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Thread: New bullet testing today

  1. #1
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    New bullet testing today

    Not the greatest day for testing new bullets with winds from the 8 o'clock from 14-18 mph. but the good thing about that is at our range, that wind direction dampens the vertical out pretty well. If you see vertical on the target, it's either gun handling or tune up related.

    Not a great pic but you can see my grey bench mat and blue towels blowing around. Flag tails were straight out. Gun is my HV Panda, Kreiger twisted 1:17, chambered by 'Humble' Henry Rivers. Scope is a Sightron 36X45 ED.



    The first lot 'hot off the press'...literally. Cores and core seating pressure are still being tweaked. Brass was also new...first firing on it.



    There was a bullet of vertical with 32.5 of H4198, a half bullet of vertical at 32.7 and it flattened out nicely at 33.0. I finished up shooting these two 3 shot groups 15 minutes apart to verify if it would repeat and hold POI.







    By the time I finished, it was getting hard to keep stuff on the bench top. Next trip will be 5 shot groups as the charge weight goes up and 10 shot groups to verify the center of the group stays stable.

    I'd forgotten just how fun it was to make your own bullets!

    Good shootin' -Al

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Nyhus View Post
    Not the greatest day for testing new bullets with winds from the 8 o'clock from 14-18 mph. but the good thing about that is at our range, that wind direction dampens the vertical out pretty well. If you see vertical on the target, it's either gun handling or tune up related.

    Not a great pic but you can see my grey bench mat and blue towels blowing around. Flag tails were straight out. Gun is my HV Panda, Kreiger twisted 1:17, chambered by 'Humble' Henry Rivers. Scope is a Sightron 36X45 ED.



    The first lot 'hot off the press'...literally. Cores and core seating pressure are still being tweaked. Brass was also new...first firing on it.



    There was a bullet of vertical with 32.5 of H4198, a half bullet of vertical at 32.7 and it flattened out nicely at 33.0. I finished up shooting these two 3 shot groups 15 minutes apart to verify if it would repeat and hold POI.







    By the time I finished, it was getting hard to keep stuff on the bench top. Next trip will be 5 shot groups as the charge weight goes up and 10 shot groups to verify the center of the group stays stable.

    I'd forgotten just how fun it was to make your own bullets!

    Good shootin' -Al
    Especially when they shoot well

    What are the particulars on your new die?
    Last edited by jackie schmidt; 05-03-2022 at 08:31 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for sharing and ..... same question !!


    Was just thinking I read somewhere here you have quit bullet making times ago and sold everything. So ...... what is the new set up ?

  4. #4
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    Jackie and Oliver: Yes, I sold all my bullet making stuff several years ago.

    Some years ago, I helped another friend, Steve Grosvenor, get set up to make his own .30 cal BR bullets. Steve ordered the exact Blackmon setup that I had. I supplied Steve with some J4 jackets and a couple of spools of bullet making wire. After making less than 2,000 bullets, Steve retired from BR shooting to dedicate his time to his custom knife making business, which has been very, very successful. The bullets Steve made were very good, shot like crazy and were in every respect identical to the ones that my Blackmon setup made.

    Gene Crisman, who is a friend of Randy Robinett and myself, has an interest in making .30 cal. BR quality bullets. I contacted Steve, who lives about a half hour from me and yes...he still had his complete Blackmon bullet making equipment and yes...he would sell it to me. I've got everything set up on my bench just where my other set up was.

    So things have come full circle. Randy Robinett helped me get started, I helped Steve and now I get to help Gene learn the nuances of bullet making. Randy Robinett's influence, help and guidance is the common thread that binds all of this...and all of us...together.

    Larry Blackmon's .30 cal. dies just make great bullets...it's that simple. This point die is his 'standard' 7 ogive. With the 1" jackets I prefer, they tune up easily and aren't fussy at all.

    Good shootin' -Al

  5. #5
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    The rest of the story on Steve Grosvenor. I haven’t been in contact with Steve as recently as Al but Steve was losing his eye sight and had to get out of BR shooting. He turned to knife making and in particular the blade making aspect of the operation and was featured on Forged in Fire on TV. He won the competition when he was on the show and has been busy in that endeavor ever since.

  6. #6
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    Yep!

    Steve is a craftsman beyond what the word implies. Here's a link to his Forged In Fire episode as well as a link to his Red Rock Tools site:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt7f6Mbvbog

    https://redrocktools.weebly.com/

  7. #7
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    Al, are the Blackmon dies Carbide or Tool Steel.

    Just curious.

    Those bullets look great. I am locked into a .925 jacket bullet because I have tons of jackets and my bullet has a nice long shank. I have thought about making up cores to make a 115 on the same jacket, but I’m not sure it would be any improvement.

    That, and as you know, once you get the core seating and point up die just right, you don’t want to change ANYTHING

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up

    If Al had functional ears, and a little mechanical aptitude, he might make a decent bullet . . . . RG

  9. #9
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    Jackie - Blackmon dies are steel.

    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com
    Last edited by Lee Martin; 05-04-2022 at 11:35 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.G. Robinett View Post
    If Al had functional ears, and a little mechanical aptitude, he might make a decent bullet . . . . RG
    "You're killin' me, Smalls...killin' me!" -Al

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxJPJ6JY0Pk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    Al, are the Blackmon dies Carbide or Tool Steel.

    Just curious.

    Those bullets look great. I am locked into a .925 jacket bullet because I have tons of jackets and my bullet has a nice long shank. I have thought about making up cores to make a 115 on the same jacket, but I’m not sure it would be any improvement.

    That, and as you know, once you get the core seating and point up die just right, you don’t want to change ANYTHING
    They are steel dies, Jackie.

    Besides everything else he's educated me on (and continues to do so), one rule always come to mind:

    "The problem with making a good bullet is that people will want to buy them from you". -R.G. Robinett

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.G. Robinett View Post
    If Al had functional ears, and a little mechanical aptitude, he might make a decent bullet . . . . RG

    Randy, we all know that for the past years Al has been chasing a NHRA Stock Car Index, where they measure gains in .001 of a second increments down the track.

    So he thought he would get back into something a little less anal, a little less nerve wrecking, and a little less inducing one to pull what ever hair you have left out by the roots………………BENCHREST BULLET MAKING.

  13. #13
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    The aviation weather showed that Monday's wind direction(s) would be about as good as it gets for testing at our range with the air moving W/SW in the early morning. This is what I call 'Happy Hour' at our range. If you get there early, have your stuff together and a good plan, there can be an hour (at most) of really good shooting conditions....with the air moving from the 3:00 just enough to lift the tails while the flags are rock steady. In this condition, you can clearly see the mirage creeping so you don't get caught in a flip.

    The 5 shot groups progressed predictably from 33.5 where I'd left off testing. At 34.0 there was a full bullet of straight vertical which came out at 34.3 and stayed out all the way to 35.0...which is a bunch of powder column with a 1.00 jacket/7 ogive bullet in a near zero freebore chamber. A tweak of seating depth brought it the rest of the way around.

    By this time, I was on thin ice for time as the tops of the aspen trees down range were starting to move a bit which at our range is a sure sign that things are going to get a bit more active at ground level pretty shortly. I had 16 cases ready to go in the box, so in went 34.5 of 4198. My plan was to shoot two 8 shot groups with the flags steady at 3:00 and the exact same aiming point but disregarding the wind speed changes. To my simple brain, that's a good indicator of how stable the group is. If the tails pick up, the mirage flow fits with the flags and the bullet doesn't go where it should have, somethings not right.

    You can see the small black aiming dot I put on the target stamps to help with a better aiming point.

    On the right 8 shot group, I started in a bit more active wind flow.

    On the left side group, by the time I was ready to start it the winds had actually lightened up a bit. I gave the scope two clicks of 'down' to avoid punching out my aiming point if the flow really lightened up.



    There's only 6 in the left side group and here's why. I had just tossed round #7 in the gun, snapped the bolt closed and was getting ready to press the trigger when out of my left eye I saw a person walking into my peripheral vision ahead of the firing line!

    The shooter is an older long time member at our private range...pretty cool guy actually. He'd been shooting his nice National Match M1A a couple benches to my left and was just happily out there picking up his brass like he was picking dandelions out of his yard. He'd meandered back behind the firing line by now so I fired the chambered round and called it a day!

    Being on the BOD of our club, I knew that engaging my brain before opening my mouth was the best thing to do at that point. When I went down to talk with him about it he shrugged his shoulders said calmly: "You weren't going to hit me." He seemed totally unconcerned. The kicker was when he said: "How could you even have seen me?" When I told him I shoot with both eyes open, he looked at me like I either had two heads or only half a brain. He left with a much clearer understanding of our range safety rules and how getting lax is an unfortunate byproduct of doing a lot of shooting.

    Good shootin' -Al

  14. #14
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    You've made my day Al.... thank you.

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