April 23rd, 2019

Precision Handloading for Pistols — Tips from the USAMU

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

Each Wednesday the USAMU offers tips for handloaders on the USAMU Facebook page. This article from the “Handloading Hump-Day” archives should interest pistol competitors, an any shooter who enjoys getting the best possible accuracy from their fine pistols. In this article, the USAMU’s experts share key tips that can help optimize your pistol ammo. Follow this tips to produce more consistent ammo, that can shoot higher scores.

Optimize the Taper Crimp
One often-overlooked aspect of handloading highly-accurate pistol ammunition is the amount of crimp and its effect on accuracy. Different amounts of taper crimp are used with various handloads to obtain best accuracy. The amount is based on bullet weight, powder burn rate and charge, plus other factors. It is not unusual for our Shop to vary a load’s crimp in degrees of 0.001″ and re-test for finest accuracy.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice ReloadingUse Consistent Brass
Brass is also important to pistol accuracy. While accurate ammunition can be loaded using brass of mixed parentage, that is not conducive to finest results, particularly at 50 yards. It is important for the serious competitor/handloader to use brass of the same headstamp and ideally one lot number, to maximize uniformity. Given the volumes of ammunition consumed by active pistol competitors, using inexpensive, mixed surplus brass for practice, particularly at the “short line” (25 yards), is understandable. However, for the “long line” (50 yards), purchasing and segregating a lot of high-quality brass to be used strictly for slow-fire is a wise idea.

Importance of Uniform COAL
Uniformity of the Case Overall Length (COAL) as it comes from the factory is also important to achieving utmost accuracy. More uniform case lengths (best measured after sizing) contribute to greater consistency of crimp, neck tension, ignition/burn of powder charge, and so on. Cartridge case-length consistency varies from lot to lot, as well as by maker. Some manufacturers are more consistent in this dimension than others. [Editor’s note: It is easy to trim pistol brass to uniform length. Doing this will make your taper crimps much more consistent.]

Primers and Powders — Comparison Test for Accuracy
Pay attention to primer brands, powder types and charges. Evaluating accuracy with a Ransom or other machine rest at 50 yards can quickly reveal the effect of changes made to handload recipes.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

Bullet Selection — FMJ vs. JHP
Bullets are another vital issue. First, there is the question of FMJ vs. JHP. A friend of this writer spent decades making and accuracy-testing rifle and pistol bullets during QC for a major bullet manufacturer. In his experience, making highly-accurate FMJ bullets is much more difficult than making highly-accurate JHPs, in large part due to the way the jackets are formed. Small die changes could affect accuracy of FMJ lots dramatically.

The CMP now allows “safe, jacketed ammunition” in Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) Service Pistol matches, although wadcutter ammunition is prohibited. Thus, the option to use very accurate JHP designs simplifies the life of CMP Service Pistol shooters in pursuit of the prestigious Distinguished Pistol Shot badge.

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful to any pistol shooters interested in accurate handloads, not just “Bullseye” shooters. Small tweaks to one’s normal routine can pay big dividends in improved accuracy and make practice and competition more rewarding.

Stay safe, and good shooting!

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April 23rd, 2019

For Less Run-Out, Try Rotating Your Cases During Bullet Seating

Bullet Seating Reloading rotate cartridge Run-out TIR

Here is a simple technique that can potentially help you load straighter ammo, with less run-out (as measured on the bullet). This procedure costs nothing and adds only a few seconds to the time needed to load a cartridge. Next time you’re loading ammo with a threaded (screw-in) seating die, try seating the bullet in two stages. Run the cartridge up in the seating die just enough to seat the bullet half way. Then lower the cartridge and rotate it 180° in the shell-holder. Now raise the cartridge up into the die again and finish seating the bullet.

Steve, aka “Short Range”, one of our Forum members, recently inquired about run-out apparently caused by his bullet-seating process. Steve’s 30BR cases were coming out of his neck-sizer with good concentricity, but the run-out nearly doubled after he seated the bullets. At the suggestion of other Forum members, Steve tried the process of rotating his cartridge while seating his bullet. Steve then measured run-out on his loaded rounds. To his surprise there was a noticeable reduction in run-out on the cases which had been rotated during seating. Steve explains: “For the rounds that I loaded yesterday, I seated the bullet half-way, and turned the round 180 degrees, and finished seating the bullet. That reduced the bullet runout by almost half on most rounds compared to the measurements from the first test.”

READ Bullet Seating Forum Thread »

run-out bullet

run-out bullet

Steve recorded run-out measurements on his 30 BR brass using both the conventional (one-pass) seating procedure, as well as the two-stage (with 180° rotation) method. Steve’s measurements are collected in the two charts above. As you can see, the run-out was less for the rounds which were rotated during seating. Note, the change is pretty small (less than .001″ on average), but every little bit helps in the accuracy game. If you use a threaded (screw-in) seating die, you might try this two-stage bullet-seating method. Rotating your case in the middle of the seating process won’t cost you a penny, and it just might produce straighter ammo (nothing is guaranteed). If you do NOT see any improvement on the target, you can always go back to seating your bullets in one pass. READ Forum Thread..

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
April 22nd, 2019

Bargain-Finder 187: 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. Sportsman’s Guide — Ruger 10/22, $189.99 with CODE

Ruger 10/22 sale

If there’s one gun that’s synonymous with shooting sports, it’s the Ruger 10/22. This classic rimfire rifle is inexpensive to buy, yet very reliable. If you’ve been looking to pick one up or buy your kid his or her first rifle, here’s your chance to get a wood- or synthetic-stocked 10/22 from Sportsman’s Guide. Member Price is $199.49 while non-member price is $209.99. But it gets better — use Code GUNSNGEAR to save an additional $20.00. With that Code, SG members can snag one for just $179.49! The non-member price is $189.99 with Code. NOTE: The GUNSNGEAR $20 OFF Code works with or without a membership.

2. Grizzly Industrial — Bald Eagle Mini Arbor Press, $74.95

bald eagle arbor press

Have you been looking for a low-cost arbor press to get started with in-line seating? Perhaps you’d like to load your bullets long initially, and then adjust the bullet seating depth during load development (or even at matches). Arbor presses are great for bullet seating tasks at the range. If you need a compact arbor press for your loading duties — here is really good deal. Grab a Bald Eagle Mini Arbor press and you’ll be off and running for the low price of $74.95.

3. Midsouth — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, $229.99

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. The ChargeMaster Lite features an easy-to-use LCD touchscreen. Dispenser precision is plus/minus 0.1 grains. The unit comes with twin check weights and a convenient plastic cover for the powder pan.

4. Graf’s — Platinum Case Prep & Trim + EZ Tumbler, $179.99

“case

If you want to step up your brass preparation game, here’s a great deal. Graf’s is offering the Frankford Arsenal Case Prep & Trim PLUS the EZ Tumbler for only $179.99. That’s an amazing deal considering you could pay $199.99 or more for the Prep & Trim unit by itself, and the EZ Tumbler is regularly $50 or more. This Grafs.com combo deal represents a savings of nearly $70.00.

5. Bruno Shooters Supply — Labradar w/ FREE SHIPPING

labradar sale

Labradar is considered the class leader in shooting chronographs. The ultra-accurate, state-of-the-art Labradar chronos have become so sought-after that they’re hardly ever discounted. While that may be true, Bruno’s is doing the next best thing and offering the Labradar with FREE SHIPPING as well as any accessories you buy along with it. This is a great time to grab the most advanced chrono on the market, along with genuine Labradar accessories.

6. Midsouth — 350 Rds 9mm FMJ in Container, $74.99

350rds 9mm FMY ammo

Nearly all gun guys (and gals) own one or more 9mm pistols. Here is some very cost-effective Aguila 9x19mm ammo that lets you train more often. Right now Midsouth is offering 350 rounds of 9mm FMJ plus a nice ammo can for the low price of $74.99, a great deal. At that price you can may want to buy 1000 rounds or more. We’ve shot this ammo. It is reliable and the brass is reloadable.

7. Black Widow — Refurbished Trim-II with Die, $79.50

case trimmer

Trimming your brass to length can be a chore with manual trimmers. There are high-end motorized trimming systems, but some of these cost hundreds of dollars. Fear not as Black Widow Shooters now has the refurbished trim-II w/ free die for only $79.50! That’s a savings of over 50% off the normal price. The beauty of this unit is that you simply attach it to any drill, adjust it to length and start trimming. It’s just that easy. Once you use a tool like this you may never go back to manual trimmers.

8. Midway USA — Wheeler Scope Mounting Kit, $79.99

wheeler scope kit sale

Does the thought of mounting your own scope scare you but you’re tired of paying someone else to do it? With the help of the Wheeler Engineering Scope Mounting Kit your fears will be put at ease. This $79.99 Kit includes everything you need including a torque wrench, alignment bars, levels and more. All of this comes packaged in convenient transport case.

9. Amazon — Champion Precision Sight-In Target, $12.52

Sight-In Targets

Have you ever been ready to run to the range and blow off a few rounds only to find that you’re out of targets? If you’re like us that’s one of the most frustrating things that can happen when heading to the club and nobody likes using printer paper and a marker to make a target. Pick up this 100 count set of sight-in targets and you won’t have to run to the store last minute or dig through the range trash cans hoping to find a barely-used target. This is a great value — only 13 cents per target! Great deal.

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April 22nd, 2019

Frankford Arsenal Hand Priming Tool With Depth Adjustment

Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer Platinum series priming tool grip adjustable

Our friend Jim See of Elite Accuracy LLC recently tested the depth-adjustable hand priming tool from Frankford Arsenal. This product, called the Platinum Series Perfect Seat Hand Primer has some unique features. Primer seating depth can be adjusted with a handy wheel in the tool’s center handgrip. Each “click” of the wheel moves the primer post .001″ (one one-thousandth of an inch). Additionally, the design of the case-holder allows quick and easy removal of a primed case. The unit ships with a full set of shell-holders to match all types of cases. Like many other hand priming units, the primers are loaded into a flip tray that attaches to the head of the tool.

Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer Platinum series priming tool grip adjustable

Here is Jim See’s quick review of the Frankford priming tool:

“The Frankford Arsenal perfect hand-priming tool is legit. The tool is built heavy and strong. The only plastic parts in it are the tray and lid. The [primer] seating depth adjustment… is simple and accurate. Easy to operate. I primed 1000 cases, averaging 23 per minute. I adjusted the depth of seating between two different lots of brass in seconds. The system seats primers easily with one hand operation. The cases slide out on their own after seating. Insert, seat, reach for a new case at the same time as you are operating the lever, case slides out and you are inserting the next piece.”

Overall, Jim was “Super impressed with the quality and the results. This thing is super smooth — way less pressure needed than my Lee or RCBS. It’s a lot faster too.” Jim add that one can switch from small to large primer posts in 10-15 seconds.

This Video Shows the Frankford Priming Tool in Operation:

Even with premium brass you may want to adjust your primer seating depth: “Every thing has a tolerance that is acceptable in manufacturing. If primer pocket depth has a .005″ tolerance and the primers themselves have a .002″ tolerance you can see why adjustments would be needed. In this case the two lots were manufactured on year apart. Could you expect them to be identical?”

Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer Platinum series priming tool grip adjustable

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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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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

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April 18th, 2019

Smart Reloading: How to Set Optimal Case Neck Tension

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushings

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. A while back, the USAMU’s reloading gurus addressed a question frequently asked by handloaders: “How much neck tension is optimal, and how should I select a neck bushing size?” The USAMU offers a straight-forward answer, suggesting that hand-loaders start with a neck bushing that sizes the neck so that it is .003″ less than the loaded outside diameter with bullet in place. From there, you can experiment with more or less tension, but this is a good starting point for many popular cartridge types.

USAMU Reloading

Determining Optimal Case-Neck Tension

This week, we examine determining the correct case neck tension for optimum accuracy. Our method is simple, but relies on the use of case sizing dies which accept interchangeable neck diameter bushings graduated in 0.001″ increments. (Those readers using fixed-diameter dies with expander balls aren’t forgotten, however. Methods of tailoring these dies for proper neck tension will be found below.)

In our experience across many calibers, sizing case necks 0.003″ under the loaded-case neck diameter usually yields excellent accuracy. In other words, the sized case neck expands 0.003″ when the bullet is seated.

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushings

USAMU handloading Neck Bushing Die tension springback interchangeable bushingsBushing Choice for Optimal Sizing
Over the years, we have periodically experimented with increasing neck tension to possibly improve accuracy. In testing with machine rests at 300/600 yards, accuracy often deteriorated as neck tension increased; thus, 0.003″ expansion (from sized neck to loaded neck) is where we usually start.

Using the .260 Remington as an example, our loaded cartridge case necks measure 0.292”. Simply subtract 0.003” from that, and use a bushing that sizes necks to 0.289” (after springback). There are exceptions — sometimes, brass may be a bit soft or hard. Some case necks might need, say, 0.001” more tension, but in general, this works well.

This .003″ standard of neck tension works very well for single-loaded, long range cartridges. Depending on your caliber and firearm, it MAY also work very well for magazine-fed cartridges. If this neck tension proves inadequate for your purpose, one can increase neck tension as needed while monitoring for possible accuracy changes.

Special Considerations for Coated Bullets: If you are using moly-coated bullets, this significantly reduces the “grip” of the case neck on the bullet, and you can expect to have to tighten your case necks accordingly — particularly for magazine-fed ammunition. In any event, we do not crimp rifle cartridges, and advise against it for accuracy handloads.

Tips for Using Expander Balls
Many savvy handloaders avoid the use of expander balls in high-accuracy reloading, if possible. These can stretch cases and/or disturb the concentricity of the case neck vs. case body. If using a die with an expander ball, tapering both ends of the ball and polishing it to a mirror finish can significantly reduce these effects. (Special carbide expander ball/decapping stem sets are available for this as well.)

The typical dies used with expander balls are intended to take any cases the user may find, and size them down well below the ideal “spec” to ensure any cases will give good neck tension. The necks are then expanded up to provide heavy to medium neck tension as the expander ball exits the neck. The brass is over-worked, leading to premature work-hardening, and seated-bullet concentricity may suffer. However, the cartridges produced are perfectly adequate for most handloaders. Those who seek finest accuracy generally prefer not to over-work their brass if possible.

Another Option — Custom-Honed FL Dies
There are companies which offer to convert one’s standard dies to accept neck bushings, and that gives excellent flexibility. Another, more “old-school” approach, is to have the neck of one’s FL die honed out to the desired diameter for sizing, based on one’s case neck thickness. The expander ball may then be reduced until it barely touches the case necks after sizing, or it may be eliminated entirely. However, once performed, this modification is permanent and leaves fewer options than the bushing route, if one later changes case neck thickness.

Those shooters who turn their case necks for optimum neck wall thickness uniformity, or for a tight-neck chamber, will want to take the reduced neck wall thickness into consideration. For example, when setting up a 7mm match rifle to use a standard hunting die without an expander ball, the slightly thinner necks resulted in a perfect 0.003″ reduction in the fired-neck diameter. The result was a low-cost die that fit with custom precision and yielded excellent, match accuracy!

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April 16th, 2019

Brass Cleaning Options — Tumbling, Ultrasonic, Chemical & More

cartridge brass cleaning tumbler tumbling vibratory Wipe Out

Shiny brass — it may not shoot more accurately, but it does make you feel better about your hand-loaded ammo. While it’s not necessary to get brass “bright and shiny” after every firing, it is a good idea to clean powder residue, grime, and grit off your brass before you run cases into sizing dies. There are many ways to clean cartridge cases. A quick wipe with solvent on a patch may suffice for recently-shot cases. Older brass with baked-on carbon may require lengthy tumbling. Ultrasonic cleaning is another popular option that gets your brass clean inside and out.

Sinclair International has a series of helpful videos on brass cleaning. These short “how-to” videos, hosted by Bill Gravatt, Sinclair’s past President, cover the various processes you can use — tumbling, ultrasonic cleaning, chemical cleaning, and cleaning by hand.

Video ONE — Cleaning Brass in Vibratory or Rotary Tumbler

TIP: Brass that has recently been shot will clean more easily than brass that has been sitting many days or weeks. If your tumbling media is fresh the job should be done in an hour or less. It’s your choice whether to tumble with primers removed or with primers still in the cases. If you choose to tumble with primers out, we suggest you deprime with a depriming die, rather that put dirty brass into your sizing die. Some people like to add a teaspoon of liquid polish to the media. This does work, cutting tumble time, and making your brass more shiny. However, if you add liquid polish, do that BEFORE you add the brass and let the tumbler run for a 15 minutes to get the polish completely mixed into the media. Otherwise you can else up with gooey gunk inside your cases — a very bad thing.

Video TWO — Ulstrasonic Case Cleaning

TIP: There are many different types of solutions you can use. Soapy water suffices for some folks, particularly if you add a little Lemi-Shine. The Hornady and Lyman solutions work well, and can be used multiple times, provided you strain the solution to remove dirt and grit after cleaning sessions. Many ultrasonic cleaning machines have timers. Experiment with dwell time to see how long you need to immerse your brass. A very small amount of Ballistol in the solution will help lubricate your necks on the inside. This can make bullet seating go more smoothly, with more consistent neck tension.

Video THREE — Chemical Cleaners (Soaking without Ultrasound)

TIP: After using chemical cleaners, such as the Iosso solution, you need to water-rinse your brass thoroughly. A kitchen strainer helps with this (see video at 0:20). Also, don’t forget your brass in the chemical solution — follow the manufacturers recommendations and don’t exceed the recommended dwell time. Chemical cleaners work surprisingly well to remove grease and grime, and the solution can be re-used multiple times. However, if you want your cases to look bright and shiny (like new brass), you will probably have to tumble. [Editor: A very effective new chemical cleaner is the Brass Monkey product from the makers of Wipe-Out and Carb-Out. Add a teaspoon to a gallon of water then soak your brass for 20-30 minutes. It really works — the cases clean up dramatically].

Video FOUR — Manual Cleaning (By Hand)

TIP: Keep some oversize patches in your range kit. At the end of your shooting sessions, wipe off your fired brass with a patch dampened with a mild, non-corrosive solvent (once again Ballistol works well). Before the carbon sets up on your brass it is very easy to remove. For tougher jobs, you can use 0000 Steel Wool (as Bill recommends in the video). You may find that timely hand-cleaning lets you avoid tumbling altogether — or you may choose to tumble (or ultra-sound) your brass only after a half-dozen or so firings.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
April 15th, 2019

Bargain-Finder 186: 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. Midsouth — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $269.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $269.99. Amazing Deal. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $269.99, a fine price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $165.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items (such as the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

2. Amazon — Plano 52″ Two-gun Case, $81.15

Plano aw2 all weather 2-gun rifle case hard case FAA

This Plano two-gun case is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wheeled, heavy-duty firearms cases. This is offered in three sizes: 36″, 42″, and 52″. We like the biggest 52″ version, as it is long enough inside to fit most scoped match rifles. Alternatively, if you have a really long F-Class, ELR, or Palma rig, you can detach the barreled action from the stock, and run the two sections in the shorter 42″ case. The big case lets you easily carry TWO scoped hunting rifles. This case is strong enough for airline travel, meeting FAA requirements for checked baggage. Yes a Pelican 1750 is somewhat better, but that will cost $270.00.

This 52″ case is available now on Amazon for $81.15. That’s a very good deal. This same 52″ Plano AW2 case sells for $169.99 elsewhere.

Specifications for 52″ Case:
Exterior Size: 53.5″ x 17″ x 7″
Interior Size: 51.5″ x 14″ x 5.5″
Dri-loc Seal and Pressure Release Valve
Dual Stage Lockable Latches for Travel
Customizable Pluck-to-fit Foam
Easy Glide Enclosed Wheels

3. Savage — 10% Rebate on Savage, Stevens, and Fox Firearms

Savage Stevens Fox guns rifle rebate cash back tax season savings promotion Vista Outdoor

Get a 10% Factory Rebate for ALL Savage, Stevens, and Fox firearms purchased from now through May 15, 2019. This Tax Season Rebate could easily save you $50, $100, or even $150 on a fine hunting, tactical, or rimfire rifle. During this Tax Season Savings Event, you’ll receive 10% back on your purchase with a maximum $150 Rebate. The Rebate amount is calculated from the retail purchase price excluding taxes and shipping/handling fees. Rebate submission deadline is 6/14/2019. REBATE FORM HERE.

4. Midsouth — Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler LITE, $99.99

Frankford Aresenal Tumbler Sale

Wet-tumbling with stainless media gets large quantities of cartridge brass clean inside and out. If you’ve wanted to try wet-tumbling, here’s your chance. Midsouth has the Frankford Arsenal Platinum LITE Tumbler on sale for just $99.99 — a total steal. If you run large quantities of brass, you can get the larger-capacity Frankford Arsenal Platinum Tumbler for $179.99. Either one of these is a reliable, durable (and watertight) machine that should provide years of worry-free tumbling.

5. CDNN — Weatherby Vanguard 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $799.99

Weatherby Vanguard Modular rifle 6.5 Creedmoor

This is a great deal. MSRP on the Weatherby Vanguard Modular Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor was $1519.00. Now you can buy this rig for just $799.99 on sale. That’s less than you’d pay for most custom actions by themselves. Yes this Weatherby rifle qualifies for PRS Production class — it’s 100% within the rules. Put the hundreds of dollars you save into optics, ammo, and a suppressor — the 20″ barrel comes pre-threaded for brake or suppressor. This rifle has a nice 2-stage trigger, and Luth AR adjustable buttstock fitted to a CNC-machined anodized aluminum chassis. Weatherby guarantees SUB-MOA accuracy with premium ammo.

6. Amazon — Carbon Fiber Bipod and Pic Rail Adapter, $25.99

Carbon Fiber Bipod

Carbon Fiber BipodLooking for a new bipod that can work with a Picatinny rail? You’re in luck because we just found this 6″ – 9″ adjustable Carbon Fiber Bipod and M-Lok adapter combo for the amazingly low price of $25.99 including a handy adapter allowing you to securely attach the bipod to a standard Picatinny Rail. There are also versions with KeyMod or M-Lok Adapters for $27.99. Purchasers have given this unit high praise, with a 4.5-star rating. Here is an actual buyer review:

“Excellent bipod at an excellent price. It seems well-built and is far more rigid and sturdy than others like it. The bipod came with a Picatinny adapter [M-Lok or KeyMod optional]. Mounting was quick and easy. Overall I think this is by far the best bang-for-your-buck bipod.”

7. Midway USA — Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph, $324.86

Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph

All serious shooters need a modern, reliable chronograph to determine load velocity (and consistency). You need good velocity data for your ballistics AND to evaluate the consistency of your hand-loads. The Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph is one of the best on the market. Now you can get this fine Chrono for just $324.86, marked down from $380.00, a $55 savings! We like Magnetospeed chronos because you never need to go downrange to set up tripods and screens. Data can be downloaded to your mobile device.

8. Walmart — Keypad Handgun and Valuables Safe, $59.00

digital finger access handgun safe Tracker Walmart

This compact Tracker Safe features a digital keypad system that works with 3- to 8-digit passcodes you set. This allows fast access in an emergency — once you enter your code, the spring-loaded door flies open for immediate access to your weapon. You can also lock/unlock the safe with provided manual keys. Walmart offers this safe for just $59.00 with FREE shipping. That’s a bargain. This safe comes with mounting hardware for wall or floor installation. The interior has one shelf plus carpet-type padding.

9. Amazon — Boosteady Pack of 1000 Patches, $8.99 – $13.99

BOOSTEADY Pack of 1000 Professional Square Gun Cleaning Patches

A clean gun is a happy gun and since patches are the core of any cleaning regimen why not grab some great patches for a great price? Amazon sells 1000-count packs of Boosteady Professional Cleaning Patches starting at just $8.99 for 1″ square patches — a great bargain for 1000. Now you won’t feel so bad running a few extra patches every time you clean just make sure you got the last bit of crud out. Boosteady patches are very highly rated by purchasers and come in 1″ square ($8.99), 2″ square ($11.99), and 2.5″ square ($13.99) sizes, inside a convenient box.

10. Amazon — Universal Cleaning Mat, $19.99

Universal Cleaning Mat

If you’re like most people you spread out a towel before tearing your gun apart. This often leads to missing parts, a messy work area and when you spill anything it just soaks into your pad. Now you can pick up this universal cleaning mat that also includes a MAGNETIC parts keeper on the side. It’s nearly 4 feet long and is made of a oil and solvent resistant material for easy cleanup.

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April 15th, 2019

Six-Five Smackdown: The .260 Remington vs. 6.5×55 Swedish

6.5x55 SE, 6.5 Swedish 6.6x55mm .260 Rem Remington Laurie Holland comparison

The .260 Remington and the 6.5×55 Swedish (aka 6,5x55mm SE) are both very popular cartridges with hunters and target shooters. The 6.5×55 has a long military heritage and a great record as a hunting round. The .260 Rem, essentially a .308 Win necked down to .264 caliber, is a more recent cartridge, but it grows in popularity every year, being one of the top cartridges for tactical/practical competitions. It offers better ballistics and less recoil than the parent .308 Win cartridge. In our Shooter’s Forum, respected UK gun writer Laurie Holland provided a good summary of the differences between the two chamberings. Laurie writes:

Remington 260 CartridgeThe 6.5×55 case has 6 or 7% more capacity than the .260s, even more in practice when both are loaded to standard COALs with heavy bullets, which sees them having to seated very deep in the .260 Rem using up quite a lot of powder capacity. So loaded up for reasonable pressures in modern actions, the 6.5×55 will give a bit more performance.

The issue for many is what action length is available or wanted, the 6.5×55 requiring a long action. So sniper rifle / tactical rifle competitors will go for the .260 Rem with the option of the many good short-bolt-throw designs around with detachable box magazines (DBMs). If a bit more performance is needed, the .260 AI (photo right) can yield another 100-150 fps velocity, depending on bullet weight.

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, Reloading, Tech Tip 12 Comments »
April 14th, 2019

What is Your #1 Favorite Reloading Equipment Item?

Wilson hand die arbor press Sierra Bullets

Sierra Bullets asked a few hand-loaders to reveal their favorite reloading tool or accessory: “What is your favorite ‘don’t know how you ever lived without it’ piece of reloading equipment?” Some of the answers are listed below. We were interested to see some high-tech, micro-processor items mentioned, such as the AMP Annealer, and the Auto-Trickler powder dispenser. Old standbys, such as the rugged RCBS Rockchucker and Dillon 650, also made the favorites list. You can nominate your own favorite reloading hardware in the comments section of the Sierra Bullets Blog.

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin answered: “A comparator gauge to measure from the base of a case to the ogive of the bullet. This bypasses the tip of the bullet, so I can repeat the same seating depth the next time I visit a specific combination.”

Forster Co-ax press

Bill, Editor of Rifleshooter.com, answered: “I have so many favorite reloading tools, it’s hard to pick one. But if I had to, it would be my Forster Co-Ax press. I like the ease [with which] you can change dies and that it doesn’t require traditional shell holders. It’s a great tool to have!”

Forster Co-Ax Press

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks answered: “I don’t know that you would actually call this equipment, but the item that comes to mind would be my reloading room/shoot house. I had always had to squeeze everything into a corner or even an unheated shed. After we bought our current house, I built a garage and placed it so that I had a window looking down a 250-yard range. I built a dedicated room with heat and A/C. It contains my reloading bench and a shooting bench. The shooting bench lets me slide open the window and shoot down the range. It is very handy to not have to load everything up to go to the range. It also makes load development a lot simpler and efficient. I don’t know how I ever got along without it.

I also wonder what I did before I acquired the Lyman 1200 DPS Powder Dispenser. This has made the process so much simpler and much easier. I also have a Lee Precison Universal Decapping Die that I would gladly spend the money on again. This may be a small thing, but it certainly is handy. The Lee would accommodate some very large cases that some of the others were too small for.”

Jon Addis answered: “Putting an A&D FX-120i scale with Auto-Trickler and Auto-Throw on the bench has changed the way I reload. It’s kernel accurate in about 15 seconds. Saves time and reduces a variable. And of course, the system is made better by the Area 419 Billet Adjustable base for the trickler and Billet Powder Cup.”

This video shows the Auto-Trickler V2 and Auto-Throw Combo:

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Carroll Pilant answered: “Dillon 550 and 650 presses.”

Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box answered: “The Lee Precison hand priming tool.”

Sierra Bullets Chief Ballistician Tommy Todd answered: “A brass annealing machine and a RCBS Chargemaster complimented with a Sartorious scale.”

RCBS RockchuckerSierra Bullets Ballistician Gary Prisendorf answered: “RCBS Rock Chucker Press, it’s built like a tank, and it will last me a lifetime.”

Sierra Bullets Production Manager Chris Hatfield also answered: “RCBS Rock Chucker single-stage reloading press.”

Jeremy Kisner answered: “My Giraud trimmer has taken [three operations] and combined them into one easy task. I can now size my brass and then sit down and trim, chamfer, and debur to a 0.001″ tolerance in one motion.”

Dan Blake answered: “My Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) annealer. With consistent neck tension being one of the largest contributions to small Extreme Spread on muzzle velocities, I believe this induction annealer is truly the best on the market.”

This manufacturer-produced video shows how the AMP annealing machine operates:

Trevor Aldinger answered: “Area 419 Master Funnel Kit. In the past I’ve used plastic funnels and even other metal ones. This system fits case necks and flows much better than any others I’ve used, and there is no static since it’s metal. We spend a lot of time and money to get precise charges, I don’t want to lose or miss a kernel because of a cheap funnel.”

Area 419 Master Funnel kit

Tyler Riley answered: “My RCBS bench primer (priming tool). It has a lot more leverage than a hand primer and still has a good feel to how tight primer pockets are. Makes it much easier on my hands to prime large runs, especially new brass with tight pockets.”

Craig Arnzen answered: “My Annealeez [annealing machine] is one of the best tools in my reloading room. Neck tension is SO important, and annealing every firing really helps with that. This is an inexpensive tool that can anneal a lot of cases at once, and help me produce more consistent ammo.”

Josh Temmen answered: “Time is critical for me so my RCBS Chargemasters are indispensable (pun intended.) They cut down on time at my reloading bench while maintaining the weight tolerances required for long range shooting.”

Josh Bartlett answered: “I have my Dillon 650 set up with Whidden floating tool heads to do decapping and sizing on my match ammo. The case feeder and progressive function of the press save me a TON of time when doing lots of several hundred rounds.”

Ryan Brandt answered: “… A quality set of calipers. My reloading room is full of very nice equipment but little does more to satisfy my perfectionism than a good check with the calipers.”

Sierra Bullets

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 13th, 2019

Cheap Tricks — Ten Handy Budget Items For Hand-Loaders

Budget reloading items

Useful reloading gear does not have to be costly. Here are ten handy (and very inexpensive) items that belong on your loading bench or in your range kit.

magnifying glassMagnifying Glass – We use a flat, 2″x2″ pocket 4x-8x magnifier. This folds up on itself. Very handy, we use it to inspect bullets and brass. Use this to check your flash holes for burrs, and check the meplats of your bullets before loading.

Clear 35mm Film Cannister – Use this to transfer the thrown powder charge to the little measuring cup that sits on your scale. That way you don’t get any kernel splash. Also if the charge weight is obviously off, it’s easy to dump back in the measure. A film canister works pretty well as a trickler too.

Compressed Air in a Can -- Get these at office supply stores. Use the can (with tube attached) to blow crud out of cases after cleaning the neck with a brush, and blast loose debris out of primer pockets.

Pin Vise – A simple pin vise with a #53 bit is perfect for deburring Lapua PPC and BR flash holes without reaming the flash-holes any larger. The Lapua PPC/BR flash-hole diameter is 1.5 mm, or 0.059″. Amazon.com sells a handy $8.28 pin vise kit with 10 bits, including the ideal 1.5mm bit. Other vendors offer a #53 pin vise bit that measures .0595″ or .060″ (depending or source). You can find pin vises and bits at hobby stores. Note — The model shown below is currently out of stock, but there are many pin vise sets offered from $7 to $15.

pin vise 1.5mm Lapua Flash hole

Bounce Dryer Sheets – The common dryer sheets eliminate “static cling” on your plastic reloading parts such as powder measure cylinders, powder funnels, and reloading press plastic bins. Thanks to Doc76251 for this tip.

BallistolBallistol Aerosol – Try using this versatile lubricant/solvent for full-length sizing. Spray some on a patch and you can wipe the carbon of your case necks. Then, continue to apply a very small amount of Ballistol on the case bodies — just thin sheen is all you need. Ballistol is super slippery, and easy to remove. For general full-length sizing (on small cases) it works great and doesn’t leave a gooey, waxy, or chalky residue. For heavier case-forming jobs, we recommend Imperial Die Wax.

Shotgun Mop – Stick this in the chamber when using Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner. This will seal off the chamber so the foam doesn’t flow into your action. For long chambers screw on one section of cleaning rod to aid extraction.

Colored Sharpie Marking Pens – Mark your bullets ahead of the bearing surface, and the color transfers to the target. This way you can shoot multiple loads at the same point of aim and discern which load shoots the tightest. (Recommended for 300 yards and beyond). With colored bullet tips you can test multiple loads “round robin” to equalize wind effects. When testing seating depths for example, you can mark the longer-seated set of bullets red and the shorter-seated set green and shoot them during the same sequence. Just look at the colored marks on the target to see which grouped better.

Sharpies Pens

Thin Latex Gloves – You should keep a box of inexpensive, disposable latex gloves (the kind doctors use) in your loading room. These will prevent contamination of primers or powder kernels that you handle directly. Also, use the gloves when handling fine blued tools or firearms to prevent transfering body oils and salts that promote rust.

Plastic Washers for Neck Mic – If you use a Sinclair Neck-wall Micrometer Gauge with integral stand, you can use thin plastic washers to adjust the height of the case on the mandrel. This makes it much easier to measure the same point on the case neck every time. Thanks to MikeCR for this tip (and photo).

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
April 8th, 2019

Bargain-Finder 185: 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. Midsouth — Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler LITE, $99.99

Frankford Aresenal Tumbler Sale

Wet-tumbling with stainless media gets large quantities of cartridge brass clean inside and out. If you’ve wanted to try wet-tumbling, here’s your chance. Midsouth has the Frankford Arsenal Platinum LITE Tumbler on sale for just $99.99 — a total steal. If you run large quantities of brass, you can get the larger-capacity Frankford Arsenal Platinum Tumbler for $179.99. Either one of these is a reliable, durable (and watertight) machine that should provide years of worry-free tumbling.

2. Grizzly Bald Eagle — Great Range Bag and Rifle Case Sale

Deals of the week Grizzly rifle case gun bag utility case blowout closeout sale

Grab one of these Bald Eagle rifle cases or range bags at up to 50% off. These are way better than typical too-skinny rifle cases or flimsy fabric bags. The rifle cases have plenty of storage for your match needs and the padding is very good. The box-style range bags have thick closed-cell foam panels in the base, top, and sides. That gives these bags good “wall strength”, so they don’t collapse like typical range bags. These are more like a quality camera-case.

AccurateShooter.com Editor’s Bald Eagle 20″ Range Bag with Spotting Scope:
bald eagle range bag 20 spotting scope

As you can see, the Bald Eagle 20″ range bag is quite big inside with lots of padding. We use this bag to carry our spotting scope and a small tripod, plus lots of other gear in the pockets. The near-full-width front pocket is very handy. We really like this 20″ range bag, which is a total steal at just $15.97. In fact the Editor likes his 20″ Bald Eagle bag so much he just ordered a second, along with two 15″ bags.

3. Graf’s — Frankford Arsenal M-Press + Extras, $249.99

frankford arsenal m-press sale

Frankford Arsenal has been getting a lot of press since SHOT Show with a bounty of new products. Topping the list of must-have items is the M-Press. This press takes all the proven concepts of a Co-Axial press and improves on them. It has reversible cam-over bars plus an LED light, quick-adjusting shell-holders, and many other notable features. Right now Grafs.com is offering the new Frankford M-Press for $249.99. If you need any more incentive, Graf’s is offering a FREE set of three (3) additional die blocks, plus a handy kinetic bullet puller. Nobody else is offering anything like this especially since the M-Press is so new. [Editor: Watch for our M-Press review later this month.]

4. Midsouth — Sierra Loaded Ammunition Sale

Sierra ammunition sale

Sierra is renowned for making quality bullets but did you know Sierra also produces great loaded ammo for hunters? Available in many of the most popular calibers and featuring GameKing bullets, Sierra’s GameChanger Ammunition could just be the edge you’re looking for on your next hunt. Midsouth has GameChanger ammo on sale right now. Stock up before hunting season arrives and prices go up.

5. Bruno Shooters Supply — Nightforce NXS 5.5-22 Scope, $1699

“night

Nightforce NXS scopes are some of the best optics in their price range. Given their popularity, it’s rare to find NXS models on sale. Right now Bruno’s is discounting these fine scopes, so this is a great buying opportunity. Grab either the Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x50mm or the Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x56mm at a blow out price of $1699. This power range is one of the most popular out there so to buy one of these for over $300 off is a deal you can’t pass up.

6. Bullet Central — Bix’N Andy Trigger with Free Cleaning Kit

BixN' Andy B&A Trigger sale

Bix’N Andy makes some of the very best trigger systems on the planet. It’s rare that you ever see them associated with any kind of promotion. If you’ve been waiting for a good reason to get a Bix’N Andy trigger, here is your chance. Bullet Central is now offering a free 8 oz. ThorroClean kit with every Bix’N Andy purchase. ThorroClean by Iosso works is a two-part bore flush/bore cleaning package that removes fouling with minimal dwell time. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed with a Bix’N Andy trigger, and the deal provides a little extra incentive.

7. Amazon — 60 Jourdak Quality Earplugs for $12.95

disposable earplug sale

Ever arrived at the range and realized you left your earmuffs at home? It’s happened to us all. That’s why you should keep some extra ear-plugs in your rifle cases and range bags. Right now you can buy a 60-count bottle of Jourdak soft earplugs for $12.95. Buyers say these SNR 35 dB plugs, which “heat-mold” to your ear canal, are very comfortable and effective. Plus there is a 10% Off instant coupon for the Jourdaks. We also recommend the Howard Leight Max-1 ear-plugs. These NRR 33 plugs are comfortable and easy to insert. You can get 20 pairs of Max-1s for just $4.95. Either option comes with free shipping. Remember, always wear effective hearing protection while at the range.

TECH NOTE Concerning NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) and SNR (Single Number Rating)
The highest NRR rating for earplugs is 33, and the highest available NRR rating for earmuffs is 31. These values reflect the level of noise protection available for each device when worn alone. Combining earplugs with earmuffs can offer a NRR protection level of 36. The SNR (single number rating) is a rating system used in the European Union to indicate the amount of protection offered by correctly-fitted hearing protection devices. Source: Protectear.com

8. Palmetto State Armory — S&W M&P 15-22, $299.99

SMITH & WESSON M&P 15-22 SPORT RIFLE .22LR

In our view, every gun guy (and gun gal) should own a nice self-loading .22 LR rimfire rifle. And if you own an AR, it makes sense to have a rimfire rig with the same balance and ergonomics. That’s what the M&P 15-22 is all about — AR ergos with rimfire economy. With bulk .22 LR ammo, your cost-per-shot is under nine cents per round! Right now at Palmetto State Armory, the popular Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Sport is just $299.99 on sale. That’s not much more than a basic Ruger 10/22 and we like this S&W 15-22 much better — it’s great for plinking and rimfire action disciplines. This rifle can use most AR15-family accessories, and it comes with Magpul MBUS sights, and M-Lok rails.

9. Amazon — TACVASEN Long Sleeve Tactical Shirt, $29.99

military shirt sale

Let’s face it, looking good at a match can be almost as important as feeling good. Now you can do both with lightweight TACVASEN Long Sleeve Shirts. The TACVASEN Men’s Slim Fit Long Sleeve Combat Shirt is available in nine different colors, including four with camo sleeves. PRS guys would like these shirts. They fit right so you can run stages without snagging range carts or barriers. These zip-collar shirts feature 65% polyester, 35% cotton fabric for breathability and quick drying. These shirts have earned a 4-star rating with 163 buyer reviews.

10. Amazon — 2.5 Pounds Stainless Tumbling Pins, $19.50

stainless tumbling pins

Are you considering the Frankford Arsenal tumbler featured above? It’s a great machine. But you’ll also need stainless media for it. Here’s your solution. Amazon sells 2.5 lbs of stainless tumbling media for a mere $19.50. Amazon also offers even larger quantities of stainless steel tumbling pins if you need more than a couple pounds for those really big jobs.

Weekly Deals sourced by F-Class John.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
April 6th, 2019

Primer Comparison Testing with 6 BRA at 500 Yards

primer 500 yard testing node vertical H4895 BRA

Here is a very interesting test for the 6 BRA (6mmBR Ackley) cartridge. Forum member James Phillips, a talented long-range benchrest shooter, tested SIX different primer types from three different manufacturers. To help determine vertical dispersion, James set his target out at 500 yards. He then proceeded to shoot 4-shot groups, in order, with each primer type. Velocities were recorded with a chrono. The photo above shows the results. James says: “I’ll retest the best two for accuracy and consistency with 10 shots each”. CLICK HERE for full-screen target photo.

Wheeler 6BR 6mmBR Ackley Improved James Phillips

As you can see, ALL the groups are pretty impressive. The smallest groups, 1.253″, was shot with CCI 400 primers. Next best (and very close) was CCI BR4, at 1.275″ for four shots. The “flat line” winner was the Remington 7.5, at upper left. There was almost no vertical. If you are intrigued by this interesting primer test, you can ask join the discussion in this Primer Test FORUM THREAD.

Primer Brand Group Size Velocity Extreme Spread Std Deviation
Remington 7.5 1.985″ 4 shot 2955 FPS 8 FPS 4.0 FPS
Federal 205M 2.200″ 4 shot 2951 FPS 11 FPS 4.8 FPS
Sellier Bellot SR 1.673″ 4 shot 2950 FPS 14 FPS 5.9 FPS
CCI 450M 2.341″ 4 shot 2947 FPS 14 FPS 6.6 FPS
CCI 400 1.253″ 4 shot 2950 FPS 3 FPS 1.3 FPS
CCI BR4 1.275″ 4 shot 2949 FPS 15 FPS 6.9 FPS

CARTRIDGE: 6mmBR Ackley, aka 6 BRA. Parent case is 6mmBR Norma. The 6 BRA is fire-formed to create a 40-degree shoulder and less body taper. Capacity is increased, but the neck is longer than a 6mm Dasher. The capacity is enough to get to the 2950+ FPS accuracy node. Some shooters say the 6 BRA is more forgiving than the 6mm Dasher. The 6 BRA is certainly easier to fire-form.

LOAD SPEC: 6 BRA (40° 6 BR Improved), 31.1 grains Hodgdon H4895, Bart’s 105gr “Hammer” bullets.

TEST REPORT — Conditions, Shooting Method, Loading Method

Tester James Phillips posted this report in our Shooters’ Forum:
Conditions: The testing was done in the morning over flags. The flags never moved or even twitched. I had as perfect conditions as I could have asked for. It was overcast so no mirage and no wind. There were no other shooters, just me.

Test Procedure: Each shot was precisely shot at my pace and centered the best possible using my Nightforce 15-55X scope. I did not use the round-robin method. Each four-shot group with the same was shot at one time. Then I moved onto the next primer. Everything felt right for each and every shot fired today. Of course I could repeat the test tomorrow and it could be exact opposite of today’s test. We can chase this forever. But [soon] I’m going to test the BR4 and 400 primer… for best accuracy and consistency for 10 shots each.

How Rounds Were Loaded: Each load was weighed to one (1) kernel of powder. So I know that’s as good as I can weigh them. Each bullet seating force was within 1# on my 21st Century hydraulic arbor press.

Previous Initial Load Testing: All groups were shot with 31.1 grains of H4895. During initial load testing I settled in on the Sellier & Bellot primer to finalize everything as it showed more promise over the CCI 450 Magnum I also tried. I was actually surprised to have seen the higher ES and SD from that primer today along with the vertical shown. [Editor: Look carefully — one shot from the CCI 450 is right in the center black diamond, stretching the vertical. By contrast the Rem 7.5 had almost no vertical.]

primer 500 yard testing node vertical H4895 BRA

Velocity and NODE Considerations: I was about 5-6 FPS above what appeared to been my optimum velocity of 2943-2945 FPS, so I’ll test 5 shots of 31.0 and 5 of 31.1 and see what happens from there. I can only assume my velocities where higher due to the higher humidity and of course temps were 5 degrees warmer this morning as well. It wasn’t far off but I noticed it.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
April 4th, 2019

NEW Spring 2019 Rebate Programs — Alliant, CCI, Federal, Speer

Vista Outdoor Alliant Powder CCI Primers bullets Speer Federal brass components reloading

Long-time site sponsor Powder Valley notified us about some great Rebate offers from Vista Outdoor companies Alliant, CCI, Federal, and Speer. If you need powder, primers, or bullets, now is a great time to buy. The rebated offers are good now through June 30, 2019. These rebates may also be available when you purchase qualifying products from other vendors Bruno’s, Graf’s, Midsouth, and Precision Reloading.

Vista Outdoor Alliant Powder CCI Primers bullets Speer Federal brass components reloading

1. ALLIANT Powder — More Bang for your Buck$ Rebate
If you buy at least four (4) pounds of powder you get $2.00 back per pound, with a rebate limit of $20 (for ten pounds). Minimum purchase four (4) pounds required. This is a great deal when you combine the rebate with Powder Valley’s already low prices.

2. Federal — Handload and Save Rebate
Spend at least $100 on Federal® reloading components (including bullets, brass and primers) to get 20% of the purchase price back. Rebate amount calculated on purchase price only, does not include taxes and/or shipping/handling fees. Maximum rebate $100 per person or household. Minimum spend $100 required.

3. CCI — Primed for Action Rebate
Spend at least $100 on CCI® reloading primers to get 20% of the purchase price back. Rebate amount calculated on purchase price only, does not include taxes and/or shipping/handling fees. Reloading components only; offer does not apply to percussion caps. Maximum rebate $100 per person or household. Minimum spend $100 required.

4. Speer — More Bullets for your Benjamins Rebate
Spend at least $100 on Speer® component bullets to get 20% of the purchase price back. Rebate amount calculated on purchase price only, does not include taxes and/or shipping/handling fees. Maximum rebate $100 per person or household. Minimum spend $100 required.

Get up to $320 Total Rebate — Alliant, CCI, Federal, and Speer
These Rebate Offers are good through June 30, 2019. Powder Valley explains that these rebates are all separate programs: “Each of these brands have their own rebate, No Mixing and Matching of these brands unless you want to participate in all four rebates. If you have any questions please read the Terms or call us to explain.” To get any particular rebate you’ll need to buy the qualifying amount of product for that particular brand. If you do all four Rebates, you could get a total of $320.00 back.

CLICK HERE for REBATE LINKs and MORE INFO »

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
April 1st, 2019

Bargain-Finder 184: 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. Savage — 10% Rebate on Savage, Stevens, and Fox Firearms

Savage Stevens Fox guns rifle rebate cash back tax season savings promotion Vista Outdoor

Get a 10% Factory Rebate for ALL Savage, Stevens, and Fox firearms purchased from now through May 15, 2019. This Tax Season Rebate could easily save you $50, $100, or even $150 on a fine hunting, tactical, or rimfire rifle. During this Tax Season Savings Event, you’ll receive 10% back on your purchase with a maximum $150 Rebate. The Rebate amount is calculated from the retail purchase price excluding taxes and shipping/handling fees. Rebate submission deadline is 6/14/2019. REBATE FORM HERE.

2. NEW — Frankford Intelli-Dropper Scale/Dispenser, $199.99

powder scale dispenser chargemaster intellidropper intell-dropper frankford arsenal smart mobile app bluetooth

Intelli-Dropper Priced Under $200.00: The new Frankford Arsenal Intelli-Dropper will be available very soon at leading vendors such as Midsouth, Grafs.com, and MidwayUSA for around $199.99. This new “Intelli-Dropper” features an advanced brain that can “talk” to a Mobile App on your smartphone via BlueTooth. This way you can store powder and load information on your smartphone and then control the scale/dispenser from the App. The App also has bullet, cartridge, and powder databases. The Intelli-dropper can also manually trickle. Our Deals Editor, F-Class John, just got one of these units and he really likes it. He says the “smart” functionality really is a game-changer. Being able to control the machine with load data stored on your smart phone is great for guys who reload many different cartridge types. Just make sure you know which powder is in the hopper ALL the time!

3. Grafs.com — 10% Off ALL Redding or Saeco Products

Do you need reloading dies, or tools to cast your own bullets? Now’s a great time to grab Redding or Saeco tools at Graf & Sons. ALL in-stock Redding and Saeco products are on sale, discounted 10%. There’s a huge sale selection — over 2000 Redding products and nearly 250 Saeco items. Along with Whidden and Forster, Redding makes high-quality dies and reloading tools. You won’t go wrong with Redding FL Dies, Bushing Dies, and Micrometer-top Seaters. Saeco is an industry leader for bullet casting molds and lubri-sizing hardware. NOTE: Don’t delay — this sale ends Wednesday April 3, 2019 at 11:59 PM Central Time.

4. Palmetto State Armory — PSA 20″ 6.5 Grendel Upper, plus stock, grip, 2-stage trigger, and parts kit: $399.99

PSA Grendel Upper

The AR is a versatile platform. You can shoot multiple calibers with one lower, and a set of uppers — which can be swapped in seconds. Now you can add a versatile 6.5 Grendel upper for a killer price. We found this PSA 20″ rail-top upper in 6.5 Grendel complete with 20″ stainless 1:8″-twist barrel, 15″ M-Lok handguard, 9310 steel bolt, complete bolt carrier, and adjustable gas block. This kit also includes a stock, plus most of the parts needed to complete your lower (lower receiver NOT included). For $399.99 this is a heck of a deal. Take note — the 6.5 Grendel is a great little cartridge. It mag-feeds fine and you can get superb Lapua brass. The 6.5 Grendel is accurate, efficient, and excellent for BOTH precision target work AND deer hunting. For this price, with a modern 6.5 caliber cartridge, this is a great deal, and could be a significant upgrade for your AR15-platform rig.

5. March Optics — All Scopes on Sale

March Optics Sale

Every time we head to a match we see more and more March Optics on the line and there’s a good reason why. March offers some amazing scopes, offering incredible clarity, sharpness, and magnification ranges you won’t find on other scope series. If you’re looking to upgrade to a serious, competition-grade optic, here is your chance to grab a March scope at up to 30% off.

6. Midway USA — Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph, $339.99

Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph

All serious shooters need a modern, reliable chronograph to determine load velocity (and consistency). You need good velocity data for your ballistics AND to evaluate the consistency of your hand-loads. The Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph is one of the best on the market. Now you can get this fine Chrono for just $339.99, marked down from $380.00, a $40 savings. We like Magnetospeed chronos because you never need to go downrange to set up tripods and screens. Data can be downloaded to your mobile device.

7. Sportsman’s Guide — Bullseye Blowout Sale (60% OFF)

Sportsman's Guide Sale Bullseye Blowout Sale Deal

This week Sportsman’s Guide is offering a Spring Cleaning Bullseye Blowout Sale. There are 72 Bullseye Deals — Gun Cases, Ammo, Hunting Clothing, Archery Gear, Tree Stands, and more. Three gun storage sale items are shown above. NOTE — the biggest savings (up to 60%) are for Sportsman’s Guide Club members. If you’re not a member you can sign up for a 30-Day FREE Trial and still qualify for savings.

8. Amazon — MTM AC4C Ammo Crate with 4 Ammo Boxes, $22.99

MTM Ammo Carrier Crate Box

Here’s a very cool product from MTM at a great price. The versatile MTM AC4C Ammo Carrier features four, lockable polymer ammo cans in a fitted, four-slot 23.5″ x 11.3″ x 7.5″ carry crate. This makes it easy to haul four full ammo cans. Actual purchasers have raved: “Moments after I received this storage box set I ordered another. Very well built and great design. Awesome and a steal at the price.” Right now this is on sale at Amazon for just $22.99 with free shipping on orders over $25. The system includes four lockable, O-Ring 11.3″ x 7.2″ x 5″ ammo cans (AC30T) for multi-caliber ammo storage. The crate even includes tie-down points for transport in a cart or ATV. NOTE: Last year this MTM AC4C system sold for $39.99. The current $22.99 price represents a 43% savings! Our Deals Editor recently ordered this himself and he liked it so much he immediately ordered another AC4C kit.

9. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $17.85

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 3800 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $17.85, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

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March 31st, 2019

Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper Powder Scale/Dispenser Review

Frankford Arsenal intelli-dropper intellidropper powder measure scale dispenser test review video

Product Review by F-Class John
The Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series 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, does the new Intellidropper live up to its promises? We’ll cover the key product features one by one, testing Frankford’s claims:

Feature 1 — Powder Calibration (Custom Profiles)
Feature 2 — Mobile APP Control with Load Database
Feature 3 — 1/10th of a Grain Accuracy

The $200 Intellidropper from Frankford Arsenal looks fairly similar to other electronic scale/dispensers. It has a digital touch-screen, a powder hopper, and a collection pan. But look a little deeper and you can see that it’s a whole lot more. Frankford Arsenal has brought new software technology to the table, with a Bluetooth controller/database APP. What’s more, this new machine has an innovative powder calibration mode, a software “brain” that helps the unit dispense powder with greater speed and precision.

As a technophile I find few things more annoying than technology developed or implemented for the wrong reasons or in the wrong way, so I was pretty apprehensive when I saw this was a ‘smart’ powder measure. I would soon be proved wrong. Unboxing was as easy as pulling out the unit, power cord, powder hopper, and a couple accessories. I simply plugged it in, leveled it on my work surface, allowed it to warm up, then calibrated it using the easy-to-use instructions. Once I was done with calibration, I could immediately begin dropping powder. It was then time to test Frankford’s claims about this new machine.

Frankford Arsenal intelli-dropper intellidropper powder measure scale dispenser test review video

Powder Calibration
First came the powder calibration mode. Zero the tray, click the “Powder Cal” button and the machine instantly begins to dispense your powder at various rates. As it does this the machine’s “brain” records its ability to flow/dispense the powder most efficiently. In just a few minutes the unit knew the fastest and most consistent way to drop that particular powder. The beauty of this system is that it’s so fast and easy to use that I can picture myself using this anytime I change powder without giving it a second thought. As easy as the calibration was, I was left wondering if it really made a difference. A test of calibrated versus non-calibrated throws showed an average of 22 seconds for calibrated throws vs. nearly 40 seconds non-calibrated. This demonstrated a major improvement with Frankford’s powder calibration system. Once I was done with the powder calibration it came time to add the APP.

Intellidropper Controller APP — How It Works
Frankford offers Intellidropper APPs for both iOS (Apple) and Android phones. A quick search in the iOS and Android APP stores turned up the free Intellidropper APPs. Once downloaded and installed, the APP activated easily and then automatically connected to my Intellidropper unit. Simply ensure your Bluetooth is turned on and that’s it. There was no pairing or manual connections necessary, just open the APP, count to three and now you can control your unit from your phone or tablet. I was expecting this to be a novelty that did nothing more than let me replace the touchpad on the unit but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Touch the menu button at the bottom and now you can enter as many loads as you want including caliber, bullet, powder, powder charge, OAL, firearm, primer and brass used. This allows you to create a database of all your favorite cartridge types, bullets, and powders. For example you could have 10 different .308 Win loads, all with different bullets and/or powders. Or you could have 10 different cartridge types with many different loads for each. The software remembers the powder type and charge weight. Loads from the database can be instantly sent to the unit, which will then rapidly dispense the exact charge weight the APP commands. I found this system provides just enough options to work efficiently without cluttering it up with needless functions. It really is the right balance of style and substance that made this a joy to use and kept me wanting to play with it more. Frankford Arsenal’s tech team told us that Frankford is committed to keeping the firmware, software, and APP updated over time. This should ensure that you can use this unit for many years to come.

WARNING: The Intellidropper is smart but it does NOT know what powder the human user has poured into the hopper! You obviously need to confirm you have the correct powder in the hopper before you send a command from the APP!

Powder Weighing Precision — The Tenth of a Grain Standard
Like the RCBS ChargeMaster, the Intellidropper is really two machines in one — a powder dispenser AND a SCALE that weighs the dispensed powder. Even with its cool APP and fast dispensing speed, to be a winner, the Intellidropper must be able to WEIGH CHARGES accurately and repeatedly. Frankford Arsenal claims this machine can weigh charges with ± 1/10th of a grain accuracy. With that in mind, I put it to the test. After giving the unit the recommended 15-minute warm-up, I ran twenty H4350 loads with a target weight of 50.8 grains. The machine was fast — the average drop time was just 22 seconds.

Frankford Arsenal intelli-dropper intellidropper powder measure scale dispenser test review video

How did the Intellidropper do? After each of the twenty loads was dispensed, I then double-checked the actual charge weight, using a $600+ lab-quality scale. As confirmed with the lab scale, every one of the 20 Intellidropper-thrown charges was within the stated variance, i.e. plus or minus one-tenth of a grain. Not only that but I found the average drop time to be only 22 seconds with H4530. It may vary with other types of powders, but I expect that drop time to stay fairly consistent when calibrated correctly.

CONCLUSION: Intellidropper is Fast, Accurate, and Software Works Well
The Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper is an impressive, affordable Scale/Dispenser that throws charges accurately and consistently. It has a very handy software APP and more practical features than anything else out there. In the world of sub-$300 powder measures, this $200 machine seems to have hit a home run — this machine demands your serious attention. I try to review products strictly based on the manufacturers’ claims and how they deliver on them. In the case of the Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper, it delivers on those promises. Of course, the $200 Intellidropper won’t replace a Prometheus — it is not for handloaders who demand to measure each charge down to the kernel. But the Intellidropper certainly doesn’t claim single-kernel accuracy, and it costs a fraction of the Prometheus.

Want More Info? This UltimateReloader.com Video reviews the Intellidropper’s key features:

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March 31st, 2019

Pioneers of Precision Shooting — Legendary L.E. “Sam” Wilson

lewilson15001
Sam (L.E.) Wilson actively competed in benchrest matches until he passed. He’s shown here with an Unlimited benchrest rifle of his own design.

If you’ve used hand dies with an arbor press, chances are you’ve seen the L.E. Wilson company name. You may not know that the founder of L.E. Wilson Inc. was an avid benchrest competitor who pioneered many of the precision reloading methods we used today. Known as “Sam” to his friends, L.E. Wilson was one of the great accuracy pioneers who collected many trophies for match victories during his long shooting career.

lewilson1503

The photo above shows Sam (foreground) with all of his children at a shoot. Behind Sam are Jim, Jack and Mary, shooting in the Unlimited Class. What do they say — “the family that plays together stays together”? Note the long, externally-adjusted scopes being used. Learn more about Sam (L.E.) Wilson and his company on the L.E. Wilson Inc. Facebook Page.

lewilson1504

Unlimited Class was Sam’s favorite discipline, because in the “good old days” top competitors normally would craft both the rifle and the front/rear rests. This rewarded Sam’s ingenuity and machining/fabrication skills. In the “build-it-yourself” era, one couldn’t just order up an unlimited rail gun on the internet. How times have changed…

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March 29th, 2019

Inspect Your Fired Brass to Avoid Catastrophic Case Failures

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-16 reloading semi-auto brass safety primer resizing
Close-up view of a sectioned case. This one here was “fixin’ to pop”, says Glen Zediker.

Here are highlights from an article Glen Zediker wrote for the Midsouth Blog. In this article Glen focuses on cartridge brass. Glen discusses the most common failures that appear with brass that has been shot multiple times, or which has been fired at excessive pressures. Glen explains some simple ways to check your cartridge brass to detect “early warning signs” of case failure, particularly case head separation, which can be dangerous.

Glen is the author of many excellent books on reloading. This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

Handloading for Competition
by Glen Zediker

The Competitive AR-15
by Glen Zediker

Top-Grade Ammo
by Glen Zediker

How Cases Degrade with Multiple Firings By Glen Zediker
This article explains when, and then how, to check after the progress of changes commencing with the firing on a new case. It’s the “progress of degeneration,” in a way of looking at it because the concern is getting a handle on when enough change in the brass has come about to require attention. Or abandonment. As said then, for me that’s 4 firings. That, as said last time, is when I might see changes that need attention. Also as said, that figure didn’t come out of a hat, but from my own notes in running my competition NRA High Power Rifle loads. [Editor’s Note: With Lapua brass, using moderate loads, in bolt-action rifles, we typically get about 10 good (match-worthy) firings. But if you anneal your Lapua brass, and run modest pressures, Lapua brass can perform well for 20 or more load cycles.]

The areas most affected are the case neck and case head area. Case neck walls get thicker [but] the case head area body walls get thinner. Primer pockets get shallower and larger diameter.

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-16 reloading semi-auto brass safety primer resizing

This case shows a cracked neck AND a crack (separation) above the case head. Zediker says it is “rare to see one case with both of the most common failures. [This case] was attacked by an M14.”

Case Head — Causes of Separation and Cracking
When a case is under pressure during firing, the brass, like water, flows where it can, where it’s more free to move. Of course, the chamber steel limits the amount it can expand. The case shoulder blows fully forward and the case base is slammed back against the bolt face. There is, therefore and in effect, a tug on both ends — it gets stretched. The shoulder area is relatively free to expand to conform to the chamber, but the other end, the case head area, is not. Since that’s the area of the case with the thickest walls, it doesn’t expand “out” much at all. What it does is stretch. The “case head area,” as I refer to it here, is the portion of the case above the web, which is just above the taper that leads in to the extractor groove. The “area” extends approximately an eighth-inch up the case body.

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-16 reloading semi-auto brass safety primer resizing

Here’s a “pressure ring.” You’ll see this after firing, if you see it. And, if you see it, that case is done. The bright ring indicates excessive stretching, which indicates excessive thinning. If you see a ring circling the case, noticeable because it’s lighter color than the case body, and it’s in this area, I’d say that case is done. And that’s right where a “head separation” occurs. It can crack and also blow slap in two, and that’s the “separation” part of case head separation.

Case-head case cartridge pressure ring separation head failure GS Arizona
Photo courtesy GS Arizona.

This is a spot to keep close watch on as cases age. It is also the area that is more “protected” by sizing with less case shoulder set-back. That is, pretty much, where the freedom for the stretching movement in this area comes from (the case shoulder creates a gap). If you’re seeing a sign that a head separation [might happen with relatively few firings], chances are the shoulder set-back is excessive, and also… the load pressure level.

Bent Paper Clip Case-Wall Gauge
Case-Head Separation paper clip Glen Zediker GS Arizona

Editor: You can use a bent paper clip to detect potential case wall problems. Slide the paper clip inside your case to check for thin spots. GS Arizona explains: “This simple little tool (bent paper clip) will let you check the inside of cases before you reload them. The thin spot will be immediately apparent as you run the clip up the inside of the case. If you’re seeing a shiny line on the outside and the clip is really hitting a thin spot inside, it’s time to retire the case.” Photo by GS Arizona.

Monitor Primer Pocket Dimensional Changes
Another case-head-area and pressure-related check is the primer pocket. As said, the primer pocket will get larger in diameter and shallower in depth each firing. As with many such things, the questions are “when” and “how much,” and the main thing, “how much?”

If the pocket gets excessively shallow, and that’s judged by a primer that seats fully but isn’t at least a tick below flush with the case base, there could be function issues. There’s a risk of a “slam-fire” with a semi-auto that uses a floating firing pin, and, if there is actual protrusion, that has the same effect as insufficient headspace. A primer pocket uniformer can reset the depth of a shallowed primer pocket to what it should be, but the real test for me is how easily the next primer seats into it. If it’s significantly less resistance, I’ll say that case is done. Shallower can be refurbished. That’s a primary function of a primer pocket uniformer. Larger diameter, though, can’t be fixed. I’ve mentioned in another article or two that, any more at least, my main gauge of load pressure has become how much primer pocket expansion there’s been.

AR15 Glen Zediker Practical AR-15 book newGlen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, are available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com

Glen’s newest book, America’s Gun: The Practical AR15. Check it out HERE!

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March 28th, 2019

Bullet Bonanza — Free Online Bullet Database

ShooterForum Bullet Database

shootforum bullet databaseDid you know that there’s a free online resource that provides key data for thousands of bullet designs? The ShootForum Bullet Database provides profiles with weight, length, SD, and Ballistic Coefficient for nearly 3900 bullet types from all the major manufacturers. You can access all this info for free. This is a great place to start when you’re considering bullet options for a new rifle, or a new chambering for an existing rifle. To be fair, not all the latest, greatest match bullets are listed here. Could the database benefit from updates — yes, but it is still a great info source. You should definitely bookmark this resource for easy access in the future.

The massive ShootForum.com Bullet Database includes over 3900 bullet designs in all. We counted nearly 200 different 6mm bullets! The bullet info comes from the makers of QuickLOAD Software. Access to the online database is FREE. Most database entries include Caliber, Manufacturer, Stated Bullet Weight, True Bullet Weight, Length, Sectional Density (SD), and Ballistic Coefficient. In many cases multiple BCs are provided for different velocity ranges. Having bullet length lets you know right away if your cartridge/bullet combo can fit your magazine.

The coverage of the Bullet Database is amazing. Manufacturers in the database include: A-Square, Barnaul, Barnes, Berger, Brenneke, Calhoon, CDP, CheyTac, ColoradoBonded, CT, DAG, David Tubb, Delsing, DEWC, DKT, DTK, DYN, Federal, Fiocchi, FMJ, FN, Fortek, FP, Freedom, Frontier, GECO, Gian-Marchet, GPA, GS-Custom, H&N, Hawk, HeviShot, Hirtenberger, Hornady, HP, Igman, IMI, IMI-Samson, Impala, JDJ, JLK, Klimovsk, Lapua, LEADEx, LEE, Lehigh, LIMA, LostRiver, LYM, MEN, Mil, Norinco, Norma, NorthFork, Nosler, PMC, PMP, Powell, PrviPartizan, Rainier, RCBS, Reichenberg, Remington, RN, RNFP, RUAG, RWS, Sako, Sellier-Bellot, Shilen, Sierra, Sinterfire, Speer, Stoklossa, SWC, Swift, Swiss, The Gun Haus, TMJ, WestCoast, Winchester, WM-Bullets and Woodleigh.

CLICK HERE for ShootForum Bullet Database »

The database is great if you’re looking for an unusual caliber, or you want a non-standard bullet diameter to fit a barrel that is tighter or looser than spec. You’ll find the popular jacketed bullets from major makers, plus solids, plated bullets, and even cast bullets. For those who don’t already own QuickLOAD software, this is a great resource, providing access to a wealth of bullet information.

ShooterForum Bullet Database

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