It is very important to make sure you have the trigger guard pin extensions on your lower receiver properly support when you drive in the trigger guard pin. Don’t ask me how I learned I did not have it well enough supported.
TD has a new Lyman reloading press, and offers a review of the equipment. No doubt people will tell him he’s nuts for not just getting a Dillon. I started off with a Lee kit, which worked decently enough. A reader was kind enough to send a Lee progressive press, which I’ve used to reload .44 Magnum. Lee reloading equipment works, but it definitely has its design flaws, especially their progressive presses which have a bit of a Rube Goldberg feel to them, and tend to have minor hiccups which interfere with the reloading process.
Lately I’m pondering getting a rock tumbler so I can handle very significant amounts of brass, and something that will be a little quieter than a vibratory tumbler. Probably not something I’m going to get until I start getting serious about reloading again. But I have been collecting a lot of used brass. Limiting factor for me has been powder, primer, and time.
Cemetery comes across a problem we’ve all dealt with at one time or another. Rust. There’s three ways you can deal with rust. One is to keep a coat of oil on your guns, and make sure you wipe them down before you put them away. The other is to keep moisture away from the gun. There are a few ways to do that.
Even thought I love the fact that, as a cowboy shooter that goes by the name of Cemetery, his pistol case is a little coffin, the first piece of advice is not to keep them in the case unless you’re transporting them. This is a surefire way to promote rust. Cases are magnets for moisture.
The second way to prevent rust is to decrease relative humidity. One way you can do that is to increase the temperature within a confined space, thus reducing the relative humidity. This is how a Golden Rod works within the confines of a safe or gun cabinet. Generally speaking, a Golden Rod is the easiest and most maintenance free way to combat rust.
The third way is to actually remove water from air within a confined, largely airtight space. This is what dessicants do. This is the solution I use, because the safe I got a good deal on didn’t have the electrical hookup, and I didn’t have an outlet near where I wanted to put it. Desiccants are effective, but you have to watch them, and they need to be reactivated. Get one that had an indicator compound in them, usually cobalt chloride, which is deep blue when dry, but turns pink as it becomes saturated with water. You can reactivate desiccants by increasing their temperature to 250 degrees. I do my two canisters in the toaster oven at 325 degrees for a few hours. You typically have to recharge once a month in the winter, and once every two weeks or so in the summer. The great thing about desiccants is that you don’t even really need a safe. Any closed, airtight container with a desiccant thrown in will put a stop to rust.
There are still some “Kitchen Table Dealers” left, but he’s right about it being a dying breed. An Easton man is in the news for seeking a variance to operate an FFL for a gunsmithing business in a residential area. If his plan is a gunsmithing operation, it’s not like there will be a parade of customers coming in and out of the residence. Most of his business will likely be from people sending stuff through common carrier, which is why you need the FFL. If I were his neighbor, I would speak on his behalf to the zoning board, and advocate granting the variance. Well, as long as he agreed to do transfers for me for free :)
I once took my S&W 629 apart to clean out the lockwork, and re-oil everything. Tam isn’t kidding about it being a complicated mechanism. I was rather frightened I wasn’t getting it back together on my own, and I would have hated to go to a gunsmith with a baggie of parts and a frame and had to sheepishly ask him to put it back together for me. I did manage to get it back together, and it works as it did before, but it took a bit of research on Al Gore’s internets to figure it all out.
SayUncle would appear to not be the only one over-lubricating his Glock. I did mine roughly the same way he did. Now I know.
The Firearms Blogs has an interesting video on reloading your own primers, using the ignition compound from matches.
Dave Markowitz has some advice. I have to deal with this sometimes with the Nagant, and I’ve been the victim of shooting other Soviet Bloc ammo I didn’t realize was corrosive, but was. It can rust a rifle pretty quickly if you don’t deal with it.
I think it’s good advice. He recognizes that it’s the surfactants in Windex that make it a good cleaner, not the ammonia. When I shoot my AK-74 with the corrosive 5.45×39 ammo (you can shoot all day with that stuff for a good price) I just take the gas tube, flash suppressor, bolt carrier, and bolt, and give it a bath in soapy water. Then run some patches down the barrel with soapy water, clean the surrounding areas, and then go over everything with gunzilla once it’s dried out. That seems to do a good job of keeping the rust away.
I spent some time at the three gun match Saturday scrounging brass off the range between relays. Got a whole crapload of .223 off the ground, but was happy to find someone was shooting .308, which I could use to make up a load so I could finally try the FAL I bought from TD. I was happy, until I saw what condition it was in:
I was puzzled by what kind of rifle would do this kind of damage to brass. Surely there was something wrong with this guy’s gun. Did the chamber actually have those stripes in it? In the name of John Moses Browning, what kid of crazy gun designer would create a rifle that tortures brass so?
After doing a bit of research, I discovered that this striping was likely caused by the fluted chamber of an HK91 rifle. The idea of fluting the chamber is to allow some gas to flow around the cartridge to ease in extraction. Apparently early versions of the G3 rifles were ripping the heads off the casing during extraction, so this was the solution to that problem. You can see that in a cutout of the G3 chamber here. The roller delayed blowback design of the G3 is just very hard on brass, from both the fluting, and violent extraction. Consensus on cases fired from G3s and its relatives seems to be that they shouldn’t be reloaded. The big dents definitely seals the deal. Into the scrap brass bucket they will go.
H&K — Because you suck, and we hate you, especially if you’re a filthy brass scrounging reloader.
I spent a good deal of time last night playing with their AR builder, and I have to say, it’s a great idea. Brownells should really take time to make a better web site too, which has been one of the reasons I’m not a more loyal customer. MidwayUSA’s web site is just a lot easier to use, and more useful. Nonetheless, Brownells will end up getting some of my money for this, maybe a lot of my money. Here’s what I configured last night:
You can click to get a bigger picture. This assumes I can either buy through an FFL, or make my own AR-15 Lower Receiver. I didn’t include that in the price, though I put a lower on there just to make it look OK. It’s not included in the price tally. My only complaint about the configurator, other than the fact that it will quickly drain my wallet, is that when choosing a barrel band for the front sight, it won’t put itself in the right spot, and I think the picture showing on there is upside down. I also wish you had links in the inventory list, so you could easily review your list to make sure you know what you are getting. Other than that, this is a highly innovative idea on the part of Brownells, and I have to commend them for it.