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About firewood

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    Finally read the FAQs

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  1. This is great advice. After the all the troubles I had with my 686, I decided to have a pistol smith evaluate my 929 before I shot it. My 929 was actually ok as form/fit/finish is concerned. I measured my DA trigger at 14.5 pounds out of the box. I have it down to 7.5 pounds, an obvious huge improvement. I love the gun, have most of the add-ons others have mentioned (Hogue cyl latch, big butts), plus I had other work performed by the pistol smith so it is easy to have $1800.00 into the gun not including moons/moon tools, belt/holster/moon clip holders, optics and misc. Not exactly what I call a "budget" gun.
  2. The OP certainly has a quandary, one that I share but somewhat different situation. I want to use optics on my revo for SC but that would put me in open for USPSA where I would also be scored minor so I would get creamed. So the best solution is to buy another revo, have the action worked to match the one I have now and leave it iron sight. This way I have two guns one for SC the other for USPSA but this what the OP is trying to avoid. And actually I'm not wanting to rush out and buy another gun this year and maybe not next year either because I have bought enough hardware misc stuff for the time being. So my solution to the problem is to use my revo in SC and use an auto loader that I have for production. But there really isn't an easy solution to the problem as presented by the OP that doesn't involve some kind of compromise. My situation is made easier though since in any case I'm not competitive and would prefer to put my efforts into steel over action shooting.
  3. Everything good has already been said. But just to reinforce things, take your time. I'm fairly new to this kind of thing and usually I don't even want to look at my scores after a match because I feel like I'm sooo baaaad that it would be counter productive to know the truth. But I will finally get up the nerve to take a peek. So far I've managed to avoid coming in last and usually there is at least one good shooter that gets DQed. As another poster has said when you are at the bottom you have no where to go but up. You will learn much about this sport at your first match. Just have fun!
  4. Just my personal experience on case gages the DAA 20 cavity is very tight and a tad expensive. The single cavity Lyman is a bit looser and only costs about $20.00 I have not had a single FTF since I started gage every round I make. On the zilla media I mix 50/50 NuFinish with mineral spirits, mix it before you put it into the media and run for 15 minutes before putting the brass in. Helps cut down on the dust and polishes the brass some. If you need some range brass you can buy 6000 pcs 9mm once fired mixed from northeast reloading for $131.00 delivered. Cabelas sells plastic 100 round ammo boxes for about $2.99 Every time I go there I pick up a few now I have too many! Walmart and Harbor Freight sells those approx. 30 cal. plastic plano boxes for about $5.00 these are good for bulk ammo storage. Are you going to shoot major or minor? And welcome to the handloaders club. Once you get started you will lose the excuse of not having any ammo to shoot Ha Ha!
  5. A case gage is nice to have. If you have a Harbor Freight locally their vibratory case tumbler is the least expensive I have found, the Frankford is the next least expensive. The Harbor Freight digital caliber 6" $15.00 ish also inexpensive and the same as many name brand ones that cost twice as much. For tumbler media use crushed fine walnut reptile bedding from the pet shop. I put some nu-car auto polish and mineral spirits into it make sure you have it fully mixed into the media before putting bass into the tumbler. Use a plastic kitchen colander from the dollar store to separate media for now. On edit: If you need to buy handloading books get used at amazon
  6. The Square Deal will only load straight wall Pistol and uses proprietary dies. The 550 will load just about anything and uses standard dies. As others have said $400.00 is a bit high for a used SDB, BUT, you are getting dies for two calibers so if those what you need then maybe. If your loading 40 S&W or 38 Super.... and have to buy dies to get started .....then perhaps give this a bit more thought.
  7. Before you buy either a 586 or 686 L-frame double check to see if there are any differences in the hammer/firing pin assemblies. Personally all things the same the stainless steel of the 686 makes better sense for just a bit more money. I have a 686 with 4" barrel that I bought for IDPA and actually it isn't the best gun for even IDPA (a S&W 625 --major PF is better). But IDPA was the reason why I chose the 4" barrel. Most shooters, myself included, will take a new S&W revo to a pistol smith to have the approx. 14 pound factory trigger lightened and smoothed out. Even PC smiths have heavy triggers out of the box. The issue is if you go too light then you will need to handload your own ammo and use federal primers. If you can find used that has had action work done that might be a good idea. I intend to use my 686 for ICORE classic this year. The short 4" barrel doesn't really bother me and I'm not going to buy another revo for ICORE anytime soon as I have other priorities. I had the cylinder cut for moon clips also so I can shoot this gun in classic and limited 6. In addition to having the cylinder cut for moons and the action/trigger work done, I had the spring latch that secures the ejection rod inside the groove in the underlug changed to a ball detent on the crane, another ball detent added to the crane open position, front sight changed to fiber optic, the cylinder trued, bc gap adjusted, fc work done, hammer bobbed. This added about 5 or so hundred dollars to the gun more I think. Also I used a rasp to remove the finger groves in the stock grips. 6 shot moons for a 686 are expensive as TK is the only maker of them. Plus you need tools to put the ammo into moons and to remove from moons. If you stay with classic you don't need anything to do with moons and can use a production holster and speed loaders, I have all Safariland gear for this which is not that expensive. After all the work mentioned the gun really is nice now. Not sure if any of this is helpful. Hopefully there is something you can use. Revolvers are addicting.
  8. You are asking about the Frankford Scale. I have the Platinum Series which is one of the more expensive scales in their line. They are currently going for about $80.00 +/- bux. As far as performance goes it works well. It needs to warm up about 10 minutes and even then drifts some but not too bad. I bought mine about 2 years ago during a flash sale at Amazon for $42.00 with free shipping. For that price it is fantastic.I don't know that I would be happy paying the present rate though. I actually have 3 digital scales, the frankford, a smallish CED scale that I won at a prize table and an RCBS Charge Master (combo). For loading up pistol ammo I always use my RCBS 5-0-5 beam scale to verify my powder measure and then check it against my frankford platinum. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do with the CED scale. I also have and highly recommend a set of check weights. I have the Lyman set I think they are about $40.00 but you should have these. Just so you know, the weights that come with most if not all electronic scales are not check weights, rather they are calibration weights. Big difference. For pistol loads my opinion is any of the name brand digital scales, including the frankford arsenal are fine. For precision rifle I would go with something like the Dillon or RCBS electronic or one of the better beam scales. Tricking your powder if you decide to go that route is probably better on a beam. The RCBS Charge master combo is really nice but wouldn't make any sense for you if your using a progressive press for 5.56/.223 I know that it is a topic of great interest but unless you are shooting a lot of 5.56 I think handloading on a progressive press is not that big of a time saver. Others disagree and that's fine but if you think about it, after you size and deprime you need to measure and trim the brass (opps you need a brass trimmer). This means off the press. On a 550 press you then return it to seat the bullet. If your doing a lot and a powder drop accuracy is acceptable then ok but for the guy who reloads 100-200/month I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. On thing if you decide you need an off press priming tool look at the RCBS bench model (I forget the name). A case prep tool for rifle, the electric ones are nice to have. Mine is the RCBS case mate but I swapped out some of the heads for Lyman and added the RCBS pocket uniformer and the crimp remover. Most of the cool kids use the Dillon swage tool but either way you should consider getting all of that stuff and also case gages. Just decide how much you want to spend and go shopping. One other thing, if I didn't already own a dry vibratory tumbler and if I had a nice warm place to reload in the winter I would look very close at the Frankford Arsenal wet pin tumbler. You might if you go that route want to budget a dehydrator to dry after wet tumbling. I have written a lot here and some might disagree with me on some points but this is a place to discuss things. The sky is the limit as far as money goes. This is not an inexpensive enterprise to get into. Consider reloading one (1) caliber at first. Lean and make beginner mistakes then when you have the basics then move on. My advice is pick your most used handgun caliber and learn that first. That way you can put off buying all of the tooling needed strictly for rifle handloads. BTW the strong mounts or ultramounts for mounting the press are worth every penny. If you are like me and like to have books on the shelf I use the Hornady 9th edition and the Hodgdon annual manual the most but everyone has their favorites. For a beginner how-to reference book for pistol I like Handloading for Handgunners by Patrick Sweeney but any how to book really isn't necessary if your willing to search the forums. For rifle there are a bunch of good books but I will let someone else toss out a title. If you have a Cabelas nearby every time you go there pick up a handful of plastic 100 round ammo boxes. It is impossible to have too many of these. For bulk ammo storage the plastic plaino 30 cal boxes cost about $5.00 at walmart. The Dillon primer pick up tubes are the best and cost the least. I have a bunch of these tools and several makes and trust me on this just get Dillon. A flip tray is a flip tray get what ever you want but for the pickup tubes having at least 5 of them is worth the expense.
  9. In one of the Powder Factor Show videos that is an intro to revolver the person doing the video states that he grips the revolver same as an auto-loader. So I thought I would try it. It doesn't work for me, and I gave it a fair trial. As other posters AZShooter and PatJones mentioned right thumb over left is what works for me. Having tried all kinds of grip techniques this is what I settled on. I wish to add that my right thumb tip is pointed in a downward direction. The best thing you can do is try everything but in the end I think you will settle on the right thumb over the left. Also don't be afraid to try different stocks. In my particular case I have small hands long fingers. The molded in finger groves on the standard S&W stocks don't fit my hand. I have either filed off the groves on standard stocks with a rasp or replaced them with stocks that have no groves.
  10. tha1000 did you get these to work? I was told that the lack of the milling is a defect. The recess is needed for the rubber washer which is (I think) necessary for the pouch to ratchet.
  11. ^^^ Very good Sir.
  12. I have a set of those mini practice targets and I think they are a good idea. Also, purchasing a timer like the ones used at matches is also a good idea. The timers can be set to give "par" times and a delayed start tone. What this means is you can set if to beep 4 seconds after pressing the start button giving you time to get ready which is handy when dry firing by yourself. The "par" feature lets you set the timer to give another tone at a set time after the start tone. Handy for increasing speed of a drill because as you repeat it over and over and setting shorter par times you will get a sense of urgency and speed. You will get used to hearing the sound of a timer and you will find that at matches it will be less stressful because you are used to hearing it. Find a small fixed point at the wall like a light switch lever and use that as a target for slow fire. It is easy to see the front sight move while pressing the trigger at a small defined target, this will help you learn to hold the gun steady. When you dry fire you want to make it as close to the actual conditions as firing a match. Wear the same gear, eyeware, holsters/belts and so forth. Buy or make inert dummy rounds that are easy to distinguish from live ammo. The added weight of your dummy rounds will help you learn muscle memory to exact live firing conditions and is better for your firearms than pressing the trigger with an empty chamber. Be very care and diligent to ensure that when you dry fire in your home that real live ammo is NO WHERE IN THE SAME ROOM as your practice session. Practice everything that you might do at a range including reloads and clearing jams, getting a sight picture, breath control, follow up shots, on and on. As others have said better to practice short periods every day than a long period once a week. Designate a "down range" section of your room and make sure you don't break the 180 rule or handle the firearm in any way that would be considered unsafe at the range. Just a few thoughts I have....
  13. Sorry for the blip above^^^ I use a G17 for production. Let me say that I'm awful and just dabble in this endeavor. But I'm now at the point where I want to start taking this whole thing a bit more seriously. I intend to get as much out of what I have before putting any more money into this particular aspect of the sport. I have made a few upgrades in my holster/belt system, this I believe will help a lot. My G17 has just about every upgrade allowable for production except I'm still using the factory barrel. I actually have 3 G17s, the one I use for competition has a Vogel drop in trigger. It is better than doing the 25 cent trigger job but costs a lot more than 25 cents. As others have said you can buy competition trigger spring kits and polish a few things with flitz which really is an improvement for about $50.00. I have done this on one of my other G17s and it's not bad. I just installed a steel guide rod and 13 # recoil spring. I haven't made up my mind on this yet but I think it's good improvement. I just need to get out and put some more ammo down range. I'm not a Glock salesmen. I understand the allure of buying something new. But I agree with others that personal skills are the thing to focus on. My advice, regardless of your decision to throw money into your existing firearms or buy new, take what ever guns you plan to compete with and put as much practice time into them as possible. On thing that Glocks have going for them is they are simple to operate. When I take out my 1911 I almost always have issues with the thumb safety because I don't practice with that gun often. ON EDIT: I'm uncomfortable giving advice but just wanted to throw my support to what most are saying in response to your question.