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November 9th, 2021

Slick Folding Base for LabRadar from Arkco Machine

labradar base unit arkcomatt stainless folding

High-Quality Portable Base for LabRadar Chronograph

If you currently own a LabRadar, or plan to buy one soon, there’s a smart new accessory you should consider buying. Matt Owens of ArkcoMachine.com offers a great, compact Quad Base for the LabRadar that works better than the flat, orange baseplate offered by the manufacturer.

Matt, aka “Arkcomatt”, explains: “These are machined from aluminum and put together with stainless steel screws. The rubber feet are held on with screws also. No more coming off. The legs have nylon washers between them and the base for smooth operation. The screws are torqued and thread locker applied. One of the best things is, with the standard attachment, it will fit in the case with the unit. No more having to take apart! Just fold the legs. It takes up less room on the bench and allows you to get it closer to the rifle. It is very stable and holds up very well in high winds.” ORDER BASE HERE.

labradar base unit arkcomatt stainless folding

labradar base unit arkcomatt stainless folding

arkcomatt swivel mount labradar quad baseArkco Machine’s folding Quad Base costs $89.95. The base offers better stability than the LabRadar factory mount, and is also easier to transport because it folds. This makes your LabRadar easier to deploy on a bench or when shooting prone.

Arkco Machine now offers handy swivel (ball) mounts for mounting your LabRadar to Arkco’s Quad Base. Choose either the Quick-Release Heavy-Duty Swivel Mount ($24.95, see photo at right) or the basic Light-Duty Ball Mount, just $10 (shown below). We like the Heavy-Duty unit because it can also be used for spotting scopes.

Arkco Machine also offers stainless spike feet for use when prone shooting. The spikes (shown below) screw in the same holes as the rubber feet.

labradar base unit arkcomatt stainless folding

Forum Member Praise Arkco Machine’s LabRadar Folding Base:
You can read user reviews of the LabRadar Quad Base in this Forum Thread.

Bullet-maker Bart Sauter has one of these bases now and he endorses it: “These bases are great for the LabRadar. Stable and compact — completely grab and go!”

Forum member Peterson1 agrees: “This is more stable than the Labradar base for my use–off a concrete BR bench, yet takes up less space. Also easier/quicker to set unit up and aimed at target. Never take the unit off for transport in LabRadar case. Only negative — you can’t trade in the factory LabRadar base toward purchase of this base. So buy smart the first time!”

Forum Member SkiUtah02 uses the base with optional spiked feet: “Met up with Matt at the Sierra Cup and bought my base with … spikes for the feet to put into the ground. Just had a chance to test it today and it worked great. I removed the rubber feet, and screwed in the four spiked feet, added a threaded-rod-coupling nut onto the bolt so that I could mount an old photography lighting stand swivel head to the base! Worked perfectly. Thanks Matt!”

labradar base unit arkcomatt stainless folding

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November 9th, 2021

Tips on Case Priming by Glen Zediker

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool
The anvil is the tripod-shaped thin metal piece protruding above the bottom of the primer cup. Getting the primer sitting fully flush on the bottom of the case primer pocket, without crunching it too much, requires some keen feel for the progress of primer seating.

Sadly, Glen Zediker passed away in October 2020. However, his insights live on through his written works. This feature is based on Glen’s popular reloading books and his articles for the Midsouth Blog.

top grade ammo book Glen ZedikerIn two informative Midsouth Blog articles, Glen Zediker offers helpful advice on priming. First he examines what happens to the primer itself as it is seated in the cup. Glen explains why some “crush” is important, and why you never want to leave a high primer. Glen also reviews a variety of priming tools, including his favorite — the Forster Co-Ax Bench Primer Seater. Then he offers some key safety tips. Glen provides some “rock-solid” advice about the priming operation. You’ll find more great reloading tips in Glen Zediker’s popular book, Top-Grade Ammo, which we recommend.

Priming Precision vs. Speed
Glen writes: “The better priming tools have less leverage. That is so we can feel the progress of that relatively very small span of depth between start and finish. There is also a balance between precision and speed in tool choices, as there so often is.”

Benchtop Priming Tools — The Forster Co-Ax
Glen thinks that the best choice among priming options, considering both “feel” and productivity, may be the benchtop stand-alone priming stations: “They are faster than hand tools, and can be had with more or less leverage engineered into them. I like the one shown below the best because its feeding is reliable and its feel is more than good enough to do a ‘perfect’ primer seat. It’s the best balance I’ve found between speed and precision.”

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool

Load Tuning and Primers
Glen cautions that you should always reduce your load when you switch to a new, not-yet-tested primer type: “The primer is, in my experience, the greatest variable that can change the performance of a load combination, which is mostly to say ‘pressure’. Never (never ever) switch primer brands without backing off the propellant charge and proving to yourself how far to take it back up, or to even back it off more. I back off one full grain of propellant [when I] try a different primer brand.”

Primer Forster Co-ax priming tool

Priming Safety Tips by Zediker

1. Get a good primer “flip” tray for use in filling the feeding magazine tubes associated with some systems. Make double-damn sure each primer is fed right side up (or down, depending on your perspective). A common cause of unintentional detonation is attempting to overfill a stuffed feeding tube magazine, so count and watch your progress.

2. Don’t attempt to seat a high primer more deeply on a finished round. The pressure needed to overcome the inertia to re-initiate movement may be enough to detonate it.

3. Don’t punch out a live primer! That can result in an impressive fright. To kill a primer, squirt or spray a little light oil into its open end. That renders the compound inert.

4. Keep the priming tool cup clean. That’s the little piece that the primer sits down into. Any little shard of brass can become a firing pin! It’s happened!

These Tips on Priming come from Glen’s Zediker’s excellent book Top-Grade Ammo, a great resource for precision hand-loaders. Midsouth Shooters Supply also offers Glen’s Competitive AR-15 book.

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November 9th, 2021

Winter Gun Storage — Consider Bore-Stores and 3-Layer Bags

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

Winter’s right around the corner, so many readers will be putting their guns in the safe for the season. For winter storage, we recommend Bore-Stores. These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a range of sizes to fit everything from a snub-nosed revolver to a 33″-barrelled Black Powder Rifle. Bore-Stores can be purchased for $9.97 – $28.97 from Borestores.com. For most scoped rifles, we recommend the 10″x46″ SCR-1 case ($25.97). The Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises will also craft custom sizes on request. For a long-barreled F-Class or ELR rig you may need a custom length. Or you can remove the scope and use the 7″x60″ MUS-1 Musket Bore-Store ($28.97).

Bore-Store Handgun Cases | Bore-Store Rifle Cases | Bore-Store Shotgun Cases

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Triple-Layer Sealed Bags — Affordable and Effective

Consider Military-Style, Triple-Layer Bags for Long-Term Storage
While we prefer Bore-Stores for regularly-used guns, if you have heirloom firearms that will be kept in storage for very long periods without seeing any use, you may want to grease them up and place them in the thin, but rugged three-layer storage bags sold by Brownells. The bags are made from a three-layer laminate of polyester, aluminum, and polyethylene film, with a shiny silver exterior. Though the laminate is thin, the Brownells storage bags are puncture-resistant, and have a 0% moisture transmission rating so moisture can’t get inside. These bags are also resistant to petroleum-based chemicals and they won’t break down even in contact with soil or moisture.

3-layer Brownells storage bagHere’s one VITAL bit of advice for using these bags. Be absolutely sure, before you seal up the bags, that your guns are DRY and that all metal surfaces have been coated with an effective anti-corrosive, such as BoeShield T9 or Eezox. Brownells’ storage bags are inexpensive. A three-pak of 12″x 60″ rifle sacks (item 083-055-003WB) costs just $19.99 — under seven bucks a gun. That’s cheap insurance for rifles and shotguns that may cost thousands of dollars.

Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
Just about the worst thing you can do for long-term storage (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust. Even in warm summer months, humid air can leave moisture in the foam.

Foam-lined hard caseRemember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some badly.

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