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About firewood

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    NE PA
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    Thomas Chew

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  1. This bears repeating. Most if not all of the problems with the press (once the pawls and the primer shuttle/feed tube assy are adjusted) can be traced back to the shell plate coming lose.
  2. firewood

    New to USPSA: Where do I start?

    What I would do, since you are asking, is what everyone else is suggesting. Use what you have and then figure out just exactly where you fit in. As far as improving your marksmanship skills I'm fairly confident in saying that if you stick with it and if you practice/dry fire, your skills will improve regardless of the division you shoot. In production class everyone has to reload, everyone shoots minor pf and everyone has a 10 shot magazine capacity. So even keel as far as that goes. Which reminds me. You will need/want at least 6 magazines to start and probably at least 5 magazine pouches for your belt, I have 6 on mine and I only dabble in production (with a Glock 17 but I'm a piker). 50 or so rounds of ammo weighs a pound or so making it handy to have a competition belt. A sturdy belt, a reasonably good production holster and 6 mag pouches is going to cost somewhere around $300.00 ---a debatable cost but you get the idea. This of course presents to you a quandary because even if you use what you have you will still probably need to spend some money or borrow some tackle. I managed to survive my first few matches using my G17 and three (3) el-cheapo Uncle Mikes double mag pouches and a leather carry belt. I have since discovered that I'm more of a Steel Challenge /Revolver/ICORE kind of guy so glad I didn't full bore into USPSA limited or open but I do have at this point a fairly nice production belt set-up maybe some day I will get it out and use it. Also put in the back of your mind and regardless of what kind of gun or division you shoot that for future reference the you will probably see a need to park a progressive reloading press and numerous associated tools on your work bench. Playing the game implies sending a considerable amount of lead down range even if it's 9mm. Money does by the way and contrary to popular folk proverbs buys happiness. Having said all this, it is a fun activity.
  3. firewood

    Good Ammo Prices

    Good idea getting a book. There are two or three basic "kinds" of books. One is the "How To" variety, another is the "Load Data" manual. Then there are variations of the same. Most Load Data manuals have a section, generally in the front, that go over the basic How To that the newcomer needs to know. If you decide to join the ranks of handloaderdumb then you will need several load manuals anyway so if your procure one it will not go to waste. My personal collection of books on the subject numbers about 75 books. I say this to give you an idea of my attitude towards these things. My advice is get a used manual off Amazon. Everyone has their favorite manual and most are good but in my opinion get the Hornady Manual then the Lyman. Used is the way to go but I've bought new on sale at (believe it or not ) WalMart. Of course there are some awful youtubes out there but a lot of good vids also. I wouldn't suggest using loads from anything other than published sources but if you watch a few youtubes it will give you a great idea of what you are getting into. I had been wanting to start handloading for many years, my Dad reloaded when I was a kid and I have some of his stuff but not enough to get going without putting some money on the counter. We (my better half) and me have two kids and of course that makes it difficult time and money wise to spend shooting and reloading. Finally when my youngest got into high school and my wife started making more money than me I had run out of excuses so a while back I started shooting more and getting more guns. Now my youngest is out of college (and making some bux of her own), I have more time and so I've been handloading about 6 years now. When I started I did what your are thinking about, I asked Santa for the stuff I needed. Santa knew just exactly what I wanted! I didn't have the foresight to ask enough questions or find someone to show me what they do or use so I think I can say I made a few mistakes along the way. I thought, for example, that a bench is a bench. If you are planning on making 1000 rounds per month even 500 with a progressive your bench needs to put the press and associated gizmos in just the right place. The bench needs to be rock solid and at the correct height. As far as my actual bench is concerned, I have a small (8' long) but nice bench. I have found that while some like to sit when they work, I prefer to stand. My bench is about 4" too low for handloading perfection so next week I'm going to make new legs and reconfigure things using my existing bench top. While I'm at it I will make a few changes and repaint everything and add new lighting and shelving. To improve on an existing and fully functional bench to make it better will cost me about $200.00 and eat up a long weekend of my time. So in addition to making hardware buying decisions it is wise to give some time planning on where you will do the work and store the materials you will be buying to support the effort. There are many ways to skin a cat as they say. Same with handloading ammo. The main thing is good safety habits and good record keeping. What works for me may not work for you. Most handloaders that have a passion for quality ammo are in a constant search for improvement. Not just loads and components but their work flow and procedures as well as an efficient workspace. I laugh at myself when I look at pictures of my first handloading bench. I could have stored everything in a cardboard box. Today I take up 1/4 of a two car garage. ON EDIT: I see you now have the Lyman book. Good choice! But disregard the thing about measuring and trimming handgun brass.
  4. firewood

    Good Ammo Prices

    If you are interested in learning to handload ammo and purchase the tackle to get started may I suggest that take a long hard look at you actual ammo needs and then make a decision? So, for example, you state that you shoot 2 handgun calibers and 4 rifle calibers. That is a total of 6 calibers. And to complicate matters there is a mix of rifle and pistol. So, in my not so very humble opinion, make a realistic survey of the actual number of rounds you shoot in each caliber per month. Forget for now 30-06 because by your own admission you do little there. So say you shoot 100 rounds/ month of .223 and 300 BLK and 500 rounds of 9mm and 400 rounds 45 ACP then concentrate on either 9mm or 45 and gear up for handgun reloading. If the opposite is true gear up for rifle reloading. The reason for this is with rifle you can use a single stage press but will need case prep tools, for handgun the only case prep is case cleaning which you will also need for rifle. For handgun a progressive press is nice to have. It will take some time before you know exactly what you are doing so I think it wise to narrow down the calibers and put off buying things like 5 or 6 sets of dies from the get-go and put that money into good tools that will stay with you for the duration. You will also need a suitable place to make your ammos and store your stuff. Many start by mounting their press to an existing work bench, this is what I did, but didn't take long before things changed as this was for me not conducive to an enjoyable handloading experience. Having said all of this the needs of a competitive shooter are not needs of a casual plinker. Without knowing you or your wants/needs/desires it is difficult to put a price tag on starting handloading but thinking in terms of $800.00-$1,000.00 start-up cost is in my opinion prudent. It is possible to do it on a very limited budget of course and some do and do well but many handloaders end up with the hardware you could buy with my budget so why not cut to the chase? $1,000.00 may seem like a lot of money to spend here and it is but for all we know you step up to the firing line with a $2,500.00 gun supported with $600.00 belt/holster all stored in a $200.00 range bag. If you shoot a 400 round match with 9mm you might need $100.00 for ammo plus the entry fee, food and travel. Firearms hobbies are not inexpensive! You might ask around your fellow shooters or competitors and see if maybe there would be someone willing to show you how they handload and get a first hand look at things.
  5. firewood

    8 shot is how much better?

    My first year all I had was a 6 shot revo. That was what I had and so that was what I shot, there was no discussion or debate. Second year I added an 8 shot. For me it did more than just give me 2 extra rounds before reloads. That year I tried to convince myself that the 6 shot forced me to be more careful of where I placed my shots, making me a better shooter. Ha Ha! A few weeks ago I shot (5 stage static outlaw steel challenge style match) on the same squad with a guy that used a 625. This shooter had one (1) makeup shot the entire match while I had about 15. Didn't help him in the standing though as there was over a minute between our scores. True I need to reduce my number of makeups but I will take my score over his any day. Truth is for me I'm a better shooter now but not because I have extra ammos, but rather because I have put a little more effort into my marksmanship. I think though that you have to convince yourself that the path your on is the correct for you. At the same time I was telling myself that I was more shot conscience with a 6 shot I was also trying to convince myself that id*a was good for development of defensive carry skills. What was I thinking? I now believe that it all comes down to the personal level of commitment and enjoyment. Going from a 6 shot L frame to an 8 shot N frame in a competition environment is somewhat of a dollar and cents factor. I know a fellow revo shooter that is beginning the 3rd year of shooting static steel and is no better today than the first match based on scores. That person started same as me, a 6 shot then on to an 8 shot. This individual has the gear so it's not the tackle. I have concluded that some individuals apparently don't seem to mind the lack of advancement and are there strictly for the joy of shooting. Not my way of doing things but we are all different. Since getting an 8 shot I hardly ever shoot my 6 shot but still would not want to get rid if it and all of the associated Bric-à-brac.
  6. Main thing is to make sure you really understand how to operate the gun. That and a good understanding of the rules.
  7. firewood

    First SCSA match

    Steel Challenge is a hoot, welcome Robert!
  8. firewood

    New Lee Auto Breech Shipping

    I shot ISR and OSR, long day. I'm pleased with my OSR score (147) all 8 stages SCSA as you know. My previous best was 160. Still a long way to go before guys like you start asking me how I do it but gotta start from where you are. Got drenched towards the end and stayed to help clean up so a little bit miserable but my performance was just good enough to give me that little boost to keep at it.
  9. firewood

    New Lee Auto Breech Shipping

    Not to change the subject Dr. Phil but hope you did well Saturday!
  10. I'm not sure this is going to be helpful. I'm 60 years old and have been wearing glasses since 8th grade. Normally I wear traditional bi-focals with lines but those truly suck for shooting. I have a pair of progressive lens glasses, they are basically tri-focals with no lines. Got these at the Walmart vision center of about $100.00 bucks. Been using them for a few years now and they are ok. For the last 2 years I have been using a dot sight but since January have been also shooting iron sight. Outdoors fine but Indoors is a fiasco, I'm not sure it's the glasses or eye conditions or the lighting. Also I use FA front sights and red is the color that works best for me. I'm going to try red indoors prolly this week and see if it helps. When I'm going shooting I put the progressives on about an hour before I start. It takes a while for my eyes to get used to them. Readers really blur the target so I don't personally care for them.
  11. firewood

    New Lee Auto Breech Shipping

    600 rounds per week is 30,000 per year. That individual should have a progressive with case and bullet feeders, retired or not. But I think you meant to say 600 rounds per month. I really don't know why anyone would go to the tortured lengths some do to defend the honor of the LCT and their decision to use one, especially when they use that much ammo. I know that there is a cost factor but at that rate of ammo consumption then they are spending money other places firearms related and it's a one time expense. But not my problem. I find myself this season shooting more than usual. In April I shot 1400 rounds and I project May will require 1800 rounds 9mm. While I'm not trying to get anyone to buy anything, I have very few issues with my LNL and thinking about getting a case feeder for it. Like you I like to use and learn about different tools and I appreciate quality. The item under consideration just looks slapped together willy-nilly. Many might find it a quaint feature, not me. One of the things that LCT users like to brag about is the low cost of collecting additional turret heads to speed caliber changes. That and the breach lock concept. Hornady has the basic same thing (LNL bushings) but I have split rings on all of my dies anyway so removing and replacing dies is easy regardless. Still, if you know what you are doing and have a good solid understanding of how to adjust dies then even without split rings or bushings it isn't that big of a deal to replace dies on any press. One other thing that the highroad posters gloss over is the size and placement of the ram on the new lee progressive. It is apparently a small diameter and located under station #1. I don' t know for sure but I would say that this is a design compromise to control costs. Might not have any effect on small pistol calibers but I would like more information on how this might effect large cases as I think it could cause the shell plate to tilt. But maybe not an issue.
  12. firewood

    New Lee Auto Breech Shipping

    Dave I'm a highroad regular and there are a bunch of positive posts there on this press by posters that don't own or use the press yet. The general overall attitude there is buy Lee and your a genius, buy Dillon or Hornady and you are a show off that lacks handloader skills. I'm actually surprised that some of the fans of lee are posting their negative feelings (those that actually have the press) and it is a further surprise that given all of the build up and anticipation the screen has gone relatively dark since the press started shipping. It is sort of funny that this press is supposed to correct weaknesses in the pro 1000 by adding an extra station and fixing primer issues. It then accomplished the primer issue fix by incorporating a system that is hands-on. Those that already have the primer system because they are a lee turret press user are disappointed when they discover that the two systems are not interchangeable. The 4th station doesn't gain you anything if you like to seat and crimp on different stations and want to use an existing non-lee powder measure. Instead you have to buy their plastic powder measure and attach it a lee case mouth expansion die, which if you don' t already have one adds about $15.00 to the cost I mentioned above. Or size and prime off press. The big question never asked or rationally discussed is who is the intended market for this item? An argument could be made that it isn't the high volume competitive handgun shooter because that person wants a robust, user friendly press, not one that has a bunch of plastic add-ons. But I'm sure there will be a ton of users that will declare the thing to be the best invention since the toaster oven met pop tarts. Again what ever makes the user happy.
  13. firewood

    Anyone Shoot Speed Option 1-3-4-2-S?

    Very good information. This is probably my worse stage as far as time is concerned and as such improving here will give me the biggest boost.
  14. firewood

    2018 Goals Revisited

    This weekend I made big progress towards my goal to make A in SCSA OSR 2018