August 27th, 2018

How to Expand Cartridge Brass in Stages with Progressive Press

Darrell Jones DJ's Brass Service expanding brass 6mmBR 6BR BRX 30BR Hornady press
Photos from DJ’s Brass Service.

Have you ever expanded a .22 or 6mm cartridge all the way up to .30-caliber? If so, you know this can be a difficult procedure that stresses the case necks and neck-shoulder junction. A significant neck-size expansion done in one big jump can increase run-out, cause doughnuts, or worse yet, even split the brass. Therefore you want to proceed in increments, increasing the neck diameter in stages. One smart way to do that is to use a Progressive Press. This article explains how…

The most successful short-range brenchrest-for-score cartridge is the 30 BR. That cartridge, as well as 30 BR variants such as the 30 BRX, all start with the 6mmBR Norma parent cartridge, typically with Lapua 6mmBR brass. To get a nice 30 BR case you want to expand in stages, increasing the inside neck diameter incrementally from .243 to .308.

Darrell Jones of DJ’s Brass Service creates thousands of 30 BR cases each year. He has found a clever way to speed up the process — Darrell uses a Progressive Press. He runs his 6BR brass through four (4) separate Hornady neck-sizing dies with expander mandrels. First there is a .257 die, followed by .264 (6.5mm), .284 (7mm), and then .308. Then a fifth and final K&M die provides one last, slight expansion so the newly-fashioned 30 BR cases perfectly fit the arbor of Darrell’s neck-turning tool.

So to repeat, the case starts as .243 (6mm), then moves in up stages .257, .264, .284, and .308, with a final “finishing” step prior to neck-turning. You can see the expansion in this video, which starts with 6mmBR brass that was first hydro-formed to 6 BRX:

Watch 6mm Cases Expanded to 30-Caliber (6BRX to 30 BRX)

For this demo video, Darrell expands just one case at a time. However, he can also put multiple cases in the progressive — one per station. This takes a little more effort, Darrell says, but the results are still excellent. Darrell tells us: “I do put multiple cases in the progressive to save time. The results are the same — I just wanted to show a single-step process and how it reduces run-out by not stressing the shoulder with one big expansion from 6mm straight to 30 caliber. Doing the operation in multiple stages avoids binds and helps keep the shoulders concentric.”

This same multi-stage procedure can be use to expand other cartridge types. For example you could take .221 Fireball brass in stages up to .308 to create 300 Blackout brass.

Darrell Jones DJ's Brass Service expanding brass 6mmBR 6BR BRX 30BR Hornady press

Darrell uses caliber-specific, Hornady neck-sizing-only dies with elliptical expanders. Darrell tells us: “The Hornady elliptical expander has a reduced bearing surface that puts less strain on the brass when expanding the necks to the next size.” The fitting at the bottom of the die is the Lock-N-Load die bushing that allows fast die changes.

These particular cases used in the video were first hydro-formed to 6BRX then expanded to 30 BRX before neck turning. DJ’s Brass offers hydro-forming for many popular wildcat cartridges such as 6 PPC, 6mm Dasher, and .284 Shehane.

Darrell Jones DJ's Brass Service expanding brass 6mmBR 6BR BRX 30BR Hornady press

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August 27th, 2018

Bargain Finder 153: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. CDNN — Browning A-Bolt III Rifle, $349.99 with Rebate

Browning A-Bolt Composite Hunting Stalker Rifle Rebate Bucks Hunter

Hunting season is coming soon. Here’s an awesome deal on Browning hunting rifles. Browning will give you $100 Cash Back on a wide selection of hunting rigs. For example CDNN now offers the A-Bolt III Composite Stalker in .30-06 Springfield for just $449.99. With Browning’s $100.00 Rebate, you net cost is just $349.99. The same deal is offered for other chamberings, including .243 Win, .270 Win, and 7mm Rem Mag. That’s a great price for a versatile, reliable hunting rifle. You could pay that much just for a custom barrel. NOTE: This Browning Bucks $100 Rebate Program also applies to Browning rimfire rifles and shotguns. There is a $50 Rebate for X-Bolt rifles.

2. Brownells — Aero Precision Stripped Lower Receiver, $43.99

brownells aero precision AR AR15 AR-15 stripped lower kit receiver $44 sale

If you don’t own an AR-15 platform rifle yet, here’s a great way to get started. Brownells is selling a quality Aero Precision Gen 2 Stripped Lower Receiver for just $43.99. That’s a great price for a lower from a respected AR manufacturer. Add trigger group, grip, and stock to complete your lower. You can then build your own upper (or maybe multiple uppers — one for 3-Gun games, another for home defense, and a third for varmint hunting).

3. Amazon — First Aid Kit 85-Piece (Hardshell), $8.99

Amazon Lifelife $8.99 first aid kit discount sale hard shell

Amazon Lifelife $8.99 first aid kit discount sale hard shellEvery hunter or shooting sports enthusiast should have a first aid kit available during hunts and trips to the range. This handy LifeLine First Aid Kit can stow in a backpack, range-bag, or glove-box. The foam hard-shell case contains 85 pieces including: scissors, bandages, cold pack, cleaning wipes, gauze pads, wound strips, tweezers, first aid booklet (and much more). Everything is visible in clear pockets, with space to add a few extra items. A best-selling product on Amazon, this compact first-aid kit is a great value at $8.99.

This First Aid Kit features a durable hard shell foam carry case with included carabiner. The Kit weighs 10.2 ounces and measures: 8 x 6.2 x 3 inches.

4. CDNN — Ruger Precision Rimfire, $399.99

Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

The new-for-2018 Ruger Precision Rimfire is impressive for the $399.99 retail price. The barrel attaches with an AR15-style barrel nut, which aids accuracy. The trigger adjusts down to 2.4 pounds. The American Rifleman Magazine recently tested this rifle at 50 yards and got 0.56″ average 5-shot groups with Eley Contact Target ammo, and 0.72″ average 5-shot groups with CCI Green Tag ammo (at 50 yards). This rimfire rig offers a turn-key .22 LR solution for tactical shooters, PRS competitors, and modular rifle fans. The Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle offers adjustable cheekpiece and length of pull, AR-style grip, free-floating M-Lok fore-end, and an 18″ barrel (1:16″ twist) pre-threaded for brakes or suppressor. Forum members who purchased Ruger Precision Rimfires have been impressed.

5. RCBS August 2018 Bucks or Bullets Promotion

Rcbs bucks bullets promotion August 2018 Rebate

Get Bucks or Bullets with purchase of Qualifying RCBS Products. This August RCBS Rebate offers buyers a choice of money or bullets. You get a $10 Prepaid Card or 100 Free Bullets with: Qualifying Die Sets, Hand Priming Tool, Universal Hand Priming Tool, Trim Mate Case Prep Center, or a M500 Mechanical Scale. Alternatively, you can get a $50 Prepaid Card or 500 Free Bullets with: Rock Chucker Supreme Kit, Universal Case Prep Center, Explorer or Explorer Plus Kits, Pro Chucker 5 or 7, or an Ultrasonic Case Cleaner 2. (Rebate FORMS HERE.)

Program End Date: August 31, 2018 | Redemption Deadline: September 30, 2018

6. Grafs.com — 10% Off 8-LB Reloading Powders, ALL Brands

Graf & Sons Graf's powder propellant 8-lb 2018 Rebate

Grafs.com is running a great powder sale now, offering a 10% discount on ALL 8-lb cannisters. The discount applies to ALL brands in stock. You aren’t limited to one manufacturer. Choose Hodgdon, IMR, Alliant, Accurate, Vihtavuori, Ramshot you name it. That’s right, every 8-lb container, from ANY manufacturer, is discounted 10% off normal retail. You can easily save $15-$24 per jug with this special, which is good through August 29, 2018 at 11:59 pm CT. Limited to supplies in stock — no backorders.

7. Walmart — Flambeau 50.5″ Rifle/Shotgun Case, $9.97

Discount Sale Gun Rifle Case Walmart Flambeau 50.5

If you need to ship a rifle to a gunsmith via UPS, you might want to pick up one of these Flambeau Rifle/Shotgun cases just for that task. This case is also fine for holding a typical shotgun or hunting rifle for a trip to the range. At 50.5″ overall it will hold most rifles up to about 48″ overall length. You can get free two-day shipping with an order of $35.00 or more. So, combine this with other items (or buy four for $39.88) to get free shipping. IMPORTANT: We would NOT use this to ship rifles with large, expensive scopes mounted. Buy a better case with thicker internal padding for that, or remove the scope. Outside dimensions: 50.5″ L x 3.7″ W x 10.9″ H.

8. Midsouth — Hornady 17 HMR Ten Boxes for $84.99

Hornady 17 HMR week deal varmint V-Max ammo ammunition sale

Varmint hunters take note. Here’s a great deal on premium 17 HMR ammo. Midsouth is selling 500 rounds of Hornady 17 HMR ammo for $84.99. That works out to just $8.50 per 50-rd box — the best price we’ve seen in a while. Loaded with 17gr V-Max bullets, this ammo is accurate — expect about 1 MOA at 100 yards in a good rifle. The V-Max bullets are effective on small varmints out to 200 yards.

9. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $179.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $179.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $199.99.

10. Amazon — Multi-Color Splatter Target, 75-Pack, $17.99

multi-color rimfire splatter target amazon

This is a fun plinking target, particularly for rimfire rifles and all handguns. Bullet impacts show with multiple colors. We really like this stick-on splatter target for rimfire pistols, as .22-cal bullet holes are hard to see on conventional bullseye targets. The photo shown is with .22-cal bullets. This also makes a good sight-in target for .17 cal varmint rifles. Get 75 total targets for $17.99 with free shipping on combined orders over $25.00. That’s a mere 24 cents per target.

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August 27th, 2018

Stay Alert — Don’t Drill a Range Worker at Your Next Match

RSO Range Safety violation

Here is a video every shooter should watch. It reminds us that our sport demands 100% attention. Lose track of individuals down-range and the results could be tragic. This video will give you chills (starting at about the 0:25 mark). We need to remember to follow all the firearms safety rules, and apply them all the time. At the range, all it takes is one brief moment of inattention to create a life-threatening situation. Never assume the downrange area is safe. Use your own eyes and ears.

This video shows a competitor shooting a stage at an action pistol match. He starts when instructed by the Range Safety Officer (RSO). But unbeknownst to both RS0 and competitor, a volunteer is downrange working on targets. Watch carefully. At 0:27 the shooter sweeps left to right, engaging a paper silhouette target to his right. Then, at 0:30, as he begins a mag change, his head turns downrange. A few yards away is a white-shirted range worker! The shooter yells “Hey what’s going on?!”

What’s going on indeed… The RSO should have ensured that nobody was downrange before the shooter even stepped up to the firing line. If other competitors standing to the side had been alert, they might have seen the worker changing targets and called for a halt. And the target-worker himself — even if he was wearing earmuffs, he should have noticed that live fire had commenced just yards away…

We also have to wonder about the stage design. This set-up made it very difficult to see downrange. The white panels (see 0:10-0:20) definitely hid the target worker from view. In hindsight, given the way the stage was laid out, this was truly an “accident waiting to happen”. It’s fortunate that no one got injured in this incident. But this chilling video provides a lesson to all shooters — “Safety First”.

How could this “near-fatality” have been averted? Post your comments below.

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