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January 15th, 2022

Changes in Humidity Can Alter Powder Burn Rates — IMPORTANT

Tech Tip Norma Powder gunpowder moisture temperature humidity

Most shooters realize that significant changes in temperature will alter how powders perform. That’s why you want to keep your loaded ammo out of the hot sun, and keep rounds out of a hot chamber until you’re ready to fire. But there are other factors to be considered — HUMIDITY for one. This article explains why and how humidity can affect powder burn rates and performance.

We’ve all heard the old adage: “Keep your powder dry”. Well, tests by Norma have demonstrated that even normal environmental differences in humidity can affect the way powders burn, at least over the long term. In the Norma Reloading Manual, Sven-Eric Johansson, head of ballistics at Nexplo/Bofors, presents a very important discussion of water vapor absorption by powder. Johansson demonstrates that the same powder will burn at different rates depending on water content.

Powders Leave the Factory with 0.5 to 1.0% Water Content
Johansson explains that, as manufactured, most powders contain 0.5 to 1% of water by weight. (The relative humidity is “equilibrated” at 40-50% during the manufacturing process to maintain this 0.5-1% moisture content). Importantly, Johansson notes that powder exposed to moist air for a long time will absorb water, causing it to burn at a slower rate. On the other hand, long-term storage in a very dry environment reduces powder moisture content, so the powder burns at a faster rate. In addition, Johansson found that single-base powders are MORE sensitive to relative humidity than are double-base powders (which contain nitroglycerine).

Tests Show Burn Rates Vary with Water Content
In his review of the Norma Manual, Fred Barker notes: “Johansson gives twelve (eye-opening) plots of the velocities and pressures obtained on firing several popular cartridges with dehydrated, normal and hydrated Norma powders (from #200 to MRP). He also gives results on loaded .30-06 and .38 Special cartridges stored for 663 to 683 days in relative humidities of 20% and 86%. So Johansson’s advice is to keep powders tightly capped in their factory containers, and to minimize their exposure to dry or humid air.”

Confirming Johansson’s findings that storage conditions can alter burn rates, Barker observes: “I have about 10 pounds of WWII 4831 powder that has been stored in dry (about 20% RH) Colorado air for more than 60 years. It now burns about like IMR 3031.”

What does this teach us? First, all powders start out with a small, but chemically important, amount of water content. Second, a powder’s water content can change over time, depending on where and how the powder is stored. Third, the water content of your powder DOES make a difference in how it burns, particularly for single-base powders. For example, over a period of time, a powder used (and then recapped) in the hot, dry Southwest will probably behave differently than the same powder used in the humid Southeast.

Reloaders are advised to keep these things in mind. If you want to maintain your powders’ “as manufactured” burn rate, it is wise to head Johannson’s recommendation to keep your powders tightly capped when you’re not actually dispensing charges and avoid exposing your powder to very dry or very humid conditions. The Norma Reloading Manual is available from MidwayUSA for $24.99.

Real-World Example — “Dry” H4831sc Runs Hotter

Robert Whitley agrees that the burn rate of the powder varies with the humidity it absorbs. Robert writes: “I had an 8-lb. jug of H4831SC I kept in my detached garage (it can be humid there). 43.5-44.0 gr of this was superbly accurate with the 115 Bergers out of my 6mm Super X. I got tired of bringing it in and out of the garage to my house for reloading so I brought and kept the jug in my reloading room (a dehumidified room in my house) and after a few weeks I loaded up 43.5 gr, went to a match and it shot awful. I could not figure out what was going on until I put that load back over the chronograph and figured out it was going a good bit faster than before and the load was out of the “sweet spot” (42.5 – 43.0 gr was the max I could load and keep it accurate when it was stored in less humid air). I put the jug back in the garage for a few weeks and I now am back to loading 43.5 – 44.0 gr and it shoots great again. I have seen this with other powders too.”

If you have two jugs of the same powder, one kept in a room in your house and one somewhere else where it is drier or more humid, don’t expect the two jugs of the same lot of powder to chrono the same with the same charge weights unless and until they are both stored long enough in the same place to equalize again.

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January 15th, 2022

Fitness and Cardio Training for Competitive Shooters

fitness cardio training

In the archives of The First Shot (the CMP’s Online Magazine), SGT Walter E. Craig of the USAMU discusses physical conditioning for competitive shooters, particularly High Power competitors. Fitness training is an important subject that, curiously, is rarely featured in the shooting sports media. We seem to focus on hardware, or esoteric details of cartridge reloading. Yet physical fitness also matters, particularly for High Power shooters. In his article, Craig advocates: 1) weight training to strengthen the Skeletal Muscle System; 2) exercises to build endurance and stamina; and 3) cardiovascular conditioning programs to allow the shooter to remain relaxed with a controlled heart beat.

SGT Craig explains: “An individual would not enter a long distance race without first spending many hours conditioning his/her body. One should apply the same conditioning philosophy to [shooting]. Physical conditioning to improve shooting skills will result in better shooting performance[.] The objective of an individual physical training program is to condition the muscles, heart, and lungs thereby increasing the shooter’s capability of controlling the body and rifle for sustained periods.”


CLICK HERE to READ FULL FITNESS TRAINING ARTICLE »

In addition to weight training and cardio workouts (which can be done in a gym), SGT Craig advocates “some kind of holding drill… to develop the muscles necessary for holding a rifle for extended periods.”

For those with range access, Craig recommends a blind standing exercise: “This exercise consists of dry-firing one round, then live-firing one round, at a 200-yard standard SR target. For those who have access only to a 100-yard range, reduced targets will work as well. Begin the exercise with a timer set for 50 minutes. Dry-fire one round, then fire one live round and without looking at the actual impact, plot a call in a data book. Continue the dry fire/live fire sequence for 20 rounds, plotting after each round. After firing is complete, compare the data book to the target. If your zero and position are solid, the plots should resemble the target. As the training days add up and your zero is refined, the groups will shrink and move to the center.”

Brandon Green
Fitness training and holding drills help position shooters reach their full potential. Here is 5-Time U.S. National Long Range Champion John Whidden.

Training for Older Shooters
Tom Alves has written an excellent article A Suggested Training Approach for Older Shooters. This article discusses appropriate low-impact training methods for older shooters. Tom explains: “Many of the articles you will read in books about position shooting and the one mentioned above are directed more toward the younger generation of shooters in their 20s. If you look down the line at a typical high power match these days you are likely to see quite a few folks who are in their middle 30s and up. Many people in that age range have had broken bones and wear and tear on their joints so a training program needs to take that into account. For instance, while jogging for an extended period for heart and lung conditioning may be the recommended approach for younger folks, it may be totally inappropriate for older people.”

READ FULL ARTICLE by Tom Alves

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January 14th, 2022

High Power Wind Lab — New Wind App for Shooters

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android
This new mobile App helps shooters make the right wind hold and/or dial the correct amount of windage.

High Power Wind Lab Mobile App
Product Review by F-Class John
When it comes to long range shooting, there are few things that make a bigger difference in hitting your target than being able to accurately adjust for wind angle/velocity changes. While it’s one thing to learn how to read the speed and direction of wind by looking at flags, mirage, or surface conditions, it’s another to know what to do with that information (how much to hold off/correct). Knowing how to process changing wind cycles and determine the right hold-off/correction often takes years or decades of practice to master.

Enter the High Power Wind Lab App which stands out as the only dedicated WSYWIG hold-off calculator on the market. Enter a few simple numbers from your favorite ballistic calculator and you’re ready to make adjustments to the wind direction and power dials, leaving the App to do the rest by telling you what your hold should be and if any additional windage should be added to your scope or sights. So after you input the data, then the App suggests the proper correction(s). Download the Wind Lab App for iPhones/iPads via the Apple App Store. NOTE: Android availability via Google Play is pending.

F-Class John Review of High Power Wind Lab App:

Starting up the App you’ll see a simple menu to start a session. The first field is for naming the session. This is helpful for those who save their strings and want to refer to them later but it’s not a required field. The next field is for choosing your target. The App offers the choice of High Power or F-Class targets at mid-range (600 yards) or long range (800-1000 yards). After picking the appropriate target, input the actual distance at which you’ll be shooting. After that, you’ll have to enter your load data. The next two fields will auto-populate for the date and then the shot list once you are done saving shots. The lower section allows you to change what’s visible on the screen (selecting the features you want to view). You can also choose MOA or MILS (milliradians) click values. For wind velocity values, you can select MPH, kilometers per hour, or meters per second.

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android
High Power Wind Lab iPhone App in horizontal mode.

Once you’re done with the setting page, simply tap “start” to bring up the target display. The App can be used in portrait or landscape mode but for the best user experience I’d recommend using it in landscape. On the target page you’ll see four distinct sections. Along the bottom you’ll see the windage dial where you can add or subtract windage simply by moving it left or right. Above the windage dial, you’ll see wind flags that represent the power and above that the direction dial. On the right is the actual target where you see the bracket of where you should hold for the shot based on the information you put in along with color coded brackets to show you the margin of error. The target section also features a great shot calling feature that allows you to tap where you held, then tap where your actual impact was. These shots can be saved for future reference and the ability to do this really helps while you’re training.

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android

Once you get used to how the wind direction and power inputs work the real power of this App comes to life as you can sit and practice what your calls should be from the comfort of your home. There are countless nights where I’ll sit in bed and spend ten minutes moving the power or direction through strange changes just so I can guess or track what happens and the more you practice with it, the more you’ll feel confident when you see those conditions occur at the range.

App Available Now for Apple and Android Mobile Devices
The High Power Wind Labs App is available now for iOS (Apple) mobile devices and Android devices. At $12.99 this App costs less than twenty 7mm match bullets. You could easily save that much in sighters in a couple range sessions. With its ability to calculate nearly every condition you’d encounter at a match you owe it to yourself to download it and start practicing. This interactive application is an invaluable tool for shooters that want to better understand the affects of wind on bullets over long distances.

High Power Wind Lab Description by Accuracy Software Ltd.

High Power Wind Lab is a visualization tool that helps shooters determine wind value based on observed conditions. The App efficiently calculates the sight correction necessary to hit the center of a target. Use High Power Wind Lab on and off the range to explore scenarios and better understand how wind affects the trajectory of a bullet. By interactively changing the wind velocity and wind angle, the display dynamically updates to show the calculated correction and a visualizes a range of possible outcomes if the shooter misreads the wind conditions. By changing the wind velocity and wind angle, the High Power Wind Lab shows the calculated correction as well as possible outcomes if the wind angle and velocity are misread. This interactive tool is invaluable for exploring the interplay of wind direction and velocity and the tradeoffs you need to make when deciding when to shoot and what correction to put on your gun.

The High Power Wind Lab is also a shot plotting and wind plotting tool that shows how wind conditions have developed over time and what the predominant conditions have been throughout a string of fire. That can be a very powerful “hindsight” tool when analyzing your results in a shooting session.

High Power Wind Lab Key Features Include:

Shot Plotting
Score Calculation
Record Keeping
Tablet Support
True MOA Corrections
Support for Custom Ammunition
Library of commonly-used Midrange and Long Range F-Class and High Power Rifle Targets

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android

Hold-Over Function in High Power Wind Lab

This video, from the creator of the High Power Wind Lab, explains how the Hold-Over feature works. Holding over is commonplace in long range target shooting among those who use scoped rifles. This video demonstrates how to use High Power Wind Lab’s hold-over feature to accurately calculate the needed hold-over when engaging long range targets.

NOTE: If this Hold-Over video is not displaying on your browser, try another browser and/or use this YouTube link: https://youtu.be/WhpyymG15HE

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January 14th, 2022

CMP 2022 Competition Games Schedule

2022 cmp western games

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has released its Competition Games schedule for 2022. These events feature rifle and pistol matches designed for experienced competitors as well as novice shooters. All Competition Games will include both rifle and pistol matches. CLICK HERE for full details on all the 2022 CMP Games, including event lists, policies, and registration details.

2022 CMP Games Schedule:

• March 11-20 – Western CMP Games & CMP HP Rifle Matches, Phoenix, Arizona

• April 22-May 1– Eastern CMP Games & CMP HP Rifle Matches, Camp Butner, North Carolina

• June 8-12 – Talladega D-Day Matches, Talladega, Alabama

• Sept. 18-25 – New England CMP Games & CMP HP Rifle Matches, Jericho, Vermont

• Oct. 16-23 – Oklahoma CMP Games & CMP HP Rifle Matches, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

• Nov. 14-20 – Talladega 600, Talladega, Alabama

2022 cmp western games

CLICK HERE for CMP Travel Games Registration INFO »

On the rifle side, the lineup of modern and vintage rifle events include M1 Garand, Springfield, Rimfire Sporter, Carbine and Vintage Sniper Matches. A Rifle Marksmanship 101 course allows participants to explore the fundamentals of secure rifle handling. Another educational opportunity is the GSM (Garand-Springfield-Vintage Military Rifle) New Shooter Clinic, which provides individuals an inside look at competing in CMP Games events. CMP Armorers will be on hand and will hold an M1 Garand Maintenance Clinic. All rifle competitions will be fired on CMP Targets, a user-friendly electronic target system that instantly displays shot placement and eliminates the need for pit duty — allowing for quicker matches.

CMP Games

Other rifle events will include: 4-Man Team Match, EIC Rifle Match and three days of 80-Shot events. The CMP Highpower Team will also put on a shooting clinic with demonstrations by top civilian Highpower service rifle competitors.

CMP games vintage Sniper

CMP pistol matches at the Games will include: CMP Match Pistol 2700, EIC Service Pistol, .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC, Military & Police Service Pistol and 1911 As-Issued Pistol matches. A Pistol Marksmanship 101 course, led by certified CMP instructors and leaders in the field today, offers an educational option for competitors on and off of the firing line.

2022 cmp western games
23022 Cmp games new england alt=

For more details about the 2022 CMP Games, including Registration Information and a detailed description of each Games event, visit the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-travel-games.

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January 14th, 2022

Ultrasonic Case Cleaning — What Is the Best Dwell Time?

cartridge brass case ultrasonic liquid cleaning dwell time brownells

If you read our lengthy article on Ultrasonic Cleaning by Jason Baney, you’ve seen the remarkable results that can be achieved with this method, as shown by the photo above. Ultrasonic cleaning has many advantages over traditional tumbling methods of case cleaning. There is no dust or media residue to remove from the brass, and when done right, the cases come out clean and shiny, inside and out, even the primer pockets.

In its Benchtalk Archives, Brownell’s has an excellent article discussing Ultrasonic Case Cleaning. Brownell’s staff compares results, with measured dwell times from 5 to 75 minutes, using both Mpro-7 and HCS 200 cleaning solutions. Tests are performed with once-fired and 5X-fired Tactical 20 (Tac20) cases, as well as once-fired .260 Rem Cases. The article also compares the results from ultrasonic cleaning vs. tumbling in walnut media. Below are Brownell’s results for Tac20 cases with the HCS 200 (non-acidic solution). Go to Brownell’s article for MPro7 results and Rem 260 results.

HCS 200 Cleaning Solution Test

Procedure — Solution was de-gassed for 15 minutes, then 63 Tac20 cases were placed in a single layer, in stainless steel mesh basket. The temperature of the starting solution was 102° F. When the cases were removed the temperature was 110° F.

Once-Fired Tactical Twenty Cases (HCS 200) — Observations
5 minutes: The exterior of the cases are not significantly brighter/cleaner. The primer pockets and case interiors are still dirty.
10 minutes: Exterior of the cases are brighter. 70% of the cases show some degree of cleaning of the primer pockets. Little difference seen inside the case, but case mouths are cleaner.
15 minutes: Case brightness is about the same. Still only 70% of the primer pockets are clean, but a larger portion of each is cleaner. A Q-tip swabbed inside the cases shows that carbon/powder residues are loosening up.
20 minutes: Case exteriors are brightening up. 80-85% of the primer pockets are about 90% clean. The insides of the cases and case mouths are cleaner.
25 minutes: Cases are brighter/cleaner than even new brass. 80-85% of the cases have almost completely clean primer pockets. The inside of the cases are 80-90% clean.
30 minutes: The insides of the cases and case mouths appear to be completely clean. 87% of the primer pockets are virtually 100% clean. 13% of the cases had stubborn primer pocket residue that could not be completely removed.
60 minutes: Eight cases (13%) were placed in the tank for another 30 minutes to try to remove the remaining residue in their primer pockets. Six out of the eight cases were completely clean.

Five-Times Fired Tac20 Cases — Observations
30 minutes: Based on the above observations, I didn’t begin to observe these 5-time fired cases until after 30 minutes: The exterior cases are bright/clean. Brighter than new cases. The primer pockets on 75% of the cases are 75% clean. The remaining cases had primer pockets that were only 25% clean. The inside of the cases appear to be clean.
65 minutes: 25% of the primer pockets were 95% clean, 25% of the primer pockets were 90% clean, 25% of the primer pockets were 85% clean; and 25% were 80% clean.
75 minutes: 75% of the primer pockets were 90% clean.

How Does Ultrasonic Cleaning Work?
The Brownell’s article explains: “Ultrasonic cleaning uses high-frequency sound waves (generally between 20-80 kHz) to remove a variety of contaminants from objects immersed in a liquid. The result of these high-frequency sound waves is a process called cavitation. These high frequency bursts of ultrasonic energy produce a three-dimensional wave of alternating positive and negative pressure areas as the sound wave passes through the solution. During negative pressure, microscopic cavitation bubbles form and will continue to grown until they reach resonant size. As the positive sound wave passes, the pressure rises rapidly and implodes these tiny bubbles. Before these minuscule bubbles implode they store a tremendous amount of energy. These bubbles can be as hot as 10,000 degrees and have as much as 50,000 lbs per square inch of pressure. This sounds alarming, but you have to remember that these bubbles are microscopic in nature and pose no harm to anything, unless you are a carbon /powder residue deposit on a cartridge case!

When this cavitation bubble implodes near your brass case, it transforms the bubble into a jet about 1/10th of its size. This jet of energy can travel as fast as 400 km/hour. At 43 kHz, as is the frequency for our L & R HCS 200 ultrasonic cleaner, this is happening 43,000 times per second. This micro-burst of extreme energy is responsible for removing contaminants from the surface of your cartridge brass. Ultrasonic cleaning can reach into crevices and inaccessible areas and remove surface debris that can’t be cleaned by any other process.”

Photos and quotes © Brownells®, Inc. All Rights Reserved, Used with Permission.

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January 13th, 2022

Top 21 Best-Selling Guns of 2021

GunGenius Gunbroker top 20 handguns pistol revolver semi-auto 2020 Best selling firearms pistol gunbroker

Gunbroker gun genius top guns 2021 rifle pistol shotgunEvery month, GunGenius.com publishes a Top Selling Report. This reveals the Best Selling Guns for each category of firearms sold on GunBroker.com. This culminates in a GunGenius year-end report on the Top Selling Firearms of the Year in multiple categories, both new and used. As a special Feature, GunGenius now offers the Top 21 of 2022 for each category. In addition, GunGenius has Top 10 lists for specific types of firearms — rifles, handguns, and shotguns:

Top 10 Handguns (Semi-Auto Pistols and Revolvers)
Top 10 Rifles (Semi-Auto, Bolt Action, Lever Gun, Single Shot)
Top 10 Shotguns (Semi-Auto, Single Shot)

Here are the overall listings — the Top 21 among all gun types:

Gunbroker gun genius top guns 2021 rifle pistol shotgun

Top 10 Best-Selling Bolt-Action Rifles of 2021

We know most of our readers favor very accurate bolt-action rifles. In 2021, on Gunbroker.com, the Top 10 best-selling bolt-action rifles were, in order:

1. Ruger American Rifle
2. Tikka T3x
3. Savage Arms 10/110
4. Ruger Precision Rifle
5. Ruger Precision Rimfire

6. Bergara B-14
7. CZ-USA 457
8. Savage Arms Axis
9. Ruger American Rimfire
10. Remington 700

This video compares the top-selling Ruger American Rifle with second-ranked Tikka T3x:

The popular CZ 457, ranked #7 overall, is offered in various different configurations, including metal chassis and carbon-stocked versions. Here’s a field test.

CZ-USA 457 Varmint Precision Trainer and Chassis Models

Buying a Handgun? See What Others Choose

Looking to acquire a handgun for personal protection of home and family? There are countless options on the market. Your buying decision may be simplified by seeing what other consumers have chosen, as revealed by nationwide sales trends. You can check firearms sales figures using “Gun Genius”, a new data-crunching service of Gunbroker.com. On GunGenius.com you can select any type of firearm (handgun, rifle, shotgun) and see the top sellers for that category.

handgun category defense ccw buying list gungenius

Along with pistols and revolvers as shown above, there are separate categories for: semi-auto rifles, bolt-action rifles, lever-action rifles, single-shot rifles, pump rifles, semi-auto shotguns, pump shotguns, over-and-under shotguns and more. You can also filter for sales trends (upwards and downwards). Drill down to see detailed product specifications and current prices.

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January 13th, 2022

Breathing Control Can Improve Your Vision and Aiming Skills

Vision Eye Target Scope Relaxation Oxygen Target

Do you find that the crosshairs in your scope get blurry after a while, or that you experience eye strain during a match? This is normal, particularly as you get older. Focusing intensely on your target (through the scope or over iron sights) for an extended period of time can cause eye strain. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce eye fatigue. For one — breathe deeper to take in more oxygen. Secondly, give your eyes a break between shots, looking away from the scope or sights.

In our Forum there is an interesting thread about vision and eye fatigue. One Forum member observed: “I have noticed recently that if I linger on the target for too long the crosshairs begin to blur and the whole image gradually darkens as if a cloud passed over the sun. I do wear contacts and wonder if that’s the problem. Anyone else experienced this? — Tommy”

Forum members advised Tommy to relax and breath deep. Increase oxygen intake and also move the eyes off the target for a bit. Closing the eyes briefly between shots can also relieve eye strain. Tommy found this improved the situation.

Vision Eye Target Scope Relaxation Oxygen Target

Phil H. explained: “Tom — Our eyes are tremendous oxygen hogs. What you are witnessing is caused by lack of oxygen. When this happens, get off the sights, stare at the grass (most people’s eyes find the color green relaxing), breath, then get back on the rifle. Working on your cardio can help immensely. Worked for me when I shot Palma. Those aperture sights were a bear! The better my cardio got the better and longer I could see. Same thing with scopes. Try it!”

Keith G. noted: “Make sure you are still breathing… [your condition] sounds similar to the symptoms of holding one’s breath.”

Watercam concurred: “+1 on breathing. Take a long slow deep breath, exhale and break shot. Also make sure you take a moment to look at the horizon without looking through rifle or spotting scope once in a while to fight fatigue. Same thing happens when using iron sights.”

Arizona shooter Scott Harris offered this advice: “To some extent, [blurring vision] happens to anyone staring at something for a long time. I try to keep vision crisp by getting the shot off in a timely fashion or close the eyes briefly to refresh them. Also keep moisturized and protect against wind with wrap-around glasses”.

Breathing Better and Relaxing the Eyes Really Worked…
Tommy, the shooter with the eye problem, said his vision improved after he worked on his breathing and gave his eyes a rest between shots: “Thanks guys. These techniques shrunk my group just a bit and every little bit helps.”

Read more tips on reducing eye fatigue in our Forum Thread: That Vision Thing.

To avoid eye fatigue, take your eyes away from the scope between shots, and look at something nearby (or even close your eyes briefly). Also work on your breathing and don’t hold your breath too long — that robs your system of oxygen.

eye vision Vince Bottomley

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January 13th, 2022

Trim, Chamfer, and Debur Brass with Giraud Tri-Way Trimmer

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool
Close-up of the Tri-Way Trimmer with clear plastic chip guard removed.

Giraud Tool offers a case trimmer/chamferer device that works with a power drill (or other power source). Giraud’s patented Tri-Way Trimmer is a self-contained unit powered by your drill or motor. Using a sharp carbide blade it will trim your cases to length, deburr, and cut both inside and outside chamfers — all in one pass. That’s pretty impressive for a $110.00 tool that fits in the palm of your hand.

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Features
1. Fully adjustable for cartridge length (and depth of chamfer).
2. Carbide blade cuts a 15° inside case mouth chamfer and 45° outside chamfer.
3. Case holder supported by sealed ball bearing raceway.
4. Tool includes removable, transparent plastic chip guard.
5. Tool can work in any orientation (vertical, horizontal, or any angle).

The Giraud Tri-Way Trimmer is designed to be powered by a portable hand drill, drill press, or other dedicated rotating power source. The tool indexes off the shoulder of your cases, but the blade adjusts so that cartridge overall length (COAL) can be controlled with precision. Constructed out of 6061-T6 aluminum and 303 stainless steel, the Tri Way tool should last a lifetime. Note: This tool is not universal. The Tri Way is dedicated to a single cartridge and “related” cartridges with similar body dimensions. Thus you need a specific tool for each cartridge family. For example, the .308 Win tool will also trim .243 Win, .260 Rem, and 7mm-08.

Cartridge Sizes Available for Giraud Tri Way Trimmer:
.223 Remington (Also trims .17 Remington, .204 Ruger, .222 Remington, .222 Remington Magnum)
7.62 x 39mm (Russian)
.300 Blackout (Also trims .17 Rem Fireball, .20 Vartarg, .221 Fireball)
.308 Winchester (Also trims .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, 7mm-08)
.30-06 Springfield (Also trims .25-06, .270 Winchester, .280 Remington)
.300 Winchester Mag (Also trims ​Also trims .264 Winchester Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum, .308 Norma Magnum)

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
January 12th, 2022

NEW 110 PCS Bolt-Action Pistol from Savage Arms

savage arms model 110 PCS pistol hunting mdt chassis bolt-action

Say what? Savage makes a bolt-action pistol similar to a Remington XP100? Yes, Savage Arms has entered the bolt-action pistol business with a new bolt-action pistol for hunters. The new bolt-action hunting rig, the Savage 110 PCS (Pistol Chassis System) boasts a short MDT chassis and comes with five chambering choices: .223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 AAC Blackout, .308 Win, and .350 Legend.

savage arms model 110 PCS pistol hunting mdt chassis bolt-action
savage arms model 110 PCS pistol hunting mdt chassis bolt-action

NEW Savage 110 PCS Pistol
savage arms model 110 PCS pistol hunting mdt chassis bolt-actionThe new Savage Arms 110 PCS bolt-action pistol features a Savage model 110 blueprinted action secured in a one-piece aluminum chassis from Modular Driven Technologies (MDT). The 110 PCS features a 10.5″ barrel, a user-adjustable AccuTrigger (2.5-6 lbs.), and AICS-style detachable box magazine. Initially the 110 PS will be offered in five (5) chamberings: .223 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 AAC Blackout, .308 Winchester, and .350 Legend. We wish Savage offered this in a 6mmBR and 20 Practical chambering — that would provide more desirable options for varmint work. Overall length is 21.5″ and weight (before optics) is 5.625 pounds. MSRP is $999.00.

For better ergonomics, this rig has a left-hand bolt with right-side eject. The short MDT chassis has some nice features. It can fit most any AR15-compatible grip. And the 7″ Cerakoted modular fore-end boasts MLOK slots.

Savage is promoting the new 110 PCS as a hunting rig. The key advantage of a bolt-action pistol to a hunter is that the carry weight is much lower than typical rifles, but the gun can still shoot a potent rifle cartridge such as .308 Win.

savage arms model 110 PCS pistol hunting mdt chassis bolt-action
savage arms model 110 PCS pistol hunting mdt chassis bolt-action
savage arms model 110 PCS pistol hunting mdt chassis bolt-action

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January 12th, 2022

Powder Burn Rate Comparison Table — Download HERE

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

Hey guys, you’ll probably want to download this Powder Burn Rate Chart issued by Hodgdon/IMR. This table includes the latest IMR powders including the Enduron series (IMR 4166, 4451, 4955, 7977), shown in green below. Please note, the chart is not limited to Hodgdon and IMR propellants. This table also includes popular powders from Accurate, Alliant, Norma, Ramshot (Western), Vihtavuori, and Winchester. There are a total of 163 powders listed in the chart.

This chart provides useful information for all hand-loaders. When doing load development, and testing one powder versus another, it’s generally wise to choose propellants that share the same relative burn rate, as least for starters. While this chart contains “Nov. 2019″ in the title, this is the most recent chart available from Hodgdon/IMR. It is the chart currently linked on the Hodgdon.com Reference Data Center.

NOTE: Hodgdon powders are shown in blue, IMR standard powders are shown in yellow, IMR Enduron powders are shown in green, and Winchester powder are shown in red. DOWNLOAD Chart HERE.


POWDER BURN RATE TABLE from Hodgdon/IMR

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

CLICK HERE to Download Chart as PDF File »

Burn Rate Chart from LoadData.com with 197 Powders

loaddata.com burn rate chart
The LoadData.com website has released its own burn rate chart, which is even more comprehensive than the official Hodgdon/IMR chart. We recommend starting with the Hodgdon/IMR listings, but if you can’t find a particular powder on the Hodgdon/IMR chart above, then consult the alternative from LoadData.com which lists 197 powders.

We also caution that, with any powder, start conservatively, at the low end of official load recommendations. Be aware that, even within the same burn range a ball powder can behave differently than an extruded powder. And some powders are much more temperature sensitive than others. Among the available powders on the market, some of best in terms of temp stability are the Alliant TS (temp stable) series, and the popular Hodgdon powders, such as H4350, made by ADI in Australia.


LoadData.com Relative Burn Rate Chart (197 Powders) »

Story find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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January 12th, 2022

Parallax Explained — Nightforce Optics TECH TIP

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video
Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

PARALLAX – What is it and Why is it important?

Nightforce Optics Parallax Newsletter Scope Video

What is Parallax?
Parallax is the apparent movement of the scope’s reticle (cross-hairs) in relation to the target as the shooter moves his eye across the exit pupil of the riflescope. This is caused by the target and the reticle being located in different focal planes.

Why is it Important?
The greater the distance to the target and magnification of the optic, the greater the parallax error becomes. Especially at longer distances, significant sighting error can result if parallax is not removed.

How to Remove Parallax
This Nightforce Tech Tip video quickly shows how to remove parallax on your riflescope.

While keeping the rifle still and looking through the riflescope, a slight nod of the head up and down will quickly determine if parallax is present. To remove parallax, start with the adjustment mechanism on infinity and rotate until the reticle remains stationary in relation to the target regardless of head movement. If parallax has been eliminated, the reticle will remain stationary in relation to the target regardless of eye placement behind the optic.

This Parallax Discussion first appeared in the Nightforce Newsletter. Nightforce also offers a series of Informational Videos covering a variety of topics.

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January 11th, 2022

Barrel Break-In Methods — What Do the Experts Recommend?

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrels
Photo courtesy Sierra Bullets.

The question of barrel break-in is controversial. Some folks advocate an elaborate, lengthy cycle of shooting and brushing, repeated many times — one shot and clean, two shots and clean and so on. This, it is argued, helps barrels foul less and shoot more accurately. Others say minimal break-in, with patching and brushing after 10-15 rounds, is all you need. Still others contend that break-in procedures are a total waste of time and ammo — you should just load and shoot, and clean as you would normally.

We doubt if there will ever be real agreement among shooters concerning barrel break-in procedures. And one must remember that the appropriate break-in procedure might be quite different for a factory barrel vs. a custom hand-lapped barrel. This Editor has found that his very best custom barrels shot great right from the start, with no special break-in, other than wet patches at 5, 10, and 15 rounds. That said, I’ve seen some factory barrels that seemed to benefit from more elaborate break-in rituals.

What’s the best barrel break-in procedure? Well our friend Eric Mayer of Varminter.com decided to ask the experts. A while back Eric interviewed representatives of three leading barrel manufacturers: Krieger, Lothar-Walther, and Shilen. He recorded their responses on video. In order of appearance in the video, the three experts are:

Wade Hull, Shilen Barrels | Mike Hinrichs, Krieger Barrels | Woody Woodall, Lothar Walther

Barrel Breakin Break-in conditioning cleaning Wade Hull Shilen Walther Varminter.com Eric Mayer Video interview barrelsDo I Need to Break-In a New Rifle Barrel?
Eric Mayer of Varminter.com says: “That is a simple question, [but it] does not necessarily have a simple answer. Instead of me repeating my own beliefs, and practices, on breaking-in a new rifle barrel, I decided to answer this one a bit differently. While we were at the 2016 SHOT Show, we tracked down three of the biggest, and most popular, custom barrel makers in the world, and asked them what they recommend to anyone buying their barrels, and why they recommend those procedures. We asked the question, and let the camera run!” Launch the video above to hear the answers — some of which may surprise you.

Long-Term Barrel Care — More Experts Offer Opinions
Apart from the debate about barrel break-in, there is the bigger question of how should you clean and maintain a barrel during its useful life. Some folks like aggressive brushing, other shooters have had success with less invasive methods, using bore foam and wet patches for the most part. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. In reality, there may not be one solution for every barrel. Different fouling problems demand different solutions. For example, solvents that work well for copper may not be the best for hard carbon (and vice-versa).

CLICK HERE for Long Term Barrel Care Article »

Shooting Sports Lohman Barrel

Chip Lohman, former Editor of Shooting Sports USA Magazine, has authored an excellent article on barrel maintenance and cleaning: Let the BARREL Tell You — Match Barrel Care. In this article, Chip shares the knowledge of a dozen experts including respected barrel-makers Frank Green (Bartlein Barrels), John Krieger (Krieger Barrels), Dan Lilja (Lilja Barrels), and Tim North (Broughton Barrels).

“Why worry about a little barrel fouling when the throat is subjected to a brutal 5,600° F volcano at 55,000 PSI? To investigate these and other questions about taking care of a match barrel, we spoke with a dozen experts and share their knowledge in this first of a series of articles.

After listening to folks who shoot, build barrels or manufacture cleaning solvents for a living, we concluded that even the experts each have their own unique recommendations on how to care for a match barrel. But they all agree on one thing — the gun will tell you what it likes best. Because the life expectancy of a match barrel is about 1,500 to 2,500 rounds, the objectives of cleaning one should include: preserve accuracy, slow the erosion, and remove fouling — all without damaging the gun. This article doesn’t claim that one cleaning method is better than the next. Rather, we set out to interject a little science into the discussion and to share some lessons learned from experts in the field.” — Chip Lohman

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January 11th, 2022

Windflags — Reasons to Use Them, Even If You Don’t Compete


Forest of Windflags at World Benchrest Championships in France in 2011

There’s a simple, inexpensive “miracle device” that can cut your groups in half. If you’re not using this device, you’re giving away accuracy. The “miracle device” to which we refer is a simple wind indicator aka “windflag”. Using windflags may actually improve your accuracy on target much more than weighing charges to the kernel, or spending your life savings on the “latest and greatest” hardware.

Remarkably, many shooters who spend $3000.00 or more on a precision rifle never bother to set up windflags, or even simple wood stakes with some ribbon to show the wind. Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a varminter, or someone who just likes to punch small groups, you should always take a set of windflags (or some kind of wind indicators) when you head to the range or the prairie dog fields. And yes, if you pay attention to your windflags, you can easily cut your group sizes in half. Here’s proof…

Which Windflag to buy? Click Here for a list of Vendors selling windflags of various types.

Miss a 5 mph Shift and You Could DOUBLE Your Group Size

The table below records the effect of a 5 mph crosswind at 100, 200, and 300 yards. You may be thinking, “well, I’d never miss a 5 mph let-off.” Consider this — if a gentle 2.5 mph breeze switches from 3 o’clock (R to L) to 9 o’clock (L to R), you’ve just missed a 5 mph net change. What will that do to your group? Look at the table to find out.

shooting wind flags
Values from Point Blank Ballistics software for 500′ elevation and 70° temperature.

Imagine you have a 6mm rifle that shoots half-MOA consistently in no-wind conditions. What happens if you miss a 5 mph shift (the equivalent of a full reversal of a 2.5 mph crosswind)? Well, if you’re shooting a 68gr flatbase bullet, your shot is going to move about 0.49″ at 100 yards, nearly doubling your group size. With a 105gr VLD, the bullet moves 0.28″ … not as much to be sure, but still enough to ruin a nice small group. What about an AR15, shooting 55-grainers at 3300 fps? Well, if you miss that same 5 mph shift, your low-BC bullet moves 0.68″. That pushes a half-inch group well past an inch. If you had a half-MOA capable AR, now it’s shooting worse than 1 MOA. And, as you might expect, the wind effects at 200 and 300 yards are even more dramatic. If you miss a 5 mph, full-value wind change, your 300-yard group could easily expand by 2.5″ or more.

If you’ve already invested in an accurate rifle with a good barrel, you are “throwing away” accuracy if you shoot without wind flags. You can spend a ton of money on fancy shooting accessories (such as expensive front rests and spotting scopes) but, dollar for dollar, nothing will potentially improve your shooting as much as a good set of windflags, used religiously.

New Wind Reading App — High Power Wind Lab

There is an innovative new Wind-Reading App, the High Power Wind Lab, that can help you figure your hold-offs in all wind conditions. This is available now for iOS devices, and an Android version is coming soon. In this video, our friend F-Class John reviews this sophisticated new Wind App:

Aussie Windflag photo courtesy BenchRestTraining.com (Stuart and Annie Elliot).

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January 11th, 2022

Lyman E-Zee Case Gauge — Measure 70 Cartridge Types

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gage

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gageLyman’s popular Case Length Gauge is now bigger and better. The enhanced version II of Lyman’s Case Length Gauge is much larger than the original version. The E-Zee Case Gauge II now measures more than 70 cartridge types — way more than before. This tool is a metal template with SAAMI-max-length slots for various cartridge types, including relatively new cartridges such as the .204 Ruger and Winchester Short Magnums. This tool allows you to quickly sort brass or check the dimensions. If you have a bucketful of mixed pistol brass this can save you hours of tedious work with calipers. You can also quickly check case lengths to see if it’s time to trim your fired brass.

If you load a wide variety of calibers, or do a lot of pistol shooting, we think you should pick up one of these Lyman Case Gauge templates. They are available for under $26.00 at Brownells ($24.99) and Amazon.com ($19.39). The E-Zee Case Gauge has long been a popular item for hand-loaders.

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gage

Lyman E-zee case gauge black

NOTE: For years the E-Zee Case Gauge had a silver finish with black lettering, as shown in the video. Some of the most recent production of E-Zee Case Gauges have a new “high contrast” look, with white lettering on a black frame. You may get either Case Gauge version when you order online (Brownells shows silver, Amazon shows black). We actually prefer the older, silver version.

Case Gauge Should Last a Lifetime
Easily measure the case length of over 70 popular rifle and pistol cases with Lyman’s new E-Zee Case Length Gauge II. This really is a “must-have” piece of kit for any gun owner who hand-loads numerous pistol and rifle calibers.

This rugged, precisely-made metal gauge makes sorting or identifying cases fast and accurate. The template is machined with SAAMI max recommended case lengths. Made from metal, with no moving parts, the E-Zee Case Gauge II should last a lifetime.

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January 10th, 2022

Bargain Finder 329: 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. Natchez — RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit, $419.99

rcbs rebel master loading kit
Good price for everything you need — press, powder measure, scale etc.

For folks getting started with hand-loading, a great basic package is the RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit. On sale for $419.99 at Natchez, this RCBS Package features pretty much all you need to load rifle and pistol ammo: Rebel single-stage Press, Uniflow-III Powder Measure, 1500gr digital scale, hand priming tool, powder funnel, powder trickler, hex key set, accessory handle with case neck brushes, primer pocket brushes, deburring tool, loading block, and case lube. You even get a Speer Reloading Manual. NOTE: You can buy this same Rebel Master Kit for $429.99 at Cabelas.com.

2. EuroOptic — Benelli SuperNova 12ga Tactical Shotgun, $439.00

Benelli SuperNova tactical 12ga pump shotgun sale eurooptic
Big savings on Showroom Demo Benelli SuperNova pump shotgun

Benelli makes some of the best shotguns in the world. Here’s your chance to get an excellent Benelli SuperNova Tactical 12ga pump shotgun at big savings. Set up for defensive use, this Benelli has a 18″ barrel and can handle up to 3.5″ shells. The shotgun is fitted with pistol grip stock, along with shielded, tactical-style adjustable sights front and rear. NOTE: This is a “like new” showroom demo model with full factory warranty.

3. Precision Reloading — Big Sale on Hornady Bullets

Hornady FMJ ELD match bulk bullet sale A-Tip BTHP
Major Savings on .224, 6mm, 6.5mm, .308 and pistol caliber bullets

Quality reloading components remain in short supply. But Precision Reloading has a large inventory of high-quality Hornady match, varmint, and hunting bullets. You’ll find .224 FMJ bullets for under $17.29/100 (that’s less than 18 cents each). There are also great deals on 6mm and 6.5mm ELD match bullets. Plus there are bulk packs of 2000, 5500, and 6000 bullets available at amazing prices. For example, you can get Six Thousand .224 55gr FMJ bullets for just $529.29 (under 9 cents each!).

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

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

Comfort counts when you’re on the ground for hours. We like this Lyman Tac-Mat 71″ x 36″ shooting mat. It has more padding than most mats on the market, providing better comfort. Now $56.31 in tan or $56.31 in black at Midsouth, this is a VERY good deal. This same Lyman shooting mat is $89.89 on Amazon.

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

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

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

6. Amazon — Mutt Muffs Hearing Protection for Dogs, $52.39

Do you take your dog(s) hunting, or to the shooting range? Well dogs need hearing protection too! Loud gunshots from pistols, rifles, or shotguns can cause permanent hearing damage to your canine. Prevent canine hearing loss with Mutt Muffs — protective earmuffs designed especially for dogs. Mutt Muffs are available in five sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL). These start at $52.39 on Amazon (price varies with size).

7. MidwayUSA 1008 1″-Diameter Hi-Viz Green Target Dots, $5.99

Hi-Viz green stick-on target dots sale MidwayUSA 1
Get over 1000 Hi-Viz Target dots — great for pistol and rifle

These 1″-round Hi-Viz target spots from U.S. Ballistics stick on nearly any surface. Fluorescent, lime green in color, these targets are highly visible, and also contrast dark bullet holes well. Right now this target pack, with 1008 stick-on target circles, is just $5.99 at MidwayUSA, a 40% savings! We use these target dots for rimfire and centerfire practice.

8. Amazon — Motion-Sensor LED Interior Light, $14.99

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 $14.99 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. Brownells — Wipe-Out Foam Cleaner, $10.99

wipeout cleaner
Wipe-Out Foam is effective, particularly when used right after shooting

Walking the firing line at the Berger SW Nationals, one cleaning product was mentioned over and over again and for good reason. Sharp Shoot R Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner is a no-nonsense, easy-to-use bore cleaner that does a great job. We get best results with two applications of Wipe-Out after some wet patches. If you’re tired of long brushing sessions, give Wipe-Out a try — it really reduces brushing required. This is a good deal. The same 5 oz. can is $24.95 on Amazon!

10. Cabela’s — Catch-All Gear Bag $12.99, Many Colors

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Cabelas Catch-all Gear Bag $9.99
Versatile, good capacity, buy two at this price

This versatile bag holds lots of gear, and you can’t beat the price — just $12.99. At 16″x10″x6″ it’s big enough to hold rifle ammo, muffs, a Kestrel, and other accessories. It can also serve as a general utility bag for car camping trips. Six exterior pockets, including zippered mesh pockets on top and side, provide multiple storage options. Sturdy 1-1⁄2″ nylon web carry straps can be joined by a hand-friendly wrap handle. Cabela’s Catch-All Gear Bag available in a variety of colors including True Timber Camo, 02 Octane Camo, Lt. Gray, Green, Tan, Orange Gold, and Dark Gray.

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January 10th, 2022

Whidden Gunworks Click-Adjustable Sizing Dies and Lock Ring

Whidden click adjustable sizing die lock ring click
With the Whidden Click-Adjustable Sizer Dies, you can change shoulder bump by .001″ (one-thousandth) with a simple click. Fast. Easy. Precise.

As handloaders have become more aware of shoulder bump and proper adjustment of the sizer die in recent years, there has become a need for an easier way to adjust the sizer die properly. For most folks, with their conventional dies, it takes lengthy trial trial and error to get the shoulder setback correct. Anyone who has done this can attest that it can be a slow and annoying job.

Whidden Gunworks has solved the problem with the innovative Click Adjustable Sizer Die. Patent No: 10,393,488. This die and lock ring work together to give the user a clicking feel to the adjustment just like a high end rifle scope. Each click moves the shoulder bump exactly .001″ so you can easily find the exact shoulder bump that you desire.

The Click Adjustable option is available on Whidden Custom Sizer dies as well (7/8”-14 format dies only)! Included with the Click Adjustable Sizer Die is a Shoulder Bump Gauge. This gauge attaches to standard calipers and allows measurement from the case shoulder to the base. Using the Shoulder Bump Gauge with the Click Adjustable Sizer Die will make the proper sizer die setup easier than ever before.

Click-adjustable die sets are available with both bushing and non-bushing configurations. Along with these complete die sets, Whidden Gunworks offers a separate click-adjustable ring to use with existing dies. Priced at $54.95, the Whidden Click-Adjust Lock Ring represents a modest investment for a major gain in die ease-of-use and precision adjustability.

whidden adjustable click lock ring

The Whidden Universal Click Adjustable Lock Ring you can instantly turn your sizer die into a Click Adjustable Die. This ring works with any 7/8 OD sizer of any brand with adjustable shoulder bump. Simple in design, the inner and outer ring can rotate independently of each other. Each click is metered in true 1 thousandths adjustment and has 0.100″ total available travel. These work great with nearly all sizing 7/8 OD sizing dies, and one verified purchaser noted: “Not only are they useful on reloading dies, but it’s the cat’s meow on the Giraud Power Trimmer Case Holders.”

Dillon Users Take Note: The Whidden Click Adjustable Sizing Die will not work with the Dillon 550 or 650 progressive reloading press systems. The Universal Click Adjustable Lock Ring is not compatible with the Dillon floating toolhead.

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January 10th, 2022

SHOT Show 2022 — Notable Facts and Figures

Shot show 2022 las vegas venetian expo media day at range

SHOT Show 2022 is one week away. The 2022 event kicks off with Media Day at the Range on Monday, January 17, 2022. Then the indoor event runs Tuesday the 18th through Friday the 21st. There will be over 2300 exhibitors from all 50 states and 78 nations. This year will see the biggest show ever in terms of floor space. SHOT Show occupies TWO large exhibit halls in 2022 — the Venetian Expo and the brand new Caesars Forum. Total exhibit space for the 2022 show in these two venues is more than 800,000 net square feet — equivalent to more than 18 acres (about 14 football field). And with these twin halls, SHOT Show boasts 13.9 miles of aisles!

SHOT Show FACTS AND FIGURES

Shot show 2022 las vegas venetian expo media day at range– The “SHOT” in SHOT® Show stands for Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade.

— SHOT Show 2022 will have 800,000 square feet of Exhibit Space with 13.9 MILES of Aisles. The floor space is equivalent to 14 football fields.

— 2022 SHOT Show will have more than 2,300 exhibitors, including the Suppliers Showcase.

— More than 55,000 professionals in the shooting, hunting, outdoors and law enforcement industry are expected to attend, along with 2000+ media members.

— Firearms and ammunition are a $7.1 billion industry. The total economic impact of the gun/ammo/hunting industry is more than $63 billion, which supports more than 342,000 jobs.

— SHOT Show generates millions of dollars in revenue to fund NSSF programs including Firearms Training programs, Project ChildSafe, National Shooting Sports Month, and the +ONE mentoring initiative.

— This is the 44th Annual SHOT Show and the 23rd in Las Vegas. The first SHOT Show was in 1979 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 2021 show was virtual due to the pandemic. Las Vegas has been home to the show continuously since 2010.

Shot show 2022 las vegas venetian expo media day at range

For more INFO visit SHOTShow.org and read the SHOT Show Blog. There will also be daily updates on the official SHOT Show Facebook Page, YouTube Channel, and Instagram Page, hashtag #SHOTShow. To learn more about NSSF programs and member services visit NSSF.org.

Biggest SHOT Show Ever — 800,000 Square Feet of Products

Based on current bookings, SHOT Show 2022 will encompass over 800,000 net square feet. To put it into perspective, the largest SHOT Show on record, the 2008 event, encompassed 714,000 net square feet at the Las Vegas Convention Center. That year outdoor tents needed to be added to fill overflow exhibit space. You can view the 2022 SHOT Show layout here:

SHOT Show 2022 full post registration
SHOT Show 2022 full post registration
Click image for full floor-plan with Level 1, Level 2, and Supplier Showcase.

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January 9th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: New .17 WSM Savage A17 Rifles for Varminting

Savage .17 17 winchester super magnum wsm ammo ammunition A17 varmint thumbhole rifle caliber

The .17 Winchester Super Magnum (aka .17 WSM) is the fastest, flattest-shooting rimfire cartridge ever created. The .17 WSM cartridge, as you can see below, is significantly larger than the .17 HMR, and can deliver a 3000-fps muzzle velocity with a 20gr bullet, compared to about 2375 fps for .17 HMR 20gr ammo. That’s 26% more speed, which translates to a much flatter trajectory — a big deal when you’re shooting small varmints out to 300 yards.

Savage .17 17 winchester super magnum wsm ammo ammunition A17 varmint thumbhole rifle caliber
Savage .17 17 winchester super magnum wsm ammo ammunition A17 varmint thumbhole rifle caliber
.17 WSM and .17 HMR Ammo comparison image courtesy Widener’s Reloading & Shooting Supply.

New .17 WSM A17 Semi-Auto Rifles from Savage Arms

The .17 WSM has been around for a while, but there have been limited selections of rifles chambered for this speedy rimfire round. Savage is changing that. Savage just announced that it will offer its A17-series rifles chambered in .17 WSM. Currently choose from two models with laminated wood stocks: the A17 WSM Sporter and A17 WSM Target Thumbhole. Both rifles feature a delayed-blowback, semi-automatic action specifically designed for the 17 HMR and 17 WSM cartridges. And both rifles boast 22″ button-rifled barrels, user-adjustable AccuTriggers, and 10-round rotary-feed internal magazines.

Savage .17 17 winchester super magnum wsm ammo ammunition A17 varmint thumbhole rifle caliber

Between the two, the Target Thumbhole model ($709 MSRP) would be our choice for varmint work, as the stock has nice ergonomics and shoots better off the bags, with a thicker, wider forearm. The A17 WSM Target Thumbhole model also has a 22″ fluted heavy target barrel. This is better for high-volume varmint sessions than the standard-contour barrel on the Sporter model ($619 MSRP).

Savage .17 17 winchester super magnum wsm ammo ammunition A17 varmint thumbhole rifle caliber

Savage Action Should Work Well with the .17 WSM Cartridge
Savage is proud of its new .17 WSM rifles: “We are launching the A17 chambered for .17 WSM in two of our more popular configurations [with laminate stocks]. Both are designed for target shooting and varmint hunting applications[.] The new A17 WSM Sporter and A17 WSM Target Thumbhole pair the dynamic rimfire cartridge with Savage’s A Series semi-automatic action for exceptional accuracy and fast follow-up shots.”

“Savage has seen outstanding performance from the .17 WSM cartridge and felt it could be optimized in new platforms. The A Series rifles have a delayed blowback design that accommodates this caliber with limited modifications, making it an ideal action for the WSM cartridge.” — Jessica Treglia, Savage Arms Senior Brand Manager.

A17 WSM Target Thumbhole Features

Gray wood-laminate thumbhole stock
Delayed-blowback action
Hard chrome bolt with oversized bolt handle
Case-hardened receiver
Fluted 22″ heavy target button-rifled barrel
8-round rotary magazine
User-adjustable AccuTrigger™
$709.00 MSRP

A17 WSM Sporter Features

Gray wood-laminate stock
Delayed-blowback action
Hard chrome bolt with oversized bolt handle
Case-hardened receiver
22″ button-rifled barrel
8-round rotary magazine
User-adjustable AccuTrigger
$619.00 MSRP

Commentary — This Could be a Great Varmint Option, IF the Ammo Becomes Available
If we were in the market for a new rifle for serious, high-volume ground squirrel and prairie dog varmint safaris, we would seriously consider this new A17 in .17 WSM. With a rimfire cartridge you don’t have to bother with handloading. And you should enjoy significantly better barrel life than a larger centerfire cartridge burning much more powder — provided you don’t shoot too fast and over-heat your barrel. Also, you won’t struggle to find primers. However, unfortunately .17 WSM ammo is hard to find right now, as we explain below. Be aware of the ammo shortage issue.

Savage .17 17 winchester super magnum wsm ammo ammunition A17 varmint thumbhole rifle caliber

Related Article Links for More .17 WSM Information

AccurateShooter Forum Thread on .17 WSM and New Savage Rifles
17WSM.com website with Ammo and Ballistics INFO
American Hunter .17 HMR vs. .17 WSM Comparison
Best .17 WSM Ammunition — Widener’s Report
Volquartsen .17 WSM Rifle

.17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire

.17 Winchester Super Magnum RimfireNew 3000 FPS Rimfire Round
A few years back Winchester created a high-velocity 17-caliber rimfire cartridge, the .17 Winchester Super Magnum (aka .17 WSM). Winchester has offered .17 WSM ammo with a choice of three bullet types: 20gr plastic tip (Varmint HV), 25gr plastic tip (Varmint HE), and a 20gr JHP (Super-X). The 20-grain varieties boast a 3000 FPS muzzle velocity, earning honors as the fastest Rimfire ammo ever made.

.17 Winchester Super Mag Specifications
Symbol Sub Brand Bullet Weight Muzzle Velocity
S17W20 Varmint HV 20-gr Plastic Tip 3,000 fps
S17W25 Varmint HE 25-gr Plastic Tip 2,600 fps
X17W20 Super-X 20-gr JHP 3,000 fps

Winchester claims that all .17 WSM ammo types shoot much flatter than the .22 Win Mag and .17 HMR, while delivering 150 percent more energy than both. In addition, the .17 WSM “bucks the wind” better than any other rimfire ammo — exhibiting significant less horizontal drift at extended ranges.

17 wsm winchester super magnum rimfire

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.17 WSM Ammunition is “Unobtanium” Right Now

Since its introduction, .17 WSM ammo has been sold by multiple companies including Browning, Federal (American Eagle), Hornady, and Winchester. Right now it is very hard to find ANY .17 WSM ammo. You have to look far and wide. On January 9, 2022 we checked with five major online vendors and found no .17 WSM ammunition in stock at Midsouth, MidwayUSA, Natchez, Precision Reloading, and Locked&Loaded. Every variety was listed as “Out of Stock” or “Temporarily Unavailable”. That’s discouraging. Hopefully more .17 WSM ammo will be appearing on dealer’s shelves in the months ahead.

Savage .17 17 winchester super magnum wsm ammo ammunition A17 varmint thumbhole rifle caliber
Savage .17 17 winchester super magnum wsm ammo ammunition A17 varmint thumbhole rifle caliber

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January 9th, 2022

.375 EnABELR for Extreme Long Range Using Solid Bullets

Berger 379 grain 379gr solid bullet .375 caliber enabler

The .375 EnABELR Cartridge — Big and Fast

The .375 EnABELR cartridge was developed to offer magazine-feeding capabilities with the highest-BC solid bullets available. The .375 EnABELR cartridge is slightly shorter than a .375 CheyTac so it allows the round to mag-feed. Applied Ballistics is currently using brass made by Peterson. The .375 EnABELR has achieved impressive velocities — 2990 FPS — with prototype Berger 379-grain solid bullets fired from a 1:7″-twist 30″ barrel. Applied Ballistics may also test 1:8″-twist and 1:9″-twist barrels. READ Bullet Testing Report.

The .375 EnABELR cartridge was designed to offer .375 CheyTac performance in a slightly shorter package: “The problem with the .375 CheyTac is that, when loaded with the highest performance .375 caliber bullets (379-407 gr Berger Solids, and the 400-425 grain Cutting Edge Lazers) the round is not magazine feed-able in any action that’s sized for CheyTac cartridges.

Berger 379 grain 379gr solid bullet .375 caliber enabler

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defense
Here is Mitchell Fitzpatrick, shooting the 375 EnABELR in an ELR Competition.

.375 cheytac .408 cheytac EnABLER Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Cadex defense

“Knowing the .375 CheyTac produced substantial performance, and that it was just too long for magazine feeding, made it easy to converge on a design for the .375 EnABELR. We just had to make the case short enough to achieve magazine length with the desired bullets, while adding a little more diameter to keep the case capacity similar to the .375 CheyTac. The resulting basic shape is quite similar in proportions to the successful .338 Norma Magnum Cartridge which, interestingly, was selected as the cartridge for General Dynamics Lightweight Medium Machine Gun (LWMMG).”

Applied Ballistics .375 enABELR solid berger bullets

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January 9th, 2022

Why You Should Use Expander Mandrels on New Brass

Expander Mandrel reloading case neck tension cartridge brass

Before you load that nice new cartridge brass for the first time, run an expander mandrel down the case necks. This will iron out dents and provide more uniform neck tension. Chose a mandrel diameter that provides appropriate neck tension.

Lapua brass is so good that you’ll be tempted to just load and shoot, if you have a “no-turn” chamber. However, some minimal case prep will ensure more uniform neck tension. Keeping your neck tension very uniform allows more consistent bullet seating. That, in turn, usually yields better accuracy, and lower Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation (ES/SD). Lapua brass, particularly 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win comes from the factory with tighter-than-optimal necks. Before you seat bullets, at a minimum, you should inside chamfer the case mouths, after running an expander mandrel down the necks. The expander mandrels from both Sinclair Int’l and K&M will both leave the necks with enough neck tension (more than .001″) so you can then seat bullets without another operation. We suggest putting a bit of lube on the mandrel before running it down the necks — but remove any lube that gets inside the necks before seating bullets.

Sinclair Expander Tool Mandrel

Both Sinclair and K&M Tools make a die body specifically to hold expander mandrels. The Sinclair version, is shown above. This $32.99 unit fits caliber-specific expander mandrels ($9.99) which measure approximately .001″ less than bullet diameter for each caliber. This is an updated “Gen II” design that completely captures the mandrel within the die so the mandrel cannot pull out. It also has an O-ring in the die cap that allows the mandrel to self-center within the case neck. Sinclair now offers three sizes of die bodies for expander mandrels: .17 -.338 Caliber (#749-011-715WS); .357 – .50 caliber (#749-008-843WS), and a special .50 Cal die body for large-diameter 50 BMG presses (#749-009-163WS, $39.99). All Generation II dies are machined from stainless steel and the standard diameter 7/8-14 dies include the Sinclair Stainless Steel Split Lock Ring.

Once you run the Sinclair expander mandrel down the necks of Lapua brass, after you account for brass spring-back, you’ll have about .002″ neck tension*. This will make the process of seating bullets go much more smoothly, and you will also iron out any dents in the case mouths. Once the case mouths are all expanded, and uniformly round, then do your inside neck chamfering/deburring. The same expander mandrels can be used to “neck-up” smaller diameter brass, or prepare brass for neck-turning.

Forum member Mike Crawford adds: “These expanders can also reduce runout from offset seating. Prior to bullet seating, expand the sized necks to force thickness variance outward. With the Sinclair system, the necks will springback fine, and will not be pulled out of center. This leaves plenty of tension, and bullets seated more centered. I do this, even with turned necks, to get improved seating.”

Mandrels vs. Expander Balls on Decapping Rods
If you haven’t acquired an appropriate expander mandrel for your brass, but you DO have a full-length sizing die with an expander ball, this will also function to “iron out” the necks and reduce tension. However, using a die with an expander ball will work the necks more — since you first size them down, then the ball expands them up again. Typically (but not always), run-out is worse when using an expander ball vs. an expander mandrel.


* This .002″ tension is what we have observed with Lapua 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win brass. This might vary with much smaller or larger cases, and of course a different brand of brass might yield different results. If you get too little tension with your current mandrel, you can get a smaller-diameter mandrel from 21st Century Shooting. 21st Century even offers low-friction Titanium Nitride-coated mandrels.

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