UPS – Friday Madness

by Woodsbum

For several years now I have been having issues with UPS. For some reason they have our entire building (business address) flagged as “Closed on Friday.” Considering how much I order from Amazon and other online retailers for personal purchases, let alone how much I order through our company, this is really a problem.

For over 7 years now we have been having the local hub “remove that note” on all “tenants at that property.” This is the exact verbiage that they use. The problem is that nothing gets fixed. Whenever I have to call to have a package tracked down I am told that “the driver flagged that address as closed on Friday.” There lies the discrepancy…. Is the driver, who adamantly denies having anything to do with it, lying about pushing Friday deliveries to Monday or is their supervisor lying about the system message? Either way they cannot fix the issue and get us our packages in a timely manner.

The funny thing is that this hub is also well known for not “receiving freight” in a timely manner either. They tend to not scan packages and let them sit for several extra days. It is easy to tell because the shipping will show that something left one location and didn’t arrive at another place less than 100 miles away for up to 4 days. That is one slow Pony Express ride. Carrier turtle maybe?

All this rant is because I was planning on doing a post on the Lee 50 BMG reloading kit that I got earlier in the week. Somehow it took 2 days for my package to be transferred 10 miles. This allowed them to pull their “Friday closure” crap and not have to deal with the box until at least Monday.

Now here is the kicker: I was told by the “supervisor” that the box was on a trailer and they “couldn’t find it and process it” so that I could pick it up personally. Hmmm….  Can’t find it and process it. This means that the box was NEVER TAKEN OFF THE TRUCK and they just entered a “Business closed on Friday” entry into the system. This has to be the case or they would not have to “find it and process it” to know where it was located. It should be sitting in a location that is ready for the next delivery route, thus easy to “find and process.”

UPS here is pathetic at best. I hope you don’t have to deal with them.
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Dillon Conversion Cross Reference

by Woodsbum

Just this Monday my house has become my own again…. Sort of….. We had somehow ended up with a 7 month “house guest” that was just with us long enough to “get on his feet.” Well, he moved out with some assistance so you guys are going to be getting a lot of reloading posts as I get my reloading benches back up and functioning. What does all this have to do with a Dillon conversion cross reference? Simply, I get to actually use my gear again. Since I have been unable to reload, my entire shooting life has revolved around whatever cheap ammo I could find. Life is about to get good even though I still have a few conversion kits left to get!!!!

Since I am transitioning all my calibers over to my progressive, I have been trying to get all the conversion kits for the calibers I shoot. I actually used this site originally. It cross references what you “have, need and don’t care” about. I checked the chart and found that I needed the following for 9mm, .38/.357, .45 acp, .44 mag, .223, 30-30, 30-06, .308, 45-70, 300 Wby, and 8 mm Mauser.

ManufacturerItemSKU
Dillon Precision550 Shellplate 113692 
Dillon Precision550 Shellplate 213751 
Dillon Precision550 Shellplate 313684 
Dillon Precision550 Shellplate 413610 
Dillon Precision550 Shellplate 513743 
Dillon Precision550 Shellplate 712501 
Dillon Precision550 Shellplate B13347 
Dillon Precision550 Shellplate G13313 
Dillon PrecisionLocator Buttons 113930 
Dillon PrecisionLocator Buttons 214062 
Dillon PrecisionLocator Buttons 314060 
Dillon PrecisionLocator Buttons 414047 
Dillon PrecisionLocator Buttons 713436 
Dillon PrecisionMisc Parts Magnum Rifle Powder Bar21353 
Dillon PrecisionPowder funnel A13426 
Dillon PrecisionPowder funnel B13587 
Dillon PrecisionPowder funnel D13599 
Dillon PrecisionPowder funnel E13782 
Dillon PrecisionPowder funnel F13806 
Dillon PrecisionPowder funnel G13427 
Dillon PrecisionPowder funnel M12963 
Dillon PrecisionPowder funnel T13407 
From this point I need to figure out which conversion kits to buy versus individual parts. I can find that information here:

RL 550B Caliber Conversion Cross-reference Chart
Pistol CalibersConversion KitShellplateLocator Buttons Qty. 3Powder Funnel
9mm / 38 Super201275 – 137433 – 14060F – 13806
9×25 Dillon / 357 SIG215265 – 137432 – 14062F – 13806
38 Special / 357 Mag-Max201322 – 137512 – 14062D – 13599
380 ACP / 38 Supercomp201333 – 136843 – 14060F – 13806
40 S&W / 10mm201795 – 137432 – 14062W – 13600
44 Special / Mag201364 – 136104 – 14047G – 13427
45 ACP201261 – 136921 – 13930E – 13782
45 Colt / 454 Casull20137C – 133344 – 14047E – 13782
460 S&W20888C – 133344 – 1404718949
50 AE (XL Powder Die required)2142850 – 213294 – 1404714465
500 S&W (XL Powder Die required)20121B – 133476 – 1575514465
 
 
Rifle CalibersConversion KitShellplateLocator Buttons Qty. 3Powder Funnel
204 Ruger203073 – 136843 – 1406020322
223 – 5.56 / 222 Rem Mag201283 – 136843 – 14060A – 13426
300 Blackout / Whisper202363 – 136843 – 14060AK – 13015
22-250201451 – 136921 – 13930A – 13426
243 Win201441 – 136921 – 13930I – 13305
25-06201471 – 136921 – 13930K – 13216
260 Rem / 6.5-06 / 6.5×284 / 6.5×55202071 – 136921 – 13930Y – 12870
264 Win Mag20210B – 133474 – 14047Y – 12870
270 Wby Mag20196B – 133474 – 14047J – 13456
270, 284 Win / 7mm-08 Rem201421 – 136921 – 13930J – 13456
30 M1 Carbine201318 – 131358 – 14048C – 13564
300 Win, H&H, & Wby Mag20188B – 133474 – 14047B – 13587
300 Rem Ultra Mag20239B – 133476 – 15755300-15013
30-30 Win201397 – 125014 – 14047B – 13587
308 Win / 7.62 Nato / 30.06201301 – 136921 – 13930B – 13587
338 Win Mag, 340 Wby Mag20156B – 133474 – 14047Q – 13406
444 Marlin20164N – 100044 – 14047543X – 12920
44-40 Win20206N – 100044 – 14047G – 13427
45-7020143G – 133137 – 13436543T – 13407
7.62 x 39 Russian20213A – 132112 – 14062AK – 13015
7.62 x 54 Russian20346G – 133137 – 13436B – 13587
These charts will require you to do some thinking and planning, but you should be able to figure out which complete kits will get you close and then you will just have to get the individual pieces from there. For instance, here is what I have figured out. If I get the following conversion kits, I will have everything I need for all my calibers I want to reload. Well, I also have to get an “M” powder funnel for my 8mm Mauser.

  • .223
  • 45-70
  • .45 acp
  • 300 Win/H&H/Wby
  • .38 Special/.357 Mag
  • 9mm
  • .44 Special/Mag
I already have a couple, but figuring this out will actually save me about $150 by cross referencing the conversion kit components rather than buying each individual kit. Depending on what calibers you have it might actually save you more. With all these references listed above you should be able to figure out everything that you need and get set up.


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Weatherby Factory Load Data

by Woodsbum

For several years I have been trying to dial in my .300 Wby to get the best accuracy and consistency out of it. For some reason the actual factory loads seem to shoot best, but they are REALLY expensive. To reduce cost and be able to recreate these loads I started do some searching on the factory load data to be able to load my own. There seemed to be absolutely nowhere to find this data online. Of course that was until I ran across someone on a forum that had scanned pages from some older book was given. It actually had all the Weatherby factory load data on 5 pages. All Weatherby calibers seem to be included from the .224 through the .460.

To make it easier for everyone here are those pages so you can also reload to factory ammunition specifications.

Weatherby Factory Load Data page 1

Weatherby Factory Load Data page 1

Weatherby Factory Load Data page 2

Weatherby Factory Load Data page 2

Weatherby Factory Load Data page 3

Weatherby Factory Load Data page 3

Weatherby Factory Load Data page 4

Weatherby Factory Load Data page 4

Weatherby Factory Load Data page 5

Weatherby Factory Load Data page 5

Normally I use either Winchester or CCI primers. I am not sure how much difference this will make overall, but it might necessitate the use of a chronograph to see if the muzzle velocity is any different between factory and what I reload. Oddly enough, I actually find it difficult to find Federal primers in the places I shop. This makes me wonder if it is a regional thing, but I have not really researched the topic of primes to ANY degree. I do like to shoot the 209 primers out of my starter gun though. It makes big bangs and startles people on the firing line……

After having found this data, I might take it upon me to search out the factory data on other brands such as Hornady Leverevolution line. Since they sell their own powder, I would think that data would be available somewhere. Many other companies just use bulk powder rather than canister powder that is sold to the general public. Either way, this data above is VERY nice to have and any other information I get will definitely be passed along as well.

The link I provided actually goes to the NIJ website’s training site. They provide all sorts of online resources and training for various different programs. Although I am not a LEO and don’t really care about a lot of the content on there, the training programs for firearms are actually quite useful to those reloading and wanting to learn more about firearms.

As always, be safe and have fun!!!!

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.50 BMG Ultra Long Range

by Woodsbum

It has been a long time coming, but I finally was able to get my .50 BMG Ultra Long Range rifle completely set up and ready for some range time. What I ended up getting was the following:


My ultimate goal is to get up this bad boy to shoot out past 1000 yards. I also picked up a Remington SPS Tactical in .308 to play around with and get back into long range shooting, but I will cover that rifle later on.

Here is my Noreen in all its awesomeness and glory.

Noreen ULR .50 BMG

Noreen ULR .50 BMG

Here are the statistics on it:

Caliber50BMG
OperationSingle Shot Bolt Action
Barrel Length34”
Weight32lbs.
Rifling1-15
StockNoreen, Collapsible
Pistol GripA2
SightsNA
MagazineNA
TriggerTimney Adjustable
Muzzle BrakeNoreen Design 1.25-12 Thread
The trigger is absolutely amazing. It is perfectly smooth, crisp and is just a little lighter than the 3.5 lbs trigger on my AR. Now comes the time for me to find some ammunition for it that is not $6-$8 per round. There are some remanufactured rounds for sale over at the local sporting goods store for around $4 a piece, but I am not sure how well those will work in this rifle. Noreen told me that military surplus does work, but I am kind of skeptical of using it. Having been in the military and spent 3 1/2 years with Marine infantry and tanks, I know how bad those rounds look. They are anything but shiny or undamaged.

This is another picture of my new setup.

My .50 BMG

My .50 BMG

What I truly love most about this setup is the scope. Until now, I have only messed around with Nightforce products in the sporting goods store. I took the scope out last weekend for a trip to the range on my Remington 700 SPS Tactical to see how it was to shoot, learn how to adjust the parallax on my scope correctly, and play around with the elevation and windage adjustments a bit. It is truly an amazing scope and if you have any way to save up for one, I highly recommend it. You can use the same scope on several firearms. Just figure out your zero for each one and write it down. Then you can swap between rifles by simply keeping those adjustments written down somewhere and the shoot a couple rounds to fine tune. Doing this will allow you to own $2k in optics for use on all your rifles rather than $600 optics on 5 different rifles. I am now a firm believer in this method.

Nightforce scope and Warne rings

Nightforce scope and Warne rings

Once I get my ammunition figured out and take this guy to the range, I will post some range pictures. It will probably be a month or two considering I am debating on whether to just load my own. This will require the purchase of a 50 BMG reloading kit, which I haven’t really budgeted for as of yet. I will keep you posted.

All said and done, I am really impressed by both the reviews and physically apparent craftsmanship of the equipment I purchased. The rifle is single action and definitely no frills, but it is well made and simple. There is nothing here to really break or wear out.

I hope you like this post and to repeat what I said previous, I will get you some range reports once I get ammunition figured out.
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Bear Spray

by Woodsbum

So many times I hear people talk about carrying bear spray versus a firearm when in a high predator area. Now, I agree with a lot of the research that bear spray is quite effective with regard to bears. It may or may not be the defensive weapon of choice. I do wonder how effective it is across the board with all predators and whether it should be a substitute for a gun or additional carry item.

Here are a few resources:

Shoot or Spray?
Living with Grizzlies
Using Bear Spray to Deter Mountain Lions
The Bear Necessities
WDFW Bear Spray Overview
MT FWP Effective Use of Bear Spray
Attacks by Cougar and Bear in US and Canada

Here are a couple observations that I gleamed from these resources:

  1. You are more likely to be killed by a bear, but attacked by a cougar.
  2. Attacks number higher overall (fatal and nonfatal) due to cougars.
  3. Bear spray works well on bears, but “MAY” help deter cougars.
  4. There is a huge push for bear spray for protection and guns have fallen out of favor.
In the articles, I can see how their scenarios play out better for use of bear spray. All the stories of attacks they use are close range charges where quick reaction and wide area of affect are the deciding factors in the encounter. There really was no mention of stalking or bears investigating your campsite. In those situations I have just fired a warning shot and the bear takes off. The same thing has worked for me with regard to cougars. Cats tend to stalk you and attack you from behind. They are ambush predators. The nice thing about cougars is that you can, a lot of times, smell them before you see them. There is definitely a musky, “death” smell for lack of better adjective when a cougar is around. This can help you out if you are being stalked.

No matter whether it be a bear or cougar that is messing with you, the statistics don’t cover a few things that the selected stories preach to support the author’s point of view. Each of the selected stories will lead you to believe that there is no time to think or react and you will be ambushed without warning. The reality is a bit different. Reality is that paying attention to detail, being extremely careful, and making sure to NOT be prey can give you some warning. It isn’t sure fire, but it is a start. This is a better approach than assuming you will be a victim. All about the situational awareness.

Now that I have ignored the anecdotal bedtime stories that support either spray or guns it is time to apply some common sense:

  • Bear spray works really well on bears.
  • Bear spray “may” help deter cougars.
  • Bears are VERY hard to kill.
  • Cougars are much easier to kill.
  • Bear spray holsters and quick draw options are available.
  • Pistol holsters are available in numerous quick draw options.
  • Guns can be used to signal in times of distress in a louder manner than a whistle. Bear spray can’t signal anything with the “pssssfffttt” sound it makes.
  • Guns can be used to feed myself in times of need. Bear spray just seasons the still alive menu item.
  • Guns are effective against 2 legged threats even when they are on drugs. Bear spray “may” deter a 2 legged threat.
  • Just the open carry of a gun “may” deter 2 legged threats. Bear spray is less likely. Studies on violent crime in cities supports this statement. If you wonder it’s veracity park a Maserati GranTurismo convertible full of gold on the street in South Chicago and see what wards off attacks best, guns or bear spray. I will stop by the hospital/morgue to check the bear spray results.

My personal opinion is that you should evaluate your situation and environment, then take the tools that will protect you in the best manner. No matter whether you choose bear spray, silly string or a S&W 500 each one has its uses and place. What I hope any reads took from this is that it doesn’t matter what you take. Just have great situational awareness, carry something to protect yourself, and don’t be negative because someone else chose something different.

Personally, I take a .44 mag or .357 in a cross draw configuration for quick access and a can of bear spray on a 550 cord “holster” in heavy bear areas. The extra weight I carry may just save my hind quarters……

Lastly, there was an incident in Alaska on Tuesday. It appears that someone stopped a charging bear with a pistol. The bear charged the guy from 20 yards away and was shot 5 times to stop it, then a final shot to finish it off. This is one of many pieces of anecdotal evidence that shows that firearms in the hands of someone trained will work to stop a charging bear. Ultimately, use what you want and are comfortable with as long as you are trained in its use.

Good luck and stay safe!!!


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