Friday, 14 October 2016

Case and Cartridge Ready Reference Matrix

For convenience this Ready Ref. Matrix facilitates process set-up and checks.  Setting Case Length on case trimmer and Cartridge Overall Length.caseinfooaldial      casetrim

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Battery Matrix / Red Dot Sights

Early on I decided to add RED DOT sights to a few pistols. This started as a way to help my kids enjoy the shooting sports. Now I enjoy them for their ease of use when shooting a variety guns. This matrix will help track the battery types I need.  New batteries in the range box and all guns checked out as; A Ok.   10/05/16Battery Matrix5x

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

357 Sig … Update: … Case Resizing Complete

Having loaded 1,000 round on the XL 650, using a Dillon Carbide Die set.

I had 26 loads that failed the “L E Wilson Case Gauge” inspection. All exhibited a slight “case bulge”  near the case base .. often referred to as the “Glock Bulge”.  These 26 cartridges were successfully ran through the Lee Factory Crip die set up for Sizing 40 S&W.

Now all the loaded ammo passed the case gauge .. on to the range: sig

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Powder Check Station

Using a Powder Check system only makes sense as it provides a process check to verify:pc4  Station #3 on the XL 650 provides a location to install a Dillon custom powder check system. Very easy to install and adjust. Most importantly it works well and is dependable.
As seen here at the Down position of the shell plate. At the top of the Upstroke a charged shell casing has activated the powder check system.  The grove in the sensor rod disallows closure of the sensor circuit and NO Buzzer sound .. all is well.Now its on to reload some 5,900 re-sized cases. Running this in batches of 500 fits my modus operandi.  The weather is awesome right now too nice to spend all day reloading.

Time has passed and I’ve pressed out 2,000 rounds of 9mm Luger.  Next session will be in a few weeks.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Two companies .. Two different experiences -- Update

These are obviously strange times for the shooting community across the board.

Company A: Midway USA: (hot Link)  VERY Satisfied with my experience 

Online site is very customer friendly,  easy to navigate, order placement/checkout works good.  Customer Service: Acknowledgement e-mail is well constructed with clear presentation of relevant information. Order Shipment notice was received at light speed.  Package tracking instructions were clear and worked well.

Company B: Dillon Precision: (hot Link)  Disillusioned / Concerned. 

I am a very big fan of Dillon reloading presses and associated accessories.  I’ve used a Dillon XL 650 for 17 years of great service. 10 out of 10 for their engineering and hardware.  Over the years I’ve had occasion to order various bits and bobs .. the catalogue / web site / customer help line, have always needed some improvement.  Their product; NO BS warranty is first rate.

This latest industry demand for shooting supplies has only exacerbated Dillon’s poor Customer Service process.

Short version of three current incidents.

1)  My XL 650 is some 17/18 years old and the Instruction manual parts listing is out of date. Dillon changed their entire part numbering system.  Ok .. BUT !!! you have to provide a cross-reference for customers.  So I call the “Help Desk” a short 52 min wait while Other Customers were being helped !!!!  A slightly agitated associate helped me get the part ( a Powder Charge assembly)  Part Shipped .. I received it only to find it incompatible. Another call, only 17 min on hold, the associate admitted he should have sent an additional two parts that I would need. NO Problem we’ll ship them free of charge !!!! … NOT Impressed

2) Again on my XL650 I had to order a spare part, my manual and the online manual have major differences for the particular part I needed.  Call the help desk .. another long wait .. but this time 100% satisfactory result. Part was in stock and it shipped right away .. Also they included a new hard copy manual.

3) This latest incident is a classic business issue of inadequate staffing poor processes and Piss Poor Management in Customer Service.

I get an order acknowledgement .. order is in the system and correct, so far so good.  I let 10 days go by ( I have a few other fish to fry) and there is NO follow-up on my order.  This time I’m on hold for just over an hour .. I get the response-paraphrased as: We’re just too busy with Web Orders, we just have a couple of Gals and are taking two weeks to respond”  Well isn't that just Peachy !!!!

My advise is: If Midway carry it, buy it from them. …  Dillon, but for your engineering and presses your in a bovine quagmire.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

9mm “Personal Defense Ammo”

Date: STAMP .. April 27th 2013 .. The retail shortage of Ammo and the staples for Re-Loading is still running its course.  Major WEB sources are all “out of stock”, local retail sources are like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. BARE !!!!

“Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone;
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.”

Fortunately I retain a good stock of Ammo and Reloading supplies.  9mm Ammo and Reloading supplies are the hardest hit .. .22 LR is also like Hens Teeth.

PRICE GOUGING when items are available is tantamount to criminal .. 10X the “normal” pricing … Supply – Demand economics exploited to the max.

Checking my stash and prices paid underscores the gouging.  Examples of the ammo in my safe:

9mmtableAll Expanding Hollow Points amplifies the adage: “It’s better to Give than Receive”

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Brass Re-Sizing .. A tool from Lee Precision

Lee Bulge Buster Kit  … This push through die adapter will remove the bulge rings that shell holder constrained dies simply can't reach. The Bulge Buster Kit includes:  extension sleeve, push through punch, catch container and complete instructions. Works with these rimless cases:  380 ACP, 10mm, 40 S&W, 41 AE, 45 ACP, 45 GAP, and 45 Win Mag.  Supplier:  MIDWAY .. $15.79 .. Use as directed in combination with Lee Factory Crip Die. (cutaway view shows a 38 Special Rimmed Cartridge, not a push through)

lee p-197lee38_FCDleecarbide1
lee instNOTE:  9mm cases are not able to be used in the Bulge Buster because it has a slightly tapered case and the rim is not completely flush with the case.  See how I manage Re-Sizing 9mm in Previous Post.

I’ve set this die in my Redding T-7 Turret Press .. Although not designated for the 357 SIG case. It can be used to Re-Size / De-Bulge, the Main Body as it is same dimensions as the 40 S&W,  OD: 10.77mm or 0.424”40 sw375sig

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Insights to Reloading 9mm Luger

Designated as the: 9×19mm Parabellum or 9x19mm, 9x19mm NATO or 9mm Luger, is probably the most popular center fire round to both shoot and reload. .. SAAMI Spec Sheet:Capture 9mm

Loading NEW, never fired, brass cases poses little or no problems to the knowledgeable Re-loader. 

It is when you reload Mixed Brass fired at least once, more likely; fired and reloaded many times, that the “Finicky” nature of the 9mm raises concerns.

I’m in the process of reloading 6,000 rounds of Mixed Range Brass, as sold by Dillon Precision . This probably offers most of the variations and problems that one can encounter. Mixed sizes, various chamber expansion dimensions  (AKA Glocked-Up-Base Bulge), deformation and or cracks/dings, Steel cases etc. All in all there was approximately 3% cases rejected during case clean/prep.

Brass processing is ALL important; Cleaning, Inspection, Preparation and  Conditioning.

Cleaning:  Establish a lot/batch size that your cleaning system can handle. Visual inspection of each batch, looking for any obvious non-compliances.  A  2nd. quick visual after cleaning.  Store the cleaned and visually inspected brass.

Visual Inspection:  With 9mm this tends to be a tedious process, but one that I perform on all brass.  Weed out any non-conformances and mixed cases that can be spotted.

Now we start to Prep and Condition the brass for reloading.  Based on my set-up this is what works for me. Using the Evolution Gun Works undersize die and Dillon XL650 makes this step less arduous than Single Stage or Turret press set-ups.

Undersized Reloading Dies

Set up a spare Tool Head in the XL 650.

Set the Standard Dillon Carbide 9mm Size and De-cap die in Station #1

And with the EGW Undersize Die in Station #3, with the De-Priming Pin REMOVED

And a 38 Special; Size and De-prime in station #4, With the De-Priming Pin REMOVED  this completes the equipment required to Prep and Condition the; Many fired and mixed 9mm range brass.

Station #1:  Set the Size and De-cap die as normal, light contact with the Shellplate.

Stations #2, and #5 are empty

Station #3: Set the EGW die with light contact on the Shellplate

Station #4: This one is different .. The 38 Special is a Straight Wall Case (vs the slight taper 0.011” of the 9mm)  use this die to RE-SIZE only the first 0.200”. This provides a good dimension to ensure a slight interference fit with the 9mm Bullet. Seen here installed on my Turret press:

Run all the brass through this Progressive Three Die set-up .. 1) standard Size and De-prime, 2) Undersize the Outer Diameter ( to accommodate the Glock  type chambers), 3) Slight squeeze on Bullet Seating Section of the case.  Again weed out any brass that is non conforming. NOTE: on the XL 650 Station One Loading Finger (item 2) is an exact match for 9x19 cases .. 380 auto and 9x18 can be spotted.

station 1plat assy

This yields a reliable Re-Sized Case from a Hodgepodge of Range Brass.  Now its time to proceed and finish the Case Prep then Reload 9mm ammo.

Some of the process generated detritus destined to be recycled, Spent Primers and Brass Cases:

Finishing case prep and final visual inspection.  First step is to measure Case Length. Select a significant sample size from the 5,600+ cases. Check these to the SAAMI standard: 0.754” to 0.749”. Results of this inspection shall determine whether to Trim Case Overall Length or not.  After length check Primer Pocket Sizing and Cleaning is a MUST.

XL650: Install 9mm Tool Head, Shellplate and Small Primer Feed Disk Assembly.  As the brass has been “Pre-Processed” Station #1 should be minimal effort and provide a “Double Confirm” of Size and De-Prime.

Station #2 .. Install Primer-Forward Stroke .. Down Stroke: Mouth Flare / Bell-Mouth case. Set this to a minimum – just enough to allow the bullet to center locate and discharge the powder load.

Station #3 .. Powder Check .. Over / Under or Correct loading is detected via Audio alarm.Dillon-Powder-Check-Overview-Labeled-Sized

Station #4 .. Bullet Seating … Depending on the Bullet type: Round Nose – Flat Point etc set the Overall Length and use Case Gauge to verify compliance.

Station #5 .. Bullet Crimp .. This is another area where the 9mm can be finicky, so pay attention. I only use Copper Plated Bullets and check each batch for OD consistency.  A small variation can be tolerated, this NOT for Bench Rest shooting.9mm

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Chronicles of working-up loads for my 357-SIG

357-SIG: A General Purpose Load: Load GP#1 .. 9.0 grs of AA #5 stays within Mfg. recommended Max Load.


357-SIG: A Paper Target Load: Load PT#1clip_image004

Two useful loads that work for me. Load GP#1 makes use of Re-sized bullets to 0.3558” diameter.  This allows me to stock 38/357 125gr FP bullets and use them to generate loads for: 38 special, 357 Magnum and 357 SIG. A lesson from; “Lean Manufacturing – Flexible Inventory.”

Manufacturers load ranges for 357-SIG; Hodgdon and Accurate Arms .. check their web sites.imageFuture Plans:

1) 357 SIG: Next step is to Re-Size 38 Special, 158gr SWC bullets to 0.3558 and verify velocity. If all is ok this will be PT Load #2

2) 9mm Luger; develop a re-sizing process for 0.357” diameter bullets to 0.355”.

Ideas are to use a two-step process: 0.357” to 0.356”, then 0.356” to 0.355”. A one step resizing from 0.357” to 0.355” will be tried.

Outline of test plan that determined my optimal loading from me using SIG 357 Semi-auto Pistols.

The Basic plan is to use my previous load as a baseline, test number 4. Setting up these experiments is fine when you have total control, but using a public indoor range, forces one to make accommodations and concessions.

The tables chronicle the test sequences and variables of empirical data and results. The relative feelings experienced during the shooting and general satisfaction with said results, are a major factor to consider.

All range shooting is Free-Hand shooting. no pistol rest. So natural variability is built in .. My quest is to find what works for me.

Dual, side by side targets set at three distances for each test. Sig P229S – Five shots at each target. An eight by three matrix requires: 8x3x10 = 240 rounds and 8x2x3 = 48 targets. Prior to a test run seventeen round of Blazer commercial ammo was shot to warm up the pistol (when shot at different times/days) Velocity averages are 10 shots over the chronograph, prior to shooting the targets.


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

357-SIG: Bullet Prep a slightly controversial approach.

There is a veritable plethora of published Information and Data, regarding the “Bullet Diameter” best suited to this bottlenecked pistol cartridge.  Published Opinions vary. So I set about finding what works for my needs.imageHaving loaded a number of 357 SIG rounds using Bullets designated for 38 Special / 357 Magnum (.357” Dia.) with no problems, I’ve decided to experiment and find an optimum load that works for me. My guns chambered in 357 SIG (they are Sig Sauer Semi-Auto pistols) perform best using; of all things, Blazer ammo. (commercial ammo)

NOTE: Aluminum Cases are designated as a onetime use; yes some folks have reloaded them, just NOT ME So a number of empirical experiments ensued. The parameters that varied: Powder Charge, Bullet Diameter and Bullet Weight. The result is a very good load for my guns using; Bass Shell Casings and Resized 357 Bullets, propelled by Accurate Arms #5 powder.

Re-Sizing: Copper Plated Bullets.

Resizing / Swaging Cast Lead Bullets is an everyday occurrence within the reloading community. Not so with Copper Plated Bullets.  Bullet suppliers; X-TREME Bullets and Berry’s Manufacturing, are my choice.

Using: Lee .356 Lube and Size Kit. Fits standard reloading press 7/8 x14 TPI.   Purchased from Brownells; $18.99

clip_image004clip_image006 As seen in the Lee instruction pamphlet, using their sizing die is simplicity personified. 

I use a Redding T-7 press for various reloading tasks (not volume pistol reloading)  purchased from Brownells; $249.99. Cast Iron construction, easy to use compound linkage, seven station turret.Processing 1,000 bullets in four batches of approximately 250 works for me.  Keep a Clean and Organized work area. Set-up an area for overnight drying of the bullets with applied Lube.   For this type of processing I mount the press on my; general purpose, Butcher-block work bench. This provides a stable large open work space.

1,000: 38/357 Caliber, 125gr FP with Cannelure.As-Is diameter: 0.357”  Average Re-Sized Diameter: 0.3558”Batch of approx. 250+ lubed bullets await re-sizing.  Approximately 500 bullets finish off drying, after Lube removal.