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  1. I have the Caldwell, and it works pretty well. I also have a shooting chrony, but purchased the Caldwell because it interfaced directly to my tablet or phone for recording my shooting data. It is accurate, at least it gives me the same velocity as my shooting chrony. I lined them up and shoot through both of them to see if there was any variation and they were spot on. I like the software... One feature I really like is it allows for you to take a picture of your group, then mark how large an inch is, then mark your shots and it will give you basic group data... The tripod it comes with us a piece of junk.... I just use my bogpod, and it works great on it. The only other problem it has, which I haven't gotten around to calling Caldwell to see if it's something that can be fixed or not, is that if someone close to me is shooting a large caliber rifle, the chrono seems to pick up junk data. I don't have any idea why other then maybe the vibration... But the good thing is that it is at least easy to identify the bad data as it's like 10k fps... So you can delete those "shots" from the group. My buddy has the CE ProChrono, and he likes it. I have never used it or been with him when he had been using it, but he likes that it connects to his tablet using Bluetooth instead of wired, however he did say he likes the software for the Caldwell I showed him better. I am interested in the new Caldwell Ballistic Chronograph G2, but have no experience with it. Hopefully that helps... Dan Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
  2. First off for the tumbler, Frankford Arsenal makes one that is inexpensive and worked great for me. I have a buddy that uses a tumbler from harbor Freight with good results, but the thing I like about the FA over the ones from freight as well as some of the "name brand"ones is that the walls are rounded at the bottom but not at the top so it makes emptying it into your separator a little easier than many other tumblers. I personally is the Lyman media separator and like it. RCBS, Lyman and other companies make very similar separators, and I think any of them would be just fine, and to me one of the most important features is that it closes completely whole separating so the media/case container is completely enclosed within the outer container so you don't end up with media fling all over the place. As for the scale, I have several of them, but the one I use most of the time is the Hornady Lock-N-Load Bench Scale (http://m.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-Bench-Scale/). I have heard good things about the new Hornady G2-1500 scale (http://m.hornady.com/store/G2-1500-Electronic-Scale/). As for loading manuals I literally have about 15 of them not counting data from the powder manufacturer's... either from their website or their paper catalogs. I believe more is better... If I were going to recommend just 2 I would probably say the Sierra and the Lyman, and would highly recommend getting the Hornady as well. With the Hornady they just came out with the 10th edition, and with the Lyman they just came out with the 50th. All the have good information other then just loading data, and are very instructional. The Lyman seems to have more liberal charges, and I always feel like it's good to get a couple references. I hope that helps, Dan Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
  3. I agree with the H335 and CFE223... my AR's shoot great with both. If you continue to have the same experience you might want to check your reloading equipment. If you have access to a cartridge concentricity tool it might be worth making sure the cartridges your outputting are straight... There are other things you can check too... But I just wanted to bring up that your reloading equipment and process might need to be checked if you continue to have the same results. Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
  4. I use the Hornady one shot live and put my brass into a zip lock bag... Spray the line into the bag and it makes a little bit of live go a long ways. I then pour the brass out into a disposable baking tin, and size each piece. I used to use SB dies, but then discovered that standard dies worked fine and worked the brass less... So now just use the Hornady standard full length dies for my AR brass. I can tell if cases are over lubed when I feel them at this point. I used to set all my cases in a case tray and say them with the Hornady lube... I had more dented cases when I used that method... But still not too many. I think I would try the Hornady lube. It has worked great for me. Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
  5. I also recommend the Dillon Super Swage.... If your dealing will military brass. Once again I will mention the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Perfect Seat Hand Priming Tool which can be found here... https://www.midwayusa.com/product/582486/frankford-arsenal-platinum-series-perfect-seat-hand-priming-tool although currently backordered. I've gone through a number of hand priming tools, use my Dillon when punching out large quantities of 9mm, 45, or 223... But when I am loading any of my rifle brass that I want precise the Frankford Arsenal tool is the best on the market IMHO. You can adjust priming depth, it comes with all the shell holders you will probably ever need, and it is made out of quality material. It's very easy to switch between large and small primer rams... And the way it is designed really helps with hand fatigue if you are priming a lot of brass. You can still feel the tension of the primer pocket, but the tool is more ergonomically​ designed then any others I've used.
  6. The new Frankford Arsenal Perfect Seat Hand Primer is the best I've used. I've had the Hornady, a couple Lee's, and an RCBS. Broke a couple... Just didn't like others. Was on the search for the perfect hand primer. It comes with basically all the shell holders you could ever need, you can adjust the primer depth... And it won't break the bank. In my opinion it is the best hand primer on the market.
  7. I trim brass to half way between trim length and Max length then chamfer and debur.
  8. First off, whatever process you use, document everything about it. If your not sure what all to document there is a great log available from Trigger Time Industries called "Reloaders Log" for about $10 on Amazon. Your probably going to get 10 different answers from 10 different handloaders... But my process in the beginning definitely adapts, mostly because in the beginning I want to find powder and projectiles that work well in a specific rifle, and that will also differ for each loaders goals. For instance, I ultimately am loading for optimal long range hunting loads, and I do most of my hunting in California which means I have to deal with the stupid anti-lead bullet requirements. So in my projectile selection step, I omit the lead containing projectiles. The problem therein is that the non-lead projectiles are more expensive so at the powder selection step I do use a projectile that I have found to work well in most of my rifles that contains lead. All that said, here is the basic order that I develop loads... Also in all my load development I shoot through the chronograph, because I want to gather velocity data as well as standard deviation on each load. 1. Measure throat depth using the Hornady OAL gage. I note both the Cartridge Overall Length (COAL) and the Base To Ogive (BTO) measurements. I do this so that I know what jump in working with for every load. 2. Using a projectile I have found to perform well with almost all my rifles in the specific caliber, I will test several powders from a mid range charge to a Max published charge in 0.3gr increments... Looking for pressure signs especially as I get close to the max published load. I also have probably 10 different loading manuals, and will use their data in conjunction with the powder manufacturer's website. At this stage I seat my projectiles at the COAL published in the manual. 3. Once I've narrowed down to a couple powders I will shoot several different projectiles to find the projectile that groups the best. 4. Adjust the seating depth for the best combinations I've found this far, while monitoring velocity (as it is an indicator of pressure changes) as well as pressure signs. 5. Once I've found a seating depth range for a couple loads that seems to work well I will adjust my powder charge to get to the muzzle velocity I'm trying to end up with while monitoring for pressure signs as well as monitoring standard deviation. The goal after this lengthy process for me is to have a couple of loads at a combination of brass, projectile, primer, and powder that gives me the velocity and accuracy in looking for a low standard deviation... Standard deviation is important because you want the load to consistently shoot as expected and if the SD is high then your performance variance is going to be high. Notice I didn't address brass and primers. I will try a couple different brands of brass, and possibly different brands of primers, usually between steps 3 and 4 to see if there is a meaningful impact. As others have mentioned other variables might impact your ability to shoot the optimum load like magazine length of you plan to have your cartridges loaded from a magazine. If that's the case then the max COAL I will test to will be the maximum measured length that will fit in my magazine minus .010 so the cartridges have a little room in the magazine. Note that published max magazine length and actual max magazine length will probably be different, so I measure the length with my calipers. Hopefully that helps, Dan
  9. Sounds cool, looking forward to insight as well...
  10. Hey Greg, I knew both your and Rich's at least association with BHW, just from monitoring threads. I've been on my back on and off for the passed couple years because of a number of back/neck surgeries and couldn't literally use my fingers to type even half way like a human, so was only able to watch... Luckily recovering has gone somewhat more rapidly so I can at least start chiming in. Caleb, I hate it when that happens, you have a great group and last shot either because your excited about the group, or for what ever other reason fly's on you... But hey, still not a bad group. My next project is the 6.5 Creedmoor... I just picked up the barreled action, and need to make up my mind on the chassis is going in. While picking it up, my buddy that owns the local gun store showed me the 6mm Creedmoor Bergara he ordered while at shot show... Holy crap... Will that be a barrel burner! Anyway, getting around to what I really wanted to say is that while I shoot for fun and love stretching the limits (mostly mine), I'm really a hunter that shoots paper to shoot game. With that in mind I feel better shooting the 6.5 at least when I'm after deer on public land here in California mostly because I'm more confident I'm going to get a quickly terminal shot. I know you can with the 6mm but considering I'm lucky to just be hunting at all, I can't chance it becoming a major recovery mission. So Caleb, now I'm sorry for really being off topic, but I felt like sharing...
  11. Sounds great! I think I'm due to upgrade anyway :-)
  12. GLShooter, I'm also using a 20" BHW barrel, not a 24" or 26" BHW barrel. Rough math gives an additional 150+fps for another 6", and the G1 BC on the Berger 130 Gr I was shooting was 0.562 vs the .243 SMK G1 of 0.480. I'd love to push 2900 fps, but not at the cost of lugging around a 26" barrel on an AR. I'll give credit where it's due, the .243 LBC looks like a fun project for me, but wildcats aren't for everyone... And I shoot paper to gather data for shooting game. Could be a fun chambering for shooting coyotes...
  13. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the .243 LBC a 6.5 Grendel necked down to 6mm? We could get in a pissing match over mine is better then yours all day long, but I think out of respect for Caleb and his original question it all needs to be laid on the table... He wants to stretch out the performance of his AR 15 platform. Sure we could propose all kinds of wildcat options for him, but what is going to achieve his purpose and not take him too far into the weeds. My thought would be give him an option that is SAAMI spec, that he can find published load data for, he could buy brass ready to load of he wants, and heck loaded ammo if he wants... Not to mention dies that are designed for the cartridge he's loading. Those are all things I took into consideration when deciding on the Grendel... (And mine are actually a .264 LBC on my AR platforms to be completely accurate)... Additionally, I wanted the option to ethically take medium sized game not just pound paper or steel. I liked the round so much and it's performance I've now put together a Howa Grendel mini action with an MDT LSS chassis that is an absolute track driver. So Caleb, to answer your original question, the 77gr SMK's would be my choice. Sorry for getting your thread so far off track... But if you do want to make a change to a better long range chambering for your AR 15 platform there are a number of things to consider that all will come back to the question of what do you want to achieve with it, as well as how much work do you want to put into it. In my opinion, I think the Grendel is one of best, and the best for my needs. If you want any help, or more information I'm happy to provide it. Also, as a side note, Alexander arms has some pretty decent Grendel barrels for sale right now for $195... Just in case your interested. They are stainless which isn't my preference, but a pretty good deal from the creator of the cartridge. I'm running barrels from BHW in .264LBC that are type 1 which means that I actually run a 7.62x39 bolt instead of a 6.5 Grendel bolt. The difference is slightly different headspacing. Hopefully helpful... Dan
  14. If your serious about stretching out using the AR 15 base platform, I think and I'm sure Greg would agree that moving to a 6.5 variant would be your best bet... Whichever you go with will take some additional investment, but to me it has been well worth it. I've used my Grendel deer hunting public land in California, I'm disabled, so I find taking longer shots tends to be my better opportunities at better deer. I also love predator hunting and it's very satisfying to mail one at long range. That said, even if you just want to improve your skill at shooting longer distances... Which to me is a combination of skill and art... 6.5mm projectiles are going to give you some better opportunities to do so IMO.
  15. Here is the ballistics we started with when we took it to 1000 last fall... Had to adjust a little, but from 3rd shot on we were hitting. I plan on taking the video camera's back up to the National Forest land where we can stretch out to 1000 and beyond as soon as they reopen the gates in May. I built a Grendel chassis bolt action rifle, and am putting together a 6.5 Creedmoor chassis bolt action rifle that both will get to go stretch out [emoji2] Also, sorry we kind of took over this thread!
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