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July 9th, 2008

Praise for 6.5mm "Thick Jacket" Bergers

As we reported some days ago in the Daily Bulletin, Berger Bullets is rolling out a line-up of tangent-ogive, non-VLD “thick jacket” bullets. These are designed to work more reliably on extended shot strings with hot barrels. In addition, the bullet shape should be less sensitive to seating depth than secant-ogive VLD designs. Berger’s Eric Stecker reports: “So far we have made ONLY the 6.5mm and 7mm in the THICK jacket configuration. Remember that the THICK jacket is meant to eliminate or significantly reduce bullet failures. The standard bullets still perform very well. We will soon be making THICK jacket bullet is 22 cal, 6mm and 30 cal. When these bullets are available we will be posting the news on this forum.”

Larry Bartholome, past captain of the U.S. F-Class Team, has tested the 6.5mm thick-jacket 140s. Larry is impressed: “I have been shooting two different lots of 6.5mm 140gr thick-jacket Bergers and they are, if anything, more accurate than the thin-jacketed ones were/are. I have shot Lot 235 and Lot 1231. I used Lot 1231 in the Lodi Midwest Palma Championships shooting F-Class. It would be hard to ask for a better bullet. I don’t think I had a bullet out for elevation (10” Ten-ring) out of 340 record shots I fired all week.” [Note: These are VLD-style bullets Bartholome is using, not the tangent-ogive 140s.]

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July 9th, 2008

Improved View for Balance-Beam Scales

Even in today’s digital age, many reloaders prefer the simplicity and reliabilty of a balance scale for weighing powder charges. In this Bulletin, we reported that our own PACT digital scale suffers from fluctuating read-outs. The weight reading drifted up to 0.3 grains in less than an hour. (PACT Story). LTRDavid has come up with a clever upgrade to an O’Haus-type scale that makes the weighing process easier for those of us with old eyeballs. He simply mounts a magnifying glass in front of the balance marker, using two clamps.

Pretty ingenious wouldn’t you say? We wonder why the scale-makers didn’t offer a small magnifier as a factory option long ago. For more smart reloading tips, check out David’s website,

Redding Balance Beam Reloading Scale

When working with balance beam scales, be sure you have the device leveled. Even a small amount of tilt will throw off the measurement. We’ve seen folks who keep their scale on a shelf or storage area, and then take it out for use. That’s fine, but remember than your loading bench may not be uniformly level on all sections. Unless you put the scale in exactly the same place on the bench every time (at the same angle), you may have to re-set the level. Likewise, if you take the scale to a range, be sure to re-level it to your new working surface. And remember that is it just as important to level the scale front to back as left to right. Most scales have a leveling adjustment, but that will only level the scale left to right. If your bench has a bad front to back slant, you may have to build a corrective base for your scale.

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