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  #1  
Old 06-19-2010, 3:38 AM
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RaymondMillbrae RaymondMillbrae is offline
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Default RELOADING .223 (Video Tutorial)

OK, Folks,

I just have two words..."Thank You"!

Thanks for all the advice and help yall have given me when advice was needed. (Some was good, and some were immediately discarded).

Thanks to the fellow shooters who have embraced me on the range and local matches, and have given me the right hand of fellowship.

If you look down at my signature, you will see that tutorials are a way I am giving back to the shooting community - and this video series will be a new way for me to do so.

It seems kind of weird to hear myself talk, but that pales in comparison TO SEEING MYSELF on video.

Anyhoo...here is a little something to help some of yall with your never-ending questions on reloading for the venerable .223/5.56 cartridge.

The tutorial videos are free on YouTube. But if yall want to watch them on TV (highly recommended), contribute to a great California website, and help a fellow shooter with reloading funds...they are also available for sale in DVD format for $20.00. (I look like a super-star on a 56" inch flat screen)! The DVD is nice, as you can sit and watch it at your leisure on TV, and get away from your PC for a while. It also gives you the option of "choosing your scenes". (Just like a regular DVD movie).

Did I mention that 40% of the proceeds will go to Calguns?! Watch the INTRO video.

This is my very first video series, and it is totally spontaneous...so follow my train of thought, and don't be so hooked on my words.

Enjoy the videos!

In Christ: Raymond

PS: Moderator, contact me via PM to figure-out how to get the monies to yall.

PSS: Out of courtesy, I have contacted a few of the manufacturers telling them I am using their products in this tutorial. If you purchase something from them, just slip-in a little mention that yall saw/heard about their product on this website.








Last edited by RaymondMillbrae; 06-23-2010 at 5:46 PM..
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Old 06-19-2010, 3:38 AM
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continued...








Last edited by RaymondMillbrae; 06-19-2010 at 3:43 AM..
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Old 06-19-2010, 3:39 AM
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continued...










Last edited by RaymondMillbrae; 06-19-2010 at 3:48 AM..
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Old 06-19-2010, 5:12 AM
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Raymond
Great Job! I've been a long time Dillon 650 user and I've picked up several new tips, refreshed some ideas/tips plus see that I have been doing some of your tips/ideas also. Thanks again for your time & effort.
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Old 06-19-2010, 9:19 AM
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Nice job! I am getting everything together in order to start reloading .223. This is going to help me a lot even though I am using a 550.

This should become a sticky.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:07 AM
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Great work. A lot of video to work through. I have finished about half of them. I love the PVC coupler. I have been just duck tapping the vacuum hose to the blue thing. But now I am going to rig up something cool and I will post a pic. The lubing by hand seems too dirty, maybe add in a segment with spray lube as an alternative. I put 4 full scoops of akro bins worth of brass into a box, give it 8-10 pumps of Dillon's spray lube and shake vigorously. You can borrow one of my sprays.

Edit: For the trimmer hose hookup I believe you said 3/4". So I went and bought it but the outside diameter of the blue thing is actually 1 1/4". So back to home depot I go in the morning.

Last edited by joelogic; 06-19-2010 at 10:21 PM..
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:37 PM
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First-off...I want to say, "Thanks, guys".

If I have helped ONE PERSON, that is cool with me.

Secondly...I'm soooooooooooooo sorry about that, Joe!

I feel bad having even one person wasting gas and time on an unnecessary trip for the wrong-sized part.

I was totally winging-it, and going by memory when I stated the PVC coupler size. (I knew it had the word "quarter" in it. But I didn't know it was one and one quarter inch, and NOT three quarter inch)

I owe you a DVD, brother.

Thanks for the correction. (I have made the correction on the YouTube videos, as well as on the DVD's).

In Christ: Raymond


Last edited by RaymondMillbrae; 06-20-2010 at 4:14 AM..
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:43 PM
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Edit: Raymond, you can tell I am not a builder. I bought the wrong part again. The part needed is 1 1/4" OD but I bought 1 1/4" ID. I am not going back to HD so I will just use a piece of pipe (Which fits onto the blue thing) into a 90 degree elbow. If its too bulky I will exchange it otherwise two trips is my limit. Someone else can figure out which piece is the correct piece.


No worries, I cant believe I didnt think of running some tubing before. What I was doing before was ridiculous. I like the floating die and toolhead mod, I will have to try those out next.

Last edited by joelogic; 06-20-2010 at 8:54 AM..
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Old 06-20-2010, 7:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelogic View Post
No worries, I cant believe I didnt think of running some tubing before. What I was doing before was ridiculous. I like the floating die and toolhead mod, I will have to try those out next.
I am going to be checking out the toolhead mod as well. I was reading Randall's post about installing 2 other dies and bringing them down hard against the shellplate, but Really like the idea of this mod. Raymond do you have a link to the parts for that mod? If not I'm pretty sure I can do it without buying the kit.
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Old 06-20-2010, 8:52 AM
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Hoffman259,

I will attach links to the "Unique-Tek Toolhead Clamp Kit," and the "Whiddon Gunworks Toolhead" below.


UNIQUE-TEK TOOLHEAD CLAMP KIT
WHIDDEN GUNWORKS TOOLHEAD (From Unique-Tek)
WHIDDEN GUNWORKS TOOLHEAD (From Whidden)


Unique-Tek is now selling the Whiddon Gunwork toolheads, so you can knock-out two birds with one stone if you wish. (But I personally like to patronize the original manufacturer if possible).

If you should contact Whidden Gunworks directly (John Whidden), ask him about ONLY selling you the nuts if they have them in stock. This way you can drill and install a roll pin on all your existing toolheads, fasten the nuts to the dies, and make them "sizing floater dies". (That's what I did).

The only Whiddon toolhead I have is for my rifle dies. I don't really need all that extreme accuracy for my pistol dies. And on top of that (speaking of the floating bullet seating dies), I use hollow points and semi-wad cutter bullets for my pistols- so they get seated pretty concentrically anyways. But all my toolheads have a Whidden floater die for the sizing die.

And if you do purchase any of the above items, make sure to mention that you saw their products here on Calguns.net.

In Christ: Raymond

Last edited by RaymondMillbrae; 06-20-2010 at 9:00 AM..
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:01 AM
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All i can say is WOW. Raymond you did a helluva job putting together all those vids. I'm appreciative and thankful for your work. You're an asset to the forum.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:08 AM
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On phone. Tag
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  #13  
Old 06-20-2010, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelogic View Post
Edit: Raymond, you can tell I am not a builder. I bought the wrong part again. The part needed is 1 1/4" OD but I bought 1 1/4" ID. I am not going back to HD so I will just use a piece of pipe (Which fits onto the blue thing) into a 90 degree elbow. If its too bulky I will exchange it otherwise two trips is my limit. Someone else can figure out which piece is the correct piece.
Ha ha ha!

Sorry to hear that, Joe.

What I did was take the blue Dillon piece with me, and made sure the PVC coupler would fit.

Either way, I have a DVD set aside for you.

In Christ: Raymond
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Old 06-21-2010, 6:14 AM
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Raymond I thought tumbling a completed round, to remove the sizing lube, is not a good thing. Wouldn't it change the burn rate or the characteristic of the powder???
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Old 06-21-2010, 7:10 AM
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If you are talking about tumbling completed PISTOL rounds for 20 to 30 minutes...nope.

I was also in those camps - thinking that tumbling completed rounds would break down the powder, hence changing it's burn characteristics. But there have been a few folks who have experimented with this theory. They left the rounds tumbling for hours, and even for a few days, and then chronographed them with non-tumbled rounds (sans lube) - and they were pretty much identicle.

So, "NO" it will not harm the powder if you tumble completed PISTOL rounds for 20 minutes to remove the lube.

But if you are talking abour RIFLE brass...well...it is not charged when the lube needs to be removed.

In Christ: Raymond
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Old 06-21-2010, 7:30 AM
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Well, by process of elimination it must be a 1" joint. If in the next week or so if anyone wants to try to process .223 on a fully loaded XL650 shoot me a PM. Thinking about buying a Dillon give one a test spin. If you use a single stage, try a progressive. Please have clean brass ready if you want to use your own brass.

Disclaimer: I am not interested in letting you process 1000 cases but if you want to try one out for 20 mins no prob. Dont ask to load on my press, I am not interested in the liability. But if you want to watch me load maybe that could be done. Must meet a minimum post count or itrader feedback rating. Minimum level determined on a case by case basis.

Last edited by joelogic; 06-21-2010 at 8:46 AM..
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Old 06-21-2010, 7:53 AM
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Joe,

I am positive it is a 1 1/4" inch coupler I have. That is the INSIDE diameter. (See my attached picture above).

The coupler is actually too large for the vacuum hose and the blue Dillon connector. I had to wrap a few coils of black electrical tape around the pieces for them to fit snugly within the coupler.

Now, if the coupler is too small...well...that's a different story.

Pretty cool to let a fellow shooter prep brass at your place. Just be careful about opening-up your place to strangers...or letting your trimmer overheat.

Remember...a 1/2 hour of continual use will have your trimmer motor pretty h-o-t.

In Christ: Raymond.

UPDATE: Just wanted to warn some of you guys about adding too many bends and curves on your hose connections. Not only is the "ribbed hose" a horrible disrupter of air flow (causes massive air turbulence, which equates to less suction), but too many bends will also DRAMATICALLY effect air flow/suction.

Last edited by RaymondMillbrae; 06-21-2010 at 4:19 PM..
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Old 06-21-2010, 8:44 AM
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Yea the ID 1 1/4" coupler takes pipe that has an OD of 1 1/4" which would have an ID of 1". Hence 1" pipe, AFAIK.

Edit: Strangers...fixed.
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Old 06-21-2010, 9:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondMillbrae View Post
If you are talking about tumbling completed PISTOL rounds for 20 to 30 minutes...nope.

I was also in those camps - thinking that tumbling completed rounds would break down the powder, hence changing it's burn characteristics. But there have been a few folks who have experimented with this theory. They left the rounds tumbling for hours, and even for a few days, and then chronographed them with non-tumbled rounds (sans lube) - and they were pretty much identicle.

So, "NO" it will not harm the powder if you tumble completed PISTOL rounds for 20 minutes to remove the lube.

But if you are talking abour RIFLE brass...well...it is not charged when the lube needs to be removed.

In Christ: Raymond
thank you sir
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Old 06-21-2010, 3:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelogic View Post
Yea the ID 1 1/4" coupler takes pipe that has an OD of 1 1/4" which would have an ID of 1". Hence 1" pipe, AFAIK.
Joe,

It sounds like you have the correct part. Just wrap some tape around the end of the hose, and around the end of the Dillon thingy, and fit the coupler on.

Like I said, the 1 1/4" PVC coupler is going to be a bit too large for the connections...so tape will be needed around the other "male ends" for them to fit.

Let us know how it worked for you.

If you're in the Millbrae area, drop me a line if you want to swing by and pick-up a DVD.


Damilfman,

you are more than welcome, shooter!

In Christ: Raymond
415 377.8042
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Old 06-21-2010, 3:50 PM
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Dude thank you sooooo much for taking the time and doing this. Very helpful

I vote to sticky this
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:08 AM
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Raymond,

What powder do you use? You recommended spherical powders. Do you use the same powder on different weights of bullets?
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:03 PM
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Thanks Raymond (and for answering some questions in the past).

$20 donation sent to Calguns. Not sure I'm going to need the dvd's yet but will ping you offline if I want a copy. My inlaws are in Burlingame and when I visit and if you're up to it, Starbucks or Peets on me man! That way I can repay you a little for the questions you answered for me in the past.
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Old 06-22-2010, 1:48 PM
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GutPunch (Cool username),

I am using Hodgden H335 powder. It is a nice burning powder and has worked really nice for me. I have also used Varget, but I like the H335 better. The BLC2 is also nice...but once again, I liked the H335 powder better.

Let me say that I am currenty looking at the brand new IMR 8208 XBR powder. There have been some very favorable reviews on this powder, and it has left a very good impression on my mind. (Click HERE for one article).

One of the things that really caught my eye about the IMR 8208 XBR powder, was it's temperature range. It works between -46-degrees to 165-degrees with almost nil variances. And being a California native, the temperature ranges here are note-worthy. It could be 65-degree one day, and 104-degrees the next. So if I am shooting a hot load at 65-degrees, that's one thing. But that same hot load in 104-degrees is something else. (Which is a reason folks keep their rounds out of the sun...or sometimes place them in the sun on purpose). Varget is similar...but methinks this IMR 8208 may be better.

Sorry, I guess I side-tracked. To answer your question, I am predominantly shooting .223 cal/55-grainers, as us Nor Cal shooters don't really shoot over 300-yards in multi-gun matches.



High_Revs,

you should be a CGN Contributor so your username (next to your avitar) will be in gold. (Bling Bling). As for Starbucks, drop me a line if'n you're in the area. You are welcome to bring a few .223 rounds over if you want to prep them. (Not to be corn-fused with reloading them). We can shoot the bull for an hour or so if my schedule permits. 415 377.8042

By the way, I just got off the phone with Lee (from Unique-Tek), and he has some good stuff in the works. Keep an eye-out for some of their new upcoming products!! ("No"...I am not affiliated with them. But I do recognize good products when I see them) Oh yea...I shoud also have mentioned their POWDER BAFFLE in the video tutorial.

Thanks, guys.

In Christ: Raymond

Last edited by RaymondMillbrae; 06-22-2010 at 1:55 PM..
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Old 06-22-2010, 2:40 PM
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Raymond,
Thanks for the videos! I just started loading .223 myself so it was good to see another person's method of doing it.

One thing you could add to your walnut media, as you said you didn't like having the dust on your cases from tumbling, is a used dryer sheet. It does a great job of keeping the brass more or less dust-free and it collects a lot of the junk from the tumble so it doesn't stay with the media.

I just grab all the used ones out of the laundry and run them with a pile of brass in the tumbler. They are pretty nasty after one go so I only use them once.
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Old 06-22-2010, 2:50 PM
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Thanks, Savasyn.

I have tried the sheets before...but didn't like them.

I tried complete sheets, stripped sheets, quartered sheets - but they still bothered me when they got soft and tangled-up with the media and brass - and I didn't see too much of an improvement when using them.

No biggie. If it works for some of yall, that is what is important.

I tumble outside on my patio, so the dust is not really a factor for me. And even when I seperate the media from the brass, I stay upwind of it, and it only takes me a minute or two to seperate them anyways. (No long term exposure).

Thank you for mentioning the tip, as some shooters may not have heard of using dryer sheets before.

In Christ: Raymond
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:20 PM
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Raymond, really nice work. Thank you and curse you. Now I need to buy more stuff (love the new tool head idea). JK You really did a fine job on those videos.

A question for you. My left brain thinking is confused about the floating bullet seating die. You lock down the tool head to prevent slop but make the seating die float. The left part of my brain is telling me you are adding some slop to it. I am in no way doubting you and that you are making better ammo but why is this not adding slop since it is moving? I would think that the OAL would have greater spreads. Again I do not doubt your methods but I really want to understand.

Another question. I am pretty new to reloading smaller calibers but I have been reloading .50DTC rounds for a few years now. I was taught to look for certain signs that might tell me a case is getting ready to or close to failing. Things like small hairline cracks or discolorations in the body or neck. A shiny ring near the base. These are signs that tell me it's time to cull this case. Are there similar signs or other things to be on the lookout for when reloading .223? You mentioned bulges and splits during the swaging section and that you are always looking for them but since swaging is only done once where does this happen after that? Do you ever just examine each piece of brass looking for trouble? Is it even necessary? How bad is it when a .223 round fails? I know it's bad when .50 cal round fails or at least it can be. Were talking about a lot of powder and a lot of pressure but .223 is a much smaller round. I always inspect each piece of brass before every reloading (,50 cal) but I am only talking about 50 to 75 rounds at most per session. Not the 1000 - 2000 rounds you are doing at a time. Sorry for all the questions but I just want to be safe.

Thanks again for the videos, I have already watched them all twice and learned a lot from them and I am sure many others will as well. Thank you for your service to our community.
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Old 06-23-2010, 6:25 PM
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Butthead (geesh, it felt weird typing-in your username) ,

I can only tell you that I measured a bunch of rounds (from the ogive) AFTER installing this set-up, and the finished rounds were much more consistent. It was something that immediately caught my attention. (In a good way).

Below is an email I received form John Whiddon. Maybe ths will give you a better understanding behind his concept:



QUOTE: Raymond,

The most important thing about our toolhead vs. the Dillon is that our die threads are absolutely straight and perpendicular to the flange around the toolhead. The location of the tapped holes and the squareness of the whole toolhead is far superior.

What we can't account for is if the shellplate is as exact. Should the spacing be off or uneven on the shellplate we would still need correction. There is float in either our or the Dillon toolhead fit in the frame. but this is different. The difference is that in a floating toolhead each of the dies can individually move to make up for whatever differences there are in the system.

We are very confident that our toolhead is superior and will gladly offer an unconditional satisfaction guarantee to any purchaser. They will be welcome to test it for themselves.

Again, I appreciate your endorsement of our products! It is a pleasure to hear from you. - John Whidden




As for looking for defects in the brass, I pretty much boil it down to splits, bulges, and basic overpressure signs. Same as what you mentioned. If anyone wants to chime in on other signs to look for, I am sure everyone would benefit from this info. (Me included).

As for swaging - I am almost always loading once fired LC brass. Not all the time, but most of the time. In the past, I have gone to the range with twice-shot brass. (No further swaging was needed). But after shooting and policing-up my brass, I found a bunch of once fired LC brass (from someone else) in my batch. This caused a big slow-down at the final reloading process, as I had to remove all the brass and re-swage the whole batch.

So now, just to be on the safe side, I swage all my brass before reloading it. Like I said, it is also an excuse to physically touch all my brass one more quick time.

I have also received feedback about my comment on "crimping" the case mouth at the last station.

I do hear yall!

So I just wanted to add that it is a very small, slightly touched, crimp that I use. Some say that .223 ammo is PRECISION ammo, and should only be friction-fitted. (No crimp at all). And that NATO rounds (5.56) are OK to crimp, as they are more military style rounds, suited for blazing away downrange with less needed accuracy. They've even gone as far as telling me to change my title to "Reloading 5.56". (Geesh...talk about nit-picking. This was only intended to get someone started, and not as an award-winning video for the History or Discovery channel)!

But I have to agree about the .223 crimping aspect.. (For precision .223 bolt-action rounds). To be totally honest, maybe my "slight crimp" may be effecting my accuracy. I am willing to check it out. But for the meantime, I am leaning towards RELIABILITY, so the slight crimp will stay on my reloading process for the moment. Did I mention that it is a super slight crimp? (.002" inch).

As a side note: If you are loading for .45 ACP, and are using PLATED BULLETS, you also want to use a SUPER MINIMAL CRIMP. It was pointed out to me that any deformation of the .45 ACP bullet will cause it to tumble, and can be seen by the "key hole shape" it leaves on paper targets. I use .45 ACP SWC boolits, and when loaded correctly will leave purdy round holes. But when crimped too much, you can definitely see that the holes are NOT round and symetrical. This was something I learned when I started shooting pistol matches. (Thanks, Dan C ,and Chris S).

And lastly, in regards to a .223 round exploding from a defeciency...nope...I never "physically" saw one. But HERE is a YouTube video clip of one. (Click on the link).

Thanks.

In Christ: Raymond

Last edited by RaymondMillbrae; 06-23-2010 at 6:54 PM..
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  #29  
Old 06-23-2010, 6:48 PM
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That's an interesting way to lube the brass. I was taught to never lube the neck and shoulder. Seems like this method would get lube on there?
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Old 06-23-2010, 8:12 PM
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Default Terrific Video

Raymond you are again my hero.

I got a chance to visit with you and handle your POF. I decided to buy more LWRC's ... REPR.

However, you are the man with this reloading. I could not get to your level and still single staging my rifle rounds.

Love to come over and 'shoot the breeze' with you while trimming some 223 brass on that fancy machine of yours!

Take care and always a pleasure meeting you and doing business with you.

ddindetroit
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:33 AM
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Raymond,

Thanks for the explanation. These videos are helping a lot of people, certainly me. I think once I get one of the new toolheads installed it will make more sense to me. Having trouble visualizing the float in the dies. I have been a bit nervous with bulk reloading. Not weighing each charge, not working each and every piece of brass by hand (I have many more steps in my single stage loading processes) takes a bit of getting used to. Your videos coupled with the improvements to the press are making me feel better and better about this bulk process.

Keep up the great work,

Butthead
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  #32  
Old 06-24-2010, 11:40 AM
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Boy...no moderator has contacted me yet?

I am still waiting for a moderator to contact me, so I know where to send the 40% I wanted to contribute to Calguns.

I've sold a few DVD's so far.

He-llooooooooooooooo! *echo echo echo*

In Christ: Raymond
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:40 PM
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Are you donating to the CGN or CGF? Different people to contact.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:50 PM
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When I donated, I just clicked on the link at the top of calguns which is link to CGF. I thought the appropriate one here (or targeted) is CGF?
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Old 06-24-2010, 1:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondMillbrae View Post
Boy...no moderator has contacted me yet?

I am still waiting for a moderator to contact me, so I know where to send the 40% I wanted to contribute to Calguns.

I've sold a few DVD's so far.

He-llooooooooooooooo! *echo echo echo*

In Christ: Raymond

Raymond, I just watched the first introduction Video!! Awesome. I am going to be watching the rest right now. I did report the above post, so hopefully someonewill contact you. THANK YOU AGAIN IN ADVANCE!!
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Old 06-24-2010, 1:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondMillbrae View Post
Boy...no moderator has contacted me yet?

I am still waiting for a moderator to contact me, so I know where to send the 40% I wanted to contribute to Calguns.

I've sold a few DVD's so far.

He-llooooooooooooooo! *echo echo echo*

In Christ: Raymond
WHOOPS!!

Didn't see this until now, sorry.

PM Sent.
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Old 06-24-2010, 2:05 PM
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I lubed 1500 cases last night w/ imeprial. two fingers in the can, put on palms, repeated 3x over the batch and grabbed fistfuls of cases squeezing, then tumbled by hand, just a light coat on all in 2-3 minutes so that can has lubed 6000 cases and still have about 25% left
ima a newb, to reloading. Glad I am not the only one to lube like this!
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We will win. We are right. We will never stop fighting.
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Originally Posted by bwiese View Post
They don't believe it's possible, but then Alison didn't believe there'd be 350K - 400K OLLs in CA either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by louisianagirl View Post
Our fate is ours alone to decide as long as we remain armed heavily enough to dictate it.
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  #38  
Old 06-24-2010, 3:59 PM
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Thanks, guys.

Kestryll contacted me. And since I am a FORUM user, I will donate the funds to CGN.

Kudos, Calguns.net!

In Christ: Raymond
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  #39  
Old 06-28-2010, 9:48 AM
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Raymond thanks so much for your excellent videos and all the hard work that went into making them.

As a relative beginner I do have a question on setting up the sizing die. You said that you miked the chamber of your AR so you donít over resize the brass, how do I do that?

Thanks
Norm
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:30 AM
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Norm,

there are a few differnt ways to do this with. And if I can be brutally honest, maybe I didn't need to go this far for my carbine - which has a 14.5" inch barrel, and is only used for multi-gun matches. (It is actually 16" total length with the permanently attached compensator). But for bolt-action rifles, shooting distance, and for precision...for sure. Use it then.

Myself, I used the RCBS PRECISION MIC. (Click HERE for an article).

There are other tools, and some folks swear by "this or that". But in the end, use whatever works best for you, or fits your budget.

Hornady and a few others also make chamber mics, but I went with the RCBS brand due to the better reviews. No regrets, and the knowledge of how it was done helped me to understand this aspect better.

In Christ: Raymond
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