Because of volume, I purchased the motor driven 21st Century turning lathe (spensive! 😊). I have run 600 cases through it in the last week so I understand it well. It is a very good quality system, it’s about 3 times more expensive then a hand held system, and is about twice as fast. It drastically reduces the stress on your hands and wrists. It produces good, consistent, competitive necks, but they are not quite as good as those from my PMA hand held system. I could write several paragraphs to explain why that is but let’s just say - very close but measurably not quite as good as the hand held.
Jerry, excellent write up and very helpful!
I spent some time trying to sort through exactly what I'd need to order from PMA to have a complete package ready to neck turn. Their website seems a bit scattered where X doesn't include Y. I think for the volume of shooting I do they'd be a perfect solution but putting it all together is a challenge.
I know I can call them but before I do that, thought I'd ask what parts and pieces you use(d)?
After rummaging around the internet a bit, it sounds like it may a good tool for shooters who want to turn a LOT of necks, maybe not so much a precision tool. Then again, imprecise neck turning seems like a fool's errand.
Fooling with your gas block will have an effect on pressure. I just use a brass catcher of some sort and/or pick up and inspect my brass for each charge weight looking for pressure signs as I move up.
OP said he's looking for the equivalent of heavy bolt lift in a semi-auto, turning off the gas with an adjustable block is about as close as a semi-auto can get to a bolt-action in that regard. It is true to say the difference in sensitivity from lifting a bolt versus manual extraction with a charging handle is not zero, this mostly owing to leverage; the CH has none.
Interesting the twist and turns this thread took. Until I feel the need to step up to an AMP I'll keep annealing as needed on an Annealeze in a dark room timing the drop to the faint red glow in the neck with no regard for the color of the body. The neck and shoulder are what we're working on so if we get the neck right the rest will be right.
The thing I'd add as someone who's read this (I'm not a metallurgist by any stretch), it's just as important to NOT anneal the case body as it is to anneal the neck and shoulder. I believe that's part of the reason why temperature and time are important in order to properly anneal a case.
Certainly any of the flame throwers and induction annealers have the ability to control both variables, not sure about others.
All great advice and the gas block shut off is brilliant. If I struggle with this round I may replace mine for an adjustable. Thanks!
I have no affiliation with SLR Rifleworks gas blocks other than as a customer. I believe they were the first, or close to it, that did away with jam screws and made it very easy to clean the block when needed; no small parts to lose. It's a detent-style adjustment so it is discreet rather than continuous, in the larger scheme of things this is a non-issue based on my experience.
I really like finding a load that shoots good and feels comfortable on my shoulder
There's usually a grey area when semi-auto bolts are having a hard time extracting. Yes it could be black and white if large changes are made in charge weights, that's not how someone would usually work up a load.
I'd look for the onset of stovepipes, FTEs, FTFs, all the usual suspects.
There's also the chronograph; if you're seeing 2800 fps (6.5 CM) out of a 22" barrel flying 140 grains, chances are things are getting hot.
Finally, all my AR-style rifles have SLR Rifleworks adjustable gas blocks.. Simply turn off the gas. Now you have a single shot "bolt" rifle. When the charging handle starts to put up a fight, you know you are getting there.
@HufD63, when you say it's a dirty job, do you mean brass itself gets dirty or is the machine itself hurling lube all over the place? My man cave is a spare bedroom in the house, that would not be a good place to have lube all over everything. No point getting Mrs. Mutt riled up