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Thread: Getting started.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    18

    Getting started.

    Hello Everyone!

    I'm new to benchrest. I'm trying to get started, but work weekends, every weekend, so it makes it difficult to attend any matches. Unfortunately this sort of isolates me to some extent from what would probably be my best access to more experienced local shooters who could mentor me. Anyhow, I'm doing my best to get started, I traded for a used Rem-700 in 6PPC.





    The gentleman that traded it to me, gave me 50 pieces of brass for it to get me started. I bought some Redding FL, SB, Type-S bushing dies, I currently have a Dillon 550 and a Lee hand press, I used those to load the first batch of ammo, 67gr Barts Bullet on top of 27gr H-322 and a CCI magnum SR primer. I guess it came out OK, here are the results.



    I do need to choose a portable reloading press that I can take to the range with me however. Any advice on choosing one that offers the best bang for the buck in terms of features and cost, would be appreciated. I also need to learn to make more brass for it. I have no experience with wildcat case forming or neck turning. I ordered a sinclair neck turning kit and expender die and 100rnds of Lapua 220 Russian brass. Everything has come in except the brass. I downloaded the instructions from Sinclair, but am still feeling very insecure about trying it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Duluth, MN.
    Posts
    30
    It looks like you have a good point to start from Go to the FAQ section and you will get much of the information that you need. As to missing weekend matches, you can improve on your own until you get to be somewhat competitive then you might have to take some weekend off to see how the regulars do it. I face somewhat of a problem myself being from northern Minnesota and having no matches close by, but I can consistently shoot groups that would be competitive in results of matches posted here. Keep working at it and you will improve. It is not a bad thing to be in competion with youself. Good luck and happy shooting. Al.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    1,753
    Mr. Braddy,

    The most economical press for range loading is the RCBS Partner press. You can probalby go to ebay and save a few buck on a used one. If the ram is a tight fit to it's sleeve, either polish the shaft or the sleeve area to free it up a little (.001 or so). Other than that, a Harrell's custom press is probably the most popular custom press and are around twice the price. But like most things, the sky is the limit, there are really expensive one's out there.

    In compontents, I would try Federal or Winchester primers, they just seem to produce better groups, with the federal 205 & 205M being the most popular.

    There is one equipment hiccup that disqualifies that rifle from being used in registered short range benchrest...it's the stock. It does not meet the rules. The good thing is, that's a popular long range stock and should be easy to sell or trade for a legal stock. You didn't mention how heavy the gun is but that could be a problem also but with the correct stock, the weight is probably easily fixed. But before you get bumbed at what I just mentioned, it's still a good pratice or club rifle until you can work the bugs out.

    Don't worry about making brass, after you do it once, you'll be fine. I would recommend that you get Mike Ratigan's and Tony Boyer's books on Short Range Benchrest, they will teach you a lot.

    Hovis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    5,226

    Frank Murphy's method

    You have most of the stuff Frank mentions. You don't need two neck turners. Pretty easy stuff unless you get caught up trying to cut your necks uniform to a jillionth. Cut a few necks and you'll be a Pro!

    ______________________________________

    220 Russian to 6PPC - FLM

    Best advice: get the BR primer from "Precision Shooting", read the articles by Dick Wright on "getting started."

    In the meantime, here is one approach (responsible practitioners differ, mileage may vary, read prospectus before investing):

    You need:

    --virgin Lapua 220R brass

    --6 PPC chamber with a narrow neck (often .262, but not always)

    --a 6 PPC FL die

    --two neck turners (yes, unfortunately, two, unless you actually like adjusting the damned things)

    --a 6 mm expander mandrel that is .001"-.002" bigget than the mandrel on the turner

    --a Wilson trimmer with the .220R shellholder and the PPC shellholder

    --deburring tool

    Steps consist of:

    --weight sort the brass, or not, depending on your religion

    --lube the inside of the neck (Q-tip, case lube)

    --run the brass over the expanding mandrel

    --check lengths. If your brass is like mine, they'll all be the same; this is the miracle of Lapua brass in action. If not, trim as little as possible to make them all the same length. Chamfer or deburr the inner lip of the case neck (outer doesn't matter at this point).

    --use a set of feeler gauges, if you like, and adjust the first trimmer to get you to within a half a thou or less of your goal for neck thickness

    --adjust the length of cut so that with your brass the cutter just kisses the shoulder when the case mouth hits the stop

    --use the brass that didn't weigh right to set up this process

    --lube the mandrel on the turner and lube the inside of the case neck

    --run a case on the trimmer; if its too tight, get a bigger expander mandrel and start over

    --give all the cases their preliminary turning, keeping everything clean and free of chips to avoid marring the neck surface

    --set up the second trimmer similarly to give a thickness of .0001 to .0003 over your ideal final thickness (it'll thin with the first few firings). After you've fiddled around for a while adjusting the trimmer, you'll see why I said tp get two trimmers.

    --run all the brass through this second turning. As this is the finish cut, use a somewhat higher speed and a very fine feed; you might want to run the brass twice.

    --use your ball mic or case checker to check for thickness and uniformity (sorry, I didn't put these on your shopping list)

    --degrease your brass, using hot soap and water (simple green works well--just boil the brass in a solution of this) or lacquer thinner or whatever. I use boiling detergent solutions when I'm feeling environmental, sovlent when I'm in a hurry.

    --if the neck won't grip a bullet when it comes off the turner, FL size and do not reexpand, for a firm grip

    --deburr case mouth. If you believe in a long taper internal chamfer, now is the time to cut it.

    --put a bullet in a case to make a dummy round. Check neck OD (it should be OK, but why take chances?), and check for fit in the chamber gauge if you have one, in the chamber (striker assembly removed) if you don't. Ideally, the prepared case will chamber freely as the case neck enters the neck of the chamber, indicating that you didn't make the neck too fat, but develop
    some feel as you close the bolt, indicating a close headspace fit between the round and the chamber. Usually, this won't happen, as the brass is manufactured not to be longer than spec and the chamber not to be shorter. If you trust "bullet jam" (see below) to hold the case back against the bolt face (I do for short headspaced PPC chambers), all is well. If not, over-expand the neck to something like 6.5 mm or 7 mm, then go back to the FL die and adjust to get a crush fit. I avoid this for the PPC, out of fear of what will happen with all that expanding and sizing of the neck.

    --prime, fill with your usual 6 PPC powder, using a long drop tube and vibration to get as much in as you can, bringing the powder up into the neck. This is counter to the usual advice to FF with reduced loads, but that advice is wrong: fire forming means deforming the brass beyond its elastic limit, and that calls for high pressure. As is, the case capacity is reduced though
    chamber capacity is not, and you won't be able to get in as much powder or produce as much pressure as you will with your subsequent PPC loads.

    --seat the bullet well out, for a good hard jam into the lands

    --fire the rounds

    --apply the primer pocket uniformer, and flash hole uniformer/deburrer if you care to--many feel these steps are not needed with this high quality brass

    --at this point, some people run through another neck turning; I don't think you need to, but opinions differ

    --I trim the case mouths and deburr here, just a thou or so, to be sure everything is square.

    --Done.

    As I said, opinions about how to do this are like hemorrhoids (you know the joke), and I only say that this way makes sense to me. Others may do it differently, and I'll probably do it differently too, a few months from now.

    FLM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Duluth, MN.
    Posts
    30
    Wilbur, I'm glad you remembered Frank Murphy's method. If it hadn't been for Frank I might not have gotten very interested in benchrest shooting. I still have a copy of his last post - the one from the day he died. He was agreat guy. Al.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Cresson, Texas
    Posts
    124
    I am willing to discuss any of this with you and give my oppinions. I also have a little range at my home I practice at that you are free to shoot at for no charge. I am no expert by any means but have had some help along the way and been given great advice that I would love to send to the next guy. I see that you are in San Antonio and thats a little ways from me but I will tell you what I know and have learned like reading groups on your target and tell you do not be afraid of wildcats it can be done safely. listen to the guys on this website there is a ton of experiance and information here that is freely given if you will allow people to give it. so if you would like you are invited to shoot and learn all you can from me. for all I know you will teach me and your just being humble. anyway I'd love to help you anyway I can, and bring all your stuff and we will build some PPC brass together and take all the VOODOO outa the process so you are comfortable doing it yourself. I hope all goes well in your new addiction and welcome to group OCD, where it is not only ok, but helps to be obsesive compulsive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    2,309
    STOP!

    Don't do another thing until you read: THE BOOK OF RIFLE ACCURACY by TONY BOYER.

    Distributor: http://www.brunoshooterssupply.com/ Price $34.50

    You're going to get all kinds of sincere and well-meaning advice on this site that's going to run the gamut from one end of the spectrum to the other.

    Might as well start with the best and most comprehensive advice from the greatest Benchrest shooter of all-time.

    Then you can compare notes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Abilene, Texas
    Posts
    51
    If you have not been up to New Braunfels to Howard Dietz's range, you need to go. There is always someone there who will be happy to visit with you and give you some good information.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Schenck View Post
    Wilbur, I'm glad you remembered Frank Murphy's method. If it hadn't been for Frank I might not have gotten very interested in benchrest shooting. I still have a copy of his last post - the one from the day he died. He was agreat guy. Al.
    Would you kindly share Frank's last post with us?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    washington.........STATE that is.
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    10,691
    Wilbur, do you ever wish this forum could have been saved on a terrabyte somewhere???

    I know I've wish't it

    But that FLM one might make me cry

    al

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    18
    Thanks Guys,

    I went ahead and ordered the RCBS Partner press from Midway, as well as a K&M priming tool, brass, and some other stuff from Bruno shooters supply. Will check out the book mentioned, but am reeding The Accurate Varmint Rifle by Boyd Mace, and The Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy by Glenn Newick right now. I will check out the match at Dietz's if I can ever get a weekend off, I've driven by their matches before, on my way to shoot Highpower, or SB Silhouette on the CTSA range behind Dietz's range. I've met Fred Jamison, Jerry Hensler, I think they still shoots those matches. I wanted to see what the gun would do at 300yds, and it didn't fail to impress, below a couple of my best groups at 300yds.




  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    69
    Maybe I missed it but I don't think you mentioned weather you had wind flags or not. If you're not shooting over flags your wasting your time.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    179
    Quote Originally Posted by JDBraddy View Post
    Will check out the book mentioned, but am reeding The Accurate Varmint Rifle by Boyd Mace, and The Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy by Glenn Newick right now.
    Those are both good books, but are now too old to give you any insight into what it takes to be competitive in a modern BR competition. Before you invest in any equipment, you are much better served to read the Boyer book, and also Mike Ratiganís book (Extreme Rifle Accuracy). A lot has changed, and these 2 books are the only ones that address the current era of BR.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Des Moines, IA
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    1,451
    Quote Originally Posted by Fergus Bailey View Post
    Those are both good books, but are now too old to give you any insight into what it takes to be competitive in a modern BR competition. Before you invest in any equipment, you are much better served to read the Boyer book, and also Mike Ratiganís book (Extreme Rifle Accuracy). A lot has changed, and these 2 books are the only ones that address the current era of BR.
    Fergus,

    I beg to disagree. The older books need to be read to understand the newer ones. Just reading Tony's or Ratigan's book will give a newby no basis to refer to. W/O the basics, you have nothing to go on but "faith", and that is where you are bound to get lost.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Misplaced . . .
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    Beg to disagree, too, David. The equipment side of benchrest today is about getting a winning rifle. It use to be about building a *better* rifle. Probably inevitable that the sport changed from trying things out to winning, doesn't make it any less sad. Building a winning rifle under the current rules is cookbook; the exception is we don't know what makes for really good barrels -- that part's just lottery.

    As Wilbur has said so many times, buy a good rifle when you find one. Equipment issue solved. Learning to shoot in the wind is the main thing that stands in the way of someone's winning.

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