Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 09-17-2010, 14:40   #1
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Imr 8208 xbr

I have mentioned this powder in several posts, but I want to be sure everone gets a chance to read about it.

It's one of the new "Super Powders" that has come out a short time ago. It is being used in a lot of premium commercial rifle loads. The IMR 8208 XBR

I tried it and cut the groups in half from my best powder I used which was TAC powder.

I know all rifles are different, but I would recommend trying some if you get the chance.

I only shot two different loads, 22.5 and 23.0 grns with Sierra 69 Matchkings, CCI 400 primers and a 1-9 twist barrel.
I was really impressed. I shot 5 shot groups as small as .6" and no larger than .9" with the 23.0 grn load (at 50 yards). The 22.5 did not shoot near as well. 23.4 is the listed max load. It is a fine ball powder.

I intend to experiment more, about 1/10th grn at a time and try Mag primers also.
This powder is supposed to not be affected by temp changes from below zero to well over 100 degrees, which is a real bonus.

It may not do as well in your rifle, but it cut my best groups in half and I've tried just about every powder/ bullet combo for the .223 possible (not every combo, but I've covered a lot).

I just wanted to pass this on. If it works even half as good for you as it did for me, it's worth it.
I did not get better results with the lighter bullets. The powder shows loads down to 40 grain .22 bullets. It's possible that I just did not hit the right combination, but it seems to like the heavier bullets better. I need to try more loads with the 55's. They are just too light for my 1-9 twist, but I'd like to find one that shoots half way decent.

As I said, I know every rifle is different, but just the fact that this powder is not affected by temp changes makes it worth a try, especially if you live somewhere where there are temp extreams.

Graf & Sons has it in stock if you can't find it elswhere. $20. for 1 pound, $150 for an 8 pound keg.

Best Regards, John K

Last edited by dkac2; 09-18-2010 at 23:39.
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Old 09-17-2010, 17:07   #2
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dkac2, what rifle were you shooting? At what distance?
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Old 09-17-2010, 19:18   #3
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I did see one of your posts about this powder and I will definitley give it a try.
Thanks for your input!!
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Old 09-17-2010, 21:00   #4
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I was shooting a tactical, bedded at the action and forend and muzzle re cut and the barrel and action were cryo treated. I have not had a chance to do anything else to the rifle since getting it back from Ruger repair. They fixed everything but the mounts, which was the main reason it was sent and got rid of my 2.3 lb trigger. They did do a good job of fitting the new trigger and hammer, but they are still heavy, which does not help groups. I'm going to re work the trigger in the next day or two. They also removed the bedding from the forend. I shot it without the bedding, then bedded it again and it shot much better. The gas block looks even, but I have not checked the torque.
I was shooting at 65 yards, it was the furthest I could shoot where I was.
I'm itching to try it at 100 and refine the load a little more.
I wish I had a crono to shoot over, I'm pretty sure the load would have been very consistant. I have one I can borrow and will try to get it next time I shoot to use it, they can give you quite a bit of info about the load you are shooting.
I'm prepping new cases tonight.

I hope it works for you as it did for me. I also hand measured the powder on each load and fully prep the cases, but I did that on all the loads for consistancy.
Let me know if it worked for you. I think IMR has a winner on it's hands with this powder. It cut my best shooting powders groups in half. Not bad when you are starting at about the 1 inch mark.

Best Regards, John K
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:54   #5
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I'm thinking about starting to reload and know just enough right now to be dangerous, so this may be a dumb question. If so, it won't be my first. How is the IMR powder different from Varget? Hodgdon claims Varget is extremely consistent from 0 to 125 F, fine grain accurate metering, yada, yada, yada. Is the IMR powder more so, or just another alternate to Varget? Everybody feel free to chime in. (Just so we're on topic here, I'll be reloading for my Mini 14, among others. )
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:17   #6
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Originally Posted by higgite View Post
I'm thinking about starting to reload and know just enough right now to be dangerous, so this may be a dumb question. If so, it won't be my first. How is the IMR powder different from Varget? Hodgdon claims Varget is extremely consistent from 0 to 125 F, fine grain accurate metering, yada, yada, yada. Is the IMR powder more so, or just another alternate to Varget? Everybody feel free to chime in. (Just so we're on topic here, I'll be reloading for my Mini 14, among others. )
Higgite,
Varget is an extruded (stick) powder, so the IMR actually may have an advantage (in some powder measures) with metering. Other than that, I'll let someone else chime in.
Joel
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Old 09-18-2010, 21:22   #7
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Stick powder like 4895 and 4064 do not measure well becuase it gets caught in the measure. I like ball powder like AA2230 and H335. It meters very well. kwg
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Old 09-18-2010, 21:30   #8
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Different powders have different burning rates as to how fast they burn, there are single base and double base powders, some are affected by temp differences, some are not.

The biggest thing you have to do is to match the buring rate of the powder to the caliber, bullet weight and even barrel length.

The Varget may work beter in one persons gun, the IMR may work better in your gun. The new IMR powder is the latest technology in powder. If it is more consistant, it will shoot better, but then again, we get back to the gun. Each likes one powder the best. So it's what works the best in your gun that counts with the bullet that you wish to shoot.

Every gun is a little different and one may like one type of powder more than another, one load more than the other. The only way to tell is to try different powders. Different weight bullets are also going to like differnt powders.
Bullet weight also has to be considered.

In the .223, 45, 50 and 55 grain bullets work best with a 1-12 barrel twist, however, the 55 will shoot in the 1-10 and also in the 1-9 twist barrels, just not as accurate as the 1-12.

The 1-9 seems to like the 62 and 69 grain bullets best, but will shoot 75 grain bullets also, just not as well as the 69 Grn bullets. For the heavier bullets, the 1-7 twist barrel works best.

Are you confused yet ?

Anyway, you want to first match the weight of bullet that works best with the twist of the barrel. Then you find in a manuel or on line on the powder manufacturers web sites, which powder will work with that bullet weight.
You then pick the type of bullet you want in that weight. There are many different bullets for many different uses.

From there, look at the powders used most by the people on the board. It might be Varget, AA 2230, IMR 4895 or the new IMR powder I recommended people try with the 69 grain bullets in their 1-9 barrels or another powder.

Now to reloading:

You buy the cases, reloading equipment, bullets, powder and primers. Get 1 pound containers of several of the powders that people have been having good results with in the bullet weight tht is right for the twist of your barrel, and you start about 10% down from the maximun recommended charge and work your way up a tenth or two tenths at a time towards the max load, testing for the best accuracy with each load.

With every load, you need to look at the cases for signs that the pressure is getting to high. If it is, back off a little. That is what your gun will take as to the load with that powder, try several other powders, working up the loads until you find the one that shoots the best 5 or 10 shot groups in your rifle.

I would buy the book "The ABC's of Reloading" first and read it. Then if you can, find an experienced reloader to help you as you are learning.

It's not rocket science, just using caution, paying attention to detail and using good equipment.

Buy one of the single stage preses to start off with. I know that Hornady and RCBS both make single stage presses that can be converted into progresive machines later if you want to load faster once you have learned how to.

Initally it will cost you to get set up. Once you do, you will save a lot of money as long as you are not shooting 10 reloads to every loaded round you would have bought.

The big advantage is that you can fine tune a load to each bullet weight and for each gun that you own, finding the best shooting load for each gun.

It's also fun to do.

Buy the book and study it first. Also check with RCBS and some of the other company's, they may have free or low cost material on how to reload.
Once you have read all you can, ask questions here. You usually save the most money if you buy a kit with all the things you will need to get started at once rather than buying things one at a time.

There are a million gadgits out there, a basic set will get you going. You can buy other things to make it easier or more precise later after you get to know what you are doing.
One thing to get no matter what reloading equipment you buy is a Lee crimp die ( the 4 finger style )for the .223 if that is what you will be loading. Semi auto's need a better crimp than a regular crimp die will give you.

I hope this has helped, read, it will become clearer.

That new IMR powder that this post is about is a very fine ball powder and will measure fantastic, give it a try with the others mentioned if you are going to shoot 69 grn Matchkings, which I have found to be the best in the new 1-9 twist barrels.

Best Regards, John K

Last edited by dkac2; 09-19-2010 at 18:45.
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Old 09-18-2010, 22:15   #9
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Originally Posted by dkac2 View Post
Are you confused yet ?
Hell, I was born confused. I'm used to it by now.

Thanks for the info and advice. I've been reading up all I can, in loading manuals and websites. I'm planning to get a Lee turret press that I can use in single stage mode until I learn the ropes, then set it up to auto index after I get comfortable with it. Gotta do some remodeling to set up a proper, dedicated loading spot among other things, then I'll get after it. And yes, I do plan to load .223 for my Mini and, ahem, coughcoughmyARs,toocoughcough.

Not trying to turn this place into a reloading forum, but we are talking about loading for Minis.
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Old 09-18-2010, 23:36   #10
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Sounds good.
I have only one experience with the Lee autoloading press. It was the 1000 model. I'm sure you may be looking at a different lee and a lot of Lee stuff is good, but I took that 1000 and threw it out the back door after about 2 hours. It shook and vibrated so much, I had nothing but jams and I've used quite a few presses before.
I'd go a little extra money and get a Hornady. Except for a very heavy aluminum frame, everthing else is metal. It's a very solid press. I'm very impressed with one that a friend has, I'm not all that impressed with the lee presses, too light weight. Just my 2 cents. The RCBS would be my second choice.

Best Regards, John K

Last edited by dkac2; 09-18-2010 at 23:39.
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:12   #11
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Not trying to turn this place into a reloading forum..
I don't see why not, it's likely one of the best ways to get accuracy. If somebody doesn't reload, they can just skip the thread.

I would buy the book "The ABC's of Reloading" first and read it. Then if you can, find an experienced reloader to help you as you are learning.
Yep, that book answered about every question I had when I started reloading (before the days of the internet). Buy the Speer, Hornady and Nosler manuals, too. Lots of info in there.

As far as crimping .223s, I quit doing that altogether years ago. Zero problems, those light bullets don't have enough mass to get set back from that level of recoil. A crimp won't do squat unless it's into a cannalure, and if all the cases aren't trimmed to the same length, you'll have problems.

In my opinion, anyway. My crimper die is backed off a full turn from contact.
If you feel the need to crimp, buy cannalured bullets.

Last edited by Evil_Lurker; 09-19-2010 at 01:23.
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:25   #12
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Originally Posted by higgite View Post
Hell, I was born confused. I'm used to it by now.

Thanks for the info and advice. I've been reading up all I can, in loading manuals and websites. I'm planning to get a Lee turret press that I can use in single stage mode until I learn the ropes, then set it up to auto index after I get comfortable with it. Gotta do some remodeling to set up a proper, dedicated loading spot among other things, then I'll get after it. And yes, I do plan to load .223 for my Mini and, ahem, coughcoughmyARs,toocoughcough.

Not trying to turn this place into a reloading forum, but we are talking about loading for Minis.
If you haven't already, go to the Midway site and check out the reviews on the Lee Classic Turret Press. Very favorable.
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:22   #13
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Look for manuals that have the most current information, I have a new Hornady edition that has 6.8 loads, I just bought a new Nosler, no 6.8 loads.
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Old 09-19-2010, 14:44   #14
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Originally Posted by dkac2 View Post
Sounds good.
I have only one experience with the Lee autoloading press. It was the 1000 model. I'm sure you may be looking at a different lee and a lot of Lee stuff is good, but I took that 1000 and threw it out the back door after about 2 hours. It shook and vibrated so much, I had nothing but jams and I've used quite a few presses before.
I'd go a little extra money and get a Hornady. Except for a very heavy aluminum frame, everthing else is metal. It's a very solid press. I'm very impressed with one that a friend has, I'm not all that impressed with the lee presses, too light weight. Just my 2 cents. The RCBS would be my second choice.

Best Regards, John K
John,
I think the Lee Classic Turret, unlike the 1000, is not a progressive press. It seems to get really good reviews.
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Old 09-19-2010, 15:37   #15
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Yeah, the Lee Classic Turret is not a progressive press. It is an auto indexing press, but only does one cartridge at a time, moving the dies to the cartridge in what ever sequence you set it up for. Or you can disable the auto indexing and use it as a straight single stage press. It is the one I'm going to get first (and maybe last, we'll see). I've read some awfully good stuff about it comparing favorably with the "big boys", at least in the turret world. If I was going to buy a progressive press today, it would be the Hornady LnL AP, but that's for future consideration. I'll probably never load enough to justify a progressive, but even if that comes to pass, baby steps first. Thanks to all for your input. If y'all have more advice, I'm all ears... or eyes I guess on the web.
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Old 09-19-2010, 18:55   #16
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The Lee press you mentioned should be great for your use.

The only reason I mentioned the Hornady was you can start out with it as a single stage press and at a later date upgrade it to a progressive if you want to. I use a progressive for turning out a lot of pistol loads quickly.

I load all my rifle rounds on a single stage and use the powder measure to throw just a couple grains short of the load I want, then I put the powder on an electronic powder measure and use a powder trickler to bring it up to the exact load that I want.
That way I know there is zero variation in powder loads. The regular powder measurer's do a good job, but can give a load that is just slightly off, especially if using stick powders.
The trick with them is to throw the handle in as consistant of a way as possible. With other than stick powder, you will be darn close every time.

You will love the handloading. After doing it for 25 years, I still enjoy it.

Best Regards, John K

P.S. I started the thread to tell about the new IMR powder, try some if you get the chance. I do not feel the thread was stolen, it's good for people to get info from people they converse with on a regular basis and a few have added to the post which is good.

Last edited by dkac2; 09-19-2010 at 18:58.
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Old 09-19-2010, 21:42   #17
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Picked up a pound of XBR on Friday , and am going to give it a try . Worked some loads this weekend with 69 Matchkings , and a few with some 60 Nosler BTs . Seems like an awful fast powder for my Mini , that has mostly preferred slower powders to this point . Load data is very similar to Benchmark , and the powders look very similar . We shall see John .

Originally Posted by kwg020 View Post
Stick powder like 4895 and 4064 do not measure well becuase it gets caught in the measure. I like ball powder like AA2230 and H335. It meters very well. kwg
XBR is actually a short cut extruded powder , very similar to Hodgdon Benchmark . Measures very evenly in my Lee drop within +- .01 grains .
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Old 09-19-2010, 22:45   #18
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Hope it gives you some good groups.
I was using 23.0 and CCI 400 primers, the bullets were Sierra 69 MK.
It was a little warm in my gun. Primers were not flat and very little metal upward at the FP strike area.
IMR lists 23.4 as Max load with the 69 MK.
I tried some loads at 22.5 with the 62 gen FMJ and the groups were quite a bit bigger, from 1.8" to 2.3" all 5 shots @ 65 using the IMR
With the 23.0 and 69 MK's, I got .659", .616" and .956" thanks to a yours truly flier.
I also tried 21.5 grns of the IMR with the 69 Grn MK's, groups opened up to 1.5" to 2" range, it didn't like the lighter load.

Our guns may be very different, because my Tac shot minute of barn with H-335 with the 55's and 62's. Vargetwas about 1.5" with the 55 & 62 grn FMJ

If I ever get my other Mini with the 1-10 twist back, I can't wait to try the Varget and H-335. I'm betting it will like them, it's just the Tac with the 1-9 that doesn't.
All shots were 5 shot groups at a measured 65 yds.

I'm keeping a good log for referance.

I've got to get to 100 yards and really give it a good work out, but .6" groups at 65 yards is still pretty darn good. It was better than the previous best load using TAC powder whick shot about 1" at the 65 yd range. My Tactical still needs a little more work, all I did to it after getting it back from Ruger was to replace the bedding at the gas block. I have not checked torque at the gas block, but it looks even. They got rid of my 2.3 lb trigger and put in new stock parts. Not a bad trigger, but Ruger stiff which did not help. If I can get it very consistant at 1" or slightly under @ 100, I'm not going to touch this gun unless I have to.

Best Regards, John K

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Old 09-19-2010, 23:02   #19
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Originally Posted by Evil_Lurker View Post
I don't see why not, it's likely one of the best ways to get accuracy. If somebody doesn't reload, they can just skip the thread.



Yep, that book answered about every question I had when I started reloading (before the days of the internet). Buy the Speer, Hornady and Nosler manuals, too. Lots of info in there.

As far as crimping .223s, I quit doing that altogether years ago. Zero problems, those light bullets don't have enough mass to get set back from that level of recoil. A crimp won't do squat unless it's into a cannalure, and if all the cases aren't trimmed to the same length, you'll have problems.

In my opinion, anyway. My crimper die is backed off a full turn from contact.
If you feel the need to crimp, buy cannalured bullets.
I would agree, but try the new Lee crimp die. It has 4 fingers and crimps like a factory crimp. It will even crimp bullets without a cannalure. It's miles ahead of any crimp from a factory die. Only about $17.00

I like it because case mouths do vary a little on the bullet pull and in my opinion this die gives a much more consistant bullet pull which could help accuracy.

If you have not seen the lee crimp die, check it out, it's trick !

My Best, John K
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Old 09-19-2010, 23:16   #20
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I mass load .223 and don't want to have to trim every time, so I'm going to skip the crimping.

If you're going to investigate H-335, try some W-748 at the same time. It's not as temperature sensitive as H-335, and I got a little better accuracy using it. It's a bit on the "dirty" side, but not anything major.

I use a lot of it in my .308, too, and it's good for 150 -165 gr. loads in that.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:13   #21
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I understand about the trimming. It does take time, but if you want your brass all the same length as you know, even new brass, you have to trim it.

The one exception might be Lapua Brass but for $40. for 50 bare cases, I'll pass and do it myself.

For those of you who do trim your brass and want a really good crimp, get the Lee Crimper. It's caliber spicific, but made in quite a few calibers and does a fantastic job. They are only about $17.00.

Evil, for some reason my Tactical hates the H-335, bullets were all over the target (I think the giun would have puked if it could have). They were the worst groups I had ever seen, that bad. I'm betting it will work great in my 187 series. It just depends on the rifle. I'm sticking with the new IMR for the 69 and 70 grain bullets and TAC for the 62 grain bullets unless I can find an IMR load that does better. Both of those powders work well in my weapon.

I'm going to have to have 2 different stacks as my 187 likes different powders than the tactical.
Once done, I should be able to settle on maybe just 4 powders between both guns. I sure hope so.

I've fired hundreds of rounnds and loads looking for the best load for each rifle. The Mini's are one of the more picky rifles when it comes to powder, bullets and loads.

Also, if you have an extra slot on your press, the Dillon trimmer that fits on the press works great, it's just not cheap.
It may be worth it accuracy wise if you load enough. Just a thought.

Best Regards, John k

Last edited by dkac2; 09-20-2010 at 07:30.
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Old 09-20-2010, 14:23   #22
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Also, if you have an extra slot on your press, the Dillon trimmer that fits on the press works great, it's just not cheap.
I've got a trimmer, I set it up so I can hook my drill motor to it and make a ghetto "power trimmer" out of it.

I just shoot so many factory loads, mixed with reloads, that it's impossible to keep them sorted, so I'm always dealing with mixed-length brass.

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Old 09-20-2010, 14:52   #23
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I pretty much have the same problem.

When I'm putting togather accuracy loads, I do everthing I can to make every part of the process as consistant s possible.

But when it comes to fun plinking loads or just having extra where that last bit of accuracy does not matter, your method works great.

Time is the other factor. It's something I have, many people don't have the time I have and so you do the very best you can with the time that you have.

If I had the money, I'd have all the motorized new case prep things that are out now that can really save time, but for now it's a drilll motor and hand crank case trimmer. It does take forever, but I've got the time.

Besides, you have your weapons shooting so well, a quarter of an inch is not going to make a bit of difference.

I always enjoy your posts.

Have a great one, John K
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Old 09-20-2010, 15:11   #24
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John I've been using a LEE Classic press for over 30 yrs now and before that a LEE pro 1000 and never had any regrets with either one.
Evil I've always crimped all of my reloads with no adverse effects. wether it be a taper or roll crimp they all get it.

Paul
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Last edited by happy1; 09-23-2010 at 09:33.
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Old 09-20-2010, 15:17   #25
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I don't think Evil Lurker reloads at all, that is the cleanest and neatest reloading bench I have ever seen. It doesn't look used at all.

(I'm actually just jealous and I wish my setup looked that good.)
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