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January 17th, 2022

Bargain Finder 330: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Amazon — Frankford Universal Case Trimmer, $73.99

“Frankford
Smart system fits drills and trims nearly all popular rifle case types

Here’s a good option for trimming cases, if you shoot many different cartridge types. Frankford Arsenal Universal Precision Case Trimmer handles most popular cartridges from .17 Rem all the way up to .460 Weatherby. Just choose the right collet then attached the unit to the end of your power drill for fast, easy trimming. The built-in depth micrometer allows for fast trim-length adjustments, and the brass-shaving ejection port ensures a clean trim. The universal collet system indexes on case shoulders for precise and consistent trimming. This trimming system works with just about any 1/2″ power drill.

2. Graf’s — Peterson Brass and Loaded Ammo

Peteron ammo brass sale
New loaded ammo offering and excellent cartridge brass

Accurate loads start with high-quality brass. American-made Peterson Brass is VERY high-quality. It’s extremely uniform and long-lasting. Right now you can get a large selection of Peterson cartridge brass at Grafs.com. Peterson offers both popular as well as hard-to-find brass types. Along with the match-grade brass, Peterson now offers excellent loaded ammo for many cartridge types, including 6×47 Lapua, 6.5-284 Norma, and .308 Win.

3. Sportsman’s WHSE — Sig Sauer P365XL Package, $549.99

sig sauer 365xl sale
Most popular new SIG pistol with holster and 3 mags

SIG Sauer P365 pistols are a fine choice for a carry gun — they are slim, well-made, and accurate. And right now Sportsman’s Warehouse has a great SIG Sauer P365XL package on sale. The P365 series now ranks second among Gunbroker’s top-selling handguns of 2021. Given the proven reliability, small form factor, and class-leading accuracy, the SIG P365XL is very popular. With an attractive price, PLUS 3 magazines and a molded belt holster, this is a good pistol package deal.

4. Bullet Central — Micron Dies In Stock

micron dD8ie sale
Superb quality dies can produce match-grade ammo

If you’re in the market for a new sizing die and want a premium die with superb tolerances and excellent internal finish, consider Micron Precision Series Sizer Dies. These are some of the straightest, best-crafted dies you can find. Each die blank is caliber-specific in length. JGS resize reamers are used to chamber the dies which are hand-polished and inspected before surface treatment. These Micron Sizers boast sub-0.0002″ runout from OD to bushing pocket and die chamber. All dies come with a bushing retainer cap for full neck sizing.

5. Precision Reloading — Hornady Auto Charge Pro, $299.99

hornady powder dispenser
Save over $70 on advanced powder scale/dispenser

A good electronic scale/dispenser is a vital tool for precision handloading. Right now you can get the high-tech Hornady Auto Charge Pro at significant savings. The Auto Charge Pro is precise to within +/- 0.1 grain, and offers customizable trickle speeds and custom time settings. This machine has its display screen on top so the unit takes up less space on your loading bench. This is an excellent deal — the Auto Charge Pro sells for up to $380 elsewhere (e.g. $373.99 at MidwayUSA).

6. Natchez — Frankford Quick-N-Easy Case Tumbler Kit, $79.99

frankford arsenal tumbler
We’ve used this Combo Kit for many seasons — very good value right now

Keeping your brass clean is important (and essential if you anneal). If you’re looking for a new, affordable setup to clean cartridge brass, consider the Frankford Arsenal Quick-N-EZ Case Tumbler Master Kit. You get everything needed to dry-tumble your brass and remove the media. This is all available now for a very low $79.99. You could pay that much for a good vibratory tumbler alone, yet this combo kit includes tumbler, media separator, bucket, brass polish, and media.

7. Amazon — Real Avid Torque Wrench, $70.79

real avid torque wrench
Essential tool for mounting scope rings, rails, and accessories

Every serious gun owner should have a good tool to properly set torque values for scope mounts and other accessories. Here’s a good product at an attractive price. The Real Avid torque wrench kit includes a torque wrench, 12 common bits/drivers, a force lever, and a hard case. The adjustable torque wrench adjusts from 10-70 inch-pounds with precise one-lb increments. The special “force assist driver” increases torque power when needed to tighten screws and fasteners.

8. Amazon — Tipton Action Cleaning Kit, $11.99

tipton cleaning
Get inside of actions clean with inexpensive kit

Everyone knows to clean your barrel but do you know that cleaning your action and lug recesses is equally important? Pick up the Tipton Action Cleaning Kit and you’ll be able to get into every nook and cranny of your gun. With a rod that accepts standard 8/32 brushes and tips as well as a specially-designed lug recess tool that uses cotton rolls to get the gunk out of there you’ll be clean in no time.

9. Amazon — Caldwell Pivot Bipod, $38.39

caldwell bipod
Good basic bipod with legs that can swivel around center axis

For both prone shooting and bench work, a good bipod is a vital accessory. The Caldwell Pivot Bipod provides a stable shooting support that conveniently attaches via a sling swivel stud. The legs can spring out to the shooting position with the touch of a button, and height is easily adjusted via leg notches. The bipod is able to cant 18 degrees left or right around the center axis (essentially rotating left or right). This allows your firearm to be quickly leveled on uneven ground.

10. Midsouth — Radians Outback Shooting Glasses, $5.88

radians outback shooting safety eyewear glasses
Quality name-brand shooting eyewear — buy multiples at this price

Every shooter needs eye protection EVERY TIME you go to the shooting range. Right now Midsouth has the good Radians clear lens Outback Shooting Glasses for just $5.88. These ANSI Z87.1 Radians Shooting Glasses provide 99.9% UVA/UVB protection with the coated lenses. These offer excellent wrap-around protection and are fairly light and comfortable. A handy neck cord is included. With this low $5.88 price, you can buy 3 or 4 sets and keep spares in your vehicles, so you always have protective eyewear for yourself and your friends.

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January 16th, 2022

Grip on Bullet — Many Factors Involved, Not Just Bushing Size

case neck bushing reloading die tension bullet release

Many novice hand-loaders believe that neck bushing Inside Diameter (ID) size is the only important factor in neck tension. In fact, many different things will influence the grip on your bullet and its ability to release from the case neck. To learn more about neck tension and “case grip”, take the time to read this article carefully. We bet you’ll gain knowledge that will let you load more accurate ammo, with better ES/SD.

Editor: Guys, this is a VERY important article. You really should read it over carefully, twice. Variations in the force required to release a bullet can significantly affect accuracy and ES/SD. You really need to know how the grip on bullet can be altered by many different factors.

Neck Tension (i.e. Grip on Bullets) Is a Complex Phenomenon
While we certainly have considerable control over neck tension by using tighter or looser bushings (with smaller or bigger Inside Diameters), bushing size is only one factor at work. It’s important to understand the multiple factors that can increase or decrease the resistance to bullet release. Think in terms of overall brass-on-bullet “grip” instead of just bushing size (or the internal neck diameter in non-bushing full-length sizing dies).

Bullet grip is affected by many things, such as:

1. Neck-wall thickness.
2. Amount of bullet bearing surface (shank) in the neck.
3. Surface condition inside of neck (residual carbon can act as a lubricant; ultrasonic cleaning makes necks “grabby”).
4. Length of neck (e.g. 6mmBR neck vs. 6mm Dasher).
5. Whether or not the bullets have an anti-friction coating.
6.The springiness of the brass (which is related to degree of work-hardening; number of firings etc.)
7. The bullet jacket material.
8. The outside diameter of the bullet and whether it has a pressure ridge.
9. Time duration between bullet seating and firing (necks can stiffen with time).
10. How often the brass is annealed.
11. Amount (length) of neck sized (e.g. you can size only half the neck).
12. Interior diameter of bushing, or neck section of non-bushing die.


– and there are others…

One needs to understand that bushing size isn’t the beginning and end of neck tension questions, because, even if bushing size is held constant, the amount of bullet “grip” can change dramatically as the condition of your brass changes. Bullet “grip” can also change if you alter your seating depth, and it can even change if you ultrasonically clean your cases.

5-time U.S. National Long-Range Champion John Whidden adds: “Our tests show us that the condition of the necks in regards to lubed or not, carbon inside or not, squeaky clean or not, etc., matter even more than the size of the bushing used. An ultrasonically cleaned or brand new dry case neck make for some quite high seating force.”

Redding neck bushingsIn our Shooters’ Forum a reader recently asked: “How much neck tension should I use?” This prompted a Forum discussion in which other Forum members recommended a specific number based on their experience, such as .001″, .002″, or .003″. These numbers, as commonly used, correspond to the difference between case-neck OD after sizing and the neck OD of a loaded round, with bullet in place. In other words, the numbers refer to the nominal amount of interference fit (after sizing).

While these commonly-used “tension numbers” (of .001″, .002″ etc.) can be useful as starting points, neck tension is actually a fairly complex subject. The actual amount of “grip” on the bullet is a function of many factors, of which neck-OD reduction during sizing is just one. Understanding these many factors will help you maintain consistent neck tension as your brass “evolves” over the course of multiple reloadings.

Seating Depth Changes Can Increase or Decrease Grip on Bullet
You can do this simple experiment. Seat a boat-tail bullet in your sized neck with .150″ of bearing surface (shank) in the neck. Now remove the bullet with an impact hammer. Next, take another identical bullet and seat it with .300″ of bearing surface in another sized case (same bushing size/same nominal tension). You’ll find the deeper-seated bullet is gripped much harder.

PPC lapua brassNeck-Wall Thickness is Important Too
I have also found that thinner necks, particularly the very thin necks used by many PPC shooters, require more sizing to give equivalent “grip”. Again, do your own experiment. Seat a bullet in a case turned to .008″ neckwall thickness and sized down .003″. Now compare that to a case with .014″ neckwall thickness and sized down .0015″. You may find that the bullet in the thin necks actually pulls out easier, though it supposedly has more “neck tension”, if one were to consider bushing size alone.

In practical terms, because thick necks are less elastic than very thin necks, when you turn necks you may need to run tighter bushings to maintain the same amount of actual grip on the bullets (as compared to no-turn brass). Consequently, I suspect the guys using .0015″ “tension” on no-turn brass may be a lot closer to the guys using .003″ “tension” on turned necks than either group may realize.

Toward a Better Definition of Neck Tension
As a convenient short-cut, we tend to describe neck tension by bushing size alone. When a guy says, “I run .002 neck tension”, that normally means he is using a die/bushing that sizes the necks .002″ smaller than a loaded round. Well we know something about his post-sizing neck OD, but do we really have a reliable idea about how much force is required to release his bullets? Maybe not… This use of the term “neck tension” when we are really only describing the amount of neck diameter reduction with a die/bushing is really kind of incomplete.

My point here is that it is overly simplistic to ask, “should I load with .001 tension or .003?” In reality, an .001″ reduction (after springback) on a thick neck might provide MORE “grip” on a deep-seated bullet than an .003″ reduction on a very thin-walled neck holding a bullet with minimal bearing surface in the neck. Bushing ID is something we can easily measure and verify. We use bushing size as a descriptor of neck tension because it is convenient and because the other important factors are hard to quantify. But those factors shouldn’t be ignored if you want to maintain consistent neck tension for optimal accuracy.

Consistency and accuracy — that’s really what this all about isn’t it? We want to find the best neck tension for accuracy, and then maintain that amount of grip-on-bullet over time. To do that you need to look not only at your bushing size, but also at how your brass has changed (work-hardened) with time, and whether other variables (such as the amount of carbon in the neck) have changed. Ultimately, optimal neck tension must be ascertained experimentally. You have to go out and test empirically to see what works, in YOUR rifle, with YOUR bullets and YOUR brass. And you may have to change the nominal tension setting (i.e. bushing size) as your brass work-hardens or IF YOU CHANGE SEATING DEPTHS.

Remember that bushing size alone does not tell us all we need to know about the neck’s true “holding power” on a bullet, or the energy required for bullet release. True bullet grip is a more complicated phenomenon, one that is affected by numerous factors, some of which are very hard to quantify.

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January 15th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Reloading for the .45 ACP Cartridge

.45 ACP pistol cartridge handloading reloading guide powder loads

Today we showcase five YouTube videos that explain basic reloading processes. This article primarily focuses on the .45 ACP cartridge because this a very good choice for hand-loaders getting started. The .45 ACP is one of the easier cartridges to reload, because it has a large case diameter and large primer pocket, and because it operates at relatively low pressures (compared to rifle rounds).

We recommend that new reloaders consider starting with the .45 ACP cartridge. There are many reasons why the .45 ACP is a good choice for those just getting started in hand-loading:

1. The case is fairly short but has a relatively large diameter (and minimal taper), so it is easy to see inside the case. That helps you quickly check powder levels.
2. Many good powders (for the .45 ACP) will fill the case over 60%, so you will have an obvious overflow if you double-charge by accident.
3. The .45 ACP round runs at relatively low pressures, but delivers excellent accuracy.
4. Good .45 ACP brass lasts a long time, is easy to size, and is good for many reloads.
5. Along with 1911s, there are fine .45 ACP revolvers that shoot the round with moon clips.
6. The vast majority of .45 ACP brass uses large pistol primers (although there ARE some small primer pocket varieties*). We find that large primers are easier to pick up and handle if you are using a single primer tool.

.45 ACP pistol cartridge handloading reloading guide powder loads

The .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridge is a rimless straight-walled handgun cartridge originally developed in 1904 by John Moses Browning for use in his prototype Colt semi-automatic pistol. After successful military trials, it was adopted as the standard chambering for Colt’s M1911 pistol.

For reloading, there are many good powder choices. We recommend Vihtavuori N320. This is very accurate and burns cleaner than some otherwise good powders, such as Accurate (AA) No. 5 and Unique.

Basic Reloading for the .45 ACP Cartridge

This is the most-viewed .45 ACP reloading video on YouTube. It is directed primarily for the novice or prospective reloader. It covers the basic processes: case inspection, cleaning, trimming, sizing, priming, powder filling, bullet seating, and crimping. The video creator notes: “Trimming pistol/revolver brass is optional and usually not necessary. it was included because that is what I did when I first began reloading, before I found out that handgun brass does not stretch as much as bottleneck rifle brass.”

.45 ACP pistol cartridge handloading reloading guide powder loads

How To Reload .45 ACP Start to Finish — Tutorial for Newer Reloaders

This is a detailed 30-minute video that shows the reloading process start to finish. The cases are sized and bullets seated using a single-stage RCBS press. The cases are primed using an RCBS hand-priming tool which keeps multiple primers in a tray. For efficiency, we recommend this vs. seating primers using the priming system on the press itself.

Safety First When Loading All Cartridges

Along with the first two instructional videos above, we include two important videos focused on reloading safety. In the first video, UltimateReloader’s Gavin Gear explains how to check your cartridge during the loading process to eliminate squib loads and other defects. In the second video, Starline Brass tech Hunter Pilant explains how to avoid double charges.

Load .45 ACP Safely — Avoid Squib Loads and Overcharges

You need to check the powder level of EVERY round you load. Do this visually BEFORE seating a bullet. (Or, with a progressive press, use a lock-out die that monitors powder levels). This is very important because a squib load (with little or no powder) can leave a bullet lodged in the barrel. A subsequent full, live round can cause a Kaboom with dire consequences.

Preventing Double Charges — Use a Case-filling Powder with .45 ACP

IMPORTANT TIP: Use a bulky powder that fills your case more than half way with a correct charge. “This will over-fill the case if it is double-charged, making it impossible to load. This is one safeguard that can keep you from making a big [mistake]” (Hunter Pilant, Starline). A bulky powder with high fill level will also be easier to see inside the case.

The Progressive Option — Loading .45 ACP on the Dillon 550B

Once you have mastered the basics of reloading for the .45 ACP, if you require large quantities of ammo, you may want to consider getting a progressive press. Progressive presses can significantly increase your ammo output, but there are also important safety considerations. You need to be careful about powder levels and priming. In this video, Gavin Gear explains how to reload safely with a Dillon 550B progressive press. The equivalent current model is the Dillon 550C.

.45 ACP Ammunition Loading Guide — Nosler Data

If you “roll your own” .45 ACP cartridges, there are many good powder choices. Our favorites are Vihtavuori N320, AA No. 5, and Hodgdon TiteGroup, but there are many other good choices. You’ll find these three recommended powders (plus many others) in the .45 ACP Load Data Charts from Nosler. Shown below are the Nosler Guides for 185gr bullets and 230gr bullets. Right-click each image below to access/download printable PDF files.

Click for PDF File
.45 ACP Nosler reloading guide powder loads

Click for PDF File
.45 ACP Nosler reloading guide powder loads


* However, be aware that CCI and other companies are now manufacturing .45 ACP brass with SMALL PRIMER POCKETS. Whenever you get new brass, be sure so check ALL the cases for primer size, and segregate large and small in two groups. Attempting to push a large primer into a small primer hole can lead to jams, or worse, dangerous detonation. Be CAREFUL!

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January 15th, 2022

Changes in Humidity Can Alter Powder Burn Rates — IMPORTANT

Tech Tip Norma Powder gunpowder moisture temperature humidity

Most shooters realize that significant changes in temperature will alter how powders perform. That’s why you want to keep your loaded ammo out of the hot sun, and keep rounds out of a hot chamber until you’re ready to fire. But there are other factors to be considered — HUMIDITY for one. This article explains why and how humidity can affect powder burn rates and performance.

We’ve all heard the old adage: “Keep your powder dry”. Well, tests by Norma have demonstrated that even normal environmental differences in humidity can affect the way powders burn, at least over the long term. In the Norma Reloading Manual, Sven-Eric Johansson, head of ballistics at Nexplo/Bofors, presents a very important discussion of water vapor absorption by powder. Johansson demonstrates that the same powder will burn at different rates depending on water content.

Powders Leave the Factory with 0.5 to 1.0% Water Content
Johansson explains that, as manufactured, most powders contain 0.5 to 1% of water by weight. (The relative humidity is “equilibrated” at 40-50% during the manufacturing process to maintain this 0.5-1% moisture content). Importantly, Johansson notes that powder exposed to moist air for a long time will absorb water, causing it to burn at a slower rate. On the other hand, long-term storage in a very dry environment reduces powder moisture content, so the powder burns at a faster rate. In addition, Johansson found that single-base powders are MORE sensitive to relative humidity than are double-base powders (which contain nitroglycerine).

Tests Show Burn Rates Vary with Water Content
In his review of the Norma Manual, Fred Barker notes: “Johansson gives twelve (eye-opening) plots of the velocities and pressures obtained on firing several popular cartridges with dehydrated, normal and hydrated Norma powders (from #200 to MRP). He also gives results on loaded .30-06 and .38 Special cartridges stored for 663 to 683 days in relative humidities of 20% and 86%. So Johansson’s advice is to keep powders tightly capped in their factory containers, and to minimize their exposure to dry or humid air.”

Confirming Johansson’s findings that storage conditions can alter burn rates, Barker observes: “I have about 10 pounds of WWII 4831 powder that has been stored in dry (about 20% RH) Colorado air for more than 60 years. It now burns about like IMR 3031.”

What does this teach us? First, all powders start out with a small, but chemically important, amount of water content. Second, a powder’s water content can change over time, depending on where and how the powder is stored. Third, the water content of your powder DOES make a difference in how it burns, particularly for single-base powders. For example, over a period of time, a powder used (and then recapped) in the hot, dry Southwest will probably behave differently than the same powder used in the humid Southeast.

Reloaders are advised to keep these things in mind. If you want to maintain your powders’ “as manufactured” burn rate, it is wise to head Johannson’s recommendation to keep your powders tightly capped when you’re not actually dispensing charges and avoid exposing your powder to very dry or very humid conditions. The Norma Reloading Manual is available from MidwayUSA for $24.99.

Real-World Example — “Dry” H4831sc Runs Hotter

Robert Whitley agrees that the burn rate of the powder varies with the humidity it absorbs. Robert writes: “I had an 8-lb. jug of H4831SC I kept in my detached garage (it can be humid there). 43.5-44.0 gr of this was superbly accurate with the 115 Bergers out of my 6mm Super X. I got tired of bringing it in and out of the garage to my house for reloading so I brought and kept the jug in my reloading room (a dehumidified room in my house) and after a few weeks I loaded up 43.5 gr, went to a match and it shot awful. I could not figure out what was going on until I put that load back over the chronograph and figured out it was going a good bit faster than before and the load was out of the “sweet spot” (42.5 – 43.0 gr was the max I could load and keep it accurate when it was stored in less humid air). I put the jug back in the garage for a few weeks and I now am back to loading 43.5 – 44.0 gr and it shoots great again. I have seen this with other powders too.”

If you have two jugs of the same powder, one kept in a room in your house and one somewhere else where it is drier or more humid, don’t expect the two jugs of the same lot of powder to chrono the same with the same charge weights unless and until they are both stored long enough in the same place to equalize again.

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January 14th, 2022

Ultrasonic Case Cleaning — What Is the Best Dwell Time?

cartridge brass case ultrasonic liquid cleaning dwell time brownells

If you read our lengthy article on Ultrasonic Cleaning by Jason Baney, you’ve seen the remarkable results that can be achieved with this method, as shown by the photo above. Ultrasonic cleaning has many advantages over traditional tumbling methods of case cleaning. There is no dust or media residue to remove from the brass, and when done right, the cases come out clean and shiny, inside and out, even the primer pockets.

In its Benchtalk Archives, Brownell’s has an excellent article discussing Ultrasonic Case Cleaning. Brownell’s staff compares results, with measured dwell times from 5 to 75 minutes, using both Mpro-7 and HCS 200 cleaning solutions. Tests are performed with once-fired and 5X-fired Tactical 20 (Tac20) cases, as well as once-fired .260 Rem Cases. The article also compares the results from ultrasonic cleaning vs. tumbling in walnut media. Below are Brownell’s results for Tac20 cases with the HCS 200 (non-acidic solution). Go to Brownell’s article for MPro7 results and Rem 260 results.

HCS 200 Cleaning Solution Test

Procedure — Solution was de-gassed for 15 minutes, then 63 Tac20 cases were placed in a single layer, in stainless steel mesh basket. The temperature of the starting solution was 102° F. When the cases were removed the temperature was 110° F.

Once-Fired Tactical Twenty Cases (HCS 200) — Observations
5 minutes: The exterior of the cases are not significantly brighter/cleaner. The primer pockets and case interiors are still dirty.
10 minutes: Exterior of the cases are brighter. 70% of the cases show some degree of cleaning of the primer pockets. Little difference seen inside the case, but case mouths are cleaner.
15 minutes: Case brightness is about the same. Still only 70% of the primer pockets are clean, but a larger portion of each is cleaner. A Q-tip swabbed inside the cases shows that carbon/powder residues are loosening up.
20 minutes: Case exteriors are brightening up. 80-85% of the primer pockets are about 90% clean. The insides of the cases and case mouths are cleaner.
25 minutes: Cases are brighter/cleaner than even new brass. 80-85% of the cases have almost completely clean primer pockets. The inside of the cases are 80-90% clean.
30 minutes: The insides of the cases and case mouths appear to be completely clean. 87% of the primer pockets are virtually 100% clean. 13% of the cases had stubborn primer pocket residue that could not be completely removed.
60 minutes: Eight cases (13%) were placed in the tank for another 30 minutes to try to remove the remaining residue in their primer pockets. Six out of the eight cases were completely clean.

Five-Times Fired Tac20 Cases — Observations
30 minutes: Based on the above observations, I didn’t begin to observe these 5-time fired cases until after 30 minutes: The exterior cases are bright/clean. Brighter than new cases. The primer pockets on 75% of the cases are 75% clean. The remaining cases had primer pockets that were only 25% clean. The inside of the cases appear to be clean.
65 minutes: 25% of the primer pockets were 95% clean, 25% of the primer pockets were 90% clean, 25% of the primer pockets were 85% clean; and 25% were 80% clean.
75 minutes: 75% of the primer pockets were 90% clean.

How Does Ultrasonic Cleaning Work?
The Brownell’s article explains: “Ultrasonic cleaning uses high-frequency sound waves (generally between 20-80 kHz) to remove a variety of contaminants from objects immersed in a liquid. The result of these high-frequency sound waves is a process called cavitation. These high frequency bursts of ultrasonic energy produce a three-dimensional wave of alternating positive and negative pressure areas as the sound wave passes through the solution. During negative pressure, microscopic cavitation bubbles form and will continue to grown until they reach resonant size. As the positive sound wave passes, the pressure rises rapidly and implodes these tiny bubbles. Before these minuscule bubbles implode they store a tremendous amount of energy. These bubbles can be as hot as 10,000 degrees and have as much as 50,000 lbs per square inch of pressure. This sounds alarming, but you have to remember that these bubbles are microscopic in nature and pose no harm to anything, unless you are a carbon /powder residue deposit on a cartridge case!

When this cavitation bubble implodes near your brass case, it transforms the bubble into a jet about 1/10th of its size. This jet of energy can travel as fast as 400 km/hour. At 43 kHz, as is the frequency for our L & R HCS 200 ultrasonic cleaner, this is happening 43,000 times per second. This micro-burst of extreme energy is responsible for removing contaminants from the surface of your cartridge brass. Ultrasonic cleaning can reach into crevices and inaccessible areas and remove surface debris that can’t be cleaned by any other process.”

Photos and quotes © Brownells®, Inc. All Rights Reserved, Used with Permission.

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January 13th, 2022

Trim, Chamfer, and Debur Brass with Giraud Tri-Way Trimmer

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool
Close-up of the Tri-Way Trimmer with clear plastic chip guard removed.

Giraud Tool offers a case trimmer/chamferer device that works with a power drill (or other power source). Giraud’s patented Tri-Way Trimmer is a self-contained unit powered by your drill or motor. Using a sharp carbide blade it will trim your cases to length, deburr, and cut both inside and outside chamfers — all in one pass. That’s pretty impressive for a $110.00 tool that fits in the palm of your hand.

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Features
1. Fully adjustable for cartridge length (and depth of chamfer).
2. Carbide blade cuts a 15° inside case mouth chamfer and 45° outside chamfer.
3. Case holder supported by sealed ball bearing raceway.
4. Tool includes removable, transparent plastic chip guard.
5. Tool can work in any orientation (vertical, horizontal, or any angle).

The Giraud Tri-Way Trimmer is designed to be powered by a portable hand drill, drill press, or other dedicated rotating power source. The tool indexes off the shoulder of your cases, but the blade adjusts so that cartridge overall length (COAL) can be controlled with precision. Constructed out of 6061-T6 aluminum and 303 stainless steel, the Tri Way tool should last a lifetime. Note: This tool is not universal. The Tri Way is dedicated to a single cartridge and “related” cartridges with similar body dimensions. Thus you need a specific tool for each cartridge family. For example, the .308 Win tool will also trim .243 Win, .260 Rem, and 7mm-08.

Cartridge Sizes Available for Giraud Tri Way Trimmer:
.223 Remington (Also trims .17 Remington, .204 Ruger, .222 Remington, .222 Remington Magnum)
7.62 x 39mm (Russian)
.300 Blackout (Also trims .17 Rem Fireball, .20 Vartarg, .221 Fireball)
.308 Winchester (Also trims .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, 7mm-08)
.30-06 Springfield (Also trims .25-06, .270 Winchester, .280 Remington)
.300 Winchester Mag (Also trims ​Also trims .264 Winchester Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum, .308 Norma Magnum)

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
January 12th, 2022

Powder Burn Rate Comparison Table — Download HERE

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

Hey guys, you’ll probably want to download this Powder Burn Rate Chart issued by Hodgdon/IMR. This table includes the latest IMR powders including the Enduron series (IMR 4166, 4451, 4955, 7977), shown in green below. Please note, the chart is not limited to Hodgdon and IMR propellants. This table also includes popular powders from Accurate, Alliant, Norma, Ramshot (Western), Vihtavuori, and Winchester. There are a total of 163 powders listed in the chart.

This chart provides useful information for all hand-loaders. When doing load development, and testing one powder versus another, it’s generally wise to choose propellants that share the same relative burn rate, as least for starters. While this chart contains “Nov. 2019″ in the title, this is the most recent chart available from Hodgdon/IMR. It is the chart currently linked on the Hodgdon.com Reference Data Center.

NOTE: Hodgdon powders are shown in blue, IMR standard powders are shown in yellow, IMR Enduron powders are shown in green, and Winchester powder are shown in red. DOWNLOAD Chart HERE.


POWDER BURN RATE TABLE from Hodgdon/IMR

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

CLICK HERE to Download Chart as PDF File »

Burn Rate Chart from LoadData.com with 197 Powders

loaddata.com burn rate chart
The LoadData.com website has released its own burn rate chart, which is even more comprehensive than the official Hodgdon/IMR chart. We recommend starting with the Hodgdon/IMR listings, but if you can’t find a particular powder on the Hodgdon/IMR chart above, then consult the alternative from LoadData.com which lists 197 powders.

We also caution that, with any powder, start conservatively, at the low end of official load recommendations. Be aware that, even within the same burn range a ball powder can behave differently than an extruded powder. And some powders are much more temperature sensitive than others. Among the available powders on the market, some of best in terms of temp stability are the Alliant TS (temp stable) series, and the popular Hodgdon powders, such as H4350, made by ADI in Australia.


LoadData.com Relative Burn Rate Chart (197 Powders) »

Story find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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January 11th, 2022

Lyman E-Zee Case Gauge — Measure 70 Cartridge Types

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gage

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gageLyman’s popular Case Length Gauge is now bigger and better. The enhanced version II of Lyman’s Case Length Gauge is much larger than the original version. The E-Zee Case Gauge II now measures more than 70 cartridge types — way more than before. This tool is a metal template with SAAMI-max-length slots for various cartridge types, including relatively new cartridges such as the .204 Ruger and Winchester Short Magnums. This tool allows you to quickly sort brass or check the dimensions. If you have a bucketful of mixed pistol brass this can save you hours of tedious work with calipers. You can also quickly check case lengths to see if it’s time to trim your fired brass.

If you load a wide variety of calibers, or do a lot of pistol shooting, we think you should pick up one of these Lyman Case Gauge templates. They are available for under $26.00 at Brownells ($24.99) and Amazon.com ($19.39). The E-Zee Case Gauge has long been a popular item for hand-loaders.

Lyman E-zee case gauge II cartridge length gage

Lyman E-zee case gauge black

NOTE: For years the E-Zee Case Gauge had a silver finish with black lettering, as shown in the video. Some of the most recent production of E-Zee Case Gauges have a new “high contrast” look, with white lettering on a black frame. You may get either Case Gauge version when you order online (Brownells shows silver, Amazon shows black). We actually prefer the older, silver version.

Case Gauge Should Last a Lifetime
Easily measure the case length of over 70 popular rifle and pistol cases with Lyman’s new E-Zee Case Length Gauge II. This really is a “must-have” piece of kit for any gun owner who hand-loads numerous pistol and rifle calibers.

This rugged, precisely-made metal gauge makes sorting or identifying cases fast and accurate. The template is machined with SAAMI max recommended case lengths. Made from metal, with no moving parts, the E-Zee Case Gauge II should last a lifetime.

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January 10th, 2022

Whidden Gunworks Click-Adjustable Sizing Dies and Lock Ring

Whidden click adjustable sizing die lock ring click
With the Whidden Click-Adjustable Sizer Dies, you can change shoulder bump by .001″ (one-thousandth) with a simple click. Fast. Easy. Precise.

As handloaders have become more aware of shoulder bump and proper adjustment of the sizer die in recent years, there has become a need for an easier way to adjust the sizer die properly. For most folks, with their conventional dies, it takes lengthy trial trial and error to get the shoulder setback correct. Anyone who has done this can attest that it can be a slow and annoying job.

Whidden Gunworks has solved the problem with the innovative Click Adjustable Sizer Die. Patent No: 10,393,488. This die and lock ring work together to give the user a clicking feel to the adjustment just like a high end rifle scope. Each click moves the shoulder bump exactly .001″ so you can easily find the exact shoulder bump that you desire.

The Click Adjustable option is available on Whidden Custom Sizer dies as well (7/8”-14 format dies only)! Included with the Click Adjustable Sizer Die is a Shoulder Bump Gauge. This gauge attaches to standard calipers and allows measurement from the case shoulder to the base. Using the Shoulder Bump Gauge with the Click Adjustable Sizer Die will make the proper sizer die setup easier than ever before.

Click-adjustable die sets are available with both bushing and non-bushing configurations. Along with these complete die sets, Whidden Gunworks offers a separate click-adjustable ring to use with existing dies. Priced at $54.95, the Whidden Click-Adjust Lock Ring represents a modest investment for a major gain in die ease-of-use and precision adjustability.

whidden adjustable click lock ring

The Whidden Universal Click Adjustable Lock Ring you can instantly turn your sizer die into a Click Adjustable Die. This ring works with any 7/8 OD sizer of any brand with adjustable shoulder bump. Simple in design, the inner and outer ring can rotate independently of each other. Each click is metered in true 1 thousandths adjustment and has 0.100″ total available travel. These work great with nearly all sizing 7/8 OD sizing dies, and one verified purchaser noted: “Not only are they useful on reloading dies, but it’s the cat’s meow on the Giraud Power Trimmer Case Holders.”

Dillon Users Take Note: The Whidden Click Adjustable Sizing Die will not work with the Dillon 550 or 650 progressive reloading press systems. The Universal Click Adjustable Lock Ring is not compatible with the Dillon floating toolhead.

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January 6th, 2022

Cheap Tricks: Measure Shoulder Bump Using a Pistol Case

.45 acp pistol case bump gauge headspace tool

Here is a simple, low-cost way to get reliable readings of case headspace when you “bump” the shoulder back on your 6BR, .243 Win, or .308 Win brass. Credit Boyd Allen for this tip. First, you’ll need one .45 acp case (.40 SW works too), with primer removed. Make sure the pistol case is trimmed square and that it is round. We recommend you first size it, trim it and chamfer. Next, take the .45 acp (or .40 SW) case and slip it over the neck of a fired, unsized rifle case with the primer removed. Align the two cases between the jaws of your calipers and note the length from rim to rim (See photo below, with striped case).

OK, now you have the length for a fired rifle case BEFORE sizing. Next, take a full-length sized rifle case (without primer) and do the same thing, placing the pistol case over the neck of the FL-sized case (Bottom Photo). The difference between the two numbers is the amount of “bump” or set-back you are applying to the shoulder. Here the difference is .0015″. The amount of bump you need varies with your chamber and your load, but .0015-.002″ is a good initial setting. By using this simple tool, you can avoid bumping the shoulder too much. This will also help you set-up the depth of your full-length die to get the proper amount of bump each time.

Other Pistol Brass Types Work Too: Some folks have used this method but they prefer to work with 10mm or .40 SW brass rather than a .45 acp, because slightly smaller-diameter pistol cases may conform to the shoulders of their sized rifle cases a bit better. That works fine — use whatever pistol brass case works best for your rifle brass. We got very repeatable results with .45 acp brass but the method also works with 10mm or .40 SW brass. Just be sure the pistol brass has been sized, trimmed, chamfered, and de-burred.

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January 5th, 2022

Hand-Loading Basics Covered by Hodgdon Reloading Videos

Hodgdon Reloading Center Video

Hodgdon Reloading Center VideoHodgdon Powder Company (Hodgdon) offers a series of professionally-produced, “how-to” instructional videos through its online Reloading Data Center. These 3.5-minute videos present rifle, pistol, and shotshell reloading basics in an easy-to-understand, step-by-step format. These mobile-friendly, informative videos can also be viewed on a smart phone or tablet.

To watch the reloading videos go to the Reloading Data Center at hodgdon.com. With your cursor placed to the right/left of the displayed video, click to switch between pistol, rifle, and shotgun videos. Or, for your convenience, we have embedded the Rifle and Pistol videos here. Just click to watch!

Click to Watch Hodgdon Rifle Reloading Video:

Click to Watch Hodgdon Pistol Reloading Video:

In addition to these videos, Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center (RDC) provides a wealth of information on Hodgdon®, IMR®, and Winchester® propellants. Along with reliable load data, you’ll find explanations of reloading basics, safety procedures, plus answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).

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January 3rd, 2022

Bargain Finder 328: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Natchez — Bushnell Optics Sale

bushnell sale
Save up to 35% on Bushnell rifle scopes and binoculars

You’ll find some serious bargains on Bushnell optics right now at Natchez. Check out the Bushnell optics sale. You’ll find everything from rifle scopes to red dots to rangefinders all at deeply discounted prices. Act fast because the best deals can sell out quickly.

2. Midsouth — RCBS Rotary Case Cleaner (Tumbler), $169.99

winchester ammo
Strong, durable tumbler machine for use with Stainless Media

The RCBS Rotary Case Cleaner tumbling machine is great for cleaning brass inside and out. Set the machine for up to three hours of continuous cleaning at 60 RPM. The rubber-lined drum lowers noise levels significantly. This RCBS product comes with a clear sealing plug with a rubber seal, and a grated drain to separate you brass from media/liquid when done. The screw-on lid features a sturdy lifting handle. Get this machine on sale now for $169.99 at Midsouth. NOTE, this same case tumbler is $223.99 on Amazon without media, so you can save $54 with this Midsouth deal!

3. Midsouth — Winchester .223 Rem Ammo 1000 rds, $599.99

winchester ammo
Excellent chassis rifles and hunting rigs, save 15% with discount

Did Santa bring you a new AR-15 but forgot to leave some ammo? Here’s a very good deal on a 1000-round case of .223 Remington ammo. At only $.60 per round this is one of the best deals we’ve seen for quality, major-brand USA-made ammo. Ammunition continues to be in short supply for popular chamberings so take advantage of this deal before it sells out.

4. Amazon — RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center, $169.99

rcbs trim mate sale
Excellent chassis rifles and hunting rigs, save 15% with discount

Prepping your cases before loading is important. However case prep chores can be very time-consuming. Save time (and effort) with a case prep center such as RCBS Trim Mate. This all-in-one unit contains six variable, high-speed rotating stations (four at < 350 RPM; two at < 550 RPM). It also features tools included for all stations and a storage area for tools not in use. The Trim Mate performs multiple prep tasks quickly and efficiently -- deburring, chamfering, primer pocket uniforming, and more.

5. Sportsman’s — Crimson Trace 5-25x56mm Scope, $699.97

scope sale
Great deal on excellent FFP 5X zoom scope for PRS/NRL

Are you in the market for a high quality, First Focal Plane (FFP) scope at a good price? We found this Crimson Trace CTL 3 Series 5-25x56mm rifle scope. Featuring a 34mm tube, a large 56mm objective, and an innovative reticle this scope is a bargain with the nearly $300 savings right now. With a 5X zoom range and 0.1 Milrad clicks, this scope can definitely do the job for PRS/NRL competitions. This Crimson Trace FFP scope has received very positive reviews from purchasers.

6. KYGUNCO — Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield Bundle, $429.99

smith wesson sale
Great kit with 9mm pistol, muffs, eye protection and case

We love finding great deals on pistols especially when they come as a complete kit. Check out this Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield range bundle. It contains the reliable S&W M&P 9mm Shield EZ pistol, a quality Plano hard carry case, safety glasses, and hearing protection.

7. Amazon — Caldwell Target Camera, $177.53

caldwell range cameras
Effective for under 400 yards at lowest price ever

Every serious shooter should have a target camera. One of the most affordable systems is Caldwell Ballistic Precision Sight-In Target Camera. This high-definition camera can stream 720p video from up to 400 yards away straight to your mobile device. This Caldwell TargetCam features a waterproof housing on camera and transmitter and ships with a tripod and stand. The viewing App is compatible with Android, iPhone, and most tablets. This App allows you to save pictures, add notes, calculate group size, and even record video. If you need a target cam with more range we recommend the LongShot LR-3.

8. Amazon — Dewey Lug Cleaning Kit, $25.69

dewey chamber kit
Get your action’s internals clean with this complete kit

Cleaning your action’s lug recesses is important to accuracy and good bolt operation. The Dewey Rods bolt action lug recess cleaning kit will allow you to clean the inside of your action and the critical lug recess area. Keeping this area clean ensures your bolt locks up properly every time ensuring consistent ignition and accuracy. The kit comes with brass rod with handle, aluminum lug swab holder, felt lug cleaners, bore swab, hand-brush, and a 50-pack of cotton rolls.

9. Amazon — Rusfol PMAG Wall Holder, $11.99

pmag wall holder sale
Handy, sturdy way to store AR Magazines for quick access

Many folks have multiple AR-platform PMAGs but they may not be readily accessible. A great way to store loaded mags is with the ABS Standard PMAG Wall Mount. This horizontal rack, made from strong ABS plastics, can hold up to 6 mags, loaded or unloaded. You can mount these to a safe door, or to a wall in your home or garage. This gives you secure storage, and/or rapid access.

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January 1st, 2022

Ten Great Videos — 2022 New Year’s Day Movie Showcase

2022 New Year's video collection reloading AMP F-Class John Keith Glasscock

As a 2022 New Year’s bonus for our Bulletin readers we decided to showcase 10 of our favorite gun tech, reloading, and shooting technique videos for our readers. These videos were created by top YouTube content providers: F-Class John, Gavin Gear, Keith Glasscock, Erik Cortina, Thomas Haugland, and Pieter Malan. Consider this like an all-star gun channel collection. These videos will help you load more accurate ammo, improve your “mental game”, and shoot better in matches. Enjoy!

14 Reloading Presses — Ultimate Single-Stage Shootout

Winning Mindset — John Whidden Interview with Erik Cortina

Quick Tip — Check your Ignition (Spring and Firing Pin)

Henderson vs. Giraud Power Case Trimmer Comparison Review

Advanced AMP Computer-Controlled Press

Field Test and Review of SEB Mini-X Coaxial Front Rest

Annealing — Benefits, Procedures, and AMP Operation

How to Set Up the AutoTrickler V4 System

Field Shooting — How to Make Better Wind Calls

How to Use a Concentricity Gauge

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December 29th, 2021

Reloading Skills — Learn the Basics with Sinclair Int’l Videos

free reloading videos sinclair international

Sinclair International has created a series of instructional videos illustrating the basics of metallic cartridge reloading. The 8-Part series starts with reloading basics and provides step-by-step, how-to instructions that will help new reloaders get started. Detailed, animated illustrations show you what happens inside the chamber when shooting, and inside the dies during each step of reloading. The videos can be viewed on Sinclair International’s YouTube channel. Shown below is the first video in the series:

Each of the Sinclair videos is hosted by then Sinclair Int’l President Bill Gravatt (now with Creedmoor Sports). Bill doesn’t just show you “how”, he tells you “why”. The how-to segments cover case inspection, proper die set up, case sizing, primer installation, powder measuring, bullet seating, crimping, and even goes into the record keeping needed for the handloader. “We wanted to give shooters who haven’t reloaded a look at all the advantages of creating your own ammo and how easy it is to get started,” said Gravatt, “without telling them they had to have any certain brand or type of equipment to do the job.”

The Eight Video Topics Are:

Part 1 — Intro to Video Series
Part 2 — Intro to Reloading Safety
Part 3 — Metallic Cartridge Components
Part 4 — The Firing Sequence
Part 5 — Tools for Reloading
Part 6 — Loading Bottle-Neck Cartridges (2 videos)
Part 7 — Loading Straight Wall Cartridges
Part 8 — Reloading Series Conclusion

CLICK HERE to Watch all Sinclair Reloading Series Videos »

Reloading Tools
Shown below is Part 5 of the video series, covering the tools used for precision reloading.

Sinclair International Reloading Videos

We also strongly recommend the Part 4 Video to readers who are getting started in reloading. This “How Things Work” segment covers the sequence of events inside the chamber (and barrel) when the cartridge is fired. The video includes helpful graphics that show what happens to the primer, powder, cartridge, and bullet when the round is fired. The video also illustrates “headspace” and explains how this can change after firing. We think this video answers many common questions and will help reloaders understand the forces at work on their brass during the firing process.

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December 28th, 2021

Save Time and Bullets — Fire-Form with your Fouler Shots

Fire-forming fouler barrel life fouling shots

Fire-Form with Foulers

PPC Fire-formingHere’s a tip for guys who shoot the 6 PPC, 6 Dasher, 6 BRA, .284 Shehane, or other wildcat cartridges that require fire-forming. Use your fouler shots to fire-form new cases. That way your fouler shots do “double-duty” and you get your brass fire-formed without putting extra rounds through your expensive barrel.

This procedure is recommended by Joel Kendrick, the 2004 IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year. After he cleans his barrel, Joel knows it takes two or three shots to foul in the bore before accuracy returns. When shooting his PPC, Joel uses those fouler shots to fire-form his new brass. Joel explains: “I like to have relatively new brass always ready. By fire-forming a couple cases after each barrel-cleaning during a match, by the end of the weekend I’ve got a dozen or more freshly fire-formed cases to put into the rotation. If you do this with your fouler shots you get your fire-forming accomplished without using up any extra barrel life.”

This not only saves barrel wear, but it saves you trips to the range for the purpose of fire-forming. We thank Joel for this smart suggestion. For those who do not have a dedicated barrel for fire-forming, this should help keep your round-count down. Note: With this fouler fire-forming routine, you should ALWAYS do the fire-forming with the SAME POWDER you load for your match ammo. Joel currently works as the Supplier Quality Process Engineer for MMI-TruTec, a company that offers barrel surface coatings that can further extend your barrel life.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
December 27th, 2021

Bargain Finder 327: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. EuroOptic — Save 15% on Christensen Arms Rifles with Code

eurooptic christensen arms 15% off sale code rifle carbon chassis
Excellent chassis rifles and hunting rigs, save 15% with discount

Christensen Arms (CA) makes very high-quality rifles with good barrels and excellent stocks and chassis. These are some of the best production rifles you can buy. The CA Modern Precision Rifle series features a very high-quality chassis with folding stock. Hunters will like the light-weight Ridgeline series with Carbon-Fiber wrapped barrel and available Titanium action. Use EuroOptic promo code SHOOT15 to save 15% on these and other CA rifles. However, you better act soon — his special promo code is a limited time offer.

2. Academy Sports — Cannon 65-Gun Safe, $799.99

Cannon large fire gunsafe safe vault
Save HUNDREDS on a BIG safe, this deal won’t last long!

Here’s a BIG gun safe at a great price. This large Cannon AP5540 safe is rated for 65 guns, but that’s for thin rifles with iron sights. In the real world you CAN hold 20+ scoped rifles and 20+ handguns with ease. The safe is 55″ high, 40″ wide, and 25″ deep. It weighs 465 pounds and boasts seven 4″ locking bolts. It ships with adjustable shelves, carpeted interior, and door organizers. It has a 30-minute fire rating with FIN fire seal. There is a fast electronic lock with a handy back-up key. This is a LOT of safe for the money.

3. Bruno’s — McMillan Stocks $50 Off Sale

bruno shooters supply mcmilland rifle stock Xit benchrest hunting fiberglass discount sale
Save $50 and avoid the wait for a quality McMillan Fiberglass stock

Right now at Bruno Shooters Supplies, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks in inventory have been discounted $50.00. If you need a top-grade stock, here’s your chance to save $50.00 and have your new stock delivered immediately (no wait). A large variety of stock designs are offered for competition, tactical, and hunting applications. Shown above are just a few of the nearly 30 stocks available now.

4. Locked & Loaded — Timney Trigger Blow-Out Sale

ammunition sale
Big Discounts on Timney triggers for bolt guns and ARs

Need a trigger for your next gun project, or plan to upgrade an existing rifle? Then consider a Timney. Right now Locked & Loaded has a variety of quality Timney triggers on sale. Save up to $90 with this December Timney Trigger Blow-out Sale. On sale are triggers for Rem 700s (and clones), for ARs, and for the SIG MPX.

5. Midsouth — LEE Automatic Case Primer (ACP) Press — $74.95

Lee precision automatic Case Primer A.C.P. ACP priming station bench tool
Speeds up priming, works well, case feeder $24 extra

The Lee Automatic Case Primer (ACP) is the world’s first automatic-feeding priming tool that does not need shell-holders. Cases are guided into position by a sliding “finger guide”. The “dead length” priming device ensures that rimers are seated uniformly without “feel” or adjustments required. This is very efficient and relatively easy, once the primers are loaded into the triangular tray. This ACP tool is on sale now at Midsouth for just $74.95, 20% off the regular price.

To increase output, there are various, affordable LEE ACP upgrades including the Lee Universal Case Feed Magazine ($23.79), Lee Case Feed Collator ($10.96), and Lee Roller Handle . In addition, the ACP can DE-PRIME cases efficiently with the inexpensive ($7.29) ACP depriming kit. SEE LEE ACP Product Info Sheet with all accessories.

6. Palmetto SA — CCI Blazer Brass 9mm Ammo, $19.99/50

cci 9mm luger 9x19mm brass case ammunition pistol ammo
Very good price on reliable, reloadable USA-made 9mm pistol ammo

We like CCI ammo — it is reliable and consistent. This reloadable CCI Blazer brass-cased 9mm Luger ammo has served us well for many practice sessions and IDPA matches. Right now, Palmetto State Armory has this 9mm ammo on SALE for just $19.99 per 50rd box. That works out to just $0.40/round — a great price these days.

7. MidwayUSA — Walker’s Alpha Power Electronic Muffs

Walker's electronic ear muffs hearing protection NRR
Excellent price and good NRR for electronic muffs

This is an outstanding deal for quality electronic earmuffs with a very good 26dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). These muffs are on sale for just $39.99, 50% off the regular price. Two hi-gain, omni-directional microphones pick up sound equally from all directions, which preservers and enhances your ability to hear. The Alpha Power’s sound dampening composite housing aids comfort and having a separate volume control for each ear is a big plus.. Users say these muffs are very comfortable and work well: “I still use ear plugs and the Walker’s [dual] volume control helps to hear range commands and communicate with other shooters.”

8. Brownells — CMMG .22 LR AR15 Bravo Conversion Kit, $179.99

.22 lr rimfire AR AR-15 conversion kit with magazine
Fast, easy AR15 rimfire conversion — save on ammo costs

If you shoot an AR15 in service rifle or tactical matches, it makes sense to train with rimfire ammo. First, .22 LR ammo is WAY cheaper than .223 Rem match ammo. (Rimfire ammo starts at about $0.10/rd.) Second, shooting .22 LR at 100 yards duplicates the wind drift of a .223 Rem at much longer ranges. Right now the CMMG Bravo Rimfire Conversion Kit (replacement bolt/carrier plus 10-rd magazine) is $179.99 at Brownells on sale. Or, for just $10 more ($189.99), you can get the CMMG .22 LR Bravo Conversion with THREE 25-rd rimfire magazines. NOTE: CMMG recommends Federal 36gr plated RN ammo for best performance. This CMMG kit is designed for Direct Impingement AR-15s only.

9. MidwayUSA — Hoppes Gun Vise and Cleaning Kit, $39.99

Hoppes gun vise free cleaning kit
Good basic gun vise at great price with bonus cleaning kit

The Hoppe’s Gun Vise is a good basic support for working on your firearms. Clamping brackets in the front and rear hold your rifle or shotgun securely without scratching. The vise is made out of a durable, chemical resistant polymer and has multiple compartments for your cleaning chemicals, tools, and accessories. Included with this vise is a 12-piece Cleaning Kit for rifles, pistols, and shotguns. Features include: Dual lockable no-scratch brackets, multiple compartments for tools, and adjustable feet.

10. Midsouth — Radians Outback Shooting Glasses, $5.88

radians outback shooting safety eyewear glasses
Quality name-brand shooting eyewear — buy multiples at this price

Every shooter needs eye protection EVERY TIME you go to the shooting range. Right now Midsouth has the good Radians clear Lens Outback Shooting Glasses for just $5.88. These ANSI Z87.1 Radians Shooting Glasses provide 99.9% UVA/UVB protection with the coated lenses. These offer excellent wrap-around protection and are fairly light and comfortable. A handy neck cord is included. With this low $5.88 price, you can buy 3 or 4 sets and keep spares for yourself and your shooting buddies.

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December 27th, 2021

Getting Started with Handloading — USAMU Advice

USAMU Reloading press instruction

This article originally appeared on the USAMU Facebook Page. The USAMU regularly published reloading advice for many years. Check the Facebook archives for related USAMU articles.

Here at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), we receive inquiries from shooters at many skill levels. One of the most frequent questions we are asked is, “What equipment do you recommend I buy to start handloading?”

USAMU Reloading press instruction

Often, the handloader will be focused on producing ammo in quantity, and a big concern is whether to begin with a single-stage vs. a progressive press. However, there is one critical item that often gets overlooked as folks talk about the especially interesting topics such as reloading die brands and types, scale types and brands. And, what might that item be?

“When all else fails, read the what?” Yes, we recommend those new to handloading actually begin with reading the early chapters of one or, preferably two quality handloading manuals. They contain copious information on basic handloading safety, how to choose and use components, and how to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous conditions. Of course, they also do a fine job of teaching new loaders the correct methods of adjusting dies, determining safe loads and improving accuracy. Beginners can recognize and avoid many potential pitfalls, shortening the learning curve tremendously.

As a government entity, we aren’t able to make specific brand-name recommendations as such. However, recent manuals from the major bullet and powder manufacturers, especially those who emphasize accuracy and match-type bullets are generally a wise choice.

USAMU Reloading press instructionHandloaders often come to prefer one or two maker’s manuals over others for various reasons. Asking a friend who’s already an experienced loader which manuals they recommend is a good start. Borrowing one or more to read before purchasing is another.

This is a good way to both save money and get a feel for the variety of component types and data that are available. Comparing differences in data from different manuals in the same caliber, with the same powder and bullet weight can be an eye-opener. It is also a wise step in researching any loading project before one begins—and the reasons for the differences are fully explained in the manuals!

The AMU recommends buying proven, high-quality equipment. It should have a reputation for great durability, good ergonomics and reasonable-to-excellent precision. In addition, ask fellow shooters which companies have a good reputation for support after the sale. Several of the better handloading companies set the bar very high.

Video Shows Special Features of Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press

With the better ones, it’s common to call to order small replacement parts and receive them at no charge in the mail immediately thereafter. Other companies don’t enjoy such a sterling reputation. Often, these focus on cheap equipment made with low-quality materials, aimed at those to whom cost is the prime consideration.

Good quality equipment not only leads to less frustration, faster production, better results and less misery — it is also an excellent investment. Certain companies’ products sell virtually instantly on the used market and retain high resale value. Other gear from less well-regarded companies is much more difficult to sell. Moreover, it brings far less of its original purchase price—if it can be sold at all.

Ask veteran handloaders — preferably those who are still very active in the shooting sports — which equipment they prefer, and why. After getting specific recommendations, search for reviews of that equipment, as well as possible alternates and newer designs. Learn the steps of operating the various options, and evaluate them for efficiency, effort and precision. A little research can pay big dividends here!

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December 24th, 2021

Strategies for Finding Primers in Time of Shortages

primer sources supplies finding CCI Federal
Photo courtesy Laurie Holland, TargetShooter UK Magazine.

Reloading components are in short supply these days, particularly powder and primers. But primers may be the biggest challenge these days — finding them may seem like a Quest for the Holy Grail. That’s a big problem for handloaders. You may be able to find substitutes for your favorite powder and bullets, but if you don’t have primers, you can’t even get started.

To locate primers these days, you must consider ALL possible sources: local gunshops, local private sales, sale tables at shooting club meetings, gun/hunting forum classifieds, large outdoor stores, and mail-order vendors. Then yes, worst case scenario, look at the auction sites such as GunBroker.

You need to be looking at multiple places — local vendors, gun clubs, big retailers such as Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse. And get creative — talk to shooting buddies, check for estate sales.

primer sources supplies finding CCI Federal

Consider all Possible Sources — Not Just Online Vendors

The guys who are scoring primers these days are resorting to old-fashioned methods — visiting small, mom-and-pop gunstores, checking local estate sales, and “networking” with local shooting club members. First, if you are not a member of a local shooting club, you should join for a multitude of reasons. We recently acquired some powder at a local shooting club meeting, exchanging some H4198 for Hodgdon Varget straight across. A Forum member recently scored both powders and primers at the estate sale of a shooting club member.

For the best chance of success, regularly check 6-10 brick-and-mortar locations in your region. One good way to do this is by combining forces with shooting buddies. Get together with 3 or 4 guys and collectively scout ALL the local gunshops and outdoor stores with shooting supplies. You CAN get lucky. For example, we regularly check a small gunstore in a nearby mall. Just last week we were able to find CCI pistol primers! Yes, deliveries are happening, you just need to check. And check often.

How to Find Primers — SEVEN STRATEGIES

1. Make a list of ALL local gunshops and outdoor supply stores within a 70-mile radius. Call them on a regular basis.
2. Join a local shooting club. Attend meetings where you can sell/exchange products. (We recently exchanged pistol primers for rifle primers we needed).
3. Join local/regional gun forums. You may find listings for “face-to-face” transactions where you can buy/exchange primers. Our AccurateShooter Forum also has a thread on Where to Find Primers.
4. Bookmark multiple vendor websites and check daily (we provide a list below).
5. Combine resources with some shooting buddies. Get together with 3 or 4 guys and collectively scout ALL the local gunshops and outdoor stores with shooting supplies. Assign each guy a different “territory” (perhaps close to his work locations).
6. Search your garage and storage areas. This Editor recently found 5000 Winchester Small Pistol Primers in an unopened box. These were left over from his IDPA and 3-gun days, years ago.
7. Consider APS Primers. CCI sells APS primers pre-loaded in plastic strips. These can still be found gathering dust in some shops. You can remove the primers from the strips, or simply buy an APS priming tool and use them as intended.

primer sources supplies finding CCI Federal

Online Vendors for Primers

Here are leading online retailers that sell primers (along with other reloading components). NOTE: Most of these vendors’ primer inventories sell out quickly. So you need to check regularly. Persistence will pay off, eventually. Primer shipments DO arrive, they just sell out fast.

Brownells
Graf & Sons
Midsouth Shooters Supply
Powder Valley Inc.
Precision Reloading
Bruno Shooters Supply
MidwayUSA
Natchez Shooters Supplies
Sportsman’s Warehouse (check online AND in stores)
Academy Sports
Cabela’s

Best Strategy for Online Primer Purchasing (Not Auctions)
With these (and other) online vendors, you need to check “early and often”. Primers may arrive and sell out in a matter of minutes. You should bookmark multiple sources and check them multiple times each week.

The primer shortage has been worsened by dramatically reduced imports of Russian primers.
Russian Wolf Primers shortage

WARNING — SCAM Websites Want to Steal Your Money
BEWARE of websites that list unlimited quantities of hard-to-find primers. In recent weeks we have seen five criminal scam websites selling reloading products including powder and primers. Here a quick tip — if the website does not take regular credit cards (MC/Visa/Amex/Discover) it is likely a scam site. And if you can order 200 8-lb jugs of Varget it is definitely a scam site! Bottom Line — beware of ANY seller without an established history, and be very wary of sites that only take Zelle, Venmo, and Bitcoin.

Last Word — About Online Auctions for Primers
We are seeing persons selling primers at crazy high prices ($200/1000!) via online auctions at Gunbroker and elsewhere. Be careful… very careful. Primers are a HAZMAT product. They may ONLY be shipped legally by Hazmat-certified businesses. Some of the Auction sellers are not HAZMAT-certified. If your primer shipment is seized or not delivered because the seller was not properly certified, don’t expect to get your money back.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
December 21st, 2021

Triangle Patches — Patented Design for More Efficient Cleaning

Rigel BoreSmith Brush Patch Jag Pyramid Triangle patches

Product innovation is all about “building a better mousetrap”, or in this case, building a better bore-cleaning patch. A real smart guy, Shane Smith, has invented a triangular patch that earned a patent. The U.S. Patent Office has awarded a utility patent for BoreSmith’s Triangle Patch™. This unique cleaning patch was designed by Shane Smith, a mathematician/physicist who employed his scientific and firearms knowledge to create innovative bore-cleaning products.

BoreSmith’s clever Triangle Patch™ (aka Pyramid Patch) presents more cleaning surface area to the bore wall than does a conventional square or round patch (of equivalent size). At the same time, the unique geometry makes Triangle Patches much less likely to jam in the barrel. This is because the notches in the sides of the triangle allow the patch to sit more uniformly on the jag (without bunching up). In addition, the Pyramid patch is must less likely to jam due to pleating. One reason conventional patches get stuck is unwanted 5-layer pleating. The special notches in the Pyramid patch remove all or most 5-layer pleating. As a result the patch does not bunch up and this also reduces rod bowing. SEE Triangle Patches HERE.

The Triangle patch can be used with a standard jag but works best when paired with BoreSmith’s patented dual-diameter JagBrush. There are FOUR sizes: 17-20 Caliber, 22-27 Caliber, 27-35 Caliber, and 35-58 Caliber.

Triangle Patch Function and Geometry Explained (See 1:18 time-mark):

NOTE: Despite what you may see in this video, you should ALWAYS insert brushes and patches from the chamber end first, using a fitted cleaning rod bore guide. With bolt-action rifles, NEVER insert a cleaning rod (with brush or jag) in through the muzzle. This may damage the delicate crown of your barrel.

The Triangle Patches work great with Boresmith’s patented dual-diameter bore brushes:

Triangle triangular patches boresmith
Triangle triangular patches boresmith

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
December 19th, 2021

Die Shims for FL Sizing Dies Give Precise Control of Bump

Sinclair Die Shims

When your cases become hard to extract, or you feel a stiff bolt lift when removing a cartridge, it’s probably time to full-length size your cases, and “bump” the shoulder back. With a hunting load, shoulder bumping may only be required every 4-5 loading cycles. Short-range benchrest shooters, running higher pressures, typically full-length size every load cycle, bumping the shoulder .001-.002″. High Power shooters with gas guns generally full-length size every time, and may need to bump the shoulders .003″ or more to ensure reliable feeding and extraction.

Use Shims for Precise Control of Shoulder Bump
Some shooters like to set the “default” position for their full-length die to have an “ample” .003″ or .004″ shoulder bump. When they need less bump, a simple way to reduce the amount of shoulder movement is to use precision shims in .001″ (one-thousandth) increments.

Here are reports from Forum members who use the shims:

“Great product. I have my die lock ring(s) adjusted for the shortest headspace length on my multiple chambers 6BRs and 6PPCs. When needing a longer headspace, I just refer to my notes and add the appropriate shim under the lock ring. Keep it simple.” — F.D. Shuster

Mats Johansson writes: “I’ve been using [shims] since Skip Otto (of BR fame) came out with them. I set up my dies with the .006″ shim, giving me the option of bumping the shoulder a bit more when the brass gets old and hardens while still having room to adjust up for zero headspace, should I have missed the original setup by a thou or two. Hunting rounds can easily be bumped an extra .002-.003″ for positive, no-crush feeding. Being a safety-oriented cheapskate, I couldn’t live without them — they let me reload my cases a gazillion times without dangerous web-stretching. Shims are a must-have, as simple as that.” — Mats Johansson

Sinclair Die Shim Kit — Seven Shims for $14.99

Sinclair Die Shims

Sinclair Int’l offers a seven-piece set of Sizing Die Shims that let you adjust the height of your die (and thereby the amount of bump and sizing) in precise .001″ increments. Sinclair explains: “Some handloaders will set their die up to achieve maximum sizing and then progressively use Sinclair Die Shims between the lock ring and the press head to move the die away from the shellholder. Doing this allows you to leave the lock ring in the same position. These shims are available in increments of .001″ and work very well.”

Seven Shims from .003″ to .010″
Sinclair’s $14.99 Die Shim Kit (item 22400) includes seven shims in thicknesses of .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, and .010. For ease of use, shim thickness is indicated by the number of notches cut in the outer edge of each shim. Even without looking you can “count” the notches by feel.

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