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Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!


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About fbzero

  • Rank
    Finally read the FAQs
  • Birthday 06/03/1985

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  • Location
    St. Louis, MO
  • Interests
    USPSA, 3gun, Camping, Canoeing
  • Real Name
    Brandon Creps

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  1. fbzero

    Faxon match, Faxon gunner, Odin, BA

    I'm putting together a build now with one of the Faxon 14.5" Gunners with the pinned 3 port brake. My other rifle is great, but a bit heavy, and our longer range bay is shut down for the foreseeable future where I 3gun. Being reduced to a completely "bay style" match, I thought I might be able to shave some time by going with a lightweight build...unfortunately I can't give any feedback on it yet, still waiting on my BCG. I have a Stretch16 on my other build, and while it's a great barrel, I ended up adding weight to the back to balance the heavy front end between that barrel with a 5.5oz SJC Titan at the end of it, and the Razor GenII 1-6(25.2oz!) on top...all in all, it's a great shooting rifle, but came out on the heavy end.
  2. Hmmm...good question, interested in an answer. Been thinking about one for a future build.
  3. fbzero

    Need to get a firing pin ASAP - HELP

    I had one break the weekend before the Lucas Oil match, ordered a Wilson Combat from their website with overnight delivery and they got it to me very fast. Searched for local options first, but nobody seemed to sell them without the bolt attached =/ FWIW, they told me that even with the expedited shipping, it would ship out in the order it was received and that they would not rush the order out or anything like that. It wasn't long after that e-mail that I got the shipping notice though, so I have no complaints.
  4. Looks to me like some light pressure signs. This can happen in some firearms and not others with the same ammo due to tighter or looser chambers. I have a Springfield 9mm 1911 that always shows pressure signs before any of my other 9mm pistols. Lighter primer cups usually show this worse/sooner as you work your charges up. CCI's generally have harder cups though, so if I started seeing that with those, I'd definitely back it off some.
  5. fbzero

    Vortex PST II vs Steiner P4Xi vs Burris XTR II

    I do not have experience with the others, but we have a Steiner P4Xi on a TTI Ultralight in the household. It's an awesome scope and I got the LE model for like $370 a while back. At that price, I'd buy another in a heartbeat. That said, the prices have crept up a ton since I bought mine. If I were buying another low power optic today, I'd probably be looking at the PST GenII 1-6x for only a little more...
  6. At matches and on these forums, I hear questions asked a lot about what weight to use, variable springs or not, etc. and everyone has their own bit of wisdom on the topic on what works for *them* and *their* gun. The key words there are *them* and *their*. Your situation is unique. You aren't using the same ammo. You don't have the same amount of upper body/grip strength, and on and on. Originally, I had taken the most frequently offered advice from experienced shooters and tried it, plus up and down a pound and went with the one that "felt" the best, then never re-approached the subject until I had some time to kill recently. It seemed that most people suggested recoil springs in the 11/12lb range. The following was completed with a 5.5" CK Arms 2011 in 40 S&W. My test methodology was simple, and the results ended up surprising me. I put up a 1/3rd size target, stood at 7 yards, and did "double taps" using my normal grip with the various spring weights to see where the impacts were. The assumption was that a first hit followed by a high hit meant I needed more spring weight(not enough dip on the close), and a first hit followed by a low hit meant I needed to back off the spring weight(too much dip on the close). I did 12 rounds on each target this way and then compared them when finished. I paid no attention to how anything "felt", as that never seems to register during a stage anyway. As expected, some springs had vertical streaming up from my point of aim and others had vertical streaming down from my point of aim. The surprise was that what ended up being the most consistent, for me, was a 16lb variable recoil spring. I suspect a lot of people who recommend the lighter ones would consider this to be "over-sprung" like a factory pistol, but I can't argue with the hits on paper. Anyway, the whole point of this post is simple. Other people can't tell you what's going to work for you. You need to test it and find out for yourself...
  7. For me, my accuracy increased when I started using the Lyman "M" Die after the size/trim operation. Here's my process, which easily gets MOA ammo with 69gr SMK's and mixed year Lake City brass. These are intended to be loaded quickly with minimal work for 3gun, not ultimate accuracy. Personally, I'm not messing with all the extra case prep for a sport that doesn't require the utmost accuracy. 1. Clean used brass. 2. Run it through my 1050 .223 processing toolhead. This has a universal deprime die, hold-down/swage station, followed by RT-1200 size/trim, then a Lyman "M" Die in the last station. 3. Tumble to remove lube and any brass shavings. 4. Load on 650 press. Universal deprime(to get any media out of the flash hole), powder drop, bullet drop, seat, crimp. 5. Case gauge. I generally only get 1 that barely fails per 200 rounds or so, but I'd rather catch it before a match than on the timer.
  8. fbzero

    Prima V metering terribly

    Do you empty your hopper after every loading session or something? I tend to just leave the powder in mine and top it off as necessary. These powders have delivered good accuracy and low SD's in nearly every combination I've tried. I do find getting it settled at first to be pretty annoying, but you're good to go once it's there.
  9. fbzero

    Prima V metering terribly

    Prima V and Prima SV meter great on all of my Dillon powder drops. That said, after filling the hopper, it takes a lot of time for the powder to settle and start giving super consistent drops. I'm talking like 100+ drops. Once it is settled and giving consistent drops, never let it get less than half full and that consistency will continue. I've found that from not settled to settled, there can be a +0.3 difference in charge. Because of that, you want correct the charge after it finally drops consistently. No, this doesn't usually happen with other powders, because most of them are very uniform. These two powders have varying granule sizes though, so I'd imagine that is why.
  10. fbzero

    QC on loaded ammo

    I generally keep an eye out for messed up cases as I load, then put loaded rounds in a bucket or 50 cal can as I load. I'll just grab some for practice generally, but everything I take to a match gets case gauged.
  11. fbzero

    9MM and COL Variations

    Here's how I determine COL. Find your firearm in that caliber that has the shortest, tightest chamber. Set up a crimp die for a tight crimp, and first determine your maximum OAL by seating then crimping until you are just off the lands, then shorten it up enough that your normal variation will not put you in the lands(be a little forgiving, just in case). Now you have your COL, and you can back out your crimp die and then start tightening it just until you pass the plunk test, then add a pinch more for good measure. Load up a test cartridge and make sure it plunks in all of your firearms of that caliber. Feed it from a magazine in all of them and make sure it seems smooth. At that point, you have a round that should function in all of your firearms and can move on to determining a safe starting load to work up from. Pay attention to whether or not feeding from magazines is causing bullet setback or not. If so, you may need to look at your sizing die. Couple notes. First, get a chrono. There's what books say the rounds are doing and what you think they are doing, and in my experience with local reloaders who don't have them, both are usually pretty far off. Had a local guy shoot a full season of level 1 matches as "major" because he thought they "felt major". When he was finally chronoed, they were 150PF. Second, expect a bit more variation on 9mm's if using mixed brass. There seems to be more variation in 9mm brass than 40 S&W brass in my experience.
  12. fbzero

    Is vvn320 worth the extra cost

    My opinion...not really. It's a fine powder and there's nothing I don't like about it, but it's not worth twice the price of other powders that do 98% of what it does. That said, I really don't like TG. Yes, it works. Yes, it's cheap. Yes, it seems to deliver acceptable accuracy without much effort. It's also pretty dirty, smoky, and gets the pistol really hot really fast. I don't like cleaning guns, so anything that runs really dirty is an issue for me ;)
  13. I've had a JM Pro, M3K, and now use a 1301. Below is a brief summary with MY experiences regarding each. YMMV. Since I've started the shooting sports, I've learned that you get what you pay for, but things become exponentially more expensive at a certain point(IE, does an Atlas shoot 2.5x better than an STI Edge as the price tag would indicate? Probably not). Somewhere there is a sweet spot where you get a good, reliable gun that can do 90-95% of what the super expensive ones can do. You should shoot for that area if your wallet will allow and buy once/cry once. JM Pro - I understand these can be good, but you shouldn't assume it will from the factory. If your handy with that sort of thing, there's a lot of information out there on what you can do to get it running more reliably. Or maybe you'll get lucky and get one that runs out of the box. Mine didn't and I got rid of it. A lot of local guys call them JAM Pros, and I see them fail more than anything else at our local matches. Those are usually the guys who don't put in the work to make them reliable; Other local guys have them running like sewing machines. I take no pleasure in saying any of that because, despite any personal preferences, I do not like to cut down any company that supports our 2A rights and makes products for those of us who do. Still, it is the cheapest option and can be reliable either through luck or putting in the work. M3K - Mine has been excellent, but my wife took it over when she started doing 3gun. My dad's has been less than reliable and suffers from bolt bounce. There's a lot of suggestions out there on how to fix this, but nothing definitive. He's found it frustrating trying to resolve it because he'll try a recommendation, get a hundred rounds through it at our local club without issues, then take it to a match only to have it fail on him again. He probably just got a lemon because most reviews on this one are pretty good. Heavier and slightly more recoil than my 1301, 99% reliable but has had the occasional issue or two(a bit pickier with ammo). For $530 OTD at Cabelas, I can't complain. I don't think they run quite that cheap anymore though. 1301 - Wasn't looking for one of these, but when my wife took over the M3K, I needed something. A local guy who intended to get into 3gun but didn't was selling one for $800 with an extension tube already installed back when they were generally running $1K or more, so I grabbed it. It's light, but also recoils light. Slugs hit right where they should. Gas guns generally require a bit more maintenance, but I'll take it to 4 matches or so before cleaning it and haven't had a failure at a match yet, even on rainy days. The failures I have had were testing low recoil buckshot at my local club before it was broken in; No problems last time I tried the same ammo. It comes with a slightly shorter stock, which I prefer for 3gun, less likely to snag my shirt when presenting, etc. After shooting mine, my dad eventually got one and now his M3K lives in the safe. His has been just as reliable as mine thus far(about 3 or 4 matches). The fit/finish on these is definitely better than the other two, but that also shows in the price.
  14. fbzero

    To mpx or not?

    In my experience, the MPX shoots lighter, and seems reliable *if you keep it clean* based on my buddy who has one. My CK Arms AR-type PCC is lighter even though it doesn't shoot as light and seems to be reliable no matter how dirty I let it get. My wife and I shared it at the Lucas Oil PCC match, and with both of us shooting all 12 stages, never had a single failure or malfunction of any kind. We also shot Friday when it was pouring rain for over half of the time. That certainly wasn't the norm in our squad. IMHO, it's a trade-off and you need to choose which attributes are the most ideal to you. Whether 3gun or USPSA, I have at tendency to not clean match firearms very often, so the level of reliability that mine offers without having to worry about cleaning it before a match comes in pretty handy.
  15. fbzero

    Carry optics tips/advice?

    I'm setting up my G34 Gen5 for CO as well, and ended up going with the 2.5 MOA DPP. Lots of options, but I like the C-More on my PCC due to the larger window and thought that it would be beneficial to have a larger window for this as well. I also considered the Vortex Venom, but it looked so small next to the DPP that I decided not to. The size of dot you choose is probably going to come down to personal preference, but I went with the 2.5 MOA because my C-More is 8MOA, which I regretted really fast at the Lucas Oil match. Up close, those larger dots are really nice to find quickly, but once you start getting out to 25+ yards, they completely obscure smaller targets. The DPP gets pretty bright and I don't seem to have any additional issues finding it quickly despite the smaller dot size, and actually preferred it working the plate rack at 25 yards on our club training bay. YMMV, GL!