Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Products

Dillon tool head with UniqueTek upgrades including allen screws to hold tool head steadier, light in center and micrometer charge bar.

New Products
In my travels and writings I encounter some worthwhile products that shooters might not be aware of. They might be new companies or just haven’t been able to advertise nationally but have a good product none the less. I will put them on the blog so readers can have an opportunity to buy them. These are products that I have used and know work as advertised. Some I have tested extensively.

Installing micrometer on powder bar

The first company is a new local company that offers some unique products for the Dillon reloaders. They have a micrometer adjustable powder bar where the settings can be recorded and repeated. It also is very consistent in weight variation. They also have a powder baffle that fits inside the powder measure that aids in consistency. Another upgrade is they remove the pins that hold the tool head and tap the holes for their screws. This takes the play out of the head making the ammo more consistent. They provide the materials and easy to follow instructions on installation. We installed the upgrades on one of my Dillon 550’s and it does make it more consistent. It only took a few minutes using common tools and a vice. For match shooters these upgrades are mandatory for more accurate ammo. As any match shooter understands consistent ammo is mandatory in winning matches. Hunters and other shooters can also appreciate better quality ammo. They also carry some other unique tools for the reloader. They have everything from scales to ear protection. Gun cleaners and sights are also included on their site. They have a lot of neat products too numerous to list here. You can get on their E-mail list to keep up with what’s new at their company. I found that the staff is both helpful and pleasant to deal with. Their website is The office is located in Chandler Az and if you live in the area you can stop by. The address and directions are on the website. The phone # is 480-507-0866 if you want to call them. Check them out , you won’t be sorry.

550/650 Toolhead Clamp Kit™

Stop The Flopping

The UniqueTek 550/650 Toolhead Clamp Kit™ enables your Dillon 550 and 650 toolheads to be CLAMPED into the press frame. This corrects the loose fit between the toolhead and press frame, thus reducing OAL (overall length) variation and stabilizing die-to-shellplate alignment. Your press frame remains unmodified so you can still use standard toolheads with the original toolhead pins ... and your original Dillon warranty will not be affected.

• Eliminates Loose Toolhead-to-Frame Fit
• Reduces OAL Variation*
• Improves Crimp Repeatibility
• Improves Bullet Conentricity from Seating Die
• Reduces Jams at Size/Decap Die

♦ It also reduces vibration and stops toolhead rattling when using the Dillon Rapid Trim Case Trimmer!

Fits the Following Dillon Presses
• XL 650
• RL 550B
• AT 500
• SL 900 (Fits both the powder bar and the shot bar!)
• Any older model press capable of using the currently available 550 or 650 toolheads.

♦ Also fits the powder bar for the Dillon 'Belted Magnum' Powder System!

What Comes in the Kit
The UniqueTek 550/650 Toolhead Clamp Kit™ comes complete with all the parts needed for 2 presses and 6 toolheads in a reclosable plastic bag (toolheads not included). Each kit includes*:
• Installation Tool for threaded inserts
• 9/64" HSS Drill Bit
• STI Thread Tap
• 12 stainless steel thread inserts
• 4 grade-8 alloy steel clamp screws with moly anti-seize coating
• 4 stainess steel washers,
• Hex-key to tighten the clamp screws
• Detailed instructions
* Quantities listed are for small sized kit.

Large Size Kit: $34.95
Due to popular demand, the UniqueTek 550/650 Toolhead Clamp Kit™ is now available in an large size to service more toolheads and/or more presses. The large kit contains 26 inserts, 10 screws and 10 washers ... enough for 13 toolheads and 5 presses ... plus the thread tap, insertion tool and hex key.

Refill Kit: $12.95
We now have a Refill Kit. The kit contains 16 inserts ... enough inserts for 8 more toolheads ... plus 4 spare screws and 6 spare washers. (Available 12/11/07)

Preinstalled Toolheads: 550=$29.95 / 650=$32.95
We also offer new 550 and 650 toolheads with the clamp kit parts pre-installed. Each toolhead comes with a set of clamp screws and washers and is ready for installation of your dies. Just select the toolhead from the drop-down menu when ordering.
NOTE: This option is being discontinued. We are now out of 650 toolheads but have two (2) 550 toolheads remaining in stock.

How it Works
Installation and use is quite simple. You tap threads into the two locator pin holes in the toolhead and install a stainless steel thread insert into each hole. The press frame is NOT modified. When you install the toolhead in the press frame, insert the clamp screws instead of locator pins to hold the toolhead into the frame. Leave the screws loose until you begin cycling the press and have all dies occupied by a round. Then, with the ram still in the up position, tighten the clamp screws. This procedure aligns the toohead to the shellplate, reducing jams. The clamp screws also create a preload force, clamping the toolhead against the top of the press frame, stopping the toolhead from moving during the press cycle and resulting in reduced OAL variation. Once the srews are tightened, just continue reloading as usual.

Q: I only shoot pistol cartridges so OAL variation isn't that critical for me.
A: Let's say you are loading to meet USPSA major power factor. Chamber pressures can rise dramatically if the bullet is seated too deeply (shorter OAL). On the other hand, if your OAL is too long, you can have feed and chambering failures. Either way, it is likely to ruin you day.

Q: I only load cartridges for Cowboy Action shooting. How can this help me?
A: In addition to reduced OAL variation yielding less problems with short action carbines, the light loads commonly used for Cowboy Action shooting require a consistent crip to achieve uniform muzzle velocities. A light crimp will not build as much chamber pressure, resulting in a velocity reduction.

Q: I'm already using a Redding Competition Bullet Seating Die. How will clamping the toolhead improve on that?
A: The Redding Competition Bullet Seating Die is a GREAT product! But it can't perform to its full potential if the toolhead is moving. With the toolhead clamped, you will achieve the full benefit of the seating die's micrometer adjustment capability. In fact, we now carry Redding Competition Bullet Seating Dies in the most popular calibers!

Read reviews of the 550/650 Toolhead Clamp Kit™ in the following publications!
Reloading; Product Reviews/Aug 2008. Click Here to Read
IHMSA News; Volume 19, Issue 5, June 2008, Page 8. Click Here to Read
Handloader; February-March 2006, Page 90.

"After switching over to the toolhead clamp I'm finding I went from .004"-.008" of variance to .001"-.002". I measure my variance using a ogive comparator tool to the base of the case." — Steven S. – Boise, ID

"I would say I reduced the OAL variations and the station one jams by half (conservative estimate). Congratulations on another product that needed developing." — James O. – Reno, NV

Tap Handle $5.00
This nifty "tap handle" is actually a key for winding a clock, but it is the perfect size to fit the small thread tap in our kits. It is smaller and less cumbersome to use than a standard tap handle, making it easier to align the tap squarely with the hole and making tap breakage less likely.

We offer these as an option with both the small kit and large kit. If you already have a Toolhead Clamp Kit™, you can buy just the tap handle. Just select it from the drop-down menu.

*Reduction in OAL variation can be highly dependent on cartridge, bullet and other factors.

Select Kit Size
To select the Large Kit, Refill Kit, add the Tap Handle or order complete toolheads, click on the drop-down menu below.
Standard Kit ($24.95)Standard Kit w Tap Handle [$29.95]Large Kit [$34.95]Large Kit w Tap Handle [$39.95]Tap Handle Only [$5.00]Refill Kit [$12.95]550 Toolhead [$29.95]


Grade 8 Alloy Steel Clamp Bolts with Dry-Film Moly Anti-Seize Coating
Stainless Steel Thread Inserts
Fits Dillon 550 and 650 Toolheads
Can be Installed on Toolheads Already Set Up with Dies
Press Frame is NOT Modified & your Dillon Warranty will NOT be affected
Unmodified Toolheads Can Still Be Used with Original Toolhead Pins

Finished powder bar

Step in installing screws in toolhead

Clock Handle and tap for threading screw holes in Dillon head

SensGard hearing protecton

At the 2008 SHOT show I met Greg Post from Sensgard hearing protecton products. His are light and compact so I wanted to try them out. I have been using them exclusively for over a year and they work very well. They are compact and comfortable and don't sweat like muffs do. I stood just a few feet from a 50 caliber rifle (50 BMG) and they worked well on that. I would suggest you give them a try. For more info ph# 585-218-4086 or

They work for me

Anyone who has skinned large game understands the importance of a quality knife. I has to stay sharp during the entire operation or you are in for a long day. It has to be sharp and maintain that edge. Such a knife is made by the Case company who have been around a long time because they make good products. You can see their extensive line at

Any freedom lovimg person should join the NRA here is their website address to join

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bird Hunting in Arizona

Nice lodge to conduct business. has all kinds of trophys
Bird Hunting in Arizona

Birds hunted at this preserve are quail, pheasant & chukar. While quail hunting is popular in AZ pheasants are few and far in between so this is one of the very few places to hunt them. The season for pheasants, chukar and quail is October through March when the weather is bearable. Most of the rest of the year is too hot to hunt. The area is only 1400 feet above sea level so temperatures can go well above 110 degrees during the summer.

Quail being shot with Lanber fuled with Blackhorn 209

There is no lodging or meals provided but there are hookups for motor homes and hotels and restaurants are available in Casa Grande or Coolidge. Both cities are a short distance from the lodge with well marked roads. Casa Grande has hotels such as the Holliday Inn, Best Western and Comfort Inn. There are over 650 rooms available in those and other hotels there. There are plenty of restaurants such as the Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden and the Golden Corral as well as
local and fast food places. Coolidge is smaller but has a few diners on their main street. There is also an airport if you want to fly in by plane.

A good dog is a joy to have on a quail hunt

You can take your dogs or use theirs. Both Bob Henson and Arlette Hennesy are top notch dog trainers who have won many field trials. They can board and train your dogs as one of their services.

Tony sure has some well trained dogs

You need to call ahead to make arrangements for training or prior to the hunt. They also have an experienced staff that can answer questions or help out in making your hunt more enjoyable.It is a private club however anyone can hunt there by calling ahead and arranging to pay the necessary fees and getting on the hunting schedule. There are memberships available or 1 day hunts. The memberships range from Associate to VIP with prices ranging from $200 to $3150 a year per the last information they put out. Sporting clay shooting is also available with a 1 day reservation ahead. I don’t want to quote any one day prices in case of changes but a phone call will determine that.

On point!!!!

He has about 8,000 acres available for hunting which is more then ample for any bird hunting.The area is either desert or fields such as alfalfa. There are very few trees but a lot of scrub brush that the birds use. The land is very flat and this makes for easy walking a feature I can appreciate. You should expect to do some amount of walking and blaze orange is required. Be sure to have some good broke in walking shoes for best comfort. High boots are not necessary
as the land is water free. During the winter months the weather is usually very pleasant with temperatures from the 50’s to the 70’s. There is a possibility of rain and windy conditions during the winter months so bringing along some rain gear might not be a bad idea. The fall and spring temperatures can be warmer up to the 90’s so be prepared to dress accordingly. During the warmer weather I would advise to carry some drinking water with you as dehydration can be a concern. I went quail hunting with a good friend of mine who is a member. It was an enjoyable experience that I plan on repeating.

Typical desert quail country

The Lanber O/U 12-gauge I was carrying is light and acquires the target very well which is a help with fast flying quail. The Lanber proved to be a reliable shotgun that everyone who shot it liked it. A light well balanced shotgun is much easier then a heavy one for the amount of walking you might do. The Lanber is such a gun.
Tony’s dogs were great and I was able to get some pictures as well as some quail. All in all an enjoyable hunting experience which I intend to repeat.

Tony with Lanber and dog

Desert Pheasant recreation has been in business for 20 years and has a good reputation. They also have big game hunting available in Texas for exotics and whitetail and Ohio for deer so if you are interested call for info. As with any hunting situation I would advise calling ahead of time with any questions so there isn’t any misunderstandings and you will have a more enjoyable hunt. That is true with any hunting lodge.

Bringing back the bird

The land is flat desert and is easy walking. The hunting is on the easy side and the dogs have plenty of room to run. If you would like to try a different type of hunting then this south west excursion might be just what you are looking for. It is not at all like hunting birds in the eastern states where there are trees and lots of undercover. Shot size is regulated to 7 & ½ or smaller.
Based on my experience I would recommend it and I have a pheasant hunt planned for the near future. Since I live about 45 miles away I will be going back as often as I can.

They have some rules so you need to call or e-mail prior to showing up.

Contact info is Bob Henson the owner who you can call at 520-723-7234 or 520-709-1019 or e-

mail for further info and fees. The snail mail address is Desert

Pheasant Recreation 774 N Wheeler Rd Coolidge AZ 85228-9313.

Bob Shell
Tony sure likes that Lanber