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December 14th, 2015

Winchester XPR Rifle Safety Notice and Recall

Winchester XPR Rifle Recall Safety

Winchester Repeating Arms has issued a Safety Notice and Recall for Winchester XPR rifles. This large-scale recall covers all XPR rifles, of all calibers. The issue involves the possibility of an unintentional discharge when the safety is manipulated. According to Winchester, continuous product testing revealed that moving the safety switch on the XPR rifle “may cause movement in the trigger system that could result in unintended firing of certain XPR rifles”. Accordingly, Winchester will replace certain trigger group parts in Winchester XPR rifles at no charge to the customer. Winchester requests that all owners of XPR rifles send their rifles back to the factory for retro-fitting.

For more details on how to return your rifle for retro-fitting, or if you are unsure if your rifle is included in the recall, or if you have any other questions, call 1-800-727-4312 or e-mail Winchester at XPR@winchesterguns.com. You can also CLICK HERE to view the Recall Notice and do a Serial Number search to verify your recall status. (By the terms of the notice, it appears that ALL XPRs are subject to the recall).

WARNING: Do not load or shoot any XPR rifle until it has been returned to the Winchester Service center and Received a retrofit. Failure to follow this warning may result in a risk of harm, including serious personal injury or death to you and others.

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December 5th, 2015

Get Winchester Rimfire Ammo Crate for $39.99

Winchester .22LR Ammo Ammunition Rimfire Holiday Gift

Who wouldn’t like to find a nice, wooden crate of rimfire ammo under the Christmas tree? Here’s a Limited Edition Winchester Ammo Special offered by Cabelas.com for the holidays. The crate contains 500 rounds of Winchester Super-X Hi-Vel .22 LR ammo, loaded with 36gr copper-plated, hollow-point bullets. This ammo is rated at 1,280 fps velocity, making it good for small varmints as well as plinking. The Winchester ammo comes packaged in a premium, limited-edition wooden box. We think this would make a great end-of-year gift for a 4H Club Team, or Boy Scouts youth shooting program.

With 500 rounds at $39.99, that works out to just 8 cents a rounds — the equivalent of four bucks for a 50-round box. Thats a very good deal when you consider what rimfire ammo cost just a year ago. Also if you add another item to raise your total order to at least $49.00, you can get FREE Shipping with Code 5JOLLY. The Winchester Ammo Special is limited to one crate per customer per day, but you can add a second, different product to qualify for free shipping.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
September 14th, 2015

Primer Pocket Rocket — Good Reason to Wear Safety Glasses

Primer Blown Gas defect winchester casehead

Our friend Grant Guess recently had a “close encounter” with a bad primer. An apparently defective primer caused part of the casehead on one of his rounds to blow out. This, in turn, allowed high pressure gas to vent through the damaged primer pocket. Take a good look, boys and girls. This is yet another very good reason to wear safety glasses. The cartridge was a 6.5-06, handloaded in necked-down Winchester-headstamp .270 Win brass. Grant reports:

“I had a blow through between the primer and the primer pocket today. The action was really smoking and I got a face full of gas. This was a reasonably light charge. Thank God for safety glasses.

I should also mention that it appears there is a 3/64 hole that is halfway between the primer and the primer pocket. Like it burned a small jet hole through both of them.”

Could this happen to you? It just might. On seeing this damaged case, one of Grant’s Facebook friends, Chris D., observed: “Search the internet, you will see a lot of these pin hole ‘in the corner’ failures. Obviously Winchester has some issues with the LR primers.”

Careful Examination Reveals Apparent Primer Defect
After this incident, Grant examined the damaged case: “I pinned the flash hole and it is not over-sized or under-sized. The primer clearly has an area where it had a defect. At [50,000 CUP], it doesn’t take much of a defect to cause issues. There was a slight bit of pucker-factor on the next shot….”

Primer Blown Gas defect winchester casehead

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 11 Comments »
September 14th, 2015

Tests Show Lapua .260 Remington Brass is Very Uniform

If you have a rifle chambered in .260 Remington, you may be wondering if the Lapua .260 Brass is worth the money compared to domestic-made brass. Well, the answer is “yes” if you demand consistent weight and dimensional uniformity (including neckwall thickness).

Mike Harpster of Dead Center Sports took the time to weigh and measure Lapua .260 Rem brass. His test show this brass to be extremely uniform. Weight variance was less than one (1) grain in a 20-case sample. And case neckwall thickness was very consistent.

Report by Mike Harpster: Lapua .260 Rem Brass Test Results (with Comparisons)
I pulled twenty (20) pieces randomly from one Lapua box to do some measurements. I weighed them on my Mettler-Toledo digital lab scale and here are the individual weights of each case. Remarkably, the Lapua brass had less than one grain total weight variance among all 20 cases!

While checking the Lapua brass I remembered I had just received some Winchester brand .308 brass, so I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison between the two brands. I again pulled 20 cases at random from a bag of 50 and repeated the same measurements. The results are shown in the right half of the table below.

Weight Variance Lapua .260 Rem Brass vs. Winchester-Brand .308 Win Brass

LAPUA .260 Rem Brass Winchester .308 Win Brass
Average: 172.20 grains
ES: 0.94 grains
SD: 0.259
Average: 158.49 grains
ES: 2.64 grains
SD: 0.678

Winchester Brass Further Inspection
The flash holes on the majority of the Winchester brass were not round or centered and they had large burrs inside. The neck wall thickness was pretty consistent, varying only .0015″ (.0125″ – .014″). As you can see in the photo (right) many of the Winchester cases were badly dented while the Lapua brass showed very few minor dents. The annealing on the necks of the Lapua brass was clearly evident while the Winchester showed no signs of being annealed. [Editor’s note: Winchester tumble-polishes its brass before shipping — so you would not notice annealing coloration if annealing had been done.]

Lapua Brass Further Inspection
With sample Lapua .260 Rem cases, I also measured the neck wall thickness in four places with calipers, not the most accurate method but I feel confident that the thickness did not vary more than .001″ over the 20 cases (.0145-.0155). The inside diameter of the neck measured .260 which would give .004 of neck tension out of the box. I visually checked the flash holes and I did not find any flakes of brass or burrs inside, the holes were round and centered.

Summary — This Lapua Brass is Impressive
I have never done these measurements on any other brass so I don’t know how they compare, but I am very impressed with the overall quality of the Lapua .260 brass. If they prove to hold up to the repeated firings I get from my Lapua 6BR brass I believe .260 shooters will be very happy.

Mike Harpster — Dead Center Sports
105 Sunrise Drive
Spring Mills, PA 16875
phone: 814-571-4655
www.deadcentersports.com

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 3 Comments »
February 25th, 2015

Fabrique Nationale (FN) Featured on American Rifleman TV

Fabrique Nationale d'herstal FN Herstal TV NRATonight American Rifleman TV visits Herstal, Belgium, to examine the rich heritage of Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal (FN Herstal), a company originally founded in 1889 to produce one gun — the Belgian Mauser. FN Herstal has now been producing firearms for more than 125 years, including iconic designs of John Moses Browning. FN Herstal’s firearms are now used by the armed forces of over 100 nations.

The FN Herstal episode (on the Outdoor Channel) is previewed in this video starting at 00:30. You may learn some surprising facts. Did you know that FN’s factories also produced bicycles, cars, trucks and motorcycles?

Preview Fabrique Nationale Episode on American Rifle Television

Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal (aka FN Herstal) is a major firearms manufacturer located in Herstal, Belgium. This enterprise is currently the largest exporter of military small arms in Europe. Firearms manufactured by FN Herstal include the Browning Hi-Power pistol, Five-seven pistol, FAL rifle, FNC rifle, F2000 rifle, P90 submachine gun, M2 Browning machine gun, MAG machine gun, and Minimi machine gun.

History of Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal
FN Herstal originated in the small city of Herstal, near Liège. The Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre (French for National Factory of Weapons of War) was established in 1889 to manufacture 150,000 Mauser Model 1889 rifles ordered by the Belgian Government. FN was co-founded by the major arms makers of the Liège region, with Henri Pieper of Anciens Etablissements Pieper being the driving force and the primary shareholder of the new company. In 1897 the company entered into a long-lasting relationship with American Gun Designer John Moses Browning.

Fabrique Nationale d'herstal FN Herstal TV NRA

American gun designer John Moses Browning did the preliminary design work for the Browning GP35 ‘High Power’ (sometimes written as Hi-Power) pistol, the GP standing for Grande Puissance or “high power” in French. However, the weapon was finalized by Dieudonné Saive and did not appear until nearly a decade after Browning’s death.

Fabrique Nationale d'herstal FN Herstal TV NRA

The American Connection — Winchester and Browning
FN Herstal is a subsidiary of the Belgian Herstal Group, which also owns U.S. Repeating Arms Company (Winchester) and Browning Arms Company. FN Herstal is the parent company of two United States entities: FN Manufacturing and FNH USA. FN Manufacturing in Columbia, SC, is the manufacturing branch of FN Herstal in the United States, producing firearms such as the M249 and M240 machine guns and M16 rifle, among others. FNH USA, located in McLean, VA, is the American sales and marketing branch of FN Herstal.

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October 18th, 2014

Fun Gun for the Family? Try a Repro 1866 or 1873 Lever Gun

While devotees of this site are hard-core accuracy addicts, who normally shoot tiny groups with sophisticated Benchrest and Varmint rifles, we should not overlook the pure fun of shooting a simple rifle at reactive targets.

Uberti 1866 1873 Winchester lever gun

Nailing a nice, tight 1/4-moa group is very satisfying. But for pure unadulterated shooting fun, it’s hard to beat a slicked-up “race-ready”, Winchester-clone lever gun. In fact, this editor’s favorite rifle for “fun shooting” is my 20″ Uberti Model 1866 “Yellowboy” Lever gun. Shooting light-loaded 38 SPL rounds at steel targets from a standing position offers old-fashioned shooting satisfaction. On the “fun meter” this tops the scale. My rifle features a slicked-up action and lightened trigger. After a “CodyMatic” action job by cowboy gunsmith Cody Conagher, my Yellowboy’s lever can be cycled with just one finger. Trigger pull is about a pound and a quarter. The high-gloss, blued octagonal barrel is very accurate and the mirror-finish bore cleans up easily.

Uberti Winchester 1866 Yellowboy

Based on the Model 1866 Winchester, Uberti’s Yellowboy, and its Model 1873 “older brother”, feature a toggle-link action that is extremely smooth. The toggle action design also keeps the linkages separate from the chamber so the gun runs extremely clean. After firing a hundred rounds or more, all you need to do is wipe off the bolt and breech-face with some solvent and run a bore-snake down the bore a few times. To be honest, the Yellowboy is more fun to shoot at steel than my AR Carbine. And maintenance-wise, for every five minutes I spend maintaining the 1866, I’ll spend an hour detail-stripping and cleaning the AR. The shooting-to-cleaning ratio favors the lever gun by orders of magnitude.

Uberti Winchester 1866 Yellowboy

These Italian-made Winchester clones are very handsome, with nicely figured wood under a durable clearcoat. You can polish the brass receiver to keep it shiny, or leave it alone to develop an authentic, dulled patina. Uberti’s Model 1873 features a steel receiver with gorgeous color case-hardening.

Uberti Winchester 1873

After the fun factor, what’s the best thing about Uberti lever guns? Resale value. I can sell my 1866 for quite a bit more than I paid for it. Over the past decade, the price of Italian-made Uberti lever guns has been steadily rising. This means that older rifles fetch a premium on the used market.

Permalink Gear Review 2 Comments »
May 9th, 2014

How Hard is Your Brass? 5.56 and .223 Rem Base Hardness Tests

Lake City vs. Lapua — which brass is harder? And how about Remington vs. Winchester? Is the widely-held belief that Win brass is harder than Rem brass really true? To help settle these burning questions (raised in a Forum thread), Forum member Catshooter recently sampled the base hardness of four brands of .223/5.56 brass. He employed a very impressive tool for the task — a $2,500 Ames Hardness Gauge. Catshooter explained that his Ames Guage “is FAA certified and approved for testing aircraft engine parts — it does NOT get any better than that!”

Catshooter measured four cases picked at random from batches of Lake City (LC) 2008 (5.56x45mm), Lapua .223 Rem Match, Winchester .223 Rem, and Remington R-P .223 Rem.

Lake City Lapua Match Winchester Remington

Photo Shows Ames Gauge Base Hardness Measurement on Lake City Brass
.223 Remington Lake City Brass Hardness Lapua Winchester 5.56x45

Photo Show Ames Gauge Base Hardness Measurement on Winchester Brass
.223 Remington Lake City Brass Hardness Lapua Winchester 5.56x45

TEST RESULTS
Using Rockwell hardness standards (.062″x100kg, Rockwell “B”), the brass measured as follows:

LC 2008 = 96

Lapua 223 Match = 86

Winchester 223 = 69

Remington “R-P” = 49

Summary of Test Results
Catshooter writes: “For all you guys that have believed that Winchester cases were tougher than Remington — you are vindicated, they are a lot tougher! However, Lake City and Lapua are ‘the pick of the litter'”. Catshooter notes that both Lake City and Lapua are significantly harder than either Winchester and Remington .223 brass. That’s something that we’ve observed empirically (Lapua and LC stand up better to stout loads), but now we have some hard numbers to back that up. Hats off to Catshooter for settling the hardness debate with his Ames Hardness Gauge.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 12 Comments »
February 18th, 2014

Hodgdon Launches Completely Revamped Reloading Center

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powderHodgdon has rolled out a completely updated online Reloading Data Center for pistol, rifle, and shotgun reloaders. Check out the enhanced Data Center at www.HodgdonReloading.com.

As before, you’ll find thousands of load recipes for pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Rifle shooters will find dozens of loads for their favorite Hodgdon, IMR, and Winchester powders such as H4198, Varget, H4350, and IMR 8208 XBR. And Hodgdon’s Reloading Center is now faster and easier to use. Navigation is simplified and the whole interface is more user-friendly.

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

You’ll notice changes in the way the online Data Center works. Now you have more control over the results. After choosing a cartridge, you can pre-select specific bullet weights and powder types. That quickly delivers just the information you want and need. You won’t have to scroll through scores of entries for bullets or powders you don’t use.

Hodgdon Reloading data Center hand loading powder

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

Hodgdon tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.

Permalink News, Reloading 7 Comments »
January 31st, 2014

Winchester Recalls Two Lots of M*22™ .22 LR Ammunition

Olin Corporation, through its Winchester Division, is recalling two (2) lots of M*22™ .22 LR rimfire ammunition. The recall is for M*22™ 40 Grain Black Copper-Plated RN rimfire ammunition:

Symbol Number: S22LRT
Lot Numbers: GD42L and GD52L

Winchester .22LR Ammo recall
The Lot Number is imprinted on the left tuck flap of the 500-round carton as indicated here.
The 1000-round intermediate carton does not have a Lot Number.

DO NOT USE WINCHESTER® M*22™ 22 Long Rifle RIMFIRE AMMUNITION WITH LOT NUMBERS GD42L or GD52L. Winchester has determined the above lots of 22 Long Rifle rimfire ammunition may contain double powder charges. Ammunition with double powder charges may subject the shooter or bystanders to a risk of serious personal injury and/or death, or cause firearm damage, rendering the firearm inoperable.

To determine if your ammunition is subject to this notice, review the Symbol Number and Lot Number. If it is Symbol Number S22LRT with a Lot Number GD42L or GD52L, immediately discontinue use. Contact Winchester toll-free at 866-423-5224 or visit Winchester’s Online Service Page to arrange free pick-up of the recalled ammunition.

This notice applies only to Symbol Number S22LRT with Lot Numbers GD42L and GD52L. Other Symbol Numbers or Lot Numbers are not subject to this recall. If you have any questions concerning this .22LR rimfire ammunition recall call Winchester toll-free 866-423-5224, or visit Winchester Customer Support online.

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January 10th, 2014

Winchester Ammunition Unveils New Products for 2014

On January 13, 2014, Winchester Ammunition will roll out new products during Media Day at the Range (held at the Boulder City Range outside Las Vegas, NV). We’ll have reporters on hand to check out new ammo options and new hardware from other manufacturers. Here’s a sneak preview of some new products that will be unveiled on Monday. In the box below you can scroll though Winchester’s 2014 new products, which include Winchester Match Rifle Ammo (.223 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .338 LM) Win3Gun ammunition, Win1911 cartridges, new VarmintX ammo, and the new Long Beard XR and Defender shotgun ammo.

Winchester Ammunition 2014 New Products

To learn more about these new items and other products visit Winchester.com. There you’ll find the latest product new, Information on Rebates and Special offers, plust a free online Ballistics Calculator.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 4 Comments »
November 12th, 2013

Primers, Primers, We Got Primers….

Pistol Rifle Primer in stock midsouth, midwayusa, brunos, bullets.com, powder valleyGot the “can’t find primer blues”? Well cheer up. Supplies of pistol and rifle primers are starting to arrive at vendors around the country. We checked with six leading shooting supplies vendors, and all had some primers in stock. Many of the harder-to-find varieties, such as CCI BR4s (small rifle benchrest) and CCI 450s (small rifle magnum) are now available again. In the chart below are the primer inventories we found today, November 12, at 11:00 am west coast time.

Note, inventories are subject to change. In some cases, the primers were “low stock” items, which means they won’t last long. Word to the Wise: If more than one vendor has the primers you need, we suggest you comparison shop. We’ve seen prices vary by as much as $15.00 per thousand for the same item — so you definitely need to compare pricing before you place an order. Happy primer hunting boys and girls!

PRIMER Inventories Shown by Web Vendors on November 12, 2013:
Pistol Rifle Primer in stock midsouth, midwayusa, brunos, bullets.com, powder valley
(NOTE: Inventory subject to change. Availability of all these items can change by the hour.)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 1 Comment »
June 10th, 2013

Father’s Day Promotions at Cabela’s This Week

Cabelas.com fathers day sale

Cabela’s Web Deals and In-Store Sales
June 16 (next Sunday) is Father’s Day. Throughout this week Cabela’s is running a Father’s Day Sale with some web specials on outdoor merchandise. Plus there are in-store-only sales at most Cabela’s retail outlets around the country. CLICK HERE for a list of stores, then click “Store Info” for the store nearest you. That will take you to a page where you can view the Father’s Day flyer for that store. Below are some special promotions running this week:

Smith & Wesson m1911 Series E Pistols, $899.99

Liberty Safes — 0% Interest and No Payments for 12 Months

Browning and Winchester Firearms — 0% Interest and No Payments for 12 Months

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April 5th, 2013

Winchester Repeating Arms Helps You Beat The Tax Man

winchester tax cut Accurateshooter.comWhen you buy a new Winchester firearm at retail between April 15 and April 30, 2013, you can receive a rebate of up to 8% of the purchase price to reimburse you for the state sales tax. That’s just like putting the sales tax right back in your pocket. See your Winchester dealer for more info. Starting April 15, 2013, you can download Rebate Forms at Winchesterguns.com. This offer is valid only on the consumer retail purchase of a new Winchester firearm purchased between April 15, 2013 and April 30, 2013.

Here’s an example: If you spend $1,000 on a new Winchester rifle or shotgun, and you pay an 8% sales tax, you’ll get an $80 reimbursement from Winchester Repeating Arms. To qualify for your sales tax reimbursement (up to a maximum refund of 8% of the purchase price as determined by the sales tax paid at time of purchase as documented by your dated sales receipt). If you live in a state with no sales tax you should submit your coupon (with valid purchase information) for special consideration.

Here’s the Fine Print:
The Sales Tax Rebate Coupon must be filled out completely and returned to Winchester Repeating Arms with the supporting documents as listed, postmarked no later than midnight May 15, 2013.

Winchester Repeating Arms employees, Winchester Repeating Arms sales representatives, authorized Winchester Repeating Arms dealers and their sales staff, and members of their immediate families are not eligible for this promotion. Limited to one offer per person. Offer valid in the United States only. All purchasers must be citizens or legal residents of the United States.

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
April 3rd, 2013

Scores of New Products at NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits

Next month, the Lone Star State hosts the 2013 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. From May 2-5, an estimated 550 companies will display their latest products across 445,000 square feet of space in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. There will be scores of new guns and firearms accessories on display.

The editors of American Hunter magazine have prepared a handy “round-up” of the new-for-2013 products that will be exhibited next month in Houston, Texas.
CLICK HERE to read American Hunter’s 2013 New Product Guide.

NRA 2013 Meeting Products

Here are some of the New Products that will be on display at the NRA Meetings in Houston:

BARRETT: MRAD multi-caliber rifle (.338 LM, .300 WM, .308 Win).
BENELLI USA: New M2 Field shotgun variants.
BERETTA: New competition over/under shotguns, the 692 Sporting and XT, and DT11.
BERGARA USA: New line of “semi-custom” hunting and tactical rifles.
BROWNING: New AB3 A-Bolt with new bolt, action, trigger.
BUSHMASTER: 308 Hunter, Predator, Varminter rifles now have Magpul stocks.
CROSMAN: New AR-style air rifle (MSR77 NP), and MK-177 tactical pump pellet rifle.
CZ: New 455 rimfire bolt-actions –Tacticool, SST Varmint, and Varmint Thumbhole.
FNH USA: New FN SC 1 over/under target shotgun with 30″ barrel.
GAMO: New “Bull Whispers”, bull-barrel air rifles with NS-52 dampener to lower noise.
MOSSBERG: New pump-action shotguns wiht Harmonic Damper Technology to reduce perceived recoil.
NOSLER CUSTOM: New Model 48 Outfitter Rifle with custom action and hand-lapped ss barrel.
REMINGTON: New Model 783, low-priced bolt-action rifle with adjustable ‘Crossfire’ trigger.
RUGER: New 6-lb, compact American Rifle models in .243 and 7mm-08.
SAVAGE: New B-Mag 17 WSM rifle, chambered for the new .17 Win Super Mag rimfire cartridge.
SMITH & WESSON: New M&P 10 flat-top .308 Win AR-platform rifle with factory camo finish.
STEYR: Mannlicher Pro African rifle with new soft-finish composite stock that is quiet in bush.
THOMPSON/CENTER: New Venture Compact, with shorter barrel and composite stock with LOP spacers.
WEATHERBY: Upgraded Back Country Vanguard S2 rifle with Cerakote Tactical Grey metalwork.
WINCHESTER: “Ultimate Shadow” m70 bolt-action hunting rifles in stocks with rubberized surfaces.

Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »
March 12th, 2013

Lapua .260 Rem Brass Proves Very Uniform

If you have a rifle chambered in .260 Remington, you may be wondering if the Lapua .260 Brass is worth the money compared to domestic-made brass. Well, the answer is “yes” if you demand consistent weight and dimensional uniformity (including neckwall thickness).

Mike Harpster of Dead Center Sports took the time to weigh and measure Lapua .260 Rem brass. His test show this brass to be extremely uniform. Weight variance was less than one (1) grain in a 20-case sample. And case neckwall thickness was very consistent.

Report by Mike Harpster: Lapua .260 Rem Brass Test Results (with Comparisons)
I pulled twenty (20) pieces randomly from one Lapua box to do some measurements. I weighed them on my Mettler-Toledo digital lab scale and here are the individual weights of each case. Remarkably, the Lapua brass had less than one grain total weight variance among all 20 cases!

While checking the Lapua brass I remembered I had just received some Winchester brand .308 brass, so I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison between the two brands. I again pulled 20 cases at random from a bag of 50 and repeated the same measurements. The results are shown in the right half of the table below.

Weight Variance Lapua .260 Rem Brass vs. Winchester .308 Brass

LAPUA .260 Rem Brass Winchester .308 Win Brass
Average: 172.20 grains
ES: 0.94 grains
SD: 0.259
Average: 158.49 grains
ES: 2.64 grains
SD: 0.678

Lapua Brass Further Inspection
With sample Lapua .260 Rem cases, I also measured the neck wall thickness in four places with calipers, not the most accurate method but I feel confident that the thickness did not vary more than .001″ over the 20 cases (.0145-.0155). The inside diameter of the neck measured .260 which would give .004 of neck tension out of the box. I visually checked the flash holes and I did not find any flakes of brass or burrs inside, the holes were round and centered.

Winchester Brass Further Inspection
The flash holes on the majority of the Winchester brass were not round or centered and they had large burrs inside. The neck wall thickness was pretty consistent, varying only .0015″ (.0125″ – .014″). As you can see in the photo (right) many of the Winchester cases were badly dented while the Lapua brass showed very few minor dents. The annealing on the necks of the Lapua brass was clearly evident while the Winchester showed no signs of being annealed. [Editor’s note: Winchester tumble-polishes its brass before shipping — so you would not notice annealing coloration if annealing had been done.]

I have never done these measurements on any other brass so I don’t know how they compare, but I am very impressed with the overall quality of the Lapua .260 brass. If they prove to hold up to the repeated firings I get from my Lapua 6BR brass I believe .260 shooters wil be very happy.

Mike Harpster — Dead Center Sports
105 Sunrise Drive
Spring Mills, PA 16875
phone: 814-571-4655
www.deadcentersports.com

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 12 Comments »
February 9th, 2013

Winchester Recalls Lot of 5.56x45mm M855 Ammunition

Olin’s Winchester Division has issued a Recall Notice for one (1) lot of its 5.56x45mm M855 62 grain PENE centerfire rifle ammunition. This notice applies only to Symbol Number ZGQ3308 with Lot Number WCC10M106-004. Other Symbol Numbers or Lot Numbers are not subject to this recall.

Symbol Number: ZGQ3308
Lot Number: WCC10M106-004

Winchester 5.56 .223 recall ammoWinchester states: “Through extensive evaluation Winchester has determined the above lot of 5.56mm M855 ammunition may contain incorrect propellant. Incorrect propellant in this ammunition may cause firearm damage, rendering the firearm inoperable, and subject the shooter or bystanders to a risk of serious personal injury when fired.”

The ammunition Symbol Number and Lot Number are ink stamped on the outside of the 900-round shipping container, and on the outside of the 30-round carton as shown at right:

If you have Winchester Ammo with Symbol Number ZGQ3308 and Lot Number WCC10M106-004 immediately discontinue use and contact Winchester toll-free at 866-423-5224 for free UPS pick-up of the recalled ammunition. Upon receipt of your recalled ammunition, Winchester will ship replacement ammunition directly to you.

If you have any questions concerning this 5.56mm M855 ammunition recall please call toll-free 866-423-5224, write to Winchester (600 Powder Mill Road, East Alton, IL 62024 Attn: 5.56mm M855 Recall), or visit www.winchester.com.

Notice tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Tech Tip 2 Comments »
January 10th, 2013

Jack O’Connor Model 70 Tribute Rifle — A .270 Win of Course

Classic hunting rifles never go out of style. We thought our readers would enjoy some photos of a special Jack O’Connor Tribute rifle in .270 Winchester. This unique Model 70 is a featured SHOT Show 2013 rifle. It is being auctioned on Gunbroker.com, with proceeds to benefit hunting and shooting sports. Bids are currently approaching $7,000.00 with bidding open through January 18, 2013.

Model 70 Winchester Jack O'Connor .270 Win

Winchester Repeating Arms states that this 2013 SHOT Show Winchester Model 70 will be the last-ever Jack O’Connor Tribute rifle. The stock for this rifle is AAA grade Claro Walnut with Ebony forearm tip and shadowline cheekpiece. The rifle’s metalwork has been hand-engraved by the artisans at Baron Engraving. The rifle features a featherweight contour, free-floating barrel with target crown.

Model 70 Winchester Jack O'Connor .270 Win

Model 70 Winchester Jack O'Connor .270 Win

Interestingly, the Leupold 4X Mountaineer riflescope mounted on this rifle is an original 1950s-era Mountaineer from the vaults of Leupold & Stevens.

Jack O'Connor hunting classicsSporting Classics offers a collection of great Jack O’Connor stories from the pages of Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, Petersen’s Hunting and other popular magazines of his day. This 440-page book, entitled Classic O’Connor: 45 Worldwide Hunting Stories, is a sequel of sorts to Sporting Classics’ popular compendium, The Lost Classics of Jack O’Connor.

In this collection, Jack O’Connor recounts his worldwide hunting adventures, during which he pursued everything from ducks to grizzlies, pheasants to kudu. Classic O’Connor presents several of the author’s greatest gun stories and a large selection of never-before-published photographs of the celebrated sportsman and his family on hunting adventures around the world. The book is illustrated with 40+ drawings by acclaimed artist Ron Van Gilder. Hardcover with dust jacket, the book lists for $35, but it can be purchased on Amazon.com for just $23.07.

The Hunting Rifle by Jack O’Connor
Another O’Connor title worth reading is The Hunting Rifle, still considered one of the definitive works on selecting a hunting rifle and cartridge. One owner of The Hunting Rifle explains:

“It would benefit every hunter to take the time and read this book. It offers a corrective to the spirit of things that have gripped the hunting scene lately. Today, if one reads a hunting magazine, [one is] offered the view that you need the fastest and loudest cartridges, rifles with special finishes and the most expensive of anything. Ole Jack reminds us that many have killed game with ‘lesser’ guns for a very long time, and that these new gimmicks will not make you a more lethal hunter.”

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March 23rd, 2012

Friends of NRA Tours Winchester Factory and John M. Olin’s Farm

The season finale of the Friends of the NRA TV show airs Sunday Night (March 25th) on the Outdoor Channel at 10:30 pm EST. In this episode, hosts Matt and Jessie head to Alton, Illinois, home of Winchester Ammunition. Matt and Jessie tour the Winchester plant, and learn how shotgun shells are made. Matt and Jessie then test shotshells on Winchester’s outdoor skeet and pistol range.

Jessie Harrison Matt Duff NRA

The show’s real highlight is a visit to the farm house of John M. Olin. Franklin Olin, John’s father, founded Western Cartridge Company. After Western Cartridge acquired the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, the merged Winchester-Western enterprise became Olin Industries, which now produces Winchester-brand ammo (and many other products). If you’re interested in the history of America’s firearms industry, you should watch this episode just to learn more about John M. Olin, a talented inventor who secured numerous patents in the fields of arms and ammunition. John M. Olin, who held a college degree in chemistry, was also responsible for many advancements in propellants and ballistics. In the episode’s final scenes, Matt and Jessie visit Winchester’s historic hunting preserve, Nilo Farms. There, the two go hunting for chukar and pheasant.

Friends of NRA Season Finale Episode Preview

This report based on article in The NRA Blog.

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December 26th, 2011

Guns & Gold TV Show Premiers Tonight on Sportsman Channel

Guns Gold NRA Television premier

The NRA’s new television series, Guns & Gold, debuts tonight at 9:00 pm on The Sportsman Channel. The premier episode is well worth watching. Tonight’s episode will feature Winchester firearms. Arms historians Jim Supica and Phil Schreier of the NRA Firearms Museum review some classic Winchesters, explaining the history (and monetary value) of the rifles. In addition, expert Mike Fuljenz of Universal Coin & Bullion appraises treasured guns and coins from homes of everyday collectors.

Watch the video below to preview Guns & Gold, and to learn about Teddy Roosevelt and the Winchester Model 1895. Roosevelt loved the 1895. He famously referred to his 1895, chambered in .405 Winchester, as his “Big Medicine” rifle. Did you know T.R. took a crate of 1895s to Africa for his safaris?

If you miss Monday night’s 9:00 pm premier of Guns & Gold, this same episode will be repeated at 12:00 am (midnight) Tuesday, and 3:30 pm Thursday. For more info, visit NRAgunsandgold.com.
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November 22nd, 2011

New 2012 Hodgdon Reloading Manual Coming Soon

hodgdon reloading manualHodgdon® Powder Co. will release its 9th Annual Manual early next year. The 2012 Hodgdon Annual Manual features 100+ pages of rifle and pistol data with over 5,000 load recipes. The load data covers 30 Hodgdon, 19 IMR® and 10 Winchester® brand powders. New content this year includes: 300 AAC Blackout load data, and lead-free bullet recipes for 21 rifle cartridges. In addition, the new 2012 Manual spotlights Hodgdon’s new CFE™223 propellant. Tests of this new powder show that it can deter copper fouling in many cartridge types (“CFE” stand for “Copper Fouling Eraser”). The 2012 manual provides plenty of reloading recipes for the new CFE™223 — 147 loads for 27 cartridges.

Along with comprehensive load data, the 2012 manual offers seven authoritative articles by top gun and outdoor industry writers. One interesting article covers economical hand-loading with lead free “green” bullets. Both competitive shooters and hunters will find other articles of interest.

You’ll find the 2012 Hodgdon manual at newsstands and gun stores in early 2012, priced at $8.99. You can also order direct by visiting Hodgdon.com or calling (912) 362-9455. (Direct sales price is $11.99.)

Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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