Category Archives: Ammunition

ammo, or ammunition category will be host to all topics related to factory ammo and ammunition. Everything from 22 LR to Bulk Pistol Ammo will be discussed here.

Bullet Basics

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This is a specially-adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book, “Top Grade Ammo,” by author Glen Zediker, owner of Zediker Publishing. Click here to order from Midsouth.

by Glen Zediker

A cartridge is a system, a sum of its parts. There’s not really any one part that matters most, but the bullet matters much. The material below will offer an outline to identify influential aspects of bullet engineering and execution.

There are bullets engineered to perform variously on target, including the proximity of impacts on target. I say it that way because a “match” bullet’s job is to perforate a piece of paper. A bullet designed for varmint hunting, on the other hand, is designed to produce explosive impact, and one for larger-game hunting strives to strike a balance between expansion and penetration. All bullets have to meet their target to be effective, and different premiums often also result in a few trade-offs. Specialty hunting projectiles, for instance, don’t usually out-and-out group as well as those engineered for target shooting.

However, no matter how a bullet is constructed inside, essential elements of any bullet design are universal. I’m talking about the outside of a bullet.

Here are the parts: base (that’s the bottom); boat-tail, or not (flat-base); shank, portion of full-caliber diameter; ogive, the sloping “nosecone”; tip, either open or closed (open it’s called the “meplat”). The shape of the ogive and the first point of “major diameter” are very influential elements. The first point of major diameter can vary a from barrel brand to barrel brand because it’s the point on the bullet that coincides with land diameter in the barrel. It’s the first point that will actually contact the barrel as the bullet moves forward. This right here can be a very important thing to determine. When there’s a cartridge sitting in the rifle chamber, the distance to the lands that the bullet has to “jump” to engage is, well, called “jump.” It’s the gap between dead air and first contact. I pick back up on this next article.

The first point of major diameter and the shank combine to determine the “bearing area.” This is how much of the bullet is riding the barrel surfaces.

The two essential forms a bullet can take are “secant” and “tangent.” This refers to the profile of the ogive. A tangent is a more rounded, gradual flow toward the tip, while a secant is a more radical step-in, more like a spike.

Ogives are measured in “calibers.” That’s pretty simple: an 8-caliber ogive describes an arc that’s 8 times caliber diameter; a 12-caliber is based on a circle that’s 12 times the caliber. The 8 will be a smaller circle than the 12, so, an 8-caliber ogive is more “blunt” or rounded. (So I don’t get comments from engineers, there’s more to it than this, as it applies on blueprints to different profiles; it’s the ratio of its radius to the diameter of the cylinder. But my description is accurate as an overview.)

Now, here’s how and why all that matters to bullet selection: Generally, bullets with longer bearing areas are more tolerant of jump and tend to shoot better than those with shorter bearing areas. Shorter bearing areas, though, can allow for higher velocities (less drag in the bore). Bullets with lower-caliber ogives are likewise more tolerant of jump and shoot better. However, higher-caliber ogives fly better, that is, farther. This is an important component in “low-drag” bullet designs. Same thing comparing tangent and secant profiles: the first is easier, the second beats the air better.

When you see terms like “magazine bullet” or “length-tolerant bullet,” that is referring to those with tangent profiles and lower-caliber ogives. They are designed to endure jump so, therefore, can be seated to “magazine length” without much, if any, accuracy loss. If you want to experiment with the longer, “low-drag” or “high-BC” style bullets, you will find they don’t want to group as expected until they get very close to or right on the lands when the round is chambered.

This is the tip of the iceberg. More soon…

Are Carhartt Jackets Bulletproof? Video Says No

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Rugged, durable and warm, Carhartt makes some of the finest working-man jackets on the market. However, if you ask the New York Police officers involved in the recent shooting of a knife-wielding man, they might say it’s too rugged. The New York Post reported earlier this week that officers fired nine shots at the man, four of which failed to penetrate his Carhartt jacket, raising the question, is Carhartt bulletproof?

But before you go grab your jacket from the closet, YouTuber ShootingTheBull410 put a new coat to the test with disappointing, but unsurprising results. So why the ammo failures with NYPD? Well, the Post has since reported the department is looking into malfunctioning ammo.

Got any ideas about what could explain the NYPD bullet failures? How does ammo malfunction to the point that it won’t penetrate a work jacket? Wrong powder charges?

The Ins and Outs of Metering Charges

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This is a specially-adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book, “Top Grade Ammo,” by author Glen Zediker, owner of Zediker Publishing. Click here to order from Midsouth.

by Glen Zediker

Most reloaders are going to invest in a powder meter. And, right off, it is a meter, not a “measure.” Meters don’t measure. My preference would be to most accurately call a “powder measure” a “dispenser.” That’s what it really does. The “measure” is comparing a meter hopper volume to a weight on a scale. This may seem tediously technical, but I think it’s important to really understand what we’re doing when we use a powder meter. It’s a volume, not a weight. The volume corresponds to a weight, that we arrived at through adjusting the meter volume.

Here’s a Culver. All Culver mechanisms are the same in that they have the same values; there can be differences from model to model in the steps between whole rotations, but each whole rotation is the same. It’s like comparing a ½-moa back sight to a ¼-moa back sight.
Here’s a Culver. All Culver mechanisms are the same in that they have the same values; there can be differences from model to model in the steps between whole rotations, but each whole rotation is the same. It’s like comparing a ½-moa back sight to a ¼-moa back sight.

If you plan on relying on a meter to throw charges, and not weigh each one, you best get a good meter. If the meter is only a starting point, where you are then going to use a powder trickler to top off a scale-weighed charge, meter quality is of no real concern. A powder trickler is a device that delivers propellant a kernel at a time.

So what’s a “good” meter? Good question. The very best have Culver dispensing mechanisms. Named for Benchrest pioneer Homer Culver, these precision-made mechanisms click, just like a back sight. Each click, of course, either expands or contracts a void that the propellant fills. The only Culver-equipped meters I know of are produced by smaller shops, and they are more costly. But unlike most of the major-player meter designs, a Culver setting cannot change. There are no set-screws or rotating micrometer stems or barrels. A lot of folks give advice to “check the meter each 10 throws….” Meaning, check to see if it’s still throwing the desired weight (by the way, that would be a pretty bad meter). My experience, which has come from a whopping lot of testing, showed me that my scale was going to change before a Culver would change.

The author is adamant about following this process to set a meter: Don’t throw and weigh single charges to adjust the meter. Throw and weigh 10-charge portions, with the scale set, of course, to 10-times the desired single-charge weight. The author does not recollect one time when the meter adjustment did not change following this process from what he first arrived at weighing single throws. Here’s how he sets it to adjust for a 24.0-grain throw.
The author is adamant about following this process to set a meter: Don’t throw and weigh single charges to adjust the meter. Throw and weigh 10-charge portions, with the scale set, of course, to 10-times the desired single-charge weight. The author does not recollect one time when the meter adjustment did not change following this process from what he first arrived at weighing single throws. Here’s how he sets it to adjust for a 24.0-grain throw.

If you look at how a meter works, there’s a volume-adjustable cavity that rotates in position under the propellant supply, fills with propellant, and then rotates back, to dispense the propellant through an outlet. When it rotates, the granules contained in the meter are struck off, fixing and sealing the amount of propellant in the “hopper,” I call it.

A few things: One is that the smaller the granules, the more precise each fill can be. Longer-grained kernels have more air space and “stack” more than smaller-grained kernels. It’s also clear that the higher degree of precision on the internal sliding surfaces, the more “clean” the strike-off will be. It’s also clear that meter operation has a lot to do with the consistency of filling the hopper. Just like tapping a case bottom settles the propellant to a lower fill volume, same thing happens when filling the hopper in a meter.

Not too heavy, not too light. Work the handle the same each time, and have it come to a positive stop. “Thunk. Thunk.” Focus on a consistent speed. This has a huge effect on how consistent the throws will be.
Not too heavy, not too light. Work the handle the same each time, and have it come to a positive stop. “Thunk. Thunk.” Focus on a consistent speed. This has a huge effect on how consistent the throws will be.

A key to good throws is working the meter handle consistently, and also settling on a contact force when the meter handle comes to a stop in the “fill” direction. It should bump but not bang. I wish I could be more clear on that, but it’s a feel that must be developed. Don’t go too slowly and gingerly take the handle to its stop, and don’t slam it there either. You want a positive, audible “thunk” when the handle stops. If it’s the same each time, fill consistency will improve. I have found that focusing on operating the handle at a constant rate of speed teaches this. It’s a positive movement that, for me, takes about one second to lift the handle.

The author recommends longer drop tubes, whether it’s for a meter or a funnel. The longer tube has the same effect as tapping the case to settle the propellant. This helps when loading stick propellant into small cases, like .223 Rem. A dryer sheet rubber-banded around the propellant container eliminates static influence, which indeed can be an influence, especially in the Western regions. And do not leave propellant in a meter! Return it to a sealed container when you’re done for the day. This setup is a Harrell’s Classic with a Sinclair stand.
The author recommends longer drop tubes, whether it’s for a meter or a funnel. The longer tube has the same effect as tapping the case to settle the propellant. This helps when loading stick propellant into small cases, like .223 Rem. A dryer sheet rubber-banded around the propellant container eliminates static influence, which indeed can be an influence, especially in the Western regions. And do not leave propellant in a meter! Return it to a sealed container when you’re done for the day. This setup is a Harrell’s Classic with a Sinclair stand.
This is a Harrell’s Premium. Its accuracy is astounding and is the author’s choice. With H4895, the “10-throw” test is within a tenth of a grain, for the whole pan-full.
This is a Harrell’s Premium. Its accuracy is astounding and is the author’s choice. With H4895, the “10-throw” test is within a tenth of a grain, for the whole pan-full.

 

 

Long Range Shooting: Bryan Litz and The Science of Accuracy

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Scoring consistent hits on targets at long distances takes more than chance. Bryan Litz, founder and president of Applied Ballistics LLC., chief ballistician at Berger Bullets and champion rifle shooter, says accuracy at any range is a science. Litz shares how he got his start in long-range shooting and why he’s so passionate about the science of accuracy. For those interested in learning more about the science of long range shooting, Applied Ballistics will hosting several seminars throughout 2016. Enter promo code ABSEM100 during checkout and to save $100.

Ammo Answers from Federal Premium

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The Federal Premium Ammo Insiders explain the different types of handgun ammunition designed for target shooting and personal defense. Some terms explained in the video: Full Metal Jacket (FMJ), Total Metal Jacket (TMJ), and Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP). And in the second video, Federal answers how often you should change your carry ammunition and why — assuming you don’t shoot it up first.

Click here to see our choices of Federal handgun ammunition.


Segregating Cases by Weight

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This is a specially-adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book, “Top Grade Ammo,” by author Glen Zediker, owner of Zediker Publishing. Click here to order from Midsouth.

by Glen Zediker

Weight is another common means of case segregation. I can’t imagine doing this job without an electronic scale, because I have done this job without an electronic scale.

A bag full of new brass is a wonderful thing. Sorting is optional, but worthwhile to get the very most from it.
A bag full of new brass is a wonderful thing. Sorting is optional, but worthwhile to get the very most from it.

Most set a percentage tolerance for weight, not so much seeking identical weights. Otherwise, you’ll have to sort a lot of cases. The physically larger something is, the more variation can exist. 1% is pretty harsh; 1.5% is more reasonable; 2% is commonly used. You’ll figure out the viability of your segregation criteria after you go through a few dozen cases. If you have 10 piles, then the criteria might be too harsh. If you use a percentage, certainly then larger caliber cases will have a greater overall weight tolerance/variance than smaller ones. Think of it as: 1% in a 90-grain .223 is 0.90 grains, and in a .308 Win., it’s 1.7 grains, or about double.

No doubt — cost is the first segregation criteria. The author says components from Europe are better than domestically produced items. But at what cost. The author has used a lot of Norma and Lapua brass, and it’s extra-high-quality, which means low-tolerance/variance. It’s also soft and heavy. I’d be willing to spend for it, but I prefer to sort other brands that are more suitable for use in a repeating action of any type. Hours and hours of doing this showed me that Norma, for example, gives about 5% more “really good” cases compared to the domestic brand I favor.
No doubt — cost is the first segregation criteria. The author says components from Europe are better than domestically produced items. But at what cost. The author has used a lot of Norma and Lapua brass, and it’s extra-high-quality, which means low-tolerance/variance. It’s also soft and heavy. I’d be willing to spend for it, but I prefer to sort other brands that are more suitable for use in a repeating action of any type. Hours and hours of doing this showed me that Norma, for example, gives about 5% more “really good” cases compared to the domestic brand I favor.

This segregation method or means is nearly universally adhered to by NRA Long Range competitors. The belief is that weight reflects on case capacity: heavier cases, lower capacity; lighter cases, higher capacity; and, mostly, same-weight cases, same capacity. Most are not looking for “light” or “heavy,” just “the same.” There’s a correlation between wall thickness consistency and weight consistency, I’m sure, but it’s not direct.

Don’t confuse the ultimate results from an exercise in segregation. We will get what we look for, but that’s all we know for sure. No doubt, the combination of segregation by weight and wall thickness should result in the best of the best, but, dang, that might also result in a very small pile.

Important: Fully prep all the cases prior to weight segregation! The reason is a matter of reliability in the result. Primer pocket uniforming, length trimming, chamfering, and inside flash hole deburring all require removal of brass. The amounts will vary in each instance. I’ve collected and weighed enough shavings from prepping before and can tell you that, if you’re segregating by fine increments, you’re kidding yourself if you don’t follow this advice. The amount of brass removed does not at all directly reflect on the quality of a case because the areas where the weight is originating don’t influence the “overall” quality. But it can influence the scale. Which is the criteria, right?

Weight segregation is easy, but tedious. Establishing criteria limits (defining the contents of each pile) comes mostly from experience in checking examples of the stock being used. Just weigh as you go and label as you learn. Get some plastic containers and label them, after deciding on the range you’re sorting by, and toss the case into the appropriate bin when you pick it from the scale pan. Keep in mind that the goal is to find “light” “heavy” and “okay.” Most shooters I know who weight-segregate are looking for three piles and, of course, the occasional culls.
Weight segregation is easy, but tedious. Establishing criteria limits (defining the contents of each pile) comes mostly from experience in checking examples of the stock being used. Just weigh as you go and label as you learn. Get some plastic containers and label them, after deciding on the range you’re sorting by, and toss the case into the appropriate bin when you pick it from the scale pan. Keep in mind that the goal is to find “light” “heavy” and “okay.” Most shooters I know who weight-segregate are looking for three piles and, of course, the occasional culls.

The procedure used by most winning 1000-yard shooters is to segregate by weight and then outside-turn the case necks to make the neck walls consistent. Again, it ultimately will be a better test if the neck turning is done prior to weight segregation. At this point, however, we have done a lot of work.

So, looking back on the last article, which was segregating by neck wall thickness variations, here’s what I think: If most of your shooting is under 300 yards, go with neck-wall thickness. If you’re covering more real estate, I’d suggest sorting by weight. No doubt, a combination is the ultimate.

Since I focus on concentricity both before and after bullet seating, I can’t say any weight-segregated cases have outperformed my concentricity-selected ammo at 600 yards. I also know, from experience, that the cases I favor are demonstrably low in weight variation. For me, segregating by wall thickness makes more sense. I use the same brand/lot for 200, 300, and 600 yards; the difference is the load. I am pretty much looking for a good, better, best to coincide with my needs for accuracy at 200, 300, and 600 yards.

This might sound contradictory, but it seems that when firing on targets at short range, where weather conditions aren’t overly influential and bullet limits are not nearly being approached, it’s superior concentricity that prints the best groups. Further on down the pike, though, concentricity is important, certainly and always, but it’s really the consistency of bullet velocities that gets “10s.” A good long-range shooter (who can keep a handle on condition-influenced corrections) will lose more points to elevation shots than to wind. High-low shots are, for a Master or High Master, pretty much the fault of the ammo. The reason velocity deviations are just not that important to short-range groups is solely a time-of-flight answer. The longer a bullet is in the air, and the slower it’s moving, the farther and farther it flies, the more initial velocity consistency factors in.

The preceding is specially-adapted from material in the forthcoming book “Top Grade Ammo” coming (very soon) from Zediker Publishing. Check BuyZedikerBooks.com and ZedikerPublishing.com for more.

Case Segregation: Neck-Wall Thickness

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This is a specially-adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book, “Top Grade Ammo,” by author Glen Zediker, owner of Zediker Publishing. Click here to order from Midsouth.

by Glen Zediker

“Segregation” is sorting and separating. If someone is looking for the best performance, which, in my mind, is the most consistent performance, from stock-on-hand, then it’s a worthwhile chore. However, it is a chore. Keeping that in mind, the item below hopes to help a handloader decide how to proceed when there are 100 new pieces of brass set out on the workbench.

I segregate new brass for my tournament rounds. The “tournament” is NRA High Power Rifle. That’s fired at 200, 300, 600 yards. Clearly, the “best” of my brass goes to the 600-yard-line. I do this with new brass because, as I said in an earlier installment, cases should be kept with the same load, and I want to know my best cases before I fire-form with my 600-yard load. Keep same for same.

The questions are: How many piles do you want? and What criteria do you use?

This is an old photo of my segregation results on 100 WW-brand .223 cases. These sized cases were checked using a runout indicator. Here’s how it broke down, left to right: 7 were “flatliners,” under 0.0005; 32 were under 0.0010; 37 were at 0.0010; 18 were up to 0.0015; 6 were over 0.0015; none were more than 0.0020. That’s pretty good, as far as I know. Seems good. I need a total of 88 rounds for a tournament, so I had confidence in this brass. Tip to make your sorting easy: Go to a discount store and get a few small containers, something suitable to contain several cases. Get some masking tape and write the criteria or content (after you sort enough to get a range) and mark the containers. Then just pitch each case into the suitable container as each is measured.
This is an old photo of my segregation results on 100 WW-brand .223 cases. These sized cases were checked using a runout indicator. Here’s how it broke down, left to right: 7 were “flatliners,” under 0.0005; 32 were under 0.0010; 37 were at 0.0010; 18 were up to 0.0015; 6 were over 0.0015; none were more than 0.0020. That’s pretty good, as far as I know. Seems good. I need a total of 88 rounds for a tournament, so I had confidence in this brass. Tip to make your sorting easy: Go to a discount store and get a few small containers, something suitable to contain several cases. Get some masking tape and write the criteria or content (after you sort enough to get a range) and mark the containers. Then just pitch each case into the suitable container as each is measured.

In sorting cases, the finer the increments that define what you assess are Grade A, B, C (and possibly D, E, and F) cases, the greater the range encountered, and the fewer single examples that will occupy each group.

Establishing criteria limits (defining the contents of each pile) comes mostly from experience in checking examples of the stock. One thing you will learn from segregation is what the component is “supposed to be.” You’ll see a pattern. The more you measure, the more you’ll learn, and it will help to establish the criteria you end up banking on.

For me, I sort by wall-thickness variation, specifically, case-neck-wall-thickness variation. All other things being the same, and the tooling being what it should be, consistent case-neck walls result in bullets looking into the dead center of the rifle bore. Some call it “concentric,” and I do too.

You’ll need either an “inside” micrometer (which has a ball-end, made for tubing measurement) or, way faster and easier, a specialty fixture that incorporates a dial indicator. The micrometer will be more precise because it will provide a number in the 0.0001’s, but that gets back to the realism of the criteria. A quality dial indicator still shows less than 0.0010 variations, just look at the needle position between whole marks. Measure at 4 points around the neck. My expectation is “0” for my 600-yard brass: no variation, which really means I accept anything that’s under 0.0010. I end up with piles in 0.0005 increments: less than 0.0010, 0.0010, 0.0015, 0.0020, and any larger doesn’t get fired in competition. I do this because it’s direct and fast, and because I am looking for good, better, and best case groupings to coincide with my needs for 200, 300, and 600 yards.

This appliance is from Forster and is pretty versatile. Purpose-built, single-station tools are a little better to use, but, all around, something like this serves most well.
This appliance is from Forster and is pretty versatile. Purpose-built, single-station tools are a little better to use, but, all around, something like this serves most well.
Here’s how to use the tool to check wall thickness. Zero the indicator against the pilot/spindle and then read the dial with the case neck over the spindle; position the indicator about halfway down the neck. I read it at 12, 3, 6, 9 on the clock face. Understand that wall thickness variation and runout are related, but not directly.
Here’s how to use the tool to check wall thickness. Zero the indicator against the pilot/spindle and then read the dial with the case neck over the spindle; position the indicator about halfway down the neck. I read it at 12, 3, 6, 9 on the clock face. Understand that wall thickness variation and runout are related, but not directly.

If I get lazy, which is more common now than not, I size all the cases (to get the necks shaped up) and then check runout at the neck on another specialty tool: a concentricity fixture (some call it a “spinner”). The system I’ve been using here of late serves both duties. Make sure to have run some sort of inside-neck sizing appliance, either an expander in the sizing die or a mandrel after the fact. If not, the results will not be viable. This explanation isn’t too detailed, but the variations get “pushed” either inside or outside depending on the last tooling the case neck was treated to, and it needs to be pushed to the outside.

Does it really matter? Yes. There have been tests done by many trying to establish the point where wall variations or runout influenced group size. Since this point varies in different tests I’ve seen, I have to believe that the rifle/ammo combo has a mighty influence. It’s very likely that the better the package, the more sensitive it will be to showing up variations. I do know that when Hornady tested this at 200 yards (on their indoor range), they found that variation in wall thickness of 13% had a significant influence on group sizes; in this instance, that equated to about 0.0015 inches variation.

Reposition the hardware to check runout. This is not as precise as measuring thickness, but, in another way to look at it, provides more of a “what you get” evaluation. A 0.001 wall variance does not directly equal 0.001 measured runout. The basics of segregation: you can only find what you’re looking for. One tip: I get my most consistent, most accurate results by lifting and re-seating the indicator at each point I want to check rather than actually spinning the case and watching the indicator needle movement. It’s easy to check loaded rounds too, as shown. There’s a good deal of wobble in many factory loads, and if you rely on it for important shots (like on a big hunting trip) sometimes it’s good to know that you have the best-of-the-box in your pocket.
Reposition the hardware to check runout. This is not as precise as measuring thickness, but, in another way to look at it, provides more of a “what you get” evaluation. A 0.001 wall variance does not directly equal 0.001 measured runout. The basics of segregation: you can only find what you’re looking for. One tip: I get my most consistent, most accurate results by lifting and re-seating the indicator at each point I want to check rather than actually spinning the case and watching the indicator needle movement. It’s easy to check loaded rounds too, as shown. There’s a good deal of wobble in many factory loads, and if you rely on it for important shots (like on a big hunting trip) sometimes it’s good to know that you have the best-of-the-box in your pocket.

There is another popular and viable means of segregation and I’ll work that one next time. How you choose to segregate brass does have something to do with what the ammo is ultimately used for.

 

Winchester Smokeless Propellants Releases Winchester 572

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Winchester Smokeless Propellants has released Winchester 572, a new Ball Powder available immediately in 1-pound, 4-pound, and 8-pound  containers. The company says this new propellant is designed and manufactured to perform multiple functions:

  • Allows duplication of the famous Winchester 28-gauge AA target load.
  • Suits development of the original Winchester 3¼-dram-equivalent, 1330 fps, 1¼ oz, 12-gauge upland-game load;
  • Provides top-quality 1200 fps target loads in both 28- and 20-gauge with popular reloading components;
  • Allows use in shotshell field loads from 12 gauge to 28 gauge and handgun applications such as 380 Auto, 9mm Luger, 38 Special, and 45 ACP.

Complete load data for this versatile and useful propellant is accessible on the Hodgdon Reloading Data Center.

Winchester Smokeless Propellants 572

Top 5 Trending Cartridges 

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By Todd Woodard, Editor, Cartridges of the World 15th Edition

The 15th Edition of Cartridges of the World will be out this fall, and in the process of researching and assembling this edition, I came across a handful of new or newish rounds I’ve become interested in personally. Because of their heritage, practicality, and design, here are five cartridges I believe will be trending upward in popularity the next few years:

6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum

For the first time in decades, Weatherby unleashed a new cartridge in 2016, this one based on a necked-down .300 Weatherby Magnum: the 6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum. This cartridge isn’t exactly new, even though Weatherby is billing it that way. Roy Weatherby built a 6.5-300 in the early 1950s, as evidenced by an old Mauser-action rifle in the company’s collection. Also, in the early 1970s, a group of benchrest wildcatters built rifles chambered for the 6.5-300 WWH (Weatherby Wright Hoyer), a 6.5mm cartridge using the .300 Weatherby as the parent case.

6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum
6.5-300 Weatherby Magnum

“This is now the fastest production 6.5mm cartridge in the world,” said Adam Weatherby, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Weatherby Inc. “The speed and energy of this cartridge is unprecedented and worthy of carrying the Weatherby name, all while exhibiting very manageable recoil.”

The fastest factory load shoots a 127-grain Barnes LRX at 3,531 fps. Factory-supplied ballistics show that with a 300-yard zero, the 127-grain Barnes drops 7.12 inches at 400 yards and 18.99 inches at 500 yards. Flat.

 

 

28 Nosler

In 2015, Nosler created its new 28 Nosler by necking up the 26 Nosler case, itself a derivative of the 7mm RUM case, which descended from the .404 Jeffery. Nosler supports this new cartridge with Nosler brass, Trophy Grade ammunition and M48 rifles in 26-inch barrel configurations.

28 Nosler Case Specifications
28 Nosler Case Specifications

The fat case creates powder space, with a water capacity of 93.8 grains when loaded with a 150-grain AccuBond Long Range Spitzer, according to Nosler specs. The rebated-rim centerfire rifle cartridge shares the same overall cartridge length (3.340) as the 26 Nosler, which allows it to be chambered in standard-length actions. Likewise, the .284-caliber (7mm) centerfire .28 Nosler has the same 3.340-inch maximum cartridge overall length as the .30-06, but the case length is 2.590 inches with a 35-degree shoulder. Accordingly, the 28 Nosler cartridge case can be formed by necking-up a 26 Nosler case to 7mm (.284 inch) diameter.

Slower-burning powders and high load densities generally yield the best loads. Some of the best are with Norma 217 and RL 33.

7.62×40 WT (Wilson Tactical)

Kurt Buchert originated this round as the 7.62×40 USA. Introduced commercially in 2011 by Wilson Combat, the 7.62×40mm Wilson Tactical is a centerfire rifle cartridge that’s an accurate, low-recoil .30-caliber round that can be used in AR-15/M4 rifles with minimal changes beyond swapping the barrel.

7.62x40 WT
7.62×40 WT

All other standard AR-platform 5.56-caliber components are compatible. The 7.62×40 WT is based on the 5.56×45 NATO cartridge case, which is shortened to 1.560 inches and then re-sized (single operation) in a standard 7.62×40 WT sizing die. Result: A formed 7.62×40 WT case with a finished overall case length of 1.565 inches.

From a 16-inch barrel, the 7.62×40 WT fires a factory 110-grain bullet at 2534 fps muzzle velocity.

416 B&M

The 416 B&M (Bruton & McCourry) is designed for the Winchester M70 Winchester Short Magnum control-feed action with 18- and 20-inch barrels, but 20-inch barrels are optimum. In 20 inches of barrel, it runs most 350-grain bullets faster than 2450 fps and in 18 inches of barrel, 2400 fps and more. It makes an awfully good Alaskan rifle that is only 38 inches long and weighs 6.5 pounds.

416 B&M (Bruton & McCourry)
416 B&M (Bruton & McCourry)

To make 416 B&M brass, cut the .300 RUM case close to 2.240 inches, then trim, lube and run through the 416 sizing die. Firing a 300-grain ESP Raptor over 75 grains of AA 2520 will generate 2,627 fps/4,596 foot-pounds at the muzzle, according to a B&M load data sheet.

12 Gauge From Hell (GFH)

Okay, so this one is just interesting — I don’t expect too many reloaders to try this project. Cartridge researcher and collector Zachary Weighman has documented several shotshell-based cartridges designed by Ed Hubel of Lake, Michigan, one of which is the 12 Gauge From Hell, aka 12 GFH. Hubel has been building wildcat rounds since the early 1990s, and they range in caliber from .458 to .700.

12 Gauge From Hell
12 Gauge From Hell

Hubel says Rod Garnick and John McMorrow are co-designers of the 12 GFH dating back to 2004, and, in fact, the original concept was Garnick’s idea. The 12 GFH was made from a necked-up .50 BMG case, 3.85 inches overall, made to fire in a falling-block Borchardt action. Top loads tested have been 600-grain bullets at 3400 fps, but more shootable current loads run out at 1,650 to 1,700 fps.

Todd Woodard also edited Cartridges of the World 14th Edition and has been editor of Gun Tests magazine for 17 years. He loves shooting suppressed 22 LR firearms and is buying “cans” for his rifles and handguns as fast as his budget allows.COTW-14

Federal American Eagle Introduces Varmint & Predator Ammunition Bulk Packs

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Federal Ammunition is releasing new American Eagle Varmint & Predator loads, offered in 40- or 50-count bulk packs. Shipments of this new product are now being delivered to dealers. Click here to see our selection of American Eagle loads and to check when these new loads might be in stock.

New American Eagle Varmint & Predator loads feature reloadable brass and Federal primers with a jacketed hollow point or Tipped Varmint bullet, depending on caliber. Both designs expand explosively on impact for maximum lethality.

Here are the product numbers for the new offerings and MSRPs for the loads.

AE17HGTV / 17 Hornet 20-grain Tipped Varmint, 50-count / $52.95

AE22HGTV / 22 Hornet 20-grain Tipped Varmint, 50-count / $52.95

AE22350VP / 223 Rem. 50-grain JHP, 50-count / $33.95

AE2225050VP / 22-250 Rem. 50-grain JHP, 50-count / $52.95

AE24375VP / 243 Win. 75-grain JHP, 40-count / $46.95

AE308130VP / 308 Win. 130-grain JHP 40-count / $52.95

This is one of the new bulk-packed American Eagle varmint and predator loads, a 22-250 Rem. 50-grain JHP, now available in a box of 50 rounds.
This is one of the new bulk-packed American Eagle varmint and predator loads, a 22-250 Rem. 50-grain JHP, now available in a box of 50 rounds.