Category Archives: Uncategorized

RELOADERS CORNER: Case Trimming Tools

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Choosing the right case trimmer has to do with the quest for precision, the need for speed, and the budget bottom line… Here’s how to make the fewest compromises.


Glen Zediker


Last time we talked about the needs and reasons for trimming bottleneck rifle cartridges. It’s a necessary step in the case preparation process, at least at some point or three before the brass hits the trash can bottom.

MANUAL
Case trimmers are available from most all industry tooling manufacturers. Most replicate a miniature lathe: the case is held in place at its back end, usually by a collet-type appliance, and suspended from its front end via a pilot, surrounded by a cutting head, that fits inside the case neck. They have a crank-handle.

case trimmer pilot
Here’s the source of imprecision in most trimmers. The case is held securely only at its base. The cutter pilot has to be smaller than the case neck, and can’t have a close fit. There’s a lot of wiggle room and that translates to non-square case mouths and even length inconsistencies.

This essential architectural arrangement carries potential contributors to imprecision. The case body is not supported, only the case head is held firmly in place. The pilot goes in the case neck and, so it can go into the case neck, has some gap. Inconsistencies in case neck wall thickness and the inevitable case body warpage, plus plain old flex, can result in what some, me included, might call wobble.

If the case isn’t being rotated along a flat axis, then the cutter isn’t going to engage the case mouth squarely.

I think a better arrangement is taking the case head out of the equation and focusing on supporting the case body. To this end, I’m not bashful about saying something good about something I use, especially not when post-recommendation feedback continues to thank me profusely. Put it this way: if you asked me face-to-face which bench-top case trimmer to get, I’d say “LE Wilson.” Just like that. Check it out at Midsouth Shooters Supply HERE.

LE Wilson Case Trimmer
Here’s an LE Wilson. I bought my first one in 1985 and I’m still using it (just needs a new cutter head every so often). This tool produces square, precisely trimmed cases, and it does so quickly. This one shown is the latest-greatest version. The addition of the micrometer makes it the zoot-capri benchtop trimmer. That’s a real asset to precision for some operations, like case mouth chamfering, that you can use your LE Wilson for. Recommended.
LE Wilson Trimmer
The cases tap in and then tap out. There’s enough taper in the sleeve to secure the case against movement. It’s way on faster than locking and unlocking a collet. Plus, one LE Wilson base serves for virtually all cartridges, just change the sleeves.

I like this design because it uses a sleeve that holds the case and sits atop rails on the trimmer base. The case can’t move, and it doesn’t move. The cutter, which is the only thing that moves, engages the case mouth. All the alignment is in the parts of the trimmer itself; the case is taken completely out of the equation.

Forster Trimmer accessories
Another trimmer I like, and I do use, is the Forster. It’s what I recommend for those who want to get more of a “multi-purpose tool” out of their base unit. There’s a wide ranging array of add-ons, or add-ins, that make it serve to work over primer pockets, turn case necks, ream case necks, and even hollow-point bullets. I’m not exactly sure why, but my Forster does a superior job compared to others I’ve tried built along the same lines. The Brown & Sharpe collet is touted as providing higher precision than others out there.
case trimming accessories
There are a myriad of accessory add-ins for a Forster trimmer: shown is a neck reamer, outside case neck turning parts, centering pilot for primer pocket tools, primer pocket cleaner, crimp remover, power-drill adaptor, and the list goes on beyond these. Versatile!

POWER
Yeah boy. If you’re up for it, a truly specialty power case trimmer is the bomb.com. I really don’t think that adding power to a “lathe-type” trimmer is all that impressive or worthwhile. It helps ease the effort but it’s not necessarily speeding up the process.

There are two power trimmers that are more than impressive. One is a Gracey Match-Prep and the other is the Giraud. Both are expensive ($300+) but after processing a sack full of Lake City Match brass in a scant few minutes, the cost might get forgotten. Might. It really depends on the volume you do. I can tell you that, much to the contrary using a conventional tool, case trimming is the single fastest step in my case prep routine using a Gracey. I have not used a Giraud but have it on very good advice that it’s as good as all.

Gracey trimmer
Here’s a Gracey. It’s a powerful machine that’s a tad-amount intimidating the first time you use one. But just push the case in and bring it out. That’s it. It’s extremely fast and, according to my notebook entries, produces perfectly precise lengths as long as all the cases are full-length resized (the case stops on its shoulder in the holder). (Shown separately.)

Both work pretty much like giant overly-powerful electric pencil sharpeners. Push the case in and the spinning cutting head zips it flat in a heartbeat. Case length is determined by cartridge case headspace, which is to say that the case stops within the trimmer holder on the case shoulder. Clearly: trim only full-length sized cases to get consistent lengths. If the case shoulders haven’t been set back or at least all set the same, lengths will vary.

Take a look-see: Gracey, Giraud

Gracey holders work off the case shoulder, so all the shoulders have to be the same for best accuracy.
Gracey holders work off the case shoulder, so all the shoulders have to be the same for best accuracy.

Click here to see all the Midsouth Shooters Supply case trimming options.


Next time we’ll look at tools used to treat the trimmed case necks and finish this task in fine style.


The preceding is a specially-adapted excerpt from Glen Zediker’s newest book Top-Grade Ammo. Available right’chere at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Visit ZedikerPublishing.com for more information on the book itself, as well as others.

Shooting (Better)

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

By Glen Zediker:

Most gun folks are gearheads. Me too. We like all the tech, and the industry, and its published works, are devoted to tech. However! Continue reading Shooting (Better)

Bushnell Introduces AK Optics Red Dot Sight and Riflescope

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Bushnell’s new AK Optics 1-4X 24mm Riflescope and AK Optics 1x25mm Red Dot are a pair of sighting solutions designed specifically with the legendary AK-47 platform in mind.

The AK Optics 1x25mm Red Dot has a 3-MOA dot reticle with an Amber-Bright high-contrast lens coating that enhances detail and suppresses lens flare.

The AK Optics 1-4X 24mm Riflescope highlights targets with an illuminated 7.62×39 BDC reticle. It features 11 brightness levels packaged in a 30mm-diameter, one-piece aircraft aluminum tube.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Washington Post’s Fact Checker Rips Obama for Gun Remark

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

The memorial service in remembrance of the tragic deaths of five Dallas police officers was remarkable, but for all the wrong reasons. The service took a turn from memorializing to politicizing when President Obama decided to take advantage of this national platform and turn his memorial speech into yet another push for his political agenda. He implied the deaths of the police officers occurred because “we flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than to get his hands on a computer, or even a book.”

The remark immediately earned Three Pinocchios from the Washington Post fact checker, which called it an “exaggerated claim based in no real statistics, which does nothing but distract the public.” And distraction is exactly the effect Obama’s statement had on the public, which simply took away from the real reason everyone gathered: to commemorate the lives of true heroes whose lives were taken too soon.

Larry Keane, Senior Vice President, Assistant Secretary & General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation said, “It is a shame that our nation’s leader would rather take advantage of his television air time to push his political agenda than pay respect to the fallen officers and share grieving with their families and the law enforcement community. But Obama is not a novice when it comes to employing this tactic of exploiting a tragedy for political purposes. And, I suppose it was to be expected since he told America after the Umpqua Community College tragedy last year that he intended to politicize these events.”

Keane added, “Our highly regulated industry is not ‘flooding’ communities with guns. Criminals, not guns are what‘s flooding communities like the President’s hometown of Chicago. In times like these where the President chooses to beat the drum on restricting Americans’ Second Amendment rights, it’s important to remember the facts. Violent crime continues its downward trend, even as the firearms market sees more and more growth over the past two decades. Placing blame on firearms for the criminal acts of terrorists and madmen cannot be justified by data.”

Keane said, “It’s a shame that these victims could not be simply commemorated and their families, along with the Dallas community, could not mourn their losses without the President stooping to inject his self-serving political bias.  Will he repeat this tactic at the funerals of the slain Baton Rouge police officers and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy?  It will be equally off-point if he does, when even East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said  “This is not so much about gun control as it is about what’s in men’s heart.”

‘Surviving an Active Shooter’ Events Scheduled for 8 States

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Want to learn about “Surviving an Active Shooter” situation? Who doesn’t?

Texas & U.S. Law Shield recently launched a new special event in Florida and several other states to advise gun owners and others how to get past the end of such an incident — and live to tell about it.

The groups have scheduled “Surviving an Active Shooter” special events in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. At these events, law-enforcement professionals explain how to “run-hide-fight” effectively, then a lawyer details how to handle the legal aftermath, including how to react to arriving police who are trying to sort out who did what to whom.

Randy Macchi, general counsel of Texas & U.S. Law Shield and coordinator for the “active shooter” events, said the companies saw the need for more training of this type when the initial Texas events filled up within an hour of being announced.

Macchi said, “We were inundated with calls from people who were disappointed they were unable to register for these events because our limited schedule of ‘Surviving an Active Shooter’ events was full.”

He added that because of the importance of the topic, the events are not just for Law Shield members. “Our best hope is that you never, ever have to put into action any of the ideas presented at these ‘Surviving an Active Shooter’ events,” he said. “Regrettably, this is the world we live in, so we choose to be prepared.”

To register for these events, click GunLawSeminar.com. You’ll then be able to choose events from a pull-down state-specific menu.

Macchi said, “Not all of the events listed in the seminar schedule will have ‘Active Shooter’ programming. Check the ‘Event Type’ for a description. The ‘Surviving an Active Shooter’ events are clearly noted, but they may not be at the top of the screen.”

If anyone has questions about the events, he said they could call customer service at (877) 474-7184 (option 3) or e-mail seminars@uslawshield.com prior to the event.

Macchi said, “Please consider inviting friends, family, and work colleagues. Sadly, it is not alarmist to say these unspeakable tragedies can happen anywhere — the fact is, they have happened at night clubs, work gatherings out of the office, schools, movie theaters, political rallies, and many other venues where large groups of unarmed people gather.”

Bullet Basics

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

This is a specially-adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book, “Top Grade Ammo,” by author Glen Zediker, owner of Zediker Publishing. Click here to order from Midsouth.

by Glen Zediker

A cartridge is a system, a sum of its parts. There’s not really any one part that matters most, but the bullet matters much. The material below will offer an outline to identify influential aspects of bullet engineering and execution.

There are bullets engineered to perform variously on target, including the proximity of impacts on target. I say it that way because a “match” bullet’s job is to perforate a piece of paper. A bullet designed for varmint hunting, on the other hand, is designed to produce explosive impact, and one for larger-game hunting strives to strike a balance between expansion and penetration. All bullets have to meet their target to be effective, and different premiums often also result in a few trade-offs. Specialty hunting projectiles, for instance, don’t usually out-and-out group as well as those engineered for target shooting.

However, no matter how a bullet is constructed inside, essential elements of any bullet design are universal. I’m talking about the outside of a bullet.

Here are the parts: base (that’s the bottom); boat-tail, or not (flat-base); shank, portion of full-caliber diameter; ogive, the sloping “nosecone”; tip, either open or closed (open it’s called the “meplat”). The shape of the ogive and the first point of “major diameter” are very influential elements. The first point of major diameter can vary a from barrel brand to barrel brand because it’s the point on the bullet that coincides with land diameter in the barrel. It’s the first point that will actually contact the barrel as the bullet moves forward. This right here can be a very important thing to determine. When there’s a cartridge sitting in the rifle chamber, the distance to the lands that the bullet has to “jump” to engage is, well, called “jump.” It’s the gap between dead air and first contact. I pick back up on this next article.

The first point of major diameter and the shank combine to determine the “bearing area.” This is how much of the bullet is riding the barrel surfaces.

The two essential forms a bullet can take are “secant” and “tangent.” This refers to the profile of the ogive. A tangent is a more rounded, gradual flow toward the tip, while a secant is a more radical step-in, more like a spike.

Ogives are measured in “calibers.” That’s pretty simple: an 8-caliber ogive describes an arc that’s 8 times caliber diameter; a 12-caliber is based on a circle that’s 12 times the caliber. The 8 will be a smaller circle than the 12, so, an 8-caliber ogive is more “blunt” or rounded. (So I don’t get comments from engineers, there’s more to it than this, as it applies on blueprints to different profiles; it’s the ratio of its radius to the diameter of the cylinder. But my description is accurate as an overview.)

Now, here’s how and why all that matters to bullet selection: Generally, bullets with longer bearing areas are more tolerant of jump and tend to shoot better than those with shorter bearing areas. Shorter bearing areas, though, can allow for higher velocities (less drag in the bore). Bullets with lower-caliber ogives are likewise more tolerant of jump and shoot better. However, higher-caliber ogives fly better, that is, farther. This is an important component in “low-drag” bullet designs. Same thing comparing tangent and secant profiles: the first is easier, the second beats the air better.

When you see terms like “magazine bullet” or “length-tolerant bullet,” that is referring to those with tangent profiles and lower-caliber ogives. They are designed to endure jump so, therefore, can be seated to “magazine length” without much, if any, accuracy loss. If you want to experiment with the longer, “low-drag” or “high-BC” style bullets, you will find they don’t want to group as expected until they get very close to or right on the lands when the round is chambered.

This is the tip of the iceberg. More soon…

Legality of the Cellphone Gun: Answer or Hang Up?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Shooters may have seen media coverage regarding the “cellphone gun,” which is a cellphone look-a-like that transforms into a firearm. The maker, IdealConceal.com, says, “The ground breaking Ideal Conceal is a carefully engineered double barreled .380 caliber people can safely carry in their purse or clipped to their side. Ingeniously designed to resemble a smartphone, yet with one click of the safety it opens and is ready to fire.”

IdealConceal.com's cellphone look-a-like transforms into a double-barreled .380 caliber firearm.
IdealConceal.com’s cellphone look-a-like transforms into a double-barreled .380 caliber firearm.

As it begins to enter production, many are asking, “Is it a legal handgun?”

To get these questions answered, we picked up the phone and shot some questions to Michele Byington, an attorney at the law firm of Walker & Byington in Houston.

“The main concern for this firearm is essentially whether or not it is a NFA regulated item,” Byington said. She elaborated that under the NFA (National Firearms Act), there are certain weapons that are felonies to possess without properly registering it with the ATF, and receiving a tax stamp.

A tax stamp is, according to Byington, “a special piece of paper the ATF gives you to prove you suffered through their registration process.”

One such item that must be registered is an “AOW,” or “Any Other Weapon.”

“But don’t freak out,” Byington says, “‘Any other weapon’ is not what it sounds like.” She went on to explain that the phrase AOW was sort of a catch-all category; the definition states that an AOW is “any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive.”

This term includes quite a few things, but the most important for this discussion includes the classification of cane guns, umbrella guns, and pen guns as AOWs. In other words, the term AOW includes items that seem like they come straight from a James Bond movie.

Byington said that, at first glance, this gun disguised as a cellphone could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with items such as umbrella guns, pen guns, and the like. “The only problem is that, when asked for clarification, the ATF stated that they waiting until the gun was actually manufactured before determining its classification.”

This means that if you bought the gun, and later the ATF ruled it was an AOW, you would be violating federal (and most likely, state) law until you registered the gun. “This isn’t a quick process either; the ATF’s turnaround time right now is between six and nine months, which is a long time to hope no one finds out you’re committing a federal felony,” Byington said.

Byington pointed out that it was equally possible the ATF could declare the cellphone gun not to be an AOW; but at the moment, no one can say with any certainty how this specific weapon will be viewed under the law, so it may be worth putting the purchase of a cellphone gun on hold until the gun’s status has been decided by ATF.

How do you think ATF will rule: Is the cellphone gun a regular old handgun, or the much-heavier-regulated AOW? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Video: One-Handed Walther CCP Takedown

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Dan Davies shows how he takes down his every day carry gun of choice, the Walther CCP.

Walther Arms representatives ran into Dan at the USCCA show in Atlanta on May 1, 2016. He told the company of his affinity for the CCP and how he takes it down one handed. The video below shows how he does it:

Do you think the Walther CCP is too hard to break down? What do you think of Davies’ method?

Iowa Legalizes Suppressors; Free Shoot Set for April 16

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

ASA-Map-March-31-2016

Iowa became the 42nd state to legalize suppressors when House File 2279, introduced by Rep. Matt Windschitl and Rep. Terry Baxter, was signed by Governor Terry Branstad on March 31. And to celebrate, a national suppressor-owners’ rights organization is throwing a free shoot next week.

After three years of efforts by the American Suppressor Association (ASA) and the Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC) to educate lawmakers on the benefits and realities of suppressors, HF 2279 was met with positive response. The legislation passed earlier this session 46-4 in the Senate and 78-21 in the House.

Effective immediately, the new lawalso makes Iowa the 39th state to allow for the use of suppressors while hunting.

“The legalization of suppressors in Iowa is a tremendous victory for the law abiding citizens of The Hawkeye State,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the American Suppressor Association. “For the past three years, the ASA has worked alongside the Iowa Firearms Coalition, the National Rifle Association, Rep. Windschitl, and, this year, Rep. Baxter to get this legislation passed so that the sportsmen and women of Iowa could use these benign accessories to protect their hearing while in the field and at the range. We are incredibly excited that Iowa is now one of 42 states that allows suppressor ownership, and one of 39 states that allows their use while hunting.”

To celebrate the new law, the American Suppressor Association will be hosting a public suppressor shoot from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 16 at the Big Springs Shooting Complex.

To find the range, use Google Maps and search for the address, 5015 Highway 146, Searsboro, IA 50242. That will get you a pointer right by the range gate, according to the Big Springs Range website.

Knox said, “We will be bringing the top manufacturers from across the country to showcase their products, and educate any interested Iowans on why they should be excited that Iowa became the 42nd state to legalize suppressors. Admission and ammo are free, so we encourage you to join us!”

Facebook To Ban Private Gun-Sale Conversations

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube
Facebook has announced it will no longer allow private gun-sale negotiations to take place on its social-media platform.
Facebook has announced it will no longer allow private gun-sale negotiations to take place on its social-media platform.

Facebook has announced a change in its Community Standards that will ban negotiations of private sales of guns on its social network and Instagram, its photo-sharing service. Licensed gun dealers and gun clubs can still maintain Facebook pages and post on Instagram.

The updated language under Facebook’s Regulated Goods tab reads, “We prohibit any attempts by unauthorized dealers to purchase, sell, or trade prescription drugs, marijuana, or firearms. If you post an offer to purchase or sell alcohol, tobacco, or adult products, we expect you to comply with all applicable laws and carefully consider the audience for that content. We do not allow you to use Facebook’s payment tools to sell or purchase regulated goods on our platform.”

Although Facebook was not directly involved in gun sales, it previously allowed gun sales to be negotiated. The new policy supposedly arose because the company is expanding e-commerce on the site, including allowing users of its Messenger service to send electronic payments to other individual users.

Facebook spokeswoman Monika Bickert, who oversees the company’s product policies, said in a statement,

“Over the last two years, more and more people have been using Facebook to discover products and to buy and sell things to one another. We are continuing to develop, test, and launch new products to make this experience even better for people and are updating our regulated goods policies to reflect this evolution.”

The company did not highlight the substantial legal safeguards built into delivery of firearms whose prices were negotiated online and then paid for. Facebook is based in Menlo Park, California.

Is curtailing private guns sales on Facebook a big deal to you? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below: