RELOADERS CORNER: Cartridge Cases, the Outside, Part 2: Case Cleaning

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Clean means “not dirty.” More details coming next. READ IT ALL

clean cases

Glen Zediker

Clean brass loads easier, keeps dies cleaner (and may help them last longer), and might even help your barrel last longer. Brass collected up off the ground almost always has some manner of grit clinging to it and, depending on range locale, that will cause more or less concern. If it’s sand, for instance, this debris can do serious damage to a die (and barrel). Plus, I’ve never had a semi-automatic that didn’t soot up the case neck and shoulder. And, since we’re needing to lubricate the whole case prior to sizing, there’s no place for gunk. As said last time, case lube should not be a case cleaner!

There is also always going to be firing residue, if not on the case, it will be inside the case, and in there will also be primer residue, which is very abrasive.

Brass doesn’t have to be polished to be cleaned, which is to say that it doesn’t have to be shiny to be clean. Get down to the bare metal and that’s “clean.”

The question is How?

Not counting all the methods and means I’ve heard tell of, which number well over a dozen, the two common are either dry media or liquid media. Dry media is most commonly corncob or walnut, and run through a rotary- or (more popularly) vibratory-style appliance. There’s another I’ve been impressed with and that is the use of steel media, and more in a bit.

corncob media
Good old corn cob works just fine, but make sure you get all the residues off the cases.

Liquid means can revolve around detergent-type solutions and agitation, or the “sonic” cleaners.

General: Advantages to dry media are, well, that it’s dry! Not (as) much mess. Disadvantages exist, however. The main one is getting all the residual dust and particulate out of the cases. I caution against using any additional abrasive additives to the dry media because what doesn’t get cleaned away will, not can, accompany a bullet down a barrel. Advantages to wet media are that it can do a thorough job of cleaning, no doubt. It also doesn’t leave any residue. But! It’s wet! And that means the cases need dried thoroughly prior to reuse. There are specialty appliances that can do it, but a cookie sheet in an oven set on “low” does the trick too.

hornady case cleaner
Hornady Sonic Case Cleaner

Back to the steel: That’s why I like this method. Dry, no residue. It in no way hurts the cases, and works pretty quickly.

steel case cleaner
A newer dry media is steel. It works well and leaves nothing behind. This magnet is how you separate media from cases. This one is from Frankford Arsenal

No media lasts forever. Corncob, especially, should be routinely discarded and the appliance cleaned out to avoid any resident grit mingling with the media particles. Much as in the same way gold panning works, heavier junk can settle to the bottom of the bowl. Tumbling media, by the way, doesn’t really wear out: it just gets crudded up.

Take steps post-cleaning to ensure that residues are gone, and also that primer pockets are free of particles. Some use compressed air to blow out the case inside, and others go as far as to rinse and dry.

Speaking of primer pockets! I very strongly suggest decapping prior to cleaning. That way the pocket will, indeed, be cleaned. This doesn’t take much time and requires only an inexpensive station as shown nearby.

decaping die
I strongly recommend decapping primers prior to cleaning. A setup like this doesn’t cost much, and the operation is pretty painless.

Additional steps? There are some long-used steps taken especially by precision shooters, such as brushing the inside of case necks, and also using a polishing cloth to thoroughly clean the case neck, case shoulder area, and separate attention paid to the pimer pocket. But. These steps originated with Benchrest competitors and the reason is because I never met one yet who uses the short of cleaning apparatus “we” use. Never a tumbler! Their cases never hit the ground either. Nothing more than a thorough run through the volume-cleaning media of your choice should be needed, and the primer pocket cleaner should likewise be unnecessary if you take the advice of cleaning deprimed cases.

Honestly, it’s better, and I say best, if the case cleaning media leaves no residues. That’s where dry steel media and the liquid cleaners come in.

Back to the basics: Clean is clean. “Nothing but brass” is “clean.” Polished and gleaming cases are not necessarily better, and matter not a whit to performance.

One last: my favorite case cleaning “story” ever. Middleton Tompkins, many-time Highpower Rifle national champion, showed me his case cleaning method on a visit. Mid (and his wife, dominant Long Range Rifle winner, Nancy) go well beyond “high volume” in their needs for clean cases. To that end, Mid purchased a small commercial cement mixer into which he dumped pounds of BBs and a solution of Joy dishwashing soap and water (later rinsed and drained and dried). Now, that’s a high-volume case cleaner!

Check out Midsouth products HERE

And decapping DIES!

This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com

 

NEW: Western Powders Handloading Guide

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Western Powders has released its new Handloading Guide, Edition 7.0. Plus a Hazmat Special from Midsouth Shooters This Weekend Only! READ MORE

western powders loading guide

This $2.99 print resource contains the latest load data for Western’s propellants.

You’ll find load data for over 100 rifle cartridges. The cartridge listings are up to date — including the popular new mid-sized competition cartridges, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5×47 Lapua, and also .224 Valkyrie, along with many popular wildcat varmint cartridges, such as the 20 Vartarg, 20 Tactical, and 20 BR.

This resource also features helpful articles on handloading methods and rifle maintenance and cleaning.

Click HERE to take a look!

Midsouth Shooters is also offering a FREE HAZMAT promotion this weekend only! Get $140 of any Western Powder, like Accurate, Norma, or Ramshot (including Blackhorn 209) and you get FREE HAZMAT!

Check it out HERE!

REVIEW/RETROSPECT: HK MP5 Submachine Gun

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Dr. Dabbs shares some trigger time on the 1980s Apex Predator! READ MORE!

mp5 british flag

by Will Dabbs MD

At 19:23 hours on May 5, 1980, around thirty-five British Special Air Service operators initiated a simultaneous breach of the Iranian Embassy at Princes Gate in London. Inside, six terrorists had held twenty hostages for nearly a week. They had previously released five of their prisoners. Earlier that day the terrorists had murdered Abbas Lavasani, the Iranian embassy’s chief press officer. This event ultimately unleashed the SAS.

The SAS killed five of the six terrorists. The sixth spent twenty-seven years in a British prison. The terrorists murdered one hostage during the assault. The entire operation took place on live international television. The black fatigues worn by the SAS assaulters along with the German MP5 submachine guns they carried created an iconic image that has shaped counter-terrorist operations up until the present day.

nimrod raid
Operation Nimrod raid photos I found online.

nimrod raid

The Origins of a Legend
The Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine gun began as an evolution of the roller-locked G3 rifle in 1964 and entered service with German security forces in 1966. The recoil-driven, roller-locked design was adapted from the revolutionary German MG42 belt fed machinegun that faced the Allies through much of the Second World War.

The MP5 fired from a locked breech, and was both mechanically elegant and unusually complex. Detective John McClane used one to put paid to a bunch of German ne’er-do-wells in the action movie classic Die Hard. US Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces used the guns for real. HK sold untold thousands of copies to American Law Enforcement agencies. In the process the MP5 developed an almost supernatural reputation. With the benefit of hindsight, however, was this reputation fully justified?

Practical Magic
The MP5 sports an undeniably smooth action. However, the gun is markedly more complicated than buzz guns like the Uzi or MPL. Complicated typically means more stuff to break.

I’m not God’s Gift to Small Arms by any stretch, but I have squeezed my share of triggers. I drank the Kool-Aide and stretched the budget to make an MP5 mine. My gun began life as an exquisite Zenith Z-5RS pistol.

mp5
The Zenith Z-5RS comes as a pistol. However, add a bit of onerous federal paperwork to register the gun as a short-barreled rifle, and a factory sliding stock drops right in place. The resulting weapon is the genuine spitting image of the factory MP5 submachine gun.

The Zenith roller-locked guns are produced in Turkey on HK-licensed machinery. The result is the closest thing to a factory HK MP5 SMG to be had on the American market. The welds, workmanship, and finish on my copy rival the German originals. Additionally, unlike the original semiauto HK94, the Zenith Z-5 includes a flapper magazine release, a three-lug barrel, and a two-pin fire control group. Nothing else on the market comes so close to the original HK military specs.

The trigger is long and mushy, but you really want a long mushy trigger on a close quarters utility gun. The MP5 is still an exceptionally capable weapon at reasonable ranges. Recoil is non-existent, and the closed bolt, locked breech design is innately accurate. The rotating drum diopter sight is the sort of contrivance you either love or hate. Personally, I would prefer a simple peep.
Switching the happy switch over to the Truly Joyful position produces full auto fire at around 800 rounds per minute. Despite the MP5’s many incontrovertible attributes, this is a bit spunky for my tastes. The end result is superb shot density dropping multiple bullets on target in a short period. However, the gun still demands attention to technique for truly precise control. I personally find that I can group a bit tighter with the UZI, Swedish K, or Walther MPL despite the relative crudeness of these designs.

mp5 fire control group
The unique aspect of the Zenith Z-5RS is the fact that the fire control group mounts with a pair of standard HK pushpins just like the originals. There is still the shelf inside to preclude attachment of a full auto trigger group but the extra pin makes the gun look and act exactly like the originals.

Swapping out magazines on the MP5 involves locking the bolt manually to the rear, swapping out mags, and slapping the charging handle down to get the gun running again. While this maneuver earns you a few cool points, it is cumbersome in practice. The UZI is a bit faster. Additionally, while my Zenith gun has been unflinchingly reliable through years of regular use, I have had a few failures on other MP5s in the past. The roller retaining plates on early guns in particular seem a weak spot. I have personally broken two.

mp5 sights
The MP5 front sight is fully hooded. The workmanship on my Zenith gun is simply superb throughout.

Ruminations
The HK MP5 is a fine close-quarters tool. In the hands of a disciplined, seasoned shooter it will drop its bursts into a salad plate at appropriate ranges. However, I would assert that at least some of the MP5s near-supernatural reputation is perhaps a bit over-hyped. As said, the MP5 is slow to reload and runs a bit fast. The modest weight and compact dimensions are admittedly nice, and the gun looks just cool as can be. Despite all that, I still shoot just a little bit better with an UZI.

carrying mp5
The MP5 carries easily, runs fast, and looks cool. However, I shoot a bit better with some simpler SMGs.
mp5 accuracy
At 20 meters over open sights the Zenith Z-5 is deadly accurate. This scope alignment target from Thompson Target flashes when struck to demonstrate hits clearly. The Z-5 delivered precision fire at CQB ranges with all ammo tested. Velocities ranged from 1034 (Winchester 147gr) to 1254 (SIG 124gr).

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ZENITH

 

Feinstein Distorted Facts About AR-15, NRA Says

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U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein claims that the AR-15 is not “in common use.” Really? READ MORE

feinstein ar15

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action called into question the California Democrat’s assertions about the weapon and said the rifle has gained popularity in recent years.

The group cited figures from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The firearms industry trade group calculated that between 1996-2016 more than 16 million AR-15 and AK-pattern rifles have been available for sale in the U.S.

NRA went on to accuse Feinstein of distorting facts in what it described as the senator’s ongoing effort to limit Second Amendment gun rights: “Needless to say, there is nothing ‘reasonable’ or moderate about banning what is literally the most popular class of rifles in America.”

“I’m talking about your statement on ‘common use,’ she told Kavanaugh. “Assault weapons are not in common use.”

“Semi-automatic rifles are widely possessed in the United States,” Kavanaugh rebutted. “There are millions and millions. … That seemed to fit the [definition of] ‘common use’ and not being a dangerous and unusual weapon.”

Judge Kavanaugh: “Semi-automatic rifles are widely possessed in the United States. There are millions and millions. … That seemed to fit the [definition of] ‘common use.'”

Feinstein countered that the numbers of rifles in existence didn’t constitute “common use,” arguing that the term applies to how often the weapons are used.

“Common items are routinely said to be “in use” for a purpose whether or not that involves active manipulation of the item at any given time,” the NRA said.

Feinstein has been a fierce gun-control advocate since her days as on the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco. She was the first person to discover her colleague Harvey Milk on his office floor after he’d been fatally shot, according to the Los Angeles Times. A former supervisor, Dan White, also assassinated then-Mayor George Moscone on that day in November 1978.

Since then, Feinstein has advocated for tough gun reforms:

“I have been a woman on a mission to ban assault weapons,” the senator said, to applause, at a gathering of union members at the California Democratic Party convention this year. “This is not our America, and we need to change it,” she said.

That hasn’t stopped her from owning firearms. Two years before the assassinations, Feinstein was trained to use a .38 five-shot revolver and obtained a concealed-carry permit.

She attempted to reenact the Clinton-era assault weapons ban in the aftermath of several high-profile mass shootings, including the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead and hundreds injured.

The NRA called it ban-revival effort a “125-page firearm prohibition fever dream [that] is perhaps the most far-reaching gun ban ever introduced in Congress.”

During the Kavanaugh hearing, Feinstein asserted that Kavanaugh’s reasoning for dissenting on the District of Columbia’s assault weapons ban was “far outside the mainstream of legal thought and it surpasses the views of [the late Justice Antonin] Scalia, who was obviously a pro-gun justice.

“If the Supreme Court were to adopt your reasoning,” she said to Kavanaugh, ” I fear the number of victims would continue to grow.”

Kavanaugh: “Semi-automatic rifles are widely possessed in the United States. There are millions and millions. … That seemed to fit the [definition of] ‘common use.'”

Here’s the full video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcRmapqDakE&feature=youtu.be

 

Do You Have the Right to Stand Your Ground?

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How clear are “stand your ground” laws? Jason Hanson shares his thoughts. KEEP READING

crime scene

by Jason Hanson

On July 19, 2018, Markeis McGlockton was shot and killed outside a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida, after a confrontation with a legally armed citizen.

The man who shot him was identified as Michael Drejka, who McGlockton shoved to the ground for confronting McGlockton’s girlfriend over a parking space.

Initially, Drejka was not arrested because the Pinellas County sheriff stated that “stand your ground” law applies to this case since Drejka feared a further attack after being shoved to the ground.

After a review of the case by Florida State Attorney Bernie McCabe, Drejka, 48, was charged with manslaughter and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. His bail was set at $100,000.

A Matter of Seconds
You’ve probably seen the surveillance video of this incident all over the news. According to law enforcement, there were four–five seconds between Drejka hitting the ground and him firing the deadly shot.

In addition, detectives estimated the men were about 10 feet apart. Here’s the thing. McGlockton no doubt violently shoved Drejka to the ground. In the video, it appears McGlockton did not back away after shoving Drejka until he saw the gun.

This begs the following questions: Could McGlockton have seriously injured or killed Drejka if he continued attacking him? He could have. Even though Drejka was shoved to the ground, was McGlockton still a threat? Maybe. Was Drejka truly in fear for his life? He says so.

The thing is we could talk “what ifs” about this case all day, but the fact remains that one man is dead and another’s life is devastated over a parking spot and a shove to the ground.

While this case will play out for a long time to come, I want to share with you the basic elements of stand your ground laws and the “castle doctrine,” which relates to protecting yourself at home.

Protect Your Person
Remember, I’m not a lawyer and I’m only stating my thoughts regarding these types of laws. You should always consult with an attorney in your state regarding these laws.

One of the most well-known states with a stand your ground law is Florida because of the case mentioned above and similar cases such as the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Many states have laws similar to Florida’s, which basically states a person is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or others. It also states a person does not have a duty to retreat as long as they are in a place where they have the right to be.

So if we use this definition to examine the case above, both men were in a place they had the right to be. The question that remains is did Drejka reasonably believe that he had to use deadly force to prevent death or bodily harm to himself? Imagine if you were Drejka. He was forcefully shoved to the ground, he was probably afraid, his heart was pounding — what would you do?

On the other hand, could Drejka have simply stood up and walked away from McGlockton? Was McGlockton going to pursue him? Obviously, these are answers that will play out in court.

However, the key thing to remember is that you have to believe the person is still a threat to justify using deadly force.

Protect Your Property
In addition to “stand your ground,” another controversial law is the “castle doctrine”. Many states have some type of castle doctrine law, which says a person has the legal right to defend themselves with the use of deadly force against an intruder in their home or other property.

Under this legal theory, the homeowner is not required to retreat, but may stand their ground to defend themselves, their home or their property. Now, this law is more straightforward than stand your ground because it’s pretty reasonable that every person should be able to defend his or her family from an intruder in their home.

In other words, if someone is inside your home, they are committing a crime and you have every right to protect your family.

However, one of the times this law was disputed was in the 2014 case of a Montana man named Markus Kaarma, who shot a young man in his garage. Kaarma had been the victim of a home burglary, so he stayed up at night in case the burglars came back.

Prosecutors argued that Kaarma lured the young man into the garage by leaving it open and that Markus was staying up all night to enact revenge for the previous burglary. The young man who died was committing a crime when he entered the garage, but the jury decided the homeowner deliberately lured the young man there before he killed him.

The Bottom Line
These types of laws will always be contested and are easily affected by our political climate. But what it really comes down to is common sense: Is the person still a threat, and can they still kill you?

If someone kicks in your door at 3:00 a.m. and runs at you in your house, then by all means they’re a threat. But if someone tries to kick in your door at 3:00 a.m. and you yell that you’ve got a gun and they take off down the street… Don’t go chasing them and shoot them in the back because they’re no longer a threat.

WHAT YOU YOU THINK?

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free copy of his book, visit www.SpyEscape.com.

Trump Says Close To Finalizing Ban On Bump Stocks

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President Donald Trump: “We’re knocking out bump stocks…” READ MORE!

bump stock

SOURCE: Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday his administration is just a few weeks away from finalizing a regulation that would ban so-called bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns.

“We’re knocking out bump stocks,” Trump said at a White House news conference. “We’re in the final two or three weeks, and I’ll be able to write out bump stocks.”

A year ago in Las Vegas, gunman Stephen Paddock used bump stocks on 12 of his weapons in a mass shooting that killed 58 people and wounded hundreds.

Authorities said his ability to fire hundreds of rounds per minute over the course of 10 minutes from his perch in a 32nd-floor hotel suite was a major factor in the high casualty count.

While machine guns are outlawed in the United States, bump stocks are not.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in March the Justice Department was proposing a rule that would effectively ban the devices. In February, Trump had signed a memorandum directing the department to make the regulatory change.

The change required a public comment period before taking effect.

“We are now at the final stages of the procedure,” Trump said.

SKILLS: When Small Is All…

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…that you have to carry. Read what professional trainer Steve Tarani has to say about making the most of a small handgun HERE

steve tarani

SOURCE: Team Springfield, Steve Tarani

Why carry a .380 when you can carry a .45 or 9mm pistol? Looking at it from the opposite end of the spectrum, why carry a .45 when you can carry a .50 caliber handgun? Why carry a pistol when you can carry a rifle?

It all filters down to personal decision based on deference to why and how you carry a gun. Further introspection should draw your attention to three important defensive carry factors that you’ve got to consider:

Accessibility
Concealability
Personal Comfort

ACCESSIBILITY IS A MUST
First and foremost is accessibility. Depending upon what you’re wearing, whether it be a business suit, a pair of running shorts, or perhaps a skirt or dress, attire plays a critical role in accessibility.

Accessibility is defined as the speed with which the weapon can be acquired and drawn.

Accessibility is directly affected by the location of the holster on the body, the body position of the shooter when the weapon is drawn, and the ability to establish the proper grip on the weapon while it is still in the holster.

A handgun used specifically for self-defense must be readily accessible. In other words, you need to be able to get at least one hand on it quickly and easily. The more time it takes for you to get to your carry gun, the longer it takes you to respond to the threat and not defending against it.

Will you be carrying your protection piece in a shoulder holster, belly band, ankle holster, IWB, OWB, appendix holster, cross-draw holster, fanny pack hol­ster, handbag holster, thigh holster, or pocket holster? The list of holster types and styles is quite lengthy and how and where you carry will determine your weapon accessibility.

Springfield Armory’s 911 .380 affords you several viable, easily accessible carry position options, including the recommended pocket holster. Depending upon the threat level, pocket carry of the .380 allows you to position your hand on your gun with your hand inside your pocket. Designed for defensive use at extreme close range, the .380 allows for immediate accessibility in stressful close-quarter situations.

springfield armory 911

CONCEALABILITY
Concealability is defined as the ability of the holster to be worn without detection. Concealability is a major consideration to plainclothes (under cover, off duty, etc.) law enforcement officers as well as defense-minded citizens. The smaller the holster and gun, the easier to conceal, especially if large, over-sized cover garments are not an option.

If you’re at the beach or someplace where you may be wearing a pair of shorts, or maybe running or working out, how concealable will a full frame .45 be? And what carry configuration is best should you find yourself in demanding physical exertion or dynamic movement. Again, the .380 may be an optimal choice given your operational environment.

Are you carrying in a place that is predominantly not gun friendly? In some states, if a gun prints through your shirt, either from a larger framed pistol or perhaps due to an OWB holster with a snug cover garment, it may be construed as “brandishing” and could land you in hot water.

COMFORT
Last but certainly not least is comfort. Shooter comfort is defined as the ability of the holster and gun to be worn for extended periods of time without discomfort. This factor is important in that if a holster/ gun combination is too uncomfortable, the shooter may choose not to be armed.

If you’re planning on driving for eight hours a day for the next three days, how comfortable will that full-sized .45 caliber handgun be in your appendix holster after the first ten minutes, let alone a couple of hours?

Unloaded, the 911 .380 weighs slightly over 12 ounces. Given a height of just under four inches with a barrel length of less than three inches, plus an overall length of 5.5 inches, the small lightweight construction of the 911 offers you one of the best concealable options in the industry.

Overhearing one of my students speaking to another student (while attending a forty-hour defensive handgun course), and referring to his .380, one asked, “Hey Joe, what possible damage would that little pea-shooter do against a determined attacker?” Joe’s reply was a pithy, “Well, go ahead and attack me and find out!” #PointTaken

Bottom line is, if you find yourself in a violent physical altercation and he is (or they are), within arm’s reach, things have taken a turn for the worse and are pretty darn serious — especially if you assess it to be a life-or-death situation. Withstanding such duress and imminent danger, your last line of defense must be equally accessible as it is effective.

PROS OF SMALL
Concealability provides you the element of surprise, especially when the odds are stacked against you. Carrying inside the pocket or in your purse, allows for hands-on accessibility while maintaining concealability before even coming out of the holster.

When it comes to comfort, nothing beats small and light — a combination of desirable personal defense attributes that will almost cause you to forget you’re carrying.

The Springfield 911 .380 is approved for the most-advanced and modern .380 defensive ammunition available in its classification.

The 911 also comes with a 6-round and 7-round extended magazine. Add the “plus-one,” and those aren’t bad numbers for a small defensive handgun.

When small is all, it doesn’t matter how tough-guy your assailant(s) may be. A few rounds of .380 hammered in succession will undoubtedly get their attention and cause them to change their course of action.

To learn more about training conducted by Steve Tarani, go to Steve’s websites:

HandToGun.com

SteveTarani.com

About the author: Steve Tarani is a former CIA protective services subject matter expert who served on Donald Trump’s pre-election protection detail and is the lead instructor for the NRA’s new Non-ballistic Weapons Training program offered nationally to 2.3 million members. Tarani, an active protective agent, is a Central Intelligence Agency and FLETC-certified federal firearms instructor who also provides services for the US Naval Special Operations Command, FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), and others.

RELOADERS CORNER: Cartridge Cases: The Outside, Part 1

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Lubrication is absolute essential in the reloading process, Here are a few ideas on which and how. READ MORE

lubing cases

Glen Zediker

What’s the most important thing in case resizing? Case lube! Overlook it or under-do it once and you’ll know why! A stuck-case remover is one of my very least favorite tools…

I have long used and recommended petroleum-based case lubes. More: I prefer those that are applied by hand, literally with the fingers, because I think it’s a better assurance that the right amount, to all the right places, will get laid down. I will quickly concede, though, that they are messy and slower than other methods.

imperial case lube
This is my favorite case lube. I took advice from Sgt. Norris after complaining how hard it was to get a good sizing pass on a Lake City .308. Sure enough. This made it easy. Been using it ever since. It’s not really wax. Use it like shoe polish: rub a little on your fingers and then rub it onto the case with a “gimme money” motion.

Spray-on-type lubes are very often used and recommended, especially by high-volume loaders because a good many cases can be treated and then even stored before use, so say the claims. I strongly suggest taking steps to prevent the lube from finding its way inside the case. A thin piece of cardboard placed atop the standing cases works well for this. There’s worry otherwise that the lube might affect the propellant. That does depend on the formulation, but I prefer the “no-chance” approach. I’m a “slow-down” sort of loader. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to save time or be as efficient as I can be, but I’ve just not found the speed advantage to spray-ons to overcome their performance. Sprays are not quite as “slick” as rub-ons.

Lanolin-based and wax-based alternatives also have their following. As do water-based lubes. The wax lubes indeed work and also clean up (off) easily, as does lanolin. I’ve not been a follower, though, because I find many to be more difficult to apply evenly and, one more time, just not quite as slick at petro-based products. Some of the wax-based lubes also make claim to “apply-now, use later.” I’m not sure what the appeal of that is, but there it is for those it appeals to. There are also a number of “proprietary” formulations out there now. I have not tried them all.

hornady case lube
Hornady pretty well has it covered: one for every opinion! Try them all! But I will wager you’ll like petro best… That’s the one in the bottle. Hornady claims their spray lube doesn’t contaminate powder, and that makes it applying it more straightforward.

A tip I picked up umpteen years ago by the man who got me started loading was to get an ink stamp pad (office-supply store variety) to apply roll-on type lubes. Indeed, that works way better than the industry pads I’ve tried.

Back to petroleum lubes: aside from providing smoother feel in sizing, which I have to believe also indicates “better” lubrication qualities, these don’t build up as much within tooling. I take apart my sizing die every now and again and swab it out, like I would a rifle chamber.

For best results, no matter which lube type you’re using, an even (thin) coating gives best results. With a good petro lube, it doesn’t take much. If you see any denting (usually in the case shoulder area), that resulted from hydraulic pressure and is a sign there was too much lube (too thick a coat). No worries, though: shoot the case and they’ll iron back out. Just use less lube next time!

Lubing the case neck inside is debated, but I favor it. However! Only very sparingly! That is why I really like the finger-applied lubes: just a little “wipe” across the case mouth eliminates the “gaunch” noice from the expander. I don’t use the graphite-applicators (the bin-and-brush types) because I haven’t noticed a whopping lot of difference in neck sizing with or without it.

forster lube
For best sizing results, I prefer the “rub-on” lubes. This one is from Forster. Never any worries about too much, too little, or complete coverage.

And, by the way, lube a case each pass through the die. This is important when setting up a sizing die where you might make a few passes with the same case. Don’t risk it! Stuck cases are total mood killer.

Clean the lube off the cases! There will be some now who will just roll their eyes, but I use denatured alcohol and a bath towel pour some on the towel, but the cases on the towel, fold the towel over the cases, and roll them around. Fast and simple! That works for petro-based. Others need more attention: just rub it away, or use detergent.

I do not recommend using a tumbler-type cleaner on loaded ammo!

Sho, there is a (slight) chance that a bullet tip might detonate a primer, but that’s not why. Why is because the propellant gets pulverized, and that, no doubt, will change its burn characteristic.

case cleanup
This is what I use to clean loaded rounds, along with the towel it’s sitting on. Lay out the towel, put down the rounds, pour some alcohol, fold the towel over the cases, and roll them around. Then hang the towel to dry for another use. Zero residue.

The reason to clean off the lube is because it lubricates, and that’s a bad thing on a live round. The case is supposed to stick tightly to the chamber when it expands under pressure. Any slip increases bolt thrust. I once saw a fellow douse a loaded 30-round magazineright down the middle with WD-40, to “make sure the bullets fed…” NO NO NO. Oil on a cartridge doubles bolt thrust!

Case lube is not a case cleaner!

Make sure the cases are clean prior to sizing. They don’t have to gleam, just be free from dirt and gritty dust. If you’re seeing a applicator pad, for instance, getting a dirty spot on it, well there’s your clue.

We’ll talk about that next time.

 Check out the selection from Midsouth HERE

This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com

REVIEW: Superlative Arms Short Stroke Retrofit AR15 Piston System

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There’s been much said about AR15 gas system problems. Here’s another solution that really offers something different! READ MORE

superlative arms piston system

Major Pandemic

Over the last decade, piston driven AR systems have gained a lot of attention due to their ability to deliver cooler running reliability similar to the exceedingly reliable piston based AK platform. One of the many advantages of the AK platform has been its piston based operation which isolates operation gas pressures at the front to the gun away from the shooter and bolt and trigger group. This piston based system delivers a cooler and clearer running AK gun which arguably delivers more reliability. Some very bright folks figured out several ways to transfer that piston system over the the AR15 platform thus combining the accuracy of the AR15 platform with the reliability of the AK.

HISTORY
There have been a number of companies offering short and long stroke piston system. Long Stroke systems have the op rod attached to the bolt carrier such as AKs and Tavors. Op rods are not attached to the bolt carrier on short stroke systems. The main compromise between the two is that the Long Stroke system designs are typically heavier but inherently offer an integrated gas design that bleeds off excessive gases. The new Superlative Arms patented system extends this bleed off capability to a low profile Short Stroke system all while still providing gas pressure adjustment.

Let me first point out that Superlative Arms is the co-patent holder of the design offered by Syrac Ordnance and was also its manufacturing partner of the Syrac adjustable gas block and Piston system product line. Superlative could have been offering its own line of adjustable gas blocks and piston systems identical to Syrac’s however they developed their own unique patented gas bleed off design. Superlative’s bleed-off system is offered in both a direct impingement adjustable gas block and also in the co-patented short stroke low profile gas system. Though there are many similarities, Superlative Arms is on the market with their own systems.

superlative arms piston system
The super low profile block fits under virtually any handguard rail.

DESIGN
The Superlative Arms or piston system uses their patented bleed-off. Instead of limiting the gas pressure, this system functions more like a pressure regulator which limits the gas delivered to the gas tube or op rod piston and the rest of the excess gas is vented out the front of the gas block. Typical adjustable gas block systems have had some problems due to gas port and adjustment screw erosion from the captive excessive gas temperatures and pressures at the gas port. Many of us have seen this problem manifest themselves in wandering gas settings or even adjustment screw blowouts.

By porting and venting off that excessive high heat pressure the instant the pressure hits the gas block, the Superlative Arms system greatly reduces erosion and pressure based failure problems right at the gas block all while running cooler and cleaner for both their DI and piston systems. This bleed-off design in turn reduced the beating delivered to the adjustment mechanism and op rod.

Some previous short stroke piston systems have experienced problems with gas block durability and retempering of the op rod springs. In order to assure completely problem-free operation Superlative goes the extra mile and makes the piston block from melonited 416 stainless steel and uses a heat treated Inconel steel spring which is impervious to the pressures and heat generated by an AR15 even running in full auto. Superlative has accomplished this design feat all within a very small compact low profile design that is barely larger than most low profile gas block designs.

superlative arms
Unlike other adjustable systems which block gas, Superlative Arms bleeds it off. This results in a longer-lasting, less problematic solution. Unlike other adjustable systems which block gas, Superlative Arms bleeds it off. This results in a longer-lasting, less problematic solution.

INSTALLATION
Superlative Arms Direct Impingement (DI) adjustable bleed-off gas block is a simple swap for people who want to retain a DI based system. Pull off the old gas block, move the gas tube to the new Superlative gas block, reinstall, tune to assure reliable last round lock back and you done. Like all retrofit gas piston systems, the Superlative arms kit install is a bit more involved.

The Superlative Arms retrofit gas piston system includes everything a user would need for conversion of a existing AR15 including the gas block, op rod, op rod spring, and carrier. Any AR15 bolt can be used with their carrier. All the Superlative kits are all essentially the same with the exception of the pistol, carbine, mid, and rifle op rod lengths — just order the appropriate gas rod length specific kit..

First time installation requires some patience and about thirty minutes. Unlike a DI gas block install, the left/right and fore/aft alignment of the gas block is critical to reliable operation. With a stiff fixed op rod responsible for converting the blast inside the gas block to a shove on the carrier, it has to be free from any binding and also precisely the right length from the face of the carrier to the gas block.

superlative arms
An “AK-style” gas piston promises cooler and cleaner operation, and this did indeed deliver both!

The basic process is to install the gas block loosely on the barrel and insert the stripped op rod (minus the spring) into the gas block and tighten down the gas block piston plug. Then the task is to assure the op rod spins freely without binding with the carrier (minus bolt) fully seated in the upper receiver. If you have a fully seated carrier and freely spinning op rod then you can tighten down the gas block. If the carrier does not fully seat or the op rod does not spin freely, the gas block needs to be turned or moved out as appropriate. Of note the gas block should not be slammed right against the shoulder on the barrel — mine both required positioning the gas block off the shoulder of the barrel about 1/32-in.

Once those initial adjustments are made, the op rod is removed and then re-installed with the spring and the plug fully seated then backed out on-half turn. Similarly the carrier is removed and reinstalled complete with a bolt, cam pin, firing pin, and retaining pin. A final installation check is made to assure the carrier fully seats and positive hammer drop is achieved. All that is required now is to adjust the gas pressure in a process similar to any adjustable gas block.

This is a rise and repeat process of assuring the gas block sees just a bit more pressure than is required to offer a last round hold back of the carrier — generally one half turn pressure increase tuning over the lowest setting that will hold the bolt back.

superlative arms di
A more simple solution is one of Superlative Arms Direct Impingement type gas bleed off blocks. Outstanding quality!

FIT, FINISH, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
If you are familiar with Syrac’s top notch gas block quality then you are already familiar with Superlative’s Manufacturing quality since they have been the manufacturer up to this point. The fit and finish is outstanding and the Ion Bond finish on the carrier and melonite on the block finishes are excellent.

Functionally the system offers a lot of advantages including being able to tune the pressure to just enough to drive the bolt carrier. The result is that there is less recoil, cooler running system, less carbon build up, and greatly reduced gas blowback on SBRs and AR15 pistols.

superlative arms
My two test guns: a Yankee Hill Machine rifle which was a test of the systems low pressure operation. Zero problems. The second build was a conversion of an Aero Precision and Phase 5 Tactical AR15 pistol build. AR15 pistols gas pressure are notoriously high. This was a test of how the Superlative Piston system would handle high pressure systems and it worked flawlessly!

FINAL THOUGHTS
Only a 1000 or so rounds in, I am impressed. Both offer something that is different than anything on the market, and a design which potentially offer greatly expanded durability over traditional AR15 piston systems. I have said many times that an adjustable gas system is the best upgrade any AR owner can make — note due to the low pressure issues I do not recommend any adjustable gas system for 300 Blackout or 7.62×39 AR15 builds.

Find all the parts you need to build your AR at Midsouth Shooters Supply! Click Here to Shop Now!

See more HERE and view all the SPECS

MSRP: $289

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

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Abandoning their “Wild West” heritage, Levi’s now advocates radical gun control. READ MORE

levi's antigun

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, the pants came to symbolize American freedom. As Stanford Historian Niall Ferguson points out in his book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, during the Cold War, the American pants were so desirable behind the Iron Curtain that citizens would break any number of laws to obtain them. At one point the company even celebrated America’s armed heritage in a circa 1950 advertising brochure, “Levi’s Gallery of Western Guns & Gunfighters.” It’s with some irony then that Levi’s has abandoned this rugged image to team up with a billionaire oligarch in an effort to empower the government to trample upon the fundamental rights of the American people.

On September 4th, Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh announced that the San Francisco-based clothing manufacturer (which also owns Dockers) would openly advocate for gun control. As part of this campaign, the company will donate more than $1 million to radical anti-gun groups, including Michael Bloomberg front-group Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords, formerly Americans for Responsible Solutions and the Legal Community Against Violence. The company will also match employee donations to these groups and is encouraging its staff to devote their time to anti-gun activism.

Further, Bergh stated that the company has joined the Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety. The business wing of Bloomberg’s outfit is dedicated to leveraging member companies’ “market footprint… employee networks, [and] public communications platforms” to diminish Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

In a repulsive insult to the nation’s 100 million gun owners, Bergh likened Levi’s campaign to restrict the rights of law-abiding Americans to previous company efforts aimed at combatting pre-Civil Rights Era racial bigotry.

Among gun owners, Levi’s intemperate foray into the world of gun control politics has been met with the disgust it deserves. However, it shouldn’t be met with surprise.

Since the late 1990s, Levi’s has used its name and resources to attack gun rights. In 1999, the company gave $100,000 to gun control group PAX, followed by a $250,000 donation in 2000 and another $100,000 in 2001.

PAX was founded in 1998 by Dan Gross, who went on to become president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. PAX would go on to change its name to the Center to Prevent Youth Violence and later merge with the Brady Campaign.

Much like Bloomberg’s Everytown, PAX placed an emphasis on attracting corporate partners to their gun control efforts. As part of Levi’s relationship with PAX, in 1999 the apparel company teamed up with the band Goo Goo Dolls to attract support for the anti-gun group during the Levi’s Fuse ’99 summer concert tour. Concert goers, and visitors to Levi’s website, were encouraged to sign the PAX Youth Petition. Moreover, the denim company donated a percentage of all Levi’s Fuse ’99 t-shirt proceeds to the gun control group.

The PAX Youth Petition endorsed a variety of severe gun control measures that have repeatedly been rejected by the American public through their elected representatives. The document called for the “licensing and registration of guns, like automobiles.” The petition also demanded the “elimination of assault weapons and other weapons of war.” As the 1994 Clinton “Assault Weapons” ban was in place at the time of the petition, this imprecise demand appeared to call for prohibiting the sale of the remaining lawful semi-automatic firearms, confiscation of the firearms grandfathered under the ban, or both.

Given the majority of Levi’s 165-year history, Bergh’s decision to use a formerly-quintessential American company to attack a quintessential American right is a particularly sad episode in the current surge in corporate virtue-signaling. We can only assume that Levi’s accountants have determined that resulting skinny jeans sales will be enough to offset the permanent damage to their once-cherished brand.

 

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