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.

Reloaders Corner: Pressure Curves and Port Pressure – Part 2

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

Last time I gave a caution about respecting one of the differences between semi-auto and bolt-action rifles, and that was with respect to propellant burn rates. The summary reason for that is that different rate propellants will “peak” at different areas as the expanding gases and the bullet travel through the bore. Slower-burning propellants peak farther, and that means more pressure is available at the gas port location in an AR-15, for instance, as the bullet passes it. If the system is oversupplied, then the system is overworked.

Compared to ideal function when gas supply is delivered as engineered, mistimed peak pressures can result in the bolt unlocking too quickly and excessive bolt carrier velocity rearward. The system just gets hit too hard. The extractor tries to yank the case out of the chamber too soon, before the case is released from its grip on the chamber walls (from being expanded through firing). Spent-case condition shows a measurably more abused hull. Probably the worst popular example of these effects is the M1A. I’m doing an entire column or two on reloading for this beast. Essentially, a spent case from an M1A will show dimensions that don’t seem possible. These come from the bolt unlocking too quickly. AR-15s actually handle excessive pressure better than some other designs.

Always keep in mind that this is all happening in about 2 milliseconds. Average time a bullet spends in the barrel, for most modern centerfire rounds, is 0.002 seconds. Timing is everything.

Keeping in mind the behavior of a pressure curve, which is like a wave cresting, factors that influence the amount of gas-port pressure, using the same load, include barrel length, gas-port size, and gas-port location. When the bullet is sealing the bore, the longer the barrel, the more pressure is contained for a longer time. The smaller or larger the gas port size, the slower or faster the gas enters the system. The farther back or forward the port is located, the sooner or later. Bullet weight is a factor also: heavier bullets accelerate more slowly (and also the reason heavy bullets erode the chamber throat more than lighter bullets).

And, the amount of volume inside the bore has a huge influence on all this. That matters when we’re using another caliber than .224 in an AR-15 or .308 in a big-chassis AR (like an SR-25). For instance, in that rifle chambered for .243 Win., but retaining the gas system specifications (gas port size and location) of the .308 Win.–chambered rifle, there’s way more pressure only because there’s less space, less volume, in the bore. The opposite is usually true when we’re running an AR-15 with a larger caliber bullet.

Selecting a propellant with a suitable burning rate, which, again, is something in the vicinity of H4895, is really the only thing we can do on the loading bench to ensure that we’re not contributing to these symptoms. Beyond that, dealing with excessive pressure gets technical.

All my NRA Match Rifles, which usually have 26-inch barrels, get their gas ports moved forward one to two inches. These, of course, are custom-barreled. I also usually install an adjustable gas manifold.

Moving the port forward effectively delays the wave of gas moving through the bore, kind of repositioning its peak with respect to its outlet; there is more space available for expanding gases. It also allows a little slower-burning propellant, which can take more advantage of the longer barrel. It’s common in a similarly constructed AR-10 to get a port moved as much as 5 inches forward to accommodate a .243 Win. or .260 Rem. chambering.

The adjustable manifold allows some tuning. There are essentially two forms these take. One way is to restrict or limit the through-flow; the other just bleeds it off. I like the first kind the best.

Also, I have searched far and wide for a consensus on gas-port sizes, and came up empty.

All this changes with different chamberings and rifle configurations. Carbine-length barrels are particularly sensitive to port pressure because the port is located farther back.

There are a few surefire things that will alert you when your rifle is exhibiting “over-function” symptoms, such as spent-case condition showing excessively blown (extended) case shoulders, extractor marks on the case rim, and a generally explosive sensation in functioning.

In a more extreme circumstance, an over-accelerated carrier can “bounce” back from its rearmost travel so quickly that a round can’t present itself in time to be picked up by the bolt, or the bolt stop can’t engage quickly enough to hold the bolt carrier.

Sometimes what appears to be a “light” load is actually not. I’ve seen excess pressure leave a spent case in the chamber because the extractor lost its grip, and I’ve seen chunks pulled right off case rims. That’s severe. That’s also another cause for the “short-stroke” appearance of over-function: the extractor issue has slowed the carrier.

If you’re having any problems with “over-function,” solutions include retrofitting an adjustable manifold, increasing carrier mass, installing a stouter buffer spring. I do all those things on my rifles. Keep in mind that I am primarily a Service Rifle shooter, and I am trying to push an 80-grain bullet as fast as reasonably possible from a 20-inch barrel that can’t get the modifications mentioned. I know a thing or three about delaying bolt unlocking — I’ll cover more on this topic if you all want to know.

 

Sources:

Sun Devil Manufacturing

663 West 2nd Ave., Suite 16

Mesa, AZ 85210

(480) 833-9876

 

Medesha Firearms Ltd.

10326 E. Adobe Rd.

Mesa, AZ 85207

(480) 986-5876

 

Sierra Announces Five New SIG V-Crown Bullets

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Sierra SIG Sauer V-Crown Bullets Nov 2015

Sierra Bullets, in partnership with SIG Sauer, has announced the availability of five new members of the V-Crown self-defense-bullet line. The V-Crowns deliver Continue reading Sierra Announces Five New SIG V-Crown Bullets

Brooklyn Lawmakers Want to Severely Tighten Ammo Sales

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If two New York lawmakers from Brooklyn are successful at passing new draft legislation aimed at tightly restricting the sale of ammunition in the state, will legitimate gun owners there turn to reloading Continue reading Brooklyn Lawmakers Want to Severely Tighten Ammo Sales

Hodgdon’s Step-by-Step Loading Help

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Midsouth Shooters Supply sells a ton of Hodgdon powders, because, of course, the company makes great products our customers love. But Hodgdon powders are also popular because the company’s experts are willing to help folks get started in the craft or guide experienced hands toward new reloading ventures. Whether you’re new to reloading or a seasoned vet, there’s always something more to learn.

That’s where Hodgdon’s Reloading Education section comes in. The company has stockpiled a wealth of information that can help take your handloading to the next level. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to look at Hodgdon’s online system for building top-rate rifle, pistol, and shotgun loads and give you some pointers on how to make time-saving and money-conserving choices on brass, bullets, and powders.

Click here to see the landing page on which Hodgdon begins the education process.

Select the Reloading for Beginners tab to learn the basics, from the effect of crimp depth in shotshells to reloading the .223 to matching shot type and size to reloading data.

Midsouth also recommends you spend some time learning about Safety. Click that tab to brush up on the do’s and don’ts of reloading, starting with the basic reloading precautions created by the NRA.

Then, select the Tips and Tricks tab for informative posts on key topics in the reloading community.

Here’s a sample of some of the things you’ll find on the site:

Reloaders Corner: Pressure Curves for Semi-Automatic and Bolt-Action Rifles

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The following is a specially-adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book, Top-Grade Ammo, by author Glen Zediker, owner of Zediker Publishing.

When you’re handloading for semi-automatic rifles and bolt-action rifles, it’s helpful to realize they are not to be approached the same way. Continue reading Reloaders Corner: Pressure Curves for Semi-Automatic and Bolt-Action Rifles

10 Great Things about Kel-Tec’s PMR-30

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A few years ago, one of our Midsouth staffers asked an FFL friend to find him a Kel-Tec PMR-30, which were in short supply at the time. He purchased one for $600. Now, at a vastly better price, “The Shot Report” e-letter readers have a chance to win one in our giveaway.

Besides just the sheer joy of getting something cool for free, there’s a lot to like about the PMR-30 pistol. So, to fill you in on some of the best aspects of this handgun, we compiled a top-ten list of great things to like about Kel-Tec’s PMR-30, and we wish you luck when it comes time to draw for it.

#10

Ammunition for the PMR-30 is affordable, if sporadically available recently. A lot of shooters love the similarly sized FiveseveN handgun, but just the 5.7 ammo that runs that handgun will turn a big wad o’ cash in your pocket into a small wad o’ cash PDQ. The PMR-30, on the other hand, chambered for the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, offers a lot of load availability and pricing. We currently list 14 different .22 WMR packages from CCI, Hornady, and Federal in bullet or shotcharge weights of 30, 40, 45, 50, and 52 grains. You can shoot this surprisingly powerful round for as low as 20 cents a round (actually, 19.88 cents/round for the Federal FMJ 40-grain load #129-737).

#9

First reaction of most shooters who handle the PMR-30: “It is so light, it feels like a toy.” The gun and magazine together, unloaded, weigh only a pound, and with a full complement of 40-grain cartridges, it comes in at 20.2 ounces.

#8

You can shoot the heck out it. Our staff has poured about 1000 rounds through one PMR-30, and everyone who shot it has loved it. But note that Kel-Tec says, “The PMR-30 pistol functions best with high-power ammo, often with bullet weights of 40-grains and up. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: CCI Maxi Mag 40gr, Winchester Super-X 40gr, Remington Premier Magnum 33gr.” Also, Kel-Tec notes, “Low-power ammo and/or lightweight bullets may cause failure to feed problems due to the lack of energy to cycle the slide all the way back. The following are currently low power, and may not function reliably in the PMR-30 pistol, especially if the grip is not held firmly: Winchester Dynapoint 45gr, Winchester Supreme 30gr.”

#7

Capacity. The “full complement” mentioned above is 30+1 rounds. Start shooting the first of the month, keep shooting all month. If you like to do math and not have loose rounds in your range bag, then cipher this:

We added three steel magazines to the two polymer mags purchased with the handgun, which gives a loaded-round count of 150 rounds in magazines, or the tidy equivalent of three 50-round boxes of ammo.

#6

The PMR-30 uses a double-stack magazine, and loading 30 rounds into it takes time, and holding pressure on the cartridges to put 30 in can tire your hands. To make this process easier, loading tools are available and recommended. Just do an online search for “PMR-30 loading tools” and several sources will pop up.

#5

The trigger is a crisp single action with an over-travel stop. Our staff PMR-30’s trigger breaks at 3.9 pounds, with no creep and a clean reset.

#4

Another favorite feature on the PMR-30 is the fiber-optic orange rear-sight dots and green fiber-optic front-sight dot. Even newbies understand and can see how to align the three dots, and they’re very visible on almost every target color. In fact, the color scheme is superior in low-light conditions.

#3

The sights and good trigger translate to pretty good accuracy. With Winchester Dynapoint 45-grain JHPs  at 15 yards, we can shoot some 2-inch groups off sandbags, but the average group size is closer to 2.5 inches. Our older version also likes Remington Magnum Rimfire 40-gr. PSPs, which come in around 2.7 inches as a group average.

#2

The PMR-30 produces surprising power and penetration. Super-X 22 WMRs are rated at a muzzle velocity/muzzle energy of 1910 fps/324 ft.-lbs. out of a rifle barrel, and in the PMR-30 itself, we got 1339 fps/159 ft.-lbs., only a 30% decrease. In Ballistic Technology’s wax-like, easy-to-use Handgun Bullet Test Tubes, we were able to accurately measure penetration and wound-cavity size. We fired a round into two 11-inch-long, 3.5-inch-wide Handgun Test Tubes set end to end. The Remington PSP had enough energy to punch a quarter-inch-wide hole 4 inches deep into the second tube (15 inches overall penetration).

#1

We have tested ten .22 WMR samples in the Kel-Tec for function and reliability. We encountered no function problems with any of the 10 brands. Some of our friends have mentioned two instances where the 30th round stuck in the magazine and didn’t feed. It only happened with Winchester Dynapoints in both of the polymer factory mags, so it may be an ammunition-specific issue. More likely, it’s that they did not follow the recommended loading sequence religiously. Failure to load the magazine properly can result in rim-lock, which will lead to a failure to feed. Most likely, after they got 15 to 20 rounds in the magazine, they didn’t tap the magazine on the bench to seat rounds.

All in, the lucky winner of the PMR-30 we’re offering will likely have himself or herself a ball with this handgun — with a red-dot or laser, it would be a wicked squirrel gun out to… as good as you are. Most of us are happy when the gun is better than we are.

A heads-up: You’ll notice we’re currently out of stock on all .22 WMR. Unfortunately, right now, ammunition manufacturers just can’t keep up with demand, and they won’t give us any expected dates of delivery, so we’re leery of letting folks backorder, when it may be a while before it can be fulfilled. If some looks to be coming in, we’ll try to let you know as soon as it hits the receiving dock.

Black Friday 2015 Breaks Sales Records

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More Americans had their backgrounds checked purchasing guns on this most recent Black Friday than any other day on record, according to data recently released by the FBI. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System processed 185,345 requests on Nov. 27, one of the largest retail-sales days in the country.

Stephen Fischer Jr., of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, wrote in a release, “This was an approximate 5% increase over the 175,754 received on Black Friday 2014. The previous high for receipts were the 177,170 received on 12/21/2012.”

Other Black Friday shopping days in 2014, 2013 and 2012 occupied the FBI’s “top 10” list of the most background checks processed in a 24-hour period.

Since 1998, FBI data shows that the bureau has processed requests for more than 222 million firearm purchases. The highest per annum total recorded in the 17-year span was in 2013, with just over 21 million requests.

We had some great shopping deals this year, in our humble opinion. We hope you found a great price on something you were looking for. Check back in a couple of weeks for other bargains and clearances.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System processed 185,345 requests on Nov. 27, setting a single-day sales record.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System processed 185,345 requests on Nov. 27, setting a single-day sales record.

Ruger Introduces GP100 in .22 LR and Takedown 10/22 with Target Barrel

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Sturm, Ruger & Co.  has recently introduced two new rimfire products: a new Ruger GP100 is chambered in .22 LR, and the Ruger 10/22 Takedown line now includes a model with a target barrel. MSRP for the GP100 22 LR revolver #1757 is $829. MSRP for the Ruger 10/22 Takedown w/Target Barrel #21133 is $629.

The new Ruger GP100 ten-round revolver has a 5.50-inch half-lug barrel to reduce weight and it uses an improved fire-control system that uses a lighter mainspring than previous Ruger double-action .22 LR revolvers.

“This .22 LR revolver has the same light trigger pull as our centerfire GP100 revolvers,” said Chris Killoy, Ruger President and COO.

The GP100 in .22 LR features a windage-and-elevation-adjustable rear sight with a white outline, a light-gathering fiber-optic front sight, and the original full-size GP100 rubber grips with hardwood inserts. The stainless-steel construction should make this GP100 an easy firearm to maintain.

This newest entry into the 10/22 Takedown line has a target barrel with a .920-inch diameter 16.10-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel. Fluted for weight reduction, the barrel also includes a 1/2″-28 threaded muzzle and is fitted with a thread cap. This new target barrel takedown model also incorporates the Ruger Modular Stock System and comes with both low and high comb, standard length of pull modules.

Readily separated into two subassemblies, the 10/22 Takedown offers a convenient transport and storage option. The barrel and forend of the 10/22 Takedown can be separated from the action and buttstock by pushing a recessed lever, twisting the subassemblies and pulling them apart.

The Ruger 10/22 Takedown with target barrel is shipped with a carrying case with extra pockets and magazine pouches. The 5.5-pound Ruger 10/22 Takedown is 34.50 inches long when assembled; each subassembly is less than 20.25 inches long when disassembled. It otherwise functions like the standard 10/22 action and comes with one ten-round rotary magazine.

If you already own a 10/22 or a 10/22 Takedown and want to add a target-contour barrel, click here to see similar barrels we have in stock. The very similar Green Mountain barrel (Item # 186-901503, $126.45) has the same OD, length, and fluting, but isn’t threaded at the muzzle. For both the Takedown Target and the GP100 22 LR, you’ll need ammo. Click here to see our full selection of rimfire ammo. If you plan to run a suppressed accessory on the threaded muzzle of the new Takedown, try the subsonic offerings.

Norma Target and Match 22 LR Ammo

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Top Performance in 22 Long Rifle

 

Norma Brand of Target and Match 22 Long Rifle

Norma USA is known as a premium brand, both for their ammunition, as well as their components. More recently, they’ve been one of the few brands to consistently provide the market with 22LR ammunition. Many folks have been forced to participate in this brand transition, simply based on availability. What’s amazing is the consistency seen, even after many of the bulk 22LR have resurfaced, as demand has slackened. Norma USA has even went a step further, offering a match grade 22LR, in their MATCH-22.

We were able to reach out to a representative at Norma USA for a quick word on what makes their 22LR a cut above the rest, and what we can expect from the new MATCH-22 that recently hit the market. – “Only certain production lots of rimfire production live up to the exacting standards of Match ammunition. Each production lot is rigorously checked for performance.- Accuracy is a key component of testing and when a certain lot exceeds the accuracy standards in place for Tac-it is then tested for “match accuracy” and if all the test ammunition for this particular lot exceeds Tac and meets Match standards-then that lot is packaged as Match Ammo. Our loading facility, selection of components and rigorous testing to exact specifics are just the norm for Norma Precision Products- Norma customers expect this- they know we cost more for a reason and settle for nothing less! Neither does Norma!”

This NEW! introduction of NORMA-USA’s MATCH- 22 Ammunition is designed and engineered specifically for competitive shooting and target practice where every point counts. Assembled with the finest components and primer/powder combinations, you’ll be sure to obtain outstanding accuracy on the range. It also feeds reliably in all 22 rifle actions, including semi-automatics.

Just to get an idea of how things are done in the Norma Factory, please watch the video below. They’re not making 22LR, but you get a true sense of what precision and quality means to Norma.

Below is a review video made by a friend of Midsouth, 22plinkster. He’s a 22LR specialist, and renowned trick shooter. He put the norma TAC-22 to the test in 5 shot groups, using an AR-15 platform 22 LR, and a CZ bolt action 22LR. The results are pretty telling. At the time of his video production, the MATCH-22 ammo wasn’t available. He does go on to clarify why the MATCH would outperform even the TAC-22. He quotes the price at $6.50, which is a suggested retail price, but make sure to click below to check price and availability. Based on performance, the value is definitely there. Watch the video, and see for yourself.

Hornady Full Boar Ammo

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Hogs Hate It, We Love It!

Hornady Full Boar Ammunition

Time to bag some bacon with Hornady’s latest offering, the new line of center-fire rifle ammo called Full Boar Ammunition. This pork specific ammo has been tailor made to drop pigs throughout a wide range of calibers. Each round is loaded with the GMX bullet. If you haven’t used one of these bullets yet, you’re in for a whole new experience in coreless, ballistic joy. About the bullet being coreless, it’s a monolithic style bullet made of a unique homogeneous copper allow with no lead core. This is great news for our folks who live in eco-friendly regions, and need to avoid the lead. To aid in the expansion process, the plastic tip does some double duty. It keeps the drag down, and upon impact, pushes into the cavity, initiates the expansion, thereby mushrooming the bullet. Also, since there is no true core of the bullet, there’s no separation of components, so it just obliterates bone and soft tissue, without sacrificing velocity. With a high BAL CO for their respective weights, and a very uniform pressure curve, expect these rounds to give an optimal performance time, and again.

From Hornady.com- “Whether down in the swamps, or running the hills – the toughest game demands the toughest ammunition – Full Boar® Full Boar® ammunition from Hornady® features hard hitting GMX® bullets for deep penetration and maximum weight retention. These monolithic copper-alloy bullets deliver 95+% weight retention and uniform, controlled expansion for unmatched terminal performance on the toughest game. Loaded with premium components, Full Boar™ ammunition is available in a variety of popular calibers and is designed to work flawlessly in all guns, to include ARs and other semi-autos. The GMX® is California compatible and approved for other areas that require the use of non-traditional bullets. Hornady® Full Boar® ammunition – proudly made in the USA!”

Having hunted hogs in southern Alabama, it’s crucial to ensure your kill. It’s become such a problem across the southern states, that leaving your shot to chance just won’t cut it. Many folk’s livelihood depends on the land, and hogs are doing their dead-level best to tear it up. We hope that, with new ammo available that’s specific to the purpose of dropping hogs, more people will get excited about killing these pests, and enjoying the quality and accuracy of a superior product. Having used several other brands of ammo, in varying calibers, we were excited to get out hands on this new offering from Hornady. We expect quality from them, and they always deliver. Below is the full list of Full Boar we carry at Midsouth:

.223 Full Boar Ammo
  • .223 Remington
  • 50 Grain GMX Bullet
  • 20 Rounds
  • Click Image for Pricing
.243 Full Boar Ammo
  • .243 Winchester
  • 80 Grain GMX Bullet
  • 20 Rounds
  • Click Image for Pricing
6.8mm Full Boar Ammo
  • 6.8mm SPC
  • 100 Grain GMX Bullet
  • 20 Rounds
  • Click Image for Pricing
270 Win. Full Boar Ammo
  • 270 Winchester
  • 130 Grain GMX Bullet
  • 20 Rounds
  • Click Image for Pricing
7mm Remington Full Boar Ammo
  • 7mm Remington
  • 139 Grain GMX Bullet
  • 20 Rounds
  • Click Image for Pricing
308 Winchester Full Boar Ammo
  • 308 Winchester
  • 165 Grain GMX Bullet
  • 20 Rounds
  • Click Image for Pricing
30-06 Springfield Full Boar Ammo
  • 30-06 Springfield
  • 165 Grain GMX Bullet
  • 20 Rounds
  • Click Image for Pricing
300 Win Mag Full Boar Ammo
  • 300 Winchester Magnum
  • 165 Grain GMX Bullet
  • 20 Rounds
  • Click Image for Pricing
Great Performance Means More Bagged Bacon