August 11th, 2020

Win Valuable Prize Packages with August Gearbox Giveaways

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August

To help celebrate National Shooting Sports Month (NSSM), rifle and gear manufacturers are offering big prize packages — the Gearbox Giveaways. Enter to win rifles, pistols, ammo, and other valuable prizes. Many of the Gearbox packages are worth over $3000 with the most valuable package worth over $4700! Enter as many of the Gearbox Giveaways as you choose. You can’t win if you don’t enter.

You’ll find all the Gearbox Giveaways on the NSSF website. Shown below are 12 current Gearbox Giveaways ranked in order of value — starting with the most valuable prize package. Below each photo is a link for the ENTRY PAGE for that gearbox item. Good luck!

Gearbox Giveaway Page — SEE ALL Prize Packages »

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN ULTIMATE AMERICAN OUTDOOR SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $4725.75

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN SIG SAUER SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $3939.48

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN PRIMARY ARMS SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $3717.93

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN BROWNING SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $3032.00

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN GLOCK SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $2800.00

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN THE MOSSBERG SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $2600.00

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN DANIEL DEFENSE SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX MSRP $2360.97

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN WINCHESTER SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $2164.88

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN SMITH & WESSON SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $2116.92

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN COLT PYTHON + DOUBLETAP SHOOTING SPORTS GEARBOX. MSRP $2033.00

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN RCBS + HOPPE’S + CHAMPION + BUTLER CREEK HUNTING GEARBOX. MSRP $1348.47

Gearbox Giveaway Contest August
ENTER TO WIN RCBS + HOPPE’S + CHAMPION TARGET + BUTLER CREEK GEARBOX. MSRP $1099.06

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August 11th, 2020

Ammo Reference Book Covers 200+ Cartridge Types

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

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

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

Ammunition Ammo Factory commerical hunting load data ballistics hunt Bob Forker

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

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

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

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

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip No Comments »
August 10th, 2020

Bargain Finder 255: 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.

Cabela’s — Bergara B-14 HMR Rifle, $949.99

Bergara B-14 HMR rifle PRS hunting

Good Ergonomics, Works for Hunting plus PRS Factory Class

Bergara rifles combine accuracy, good ergonomics, and smooth function at a lower costs than many other brands. If you’re looking for a new rifle that’s capable of hunting, PRS competition, or target shooting, check out the Bergara B-14 HMR now on sale. Available in 6.5 Creedmoor for $949.99, the B-14 HMR features a quality synthetic stock with adjustable cheek-piece (scope not included). The 24″ barrel has a threaded muzzle, so you can add a muzzle brake or suppressor. Order this online from Cabelas.com and it ships for free to your local Cabela’s store.

2. Precision Reloading — Lapua Brass and Scenar Bullets Rebate

lapua brass sale rebate

SAVE 10% with Rebate Program for Lapua Brass and Bullets

Here is a great deal on great cartridge brass and bullets. Right now Lapua is offering a Lapua Summer Savings Rebate on cartridge brass and Scenar bullets. With this rebate, you can then save 10% on your purchases up to $200 max. Precision Reloading has a great selection of Lapua brass and bullets. Of course Lapua brass is the “choice of champions” and we have found the Scenars to be extremely consistent in weight and base-to-ogive measurements. The Lapua Rebate Program covers purchases through August 31, 2020. You can also buy from Midsouth Shooters and Grafs.com.

3. Palmetto State Armory — Rossi RS22 Rimfire Rifle, $109.99

Rossi rs22 RS 22 .22 LR training rifle Mossberg

Rossi rs22 RS 22 .22 LR training rifle MossbergReliable, with very impressive accuracy — awesome deal under $110!

Looking for a very affordable first rifle for a young family member? Here’s one of the best low-cost options you can find among .22 LR rimfire rigs. The Rossi RS22 is a reliable, semi-auto rifle that comes equipped with barrel-mounted iron/fiber optic sights. There are also dovetails on the receiver for mounting scope rings. The RS22 also takes most Mossberg 702 magazines. The Rossi RS22 features an 18″ free-floating barrel, adjustable fiber optic sights and a synthetic Monte Carlo stock. For added accuracy, 3/8″ dovetail mounts allow the mounting of a scope or other optic. Overall weight, without scope, is 4.1 pounds.

4. CDNN Sports — Browning Bucks Summer Rebates: $25 to $100

lapua brass sale rebate

Take advantage of Browning Bucks Rebates up to $100

Browning makes excellent rifles, shotguns, and pistols. The Browning Buckmark is one of our favorite .22 LR rimfire pistol, and Browning Citori shotguns are renown for their build quality and performance. Right now CDNN Sports is running special SALES on a wide selection of Browning Firearms. And now through the end of September, you can can Browning Bucks back — up to $100.00 on Citori shotguns. The rifle rebate is $50, while the pistol rebate is $25.00. Here’s a change to get major savings on quality guns.

5. Bruno Shooters Supply — Massive BAT Action Sale

bat action sale

Superb BAT custom actions, over 80 on sale at $100 Off

BAT actions have an amazing reputation and are available in more configurations that just about any other action on the market. Head over to Bruno Shooters Supply and choose from over 80 BAT Actions on sale. Many models are avaiable, all discounted $100 off Bruno’s normal pricing. This BAT promo gets you $100 closer to that elite custom rifle you’ve always wanted.

6. Midsouth — Rebel Master Reloading Kit, $304.99 w/ Rebate

Shooting Mat

Fine new press and all you need to reload — just add dies and components

The RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit features the new Rebel Press plus Uniflow III powder measure, pocket digital scale, hand priming trickler, powder funnel, fold-up hex key set, deburring tool, brush set, case loading block, spray lube, and a Speer Loading Manual. Midsouth’s Rebel Kit sale price is $379.99. But note — this Kit qualifies for a $75.00 RCBS rebate, lowering your net cost to $304.99 — a killer deal. The RCBS Summer Rebate provides $50 back with $100-$249.99 purchase; $75 back with $250-$399.99 purchase; and $100 back with a purchase of $400 or more.

7. Midsouth Shooters — Norma .22 LR Match Ammo, $65.65/500

lapua brass sale rebate

Great accuracy for the price; excellent for gun games and NRL22

Midsouth has 500-round bricks of Norma .22 LR 40gr Elite Match-22 ammo for $65.65 (just 13 cents a round). The Match-22 LR series is known to deliver great performance. Norma tests each lot of .22 LR ammunition and then when a particularly accurate batch is identified, Norma places them into the Match category. This Match-22 ammo was produced for biathlon and target competition. It also an excellent choice for NRL22 tactical rimfire matches. At just $6.56 for a 50-count box, this is a great deal.

8. MidwayUSA — Athlon 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope, $149.99

athlon spotting scope 20-60x80mm

Remarkable value with big 80mm front lens

If you’re looking for a decent, under-$300 spotting scope, check out this Athlon for $149.99 at MidwayUSA. That price, which includes a tripod, is 25% off the regular $199.99 price. No this won’t compete with a $1500 Kowa, but it offers solid performance for the price. A verified purchaser posted: “Great value for the money. For $150 I don’t think you can go wrong. I am also not going to be worried about dropping it or getting it dirty. I had looked at scopes in the $800 range and decided that for me, there just wasn’t another $700 of value with the other scopes”. Another owner posted: “A Swaro it ain’t. But for the price nothing I’ve ever seen even comes close to touching it. Good sharp optics and simple to use.”

9. Amazon — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $27.99

Shooting Mat

83% 5-Star Reviews, Easy Rolled-Up Transport, Decent Padding

Here’s a very good mat for just $27.99. This NcStar Vism shooting mat boast decent padding, and reinforced areas for elbows and knees. Full dimensions are: 69″ Long x 35″ Wide. This mat has straps for pre-loading your bipod. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up into a compact 19.50″ W x 8.50″ H package — the size of a sleeping bag. You can pay twice as much for a shooting mat and not get much more quality. This mat has earned 85% Five-Star buyer ratings on Amazon.

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August 9th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Texas Precision — Mike’s 6mm GT Rifle

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

The 6mm GT (aka 6GT) cartridge was conceived as a “bigger Dasher” for PRS and NRL competition. The 6mm GT’s creators wanted 6mm Dasher accuracy and moderate recoil delivered via a cartridge with a slightly longer case body for better mag-feeding, longer neck for seating flexibility, and more moderate pressures. So far the 6GT has performed very well in PRS competition. Today’s story is a bit different — this is about an experiment — running a 6mm GT in an F-TR type rifle. Understand that, under current NRA rules, you may only shoot .223 Rem (5.56×45) or .308 Win (7.62×51), in official, sanctioned F-TR competition, but the 6GT is fine for F-Open. Mike McCasland wanted to see the potential of the cartridge for long-range target shooting, so he put a 6mm GT-chambered Bartlein barrel on a nice custom rifle with McMillan XIT stock and Kelbly F-Class Panda action. The results were impressive.

6mm GT — New Cartridge with Multi-Discipline Potential

Story by Mike McCasland, Texas Precision
The 6mm GT began garnering attention within PRS circles in early 2019. It promised to shoot 105-110gr 6mm bullets at 2950-3000 FPS, yet not suffer from mag-feed issues sometimes found with 6mmBR variants such as the 6 Dasher, 6BRX, and 6BRA. Moreover, since it burned less powder, the 6mm GT promised increased barrel life compared to the 6mm Creedmoor or 6XC. The 6mm GT case size should still work with the accurate powders in the Varget burn-range. I found the 6GT also worked great with H4350.

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-ClassAs someone who aspired to building a repeater and jumping into the PRS game, and had a spare F-TR rifle sitting around, I thought it would be fun to build up a 6mm GT to see if there was any merit to the hype. My smith, Wes Ripley of RIP Precision in Texas, builds a lot of PRS rigs, and already had the reamer on hand (a 0.120″ freebore variant).

Whidden Gunworks had some 6mm GT FL bushing die kits in stock, so I figured why not see what all the fuss was about? At the very least I could play around with the 6mm GT in F-Open Class at local club matches to see how it compared to the 6BRA, 6 Dasher, and other popular 6mm cartridges.

How the Project Got Started with Backup F-TR Rig
My 6mm GT build really started as a project spawned purely from COVID-19 Isolation boredom. This rifle primarily serves as a backup F-TR gun, and it had been relegated to performing some load development on .308 barrels, so I could spin new ones on my main match rifle. The only problem was, I had run out of .308 barrels that needed load development. So, I basically had an ideal test platform just collecting dust in the safe. All I needed was a 6mm GT-chambered barrel, since (like the 6mmBR) the 6mm GT works in a short action with a .308 Win-sized bolt-face.

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

6mm GT Rifle Specifications:

Action: Kelbly Panda F-Class SA RB/RP
Stock: McMillan XIT with RAD 2A
Barrel: 30″ 5R Bartlein 1:7.5″-Twist, HV Contour

Scope: Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm
Trigger: Jewell Benchrest, about 2 ounces
Bipod: Phoenix Precision

About the 6mm GT Cartridge

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-ClassBRASS — The first thing you’ll find is cartridge brass choices for the 6mmGT are rather limited currently. At present, the only commercial options are Hornady and Alpha Munitions. For the die-hard Lapua fans, you can technically make 6mm GT brass from 6.5×47 Lapua, however that process is very labor-intensive.

I have used both Hornady and Alpha brass in this rifle and haven’t noticed much difference between the two. I will say that my batch of Alpha brass was slightly softer than Alpha brass I’ve used in other calibers; you could feel a difference when neck turning cases. I’m unsure if that’s a batch issue, or something specific to their 6mm GT brass as a whole. As far as performance, there was little discernable difference. Oddly enough, the Hornady brass seemed to have slightly less case capacity than the Alpha; with most other cartridges it’s the other way around.

POWDERS — The 6mm GT was designed with Hodgdon Varget in mind, and that popular powder works exceedingly well in this platform. That said, the 6mm GT can work with a wide variety of powders, some yielding better performance than Varget.

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

I’ve tried a multitude of powders during my initial 6mm GT load development: Varget, Shooters World Precision, RL16, VV N140, H4350, and RL-15 to name a few. In my barrel, Hodgdon H4350 seems to deliver the best velocity/accuracy combination. SD and ES also seemed to be the lowest with H4350.

Load Development for the 6mm GT — Many Powders Tested
mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

BULLETS — The most common 0.120″ freebore chamber allows for the majority of high-BC 6mm projectiles found in both F-Class and PRS. I had good luck with the pointed 107gr Sierra Match Kings (SMK), as well as the 110gr Hornady A-Tips in my rifle. For those looking to run the heavier 112-115 grain 6mm offerings, I believe GAP designed a 0.160″ freebore reamer that gets those bullets out of the neck/shoulder junction. Shown below is the 0.120″ freebore JGS reamer print:

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-ClassSUMMARY — Good Cartridge with Much Potential
Generally speaking, I think the 6mm GT is a good little round. Some may not subscribe to this theory, but I believe some cartridges are inherently easier to tune than others. I’m not sure the 6mm GT is as easy-to-tune as a 6mmBR, 6 Dasher, or 6 BRA, but I don’t think it lags that far behind.

With relatively little trouble, I was able to find loads with both Varget and H4350 that would consistently shoot very well — 0.2 to 0.3 MOA. Moreover, I found the 6GT cartridge lives up to the velocity claims made by G.A. Precision. I was easily able to push the 110gr A-Tips to 2950 FPS, and the 107gr SMKs to low 3000 FPS range without any pressure signs, or unnecessary wear and tear on the brass.

As a fun test, I ran my 6mm GT rifle in a local 1000-yard F-Class match with the 110gr A-Tips, just to see just how well they would perform. Although wind conditions of the day and some E-Target issues prevented my 6mm GT rig from getting the better of the larger 7mm and .30-Cal rifles, the 6mm GT proved itself an accurate little round at distance. Here is a 1000-yard ShotMarker target:

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

After putting several hundred rounds through my 6mm GT rifle, I anticipate building another 6GT on a repeater action to give PRS a try. I think if you are looking for a dual-purpose rifle that can run tactical matches (with 100% feeding reliability), and can also be used for mid-range, F-Open Class competition, the 6mm GT would be a very good option.

About the author, Mike McCasland:
Mike McCasland is an avid shooter who competes regularly in F-Class matches. Based in Texas, Mike is the creator of the Texas Precision YouTube Channel. There you’ll find many videos covering reloading, gun projects, and marksmanship. Mike has done some notable product reviews including a comparison test of Micrometer Competition Seating Dies. To access Mike’s YouTube Channel, CLICK HERE.

6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass mike mccasland PRS F-TR

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August 9th, 2020

Mac McMillan’s Legendary .009″ Group — Lookee Here

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa.009” Group Record Stood for 40 Years
In 1973 Mac McMillan shot an amazing 100-yard, .009″ five-shot group in a benchrest match. The .009″ group was measured with a 60x microscope for verification. Mac McMillan shot the group using a handbuilt prototype McMillan rifle with an early McMillan stock.

Mac’s .009″ group was the “Holy Grail” of rifle accuracy. This .009″ record was considered by many to be unbreakable, a record that would “stand for all time”. Well, it took 40 years, but someone finally broke Mac’s record with an even smaller group. In 2013, Mike Stinnett shot a .0077″ five-shot group using a 30 Stewart, a .30 caliber wildcat based on the 6.5 Grendel. Stinnett’s NBRSA record .0077″ group now stands as the smallest 100-yard group ever shot in registered benchrest competition.*

Read About .0077″ group HERE.

Stinnett’s success doesn’t diminish the significance of Mac McMillan’s .009″ group in the history of benchrest competition. For four decades Mac’s group stood as the ultimate standard of rifle accuracy*. For those of you who have never seen Mac McMillan’s .009″ group, here it is, along with the NBRSA World Record certificate. The target now hangs in the McMillan Family Museum.

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

*Somebody else might claim a smaller group, but unless moving backers or electronic targets were used, it cannot be verified. Moving target backers are used at registered benchrest matches to ensure that five (5) shots are actually fired in each group. That eliminates any doubt.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
August 9th, 2020

Will Carbon Build-Up Inside Cases Raise Load Pressure?

Carbon fouling case cartridge interior Pressure volume ultrasonic

As a cartridge case is reloaded multiple times, burnt powder residue and carbon builds up on the inside of the case. Unless the case interior is cleaned in some fashion, eventually you’ll see a slight reduction in case capacity. One of our Forum members from Australia wonders about the effects of reduced case capacity: “If the capacity of the case decreases as the crud builds up, then it effectively reduces the size of the cartridge (inside). Wouldn’t that change the pressure produced from that of an equivalent clean case?”

Interesting Test of Case Capacity Changes
Forum member Fred Bohl has actual test results that can help answer the above question. Fred proved that, over a 20-reload cycle, the case capacity of uncleaned cases did decline a small amount. However, surprisingly, this did not seem to affect the actual chronographed velocity of the load. Extreme Spread (ES) did increase, but Fred believes the higher ES was due to changes in case-neck tension, rather than due to the slight reduction in case capacity. Fred reports:

“Back when beginning to use ultrasonic case cleaning, part of the motivation was to get the inside clean based on the assumption that allowing burnt residue to build up inside cases would affect capacity, and, ultimately, performance. An experiment was done to test this hypothesis. The load used, 30.5 grains of RL15 behind 107gr SMKs in a 6mmBR, was selected for best group and lowest ES in prior load development. It turned out to be 92% of initial case capacity and neither “full” or compressed. (I would suspect that different powders, load weight, and total case capacity might produce very different results.)

We took 30 cases of identical initial capacity and tracked three lots of 10 each:

LOT 1: No Internal cleaning
LOT 2: Cleaned with media in tumbler
LOT 3: Cleaned with Ultrasound machine

Each case (in each lot) was shot and reloaded 20 times. The simplified results after 20 reloads of each lot were as follows:

Lot 1 (not cleaned) – 0.3 to 0.4 gr. loss of capacity, 5 to 8 fps greater ES.
Lot 2 (tumble cleaned) – 0.1 to 0.3 gr. loss of capacity, 4 to 6 fps greater ES.
Lot 3 (ultrasonic cleaned) – no loss of capacity, no detectable change in ES.

FINDINGS
There was no detectable correlation of velocity change to the lots. An oddity was that on very hot days Lot 1 velocities were, occasionally, slightly higher. From results of another ongoing test, I believe the above differences in ES are probably due more to variance in bullet grip tension than case capacity. The ultrasound cleaned cases (LOT 3) did maintain the lowest ES, but we are not 100% sure of the reasons why. More consistent bullet seating might be the reason.”

Carbon fouling case cartridge interior Pressure volume ultrasonic

Editor’s NOTE: Fred’s results do suggest that carbon build-up inside the uncleaned cases might cause a slight increase in pressure that shows up on hot days. Fred has posted that: “A local shooter reported doing the 20 reload, no-clean test on a .308 that gave a loss of capacity of 2.0 grains, doubled ES and significant velocity changes. However, I don’t have any details on his load weight or powder.” Obviously a lot of carbon can build up with 20 reloads. Many shooters retire their brass before then.

Ultrasonic Cleaning and Neck Lube
Some time ago, Jason Baney did a lengthy test on ultrasonic cleaning. Jason found that with his ultrasonically-cleaned cases, the inside of the necks got so “squeaky clean” that he needed to use dry lube in the necks. Jason uses the $10.95 dry lube kit from Neconos.com. This applies ultra-fine Moly powder to the neck using small carbon steel balls.

Neconos.com moly neck lube

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
August 8th, 2020

Watch Ammo Being Made in Revealing Video

Sellier Bellot Ammunition Videos

Sellier & Bellot is one of Europe’s older ammunition manufacturers, producing a wide variety of rifle and pistol ammo. The video below shows ammunition being made from start to finish, starting with raw materials. This is a fascinating video that is well worth watching. It shows some amazing machines in operation.

EDITOR: Guys, this really is an exceptional video that shows every aspect of production. I have watched dozens of videos about ammo making. This is definitely one of the BEST. Take the time to watch.

Based in Vlasim, Czech Republic, Sellier & Bellot was founded in August 5, 1825 by Louis Sellier, a German businessman of French lineage. His family were royalists who fled France during the French Revolution. Louis Sellier began manufacturing percussion caps for infantry firearms in a factory in Prague, Bohemia on the request of Francis I, the Emperor of Austria. Sellier was later joined by his countryman Jean Bellot.

Sellier & Bellot has also produced an interesting CGI video that shows what happens inside a rifle chamber and barrel when a cartridge fires can’t be seen by the naked eye (unless you are a Super-Hero with X-Ray vision). But now, with the help of 3D-style computer animation, you can see every stage in the process of a rifle round being fired.

3D animation bullet ammunition in rifle

In this X-Ray-style 3D animation illustrates the primer igniting, the propellant burning, and the bullet moving through the barrel. The video then shows how the bullet spins as it flies along its trajectory. Finally, this animation shows the bullet impacting ballistic gelatin. Watch the bullet mushroom and deform as it creates a “wound channel” in the gelatin.

Watch Video – Cartridge Ignition Sequence Starts at 1:45 Time-Mark

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August 7th, 2020

Save Money This Summer with Brownells Discount Codes

Brownells discount code savings bargain

If you’ve been thinking about a big purchase at Brownells, here are some money-saving codes. Now through the end of August, Brownells is offering $50 Off a $500+ purchase or $25 Off a $250+ purchase. That’s a great deal, effectively a 10% savings. Use Code VTH to save $50 on $500+, or use Code VTG to save $25 on the purchase of $250 or more.

Brownells discount code savings bargain

Coupon Code: VTH — $50 Off $500 or more
Expiration date: August 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM CDT

Coupon Code: MFX — $25 Off $250 or more
Expiration date: August 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM CDT

More Brownells Discount Codes

If you miss these deals listed above, Brownells is still running some discounts for $99-$200 purchases. With a purchase of $200 and up, save $20 with Code M8Y. Or, with a purchase of $99 or more, you can save $10 with Code MDX. You can also get free Shipping/Handling for all purchases over $49 with Code VB5. That free shipping/handling could save you another $10-$20 easy. NOTE: These codes have no listed expiration date, but Brownells could terminate them at any time, so you should still act soon.

Coupon Code: M8Y — $20 off $200 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: NCS — $15 off $150 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

If that doesn’t work, try this one (no free shipping):
Coupon Code: TAG — $15 Off $150
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: NBM — $10 OFF $99 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

If that doesn’t work, try this one (no free shipping):
Coupon Code: PTT — $10 Off $100
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: VB5 — Free S/H Over $49
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

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August 6th, 2020

Guns and Ammo in Aftermath of Floods — What to Do

NSSF SAAMI flood flooding submersion water Ammunition Ammo damage
NOAA photo of flooding after Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The Colt Python Revolver once belonged to Elvis Presley (Rock Island Auction).

This past week, Tropical Storm Isaias has hammered the East Coast of the USA. The BBC reported: “From North Carolina up to New York, Isaias left more than 3.4 million residents without power. It spawned tornadoes, uprooted trees, damaged homes and caused floods and fires.” This article explains what to do if you have experienced flooding.

Firearms owners who have seen their guns and stored ammunition submerged by flood waters in storm-wracked areas are probably wondering if their firearms and ammunition can be salvaged and safely used. To answer these questions, the NSSF and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI®) created two documents outlining the proper response to submersion of guns and ammo. If you’ve got wet guns and/or ammo, download these two PDF files and read them carefully.

SAAMI Guidance 1: What to Do About Firearms That Have Been Submerged in Water

SAAMI Guidance 2: What to Do About Ammunition That Has Been Submerged in Water

Dealing with Firearms That Were Submerged

The SAAMI document “Guidance on Firearms That Have Been Submerged or Exposed to Extensive Amounts of Water” points out two major concerns about firearms that have been exposed to water: parts susceptible to moisture and rust damage such as metal parts, wood stocks and grips, and optics; and, secondly, infiltration of the action, barrel and safety systems by grit, silt and other foreign debris.

#1 Always unload firearms before beginning any treatment process.

It’s important to limit moisture and corrosion damage to the component parts of the firearm. This can be accomplished by disassembling the component parts and using up to two coats of a moisture-displacing lubricant such as Hoppes #9 MDL or WD-40 to clean and stabilize the parts while, importantly, following the product’s directions so as not to damage, for instance, plastic or synthetic parts. Another tip is to allow wood stocks and grips to air-dry and not be force dried by exposure to heat.

The document emphasizes that once the firearm has been thoroughly dried, consideration must be given to having the firearm inspected and serviced by the manufacturer, an authorized service center, or a qualified gunsmith before putting the firearm back in service.

Dealing with Ammunition That Was Submerged

NSSF SAAMI flood flooding submersion water Ammunition Ammo damage

Bottom Line, if your ammo has been submerged — DON’T USE IT. SAAMI explains why…

To help firearms owners determine what to do with ammunition that has been affected by water and moisture, SAAMI offers another helpful document, “Guidance on Ammunition That Has Been Submerged in Water.” This document covers differences in moisture resistance between centerfire, rimfire and shotshell ammunition, and potential hazards associated with “drying out” cartridges, including possible deterioration and damage to cartridges due to drying methods.

Another serious hazard that could result from using compromised ammunition is the potential for a bore obstruction due to partial ignition of either the priming compound or the propellant powder charge, or both. Firing a subsequent round through an obstructed barrel can result in bodily injury, death and property damage.

SAAMI provides the following cautionary conclusion: “It would be impossible to ascertain for certain the extent of the deteriorating affect, if any, the water may have had on each individual cartridge. Therefore, the safe answer is that no attempt be made to salvage or use submerged ammunition. The ammunition should be disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. Contact your local law enforcement agency for disposal instructions in your area.”

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August 6th, 2020

Hornady Video Shows How Ammunition is Made

Hornady Manufacturing

Hornady ManufacturingIf you wonder how ammo is made, starting with raw metal, check out this video from Hornady. It shows how bullet jackets are formed from copper, followed by insertion of a lead core. The jacket is then closed up over the core with the bullet taking its final shape in a die (a cannelure is applied on some bullet types). Next the video shows how cartridge brass is formed, starting with small cups of brass. The last part of the video shows how cases are primed and filled with powder, and how bullets are seated into the cases, using an automated process on a giant assembly-line. CLICK Link below to watch video:

Hornady’s New 150,000-sq-ft Ammo Production Center
In 2018, Hornady opened a new, state-of-the-art factory. The 150,000-sq-ft Hornady West Facility, featured in the video below, handles ammunition production and product distribution — Hornady produces millions of rounds annually. Hornady cartridge brass and bullets will continue to be produced at Hornady’s 100,000+ square foot factory in Grand Island, Nebraska. The Grand Island factory is open for tours Monday through Thursday. Hornady Manufacturing was founded by Joyce Hornady in 1949, so 2019 marked the company’s 70th anniversary.

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August 5th, 2020

Primers 101 — What You Need to Know About Primers

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-15 reloading  brass safety primer resizing

Here is an article Glen Zediker wrote for the Midsouth Blog. In this article Glen gives important advice on selecting, handling, seating, and testing primers. The right primer choice can and will affect your load’s performance and accuracy. And proper primer handling is essential for safety.

Glen is the author of many excellent books on reloading. This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

Handloading for Competition
by Glen Zediker

The Competitive AR-15
by Glen Zediker

Top-Grade Ammo
by Glen Zediker

RELOADERS CORNER: PRIMER TECH

by Glen Zediker
The primer is one component in the collection that might not get all the attention it warrants. That’s because it is the one thing, above all other components, that you don’t want to just swap and switch around. We’ve all heard cautions about testing new lots of every component, especially propellant, but primers not only change lot to lot, they vary greatly in their influence on any one load, brand to brand.

The difference in one brand to the next can equal a good deal more or less pressure, for instance. While there are “general” tendencies respecting the “power” of various-brand primers, always (always) reduce the load (propellant quantity) when switching primers.

This has become more of an issue over the past few years as we’ve faced component shortages. I can tell you without a doubt that going from a WW to a CCI, or from a Remington to a Federal, can have a major influence on a load. I establish that from chronograph readings. No doubt, it’s best to have a good supply of one primer brand and lot that produces good results, and when that’s not possible, it’s a hard sell to convince someone to stop loading ammo and get back to testing. But. It is important. I can tell you that from (bad) experience. How I, and we all, learn most things…

When I switch primers, whether as a test or a necessity, I reduce my load ONE FULL GRAIN. There can be that much effect.

The Elements of a Primer
A primer is made up of a brass cup filled with explosive compound (lead styphate). Lead styphate detonates on impact. Primers don’t burn – they explode! In the manufacturing process, this compound starts as a liquid. After it’s laid into the cup, and while it’s still wet, a triangular piece or metal (the “anvil”) is set in. When the cup surface is struck by the firing pin, the center collapses, squeezing the explosive compound between the interior of the cup and the anvil. That ignites the compound and sends a flame through the case flash hole, which in turn lights up the propellant.

Primers Can be Dangerous — Particularly When Stacked
Don’t underestimate that. I’ve had one experience that fortunately only created a huge start, but I know others who have had bigger more startling mishaps. These (almost always) come from primer reservoirs, such fill-tubes. Pay close attention when charging up a tube and make sure all the primers are facing the right way, and that you’re not trying to put in “one more” when it’s full! That’s when “it” usually happens. What will happen, by the way, is akin to a small grenade. Static electricity has also been blamed, so keep that in mind.

Sizes and Types of Primers
Primers come in two sizes and four types. “Large” and “small”: for example, .223 Rem. takes small, .308 Win. takes large. Then there are pistol and rifle in each size.

Rifle primers and pistol primers are not the same, even though they share common diameters! Rifle primers [normally] have a tougher cup, and, usually, a hotter flash. Never swap rifle for pistol. Now, some practical-style competitive pistol shooters using their very high-pressure loads (like .38 Super Comp) sometimes substitute rifle primers because they’ll “handle” more pressure, but they’ve also tricked up striker power. That’s a specialized need.

Further, some primer brands are available with a “magnum” option. Some aren’t. My experience has been that depends on the “level” of their standard primer. A magnum primer, as you might guess, has a more intense, stouter flash that travels more “deeply” to ignite the larger and more dense powder column. It reaches further, faster.

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-15 reloading  brass safety primer resizing

Flash Consistency Counts
Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-15 reloading  brass safety primer resizingFlash Consistency is very important, shot to shot. The consistency of every component is important: bullet weights, diameters, case wall thicknesses, and all the way down the list. We’re hoping to get more consistent behavior from a “match” or “benchrest” primer, and we’re paying more for it. I can tell you that some brands that aren’t touted as “match” are already consistent. That all comes from experience: try different primers, just respect the need to initially reduce the load for each test.

Primer Dimensional Differences and Primer Tools
One last thing — there are small variations in primer dimensions (heights, diameters) among various brands. These variations are not influential to performance. However — small diameter variations can influence feeding through priming tools. This can be a hitch especially in some progressive loading machines. Manufacturers usually offer insight (aka: “warnings”) as to which are or aren’t compatible, so find out.

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-15 reloading brass safety primer resizingGet Midsouth products HERE

Get Primer trays HERE

This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. Learn more about Glen’s books at ZedikerPublishing.com.

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August 4th, 2020

Accuracy vs. Precision — Litz Explains the Difference

Applied Ballistics Rounds on Target DVD accurateshooter.com

The NSSF has posted a video featuring Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. Bryan also serves as Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets and ABM Ammo. In this short video, Bryan explains the importance of ballistics for precision shooting at long range. Bryan covers key elements — drop, wind drift, angle correction and more. And Bryan also explains the key difference between Accuracy and Precision.

The principles Bryan discusses are covered (in greater detail) in the Putting Rounds on Target instructional DVD set. This 3-Disc collection boasts a total run-time of 3 hours and 37 minutes. The three DVDs, with many graphics and video segments, deliver as much information as a weekend shooting seminar… at a fraction of the cost. The 3-DVD set sells for $44.95.

Applied Ballistics Rounds on Target DVD accurateshooter.com

Disc 1

• Accuracy & Precision
• Tall Target Test
• Chronographs & Statistics
• Ballistic Coefficient
• Trajectory Terms
• Run Time: 1 hour, 4 min

Disc 2

• Primary Elevation (Wind)
• Secondary Effects
• Using Ballistics Solvers
• Short & LR Equipment
• Run Time: 1 hour, 11 min

Disc 3

• On The Range: .308 Win
• On The Range: .284 Win
• On The Range: .338 LM
• Extended Range Shooting
• One Mile Shooting
• Run Time: 1 hour, 22 min

DVD Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Shooting F-Class .284 Win .338 LM

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August 4th, 2020

Brownells Videos on PRS, Handloading, Ammo Storage and More

Brownells video archive youtube channel AR15 reloading .22 LR cleaning

Brownells is a well-known retailer of guns, gun parts, tools, accessories, ammo, and pretty much everything gun related. What you may not know is that Brownells has a very active video production department that releases new “how-to” and product information videos every week. These videos offer helpful advice on gun cleaning/maintenance, reloading, as well as selecting/assembling components for various kinds of rifles. And every week Brownells serves up a new products video. There now over 1000 videos on the Brownells YouTube Channel, this really is a remarkable resource.

Here are six of our favorite recent videos from Brownells. AR owners will find some good advice on spare parts, new reloaders can learn how to use the OAL tool, and all gun owners should watch the video on ammunition storage.

Introduction to PRS Competition

In this video, Tom Beckstrand, former Special Forces Sniper Team Leader and Guns & Ammo magazine staffer, looks at the Precision Rifle Series (PRS). Tom covers the types of stages in a typical PRS match using unconventional, real-world shooting rests. He also discusses the equipment you’ll need including bag supports, bipods, tripods, and optics. As most ranges aren’t set up for PRS, Tom offers tips on how to train at your local range.

How to Use Hornady OAL Tool and Hornady Bullet Comparator

Gun Tech Steve Ostrem explains how to properly use Hornady’s Overall Length Gauge to determine length-to-land precisely. The OAL Gauge uses a “Modified Case” that theads onto the tool and holds a bullet. Push on the back of the gauge until you feel the bullet just touch the rifling. (We do this gently at first, tapping the rod a couple time to ensure the bullet is aligned correctly). Once you’ve got the length, then use the tool with a comparator on your calipers to get the lenght-to-lands. NOTE: We recommend taking the measurement 3-4 times in a row to get a reliable number. With a little practice your should be able to get repeatable measurements within .0015″.

New Bog Pod Tripod and Caldwell Electronic Muffs

Brownells staffer Paul Levy showcases the impressive new DeathGrip Tripod from Bog Gear. The DeathGrip’s adjustable jaws clamp firmly to the rifle’s forearm. This is a useful device for both PRS shooters and hunters. The head assembly has 25-deg front/rear tilt and 360-deg swivel. And the jaws’ non-slip, rubberized padding won’t scratch that stock. The legs snap open to three pre-set hard stops, and there’s plenty of length extension. Easily switch between rubber feet and steel spikes without removing a single part from the trippod. This video also features Caldwell’s E-Max™ Pro noise-cancelling electronic muffs. These affordable 23 dB NRR units boast dual microphones and digital volume controls, and two sizes are offered — Youth and Adult.

How to Store Ammunition Safely and Securely

Notably, this is the single most popular Brownells video this year, with 494,000 views since March 2020. Here’s the deal — ammunition WILL keep for a long time if you store it properaly. DO store ammunition in a cool, dry place that doesn’t have wide temperature swings. Temperature cycling will also degrade primers and powder. Put it in airtight ammo cans to keep out the moisture. Tupperware containers will work too. Brownells also recommends putting moisture-absorbing silica packs in your ammo containers. DON’T just keep ammo in factory cardboard factory boxes stacked in the basement, attic, or garage — especially not on the floor! The ammunition boxes will absorb moisture which will degrade primers and powder and corrode the brass cases. Yes, sealed military ammo will usually handle this kind of storage for quite a while, but it’s still not wise.

Must-Have Spare Parts for AR-Platform Rifles

This is one of Brownells most popular recent videos, with 154,000 views in just four months. Two gun technicians answer the question: “What spare parts should I keep on hand for my AR-15?” On the list are: Gas Rings, Buffer Spring, Extractor Spring and Pin. NOTE: You may want to try the one-piece spiral gas ring rather than the standard rings which require alignment. The cotter pin and cam pin can also easily get lost when the Bolt Carrier Group is disassembled for cleaning. On the lower receiver you’ll want spare springs and detents for the pivot/takedown pins. If you’re using lighter-power springs, keep standard-power spares on hand. If your rifle stops working, swap in the factory-spec springs to find out if the problem is the gun or your ammo. Also, if you have upgraded your trigger, always keep the original trigger as a backup.

Cleaning Advice for .22 LR Rimfire Rifles

Gun Techs Steve Ostrem and Caleb Savant debunk some myths about cleaning .22 LR barrels. One myth is that cleaning will harm the accuracy of a .22 LR barrel. Caleb thinks this myth is the result of people cleaning a barrel from the muzzle and damaging the muzzle crown, which CAN diminish accuracy. If it’s done right, cleaning won’t damage the bore. However, you certainly do NOT have to clean your 22 LR’s bore every time you go to the range. But DO clean the action every time you shoot the rifle, especially on a semi-auto. What about shooting a lot of lead bullets? Won’t that lead up the bore? The guys give us the straight skinny on lead fouling, too. When you see your .22 LR rifle’s groups opening up, you may want to consider cleaning.

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August 4th, 2020

Bullet Tip Touches Comparator Body Before Ogive Reaches Insert

Bullet ogive comparator gauge tool drill fix hybrid ogive bullet

Bullet ogive comparator gauge tool drill fix hybrid ogive bulletDo you shoot long, pointy Hybrid Ogive bullets? If so, you may need to modify the Hornady L-N-L Bullet Comparator tool commonly used to measure the distance from bullet base to bullet ogive.

With modern, high-BC match bullets, so much of the bullet may extend forward of the ogive that the bullet tip actually contacts the inside of the red comparator body BEFORE the bullet’s ogive contacts the gray caliber-specific insert ring attached to the red body. When this happens you will NOT get an accurate Base-to-Ogive (BTO) measure. And likewise you will not get a proper Cartridge-Base-to-Ogive (CBTO) measurement with loaded rounds.

Watch this video — it shows exactly how this measurement “fail” can happen with a .338-caliber Berger Elite hunter bullet. The tester was getting a false bullet Base-to-Ogive reading of 1.175 (0:25 timemark) before modifying his tool. The true BTO measurement, with the bullet actually contacting the gray comparator ring, is 1.121 (1:25 timemark):

How to Fix the Problem
What’s the fix? With a drill, you must relieve the back “wall” inside the red comparator holder bore. This will provide more clearance for the bullet tip. With more clearance the bullet ogive will seat properly on the gray, caliber-specific insert. The tip will no longer bottom out on the red clamping half of the tool.

The maker of this helpful video, EuLRH explains: “As we all know the CBTO (Cartridge Base to Ogive) measurement is [more useful than] COAL (Cartridge Overall Length). There are lots of products that can do this. One of them is Hornady L-N-L bullet comparator. Attention! With modern long range bullets it is possible that the bullet tip is touching the comparator body instead of the bullet ogive touching the gauge.” In this example, EuLRH worked with the 300gr Berger elite hunter bullet in .338 Caliber.

Why You Need to Check with Your Own Loads
If your bullets have this “tip touching” issue, when you measure your loaded rounds you will be seeing COAL instead of the Cartridge Base to Ogive (CBTO) length. Take a moment, test with your own bullets and your comparator to determine if you have this measurement problem. If you do, try the drilling solution shown in the video.

Credit Boyd Allen for finding EuLRH Video.

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August 3rd, 2020

Bargain Finder 254: 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. Bruno Shooters Supply — Massive BAT Action Sale

bat action sale

Superb BAT custom actions, over 80 on sale at $100 Off

BAT actions have an amazing reputation and are available in more configurations that just about any other action on the market. Head over to Bruno Shooters Supply and choose from over 80 BAT Actions on sale. Many models are avaiable, all discounted $100 off Bruno’s normal pricing. This BAT promo gets you $100 closer to that elite custom rifle you’ve always wanted.

2. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Ruger American Scoped Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor, $539.99

ruger american sale

Great deal on hunting rifles with Vortex Scope, 6.5CM, .308 Win, .243 Win

Sportsman’s Warehouse is running a special on Ruger rifles with Vortex scopes. For $539.99 you can get this Ruger American in 6.5 Creedmoor topped with a Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm scope with Dead-Hold BDC reticle. For the same $539.99 price you can also get this rifle in .308 Win, or .243 Win, also scope-equipped. This is a very good option if you are looking for an affordable hunting rig, ready to go.

3. EuroOptic — Vortex Optics Scope Clearance Sale

vortex scope sale

Super-low prices on scopes for PRS, Hunting, and Tactical

Maybe you’re in the market for a new scope for your AR or perhaps you’d like more magnification for your long-range rig. No matter what you’re in the market for, EuroOptic is running a huge Vortex Clearance Sale on scopes ranging from 1-4x24mm up to 6-24x50mm all at crazy low prices. If you’re planning a future build, you may want to grab one of these scopes now — the prices are exceptional.

4. Graf’s — Hornady A-Tip Bullets, All Calibers, Good Prices

hornady a tip sale

High BC A-Tips, wide selection of calibers

Hornady A-Tip bullets has started to earn a place on the line as more and more people are learning how to load and shoot them. As a result stock levels have been spotty at best in popular calibers. At Graf & Sons, we found a full selection of Hornady A-Tip bullets, including hard-to-find bullet weights. If you’ve been interested in trying A-Tips, grab these before they sell out.

5. Bullet Central — Bix’n Andy Benchrest Trigger, $385.00

tipton gun vise sale

Truly superb Benchrest match trigger or get Dakota Trigger for $195.00

Having a light and reliable trigger is critical to success in many disciplines. The Bix’n Andy Rem700 Benchrest Trigger is one of the best out there. With its easy-to-change pull weight and a ultra-crisp break it’s the choice of many competition shooters. If you’re looking for something with a slightly heavier pull at a much lower price, check out the $195.00 Dakota Trigger.

6. Amazon — Tipton Best Gun Vise, $87.54

tipton gun vise sale

Versatile, stable, works with all rifles, including ARs

You need a stable platform at home for your gun when clealing, and most gun vises are too light or unstable to do the job properly. If you’re looking upgrade to a better solution than what you have, grab the Tipton Best Gun Vise. The vise was designed to accommodate the widest possible array of firearms for cleaning, maintenance, or gunsmithing, and is easily configurable to handle bolt-action rifles, break-open shotguns, AR-15s, and handguns. You can also purchase this excellent Gun Vise for $89.99 at Midsouth Shooters, also a good deal.

7. MidwayUSA — MTM Shooting Range Box, $41.16

mtm range box sale

Great unit holds gear and has cradles for cleaning

Whether heading to the range or a weeklong competition, having all your cleaning gear in one easy-to-use place is critical. Enter the MTM Shooting Range Box. This will hold solvents, jags, brushes, patches, guide rods, and tools. PLUS this unit has cradles to support your rifle. This Editor has been using the MTM Range Box for years and wouldn’t dream of attending a match without it. Order now from MidwayUSA for $47.99, or back-order from Midsouth Shooters for $41.16.

8. Amazon — Motion-Sensor LED Interior Light, $15.99

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 off when you close the door. Select three brightness levels: 10LED, 20LED, 30LED. With the supplied 3M adhesive magnetic strip you can easily attach the light to the inner walls of your gun safe. And then quickly remove the unit for charging with a standard USB cord (no batteries to replace!). It works, it’s handy, and it’s inexpensive — just $15.99 on Amazon. These motion-sensor LED lamps can also be used in garages or stairwells. NOTE: this is Amazon’s choice for rechargeable LED Motion-Sensor lights.

9. Amazon — Tipton Universal Bore Guide, $13.59

tipton bore guide sale

Very inexpensive but versatile for full range of chamber sizes

Bore cleaning is critical for rifle longevity and accuracy. But you need a good bore guide to avoid potential damage to your chamber and bore. This handy Tipton Universal Bore Guide ships with multiple chamber adapters. Three tapered tips are included (small fits calibers .17-.24, medium fits most calibers .25-.30, and large fits most calibers over .30). This Universal Bore Guide includes an action collar for AR rifles.

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August 2nd, 2020

Expanding Cartridge Brass in Stages with Progressive Press

Darrell Jones DJ's Brass Service expanding brass 6mmBR 6BR BRX 30BR Hornady press
Photos from DJ’s Brass Service.

Have you ever expanded a .22 or 6mm cartridge all the way up to .30-caliber? If so, you know this can be a difficult procedure that stresses the case necks and neck-shoulder junction. A significant neck-size expansion done in one big jump can increase run-out, cause doughnuts, or worse yet, even split the brass. Therefore you want to proceed in increments, increasing the neck diameter in stages. One smart way to do that is to use a Progressive Press. This article explains how…

The most successful short-range brenchrest-for-score cartridge is the 30 BR. That cartridge, as well as 30 BR variants such as the 30 BRX, all start with the 6mmBR Norma parent cartridge, typically with Lapua 6mmBR brass. To get a nice 30 BR case you want to expand in stages, increasing the inside neck diameter incrementally from .243 to .308.

Darrell Jones of DJ’s Brass Service creates thousands of 30 BR cases each year. He has found a clever way to speed up the process — Darrell uses a Progressive Press. He runs his 6BR brass through four (4) separate Hornady neck-sizing dies with expander mandrels. First there is a .257 die, followed by .264 (6.5mm), .284 (7mm), and then .308. Then a fifth and final K&M die provides one last, slight expansion so the newly-fashioned 30 BR cases perfectly fit the arbor of Darrell’s neck-turning tool.

So to repeat, the case starts as .243 (6mm), then moves in up stages .257, .264, .284, and .308, with a final “finishing” step prior to neck-turning. You can see the expansion in this video, which starts with 6mmBR brass that was first hydro-formed to 6 BRX:

Watch 6mm Cases Expanded to 30-Caliber (6BRX to 30 BRX)

For this demo video, Darrell expands just one case at a time. However, he can also put multiple cases in the progressive — one per station. This takes a little more effort, Darrell says, but the results are still excellent. Darrell tells us: “I do put multiple cases in the progressive to save time. The results are the same — I just wanted to show a single-step process and how it reduces run-out by not stressing the shoulder with one big expansion from 6mm straight to 30 caliber. Doing the operation in multiple stages avoids binds and helps keep the shoulders concentric.”

This same multi-stage procedure can be use to expand other cartridge types. For example you could take .221 Fireball brass in stages up to .308 to create 300 Blackout brass.

Darrell Jones DJ's Brass Service expanding brass 6mmBR 6BR BRX 30BR Hornady press

Darrell uses caliber-specific, Hornady neck-sizing-only dies with elliptical expanders. Darrell tells us: “The Hornady elliptical expander has a reduced bearing surface that puts less strain on the brass when expanding the necks to the next size.” The fitting at the bottom of the die is the Lock-N-Load die bushing that allows fast die changes.

These particular cases used in the video were first hydro-formed to 6BRX then expanded to 30 BRX before neck turning. DJ’s Brass offers hydro-forming for many popular wildcat cartridges such as 6 PPC, 6mm Dasher, and .284 Shehane.

Darrell Jones DJ's Brass Service expanding brass 6mmBR 6BR BRX 30BR Hornady press

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August 1st, 2020

The Hazards of Old Ammo — Watch Out for Internal Corrosion!

300 Winchester Magnum winmag reloading hand-loading powder corrosion
Above is a 26-year-old hand-loaded .300 Winchester Magnum case that failed to fire. After the misfire, the shooter used an inertial (impact) bullet puller to pull the bullet. In the process the case-neck sheared off.

Here’s a cautionary tale from the Tactical Rifle Shooters Facebook group. This real-world example explains why you should be cautious of old ammunition. Here serious internal corrosion was discovered.

Old Ammunition — Why You Should Be Careful

Commentary by Tactical Rifle Shooters
The subject often comes up as to whether it is safe to shoot old ammunition. Historically my answer has always been yes, since over the years I have shot military surplus ammo dating back to World War II (1939-1945) and never had a problem. With over 40 years in competitive shooting, I’ve also had boxes of factory ammo that were 30+ years old and all worked flawlessly.

But I had an interesting experience this week shooting some .300 Winchester Magnum (WinMag) that I had loaded for competition with Reloder 22 back in 1993. I was breaking in a new barrel so just shooting any old ammo that I had. Of the 20 rounds, 15 shot perfectly, three had a fraction of a second hang-fire, and two didn’t shoot at all.

SMART TIP: If you have old ammunition, pull one bullet to see what’s going on inside.

So I pulled the bullets using a hammer-type impact (inertial) bullet puller. What I found was verdigris-like corrosion inside the necks, with one neck completely separating. One reason for this could be that dissimilar metals (copper and brass) can set up a reaction resulting in corrosion. Like I said, this is the first time I’ve seen this, but will definitely be more aware when shooting old hand-loads in the future.

300 Winchester Magnum winmag reloading hand-loading powder corrosion

Above is one of the 26-year-old reloaded .300 WinMag cartridges which had failed to fire. To check the internal condition, the bullet was removed using an impact (inertial) bullet puller. Note the verdigris-like corrosion and crack in neck.

300 Winchester Magnum winmag reloading hand-loading powder corrosion

Here’s a close-up of the same .300 Winchester Magnum hand-load from 1993 showing serious corrosion inside the neck. (This was a fail-to-fire.) The powder was Alliant Reloder 22. If you have old ammo, it wouldn’t hurt to pull one bullet to see what’s going on inside.

CREDIT Tactical Rifle Shooters Facebook Group for this Ammo Tech Tip and photos.

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July 31st, 2020

Grip on Bullet — Many Factors Involved, Not Just Bushing Size

case neck bushing reloading die tension bullet release

Many novice hand-loaders believe that neck bushing Inside Diameter (ID) size is the only important factor in neck tension. In fact, many different things will influence the grip on your bullet and its ability to release from the case neck. To learn more about neck tension and “case grip”, take the time to read this article carefully. We bet you’ll gain knowledge that will let you load more accurate ammo, with better ES/SD.

Editor: Guys, this is a VERY important article. You really should read it over carefully, twice. Variations in the force required to release a bullet can significantly affect accuracy and ES/SD. You really need to know how the grip on bullet can be altered by many different factors.

Neck Tension (i.e. Grip on Bullets) Is a Complex Phenomenon
While we certainly have considerable control over neck tension by using tighter or looser bushings (with smaller or bigger Inside Diameters), bushing size is only one factor at work. It’s important to understand the multiple factors that can increase or decrease the resistance to bullet release. Think in terms of overall brass-on-bullet “grip” instead of just bushing size (or the internal neck diameter in non-bushing full-length sizing dies).

Bullet grip is affected by many things, such as:

1. Neck-wall thickness.
2. Amount of bullet bearing surface (shank) in the neck.
3. Surface condition inside of neck (residual carbon can act as a lubricant; ultrasonic cleaning makes necks “grabby”).
4. Length of neck (e.g. 6mmBR neck vs. 6mm Dasher).
5. Whether or not the bullets have an anti-friction coating.
6.The springiness of the brass (which is related to degree of work-hardening; number of firings etc.)
7. The bullet jacket material.
8. The outside diameter of the bullet and whether it has a pressure ridge.
9. Time duration between bullet seating and firing (necks can stiffen with time).
10. How often the brass is annealed.
11. Amount (length) of neck sized (e.g. you can size only half the neck).
12. Interior diameter of bushing, or neck section of non-bushing die.


– and there are others…

One needs to understand that bushing size isn’t the beginning and end of neck tension questions, because, even if bushing size is held constant, the amount of bullet “grip” can change dramatically as the condition of your brass changes. Bullet “grip” can also change if you alter your seating depth, and it can even change if you ultrasonically clean your cases.

Redding neck bushingsIn our Shooters’ Forum a reader recently asked: “How much neck tension should I use?” This prompted a Forum discussion in which other Forum members recommended a specific number based on their experience, such as .001″, .002″, or .003″. These numbers, as commonly used, correspond to the difference between case-neck OD after sizing and the neck OD of a loaded round, with bullet in place. In other words, the numbers refer to the nominal amount of interference fit (after sizing).

While these commonly-used “tension numbers” (of .001″, .002″ etc.) can be useful as starting points, neck tension is actually a fairly complex subject. The actual amount of “grip” on the bullet is a function of many factors, of which neck-OD reduction during sizing is just one. Understanding these many factors will help you maintain consistent neck tension as your brass “evolves” over the course of multiple reloadings.

Seating Depth Changes Can Increase or Decrease Grip on Bullet
You can do this simple experiment. Seat a boat-tail bullet in your sized neck with .150″ of bearing surface (shank) in the neck. Now remove the bullet with an impact hammer. Next, take another identical bullet and seat it with .300″ of bearing surface in another sized case (same bushing size/same nominal tension). You’ll find the deeper-seated bullet is gripped much harder.

PPC lapua brassNeck-Wall Thickness is Important Too
I have also found that thinner necks, particularly the very thin necks used by many PPC shooters, require more sizing to give equivalent “grip”. Again, do your own experiment. Seat a bullet in a case turned to .008″ neckwall thickness and sized down .003″. Now compare that to a case with .014″ neckwall thickness and sized down .0015″. You may find that the bullet in the thin necks actually pulls out easier, though it supposedly has more “neck tension”, if one were to consider bushing size alone.

In practical terms, because thick necks are less elastic than very thin necks, when you turn necks you may need to run tighter bushings to maintain the same amount of actual grip on the bullets (as compared to no-turn brass). Consequently, I suspect the guys using .0015″ “tension” on no-turn brass may be a lot closer to the guys using .003″ “tension” on turned necks than either group may realize.

Toward a Better Definition of Neck Tension
As a convenient short-cut, we tend to describe neck tension by bushing size alone. When a guy says, “I run .002 neck tension”, that normally means he is using a die/bushing that sizes the necks .002″ smaller than a loaded round. Well we know something about his post-sizing neck OD, but do we really have a reliable idea about how much force is required to release his bullets? Maybe not… This use of the term “neck tension” when we are really only describing the amount of neck diameter reduction with a die/bushing is really kind of incomplete.

My point here is that it is overly simplistic to ask, “should I load with .001 tension or .003?” In reality, an .001″ reduction (after springback) on a thick neck might provide MORE “grip” on a deep-seated bullet than an .003″ reduction on a very thin-walled neck holding a bullet with minimal bearing surface in the neck. Bushing ID is something we can easily measure and verify. We use bushing size as a descriptor of neck tension because it is convenient and because the other important factors are hard to quantify. But those factors shouldn’t be ignored if you want to maintain consistent neck tension for optimal accuracy.

Consistency and accuracy — that’s really what this all about isn’t it? We want to find the best neck tension for accuracy, and then maintain that amount of grip-on-bullet over time. To do that you need to look not only at your bushing size, but also at how your brass has changed (work-hardened) with time, and whether other variables (such as the amount of carbon in the neck) have changed. Ultimately, optimal neck tension must be ascertained experimentally. You have to go out and test empirically to see what works, in YOUR rifle, with YOUR bullets and YOUR brass. And you may have to change the nominal tension setting (i.e. bushing size) as your brass work-hardens or IF YOU CHANGE SEATING DEPTHS.

Remember that bushing size alone does not tell us all we need to know about the neck’s true “holding power” on a bullet, or the energy required for bullet release. True bullet grip is a more complicated phenomenon, one that is affected by numerous factors, some of which are very hard to quantify.

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July 30th, 2020

The 300 Raptor — Monster .30-Caliber Magnum for Long Range

300 Raptor Allen Precision
The 300 Raptor just might be the most powerful .30-Cal magnum for a conventional-sized receiver.

With the success of the King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event and the growing popularity of extreme long range shooting, we’ve seen an increased interest in really big cartridges for really long range. One such wildcat cartridge is the 300 Raptor pioneered by Kirby Allen. This monster magnum can launch a 230gr bullet at 3350 fps. That delivers some serious ballistics at extreme long range.

300 Raptor Allen PrecisionKirby Allen of Allen Precision Shooting, www.apsrifles.com, has developed a .30-caliber, jumbo-sized magnum wildcat cartridge. The powerful 300 Raptor (center in photo) is based on Allen’s 338 Excalibur parent case (far right in photo), necked down to 30 Cal with shoulder moved forward to increase case capacity. Allen states: “This is the largest capacity and performance .30 caliber magnum on the market that can be used in a conventional-sized receiver.”

Shoot 200s at 3600 fps
Performance of Allen’s new 300 Raptor is impressive. Allen claims that “200gr Accubonds can be driven to nearly 3600 fps, 230gr Berger Hybrids to 3350 fps, and the 240gr SMK to right at 3300 fps. These loads offered case life in excess of 6-7 firings per case and many of my test cases have over 8 firings on each case so they are not an overly hot load showing the potential of this big .30 caliber.”

To showcase the new cartridge, Allen built up a prototype rifle with a McMillan A5 stock, Raptor LRSS Action with extended tenon, and a Jewell trigger. The first 300 Raptor Rifle is currently on its second barrel, a new 30″, 3-groove 1:9″-twist Lilja in a custom APS “Raptor Contour”. This distinctive dual-fluted contour runs full-diameter almost to the end of the stock, and then steps down and tapers to the muzzle, where a beefy Medium 3-port ‘Painkiller’ Allen Precision brake is fitted.

300 Raptor Allen Precision

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
July 29th, 2020

Reloading Rescue — How to Remove a Case Stuck in a Die

stuck72

Western powders, ramshot, norma, accurate

To err is human… Sooner or later you’ll probably get a case stuck in a die. This “fix-it” article, which originally appeared in the Western Powders Blog, explains how to remove a firmly stuck cartridge case using an RCBS kit. This isn’t rocket science, but you do want to follow the directions carefully, step-by-step. Visit the Western Powders Blog for other helpful Tech Tips.

Curing the Stuck Case Blues

decapstem72Sticking a case in the sizer die is a rite of passage for the beginning handloader. If you haven’t done it yet, that’s great, but it probably will eventually happen. When it does, fixing the problem requires a bit of ingenuity or a nice little kit like the one we got from RCBS.

The first step is to clear the de-capping pin from the flash hole. Just unscrew the de-capping assembly to move it as far as possible from the primer pocket and flash hole (photo at right). Don’t try to pull it all the way out. It won’t come. Just unscrew it and open as much space as possible inside the case.

Place the die upside down in the padded jaws of a vise and clamp it firmly into place. Using the supplied #7 bit, drill through the primer pocket. Be careful not to go too deeply inside the cartridge once the hole has opened up. It is important to be aware that the de-capping pin and expander ball are still in there and can be damaged by the bit.

Drill and Tap the Stuck Case
taping72drilling72

Once the cartridge head has been drilled, a ¼ – 20 is tap is used to cut threads into the pocket. Brass is relatively soft compared to a hardened tap, so no lube is needed for the tapping process. RCBS says that a drill can be used for this step, but it seems like a bit of overkill in a project of this nature. A wrench (photo above right) makes short work of the project.

RCBS supplies a part they call the “Stuck Case Remover Body” for the next step. If you are a do-it-yourselfer and have the bit and tap, this piece is easily replicated by a length of electrical conduit of the proper diameter and some washers. In either case, this tool provides a standoff for the screw that will do the actual pulling.

pulling72fingers72

With an Allen Wrench, Finish the Job
Run the screw through the standoff and into the tapped case head. With a wrench, tighten the screw which hopefully pulls the case free. Once the case is free, clamp the case in a vice and pull it free of the de-capping pin. There is tension here because the sizing ball is oversized to the neck dimension as part of the sizing process. It doesn’t take much force, but be aware there is still this last little hurdle to clear before you get back to loading. Don’t feel bad, everyone does this. Just use more lube next time!

wholekit72unstuck72

Article find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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