April 20th, 2019

How to Trim Brass Like a Pro — Smart Tips from PMA Tool

Eric Cortina Trimmer
The Giraud power trimmer indexes off the shoulder of the case. It is costly, but offers high production rates, trimming to length and chamfering in one operation.

The folks at PMA Tool, makers of arbor presses, neck-turning tools, and other case-prep tools, offer some good advice about case trimming on the PMA Tool Blog. Here we reprint a PMA blog post that explains case trimming basics and helps you choose the right case-trimming tool for your needs.

Case Trimming Basics
Trimming the cartridge case to the proper length is a crucial step in case preparation that should not be overlooked or underestimated. The cartridge case or the rifle can be damaged, or even worse you get badly injured. In most instances cases should be trimmed after firing and sizing. Trimming new brass is necessary for a lot of wildcats and can be beneficial in some instances, but by and large, trimming new brass is not necessary for most situations (unless you are neck-turning). Cases should be trimmed after you have sized the case, because the expander ball on the decapping pin can (and will) stretch the neck. Those of us who neck size should get into the habit of trimming after sizing as well. This is a good rule of thumb to go by, and hopefully it will keep you safe during the reloading and shooting process.

There are so many case trimmers out there that work, deciding which one is right for you can be confusing. Even though I have trimmed thousands of cases, using about every method possible, I can’t answer the question of what case trimmer is right for you because of all the variables that may be involved. I can, however shed some light on the subject.

Wilson Micrometer Case Trimmer

The two most popular designs of trimmers either index (1) off the base or the head of the case, (2) off the shoulder or datum line of the case. There are pros and cons to each and it all depends on what you are willing to live with.

Indexing off the Base (Case Head)
Let’s talk about the first one I have listed, indexing off the base, or the head of the case. The pros to this method are that you can achieve a very accurate over all length and that is after all, what it is all about. The cons to this method are that you can get some variation doing it this way. Let me explain, the base is not always square to the body or can be damaged during firing especially if it is fired through a military style rifle with a very aggressive ejector. These cases should be discarded, but sometimes they can be overlooked. This condition can lead to an over all length that is incorrect. The case head being out of square will be corrected upon firing, however that case will wind up being shorter than the rest of your cases, possibly creating a difference in the neck tension on the bullet. The more you can do to eliminate variables in your reloads the better off you are going to be. This method can also be very slow, and if the user gets careless the result will be a inconsistent over all length.

Forster Case Trimmer

Indexing off the Shoulder (Datum Line)
The second method I mentioned, trimming off the shoulder or the datum line of the case, has its pros as well. I have found this to be the quickest of the methods and very accurate as well. After the case has been sized through the die the dimensions (particularly the headspace) of the cases are usually very uniform and exact, this allows the case to be trimmed by indexing off the shoulder. This method can be done very quickly, by hand, or by powering either the case, or the trimmer. You also don’t have to worry about the case heads being out of square with the body using this method. Generally the trimming time is cut in half, and this leads to greater focus on the job, without becoming careless.

PMA tool case trimming trimmer micro-adjust

The PMA Micro-Adjust Case Trimmer indexes case length off of the shoulder of a properly fire-formed and full-length re-sized case. We accomplish this through the use of interchangeable Delrin™ inserts which capture the shoulder and neck of the case. This insert is contained in a spring-loaded tool head that rides on a linear bearing. When the case is captured within the tool head the tool head rotates along with the case, the spring allows for the case to self-align squarely to the cutter and allows you to control the feed rate into the cutter.

— Indexes off shoulder for easy, consistent trim length
— Fully rotating head with bearing for smooth operation keeps cuts square
— Large, ergonomic design fits the hand well
— Sharp carbide cutter for quick, smooth cuts with minimal bur
— Cases captured in Delrin™ (completely non-marring material)
— Spring loaded head allows complete control of rate of feed.

Our trimmer can be used in three ways. The first method utilizes our PMA Tool caseholder drivers and your power screwdriver, drill, case lathe, drill press or lathe. Trimming via this method the case is spun and fed into the trimmer while it is held in your hand. In the second method, the trimmer’s adjustment knob is removed (after adjusting and locking the setting) and the cutting shaft is chucked in a drill, drill press or lathe. Using this method, the case itself is held by hand and fed into the cutter. We’ve found this to be the quickest method to trim.

Summary
The choice is yours to make. I hope that this was some help to you, whether you are looking for your first trimmer or looking to replace the trimmer you have. Just remember to always put safety first and accuracy second, and you will start making little bug holes in no time.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. User submissions are welcome.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 20th, 2019

Doug Koenig Makes His Mark in PRS Production Division

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

“Koenig” (or König) means “king” in German. That is indeed appropriate for Doug Koenig, 18-Time Bianchi Cup winner, who is now starting to conquer the rifle world as well. Koenig, considered by many to be the best action pistol shooter on the planet, proved he’s an ace with rifles too, as he recently won two PRS matches in Production Division. Koenig, Captain of Team Ruger, was shooting a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR), chambered in 6mm Creedmoor. Notably, Production Division limits rifles to $2000.00 for the gun ($4000.00 overall with scope). You can buy an RPR for around $1100.00 typically ($795.00 at GrabAGun), so Koenig was shooting against competitors with rifles that cost nearly twice as much. That’s impressive.

Koenig Wins Production Class at two Spring PRS Matches
Koenig took home a pair of Production Division titles at this year’s WAR Rifles Shootout and MAP Spring Shootout Precision Rifle Series (PRS) matches.

With a final score of 128.00 and a time of 58.51, team captain Doug Koenig took first place in Production Division at the WAR Rifle Shootout PRS match in Mount Victoria, MD. The WAR Rifle Shootout has a challenging 22-stage course of fire. Along with winning Production Division, Koenig also finished twelfth overall. “The tough course of fire and 15-25 mph winds at the War Rifle match were brutal, but my Precision Rifle, equipped with a Leupold VX-3i LRP and loaded with Hornady ammunition, continued to perform,” said Koenig.

Koenig then secured another Production Division win at the MPA Spring Shootout held at the Arena Training Facility in Blakely, GA with a final score of 173.00 and a time of 58.89. “The MPA match had some long shots out to 800-1356 yards, but my factory rifle got the job done and helped me win my third production class title in a row. That proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to get started in PRS competition.”

Doug Koenig PRS practical rifle competition Ruger Precision Rifle RPR production division class

According to PRS standards, Production Division rifles are not permitted to be altered or improved in any way from the original factory configuration, and the retail price may not exceed $2,000.

Krieger Barrels Ruger Precision Rifles Pre-Fit Drop-In Chambered barrel RPR

Pre-Fit Barrel Options for the Ruger Precision Rifle
While PRS Production Division competitors like Koenig must stick with factory barrels, there’s no law that says you can’t upgrade your own RPR that’s not used in PRS matches. A barrel swap is probably the single best hardware upgrade you can make. A new custom barrel will improve inherent accuracy and shot-to-shot consistency. Krieger Barrels offers Pre-Fit barrels for the RPR in many popular chamberings including 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and .308 Win. These “Drop-In Ready” barrels come finish-chambered and threaded to fit the Ruger action, with factory-spec muzzle threads. The Ruger barrel attachment system allows correct headspace with a pre-chambered barrel. Krieger explains: “Thanks to Ruger’s proprietary barrel nut design, a competent gunsmith will be able to swap out your barrel using an AR15 barrel wrench and proper headspace gauges.”

Permalink Competition, Gear Review 5 Comments »
April 20th, 2019

Great Deal — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite for $229.99 at Midsouth

Chargemaster Lite Midsouth Sale

Do you need an electronic powder scale and dispenser? Check out this great deal at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Suggested retail for the ChargeMaster Lite is $299.99. Amazon’s best price for this unit is $269.49. But now you can get it for just $229.99 at Midsouth. So you can save at least $40 with this Midsouth sale. Put the money saved into bullets or powder.

The RCBS ChargeMaster Lite is the modern second generation Scale/Dispenser, descended from the original ChargeMaster. We have a 10-year-old first gen RCBS ChargeMaster in our loading room that is still going strong. The ChargeMaster Lite features an easy-to-use LCD touchscreen with many nice features. The hopper holds nearly one pound of powder. The unit comes with twin check weights and a convenient plastic cover for the powder pan. Your choice of propellant can be measured out 2 to 300 grains with a plus or minus accuracy of 0.1 grains.

Chargemaster Lite Midsouth Sale

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »