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May 2nd, 2011

Gear Review: PMA Neck Turning Tool

The PMA Neck Turning Tool, review by Danny Reever
PMA Tool was founded by Matt Harris and Pat Reagin, two former employees of Fred Sinclair. They both worked their way through college working for and designing tools for Sinclair Int’l. They now have branched out on their own and are offering some unique tools for the reloader.

PMA Neckturner Neck Turning Tool

I, like many other shooters out there, would sooner take a beating than change the settings of my neck turner. Many shooters even go out and buy a separate neck turner for every caliber — just so they don’t have to adjust the settings. Most of you know what it’s like, you ruin half dozen cases (or more) getting your neck turner just right, and if you change it the chances of getting it back to where it was are practically nil. Let me be the first to tell you those days are over! Like many of you, I first saw the PMA Neck Turning Tool in an advertisement on this website’s home page. It’s hard to miss, blue anodized finish with the large PMA logo on the body.

PMA Tool Moves the Mandrel, Not the Cutter Tip
From PMA’s website I learned that this turner does NOT use a coarse or fine drive screw to move the cutter towards or away from the mandrel. Nor does the PMA tool move the mandrel on an eccentric (another method of cutting depth control). The PMA tool does something very different. PMA’s Model A Neck Turning Tool simply adjusts by moving the mandrel toward or away from the stationary cutter with an 80 TPI drive screw with 60 indicating marks. Each mark moves the mandrel .0002″ (two ten-thousandths). I found, if you stop between the marks, .0001″ isn’t out of the question. It’s such a smart arrangement, I wondered “why didn’t anyone think of that before?”

Use PMA, 21st Century, or Sinclair Int’l Mandrels
My interest now piqued, I contacted Pat Reagin for one of the PMA tools. Pat suggested that I also use PMA’s stainless expander and turning mandrels since they have put a lot of effort to get them exactly right. I might mention that the 3/8 shank stainless or carbide mandrels from 21st Century or Sinclair Int’l will work also. PMA does have carbide turning mandrels in the works — a nice upgrade for those of you who turn lots of cases at one sitting. I personally didn’t encounter any unnecessary heat build-up with the stainless mandrels only turning 10-20 cases at a time. Considering that carbide mandrels run about $40.00 compared to $7.95 for stainless, it’s nice to save a couple of bucks when you can.

Cut-Depth Settings Can Be Dialed “Dead-On” (Even after Caliber Changes)
Upon receiving the PMA tool I immediately went to my reloading room to set it up for turning some culled .308 Lapua brass — to clean it up 75% for a no-turn chamber. I followed the directions included with the turner and it was a snap to set up. After turning a few of the .308s I made note of my setting and changed both mandrels to 6MM to turn some Lapua 6BR brass for my .269″-neck chamber. Again the change went smooth as silk and I was turning the 6BRs in no time for my preferred loaded neck diameter of .26730″. I then decided to take the leap of faith and change back to turning the .308s after making note of the 6BR setting. That worked, so I then again switched back again to the 6BR setting — again with success. I have gone back and forth (between calibers) numerous times in the last couple of weeks. Each time I easily returned to my caliber-specific settings and I did not ruin a single case in the process. Without sounding like I’m gushing here I must say this is the nicest neck turner that I have ever used. The adjustments are so easy and repeatable “Even a cave man can do it”!

If, like me, you absolutely hate setting up neck turners, for fear of losing your settings, you owe it to yourself to give the PMA Model A neck turner a try. I think you’ll be impressed. The PMA Neck Turning Tool costs $95.95, complete with one carbide cutter with your choice of 30° or 40° shoulder angle.

Disclosure: Danny Reever is a Forum Member. He received no “freebies” or compensation. PMA Tools advertises on

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Reloading 3 Comments »
May 2nd, 2011

Highlights from 2011 NRA Annual Meeting

The National Rifle Association’s Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Pittsburgh, PA wrapped up yesterday. The day’s special events started with the annual Prayer Breakfast, and concluded with a rousing seminar featuring Ted Nugent. Mid-day Seminars included: Women’s Pistol Instructor Training, Advanced Handloading Techniques, and a seminar on 100 Years of the Model 1911 pistol. As on Friday and Saturday, hundreds of exhibitors displayed firearms products, plus hunting and outdoor gear. This slide-show from the NRA Blog features some famous faces and other highlights from the NRA’s 3-day meeting in Pittsburgh. The next NRA Annual Meeting will be held April 13-15, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.

At the Glock booth, Top Shot Champs Chris Reed (Season 2) and Iain Harrison (Season 1) were on hand to meet the public, along with Gunny R. Lee Ermey. The appearance of “simple country boy” Reed drew much attention, as many booth visitors had watched the soft-spoken Reed capture his title only days before on the dramatic final episode of Top Shot Season 2. With two million+ viewers per week, Top Shot is a big hit. Top Shot Season 3 is in production and the show’s producers are now interviewing contestants for Season 4.

TOP Shot Champions Reed and Harrison

Story by Lars Dalseide, courtesy the NRA Blog

Permalink News No Comments »
May 2nd, 2011

Large, Bench-top Cleaning Pad Has Many Uses

Here’s a very handy yet inexpensive item that can deliver years of service on your reloading bench (while protecting your firearms from nicks and scratches). We found this $11.97 Long Gun Cleaning Pad (item WX2-85518) on the Sportsman’s Guide website. This will help to protect the finish of your firearms, barreled actions, and optics while you’re working at your bench. The 16″x54″ Rifle Cleaning Pad uses a unique Zorb-Tech® fabric to absorb oils and solvents. Waterproof backing prevents chemicals from soaking through to your bench-top. The fabric has a soft, felt-like nap that is gentle on your gun’s finish and won’t scratch precision metal parts. Sportsman’s Guide also offers a Zorb-Tech 16″x20″ Handgun Cleaning Pad, item WX2-85517, for $6.97.

gun cleaning pad

Made in the USA, these stain-resistant pads can be machine washed and dried. Priced at just $11.97, this pad is a bargain, considering how often you’ll probably use it. If you prefer a different color, the same pad, with blue fabric and white NRA logo, is sold by the NRA Store for $12.95 as item SS 21581, shown below:

Long Gun cleaning pad

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hot Deals No Comments »