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April 23rd, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Five Great Videos for Accurate Shooters

AccurateShooter Daily Bulletin Saturday Movies Videos Barrel cleaning neck turning autotrickler reloading components

Every Saturday we present interesting, informative videos for our Daily Bulletin readers. Here we feature five YouTube videos that offer a ton of useful information for serious shooters. We start with a great video about setting up rifle, rest, and bag on the bench. Then Hall-of-Fame benchrest shooter Speedy Gonzalez shows smart methods for cleaning barrels. Next F-Class Ace Keith Glasscock explains how to optimize your rifle after travel. In the fourth video, AutoTrickler inventor Adam MacDonald shows how to optimize the AutoTrickler V4. Next the truly outstanding 21st Century Power Neck-Turning lathe is showcased.

How to Set Up Your Rifle, Rest, and Bag on the Bench

To get the best results in benchrest shooting, you need to set up all the gear on your bench properly. That includes front rest placement, rear bag position, spotting scope set-up, and placement of cartridge holder/caddy, and possibly an elbow/forearm rest. When setting up the hardware, you need to align the front rest and rear bag properly to get optimal tracking. In addition you want to make sure the rear bag doesn’t slide or rotate a bit from shot to shot. And you also want to set your seat height/location so the shooter’s position is optimal and comfortable. This helpful video shows how to set up your rifle and gear for a benchrest match or load development/practice at the range. Credit to Boyd Allen for finding video.

Cleaning Barrels with Speedy — Smart Techniques

There are many effective methods to clean barrels. But some are more efficient that others and can help you do the job more quickly, with less effort. Here respected gunsmith and Hall-of-Fame benchrest shooter Speedy Gonzalez shows his procedures for cleaning competition barrels. He uses Sharpshoot-R Liquid Patch-Out and Wipe-Out Accelerator as primary solvents. Watch carefully — Speedy has some clever techniques for starting a patch in the rifling, and he is also careful about exiting the muzzle when brushing. Speedy also explains the importance of keeping your rods clean. And he prefers nylon brushes because, as the barrel starts to get wear in the throat, “the bronze bristles will actually start eating into that and you’ll see little grooves if you have a good borescope.” (See video 00:38-01:35)

Getting Rifle Ready After Traveling — Keith Glasscock

Keith Glasscock is one of America’s top F-Class shooters, having finished Second at the National Championships multiple times. Keith, who has an engineering background, runs the popular Winning in the Wind YouTube channel. There you’ll find great advice on wind reading, load tuning, precision reloading and many other topics. In this video, Keith offers very smart advice on how to re-assemble your rifle after you have traveled to a match or practice destination. Keith explains how to check the fasteners on the gun and set up the scope properly if you removed it while traveling.

Adjusting AutoTrickler V4 with its Inventor, Adam MacDonald

Adam MacDonald is the brilliant Canadian engineer who created the AutoTrickler series of automated powder dispensing systems. These work with advanced scales to dispense powder rapidly, but with a precise final trickle accurate to a single kernel. In this video, Adam explains how best to adjust and calibrate the AutoTrickler V4 when using powders that flow at different rates.

21st Century Power Neck-Turning Lathe — Great Tool

Turning case-necks can be tedious and tough on older hands if you’re using hand-held tools. Quite a few years ago 21st Century released a great compact, neck-turning lathe that delivers superb, consistent results. This Editor uses that original lathe with hand crank and I can affirm that it works great. It is easy to use, fast, and the turned necks come out smooth with consistent rim thickness. But you still had to turn a crank. Well, in 2018, 21st Century created an upgraded Power Neck-Turning Lathe with an electric motor and lever to advance the cases to the cutter. The power head glides on stainless steel guide rails. Power is controlled with a red button in the feed handle.

This advanced, powered mini-lathe is absolutely superb. It works brilliantly and makes the task of turning case-necks fast and VERY easy. And there is even a 3-Way trimmer upgrade that will trim cases to length at the same time as the necks are turned.

BONUS — How to Spot Fake Online Sellers of Components

With the shortage of premium reloading components, particularly powder and primers, many handloaders are desperate to find components when even big companies such as Midsouth and MidwayUSA are completely sold out. Enter the scammers. There are criminals, many based overseas, who have created entire websites designed to steal your money. You might find such a site when searching for “Varget powder in stock” or “CCI BR4 primers”. These sites look like regular business webstores, with product photos and modern shopping cart systems. But it’s all a scam.

Key giveaways are: 1) The site does NOT take Visa, Mastercard, or Discover but requires payment with Zelle, Venmo, Bitcoin, or AppleCash only; and 2) The site has hard-to-find powders, such as Varget and H4350, that nobody else has, and you can put thousands of pounds in the shopping cart.

Bottom line here — if the site allows you to order vast amounts of powder and/or primers, and does not take ANY major Credit Card types, it is almost surely a scam. If you see links to pay with Crypto-Currency (such as Bitcoin) run away!

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December 25th, 2020

Christmas Video Showcase — 8 Great Videos from F-Class John

Nancy tompkins book f-class john videos
This image is from multi-time Nat’l Long Range Champion Nancy Tompkins, author of Prone and Long Range Rifle Shooting. Nancy loves to photograph the Aurora Borealis.

As a Christmas present for our readers, today we showcase eight very informative videos from AccurateShooter Forum member F-Class John. A talented F-Class competitor with a smart, technically-focused mind, John has created a series of videos about reloading and precision loading tools, along with rifle and shooting accessories. Many of John’s product reviews are the most thorough and detailed you’ll find in video format. You’ll find over 120 informative videos on F-Class John’s popular YouTube Channel.

SEE ALL F-Class John YouTube Videos HERE »

Nancy tompkins book f-class john videos

21st Century Hydro Press and Arbor Press — Product Review

Many of the world’s top benchrest, long-range, and F-Class shooters prefer to seat their bullets using arbor-type presses with inline dies. This allows smooth, repeatable bullet-seating with very low run-out. One of the very best arbor-type seating presses ever created is the 21st Century Hydro Press. This offers plenty of leverage driving a precision ram. The Hydro Press also features a hydraulic line to drive a precision seating force gauge. Along with the Hydro Press, John tests 21st Century’s standard arbor press.

Cartridge Case Separation — Tell-Tale Warning Signs

If you reload and haven’t experienced a case separation yet then you are fortunate. It’s a fact of life in the shooting world. A bad case separation can have very unfortunate consequences. Therefore you need to watch for warning signs on your cartridge brass, so you stay safe. The video above shows what to look for — and how to recognize signs of incipient separation. One important factor leading to case head separation is improper head-spacing causing growth. To learn more about case head separation watch F-Class John’s follow-up video Case Head Separation Causes, identification and prevention.

Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge — Product review

Every person who makes precision hand-loads should have a quality concentricity gauge to measure run-out of case-necks and loaded rounds. Here John tests one of the best such tools on the market, the Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge. This measures the internal and external neck runout of cartridge cases as well as seated bullet runout. It can also measure the runout of the ogive, bearing surface, and boat-tail of individual bullets and can even measure primer pocket runout. John notes: “I think most precision shooters should have one of these to make sure their ammo is within their specs they’re happy with.”

How to Use a Barrel Tuner to Improve Accuracy and Repeatability

Erik cortina e.c. Tunner f-class john videosIn this video, John works with a barrel tuner created by Erik Cortina, a member of Team Lapua/Brux/Borden. A tuner can be useful in modulating barrel vibrations and that can translate to smaller groups on target. Sometimes the positive effects are quite noticeable. Tuners have been popular with short-range benchresters for many years and now they are becoming more common on top F-Class and Long Range rifles.

John says: “I’ve been using Erik’s E.C. Tuner for a while now and I really like what it’s done to help as my final step in load development. Just remember, a tuner is a tool, not a magician. You still need good load development practices, good brass prep, and solid skills but the tuner does help make great loads even better.”

Teslong Rigid 26″ Borescope with 4.5″ Monitor — Product Review

There are a variety of affordable Teslong digital borescopes for inspecting your barrels and diagnosing issues. All Teslongs deliver impressively sharp images/video. Some units plug into a laptop or tablet, while others work via a dongle to communicate wirelessly. Here John tests a 26″ rigid model borescope that comes complete with its own 4.5″ viewing screen. Priced at $129.99 on Amazon, this system is completely self-contained — you don’t need a laptop or smartphone. You don’t have to worry about connections and there are no Apps to install or configure. John says: “Teslong now offers a 26″ rigid rod model with a 4.5″ monitor. This allows you to use the unit without the need for any mobile device or computer.”

Dillon 550 vs. Dillon 750 for Precision Reloading — Pros and Cons

Progressive presses are not just for bulk reloading these days. Many top shooters, including 5-time National Long Range Champion John Whidden, use Dillon progressive presses to complete many cartridge loading operations more efficiently. Even in the F-Class world, Top Guns such as Erik Cortina have found ways to use Dillon progressives for bullet pointing, case prep and other repetitious tasks, even if a precision arbor press is used for final bullet seating. In this video, F-Class John compares two Dillon options: “If you’re deciding between a Dillon 550 or 750/650 reloading press for precision reloading, here are some pros and cons of each. Both are capable of producing high quality ammunition but each has their own quirks so knowing your capabilities and loading style is important when choosing one over the other.

AutoTrickler V3 — General Set-Up and Operational Advice

In this video, John offers some general advice for setting-up the AutoTrickler system. He notes that you want to set the initial drop weight (from the powder measure) in an optimal range: “When you set the original drop you need it to be about 1 to 1.5 grains below. Some people set it too close to the final weight they want and it actually doesn’t let the trickler unit work as efficiently, consistently and accurately as it will if you start 1 to 1.5 grains low.” John also explains how to hook up the cords and how to position the trickler unit. John places his AutoTrickler on a 30-lb piece of granite, with a thin polymer “anti-static” pad on top. John also uses a line conditioner and grounding wire to provide the best electrical flow to the scale and trickler. John also shows how the angle of the trickler unit can be adjusted. If you own an AutoTrickler or plan to purchase one, we definitely recommend you watch this entire video.

ShotMarker Power-User Tip — How to Test Unit without Shooting

The ShotMarker is an advanced system that plots shot location using electronic sensors mounted on a frame. ShotMarker arrays are now used in many competitions because they are reliable, precise, and much more affordable than competing systems. Invented by Canadian Adam MacDonald, the ShotMarker plots bullet entry on target using sensors activated by the bullet’s soundwaves.​ Using 8 high precision MEMS microphones placed in the corners of your frame, ShotMarker precisely measures the point of impact and down-range velocity of each shot, so that you can analyze your groups and shoot for score in competition. In this video, John shows how you can quickly and easily test your ShotMarker before deploying it at the range: “Here’s a quick and simple way to ensure your system is working 100% before taking a shot on it.”

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September 28th, 2020

ShotMarker SNAFU — What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Adam McDonald Shotmarker sensor wires

A Canadian F-Class shooter (who shall remain nameless) was surprised when he saw this “flat-line” target displayed from a ShotMarker system. That’s 30 shots with almost no vertical at all. So what gives? The ShotMarker uses acoustic sensors to plot shot location. It is normally accurate to within a few millimeters. The shooter posted: “I’ve never had this happen before with a waterline. This is myself and another shooter, 30 rounds total, including four sighters at 900 meters in super strong winds that twitched back and forth every minute.”

So what happened? It turns our that the system’s wires were not connected correctly. AccurateShooter IT expert (and top F-Class Shooter) Jay Christopherson posted: “The wires are connected incorrectly… you’ve got the sensors crossed”. This ShotMarker system error can be diagnosed by doing a “tap test” as explained by Cal Waldner: “Thats a crossed sensor wire! That’s why a tap test needs to be done every time you rig the equipment. If a wire is crossed then you will catch it on the tap test.”

Other folks who viewed this target photo on Facebook said that they have seen a similar problem, so this is NOT an uncommon fault:

“Yup, my club had the same issue (and results) in an early outing with one of our ShotMarker units. The system reads the target area as a horizontal rectangle not as a square.” — Laurie Holland.

“I have seen this exact same result with the sensors plugged incorrectly.” — Dino Christopoulos

“This happened to several people at one match early on. Sensors crossed.” — Jen Bondurant

“I thought I was shooting a great waterline once [but the] wires were crossed — [a mistake from] setting up in the dark.”– Jerry Stephenson

Adam McDonald Shotmarker sensor wires

The ShotMarker System — Technology and Performance

The ShotMarker was invented by Adam McDonald, a brilliant young Canadian who also created the AutoTrickler. The ShotMarker is an advanced system for plotting shot impacts on targets using acoustic sensors placed in the four corners of the target frame. The central Sensor Hub at each target transmits to the Access Point at the firing line using LoRa, a low frequency RF protocol. Unlike Wifi, this power-efficient design works at over 2 miles and provides hassle-free connectivity even without direct line of sight.

Adam McDonald Shotmarker sensor wires

Adam McDonald Shotmarker sensor wires

The sensor unit in each corner of your frame contains two precision MEMS ultrasonic microphones which are capable of measuring a supersonic bullet within 1mm – when the frame is perfectly still.

Adam McDonald Shotmarker sensor wires

Real-world accuracy will be limited by motion of the sensors and the air while shots are being detected. Typically, every shot will be reported within a few millimeters, with ideal performance being realized on a stable frame in calm conditions.

CLICK HERE for more ShotMarker Technical Information »

Original Post Link in F-Class Competition Shooting Facebook Group

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July 19th, 2018

AutoTrickler + AutoThrow System for Precise Powder Dispensing

autotrickler v2 autotrickler autothrow autothrower powder dispenser force restoration scale
The AutoTrickler/AutoThrow system dispenses powder with 1-2 kernel accuracy in just 10-12 seconds.

Review by Craig Arnzen of Area419.com
Guys in the PRS world are finally ready to admit — the more accurate we want to be, the more we should borrow practices from the F-Class and Benchrest worlds. There are no better examples of this that have popped up in the last year than the widespread adoption of highly accurate powder dispensers and high-end annealing techniques.

I’ll talk about the annealers another time, but today I want to introduce you to the powder dispenser contraption that is popping up on reloading benches everywhere — the AutoTrickler plus AutoThrow running with an A&D FX-120i magnetic force restoration scale.

The setup is priced firmly between the standard RCBS Chargemaster and the high-end $3,800 Prometheus powder dispensers. Depending on how you outfit it, and where you buy it, an AutoTrickler/AutoThrow setup will cost between $900 and $1,200. Figure $500-$525 for the A&D scale, $399.00 for AutoTrickler + AutoThrow (for A&D), and up to another $300 for Area 419 accessories.

autotrickler v2 auto-trickler autothrow autothrower powder dispenser force restoration scale

The AutoTrickler V2 by itself is $229-$269 (depending on scale model), while the AutoThrow is $199.00 purchased separately. Current AutoTrickler owners can add the AutoThrow as an upgrade. It’s worth it — the AutoThrow speeds up the dispensing process dramatically. Watch this video with the smart guy who invented the AutoTrickler and AuthoThrow systems, Adam McDonald:

AutoTrickler Inventor Adam McDonald Demonstrates the AutoThrow System:

How the AutoTrickler + AutoThrow System Works
The “brain” of this system is a micro-processor that controls the motors on the AutoThrow powder dispenser and the AutoTrickler, taking more than 100 readings per second from the scale. The process starts with the AutoThrow first dropping 90% of the charge directly into the pan via a vertical drop tube. Then the AutoTrickler finishes dispensing the charge with super precision, using its horizontal tube. This two-stage process allows the system to throw powder within a kernel or two of your target weight every time — in just 10-12 seconds.

Powder is dispensed onto an A&D FX-120i scale (other models, including a Sartorius Entris 64-1S can also be used) that is able to detect and register the weight of individual kernels very quickly, providing data back to the “brain”. The initial powder drop from the AutoThrow gets you within about 2 grains and then the AutoTrickler finishes in just a few seconds with amazing accuracy. When set up right, this system can weigh repeatably to within one or two kernels of powder.

Area 419 Accessories for AutoTrickler and AutoThrow
The system can also be outfitted with milled aluminum accessories from Area 419, adding adjustability, stability, and ergonomics to the process. We sell a base for the AutoTrickler that adds weight (to reduce movement when the stepper motor runs) and has adjustable feet to help tune the powder flow, a larger cup with handle (to reduce powder splashing when dumped from above) and upgrades for the auto-throw that enhance powder capacity and reduce noise and vibration.

Area 419 accessories billet base powder cup autotrickler v2 autotrickler autothrow autothrower powder dispenser force restoration scale

All in all, this is one of the most popular new ways to throw powder of the last year, and these systems are becoming common enough that we think they are here to stay. This video review by the 6.5 Guys offers some tips for setting up your AutoTrickler System with Area 419 base.

AutoTricker with Billet Base and AutoThrow Review by 6.5 Guys:

Product Purchase Links

AutoTrickler and AutoThrow: http://www.autotrickler.com/autotrickler.html
Area 419 Accessories: http://www.area419.com/product-category/reloading/at-accessories/
Balance + AutoTrickler + AutoThrow Combo: https://ce-products.myshopify.com/products/

This TECH TIP brought to you by Area 419
Oven anneal annealing Alpha Munitions Craig Arnzen Area419.com

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