To Handloaders, From SHOT

I saw a bunch of new products for handloaders at this year’s SHOT Show. Some of them look really useful, and a few are simply fun.

One device that promises to be both is Frankford Arsenal’s new hand de-priming tool. Just slip a primed case into the gun-shaped device and squeeze the trigger; the primer is captured in a plastic container and you’re ready for the next cartridge case. No more sitting at a loading bench to de-prime cases—now you can do it in a recliner.

Of course, that primer needs to be replaced, and if you’re loading on a progressive press that uses primer tubes, it can be a tedious chore to fill those tubes. Hornady’s solution is gun-shaped, too. Are you seeing a pattern here?

To work this unit, dump primers into the device’s tray and give it a shake to flip all of them into the correct orientation. Close the tray and insert an empty tube. Then pull the trigger to start a vibrator, which chases all the primers into the waiting tube. Filling a tube should take all of 10 or 15 seconds. There’s nothing like using a gun to complete a handloading chore.

Those primers will be igniting gunpowder, and if you want to try something new, consider IMR’s new line of Enduron powders. There are three offerings in this line and they all feature a technology reported to give consistent velocities through a wide range of ambient temperatures.

Additionally, it’s claimed they will reduce copper fouling in barrels. These powders are designated as IMR4166, IMR4451 and IMR7977. Between the three, their burn rates and other properties are suitable for calibers ranging from speedy .22 centerfires, all the way to the big magnums. Whether you shoot under a blazing sun or from the top of a crystal white snowbank, it sounds like these powders should help us hit small critters at long distances.

Bullets are the last component a handloader must consider, and Sierra tells me they’re starting to get caught up on production—their ability to meet demand is looking better this year than it has in a long time. It must be true because they’re introducing a new line of bullets for 2015. There are six initial offerings in this line and all are rooted in their accurate MatchKing family.

However, instead of having a typical MatchKing hollow point, these have a polymer tip. This feature gives the bullets a higher ballistic coefficient and should promote smoother feeding from magazine to chamber. Sierra is not recommending them for hunting—they’re target bullets—but I’ll likely try at least one item on predators. The .22 caliber 69-grain version has a G1 ballistic coefficient of .375, and it should stabilize in the 1:10 twist of my Ruger American. 22-250 Rem.

If it works, this could be a deadly and flat-shooting coyote killer. I’ll let you know next winter.

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