August 4th, 2018

Power to the People — 21st Century Powered Neck-Turning Lathe

21st Century Shooting neck turn neck-turning power lathe powered cutting tool arbor case neck brass cartridge

Do you neck-turn hundreds of cases annually? Then you deserve this outstanding tool. This innovative neck-turning system is truly a game-changer. The 21st Century Shooting Powered Neck-Turning Lathe is quite simply the best system ever created for quickly and precisely uniforming (and reducing) the neckwall thickness of cartridge brass. We have the original manual 21st Century neck-turning lathe, and can attest that it works great. But with the new powered system you can turn necks faster and more efficiently, with less effort. This is like going from a stick shift to an automatic transmission. The cases feed very smoothly and the results are beautiful. Once you’ve tried the Powered Neck-Turning Lathe you won’t want to use anything else. Watch this video to see how it works:

Power is activated by the red button on the end of the blue, horizontal feed handle:

Click the Speaker Button on video frame to play with sound (audio).

The Powered Neck-Turning lathe is a modular system. Swing the bar from right to left to feed the case. The power head (with case holder) glides on stainless steel rails for smooth movement. This allows very precise feed rate. Power is supplied via a button that is built into the end of the feed handle. Push the red button to make the case spin. It’s as simple as that.

21st Century Shooting neck turn neck-turning power lathe powered cutting tool arbor case neck brass cartridge

The folks at 21st Century Shooting explain why the system works so well: “The floating design of our Neck Turner and Case Driver allows the case mouth (bore) to run on the arbor absolutely concentric. This, therefore, allows the outside diameter to be turned concentric with the inside diameter.”

Here is another video that shows how the lathe system operates:

Click the Speaker Button on video frame to play with sound (audio).

Complete Powered Neck-Turning Lathe System
The powered neck-turning system comes with everything you need, starting at $679.00. This includes: Motor Assembly, Lathe Base, “L” bracket, Neck-Turning Tool, Cutter, Case Holder, Driver, Turning Arbor, Expander Die Body, and Expander Mandrel. 21st Century currently offers a choice of nine popular calibers: .17, .20, .22, .243 (6mm), .264 (6.5mm), .270, .284 (7mm), .30, and .33. The case holders are appropriately sized for the common rim sizes in that caliber. Choose either stainless arbor and mandrel or Titanium Nitride-coated arbor and mandrel (for $20 more). Some of the larger calibers cost a bit more.

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February 6th, 2012

Neck-Turning Lathe from 21st Century Shooting

if you turn your case-necks, here’s a tool from 21st Century Shooting that can can save time, and help you produce better, more consistent turned necks. 21st Century’s Neck-Turning Lathe system, introduced last spring, may revolutionize the way reloaders turn their case necks. Watch the video and you’ll see why. If you’re never turned cases before, you may become a convert after seeing how quickly and easily the new 21st Century Neck-Turning Lathe does the job.

The mini-lathe has unique fittings on the left and right sides that allow both the case-holder and the neck-turning tool to float. As a result this tool maintains near-perfect concentricity during the cut. 21st Century’s John Perkins explains: “The floating design of the neck turner and the case driver allows the case mouth (bore) to run on the arbor absolutely concentric, therefore allowing O.D. to be turned concentric with I.D. The tailstock creates a horizontal inline support for the base of the case. This also allows the operator to keep both hands on the power screw driver or drill, making it very easy to control the feed rate and to produce a very fine, turned finish.” Having the system float at both ends was key, according to John: “By allowing both the turner and the case to float, everything self-aligns. This maintains concentricity and allows the unit to work with very low torque.”

21st Century neck-turner lathe

Neck-Turning Lathe is Fast Yet Precise
Using power from a drill or electric screwdriver, this tool will turn necks fast — in a matter of a few seconds. And it produces beautiful, smooth necks that are extremely uniform. Tests show that the lathe, used with the 21st Century Neck-Turning Tool, will hold 0.0002 (two ten-thousandths) neck wall tolerances. And it will do that time after time.

21st Century neck-turner latheTurn Necks in a Single Pass
Using traditional hand-methods, turning case necks can be time-consuming and fatiguing. Many folks will experience hand pain or cramping after just a dozen cases. Watch the video, you’ll see how fast and easy neck-turning can be with the new mini-lathe. You get an exceptionally good cut in seconds. Very importantly, with this system, you may be able to switch from a double-pass cut, to a single-pass cut. Yes, even if you’re making a deep cut, we think there is a good chance you can turn all your necks in a single pass. That can cut your labor time in half!

21st Centure neck-turner lathe

21st Centure neck-turner latheWhy does the 21st Century Neck-Turning Tool cut so well? First, the Neck-Turning Tool employs ultra-sharp carbide cutters that are custom-ground to fit the shoulder angle of your cartridge. This allows you to make a perfect cut extending down the shoulder 1/32 of an inch. Second, the system aligns the case neck on the arbor (mandrel) so well, and the cutter is so sharp, that very little torque is required. This allows the cutting process to go very smoothly. The case-holder is also unique — it features a O-ring so it holds the case firmly in place without marring or bending the case head. The tailstock case-holder adjusts to accommodate cases from 17 Fireball to a .416 Rigby.

More Case Prep Tools for Lathe in Future
In the near future 21st Century will offer additional case prep attachments for the new mini-lathe. 21st Century plans to provide bullet-pointing system and other options. These will all work with the same lathe “chassis”, and will run with power. John states: “This is a modular system, all parts interchange. So if you have an existing 21st Century Shooting Neck Turning Tool or Bracket, everything will fit.”

The 21st Century Neck-Turning Lathe costs $245.00, complete with Neck-Turning Tool ($85.00 value) and one case-holder driver. The Neck-Turning Tool comes with a carbide cutter with user choice of shoulder angle (Arbors and Mandrels are sold separately). Perkins recommends using the Neck-Turning Lathe with power, but it will also work with an optional hand crank. NOTE: Currently the Neck-Turning Lathe works ONLY with the 21st Century Neck-Turner. It will not work with K&M, Sinclair, or Forster tools. But that’s not a real drawback because the 21st Century tool is certainly one of the best on the market today. You can purchase the Neck-Turning Lathe (complete with Neck-Turner and Case-Holder) through the 21st Century website, or call (260) 273-9909.

Disclosure: 21st Century Shooting advertises with AccurateShooter.com.
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December 14th, 2018

Neck-Turning TIP — Use Optimal Cutter Angle for Best Results

neck turning lathe cutter tip sinclair pma 21st Century

When neck-turning cases, it’s a good idea to extend the cut slightly below the neck-shoulder junction. This helps keep neck tension more uniform after repeated firings, by preventing a build-up of brass where the neck meets the shoulder. One of our Forum members, Craig from Ireland, a self-declared “neck-turning novice”, was having some problems turning brass for his 20 Tactical cases. He was correctly attempting to continue the cut slightly past the neck-shoulder junction, but he was concerned that brass was being removed too far down the shoulder.

Craig writes: “Everywhere I have read about neck turning, [it says] you need to cut slightly into the neck/shoulder junction to stop doughnutting. I completely understand this but I cant seem to get my neck-turning tool set-up to just touch the neck/shoulder junction. It either just doesn’t touch [the shoulder] or cuts nearly the whole shoulder and that just looks very messy. No matter how I adjust the mandrel to set how far down the neck it cuts, it either doesn’t touch it or it cuts far too much. I think it may relate to the bevel on the cutter in my neck-turning tool…”

Looking at Craig’s pictures, we’d agree that he didn’t need to cut so far down into the shoulder. There is a simple solution for this situation. Craig is using a neck-turning tool with a rather shallow cutter bevel angle. This 20-degree angle is set up as “universal geometry” that will work with any shoulder angle. Unfortunately, as you work the cutter down the neck, a shallow angled-cutter tip such as this will remove brass fairly far down. You only want to extend the cut about 1/32 of an inch past the neck-shoulder junction. This is enough to eliminate brass build-up at the base of the neck that can cause doughnuts to form.

K&M neck-turning tool

The answer here is simply to use a cutter tip with a wider angle — 30 to 40 degrees. The cutter for the K&M neck-turning tool (above) has a shorter bevel that better matches a 30° shoulder. There is also a 40° tip available. PMA Tool and 21st Century Shooting also offer carbide cutters with a variety of bevel angles to exactly match your case shoulder angle*. WalkerTexasRanger reports: “I went to a 40-degree cutter head just to address this same issue, and I have been much happier with the results. The 40-degree heads are available from Sinclair Int’l for $15 or so.” Forum Member CBonner concurs: “I had the same problem with my 7WSM… The 40-degree cutter was the answer.” Below is Sinclair’s 40° Cutter for its NT-series neck-turning tools. Item NT3140, this 40° Cutter sells for $14.99. For the same price, Sinclair also sells the conventional 30° Cutter, item NT3100.

Al Nyhus has another clever solution: “The best way I’ve found to get around this problem is to get an extra shell holder and face it off .020-.025 and then run the cases into the sizing die. This will push the shoulder back .020-.025. Then you neck turn down to the ‘new’ neck/shoulder junction and simply stop there. Fireforming the cases by seating the bullets hard into the lands will blow the shoulder forward and the extra neck length you turned by having the shoulder set back will now be blended perfectly into the shoulder. The results are a case that perfectly fits the chamber and zero donuts.”

* 21st Century sells carbide cutters in: 15, 17, 20, 21.5, 23, 25, 28, 30, 35, 40, and 46 degrees. PMA Tool sells carbide cutters in: 20, 23, 30, and 40 degrees, plus other angles by special order.

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January 6th, 2013

Gear Review: Paul Becigneul Case Turning Motor and Collet

On his Rifleman’s Journal website, German Salazar has done a nice review of Forum member Paul Becigneul’s Case Turning Motor. READ Full Review on RiflemansJournal.com

Becigneul Case Turning Motor, by German Salazar
Although there have been a variety of similar devices and ‘case lathes’ offered for sale in the past, they’ve been priced fairly high. Paul’s unit is reasonably priced ($220.00) and built like a tank. The motor turns at about 180 rpm which is just right for neck turning. What’s really nice is that the motor has enough torque to hold its speed throughout the whole operation and a/c power to run all day long!

paul Becigneul Rotary Power supply

The unit’s design is fairly straight-forward: a surplus electric motor turns a Forster case-holding collet. Paul makes a nice knurled collar to open and close the collet.Power is controlled by a household type wall switch attached to a long cabe. The whole assembly is mounted on a nice hardwood base.

Video of Paul Becigneul’s Case Turning Motor in Use

In operation, it works very well. The collet has enough clamping power to hold the case after a quick hand-tightening, no wrench is needed (although you can use one if you are so inclined). A quarter turn of the collar opens the collet and a quick turn of the wrist tightens it back up. As with any powered case neck turning device, the case wobbles a bit as it turns. This doesn’t matter a bit as the turning cutter is held in your hand (which is free to move) and the cutter’s arbor is the actual alignment device. The wobble is the same or less than what I had using a power screwdriver with a K&M holder.

For more information, email Paul Becigneul via: pbike4466 [at] directv.net. In 2012, the basic unit cost $220.00 each collet was $10 and shipping is $20 to most U.S. locations.

Editor’s Comment: In the video, Paul uniforms case flash-holes with a Lyman tool (from the inside) and then uniforms primer pockets (from the outside) with a K&M tool. While we do believe that flash-holes should be inspected to ensure there are no obstructions or flakes blocking the hole, we have not found that flash-hole or primer-pocket uniforming produced measurable improvements in accuracy with Lapua 6mmBR brass. In fact, in our tests using a manual K&M flash-hole uniformer, ES/SD actually got worse after the flash-holes were “uniformed”.

Keep in mind also that many deburring tools for 0.059 (PPC-size) flash-holes actually over-cut substantially, reaming the holes to as wide as 0.068″. The Lapua PPC/BR flash hole is spec’d at 1.5mm, which works out to 0.059055″. Most of the PPC/BR flash-hole uniforming tools on the market use a 1/16″ bit which is nominally 0.0625″, but these often run oversize — up to 0.067″. If you like to uniform your primer pockets, be our guest (this can be useful with lesser-quality brass). But before pocket-uniforming dozens of cases, you might do a comparison test (by shooting uniformed vs. un-uniformed ammo) to see whether this operation actually improves accuracy with the brass you are using.

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July 5th, 2007

Reloading Tips: Neck-Turning and Powder Measures

Bullet-smith Victor Johnson, Johnson Precision Bullets, sent us these useful tips:

Neck-Turning: I found that a 1/2 inch Dewalt drill with a keyless chuck will hold many caliber cases without an adapter. Just place the case in the chuck and twist it hand tight. Does the same work as a $250 case lathe. When neck-turning cases, you can hold the drill in one hand and the neck-turning tool in the other. But it’s much more efficient if you clamp the 1/2″ drill in a vise (with some carpet for padding). Then it’s very easy to control the turning speed and add/remove cartridge brass.

Powder Measures: If you’re throwing powder charges in the fall or winter and have problems with bridging or sticking powder, use a ground wire. This will help reduce static charge that causes clinging and clumping. I have a 25-foot piece of real small wire with alligator clips on each end. It’s that long so I can run it down the hall to a water pipe. Use the wire tie from a bread bag to hold it in a small roll to put in the range box. When using it at the range use a 6″ nail from the co-op or Lowe’s / Home Depot and just push it into the ground.

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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.
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November 12th, 2018

Bargain Finder 164: 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. Kentucky Gun Co. — T/C Compass Rifle $209.99 After Rebate

Kentucky Gun Thompson Center T/C rifle discount rebate

How would you like to get a proper hunting rifle for $209.99? That’s not a misprint. Right now Kentucky Gun Company is selling Thompson Center (T/C) Compass rifles for $259.99 in seven popular chamberings: .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, .22-250, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08, .308 Winchester, and .30-06 Springfield. But it gets even better — these rifles qualify for a $50.00 T/C factory rebate. That lowers your net cost for the T/C Compass to $209.99 — less than you might pay for a barrel alone. This rifle is perfectly capable of harvesting game, and carries a strong factory warranty backed by Smith & Wesson. Put the dollars you save into optics and ammo.

2. Bruno’s — Norma 6mm Dasher Brass (Gen 2) $114.95/100

Norma 6mm Dasher brass cartridge cases Bruno Shooters supply Bruno's

The 6mm Dasher was originally a wildcat cartridge. To make Dasher brass you had to fire-form (or hydro-form) 6mmBR brass. That all changed a couple years ago when Shiraz Balolia (of Grizzly.com) signed a deal with Norma to produce rifle-ready 6mm Dasher brass. Norma’s Dasher brass features a longer neck offering more seating flexibility (and slightly more capacity). The latest Dasher brass is very good — capable of winning benchrest matches. If you have an older Dasher chamber, just trim the necks. Thanks to Lester Bruno, Norma Dasher brass is now available again. This is premium GEN 2 Dasher brass with the standard rim thickness. We believe Bruno’s is now the exclusive supplier of Norma Dasher brass. The brass is in the USA and will ship soon. Get this Norma-made 6mm Dasher Brass while you can. Price is $114.95 per 100 pieces. Factor in the savings (in bullets, powder, and time) by avoiding fire-forming, and you see why this brass is very popular.

3. TCK LLC — LabRadar Chronograph $60 Off Nov. 15 – Dec. 9

LabRadar Radar Doppler chronograph summer sale $50 off chrono lab-radar Bruno shooters Creedmoor

If you’ve been wanting to get a LabRadar Chronograph, here’s your chance. Starting Thursday 11/15/2018, you can save $60 on this very advanced piece of technology — probably the most sophisticated chronograph system ever offered to the general public. That’s notable because you almost never see this discounted below the $559.95 MAP price. Get the LabRadar for $499.95 with this Special Sale which starts on November 15 and extends through December 9, 2018. NOTE: you may be able to get the same deal from other vendors such as Creedmoor Sports, Bruno Shooters Supply, and Midsouth Shooters Supply, but you need to check. Right now we can only confirm the deal through TCK LLC on BuyMyLabradar.com. Check with other vendors on 11/15/18.

4. 21st Century Shooting — 10% Off with Code FALLNOV10

21st Century Shooting Fall november 10% off discount code

21st Century Shooting offers some of the best precision loading tools on the market. Our editors own and use many 21st Century products, including neck-turning lathe, concentricity gauge, hydro bullet seater (arbor press), and priming tool. You’ll also see these tools in the reloading rooms of National and World Champion shooters. Now you can get this world-class 21st Century gear at a significant discount. Through the end of November, save 10% off many 21st Century products with CODE FALLNOV10. Use that code at check-out. When you’ve filled out your order, type the code in the Coupon Field, then click the button labeled “Redeem Coupon”. That will confirm “10% off all online orders”.

5. Field Supply — Nikon Refurbished Scopes up to 65% Off

Nikon refurbished scopes deal Field Supply

You won’t find a better deal on Nikons anywhere. These are Nikon-certified, factory-refurbished scopes. This is a good choice if you’re looking for big-name quality at rock-bottom prices. Good option for a hunting or varmint rifle. The savings on Nikon optics are up to 65% off retail. NOTE: all these Nikon refurbs have been refurbished to Nikon Factory specifications by Nikon, Inc. and are covered by a 90-day limited warranty. Sale refurb optics start at under $80.00.

6. MidwayUSA — Lyman 8-Station Turret Press, $159.99

lyman brass smith MidwayUSA 8-station all american turret press reloading

Right now you can get Lyman’s new All-American 8-station turret press for just $159.99. That’s a great price. This high-capacity turret press sells elsewhere for up to $229.99. The Lyman offers more die stations than the 6-station RCBS Turret and the 7-station Redding T-7. It also has a strong rear support that minimizes head flex. NOTE: Priming on the Lyman turret is done in the front; the image above shows the priming station but not the vertical tube which holds stacked primers.

7. RCBS — Save 25% on Select Dispenser/Scales, Progressive Presses, Prep Centers, and Ultrasonic Machines

RCBS 25% off sale November discount savings

RCBS wants you to “buy green” in November. Now through November 30, 2018 you can get 25% Instant Savings on a variety of RCBS’s most popular products, including the ChargeMaster Lite, ProChucker Progressive Presses, and both the Trim Mate and Universal Case Prep Centers. Ultrasonic cleaning machines are also discounted. This is easy-peasy — no forms to fill out and no waiting on rebates. Just shop at your favorite retailer, and you’ll find qualifying products 25% cheaper than last month.

Credit EdLongrange for finding this deal.

8. Midsouth — Tipton 13-Piece Jag set, $11.99

Midsouth Shooters supply tipton 17 6mm 22 .308 9mm 338 6.5mm .45 caliber jag kit

Here’s a great, budget-priced Jag Kit ideal for someone who shots many different calibers. This kit will cover just about any rifle or pistol bore size. Get 13 jags in a handy, clear-top fitted caddy for just $11.99. The kit covers everything from 17 caliber up to .45 caliber, with 17, 20, 22, 243/6mm, 25/6.5mm, 270/7mm, 30/32, 338/8mm, 35/9mm, 375, 40, 44, and 45 jags. The storage box features marked cavities for each caliber. The small .17 cal and .20 cal jags have a 5-40 threads, while all the remaining 11 larger jags have the standard 8-32 thread size.

9. GunBuyer — Mossberg 12ga Tactical Shotgun, $299.00

Mossberg model 500 20

A strong argument can be made that the best home defense firearm is a 12 gauge shotgun. This Mossberg 500 is a reliable 12ga pump-gun with useful upgrades including ghost-ring sights and barrel heat-shield. This Model 500 Tactical boasts an 8-shell capacity and weighs 7 pounds unloaded. Order now from GunBuyer.com for $299.00. Owners love this serious-looking shotgun: “This unit… fires smooth, and operates perfectly out of the box. There’s an odd beauty to the tactical pump that is hard to describe. The action is smooth and repeatable.”

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September 18th, 2018

Cool Tools for the Reloading Room — Look What UPS Brought

21st Century Tools Concentricity Checker lathe neck turner turning scale UPS

Posting on Facebook, Michael W. said: “Maybe it’s just me but I LOVE coming home to packages from the UPS driver sitting on my deck! Now I can get serious about creating some Match Grade ammunition!” Michael showed off some very impressive reloading hardware, including a 21st Century Shooting “Mini-Lathe” Neck-Turning system, 21st Century Concentricity Gauge, Shars Tube Micrometer, and the A&D FZ-120i Precision Balance. Cool Tools indeed!

21st Century Neck-Turning Lathe — A Gem
The 21st Century Neck-Turning Lathe works great — this is what we use to turn necks. It floats at both ends, so it runs very smoothly. You can use it manually or with power. It gives you very precise, clean cuts with a minimum of case lube. The cutting tool is hard and sharp so you can do large quantities of brass without having to adjust the cutter position for wear. We’ve used a half-dozen neck turners and this 21st Century Unit is our favorite.

21st Century Tools Concentricity Checker lathe neck turner turning scale UPS

21st Century Concentricity Gauge — Smart, Efficient Design
The beautifully-crafted 21st Century Concentricity Gauge is fast and easy to use yet very precise. The twin, roller-equipped case supports slide back and forth on rails so you can measure any size case, from a 17 Fireball up to a 50 BMG. The horizontal dial indicator also slides on parallel rails so you can easily measure any spot on a case or loaded round — from bullet tip (or case mouth on empty case) down to the mid-body. We like to measure run-out on our sized, empty brass on the necks and then measure again on the bullet ogive with loaded rounds. The large-diameter wheel allows bump-free, “no wobble” case rotation, delivering better results than spinning cases with your fingers.

Concentricity gauge uses stainless turning rollers for less friction and more consistent read-outs.
21st Century Tools Concentricity Checker lathe neck turner turning scale UPS

A&D Precision Balance — Ultra-Precise with No Drift
The A&D FX and FZ-series scales are magnetic force restoration balances with 0.001 gram sensitivity so they are accurate to the kernel. This balance will not drift like less advanced, load cell-based digital scales. The scale’s high sensitivity and extreme stability allow you to weigh charges and sort brass, primers, and bullets with much higher precision.

What Gadget Would YOU Like To Have Delivered?
Here’s a question for our readers… What are YOUR favorite reloading tools on currently on your bench? And if you could have the UPS driver deliver a new tool tomorrow, what would you like him to bring? A 21st Century Hydro Bullet Seater (awesome Arbor Press)? Maybe a Whidden Micro-Adjustable Sizing Die? How about the amazing Auto Trickler and Auto-Throw system from Canada? That combines a A&D FX/FZ scale with a powder thrower and microprocessor-controlled trickler. With the push of a button you get a charge dispensed and weighed to single-kernel accuracy.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 16th, 2016

Helpful Advice on Case Trimming 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.
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December 9th, 2013

On December 13th Save 20% on 21st Century Shooting Products

Need some great reloading tools? Well warm up your credit cards. 21st Century Shooting will be running a ONE-DAY-ONLY Holiday promotion this upcoming Friday, December 13, 2013. You can save 20% on all 21st Century Brand items in stock. This applies to ONLINE ORDERS ONLY (no discount on phone orders). On Friday the 13th, visit 21stCenturyShooting.com and use Coupon Code XMAS-20-13 to save big on some outstanding products, including the 21st Century Neck-turning lathe (we love that thing), Primer Tools, Concentricity Gauges, Primer Pocket Uniformers, Reloading Trays, Expander Dies, Case Holders, Powder Funnels and much more. NOTE: this applies to in-stock items only — no discounts for back-ordered products.

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November 13th, 2012

Get 10% Off All 21st Century Tools and Reloading Products

21st Century Shooting crafts some of the best precision handloading tools you can buy. This company’s neck-turning tools, priming tools, funnels, flash-hole tools, and other specialty tools are truly excellent pieces of kit. The 21st Century neck-turner, fitted in the company’s innovative neck-turning lathe, is an outstanding system for turning case-necks. Now holiday shoppers can save money on 21st Century’s entire product line. 21st Century is offering 10% off all products ordered through its website, www.21stCenturyShooting.com.

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Discount Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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