RELOADERS CORNER: 4 Bullet Seating Tips

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It’s the “last thing” that happens in handloading, and here’s a few ways to make it better. READ MORE

bullet seating

Glen Zediker

Last time the topic was bullet seating, but with a focus on safety — respecting the overall cartridge length that touches the lands or rifling in a barrel — and specifically making sure your bullet isn’t touching the lands (unless that’s what you want). This time here are a few ideas on how to improve the quality and consistency of bullet seating, and mostly from a tooling perspective.

A few things matter. The ultimate goodness is a round capped by a bullet that’s straight and undamaged, ready to get launched straight into the bore and then straight on to target center.

1. Die Design
I have long and often said that the single-most important tooling upgrade to improve the accuracy of handloaded ammunition is a better seating die. “Better” is better designed, and better designed, in my mind, is one that follows the “in-line” architecture.

LE wilson bullet seater
Here’s an LE Wilson die. There’s none more precise, but there are many faster to use! The sleeve-style seaters provide a close duplication in performance and results.

One of the first that comes to mind is the LE Wilson seater (there are others similar, but it’s the most well known). This seater style is the staple of Benchrest competitors. It’s not practicable for the most of us because it’s slow and a little tedious. How it works is that there is a seating stem that’s a very close fit to the die body. The die body and stem are concentric thanks to precision machining. The die body goes over the case, which has had a bullet placed in its neck, and the die holds the case in stable alignment. The stem is pushed down, seating the bullet. There’s zero “wiggle room.”

The difference in effect between that and a “standard” seating die, which has a stem threaded into a 7/8-14 press-mounted die body, is that the case isn’t free to move. In a conventional thread-in design, there’s a lot of room for movement in the case as it’s being run up into this type die. There’s slack in the case-shellholder fit, and slack in the fit of the case inside the die body. When the bullet that’s perched in the case mouth contacts the seating stem there’s a good chance it can get tilted askew. That then means there’s a good chance the bullet won’t be seated dead straight.

redding seating die
Here’s a Redding Competition Seating Die. The case is supported fully within a spring-loaded sleeve prior to accepting the bullet. Better!

Redding and Forster both make a press-mounted die that effectively duplicates the in-line Wilson concept. These both have a spring-loaded sleeve that tightly fits the case body. The idea is that the case fully enters this sleeve and is therefore fully supported against movement before the press handle stroke elevates the ram enough for the bullet to engage the seating stem. Much better!

2. Stem Check
Make sure that the tip of the bullet you’re using doesn’t contact the inside of the seating stem! This isn’t as common to see now as it once was. Longer, higher-BC type bullet profiles are prevalent enough that most manufacturers have increased the room inside the stem.

bad seating die stem
Not as common now as it used to be, but here’s what you don’t want! The bullet tip should not contact inside the seating stem.

Certainly, if the tip is bottoming out inside the stem, a few bad things can happen. One is that it’s easily free to tilt the bullet. Two is that the seating depth is then influenced by the tip-to-tip inconsistencies that do exist. Three is that the tip might get damaged in the process. This, by the way, is not nearly exclusively a concern to users of “spikey” bullets. I’ve been running into tip contact created by bullets with more blunt/rounded nosecones, like some of the lighter-weight .308 caliber bullets we’re using in .300 Blackout.

forster custom seating stem
If you’re a Forster user, they can supply a custom-dimensioned stem. I’ve been using these a while now and think it’s a great idea.

There’s more, though. A seating stem that contacts a bullet farther down its nosecone provides more stability during seating. It’s a greater surface area and that is another hedge against the potential for unwanted tilting.

seating stems compared
Contact area is better lower than higher. Here’s a standard stem next to a custom stem.

If you’re a Forster user, they have a custom seating stem option I have been increasingly using. Send a bullet and they’ll custom-made a polished stem that exactly fits it, and in the right place.

3. Start it Right
Can bullets be damaged in seating? Yes. Absolutely. Especially some of the thinner-jacketed bullets can get scuffed during seating, and the stem can leave a ring indentation on the ogive. Some swear that the ring indentation is not hurting accuracy; I say, “I don’t know, but it can’t help.” A stem that’s a little larger inside diameter, that’s also been smoothed to a gentle radius, will make the ring disappear. A good local machinist can help.

Lyman VLD chamfer tool
A more relaxed angle on the inside case neck chamfer eases bullet entry and reduces potential for jacket damage, and is also an asset to getting the bullet started in-line. This is a Lyman VLD tool.

One simple thing that results in a marked decrease in jacket damage is to put a more relaxed inside chamfer on the case mouth. Switching from a 45-degree cutter to one with a 20-degree, for instance, tool angle results in a deeper, smoother chamfer. This also overall reduces entry and seating effort.

Be nice to the bullet!

4. Case Neck Attention
This is related to every other point made so far. The more consistent case neck walls are, the ultimate result is a better centered case mouth, and that results in less chance that seating the bullet is going to try to move the case neck, and also less chance there will be unequal contact as the bullet enters the case neck (less abrasion).

Better concentricity, as said, means the bullet can start straight into the neck and then all the precision alignment built into the tools gets to show its merit.

This is where brass segregation (for wall thickness consistency or runout), outside case neck turning to improve wall thickness consistency, and initial choice on the brand of brass all come in.

Much of that also comes from the choice of sizing die and how well it’s been set up, and that’s been talked on in these pages before (and will be again, no doubt).

And, making sure the case neck cylinders are all the same heights makes a difference too, because that means each bullet is encased in an equal amount of material.

Check out dies at MSSS HERE
Find a chamfer tool HERE
Learn more about custom stems HERE 

The preceding is a specially-adapted excerpt from Glen’s book Top-Grade Ammo. Available HERE at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Visit ZedikerPublishing.com for more information on the book itself, and also free article downloads.

REVIEW: Charter Arms Classic Bulldog

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One of the original “handfuls” the .44 Charter Arms Bulldog deserves its place among the iconic concealed carry choices of all time. READ WHY

charter arms bulldog

Robert Sadowski

The Bulldog Classic is Charter Arms’ iconic revolver that was first manufactured in 1973. It looks old school with the tapered 3-inch barrel, exposed ejector rod, and checkered walnut grips. What I like about this revolver is its compact size and .44 Special caliber.

If you have ever seen one of the old school Bulldog revolvers you may have noticed the color of the finish was a purplish blue. This is because the finish of older revolvers changes over time due to the alloy frame. It turns a purplish color while the barrel and cylinder stayed a dark blue. The Classic had a bit of a purple hue to it from the get go, when I placed is against a matte black Charter Arms Pitbull.

charter arms pitbull
Note the purplish hue of the Bulldog Classic (top) compared the matte black finish of a Charter Arms Pitbull (bottom).

In hand, the Classic is lightweight and feels a lot like a .38 Special except for the fatter cylinder which holds five rounds of .44 Special ammo. The nicely shaped wood grip goes well with the Charter Arm medallion. The rest of the revolver has a nice polished look. The wood grip was just large enough to help dissipate recoil into the palm of our hand, yet still be very concealable. The checkering was fine and offered a secure grip.

charter arms bulldog
The Bulldog was compact and offered just enough grip for controllability.

The DA trigger had a pull weight of about 13 pounds — SA was about 3.2 pounds. The trigger was grooved, so even in recoil my finger stayed put. In DA mode, I felt a bit of stacking, but since the cost of this revolver is more than reasonable, I’ll ignore that. The serrated cylinder latch slides forward to open the cylinder. You can also pull forward on the ejector rod to gain access to the cylinder’s chambers — a feature I really like. A slight ring appeared around the cylinder after dry firing and testing. Bulldogs are made to be used and should not be safe queens.

A safety transfer bar is a feature on the revolver. This system prevents the hammer from striking the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled fully to the rear.

At the range, the Bulldog felt surprising small and compact to hold 5 chubby .44 Special cartridges. Using a rest at 15 yards, I was pleasantly surprised to get on average 3-inch groups with 5-rounds with all ammo. The 15-yard accuracy test is much farther than the distance you would typically be expected to use this revolver, but I wanted to push the limits of this iconic snub-nose. With the Hornady Classic 180-grain XTP round, I was able to shoot a 2.2-inch, 5-shot group using a rest. That was excellent considering the revolver was compact and had fixed sights.

At closer ranges, I was able to get some excellent groups. The full grip made the Bulldog pleasant to shoot. Remember, this is lightweight revolver, so there is not much weight to help absorb recoil.

I found that when ejecting empties, if I pressed the ejector rod fully out, one of the empty cases would get trapped by the edge of the grip. Not a show stopper since this snub nose is more of a get away weapon, allowing you to fire at close range and get to safety so a fast reload may not be required. As much as it felt good in hand, this could be a liability, so I’d take a Dremel tool to the factory wood grip and fix it. There are plenty of aftermarket grips for the Bulldog if you want to go that direction.

charter arms bulldog
Note the empty case is hung up on the outer edge of the wood grip. This increased reload time.

One thing Charter Arms got right was the point of aim. Fixed sight revolvers can be an issue requiring the shooter to resort to Kentucky Windage. This is not the case with the Bulldog. It hit to point of aim.

I used a holster designed for a S&W J-frame to tote the Charter Arms around and found the size and weight of the Bulldog was comfortable and comforting.

The Bulldog is a compact, accurate, and inexpensive defensive revolver that offers excellent concealability for a revolver chambered in .44 Special.

bulldog specs

SEE MORE HERE

3 Rapid-Access Safes For Your Long Guns

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Your best choice for defense doesn’t do any good if you can’t get to it. Jason Hanson shares a few ideas on how security and speed can go hand in hand. READ MORE

Jason Hanson

A 79-year old Benzie County, MI man was sitting in his home one evening around 11:20 P.M. when he heard a noise in his barn.

The homeowner grabbed his shotgun and proceeded to his barn to investigate.

Once inside the barn, the homeowner confronted an unknown man and told him to leave the property.

Unfortunately, the man inside the barn decided to move toward the homeowner in an aggressive manner, resulting in the homeowner firing his shotgun, striking the intruder in the legs.

The armed homeowner kept his shotgun pointed at the suspect until deputies and paramedics arrived.

The intruder was transported to a local hospital with multiple wounds from the round fired by the homeowner.

According to the Benzie County Sheriff…

“We believe he was defending himself, he did this in self-defense, but the prosecutor ultimately gets to make that decision.”

Clearly, this homeowner stopped a criminal from not only burglarizing his barn but also from physically harming him in the process.

This 79-year old man was prepared to defend his home and was ready with a shotgun quickly available so he could stop a threat.

The thing is, so many people who own long guns such as AR-15s or shotguns have them tucked away in large gun safes located in their closet.

This is clearly not a good idea if you are planning to use one of those guns for home defense.

Instead, consider a rapid-access safe for your long gun.

A few types to consider are below…

Hornady Rapid Safe AR Wall Lock. This particular safe is more like a lockable gun rack than an actual safe.

hornady gun lock

SEE MORE HERE

It’s designed specifically to fit a standard AR-15 or larger AR-10 style rifle and they sell a version for shotguns as well.

The lock can be opened with a numeric code or you can use one of the included RFID tags.

There’s also a bypass key. The Hornady Rapid Safe AR Wall Lock sells for around $175.

Fort Knox Shotgun Security Box. This security box is an under-the-bed style safe.

The Fort Knox Shotgun Box is a big 10-gauge steel box with a spring-assisted door and a Simplex lock.

fort knox gun safe

SEE MORE HERE

It’s limited in what it can store since it’s only 45 inches long and the opening is only 9 inches by 5 inches. That’s enough room for most shotguns, but it might be a tight fit if you’ve got a pistol grip.

An AR will most likely fit if there’s no magazine or optic attached.

One drawback to this safe is that there are no holes for cables or for mounting it to the floor.

However, this means you can easily move it around from under a bed or under a living room couch. The Fort Knox Security Box sells for $400.

Tactical Walls Rifle Length Shelf. Tactical Walls is a company that makes all different types of gun safes that look like ordinary furniture.

GUN SAFE

SEE MORE HERE

The Rifle Length Concealment Shelf is the largest and most popular wall mounted safe the company sells.

It has a foam lined compartment that is 12-in. D x 42-in. W. The installation for the safe is the same as hanging any common shelf.

To access the secret compartment, simply disengage the hidden locks with the supplied keys.

The bottom half of the shelf is lowered with the assistance of a pneumatic strut.

Depending on the color and wood options you select, the Tactical Walls Rifle Shelf starts around $400.

Any of these three safe options will allow you to more quickly access your long gun than if it’s sitting in a giant safe in your closest that takes an eternity to open.

Since long guns are such a good option for home defense, I would have at least one of your ARs or shotguns in a safe you can open fast.

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free copy of his book, visit www.SpyEscape.com.

 

SKILLS: Recommendations, Rules, and Essential Skills For All New Shooters, Part 2

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Team Springfield Armory’s Kippi Leatham shares her firearms education experiences. There’s a lot here to learn from! KEEP READING

kippi leatham

SOURCE: Team Springfield, Kippi Leatham

[This is part two of an article started on last edition. Last time talked about the importance of technical and safety education. See it HERE.]

STUDY TECHNIQUE
Being taught the right techniques from the get-go can make learning to shoot so much more enjoyable. Good technique also increases the likelihood that you will progress more quickly. Once you develop bad habits, they can be difficult to break, leading to poor results and possibly frustration.

FIND YOUR NATURAL SHOOTING STANCE
There are many opinions on stance, and what works for one may not feel right for you. What’s most important when you begin learning to shoot is that your balance is forward and you don’t lean back (or get pushed back) as you are firing the gun.

My natural (right-handed) shooting stance is:

Standing with my feet hip-width apart
Left foot positioned slightly forward
Knees slightly bent
Relaxed shoulders, forward of my hip bones
Both arms extended fully toward the target
Wrists firmly locked

GET A GRIP
I cannot stress the importance of a good grip enough. As you’ve heard from me before, I always grip a gun the same way, whether I’m picking it up out of the safe, drawing from my holster or shopping for a new addition to my family of firearms. I am always reinforcing my good shooting grip. If you are not properly gripping the gun, you cannot control the shot or recoil as well as you can with a perfect grip.

For more detailed info on how to achieve the perfect grip, check out our blog Mastering Grip: 5 Ways You’re Holding Your Gun Wrong.

And one more gripping tidbit for you newbies – train yourself to hold onto the gun more tightly with your support hand, as it is the hand that will likely move out of position or loosen as you shoot.

EYE DOMINANCE
Do you know if you are right-eye-dominant or left-eye-dominant? This matters, especially when shooting a pistol with iron sights. You most likely will have to close one eye to see a proper sight picture on the target. Knowing your eye dominance will help you determine which eye to close (your non-dominant eye), if needed.

Note that if you are cross-eye-dominant (i.e., right-handed but left-eye-dominant), you may need to make a slight adjustment when aligning the gun, as it will naturally point under your right eye.

SIGHT ALIGNMENT
You know where your front and rear sights are on the slide, but do you understand how to properly align them? Here is where a picture is worth a thousand words…

sight alignment

When learning to align your sights, this is what you should see:

Front sight centered in the rear sight notch with equal space on each side of the front sight
Top of the front sight level with the top of the rear sight

SIGHT PICTURE AND TRIGGER PRESS
Now, all you have to do is place that perfect alignment of sights on the target where you would like the bullet to impact (that combination is what I refer to as the “sight picture”) and press the trigger without moving the gun/sights out of position. Simple as that, right?

Actually, this is one of the more challenging parts about shooting and the technique that you will probably spend the most time on once you’ve got a good, basic foundation.

 

Kamala Harris and the News Media Don’t Know What They Don’t Know

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By now gun owners have become accustomed to a certain measure of ignorance from anti-gun politicians and their lapdogs in the mainstream press, but it’s the flamboyant stridency of that ignorance that remains shocking. READ MORE

kamala harris

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Last week, the presidential campaign of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) announced that if elected president the candidate would ban the importation of AR-15-style “assault weapons.” Characterizing the campaign’s proposal, Politico reported,

Harris wants to ban AR-15-style assault weapon imports and suspend all other assault weapon imports until the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can analyze whether they should be permanently banned under U.S. law. Her campaign argues the weapons could be banned because they aren’t “suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.”

At a campaign event in Nashua, N.H. Harris herself told those gathered, “I’m announcing for the first time today here with you to take executive action to ban the import of assault weapons into our country.”

Predictably, Harris’s proposal was trumpeted by an uncritical press.

Apparently unbeknownst to the candidate and her media sycophants, the federal government already prohibits the importation of so-called “assault weapons.”

Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Attorney General has a measure of discretion regarding what firearms may be imported into the United States. 18 U.S.C. § 925 states,

(d) The Attorney General shall authorize a firearm or ammunition to be imported or brought into the United States or any possession thereof if the firearm or ammunition–

(3) is of a type that does not fall within the definition of a firearm as defined in section 5845(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes…

The “generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes” language has become known as the much-maligned “sporting purposes test.”

In 1989, the George Bush administration used the sporting purposes test to prohibit the importation of certain types of commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles. In 1998, under the direction of President Bill Clinton, ATF used the sporting purposes test to expand the 1989 import ban to encompass a larger category of semi-automatic firearms. The Clinton import ban included what the bureau termed “large capacity military magazine rifles,” or LCMM rifles. LCMM rifles are those capable of accepting standard capacity magazines; like the AR-15. In an April 1998 document titled “Department of the Treasury Study on the Sporting Suitability of Modified Semiautomatic Assault Rifles,” ATF determined that “LCMM rifles are not generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes and are therefore not importable.” At the time, White House official Jose Cerda told the press, “We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.”

NRA-ILA opposes the sporting purposes test as well as ATF’s application of the test. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as interpreted in District of Columbia v. Heller protects an individual’s right to access firearms in common use for lawful purposes. Self-defense is a lawful purpose, and therefore firearms suitable to that purpose should be available independent of any “sporting” application.

Regarding interpretation of 18 U.S.C. § 925, ATF has adopted a cramped reading of the operative passage. As explained in ATF’s January 2011 “Study on the Importability of Certain Shotguns,” the agency refuses to recognize informal sport shooting such as plinking and practical shooting competitions like 3-gun as falling under the scope of “sporting purposes.” Moreover, the agency has read the “or readily adaptable” language out of the statute entirely, as evidenced by the popularity of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms for the traditional sports of target shooting and hunting.

However misguided, for more than 20 years the federal government has prohibited the importation of commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles that Harris would term “AR-15-style assault weapons.”

Harris’s proposal to enact a policy that has already been in place for two decades reveals the candidate’s appalling disregard of the facts. The mainstream media’s complicity in this embarrassing episode reveals their inability or unwillingness to correct even the most egregious statements from their preferred candidates.

 

Democrats Now Opposed to Safe Neighborhoods?

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Supporters of the Second Amendment have always known that gun control laws have a fatal flaw– criminals don’t obey the law! READ MORE

pelosi

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Ever since taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats have been waging an unprecedented assault on the Second Amendment. Led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.), the caucus has been an entity in virtual lock-step promoting a laundry list of today’s most popular anti-gun proposals. Whether it is banning semi-automatic firearms and placing limitations on magazine capacities, pushing “universal” background checks, imposing potentially endless waiting periods, or trying to use financial institutions to drive their political agenda, anti-gun Democrats are looking to exploit every opportunity they can to promote their attacks on our freedoms.

At every step, Pelosi and her minions push anti-gun legislation with the lie that each proposal will be the death knell to violent crime committed with firearms. Of course, we’ve all heard this mantra for decades. And for decades we’ve seen every anti-gun law that has passed fail to put a dent in crime, only to be followed by a new proposal that the gun-ban extremists insist will get the job done…this time.

Supporters of the Second Amendment have always known that gun control laws have a fatal flaw — criminals don’t obey the law. They ignore or circumvent the new laws just as readily as they ignore or circumvent the old ones. If they are willing to commit robbery, why would they not also be willing to commit armed robbery? If they are willing to commit assault, why would they not be willing to commit assault with a deadly weapon? And if they are willing to commit homicide, again, why would they not be willing to commit homicide using a firearm? One more law will not stop a violent criminal from being a violent criminal.

The people actually impacted by gun control laws are, of course, law-abiding gun owners, who were never part of the problem to begin with. They may not agree with anti-gun laws, but they tend to obey them while working to change them.

This doesn’t mean that there are no options for addressing violent crime. The secret, which isn’t really a secret, is to go after the actual offenders. One good example is Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).

Started in 2001 under President George W. Bush, PSN is a collaborative effort, utilizing the resources of federal, state, and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and community leaders to target violent crime at the local level. Specific priorities are identified based on the local environment, and solutions are developed, with the primary objective of going after the most violent offenders and putting them in prison.

It should come as no surprise that the simple concept of getting violent criminals off the streets to keep them from committing violent crimes has proven to be a very effective tool for law enforcement. While violent crime in the US has been in a state of general decline since its peak in 1991, PSN programs have shown to accelerate declines. According to the United States Department of Justice, from 2000 to 2006, PSN program areas saw overall reductions in violent crime from 4%-20%, and specifically-targeted violent crimes were reduced by up to 42%. By comparison, locations where PSN was not implemented saw reductions, but of only 0.9%.

There is, of course, little evidence to indicate that gun control reduces violent crime, and plenty of evidence that indicates fewer restrictions on law-abiding gun owners leads to such reductions. But even if Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats cannot be convinced of this, one would at least think they would support a proven law-enforcement program like PSN, which has clearly been shown to reduce the violent crime they claim to want to see reduced.

Then again, maybe not.

Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies recommending de-funding PSN. Chaired by U.S. Representative José Serrano (D-N.Y.), the subcommittee’s recommendation seems to indicate a continuing trend by House Democrats to oppose President Donald Trump whenever possible.

The program, as previously stated, started under President George W. Bush and continued under President Barack Obama, even when Democrats controlled the House and Senate during Obama’s first term. So why is there an issue now?

It may simply be that Democrats are reflexively opposed to anything Trump supports, and the current administration has promoted the program. It would be a shocking abuse of power if Democrats actually chose to end a program that has been so successful at reducing violent crime simply out of spite for a president the party clearly loathes.

Fortunately, there are still many steps left in the process for approving the U.S. Department of Justice budget, through which PSN is funded, so we can only hope that cooler heads within the Democrat leadership will intercede and ensure PSN remains fully funded.

That is, if there are any cooler heads left.

 

New Federal Law Will Promote Target Range Development on Public Lands

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Some good news! The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Ac amended the P-R Act to provide states greater opportunities to use the P-R funds apportioned to them for public range development.

hunter safety

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On May 10, President Trump signed the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act into law. This NRA-backed law will help promote firearm safety and training and enjoyment of the shooting sports by freeing up more federal funds for use in public shooting range development and construction.

Beginning in 1937 with the passage of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act — commonly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act (P-R Act) — federal excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment have been returned to the states to help promote wildlife conservation and restoration. Participating states must ensure that hunting license fees are used exclusively for the administration of the state’s fish and game department.

Fifty percent of the excise tax revenue from handguns, bows, and arrows may be used for hunter education programs and the development and operation of archery and firearm shooting ranges. Additionally, there is an $8 million annual set-aside for firearm and bow hunter education and safety program grants within the states, which can also help fund ranges.

The P-R Act has been critical in preserving America’s hunting and sport-shooting heritage. State wildlife management programs have brought back species that in the early 1900s were in severe decline or on the brink of extinction, including white tailed deer, wild turkey, and wood ducks. Managed hunting, of course, plays a critical role in this responsible stewardship.

The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (S. 94/H.R. 1222) amended the P-R Act to provide states greater opportunities to use the P-R funds apportioned to them for public range development.

First, the Act reduces the states’ mandatory matching share for a range development project from 25% to 10% (a state, in other words, only needs to provide 10% of the funding, while P-R funds can provide up to 90%).

It also extends the time a state has to obligate and expend the funds for range development from two fiscal years to five fiscal years.

Finally, the Act provides a new revenue stream for funding range development. It will allow up to 10% of specified apportionments from the wildlife restoration account to be used for this purpose. These funds were formerly unavailable for range construction, maintenance, or expansion projects.

We encourage states to take full advantage of the increased opportunities this new law will provide for them to build or expand safe, convenient, and modern accommodations for residents and visitors to responsibly exercise their Second Amendment rights.

 

What “Unsigning” the Arms Trade Treaty Means for American Gun Owners

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Purporting to set the standards for “National Regulation of Civilian Access to Small Arms and Light Weapons,” the ATT walks all over U.S. citizen’s constitutional rights. READ MORE

unsigning att

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

President Trump recently took the historic step of ordering the “unsigning” of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty during his address to the NRA-ILA’s Leadership Forum. President Trump’s action effectively withdraws the United States from the most comprehensive effort towards international gun control.

Much of the intervening coverage on the ATT has focused on how the treaty did or did not constrain U.S. arms sales abroad, but many average law-abiding gun owners may be questioning how the treaty could or couldn’t have affected them.

NRA’s complaints regarding the treaty have always been based on its potential effect on law-abiding American gun owners. Those complaints have focused on the treaty’s requirements for end use verification, its sometimes-unintelligible vagueness, its ability to be amended without the consensus of all parties, and its proponents repeated refusals to clarify that it has no effect on the possession of small arms by civilians in the United States.

The treaty urges record keeping of end users, directing importing countries to provide information to an exporting country regarding arms transfers, including “end use or end user documentation” for a “minimum of ten years.” Each country is to “take measures, pursuant to its national laws, to regulate brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms.” Data kept on the end users of imported firearms is a de-facto registry of law-abiding firearms owners, which is a violation of federal law. Even worse, the ATT could be construed to require such a registry to be made available to foreign governments. NRA’s complaints regarding the treaty have always been based on its potential effect on law-abiding American gun owners. Those complaints have focused on the treaty’s requirements for end use verification, its sometimes-unintelligible vagueness, its ability to be amended without the consensus of all parties, and its proponents repeated refusals to clarify that it has no effect on the possession of small arms by civilians in the United States.

The vagueness of the treaty and its ease of being “amended” is best exemplified by actions that took place at a conference on the treaty last year. At that conference, proponents of the treaty “welcome[ed]” several living documents into the ATT. While seemingly innocuous on its face, this change incorporated the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) into the ATT.

Falsely described as established “international standards” or “international norms” that “provide clear, practical and comprehensive guidance to practitioners and policymakers on fundamental aspects of small arms and light weapons control”, the ISACS are in reality a series of six standards developed by the UN for states to use in implementing their global disarmament agenda. Series 3 — Legislative and Regulatory — and its Module 3.30, “National Regulation of Civilian Access to Small Arms and Light Weapons,” is the most alarming of all the ISACS.

Purporting to set the standards for “National Regulation of Civilian Access to Small Arms and Light Weapons,” Module 3.30 creates a means to almost entirely limit civilian access to small arms under the guise of International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, and Gender Based Violence. Highlights include, but are not limited to; a ban on civilian possession of “military” style arms — no automatic weapons or magazines with over a 10 round capacity, ballistic recordings, different risk classifications on types of firearms (i.e. calibers over .45 are an intolerable risk to public safety and semi-auto handguns and rifles are high risk), licensing and registration of all firearms, training and storage restrictions, waiting periods, 20-year record retention requirements of sellers, age limits and requiring a demonstrated need to possess a firearm, with self-defense not being one of them. Perhaps the easiest way to understand the future danger the ATT posed to U.S. gun owners is the complete refusal by proponents of the treaty to clarify that it would have no effect on the possession of small arms by law-abiding American gun owners.

While incorporation by reference of the ISACS into the ATT was alarming, it was also not entirely unpredictable. As with every anti-firearm UN initiative, concern must never lie entirely with what is in it now, but with what it will become and how it will be used by a future U.S. administration, especially one seeking international justification for a gun control agenda.

Perhaps the easiest way to understand the future danger the ATT posed to U.S. gun owners is the complete refusal by proponents of the treaty to clarify that it would have no effect on the possession of small arms by law-abiding American gun owners. NRA and other opponents of the treaty repeatedly asked for a carve-out in the treaty, yet those requests were flatly denied. If the treaty’s proponents had no intention of limiting American gun ownership, why resist such a limitation to the text of the treaty?

Instead, the treaty included language in its preamble that treaty parties be “mindful of the legitimate trade and lawful ownership, and use of certain conventional arms for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities, where such trade, ownership and use are permitted or protected by law.” A careful read will show that the use of arms for individual and collective defense is notably missing from this statement, and the statement creates no limitation and is really only an aspirational provision.

Recommendations, Rules, and Essential Skills For All New Shooters, Part 1

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Team Springfield Armory’s Kippi Leatham shares her firearms education experiences. There’s a lot here to learn! KEEP READING

kippi leatham

SOURCE: Team Springfield, Kippi Leatham

I wasn’t introduced to firearms until I was 23 years young. But even as a new shooter, I always viewed my pistol as another tool in my toolbox of life skills. It’s a piece of equipment, like my 9 iron, that I want to have the utmost ability and confidence with when it comes to taking that shot, whether onto the green of the first hole or to knock down that 25-yard steel pepper popper during an IPSC World Championship.

Learning to shoot pistols and getting into competitions completely changed my life for the better.

Dedicating an enormous number of my adult years trying to master proper shooting techniques in combination with speed and accuracy has been a challenge and a thrill with highs, some lows and wonderful opportunities for travel and life-long friendships. And, as another bonus, I’ve also learned a skill that could one day save my life, Heaven forbid the need ever arises.

Making the decision to enter the world of firearm ownership and learning how to shoot, whether as a hobby, for hunting or home or self-defense, should not be taken lightly, as it comes with huge responsibility and a commitment requirement. To quote the great Jeff Cooper, “Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.”

As with any new hobby, craft or martial art, there are rules and essential skills every new shooter must learn. Let’s start with the most important aspect – safety.

SAFETY FIRST
Learn the universal firearm safety rules. And make a commitment to follow them from this day forward:

Treat all firearms as if loaded.

Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction — never point the muzzle at anything you don’t intend to destroy.

Keep your finger off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard until pointed at the target and you have made the decision to shoot.

Know your target, what’s beyond your target and what is in the line of sight.

Always securely store your firearms, keeping them inaccessible to children and other unauthorized users.

GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
I have worked with hundreds upon hundreds of new shooters over the past decade and have witnessed first-hand the challenges that newbies face. Which is why I highly recommend that first-time shooters take a class from a competent fellow shooter or professional firearms instructor as their first step.

There is so much to learn and a lot to actively think about, and the process can be downright overwhelming. So get a recommendation for a good instructor or Google “pistol classes” or “firearms instruction” to get your journey started. (Just try to avoid those Groupon deals with the picture of the woman with the low-cut shirt and improper grip.)

LEGAL UP
The legalities that accompany owning a firearm are complex, are constantly changing and vary by state. As a firearm owner, it is your responsibility to know the laws regarding purchasing, selling, possession, usage, licensing, carrying, self-defense, etc., that are in effect federally, locally (where you reside) and where you travel with your firearm.

A few good resources include:

NRA Gun Laws Map
NRA’s Citizen’s Guide to Federal Firearms Laws
Handgun Laws Website

MASTER THE LINGO
Before you attend your first class, take time to understand the terminology as it relates to your pistol and peripherals. Learning to shoot is a process, and part of the process is learning the nomenclature. You can reference your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website if you’re not already familiar with the proper terminology.

OPERATION
It’s also extremely important to understand how your semi-automatic pistol operates:

How to properly load and safe/decock it (if applicable)

How to properly unload it and check that it is empty

Next time, experiences and wisdom about getting to the shooting itself.

 

RELOADERS CORNER: Seating Depth Issues

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Don’t take anything for granted! Safety and suitability are both at risk if you don’t take time to analyze and act on this important topic. READ MORE

land illustration

Glen Zediker

As said often, it’s sometimes recent experience that leads to my Reloaders Corner topics. Whether it’s a question I’ve been asked, usually, or, in this case, a malfunction I’ve had, those things are fresh in my mind. I hope to believe, and have to believe, that any such topics aren’t only a question for them, or for me.

That brings us to bullet seating depths, which really means overall cartridge length, using some particular bullet.

Usually, when we’re loading for a rifle with a box magazine, either bolt-action or semi-auto, the cartridge overall length — that’s measured from the base of the case to the tip of the bullet — defines and determines the maximum length. Usually.

What ultimately determines the cartridge overall length maximum, though, is really the first point of contact that the bullet makes (will make) with the rifling or lands ahead of the chamber throat. That space, and therefore overall round length, has a whopping lot to do with the chamber reamer specs, and also the reamer operator’s judgment in some cases, but we need to know.

It also can have a whopping lot to do with the bullet! And that’s what the most of this next is all about.

So here’s the lesson to learn, and, for me, to relearn: Do not assume that if the round fits into the magazine it will be fine. I will, at the least, freely admit to my mistakes because, one, I dang sho should know better, and, two, if I know better and still don’t do better confession is my punishment. Well, not really, but it’s always a wake-up call.

Different bullets have different profiles, different ogive architectures. The ogive is the “curve” beyond the last point up the bullet that’s caliber diameter (meaning full diameter) ending at the bullet tip. My slang but descriptive term for this is “nosecone.” Tracing up this curve, some point will be equal to land diameter. So where this point is on the seated bullet and where this point is ahead of it in the chamber matters a lot.

Unless it’s done as a deliberate tactic, there needs to be some space, some distance between the land diameter point on the bullet nosecone and the lands. The amount of that distance is referred to as “jump,” because that’s descriptive. It’s the gap the bullet has to cross through to engage into the rifling. Usually the closer the better, and that “tactic” used often by precision shooters (mostly long-range and Benchrest competitors) is to purposely seat the bullet so it’s touching the lands. That’s done in the belief that if there’s no jump, then there’s no ill effects from jump. It’s very often right, and I’ve proven that to myself many a time. It’s not always right, but then if it was this all would be too easy.

The reason there needs to be some space is because when a bullet goes from just off to just on the lands, pressure jumps. It’s a “spike,” not a surge, but it’s enough to put a load that’s nearing the edge over the edge. In something like a .223 Rem. it’s about a half-grain-worth of propellant.

hornady 52
Here’s one I messed up with. The ogive or nosecone profile on this bullet is much “higher” than normal for a match bullet of this weight and it encountered the lands at a much shorter overall length than any others I had used. I learned the hard way, even though I already knew better.

So. Here’s the lesson I learned again, but this one wasn’t my fault! Honest! Several years ago, however, here’s one that was my fault: new (to me) match bullet, a short 52-gr. I wanted to try for reduced-course NRA High Power Rifle events. Rifle had a Wylde .223 Rem. chamber. A Wylde has a throat length between a 5.56 NATO and a SAAMI-spec. .223 Rem. That means the throat is fairly much more generous than commercial .223 Rem. specs. The maximum cartridge overall length in an AR15 box magazine is 2.260 inches, and I go 2.255 for a margin. I checked some industry manual data for this bullet and did notice that the overall cartridge length listed in the data spec table was a good deal shorter than that. I quickly did some “math” but without numbers (so it wasn’t really math) and decided that since I had a longer chamber I’d ignore that and just seat the bullets to 2.255. Blew primers right and left.

Back home and gage in hand and, dang, they weren’t kidding! I was about 0.020 into the lands at that cartridge length. That’s a honking lot. That’s also ultimately dangerous because of the free-floating firing pin tapping off the primer when a round is loaded into an AR15. A bullet that’s getting jammed into the lands is greatly more resistant to chambering freely and fully.

I humbly learned my lesson.

Get a gage and use it! The best out there is the Hornady LNL Overall Length gage. This tool lets you very easily find the overall round length that touches the lands with your bullet in your barrel. Very valuable, that.

lnl oal gages
A Hornady LNL OAL Gage will show right quick like and in a hurry with the seating depth that touches the lands is with your bullet in your gun. Valuable!

Use it in conjunction with its companion “bullet length comparator” insert for the very best precision. That tool measures a bullet at a point on its ogive that (usually) corresponds closely with land diameter. It won’t be perfectly the same, but it doesn’t have to be. What matters is that it gives a more accurate figure. Avoiding the bullet tip in a measurement eliminates that (guaranteed, by the way) inconsistency in accurate measurement because of bullet tip variations.

LNL comparator
A “comparator,” like this one from Hornady’s LNL line, is a much more accurate way to measure seating depth because the bullet tip doesn’t get involved. I like the curved one: easier and more accurate by my experience.

Now. To the recent experience: It was with a .300 Blackout (AAC) subsonic. I did not have the means to gauge this using my tools (then, but I do now). However, that wouldn’t have mattered in this case, and why is next.

Tested a factory load. Liked it. Noticed nothing unusual. Functioned perfectly, shot well. Brought it home and filled a magazine, loaded one in the chamber, and set it aside. Folks, just so you don’t think I’m irresponsible, that gun is what I keep at the ready for home-defense. So, my son, who had gone in to unload and then dry-fire the gun, came up and said, “Dad. The bolt won’t open.” Dang. It wouldn’t. I started thinking up all reasons that might be behind that. The bolt carrier would retract a little way, which was the limit of usual “play” in the bolt travel inside it, so I didn’t think anything was broken. To remove the round I pulled off the upper, took it to the shop, and pried back the bolt carrier from the underside. A couple of careful but firm enough strokes and it opened.

The bullet had really jammed into the lands! I mean really jammed. Extracting the round and looking at it, land impressions were clear, and measuring the extracted round showed it was 0.022 longer than the new, un-chambered round. Unseating the jammed round pulled the bullet that far out from the case neck.

I manually inserted another round of the same into the chamber and gave it a nudge-in with my finger, and, sure enough, there it sat not nearly fully into the chamber. Had to tap it back out.

jammed bullet
Here’s the “stuck” round, right, talked over in the article. Land impression is pretty clear, and pretty deep. Notice also that the bullet got pulled out a might upon finally opening the action. On left is the same round out of the same box that was pushed into the chamber; land marks also, just a lot lower!

So. Since it’s a factory load, I really couldn’t have had a clue that it wasn’t compatible with my chamber throat. But now I do. And, for a clue, do that same yourself. If the round won’t drop in and out of a chamber fully and easily, that might be a problem. I still don’t know what the actual measured amount of the excessive length might have been. To find that I’d have to get a box of those bullets and gauge them using the LNL tools. I’m not going to do that. I’ve chosen another load that’s no-issues.

I say “might be” because, again these rounds functioned well, but, also, well, that can’t be good…

I suppose I will now need to start handloading for that contraption. I have also written down 100 times: “I will always check the chamber throat, even if it’s not a long-range rifle…”

Find gages at Midsouth HERE and HERE

The preceding is a specially-adapted excerpt from Glen’s book Top-Grade Ammo. Available HERE at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Visit ZedikerPublishing.com for more information on the book itself, and also free article downloads.