FORUM NOTICE CONTEST! Gear Give-Away for GOLD Forum Members

Discussion in 'Main Message Board' started by Forum Boss, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. Forum Boss

    Forum Boss Administrator

    Sep 9, 2009

    On August 26, 2017, we enrolled our 300th Forum Gold Member. To celebrate that milestone, we are kicking off our first Golden Give-Away Contest for Gold Members. We will be giving away three valuable prizes. These will be given to the three Gold Members who post the best tips/advice item in this thread. Only Gold Members can win but other members can comment on the posts. We plan to announce the winners on September 10, 2017*.

    To have an opportunity to win, simply post a 100+ word TIP in this thread. This can be reloading tip, a shooting technique tip, or a suggestion on how to build or maintain a rifle. For example, you could write a tip on bullet seating, or a tip on reading mirage. This paragraph is 55 words.

    If you are not a Gold Member yet, you can still upgrade now so you can enter the contest:

    The Gold Member who posts the #1 Best TIP will win a Caldwell Ballistic Precision Long Range Target Camera System (MSRP $459.99). The second prize winner will get a $75.00 certificate good for Whidden Gunworks products. The third prize winner will win an Applied Ballistics book.


    1. The tip/advice must be your own, original words which you wrote all-by-yourself from scratch. You cannot copy and paste something you found elsewhere or use anybody else's writing. The tip must be at least 100 words.
    2. Photos are not required, but photos will be considered when we judge the entries. Good photos will enhance your chances of winning.
    3. Only active Gold Members are eligible to win. You can be eligible so long as you have a GOLD membership on or before September 10, 2017.
    4. Gold Members can post multiple tips, but no entrant can win more than one prize.

    Fine Print: Void where prohibited by law. No purchase required, but contest limited to Gold Members. Members must be a least 18 years old. No substitutes for prizes. Contest decisions are final. By submitting a post, entrants give the right to reprint all or part of such tip(s) and use them in any way.

    *We reserve the right to extend the contest in order to get sufficient entries.

    FIRST PRIZE: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Long Range Target Camera System

  2. Riverine

    Riverine Gold $$ Contributor

    Nov 22, 2004
    Thanks for running this contest for us Gold Guys. I've seen that Caldwell targetcam at the range and it works pretty good. That's a good contest prize.

    I guess someone has to start this off, so here is my TIP. Two tips, actually.

    1) Don't trim your brass until AFTER the first firing. I've found that even premium brass will end up slightly different lengths if you trim before firing... then you end up trimming again. If you fire your new cases once, you can then trim all your cases to the same length and they will stay consistent.

    2) Let Wipeout work while you drive. Like many guys on this forum, I use Wipe-Out Foam. I usually apply it twice after running some wet patches through the barrel. Anyway, here's the TIP -- Let it soak while you drive home. After applying the foam, I plug the chamber and put tape on the muzzle. Then I put the gun in the case and drive home (which takes an hour). I wait another hour or so, and then patch out. The foam is working when I'm driving so I don't have to linger at the range.
  3. Keith Glasscock

    Keith Glasscock True believer - Straight 284 Gold $$ Contributor

    Aug 17, 2010
    I work with several new and upcoming F-class shooters. While there are many things to learn, there is one lesson about reloading that benefits them more than anything else:

    Repeatability comes from foolproof processes.

    When we use Wilson dies, we are using a mechanical stop to set the seating depth. We've even gotten so cute as to use shims to make small adjustments. It is so reliable that I rarely measure a loaded match round.

    Yet, we persist in this idea that we can reliably and repeatably bump shoulders by moving the dies up and down in the press. What you really need is solid contact.


    That way, every case gets sized the same, whether the first or the last. There are no "setup" cases that got over-bumped, nor are there surprises on the line when the bolt won't close!

    With "foolproof" processes, there is little or no need to measure the shoulder bumps, seating depth, runout, or any of the other myriad of things that we can measure on all of our loaded rounds.

    These are just two examples of processes that can be made rock-solid repeatable. Look at every process in your reloading and see how it can be made more foolproof!
    seb, joshb and Jay Christopherson like this.
  4. Keith Glasscock

    Keith Glasscock True believer - Straight 284 Gold $$ Contributor

    Aug 17, 2010
    Here is one for everyone that points up bullets:

    I point some match bullets for the ballistic gains, but nothing is more demoralizing than dropping them on the concrete floor, getting them slightly cocked in the die, or my fingers pinched feeding them in.

    There is a simple solution - mount a spare press up-side-down.

    Notice the two handles. They balance out the motion to make the ram retract while allowing me to pull downward and feel the pointing process.

    A couple more modifications are needed to make it work. Glue the pusher into a spare shellholder.

    If you have a Whidden die, the return spring seems a touch week to push the bullet back up. Fortunately, it is a common size so a longer, stronger spring is easy to find at the hardware store.

    Finally, a nitrile or latex exam glove makes it easier to extract the bullet after pointing.

    It's easy, and you can see what you are doing!
    seb, 6MMsteve, C.E.Smith043 and 2 others like this.
  5. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

    Nov 23, 2007
    Thanks for that upside-down press idea Keith! I was wondering whether that'd work whilst I was getting into my 2nd box of 500 155.5's for SOA in two weeks. I'm not quite done yet so your idea's gonna get some fresh earth to grow into! (I'd already glued the plug into a shell holder so others take note!!)
  6. jamesdmock

    jamesdmock Gold $$ Contributor

    Apr 8, 2017
    HERE is My Tip -- About Finding Ideal Seating Depth
    To find the ideal seating depth for a given powder and bullet a person needs to first find the jam for that bullet. Also, one needs to load at three different powder charges for each of the following seating depths. These should be a mild charge, a moderate one, and a hot load. These three loads are tested at different seating depths...starting at jam and then moving away from jam in .005 inch increments. (see picture below).

    When one finds a 3-shot group that is in the same relative position with each powder charge (like those at .015 off), that is a great seating depth. After using this to find the best depth, one can tweak his best load by trying within the .005 inch window or within the .5 grain powder charge. Good shooting....James Mock

    seb, jds holler, Bulchmk and 4 others like this.
  7. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Gold $$ Contributor

    Apr 28, 2009
    Boss, I couldn't come up with one tip that would trip the 100 word threshold so I'll offer a compilations of my best ones. Hope this helps.

    Tip #1. To improve accuracy off the bench, shoot with a flimsy bipod preferably one made in China.

    Tip #2. When shooting an AR or AK or any autoloader for that matter, set up to the left of a shooter doing load
    development or shooting a rimfire.

    Tip #3. When shooting with a ported brake, Same advice but left or right side will work.

    Tip #4. Brass shells wear out. When they are hard to resize or chamber even after annealing or using a small
    base die, you still should be able to get another 20 or so reloads out of them. As long as they chamber
    and eject, you're good to go. A hammer and cleaning rod are good tools to have on hand.

    Tip #5. When looking at the target through a scope with adjustable parallax, move your head up and down and side
    to side. If the crosshair moves around on the target and it's still way out of focus, continue wearing your
    five year old prescription glasses or spend another twenty dollars on a better scope.

    Tip #6. When buying equipment, look for a cool name. That way when you are at the range, name dropping will get
    you the attention you didn't get as a kid.

    Tip #7. Buy anything with the word "tactical" attached to it because everyone knows if it's "tactical", it's one step
    above anything non "tactical". Plus see tip #6.

    Tip #8. If it's black and looks evil, see tip #7.

    Tip #9. Engage your fellow range bums in discussions about the latest and greatest calibers. This can be
    especially enlightening after one of said persons has just had an argument with their spouse or SO.

    Tip #10. Ignore tips 1 through 9.

    Tip #11. "When you need that extra push to go over the cliff" bypass #10.
    nakneker, Joe Salt, FFEMT and 9 others like this.
  8. milanuk

    milanuk Team Savage Gold $$ Contributor

    Nov 23, 2004
    Regarding bullet choices for 1000yd F/TR (.308 Winchester)...

    The Sierra 155 Palma or Berger 155.5 Fullbore are both very good bullets, and will get to 1k easily, even in a 10 twist. Seen it done many times, and at considerably above 2850, despite what others might claim. Fliers start more in the >3100 range :eek: followed shortly by bullets just not making it to the target :( Shy of that, back down at reasonable velocities (2950-3050), they just don't care that much whether its a 10 twist or a 13 twist, or something in between.

    The beauty of 155s in a .308 is that a drunken monkey could fall off a stump and accidentally find an accurate load on the way down. Someone who knows what they're doing, putting actual effort into load development with them can be terrifyingly accurate. Most of the serious .308 shooters I know agree that the 155s are *very* difficult to best when it comes to sheer accuracy, particularly vertical. They are very, very forgiving of all manner of gun-handling sins.

    Windage... is a challenge. 600 and in, I'd say take the more accurate 155 load, and spend a little extra time getting good at reading the wind. The difference isn't that huge. At 1k... you're going to have to be really on top of your game to outperform shooters running heavies. Ironically, to me, the difference isn't in big wind conditions. It's not that hard to see and identify a big change, and twist the knobs accordingly. It's the light twitchy conditions that you *can't* see, or can't read well, where the heavies actually pay dividends... its the difference between a squeaker 10 and a 9 just over the line, that's what kills you.

    The 185s are *almost* as easy to tune as the 155s... not quite, but close. And they do have a better B.C. Gun handling is still not *too* critical.

    The 200s... for me at least... are way, way fussier to tune. The accuracy windows are much tighter. Minor variations in seating depth, powder charge, component lots, etc. can take a load from good to bad rather quickly. Gun handling becomes *very* critical. If you can do everything exactly the same, every time, great. But minor inconsistencies in shoulder and cheek pressure that would hardly affect 155s start slinging bullets up, down, all around with 200s.

    It makes the scores shot with 200s in recent years that much more impressive, at least to me.
    MattS, seb, Joe R and 1 other person like this.
  9. eric32

    eric32 Shooting when I can Gold $$ Contributor

    Nov 25, 2011
    On a everyday shooter level, without access to a laboratory of machines and radars. I can only calculate a BC for a given round that will work in a "rifle system".
    Going out and shooting will give drops that correlate with the SCOPE/BARREL setup. Using that information you can customize any application to give drops that have been derived from actual field testing, in its given "rifle system".

    Weather/Wind gives a measure of unreliable results during field shooting when strictly measuring BC of a bullet. However it will give you extremely useful drop data information of a projectile in the parameters of your "rifle system".

    At the end of the day each "rifle system" is different from the next. The scope might track differently through a certain portion of the elevation adjustment vs others. Barrel lands and grooves might in-part a certain degree of jacket deformation that another barrel might not. Along with "true Barrel Twist" might degrade stability of a projectile which in-turn degrades BC. This also works in the opposite direction.

    At the end of the day going out and shooting YOUR "Load" in your "rifle system" will give you your "BC for a bullet" that works for you.

    I hope this makes sense.
    hogpatrol likes this.
  10. jamesdmock

    jamesdmock Gold $$ Contributor

    Apr 8, 2017
    ONE MORE TIP -- Reducing Run-out with Bullet Straightener Tool
    If you are jumping bullets, then you must shoot rounds that have the bullets seated very straight.(if you want to win) To achieve the very straightest bullets, you need good equipment. First of all, I have found that turned necks produce straighter rounds than those which are not turned. When seating bullets, I like the Wilson chamber type seater and I seat the bullet in two steps (after seating it half of the desired depth, I rotate the seater stem 180 degrees).

    The second part is checking the runout. I use an H&H tool, but there are many good ones on the market. If there is not too much runout, I will straighten with the H&H tool. Those that show .002" or more are marked and used for foulers. Good shooting... James Mock

    View attachment 1019679


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  11. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

    Feb 5, 2011
    My tip. Don't straighten loaded rounds, it will reduce the neck tension on that case and cause more issues than you had before.
    seb, ericbc7, ryanjay11 and 3 others like this.
  12. onelastshot

    onelastshot Gold $$ Contributor

    May 6, 2012
    TIP: Safety, Firearms, and Insurance
    My tip concerns safety and your firearms. One of the worst things you can face as a firearms owner is theft or loss of firearms due to fire or flood damage. One of the best ways you can protect yourself against loss and to have physical evidence for your insurance company is to video your collection of firearms, showing each and every piece and include in your recording the serial number of every firearm.

    If you experience a loss, a video recording is excellent proof of ownership when reviewing your claim with your insurance agent as well as the police department. In addition to keeping a list of firearms, a video recording will ensure that you don't miss anything when filing an insurance claim or police report. You can't rely on your memory to ensure that you report every firearm loss. A video recording will provide detailed information concerning additional equipment such as scopes and other accessories.

    Store the tape out of your home, this will ensure the tape won't be loss in the event of fire or flooding. I've actually produced a tape doing a walk through of my home to record all of my personal belongings in my home. It's just a great way to record your personal belongings and have proof of ownership as well as the condition of your personal items.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2017
    seb, joshb, boltfluter and 2 others like this.
  13. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

    Feb 5, 2011
    Ok, here's my real tip.

    Test, test, test. Dont take anything you read as truth for all rifles.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2017
    seb, joshb, Sniper338 and 3 others like this.
  14. Jay Christopherson

    Jay Christopherson Administrator

    Aug 24, 2009
    ... remember that this thread is for contest tips and not discussion ...
    seb likes this.
  15. joshb

    joshb Gold $$ Contributor

    Oct 5, 2014
    Here's my tip:
    For all you new shooters and old shooters that want to refine your game, this forum is rich with great guys willing to share knowledge. Read as much as you can and feel free to ask any questions you need answered. On all the internet, it doesn't get any better than right here.
    I'm fairly new to this "accuracy" shooting game. I'm just starting to shoot some custom guns I've gathered or built. I read every thread I can and soak up as much information as my brain will hold. It's working! My groups have gotten smaller and smaller. There are so many knowledgeable, nice guys on this forum that are willing to share years of experience, they are too many to list! Thanks, everybody! I'm having a ball!
    Ps: If you want to make your own stock, see my "Do it yourself stock making thread" in the "Gunsmithing section". PM me and I'll send you a free pattern and help you along.:)


    Edit(After shooting at 500, I'm now rethinking the target cam idea):rolleyes:
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
    USMCDOC and hogpatrol like this.
  16. Joe R

    Joe R Silver $$ Contributor

    Feb 4, 2013
    Some of us know that, of the 3 components of the Holy Trinity of precision ammo (powder, seating depth and neck tension), neck tension is the most difficult to control.

    I know that everyone likes to control neck tension with bushings but to me that doesn't seem like a very good way. From my way of thinking bushings transfer any variance in neck thickness to the inside of the neck where they have a direct impact on neck tension. That is not a good thing, because no matter how careful you are turning necks there will be variances, and those variances will impact neck tension.

    I believe that the outside of the neck has minimal importance, as long as there is a minimum .003 neck clearance for bullet release. The only important thing is how thick the necks are because that has an influence on spring-back. IMO the part of the neck everyone should be focusing on is the inside of the neck, or more appropriately inside diameter. The inside diameter is what influences neck tension, if one can transfer neck wall variances to the outside of the case it is that much better.

    So the question is: How do we control neck tension from the inside of the neck? What if instead of honing die necks (an irreversible and often problematic process because dies are hardened, not to mention that you have to be twice as accurate with a die then with a mandrel, an impossible taskfor most small machine shops) we were to use a mandrel to expand the necks to provide the desired neck tension? What would a mandrel do?

    Well, ... a mandrel would control the inside diameter of a case neck much more precisely than any bushing ever can. It could also transfer neck thickness variances to the outside of the neck where it doesn't interfere with neck tension and bullet release. That's good isn't it?

    I have been using mandrels for thousands of cases. The problem is that just when I have a mandrel that gives ideal neck tension (down to .0001 precision) it starts to wear, and after a couple of thousand cases it is done. Making another mandrel to .0001 precision is very difficult/not possible for most machine shops and grinding shops. So I set out to look for a solution. I eventually focused on the Hornady bullet puller collet, because that's what I had. I started using the bullet puller to hold pin gages to expand the necks to match the turner mandrel.

    However, the bullet puller did not hold the pin gages as co-axially straight as I wanted, so I approached Kenny Porter ( ), who makes all kinds of things including parts for pacemakers (can you think of anything more critical?). I told him I wanted him to make a die for me that would hold a pin gage, actually a range of pin gages ie .305, .306, .307, .308 and .309. Once I showed him what I had in mind he made a leap to a collet that is ideally suited for what I wanted. The collet holds the cutting bit for a CNC machine. It has real holding power. Here’ the mandrel die that Kenny Porter made for me.

    Neck expanding die 1.JPG

    Neck expanding die 3.JPG

    Pin gages are small tubes 2" long and can be bought for a few dollars and they are available in dimensions as exact as .0001 (+/- .00002). They generally have a 60 to 62 Rockwell hardness, like tool steel. They are ideal for this purpose, all you have to do is bevel the tip. To bevel the tip all I do is chuck the mandrel in a drill and spin it against a grinding stone until I get the tip that I desire. Takes less than 5 minutes.

    Now, when I need a new mandrel I buy a Vermont Gage pin gauge. If you’re looking for +/- .0002 precision they are round $3 each. If you really want to get precise and have a mandrel to .0001 (+/- .00002) precision then the price jumps to around $18 and you’ll have to order directly from Vermont Gage. For $18 you get a mandrel and a certificate of accuracy and the name of the guy that inspected and when.

    This mandrel die makes all other mandrel dies I have seen or bought look primitive.

    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  17. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

    Jan 9, 2008
    CASE FORMING TIP: For those people who use .308 "Palma" brass and neck them down to 7mm, 6.5mm or even 6mm, there is a way to make perfect brass. Many people consider the S/R Primer pockets in the "Palma" brass to be superior to "regular" L/R primer brass. So if you are making 7mm-08, .260, .243 OR their Ackley Improved derivatives, this regimen will save you time and make excellent brass.
    1.) Starting with the .308 Palma brass, run it up into your expander die WHILE AT .30 Cal. Turn the case (spin the case) 1/3 turn and run it up into the mandrel again and once again. You will feel the brass start to go up into the die easier. This has now pushed the brass "imperfections / variations" to the outside of the case neck wall.
    2.) Turn the necks down to the desired neck wall thickness for your chamber. Of course if you have a really tight neck chamber, you can only turn down so far. I have found I can turn 2 thousandths off the neck wall with no problem at all.
    3.) Take a Redding 7mm-08 BODY DIE and run the freshly turned .308 brass into this die. This will make a PERFECTLY formed piece of 7mm-08 brass!
    4.) If you are going to make a .260REM, instead of a 7mm-08, then after you have run the turned .308 brass into the 7mm-08 body die, you now simply change body dies to a .260 Rem and run the newly formed 7mm-08 brass into the .260 BODY DIE. This will make perfectly formed .260Rem brass.
    5.) If you are going all the way down to .243 repeat step #4 with a .243 body die.
    6.) Now if you are making 7mm-08 brass, you select the appropriate bushing for the neck wall thickness so you can ONCE AGAIN expand it in the 7mm expander mandrel. You would also do the same thing for the .260 or .243 you are making. This will size the neck down to a size appropriate to use the expander mandrel to push any imperfections back out to the outside.
    7.) At this point you once again measure the neck wall thickness and turn the neck wall down to your desired thickness. REMEMBER: whenever you neck down a case, your neck wall thickness will grow. The further you reduce the caliber, the thicker the neck wall will become. Once you run the brass into your bushing die, you will also create a small "exterior doughnut" at the case neck / shoulder junction. This needs to be turned off too as you turn your necks down to their desired thickness.
    8.) IF you are not going to make an Ackley out of your newly made cases, you should anneal them. Once annealed, run them back thru your mandrel. REMEMBER, heat causes metal to move. Your case necks will probably move. A mandrel will straighten that out. You can now load this formed brass for competition! ANOTHER TIP: with virgin brass, always use Imperial Dry Neck Lube PRIOR to charging the case and seating the bullet.
    9.) NOTE: If you ARE going to fireform into an Ackley, DO NOT ANNEAL and DO NOT USE DRY NECK LUBE! You want the bullet long and held in place firmly to hold the case head directly against the boltface. Fireforming like this will keep you from having any headspace problems.
    10.) Once your brass has been formed to your chamber after the first firing, now anneal and you will have excellent brass.
    This has worked time and again for me. It is a tried and true process. I know it sounds L-O-N-G but I did 130 pieces of Palma brass and formed them into .260 in about 5 hours. The brass is as perfect as any brass can be made!
    Sniper338, johnnyi, joshb and 4 others like this.
  18. Joe R

    Joe R Silver $$ Contributor

    Feb 4, 2013
    I have seen and used many different types of spotting scope stands. However, I was never pleased with any of them because I couldn't get them close enough and when I did I found they interfered with my shooting. So I decided to take a different approach. First I tried with a piece of wood and my favorite camera tripod head. The Bogen tripod head is very easy to use, I just squeeze the pistol grip and when it is lined up I just let go, locking it in place.

    The piece of wood turned out to be too thick and to slide comfortably under my shooting mat. So I approached my friend Kenny Porter who whipped up this plate for me. All I had to do is screw in my tripod head. :)


    Spotting scope stand 01.JPG

    Spotting scope stand 02.JPG

    Spotting scope stand 03.JPG
    seb, USMCDOC, MQ1 and 4 others like this.
  19. BoydAllen

    BoydAllen Gold $$ Contributor

    Jun 13, 2005
    Reloading Tip: Before you set your die to bump, try this. (These instructions are for bolt action rifles)

    Reading forum posts, I sometimes get the impression that shooters think that there is some intrinsic virtue in setting their FL or body die to bump shoulders of fired cases other than simply creating clearance. Well, there isn’t…which is the point of this tip.

    It generally takes more than one firing of a new case to make it tight at the shoulder. Having more clearance than you need there is not necessarily a good thing…SO before you set your die to bump, set it to give the identical measurement that you started with, that of the fired case, and check it for fit in your rifle. Most of the time the bolt will close quite easily and since that is all that is required, you will be in business.

    The next time that you fire that set of cases (You are firing them in rotation so that they will be uniformly work hardened aren’t you?) You can repeat the process, and at some point down the line you will get more feel on the bolt handle than you want from sizing to the dimension of the previous firing and THEN you can set your die to bump .001 or .002 (at the most, for a bolt gun). End of tip. You can go back to sleep.
    dbcfr, seb, Bulchmk and 1 other person like this.
  20. randy x

    randy x Gold $$ Contributor

    May 7, 2013

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