Tag Archives: reloading

300 AAC Blackout, Dies from Forster

Forster Products are now offering full length resize dies for the 300 AAC.  For a Seating die they offer their in-line ” Ultra™ Micrometer Seater Die”.  Anyone who has ever tried an in-line bullet seater will tell you they are the way to go for shooters who demand the best accuracy from the ammo they load.  Best of all you can get these dies in a set at a discounted price over buying them separately.

If you prefer the bargain basement, Advanced Armament Corp. stocks the basic dies from Forster for $75 as set.  Some makers are still charging a lot more for dies in this caliber.  This cartridge is certainly getting a lot of attention this year with many new rifles coming out in the caliber.  With the huge interest in this cartridge I felt I should post a link to the best source of information about it, Click Here for more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Firearms, tools

Guest Blog@ Ammoland.com

Recently Fred was a guest blogger for Ammoland.com You can check out his post here:



Filed under ammo, brass, bullets', Gunsmithing, wildcat

8×57 (8mm Mauser) Headspace Gage

Here is one of those little things that can make life as a gunsmith tough.  A SAAMI drawing from 11/12/1938 shows a shoulder angle of 20 degrees and 48 minutes.  There is a later revision in 1947 that retains that 20 degree angle. Jump forward in time to4/21/1980 and SAAMI issued a drawing with a 19 degree shoulder.  Its less than two degrees so what is the big deal?  Well the problem is the differnce in angle will cause confusion if not understood.  The 19 degree gage, if used in an old style chamber will contact at the junction of the neck and shoulder, thus causing the headpace to appear tight, or tighter than it really is. You can chamber cast to see which chamber you have if need be.   Is this a big deal?  Not really, just one of those things that forces the gunsmith to check more details.  You might have to check your gages because most are not marked as to shoulder angle.

Leave a comment

Filed under accuracy, ammo, Firearms, Gunsmithing, Rifles, tools

New Print Edition of the Hawk Reloading Manual!

Hawk Cartridges LogoYears ago I put together a reloading manual for Hawk Cartridges.  It has been available in CD from Z-Hat Custom ever since.  Over the years I have added to it and clients have long requested that I produce a print version of the manual.

I have the print edition almost ready to go to the publisher.  I added data for three cartridges that in new for this edition.  The 348 Hawk, 9.3mm Hawk, and the 411 Express.  Some pressure data is added as well for many of the cartridges.

Another important addition will be the Chamber dimensions.  In the past they have been held by reamer makers.  It has come to my attention recently that some of the tools being made for Hawk Cartridges have been incorrect in some dimensions.  Since we provide ammo and formed brass it is important to clear up these errors.

New Cartridge Drawings for the Hawk Manual

Drawings for the manual will include dimensions and case capacity.

Several of the Hawk line of cartridge appeared in the 11th edition of “Cartridges of the World”.    RCBS has been making dies for all of the Hawk line for many years.

Articles in the manual include material for several different authors who have used and tested Hawk rifles in the field.  It looks like the print edition of the manual will run 170 pages or more.

The information for the 411 Hawk is greatly expanded to include a powder profile the suggest not only the best powders to use, but some to stay away from for the 411.  In addition there is a article about lead bullet loads for the 411 that will save you a ton of experimenting and head you toward the best results right from the start.

I will announce the publication date right here as soon as I know for sure.

Leave a comment

Filed under accuracy, ammo, Books, brass, bullets', How To, wildcat

Sarah Brady on the Warpath for Anti-gun (Anti-Freedom) Legisaltion!

Sarah Brady said following the election of Obama, “As soon as President-elect Obama is inaugurated and the 111th Congress is sworn in, the Brady Campaign will be making an all-out push to advance our lifesaving legislative agenda… But that doesn’t mean we are waiting until Inauguration Day.”

The next couple of years will the toughest battle for existence… yes I said existence, that the American gun owner has faced since the GCA of 1968.  Now is the time to write your elected officials and tell them that you want your rights protected at all costs.  Don’t stop with Senators and Congressmen, write to your Governor as well.  As the head of your State government the Governor is a member of an elite group of politicians who can bring pressure to bear on issues of importance.

Tell your officials, NO NEW TAXES, and NO INCREASED TAXES on any part of the firearms industry or it’s products.  Make it clear that you care about this issue, and that you vote based on how officials deal with it.

The article linked below defines politically correct speech when applied to guns and gun laws.  It’s worth a read.http://mensnewsdaily.com/2009/01/08/gun-law-update-brady-gun-ban-strategy-outlined/


Filed under ammo, brass, bullets', Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To, hunting, politics, Uncategorized, wildcat

Rifle Accuracy, Sub MOA Requirements

Action tuning (blueprinting) is the process of making all the parts that make up the action square and true to the bore. First the locking lugs of the bolt must be lapped to insure even solid contact with the locking surfaces in the receiver. When finished the lugs should have equal contact area and contact should exceed 80%. This is accomplished using professional lapping compounds which produce smooth even surfaces.  Finally we put the action on a precision mandrel and turn it in the lathe to face the front of the receiver square to the bore.  Note the areas in the picture that are pointed out, the light spots are where the metal was in full contact during bluing, the dark areas were exposed to the bluing salts, obviously contact was not even.

Barrel Lapping is available for new barrels upon request.   Lapping the bore can offer more uniformity, velocity, and accuracy. This process removes the small burrs and marks left in the bore from the machine process. It also polishes the bore, which reduces fouling. A side benefit is that, there is little or no break in for a lapped bore. Which saves lots of time, money, and tedious cleaning.  Many of the best barrels are lapped by the manufacturer, McGowenHart and Lilja are three examples.  

Barrel Fit is the next consideration. The barrel must be set up on the lathe so that it is centered perfectly on the bore. Centering the barrel on the bore insures that it will be mounted squarely in the action. The shoulder will be exactly 90 degrees to the bore and the threads will be concentric to the bore, all essential to accuracy. Equally as important is the crown. It also must be concentric to give best accuracy. Over the years we have tried many styles of crowns at many different angles to the bore. Some work better than others but the bottom line is always the same, if it is concentric it will be accurate. 

Trigger Jobs can do more for accuracy than you might think. These days the factories are shipping guns with trigger pulls of five to eight pounds. To add insult to injury they include lots of sear engagement  (shooters call that ‘Creep’).   A trigger job will minimize sear engagement and bring the pull to a consistent weight that will give the shooter better control over the moment of ignition.

Bedding methods varies a little from one action to the next. The best method on average is to free float the barrel and bed the action. This can be accomplished through either pillar bedding and glass bedding. Pillars are made from metal usually aluminum, the purpose is to add a support to the stock so that it cannot be crushed by the action screws. The pillars also add stability to the bedding job. Glass bedding is the most common method used. Fiberglass and epoxy are used to bed the action of the rifle. This adds stability and protection from humidity. Proper bedding requires an understanding of the pressure points of the action and the methods that will provide the best support and results. A good bedding job will improve accuracy.

Ammunition is a major factor in accuracy for any rifle.  Accurate ammunition is a product of good reloading skills and tools. There are many makers of reloading dies. Quality varies widely from one manufacturer to the next. All will work to produce usable ammunition. Accurate ammo requires better quality dies. Just like the rifle, the dies must be concentric in order to be accurate.  Think of it this way, if you were to draw a 12 inch long line on a piece of paper with a ruler held firmly down you will get a single clean line from end to end. What happens if you stop every inch and pick the ruler up, replace it on the paper, and continue the line? Likely no matter how careful you are the line will not be perfectly straight. When we reload ammo we are picking up the ruler with every component used and with every process executed.  That is why its so important to make sure everythint is just right when loading for accuracy.

This is by no means a complete discussion of rifle accuracy but its a good start.  I recommend that you take your reloading manuals down off the shelf and read some of the articles that they contain.  You will be amazed how much good advice on how to load the best possible ammo is already on your shelf.

Leave a comment

Filed under accuracy, ammo, Firearms, hunting