At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.
1. Midsouth — Nosler .308 Match Monster Bullets, $119.99 for 500
Looking for high-quality, name-brand .308-caliber bullets? You won’t beat the price on these Nosler bullets from Midsouth Shooters Supply. Five options are offered: 155 grain, 168 grain, 168 grain (with cannelure), 170 grain, and 190 grain. The 155s and 168s are just $119.99 for FIVE HUNDRED bullets. The 170s cost $131.28/500 while the big 190s cost $137.74/500. Those are insanely good prices, any way you cut it. The price on the 168s works out to just $23.99 per hundred. You could easily pay $40.00 per hundred for bullets of this quality. These are not seconds or blems — the are quality Nosler-made bullets produced for Midsouth’s Match Monster bulk sales program.
This 10-50X Sightron isn’t as good as a Nightforce 15-55X Competition scope, but it is definitely good enough to win long-range benchrest and F-Class matches. At $968.05, the Sightron is nearly $1400 cheaper than the 15-55X Nightforce. It is even $450 cheaper than the old 12-42x56mm NF Benchrest scope. On a value-for-money basis, then, the Sightron 10-50x60mm makes sense for competitors on a budget. The money you save (compared to a 15-55X NF) will pay for a BAT or Kelbly action, with money left over.
3. Southern Shooters — 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire
With ballistics far superior to a .22 LR, the 17 HMR is ideal for Prairie Dogs and small varmints out to 180 yards or so. Now you can get a reliable, name brand 17 HMR rifle for a very attractive price. That’s right, Southern Shooters is selling the 17 HMR Ruger American Rimfire, with 22″ barrel, for just $252.63. FFL required. For other vendors with this rifle, CLICK HERE.
Like the RCBS ChargeMaster, this Lyman Gen6 Powder System will automatically dispense and weigh powder charges. This unit features a touch screen, rapid warm-up, anti-static/anti-drift technology, and electronic shielding to resist interference from other electronic devices. It’s a good deal at $205.99.
5. Grafs.com — Hornady 17 HMR Ammo $10.99 for 50 Rounds
This is one of the best prices we’ve seen in recent years on 17 HMR ammo. We really like the V-Max bullets in 17 HMR ammunition — you get excellent accuracy plus the tipped design is very effective on small varmints. Grafs.com is having a big ammo sale right now, so you can get this quality Hornady 17 HMR ammo for just $10.99 per 50-round box. You could easily pay $16.00/box at a local gunstore. This is a GREAT deal — stock up while you can.
6. CDNN — Walther PPX M1 9mm for $299.99
It may be ugly, but this Walther PPX M1 is a very good 9mm pistol. This Editor has shot the PPX and, IMHO, it has a better trigger than the Glock, better ergonomics, and better accuracy. Right now you can get this German-made Walther 9mm pistol for under $300.00 — about half the price of a new Glock. Interested? Then read this Walther PPX Review. It confirms what we’ve said — this is a good pistol.
7. Amazon — AR500 10″ Steel Gong and Rack, $69.99
We love reactive targets for shooting at 300 yards and beyond. You’ll find that, even with a premium spotting scope, it can be hard to spot small bullet holes in paper much past 350 yards (unless viewing conditions are perfect). With a reactive steel target, however, you get instant confirmation of a hit. This Viking 10″ AR500 Steel Gong is a good size for shooting at 400-500 yards. At 500 yards, the 10″ diameter of the gong works out to 2 MOA. For guys looking for a budget-priced hard steel target, this is a good deal — the gong system comes with everything you need: AR500 (armored) round steel plate, chain, fasteners, and support rack.
8. Cabelas.com — Lyman Power Case-Prep Tool
This handy, cordless power tool handles most case-prep chores. The high-torque rechargeable driver runs at the correct speed for deburring and chamfering. The accessories have hex shafts that snap in and out of the driver (much like with a cordless screwdriver). The kit includes the power unit and seven (7) accessories: two case neck brushes, two double-ended primer pocket tools (large and small), an outside 45° neck-chamfer tool, an inside 30° neck-chamfer tool, and a combo standard/phillips screw-driver bit. Regularly $39.99, this tool is on sale for just $24.88 at Cabelas.com.
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Readers who have just recently discovered the Daily Bulletin may not realize that AccurateShooter.com has hundreds of reference articles in our archives. These authoritative articles are divided into mutiple categories, so you can easily view stories by topic (such as competition, tactical, rimfire, optics, shooting skills etc.). One of the most popular categories is our Technical Articles Collection. On a handy index page (with thumbnails for every story), you’ll find over 100 articles covering technical and gunsmithing topics. These articles can help you with major projects (such as stock painting), and they can also help you build more accurate ammo. Here are five popular selections from our Technical Articles archive.
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.
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.
At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain Selections. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.
1. Optics Planet — Multiple Coupons Plus $15 Off $150+ Order
Right now Optics Planet is running numerous holiday specials, including 35 Seasonal Promotions, 21 Coupon Offers, 27 Mail-In Rebates, and 13 Instant Rebates. Plus you can get $15 off orders of $150.00 or more with Code A1DA0E7. Visit Optics Planet’s DEALS Page for all the offers.
CDNN Sports has some of the nicest modern Browning rifles we’ve seen. These X-Bolt Medallion Rifles feature figured Maple stocks with engraved receivers. The barrels, Octagon for the Limited models, are deep polished blue. The actions are glass-bedded and fit a detachable rotary magazine. The .30-06 Maple X-Bolt Medallion is marked down from $1069.99 to $899.99. The X-Bolt Limited Editions, available in a wide variety of chamberings, are on sale for $1199.99. These are very nice rifles that any shooter would be proud to own.
3. Amazon — Complete RCBS Rock Chucker Master Reloading Kit
This RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit contains everything one could need to produce accurate handloads. The Rock Chucker press will last a lifetime and the powder measure is durable and reliable — we know, we’ve used them for years. The RCBS hand-priming tool does the job effectively, and the balance scale can be quite accurate with some tweaking. Overall, at $299.99, this is a great value considering all that you get. RCBS also offers a rebate on this Kit.
4. Midsouth — 500 Rounds of Norma .22 LR for $49.99
If you need good, reliable ammo for plinking or rimfire cross-training, look no further. At ten cents per round, this Norma-brand Tac 22 ammo is very affordable. We’ve used this ammo for tactical rimfire matches and it has proven more than adequate. This is a limited time offer at Midsouth Shooters Supply, so don’t delay.
5. Sportsman’s Guide — Get 20% OFF First Order
Now through the end of Decenmber, Sportsman’s Guide is offering new customers 20% off their first order with a cap of $30.00. Use Coupon Code TAKEOFF20% at Checkout. This will knock 20% off a maximum of $150.00 in merchandise value so the total savings will not exceed $30.00. Still, that’s an attractive offer (as long as you understand the limitations). NOTE: This discount can not be used for firearms or Buyer’s Club Membership fees, and this offer may be only claimed once per customer.
6. Amazon — Lyman Case Prep Xpress $94.99
The Lyman Case Prep Xpress lets you chamfer inside and out, brush your necks, clean/uniform primer pockets, and ream military crimps. This unit sells elsewhere for $120.00 or more. Here is a review from a Verified Purchaser: “The unit is quiet, sturdy, and the attachments do what they are supposed to do. It already has made a difference in my reloading speed, and most importantly, my comfort. I highly recommend this unit.” (Strafer, 4/7/14)
7. Palmetto State Armory — AR-15 Days of Christmas Deals
Looking to assemble an AR platform rifle for gun games, varmint hunting, or other purposes? With its AR-15 Days of Christmas promotion, Palmetto State Armory is continuing some of its best Black Friday deals throughout December. Save on complete Lowers, complete Uppers, and other components. The PSA complete lower with Magpul stock shown above is a very good deal.
8. Widener’s — 1000 Rounds of 9mm HP Ammo for $219.00
If you are looking for first-quality, original production 9mm Luger ammo loaded with hollowpoints (as opposed to FMJ bullets), this deal is hard to beat. The ammo features a quality 115gr JHP (lead core) bullet and the same powder used by the Israeli military. With mil-spec velocity, this IMI 9mm JHP Ammo is hard-hitting, yet extremely accurate. Widener’s tells us that “This ammo has not been offered in the USA for several years”. If you need a stock of 9mm defense ammo, here you go.
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Close-up of the Tri Way cutter with clear plastic chip guard removed.
Tired of trimming and chamfering your cartridge brass by hand? Giraud Tool may have a solution. Giraud, makers of rugged bench-mounted case prep machines, now offers a new case trimmer/chamferer that works with a power drill (or other power source). Giraud’s patent-pending Tri Way Case 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 $98.00 tool that fits in the palm of your hand.
1. Fully adjustable for cartridge length (and depth of chamfer).
2. Tool includes carbide blade that 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 is rugged. 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 Rem, .204 Ruger, .222 Rem, .222 Rem Magnum)
7.62 x 39mm (Russian)
.300 Blackout (Also trims .17 Rem Fireball, .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)
Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Each Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” article on the USAMU Facebook page. Yesterday’s “Handloading Hump Day” post covered preparation of once-fired 5.56x45mm brass. This article, the first in a 3-part series, has many useful tips. If you shoot a rifle chambered in .223 Rem or 5.56x45mm, this article is worth reading. And visit the USAMU Facebook page next Wednesday for the next installment.
This week, Handloading Hump-Day will answer a special request from several competitive shooters in Alaska. They asked about procedures for morphing once-fired GI 5.56mm brass into accurate match brass for NRA High Power Rifle use. The USAMU has used virgin Lake City (LC) 5.56 brass to win National Championships and set National Records for many years. In this 3-part series, we’ll share techniques proven to wring match-winning accuracy from combat-grade brass.
Preparing Once-Fired GI 5.56 Brass for Reloading (Part 1 of 3)
Assuming our readers will be getting brass once-fired as received from surplus dealers, the following steps can help process the low-cost raw material into reliably accurate components.
1. Clean the Brass
First, clean the brass of any dirt/mud/debris, if applicable. Depending on the brass’s condition, washing it in a soap solution followed by a thorough rinsing may help. [This step also extends the life of the tumbling media.] Approaches range from low-tech, using gallon jugs 1/2 full of water/dish soap plus brass and shaking vigorously, to more high-tech, expensive and time-consuming methods.
2. Wet-Tumbling Options (Be Sure to Dry the Brass)
When applying the final cleaning/polish, some use tumblers with liquid cleaning media and stainless steel pins for a brilliant shine inside and out, while others take the traditional vibratory tumbler/ground media approach. Degree of case shine is purely personal preference, but the key issue is simple cleanliness to avoid scratching ones’ dies.
If a liquid cleaner is used, be SURE to dry the cases thoroughly to preclude corrosion inside. One method is to dump the wet brass into an old pillow case, then tilt it left/right so the cases re-orient themselves while shifting from corner to corner. Several repetitions, pausing at each corner until water stops draining, will remove most water. They can then be left to air-dry on a towel, or can be dried in a warm (150° F-200° F max) oven for a few minutes to speed evaporation.
Shown below are Lake City cases after cleaning with Stainless Media (STM). Note: STM Case cleaning was done by a third party, not the USAMU, which does not endorse any particular cleaning method.
3. Inspect Every Case
Once dry, inspect each case for significant deformation (i.e., someone stepped on it), damaged mouths/necks and case head/rim damage. Some rifles’ ejectors actually dig small chunks of brass out of the case head — obviously, not ideal for precision shooting. Similarly, some extractors can bend the case rims so badly that distortion is visible when spinning them in one’s fingers. These can be used for plinking, but our match brass should have straight, undamaged rims.
Dented case mouths are common, and these can easily be rounded using a conical, tapered tool, [such as a .223 expander mandrel. A dummy 7.62 or .30-06 cartridge with a FMJ spitzer can also work.] If most of your brass is of one headstamp, this is a good time to cull out any odd cases.
4. Check the Primers Before Decapping
Your clean, dry and inspected brass is now ready for full-length sizing, decapping and re-priming. Historically, primer crimps on GI brass have caused some head-scratching (and vile language) among handloaders. Our next installment will detail efficient, easy and practical methods to remove primer crimp, plus other useful handloading tips. Until next week, Good Shooting!
NOTE: The USAMU Handloading (HL) Shop does not RE-load fired 5.56 brass. We use virgin LC brass with our chosen primer already staked in place. However, our staff has extensive personal experience reloading GI brass for competition, which will supplement the Shop’s customary steps. In handloading, as in life, there are many ways to accomplish any given task. Our suggestions are note presented as the “only way,” by any means. Time for loading/practicing is always at a premium. Readers who have more efficient, alternative methods that maintain top accuracy are invited to share them here.
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For a few years now, Lyman has offered the Case Prep Xpress, an all-in-one case prep center that chamfers necks (inside and out), cleans and uniforms primer pockets, brushes the inside of case-necks, and uniforms flash holes. The unit can also ream out the crimps on military brass. However, the Lyman Case Prep Xpress does NOT trim cases.
The Lyman Case Press Xpress comes with all the necessary tools and attachments (listed below), so you don’t have to purchase extra accessories. The 5 gear-driven heads on the unit are powered by a high torque, low-speed motor ideal for case prep operations. Lyman’s Case Prep Xpress features handy storage areas for accessories, a removable brass shavings dump pan, and a handy clean-up brush.
Lyman Case Prep Xpress Includes:
Inside Deburr (VLD) Tool
Outside Deburr Tool
Flash Hole Uniformer
Primer Pocket Uniformer (Large & Small)
Primer Pocket Reamer (Large & Small)
Primer Pocket Cleaner (Large & Small)
Case Neck Brushes (25, 30, 38 & 45 Cal)
Case Neck Lube (Mica)
Removable Brass Shavings Dump Pan
In the two years that this product has been on the market it has been a hot seller. We’ve used the Case Prep Xpress. If you’re prepping hundreds of cases, this unit will save considerable time and reduce hand/finger fatigue. While the Case Prep Express is not as sturdy as the metal-bodied Hornady prep center, the Lyman unit offers a lot of functionality for the price ($108-$125 at various vendors).
Video clearly illustrates all case prep functions. Worth watching.
You can find Lyman’s Case Prep Xpress for under $120.00, making it much less expensive than the larger Hornady Case Prep Center, which runs about $400.00. The Hornady unit is beefier, and will trim cases. However, we think the compact Lyman unit makes sense for guys who already have a good case trimmer, such as a Forster or Wilson. The Lyman Case Prep Xpress is hundreds of dollars less than the Hornady prep center. The money you save will buy lots of bullets and brass.
Case Prep Xpress $108.08 at Midsouth
The Lyman Case Prep Xpress is sold by most of the big vendors. The best current price we found was at Midsouth Shooters Supply, which sells the Lyman unit for $108.08.
Story Sourced by Edlongrange.
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California shooter Mark LaFevers has come up with a slick, adjustable fixture that delivers a precise, repeatable inside-neck chamfer every time. He uses a Holland Case Mouth Chamfer Tool with a 14° cutter, but this set-up works equally well with other chamferers with an extended handle. With Mark’s tool jig, the Holland Tool inserts through the top, indexing vertically off a shoulder. A small recess is cut in the center of the wood base for the case head. The tool mount can be raised or lowered with the adjusting bolts on all four corners. Simply slide a trimmed-to-length case in the middle, give the Holland Tool a few spins, and you get a perfect, identical chamfer every time. Now that’s ingenuity! Mark isn’t planning to produce these commercially, but he’s happy if someone wants to copy his jig design.
NOTE: In the photos above, you see an older version of the tool. Hollands has improved the design of its current 14° Chamfer Tool. The cutting head now has a 3-flute design that provides a smoother, chatterless cut. The head is now made of carbide so it cuts faster and holds its cutting edge longer. This tool is available from Holland’s Shooters Supplies for $32.00 (item CMCT-CAR).
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Folks have asked if there is a tool that can remove obstructions from a Lapua small, BR-sized flash hole without opening the hole size. The Lapua PPC/BR flash hole is spec’d at 1.5mm, which works out to 0.059055″. Most of the PPC/BR flash-hole uniforming tools on the market use a 1/16″ bit which is nominally 0.0625″, but these often run oversize — up to 0.066″.
If you want to just clear out any obstructions in the flash hole, without increasing the flash hole diameter, you can use an inexpensive “pin vise” with an appropriate drill bit. For $1.00, eHobbyTools.com sells a 1.5mm pin vise bit, item 79186, that matches the Lapua flash hole exactly. Other vendors offer a #53 pin vise bit that measures .0595″ or .060″ (depending or source). An 0.0595″ bit is close enough. You can find pin vises and bits at hobby stores.
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Hornady offers a handy power case prep tool driver (item 050160) with three power stations. Hornady basically took its previous single-drive Power Case Prep Assistant (item 050155) and added gearing to run three different heads. It took some clever engineering to accomplish this while maintaining the small footprint of the original one-head machine. MSRP for the new Case Prep Trio (item 050160) is $129.39. If you can live with a single power take-off, the older one-head Case Prep Assistant is still offered on “close-out” at some vendors. If you look around you may find one for as little as $79.99.
Hornady calls its updated machine, with 3-tool capacity, the Lock-N-Load® Case Prep Trio. With three active stations, you can chamfer, deburr and clean primer pockets without having to change tools. The Case Prep Trio ships with inside chamfer, outside chamfer, and deburr tools. You can also use the machine with other optional 8/32 threaded accessories such as primer pocket reamers and case neck brushes. Conveniently, the Case Prep Trio has on-board storage for your tool-heads.
Story tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Forum member Danny Reever and this Editor recently discussed how novice reloaders can struggle with the fine points of reloading, making errors in seating depth, bushing choice, or sizing their cases. We agreed that a good resource covering more than “Reloading Basics” is sorely needed. Danny reminded me that Glen Zediker’s excellent Handloading for Competition book has been available since 2002. Danny says this may still be the best guide in print for those getting started in precision reloading, though the book is not without flaws.
Danny observed: “I consider this still the best book out there on the subject. I’ve bought a lot of other books only to be sorely disappointed after spending $30-$40 of my hard-earned cash. This book is not one of those! I’ve read and re-read Zediker’s treatise at least four times and refer to it often for advice while reloading. My number one suggestion for those who buy the book is to sit down with a highlighter and read it cover to cover. It’s well-written with a bit of humor and it is not boring.”
Extremely comprehensive, Zediker’s book covers nearly all of the key factors involved in accurate reloading: case sorting, brass prep, load development, neck-sizing, full-length sizing, bushing selection/use, tool selection, priming, powder measurement, and bullet seating. The book also explains how to test and evaluate your ammo, and how to monitor and interpret pressure signs.
There are many “must-read” sections in Zediker’s book, according to Danny: “The section beginning on page 161 dealing with concentricity (and how to achieve it) is excellent. Likewise the Load Limits section discussing pressures offers very valuable advice and info. You should also read Zediker’s commentaries about load testing, powders (burn characterics etc.), and the effects of temperature.”
Zediker has conveniently provided a detailed summary of his book on the web, complete with table of contents, sample pages (PDF format), and dozens of illustrations. Shown above is just one small section that covers ejectors.
High-volume hand-loaders can save time and effort by using power case prep machines. High Power shooters and varmint hunters, in particular, need to process large quantities of cartridge brass. One of the more versatile power case prep units on the market is the new Case Prep Xpress from Lyman. With five (5) power take-offs conveniently arranged on top of the machine, you can perform multiple functions quickly. Watch the video to see the unit in operation.
Lyman Case Prep Xpress Just $89.99 with Sinclair Code
Now through 12/19/2011, with Sinclair Promo Code 555444, you can get the Case Prep Xpress for just $89.99. That price includes a full set of accessories: Inside Deburr (VLD) Tool, Outside Deburr Tool, Flash Hole Uniformer, Primer Pocket Uniformer (Large and Small), Primer Pocket Cleaner (Large and Small), Case Neck Brushes (4 sizes), Case Neck Lube (Mica), Removable Dump Pan and Clean-up Brush. Editor’s NOTE: This is a very good price. We’ve seen the Case Prep Xpress priced at high as $117.00 elsewhere.
Here’s a user review from a Lyman Case Prep Express Owner: “The Lyman unit has more than adequate power/torque, unlike some other case prep units on the market, plus a solid exterior case, plus a decent selection of threaded tools. I’ve prepped several thousand cases without a hitch. I have no complaints or criticisms.”
Hot Deal Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Hornady has a new, compact, one-station Case Prep Assistant for 2011. This handy, affordable unit easily fits on your benchtop. The dual-voltage (110v/220v) Case Prep Assistant can power inside and outside chamfer tools as well as neck brushes and primer pocket cleaners/uniformers. Included with the Case Prep Assistant are chamfer and deburr tools, with plenty of onboard storage for optional case prep accessories such as primer pocket cleaners, case neck brushes and other 8-32 thread tools. The unit is compatible with both 110V or 220V power. The Case Prep Assistant retails for under $90.00 — Midsouth Shooter’s Supply has it for $83.88 currently.
The new compact Case Prep Assistant complements Hornady’s large Case Prep Center, introduced in 2010. The large prep center performs all case prep functions, including case trimming which is handled by a vertical (drill-press-type) motorized trim station. Cases are held with a cam-lock shell-holder and then lowered vertically on to the spinning trimmer head. Hornady’s Dave Emary demonstrated both products for us at the 2011 SHOT Show. Dave then told us about the Vintage Sniper Rifle Matches which he has helped organize for the CMP.
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Lyman has introduced a handy new multi-function Case Prep Tool. Most serious reloaders employ a variety of tools to chamfer and de-burr case mouths, and to clean and uniform primer pockets. As you may need four or five separate tools to do all these tasks, keeping track of all those gadgets can be a challenge. The Lyman Case Prep Multi-Tool makes life simpler. The Multi-Tool comes with six matching tool-heads, all of which conveniently store inside the orange-anodized aluminum handle.
Lyman’s new double-ended Case Prep Multi-Tool is a smart design. It holds tools on both ends, and the orange handle unscrews in the middle to provide secure storage for all necessary case prep fittings: Outside Deburring Tool, VLD Inside Deburring Tool, Large & Small Primer Pocket Cleaners, and Large & Small Primer Pocket Reamers. Both ends of the handle are threaded, allowing two heads to be mounted at the same time.
COMMENT: Priced at $24.95 MSRP, the Lyman Case Prep Multi-tool is a good value, considering what it would cost to buy a full set of case prep tools one by one. However, we wish some of the tool heads had better cutting edges out of the box. For the Multi-tool heads (as with most Lyman cutting tools), you’ll benefit by honing the cutting edges with a good whetstone or blade sharpener.
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Graf & Sons is running an end-of-the-year “Blow-out Sale” with deep discounts on many products. Prices on many Close-Out items have been slashed by 50% or more. And, if you order $50.00 (or more) worth of merchandise, Grafs waves its customary $4.95 handling free. Grafs already gives free shipping on most products they sell (but hazmat fees and ‘heavy item’ fees may apply to some items).
Deals on Hornady Ammo, Components, and Gear
Graf’s has also knocked down the price on select Hornady items including the versatile Hornady Case Prep Center. You can get this at Grafs.com for just $279.99. Elsewhere the Case Prep Center sells for up to $100.00 more. Below are two good UltimateReloader.com videos showing the features and functions of the Hornady Case Prep Center. Note: Skip to the 1:30 minute mark of Part One if you’re in a hurry. The first minute or so is just spent depriming cases. After that, both Part One and Part Two Videos are well worth watching.
Hornady Case Prep Center DEMO Video (Part One)
Hornady Case Prep Center DEMO Video (Part Two)
Thanks to Forum member EdLongRange for spotting this special sale.
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Lyman Products has introduced a new Universal Case Prep Tool Set that contains all the tools need for chamfering case-necks and uniforming primer pockets on all common sizes of brass. The new Tool Set features eight (8) separate tools, all with ergonomic handles with rubber inserts. A handy zippered case with elastic straps allows you to keep the tools organized on your loading bench. The Tool Set, Lyman product #7810212, includes large and small primer pocket reamers, large and small primer pocket cleaners, outside deburring tool, inside (VLD) chamfer tool, and large and small primer pocket uniformer tools.
MSRP for the Universal Case Prep Tool Set is $69.95, but we expect the Set to sell for about $55.00 retail. Currently, Midsouth Shooters Supply has the 8-piece Case Prep Tool Set in stock for $51.30 (Midsouth item 015-7810212).
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Gas gunners take note — for 2010 Redding has created new “National Match” reloading sets in .223 Remington, .308 Winchester, and 30-06 Springfield. These new three-die sets are designed expressly for the AR15, M1A, and M1 Garand used in High Power comps and Garand matches. These kits include a full-length sizing die, a Competition Seater Die, and a taper crimp die. Previously these dies were only offered individually. If you’re shooting an AR, Garand, or M1A, these new sets may be just what you need.
In addition to the National Match die sets, Redding has added new calibers to its die catalog for 2010. Complete die sets will now be offered for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor, the 260 Rem Improved 40° (also know as the 260 Ackley), and the 458 Socom. This should please the growing numbers of High Power shooters using the 6.5 Creedmoor, and the tactical guys looking for more velocity than a standard 260 Rem can deliver.
New Complete Basic Reloading Set
For shooters just getting started in reloading, Redding has put together a new basic reloading package that contains virtually everything you need except a press and dies. Redding’s new Versa Pak includes a reloading scale, powder measure, case trimer, powder trickler, case lube pad, funnel, deburring tool, and other case prep tools. In addition, the Versa Pak comes with the Hodgdon Reloading Manual and Redding’s excellent Advanced Handloading DVD. The Versa Pak will retail for about $350.00. That may sound like a lot, but if you add up the cost of all the gear included in the Versa Pak, it is a good value. You’ll also save time (and shipping costs) by acquiring all the essential tools at one time.
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Darrell Jones, a talented benchrest shooter from Tennessee, has launched a new business that will provide a much-needed service for precision shooters. Darrell’s company, DJ’s Brass Restoration Service, will take your old, many-times-fired brass, and help bring them back to life. Darrell first cleans the cases inside and out using an ultrasonic bath. Then Darrell carefully anneals each case, employing temp indicators to insure the correct amount of heat is applied for the proper duration.
Combined Ultrasonic Cleaning and Case Annealing
The Basic Service starts at $20.00 per hundred cases — and that includes ultrasonic cleaning AND annealing. (Flat rate USPS shipping is extra.) Note: very large cases (such as the .338 Lapua) or damaged, dented cases may cost more. In addition to the Basic Service, Darrell offers a 4-Step Full Service starting at $25.00 per hundred cases (plus shipping). Full Service brass restoration includes:
• Uniform primer pockets
• Chamfer case mouths
• Ultrasonic cleaning and polishing
• Anneal case necks
Ultrasonic Muzzle Brake Cleaning
In addition to cleaning and annealing cartridge brass, Darrell offers Ultrasonic Cleaning for muzzle brakes. This removes carbon buildup to restore critical bullet clearance requirements. The price is $15.00 per brake (plus shipping).
Restoring Your Brass Can Save Time and Money
Your match-quality brass represents a significant investment of money and prep/sorting time. With 100 pieces of new premium brass costing as much as $100.00, we think Darrell’s service is a great deal for shooters who want to extend the life of their brass. We expect his cleaning/annealing service will soon be in high demand. (In addition, on a custom-order basis, for an additional fee, Darrell can trim cases to a specified OAL.) Also, if you have spent many hours turning necks or forming wildcat cartridges, DJ’s Brass Restoration can save you the hassle of trimming, sorting, turning and prepping new cases. You have a lot of time invested in those turned necks and fire-formed cases… you don’t want to toss the brass after a few firings.
For more information, visit DJsBrass.com, or call Darrell at (901) 826-1503. As a special benefit for AccurateShooter.com members, Darrell is now offering free return shipping on any order over 500 pieces (limited time offer). IMPORTANT: Contact Darrell for shipping instructions BEFORE sending any brass for processing. ALL BRASS MUST BE DE-PRIMED before you send it.
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Hand loaders have been awaiting the release of the Hornady Lock-N-Load™ Power Case Prep Center, ever since it was displayed at the 2009 SHOT Show. Midsouth Shooters Supply finally received its first shipment of the Hornady prep centers and put them on sale for $313.80, promptly selling out. More units are on the way.
The folks at Midsouth reported: “We finally received our first shipment of the Hornady Lock-N-Load Case Prep Center! We were so excited to see how one worked -– so we pulled out of the box and checked it out. Set up time was about three minutes and noise level was low. However, we discovered that you’ll need a Hornady or Redding shell holder for the caliber you are trimming (or prepping). RCBS and Lyman shell holders do NOT work with this Prep Center. We also learned that you’ll need to order the Large and Small Primer Pocket Reamers separately. Both large (005-390751) and small (005-390750) reamers cost $6.60 each.”
Midsouth concluded that: “Overall the Hornady Prep Center is a really sturdy piece of equipment.” Midsouth said the trimming/prepping tools work great and the machine is easy to clean. The improved T-bar handle gives better control over case height when trimming. At first, the Hornady’s $300+ price may seem steep. However, if you purchase BOTH an RCBS Trim Pro Power Trimmer ($260.12) and Trim Mate Case Prep Center ($108.58), you’d spend $368.70 combined. Buying the Hornady gives you an all-in-one machine that is more efficient to use, and occupies a smaller footprint on your loading bench.
Below is a video demonstration of the Hornady Case Prep Center at SHOT Show 2009. Click on the “HQ” button for the higher resolution version which shows the tool operation more clearly.
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Many folks use battery-powered screwdrivers for case prep work. A powered screw-driver is a convenient, inexpensive power source for case-neck chamfering and other tasks. However, if you have been using an older screwdriver, you may want to consider an upgrade to the latest generation of rechargeable screwdrivers with Lithium-Ion batteries. The Lithium-Ion powerpack is a new technology that significantly outperforms the old NiCad batteries.
The new Li-Ion screwdrivers are much smaller, hold their charge for longer periods of time, and the batteries will last longer. These units cost about $30-$50, are lightweight, and fit in the palm of your hand. We think this pistol grip design is easier to hold that the first-generation cordless screwdrivers. They certainly run longer… that’s for certain. We get about two hours on a charge. If you buy a spare battery you can just swap it in and keep working.
The Li-Ion Black & Decker SmartDriver™ powered screwdriver comes complete with 20 accessories for $48.29. Black & Decker claims its compact screwdriver delivers 20% more power verses a regular rechargable screwdriver and lasts longer.
Toolbarn has a SKIL Cordless Palm Size Screwdriver that comes with a 34-bit accessory kit, for $42.00. The tool is very light and comfortable to hold. SKIL claims the Lithium-Ion battery will hold its charge for up to 18 months.
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