Blog and Updates

A Quick Guide to Shooting Fundamentals

posted Feb 13, 2016, 11:17 AM by David Natale

Click on the link below for A Quick Guide To Shooting Fundamentals. 

A Quick Guide to Shooting Fundamentals

Reloading for your Auto-Loading Rifle

posted Jun 1, 2013, 7:50 AM by David Natale

1.      Dies.  Use full length regular or full length small base dies.  Small base full length dies size the case down a little narrower than regular full length dies.  This is to improve chambering and lockup reliability in auto-loading rifles.  However it is very possible you will have flawless chambering and lockup reliability in your auto-loading rifle using regular full length dies.  If you have an auto-loader with a particularly tight chamber, desire extended reliability with a dirty gun, if regular full length resized cases don’t function reliably in your firearm, or if you just want to use small base dies, use small base dies.  If you want to work the brass less and potentially get a few more reloads out of your cases, then use regular full length dies.

Keep track of the number of times you have fired a case.  Always inspect rifle cases for signs of failure or imminent failure, particularly in the case-head region.  Discard old rifle cases before you get case-head separation.

Be aware that auto-loaders do not fire-form cases to the chamber.  The action of an auto-loader is fast enough that the case is still expanding and distorting as it is extracted from the chamber, particularly at the rear of the case.  You cannot rely on the fire-forming cases when using an auto-loader.

Do not use neck only resize dies for auto-loading rifles.  Neck only resizing dies are intended for bolt action rifles.  Chambering and lockup is less of an issue with bolt action rifles for two reasons.  First is that you are manually camming the bolt shut and can impart much more chambering force than an auto-loader action can.  Second, since the case remains in the chamber throughout the entire firing sequence, fired cases from your bolt action rifle are fire-formed to your chamber, so they should fit to begin with.  Neck only resizing is used in conjunction with bolt guns to ensure proper neck tension on a reloaded bullet in a reloaded cartridge.


2.    Lube.  Using good case lube and applying correctly is important for resizing rifle brass.  If you are used to not using lube with carbide pistol dies, don’t try to carry this procedure over to rifle brass.  After trying a variety of lubes, the very best by far is Imperial Sizing Wax.  Imperial #07600 can be found in 2 oz cans for less than $10, and one 2 oz can will last a few thousand reloads. Simply apply the wax with your fingers to the body of the case as you pick them up to resize them.  Regardless of the type of lube you use, do not get lube on the case shoulder.  This can cause the shoulders to dent.  If you notice shoulders beginning to dent but you are not putting lube on the shoulder, it is time to clean the lube out of your resizing die.  I use a standard cleaning patch and rod.


3.       Military brass.  Once fired military brass takes some special care the first time you resize it, presenting two unique issues. First, fired military brass is usually oversized because it has usually been fired from full-auto firearms which have larger chambers for reliability and fast actions.  This makes the resizing effort a bit harder, be prepared to really crank on the lever.  Second, the primers pockets are crimped, making them harder to push out.  I’ve noticed that when you really have to crank on the lever to resize a case, the likelihood of bending the decapping mandrel and breaking the decapping pin is higher.  So, the first time I reload military brass I resize them first without the decapping mandrel in place, and then put the mandrel back in and run them through again to decap them.  This will ensure you don’t break decapping pins or bend your decapping mandrel.  After the first reload, this extra step is no longer necessary.  For non-military brass, or brass fired from your rifle, this extra step is usually not necessary.

4.       Primer pockets.  For military brass you will need to remove the primer crimp so you can push new primers in.  I use the RCBS Military Crimp Remover.  The large is RCBS #90387 and the small is RCBS #90386.  Use the large for large primer pockets and the small for small primer pockets.  I simply attach an 8-32 coupling bolt to the screw on the back of the tool and chuck this into a hand drill to use it.  These tools cost about $20.  If you want you can buy a case prep center that this tool will screw into, but I find the expense unnecessary.  You can also use the tool manually with a tool handle.

You may want to clean your primer pockets with a pocket cleaning brush as well.  I usually skip this step, instead just checking that the flash holes are clear.  I have never been unable to seat a primer properly.  I have also not noticed any effect on accuracy.  If the pockets are dirty enough that primers become hard to seat then I clean them.


5.      Use a Case Gauge.  A case gauge such as the ones produced by Lyman or EO Wilson.  For example the Lyman #7832323 for .223 Remington and the Lyman #7832321 for .308 Winchester.  These gauges cost about $20.  If the case can drop into the gauge then it is resized to safe dimensions.  Also, if the cases need to be trimmed the necks will stick out of the Lyman gauge.  I find this to be the fastest and easiest way to check if I need to trim my cases.


6.       Case Trimming.  Case necks lengthen after firing-resizing cycles.  When a cartridge is fired the case expands and the brass at the case head thins.  When you resize the case, the diameter is reduced back into spec, but the brass doesn’t thicken, it lengthens.  This is why rifle brass eventually wears out and fails, and also why cases need to be trimmed.  I only trim cases once they protrude from my Lyman case gauge, at which point I trim them to the minimum spec’d length.  This is so I don’t have to trim them as often.

To trim cases I use a basic manual Lyman case trimmer.  Every reloading manufacturer makes one.  I chuck the end of the trimming mandrel into a hand drill to make it  easier and make trimming go faster.  Lyman makes a replacement mandrel with an adapter for a hand drill already on it, or you can make your own.

Debur your case mouths inside and outside with a deburring tool after you trim them.  I use a basic hand-held tool for this.  There are many options available for under $20 and they’ll all serve the purpose.


7.       Loading.  It is now time to load your processed rifle cases.  Prime them, weigh your powder, and seat your bullets.  I like light loads for target shooting, but for auto-loading rifles do not try to reduce the load below the minimum recommendation.  This will affect reliability of function of the auto-loading rifle.  What works best for me is somewhere between the minimum and the middle of the recommended range.  Use an official reloading manual.

 Set up your die to seat the bullet such that you are at the recommended cartridge OAL.  Measure OAL with a standard caliper.  It may be useful to have a bullet puller available while setting this for the first time  Use little to no crimp on rifle bullets without a cannelure.  Even if your bullets have a cannelure, use only a light crimp.

DCFS Acton Match

posted Oct 4, 2012, 1:10 PM by David Natale

On Sunday Sept. 30th DCFS held their action match and it was a very fun.  There were two stages set up that consisted of a multitude of targets both cardboard and steel.  Stage two was finished off with a club favorate the Polish Plate Rack.  To see what you missed check out the videos found here Action Match Videos.  Enjoy!

DCFS Rimfire Plate Match

posted Jun 7, 2012, 12:59 PM by David Natale

The Wednesday Night rimfire plate match season has begun.  Every wednesday night for the summer months Delaware County Field and Stream Hosts a Steel Plate Match.  The match is open to both members and non-members.  The entry Fee is $2 which buys you two timed rounds at the 19 targets.  All you need to compete is a 22 lr pistol with a capacity of 10 rounds with two magazines and of course about 50 bullets.  At the match you will see everything from bone stock Walter p22's to full customized Ruger Mk III pistols.  This is a friendly non-competitive match in which all shooters can enjoy no matter what your skill level is.  Come out each week and try to beat your time from the previous week.  I'll see you at the match.


Upcoming Shooting Events

posted Mar 6, 2012, 8:09 AM by David Natale   [ updated Mar 6, 2012, 11:22 AM by nuhtowel ]

As the winter weather begins to break the shooting match season will begin.  The first local match will be this Sunday March 11th at Delaware County Field and Stream.  They are holding two matches in one day... A Hostage Pin Match and a Plate Rack Match.  The Hostage Pin Match is set to begin @ 10:00. Open to both members and Non-members with $5 entry fee. The object of the game is to shoot your 5 pins before your opponent shoots theirs. If you win you proceed to the next round. The pins are placed at a distance of 15 yards. Bring any caliber gun revolver or pistol. The Polish Plate Rack competition will follow the Pin Match. The plate rack is open to only center fire calibers and use as many rounds needed to hit all the plates. The winner is chosen by the fasted time. If you are unsure what a Plate Rack is check out some videos on youtube they are very cool.  Be sure to check Delco Shooting Supply's Calender for more events in the area.  I will post the events as soon as information is available.

Store Renovations

posted Feb 21, 2012, 9:11 AM by David Natale

I am excited to say that our most recent expansion project is nearing completion.  We are expanding our inventory on a weekly basis and we have added more display cases and rearranged the entire store.  If you have not been by in a while be sure to stop in and check out our expanded inventory.  Spring is just around the corner and the shooting sports season will be "in full boom".  Come in and pick up all of your shooting and reloading supplies from our expanded selection.  Thanks again.


posted Dec 21, 2011, 12:31 PM by David Natale   [ updated Dec 21, 2011, 5:35 PM ]


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Delco Shooting Supply

Wishing all our customers a very happy holiday and healthy and prosperous New Year!  We thank you for your continued business and friendship!  We are constantly improving and expanding our inventory. We will be open on Saturday so come by for that last minute gift or the Perfect Gift….

A Delco Shooting Supply Gift Certificate!

Don and Dave

Oct Hostage Pin Match

posted Oct 11, 2011, 10:46 AM by David Natale

On Sunday October 9th Delaware County Field and Stream hosted a hostage pin match at the pistol range.  The match was a ton of fun.  The match was very well attended with over 30 participants.  The match was set up as a double elimination challenge so after the first round there was the winners bracket and the losers bracket so you were guaranteed to shoot at least twice.  There was a wide range of firearms being used everything from .22 semi auto up to 44 magnum revolver.   After the shoot was over the match director took out the Polish Plate Rack and everyone was offered a turn at the rack.  A Polish plate rack consists of 8 steel plates on a beam that becomes unbalanced as plates are hit and begins to spin.  The match and the rack were both very challenging and fun.  A special thanks to all who organized and participated in the shoot. Keep posted for upcoming events in the area. 

Sept Reloading Class

posted Sep 27, 2011, 7:19 AM by David Natale

The September Reloading Class was great.  We had a good turnout and all of the students are now confident and capable of reloading their own ammunition.  If you could not make it out this month don't worry because Octobers Reloading Class is just around the corner.  Keep posted for updates and when the next class will be held.

Action Shoot DCFS

posted Sep 13, 2011, 6:29 PM by David Natale   [ updated Sep 13, 2011, 6:41 PM ]

Delaware County Field and Stream hosted an action shoot this past Sunday.  I was sure to take part in the shoot and I must say I had a BLAST!  The shooting started at about 10:30.  There was a good turnout of about 20 shooters most of which were new to the action shooting sport.  There were three stages set up the first was called DCFS Standards.  The second stage was 20 Rounds Paper and Steel and the final stage was called Gas in the Tank.  For equipment all you needed was a center fire gun capable of holding 10 rounds, 4 magazines, a magazine pouch and about 100 rounds of ammo.

For DCFS Standards you had to fire one shot on each of the 5 targets then reload and fire 5 more shots from a distance of about 16 yards.  The second part was firing one shot on each target from 12 yards. Next you reloaded and fired on shot on each target using only your strong hand.

The Second stage called 20 Paper and Steel had a mixture of steel plates, poppers and paper targets.  First was five steel plates followed by 3 paper targets whereas the steel received one shot each and the paper a double tap.  Next you shot a large popper that activated a target to pop up and you had to double tap the target before the hostage blocked your shot.

The Final Stage was called Gas in the Tank.  This stage was definitely the most challenging because it required you to run through the course and engage targets as you could see them.   Two of the positions required you to fire through a small window that limited your range of motion.  The hardest target was found at the end and was activated by a steel popper.  Once you hit the popper the enemy target only reviled itself for a second, during that second you had to double tap the target before it swung away.

Keep posted for more upcoming shoots because everyone from the beginner to the professional can have a blast at an action shoot. Special Thanks for everyone that help organize, set up, and run the shoot.  Without these volunteers activities like the action shoot could not exist.

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