As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











May 17th, 2022

Three Press Comparison Test: Rock Chucker, Co-Ax, Summit

RCBS Rockchucker Rock Chucker Forster Co-Ax Coax Summit single-stage Press Hornady Laurie Holland Target Shooter

“The press is the heart of the handloading operation, also traditionally the most expensive single tool employed…” — Laurie Holland

British competitive shooter Laurie Holland has reviewed three popular, single-stage reloading presses for Target Shooter Magazine (targetshooter.co.uk). Laurie bolted up a Forster Co-Ax, RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme, and RCBS Summit to his reloading bench and put the three presses through their paces. These three machines are very different in design and operation. The venerable Rock Chucker is a classic heavy, cast-iron “O”- type press that offers lots of leverage for tough jobs. The smaller RCBS Summit press is an innovative “upside-down” design with a large center column and open front. It offers a small footprint and easy case access from the front. The Co-Ax is unique in many respects — dies slide in and out of the upper section which allows them to “float”. The cartridge case is held in the lower section by spring-loaded jaws rather than a conventional shell-holder.

READ Reloading Press Three-Way Comparison Review »

If you are considering purchasing any one of these three presses, you should read Laurie’s article start to finish. He reviews the pros and cons of each press, after processing three different brands of brass on each machine. He discusses ergonomics, easy of use, press leverage, smoothness, priming function, and (most importantly), the ability to produce straight ammo with low run-out. The review includes interesting data on case-neck run-out (TIR) for RWS, Federal, and Norma 7x57mm brass.

RCBS Rockchucker Rock Chucker Forster Co-Ax Coax Summit single-stage Press Hornady Laurie Holland Target ShooterReview Quick Highlights:

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme
“My expectations of the antediluvian RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme’s performance weren’t over high to be honest as I mounted it in the place of the Summit. As soon as I sized the first of the stretched RWS cases though, I saw why this press has been such a long-running favorite. The workload was considerably reduced compared to the other two presses and doing 40-odd cases took no time at all with little sweat — it just eats hard-to-size brass.”

RCBS Summit Press
“Despite its massive build and long-stroke operating handle, [the Summit] took more sweat than I’d expected, even if it was somewhat less work than with the Co-Ax. Although the Summit is apparently massive, I noticed that the die platform would tilt fractionally under the heaviest strains[.] It is nevertheless a very pleasant press in use and bullet seating was a doddle — the few examples tried proving very concentric on checking them afterwards. The optional short handle would be valuable for this task.”

Forster Co-Ax
“[On the Co-Ax], the operating handle is above the machine, located centrally [with] twin steel links at the top end of the press dropping down to the moving parts. The Co-Ax incorporates [many] novel features, principally its automatic and multi-case compatible shell-holder assembly with spring-loaded sliding jaws, very neat spent primer arrangements that allow hardly any gritty residues to escape and foul the moving parts and, the snap-in/out die fitment that allows rapid changes and lets the die ‘float’ in relation to the case giving very concentric results. I own this press and it meets my handloading needs very well.”

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
May 16th, 2022

BargainFinder 347: 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. Brownells — RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit, $399.99

RCBS Rebel Master Reloading kit Press uniflow measure primer tool brownells
Good press, quality measure, and very complete set of tools

This fine RCBS Rebel Reloading Kit contains all one needs to get started in reloading. This Kit includes: Rebel Single-Stage Reloading Press, Uniflow-III Powder Measure, 1500gr digital scale, hand priming tool, deburring tool, case loading block, powder funnel, hex key set, accessory handle with neck brushes, primer pocket brush, spray case lube, and Speer #15 manual. Currently $399.99 at Brownells, this Kit is a good deal. The exact same Rebel Kit is $439.99 at MidwayUSA and Cabela’s.

2. KYGUNCO — Citadel 12ga Semi-Auto Shotgun, $209.99

shotgun 12 ga semi-auto defense tactical discount kyguncoAmazing deal for under $210 — Sights, good ergos, action and forearm rails

Looking for a semi-auto defensive 12 gauge? This Citadel Warthog offers reliable function, nice ergonomics, and the features you want, all for just a crazy-low $209.99 cash price ($216.29 Credit Card). This nice scattergun boasts a black metal finish and black synthetic stock with black pistol grip. It comes standard with raised tactical rear sight and ghost ring front sight plus a Picatinny rail on the action and on the forearm (for lights etc.). This shotgun includes 3 extended choke tubes. A recent buyer was pleased: “Reliable, great ergonomics, will cycle everything”.

3. Midsouth — SALE on all LEE Presses and Reloading Kits

midsouth LEE tool kit press reloading sale discount
Big savings on all LEE presses, ACP, APP, and reloading kits

LEE makes good basic presses, and the LEE quick-change bushing system for dies is a real time-saver. LEE’s new ACP and APP systems work great for bulk priming and case prep functions. Some top F-Class shooters are now priming with the LEE ACP unit which is very efficient and consistent. Right now all LEE press products and Press kits are on sale at Midsouth. You can save 10-25% on dozens of LEE products. CLICK HERE for all LEE products on sale at Midsouth.

4. Brownells — Magpul PRS Lite Stock for ARs, $99.99

Magpul prs lite stock bag-rider varmint rifle
Excellent AR buttstock that rides bags well, with nice cheekpiece

We like this Magpul PRS Lite Stock for target and varmint work with ARs. The long, straight section on the lower part of the buttstock, with its shallow angle, rides a sandbag WAY better than a typical AR buttstock. This PRS Lite buttstock provides plenty of cheek-height adjustment, as well as 1.4 inches in length-of-pull adjustment. This buttstock, now $99.99 at Brownells, sells elsewhere for $114 or more. We would put this stock (or something similar) on any AR rifle shot from a bench or used with a rear bag. This buttstock is offered in three colors: Black, Flat Dark Earth, or OD Green.

5. Graf & Sons — $70 Rebate on Leupold SX-2 Spotting Scope

leupold alpine sx-2 spotting scope sale instant rebate
Save $70 on quality HD Leupold Spotters now through June 5, 2022

The Leupold SX-2 Alpine HD (High Definition) spotting scope provides exceptionally clear glass and high light transmission. Now through June 5, 2022 you can get a $70 instant rebate when you purchase Leupold SX-2 spotters. Choose the 20-60x60mm SX-2 for $329.99 at Graf’s, or the bigger 20-60x80mm SX-2 for $429.99 at Graf’s. These sale prices include the $70 discount. Savings are automatically applied to the purchase of the following SX-2 Alpine HD models at participating retailers.

6. Natchez — ChargeMaster Combo Dispenser/Scale, $309.99

leupold alpine sx-2 spotting scope sale instant rebate
Effective, very reliable dispenser with detachable scale

The RCBS ChargeMaster was a game-changer for reloaders. And this original-style unit is still preferred by many users because it is very fast and the scale section can be detached and used separately. The ChargeMaster Combo features the ChargeMaster 1500 Scale and ChargeMaster Dispenser. Average dispensing time is less than 30 seconds for a 60gr powder charge. Priced at $309.99 at Natchez on sale, this is a real bargain. The same unit sells for $409.99 on Amazon (100 bucks more). NOTE: If you want to control your scale/dispenser via a Mobile App, we recommend the newer model ChargeMaster Supreme, $408.49 at Precision Reloading.

7. KYGUNCO — .22 LR, .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 SW Ammo Deals

kygunco pistol ammo ammunition sale .380 .40sw 9mm .22 LR
Great deals on quality USA-made pistol and rimfire ammo

KYGUNCO is running a great Ammo Sale right now. Save on popular pistol ammo types. Federal 115gr 9mm is just $16.49 for 50rds. And CCI Blazer .40 SW is $23.70 (50 rds), while Winchester .380 ACP is $20.99 (50 rds). And rimfire ammo is on sale as well — get 333 rounds of Winchester .22 LR ammo for just $24.18 (a mere $0.07/rd).

8. Palmetto State Armory — Norma TAC-22 Ammo, $4.19/box

tac22 22lr ammo sale
Excellent rimfire ammo at a GREAT price — .22 LR Deal of the Year

We’re repeating this deal because we’ve found no other .22 LR ammo that rivals Norma TAC-22 at anywhere near the price — just over 8 cents per round ($4.19/box). If you shoot NRL22 or just practice for fun, grab some Norma TAC22 .22 LR ammo at Palmetto State Armory. On sale at just $4.19 per 50-round box, this TAC-22 ammo is a truly spectacular bargain. In our test, it out-shot some ammo that costs $8 per box. During testing with a CZ 457, one of our Editors had multiple 5-shot groups at 50 yards that were typically one ragged hole (all shots touching). He observed “It’s amazingly good ammo for the money”.

9. Midsouth — Lyman 51st Ed. Reloading Manual, $26.99/$28.99

lyman reloading manual handbook cartridge load data
Good, comprehensive, many powder options, with color illustrations

Everyone should have a good hard copy reloading manual. With a print manual, you can bookmark key pages, quickly compare various powder/bullet combos, and you don’t need a computer in your loading room. We like the Lyman Reloading Manual because it includes all major powder makers. New cartridges in this 51st Edition include 224 Valkyrie, 22 Nosler, 24 Nosler, 6mm ARC, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 6.5 Weatherby RPM, 6.8 Western, 300 PRC, and more. Choose Hard Cover for $28.99 or Soft Cover for $26.99. Both are good deals — the softcover Lyman 51st Reloading Handbook costs $44.97 on Amazon.

10. MidwayUSA — Hoppes Universal Cleaning Kit, $9.99

hoppes black universal gun cleaning kit brushes mop jag patches
Everything you need to clean pistols, rifles, and shotguns — super-low price

This versatile cleaning kit originally retailed for $39.99. Now just $9.99 on sale, this Hoppes Black Universal Cleaning Kit includes 2 oz. of Hoppe’s High-Performance Gun Cleaner, 2 oz. of Hoppes Precision Gun Oil, a 3-piece aluminum cleaning rod, 5 bronze brushes, 3 nylon jags, 2 cotton mops, one nylon shotgun slotted tip, one shotgun adapter, and cleaning patches, all packaged in a reusable storage case. Killer deal — you could pay $9.99 just for the five brushes.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, New Product, Reloading No Comments »
May 9th, 2022

Bargain Finder 346: 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.

WARNING re CZ Rifle Sales: There was a previous link to a purported sale of blemished CZ Rifles. Do NOT purchase anything from the listed seller which called itself CZ USA Firearms. There are multiple issues.

1. Creedmoor Sports — Sightron Scope Sale

sightron scope sale
Save $200 on highly-rated Sightron Scopes now through June 30, 2022

If you’re looking for a great deal on a solid, competition-worthy optic, check out the Sightron Sale at Creedmoor Sports. They have a large selection of the most popular scopes in the Sightron lineup all at prices you can’t pass up. You can save $200 on the SIII 8-32x56mm and save $200 on the SIII 10-50x56mm model. Both are great choices for benchrest or F-Class Competition. Varminters should consider the S-TAC 4-20x560mm, now discounted from $529.99 to $449.99.

2. Midsouth — Berger Match Grade .223 Rem Ammo, $34.99

berger .223 ammo
Match-quality loaded ammo with Berger bullets, Lapua brass

Are you looking to compete but don’t want the hassle of hand-loading ammo? Then consider Berger Match Grade Long Range .223 ammo, now $34.99 per 20-rd box at Midsouth. This is very high quality ammo employing the best components — Lapua brass and Berger bullets. This ammo should work great for service rifle shooters and Palma shooters who run a .223 Rem. Two bullet options are offered: 73gr BT target bullet or the 77gr OTM Tactical bullet.

3. Amazon — Frankford Arsenal Hand Deprimer Tool, $26.81

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Hand Deprimer Tool
Very good, effective depriming tool that retains spent primers

Decapping brass can be a time-consuming and messy chore. Simplify the task (and avoid messing up your loading area) with the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Hand Deprimer Tool. This device lets you remove spent primers anywhere — no press needed and all the mess (cups/anvils/residue) stays in the capture chamber. You can deprime cases while watching TV. This tool features a Universal collet that works with all case types. With good leverage, this tool is easy on the hands too. This is a great deal at just $26.81!

4. Grizzly — Bald Eagle 45″ Soft Rifle Case, $24.97

rifle case sale
Excellent case with shoulder straps and four side pockets

If you need a soft carry case for a rifle under 45″ OAL, here is an exceptional deal. Grizzly Industrial has the Bald Eagle 45″ Soft Rifle Case on sale now for just $24.97 — a steal. These are great cases for the money. They are no longer in production, so you may want to grab a couple while you can at this price.

5. Graf & Sons — Caldwell Hydrosled, $179.95

lead sled sale
Fill lower tank with water for added stability

Looking for a solid rest that’s not oppressively heavy? Check out the Caldwell Hydrosled. The unique design lets you fill a lower tank with water at the range for added weight and stability. Then when you’re done, simply dump the water out and you’ve got a much lighter product to load in your vehicle. When filled, this Hydrosled handles heavy-recoiling cartridges very well, so it’s good for sighting-in hunting rifles.

6. Amazon — Real Avid Toolkit, $80.42

real avid tool sale
Great 90-piece tool kit performs many functions

Real Avid offers high quality tools in convenient packages. Here is a very complete 90-piece Gunsmithing Tool Kit. The kit includes Hex, Phillips, and Torx Bits, plus long bit driver, small bit driver, complete bit set, scope turret adjustment tool and storage case. This is a high quality tool kit with extras like an LED light, integrated hammer, and more. We can recommend this set for gun-owners who work on their firearms.

7. MidwayUSA Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat, $35.99

midwayusa pro series competition shooting mag roll-up sale
Excellent mat — good size with nice padding and carry handle

MidwayUSA’s Pro Series Competition Shooting Mat is on sale for just $35.99 — 40% off the regular $59.99 price. This mat is bigger and better than MidwayUSA’s basic shooting mat. The Pro Series mat measures a full 73.5″ x 35.5″ and the padding is thicker. A zippered pocket on the front extension flap holds ammo or log book. There are pockets for bipod feet so you can pre-load your bipod. At $35.99 on sale this Pro Series mat is an excellent deal. Choose either OD green as shown, or Coyote Tan.

8. Amazon — TufForce Shooting Rest Bag, $12.99

rifle rest bag
Good basic support sandbag at exceptionally low price

Whether varmint hunting, target shooting, or attending a precision match, having a versatile bag for front or rear rifle support is important. This nice little TufForce Shooting Rest Bag is on sale now for $12.99 on Amazon. Sized 4″ x 7″ x 9″, the bag offers different heights with different orientations. The bag ships UNFILLED but has a convenient fill hole for rice, sand, or other media. Filled with rice the bag weighs about 5.5 pounds, while filled with sand it weighs about 11 pounds.

9. Amazon — Caldwell Rock Jr., $33.59

caldwell rock rest
Low-cost basic front rest — keep as extra for training new shooters

Here is a basic, adjustable front rest you can use for sighting in a hunting rifle, testing handguns, or varminting. No it won’t suffice for benchrest competition, but it is inexpensive and relatively lightweight so it can be useful at the range or when varminting. This is also a good “spare” rest for shooting sessions with a young family member. On sale now, the Caldwell Rock Jr. Rest is now just $33.59 on Amazon, a very good price for simple yet effective basic shooting rest.


Notice re CZ-USA Firearms: CZ firearms are distributed in the USA by CZ-USA headquartered in Kansas City, MO. For a few hours the Bulletin had a link to a different enterprise calling itself CZ USA Firearms. Do NOT do business with CZ USA Firearms. Stay Away.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
May 8th, 2022

Bullet Concentricity and Alignment — What You Need to Know

Sinclair concentricity 101 eccentricity run-out reloading plans

Sinclair International reloading toolsSinclair International has released an interesting article about Case Concentricity* and bullet “run-out”. This instructional article by Bob Kohl explains the reasons brass can exhibit poor concentricity, and why high bullet run-out can be detrimental to accuracy.

Concentricity, Bullet Alignment, and Accuracy by Bob Kohl
The purpose of loading your own ammo is to minimize all the variables that can affect accuracy and can be controlled with proper and conscientious handloading. Concentricity and bullet run-out are important when you’re loading for accuracy. Ideally, it’s important to strive to make each round the same as the one before it and the one after it. It’s a simple issue of uniformity.

The reason shooters work with tools and gauges to measure and control concentricity is simple: to make sure the bullet starts down the bore consistently in line with the bore. If the case isn’t properly concentric and the bullet isn’t properly aligned down the center of the bore, the bullet will enter the rifling inconsistently. While the bore might force the bullet to align itself with the bore (but normally it doesn’t), the bullet may be damaged or overstressed in the process – if it even it corrects itself in transit. These are issues we strive to remedy by handloading, to maintain the best standard possible for accurate ammunition.

The term “concentricity” is derived from “concentric circle”. In simple terms it’s the issue of having the outside of the cartridge in a concentric circle around the center. That goes from case head and center of the flash hole, to the tip of the bullet.

Factors Affecting Concentricity

The point of using this term is to identify a series of issues that affect accurate ammunition. Ideally this would work best with a straight-walled case; but since most rifle cartridge cases are tapered, it equates to the smallest cross section that can be measured point by point to verify the concentric circle around the center. For the examples below, I’m working with .308 Winchester ammo.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 1: The cartridge.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 2: Centerline axis of the case, extending from flash hole to case mouth.

The case walls have to be in perfect alignment with the center, or axis, of that case, even if it’s measured at a thousandth of an inch per segment (in a tapered case).

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 3: Case body in alignment with its axis, or centerline, even in a tapered case.

The case neck must also be in alignment with its axis. By not doing so you can have erratic bullet entry into the bore. The case neck wall itself should be as uniform as possible in alignment and in thickness (see the M80 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge in Figure 5) and brass can change its alignment and shape. It’s why we expand the case neck or while some folks ream the inside of the neck and then turn the outside for consistent thickness, which affects the tension on the bullet when seated.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 4: Neck in alignment with center of the case axis.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 5: Variations in case neck wall thickness, especially on some military brass, can cause an offset of the bullet in its alignment. This is an M80 ball round. Note the distinct difference of the neck walls.

Having a ball micrometer on hand helps, especially with military brass like 7.62x51mm in a semi-auto rifle, where there are limits as to how thin you want the neck walls to be. In the case of 7.62 ball brass you want to keep the wall to .0145″.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 6: A ball micrometer like this RCBS tool (#100-010-268) can measure case neck thickness.

Turning the outside of the neck wall is important with .308 military cases regardless of whether you expand or ream the neck walls. There are several outside neck turning tools from Forster, Hornady, Sinclair, and others. I’ve been using classic Forster case trimming (#100-203-301) and neck turning (#749-012-890) tools for 40 years.

Bullet Run-Out
The cartridge, after being loaded, still needs to be in alignment with the center of the case axis. Figure 7 shows a bad example of this, a round of M80 ball. A tilted bullet is measured for what’s known as bullet “run-out”.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 7: An M80 round with the bullet tilted and not aligned with the axis. This will be a flyer!

Run-out can be affected by several things: (1) improperly indexing your case while sizing, which includes not using the proper shell holder, especially while using a normal expander ball on the sizing die (it also can stretch the brass). (2) The head of a turret press can flex; and (3) improper or sloppy bullet seating. This is also relevant when it comes to using a progressive press when trying to load accuracy ammo.

Mid Tompkins came up with a simple solution for better bullet seating years ago. Seat your bullet half way into the case, back off the seater die and rotate the case 180 degrees before you finish seating the bullet. It cuts down on run-out problems, especially with military brass. You also want to gently ream the inside of the neck mouth to keep from having any brass mar the surface of the bullet jacket and make proper seating easier. A tilted bullet often means a flyer.

Concentricity run-out cartridge case
Figure 8: Proper alignment from the center of the case head to the tip of the bullet.

CLICK HERE to READ FULL ARTICLE With More Photos and Tips »


*Actually some folks would say that if we are talking about things being off-center or out-of-round, we are actually talking about “eccentricity”. But the tools we use are called “Concentricity Gauges” and Concentricity is the term most commonly used when discussing this subject.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
May 7th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Gun Digest Reloading Series

Gun Digest reloading video series Phil Massaro youtube

Gun Digest reloading video series Phil Massaro youtubeDo you have a friend who is getting started in hand-loading? Or would you like a refresher course in some of the more important aspects of reloading? Today’s video showcase provides a wealth of information. In these videos, Philip Massaro, Editor-in-Chief of the Gun Digest Annual, explains the techniques handloaders should employ to create safe and accurate pistol and rifle ammunition. These videos are part of an 11-Video Reloading Series from Gun Digest.

After the intro video, there is a video on case resizing, with a focus on full-length sizing. Next Massaro explains how primers work and he demonstrates how to seat primers. There is a video dedicated to bullet choice, followed by a video on bullet seating, both with and without crimping. Today’s video showcase concludes with a helpful video on troubleshooting, showing how to check your ammo and disassemble rounds when something isn’t right.

CLICK HERE to Watch All 11 Gun Digest Reloading Videos »

Basics Of Reloading
What goes into reloading ammo? Here are the five basic handloading steps — removing the primer, resizing the case, inserting a new primer, adding powder, and seating a new bullet. Gun Digest also has a related video on Reloading Tools, explaining the basic tools you’ll need: dies, press, scale, powder measure or powder-dispensing machine, and measuring tools.

Case Prep and Resizing
The reloading process starts with your cartridge brass. You need to remove carbon from the case exterior, check for case damage and signs of incipient separation. And it often makes sense to clean the primer pockets. It’s also wise to check case length, and chamfer/debur the case necks (as needed). Then the cases should be resized before loading. We recommend full-length resizing for rifle rounds.

Primer Types Explained
What is the difference between a large rifle primer and a magnum large rifle primer? Can you use magnum primers in standard cartridges and vice versa? These are among the topics discussed in this video.

Priming Procedures — Using Press or Hand Tool — and Powder Throwing
In this video, Philip Massaro tackles primer installation, the first process of assembly in reloading and case charging. Learn the differences between large and small primers, and how to use a primer cup accessory on a single stage press. Then Massaro shows various methods to dispense the correct powder charge.

Bullets — How to Select the Right Projectile for your Application
Not every bullet is appropriate for every job. Find out what projectile you’ll need to win a shooting match or put meat on the table. Not all bullets are created equal — hunting bullets are different than match bullets and varmint bullets are different than big game projectiles. With this in mind, Phil Massaro examines different bullet designs — including a look at Nosler’s line of projectiles.

Cartridge Completion — Bullet Seating
In this installment, Philip Massaro covers the final step in cartridge assembly, bullet seating. He covers how to use a micrometer seating die for reloading, as well as various ways to crimp handgun bullets. Massaro demonstrates seating bullets for the .357 Mag, .45 ACP, .30-06 Springfield, and .458 Win Magnum cartridges. The video also covers using a roll-crimp and taper crimp.

Reloading Troubleshooting
This is a very important video, that shows how to troubleshoot potential problems with handload ammunition. The host shows how to check for potential case head separation and other brass problems. He shows how to get stuck cases out of dies using the drill and tap procedure. Also covered are collet bullet pullers and inertia hammers for removing seated bullets from cases. This is necessary if you mistakenly seat too deeply or forget to charge the case with powder.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
May 7th, 2022

Guide to IMR Enduron Powders — Temp Stable, Reduced Fouling

IMR Enduron Powder 4166 4451 7977

Have you tried IMR Enduron powders yet (IMR 4166, 4451, 4955, 7977, and/or 8133)? We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen. IMR’s line of Enduron extruded powders offer excellent temp stability, reduced copper fouling, and good load density for many popular cartridges (such as .223 Rem, 6mmBR, .308 Win, .30-06, 300 WSM to name a few). Some of our Forum members have reported excellent results with IMR 4166 in the 6mmBR, Dasher, 6.5×47 Lapua and .308 Win. One member wrote: “in my 6.5×47… 4166 gives speeds and accuracy pretty much exactly the same as Varget.” And other shooters have observed reduced copper fouling with Enduron series powders, so IMR’s Enduron anti-fouling chemistry does seem to work.

IMR now offers five (5) Enduron powders: IMR 4166, IMR 4451, IMR 4955, IMR 7977, and IMR 8133. Shooters looking for good alternatives to hard-to-find extruded powders should definitely check out the Enduron line-up. Precision shooters will find an Enduron option well-suited to most popular precision cartridge types. For example, IMR 4166 is a good replacement for Hodgdon Varget (commonly used in the .223 Rem, 6mmBR and .308 Win), while IMR 4955 is a fine substitute for H4831 (favored by F-Open shooters for the .284 Win and 7mm WSM cartridges).

enduron IMR Powder Hodgdon extreme

The Enduron Line-Up of Five Powders

IMR now offers five Enduron powders that cover a broad range of burn rates. They are suitable for a wide variety of cartridges, from small varmint cartridges all the way up to the .338 Lapua Magnum.

IMR Enduron Powders

IMR 4166 possesses the fastest burn rate in the Enduron lineup. It is the perfect burn speed for cartridges such as .308 Win, 7.62mm NATO, 22-250 Rem and 257 Roberts. A versatile, match-grade propellant, IMR 4166 is comparable to Hodgdon® Varget.

IMR 4451 is a mid-range burn speed powder, ideally suited for cartridges such as .270 Winchester, .30-06 and 300 Winchester Short Magnum. This powder is comparable to Hodgdon H4350.

IMR 4955 is a medium burn speed powder, falling in between IMR 4451 and IMR 7977 in burn speed. It provides top performance in big game cartridges such as 25-06, 280 Remington and 300 Winchester Magnum. This powder is comparable to Hodgdon H4831.

IMR 7977 is a slower burn rate in the Enduron family. Loading density is perfect for magnums. This is a true magnum propellant yielding outstanding performance in .300 Winchester Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum. IMR 7977 is comparable to Hodgdon H1000.

IMR 8133 IMR Enduron 8133 is the slowest burn rate in the Enduron family. Loading density is perfect for the very large magnums, including the 6.5mm and 7mm magnums. This is a true magnum propellant yielding outstanding performance in 6.5-300 Weatherby, .264 Win Mag, 28 Nosler and .300 Rem Ultra Mag, among other cartridges.

IMR Enduron Technology powders are sold in one-pound (1 lb) and eight-pound (8-lb) containers through quality retailers including Graf & Sons, Midsouth, and Powder Valley. Check frequently for current availability as these will sell out quickly after arrival. Also check your local sporting goods dealers for recent powder shipments.

IMR Enduron Powders 4955 4451 4166 7977

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
May 4th, 2022

Reloading with Progressive Presses — 10 Tips for Good Results

6.5 Guys Progressive Press video Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader

Progressive reloading presses offer shooters speed and efficiency in producing custom-tailored rifle and pistol ammunition. However, there is a wide choice of Progressive Presses and a bewildering array of options to consider. In this video, the 6.5 Guys and UltimateReloader.com’s Gavin Gear provide an overview of the leading Progressive Presses on the market along with key considerations for precision rifle shooters. If you are considering getting a Progessive for rifle ammo reloading, you should watch this informative, 25-minute video.

10 Tips for Reloading Rifle Ammo on a Progressive Press:

1. Make sure the brass is very clean. Don’t mix old range pick-up brass with newer brass.

2. Apply a thin, spray lube to all cases before the sizing/loading cycle.

3. Consider priming your brass separately (with a hand or bench tool) before the operation. Then inspect the primers before loading powder and bullets.

4. Always wear eye protection when loading with the Progressive, particularly if you are priming cases.

5. With masking tape, mark the powder measure/dropper with the powder type and cartridge charge weight. Check the charge mass multiple times (see below).

6. Cycle a few cases, sizing and adding powder but NOT seating bullets. Weigh the powder charges to ensure the powder measure is dispensing the correct charge. Sometimes this will change a couple tenths as it “settles down” after the first few charges.

7. Check the brass for shoulder bump and bullet seating depth carefully for the first few rounds, then check again periodically.

8. Try to maintain a steady pace and operate the handle the same way every time.

9. Visually inspect the powder charge in each case (before bullet seating), and use a lock-out die if your Progressive Press has enough stations.

10. Never, ever mix pistol and rifle powders! If you have previously loaded pistol ammo with your Progressive, make sure ALL the powder (every flake and kernel) is removed from all parts of the powder-dropping system before you add rifle powder.

Visit these sites for more Reloading and Precision Shooting Videos:

6.5 Guys
https://www.youtube.com/user/65guys
http://www.65Guys.com

Ultimate Reloader
https://www.youtube.com/ultimatereloader
http://www.UltimateReloader.com

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
May 2nd, 2022

Do Chron Your Factory Ammo — Stated Velocities May Be Wrong

muzzle velocity applied Ballistics MV chronograph

Why You CANNOT Rely on the MV Printed on the Ammo Box!
When figuring out your come-ups with a ballistics solver or drop chart it’s “mission critical” to have an accurate muzzle velocity (MV). When shooting factory ammo, it’s tempting to use the manufacturer-provided MV which may be printed on the package. That’s not such a great idea says Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. Don’t rely on the MV on the box, Bryan advises — you should take out your chrono and run your own velocity tests. There are a number of reasons why the MV values on ammo packaging may be inaccurate. Below is a discussion of factory ammo MV from the Applied Ballistics Facebook Page.

Five Reasons You Cannot Trust the Velocity on a Box of Ammo:

1. You have no idea about the rifle used for the MV test.

2. You have no idea what atmospheric conditions were during testing, and yes it matters a lot.

3. You have no idea of the SD for the factory ammo, and how the manufacturer derived the MV from that SD. (Marketing plays a role here).

4. You have no idea of the precision and quality of chronograph(s) used for velocity testing.

5. You have no idea if the manufacturer used the raw velocity, or back-calculated the MV. The BC used to back track that data is also unknown.

1. The factory test rifle and your rifle are not the same. Aside from having a different chamber, and possibly barrel length some other things are important too like the barrel twist rate, and how much wear was in the barrel. Was it just recently cleaned, has it ever been cleaned? You simply don’t know anything about the rifle used in testing.

2. Temperature and Humidity conditions may be quite different (than during testing). Temperature has a physical effect on powder, which changes how it burns. Couple this with the fact that different powders can vary in temp-stability quite a bit. You just don’t know what the conditions at the time of testing were. Also a lot of factory ammunition is loaded with powder that is meter friendly. Meter friendly can often times be ball powder, which is less temperature stable than stick powder often times.

3. The ammo’s Standard Deviation (SD) is unknown. You will often notice that while MV is often listed on ammo packages, Standard Deviation (normally) is not. It is not uncommon for factory ammunition to have an SD of 18 or higher. Sometimes as high as 40+. As such is the nature of metering powder. With marketing in mind, did they pick the high, low, or average end of the SD? We really don’t know. You won’t either until you test it for yourself. For hand-loaded ammo, to be considered around 10 fps or less. Having a high SD is often the nature of metered powder and factory loads. The image below is from Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting: Volume II.

muzzle velocity applied Ballistics MV chronograph

4. You don’t know how MV was measured. What chronograph system did the manufacturer use, and how did they back track to a muzzle velocity? A chronograph does not measure true velocity at the muzzle; it simply measures velocity at the location it is sitting. So you need to back-calculate the distance from the chrono to the end of the barrel. This calculation requires a semi-accurate BC. So whose BC was used to back track to the muzzle or did the manufacturer even do that? Did they simply print the numbers displayed by the chronograph? What kind of chronograph setup did they use? We know from our Lab Testing that not all chronographs are created equal. Without knowing what chronograph was used, you have no idea the quality of the measurement. See: Applied Ballistics Chronograph Chapter Excerpt.

5. The MV data may not be current. Does the manufacturer update that data for every lot? Or is it the same data from years ago? Some manufacturers rarely if ever re-test and update information. Some update it every lot (ABM Ammo is actually tested every single lot for 1% consistency). Without knowing this information, you could be using data for years ago.

CONCLUSION: Never use the printed MV off a box of ammo as anything more than a starting point, there are too many factors to account for. You must always either test for the MV with a chronograph, or use carefully obtained, live fire data. When you are using a Ballistic Solver such as the AB Apps or Devices integrated with AB, you need to know the MV to an accuracy down to 5 fps. The more reliable the MV number, the better your ballistics solutions.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
April 28th, 2022

Reduce Run-Out — Try Rotating Your Cases During Bullet Seating

Bullet Seating Reloading rotate cartridge Run-out TIR

Here is a simple technique that can potentially help you load straighter ammo, with less run-out (as measured on the bullet). This procedure costs nothing and adds only a few seconds to the time needed to load a cartridge. Next time you’re loading ammo with a threaded (screw-in) seating die, try seating the bullet in two stages. Run the cartridge up in the seating die just enough to seat the bullet half way. Then lower the cartridge and rotate it 180° in the shell-holder. Now raise the cartridge up into the die again and finish seating the bullet.

Steve, aka “Short Range”, one of our Forum members, recently inquired about run-out apparently caused by his bullet-seating process. Steve’s 30BR cases were coming out of his neck-sizer with good concentricity, but the run-out nearly doubled after he seated the bullets. At the suggestion of other Forum members, Steve tried the process of rotating his cartridge while seating his bullet. Steve then measured run-out on his loaded rounds. To his surprise there was a noticeable reduction in run-out on the cases which had been rotated during seating. Steve explains: “For the rounds that I loaded yesterday, I seated the bullet half-way, and turned the round 180 degrees, and finished seating the bullet. That reduced the bullet runout by almost half on most rounds compared to the measurements from the first test.”

READ Bullet Seating Forum Thread »

run-out bullet

run-out bullet

Steve recorded run-out measurements on his 30 BR brass using both the conventional (one-pass) seating procedure, as well as the two-stage (with 180° rotation) method. Steve’s measurements are collected in the two charts above. As you can see, the run-out was less for the rounds which were rotated during seating. Note, the change is pretty small (less than .001″ on average), but every little bit helps in the accuracy game. If you use a threaded (screw-in) seating die, you might try this two-stage bullet-seating method. Rotating your case in the middle of the seating process won’t cost you a penny, and it just might produce straighter ammo (nothing is guaranteed). If you do NOT see any improvement on the target, you can always go back to seating your bullets in one pass. READ Forum Thread.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
April 27th, 2022

Big Batch Case Lubrication Methods — USAMU Reloading Tips

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit regularly publishes “how-to” articles on the USAMU Facebook page. A while back, the USAMU’s reloading gurus looked at the subject of case lubrication. Tasked with loading thousands of rounds of ammo for team members, the USAMU’s reloading staff has developed efficient procedures for lubricating large quantities of cases. This article reveals the USAMU’s clever “big-batch” lube methods. For other helpful hand-loading tips, visit the USAMU Facebook page.

Rapid, High-Volume Case Lubrication

Today’s topic covers methods for quickly applying spray lube to cartridge cases prior to sizing. A typical order for this shop may be 25,000 rounds, so [speeding up] the lubrication process can be a real time-saver. While your ammunition lots probably aren’t this large, the efficient methods discussed here may help save a considerable amount of time over your handloading career. Our case lubrication rates range from 1500-1600 cases per hour, to 2400-2500 cases per hour, depending on caliber.

This shop uses virgin brass, whereas most home handloaders use fired brass, which necessitates some small changes at times. These will be discussed as they arise. Begin with fired brass that has been tumbled clean.

Ensure as much tumbling media as possible is removed from the brass, as when it gets into a size die, it can dent cases significantly. This is a good time to round out dents in the case mouths using a tapered tool to prevent damage from the decapping stem.

First, dump the clean cases into a large box or reloading bin. Shake the bin back and forth so that many cases are oriented with the mouths up. Next, pick up as many cases as is convenient with the mouths “up”, from natural clusters of correctly-oriented cases. With 7.62mm-size cases, this is usually 3-4, and with 5.56mm cases, this can be up to 8-10. Place the cases into the rack slots, mouth-up. Doing this in groups rather than singly saves considerable time. Once these clusters have been depleted, it will be time to re-shake the bin to orient more cases “up.”.

This photo shows a case lubrication rack made by a USAMU staffer.
accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

Naturally, adjust the spacing to best fit the calibers you reload. We have found this size … convenient for handling through the various phases of case lubrication/transfer to progressive case feeders for processing. Note that the 1/2-inch angle does not cover much of the critical case area at the base, just forward of the extractor groove, where most re-sizing force will be exerted. As the USAMU uses virgin brass, less lubrication is required for our brass than would be needed for Full Length (FL) sizing of previously-fired brass.

NOTE: The amount applied using our rack is easily enough for our purpose. If using fired brass, be sure to adequately lube this base area to avoid having cases stick in the full-length sizing die.

Using a spray lube, coat the cases adequately, but not excessively, from all sides. Be sure to get some lube into the case mouths/necks, in order to reduce expander ball drag and case stretching/headspace changes. The spray lube this shop uses does not harm primers or powder, and does not require tumbling to remove after lubing.*

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

Take a close look at the photo above. The USAMU shop uses a common kitchen turntable, which allows the rack to be rotated easily. We place this in a custom-made box which prevents over-spray on to floors and walls.

Angled Box Method for Smaller Cases to be Neck-Sized
A refinement of the above method which especially speeds processing of 5.56x45mm cases is as follows. A small cardboard box which holds about 100 cases is fitted with an angled “floor” secured by tape. With the smaller 5.56mm cases, usually about 8-10 cases per handful can be picked up, already correctly-oriented, and placed into the box together. This prevents having to place them into the rack slots, saving time.

accurateshooter USAMU Handloading hump day case lube lubrication spray can cartridge brass reloading marksmanship

HOWEVER, note that this does not allow nearly as much lube access to the case bodies as does the rack. For our purposes — neck-sizing and setting neck tension on new brass, this works well. If using this procedure with fired brass, take steps to ensure adequate lube to prevent stuck cases.

As always, we hope this will help our fellow handloaders. Good luck, and good shooting!


*A two-part test performed here involved spraying primed cases heavily, while getting more lube into the case mouth/body than even a careless handloader would likely apply. The second part of the test involved literally spraying considerable quantities of the lube directly into the cases, drenching the primers. After a several-day wait to allow the lube to penetrate the primers, they were then fired in a test barrel. All fired normally; no unusual reports were noted. This bolstered confidence that normal amounts of the lube would not adversely affect our ammunition, and we have been pleased with the results over several years.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
April 22nd, 2022

How to Evaluate Flyers During Load Development

Sierra Bullets Reloading Flier Flyer load development groups

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf
Occasionally someone will ask, “Why did I get a flyer that didn’t go in with the rest of my group?” If I had an answer that would stop flyers from happening, I would be rich.

There are many reasons why this can happen. Everything from gripping a forearm differently to variations in the brass casing, the list goes on and on. Most of the time the flyer is usually shooter induced and sometimes what you may think is a flyer, is just part of your group. There are a lot of shooters, that go out and test a load and they may shoot a 3/8” group at 100 yards and think that load is good. But I have seen far too many times that you can shoot another group, same load, same rifle and the next time you may get a 1 ¼” group.

Sierra bullets load development flyer group measurement target

The total opposite can also occur. You may shoot a 1 ¼” group and turn around and follow it with a 1/2″ group without changing anything. If you only shot the one group, you might decide that load wasn’t any good and move on to something else without really knowing what that load was capable of.

To really determine how a particular load is performing we need to shoot multiple groups and take an average of the group sizes to really see what that rifle/load combination is really capable of.

I suggest shooting a minimum of three 5-shot groups and averaging the group sizes before deciding if the load is acceptable or not. Obviously the more rounds you shoot for a group and the more groups that you shoot, you will get a much better representation of what that particular combination can do.

Now I’m not saying to go out and shoot 30 groups with 50 rounds in each group to determine how well your load is shooting. That would be a bit pointless, in some cases it would be time to re-barrel your rifle before your load development was finished.

In most cases, I feel that three to five, 5-shot groups will give you a pretty good representation of how a load will perform in that specific firearm.

Sierra Bullets reloading advice tips information

Permalink - Articles, Reloading, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
April 20th, 2022

Science of Accuracy Academy — New from Applied Ballistics

Bryan Litz long range Science of Accuracy Applied Ballistics

Applied Ballistics has just launched a great, new online resource for shooters: The Science of Accuracy Academy. This subscription-based website is launching with nearly 30 podcast episodes, with many more planned, as well as video content, Zoom classes, and much more.

The main goal of this new online resource is to adapt and modernize the delivery of content coming from Applied Ballistics LLC. In past years, books, DVDs, and seminars were the primary avenues for delivering information. Modern technology has evolved, and the delivery of information can be done in more efficient ways such as streaming videos, podcast discussions of book and seminar content. In addition to being a more modern delivery platform, The Science of Accuracy Academy allows for more frequent updates than traditional books and DVDs.

Bryan Litz, owner of Applied Ballistics LLC tells us: “I’m very excited about this avenue to share what we’re learning in the Applied Ballistics lab. I think many shooters will benefit from the podcasts, which contain very insightful discussions and can be enjoyed in your car, or as you work. We look forward to publishing more of our research thru the Science of Accuracy Academy”.

Bryan Litz long range Science of Accuracy Applied Ballistics

You can visit The Science of Accuracy Academy website at: thescienceofaccuracy.com. For full access to all Academy content and “members only” online events, a subscription runs $9.95/month.

Bryan Litz long range Science of Accuracy Applied Ballistics

About the Science of Accuracy Academy Content and Programs

Below, Bryan Litz comments about the Academy’s new podcast offerings and other interactive content. Bryan notes: “We’ve benefited a great deal from practicing the scientific method, and we want to share what we’ve learned.”

Book Content via Podcasts — Many of the podcast episodes are specific reviews of Applied Ballistics book chapters. I’ll sit with Mitch or Francis (both experienced, champion shooters) and discuss the chapter, what it was like to do the tests. We will also discuss behind the scenes problems, as well as what we’ve learned since publishing the books. This lets subscribers get knowledge from the books. And, as a podcast, you can listen while driving, working out, or whatever.

The World of Doppler Radar — In recent years we have spent considerable time visiting shooting matches with the AB Mobile Lab and running Doppler radar. Between that and some of the government contracting work, we’ve built up a lot of experiences and it’s been a long time since a book was published. This Academy is a great outlet for us to update the shooting world on what we’ve been doing and learning.

Ballistics Science and Precision Loading — We’ve been doing hardcore ballistic science for the past few years and have a lot to share. We’ve come to see some aspects of handloading and shooting in a fundamentally different way. For example, understanding the statistical nature of precision has caused us to re-shape how we make decisions in the handloading process. As a result, we now better understand cause-effect relationships and can make deliberate, reliable progress as a result.

Bryan Litz Announces the New Science of Accuracy Academy

The Lighter Side — Bryan told AccurateShooter.com: “Some of the podcast episodes are much less serious! We have fun arguing about which shooting disciplines are harder. For example, Mitch Fitzpatrick and I talk with Francis Colon and Chad Heckler about PRS vs. ELR shooting. We discuss what we like and dislike about the different sports, what we would like to see changed, and what competition shooting has meant for us as individuals. This open-ended format explores long range shooting from the technical to the personal and everything in-between.”

Permalink - Videos, News, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 18th, 2022

Bargain Finder 343: 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.

Today is Tax Day 2022
Today, April 18, 2022, is the deadline for individuals to file Federal and (most) state tax returns. April 15 is the typical deadline, but the the 2022 IRS deadline was moved to April 18, due to the Emancipation Day Holiday observed in DC. If you are anticipating getting a tax refund, here are some great deals to make the most out of that IRS refund check.

1. Graf & Sons, Hornady L-N-L Classic Reloading Kit, $359.99


Very good value for a quality press with all needed tools

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Hornady Classic Kit Reloading Press saleThis Hornady reloading kit is quite a bargain at $359.99. The Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic Kit includes all this hardware: L-N-L Classic Single-Stage Press, L-N-L Powder Measure, Digital Scale, Powder Trickler, Powder Funnel, 3 Die Bushings, Hand Priming Tool, Chamfer & Deburr Tool, Reloading Handbook, Positive Priming System with primer catcher, Universal Reloading Block, and Aerosol One Shot® Case Lube. Considering you can easily pay $240+ for a good single-stage press by itself, this very complete Classic Kit is a great value. The regular price is $445.99.

2. CDNN Sports — GFORCE Arms GF3T 12ga Shotgun, $179.99

12ga gforce gf3t pump shotgun sights pistol grip
Complete, well-equipped tactical 12ga pump shotgun for under $180!

A pump 12ga with iron sights is a great choice for a home defense weapon. And here is one of the best shotgun deals we’ve found. No that $179.99 price is not a mis-print. This GFORCE Arms GF3T features 19.5″ barrel with 3″ chamber. There is a nice fiber optic front sight and large ghost ring rear sight. Overall weight is 7 pounds. The stock is impact-resistant synthetic stock with pistol grip. There is a rail on top of the action for mounting optics, plus a short rail on the underside of the fore-end to mount lights and/or lasers. The same shotgun sells for $379.99 elsewhere and it has earned great reviews on Guns.com from verified buyers (who paid $323.99): “Great home defense shotgun for the price!”

3. EuroOptic — Nikon Spring Sale on Spotting Scopes and Binocs

12ga gforce gf3t pump shotgun sights pistol grip
Save hundreds on high-quality spotting scopes and binoculars

Nikon is a legendary brand in optics. Nikon’s premium spotting scopes rival elite European brands costing 50-70% more. Right now you can save big on Nikon spotters and binoculars with the Nikon Spring Sale running April 11, 2022 through May 8th, 2022. Check out the Monarch 20-60x82mm ED, a great spotter with outstanding glass and sharpness. Save $200 with EuroOptic’s $1399.95 sale price. You’ll have to pay a LOT more to get a better 80mm-class spotting scope.

4. Amazon, Dragon AR600 Steel Gongs, $16.99-$76.99

Dragon steel AR500 gong targets reactive Amazon
High-quality 4″, 6″, 8″, 10″, 12″ AR500 steel gongs

Shooting steel is fun — you get instant gratification from hearing the “clang” and seeing the gong swing. Shooting steel is also good practice for PRS/NRL events and ground-hog matches. Right now, you can get some great deals on quality AR500 steel targets. These Dragon Target Gongs start at just $16.99 for a 4″-diameter, 3/8″-thick gong. Larger 6″, 8″, 10″, and 12″ gongs are offered in 3/8″ and 1/2″ thicknesses, and a 3-pack of 8″ gongs is available. A 6″-diameter gong is $25.99 (3/8″ thick) or $32.99 (1/2″ thick). The largest 12″-diameter gong in the heavy 1/2″ thickness is $76.99. NOTE: All these Dragon gongs have a center hole allowing more hanging options.

5. Sportsman’s — Nikon Monarch Stabilized Laser RF, $319.97

Nikon monarch 3000 stablized laser rangefinder
Save $100 on good rangefinder for hunting with effective stabilization

This Monarch 3000 Stabilized laser rangefinder, now $319.97 on sale ($100 off), is a great value in a big-name laser rangefinder. This unit can range faster than typical LRFs because the Monarch 3000 instantly stabilizes the image you see in the 6X monocular. This makes one-handed ranging much easier — vibrations in the viewfinder caused by wind or hand movements are dramatically reduced. Nikon says vibrations of the image in the viewfinder caused by hand movement (sinusoidal waves) are reduced to one-fifth or less. This Monarch 3000 also has Incline Correction, providing the true horizontal distance to the target. The Monarch 3000 Stabilized LRF is also fully waterproof and fogproof, important for hunters.

6. Midsouth — Rimfire Ammo Sale, as low as $4.59 50/rd

CCI .22 LR rimfire ammo ammunition bargain sale

Midsouth Shooters Supply now has a large selection of .22 LR and .17 HMR rimfire ammunition. For the best value, get 50 rounds of CCI 40gr .22 LR Std. Velocity Ammo for just $4.59 ($0.09 per round), or get 500 rounds of Aguila Super Extra 40gr HV ammo for $42.99 ($0.09 per round). There are many other types of rimfire ammo in stock as well.

7. Amazon — Midland Walkie-Talkie Set, $69.99

Midland walkie talkie handheld radio par set pack charger FRS GMRS VHF
Highly-rated units with impressive range and 50 channel

Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range hunting and ELR shooting. They are also great for communicating with a buddy who is down-range setting or recovering targets. The 50-CH Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio set is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller among FRS/GMRS Handheld Radios. Priced at $69.99, this Midland two-unit kit includes earbuds plus both 12V and 120V chargers. This Midland set features 50 Channels with impressive range plus “whisper mode”, so they’re good for hunting. These units include Vibrate Alert and VOX for hands-free operation. These units even offer NOAA Weather Scan capability.

8. MidwayUSA — Caldwell NRR 23 dB Youth Earmuffs, $12.74

MidwayUsa caldwell youth passive muffs earmuffs sale
Very good price on earmuffs sized to fit youngsters and teens

It’s vital to protect the hearing of young persons whenever they go to a shooting range or are exposed to loud noises. But the full-sized earmuffs designed for adults may not fit younger heads and ears so well, reducing muff effectiveness. These NRR 23-rated Caldwell Youth Earmuffs are designed to properly fit younger persons. Right now these NRR 23 muffs are just $12.74 in a choice of three bright colors: Hot Coral Orange (shown), Neo Blue, and Neon Green.

9. Amazon — 12″ x 12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $10.99

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $10.99, or a 25-pack for $19.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating.

10. Amazon — Bore-Snake Two-Pack, $9.99 (or $5.99 Single)

Bore-Snake stocking stuffer two kit
Very positive user reviews, good selection of diameters

While bore cleaning should be done with a good cleaning rod and fitted bore guide, there are times when Bore-Snakes can be handy, such as when cleaning pistols, ARs, and 10/22s. Now on Amazon you can get two (2) Gogoku Bore-Snakes for just $9.99. You can get a twin-pack for .223 (5.56) rifles, a combo for .223 and .308 caliber rifles, or a pair with big and small diameters for .223 rifle plus 12ga shotguns. There are also single Huntsen Bore-Snakes for $5.99 in a wide variety of calibers and shotgun bore sizes.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
April 17th, 2022

Loading at the Range — How it Works for Benchrest Matches

Benchrest IBS Shooting Reloading Chargemaster tuning load
Shown are funnel with ultra-long drop tube (which helps get more kernels in the cases), RCBS Chargemaster (in wood box), and Hood Press (similar to Harrell’s Combo press).

Loading at the range remains important in the Benchrest for Group discipline. In a Special Report below, past IBS President Jeff Stover explains how loading methods (and hardware) have evolved over the years. The advent of accurate, affordable electronic powder dispensers, such as the RCBS ChargeMaster and Frankford’s new Intellidropper, have changed the game and made it easier to load efficiently at the range. And quality manual powder measures are fast and can be very consistent, with a little practice. Loading at the range permits competitors to tune their load to the conditions, change seating depths, or even choose different bullets to suit the barrel’s preferences on any given day.

IBS Benchrest

Although pre-loading is not uncommon, most 100/200-yard group shooters usually load at the match, often between relays. The goal is to shoot smaller groups by staying “in tune”. In a game where 5-shot groups “in the 1s and Zeros” is the goal, tuning loads for the conditions helps deliver match-winning accuracy. Nearly all competitors in this short-range discipline shoot the 6mm PPC cartridge, or a PPC variant.

IBS Benchrest loading at range Jeff Stover

Loading at the Range — Then and Now

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

In benchrest shooting for group, loading at the range has been de rigueur for decades. In the Score discipline, preloading is usually the custom. The main reason is that, in Score competition, only one Aggregate (warm-up match and five record targets) per day is usually shot. That would be less than 50 shots, assuming a few sighter shots. Also, the 30BR, the dominant Benchrest-for-Score cartridge, is very amenable to pre-loading.

By contrast, the Group discipline includes 21 targets (two warm-ups and twenty record targets) over a weekend, usually shot with 6PPC-chambered rifles. Many times, the 6PPC shooters may tweak their loads through the day given changing atmospheric conditions or simply trying to find the correct tune to “dot up”. This term, “Dot up”, means the shots are essentially going through the same hole, or closely so.

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

Loading at the range was a bit different when benchrest competition was in its infancy. The 1951 book, Modern Accuracy by Bob Wallack, is the best of the early benchrest books. Copies can be found, from time to time, on eBay or Alibris. It is a fascinating survey of benchrest as it existed more than six decades ago. There’s even coverage of a controversial target that was argued over at the time. In it, there is a photo of Wallack using the rear bumper of a car at the bench to clamp his reloading tools. Things have come a long way compared to the range loading set-ups of modern shooters. Here you can see Bob Wallack way back in 1950:

IBS Benchrest Shooters International Memorial Match Weikert PA Jeff Stover

Modern loading bench set-ups shown in this Special Report belong to top shooters Howie Levy, Bob Hamister, and Kent Harshman.
Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
April 10th, 2022

TECH Tip: Powder Grain Shapes — What You Need to Know

Vihtavuori loading propellant reloading powder N133 N150 N140 N550 ball flake stick extruded perforated powders

POWDER GRAIN SHAPES — What You Need to Know

The shape of powder grains has a profound effect on the performance of the powder charge, as it concerns both pressure and velocity. There are multiple powder shapes including flake, ball, and extruded or “stick” (both solid and perforated).

All Vihtavuori reloading powders are of the cylindrical, single-perforated extruded stick type. The differences in burning rate between the powders depend on the size of the grain, the wall thickness of the cylinder, the surface coating and the composition. Cylindrical extruded powders can also have multi-perforated grains. The most common types are the 7- and 19-perforated varieties. A multi-perforated powder grain is naturally of a much larger size than one with a single perforation, and is typically used for large caliber ammunition.

Other types of powder grain shapes include sphere or ball, and flake. The ball grains are typically used in automatic firearms but also in rifles and handguns. The ball grain is less costly to produce, as it is not pressed into shape like cylindrical grains. Flake shaped grains are typically used in shotgun loadings.

Vihtavuori loading propellant reloading powder N133 N150 N140 N550 ball flake stick extruded perforated powders

Web thickness in gunpowder terminology means the minimum distance that the combustion zones can travel within the powder grain without encountering each other. In spherical powders, this distance is the diameter of the “ball”; in flake powder it is the thickness of the flake; and in multi-perforated extruded powders it is the minimum distance (i.e. wall thickness) between the perforations.

The burning rate of powder composed of grains without any perforations or surface treatment is related to the surface area of the grain available for burning at any given pressure level. The change in the surface area that is burning during combustion is described by a so-called form function. If the surface area increases, the form function does likewise and its behavior is termed progressive. If the form function decreases, its behavior is said to be degressive. If the flame area remains constant throughout the combustion process, we describe it as “neutral” behavior.

The cylindrical, perforated powders are progressive; the burning rate increases as the surface area increases, and the pressure builds up slower, increasing until it reaches its peak and then collapses. Flake and ball grains are degressive; the total powder surface area and pressure are at their peak at ignition, decreasing as the combustion progresses.

So how does the shape affect pressure and muzzle velocity? In general, it can be said that powder that burns progressively achieves a desired muzzle velocity at lower maximum pressure than a powder that burns neutrally, not to mention a degressive powder. As grain size increases, the maximum pressure moves towards the muzzle, also increasing muzzle blast. Muzzle velocity and pressure can be adjusted by means of the amount of powder or loading density, i.e. the relationship between the powder mass and the volume available to it. As the loading density increases, maximum pressure grows.

Learn More with FREE Vihtavuori Reloading APP »

Vihtavuori loading propellant reloading powder N133 N150 N140 N550 ball flake stick extruded perforated powders


This article originally appeared on the Vihtavuori Website.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
April 10th, 2022

Reloading Die Maintenance — When and How to Clean Your Dies

Hornady Die cleaning

After purchasing a new set of dies from Forster, Hornady, Redding, or Whidden Gunworks, you’ll want to disassemble the dies, inspect then, and then remove the internal grease and/or waxy coatings placed on the dies by the manufacturer. Below are two videos that show how to de-grease and clean dies as they come “out of the box” from the manufacturer. The videos also explain how to clean your dies after regular use. Cleaning your dies helps remove carbon, brass shavings, lube residues and other stuff that can get inside the dies.

In the first video, from Creedmoor Sports, Bill Gravatt (Creedmoor’s President) shows various methods for cleaning dies both when new and after they have accumulated carbon and lube after use. This video is definitely worth watching. In the second video, a Hornady technician shows the method for degreasing dies before first use. A convenient aerosol spray cleaner is used in the video. You can also use a liquid solvent with soft nylon brush, and cotton patches. NOTE: After cleaning you may want to apply a light grease to the external threads of your dies.

Creedmoor Sports Die Cleaning Video with Bill Gravatt

Hornady Video Showing Aerosol Cleaner

Clean Your Sizing Dies and Body Dies Regularly
These same techniques work for cleaning dies after they have been used for reloading. Many otherwise smart hand-loaders forget to clean the inside of their dies, allowing old case lube, gunk, carbon residue, and other contaminants to build up inside the die. You should clean your dies fairly often, particularly if you do not tumble or ultrasound your cases between loadings. It is most important to keep full-length sizing and body dies clean. These dies accumulate lube and carbon residue quickly.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
April 9th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: Seven Progressive Presses in Review

ultimate reloading progressive press review dillon Mark 7 rcbs lee hornady

With the high cost and reduced availability of factory ammo, more shooters are loading their own ammo. When good 9mm pistol ammo was $10/box, it might be hard to justify handloading. Now that 50 rounds of factory 9mm can run $25 or more it certainly makes sense to reload. The same is true with rifle ammo if you shoot large quantities, or if you simply can’t find your preferred ammo for sale these days.

To increase productivity when reloading large quantities of ammunition, many shooters are thinking of getting a progressive press. Because multiple operations take place with a single pull of a lever, a progressive press can produce way more ammo in a given period of time than any single stage press. With a progressive, on the ram up-stroke, the multiple stations can simultaneously remove spent primer, full-length size case, drop powder, seat bullet, and crimp (if desired). Most progressives are also set up to prime cases with the ram in the lower position — though some guys prefer to prime manually.

Progressive presses aren’t just for high-output pistol ammo or bulk rifle ammunition. Good progressives can be adapted to do certain reloading tasks for top-on-the line match ammo. You might use a progressive for decapping, priming, and sizing, then throw powder and/or seat bullets separately. Some Champion shooters do use progressives to load their match ammo! For example 5-Time National Long Range Champion John Whidden and 2020 Berger SWN F-Open Champion Jay Christopherson both use progessive presses for some (but not all) operations.

To help you get started with progressive presses, here are six videos from UltimateReloader.com that cover seven popular machines, from the elite Mark 7 Evolution to the affordable Lee Loadmaster. With many of these machines you can add separate vertical bullet feeder systems that further increase loading efficiency. Machines Covered: Lyman Mark 7, Dillon XL-650, Dillon XL-750, Dillon RL-550c, RCBS Pro Chucker 7, Hornady Lock-N-Load AP, and Lee Load Master.

Mark 7 Evolution Press — Distributed by Lyman

Dillon XL-650 vs. Dillon XL-750

RCBS Pro Chucker 7 with Bullet Feeder

Dillon 550C with 6mm Creedmoor and 9x19mm

Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Progressive

Lee Load-Master Features and Loading 9mm

SAFETY BONUS — Why You Need a Lock-Out Die


The RCBS Lock-Out Die can also be used with some Dillon and Hornady progressive presses.

If you load pistol or rifle ammo with a progressive press, we strongly recommend you get a Lock-Out Die from RCBS. This unique reloading die will prevent your progressive press from advancing if the dispensed powder charge is more or less than about 0.3 grains too high or too low. The Lock-Out Die really works.

The Lock-Out Die works by using a central die detection rod that sets its vertical position based on the height of the powder column in the case. Through an ingenious design, if the powder column height is too low or too high, the rod locks in place as you start to pull the press handle. This halts the press before the ram can lift and the cartridge plate can advance. Unlike a beeping alarm system (which can be ignored or defeated), the Lock-Out Die physically stops the movement of the press ram and prevents a bullet being seated in the “problem” case.

RCBS Lock-out die RCBS Lock-out die

It takes a bit of tweaking to get the Lock-Out Die detection rod setting just right, but once it is correctly positioned, the Lock-Out Die works smoothly in the background. The Lock-Out Die won’t interfere with the loading process unless it detects a high or low charge — and then it positively stops the progressive loading cycle.

While crafted for use in RCBS progressive presses, the RCBS Lock-Out Die can also be used on a Dillon XL Progressive or Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive — though it does take up one station which could otherwise be used for a final crimp die (after the seating die). This Editor has used the RCBS Lock-out die very successfully on an RCBS 2000 progressive press for many years.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
April 9th, 2022

AMP Ships 10,000th Hi-Tech Induction Annealing Machine

amp annealer annealing induction made perfect 10000 machine new zealand shipping

News from New Zealand — AMP to Ship 10,000th Annealing Machine
Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) can celebrate a real milestone. After shipping its very first induction annealer six years ago in February 2016, Annealing machine number #10,000 will leave the New Zealand factory next week. In that time, the AMP annealer has progressed from the original part-analogue Mark I through to today’s smart, fully digital Mark II annealer. Over the six years of production, over 55,000 annealing pilots have also shipped. Company president Alex Findlay says “AMP annealers are now standard equipment in many ballistics laboratories. We are proud that our annealer is considered mandatory on the reloading bench of precision marksmen worldwide. We export to every sports-shooting country. Our patented AZTEC system means that even a novice reloader can anneal with the same precision as a world champion.”

How the Computer-Controlled AMP Induction Annealing Machine Is Crafted

New Book about Annealing Made Perfect’s Business Development
To mark the occasion, AMP has released “Making Perfect”, a 320-page full-color book which chronicles the company’s growth from first concept in 2012, through the years of R&D, right up to today’s market-leading products, including the ground-breaking AMP Press diagnostic bullet seating instrument. This excellent book includes the full “Annealing Under the Microscope” series of research articles, which are fascinating reads for any AMP owner, or potential buyer.

amp annealer annealing induction made perfect 10000 machine new zealand shipping

In the process, Alex and Matt have worked with many of the leading figures of the shooting world. This fascinating book explains how two guys in New Zealand created a unique new product, and who helped them along the way. Alex send AccurateShooter a copy of this book recently, and we can affirm it is a well-written, interesting guide to the creation of the AMP annealer, and its remarkable technology. There are plenty of color photos that show, from start to finish, how the AMP machine was developed and perfected. AMP’s new Making Perfect Book is available on the AMP USA webstore with shipping from Las Vegas. It is also sold through AMP’s international webstore with shipping from New Zealand.

amp annealer annealing induction made perfect 10000 machine new zealand shipping

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
April 9th, 2022

Reloading Tip — How to Make Effective Spray-On Case Lube

DIY yourself lanolin case lube lubricant One Shot Ultimate Reloader Gavin Gear 6.5 Guys

Tired of spending $15-$25 for a can of spray lube that doesn’t last that long? For about the same price as a single 10 oz. can you can make your own effective spray lube that should last for multiple seasons and lube thousands of cases quickly and easily.

In the YouTube video embedded below, our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com shows how to make your own case lube using simple, inexpensive ingredients. As recommended by the 6.5 Guys, this Liquid Lanolin + Isopropyl Alchohol mix works well and is very cost-effective. You can make a pint of this home-brew Lanolin case lube that will lube thousands of cases — many more than a typical commercial aerosol spray can (that’s mostly compressed air).

Complete Case Lube Instructions on UltimateReloader.com »

Gavin tells us: “Per the 65guys instructions, I ordered the same components and spray bottles, and these worked out great”:

1. Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 Ounce (2-pack)
2. Home Health Liquid Lanolin, 4 Ounce
3. Chemical Guys ACC_121.16HD-3PK Chem. Resistant Heavy Duty Bottle/Sprayer (16 oz.)

Gavin describes the exact mixing process on his Ultimate Reloader website. Gavin says this lube mix is a good complement to the Hornady One-Shot (pistol) and Dillon DCL (rifle) lubes he has used for pistol and rifle reloading sessions. CLICK HERE to read more.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
April 5th, 2022

Case Neck Dry Lubrication Can Help Bullet Seating

Forster original caseneck case neck brass dry mica lube lubricator system

If you want smoother bullet seating, inside neck lube can help. Forum member Ackleyman II likes to add a little Mica powder inside his case necks before seating bullets. This is easily done with the Forster three-brush neck lube kit. Ackleyman tells us: “Many loads that I have will not shoot well with a dry neck compared to a neck that is cleaned and lubed with this [Forster Dry Lubricator] — the best $15 you have ever spent.”

The Forster Case Neck Lubricator features three brushes attached to a tough, impact-resistant case with holes for bench mounting. The brushes accommodate all calibers from 22 to 35 caliber. The kit includes enough “motor mica” to process 2000 to 3000 cases and has a cover to keep dust and grit from contaminating the mica. By moving the case neck up and down on the correct mica-covered brush, the neck can be cleaned and lubricated at the same time.

Function: Lubricate case necks for easier resizing
Contents: Kit with base, lid, and three nylon brushes
Lubricant: Includes 1/10 oz. of Motor Mica, enough to process 2000-3000 cases

Neck Lubrication After Ultrasonic Cleaning or Wet Tumbling with Pins
If you wet-tumble your cases with stainless media and solvents or ultrasonically clean your brass, you may find that the inside of the case necks get too “squeaky clean”. The inside surface of the neck looses lubricity. In this situation, applying a dry lube can definitely be beneficial. CLICK HERE to see story about ultrasonic cleaning.

Ultrasonic Brass Cleaning

ultrasonic brass cleaning neck lubricant moly dry lube

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »