Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MidwayUSA Coupon Codes From

Fresh coupon codes for MidwayUSA from newsletter.

Link to coupon codes at Midway website.
1. Go Shopping
Add regular price, in-stock products to your cart totaling:
$10 off $50 - Promo Code AR151010
$15 off $100 - Promo Code AR151015
$25 off $200 - Promo Code AR151025
$35 off $300 - Promo Code AR151035

2. Enter Code
Enter the promotion code into the box title, "Promotion Code" on the Shopping Cart page.

3. Receive Discount
See the discount applied in the Order Summary on the right hand side of the Checkout pages.

Special Details:
Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. CT on October 31, 2012. Hurry!
Can only be used once.
Sale, clearance, out-of-stock, Nightforce, Sitka Gear and FNH products do not count towards the total.
Gift certificates do not count towards the total.
Can only be used on
No phone, fax or mail orders please.
Cannot be used with any other promotion code, or combined with Dealer, Birthday or Special pricing.

TulAmmo .223Rem Fail

Tula "White Box" 55 grain, and Tula "Black Box" 55 grain .223 Remington

I bought 5 boxes of 20 rounds of Tula "White Box" .223 Remington at a gun show a few months ago and shot them through my 16" LMT M4, tax stamp LMT 10.5", and Bushmaster ACR.  Those, I had no problems with.  So, I purchased a 500 round spam can of TulAmmo "Black Box" .223 Remington sealed up in a "spam can."  Working the coupons and deals for The Sportsmans's Guide, I got a pretty good price on the can.

Today I took a bagful of loaded mags, and the 10.5" LMT and the ACR, out to the indoor range.  I put a few mags through the ACR, including a couple mags of Tula, with no issues before switching over to the LMT shorty.  I loaded up the LMT with a Troy Battlemag full of Tula, dropped the bolt, and flipped off the safety.  BANG!  Dead trigger.  After the first round, the bolt came back and ejected the steel case, pushed the next round maybe a half inch, and stopped.  I thought that was weird, because I had no problem with the "White Box" ammo.  I haven't run the Troy mags much, so I grabbed a PMag full of Tula.  The exact same thing happened.  I pulled back the bolt, and let it fly, chambering a round.  BANG!  Dead trigger.  Short-stroking.

Fortunately, I had brought a couple mags full of PMC Bronze .223 to try, and I had a few mags of my almost 5.56mm NATO spec ammo to shoot through the LMT, and the ACR chewed through the mags full of Tula.  Although I keep a few different recoil buffers in the rifle bag, the one in the LMT 10.5" carbine was already a standard carbine buffer, and I don't have anything lighter, if there even is anything lighter.

I know the problem isn't the steel-cases.  They are Boxer-primed, and I've reloaded hundreds of Wolf and Tula steel-cases and run the reloads through the same LMT without issue.  My loads were approaching 5.56mm NATO pressures though.

So, the ACR is proving to be capable of digesting anything I can fit into the magazines.  But what does it say about the Tula ammo?  Did I get a "vodka special" batch?  The "White Box" ammo, and the "Black Box" ammo should be the same, but obviously what I got wasn't the same.  I suppose this would explain the mixed reviews on Tula ammo.  Luck of the draw?  You get what you pay for, perhaps?

White Box Manufactured: 07/09 (I'm not sure if that's European for September, 2007, or if it's July, 2009)
Lot: 7Q5 4

I think this is the lot for the Black Box ammo, but I don't know how to read it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Review: Lee Pacesetter .223Rem Dies

All my reloading dies are LEE.  Started loading .45ACP, and then 9mm for a race gun.  Then ammo started getting more and more expensive, and I started using the 9mm dies a lot more.  Loaded over 10,000 rounds with these LEE dies.  When I really started shooting carbines, and working up precision loads, I didn't see any point in trying other brands and Lee was pretty commonly recommended for semi-auto rifles.

Initially, I tried using the decapping and resizing die with my Lee hand press while watching TV.  Although this would work fine for two of my rifles, I have one rifle with short(er) headspace.  Using the Lee shell-holder and sizing die that come with the kit, I can not get the brass resized down to factory spec, and the bolt of the one rifle would not fully lock.  Using the sizing die on my progressive press with the shell-plate for that press, I can resize the brass to work with all my rifles.  If I had a belt sander, or better yet a lathe, I could probably shave down the Lee shell-holder to make it work.

On the rifle dies, the lock-ring with the inset o-rings work nicely.  Maybe it's my technique with the case lube, and lot-to-lot variations in cartridge cases, but I need to make fine adjustments to the resizing die to get consistent headspace dimensions on the casings, and the Lee lock-rings allow for easy adjustments, but they do stay put when set.  It may well be that I'm just too picky about the headspace dimension of resized cases.

The Factory Crimp Die does work.  When the round is raised up into the die, the shell-plate (or shell-holder)  presses on the bottom of the die and the collet closes on the neck of the cartridge case and bullet.  You can adjust the amount of crimp by turning the die in the press.  You can also crimp with the bullet seating die, but I have not tried this.  I don't crimp match bullets, as I have found that is not necessary.  When I'm making bulk ammo for a semi-auto rifle, I'll crimp with the FCD, but when I'm loading ammo for bullseye shooting, I skip the crimp.  I have gotten less than 1" 10-shot groups at 100 yards, and groups around 1 1/8" are fairly common, and I don't really have a .223Rem target rifle.  These groups were shot though a LMT 16" M4 barrel with chrome lining.

FCD collet closed on a round from a recent batch

A micrometer adjustable bullet seating die would be handy, but I nearly passed out when I saw the price for one.  The Lee bullet seating die is easy to adjust with just your fingers, and the micrometer die costs more than double the price of the whole Lee die set.  The LEE seating die gives reasonably consistent overall length when using good bullets.  If you are using cheap bullets your overall length may well be a little inconsistent, but that may be the least of your problems.

The collet-held decapping rod has saved me a couple times.  Even with .223 cases, you can still get pebbles into the neck, and sometimes a Berdan-primed case will make it past my visual inspection.  I have broken a decapping pin, but it was my fault for not using enough case lube to start with, and then I manhandled the pin trying to remove it from the case.  Because the case mouth expander and decapper are all one piece with the Lee dies, you may have to cut the case in half around the pin to remove.  You can buy spare decapper/expander pins direct from LEE, and the current price of $3 is pretty reasonable.

The box I got with the dies is a rectangular one that stacks with my other Lee die boxes.

The only thing, practically speaking, that I would like to see, is an option to have the steel parts plated or otherwise treated to prevent rusting, for an added fee.

I have fired over 2500 rounds of reloads.  The only issues I've had, have been my own fault, with the exception of the rounds that didn't fit the one rifle due to the Lee shell-holder.