March 22nd, 2018

Hornady Video Shows How Ammunition is Made

Hornady Manufacturing

Hornady ManufacturingIf you wonder how ammo is made, starting with raw metal, check out this video from Hornady. It shows how bullet jackets are formed from copper, followed by insertion of a lead core. The jacket is then closed up over the core with the bullet taking its final shape in a die (a cannelure is applied on some bullet types). Next the video shows how cartridge brass is formed, starting with small cups of brass. The last part of the video shows how cases are primed and filled with powder, and how bullets are seated into the cases, using an automated process on a giant assembly-line. CLICK Link below to watch video:

At its 100,000+ square foot factory in Grand Island, Nebraska, Hornady produces millions of rounds of ammunition annually. The Grand Island factory is open for tours Monday through Thursday. Hornady Manufacturing, which now boasts over 300 employees, was founded by Joyce Hornady in 1949. The business is currently run by his son Steve Hornady who took over after his father’s death in a plane crash in 1981.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 2 Comments »
March 16th, 2018

Reloading Gear Review: Lyman Case Prep Xpress

Lyman Case Prep Xpress gear review

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 Prep Xpress comes with all the necessary tools (listed above), so you don’t have to purchase extra accessories. The five (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.

Sinclair Int’l video clearly illustrates all case prep functions. Worth watching.

In the 5 years that this product has been on the market it has been a strong seller. If you’re prepping hundreds of cases, this unit will save considerable time and reduce hand/finger fatigue. While the Case Prep Xpress is not as sturdy as the metal-bodied Hornady prep center, the Lyman unit offers a lot of functionality for the money ($115-$125 normal price, and sometimes around $100 on sale).

Lyman Case Prep Xpress gear review

Lyman Case Prep Xpress Pros and Cons

GOOD Features
Quite Affordable (under $120)
Compatible with RCBS and Redding Tool-heads
Removable Bin for Shavings
Four Brush Sizes: .25, .30, .38, .45
Compact Footprint

Not-So-Good Features
Tool-heads Not Particularly Sharp
No Case Trim Function
No Flash-hole Uniformer
No Top Dust-Cover
Only 1-Year Warranty

Reviews by Verified Purchasers

“Case prep is the most tedious and boring aspect for hand loading in my opinion. The process center makes all the steps in prepping the case very quick and with consistent results. It has reduced the time required to do these steps with separate tools by easily 50% if not more. Highly recommended.” — Brandon G.

“Quiet and capable. Worth every penny. I adapted a Lee Cutter and Lock Stud, to cut case lengths, and I can fly through my brass. I can do so much more brass without getting the sore, cramped-up hands.” — Dean Ellis

“This unit has plenty of torque, and my unit is very quiet. This unit will also work with tools made by RCBS and Hornady, or anything else with 8-32 threads. My Redding tools (specifically, my primer pocket uniformers) do in fact fit on this machine. This unit is certainly worth the money, and will revolutionize the way you reload by saving you massive amounts of time and wear on your hands/fingers.” — Mule

“A simple machine to perform complex solutions. I was up and running in about 10 minutes flat. This thing has made my life of reloading so much easier. I do wish there was a trimmer included, but I have a manual one from L.E. Wilson.” — Richard Niles

Lyman Case Prep XpressYou can find Lyman’s Case Prep Xpress for under $100.00 at Amazon and under $120.00 at Brownells, making it much less expensive than the larger Hornady Case Prep Center, which runs over $450.00. 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 $99.99 at Amazon
The Lyman Case Prep Xpress is sold by most of the big vendors. The best current price we found was at Amazon, which sells the Lyman unit for $99.99, with free shipping.

Gear Review Tip from Edlongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 25th, 2018

PRS Continues to Grow — 49 Major Matches Set for 2018

PRS 2018 Match Schedule

Forty-Nine Major PRS Matches — Thousands of Participants
The Precision Rifle Series (PRS) for tactical-style rifles, remains one of the fastest-growing forms of rifle competition. For 2018, there will be more matches, in more venues around the country. This year’s PRS will include 43 Bolt Gun Series matches and six (6) Gas Gun Series matches. The bolt gun matches average 120 to 150 shooters while the gas gun matches typically draw 70 to 100 shooters. In addition to the Pro Series, there’s the PRS Club Series, which is estimated to have 2,000 to 3,000 participants.


2018 Bolt Gun Series Schedule | 2018 Gas Gun Series Schedule

The GAP Grind is always one of the most popular PRS matches of the year.
GAP G.A. Precision grind

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Many of our readers are thinking of trying out PRS-type competition. Along with F-Class, tactical/practical disciplines are the fastest-growing forms of competitive rifle shooting. Rich Emmons, one of the founders of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), has written an article about getting started in PRS. this Getting Started article will help PRS novices pick the right equipment and understand the game. You may also want to read the PRS FAQ Page.

This Video Shows Highlights from a Major PRS Match

Hornady Commits to $50,000 Sponsorship
One of the reasons for the success of the PRS is the support of major sponsors such as Armalite, Bushnell, Nightforce, and now Hornady. Nebraska-based Hornady Manufacturing has become a sponsor of the 2018 Precision Rifle Series at the $50,000/year Patriot Level. Mollie Tobias, PRS Sponsorship director, explained the importance of sponsors such as Hornady. “Hornady, being one of the most respected brands in reloading components, is the perfect fit to help us appeal to and educate our shooters,” she said. “Hornady’s name recognition and brand reputation are a huge help to our series and communicate to the members that we are a premier series working with premier brands.”

We are pleased to see Hornady as a sponsor. Hornady produces loaded ammo as well as brass and bullets. According to PRS surveys of its members, many of those shooters are interested in reloading, and reloading supplies (bullets, brass, and powder) are among the most requested items for match prize tables.

PRS Gas Gun Series Precision Rifle

Permalink Competition, Tactical No Comments »
February 19th, 2018

Video Demonstrates Lock-N-Load Press Conversion Kit

Lock N load Conversion Kit Die bushing twist lock Hornady

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

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

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Permalink - Videos, Reloading 1 Comment »
February 15th, 2018

Save with 2018 Rebates on Guns and Gear

Gun gear reloading rebate optics burris

There a number of good rebate programs going on right now, but some conclude in just a few weeks. To take advantage of these deals you’ll need to start your shopping soon. Here are some current Rebate Programs for rifles, loading equipment, and shooting accessories. You can save up to $125.00 with these direct Rebate offers, or you can get bullets worth over $175.00 (500 count). The RCBS promo runs through 2/28/2018, while the Browning and Winchester rebates go through 3/31/2018. Hornady’s Get Loaded promotion is good all year

1. Browning Sales Tax Event — 10% Rebate

Browning Spring 2018 Sales Tax Rebate

When you buy a new Browning firearm at retail between February 1 and March 31, 2018, you can receive a rebate of 10% of the purchase price to reimburse you for your state sales tax. This applies to a wide range of Browning firearms including rifles, shotguns, and pistols. All purchasers must be citizens or legal residents of the United States

Start Date: February 1, 2018
End Date: March 31, 2018
Redemption Deadline: April 15, 2018

Get Rebate Form HERE
NOTE: Browning Rebates must be Redeemed Online

2. RCBS February 2018 Bucks or Bullets Promotion

Rcbs bucks bullets promotion Spring 2018 Rebate

Get Bucks or Bullets with purchase of Qualifying RCBS Products. This offers buyers a choice of money or bullets. You get a $10 Prepaid Card or 100 Free Bullets with: Qualifying Die Sets, Hand Priming Tool, Universal Hand Priming Tool, Trim Mate Case Prep Center, or a M500 Mechanical Scale. Alternatively, you can get a $50 Prepaid Card or 500 Free Bullets with: Rock Chucker Supreme Kit, Universal Case Prep Center, Explorer or Explorer Plus Kits, Pro Chucker 5 or 7, or an Ultrasonic Case Cleaner 2.

Start Date: February 1, 2018
End Date: February 28, 2018
Redemption Deadline: March 31, 2018

Shop Qualifying Items HERE
Get Rebate Form HERE

3. Winchester Spring Warm-Up Rebates

Winchester Spring 2018 Rebate

Here’s a great deal if you are looking for a new hunting rifle. Purchase any NEW Winchester XPR rifle and receive $75 via mail-in rebate. With this promotion, you can buy a new XPR for just $264.99 after rebate. You can also save $25, $50, or $100 on qualifying Winchester shotguns.

Start Date: February 1, 2018
End Date: March 31, 2018
Redemption Deadline: April 15, 2019

See Qualifying XPR Rifles HERE
Submit Rebate HERE

Hornady Get Loaded 2018 Rebate

Hornady Spring 2018 Rebate

Receive 100 or 500 Free Bullets when you purchase select Hornady Products. The 500 Free Bullets (worth up to $181.05) are available with purchase of one of these Lock-N-Load® products: Iron Press Kit, Classic Kit, Classic Kit Deluxe, Classic Kit with Auto Charge, Ammo Plant, AP Press, Case Prep Center, Deluxe Control Panel, or Hot Tub® Sonic Cleaner. NOTE: Hornady requires you to pay for return shipping on the bullets. You must submit a check for the shipping with your rebate form. No check, no bullets — got it?

Start Date: January 1, 2018
End Date: December 31, 2018
Redemption Deadline: February 15, 2019

Shop Qualifying Items HERE
Get Rebate Form HERE


RCBS Rebate Recommendation from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News No Comments »
February 12th, 2018

How to Properly Clean Your Reloading Dies

Hornady Die cleaning

After purchasing a new set of dies from Forster, Hornady, Redding, or Whidden Gunworks, you’ll want to disassemble the dies, inspect then, and then remove the internal grease and/or waxy coatings placed on the dies by the manufacturer. Here are two video that show how to de-grease and clean dies as they come “out of the box” from the manufacturer. In the first video, from Creedmoor Sports, Bill Gravatt shows various methods for cleaning dies both when new and after they have accumulated carbon and lube after use. This video is definitely worth watching. In the second video, a Hornady technician shows the method for degreasing dies before first use. A convenient aerosol spray cleaner is used in the video. You an also use a liquid solvent with soft nylon brush, and cotton patches. NOTE: After cleaning you may want to apply a light grease to the external threads of your dies.

Creedmoor Sports Die Cleaning Video with Bill Gravatt

Hornady Video Showing Aerosol Cleaner

Clean Your Sizing Dies and Body Dies Regularly
These same techniques work for cleaning dies after they have been used for reloading. Many otherwise smart hand-loaders forget to clean the inside of their dies, allowing old case lube, gunk, carbon residue, and other contaminants to build up inside the die. You should clean your dies fairly often, particularly if you do not tumble or ultrasound your cases between loadings. It is most important to keep full-length sizing and body dies clean. These dies accumulate lube and carbon residue quickly.

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January 20th, 2018

RCBS Lock-Out Die Helps Prevent Faulty Charges on Progressives

RCBS Lock-out dieIf you load pistol or rifle ammo with a progressive press, we strongly recommend you get a Lock-Out Die from RCBS. This unique reloading die will prevent your progressive press from advancing if the dispensed powder charge is more or less than about 0.3 grains too high or too low. The Lock-Out Die really works. Your Editor uses it on his RCBS 2000 progressive press. I can affirm that a Lock-Out Die has “saved my bacon” a half-dozen times over the years when there was an over-charge (which could cause a Kaboom) or a low charge (which could cause a squib load).

The Lock-Out Die works by using a central die detection rod that sets its vertical position based on the height of the powder column in the case. Through an ingenious design, if the powder column height is too low or too high, the rod locks in place as you start to pull the press handle. This halts the press before the ram can lift and the cartridge plate can advance. Unlike a beeping alarm system (which can be ignored or defeated), the Lock-Out Die physically stops the movement of the press ram and prevents a bullet being seated in the “problem” case.

RCBS Lock-out dieIt takes a bit of tweaking to get the Lock-Out Die detection rod setting just right, but once it is correctly positioned, the Lock-Out Die works smoothly in the background. The Lock-Out Die won’t interfere with the loading process unless it detects a high or low charge — and then it positively stops the progressive loading cycle.

While crafted for use in RCBS progressive presses, the RCBS Lock-Out Die can also be used on a Dillon XL Progressive (see video below) or Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive — though it does take up one station which could otherwise be used for a final crimp die (after the seating die). The RCBS 2000 has one more station than a Dillon 550/650, so it’s an ideal platform for using the Lock-Out Die.

Learn More at UltimateReloader.com
On the UltimateReloader.com website, run by our friend Gavin, you’ll find an excellent two-part series on the function and set-up of the RCBS Lock-Out Die. Part One explains how the Lock-Out Die functions, using cut-away illustrations. Part Two shows how to install and adjust the Lock-Out Die on various progressive presses. The video below shows setup of the RCBS Lock-Out Die on the Dillon XL-650 progressive press.

Images © 2011 UltimateReloader.com, used by permission.
Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
January 11th, 2018

Why Does Load Data Vary Between Reloading Manuals?

load manual sierra reloading hornady data

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks
One of the first things new reloaders notice is that load data varies between reloading manuals. The Sierra Bullets Technicians frequently get inquiries asking us to explain why the load data appears to be inconsistent. This article explains five key factors that can influence published load data.

Example of load data variances for two 168 grain bullets:

Sierra Reloading Manual Hornady Load Reloading

Here are five reasons why the load data varies:

The Bullet
Basically, the similarities in the .30 caliber 168 grain Match bullets (for example) end with weight and diameter. The bullets likely have dimensional differences such as bearing surface length. Bearing surface has a large effect on pressure and velocity. There are also differences in boat tail, flat base, ogive and over-all lengths, which each help determine the cartridge over-all-length (COAL). With different COAL’s, we can expect changes in pressure and velocity also. In some calibers there are differences in bullet diameter with different bullet manufacturers.

It is also worth noting that bullet manufacturers do not all use the same copper alloy for their jackets. This produces more or less friction that results in load pressures and velocities. The solid copper bullets also vary quite a bit in comparison to a lead core and copper jacketed bullet.

The Gun
Each gun is unique, even if you are using the same make, model, and caliber. Special consideration should be used to consider that not all firearm chambers are the same either, creating more variables that need consideration. There can be drastic differences in the throat length. This controls the amount of “jump” that a bullet experiences when the cartridge is fired.

The Powder
Within normal manufacturing tolerances, you can see some variation in a given powders burn rate between different lots of the same powder. So naturally when two different Manuals are produced, it would be doubtful that the same lots would be tested.

The Cartridge Cases
New cases are almost always near minimum specs in dimension. A load fired in a new case would likely have slightly more pressure that when fired in a re-sized case. This would certainly be true if we were loading into fire-formed cases that have had minimal re-sizing done. Fired cases that are full length resized most of the time be slightly larger than the new unfired cases. This gives you differences in case capacity. The same powder charge placed within a new case and a full length resized case will produce different pressure levels and probably different velocities.

Conditions
Temperature can cause pressure increases or decreases. Hot temperatures tend to cause pressures to increase, while cold temperatures will usually do the opposite. Humidity and altitude can impact pressures and velocities likewise.

Conclusion
As you can see, an amazing number of variables effect any load combination. With the differences in the manuals, you’re just seeing firsthand examples of what took place when the data was collected with that particular set of components and firearm. Think of a reloading manual as a report. In essence, a reloading manual says, “We tried this particular component combination, and these are the results we obtained.”

Remember that you may or may not reach the same maximum load safely. There is no “one load fits all bullets.” The minimum load data offers a safe place to start. The maximum load data listed should always be regarded as a safety guideline and not necessarily a goal! Your gun should shoot accurately without breaching the maximum load data. The best advice is: always start low and work your load up!

If you have questions about variances in load data or other reloading questions, please call our ballistic technicians at 1-800-223-8799 or send us an email at sierra [at] sierrabullets.com.

Sierra Bullets Blog reloading information

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
December 13th, 2017

Powder Valley’s 12 Days of Christmas with $15,000 in Prizes

Powder Valley Inc. Giveaway 12 days of Christmas Ammo Bullets Press Sierra Hornady Hodgdon Powder Bullets Ammo

Are you feelin’ lucky? Well here’s your chance to win. For 12 Days in December (through the 22nd), Powder Valley is giving away a total of $15,000 worth of products from big name suppliers. That averages well over $1,000 worth of product prizes every day. This is top-of-the-line stuff, including Powder from Accurate, Alliant, Hodgdon/IMR, Ramshot, and Shooters’ World, Bullets from Berry’s, Nosler, Sierra, Speer, and Zero, Ammunition from Hornady, Nosler, and Zero, plus Reloading Hardware from Hornady. Each day there will be a new set of prizes. Today’s prizes (for December 13, 2017) are Zero Bullets and Zero Ammunition.

It’s easy to qualify to win one of the Daily Giveaway prize packages. Simply visit Powder Valley’s Facebook Page, and make a comment on the featured Daily Giveaway Post. You don’t have to fill out any forms, but you must have a Facebook account so you can comment. Each day the folks at Powder Valley will select winners from among the visitors who commented. In days ahead there can be multiple daily winners. And on Day 12 there will be very special prize give-aways including Powder Valley Gift certificates. NOTE: You can enter multiple times by commenting on multiple days, but sorry, if you win, you are no longer eligible.

Powder Valley Daily Giveaway — New Prizes Every Day

Powder Valley’s 12 Days of Christmas promo kicked off Monday, December 11th, 2017. To enter, you must visit the Powder Valley Facebook Page. Once there, scroll down to find the Giveaway of the Day. You need to comment on that post to be entered. Winners will be selected by lottery from those who comment. Each successive day, through December 22nd, there will be another product giveaway post.

Powder Valley Inc. Giveaway 12 days of Christmas Ammo Bullets Press Lapua Sierra Berger

To be entered in this Powder Valley Contest, you need to go to the Powder Valley Facebook Page and post a Facebook Comment for the Daily Prize story. NOTE: You MUST post your comment on Powder Valley’s Facebook Site, NOT HERE. And you need to comment each day to be entered in that particular day’s contest. To have repeat chances to win you need to comment on multiple days. Got it?

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November 14th, 2017

6mm Creedmoor Reloading Data From Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

CLICK HERE for Sierra Bullets 6mm Creedmoor LOAD DATA PDF »

Sierra Bullets has recently released load data for the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge, a necked-down version of the 6.5 Creedmoor, a popular PRS, tactical, and hunting cartridge. Sierra has released very comprehensive 6mm Creedmoor load data, covering fifteen (15) different bullets from 55 to 110 grains. NOTE: Hornady-brand brass was used for Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor load tests, not the newer, stronger Lapua 6.5 CM brass with small primer pockets. Hand-loaders using Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor brass necked to 6mm may have to adjust their loads.

Sierra writes: “As soon as the 6.5 Creedmoor was released in 2007, a 6mm version was being envisioned. After the 6mm Creedmoor demonstrated its worth at 1000 yards it began to catch the attention of Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitors. The 6mm/6.5 Creedmoor is a great fit for those looking for an AR platform-friendly cartridge. It delivers velocities very similar to the .243 Win and yet fits the AR10 magazine length[.] The 30-degree shoulder makes this a very efficient case and helps prolong case life as well. The 6mm/6.5 Creedmoor works well with powders such as H4350, RE-17, and Ramshot Hunter for heavier long-range bullet weights. Slightly faster powders such as RE-15, Win 760, and Vihtavuori N540 work well with lighter weight bullets.”

Sierra Bullets Tested for 6mm Creedmoor Load Data
55gr BlitzKing (#1502)
60gr HP (#1500)
70gr HPBT (#1505)
70gr BlitzKing (#1507)
75gr HP (#1510)
80gr SBT (#1515)
85gr Spitzer (#1520)
85gr HPBT (#1530)
90gr FMJBT (#1535)
95gr HPBT (#1537)
95gr TMK (#7295)
100gr Spitzer (#1540)
100gr SBT (#1560)
107gr HPBT (#1570)
110gr HPBT (#1575)

In developing its 6mm Creedmoor load data, Sierra tested a very wide selection of propellants, two dozen overall. For the smaller bullets, fast-burning powders such as Benchmark, H4895, and CFE223 were tested. For the heavier 100+ grain bullets, Sierra tested a selection of medium-burn-rate powders including H4350, Reloder 16, Reloder 17, Varget, and Superformance. Sierra did a very thorough job. We know this information will be welcomed by 6mm Creedmoor shooters.

Don’t know what powder to try first? For the 107-110 grain bullets, if you want best accuracy and low ES/SD, our Forum members recommend Alliant Reloder 16 and Hodgdon H4350. If you are seeking max velocity with the 110-grainer, look at Hodgdon Superformance and Reloder 19.

Here are Sierra’s 6mm Creedmoor Load Data Charts for the 107gr MK and 110gr MK. There are a half-dozen other tables for lighter-weight bullets.

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

6mm Creedmoor 6.5 Creedmoor load data Sierra Bullets

Sierra Bullets Load Data 6mm Creedmoor reloading tips

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tactical No Comments »
November 8th, 2017

Dave Emary Retires as Hornady Senior Ballistician

Hornady 17 HMR 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance David Dave Emary Retire retirement senior ballistician

Dave Emary is concluding his 24-year career at Hornady. Although retiring from full-time duties, Emary will continue with Hornady as a consultant. AccurateShooter.com wants to acknowledge Dave’s decades of important work in the gun industry. Brilliant, dedicated, and forward-thinking, Dave has been one of the top minds in our industry for many years. He will be missed. He can claim credit for many of the most important innovations in cartridge and bullet design in recent decades.

Ask Dave Emary what he liked best about his job as senior ballistics scientist at Hornady, and he’d tell you that it was finding better ways to do things. “At the heart of me, I’m a tinkerer,” Emary said.

To borrow an expression from aeronautics, this Air Force veteran is inclined to “push the envelope,” to think outside the box. “I’m not one willing to just go with the status quo,” Emary said.

Over his 24-year tenure with the company, Emary helped accomplish some of the biggest breakthroughs at Hornady. Although Emary said he was merely in the right place at the right time, the list of projects he influenced in one way or another is a long one.

Dave Emary the Innovator
Fans of Hornady products will quickly recognize the names of ammunition lines such as Critical Defense®, Precision Hunter™ and LEVERevolution®, or cartridges like the 6.5 Creedmoor and 17 HMR, but those are just a few of the dozens Emary worked on after being hired as bullet/ammo lab manager in 1994. For his groundbreaking work, Emary was honored as one of Outdoor Life’s Top 25 for Innovation in 2007.

Emary came by his interest in ballistics naturally, growing up on a farm near Wakeman, Ohio, where he began shooting when he was 10 years old. His dad had a .22, and he shot a lot of small game, rocks and other targets of opportunity.


In this 2008 video, Dave Emary talks about the “new” 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge.

Hornady 17 HMR 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance David Dave Emary Retire retirement senior ballistician

Father And Son at the Vintage Sniper Match

Dave Emary was a key figure in starting the CMP’s Vintage Sniper Rifle Match. Dave was instrumental in bringing the new match to fruition and he says his father was his inspiration. Below, Dave Emary and his father Robert reflect on the success of the first Vintage Sniper Rifle Team Match held at Camp Perry.

Vintage Sniper David Emary Dave Hornady

Robert Emary (above right) was a decorated World War II scout sniper who parachuted into Holland after the Normandy Invasion and fought all the way to the Eagle’s Nest. (Photo: CMP The First Shot)

Vintage Sniper David Emary Dave Hornady
Dave Emary was a competitive shooter. This photo shows Dave (left) and “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (right) shooting the Vintage Sniper Team Match at Camp Perry. (Photo: NRA Blog)

Q and A with Dave Emary

There is an interesting interview with Dave Emary on the Hornady Blog. Dave shares some insider knowledge on how new cartridge types are developed and SAAMI/CIP standardized. And Dave also comments on his favorite new and old cartridges:

Q: Which Hornady rounds have you helped design?

A: This list gets pretty long, Light and Heavy Magnum, A-MAX Match bullets, V-MAX bullets and the Varmint Express line, 450 Marlin, 17 HMR, 204 Ruger, 17 M2, LEVERevolution bullets and ammunition, 308 and 338 Marlin Express, Ruger Compact Magnums, Critical Defense bullets and ammunition line, 6.5 Creedmoor, Critical DUTY bullets and ammunition, Superformance propellants and ammunition. There’s probably some I’ve forgotten.

Q: What is your personal favorite caliber and why?

A: I love the 6.5 Creedmoor. It provides exceptional accuracy along with being very easy and comfortable to shoot. The external and terminal performance offered by 6.5 mm bullets for the ease of shooting is unmatched. At this point in time it is the only bolt action hunting rifle I own. I occasionally pick it up rather than my lever guns to go hunting. It almost seems unfair hunting with it because of how accurate and flat it shoots and how effective it is.

Hornady 17 HMR 6.5 Creedmoor Superformance David Dave Emary Retire retirement senior ballistician

Q: Which historic calibers do you admire and which is the greatest in your view?

A: It’s hard to look past the .303 British and 8×57 because of their tremendous historic significance. I would also rate the .30–06 in with the previous two. The other cartridge I think really started the present day commercial sporting ammunition designs is the 30–30 Winchester. It was one of the first high velocity, smokeless, commercial offerings and lead the way for cartridge development that eventually far eclipsed it.

Dave Emary’s Background — Physics, Astronomy, Air Force Service, and Ballistics
After earning his Bachelor of Science in physics from Bowling Green State University, Dave worked for a year at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico before joining the U.S. Air Force. In the Air Force, he earned a second bachelor’s degree, in aeronautical/astronomical engineering. He served for six years, rising to the rank of captain.

After the Air Force, Emary worked at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC), the largest ordnance-testing facility in the U.S. outside the government. “That’s where I really got into the ballistics side of things,” Emary said. Among other things, research by Emary and his colleagues led to the development of the electromagnetic railguns now being used by the U.S. Navy that launch projectiles at 4,500 mph.

From there, he went to work for St. Marks Powder in Florida, the nation’s largest gun propellant producer. There, his work caught the attention of Steve Hornady, who offered Emary a job. “Dave had built a reputation as an innovative thinker and problem solver, and I wanted those qualities for our team,” Hornady said.

Dave Emary Returns to EMRTC as Engineering Director
Although he has retired from Hornady, Dave Emary will still use his skill set and vast ballistics knowledge in a new job at a familiar place — as Director of Engineering at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center. EMRTC is internationally recognized in explosives research and testing. For Emary, it’s just his way of easing into retirement.

“I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to be a member of this industry, Hornady Manufacturing and to have been afforded the opportunities I have been given,” Emary said. “I thank the Lord every day for the success I have had, which has been enormously aided by many other people.” — Dave Emary

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 4 Comments »
October 27th, 2017

New Hornady Reloading Products for 2018

hornady reloading tools 2018

With its 2018 product roll-out, Hornady has introduced two new reloading products that look promising. There is a new modular, vibratory powder trickler, plus a new rotary tumbler for wet-tumbling brass.

New Cordless Vibratory Powder Trickler:

hornady reloading tools 2018

Hornady’s new modular Vibratory Trickler, powered by two AAA batteries, features variable settings to trickle all kinds of powders. The clever modular design allow you to separate the actual trickler dispensing unit from the base (a cord connects base to trickler). That lets you position the trickler next to your scale with the separate control unit convenient to your hand. This also makes cleanup more easy.

    Product Features:

  • Trickles all powders
  • Light-up LED screen
  • High, low, and variable trickle settings
  • Use in base or outside of base
  • No-slip base, weighted for stability

New Hornady Rotary Case Tumbler

hornady reloading tools 2018

Hornady’s new, large-capacity rotary tumbler can be used to wet-tumble cartridge brass. This will clean and polish brass inside and out quickly when used with the included steel pin tumbling media. The large, six-liter drum holds five pounds of brass cases. Set tumbler to run for up to eight hours in half-hour increments using the digital timer. This new rotary tumbler is designed to be used with Hornady One Shot Sonic Clean Solution.

Note: we do recommend you test with your brass to ensure the steel pin media does not jam in flash holes. And always inspect each case after the tumbling cycle.

See other new Hornady reloading products at https://www.hornady.com/new-products/reloading.

Permalink New Product, News, Reloading 1 Comment »
October 21st, 2017

New Hornady 6.5 PRC — Precision Rifle Cartridge

Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge

Hornady has introduced a new Short Magnum cartridge, the 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge). This will be offered as factory ammo in both a “Match” version (with 147gr ELD) and a “Precision Hunter” version (with 143gr ELD-X bullet). Presumably, in the future, Hornady will offer 6.5 PRC brass separately for hand-loaders, but Hornady has no time-line for brass availability. However, you can get 6.5 PRC brass right now from GA Precision at $86.00 per 100 cases. GA Precision’s George Gardner, who helped develop this cartridge, has posted: “It’s a non-rebated short mag based on a short RCM [Ruger Compact Magnum] case. It has 3-4 grains less capacity than the 6.5 SAUM which nets about 30-50 fps deficit to the SAUM.”

The 6.5 PRC Match seems to be aimed at the PRS crowd and long-range tactical shooters. The product launch photo shows a tactical rifle and steel plate. Hornady says the 6.5 PRC was “designed to achieve the highest levels of accuracy, flat trajectory, and extended range performance in a sensibly-designed compact package. Utilizing moderate powder charges that result in repeatable accuracy, low recoil, and reasonable barrel life, the 6.5 PRC produces high velocities for target shooting with performance well beyond 1000 yards.”

“High Velocities”? Wait a minute — here’s the ballistics chart from Hornady’s 6.5 PRC page. It shows a muzzle velocity of 2910 FPS. That’s not much better than a 6.5 Creedmoor (which can push 140s over 2800 fps), so we wonder about this. You have to ask — what is the point? Is there anything this 6.5 PRC can do that the venerable 6.5-284 can’t do just as well or better — with a standard bolt face?

Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge Hunter ELD-X

New 6.5 PRC Is a Short Magnum Requiring Magnum Bolt Face
Dubbed the “big brother” to the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 6.5 PRC fits in short or medium actions with a standard magnum bolt face (.532”). The case geometry features a long cartridge case neck and 30-degree case shoulder. It sort of looks like a 6.5 Creedmoor on steroids. For its loaded 6.5 PRC Match Ammo, Hornady is showing a 2910 fps Muzzle Velocity with the 147gr ELD Match bullet. That’s not very impressive. Why go to the trouble?

Comment — Does This New 6.5 PRC Cartridge Fill a Need?
Honestly, we don’t get this. If you need more speed than a 6.5 Creedmoor and want to stick with a .264-diameter bullet, then shoot a .260 Rem or 6.5-284 using a standard bolt. This requires a magnum bolt face. The 6.5-284 is a barrel burner; the 6.5 PRC promises to be likewise. On the other hand it may work better than a 6.5-284 in a short-action magazine — that may be what Hornady is thinking…

The 6.5 PRC clearly seems to be targeted at the PRS crowd. But we see many top PRS competitors moving DOWN in cartridge size, rather than up. Many PRS guys have stepped down from the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6mm Creedmoor, or even a 6mm Dasher. The benefit is less recoil, and cheaper bullets. Are there really many PRS shooters clamoring for a short magnum? We don’t think so.

We’ll see if this new 6.5 PRC cartridge catches on — maybe some PRS guys will want this for long-range side matches. Rifle makers currently chambering the 6.5 PRC include GA Precision, Gunwerks, PROOF Research, Stuteville Precision and Seekins Precision.

6.5 PRC Ammunition for Hunters — Also New for 2018
Hornady will also sell a version of 6.5 PRC ammo design for hunters. The Precision Hunter version, shown below, is loaded with the 143-grain ELD-X Bullet. Again, however, we really don’t know why any hunter would want to shoot this cartridge, when you already have so many good choices, such as the 6.5x55mm Swede, and the original .284 Winchester, both of which can use a standard bolt face.

Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge

If you have a hunting rifle with a magnum-size bolt, why not shoot the 7mm RSAUM or 7mm WSM? Barrel life is not really an issue for hunters, so the smaller case capacity of the 6.5 PRC is not really an advantage. Perhaps the veteran hunters among our readers can enlighten us, using the comments section. Would you build a hunting rifle chambered for the 6.5 PRC?

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Tactical 49 Comments »
September 14th, 2017

Versatile, Affordable, Compact Case Prep Trio Saves Time

Hornady Case Prep Assistant Trio

Nobody likes to spend hours manually chamfering cases and cleaning primer pockets. There are simple hand tools that will perform these tasks, but the process is time-consuming and tedious after a couple dozen cases. To speed up case prep duties, you can get one of the large, powered case prep centers. These function well, but frankly we didn’t want to give up that much precious space on our reloading bench. One good solution is Hornady’s compact Case Prep Trio (item 050160). This triple-threat tool packs a lot of functionality in a small package.

Hornady Case Prep Assistant Trio

This cleverly-designed powered tool has a small footprint, yet it can perform three tasks as well as much more expensive, tower-style case prep units. The Hornady Case Prep Trio is now $85.99 at Midsouth Shooters Supply. We’ve used this machine and it works well. The only negative is that you will get metal shavings on your bench (unlike some of the larger case prep centers). We’ve seen some guys put a small pan under the power head — then you can just dump the shavings out of the pan.

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. User reviews have been very positive.

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 6 Comments »
September 8th, 2017

Hunt Report: Squirrel-Busting with Varminter.com’s 17 Hornet

Felding Ground Squirrel Varminter.com 25gr HP Hornady 17 Hornet varmint cartridge ammo ammunition

When considering .17-caliber Varminting, most guys think rimfire — shooting the 17 HMR or the newer 17 WSM. But there is a good, affordable centerfire option — the 17 Hornet — with quality factory ammunition available. Hornady produces factory 17 Hornet Ammo with three bullet options: 15.5gr NTX, 20gr V-Max, and the new 25gr HP Varmint. Our friends at Varminter.com recently conducted a test of Hornady’s new 25gr HP “Custom” ammunition, reasonably affordable at around $29/box of 50 rounds. Varminter.com tested the ammo in a CZ 527 rifle chambered for the 17 Hornet on a ground squirrel hunt in Northern Nevada.

» READ FULL 17 Hornet TEST & HUNT REPORT on Varminter.com

Hornady 17 Hornet 25 Grain HP CUSTOM™ Ammo (#83006) Specifications:

25 grain HP Varmint bullet
3375 fps rated (Varminter.com averaged 3383 fps in CZ Model 527 with 24″ barrel)
632 FPE (Foot Pounds of Energy)
0.187 G1 Ballistic Coefficient

Hornady 17 Hornet varmint cartridge ammo ammunition

Ammo Testing and Hunt Report

By Varminter.com’s Editor
With the new 25gr Hornady 17 Hornet ammo, our accuracy results ranged from 0.528″ to 0.85″, with an average of 0.678″ over ten, 5-shot groups at 100 yards. After shooting the groups, we settled on a 200-yard zero, which put the rifle at 1.1″ high @ 100 yards and 5.3″ low @300 yards.

“I went 14 shots in a row without a miss, and that was from 80 yards out to 220 yards. On these small varmints here, the 25-grain HP does a good job [and] the ammunition is accurate.”

Ground Squirrel Gauntlet in Northern Nevada
It was a few months after the initial range work when I was able to really put this ammo to work on some varmints. The grass here in Southern Idaho had grown quite tall, so we decided to head over to a spot on a private ranch down in Northern Nevada. We were promised some good shooting, but until we actually sit down at the bench and start pulling the trigger, we try not to get our hopes up. Needless to say, we were not disappointed in the amount of varmints and shooting we experienced!

Felding Ground Squirrel Varminter.com 25gr HP Hornady 17 Hornet varmint cartridge ammo ammunition

The set-up was simple. I set-up with my bench pointed down a private dirt road on the edge of a large alfalfa field. I was going to be shooting something I call “The Gauntlet”. What this means, is that the majority of the ground squirrels were making their home outside of the alfalfa fields. This is a perfect spot for ground squirrels, because they are forced to cross an open area (the dirt road), in order to get to the lush, green, alfalfa. Within this gauntlet, the ground squirrels would consistently stop on the edge to make sure it was safe to run across to the alfalfa side. This gives you a few seconds [time window] to find the squirrel in your scope and make the shot. The range of shoots were from 80 yards out to 220 yards down the road. CLICK HERE to read full 17 Hornet Hunt Report.

Speed Kills — 3650 FPS with a 20-Grainer

Based on the 22 Hornet cartridge case, the 17 Hornet can drive a 20-grain V-MAX bullet at 3,650 fps. At this velocity, the 17 Hornet can match the trajectory of a 55-grain .223 Remington load, but with much less noise and recoil. Look at the chart below. You can see that the 17 Hornet’s trajectory (blue-gray line) is almost an identical match for the larger .223 Rem (red line) all the way out to 400 yards or so.

17 Hornet ballistics Varminter.com

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 4 Comments »
July 23rd, 2017

Common Reloading Mistakes, and Their Cures — The Stuck Case

This article originally appeared in the Sinclair International Reloading Press.

We have all been there…..you place a piece of tumbled brass in the shell-holder of your press, raise it into the die, and suddenly it is like somebody hit the brakes. The case is stuck in the die. Your first instinct is to reverse it out. You crank on the handle, and BANG! The rim rips off the case head and you are looking at a piece of brass stuck in the die.

A stuck case is one of the boo-boos that all of us reloaders have faced from time to time. If proper lubrication is applied, then it should not be a problem. No matter if you are a seasoned reloader or new to it, this situation can happen. Take your time, use the proper procedures, and you will be back in business in no time! This article explains how to avoid stuck cases (through proper lubrication) and how to use a stuck case removal system.

What Causes Stuck Cases
One of the first common mistakes reloaders face is the stuck case. It can be caused by too much or too little lube. Too much and a vacuum can be formed causing the case to become suctioned into the die. Too little lube and friction is the culprit. So what is the cure? There is no exact cure, but the best lube that we have found so far is just a dab of Imperial Sizing Die Wax on your fingers and applied in a thin coat on the body of the case, not the shoulder or neck. Too much of this wax can cause the vacuum effect, or can eventually load your die up with gobs of residue. If it is applied to the shoulder area, or the leftover wax moves up into the shoulder region of the die, you will see dents or dimples in the shoulder. [AccurateShooter.com Editor’s Note: For normal full-length sizing of small cases such as 220 Russian/PPC, 6mmBR, 6.5 Grendel, or 6.5×47 Lapua we recommend Ballistol (aerosol) lube. It is very slippery, goes on very thin, and does not gum up the die.]

A great way to ensure that your dies are clean is to use a simple chamber mop with a dab of your favorite solvent on it and clean out the die. Be sure all of the solvent is out after cleaning by spraying the die out with Quickscrub III or use a clean chamber mop. If you are storing your dies, you can apply a thin coat of a good oil to protect the steel such as TM oil or Starrett M1 Spray.

Using a Stuck Case Removal Kit
If you do stick a case in your die there are a few good stuck case removal kits available. Each one works in a similar fashion. I have found the Hornady kit very effective and easy to use.

Basically what you do is remove the die from the press. Unscrew the decapping assembly and pull it out as far as you can. You then need to drill/tap threads into the stuck case head (this is why it is suggested to unscrew the decapping assembly as far as you can to get it clear of the drill bits). Once this is done screw the die back into the press. You then install the included shellholder attachment on the shellholder ram, and thread it into the case via a small wrench. With some elbow grease you can reverse the stuck case out of the die with the leverage of the press, and not damage the die.

However if the case is stuck….REALLY stuck, you may pull out the threads on the case and you are still left with a stuck case in the die without any way to pull it out. If the case is really difficult to remove even with the use of a stuck case removal kit, do not try to be Hercules with the press ram. Here is a trick that may work. Take the die with the stuck case and place it in your freezer for a couple of hours. Then repeat the removal with the cold die. The freezing temperatures may cause the brass to contract, and make removal easier. If this does not work it is recommended to send it to the die manufacturer. They will be able to remove the case without damaging the die.

Another fix if you can remove the decapping assembly completely is to use a tap hammer and a punch or small wooden dowel to knock the stuck case out. This isn’t the best way since it is very possible that you will damage the die internally or externally on the threads, or both. Send the die to the manufacturer to have this done properly. You will be happier in the long run.

This article appears courtesy Sinclair International. It first appeared in Sinclair’s Reloading Press Blog.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 10 Comments »
July 21st, 2017

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Camp Perry July 24th

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

This upcoming Monday, July 24th, the CMP hosts the Vintage Sniper Rifle Match at Camp Perry. One of the most popular vintage rifle matches held each summer at Perry, this is a two-man team competition using scoped rifles of WWI and WWII Vintage. Many competitors use some version of the M1903 Springfield, but you’ll also see scoped M1 Garands, K31s, Mausers, and even a Lee-Enfield or two.

Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Two-person teams will fire 10 rounds in 20-second intervals from scoped vintage military rifles set on sand bags. One team marksman shoots from the prone position at 300 and 600 yards, while the other serves as a spotter to relay shot position. Marksman and spotter switch positions on the firing lines, allowing each teammate to play both roles. Scores are then combined for an Aggregate team total.

Two M1 Garands, fitted with scopes and lace-on cheekpads.
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Who can identify this rifle, with its unusual scope mount?
Vintage sniper rifle team match camp perry

Our friends at Criterion Barrels have written an interesting article about last year’s Vintage Sniper Rifle Match. It you want an “insider’s perspective” on the 2014 Match, plus Vintage Sniper gunsmithing tips, read this article. Here are some highlights:

About the Match and the Rifles
The Vintage Sniper Match was the brainchild of Hornady’s Dave Emary. The competition was inspired by his father, a World War II scout sniper, who carried a rifle similar to the 1903A4 rifle builds that can be found today on the Camp Perry firing line. Bob Schanen worked alongside Dave and the CMP staff in establishing the various competition rules prior to the first official Vintage Sniper Match in 2011. The match developers made a point to offer some level of flexibility in rifle configuration, allowing specific types of non-issue optics and rifle rebuilds. This helped make the match more inclusive.

Hornady’s Dave Emary and “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey (right):
AccurateShooter.com CMP Vintage Sniper Rifle Match

Bob Shanen has two vintage sniper competition rifles. Both builds are based off of the USMC Model 1941 sniper rifle, a design similar to the M1903A1 National Match rifle. Bob’s rifles both carry 8x Lyman Junior Target Spotter scopes with a thin crosshair reticle. Bob attributes a large part of his rifle’s accuracy to the Criterion M1903 match-grade barrels installed on each rifle by Rick Humphreys, a Milwaukee area gunsmith. These tack-driving barrels are capable of half-MOA accuracy.

Camp Perry — The Venue
The hallowed grounds of Camp Perry have hosted some of the nation’s finest shooters each summer for more than a century. Some of the world’s greatest marksmen have accomplished remarkable feats on the ranges of this lakeside military outpost. Located on the coast of Lake Erie, Camp Perry is positioned just outside of the scenic town of Port Clinton, Ohio. It is our firm belief that every shooter should make the pilgrimage to the Camp Perry at least once in their lifetime. If not participating in an event, visitors should at least make an attempt to meet the competitors, witness the wide selection of firearms used by participants, and pay a visit to the various vendors on base.

Photos from Garand Thumb Blog and NRA Blog.

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
July 20th, 2017

Getting the Most Out of Your Progressive Press — PowerUser Tips

Ultimate Reloader Progressive Press Hornady
Blue, Red, Green — There are many Progressive Press options on the market…

When you need ammo fast — lots of ammo, it’s hard to beat a progressive reloading press for output. We use progressive presses to load handgun ammo and .223 Rem cartridges for varmint safaris. With good dies, and proper press set-up, today’s progressive presses can produce surprisingly uniform and accurate ammo. No, you won’t see Benchrest Hall-of-Famers loading PPC cartridges on progressives. However, if you need 1000 rounds for your next prairie dog adventure, you should consider getting a progressive. Below you can see a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP configured to load .308 Winchester in bulk.

Hornady .308 winchester lock-n-load progressive press

CLICK HERE to Read Full Article

ultimate reloader progressive

UltimateReloader.com has published helpful Tips to Optimize Progressive Rifle Loading. No matter whether you have a Red (Hornady), Green (RCBS), or Blue (Dillon) progressive, this article can help you load more efficiently and produce better results. Here are some highlights:

Proper Brass Prep
Just like a good paint job requires good prep work, great rifle ammo requires good brass prep. In order to make sure your rifle loading goes smoothly, make sure to perform the following brass prep steps:

  • Clean the brass (tumble, ultrasonic, etc.)
  • Inspect brass for cracks, deep dents, etc.
  • For military brass: de-prime, ream/swage primer pockets, size with small-base sizer die (small base usually optional).
  • Measure brass length — if too long, size and then trim.
  • Final inspection before loading.
  • Cleaning primer pockets may be something you’ll consider (I don’t clean primer pockets except for rare cases or match ammo).

Smooth and Steady Pace
Since you’re loading rifle ammunition on a progressive, you’re already saving a load of time, so there’s no need to rush things! Attention to detail is super-important for safety and for good results. Always keep an eye on powder level (goes down FAST) and what’s happening at each station.

The Right Press and Press Setup
Look for a heavy-duty, well-built press that will stand up to rifle loading. You’ll also want to make sure your powder measure will have the proper capacity (~25 grains for .223, ~50 grains for 308). If you are bulk reloading, ensure you have enough stations for sizing, charging, powder check, bullet feed, bullet seating, and (optional) bullet crimp.

More Ultimate Reloader Resources for Users of Progressive Presses:

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
June 20th, 2017

Major Brand Factory Second Bullets Sale at MidwayUSA

Factory seconds blemished blem bullets 6mm 7mm .308 MidwayUSA Nosler Hornady Sierra

MidwayUSA is running a big sale on Factory Second and Blemished Bullets. These bullets normally perform just as well as regular bullets, but they may have water spots or other cosmetic defects. MidwayUSA has a very large selection of seconds/blem bullets on sale for both rifles and pistols. Here are some of the best deals we found among the quality varmint and match rifle bullets. All these selections are discounted 30%:

.224 Caliber (5.56mm) 50gr Polymer Tip Spitzer, $13.49/100 (30% Off)
.224 Caliber (5.56mm) 52gr HPBT Match, $13.29/100 (30% Off)
.224 Caliber (5.56mm) 53gr Polymer Tip BT Varmint, $13.29/100 (30% Off)
.224 Caliber (5.56mm) 77gr Nosler HPBT Match, $18.89/100 (30% Off)
.243 Caliber (6mm) 65gr Polymer Tip Spitzer Varmint, $16.09/100 (30% Off)
.264 Caliber (6.5mm) 123gr Polymer Tip BT Match, $20.29/100 (30% Off)
.264 Caliber (6.5mm) 140gr HPBT Match, $21.69/100 (30% Off)
.308 Caliber 155gr Polymer Tip Spitzer BR Match, $20.99/100 (30% Off)
.308 Caliber 168gr Polymer Tip Spitzer BT Match, $21.69/100 (30% Off)
.308 Caliber 195gr BTHP Match, $24.49/100 (30% Off)
.308 Caliber 208gr Polymer Tip Spitzer BT Match, $25.89/100 (30% Off)

Factory seconds blemished blem bullets 6mm 7mm .308 MidwayUSA Nosler Hornady Sierra

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
May 19th, 2017

Make Your Own Threaded Case for Measuring Length to Lands

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

In this video, Forum member Erik Cortina shows how to create a custom modified case for use with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gauge (formerly the Stoney Point Tool). While Hornady sells modified cases for many standard cartridges, if you shoot a wildcat such as the 6mm Dasher or .284 Shehane, you’ll need to create a custom modified case*. And even if you shoot a standard cartridge such as the .308 Winchester you can get more consistent measurements if you make a custom modified case from a piece of brass fired in your chamber.

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

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

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

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


Here’s the Stuff You Need

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Permalink - Videos, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »