December 18th, 2018

Ogives, Meplats, Boat-Tails and Other Bullet Design Elements

Bullet Design Zediker

Noted gun writer Glen Zediker (author of Top Grade Ammo), regularly contributes tech articles to the Midsouth Shooters Blog. One of Glen’s Midsouth Blog articles covers Bullet Design. We suggest you read the article — even seasoned hand-loaders will learn a few things about projectile properties (and how to choose the right bullet design for your needs). Glen also wrote a recent Blog article on cartridge pressure signs, linked below

Read Zediker Bullet Design Article | Read Zediker Pressure Signs Article

Glen explains: “A ‘match’ bullet’s job is to perforate a piece of paper. A bullet designed for varmint hunting, on the other hand, is designed to produce explosive impact, and one for larger game hunting strives to strike a balance between expansion and penetration. However! No matter how it’s built inside, there are universal elements of any bullet design, and those are found on the outside.”

Bullet Design Zediker

In his article, Glen identifies the key elements of a bullet and explains how they are defined: “Base, that’s the bottom; boat-tail, or not (flat-base); shank, portion of full-caliber diameter; ogive, the sloping ‘nosecone'; tip, either open or closed (open it’s called the ‘meplat’). The shape of the ogive and the first point of ‘major diameter’ are extremely influential elements. The first point of major diameter can vary from barrel brand to barrel brand because it’s the point on the bullet that coincides with land diameter in the barrel — the first point that will actually contact the barrel as the bullet moves forward. When there’s a cartridge sitting in the rifle chamber, the distance or gap between the first point of major diameter and the lands is called ‘jump’, and, usually, the less there is the better.”

Bullet Design Zediker

Ogives Analyzed — Tangent vs. Secant Bullet Designs
Glen notes that bullet designs reflect secant or tangent profiles, or a combination of both: “The two essential profiles a bullet can take are ‘secant’ and ‘tangent’. This refers to the shape of the ogive. A tangent is a more rounded, gradual flow toward the tip, while a secant is a more radical step-in, more like a spike. Secants fly with less resistance (less aerodynamic drag), but tangents are [often] more tolerant of jump [or to put it another way, less sensitive to seating depth variations].”

Glen adds: “Ogives are measured in ‘calibers’. That’s pretty simple: an 8-caliber ogive describes an arc that’s 8 times caliber diameter; a 12-caliber is based on a circle that’s 12 times the caliber. The 8 will be a smaller circle than the 12, so, an 8-caliber ogive is more ‘blunt’ or rounded. Bullets with lower-caliber ogives are more tolerant of jump and (usually) shoot better, easier. Higher-caliber ogives [generally] fly better, farther. This is an important component in the ‘high-BC’ designs.”

Learn More in Zediker Books
Glen has authored a number of excellent books for hand-loaders and competitive shooters. Here are three of his most popular titles, including his latest book, Top Grade Ammo:

zediker book glen top grade ammo zediker book glen top grade ammo zediker book glen top grade ammo

All these titles are available from Midsouth Shooters Supply. Click each cover above to purchase from Midsouth.

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December 17th, 2018

Measure Shoulder Bump Precisely with Harrell’s Bump Collar

Harrell’s Precision sells “semi-custom” full-length bushing dies for the PPC and 6BR chamberings. While the Harrell brothers do not cut the die to spec, they carry a large selection of dies made with slightly different internal dimensions. When you send in your fired brass, the Harrells choose a die from inventory with just the right amount of sizing (diameter reduction) at the top and bottom of the case. Given the quality, and precise fit, Harrell’s full-length dies are a good value at $75.00 plus shipping.

Bump Measuring Collar
The Harrell brothers provide a nice bonus item with each full-length die — a neat, little shoulder bump measuring device as shown in the photo at right. Hornady/Stoney Point sells a stand-alone tool that does the same job, but the Harrell’s bump collar is simpler and faster. To measure your shoulder bump, simply place the Harrell’s bump collar over the front of your deprimed case (before sizing) and measure the OAL with your calipers. Then size the case in your full-length die, replace the collar and repeat the measurement. You want to set your die so the shoulder moves back about .001″ to .0015″ for most applications. (With semi-auto guns you may want more bump.)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 3 Comments »
December 16th, 2018

G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficient Models — What You Need to Know

G1 G7 BC drag models

Over the past 12 months, this article was one of the TOP TEN most-read Daily Bulletin features. We’re reprising it today for those who may have missed it the first time. The above diagram comes from a TiborasurasRex YouTube Video comparing G1 and G7 BC models. CLICK HERE to watch the video.

The better, up-to-date ballistics programs let you select either G1 or G7 Ballistic Coefficient (BC) values when calculating a trajectory. The ballistic coefficient (BC) of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. You’ve probably seen that G7 values are numerically lower than G1 values for the same bullet (typically). But that doesn’t mean you should select a G1 value simply because it is higher.

Some readers are not quite sure about the difference between G1 and G7 models. One forum member wrote us: “I went on the JBM Ballistics website to use the web-based Trajectory Calculator and when I got to the part that gives you a choice to choose between G1 and G7 BC, I was stumped. What determines how, or which one to use?”

The simple answer is the G1 value normally works better for shorter flat-based bullets, while the G7 value should work better for longer, boat-tailed bullets.

G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficients — Which Is Right for You?
G1 and G7 refer both refer to aerodynamic drag models based on particular “standard projectile” shapes. The G1 shape looks like a flat-based bullet. The G7 shape is quite different, and better approximates the geometry of a modern long-range bullet. So, when choosing your drag model, G1 is preferrable for flat-based bullets, while G7 is ordinarily a “better fit” for longer, boat-tailed bullets.

G1 G7 Ballistic coefficients

Drag Models — G7 is better than G1 for Long-Range Bullets
Many ballistics programs still offer only the default G1 drag model. Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting, believes the G7 standard is preferrable for long-range, low-drag bullets: “Part of the reason there is so much ‘slop’ in advertised BCs is because they’re referenced to the G1 standard which is very speed sensitive. The G7 standard is more appropriate for long range bullets. Here’s the results of my testing on two low-drag, long-range boat-tail bullets, so you can see how the G1 and G7 Ballistic coefficients compare:

G1 BCs, averaged between 1500 fps and 3000 fps:
Berger 180 VLD: 0.659 lb/in²
JLK 180: 0.645 lb/in²

The reason the BC for the JLK is less is mostly because the meplat was significantly larger on the particular lot that I tested (0.075″ vs 0.059″; see attached drawings).

For bullets like these, it’s much better to use the G7 standard. The following BCs are referenced to the G7 standard, and are constant for all speeds.

G7 BCs:
Berger 180 VLD: 0.337 lb/in²
JLK 180: 0.330 lb/in²

Many modern ballistics programs, including the free online JBM Ballistics Program, are able to use BCs referenced to G7 standards. When available, these BCs are more appropriate for long range bullets, according to Bryan.

[Editor’s NOTE: BCs are normally reported simply as an 0.XXX number. The lb/in² tag applies to all BCs, but is commonly left off for simplicity.]

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December 14th, 2018

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

neck turning lathe cutter tip sinclair pma 21st Century

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

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

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

K&M neck-turning tool

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

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

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

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December 14th, 2018

Hodgdon 2019 Annual Manual with 5000+ Loads Released

Hodgdon Annual manual relaoding 224 valkyrie .308 win varget h4350

Hodgdon has released its 2019 Reloading Manual, the 16th Annual Edition of this valuable reloading resource. This new manual contains data for Hodgdon, IMR and Winchester Smokeless Propellants in more than 5,000 loads, with updates for 17 rifle and pistol cartridges. Using this resource, handloaders can now find data for the new 224 Valkyrie and 6.5 PRC cartridges. Along with comprehensive load data, the 2019 Hodgdon Annual Manual offers authoritative articles by leading gun and outdoor industry writers, working with the editors of Shooting Times magazine.

“The Annual Manual is our printed yearly update for the ardent handloader,” said Ron Reiber, lead ballistician for Hodgdon. “We believe one of our competitive advantages is providing cutting-edge data on all our propellants. Our customers know they can look to Hodgdon to be first to supply this information on hot, new cartridges and newly-introduced powders.”

CLICK HERE to order the 2019 Hodgdon Annual Manual from the Hodgdon website for $12.99 (shipping included). You can also purchase the Annual Manual wherever popular magazines are sold.

H4350 and Varget In Stock Now at Many Vendors

In 2017 Hodgdon celebrated its 70th Anniversary. At SHOT Show 2017 talked with Chris Hodgdon. Chris was proud to note that his family-owned company is now marked its 70th year in business. The company has been very successful, but sometimes that means supply can’t catch up with demand with some of the most popular powders, such as Hodgdon H4350, which is extremely accurate and also temp-stable. Chris said: “Getting more H4350 to our customers is one of our top priorities. With the booming popularity of the 6.5 Creedmoor and other similar cartridges, there is a lot of demand for that powder.” Supply has definitely increased this year. Yes, H4350, in both 1-lb and 8-lb containers, is in stock right now at Bruno’s, Graf’s, Midsouth, and Powder Valley.

Hodgdon Reloading guide 2017 Midsouth

Hodgdon IMR Varget XBR 8208 SHOT Show Chris Reloading GuideWe also discussed the continued popularity of Varget, which also became more readily available this year. It is still one of the very best choices for a wide variety of cartridges, including the .308 Win (just look at the groups on our X-Max for Xmas story). Chris said that Varget users may also want to try IMR 8208 XBR. Chris observed: “I think IMR 8208 XBR is one of the very best powders we make. It is accurate, temp-stable, and it meters very well because the kernels are very small. The guys who try 8208 have been very happy.”

We concur with Chris — we’ve used 8208 XBR in a .308 Win and it shot exceptionally well. It is definitely “match-ready” powder for cartridges that like a medium burn-rate powder, such as the .308 Winchester, 7mm-08, and 6mmBR Norma.

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December 11th, 2018

Great RCBS Savings at Precision Reloading — Plus RCBS Rebate

Precision Reloading RCBS rebate december sale

Do you need a heavy-duty, single-stage press, or a high-output progressive with precise powder measure? Maybe a powder scale/dispenser is on your shopping list, or a versatile, multi-head case prep center. If you need these items, or other major reloading hardware, now is a great time to buy. Here’s the deal, right now Precision Reloading is discounting all RCBS gear in stock 10%. For example, the RockChucker Press is marked down from $154.99 to $139.99. And the ChargeMaster Lite is discounted from $239.99 to $215.99. Money saved is money earned, right?

But you must act quickly — don’t delay. This 10% Off discount program ends at 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 14, 2018. Go to PrecisionReloading.com to save now.

Huge RCBS Factory Rebates Now through December 31, 2018

In addition to Precision Reloading’s 10% SALE, you can save even more this month. RCBS is offering very significant factory rebates now through the end of 2018. On a $300 purchase you can get a big $100.00 rebate. And on a $500 purchase you can get a whopping $175.00 rebate — that equates to HUGE 35% net cost reduction, lowering the $500.00 item to just $325.00. The $175.00 you save can get you a very nice digital scale/dispenser, 4-6 boxes of bullets, or some nice, new dies. Or just use the money saved for other household holiday expenses. Submit RCBS Rebate Forms HERE.

Precision Reloading RCBS rebate december sale

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December 11th, 2018

Watch Out for Bullet Nose Contact in Short Seating Stems

Seating Stem Glen Zediker

Clearance Check — Remove the seating stem and drop a bullet into it. The farther down the ogive or nose-cone the step recess grips the bullet, the better. If it’s only pressing down against the bullet tip, a crooked seat is assured, along with inconsistent seating depth. — Glen Zediker

Some folks acquire a new seating die and then are surprised to find their hand-loads show crooked bullets and/or inconsistent seating depth. The problem could be a mis-match between the bullet and the die’s seating stem. In some case, particularly with long, streamlined bullets, the bullet tip can actually touch the bottom inside of the stem. This can cause a variety of problems, as Glen Zediker explains…

Invest in a Good Seating Die
Reloading Tip by Glen Zediker
The bullet seating operation is the “last thing” that happens and it’s also the one thing that can corrupt the care and treatment given to the quality of the loaded round prior. A sleeve-style seater, well-machined, goes a whopping long ways toward preserving alignment, and, therefore, concentricity. Also make sure that the stem in yours comes to rest well down onto the bullet ogive, and, above all else, is not contacting the bullet tip! That will wreck a round.

If you have this problem, you should contact the die maker — some will offer a different seating stem expressly designed for longer, pointier bullets. This “long bullet stem” will normally drop right into your existing die. If you plan to run long, VLD-style bullets you should request the special seating stem right from the get-go.

This tip comes from Glen’s newest book, Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth Shooters Supply.

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December 10th, 2018

Powder Moisture Content — What You Need To Know

vihtavuori vv moisture content powder propellent
This Technical Report Comes from the Vihtavuori website.

Powder Moisture Content — Did You Know?
Variations in moisture content change the burning rate of a powder and thereby chamber pressures and muzzle velocity. The moisture content of the Vihtavuori N100 and N300 series powders is usually around 1%, while the N500-series’ normal moisture content is 0.6% because of the added nitroglycerine.

So what difference does moisture content make? Here’s an example. In a test, a [Vihtavuori] powder sample was dried by heating it, losing about 0.5 % of its weight. Cartridges were then loaded with the dried powder and fired using a pressure gun. Chamber pressures and muzzle velocities produced by these special cartridges were compared to those produced by cartridges loaded with untreated powder. (The powder charge and bullet were of course the same in both sets of cartridges.)

After Powder Drying:
Pressure Increased 11% from 320 MPa to 355 MPa
Velocity Increased 2.6% from 2526 to 2592 FPS

Comparing results showed chamber pressures increased from 320 MPa to 355 MPa with the dried powder, and the muzzle velocity increased accordingly from 770 m/s to 790 m/s (2526 to 2592 FPS). And note, this is only one example, of one caliber and loading. The difference might be much higher depending on the cartridge and loading combinations.

Recommendation: Store powder below 68°F in 55-65% humidity.

What does this tell us? Well, it seems we need to forget the old saying “Keep your powder dry”! Instead, focus on proper powder storage, at a temperature below 20°C/68°F and humidity between 55 and 65%. Safe reloading everybody!

vihtavuori vv moisture content powder propellent

Tech Tip sourced by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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December 7th, 2018

Tac Competitors Mark Your Calendars — 2019 NRL Schedule

National Rifle League NRL 2019 match schedule

The National Rifle League (NRL) conducts tactical, multi-stage field matches around the country. Along with the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), NRL matches attract many of the top tactical/practical shooters in the country. In addition, the NRL offers serious prizes donated by major sponsors such as Nikon, Kelbly’s, Howa, Benchmark Barrels, and Manners Composite Stocks,

The NRL recently announced its Official 2019 Match Schedule. This includes 18 national level 2-day matches across the nation, culminating with the NRL Championship match. It features NRL representatives in locations from past seasons such as Arizona, Nebraska, Idaho, Oklahoma, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, and Wyoming. The schedule also announces new locations in states such as Texas, South Dakota, Iowa, and Kentucky. The 2019 NRL Season is set to kick-off on February 16th, 2019 in Arizona. Here is the list of events, with date, location, and match directors.

National Rifle League NRL 2019 match schedule

National Rifle League (NRL), is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the growth and education of precision rifle shooting. In 2019 the NRL looks to continue the League’s growth and success. “The NRL Executive Board of Directors is honored to have these exceptional match directors as part of the 2019 season who are committed to bringing quality events and help lead the way into the future of the precision rifle community,” stated Travis Ishida, Founder of the NRL.

For more information and the entire 2018 season schedule, visit www.nationalrifleleague.org. 2019 sponsorship opportunities are available for this new season.

Location Date Match Director / State Representative

1. Axisworks Long-Range Challenge – Wikieup, Arizona Feb. 16 – 17, 2019 Christ Tressler, Rusty Ulmer
2. Rifles Only – Kingsville, Texas Feb. 22 – 23, 2019 Jacob Bynum
3. Big Horn Steel Classic – Omaha, Nebraska March 9 – 10, 2019 Chaz Macrander
4. PRSID Gem State Stand Off – Vale, Oregon March 23 – 24, 2019 Nate Lauerman, Seth Howard
5. Silent Night – Ninnekah, Oklahoma April 6 – 7, 2019 Justin Watts
6. South Dakota Steel Classic – Orient, South Dakota April 27 – 28, 2019 Michael Kane
7. JC Steel Targets Challenge – Ritzville, Washington May 4 – 5, 2019 Jake Vibbert, Sean Johnson
8. Prairie Rock Shoot Out – Broadwater, Nebraska May 18 – 19, 2019 Lee Anderson
9. The Vortex Rampage – Mt. Auburn, Iowa June 1 – 2, 2019 Jim See
10. Dog Valley Precision Challenge – Nephi, Utah June 8 – 9, 2019 Cole Quarnberg
11. New Mexico Smith Ranch Shootout – Bloomfield, NM June 22 – 23, 2019 Dusty Brixner, Scotty Freidline
12. The Revolution at Rockcastle – Park City, Kentucky June 29 – 30, 2019 Adam Vaught
13. Mile High Shootout – Craig, Colorado July 13 – 14, 2019 Robert Quigley
14. Heatstroke Open – Camargo, Oklahoma July 20 – 21, 2019 Matt Clem, B.J. Bailey
15. Rock Lake NRL Steel Challenge – Cheney, Washington Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2019 Doug Glorfield
16. Monster Lake Mayhem – Cody, Wyoming September 27 – 28, 2019 Phillip Velayo, Caylen Wojcik
17. West Coast Showdown – Pala, California October 19 – 20, 2019 Jorge Ortiz, Scott Satterlee
18. 2019 NRL Championship – Navasota, Texas December 6 – 8, 2019 Dave Ferguson, Prentice Wink

Permalink Competition, News, Reloading 1 Comment »
December 6th, 2018

Choosing and Using a Progressive Press — 6.5 Guys Video

6.5 Guys Progressive Press video Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader

Progressive reloading presses offer shooters speed and efficiency in producing custom-tailored rifle and pistol ammunition. However, there is a wide choice of Progressive Presses and a bewildering array of options to consider. In this video, the 6.5 Guys and UltimateReloader.com’s Gavin Gear provide an overview of the leading Progressive Presses on the market along with key considerations for precision rifle shooters. If you are considering getting a Progessive for rifle ammo reloading, you should watch this informative, 25-minute video.

10 Tips for Reloading Precision Rifle Ammo on a Progressive Press:

1. Make sure the brass is very clean. Don’t mix old range pick-up brass with newer brass.

2. Apply a thin, spray lube to all cases before the sizing/loading cycle.

3. Consider priming your brass separately (with a hand or bench tool) before the operation. Then inspect the primers before loading powder and bullets.

4. Always wear eye protection when loading with the Progressive, particularly if you are priming cases.

5. With tape, mark the powder measure/dropper with the powder type and charge weight.

6. Cycle a few cases, sizing and adding powder but NOT seating bullets. Weigh the powder charges to ensure the powder measure is dispensing the correct charge. Sometimes this will change a couple tenths as it “settles down” after the first few charges.

7. Check the brass for shoulder bump and bullet seating depth carefully for the first few rounds, then check again periodically.

8. Try to maintain a steady pace and operate the handle the same way every time.

9. Visually inspect the powder charge in each case (before bullet seating), and use a lock-out die if your Progressive Press has enough stations.

10. Never, ever mix pistol and rifle powders! If you have previously loaded pistol ammo with your Progressive, make sure ALL the powder (every flake and kernel) is removed from all components of the powder-dropping system before you add rifle powder.

Loading Pistol Ammo on a Dillon

The .45 ACP is probably our favorite centerfire pistol cartridge. In this video, Gavin Gear shows how to load this popular round on a Dillon 550B Progressive Press:

Visit these sites for more Reloading and Precision Shooting Videos:

6.5 Guys
https://www.youtube.com/user/65guys
http://www.65Guys.com

Ultimate Reloader
https://www.youtube.com/ultimatereloader
http://www.UltimateReloader.com

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December 5th, 2018

DIE BASICS: Full-Length Dies, Neck-Sizing Dies, Small Base Dies

Sizing dies brass sinclair redding full length neck neck-sizing small base

This article is part of Sinclair Int’l Step-By-Step Reloading Series. Most of the products mentioned in this article are sold through Brownells.com.

by Roy Hill, Brownells/Sinclair Copywriter
Making your own precision handloads is a meticulous journey with many steps, many important matters to consider, and many sets of measurements to calculate. For those who pursue the perfect group, the highest score, the really long accurate shot, the rewards more than outweigh the effort. Choosing the right cases, deburring the flash holes, making the primer pockets uniform, trimming the cases, and lubricating them are all familiar – and critical – steps along the journey. And now that your brass preparation is complete, you are at last ready to start running the cases through your press and fill them with primers, powder, and bullets. The very first die the brass encounters is the sizing die. You insert the case, work the press’s lever to return the case to its correct pre-fired dimensions – and the journey continues.

Sinclair International Int'l fL full-length sizing die bump die shoulder bump gauge

There are three types of sizing dies to think about: neck, full-length, and small base. All three have specific benefits and potential drawbacks, and you should choose the type of die you use by thinking very carefully about what kind of shooting you plan to do with your handloads. No matter which type you select, most sizing dies will also punch out the old spent primer with some sort of decapper assembly that uses a hardened steel rod. Many types of sizing dies use an expander ball inside the die to make sure the neck of the case will accommodate a bullet after being sized. With some size dies, the expanders are easily removable and interchangeable, letting you get exactly the neck tension you want. If you are reloading for pistol cartridges, carbide sizing dies allow you to quickly resize without applying any lube to the case. But rifle cases always need lube.

Neck-Sizing Dies
Sinclair International Int'l fL full-length neck size neck-sizing die bump die shoulder bump gaugeNeck-sizing dies resize only the neck of the case. The benefit of sizing only the neck is that the brass is “worked” very little, letting you reuse the same cases many times over. Also, cases that have already been fired in your rifle are perfectly fireformed to fit that rifle’s chamber, which can help accuracy. However, neck-sized cases will fit only the specific rifle they were originally fired in, and may still require a little extra force to chamber or extract.

Sinclair recommends that neck-sized-only cartridges should not be used any in other rifle besides the one they were originally fired from [unless they are also FL-sized], or in any action other than a bolt-action. Neck-sized-only rounds are great for the target range or the benchrest but should not be used in critical situations like military or police operations, or hunting. And if you fire them enough times, neck-sized cases will still need to be full-length sized periodically for you to keep using them.

Full-Length Sizing Dies
Full-length sizing dies do exactly what their name says: resize the full length of the case, not just the neck. Full-length sizing helps create handloads that will function in any rifle, not just the one from which the cases were originally fired. The potential downside of full-length sizing is that it may shorten case life because it works the brass more than neck sizing. But it’s possible to “tune” today’s full-length sizing dies so they barely work the brass at all, as this article by Sinclair Reloading Tech Ron Dague shows.

Illustration Shows How a Full-Length Sizing Die Works
Sinclair International Int'l fL full-length sizing die bump die shoulder bump gauge

Another way to reap the benefits of full-length sizing is to use Redding’s full-length bushing dies, which size the full length of the case but use a system of interchangeable bushings that enable you give the case neck the bare minimum of resizing needed. To see how finely adjustable bushing dies are, and how they resize the case while fully supported, CLICK HERE for Video. The neck bushing helps you precisely control the neck tension to help increase the consistency and accuracy of your handloads.

Redding Custom full length dies

Small Base Dies
A Small Base Die is just another type of full-length sizing die, but one that is typically used when reloading for semi-automatic rifles, like the AR-15, M14, or AR-style .308 rifles. (It may also work well for bolt guns that need extra sizing on the lower section of the case.) A small base die works exactly like a full-length sizing die, only it compresses the brass just a bit more, usually about .001″ more, and may even push the case shoulder back just a hair. Small base dies give that extra bit of compression to the brass to help make sure the case will properly extract from a semi-automatic firearm. The upside is that you get precision handloads that should work flawlessly in your semi-automatic. The downside is case life is really shortened, especially compared to brass used only in one bolt-action rifle, because the brass is worked more.

Shoulder Bump Gauges
A handy tool for setting up your full-length sizing dies as close as possible to your rifle’s chamber is the Sinclair bump gauge. The bump gauge lets you resize the case as little as possible, to extend case life and help your handloads fit your rifle almost like a neck-sized only die. You use deprimed cases fired in your rifle and bump gauge inserts to help you set up the die so it resizes the case only about .001″ to .004″, depending on what type of rifle you’re shooting.

Video shows how to use a shoulder bump gauge to set up your full-length dies

Sinclair International Int'l sizing die bump die shoulder bump gauge

Article Find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions
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December 5th, 2018

Powder Valley’s 12 Days of Christmas Offers $15,000 in Prizes

Powder Valley Inc. Giveaway 12 days of Christmas Ammo Bullets Press Sierra Hornady Hodgdon Powder Bullets Ammo

Are you feelin’ lucky? Well here’s your chance to win. For 12 Days in December (Dec. 5-16), Powder Valley is giving away a total of $15,000 worth of products from big name suppliers. That averages well over $1,000 worth of product prizes every day. This is top-of-the-line stuff, including Powder from Accurate, Alliant, Hodgdon, IMR, Ramshot, and Shooters’ World, Bullets from Berry’s, Nosler, Sierra, Speer, and Zero, Ammunition from Hornady, Nosler, and Zero, plus Reloading Hardware from Hornady. Each day there will be a new set of prizes. Not only will there be huge giveaways we have added something new this year! With the support of some great companies we will be offering discounts and free hazmats on the days these companies are represented. Keep a watchful eye — this is big stuff!

It’s easy to qualify to win one of the Daily Giveaway prize packages. Simply visit Powder Valley’s Facebook Page, and make a comment on the featured Daily Giveaway Post. You don’t have to fill out any forms, but you must have a Facebook account so you can comment. Each day the folks at Powder Valley will select winners from among the visitors who commented. In days ahead there can be multiple daily winners. And on Day 12 there will be very special prize give-aways including Powder Valley Gift certificates. NOTE: You can enter multiple times by commenting on multiple days, but sorry, if you win, you are no longer eligible.

Powder Valley Daily Giveaway — New Prizes Every Day

Powder Valley’s 12 Days of Christmas promo kicks off Wednesday, December 5th, 2018. To enter, you must visit the Powder Valley Facebook Page. Once there, scroll down to find the Giveaway of the Day. You need to comment on that post to be entered. Winners will be selected by lottery from those who comment. Each successive day, through December 16th, there will be another product giveaway post. Also on some of the 12 days we will have additional discounts and free hazmats so follow closely.

Here are some of Last Year’s Prizes… Stay Tuned for the 2018 Giveaways!

Powder Valley Inc. Giveaway 12 days of Christmas Ammo Bullets Press Lapua Sierra Berger

To be entered in this Powder Valley Contest, you need to go to the Powder Valley Facebook Page and post a Facebook Comment for the Daily Prize story. NOTE: You MUST post your comment on Powder Valley’s Facebook Site, NOT HERE. And you need to comment each day to be entered in that particular day’s contest. To have repeat chances to win you need to comment on multiple days. Got it?

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News, Reloading 6 Comments »
December 3rd, 2018

Bargain Finder 167: 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. Browning A-Bolt III and Bushnell Scope, $349.99 with Rebate

browning a-bolt III holiday december rebate hunting rifle .30-06

Now you can get a complete hunting rifle package, WITH optic and sling, for under $350.00 — about what you’d pay for a custom barrel alone. This Browning A-Bolt III rifle, with included Bushnell scope, is offered in both .270 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield at this $349.95 price (after $75 Winchester factory rebate). This would make a great gift for a family member who hunts. This is a nice rifle — see features of the Browning A-Bolt series in the above video.

2. Amazon — Impact Sport (22 NRR) and Impact Pro (30 NRR)

Howard Leight Impact Earmuff

Every shooter needs effective hearing protection. Wearing Electronic Muffs over plugs is a great way to go. Howard Leight Impact Sport muffs are probably one of the most commonly-used electronic muffs and there’s a reason why. They provide a good level of protection (NRR 22), fold up neatly and also have a slim profile making them ideal for rifles and shotguns. Get a set now for just $32.96 on SALE. Need more sound reduction than the 22 NRR offered by the Impact Sports? Then choose the Howard Leight 30 NRR Impact Pro at $49.99. Yes these are a bit more bulky, but they offer significantly more sound reduction, and they only cost $17.00 more right now. Fifty bucks for 30 NRR Electronic Muffs is a STEAL.

3. EuroOptic — Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50mm, $499.99

Vortex Viper PST 4-15x50

Do you have a rifle sitting in the safe because you haven’t found a scope for it yet? Eurooptic has the Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50mm rifle scope with EBR-1 reticle for a jaw-dropping $499.99. This is a great scope for $900 and an AMAZING one for the amazingly low price of $499.99. This deal won’t last long for grab it while you can.

4. Sportsman’s Guide — Guns Galore at Great Prices

Springfield XD 9mm Plus Extras

Sportsman’s Guide has some serious bargains this week on its December Firearms Sale Page. We’ve showcased six super deals above but there are over 40 firearms on sale at radically low prices right now. Whether you want a slim 9mm for Every Day Carry (EDC), a Ruger 10/22 for plinking, an AR15 for varminting, or a Weatherby shotgun for home defense — you’ll find great deals at Sportsman’s Guide this Week. There are also Springfield XD pistols on sale that qualify for 3 FREE extra magazines and range bag. The $39.99 Buyer’s Club annual membership fee can pay for itself quickly when purchasing firearms and other big ticket items.

5. Midsouth Shooters — Lyman Case Prep Center, $109.99

Lyman Case Prep Center Sale

Case prep is key to consistent accuracy, so a powered prep center is a good investment. Midsouth Shooters now has the highly-regarded, 5-station Lyman Case Prep Center for $109.99 on SALE. With this Case Prep Center you can save time, and reduce repetitive hand fatigue dramatically. And this is a real bargain. The $109.99 price is the lowest price we’ve seen (it’s nearly $30 cheaper than even the current Amazon price.

6. Gander Outdoor — Stack-On 24-Gun Safe, $503.99 with Code

Stack-On Electronic 24-Gun Safe

Do you live in fear every time you head to work or leave on a trip because you still don’t have a safe to properly secure your firearms? The Stack-On Electronic 24-Gun Safe can help you have some piece of mind that everything secured and safe from little hands or nasty thiefs for $629.99. Use Promo Code GOHOLIDAY to get this 24-gun safe for just $503.99 delivered to a Gander Store. NOTE — this $503.99 price is ONLY with the CODE AND delivery to an eligible Gander Store. If you want home delivery that’s $325.00 Extra! Be sure to select “Ship to Gander Outdoors Store” option in the shopping cart.

7. Amazon — MTM AC4C Ammo Crate with 4 Ammo Boxes, $23.99

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 your ammo. 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.” 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. Grab this from Amazon for just $23.99. NOTE: Last year this MTM AC4C system sold for $39.99. The current $23.99 price represents a 40% savings!

8. Walmart — 46″ Workbench with LED light, $49.00

46

Are you looking for a solid workstation to reload or gunsmith on? This Walmart 46″ Workbench is solid, easy to assemble, and comes with an LED light, peg hooks, plus drawer liner. That’s a lot of bench for $49.00 especially considering how much you can store under it or in the drawer. The advantage of the LED light is that it won’t affect delicate electronic scales.

9. Cabela’s — Bushnell 10×42 Binoculars, $49.97

Bushnell 10x42 Binoculars

Ever wish you had a cheap pair of binoculars for those times you don’t want to take your good ones? Or maybe your kid needs his own pair for when you take them hunting. These are some nice binoculars for a range bag, your child or to let your buddy borrow and not lose any sleep over. Bushnell 10×42 all-purpose bincoculars feature high-quality BK-7 prisms, nitrogen-purged construction to resist fogging and a long eye relief for a can’t beat price of $49.99.

10. Amazon — Cotton Cleaning Patches, 800 for $11.83 – $17.99

Amazon bulk pack patches 800 cotton flannel

Got patches? Here’s a great deal on 100% cotton flannel patches. There are many sizes available, starting at $11.83 for 800 3/4-inch “17 Cal” patches with FREE Shipping. For 6mm rifles, we like either the 1-inch “22/.223″ patches or the 1 1/4-inch “.25/6mm” patches priced at $12.99 for 800. These are Amazon’s #1 seller for gun cleaning patches. Some shooters prefer to wrap their patches around a jag or brush and square patches work better for wrapping. The large, 2-inch .30 Cal patches cost $19.88 for 800. These prices include FREE Shipping.

CREDIT Forum Member F Class John for finding most of this week’s deals.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
December 2nd, 2018

TECH Sunday — Making Modified Cases, SEB Rest Upgrades, ChargeMaster Tuning

Erik Cortina Video SEB Rest NEO Upgrade coaxial Lambang Modified Case Hornady Length gauge RCBS Chargemaster

Erik Cortina is one of the nation’s top F-Class shooters. A member of Team Lapua-Brux-Borden, Erik has been a top performer at National and World F-Class Championships. Erik is also a very smart guy and a skilled toolsmith who has upgraded his shooting equipment in interesting ways. Today we feature three “How-To” videos from Erik. These show how to upgrade a SEB Coaxial Rest, how to improve the performance of an RCBS Chargemaster, and how to create your own Modified Case for measuring length to lands. Watch and learn…

1. How to Make a Modified Case for the Hornady OAL Tool

Hornady Stony Point Tool OAL O.A.L. gauge bullet seating length ogive checker

In this video, Forum member Erik Cortina shows how to create a custom modified case for use with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge (formerly the Stoney Point Tool). While Hornady sells modified cases for many standard cartridges, if you shoot a wildcat such as the 6mm Dasher or .284 Shehane, you’ll need to create a custom modified case. And even if you shoot a standard cartridge such as the .308 Win, you can get more consistent measurements if you make a custom modified case from a piece of brass fired in your chamber.

MORE INFORMATION: Want to learn more? We published a much longer story in which Erik explains in greater detail how to made the Modified Case. That article illustrates the 5/16″ – 36 RH HSS Tap required and shows how to set up the lathe to drill and tap your case. If you are serious about making your own Modified Cases, you should Read the Full Article.

2. How to Upgrade your SEB Co-Axial Joystick Rest

Erik Cortina Joystick SEB Rest accessory f-class feet holder

Joystick (coaxial) rests are used by top shooters in benchrest and F-Open disciplines. With coaxial rests, you can adjust both vertical and horizontal aim instantly in one fluid movement — there are no mariner wheels to spin or knobs to turn. Just gently stir the joystick to move up, down, or sideways. Erik Cortina explains: “If you want to get into F-Class (Open) and want to win, you should get a SEB rest. SEB makes an excellent product, but the one thing we upgrade automatically … is adding the F-Class feet. These have a bigger footprint and a spike on the bottom [so you can] dig the feet into the ground and make your rest a lot more stable.” In this video Erik installs a set of Blake Machine Co. F-Class feet. These feature a set-screw, so they are easy to attach and then remove for travel (no Loctite!). “Simple yet effective” declares Erik.

In the second half of the video (starting at 5:30), Erik installs a Dan Bramley Joystick Holder. This features two clamp-on cradles that hold the joystick crosswise below the top (see photo). This handy accessory ensures your handle always remains with the rest (and doesn’t get left at home when you travel to a big match). This joystick holder has been popular with competitors. Erik says, “The Bramley Joystick holder is $60.00 — money well spent.” To order, email Dan at dbramley [at] yahoo.com.

3. How to Make the RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 Work Better

Erik Cortina has been fiddling around with his RCBS ChargeMaster and he discovered something interesting. Through a series of tests he determined that the ChargeMaster dispensed slightly more precise charges when he trickled the last few 10ths of a grain on to the RCBS pan. Erik wasn’t expecting this result, but he confirmed there may be a slight benefit to this trickling method (as opposed to allowing the ChargeMaster to dispense the full charge). You can see Erik’s test procedure in this video:

We should note that Erik’s preferred method of weighing powder is to first dispense a slightly lower charge with the RCBS, transfer the pan to a laboratory-class Sartorius magnetic force restoration scale, then trickle up with his Omega (Dandy Products) Powder Trickler. However, if you don’t have a $800+ laboratory-grade scale, you might just try trickling on to the ChargeMaster pan.

MORE INFORMATION: We have published a more lengthy Bulletin Article that covers Erik’s Chargemaster Performance Findings in greater detail. That article has more photos plus a clever, bonus “Beep Defeat Tip”. If you own a Chargemaster, we recommend you READ the Full Article.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
November 29th, 2018

AR, Garand, M1A — Six Rules for Gas Gun Reloading

Reloading for Service Rifles
SFC Lance Dement as featured in CMP’s First Shot Online.

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) has published a great series of reloading “how-to” articles on its Facebook Page. This post covers key factors to consider when loading ammunition for Match Rifles and Service Rifles, with a particular focus on self-loading “gas guns”. Visit the USAMU Facebook Page each Wednesday for other, helpful “Handloading Hump-Day” tips.

We offer some “cardinal rules” to help new gas-gun handloaders with safety and efficiency. These address both Match Rifle and Service Rifle versions of the AR15, M1 Garand, M1A, and M110. However, they can also improve safe reloading for many other auto-loaders such as M1 Carbines, FALs, SIGs, etc. The author distilled these principles many years ago to help focus on the essential aspects of these rifles.

RULE ONE: Service Rifles Are Not Benchrest Rifles
Gas-guns require a relatively loose fit between ammunition and chamber (vs. bolt actions) for safe, smooth operation. Many techniques, such as neck sizing and keeping cartridge headspace quite tight, are popular in the extreme bolt gun accuracy realm. However, they are of little value with Service Rifles, and some could even be hazardous. Before adopting a specialized technique, seriously consider whether it is appropriate and beneficial in a gas-gun.

RULE TWO: Never Compromise Safety to Obtain Accuracy
Example: If choosing a brand of great, but ultra-sensitive match primers offers possibly better accuracy at the risk of slam-fires in your design of rifle, don’t do it! You are issued exactly two eyes and ten fingers (best-case scenario). Risking them trying to squeeze 0.25 MOA better accuracy out of an M1A, etc. simply isn’t worth it.

Reloading for Service Rifles

RULE THREE: Tailor the Precision to Your Individual Skill and Your Rifle’s Potential
This has been addressed here before, but bears repeating for newcomers. If you are struggling to break out of the Marksman Class, or using a CMP M1 “As-Issued,” then laboriously turning the necks of your 600-yard brass is a waste of time. Your scores will improve much faster by practicing or dry-firing. On the other hand, if the reigning champions anxiously check your scores each time you fire an event, a little neck-turning might not be so far-fetched.

Verifying Load Improvements — Accuracy hand-loading involves a wide variety of techniques, ranging from basic to rather precise. Carefully select those which offer a good return on investment for your time and labor. In doubt? Do a classic pilot study. Prepare ammo for at least three or four ten-shot groups with your new technique, vs. the same with your standard ammo. Then, pick a calm day and test the ammo as carefully as possible at its full distance (e.g. 200, 300, or 600 yards) to verify a significant improvement. A little testing can save much labor!

RULE FOUR: Be Your Own Efficiency Expert
Serious Service Rifle shooters generally think of ammunition in terms of thousands of rounds, not “boxes”, or even “hundreds”. Analyze, and WRITE DOWN each step in your reloading process. Count the number of times each case is handled. Then, see if any operations can be dropped or changed without reducing safety or accuracy. Eliminating just two operations saves 2000 steps per 1000 rounds loaded. Conversely, carefully consider any measurable benefits before adding a step to your routine.

RULE FIVE: In Searching for Greater Accuracy with Efficiency, Look for System Changes
For example, instead of marking your 300-yard rounds individually to differentiate them from your 200-yard ammo, would a simple change in primers work? If accuracy is maintained, using brass-colored primers for 200 and silver for 300 provides an indelible indicator and eliminates a step! Similarly, rather than spending hours selecting GI surplus brass for weight and neck uniformity, consider splurging on some known, high-quality imported match brass for your 600-yard loads. Results should be excellent, time is saved, and given limited shooting at 600 yards, brass life should be long.

RULE SIX: Check All Your Primers Before Packaging Your Loaded Ammo
This seems simple and even intuitive. However, many slam-fires (which were much more common when M1s and M1As were the standard) are due, at least in part, to “high” primers. Primers should be seated below flush with the case head. The USAMU has addressed this at length in a previous column, but each round should be checked for properly-seated primers before they are packaged for use.

Reloading for Service Rifles

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
November 28th, 2018

6.5 Creedmoor Movie Marathon — Watch FIVE 6.5 CM Videos

6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge video Norma lapua ruger precision rifle savage bergara PRS

The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has become extremely popular in the last few years. It is a favored cartridge among PRS and tactical competitors, and has been used successfully by deer hunters and High Power shooters. Notable major manufacturers such as Ruger and Savage are selling popular rifles chambered for this mid-sized cartridge. The availability of affordable factory rifles chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor further fuels its popularity.

To celebrate the 6.5 Creedmoor as 2018’s mid-size popularity contest winner, we’ve sourced five recent videos from YouTube. These videos cover loading for the 6.5 Creedmoor and also test accuracy in both custom and factory rifles. Enjoy this 6.5 Creedmoor Video Fest:

1. Gas Gun Shoot-Out: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. .308 Win

In this TFB TV video, testers put a 6.5 Creedmoor up against a .308 Winchester with AR-10 type rifles. The head-to-head test compares the ballistics, trajectory, recoil, and inherent accuracy of the two popular cartridge types. We can’t call this a definitive test because most 6.5 Creedmoor shooters run bolt-action rifles. The key take-aways are that the 6.5 Creedmoor has significantly less recoil, and a flatter trajectory (at least with typical factory ammo). Still, the video is a good starting point for anyone considering a gas gun in 6.5 Creedmoor.

2. Ruger Precision Rifle with Norma 6.5 Creedmoor Ammo

In this video Gavin Gear tests Norma-brand factory ammo in a Ruger Precision Rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Gavin reports: “Norma is known for its high-quality brass and ammunition. Recently, I saw that Norma had announced a new addition to their Professional Hunter lineup of ammunition: in 6.5 Creedmoor! I thought I should try some out with the Ruger Precision Rifle. As you saw in the video, this ammunition behaves more like match ammunition.”

3. 6.5 Guys Test Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Brass in Tactical Rifles

If you have a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, or are considering getting a gun chambered for this cartridge, we strongly recommend you watch the full 6.5 Guys Video. Ed and Steve spent a lot of time conducting this test, and the video includes helpful summaries of their findings.

4. Reloading for the 6.5 Creedmoor — Gear and Components

If you own a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, and plan to start hand-loading for the popular cartridge, this video may help you select effective load components. The video examines a wide variety of brass, powder, and bullets options for the cartridge. In addition the reviewer looks at various reloading dies and tools suitable for 6.5 Creedmoor hand-loading.

5. The Springfield Armory M1A — Now Offered in 6.5 Creedmoor

Many folks may not realize that Springfield Armory now makes an M1A chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. With considerably less recoil, this 6.5 CM version is easier to shoot than the classic 7.62×51 M1A: “Having a 6.5 Creedmoor caliber in the M1A lineup gives long-range shooters more choices with the precision and accuracy they require,” says Springfield Armory CEO Dennis Reese.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
November 26th, 2018

Stuck Case Remover Kit — You’ll Need One Sooner or Later

Lyman Case Stuck Remover tool

Sooner or later, every hand-loader will get a cartridge case stuck in a die. Perhaps you forgot to lube a case, or maybe you even ran the wrong cartridge into the die. Thankfully, there are affordable solutions to the problem. Lyman offers a very handy Stuck Case Remover Kit. This compact Kit ($22.50 MSRP) contains ALL the tools you’ll need to remove most stuck rifle cases and pistol cases. (No separate tap holder is required.) Basically you drill and tap the stuck case, insert a cap screw, then use the wrench to remove the case from the die through a camming action. The Lyman kit, part #7680350, includes a unique, dual-purpose threaded cap that screws over the end of the die. This cap acts as both a drill guide and a guide for the pulling screw. An extra-long hex wrench is included which provides plenty of leverage when removing stuck cases and also doubles as a handle for the tap wrench.

How Stuck Case Removers Work — Video Shows Process
The new Lyman Kit isn’t the first stuck case remover device on the market. RCBS also offers a Stuck Case Remover Kit that costs just $19.49 on Amazon.com. The RCBS unit works fine, but you will need a separate tool handle to hold the tap. This video shows how to remove stuck cases with the RCBS tool. The operation is similar with the new Lyman tool.

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
November 23rd, 2018

Black Friday Super Sales — Huge Savings on Popular Products

Powder Valley Lapua Hornady Black Friday Discount V-Max

Today is Black Friday, the biggest SALE day of the year. We’ve scoured the internet to find killer deals from 12 vendors. You’ll find super deals on firearms, along with reloading tools, shooting accessories, and even gun safes. Check out these deals. Some of these special offers are for Friday only, November 23, 2018. Other promotions extend all weekend, all the way through Cyber-Monday, November 26, 2018.

Graf’s — Store Sale, 15% Off All Lapua Products, Sightron Sale

Grafs Sightron holiday sale Lapua 15% off discount black friday

If you hand-load, you know Lapua is top tier stuff — great brass, great bullets, superior loaded ammo. As a Black Friday through Sunday special, Grafs.com is offering 15% off ALL Lapua products. In addition, Graf’s has some great deals on optics, running a Sightron Holiday sale with 25% off most Sightron scopes. Many other products are on sale at Graf’s this weekend.

21st Century Shooting — 15% Off and Free Shipping

Black Friday 21st Century Shooting Cyber monday holiday sale

21st Century makes some of the most sophisticated reloading tools on the planet. Our editors use 21st Century case lathes, concentricity gauges, and Hydro bullet seaters. These great tools will help you load better ammo, with more consistency, in less time. And now you can save money too. 21st Century Shooting will be offering 15% Off with FREE Domestic shipping Friday 11/23/18 through Monday 11/26/18 at 11:59 PM. To get the 15% savings use Coupon Code W9es52. For Domestic orders be sure to choose “FREE SHIPPING” at checkout.

Precision Reloading — 15% Off $100+ Orders CODE “PR18BLK”

Powder Valley Lapua Hornady Black Friday Discount V-Max

Precision Reloading is running a compelling Black Friday promotion through Sunday 11/25/2017 at 11:59 PM. Here’s the deal — starting today you can save 15% off all orders of $100.00 or more. That means effectively that everything Precision Reloading sells is 15% off (as long as you spend at least $75.00). Yes that includes powder, bullets, dies, reloading tools and more. Get your 15% savings by using CODE “PR18BLK” during check-out.

McMillan and McCubed Stocks — Save 20% Today ONLY!

McMillan black friday MC3 mcCubed rifle stocks sale

You can now get big savings on high-quality McMillan and McCubed (MC3) rifle stocks. Today, Black Friday, McMillan and McCubed are offering 20% OFF stocks purchased from the online stores. This Black Friday Special also includes FREE Shipping within the continental United States. Use promo code blackfriday3 at check out. NOTE: This is a ONE-Day sale ONLY! The sale ends today, November 23, 2018 at 11:59 PM.

Credit EdLongRange for finding this sale.

Brownells — Money Off Codes, Product Sales, Gun Gift Card

Brownells discount codes Black Friday Thursday Thanksgiving
Brownells discount codes Black Friday Thursday Thanksgiving
Brownells discount codes Black Friday Thursday Thanksgiving

There are some killer Brownells discount codes now through 11/25/18 (Sunday) at 11:59 pm. These all use the FN prefix. Get Free Shipping with no minimum with Code FN4. Get $20 off $200 with Free S/H with code FN3. Get 10% Off $300 with Free S/H with code FN2. Along with this savings codes, Brownells has discounted many popular products for the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend. For example, you can get the LabRadar Chrono for $499.99 ($60 Off), Howa 300 WM Barreled Action (with trigger) for $349.99, and Geissele Enhanced AR Trigger for $139.99 ($75 Off). There are also great savings on Nikon optics. Plus when you buy a complete firearm, you can get a Brownells gift card worth up to $100.00.

Bullet Central — Thanksgiving Weekend Sale

Bullet Central Bix Andy Sierra Bullets SK Ammo Black Friday Discount V-Max

BulletCentral.com is running an attractive sale all Thanksgiving weekend, starting 11/22/2018 and running through 11/26/2018. Save on Sierra bullets, SK rimfire ammo, Lapua 6mm Creedmoor brass, ThoroughClean cleaning products. And you can also get FREE Shipping on Bix ‘N Andy triggers, and Kelbly Actions. CLICK HERE for Sale items.

Midsouth — Black Friday Sale and Hornady Prize Give-Aways

Midsouth Shooters Supply Hornady giveaway give away contest relaoding press sale Black Friday Discount V-Max

Partial Selection of Featured Sale Items
Midsouth Shooters Supply Hornady giveaway give away contest relaoding press sale Black Friday Discount V-Max

Midsouth Shooters Supply is running a big sale and Prize Give-Away for the full Black Friday through Cyber-Monday period. CLICK HERE to see SALE Items, discounted up to 50%. And are you feeling lucky? Midsouth will give away 12 Hornady Lock-N-Load Reloading Tools and Presses the day after Cyber Monday. Prizes include Lock-N-Load Progressive Press, Lock-N-Load Iron Frame press, Auto-Charge Powder Dispenser, and more. Come back every day for another chance to enter.

Natchez — Multiple Promotions Through Monday 11/26/18

Black Friday Natchez discount code Leupold scope sale free hazmat

Natchez Shooters Supplies posted a bevy of bargains this Black Friday Weekend. Choose your best deal with a variety of PROMO CODESs good through 11:59 pm November 26, 2018:

1. $25 Off all purchases over $200 with Code DOB181122
2. 10% Off products over $49.99 with Code PO181122
3. Free HAZMAT on purchases over $150 with Code FH181122
4. Free Shipping on Orders over $99.99 with Code FS181122

In addition to these savings Natchez has some great deals right now on Leupold scopes plus rebates on Federal Black Pack ammunition.

Credit EdLongRange for finding these promo codes and discounts.

MidwayUSA — Huge Black Friday Sale — Hundreds of Items

Patriot Ordnance Factory Revolution AR15 tactical Black Friday Sale

MidwayUSA is running an extended Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. Dozens of items are deeply discounted, PLUS you get FREE Shipping on all $49+ orders with Code CyperFS49. Look for bargains on optics, accessories, reloading tools, hunting gear, and ammunition. Hundreds of items are on sale, including LabRadar Chronographs, TargetVision Target Cams, Vortex Scopes, Hornady Reloading Presses, Athlon Spotters and much more. SEE Sale Items HERE.

Davidson Defense — Black Friday Sale on AR Kits and Hardware

Patriot Ordnance Factory Revolution AR15 tactical Black Friday Sale

Black Rifles on Black Friday? You bet! Davidson Defense has you covered. Now through Monday, November 26, 2018, save on many products in Davidson Defense’s online store: complete uppers, stocks, buffers, handguards, trigger groups, muzzle brakes, parts kits and more — pretty much everything you need to build an AR but the lower. If you love tacticool products, you’ll like the Davidson’s store, and now is a great time to buy.

Gander Mountain — 15% Off Outdoor Inventory

Patriot Ordnance Factory Revolution AR15 tactical Black Friday Sale

While Gander Mountain is a general-market outdoor sports store, not a hunting/firearms-focused retailer, Gander still offers a wide selection of products for shooters. This weekend you can get big savings on a host of products. You can save 15% on rifles, pistols, ammo, gun safes, and more. To qualify for 15% Off your order (no minimum) with FREE shipping, use Code GO2018. CLICK HERE for Gander’s Sale Items.

SWFA — 15-20% Off Vortex, Burris, Timney, EoTech, and More

SWFA Black Friday discount optics Burris Vortex Nikon

SWFA, a Texas-based retailer, is offering 15%-20% discounts off major product lines, including Vortex, Burris, EoTech, Leupold, Harris Bipods, and more. In addition, prices on SWFA’s “house-brand” SS scopes have been slashed up to 50%, so you can save $100 or more. CLICK HERE for all SWFA Black Friday Sale items.

MORE DEALS, MORE DEALS, MORE DEALS

If these dozen Black Friday vendors don’t provide enough temptation for your pocketbook, you’ll find yet more Black Friday specials on Gun.Deals a bargain-finder website. In addition, The Firearm Blog (TFB) has compiled a long list of select bargains — specific items on sale during the Black Friday/Cyber-Monday cycle. Highlighted Deals include AR Uppers, Geiselle Triggers, .22 LR Ammo, Ruger Rifles, Leupold Scopes, and MagPul magazines. CLICK HERE for TFB Deals, or select by category below:

Site or Category-wide
Ammunition
Accessories
Build Kits/Parts
Firearms
Magazines
Optics
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Credit EdLongRange for finding the TFB Black Friday Sale Page.

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November 19th, 2018

Bargain Finder 165: 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. Natchez — 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. Great Deal. Right now, Natchez is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $269.99, a great 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 $160.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items (like the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

2. Bruno Shooters Supply — All Lapua Brass on Sale

Lapua Brass Sale

Chances are you use Lapua brass and if you’re like most serious shooters you can’t resist it when it’s on sale. Here’s your chance to pick up nearly every variety of Lapua Brass at some of the best prices we’ve seen. Bruno’s is known for only shipping one consistent lot of brass whenever possible if you order multiple boxes. So don’t hesitate to lay in a good supply now. NOTE: You’ll find the most popular brass types, including 220 Russian, .223 Rem, .243 Win, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5×47 Lapua, .260 Rem, 6.5-284, .308 Win (sm and lrg primer), .30-06, 50 BMG and more. However 6mmBR is currently offered by Bruno’s only as custom neck-turned brass.

3. Many Vendors — LabRadar Chrono $60 Off Nov. 15 — Dec. 9

LabRadar Chronograph

If you’ve been wanting to get a LabRadar Chronograph, here’s your chance. Now through Dec. 9th you can save $60 on this very advanced piece of technology — probably the most sophisticated chronograph system ever offered to the general public. That’s notable because you almost never see this discounted below the $559.95 MAP price. Recent updates also now allow you to operate your LabRadar with your mobile device making it that much more amazing. You can take advantage of this deal and grab one for $499.95 or $499.99 at Brownells (Code VB5 for FREE Shipping), Bruno’s Shooters Supply, Creedmoor Sports, or Midsouth Shooters, or MyLabRadar.com.

4. Creedmoor Sports – Kowa 82SV Spotting Scope, $849.95

Kowa 82sv Spotting Scope

Looking for a great spotting scope to score targets and observe mirage and wind conditions? These Kowa 82SV combos sold out earlier this year but they’re back in limited supplies at Creedmoor Sports for just $849.95. Not only that they come with the desirable 25X LER eyepiece that is ideal for watching mirage — a key task for long range competitors. With this LER eyepiece you can quickly move from riflescope to spotter (and back again). Kowa is a a highly-respect optics maker, and this is a very good value for a quality spotting scope that should last a lifetime.

5. Optics Planet — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $21.25

Shooting Mat

Still laying on the ground or using your wife’s yoga mat for shooting? For $21.25 now you can grab this NcStar Vism shooting mat and give your knees, belly, and elbows a break from the ground below. It opens wide and even has straps for pre-loading your bipod. This is a quality pad that helps put some space between you and your rocky position. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up and it takes up the same or less space as a sleeping bag. This is a good product tested and used by our staff.

6. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $179.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $179.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $199.99.

7. Natchez Shooters Supply – Kershaw CQC-6k Knife, $15.49

Emerson CQC-6k

We’re in the holiday season with many super stocking stuffers to choose from. Here’s a great knife design from one of the premier knife-makers in the country. This Kershaw CQC-6C is on sale for just $15.49. This Kershaw is versatile, easy to open, and converts for left- or right-handed use. Who wouldn’t love to find one of these in a stocking on Christmas morning?

8. Bullet Central — Magnifying Light, $12.95 – $19.50

Magnifying Light

If you’re like most shooters, you can use more light and magnification when inspecting brass and small gun parts. Here is the perfect tool to help and it doesn’t take up a ton of space. With the Bullet Central Magnifying Light you can ease your eyes and see into the primer pockets, flash holes or case-necks without straining. With your choice of battery-powered or rechargeable models, why not buy two and give one to your favorite range buddy?

9. SK Ammo — $5/Brick Rebate Now Through December 31, 2018

SK .22 LR Rimfire ammo deal holiday rebate

SK makes excellent rimfire ammo, and this Holiday Special makes SK even more attractive. Now you can get $5 cash back per 500-rd brick, up to $100. The offer is valid on qualifying SK rimfire ammunition brick purchases from November 15 to December 31, 2018. Download the rebate form at www.Capstonepg.com/skrebate. To get your rebate, mail in the sales receipt PLUS the UPC/Lot codes from your SK ammo boxes no later than January 31, 2019. This deal is good for purchases through the end of the year. Additional conditions apply — see Capstone website for details.

Credit Forum Member F-Class John for most of this week’s deals.

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November 19th, 2018

Bullet Pointing 101 — How to Point Match Bullet Tips

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Tech Tip by Doc Beech, Applied Ballistics Support Team
I am going to hit on some key points when it comes to bullet pointing. How much pointing and trimming needed is going to depend on the bullet itself. Specifically how bad the bullets are to begin with. Starting out with better-quality projectiles such as Bergers is going to mean two things. First that you don’t need to do as much correction to the meplat, but also that the improvement is going to be less. NOTE: We recommend you DO NOT POINT hunting bullets. Pointing can affect terminal performance in a bad way.

NOTE the change in the bullet tip shape and hollowpoint size after pointing:
Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Don’t Over-Point Your Bullets
What is important here is that you never want to over-point. It is far better to be safe, and under-point, rather than over-point and crush the tips even the slightest bit. To quote Bryan Litz exactly: “Best practice is to leave a tiny air gap in the tip so you’re sure not to compress the metal together which will result in crushing. Most of the gain in pointing is taking the bullet tip down to this point. Going a little further doesn’t show on target”. So in essence you are only bringing the tip down a small amount… and you want to make sure you leave an air gap at the tip.

Salazar Whidden Bullet Pointer system

Also keep in mind, bullet pointing is one of those procedures with variable returns. If you only shoot at 100-200 yards, bullet pointing will likely not benefit you. To see the benefits, which can run from 2 to 10% (possibly more with poorly designed bullets), you need be shooting at long range. Bryan says: “Typically, with pointing, you’ll see 3-4% increase in BC on average. If the nose is long and pointy (VLD shape) with a large meplat, that’s where pointing has the biggest effect; up to 8% or 10%. If the meplat is tight on a short tangent nose, the increase can be as small as 1 or 2%.” For example, If you point a Berger .308-caliber 185gr Juggernaut expect to only get a 2% increase in BC.

Berger Bullet Pointing Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Whidden Pointing Die pointer

Should You Trim after Pointing?
Sometimes you can see tiny imperfections after pointing, but to say you “need” to trim after pointing is to say that the small imperfections make a difference. Bryan Litz advises: “If your goal is to make bullets that fly uniformly at the highest levels, it may not be necessary to trim them.” In fact Bryan states: “I’ve never trimmed a bullet tip, before or after pointing”. So in the end it is up to you to decide.

Pointing is Easy with the Right Tools
The process of pointing in itself is very simple. It takes about as much effort to point bullets as it does to seat bullets. We are simply making the air gap on the tip of the bullet ever-so smaller. Don’t rush the job — go slow. Use smooth and steady pressure on the press when pointing bullets. You don’t want to trap air in the die and damage the bullet tip. You can use most any press, with a caliber-specific sleeve and correct die insert. The Whidden pointing die has a micrometer top so making adjustments is very easy.

Bryan Litz actually helped design the Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System, so you can order the Pointing Die and Inserts directly from Applied Ballistics. Just make sure that you pick up the correct caliber sleeve(s) and appropriate insert(s). As sold by Applied Ballistics, the Whidden Bullet Pointing Die System comes with the die, one tipping insert, and one caliber-specific sleeve. To see which insert(s) you need for your bullet type(s), click this link:

LINK: Whidden Gunworks Pointing Die Insert Selection Chart

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