Posts Tagged ‘Reloading Blog’

50 BMG Reloading: Getting Closer to the Goal

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Well, I’m one step closer to reloading for the 50 BMG. This week I got in a shipment of Hornady A-MAX 750 grain match bullets. WOW! these things are HUGE. Check out how big the projectiles are compared with a full .223 Remington cartridge:

Hornady-XTP-750-Match-vs-.223-2000

Just for fun, I decided to compare the weight of the .223 cartridge compared with the 750 grain Hornady projectile, here’s what I came up with:

Hornady-XTP-750-Match-vs-.223-on-scale-1200

750 grains / 168.7 grains = 4.45 times the weight!

If we compare the projectiles alone, we have:

750 grains / 52 grains = 14.42 times the weight!

If you study the ballistics and shooting practices, 50 BMG is more like dealing with artillery than it is like shooting traditional rifle ammunition. That’s what makes me intrigued and excited about shooting and reloading 50 BMG! Unfortunately, the cost is also more along the lines of artillery (sort of :) ).

Let’s compare the cost of the projectiles:

  • 52 grain match bullet: ~$150. / 1000 = $0.15 each
  • 750 grain match bullet: ~$50 / 20 = $2.50 each

Comparing the cost we have:

$2.50 / $0.15  = 16.7 times the cost

BUT: If you have shot 50 BMG you know that the “experience” of shooting a round can be WAY more than 16.7 times the cost of shooting a single .223/5.56 round. Some times you need to feel the “blast wave” from a 50 BMG muzzle brake. Some times you need to feel your eyeballs rattle in their sockets. If you’ve had a tough week in the office or on the job site, you can’t put a price on what it feels like to unleash that kind of power. It’s an experience that’s best shared with friends.

Shooting 50 BMG at the Ultimate Reloader outpost with friend “Jim the Plumber”

It’s also great to have you all (the readers/viewers on Ultimate Reloader) to share all of this with. So as I plan out the content and my own personal goals with 50 BMG, I’ll keep you all updated regularly, and will have some great stories and videos that I’ll be sharing. Just like the cartridge itself, this is going to be epic! If you have anything in particular you’d like to see, please leave a comment and I’ll put it “into the hat”.

Thanks all, and “happy shooting”.
-Gavin

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feeder Part 5: Loading 308 for the AR-10

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

I am known to be a bit of an extremist. If shooting an AR-15 is fun, wouldn’t shooting an AR-10 be more fun? I actually enjoy both, but I do shoot my DPMS LR-308B quite a bit. That means I’m loading 308 Winchester quite a bit, and that’s what this post is about: loading for the AR-10 (or other 308 Winchester rifles) with the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP and the new Hornady Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feeder.

LNL-AP-Rifle-Bullet-Feeder-Cartridge-Closeup-Low-Angle-1200

Here’s the setup that I show in the video (see further down in this post):

  • Hornady Lock-N-Load AP 5-station progressive reloading press
  • Hornady Lock-N-Load case feeder
  • Hornady Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feeder (with 30 Cal conversion kit installed)

LNL-AP-Rifle-Bullet-Feeder-Overall-1200

And here’s the die stations used in this setup:

  1. Redding 308 size/de-prime
  2. Powder measure
  3. Hornady Powder Cop
  4. Hornady bullet feed die (also seats and optionally crimps)
  5. Redding 308 crimp die

With this setup, you’ll fill up your completed cartridge bin in a hurry!

LNL-AP-Rifle-Bullet-Feeder-Cartridge-Bin-1200

And here’s a video where I walk you through the process of final setup and progressive loading of 308 Winchester ammunition with this setup:

So far in this series I’ve given an overview of the Hornady Lock-N-Load Rifle bullet feeder, showed loading .223, walked through the installation of the 30 caliber conversion kit, and demonstrated loading 308. I think next it’s time to show this bullet feeder on other presses… Stick around!

Do you have experiences you’d like to share about the Hornady Lock-N-Load Rifle bullet feeder? Please leave a comment!

Thanks,
Gavin

Revisiting Case Lube Alternatives

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Over the years, I’ve talked quite a bit about different case lube products and techniques for both rifle and pistol reloading. Depending on your goals, the cartridge being reloaded, and what you have on-hand, your options will typically be honed down to a few “best options”. But the more you talk with seasoned reloaders, the more options you’ll discover.

About 4 years ago, I asked you all what you use for rifle case lube, and here’s the results so far: (you can take the poll HERE)

Rifle Case Lube Poll Snapshot

Rifle Case Lube Poll Snapshot

A couple years ago I blogged about some case lube products that I’ve used. Yes, I’ve sprayed, rolled, and wiped various types of case lube onto cases, and like to mix things up.

Mainstream case lube products I’ve used – Image copyright 2012 Ultimate Reloader

These products all work well for very specific reloading cartridges and scenarios, but sometimes you can do just as well with “less popular” or repurposed products, like Lemon Pledge (if you don’t mind a fresh lemon scent while reloading :) ).

Another great way to lube cases for rifle loading is the RCBS Lube Die. This product has the advantage of lubing as a part of the progressive reloading or progressive case prep process.

The RCBS Lube Die lubes while you reload – Image copyright 2012 Ultimate Reloader

You can read more about the RCBS lube die HERE.

Since publishing these blog posts and polls, I’ve started using another product for rifle case lube: synthetic motor oil. In particular, I’ve been using this oil to “prime” rifle sizing dies when starting a loading session. This priming combined with fresh spray lube (Dillon DCL recently) has been a good combination for .223/5.56 and .308/7.62x51mm loading sessions. I just pour a bit of synthetic motor oil into the quart jug cap, dip my finger into the cap, and apply about one drop to the outside of the case with my fingers. I then dip the end of a Q-Tip into the oil cap (just a drop applied), and roll the end of the Q-Tip between my fingers. The Q-Tip is then “rolled” inside the case mouth to provide lube for the expander ball. I’m wondering how many 1000’s of applications I could get out of one quart of motor oil!

Do you have some “creative” products that you’ve used for case lube? Please leave a comment!

Thanks,
Gavin

2015 is Here: What Do You Want To See on Ultimate Reloader?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Hard to believe another year is already upon us! I’m really excited to share with you all some content plants for Ultimate Reloader, and also hear about what you want to see on this website and on my YouTube channel.

2015-UR-products-1200

Reloading Equipment and Products

I’ve got some great equipment overviews lined up for 2015 including case cleaning and case prep equipment, more bullet feeder videos and highlights, and much more. Some of the products I’ll highlight will include:

  • RCBS Case Prep Center and attachments
  • More Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feeder content
  • RCBS Utrasonic Cleaner and consumables

Gunpowder Highlights

This year I’ll feature more new and “classic” gunpowder content including but not limited to:

  • Hodgdon CFE 223
  • Hodgdon CFE Pistol

Handloading Overviews

Have you been wondering what it’s like to load 50 BMG, 500 S&W Magnum, or more mainstream cartridges? I’m planning some great cartridge-specific handloading content that will build on some of the stories I published in 2014. Have a specific cartridge you’d like to know about? Please leave a comment!

Your Ideas

I want to thank everyone that’s been using the “Ultimate Reloader Suggestion Box” (see left-hand column on main page) – I’ve gotten some great ideas from you all! I also want to invite all of you to suggest ideas by leaving comments on this post. I’ll add them to my list!

I also wanted to thank the community for your continued interest and support of Ultimate Reloader, the #1 ranked reloading blog on google, and the most popular handloading-specific YouTube channel (now over 5,000,000 views, and 17,000 subscribers). Let’s together make 2015 the best year ever!

Thanks,
Gavin

AR-15 Build DVD Sale! Build an AR-15 in 2015

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

If you’ve been waiting to build your own AR-15 rifle, now is the time. Make a New Year’s resolution to build your own custom rifle! To help you out, I’ve lowered the price of this AR-15 build DVD to $9.90 for a limited time!

Special: $9.90 + $3.80 shipping and handling!