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June 28th, 2022

Henderson Gen 3 Trimmer — Ultimate Reloader and F-Class John

ultimate reloader henderson G3 trimmer gavin gear

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com recently tested the impressive Henderson Gen 3 (V3) Trimmer. There is a full write-up on Gavin’s website, and you can watch Gavin’s 18.7-minute video review below.

Gavin states: “I met Todd Henderson at SHOT Show and it’s clear that quality control and customer experience are extremely important to him. The Henderson Gen 3 case trimmer is built on an adjustable tri-trim 3-way cutter with different pilots to accommodate different case necks. Three way cutters trim to length and chamfer the inside and outside all at once. This trimmer has a 1700 RPM spindle and a custom DC motor made in the USA. It is made of billet aluminum and has a taper-lock cutting head and is consistent to 0.002″” at least with the same brand of brass. The collets are Brown & Sharpe style collets and are interchangeable with Forster case trimmer collets. Henderson currently offers four collets, and one is supplied with each machine.”

Gavin explains the trimming process: “I had some 6mm Dasher brass I’ve fired a few times and wanted to take down 5-10 thousandths. The Henderson trimmer works much like a milling machine. You do not need much torque because of the way the taper works.”

The Henderson Gen 3 trimmer delivered outstanding cartridge length consistency after trimming: “I was careful to ensure my trimming process was as consistent as possible. I measured the first ten cases I ever trimmed on the unit and found a standard deviation of 0.00047. The extreme spread is actually less than advertised. This trimmer is fast and easy to use and most importantly, returns consistent results.”

ultimate reloader henderson G3 trimmer gavin gear

F-Class John Review of Henderson Gen 3 Trimmer

Our Editor F-Class John has also reviewed the Henderson Trimmer. He liked the product so much he purchased one, and he uses it regularly now to trim his .284 Win cases for F-Open competition.

John liked the precision of the Henderson trimmer and the overall design of the machine, which offers good ergonomics and very precise alignment of the cases. Cycling is smooth and positive, as you can see from the videos. Fit over the pilot was fine for John’s .284 Win brass, but he notes that other users may need to expand their case necks appropriately to fit their pilot.

Watch the video to see the Henderson trimmer in action. The dual, parallel horizontal support shafts provide precise alignment of the case as it moves inward toward the cutter blade. The Taper-Lock cutter provides a 14-degree inside chamfer and 30-degree outside chamfer. The trimming process is very consistent case after case, and the Henderson’s design captures brass shavings effectively.

Henderson case timer powered Gen 3 brass trimming machine

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
June 28th, 2022

NEW Cartridges of the World 17th Edition (June 2022)

Cartridges of World Barnes 17th Edition

The new 17th Edition of the Cartridges of the World was just released on June 21, 2022. This resource belongs in every serious gun guy’s library. This massive 704-page reference contains illustrations and load data for over 1500 cartridge types. If you shoot a wide variety of cartridges, or are a cartridge collector, this book is a “must-have” resource. The latest 17th Edition includes 30+ new cartridge types and 1500+ photos. The print version costs $35.99 at Amazon.com with FREE delivery. Or you can get the print book from 3rd party sellers for about $26 plus $4 shipping. The Kindle eBook version costs $18.10.

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th EditionUpdated 17th Edition with Feature Articles
The 17th Edition of Cartridges of the World includes cartridge specs, plus tech articles on Cartridge identification, SAAMI guidelines, wildcatting, and new cartridge design trends. Cartridges of the World, the most complete cartridge reference guide in print, includes a full-color section with feature articles such Cartridges of the AR-15, Creedmoor Cartridge Family, .404 Jeffrey, .30 Carbine, plus “Cartridges and Cans” (suppressors).

View Free Book Sample Content
FREE STUFF for You: If you want to see what you are getting, there is a very large sample section of the previous 16th Edition available online with over 100 pages of content and dozens of photos and illustrations. To access all this FREE INFO, CLICK HERE, then click on the cover photo where it says “Look Inside”.

NOTE: This is content from the 16th Edition, but most is the same in the 17th Edition.

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of World Barnes 15th Edition

Cartridges of the World 17th Ed. CHAPTERS:
Chapter 1: Current American Sporting Cartridges
Chapter 2: Obsolete American Rifle Cartridges
Chapter 3: Wildcat Cartridges
Chapter 4: Proprietary Cartridges
Chapter 5: Handgun Cartridges of the World
Chapter 6: Military Rifle Cartridges of the World
Chapter 7: British Sporting Rifle Cartridges
Chapter 8: European Sporting Rifle Cartridges
Chapter 9: American Rimfire Cartridges
Chapter 10: Shotgun Shells
Chapter 11: U.S. Military Ammunition
Chapter 12: Cartridge ID by Measurement

Cartridges of the World by author Frank C. Barnes was first published in 1965. The 17th Edition is edited by W. Todd Woodard, Editor of Gun Tests magazine and author of several firearms reference books. Frank Barnes (1918-1992) began collecting information on handgun cartridges at the early age of 12, thanks to his father, a police officer. Frank Barnes was an innovative cartridge designer, who invented the original 308 x 1.5″ Barnes, predecessor of the 30BR case.

Before Frank began a law enforcement career, he was a college professor. Frank was also a pilot, and a race-car driver. Learn more about Cartridges of the World (17th Ed.) at GunDigestStore.com.

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June 28th, 2022

Trim, Chamfer, and Debur Brass with Giraud Tri-Way Trimmer

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool
Close-up of the Tri-Way Trimmer with clear plastic chip guard removed.

Giraud Tool offers a case trimmer/chamferer device that works with a power drill (or other power source). Giraud’s patented Tri-Way Trimmer is a self-contained unit powered by your drill or motor. Using a sharp carbide blade it will trim your cases to length, deburr, and cut both inside and outside chamfers — all in one pass. That’s pretty impressive for a $110.00 tool that fits in the palm of your hand.

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Features
1. Fully adjustable for cartridge length (and depth of chamfer).
2. Carbide blade cuts a 15° inside case mouth chamfer and 45° outside chamfer.
3. Case holder supported by sealed ball bearing raceway.
4. Tool includes removable, transparent plastic chip guard.
5. Tool can work in any orientation (vertical, horizontal, or any angle).

The Giraud Tri-Way Trimmer is designed to be powered by a portable hand drill, drill press, or other dedicated rotating power source. The tool indexes off the shoulder of your cases, but the blade adjusts so that cartridge overall length (COAL) can be controlled with precision. Constructed out of 6061-T6 aluminum and 303 stainless steel, the Tri Way tool should last a lifetime. Note: This tool is not universal. The Tri Way is dedicated to a single cartridge and “related” cartridges with similar body dimensions. Thus you need a specific tool for each cartridge family. For example, the .308 Win tool will also trim .243 Win, .260 Rem, and 7mm-08.

Cartridge Sizes Available for Giraud Tri Way Trimmer:
.223 Remington (Also trims .17 Remington, .204 Ruger, .222 Remington, .222 Remington Magnum)
7.62 x 39mm (Russian)
.300 Blackout (Also trims .17 Rem Fireball, .20 Vartarg, .221 Fireball)
.308 Winchester (Also trims .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, 7mm-08)
.30-06 Springfield (Also trims .25-06, .270 Winchester, .280 Remington)
.300 Winchester Mag (Also trims ​Also trims .264 Winchester Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum, .308 Norma Magnum)

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
June 27th, 2022

BargainFinder 353: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or 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 — Powders in Stock: Hodgdon, Accurate, VV and More

Midsouth reloading powder Vihtavuori Hodgdon Alliant Accurate ammo
Save $200 on highly-rated Sightron Scopes now through June 30, 2022

Good news for handloaders — we are starting to see more powders available at gunstores and online retailers. Right now Midsouth has 70+ powder types IN STOCK and ready to ship. Choose among Hodgdon, Accurate, Vihtavuori, Ramshot and other brands. Sorry no Varget or H4350, but there are some very good alternatives. We also recommend you check regularly with Powder Valley, which had some Varget and Alliant 15.5 TS recently. These powders (along with H4350) do sell out almost immediately.

2. Bruno’s — Open Box Nightforce Scope Sale, Save $200+

Bruno Bruno's Nightforce scope Optics open box sale 15-55x competition
Save big bucks on high-magnification Nightforce competition scopes

Save $200+ on your next long-range competition scope. Bruno’s has slashed prices on Open Box Nightforce scopes. Get a 12-55x52mm Nightforce Competition for $2195.00. That’s $205 less than the $2400.00 price at other vendors. Or get a 12-42x56mm Nightforce for just $1325.00 — hundreds less than the original MSRP. NOTE: These are NEW scopes, but deeply discounted as “Open Box” items. These still have the full Nightforce lifetime warranty to the purchaser.

3. Midsouth — RCBS Explorer Reloading Kit, $299.99

RCBS reloading press combo kit L-N-L Explorer
RCBS Kit includes all vital tools — good for new hand-loaders

Good news — Midsouth has RCBS Explorer Press Tool Kits on sale for $299.99. That’s $65 off the regular price. Great for folks getting started in reloading, this kit includes the single-stage press, powder measure, priming tool, trickler, digital scale, load manual, and various accessories. Get the RCBS Explorer Kit 2 for $299.99. If you want a bigger press, Midsouth also has the Rebel Master Reloading Kit for $359.99, marked down from $489.99. This includes everything in the Explorer kit, but with the beefier Rebel press and a few more tools.

4. Palmetto SA — S&W M&P 15-22 Rifle Package, $429.99

smith wesson NRL22 .22 LR rimfire AR smallbore rifle discount palmetto
Good, reliable rimfire AR clone for NRL22 and cross-training

This Smith & Wesson AR-style M&P15-22 provides the fun of an AR15 with the low cost of rimfire ammo. This can work well for cross-training or NRL22 matches. The S&W M&P 15-22 SPORT features a slim M-LOK handguard that easily accepts a variety of accessories without removing the handguard. The M&P15-22 SPORT comes standard with removable Magpul MBUS front and rear folding sights. This $449.99 package includes 3 magazines and a nice gun case.

5. GunZoneDeals — MTM GV-30 CaseGard Gun Vise, $37.99

MTM casegard gun vise
Great price on versatile, well-designed gun vise

Here’s an excellent gun vise on sale for just $37.99. The versatile MTM GV-30 CaseGard Gun Vise supports rifles and shotguns for cleaning/maintenance. High and low forks allow level or angled gun placement. The rubber-padded rotating stock clamp provides a firm hold. The base has 14 different compartments for tools/solvents, plus 11 slots for jags, brushes, and screwdrivers. On the side are tabs for two cleaning rods. This GV-20 vise is made from rugged, solvent-resistant polypropylene plastic. If this sells out on GunZoneDeals, Midsouth has the GV-30 Vise for $40.38.

6. Creedmoor Sports — Sightron Scope Sale, Save $200

sightron scope sale
Save $200 on highly-rated Sightron Scopes now through June 30, 2022

If you’re looking for a great deal on a solid, competition-worthy optic, check out the Sightron Sale at Creedmoor Sports. They have a large selection of the most popular scopes in the Sightron lineup all at prices you can’t pass up. You can save $200 on the SIII 8-32x56mm and save $200 on the SIII 10-50x56mm model. Both are great choices for benchrest or F-Class Competition. Varminters should consider the S-TAC 4-20x560mm, now discounted from $529.99 to $449.99.

7. Palmetto SA — .22 LR Rimfire Ammo, $3.99-$5.99/50rd Box

Norma CCI Federal Palmetto armory .22LR rimfire ammunition ammo
Really good deals on accurate and reliable rimfire ammo

Need reliable .22 LR ammo at a great price? Palmetto State Armory has great rimfire ammo deals going right now. Leading off is Norma Tac-22 for just $3.99/box. Despite the super-low price, this is very good ammo that has shown excellent accuracy. Next, at $4.99/box, Federal Champion 40gr ammo is also an excellent deal. And for a buck per box more ($5.99/box), consider the CCI Quiet-22 45gr ammo. This 835 fps Quiet-22 cuts the volume of standard 22 LR rounds dramatically, while still cycling through semi-auto rifles and handguns. These and other .22 LR ammo types are in stock now at PSA.

8. Pyramyd Air — Crosman 1377C/PC77 Air Pistol, $64.99

crossman 1377C PC77 air pistol pyramyd air
Excellent, budget air pistol for training and fun shooting

Here’s a classic American air pistol for just $64.99. The Crosman 1377C/PC77 pneumatic pistol has been enjoyed by countless American shooters for decades. 10 pumps sets the pressure. This pistol is suitable for plinking, paper targets, and reactive targets. Trigger is about 4 lbs., and accuracy is very good, as you can see in the test video below:

This pistol comes with a 10.25″ barrel, blade front sight and adjustable rear sight. You can mount a pistol scope with the Crosman 459MT intermount (sold separately). This is a very ergonomic pistol, with great reliability and impressive accuracy.

9. Amazon — Universal Gun Cleaning Kit, $39.99

universal cleaning kit jags brushes mops brass rod case
Great value for cleaning kit for pistols, rifles, and shotguns

This Universal Gun Cleaning Kit has just about everything you need to clean any firearm, all packed in a handy transport case. The kit includes jags, brushes, bore mops, slotted tips, and lots more. The fitted jags and slotted tips are made from solid brass and marked by caliber. The cleaning rods and accessory adapters are also made from brass. Included in this easy-to-carry kit are: 6 gun rods, 13 gun jags, 4 slotted tips, 9 gun mops, 14 bore brushes, 3 muzzle guards, 3 utility brushes, 3 accessory adapters, 4 polishing cloths, 100 cleaning patches, 2 oil bottles (empty), and even a gun cleaning mat. NOTE: For competition rifles, we recommend using high-quality ONE-PIECE cleaning rods.

10. Amazon — Large Digital Display Timer, $12.95

shooting timer
Use in Matches — Count-Down or Count-UP, handy big buttons

If you shoot in a discipline with time limits, or you time your firing strings during practice, having a reliable and easy-to-read timer is critical. One of our favorite timers is this very affordable Digital Display Timer with both count-up and count-down functions. It boasts an easy-to-read display and LARGE buttons making it perfect for F-Class, Palma, and other matches. This timer comes with both a built-in stand AND a strong magnet so you can position the timer conveniently.

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June 27th, 2022

The World of Cartridges — Guide to Cartridge and Primer Types

pew pew tactical bullet cartridge photos rimfire primer illustration

The Pew Pew Tactical website has interesting article on rifle and pistol cartridges and bullet types. This contains a large selection of interesting photographs and illustrations. If you load and/or shoot for a wide variety of cartridge types, you’ll find that article well worth reading. It has nearly 50 photographs and more than a dozen short videos. READ FULL Article.

pew pew tactical bullet cartridge photos rimfire primer illustration

The article shows all types of pistol bullets, along with a variety of rifle projectiles. It even illustrates multiple types of shotshell cartridges.

The article also explains the basic components of modern cartridges –bullet, case, powder, and primer:

ammunitiontogo.com ammo case cutaway
Photo courtesy Ammunitiontogo.com which sells ammo from many leading brands.

pew pew tactical bullet cartridge photos rimfire primer illustrationPopular Cartridge Types Profiled
The article provides quick summaries of popular ammunition types including 9mm Luger (9x19mm), .357 Magnum, .40 SW, .45 ACP, .223 Rem, and .308 Winchester. The author’s favorite pistol round is the 9mm Luger: “9mm is my personal favorite and if there was a “Goldilocks” round, this would be it. The very first gun I bought was a 9mm. They’re fun at the range. They’re good for defense. It is the standard round for NATO countries and the majority of police forces around the world. It is mild shooting, can vary in weight from 115 to 147 grains, and has varying stopping power based on the type of bullet.”

This Pew-Pew Tactical guide to cartridge types also provides a quick explanation of cartridge ignition — both centerfire and rimfire: “The rimfire’s primer is built into the rim while the centerfire cartridge has the primer in the center. Pro tip — if you can see a circle in the middle…it’s a centerfire cartridge.”

There are two common types of centerfire primers — Boxer and Berdan. This helpful Wikipedia illustration shows how Boxer, Berdan, and rimfire primers ignite the powder in the cartridge:


Berdan boxer rimfire primer gif animation illustration


This centerfire and rimfire ignition animation is by BBODO – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.

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June 26th, 2022

Review of Forster Co-Ax Press — Plus Cool Co-Ax Accessories

Co-ax Forster press
Forster Co-Ax Press

Forum member Erik Cortina has produced a series of YouTube videos about reloading hardware and precision hand-loading. Here we feature Erik’s video review of the Forster Co-Ax® reloading press. The red-framed Co-Ax is unique in both design and operation. It boasts dual guide rods and a central handle. You don’t screw in dies — you slide the die lock ring into a slot. This allows dies to float during operation.

Erik does a good job of demonstrating the Co-Ax’s unique features. At 1:00 he shows how to slide the dies into the press. It’s slick and easy. At the two-minute mark, Erik shows how sliding jaws clasp the case rim (rather than a conventional shell-holder). The jaws close as the ram is raised, then open as it is lowered. This makes it easy to place and remove your cases.

At the 5:20 mark, Erik shows how spent primers run straight down into a capture cup. This smart system helps keep your press and bench area clean of primer debris and residues.

While many Co-Ax users prime their cases by hand, the Co-Ax can prime cases very reliably. The priming station is on top of the press. Erik demonstrates the priming operation starting at 4:20.

Co-ax Forster press

Smart Accessories for the Co-Ax from Inline Fabrications
Forum member Kevin Thomas also owns a Co-Ax press, which he has hot-rodded with accessories from Inline Fabrication. Kevin tells us: “Check out the add-ons available from Inline Fabrication for the Co-Ax. I recently picked up a riser mount and a set of linkages for mine and love the results. The linkages are curved. When you replace the original straight links with these, the work area opens up substantially and the the press becomes much easier to feed.” CLICK HERE for Co-Ax Accessories.

Inline Fabrications Forster Co-Ax Accessories

Forster Co-Ax Curved Side Linkage
(For Better Access)

CLICK HERE

Forster Co-Ax Ultramount
(Riser plus Bin Support)

CLICK HERE

Co-Ax Roller Lever (Short)

CLICK HERE

Dual LED Lighting Kit for Co-Ax

CLICK HERE

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June 19th, 2022

BargainFinder 352: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

Today, June 19, 2022, is Father’s Day. To mark this special day, we’ve included some great Father’s Day sales, as well as some cool products that would make a great gift for any father who enjoys hunting and the shooting sports.

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or 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. Creedmoor Sports — Sightron Scope Sale, Save $200

sightron scope sale
Save $200 on highly-rated Sightron Scopes now through June 30, 2022

If you’re looking for a great deal on a solid, competition-worthy optic, check out the Sightron Sale at Creedmoor Sports. They have a large selection of the most popular scopes in the Sightron lineup all at prices you can’t pass up. You can save $200 on the SIII 8-32x56mm and save $200 on the SIII 10-50x56mm model. Both are great choices for benchrest or F-Class Competition. Varminters should consider the S-TAC 4-20x560mm, now discounted from $529.99 to $449.99.

2. Optics Planet — 8% Off Store-wide Father’s Day Sale

optics planet 8% fathers day sale
Save 8% on optics, camping gear, hunting gear, and even Ammo

Through Monday, June 20 at 11:59 pm, you can save a full 8% off the vast majority of the products on the Optics Planet website (with $50 minimum purchase). On a $2000.00 scope, that discount works out to $160.00! FYI, Optics Planet sells a wide variety of products — not just scopes, rangefinders, and binoculars. You can also save on bipods, stocks, camping gear, apparel, and even ammo. Use Coupon CODE 8DAD.

3. Palmetto SA — Leupold Laser Rangefinder, Binoculars, and Carry Harness Kit, $279.99

Leupold rangfinder binocs binocularr kit
Father’s Day bundle with laser RF, binoculars, and handy carry harness

Here’s a great Father’s Day combo package for every Dad who loves to hunt. Serious hunters need a rangefinder, binoculars, and a way to transport them securely. A great option is this Leupold Bundle featuring the RX-1400I TBR/W Rangefinder, BX-1 Timberline 10X42 Binoculars, and Go Afield Harness. The combo Father’s Day Sale price, just $279.99, is a great value.

4. Amazon — Caldwell E-MAX Shadow PRO EarPlugs, $127.46

caldwell emax earplugs
High-tech electronic plugs with package, now 39% OFF

Are you tired of bulky ear muffs and want to hear range commands? Then consider these Caldwell E-MAX Shadows Pro Electronic Plugs. The $127.46 price is $82+ off the regular cost — a 39% discount. The plugs come with multiple diameter tips to allow a comfortable “custom fit”. The included storage case functions as a charger with battery level indicators for each ear piece and the case itself.

5. Amazon — Rimfire Steel Silhouette Targets, 20-pack $109.99

rimfire steel targets
GREAT Deal on rimfire silhouette steel target 20-Pack

There are few things as fun as plinking with a .22 LR Rimfire rig at steel targets. It’s fun for kids and adults alike and right now you can grab a 20-ct pack of RIMFIRE animal targets in assorted sizes and shapes. They are 1/5 size and made from A36 steel plate. IMPORTANT: These small steel targets work great for rimfire shooting, but should NEVER be used with centerfire rifle cartridges.

6. Amazon — Hornady Powder Measure, $88.99

hornady powder measure sale
High-quality, smooth-operating powder measure on SALE

Are you looking for a universal powder measure that will work both on or off a press? One of our favorites is the Hornady Lock-N-Load Powder Measure. This L-N-L Powder Measure offers flexible operation and can handle powder charges of 0.5 grains to 265 grains with the appropriate insert and rotor. Metering inserts can be changed with the push of a button, giving handloaders the ability to load everything from small pistol cartridges to large magnums. This unit ships with a rifle rotor and metering insert.

7. Amazon — Vanguard Porta Aim Front Gun Rest, $44.99

vanguard rifle rest

The Vanguard Porta Aim Gun Rest is good for varmint work, sighting-in hunting rifles, and AR practice/load development. The top pad is contoured to fit round AR fore-arms perfectly. The top of the rest rotates 360 degrees, allowing quick sighting adjustments in the field. Weighing just 1.7 lbs., this Vanguard rest is easy to carry in the field. At just $44.99 this is a handy and affordable back-up front rest.

8. Harbor Freight — Apache Hard Cases, $37.99 and Up

harbor freight apache case

Looking for a durable, secure hard case for pistols, rifles, or other gear but don’t want to spend a fortune? Harbor Freight Apache Cases represent an affordable alternative to the big-name brands. These airline-approved cases feature a strong exterior, durable locking options, and a customizable interior. A variety of case configurations are offered now at Harbor Freight, many discounted 16%. Along with the gun cases there’s a nice weatherproof Hard-shell Carry-on for $99.99, half the price of a similar Pelican 1510 case.

9. Locked & Loaded — Winchester SXP Shotgun, $449.99

winchester shotgun sale

Here’s a great 12-gauge pump defensive shotgun with all the bells and whistles — modern pistol-grip stock with adjustable comb, front/rear sights, Picatinnny scope rail, muzzle brake, and barrel guard. This impressive 18″-barrel Winchester SXP Extreme Defender has a 5+1 capacity with a handsome Flat Dark Earth protective finish. Price is $449.99 on sale.

10. MidwayUSA — Assorted Rifle Cases, $21.99 – $27.99

scoped rifle case sale
Good prices on 52″, 48″, 44″ and 40″ rifle cases

Do you need a good soft case for a hunting or match rifle? MidwayUSA-brand rifle cases are now on sale at big discounts. Featuring sturdy padding and a handy storage pocket, these durable cases offer good value for the money. Price varies with color and size. For example: Black 52″, $27.99; Charcoal 48″, $24.99; and Coyote 44″, $24.99. NOTE: After choosing a case length, select among the four available colors to get the best price (not every variant is discounted).

11. CDNN Sports — HK 416 .22 LR AR with Laser, $449.99

HK 416 .22 LR 22LR rimfire rifle NRL22 cross-training
Great option for AR cross-training or rimfire gun games, save $134

If you own an AR for Service Rifle competition or 3-Gun matches, here’s a great option for inexpensive rimfire cross-training. An AR-type .22 LR rifle can also be effective in NRL22 matches. Right now you can save $134 on the HK 416 .22 LR rifle complete with Walther XGL532 Red Laser. This rifle boasts a 16.1″ barrel, retractable stock, M-LOK rail, and adjustable flip-up sights. The included Red Laser with remote on/off switch allows fast target acquisition.

12. Amazon — Twist-Top 1 Oz. Squeeze Bottles, $12.49

twist top bottles
Great product for gun cleaning solvents and lubricants

Cleaning supplies often come in glass bottles that are fragile, awkward, and hard to transport. For cleaning/lubricating at the range or after a match, we can recommend these Twist-Top 1 oz. Bottles. These are airtight, easy to squeeze. With a tight “no-leak” lid, these are secure/convenient to transport, even when traveling to distant matches via air.

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June 18th, 2022

Saturday at Movies: 12 Progressive Press Comparison Shootout

ultimate reloader gavin gear progressive press shootout comparison test lee dillon hornady rcbs mark7

If you are considering purchasing a progressive reloading press — you’ve struck gold. Today’s Saturday at the Movies article showcases the most comprehensive video ever created about progressive presses. Hosted by Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com, this remarkable 79-minute video covers a dozen presses from six leading manufacturers: Dillon, Frankford Arsenal, Hornady, Lee, Mark 7 (Lyman), and RCBS.

Set aside plenty of time, because there is a wealth of information — the “mother lode” of progressive press coverage. Along with the big comparison video, Gavin has prepared a detailed, 17-page online article which covers all of the presses in the shootout. This 17-page article also includes many product-specific videos. We link to five of these videos below.

12 Progressive Presses are compared in this comprehensive video:

Here it is! Ultimate Reloader’s long-awaited Progressive Press Shootout. This online article and accompanying video represent the most exhaustive and most in-depth look at progressive press reloading equipment. The Ultimate Reloader Progressive Shootout covers a dozen different progressives from Dillon, Frankford Arsenal, Hornady, Mark 7 (Lyman), and RCBS. Reviewer Gavin Gear demonstrates how each press works and provides data on costs, output rates, capabilities, and accessories so that potential buyers can make informed purchasing decisions.

MORE INFO — Progressive Press Shootout Online Article

To accompany the remarkable 79-minute Progressive Press Shootout Video, Gavin Gear has posted a ton of information on his UltimateReloader.com website. A lengthy online article provides detailed information on the particular presses, press mounts, and lighting, as well as general details such as cost of ownership. We provide links to particular topics below. This is a GREAT RESOURCE — it’s like getting an entire chapter of a technical book all for FREE!

ultimate reloader gavin gear progressive press shootout comparison test lee dillon hornady rcbs mark7

» READ Full Progressive Press Comparison Article (17 Pages, Multiple Videos)

Below we provide links to each product-specific online page, along with the corresponding time-link to the related segment of the 79-minute Progressive Shootout video.

Progressive Press Comparison — Online Article Highlights

Time-Mark & Topic (with LINKs)

00:00
04:22
13:43
13:43
22:02
31:49
35:39
39:20
43:47
46:42
54:44
1:01:44
1:05:30
1:10:32
1:14:06
1:14:45
1:15:03

Introduction
Hornady Lock-N-Load AP
RCBS Pro Chucker 5
RCBS Pro Chucker 7
Mark 7 APEX 10
Dillon Square Deal B
Dillon RL-550C
Dillon XL-750
Dillon RL 1100
Frankford Arsenal X-10
LEE Pro 1000
LEE Breech Lock Auto Pro (Pro 4000)
LEE Loadmaster
Total Cost of Ownership Recap
Inline Fabrication Mounts
KMS Squared UFO Press Lighting
Conclusion

Individual Progressive Press Videos

Dillon XL-750

RCBS Pro Chucker 7

Mark 7 APEX 10

Hornady Lock-N-Load AP 5-Station

Frankford Arsenal X-10 10-Station

LEE Breech Lock Auto Pro 4000

NOTE: Along with the presses featured in these six videos, the Ultimate Reloader Progressive Press Comparison video covers six other presses (12 total), in a comprehensive 1 hour 19 minute video linked at the top of this article.

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June 16th, 2022

Load Dev for .223 Rem Varminter and .308 Win Hunting Rifle

Keith Glasscock winning Wind .308 Winchester Win .223 Rem load development

Keith Glasscock is an outstanding competitive shooter, who has finished second at the F-Class National Championships (F-Open) multiple times. Keith is also a skilled wind coach who runs the popular Winning in the Wind YouTube Channel. Along with his interest in mid-range and long-range F-Class competition, Keith also enjoys game hunting and varmint adventures.

Developing accurate hand-loaded ammo for hunting and varmint rifles involves procedures that may be a bit different than load testing for a match rifle. You want to be efficient, and use the types of brass and bullets you’ll be using on the hunts. In two recent videos, Keith shows how he developed good, accurate loads for a .223 Rem varmint rifle and a .308 Win hunting rifle.

.223 Rem Load Development — Powder Charge and Seating Depth

In the first video, Keith covers the load development process for a Remington 700 bolt-action varmint rifle chambered in .223 Remington. Keith starts by full-length sizing the brass. Then he experimented with powder charge weights, and came up with a promising load of 24.7 grains of Alliant AR Comp with Hornady 50gr A-Max bullets.

Next Keith experimented with seating depths (see 5:30-6:100) and found that accuracy improved as he changed OAL length in .005 increments. Keith ended up with 2.270″ with a 3-shot group in the twos! This video shows the importance of testing your bullet choice at various seating depths. Keith shoots this rig prone off bipod, which is similar to the bipod shooting he does in the varmint fields. Keith explains key factors to consider when optimizing the .223 Rem cartridge in a varmint rig. Velocity readings are made with a LabRadar unit.

Keith Glasscock .223 Rem load development

Load Development for .308 Win Hunting Rifle

Keith Glasscock .223 Rem load development

In a second video, Keith shows the process for load development with a .308 Winchester hunting rifle. Here Keith uses a large X-type sandbag for a front support. Again, he was shooting a Remington 700 bolt-action rifle, this time with Barnes TSX solid copper bullets, PPU Brass, Federal 210m primers, and AR Comp powder. Keith said the Barnes bullets were excellent — he commented that these bullets were “match quality in terms of precision”. Keith achieved some very small three-shot groups with AR Comp and the TSX projectiles. Keith did note that point-of-impact shifted up significantly with increases in charge weight (see 6:20-7:10). With thinner-contour hunting barrels, this is not unexpected. But POI change should be observed carefully during load development, as you may need to adjust your zero after completing testing.


Keith Glasscock .223 Rem load development

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June 14th, 2022

Die Shims For Full-Length Sizing Dies — EZ Die Adjusting

Sinclair Die Shims

When your cases become hard to extract, or you feel a stiff bolt lift when removing a cartridge, it’s probably time to full-length size your cases, and “bump” the shoulder back. Short-range benchrest shooters, running high pressures, typically full-length size every load cycle, bumping the shoulder .001-.002″. The vast majority of mid-range and long-range F-Class shooters also full-length size every time. High Power shooters with gas guns should definitely full-length size every time, and may need to bump the shoulders .003″ or more to ensure reliable feeding and extraction.

Use Shims for Precise Control of Shoulder Bump
Some shooters like to set the “default” position for their full-length die to have an “ample” .003″ or .004″ shoulder bump. When they need less bump, a simple way to reduce the amount of shoulder movement is to use precision shims in .001″ (one-thousandth) increments. Sinclair Int’l offers a set of seven (7) shims for your standard 7/8-14 FL sizing dies for $14.99.

Sinclair explains: “Each shim is notched for easy size identification. Just set your die using one of the middle thickness shims. Adjustments can be made easily by changing shims to increase or decrease die depth without changing the stem setting. This is a great upgrade for non-micrometer adjustable dies.”

Here are reports from Forum members who use the shims:

“Great product. I have my die lock ring(s) adjusted for the shortest headspace length on my multiple chambers 6BRs and 6PPCs. When needing a longer headspace, I just refer to my notes and add the appropriate shim under the lock ring. Keep it simple.” — F.D. Shuster

Mats Johansson writes: “I’ve been using [shims] since Skip Otto (of BR fame) came out with them. I set up my dies with the .006″ shim, giving me the option of bumping the shoulder a bit more when the brass gets old and hardens while still having room to adjust up for zero headspace, should I have missed the original setup by a thou or two. Hunting rounds can easily be bumped an extra .002-.003″ for positive, no-crush feeding. Being a safety-oriented cheapskate, I couldn’t live without them — they let me reload my cases a gazillion times without dangerous web-stretching. Shims are a must-have, as simple as that.” — Mats Johansson

Sinclair Die ShimsBrownells offers the seven-piece set of Sizing Die Shims that let you adjust the height of your die (and thereby the amount of bump and sizing) in precise .001″ increments. Sinclair explains: “Some handloaders will set their die up to achieve maximum sizing and then progressively use Sinclair Die Shims between the lock ring and the press head to move the die away from the shellholder. Doing this allows you to leave the lock ring in the same position. These shims are usually available in increments of .001″ and work very well.”

Seven Shims from .003″ to .010″
For use with 7/8-14 threaded dies, Sinclair’s $14.99 Die Shim Kit (Sinclair item 22400 or Brownells Code 749-001-325WB) includes seven shims in thicknesses of .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, and .010. For ease of use, shim thickness is indicated by the number of notches cut in the outer edge of each shim. Even without looking you can “count” the notches by feel.

NOTE: These shim sets can also be use to adjust bullet seating depth for dies that lack micrometer adjustment. Use the same 7/8-14 shims with your non-micrometer seating dies.

Sinclair Die ShimsShims for Arbor Dies

Do you seat with an Arbor Press? No problem…

Brownells offers a $14.99 10-shim Arbor Die set for use with L.E. Wilson seating dies employed with arbor presses. Frankly we prefer micrometer-top Wilson dies, but if you have the standard Arbor dies, these shims come in handy. Order either Brownells Code 749-001-370WB (.22 to .243 caliber) or Brownells Code 749-001-326WB (.25 to .30 caliber).

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June 13th, 2022

BargainFinder 351: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or 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. RCBS — $35 Factory Rebate on RCBS Press or Press Kit

rcbs reloading press rebate
$35 Rebate on RCBS Presses and Press Combo Kits

Here’s a great Father’s Day promotion, good through June 24, 2022. If you buy any qualifying RCBS Reloading Press or multi-product Press Kit, RCBS will give you a $35 Rebate. That $35 rebate represents a significant savings on a press. For example, a Rock Chucker Supreme Press is now $132.26 on Amazon. With the RCBS rebate, your net cost is just $97.26 for a Rock Chucker! Submit your Rebate Request ONLINE or with Mail-In Form. Here are the products that qualify for the RCBS Rebate:

rcbs reloading press rebate

2. Sportsman’s WH — Savage Precision Rifle & Vortex Sale

savage vortex sale discount $250 scope spotting scope PRS NRL
Save $250 on Savage Precision Rifles and Vortex scopes

Right now Sportsman’s Warehouse is running a big combo sale on Savage Precision Rifles and Vortex Optics. Some of the rifles and optics are discounted by as much as $250.00. This is a great opportunity if you want to get started in PRS/NRL factory class. You can see the deals together, or just Savage Deals or Vortex bargains. On sale for $799.99 ($200 off), the Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope is a great value.

3. Urban Rifleman — Sierra .224/.308 MatchKing & BlitzKing SALE

urban rifleman sierra matchking tipped bullets sale
Truly great prices on .22 Cal and .308 Cal Sierra bullets

Site sponsor UrbanRifleman.com is running a great close-out sale on Sierra MatchKing and Tipped MatchKing bullets. These prices are the best we’ve seen in a long time. Get .224 caliber 69gr MatchKings or 55gr BlitzKings for just $19.95 per 100ct box. Or, Palma and F-TR shooters can grab .308 caliber 168gr MatchKings or 168gr Tipped MatchKings for just $32.49 per hundred.

4. Christensen Arms — Ranger 22 Rifle $469.99 after $250 Rebate

christensen arms $250 rebate ranger 22 rimfire rifle carbon wrap barrel
Save $250 on high-tech rimfire rifle with carbon-wrapped barrel

Save big with a $250.00 rebate on a very high-quality .22 LR rimfire rifle. The Christensen Arms Ranger 22 features an aluminum receiver, carbon fiber tension-wrapped barrel, carbon fiber composite rimfire stock, and a match grade Rem 700-style trigger. The Ranger 22 is backed by a Sub-MOA at 50 Yards guarantee. You can purchase from KYGUNCO for $570.37 after Rebate, or $599.99 (after rebate) direct from Christensen Arms.

5. Cabela’s — 15-45x65mm Spotting Scope, $349.97

cabela's spotting scope optic 15-45X HD glass
Save $350 (50%) on good HD glass spotter, angled or straight

Here is a very good spotting scope with HD glass at a huge discount. Right now, as part of Cabela’s Father’s Day Sale, you can save $350 (50%) on the CX Pro HD 15-45X Spotting Scope with 65mm objective. Get the angled-body version (shown above) for $349.97 or the straight version for just $249.97! The CX Pro HD Spotter is also offered in a 20-60X version with 86mm objective for $549.88 (Straight) or $699.97 (Angled). We prefer the smaller 65mm version, which still has ample power and weighs 12 oz. less.

6. Beretta — APX A1 9mm Carry Pistol, $299.00 after $100 Rebate

beretta apx a1 pistol rebate 9mm
Get $100 Off on ultra-compact 9mm Beretta carry pistol

Here’s a great choice for concealed carry, at a very attractive price. The Beretta APX A1 Carry pistol retails for $399.00, and a $100 Factory Rebate lowers your net cost to just $299.00. The 9mm Luger APX A1 Carry has 4 frame color options: Black, Gray, Brown (FDE), and OD Green. This is an extremely compact pistol. OAL is just 5.63″, and it weighs a mere 19.8 oz. unloaded. The $100 Rebate is good through 8/15/2022. REBATE INFO HERE.

7. MidwayUSA — Walker’s Electronic Muffs, $21.32 (57% Off)

walker's alpha ultimate electronic muffs
Save 53% on Good Quality Electronic Muffs 26dB NRR

We like Electronic Muffs when you need to hear range commands or get info from a team coach or your spotter. The Walker’s Ultimate Alpha Power Electronic Earmuffs are comfortable with good 26dB NRR. The two Hi-Gain omni-directional microphones pick up sound from all directions. These Walker’s Alpha Muffs are on sale now at MidwayUSA for $23.45 a 53% savings off normal retail. You could easily pay three times as much for other electronic muffs of comparable quality.

8. CDNN Sports — Savage Rascal .22 LR Patriotic Rifle, $199.99

.22 LR savage rascal single shot youth rifle american flag red white blue
Great patriotic choice as First Rifle for young shooter

July 4th is coming up soon. Here’s a patriotic rifle that’s a very good choice for a young family member’s first rifle. We like the patriotic American flag pattern red, white, and blue synthetic stock. And Savage calls this .22 LR Rascal rifle “the industry’s safest micro rimfire”. Shooters cock the rifle by lifting the bolt and unload without pulling the trigger. This eye-catching rimfire rifle features adjustable peep sights and user-adjustable AccuTrigger.

9. MidwayUSA — Tipton Best Gun Vise + Wheeler Gunsmithing Screwdriver Set, both for $79.99

tipton best gun vise wheeler gunsmithing screwdriver set
Outstanding gun vise PLUS a 43-piece gunsmithing driver set

This is a great combo kit for working on rifles and shotguns. And right now you can save $60! The Tipton Best Gun Vise is stable, and offers plenty of storage for solvents, patches, small tools and parts. The vise can adapt to hold a variety of long guns, including ARs. Along with the Best Vise, you get a full 43-piece Wheeler screwdriver kit that has 40 bit options: standard (flat) (21), Phillips (4), Allen (10), and Torx (5). The adjustable driver handle is nicely designed and comfortable.

10. MidwayUSA — Walker’s Shooting Glasses, 4 Lenses, $16.62


walker's four lens ANSI Z87 Shooting glasses eye protection
Versatile eye protection — 4 colors of lenses plus adjustable frame

Walker’s Adjustable Sport Glasses feature FOUR interchangeable lenses made of high-grade polycarbonate that exceeds ANSI 287.1-2003 High Impact Requirements. The interchangeable lenses come in four colors (Smoke Gray, Amber, Yellow, and Clear). The frames adjust for length and angle. These safety glasses ship with a soft carrying pouch that holds the extra lenses.

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June 12th, 2022

Dry Lube Inside Case Necks for Smoother Bullet seating

Forster original caseneck case neck brass dry mica lube lubricator system

If you want smoother bullet seating, inside neck lube can help. Forum member Ackleyman II likes to add a little Mica powder inside his case necks before seating bullets. This is easily done with the Forster three-brush neck lube kit. Ackleyman tells us: “Many loads that I have will not shoot well with a dry neck compared to a neck that is cleaned and lubed with this [Forster Dry Lubricator] — the best $15 you have ever spent.”

The Forster Case Neck Lubricator features three brushes attached to a tough, impact-resistant case with holes for bench mounting. The brushes accommodate all calibers from 22 to 35 caliber. The kit includes enough “motor mica” to process 2000 to 3000 cases and has a cover to keep dust and grit from contaminating the mica. By moving the case neck up and down on the correct mica-covered brush, the neck can be cleaned and lubricated at the same time.

Function: Lubricate case necks for easier resizing
Contents: Kit with base, lid, and three nylon brushes
Lubricant: Includes 1/10 oz. of Motor Mica, enough to process 2000-3000 cases

Neck Lubrication After Ultrasonic Cleaning or Wet Tumbling with Pins
If you wet-tumble your cases with stainless media and solvents or ultrasonically clean your brass, you may find that the inside of the case necks get too “squeaky clean”. The inside surface of the neck looses lubricity. In this situation, applying a dry lube can definitely be beneficial. CLICK HERE to see story about ultrasonic cleaning.

Ultrasonic Brass Cleaning

ultrasonic brass cleaning neck lubricant moly dry lube

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June 9th, 2022

Gas Gun Reloading Rules — USAMU Tips for ARs, Garands, M1As

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 regularly for other, helpful reloading and marksmanship 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!


This video explains the procedure for ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP.

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

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June 9th, 2022

Big Presses for Jumbo-Sized Cartridges Used in the ELR Game

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

In the ELR game, particularly the King of 2 Miles (KO2M), it’s “go big or go home”. The top shooters run large-capacity cartridges that push large-caliber, ultra-high BC bullets at very high velocities. Bullets launched by cartridges such as the .416 Barrett can sustain supersonic velocities at Extreme Long Ranges — and that’s what it takes to win. The .416 Barrett can launch a 550-grain solid bullet at 3000+ FPS.

.416 Barrett cartridge ELR .50 BMG RCBS press
Photo from ELR Competitor Corbin Shell.

2018 and 2019 Kings of 2 Miles Loaded on RCBS Presses
So how do you load jumbo cartridges such as the .416 Barrett? It takes a big, heavy, super-strong reloading press. We’ve learned that two recent King of 2 Miles champions, Paul Phillips (2019) and Robert Brantley (2018) both loaded their KO2M ammo on RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG presses. Phillips loaded .416 Barrett ammo, while Brantley loaded a similar .416 MCS cartridge.

In 2018, Robert Brantley topped the field using his custom .416 MCS cartridge. Then in 2019, Paul Phillips won the K02M competition shooting a .416 Barrett, with Brantley a close second. Both Phillips and Brantley use the RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG single stage press kit and RCBS .416 Barrett dies to hand-load for extreme long-range. “My ammo has been much more consistent after switching to the RCBS press and dies,” remarked Phillips, who runs the Global Precision Group. Brantley said he uses RCBS products for most of his reloading needs — from the dies and AmmoMaster, to the ChargeMaster and Brass Boss. His custom .416 MCS loads launch a 550-grain bullet more than 3,100 fps.

Ko2m king two miles ELR .416 Barrett cheytac .50 BMG Extreme long range press

Loading with RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG Press
This video shows reloading with the RCBS AmmoMaster .50 BMG press. While this video shows .50 BMG cases being loaded, the principles are the same for loading the .416 Barrett cartridge or other big rounds. Big cases need big presses!

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June 4th, 2022

How to Select and Set Up a Decapping Die

universal Decapping die sinclair lee redding

One of our Forum members complained that he wasn’t able to set his primers flush to the rim. He tried a variety of primer tools, yet no matter what he used, the primers still didn’t seat deep enough. He measured his primers, and they were the right thickness, but it seemed like his primer pockets just weren’t deep enough. He was mystified as to the cause of the problem.

Well, our friend Boyd Allen diagnosed the problem. It was the decapping rod. If the rod is adjusted too low (screwed in too far), the base of the full-diameter rod shaft (just above the pin) will contact the inside of the case. That shaft is steel whereas your case is brass, a softer, weaker metal. So, when you run the case up into the die, the shaft can actually stretch the base of the primer pocket outward. Most presses have enough leverage to do this. If you bell the base of the primer pocket outwards, you’ve essentially ruined your case, and there is no way a primer can seat correctly.

The fix is simple. Just make sure to adjust the decapping rod so that the base of the rod shaft does NOT bottom out on the inside of the case. The pin only needs to extend through the flash hole far enough to knock the primer out. The photo shows a Lyman Universal decapping die. But the same thing can happen with any die that has a decapping rod, such as bushing neck-sizing dies, and full-length sizing dies.

Universal decapping die

Whenever you use a die with a decapping pin for the first time, OR when you move the die to a different press, make sure to check the decapping rod length. And it’s a good idea, with full-length sizing dies, to always re-check the height setting when changing presses.

There are a variety of decapping dies currently on the market, with models available from Lee, Lyman, Hornady, RCBS, Redding, and Sinclair Int’l.

Lee Universal Decapping Die Costs Just $11.69
Speaking of decapping tools, Midsouth Shooters Supply sells the Lee Universal Decapping Die for just $11.69 (item 006-90292), a very good deal. There are many situations when you may want to remove primers from fired brass as a separate operation (prior to case sizing). For example, if your rifle brass is dirty, you may want to de-cap before sizing. Or, if you load on a progressive press, things will run much more smoothly if you decap you brass first, in a separate operation.

Lee universal decapping die

Decapping Dies for Cases with Smaller Flashholes

TAKE NOTE: Some Euro Small Flash Holes are spec’d at 1.5mm or 0.059″, and max out at about .062″, so these need a smaller die pin.

The low-cost Lee Universal Decapping Die will work with cartridges from 17 Fireball all the way up to big Magnums. However, NOTE that the decapping pin supplied with this Lee die is TOO LARGE for LAPUA 220 Russian, 6mmBR, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win (Palma) and Norma 6 PPC flash holes. Because the pin diameter is too large for these brass types, you must either turn down the pin, or decap with a different tool for cases with .059-.062″ flash-holes.

Sinclair Int’l offers a Stainless Decapping Die that comes with both .080 and .060 Pins. The $46.99 die ships with three decap pins for standard .080″ flash holes, and two pins for .060″ flash holes

Redding makes a Universal Decapping Die with an optional smaller-diameter decapping rod for the smaller .059-.062″ flash holes found on the BR and PPC cases. The use of this die is explained in the video below:

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June 3rd, 2022

Lyman Universal Press Stand Review — Strong, Quality Product

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

I absolutely love using this press stand. I use it with my Forster Co-Ax as well as my Dillon 550. The stand mounts those presses at the right height to minimize fatigue and maximize torque. Some products I merely review and return but this one is a keeper and won’t be leaving my bench anytime soon. — F-Class John

Lyman Universal Press Stand REVIEW

Product Review by F-Class John
Positioning your press at the optimal height is one of the oldest problems in reloading. Most presses sit low off the edge leading to uncomfortable arm strain or inconsistent pressure being applied while using. Lyman has set out to fix that problem with a reasonably-priced ($69.46 at Midsouth) press riser that works with the vast majority of reloading presses. This unit will raise just about any press up off your bench securely, allowing you to working more comfortably from a standing position. This also frees up vital bench space UNDER the press. Unfortunately this press stand is so popular it is back-ordered at most vendors.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

I have used a variety of presses over the years. At times I’ve run into issues mounting a press at a level that doesn’t promote arm or hand strain during normal operations. In the past I’ve used blocks of wood or even tried other brands’ proprietary stands. But I had very limited success with those options. Accordingly, I was very excited to give the Lyman Universal Press Stand a chance.

Lyman’s Universal Press Stand comes complete with side plates, two different top plates, and a large collection of mounting hardware. The two top plates are pre-drilled for numerous popular Single Stage or Progressive presses. Helpful diagrams and instructions show which side of the top plate you need to use. The pre-drilled holes accommodate a variety of presses from RCBS, Dillon, Lyman, Redding, and Hornady. But surprisingly, the plates are not pre-configured for the Forster Co-Ax Press.

CLICK to WATCH VIDEO Showing Lyman Universal Press Stand

Setting up the stand was very simple. The two sides bolt to the lower shelf unit at which point you attach the top plate. All the supplied bolts made this a breeze and once everything was snugged down, I was able to place it on my bench where I wanted it and mark the drill holes to mount it. After securing the stand to my bench it was time to mount my press.

Lyman Universal Press Stand with Dillon 550 Press

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Adapting Lyman Universal Press Stand for Forster Co-Ax
At the time of testing I was primarily using a Forster Co-Ax press. With no pre-drilled Co-Ax configuration for either Lyman top plate, I decided to customize the blank side of one of the top plates. I opted to position the mounting holes so that the press could sit 100% on top of the mounting plate and not just off one edge. I found this process simple to execute. Mark your drill holes, then drill the plate. This can easily be done with regular drill bits although using a step-bit worked faster and cleaner to help enlarge the holes just a little when I needed some extra clearance.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Lyman Universal Press Stand Is Stable and Strong
Once set-up, I found the stand to be incredibly stable. The design allows for full force to be applied to the press no matter what the operation. Having used this Lyman Press stand regularly over the past few months with both my Co-Ax and a Dillon 550c, I still find myself loving it. The height is perfect and allows me to load as much as I like without straining my arm or getting fatigued. With an attractive price point (under $55.00 street price) and a simple design, I feel this is a great system for those looking for a secure and raised platform for their reloading presses.

The Universal Press Stand comes with two plates. If you have different presses that fit each plate you could easily swap presses just by changing plates while leaving the presses attached. It’s less functional if you have two presses that share one plate and would require removing one press before installing the next one.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Lyman Press Stand Unboxing and Set-Up (KFW Video Review):

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June 2nd, 2022

Tech Tip: Better Viewing with Magnifier for Balance Beam Scales

RCBS 10-10 Scale RCBS balance beam magnifier weigh powder reloading

When he measures his loads or sorts bullets by weight, Forum Member Boyd Allen often employs his trusty RCBS 10-10 balance beam scale (although he does have handy digital scales as well). He finds that the balance beam scale works predictably, time after time, and it doesn’t suffer from the drift and calibration issues that plague some of the less expensive electronic scales on the market.

RCBS Balance Beam scale 10-10 magnifier weigh powder reloading

To make it easier to see the balance point, Boyd has adapted a magnifying glass with a mirror. This makes the end of his balance beam easier to view from his normal position on the bench. Boyd explains: “This set-up uses a cheap magnifier with positioning arms that was probably designed to hold and magnify small objects while soldering them. I think that it came from Harbor Freight many years ago. The mirror lets you look at the scale as if is was at eye level, and of course the magnifier makes the image easier to see.”

If you have a balance beam scale, we suggest you try this simple enhancement. We predict you’ll find the magnifier speeds up the process with enhanced assurance of your load weight.

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May 31st, 2022

Reloading on the Road — Loading Station inside “Toy-Hauler” RV

Smart Car Toy Hauler

It’s summer time. That means many of our readers are on the road (attending major shooting matches or enjoying summer vacations). How do you do your reloading chores while living like a gypsy for a few weeks? Here’s a solution from Forum member Dave Gray (U.S. Army Retired).

Dave is a self-declared “full-time RVer” who spends most of his time on the road. Behind his Ram 3500 pickup, Dave tows a huge 41-foot Heartland Cyclone toy hauler featuring a 12X8 foot garage in the rear. In the rear garage area, which holds a compact Smart Car, Dave has set up a removable reloading bench complete with RCBS Rockchucker single stage press and Dillon progressive press.

Smart Car Toy Hauler

Smart Car Toy HaulerReloading Bench Mounts to RV Wall with Brackets
Dave explains: “I used a 2″X6″X5′ board for the bench. It’s perfect for my needs, and is easy to disassemble. I made it this small so that I can park my Smart Car in the garage during travel to my destinations. The bench, attached to the wall frames, is very solid. The presses’ centers are 3″ and 6.5″ from the brackets. [There are] four bolts on the wall into aluminum wall frame and 3 bolts in the bench. If I ever have to replace the current board, I’ll do so with oak or birch or hickory. When I’m not reloading, I remove the presses and store them in a protected space. I can easily attach other equipment to the bench by using C-Clamps.” Dave’s “rolling reloading room” looks very well thought-out. We commend Dave for his inventiveness.

Smart Car Toy Hauler

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May 25th, 2022

Vihtavuori 100th Anniversary Showcased at NRA Convention

vihtavuori nra annual meetings 100 anniversary powder houston reloading

The 151st NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas, runs for three days this upcoming weekend. Visitor will enjoy 14 acres of exhibitors, along with informative seminars, appearances from political leaders, and performances from major musical talents. The Exhibit Hall will be open 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Friday and Saturday and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday.

Vihtavuori Powders will be celebrate its 100th Anniversary during the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. Attendees can visit Vihtavuori in Booth #3816 to receive a FREE Vihtavuori reloading guide, technical advice, and more.

vihtavuori nra annual meetings 100 anniversary powder houston reloading

Vihtavuori is recognized around the globe as a top-tier powder maker respected serious competitive shooters and hunters. Vihtavuori powders deliver clean-burning results, superior consistency, excellent temperature stability, and great accuracy shot-after-shot.

Vihtavuori is a part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Vihtavuori.com.

“Capstone Precision Group is proud to bring Vihtavuori powders to the USA. The N100, N300, and N500 series powders offer something for all metallic reloaders,” said Adam Braverman, VP of Sales & Marketing. “Vihtavuori’s strict quality control and lot-to-lot consistency ensure that every customer’s experience exceeds expectations. With 100 Years of experience, the Power of Accuracy is in every shot.”

FREE Comprehensive Vihtavuori Reloading Data

Vihtavuori offers comprehensive reloading data for its full line of powders. On the Vihtavuori website, there are specific categories of data for Rifle Reloading, Handgun Reloading, Shotshell Reloading, and Cowboy Action Reloading.

vihtavuori nra annual meetings 100the anniversary 100 years rifle cartridge reloading

The Vihtavuori Rifle Reloading Data page covers over 70 cartridge types. Vihtavuori notes: “We provide our reloading data in [both] metric and imperial dimension systems, i.e. charge weight in grams and grains as well as muzzle velocity in meters and feet per second. All the rifle loads… are pressure tested according to the C.I.P. method. The listed maximum loads should never be exceeded. Please note that due to safety regulations, we can’t suggest or recommend loads or bullets that are not available on this site.”

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May 20th, 2022

Make Your Own Length-to-Lands Gauge — Quick & Easy

case OAL gauge home made

Here’s a tip we feature every year or so, because it is something that costs nothing, yet can be very useful in the reloading process. With a simple, easy modification to a fired case, you can determine the length to lands in your rifle barrel. As long as you set the tension right, the measurements should be repeatable, and you’ve just saved yourself $47.66 — the combined cost of a Hornady commercial OAL gauge ($42.00) and Modified Case ($5.66).

To achieve best accuracy with a rifle, you must control bullet seating depth very precisely, so all bullets end up in the same place relative to the entrance of the lands, every time. There may be multiple cartridge OALs which prove accurate. However, with each, you first need to determine a “zero” point — a reliable, and repeatable OAL where the bullet is “just touching” the lands.

There are tools, such as the Hornady (formerly Stoney Point) OAL Gauge, that will help you find a seating OAL just touching the lands. However, the tool requires that you use a special modified case for each cartridge you shoot. And, while we find that the Hornady OAL Gauge is repeatable, it does take some practice to get in right.

Make Your Own Length-to-Lands Gauge with a Dremel
Here’s an inexpensive alternative to the Hornady OAL tool — a slotted case. Forum member Andris Silins explais how to create a slotted case to measure length to the lands in your rifle:

“Here’s what I did to find length to lands for seating my bullets. I made four cuts into the neck of fire-formed brass. Then I pressed the bullet in lightly and chambered the entire gauge. As the cartridge chambers, the bullet slides back into the case to give you length to lands. It took less than five minutes to get it cut and working. A little light oil in the barrel just past the chamber helps ensure the bullet does not get stuck in the lands. It works great and is very accurate.

How to Adjust Tension — Length and Number of Neck Cuts
I made the cuts using a Dremel with a cut-off wheel. You can adjust tension two ways. First, you can make the cuts longer or shorter. Longer cuts = less tension. If you used only three cuts instead of four you would get more tension. The trick is to be gentle when you open and close the bolt. If you ram the bolt closed you may wedge the bullet into the lands. When you open the bolt it helps to keep a finger or two near by to guide the case out straight because the ejector wants to push it sideways.”

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