February 6th, 2019

Midweek Movies — More SHOT Show 2019 Product Videos

shot show 2019 savage proof research ultimate reloader gavin gear thompson center accuracy international AI

SHOT Show is the largest gun/hunting trade show in the world, with tens of thousands of products and accessories on display. For a gun guy, going to SHOT Show is like being a kid in a candy store.

We’ve seen that the SHOT Show 2019 videos we’ve showcased thus far have been very popular with our readers. So today we are bringing you five more SHOT Show videos, featuring products from Accuracy International, Proof Research, Savage, Thompson Center (T/C), and five pistol-makers.

Proof Research — Hi-Tech Barrels and Rifles

Here our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com learns about the carbon-wrapped Proof Research barrels. Being lighter than conventional barrels, these Proof Research barrels definitely offer an advantage for hunters packing into the wild.

Proof Research Carbon Barrels ultralight

The Proof Research carbon barrels have also performed very well in PRS/NRL tactical competitions. There is a lot of technical information shared in this interview, so it is definitely worth watching.

Thompson Center Arms (T/C) — Value Leader

Thompson Center Arms (T/C), a Smith & Wesson Company, is known for value-priced rifles that offer great “bang for the buck”. We’ve regularly featured T/C rifles in our Deals of the Week. There are some impressive guns in the T/C line-up, including the T/C LRR (Long Range Rifle).

Thompson Center T/C LRR PRS long range rifle

With an $1100 street price, this rig is a great value choice for PRS factory class. The rig balances well and we like the thumbwheel adjustments for LOP and cheek height.

Accuracy International $19.5K ASR with 3-Barrel Deployment Kit

If T/C guns are bargains, then the Accuracy International (AI) line of rifles is at the other end of the spectrum. At SHOT Show this year AI displayed its Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR) which will be submitted for SOCOM’s multi-caliber rifle program. This rig costs a hefty $19,544.00 as a “deployment kit” including three barrels (.308 Win, .300 Norma Mag, and .338 Norma Mag), two bolt bodies, key spare parts, magazines and a MilSpec transport case.

accuracy international AI .308 .300 Norma Magnum mag socom rifle .338

The AI ASR employs a QuickLoc barrel change system for rapid caliber swaps. The rifle features a new two-position, AR-type safety and redesigned 2.5-lb trigger. The fore-end tube includes an RRS™-compatible rail, integrated top rail, and M-Lok™ mounting interface.

Savage Hunting Rifles — Model 110 High Country

For 2019 Savage unveiled some handsome, versatile rifles for backcountry hunters. These rigs feature nice camo finishes, adjustable AccuFit cheekpieces and buttpads, and barrels threaded at the muzzle for brakes or suppressors.

Savage High Country model 110

We liked these new rifles, particularly the Model 110 High Country featured above. It has a tough corrosion-resistant finish and spiral-fluted barrel for weight savings.

Handguns — Some of the Best New Pistols for 2019

In this video, The Firearm Blog (TFB) presents its five favorite new-for-2019 handguns. TFB praised the new KelTec CP33, a VERY impressive new .22 LR rimfire target pistol, boasting a 33-round clear magazine. On Media Day, we shot the CP33 with a suppressor and were extremely impressed. The gun balances well, and the trigger is EXCELLENT — really surprisingly good. Glock attracted attention with the new Glock 43X and 48 silver-slide models. The 43X does offer more capacity (10 rounds) with a longer grip vs. the Glock 43. Buyers may be attracted by the silver PVD-finished slide. Frankly, that’s nothing more than cosmetics and the Glock still retains not-so-great ergonomics and a mediocre trigger. There are better striker-fired, DAO polymer-framed pistols out there, for less money.

New KelTec CP33 is a high-capacity winner, with a great trigger.
Keltec CP33

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February 1st, 2019

Ultimate Reloader SHOT Show — Ruger, Lyman, Hornady, Federal

ultimatereloader.com shot show hornady ruger rcbs 2019
Ultimate Reloader’s Gavin Gear is working on the most comprehensive reloading press comparison video.

UltimateReloader.com is a leading website showcasing reloading hardware and methodologies. Ultimate Reloader’s founder, Gavin Gear, regularly tests the latest and greatest reloading gear, including presses, case prep centers, cleaning systems and more. Gavin, shown above, is currently hard at work on “the mother of all” reloading press comparisons. He has secured 14 single-stage presses and set them up in his workroom/studio. This will be the most comprehensive reloading press video ever created.

Last week, Gavin was working hard in SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas, finding new products, and interviewing some important folks in the shooting sports industry. Here are four videos Gavin released this week for his Ultimate Reloader YouTube Channel.

New Products from Ruger for 2019

Gavin says: “I’m a big fan of Ruger rifles, in fact my first rifle was a Ruger 10/22! Since then I’ve published a lot of stories covering the Ruger Precision Rifle, and other Ruger products. While at the SHOT show this year I visited the Ruger booth, and got the scoop on the latest rifle offerings from Ruger.” Below is also an Ultimate Reloader preview video of the Ruger American Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor and “Go Wild Camo” livery.

Here are some interesting comments from Gavin’s YouTube viewers:

“It’s amazing how low price [Rugers are] while still being made in the USA. Great job Ruger!” — J. Allen

“I own the RPR in 6.5, 5.56 [.223 Rem], .22 rimfire. The rifles are cheap it’s the bi-pods, rings, optics that make you dig deep in the wallet.” — 2d Amendment

“I am really digging the Ruger American Go Wild Camo, what an absolutely beautiful gun[.] I had a friend … with the 22 inch barrel and is hitting solid MOA groups out to 200.” — F. Earnest

New Products from Lyman for 2019

Lyman Products rolled out three impressive new reloading presses last year. This included an 8-station turret press, a beefy O-frame press, and a versatile C-Frame compact press.

lyman new products 2019

Following up on last year’s successful product launches, for 2019 Lyman is releasing some impressive new tools and gear, including a cool new case trimmer and a deluxe shooting mat. In this video, Gavin interviews Lyman engineer Spencer Karoll, who discusses Lyman’s new product offerings.

Interview with Hornady President Steve Hornady

Gavin reports: “One of the great things about going to the SHOT Show is the people you get to talk with. At last year’s SHOT Show, I met Steve Hornady and talked for a few minutes. This year I [wanted] to have a conversation with Steve on camera! Steve was game, so here it is– a discussion about Hornady’s history, Hornady’s business philosophy, and Steve’s thoughts on new products like the 300 PRC.”

.224 Valkyrie Status Report — Info from Federal

Since its debut just before SHOT Show last year, the new .224 Valkyrie cartridge has been a “hot topic” in the gun industry. In this video interview Gavin covers the .224 Valkyrie’s first year. This video reveals key facts, clarifies misconceptions, and explains how Federal Premium has worked with the shooting community to realize the full potential of this cartridge.

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January 17th, 2019

MagnetoSpeed V3 Chronograph Review and Test Video

Gavin Gear Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph ultimatereloader.com

MagnetoSpeed’s technology has completely changed the market for firearms chronographs. With a MagnetoSpeed barrel-mounted chrono you can quickly and easily record muzzle velocity (MV) without having to set up tripods or walk down-range. The compact MagnetoSpeed chronos are easy to set up and transport. With the full-featured V3 model, everything you need comes in a small fitted case. In the top photo are the components used with the MagnetoSpeed V3 Kit:

1. V3 Bayonet sensor
2. Display and control unit
3. Bayonet spacers (plastic and rubber)
4. Cords and mounting hardware (left), suppressor heat shield (right)
5. Alignment rod (square cross-section)
6. Rail adapter (sold separately)

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com reviewed the MagnetoSpeed V3 and came away impressed. Gavin explains that a good chrono is essential: “If you want to load and shoot precision ammunition, you need the tools that will produce and validate the precision of your loads. A good chronograph is one of those tools! In this post I’m going to introduce you to the MagnetoSpeed V3 chonograph, the high-end electromagnetic chronograph which fills out the top slot in MagnetoSpeed’s equipment portfolio.”

In this 11-minute video Gavin reviews MagnetoSpeed’s top-of-the-line V3 Chronograph. He shows what ships with the unit, how to set it up for both rifles and pistols, and then he puts it through its paces showing how it captures velocity data. Gavin says he will follow-up with future videos showing how to link the MagnetoSpeed V3 to your mobile phone and how to log velocity data for future reference. To learn more about this high-tech chrono, visit UltimateReloader.com.

READ Full MagnetoSpeed V3 Review on UltimateReloader.com

Gavin Gear Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph ultimatereloader.com

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December 6th, 2018

Choosing and Using a Progressive Press — 6.5 Guys Video

6.5 Guys Progressive Press video Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader

Progressive reloading presses offer shooters speed and efficiency in producing custom-tailored rifle and pistol ammunition. However, there is a wide choice of Progressive Presses and a bewildering array of options to consider. In this video, the 6.5 Guys and UltimateReloader.com’s Gavin Gear provide an overview of the leading Progressive Presses on the market along with key considerations for precision rifle shooters. If you are considering getting a Progessive for rifle ammo reloading, you should watch this informative, 25-minute video.

10 Tips for Reloading Precision Rifle Ammo on a Progressive Press:

1. Make sure the brass is very clean. Don’t mix old range pick-up brass with newer brass.

2. Apply a thin, spray lube to all cases before the sizing/loading cycle.

3. Consider priming your brass separately (with a hand or bench tool) before the operation. Then inspect the primers before loading powder and bullets.

4. Always wear eye protection when loading with the Progressive, particularly if you are priming cases.

5. With tape, mark the powder measure/dropper with the powder type and charge weight.

6. Cycle a few cases, sizing and adding powder but NOT seating bullets. Weigh the powder charges to ensure the powder measure is dispensing the correct charge. Sometimes this will change a couple tenths as it “settles down” after the first few charges.

7. Check the brass for shoulder bump and bullet seating depth carefully for the first few rounds, then check again periodically.

8. Try to maintain a steady pace and operate the handle the same way every time.

9. Visually inspect the powder charge in each case (before bullet seating), and use a lock-out die if your Progressive Press has enough stations.

10. Never, ever mix pistol and rifle powders! If you have previously loaded pistol ammo with your Progressive, make sure ALL the powder (every flake and kernel) is removed from all components of the powder-dropping system before you add rifle powder.

Loading Pistol Ammo on a Dillon

The .45 ACP is probably our favorite centerfire pistol cartridge. In this video, Gavin Gear shows how to load this popular round on a Dillon 550B Progressive Press:

Visit these sites for more Reloading and Precision Shooting Videos:

6.5 Guys
https://www.youtube.com/user/65guys
http://www.65Guys.com

Ultimate Reloader
https://www.youtube.com/ultimatereloader
http://www.UltimateReloader.com

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September 4th, 2018

MEC Marksman — Impressive, Strong Single-Stage Press

MEC Reloading Press Marksman Gavin Gear UltimateReloader

If you are looking for a new, full-size single-stage reloading press, definitely consider the MEC Marksman. Created by the makers of the popular MEC shotshell reloading systems, the MEC Marksman combines a sturdy cast-iron frame with a modern open-front design. With a $189.99 street price the Marksman press cost roughly $30 more than an RCBS Rock Chucker, but the MEC offers some distinct advantages — such as an open front plus a floating shell-holder system.

Our friend Gavin Gear got his hands on a MEC Marksman press and put it through its paces. He came away impressed with the product, saying it delivers excellent performance, and has many impressive features. Gavin tells us: “Cast iron tools and machines are a lifetime investment. The made-in-USA MEC Marksman features ductile cast-iron construction, an open-front frame design for easy cartridge access, a new floating shell-holder design with a unique retention system, and ambidextrous handle setup.”

CLICK HERE for REVIEW of MEC Marksman Single-Stage Press on UltimateReloader.com.

Gavin liked the Marksman’s system for holding spent primers. A tray sits behind the ram to catch spent primers exiting from a hole near the bottom of the ram. This is more foolproof than the plastic primer cups on some other single-stage presses. Expect less spent primer “spillage”.

MEC Marksman Relodading press

The Marksman is sold as a stand-alone unit. However MEC also offers a very nice steel mount/riser for the Marksman. Gavin tested the Marksman with this riser, and he says it was sturdy and well-built. Gavin liked the riser. He said that elevating the Markman press up above the benchtop made it easier to handle cases and to operate the handle. The riser also has “wings” on the left and right, providing a pair of handy die-holders on each side.

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August 26th, 2018

How to Build Your Own AR-15 — Step-by-Step

AR-MPR-Build-2-AR-15-Tools
Here are the main tools you’ll need to assemble an AR-platform rifle

Planning to put together an AR-platform rifle? Or are you looking to upgrade your AR with a new barrel, stock, or trigger group? Then you should check out the AR-15 Rifle Build DVD from our friends at UltimateReloader.com. This DVD covers all the details of a custom build, using high-resolution video sequences, and helpful supporting graphics.

AR-15 DVD ultimatereloder.com

In this DVD, Ultimate Reloader’s Gavin Gear guides you through the entire process including selecting components, acquiring and using the necessary tools, assembly steps and details for each component, and even mounting a scope. Building an AR-15 can be overwhelming, but with the right guidance and help it’s not difficult and can be very rewarding. With this DVD you’ll be able to build your AR-15 with confidence.

Upper: Barrel / Gas Block / Gas Tube
AR-MPR-Build-4-Barrel-and-Gas-Tube-2

Upper: Handguard Installation
AR-MPR-Build-5-Handguard

UltimateReloader.com’s AR-15 Build DVD is available just $9.90 (plus $3.80 shipping/handling). This DVD can pay for itself many times over by showing you how to do your own gunsmithing (and get quality AR components at attractive prices).

Gavin in Action — Seven-minute AR-15 Build
To preview the AR Build DVD, check out this YouTube video from UltimateReloader.com. This 12-minute video shows the basics of assembling a standard AR15 with Del-ton components. Gavin shows how to install the AR trigger group and other parts in an AR-15 lower. You’ll also see the basics of barrel and handguard installation. This video covers the highlights, but we strongly recommend you buy the full DVD before starting your first AR-15 build.

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July 27th, 2018

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:

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April 29th, 2018

Buchanan Hand Press Review by UltimateReloader.com

Buchanan Hand Press reloading level-action portable sizing die lee

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com recently tested the nicely-crafted Buchanan Hand Press. This symmetrical, twin-lever tool can handle pretty much any sizing and/or seating task as it offers plenty of leverage — even for full-length case resizing. Crafted by Buchanan Precision Machine, this Hand Press has a central mount for the die on top with a conventional shell-holder at the bottom. There is a handy spent primer catcher, plus an optional Lock-N-Load die insert adapter. This press is well-built, but the $245.00 price is steep. You can buy FIVE Lee Hand Presses for the cost of this Buchanan.

You can see how this press works in this recent UltimateReloader video. Gavin demonstrates all the key functions, including decapping, sizing, and bullet seating. You can see that Gavin was impressed with this hand press, which is well-suited for loading at the range:

Gavin explains that the modern Buchanan Hand Press is based on a previous design: “This press is an evolution of an old press that has been out of production for years: the Huntington Industries Decker Hand Press. While it shares some of the basic design features, the Buchanan Precision Machine Hand Reloading Press takes quality and functionality to the next level. This press accepts standard shell holders, uses standard 7/8×14 dies (or dies with Hornady Lock-N-Load bushings as I showed in the above video), and has a COL capacity of 3 3/4″. Need to load 30-06 away from the bench? No problem, this press can handle it. Unlike other hand presses, this one stands by itself on a flat/level surface, and can be clamped to a bench in order to stay in one spot.”

Buchanan Hand Press reloading level-action portable sizing die lee

For more details, check out the full Buchanan Precision Hand Press Review on UltimateReloader.com.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 7 Comments »
October 16th, 2017

PRS for the Very First Time — Gavin Gear Goes Gas Gun

Gavin Gear PRS Precision Rifle Series 22 Nosler AR15

Thinking of trying out the Precision Rifle Series, starting off with a gas gun? Well Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com did just that, competing in his first-ever PRS match up in Washington State. With its timed stages (some just 90 seconds long), Gavin learned that PRS is about speed as well as accuracy. As a PRS newbie, Gavin found the competition fun but challenging. Gavin’s account of his experiences, set forth in two articles with accompanying videos, will help other novice PRS competitors prepare for PRS-type matches and assemble the right equipment.


READ Gavin PRS MATCH REPORT | READ Gavin PRS GEAR REPORT

What PRS is All About
PRS is all about pushing your rifle skills to edge. You may have to hit targets at four different distances in 90 seconds- and dial in your dope between each shot. These kinds of challenges are super-difficult, but with enough experience and practice, it’s amazing what you can do. I saw guys that were so smooth, steady, fast, and accurate, it was mind blowing! It doesn’t come easy, and the guys at the top of the heap are super-dedicated. — Gavin Gear

This video has cool Aerial Drone footage, and in-depth explanation of stages:

Gavin’s First PRS Match: The Experience

By: Ultimate Reloader
Gavin told us that he’s wanted to try out the PRS game: “For a long time I’ve talked with friends about trying out a PRS-style match. Life has been busy, but when the right opportunity came, I decided to give it a try. My friend and shooting partner Jim Findlay offered to help me prepare, and told me it would be ‘fun to shoot gas guns together’. I decided I would shoot an AR-15, and thought that would be an ideal opportunity to try something new — the 22 Nosler. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting myself into, but that’s typically the way things happen when you’re really trying something new. It was a great experience, and it taught me a lot about shooting. I also made some great connections and friends during the match. If you are at all interested in PRS (Precision Rifle Series, or just Precision Rifle in general) I would suggest you enter and compete in a match. You most likely won’t regret it.”

READ Full Story of Gavin’s First PRS Match »

Gavin enjoyed his first match: “Overall, the match was more fun and more laid back than I thought it would be. The guys in our squad were all really helpful, and even loaned me gear to try out when they noticed my gear wasn’t right for a particular shooting activity. One such case was when Ken Gustafson (of KYL Gear) offered to loan me one of the bags he had made. Below you can see me shooting off the infamous unstable tippy tank trap with a KYL Gear bag, and I’ll have to say [the bag] was amazing. It helped me lock down my rifle and get on target. What a great feeling!”

Gavin did experience issues with his “stout” 22 Nosler loads: “I did run into some trouble — I had loaded my 22 Nosler rounds to max charge weight with Varget powder and experienced some failure-to-feed issues during the match. Initially I thought my bolt needed more lubrication, but [it was] between 96 – 100°F during the hottest part of the Match day.” With the ultra-high ambient temperatures, Gavin experienced over-pressure. Word to the wise — “Test everything you plan to use on match day, and take into account things like weather conditions as well”.

Gear Choices and Selection

Ultimate Reloader ultimatereloader.com PRS Gavin Gear match report 22 Nosler AR-15

Gavin tells us: “In order to be successful in a PRS match, you need a rifle that is accurate enough, extremely reliable, has great ergonomics, handles well, and fits your budget.”

READ Full PRS Gear Article on UltimateReloader.com »

22 Nosler AR-15 rifle used by Gavin in the PRS match
18″ 1:8-twist 22 Nosler Upper
Two Stage Match Trigger – .154″ Hi-Speed DMR (GEISSELE AUTOMATICS)
Hogue AR-15 rubber grip
Magpul PRS stock
Harris S-BRM 6-9″ bipod
Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm scope

Action Type — Bolt vs. Semi: While most PRS competitors use bolt-action rifles, there are classes of competition that specifically call for semi-automatic actions to be used. Even so, in Open Class where you can pick which action type you’d like to use, there’s a split between the two for various reasons. I used an AR-15 in my first match, and for comparison, I think I’ll use a bolt-action rifle in my next match!

Support — Bipods and Bags: I think the first thing I said when trying to shoot from a barricade was: ‘You have to be kidding’. For someone used to prone shots from a bipod (when shooting long-range) this new challenge seemed impossible. My reticle was literally all over the place trying to shoot a target at 400 yards. But over time things improved drastically! Part of this improvement came from practice and technique, and part came from using the right support systems, such as the Game Changer Bag from Armaggedon Gear:

Ultimate Reloader ultimatereloader.com PRS Gavin Gear match report 22 Nosler AR-15
Photo Courtesy Accurate Ordnance.

All the Gear Items You Need — Bags, Bipods, Optics and More
UltimateReloader.com’s PRS Gear Summary covers Rifle Choice (gas gun vs. bolt-action), chambering options, optics, support systems (bipods and bags), dope cards, accessories and much more. Both novice and experienced PRS competitors will find this article well worth reading.

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June 14th, 2017

Make Your Own Lanolin-Based Case Lube

DIY yourself lanolin case lube lubricant One Shot Ultimate Reloader Gavin Gear 6.5 Guys

In the YouTube video embedded below, our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com shows who to make your own case lube using simple, inexpensive ingredients. As recommended by the 6.5 Guys, this Liquid Lanolin + Isopropyl Alchohol mix works well and is very cost-effective. You can make a pint of this home-brew Lanolin case lube for a fraction of the price of commercial aerosol spray lubes.

Complete Case Lube Instructions on UltimateReloader.com »

Gavin tells us: “Per the 65guys instructions, I ordered the same components and spray bottles, and these worked out great”:

1. Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 Ounce (2-pack)
2. Home Health Liquid Lanolin, 4 Ounce
3. Chemical Guys ACC_121.16HD-3PK Chem. Resistant Heavy Duty Bottle/Sprayer (16 oz.)

Gavin describes the exact mixing process on his Ultimate Reloader website. Gavin says this lube mix is a good complement to the Hornady One-Shot (pistol) and Dillon DCL (rifle) lubes he has used for pistol and rifle reloading sessions. CLICK HERE to read more.

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April 27th, 2017

Cool Tool — New Case Prep Tool with Spinning Head

Little crow gunworks Precision Prep Tool PPT

Do your hands/wrists get tired when prepping scores of cartridge cases? There’s an alternative to the big, costly case prep centers that occupy lots of space on your reloading bench. Little Crow Gunworks has developed a $29.95 hand tool that makes chamfering by hand much easier. You’ve got to watch this Precision Prep Tool in action — click on the VIDEO below to see Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com demonstrate how it works.

See How Tool Head Spins With Arm Movement — Very Clever!

With this tool, a natural motion of the forearm translates into rotary motion of the tool head (watch the video!). The tool-head holds four (4) tools: inside and outside neck chamfer tools, plus large and small primer pocket reamers. A hex adapter lets you use the primer pocket reamers with a power drill to remove the crimps on military brass.

Gavin Gear was impressed with this innovative device: “I’ll admit, I didn’t know how this tool worked until I tried it out, and it’s pretty amazing how something so simple can make such a big impact on a chore like brass prep. I’ve tried a lot of brass prep tools, and this is one smooth setup. I think the Precision Prep Tool is a good option for case prep chores, especially if you want to trim on the go, or sitting in your recliner watching TV.”

» READ FULL Prep Tool REVIEW on UltimateReloader.com

Little crow gunworks Precision Prep Tool PPT

This is the first manually-operated case prep tool that puts four tools at your fingertips. Other single-head inline tools require the user to twist their wrist or rotate the tool in their hand. The PPT consists of a knurled solid aluminum handle with a bearing-mounted aluminum tool head. The tool head has four 8-32 tapped holes which accept case prep tools manufactured by most reloading companies. To use the tool, simply rotate your forearm in a clockwise motion to chamfer, deburr, or clean the primer pocket. Priced at $29.95, the tool comes in five (5) colors: Red, Blue, Green, Silver, and Black.

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January 5th, 2017

MEC Marksman Press Review on UltimateReloader.com

MEC Reloading Press Marksman Gavin Gear UltimateReloader

We were impressed when we first saw the new MEC Marksman press. Created by the makers of the popular MEC shotshell reloading systems, the new Marksman combines a sturdy cast-iron frame with a modern open-front design. With a $225.00 MSRP it is more expensive than an RCBS Rock Chucker, but it offers some distinct advantages — such as the open front plus a floating shell-holder system.

Our friend Gavin Gear got his hands on a MEC Marksman press and put it through its paces. He came away impressed with the product, saying it delivers excellent performance, and has many impressive features. Gavin tells us: “Cast iron tools and machines are a lifetime investment. The made-in-USA MEC Marksman features ductile cast-iron construction, an open-front frame design for easy cartridge access, a new floating shell-holder design with a unique retention system, and ambidextrous handle setup.”

CLICK HERE for REVIEW of MEC Marksman Single-Stage Press on UltimateReloader.com.

Gavin liked the Marksman’s system for holding spent primers. A tray sits behind the ram to catch spent primers exiting from a hole near the bottom of the ram. This is more foolproof than the plastic primer cups on some other single-stage presses. Expect less spent primer “spillage”.

MEC Marksman Relodading press

The Marksman is sold as a stand-alone unit. However MEC also offers a very nice steel mount/riser for the Marksman. Gavin tested the Marksman with this riser, and he says it was sturdy and well-built. Gavin liked the riser. He said that elevating the Markman press up above the benchtop made it easier to handle cases and to operate the handle. You also get extra left- and right-side die-holders.

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October 27th, 2016

No More Dirty Brass — How to Use Ultrasonic Cleaning Machines

Ultrasonic Cleaning RCBS Ultrasound .308 Winchester 7.62x51 brass casings

Do you have some old, tired brass that needs a thorough cleaning — inside and out? Consider using an ultrasonic cleaning machine. When used with the proper solution, a good ultrasonic cleaning machine can quickly remove remove dust, carbon, oil, and powder residue from your cartridge brass. The ultrasonic process will clean the inside of the cases, and even the primer pockets. Tumbling works well too, but for really dirty brass, ultrasonic cleaning may be a wise choice.

READ UltimateReloader.com Article on Ultrasonic Case Cleaning.

Our friend Gavin Gear recently put an RCBS Ultrasonic cleaning machine through its paces using RCBS Ultrasonic Case Cleaning Solution (RCBS #87058). To provide a real challenge, Gavin used some very dull and greasy milsurp brass: “I bought a huge lot of military once-fired 7.52x51mm brass (fired in a machine gun) that I’ve been slowly prepping for my DPMS LR-308B AR-10 style rifle. Some of this brass was fully prepped (sized/de-primed, trimmed, case mouths chamfered, primer pockets reamed) but it was gunked up with lube and looking dingy.”

UltimateReloader.com Case Cleaning Video (7.5 minutes):

Gavin describes the cleaning exercise step-by-step on UltimateReloader.com. Read Gavin’s Cartridge Cleaning Article to learn how he mixed the solution, activated the heater, and cycled the machine for 30 minutes. As you can see in the video above, the results were impressive. If you have never cleaned brass with ultrasound before, you should definitely watch Gavin’s 7.5-minute video — it provides many useful tips and shows the cleaning operation in progress from start to finish.

Ultra Dry Necks After Ultrasonic Cleaning — Some Suggestions
The Ultrasonic cleaning process gets cartridge brass so “squeaky clean” that increased force may be required to seat your bullets, or they may “grab” as they go in the necks. To reduce bullet-seating effort, you may benefit from adding a little dry case lube inside the case-neck before loading (use a nylon brush). Another trick is adding a teaspoon of Ballistol lube to the cleaning solution. That provides a trace lubricant inside the necks, but does not interfere with powder ignition in any way.


The RCBS ultrasonic cleaning machine features a large 3-liter capacity, 60 watt transducer, and 100 watt ceramic heater. The RCBS ultrasonic machine can be found under $140.00, and this unit qualifies for RCBS Rebates ($10 off $50 purchase or $50 off $300.00 purchase). RCBS also sells 32 oz. bottles of cleaning concentrate that will make up to 10 gallons of Ultrasonic Solution.

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
August 13th, 2016

Ultimate Reloader Reviews the Lee Auto Bench Prime

Lee Auto Bench Prime Primer tool Ultimate Reloader

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com recently reviewed Lee Precision’s new lever-operated, bench-mounted priming tool. The Lee Auto Bench Prime features a hopper-style primer feeder set at an angle. Gavin likes the tool, reporting that primers feed well and seat fully with very little effort. And switching from large to small primer size (or vice-versa) is quick and easy. Overall, Gavin says the Lee Auto Bench Prime has earned a place in his reloading room: “This is now my tool of choice for off-press priming. The Lee Auto Bench Prime is easier to use than a hand priming tool, and more efficient.”

Watch UltimateReloader.com’s Lee Auto Bench Prime Gear Review


READ Full Review on Ultimate Reloader.com

Gavin tells us that the system worked well: “All in all, I’m really liking the LEE Auto Bench Prime. In the video, I prime both small primer .223 Rem brass and large primer .308 Win cases. I was impressed with how easy it was to seat the primers, and how quickly the process goes.”

How the Lee Auto Bench Prime Performs
Gavin had three important “take-aways” from his initial loading sessions with the Lee Auto Bench Prime:

1. I was surprised by the low effort needed to prime cases — it’s pretty amazing.
2. You can quickly and easily install shellholders and change primer sizes.
3. The folding primer tray works very well. It’s a great setup from my testing so far.

Are there any negatives with the tool? Gavin noted that, in the course of loading 100+ rounds, once or twice he had to tap the triangular tray to get the primer to feed: “That’s not a big deal, and may smooth out with time”.

Lee Auto Bench Prime Primer tool Ultimate Reloader

Tool Costs Under $30.00
Available at Grafs.com for just $28.59, the Lee Auto Bench Prime tool is very affordable. It costs much less than competitive bench-mounted priming tools from Forster and RCBS.

NOTE: this tool requires dedicated Auto Prime shell holders (sold separately), but that’s a relatively small added expense. A set of Lee shell-holders (shown at right) costs less than $20.00 (street price).

Lee Shell-holders
Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 3rd, 2016

Loading for the AR10 Using a Progressive Press

Lock and Load Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader AR-10
Gavin Gear tests .308 Win ammo with his DPMS LR-308B, AR10-type rifle.

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com owns a DPMS LR-308B, an AR10-type semi-auto rifle. Gavin finds that his DPMS has a healthy appetite for ammunition. So, he set up his Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive press to produce .308 Win ammo. This video shows the process of press set-up and operation, complete with Hornady’s automated Case Feeder and Bullet Feeder. Employing elevated rotary hoppers, the case feed and bullet feed systems really speed up production. The automated feeders allow the operator to produce cartridges without ever touching case or bullet with his hands.

If you need large quantities of .308 Win ammo for 3-Gun matches or tactical games, and if you value your time, a progressive press may be a wise investment. The progressive can load a complete round with every cycle of the press handle. With Case Feeder and Bullet Feeder in place, the Hornady L-N-L can easily crank out a new .308 round every 3-4 seconds (watch video at 5:25). Conservatively speaking, that’s 15 rounds per minute sustained production (and some guys can go even faster).

Get updates from UltimateReloader.com via Gavin’s twitter feed: @UReloader. To learn more about the Hornady Lock-N-Load Progressive Press (with case/bullet feed options), and to see a list of the dies and accessories Gavin uses, click the link below:

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feeder Part 5: Loading .308 for the AR-10

Lock and Load Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader AR-10

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
March 12th, 2016

Building an AR-Platform Rifle DVD on Sale

AR-MPR-Build-2-AR-15-Tools

Planning to put together an AR-platform rifle? Or are you looking to upgrade your AR with a new barrel, stock, or trigger group? Then you should check out the AR-15 Rifle Build DVD from our friends at UltimateReloader.com. This DVD covers all the details of a custom build, using high-resolution video sequences, and helpful supporting graphics.

In this DVD, Gavin Gear guides you through the entire process including selecting components, acquiring and using the necessary tools, assembly steps and details for each component, and even mounting a scope. Building an AR-15 can be overwhelming, but with the right guidance and help it’s not difficult and is a lot of fun. With this DVD you’ll be able to build your AR-15 with confidence.

Right now, as a New Year’s promotion, the AR-15 Build DVD is on sale for just $9.90 (plus $3.80 shipping/handling). This DVD can pay for itself many times over by showing you how to do your own gunsmithing (and get quality AR components at attractive prices).

AR-15 DVD ultimatereloder.com

Upper: Barrel / Gas Block / Gas Tube
AR-MPR-Build-4-Barrel-and-Gas-Tube-2

Upper: Handguard Installation:
AR-MPR-Build-5-Handguard

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tactical No Comments »
February 17th, 2016

First Look: The Hornady Lock-N-Load Iron Press

Hornady Lock load l-n-l iron reloading press single stage

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com got his hands on Hornady’s all-new, pyramid-style Lock-N-Load Iron reloading press. This single-stage press features a unique, open-front design that makes it easier to place and remove cases during reloading processes. The compact footprint of this Iron Press also allows for a variety of placement options.

This video shows the new open-front Hornady Iron Press:

Gavin installed the Iron Press on his bench which features horizontal metal channels (for placement flexibility). Gavin reports: “The arrival of this press is great in its timing. I’m just about to move from progressive loading of 6.5 Creedmoor (for the Ruger Precision Rifle) to single-stage precision reloading. This will be the perfect press for that task! Based on the feedback and questions I’ve gotten recently, I’ll compare the consistency between progressive presses and single-stage presses.”

hornady lock load iron press

To raise the Iron Press higher, Gavin used an Ultramount from Inline Fabrication: “I was hoping to make slight modifications to the Ultramount in order to adapt it for use with my Ultimate Reloader bench system, and that worked out just fine! Here’s a picture of the Ultramount bolted down: I can easily slide it side to side to make room for other items on my bench.” NOTE: After taking the pictures shown here, Gavin rotated the Ultramount 180 degrees. This moved the whole press forward (towards the operator), providing more bench clearance for the Iron Press linkage and handle.

READ FULL IRON PRESS ARTICLE on UltimateReloader.com

Permalink - Videos, New Product No Comments »
January 7th, 2016

Case Lube Readers Poll — Spray Lubes Are Number One

Mobil 1 reloading case lube

What kind of case lubricant do you use. If you’re like most hand-loaders, you prefer some kind of thin, spray-on lube. Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com surveyed his readers, with the results displayed in the chart below. Thin spray-type lubes took the top spot, followed by waxy-type lubes.* CLICK HERE to Vote in the Case Lube Poll.

case lube survey poll ultimatereloader.com Gavin Gear Hornady one-shot

Gavin explains: “Over the years, I’ve talked quite a bit about different case lube products and techniques for both rifle and pistol reloading. Depending on your goals, the cartridge being reloaded, and what you have on-hand, your options will typically be honed down to a few ‘best options’. But the more you talk with seasoned reloaders, the more options you’ll discover.”

Mobil 1 reloading case lubeSynthetic Motor Oil for Special Tasks
One new lubrication option Gavin has tried is synthetic motor oil “I’ve started using another product for rifle case lube: synthetic motor oil. In particular, I’ve been using this oil to ‘prime’ rifle sizing dies when starting a loading session. This priming combined with fresh spray lube (Dillon DCL recently) has been a good combination for .223/5.56 and .308/7.62x51mm loading sessions.

I just pour a bit of synthetic motor oil into the quart jug cap, dip my finger into the cap, and apply about one drop to the outside of the case with my fingers. I then dip the end of a Q-Tip into the oil cap (just a drop applied), and roll the end of the Q-Tip between my fingers. The Q-Tip is then ‘rolled’ inside the case mouth to provide lube for the expander ball. I’m wondering how many thousands of applications I could get out of one quart of motor oil!

READ more case lubrication tips at UltimateReloader.com


*This Editor’s own perference follow this ranking. For regular case-sizing with benchrest cases (and close-fitting dies), I use Ballistol aerosol (active ingredient is mineral oil). Not chalky or gummy, Ballistol is very, very slippery. A thin sheen lubricates extremely well yet wipes off easily. For heavy case-forming duties I use Imperial Die Wax.

Clean and Lube
One advantage of Ballistol is that, wiped on a patch, it will remove carbon residue from case necks. That way you can clean and lube your case in one step before running your case into the Full-length sizing dies. Just spray a little on a cotton patch. After cleaning the case-neck flip the patch over and lube the case body.

Permalink Reloading 5 Comments »
December 11th, 2014

What’s on Your Christmas Wish List?

What do you hope Santa delivers this Christmas? Our friend Gavin Gear over at UltimateReloader.com has some gift ideas that hand-loaders can add to their “wish lists”.

UltimateReloading.com christmas wish list

READ Christmas Gift Ideas
for Reloading Enthusiasts
on UltimateReloader.com.

Special Tools — My Dad used to say: “You’ve got to use the right tool for the job”. I agree, and some times that means having a collection of special tools. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than the efficiency, effectiveness, and precision of having the right tool.

Here are some of my most frequently used “reloading special tools”:

▶ COL Gauge (case sizing, bullet seating depth)
▶ Case Neck-Thickness Gauge (shown below)
▶ Bullet Concentricity Gauge
▶ Vibratory primer-tube filling tool

ultimatereloader.com christmas wish list tools gauges

General Items — There is no shortage of “reloading things” to ask for. Here are some additional ideas:

▶ Extra 6″ Digital Calipers (good idea to have spare calipers)
▶ Industrial Ziplock Plastic Bags (for brass storage)
▶ Tumbling Media (pet stores have ground walnut shells)
▶ Reloading Manuals
▶ Ammo Boxes (bulk styrofoam with cardboard boxes are great.)
▶ Digital Scale for sorting bullets and brass (jeweler’s scales from Amazon will work)

There’s some ideas for you. Get your “wish lists” sent off while there’s still time for your presents to get ordered and shipped!

Permalink Reloading No Comments »
September 29th, 2014

Power of the Progressive — When You Need the Speed

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 - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, Reloading 1 Comment »