May 9th, 2018 by asjstaff

Manufacturer are getting more resourceful, every year we get a new round that’s been declared the latest and greatest. The 6.8 SPC, the 6.5 Grendel, and this year we’ve seen the rise of the .224 Valkyrie.

Sure, some of these rounds don’t completely fail. Their cult status lets them keep living a sort of half-life – but most of them have the shelf life of freshly baked bread.

One round that hasn’t failed is the 300 Blackout. In fact, it’s simply grown and grown in popularity. The round was introduced at the best time possible!

If you’re not into the details, here some top picks for best .300 Blackout Ammo:

Role Name Grain
Best Plinking/Training Magtech AAC Blackout 123gn
Best Suppressed/Subsonic Sellier & Bellot Subsonic 200gn
Best Supersonic Barnes Vor-Tx 110gn
Best Home Defense Fiocchi SST 125gn

As the shooting industry was beginning to lean towards short rifles and suppressors – the 300 Blackout just so happened to be designed for short barreled rifles, equipped with suppressors. It was one of those moments where everything aligned just right.

Emp New Groove Just Right
When the Ammo is Just Right

While initially designed for a military RFI (Rapid Fielding Initiative) the civilian market accepted it quickly. The 300 Blackout functions perfectly in an AR-15 platform with hardly any changes, this makes it inexpensive to adopt and easy to test out. 

So what about the ammo?

If you have a 300 Blackout weapon you need to feed it right? Here’s some of the best 300 Blackout ammo on the market.

The fact that the 300 Blackout is such a versatile round its best to look at its purpose.

1. The Best For Plinking/Shooting/Training – Magtech First Defense

300 Blackout is slowly becoming a more affordable round. It may be nowhere near as cheap as 223 or 7.62×39, but the price has been dropping constantly. It was initially near a buck a round, and at that price all you’ll hear while shooting is ka-ching, ka-ching ka-ching.

Magtech First Defense 123gn 300 BLK - 500 rounds

Magtech First Defense 123gn 300 BLK – 500 rounds

Prices accurate at time of writing

Luckily, prices have dropped, and ammo is hitting well under a dollar a round. Now if we avoid questionable reloads and want quality factory loads we are lead to Magtech First Defense.

I’ve always found this 123-grain FMJ ammo to be affordable, reliable and easy shooting.

Supersonic ammunition and flies forward at a blistering 2230 feet per second, the ammo uses premium brass cases and high-quality FMJ projectiles.

This is very basic ammunition designed to function reliably and accurately for all your training needs, perfect to be bought in bulk.

When it comes to purely plinking you can trust some lower quality rounds, but in good conscience, I won’t suggest anything that might blow your gun up.

Magtech consistently makes quality ammunition.

When the times comes to put lead downrange regardless of the reasons you’ll be hearing bangs and not clicks. This ammo is a solid choice for general fun gunning, tactical training, three gun, and more.

2. The Best Suppressor Food – Sellier and Bellot

One of the best things about the 300 Blackout round is the fact it’s superbly versatile. The rounds can range greatly in weight from light 90-grain supersonic loads to 220-grain subsonic baseball bats.

Sellier & Bellot 200gn Subsonic 300 BLK - 500 Rounds

Sellier & Bellot 200gn Subsonic 300 BLK – 500 Rounds

Prices accurate at time of writing

When it comes to a suppressor slower is better. A subsonic round lacks that supersonic crack. A suppressor only stops the blast at the muzzle end of the gun. It does nothing for the supersonic crack.

A subsonic load through a suppressor is nice and quiet. Nowhere near movie quiet, but quiet enough to be hearing safe.

One solid subsonic load for the suppressor enthusiast is the Sellier and Bellot 200 Grain FMJs.

These are on the lighter side of subsonic loads, so they move a little faster than the 220 grains and this translates into a little extra energy.

The lighter loads are chugging along at only 1,060 feet per second.

With rounds like this, you are getting performance a little better than a 45 ACP round. Slow is smooth, and smooth is basically a handgun round. It’s one of the joys of the 300 Blackout platform. It’s effectively suppressed at the cost of the long-range ability.

Swap in a magazine full of supersonics and bam you got your long-range performance back at the sacrifice of getting a little louder.

3. Bambi Begone Solutions – Barnes Vor-Tx

I personally hunt with an AR-15 and don’t see an issue with it, but the 300 Blackout has found its way into guns like the Ruger American rifle. It’s a great hunting cartridge and can be used both in a suppressed platform and a loud platform.

Barnes VOR-TX Tipped Triple-Shock X Hollow Point 110gn 300 BLK - 20 Rounds

Barnes VOR-TX Tipped Triple-Shock X Hollow Point 110gn 300 BLK – 20 Rounds

Prices accurate at time of writing

The only thing you need to consider when using 300 BLK to hunt with is that it offers a limited range, 200 yards for supersonic ammo and 150 yards or less for subsonic ammo.

When it comes to hunting I’d stick with a supersonic cartridge.

They fly further, hit harder, and are much more capable of quickly killing your game of choice. There are a number of different hunting cartridges out there for the 300 Blackout, but one that’s proven is from Barnes.

As it penetrates it’s also going to open up and expand. As it expands it leaves a wake of destruction which increases your chances of a one hit kill. This is a humane round that will put a deer down without issue.

Barnes is a premium ammo and it comes at a premium price, but the pay off is ethical hunting and that makes it worth the extra cents.

4. Best for Bumping Back – Fiocchi 125 Grain 300 Blackout

A suppressed, short barreled rifle is a mighty good home defense device. Even if you subtract the short-barreled part a semi-automatic rifle is a helluva way to deal with things that go bump in the night.

To do so you need the right ammo. A standard FMJ isn’t going to do it. They pass through walls, furniture, and everything else a little too easy. Plus, they aren’t the most efficient “man stopper”.

For this the Fiocchi 300 Blackout load is perfect. This is brass cased premium round loaded with one bad projectile. The projectile is from Hornady and weighs 125 grains.

Fiocchi SST 125gn 300 BLK - 25 rounds

Fiocchi SST 125gn 300 BLK – 25 rounds

The projectile is a Super Shock Tip projectile. It reaches 2,200 feet per second and is designed to deliver controlled expansion at high velocities.

A lot of times a company hypes their ammo a bit, what I like about the Fiocchi SST is that it actually has some solid reasons backing it up:

  • SST projectile expands on contact and penetrates with near reckless abandon
  • Hornady’s Interlock ring keeps the copper jacket and leads internals together, allowing for excellent weight retention and penetration without over-penetration

A magazine of two of these bad boys is going to be one helluva solution to whatever problems you may have.

Using a rifle for self-defense does require plenty of practice and if you make that decision you need practice.

Make sure you get both a good self-defense round and a lot of ammo to train with.

If you noticed my selection for training ammo was a 123-grain round and my choice for a self-defense round is 125 grains – I do this so that the recoil and operation will be as close as possible without having to spend the money on mass amounts of high-end ammo.

Rocking the 300 Blackout

The 300 Blackout is a modern little cartridge that absolutely rules the 0-300-yard range. It’s potent, powerful versatile, and popular enough to give you a wide selection of rifles to choose from.

Suppressed .300 Blackout
Suppressed .300 Blackout

You can do a lot with a 300 Blackout rifle, and the task you choose is going to determine the ammo you need. Certain tasks don’t work well with certain ammo so make sure you pair the right ammo with the right tasks.

If you’re looking to build a 300 BLK rifle for yourself, take a look at our top picks for 300 Blackout Uppers!

Do we have any 300 Blackout aficionados in the house? Let us know in the comments what is your favorite 300 BLK ammo and why!

The post Best .300 Blackout Ammo [2018]: Self Defense, Hunting, Target appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

Posted in Ammo Tagged with: , , , , ,

April 17th, 2018 by asjstaff

Long distance shooting is a bit like meteorology. You can go by feel, or you can make predictions to help you plan ahead.

No plan survives the first contact, but it gives you a fighting chance at least!

If you want to “call your shot” before you make them, a ballistics calculator is in order. Ballistic calculators are an all or nothing sort of thing, you need to know exactly what you’re doing, or it’ll send your rounds way off.

Tom Berenger Sniper
Unlike in the Movies, Most Precision Shooters Use Ballistic Calculators

If you’re willing to learn how to use them they can be the key that opens doors that were previously closed!

Purpose of a Ballistic Calculator

The purpose a ballistic calculator is important and is sometimes essential. Basically speaking, a ballistics calculator makes several calculations of given a data set.

That set includes the humidity, elevation, specifications of the round, and the expected velocity of the bullet given the rifle it’s fired out of.

Hangover Math Gif
Ballistic Calculators Make It So You Don’t Have To Do This In Your Head…

The calculations are so specific every shot you ever fire will be completely different.

You won’t have to waste ammunition trying to find out if your calculations are accurate because as soon as you calculate the shot, the variables have most likely changed, mother nature is a fickle woman.

The purpose of a ballistics calculator is to just get you close enough you can manually dial in your shot. Many people think a high-tech calculator will make the shots for you, and it won’t.

A calculator will save you money and time by getting you close but it won’t have you hitting the bullseye at 1,000 yards on the first shot.

Don’t Forget to….

Take Good Notes

Every single shot you make will be influenced by the internal and external ballistics of the round, this is one of many reasons why quality control of your ammunition is so important – consistency is everything!

But it’s not just the ammo that you’re trying to account for – you also have things that while you can measure and attempt to account for, you won’t be able to get it perfect every time.

Temperature, wind, humidity, atmospheric pressure, elevation difference between you and the target, the list goes on and gets exponentially more complex the longer the shot is.

If you enter in all of this information into a ballistics calculator can give you a good idea of how the shot will ring out, but it is just an educated guess.

You should be taking good notes on pen and paper to log each shot and shooting session to get a collection of good data to help you set up your calculator.

Storm Tactical "Heavy Paper" Modular Data Book

Storm Tactical “Heavy Paper” Modular Data Book

Prices accurate at time of writing

This is especially important for users who opt for low features applications on a smartphone. Many application won’t keep data over a long period of time, the best will, but you should always have a backup and keep the data somewhere safe, otherwise, you’ll waste a lot of ammunition and money when it comes time to shoot!

Phone Vs. Handheld Calculator

With the widespread use of smartphones coming into the scene just as more and more people are hitting targets at range, naturally, people looked to the ever-loved smartphone for help nailing targets.

While an application on your phone can provide basic data to help dial in dope for the shot you’re facing, almost every application on the market is not going to give as in-depth information as a dedicated ballistics computer.

They’ll be much easier to use but are slower to use and can eat up your phone battery quickly but can be excellent for shooting at targets within 1200-ish yards.

The benefits of a ballistics calculator are important for a competitive shooter, you don’t have to use your phone and it’s often faster with deeper features than any app on the market.

They have a very steep learning curve and they go very in depth with high degrees of precision if you know how to use it.  

The other major downside to a dedicated handheld calculator is the price…they aren’t cheap!

Kestrel Sportsman Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics

Kestrel Sportsman Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics

Prices accurate at time of writing

Bottom line: If you have the extra cash and want the hobby of learning to use a ballistics calculator, go for it!

If you’re a recreational shooter who wants a down and dirty solution to save ammunition when you hit the range, get a phone based solution and take good notes!

Best Ballistics Calculator Apps

KAC Bullet Flight

Knights armament is an American institution for the firearms industry. They make some of the finest precision, military grade, rifles and weapons that can be had.

In fact, they were one of the first companies to perfect the AR-10 with their KAC M110 – a rifle that is still in service with the military today.

KAC Bullet Flight
KAC Bullet Flight

They made this ballistic calculator app to help you dial in dope and get first round hits. It’s got a stripped-down version but is available in a detailed version, the Bullet Flight M, that is simply an excellent tool.

They factor in a ton of different data points and make it very easy to use the information when the time comes.

This application has the distinction of being one of the most counter-intuitive I’ve used.

The hardest thing to nail down about this application is working through the menus. however, once you get used to it, you can use it quickly – but it isn’t as fast as the other apps and definitely has a learning curve.

The trick to using this calculator is knowing what you need to get out of it and make sure you know what you’re doing when using that data. Trying to use the more advanced ballistic calculators like this one is a recipe for wasting ammo if you’re not used to working with the data.

Andriod | iOS

Nosler

Nosler pretty much owns the long-distance hunting industry. They were the first company to produce purpose-driven bullets and continue to innovate designs that eventually get copied later on by other companies.

Nosler Ballistics App
Nosler Ballistics App

This is their basic ballistic calculator application that does a good idea of getting you on target and helping you sight in your rifle.

It’s available for all smartphones and was intended to work well for their reloading manual as a way to predict trajectory when reloading, it works well for any bullets though.

The nice thing about this calculator is that it gets you on target with the least amount of fuss and confusion. It does an excellent job of just using the data you’re likely to have, and producing data you’re likely to use. It’s excellent for your first time figuring out a rifle, scope, and bullet combination.

This calculator is best for people who want a basic set of features and have access to accurate data about the load they’re shooting.

You can account for any factors other than velocity and ballistic coefficient, but for the majority of shooters and hunter shooting below 700 yards, this is plenty accurate and do a great deal of the work of zeroing for you.

Andriod | iOS

Shooter

The best thing about this calculator is the simplicity of the application. There are few screens and inputting data is easy because of it’s all done on a single screen.

The bad thing about this application is the use of scrolling menus that make you flip through each and every option before you reach the number you’re looking for.

Shooter Ballistic App
Shooter Ballistic App

This means a lot of tedious scrolling and setting up when you get to the range and need to make corrections in the field.

The only other complaint is the white background can be difficult to read on the screen, but you can overcome that. If you’re looking for the simplest complete calculator, this as good as it gets.

Andriod | iOS

Applied Ballistics

The Applied Ballistics mobile app is certainly my favorite ballistics calculator application for Android and iOS available.

Yes, it’s expensive, costing $30 but in my experience, no other ballistics calculator comes close to the functionality you get with this application.

Applied Ballistics App
Applied Ballistics App

By far the greatest feature of this calculator is the HUD display, meaning head-up display.

This is just a snapshot of all the information that the calculator displays in an Easy-to-Read format that cuts out everything you don’t need to read when it comes time to make the shot.

This makes it much faster to call Corrections with a spotter because you’re not bogged down with plucking out information from a table. It’s all multicolored and displayed for you in an easy-to-read format.

This feature alone makes it the best in the field, but this calculator is also by far the best designed to be used with a touchscreen. Most of the other calculator suffer from having too many buttons or forcing you to use a scrolling menu to input data into the calculator.

This calculator is much faster simply because it was designed around using a touch screen and not designed around traditional calculators where you press buttons.

It does however suffer and that you can’t use it well with gloves on, even with “touch compatible” gloves. If you need to shoot with gloves on getting convertible gloves that you can still use your trigger finger to work the calculator.

Andriod | iOS

iSnipe

This is one of the original ballistic calculators that was put onto the market for turning your smartphone or iPod touch into a ballistic computer. You can count on this as being one of the most refined, and detailed applications for ballistic calculators out there.

iSnipe generates data for bullet trajectories, based on data calculated for pitch, yaw, the wind, Coriolis effect, spin drift and atmospheric condition.

iSnipe App
iSnipe App

This is a very advanced calculator and the one I’d recommend for serious shooters and competitors that need a complete data set they can get their hands on.

It has a learning curve and you need to have a requisite level of understanding behind the math before you can quickly use this calculator but you can certainly learn it in an afternoon or two of shooting and read the instructions.

If you’re a nerd, you’ll love this calculator. If all you want is put holes in targets, get one of the simpler options that aren’t as in depth.

Only on iOS

A Few Quirks to Look Out For…

Battery Life

Make sure if you plan on using your phone as your calculator you factor in battery life. Especially if you plan on using a cell phone in your car as a GPS, music, or emergency contact device, make sure using your calculator at the range won’t result in you getting lost. Have a charger or extra battery back up at the ready so you don’t get left up a creek.

Consider Going Larger

My favorite way to display ballistics readout is to put the apps onto a tablet and prop it up so I can see and make notes while in the prone position. This is by far the easiest and most comfortable way to log and calculate data on your shots.

Full-Color Screen

Having full color can help you more easily read the screen. Especially is the resolution is low. On almost every application for iPhone and Android, you have full-color options, but most ballistic computers aren’t color.

Waterproof & Ruggedness

Make sure you know your equipment’s limitations. If it’s your phone, get a good case. If you bought a purpose made calculator, it’s probably decently rugged, but you’ll want to baby it a little bit and carry it in a case. As always, ziplock bags are your friends!

Where You Place your Calculator

A pro tip from someone who’s been there, if you have a muzzle brake on your rifle, don’t put your notebook and phone, and calculator up near the barrel of the rifle. You’re putting it in the blast zone!

Dad, his 50 Cal, my Tail Light
Don’t let this taillight be your phone!

Final Thoughts

When you head to the range with hard data about your file set up, good ammunition in your gun, and shiny new targets to lob rounds at, it’s a good day! Having a good dope is a perfect start and a ballistics calculator gives you a head start and ultimately saves time and money- as long as you know how to use them!

There’s a lot of good options on the market but here are the best on the market you can’t go wrong with if you trust them with your next competition.

Do you use a ballistic app? Record your dope on paper or on a tablet? Let us know in the comments!

The post Best Ballistic Calculator Apps for Your Smartphone appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

Posted in Ammo, Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , ,

March 2nd, 2018 by asjstaff

I think we’ve all seen that old codger screw empty cases or live rounds into his ears as “hearing protection” on the range. If only on TV. But now you can hop over to ConcealedCarry.com and get a set of Ammo Ears, which provide 27 NRR of protection built off of actual, 9mm cases.

Case brands will vary, but they’re all nickel plated. They’re cleaned and buffed up prior to receiving a flanged silicone earplug tip.

The actual spent primer stays right where it belongs. I don’t know what gun my Ammo Ears’ donor cases were originally fired through, but it clearly wasn’t a GLOCK brand GLOCK 9mm.

Ammo Ears come in a handy, clamshell style carrying case with metal bead chain for attaching to a backpack, keychain, rear-view mirror, sling swivel stud, etc.

Once you purchase your Ammo Ears, you’re welcome to remove the rear label without violating Federal EPA law. Until then, you’ll be happy to note a decent NRR of 27 dB.

Screw these puppies into your ears — do it correctly! — and it’s hard not to smile. They’re always a hit on the range.

It literally looks like you’ve simply plugged your head with 9mm cases. And, in a way, you have. Except the Ammo Ears provide actual hearing protection.

I don’t find the Ammo Ears quite as comfortable as foamies, but they’re way funnier. They also install instantly; no waiting for them to expand, just plug ’em in. The Ammo Ears case lives in my range bag and I use them primarily when I’m shooting with other people. Because functional levity, mainly.

Specifications: Ammo Ears Real Bullet Earplugs

Made From: nickel plated 9mm spent cases and silicone
NRR: 27 dB
MSRP: $9.99 via ConcealedCarry.com

Ratings (out of five stars):

Comfort * * *
Flanged silicone tips are not my favorite and never have been. Ammo Ears’ are as good as any, it just isn’t my jam (so to speak) compared to expanding foam. It does, of course, have advantages: instant installation, long-term durability, and the ability to be cleaned.

Noise Reduction * * * *
27 dB NRR is quite good for silicone plugs.

Fun Factor * * * * *
As hearing protection goes, Ammo Ears are a riot.

Overall * * * *
Ammo Ears don’t provide the highest NRR available and aren’t the most comfortable ear protection available, but they rank solidly in both of those categories while bringing a fun sense of humor to the range. I dig ’em.

Posted in Ammo, Product Reviews Tagged with: , ,

April 9th, 2017 by asjstaff

On any continent, the Barnes LRX offers hunters eye-opening accuracy potential and deep penetration at long distance.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY PHIL MASSARO

“How far?”

The two simple words said much more than they implied. First, both Poen van Zyl and I clearly understood we each knew which of the reedbuck rams were to be killed, and second, it was down to a matter of the mathematics involved in taking him cleanly. Based on my professional hunter’s momentary silence, I responded with a brief question of my own.

“One-fifty?”

“Just hold on the point of the shoulder, and squeeze the trigger.” Poen van Zyl may have thought in Afrikaans, but knew how to guide a visiting sportsman in English. The Schmidt & Bender’s crosshairs quickly settled on the ram’s shoulder, and I broke the trigger of the Heym SR30 like you’d snap an icicle in two. Even through the recoil, I could see the lean reedbuck fold and collapse to its death; the .300 Winchester Magnum had once again done its job, as it had on so many other African species. Though the rifle and optic were new to me, the cartridge and bullet were not; I have come to love the .300 Winchester Magnum, and the Barnes LRX is among the best projectiles the company has ever produced.

The Barnes LRX bullet is available in 6.5mm, .270, 7mm, .30 and .338 calibers. (BARNES)

Barnes Bullets – the success story of Randy and Coni Brooks – has its roots in the brainchild of Fred Barnes, who saw the need for quality softpoints in a number of different calibers. Fred had a limited success, but his name surely carried on, defining a trend in modern bullet construction that is equal parts revolutionary and genius.

I am on the young end of the gunwriter age spectrum, but at 45 years old I am also wise enough to know whom to contact for the story. Randy Brooks and I have had more than one conversation, albeit via telephone, regarding the roots of his company and the development of the Barnes X bullet. As the famous story goes – and as it was related to me directly – the good Mr. Brooks was glassing for Alaskan bears when the impetus for a genre of projectiles popped into his head. “If the lead core is an issue with bullet separation, why not take the lead out?” And thus the Barnes X monometal softpoint was born. And while that bullet gave me equal parts exhilaration and fits of mania, I loved the design. Being an all-copper bullet, the Barnes X was designed to expand into four petals, giving a devastating balance of expansion and penetration. The original design had some issues with accuracy and copper fouling, but that was all rectified with the release of the Barnes TSX – or Triple Shock X – bullet, which has three large grooves on the bearing surface to reduce fouling and improve accuracy.

The Barnes LRX, original and after expansion.

The TSX, and its tipped counterpart, the TTSX, both serve most hunting scenarios perfectly, the LRX – or Long Range X bullet – has a sleeker profile and higher ballistic coefficient, to retain as much energy as possible downrange, and keep the trajectories flat. The LRX retains the royal blue polymer tip of the TTSX, but the ogive is engineered for the best downrange performance, and will indeed show the benefits over the flat base spitzers out past 250 or 275 yards.

The LRX, like all Barnes bullets, are praised and noted for their weight retention, as the monometal construction prevents any jacket separation – because there is no jacket – but it’s the accuracy potential of the LRX that truly opened my eyes. I’ve loaded this bullet in several different cartridges – with the best results coming from the .30-caliber magnums – and all of the accuracy has been more than acceptable. But it seems that the 175-grain .30-caliber LRX has garnered a special place in my heart.

The 175-grain Barnes LRX worked very well in the .300 Winchester Magnum and .30 Nosler.

While testing the new .30 Nosler, I utilized a number of bullets – bullets that have, in the past, produced fantastic results – but the best performer by far was the 175-grain LRX. Delivering ½ minute-of-angle accuracy and velocities on par with the .300 Weatherby, I know this combination could easily handle everything in North America, and 90 percent of the African species. In the Heym SR30 HPPR – the straight pull, High Performance Precision Rifle – it easily prints ½ to ¾ MOA five-shot groups using handloaded Barnes 175-grain LRX bullets.

The Heym SR30 HPPR and a reedbuck taken with the Barnes LRX. (Inset, below) With a steep boat tail, polymer tip and sleek ogive, the Barnes LRX makes a great long-range hunting bullet.

For the record, that reedbuck didn’t stand a chance; the shot went exactly where I intended it to, and the buck fell as if the very hand of God struck him. Two more of his kin did the same, at ranges from 125 to 250 yards, and I couldn’t recover any of the bullets; the LRX gave excellent penetration. The Barnes LRX and that Heym SR30 kept the Mozambican village of Peau well fed. If you appreciate the performance of the Barnes bullets – more than 90 percent weight retention and deep, deep penetration – combined with the best accuracy of the lot, try some LRXs and I’ll bet you’ll be happy. They’re available in 6.5mm, .270, 7mm, .30 and .338 calibers. ASJ

The first Mozambican reedbuck taken by the author with the .30-caliber Barnes LRX.

 

Posted in Ammo Tagged with: , , ,

March 23rd, 2017 by asjstaff

Texas Armament & Technology (TxAT) and Aguila Ammunition are pleased to announce the Lucky Shooter Sweepstakes. They have teamed up with FN Firearms, Aimpoint Inc., SureFire, SOG Knives, Otis Technology, Alien Gear Holsters, and Bigfoot Gun Belts to give one lucky shooter a free gun, a case of ammo and loads of gear from some of the best companies in the industry.

The Lucky Shooter Sweepstakes package includes a FN’s FNSTM-40 striker-fired pistol, an Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO), a case of Aguila Ammunition S&W 40 cal., a SureFire E2D LED Defender

Ultra Dual Output flashlight, the new SOG SYNC II multi-tool, the Otis Technology .40 cal DEFENDER cleaning system, Alien Gear Holster’s Cloak Tuck 3.0, and a Bigfoot Gun Belts Steel Reinforced Leather Gun Belt. It’s Christmas in March for one lucky winner.

Customers can enter the Lucky Shooter Sweepstakes by visiting the contest website at www.aguilaammo.com/promotions. A valid email address is required for entry and contestants can earn additional giveaway entries by sharing the promotion via social media. Additional contest rules apply.

The contest runs from March 17th – April 2nd. The winner will be announced via social media on April 3rd. Don’t forget to enter and tell your friends too!

About Aguila Ammunition

Aguila Ammunition, founded in 1961, is manufactured in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico by Industrias Tecnos, S.A. de C.V. As one of the largest rimfire manufacturers in the world, Aguila utilizes cutting-edge technology to manufacture quality rimfire, centerfire and shotshell ammunition. Aguila offers a complete range of products for the self-defense, sport shooting, hunting, law enforcement and military markets. Texas Armament & Technology is the exclusive North American distributor for Aguila Ammunition.

About Texas Armament & Technology

Texas Armament & Technology (TxAT) is the exclusive distributor of Aguila Ammunition in the U.S. and Canadian markets. TxAT specializes in distributing high-quality brands around the globe including  distribution into the Mexican market. From marketing strategy, planning and implementation to operational optimization and logistics, TxAT has the experience to bring products to market both domestically and abroad, delivering solutions that deliver results.

For more information on Aguila Ammunition, visit the company website at www.aguilaammo.com or contact:

Kristi Drawe
Texas Armament & Technology/Aguila Ammunition
Phone: (832) 672-1899
Kristi@tx-at.com

Posted in Industry News Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

March 10th, 2017 by asjstaff

Like the hot desert wind of the same name, Scirocco II bullets are powerful and unrelenting.

 STORY AND PHOTOS BY PHIL MASSARO 

The .338 210-grain Scirocco II.

I had been frustrated with the terminal performance of my .300 Winchester Magnum, as the cup-and-core bullets – which flew very well when punching paper – were giving too much expansion when used in the New York deer woods. I needed a stiffer bullet, yet wanted to take full advantage of the flat trajectories and wind deflection characteristics of the spitzer boat-tail bullets. I did a bit of research, and found an advertisement for the Swift Scirocco II. The ad copy touted a newly engineered jacket, which would improve the accuracy of the bullet. I ordered a box of 100 .308-caliber 180-grain Scirocco IIs, and headed to the bench. I had developed a load for this particular rifle that gave just under minute-of-angle accuracy, so decided to start there (it was well below maximum), and see what the new bullets would do.

I firmly believed the first three-shot group was a fluke – my wiggles must’ve accounted for my waggles – as it printed just under a half inch, but when the second and third did the same thing, I was a convert. They gave good velocities out of my 24-inch barrel – 2,965 feet per second, to be precise – but would they perform as advertised in the field?

The .338 Winchester Magnum is well served by the 210-grain Scirocco, giving the cartridge a flat trajectory and good terminal ballistics.

You see, the Scirocco is a bonded-core boat-tail bullet, with a very thick jacket and a black polymer tip. It is designed to not only fly accurately – which it proved to be true – but to give the consummate blend of expansion and penetration. Many cup-and-core boat tails have a tendency to have the copper jacket separate from the lead core upon impact at higher velocities, and that didn’t make me happy. The Scirocco’s thick jacket is chemically bonded to the lead core to hold things together should you strike bone, yet the jacket tapers down toward the nose, allowing for good expansion. That expansion creates a larger wound channel, which destroys more vital tissue and causes death sooner.
MY FIRST FIELD TEST was in Wyoming, where I would be hunting pronghorn antelope. Anyone who has hunted the Great Plains of the American West knows that the wind is always blowing, and sometimes it blows good and hard. I found the antelope I wanted after a couple of hours glassing the prairie, and it required a stalk of just over a mile. I lay prone over a small mound, with cactus everywhere it shouldn’t have been, and settled the crosshairs of my Winchester 70 on the buck’s shoulder 215 yards away. Even through the recoil, I could see that the antelope’s feet drew up to his body as he fell earthward, stone dead, and in that moment, this bullet captured my undivided attention.

The Scirocco II offers good expansion at a wide variety of velocities, and works well in mild cartridges like the .308 Winchester right up to the magnums.

I used it the next spring on a black bear hunt in Quebec. While I knew the shots were going to be inside of 75 yards, as it was a baited hunt, I wanted to see how the bullet would handle the tough shoulder bones of a bear. Canada’s ever-changing weather kept the action slow for the first few days, but a warm-up later in the week drew the bears out like moths to a flame. A 200-plus-pound boar decided to pay a visit to my bait, and I decided to ruin his day. I had loaded the 180-grain Scirocco in my .308 Winchester, to a muzzle velocity of 2,450 fps, and the bullet took him without issue, despite punching through both shoulders. I couldn’t recover either bullet, which was no problem with me, but I was highly impressed with the performance.

Since then, I’ve loaded this bullet in many different cartridges, from the 6.5×55 Swede and 6.5-284 Norma, to the 7mm Remington Ultra Magnum, to many of the .30s including the .308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield, the .300 Holland and Holland Magnum, and the huge cases like the .300 Remington Ultra Magnum and .30-378 Weatherby Magnum. I’ve even loaded the 210-grain Scirocco in the .338 Winchester Magnum with great results.

The 180-grain .30-caliber polymer-tipped Swift Scirocco IIs make a fantastic all-around big game load.

THE OUTCOME IS USUALLY THE SAME: almost all of the rifles (with the exception of one particularly evil .264 Winchester Magnum) gave subMOA accuracy and excellent field performance. The few bullets we’ve been able to recover from game animals have retained between 80 and 95 percent of their weight, with expansion running right around 2 times to 2.5 times caliber dimension. My wife loves the 150-grain Scirocco II in her .308 Winchester, as it offers less recoil yet great terminal ballistics; her Savage Lady Hunter prints ½-inch groups with this load.

This Wyoming pronghorn fell to the author (right) and his .300 Winchester Magnum and a 180-grain Swift Scirocco II.

The Scirocco is available in calibers from .224 up to and including .338, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go hunting with this bullet in any situation shy of the truly large and dangerous game that requires a larger bore and heavier bullet. With the Scirocco, between my own hunts and those of friends and colleagues, we have taken animals ranging in size from deer and antelope to caribou to African plains game to elk and moose. Swift only makes two softpoints – the Scirocco and the A-Frame – and that’s one of the best combinations on the market. ASJ

The .308 Winchester 180-grain Scirocco load that cleanly took this Quebec black bear.

Posted in Ammo Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

October 20th, 2016 by asjstaff

INTERVIEW BY GARN KENNEDY • PHOTOS BY G2 RESEARCH

 

The 9mm R.I.P. was the first G2 Research round available to the public, but it now comes in a variety of calibers.

The 9mm R.I.P. was the first G2 Research round available to the public, but it now comes in a variety of calibers.

If you were to bet that “research” forms the core of projectile manufacturer G2 Research’s company beliefs, you would be correct. And along with research comes development, as in new products. We sat down with G2 Research to learn more about the company’s origins and what new rounds we might soon see.
American Shooting Journal Did you start out small, or jump in with both feet?

G2 Research We thought we were starting small, but our internet presence went viral within a month of release. The servers handling our website crashed four times in a three-day period. At that point, we went in with everything we had.
ASJ The projectile in your cartridges looks devastating the way it opens up like a proud flower.

G2R The round you are referring to is the G2 Research Civic Duty. Our original round, the R.I.P., is designed to fragment, thus increasing stopping power and tissue damage. We found over the course of a year that it was too innovative for some people who were “set in their ways” when it comes to old-school tried and true. We set out to create the most expansion possible out of a solid copper projectile to fill that need.
ASJ What calibers did you launch with, and what have proven to be the most popular?

G2R We started with the 9mm R.I.P. Demand for that round was so high for a fledgling company it took a while to get our next round, the .380 R.I.P., out. In the time since, we have covered all the semiauto pistols, as well as introduced a rifle line for hunting, and a cold tracer for training and plinking. Now we are working to get the G2 Research Civic Duty out in more calibers and research and developing revolver calibers. Nine millimeter is by far the current favorite for shooters, though trends do change.
ASJ Do you have any plans to offer your projectiles for the reloading market?

G2R We load our rounds to such a fine spec for performance that we feel a lot of homeloaders would overload or underload, thus decreasing the effectiveness of the round.
ASJ Is your ammo primarily for hunters, or for home protection?

G2R We provide mostly to the self-defense market. Interest has been building for our rifle rounds as more people test and evaluate them. We also received the California DNR lead-free certification.

For more information, visit g2rammo.com. ASJ

G2 Research designed the Civic Duty round to create the most expansion possible out of a solid copper projectile.

G2 Research designed the Civic Duty round to create the most expansion possible out of a solid copper projectile.

 

Posted in Industry Tagged with: , , , ,

September 25th, 2016 by jhines

Rifling 101 

When a bullet is fired, the rifling of the barrel puts a twist on the bullet in order to improve accuracy, increase the distance traveled, and to stabilize the bullet as it moves through the air towards its target. Twist rates are often set up as a ratio, such as 1:14, 1:12, or 1:7, which refers to inches per turn. A twist rate of 1:10 means the bullet will turn one time in 10 inches of the barrel.

Rifling was discovered in 15th century Germany and most likely took the science behind arrows, which are fletched in a way that the arrow spins, thereby increasing its accuracy. It did not gain popularity until the 18th century, and was a crucial tool for the young United States to beat the British in the Revolutionary War. Nowadays, gunsmiths use either cut rifling or button rifling to produce this effect, but either technique effectively adds raised lands and depreciated grooves along the length of the barrel that cause the bullet to rotate before it ever leaves the gun.

fireringThere are many factors that can affect the twist rate of a barrel. Even the same type of guns from different manufacturers can have different rates, and this can be very confusing to people who are new at purchasing or analyzing rifles. Furthermore, different bullets will require different twist rates for proper stabilization depending on their weight. For example, if you want to shoot more accurately over a longer distance with a gun such as the AR-15, you may decide to upgrade from a 62-grain bullet to a 77-grain bullet; the lighter bullet requires a twist rate of 1:8 while the heavier bullet in question requires a rate of 1:7; in fact, a much lighter 40-grain bullet only requires a twist rate of 1:12.

It is important to note that you could potentially use any grain bullet for the rifle, but the accuracy will vary at different distances, so it is important to know at what distance you would like to shoot. Furthermore, a lower ratio means an increased speed, so a twist rate of 1:7 will travel faster than one at 1:9, because it will complete a full rotation in only 7 inches compared to 9, and so it makes sense that a heavier bullet needs a higher twist rate to be accurate.

Since many gun manufacturers may use a different barrel twist rate for their gun, it is important to research before purchasing a rifle so that it can fit the intended requirements. Although it may be difficult to determine at what range you intend to fire the rifle most often, a little bit of gun training will allow you to determine your needs. For example, an expert marksmen may want to shoot at a longer range when he hunts out in the open, while someone who usually hunts in the woods may not need to fire at longer distances because there is usually increased coverage.

For a while many people believed that a slower twist rate would cause poor accuracy, which is true, but some also believe that having too high of a twist rate could “over-stabilize” lighter bullets, also decreasing accuracy. This idea has been debunked by ballistics experts, although firing a very light bullet through a gun with a very high twist rate could still decrease its structural integrity.

However, for the most part a higher twist rate will increase accuracy across the board, especially if closely paired with the correct bullet weight. Nowadays, almost all standard military-grade weaponry has a twist rate of 1:7, while you will find hardly any rifles now with twist rates less than 1:14.

It is also important to keep barrel lengths in mind. Comparing a 10.3″ AR-15 with a different model 18″ barrel, both with a 1:7 twist rate, shows that the smaller barrel is pretty accurate with 55- to 77-grain bullets, while the longer barrel was extremely accurate with higher grain bullets but virtually useless with the lighter options below 70-grain. Although it is impossible to tell exactly what sort of bullet and barrel combinations will be best, knowing a little about twist rates can make it easier to get close, and from there it’s just practice and trail and error.

Source: Wikipedia

Posted in Ammo Tagged with: ,

May 9th, 2016 by asjstaff

SIG SAUER Announces Relocation of Ammunition Manufacturing to Arkansas

SIG SAUER, Inc. today announced it has finalized plans to relocate its ammunition manufacturing operation from Eubank, Kentucky to a permanent site in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Documents were finalized with the state of Arkansas the last week of April following a preliminary announcement by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson at the 2016 Las Vegas SHOT Show.

SIG SAUER will relocate its Elite Performance Ammunition manufacturing operation to an existing, and soon-to-be renovated, building in Jacksonville and anticipates employing 50 people in the initial relocation phase, with additional jobs planned for the future. The new site provides significant room for expansion, a key factor in the company’s decision to relocate to Jacksonville.

 The fact that a world-class company like SIG SAUER is choosing to do business in the state adds to our momentum in manufacturing, and we appreciate this significant commitment they are making to locate in Arkansas.

“We have been searching for a permanent relocation site for our ammunition division for several years and now, coupled with an excellent physical location and exceptional economic incentives provided by the State of Arkansas, we have found the ideal site,” said Dan Powers, president of the SIG SAUER Ammunition Division. “The new location in Jacksonville gives us the room we need to expand as we continue to grow and is also beneficial from a shipping and logistical standpoint.  SIG SAUER is committed to becoming a major player in the world-wide ammunition markets. Our advanced technology will allow SIG SAUER to design and develop world-class, precision-performance ammunition, and our new facility will ensure room for even more state-of-the-art equipment, and a much larger ballistics test lab to facilitate our manufacturing and R&D processes.”

“SIG SAUER was one of the first calls I made as Governor, and I am delighted they chose our state when making the decision to expand,” said Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. “The fact that a world-class company like SIG SAUER is choosing to do business in the state adds to our momentum in manufacturing, and we appreciate this significant commitment they are making to locate in Arkansas.”

SIG SAUER anticipates being up and running in the new Jacksonville ammunition facility by the end of the year.  This move marks another milestone in the company’s commitment to become a total solutions provider in the shooting and hunting industry.  In addition to designing and manufacturing the world’s most reliable firearms and ammunition, SIG SAUER is also a growing force in the silencers, optics, airguns and accessories sectors.

Posted in Media Releases Tagged with: , , , , , ,

January 26th, 2016 by asjstaff

A squib bullet in your barrel just might be bad news for you and the gun.

The guys from Demolition Ranch were out testing to see how bad a squib bullet can damage your pistol.

Watch this video and see a pistol fired with a squib bullet lodged in the barrel.

A squib bullet is a bullet that fails to leave your firearm’s barrel. This stuck bullet become a dangerous obstruction in your barrel. Firing a live cartridge into the back of a squib bullet spikes pressure, and may just kaboom your firearm.

This Glock pistol has a squib bullet stuck in the very end of the barrel. Demolition Ranch remotely fires this pistol with a squib. The Glock pistol does not explode, but jams into an inoperable mess.

When shooting firearms, always make sure that your projectile goes down range before you fire another round. Failure to do so can be catastrophic.

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Story by Eric Nestor

Source: Youtube, Demolition Ranch

Posted in Just Plinking Tagged with:

July 31st, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

Four Steps To Increase Rifle Marksmanship

Story and photographs by Tom Claycomb III

Who wouldn’t like to own a nice custom-made $3,000 rifle? Unfortunately, most people have a budget, but if you can’t afford one, don’t slit your wrist quite yet. If you already own a decent rifle, there are four things you can do that will improve its accuracy, and these are not going to be earth-shattering concepts or new revelations. I’m constantly surprised at how many people don’t do these simple steps. Just remember an old proverb: The simple things confound the wise.

IMGP6630-min

Many people like using a Caldwell Lead Sled coupled with double-ear protection to sight in their rifles. This helps reduce flinching. I wear Walker’s Power Muff Quads and foam ear plugs.

Check your optic

Are your mounts tight? Is your scope mounted properly? Is your scope tight? If not, you’ll hit all over the board.

The next thing to think about in this category is whether or not the scope is actually functional. You tend to get what you pay for in optics; however, regardless of scope quality ensure that it is at least functioning within the parameters of the value. I’m careful with my scopes. I don’t throw them in the back of my pickup truck or strap them onto my four wheeler. This type of activity can be detrimental to the internal components of a scope. Any scope.

These are all basic things you should check just on the optic, but before you take a sledge hammer to a seemingly dysfunctional scope, let’s check three more items.

Shooter stability

Chris Reed with McRees Precision giving me some pointers on long-range shooting while using their McRees Precision BR10.300WIN. Among his many accomplishments, Reed won season two of History Channel’s Top Shot TV show.

You may not always have a good rifle rest while hunting, but it’s imperative that you are stable when sighting in your rifle. I sight in on a steady table while using a Caldwell Lead Sled, a shooting rest used to brace the rifle, and it assists in recoil reduction. You don’t want 20 different factors affecting your shot, so you need to weed out the variables. At this point, we are just trying to determine what your rifle is capable of, not the shooter. If you don’t have a CLS, then sand bags can work great as well, or if you’re on a really tight budget, use pillows or blankets.

Out in the field I prefer a Harris bipod. I like the bigger one with the three-adjustment extendable legs, which go from 13½ to 29 inches. Hunting out on the prairie laying down is difficult because the sagebrush and grasses will block your field of vision. In a pinch you can carry two dowel rods taped together 6 inches from the end to use as a bipod to see over these obstacles.

The rifle’s trigger

To prove the importance of a good trigger I want you to try this: Make sure your rifle is unloaded and lay it on some pads. Make sure the safety is on, and go through the motions of
actually taking a shot. You will often notice that you start pulling off to one side. That’s what happens if you have a subpar trigger. An example would be an 8-pound trigger with a lot of PHOTO 2 IMGP6670-mincreep and rough spots.

If you can really concentrate, you can overcome these pitfalls, but it takes total concentration on every shot. Why put yourself through that? If you’re so focused on pulling evenly, by the time it actually fires
you’ll need to gasp for air. It just takes too much concentration, and even then you won’t be able to totally overcome it.

PHOTO 3 IMGP5642-min

(Top) In real-life situations a Harris bipod is the ticket. I use them a lot when varmint hunting so I can shoot over the sagebrush, bitterroot and other vegetation. (Bottom) Chris Barger from Rise Armaments installed one of their RA-535 Advanced Performance triggers into my DPMS, making my accuracy considerable tighter.

The other day I went out to shoot my DPMS Bull 20. The trigger was horrible, and it was really windy outside. I focused really hard and got a 1½-inch group at 100 yards, and figured that was about all it was capable of. Then I ran down to Rise Armament in Broken Arrow, Okla., toured their factory and headed out on a coyote hunt. While there, Chris Barger, president of Rise Armament, threw one of their RA-535 Advanced Performance triggers in my DPMS. The RA is a 3.5-pound trigger with no creep. As I alluded to before, my original trigger rated somewhere between horrible and the worst trigger ever. I have buddies who like light triggers, but a 3½-pound pull is about right for me in
hunting conditions.

When I shot my DPMS again, from the same rest using the same Hornady match ammunition, I was able to obtain a three-shot, one-hole group. I was amazed! I can’t overstress the importance of a good trigger.

Ammunition choice

My hardcore reloading buddies will start wailing and gnashing their teeth, not to mention calling me a heretic, but reloading is not as critical as it was 50 years ago. Granted, you might have to test out four or five different manufacturers and different grains of bullets to find which one shoots best in your rifle, but you should be able to find something that will help maximize your accuracy. To shorten the learning process and save yourself from overshopping, call the manufacturer of your gun to see which bullet they say works best in your rifle. Usually, I just talk to my friends at Hornady and tell them what rifle, caliber, and twist rate I have. They are the professionals!

After determining what shoots best in your specific rifle, sight it in using your chosen ammuntion. Sure, you may switch around if you’re varmint hunting one day and big-game hunting the next, but sight it in every time you switch bullets.

Don’t assume that a 40-grain bullet will probably shoot 2 inches higher than a 55-grainer. That would make sense though, wouldn’t it? I thought so too. I not only shot 2 to 3 inches inches lower, but also 3 inches to the left. So don’t shoot multiple brands and grains of bullets and expect to have any degree of consistency.

I promise that if you employ these suggestions, you should start getting tighter groups. ASJ

PHOTO 4 IMGP5709-min

After installing a Rise Armament RA-535 Advanced Performance Trigger, I was able to shoot a one-hole, three-shot group at 100 yards with my AR.

Posted in Tactics & Tips Tagged with: , , , ,