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June 1st, 2011

New Lapua 220 Russian Brass — Thicker Necks?

220 Russian brass lapuaJackie Schmidt, posting on Benchrest Central, observed that there may have been some production changes with Lapua 220 Russian brass. This brass is commonly used as the parent case for fire-forming 6 PPC cases. The newer 220 Russian brass has slightly thicker neckwalls, and, according to Jackie, the new brass is more consistent in overall neckwall thickness.

Jackie writes: “I have not made any new PPC cases in a while. But I finally used up all of my older 220 Russian brass, and just bought 500 new cases, in the blue plastic boxes. The necks are thicker. By at least .0008 (eight ten-thousandths). That is right at .0015 on diameter. I am getting neck-wall thickness of .0142″ on the old cases, .0150″ on the new cases. I [fire-formed] two cases, and seated a Flat Base Ultra bullet in each. The old case, with a seated bullet and non-neck-turned case, measures .2708″ average. By contrast, the new case, with a seated bullet in an unturned neck, measures .2722″ average. That is, on average, about .0015 difference in the diameter of a seated round.”

“Anybody else notice this? I guess the main reason I did the measuring is that I am thinking of having a ‘no-neck turn’ reamer ground. With this new brass, .0274″ would be the minimum. The new brass is a tad better in overall [neck]-wall thickness variation.” — Jackie

What does Lapua say? We’ve sent inquiries to Lapua’s USA tech representatives. We hope to have a response soon.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 1 Comment »
June 1st, 2011

T.K. Nollan’s Barrel Saver Cleaning Rod Guide

Smart shooters know the importance of using a quality cleaning rod bore guide when cleaning barrels. The rod guide helps center the rod in the bore, preventing uneven wear on the rifling. Good bore guides also seal off the chamber to prevent solvents and gunk from flowing back into the bolt raceway and trigger housing. While most bore guides are “better than nothing”, the best designs are custom-sized to the chamber and also have a very tight clearance around the rod shaft. This prevents the rod from bowing and from dragging on the critical throat area of your rifle. We use Lucas Rod Guides for many of our rifles. The Lucas two-part design, with a caliber-specific insert, provides a tight fit for the rod.

T.K. Nollan’s Barrel Saver System
While many readers may have seen or used Lucas Rod Guides, T.K. Nollan makes another very high-quality cleaning rod guide that is favored by top benchrest shooters such as Tony Boyer, Dwight Scott, and Dick Wright. If, like many short-range Benchresters, you do a lot of barrel brushing, it may be worth investing in the $135.00 Barrel Saver.

T.K. Nollan Barrel Saver

T.K. Nollan’s patent-pending Barrel Saver is a precision-machined system designed to provide maximum protection during barrel cleaning. The Barrel Saver features a double O-ring “fail-safe” seal, and a stainless steel outer tube with straightness held to within .001″. To help ensure optimal alignment, a bushing, custom-sized for your action, precisely centers the outer tube in your action. Models are offered for Hall, Stolle, Grizzly, Farley, Remington, RFD, Nesika Bay, Borden, BAT, Viper and similar 2-lug actions.

Each Nollan Barrel Saver comes with two (2) metal guide tubes, one for brushes and the other for jags. As you can see in the slide show below, these brush/jag tubes run INSIDE the larger diameter guide which slides into the action and chamber. This “tube-within-tube” design, combined with the 0-ring for the chamber, ensures that the cleaning rod stays precisely centered, even if you brush fairly aggressively. While we strongly advocate bore-brushing only in the outward direction, we know some shooters prefer to brush back and forth. If you are a “back and forth” cleaner, you NEED a product like the T.K. Nollan Barrel Saver.

T.K. Nollan Barrel Savers start at $135.00 plus $9.00 shipping for PPC-type chamberings. Custom sizes cost $150.00 plus $9.00 shipping. Each Barrel Saver kit comes complete with two Rod Guide Tubes and spare O-rings. For more info, visit the Barrel Saver website, or contact T.K. Nollan at this address:

TK Tool Co. – Precision Benchrest Tools
tknemail [at]
401 South Cimarron St.
Catoosa, OK 74015
(918) 633-2966 (Call before 9:00 PM CST)

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
June 1st, 2011

1911 Centennial Catalog from Brownells

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of J.M. Browning’s 1911 pistol, and the classic semi-auto is more popular than ever. If you are looking for the source of “all things 1911″, check out Brownells Centennial (7th Ed.) 1911 Catalog. This richly-illustrated catalog features over 3,000 1911 products, including some 350 new items added just for this special edition.

Brownells 1911 catalog

Both Print and PDF Catalogs are FREE
You can order a hard-copy, printed catalog at no charge from Brownells website. If you don’t want to wait for the U.S. Mail to arrive, you can also download the catalog. CLICK HERE to access FREE, 72-page PDF 1911 Catalog.

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product No Comments »