May 7th, 2020

Progressive Presses — Video Showcase of Six Machines

ultimate reloading progressive press review dillon Mark 7 rcbs lee hornady

COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have created abundant free time at home for millions of Americans. To fill otherwise empty hours, we know many readers have been reloading ammo — LOTS of ammo. And quite a few of you folks are thinking of getting a progressive press to increase output. Because multiple operations take place with a single pull of a lever, a progressive press can produce way more ammo in a given period of time than any single stage press. With a progressive, on the ram up-stroke, the multiple stations can simultaneously remove spent primer, full-length size case, drop powder, seat bullet, and crimp (if desired). Most progressives are also set up to prime cases with the ram in the lower position — though some guys prefer to prime manually.

Progressive presses aren’t just for high-output pistol ammo or bulk rifle ammunition. Good progressives can be adapted to do certain reloading tasks for top-on-the line match ammo. You might use a progressive for decapping, priming, and sizing, then throw powder and/or seat bullets separately. Some Champion shooters do use progressives to load their match ammo! For example 5-Time National Long Range Champion John Whidden and 2020 Berger SWN F-Open Champion Jay Christopherson both use progessive presses for some (but not all) operations.

To help you get started with progressive presses, here are five videos from UltimateReloader.com that cover six popular machines, from the elite Mark 7 Evolution to the inexpensive Lee Pro 1000. With many of these machines you can add separate vertical bullet feeder systems that further increase loading efficiency.

Mark 7 Evolution Press — Distributed by Lyman

Dillon XL-650 vs. Dillon XL-750

RCBS Pro Chucker 7 with Bullet Feeder

Dillon 550C with 6mm Creedmoor and 9x19mm

Lee Pro 1000 Features and Operation

Better Safe Than Sorry — the RCBS Lock-Out Die
RCBS Makes a “Lock-Out Die” that senses the powder charge. This will halt the Progressive press if you have a double charge, or an undercharge. Your Editor has the Lock-Out Die on his RCBS Pro 2000. It has “saved his bacon” a half-dozen times over the years. It can be used on Dillon and Hornady progressives as well as RCBS machines.

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May 7th, 2020

The 22 BR — A Great Ultra-Accurate Varmint Cartridge

6mmBR 22BR 22 BR BRA varmint cartridge

22 BR Dasher 22BRAThe 6mmBR Norma cartridge has spawned many great variants in multiple calibers: 6mm Dasher, 6BRA, 22 BR, 22 Dasher, 30 BR and others. This article is about a handsome 22 BR Rem-action varmint rig.

Richard Franklin (who operated Richard’s Custom Rifles prior to his retirement), has built scores of varmint rifles, in many different calibers. One of Richard’s all-time favorite varmint rifles is a 1:14″-twist, 22 BR built on his Model 11 stock in laminated Black Walnut and fiddleback maple. Richard says the rifle is versatile and deadly accurate out to 400 yards. Richard uses a Leupold 8.5-25x50mm LRT with varmint reticle.

Richard’s 22 BR Varmint Rifle with Lilja Barrel
Richard tells us: “[Shown above] is my light walking varminter. It’s built on a blue-printed Stainless Steel Remington 700 short action and chambered as a no-turn 22 BR for Lapua brass. The bolt handle is a Dave Kiff replacement and I’ve fitted a Jewel BR trigger with bottom safety. The barrel is a Lilja, 1:14″ #6 contour with a muzzle diameter of .750″. I shoot the 40gr V-Max bullets in the rifle at 4000 FPS. It’s tough on hogs if you don’t try them too far. 400 yards is about the max with it.

Accuracy is outstanding and with Roy, Mike, my grandson and myself shooting this rifle I don’t believe it has missed more than three hogs out of over 100 we shot at one summer. This rifle is carried in a ceiling rack in the truck where it’s handy and is used by the first person that grabs it when a hog is sighted if we are moving between setups. The Varmint reticle on the Leupold (shown below) is nice for quick hold-overs as you change distances.”

At right is a another Franklin Model 11 stock in Birdseye maple. That photo shows the details of the thumbhole stock.

Editor’s Note: We have shot a 1:8″-twist 22 BR in varmint matches and it was very accurate with 80gr bullets. It actually shot flatter out to 500 yards than our 6mmBR running 105-grainers. If we were to build a new long-range, bolt-action varmint rifle it would probably be a 22 BRA, essentially a 22 BR with 40° shoulder. That gives you a very stable cartridge with a bit more capacity. The 22 BRA retains a longer neck compare to the 22 Dasher, which is also an excellent cartridge — versatile and accurate.

22 BR Rivals 22-250 Performance
With bullets in the 40gr to 60gr weight range, the 22 BR gives up very little in velocity to a 22-250, despite burning quite a bit less powder (30-32 grains for the 22 BR vs. 35-38 grains for the 22-250). With a match-quality chamber, the 22 BR will probably have an edge in accuracy over a 22-250, and you should experience longer barrel life. Here are some recommended 22 BR loads for 40-60gr bullets:

For more info on the 22 BR for varminting, read our 22BR Cartridge Guide

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May 7th, 2020

New Handgun Magazine Carrier from MTM

MTM PMC5 magazine handgun case pistol box double stack

We like simple yet well-designed products that serve an important purpose. In this case, transporting pistol magazines to and from the range and storing them efficiently in gun safe or storage locker. When we saw MTM’s new-for-2020 Pistol Magazine Case, we thought this was a smart new product that will benefit countless handgun owners. The new PMC5 Pistol Mag Case (MSRP $5.99) offers compact protection for up to five (5) standard double-stack magazines. The low-profile, compact design takes up minimal space in gun safes and storage lockers. The see-through transparent gray case material make it easy to identify contents. To allow efficient storage, these Mag Cases are STACKABLE (like ammo boxes). Overall, this is a good system for protecting and organizing your pistol magazines.

MTM states: “The new Pistol Magazine Case is ideal for use in your range bag, gun safe, or wherever you need to store your pistol magazines. The case maximizes portability and organization for range days. The case maximizes portability and organization for range days.”

MTM PMC5 Pistol Magazine Case Features:

Fits up to FIVE (5) double-stack magazines (up to 5.375″ OAL).
See-through plastic material so you can see contents without opening.
Compact, stackable design for efficient storage in safe or locker.
Made in USA with $5.99 MSRP.

MTM PMC5 magazine handgun case pistol box double stack
Mag Case hold up to five (5) double-stack magazines, such as these Glock 17 mags.

For more information and availability, check with your local sporting goods dealer or contact MTM Molded Products at (937) 890-7461. See the full line of MTM products at MTMcase-gard.com.

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