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August 17th, 2015

6mm-223 Across the Course Rifle Project

6mm 223 sinclair

Intro: Ron Dague wanted a new gun that was similar to his trusty .223 Rem rifle, but which fired 6mm bullets. There is a superb choice of bullets in this caliber, and Ron found that the 95gr Berger VLD could be driven to a healthy 2,604 fps by the small .223 Rem case. This 6mm wildcat based on the common .223 Rem offers excellent accuracy and very low recoil — something very important in the cross-the-course discipline. In addition, Ron’s 95gr load with Reloder 15 delivered an ES of just 4 fps over ten shots. That exceptionally low ES helps achieve minimal vertical dispersion at 600 yards.

6mm 223 Across the course McMilland stock Ron Dague Sinclair InternationalBy Ron Dague, Sinclair Reloading Tech
From Sinclair’s GunTech Articles Archive

I already had a .223 Remington match rifle, and I wanted the 6mm-223 to be as close to the same as I could make it. I installed the barreled action in a wood 40X stock to work up load data and work out any magazine feeding issues. While I was working on that, I looked for a McMillan Baker Special stock and finally found one to finish this project. I bedded the action and stock, then took the rifle to the range to check zeros on the sights and scope. I was surprised that I didn’t have to change anything on the sights. I thought changing the stock would cause sight changes. The thought went through my head, “Maybe the 40X stock isn’t all that bad”.

Here’s line-up of 6mm bullets. The Berger 95gr VLD is in the middle.
berger 6mm bullet hornady sierra line up 6mm 233

I took the new rifle to the first match of the year, a National Match Course match, and my off-hand score was 83, rapid sitting 95, rapid prone 95, and slow fire prone 197 — for total aggregate 470. This may not be my best work, but on match day the wind was blowing about 15 mph and the temp was around 40° F, with rain threatening. This was a reduced course of fire — we shot at 200 and 300 yards on reduced targets.

I used 70gr Berger bullets for this match, loaded in Remington brass with 25 grains of VihtaVuori N540 and Federal 205M primers. When I worked up loads for this rifle, N540 gave the best accuracy with the best extreme spread — 2,950 fps with an extreme spread of 20 fps on a 10-shot string. The load for 600 yards was with a 95gr Berger VLD bullet, with 23.0 grains of Reloder 15, Lapua cases, and the same Federal 205M primers. This load is 2,604 fps, with an extreme spread of 4 fps over a 10-shot string. I’ve shot this load at several 3×600 yard matches, and the accuracy has proven to be very good. At the last 3×600 match, my scores were as follows: 199-10x and 198-11X with scope, and 193-10X with iron sights. Best 600-yard score so far with iron sights was 198-12X.

6mm-223 Rem Rifle Specifications: 700 BDL action and floor plate, Bartlein 6mm 1:8″ twist, McMillan Baker Special stock in Desert Camo, Centra front and rear sights, Ken Farrell bases with stripper clip guide, Sinclair hand stop, and Jewell trigger. Gunsmith Neil Keller helped me with the metal work and instructed me on the action work and rebarreling.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing 12 Comments »
May 5th, 2015

Intro to Full-Length Dies, Neck-Sizing Dies, and Small Base Dies

This article is part of Sinclair Int’l Step-By-Step Reloading Series. Most of the products mentioned in this article are sold through Sinclair’s webstore.

by Roy Hill, Brownells/Sinclair Copywriter
Making your own precision handloads is a meticulous journey with many steps, many important matters to consider, and many sets of measurements to calculate. For those who pursue the perfect group, the highest score, the really long accurate shot, the rewards more than outweigh the effort. Choosing the right cases, deburring the flash holes, making the primer pockets uniform, trimming the cases, and lubricating them are all familiar – and critical – steps along the journey. And now that your brass preparation is complete, you are at last ready to start running the cases through your press and fill them with primers, powder, and bullets. The very first die the brass encounters is the sizing die. You insert the case, work the press’s lever to return the case to its correct pre-fired dimensions – and the journey continues.

Sinclair International Int'l fL full-length sizing die bump die shoulder bump gauge

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, Reloading 5 Comments »
November 29th, 2014

Get 10% Off Sinclair Int’l Orders with Promo Code J2Y

All right boys and girls — if you haven’t already spent every last red cent of your disposable income (not to mention your children’s inheritance) purchasing useless gadgets and gewgaws on Black Friday, here’s your chance to get some really important stuff — reloading tools and supplies.

Sinclair Int'l international black rifle friday sale

Sinclair Sale Through 12/1/2014
Yes, Sinclair International, purveyors of reloading supplies and shooting accessories, is having a big sale right now. You can save big bucks on shooting rests, tools, bullets, and more. Plus, you can get 10% OFF all orders over $150.00 with PROMO CODE J2Y. Don’t delay — this 10% Savings Offer expires Monday, December 1, 2014 at 11:59 pm CT. So, you have a couple days left to pile on the savings.

Here’s a sample of the good deals to be had this weekend at SinclairIntl.com:

Sinclair Int'l international black rifle friday sale

Sale Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
November 22nd, 2014

Neck-Expander Mandrels for More Uniform Neck Tension

Lapua brass is so good that you’ll be tempted to just load and shoot, if you have a “no-turn” chamber. However, some minimal case prep will ensure more uniform neck tension. Keeping your neck tension very uniform allows more consistent bullet seating. That, in turn, usually yields better accuracy, and lower Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation (ES/SD). Lapua brass, particularly 6BR, 6.5×47, .243 Win and .308 Win comes from the factory with tighter-than-optimal necks. Before you seat bullets, at a minimum, you should inside chamfer the case mouths, after running an expander mandrel down the necks. The expander mandrels from both Sinclair Int’l and K&M will both leave the necks with enough neck tension (more than .001″) so you can then seat bullets without another operation. Put a bit of lube on the mandrel before running it down the necks — but remove any lube that gets inside the necks before seating bullets.

Sinclair Expander Tool Mandrel

Both Sinclair and K&M Tools make a die body specifically to hold expander mandrels. The Sinclair version, is shown above. This $24.99 unit fits caliber-specific expander mandrels ($9.95) which measure approximately .001″ less than bullet diameter for each caliber. This is an updated “Gen II” design that completely captures the mandrel within the die so the mandrel cannot pull out. It also has an O-ring in the die cap that allows the mandrel to self-center within the case neck. Sinclair now offers three sizes of die bodies for expander mandrels: .17 -.310 Caliber (#849-011-715WS); .357 – .50 caliber (#749-008-843WS), and a special .50 Cal die body for large-diameter 50 BMG presses (#749-009-163WS, $49.99). All Generation II dies are machined from stainless steel and the standard diameter 7/8-14 dies include the Sinclair Stainless Steel Split Lock Ring.

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

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

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

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 10 Comments »
September 23rd, 2014

Track Ammo Prices and Availability with WikiArms.com

Wikiarms live ammo trackingIf you’re looking for loaded ammunition at affordable prices, WikiArms.com can help you find a good deal. WikiArms constantly searches the listings of ammo vendors across the web. Then WikiArms ranks the offerings by cost per round, low to high. This way you can instantly compare prices from multiple vendors including Ammoland, Brownells, Cabelas, Lucky Gunner, MidwayUSA, Natchez, Sinclair Int’l, Slickguns, Sportsmans Guide, and Wideners. Search bots refresh pricing constantly so listed prices are normally current within five minutes. WikiArms even displays the amount of product currently in stock for each vendor.

Wikiarms live ammo tracking

Using WikiArms is easy. Just click your choice of caliber (such as 9mm, .22LR, or .308 Win) on the navigation bar, or hit the Good Deals link to see a variety of cartridge types all at one time. WikiArms is fast, and it is FREE to use. Check it out.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
August 6th, 2014

Views from the National Long Range Championships

Michelle Gallagher is now the 2014 NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Champion. Michelle shot a perfect Palma score to win the multi-match championship. When the dust settled, Michelle edged out her mom, Nancy Tompkins, by a single X. Readers asked about Michelle’s choice of bullets. In the Long Range Championships, Michelle used the Berger .30-caliber 155.5gr Match Fullbore Target bullet (for Palma), as well as the 6.5mm 140gr Match Hybrid Target bullet.

Here are some photos from the Long Range championships, courtesy GONRAMedia.

CLICK HERE to see more GONRAMedia photos from Camp Perry.

John Whidden, a three-time NRA Long Range Champion, had a pair of long-range rifles built on modified Anschutz aluminum small-bore stocks. John’s scoped rig (first photo) features a Kelbly Panda Action. The iron sight version (second photo below) has a Winchester action. John has done these conversions for other shooters.
long range championship camp perry

long range championship camp perry

Long Range is not a man’s world by any means. The top two LR places at Perry were claimed by ladies.
long range championship camp perry

Tubeguns built with Gary Eliseo chassis systems were popular on the firing line.
long range championship camp perry

Yes, that is a John Deere Mirage Band shielding this shooter’s barrel.
long range championship camp perry

This service rifle shooter found a way to shield his sights and remember his loved ones.
long range championship camp perry

This competitor transformed a Sinclair loading block into an elevated ammo caddy. Clever piece of kit!
long range championship camp perry

“Wagons HO!”. Shooters await the long ride to the pits for target duties.
long range championship camp perry

long range championship camp perry

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition No Comments »
August 4th, 2014

Sinclair Videos Show Cartridge Brass Cleaning Options

Shiny brass — it may not shoot more accurately, but it does make you feel better about your hand-loaded ammo. While it’s not necessary to get brass “bright and shiny” after every firing, it is a good idea to clean powder residue, grime, and grit off your brass before you run cases into sizing dies. There are many ways to clean cartridge cases. A quick wipe with solvent on a patch may suffice for recently-shot cases. Older brass with baked-on carbon may require lengthy tumbling. Ultrasonic cleaning is another popular option that gets your brass clean inside and out.

Sinclair International has a series of helpful videos on brass cleaning. These short “how-to” videos, hosted by Bill Gravatt, Sinclair’s past President, cover the various processes you can use — tumbling, ultrasonic cleaning, chemical cleaning, and cleaning by hand.

Video ONE — Cleaning Brass in Vibratory or Rotary Tumbler

TIP: Brass that has recently been shot will clean more easily than brass that has been sitting many days or weeks. If your tumbling media is fresh the job should be done in an hour or less. It’s your choice whether to tumble with primers removed or with primers still in the cases. If you choose to tumble with primers out, we suggest you deprime with a depriming die, rather that put dirty brass into your sizing die. Some people like to add a teaspoon of liquid polish to the media. This does work, cutting tumble time, and making your brass more shiny. However, if you add liquid polish, do that BEFORE you add the brass and let the tumbler run for a 15 minutes to get the polish completely mixed into the media. Otherwise you can else up with gooey gunk inside your cases — a very bad thing.

Video TWO — Ulstrasonic Case Cleaning

TIP: There are many different types of solutions you can use. Soapy water suffices for some folks, particularly if you add a little Lemi-Shine. The Hornady and Lyman solutions work well, and can be used multiple times, provided you strain the solution to remove dirt and grit after cleaning sessions. Many ultrasonic cleaning machines have timers. Experiment with dwell time to see how long you need to immerse your brass. A very small amount of Ballistol in the solution will help lubricate your necks on the inside. This can make bullet seating go more smoothly, with more consistent neck tension.

Video THREE — Chemical Cleaners (Soaking without Ultrasound)

TIP: After using chemical cleaners, such as the Iosso solution, you need to water-rinse your brass thoroughly. A kitchen strainer helps with this (see video at 0:20). Also, don’t forget your brass in the chemical solution — follow the manufacturers recommendations and don’t exceed the recommended dwell time. Chemical cleaners work surprisingly well to remove grease and grime, and the solution can be re-used multiple times. However, if you want your cases to look bright and shiny (like new brass), you will probably have to tumble.

Video FOUR — Manual Cleaning (By Hand)

TIP: Keep some oversize patches in your range kit. At the end of your shooting sessions, wipe off your fired brass with a patch dampened with a mild, non-corrosive solvent (once again Ballistol works well). Before the carbon sets up on your brass it is very easy to remove. For tougher jobs, you can use 0000 Steel Wool (as Bill recommends in the video). You may find that timely hand-cleaning lets you avoid tumbling altogether — or you may choose to tumble (or ultra-sound) your brass only after a half-dozen or so firings.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
June 22nd, 2014

Get Free Shipping at Sinclair with Orders of $99 or More

Stop — Don’t touch that telephone. If you were planning to purchase something from Sinclair International, now you can get FREE Shipping, thanks to a special promotion Sinclair is running in connection with the NRA National Championships. To qualify for FREE Shipping, simply visit the SinclairIntl.com website, then use a code ECY when ordering. This offer ends August 21, 2014.

To Get FREE Shipping on orders of $99.00 or more,
use Sinclair Discount Code ECY during check-out.

Sinclair Int'l free shipping coupon code sale discount

Permalink Hot Deals No Comments »
May 27th, 2014

New Micrometer Top Bullet Seating Dies from Sinclair.

Sinclair International has a very impressive new series of stainless bullet seating dies for use with arbor presses. We first saw this product at SHOT Show in January. Now these click-adjustable seaters are in stock for 15 popular cartridge types. Beautifully made by L.E. Wilson, these stainless dies have precise half-thousandth adjustments with clicks you can feel as rotate the top to increase or decrease seating depth. But quality isn’t cheap — these new dies cost $199.00 each.

Sinclair International L.E. Wilson micro-adjust micrometer hand die arbor press click adjust

The folks at Sinclair told us: “We gathered our customers ideas and reloading experience with hand dies, and partnered with the hand die experts, L.E. Wilson.” Thes new dies allow precise control over seating depth with a simple turn of the indexed top section. Sinclair/L.E. Wilson Micro-Adjust Bullet Seaters are detent-bearing driven with positive click increments of .0005”:

  • Each seater stem is custom fitted to the seater body ensuring close tolerance fit.
  • Precision-cut threads allow bullet seating depth adjustment in .0005″ increments
  • Wide range of adjustment for use with a variety of bullets and seating depths.
  • Micro-Adjust “clicks” via stainless springs and stainless ball bearings.
  • Constructed of 416 Stainless Steel with precise, laser-etched adjustment scale.
  • Made in the USA by L.E. Wilson (85 years of inline die experience).

Sinclair International L.E. Wilson micro-adjust micrometer hand die arbor press click adjust

Sinclair/L.E. Wilson Die Cartridge Types

.222 Rem

.223 Rem

.22-250 Rem

6mm PPC

6mmBR Norma

6mm Dasher

.243 Winchester

6.5×47 Lapua

.260 Rem

6.5-284

.30 BR

.308 Winchester

.30-06 Springfield

.300 Win Magnum

.338 Lapua Magnum

Permalink New Product, Reloading No Comments »
April 11th, 2014

Pre-Season Maintenance On Your Rifles

This Article Originally Appeared in Sinclair International’s The Reloading Press.

Pre-Season Gun Maintenance,
by Ron Dague, Sinclair International
Firearms SafetyI give my rifles a pre-season check before the shooting season starts. This starts with a general inspection starting with the butt-plate or recoil pad and making sure that all the screws and adjustable parts (on an adjustable butt-plate) move freely up or down and side to side. If you got caught in rain some of these screws and adjustable parts may not move when needed. I disassemble parts as needed and put rust preventative or a light oil and/or grease on threads and sliding parts. On rifles with recoil pads and fixed butt-plates, make sure the screws are tight and that holes in the stock aren’t stripped out. Make sure there are no cracks in the stock and around the butt-plate. If the recoil pad is glued-on, just make sure it hasn’t come loose.

Next I take the action out of the stock and check for cracks and wear marks. I look at the bedding to make sure that oils and cleaning solvents have not damaged the bedding. While the action is out of the stock, I look for any surface rust or dirt/dust in the recoil lug area and magazine well. Clean as needed and repair or re-bed if needed.

Trigger Assembly and Action
Jewell trigger Remington 700With the barreled action out of the stock, it is a good time to spray out the trigger with cleaner. I use Ronson oil or lighter fluid. [Editor’s Note: Some trigger-makers advise against using any kind of lubricant, grease or oil — so plain lighter fluid is preferred.] After the trigger is cleaned you may want to check the trigger pull weight. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, take it to a gun smith and have it checked. It is worth every penny to not have a trigger issue and/or a safety malfunction. I also take the bolt apart and clean the firing pin spring and bolt housing with Gun Scrubber or automotive brake cleaner. Then lube the firing pin-spring and firing pin with light oil. I use Kel Lube and/or Butch’s gun oil. Put a small dab of gun grease on the [bolt locking lugs] and cocking ramp.

I will also spray the outside of the action and barrel and give that a light coating of oil for rust prevention. I clean the action with Sinclair’s action cleaning tool. Don’t forget to clean the bore. Even though you didn’t fire the rifle, this makes sure nothing obstructs your barrel.

Checking Metal Fixtures and Fasteners
rifle scope ringsNext I look at the trigger guard and hinged floor plate and make sure it works as designed. Make sure there are no cracks in the trigger guard from an accidental drop. Check guard screws and /or action screws for tightness and tighten to proper spec. There are torque specs for this, but on wood stocks the wood can crush and this should be checked throughout the year as weather change can affect this. My entire collection of rifles are bedded and I just tighten them just snug with screw driver or Allen wrench. The rimfire rifles have a spec of 55 to 74 inch/lbs and I think would carry over to center fire as well. I would caution you about torque wrenches as you need a good quality wrench, and read the directions on how to use it. You can over torque if not careful. Check the swivel studs and bipod to make sure there tight as well. You may want to take scope off and check the base screws and check the rings.

Test Fire the Rifle After Maintenance
After all cleaning and is done and everything is reassembled, take a few rounds out to the range and test fire to make sure everything works as it should. Don’t forget to run 3-5 rounds through the magazine at least two times for function. I look at this as preventive maintenance on the rifle. If you give it a look over you shouldn’t have any trouble during the rifle matches or hunting trip.

Ron Dague
Certified Reloading Instructor
Certified Range Safety Officer
Email: rond [at] sinclairintl.com
Phone: 800-717-8211

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
February 4th, 2014

Berger Big Shots in YouTube Interviews

With the Berger Southwest Nationals kicking off February 4, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona, we thought our readers might enjoy a very interesting interview with the top decision-makers at Berger Bullets, namely company founder Walt Berger, plus Eric Stecker, Berger’s Executive Vice President.

This interview covers a wide range of topics in seven (7) separate segments. We’ve embedded the first two interview sections in this article, with links for the other five below.

Berger Bullets boxSinclair Int’l has released a 7-part series of video interviews with Walt Berger (founder of Berger Bullets) and Eric Stecker (Berger’s Exec. VP and Master Bulletsmith). The series is hosted by Bill Gravatt (who was Sinclair’s President at the time the interview was filmed). You can watch Parts 1 and 2 of the interview here, and we’ve provided links to the remaining Parts 3 through 7. All seven interview segments offer interesting material. Part 6 mentions the Berger Reloading Manual (many years in the making). Part 7, over 13 minutes long, contains interesting discussions of bullet testing and the hunting performance of Berger VLDs.

NOTE: You can view this entire video series (and many other videos) on Sinclair’s YouTube Channel Page.

Berger Interview PART 1

Berger Interview PART 2

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo No Comments »
August 14th, 2013

New Brownells’ Master Catalog #66 Has Been Released

The “Big Book” is back. Brownells’ Master Catalog #66, the largest ever, is now available. The 696-page Catalog is filled with a vast number of products for gunsmiths, competitors, hunters and gun enthusiasts. The latest Catalog #66 boasts more than 2,000 new items, including 10 pages of reloading supplies. The AR-15/M16, Riflescope and Pistol sections have also grown significantly.

Brownells mater catalog 66 #66 order

Master Catalog #66 is presented in Brownells’ signature horizontal format, with color-coded edges and mini-indices to help readers find the 35 various product categories. To receive a catalog, simply visit the catalog section of Brownells’ website. Customers may also call 800-741-0015 to request a catalog. The Master Catalog #66 costs $5.00.

If you prefer a FREE PDF Version of Master Catalog #66, then CLICK HERE for PDF Catalog.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News No Comments »
August 7th, 2013

Sinclair Case Neck Sorting Tool On Sale for $49.95

Case Neck thickness sorting gauge Sinclair accurateshooter.comHe who dies with the most toys wins — right? Well Sinclair has another interesting gadget you can add to your reloading bench. The Sinclair Case Neck Sorting Tool lets you quickly sort brass by neck-wall thickness. For those who shoot “no-turn” brass, this can improve neck-tension consistency. Large variances in neck-wall thickness can cause inconsistent neck “grip” on the bullet. Generally, we’ve found that more consistent neck tension will lower ES and (usually) improve accuracy. We know some guys who shoot no-turn 6mmBR brass in competition with considerable success — but their secret is pre-sorting their brass by neck-wall thickness. Cases that are out-of-spec are set aside for sighters (or are later skim-turned).

Watch Case Neck Sorting Tool Operation in Video

How the Case Neck Sorting Tool Works
Here’s how the Sinclair tool works. Cases are rotated under an indicator tip while they are supported on a case-neck pilot and a support pin through the flash hole. The unit has a nice, wide base and low profile so it is stable in use. The tool works for .22 through .45 caliber cases and can be used on .17- and .20-caliber cases with the optional carbide alignment rod. The MIC-4 pin fits both .060 (PPC size) and .080 (standard size) flash holes. Sinclair’s Case Neck Sorting Tool can be ordered with or without a dial indicator. The basic unit without dial indicator (item 749-006-612WS) is currently ON SALE for $49.95, marked down from $64.95 — a 23% savings! You can also buy the tool complete with dial indicator (item 749-007-129WS) for $86.99. IMPORTANT: This tool requires caliber-specific Sinclair Case Neck Pilots which must be ordered separately.

Case Neck thickness sorting gauge Sinclair accurateshooter.com

Editor’s Comment: The purpose of this Sinclair tool is rapid, high-quantity sorting of cartridge brass to ascertain significant case-neck-wall thickness variations. Consider this a rapid culling/sorting tool. If you are turning your necks, you will still need a quality ball micrometer tool to measure neck-wall thickness (to .0005) before and after neck-turning operations.

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Reloading No Comments »
July 18th, 2013

Reloading for 3-Gun Competition — Practical Advice

three gun competitionThis article by Corey Swantz originally appeared in The Reloading Press, the Sinclair Int’l Blog.

Much less precision is required to get good scores in 3-gun competition than in strictly accuracy-oriented disciplines like F-Class or Benchrest. In 3-gun, [the game is] about hitting targets in the shortest amount of time, not how close to the center of the target you can get or how small the group can be. Ammunition that’s accurate to 1-2 MOA is more than sufficient for 3-gun competition, as the targets tend to be 4-6 MOA in size.

For my personal 3-gun load testing, I used three powders: Varget, IMR 8208 XBR, and Accurate 2230. All three powders gave me good results, but the 8208 XBR was the leader of the pack. I settled on a moderate charge that pushes a 73gr Berger BTHP at about 2,500 fps through my 16″-barreled AR15. While I’m sure I could obtain a higher velocity with these bullets, this speed yielded the best accuracy results in my initial testing with fully prepped brass.

With the high volume of ammunition that I need for 3-gun matches and practice, I wanted to eliminate as many case prep steps as possible and still end up with ammunition that was accurate enough for 3-gun. I fully prepped some once-fired brass from primer pocket to case mouth and everything in between. I also took some once-fired cases that had simply been trimmed to length, and loaded them without doing any other prep work. With these loads in hand, I headed out to the range to shoot some groups. Below are the results from my 200 yard group tests:

Prepped Brass Delivered Higher Score on Bullseye Target

3-gun reloading brass

As you can see from the photos, the groups yielded results along the lines of what I expected. The fully-prepped brass produced five 10s , whereas the un-prepped brass produced only two 10s, and both of those just touched the outer edge of the 10-ring.

However, the un-prepped brass kept all the shots inside the 8-ring, which is plenty precise for shooting the large targets used in 3-gun matches.

National Defense Match at Camp Perry
I decided to further test my un-prepped brass loads by shooting them in the National Defense Match (NDM) at Camp Perry and the Rockcastle 3-Gun Pro-Am Championship. At the NDM, the target used in the longer-range stages was a standard-size NRA Tombstone target, similar to the targets used in most 3-gun matches. Using the un-prepped brass loads, I was able to keep all my shots on the tombstone targets from 100-300 yards, and had only one miss from the 400-yard line. That one miss was my fault, as I jerked the trigger on the last shot, pulling it off to the left. Un-prepped brass held up quite well under Camp Perry NDM conditions.

Un-Prepped Good Enough for Class Win at Rockcastle 3-Gun Pro-Am Championship
Two weeks after the NDM, I traveled to Kentucky for the Rockcastle 3-Gun Pro-Am Championship. There were seven stages in this match, two of which required long-range rifle shots with my AR15. The longest stage of the match had eight steel targets sized from 4″ to 10″ in diameter, placed from 75 to 265 yards. My ammunition proved accurate enough at these distances to neutralize all the steel targets with single shots, something few other shooters were able to do. I finished over two seconds ahead of the nearest competitor on this stage and ended up winning the event. Clearly un-prepped brass was plenty good for the Rockcastle 3-Gun Pro Am, too!

Because of the results I’ve gotten on the practice range, and two very solid performances in competition last year, I feel confident that my loading process for the upcoming 3-Gun Nation Semi-Pro Series will consist of simply sizing and trimming brass, then loading it with my preferred recipe. While the fully prepped brass was indeed more accurate, the un-prepped brass loads were accurate enough to allow me to hit 3-gun targets . Now, I can take the time I save in the reloading room and spend it out on the practice range.

Corey Schwanz, Sinclair Reloading Technician

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
July 3rd, 2013

From Sweden — SPUHR Unimount Scope Mount System

When a scope mounting system costs as much as a factory hunting rifle, it better be something special. At $410.00, the Spuhr Unimount Scope Mounting System is one expensive piece of kit. But if you shoot .338 Lapua Magnums or 50 BMGs, this mount may be worth the money. Made in Sweden, the aluminum Spuhr Unimount integrates “rings” into a +20.6 MOA (6 MIL) base with built-in bubble level. The matte-black-anodized Spuhr Unimount has some interesting design features. The clasping bolts are set at a 45° angle. Ring internal surfaces are grooved for enhanced “grip” (these are not threads — the surface is precision ground and smoothed so there are no sharp edges). Available in 30mm and 34mm diameter (and various heights), the Spuhr Unimount even comes with a scope indexing tool to help you align your scope correctly with the mount. Along with the standard Unimount shown in the photo, a cantilever-sytle Unimount is offered for AR-platform rifles and other guns requiring forward scope placement.

Spuhr unimount 34mm scope rings base mount tactical accurateshooter.com

SPUHR Unimount Features

  • Swedish-made machined aluminum one-piece scope mounts
  • Rings are cut at 45 degrees instead of horizontal so turrets can be easily viewed from the rear and no bolt heads interfere with scope controls
  • Rings are grooved on the interior to prevent slippage and to allow gluing
  • Built-in, easy-to-view bubble level in rear of mount
  • Available as a standard mount or cantilever
  • Included scope indexing (alignment) tool
  • Built-in 20.6 MOA (6 MIL) Elevation

Spuhr unimount 34mm scope rings base mount tactical accurateshooter.com


Permalink New Product, Optics 3 Comments »
April 28th, 2013

New Sinclair ‘Heavy Varmint Rest’ — Also Competition Rest on Sale

Sinclair Heavy Varmint Rest HuntingSinclair Int’l announced that it will reveal a new heavy-duty Varmint Shooting Rest at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits next week. The new rest (photo right) features a beefy center post with large-diameter control knobs. There is a rest-top control for windage, and you can quickly adjust the 3-lobe bag to handle different rifles. Using the quick-release handles, slide the bag side-plates in and out for various forearm widths. Price has not yet been set. Geoff Esterline of Sinclair says: “A bunch of Sinclair folks will be there in Booth #3433 to talk shop with our customers. We’ll be unveiling our new Sinclair Heavy Varmint Rest at the show. Attendees can enter a drawing to win one of three shooting rests. So drop by and sign up for your chance to win.”

Beefy Sinclair Competition Shooting Rest on SALE
In related news, Sinclair has put its popular Competition Shooting Rest on sale. The price has been marked down from $669.99 to $599.99. That’s a pretty good value compared to other high-end rests with this kind of quality and precision control systems.

Sinclair Heavy Varmint Rest Hunting

Here are some user comments from our Forum members:

Great rest. Easy to convert to left hand as well. — Geronimo Jim

I have one and really like it a lot. I’ve not encountered any issues with mine. — DReever

A friend has one, I have used it. All machining is top-notch like all Sinclair stuff. I prefer a joystick, but if I wanted a knob-type rest I would buy the Sinclair. Very nice having the elevation and windage knobs close to each other. — Zfastmalibu

The only thing I do not like about them is the horizontal adjustment pivots instead of going straight side to side… which can put the rear stock and rest in a little bit of a bind if you have to go far. I do like that the Sinclair is quite a bit heavier than the J.J. Loh rest. I think you would be plenty happy with [the Sinclair rest]. — Bozo 699

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April 11th, 2013

Bullet Sample Packs Save Money During Load Development

Sinclair Int’l now carries Bullet Sample Packs from Bullet Proof Samples LLC. These 12-bullet packs are available for Berger, Barnes, and Nosler bullets in popular weights, types, and calibers. With the sample packs, during load development, you can try out a variety of projectiles without investing in an entire box of each type. That’s smart. Sample packs range in price from $5.99 to $15.99 (for twelve bullets per pack). Most of the Berger bullet packs are priced under $10.00, with many in the $6-$7 range.

bullet samples

CLICK HERE for the Sinclair Int’l bullet sample pack webpage. (Once there, select Barnes, Berger, or Nosler). You’ll also find the sample packs on page six of the Sinclair Int’l print catalog. To place an order, or for additional information, call 800-717-8211 or visit www.sinclairintl.com.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product No Comments »
January 13th, 2013

Video Interview with Walt Berger and Eric Stecker

Berger Bullets boxSinclair Int’l has released a 7-part series of video interviews with Walt Berger (founder of Berger Bullets) and Eric Stecker (Berger’s Exec. VP and Master Bulletsmith). The series is hosted by Sinclair’s President, Bill Gravatt. You can watch Parts 1 and 2 of the interview here, and we’ve provided links to the remaining Parts 3 through 7. All seven interview segments offer interesting material. Part 6 mentions up and coming stuff like the reloading manual. Part 7, over 13 minutes long, contains interesting discussions of bullet testing and the hunting performance of Berger VLDs. NOTE: You can view this entire video series (and many other videos) on Sinclair’s YouTube Channel Page.

Berger Interview PART 1

Berger Interview PART 2

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
December 11th, 2012

Sinclair Int’l Gift Cards Can Be Sent at Last Minute

Only 13 more shopping days before Xmas, boys and girls. If you’re getting desperate, as time runs out for buying, packing, and shipping, consider giving an Electronic Gift Card from Sinclair Int’l or Brownells. eGift Cards can be sent at the last minute, and they are as good as cash for shopping with Sinclair Int’l or Brownells. If you prefer the hands-on approach, you can purchase a conventional Sinclair Int’l Gift Card and have it mailed to you or directly to the lucky recipient. CLICK HERE for more details.

Sinclair Int'l Gift Card

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December 7th, 2012

Eight Stocking Stuffers for Shooters, All Priced under $10.00

Christmas is coming up soon, so today we’re featuring a hand-picked collection of “stocking stuffers” for precision shooters. You can order most of these items online, and if you get your orders in soon, your selections should arrive before December 25th. So as not to bust your holiday budget, all of our selections are priced under $10.00. These items are handy tools that you’ll use over and over again at the range and/or at your loading bench (so you’re allowed to buy them for yourself, even after Christmas).

Gifts $1 to $5 


Surveyors Tape
$1.99
Hood quick estimator group size gauge
Hood Kwik Estimator
$2.50
Edmunds bifocal Magnifier
Bifocal 3X/6X Magnifier
$2.75
Sinclair Barrel Mirage Shade
Barrel Mirage Shade
$4.95

Surveyors’ Tape. Always watch the wind when you shoot. Inexpensive, Day-Glo Surveyors’ Tape (aka “Flagging Tape”), attached to a stake or target frame, makes a good wind indicator. It will flutter even in mild breezes, alerting you to both angle and velocity shifts. This should be part of every range kit. Don’t leave home without it.

Hood Kwik Estimator. Here’s a very handy tool to measure your 6mm groups. Bracket the group within the diverging lines of the Kwik Estimator and you’ll instantly get a good approximation of the actual group size. No more trips to the tool box for calipers. The inexpensive Kwik Estimator fits in a shirt pocket. (Thanks to Boyd Allen for this suggestion.)

Bifocal 3X/6X magnifier. This handy, inexpensive dual-power magnifier is always close at hand on our loading bench, because it helps with so many task. We use a compact magnifier to inspect bullet tips, to check brass chamfers, and inspect the internals of triggers and other parts. Priced at just $2.75, a magnifier like this (or the folding variety) is a “must-have” item for every hand-loader.

Sinclair Barrel Mirage Shade. For high-volume varminters, and competitors who shoot fast in warm weather, a mirage shield is absolutely essential. This prevents hot air rising off the barrel from distorting the image in your scope. The aluminum Sinclair shield can be trimmed to fit, and comes with stick-on Velcro attachments. Two lengths are available: 18″ for short BR barrels, and 24″ for longer barrels.

Gifts $6 to $10 


Dewey Crocogator
$6.50
Ballistol multi-purpose gun lube
Ballistol Aerosol Lube
$8.99
Sinclair Barrel Storage Bag
Sinclair Barrel Bag
$9.95

Sinclair Load Block
$9.99

Dewey Crocogator. The Crocogator tool, with knurled “teeth” at both ends, is simple, inexpensive, and compact. Yet nothing zips though primer-pocket gunk faster or better. Unlike some cutter-tipped primer pocket tools, the Crocogator removes the carbon quick and easy without shaving brass. One end is sized for large primer pockets, the other for small.

Ballistol Aerosol Lube. Ballistol is a versatile, non-toxic product with many uses in the reloading room. We have found it is ideal for lubricating cases for normal full-length sizing. It is clear, not gooey or chalky like other lubes. It is very, very slippery, yet is easy to apply and just as easy to wipe off. As you lube your cases, the Ballistol will also clean powder fouling off the case necks. For heavy-duty case forming and neck expansion, we’ll still use Imperial die wax, but for every-day case sizing, Ballistol is our first choice. It also helps prevent your dies from rusting and it even conditions leather. Ballistol is a favored bore cleaner for Black Powder shooters because it neutralizes acidic powder residues.

Santa Christmas Stocking giftsSinclair Barrel Bag. If you run a switch-barrel rig, or take spare barrels to a big match, this simple but effective barrel bag will protect your valuable steel. The bag is moisture-resistant vinyl on the outside with a soft, quilted interior to protect the barrel’s finish and delicate crown. There are two sizes: one for barrels up to 26 inches, the other for barrels up to 31 inches. Both sizes are priced at $9.95 per bag. That’s cheap insurance for those priceless barrels.

Sinclair ‘Poly’ Loading Block. We’ve tried wood and injection-molded loading trays, and we prefer Sinclair’s white polyethylene loading blocks. They featured chamfered holes properly sized for the particular case you reload. The blocks are heavy enough to be stable on the bench, and the “dishwasher-friendly” material is easy to clean. The standard Poly Loading Block holds 50 cases, while the Competition Loading Block holds 25 cases with a tray for empties. For a bit more money, there’s also a Heavy-Duty 50-case model with an extra-thick 1″ base.

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