The first book in the new series of Gunsmithing Student manuals is Chambering for Ackley Cartridges. Fred Zeglin the author says, “I have been teaching gunsmithing for some time and with my experience in wildcat cartridges and dealing with clients it became painfully obvious to me that that material available to reloader, gunsmiths and the like are spread far and wide and do not tell the complete story of the mechanics of headspace in firearms.”
Zeglin went on the talk about the fact that Ackley Improved cartidges seem to receive the most mishandling both in the gunsmith trade and by reloaders who do not understand the simple headpsace method that P.O. Ackley set up very early in his career.
Ackley was no fool, he set up a method that is easy to use and will produce both safe and accurate fire-forming of ammunition. There have probably been hundreds of articles written that tout the value of the Ackley Improved principle that allows the firing of factory ammunition for the parent case in the chamber of an Ackley Improved rifle. Unfortunately, many folks refuse to read Ackley’s simple instructions so they end up trying to set headspace without proper understanding of the process. Both professional and hobby gunsmiths are guilty of this.
Prove it you say… OK, call any die maker and ask them for dies for an Ackley Improved cartridge. They will ask you for a chamber or reamer print before they ship the dies. Quality Cartridge is a maker of custom head stamped brass. The owner Pete tells me he will not ship brass for Ackley designs unless he has fired cases from the clients gun, this is simply because of poor headspacing by gunsmiths, or the reloader who does not understand how his dies are adjustable.
In this booklet that kicks off the new series of gunsmithing instruction books, Zeglin clearly and without mincing words tells the reader how to correctly headspace any Ackley Cartridge. It’s not a book about how to ream a chamber but rather about the finesse that should be applied during the process to insure accuracy and longevity of the firearm.
There is a book on how to ream a chamber that will be out in 2018. That title is the third book in this series and Zeglin invited well known Bench Rest Gunsmith Gordy Gritters to co-author that book with him. That will be the book you need you want to understand what it takes to make a rifle shoot, you know we all want those tiny little groups! Watch for a follow up about that book here in the future.
The second title in the series is coming out now as well, it is called, “Understanding Headspace for Firearms” Where the first title is narrowly focused on Ackley designs this title will help the reloader and/or gunsmithing student to understand headspace no matter what firearm you are looking at.
Zeglin is pretty easy going about his work and tells us he fully expects to hear criticism over anything that was not covered thoroughly enough or heaven forbid, missed all together. He says he expects to start the second edition for these manuals as questions start to roll in.
These titles are available from www.4drentals.com
There is a review of the first two books on GunsAndGunsmiths.com