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John Stewart

Arizona Non-lead ammo program continues

In past years, the coupon for free non-lead ammunition was mailed with the hunt tag. However, this year, the department has been working to expand its network of retailers that will accept the coupon to better accommodate hunters. In addition, now a limited supply of the most common ammo will be available for coupon redemption at the Phoenix and Flagstaff department offices (note: it will not be offered for regular sale).

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John Stewart

Yamaha Funds Motorized and Outdoor Recreation Grants

“The OHV community is embracing the expanded platform of the Outdoor Access Initiative and we encourage all recreationists who rely on OHVs to access the outdoors to keep an eye out for projects that promote and protect that access,” said Mike Martinez, Yamaha’s ATV/SxS group Vice President.  “We recognize that by broadening the scope of the GRANT program, we increase competition for the funds available but, as a result, we expect to see projects that have a greater benefit to all OHV enthusiasts.”Funding and equipment were awarded by the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative to the following organizations:

Carbon County, UtahCoos Riders Association, OregonNational Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC)Texas Motorized Trails CoalitionAndroscoggin Valley ATV Club, New HampshireField of Dreams Trails Park, New JerseyNorton Branch Fire & Rescue, KentuckyRide with Respect, Utah

The Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative has a new website (www.yamahaoutdooraccess.com) with a new look and increased functionality.  Visitors can choose to submit an application with the required attachments directly to the online platform, rather than emailing into the program.  As always, the site features the GRANT cycle calendar, and riding clubs, outdoor enthusiast associations, land managers and conservationists can also find the current Outdoor Access Initiative GRANT guidelines for submission.  Yamaha continues to seek qualified projects and applications at local, state and federal levels. The next deadline to submit a GRANT application is Tuesday, September 30, 2014.

About the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative:The Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative is the industry leader in Guaranteeing Responsible Access to our Nation’s Trails (GRANTs). Through this program, Yamaha has directly and indirectly supported thousands of miles of trails, maintained and rehabilitated countless riding areas, improved staging areas, built bridges over fish-bearing streams and partnered with local riding communities across the country to improve the OHV experience. Each quarter, Yamaha accepts applications from non-profit or tax-exempt organizations including OHV riding clubs and associations, national, state and local public land use agencies, outdoor enthusiast associations and land conservation groups with an interest in protecting, improving, expanding and/or maintaining access for safe, responsible and sustainable use by motorized off-road vehicles.  A committee then reviews each application and awards GRANTs to deserving projects. Examples of appropriate projects for GRANTs include, but are not limited to:

Trail development, restoration and maintenanceTrail signage and map productionStaging area construction, renovation and maintenanceLand stewardship, safety and education

Updated guidelines, an application form and information on the Outdoor Access Initiative are available here. For specific questions about the Outdoor Access Initiative, call Yamaha’s dedicated hotline at 1-877-OHV-TRAIL (877-648-8724), email [email protected] or write to:

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John Stewart

Lowrance Off Road GPS Map Area Requests

Rugged Routes is geared towards using Lowrance GPS’s off road and features some in depth how-to articles on various Lowrance off road GPS tech projects and setups including but not limited to interfacing a Lowrance with a ham radio for APRS operation as well as hooking up various other sensors and accessories for off road vehicles.

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John Stewart

Cheetahs Return to Road America 50th Anniversary for Gathering of Historic Cheetahs

The Cheetah is the creation of California car builder, Bill Thomas II, and was introduced to sports cars racing in 1964. It has a rich history with Elkhart Lake as the Cro-Sal Special Cheetah, named for mechanic Gene Crowe and the original driver, Ralph Salyer, won the June Sprints at Road America in 1964. The distinctive shape and its high, power-to-weight ratio made this unique car very competitive during the 1964 and 1965 race seasons. There were less than 25 original Cheetahs built and only a few of those still exist today. Sam Goings and Jay Stephenson are two original Cheetah owners that have already planned to display their historic racers at this event. Cheetah fans are encouraged to check out the Cheetah Reunion website at www.cheetahreunion.com where registration info is also available.

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John Stewart

Reloading - Prepare for a good beginning

Reloading - Prepare for a good beginning

After each shooting session, I decap and clean brass.  Decapping consists of using a Universal Decapping Die in my single stage press to remove spent primers.  The de-primed cases are then cycled through an ultrasonic cleaner to remove powder residue.  My choice is a Lyman Ultrasonic Cleaner with a citric-acid based cleaning solution that does not weaken the molecular structure of the brass. The cleaned brass is rinsed (preferred in distilled water) and dried.  I use compressed air to remove most of the rinse water followed by about thirty minutes in a toaster oven set to 140 degrees to complete the drying.Once cleaned and dried, brass is sorted into 50 round lots and prepped for the next step - inspection and trimming as required.Prior to reloading, each case must be inspected and measured to determine if it can be safely reloaded.  Shell cases are made of brass and brass does change shape with each use.  Close inspection can reveal case head separation, case splits, and other potential problems.Each cartridge has a standard not-to-exceed maximum length.  And, each cartridge has a minimum length.  In addition, once primer,  powder and bullet are added, each cartridge has a maximum Cartridge Over All Length (COAL or OAL).  These measurements are listed in the reloading manuals.An essential tool for every reloaded is a caliper capable of accuracy to .001 inches. You can use old-school vernier calipers or new style digital or dial readout calipers.  While the digital readout provides the necessary accuracy, they do require a battery that is not available at the neighborhood convenience store.  My preference is for the dial caliper.In the beginning is the cartridge length.  In general, straight-wall handgun cartridges remain fairly consistent in length through multiply loading and firing sessions.  It is important that you measure each cartridge as trim as necessary.  Again, while straight-wall handgun loads remain constant, it is important that all cartridges are kept to a consistent length as this length will impact the Cartridge Over All Length; also noted as COAL or OAL.Next is to clean and prepare the primer pocket and chamfer the case mouth using my RCBS Case Prep Center.  The primer pocket requires cleaning to ensure new primers will seat to the proper depth which can be altered due to residual carbon buildup after each use.  The case prep center has several power driven stations where different types of cleaning heads can be attached.  In the five powered stations, I have installed a carbide pocket uniforming tool, a flash-hole uniforming tool, a pocket brush, and inside and outside case mouth chamfering tools.Depending on the caliber, primer pockets are large, small, or crimped.  Large caliber handguns (.44 Magnum, .45 ACP and others) use Large Pistol Primers). The .45 ACP is notable as depending on "head stamp" or manufacturer, the primer pocket can be either "large" or "small".  While not a complete list, Blazer .45 ACP ammo is "small" primer pocket. Other headstamp brass may or may not be "small" pocket.  Generally, a quick visual inspection will determine the difference.  If in doubt, a 3/16 pin punch will fit into the "large" primer pocket, but not the "small" primer pocket.The other oddity primers are from military ammo with "crimped" primer pockets. Those are found in .45 ACP, 9 mm, 5.56, .308 and others.  From a visual inspection, they generally exhibit a defined ring around the primer pocket.  You can remove the crimp with either a press mounted swaging die or with a carbide "pocket uniforming tool".The chamfering tools provide a slight inside case mouth bevel to ease bullet seating and to remove burrs left after case trimming.  The flash-hole uniformed tool provides a consistent sizing in the case flash-hole.  This step is only necessary once in the life of a cartridge.

As a final case prep step, brass is cycled through a tumbler such as the Lyman Turbo Pro 1200.  About an hour through the tumbling process (I use medium crushed walnut shell media) produces shiny brass with a majority of the case mars and tarnish removed.  Adding a couple of used fabric softener sheets cut into strips or squares helps remove media dust.

These steps provide the good beginning to preparing the cases for the final steps to produce reloaded ammo - sizing, flaring, primer seating, powder charging, bullet seating, and crimping; completing your ammo build.

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