December 11th, 2014

Bench-Source Annealing Machine — Video Review by 6.5 Guys

6.5 Guys Benchsource Annealing machinesThe 6.5 Guys, a dedicated duo of Pacific NW rifle shooters, have created an interesting series of shooting-related videos on their 6.5 Guys YouTube Channel. In this video, The 6.5 Guys set up and demonstrate the Bench-Source cartridge brass annealing machine. The video explains how to set up the machine, how to attach and adjust the torches, and how to “fine tune” the flame and dwell time to achieve best results.

Read Full Annealing Article on 65Guys.com.

To complement this video, the 6.5 Guys (aka Ed and Steve) have published an Annealing Tech Talk article on 65guys.com. If you own an annealing machine, or are getting started with cartridge annealing, you should read that article. It covers basic annealing principles, and gives useful tips on temp control, dwell time, and frequency of annealing. After the video, we feature highlights from this article.

Temperature Control
We use 750° Tempilaq applied inside the case neck to indicate that the proper temperature has been achieved. If you turn off the lights, you will notice that the brass just barely starts to turn color. As you go beyond the 750° mark we observed that the case mouth will start to flare orange — you can see this with the lights on. From our research, we understand that this is the result of zinc burning off. We adjust the time on our machine between the point that the Tempilaq turns liquid and the flame starts to turn orange. In other words, if the flame is starting to turn orange reduce the time. We let the cases air cool — we don’t quench them in water.

The case starts to flare orange here, during a set-up test. Dwell time was then reduced slightly.
6.5 Guys Benchsource Annealing machines

Read Full Annealing Article on 65Guys.com.

Flame Orientation
We aim the flame at the neck-shoulder junction. Some folks like to aim it at the neck and others the shoulder. When you see how the two flames meet and spread out vertically, it probably doesn’t make that much of a difference.

Here you can see the flame points aimed at the neck-shoulder junction.
6.5 Guys Benchsource Annealing machines

Case Coloration
Cases will turn color after annealing, but the degree of color change is not a reliable indicator. We have noticed that the appearance of cases will vary depending on brass manufacturer, brass lot, light source, and how long ago the case was annealed.

How Often Should You Anneal?
Some shooters anneal every time while others choose a specific interval. We noticed work hardening around five firings that resulted in inconsistency in shoulder setback and neck tension, so we choose to anneal every three firings. Your mileage will vary depending on how hot your loads are and how aggressively you resize.

Who are the 6.5 Guys? They are Ed (right) and Steve (left), a pair of avid shooters based in the Pacific Northwest. They have released 22 Videos on the 6.5 Guys YouTube Channel.

6.5 guys 65guy.com annealing video YouTube shooting

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December 11th, 2014

What’s on Your Christmas Wish List?

What do you hope Santa delivers this Christmas? Our friend Gavin Gear over at UltimateReloader.com has some gift ideas that hand-loaders can add to their “wish lists”.

UltimateReloading.com christmas wish list

READ Christmas Gift Ideas
for Reloading Enthusiasts
on UltimateReloader.com.

Special Tools — My Dad used to say: “You’ve got to use the right tool for the job”. I agree, and some times that means having a collection of special tools. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than the efficiency, effectiveness, and precision of having the right tool.

Here are some of my most frequently used “reloading special tools”:

▶ COL Gauge (case sizing, bullet seating depth)
▶ Case Neck-Thickness Gauge (shown below)
▶ Bullet Concentricity Gauge
▶ Vibratory primer-tube filling tool

ultimatereloader.com christmas wish list tools gauges

General Items — There is no shortage of “reloading things” to ask for. Here are some additional ideas:

▶ Extra 6″ Digital Calipers (good idea to have spare calipers)
▶ Industrial Ziplock Plastic Bags (for brass storage)
▶ Tumbling Media (pet stores have ground walnut shells)
▶ Reloading Manuals
▶ Ammo Boxes (bulk styrofoam with cardboard boxes are great.)
▶ Digital Scale for sorting bullets and brass (jeweler’s scales from Amazon will work)

There’s some ideas for you. Get your “wish lists” sent off while there’s still time for your presents to get ordered and shipped!

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December 11th, 2014

New Pistol Storage Solutions Use Gun Safe Space Efficiently

There are many different systems for storing handguns in a gun safe: coated wire racks (with U-shaped baskets), wood racks, plastic racks, rotary racks, door-mount brackets, door-mount holsters, and vertical shelving units. The rotary racks take up a lot of vertical space (and have a fairly large footprint), while the wire racks use up considerable horizontal space for their capacity.

If you’re looking for the most space-efficient, in-safe handgun storage system, consider the clever Handgun Hangers from Gun Storage Solutions. These vinyl-coated, wire hangers organize handguns below the shelf, freeing up storage space above the shelf. You simply slide each hanger on the shelf and then slip your pistol’s barrel over the lower rod. Handgun Hangers are intended for guns with an overall length of 10 inches or shorter. They will fit shelves that are at least 11 inches deep and 5/8-1 inch in thickness. Handgun Hangers will hold handguns .22 caliber and up, though the fit is a bit snug on .22s. A four-pack of Handgun Hangers costs $15.14.

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

WARNING — Always Make Sure Handgun is UNLOADED when using Handgun Hangers!!

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wireGun Storage Solutions also offers an Over-Under Hanger that holds two handguns — one above the shelf, and one below. A two-pack of Over-Under Hangers (capable of holding four handguns) costs $16.96. This may be a good solution for you. This editor personally prefers the standard model, so I can use the upper surface of the shelve to hold odd-shaped items such as cameras, binoculars, and miscellaneous valuables.

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

Magnetic Gun Caddy for Safe Doors or Walls

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wireMany gun owners like to mount handguns on the inside door panel of their gun safes. If this doesn’t interfere with your long gun storage, this can be a smart solution. Most of the door-mount units require special holsters or a series of peg-board style hangers. That may not work if the exposed inside of your door is bare metal. Here’s a smart solution from Benchmaster. The new two-pistol Magnetic WeaponRAC has four magnetic strips that allow the $24.99 two-gun caddy to mount directly to a metal door surface or the inner side-walls of your safe. If your safe door and walls are carpet-lined, there is also a two-pistol WeaponRAC Caddy with Velcro Mounts. A single-pistol caddy is also offered in both magnetic and Velcro versions.

Editor’s Comment: If you only have 3 or 4 handguns, you may want to avoid racks altogether. Our preferred solution for 3-4 handguns is to place each gun in a synthetic fabric BoreStores sack and then line them up on the end of the top shelf in the safe. The silicone-treated BoreStores sacks wick away moisture and provide vital cushioning for the gun. This works fine for a small collection. If you have lots of wheelguns and pistols, however, look into the Handgun Hangers — they really are a space-saving solution.

Permalink New Product, Tech Tip 1 Comment »