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New for the reloader.

The National Rifle Association Annual Meetings, recently concluded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, featured the customary outstanding exhibits for NRA members attending, including many new items for the handloaders among them.

Omark-RCBS displayed several new products to the public for the first time in Milwaukee, including a revised model of the excellent RCBS case trimmer. The old model did an excellent job, but the new one is even better. To begin with, the new design ensures more uniformity in trimmed lengths of brass, even when case rims vary in dimensions. That's important, since such uniformity controls the constancy of crimps in finished cartridges.

Uniformity is therefore nice, but I must say I appreciate even more the change in the handle design. The earlier version would quickly wear the hide off the operator's forefinger with the slotted head of the screw affixing the rotating handle to the crank if very many cases were to be trimmed at a sitting. Since most of us put off case-trimming until it can be avoided no longer and a large lot of cases needing trimming has accumulated, we usually acquired a sore finger in a hurry. The rounded plastic crank handle of the new model is one of those small--but nice--improvements which RCBS seems constantly to come up with in all their metallic reloading equipment.

Collets and trimmer pilots for the earlier model also fit the current version.

RCBS also showed a new drum-type case tumbler which is impressive, if only because it's so quick and easy to check the progress of case polishing. It's also fast and quite and has a very large capacity.

The new RCBS plastic cartridge boxes move this innovative company into a completely new product field, and I confess I had to wonder how an item as simple and as basic as a cartridge box could be improved very much. Well, the RCBS versions may not be very much improved over the fine models already available, but they are different. The most striking feature is the fact that they're not made of opaque material; they're green (naturally) but they're also semi-transparent, so that you can see, without opening them, how many rounds are inside and whether they hold empty brass or loaded rounds. Furthermore, there are slots in the front of these boxes into which you can insert a card or bit of paper with the load data, and this, too, can be read through the plastic.

The samples furnished me are in three sizes: .38/.357 pistol, .41/.44/.45 pistol, and small rifle: and I assume sizes to accept all common cartridges will eventually be added to the line. The small rifle box takes all the .22 Hornet/.222 Remington family of cases, and features a point-protector design so that softpoint bullets in cartridges placed in the box point-down are cradled to prevent damage to the delicate bullet noses in either varmint or benchrest loads.

The boxes are fabricated of a tough plastic, self-hinged for long life and with a permanent fit at the closure.

Omark was also displaying the full line of Outers shooting and gun-cleaning items, including some excellent one-piece rods and various jags, kits, and chemicals, not to mention the regulation paper targets and clay-pigeon traps for which the Outers name is well known. I've been using several of these products for about six months and can recommend them without reservation.

Furthermore, Omark produces a complete line of gun sales for home and vehicle, and, finally, has taken over the Weaver line of scope mounts (but not the scopes themselves). When the shocking news that Weaver was out of business came at the shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Dallas in January, the first thought which came to mind was that it would be an extra shame if the Weaver mounting system should die along with the sights themselves. Although Weaver mounts have always been very modestly priced, they have also been among the most secure and functional available. I've used them on the most powerful elephant rifles, subjecting them to as much recoil as I could stand, with never a failure. Also, though not much was ever made of it, standard (not even "quick detachable") Weaver bases and rings have for a couple of generations been one of the most reliable of all systems for returning to zero when removed and replaced on the rifle.

To top it all, the distinctive Weaver saddle-type bases are low enough that the iron sights of most rifles can be used without removing them. This means that, if a scope fogs or is damaged in the hunting field, it can be removed, using only a coin or cartridge rim, leaving the barrel-mounted sights on the rifle available . . . provided the hunter had sufficient foresight to zero them, too, at the same time he performed his final sighting-in chores. In short, the Weaver mounting system is simply too good and too useful to die, and I consider Omark's acquisition of it as not only excellent judgement but a real service to the shooting fraternity.

Another item I saw at the NRA show is a new case-resizing lube called "Red Rooster", from Rooster Laboratories (Box 19514, Dept. GA, Kansas City, MO 64141). This stuff is a sort of red-colored gel, and I have to say it's the slickest thing I ever saw in action. Buzz Huntington, of Huntington Die Specialties, Oroville, CA, allowed me to demonstrate this new lubricant for myself, reforming .30-06 brass to .308 WCF using the Huntington Compac hand-held press mentioned in this space a couple of months ago.

I stated in that column that the Compac press, good as it is, is not suitable for heavy-duty case-forming . . . but I must admit that the Red Rooster lubricant may make me eat those words. Using it, reforming 'Ought-Six to .308 in a standard sizing die was practically effortless, even though the tool wasn't bench-mounted. I don't know what's in Rooster case lube, and I don't care . . . it's slick!

The NRA Show is always worth seeing, by handloaders or any other kinds of shooters, and is moved around the country to make it available to as many members as possible. In 1985 it will be in Seattle, and shooters in the Pacific northwest should begin right now making plans to attend. It'll be worth the trip.
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Title Annotation:new models exhibited at NRA meeting
Author:Wootters, John
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Sep 1, 1984
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