Answering Search Terms

will m16 mag fit sr 556

Yes. Ruger SR 556 lowers accept standard STANAG (“M16” or “AR-15”) magazines.

can lake city? 308 win brass be reloaded

Yes. Lake City brass is good stuff. However, military brass tends to be a bit thicker and so has smaller internal volume, so it’d behoove you to reduce your loads by about 10% when switching from commercial to military brass, then testing with a chronograph while making adjustments. Be particularly aware of signs of high-pressure (see your loading manual) when using military cases. Reloading military cases is perfectly safe, so long as you’re careful and realize that they’re slightly different from commercial cases.

New Shooter Report

Rita and Teresa have been accompanying me to the range for some time. They are regulars at turning ammo into smiles.
Interestingly enough, Teresa happens to be dating Nolan, Rita’s brother. Now that Nolan has moved to Tucson for school and had never been shooting before, we all figured it’d be a good thing to take him out to go shooting. So we did…

Once again, it was a beautiful (albeit hot) day in Tucson. Thank goodness the Tucson Rifle Club has overhead shades for the firing line.
Rita, myself, and my med student friend Ian spent a few hours on Saturday reloading .223. Out of the 120 or so rounds we fired today, there were only three failures (( Two were jams due to the out-of-round bullets we’re using. One was due to one of the rounds having some goopy black residue on it. )), none of them dramatic (( Note for reloaders: double-check your bullet weights against the load data tables. I foolishly assumed that we were using 55gr bullets as that was what I normally load and picked a middle-of-the-road load from the tables. Turns out we were using 62gr bullets and the powder charge we were using turned out to be rather near the never-exceed range for .223. Eep. Fortunately, we never actually crossed the never-exceed line, and even so the loads were several thousand PSI below the 5.56mm NATO pressure spec, which is what the rifle was rated for. Fortunately, we discovered this condition at the reloading bench after we loaded a few hundred rounds, so we were able to confirm that the loads would be safe by consulting the tables. The rifle did not explosively self-destruct, which is good. )). It’s nice actually having some .223 ammo, as my ARs are quite voracious.
I had also dug about in my closet and found some .30-06 reloads, so we were able to shoot the M1 (Rita has a bit of a love affair with my M1, and really enjoys shooting it.) a bit. Shooting the M1 seems to be a family trait, as Nolan also greatly enjoyed shooting it. There’s something immensely satisfying about recoil, .30 caliber bullets, and large dust clouds behind one’s targets.
As usual, the suppressed Ruger 10/22 was a big hit, as were the Ruger MkIII and Glock 19 pistols. Fun was, as usual, had by all.
The fall semester starts up again in about a month, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find some new shooters to take to the range then. For now, I’m happy that I managed to get another new shooter out to the range. When Rita and Nolan’s parents are in town, I may have to take the whole family out shooting.

Damn you .270 Winchester!

Who was the wise guy at Winchester back in the day when they invented .270 Win? What could have possibly gone through their mind?
“Let’s make a new cartridge! Since everyone loves the .30-06 and it’s got a goodly amount of case capacity, let’s essentially neck it down from .30 caliber to .27 caliber and put a new bullet in it! Nobody would ever confuse the two. Ever. Nope. Never.”
Bastards, the lot of them.
I tumble brass based on caliber (e.g. all .30-06, all .308, all .223, etc.) or, if I lack enough of a particular cartridge to make a full tumbler load, neck size (all .30 caliber necks, all .22 caliber necks, etc.) — it keeps the cases from getting stuck together. Since tumbling is hardly a critical stage in the reloading process, I go fairly quickly when I remove brass from my “spent brass from the range” bucket and toss it into the tumbler.
Since I mainly shoot .30-06 and .223, it’s easy to tell them apart. Unfortunately, I’ll occasionally pick up a piece of .270 at the range, as it just happens to be in my .30-06 brass field. As I don’t expect them (( No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! )), I don’t usually keep an eye out for them. It seems that at least one or two always get into each tumbler load of .30-06 brass, and from there into my caliber-specific “clean brass” bins in the closet.
As it turns out, a .30-06 resizing die’s expander pin can blow out .270 to .30 caliber without too much effort. I’ve created not a small number of these “.30-.270s” over the years, but always catch them when it comes to priming them, as I look at the base in detail and read the headstamp. So far, none have made it through the whole process.
Even so, the similarities between the two rounds annoy me to no end. I’m sure it’s a fine round, but it still is far too similar to .30-06 for my taste.

Tumbling Brass for Fun and Profit

One of the nice things about being in the lab all day is that my apartment is unoccupied. That, combined with the good soundproofing between units means that I can run my tumbler all day without me or my neighbors going crazy from the droning sound.
Due to this fortuitous situation, I’ve been tumbling all my spent brass, both once-fired stuff I’ve shot but also stuff I’ve harvested from the range. I’ve still got a bunch left, but it’s going at a pretty good pace.
I’ll probably run out of brass to tumble in the next few weeks, and so I wanted to extend an offer to my readers: if you mail me your brass in bulk ((Preferably in the same caliber, or at least the same neck diameter — this prevents cases from “nesting.”)), I’ll tumble it to a high shine (( ~7 hours in crushed walnut shells treated with Flitz tumbler additive. )) and send it back. You need only pay for shipping both ways (( Whatever’s cheapest works fine. If you’re in the Tucson or Chandler areas, no shipping is needed.)) and make a small donation to the New Shooter Ammo Fund, say $20/1,000 pieces of brass with a 250 piece minimum.
For a slight additional donation (to be negotiated), I can deprime your boxer-primed cases.
You’ll get your own cases back — I don’t do “case exchange” processing.
Due to size and capacity limitations of my tumbler and press, I can’t accept very large cases like 20mm, .50 BMG, and so forth. Basically, I’ll take anything that can fit in the Lee Universal Depriming Die.
Tumbler time will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and is dependent on the number and size of cases. Large numbers of big cases will take longer to process than smaller numbers of smaller cases, obviously.
Any money collected will go to the New Shooter Ammo Fund for the purpose of buying ammo for teaching of and use by new shooters, rather than for my own personal use. Donations to the fund are not tax-deductible.
If you’re interested, please send me an email.

Treasure Trove

As mentioned previously, I’m back in the San Francisco Bay Area for a bit, and have been spending some time at my parents house.
We’re having guests over for a barbecue tonight, so I was volunteered to locate, assemble, and erect the badminton net that was somewhere ((To quote my mother, “Nothing in this house gets thrown away.” Nothing important, that is — trash and whatnot is, of course, discarded, but pretty much anything of use is squirreled away somewhere.))? in the “wine cellar((A small, dark room in the basement which contains, for the most part, the plumbing connections between the house and the municipal water and sewer lines. It also has stuff like Costco-sized packages of toilet paper, cans of paint, and old Boy Scout camping gear. When I lived here, I kept a locking gun cabinet in thise room as it was probably the least likely place a thief would look for guns. To the best of my knowledge, no wine has ever been kept there. ))”
While searching for said net, I stumbled across a small treasure trove: a medium-sized cardboard box filled with .30-06 Springfield brass, mostly PS-headstamped Korean mil-surp which I used to shoot from my M1 when ammo was cheap and plentiful, and a bunch of solvents and oils used for gun maintenance. I always wondered where that gallon of Ed’s Red and the quart of Hoppes #9 went, and now I know.
Yes, it might seem odd that I equate a box of brass and some jars of chemicals with “treasure,” but that’s the type of person I am.
Alas, I’m flying back to Arizona with only carry-on bags, so the brass and chemicals will have to remain here until the next time I drive out.

Those That Can, Do – and Teach

I’m a regular reader of Fark and am often found commenting on gun threads.
One of the more interesting part of doing so is connecting with other gunny types, particularly those who are looking for more information.
A few months ago, I had mentioned that I’d be happy to offer one-on-one instruction in Tucson to people interested in basic metallic cartridge reloading. At least one person took note of this offer: a medical student at the university emailed me to see if the offer still stood, as he had just ordered some reloading gear and wanted to make sure he wouldn’t blow himself up while making ammo. Of course, I accepted, as it’s always good to get more people reloading safely.
For those who don’t recall, I have a few more standing offers:

  • For anyone: If you’ve never shot a gun (or it’s been a long time since you shot tin cans with your grandfather’s BB gun when you were a kid), regardless of your stance regarding guns, I invite you to go shooting. I’ll pay all the range fees, provide the guns, ammo, safety equipment, targets, instructions, etc. All you need to do is show up and have an open mind.
  • For members of the media: Many journalists are not familiar with firearms, and so often make factual errors when reporting on gun-related topics. In the interest of accurate news, I’ll answer any gun-related questions you might have (or, if I’m unable to answer a specific question, I’ll direct you toward people who do know) at no cost. Simply contact me with sufficient time (at least a day, if possible) before your deadline and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. No strings attached.

Borrowing a chronograph?

If anyone in the Tucson area happens to have a chronograph lying around, would it be possible for me to borrow it for a range session or two? I want to get some data for my reloads, but I lack a chrony.
It doesn’t need to be fancy, and I’d be willing to provide some sort of reasonable collateral against my accidentally shooting it.
If so, please contact me by email. Thanks!

Bloody Hell…

My friend Louis just got me an RCBS bullet puller today, as I have been pining for one for some time.
I can’t get the bloody thing to work. I popped the tar seal on some old Wolf ammo I had lying around, put the cartridge in the puller in the prescribed manner, and pounded the snot out of it to no avail. Even following excellent instructions such as this, I’ve been unsuccessful. (Note: I lack a piece of firewood, but I do have a 2×4 clamped to my desk to which my reloading press is attached, and I pounded the puller on the wood, as well as my lightly-carpeted floor.)
Same thing with my non-sealed, not-heavily-crimped reloads.
Any suggestions?
Perhaps a collet-puller would have been a better idea?

Dealing with Obnoxious Reloads

I reload a few calibers, mostly .223 Rem and .30-06 (I’d like to start reloading 9mm and .45 ACP, but will probably need to get a progessive press to make it worth my time).
Recently, my .223 reloads have been giving me a bit of trouble. I’m shooting ex-military bullets from demilled ammo, and while they generally work fine, there’s a few that are out-of-round. It looks like the bullet-pulling machine mashed a bit of the bullet so it’s flat. The vendor, RVOW, ran them through a die so there’s no part of the bullet that sticks out beyond the expected radius, and that all the round parts are round, but there’s nothing they can do to un-mash the flat side.
These slightly-mashed bullets have a minor side effect: when placed in the seating/crimping die, the case neck is fitted to the bullet, which means that one side of the case neck is slightly flattened. When being chambered in my rifle, the case neck doesn’t fit all the way into the chamber, and so the bolt doesn’t go into battery. When fired, the bullets swage to the barrel properly, and fly as true as I’d expect ex-military bullets to fly. There’s no signs of increased pressure or other issues. Remember, these bullets are just slightly out of round; I’d never attempt to fire a seriously out-of-spec cartridge.
Fortunately, I found a few ways to work around this problem, and a few that don’t work:
If the bolt was not allowed to slam home, one can usually pull the charging handle and eject the offending round. However, if the bolt closed with a bit more force (like after firing the previous round), the cartridge is usually stuck quite firmly, and one cannot exert enough force on the charging handle to extract the round.
Smacking the forward assist isn’t always helpful either, as one can’t really exert enough force to force the round into the chamber.
What does work for me is to put a small bit of padding (so as not to scratch the forward assist; a soft rifle case usually works well) on the concrete bench, hold the rifle vertically, and bumping the forward assist soundly against the padding, thus applying enough force to chamber it. Firing the round seems to be the most effective (and most fun) method of extracting the cartridge.
Annoying, to be sure, but it’s not a big deal now that I’ve figured out how to deal with it. This is clearly “range ammo”, not “anti-zombie” or competition ammo. I’ll use better bullets for those purposes.

Note to Self

Bullets that are slightly flattened on one side by the military’s bullet-puller (used for de-milling surplus ammo) make things exciting. When the seating die is crimping the case neck around the bullet, it can make it non-circular.
This causes rather amusing chambering issues, like when I tried to load and fire my very first shot from my new DPMS AR today. Some swearing ensued. A total of three rounds (out of the ~150 fired today) were out-of-round enough to cause a stoppage.
Moral of the story: surplus bullets are great for range trips and fun, but do not depend on them for anti-zombie use.