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May 27th, 2024

BargainFinder 453: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

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

NOTE: All listed products are for sale to persons 18 years of age or older. No products are intended for use by minors.

1. Brownells — Weekly Featured Deals and Memorial Day Sale

brownells weekly sale labradar chronograph rcbs press protektor bag vortex scope
Great deals at Brownells — ammo, bullets, optics, chronos, and more

Brownells now offers Weekly Featured Deals. You’ll find significant discounts on a huge range of products. Among the top weekly deals are the LabRadar Chronograph ($349.99), RCBS Rebel Press ($179.99), Vortex Scopes (1-4X can be used with service rifles), Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Muffs ($39.99), and Protektor rear bag ($107.99).

2. EuroOptic — 50% Off Vortex for Military, LE, First Responders

powder funnel sale
50% Off MSRP for Military, police, first responders through 5/30/24

Today (5/27/24) is Memorial Day. To help mark this day, Vortex, via EuroOptic, has a special promotion with 50% off MSRP for Vortex products. This offer runs through May 30, 2024. After that a similar Military/LE/First Responder discount may be available at 40% off MSRP. CLICK HERE for more information. To qualify you must set up a user account. The offer excludes close-outs and discontinued items.

3. Primary Arms — Memorial Day Sale, Save up to 30%

powder funnel sale
Major savings on hundreds of items — great for AR components

Primary Arms is running a big Memorial Day Sale with hundreds of items on Sale. Along with the featured special, you can shop for deals by Manufacturer/Brand (e.g. Vortex, EoTech, Magpul) or by Product Category (e.g. Optics, Barrels, Ammo, AR Uppers). Shown above are four noteworthy deals, but there are over 2000 items discounted.

4. Midsouth — Peterson Brass on Sale, 24 Varieties

powder funnel sale
High quality, long lasting brass — good PRS/NRL choice

Excellent American-made Peterson brass is on sale now at Midsouth. You’ll find many 6mm options including 6mm Dasher and 6mm Creedmoor. If you shoot a Dasher, this Peterson brass will let you avoid the time and expense of fire-forming cases. Hunters will be pleased to find a number of large magnum cartridge types available including 7mm PRC, 7mm RUM, .300 WinMag, .300 Norma Mag, 33 Nosler, .338 Lapua Magnum, and more.

5. MidwayUSA — ATN Day/Night 3-14X Video Scope, $559.00

atn 3-14x 5-20x video recorder GPS scope
Advanced scope records video and operates daytime and night-time

Here’s a great electro-optics product for hunters. The 3-14X ATN X-Sight scope offers day/night viewing capability, PLUS it can record HD video of your hunt. This scope even has a built-in Ballistics Calculator that shows hold-overs. Right now this 3-14X optic is $559.00 at MidwayUSA, a $140.00 (20%) discount. In addition to the ATN 3-14X model, there is a 5-20X version for $639.00 on sale at Midway USA. Both models offer HD video recording, ballistics, electronic compass, multiple reticle options, and smartphone connectivity. BONUS: Both 3-14X and 5-20X ATN optics ship with 30mm Picatinny rings.

6. Creedmoor Sports — Berger 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm Bullets Sale

creedmoor sports berger bullet hybrid target 6mm 6.5 7mm sale
Good prices on top-tier Berger match bullets

Berger bullets are favored by top competitors in many disciplines. Right now you can get significant savings on popular Berger match bullets in 6mm, 6.5mm, and 7mm calibers. F-Class shooters — take note that Berger 180gr Match Hybrid Target bullets and 184gr F-Open Hybrid Target bullets are on sale — save $10 per hundred. Along with the savings on top-tier bullets, through 5/28/24 you can get FREE Shipping with orders over $149.00. Use Creedmoor Sports discount code REMEMBER.

7. Amazon — Lyman BrassSmith Funnel, $31.99

powder funnel sale
Very useful kit we use — avoids powder spills

Having a good powder funnel really helps precision reloading. The Lyman Products Brass Smith Pro Powder Funnel System (#ad) is a great little system. Unlike plastic powder funnels, the aluminum DIE cast body and CNC-turned aluminum caliber-specific inserts are static free to eliminate powder cling. The precision fit to your case necks eliminates spilled powder. The kit includes six laser-marked aluminum inserts to fit calibers 22 to 338: .22, .243/6mm, .25/6.5mm, .270/7mm, .30, and .338.

8. Midsouth — CCI Blazer .22 LR Ammo, $32.99/500 Rounds

cci blazer rimfire .22 LR 40gr LRN sale
Very low price on good, reliable .22 LR ammunition

If you use .22 LR ammo for NRL22, varminting, or plinking, consider this CCI Blazer 40gr ammunition. Rated at 1235 fps, this CCI ammo runs pretty fast and packs a punch. Right now you can get a 500-ct brick for just $32.99. That’s just $3.29 per 50-ct box, a great value for quality American-made ammo.

9. MidwayUSA — Plano Protector Pro-Max Rifle Case, $33.99

Plano single rifle case long barrel 53
Good price on a sturdy, 52″ interior transport case for long rifles

Do you have a long-barreled hunting or varmint rifle? With a 52″ internal size, this Plano Protector Pro-Max Rifle Case handles rifles with barrels up to 30″ (or 31″ with a thin buttplate). On the inside the case has high-density, interlocking foam padding. On the outside, the case has four clamps, padlock tabs, and a handy carry handle. NOTE: This case will work well for normal trips to the range. However, you’ll want a thicker, more sturdy TSA-approved case for airline transport.

10. Amazon — XAegis Tac Protective Eyewear, $18.99

shooting glasses sale
shooting glasses sale
Under $20 for versatile, multi-lens Eye Protection

All shooters need quality eye protection when operating firearms. XAegis Tac Eyewear is a versatile and affordable option. These ANSI Z87+ rated shooting glasses come with three different interchangeable lenses (Clear, Yellow, Gray). You also get a transport case, lanyard, and cleaning cloth. Choose from three frame colors, each for $18.99: Black frame, Green Frame, or Khaki frame. For under $20 these are hard to beat. It’s nice to have the color lens options for different weather conditions, and indoors/outdoors.

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February 26th, 2024

Are Your Bullets Spinning Fast Enough? Use Twist Rate Calculator

Berger twist rate calculator

Berger twist rate calculatorBerger Twist-Rate Stability Calculator
On the Berger Bullets website you’ll find a handy Twist-Rate Stability Calculator that predicts your gyroscopic stability factor (SG) based on mulitiple variables: velocity, bullet length, bullet weight, barrel twist rate, ambient temperature, and altitude. This cool tool tells you if your chosen bullet will really stabilize in your barrel.


How to Use Berger’s Twist Rate Calculator
Using the Twist Rate Calculator is simple. Just enter the bullet DIAMETER (e.g. .264), bullet WEIGHT (in grains), and bullet overall LENGTH (in inches). On its website, Berger conveniently provides this info for all its bullet types. For other brands, we suggest you weigh three examples of your chosen bullet, and also measure the length on three samples. Then use the average weight and length of the three. To calculate bullet stability, simply enter your bullet data (along with observed Muzzle Velocity, outside Temperature, and Altitude) and click “Calculate SG”. Try different twist rate numbers (and recalculate) until you get an SG value of 1.4 (or higher).

Gyroscopic Stability (SG) and Twist Rate
Berger’s Twist Rate Calculator provides a predicted stability value called “SG” (for “Gyroscopic Stability”). This indicates the Gyroscopic Stability applied to the bullet by spin. This number is derived from the basic equation: SG = (rigidity of the spinning mass)/(overturning aerodynamic torque).

Berger twist rate calculator

If you have an SG under 1.0, your bullet is predicted not to stabilize. If you have between 1.0 and 1.1 SG, your bullet may or may not stabilize. If you have an SG greater than 1.1, your bullet should stabilize under optimal conditions, but stabilization might not be adequate when temperature, altitude, or other variables are less-than-optimal. That’s why Berger normally recommends at least 1.5 SG to get out of the “Marginal Stability” zone.

In his book Applied Ballistics For Long-Range Shooting, 3rd Ed., Bryan Litz (Berger Ballistician) recommends at least a 1.4 SG rating when selecting a barrel twist for a particular bullet. This gives you a safety margin for shooting under various conditions, such as higher or lower altitudes or temperatures.

Story idea from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 8th, 2024

Build Your Shooting Skills with Multi-Discipline Training

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Guest Article By Michelle Gallagher, Berger Bullets
Let’s face it. In the world of firearms, there is something for everyone. Do you like to compete? Are you a hunter? Are you more of a shotgun shooter or rifle shooter? Do you enjoy running around between stages of a timed course, or does the thought of shooting one-hole groups appeal to you more? Even though many of us shoot several different firearms and disciplines, chances are very good that we all have a favorite. Are we spreading ourselves too thin by shooting different disciplines, or is it actually beneficial? I have found that participating in multiple disciplines can actually improve your performance. Every style of shooting is different; therefore, they each develop different skills that benefit each other.

How can cross-training in other disciplines help you? For example, I am most familiar with long-range prone shooting, so let’s start there. To be a successful long-range shooter, you must have a stable position, accurate ammunition, and good wind-reading skills. You can improve all of these areas through time and effort, but there are other ways to improve more efficiently. Spend some time practicing smallbore. Smallbore rifles and targets are much less forgiving when it comes to position and shot execution. Long-range targets are very large, so you can get away with accepting less than perfect shots. Shooting smallbore will make you focus more on shooting perfectly center shots every time. Another way to do this with your High Power rifle is to shoot on reduced targets at long ranges. This will also force you to accept nothing less than perfect. Shoot at an F-Class target with your iron sights. At 1000 yards, the X-Ring on a long range target is 10 inches; it is 5 inches on an F-Class target. Because of this, you will have to focus harder on sight alignment to hit a center shot. When you go back to the conventional target, you will be amazed at how large the ten ring looks.

Michelle Gallagher Cross Training

Also, most prone rifles can be fitted with a bipod. Put a bipod and scope on your rifle, and shoot F-TR. Shooting with a scope and bipod eliminates position and eyesight factors, and will allow you to concentrate on learning how to more accurately read the wind. The smaller target will force you to be more aggressive on your wind calls. It will also help encourage you to use better loading techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than making a correct wind call on that tiny target, only to lose the point out the top or bottom due to inferior ammunition. If you put in the effort to shoot good scores on the F-Class target, you will be amazed how much easier the long-range target looks when you return to your sling and iron sights. By the same token, F-Class shooters sometimes prefer to shoot fast and chase the spotter. Shooting prone can help teach patience in choosing a wind condition to shoot in, and waiting for that condition to return if it changes.

Benchrest shooters are arguably among the most knowledgeable about reloading. If you want to learn better techniques about loading ammunition, you might want to spend some time at benchrest matches. You might not be in contention to win, but you will certainly learn a lot about reloading and gun handling. Shooting F-Open can also teach you these skills, as it is closely related to benchrest. Benchrest shooters may learn new wind-reading techniques by shooting mid- or long-range F-Class matches.

Michelle Gallagher Cross TrainingPosition shooters can also improve their skills by shooting different disciplines. High Power Across-the-Course shooters benefit from shooting smallbore and air rifle. Again, these targets are very small, which will encourage competitors to be more critical of their shot placement. Hunters may benefit from shooting silhouette matches, which will give them practice when shooting standing with a scoped rifle. Tactical matches may also be good, as tactical matches involve improvising shots from various positions and distances. [Editor: Many tactical matches also involve hiking or moving from position to position — this can motivate a shooter to maintain a good level of general fitness.]

These are just a few ways that you can benefit from branching out into other shooting disciplines. Talk to the other shooters. There is a wealth of knowledge in every discipline, and the other shooters will be more than happy to share what they have learned. Try something new. You may be surprised what you get out of it. You will certainly learn new skills and improve the ones you already have. You might develop a deeper appreciation for the discipline you started off with, or you may just discover a new passion.

This article originally appeared in the Berger Blog. The Berger Blog contains the latest info on Berger products, along with informative articles on target shooting and hunting.

Article Find by EdLongrange.

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December 16th, 2023

Long Range Experts Podcast — Bryan Litz and Emil Praslick

Long Range Grad School Podcast Guns magazine Bryan Litz Emil Praslick III Wind coaching ballistics

Applied Ballistics Founder Bryan Litz and Former USAMU and Team USA coach Emil Praslick III share their wisdom in an informative Guns Magazine Podcast. Along with being a true ballistics guru, Bryan Litz is an outstanding competitive shooter, having won F-TR National Championships, and both Sling and F-TR divisions at the Berger SW Nationals, along with many other matches. Emil is considered one of the world’s great wind-readers and team coaches, having coached 20+ championship teams.

Guns Magazine podcast host Brent Wheat asks Bryan and Emil about multiple topics including: exterior ballistics, bullet design, wind reading, ballistic solvers, BC myths, and more.

Brent reports: “Together, Bryan and Emil understand what happens from the time a bullet leaves the muzzle until it impacts the target, including the atmospheric affects along the way. Grab a pencil, listen in, and get ready to take notes.”

This Long Range Grad School podcast features Berger’s Chief Ballistician, Bryan Litz, and Berger’s Emil Praslick. Both have extensive long range competitive shooting experience, with championship titles (as shooter and/or coach) in a multitude of long range disciplines. CLICK arrow below to start podcast audio:

Long Range Grad School Podcast Guns magazine Bryan Litz Emil Praslick III Wind coaching ballistics

Emil Praslick (left) confers with Bryan Litz (right) at King of 2 Miles ELR Event.
Bryan Litz KO2M ELR podcast wind reading

In this Video Emil Praslick explains his methods for determining wind direction.

Bryan Litz coaching Team USA in Canada using a WIND PLOT.

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December 14th, 2023

How Changing Cartridge OAL Can Alter Pressure and Velocity

Berger Bullets COAL length cartridge

Figure 1. When the bullet is seated farther out of the case, there is more volume available for powder. This enables the cartridge to generate higher muzzle velocity with the same pressure.

Berger Bullets COAL length cartridgeEffects Of Cartridge Over All Length (COAL) And Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) – Part 1
by Bryan Litz for Berger Bullets.
Many shooters are not aware of the dramatic effects that bullet seating depth can have on the pressure and velocity generated by a rifle cartridge. Cartridge Overall Length (COAL) is also a variable that can be used to fine-tune accuracy. It’s also an important consideration for rifles that need to feed rounds through a magazine. In this article, we’ll explore the various effects of COAL, and what choices a shooter can make to maximize the effectiveness of their hand loads.

Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI)
Most loading manuals (including the Berger Manual), present loading data according to SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute) standards. SAAMI provides max pressure, COAL and many other specifications for commercial cartridges so that rifle makers, ammo makers, and hand loaders can standardize their products so they all work together. As we’ll see later in this article, these SAAMI standards are in many cases outdated and can dramatically restrict the performance potential of a cartridge.

Bullet seating depth is an important variable in the accuracy equation. In many cases, the SAAMI-specified COAL is shorter than what a hand loader wants to load their rounds to for accuracy purposes. In the case where a hand loader seats the bullets longer than SAAMI specified COAL, there are some internal ballistic effects that take place which are important to understand.

Effects of Seating Depth / COAL on Pressure and Velocity
The primary effect of loading a cartridge long is that it leaves more internal volume inside the cartridge. This extra internal volume has a well known effect; for a given powder charge, there will be less pressure and less velocity produced because of the extra empty space. Another way to look at this is you have to use more powder to achieve the same pressure and velocity when the bullet is seated out long. In fact, the extra powder you can add to a cartridge with the bullet seated long will allow you to achieve greater velocity at the same pressure than a cartridge with a bullet seated short.

When you think about it, it makes good sense. After all, when you seat the bullet out longer and leave more internal case volume for powder, you’re effectively making the cartridge into a bigger cartridge by increasing the size of the combustion chamber. Figure 1 illustrates the extra volume that’s available for powder when the bullet is seated out long.

Before concluding that it’s a good idea to start seating your bullets longer than SAAMI spec length, there are a few things to consider.

Geometry of a Chamber Throat
The chamber in a rifle will have a certain throat length which will dictate how long a bullet can be loaded. The throat is the forward portion of the chamber that has no rifling. The portion of the bullet’s bearing surface that projects out of the case occupies the throat (see Figure 2).

Berger Bullets COAL length cartridge

The length of the throat determines how much of the bullet can stick out of the case. When a cartridge is chambered and the bullet encounters the beginning of the rifling, known as the lands, it’s met with hard resistance. This COAL marks the maximum length that a bullet can be seated. When a bullet is seated out to contact the lands, its initial forward motion during ignition is immediately resisted by an engraving force.

Seating a bullet against the lands causes pressures to be elevated noticeably higher than if the bullet were seated just a few thousandths of an inch off the lands.

A very common practice in precision reloading is to establish the COAL for a bullet that’s seated to touch the lands. This is a reference length that the hand loader works from when searching for the optimal seating depth for precision. Many times, the best seating depth is with the bullet touching or very near the lands. However, in some rifles, the best seating depth might be 0.100″ or more off the lands. This is simply a variable the hand loader uses to tune the precision of a rifle.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article with More Info

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December 9th, 2023

Great Book — Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting II

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

This is one of the very best books ever published about Long Range shooting. Based on sophisticated testing and research, this 356-page hardcover from Applied Ballistics offers important insights you won’t find anywhere else. Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting – Volume II, a major treatise from Bryan Litz, is chock full of information, much of it derived through sophisticated field testing. As Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets (and a trained rocket scientist), author Bryan Litz is uniquely qualified. Bryan is also an ace sling shooter and a past F-TR National Champion. Moreover, Bryan’s company, Applied Ballistics, has been a leader in the Extreme Long Range (ELR) discipline.

AUDIO FILE: Bryan Litz Talks about Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2. (Sound file loads when you click button).

Volume II of Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting ($44.95) contains all-new content derived from research by Applied Ballistics. Author Bryan Litz along with contributing authors Nick Vitalbo and Cal Zant use the scientific method and careful testing to answer important questions faced by long range shooters. In particular, this volume explores the subject of bullet dispersion including group convergence. Advanced hand-loading subjects are covered such as: bullet pointing and trimming, powder measurement, flash hole deburring, neck tension, and fill ratio.

Each topic is explored with extensive live fire testing, and the resulting information helps to guide hand loaders in a deliberate path to success. The current bullet library of measured G1 and G7 ballistic coefficients is included as an appendix. This library currently has data on 533 bullets in common use by long range shooters.

Bryan tells us that one purpose of this book is to dispel myths and correct commonly-held misconceptions: “Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting aims to end the misinformation which is so prevalent in long range shooting. By applying the scientific method and taking a Myth Buster approach, the state of the art is advanced….”

Bullet Dispersion and Group Convergence
Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

Part 1 of this Volume is focused on the details of rifle bullet dispersion. Chapter 1 builds a discussion of dispersion and precision that every shooter will benefit from in terms of understanding how it impacts their particular shooting application. How many shots should you shoot in a group? What kind of 5-shot 100 yard groups correlate to average or winning precision levels in 1000 yard F-Class shooting?

Chapter 2 presents a very detailed investigation of the mysterious concept of group convergence, which is the common idea that some guns can shoot smaller (MOA) groups at longer ranges. This concept is thoroughly tested with extensive live fire, and the results answer a very important question that has baffled shooters for many generations.

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-orderPart 2 of this Volume is focused on various aspects of advanced hand-loading. Modern Advancements (Vol. II) employs live fire testing to answer the important questions that precision hand loaders are asking. What are the best ways to achieve MVs with low ES and SD? Do flash hole deburring, neck tension, primer selection, and fill ratio and powder scales sensitivity make a difference and how much? All of these questions are explored in detail with a clear explanation of test results.

One of the important chapters of Part 2 examines bullet pointing and trimming. Applied Ballistics tested 39 different bullet types from .224 through .338 caliber. Ten samples of each bullet were tested for BC in each of the following configurations: original out of the box, pointed, trimmed, pointed and trimmed. The effect on the average BC as well as the uniformity in BC was measured and tabulated, revealing what works best.

Part 3 covers a variety of general research topics. Contributing author Nick Vitalbo, a laser technology expert, tested 22 different laser rangefinders. Nick’s material on rangefinder performance is a landmark piece of work. Nick shows how shooters can determine the performance of a rangefinder under various lighting conditions, target sizes, and reflectivities.

Chapter 9 is a thorough analysis of rimfire ammunition. Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets, 2nd Edition presented live fire data on 95 different types of .22 rimfire ammunition, each tested in five different barrels having various lengths and twist rates. Where that book just presented the data, Chapter 9 of this book offers detailed analysis of all the test results and shows what properties of rimfire ammunition are favorable, and how the BCs, muzzle velocities and consistency of the ammo are affected by the different barrels.

Chapter 10 is a discussion of aerodynamic drag as it relates to ballistic trajectory modeling. You will learn from the ground up: what an aerodynamic drag model is, how it’s measure and used to predict trajectories. Analysis is presented which shows how the best trajectory models compare to actual measured drop in the real world.

Finally, contributing author Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog presents a study of modern carbon fiber-wrapped barrels in Chapter 11. The science and technology of these modern rifle barrels is discussed, and then everything from point of impact shift to group sizes are compared for several samples of each type of barrel including standard steel barrels.

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December 6th, 2023

Powder Valley Now Offers Norma Brass and Loaded Ammo

Powder Valley 12 days christmas sale discount

Powder Valley has added Norma products to its extensive inventory of ammunition, reloading components, tools, and shooting accessories. Powder Valley is now carrying Norma products for shooters and handloaders. Norma ammo and components are developed with the high quality raw materials and tight tolerances to ensure long life and accuracy.

About Norma Precision AB
Dedicated to outfitting shooting enthusiasts with quality products since 1902, Norma started out in a small Swedish town and is now a top global brand boasting more than 350 employees, most of whom are hunters, shooters, and reloaders themselves. For hunting and target shooting applications Norma manufactures many millions of rounds annually for 100+ different cartridge types.

VERY Informative Video Show Cartridge Brass and Ammunition Production:

Here’s a cool video showing how bullet, brass, and ammunition are produced at the Norma Precision AB factory. You can see how cartridges are made starting with brass disks, then formed into shape through a series of processes, including “hitting [the cup] with a 30-ton hammer”. After annealing (shown at 0:08″), samples from every batch of brass are analyzed (at multiple points along the case length) to check metal grain structure and hardness. Before packing, each case is visually inspected by a human being (3:27″ time-mark). The video also shows how bullets are made from jackets and lead cores. Finally, you can watch the loading machines that fill cases with powder, seat the bullets, and then transport the loaded rounds to the packing system.

12 Days Of Christmas Contest at Powder Valley

Powder Valley 12 days christmas prize contest give-aways

Beginning Monday, December 4, 2023, Powder Valley has been running a major give-away contest, with prize products from a different maker each day. Today, 12/6/23, Berry’s Bullets are the Prize. And, TAKE NOTE readers, tomorrow 12/7/2023 Lapua, Berger, and Vihtavuori products are the Daily Contest Prize. If you need Lapua Brass, Berger Bullets, or VV powder, be sure to enter before end of day 12/7/2023. The 12 prizes vary by day and by value. Each day’s prize will be posted on Facebook and Instagram. WINNER SELECTION: A random drawing will be conducted the following day by Sponsor or its designated representatives. The Sweepstakes began on 12/4/23 and ends on 12/15/23.

About Powder Valley
Powder Valley began in 1984 as Dexter Automotive, the first master distributor of Accurate powder. In 2000, Bryan and Noel Richardson purchased the company and moved operations to Winfield, Kansas with a focus on providing the finest in reloading components at the best possible price. Powder Valley expanded its vision to offer every type of powder and primer available so reloaders would have a single shopping source. Since then, Powder Valley has grown into the largest distributor of canister powder in the United States and currently carries an ever-expanding offering of high-quality bullets, brass, wads, shot, gun care items, and ammunition at an excellent value.

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November 1st, 2023

John Masek and Keith Trapp Win F-Class Mid-Range Nationals

Ben Avery nra mid-range national championships john masek f-class john Keith trap

We congratulate John Masek (F-Open) and Keith Trapp (F-TR), the 2023 NRA F-Class Mid-Range National Champions. The Mid-Range Nationals were held at the Ben Avery Range outside Phoenix, Arizona, and the F-Class Long Range Nationals continue November 2 through November 5, 2023. Keith’s 2023 Mid-Range title was his second big win in a row — Keith won the Long-Range F-TR Championship in 2022.

Ben Avery nra mid-range national championships john masek f-class john Keith trap
2023 F-Class Mid-Range National Champions Keith Trapp (L) and John Masek (R).

F-Open Mid-Range Nationals Results | F-TR Mid-Range Nationals Results

We were particularly pleased to see our colleague John Masek earn this major victory. John helps with product tests/reviews, and John works on our Deals of the Week features. John also has a popular F-Class John YouTube Channel with videos we frequently feature. And you can see John’s content on his new website CLICK HERE to access John’s videos and product tests.

Ben Avery nra mid-range national championships john masek f-class john Keith trapp

Ben Avery nra mid-range national championships john masek f-class john Keith trapJohn Masek Wins His First Nationals
John finished with a very impressive 1774-95X score, followed by Jason Simes (1772-84X) and Norm Harrold (1768-99X). John shot very well in difficult, windy conditions, finishing with not just the highest Grand Aggregate score, but the second highest X-Count (after Norm Harrold). This is a big win for John, his first-ever National title. No one has worked harder to raise his game through advanced reloading processes and lots of practice both with centerfire and rimfire rifles.

Forum member and fellow F-Class competitor David Joe praised John’s performance: “Hey John, great wind calling this week, congratulations! Who needs Long-Range with wind like that. What a close and hard won contest! Great scores today!”

In the F-TR Division, Keith Trapp took top honors with a 1776-87X score, followed by Tracy Hogg (1767-70X), and James Crofts (1762-67X). Keith, a proven F-TR superstar, also won the F-TR 1000-yard Nationals at Ben Avery in 2022.

Here’s an insightful interview with John Masek and fellow F-Open ace and YouTube host Erik Cortina:

And here is a video F-Class John produced at last year’s Long-Range (1000-yard) F-Class Championship. This was also held at the Ben Avery Range in Arizona.

Destiny Fulfilled: Before John left his Oregon home for the 2023 F-Class Nationals, this Editor spoke to John on the telephone. I said “Good luck John, I think you’re due to stand on the podium and hold a trophy.” That prediction proved prophetic. We are glad to see our friend and colleague John Masek now hold the title of NRA F-Class Open Mid-Range National Champion!

Ben Avery nra mid-range national championships john masek f-class john Keith trapp

Shown above is John’s 7 PRCW F-Open Rifle. This features a Borden BRMXD action, X-Ring stock, and Flavio Fare trigger. On top is the 8-80x56mm March Majesta scope, a very advanced new optic. The rifle is chambered for the 7mm PRCW cartridge. John loads with Lapua brass, Vihtavuori N555 powder, and Berger 180gr Hybrid bullets.

Ben Avery nra mid-range national championships john masek f-class john Keith trap

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September 23rd, 2023

Saturday Movies: Bullets, Powder, and Ammo Made at Berger, Vihtavuori, Remington, Norma, Federal, and Hornady Factories

ammunition ammo production video movies berger norma vihtavuori federal hornady bullet

Ever wondered how factory ammunition is produced, from start to finish? How are brass cases made, how are bullets created, and how are finished cartridges produced on automated assembly lines? Today’s video showcase features six major factories that, collectively, produce bullets, powder, and finished ammo. We start with the Berger Bullet plant, follow by Vihtavuori powder production in Europe. Then we show the Remington (now Vista Outdoor) ammo plant in Utah, along with a Federal plant that produces rimfire ammunition. Last but not least, there’s an excellent, very informative video from the Norma ammo factory, plus a Hornady ammo plant video.

hornady factory video tour
Bullets being seating at Hornady ammo factory.

Berger Bullets Factory Tour — Made in USA

In this video, Recoil TV takes a behind-the-scenes look at Berger Bullets, and how the outstanding, match-winning Berger bullets are created. The video covers the entire process — from raw materials, to the placement of bullet cores inside jackets, to the final ultra-consistent and uniform projectiles. To see the complete line of Berger Bullets, with full Ballistic data, visit

Vihtavuori Powder Production in Europe

ammunition ammo production video movies berger norma vihtavuori federal hornady bullet Vihtavuori produces some of the most consistent, high-quality powder on the planet. Vihtavuori powders have been used to set world records and win countless championships in multiple disciplines. This excellent video goes inside Vihtavuori’s European production centers. It is really fascinating — you see how extruded powder starts with long spaghetti-like strings, before being finalized into the tiny sticks that we load.

Along with the powder production process, this video includes the entire VV production line, so you see how powder bottles are filled with powder and the tops of the bottles are secured by automated machines.

Remington Ammo Factory (Now Operated by Vista Outdoor)

This SHWATteam video visits the Remington ammunition plant in Arkansas. Vista Outdoor, the company that produces Federal, Speer and CCI ammo, purchased Remington’s ammunition business in Lonoke, Arkansas. Including the new high-tech plant in the back, this facility has the equivalent of 13+ football fields (1200 acres) under roof at its ammo plant, with over 1100 employees. Production capacity is impressive. When running at maximum output, this Remington ammo plant can crank out a staggering 7,000,000+ rounds every day. To produce that volume of ammunition, the facility needs a huge amount of resources: one million pounds of copper per month and 124,000 pounds of lead per day. Remington started manufacturing ammunition at this Lonoke facility in 1970, but some of the machines have been churning out ammo since long before.

Norma Factory Tour

Guys — honestly, if you do anything today on this site, watch this video. You won’t be disappointed. Guaranteed. This is a very informative (and surprisingly entertaining) video. Every serious hand-loader should watch this video to see how cartridge cases are made. The camera work and editing are excellent — there are many close-ups revealing key processes such as annealing and head-stamping.

VERY Informative Video Show Cartridge Brass and Ammunition Production:

Norma has released a fascinating video showing how bullets, brass, and ammunition are produced at the Norma Precision AB factory which opened in 1902. You can see how cartridges are made starting with brass disks, then formed into shape through a series of processes, including “hitting [the cup] with a 30-ton hammer”. After annealing (shown at 0:08″), samples from every batch of brass are analyzed to check metal grain structure and hardness. Before packing, each case is visually inspected by a human being (3:27″ time-mark).

Federal Rimfire Ammunition Production

Field & Stream Tours Federal Ammo Plant in Minnesota
A reporter for Field & Stream recently got a chance to tour the Federal ammunition production facility in Anoka, Minnesota. This large plant produces both rimfire and centerfire ammunition. While touring the plant, the reporter was allowed to capture video showing the creation of .22 LR rounds from start to finish. This is a fascinating video, well worth watching. Watch and learn how rimfire ammo is made.

Note to Viewers — After Starting Video, Click Speaker Icon to HEAR audio!

This revealing video shows all phases of .22 LR ammo production including cupping, drawing, annealing, washing, drying, head-stamping, priming, powder charging, bullet seating, crimping, waxing, inspection, and final packaging. We recommend you watch the video from start to finish. You’ll definitely learn some new things about rimfire ammo.

Hornady Ammunition Factory

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.

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September 23rd, 2023

Cartridge Base-to-Ogive (CBTO) Length — Key Considerations

chamber length loading berger bullets
Here are two different bullet types, seated to the same CBTO length, but different COAL. Note the shiny scratches on the bullets made by the comparator tool which indicates a point on the bullet ogive near where the ogive will engage the rifling.

Berger Bullets COAL length cartridgeEffects Of Cartridge Over All Length (COAL) And Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) – Part 2
by Bryan Litz for Berger Bullets.
Part One of this series focused on the importance of COAL in terms of SAAMI standards, magazine lengths, seating depths, and pressure levels. Another measure of length for loaded ammunition is highly important to precision, namely Cartridge Base to Bullet Ogive Length (CBTO).

Figure 2. Chamber throat geometry showing the bullet jump to the rifling or lands.
chamber length loading berger bullets

Look at Figure 2. Suppose the bullet was seated out of the case to the point where the base of the bullet’s nose (ogive) just contacted the beginning of the riflings (the lands) when the bolt was closed. This bullet seating configuration is referred to as touching the lands, or touching the riflings and is a very important measurement to understand for precision hand-loading. Due to the complex dynamics of internal ballistics which happen in the blink of an eye, the distance a bullet moves out of the case before it engages the riflings is highly critical to precision potential. Therefore, in order to systematically optimize the precision of his handloads, it’s critically important that the precision hand-loader understands how to alter bullet seating depth in relation to the barrel rifling. Part of the required knowledge is understanding how to accurately and repeatably measure the Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) dimension. This is explained in the FULL ARTICLE.

Bryan Litz offers an extended discussion on how to measure CBTO using different tools and methods, including the Hornady OAL gauge. You can read this discussion in the full article found on the Berger Bullets website. CLICK HERE to Read Full Article.

Why Not Use CBTO as a SAAMI Standard?
If CBTO is so important to rifle accuracy, you might ask, “Why is it not listed as the SAAMI spec standard in addition to COAL?” There is one primary reason why it is not listed in the standard. This is the lack of uniformity in bullet nose shapes and measuring devices used to determine CBTO.

Benefits of Having a Uniform CBTO
There is another aspect to knowing your CBTO when checking your COAL as it pertains to performance. With good bullets, tooling, and carefully-prepared cases you can easily achieve a CBTO that varies less than +/- .001″ but your COAL can vary as much as .025″ extreme spread (or more with other brands). This is not necessarily bad and it is much better than the other way around. If you have a CBTO dimension that varies but your COAL dimension is tight (within +/- .002″) then it is most likely that your bullet is bottoming out inside the seater cone on the bullet tip. This is very bad and is to be avoided. It is normal for bullets to have precisely the same nose shape and it is also normal for these same bullets to have nose lengths that can vary as much as .025″.

Summary of Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) Discussion
Here are four important considerations regarding bullet seating depth as it relates to CBTO:

1. CBTO is a critical measurement to understand for handloaders because it’s directly related to precision potential, and you control it by simply setting bullet seating depth.

2. Tools and methods for measuring CBTO vary. Most of the measurement techniques have pitfalls (which may give rise to inconsistent results) that you should understand before starting out.

3. A CBTO that produces the best precision in your rifle may not produce the best precision in someone else’s rifle. Even if you have the same rifle, same bullets, same model of comparator gauges, etc. It’s possible that the gauges are not actually the same, and measurements from one don’t translate to the same dimension for another.

4. Once you find the CBTO that produces the best precision in your rifle, it’s important to allow minimal variation in that dimension when producing quality handloads. This is achieved by using quality bullets, tooling, and properly preparing case mouths and necks for consistent seating.

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article with More Info
Article sourced by EdLongrange. We welcome tips from readers.
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September 12th, 2023

Tangent, Secant, Hybrid — Bullet Geometry Explained by Litz

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

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

Tangent vs. Secant vs. Hybrid

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

hybrid bullet

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

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

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

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

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

Bryan Litz Explains Hybrid Design and Optimal Hybrid Seating Depths

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

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

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August 25th, 2023

Modern F-TR Rifle with Borden Action, Krieger Barrel, SEB Bipod

F-TR Rifle laminated stock X-Ring Borden Action SEB Joy-Pod
A carpet is used up front for smoother tracking with the Joy-Pod’s flat, ski-style feet. The arms of the Joy-Pod were painted to match the stock. The rear bag features low-drag material on the ears.

F-Class competition grows in popularity every year. Unlike F-Open, the F-TR (Target Rifle) class is limited to the .223 Remington (5.56×45) or .308 Winchester (7.62×51) chamberings. F-TR rifles also use bipods rather than a front rest. But these are no ordinary Harris-style bipods. Modern F-TR bipods have a wide footprint for added stability and many F-TR shooters favor SEB Co-Axial joystick bipods (aka “Joy-Pods”). Today we are featuring an F-TR rig that showcases the types of components, and accessories used by top F-TR competitors — including a coaxial bipod and Labradar Chronograph. If you’re considering getting started in the F-TR game, take a close look at this modern F-TR build from Forum member DM.Oakes.

F-TR Rifle laminated stock X-Ring Borden Action SEB Joy-Pod

Modern F-TR Rig with Borden Action, Krieger Barrel, and SEB Joy-Pod
This handsome .308 Win F-TR rig features a smooth-running Borden BRM action, 30-inch 1:10″-twist Krieger barrel, and an X-Ring Laminated Wood stock. Up front is a coaxial “Joy-Pod” joystick bipod. This is a state-of-the art, wide footprint bipod used by many competitors at the Worlds in Canada. The long joystick allows the “driver” to quickly adjust both elevation and windage in a smooth, continuous motion. The Joy-Pod can be adjusted so it will hold setting during the shot — you don’t have to “hard-hold” the joystick. Many shooters let the joystick slide through their fingers as the rifle moves back on recoil. With a little practice (and careful placement of the rear sand-bag), the tracking is excellent and you can slide the gun right back to point of aim after each shot.

Action: Borden BRM
Trigger: Blue-printed Jewell BR
Barrel: Krieger 30″ / 4-Groove / 1:10″ twist (.30 Cal)
Chamber: .308 Winchester with 0.170 Freebore
Stock: X-Ring Laminated F-Class
Scope: Nightforce 12-42x56mm Competition
Potential Name: Blue Thunder

F-TR Rifle laminated stock X-Ring Borden Action SEB Joy-Pod
This F-TR rifle is shown during load testing with a LabRadar chronograph.

» Full LabRadar Field Test/Review by Ray Gross

If you are considering purchasing a LabRadar Chronograph system, we strongly suggest you read the very thorough and informative LabRadar Review by Ray Gross, past Captain of the USA F-TR team. Ray notes: “It takes me about 3 minutes to set up [my LabRadar] at the range. Because there are no downrange screens, I do not have to hold up other shooters on the range like I would when setting up a traditional chronograph. The convenience alone will mean that I will use it more often than my old chronograph. Every time I take it out, I enjoy it a little bit more.”

Bart Sauter Ray Gross LabRadar Benchrest Review Chronograph Bench tripod

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