March 8th, 2014
In our article on Bullet Coating we covered the basic principles of applying dry lubricants to “naked” bullets. This article covered the three main coating options: Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly), Tungsten Disulfide (WS2 or “Danzac”), and Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN or “White Graphite”). All three compounds can be impact-plated on to bullets with relative ease, using inexpensive equipment. Moly is still the most popular choice, but many more shooters are considering HBN because it is ultra-slippery, it is less messy, and it offers some advantages over Moly or WS2.
After we published our Bullet Coating feature, many readers asked for more info on HBN. Some current moly users had questions about switching over to Boron Nitride. Forum member Larry Medler has published an excellent web article discussing the process of applying 70nm HBN using plastic jars and a Thumler’s rotary tumbler. If you are working with HBN currently, or plan to experiment with Boron Nitride, you should read Medler’s HBN-Coating Article.
After coating some bullets for his 6XC, Medler seems “sold” on the merits of HBN. Larry writes: “The coating process is much better than Moly — no black mess. My coating process times are the same as for Moly. Three hours of tumbling in the corn cob and three hours of tumbling in the steel balls with 3.0 grains of hBN Powder. The bullets look something like sugar-coated donuts when I dump the jar of steel balls with the freshly coated bullets into my sieve to separate. The coated bullets wipe clean to the touch with a little towel rub down and remain very slippery. So far I am very pleased with my coated bullets’ smoothness and appearance.”
Field Tests Are Very Promising
Interestingly, Larry’s HBN-coated bullets are shooting flatter, with tighter vertical, than his moly-coated bullets. Since he has also pointed the tips of this batch of bullets, it’s not clear whether the reduced drop is due to the pointing or the HBN coating, but the results are certainly encouraging: “I have shot the HBN-coated bullets a couple of times now at 600 yards and everything seems to be okay or a lot like Moly. Funny thing is the HBN-coated bullets are shooting higher by 7/8 MOA. I have to check the speed and see if it has changed enough for that POI change. Good news is I had a string of 15 shots with less than 1.5 inches of vertical which is the best I have ever seen with my rifles. Is that due to the hBN or bullet pointing?”
Photos courtesy Larry Medler, All Rights Reserved
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March 2nd, 2014
What is “Overbore”? That’s a question rifle shooters can debate to no end. This article from our archives proposes one way to identify “overbore cartridges”. We think the approach outlined here is quite useful, but we know that there are other ways to define cartridges with “overbore” properties. Whenever we run this article, it stimulates a healthy debate among our readers — and that is probably a good thing.
Forum Member John L. has been intrigued by the question of “overbore” cartridges. People generally agree that overbore designs can be “barrel burners”, but is there a way to predict barrel life based on how radically a case is “overbore”? John notes that there is no generally accepted definition of “overbore”. Based on analyses of a wide variety of cartridges, John hoped to create a comparative index to determine whether a cartridge is more or less “overbore”. This, in turn, might help us predict barrel life and maybe even predict the cartridge’s accuracy potential.
John tells us: “I have read countless discussions about overbore cartridges for years. There seemed to be some widely accepted, general rules of thumb as to what makes a case ‘overbore’. In the simplest terms, a very big case pushing a relatively small diameter bullet is acknowledged as the classic overbore design. But it’s not just large powder capacity that creates an overbore situation — it is the relationship between powder capacity and barrel bore diameter. Looking at those two factors, we can express the ‘Overbore Index’ as a mathematical formula — the case capacity in grains of water divided by the area (in square inches) of the bore cross-section. This gives us an Index which lets us compare various cartridge designs.”
OVERBORE INDEX Chart
So what do these numbers mean? John says: “My own conclusion from much reading and analysis is that cartridges with case volume to bore area ratio less than 900 are most likely easy on barrels and those greater than 1000 are hard on barrels.” John acknowledges, however, that these numbers are just for comparison purposes. One can’t simply use the Index number, by itself, to predict barrel life. For example, one cannot conclude that a 600 Index number cartridge will necessarily give twice the barrel life of a 1200 Index cartridge. However, John says, a lower index number “seems to be a good predictor of barrel life”.
John’s system, while not perfect, does give us a benchmark to compare various cartridge designs. If, for example, you’re trying to decide between a 6.5-284 and a 260 Remington, it makes sense to compare the “Overbore Index” number for both cartridges. Then, of course, you have to consider other factors such as powder type, pressure, velocity, bullet weight, and barrel hardness.
Overbore Cases and Accuracy
Barrel life may not be the only thing predicted by the ratio of powder capacity to bore cross-section area. John thinks that if we look at our most accurate cartridges, such as the 6 PPC, and 30 BR, there’s some indication that lower Index numbers are associated with greater inherent accuracy. This is only a theory. John notes: “While I do not have the facilities to validate the hypothesis that the case capacity to bore area ratio is a good predictor of accuracy — along with other well-known factors — it seems to be one important factor.”
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March 1st, 2014
Many of our Forum members shoot an “improved” 6mmBR cartridge. This might be a 30°-shoulder 6mm BRX, or a 40°-shoulder 6mm Dasher, or the 6mm BRDX, which is very similar to the Dasher, but with a slightly longer neck. This Editor shoots a 6mm BRDX and has found it very accurate, and maybe a bit easier to fire-form than a standard Dasher. Speaking of fire-forming, in our Shooters’ Forum, we often see questions about fire-forming BRX/Dasher brass. For those who need a large number of BRX or Dasher cases, one option to consider is using pistol powder in a dedicated fire-forming barrel. Here’s an explanation of how this process can work.
Forum member Skeeter has a 6mm Dasher falling block varmint rifle. The Dasher case is based on the 6mm BR Norma cartridge with the shoulder blown forward about 0.100″ and out to 40°. This gives the Dasher roughly 3.5 grains added capacity compared to the standard 6BR.
A few seasons back, Skeeter needed to form 300 cases for varmint holiday. Skeeter decided to fire-form his brass without bullets. This method avoids barrel wear and saves on components. There are various ways to do this, but Skeeter chose a method using pistol/shotgun powder, some tissue to hold the powder in place, Cream of Wheat filled to within an 1/8″ of top of the neck, and a “plug” of tissue paper to hold it all in place. Shown below are cases filled with a pistol/shotgun powder charge topped with Cream of Wheat and then a tissue paper plug.
To ensure the case headspaced firmly in his Dasher chamber, Skeeter created a “false shoulder” where the new neck-shoulder junction would be after fire-forming. After chamfering his case mouths, Skeeter necked up all his cases with a 0.257″ mandrel (one caliber oversized). Then he used a bushing neck-sizing die to bring the top half of the neck back down to 0.267″ to fit his 0.269″ chamber. The photo below shows how the false shoulder is created.
After creating the false shoulder, Skeeter chambered the cases in his rifle to ensure he could close the bolt and that he had a good “crush fit” on the false shoulder, ensuring proper headspace. All went well.
The next step was determining the optimal load of pistol powder. Among a variety of powders available, Skeeter chose Hodgdon Titewad as it is relatively inexpensive and burns clean. The goal was to find just the right amount of Titewad that would blow the shoulder forward sufficiently. Skeeter wanted to minimize the amount of powder used and work at a pressure that was safe for his falling block action.
Working incrementally, Skeeter started at 5.0 grains of Titewad, working up in 0.5 grain increments. As you can see, the 5.0 grain charge blew the shoulder forward, but left it a hemispherical shape. At about 7.0 grains of Titewad, the edge of the shoulder and case body was shaping up. Skeeter decided that 8.5 grains of Titewad was the “sweet spot”. He tried higher charges, but the shoulder didn’t really form up any better. It will take another firing or two, with a normal match load of rifle powder and a bullet seated, to really sharpen up the shoulders. Be sure to click on the “View Larger Image” link to get a good view of the cases.
The process proved to be a success. Skeeter now has hundreds of fire-formed Dasher cases and he hasn’t had to put one bullet through his nice, new match-grade barrel. The “bulletless” Cream of Wheat method allowed him to fire-form in a tight-necked barrel without neck-turning the brass first. The only step now remaining is to turn the newly Dasher-length necks down about .0025″ to fit his 0.269″ chamber. (To have no-turn necks he would need an 0.271″ or 0.272″ chamber).
Skeeter didn’t lose a single case: “As for the fire-forming loads, I had zero split cases and no signs of pressure in 325 cases fire-formed. Nor did I have any misfires or any that disbursed COW into the action of the firearm. So the COW method really worked out great for me and saved me a lot of money in powder and bullets.” To learn more about the COW fire-forming process, read this Dasher Fire-Forming Forum Thread.
Skeeter did have a fire-forming barrel, but it was reamed with a .269 chamber like his 10-twist Krieger “good” barrel. If he fire-formed with bullets, he would have to turn all 300 necks to .267″ BEFORE fire-forming so that loaded rounds would fit in the chamber. Judging just how far to turn is problematic. There’s no need to turn the lower part of the neck that will eventually become shoulder–but how far down the neck to turn is the issue. By fire-forming without bullets now he only has to turn about half the original neck length, and he knows exactly how far to go.
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February 19th, 2014
Want to get great gear for rock-bottom prices? Then visit www.Shooters-Supply.com. After 25 years Russ Haydon is retiring, and closing down his shooting supplies business. Virtually all remaining inventory is now 25% off (through the end of February). Much of the merchandise is being offered “at cost”. Call (253) 857-7557 for more information.
Russ Haydon’s Shooter’s Supply — A Quarter Century in Business
A quarter century at a single job is a good, long career for anyone, but even more so when it has been as the head of your own successful small business. Such is the case for Russ Haydon of Russ Haydon’s Shooters’ Supply. Russ is retiring after 24+ years of selling high quality precision shooting products to benchrest, target and varmint shooters. Now Russ and Marsha are moving toward another of life’s milestones, retirement.
Russ and Marsha Haydon Say “Thank You” to Their Customers:
Russ’s operation grew out of a life-long passion for shooting. Like so many youngsters, he started plinking in junior high and was always a good shot. He pursued his interest through brief employment in a gunshop and later competitive smallbore and benchrest shooting, but always as an aside to his regular job. With the support of his wife Marsha, Russ turned his firearm hobby into a fulltime business. More than once Russ has been complimented on his “candy store” gunshop called Russ Haydon’s Shooters’ Supply.
The predominantly mail-order business became widely known through magazine ads and word-of-mouth in the early 1990s. The advent of the internet added an international clientele for Haydon’s reloading products geared to high accuracy shooters. The Haydons have built a reputation for trustworthiness based on their fast, friendly, knowledgeable service.
With the operation winding down, nearly all inventory is being sold at 25% off the regular low prices. The website, www.shooters-supply.com, is continuously updated to display only in-stock items.
Of particular note is the remaining selection of Redding threaded dies and L.E. Wilson hand dies in various calibers and styles. At 25% off, the prices are near wholesale level. Other great buys are: Butch’s Bore Shine cleaning solvent, Sweets copper remover, and Dewey cleaning rods.
The rock-bottom prices are a means for Russ & Marsha to close out their inventory while saying “Thank You” for the many years of patronage of their business by the shooting public.
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February 18th, 2014
Hodgdon has rolled out a completely updated online Reloading Data Center for pistol, rifle, and shotgun reloaders. Check out the enhanced Data Center at www.HodgdonReloading.com.
As before, you’ll find thousands of load recipes for pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Rifle shooters will find dozens of loads for their favorite Hodgdon, IMR, and Winchester powders such as H4198, Varget, H4350, and IMR 8208 XBR. And Hodgdon’s Reloading Center is now faster and easier to use. Navigation is simplified and the whole interface is more user-friendly.
You’ll notice changes in the way the online Data Center works. Now you have more control over the results. After choosing a cartridge, you can pre-select specific bullet weights and powder types. That quickly delivers just the information you want and need. You won’t have to scroll through scores of entries for bullets or powders you don’t use.
Mobile users will notice that the updated/enhanced Reloading Center is much more “user-friendly” for smart-phone and tablet users. Controls have been optimized for touch-screens, and buttons are large and easy to use. Likewise the results are displayed in a large, easy-to read format.
Hodgdon tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 14th, 2014
Interest in the .222 Remington cartridge has revived following Lapua’s decision in 2009 to resume production of .222 Remington Brass. If you’re thinking of chambering a rifle in this very accurate caliber, or if you already have a .222 Rem, we’ve found a useful resource on the web for you.
Forum member Peter Simonsen has created a content-rich website, TripleDeuce.Net, with plenty of valuable info for .222 shooters. Peter tells us: “I started a little informative (non-commercial) web site about the .222 Remington, TripleDeuce.Net. You’re welcome to visit and share your thoughts and ideas.” Peter’s site includes extensive reloading advice, a list of recommended components, plus links to the major bullet-makers and powder manufacturers. His Reloading Page includes load data for a wide selection of bullets, while Peter’s photo archive shows cartridge diagrams and targets shot with Peter’s .222 Rem rifles. There is even an extensive section dedicated to the 20-222 Wildcat, an excellent varmint cartridge. The 20-222 is very efficient and very accurate.
Peter offers this advice for those getting started with the Triple Deuce cartridge:
“I religiously use the load data right off the Hodgdon web site. Recently I have gravitated toward using the old tried and true IMR4198 and H4198 powders for hunting using 40gr bullets. These two powders provide a velocity edge over the other powder choices while still maintaining safe and acceptable pressure levels. You can see this in the Hodgdon data where a max load of IMR4198 yields 3583 fps whereas H322 produces 3313 fps. So for hunting where higher velocity and terminal performance are important and accuracy is as good or close I would choose one of the two 4198 powders. This situation is similar, although not as dramatic, with 50gr bullets.
For target shooting H322 works extremely well. H4895 also provides impressive results and is a chosen powder for accuracy baseline testing by some manufacturers. I have begun experimenting with Vihtavuori N133 and Accurate 2015. Both seem very promising. But H322 and H4895 are two [dependable choices.]“
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February 1st, 2014
Content of all kinds is going digital, and that includes Reloading manuals. Now Hornady is offering an eBook version of the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading (9th Edition). Priced at $18.99, the eBook version of the Hornady Reloading Manual is now available for iOS (Apple) devices, for Android devices, and for Kindle eReaders.
For Apple products such iPads and iPhones etc., you can source Hornady’s manual from the iTunes iBook store. For Android tablets and Kindle readers, you can get the Kindle edition from Amazon.com. (NOTE: Android users must install a free Kindle App.)
Hornady’s latest Handbook of Cartridge Reloading features over 900 pages of information, including much new data for the 9th Edition. For many cartridge types, load recipes for new propellants such as Power Pro Varmint, AR-Comp, and CFE-223 have been added in the 9th Edition. Cartridge additions include the 17 Hornet, .327 Federal, .356 Winchester, .416 Barrett and .505 Gibbs. You’ll also find expanded data on over 20 favorite cartridges including: .223 Rem, 300 Whisper/AAC Blackout, .308 Win, .25-06, .257 Wby Mag, and many more. And of course the load recipes provide cover popular Hornady bullets V-MAX, SST, InterBond, InterLock, A-MAX, XTP, NTX and more. Each cartridge write-up features applicable Hornady bullets along with velocity/powder charts for quick and easy reference.
In addition to the comprehensive reloading charts, this reference manual provides helpful explanations of internal, external and terminal ballistics. To learn more about the eBook versions of Hornady’s latest Reloading manual, visit iTunes or Amazon.com.
eBook Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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January 31st, 2014
Looking to start a new enterprise? How about entering a field where consumer demand greatly exceeds supply right now — the ammunition business. If you have $38,000 or so you can get your own automated ammo-making machine from Ammo Load Worldwide, Inc., an American-run business located in Lewiston, Idaho. There’s also an 11-station, computer-controlled “Mark L” rifle ammo machine that’s a bit pricier — $77,000 with accessories. Sure that’s a tad more expensive than a Dillon XL650, but with a Mark L you can produce three thousand .223 Rem rounds per hour with the push of a button.
Watch Ammo-Loading Machines in Action:
Mark X Pistol Cartridge Loading Machine (about $38,000)
For over 30 years Ammo Load machines have served ammunition manufacturers, commercial loaders, private shooting ranges, and numerous law enforcement agencies. The Mark X Ammo Load machine (for pistol cartridges) has a maximum production rate of just over 5,000 cycles per hour. Many users produce between 3,000 and 5,000 rounds per hour. The primary factors governing the quality and quantity of ammunition produced are the components (particularly the cases), the caliber, and the capabilities of the operator.
The Mark X Ammo Load machine for pistol cartridges has nine (9) stations: Case Check, Size and Deprime, Primer and Primer Disk Check, Belling, Powder Feed, Powder Check, Bullet Seating, Bullet Crimp, Final Sizing. There are checks (with shut-offs) for case feed, primer feed, bullet feed, and powder load. The Mark X comes complete with shell case feeder, primer feed tube, powder flask, and bullet feed tube.
Mark L – Automatic Rifle Ammunition Loader (About $77,000)
In 2009 Ammo Load Worldwide introduced the Mark L automatic rifle ammunition loader in .223 and .308. Many proven features from the Mark X pistol machine have been incorporated into the Mark L to provide precise and consistent rifle cartridge loading at approximately 3,000 to 3,600 rounds per hour. All of the sensors and switches use fiber optic technology to increase precision and reduce maintenance. The Mark L utilizes a 3-station powder drop; the manufacturer claims this maintains charge weights to within 1/10th of a grain.
*Along with sizing, this first stage performs Flash-Hole Check, Ringer Check, and Case Check.
|Mark L Rifle Cartridge Loading Machine has 11 stations:
2. Mouth Flare
4. Primer Check / 1st Powder Drop
5. 2nd Powder Drop
6. 3rd Powder Drop
|7. Powder Check
8. Initial Bullet Seating
9. Final Bullet Seating
10. Crimp & Bullet-in-Case Check
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January 28th, 2014
Got QuickLOAD software? Then it’s time to upgrade your data files. The makers of QuickLOAD have released a new CD with updated data files (for propellants and projectiles). Updated just before SHOT Show, the new CD is current as of January 12, 2014. This data update disk adds the latest available powder, cartridge, and bullet files to your current version of QuickLOAD/QuickTARGET. This disk will work for QuickLOAD versions 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 and early 3.8.
Price for the update disk is $15.95. In the North America, order from Neconos.com, or call 800-451-3550 (9 am to 5 pm Pacific Time). In the United Kingdom, you can get the update disk from JMS Arms, Merrivale, London Road, Handcross, West Sussex, RH17 6BA, England, Phone: 01444 400126.
QuickLOAD is a pretty amazing program. Using information for over 1200 cartridges, 250 powders, and 2500 bullet types, QuickLOAD allows you to predict velocities and pressures for your hand-loaded ammo. You can check predicted pressures with different powder choices and seating depths before loading an actual round. If you do not yet own QuickLOAD, you can now order the latest Version 3.8 of this unique software. Priced at $152.95, the latest version 3.8 contains all the updates through January 12, 2014. This can be purchased for $152.95 from Neconos.com. For a full explanation of the features and benefits of QuickLOAD software, click the link below.
READ Full QuickLOAD Software Review
Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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January 28th, 2014
Coating bullets with a friction-reducing compound such as Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly) offers potential benefits, including reduced barrel heat, and being able to shoot longer strings of fire between bore cleanings. One of the effects of reduced friction can be the lessening of internal barrel pressures. This, in turn, means that coated bullets may run slower than naked bullets (with charges held equal). To restore velocities, shooters running coated bullets are inclined to “bump up” the load — but you need to be cautious.
Be Careful When Increasing Loads for Coated Bullets
We caution shooters that when your start out with coated bullets in a “fresh barrel” you should NOT immediately raise the charge weight. It may take a couple dozen coated rounds before the anti-friction coating is distributed through the bore, and you really start to see the reduced pressures. Some guys will automatically add a grain or so to recommended “naked” bullet charge weights when they shoot coated bullets. That’s a risky undertaking.
Instead we recommend that you use “naked” bullet loads for the first dozen coated rounds through a new barrel. Use a chronograph and monitor velocities. It may take up to 30 rounds before you see a reduction in velocity of 30-50 fps that indicates that your anti-friction coating is fully effective.
We have a friend who was recently testing moly-coated 6mm bullets in a 6-6.5×47. Moly had not been used in the barrel before. Our friend had added a grain to his “naked” bullet load, thinking that would compensate for the predicted lower pressures. What he found instead was that his loads were WAY too hot initially. It took 30+ moly-coated rounds through the bore before he saw his velocities drop — a sign that the pressure had lowered due to the moly. For the rounds fired before that point his pressures were too high, and he ended up tossing some expensive Lapua brass into the trash because the primer pockets had expanded excessively.
LESSON: Start low, even with coated bullets. Don’t increase your charge weights (over naked bullet loads) until you have clear evidence of lower pressure and reduced velocity.
Procedure After Barrel Cleaning
If you shoot Moly, and clean the barrel aggressively after a match, you may want to shoot a dozen coated “foulers” before starting your record string. Robert Whitley, who has used Moly in some of his rifles, tells us he liked to have 10-15 coated rounds through the bore before commencing record fire. In a “squeaky-clean” bore, you won’t get the full “benefits” of moly immediately.
To learn more about the properties of dry lubricants for bullets, read our Guide to Coating Bullets. This covers the three most popular bullet coatings: Molybdenum Disulfide (Moly), Tungsten Disulfide (WS2 or ‘Danzac’), and Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN). The article discusses the pros and cons of the different bullet coatings and offers step-by-step, illustrated instructions on how to coat your bullets using a tumbler.
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January 27th, 2014
Bryce Towsley has authored an informative article on Reclaiming .223 Rem Brass. Writing for Shooting Illustrated Online, Towsley confesses: “I’m a brass horder…. I end every shooting match on my hands and knees. If the rest of the competitors want to litter the range with their discarded cases, I see it as my civic duty to clean up the mess.” If you burn through a lot of .223 Rem ammo on the varmint fields or in multi-gun matches, we suggest you read Towsley’s article.
Towsley advises that you need to be cautious with range pick-up brass: “Range brass is full of dirt, dust, sand and debris that can be damaging to loading dies, as well as causing other problems.” So, range pick-up brass must be cleaned and then sorted carefully. Towsley explains that you should toss brass that is badly dented, and you have to make sure to remove the primer pocket crimp in military brass. This can be done with a crimp reamer or a swaging tool such as the Dillon Super Swage 600. The latter works well, but Towsley cautions: “For the swager to work properly, you must sort the cases by brand and lot, and then readjust the swager for each new lot.”
Trimming Quantities of Brass
Before loading, “reclaimed” range brass should, of course, be full-length sized and you should trim all the brass to the same length. “Cases that are too long can cause all kinds of problems”, explains Towsley.
We envy the system Towsley uses to trim brass. He has a Dillon Rapid Trim 1200B set up on the top of a single-stage press: “You simply insert a case into the shell holder and raise the ram to trim it instantly. The process is so fast, it almost feels like cheating.” The Rapid Trim is a very neat gadget — it even has an attachment for a vacuum hose to remove the cuttings. The photo at right shows a 1200B installed on a Dillon progressive press.
We definitely recommend you read Bryce Towsley’s Reclaiming Range Brass Article from start to finish. The article offers useful advice that will help you reload any rifle cartridge — not just .223 Rem range brass. Towsley also showcases many good labor-saving devices that can speed up and simplify the process of bulk rifle cartridge reloading.
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January 26th, 2014
Responding to customer requests, PMA Tool is now offering carbide expander mandrels in popular calibers. These carbide mandrels are listed as .22, .24, .26, .28, and .30 calibers, but they are sized for popular chamberings in .223, .243 (6mm), .264 (6.5mm), .284 (7mm), and .308 (7.62mm). PMA’s new carbide expander mandrels will cost $56.95 per item.
PMA’s tool-makers tell us: “Over the past several months we have received many requests to make expanding mandrels from carbide. Due to this popular demand we are now offering expanding mandrels from carbide. Carbide reduces galling and scratching both on the inside of the case neck and the mandrel itself. We still recommend the use of lubricant when expanding case necks to make the operation easier. These mandrels are ground from a 3/8” solid carbide blank and sized properly to expand case necks, preparing them for neck-turning. They can also be used to iron out dings and flat spots on new brass not destined to be neck turned, preparing them for loading and bullet seating.”
PMA Dual Taper Non-Carbide Expanders are Just $8.95
PMA also makes regular steel expander mandrels at a much lower price — $8.95. These regular Expanding Mandrels are designed to fit both the 21st Century Shooting and Sinclair Expander Dies. PMA states: “Our mandrels are longer than other expanding mandrels and feature a special dual taper which expands both on the up and down stroke of the press to more uniformly expand and straighten case necks.” These regular expanders are offered for all popular calibers, from .17 all the way to .338.
PMA Specialized Necking-Up Mandrels for 30 BR and 6 PPC
Last but not least, PMA makes specialized “long-taper” expanders designed to expand 6mmBR brass to 30 BR brass, or expand 220 Russian brass to 6mm (for the 6 PPC). Priced at $9.95, these handy, effective tools make it easy to neck-up your brass for 30BR or 6 PPC.
PMA explains: “So you want to make 30BR brass quick? Here’s the mandrel for you. A while back, while forming some 30BR brass for a customer’s rifle we noticed that after necking 6mm up to 30cal the neck fit on the turning mandrel was a lot tighter than we wanted. Regardless of how many steps we took to get there we had to run the case necks over the final expander repeatedly to get the fit right. After that experience we decided to set out and make a mandrel with optimum taper and diameter to neck 6mm up to 30 caliber in one step. We think is the best way to expand the necks of 6BR Lapua brass [for the 30 BR]. Remember to always use plenty of lubricant when necking.”
Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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