July 9th, 2019

Tool Time: Case-Neck Sorting Tool Works Fast

Sinclair Case Neck Sorting tool reloading benchrest neck-turning

Case Neck thickness sorting gauge Sinclair accurateshooter.comHe who dies with the most toys wins — right? Well Sinclair has another interesting gadget you can add to your reloading bench. The Sinclair Case Neck Sorting Tool lets you quickly sort brass by neck-wall thickness. For those who shoot “no-turn” brass, this can improve neck-tension consistency. Large variances in neck-wall thickness can cause inconsistent neck “grip” on the bullet. Generally, we’ve found that more consistent neck tension will lower ES and (usually) improve accuracy. We know some guys who shoot no-turn 6mmBR brass in competition with considerable success — but their secret is pre-sorting their brass by neck-wall thickness. Cases that are out-of-spec are set aside for sighters (or are later skim-turned).

Watch Case Neck Sorting Tool Operation in Video

How the Case Neck Sorting Tool Works
Here’s how the Sinclair tool works. Cases are rotated under an indicator tip while they are supported on a case-neck pilot and a support pin through the flash hole. The unit has a nice, wide base and low profile so it is stable in use. The tool works for .22 through .45 caliber cases and can be used on .17- and .20-caliber cases with the optional carbide alignment rod. The MIC-4 pin fits both .060 (PPC size) and .080 (standard size) flash holes. Sinclair’s Case Neck Sorting Tool can be ordered with or without a dial indicator. The basic unit without dial indicator (item 749-006-612WB) is priced at $59.99. You can also buy the tool complete with dial indicator (item 749-007-129WB) for $89.99. IMPORTANT: This sorting tool requires caliber-specific Case Neck Pilots which must be ordered separately.

Editor’s Comment: The purpose of this Sinclair tool is rapid, high-quantity sorting of cartridge brass to ascertain significant case-neck-wall thickness variations. Consider this a rapid culling/sorting tool. If you are turning your necks, you will still need a quality ball micrometer tool to measure neck-wall thickness (to .0005) before and after neck-turning operations.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
July 8th, 2019

Bargain Finder 198: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. March Optics — Norma .284 Win Brass, $65 per 100 Cases

Bargain Deal Norma .284 Win winchester 7mm brass F-Class below cost discount sale bargain

This could well be the best brass bargain in recent memory. This Norma .284 Winchester brass is outstanding. It is quite capable of winning F-Class matches right out of the box, and there’s no need to expand a 6.5-284 neck! This Norma .284 Win brass was commissioned by Shiraz Balolia for Bullets.com, a company he founded. Now that entity is closed, so this brass is being sold through MarchOptics.com. Shiraz tells us: “For those of you who shoot the Norma .284 Win F-Class brass, this is an amazing deal — well below cost. This is the last from the original Bullets.com lot. If you bought some of the original Norma .284 Win brass, this is the same lot.” NOTE: Quantities are limited — grab it while you can!!

2. Sightron USA — $100 SIII and $250 SV Factory Rebates

Bargain Deal sightron USA SII SV riflescope scope optic bargain rebate discount

Sightron USA is offering HUGE rebates on SIII series and SV series scopes. Sightron calls this “Christmas in July”. Get a $100 rebate on an SIII optic or a whopping $250 rebate on a top-end SV scope. To qualify for the SIII Series $100 or SV Series $250 rebate program your scope must be purchased from 7/1/2019 through 7/31/2019 at an Authorized Sightron USA Re-seller, and this applies to USA customers only.

SIGHTRON SIII Scope REBATE FORM | SIGHTRON SV Scope REBATE FORM

3. Grizzly Industrial — Bald Eagle Slingshot Rest, $129.97

bald eagle front rifle rest

Maybe you’re just getting into F-Class or just need a good stable front rest to shoot from and don’t want to spend a ton of money on one. Don’t worry because Grizzly now has the Bald Eagle BE1129 aluminum slingshot rest for an amazingly low $129.97 Closeout price. Just add your favorite front bag and you’re ready to go with a competition quality elevation adjustable rest. They also have the Bald Eagle BE1209 – Big Fifty Rest on sale now for $202.97, nearly 50% off. With a much wider span and cast-iron legs, the Big Fifty is designed for larger guns up to .50 caliber. Either way, these rests are a great value.

4. Stocky’s Stocks — EuroTarget Ruger 10/22 Stocks $176 – $199

Bargain Deal Lyman Borecam Midsouth Shooters

Ruger’s semi-auto 10/22 rimfire has become one of the best-selling rifles in history for good reason — it’s inexpensive and fun. Now you can have the best-looking 10/22 ever. Stocky’s Stocks has a beautiful series of EuroTarget™ 10/22 Stocks in six laminated colors for just $199.99. Or choose a plain hardwood model for $176.40, a “soft-touch” coated hardwood version for $183.60 (in black, green, or sand), or a handsome “EuroMatch” laminated version with adjustable cheek-piece for $299.99. We really like the looks and ergonomics of these stocks — they are a great upgrade for your Ruger 10/22.

5. Midsouth — Lyman BoreCam (Digital Borescope), $199.99

Bargain Deal Lyman Borecam Midsouth Shooters

Here’s the best deal we’ve found on an excellent product in high demand. The Lyman BoreCam is an electro-optical borescope with a digital display. You can record “stills” on a SD card. Our Forum members really like the BoreCam (although some wish the digital view-screen was larger). Midsouth now has the Lyman BoreCam for $199.99. Grab it while you can at that price. Other vendors are charging a LOT more. For example, Walmart is charging $269.75, while MidwayUSA is asking $299.99!

6. Precision Reloading — 10% Off All Orders Over $100

Discount Coupon Holiday 4th July free shipping code

Precision Reloading offers three ways to save through today July 8th. First, you can get 10% Off All in-stock items for an order of $100.00 or more using Promo Code SAVE 10. You can also save on shipping (Code SHIP6) and HazMat (Code FREEHAZ), with orders over $75 and $150 respectively. But act quickly!! This sale is almost over — these promos end at 11:59 pm on July 8, 2019.

7. Midsouth — NEW Sierra 6th Edition Manual, $28.89

sierra loading manual

Yes you can get starting load data from friends (or websites) but official loading manuals help ensure you’re stay within safe margins. In addition, these printed manuals provide more data, more recipes, and more details than you can readily find online. We like Sierra Manuals because they cover a wide selection of powders (from all major propellant-makers) and Sierra’s max loads run on the conservative side. Midsouth now offers the new-for-2019 Sierra 6th Edition Loading Manual for just $28.89. This is the best price we’ve seen — save $8-$10 at Midsouth.

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

Carbon Fiber Bipod

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

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

9. Amazon — Howard Leight MAX NRR33 Earplugs, $7.80/50 Pairs

accurateshooter.com review Max-1 Howard Leight ear plugs

20 Pairs
50 Pairs

These Howard Leight NRR33 Max plugs are your Editor’s favorite foam earplugs. Between shooting, motorcycling and mowing lawns, I probably have Max plugs in my ears 2-3 days a week. This is a very good price for a bulk pack of 50 pairs. And if you act soon, you can get free shipping to boot.

Permalink Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading, Tactical No Comments »
July 6th, 2019

Don’t Roast Your Ammo — Watch Temps in Hot Summer Months

Heat Map USA color chart

Well folks, it’s July 6th already — the means we’re moving into “peak heat” summer conditions. It’s vitally important to keep your ammo at “normal” temps during the hot summer months. Even if you use “temp-insensitive” powders, studies suggest that pressures can still rise dramatically when the entire cartridge gets hot, possibly because of primer heating. It’s smart to keep your loaded ammo in an insulated storage unit, possibly with a Blue Ice Cool Pak if you expect it to get quite hot. Don’t leave your ammo in the car or truck — temps can exceed 140° in a vehicle parked in the sun.

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.”

Powder Heat Sensitivity Comparison Test

Our friend Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog recently published a fascinating comparison test of four powders: Hodgdon H4350, Hodgdon Varget, IMR 4451, and IMR 4166. The first two are Hodgdon Extreme powders, while the latter two are part of IMR’s Enduron line of propellants.

CLICK HERE to VIEW FULL TEST RESULTS

The testers measured the velocity of the powders over a wide temperature range, from 25° F to 140° F. Hodgdon H4350 proved to be the most temp stable of the four powders tested.

Precision Rifle Blog Temperature Stability test hodgdon varget H4350 Enduron IMR 4451

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 3rd, 2019

Reloder 23 and Reloder 26 — Good for Magnum Cartridges

Alliant Bofors Nitrochemie Reloader Reloading RL Reloder powder 22 23 25 26

Do you shoot a magnum cartridge? Here are two modern-formulation powders you may want to try: Reloder 23 and 26. We have been particularly impressed with Reloder 23. It has worked well in competition for target cartridges such as the 7mm RSAUM. Reloder 23 is like a slower version of Reloder 16 — a very temp-stable powder which has proven a worthy rival to H4350.

Ever heard of Alliant Reloder 23? Or Reloder 26? These two relatively new European-produced Reloder propellants were introduced in 2014. Most folks haven’t tried these Reloder powders because it took quite a while for the first shipments of RL 23 and RL 26 to arrive in the USA. But now these two new propellants are available in the USA, with substantial inventories in stock at some larger vendors. For example, Powder Valley has both RL 23 and RL 26 in stock now at $23.50 per pound. Many other vendors have ample RL 23, but RL 26 is a bit harder to find.

From our Forum members who shoot large magnum cartridge types with heavy bullets, we have heard good things about both RL 23 and RL 26. Reports from the field indicate that both these powders are delivering impressive velocities with low velocity ES/SD.

What are the characteristics of RL 23 and RL 26? That question was answered by Paul Furrier who works for ATK, the parent company of Alliant Powders. Posting in our Shooters’ Forum, Paul writes:

“Let me provide some factual info about these products. Some of the stuff that gets propagated is not correct. Reloder 23 is produced by our Swedish partner Bofors, and Reloder 26 is produced in Switzerland by our extremely capable partner Nitrochemie. I have seen it stated that they are both made by Bofors, so that is incorrect.

I have also noticed people are equating Reloder 23 to Reloder 22, and Reloder 26 to Reloder 25. Both of those statements are definitely incorrect. We do state that the performance of Reloder 23 is similar to Reloder 22, and it is, in general burn speed terms, but they are most certainly not the same. We have worked quite a lot of recipes for Reloder 23, and they are not the same as Reloder 22. Reloder 26 is definitely slower burning than Reloder 25, so there shouldn’t be any confusion there either.”

Alliant Bofors Nitrochemie Reloader Reloading RL Reloder powder 22 23 25 26

Furrier says that RL 23 is NOT sensitive to temperature shifts: “Reloder 23 was developed to bring a truly temp-stable powder to the Reloder 22 burn-speed range using Bofors new process technology. This is the second product developed for us with this TZ® process, the first being AR-Comp™. We see terrific efficiencies, SDs, accuracy and flat temp response from these powders. Please try them, I think you will be impressed.”

(more…)

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 4 Comments »
July 1st, 2019

BargainFinder 197: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Bud’s Gun Shop — Howa American Flag Chassis Rifle, $1100.99

Howa HCR APX American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS .308 Win Tactical Rifle

What better way to celebrate the 4th of July this week than with a Stars and Stripes rifle? Legacy Sports offers a special American Flag Chassis Rifle with a USA flag-theme red, white, and blue Cerakote finish and 3-chamber muzzle brake. Components include APC modular chassis and Luth-AR adjustable butt-stock. This special edition is sold with a Nikko 4-16x50mm scope and shipped in a hard case. Choose either the 6.5 Creedmoor version ($1100.99 at GunPrime.com), or the .308 Win version ($1116.52 at Bud’s GunShop). Note: Act soon — these special editions with scope are almost sold out!

2. EuroOptic — Minox Scope Sale, Up to 56% off

minox scope sale

Minox may not be a household name for riflescopes but make no mistake, Minox makes great scopes for the money. While Minox scopes are always attractively priced, right now they are a GREAT value over at EuroOptic. You can grab a variety of Minox scopes in popular zoom ranges for up to 56% Off. Heck of a bargain. A new Minox may just what you need to finish off that recent build. These German optics offer a great balance between performance and p;rice.

3. Brownells — HOWA 6mm Creedmoor barreled action, $429.99

howa barreled action

Choosing the parts for a custom build can be a daunting process and it often requires having a gunsmith properly headspace and build a barreled action. Now you can skip that step by picking up one of these Howa barreled actions in 6mm Creedmoor for $429.99 (on Sale). Barreled actions in many other popular chamberings are also available including 6.5 Grendel for $349.99 (on Sale), 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Win, .308 Win and more (SEE ALL). Howa barreled actions are sold in several barrel lengths/contours, and all come with an excellent HACT 2-stage trigger.

4. Midsouth — Nikon Special 4-12x40mm scope, $99.99

nikon scope sale

For you guys looking for a bargain scope for a hunting rifle (or maybe your son’s first rifle), here’s a great deal. Right now Midsouth is offering Nikon 4-12x40mm scopes with a BDC reticle for the crazy-low price of $99.99. This is a very good scope for the money. It comes with a solid guarantee and should offer years of reliable service on a hunting or varmint rifle. Put the money you save into brass and bullets.

5. Precision Reloading — Alliant Powder Sale, 15% Off

alliant powder sale

Dedicated hand-loaders should keep an ample supply of their favorite powders “for a rainy day” (or maybe new legislative regulations). If you’ve been waiting for a great sale, check this out. Precision Reloading is now offering 15% OFF all in-stock Alliant powders. This covers all Alliant powders on hand. But don’t wait long. This sale concludes July 2, 2019 at 11:59 pm.

6. Grizzly — Bald Eagle Priming Press, $80.97

grizzly priming press

Any serious competitor will tell you that consistent primer seating is one of the most critical steps in reloading. There are lots of choices out there for bench and hand-held primers but NONE of then match the Grizzly priming press which can be found for $80.97. It features a beautifully-made system that is click adjustable to .002″ and incredibly repeatable. If you’re in the market for something that’s easy on the hands and works like units that cost hundreds more give this one a look.

7. Midsouth — NEW Sierra 6th Edition Manual, $28.89

sierra loading manual

Yes you can get starting load data from friends (or websites) but official loading manuals help ensure you’re stay within safe margins. In addition, these printed manuals provide more data, more recipes, and more details than you can readily find online. We like Sierra Manuals because they cover a wide selection of powders (from all major propellant-makers) and Sierra’s max loads run on the conservative side. Midsouth now offers the new-for-2019 Sierra 6th Edition Loading Manual for just $28.89. This is the best price we’ve seen — save $8-$10 at Midsouth.

8. Amazon — MTM Stackable Ammo Crate/Utility Box, $13.59

mtm ammo box

Good storage, whether for ammo, survival supplies or any other items, is something shooters and outdoorsmen need in abundance. With that in mind, consider grabbing a few of these MTM Ammo Crate/Utility Boxes. These stackable polymer storage crates cost just $13.59. They are LOCKABLE and they have great carry handles. Grab a couple of them at this price. We best you’ll quickly find many good uses.

9. Cabela’s — Ruger EC9S Carry Pistol, $219.97

Ruger Carry Concealed handgun pistol sale bargain EC9S 9mm

Here’s a good little 9mm carry pistol for a crazy-low price. Right now, CDNN is selling the popular Ruger EC9S 9MM pistol for $219.97 — that’s $30 off the regular $249.99 price. This gun is light (17.2 ounces) and thin so it’s easy to carry discretely. The EC9S is 6″ overall with a 3.12″-long barrel. The EC9S features integral sights and ships with a single 7-round magazine.

10. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.99

Red Orange Neon 3

We like these bright, Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.99 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 0’Clock. NOTE: These stickers may qualify for FREE Shipping with combined orders over $25.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
June 29th, 2019

Stick, Flake, and Ball — Do You Know Your Powder Properties?

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener’s Reloading & Shooting Supply recently published a helpful introduction to reloading powders. Widener’s online Guide to Smokeless Powders shows the various types of powders, and explains how the differences in powder kernel/flake size and shape, and burn rate affect performance. We recommend you visit Widener’s website and read the Powder Guide in full.

Take a close look at these illustrations which show the key differences between the four main powder types: extruded (stick) powder, ball (spherical) powder, flattened ball powder, and flake powder.

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Burn Rate Basics

Widener’s Guide to Smokeless Powders also has a useful discussion of Burn Rate (a confusing topic for many hand-loaders). Wideners explains: “While a gun powder explosion in the cartridge seems instantaneous, if you slow it down you will actually find that each powder has a different ‘burn rate’, or speed at which it ignites.” This video shows powders with two very different burn rates. Watch closely.

Different burn rates suit different cartridge types notes Widener’s: “In general a fast-burning powder is used for light bullets and low-speed pistols and shotguns. Medium-rate powders are used for magnum pistols, while high-velocity, large bore rifle cartridges will need slow powders[.]

It should be noted that burn rate does not have a standardized unit of measurement. In fact, burn rate is really only discussed in comparison to other powders; there is no universal yardstick. Specifics will change by cartridge and bullet types[.]”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
June 29th, 2019

Trim, Chamfer, and Deburr Brass with Giraud Tri-Way Tool

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 $105.00 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 .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 Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 3 Comments »
June 27th, 2019

How to Ream Military Primer Pocket Crimps with Wilson Tool

Military crimp primer pocket reamer

Many shooters, particular those who shoot vintage military rifle matches, reload once-fired military cartridge brass. This brass may be high-quality and stout, but you may encounter a primer crimp* that interferes with the seating of a new primer. There are a variety of dedicated, military-crimp tools on the market, such as Dillon’s excellent Super Swage 600 tool that “rolls the crimp away”. But the Dillon tool costs $109.95 and takes quite a bit of room on your reloading bench. If you don’t want to drop a C-note and give up valuable bench space — here’s another (much cheaper) solution.

If you already have a Wilson case trimmer set-up, you can ream away those military crimps using an affordable Wilson accessory — the Primer Pocket Reamer (large #PPR210, small #PPR175). This $32.65 accessory is used in conjunction with a Wilson case trimmer and case-holder as shown above.

Military crimp primer pocket reamerWilson

In the respected Riflemans Journal website, the Editor, “GS Arizona”, showed how to use the Wilson primer pocket reamer to remove military crimps on Lake City .30-06 cartridge brass. He explains: “The case goes into the Wilson case-holder, the same one used for case trimming, and the reamer replaces the trimmer head in the tool base. The threaded rod on the left side, which is normally used to regulate trim length has no use for this operation and it is simply backed out. Hold the case-holder as you turn the reamer into the primer pocket, it cuts easily and quickly. The reamer will stop cutting when the proper depth is reached.”

Do you really need to do this operation with military-crimped brass? Yes, and here’s why: “Any attempt to prime the case without removing the crimp will simply result in a mangled primer that cannot be expected to fire and certainly won’t fire reliably.”

Vintage Military Rifle shooters often utilize surplus military brass with primer pocket crimps.
Vintage Military Rifle brass

*Why does military brass has a primer crimp? GS Arizona answers: “The crimp is nothing more than an intentional deformation of the case around the primer pocket, the purpose of which is to retain the primer in the case despite high pressure situations in machine guns and other automatic weapons where a loose primer may cause a malfunction. As reloaders, our task is to get rid of the remnants of the crimp in order to allow re-priming the case.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
June 25th, 2019

Wonders of Wood — Amazing Reloading Room Projects

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood
Bullet sorting station — quilted Maple with marble tile inlay, created by JVW2008.

We have a master woodworker in our Shooters’ Forum, Jerry from Colorado (aka JVW2008). In a recent Forum thread, Jerry showcases multiple examples of his handiwork — various wood projects for the reloading room. Beautifully made, these one-of-a-kind custom cabinets and tool stands deserve to be on display in a museum.

Jerry’s creations exhibit exquisite craftsmanship and some very clever design features. What is your favorite item among the Jerry’s wood wonders shown here? You can reveal your favorites in the comment section below.

Throne for a Sartorius Analytical Balance
Jerry built this “Throne” for his ultra-precise Sartorius Entris force restoration scale, which is linked to a V2 Auto-Trickler. This is a true state-of-the-art powder measuring system on a beautiful base unit.

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood

Cabinet for Balance Beam Scale
Here is an oak balance beam scale cabinet and weighing surface. Note the mulitiple tiers, side wings, and other smart design features.

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood

Custom Arbor Press Base
Below is a handsome, well-designed base for K&M Arbor Press and Wilson dies. Look at the fitted recesses for the hand dies — very nice!

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood

Jumbo Walnut/Maple Loading Block
And here is a beautiful 100-cartridge reloading block, crafted from Walnut over Maple. It’s impressive to see 100 cartridges all lined up like that!

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood

To see more impressive wood projects by our Shooters’ Forum members, visit the Wood Working Ideas Forum Thread. Along with Jerry’s reloading toom wonders, you’ll see cleaning cradles, shooting benches, transport boxes, and much more. Check out this amazing inlaid rifle case crafted by Forum member Nando-AS for his son.

Wood fine furnitures Reloading Room cabinet project exotic wood

Permalink - Articles, New Product, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 24th, 2019

BargainFinder 196: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. March Optics — Retirement Sale, 30% Off All Scopes in Stock

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder March Optics 30% Off discount sale

March Optics delivers some of the most advanced (and unique) optics technology on the planet. But those top-of-the-line March scopes were always a big investment. But now, you can get superb, ultra-premium March scopes for 30% Off. Shiraz Balolia, President of March Optics USA, has decided to stop retailing optics. As a result, March scopes are now being discounted 30% — that’s a huge savings. This sale pricing applies to ALL March scopes, limited to stock in hand. Here are some of the deals:

1. Genesis Extreme Long Range Scope, $4865.00 (marked down from $6950.00)
2. 10-60x56mm High Master Tactical Turrets MTR-1, $2765.00 (marked down from $3950.00)
3. 8-80x56mm Tactical Turrets MTR-4, $2572.50 (marked down from $3675.00)
4. 5-40x56mm FFP Tactical Turrets FMA-2, $2572.50 (marked down from $3675.00)
5. 3-24x52mm FFP Tactical Turrets Illuminated FML-T1, $2572.50 (marked down from $3675.00)
6. 2.5-25x52mm Tactical Turrets Illuminated MTR-3, $2572.50 (marked down from $3675.00)

2. EuroOptic — Mauser M18 Rifles 30% Off (Great Deal)

mauser m18 hunting rifle sale germany

A huge shipment of Mauser M18 rifles is en-route to EuroOptic from Germany. In preparation for this rifle influx, EuroOptic has slashed prices on all M18s. Expect to save $200 to $250 per rifle. For example, the 6.5 Creedmoor M18 is marked down from $699 to $499 (save $200) while the .243 Win M18 is discounted from $699 to $459 ($240 savings). Eight chamberings will be available including the new 6.5 PRC as well as hunting classics like the .270 Win, .308 Win, .30-06 Springfield, and 7mm Remington Magnum. The Mauser M18 is a fine European-crafted rifle with a 3-lug bolt, smooth 60° bolt lift, and quality hammer-forged barrel. NOTE: Pending arrival, EuroOptic is taking back-orders which are effectively “pre-orders”.

3. Midway USA — Norma 6.5 Creedmoor Brass, 250 for $99.99

norma 6.5 Creedmoor brass PRS long range

The 6.5 Creedmoor is more popular than ever but like any super-trendy cartridge, supplies seem to be either out of stock or too expensive. If you have a 6.5 Creedmoor, check out this killer deal. You can get 250 Norma 6.5 Creedmoor cases for only $99.99. That works out to just forty cents per case — less than half what you’d pay for some other 6.5 Creedmoor brass. We can’t remember the last time we’ve seen such a great deal on quality brass for such a popular cartridge. But you better act soon — we expect this MidwayUSA deal to sell out quickly.

4. Natchez — Blazer Brass .45 ACP Ammo, Free Hazmat $150+

Blazer CCI .45 ACP Brass bargain free HazMat

We love our .45 ACP pistols, and we regularly shoot CCI Blazer Brass .45 ACP ammo. It has proved accurate and super reliable. Right now Natchez is offering a great deal — 500 230gr FMJ rounds for just $144.99, a $35.00 savings. Add a box or two of rimfire ammo to put your order over $150.00, then use CODE FH190621 during checkout and and you’ll qualify for FREE HazMat!

5. Midsouth — Rock Chucker Reloading Kit and Free Die, $269.49

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $269.49. Amazing Deal. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $269.49, a fine price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $165.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items, such as the Rock Chucker, that will last a lifetime. And now through 7/7/2019 you’ll get a free RCBS FL die set as a bonus. NOTE: This FREE DIE set is offered through RCBS and will ship separately after you submit a form.

6. Amazon — Plano 52″ Double Rifle Case with Wheels, $99.99

Plano double scoped rifle case with wheels

This Plano Double Scoped Rifle Case is an Amazon #1 Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is just $99.99 with FREE Shipping, 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). If you separate the barreled action from the stock you can transport even ultra-long ELR rifles. The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money — plus there’s Free Shipping! There is also a smaller 42″ version for $64.99.

Exterior Dimensions: 53.5″ x 17″ x 7″
Interior Dimensions: 51.5″ x 14″ x 5.5″
Pluckable Interior Dimensions: 46″ x 10″
Features: Wheels, Secure Latches, O-Ring Seal, Pressure Relief Valve, Customizable Foam

7. Taurus G2c 9mm — $179.99 with Factory Rebate

Carry pistol $180 bargain Taurus G2C ccw handgun review discount sales

This is a good little gun at a great price. Taurus has a factory Rebate through 7/7/19. Palmetto State Armory is selling the sub-compact Taurus 9mm with black frame and stainless steel slide for just $209.99 with FREE Shipping. But the Taurus $30 Factory Rebate lowers your price to just $179.99 for this G2c. Or, if you like the milspec look, you can also get an OD-Green G2c G2c for $184.99 after rebate, just $5.00 more. Despite its small size, the G2c has a 12-round magazine. We like the fact it has a left-side manual safety (unlike the Glock).

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

case prep and trim sale

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

9. Powder Valley — Alliant and CCI Factory Rebates

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

Powder Valley notified us about some great Rebate offers from Alliant and CCI. If you need powder or primers, now is a great time to buy — this offer ends June 30, 2019! NOTE: These rebates are separate programs. To qualify for these rebates you need to buy at least 4 pounds of Alliant powder OR spend at least $100 on CCI components. You can’t mix and match to qualify — each program has its own minimums.

ALLIANT Powder — More Bang for your Buck$ Rebate
If you buy at least four (4) pounds of powder you get $2.00 back per pound, with a rebate limit of $20 (for ten pounds). Minimum purchase four (4) pounds required.

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

10. Amazon — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $24.99

Shooting Mat

Looking for a good mat at a great price? For $24.99 now you can grab this NcStar Vism shooting mat. This has decent padding, and reinforced areas for elbows and knees. Full dimensions are: 69″ Long x 35″ Wide. This mat has straps for pre-loading your bipod. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up into a compact 19.50″ W x 8.50″ H package — about the same size as a sleeping bag. You can pay twice as much for a shooting mat and not get much more quality. Purchaser reviews have been very positive. This mat has earned 80% Five-Star buyer ratings on Amazon.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading, Tactical 1 Comment »
June 22nd, 2019

Reloading Basics: Neck Tension, Expander Balls, and Bushings

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 [can give] you .002″ in neck tension [meaning the inside neck diameter is about .002″ smaller than the bullet diameter after passing the expander through]. 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, Tech Tip 7 Comments »
June 21st, 2019

Wildcatter’s Road Map — Cartridge Conversion Book

handloaders guide cartridge conversion wildcat obsolete cartridges

Are you a confirmed wildcatter? Do you like to experiment with custom cartridge types? Or do you just like the extra performance you can get from a specialty cartridge such as a 20 Vartarg or 22-250 AI? Well, if you love wildcat cartridges, you’ll probably enjoy this book. Now available for the first time since 2003, The Handloader’s Manual of Cartridge Conversions explains the processes and tools needed to convert standardized brass into hundreds of different rifle and pistol cartridge types. A vast variety of case designs are covered — from vintage cartridge types to modern, cutting-edge wildcats.

handloaders guide cartridge conversion wildcat obsolete cartridges

This classic reference guide has been revised with an easy-to-search format, complete with a full index of hundreds of cartridges. This book belongs on the shelf of any hand-loader who enjoys making and shooting wildcat cartridges. However do note that much of the text is unchanged from earlier editions. For some cartridge types, the author recommends “parent” brass brands that are no longer available. In other situations, there may be more convenient conversions now offered. Nonetheless this is an important resource. As one verified purchaser explains: “Great reference for making the cartridges that are hard to get or no longer in production. Offers an alternative to the the time, expense and effort of having to re-chamber a classic. Saves ‘Grandpa’s shooters’ from becoming safe queens.”

wildcat cartridge case forming Killer Bee Hydraulic
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
June 20th, 2019

Lyman Case Trim Xpress Gear Review with Video

Lyman case trim xpress trimmer brass cartidge should indexing adjustable trimming

Great Case Trimmer for under $130.00
We think Lyman’s new Case Trim Xpress will be a “game changer” for hand-loaders. If you’re like most of us, trimming your brass to length has been a dull, laborious and time-consuming process unless you shell out $500 or more for a top-of-the-line unit. Lyman has broken that mold by releasing an accurate, easy-to-adjust, shoulder-indexing, carbide-bladed, and SPEEDY case trimmer for under $130.00! Given its outstanding performance for the price, the Lyman Case Trim Xpress is a definite winner.

Lyman case trim xpress trimmer brass cartidge should indexing adjustable trimming
CLICK photo for full-screen view of Case Trim Xpress unit.

Lyman Case Trim Xpress “Hands-On” Review

Review by F-Class John
Case trimming can be one of the most boring and tedious steps in the reloading processes. This is largely because of outdated tools that either require manual turning, clunky pilot systems, or difficult adjustments. In order to overcome these obstacles, you might have to spend $500 for some premium systems. But that has changed with Lyman’s introduction of the new Case Trim Xpress. This bright orange wonder delivers premium trimming performance at a budget price. Available for around under $130, this trimmer offers an easily-adjustable cutting head plus a smart, shoulder-indexing bushing system to improve consistency and speed up the trimming process.

Video Shows How Carbide Cutter Head Adjusts Easily with Index Wheel

The Lyman Case Trim Xpress comes with the main trimming unit, power cord, and 10 bushings in a storage case. These 10 orange bushings let you trim more than 50 popular cartridge types (yes including the 6mmBR, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win of course). Set-up was simple and straight-forward. Install the bushing you need, turn the unit on and slowly push a piece of brass towards the cutting head. Once the brass is fully depressed, you can start adjusting the dial one click at a time until the case makes contact. Then you start making progressive adjustments and trim until you reach your desired length. The process is so simple that it’ll leave you wondering how you ever used anything else.

Lyman case trim xpress trimmer brass cartidge should indexing adjustable trimming

Once the machine was adjusted for our brass, we were amazed at how easily and quickly cases could be trimmed. The unit is fairly hefty, so we found it pretty stable just sitting on the bench. If you wish, the unit can also be screwed down for added stability, using the holes in the lower “wings” of the orange housing. There’s a dial adjustment on the side that controls cutter rotation speed (RPM). In our testing, the trimmer worked well across its entire RPM range. These means you can do fast, quick cuts or make slow and precise cuts, as you prefer. And you can adjust the cutter speed to the type of brass you are trimming.

As for trim length control, the adjustment dial has good, positive clicks and the trim length holds very constant. Even after trimming 80+ pieces of brass, we observed trim consistency held within .001″.

Lyman case trim xpress trimmer brass cartidge should indexing adjustable trimming

One of the things that sets the Case Trim Xpress apart from most trimmers is how it indexes off the shoulder. This ensures that case lengths from mid-shoulder to end of neck are identical for every case (whether they have been sized or not). This is critical for consistent reloading results and will help ensure that every case is optimally positioned in your chamber. A cutting system that indexes off the shoulder is arguably better than a system than merely trims to a given case OAL for both fired and unfired cases.

Another great feature is that this trimmer can be mounted flat on a bench-top, on the underside of a shelf, or even on a vertical wall surface (if oriented horizontally). You can choose different mountings because the clear plastic shroud that catches brass shavings can rotate. This allows the shavings exit port to be orientated to any point on the circle. We liked being able to choose various mounting configurations. Employing little-used wall or shelf space opens up precious bench-top real estate.

Summary — Outstanding Performance for the Price
Overall the Case Trim Xpress is hard to beat for the price. It is one of the few power trimmers we can recommend without hesitation. The machine trims quickly and accurately, the cutter-depth control is precise and easy to use. And the variable speed control is great. Of course we do wish the machine could also de-burr and chamfer brass. But of course that would add quite a bit to the cost, and would probably require a completely different cutting system. For trimming-to-length only, Lyman’s Case Trim Xpress is probably the best trimmer currently available for under $200. This unit should definitely be on the short list of anyone shopping for a variable-speed motorized trimmer.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
June 20th, 2019

How To Pull Bullets Using Press-Mounted Collet Tools

Collet Bullet Puller Hornady RCBS Press Mount Reloading

Do you have some ammo that got loaded incorrectly, perhaps with the wrong powder? Then you’ll want to disassemble the ammo for safety’s sake. You can use an impact puller to do this task, but if you have more than a dozen rounds or so, you may prefer to use a collet-style bullet puller. These work very quickly and positively, making quick work of big jobs. The efficiency of the collet-style puller is worth the investment if you frequently disassemble ammo. These devices retail for under $25.00 (collets sold separately). Normally, you’ll need a specific collet for each bullet diameter. But collets are not that costly, so this isn’t a big deal, particularly if you only load a few calibers, such as .223, 6mm, and .308.

Hornady and RCBS use different mechanisms to tighten the collet around the bullet. On Hornady’s Cam-Lock Bullet Puller, a lever-arm on the top of the bullet puller serves to tighten the collet around the bullet. Simply rotate the lever from the vertical to the horizontal position to grab the bullet. Lower the ram to remove the case. The bullet will drop out when you return the lever arm to the vertical position. This is demonstrated in the video below:

Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller Demonstrated

Collet bullet-pullers resemble a loading die with a lever or handle on the top. They screw into a standard reloading press. Hornady and RCBS both make collet-style bullet pullers. They use the same basic principle — the device tightens a collet around the bullet, and then the bullet is separated from the case by lowering the press ram. NOTE: Collet pullers may leave small marks on your bullets, unlike impact (kinetic) pullers.*

Hornady collet bullet pullerLike the Hornady tool, the RCBS Bullet Puller employs a collet to grab the bullet. However, the RCBS tool tightens the collet in a different way. The head of the RCBS tool is threaded internally. By rotating the lever arm clockwise in a horizontal circle you squeeze the collet around the bullet. To remove the bullet, after lowering the press ram, simply spin the lever arm back in the opposite direction. The use of the RCBS tool is demonstrated in this video:

RCBS Collet Bullet Puller Demonstrated:

WARNING: When removing bullets from loaded cartridges, always make sure there are no obstructions or debris in your shell-holder or under the loaded round. NEVER engage a primer seating accessory on your press when working with loaded rounds. You can cause a round to discharge by contacting the primer! Also, we recommend you keep your head and torso away from the bullet puller tool at all times.

*By contrast, impact pullers rarely mark bullets, particularly if you put a little bit of foam or paper wadding in the closed end of your impact puller. When dismantling loaded rounds, powder kernels can get trapped in the wadding, so you should remove and replace the wadding before changing to cartridges loaded with a different powder type (assuming you intend to save the powder).

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
June 17th, 2019

Bargain Finder 195: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Midway USA — Norma 6.5 Creedmoor Brass, 250 for $99.99

“norma

The 6.5 Creedmoor is more popular than ever but like any super-trendy cartridge, supplies seem to be either out of stock or too expensive. If you have a 6.5 Creedmoor, check out this killer deal. You can get 250 Norma 6.5 Creedmoor cases for only $99.99. That works out to just forty cents per case — less than half what you’d pay for some other 6.5 Creedmoor brass. We can’t remember the last time we’ve seen such a great deal on quality brass for such a popular cartridge. But you better act soon — we expect this MidwayUSA deal to sell out quickly.

2. Grafs.com — FREE Litz Book with $100 Lapua Bullet Buy

Graf's Graf Lapua Scenar bullet Litz applied ballistics free book
This is just one example. This deal works with ANY Lapua bullets purchased from Grafs.com.

Lapua makes great bullets. Bryan Litz writes great books. And now you can get both with this special promotion from Graf & Sons. Here’s the deal — if you buy at least $100.00 worth of Lapua bullets at Grafs.com, you’ll get a free Applied Ballistics book authored by Bryan Litz. You can mix and match any types of Lapua bullets — as long as the bullet order totals $100.00 or more. The book may be one of various Litz titles, such as Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting or Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets. NOTE: You do NOT get to pick the book title — you get what’s available. You want to move quickly on this deal — books are limited to supply on hand.

3. EuroOptic — FREE Kestrel 3500 with Leupold Mark 5HD Scope

leupold kestral deal

Leupold’s new Mark 5HD scopes are impressive. Make no mistake — Mark 5HDs are fine tactical optics fully capable of winning PRS/NRL matches. Available in 3.6-18x44mm, 5-25x56mm, and 7-35x56mm with a multitude of reticle choices, there’s something for every tactical shooter out there. And right now when you buy any Laupold Mark 5HD scope from EuroOptic.com you get a FREE Kestrel 3500NV, a $269.00 value. That’s a fantastic bonus! The FREE Kestrel will be added to your cart automatically at no extra cost.

4. Natchez — Weaver T-Series XR 36x40mm, $389.99

weaver scope sale

With so many zoom scopes on the market it’s easy to forget some of the best fixed power scopes out there. Weaver T-Series scopes have served benchrest shooters for decades and the new side-parallax Weaver XRs take the T-Series to a new level. You can pick up the Weaver T-Series 36x40mm XR Scope for the crazy low price of $389.99.(This has FCH with 1/16 MOA dot reticle.) You can also grab the 46X version for $569.99 or the Classic T-Series 36X with front objective parallax for just $329.99. All choices are great bargains.

5. Midsouth — Hornady 123gr 6.5mm bullets, 250 for $59.99

hornady 6.5 bullets

We featured 6.5 brass this week and here’s the matching bullet deal. You can grab 250 Hornady 123gr 6.5mm bullets for just $59.99. That’s a mere twenty-four cents per bullet! The 120-130gr class of 6.5mm bullets is an excellent choice for both paper-punching and PRS. These Hornady 123-grainers offer good accuracy with less recoil (and much lower cost) than the 140-145gr class of 6.5mm match bullets.

6. Federal 20% REBATE for Bullets, Brass, and Primers

federal component rebate

Reloading component costs add up quickly which is why we include this great rebate offer from Federal. Just purchase at least $100 worth of Federal reloading components (bullets, brass, and primers) and then fill out this form and you’ll get 20% back up to $100. The bottom line is that if you need any components, this is the time to stock up. NOTE: This Federal Rebate also applies to components purchased from other vendors such as Bruno’s, Midsouth, and Powder Valley.

7. Midsouth — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $269.49

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $269.49. Amazing Deal. Right now, Midsouth is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $269.49, a fine price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $165.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items,such as the Rock Chucker, that will last a lifetime. NOTE: This is listed at $299.99 on the Midsouth Home Page, but the product page now shows $269.49 and that’s what shows when you add the Kit to your shopping cart.

8. Area 419 — Master Funnel Kit, $90.00

area 419 funnel kit

Precision loading often requires dropping powder one case at a time and without the right gear this can cause issues. Bad powder funnels can cause bridging or stuck kernels leading to light loads in one case and heavy in another. These issues can be solved using the Master Funnel Kit from Area 419. This kit contains 6 caliber specific color coded heads (22 cal, 6mm/243, 6.5mm/264, 7mm/284, 30 cal, 338 cal) plus the funnel and stand. The funnel is specially designed to ensure powder doesn’t bounce out and the heads are securely threaded and designed to fit snugly on the shoulder of the brass. If you’re looking to upgrade your gear to the top of the line this is the one to get.

9. Amazon — Tipton Gun Butler, $23.49

Tipton Gun Butler caddy gun vise cleaning tray sale Amazon

Here’s a handy, portable gun caddy that works well for rifle maintenance chores at home or at the range. Right now the Tipton Gun Butler is marked down to $23.49. The Gun Butler offers a convenient platform for cleaning your gun or doing tasks such as scope mounting. Two removable forks/cradles hold a gun securely in place, while compartments and slots hold solvents, jags, brushes, mops, and tools. The Gun Butler features a convenient carrying handle, and slip-resistant rubber feet. NOTE: The front cradle may not work well with wide benchrest fore-ends.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 16th, 2019

Sunday GunDay — 6-6.5×47 Lapua Varmint Slayer

6mm 6.5x47 Lapua 6-6.5x47 varmint rifle mcmillan BAT action 6mmAI

Soon after Lapua released the 6.5×47 cartridge, wildcatters recognized the potential of a necked-down 6mm version of the case. The 6-6.5×47 has emerged as a great, do-it-all cartridge that performs well in High Power competition, 600- and 1000-yard benchrest, and PRS tactical matches. But the 6-6.5×47 is not just for paper-punching. An efficient cartridge with great inherent accuracy, the 6-6.5×47 can be an excellent, flat-shooting, long-range varmint round. Here we feature Stan Stewart’s BAT-actioned 6-6.5×47 varminter. Fitted with a Krieger 1:10″ barrel, Stan’s rifle excels with a wide variety of varmint bullets. Whether driving 70-grainers at 3700 fps, or pushing the Berger 88gr High-BC FB bullet at 3400 fps, this 6-6.5×47 delivers half-MOA (or better) accuracy, in a well-balanced, easy-handling rifle.

The 6-6.5×47 for Precision Long-Range Varminting

6mm 6.5x47 Lapua 6-6.5x47 varmint rifle mcmillan BAT action 6mmAI
The rifle carries a 12-42x56mm Nightforce NSX in Nightforce rings “hand-lapped for optimal fit/alignment”.

‘Seller’s Remorse’ Spurs 6mm Project
Report by Stan Stewart

After selling my 6mm Remington Ackley Improved a couple of years ago and wishing I hadn’t, I begun to think about a new custom rifle for work on Prairie Dog towns and New York wood chucks at 600+ yards. I have a .223 AR and 22-250 for medium ranges but I missed my 6mm AI for long-range work so I started asking questions.

The 22-250 is a fine chambering, but it is hard on barrels, and I think the 6mms may have an accuracy edge out past 400 yards. Also, shooters today enjoy a vast collection of really great 6mm bullets. Barrel life and bullet options were two main reasons I decided to build a 6mm rather than another .224-caliber gun. But the question remained… what 6mm chambering to choose?

I started doing serious research on the 6-6.5×47. I received a lot of good advice from AccurateShooter.com and other websites on the pros and cons. I also talked to gunsmiths — quite a few recommended the new cartridge as well. Some of the cartridge attributes I liked was the small rifle primer, enough case capacity to efficiently reach 3700 fps with a 70gr bullet and 3400 fps with an 85-grainer without being terribly over-bore. Most important was the 6-6.5×47’s reputation for inherent accuracy without being finicky like my 6mm AI. So, having chosen my cartridge, I started asking for gunsmith recommendations. Again the folks on the AccurateShooter.com Forum were very helpful. After many conversations I settled on Dave Bruno in Dayton, Pennsylvania. He was a good choice.

Putting Together the New Rig with Premium Components
From the get-go, I knew I wanted a BAT action and Krieger barrel. BAT Machine and Krieger Barrels enjoy a great reputation in the shooting industry. BATs are beautifully-machined, smooth, and strong. Krieger cut-rifled barrels are known for dependable accuracy and long barrel life. While many 6-6.5×47 shooters choose an 8-twist barrel to shoot the 100-108gr bullets, I would be using smaller, varmint-weight bullets, so I selected a 1:10″ twist Krieger. This would allow me to shoot bullets from 60 grains up to 90 grains. Dave chambered the barrel with a .269″ neck and fluted the barrel to save weight. I also had Dave install a Vais muzzle brake. Dave fitted the BAT with a 2 oz. Jewell trigger, mounted a +20 MOA scope rail, then pillar-bedded the BAT into a McMillan Hunter-Class-style fiberglass stock.

6mm 6.5x47 Lapua 6-6.5x47 varmint rifle mcmillan BAT action 6mmAI

Load Development for Varminting

I had selected a few powders and bullets recommended by other 6-6.5×47 shooters and started by seating all the bullets .005″ off the lands. The powders I selected were Varget, Vihtavuori N-550, and Reloder 15.

6mm 6.5x47 Lapua 6-6.5x47 varmint rifle mcmillan BAT action 6mmAI

I was very pleased with the 88gr Bergers. In initial testing, they grouped well and I was able to drive them to 3400 fps easily. As I wanted a gun for long-range varmint work, I was hoping the 1:10″-twist barrel would provide enough stability for the heavier weight bullets. It did — the 10-twist worked great! I was able to shoot the lighter weight bullets and the 88s were superb. With a BC of 0.391, leaving the barrel at 3400, these bullets were still traveling at 2600 fps at 600 yards!

6mm 6.5x47 Lapua 6-6.5x47 varmint rifle mcmillan Berger BAT Action

I did a lot of testing, recording group sizes for a variety of different bullets (see below) and powders. With group size/velocity data in a spreadsheet I was able to “crunch the numbers” and choose my preferred loads. The data drew a clear picture of what the rifle shot best. Here is a chart showing comparative group sizes, arranged by bullet type. On the last three lines, powders are listed by average for all bullets.

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6-6.5x47 Lapua Varmint rifleFinal Thoughts on the 6-6.5×47 Lapua
I have owned three rifles chambered in 22-250 and will always own a rifle in this caliber because it is inherently accurate and drives a 50gr bullet at 3800 fps. No question the 22-250 can be deadly out to 500 yards. However, I’ve found that shooting past 400 yards with the light bullets is difficult if there is any wind at all. That’s why I liked my 6mm AI for those longer shots and why I decided on the 6-6.5×47 Lapua. I couldn’t be happier with my choice. The only thing that could make it better is if Lapua would produce the 6-6.5×47 as an “official” factory 6mm cartridge with 6mm necks right out of the box. But overall, I am very happy with the cartridge, and I thank Dave Bruno for producing a superbly accurate varmint rifle.

CLICK HERE for FULL Story with 6-6.5×47 Load DATA »

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 16th, 2019

Precision Reloading for Handguns — Smart Tips from the USAMU

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) fields pistol teams as well as rifle and shotgun competition squads. Consequently the USAMU’s Reloading Shop loads tens of thousands of pistol rounds every year. In this article, the USAMU’s handgun experts talk about reloading for handguns — with smart tips on how to achieve superior accuracy with 100% reliability. If you load for pistols, take the time to read this article, which offers important insights on COAL, primers, crimps and more.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay safe, and good shooting!

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 14th, 2019

TECH Tip: How to Reduce Run-Out with Seating Dies

USAMU Hump Day Reloading TIR run-out concentricity seating die stem

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. A while back the USAMU’s reloading gurus looked at the subject of cartridge run-out and what can be done to produce straighter ammo. Tasked with producing thousands of rounds of ammo for team members, the USAMU’s reloading staff has developed smart methods for improving concentricity, even with budget=price dies. For other hand-loading tips, visit the USAMU Facebook page.

Minimizing Runout with Standard Seating Dies

This USAMU article explains how to set up standard bullet seating dies dies to minimize Total Indicated Run-out (TIR). The loading process is described using a single-stage press since most handloaders have one. A high-quality run-out gauge is essential for obtaining consistent, accurate results.

Having sized, primed, and charged our brass, the next step is bullet seating. Many approaches are possible; one that works well follows. When setting up a standard seating die, insert a sized, trimmed case into the shellholder and fully raise the press ram. Next, back the seating stem out and screw the die down until the internal crimping shoulder touches the case mouth.

Back the die out ¼ turn from this setting to prevent cartridge crimping. Next, lower the press ram and remove the case. Place a piece of flat steel (or window glass, which is quite flat) on the shellholder and carefully raise the ram.

Place tension on the die bottom with the flat steel on the shellholder. This helps center the die in the press threads. Check this by gently moving the die until it is well-centered. Keeping light tension on the die via the press ram, secure the die lock ring. If one were using a match style, micrometer-type seating die, the next step would be simple: run a charged case with bullet on top into the die and screw the seating stem down to obtain correct cartridge OAL.

However, with standard dies, an additional step can be helpful. When the die has a loosely-threaded seating stem, set the correct seating depth but don’t tighten the stem’s lock nut. Leave a loaded cartridge fully raised into the die to center the seating stem in the die. Then, secure the stem’s lock nut. Next, load sample cartridges and check them to verify good concentricity.

USAMU Hump Day Reloading TIR run-out concentricity seating die stem

One can also experiment with variations such as letting the seating stem float slightly in the die to self-center, while keeping correct OAL. The run-out gauge will show any effects of changes upon concentricity. However, this method has produced excellent, practical results as evidenced by the experiment cited previously. These results (TIR Study 2) will reproduced below for the reader’s convenience.

First, however, let’s examine run-out figures of some factory-loaded match ammunition. This should give readers who are new to TIR gauges some perspective about the TIR ranges one might encounter.

TIR Study 1: 50 rounds Lake City M852 Match 7.62mm
(168 gr. Sierra MatchKings)
0.000” – 0.001” = 2%
0.001” – 0.002” = 30%
0.002” – 0.003” = 16%
0.003” – 0.004” = 22%
0.004” – 0.005” = 14%
0.005” – 0.006” = 14%
0.006” – 0.007” = 0%
0.007” – 0.008” = 2%

TIR Study 2: 50 rounds of .308 match ammo loaded using carefully-adjusted standard dies, vs. 50 using expensive “Match” dies from the same maker.

Standard dies, TIR:
0.000” — 0.001” = 52%;
0.001”– 0.002” = 40%;
0.002”– 0.003” = 8%.
None greater than 0.003”.

Lesser-quality “Match” dies, TIR:
0.000”– 0.001” = 46%;
0.001” — 0.002” = 30%;
0.002” — 0.003” = 20%;
0.003” — 0.004” = 4%.

Note: both samples were loaded using the O-Ring method, i.e. with a rubber O-Ring placed under the locking ring of the Full-length sizing die to allow that die to float.

These tips are intended to help shooters obtain the best results from inexpensive, standard loading dies. Especially when using cases previously fired in a concentric chamber, as was done above, top-quality match dies and brass can easily yield ammo with virtually *no* runout, given careful handloading.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
June 14th, 2019

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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June 13th, 2019

Road Warrior — Reloading Station Inside “Toy-Hauler” RV

Smart Car Toy Hauler
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 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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