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June 21st, 2022

Keep Your Cartridges Cool During Hot Summer Months

Heat Map USA color chart

Today, June 21, 2022, is Summer Solstice! This means today has the longest period of daylight of any day of the year. And July is right around the corner. That means “peak heat” summer conditions. It’s vitally important to keep your ammo at “normal” temps during the hot summer months. Even if you use “temp-insensitive” powders, studies suggest that pressures can still rise dramatically when the entire cartridge gets hot, possibly because of primer heating. It’s smart to keep your loaded ammo in an insulated storage unit, possibly with a Blue Ice Cool Pak if you expect it to get quite hot. Don’t leave your ammo in the car or truck — temps can exceed 140° in a vehicle parked in the sun.

Ammo cool storage

Bosch Insulated tool caseTo learn more about how ambient temperature (and primer choice) affect pressures (and hence velocities) you should read the article Pressure Factors: How Temperature, Powder, and Primer Affect Pressure by Denton Bramwell. In that article, the author uses a pressure trace instrument to analyze how temperature affects ammo performance. Bramwell’s tests yielded some fascinating results.

For example, barrel temperature was a key factor: “Both barrel temperature and powder temperature are important variables, and they are not the same variable. If you fail to take barrel temperature into account while doing pressure testing, your test results will be very significantly affected. The effect of barrel temperature is around 204 PSI per F° for the Varget load. If you’re not controlling barrel temperature, you about as well might not bother controlling powder temperature, either. In the cases investigated, barrel temperature is a much stronger variable than powder temperature.”

This Editor had the personal experience of 6mmBR hand-loaded ammo that was allowed to sit in the hot sun for 45 minutes while steel targets were reset. The brass became quite warm to the touch, meaning the casings were well over 120° on the outside. When I then shot this ammo, the bullets impacted well high at 600 yards (compared to earlier in the day). Using a Magnetospeed, I then chron-tested the sun-heated ammo. The hot ammo’s velocity FPS had increased very significantly — all because I had left the ammo out in the hot sun uncovered for 3/4 of an hour.

LESSON: Keep your ammo cool! Keep loaded ammo in the shade, preferably under cover or in an insulated container. You can use a SEALED cool pack inside the container, but we do NOT recommend H20 ice packs. And don’t have the container do double duty for food and beverages.

Powder Heat Sensitivity Comparison Test

Our friend Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog has published a fascinating comparison test of four powders: Hodgdon H4350, Hodgdon Varget, IMR 4451, and IMR 4166. The first two are Hodgdon Extreme powders, while the latter two are part of IMR’s Enduron line of propellants.


CLICK HERE to VIEW FULL POWDER TEST RESULTS »

The testers measured the velocity of the powders over a wide temperature range, from 25° F to 140° F. Hodgdon H4350 proved to be the most temp stable of the four powders tested. [NOTE: New Alliant Reloder TS 15.5 has also proved very temp stable in AccurateShooter’s range tests.]

Precision Rifle Blog Temperature Stability test hodgdon varget H4350 Enduron IMR 4451

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June 21st, 2022

Five Shots 1.859″ at 1000 Yards — Best “Wallet Group” Ever?

1000-yard record group

What’s a “wallet group”? It’s a singularly spectacular proof target that entitles its bearer to bragging rights. The wallet group may or may not have been shot in competition, and, by definition, it may not be repeatable. But it exists as incontrovertible proof that, at least once, the stars aligned, and the wind gods smiled on the shooter.

1000-yard record groupFive Shots in 0.178 MOA at 1000 Yards
A few years ago, Forum member and F-Class shooter Gary Wood was testing his 6.5-284 rifle at the 1000-yard range in Coalinga, California, getting ready for an upcoming long range match. In practice, Gary nailed a witnessed 1.859″ five-shot group, with four of the five shots well under an inch. Use this as proof to win those club-house arguments about whether it is possible to shoot “in the ones” at 1000 yards. Gary’s group worked out to 0.178 MOA!

Gary reports: “I was load testing with 5-shot groups. Each group was shot on a new F-Class center and pulled by Ret. Master Chief Jerry Pullens and spotted by an other long-range shooter. The second 5-shot load group looked really small … by our reckoning four out of five shots measured under an inch. I was amazed. What’s more, when I shot the group, the 4th shot blew the spindle out of the 3rd shot. My spotter saw that in his scope and Jerry Pullens told me about it afterwards”.

As measured with the OnTarget Software, using a scan of the target, Gary plotted the group size at 1.859″ total for five shots, or 0.178 MOA. Gary noted: “I had everyone sign the target which I saved and photographed.” Yes, Gary, this may be the wallet group to end all wallet groups. You should have that target framed.

1000-yard record group


Gary’s Load and 6.5-284 Rifle Specs
Gary was running a stout load of Hodgdon H4350 and CCI BR-2 primers, pushing moly-coated 142gr Sierra MKs, in Lapua 6.5-284 brass. The rifle features an F-Class, single-shot Surgeon action with a Bartlein 5R barrel chambered with a no-turn neck. Gary says “The barrel only has 70 rounds through it… yep, I think it will shoot.” Gary did all of the gunsmithing and barrel work himself.

Did Gary have any special reloading tricks? Apparently not: “Other than weighing the cases and the powder very carefully, there really were no magical reloading secrets used. The Sierra 142s were moly-coated straight from the box of 500, but they were not weighed or checked for bearing surface. The powder was dropped with a RCBS ChargeMaster then checked with an Acculab scale (to under a tenth). The Lapua cases were not neck-turned, but I did weight-sort them. The five cases for the small group weighed: 195.05, 195.03, 195.03, 195.03, 195.01.”

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May 7th, 2022

Guide to IMR Enduron Powders — Temp Stable, Reduced Fouling

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

Have you tried IMR Enduron powders yet (IMR 4166, 4451, 4955, 7977, and/or 8133)? We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen. IMR’s line of Enduron extruded powders offer excellent temp stability, reduced copper fouling, and good load density for many popular cartridges (such as .223 Rem, 6mmBR, .308 Win, .30-06, 300 WSM to name a few). Some of our Forum members have reported excellent results with IMR 4166 in the 6mmBR, Dasher, 6.5×47 Lapua and .308 Win. One member wrote: “in my 6.5×47… 4166 gives speeds and accuracy pretty much exactly the same as Varget.” And other shooters have observed reduced copper fouling with Enduron series powders, so IMR’s Enduron anti-fouling chemistry does seem to work.

IMR now offers five (5) Enduron powders: IMR 4166, IMR 4451, IMR 4955, IMR 7977, and IMR 8133. Shooters looking for good alternatives to hard-to-find extruded powders should definitely check out the Enduron line-up. Precision shooters will find an Enduron option well-suited to most popular precision cartridge types. For example, IMR 4166 is a good replacement for Hodgdon Varget (commonly used in the .223 Rem, 6mmBR and .308 Win), while IMR 4955 is a fine substitute for H4831 (favored by F-Open shooters for the .284 Win and 7mm WSM cartridges).

enduron IMR Powder Hodgdon extreme

The Enduron Line-Up of Five Powders

IMR now offers five Enduron powders that cover a broad range of burn rates. They are suitable for a wide variety of cartridges, from small varmint cartridges all the way up to the .338 Lapua Magnum.

IMR Enduron Powders

IMR 4166 possesses the fastest burn rate in the Enduron lineup. It is the perfect burn speed for cartridges such as .308 Win, 7.62mm NATO, 22-250 Rem and 257 Roberts. A versatile, match-grade propellant, IMR 4166 is comparable to Hodgdon® Varget.

IMR 4451 is a mid-range burn speed powder, ideally suited for cartridges such as .270 Winchester, .30-06 and 300 Winchester Short Magnum. This powder is comparable to Hodgdon H4350.

IMR 4955 is a medium burn speed powder, falling in between IMR 4451 and IMR 7977 in burn speed. It provides top performance in big game cartridges such as 25-06, 280 Remington and 300 Winchester Magnum. This powder is comparable to Hodgdon H4831.

IMR 7977 is a slower burn rate in the Enduron family. Loading density is perfect for magnums. This is a true magnum propellant yielding outstanding performance in .300 Winchester Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum. IMR 7977 is comparable to Hodgdon H1000.

IMR 8133 IMR Enduron 8133 is the slowest burn rate in the Enduron family. Loading density is perfect for the very large magnums, including the 6.5mm and 7mm magnums. This is a true magnum propellant yielding outstanding performance in 6.5-300 Weatherby, .264 Win Mag, 28 Nosler and .300 Rem Ultra Mag, among other cartridges.

IMR Enduron Technology powders are sold in one-pound (1 lb) and eight-pound (8-lb) containers through quality retailers including Graf & Sons, Midsouth, and Powder Valley. Check frequently for current availability as these will sell out quickly after arrival. Also check your local sporting goods dealers for recent powder shipments.

IMR Enduron Powders 4955 4451 4166 7977

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 6th, 2021

Get Reliable Load INFO at Hodgdon Reloading Data Center

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powderLooking for a good load for a new rifle? Or perhaps you want to try a new powder and bullet combo for an existing rig. One of the best places to start for load data is Hodgdon’s online Reloading Data Center for pistol, rifle, and shotgun reloaders. Check out the Reloading Data Center at www.HodgdonReloading.com.

In the Data Center, you’ll find thousands of load recipes for pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Rifle shooters will find dozens of loads for their favorite Hodgdon, IMR, and Winchester powders such as H4198, H4895, Varget, H4350, and IMR 8208 XBR. And Hodgdon’s Reloading Center is “mobile-friendly” so it works well with smartphones and tables. Navigation is easy, and you can set the search criteria easily choosing your favorite powder or bullets. After choosing a cartridge, you can pre-select specific bullet weights and powder types. That quickly delivers just the information you want and need. You won’t have to scroll through scores of entries for bullets or powders you don’t use.

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder
NOTE: This shows results for two bullet weights and two powder choices. With more powders and bullets selected you will get more results. The “BUY NOW” buttons link to the Hodgdon webstore.

Reloading Center is Smartphone-Friendly
Mobile users will notice that the current Hodgdon Reloading Center is “user-friendly” for smart-phone and tablet users. Controls have been optimized for touch-screens, and buttons are large and easy to use.

How to Get Started with Handloading

Getting started in Reloading? Ultimate Reloader offers a helpful introductory video that covers the basics. In addition, a recent Ultimate Reloader article reviews the types of reloading presses, plus the other gear you’ll need, from dies to powder dispensers.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
June 13th, 2021

Beat the Heat — Keep Ammo Cool During Hot Summer Days

Heat Map USA color chart

The Summer Solstice is June 20, 2021, just a week away. And July is nearly here. That means “peak heat” summer conditions. It’s vitally important to keep your ammo at “normal” temps during the hot summer months. Even if you use “temp-insensitive” powders, studies suggest that pressures can still rise dramatically when the entire cartridge gets hot, possibly because of primer heating. It’s smart to keep your loaded ammo in an insulated storage unit, possibly with a Blue Ice Cool Pak if you expect it to get quite hot. Don’t leave your ammo in the car or truck — temps can exceed 140° in a vehicle parked in the sun.

Ammo cool storage

Bosch Insulated tool caseTo learn more about how ambient temperature (and primer choice) affect pressures (and hence velocities) you should read the article Pressure Factors: How Temperature, Powder, and Primer Affect Pressure by Denton Bramwell. In that article, the author uses a pressure trace instrument to analyze how temperature affects ammo performance. Bramwell’s tests yielded some fascinating results.

For example, barrel temperature was a key factor: “Both barrel temperature and powder temperature are important variables, and they are not the same variable. If you fail to take barrel temperature into account while doing pressure testing, your test results will be very significantly affected. The effect of barrel temperature is around 204 PSI per F° for the Varget load. If you’re not controlling barrel temperature, you about as well might not bother controlling powder temperature, either. In the cases investigated, barrel temperature is a much stronger variable than powder temperature.”

This Editor had the personal experience of 6mmBR hand-loaded ammo that was allowed to sit in the hot sun for 45 minutes while steel targets were reset. The brass became quite warm to the touch, meaning the casings were well over 120° on the outside. When I then shot this ammo, the bullets impacted well high at 600 yards (compared to earlier in the day). Using a Magnetospeed, I then chron-tested the sun-heated ammo. The hot ammo’s velocity FPS had increased very significantly — all because I had left the ammo out in the hot sun uncovered for 3/4 of an hour.

LESSON: Keep your ammo cool! Keep loaded ammo in the shade, preferably under cover or in an insulated container. You can use a SEALED cool pack inside the container, but we do NOT recommend H20 ice packs. And don’t have the container do double duty for food and beverages.

Powder Heat Sensitivity Comparison Test

Our friend Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog recently published a fascinating comparison test of four powders: Hodgdon H4350, Hodgdon Varget, IMR 4451, and IMR 4166. The first two are Hodgdon Extreme powders, while the latter two are part of IMR’s Enduron line of propellants.


CLICK HERE to VIEW FULL POWDER TEST RESULTS »

The testers measured the velocity of the powders over a wide temperature range, from 25° F to 140° F. Hodgdon H4350 proved to be the most temp stable of the four powders tested. [NOTE: New Alliant Reloder TS 15.5 has also proved very temp stable in AccurateShooter’s range tests.]

Precision Rifle Blog Temperature Stability test hodgdon varget H4350 Enduron IMR 4451

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
February 26th, 2021

Hodgdon Powder Update — Why Are There Shortages?

Hodgdon Powder report supply pricing shortage

As any handloader knows, popular reloading powders have become difficult to find. And when you do locate the powder you want, the price might be twice what you paid a year ago (or even more on auction sites). Across the nation, shooters are asking “What gives? Why are powder prices so high? And when are the shortages going to end?”

Hodgdon Powder Company (“Hodgdon”), supplier of Hodgdon, IMR, and Winchester powders*, has attempted to answer these questions with a “Powder Update” posted yesterday. Along with addressing the shortage issues, Hodgdon explains the challenges involved in increasing production in the USA and/or increasing imports from overseas. The ultra-popular H4198, H4895, Varget, H4350, and H4831 family of powders are produced by ADI in Australia**. So Hodgdon can’t ship more Varget or H4350 in the USA unless Hodgdon can get more from Australia.

In the Powder Update reprinted below, Hodgdon answers many key questions, and debunks some misconceptions. For example, Hodgdon is NOT selling its powders on auction sites such as Gunbroker. That is completely false.

POWDER UPDATE from Hodgdon Powder Company

Hodgdon Powder report supply pricing shortageWHY CAN’T HODGDON SHIP MORE POWDER?
The current powder situation is due to a record demand for all reloading components and NOT a reduction in the supply of powder. With long-time handloaders looking to stock up and new gun owners looking for ammunition, there is an unprecedented demand for powder and other reloading components. We shipped a record amount of powder in 2020 and will ship even more in 2021. We are doing everything in our power to get the most powder into consumer hands this year. We are running overtime in our facilities, have hired additional staff and have leveraged relationships with shipping partners to add new shipping options.

WHY CAN’T HODGDON BUILD ANOTHER POWDER PLANT?
The “normal” powder demand for the United States would not support an additional plant. Hodgdon, like most companies, cannot afford to build a new production facility then have it sit idle until demand spikes.

WHY IS HODGDON SELLING POWDER TO THE GOVERNMENT?
Hodgdon does NOT sell powder directly to the government. We sell some powder to manufacturers making ammunition for our military, but that is a small part of our business.

WHY IS HODGDON SELLING POWDER TO AMMUNITION MANUFACTURERS?
The heart of our business is smokeless powder for the handloading enthusiast. Yes, we sell some powder to ammo manufacturers, but that is a small part of our business. Every day, we receive calls from potential OEM customers looking for powder to load in ammunition. We politely decline so we can focus on our long-term, handloading customers.

WHY IS HODGDON SELLING POWDER ON AUCTION SITES?
We don’t. Period. We recently began selling a limited amount of powder on our OWN websites but prioritize our shipments to our traditional sales channels to maximize powder availability at sporting goods and gun shops. [Editor: If you see Hodgdon powder on auction sites, that is listed by third party vendors.]

WHY IS THE PRICE OF POWDER SO HIGH ON THE INTERNET?
We do not set sale prices or MSRPs for the price of our powders at retail, nor do we encourage any of our retailers or dealers to sell on auction sites, but we cannot control what happens AFTER we sell to our traditional sales channels.

Hodgdon Powder report supply pricing shortage


* Hodgdon also sells certain Ramshot, Accurate, and Blackhorn powders along with Goex black powder.
** Here’s a list of ADI to Hodgdon Powder equivalents from the ADI FAQ Page:

ADI / Hodgdon Propellants Equivalents
ADI Powder Hodgdon/IMR Name
Trail Boss
AR2207
AR2219
BM2
Bench Mark 8208
AR2206H
AR2208
AR2209
AR2213H/AR2213SC
AR2217
AR2225
AR2218
Trail Boss
H4198
H322
Benchmark
8208 XBR
H4895
Varget
H4350
H4831 / H4831SC
H1000
Retumbo
H50BMG
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading 35 Comments »
February 19th, 2021

Blast from the Past — Old Prices on Powder and Primers

Powder low price history flashback inflation

Yes we miss the good old days… when reloading components were readily available and very affordable. Today, on Gunbroker, a single 1000-count box of primers may sell for well over $300. And some vendors are asking $90 for a single pound of powder that sold for $30 per pound just last year.

We can’t change prices for you, but we can offer a “sentimental journey” back to the “good old days” via a Flashback Thread in our Shooters’ Forum. There, Forum members have posted some items from their collections, with the original prices.

What is the best deal you can remember? How about $1 per pound forty-six years ago — member STS posted: “It was probably 1975 when I bought 100 pounds of H335 from Bruce Hodgdon for $100. It came in cardboard boxes with black trash bags inside. I shot every flake of it at prairie dogs.”

Reloder Powder from Hercules (Now Alliant) for $3.80 per Pound

Powder low price history flashback inflation

CCI and Winchester Primers, $16.30 and $13.00 per Thousand

Today some CCI primers are selling for over $300 per thousand on Gunbroker. Member JayHHI6818 said: “Found these the other day in a shoe box in our bedroom closet!”. Nice find Jay!

Powder low price history flashback inflation

Hodgdon H4350 for $10.87 per Pound

H4350 remains one of the most popular powders with competitive shooters. It’s ideal for many midsized cartridges, offering great accuracy and temp stability. Today it’s hard to find this powder at ANY price!

Powder low price history flashback inflation

Remington 2 1/2 Primers for $1.50 per Hundred

Remington Arms folded. However Remington primers will be produced by Vista Outdoor after the collapse and bankruptcy of Remington Arms. Vista Outdoor, which owns CCI and Federal, will take over the Remington ammunition production facilities.

Powder low price history flashback inflation

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 12th, 2020

Bargain Finder 264: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

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

1. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Tikka T3x SS Superlite, $699.99

tikka rifle sale
Very good choice for hunting rifle — light, accurate, good action

We are fans of Tikka rifles for hunting. Build quality is good, and Tikkas have nice triggers and smooth-running actions. The Tikka T3x SS Superlite Rifle, a Sportsman’s Warehouse exclusive, is now on sale for $699.99 — a $100 savings off the regular price. Offered in numerous chamberings, this rifle features stainless action and barrel, light overall weight, and nice, 2-4 lb. adjustable trigger. Weight (without scope) is just 5.9 pounds. The T3x has a “noise reduction” synthetic stock.

2. Amazon — Tipton Ultra Gun Vise, $129.95

tipton gun vise
Very strong and versatile — use for all kinds of firearms

You need a solid, secure platform to clean and work on your guns. Most gun cleaning stands aren’t adjustable enough or are too flimsy. Not so with the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise. Weighing-in at about 10 pounds, this beefy gun vise provides a steady base. The frame is metal for strength. This Ultra Vise boasts stout adjustable jaws, specialized AR holder, and several accessory trays. Threaded feet allow the vise to be leveled on your bench. With this system you can work on just about anything including bolt-action rifles, AR-platform rifles, shotguns, pistols, and even compound bows. To fit wide forearms, you may have to remove or modify the front pads. Our Deals Editor, who owns this gun vise, reports this is an outstanding product, well worth the $129.95.

3. Sportsman’s Warehouse — Leupold Scope Sale with Gift Cards

leupold scope sale
Great prices on Leupold scopes — cash gift cards too

Hunting season is upon us. If you’re looking for a tough, “go anywhere and never lose its zero” hunting scope, think Leupold. Sportsman’s Warehouse is running a Leupold Gold Event Sale right now. You’ll find riflescopes, binoculars and more at very good prices. PLUS you’ll earn free gift cards worth $10, $25, $50, or $75 depending on how much you spend.

4. Midsouth — SAE/Metric/Hex/Torx P-Handle Driver Set, $43.99

wheeler tool hit

Nearly every firearm, press, ring set, or other gun accessory relies on hex or torx wrenches. You need the right tools for the job. Check out this SAE/Metric/Hex/Torx P-Handle Driver Set 30 Piece tool kit at Midsouth. It features popular driver types/sizes you’ll need, held in a convenient stand. These special “P-handle” drivers provide two different lengths and leverages ensuring you’re always in control of any threaded fastener.

5. CDNN — S&W SW22 Victory Pistol + Range Kit, $389.88

smith wesson range kit
Everyone needs a good .22 LR pistol — this is complete kit

Everyone should own a good .22 LR pistol. Rimfire pistols are fun and great for training. Plus .22 LR ammo is cheap! If you’ve been looking for a nice, yet affordable .22 LR pistol, the Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory is a good option. And right now you can get a complete SW22 Victory Pistol plus STS RANGE KIT for just $389.88. Not only do you get a great stainless .22 LR handgun (with fiber optic sights and included Picatinny rail), but you also get a range bag, ear muffs, safety eyewear, a bore snake, and a 10-pack of Caldwell Orange Peel bullseye targets.

6. Creedmoor — Konus 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope, $299.95

konuspot spotting scope
Good spotter for price that includes tripod and carry case

Spotting scopes are vital tools for shooters. But they can be pricey, especially those with large front objective lenses. Enter the Konuspot 80 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope from Creedmoor Sports. The big 80mm objective gathers plenty of light —- good for low-light shooting and observing. For the money, this is a surprisingly good spotter (though don’t expect it to compare with a high-end Kowa, Swaro, or Zeiss). And if you order now you get a small tripod, protective case, camera adapter, and smartphone adapter at no extra charge. Very good package deal.

7. Graf & Sons — Alternatives for Hodgdon H4350 & H1000

vihtavuori imr powder
Can’t find H4350 or H1000? Try these powders instead

Powder shelves are empty in stores, and popular powders like H4350 and H1000 are even out of stock at online vendors. Did you know there are some great alternatives out there That ARE in stock? If you’re looking for a great alternative to H4350 that shoots cooler and is temp-stable, consider Vihtavuori N165. If you’re searching for H1000, we recommend IMR 7977 Enduron as a fine substitute. Both of these choices are in stock now at Graf’s, which has very reasonable shipping and HazMat fees.

8. Brownells — MagPul 30rd PMAG Gen M2 10-pack, $119.99

pmag magazine
Insanely good deal on quality MagPul PMAG® AR magazines

In today’s world, AR owners can use plenty of high-quality, reliable “full-capacity” magazines. Right now Brownells is running a great sale on MagPul PMAGS — some of the best you can buy. MagPul’s TEN-Packs of AR-15 PMAG Gen M2 30-round MOE Magazines are on sale now for just $119.99. But it gets better — on checkout use Brownells CODE PTT to save another $10, for a net cost of $109.99. This is a killer deal on excellent AR PMAGs.

9. Amazon — Silicone Gun Socks with Multiple Sizes, From $3.79

silicone gun sock
Long guns should be in gun socks or borestores when in gunsafes

Most people think that once you put a gun in the vault it’s safe from corrosion but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We can’t count the number of people who have left guns in a safe for years only to pull them out and find rust all over them. Avoid future surprise and disappointment by using these affordable silicone treated socks. Offered in assorted sizes for pistols, rifles, and shotguns, prices range from $3.79 (pistol) to $7.39 (tactical rifle). We also recommend using Eezox or other good corrosion inhibitor on metal parts. With that and a good treated gun sock and a Goldenrod, rust should not be a worry anymore.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Tactical No Comments »
September 23rd, 2020

Get Hodgdon and IMR Loads from Reloading Data Center

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powderLooking for a good load for a new rifle? Or perhaps you want to try a new powder and bullet combo for an existing rig. One of the best places to start for load data is Hodgdon’s online Reloading Data Center for pistol, rifle, and shotgun reloaders. Check out the Reloading Data Center at www.HodgdonReloading.com.

In the Data Center, you’ll find thousands of load recipes for pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Rifle shooters will find dozens of loads for their favorite Hodgdon, IMR, and Winchester powders such as H4198, H4895, Varget, H4350, and IMR 8208 XBR. And Hodgdon’s Reloading Center is “mobile-friendly” so it works well with smartphones and tables. Navigation is easy, and you can set the search criteria easily choosing your favorite powder or bullets. After choosing a cartridge, you can pre-select specific bullet weights and powder types. That quickly delivers just the information you want and need. You won’t have to scroll through scores of entries for bullets or powders you don’t use.

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

Mobile users will notice that the current Hodgdon Reloading Center is much more “user-friendly” for smart-phone and tablet users. Controls have been optimized for touch-screens, and buttons are large and easy to use. Likewise the results are displayed in a large, easy-to read format.

How to Get Started with Handloading

Getting started in Reloading? Ultimate Reloader offers a helpful introductory video that covers the basics. In addition, a recent Ultimate Reloader article reviews the types of reloading presses, plus the other gear you’ll need, from dies to powder dispensers.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
August 28th, 2020

High Demand Powders — Where You Can Find Them

Reloading powder hodgdon H4350 Varget reloder 16 reloader H1000

Thanks to our Forum members, we’ve found sources for some of the most popular reloading powders for rifle accuracy cartridges. Handloaders know that powders such as Varget, H4350, H4895, H4831SC, H1000, Reloder 16, Reloder 23, and N150 are often in short supply. And it seems like Varget has been near impossible to find in recent months. As of Friday, August 28, 2020, here are some sources for many of these hard-to-find powders.

Hodgdon Varget 1-pound
Source: Powder Valley
NOTE:
Varget 1-lb in stock; 8-pounders still out of stock

UPDATE 8/29/20: SOLD OUT — Our Members got the last of it.

Hodgdon H4350, 1-pound and 8-pound
Source: Powder Valley
Source: Midsouth Shooters
NOTE:
Powder Valley has BOTH the 1-lb and 8-lb H4350 containers in stock. Midsouth has the 1-lb H4350 only.

Alliant Reloder 16 1-pound
Source: Powder Valley
NOTE:
Reloder 16 1-lb in stock; RL16 8-pounders still out of stock

Hodgdon H4831SC, 1-pound and 8-pound
Source: Powder Valley
NOTE:
Powder Valley has BOTH the 1-lb and 8-lb H4831SC containers in stock.

Hodgdon H1000 1-pound
Source: Powder Valley
NOTE:
H1000 1-lb in stock; H1000 8-pounders still out of stock

Vihtavuori N150 1-pound and 8-pound
Source: Powder Valley
Source: Midsouth Shooters
NOTE:
Powder Valley has N150 1-lb and 8-lb in stock. Midsouth has the 1-lb N150 only.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
July 6th, 2020

Bargain Finder 250: 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. Cabela’s — Bergara B-14 HMR, $949.99

Bergara B-14 HMR

Good Ergonomics, Works for Hunting plus PRS Factory Class

Bergara rifles offer excellent value for the money. They combine accuracy, good ergonomics, and smooth function at a lower costs than many other brands. If you’re looking for a new rifle that’s capable of hunting, PRS competition, or target shooting, check out the Bergara B-14 HMR now on sale. Available in 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Win for $949.99, the B-14 HMR features a quality synthetic stock with adjustable cheek-piece. The 24″ barrel has a threaded muzzle, so you can add a muzzle brake or suppressor.

2. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Priming Tool, $69.79

frankford arsenal perfect primer

Precise Depth Control, 12 Shell Holders, Quick-Change, Carry Case

Seating primers to a consistent depth helps deliver enhanced accuracy and low ES/SD. However, most priming systems don’t allow precise depth control. If you’re looking for a priming tool that allows you to adjust primer seating depth, check out the Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer. This tool comes in a protective case along with a full set of case holders and primer flip tray. A quick thumb release system allows you to switch from small to large primers quickly.

3. Precision Reloading — H4350 and Reloder 16 in Stock

H4350 in stock

Great Temp-Stable, Match-Grade Powders in Stock

The most popular powders, such as H4350 and Reloder 16, can be hard to find. But we’ve located these outstanding temp-stable powders at two leading vendors. Right now Precision Reloading has both Hodgdon H4350 (1-lb and 8-lb) and Alliant Reloder 16 (1-lb) in stock. In addition, Powder Valley has popular H4350 in stock (1-lb and 8-lb). These powders are both great choices for 6.5 Creedmoor, .284 Win, and other match cartridge types.

4. Graf & Sons — 25% Off All Sightron Scopes

4th fourth july independence day sale midsouth Natchez Graf's brownells

Great 25% Sale! Sightrons Rival Optics Costing Hundreds More

Need a high-quality optic for your match rifle or hunting rig? Looking for a specialized “big wheel” scope for Field Target airgun competition? Sightron offers a wide range of quality scopes at affordable prices. And now the deals are even better. Right now Grafs.com is offering 25% Off ALL Sightron scopes in stock. This sale is good through 11:59 pm CT on July 10, 2020.

5. Amazon — Lyman Xpress Case Trimmer, $114.99

lyman case trimmer

Great Tool — EZ Length Adjust, Variable Speed, Carbide Cutter, 10 Bushings

Trimming cases to length is a critical for precision reloading. Unfortunately, many trimmers are inefficient and/or clunky. If you want a fast, easy, and precise way to trim brass look no further than the Lyman Xpress Case Trimmer. This boast a super-sharp carbide cutter head plus a variable speed control. The unit ships with 10 shoulder bushings to cover most cartridge types. The carbide cutter trims fast and clean.

Watch our Lyman Xpress Trimmer video review above to see this unit in action.

6. Amazon — Teslong Rod-Type Digital Borescope, $79.99

teslong digital borescope

Handy Rod Borescope with Sharp Digital Images and Video

Teslong digital borescopes have been a huge success and earned high praise from our Forum members. First there was the cable-type plug-in model, then a Wifi Teslong that works with all types of mobile devices. The latest Teslong features a metal shaft, with length markings. This makes it easier to inspect your bore with precision. This compact, electro-optical, Rod-type Borescope ($79.99) outputs sharp, high-rez images and VIDEO to desktop computers, laptops, as well as Android tablets and smartphones.

7. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal or Lyman Brass Tumbler Sale

brass tumbler

Great Sale Pricing, Choose Lyman or Frankford with Clear Top

Vibratory tumblers are simple and easy to use. If you’re looking for new tumbling machine, here are two bargains. Get the Lyman Turbo Pro 1200 for $55.99 or the Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ for $49.99. If you need a media separator, you can get Frankford Quick-N-EZ plus separator for just ten bucks more ($59.98). Choose the option that fits your needs — these are all great values.

8. Natchez — Weaver Scope Blowout

weaver scope sale

Huge Discounts on Weaver Tactical, Hunting, and Competition Optics

Weaver scopes have always been a top optics option. Weaver offers models for just about any discipline. If you’re in the market for a new scope check out the amazing Weaver Scope Blowout SALE at Natchez. Natchez has a good assortment of quality Weaver scopes at crazy low prices up to 55% off. NOTE: There may be changes in Weaver scope production. Contact Bushnell for ongoing warranty policies.

9. Brownells — TriggerTech Trigger Sale

“triggertech

Good Selection for ARs and Rem-Compatible Bolt Guns. Save 25-35%

TriggerTech makes quality trigger with crisp breaks and adjustable pull weights. With a protectice housing, tThese triggers are very resistant to dirt and debris. If you’ve been looking for a new trigger, check out the TriggerTech Trigger Sale at Brownells. There are substantial discounts. For example the AR15 Independence trigger is discounted from $229.99 to just $149.99 — a 35% savings.

10. Midsouth Shooters Supply — Berger Ammo Sale

berger ammo sale

True Match-Grade Factory Ammo with Lapua Brass and Berger Bullets

Berger Bullets is a renowned bullet-maker. But did you know Berger makes loaded ammunition as well? Available in many calibers for both hunting and target shooting, Berger ammo is a great choice for those who want quality without hand-loading. Midsouth Shooters is running a Berger Ammo Sale. You’ll find 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, .338 LM and other popular types. This ammo shoots great — check out this Berger 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo Test.

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July 4th, 2020

Got Powder? Here Are Sources for Many Popular Propellants

reloading Powder Sale Midsouth discount

It’s July 4th, that means fireworks displays. What better time to order up some gunpowder? We’re pleased to report that Midsouth Shooters Supply has received some big shipments from the major powder makers. In stock now at Midsouth are many of the most popular accuracy powders, including: Hodgdon H4350, Hodgdon 4831/4831SC, IMR 4166, Vihtavuori N133, Accurate LT30 and LT32, Norma 203B, CFE223 and many more. Powder Valley also has Hodgdon H4350 right now.

Meanwhile at Precision Reloading you will find Alliant Reloder 16, Reloder 23, Reloder 17, IMR 4166, IMR 8208 XBR, Vihtavuori N133, Accurate LT30 and LT32, Norma 203B, and many more.

H4350 and Reloder 16 are superb, temp-stable powders for medium-sized cartridges. Reloder 23 is a slower version of RL16 that works great in magnum cartridges. LT30 is great for the 30BR, CFE 223 is excellent for Service Rifle shooters, and VV N133 is a top choice for the 6PPC. Norma 203B (nearly identical to Reloder 15) works well in the 6mmBR, 6BRA and Dasher. And Hodgdon H4831SC is an excellent choice for the .284 Winchester and 7mm WSM.

Sorry we could not find Hodgdon Varget at these two vendors. However, Bruno Shooters Supply does have Varget in stock today in both 1-lb and 8-lb sizes. Varget fans may also want to try IMR 8208 XBR. It has a slightly faster burn rate, but our tests found it worked very well in the .308 Win with medium-weight bullets, offering excellent accuracy and good velocity.

All these popular Powders (and many more) are in stock:


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reloading Powder Sale Midsouth discount reloading Powder Sale Midsouth discount reloading Powder Sale Midsouth discount
reloading Powder Sale Midsouth discount reloading Powder Sale Midsouth discount reloading Powder Sale Midsouth discount
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June 26th, 2020

Don’t Overheat Your Ammo in Hot Summer Months

Heat Map USA color chart

Summer Solstice 2020 was June 20th, and July’s nearly here. That means “peak heat” summer conditions. It’s vitally important to keep your ammo at “normal” temps during the hot summer months. Even if you use “temp-insensitive” powders, studies suggest that pressures can still rise dramatically when the entire cartridge gets hot, possibly because of primer heating. It’s smart to keep your loaded ammo in an insulated storage unit, possibly with a Blue Ice Cool Pak if you expect it to get quite hot. Don’t leave your ammo in the car or truck — temps can exceed 140° in a vehicle parked in the sun.

Ammo cool storage

Bosch Insulated tool caseTo learn more about how ambient temperature (and primer choice) affect pressures (and hence velocities) you should read the article Pressure Factors: How Temperature, Powder, and Primer Affect Pressure by Denton Bramwell. In that article, the author uses a pressure trace instrument to analyze how temperature affects ammo performance. Bramwell’s tests yielded some fascinating results.

For example, barrel temperature was a key factor: “Both barrel temperature and powder temperature are important variables, and they are not the same variable. If you fail to take barrel temperature into account while doing pressure testing, your test results will be very significantly affected. The effect of barrel temperature is around 204 PSI per F° for the Varget load. If you’re not controlling barrel temperature, you about as well might not bother controlling powder temperature, either. In the cases investigated, barrel temperature is a much stronger variable than powder temperature.”

This Editor had the personal experience of 6mmBR hand-loaded ammo that was allowed to sit in the hot sun for 45 minutes while steel targets were reset. The brass became quite warm to the touch, meaning the casings were well over 120° on the outside. When I then shot this ammo, the bullets impacted well high at 600 yards (compared to earlier in the day). Using a Magnetospeed, I then chron-tested the sun-heated ammo. The hot ammo’s velocity FPS had increased very significantly — all because I had left the ammo out in the hot sun uncovered for 3/4 of an hour.

Powder Heat Sensitivity Comparison Test

Our friend Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog recently published a fascinating comparison test of four powders: Hodgdon H4350, Hodgdon Varget, IMR 4451, and IMR 4166. The first two are Hodgdon Extreme powders, while the latter two are part of IMR’s Enduron line of propellants.

CLICK HERE to VIEW FULL TEST RESULTS

The testers measured the velocity of the powders over a wide temperature range, from 25° F to 140° F. Hodgdon H4350 proved to be the most temp stable of the four powders tested.

Precision Rifle Blog Temperature Stability test hodgdon varget H4350 Enduron IMR 4451

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
June 20th, 2020

IMR Enduron Powders — Accurate, Temp Stable, and Versatile

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

Have you tried IMR Enduron powders yet (IMR 4166, 4451, 4955, and 7977)? We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen. IMR’s line of Enduron extruded powders offer excellent temp stability, reduced copper fouling, and good load density for many popular cartridges (such as .223 Rem, 6mmBR, .308 Win, .30-06, 300 WSM to name a few). Some of our Forum members have reported excellent results with IMR 4166 in the 6mmBR, Dasher, 6.5×47 Lapua and .308 Win. One member wrote: “in my 6.5×47… 4166 gives speeds and accuracy pretty much exactly the same as Varget.” And other shooters have observed reduced copper fouling with Enduron series powders, so IMR’s Enduron anti-fouling chemistry does seem to work.

IMR Legendary Powders provided this summary of Enduron Properties:

Varmint hunters, big game hunters, match shooters and military snipers all seek powders that are insensitive to temperature changes. These powders all have it. This translates to point of impact and group size remaining the same, no matter what temperature conditions prevail. Another huge benefit is an additive that prevents copper fouling from building during dozens of rounds being fired. Here the advantage is top accuracy for longer periods of time, and less cleaning time.

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

A third major accomplishment with this technology is ideal load density. Experienced reloaders know that a case-filling load often delivers the most uniform velocities and best accuracy. We see this in popular match cartridges such as the 6PPC, 6mmBR, 6BRA, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win. These new Enduron powders offer excellent “full case” load density for the most commonly used cartridges with popular bullets.

CLICK HERE to Learn More about IMR Enduron Powders»

These three powders, IMR 4166, IMR 4451 and IMR 7977, are environmentally friendly by not having any ingredients harmful to the environment. Add to that, the three of them cover the most popular cartridges from .204 Ruger up to the mighty 500 Nitro Express, and the handloader “has it all”.

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June 1st, 2020

Bargain Finder 245: 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. Stocky’s — Long Range Composite Accublock Stocks, $219.99

stocky's long range composite stocks $188 sale discount accublock

Need a stock for a gun project, or want to re-stock a factory rifle? Now is a great time to get a hunting, tactical, or competition stock from Long Range Composite (LRC) stocks with Accublock for Rem 700 actions for just $219.99. Stocky’s nice Thumbhole Composite stock is also $219.99. And if you have a Ruger 10/22, Stocky’s sells fine laminated wood EuroStocks for just $188.88.

2. Natchez — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, $219.99

Chargemaster Lite Midsouth Sale

Do you need an electronic powder scale and dispenser? Check out this great deal at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Suggested retail for the ChargeMaster Lite is $299.99 and most vendors are charging $289.99. But now you can get it for just $219.99 at Natchez. So you can save $70.00 with this sale! Put the money saved into bullets or powder. The RCBS ChargeMaster Lite is the modern second generation Scale/Dispenser, descended from the original ChargeMaster. The ChargeMaster Lite features an easy-to-use LCD touchscreen. Dispenser precision is plus/minus 0.1 grains. The unit comes with twin check weights and a convenient plastic cover for the powder pan.

3. CDNN Sports — Walther or S&W 9mm Pistol, Under $280.00

Walther Creed Pistol Smith Wesson SD9VE 9mm handgun sale

Here are two super deals on quality 9mm handguns. Both these double-stack pistols have 4″ barrels, 16-round capacity, and Picatinny rails in front. The Walther 9mm Creed offers quality German construction for $269.89. Or choose Smith & Wesson’s ergonomic, accurate SD9VE model for $279.99. The S&W’s weight, unloaded, is 22.7 ounces.

4. Powder Valley and Natchez — Varget and H4350 in Stock

Nikon black scope sale

Hodgdon’s Varget and H4350 are favorites of competition and tactical shooters. These powders are ideal for popular match calibers such as 6mmBR/Dasher (Varget) and 6mm Creedmoor (H4350). Being in high demand, these powders are often hard to find. But now Natchez Shooters Supply has Varget 1-pounders in stock for $29.99. Natchez also has H4350 in stock, as does Powder Valley Inc.(PVI). Powder Valley has H4350 in stock in both 1-lb ($28.15) and 8-lb ($201.00) containers. Get it while you can. Plus Powder Valley has Alliant Reloder 16 in stock (both 1-lb and 8-lb), a superb alternative if your rifle likes H4350.

5. EuroOptic — Nikon BLACK Riflescope Closeout Sale

Nikon black scope sale

If you’re in the market for a tactical scope, check out EuroOptic’s Nikon BLACK riflescope sale. These are good, reliable scopes that rival optics costing twice as much. EuroOptic has a good selection at prices up to 40% off. Choose MOA or MRAD versions with a variety of reticle options. NOTE: These BLACK Nikons are quality scopes that have performed well in the field. You’d have to pay hundreds more to do much better.

6. MidwayUSA — Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat, $34.99

Pro Series MidwayUSA shooting mat bipod tactical competition roll-up shoot mats

The MidwayUSA Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat is now on sale for just $34.99, 36% off the basic price. The Pro Series mat measures a full 73.5″ x 35.5″. Zippered pockets on the front flap hold ammo or log books. And there are webbing “pockets” for bipod feet so you can pre-load your bipod with forward pressure. This quality mat boasts 0.35″ thick padding, multiple pockets, 6 grommets for staking, and a nice carry strap. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to about nine inches in diameter. User reviews of this $34.99 Shooting Mat have been very positive.

7. Amazon — Vinca Digital Caliper, $21.98

digital caliper

Every handloader needs a set of calipers, and this Vinca unit offers some great features for a very affordable price. Do you ever wish you could take measurements and record them easily for review later? Grab this Vinca Digital Caliper for only $21.98 and you can upload data as you measure. The unit features a RS232 data transfer port that can communicate to a windows laptop or computer with an accessory cable (sold separately). NOTE: The RS232 Data transfer port must connect with “VINCA DTCR-03″ Cable to make data transfer to PC. DO NOT CONNECT WITH REGULAR USB CABLE. This unit comes with one extra battery, and the maker offers a satisfaction guarantee.

8. Cabela’s — Huge Summer Sale, Save up to 40%

Cabela's summer sale

Dozens of items are on sale at Cabela’s now through June 10, 2020. You can save on GPS units, binoculars, packs, hiking boots, Knives/multi-tools, fishing gear, and yes firearms too. Check out the full selection of merchandise on Cabela’s Summer Sale Page. You’ll see a dozen featured selections, but scroll down and you can search for sale items by category.

9. Midsouth Shooters — Hornady A-Tip Sample Packs, $9.99

Hornady bullet A-tip aluminum match bullet projectile

Many of our readers have been curious about Hornady’s A-Tip bullets, but don’t want to spend $75-$85 to try out a full box. In addition, many of the more popular calibers and bullet weights are sold out. Now, thanks to Midsouth Shooters, you can try an A-Tip Sample Pack to see if A-Tips work in your barrel. Choose from four options: 110gr 6mm; 135gr 6.5mm; 153gr 6.5mm; and 250gr .308 caliber. All Sample Packs contain 10 bullets, and cost $9.99 at Midsouth.

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