Supporting a 28 Bore case during roll crimping

I do like unusual request and this one is worth taking a closer look at.

A customer reloads his own 28 bore cartridges and asked if we could build a holder that supports the case during the roll crimping operation, so here is the prototype.

The holder is machined from soft metal (6082 Aluminium) sized to the cartridge case with the case head just standing proud. The cut out is to enable the case to be held without rotating during the operation. The prototype pictured seems to tick the box so I will machine a small handful in case i ever get asked again.

It was an interesting project and this seems like a simple and elegant solution arrived upon over a cup of coffee 🙂

Pointing smaller bullets

Sunday I was experimenting with a new tipping die design for the 53 grain SMK #1400 bullet. Now you could always ask what is the point, these are not the sort of bullet to be pushed to any great distance, in fact given the flat base I would agree they are at best a 300m bullet however I was curious so I tested and this is what the tipped bullet (Right) looks like.

I must admit it does not look like a huge improvement however the average #1400 meplat is around 0.072″ and the pointed version brings it down to 0.051″ which is a reduction of 30% which is reasonable for a dumpy little 53 grain bullet which has a factory declared G1 BC of .224.

Yes I could have looked at the Hornady Vmax with a BC of .242 or the Berger with a BC of around .235 from memory however I have a lot of #1400s on the shelf so I might as well see if I can improve them any and it looks like I can.

This is only prototype tooling and I can usually close meplats to 0.020″ on heavier bullets such as the 123 Scenar and even tighter on the 155 grain class 30 calibre match bullets such as the Scenar or the #2156 so there is certainly scope for improvement.

Oddly enough I enjoy researching for future projects on a Sunday afternoon as I can be nigh on 100% confident I will not be disturbed unless it is by prior arrangement.

Now to get a handful loaded and see how they perform versus the un-tipped version.

Reloading and wet dogs

This lunchtime I have been reloading 6,5-284 (Again!)

I say again as these were for zeroing and load development however the first batch was not good so I pulled the bullets with the trusty collet puller and re-loaded again with 48 grains of N160 which hopefully will get the job done.

The rifle is a Schultz & Larsen M97-DL Sporter and this particular rifle stock is a bit unusual over here in the UK and probably not much more common in Europe. The stock is a fairly typical 300m competition type however it works well for sporting uses as well and can be shot thumb up or thumb down and has a nicely formed palm swell and adjustable cheek riser, all features that seem to fit and suit me well. Unfortunately it has always been my wife’s rifle however she has agreed to relinquish ownership to myself so she can acquire a particular Savage 99 she has been after for a while.

The rifle has a Kahles K312 fitted on Apel bases and rings and currently sports a turner all weather sling which is mine. So with some paperwork I am hoping to be the new owner hence the load development for a bullet to suit my needs.

Our reloading bench is a modest affair, to this day I still use a Lee Cast Classic that I purchased when I first started reloading many years ago. I had wanted a Redding press and eventually acquired one but soon parted with it as the Lee had become a firm favourite. I also use an RCBS Summit press for minor work such as de-capping and mandrel work. Adjacent to the Lee is a Dillon 1000 for repetitive carbine ammunition manufacture as it can churn out rounds by the hundred with very little user input other than a watchful eye. It is fitted with a Dillon case feeder and I do have a bullet feeder for it however it currently off the machine for some tweaks. Next along is a MEC Junior for 12 bore slug and I need to add a method of loading .410 slug at some point as well. Not in shot are the dies and I use a huge range of makes from Redding through Forster to Hornady and Lee with some real oddities in-between for the  esoteric cartridges we load for.

Every round I load is filled with an RCBS Charge Master 1500 and it is interesting to note that I am using a Sinclair run out gauge to test every single round I make on the LEE. Interesting in that I have manufactured dozens of our own design of gauge yet I no longer own one, the same goes for neck wall thickness gauges, I have built so many yet no longer own one however I did spot some parts for one on a shelf the other day so I had better make an effort to produce one for myself and stop using the Sinclair version which I have never been a real fan of despite them performing well.

We are in the middle of a solid 3-4 week run on gun work and slowly getting through the jobs however that does not stop us from our customary visits to the Salt Marsh with the dogs and yesterday saw six of us Myself, the Viking, two adult dogs and the two pups) splashing around in the last of the Sea Lavender after a reasonably high tide. The pups are at the stage where we can let them run free and they, for the most stay near my side along with my Labrador, the Viking’s Lurcher is usually in sight doing whatever he does, probably looking for things.

Last week was the pups first time at the Marsh and they discovered water, this week they are happy to splash around and the black one was very close to swimming at one point however the water was not quite deep enough. His wiser brother tends to try and jump such obstacles if at all possible.

I note also that the black one watches the adult Labrador like a Hawk and emulates his actions which has to be a good thing unless he finds another dead seal and also rolls on it.

The yellow one is turning out well and seems to almost instinctively know what is expected of him, his black brother not so much so however he also shows a keen independence. They are truly poles apart when it comes to character and traits and it is always a joy and a privilege to be out with them.

Back to work 🙂

Forster Coax Primer – Hints & Tips

I seldom if ever write hints and tips to this Journal, mostly because I just do not do that sort of thing as the internet is full of such stuff, however I was reloading today and something struck me as awkward so I will share it with you.

I occasionally use a Forster Coax Primer which was purchased after I managed to ‘misplace’ my RCBS hand priming tools and needed a replacement, even after the RCBS tools were found I still occasionally use the Forster thing and quite like it for some applications.

Today was such a time and I grabbed a box of primers and remembered just how much of a faff it is loading the primers into the feed tubes. The idea is you empty the primers into that flat tray area at the back of the tool, then manually flip them the right way up, then lay the flat tube at the back and invert the whole lot so the primers fall into the tube, well that is the theory however it is a bit awkward.

I have a box full of spare RCBS primer trays which have the benefit of acting as flippers plus they have lids so ideal for loading primers into the tubes if only the tubes would fit. So a couple of minutes with a sharp 1/4″ wood chisel and the feed end is easily modified to accept the Forster feed tube. I actually trimmed it to size, took the picture and thought it looked a bit rough when I blew the picture up so I have since tidied it slightly, not that it makes any difference to the operation.

Then it is simply a matter of holding the tube in place with your thumb, invert the tray and tube and give it a rattle and the primers fall into the tube with the greatest of ease.

Job done and I can go back to priming the brass I am working with today.

Alternatively I could always of not misplaced the original RCBS primer tools, then I would not have needed to buy the Forster…

T3x TAC A1 rear bag rider.

I seem to be very quiet on the Journal front, a combination of two new Labrador puppies and a load of rifle and revolver work is keeping us both very occupied and it is probably 10 days since we were at the Salt Marshes which also means I am starting to pine for the Saltfleet chip shop. The dogs however are quite happy as they are getting lots of local walks and the pups who spend a fair amount of their time in the workshop are getting used to new noises and people and seem to be taking it in their strides.

We have been working on some shiny parts and this week was a mix of OAL gauges and comparators along with a new rear bag rider.

People have been asking about a bag rider for the new Tikka TAC chassis system so here it is. 6082 Aluminium with A4 stainless screws so it is not going to rust any time soon. The plate is vapour honed and hard anodised and the rider tube is polished as they seem to track better with this finish. It will be added to our shop very shortly. Weight is around 165 grams for those of you shooting on a diet.

On the subject of OAL gauges someone recently pointed out our gauge did not fit his DTA Bullpup which set me thinking… So coming shortly is a new longer OAL gauge suitable for Bullpups, 50 cals and rifles with very long actions. The new OAL gauge will be 50,0mm longer which should cover all bases and as ever will be of all 316 Stainless construction. We can also supply the gauges with a removable rear end and supply bushings specifically for your rifle action to support the rear end.

I have not really thought about the price however I am sure the Viking will take a view on this once she has to start cleaning the things post polishing 🙂