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March 31st, 2021

How to Create A Dummy Round to Aid Barrel Chambering

Gre Tannel GreTan, Gre-Tan Rifles dummy round chambering gunsmith reamer chamber

How and Why to Create a Dummy Round
When you have a new custom rifle built, or a new barrel fitted to an existing rifle, it makes sense to create a dummy round. This should have your preferred brass and bullet types, with the bullet positioned at optimal seating depth. A proper dummy round helps the gunsmith set the freebore correctly for your cartridge, and also ensure the proper chamber dimensions.

Respected machinist, tool-maker, and gunsmith Greg Tannel of Gre-Tan Rifles explains: “I use the dummy round as a gauge to finish cut the neck diameter and throat length and diameter so you have [optimal] clearance on the loaded neck and the ogive of the bullet just touches the rifling.” He recommends setting bullet so the full diameter is just forward of the case’s neck-shoulder junction. “From there”, Greg says, “I can build you the chamber you want… with all the proper clearances”.

Greg Tannel has created a very helpful video showing how to create a dummy round. Greg explains how to measure and assemble the dummy and how it will be used during the barrel chambering process. Greg notes — the dummy round should have NO Primer and No powder. We strongly recommend that every rifle shooter watch this video. Even if you won’t need a new barrel any time soon, you can learn important things about freebore, leade, and chamber geometry.

Must Watch Video — This has been viewed over 764,000 times on YouTube:

This has been a very popular video, with 764,000 views! Here are actual YouTube comments:

That is the best explanation I’ve ever seen. Thank you sir. — P. Pablo

Nice video. You do a very good job of making this easy for new reloaders to understand. I sure wish things like this were available when I started reloading and having custom rifles built. Once again, great job, and your work speaks for itself. — Brandon K.

Beautiful job explaining chambering clearances. — D. Giorgi

Another Cool Tool — The Stub Gauge

When you have your gunsmith chamber your barrel, you can also have him create a Stub Gauge, i.e. a cast-off barrel section chambered like your actual barrel. The stub gauge lets you measure the original length to lands and freebore when your barrel was new. This gives you a baseline to accurately assess how far your throat erodes with use. Of course, as the throat wears, to get true length-to-lands dimension, you need take your measurement using your actual barrel. The barrel stub gauge helps you set the initial bullet seating depth. Seating depth is then adjusted accordingly, based on observed throat erosion, or your preferred seating depth.

Stub Gauge Gunsmithing chamber gage model barrel

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March 31st, 2021

Mobile Loading Station Made From Metal Horse Grooming Box

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

Do you often load at the range? Or maybe you need to transport loading gear when you travel in your RV. Well here is a smart transport option — a metal box that holds tools, dies, arbor press, case-trimmer, even a ChargeMaster.

Some guys have built their own loading tool-boxes from wood. Other may stuff gear in a couple of plastic range boxes. But clever Chris Covell came up with an even better solution. Chris sourced a handsome, sturdy metal Horse Grooming Box from eBay. Chris reports the multi-feature metal box “works perfectly for reloading. My ChargeMaster is now out of the wind.”

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case boxBullets, Trickler, and Priming Tool on Top
On top, below the hinged metal lid, is a large compartment that holds Covell’s funnels, scales, priming tool, trickler and other vital gear (photo on right). This top compartment is deep enough to handle wide-mouth funnels with no problem.

Slide-Out Drawer with Dividers
Below the top level is a handy sliding drawer with multiple dividers. This is perfect for holding Covell’s inline seating dies, case-neck deburring and chamfering tools, among many other smaller bits and pieces.

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

In the bottom of the Horse Grooming box is a large compartment that holds bigger gear. In the bottom section, Covell places his RCBS Chargemaster Lite, along with a case-trimming tool, an arbor press, and various other bulky tools. Check it out:

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

Folks who load at the range need to bring a lot of gear — reloading presses, powder dispensers, scales, funnels, sizing/seating dies, brass prep tools and more. And there may be other important items to transport — such as ammo caddies, LabRadar mounts, over-size rest feet, and even barrel fans. With this metal box you can easily organize (and protect) al that gear. This box was sourced affordably via eBay.

Chris Covell’s Range Box was featured on the Benchrest Shooting and Gunsmithing Private Group Facebook Page. You may want to sign up for this Group — with membership you can access a wealth of information for accuracy-oriented shooters.

Range carry loading reloader box case transport horse equine grooming case box

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 3 Comments »
March 31st, 2021

Hornady 11th Edition Handbook of Cartridge Reloading

Hornady 11 edition handbook of cartridge reloading

Hornady’s Handbook of Cartridge Reloading (11th Edition) is coming soon. This latest 11th Edition features new bullets, new cartridges, and a significantly expanded range of reloading powders. This is a worthy addition to any hand-loader’s resource collection. You can get a traditional hard-copy bound book, an Apple iBook or an Amazon Kindle version. In addition, the key content in the 11th Edition Handbook will be available in smartphone Apps for both iOS (Apple) and Android.

Along with many hundreds of pages of load data, the 11th Edition Hornady Handbook includes articles on loading techniques and very detailed information on Hornady component bullets. Countless hours of field testing went into this handbook. Hornady says: “Well over 1,500 load combinations were shot to update and expand the reloading pages in this edition.”

Hornady 11 edition handbook of cartridge reloading

New Cartridge Types in 11th Edition
New cartridges covered in the 11th Edition include: 6mm ARC, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 300 PRC, 224 Valkyrie, 350 Legend, and 28 Nosler. Also added to this edition (for the first time) are the popular 5.45×39, 300 Norma Magnum, and 450 Rigby cartridge types.

New Powders in 11th Edition
Many new or previously not included powders have been added including IMR 4955 & 8133, StaBall 6.5, Shooters World Precision and Tactical Rifle, Vihtavuori N-530, N-565, and N-570, Norma 217, CFE BLK, Accurate No. 11FS, 2200 and 4100, Reloder 16 and Ramshot LRT. Other recent additions like Reloder 23, 26 and 33, Accurate LT-30 and Power Pro 300 MP have been expanded.

New Bullets in 11th Edition
Numerous new bullets make an appearance, including the new A-TIP® Match and new editions in the ELD-X®, ELD® Match, GMX®, FTX®, SUB-X® and more.

Get 11th Edition Handbook as eBook or SmartPhone App
The 11th edition Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading is available as an eBook via the iTunes iBook store as well as a Kindle edition sold through Amazon.com (coming soon). It will also available in App form from the App Store and from Google Play.

Hornady 11 edition handbook of cartridge reloading

“Many unique challenges have arisen between the 10th and 11th edition handbooks. Despite the adversity, our team persisted and after hundreds of hours and thousands of rounds, we are proud to bring you the newest addition to our lineage of reloading handbooks.” said Jason Hornady, Vice President.

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