallower than its Large Rifle counterpart, specifically, 0.008 to 0.009 inch less.

Magnum Primers
There are two ways to make a Magnum primer — either use more of the standard chemical mix to provide a longer-burning flame or change the mix to one with more aggressive burn characteristics. Prior to 1989, CCI used the first option in Magnum Rifle primers. After that, we switched to a mix optimized for spherical propellants that produced a 24% increase in flame temperature and a 16% boost in gas volume.

Foiled Again
Most component primers have a little disk of paper between the anvil and the priming mix. It is called “foil paper” not because it’s made of foil but because it replaces the true metal foil used to seal early percussion caps. The reason this little disk exists is strictly a manufacturing convenience. Wet primer pellets are smaller than the inside diameter of the cup when inserted and must be compacted to achieve their proper diameter and height. Without the foil paper, the wet mix would stick to the compaction pins and jam up the assembly process.

Read Full Primer Story on ShootingTimes.com

VIDEOS about PRIMERS
Here are two videos that offer some good, basic information on primers:

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September 7th, 2021

For Smoother Bullet Seating — The Dry Lube Option

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
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

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September 6th, 2021

Bargain Finder 311: 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. K&M Precision Shooting Products — 21% Off Labor Day Sale

K&M Precision products labor day sale 21% coupon code discount 2021
Save 21% on high-quality K&M tools with Discount Code KMLBRDAY21

K&M Precision Shooting Products makes outstanding tools for handloaders. Right now, you can save a whopping 21% on purchases $50 or more. To get the 21% discount, use Code KMLBRDAY21 during checkout. But don’t delay — this special 21% discount expires at 11:59 pm on Tuesday September 7, 2021. NOTE: A few items, such as Benchtop Machines and Mitutoyo tools, are excluded.

2. MidwayUSA — Camo Tuesday Sale — HUGE Savings 9/7/2021

midwayusa camo tuesday sale giveaway hunting gear
Great deals on hunting gear — Right in time for hunting season

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. Camo Tuesday only happens once a year. Many of the best deals will expire at 11:59 PM Eastern time on the evening of 8/7/2021. Along with the discounts, MidwayUSA is offering a Camo Tuesday sweepstakes package worth $4998.82.

3. Savage — $50 Factory Rebate Through 9/8/2021

frankford arsenal intellidropper
Save $50 on versatile, affordable Savage hunting rifles

Hunting season is commencing soon. If you need a good affordable deer rifle, consider a Savage. There are many models under $400. Cabela’s has a Savage Axis XP with camo stock and 3-9x40mm Weaver scope for just $309.97. Plus, right now, you can get a $50 Factory REBATE with the purchase of any Savage Axis, Trophy, Apex, or Engage Hunter. Rifle must be purchased between 8/15/2021 through 9/8/2021.

CLICK HERE for Mail-in Rebate Form | CLICK HERE for online Rebate Redemption

4. Natchez — Frankford Intellidropper Scale/Dispenser, $199.95

frankford arsenal intellidropper
Fast, programmable, accurate dispenser at great price

The Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper is a high-quality powder scale dispenser. It’s accurate to +/- one-tenth of a grain, dispenses in seconds, and can be controlled by a handy mobile App that can store various charges weights for different cartridges. This unit has a 7000-grain capacity with both Auto and manual trickle capability. IMPORTANT: Act quickly to secure the Intellidropper for $199.95 on Sale.

5. Brownells — Leupold 3-9x40mm VX-Freedom CDS with FREE onX Hunting APP and one-piece mount, $349.99

leupold hunting scope VX-Freedome onX hunting app bonus sale
Scope can take Custom Knobs from Leupold, FREE onX hunting App

Here’s a good basic 3-9x40mm Leupold scope for hunting. Plus, with the CDS option, Leupold can provide custom turrets* for your cartridge’s ballistics. This scope also comes with a one-piece AR IMS mount. BONUS: When you buy any Leupold riflescope you get a FREE 3-month subscription to onX Hunt App. The #1 hunting GPS App, onX tracks your route and adds property boundaries and way-points to GPS/Satellite maps. OnX is a important tool for hunters, helping them find game more efficiently.

6. Locked & Loaded — Winchester SXP Defender, $279.99

locked loaded winchester SXP FDE 12 shotgun sale

locked loaded winchester SXP FDE 12 shotgun saleExcellent 12ga pump shotgun at very low price

If you want a solid, reliable, American-made defensive shotgun, look no further. Locked & Loaded Ltd. has the 12ga Winchester SXP Defender FDE (flat dark earth color) scattergun on sale now for just $279.99. NOTE: you must add the Winchester SXP shotgun to the online cart to see the $279.99 fully-discounted price (see right).

7. MidwayUSA — Tipton Ultra Vise + Free Scope Leveler, $139.99

tipton ultra vise
Sophisticated, sturdy, versatile gun vise great for many tasks

Having a stable rifle vise is critical for doing any kind of work, especially mounting optics. One of our favorites is the Tipton Ultra Vise . It features different modules that can be quickly moved, rearranged or removed anywhere along the rail. Leveling feet are situated on all corners making leveling easier, and dual clamp technology rigidly holds any gun shape into place. NOTE: This package includes a FREE Wheeler Scope Leveling System.

tipton ultra vise

The Tipton Ultra Gun Vise’s modular, interchangeable design can hold nearly any type of long gun. Ball and socket articulating clamp pads adapt to any surface. The front and rear clamps are both height and length adjustable with fast-turn knobs for quick clamping.

8. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Hand Deprimer Tool, $29.79

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Hand Deprimer Tool
Deprime fired cartridge brass anywhere — no press needed

Decapping brass can be a tedious, time-consuming, and messy chore. Simplify the task (and avoid messing up your reloading area) with the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Hand Deprimer Tool. This device lets you remove spent primers anywhere — no press needed and all the mess (cups/anvils/residue) stays in the capture chamber. You can deprime cases while watching TV. This tool features a Universal Collet that works with all case types. With good leverage, this tool is easy on the hands too.

9. Amazon — Jialitte Scope Bubble Level, $9.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1
Effective and affordable — works for both 30mm and 1″ tubes

All serious rifle shooters need a scope level. This nicely-designed Jialitte Scope Bubble Level features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes. That dual-diameter versatility is great. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. Price is just $9.99 with free shipping. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $30.00 or more for a 30mm scope level.

10. Amazon — Motion-Sensor LED Interior Light, $12.99

gun safe light vault cabinet motion sensor light motion sensing LED magnet lamp
Activates when door opens, Rechargeable, 3 LED Light Levels

Here’s a great accessory for your Gun Safe or closet. This rechargeable LED Lamp turns itself on when you open the door, and then turns itself off when you close the door. With the supplied 3M adhesive magnetic strip you can easily attach the light to the inner walls of your gun safe. The unit can be quickly charged with a standard USB cord (no batteries to replace!). It works, it’s handy, and it’s inexpensive — just $12.99 on Amazon. These motion-sensor LED lamps can also be used in stairwells.


* To order a customized Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm CDS riflescope, provide the company with the specific ballistics you want in your turrets. The company will then create a custom turret system that works with your rifle system. Simply range your target, dial for the distance, and nail it in one perfect shot.

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September 6th, 2021

TEN BEST Methods to Dry Cartridge Brass After Wet Cleaning

Wet Tumbling Brass Drier

Many shooters these days clean their cartridge brass ultrasonically, or wet-tumble their cases with stainless media (above). Both methods get brass clean and shiny, inside and out. However, when those wet-cleaning processes are completed, you’re left with a pile of soaking wet brass. How do you dry your brass quickly and efficiently, without unsightly water spots? Read on for some great answers…

In our Shooters’ Forum, Forum Gold Member Terry asked: “How do you dry your brass after Ultrasonic cleaning?” In an interesting Reloading Forum Thread, many smart suggestions were posted. A dozen fellow members outlined a variety of effective case-drying procedures, which work equally well for both wet-tumbled brass and ultrasonically-cleaned cases. Here are the Top 10 brass-drying suggestions from our Forum members.

TOP TEN Ways to Dry Cartridge Brass After Wet Cleaning

1. Food Dehydrator — Shake the brass in towel to get the bulk of water off. Next leave in the food dehydrator for 45 minutes or until there are no signs of moisture inside the cases. — Lawrence97

2. Lyman 5-Level Case Dryer — Rinse off cleaning solution(s), then load brass by type into racks in Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer. This is easier to load/unload than food dehydrators and holds more cases.

Lyman Cyclone Case Drier

3. Hot Water + Compressed Air — Rinse all your cases as a batch using scalding hot water from the kitchen sink. Hot water evaporates off of brass very very quickly. Then hit them with compressed air. Takes 10 minutes. Simple. — SG4247

4. Oven Dry in Pre-Heated Oven — After pre-heating to 200° or so, turn off oven and put brass inside on a tray. Most important! Tell your wife what you are doing so she doesn’t crank it up to 425 to heat pizza! — MClark

NOTE: Many other members suggested oven drying at 150-200°. We recommend turning OFF the oven so you don’t cook your brass if you forget to remove the cases.

Dry Cartridge Brass heat gun5. Towel Dry then Warm with Heat Gun — Roll brass in a towel until no more water shakes out. Lay out on cardboard box top and blow off with Harbor Freight heat gun. $9.99 on coupon. Two minutes of heated air and about half hour of wait and they are good to go. This is with primers removed. — Shaggy357

6. Compressed Air, then Sun Dry Outside – I rinse the brass, then blow them out with compressed air. Then, dependent on the time of year, lay them on a towel in the sun. — HogPatrol

7. Dishwasher on Dry Cycle – In the winter, I drop my wet brass cases neck-down on the rack pegs in the dishwasher, then turn on the dry cycle. In the summer…well, I’m in Texas. They go to the porch for a bit. — Toolbreaker

8. Alcohol Rinse then Air or Oven Dry — Rinse in 90% Isopropyl alcohol and either let air dry or stick in 175° oven for half an hour. Alternatively, use a dehydrator. — Zipollini

9. Slow Air-Dry in Loading Blocks — I have a reloading block with holes drilled in it. I simply load the block up and let it air-dry in the cupboard for a couple of days. — JCS

10. Wipe with Towel Then Anneal Normally — This thread is stirring my OCD side. Seems complicated for just drying — my brass dries just fine when I anneal it. This entire process can’t take an hour per batch. When finished, the brass is cleaned, annealed, and ready to size. — CHLuke

  • Deprime, then tumble brass with stainless media, water, Lemishine, and dish detergent.
  • Shake them easily in a strainer to knock out most media then grab 4-5 pieces, shake them over the bucket for the last of the media then inside a towel.
  • Finally blow out the primer pockets and wipe with a towel, load in the Annealeez.

Wet Tumbling Brass Drier

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September 4th, 2021

Primer Blow-Out Danger — Yes Always Wear Eye Protection!

Primer Blown Gas defect winchester casehead

A few years back, Our friend Grant Guess had a “close encounter” with a bad primer. An apparently defective primer caused part of the casehead on one of his rounds to blow out. This, in turn, allowed high pressure gas to vent through the damaged primer pocket. Take a good look, boys and girls. This is yet another very good reason to wear safety glasses … EVERY time you shoot. The cartridge was a 6.5-06, handloaded in necked-down Winchester-headstamp .270 Win brass. Grant reports:

“I had a blow-through between the primer and the primer pocket today. The action was really smoking and I got a face full of gas. This was a reasonably light charge. Thank God for safety glasses.

I should also mention that it appears there is a 3/64 hole that is halfway between the primer and the primer pocket. Like it burned a small jet hole through both of them.”

Could this happen to you? It just might. On seeing this damaged case, one of Grant’s Facebook friends, Chris D., observed: “Search the internet, you will see a lot of these pin hole ‘in the corner’ failures. Obviously Winchester has some issues with the LR primers.”

Careful Examination Reveals Apparent Primer Defect
After this incident, Grant examined the damaged case: “I [measured] the flash hole and it is not over-sized or under-sized. The primer clearly has an area where it had a defect. At [50,000 CUP], it doesn’t take much of a defect to cause issues. There was a slight bit of pucker-factor on the next shot….”

Primer Blown Gas defect winchester casehead

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September 2nd, 2021

Lee Breech Lock Hand Press — Versatile Tool for Under $50

Lee breech lock hand press kit
The Lee Hand Press Kit comes complete with: Breech Lock Hand Press, Ram Primer fittings, Powder Funnel, Case Lube, and one Breech Lock Quick Change Bushing.

The Lee Breech Lock Hand Press is a useful addition to any reloader’s tool collection. This Hand Press allows you to resize brass or seat bullets while at the range or away from your loading room. No it won’t replace your Co-Ax or Rockchucker, but this is a handy piece of gear. And it’s very affordable. Midsouth sells the Lee Breech Lock Hand Press Kit, with everything shown above, for $64.52. Or you can buy just the Hand Press by itself for $49.91 at Amazon. That’s a great deal.

Lee breech lock hand press kitLee Hand Press Quick-Change Die Functionality
This Lee Press includes the Breech Lock Quick-Change Die Feature, so you can instantly change dies with just a twist of the wrist. One Breech Lock Quick Change Bushing is included. The Breech Lock Hand Press is light and compact. It tips the scale at a mere 1 3/4 pounds and overall product length is 11.5″. Note: the maximum overall length cartridge the Lee Hand Press can accept is 3.650 inches.

While we don’t recommend the Hand Press for major full-length sizing chores, it does a good job seating bullets. This makes it a handy “field expedient” tool when doing load development at the range. For example you can experiment with seating depth by loading a batch of cartridges at home with the bullets deliberately seated long. Then, at the range, you can re-seat the bullets progressively shorter (in a series of rounds), until you find the optimal Cartridge OAL.

Lee’s Hand Press is also great for decapping operations. One verified buyer reports: “I mostly use it for decapping while watching TV, with a universal decapper die. Of course it is also useful for other operations. I wouldn’t love sizing large rifle cases with it, but if you’ve prepped your cases on a bigger press you could comfortably take it to the range for load development, one round at a time, working right there at the line instead of making a bunch of loads at home that you’ll have to disassemble later. It’s smaller and more lightweight than it looks[.]”

Using Hand Press to Load at the Range
To learn more about using the Lee Hand Press in the field with a compact scale, read Reloading Without a Bench on GunsAmerica.com. Author Christopher Mace explains: “whether you want a better way to do load development, the capability to reload out of your ‘bugout bag’, or you’re short of space but wanting to get into reloading, the Lee Loaders and the Lee Hand Press offer you some options.”

Reloading Lee hand press review GunsAmerica

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September 1st, 2021

Measure Groups Precisely with Ballistic-X App for Android & iOS

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

Here’s something all shooters need — a smartphone App that calculates bullet-hole group sizes from your own photos. The Ballistic-X App is simple to use. Take a photo of your target, set some values (such as bullet diameter and distance to target), then use the touchscreen to place circles around each hole. The App will calculate group size (in MOA or Mils), distance to point of aim, and provide all the info in an overlay. Then click “save” to record your group for posterity!

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS
Ballistic-X Apple (iOS) version shown. There is also a Ballistic-X Android App.

This App works well, is relatively easy to set-up, and costs just $7.99. It is available for both Android devices and iOS (Apple) devices. There are other ways to measure group sizes from target images, such as the excellent On-Target program, which we have used for years. However On-Target requires a software installation on a Windows platform desktop or laptop. Ballistic-X is a simple, easy-to-install App with versions for both Android and iOS (Apple) Mobile devices.

Google Play app store source
Download Android App
Apple store Ios app store source
Download Apple App

The Ballistic-X App has a relatively easy-to-use interface. Of course you can choose either MOA or Milrad group values, and Inch or Metric dimensions. There are various labeling options that provide useful info for Load Development. There is even an ATZ (Adjustment To Zero) feature for adjusting your turrets.

How to Use Ballistic-X App

1. Select Photo Source — Choose Camera to take new photo or get image from Photo Library.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

2. Set Reference Values — Select Bullet Diameter and enter Distance to Target.

3. Establish Scale on Image — Mark two points on target photo to set scale.
For example, if the target has a 1″-square grid lines, mark two points on grid for 1″ distance.

4. Mark Point Of Aim — Put the central X on the aim point.

5. Designate Shot Locations — Place the green circles around each shot.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

6. Finalize Data Display — Position Overlay, select size/color options, and export file.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

Android Options — Range Buddy FREE App
Along with Ballistic-X, there is another Mobile App, Range Buddy, that also measures shot groups. Range Buddy is currently offered for Android devices only. It is FREE, but has adverts. Range Buddy isn’t bad, but users complained about the program crashing, and there are compatibility issues with newer phones. We recommend you pay $7.99 and stick with Ballistic-X.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

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August 31st, 2021

Cartridge Cutaways — View INSIDE Loaded Ammunition

sliced cutaway ammo ammunition FOG diagram

Here’s something you don’t see every day — the inside of loaded cartridges, sliced halfway through. This lets you see how bullet core, jacket, cartridge case, powder, and primer all fit together. Give credit to the folks at FOG Ammunition for creating this interesting series of cut-through ammo images. We show four cartridges here: the .308 Winchester, 9mm Luger, 300 BLK, and .50 BMG. You’ll find two more (the .223 Remington and .45 ACP) at www.FogAmmo.com.

sliced cutaway ammo ammunition FOG diagram

This .308 Winchester model took on a different approach by only cutting the brass case and displaying the full bullet, primer and powder load. A spec amount of powder was used to create the model powder form. An estimated 10% volume was added during the forming process, along with an undetermined amount of air pockets.

sliced cutaway ammo ammunition FOG diagram

This bisection is a 9mm Luger Jacketed Hollow Point round with flake powder held together with super glue. After this self-defense round was cut by a trained professional the round was polished by hand. This might look like stick powder, but those are in fact flakes stacked up in cross-section. Designed in 1901 by Georg Luger, this popular cartridge is used by civilians, military, and law enforcement.

sliced cutaway ammo ammunition FOG diagram

For this model of the .300 AAC Blackout (aka 300 BLK), a Dremel tool was used to create a pie cut within the bullet and brass case. A measured amount of power, roughly 65% of spec charge, was placed inside the case with super glue. This cartridge was originally optimized for subsonic use with a suppressor, so the amount of powder used is small relative to the nominal case capacity. That leaves more room for the relatively large .30-caliber bullet.

sliced cutaway ammo ammunition FOG diagram

Last but definitely not least is the .50 Caliber BMG round (aka .50 Browning Machine Gun). Famed for its wartime use in the M2 Machine gun, the .50 BMG round is also used in civilian Long Range competitions. A typical .50 BMG cartridge holds over 225 grains of powder. That’s almost ten times the amount in a 5.56×45 NATO Round! To demonstrate the size of the .50 BMG, check out that .223 Rem for comparison.

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August 31st, 2021

Hydro-Form 6mm Dasher Brass — Save Money & Barrel Life

6mm Dasher hydroforming case die hornady

Can you form a wildcat cartridge such as the 6 Dasher without expending primer, powders, and bullets? Absolutely. Using the hydro-forming method you can form improved cases in your workshop with no firing whatsoever, so there is no wear on your precious barrel. Watch this video to see how it’s done:

6 Dasher Case Hydro-Forming Demonstration:

Forum member Wes J. (aka P1ZombieKiller) has produced a helpful video showing how to form Dasher cases use the Hornady Hydraulic forming die kit. This includes a two-part die (body and piston), and a special shell holder. To form the case, you insert a primer in your virgin brass, top the case off with with a fluid (water or alcohol), then run the case up into the Hydro-forming die. A few stout whacks with a hammer and your case is 95% formed.

Whidden gunworks 6 6mm dasher hydro-forming hydraulic form die

This same procedure can be accomplished with a Whidden Gunworks 6mm Dasher hydraulic form die. We like the Whidden hydro-forming die for its production quality and consistent results. This Whidden system works great according to our Forum members.

6mm Dasher hydroforming hydraulic 6mmBR hornadyHydro-Forming Procedure Step-by-Step:
1. Insert spent primer in new 6mmBR brass case.
2. Fill with water or alcohol (Wes prefers alcohol).
3. Wipe excess fluid off case.
4. Place case in special Hornady shell-holder (no primer hole).
5. Run case up into Hydraulic forming die.
6. Smack top piston of forming die 3-4 times with rubber mallet or dead-blow hammer.
7. Inspect case, re-fill and repeat if necessary.
8. Drain alcohol (or water) into container.
9. Remove primer (and save for re-use).
10. Blow-dry formed case. Inspect and measure formed case.

Wes achieves very uniform cartridge OALs with this method. He measured ten (10) hydro-formed 6 Dasher cases and got these results: two @ 1.536″; 2 @ 1.537″; and 6 @ 1.538″.

Three or Four Whacks Produces a 95%-Formed Case
With a Whidden or Hornady hydro-forming die, hydraulic pressure does the job of blowing out the shoulders of your improved case. The process is relatively simple. Place a spent primer in the bottom of a new piece of brass. Fill the case with water, and then slip it into a special Hornady shell-holder with no hole in the middle. Then you run the case up into the forming die. Now comes the fun part. You gently insert a plunger (hydraulic ram) from the top, and give it three or four stiff whacks with a mallet (or better yet, a dead-blow hammer). Remove the plunger and you have a 95% formed case, ready to load.

Walter Queen Hydraulic Hornady DieSpecial Shell-Holder
Hornady supplies a shell holder made specifically for the hydro die; there’s no hole in the bottom of it. Just insert a spent primer into the primer pocket and you’re ready to go. The spent primer, combined with the solid shell holder, keeps the water from seeping out of the primer pocket. The primer pushes out a little bit during this process, but it’s impossible for it to come out because of the way the shell holder is designed. The shell holder has a grove which allows the case to slide out of the shell holder even when the primer protrudes a bit.

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August 30th, 2021

Bargain Finder 310: 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. Sportsman’s Warehouse — FREE Shotgun with AR15

f1 firerms king fdr .223 Rem AR15 citadel boss hog 12ga shotgun free
Get FREE 12ga shotgun with purchase of F1 Firearms AR-15

Get two guns for the price of one. Buy a F1 Firearms FDR AR-15 for $899.99 at Sportsman’s Warehouse and get a FREE Citadel Boss Hog 12ga Shotgun. That’s right — you get the Shotgun for FREE! The FDR AR-15 is chambered for the .223 Wylde chambering favored by match shooters (you can still shoot .223 Rem in the Wylde chamber). It has a M-LOK free-float handguard over 16″ barrel with fitted A2 flash hider.

2. Bruno Shooters Supply — Bartlein Match Barrels in Stock

bartlein barrel sale
Top-quality barrels, many calibers, avoid months of waiting

You’ll typically wait months to get a quality custom barrel from a top barrel-maker such as Bartlein. However, Bruno’s now has a good selection of Bartlein barrels in stock. You’ll find a variety of calibers, lengths, and contours. But act soon — we expect these to sell out fast.

3. Creedmoor Sports — Trieble Reloading Dies

triebel dies creedmoor sports review

Very high quality precision dies from Germany

If you’re looking to produce more precise handloads, then consider upgrading your dies. New to the market are Triebel dies that feature incredible tolerances, are available for a wide variety of cartridges, and are machined from the highest-grade materials.

4. KYGUNCO — Remington .223 Rem Ammo, $569.99/1000

223 ammo sale
Exceptional deal — just $0.57/round or $11.40/20 rounds

If you want American-made, name-brand .223 Rem ammo, you can’t beat this deal. Get 1000 .223 Rem rounds for $569.99 with this Remington bulk pack with 55gr FMJ bullets. That works out to just $0.57 per round — HALF what you might pay for other .223 Rem ammo.

5. MidwayUSA — Lee App Deluxe Press, $74.06

lee app press sale
Unique Lee APP vertical feed press good for repetitive processes

Need a dedicated press for repetitive processes such as decapping (spent primer removal) or primer pocket swaging, but don’t want another heavy (and expensive) cast-iron press? Then consider the innovative Lee Deluxe APP (Automatic Processing Press) Reloading Press. With the ability to mount your dies either on the top or bottom, this press offers unique versatility. On sale at MidwayUSA for $74.06, the LEE Deluxe APP also offers a vertical feed function for cases or bullets. This is a great little workhorse for the $74.06 price. NOTE: Press does NOT include raised mount.

6. EuroOptic — SIG Sauer Optics on Sale

Sig sauer optics sale
Quality scopes, Red Dots on Sale — Save up to $160

Currently EuroOptic is running a SIG Sauer Optics Sale . You’ll find Tango4 and Whiskey3 scopes on sale along with a variety of Red Dot (reflex) sight systems, including the Romeo5/Juliet3 combo red dot plus magnifier that is great for tactical rifles.

7. Amazon — Double Rifle Case with Shoulder Straps, $56.99

double rifle case sale
Versatile, 2-rifle case with comfortable shoulder straps

Here’s a good, affordable case for transporting ARs or tactical rifles. This case hauls two rifles in separate, well-padded compartments. Strong shoulder straps support the weight. For less than $70 you can choose either the 38″ or 42″ Double Rifle Soft Cases in one of several colors. This is a great way to protect two rifles during transport while carrying extra gear in the three outside pockets.

8. Midsouth — Tac-Pod Carbon Pro Bipod, $54.99

bipod sale
Nice light-weight bipod with versions for Picatinny and M-LOK Rails

If you’re looking for a new lightweight but strong bipod, check out the TruGlo Tac-Pod Carbon Pro Bipod series. These are versatile, with 6-9″ and 9-13″ leg size choices. Choose the Tac-Pod model with your preferred mounting option(s) — Swivel Stud, Picatinny Rail, and M-LOK/KMOD. Right now save $15 with this sale.

9. Amazon — KRATE AR500 Steel Targets, $17.99 and Up[

double rifle case sale
Tough AR500 steel gongs, excellent user reviews, lifetime warranty

KRATE offers quality, durable AR500 steel targets, starting at just $17.99 for a 4″ Gong. KRATE AR500 targets have a lifetime warranty, and have earned good user reviews. These Tactical AR500 Steel Gongs are 3/8″ thick and come in various sizes set up for hanging chains (sold separately). And get this, right now if you spend at least $25, your Gongs ship for FREE! Along with Gong targets, KRATE also sells AR500 steel silhouette targets through Amazon.

10. Palmetto State Armory — CCI 40gr .22 LR 500 Rds, $54.99

CCI .22LR rimfire ammo ammunition bargain sale case
Excellent price on quality ammo — just $5.50 for 50 rounds

Here’s good, USA-made .22 LR rimfire ammo good for plinking and rimfire tactical games. On sale this week at PSA, this CCI .22 LR Std. Velocity 40gr ammo is just $54.99 for 500 rounds. That works out to just 11 cents per round. That’s hard to beat these days for big-brand .22 LR ammo.

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August 30th, 2021

Watch .45 ACP Pistol, Ultra Slow Motion — 73,000 Frames/Sec

Mythbusters 1911 Bullet Pistol slow motion high speed Phantom .45 ACP
Mythbusters 1911 Bullet Pistol slow motion high speed Phantom .45 ACP

What if you could see a speeding bullet in the milliseconds it exits the muzzle of a pistol? How cool would that be… Well, the Mythbusters folks (Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman) have made that possible. Using an exotic Phantom super-high-speed camera running at 73,000 frames per second, the Mythbusters recorded a .45 ACP bullet being fired from a 1911-type handgun.

Watch Mythbusters Super-Slow-Motion Pistol Video:

Watch this FULL SCREEN to see the amazing details of the flame and smoke exiting the muzzle.

What unfolds is spectacular. First you see a ball of flame as the bullet emerges from the barrel of the 1911, then two distinct, separate swirling clouds form as the bullet races toward the target. Watch the video a couple times — it’s mesmerizing.

Mythbusters 1911 Bullet Pistol slow motion high speed Phantom .45 ACP

Co-host Adam Savage is nearly rendered speechless by the remarkable slow-motion footage from the Phantom. Filmed at 73,000 frames per second, the video reveals a dance of pressure and fire that would otherwise be missed by the unaided eye.

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August 28th, 2021

Inside Look at Nosler Factory Plus Major Nosler Website Update

Nosler bullets nosler.com website ecommerce

Ever wanted to see how Nosler bullets and cartridges are made? Here’s your opportunity. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) has produced a video (“Quality First”) that offers a behind-the-scenes look inside Nosler’s Oregon factory that produces bullets, brass, and ammunition.

Video Showcases Nosler Production Facility and Ballistics Lab

RMEF representatives were provided with unprecedented access into Nosler’s famously-guarded manufacturing plant to show the technology used by Nosler to produce bullets and ammunition. The “Quality First” video showcases Nosler’s complex production processes that include technologically advanced machinery, and stringent quality control measures.

Nosler bullets nosler.com website ecommerce

After the intro, this video illustrates Nosler’s bullet construction techniques with a cool animation sequence. The video then showcases the Nosler ballistics lab, inspection room, and packaging line.

The “Quality First” video starts with the history of the company, tracking Nosler’s development from the 1940s. Then the video shows the bullet construction techniques followed by a ‘walk-though’ in the factory, showing the sophisticated machinery used to make bullets, brass, and ammunition. “‘Quality First’ isn’t just a saying that’s printed on our factory walls, it’s the guiding principle that affects every decision we make” says Mason Payer, Senior Marketing Manager at Nosler.

Nosler Updates Website — Enhances E-Commerce Functionality

Nosler bullets nosler.com website ecommerce

Nosler has completely upgraded its Nosler.com website that provides Nosler product information, online shopping, and customer service. The redesigned Nosler.com site now boasts improved e-Commerce functionality. This should allow faster order processing and shipping, and allow customers to get real-time order status, plus up-to-date tracking information.

Better Search and More Detailed Product INFO
On the updated Nosler website, navigation is easier, and the search function is improved, allowing customers to search Nosler products by name, product line, cartridge, caliber, activity, and several other parameters. The updated product listings have more detailed specifications. For example the site now includes velocity, energy AND drop charts for all Nosler ammunition products.

Information Resources — Load Data and Nosler Blog
The enhanced Nosler website also features comprehensive LOAD DATA, plus informative content in the Nosler Blog. The Load Data page works well on smartphones. Go to the Load Data Index Page, then simply scroll down to a caliber. Then select your cartridge type and bullet weight(s). The rifle listings are quite comprehensive, covering .17 caliber up to .458 caliber. Here is a data example for the 6mm Creedmoor with popular 105-107gr bullets:

Nosler load data 6mm 6.5 creedmoor

About Nosler and Support for Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation
Founded in 1948, Nosler, Inc. is a family-owned company located in Bend, Oregon. Nosler is most known for hunting bullets such as the Partition®, Ballistic Tip®, AccuBond®, E-Tip® and most recently the AccuBond® LR and RDF. Nosler manufactures premium component bullets, reloading brass, ammunition and semi-custom rifles for domestic and international customers.

A long-time proponent of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Nosler donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of five Partition bullets to benefit RMEF’s mission and recently added proceeds from Trophy Grade® and Expansion Tip™ ammunition to increase support.

Video find by ELR Researcher. We welcome reader submissions.
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August 27th, 2021

Get Smart — Read FREE Applied Ballistics TECH 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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