May 30th, 2017

Chain Detonation — What Happens When A Primer Stack Blows

RCBS Primer Progressive strip APS dillon detonation

What can happen when the bottom-most primer in a primer feed tube goes off? A big bang, that’s what. Some or all of the primers in the vertical feeding tube can go off in a chain detonation. That’s exactly what happened to Dustin Ellermann, Top Shot Season 3 Champion. Scary experience, but thankfully Dustin was not injured. He writes: “Super thankful that I was wearing my Wiley X eye protection this weekend when I was reloading some .223 rounds. My press detonated nearly 100 small rifle primers. Shown here is the magazine feed tube. Not fun but it could have been much worse. Stay safe!”

When working with progressive reloading presses, you should definitely wear eye protection. Dustin’s chain detonation experience proves that — without a doubt. Remember you only have one set of eyes!

RCBS APS Strips — Alternative to Primer Tubes
RCBS Primer Progressive strip APS dillon detonationWhen you stack a column of primers in a single metal tube, you’re asking for trouble. As Dustin Ellermann learned, when one primer fires, the entire column can follow suit in a chain detonation. Thankfully, you do have options when it comes to primer feeding on a progressive press. RCBS developed an innovative primer system for its Pro-2000 progressive press. Instead of being stored in a vertical tube, primers are placed in flat, plastic “APS” strips, with a ring of plastic separating each primer. Moving horizontally, primers are never stacked, so the chance of a chain detonation is reduced dramatically. The re-usable APS strips are color-coded for different primer types. You can buy CCI “pre-loaded” primer strips, or you can insert any brand of primers into strips using an RCBS strip-loader tool.

RCBS Pro-2000 with APS Strip Priming System

AccurateShooter.com Editor Uses Strip Primers
This Editor owns an RCBS Pro-2000 progressive press. The RCBS strip-priming system was one key reason I selected the RCBS Pro-2000 over similar-priced progressives from Dillon and Hornady. I believe the strip primer system is safer, more positive, and easier to use. Before I purchased my RCBS progressive, I “road-tested” the competition. I loaded hundreds of rounds on each of four different progressives: Dillon 550B, Dillon 650, Hornady Lock-N-Load, and RCBS 2000. I was concerned about the primer feed tubes on the Dillons, and I found the RCBS rotary powder measure was much more precise (and easier to adjust) than the sliding bar system on the Dillon machines. The RCBS priming system was definitely more fool-proof than the system on the Hornady press (a first-generation L-N-L that had issues with primer feeding). After “test-driving” blue, red, and green brand progressives extensively, I settled on the RCBS Pro-2000. A decade later, I still think I made the right choice. I like the APS strips for big jobs, and I can also use them in the RCBS hand-priming tool (shown below). With the strips, it’s easy to prime 20 or 40 cases at a time, and then switch to another type of primer for comparison testing.

RCBS Primer Progressive strip APS dillon detonation

APS Tool press mounted RCBSThe APS priming system also works with press-mounted priming tool, bench-mounted tool, and APS hand-tool. EdLongRange uses the press-mounted tool: “I also like the APS approach but use the press-mounted unit (saves your hands/wrists — and I haven’t had a need for a progressive press in over 20 years). Loading the primers in the strips is a bit of a PITA but very manageable. As with all tools there is a learning curve.” CLICK HERE for video showing strip-loading tool and press-mounted APS tool. The press-mounted tool is no longer in production, but you can still BUY IT HERE.

Permalink - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 10 Comments »
May 27th, 2017

Video Demonstrates Lock-N-Load Press Conversion Kit

Lock N load Conversion Kit Die bushing twist lock Hornady

Would you like to swap dies in and out of a reloading press in just seconds, with a quick twist of the wrist? Hornady’s Lock ‘N Load twist-lock hardware makes that possible. This time-saving system uses “die bushings” that screw on to your dies. Don’t have Hornady press? No problem — the Lock-N-Load system can be used with non-Hornady presses via the Lock-N-Load Conversion Kit. This includes three die bushings and one press conversion insert. The adapter will work with RCBS RockChuckers and any other reloading press using a 1-1/4-12 thread. The Lock-N-Load Conversion Kit costs just $14.59 at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Watch this video to see how it works.

Product and video tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.

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Permalink Reloading No Comments »
May 24th, 2017

Optimize Neck Tension with Bushings, Expanders, and Annealing

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box
One thing that plays a major role in building an accuracy load is neck tension. I think a lot of reloaders pretty much take this for granted and don’t give that enough thought.

So, how much neck tension is enough?

Thru the years and shooting both a wide variety of calibers and burn rates of powder, I’ve had the best accuracy overall with .002″ of neck tension. Naturally you will run into a rifle now and then that will do its best with something different like .001″ or even .003″, but .002″ has worked very well for me. So how do we control the neck tension? Let’s take a look at that.

First of all, if you’re running a standard sizing die with an expander ball, just pull your decapping rod assembly out of your die and measure the expander ball. What I prefer is to have an expander ball that is .003″ smaller than bullet diameter. So for example in a .224 caliber, run an expander ball of .221″. This allows for .001″ spring back in in your brass after sizing, and still gives you .002″ in neck tension. If you want to take the expander ball down in diameter, just chuck up your decapping rod assembly in a drill and turn it down with some emery cloth. When you have the diameter you need, polish it with three ought or four ought steel wool. This will give it a mirror finish and less drag coming through your case neck after sizing.

Tips for Dies With Interchangeable Neck Bushings
If you’re using a bushing die, I measure across the neck of eight or ten loaded rounds, then take an average on these and go .003″ under that measurement. There are other methods to determine bushing size, but this system has worked well for me.

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

Proper Annealing Can Deliver More Uniform Neck Tension
Another thing I want to mention is annealing. When brass is the correct softness, it will take a “set” coming out of the sizing die far better than brass that has become to hard. When brass has been work hardened to a point, it will be more springy when it comes out of a sizing die and neck tension will vary. Have you ever noticed how some bullets seated harder than others? That is why.

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

Paying closer attention to neck tension will give you both better accuracy and more consistent groups.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
May 23rd, 2017

Tuning Tips — Pressure, Powder Fouling, and Temperature

Pressure Temperature Fouling Tech Tips Tommy Todd Sierra Bullets

by Tommy Todd, Sierra Bullets Chief Ballistician for Sierra Bullets Blog
I have shot several disciplines of shooting competitions over the years and have learned a few things regarding ammunition and bullet function during this time. Frequently the matches I shoot require 40 to 100 shots before a person gets a chance to clean his rifle. Just as frequently, a good shooting match rifle will still shoot very good scores and groups with that many rounds fired through them. However, those guns do not deliver the same accuracy as when they were clean, but the drop-off in accuracy is not a huge change unless a set of accumulative issues arise.

In one situation, very dirty powder created more serious problems…

Pressure Issues — Extraction Problems Caused by Bad Fouling

Problem: Pressures Increased as Powder Fouled Barrel and Carbon Ring Formed
Solution: Clean Barrel Every Ten Rounds.

I witnessed a set of problems that occurred with a fellow competitor’s rifle at a recent F-Class match. He was using a large case capacity cartridge for the bore diameter and he was shooting a powder that was burning extremely dirty. As the match progressed, the carbon buildup caused most likely a carbon ring in the throat of the rifle and pressures kept increasing to the point that the cases were hard to extract, bolt lift was excessive, and eventually he quit shooting the rifle due to these issues. Accuracy also suffered as could be evidenced by the gun’s performance on target. This load looked fine when he was developing it, none of the excessive pressure signs appeared when he worked the load up, but he was cleaning the gun every ten shots.

When he was shooting multiple, 20-shot strings during the match is when the issues appeared. He was able to give the gun a thorough cleaning and the issues went away, for several rounds and then the pressures started appearing again. These pressure signs were not due to ambient temperatures as it was a cool spring morning and the temperature was in the low 40° range.

Accuracy Issues — Tune Lost with Higher Ambient Temps

Problem: Accuracy Lost When Outside Temp Much Hotter than When Load Developed
Solution: Pull Bullets, Reload Ammo with Lighter Charge

A couple of years ago, I attended a match early in the shooting season and it was unusually hot for that time period. I heard a competitor worrying before the match about his gun “blowing up”. At first I was concerned, but after thinking about what he had said I realized that he meant his “accuracy” blowing up, meaning he knowingly had loaded his ammunition at the top end of an accuracy tune that he established via a ladder test. The next day I asked him how his scores were and he said the gun was not shooting very well initially, but he had found enough equipment from friends that were at the match and had pulled the bullets, reduced the powder charge by a few tenths of a grain and re-seated the bullets and his gun was now shooting normally. The temperature difference between his home range the weekend before when he established his load and the match conditions was about 30 degrees and that was enough to cause an accuracy change at 1000 yards.

Ammo cool storage

Bosch Insulated tool caseTo learn more about how ambient temperature (and primer choice) affect pressures (and hence velocities) you should read the article Pressure Factors: How Temperature, Powder, and Primer Affect Pressure by Denton Bramwell. In that article, the author uses a pressure trace instrument to analyze how temperature affects ammo performance. Bramwell’s tests yielded some fascinating results.

For example, barrel temperature was a key factor: “Both barrel temperature and powder temperature are important variables, and they are not the same variable. If you fail to take barrel temperature into account while doing pressure testing, your test results will be very significantly affected. The effect of barrel temperature is around 204 PSI per F° for the Varget load. If you’re not controlling barrel temperature, you about as well might not bother controlling powder temperature, either. In the cases investigated, barrel temperature is a much stronger variable than powder temperature.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
May 23rd, 2017

Precision Acrylic Loading Blocks from Bullets.com

Bullets.com Acrylic Loading Blocks Pistol Rifle

High-quality loading blocks precisely sized for your cartridge types make the reloading process easier. Bullets.com now offers acrylic loading blocks that set new standards for this kind of product. Precision CNC-machined from solid acrylic, these beautiful loading blocks were designed by a member of the U.S. Shooting Team. Dimensions are ultra-precise and these blocks even have a primer recess in each hole so the cases sit perfectly. You can order blocks for a variety of rifle cartridge types: .223 Rem Family, .308 Win Family, .308 Tall (.30-06), RSAUM and WSM Magnum, Magnum Tall, .338 LM Family, .50 BMG. In addition, there are blocks for most popular pistol cartridges: .380/9mm, .38 SPL, .38 Super, .40 SW, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP. These blocks are affordable, starting at just $10.95. The popular .308 Win Family blocks are $11.95.

Click photo to view full-screen image:
Bullets.com Acrylic Loading Blocks Pistol Rifle

Tech Insight — Acrylic Machining Process
The folks at Bullets.com tell us that machining acrylic is not as easy as it seems. Making precision blocks is a multi-stage process involving special equipment. Solid slabs are first machined flat so they are parallel. Then several custom cutters are used to craft precisely-arranged holes with nice chamfers on each hole as well as the outside edge. Every hole bottom has a milled, secondary primer pocket so the primers don’t contact the bottoms. The see-through blocks are finished to a nice sheen.

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
May 22nd, 2017

Bargain Finder 87: 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, 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. Brownells — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $199.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $199.99, after manufacturer’s rebate. Right now, Brownells is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $269.99. That’s a great deal considering all the hardware you get. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $150.00+. Next, you can save $20.00 and get Free Shipping with Brownells CODE M3T. (We confirmed that code works on 5/20/17). So the Brownells delivered price is $249.99 (using Code M3T). But here’s the real incentive — this Rock Chucker Supreme Kit qualifies for a Buck$ or Bullets Rebate — choose either $50 or 500 Speer bullets. If you take the fifty bucks ($50), that reduces your net cost to just $199.99 for the entire RCBS Reloading Kit. That’s a total steal.

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

2. EuroOptic — Vortex Viper 6-24x50mm PST FFP, $799.00

Eurooptic Vortex Viper FFP EBR First Focal tactical Scope Sale

Here’s a “killer deal” if you need a high-quality scope for PRS and tactical games. This Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm scope features an illuminated EBR-2C reticle with Mil-based hash marks. The tactical-style turrets have 0.1 Mil clicks with zero-stop. The 6X low-end magnification is wide enough for closer targets, while the 24X top end is plenty of magnification for long range. The 23 oz. scope, which features a rugged, 30mm one-piece main tube, carries Vortex’s full warranty. Note this is a First Focal Plane (FFP) scope. You can save hundreds with this deal — this optic sells elsewhere for up to $1049.00. NOTE: This item is showing “back-order”, but EuroOptic.com is expecting a big shipment this week — so place your orders now.

3. Amazon — Plano Double Rifle Case with Wheels, $114.92

Plano double scoped rifle case with wheels

This Plano Double Scoped Rifle Case is an Amazon Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is under $115.00, while the equivalent SKB is around $240.00, so you can buy two Planos for the price of one SKB. The 51.5″ interior will fit most scoped competition rifles up to about 29″ barrels (measure your own rifle to make sure). The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move through airports and parking lots. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money. Plus Amazon is offering FREE Shipping.

4. Amazon — Steiner AX830 8x30mm Binoculars, $126.30

Steiner AZ830 binoculars 8x30 Military Marine sale Amazon $114.49

Need a good set of rugged, affordable binoculars for hunting or varmint work? Then check out the Steiner AZ830 at $126.30. These are essentially identical to the respected Steiner Military Marine binoculars which sell for $220 or more. The only differences are the color and the packaging. The AZ830s are a black “house brand” created for Amazon by Steiner. Other than the color (black vs. OD Green) everything is the same. Same bright glass, same auto focus system, some tough rubber armor, same rock solid Steiner Heritage Warranty. We highly recommend these AZ830 binoculars. For under $130.00, you can’t beat them.

Editor’s Note: With these AZ830 Steiner binoculars, once you adjust the eyepieces, everything from 20 yards to infinity is in focus. This is a huge advantage in the field. I own the virtually identical Steiner 8×30 Military Marine model which has the same focus system.

5. Aero Precision — Upper & Lower Kit, FDE Cerakote, $193.49

AR AR16 Upper and Lower Aero Precision Kit

Thinking of putting together an accurate AR for the new PRS Gas Gun series (or 3-Gun matches)? Here’s a good place to start. Aero Precision now offers a $193.49 kit with stripped Upper and Lower Receivers — both with a durable Flat Dark Earth (Magpul FDE) Cerakote finish. Just add barrel, buttstock, trigger group, controls, and your bolt carrier group. Note: This Kit will work with the .223 Rem and similar-length, larger-caliber cartridges such as the 6mmAR and 6.5 Grendel. If you want to shoot a 6.5 Creedmoor, you’ll need an AR10 platform rifle.

6. Midsouth — Hornady LnL Auto Charge Scale/Dispenser, $159.99

Hornady Lock and load auto charge scale powder dispenser sale discount

The Hornady Lock N Load Auto Charge Electronic Scale/Dispenser is now on sale for just $159.99 at Midsouth Shooters Supply, discounted way down from the regular $226.24 price. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on this product in a long time, making this a real bargain. If you are looking for an affordable, combo digital scale and powder dispenser, this is a great deal. By comparison, the new RCBS ChargeMaster Lite sells for around $250.00 and is back-ordered at many vendors. That means you can save at least $90.00 by buying RED instead of GREEN.

7. CDNN — Remington RP9 9x19mm Pistol, $249.99 with Rebate

Remington RP9 9mm pistol handgun service Rebate sale discount

Here’s a killer deal on a modern, full-size, 9mm pistol. The striker-fired Remington RP9 is similar to Smith & Wesson’s popular M&P9, but we prefer the Remington’s grip ergonomics, and the RP9 is much less expensive. The RP9 comes with three (3) grip inserts and two (2) 18-round magazines. CDNN’s retail price is $299.99, but this pistol qualifies for a $50 mail-in Rebate from Remington. That knocks your net cost down to $249.99. That’s a heck of a bargain for a nicely-designed, American-made pistol. We’ve shot this Remington RP9 pistol and definitely prefer its ergonomics/controls over those of the full-size 9mm Glock 17.

8. Bass Pro — Federal Value Pack .22 LR, 325 Rds for $19.99

Federal .22 LR Rimfire Ammo ammunition auto-match Target Grade bulk pack

This Federal Auto-Match .22 LR ammo is just 6.2 cents per round — the kind of pricing on bulk rimfire ammo we used to see in the “good old days”. Act quickly, this $19.99 Federal .22 LR Ammo deal at Bass Pro Shops won’t last long. Each box contains 325 rounds — enough ammo for many sessions at the range. The bullets are 40 grains, solid lead.

9. Home Depot — 72″ Wood Workbench for $75.36

Folding Wood Work Bench Home Deport Reloading

This patented Home Depot workbench assembles in a few minutes. Simply unfold the legs, pop in the shelf, and you are ready to start your project. Made from Premium 2×4 Hemlock fastened with glue and screws, this workbench is a great value. The bench (72″ wide x 35″ high x 22″ deep) can easily be stored when not in use. NOTE: The wood is unfinished (can be painted or stained).

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 22nd, 2017

Accurate Cartridges — The .284 Shehane, an Improved .284 Win

F-Class Reloading .284 Winchester Win Shehane Accuracy

If you look at that 5-round group you might think it was shot with a 6 PPC or maybe a 6mmBR. But no, this was done with heavy 180gr Berger Hybrid bullets and the .284 Shehane, an improved version of the .284 Winchester. In fact, this impressive sub-quarter MOA group was shot while fire-forming with a very well-worn barrel!

Gun builder Ryan Pierce of Piercision Rifles explains:

Here’s a 5-shot 0.191″ group at 100 yards with my .284 Shehane fireforming loads. This barrel has 2200 rounds through it. It had 2000 as a straight .284 Win and then I set it back to .284 Shehane to form brass with. This was the first five rounds through it after I cleaned it after the last match. [The load was] 180 Hybrids with 54.0 grains of H4831 SC.

Ya, I figured why not I had some old barrels laying around so I just chopped 2″ off the back and 1″ off the front and chambered it up as a Shehane. Had 1000 pieces to fireform and didn’t want to do all that on a brand new barrel.

My fireform loads are going 2765 FPS. I have a 29″ barrel also though since it’s a setback. Once you get it formed I would push it faster than that or I wouldn’t even bother with the Shehane. My old straight .284 load at 2890 fps had ES spread in single digits for 10 shots. I figured if I get it up to 2935-2950 fps that will be a point or two saved in a several day match.

.284 Winchester Shehane Reamer Print PT&G

Fellow .284 Shehane shooter Erik Cortina notes that the .284 Shehane has a velocity edge over the straight .284 Win because it holds more powder: “The Shehane has more capacity than the .284 Winchester. Ryan is using 54.0 grains simply as a fire-forming load. Typical load for a Shehane is around 57.0 grains of Hodgdon H4831 SC.” By blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with H4831sc, with long barrels.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading No Comments »
May 19th, 2017

Make Your Own Threaded Case for Measuring Length to Lands

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 Winchester you can get more consistent measurements if you make a custom modified case from a piece of brass fired in your chamber.

The process is straight-forward. Take a piece of brass fired in your chamber and full-length size it (with about .002″ shoulder bump). Then you need to drill out the primer pocket. Erik uses a mini-lathe for the operation, but this general process can be done with a drill press or other tools. Erik shows how to do this with a 0.290″ HSS (High Speed Steel) drill bit on a mini-lathe. After drilling the hole comes the tricky part — you need to tap the case with the precise 5/16″ x 36 threads per inch (tpi) right-hand thread that matches the male thread on the O.A.L. Gauge. This 5/16″ x 36 tpi tap is pretty uncommon, but you can order it from Amazon.com if you can’t source it locally.

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

If you use a mini-lathe, Erik suggests loosening the tailstock slightly, so it can float while cutting the threads. Erik also says: “Make sure you get the tap on pretty tight — it’s going to want to spin.” Erik turns the case at about 100 rpm when tapping the threads. Once the case and tap are rigged, the actual tapping process (see video at 6:00) takes only a few seconds. While the mini-lathe makes the tapping process go more quickly, the threading can also be done with other systems.

TIP: Don’t just make one modified case, make three. That gives you one for your range kit, one for your home reloading bench, plus a spare (since you WILL eventually lose or misplace one).


Here’s the Stuff You Need

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

5/16″-36 TPI Threading Tap
The required thread is somewhat uncommon. You need a 5/16″ – 36 tpi Right Hand Thread Tap. If you can’t find it locally, Amazon.com carries the correct tap. Erik notes: “The 5/16-36 tpi tap is not a common size. I think Hornady did this on purpose to make it more difficult for the average guy to make his own modified cases.”

0.290″ Drill Bit
Erik uses an 0.290″ HSS “L” drill bit. (This “L” Letter Gauge code designates a 0.290″ diameter bit). A close metric equivalent would be 7.3 mm (0.286″). Erik says: “A 9/32″ drill will also work but it will be harder to run the tap in since the hole will be .281″ instead of .290″ with the Letter Gauge L bit.”

Tips for Using O.A.L. Gauge with Modified Case
We’ve noticed that many folks have trouble getting reliable, consistent results when they first start using the Hornady O.A.L. Gauge (formerly the Stoney Point Tool). We’ve found this is usually because they don’t seat the modified case properly and because they don’t use a gentle, consistent method of advancing the bullet until it just kisses the lands.

Here is our suggested procedure for use the O.A.L. Gauge. Following this method we can typically make three of four measurements (with the same bullet), all within .001″ to .0015″. (Yes, we always measure multiple times.)

1. Clean your chamber so there is no build-up of carbon, debris, or lube. Pay particular attention to the shoulder area.

2. Screw the modified case on to the O.A.L. Gauge. Make sure it is seated firmly (and doesn’t spin loose). Note, you may have to re-tighten the modified case after insertion in the chamber.

3. Place your selected bullet so that the ogive (max bullet diameter) is behind the case mouth. This prevents the bullet from “snagging” as you insert the tool in the action.

4. Insert the O.A.L. Gauge into your chamber smoothly. Push a little until you feel resistance. IMPORTANT — You need to ensure that the shoulder of the modified case is seated firmly against the front of your chamber. You may have to wiggle and twist the tool slightly. If you do not have the modified case seated all the way in, you will NOT get a valid measurement.

5. Advance the bullet slowly. (NOTE: This is the most important aspect for consistency!). Push the rod of the O.A.L. tool gently towards the chamber. DON’T shove it hard! Easy does it. Stop when you feel resistance.

6. IMPORTANT. After gently pushing on the rod, give the end of the rod a couple forward taps with your finger. If your bullet was slightly skewed, it may have stopped too far back. Adding a couple extra taps will fix that. If the bullet moves after the taps, then again push gently on the rod. NOT too much! You just want to push the bullet until it just “kisses” the lands and then stops. Do NOT jam the bullet into the rifling. If you do that you will never get consistent results from one measurement to the next.

* For a $15.00 fee, Hornady will make a custom modified case for you if you send two fired pieces of brass. Send two fired cases and $15.00 check to: Hornady Manufacturing, Attn: Modified Cases, 108 S. Apollo St., Alda, NE 68810. More Info HERE.

Permalink - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
May 15th, 2017

Bargain Finder 86: 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, 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. MidwayUSA — Bushnell 25% Rebates & MidwayUSA Optics Sale

Bushnell 25 25% rebate scope, rangefinder, binoculars, rebate June MidwayUSA

Save big bucks on Bushnell. Now through June 6, 2017, Bushnell is offering 25% OFF mail-in rebates. Combine that will special sale pricing now at MidwayUSA.com and you can save hundreds on popular optics. For example, the Bushnell 4.5-30x50mm Elite Tactical ERS Mildot scope retails for $979.00. That 25% rebate will save you $244.75, lowering your net cost to $734.25! In addition to riflescopes, the Bushnell Rebate knocks 25% off of Bushnell binoculars, laser rangefinders, spotting scopes, GPS units, and even trail cams. CLICK HERE for Bushnell 25% Rebate details.

2. Precision Reloading — 10% Off All Battenfeld Brands

Battenfeld Technologies Tipton Wheeler Goldenrod Caldwell Frankfor sale discount Precision Reloading

Now through May 23, 2017 Precision Reloading is running a great sale on all products from Battenfeld Technologies’ well-known brands: Caldwell, Tipton, Frankford Arsenal, Wheeler Accuracy and more. We own a number of these products, such as the Tipton Gun Vise, which has delivered years of great service. We like the Tipton Ultra nickle-plated jags, and the Caldwell “The Rock BR” front rest offers great “bang for the buck”.

Here are some recommended Battenfeld Technologies Brand Products on Sale:

Caldwell Ballistic Cam System, $332.99
Caldwell “The Rock” Benchrest Shooting Rest, $130.49
Tipton Gun Vise, $40.49
Tipton Nickle-Plated Ultra Jag Set, $15.29
Wheeler Digital Trigger Pull Gauge, $49.99
Golden Rod 18″ Dehumidifier Rod, $31.49

3. Brownells — Smith & Wesson Pistols with $75 Rebate

Brownells Smith Wesson S&W carry pistol 9mm .380 rebate bargain

If you need a carry pistol, now’s a great time to buy. Smith & Wesson is offering a $75.00 mail-in rebate on many of its most popular, compact handguns. In addition, a selection of small S&W semi-auto pistols is on sale now at Brownells.com. When you combine the sale discounts with Manufacturer Rebate, you can pick up an S&W pistol for as little as $239.99 after Rebate. That’s less than half what you’d pay for a Glock. CLICK HERE for S&W Specials at Brownells.

4. Natchez — Special 5 Reloading Press Kit, $199.99

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

Looking for a great holiday gift for a family member getting started in metallic cartridge reloading? This RCBS Kit has everything a new reloader needs: single-stage press, powder measure, scale, powder trickler, priming tool, cartridge tray, “rocket” chamfer tool, case lube and more. This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, on sale for just $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you may want to add an additional, large heavy press, but this will get the job done. For the combined package, with all the tools one needs to hand-load quality ammo — this is a stunningly good deal at $199.99.

5. Amazon — Lyman Case Prep Xpress $103.99

Lyman Case Prep Xpress Express Brass Reloading PrpeDeals Week Accurateshooter

The Lyman Case Prep Xpress lets you chamfer inside and out, brush your necks, clean/uniform primer pockets, and ream military crimps. On sale at Amazon.com with $103.99 Prime pricing, this is a good deal. Lyman’s Case Prep Xpress sells elsewhere for $130.00 or more. Here is a review from a Verified Purchaser: “The unit is quiet, sturdy, and the attachments do what they are supposed to do. It already has made a difference in my reloading speed, and most importantly, my comfort. I highly recommend this unit.” (Strafer, 4/7/14)

6. CDNN — Browning Maple X-Bolt Medallion, $899.99

Browning X-Bolt Medallion

CDNN Sports has some of the nicest modern Browning rifles we’ve seen. These deluxe Maple-stocked X-Bolt Medallion Rifles are now on sale for $899.99, marked down from $1519.99. The machine-engraved receiver features a polished blued finish, and is glass bedded into the stock. The free-floating barrel is high-gloss blued, hand-chambered and finished with a target crown. The bolt has a 60° lift and the trigger is adjustable. The stock is a high gloss AAA maple with rosewood fore-end and pistol grip cap. These are very nice rifles that any shooter would be proud to own.

7. Amazon — 34 dB Noise Rating Ear Muffs, $17.45

34dB NRR 32 hearing protection earmuffs

These 34 dB NRR earmuffs provide excellent sound protection without being too heavy and bulky. At at $17.45, they are a great bargain. The lower section of the muff is trimmed for a narrower profile — that helps with rifle and shotgun stocks. The headband is adjustable and has comfortable padding. These Pro For Sho Muffs have earned a 4 1/2 star consumer rating, with over 1,600 Amazon customer reviews. NOTE: These fit pretty tight. If you have a very large hat size you might want a different brand.

8. Midsouth — Lee Auto Bench Priming Tool, $23.99

discount Lee Priming bench tool primer tray

This relatively new bench tool does the job very well, and it’s easy to change primer sizes and shell holders. The “feel” of this tool is very good (better than most other bench priming units). If you like to pre-prime cases before using a progressive — this $23.99 Lee Bench Priming Tool gets the job done fast. The tool includes a new folding tray with built-in primer-flipping feature that allows direct filling from common primer boxes. The tool mounting holes are spaced for the Lee Bench Plate system (#006-90251) or the device can be mounted directly to your workbench. REVIEWS by verified purchasers.

9. Amazon — Discovery Scope Level $13-$16 (1″, 30mm)

Optical Rifle Scope bubble level Discovery 30mm 1 inch 34mm Amazon

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This Discovery scope level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It is available with inner diameters to fit scopes with either 1″ or 30mm main tubes. The 1″ version is just $12.99 while the 30mm model is $13.95. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product: 89% of verified buyers rated this five stars.

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May 13th, 2017

Forster Co-Ax Press — Unique Operation Showcased in Video

Forster Co-Ax Coax Reloading Press Grafs Grafs.com Sale Co-Axial rockchucker

In recent years, Forster Co-Ax® presses have been somewhat hard to find, as demand has out-stripped supply. However, right now Grafs.com has Co-Ax presses in stock, at just $299.99 — that’s six percent off the regular price. This sale price includes a set of jaws, and includes ground shipping (in the lower 48), after a single $7.95 (per order) handling fee. If you’ve been hankering for a Co-Ax press, now is definitely a good time to buy.

If you are not yet familiar with the many unique features of the Forster Co-Ax, we recommend you watch the video embedded below. This shows how the press operates and highlights the design elements which set the Co-Ax apart from every other reloading press on the market.

Video Shows Special Features of Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press

Forster Co-Ax Press Video Review
This is a very thorough review of the Forster Co-Ax done by Rex Roach. This 14-minute video shows the key Co-Ax features, explaining how the floating case-holder jaws work (3:30 time-mark), how the dies are held in place (4:40 time-mark), how spent primers are captured (6:10 time-mark), and how to set the primer seating depth (10:00 time-mark). We’ve used a Co-Ax for years and we still learned a few new things by watching this detailed video. If you are considering purchasing a Co-Ax, definitely watch this video start to finish.

Forster Co-Ax Coax Reloading Press Grafs Grafs.com Sale Co-Axial rockchucker

The Co-Ax case-holder features spring-loaded, floating jaws. These jaws have two sets of openings, small and large. This allows the system to adapt to various rim diameters. The jaw plates can simply be reversed to switch from small jaw to large jaw. In the photo above, the Co-Ax is configured with the large jaw openings in the center.

Photos are screen shots from Forster Co-Ax Review by Rex Roach on YouTube.

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May 11th, 2017

New $600 Competition Primer Seater from Primal Rights

Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater System Rifleshooter.com gear review

Seating primers is kind of a “dark art”. Many top shooters prefer to seat “by feel” using a hand tool. Others prefer bench-mounted tools that offer higher work-flow rates — with a good bench tool you can prime more cases in a given amount of time, plus it’s easier on the hands.

There have been many bench-mounted priming options — Forster has a tool, as does RCBS, and Lee. But there is a new player in the game — Primal Rights of South Dakota. And Primal Rights’ new Competition Primer Seater (CPS) may be the most precise bench priming tool yet offered to the public. It is certainly the most expensive. This patented tool costs $600.00! But the CPS delivers something special — superb, repeatable depth control, along with the ability to prime 1000 cases per hour. For some reloaders, that precision + productivity will justify the high price.

Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater System Rifleshooter.com gear review

The Primal Rights CPS is built like a Swiss watch — the machining is beautiful. It also uses some unique internal engineering to achieve a superb “feel” when priming. Unlike some other tools, it is also very easy to adjust — simply turn a wheel to adjust seating depth. You can see this in the photos — the word “Deeper” with the directional arrow.

Operation of Competition Primer System Shown in Video:

Key Features of the Primal Rights CPS, as stated by the manufacturer:

Speed with Precision: Some priming tools are very fast. Others are very precise. The CPS is the only priming tool to combine both features into a single unit. You can achieve seating depths accurate to within a thousandth of an inch, all while priming at a comfortable rate of over 20 cases per minute. At that pace you can easily prime over a thousand cases per hour.

Precision Primer Seating Depth Control: The CPS has a revolutionary adjustable shell holder system which allows you to raise and lower your case in relation to the priming rod. You can seat the primer deeper or shallower in .001″ increments. The adjustment mechanism has tactile and audible clicks to ensure you stay on your desired seating depth. One click = One thousandth of an inch adjustment.

Integrated Shuttle Feeding System: The CPS uses a manually-operated shuttle system to slide primers from the primer tube into position over the primer rod. This ensures that any jams or misaligned primers are easily and safely discovered by the operator.

Check Out Competition Primer Seater Gear Review on Rifleshooter.com
Our friend Bill at RifleShooter.com has just released a detailed review of Primal Rights’ bench-mounted priming tool. He was very impressed with the Primal Rights CPS, finding that it was fast to use yet very precise, with great feel: “The CPS uses a rotational drive system to seat primers. Unlike the lever systems you’ll normally encounter, this allows you better feel as the primer seats. The CPS is expensive. However, it is a solid tool. Amortize it over the time you’ll be reloading and it’ll be worth every cent. If you load a lot of precision ammunition and have the budget to support it, take a look at the CPS. I found it is a game changer. I wish I had one twenty years ago!” READ REVIEW.

Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater System Rifleshooter.com gear review

» Read Competition Primer Seater Review on Rifleshooter.com

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 18 Comments »
May 11th, 2017

At Long Last — Hodgdon Shipping H4350 Powder This Week

Hodgdon H4350 Australia powder 6XC 6.5 Creedmoor
Say Hallelujah. These are pallets of Hodgdon H4350, something that’s been very hard to find recently. Check with Bruno’s, Graf’s, Midsouth and Powder Valley very soon.

Hodgdon H4350 has been the Holy Grail of reloading powders — highly desired but near impossible to find. For many popular cartridges such as 6XC, 6.5×47, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .260 Remington, H4350 has been the powder to beat — the “gold standard” for accuracy, low ES/SD, and temp stability. Unfortunately, H4350 has been in very short supply for the last couple of years. Major vendors such as Grafs.com, Midsouth and Powder Valley have been back-ordered for a long, long time.

But now that may change. Hodgdon has received a very large supply of H4350, and has started shipping pallets of the popular powder this week. The photo above was taken May 9, 2017. Hodgdon announced: “We have a lot of powder going out the door most days, but we have some special powder going out again this week. This should be on your local reloading shops’ shelves in the next couple weeks. Reloaders, rejoice!” If you’re in need of H4350, we recommend you contact your favorite shooting shop or online distributors soon. And guys — buy what you need, but don’t horde. Leave some for other shooters.

Hodgdon H4350 Australia powder 6XC 6.5 Creedmoor

Instagram photo courtesy National Rifle League.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading 9 Comments »
May 9th, 2017

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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May 8th, 2017

Bargain Finder 85: 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, 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. Cabela’s — Remington 700 ADL Commemorative Rifle, $549.99

Remington 700 ADL Commemorative Hunting Rifle

Each week, Cabelas.com offers select Guns of the Week at special discounted prices. This week one choice is a special 200th Anniversary Remington 700 ADL with upgraded stock. This handsome rifle is $100.00 off, marked down to $549.99 from $649.99. The figured Walnut stock features deluxe Fleur de Lis checkering, plus a Commemorative grip cap. This special model 700 ADL with 24″ blued barrel is offered in three popular chamberings: .243 Winchester, .270 Winchester, and .30-06 Springfield.

2. Amazon — Frankford Complete Master Tumbler Kit, $53.46

Master tumbler reloading kit Frankford Arsenal

This Master Tumbler Kit contains everything you need to tumble rifle or pistol brass. Now on sale for $53.46 with free Prime shipping, this Kit contains: Vibratory Tumbler, Rotary Media Separator, Plastic Bucket, 3 lbs. Cleaning Media, and 4 oz. Brass Polish. NOTE: We considered this an excellent deal when it was priced at $67.99. At $53.46 it is a total steal — you could easily pay that much for a decent vibratory tumbler alone.

3. Grafs.com — 60 for 60 Specials Starting Tuesday, May 9th

Grafs.com Graf Sons sixty anniversary 60 sale discount 60% off

This year Graf & Sons is celebrating its 60th year in business. To mark this milestone, Graf’s is having a series of big sales, with huge discounts (up to 60%), and some free product give-aways. This Tuesday, May 9th, Grafs.com will run a special 60 for 60 Flash Sale. This starts at 12:00 PM CT and has items up to 60% off, plus prizes including Free Ammo. An example of the great deals are Walker Ear Muffs at $4.99, 60% off the regular $11.99 price. NOTE: Flash Sale starts TUESDAY May 9, 2017.

4. Monmouth Reloading — Nosler RDF Bullets, $28-$29 per 100

Monmouth Nosler RDF bullets 6mm 6.5 mm Creedmoor 140 175 105 reduced drag factor

Nosler’s line of RDF (Reduced Drag Factor) bullets have high BCs for their weight. Precision shooters are reporting outstanding accuracy. Given their high performance and consistency, RDF bullets represent a superior value. At Monmouth Reloading you can get Nosler RDFs for under $29 per 100 for popular 6mm, 6.5 mm, and .30-Cal sizes. That’s up to $20 less per box than some premium brands.

.30 Cal 175 grain $28.99/100 (0.536 G1)
6.5mm 140 grain $28.50/100 (0.658 G1)

6mm 105 grain $27.99/100 (0.571 G1)
.224 70 grain $25.49/100 (0.416 G1)

5. Cabela’s — Sellier & Bellot Primers, $19.99/1000

Sellier Bellot Primer Sale Small Rifle Pistol Cabela's

There’s a new line of primers on the market, produced by Czech factory Sellier & Bellot. You can save up to 30% compared to name-brand American primers. For example, the S&B Small rifle primers are now just $19.99 at Cabelas.com, compared to $28.00 for CCI Small Rifle Primers at Powder Valley. We’ve shot the S&B pistol ammo and it was very reliable so we wouldn’t hesitate to use these primers for practice ammo in rifle or pistol. This is an attractive option for high-volume reloaders.

6. B&H — Kowa TSN-601 Angled Spotting Scope Body, $269.00

wind mirage spotter spotting scope

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Kowa TSN-601 Angled Body for just $269.00 from B&H Photo. An eyepiece will run another $275.00 or so. Though relatively inexpensive, the TSN-601 is used by many top marksmen. This doesn’t have the resolution of the $1500+ spotters but this is fine for viewing mirage and spotters.

7. Grafs.com — Magnetospeed Sporter $178.99

Deals of Week magnetospeed sporter grafs.com

If you have been waiting to get a Magnetospeed… wait no longer. Priced at just $178.99 at Grafs.com, the Magnetospeed Sporter model costs less than half as much as Magnetospeed’s V3 models. This chronograph attaches directly to your barrel so you don’t have to go downrange to position tripods and set up skyscreens. For most people the Sporter Model contains all the features they need. Using Magnetospeed’s XFR adapter (sold separately), data can be transferred easily from the display module to your mobile device. READ Magnetospeed Sporter Review. Brownells also has the Magnetospeed Sporter at $179.99, and (for a limited time) you can get FREE Shipping with Brownells CODE “MAY”.

8. Sportsman’s Guide — CCI .22 LR Ammo, $3.49 per Box!

CCI rimfire ammo bargain discount $3.32 box

This is the cheapest price we’ve seen in a long time for name-brand .22 LR Rimfire ammo. The sale price of $3.49 per 50-ct box works out to just seven cents a round for this 40gr CCI Blazer rimfire ammo. At that price can enjoy rimfire plinking without worrying about cost — just like the “good old days”. Member price is even lower — $3.32 per box. Grab this CCI Ammo at this rock-bottom price before it sells out.

9. Amazon — 630 1″-Diameter Target Spots, $9.65 Delivered

Amazon target dots discount free shipping sight-in target

We use 1″-diameter Target Spots for sight-in and practice at 100-300 yards. These bright red/orange self-adhesive dots are easy to see. At 100 yards the high-contrast black diamond centers provide precise aiming points. We found this 10-pack of target spots on Amazon at a rock-bottom price. You get 630 total stick-on dots for just $9.65 with FREE Shipping. You can also get 360 Birchwood Casey 1″ dots from Midsouth for just $3.15, but shipping is extra. If you’re already ordering something from Midsouth, you may want to add the dots to your order.

10. Amazon — RCBS Quick-Change Powder Funnel Kit, $11.99

Amazon RCBS Powder funnel quick kit

This is versatile, affordable funnel system works with virtually all cartridge types, from 17 Remington up to 500 S&W. Even if you have a fancy metal funnel, its worth having one of these kits on your reloading bench. The RCBS Quick Change Powder Funnel Kit features five (5) adapters that match case mouth diameter for efficient loading: 17-20 caliber, 22-264 caliber, 27-284 caliber, 30-375 caliber, 40 caliber and higher. The Funnel Kit includes a handy 4-inch drop tube.

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May 5th, 2017

Bullet Concentricity Basics — What You Need to Know

Sinclair concentricity 101 eccentricity run-out reloading plans

Sinclair International reloading toolsSinclair International has released an interesting article about Case Concentricity* and bullet “run-out”. This instructional article by Bob Kohl explains the reasons brass can exhibit poor concentricity, and why high bullet run-out can be detrimental to accuracy.

Concentricity, Bullet Alignment, and Accuracy by Bob Kohl
The purpose of loading your own ammo is to minimize all the variables that can affect accuracy and can be controlled with proper and conscientious handloading. Concentricity and bullet run-out are important when you’re loading for accuracy. Ideally, it’s important to strive to make each round the same as the one before it and the one after it. It’s a simple issue of uniformity.

The reason shooters work with tools and gauges to measure and control concentricity is simple: to make sure the bullet starts down the bore consistently in line with the bore. If the case isn’t properly concentric and the bullet isn’t properly aligned down the center of the bore, the bullet will enter the rifling inconsistently. While the bore might force the bullet to align itself with the bore (but normally it doesn’t), the bullet may be damaged or overstressed in the process – if it even it corrects itself in transit. These are issues we strive to remedy by handloading, to maintain the best standard possible for accurate ammunition.

The term “concentricity” is derived from “concentric circle”. In simple terms it’s the issue of having the outside of the cartridge in a concentric circle around the center. That goes from case head and center of the flash hole, to the tip of the bullet.

Factors Affecting Concentricity

The point of using this term is to identify a series of issues that affect accurate ammunition. Ideally this would work best with a straight-walled case; but since most rifle cartridge cases are tapered, it equates to the smallest cross section that can be measured point by point to verify the concentric circle around the center. For the examples below, I’m working with .308 Winchester ammo.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 1: The cartridge.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 2: Centerline axis of the case, extending from flash hole to case mouth.

The case walls have to be in perfect alignment with the center, or axis, of that case, even if it’s measured at a thousandth of an inch per segment (in a tapered case).

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 3: Case body in alignment with its axis, or centerline, even in a tapered case.

The case neck must also be in alignment with its axis. By not doing so you can have erratic bullet entry into the bore. The case neck wall itself should be as uniform as possible in alignment and in thickness (see the M80 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge in Figure 5) and brass can change its alignment and shape. It’s why we expand the case neck or while some folks ream the inside of the neck and then turn the outside for consistent thickness, which affects the tension on the bullet when seated.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 4: Neck in alignment with center of the case axis.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 5: Variations in case neck wall thickness, especially on some military brass, can cause an offset of the bullet in its alignment. This is an M80 ball round. Note the distinct difference of the neck walls.

Having a ball micrometer on hand helps, especially with military brass like 7.62x51mm in a semi-auto rifle, where there are limits as to how thin you want the neck walls to be. In the case of 7.62 ball brass you want to keep the wall to .0145″.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 6: A ball micrometer like this RCBS tool (#100-010-268) can measure case neck thickness.

Turning the outside of the neck wall is important with .308 military cases regardless of whether you expand or ream the neck walls. There are several outside neck turning tools from Forster, Hornady, Sinclair, and others. I’ve been using classic Forster case trimming (#100-203-301) and neck turning (#749-012-890) tools for 40 years.

Bullet Run-Out
The cartridge, after being loaded, still needs to be in alignment with the center of the case axis. Figure 7 shows a bad example of this, a round of M80 ball. A tilted bullet is measured for what’s known as bullet “run-out”.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 7: An M80 round with the bullet tilted and not aligned with the axis. This will be a flyer!

Run-out can be affected by several things: (1) improperly indexing your case while sizing, which includes not using the proper shell holder, especially while using a normal expander ball on the sizing die (it also can stretch the brass). (2) The head of a turret press can flex; and (3) improper or sloppy bullet seating. This is also relevant when it comes to using a progressive press when trying to load accuracy ammo.

Mid Tompkins came up with a simple solution for better bullet seating years ago. Seat your bullet half way into the case, back off the seater die and rotate the case 180 degrees before you finish seating the bullet. It cuts down on run-out problems, especially with military brass. You also want to gently ream the inside of the neck mouth to keep from having any brass mar the surface of the bullet jacket and make proper seating easier. A tilted bullet often means a flyer.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 8: Proper alignment from the center of the case head to the tip of the bullet.

CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE With More Photos and Tips


*Actually some folks would say that if we are talking about things being off-center or out-of-round, we are actually talking about “eccentricity”. But the tools we use are called “Concentricity Gauges” and Concentricity is the term most commonly used when discussing this subject.

Story Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
May 1st, 2017

Bargain Finder 84: 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, 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. Monmouth Reloading — Nosler RDF Bullets, $28-$29 per 100

Monmouth Nosler RDF bullets 6mm 6.5 mm Creedmoor 140 175 105 reduced drag factor

Nosler’s line of RDF (Reduced Drag Factor) bullets have very high BCs for their weight. Precision shooters are reporting outstanding accuracy. Given their high performance and consistency, RDF bullets represent a superior value. At Monmouth Reloading you can get Nosler RDFs for under $29 per 100 for popular 6mm, 6.5 mm, and .30-Cal sizes. That’s up to $20 less per box than some premium brands. Based on user reports, we recommend you start with these pretty far out from the lands. One shooter using the 6.5 mm 140-grainer reports: “This bullet likes to jump. Berger Hybrids liked a jump of about 0.010″ – 0.020″. Once I seated the RDFs to jump 0.045″, my groups shrank to about 0.3 MOA. You cannot beat the price or performance of this bullet!”

.30 Cal 175 grain $28.99/100 (0.536 G1)

6.5mm 140 grain $28.50/100 (0.658 G1)

6mm 105 grain $27.99/100 (0.571 G1)

.224 70 grain $25.49/100 (0.416 G1)

2. Amazon.com — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $279.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $229.99, after manufacturer’s rebate. Right now, Amazon is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $279.99. That’s a great deal considering all the hardware you get. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $150.00+. But here’s the real incentive — this Rock Chucker Supreme Kit qualifies for a Buck$ or Bullets Rebate — choose either $50 or 500 Speer bullets. If you take the fifty bucks ($50), that reduces your net cost to just $229.00 for the entire RCBS Reloading Kit. That’s a total steal. NOTE: Cabelas.com also sells this RCBS Kit for the same $279.99 (before rebate).

3. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.45

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 2700 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $16.45, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths. These are inexpensive but will do the job for basic tasks.

4. Natchez — Surplus SKB 5041 Transport Cases, $129.99

SKB Rifle Case Military Surplus 50

Natchez has obtained a supply of British MOD Surplus SKB 5041 rifle cases. These were ordered as mine detector cases, but were never issued. Natchez has removed the foam cut for the detectors and replaced it with new 2-piece convoluted foam. Interior dimension of the case is 50″x14.5″x5″ so this will hold long-barrel match rifles comfortably. These are extremely high-quality cases, very tough and rugged, waterproof with gaskets. These cases feature four SKB patented trigger latches, four reinforced padlock locations, and inline wheels. Though in excellent condition, some case may have minor exterior scuffs. You won’t find a better case at anywhere near the price. These normally retail for $299.99.

5. Amazon — Lyman Case Prep Xpress $103.99

Lyman Case Prep Xpress Express Brass Reloading PrpeDeals Week Accurateshooter

The Lyman Case Prep Xpress lets you chamfer inside and out, brush your necks, clean/uniform primer pockets, and ream military crimps. On sale at Amazon.com with $103.99 Prime pricing, this is a good deal. Lyman’s Case Prep Xpress sells elsewhere for $130.00 or more. Here is a review from a Verified Purchaser: “The unit is quiet, sturdy, and the attachments do what they are supposed to do. It already has made a difference in my reloading speed, and most importantly, my comfort. I highly recommend this unit.” (Strafer, 4/7/14)

6. Midsouth — Norma Tac-22 .22 LR Ammo, $3.99/box

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

This Norma .22 LR ammo shoots WAY better than you’d expect given the low price — just $3.99 per 50ct box at Midsouth. These test targets come from Champion Shooters Supply. That vendor reports: “We have found this to run very well in Ruger rifles, handguns, and target pistols. These are 5-shot groups at 50 yards with an Anschutz 1913 rifle. This is an incredible value.” We suggest you grab some of this Tac-22 while you can at these rock-bottom prices.

Norma Tac22 Tac-22 .22 LR rimfire 22LR ammunition ammo

7. Midsouth — Hornady LnL Auto Charge Scale/Dispenser, $159.99

Hornady Lock and load auto charge scale powder dispenser sale discount

The Hornady Lock N Load Auto Charge Electronic Scale/Dispenser is now on sale for just $159.99 at Midsouth Shooters Supply, discounted way down from the regular $226.24 price. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on this product in a long time, making this a real bargain. If you are looking for an affordable combination digital scale and powder dispenser, this is very attractive pricing. By comparison, the new RCBS ChargeMaster Lite sells for around $250.00 and is back-ordered at most vendors. That means you can save at least $90.00 by buying RED instead of GREEN.

8. Amazon — Cotton Cleaning Patches, 800 for $9.99 – $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 $9.99 for 800 one-inch “17 Cal” patches. For 6mm rifles, we actually like the 1.25″ round “22/223″ sized patches priced at $11.99 for 800. Choose either round patches or square patches in most sizes. We generally like round patches for use with spire-tip jags, but some shooters prefer to wrap their patches around a jag or brush and square patches work better for wrapping. The large, 2″-square .30 Cal patches cost $17.99 for 800. These prices include FREE Shipping for Prime Members.

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April 29th, 2017

Sinclair Int’l Offers 8-Part Series of Reloading Videos

free reloading videos sinclair international

Sinclair International has created a series of instructional videos illustrating the basics of metallic cartridge reloading. The 8-part series starts with reloading basics and provides step-by-step, how-to instructions that will help new reloaders get started. Detailed, animated illustrations show you what happens inside the chamber when shooting, and inside the dies during each step of reloading. The videos can be viewed on Sinclair Int’l’s YouTube page. Shown below is the first video in the series:

Each of the eight videos is hosted by Sinclair Int’l President Bill Gravatt. Bill doesn’t just show you “how”, he tells you “why”. The how-to segments cover case inspection, proper die set up, case sizing, primer installation, powder measuring, bullet seating, crimping, and even goes into the record keeping needed for the handloader. “We wanted to give shooters who haven’t reloaded a look at all the advantages of creating your own ammo and how easy it is to get started,” said Gravatt, “without telling them they had to have any certain brand or type of equipment to do the job.” The eight videos are:

Part 1 — Intro to Video Series
Part 2 — Intro to Reloading Safety
Part 3 — Metallic Cartridge Components
Part 4 — The Firing Sequence
Part 5 — Tools for Reloading
Part 6 — Loading Bottle-Neck Cartridges
Part 7 — Loading Straight Wall Cartridges
Part 8 — Reloading Series Conclusion

Reloading Tools
Shown below is Part 5 of the video series, covering the tools used for precision reloading.

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April 28th, 2017

Shot Costs Calculated for .223 Rem, 6BR, 6XC, .308 Win, 6.5×284

Shooting Cost by Cartridge Caliber type USAMU

Estimating Actual Cost per Round by Caliber
This article comes from the USAMU, which provide shooting and reloading tips on its Facebook Page. This week’s USAMU TECH TIP outlines a ballpark-estimate method of calculating the actual cost per round of different calibers. Some applications, and some shooters, by virtue of their high level of competition, require the very best ballistic performance available — “Darn the cost, full speed ahead!

If you are in serious contention to win a major competition, then losing even a single point to inferior ballistic performance could cost you a national title or record. However, this “horsepower” does come at a cost! Some calibers are barrel-burners, and some offer much longer barrel life. Look at this comparison chart:

Estimated Cost Per Round by Cartridge Type

Below are some estimated total expense per round (practice and competition) based on component costs, type used, expected barrel life and a standard, chambered barrel cost of $520.00 across calibers.

5.56x45mm: $0.46/round (barrel life 6,000 rounds)*

6mmBR: $0.81/round (barrel life 2800 rounds)

6XC: $0.97/round (barrel life 2200 rounds)

.308 Win: $0.80/round (barrel life 4500 rounds)

6.5-284: $1.24/round (barrel life 1100 rounds)

*Note the high round count estimate for 5.56x45mm. This is a bit deceptive, as it assumes a period of “lesser accuracy” use. The USAMU says: “Much of the difference you see here between 5.56 and .308 is due to using the 5.56 barrel for 100-200 yard training with less-expensive, 55gr Varmint bullets after its long-range utility is spent”.

Moreover, while some applications require specialized, high-cost components, others do not. And, if the shooter is still relatively new to the sport and hasn’t refined his skill to within the top few percentile of marksmen, a more economical caliber choice can help stretch a limited budget. Translation: More skill per dollar!

In this post, the prices for all items mentioned here were taken from a major component supplier’s current advertisements, and all brass was of top quality, except in the case of 5.56mm. There, 200 top-quality, imported cases were reserved for 600-yard shooting, and the other brass used was once-fired Lake City surplus.

Cartridge cases were assumed to be loaded 10 times each. [Your mileage may vary…] Bullet prices assumed the use of less-expensive, but good-quality match bullets for the bulk of shooting as appropriate.

The cost of top-tier, highly-expensive match bullets was also calculated for a realistic percentage of the shots fired, based on ones’ application. Barrel life by caliber was taken from likely estimates based on experience and good barrel maintenance.

Brass Costs Based on 10 Loads Per Case
Often, handloaders may calculate ammunition cost per round by adding the individual costs of primers, powder charges and projectiles. Many don’t consider the cost of brass, as it is reloaded several times. Here, we’ll consider the cost of enough top-quality brass to wear out a barrel in our given caliber, at 10 loads per case, except as noted above.

Don’t Forget Amortized Barrel Costs
Few shooters factor in the full, true cost of barrel life. Depending on caliber, that can dramatically increase the cost per round. For example, consider a long-range rifle in 6.5/284 caliber. This cartridge performs amazingly well, but at a cost. Ballpark estimated barrel life [in a top-quality barrel] is 1100 rounds. Some wear out faster, some last longer, but this gives a rough idea of what to expect.

Accurate barrels are a joy to use, but they are an expendable resource!
Shooting Cost by Cartridge Caliber type USAMU

A top-quality barrel plus installation was estimated at about $520.00. At 1100 rounds, barrel life adds $0.47 per round to our total cost. Thus, what had started out as an [components-only estimate, with brass cost] of $0.76/round now totals $1.24 per shot!

Cost Considerations When Choosing a Catridge Type
Some shooters might ask themselves if they could meet their present needs with a more economical caliber. If so, that equates to more practice and matches per available dollar, and more potential skill increase on the available budget.

Each shooter knows his skill level, practice needs, and shooting discipline’s requirements. Some might shoot NRA Service Rifle or Match Rifle using a 5.56mm with a long barrel life. Others might be Match Rifle shooters faced with choosing between, say, a 6mm BR vs. 6XC. A realistic assessment of ones needs, performance-wise, may help guide the shooter toward a caliber that’s most optimized to their needs at the moment.

Admittedly, the factors affecting cost for any individuals circumstances can vary significantly. However, hopefully this will provide one useful method of evaluating one’s training and competition choices, based on their skill, goals and needs.

USAMU reloading Facebook Page army tips tech

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April 27th, 2017

Flat Rate Shipping Offer at Midsouth Shooters Supply

Got a big shooting shopping list? Then here’s a great opportunity. Now through April 30th at 11:59 PM you can get $9.00 flat-rate shipping from Midsouth Shooters Supply, with a $99.00 minimum order. That can translate to significant savings on big orders, or heavy items. Compare the true shipping costs from other vendors to see what a good deal this can be (some vendors charge $15 to ship a couple boxes of ammo). Note: Regular hazmat charges apply to powder, primers, and other hazmat items.

If you’re shopping at Midsouth, here are some of the very good values you might want to check out:

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April 21st, 2017

Reloading at the Range — Smart Option for Load Development

Glen Zediker Reloading at Range

Glen Zediker Reloading at RangeThe February 2013 edition of Shooting Sports USA magazine has an interesting feature by Glen Zediker. In this Transporting Success, Part I article, Zediker explains the advantages of loading at the range when your are developing new loads or tuning existing loads. Glen, the author of the popular Handloading for Competition book, discusses the gear you’ll need to bring and he explains his load development procedure. In discussing reloading at the range, Glen focuses on throwing powder and seating bullets, because he normally brings enough sized-and-primed brass to the range with him, so he doesn’t need to de-prime, re-size, and then re-prime his cases.

Zediker writes: “Testing at the range provides the opportunity to be thorough and flexible. You also have the opportunity to do more testing under more similar conditions and, therefore, get results that are more telling. Once you are there, you can stay there until you get the results you want. No more waiting until next time.”

Zediker starts with three-shot groups: “I usually load and fire three samples [with] a new combination. I’ll then increase propellant charge… based on the results of those three rounds, and try three more. I know that three rounds is hardly a test, but if it looks bad on that few, it’s not going to get any better.”

Glen reminds readers to record their data: “Probably the most important piece of equipment is your notebook! No kidding. Write it down. Write it all down.

RCBS Partner PressThere’s More to the Story…

Editor’s Note: In Zediker’s discussion of loading at the range, he only talks about throwing powder and seating bullets. In fact, Glen opines that: “there is little or no need for sizing.” Well, maybe. Presumably, for each subsequent load series, Zediker uses fresh brass that he has previously sized and primed. Thus he doesn’t need to de-prime or resize anything.

That’s one way to develop loads, but it may be more efficient to de-prime, re-size, and load the same cases. That way you don’t need to bring 50, 80, or even 100 primed-and-sized cases to the range. If you plan to reload your fired cases, you’ll need a system for de-priming (and re-priming) the brass, and either neck-sizing or full-length sizing (as you prefer). An arbor press can handle neck-sizing. But if you plan to do full-length sizing, you’ll need to bring a press that can handle case-sizing chores. Such a press need not be large or heavy. Many benchresters use the small but sturdy RCBS Partner Press, on sale now at Amazon for $77.99. You may even get by with the more basic Lee Precision Compact Reloading Press, shown in Zediker’s article. This little Lee press, Lee product #90045, retails for under $35.00.

Glen Zediker Reloading at Range

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