July 18th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Sako TRG-22 & TRG-42 Hunting Rifles in Norway

Many years ago, when we decided to do a story about SAKO’s TRG series of rifles, we remembered our friend Terje Fjørtoft in Norway. Terje has owned, and hunted with, both the TRG-22 (in .308 Win), and its big brother, the TRG-42 (chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum). Unlike many TRG owners in the USA, Terje has carried his “tactical hunters” into the field, and tested their effectiveness on large game in both coastal and mountain environments, in warm weather and cold. Terje tells us the TRGs have proven to be rugged and reliable. And they are accurate. The .308 Win TRG-22 delivers about 0.45 MOA groups at 420 yards shot from bipod. The .338 LM TRG-42 shoots about 0.55 – 0.7 MOA at that distance.

A Tale of Two TRGs by Terje Fjørtoft

I live in Brattvåg, along the coast of Norway, but I hunt and shoot at the nearby island “Fjørtoft” (same as my last name) and a small island outside Fjørtoft. I grew up on Fjørtoft as a child, and we hunt seals there in the spring and fall. The large, top photo shows me with my black TRG-42 338 Lapua Mag (“LM”) during a seal hunt a couple years ago. Click on the thumbnail at right to watch a video that shows me shooting the .338 LM. Most of the photos in this story are from that hunt. Because the .338 LM was really “overkill” on the seals (and expensive to reload), I replaced that rifle with a TRG-22 in .308 Winchester.

We hunt seals primarily for wildlife control. This is because the seals carry an internal parasite, called “Kveis”, a small worm that breeds inside the seals (after eating contaminated fish). When the seals expel the Kveis into the water, the Kveis larvae are consumed by the fish and then the fish become unfit to eat. The parasite literally eats the fish from the inside out. It’s not very pretty and it has hurt our Norwegian fishing industry. So there is an important purpose for our seal hunting. We hunt mostly from islands, targeting the seals in the water, and retrieving them with a small boat.

Because the seals spend most of their time in the water, a seal-hunter needs a very accurate rifle [to take head shots at distance]. I like the TRG-22 because it is very accurate out of the box, with a very nice bipod that works well in the field. The stock is comfortable with good adjustment range. The TRG features a 10-rd magazine and the barrel is pre-threaded for a muzzle brake or suppressor.

I have also used my TRGs for hunting big game, deer and what Americans call “Elk”. You can see, further down on this page, a picture from a hunting stand taken late in the evening, in the fading light. Yes I successfully bagged a nice buck during that trip with my TRG-42. When hunting, I use a Leica 900 rangefinder, Swarovski 7×42 Habicht binoculars, and a Silva windwatch. For Optics on the TRG-22, I have a Zeiss 6-24×56 scope, in Tikka Optilock rings. To get more scope adjustment I milled 0.9 mm off the front scope base mount. The Zeiss is great for viewing small targets past 400 meters. It was very difficult to find a longer shooting place than 575 meters on this Island (Uksnøy) but I found a place where I can shoot out to 930 meters, and I’ve made an 80-cm steel gong for a target. At this range, the bullet must fly nearly all the distance over the water.


Terje Shooting the TRG-42 without suppressor. Big recoil, big flash.

Both the TRG-22 and TRG-42 are very accurate right out of the box. The only thing I did before I first shot the TRGs was to clean the barrels very thoroughly. This is because the SAKO factory test shoots the gun without cleaning the barrel. I also adjust the cheek piece upward when shooting the rifles with a big scope. However, if you raise the cheek piece too high you can’t get the bolt out without removing the whole cheek piece. The only real modification I’ve made to my TRGs was to put rubber foot pads on the feet of the SAKO factory bipod. This gives the bipod better grip on slick surfaces such as concrete, or the rocks on the offshore islands.

.338 LM vs. .308 Win — Smaller Can Be Better
A few years ago I had a black TRG-42 (338 LM), but after a year, I sold it, and ordered a TRG-22 from the SAKO factory. After a one-year wait, I got the new green TRG-22 in February this year. One main reason I changed to .308 Win was the cost of ammo. I can reload .308 Win ammo for about one-third the price that it costs to reload .338 LM. One other reason is that my usual shooting distance is about 390 meters–at that distance the .308 is more than effective enough. Also, with the .338 LM, the barrel and the suppressor heated up after only a few shots, but with my new .308, I can shoot at my own pace without this problem. After my most recent shooting trip I once again confirmed how accurate, and fun-to-shoot, the TRG-22 is. I think now the TRG-22 has become my favorite plinking gun.

Though it is fun to experience the big boom and flash of the .338 LM, I’ll admit that it is just too much rifle for most applications. The .338 LM is REAL overkill for seal hunting. Here in Norway we have a rule that the smallest caliber we can use is 6.5×55 with a 140gr (or heavier) bullet, but everyone who hunts seals knows that the seals stay mostly in the water, and therefore you must take a headshot at distance up to about 200 meters. Making the headshot with a smaller caliber is advised for two reasons. First, when a big .338 bullet hits the water, there is a danger it will skip and ricochet quite some distance. Second, if you use too powerful a load/gun/caliber and take a headshot on a swimming seal, the seal sinks like a rock.

Reloading for the TRG-22 (.308 Win)
With the TRG-22, I found it was easy to get an accurate load. My groups with 155gr Scenars are consistently good with a variety of different powders. I’ve tried both light and heavy bullets, but I favor the 155gr Scenars over the 185gr Scenars because the 155s fly a lot faster and drop less.

Three loads (all with Fed 210m primers) that have worked well are: 155gr Scenar with VV N150, 885m/sec; 155gr Scenar with Norma N-11, 890m/sec, and 185gr Scenar, VV N150, 770m/sec. Norma N-11 is a low-cost powder for target shooting. N-11 is similar to Norma 203B or Norma 202 but it varies quite a bit from lot to lot.

I use a RCBS Rock Chucker press, and currently use a standard RCBS full-length die kit to reload my .308 rounds. However, I recently ordered a Redding Competition 3-die set with a .335 bushing. I look forward to trying the Reddings. I have just started to test different seating depths. The 155s just “kiss” the lands at 74.10 mm. I’ve tried 74.00 mm, 74.10 mm and 73.55 mm, but so far saw no significant differences.

Reloading for the TRG-42 (.338 LM)
For the .338 LM, I started with a 250gr Scenar and 95 grains of Vihtavuori N-170. That load was very accurate at about 850 m/sec, but it produced excessive muzzle flash. And, in the winter, the muzzle velocity was inconsistent, and there was too much unburned powder. Next I tried Norma N-15, which proved very accurate at about 880 m/sec. With that load I shot my best TRG-42 group at 380 meters. I set the 250gr Scenar to touch the rifling with 93.2 mm COAL, and I used Federal 215m primers in Lapua-brand brass. Norma MPR2 and VV N-560 (860 m/sec) also were very accurate with the 250 Scenar.

My seal hunting bullet was the 200gr Nosler BT. This bullet grouped very well with 90-94 grains Norma N-15. Velocity was about 970m/sec if I remember correctly. I also tried the 300gr Sierra MK, and got 1/2″ 3-shot groups at 100 meters with 93.5 grains of VV N-170, but this combination produced terrible groups at longer range.

Loading for the .338 LM was not difficult — about the same as loading for .308 Win, except that you use nearly twice the amount of powder. I didn’t crimp the bullets in the neck, didn’t use any special tricks or neck lube. I used RCBS .338 LM full-length die. That functioned, but it would not be my first choice today. Overall, my better loads in the .338 shot in the 0.5-0.7 MOA range. My best group was four shots in 25mm (1″) at 380 meters (416 yards).

Hunting in Norway


I’m not a competitive sport-shooter. Normally, the only time I go to a “commercial” rifle range is to take the test for my hunting license. Every year, I must re-qualify for a shooting license to hunt big game and seals.

Hunters Tested Annually
In Norway, you must pass an actual shooting test before you can hunt big game. This test requires five shots at a deer silhouette target at 100 meters. No rests are allowed–you must shoot off-hand or with a sling only. You have to place five shots inside a 30 cm circle over the front leg.

Every big game hunter that passes this test is authorized to hunt at “dusk and dawn” and in moonlight. So, we do a lot of our hunting in the twilight hours. However, no night-vision or artificial illumination (spotlights) are allowed. We usually hunt deer at dusk and dawn. In the evening, we go on post two to three hours before it is dark, and sit there waiting for the deer to show up–hopefully before it is too dark. In the morning we go to the post one hour before you see any light of the sun, and wait for the deer to show up until the daylight. But when it is full moon we sometime have enough light to hunt in the middle of the night. In the photo, you can see a deer through the scope of my TRG-42. This was very late in the evening. CLICK HERE for BIG Photo.

Sound Suppressors for Hunting Rifles

Suppressors are legal to use for hunting in Norway. I have suppressors on all my rifles, even my little CZ 452 in 17 HMR. To me, shooting a rifle without a suppressor is like driving a car without an exhaust system. The suppressor reduces both noise AND recoil significantly. With a good suppressor, there is no loss of accuracy. The only “negative” in using a suppressor is extra weight on the end of the barrel.

I crafted my own home-made suppressor. It’s similar to my commercially-made TRG-22 suppressor, but the core is made from titanium to be lighter in weight and more corrosion-resistant. I used a lathe at work to craft the inside of the new suppressor. The core of the unit is built from a 27.5 cm X 40mm round bar of titanium while the outer cylinder is made from a 42mm stainless steel tube. I wanted to use titanium for the exterior cylinder as well, but I couldn’t source the right size titanium tube.


Commercial Suppressor on TRG-42

Comparing .308 Win vs. 6mmBR
I also have a 6BR hunting rifle (compensated of course). I have a lot of field time with the 6BR rifle, and feel very confident with that gun. When I got the Krieger 6mmBR barrel on the SAKO Varminter, I fell in love with that rifle from day one, and that rifle is my first choice for small game hunting.

I also like the TRG-22 gun very much and enjoy it more and more with each new field trip. That .308 is my big game rifle and my long-range target rifle.

I recently tested my TRG-22 rifle at 387 meters. This was just “fun shooting” at steel plates, and I didn’t measure groups. But I was happy with the results. Once I corrected for the 5 m/sec crosswind, I was able to put five successive shots on a 10 cm (4″) diameter steel target at 387 meters (423 yards).

My SAKO Varminter in 6mm BR and my TRG-22 are two very different rifles. The TRG-22 is much heavier. I guess the TRG-22 is about 6.5-7 kg while my SAKO 6BR is about 4.5-5 kg, both with suppressor, scope, and bipod. The 6BR with suppressor is much quieter than the TRG-22 with suppressor. The recoil of the 6BR is a lot softer than the TRG-22. So far my 6BR is more accurate. A typical three-shot group with the 6BR is 25-40 mm at 387 meter (423 yards), and that is with just 10X magnification from a Zeiss scope. With my TRG-22, my 3-shot groups run about 50-60 mm, shooting with bipod and beanbag. But I think with a better .308 Win reloading die and more practice, I can improve my groupings with the TRG-22.

SPEC SHEET

The SAKO TRG-22 and TRG-42 are built in Finland by SAKO, a subsidiary of Beretta. In America, the guns are distributed by Beretta USA. Both TRGs (22/42) are available in forest green or a matte black textured finish. A two-stage match trigger is standard.

The stock is somewhat unconventional. It is an external shell, bolted to an internal metal chassis. The action bolts directly to the chassis, without bedding. The injection-molded stock is adjustable for comb height, length of pull (with spacers), vertical butt-pad height and cast-off.

Weight TRG-22
4.7 kg (black)
4.9 kg (green)

Barrel TRG-22
660 mm (26″), hammer-forged, optional stainless or phosphate finish

Capacity
10-round Mag (TRG-22)
7-round Mag (TRG-42)

Calibers
.308 Win (TRG-22)
300WM, .338 LM (TRG-42)

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December 16th, 2020

Good Reloading Powders Currently In-Stock Now at Brownells

brownells powder in stock vihtavuori winchester hodgdon accurate christmas

DATE of this REPORT is DECEMBER 16, 2020.

Times are tough right now for hand-loaders. It is hard to find reloading components, particularly powder and primers. Thankfully, Brownells has made it easier for folks to find available powders without going through hundreds of searches resulting in “0ut of Stock” results. Just visit Brownell’s IN-STOCK Powder Page to see all reloading propellants currently available. This can save you much time and effort.

Brownells has two dozen major-brand powders IN STOCK today, including excellent, popular propellants from Vihtavuori, Hodgdon, and Winchester. Vihtavuori propellants such as N140 and N550 have a proven track record in competition and are popular with benchrest and F-Class shooter. As of today, 12/16/2020, here are 16 powders IN STOCK and available at Brownells.com. There are at least eight more powders in stock. But act quickly — these may sell out very soon. CLICK HERE for ALL in-stock powders.

CLICK PHOTOs to go to Brownells.com IN STOCK Powder Sales Page

brownells powder in stock vihtavuori winchester hodgdon accurate christmas

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December 11th, 2020

TECH Tip: Powder Grain Shapes — What You Need to Know

Vihtavuori loading propellant reloading powder N133 N150 N140 N550 ball flake stick extruded perforated powders

POWDER GRAIN SHAPES — What You Need to Know

The shape of powder grains has a profound effect on the performance of the powder charge, as it concerns both pressure and velocity. There are multiple powder shapes including flake, ball, and extruded or “stick” (both solid and perforated).

All Vihtavuori reloading powders are of the cylindrical, single-perforated extruded stick type. The differences in burning rate between the powders depend on the size of the grain, the wall thickness of the cylinder, the surface coating and the composition. Cylindrical extruded powders can also have multi-perforated grains. The most common types are the 7- and 19-perforated varieties. A multi-perforated powder grain is naturally of a much larger size than one with a single perforation, and is typically used for large caliber ammunition.

Other types of powder grain shapes include sphere or ball, and flake. The ball grains are typically used in automatic firearms but also in rifles and handguns. The ball grain is less costly to produce, as it is not pressed into shape like cylindrical grains. Flake shaped grains are typically used in shotgun loadings.

Vihtavuori loading propellant reloading powder N133 N150 N140 N550 ball flake stick extruded perforated powders

Web thickness in gunpowder terminology means the minimum distance that the combustion zones can travel within the powder grain without encountering each other. In spherical powders, this distance is the diameter of the “ball”; in flake powder it is the thickness of the flake; and in multi-perforated extruded powders it is the minimum distance (i.e. wall thickness) between the perforations.

The burning rate of powder composed of grains without any perforations or surface treatment is related to the surface area of the grain available for burning at any given pressure level. The change in the surface area that is burning during combustion is described by a so-called form function. If the surface area increases, the form function does likewise and its behavior is termed progressive. If the form function decreases, its behavior is said to be degressive. If the flame area remains constant throughout the combustion process, we describe it as “neutral” behavior.

The cylindrical, perforated powders are progressive; the burning rate increases as the surface area increases, and the pressure builds up slower, increasing until it reaches its peak and then collapses. Flake and ball grains are degressive; the total powder surface area and pressure are at their peak at ignition, decreasing as the combustion progresses.

So how does the shape affect pressure and muzzle velocity? In general, it can be said that powder that burns progressively achieves a desired muzzle velocity at lower maximum pressure than a powder that burns neutrally, not to mention a degressive powder. As grain size increases, the maximum pressure moves towards the muzzle, also increasing muzzle blast. Muzzle velocity and pressure can be adjusted by means of the amount of powder or loading density, i.e. the relationship between the powder mass and the volume available to it. As the loading density increases, maximum pressure grows.

Learn More with FREE Vihtavuori Reloading APP »

Vihtavuori loading propellant reloading powder N133 N150 N140 N550 ball flake stick extruded perforated powders


This article originally appeared on the Vihtavuori Website.

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June 9th, 2020

Powder Burn Rate Comparison Table — Download HERE

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

Day after day, one of AccurateShooter’s most-visited web pages is a reference guide featuring a comparative burn rate chart, ranking powders from fastest to slowest. Compiled by Hodgdon Powder Co., this Burn Rate Chart displays the relative burn rates of 163 different powders. Here is the latest table, released by Hodgdon in November of 2019.

You’ll want to download this Powder Burn Rate Table. This table shows the latest IMR powders including the Enduron series (IMR 4166, 4451, 4955, 7977), highlighted in green. This 163-entry comparison table provides vital information for hand-loaders. Note — this invaluable chart is not limited to Hodgdon and IMR propellants. This burn rate chart ranks powders from eight major powder-makers: Accurate, Alliant, Hodgdon, IMR, Norma, Ramshot (Western), Vihtavuori, and Winchester.

This chart provides useful information for all hand-loaders. When doing load development, and testing one powder versus another, it’s generally wise to choose propellants that share the same relative burn rate, as least for starters.

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


Latest POWDER BURN RATE TABLE from HODGDON/IMR

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

CLICK HERE to Download Chart as PDF File

Story find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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April 28th, 2020

Vihtavuori Explains Powder Grain Shapes

Vihtavuori loading propellant reloading powder N133 N150 N140 N550 ball flake stick extruded perforated powders

POWDER GRAIN SHAPES — What You Need to Know

The shape of powder grains has a profound effect on the performance of the powder charge, as it concerns both pressure and velocity. There are multiple powder shapes including flake, ball, and extruded or “stick” (both solid and perforated).

All Vihtavuori reloading powders are of the cylindrical, single-perforated extruded stick type. The differences in burning rate between the powders depend on the size of the grain, the wall thickness of the cylinder, the surface coating and the composition. Cylindrical extruded powders can also have multi-perforated grains. The most common types are the 7- and 19-perforated varieties. A multi-perforated powder grain is naturally of a much larger size than one with a single perforation, and is typically used for large caliber ammunition.

Other types of powder grain shapes include sphere or ball, and flake. The ball grains are typically used in automatic firearms but also in rifles and handguns. The ball grain is less costly to produce, as it is not pressed into shape like cylindrical grains. Flake shaped grains are typically used in shotgun loadings.

Vihtavuori loading propellant reloading powder N133 N150 N140 N550 ball flake stick extruded perforated powders

Web thickness in gunpowder terminology means the minimum distance that the combustion zones can travel within the powder grain without encountering each other. In spherical powders, this distance is the diameter of the “ball”; in flake powder it is the thickness of the flake; and in multi-perforated extruded powders it is the minimum distance (i.e. wall thickness) between the perforations.

The burning rate of powder composed of grains without any perforations or surface treatment is related to the surface area of the grain available for burning at any given pressure level. The change in the surface area that is burning during combustion is described by a so-called form function. If the surface area increases, the form function does likewise and its behavior is termed progressive. If the form function decreases, its behavior is said to be degressive. If the flame area remains constant throughout the combustion process, we describe it as “neutral” behavior.

The cylindrical, perforated powders are progressive; the burning rate increases as the surface area increases, and the pressure builds up slower, increasing until it reaches its peak and then collapses. Flake and ball grains are degressive; the total powder surface area and pressure are at their peak at ignition, decreasing as the combustion progresses.

So how does the shape affect pressure and muzzle velocity? In general, it can be said that powder that burns progressively achieves a desired muzzle velocity at lower maximum pressure than a powder that burns neutrally, not to mention a degressive powder. As grain size increases, the maximum pressure moves towards the muzzle, also increasing muzzle blast. Muzzle velocity and pressure can be adjusted by means of the amount of powder or loading density, i.e. the relationship between the powder mass and the volume available to it. As the loading density increases, maximum pressure grows.

Learn More with FREE Vihtavuori Reloading APP »

Vihtavuori loading propellant reloading powder N133 N150 N140 N550 ball flake stick extruded perforated powders


This article originally appeared on the Vihtavuori Website.

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February 2nd, 2020

How Powder Moisture Content Affects Pressure and Speed

vihtavuori vv moisture content powder propellent
This Technical Report Comes from the Vihtavuori website.

Powder Moisture Content — Did You Know?
Variations in moisture content change the burning rate of a powder and thereby chamber pressures and muzzle velocity. The moisture content of the Vihtavuori N100 and N300 series powders is usually around 1%, while the N500-series’ normal moisture content is 0.6% because of the added nitroglycerine.

So what difference does moisture content make? Here’s an example. In a test, a [Vihtavuori] powder sample was dried by heating it, losing about 0.5 % of its weight. Cartridges were then loaded with the dried powder and fired using a pressure gun. Chamber pressures and muzzle velocities produced by these special cartridges were compared to those produced by cartridges loaded with untreated powder. (The powder charge and bullet were of course the same in both sets of cartridges.)

After Powder Drying:
Pressure Increased 11% from 320 MPa to 355 MPa
Velocity Increased 2.6% from 2526 to 2592 FPS

Comparing results showed chamber pressures increased from 320 MPa to 355 MPa with the dried powder, and the muzzle velocity increased accordingly from 770 m/s to 790 m/s (2526 to 2592 FPS). And note, this is only one example, of one caliber and loading. The difference might be much higher depending on the cartridge and loading combinations.

Recommendation: Store powder below 68°F in 55-65% humidity.

What does this tell us? Well, it seems we need to forget the old saying “Keep your powder dry”! Instead, focus on proper powder storage, at a temperature below 20°C/68°F and humidity between 55 and 65%. Safe reloading everybody!

vihtavuori vv moisture content powder propellent

Tech Tip sourced by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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November 5th, 2019

Vihtavuori Powder Rebate — Save Up to $5.00 Per Pound

Vihtavuori Capstone 2019 Keep Cash Rebate Program powder

We’re approaching winter — the perfect time to stock up on your propellants for next season. And now you can earn up to $5.00 per pound on your favorite Vihtavuori powders. Vihtavuori makes some great powders that have been used to set many records. With Vihtavuori’s Keep Your Cash Rebate, you can get up to $100 cash back on qualifying Vihtavuori powder purchases.

Vihtavuori Capstone 2019 Keep Cash Rebate Program powder

Vihtavuori $100 CONSUMER REBATE
This offer is valid on qualifying purchases made between November 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020. This applies to all sizes, 1-lb, 4-lb, and 8-lb. You can also mix and match powders to maximize your rebate. Pick up a Rebate Form from your favorite Vihtavuori retailer or download the PDF Form linked below. Then submit the form with your proof of purchase no later than January 31, 2020.

GET 2019 Vihtavuori Rebate Form PDF HERE »

The 2019 Vihtavuori Rebate program is currently under way. For a limited time, earn $5.00 back per one-pound bottle, $10.00 per four-pound bottle, and $20.00 back per eight-pound bottle when you purchase Vihtavuori powders (maximum $100 rebate). Offer is valid on qualifying purchases made between November 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020. All rebate coupons must be received by January 31, 2020.

(more…)

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July 29th, 2019

Jack Neary Shoots WBC Record 0.110″ at 200 Yards in Canada

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championship benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta Canada

No, that’s not two shots — it is FIVE shots, with basically four in one hole and a fifth very slightly over. If that’s not impressive enough, consider this stunning 0.110″ group was shot at TWO HUNDRED yards — the length of two football fields. This amazing group was shot by Jack Neary at the 2019 World Benchrest Championship (WBC) held in Calgary, Alberta earlier this month.

Neary’s 0.110″ 200-yard group establishes a new WBC world record in the Light Varmint (LV) rifle class (10.5-lb max rifle weight). Jack was competing with Team USA “C Squad”, which also captured the WBC 2-Gun Gold Medal in the 4-man Team Championship.

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championships benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta CanadaWorld Benchrest Championships
The World Benchrest Championships are held every two years and attract competitors from over 20 countries. Jack Neary’s .110″ group is now a confirmed WBC 200-yard World Record for smallest 5-shot group. Neary was shooting a 6mm PPC hand-loaded with Vihtavuori N133 powder.

NOTE: This is a record for WBC competition. However, it is slightly larger than current NBRSA and IBS 200-yard Light Varmint (LV) records. The NBRSA LV 200-yard record is 0.075″ set by Johnnie Stewart in 2009. The IBS LV 200-yard record is 0.091″ by David Farrar in 2006. Still, Neary’s 0.110″ 5-shot group is a great accomplishment, set at the highest level of competition, at a match which had very challenging conditions.

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championships benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta Canada

Jack stated, “Vihtavuori’s temperature stability and cleaning burning attributes have been instrumental for competitors to achieve world record accuracy in the furthest corners of the world.”

Vihtavuori powders (predominently N133) were used by nearly every competitor (over 90%) during the World Benchrest Championship. VV N133 continues to dominate the short-range benchrest game. Notably, Vihtavuori powders have also been successful in the Extreme Long Range game, with VV powders used by recent KO2M winners. The next World Benchrest Championship will be held in Fall of 2021 in South Africa.

Jack Neary Team Lapua Vihtavuori WBC World Championships benchrest 6mm PPC Calgary Alberta Canada

Neary Helps Team USA Win Gold at World Championship

Team Lapua’s Jack Neary, along with his Team USA “C Squad” teammates Harley Baker, Gary Bristow, and Jeff Graves, won the 4-Man Team Gold Medal at the 2019 World Benchrest Championship held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada this past week. Neary’s squad had the best overall Grand Aggregate, 0.2598, for the WBC combined 2-Gun Championship. Team USA “A Squad” took second place with a 0.2646 2-Gun Aggregate. CLICK HERE for WBC Team Championship Results.

All Team USA Gold Medalists used Lapua cartridge cases exclusively at the WBC. Lapua cartridge cases are known for superb quality of construction, using only the finest raw materials and superior annealing processes. Each case is machined to exacting dimensions. Lapua brass is renown for its superior consistency and longevity. The best brass also lasts the longest.

Neary stated, “Lapua cases are the foundation [for] our competition hand-loads[.] When competing at the highest levels against the most talented shooters in the world, we need the absolute best components available. There’s no doubt Lapua helped secure the Gold for Team USA.”

Lapua vihtavuori CapstoneAbout Lapua and Vihtavuori
Lapua produces the highest-quality small caliber cartridges and components for civilian and professional use. Vihtavuori is renowned for smokeless powders with superb lot-to-lot consistency that deliver superior accuracy Lapua and Vihtavuori are part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Lapua.com and Vihtavuori.com.

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May 29th, 2019

Old Guys Rule — Bruce Piatt Wins His 6th Bianchi Cup

Bruce Piatt Bianchi Cup 2019 trophy win Open Class champion

Bruce Piatt Bianchi Cup 2019 trophy win Open Class championBruce Piatt was born in a typical 1961 suburban family, the youngest of 4 boys. Living in New Jersey, Bruce took an interest in his grandfather’s guns. Sometime around age 10 or 11, he began asking his father to take him hunting and shooting.

Fast forward five decades — Bruce Piatt is now one of the world’s best shooters, a World Shooting Championship winner, and the 2019 Bianchi Cup overall match winner. This was Bruce’s sixth Bianchi Cup Victory. Now in his late 50s, Bruce definitely proves that Old Guys Rule!

Last week Bruce Piatt won his sixth NRA Bianchi Cup National Action Pistol Championship with a 1920-179X score. He secured his latest Open Class title one year after shoulder surgery and on the 10th anniversary of his previous Bianchi Cup win. Piatt’s prior Bianchi Cup victories were in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2005, and 2009.

The Bianch Cup competition has four events: the Practical, Barricade, Falling Plates and the Moving Target. Competitors shoot all four events at varying distances and times, prone and standing, use both strong and weak hand. It is very challenging.

Commenting on the pressures of Bianchi Cup compeition, Piatt observed: “When you’re into your final stage with other competitors in contention of winning, the tension is high. That’s when I have to keep the fight between me and the targets.” Piatt added “All of my equipment ran flawlessly[.]”

Bruce Piatt 2019 Bianchi Cup Equipment
Firearm: Caspian Arms 1911 .38 Super customized for Open Division
Optics: Burris Optic Red Dot XTS-135
Bullets: Sierra 115 grain JHP
Brass: Starline .38 Super
Powder: Vihtavuori N320 Powder

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December 10th, 2018

Powder Moisture Content — What You Need To Know

vihtavuori vv moisture content powder propellent
This Technical Report Comes from the Vihtavuori website.

Powder Moisture Content — Did You Know?
Variations in moisture content change the burning rate of a powder and thereby chamber pressures and muzzle velocity. The moisture content of the Vihtavuori N100 and N300 series powders is usually around 1%, while the N500-series’ normal moisture content is 0.6% because of the added nitroglycerine.

So what difference does moisture content make? Here’s an example. In a test, a [Vihtavuori] powder sample was dried by heating it, losing about 0.5 % of its weight. Cartridges were then loaded with the dried powder and fired using a pressure gun. Chamber pressures and muzzle velocities produced by these special cartridges were compared to those produced by cartridges loaded with untreated powder. (The powder charge and bullet were of course the same in both sets of cartridges.)

After Powder Drying:
Pressure Increased 11% from 320 MPa to 355 MPa
Velocity Increased 2.6% from 2526 to 2592 FPS

Comparing results showed chamber pressures increased from 320 MPa to 355 MPa with the dried powder, and the muzzle velocity increased accordingly from 770 m/s to 790 m/s (2526 to 2592 FPS). And note, this is only one example, of one caliber and loading. The difference might be much higher depending on the cartridge and loading combinations.

Recommendation: Store powder below 68°F in 55-65% humidity.

What does this tell us? Well, it seems we need to forget the old saying “Keep your powder dry”! Instead, focus on proper powder storage, at a temperature below 20°C/68°F and humidity between 55 and 65%. Safe reloading everybody!

vihtavuori vv moisture content powder propellent

Tech Tip sourced by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
August 20th, 2018

Bargain Finder 152: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every 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. Amazon — Caldwell Long Range Target Cam System, $313.99

Amazon Caldwell Precision Long Range Target System Cam Camera
Labradar chronograph

Forum members have purchased this Caldwell Target Cam System and they’ve found that it works reliably, providing a clear signal to any WiFi-enabled mobile device (smartphone, iPad, Laptop). Amazon is offering this complete system for $313.99, with FREE shipping. One member specifically tested the unit at 1000 yards and it functioned fine. NOTE: This system does NOT have a zoom camera lens, so you need to position the camera within 10 yards or so of the target. But if you place it to the side a bit, this shouldn’t be a problem. NOTE: This system comes with a nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands.

2. EuroOptic.com — Tikka T3 Liquidation Sale, Rifles from $349.00

EuroOptic Tikka t3 sale discount inventory reduction bargain .270 .308 .223 Win Mag .300

EuroOptic.com bought a large quantity of Tikka T3 rifles from the North American distributor. Now these T3s are being offered at huge discounts –some well below wholesale cost. Tikka rifles that typically retail for $600 to $1000 are selling for $359 to $600. Save Hundreds! This is an amazing offer if you are looking for a very high-quality hunting rifle at a rock-bottom price. To add to the incentive, the first 500 T3 purchasers will receive a FREE Badlands Tenacity Backpack, a $45.00 value.

3. Bullets.com — Liquidation Sale with Incredible Savings

Bullets.com going out business inventory reduction liquidation sale discount auction blow-out bullets powder dies redding

Bullets.com is closing up shop. For the past few months Bullets.com has selling off its inventory. There are still some great products left at really low prices — in many cases below wholesale cost. How about a 100-ct box of 197gr 7mm Sierra MatchKings for just $22.95. Awesome deal — MidwayUSA charges $49.99/100 for the same 197gr bullets! Or grab some very good Norma rimfire ammo for less than $3.00 a box. You’ll want to act soon to enjoy these bargains before they’re gone for good.

4. Brownells — CCI .22 LR Ammo, $24.99/500 or $89.96 for 2000

CCI rimfire .22 LR standard velocity ammo discount sale free shipping brownells $10 off

Here’s a great deal on big-name, rimfire ammo. Right now you can get a 500-round pack of CCI Standard Velocity 40gr LRN ammo for just $24.99. That works out to just five cents ($0.05) per round. But it gets even better. If you purchase at least four 500-rd packs (2000 rounds total), you also get FREE shipping and a $10.00 discount with CODE JDC. With that “JDC” discount code, your total price is just $89.96 for 2000 rounds delivered, or 4.5 cents per round! That’s a great deal on reliable CCI ammo that’s good for plinking and rimfire cross-training. NOTE: If the JDC code has expired, try CODE MCP for free shipping on $49+ orders.

5. VihtaVuori — $5.00 Per Pound Rebate on Vihtavuori Powders

Capstone Vihtavuori powder propellant N133 N140 rebate discount sale $60 cash back

Earn Up To $60 Cash Back On VihtaVuori Powders
The 2018 VihtaVuori Rebate Program is under way. For a limited time, earn $5.00 back per bottle when you purchase VihtaVuori powders. Offer is valid on qualifying purchases made between August 15, 2018 and October 15, 2018. Be sure to keep your receipts and note the labels. The Rebate application MUST include proof of purchase showing retailer name and date of purchase. And the Rebate Form MUST include the serial number for each VihtaVuori bottle purchased.

Bruno’s | Graf’s | Midsouth | Powder Valley | Precision Reloading

VV Rebate Start Date: 8/15/2018
VV Rebate End Date: 10/15/2018
Postmarked By Date: 11/30/2018
Minimum Purchase: One 1-pound bottle
Maximum Purchase: Twelve 1-pound bottles
Maximum REBATE is $60.00

6. Grafs.com — Lyman Summer Sale, 10-22% Off Select items

Grand sons Graf's lyman 15% Off sale trigger gauge tumbler borecam

Lyman has brought out some fine products in recent years, tools that offer excellent performance for the price. Now you can get a serious discount on a variety of Lyman products, including the popular Lyman BoreCam, and the Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge, our “go-to” tool for measuring pull weights. Here are some of the best Lyman Summer Sale deals at Grafs.com now:

Lyman BoreCam Digital Borescope — $199.99 (marked down from $229.99)
Lyman Turbo Pro Magnum Tumbler — $69.99 (marked down from $84.99)
Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge — $42.99 (marked down from $47.99)

7. CDNN — Winchester XPR Rifle $289.99 after $75 Rebate

Winchester XPR Rifle Rebate discount full hunting sale

We like the Winchester XPR as an affordable, entry-level hunting rifle. The three-lug bolt has a short throw, the mags seat easily and the rifle balances well. CDNN is offering the XPR for just $364.99. That’s a great price, but it gets even better. Winchester is offering a $75.00 factory rebate, lowering your net cost to just $289.99. That’s less than you’ll pay for a new custom barrel! This CDNN deal is available now for four popular chamberings: .243 Win, .308 Win, .270 Win, and .30-06 SPR. Winchester’s $75 Factory Rebate applies to any new Winchester XPR or Model 70 rifle purchased from August 1 through October 31, 2018. For more info, visit Winchester’s Trophy Season Rebate Page.

8. Champions Choice — Deluxe 58″-Long Rifle Case, $68.00

Champion's Choice extra long palma rifle case 58

Many of our readers shoot Palma, F-Class, and ELR rifles with long barrels (up to 35″). It’s difficult to find high-quality, well-padded cases that fit very long rifles. Champion’s Choice offers just such a product, the 58″ Deluxe Soft Rifle Case. With thick 1″ padding on each side, big pockets, and backpack straps, this black/blue/white gun case has earned rave reviews from our Forum members. There’s plenty of room for big scopes, and it even comes with an internal tube to hold your cleaning rod.

9. Amazon — 12″x12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $9.99

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $9.99, or a 25-pack for $17.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating. One example: “Excellent quality and durability. The adhesive is really strong. High contrast makes down range targeting easy and the splatter contrast is [great].”

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August 10th, 2018

Get Latest Powder Burn Rate Chart HERE

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

Hey guys, you’ll probably want to download this Powder Burn Rate Table issued by Hodgdon/IMR. This table shows the latest IMR powders including the Enduron series (IMR 4166, 4451, 4955, 7977), high-lighted in green below. This 163-entry comparison table provides useful information for all hand-loaders. When doing load development, and testing one powder versus another, it’s generally wise to choose propellants that share the same relative burn rate, as least for starters. This invaluable burn rate chart ranks powders from eight major powder-makers: Accurate, Alliant, Hodgdon, IMR, Norma, Ramshot (Western), Vihtavuori, Winchester.

NOTE: Hodgdon powders are blue, IMR standard powders are yellow, IMR Enduron powders are green, and Winchester Powders are Red. DOWNLOAD Chart HERE.


Latest POWDER BURN RATE TABLE from HODGDON/IMR

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

CLICK HERE to Download Chart as PDF File

Story find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 18 Comments »
April 25th, 2018

Capstone Shooting Seminars at NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas PRS Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori

Capstone Precision Group will conduct four informative seminars about competitive shooting during the 2018 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. These seminars, designed as introductions to various shooting disciplines, will be led by top competitors. The 147th Annual NRA Convention runs May 3-6, 2018 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Visit Capstone at Booth #4517 to learn more about competitive shooting from the experts. The seminars will be held each day in Booth #4517, May 4, 5, and 6 on the schedule listed below.

F-Class Shooting – 10:00-10:30

Join members of the USA Rifle Team to learn about F-Class, what you need to get started and what resources are available to help you learn more. This session will be held by the leaders of the United States F-Open and F-TR Rifle Teams. Made up of over 40 members, the team will be traveling to South Africa in 2021 to represent our country.

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas PRS Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori
F-TR Team USA won the 2017 F-TR World Championship.

Precision Rifle Series (PRS) Shooting – 1:30-2:00

The Precision Rifle Series is one of the fastest growing competitive disciplines. Join two of the top series shooters to learn about all PRS has to offer and how you can join in on the fun. This session is led by Matthew Brousseau of Team Lapua and Missy Gilliland of Team Berger. Matthew is currently #1 in the series, and Missy has won numerous women’s and Top 10 daily awards.

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas PRS Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori
F-TR Team USA won the 2017 F-TR World Championship.

Juniors in Competitive Shooting – 10:45-11:15

Do you have a son or daughter who is interested in competitive shooting? Attend our Juniors in Competitive Shooting educational session to learn how get them started on the right foot. Madison Bramley and her father Dan will lead this discussion. At just 14, Madison has already competed and represented the US around the country, as well as Ireland and Canada.

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas PRS Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori
Madison Bramley at Berger SWN. Erik Cortina Facebook Photo.

Women in Competitive Shooting – 2:15-2:45

This is designed specifically for women who are interested in shooting competitively. Missy Gilliland of Team Berger and Gabby Pitre of Team VihtaVuori will talk about how they got their start in the competitive world and how you can get involved. Missy is a PRS shooter, and Gabby competes in Long Range, Mid-Range, and High Power Across the Course (XTC), so this session will cover many topics.

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori
Missy Gilliland photo courtesy Bushnell.com.

High Power Shooting – 3:00-3:30

Are you interested in High Power Rifle competitions? Let us break down the competition, what you need to get started and how you can get involved with our High Power seminar led by Gabby Pitre and Kevin Thomas. Gabby is a member of Team VihtaVuori and has been competing since she was eight years old. Kevin Thomas is a Capstone employee, and has years of experience both shooting and teaching High Power shooting skills. Both have won distinguished badges and been awarded President’s Hundred, among other accomplishments.

NRA Annual Meetings Exhibits Dallas Texas Lapua Berger Nammo Capstone VihtaVuori

About Capstone Precision Group
Capstone Precision Group is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Berger Bullets, Lapua Components and Munitions, Vihtavuori Propellants, and SK Rimfire products. Capstone Precision Group is a part of Nammo Group.

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December 26th, 2017

Vihtavuori Rolls Out Major Reloading Data Update

VV Vihtavuori finland powder propellant reloading recipe data information mobile app

VV Vihtavuori finland powder propellant reloading recipe data information mobile appVihtavuori offers free reloading data online, and through a free Mobile App. And now those resources are even better — Vihtavuori has completed a significant enhancement of its reloading information for hand-loaders. First, the Finnish powder company has added the new N565 powder to the data tables. But that’s just for starters.

A massive update has been completed with new bullets added for dozens of popular calibers: “We are happy to announce the addition of more than 130 lines of reloading data, with bullets by Barnes, Brenneke, Lapua, Berger, Sierra, Woodleigh, Hornady, Nosler and LOS”. The updated online information supplements the online Reloading Databases, which has dedicated sections for Rifle Cartridges, Pistol Cartridges, and Cowboy Action.


Rifle DATA | Pistol DATA| Mobile APP



POWDER MAKING: This video shows how Vihtavuori powder is produced:

NEW Cartridges Added

Vihtavuori’s latest December 2017 Load Data update includes information for these new cartridge types and bullet types:

.300 Norma Mag:
– Lapua 185grs / 12.0g
– Berger 215grs / 13.9g
– Lapua 220grs / 14.3g
– Berger 230grs / 14.9g

8x68S:
– Sierra 150grs / 9.7g
– Lapua 180grs / 11.7g
– Nosler 180grs / 11.7g
– Nosler 200grs / 13.0g

EXPANDED DATA for Many Cartridges

With its December 2017 load information update, Vihtavuori now offers data for the following chamberings and bullet weights:

7x57R:
– Barnes 150grs / 9.7g
– Brenneke 150grs / 9.7g
– Lapua 150grs / 9.7g
– Lapua 160grs /10.4g
– Barnes 174grs / 11.3g

7×64:
– Swift 140grs / 9.1g
– Barnes 150grs / 9.7g
– Sierra 174grs / 11.3g
– Brenneke 177grs / 11.5g
– Lapua 181grs / 11.7g

7 mm Rem Mag:
– Berger 180grs / 12.6g
– Berger 194grs / 12.6g

.308 Winchester:
– LOS 140grs / 9.1g
– Hornady 150grs / 9.9g
– LOS 150grs / 9.9g
– Woodleigh 150grs / 9.9g
– Berger 155grs / 10.0g
– LOS 155grs / 10.0g
– Sierra 155grs / 10.0g
– Hornady 165grs / 10.7g

.30-06 Springfield:
– Sierra 168grs / 10.9g
– Berger 185grs / 12.0g
– Woodleigh 240grs / 15.6g

8x57IS:
– Sierra 201grs / 13.0g

.338 Lapua Mag:
– Berger 250grs / 16.2g
– Lapua 250grs / 16.2g
– Barnes 280grs / 18.1g
– Berger 300grs / 19.4g

.300 Win Mag:
– Hornady 165grs / 10.7g
– Sierra 168grs / 10.9g
– Berger 200grs / 13.0g
– Barnes 200grs / 13.0g
– Woodleigh 200grs / 13.0g
– Berger 215grs / 13.9g
– Berger 230grs / 14.9g

.38 Special:
– H&N 157grs / 10.2g

9 mm Luger:
– H&N 145grs / 9.4g

Vihtavuori story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading 1 Comment »
December 18th, 2017

Hodgdon Releases New Winchester WinClean 244 Pistol Powder

Winchester Winclean pistol powder Smith Wesson 637 .38 Special .357 hand loading

Hodgdon has just introduced a versatile new Winchester-brand pistol powder with a clean formulation. WinClean 244 is a modern, Winchester-branded propellant “ideally suited to .38 Special, .45 Auto, and 9mm standard loads.” That means WinClean 244 is designed for moderate pressure target loads. That’s good news for hand-loaders who enjoy target shooting with these popular cartridges.

Hodgdon, which markets Winchester powders, says that new WinClean 244 is consistent, and clean burning with a low flash: “The WinClean formulation reduces copper fouling and residue, extending accuracy for longer shooting periods.” It will be interesting to see if this is noticeably cleaner-burning than other popular powders. In pistol barrels we are actually less concerned with copper fouling than with general “sootiness” and carbon.

With its clean-burning qualities, “shooters are really going to like loading handgun cartridges with this powder” said Tim Vaitekunas, vice president of product development at Hodgdon. WinClean 244 powder, in 1-, 4- and 8-pound canisters, should be in stores in January 2018. Load Data is now available right now on the Hodgdon Reloading Data Center.

This Editor used to compete in Action Pistol matches, so I’ve loaded thousands of rounds of pistol ammunition using a wide variety of pistol propellants. I tend to favor Vihtavuori N310/N320 for .45 ACP, and Alliant powders for 9mm Luger, but it will be interesting to see how WinClean 244 works for these chamberings. Many powders work well for .38 Special loads, but new 244’s low flash could be an advantage there too.

Pistol Showcase — Candidates for WinClean 244

Winchester Winclean pistol powder Smith Wesson 637 .38 Special .357 hand loading

The Sig P210 SuperTarget is a modern 9mm Luger pistol with exceptional accuracy and one of the best out-of-the-box triggers you’ll ever try. Winchester WinClean 244 is suitable for a variety of bullet weights in the 9x19mm (9mm Luger) cartridge.

Winchester Winclean pistol powder Smith Wesson 637 .38 Special .357 hand loading

The 8-shot Smith & Wesson Model 627 Pro is an exceptional revolver that balances well and can shoot 1″ groups at 25 yards with tuned handloads. On this particular Model 627, featured on YouTube, the owner added a Hogue Pau Ferro wood grip, Hogue Extended Cylinder Release, and Wilson Combat trigger spring kit. In this kind of wheelgun, you can shoot moderate .38 Special target rounds loaded with new WinClean 244 powder.

Permalink Handguns, New Product, Reloading 2 Comments »
July 10th, 2017

Bargain Finder 94: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, 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. Powder Valley — Special Discount on Vihtavuori Powders

Powder Valley Inc. VV Vihtavuori powder sale

Powder Valley will be offering select Vihtavuori powders at a discounted price. With special SALE Pricing, you get $2 off 1-pound containers, $8 off 4-pound containers, and $16 off 8-pound containers. Sounds great right? Well, be patient — the sale starts Wednesday July 12th at 9:00 am CT. You’ll see the updated discounted sale pricing Wednesday morning at www.powder-valley.com. Sale excludes N110, N130, and 20N29. Offer valid for a limited time only!

2. Burris — $100 OFF XTR II Scope or Eliminator III Laserscope

Burris Scope Rebate Eliminator III Laserscope LRF XTR II Tactical Scope

Burris XTR II Rebate Form | Burris Eliminator III Rebate Form

Burris Scope Rebate Eliminator III Laserscope LRF XTR II Tactical Scope

Now through 10/31/2017, Burris is offering $100 rebates on popular scope models. Get $100.00 Off the XTR II series of scopes or the 4-16×50 Eliminator III laserscope. The XTR IIs are FFP scopes with 5X zoom range. With 1/10 Mil clicks, 10 mils per rotation turret, and Mil-defined reticles, the 4-20X and 5-25X XTR IIs are popular with the tactical crowd. (Quarter-MOA clicks with MOA-based reticle also offered). With this $100 rebate, they XTR scopes offer excellent performance for the price. As for the Eliminator, we like this unique laserscope for varmint work. The laser has proven very reliable out to 550 yards, about our max range for prairie dogs. The system ranges the distance and then instantly calculates hold-over — just put the red dot on the target and pull the trigger.

3. Midsouth — Lyman Case Prep Xpress, $84.99 after Rebate

Lyman Case Prep Express Xpress motor cartridge machine

This multi-function powered Case Prep station saves time and avoids repetitive manual labor (that can be downright painful after 50+ cases). The Case Prep Xpress lets you chamfer inside and out, brush case-necks, clean/uniform primer pockets, and ream military crimps. Midsouth just slashed its price on the Lyman Case Prep Xpress, and this unit also qualifies for a sweet $25 Rebate from Lyman. That puts your net cost at just $84.99. You can also purchase at Amazon for $107.71 with free Prime Shipping ($82.71 after Rebate).

4. Bruno’s Everything Sale — Ends Monday, July 10 at 11:59 PM

Bruno Shooters Supply sale discount July

Bullets, brass, powder, optics, dies, tools, stocks, barrels, actions — all this and more is on sale at Bruno Shooters Supply right now. You’ll find savings on pretty much everything Bruno’s sells (except MAP-price items). But you have to act quickly. This storewide sale ends TODAY, July 10th at 11:59 PM. You snooze, you loose. NOTE: You don’t need a special discount code — the sale prices are already shown online, good for today (7/10/2017) only.

5. Monmouth — Luth-AR MBA 1 Modular Stock, $112.83

Luth-AR AR15 adjustable stock discount Monmouth GAS Gun PRs

This is an adjustable rear stock for AR-platform rifles. Made from glass-filled nylon, it is half the weight of some other adjustable AR stocks. Get this stock for just $112.83 from Monmouth by using CODE “STOCK” during checkout. That’s a great deal. (Price before coupon is $131.55.) This is a good buttstock for a PRS Gas Gun Series rifle project. The ambidextrous Luth-AR MBA 1 has an adjustable cheek-piece, adjustable length of pull, and a flat toe for riding bags. Several options exist for sling attachment. With its rifle-length buffer tube, the MBA 1 is easy to install. There is 1″ vertical cheek-piece adjustment and a 1″ LOP adjustment. Additional length of pull is available with an extended buttplate.

6. Midsouth — Norma Tac-22 .22 LR Ammunition, $3.99/box

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

Check out those groups. That’s impressive accuracy at 50 yards. You’d expect to pay $10.00 or more per box for rimfire ammo that can shoot this well. But you can now get the Norma Tac-22 for just $3.99 per box at Midsouth Shooters Supply. That’s the best price we’ve found. NOTE: The target photos above come from Champion Shooters Supply, which may have gotten an exceptional lot. This vendor tells us: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.”

7. CDNN Sports — Remington RP9 9mm, $249.99 with Rebate

Remington RP9 9mm pistol handgun CDNN $249.99 with Rebate

Here’s a killer deal on a modern, full-size, 9mm pistol. The striker-fired Remington RP9 is similar to Smith & Wesson’s popular M&P9, but we prefer the Remington’s grip ergonomics. The RP9 comes with three (3) grip inserts and two (2) 18-round magazines. CDNN’s retail price is $299.99, but this pistol qualifies for a $50 mail-in Rebate from Remington. That knocks your net cost down to $249.99. That’s less than half the price of a Glock 17 or Glock 19. It’s also considerably less expensive than competitive full-size 9mm pistols from Ruger or Smith & Wesson. Put the money you save into ammo and a good holster. NOTE: Remington $50 Rebate is good through July 30, 2017.

8. Amazon — RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press, $126.99

Amazon.com Amazon RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Reloading Press Sale

The RCBS Rock Chucker remains a classic — a big, strong, versatile press that can handle most reloading chores with ease. And now you can get a genuine Rock Chucker Supreme for $126.99 — a very good deal. The Rock Chucker offers plenty of leverage for case-sizing and the “O” is tall enough for long cartridges. The Rock Chucker has a very strong base and should last a lifetime. We’re not fans of the Rock Chucker’s priming system but most serious reloaders use a separate priming tool.

9. MidwayUSA — Packable Shooting Mat, $19.99

MidwayUSA roll packable shooting mat light weight mat

Here’s a heck of a deal on a good light-weight shooting mat. MidwayUSA has slashed the price on its Packable Shooting Mat. Available in Coyote Tan or Olive Drab, this 67″ Long x 31″ Wide padded mat is now just $19.99. This Packable Mat has some nice features, such as 12″ front flap, elbow pads, 0.15″ thick padding, and six staking grommets. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to a 9″ x 4.5″ package, secured with a heavy strap. If you need a low-cost shooting mat, check this out. Weighing just 1.5 pounds, this is a good, light-weight mat to keep in a vehicle or use on a “walk-around” varmint hunt.

10. Amazon — EC Technology 22400mAh Battery Pack, $32.99

USB Battery pack EC Techonolgies Amazon 22400 mAh

This EC Technology 22400 mAh Power Pack is what AccurateShooter’s Editor uses to run a LabRadar Chronograph and recharge smartphones and his iPad on the road. This unit charges cell phones very rapidly, and will give an iPad 2-3 charges. One nice feature is an LED light near the three (3) ports. NOTE: This unit can recharge itself faster than most battery packs since it has a 2 Amp-capable input port. The $32.99 price is very good — we’ve seen this 22400 mAh Power Pack sell for $45.00 elsewhere.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
February 10th, 2017

For the .45 ACP — Try Vihtavuori N320 Pistol Powder

VV N320 for .45 ACP

VV N320 for .45 ACPMan does not live by long-guns alone. We know that many of our readers own .45 ACP handguns and load for this extremely accurate “classic” cartridge. When selecting a powder for the .45 ACP, there are many good options. All the major powder manufacturers make propellants with appropriate density and burn rate characteristics for the .45 ACP. Popular powder choices include: AA #5 (Accurate Powder); Bullseye (Alliant); Clays, HP-38, and Titegroup (Hodgdon); VV N310, N320, N340 (Vihtavuori); and WW 231 and WST (Winchester). We’ve tried these powders in a variety of .45 ACP handguns. When we consider the factors that make for a good pistol powder, we think N320 is one of the best available propellants for the .45 ACP. Vihtavuori N320 is very accurate, it meters well, and it burns clean, with minimal smoke and flash. If you haven’t tried VV N320 yet, you should.

Pros/Cons of Different Powders for .45 ACP
This Editor has personally tried out eight or more different powders for the .45 ACP. Bullseye works but it is very dirty (both smoke out the barrel and sooty powder fouling on case). Though it otherwise burns clean, Titegroup leaves a singular (and nasty) high-temp flame streak on your brass that is hard to remove. AA #5 is a good choice for progressive press newbies as you use more powder so a double charge will (usually) be obvious. I like AA #5 but N320 was more accurate. Clays burns clean but some powder measures struggle with flake powders like this. WW 231 offered excellent accuracy and metered well, but it kicked out sparks with little pieces of debris that would hit me in the face. Who wants that?

I personally tried all the powders listed above with lead, plated, and jacketed bullets. After testing for accuracy, consistency, and ease of metering, I selected VV N320 as the best overall performer.

Vihtavuori N320

  • No powder tested was more accurate (WW 231 was equally accurate).
  • Meters very well in all kinds of powder measures.
  • Produces very little smoke from muzzle.
  • Does not put nasty burn streak on brass like Tite-Group does.
  • Low Flash — you don’t get particles and sparks flying out like WW 231.
  • Cases come out from gun very clean — so you can tumble less often.

Forum member and gunsmith Michael Ezell agrees that N320 is a good choice for the .45 ACP. Mike has also found that WW 231, while accurate, produces sparks and a large flash. Mike writes: “I first started using N320 after my first night shoot, while shooting IDPA/IPSC matches. It was astonishing how much of a fireball the WW 231 created. I was literally blinded by the flash while trying to shoot a match. As you can imagine, that didn’t work out very well. I went from WW 231 to N320 and never looked back…and the flash from it was a fraction of what a kid’s sparkler would give off. I have nothing but good things to say about [N320] after using both. Night shoots are a real eye-opener! When it comes to a personal protection… there is, statistically, a very high chance that if you ever have to use a gun to protect yourself or your family, it’ll be in the darkness[.] Being blinded by muzzle flash (and deafened by the noise) are things that should be considered, IMO.”

This Editor owns a full-size, all-stainless S&W 1911. After trying numerous powders, I found VV N320 delivered the best combination of accuracy, easy metering, consistency, clean burning qualities, and low muzzle flash. My gun has proven exceptionally accurate using N320 with bullets from 180 grains to 230 grains — it will shoot as accurately as some expensive customs I’ve tried. At right is 5-round group I shot offhand at 10 yards with my 5″ S&W 1911. The bullet hole edges are sharp because I was using semi-wad-cutters. Rounds were loaded with Vihtavuori N320 and 200-grain SWCs from Precision Bullets in Texas.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns 3 Comments »
November 10th, 2016

Widener’s Guide to Smokeless Powders

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener’s Reloading & Shooting Supply recently published a helpful introduction to reloading powders. Widener’s online Guide to Smokeless Powders shows the various types of powders, and explains how the differences in powder kernel/flake size and shape, and burn rate affect performance. We recommend you visit Widener’s website and read the Powder Guide in full.

Take a close look at these illustrations which show the key differences between the four main powder types: extruded (stick) powder, ball (spherical) powder, flattened ball powder, and flake powder.

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Burn Rate Basics

Widener’s Guide to Smokeless Powders also has a useful discussion of Burn Rate (a confusing topic for many hand-loaders). Wideners explains: “While a gun powder explosion in the cartridge seems instantaneous, if you slow it down you will actually find that each powder has a different ‘burn rate’, or speed at which it ignites.” This video shows powders with two very different burn rates. Watch closely.

Different burn rates suit different cartridge types notes Widener’s: “In general a fast-burning powder is used for light bullets and low-speed pistols and shotguns. Medium-rate powders are used for magnum pistols, while high-velocity, large bore rifle cartridges will need slow powders[.]

It should be noted that burn rate does not have a standardized unit of measurement. In fact, burn rate is really only discussed in comparison to other powders; there is no universal yardstick. Specifics will change by cartridge and bullet types[.]”

Permalink - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
October 19th, 2016

Lapua Releases FREE Advanced 6DOF Ballistics Mobile APP

Lapua Ballistics App 6DOF degrees of Freedom solver doppler radar bullet BC Apple iOS Android OS mobile smartphone iphone

Lapua, maker of premium brass, bullets, and loaded ammo, has released a new, state-of-the-art Ballistics program that runs on smartphones and mobile devices. The all-new Lapua Ballistics Mobile App is the first mobile ballistics app utilizing the 6DOF calculation model. 6DOF refers to “Six Degrees of Freedom”, referring to the multiple variables the software calculates. As explained below, a 6DOF solver can account for 3 components of movement PLUS 3 components of rotation. Of course, as with other ballistics software, the Lapua Mobile App looks at Bullet BC, velocity, and cross-wind effects. This software can also account for subtle, extreme long range factors such as the Coriolis Effect.

Lapua Ballistics App 6DOF degrees of Freedom solver doppler radar bullet BC Apple iOS Android OS mobile smartphone iphone


CLICK HERE for FREE 28-page Ballistics App USER GUIDE

Notably, the new Lapua Ballistics App includes a library of up-to-date bullet profiles based on extensive field tests with Doppler Radar. Having an ultra-sophisticated 6DOF solver combined with Doppler Radar data makes the Lapua Mobile App one of the most accurate ballistics Apps on the market. Lapua Ballistics offers the latest, Doppler-proven Lapua cartridge and bullet data for you to combine with your firearm and local weather information. The App also includes the option to define custom bullets.

Lapua Ballistics App 6DOF degrees of Freedom solver doppler radar bullet BC Apple iOS Android OS mobile smartphone iphone

The Lapua Ballistics App is available for Android and iOS smart phones and mobile devices free of charge. For more info, visit www.lapua.com/lapuaballisticsapp.

Lapua Ballistics App 6DOF degrees of Freedom solver doppler radar bullet BC Apple iOS Android OS mobile smartphone iphone

6DOF, the most accurate calculation method. Lapua cartridge / bullet information. Distance, wind speed and angle. outputs numerical, reticle, table and graph views, metric and imperial values. Set Point Blank-range to different sight-in distances and impact windows. Define custom bullets ( BC G1 or G7 and Siacci method), Pre-set max 4 powder temperature.Sight-in-POI, Coriolis calculation

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 11th, 2016

Berger Bullets Joins Nammo Group

Berger Bullets Nammo Press release Nammo group Lapua brass ammunition

Breaking News: Berger Bullets Joins Nammo Group

The Nammo Group, parent of Lapua and Vihtavuori, has announced the acquisition of Berger Bullets, one of the USA’s leading bullet makers. With Berger Bullets joining the Nammo Group, this teams America’s ultra-premium bullet-maker with what is arguably the world’s most respected cartridge brass and ammunition-maker. This is huge news. For competition shooters this may be a “marriage made in heaven”. Many top shooters, including champions like Bryan Litz and John Whidden, are already shooting Berger bullets in Lapua brass. This merger will make it easier for the two companies (Berger and Lapua) to optimize the performance of factory ammo, as well as to optimize brass for use with Berger match projectiles.

A spokesman for Lapua said that Lapua will continue to make bullets in Europe while Berger will conduct its regular operations in the USA: “Lapua will still make bullets, and it will be ‘business as usual’ for Berger at this time. There are no plans to change production sites to consolidate product lines. Berger will continue to operate as an independent business, just under the Nammo umbrella.” NOTE: This acquisition will be subject to regulatory approvals by U.S. governmental authorities.

On firearm industry analyst believes this merger is a “win-win” for both Berger and Nammo: “This will help Berger export more product to the European market while it will give Nammo a stronger connection to the huge U.S. firearms market, expanding Nammo’s North American customer base”. Nammo president/CEO Morten Brandtzæg concurred, stating: “Having Berger Bullets on board is the perfect match for Nammo. Their products, which are complementary to our other premium brands, will strengthen our group’s strategic position in the U.S. commercial ammunition market.” This acquistion WILL include Berger’s ABM Ammunition and J-4 Jackets product lines.

Here is the press release issued by the Nammo Group, which is headquartered in Norway and has 2,100 employees in 12 countries:

Berger Bullets Nammo Press release Nammo group Lapua brass ammunition

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Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 6 Comments »