October 2nd, 2016

6.5 Guys Review of AMP Induction Annealer

Amp Annealing Machine Review 6.5 Guys 65guys.com
Photo by Bill Gravatt. Read Bill’s AMP review HERE.

Our good friends Ed and Steve (aka “The 6.5 Guys”) have just released an in-depth product review of the AMP Annealing system. Produced in New Zealand, the AMP (Annealing Made Perfect) unit is a sophisticated, microprocessor-controlled annealing machine that achieves ultra-consistent results through an electrical INDUCTION process.

AMP Annealing Machine Review by the 6.5 Guys:

Ed was so impressed with the AMP annealer that he purchased his own AMP to replace a carousel-type, dual-torch annealer he previously used. Ed tells us that “once you have the correct setting for your brass the AMP’s results are repeatable every time.” By contrast, Ed explained, “with butane torch systems you have to adjust the system when the ambient temperature changes, or even if your butane fuel is slightly different.” Ed says that, with his AMP system, he can anneal a case every few seconds. Yes it does require manually handling each case but “the actual annealing process is so fast, this really isn’t a big issue.”

Bill Gravatt AMP Annealing Machine
Photo from AMP Annealer Review by Bill Gravatt.

If you want to extend the useful life of your precious cartridge brass, then you should definitely consider annealing. And if you are in the market for an annealer, the new AMP machine deserves serious consideration. Though not inexpensive, it achieves excellent results according to the 6.5 Guys.

6.5 Guys’ AMP Annealer Review Key Points:

1. The AMP machine provides complete peace of mind that you are annealing properly — there is no guesswork. With a propane machine you have to calibrate dwell times which can be error prone. Even if you don’t change out your cartridge, dwell times will vary with temperature changes as this affects the propane pressure.

2. We noticed that the AMP machine produces brass that is more like factory brass from a hardness standpoint. Despite all our efforts and research around calibrating our propane machines, brass never seemed returned to factory condition and shoulder spring-back would increase with each reloading so we had to adjust our sizing dies. When a cartridge comes out of the AMP it is very, very close to new condition.

3. One of the things we dreaded was setting up our propane machine for different cartridges. With Ed’s OCD he would spend a good 30 minutes making sure everything was perfect. With the AMP machine you simply change out the pilot and select the proper program. It’s really straight-forward.

>>> READ AMP Annealer FULL REVIEW on 65guys.com

NOTE: We strongly recommend you read the Full AMP Annealer Review on 65guys.com. It contains a detailed explanation of the machines’ operation and the reviewers explain the pros (and cons) or the machine compared to flame-type annealers.

The current price for the AMP Annealer, with three pilots of your choice, is $995.00 USD. Additional pilots are $20.00 USD. For more info, visit www.AMPAnnealing.com.

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October 2nd, 2016

Norma Factory Tour Video is a “Must-Watch” for Hand-Loaders

Norma factory ammo production video

Guys — honestly, if you do anything today on this site, watch this video. You won’t be disappointed. Guaranteed. This is a very informative (and surprisingly entertaining) video. Every serious hand-loader should watch this video to see how cartridge cases are made. Your Editor has watched the video 5 times now and I still find it fascinating. The camera work and editing are excellent — there are many close-ups revealing key processes such as annealing and head-stamping.

VERY Informative Video Show Cartridge Brass and Ammunition Production:

Norma has released a fascinating video showing how bullet, brass, and ammunition are produced at the Norma Precision AB factory which first opened in 1902. You can see how cartridges are made starting with brass disks, then formed into shape through a series of processes, including “hitting [the cup] with a 30-ton hammer”. After annealing (shown at 0:08″), samples from every batch of brass are analyzed (at multiple points along the case length) to check metal grain structure and hardness. Before packing, each case is visually inspected by a human being (3:27″ time-mark).

The video also shows how bullets are made from jackets and lead cores. Finally, you can watch the loading machines that fill cases with powder, seat the bullets, and then transport the loaded rounds to the packing system. In his enthusiasm, the reporter/narrator does sometimes confuse the term “bullets” and “rounds” (5:00″), but you can figure out what he means. We definitely recommend watching this video. It’s fascinating to see 110-year-old sorting devices on the assembly line right next to state-of-the art, digitally-controlled production machinery.

Video tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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October 2nd, 2016

Instructional DVDs Show How to Cast Bullets

bullet casting video Sinclair

We’ve done some bullet casting in the past, both for handgun bullets, and the large, heavy (400gr+) projectiles used with Black Powder Cartridge Rifles. We can say, unequivocally, that newbies should seek out the assistance of a skilled, experienced mentor, who is familiar with the important safety procedures that must be employed. Working with molten lead can be dangerous. And it also takes some skill to get good results (without visible casting flaws), particularly with very large bullets.

That said, there are valuable resources that can help you get started with the casting process. Wolfe Publishing offers two DVDs that cover the bullet casting process from start to finish. Bullet Casting 101 takes you through the basics: showing you how to choose the correct alloy for your application, prep molds, maintain the optimal temperatures, and lube and size bullets. The important steps are laid out clearly. In addition, Bullet Casting 101 helps you select the right equipment and preferred molds for your particular application. (To create uniform rifle bullets that shoot accurately, you really do need high-quality molds.)

Casting Bullets Handgun

Casting Bullets HandgunWolfe Publishing offers a companion DVD, Casting Premium Bullets for Handguns, that covers more advanced techniques for high-volume pistol bullet production. This DVD covers both single-cavity molds and multiple-cavity “gang” molds. (Gang molds can be frustrating at first; it is harder to maintain perfect temp control and mold separation is more complex). The DVD also reveals the sources of most common casting flaws, and explains how to detect cracks, voids and other problems.

You’ll save considerable time and effort if you really understand how to avoid common mistakes before you start pouring lead. And you’ll get the best results if you learn how to “blend” the optimal alloy for the job. Maintaining the right mold temperature is also critical for good results. These topics and more are covered in these two DVDs, priced at $16.99 each from Sinclair International.

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