Meetings are held the 3rd Monday of the month. Please try to attend & offer your voice & ideas. This is your club! Meet your fellow enthusiasts.
Next meetings: 9/18, 10/16, 11/20, 12/18 @ 7:30 pm
Come on an empty stomach, there is always a good meal afterwards. $2 beers!! 50/50 raffle!!
Membership applications can be printed from the BVCS web site https://bostonvalleycs.com. Dave Brooks, our membership chairman, may be reached at 649-8762 or email at daveb45cal[at]yahoo[dot]com.
What's Happening @ Your Club?
Open Pistol Shooting
Tuesday nights; doors open @ 7pm. Members’ range fee is $4 and nonmembers’ fee is $8 per night. All are welcome but we encourage frequent non-members to become members and support the club. Please be aware that non-members must fill out a one-time waiver. Forms are on hand at the range.
As of this writing we have shot only 3 days for the Fall League. It seems that we may have a better turn out than the last league. One more team has said they would be coming out to shoot. The reason for the lack of info is, we give shooters a number of weeks to get signed up & shoot a qualifying number of scores. As stated earlier, we are into the 2nd week & a large bunch of shooters are still in the ATA competitive mode while area shoots are still available.
The summer doubles league attracted a few more shooters than we have had in the past. Shooting doubles for 6 weeks to fill in the summer slump was a fun deal & it finished on Aug. 10th with pizza & wings for paid up shooters.
The next newsletter will have more info on shooter numbers & winning scores . The trap people are here to give help & info to anyone wishing to try our sport. GIVE IT A SHOT !!!!
Thanks; trap person, Ernie
2017 Fall Pistol League
Dear Pistol Shooters,
I am planning on starting the fall league on September 28, 2017 with the first relay beginning at 6pm, a second starting at 7pm and a third relay starting at 8pm.
Tuesday will be open shooting only with Thursday reserved for league shooting.
Each week two national matches per relay will be shot for score at the 25 yard line. You can shoot one gun (22 cal.) or two guns (22 cal. and C.F.) for a score each week.
Come out, have fun and shoot the league. It will be great to see you again.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 337-3555 or e-mail cwfjr45[at]gmail[dot]com.
Fall Schedule - 10 Weeks
- Thursday - September 28
- Thursday - October 5, 12, 19, 26
- Thursday - November 2, 9, 16, 30
- Thursday - December 7
- No Shooting November 23rd
- Thursday - December 14, make-up
Suburban Pistol League
SPL will start October 4th, 2017 and run through last week in February. League fee will be 10 dollars for the year and range fee for every match you shoot. You don't have to shoot every match and this year the league trying a cf league to if the club would like to do the to just an other ranger fee it will be 10 matches and you have to have them in by end of February.
New shoot are always welcome if you want to know more contact me at 200-3466. See you in October.
For information on Young Guns contact Howard Hoelscher at 649-3432.
We try to keep the website as current as possible. Please check it out as it has a calendar of events posted as well as the newsletter and other information. https://bostonvalleycs.com
The next Newsletter will be out in early January; deadline for information will be December 31st, 2016. Please email information you would like to have published, or to add/edit/remove your email address, to Ryan Rosiek at ryan.rosiek[at]gmail[dot]com or John Battershell at jbdesigns[at]roadrunner[dot]com. Copies of the current newsletter are available at the club or on the website.
Reloading Equipment Recommendations
by John Battershell
I want to share some of my personal experiences with reloading equipment and what pieces I would recommend to someone thinking about getting into re-loading. Disclosure, I am not an expert in reloading. What I am is a detailed oriented research and development engineer who can offer detailed opinions on equipment with perspective on value, quality, speed, and user friendliness. I design very expensive equipment and am asked often to purchase equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. With that said, I will give fair advice, but which is not absolute. There is always another way to skin a cat with re-loading. My recommendations will describe why I like or don't like something based on those 4 things of importance, value, quality, speed, and user ease.
You have to get this basic piece of equipment to re-load. It is essentially a handle operated ram that will force cases into dies for the various operations needed. They can be single stage meaning there is one station on the press for one die at a time, or it can be a turret press which has 4 or more die stations allowing the user to progress from one die to another by indexing the turret to the next die. Finally, there are progressive presses which somewhat automatically index the cases from one die to another and which will perform 4 or more operations simultaneously with each stroke of the handle. These are the most expensive of presses and for which I don't really recommend for the beginning reloader. There are of course rare situations where a beginner could start with a progressive, but that isn't common. So for most all beginners, I will recommend a single stage. For brand, it is less important than one might think. The Lee press is generally the least expensive out there and will load just as accurate rounds as others. And if you are really on a budget, go ahead and get it. The next step up, which is what I did buy, is the RCBS rock chucker. It is not too bad price wise at $130-$150 depending on dealer. It is highly regarded by the reloading community. It will last a life time, no doubt about that. And it feels very nice on the stroke, something that is not as apparent on the lee. That doesn't make it more precise, but it feels so when using it. There are a couple others out there, but I have 100% confidence that if you buy the RCBS, you will never regret it, even if upgrading to a progressive later (which is what I did but I still use the rock chucker all the time.
I would like to make a point about the kits that are sold. Like lee and RCBS both sell the press stand alone or combined with a bunch of other stuff like a scale, funnels, shell holders, and maybe a cheap powder drop. I generally don't recommend the kit because most of the other stuff is not nice as what you will want. This is my recommendation as some of the stuff isn't needed at all, and other items are better to be upgraded anyways.
A scale is used to measure the powder. The beam scale is the least expensive but also the slowest and most awkward to use. What I really recommend is an electronic scale with digital readout. There are many good ones out there and I use the one from Hornady. Expect to spend $60-$80 for a scale. They will come with a couple check weights to re-calibrate it every so often. I cannot steer anyone away from one brand or other but I do recommend not buying cheaper scales like only $30 or so. I wouldn't trust them for reloading. The best advice I can give about getting good results with a digital scale is to turn it on 1/2 hour or more before you want to use it so it fully warms up. Then you re-zero it (or also do a calibration step). When scales are first turned on and zeroed, they drift from that point until fully warmed up. So the first measurements might be lower or higher than when measured 10 minutes later. So turn it on and leave it on overnight if you are going to load again tomorrow or so. They are very low power draw and keeping them on keeps them stable. Also keep them clean, and treat them nice without banging them around. Remember, your breath, a slight breeze, or bumping the table will disrupt a good measurement. No fans can be on near a scale or even HVAC vents nearby, and no vibrations in the table.
Die sets are sold for each caliber type. So for every caliber you intend to reload for, you need a die set. I have used dies from RCBS and from Hornady. Personally, I prefer the hornday for rifle calibers. In pistol calibers, I am not as picky but I do recommend that what ever pistol die you buy be of the carbide type. So look for the wording carbide when buying pistol dies. The carbide insert allows the dies to size the brass without the need of lubrication on the case. There are some cheap cheap dies that are just steel only, don't buy them. In any case, the die sets are not too expensive and run between about $35 dollars for each caliber set from Hornady. Of course you can get even better ones like from Redding, but you would need to be much more accomplished shooter to notice the improvements. So stick with Hornady for rifle and LEE, RCBS, or Hornady for pistol. I purchased RCBS pistol dies which work great but I wouldn't be ashamed to use the LEE pistol die set. Rifle dies sets are usually just two pieces, one for sizing and one for seating the bullet. Pistol dies need three, one for sizing, one to bell mouth the case, and one for seating. I then also buy one more die, the lee crimping die for pistol. For cost effectiveness, lee sells a 4 piece pistol die set for a good price which includes the crimping die. The easy to adjust crimp die puts the final crimp on pistol rounds, a most crucial step. Some die sets are set up to allow you to crimp on the same die that seats the bullet like my RCBS. I don’t recommend to use that feature. Many problems can occur such as scraping off lead or copper jackets since the crimp is occurring while the bullet is still be seated the final little bit. So I adjust the seating die to keep that function from happening (easy just read instructions). Then the last step is to use the lee crimp die to set the crimp on the bullet.
Sometimes, reloaders will crimp their rifle bullets. I don't see the need for that and the rifle rounds I make don't get a crimp. This is a preference and there isn't a right or wrong answer. But, if you decide you just want to crimp your rifle bullets, get the lee crimp die in the caliber you need, they work great and are not expensive, like $18 each.
To be a reloader, you have to clean the fired brass before you reload it. I suppose you could always buy brand new brass and not need to do any cleaning, but that will defeat the cost benefit of cleaning your fired brass. There are now two popular methods for cleaning brass, the dry tumbling method and the wet tumbling method. Dry method uses a media such as crushed walnut shells or corn cob media and a vibratory machine to clean the brass. They sit in the bucket with the media and the vibrations slowly stir the brass through the media, sort of like a top loading clothes washing machine does. Draw backs are that you have to replace the media after it gets worn down and is ineffective, they make dust which bothers many, and they don't clean inside brass or primer pockets all that well. The wet tumbler uses water and small stainless steel pins and a drum that slowly spins to tumble the brass with the pins, water and some soap. This method really cleans the brass and they look brand new when done. This also cleans inside the brass and the primer pocket really well. My preference is the wet method and I have a few reasons why.
At first glance, the dry tumblers like the lyman or RCBS seem cheaper than a wet tumbler, and they are. The dry tumbler's don't include the media, so that is extra and about $35. The dry media also wears out and you will have to replace it at some point. The RCBS dry tumbler is $100 plus the media cost, $35. The frankford arsenal wet tumbler is definitely more at $180 but it includes the ss pin media which never wears out. For my comparison, there is a $45 difference, but in my opinion for a new reloader, the wet tumbling method is superior to dry. Spending extra now will pay off later. Plus the wet tumbler can tumble more brass at a time than a dry tumbler. I cannot recommend a wet tumbler enough. Buy the frankford arsenal one or if you are crafty, build a DIY tumbler like I did. Youtube will show you many examples.
With either tumbler, you have to separate the media from the brass when done cleaning. There are media separators sold that do this for about $30 or so. They work for dry or wet. When separating the wet pins, the method of use is slightly different and the bucket is filled with water to the top and then the brass with pins poured into the straining basket. Turning the basket lets the pins fall out to the bottom. I bought a RCBS and it works just fine, so for lack of any other, I recommend the RCBS one.
Case trimming and prepping
This is a topic that has so many choices for trimming. From very inexpensive to very expensive. I could write a whole paper just on trimming cases alone. I will try to keep it simple. The very inexpensive trimming method is a manual hand turning or maybe with a crank. The LEE trimmer works just fine and is low cost. You do buy a part of it caliber specific. The other part more universal. It has the option to turn by hand or to chuck up the cuter in cordless drill (what I have done). I can recommend this trimmer with only some comments. There is no adjustment on case length. It is set by the factory kit. It is not super fast as you manually have to put a case into the holder, tighten the holder so the case doesn't slip, then insert that into the cutter which is on your drill. You spin it for a few seconds until it is done and then loosen the holder to remove the case. Just fine for smaller batches of rifle cases. But if you want to do 1000 cases, this gets slow. A little step up in precision is the lee trimmer that has a crank and you mount it into your single stage press. This setup is about $45 and allows fine adjustments to the case length. It is still as slow as the cheaper version from LEE, but it appears nicer.
There are many other case trimmers that sit horizontally and you put the case into the thing, and then turn the crank. They all work fine and trim accurately, but they all suffer from slow speed. And if I want to prep a bunch of brass for my semi-auto rifle, they are too slow for me.
That brings me to two choices that are fast. The worlds finest trimmer (WFT) and the Giraud tri way trimmer. Both styles are purchased caliber specific and they mount into a cordless drill or my preferred location, a table top drill press. With these spinning in the drill press, you simply insert a case into the tool, it takes just a few seconds, and it is trimmed. So you pick up a case that has been sized, stick it into the tool, 4 seconds later, you drop it into the "done" bucket and grab another case. There is no faster method.
The difference between these two is small but important to note. The WTF case trims the length only. Afterwards, the case needs to be chamfered inside and out of the mouth. In fact all trimmers require chamfering after trimming except the Giraud one. This trimmer uses a carbide cutter that is shaped so that it trims the length AND also puts a chamfer on the inside and outside of the case mouth all at the same time. So in 4 seconds, the case is trimmed, and chamfered. Pretty cool. The Giraud tri way is $100 per caliber. The WFT is about $72 per caliber.
After trimming, unless using the Giraud tool, the case mouth needs chamfered both on the inside and outside. This is simple to do and the tools are not expensive. My recommendation is the lyman case prep multitool, $22. This tool contains all of the required bits for chamfering, inside and outside, plus bits for truing up the primer pockets. The kit also includes a nice aluminum handle that screws in half to store the small primer pocket bits inside. The tool bits can be used by hand with the aluminum handle, or you can remove the bit and chuck it up into the drill press or your cordless drill if there is a bunch of cases to do. I personally chuck up the inside case chamfer tool into the drill press and do primer pocket crimp removals and inside neck chamfer. The outside chamfer tool is in a cordless drill and I use that to touch up the outside of the neck. It really takes just seconds to do all three operations.
If you plan on reloading, a case gauge for every rifle caliber is required. This gauge is used to check that the case has been resized properly back to SAAMI specs. Dropping in the case into the case, you look at the bottom of the head to see if it is flush with the indicator marks on the gauge. If it is standing proud a little bit, then it is not sized enough. The gauge will also tell you if the case has been trimmed enough. If you shoot a semi-auto rifle, this gauge is a must. Bolt action rifle shooters can use their chamber as the case gauge but doing so means that the reloaded cartridge is only set up properly for their rifle. It may not be sized enough for another rifle, so keep that in mind. Several companies make the gauge and all are good. I have L.E. Wilson, but hornady makes them as does Lyman.
Re-priming the case is a process that I personally like to use a hand held manual priming tool. The advantage with this process is that I can feel the primer going into the pocket. This feel allows me to get a consistent prime from case to case, it also allows me to know if a primer pocket is loose as the force required to squeeze the handle will be very very light. I also can tell if I forgot to remove the crimp on a primer pocket from military brass. The primer gives very high resistance right from the start and I can stop and go fix that case. So while the RCBS rock chucker has a feature included to allow you to prime the cases, I recommend using a hand held unit instead. It will be faster and also allow sensitivity to you that is not possible with the tool attached to the press. There are many choices, I can recommend the RCBS priming tool. It has served me very well for thousands of cases.
A power drop (measure) is required to drop a measured load of powder into each case. These drops can be mounted into your manual press as they include the same thread size as dies. They also can be mounted on their own stand (purchased separately). The hornady lock n load powder drop I have came with a metal plate that allowed me to mount it off to the side of my RCBS rock chucker press. The plate mounted under the nut on top of the press and extended out with a hole that I mounted the powder drop on. It sits the drop off to the side of the press at a convenient height above the bench.
Like I said, I am using the Hornady lock n load powder drop. I have no complaints. There are other drops that work in the same manner using a rotating barrel to pick up powder from the hopper and then rotate with a crank to drop that measured load down into the case. You can hold the case right up to the bottom of the powder drop and drop powder directly into the case. Or you can drop the powder into a pan and measure the weight on the scale. Afterwards, you drop the powder into a case using a funnel.
I first drop powder into the pan and weigh it. I do this over and over until the weight is exactly what I need. There is an adjustment screw on the powder drops that allow you to adjust how much powder is dropped. Once you get it right, I then drop several more loads, measuring each one, to be sure I have the adjustment right. And then, during loading, I will check it again after 30 or so cases.
One more tip on using the powder drops. It is desirable to have a block to hold a number of cases, like 50, so you can charge all of those cases at once, and then move on to the bullet seating operation. You can buy plastic cases from the store that do this, or you can make one from a block of hardwood. Measure out evenly, 50 spots on top of the block and use a drill press with a 3/8" forstner bit. This will fit 223 and 308 cases. If you are even a little bit crafty with wood, this works great and is nice and stable due to the weight of the wood block.
I finish up this list of must haves with one more, the bullet puller. If you reload, you will make a mistake of some sort that will force you to pull the bullet apart and re-do it. Making a mistake on case sizing, dropping the wrong powder load to realize after seating bullets, realizing you used the wrong powder, realizing after testing your rounds that it was too much or too little powder so pulling them allows you to reload again with the desired amount, or several other ways that will necessitate pulling the round apart.
For rifle loads, the RCBS bullet puller works amazingly well. You buy a collet with the puller that fits your caliber and interchange these collets for each caliber you reload. So for me, I have one in .22 caliber and one in 30 caliber. This puller is mounted in your single stage press. You put the loaded round into the press, lower the handle until the case hits the bottom of the puller. Then you tighten the handle just snug which grabs the projectile. Then you raise the ram handle back up and the bullet is pulled out of the case. Simply remove the case from the holder and dump the powder out. Then loosen the handle and the bullet falls out of the collet. The nice thing is that no damage is done to the bullet and it can be reloaded again.
Erie County SCOPE Chapter holds monthly meetings every 3rd Thursday of the month. Meetings are located at Harvey D. Morin VFW Post, 965 Center Road, West Seneca, NY 14224 and begin at 7pm.
Erie County Chapter
Carl Leas Chairman carlpride[at]msn.com 716-656-0350
Frain Boncore Secretary frankboncore[at]hotmail.com 716-674-3523
Please show your support for your 2nd amendment rights with your membership to the NRA and SCOPE. There are many links through these organizations to support your gun rights. Be pro-active in contacting your politicians.
Hon. Charles Schumer, U.S. Senate, 846-4111
Hon. Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senate, 854-9725
Hon. Chris Collins, U.S. Congress, 634-2324
Hon. Andrew Cuomo, Governor, 518-474-8390
Hon. Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General, 853-8400
Hon. Thomas DiNapoli, Comptroller, 518-474-4044
Hon. Patrick Gallivan, NY Senate, 656-8544
Hon. Timothy Kennedy, NY Senate, 826-2683
Hon. David DiPietro, NY Assembly, 585-786-0190
Hon. Michael Kearns, NY Assembly, 826-0152
Hon. Mark Poloncarz, County Executive, 858-8500