June 2014 Journal

May 27-31, 2014

Dillon RF100 Tricks

The Dillon RF100 works very well, but when out of adjustment, this happens. But the solution costs a dime.

Tape the dime to the base of your RF100 so you'll have it.

Whenever you switch from one size primers to the other or clean the RF100, tighten the screw that holds the feed adapter until it contacts the plastic feed adapter, then back it off .040”, about the thickness of a dime. Two nickels will not work.

This will allow the feed adapter to float. If this doesn't completely solve the problem, adjust outward 1/4 turn at ta time. If that doesn't work, clean the feed adapter again.

When I put this on Facebook one of the comments was this "Capt. I listen to about ever thing you say and do. In the past I have learned a lot from you on info you have been so gracious to shear. But this time I have to say bull. Of all the great machines that Dillon has made this is by far the worse piece of crap out there. 1 in a 1000 upside down I could except. 3 or 4 per hindered I can't. I can use the flip tray and fill tubs as fast as my Dillon and I'm 100 % accurate. Biggest waste of my money ever. If anybody is interested I would sell mine for 225. Any takers?"

Well, I don't have $225 or a place to put another RF100 or I'd go for it, send it to Dillon to get it brought up to specs, then dedicate it to large primers and the other to small. FWIW at the 2008 Winter Range I met the inventor of the RF100 at the Dillon booth. Here's what I wrote then:

"Took the Dillon RF100 and CV500 to Dillon, specifically to Randy Shelly, Production/Purchasing manager, who I talked to at WR. I left with a new motor in the CV500 and a virtual rebuild of the RF100 with a new bowl among other things. If yours doesn't have a helicoil in it one of the screws will dance around get things out of adjustment. I was shown how to adjust the little blue thingie the primer falls through (and clean with a pipe cleaner or swab soaked in alcohol). Randy ran 100 Winchester small pistol primers through the machine, then loaded them back in their package, proving all 100 were right side up. Doing this with Federals was more difficult since they load sideways in their box. But he did, meaning the machine will now work with both. I got several tips on the 650 and the 900. As usual, I left feeling that it would be nice if all companies could stand behind their products like Dillon."

Some people expect machines to work all the time without studying them or performing maintenance. I learned how to adjust the RF100 and how to keep it clean. I clean it before it gets very dirty. I had let it get out of adjustment or I wouldn't have had the above upside down primer. Adjusting the screw as shown, clean, and use the variable speed control to make the primers move as slowly as will work. Watch the primers enter the tube. You can see them flipping. Stop, pour them back in the machine and readjust. I did that and did another 1200 rounds with no upside down primers. It can be done.

Having said that I don't care whether you use one or not. I use it because it saves me time and eliminates a tedious job.

The Rolex Doctor called. My GMT Master is finished and will be here Tuesday.

May 20-26, 2014

Memorial Day:

Finally all 3 TVs working on HDTV/Genie-meaning a wireless network for the second and third TVs-1st DirecTV technician arrived 0830. 3 technicians total. Left 1445 (2:45pm)

May 19, 2014

Complaint Dump
We checked out of the hotel and went to the RV dealer about noon. The service advisor said they had about an hour to go. Then they had to wash it. Sp we killed 4 hours.
Then at 4 he called saying they had just finished but would need another day to wash it. Or we could pick it up unwashed. $13,100 in repairs and $2000 in hotel bills, and it's not washed. We took it. Not another day in a hotel.
I found a minor item unfixed in a cursory inspection, but put it off for whenever. The service advisor didn't remember it getting on the list, meaning he didn't write it down. At least the major items appear to be fixed. No, we haven't extended the awning and may never.
So we took it to the RV park and set up. The DirecTV is malfunctioning. After an hour working with it I got it to work on line 2 but nothing from line 1. It isn't receiving the guide, so it just shows "Regular Schedule." So nothing in the schedule is recorded. The ability to record one, watch one is lost. Put that on the top of the list for tomorrow. There is a DirecTV dealer at the park. We'll see.
Then I plugged in the "TV Link" for my VA hearing aids. It connects to "Audio out", streams sound to a receiver around my neck, and I can hear TV. Wouldn't work with the Phillips TVs in the hotel, so I hadn't used in 3 weeks.
But now I can get it in either ear, but not both. That's a simplified description. More to it than that, but it means another trip to the @#!#%! VA first opportunity.
The TV has been turned off for 3 weeks, so it was 80*F inside. It'll take 24 hours to cool down. RV refrigerators are different from home units because they work on propane when you're dry camping (like at EOT). We got here with 3 ice cubes.I realized this after the office, which sells ice, closed. I'm sure there's an ice dealer 10-15 miles away. I'm drinking a luke warm Coke.
8:30. The Redhead is exhausted. Don't know why. At least she has wine. Thank God red wine doesn't have to be cold. The dog is in her lap. The cat is in the dog bed plotting revenge for a day in her crate.

Happy Pictures from the hotel.

Okay, where's the bad cap?

May 15-18, 2014

Very surprised to see Jay Leno at the RGR Wild Bunch match:


This photo offends Islamic Terrorists. If you want to offend Islamic Terrorists, feel free to send it to all your friends.

Don't want to? How long have you been a member of Al Quaeda?

May 13, 2014, Tuesday

The bus was to be ready today. So last night we packed everything in preparation for moving. Much of our stuff we put into the Jeep.

Then at 0825 Brian, the service advisor at Myers RV called and said the bus wouldn't be ready today because it's too cold and snowing, so the last stuff can't be done. The nose has a 3M Plastic film called Diamond Shield. The nose had been fixed, so it had to be replaced. It can only be put on in warmer temperatures, and probably has to be dry.

Went to the VA. The cancer hasn't come back. I knew that from the PSA results, but the doctor confirmed it. I'm the poster boy for prostate cancer recovery. As he told me one year, "we usually don't cure ones with a Gleeson score like yours." At least there was good news there.

The rest of the day was kind of wasted. Housekeeping never showed up. Because of the pets at least one of us has to be here to put the cat in her crate and take the dog for a walk. So we don't get housekeeping every day. No big deal. But after 3 days it is. Since we were supposed to check out I'm sure things got screwed up on their end. They had put a checkout envelope on the door in the early AM, and housekeeping probably saw that and didn't come back. Then we didn't check out.

I would have gone to the shop and reloaded... if I weren't out of powder for main match (on the way), or if the turret press, for .38-55 wasn't in the bus basement. We did have a nice lunch at Cracker Barrel.

And oh, yes, yesterday the VA Dental department called and canceled the appointment for today, rescheduling for the 28th. The nice lady said that if I needed a crown the earliest appointment would be in September. Figures.

May 6-12, 2014

High Desert Drifters 05-10-14 had a shoot off for their 6th stage. The final was between Texas Tiger and Mica McGuire. Note that both knockdowns are moving. It was that close.

Another week at the Residence Inn. Definitely ready to get back to the bus.

Broke a tooth Thursday. Got temporary crown Friday. Scheduled the crown for May 19. Have an appointment with the VA dentist on the 13th--made last year. What are the odds I can get an appointment with a VA dentist to do the crown in a timely manner and save $1000?

May 5, 2014, Monday

At 11.40pm on the night of 14 April 1912, en route to New York and on her maiden voyage, the RMS Titanic struck the iceberg that would ultimately lead to her sinking less than 3 hours later. At around 2.20am on the morning of 15 April, RMS Titanic disappeared beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, a disaster that resulted in the loss of more than 1,500 lives, almost two-thirds of the people on board.
It’s a little known fact that in her hold were about 20 tons of a condiment, mayonnaise. Though mayonnaise had been around since the 1600s, it had not been used in Mexico. But a French chef in Mexico city introduced it in late 1911, and it became a spectacular success. Tired of condiments that were hot and spicy, Mexicans fell in love with mayonnaise.
There were no commercial mayonnaise making facilities in Mexico, so a Mexican entrepreneur signed a contract to import 20 tons of it from Europe. News of this importation was publicized widely, and the people of Mexico were looking forward to it en masse. The shipment wound up in the hold of the Titanic.
The news of the tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic did not reach Mexico until early May, 1912. The shock of losing 20 tons of this delicious foodstuff because it sank into the North Atlantic caused wailing and weeping all through Mexico. On 4 May 1912 he government decreed that the next day a national day of mourning would be observed with partying in order to cheer up the people. It would become an annual holiday. It would be called Sinko de Mayo.

A Little Reloading Efficiency

Evil Roy told me that he had a Eureka moment when he realized he was taking as much time putting .38s into neat 50 round boxes as he was making the rounds on his Dillon 1050. So he started throwing practice rounds into bullet boxes without counting or sorting, backwards primers, etc. and all. He would, of course, examine and chamber check match ammo. No, chamber checking does NOT involve the chamber of an actual, assembled firearm. (I do use the barrel of the .38-55, REMOVED FROM THE RECEIVER). Now you can get chamber checkers, little cylinders made to minimum specs for the round. If it goes in and falls out, it'll fit in your gun. You also get to check for missing/high/upside down/sideways primers. If you're using used brass, you might find split cases, too. I use new brass for big matches. It lowers the tension factor.

But back to that practice ammunition. I use a Rugged Gear gun cart. They started life as shotgun carts. Thus they have pouches for shotgun ammo boxes. So I started putting match ammo in shotgun ammo boxes. This stores well in my shop cabinet, which is circa 8" deep on the side of the trailer. The shelves allow 3 deep, 2 high storage. The breakthrough for efficiency was when I stopped counting rounds. Just fill the box.

Capacities (approximate):

.38s—180 rounds

.45 ACP—120 rounds

.45 Colt—90 rounds

Counting rounds takes time. I don't need to know whether I have 180. 190. or 170 in the box. I know that if I start with a full box, except for .45 ACP, I have enough for that day's match. For .45 ACP on 6 stage days I need 2 boxes. When I'm back in the shop partial boxes are combined.

Shotguns, not so lucky in speeding things up. Here's why: every round starts off as potential match ammunition. I only put sorted and checked hulls in the Dillon because anything else is going to slow things down at best and give flawed ammo or destroyed hulls at worse. So what comes out at the other end gets examined and chamber checked:

This is a Cowboys and Indians chamber checker made by T. L. Wild Bodie Tom makes them, too.


Then the rounds that pass inspection get wiped with a rag with Break Free CLP on it and put into a MEC EZ Pack.

Then the assembled box (SS12 from Midway) is slid over the EZ Pack Factory ammo boxes may be reused, too, of course. I have seen shooters trashcan diving for boxes as well as hulls at ranges

Then the EZ Pack is pulled out.

The rounds fit like this

Then I tape the bottom of the box up an put a label on it and run one piece of packing tape over the top, sealing it, covering the label (waterproofing), and making it easy to open. Failure to tape things up means I'll drop the box from 5 feet. The labels are printed on Avery 5160 labels. The color code indicates what hulls were used. Either "PRACTICE" or "MATCH" is marked out with a Sharpie.


I also use Shell Caddys. The lid serves as a loading frame. The bad news is the seller on eBay, the only source, has withdrawn his ad saying they are no longer available.

Then slide the box over the lid

Turn upside down, label, and tape. On the range pull the lid out, and the shells are accessible. I had a leak in the trailer that got some of the cardboard boxes wet. PITA. That made me like these more. Unfortunately they were pretty expensive, and now they're no longer available.

For shotguns I haven't developed a quick process for boxing. Hells Comin' puts his practice ammo in plastic tubs. But the bulk of my ammo qualifies as match grade, I use it for practice once I run out of practice grade ammo.

May 4, 2014, Sunday

International Star Wars Day: May the Fourth be with you.

Buffalo Range Riders match at Founders Ranch:

End Of Trail will have one rifle reload. Thus it's my opinion that every local match between now and then should have a rifle reload on every stage. This match had one. Here are 2 ways to reload a rifle.

This is the method Tbone Dooley teaches, loading through the loading gate. Needless to say this is the left-hand-version. This can be done with a 66-73 that has not been modified for an ejection port reload. Mine has, but I get more consistent results with this method.

Thanks to Amber Ale for taking the pictures.



— Round fired, hammer down. Lever closed.



Rotate the rifle so that the loading gate is on top. (Think gravity). Note I can see the loading gate. Keep rifle on shoulder. Grab round between thumb and second finger. First finger goes on top of the round.


Now push the nose of the round straight down on the loading gate keeping the rifle on its side. I know I've turned it back by the time the picture was taken. I also know the window frame was in the way. But it was the only reload in the match. Work with me.


The nose of the round will follow the curve of the loading gate, and the round will go into the magazine.

Slide weak hand forward, rack lever, front sight, fire. RIGHT HANDED SHOOTERS. The rifle is rotated to the left, just like a left-hander, but you're rotating in a direction of strength. You can see the loading gate. With your left hand grab the round as described and go over the top of the rifle to insert the round. Sorry, didn't get any photos of right-handers using this method. I hope the other shooters appreciated that I demonstrated this method in slow motion so they could all see it in detail.

And now for something completely different: World and National Champion Texas Tiger reloads through the ejection port. The circled brass will demonstrate that she does everything faster than I do.


he leaves the lever fully open and grabs the round with her strong hand while holding the rifle against her shoulder with her weak hand. Well, not her shoulder. We're all holding the rifles in "the pocket" inside the shoulder.

She lays the round flat on the top of the carrier (which has been modified slightly, basically rounding appropriate corners. Every good SASS gunsmith does it or uses an aluminum carrier which comes with the mod).

Now she pushes down on the round...

... then with her strong hand, closes the lever and fires. This method is very fast when done correctly by an expert. I (and others) have noted that when you do this right it's very fast. When you mess up, it's very slow. Tiger's demonstration was very fast and smooth, almost as if she practiced it.


May 1-3, 2014

Life in The Residence Inn:

From an email from Brett at American Pioneer Powder:

If you are running low on American Pioneer Powder, we are offering a special discounted price for End of Trail under the sales code Trail 14 (offer expires 6/30/14) - Toll Free 888-423-2310. Please see pricing below.

1 Case (12 bottles) at $18.50 per bottle delivered = $222.00
2 Case (24 bottles) at $16.75 per bottle delivered = $402.00
4 Case (48 bottles) at $15.75 per bottle delivered = $756.00

Receive an additional 5% early purchase discount, if your order is placed by 5/5/14.

If you are interested in this special, please call or e-mail us as soon as possible.

Please pass along the information on this special to anyone that you know who uses our powder, we would really appreciate it.

Respectfully yours,


The last time I publicized one of APP's specials, some nimrod on the SASS Wire got nasty about the high prices compared to Black Powder. This caused me to do a cost comparison of BP Subs and Goex BP. 20 gr. loads are about max for a .38 Special. 15 gr. will all pass the smoke standard:



Saturday was the Bighorn Vigilantes match at Founders Ranch.

Amber Ale demonstrates transitioning from one pistol to the other. Yes, she is left-handed.

This is textbook. Both hands are on the gun, and it's in front of her chest. She can start pushing it toward the target and...

... squeeze the trigger as soon as she sees the front sight in front of the target.

Meanwhile, back at Enchanted Trails RV Resort:

For several years a classic and antique Airstream group has had a rally at Enchanted Trails. Very popular 80+ Airstreams and several people who flew/drove in and stayed in hotels in order to attend the seminars on many aspects of restoring an Airstream

All sizes and vintages were there.