What’s New

USPS Rate Increase

Today the USPS, FEDEX and UPS increased their postal rates.  The USPS rate increase was an average of 9.5% across the board.  We never like to hear about these sorts of increases, but they’re inevitable and we must adapt.  There were several other changes which can be read about with a simple google search.  One change worthy of noting is the discontinuation of online Commercial Base Pricing available when purchasing postage direct from usps.com.  As of today, all online postage purchased through usps.com is now billed at the retail / counter rate.  We will continue to offer reasonable shipping rates.  Our rates have increased slightly, but will remain slightly below full price.  Insurance will continue to be 1.2% of the order total.  If you have any additional questions regarding our Shipping / Insurance policies, see our FAQ.

2016 Price Comparisons

  • Small Flat Rate Box

    USPS Rate:  $6.80

    Our Rate:  $6.50

  • Medium Flat Rate

    USPS Rate – $13.45

    Our Rate – $13.00

  • Large Flat Rate

    USPS Rate – $18.75

    Our Rate – $18.00

USPS Rate Increase
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Lake City 762 Creedmoor Conversion

Lake City 762 Creedmoor Conversion

Lake City 762 Creedmoor Conversion

I’ve been wanting to try this Creedmoor conversion for quite some time.  Converting a common MILSPEC Lake City 762 cartridge to a less common 6.5mm Creedmoor.  With the right tools and a little patience the 6.5mm Creedmoor conversion is quite easy.   I dusted off my Redding T-7 and installed a 7mm-08 Rem trim die, a 6.5mm Creedmoor trim die with attached Dillon RT1500 trimmer, and a Redding 6.5mm Creedmoor FL Resizing die.

Initially I was unsure if I would need the 7mm-08 Rem die to step the brass down in preparation to set the shoulder of the Creedmoor cartridge.  Ultimately it is not needed, but does make the process a bit easier, especially if your bench is not sturdy, or your press is not securely fastened to the bench….or if you’re not physically able to apply the required amount of pressure to go from a .308 Win to a 6.5 CM in one pass.

Before I go into the steps.  All of the brass used was true once fired, MILSPEC, Lake City headstamp, 7.62×51, and I did not anneal the brass beforehand.  After doing these conversions I did a few more using some of our annealed Lake City 308 brass.  Working with our ready to load brass was far easier as the body of the case had already been resized and the neck and shoulder area was softer due to annealing.

Step by Step

  • Step 1

    Lubricate.  There’s an increased chance for a stuck case if the proper amount of lube is not applied, or if your reloading setup isn’t sturdy enough to support you applying additional force to set the shoulder.  It’s important to chose a die with the lube relief port, as without it, lube dents are going to be more prevalent.

  • Step 2

    .308 to 7mm-08.  Run the case up into the 7mm-08 Rem trim die.  If you don’t have the trim die, you can use either Full Length or Body die with the expander removed.  Leaving the expander installed serves no purpose at this point.

  • Step 3

    7mm-08 to 6.5 CM.  Run the case up into the 6.5 CM trim die.  This sets the shoulder of the 6.5 and trims the estimated 0.1″ or more of excess.  Assuming your trimmer and die were set correctly, you’ll end up with a 6.5mm Creedmoor cartridge with the proper headspace and trim length.   Either way, we’ll be giving it one more pass in a 6.5mm FL resize die before we’re finished.

  • Step 4

    Neck Turning.  The goal with neck turning is to reduce the neck wall thickness.  The military 762 brass is far too thick, and the brass is not likley to chamber as is.  The added bonus of this step, is your necks will be far more concentric than before.  None of our reloading manuals specified a neck wall thickness, so we measured a factory new Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge.  Essentially this equated in having to turn the neck so there were no portion of the neck left unturned.

  • Step 5

    Final Resizing.  Using a a FL Resizing die, I gave the brass one last resize to ensure the expander ball had a chance to set the I.D. of the neck.  Going back to Step 3, we used a body only / trim die which only resized the O.D.  After turning the necks, we need to reset these O.D. and I.D measurements.

  • Step 6

    Anneal.  It’s always a good idea to anneal your brass.  If done properly it will extend the life (your investment) of your brass and keep neck tension consistent, which I believe is important when the goal is putting 5 bullets in one hole.

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Happy Holidays from the US Postal Service!

Black Friday kicked off the 2015 holiday shopping season and as such, the U.S. Postal Service is doing whatever it can to keep from falling behind.  For the next month and a half, the chances of your package being delayed, or lost is far greater than any other time of the year.  However, there are ways to help keep your package on track, and avoid the stress involved with not receiving your reloading supplies on time.  Address!  The USPS must deliver to your address in order for us to get the goods to you.  Monitor your tracking numbers; if you have not received your pacakge within 4 days of receiving a shipping notification, immediately get on the phone with the USPS at 1-800-ASK-USPS and initiate a package trace.  Should a package go missing, the chances of it being found are far greater if you are proactive.  Asking a postal manager to locate a package which was last scanned at their facility, 15 days after it was initially scanned there isn’t going to make their job any easier.

And then, there are these situations….particularly, Kearny, NJ sort facility.  This USPS Sort Facility is the worse of the worse!  Why you might ask?  They refuse to acceptance scan parcels.  This is frustrating for us, as well as our customers.  Without an acceptance scan, the customer is left to think his/her package was not shipped.  On our side, it’s difficult to file an insurance claim if it appears as if we never shipped the package.

Here are a couple screenshots of what we’re talking about.  The first image is what “right” looks like. Notice the scans are complete, from when we initially created the label (bought the postage), to when the carrier picked up the package (acceptance scan), to all the points the package transited through prior to being delivered.

The missing tracking data is clear in this second screenshot.  The customer had the impression they would receive their item within 3 days, yet it was more than 3 days until it initially appeared in tracking.   Keep in mind the USPS Priority Mail is not a guaranteed service and the Postal Service does not consider a package lost until 30 days past the shipping date!

If you are reading this, and this situation applies to your package, there are two options.  What you might not know is the USPS has an internal tracking system which has additional information, not available to the general public.  If your package is caught in the postal system, you may try contacting your local USPS and ask nicely if they’ll check the internal tracking scans for your tracking number.  They may look at you strange, after all they are not accustomed to being asked this question as not many people know about the internal system.

Your other option is to call 1-800-ASK-USPS, navigate their system to speak to a customer service rep.  Explain to the representative you have a package that appears to be stuck in the system, which was not acceptance scanned, but was shipped.  They will open a case and are required to get back to you within 3 business days.  Typically, a postal manager from the USPS facility where your package was last scanned (internally) will call you with an update.  If all else fails, and the USPS has truly lost your package, simply let us know after the 20th business day, and we will initiate your claim.  All of our packages are fully insured against loss. We’ll either offer you a refund, or re-ship your package at no additional cost.

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processed Lake City 308 Brass Processed 308 brass WCC 308

Mixed Military Headstamp

Now Available!  Processed 308 Mixed Military Headstamp Brass.

You asked, we delivered.

Lake City is the one headstamp most reloaders associate with military brass.  The Lake City Ammo Plant has the main contract to provide ammunition to the military for training and combat purposes.  In those times of a shortage, supply is supplemented by other contracted ammunition plants capable of mass producing the military brass to the same standards as Lake City.

WCC – Winchester Cartridge Company, Olin Ammo Plant, Mississippi.

PMJ – Poongsan Metals Company, South Korea.

SBS – Santa Barbara Systems, Spanish, under General Dynamics.

FC – Federal Catridge, Anoka, Minnesota

Having processed over 6 tons of military 308 brass, we’ve gotten to know each of these headstamps better than just by name.  For starters, all of these headstamps are of high quality.  They’re all thick walled and suitable for several reloads.  As of December 1st, the mixture of our processed 308 mixed military headstamp brass is an estimated 45% Lake City, 45% WCC and 10% PMJ.

During processing, the difference between LC, WCC, and PMJ is noticeable.  Both WCC and PMJ process much easier, as if the brass composition is slightly softer.  Not a bad characteristic for once fired brass!  When we were testing our LR308 we ran different sets of our brass through it.  All headstamps, and even the mixed, ran through our rifles just fine, and yielded the same results out to 550 meters – ringing an 18″ steel gong shot after shot.

You might be wondering why the mixed headstamp is slightly cheaper than 100% LC or another headstamp?  Simple – we haven’t yet spent the time to sort it by headstamp.  If you’re looking to save a couple of dollars, give the mixed headstamp a try, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  You can even use the different headstamps to tell your different loads apart.

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New Website!

Alas, after many hours, our new website is up and running.  It had been a long time coming and we’re glad it’s finally complete.  We’ve redesigned our logo, increased our site security and made it more visually appealing.  We had a minor setback in early October when our websites (www.txbrassworks.com, and www.monmouthreloading.com) were attacked and completely erased from the server.  Thankfully, I was prepared with several backups saved in various locations, and was familiar with how to restore service.

We hope you enjoy the new site, find it easier to navigate, and that it provides you with a more enjoyable shopping experience.  Should you come across any errors during your browsing, I invite you to  email me directly at jeff@txbrassworks.com.

Happy Reloading!

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LR308 Precision Rifle Build

LR308 Precision Rifle Build

LR308 Precision Rifle Build

In the fall of 2014, we began asking our customers what rifle platform they were using our brass for.  We were surprised to see the majority were using AR10 / LR308 rifles, and decided it was time to build one of our own to see first hand how our processed Lake City 308 brass performs.  As a shooter who enjoys spending several hours at the range with no more than 100 handloads, I tend to favor a bolt action.  When setting out to do this build, we also wanted to try and preserve the accuracy more commonly associated with a bolt action.

This will be a two part write-up.  In part one we’ll cover the individual components of the build (links included).   In part two, we’ll cover how our Lake City 308 brass performed at the range.

Part 1

The Lower

The foundation of this LR308 is a DPMS-patterned receiver set, manufactured by Cross Machine and Tool (CMT).  We’ve utilized CMT receiver sets for all of our rifle builds used in testing our Lake City 223 and 300 Blackout Brass.  Aside from having excellent fit and finish, the nice folks at CMT tap threads for the rear take down pin detent, and bolt catch assembly; CMT receivers are a pleasure to assemble.  Utilizing a standard DPMS lower parts kit, we rounded out the lower receiver with a Magpul MOE + grip, an ambidextrous short throw safety selector from Battle Arms Development, and a Geissele Hi-Speed National Match – Designated Marksman Trigger.  We also used a Seekins Precision Billet Mag Release Button to get rid of the through hole on the stock button.

Tucked inside the A2 buttstock extension tube is a JP Enterprises Silent Captured Spring, covered up by a Magpul PRS stock.  We felt this was the best option for balancing out the overall rifle, and allow ample cheek elevation.

The Upper

To go along with the Silent Captured Spring we chose the Low Mass Bolt Carrier, Enhanced Bolt, firing and cam pins, 22″ 1:10 twist .308 barrel, and a standard profile compensator, all by JP Enterprises.   When ordering these together, JP matches the bolt face to the barrel which is a nice touch.  Overall it gives us good peace of mind knowing all of their parts were designed to be used together.   For the front end we went with a Centurion Arms CMR 7.62 14″ rail, and a set of their covers.  The CMR rail has a smaller diameter than most of it’s competitors which really limited our choices when it came to choosing a gas block.  Thankfully, SLR Rifleworks had a very useful schematic of their Sentry 9 which allowed us to verify it’s fit (with .003 clearance) before ordering.  The Sentry 9 is a very well made adjustable gas block, with 15 positive click settings.  For anyone shooting both subs and supers, this is a handy feature as it allows you to quickly return to a previous setting.

Optics and Mount

In searching for a 1 piece mount, we wanted a built in 20 MOA slant, and integrated bubble level.  It came down to a tie between the Aadmount, or a SPHUR.  The Aadmount was our first choice, but Jon wasn’t quite ready to roll out his 34mm mount.  When the optic arrived, it was painful to not have a means to mount it, so we went with the SPHUR.  It was practically double the cost, however it’s a very nice, well built mount and will last us a lifetime.  The optic is a Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56 with the EBR2-C Reticle.  This will be our first experience with Vortex products, and by the looks, feel, and features, we can tell it’s going to get the job done.

Finishing Touches

Once the rifle was mocked up, we tore it down, and shipped the receiver set, rail, stock and ejection port cover off to Camo Solutions in Evening Shade, AR for an urban tactical hydro-coating.  They do great work but be prepared to get in line and wait!  Lastly, we tossed on a Rifles Only FTW sling and an Atlas Bipod w/ ADM mount.

Time to hit the range!

Next up, we’ll go over our load development, and range results.

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Remington 700 Rebuild

Remington 700 Rebuild

Serving in the Military, traveling the globe for the better part of the past 2 decades wasn’t conducive to having a collection of guns.  Those of you who have served know it’s not exactly easy to move when you have a collection of firearms, especially Class III items.  When I  first returned to recreational shooting in 2012, I picked up a simple Remington 700 AAC-SD, installed a new Timney trigger, and a Manners EH-4 stock complete with the aluminum bedding block and chassis.  At the time it was an easy bolt on upgrade.  It’s hit or miss with Remington 700’s these days, and eventually as my collection of firearms grew, this particular rifle didn’t even see the light of day.  I believe a bolt action .308 is a cornerstone of any collection of firearms, and being someone who doesn’t typically sell firearms, didn’t want to let it go to waste.

This project has just begun, but here are the basics of the build.  Using the M700 as a doaner action, and the Timney trigger, we purchased a new #13 Bartlein blank in .308, 1 piece bolt from Pacific Tool and Gauge, new bolt assembly, tactical bolt knob and bottom metal from Surgeon Rifles, and put in an order with Manner’s Stocks for an Elite T5-A adjustable thumbhole stock.  To my surprise, Manners projected a 24 week lead time!  We gladly got in line.

In late November we packaged it up and sent it off to Long Rifles Inc. for accurizing, barrel fluting and installation.

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