RELOADERS CORNER: Multi-Rifle Loading

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If you shoot the “same” load for different rifles, here’s a few ideas on getting the most out of it for all of them. READ MORE

multigunj reloading

Glen Zediker

I have a few rifles…

Every time I do a new book I have more. This last time around, in writing America’s Gun: The Practical AR15, I built 10 AR15s, and half of those have the “same” chambering (5.56 NATO). My choices that I can case and then uncase any afternoon for some range time might all have the “same” chamber but they’re each and all, in some measured amount, different.

That’s literally in measured amounts, and more in a minute.

If you (like me) really don’t want to load separately, store separately, and use separately, then the only real choice is to employ a “lowest common denominator” tactic. With only one exception, I don’t load uniquely for any of these guns. I pretty much just want a sack-full of ammo at the ready. The one I load uniquely for has a tuned gas system (it’s a practical competition “race gun”).

old and new AR15
Both straight up NATO chambers, but the little one won’t run what the big one will. It’s a gas system architecture difference, and a little more challenge to find a “universal” load. Rifle-length gas systems like on my retro “602” M16 (left) are, by the way, more tolerant of load variations than tricked out short guns like the brand-new USASOC URG-I (right).

Variables
Assuming all the rifles have the “same” chamber, meaning only that the barrel stamp is the same, there still exist differences. There are differences reamer to reamer, and, depending on the operator, there might (will) be differences in headspace, and leade. They’re likely to be tiny, but tiny can matter. Some manifestations of pressure have some to do with the barrel bore (land diameter for instance).

I measure spent cases for all the different rifles. They don’t measure nearly all the same! Of all the set-by-sizing dimensions, cartridge headspace has shown the most variation in my samples.

That, also, is a very important dimension to set. As gone on (and on and on) in RELOADERS CORNER, the idea is to get adequate case shoulder set-back to ensure function, and also to keep it to the minimum necessary to prolong case life. The minimum necessary runs from 0.003 for a semi-auto to 0.001 for a bolt-action.

To set this dimension for multiple rifles that use the same batch of ammo, the means is pretty easy to anticipate: find the gun with the shortest headspace, set the die to set back the case shoulder where it needs to be for that one, and live with it.

If you don’t want to give in thataway, but rather prefer (or at least don’t mind, two technically different outlooks) running multiple dies with multiple adjustments, and keeping the ammo segregated, then here’s more.

I’ve had really good experiences using a turret press. For most rifle needs, one with, say, four spots will allow the use of two sizing dies, maybe three (depending on what occupies the other locations). These dies can be uniquely adjusted for cartridge case headspace. Of course, it’s easily possible to just swap dies in and out but the turret keeps them put and saves a step.

redding t7
A turret press is a sano solution to maintaining differently adjusted dies. Redding and Lyman both make good ones. This is a Redding T7.

If you’re a bolt-gun shooter and have a couple or more rifles that run the same cartridge, and if you’re wanting to get the most from your efforts in loading for each, you might consider this next. Redding has long-made a set of five shellholders with varying heights. They allow a shellholder swap on the same die to alter case headspace, for example. There are also shims available that go under the die lock ring to provide for die body height variance. This sort of setup lets the handloader alter-adjust headspace without readjusting the die.

redding shellholders
Redding Competition Shellholder set. Five shellholders, each 0.002-inches different heights. This allows, for one, different case shoulder set-back using the same die as set.

Levels
Now. As far as lighting on a load that they’ll all shoot their absolute best with. Sorry to say, but “not likely.” There sometimes seems like there is more mystery than there is known in “why some shoot better” with one load. And when I say “load” I’m talking about the dose, the amount of propellant. What that ends up being mandates at least some effort in evaluating more than one rifle when working up to a point you’ll call it “good.”

NATO-spec ammo is hot and getting hotter! I’m talking about true NATO-spec, not just lower-cost ammo sold in a “plain box.” This isn’t about NATO ammo, but it was for me. The difference between pressure levels of NATO and, say, a commercial-made .223 Rem. “match” load are enough that two of the guns won’t even run with that. I set up these guns from the workbench respecting NATO pressures, and that, in most cases, meant firming up the “back end”: heavier buffers and springs.

My good old “do it all” load no longer exists in my current notes. Amazingly, to me at least, it’s up the velocity equivalent of about a grain and a half from what I used to bust up clods and cans with. It’s also a different propellant (now H335).

No question: pressure symptoms must also define the “lowest common denominator” when loading the same for multiple guns. Since I also have to consider reliable function in my own example, and as just suggested, I’m loading up a little nearer the edge. I carefully evaluate spent case condition from each rifle and anything that reads or appears remotely as an excessive pressure sign means I’ll knock a universal half grain off the group load.

The preceding is a specially-adapted excerpt from Glen’s newest book, America’s Gun: The Practical AR15. Check it out HERE

par15

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

LINKS
TURRET PRESSES

COMPETITION SHELLHOLDER SET

Texas: Gun Control Bills Continue To Be Filed

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Everything’s bigger in Texas! Unfortunately including the number of new anti-gun legislation measures filed. READ MORE

texas flag

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

This Monday the Texas Legislature convened in Austin last month for its 86th Regular Session and the number of gun control measures filed so far is unprecedented. And there’s more to come — the deadline for bill introduction is not until March 8.

New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s national gun control groups Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action, along with their policy partners at Texas Gun Sense, continue working with anti-gun lawmakers to file countless misguided proposals that restrict your Second Amendment rights. Don’t be fooled by attempts to package these bills as “sensible public safety measures” or “common-sense solutions to gun violence” — they are part of Bloomberg’s radical agenda that targets law-abiding gun owners.

We reported to you last month on some of that legislation. Since then, even more gun control measures have been introduced, including but not limited to:

House Bill 930 by Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) repeals the Lone Star State’s “Castle Doctrine” law.

House Bill 1163 by Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) allows municipalities with a population of more than 750,000 to vote on whether to prohibit License To Carry holders from openly carrying handguns within city limits.

House Bill 1164 by Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) expands the prohibited places that apply to License to Carry (LTC) holders in Penal Code Section 46.035 to include facilities such as golf courses, amphitheaters, auditoriums, theaters, museums, zoos, botanical gardens, civic centers and convention centers, provided they are posted off-limits.

House Bill 1169 by Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) creates the offense of knowingly selling a firearm to another at a gun show without conducting the transfer through a licensed dealer, which would involve completing extensive federal paperwork and payment of an undetermined fee.

House Bill 1207 by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) makes it a crime for a person to fail to report a lost or stolen firearm within five days of the person becoming aware that the gun was lost or stolen.

House Bill 1236 by Rep. Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin) allows public colleges and universities to opt-out of Texas’ campus carry law. (An identical bill, HB 1173, was also filed by Rep. Rafael Anchia.)

We also reported to you last month on several pro-Second Amendment measures that had been introduced early in session; these additional pro-gun reform measures have been filed since then:

House Bill 1009 by Rep. Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) clarifies the definition of “school-sponsored activity” in the Texas Penal Code to avoid the establishment of roving gun-free zones in buildings or areas that are not owned by or under the control of a school or postsecondary educational institution.

House Bill 1143 by Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) limits the authority of school districts to regulate the manner in which firearms and ammunition are stored in private motor vehicles parked on school property (including by school employees).

House Bill 1149 by Rep. James White (R-Woodville) ties eligibility for a License To Carry a handgun to the ability to purchase a firearm.

House Bill 1177 by Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) & Senate Bill 506 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) protect citizens from being charged with a crime for carrying a handgun while evacuating from an area subject to a mandatory order issued during a declared state or local disaster, or while returning home.

House Bill 1231 by Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) & Senate Bill 535 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) repeals the prohibition on carrying in churches or other places of worship.

Senate Bill 472 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) protects the rights of tenants to lawfully possess firearms in their residential or commercial rental properties and to transport their guns between their personal vehicles and those locations.

Be sure to contact your state lawmakers and urge them to oppose the bad bills and support the good ones!

 

Washington: Magazine Ban & Firearm Seizure Bills Pass Committee

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Getting it cranked up early this year folks! Proposed legislation in Washington state seeks to ban higher-capacity magazines. READ IT ALL

magazine ban

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

During the executive session last Friday, the Washington state House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary voted to pass House Bill 1068 to ban many standard capacity ammunition magazines and House Bill 1225 for firearm seizures without due process. These two bills will now go to the House floor for further consideration. Please contact your state Representatives and urge them to OPPOSE House Bills 1068 & 1225.

House Bill 1068, sponsored by Representative Javier Valdez (D-46), was filed at the request of Attorney General Bob Ferguson and passed by a vote of 9-6. It would ban the possession of ammunition magazines with a capacity greater than 15, encompassing the standard capacity magazines for many handguns and rifles commonly owned by law-abiding citizens for self-defense.

House Bill 1225, sponsored by Representative Laurie Jinkins (D-27), would require law-enforcement to seize firearms and ammunition when they are called to the scene of an alleged domestic violence incident and hold them for at least five business days. This would result in property being confiscated without first going through due process and subject citizens to bureaucratic red tape to get their property returned.

House Bill 1739, sponsored by Rep. Valdez, was also filed at the request of Attorney General Ferguson. It would end the centuries-old practice of manufacturing firearms for personal use and also contains provisions that go above and beyond federal law that already bans undetectable firearms. The committee rescheduled the vote for HB 1739 to next week.

Contact your state Representatives and urge them to OPPOSE House Bills 1068 & 1225.

 

Illinois: Ammunition Registry Bill Introduced

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Late last week, House Bill 1467 was introduced to create a registry of ammunition sales by anyone, including private individuals. READ MORE

ammo

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

House Bill 1467, sponsored by Representative Lamont Robinson (D-5), would require anyone who sells any amount of ammunition to maintain records including the personal information and Firearms Owner Identification Card (FOID) of the buyer, and the type, quantity, and manufacturer of the ammunition. These records would have to be maintained for inspection by law enforcement and would also have to be forwarded to state police within seven days of each transaction. In addition, state police would be directed to establish and maintain a searchable database of these records.

These onerous recordkeeping and forwarding requirements will incur unnecessary costs on businesses and also hinder law-abiding gun owners trading ammunition among themselves. This solution in search of a problem will not only waste taxpayer-funded resources, but it will also not improve public safety. Current state law already prohibits those without a FOID from possessing ammunition, and sellers are required to verify that the buyer has a FOID. A registry would not affect criminals. The only purpose that these registries serve is to facilitate future confiscations from law-abiding citizens.

 Please contact your state Representative and urge them to OPPOSE HB 1467. 

 

Governor Noem Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry Bill

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Now for some good news from the “other side.” Kudos to South Dakota! READ WHY

noem

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The National Rifle Association today applauded South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem for signing into law Senate Bill 47, NRA-backed legislation that fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.

“On behalf of the NRA’s five-million members, we would like to thank Governor Noem for her leadership on this critical issue,” said Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of the NRA-ILA. “This law is a common sense measure that allows law-abiding South Dakotans to exercise their fundamental right to self-protection in the manner that best suits their needs.”

This was the first bill Governor Noem signed into law.

South Dakota already recognizes the right to carry a firearm openly without a permit. Current law, however, requires a state-issued permit to carry that same firearm under a coat or in a bag. This new law simply extends the current open carry rule to concealed carry. Those who obtain permits will still enjoy the reciprocity agreements that South Dakota has with other states.

With this law, South Dakota joins Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, New Hampshire and North Dakota as the fourteenth state that allows constitutional carry.