October 28th, 2018

What’s Up with Those Pesky Flyers?

Sierra Bullets Reloading Flier Flyer load development groups

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf
Occasionally someone will ask, “Why did I get a flyer that didn’t go in with the rest of my group?” If I had an answer that would stop flyers from happening, I would be rich.

There are many reasons why this can happen. Everything from gripping a forearm differently to variations in the brass casing, the list goes on and on. Most of the time the flyer is usually shooter induced and sometimes what you may think is a flyer, is just part of your group. There are a lot of shooters, that go out and test a load and they may shoot a 3/8” group at 100 yards and think that load is good. But I have seen far too many times that you can shoot another group, same load, same rifle and the next time you may get a 1 ¼” group.

Sierra bullets load development flyer group measurement target

The total opposite can also occur. You may shoot a 1 ¼” group and turn around and follow it with a 1/2″ group without changing anything. If you only shot the one group, you might decide that load wasn’t any good and move on to something else without really knowing what that load was capable of.

To really determine how a particular load is performing we need to shoot multiple groups and take an average of the group sizes to really see what that rifle/load combination is really capable of.

I suggest shooting a minimum of three 5-shot groups and averaging the group sizes before deciding if the load is acceptable or not. Obviously the more rounds you shoot for a group and the more groups that you shoot, you will get a much better representation of what that particular combination can do.

Now I’m not saying to go out and shoot 30 groups with 50 rounds in each group to determine how well your load is shooting. That would be a bit pointless, in some cases it would be time to re-barrel your rifle before your load development was finished.

In most cases, I feel that three to five, 5-shot groups will give you a pretty good representation of how a load will perform in that specific firearm.

Sierra Bullets reloading advice tips information

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October 27th, 2018

How to Neck-Size Cases with LEE Collet Die

LEE Precision Collet Die

For those who prefer to neck-size their brass (rather than full-length-size), the LEE Collet Die is a popular, inexpensive option. It works by having collet tangs or “fingers” press the neck against a central mandrel. The benefit is that you get a very straight neck, which is sized consistently from top to bottom. Canadian shooter Jerry Teo explains: “LEE Collet Dies produce sized cases with very low runout (measured runout is under .001″ using a Sinclair concentricity gauge). You also don’t get the build-up of brass at the base of the neck, as can happen with bushing neck dies. The neck-shoulder junction stays nice and crisp.”

LEE Precision Collet DieTIP ONE — Adjusting Tension
LEE Collet dies don’t have a specific mechanical adjustment for neck tension. But you CAN easily modify the die to provide more or less tension. If you want to adjust the neck tension using a Lee Collet die, you can simply chuck the mandrel in a drill and reduce the diameter with some sand-paper (to increase neck tension) or you can order a mandrel the next caliber larger and turn it to whatever diameter you want (the larger the mandrel diameter, the less the neck tension). You can also order custom mandrels from Lee sized to any diameter you want.

Regarding neck tension, Boyd Allen makes an important point: “The only way to properly get more neck tension with collet dies is to either reduce the diameter of the mandrel, or order a smaller-diameter mandrel from Lee. I remind folks that adjusting the die position to have more toggle at the top of the ram stroke (not the factory recommended method), or leaning on the press handle with more force than recommended will NOT increase neck tension.”

Lee also offers Custom Collet Dies, made from two fired cases. Lee offers custom standard collet dies for $70.00 (plus S/H) and custom large collet dies for $160.00 (plus S/H). CLICK HERE to ORDER.

TIP TWO — Polish and Tune for Easy Case Removal
Some users have complained that their Collet Dies grab the case-neck too firmly, making the case hard to remove. There are solutions to this problem. First inspect the collet fingers and smooth the inner surface up a bit with polishing compound or an extra-fine sanding pad. Second, you can open up the fingers a little bit. LEE recommends that if your Collet Die is sticking, take a steel punch and tap the fingers apart a little bit so that the natural “unloaded” position is wider. Lastly, you should lightly lubricate the outside of the collet fingers (see arrows) before you re-assemble the die. This will ensure they slide smoothly. Also, to prevent the collet fingers from closing too tight, never load up the die with your press without putting a case in place first. Without a case neck between the collet fingers and the mandrel, the collet can clamp itself too tight as you raise the ram.

TIP THREE — Always Have a Case Inside When Operating Collet Die
Our friend Boyd Allen tells us that you need to follow directions and NEVER operate the die without a case inside. Boyd explains: “This is because doing so will spring the quadrents of the collet inward so that they interfere with the insertion of a case, and the user will have to figure out how to undo the damage if the die is to operate properly. This advice would not be needed if everyone read the instructions before using the die…. but many times, they don’t. Another thing that I tell new users is to take the die apart so that they will have a better chance of understanding how it works.”

TIP FOUR — Size Twice and Spin Your Case 1/8th Turn
After reaching fully “down” on your press handle, withdraw the case about an inch and manually rotate it about 1/8th (NOT 1/4 or 1/2) turn while still in the shell-holder, then size again. This will place the die’s collet petals on the four “high spots” of the case neck and will result in a rounder, more evenly-sized neck with slightly more bullet tension. This takes only about one second more per case and is well worth the slight extra effort. (We thank reader Stonecreek for this smart tip).

Here’s a good video that explains how to use a Lee Collet Die to Neck-Size .243 Win brass:

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
October 26th, 2018

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 »
October 23rd, 2018

Primer Crater Cure — Firing Pin Hole Bushing by Greg Tannel

Crater moon primers greg tannel bushing firing pinCraters may look interesting on the moon, but you don’t want to see them on your primers. Certain mechanical issues that cause primer craters can also cause primer piercing — a serious safety problem that needs to be addressed. If you have a gun that is cratering primers (even at moderate pressure levels), there is a solution that works with many rifles — send your bolt to Greg Tannel to have the firing pin hole bushed.

Shooters who convert factory actions to run 6BRs, 6PPCs or other high-pressure cartridges should consider having the firing pin bushed. These modern cartridges like to run at high pressures. When running stout loads, you can get cratering caused by primer flow around the firing pin hole in the bolt face. The reason is a little complicated, but basically the larger the hole, the less hydraulic pressure is required to crater the primer. A limited amount of cratering is normally not a big issue, but you can reduce the problem significantly by having a smith fit a bushing in the firing pin hole. In addition to reduced cratering, bushing the firing pin often produces more consistent ignition.

CLICK HERE for Gre-Tan Firing Pin Hole Bushing Service INFO »

This is a highly recommended procedure that our editors have had done to their own rifles. Greg Tannel (Gre-Tan Rifles) is an expert at this procedure, and he does excellent work on a wide variety of bolts. Current price for a bushing job, which includes turning the firing pin to .062″, is $80.00, or $88.00 with USPS Priority Mail return shipping.

If you have a factory rifle, a bushed firing pin is the way to go if you are shooting the high-pressure cartridges such as 6PPC, 6BR, 6-6.5×47 and 6.5×47. This is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial upgrades you can do to your factory rifle. For more info on the Firing Pin Bushing process, visit GreTanRifles.com, or email greg [at] gretanrifles.com. After clicking the link for GreTanRifles.com, Click on “Services” > “Shop Services” and you’ll see a listing for “Bush Firing Pin Hole & Turn Pin”. CLICK that Box.

Gre-Tan Rifles firing pin bushingFiring Pin Hole Bushing by Greg Tannel

Work Done: Bush firing pin hole and turn pin
Functions: Fixes your cratering and piercing problems
Price: $80.00 + $8.00 return shipping
Total Price: $88.00

Actions for which Bushing is Offered: Remington, Winchester, Savage multi-piece pin, Sako, Kimber, Nesika, Stiller, BAT Machine, Kelbly, Lawton, Surgeon, Borden, Wichita, Hall, Ruger, Howa, Weatherby, Dakota, Pacific Tool, Phoenix, and Defiant bolt action rifle or pistol.

Actions for which Bushing is NOT Available: Case hardened receivers, ARs, Accuracy International (AI), Barnard, Big Horn, Cooper, Desert Tactical Arms, Kimber, Rosenthal, New Savage single piece pin, Rim fires, Falling block, Break open, Lever, Pump rifles, 1903-A3, CZ, Mauser.

How to send your bolt in to be bushed:
You can send your bolt snail mail, priority mail, or UPS (Please do not use FEDEX as it sometimes has delivery delays). Pack your bolt carefully and ship to: Gre’-Tan Rifles, 24005 Hwy. 13, Rifle CO 81650. Please include your name, phone number, and return shipping address.

Due to the high volume of work, turn around is 5 to 8 weeks on bushing a bolt. Three or more bolts will be sent back to you UPS and we will have to calculate shipping. We can overnight them at your expense. You can pay by check, money order, or credit card. For more information visit GretanRifles.com.

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October 23rd, 2018

Don’t Ruin Primer Pockets — Adjust Your Decapping Rod Properly

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

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

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

Universal decapping die

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

Lee Universal Decapping Die on SALE for $10.96
Speaking of decapping tools, Midsouth Shooters Supply sells the Lee Universal Decapping Die for just $10.96 (item 006-90292), a very good deal. There are many situations when you may want to remove primers from fired brass as a separate operation (prior to case sizing). For example, if your rifle brass is dirty, you may want to de-cap before sizing. Or, if you load on a progressive press, things will run much more smoothly if you decap you brass first, in a separate operation.

Lee universal decapping die

NOTE: Some Euro Small Flash Holes are 1.5mm or 0.059″.

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

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 22nd, 2018

Bargain Finder 161: 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. Amazon — Tipton Gun Butler, $14.82

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. Save big right now — the Tipton Gun Butler is marked down to $14.82. That’s 45% off the regular $26.99 price. The Gun Butler offers a convenient platform for cleaning your gun or doing tasks such as scope mounting. Two removable, non-marring forks/cradles (which snap into the base) 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. The base is solvent-resistant polymer. NOTE: The front cradle may not work well with wide benchrest fore-ends.

2. Grafs.com — All Rimfire Ammo 15% Off (.22 and .17 Calibers)

Graf's Grafs.com rimfire .22 LR 17 HMR .17 WSM 22LR twenty-to ammo ammunition sale

Stock up on rimfire ammunition this week. Grafs.com has slashed prices on all in-stock rimfire ammo — .17 caliber and .22 caliber. Save 15% on a huge variety of rimfire ammunition for plinking, hunting, and target applications. All brands in-stock are discounted 15%: Aguila, Browning, CCI, Eley, Federal, Fiocchi, Hornady, Lapua, Norma, Remington, SK, Winchester, Wolf, and more. While most discounted rimfire ammo is .22 LR, this sale also includes .22 Short, .22 WMR, .17 HMR, .17 WSM, and 17 Mach2.

3. MidwayUSA — Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat, $39.99

Pro Series MidwayUSA shooting mat bipod tactical competition roll-up shoot mats

The MidwayUSA Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat is now on sale for just $39.99, 33% off the regular $59.99 price. The Pro Series mat measures a full 73.5″ x 35.5″. Zippered pockets on the front flap hold ammo or log books. And there are webbing “pockets” for bipod feet so you can pre-load your bipod with forward pressure. This quality mat boasts 0.35″ thick padding, multiple pockets, 6 grommets for staking, and a nice carry strap. It’s easy to transport, rolling up to about nine inches in diameter. NOTE: This mat is currently back-ordered, but MidwayUSA will honor the $39.99 sale price and inventories are expected very soon.

4. Brownells — SIG Kilo 850 Laser Rangefinder, $114.99

SIG Sauer Kilo 850 LRF laser rangefinder bargain sale price

Need a very affordable laser rangefinder (LRF) for that fall hunt? Here’s a deal that’s hard to beat. The SIG Kilo 850 Rangefinder is on sale at Brownells for $124.99 and you can get another $10 off (plus free shipping) with CODE “NBM”. That lowers your final price to $114.99 delivered. This Kilo 850 rangefinder is rated to 1200 yards on reflective objects and 800 yards on trees. The unit has a 4x20mm monocular and delivers both line of sight (LOS) or angle modified range (AMR) in yards or meters. NOTE: For CODE “NBM” to work, you must add the code on the FINAL Payment Page.

5. Ruger — Ruger Precision Rimfire, $399.99

The Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR rifle is in high demand, but you CAN get one now for $399.99 from Sportsmans Outdoor Superstore (MSRP: $529.00). That’s a good deal — this rifle sells elsewhere for up to $470.00. For PRS shooters and Ruger Precision Rifle owners, this .22 LR rifle offers the same ergonomics as their centerfire tactical rig, making it great for rimfire cross-training. This PRS-style .22 LR rig features an adjustable bolt throw that lets shooters change from a rimfire 1.5″ bolt throw to a centerfire-like 3″ bolt throw, reducing the chance of short-stroking your bolt in competition. The Ruger Marksman trigger adjusts from 2.25 to 5.0 pounds.

6. Natchez — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, $269.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $269.99. Great Deal. Right now, Natchez is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $269.99, a great price considering all the hardware you get: Press, Primer Tool, Scale, Powder Measure, Loading Tray, Reloading Manual and more. Heck, the Rock Chucker press alone is worth $160.00+. This is good starter kit for any reloader with sturdy items (like the Rock Chucker press), that will last a lifetime.

7. Natchez — Big Savings on Nikon Optics (Scopes, LRFs, Binocs)

Nikon natchez scope deal bargain refurbished sale discount

Need a scope or LRF for hunting season? Here’s a chance to save hundreds on a quality Nikon optic. Natchez Shooters Supply is offering exclusive deals on both new and refurbished Nikon riflescopes, rangefinders, and binoculars including camo finish optics for hunters. There are some truly excellent bargains. Here are some of the best deals on Nikon scopes at Natchez right now:

Nikon 2-10x50mm Monarch 5 scope (new), BDC Reticle
Now $319.99 (Reduced from $599.95 — Save $279.96)

Nikon 3.5-14x50mm ProStaff 5 scope (new), Illum. Nikoplex Reticle
Now $248.88 (Reduced from $579.95 — Save $331.07)

Nikon 4-12x40mm Active Target scope (new) , Realtree Camo, BDC Predator Reticle
Now $184.99 (Reduced from $329.95 — Save $144.96)

8. Midsouth — Hornady LnL Auto Charge Scale/Dispenser, $158.99

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 $158.99 at Midsouth Shooters Supply, discounted way down from the regular $226.24 price. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on this product, making this a real bargain. If you are looking for an affordable combination digital scale and powder dispenser, check this out. By comparison, the RCBS ChargeMaster Lite sells for around $230.00. That means you can save around $70.00 by buying RED instead of GREEN.

9. CDNN — Ruger EC9S Carry Pistol, $229.99

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 $229.99 — that’s $70 off the regular $299.00 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, $14.95

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 $14.95 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, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
October 22nd, 2018

Incipient Case-Head Separation — How to Detect the Problem

cartridge case separation

We are re-publishing this article at the request of Forum members who found the information very valuable. If you haven’t read this Safety Tip before, take a moment to learn how you can inspect your fired brass to determine if there may be a potential for case separation. A case separation can be dangerous, potentially causing serious injury.

cartridge case separationOn the respected Riflemans’ Journal blog there was an excellent article about Cartridge Case-Head Separation. In this important article, Journal Editor GS Arizona examined the causes of this serious problem and explained the ways you can inspect your brass to minimize the risk of a case-head separation. As cases get fired multiple times and then resized during reloading, the cases can stretch. Typically, there is a point in the lower section of the case where the case-walls thin out. This is your “danger zone” and you need to watch for tell-tale signs of weakening.

The photo below shows a case sectioned so that you can see where the case wall becomes thinner near the web. You can see a little arrow into the soot inside the case pointing to the thinned area. This case hadn’t split yet, but it most likely would do so after one or two more firings.

cartridge case separation

Paper Clip Hack for Detecting Problems
The article provided a great, easy tip for detecting potential problems. You can use a bent paper clip to detect potential case wall problems. Slide the paper clip inside your case to check for thin spots. GS Arizona explains: “This simple little tool (bent paper clip) will let you check the inside of cases before you reload them. The thin spot will be immediately apparent as you run the clip up the inside of the case. If you’re seeing a shiny line on the outside and the clip is really hitting a thin spot inside, it’s time to retire the case. If you do this every time you reload, on at least 15% of your cases, you’ll develop a good feel for what the thin spot feels like and how it gets worse as the case is reloaded more times. And if you’re loading the night before a match and feel pressured for time — don’t skip this step!”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
October 20th, 2018

USAMU Advice for Progressive Press Users

Accurateshooter.com USAMU progressive press reloading

Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. In this article, the USAMU’s reloading gurus address a question frequently asked by prospective handloaders: “Should I buy a single-stage press, or a progressive?” The USAMU says the best answer is Solomon-esque in both its wisdom and simplicity: “Get BOTH!” However, there is definitely more to the issue, as the USAMU explains below.

USAMU Reloading

Progressive Press Safety Considerations by USAMU Staff
Many are the beginning handloaders who have asked a friend about their “setting up” a progressive press for them. The idea is that the newbie could then just feed in components and crank out buckets of practice ammo without needing to really learn much about handloading. Tempting though this might be, that’s simply not how it works. Such an approach might be ok if there were never a malfunction with either press or operator, but that’s unrealistic. Our hypothetical newbie would then lack the knowledge to problem-solve most situations.

Worse yet, several different handloading operations would be occurring at different stations on the progressive press at the same time. It takes an experienced operator to keep track of, and truly understand the significance of, all those potential mini-problems. Loading without this experience is a recipe for potential disaster – such as a double powder charge (especially with pistol cartridges) dropped while the loader was attending to some other function, etc. Progressives are an animal unto themselves, and while they offer many benefits, they do take some getting used to – even by experienced handloaders!

ILLUSTRATIVE HORROR STORY
Here, enter a 40-year veteran handloader who decided to jump onto the progressive bandwagon late in his career, having used only single-stage presses all his life. A High Master NRA High Power Rifle competitor, he had no background in competitive pistol shooting, where historically most progressive presses are found.

Experienced Action Pistol shooters have typically encountered multiple episodes in which shooters “skipped” a powder charge for some reason, leading to a squib round and a bullet possibly lodged in the bore. Thus, at matches, it’s reflexive for them to yell “STOP!” in unison if they see a shooter get a “click” vs. a “bang”, and rack the slide to keep firing. This writer has personally seen several pistols saved in just such scenarios over the years.

Click No Bang — What NOT to Do
Our High Master set up a popular progressive press and began turning out .223 Rem 100-yard practice ammo with abandon. He was using a moly-coated 52gr match bullet and an economical, fast-burning surplus powder that gave great accuracy. Once on the range, he began practicing strings of rapid-fire. All was well, until he heard “Click!” rather than “Boom”.

Lacking the above experience or onlookers to halt him, he reflexively operated the charging handle on his expensive, custom NM AR15 Service Rifle, and the next trigger squeeze reportedly registered on seismographs over at least a three-state radius. He sat, uninjured but bewildered, until the hail of expensive bits and pieces quit raining down around him.

When the smoke cleared, he immediately cursed the horrid, evil, demonically-possessed progressive press for this, his first-ever reloading mishap. His $1400 NM upper was ruined, but thankfully, his $800 pre-ban lower… and he had escaped injury.

This tale is told not to discourage the use of progressive presses, but to emphasize the need to EASILY and IMMEDIATELY KNOW what is happening with the press at each station, every time the handle is cranked. Not to do so is, as they say, “bad ju-ju.”

It illustrates why we at the USAMU Handloading Shop agree in recommending that new handloaders should begin with a single-stage press. Once one thoroughly learns the steps in each phase of handloading by repeated experience, then one will be qualified to move on to a progressive press.

The single-stage press will REMAIN virtually indispensable for one’s entire handloading career, even after having purchased a progressive press (or two). There are endless small projects that are best handled on a single-stage press, and a poll of USAMU’s Handloading staff reveals that not one would willingly be without his single-stage press, despite owning at least one progressive.

Permalink Reloading 3 Comments »
October 17th, 2018

Ultra-High BC Sierra MatchKings in .223, .264, and .308 Calibers

Sierra MatchKing 2018 New bullets 95gr 150gr 200gr 230gr .223 Rem .308 Win

Earlier this year, Sierra unveiled four ultra-high-BC MatchKing bullets in .224, .264 (6.5 mm), and .308 calibers. Sierra has released load data for these four new projectiles: 22 caliber 95gr HPBT MatchKing #1396, 6.5mm 150gr HPBT MatchKing #1755, 30 caliber 200gr HPBT MatchKing #2231, and 30 caliber 230gr HPBT MatchKing #2251. With the link below you can download all the new data which can be printed and added to the Sierra Bullets 5th Ed. Reloading Manual.


» GET 2018 New Bullet DATA from Sierra in PDF format

High-BC MatchKings Tipped at Factory
Sierra recently released a new-for-2018, 95-grain .224 projectile, Sierra product #1396, with a claimed G1 BC of 0.600 — mighty impressive for a .22-caliber bullet. Next up is the new 6.5mm (.264 caliber) 150-grainer with an 0.713 G1 BC. This could be a game-changer for the 6.5-284 and new 6.5 PRC short magnum. There are also two new .308-caliber MatchKings, a 200-grainer with 0.715 G1 BC, and a new 230-grainer with a stunning 0.800 G1 BC. Many of these New Generation MatchKings now come “tipped” from the factory for more uniform BC.

.224 Cal 95gr HPBT MatchKing #1396
6.5mm 150gr HPBT MatchKing #1755
.308 Cal 200gr HPBT MatchKing #2231
.308 Cal 230gr HPBT MatchKing #2251

Sierra Bullets Load Data MatchKing .223 .224 6.5 mm .308 200gr 230gr
Sierra MatchKing 2018 New bullets 95gr 150gr 200gr 230gr .223 Rem .308 Win

Sierra MatchKing 2018 New bullets 95gr 150gr 200gr 230gr .223 Rem .308 Win

Sierra MatchKing 2018 New bullets 95gr 150gr 200gr 230gr .223 Rem .308 Win

Sierra MatchKing 2018 New bullets 95gr 150gr 200gr 230gr .223 Rem .308 Win

Sierra bullets header

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 16th, 2018

PMA Micro-Die Adjuster and Whidden Click-Adjustable FL Dies

click-adjustable die micro-adjusting lock ring PMA Tool Whidden Gunworks

One of the most important aspects of precision reloading is setting the shoulder bump during the full-length (FL) sizing process. You want the amount of “bump” to be precise and identical for every loaded round. However, when you switch brands of brass you may need to change the die position to get the desired bump and case body sizing. And even with the same brand of brass, you may find that you need to adjust your FL die as the number of brass load cycles increases. Brass that has been fired many times will behave differently than new or near-new brass.

Also, even with the same cartridge type, brass loaded for a semi-auto rifle may need more bump than brass fired in a bolt gun. For example, with .223 Rem ammo, you’ll normally want to push the shoulder back farther if the ammo will be shot in a AR15 as opposed to a bolt-action rig.

So how do you make all these needed adjustments for your full-length dies? You can move a conventional locking ring up and down, but that can be a tedious, trial-and-error process. Some guys use shims in one-thousandth intervals, but that still requires taking your dies in and out of the press. Well there is a better way now…

PMA Tool Micro-Die Adjuster

Wouldn’t it be great if you could precisely adjust your FL die up and down in half-thousandth increments, with a simple indexed click. That is now possible with products offered by PMA Tool and Whidden Gunworks. PMA Tool offers a Micro-Die Adjuster that replaces your existing lock ring and can be used with nearly any 7/8-14 full length sizing die. The engraved marks correspond to approximately .001″ of shoulder bump adjustment. Splitting the engraved marks is therefore approximately equal to .0005″ (half a thousandth). Users love this product, saying it adds precision and saves time.

Whidden Click-Adjustable FL Sizing Die System

Whidden Gunworks offers a complete click-adjustable FL sizer die with a special, indexed ring. With Whidden’s patent-pending Click Adjustable Sizer Die system, the die and lock ring work together to allow rapid, precise bump adjustments. One click changes the bump .001″. It’s simple and fast. Included with the Click Adjustable Sizer Die is a shoulder bump gauge. John Whidden (in video below) explains:

“There has become a need for an easier way to adjust the sizer die properly. Until now there have been few options other than trial and error to get the shoulder setback correct. Anyone who has done this can attest that it’s a slow and imprecise job! Our die and lock ring work together to give the user a clicking feel to the adjustment. Each click moves the shoulder bump .001” so you can easily find the exact shoulder bump that you desire.” — John Whidden

General Tips on Setting Up and Using Sizing Dies

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October 10th, 2018

Dewey Aluminum Jags Eliminate “False Positives”

Aluminum jag copper eliminator Dewey

Conventional brass jags work great — except for one thing. They can react to solvents, leaving a blue “false positive” on patches. In recent years, jag-makers have experimented with many different materials in an effort to cure the solvent-reaction problem. Today we have polymer jags, nickel-plated jags, and stainless steel jags. And the latest innovation is the aluminum jag from Dewey.

Aluminum jag DeweyJ. Dewey Mfg. offers a series of “Copper Eliminator” jags and brush adapters made from aircraft-grade aluminum with the same hardness as brass. Dewey claims that its aluminum jags will not become embedded with grit or particles that could harm your bore. At the same time, Dewey’s aluminum jags will not react to ammoniated bore solvents that can turn patches blue green when used with brass jags. Dewey aluminum jags are offered with either male OR female 8/32 threads. The $5.25 aluminum jags and $3.70 brush adapters are offered in a wide variety of calibers. You can order from Dewey Mfg. or Sinclair Int’l.

Story Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome submissions from our readers.
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October 8th, 2018

Bargain Finder 159: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

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

1. Midsouth — Major Brand Blem Tipped Bullets — Up to 45% Off

Midsouth Blem bullets discount tipped bullet

Midsouth is now offering big savings on major-brand blem bullets. These are overruns, cosmetically blemished jackets or tip discolorations, or factory second bullets from a major bullet manufacturer (Midsouth isn’t allowed to name the company). NOTE: Some projectile tips are misshapen, other packages may contain bullets which vary by grain weight. No matter what, you’re getting tipped hunting, or tipped match bulk bullets at huge savings. Many options in .243 (6mm), .257, .264 (6.5mm), .277, .284 (7mm), .308, and .338 calibers.

2. Brownells — Thompson Center T/CR22 — $249.99 With Rebate

Thompson Center T/CR22

Thompson Center’s new T/CR22 rimfire can use most Ruger 10/22 accessories including 10/22 mags. But it has some distinct advantages over the Ruger. The stock is a quality MagPul composite design. The barrel is button-rifled with a threaded muzzle. The bolt holds open after the last shot. This gun comes complete with front and rear iron sights as well as a Picatinny rail on the action. NRA reviewers praised this gun saying: “Thompson Center has taken the aftermarket parts you’re going to pay extra for [on a Ruger 10/22] and made them standard on the T/CR22, saving you some cash[.]” Right now the T/CR22 is on sale for $299.99 at Brownells with a $50 manufacturer REBATE, for a $249.99 cost after rebate. But it gets better — use CODE “N8Y” during checkout to save another $20 and get free shipping. Then your actual cost for the rifle (after discount and rebate), is $229.99 plus $10.00 FFL Processing fee.

3. Brownells — ATI GSG .22 LR FireFly Pistol (P226 Style)

ATI SIG P226 P-Series rimfire .22LR .22 LR Pistol handgun

If you like SIG Sauer P-series pistols, you’ll love this GSG .22 LR rimfire. It faithfully copies the lines and ergonomics of the classic P226 9mm handgun. Make by GSG in Germany, the ATI Firefly features a 4″ barrel, alloy frame, and steel slide. A simple blowback operating system provides reliable cycling with included 10-round magazine. The Firefly is on sale now at Brownells for just $179.99, marked down from $249.99. That’s a great price for a nice little rimfire that is offered in three finishes: Matte Black, Tan, and Dark Green. Weight: 1.53 pounds.

4. VihtaVuori — $5.00 Per Pound Rebate on Vihtavuori Powders

Capstone Vihtavuori powder propellant N133 N140 rebate discount sale $60 cash back

The 2018 VihtaVuori Rebate Program is under way. For a limited time, earn $5.00 back per bottle when you purchase VihtaVuori powders. Act soon as this offer expires on October 15, 2018. Be sure to keep your receipts and note the labels. The Rebate application MUST include proof of purchase showing retailer name and date of purchase. And the Rebate Form MUST include the serial number for each VihtaVuori bottle purchased.

Bruno’s | Graf’s | Midsouth | Powder Valley | Precision Reloading

VV Rebate Start Date: 8/15/2018
VV Rebate End Date: 10/15/2018
Postmarked By Date: 11/30/2018
Minimum Purchase: One 1-pound bottle
Maximum Purchase: Twelve 1-pound bottles
Maximum REBATE is $60.00

5. Natchez — Big Savings on Nikon Optics (Scopes, LRFs, Binocs)

Nikon natchez scope deal bargain refurbished sale discount

Need a scope or LRF for hunting season? Here’s a chance to save hundreds on a quality Nikon optic. Natchez Shooters Supply is offering exclusive deals on both new and refurbished Nikon riflescopes, rangefinders, and binoculars including camo finish hunting scopes for hunters. There are some truly excellent bargains, plus you can get $5 Flat Rate Shipping with Code 180910 (through 9/12/18). Here are some of the best deals on Nikon scopes at Natchez right now:

Nikon 2-10x50mm Monarch 5 scope (new), BDC Reticle
Now $319.99 (Reduced from $599.95 — Save $279.96)

Nikon 3.5-14x50mm ProStaff 5 scope (new), Illum. Nikoplex Reticle
Now $294.99 (Reduced from $579.95 — Save $284.96)

Nikon 4-12x40mm Active Target scope (new) , Realtree Camo, BDC Predator Reticle
Now $184.99 (Reduced from $329.95 — Save $144.96)

Burris Scopes Also on Sale
Natchez also has many Burris scopes up to 60% OFF. For example the Burris XTR II 1-5x24mm riflescope is marked down from $799.00 to $459.99, a $339 savings!

6. Mossberg — 20% Off All Products in Mossberg Store this Week

Mossberg Accessories online store 20% Off parts sale

Mossberg just announced a major fall season sale. Virtually everything in Mossberg’s online store is now 20% Off with CODE “FALL 20″. This includes stocks, barrels, triggers, sights, heat shields, magazines, apparel, range bags, gun cases, and much more. This is a great way to acquire quality accessories at bargain prices. This promotion runs through 10/11/2018. Mossberg Sale tip from EdLongrange.

NOTE: This sale does not apply to complete Mossberg rifles or shotguns. Those must be purchased through retail FFL dealers.

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

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

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

8. Brownells — RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press, $130.99

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press Discount Sale Brownells

The RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press is a classic single-stage press that will handle all hand-loading sizing and seating chores. There’s plenty of leverage to full-length size big cases. The rigidity of this cast-iron press also allows precise, repeatable bullet seating. While we prefer to prime as a separate operation, you CAN prime your cases with the Rock Chucker. Right now this press is on sale at Brownells for $140.99. However, with CODE “NBM” you save $10 and get FREE Shipping. That way your net cost is $130.99 delivered. This same press sells elsewhere for up to $165.00.

9. Amazon — 12″x12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $9.99

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $9.99, or a 25-pack for $17.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating. One example: “Excellent quality and durability. The adhesive is really strong. High contrast makes down range targeting easy and the splatter contrast is [great].”

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October 7th, 2018

Reloading Tip: Bullet Bearing Surface and Pressure

USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparision Safety Reloading
Photo 1: Three Near-Equal-Weight 7mm Bullets with Different Shapes

TECH TIP: Bullets of the same weight (and caliber) can generate very different pressure levels due to variances in Bearing Surface Length (BSL).

Bullet 1 (L-R), the RN/FB, has a very slight taper and only reaches its full diameter (0.284″) very near the cannelure. This taper is often seen on similar bullets — it helps reduce pressures with good accuracy. The calculated BSL of Bullet 1 was ~0.324″. The BSL of Bullet 2, in the center, was ~0.430”, and Bullet 3’s was ~ 0.463″. Obviously, bullets can be visually deceiving as to BSL!


This article from the USAMU covers an important safety issue — why you should never assume that a “book” load for a particular bullet will be safe with an equal-weight bullet of different shape/design. The shape and bearing surface of the bullet will affect the pressure generated inside the barrel. This is part of the USAMU’s Handloading Hump Day series, published on the USAMU Facebook page.

Beginning Handloading, Part 13:
Extrapolating Beyond Your Data, or … “I Don’t Know, What I Don’t Know!”

We continue our Handloading Safety theme, focusing on not inadvertently exceeding the boundaries of known, safe data. Bullet manufacturers’ loading manuals often display three, four, or more similar-weight bullets grouped together with one set of load recipes. The manufacturer has tested these bullets and developed safe data for that group. However, seeing data in this format can tempt loaders — especially new ones — to think that ALL bullets of a given weight and caliber can interchangeably use the same load data. Actually, not so much.

The researchers ensure their data is safe with the bullet yielding the highest pressure. Thus, all others in that group should produce equal or less pressure, and they are safe using this data.

However, bullet designs include many variables such as different bearing surface lengths, hardness, and even slight variations in diameter. These can occasionally range up to 0.001″ by design. Thus, choosing untested bullets of the same weight and caliber, and using them with data not developed for them can yield excess pressures.

This is only one of the countless reasons not to begin at or very near the highest pressure loads during load development. Always begin at the starting load and look for pressure signs as one increases powder charges.

Bullet bearing surface length (BSL) is often overlooked when considering maximum safe powder charges and pressures. In photo 1 (at top), note the differences in the bullets’ appearance. All three are 7mm, and their maximum weight difference is just five grains. Yet, the traditional round nose, flat base design on the left appears to have much more BSL than the sleeker match bullets. All things being equal, based on appearance, the RN/FB bullet seems likely to reach maximum pressure with significantly less powder than the other two designs.

Bearing Surface Measurement Considerations
Some might be tempted to use a bullet ogive comparator (or two) to measure bullets’ true BSL for comparison’s sake. Unfortunately, comparators don’t typically measure maximum bullet diameter and this approach can be deceiving.

Photo 2: The Perils of Measuring Bearing Surface Length with Comparators
USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparision Safety Reloading

In Photo 2, two 7mm comparators have been installed on a dial caliper in an attempt to measure BSL. Using this approach, the BSLs differed sharply from the original [measurements]. The comparator-measured Bullet 1 BSL was 0.694” vs. 0.324” (original), Bullet 2 was 0.601” (comparator) vs. 0.430” (original), and Bullet 3 (shown in Photo 2) was 0.602” (comparator) vs. 0.463” (original). [Editor’s comment — Note the very large difference for Bullet 1, masking the fact that the true full diameter on this bullet starts very far back.]

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 10 Comments »
October 7th, 2018

Darrell Holland Upgrade for RCBS Bench Priming Tool

Priming Tool Holland Perfect RCBS bench mount primer

Gunsmith Darrell Holland sells a priming tool that upgrades the RCBS Auto Bench Priming Tool with key features — including primer seating depth control. If your hand starts to hurt after priming dozens of cases with a hand-held, squeeze-type priming tool, you may want to consider Holland’s invention, which he calls the “Perfect Primer Seater” (PPS).

Holland basically has modified the RCBS lever, adding a precise crush control and a means of measuring depth with a gauge. He claims this gives “an EXACT primer seating depth based on primer pocket depth and primer thickness”. With Holland’s PPS, primer seating depth is controlled with a rotating wheel that limits lever travel in precise gradations. You can buy the complete priming system for $215.00, or, if you already own the RCBS Auto Prime tool, you can purchase an adapter kit (with base, arm, adjuster, and gauge etc.) for $120.00. To order, visit Hollandguns.com. Click on “Reloading Equipment”, and look for the Perfect Primer Seater. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to add items to the shopping cart.

Priming Tool Holland Perfect RCBS bench mount primer

Priming Tool Holland Perfect RCBS bench mount primerUser Review by Tommy Todd
Sierra Bullets’ Chief Ballistician Tommy Todd acquired the Holland Perfect Primer Seater, and gave it a positive review. Todd writes: “This cartridge case priming system allows you to measure the primer pocket depth and adjust the seating tool to match the primer seating depth for a contact fit with a measured lot of primers to the cases you are working with. Mr. Darrell Holland has taken a standard RCBS automatic bench-mounted priming tool and modified it to a new level of precision. The modifications allow you to measure the primer pocket depth, primer height, and with the addition of an adjustable stop on the priming tool achieve precision primer seating, rather than how the primer ‘feels'[.]

If you are already utilizing the RCBS priming tool, Mr. Holland offers an adapter kit to upgrade your equipment. If you are looking for a new priming unit, I suggest giving this product a try. Increasing consistency when seating primers should result in smaller groups[.]”

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October 6th, 2018

Case Prep Tips from Western Powders

Western Powders Case Preparation prep inspection flash holes primer pockets reloading

Western Powders (which sells Accurate, Ramshot, and Norma powders) has published an article on case inspection and preparation. There are many tips in this article that can be useful to precision hand-loaders. For example, every time you open a new box of cartridge brass (particularly from domestic makers), you should inspect each case for flaws.

TIP ONE: Visual Inspection — Finding Flaws
Cases are mass-produced items and malformed ones are relatively common. Inspect each case carefully looking for obvious defects. A bench-mounted magnifying glass with light is a real help for the over-40 crowd. The main defects will be cracks in the neck or case body, crushed shoulders or deep creases in the neck. Next check the primer pocket. It is also fairly common to find flash holes that are damaged or, more rarely, not concentric to the primer pocket.

Western Powders Case Preparation prep inspection flash holes primer pockets reloading

Imperfections like small dings in the case body, or necks that are not completely symmetrical do not have to be eliminated at this step. Damage of this sort is usually from loose packaging and usually has not seriously damaged the brass. [Running an expander mandrel in the neck] and fire-forming will iron out these largely cosmetic issues.

The Western Powder article also talks about primer pocket uniforming. We do NOT normally uniform the pockets for Lapua or RWS brass from the start. However, pocket uniforming can be beneficial with some other brands of brass, including Lake City, Remington, and Winchester. If you shoot milsurp brass, set time aside for pocket uniforming.

TIP TWO: Primer Pocket Uniforming
Western Powders Case Preparation inspection flash holes primer pockets reloadingLike flash holes, primer pockets are mass-produced and prone to small dimensional changes. A uniforming tool is used to make the depth of each primer pocket consistent. In turn this allows similar firing pin strike depths on the primer which creates more consistent ignition characteristics.

A good uniforming tool should have a shoulder, or another positive stop, that sets the cutter’s depth. Its use is pretty straightforward. The cutter is inserted into the pocket and turned clockwise several times until the stop in flush with the case head and no more brass is removed from the juncture of the pocket’s base and sidewall. This a job best done by hand. You will feel when the cutting is finished by a change in how smoothly the cutter turns in the pocket. Very little material is actually removed; usually just enough to square the radius at the bottom of the pocket.


READ Full Case Prep Article in Western Powders Blog »

Western Powders Blog Case Prep Neck turning

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October 5th, 2018

Changing Primer Types Can Alter Load Velocities and Pressures

Primer Wolf CCI Federal Muzzle velocity FPS reloading

We are often asked “Can I get more velocity by switching primer types?” The answer is “maybe”. The important thing to know is that changing primer types can alter your load’s performance in many ways — velocity average, velocity variance (ES/SD), accuracy, and pressure. Because there are so many variables involved you can’t really predict whether one primer type is going to be better or worse than another. This will depend on your cartridge, your powder, your barrel, and even the mechanics of your firing pin system.

Interestingly, however, a shooter on another forum did a test with his .308 Win semi-auto. Using Hodgdon Varget powder and Sierra 155gr Palma MatchKing (item 2156) bullets, he found that Wolf Large Rifle primers gave slightly higher velocities than did CCI-BR2s. Interestingly, the amount of extra speed (provided by the Wolfs) increased as charge weight went up, though the middle value had the largest speed variance. The shooter observed: “The Wolf primers seemed to be obviously hotter and they had about the same or possibly better ES average.” See table:

Varget .308 load 45.5 grains 46.0 grains 46.5 grains
CCI BR2 Primers 2751 fps 2761 fps 2783 fps
Wolf LR Primers 2757 fps 2780 fps 2798 fps
Speed Delta 6 fps 19 fps 15 fps

You can’t extrapolate too much from the table above. This describes just one gun, one powder, and one bullet. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) as they say. However, this illustration does show that by substituting one component you may see significant changes. Provided it can be repeated in multiple chrono runs, an increase of 19 fps (with the 46.0 grain powder load) is meaningful. An extra 20 fps or so may yield a more optimal accuracy node or “sweet spot” that produces better groups. (Though faster is certainly NOT always better for accuracy — you have to test to find out.)

WARNING: When switching primers, you should exercise caution. More speed may be attractive, but you have to consider that the “speedier” primer choice may also produce more pressure. Therefore, you must carefully monitor pressure signs whenever changing ANY component in a load. Glen Zediker recommends decreasing your load ONE FULL GRAIN when changing to a different primer type, one that you haven’t used before.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 8 Comments »
October 4th, 2018

New Western Powders Handloading Guide 7.0 — Great Resource

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32

Western Powders has released its NEW Handloading Guide, Edition 7.0. This $2.99 print resource contains the latest load data for Western’s propellants including Accurate, Ramshot, and Blackhorn powders. Edition 7.0 features the most current data available for Ramshot and Accurate powders, including popular LT30 and LT32, and new Accurate TCM, Accurate 11FS and Ramshot LRT propellants. This latest load guide also has load data for the new 224 Valkyrie, 300 Norma, and 30 Nosler cartridges. Along with reloading recipes, this resource features helpful articles on handloading methods and rifle maintenance/cleaning with X-Treme products.

GET New Western Powders Handloading Guide 7.0 for $2.99 »

Accurate Powder Online Load Data | Ramshot Powder Online Load Data

In the new Handloading Guide 7.0 , you’ll find load data for over 100 rifle cartridges. The cartridge listings are up to date — you’ll find the popular new mid-sized competition cartridges, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5×47 Lapua, along with many popular wildcat varmint cartridges, such as the 20 Vartarg, 20 Tactical, and 20 BR. Benchresters will also find recipes for the new LT 30 and LT 32 powders which have proven very accurate in the 30BR and 6PPC respectively.

Western Powders reloading guide LT30 LT32

GET FREE Western Powders Reloading & Load Data Guide 6.0 »

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32Download FREE Version 6.0 Guide:
If you can live without the very latest info, you can still get Version 6.0 of Western’s Reloading Guide for FREE. That’s right Version 6.0 is a FREE downloadable PDF. This FREE Reloading & Load Data Guide (Edition 6.0) contains thousands of recipes for handgun and rifle cartridges (plus shotshell and muzzle-loading info).

Download Reloading Guide 6.0 PDF (FREE)

Here is just a partial listing of the 100+ rifle cartridge types covered in Western’s Load Data Guide 6.0:

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32

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October 4th, 2018

Quick Tip: Mirror & Magnifier for Beam Scales

Beam Scale hack Magnify Magnifier Mirror RCBS 10-10 Scale

Here’s a simple modification that makes your classic beam balance more user-friendly. For a few dollars you can enhance your balance scale system to improve work-flow and reduce eye strain. This clever modification makes it easier to see the balance’s zero-mark center-line when weighing charges.

When he chooses to measure his loads or sort bullets by weight, Forum Member Boyd Allen likes his trusty RCBS 10-10 scale. He finds that it works predictably, time after time, and it doesn’t suffer from the drift and calibration issues that plague some of the less-expensive electronic scales on the market.

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

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 3rd, 2018

Alliant Reloder 16 — Great Powder for Match Cartridges

Reloder Reloader 16 Alliant Powder Propellant Bofors TZ temperature stability temp stable H4350

Do You Like H4350? Then You Should Try Reloder 16 — It Is Accurate and Temp Stable
Alliant Reloder 16 is used now by many top shooters for cartridges that work well with Hodgdon H4350. In fact, we’d say that Reloder 16 is the best substitute for H4350 on the market. Alliant’s RL 16 is very temp stable, offers good velocity, and the accuracy is top tier. Some guys report slightly better accuracy than H4350 in the .284 Win, .260 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, and 6XC cartridges. If you currently use H4350, you should definitely give Alliant Reloder 16 a try. The powder also boasts excellent lot-to-lot consistency and contains a proprietary de-coppering additive.

Alliant powder Reloader Reloder 16 RL16 load data 6.5 Creedmoor .243 Win WinchesterThis is NOT just a slower version of Alliant’s double-based Reloder 15 (which words great in the 6mmBR and Dasher cartridges). Reloder 16 is a completely new formulation, produced in Sweden by Bofors for Alliant. Reloder 16 utilizes TZ technology, which manipulates the response of the propellant and resists the natural tendency to generate more pressure at higher temperatures and less pressure at lower temperatures. As a result, Alliant’s Reloder 16 offers truly outstanding temperature stability.

Reloder 16 Load Recipes »

Reloder 16 Load Data PDF »

Match and Hunting Cartridge Applications:
Alliant tells us that Reloder 16 “is ideal for traditional hunting cartridges, such as .30-06 Springfield and .270 Winchester, as well as 6.5mm target loads and tactical applications wherein temperature stability is required.” We also think the powder will work well in these popular match cartridges: 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, .284 Win, and .300 WSM. For example, Alliant’s Reloder 16 Load Data Page shows a 2932 FPS load with Berger 130 grain Hybrid bullet in the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Alliant Reloder 16 Load DATA for 6.5 Creedmoor:

Alliant powder Reloader Reloder 16 RL16 load data 6.5 Creedmoor .243 Win Winchester

Alliant Reloder 16 Load DATA for .243 Winchester:

Alliant powder Reloader Reloder 16 RL16 load data 6.5 Creedmoor .243 Win Winchester
NOTE: This is a partial .243 Win Data set. More loads available HERE.

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October 2nd, 2018

Hand Clamp Bullet Puller — Grip-N-Pull Pros and Cons

Grip-N-Pull bullet cartridge puller removal neck inertial pull collet case reloading

Do you need to pull bullets that have been seated in a case? You can use lever-actuated, collet-type pullers, or inertial hammer-style pullers, but there is a faster solution. The Grip-N-Pull bullet puller is a precision-machined hand clamp that works for multiple calibers. A single Grip-N-Pull can replace several other tools, while being faster to use. With larger-diameter bullets loaded with light-to-moderate neck tension, it works well. The bullets come out pretty easily, with no scuff marks or dents. For smaller-diameter, .204 to .243 caliber bullets, it may be hard to grip the bullet easily, or you may end up with some jacket damage. And we wouldn’t use this for factory-crimped cartridges.

Introduction to Grip-N-Pull — How It Works:

How to Use the Grip-N-Pull
Put your loaded case in the shell-holder on a reloading press. Raise the ram so the bullet is exposed at the top of the press. Then select the correct, caliber-specific slot in the Grip-N–Pull, clasp the bullet firmly, then lower the ram. The bullet withdraws from the case-neck, retained in the tool. Fast and simple. If there isn’t much neck tension (or a crimp), the bullet should come out undamaged.

Not So Great for Small-Diameter Bullets
Watch this video — the tester says the Grip-N-Pull works well with larger-diameter bullets, but there can be slippage with smaller-diameter projectiles, or those with short bearing surfaces. NOTE: When there is a lot of neck tension, you have to grip extremely hard which can cause your hand to hurt after a while. And the bullets can get marred.


This video explains some of the shortcomings of the Grip-N-Pull.

Four Grip-N-Pull Models Available
Grip-N-Pull bullet pullers can be used for multiple calibers. For example, the Standard Rifle Grip-N-Pull pulls bullets for these calibers: .17, .20, .22, .24, .25, .26, .27, .28, and .30. The Large Rifle model works with 8mm, .338, .375, .416 and .458. There is a third model for pistol cartridges, and a fourth “Mil-Spec” unit that does 5.56, 7.62, .338 and .50 BMG. Grip-N-Pull bullet pullers are made of 1/4″ heavy-duty #30 stainless steel and are backed by a lifetime warranty.

Speed and Efficiency of Grip-N-Pull
The Grip-N-Pull’s creators claim this hand clamp cuts bullet pulling time in half. For a speed comparison between Grip-N-Pull and a hammer-style (inertial) bullet puller, watch this Extreme Outer Limits video. Bob and Chris Beck do a head-to-head comparison between the Grip-N-Pull and an inertia puller. It’s no contest — the Grip-N-Pull is way faster, and the powder stays in the case.

Pull Comparison — Grip-N-Pull Vs. Hammer-Style Inertial Puller

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