http://www.westernshooter.com

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SmartReloader ISD Electronic Powder Dispenser Review

Category : Reloading, Shooting Gear Review, Video

This review is for the SmartReloader ISD electronic powder dispenser. I  found that the dispenser worked very well once a few issues were worked out. This machine is a great value and SmartReloader has good customer service. I used the machine to load ammunition that won a state long range championship and to place well at  F-Class nationals.

One of the biggest hassles when you are loading long range ammunition is weighing every powder charge. This is usually done hunched over a loading bench trying to watch a scale as you trickle powder kernel by kernel until

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My 2011 F-Class Long Range Season Update

Category : Bipods, Competition, Long Range, Reloading, Rifles

 

It has been a very busy summer for me shooting long-range F-Class. I shoot F-TR (1000 yards with a bipod) with a Savage F-TR rifle in 308 Winchester. My big wins were the Idaho State Match and the NRA Northwest Regional Match in Missoula, MT. Below are a few thoughts regarding lessons learned during this season of shooting.

Bipod Thoughts

The season started out pretty rough. The first match I forgot my good bipod and had to use a Harris 9-13 inch non swivel bipod. My wife brought my MC Werks bipod after I had shot the first relay. This experience

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Lyman 1200 DPS3 Automatic Powder Dispenser – Review

Category : Reloading, Shooting Gear Review

Lyman 1200 DPS3 Automatic Powder Dispenser

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the average life expectancy of a human being is 78.3 years. I am nearly half way there.  I was introduced to the joys of firearms when I was a young lad, by a neighbor who spent some time on the Air Force pistol team.  I was introduced to two truths, one obvious, and one that was somewhat of a limit to my fun.

The obvious truth was that pulling the trigger and making noise was a lot of fun. I spent a good deal of time behind his old S&W .38 special, and when I switched to the 10/22, I earned the comment “think your Rambo don’t ya?” Soon enough, I was learning the proper way to fire a 1911.

The second truth was that the ammunition must be purchased, or handmade.  I knew that ammunition for the .22 was cheap, as I had free reign to reload that 10 round cylindrical magazine and blast away with little regard to pinpoint accuracy.  When I shot the pistols, the whole dynamic changed.  When I was about 11 years old I was asked to help with the reloading process.  I can say that I remember the process to be excruciatingly boring.  How could it possibly take

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Dynamic Research Predator 176 Grain Projectile

Category : Ballistics, Long Range, Reloading

The Predator Projectile from Dynamic Research is designed to take the 308 Winchester to the next level.

While I was at an NRA Regional Long Range F-Class match in Missoula, MT I met a man named Stephen Damron with Dynamic Research LLC. He was shooting a 308 Winchester with an unusual bullet. I asked him more about it and found  that he was shooting a monolithic lathe turned projectile that he is producing from a proprietary copper alloy. It was designed by a man in Australia named Bruce Wellington. Dynamic Research has bought the rights to produce and manufacture his design in the US. It weighs 176 grains and has an advertised BC of .590.

A major feature of these bullets is an 

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Reduced 308 Cast Bullet Loads for Long Range Practice

Category : Ballistics, Bipods, Long Range, Reloading, Rifles, Tactical

In the early 1900’s it was common to do a lot of what was referred to as Gallery Practice. This is shooting on a short range, usually indoors, with reduced loads out of the exact same rifle that is going to be shot at long range. Townsend Whelen who was captain of the US Army Infantry Rifle Team during this same time period talks about this type of practice in a pamphlet he wrote for the military called Suggestions to Military Rifleman. These loads were often loaded with cast bullets and fast pistol powder. The range they were shot at was generally 50 yards.

To practice I use a light cast bullet load with 13 grains of 2400 in a 308 case and a bullet cast out of a Lee 173 grain mold. Commercial Cast bullets such as those from The Oregon Trail Bullet Company can also be used if the shooter doesn’t have the means to cast his own.

It is important that the long range shooter becomes as

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Alliant Power Pro 2000-MR

Category : Reloading

Alliants new Power Pro 2000 MR gunpowder. Also, shown are Wolf Primers and Hornady 30 cal 178g Amax's

Alliant’s New Power Pro 2000 MR. Could this take the 308 to the next level?

There has been a lot of talk lately about a new powder designed for 308 sized cases that Alliant has come out with. It is Power Pro 2000 MR. The MR designation standing for medium rifle. The buzz about this powder has stemmed from Alliant posting some load data on their website for this powder in the 308 Winchester with 180 grain bullets.

The data from their website shows 48.5 grains of Power Pro 2000 pushing a 180 grain Federal Fusion bullet at 2760 fps out of a 24 inch barrel. Anyone that is familiar with 308 ballistics knows this is about 160 fps faster than traditional 180 grain bullet loads for a 308. Alliant claims this powder will propel bullets out of a 308 at about 150 to 200 fps faster than traditional 308 velocities. They claim this powder will allow the hand loader to obtain velocities that in the past were only obtainable with factory loaded hyper velocity ammunition and still stay within SAMMI maximum pressure limits.

I finally got my hands on some to try out a few days ago. I wanted