May 29th, 2021

Frankford Deprimer Tool — Deprime Cases without a Press

Frankford Arsenal deprimer depriming hand tool decapping primer removal

Many shooters prefer to deprime their brass before resizing. That way they can tumble cases or keep primer debris off their main press. To deprime cases before sizing or cleaning you can use a Depriming Die (aka “decapping die”). This pushes out the spent primer without changing the neck or body of a case. Such decapping dies work fine, but they do require the use of a press. Here is a handy alternative — a cool tool that allows you to deprime brass anywhere — no press needed.

Handheld Primer Removal Tool From Frankford Arsenal
This cleverly-designed Hand Deprimer Tool allows you to deprime cartridge cases without a press. This hand-tool from Frankford Arsenal will deprime brass and capture primers conveniently. You can deprime your cases while watching TV or relaxing in your favorite chair.

Frankford Arsenal deprimer depriming hand tool decapping primer removal

This device lets you remove spent primers anywhere — no press needed and all the mess (cups/anvils/residue) stays in the capture chamber. This tool comes works with nearly all common case types up to .338 Lapua Magnum. With good leverage, this tool does the job quicklyi and efficiently. Forum members have praised this handy tool, but recommend wearing a thick glove if doing more than 100 cases in a sesssion.

Frankford Arsenal deprimer depriming hand tool decapping primer removal

This handy depriming tool is very versatile. With a universal, cylinder-style cartridge-holder, the tool can deprime a wide variety of cartridge types from .20 caliber up to .338 caliber. Three different plastic collets are provided to handle for different diameter cases. Spent primers are captured in a removable spent primer catch tube. Simply twist off the clear catch tube to dump the spent primers. With die-cast metal construction, this tool should last through many thousands of depriming cycles. MSRP is $54.99. Right now it is $44.99 on Amazon with 82% 5-star ratings.

User Modifications — Grip Padding and High-Volume Capture

Many users recommended putting some kind of padding on the grip and front lever to reduce pressure on the fingers. This can be done with a wrap or a rubber covering. In addition, users have adapted the unit with an attached hose and large primer capture jug. If you depriming hundreds of cases at a time, this hose conversion may make sense.

Frankford Arsenal deprimer depriming hand tool decapping primer removal

Frankford Arsenal deprimer depriming hand tool decapping primer removal

Review from actual owner: “I have owned one of these for about eight years and deprimed over 10,000 cases with this tool. I have never had to replace a single part on it. You will have to adjust the return spring every so often, but that is a very easy task. If you are depriming a LOT of brass, the handle can tear up your hand a bit. Solution: Wear a Mechanics Glove. Easy Peasy! You will NOT regret this purchase.”

How to Adapt Tool for Small Flash Hole Brass
The Frankford Arsenal Deprimer Tool was designed for LARGE flash-hole brass. To deprime brass with small (1.5mm/0.59″) small flash-holes, as found on Lapua .220 Russian and 6mmBR cases, you will need to reduce the pin diameter. A smaller pin is “in development” according to the manufacturer. Frankford Arsenal currently recommends purchasing a replacement pin and “sanding it down” to the smaller diameter. NOTE: This is NOT difficult — simply spin the stock pin in some sandpaper.

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May 29th, 2021

Six Tips for Success at Local Fun Matches

Varmint silhouette fun match

Summer’s almost here! Every summer weekend, there are hundreds of local club “fun matches” conducted around the country. One of the good things about club shoots is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on equipment to have fun. But we’ve seen that many club shooters handicap themselves with a few common equipment oversights or lack of attention to detail while reloading. Here are SIX TIPS that can help you avoid these common mistakes, and build more accurate ammo for your club matches.

Benchrest rear bag1. Align Front Rest and Rear Bag
We see many shooters whose rear bag is angled left or right relative to the bore axis. This can happen when you rush your set-up. But even if you set the gun up carefully, the rear bag can twist due to recoil or the way your arm contacts the bag. After every shot, make sure your rear bag is aligned properly (this is especially important for bag squeezers who may actually pull the bag out of alignment as they squeeze).

Forum member ArtB adds: “To align my front rest and rear bag with the target, I use an old golf club shaft. I run it from my front rest stop through a line that crosses over my speed screw and into the slot between the two ears. I stand behind that set-up and make sure I see a straight line pointing at the target. I also have a piece of tape that I’ve placed on the golf shaft that indicates how far the back end of the rear bag should be placed from the front rest stop.”

2. Avoid Contact Interference
We see three common kinds of contact or mechanical interference that can really hurt accuracy. First, if your stock has front and/or rear sling swivels make sure these do NOT contact the front or rear bags at any point of the gun’s travel. When a sling swivel digs into the front bag that can cause a shot to pop high or low. To avoid this, reposition the rifle so the swivels don’t contact the bags or simply remove the swivels before your match. Second, watch out for the rear of the stock grip area. Make sure this is not resting on the bag as you fire and that it can’t come back to contact the bag during recoil. That lip or edge at the bottom of the grip can cause problems when it contacts the rear bag. Third, watch out for the stud or arm on the front rest that limits forward stock travel. With some rests this is high enough that it can actually contact the barrel. We encountered one shooter recently who was complaining about “vertical flyers” during his match. It turns out his barrel was actually hitting the front stop! With most front rests you can either lower the stop or twist the arm to the left or right so it won’t contact the barrel.

varmint fun match groundhog

3. Weigh Your Charges — Every One
This may sound obvious, but many folks still rely on a powder measure. Yes we know that most short-range BR shooters throw their charges without weighing, but if you’re going to pre-load for a club match there is no reason NOT to weigh your charges. You may be surprised at how inconsistent your powder measure actually is. One of our testers was recently throwing H4198 charges from a mechanical measure for his 30BR. Each charge was then weighed twice with a Denver Instrument lab scale. Our tester found that thrown charges varied by up to 0.7 grains! And that’s with a premium measure.

4. Measure Your Loaded Ammo — After Bullet Seating
Even if you’ve checked your brass and bullets prior to assembling your ammo, we recommend that you weigh your loaded rounds and measure them from base of case to bullet ogive using a comparator. If you find a round that is “way off” in weight or more than .005″ off your intended base to ogive length, set it aside and use that round for a fouler. (Note: if the weight is off by more than 6 or 7 grains you may want to disassemble the round and check your powder charge.) With premium, pre-sorted bullets, we’ve found that we can keep 95% of loaded rounds within a range of .002″, measuring from base (of case) to ogive. Now, with some lots of bullets, you just can’t keep things within .002″, but you should still measure each loaded match round to ensure you don’t have some cases that are way too short or way too long.

Scope Ring5. Check Your Fasteners
Before a match you need to double-check your scope rings or iron sight mounts to ensure everything is tight. Likewise, you should check the tension on the screws/bolts that hold the action in place. Even with a low-recoiling rimfire rifle, action screws or scope rings can come loose during normal shooting.

6. Make a Checklist and Pack the Night Before
Ever drive 50 miles to a match then discover you have the wrong ammo or that you forgot your bolt? Well, mistakes like that happen to the best of us. You can avoid these oversights (and reduce stress at matches) by making a checklist of all the stuff you need. Organize your firearms, range kit, ammo box, and shooting accessories the night before the match. And, like a good Boy Scout, “be prepared”. Bring a jacket and hat if it might be cold. If you have windflags, bring them (even if you’re not sure the rules allow them). Bring spare batteries, and it’s wise to bring a spare rifle and ammo for it. If you have just one gun, a simple mechanical breakdown (such as a broken firing pin) can ruin your whole weekend.

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May 29th, 2021

Vortex Offers New 5-25x56mm FFP Venom Scope — Under $500

vortex venom FFP 5x25 scope PRS

Interested in PRS/NRL and other tactical disciplines, but don’t want to spend a fortune on optics? Vortex offers a new scope, the Vortex Venom 5-26x56mm FFP (First Focal Plane) optic with 5X zoom range. Offered with in both MOA and MIL versions, the new Venom ($699.99 MSRP) can be purchased right now for $499.99 “street price” from EuroOptic.com. Choose either the MOA model or MRAD version.

Vortex claims the new Venom allows new tactical shooter to “get into the game at an affordable price without compromising optical quality, or giving up the features they need to be competitive”. You get a 34mm main tube, 85 MOA elevation with 25 MOA per revolution for the MOA version, or 25 MRAD elevation and 10 MRAD per turn for the MIL version. For both models, the scope weighs 35 ounces and is 15.3″ long.

vortex venom FFP 5x25 scope PRS

The Venom 5-25x56mm comes equipped with the advanced EBR-7C reticle in the first focal plane (see below). This reticle features a precise center dot with a “Christmas Tree” pyramid of ultra-fine sub-tensions and holdover dots to compensate for bullet drop and wind drift. The Venom 5-25x56mm also features Vortex’s RevStop zero-stop system, allowing the shooter to return to their original zeroing after making finely tuned adjustments in the field.

User Q & A about Vortex Riflescope Options

Q. What is the difference between the new Venom and the Vortex Strike Eagle?

Vortex: The main differences will be that the Strike Eagle has locking turrets, an illuminated reticle, and a slight step up optically compared to the Venom. This VIDEO should explain the differences pretty well: Venom vs. Strike Eagle vs. Diamondback.

Q: Optically what is the difference between the Venom and the Vortex PST Gen 2? Looks like they both use the same lens and different coating.

Vortex: The Viper PST Gen II will be a noticeable step up optically. It will have better clarity, resolution, and low-light performance when compared to the Venom.

vortex venom FFP 5x25 scope PRS

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