July 21st, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Shiraz Balolia’s F-Class Lowboy Stock Project

Shiraz Balolia Grizzly F-Class Laminated stock .300 WSM competition rifle gunsmithing gunstock lathe mill

Lowboy F-Class Gunstock Conversion

Project by Shiraz Balolia, President of Grizzly Industrial
The lowboy stock you see above started as an experiment. I had an extra Masterclass F-Class stock that had gone through two actions, four beddings, and multiple modifications over the years. I figured that there was nothing to lose if the experiment did not work out.

After deciding on the design, the stock was carefully leveled in every direction and milled to the precise dimensions for attaching the side pieces, which would be glued to the original stock.

Shiraz Balolia Grizzly F-Class Laminated stock .300 WSM competition rifle gunsmithing gunstock lathe mill
Shiraz Balolia Grizzly F-Class Laminated stock .300 WSM competition rifle gunsmithing gunstock lathe mill

Curly Maple and Bubinga wood were laminated to get the exact thickness of the side pieces so that the total width of the fore-end would be just under the total width allowed for F-Open stocks.

Shiraz Balolia Grizzly F-Class Laminated stock .300 WSM competition rifle gunsmithing gunstock lathe mill

Two guide pins made of Bubinga were drilled through each side so that the sides would not move when glued to the milled stock.

Shiraz Balolia Grizzly F-Class Laminated stock .300 WSM competition rifle gunsmithing gunstock lathe mill

Once the sides were glued to the blank, the stock was once again trued on the mill so it was perfectly flat and square with the back (see below).

Shiraz Balolia Grizzly F-Class Laminated stock .300 WSM competition rifle gunsmithing gunstock lathe mill

The stock was then sent to Keith Weill at KW Precision who did an incredible bedding job on the new BAT M action. The stock was then sent out for spraying a clear finish. Normally I spray my own stocks, but I did not have time for this stock, so that part was subbed-out. The finger grooves and “Shiraz” inlay had been done by me a few years prior during the old stock’s heyday.

Shiraz Balolia Grizzly F-Class Laminated stock .300 WSM competition rifle gunsmithing gunstock lathe mill

Modified Stock Has Significantly Lower Center of Gravity
The rifle was then assembled, a March 10-60x56mm High Master scope was installed, and break-in was completed on the new barrel. At the range, the stock performed great. The stock rides one-half-inch lower in the front bag and really feels good.

Shiraz Balolia Grizzly F-Class Laminated stock .300 WSM competition rifle gunsmithing gunstock lathe mill
CLICK HERE for full-screen photo.

Bartlein Barrel Is Chambered in .300 WSM
I was pleased to find that the Bartlein barrel I have on this gun cleaned up very well during barrel break-in and this “experiment” may turn into this being one of my best-performing guns. All of my F-Open match guns are .300 WSM (Winchester Short Magnum), and so is this one.

Shiraz Balolia Grizzly F-Class Laminated stock .300 WSM competition rifle gunsmithing gunstock lathe mill

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July 21st, 2019

ELR Reloading — .50 BMG Press for .416 Barrett ELR Cartridges

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

In the ELR game, particularly the King of 2 Miles (KO2M), it’s “go big or go home”. The top shooters run large-capacity cartridges that push large-caliber, ultra-high BC bullets at very high velocities. Bullets launched by cartridges such as the .416 Barrett can sustain supersonic velocities at Extreme Long Ranges — and that’s what it takes to win. The .416 Barrett can launch a 550-grain solid bullet at 3000+ FPS.

.416 Barrett cartridge ELR .50 BMG RCBS press
Photo from ELR Competitor Corbin Shell.

2018 and 2019 Kings of 2 Miles Loaded on RCBS Presses
So how do you load jumbo cartridges such as the .416 Barrett? It takes a big, heavy, super-strong reloading press. We’ve learned that the last two Kings of 2 Miles, Paul Phillips (2019) and Robert Brantley (2019) both loaded their KO2M ammo on RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG presses. Phillips loaded .416 Barrett ammo, while Brantley loaded custom .416 MCS rounds.

In 2018, Robert Brantley topped the field using his custom .416 MCS loads perfected on the AmmoMaster .50 BMG Press. This year, Brantley took a close second to 2019 KO2M winner Paul Phillips. Both Phillips and Brantley use the AmmoMaster .50 BMG single stage press kit and RCBS .416 Barrett dies to hand-load for extreme long-range. “My ammo has been much more consistent after switching to the RCBS press and dies,” remarked Phillips, who runs the Global Precision Group. Brantley said he uses RCBS products for most of his reloading needs — from the dies and AmmoMaster, to the ChargeMaster and Brass Boss. His custom .416 MCS loads launch a 550-grain bullet more than 3,100 fps.

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

The KO2M competition is a two-day extreme long-range (ELR) match held at the NRA Whittington Center in New Mexico. Teams consist of one shooter and up to two wind coaches/spotters, who fire on steel targets ranging from about 1,500 to 3,500 yards. The photo below show 2019 Winner Phillips with the King’s crown at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM.

Paul Phillips Global Precision Group K02M RCBS Press

Loading with RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG Press
This video shows reloading with the RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG press. While this video shows .50 BMG cases being loaded, the principles are the same for loading the .416 Barrett used by both Brantley and Phillips. Big cases need big presses!

RCBS is a leading manufacturer of ammunition reloading equipment for rifles and pistols, offering reloading equipment throughout the world. For more information, visit www.RCBS.com

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
July 21st, 2019

RCBS ChargeMaster Lite — Trio of Video Product Reviews

RCBS ChargeMaster Lite video reviews

Many thousands of hand-loaders, including this Editor, acquired the original RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 powder scale/dispenser. Mine has worked well for many years. Yes I do have to watch for scale drift, and I use a high-end Force-Restoration scale when loading for major matches, but the original ChargeMaster has served me well, throwing thousands of charges over the years.

RCBS ChargeMaster Lite Reviews

A couple years ago, RCBS introduced a new version of the ChargeMaster, the RCBS Chargemaster Lite. This newer unit has some features we really like. The new touch screen is easy to use and the powder tray cover slips off easily — no more hinges to fight. Most importantly the CM Lite has a redesigned, fluted dispensing tube which delivers powder kernels in a smooth flow with no clumps. The RCBS Rep told us “No more McDonald’s straw required”. We tested the unit and it does seem like the newly-designed dispensing tube is better. In fact, this new design will be adapted to the next generation of larger ChargeMasters. The ChargeMaster Lite ships complete with calibration check weights and cleaning brush. MSRP is $299.95 with “street price” around $238.00 at Amazon.

If you’re interested in the RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, here are three recent video product reviews. By watching these videos you can see all the features of the ChargeMaster Lite demonstrated. In the third video, the host also “compares and contrasts” the ChargeMaster Lite with the original ChargeMaster 1500, explaining the differences between the two units. Have at it:

Panhandle Precision ChargeMaster Lite Bench Test and Demo (Good Detailed Review):

Here is the RCBS Press Release: “The new RCBS ChargeMaster Lite packs unparalleled powder-measuring accuracy in a compact package. The one-piece unit features an LCD touchscreen display that ensures accurate data input. The hopper holds nearly a pound of smokeless powder, and can dispense anywhere between 2 to 300 grains with a +/-0.1-grain accuracy.”

UltimateReloader ChargeMaster Lite Unboxing:

Original ChargeMaster 1500 vs. ChargeMaster Lite:

Worth Considering Also — the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Intellidropper
Frankford Arsenal has a new electronic powder scale/dispenser, the Intellidropper. This unit dispenses quickly, loads can be controlled with a Mobile App. We recently did an in-depth Intellidropper Review. If you are in the market for a powder scale/dispenser, you should definitely consider the Intellidropper as well as the RCBS Chargemaster Lite. Watch this video to see how it works:

The Intellidropper is the latest automated powder scale/dispenser to hit the market. This new-for-2019 machine offers a unique powder calibration mode and the first-ever, mobile APP-controlled powder dispensing system. With a retail price under $200, the new Intellidropper is $30-$40 less than the ChargeMaster Lite.

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