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  1. tajjeep

    Reloading Memes

    I realize there is a “funnies” section, but these seemed more relevant here. If inappropriate, please delete. I came across these on a Facebook firearms meme group and thought I would share. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. tajjeep

    So, Who Is At The Bench Today?

    I am a rank amateur and have yet to actually reload anything. I have started to process my brass. It took me all of 5 minutes to get the Super Swage set up and working with my go/no-go primer gauge. I did 500 cases of .223 at a leisurely pace in a couple of hours with a ball game on the TV. I was honestly impressed with the ease of set up and use. That said, This was the first time I ever did anything to a piece of brass so I have no basis for comparison. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. tajjeep

    So, Who Is At The Bench Today?

    I like the t-tracks. I have them on a couple of different benches. This is the first non-woodworking apparatus I have made, but the flexibility is nice. Especially for something like this Swager. It’s use will be sporadic so it is nice not having to dedicate real estate for it. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. tajjeep

    So, Who Is At The Bench Today?

    I have been reading this thread over the past year, but finally started to get my act together and start processing brass for the first time. I picked up a Dillon Super Swage, go/no go primer gauge, and the Hornady head space gauge kit yesterday. I swaged 500 cases last night with the Super Swage clamped to the edge of one of my workbenches. I like the tool, but decided it needed an actual mount. I made a quick one today. I can position it in the t-tracks that I have on a couple of my benches and put it away when not in use. Currently it is on the outfeed table of my table saw. Perfect height to sit on a bar stool and still see the TV. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. tajjeep

    New to reloading

    I kind of made my mind up on investing in a 3-way trimmer. I will mull over the choices for the next week or two. I usually do not hesitate on tools with the buy once, cry once philosophy (too many times I have bought "sufficient" tools and upgraded them over time at considerable extra expense). I find it far more economical to purchase the better to begin with. I have found (as I would imagine everyone else as well) that longevity and retained value go hand in hand with quality tools. The head space issue is a fair amount of information I had not thought about. Forgive my ignorance on the matter, but from what I have figured out, the above combination would tailor the round to my individual chamber. The benefits being that accuracy could be improved (projectile is closer to the rifling, less "jump" (probably wrong terminology)), barrel/chamber life possibly improved (projectile not bashed around in the throat since it is closer to the rifling initially), and brass longevity improved as the brass is not constantly being reworked to excess. Does this sound correct? When sizing the brass to my desired headspace, would the final trimmed length of brass be a custom measurement for each configuration or would the brass still be trimmed to the 1.76" "standard"? Cartridge overall length would be tailored to fit the limitations/dimensions of that particular rifle (be it magazine restrictions or chamber restrictions)? With the above, if I wanted to make loads that would work in either of the two rifles I currently own, I would use the lesser set of dimensions? (thinking the shorter shoulder distance and shorter OAL)? Personally, I don't think I could tackle reloading without taking detailed notes. At least in the shop. At the range, my shooting ability isn't there yet. Who knows, eventually I may get into chasing the accuracy and analyzing every variable. But to begin with, I will probably compare factory load to whatever load I create. I have several calipers. I use them frequently in woodworking. Wood is fluid however, it moves and preciseness is somewhat relative. I occasionally measure to the tenth of mm (about .004") unless doing machine setup, but that is with feeler gauges and dial indicators. I will have to double check accuracy on what I have, I have a viewpoint that the number is arbitrary as long as the same device (and only that device) is used with repeatable results. I really appreciate everyone's patience and insight. I am sure my questions are the same as you all have answered countless times previously, yet you took the time to answer them again. Thank you! Hopefully I will get to the point where I have sufficient knowledge and can give back in a similar positive way.
  6. tajjeep

    New to reloading

    Thanks for saving me some money in the short term. I am sorting through my second load of brass and have come across a few range pickups with random head stamps (some of which the primer crimp was clearly chamfered out). I think the course of action I will take is to pick up some bullets and assemble a few dummy rounds with those cases (no primer, no powder). I think it would be a zero risk way to work through the assembly steps. I could use the dies I have and check the dummies in the two rifles I have. If the empty rounds are tight, then maybe a small base die would be the answer. The Gracey trimmer I looked at was a benchtop unit. I have a full woodworking shop and the majority of the stationary tools are pulley drive. While necessary under load for those machines, I appreciate the simplicity of the direct drive motor (less chance of introducing vibrations or imbalances). Compact for what it is, but a more industrial strength motor. Honestly, if I enjoy reloading, I wouldn’t hesitate to get one. However for this first go around, the WFT or Tri-Way is appealing. Especially since I could grab a small toolbox worth of equipment and take it up to the lake for the weekend and sit by the fire or on the deck and trim the brass. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. tajjeep

    New to reloading

    Thank you for the welcome and the advice. Although I had seen them, I was unaware of the necessity of the small base dies. My set does not state that it is small base, so I would assume it is not. I am fortunate to have a fairly well stocked reloading store on the West side of Minneapolis. I checked their website and they stock the go/no-go gauges along with both of the mentioned swagers. I am sure they would have a small base die. I will try to run over there tomorrow at lunch. I checked the Gracey trimmer out. I think at this point for me it may be a bit much (I like the simplicity of design with the direct drive motor), but the Giraud is more of what I was thinking. Smaller and portable. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. tajjeep

    New to reloading

    Longtime listener, first time caller (so to speak). I joined on here about a year ago when I was going to attempt my first build (first ever rifle owned larger than rim fire). At the time I was going to load what I shot through it. I was given some advice which I listened to and bought a complete gun(Stag 15) and soon another (Tavor X95). I was also told to shoot. A lot. I still am no closer on my build, but that’s a different topic. Back to the reloading. I have not reloaded anything yet, but I have kept my brass over the course of this past year. I am sitting on about 2.5k .223 and another 2.5k 223 still to shoot. Once I shoot up my supply (assuming I don’t buy more) I will have approximately 5k of 223 brass at which point it may make sense to reload. Regardless, I have decided I should start processing the brass. My Frankfurt Rotary tumbler showed up yesterday and I couldn’t wait to run a batch through it. I separated by headstamp. The small red bin are PMC which were range pick up. The lesser of the black bins are “GFL” (I assume these are the Fiocci I bought on sale last year). The larger black bin are “FC” which I assume are Federal. The “FC” have the noticeable circular crimp while the other two headstamps do not. 1. Is there a way to check the other headstamps for a crimp or would it be visible? I do not have any primers on hand with no intention of purchasing them until I decide I want to load and get the other components. 2. I assume the most forgiving method for a novice to remove the crimp would be with a handheld reamer (I have seen a version by Lyman). I do realize that with 4K of the Federal brass to handle this will not be a pleasant experience and a Dillon Super Swage may get added to the tool kit in short order. Are there any other recommendations? As for resizing, I have a Lee full die set, a Lee handheld press (worked awesome for decapping), a Lee breechlock single stage, and my brother in law is giving me his RCBS single stage. Unless directed otherwise, I feel this is sufficient. For trimming I have the small handheld Lee sets that came in the breechlock kit. I also feel this will be a pain and plan to pick up a WFT. Unless there is something else I should look at. I have intentions to pick up a 45LC single action revolver which will be what I will load first as there is a financial savings for that cartridge. I keep my 9mm brass, but I have a pretty good stockpile of Blazer rounds that it may be awhile before I do anything with it. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. tajjeep

    New to everything

    This will be a complete build (I have the lower, upper receiver, and hand guard already). I have yet to source a barrel, but have an idea of what I’m doing for everything else. The goal for the build will be a 20” barreled distance rifle for a proposed prairie dog trip. I will also probably be picking up a Stag 15 while they are on sale for an all purpose “plinker”. I also see a 300 blackout pistol build in my future, because why not. As to the reloading, I have never kept my brass. I am going to start. Eventually I will have enough where a decision will need to made on whether to reload it or not. A typical outdoor range day for me now is 200 rounds of 9mm and 1500 .22lr. Indoor range is 200-400 9mm. Eventually the 9 will pile up and will probably be my first attempt. My 1911 is Ammo picky (had it jam a few times when I bought reman Ammo), but my Sigs eat anything. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. tajjeep

    New to everything

    I'm new around here and new to centerfire rifles (I currently do not own a complete gun, but I have a lower to build out). I am heavily considering reloading .223. I have a connection to get factory .223 55 FMJ rounds for $0.25 and I pay $0.19 for my 9mm. I am not sure how much of a cost benefit can be had. Using some dirty math and Cabela's pricing, I could reload my used brass for $0.22/round. There isn't much of a cost savings there and the payback on the equipment would be measured in the tens of thousands of rounds. That said, I realize Cabela's is probably on the high side and bulk buying would reduce the cost/increase the savings/reduce the return on investment. Because of the lack of cost benefit, I would be doing it as an extension of the shooting hobby. I would like to start with plinking ammo and down the road I may try to find the "right" load for my gun, but I want to get a handle on the basics first. My brother in law reloaded shotgun for a long time until he quit several years ago. Shortly before he quit, he picked up an RCBS single stage press (he is unsure of the model, but it is new in the box). That press will be mine. I have been researching the steps involved and here is where I am at. Press - RCBS unless it is inadequate then I will have to source something else Brass prep I have decided to go with a stainless steel media tumbler. Franklin Arsenal is the leading candidate. The reasoning is one of my daughters likes to spend time with me in my woodworking shop (which is the likely location for my reloading) and she has Asthma and nut allergies. For those reasons I have gone out of my way to have superior dust collection on my equipment. I don't want to negate that with corn cob dust and a media tumbler. While I realize this is a large initial expense (along with a food dehydrator), I would rather take the hit if I decide it's not for me and sell, than to exclude her when she gets excluded a lot as it is. Absolute worst case, if I give up on reloading, I could still clean brass and either trade it or sell it. I do not know what to get for trimming cases, although I have seen a myriad of options and I am sure for the most part, they would all be sufficient. powder measure will probably be done on a cartridge by cartridge basis to begin with. Either a trickler and a scale or possibly a powder measure drum system like Lee Precision's or Hornady's I would like to prime off of the press. Mostly to simplify things and break them down into single operations. Plus that is a step that I could do inside with a game on the TV or possibly get the kids involved. Now if I may ask for some advice. I have looked at die sets online. Is one preferable to another as far as manufacturer or die composition? I am assuming I will need a decapping die (I wanted to do this operation prior to tumbling the brass), a full-length resizing die, a seating die, and a crimping die. I have read good things about the Lee Precision decapping die so I am leaning towards that one, but I am open and hoping for suggestions. If this turns into something I enjoy or feel a real benefit from, my goal would be to step up into a turret style press, so a set geared towards that would be acceptable as well. I am also open and hoping for any opinions on equipment or supply sources. I apologize for the lengthy post.
  11. Thanks for the replies and the welcomes. I appreciate any and all advice people are willing to share. I will slowly start processing the barrel information for those companies. I'm sure I will have some questions once I begin to narrow it down. It's always fun helping someone else spend their money! I realize that whatever I start with will be more accurate than I am. I don't necessarily have a budget and in the back of my mind I was thinking a barrel budget would be in the $150-$250 range. I would like to remove the inaccuracy variables on the rifle (within cost ratios) so that the inaccuracy is on my part. I am hoping that my accuracy can be improved upon through practice. Sub MOA is my goal. I know little about triggers. I vaguely understand the difference between single stage and 2 stage. single stage is wall then break, two-stage is weighted take-up then lighter break at wall (might not be the right terminology). The way it was described to me is that the single stage has a harder break because you are pulling all of the weight at the break, whereas a two stage has a lighter break because you have already pulled some weight to get to the wall. I was also told that single stage is more beneficial for rapid fire and that 2 stage is more beneficial for accuracy. That said, for this build that MBT might be worth a try. Worst case scenario, I could move it to my 15-22 if I wanted to make a change.
  12. I am new to this forum and also new to AR/MSRs. I did mention some of this in another post, so will apologize for the redundancy. For a little background, I did not grow up with guns. I am not a hunter, nor are there any in my immediate family. I did shoot quite a bit when I was younger with my cousins (.22s and small revolvers). A few years ago I remembered how much I enjoyed shooting way back when and decided, given the political climate at the time, that it could possibly be now or never. I purchased a Springfield 1911 9mm and got a carry permit. Since then I have added some more 9mm stuff and several .22 items. One of my .22s is a S&W 15-22. It is the basic layout of an AR with several mil-spec parts, but I do not consider it an AR so I still claim that I am new to them. I will say that I have not owned a rifle outside of .22lr and have not shot one in at least 20 years. The impetus for a 5.56/.223 AR now is a discussion my BIL and I had a few weeks ago. We go to North-Eastern South Dakota every June on a fishing trip (I live in MN). We discussed extended our trip and spending a couple of days chasing prairie dogs. He works in the hunting industry and has hunted South Dakota waterfowl his whole life. He was going to work his connections to see where and what the options were for prairie dogs. If anyone is familiar with SD dogs, I will take any help or advice I can get. I apologize for the two paragraph digression. Now to what brought me here in the first place. For a first AR, my thought process was to build rather than buy. By building, I figured I would get a better understanding of how the rifle works and the knowledge of how to replace whatever parts need replacing if needed. I am mechanically inclined and the process does not seem too daunting based on my research. On a whim, I picked up a stripped lower, an upper (dust cover & forward assist installed), and a handguard. A friend of mine has thrown a wrench in my plans slightly by recommending I purchase a Stag 15 that is on sale for about $500. He is a Stag fan (has a couple) and his reasoning is that I could pick up a plinker with a chrome lined barrel. basically it could be an F around gun that I could do mag dumps with and not be too concerned. On the fence about that gun, but it would have an impact on the build so I need to get it sorted soon. regardless, I would like a plinker/range toy and I would also like an accurate distance gun. By distance, the one range I belong to has a steel plate at 300 yards. A range closer to home has a plate at 200 yards. Nothing crazy either way, but I think an accuracy setup would be beneficial if we do go after prairie dogs. Assuming I buy the Stag (16" 1:7 mid-lenght), here is what I am thinking for an "accuracy" package. Aero M4 enhanced stripped lower - already have Aero M4 enhanced upper - already have Aero enhanced 15" Mlok handguard - already have on my shopping list Strike Industries enhanced LPK with trigger group Magpul UBR Gen2 stock Fab Defense AGR43 rubberized grip (friend's Stag .224V has this grip, very comfortable) Dead Air key mount muzzle brake (probably going to order a Dead Air Sandman S suppressor next week) Toolcraft BCG The unknown is the barrel. With the 15" handguard I am leaning towards an 18 or 20 inch barrel, but I know very little about barrels at this point. My LGS has recommended barrels from Classic Firearms or Palmetto State stating they are inexpensive and accurate. They have also recommended White Oak Armament for accuracy. Doing my research I have come across Faxon and Criterion that both have received good reviews. I do not have a specific budget, but I don't want to put excessive money into any one area unless there is an actual value achieved. Essentially, other than the Aero products listed, is there anything on my list that is excessive for what it is? What would be barrel recommendations? barrel material? I was thinking rifle length gas and probably an adjustable gas block if I go through with the suppressor. My apologies for writing a novel.
  13. Thanks for the welcome. We haven’t gone yet. The plan is for me to get a rifle figured out by June. My brother-in-law has his own non-AR options to choose from. He waterfowl hunts SD so he was going to check his connections for prairie dog options. Best I could figure is they would be on the western side of the state, whereas we fish the northeastern part. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. I found the site through the Tapatalk App while doing a little research. I did not grow up with guns (nobody in my immediate family hunts), although I did shoot when I was a kid with my cousins (mostly .22 rifles and revolvers). A couple of years ago I decided that given the political climate, if I was going to give it a shot, it was the time. For my 40th I bought myself a 9mm 1911. My wife considers it part of my midlife crisis. I have tried to make up for lost time and added several other pieces, all 9mm or .22 for simplicities sake. I picked up a S&W 15-22 which is similar to an AR. That is my favorite outdoor range gun. Long story short, my brother-in-law and I go to South Dakota fishing every year (yes we leave Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes to fish potholes in SD). We decided it would be fun to extend our annual trip and try to run a little further west to find some prairie dogs. That gave me a nudge (not that it took much) to start researching ARs. I decided to build VS buy and picked up an Aero enhanced upper, lower, and hand guard as a blemished package. Now I need to figure out the rest of it... Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk