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Messages - Windsage

Electronics / Software / Gadgets / Re: Gordons reloading tool
I have been toying with it and I like how it works.  The only powders they have are, of course, European, so that makes it less useful here.  It doesn't include data on a single powder I own, so I can't test it in the field.  I keep meaning to compare it to Quickload data, but I keep getting sidetracked on things like work.  It has been a while since anyone except Quickload worked on civilian software like this, so it's a great thing to see happening.
Reloading / Re: Ready for first Load! last second questions
I'm not saying the test is bad. I'm saying the best load likely is not the low es/SD load but one with a little spread that is tuned for positive compensation.

You often hear people say the best load wasn't the best es/SD.

Positive compensation! The target Trump's the Chrono.

I generally load three of each load and record the SD and ES, but also keep the photo of the target showing groups.  The problem is, you can get a randomly good or bad groups or SD by shear chance with three shots.  So, then I load up 5 of each loading that I think looks interesting and take them back to the range.  Most of the time I end up using one of these and then tweaking the jump a bit.  The best load for me may not be the absolute best group or the absolutely lowest SD, but some combination that seems consistent.  Generally, I'm looking for mag length loads that will hold about 0.4 moa from 300-1100 yds for PRS style shooting with a wide enough node to stay consistent when I load 200 of them for an outing.
Reloading / Re: Ready for first Load! last second questions
I attached a couple of pictures of a ladder test chart format that I use.  It's a handy way to see what happens to your SD and ES over a .2 or .4 gr spread.  I always look at these extended SD's when I'm trying to pick a load I will use a lot.

PS: In spite of the loads showing here. Those work in my rifle. YMMV.  Start low
Reloading / Re: IMR 4451 ???
I found it to provide decent groups at 75-100 fps lower velocity when I tried it.  I still have 2/3 of a pound left.
Reloading / Re: Sizing Lapua Brass 'issue'
I have to ask if those of you who use the Ziploc bag method end up having to clean the brass when done? I hate repeating steps, since I clean first, I try to keep the lube where I want it and not where I don't (inside the necks). I use an alcohol wipe to clean the lube off after sizing.

There is such a small amount of residue that I do not think you really need to remove it, however, my normal procedure is to ultrasonic clean after annealing, then size and trim, and then put the finished cases in a dry tumbler for polishing before loading.  This does remove any residue, and also removes any small brass shavings, but mostly it makes the brass really shiny, which I'm sure adds extra velocity :)
Reloading / Re: Sizing Lapua Brass 'issue'
Hornady 1shot is a lanolin lube in suspension.  I also 'roll my own' by making up liquid lanolin in 99% isopropyl alcohol.  One important caveat is to allow the solvent to completely evaporate before running them in the die.  This applies to the homebrew as well as the 1shot; if the case is wet when I run it in the die it WILL stick like you describe.  Were your cases still a little 'wet'?  If so then don't shy away of the 1shot unless you want to try the homebrew mentioned in 'dutchman's' post.  If you do you will notice that the lanolin does not truly dissolve in the alcohol to any great extent...more of a suspension so I shake my bottle before each application.  I spray 4-6 squirts in a gallon ziplock bag (if doing more than just a handful....if only 20 or so I use a quart bag), rub the bag around in my palms to distribute the lube throughout the bag, and put between 20-30 cases in and zip it close with most of the air removed.  I then 'massage' the cases in the bag by rubbing it around between my palms for a minute or two then dump the cases out in a clean container and let them dry while running a new batch.  I only put 2-3 squirts of lube in the bag between batches after the initial lubing.  The cases take about a minute to dry.  Less than $15 of product will lube probably 10K or more cases of 6.5 Creed or larger.


This is exactly me.  I use a use an 8 to 1 ratio of lanolin and put 25 cases at a time in a Ziploc.  I used to use one shot and in my opinion the homemade stuff is noticeably smoother and requires less force in the press.
Reloading / Re: Lapua and the annealeez
I always set up the Annealeze at night.  With the lights off, you can easily see when the flame starts burning tin and turning orange.  Then I just back off the time very slightly from that.  It's generally in the 5-5.5 second range for Hornady brass.  I also check the anneal by squeezing the neck of a case with pliers.  It's not as scientific as I would like, but it does seem to be repeatable.  I don't have issues with splitting and never have to adjust my resizing die to get the same shoulder position.  I normally use brass about 10-12 times and cull them by primer pocket looseness.

One thing I did learn with the Annealeze is that you have to let it run a bit before using it so the little propane bottle reaches a stable temperature.  Otherwise the flame will constantly be getting smaller on you.  I have considered adding a regulator and larger bottle to eliminate this, but just letting it run a while before using seems to work ok.
Reloading / Re: Folks at AMP Annealing wrote a report on Salt Bath method
@Windsage  ….  the section of the study you reference is not comparing before and after (as mentioned) but the condition after anneal in their experimental set-up.  They are not implying that the shoulder got softer than the neck...just that the neck, presumable work hardened from repeated firing/sizing cycles did not soften as much as desired.  The shoulder area was not likely as hard as the neck to start with but with proper annealing the neck should have softened more than the starting condition of the shoulder...which, in their example, did not.

That implies that the shoulder was super dead soft after repeated firings or was metallurgically different in some way.  Also, annealing is not really a thing you do to part way on the same part.  It's based on time, temperature and thickness, and the neck was in the bath deeper and longer.  The neck had to get hotter and soak more.  This should result in it being annealed before the shoulder was.

The guys over at AMP have posted an addendum to their data now and show a straight walled 50 S&W case annealing from 210 mv to about 100 perfectly linearly along the case.  Here is their explanation of why the rifle case did not anneal correctly.

"So, what does this mean? Firstly, this is just one case, so it is not enough data for an informed conclusion. For what it is worth, this is one hypothesis: this straight walled case has a consistent surface area inside and out. Therefore, it appears to be heating up uniformly within the salt bath. Bottle-necked cases have variable surface areas along the length of the cases. The larger surface area portions (body and shoulder) may heat up quicker than the neck. Just a guess."

While the case dimensions are different between the pistol and rifle case, the ratio of surface area to metal mass remain constant and the case thickness should be the same in the neck and shoulder. 

For the record, I am not saying the AMP guys did something intentionally, only that I can't see how the physics at play would create the outcome described.  I actually would like to know what did happen.  Also, I do not use salt bath annealing and to me it seems kind of dangerous to deal with molten lava, when other simple means are available.  I currently use the Annealeze machine which uses a single torch, but I have friends that have AMP machines and love them, and I know many people just spin the brass over a cheap torch using a socket and drill.
Reloading / Re: Folks at AMP Annealing wrote a report on Salt Bath method
@Winsage, that graph doesn't appear to show softening; it shows "ideal" or target hardness at different spots on the brass, and actual hardness of the salt bath annealed brass. In other words, it's not a before and after. We don't really know if the salt bath made anything softer or harder, just that it didn't achieve "target".

I wasn't really looking at the "ideal" line they show.  What is ideal is subjective.  I was just looking at the actual measured hardness shown on the left.  They are showing the neck being significantly harder than the shoulder area.  The only way to get such a dip in the hardness requires significant playing with the materials.  For instance, you could fully anneal the whole shoulder and neck, and then work harden the neck some and this would be the result.  But you can't have a piece of brass anneal and soften the shoulder like this while simultaneously not annealing another part of the same brass at higher temperature.
Reloading / Re: Folks at AMP Annealing wrote a report on Salt Bath method
They had me until I got to this image and its write up.  The neck is in the salt bath and they are showing softening above the bath, but not in the bath.  This could only be true if something chemical is occurring that is unrelated to temperature.  Brass cannot be heat treated to increase hardness like steel.  It simply gets softer with increasing temp.  So, I would have to see the science behind this to believe it.

General Discussion / Re: the mental midget that i am...
That's like the age old issue of trying every bullet and powder there is until you have a shelf full of half pounds of powder and part boxes of bullets you'l never use.  I was looking at my powder museum the other day thinking I might fertilize the rose garden with it.
Optics, Sights, Mounts, Etc. / Re: Revic
All we need is a scope that automatically turns my turrets to the correct elevation and windage lol

I sincerely believe this is where we are going.  There is really no reason for the kestrel to be separate either.  I think future scopes will calculate wind drift and target distance, and simply provide the shooter a reticle on the target already adjusted for everything.
Reloading / Re: 6.5 reloading dies?
I use a Redding type S full length die, but without the internal mandrel.  I use a Lee neck mandrel separately and this seams to improve runout for me.
Reloading / Re: Proper headspace
How do ya'll clean the brass after the lanolin bath? And, if you do clean, do you clean before and after?

I did a bit or reading online about case lubes.  The lanolin/IPA home brew seems to be a standout favorite (including here).  Ordered some supplies to try, seems like a good opportunity for a head to head comparison.  I have noticed that with the 1 shot, the cases feel like they drag a bit in the FL die.  I may also modify (or not even use) my case block.  The block is 3/4" so when I spray, the base of the head doesn't really see alot of lube.  Might be below where the die contacts the shell aggressively, though...

Amazon had 12 packs of the 99% IPA for $19.  No shipping.  Was surprised that they'd ship highly flammable items free.

Here is my normal routine.  I deprime and then anneal.  Then I use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean the brass.  Then dry in dehydrator for 1 hour and then shake in bag with 2 squirts of 99% alcohol / Lanolin (2 oz lanolin per 16 oz bottle).  FL size, then trim, chamfer, then into the old dry vibratory tumbler to remove brass shavings and residues.  This also makes them really shinny for extra velocity.  Then mandrel the neck with Lee mandrel and load.

I have also used sizing wax and one shot.  The one shot is handy but makes a huge mess of your tray.  There is a distinct difference in how much drag you feel on the die between the lanolin and one shot.