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October 22nd, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: F-Class Showcase — Events, Gear, Loads

Saturday movies F-Class Bisley Ben Avery NRA Championships F-Open F-TR

The 2022 NRA F-Class National Championships have been underway at the Ben Avery Range in Arizona this past week. The Mid-Range F-Class Nationals ran October 16-19, and the Long Range (1000-yard) event started on October 20 and concludes on Sunday, October 23, 2022. Many of the nation’s leading F-TR and F-Open shooters are battling it out at Ben Avery right now. The week of competition will conclude on Sunday October 23, 2022 with the final 1000-yard relays followed by award ceremonies.

Saturday movies F-Class Bisley Ben Avery NRA Championships F-Open F-TR
Looking down-range with F-TR rifle at Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

F-Class Shooting at Bisley Range in the United Kingdom


F-Class Bisley England UK European Championships

F-Class competition is popular around the world, and the UK is a major center of F-Class shooting in Europe. The Bisley range is justly famous, with a long heritage of shooting competitions. This video features the European F-Class Championship held at Bisley in 2015.

Highlights from Day 1 of 2021 F-Class Nationals

In 2021 the NRA F-Class National Championships were held at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Here is interesting footage from Day 1 of the Long-Range 1000-yard match. The video is narrated by our friend Erik Cortina, a top F-class shooter and member of Team Lapua-Brux-Borden. Erik has a popular YouTube Channel featuring interviews with many top shooters as well as reloading and tech tips.

WICKED WINDS — At Ben Avery with 18-30 mph Winds

Long-range F-Class shooters will tell you that the winds can be the biggest challenge in a match. And things can get pretty wild at times as the Ben Avery range in Phoenix, site of the 2022 NRA F-Class National Championships. In this video, shooters fight through extremely strong 18-30 mph winds at 600 yards. In these kind of extreme conditions, a major unexpected gust can send your bullet off-target.

F-Class F-Open stock Ben Avery
F-0pen rifle at the Berger SW Nationals at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, AZ.

Front Rest Options for F-Open (and Benchrest) Competition

If you are shopping for a front rest, definitely watch this comprehensive 42-minute video from start to finish. This is probably the most informative video about premium shooting rests available on YouTube. Top F-Class shooter and video-maker F-Class John covers a wide selection of front rests, with some observations about coaxial bipods as well. John covers the impressive new SEB NEO-X, the easy-to-transport SEB Mini-X, the excellent Rodzilla Rest, the innovative 21st Century Hybrid Rest, the sleek Italian Lenzi Rest. And at the end of the video John reviews the very affordable Caldwell Fire Control Rest ($204.99 on Amazon), explaining how it can be a decent choice for shooters on a limited budget.

Newbie Perspective — First Time Shooting F-Class

Saturday movies F-Class Australia Bribane Tikka T3 F-Open F-TRJust getting started in F-Class? Then you would appreciate this video, which covers the experience of an F-Class novice from Australia. The host of the video shot his first F-Class match at 600 yards with the Brisbane Mariners Rifle Club (BMRC) in Brisbane, Australia. He was using a Tikka T3 factory rifle with a $40 bipod. He enjoyed the challenge and had a good experience. This video shows that club-level F-Class can be fun, even with a modestly-priced factory rig. NOTE: This video is filmed indoors after the match, NOT on the lovely BMRC range shown above.

Reloading for F-Class — Interview with Erik Cortina

In this Precision Rifle Network video, Erik Cortina of Team Lapua-Brux-Borden covers the reloading process for his F-Class rifle. All phases of reloading are noted — brass prep, annealing, primer seating, precision powder measuring (to the kernel), and bullet seating. Erik also talk about load testing and use of barrel tuners. Erik produces the EC Barrel Tuner which is used by many top competitors.

Building a Modern F-Open Stock for Competition

In this video, our friend F-Class John explains the process for building two custom laminated stocks for his F-Open rifles. John selected handsome, highly-figured African hardwoods, which were then laminated into layers with purple-tinted heart-wood and dark Wenge wood stringers in the middle. The stock-maker then sliced the wood into layers (1:02) and then glued the layers together (1:40). After final cutting, the stocks are shown at 2:00, and then the video shows how the stocks received their final finish. Both stocks are fitted with the R.A.D. recoil-reduction system. See the bedding at 19:00 and the fully finished rifles at 19:12 with barreled actions fitted.

Saturday movies F-Class Bisley Ben Avery NRA Championships F-Open F-TR
Here is another beautiful F-Open stock, on the firing line at Ben Avery with a SEB Mini front rest. Note the metal side-bars on the front of the forearm. These metal fittings extend the stock’s “wheelbase” while also lowering the rifle’s center of gravity.

BONUS Video

Crazy Small F-Class Group — Five Shots in 1.3″ at 1000 Yards

This video might just make you slap your forehead and say “that’s amazing!” During a practice session, Erik Cortina had a camera set up on the firing line along with a ShotMarker system on the target 1000 yards away. Erik recorded himself nailing a 1.3″ five-shot group, with four of the shots all touching in just 0.3″. The full group size, 1.3″, works out to 0.124 MOA — amazing accuracy for a big 7mm cartridge! And the four touching shots in 0.3″ represent an insane 0.029 MOA cluster! (1 MOA at 1000 yards is 10.47″.) As this was not shot in a competition, Erik’s 1.3″ group doesn’t count as a record, but it just shows how accurate a modern F-Open rifle can be when all the stars align for a talented trigger-puller.

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October 21st, 2022

21st Century Arbor Presses: Hydro, Standard, New Generation

21st Century Shooting Hydro Press Hydraulic Arbor Press bullet seating

Hydro Press and Arbor Press from 21st Century Shooting

Gear Review by F-Class John
Inline dies, used with arbor presses, continue to dominate the world of precision reloading. While arbor presses have remained mostly unchanged, 21st Century Shooting offers the Hydro Bullet Seating Press, a radical departure from your average arbor press. If you are looking for improved “feel” and feedback on bullet seating pressure, you should definitely check out the Hydro Press. This design has been around for a while now but has remained unchallenged since its inception. The 21st Century Hydro Press still remains a category leader (and the choice of many top competitors) for good reason. It is offered for $300.00 or, with a variety of gauge options, for $367.00. You can add an extended base with loading block another $85.00. CLICK HERE for ordering options.

Arbor presses have traditionally worked by using a gear-driven ram operated with a rotating handle. This allows for a compact design but often lacks the tactile feel and smooth operation that many reloaders want. The 21st Century Hydro Bullet Seater works by using simple mechanical leverage coupled with a hydraulic pressure gauge to seat bullets in a smooth motion all while helping you keep track of seating pressures.

21st Century Shooting Hydro Press Hydraulic Arbor Press bullet seating

Editor: Many top shooters believe they can seat bullets with greater precision using the 21st Century Hydro Press. I personally get more consistent seating, which seems to improve accuracy and even help a bit with lowering ES. The Hydro Press gives you excellent feedback when seating bullets. That has helped me detect a case with too much neck tension, or a case that may have doughnut issues. When the gauge does something odd or spikes, you are alerted to a possible issue.

In this video, John Perkins of 21st Century Shooting Shows how the Hydro Seater functions.

You might be asking why or how simple a simple mechanical lever gives you an advantage over gear driven systems and the answer is simple, leverage. The Hydro Seater is equipped with a long arm that comes straight up and out from the front and uses a set of hinges that connect to the ram. This elongated arm provides lots of leverage allowing easy force modulation. This smoothly applies pressure to the seating die in one fluid motion. This transfer of power helps seat bullets smoothly in even the tightest of necks without any jerky or stuttering movements.

Working at the same time is a hydraulic pressure gauge using internal oil. I found this gauge was incredibly sensitive, accurate, and repeatable compared to spring-driven gauges. The Hydro gauge read-out really gives the user the chance to sort ammo by seating pressure should they choose. In my particular case I only use it to cull out noticeably high or low ones as “blow off” rounds and am perfectly happy if the rest fall within a given pressure range. The nice thing is that the press allows you to be as picky as you want.

21st Century Shooting Hydro Press Hydraulic Arbor Press bullet seatingCompact 21st Century Standard Arbor Press
Not to be outdone by its big brother, 21st Century offers a Standard Arbor Press as well, in both right-hand and left-hand versions. Affordably priced at $128.00, this small arbor press in made to the same exacting standards as the Hydro Seater and has some nice features of its own compared to other small arbors.

The large, knurled adjustment knob is one of my favorite features. It tightens securely, yet it allows for easy raising or lowering of the head unit without the need for hex wrenches. 21st Century’s basic arbor press also has a slightly canted lever arm which allows the user to apply pressure more easily and consistently compared to some other arbor presses. While this press is small enough to fit many range bags, it can be disassembled quickly with a single Allen wrench.

While I own the 21st Century Hydro Press for use at home, the Standard Arbor Press goes with me to out-of-town events, so I can adjust bullet seating depth at the match. I love using it for this purpose since the little press is so easy to transport, and then set up and use on the road. The seating action is smooth, and there is plenty of leverage.

Seating my bullets long before I travel gives me the ability to set them to adjust for any throat erosion that may occur. This also ensures my bullets are seated correctly, by eliminating any potential bullet weld or problems from the bullets accidentally bouncing in your luggage. I like the confidence of knowing that my bullets are properly seated before a big match, especially when it has been days or weeks since I loaded them.

New Generation Arbor Press from 21st Century

UPDATE: In addition to the Standard Arbor Press, 21st Century now offers a New Generation Arbor Press for $185. This features direct leverage action plus a light-weight return spring that provides enhanced “resistive feedback” when seating bullets. This Editor has used this New Generation Arbor Press and it does have improved seating “feel”. An extended base with loading block is available at extra cost.

21st Century Shooting Hydro Press Hydraulic Arbor Press bullet seating

21st Century explains: “Our New Generation Arbor Press is the perfect upgrade for shooters looking to get the most out of their hand dies. With many truly unique features… this press features a butter-smooth direct leverage action. The tight tolerances of this design and exclusion of friction-inducing gears ensures that the press exerts consistent pressure through its full range of motion with minimal effort. Leverage is increased through the incorporation of an extra-long press handle, reducing hand and arm fatigue. The return springs are strong enough to reset the press but do not diminish the operator’s ability to feel the resistive feedback generated by neck tension. Press head clearance is adjustable up to 9 inches.”

SUMMARY — 21st Century Makes Great Bullet Seating Presses

Whether you need a premium bullet-seating Press such as the Hydro Bullet Seater or a basic, easy-to-transport Arbor Press, 21st Century Shooting has a excellent option for you. The Hydro Press offers outstanding bullet seating “feel” and consistency, with an ultra-smooth operation. The basic Arbor Press is well-made, compact, and also yields excellent results. Both these presses are built for a lifetime of use, using high-quality materials.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
September 22nd, 2022

Lyman Case Prep Xpress — Versatile Unit with Five Tool Heads

Lyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test video

Product Review by F-Class John
Case preparation is critical for precision reloading. One must trim cases, debur/chamfer case mouths, clean necks, spruce up primer pockets and do other important tasks. Complete case prep can involve many separate processes, each requiring its own tools. With each of those tools comes additional cost as well as the need for more storage and bench space. To make case prep easier, faster, and more convenient Lyman created the Case Prep Xpress. The Case Prep Xpress, introduced a few years back, combines up to five prep stages into one well-built, stable, versatile unit. Watch this video to see the machine in action:

The Case Prep Xpress features five (5) independently-turning spindles all with the common 8/32 thread. This allows you to attach multiple tools supplied with the unit PLUS many other screw-on prep tools. For our testing we started out using a variety of the 12 included tools and found they cover the majority of case prep tasks. Lyman supplies deburr and chamfer tools, pocket uniformers, reamers and cleaners, as well as an assortment of neck brushes.

Lyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test video

The deburr and chamfer tools worked really well, creating beautiful bevels all while leaving a nice flat edge across the top of the neck which is critical for accuracy and brass life. We found the primer pocket cleaning tool did a good job, but for truly clean pockets we recommend using the primer pocket uniforming tool, which very efficiently removes even hard residues.

Lyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test videoLyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test video

Lyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test video

The benefit of having interchangeable heads is that you can add your own accessories. We like to use a bore brush with bronze wool wrapped around it for use inside our necks. This worked perfectly once we screwed it in. In fact, we couldn’t think of any 8/32-threaded accessory that wouldn’t work well on this machine. Another great design feature is how all the accessories are oriented straight up. This allows for perfect visual alignment of your cases onto the tools which is critical — especially when performing cutting operations such as primer pocket uniforming.

Along with the five power stations there are six female-threaded storage spots on the sides where tools can be placed to ensure they don’t get lost. We like this feature since there will be more than five accessories you want to use and having them easily available is a great feature. You can keep 11 tools right on the machine (5 on top, 6 on the sides). That way you don’t have to dig through storage bins.

Lyman Case Prep Xpress express chamfer clean machine center review test video

The Case Prep Xpress has a removable front bin to hold brass shavings, and there are two circular trays on either side of the bin. In front is a long tray that holds the provided brush. This makes it relatively easy to clean off brass shavings and other debris from case prep processes.

SUMMARY — Versatile Case Prep Xpress Is A Good Value
For the money, Lyman’s Case Prep Xpress is tough to beat. It performs multiple tasks well while being stable and easy-to-use. Yes there are some multi-spindle prep centers that offer variable or fast/slow RPM spindles while the Lyman’s spindles are all fixed RPM. (See, e.g. the RCBS Brass Boss). However those other systems don’t include all the convenient on-board storage of the Case Prep Xpress, and are more expensive. The Lyman Case Prep Xpress sells for $150-$170 “street price”. It’s currently on sale for $146.99 on Amazon. This makes the Lyman Case Prep Xpress a fine value — it offers great versatility while saving space and saving money compared to buying five or more separate, powered tools.

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September 10th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: State-of-the-Art Front Shooting Rests

F-class john front rest review video showcase seb neo-x videos

To shoot tight groups and high scores from the bench, or in prone F-Open competition, a quality front rest is essential. And a good rest is also very valuable when zeroing rifles, testing loads, and shooting varmints from a portable bench. Today’s Saturday video showcase includes multiple video reviews of some of the best front rests on the market — great products from SEB, Rodzilla, 21st Century, Lenzi, and Sinclair Int’l. In addition, the lead-off video from F-Class John covers some of the less expensive rests as well as SEB Joy-Pod coaxial bipods.

Review of Many Popular Front Rests from $250 to $2200

If you are shopping for a front rest, definitely watch this comprehensive 42-minute video from start to finish. This is probably the most informative video about premium shooting rests available on YouTube. Top F-Class shooter and video-maker F-Class John covers a wide selection of front rests, with some observations about coaxial bipods as well. John covers the impressive new SEB NEO-X, the easy-to-transport SEB Mini-X, the excellent Rodzilla Rest, the innovative 21st Century Hybrid Rest, the sleek Italian Lenzi Rest. And at the end of the video John reviews the very affordable Caldwell Fire Control Rest ($249.99 on Amazon), explaining how it can be a decent choice for shooters on a limited budget.

NEW SEB NEO-X — Set-Up in the Field

Still in its final prototype stage, the innovative SEB NEO-X raises the bar for transportable coaxial front rests. An innovative design with hinged legs allows the 20-lb NEO-X to be transported in a small case. Once the legs are extended however, the NEO-X has proven to be very stable. And this new coaxial rest offers very precise, easy-to-use controls. A swivel head speeds up deployment, as the allows you to quickly align the rest top to the target. Users have confirmed the NEO-X works great and is very stable. In the video above ace F-Class shooter Erik Cortina (below) shows how to quickly deploy the NEO-X in the field.

F-class john front rest review video showcase seb neo-x videos

Rodzilla T-Rex — High Quality, Big Footprint, Advanced Features


Rodzilla t-rex trex front rest

The impressive Rodzilla T-Rex front rest offers outstanding stability with smooth, precise performance. Designer/builder Rod Brakhage (the Rod in Rodzilla) started from the ground up to create a user-friendly, match-ready, modular front rest on the market. The T-Rex weighs just over 21 pounds, and the T-Rex has a large footprint, rivaling the largest rests on the market. That provides exceptional stability, even with heavy-recoiling rifles.

The T-Rex boasts an adjustable joystick that extends from 15.5″ to 21″ in length. With this adjustability, no matter what your stock length or design, you can find a comfortable position without having to stretch uncomfortably. Rodzilla delivers the T-Rex in a custom-designed hard carry case that fits it perfectly and still has room for additional feet and accessories. The T-Rex can be ordered with excellent Sand Feet.

21st Century Hybrid-X Front Rest


Hybrid-X rest

Lateral Control Arm, Vertical Elevation Knob
The innovative 21st Century Hybrid-X front rest offers the “best of both worlds”. It allows precise lateral movement (for wind holds) with no elevation change. The entire center section of the rest rotates as one unit for fast, perfect horizontal alignment to target. Then adjust vertical precisely with the rotary knob on the outboard end of the control rod. Our Daily Bulletin Hybrid-X article has a full description with multiple photos of this unique rest. See additional Hybrid-X Video.

Sinclair Int’l Competition Front Rest — Sturdy and Stable Design

F-class john front rest review video showcase seb neo-x videosThe Sinclair Int’l Competition Rest is a classic heavy and very stable rest that works great on the bench. Weighing 30+ pounds, with a 1″-thick steel base, this rest has a very low center of gravity and is ultra-stable. Currently priced at $699.99, the Sinclair Competition Rest is less than half the cost of the more exotic front rests.

Horizontal (windage) movement is controlled with a large rear knob which uses dual sets of twin tapered roller bearings for a non-binding windage operation. Nearly four feet of windage adjustment is offered at 100 yards. Elevation changes are made with the large wheel. With its mass and low COG, this Sinclair Rest is very stable. And because of its ability to hold elevation shot to shot, this rest has been popular with long-range benchrest competitors who often shoot quick strings of 5 or 10 shots.

SEB Mini-X and SEB Mini — Transportable Joystick Tripod Rests

Seb mini-x mini front tripod rest

The original SEB Mini was an innovative collapsible tripod rest with a coaxial top. On its introduction the SEB Mini became immediately popular with varminters, F-TR shooters, and anyone who wanted an affordable, easy-to-transport front rest that offered easy, precise and rapid adjustment of windage and elevation with the Joystick. Building on the success of the original SEB Mini, the new SEB Mini-X offers an improved head design, and new adjustable “ankle” units on all three legs. This makes it easier to level the Mini-X on uneven ground. The Mini-X has proven very successful in competition, winning major F-Open matches. Folding into a very compact package, it is easy to transport in airline luggage. Yet it offers a very stable shooting platform with precise, effortless joystick control of elevation and windage.

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August 28th, 2022

Sunday Gunday: SEB Wins in Australia with New NEO-X Rest

F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang, the brilliant designer/builder of SEB Shooting Rests, is also one darn good shooter, as demonstrated at a recent major rifle competition in Australia. Shooting at multiple yardages from 300 to 1000 yards, Seb won the Queens Series F-Open title, and finished third overall in the Duncan & Queens Series Grand Agg. That’s mighty good marksmanship considering it was done with an F-Open rifle Seb had just acquired and never shot before! Congrats to Seb for his outstanding performance!

One of the factors in Seb’s success was an all-new front rest that Seb designed and crafted himself. This new SEB NEO-X rest has many advanced features including a swivel-adjusting head, a wide footprint, and the ability to fold-up for easier transport. We have a full report on the impressive NEO-X rest in this story, with bench testing videos by F-Class John.

F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

The 2022 QRA Duncan & Queens Series in Australia

Report by Sebastian Lambang
This was my first overseas travel since the Berger Southwest Nationals in early 2020 [right before the COVID-19 shutdowns]. Three years ago I participated in the WARA Queens 2019 in Perth shooting the F-TR, and this was my second F-Open match in Australia. Usually I shoot the F-TR division. However this year I was invited to shoot the F-Open in the QRA Queens 2022 by Jason Mayers, my Australian dealer. Jason has been my “Little Big Brother” and my best friend in Australia. So why not? Let’s just do it!

Jason has two, twin F-Open guns. I bought one and used it during this match. Chambered for 7mm RSAUM, this F-Open rifle features a Barnard action, Marty Lobert trigger, Bartlein barrel with a large tuner in the front, McMillan Kestros ZR stock, and a Nightforce scope. I was shooting 7mm 180gr Berger bullets.

Jason did all of the load development, provided the ammunition and all equipment needed to shoot. The rifle shot and tracked very well — I loved it! Yes, I used a NEO-X prototype unit during the Queens match, i.e. the one that Jason used during the Duncan matches. The second unit just came in the day before the Queens started, it is set for left-handed shooter like him. I used his NEO rest during the Duncan Series.

We had various conditions during the match, from sunny, misty and rainy, to dead calm conditions and switchy wind. I was very fortunate to be able to pick the right time and shot well in the final 900 and 1000-yard stages, winning both yardages! With those results at 900/1000 I finished first in the Queens Match in F-Open. I then finished third overall in the Duncan & Queens Series F-Open Grand Aggregate.

F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test
Jason Mayers (L) and Seb Lambang (R). Seb had never shot this F-Open rifle before he piloted it to victory in the 2022 QRA Queens match.

Overcoming Challenges — Rifle Suffers Trigger Failure
I had a trigger failure which caused my score to drop by at least 2 points in the 1000-yard session just before the final day. I dropped 4 points in a good condition and it made me really upset! But huge thanks must go to Mark Fairbairn. Mark helped me to fix the rifle and loaned me a trigger so I still had a few minutes to finish the string!

After that trigger problem I chose to not give up! I hoped for a miracle, to be able to choose the right time to start to shoot (wind wise), to be good enough in reading the current conditions and to get the best possible scores! Jason’s encouragement in the morning that I could still win the match really helped boost my motivation! I do not know why or how but I retained confidence to shoot well and to win the match.

Thanks to Family, Friends, and Fellow Competitors
My sincere thanks to my lovely wife Lily who always supports and loves me as what I am all the time! Thanks again to my Little Big Brother Jason Mayers who has always helped and supported me genuinely! Without his help and support I wouldn’t have been able to win the match so it’s a more about him than me. My Thanks to QRA and all of the Match Organizers, Range Officers, Staffers, and Volunteers during the championship. My thanks also to all competitors and for the warmth and generous welcome!

Thoughts about the New NE0-X from its Inventor

I am really happy that the NEO-X works as expected, too. I think my effort to make even a better rest has been paid off. The New NEO-X combines the best features from the NEO rest and Mini rest in one package with a few extra features. The new NEO-X is designed for those who seek a light-compact rest and want the best one!

F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

Great Scores Shot by Seb Lambang with new NEO-X Front Rest

Seb shot superbly to win the Queens Series in F-Open Division and take third overall in the combined Duncan and Queens Series Grand Aggregate. Here are two of Seb’s targets, as electronically logged — 1000 yards on the left, 600 yards on the right. NOTE: In Australia, the maximum numerical ring points value is 6, not 10 as in North America. But the center-most ring does register “X” as here. The match included targets shot at 300, 500, 600, 900, and 1000 yards.

Click Photo for Seb Lambang Results Page, then click “eye” icons on right to see more targets
F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

QRA Queens Series 2022 Results LINK
QRA Duncan Series 2022 Results LINK

Duncan & Queens Series Grand Aggregate Results LINK
Sebastian Lambang Individual Scores (All Yardages)

Bench Testing with SEB NEO-X Prototype — VERY Impressive

F-Class john Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

Our friend F-Class John recently received one of the very first NEO-X prototypes sent to North America. John assembled the impressive new rest and took it to the range for testing. John was very impressed with the new rest to say the least. He told us: “This really is state-of-the art. I’m very impressed with how it folds compactly for transport, yet is extremely stable, with a nice open platform in the rear.” John noted that the swivel top allows precise alignment with your targets, even if the rest is not positioned perfectly on the ground. That helps when a shooter needs to set up quickly at a new yardage during a match.

When testing with his 7mm F-Open rifle, John noted that the rest is very solid on the bench and does not bump or wobble. See his observations in this exclusive test video:

Commentary by F-Class John
Here’s my quick review after shooting off the NEO-X prototype a couple times. It’s AMAZINGLY STABLE. The way it unfolds not only makes for a wide and stable footprint, but it also leaves lots of room for the shooter to work with, while controlling the joystick.

Another cool thing is that you don’t, technically, even have to lock the bridge down. The bridge is 100% stable after moving it up or down and the lock is more academic than anything.

The swivel head is a feature people will have seen on other rests but the way you can shoose to leave it swiveled or locked down is great. This new NEO-X is going to change things, I have no doubt.

F-Class john Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

Unboxing SEB NE0-X Prototype

F-Class john Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

John noted: “The way the NEO-X folds up is amazing, perfect for transporting. It weighs under 20 pounds fully loaded with all parts, joystick, and control arm.”

F-Class john Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

F-Class QRA Queens Series Australia Seb sebastian Lambang front rest coaxial NEO-X prototype F-Class test

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, New Product, News 3 Comments »
July 9th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies — Product Review Videos by F-Class John

 F-Class john tool youtube video reviews lyman primer hydro press

Forum member F-Class John is an avid F-Class competitor and expert handloader. John reviews reloading hardware and shooting-related products for his popular F-Class John YouTube Channel, which now boasts 300+ videos. John also does important product testing for AccurateShooter.com. Through his YouTube channel, John has reviewed many of the latest and greatest reloading tools and accessories. For today’s Video Showcase, we selected eight F-Class John tool and reloading product reviews.

If you like these informative videos, consider joining F-Class John’s Patreon Channel for live video meetings, more in-depth videos, and detailed explanations.

AndiScan Micro A2 Doppler Radar Chronograph


F-Class john tool youtube video reviews andiscan A2 micro doppler radar chronograph

This is break-through technology folks. Imagine a device that replaces a big, bulky chronograph and is a small fraction of the size and weight. The revolutionary AndiScan Micro A2 chronograph records bullet velocity with great precision. Yet it can fit in your pocket, and be easily mounted on your rifle or front rest. This recent video follows up on F-Class John’s initial AndiScan Test Video. And yes folks, this product is now, finally, in production according to the maker: “(6/July/2022) Model A2 will be available on e-shop in several supply batches. Batches of first small production series will be available during July and August.”

The AndiScan Micro A2 is an advanced 24 GHz Doppler radar for measuring velocity of projectiles. This extremely small form-factor device can be directly mounted on your rifle. This makes set-up fast and easy. Plus the AndiScan Micro A2 can be used in dynamic situations, such as multiple distance matches, multi-position stages, or PRS/NRL courses. SEE: AndiScan Micro A2 Product Information.

21st Century Hydro Press and Standard Arbor Press

John notes: “You can’t really talk about precision reloading without taking about inline dies and arbor presses. For my money there’s nothing better than the lineup from 21st Century Shooting. They offer the Hydro Seater which is hands-down the best manual seater out there as well as their standard arbor press which is great for taking on the road to push back bullets as needed.”

Zero Turret Press with Whidden Sizing Die

The new Zero Press from Area 419 is arguably the best turret press ever crafted. It offers unrivaled precision, along with the highest-capacity turret head with NINE die/tool stations. Milled from billet aluminum and stainless steel, this press moves with the help of 14 bearings. In this video, F-Class John shows how to use a Whidden Gunworks full-length sizing die on the Zero Press. And John has two other video reviews of the $1200 Zero Press: 1. Zero Press First Thoughts Video; 2. Loading on a Zero Press.

Dillon 750 Tips and Tricks

The Dillon XL 750 is a favorite of high-volume reloaders. With the optional case feeder, the XL 750 offers high output with great reliability. And Dillon offers one of the best warranties in the business. In this video, F-Class John features upgrades including the Armanov tool-head holders from Europe. These are drilled and tapped for all FIVE stations allowing the user to put threaded dies in any station.

Concentricity Checking with Accuracy One Gauge

Every serious hand-loader needs a quality concentricity gauge. The Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge boasts a smart design that delivers precise, repeatable results. We like the unit’s easy adjustability and its ability to work in a variety of configurations. The Accuracy One Gauge measures internal and external neck runout of cartridge cases as well as seated bullet runout. It can also measure the runout of the ogive, bearing surface, and boat-tail of individual bullets. And it can even measure your primer pocket runout.

Teslong Rigid (Shaft) Borescope with Monitor

Seeing inside your barrel can provide clues to how well you’re cleaning and the bore’s overall health. One of the best tools on the market is the Teslong Rigid Borescope. This features a solid rod for easy use in barrels. Plus it comes with a self-contained high-definition viewing monitor so no smartphones or WiFi tablets are needed. If you’re looking for something more portable and a bit more versatile, try the Teslong Flexible Borescope, $99.99 including monitor. John was impressed with the new rigid Teslong he tested, and he likes having a dedicated monitor (no WiFi required).

Lyman Powered Case Trimmer Review

The Lyman Case Trim Xpress is an efficient, precise unit that allows easy adjustment of trim length with a click-adjustable collar. The trimmer comes with a set of cartridge-specific bushings that index off the case shoulder. One nice feature is a variable speed control. For the price, $154.99 on Amazon, this trimmer delivers excellent performance. F-Class John has another video review of the Lyman Case Trim Xpress which shows set-up and operation.

Primal Rights Competition Priming Seater (CPS) Review

If there is a Ferrari of priming tools, it has to be the Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater (CPS). This impressive bench-mounted tool allows very precise control over primer seating depth. A vertical tube holds primers ready for insertion. The action is smooth and precise. John believes that this is definitely the best priming tool on the market, though it may not be for everyone given its premium $600.00 price.

Gunsmithing Torque Wrench Comparisons

When you are working on custom rifles that might cost $5000+, and mounting scopes that can run $3000 (or more), you need to use very high-quality tools. Precise torque settings are essential, both to avoid damage to valuable parts, and to have the rifle and optic perform optimally. In this video, F-Class John looks at a variety of torque wrenches suitable for gunsmithing duties.

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February 26th, 2022

Saturday at the Movies — Videos of Cool Products for Handloaders

Daily Bulletin Saturday Movies Tool time reloading product video review

For this Saturday-at-the-Movies session we offer a selection of videos featuring interesting tools and products for handloaders. If you spend much time in your reloading room, these tools can save you time and help you load better ammo in less time. Today’s feature products range from sophisticated, premium tools such as 21st Century powered neck-turning lathe, to basic add-ons such as Lee Breech Lock Bushings, which are very handy if you load a variety of cartridge types.

21st Century Powered Neck-Turning Lathe



Power is activated by the red button on the end of the blue, horizontal feed handle:

Do you neck-turn hundreds of cases annually? Then you deserve this outstanding tool. The 21st Century Innovation Powered Neck-Turning Lathe may well be quite simply the best system ever created for quickly and precisely uniforming (and reducing) the neckwall thickness of cartridge brass. We have the original manual 21st Century neck-turning lathe, and can attest that it works great. With this powered system you can turn necks faster and more efficiently, with less effort. This is like going from a stick shift to an automatic transmission. The cases feed very smoothly and the results are beautiful. Note: The videos show the version as first marketed by 21st Century Shooting, which now operates as 21st Century Innovation.

The Powered Neck-Turning lathe is a modular system. Swing the bar from right to left to feed the case. The power head (with case holder) glides on stainless steel rails for smooth movement. This allows very precise feed rate. Power is supplied via a button that is built into the end of the feed handle. Push the red button to make the case spin. It’s as simple as that.

Hornady OAL Tool and Hornady Bullet Comparator

Gun Tech Steve Ostrem explains how to properly use Hornady’s Overall Length Gauge to determine length-to-land precisely. The OAL Gauge uses a “Modified Case” that threads onto the tool and holds a bullet. Push on the back of the gauge until you feel the bullet just touch the rifling. (We do this gently at first, tapping the rod a couple time to ensure the bullet is aligned correctly). Once you’ve got the length, then use the tool with a comparator on your calipers to get the length-to-lands. NOTE: We recommend taking the measurement 3-4 times in a row to get a reliable number. With a little practice your should be able to get repeatable measurements within .0015″.

Henderson Power Case Trimming/Chamfering Machine Test

F-Class John tests some of the finest reloading and shooting equipment you can buy. Recently he added the impressive Henderson Gen 3 Powered Trimmer to his inventory of tools. John is now a Henderson fan. He likes the speed, precision, and repeatability of the $779.00 Henderson machine, which trims-to-length and chamfers the case mouth all in one pass. Unlike some other trimming tools, the Henderson indexes off the overall case length NOT the shoulder. John found this worked just fine for his .284 Winchester brass, which has all been full-length sized prior to trimming.

Watch the video to see the Henderson trimmer in action. The dual, parallel horizontal support shafts provide precise alignment of the case as it moves inward toward the cutter blade. The Taper-Lock cutter provides a 14-degree inside chamfer and 30-degree outside chamfer. The trimming process is very consistent case after case, and the Henderson’s design captures brass shavings effectively.

This related video shows a comparison with the popular Giraud Powder Trimer

As noted in this comparison, John liked the precision of the Henderson trimmer and the overall design of the machine, which offers good ergonomics and very precise alignment of the cases. Cycling is smooth and positive, as you can see from the videos. The Giraud is also an excellent machine for bulk trimming/chamfering but the Henderson has some advantages.

Concentricity Checking with Accuracy One Gauge

Every serious hand-loader needs a quality concentricity gauge. The Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge boasts a smart design that delivers precise, repeatable results. We like the unit’s easy adjustability and its ability to work in a variety of configurations. The Accuracy One Gauge measures internal and external neck runout of cartridge cases as well as seated bullet runout. It can also measure the runout of the ogive, bearing surface, and boat-tail of individual bullets. And it can even measure your primer pocket runout.

Lee Die Lock Rings and Spline Drive Breech Lock Bushings


Lee precison die lock ring spline clamp O-ring

Lee precison die lock ring spline clamp O-ringIn this recent video Gavin Gear reviews three types of die accessories from LEE. These work for virtually all standard dies, not just LEE-brand reloading dies. The new LEE basic silver-finish die lock rings now feature splines for enhanced grip and compatibility with LEE’s new die lock ring wrench (photo right). They still boast a rubber 0-Ring that helps “float” the die for improved concentricity. Gavin also reviews Lee’s Spline Drive Breech Lock Bushings for use with presses fitted with LEE’s Breech Lock system. These Breech Lock bushings allow rapid change-out of dies without modifying the setting. The colorful new bushings feature splines on top that work with the new Lee Lock ring wrench shown above. In addition, the Breech Lock Bushings have a clamp to preserve die depth setting.

Tools Galore — Affordable Tools and Accessories for Reloaders

This detailed 15-minute video from the Bolt Action Reloading YouTube Channels, features a variety of lower-cost products/tool that help with key reloading tasks. The video looks at hand priming tools, case prep tools, Lyman stepped loading blocks, powder tricklers, expander mandrels, powder trickler, long-tube funnels and more! If you are getting started in hand-loading, this is a very helpful video to watch. It covers a lot of ground, illustrating options for tool types.

reloading tools videos
This Lyman case prep tool is one of many products reviewed in this 15-minute video.

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January 14th, 2022

High Power Wind Lab — New Wind App for Shooters

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android
This new mobile App helps shooters make the right wind hold and/or dial the correct amount of windage.

High Power Wind Lab Mobile App
Product Review by F-Class John
When it comes to long range shooting, there are few things that make a bigger difference in hitting your target than being able to accurately adjust for wind angle/velocity changes. While it’s one thing to learn how to read the speed and direction of wind by looking at flags, mirage, or surface conditions, it’s another to know what to do with that information (how much to hold off/correct). Knowing how to process changing wind cycles and determine the right hold-off/correction often takes years or decades of practice to master.

Enter the High Power Wind Lab App which stands out as the only dedicated WSYWIG hold-off calculator on the market. Enter a few simple numbers from your favorite ballistic calculator and you’re ready to make adjustments to the wind direction and power dials, leaving the App to do the rest by telling you what your hold should be and if any additional windage should be added to your scope or sights. So after you input the data, then the App suggests the proper correction(s). Download the Wind Lab App for iPhones/iPads via the Apple App Store. NOTE: Android availability via Google Play is pending.

F-Class John Review of High Power Wind Lab App:

Starting up the App you’ll see a simple menu to start a session. The first field is for naming the session. This is helpful for those who save their strings and want to refer to them later but it’s not a required field. The next field is for choosing your target. The App offers the choice of High Power or F-Class targets at mid-range (600 yards) or long range (800-1000 yards). After picking the appropriate target, input the actual distance at which you’ll be shooting. After that, you’ll have to enter your load data. The next two fields will auto-populate for the date and then the shot list once you are done saving shots. The lower section allows you to change what’s visible on the screen (selecting the features you want to view). You can also choose MOA or MILS (milliradians) click values. For wind velocity values, you can select MPH, kilometers per hour, or meters per second.

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android
High Power Wind Lab iPhone App in horizontal mode.

Once you’re done with the setting page, simply tap “start” to bring up the target display. The App can be used in portrait or landscape mode but for the best user experience I’d recommend using it in landscape. On the target page you’ll see four distinct sections. Along the bottom you’ll see the windage dial where you can add or subtract windage simply by moving it left or right. Above the windage dial, you’ll see wind flags that represent the power and above that the direction dial. On the right is the actual target where you see the bracket of where you should hold for the shot based on the information you put in along with color coded brackets to show you the margin of error. The target section also features a great shot calling feature that allows you to tap where you held, then tap where your actual impact was. These shots can be saved for future reference and the ability to do this really helps while you’re training.

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android

Once you get used to how the wind direction and power inputs work the real power of this App comes to life as you can sit and practice what your calls should be from the comfort of your home. There are countless nights where I’ll sit in bed and spend ten minutes moving the power or direction through strange changes just so I can guess or track what happens and the more you practice with it, the more you’ll feel confident when you see those conditions occur at the range.

App Available Now for Apple and Android Mobile Devices
The High Power Wind Labs App is available now for iOS (Apple) mobile devices and Android devices. At $12.99 this App costs less than twenty 7mm match bullets. You could easily save that much in sighters in a couple range sessions. With its ability to calculate nearly every condition you’d encounter at a match you owe it to yourself to download it and start practicing. This interactive application is an invaluable tool for shooters that want to better understand the affects of wind on bullets over long distances.

High Power Wind Lab Description by Accuracy Software Ltd.

High Power Wind Lab is a visualization tool that helps shooters determine wind value based on observed conditions. The App efficiently calculates the sight correction necessary to hit the center of a target. Use High Power Wind Lab on and off the range to explore scenarios and better understand how wind affects the trajectory of a bullet. By interactively changing the wind velocity and wind angle, the display dynamically updates to show the calculated correction and a visualizes a range of possible outcomes if the shooter misreads the wind conditions. By changing the wind velocity and wind angle, the High Power Wind Lab shows the calculated correction as well as possible outcomes if the wind angle and velocity are misread. This interactive tool is invaluable for exploring the interplay of wind direction and velocity and the tradeoffs you need to make when deciding when to shoot and what correction to put on your gun.

The High Power Wind Lab is also a shot plotting and wind plotting tool that shows how wind conditions have developed over time and what the predominant conditions have been throughout a string of fire. That can be a very powerful “hindsight” tool when analyzing your results in a shooting session.

High Power Wind Lab Key Features Include:

Shot Plotting
Score Calculation
Record Keeping
Tablet Support
True MOA Corrections
Support for Custom Ammunition
Library of commonly-used Midrange and Long Range F-Class and High Power Rifle Targets

high power wind lab mobile app iOS iphone ipad windows android

Hold-Over Function in High Power Wind Lab

This video, from the creator of the High Power Wind Lab, explains how the Hold-Over feature works. Holding over is commonplace in long range target shooting among those who use scoped rifles. This video demonstrates how to use High Power Wind Lab’s hold-over feature to accurately calculate the needed hold-over when engaging long range targets.

NOTE: If this Hold-Over video is not displaying on your browser, try another browser and/or use this YouTube link: https://youtu.be/WhpyymG15HE

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December 25th, 2021

Happy Holidays to Our Readers — Thanks for Your Support

Christmas AccurateShooter.com tree snow

Christmas AccurateShooter.com Elk CanadaHoliday Greetings to Our Readers
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers and especially our 60,000+ Forum Members. This marks our 17th Christmas “in business”, and the site is stronger than ever thanks to our Gold and Silver Forum members and industry sponsors. AccurateShooter.com is now accessed by over 500,000 visitors every month, who enjoy our Feature Articles, Daily Bulletin, Shooters’ Forum, and our Facebook Page. Part of the reason for that success is the hard work of our dedicated staff and volunteer helpers.

Unsung Heroes Deserve Recognition
I want to acknowledge those guys who have really helped out the site. Number one is skilled F-Class shooter Praveen K. who serves as our System Admin. Along with being a talented trigger-puller, Praveen is a super-smart computer wizard who has kept our servers running smoothly and helped with vital software upgrades. Praveen has also done some key product tests for the site. We also thank Andy B., our Xenforo ace who has contributed vital Forum software solutions.

A huge “thank-you” goes to F-Class John who finds weekly bargains for the Bulletin and tests new products. John produces gear/hardware reviews for the Daily Bulletin with informative videos showcased on his YouTube Channel. John’s work has become a highlight of our Bulletin content. We also regularly feature videos from wind wizard Keith Glasscock, and product tests from Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com. We thank Boyd Allen and EdLongRange who supply story leads for the Daily Bulletin. And we wouldn’t be here without Jeff Williams, who handles site donations by mail. We have a great place to test rifles thanks to our valued friend Joe Friedrich. Other important contributors include: Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics, Bill Marr of Rifleshooter.com, Jason Baney of EuroOptic.com, and Dennis Santiago. These folks have contributed stories, reviews, and and videos. I also want to recognize Hunting Editor Colton Reid and Norway’s Thomas Haugland. All these men (and many others) have aided the site.

Christmas AccurateShooter.com tree snow

Praise for our Site Sponsors and Advertisers
We also want to thank our major sponsors, without whose support the site could not provide the full AccurateShooter.com experience, with an active Forum, an archive of in-depth articles, and fresh content 365 days a year in our Daily Bulletin. We’re grateful to ALL our sponsors and advertisers. In particular, we want to acknowledge the major companies which have been strong supporters of this site for many years: Capstone Precision Group (Berger, Lapua, SK, Vihtavuori), Bruno Shooters Supply, Bullet Central, EuroOptic, Graf & Sons, Krieger Barrels, Midsouth Shooters Supply, Powder Valley Inc., Precision Reloading, Whidden Gunworks, and Zeiss Sports Optics. Their continuing support helps us keep up the flow of information and serve our readers and Forum members.

Christmas accurateshooter.com tree holiday greetings

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November 19th, 2021

Henderson Case Trimmer Reviewed — Fast and VERY Repeatable

Henderson case timer powered Gen 3 brass trimming machine

Our friend and colleague F-Class John tests some of the finest reloading and shooting equipment you can buy. Recently he added the impressive Henderson Gen 3 Powered Trimmer to his inventory of tools. John is now a Henderson fan. He likes the speed, precision, and repeatability of the $779.00 Henderson machine, which trims-to-length and chamfers the case mouth all in one pass. Unlike some other trimming tools, the Henderson indexes off the overall case length NOT the shoulder. John found this worked just fine for his .284 Winchester brass, which has all been full-length sized prior to trimming.

John liked the precision of the Henderson trimmer and the overall design of the machine, which offers good ergonomics and very precise alignment of the cases. Cycling is smooth and positive, as you can see from the videos. Fit over the pilot was fine for John’s .284 Win brass, but he notes that other users may need to expand their case necks appropriately to fit their pilot.

Watch the video to see the Henderson trimmer in action. The dual, parallel horizontal support shafts provide precise alignment of the case as it moves inward toward the cutter blade. The Taper-Lock cutter provides a 14-degree inside chamfer and 30-degree outside chamfer. The trimming process is very consistent case after case, and the Henderson’s design captures brass shavings effectively.

Henderson case timer powered Gen 3 brass trimming machine

Testing Trim Length Consistency — Henderson Shows Superb Repeatability
John did a separate quick test to demonstrate the trim length consistency of the Henderson unit. Measuring with digital calipers, John found that he could easily hold case overall trim lengths within .001″ (one-thousandth). The consistency was excellent even when trimming cases very quickly. When trimming .003″ off his cases, John said the Henderson showed superb repeatability. Henderson promises the trimmer “will repeat to within 0.002″ with same brand brass”, and John was able to hold 0.001″ length consistency.

Another Henderson owner posted: “I love mine. I like [the] consistent trim length with the positive stop. [Doing] the trim, chamfer, and debur all in one step sure makes the process nice and easy! I also immediately noticed the problem with the pilot on the cutting head with my sized cases. I just polished the pilots on my cutting heads with some fine grit sand paper a little at a time till I got it perfect for my preferred neck tension setting! I’m very pleased with my purchase of the Henderson precision trimmer.”

Henderson Power Trimmer vs. Giraud Power Trimmer

Henderson case timer powered Gen 3 brass trimming machineAfter he tested his new Henderson trimmer, F-Class John compared the pros and cons of the Henderson vs. his other high-volume power trimmer, a Giraud. He likes both machines, but now favors the Henderson for trimming his .284 Winchester match brass. He found that his ES/SD dropped a bit for brass trimmed with the Henderson vs. brass trimmed with the Giraud. With the Henderson-trimmed brass, John achieved an ES of 15 fps for 49 shots. That’s mighty impressive (see photo at right).

But the Giraud does have it’s advantages. It can work with calibers above .338, and it is very fast. One viewer of this video commented: “The Giraud is insanely fast if you aren’t only loading insane precision ammo. I borrowed one when I first started reloading and immediately ordered one. I’ve trimmed somewhere between 40-50k .223 cases. You can just rip through them while watching TV or listening to a podcast. It trims to length consistently less than +/-.001 all day.” The Giraud also indexes off the shoulder while the Henderson trims based on Cartridge Overall Length (OAL).

Henderson Gen 3 Trimmer Details

The Henderson Trimmer is available from HendersonPrecision.com for $779.00. When ordering, you must select a caliber and a collet size. Expect to wait a bit for delivery, depending on the cartridge type(s) you load. Available calibers are: .223, .243 (6mm), .25, .264 (6.5mm), .277, .284 (7mm), .308, and .338.

Henderson case timer powered Gen 3 brass trimming machine

Product Description: The Gen 3 powered case trimmer uses a powerful, single-speed DC motor. The DC motor is extremely smooth and quiet and powers the spindle at around 1700 rpm. The enclosed aluminum motor mount shroud bolts directly to the bearing housing. The 90-volt DC motor offers maximum torque at 1700 rpm where you need it most. The motor has an in-line on/off switch for easy control. The Tri-Trim case trimmer includes one Henderson Precision Taper-Lock cutting head with Forster pilots as well as one Forster collet. The Taper-Lock cutter provides a 14 degree inside chamfer and 30 degree outside chamfer. The following cutter heads are available: 224, 243, 25, 264, 277, 284, 308, 338.

Henderson case timer powered Gen 3 brass trimming machine

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September 22nd, 2021

Build a Better Barrel Cooler for under $15 — DIY Project

F-Class John Yivar barrel cooler cooling fan Yivar hose empty chamber indicator ECI

In this article we cover a better barrel cooler you can build yourself for under $15. This uses a high-speed inflator fan sold on Amazon, along with a piece of temp-stable tubing. Forum member (and popular YouTube host) F-Class John devised this system. He found it cools his barrels in less than half the time of some other products. And the system can also serve as an Empty Chamber Indicator (ECI).

Barrel coolers perform an important function — reducing barrel operating temperatures. This can definitely help preserve barrel life and help maintain good accuracy in competition. In addition, keeping barrels cool can reduce the chances of excess chamber pressure, an important safety concern.

F-Class John Yivar barrel cooler cooling fan Yivar hose empty chamber indicator ECI

There are a variety of commercially-available barrel cooling systems. There are external fans, as well as internal, slip-in systems than can do double duty as an Empty Chamber Indicator (ECI). You can get the original yellow $39.99 BarrelCool or the red $59.99 RifleKuhl from Magnetospeeed. Both are good products. But F-Class John came up with a system that works even better — one you can build for a fraction of the cost of those yellow or red fans.

F-Class John Yivar barrel cooler cooling fan Yivar hose empty chamber indicator ECI

Build Your Own Barrel Cooler for Under $15
This system is easy to put together. Order a $11.99 YIVAR pump from Amazon. This is a small, high-output pump designed to inflate air mattresses. Then get some high-temp-rated tubing from a local supply shop. Then trim the case-head off an old piece of brass. Taper the end of the tube a bit and fit it in the case. NOTE: Use of the fitted case is optional. Having the case provides a nice fit in your chamber. But the system works pretty well just with the tubing and Yivar air pump.

In his .284 Win barrel, the Yivar pump system blows air at 10+ mph out the muzzle. F-Class John says that is “about three times the velocity of other systems”. The Yivar pump “holds about 45 minutes of charge” so he can use it for 15 minutes after each of three strings in a match. And then it can be recharged from a USB-compatible battery pack at the range. John notes the fan continues to blow about the same speed for the full 45-minute charge duration.

F-Class John Yivar barrel cooler cooling fan Yivar hose empty chamber indicator ECIKey Benefits of this system

1. Faster Cooling
2. Low Cost (under $15)
3. Longer run time on battery
4. Fan battery is USB rechargeable
5. Finally a use for that worn-out brass

John confirmed the effectiveness of his barrel cooler using a stick-on temperature tape placed on the barrel. This showed that his fan system cooled the barreled in less than HALF the time as the plastic commercial fan systems. In addition, his run time was excellent, and the Yivar’s built-in Lithium-Ion battery is fully rechargeable so he never has to buy expensive batteries.

What are the downsides? Not many. The fan IS somewhat noisy — watch video at 4:04-4:28 time mark to hear the fan. F-Class John notes, however, that the Yivar fan is about 4 decibels (dB) quieter than a Magnetospeed RifleKuhl, so the Yivar’s noise is not that bad.

Here are comments from YouTube viewers who like F-Class John’s invention:

Finally something affordable! It’s compact and can be recharged at the range. I have room for this but not all the other gadgets you show. And a poor pensioner like my self can afford it! Thanks for the tip.

Ingenious and awesome idea! I bought one as soon as I saw this. I’ve been thinking about getting a cooler when I’m testing my loads. Thanks!

Brilliant… Brilliant… Brilliant! I have been deferring buying a barrel cooler for years now on account of wanting to spend my toy fund budget on other things. Considering how cheap it is to build, there is no excuse to not make one now.

Fan with Plain Hose Also Works Well (No Brass Case Cutting/Fitting Required)
F-Class John likes the custom fit he achieves with the hose inserted into a piece of modified brass. However he notes that the system also works well with no brass at all — i.e. just hose and fan. If you have a small diameter chamber, this may actually work better. Simply put the hose on the fan, trim/taper the forward hose end to fit and you are good to go.

F-Class John explains: “The heavy duty tubing and the motor works just fine without a brass case. The hose can sit in the chamber by itself. Obviously not every brass case will easily allow for you to put it on the end of the tube. For many people simply using the tube (without brass) may be the simpler option.”

F-Class John Yivar barrel cooler cooling fan Yivar hose empty chamber indicator ECI

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July 16th, 2021

Tool Time with F-Class John — Eight Great Video Reviews

 F-Class john tool youtube video reviews lyman primer hydro press

Forum member F-Class John is an avid F-Class competitor and expert handloader. John reviews reloading hardware and shooting-related products for his popular F-Class John YouTube Channel, which now boasts 220+ videos. John also does important product testing for AccurateShooter.com. Through his YouTube channel, John has reviewed many of the latest and greatest reloading tools and accessories. For today’s Video Showcase, we selected eight F-Class John tool and reloading product reviews.

If you like these selected videos, consider joining F-Class John’s Patreon Channel for live video meetings, more in-depth videos, and detailed explanations.

21st Century Hydro Press and Standard Arbor Press

John notes: “You can’t really talk about precision reloading without taking about inline dies and arbor presses. For my money there’s nothing better than the lineup from 21st Century Shooting. They offer the Hydro Seater which is hands-down the best manual seater out there as well as their standard arbor press which is great for taking on the road to push back bullets as needed.”

Primal Rights Competition Priming Seater (CPS) Review

If there is a Ferrari of priming tools, it has to be the Primal Rights Competition Primer Seater (CPS). This impressive bench-mounted tool allows very precise control over primer seating depth. A vertical tube holds primers ready for insertion. The action is smooth and precise. John believes that this is definitely the best priming tool on the market, though it may not be for everyone given its premium $600.00 price.

Lyman Powered Case Trimmer Review

The Lyman Case Trim Xpress is an efficient, precise unit that allows easy adjustment of trim length with a click-adjustable collar. The trimmer comes with a set of cartridge-specific bushings that index off the case shoulder. One nice feature is a variable speed control. For the price, $154.99 on Amazon, this trimmer delivers excellent performance. F-Class John has another video review of the Lyman Case Trim Xpress which shows set-up and operation.

Dillon 750 Tips and Tricks

The Dillon XL 750 is a favorite of high-volume reloaders. With the optional case feeder, the XL 750 offers high output with great reliability. And Dillon offers one of the best warranties in the business. In this video, F-Class John features upgrades including the Armanov tool-head holders from Europe. These are drilled and tapped for all FIVE stations allowing the user to put threaded dies in any station.

Gunsmithing Torque Wrench Comparisons

When you are working on custom rifles that might cost $5000+, and mounting scopes that can run $3000 (or more), you need to use very high-quality tools. Precise torque settings are essential, both to avoid damage to valuable parts, and to have the rifle and optic perform optimally. In this video, F-Class John looks at a variety of torque wrenches suitable for gunsmithing duties.

Concentricity Checking with Accuracy One Gauge

Every serious hand-loader needs a quality concentricity gauge. The Accuracy One Concentricity Gauge boasts a smart design that delivers precise, repeatable results. We like the unit’s easy adjustability and its ability to work in a variety of configurations. The Accuracy One Gauge measures internal and external neck runout of cartridge cases as well as seated bullet runout. It can also measure the runout of the ogive, bearing surface, and boat-tail of individual bullets. And it can even measure your primer pocket runout.

Teslong Rigid (Shaft) Borescope with Monitor

Seeing inside your barrel can provide clues to how well you’re cleaning and the bore’s overall health. One of the best tools on the market is the Teslong Rigid Borescope. This features a solid rod for easy use in barrels. Plus it comes with a self-contained high-definition viewing monitor so no smartphones or WiFi tablets are needed. If you’re looking for something more portable and a bit more versatile, try the Teslong Flexible Borescope, $99.99 including monitor. John was impressed with the new rigid Teslong he tested, and he likes having a dedicated monitor (no WiFi required).

Zero Turret Press with Whidden Sizing Die

The new Zero Press from Area 419 is arguably the best turret press ever crafted. It offers unrivaled precision, along with the highest-capacity turret head with NINE die/tool stations. Milled from billet aluminum and stainless steel, this press moves with the help of 14 bearings. In this video, F-Class John shows how to use a Whidden Gunworks full-length sizing die on the Zero Press. And John has two other video reviews of the $1200 Zero Press: 1. Zero Press First Thoughts Video; 2. Loading on a Zero Press.

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May 10th, 2021

Rodzilla’s Impressive New T-Rex Front Rest — Product Review

Rodzilla T-Rex front rest shooting F-Class benchrest review

Meet the new T-Rex front rest from Rodzilla. In the world of front rests there have been many innovations over the past decade, but this new front rest from Rodzilla really represents significant innovation. The new T-Rex offers impressive capabilities that can truly take your shooting experience to the next level.

Rodzilla T-Rex front rest shooting F-Class benchrest review

At first glance the new T-Rex may resemble some other coaxial front rests. The T-Rex has a joystick, three points of ground contact, and a platform for the rifle. But look closer and you’ll see this isn’t your typical rest. Designer/builder Rod Brakhage (the Rod in Rodzilla) has started from the ground up to create the most user-friendly, match-ready, modular front rest on the market. The new T-Rex is already in high demand, but currently Rodzilla has been fulfilling orders in about 8 weeks. T-Rex MSRP ranges from $1895.00 to $2305.00 depending on options.

The T-Rex weighs just over 21 pounds — about the same as many mid-sized rests. However the T-Rex has a large footprint, rivaling the largest rests on the market. Rod tells us: “The T-Rex has a similar footprint to the SEB MAX… 12.5″ wide X 11.25″ front to back. However, at just over 21 lbs. my rest weighs less than a SEB NEO.” This combination (wide base with moderate weight) allows for an incredibly stable platform that is still quite portable.

Rodzilla T-Rex front rest shooting F-Class benchrest review

Rugged Carry Case Makes Transport Easy
Rodzilla delivers the T-Rex in a custom-designed hard carry case that fits it perfectly and still has room for additional feet and accessories. This sturdy case makes taking the T-Rex to matches easy. The case is strong enough that I can stack things on top of it in my truck. One side note, if you plan on storing your rest in the case between matches, it’s wise to put a desiccant pack in the case to absorb moisture.

The T-Rex boasts an adjustable joystick that extends from 15.5″ to 21″ in length. With this adjustability, no matter what your stock length or design, you can find a comfortable position without having to stretch uncomfortably. And you won’t have to shop for a joystick extension.

Using the T-Rex is a pure pleasure when shooting prone F-Class or from the bench. That’s because of its revolutionary ability to make large vertical adjustments without getting out of position. This is accomplished with a detachable arm/handle you can actuate while behind the gun. (This is the long T-handle on the right side of the rest).

The simplest way to show why this is a game changer is to consider when you’ve just left the 800-yard line during a match. You head up to the 900-yard line, get all set up, the range officer calls a hot line and suddenly realize you didn’t adjust your elevation for the new yardage. Normally you’d have to turn your scope dials then get up from your position to adjust your front rest, or at best stretch uncomfortably in hopes of reaching your rest adjustments. With the T-Rex, you simply turn the right-side gross elevation handle while still in position, move to your new hold point, and begin firing.

Rodzilla T-Rex front rest shooting F-Class benchrest review

This same principal applies to other situations that require adjusting vertical without breaking your shooting position. All of this is accomplished in conjunction with an incredibly sensitive, yet easy-to-adjust counterbalance system. Once set, the counterbalance ensures that smooth and fluid motion occurs in any direction without any resistance or fear of backlash that might affect your shots.

Very Wide Horizontal Range is Useful in Matches
When it comes to looking downrange, the T-Rex can deliver nearly twice the range of horizontal motion as that of some other rests. (In high ratio mode, there is about 70 MOA of horizontal travel.) This means you can quickly scan a wide expanse of targets/flags without having to change magnification or go to your spotting scope. The huge field of view is a great help when shooting in a condition that is switching and you want to view targets on either side.

Rodzilla T-Rex Configuration Options: Tops, Colors, Feet

Rodzilla offers a number of options for the T-Rex. The first choice is the top. Select the Rodzilla 5-Axis roller top or the new 5-Axis IBS-legal sandbag top. Or, if your budget permits, you can order both — they are easily interchangeable in minutes. The video below shows the easy top-swap procedure:

This video explains how to exchange tops on the Rodzilla T-Rex

5-Axis Top Advantages
Rod Brakhage tells us: “This innovative new 5-Axis top rotates independently of the base plate so no matter how the rest is set on the line you only need to move your rear bag to pan across the row of targets with no binding of the rifle. Also, the sides of the rifle run against vertical Delrin rollers.”

Color Choices for Rodzilla T-Rex Base
In addition to the choice of tops, there are four (4) standard colors on the website, but for an additional fee you can have it made in just about any color you want, which is pretty cool.

Rodzilla T-Rex front rest shooting F-Class benchrest review

Choose Standard Feet, Sand Feet, or Both
When you order a T-Rex, you can choose standard bench feet or large, gorgeous sand/dirt feet. Or order them both, as I did. I use the bench feet at my regular club where I shoot from wood and concrete platforms, but the sand feet are great for matches held on dirt, gravel, sand, or grass. These sand feet provide an incredibly stable platform on the ground.

Rodzilla T-Rex front rest shooting F-Class benchrest review

Linear Bearings Allow Ultra-Smooth and Precise Adjustments
Rodzilla’s Rod Brakhage is a smart, innovative designer committed to improving the shooter’s experience. One of Rod’s key innovations in the T-Rex is the use of linear ball bearings for both X and Y axis: “The horizontal/vertical assembly, or X-Y block, moves on 6 double-sealed ball bearings that travel on hardened shafts for effortless movement”.* This system delivers a smooth, fluidity of movement that lets you aim quickly and efficiently. Gone are the days of having to move PAST your aim point and then come back (to get the aim right), or resetting your joystick position after every shot. With the T-Rex, you make one smooth, precise move and your aim is set. And it stays set after the shot.

The T-Rex allows you to position your crosshairs with pinpoint precision every time and if you need to move them just a hair, you can do it with ease. In F-Class, we often hold between the target’s scoring lines to correct for wind variations (without touching the scope’s windage knob). With the T-Rex, I could make those holds quickly and precisely without wasting time bouncing back and forth.

Overall, I’ve come to really enjoy the repeatable confidence the T-Rex has given me whether I’m doing load development, practicing at the range, or shooting a match. So, if you’re in the market for a superb front rest that just might give you an edge or, at minimum, make your life easier, head over to TheRodzilla.com and learn all about the impressive, new T-Rex Front Rest.


* Rod Brakhage explains: “The bridge travels up and down on double-sealed ball bearings on 1” hardened shafts. My design utilizes a rack and pinion with an 18″-long drive shaft for adjusting the height of the bridge. This system allows you to stay in shooting position and looking through the scope while adjusting the vertical placement of your crosshairs. Precisely dial your vertical to the center of your target with the joy stick at the exact height you prefer. A 1/4 MOA movement is very easy to accomplish with this design. Also, there is no need to lock the bridge as there is an adjustable clutch to hold the vertical position. The long drive shaft utilizes a scalloped hand wheel on the shooters side and a quick coupling adapter on the rest side. Once adjusted you merely pull back on the drive shaft and remove it or just set it on your shooting mat out of the way. The geared rack and pinion can be placed on the right for right-handed shooters or on the left.”

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March 24th, 2021

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator Review

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator gauge ogive shoulder measure reloading ammunition case

Looking for a faster, easier, and more accurate way to measure bullet positions on your loaded rounds? Check out the Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator. This unique tool provides a shoulder-to-ogive measurement instead of the traditional cartridge base-to-ogive measurement. The Accuracy One Comparator just might work for you. This unique tool allows a very rapid and secure measurement that provides a precise determination of the bullet seating depth in the case.

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator

Product Review by F-Class John
You probably check your loaded ammo by measuring cartridge base to ogive, but have you ever considered there may be a better way? Curt at Accuracy One has considered the question, and after exhaustive research and testing he created the Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator. As opposed to looking for a base to ogive measurement, this tool measures from the shoulder to ogive, which is arguably the more repeatable number when it comes to accuracy.

Click Arrow to Watch Video Tool Review

As Curt explains, “Well, when you fire a chambered cartridge, the strike from the firing pin first pushes the cartridge forward until it bottoms against the shoulder. The primer is then ignited. What this means is that your seated bullet depth consistency can more accurately be gauged using the dimension from shoulder to ogive. Using this dimension, you effectively eliminate any small variances in your sized case length from the equation”. As a result, it made sense that when he was designing the measurement tool his goal was to create a universal insert that allowed a user a quick, easy, accurate and repeatable process that measures from mid-shoulder to ogive.

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator gauge ogive shoulder measure reloading ammunition case

The comparator fits cartridges from .22 to .30 Caliber with 0.400″ and larger shoulder diameters. The tool fits so many bullet sizes because of the specific taper that Curt developed. This ensures that any caliber in that range makes good contact along the ogive. As I used this tool and talked to people about it, I kept getting skeptical comments with people asking how it could measure the ogive on that many calibers accurately. I had to remind them that the ogive is not a single point on the bullet but in fact the entire curve from the tip of the bullet to the point it straightens out. As a result, it’s only important that the tool you use is consistent in what point along the ogive it measures and that’s where the Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator shines. According to Curt, he went through countless iterations on his design until he was able to accurately and repeatably measure all those calibers (.22 to .30).

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator gauge ogive shoulder measure reloading ammunition case

How to Use the Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator
Using the comparator is simple. There are alternative methods. The easiest way is to simply zero the indicator, insert a loaded round, note the measurement and compare any future rounds against it for variation. An alternative to this is a method I use. I insert a loaded round and then zero the indicator. This allows you to see the exact variation without mental math (and frankly it’s faster this way). I also use this method to sort loaded rounds for matches in order from shortest to longest ensuring that rounds that measure the same are fired together.

Bonus Option — Measuring Length to Lands with Tool
Another great use for this Accuracy One comparator is to take my initial depth to lands. This helps ensure my seating depth was properly set. Using a case with very light neck tension, I load a bullet, and with a stripped bolt I load and close it. Then I can remove the round and take a measurement, zero the indicator and make a note of it in my book. After that the comparator will remember the new zero until it’s zeroed again and if that happens by accident, I can always reference the number that my round measured and pull on the indicator stem until that number is found and then zero it again. I found this entire process fast, easy and repeatable as I loaded rounds and needed to check for any seating depth variance.

Tool Pricing:
Seating Depth Comparator without Indicator: $65.00
Seating Depth Comparator with Indicator: $115.00
Gauge Stand: $47.00

Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator gauge ogive shoulder measure reloading ammunition casePurchase Options
You can buy the tool with or without an Digital Indicator. Accuracy One also makes a Primer Depth Gauge. Both Accuracy One tools employ the same digital indicator. This helps save money as you can order the comparator alone if you already have one (either from another Accuracy Tool or another tool).

The Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator is essentially the same size as the Accuracy One Primer Depth Gauge, so you can even utilize Accuracy One’s primer gauge storage case. There is also an optional stand that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND as it can hold either the seating depth OR primer gauge, making for amazingly simple one-handed operation while you’re loading.

CONCLUSION — Tool Is Precise, Repeatable, and Fast
Overall, this tool left me feeling confident in my depth setting and I found it quick and easy compared to past methods. At the end of the day there are several ways to skin the proverbial cat when it comes to measuring seating depth. But if you’re looking for what just might be the most accurate, consistent and speediest method, give the Accuracy One Seating Depth Comparator a try.

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February 27th, 2021

Gear Review: Lyman Reloading Press Stand — “It’s a Keeper”

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

I absolutely love using this press stand. I use it with my Forster Co-Ax as well as my Dillon 550. The stand mounts those presses at the right height to minimize fatigue and maximize torque. Some products I merely review and return but this one is a keeper and won’t be leaving my bench anytime soon. — F-Class John

Lyman Universal Press Stand REVIEW

Product Review by F-Class John
Positioning your press at the optimal height is one of the oldest problems in reloading. Most presses sit low off the edge leading to uncomfortable arm strain or inconsistent pressure being applied while using. Lyman has set out to fix that problem with a reasonably-priced ($54.99 at Midsouth) press riser that works with the vast majority of reloading presses. This unit will raise just about any press up off your bench securely, allowing you to working more comfortably from a standing position. This also frees up vital bench space UNDER the press. Unfortunately this press stand is so popular it is back-ordered at most vendors.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

I have used a variety of presses over the years. At times I’ve run into issues mounting a press at a level that doesn’t promote arm or hand strain during normal operations. In the past I’ve used blocks of wood or even tried other brands’ proprietary stands. But I had very limited success with those options. Accordingly, I was very excited to give the Lyman Universal Press Stand a chance.

Lyman’s Universal Press Stand comes complete with side plates, two different top plates, and a large collection of mounting hardware. The two top plates are pre-drilled for numerous popular Single Stage or Progressive presses. Helpful diagrams and instructions show which side of the top plate you need to use. The pre-drilled holes accommodate a variety of presses from RCBS, Dillon, Lyman, Redding, and Hornady. But surprisingly, the plates are not pre-configured for the Forster Co-Ax Press.

CLICK to WATCH VIDEO Showing Lyman Universal Press Stand

Setting up the stand was very simple. The two sides bolt to the lower shelf unit at which point you attach the top plate. All the supplied bolts made this a breeze and once everything was snugged down, I was able to place it on my bench where I wanted it and mark the drill holes to mount it. After securing the stand to my bench it was time to mount my press.

Lyman Universal Press Stand with Dillon 550 Press

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Adapting Lyman Universal Press Stand for Forster Co-Ax
At the time of testing I was primarily using a Forster Co-Ax press. With no pre-drilled Co-Ax configuration for either Lyman top plate, I decided to customize the blank side of one of the top plates. I opted to position the mounting holes so that the press could sit 100% on top of the mounting plate and not just off one edge. I found this process simple to execute. Mark your drill holes, then drill the plate. This can easily be done with regular drill bits although using a step-bit worked faster and cleaner to help enlarge the holes just a little when I needed some extra clearance.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Lyman Universal Press Stand Is Stable and Strong
Once set-up, I found the stand to be incredibly stable. The design allows for full force to be applied to the press no matter what the operation. Having used this Lyman Press stand regularly over the past few months with both my Co-Ax and a Dillon 550c, I still find myself loving it. The height is perfect and allows me to load as much as I like without straining my arm or getting fatigued. With an attractive price point (under $55.00 street price) and a simple design, I feel this is a great system for those looking for a secure and raised platform for their reloading presses.

The Universal Press Stand comes with two plates. If you have different presses that fit each plate you could easily swap presses just by changing plates while leaving the presses attached. It’s less functional if you have two presses that share one plate and would require removing one press before installing the next one.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Lyman Press Stand Unboxing and Set-Up (KFW Video Review):

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