Tag Archives: firearms

Why You Should Always Be Safe

by Woodsbum

Just this week I was in a heated discussion with someone about why it is so important to follow safe gun handling procedures. For some reason this individual thought that it was perfectly fine to pull the trigger and muzzle flash people if he “knew” the gun was unloaded. Lucky for him, I didn’t witness him doing stupid things with a firearm or I would have been raising money for my legal defense.

To help illustrate why it is important to be safe with firearms at all times, please watch this video.

Even though the firearm was on safe and his finger was off the trigger, this shotgun will fire a shell every time you jack one into the chamber. The firing pin is still locked to the rear as well. If someone had been messing around with it and loaded a shell into the chamber while unsafe, there could have been a huge disaster. This literally could get someone killed. Thankfully, this owner is smart enough to follow range safety rules and has common sense.

For those of you who do know know firearm safety rules I have included the NRA fundamentals of gun safety below for you.

  • ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  • ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

For those of you who go to the range or were in the military, here are those common safety rules. These are actually from LtCol Jeff Cooper, the guy that made the scout rifle famous.


Whether you like to go with the NRA fundamentals or Cooper’s rules of gun safety, it all comes down to one thing – DON’T BE A DUMBASS…….  Assume every gun is loaded and will go off at any time without your assistance. If you think in that way at all times many gun related accidents can be prevented.

Be safe!!!!

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Pittman Robertson Act

by Woodsbum

With the amount of hate posts I see on FB concerning hunting due to the dentist harvesting a lion, I find it completely asinine. Due to a lack of education among the general population, people somehow think that all conservation programs are funded by some “Money Fairy” or by income taxes. It truly is a shame that these “do-gooders” don’t think or research a subject before they start protesting.

To help educate people a little bit about the source of funding with regard to conservation and wildlife programs, I have put together this post on one huge contributor.

The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (Pittman-Robertson Act) took an already existing 11% excise tax on firearms and ammunition, gave control over to the Secretary of the Interior, and had it redistributed to the states based upon various factors which include number of hunters. This money must only be used by the State’s fish and game department. Any use of the money must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior. Such projects such as research, surveys, wildlife management, habitat, land acquisition for hunting and leasing of land are all acceptable uses of these funds. To break it down simply, it must be used for conservation and wildlife management programs.

A years progressed additional taxes upon handguns and archery equipment were also included in the Act with half of that money going to education and training programs.

Since adoption of this Act over 2 billion dollars in funds were collected in the first 50 years. States are required to match the Act’s funding at a 25% State/75% P-R fund ratio. The states matched over 500 million in the first 50 years of the Act. These funds were mainly through hunting license sales.

Although hunters, firearms users, and archery enthusiasts pay for almost all the conservation programs in America recent estimates show that over 70% of the people using the benefits of these programs are not hunters nor do they contribute via taxes or licenses. Some areas these figures are as high as 95%.

Here is a short video about this Act and the benefits we have seen from this program.

As you can see from the video and any research you might have done on your own, this act is almost single handedly responsible for the conservation and preservation of wildlife resources that we have today. If it was not for this Act we would not be able to enjoy the animals we see in nature nor would be be able to responsibly harvest these animals for personal consumption.

For those that do not hunt, buy guns/ammunition or purchase archery equipment: The next time you see someone that makes a firearm/archery/hunting license purchase treat them with the respect that they deserve. You may even want to quit being a freeloader and make some of those type purchases yourself if you enjoy seeing the natural beauty of America and love all the wildlife that it holds.

For those of you who do contribute through your purchases: Keep it up and since these freeloading “do-gooders” would never thank you I will….  Even though my wife thinks my purchasing single handedly funds our Fish and Wildlife Regional Office I know the $1k’s I spend annually are only a drop in the bucket……

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Dillon Precision RL 550B

by Woodsbum

In recent months, I picked up a second job as a bouncer so that I could get some extra toys. One of the top items on my list was a Dillon Precision progressive reloader. Both my brother and my father have one that they use constantly. This last winter, I even took some time of work so I could get in on the action. I spent a couple days using my brother’s system and ended up walking out with about 200 .44 mag, 800 9 mm, 600 .45 ACP, 400 .223, 100 30-06, and about 40 .300 Wby. This was all over 2 days and lots of beer drinking. This made me realize something. This system is really worth the money and any serious shooter should look into them.

This is what the whole system looks like all put together.

Dillon Precision RL 550B

Dillon Precision RL 550B

The one pictured above has all their bells and whistles on it, but let me go over a few things that are REALLY needed to help you with regard to speed and ease of reloading. I took the liberty of circling the accessories that you need to get and will list, explain, and prioritize the importance of these accessories afterward.

Needed Items Dillon RL 550B

Needed Items Dillon RL 550B

Here is the list:

Strong Mount: The Strong Mount raises your Dillon reloader high enough to allow all the parts to fit above the level of table it is bolted to. It also increases the size of the base of your reloader so that it doesn’t put massive amounts of stress on the base bolts and strip them out of the table. It also, and almost most importantly, allows for the press to articulate freely during the whole cycle. In another words, you don’t hit anything on the table or your chair while you pull the level. This simple mount really should be standard with the reloader for it is difficult to operate without it, comparatively.

Bullet Tray: The Bullet Tray holds your bullets for easier access during the reloading cycle. They sit in the tray right next to the station that presses the bullet and crimps the case. It is also angled just enough so that the bullets roll down and forward so you don’t end up chasing them around the tray. For those of you who have used single stage reloading systems it is best described as the solution to the eventual paper cut from the box due to digging around looking for another bullet to press.

Roller Handle: The Roller Handle allows for more uniform and comfortable pulls of the lever during the reloading cycle. Most single stage reloading people only pull the lever a max of 100 times an hour. Because of the speed through the use of the Dillon, you can pull the lever as many as 500 times per hour if you are really cooking through the cases. This means that comfort can become a fairly important item. The knob on the end of the lever that comes with the system by default just gets to be uncomfortable and clunky after about 250-300 rounds in about 40 minutes of work. That was all I could take on my dad’s system when I used it before I loaded all my components up and went to my brother’s. I actually started getting hot spots on my palm from the knob in that little time of using it. There are probably people that can suck it up or just don’t get bothered by the small little orb digging into your palm……  For me the Roller Handle is a must.

Empty Cartridge Bin/Bracket Assembly: The Empty Cartridge Bin/Bracket Assembly provides quick and easy access to your empty cases. It sits next to and a bit down from the handle so as to not interfere with its operation, but is conveniently located next to the first stage of the reloader. My dad only has the Strong Mount and no other accessories for his Dillon. He has to grab cases from one of those holders that are very common for single stage systems. After having used both setups, this accessory will speed up your reloading by at least 10-15%. It has to do with the cases being a few inches closer to where you put them into the case holder. Less movements and less head movement to look for the next case really does increase your speed over time.

Some accessories that are offered that you really don’t need, but are quite nice.

  • Low Powder Sensor – it sounds an alarm when your powder gets low in the measure.
  • Additional Primer Tubes – You can load up several of these tubes so you don’t have to quit reloading to refill in the middle of a run.
  • Quick Change Assembly – These Quick Change kits provide you with all the parts needed to just set your dies and powder measure for each caliber that you reload, then swap the whole system out when you go to a different caliber. No more resetting your dies, adjusting your powder, etc. It is only a couple pins and it is ready for the next run.
  • Casefeeder – I have not seen one of these working yet, but I REALLY would love to get one up and working on my system. It would really speed things up that much more.

At this point I am having a hard time deciding if I am going to buy all these additional accessories before I get my shotgun shell reloader. Depending on how I decide to proceed, I might get the casefeeder in the near future. If I do, I will update everyone as to how well it works.

Being someone who loves to buy things, but has a weird mental block when it comes to time saving purchases I have realized that progressive reloaders like the Dillon RL 550B is far more. It doesn’t just allow you to reload quicker, but allows you to actually save money enough to justify using what you just reloaded. There is no need to put off multitudes of other projects just to get enough rounds ready for hunting. I can crank out hundreds of rounds per hour.

The last part of the whole equation is about saving money. Many times I would reload a few rounds, but supplement my weekend outings with a few hundred factory loads. This actually ended up being more costly in the long run. Components are so much cheaper than loaded rounds if you buy things in bulk. Purchasing only enough materials to do a few hundred rounds really never cut overall costs that much. Now that I can really crank out the rounds, it will get much cheaper in actual monetary costs. Couple that with time savings and I think we really have a winner here. Let’s face it, getting the opportunity to spend one hour drinking beer, smoking my pipe, and reloading enough rounds to take the wife out shooting makes this an affordable past time again.

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