Neal Waltz Die

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NEAL WALTZ DIE REVIEW

The past couple years, I have been trying to squeeze all the accuracy out of a Savage Mark II BTVLSS .22 caliber long rifle that I could which has been a tough one since that particular rifle is probably the worst new gun right out of the box that I have owned as far as initial accuracy.

However, this rifle finally met my goal of being able to shoot squirrels in the head at 50 yards, one shot one kill, but some of the factory hollow point ammunition did not group well in this gun and decided to modify some existing solid nose ammunition that shot real well like the Wolf Match Target 40 grain.  A few squirrels managed to survive a head shot with the round nose bullets and knew I needed a hollow point round to get the job done (serious trauma) as quick and humane as possible.  Since I am shooting suppressed, subsonic ammunition is definitely a requirement and finding excellent grouping subsonic ammunition for this Savage Mark II has been a problem and so far, the Eley Subsonic 40 grain hollow point rated at 1040 feet per second leads the pack for accuracy which should not be a surprise.  However, recently I have been getting misfires even with good heavy firing pin strikes on the bullet case.

I looked at several companies offering resizing dies such as the Paco Kelly Acu'rzr, the D Rock bullet modification system and the Neal Waltz Die of which the Neal Waltz Die is what I decided to purchase.  The Paco system required you to give the tool a whack with a hammer and/or mallet and the D Rock system required a separate type of small arbor press and seemed to be a little complicated, whereas the Neal Waltz Die required only a reloading press and was the simplest to use in my humble opinion and had two reforming tools to make the Eley EPS point and a good sized hollow point. 

All three of the above can be found on a Goggle search with YouTube videos but will only link to the Neal Waltz Die.

I called Neal Waltz on the telephone and the current price for the Die is 130 bucks plus 15 for shipping and handling for a total of $ 145.00 dollars.  I got him a money order in the mail on 11-30-15 and received the die on 12-09-15 and got a chance to use it this afternoon.  Below pix of the die set with a single page instruction sheet and a small picture of the die, target fired and pix of the reshaped bullets:

I knocked the dust off my ole antiquated RCBS A4 Big Max reloading press and set it up on my work table in my woodworking shop in the basement.  I installed the die set and adjusted the die about .003 inches from the ram when at full stroke and used an Allen wrench to tighten the locking set screw in the collar.

I decided to form Eley EPS points on the Wolf Match Target 40 grain long rifle solid nose bullets and pix below of the die set before assembled into the reloading press:

This is a very ingénues die set since there is space in the upper portion of the seating die to house the forming tool not currently being used.  There is excellent craftsmanship on this tool and the parts that do the forming and inner wall of the die has a smooth finish.  Neal Waltz is a retired tool and die maker and you will certainly be impressed with the quality of his work.

Once the die is inserted in your loading press, a round is placed in the .22 caliber LR shell holder and the ram is moved to its maximum upward travel. 

The seating forming/die rod; e.g., top portion of the die is screwed down until it makes contact with the nose of the bullet inside the die.  The knurled collar is adjusted against the die and tightened.

You then, lower the press ram and while holding the stem of the upper portion of the die, you screw the knurled collar of the upper portion of the die collar counter clockwise while holding the stem and turn the stem of the upper portion of the die at least half a turn clockwise which lowers the upper portion of the die and then tighten the knurled locking collar against the die and move the bullet up into the die.  Lower the ram and check the diameter of the flat portion on the EPS type nose with a micrometer.  It should be between .125 and .135 inches and if not, readjust the upper portion of the die again in small increments until you are within the above criteria.  Also, the bullet driving band diameter of your bullet will now be resized to around .225 inches.  The Wolf Match Target bullet driving band was .224 before resizing and the bullet driving band is compressed (formed) against the wall of the lower die which is .225 inches in diameter on this die.  Pix below of the resized bullet: 

If you desire to form hollow point bullets, the configuration of the die set is below:

The nose forming tool will allow you to make a very large hollow point bullet up to .180 inches deep and also resize the bullet driving band to a uniform .225 inches in diameter.  I checked some Winchester subsonic 40 grain hollow point bullets and their bullet driving band diameter was between .219 and .220 inches which is much smaller in diameter than other brands of ammunition that I have tested so far.  Below is a pix of the formed aka resized bullets:

The two bullets on the left are Wolf Match Target that is not modified, EPS center and hollow point on the far right from the Neal Waltz Die.

This die set is available direct from Neal Waltz, 4105 Hyatt Avenue N.W., Massillon OH 44646-1435 Telephone:  330-837-4818.  Current prices is $ 145.00 which includes shipping and handling.

I have read and heard all kind of positive and negative comments about resizing .22 caliber LR bullets, seating the bullet lower into the case, bullet discharging, etc., of which anyone can post their own opinion.  Most posting such negative opinions are experts at giving out information without having tried what they are preaching to others.  The forming dies work because of a couple principles; 1)  For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, 2)  Things follow the path of least resistance.  Since you are forming the soft lead bullet nose by compression, the metal is displaced against the side walls of the lower die set and with the bullet well crimped into the case, the lead material is easier to form against the walls of the lower die rather than force the lead bullet deeper into the case.  I borrowed Newton's Third Law and Ohms Law for the analogy.

My goal is to produce hollow point bullets from solid nose ammunition that groups well in my rifle.  If Wolf Match Target was available with a hollow point bullet, I probably would not be using any kind of .22 caliber rimfire resizing die.  Money is not the primary issue here since I could just have easily purchased a brick or more of Eley Subsonic 40 grain hollow point bullets less than the cost of the die that groups well enough to harvest a squirrel at 50 yards in my hunk of junk Savage Mark II BTVLSS gun and that would be enough ammunition to harvest a truck load of squirrels.  The tinkering and fun of doing different things and trying new techniques is what keeps many of us active and if a few bucks are spent, wasted and/or saved along the way, so be it!   Life without personal enjoyment would be mighty dull in my humble opinion, especially looking at everything in terms of dollars and cents.

Tomorrow, I will set up my chronograph and do some ammo testing at 52 yards.  I use a 52 yard backstop since I had to put it there to not interfere with where I broadcast corn for the deer for a couple decades or more and certainly do enjoy the taste of venison well prepared.

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 12-09-15.

RANGE TESTING ON 12-10-15

There was some wind today and might have had some effect on bullet placement but the biggest difference was I cleaned the bore last evening with IOSSO triple action oil solution and patched the bore dry. 

I resized an assortment of ammunition including Wolf Match Target, CCI SV, SK Standard Plus, Winchester HP and Robert Webster brought over some Remington Eley HP rounds and another brand of which we resized the existing hollow points on them.

I set up the Shooting Chrony F1 and recorded most of the rounds fired after firing 15 rounds of Wolf Target Match as fouling rounds.  Also, I had earlier removed the barrel pressure pad and barrel tuner bushing and later put them back on to see what would happen which didn't start off a good reliable test since my rifle was shooting excellent as it was but we do things like that sometimes.  I certainly did not practice what I preach; "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".......grin if you must!

Below is the target fired and according to the chronograph, muzzle report and impact on the target, there was a humongous difference in the muzzle velocity of the various rounds fired which was very extreme before any bullet modification was conducted.  The early morning temperature was 47 degrees F and a good amount of humidity with some wind, so the weather conditions were not ideal to say the least.  As evidenced by the target below, the first three 5 round fouling test groups fired with the Wolf Match Target was strung out vertical without the pressure pad and the barrel tuner bushing near the barrel suppressor and I knew this wasn't going to be a good day from the get go.  I can't remember the last time I run a wet batch down the bore of the rifle and it was difficult to get the first couple patches down the bore but it finally was slick as an eel.  On target # 7, there was a good cluster group going until one of the rounds was at 1007 feet per second and went 1 inch low below the cluster group which is no big surprise.  Target # 10 was the Wolf with the resized ESP nose and that group was fair along with target # 15 using the Wolf resized to ESP nose and two of the rounds were low and the velocity was much slower also.

There is a slight improvement with the Wolf resized to the Eley ESP tip but the ammunition tested today had such a wide variance in muzzle velocity (feet per second) even with the non altered rounds and definitely the weak rounds printed low on the target which is to be expected.  The CCI Standard Velocity did well when the group fired exhibited a decent tolerance in the feet per second among the 5 rounds fired.   As stated earlier, my goal is to fabricate accurate enough hollow points from the Wolf Match Target ammo for squirrel hunting and this die set will allow that to happen; even in this hunk of junk metal Savage rimfire rifle.

I didn't see an improvement in group size by resizing the Wolf round nose to a Hollow Point but the group didn't open up far enough to be a problem squirrel hunting.  The target above has the minimum and maximum feet per second of the 5 round groups fired except for the fowling shots and a couple more where I changed from the 18X to the Weaver T36, 35 power scope just for working the target.

The gun overall shot very poor today even with the unaltered rounds of which I probably should not have cleaned the bore for this test or remove the barrel tuner bushing and barrel pressure pad.  I did notice some blackened shell casings indicating that I no doubt removed the carbon build ring normally formed at the chamber where the bullet exists the shell casing which helps to seal the chamber of a non match grade chamber rifle.  I don't have a bore scope so this carbon build up ring theory might be a total myth.  There is a difference between running a couple wet solvent patches down a bore and doing some serious scrubbing with a nylon brush and solvent.

The factory Eley Subsonic 40 grain hollow point bullets for all practical purposes grouped more consistent than the altered/resized round nose Wolf bullets and beat some of the non-altered Wolf Match Target bullets too.  The test Wolf bullets seemed to have a much wider spread in muzzle velocity from this lot of Wolf Match Target ammo than they normally have as evidenced by the feet per second documentation and their placement on the target with both the altered and un-altered ammo.  With the suppressor, it is very easy to ascertain by ear when a round is either hot or weak due to at least 36 db reduction in the sound level at the muzzle and the usage of a chronograph settles the issue for sure.  I have Nate Wilder to thank for sparking my interest in purchasing another one of which I have owned two others in the past.  The chronograph is a great tool when testing ammunition and takes one element of the equation out of the picture.

Below is the second target fired mostly by Robert Webster who is right handed and shot my rifle from his wrong side but still did very well considering the awkward thumbhole stock he is not accustomed to and using his left trigger finger instead of his right.  He strung the first few targets fired until he got use to the left hand thumbhole stock shoulder placement.

I plan to do additional testing when the weather conditions are better and the rifle has settled back down after the bore cleaning.  I will test the Wolf Match Target resized to the hollow point with increased hollow point depth which also increases the length of the bullet driving band that contacts the bore to see what difference it makes.  When you displace the lead material creating the hollow point, it naturally forces the bullet driving band into the side wall of the die and this Neal Waltz die is .225 inches inside diameter.

We definitely got some good trigger time in today firing more than two bricks of ammo!

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 12-10-15.

RANGE TESTING ON 12-11-15

I fired 25 rounds of resized Wolf Match Target ammo to hollow points which had an OAL .940 shown on targets 1 through 5 and adjusted the scope prior to shooting target # 3.  I fired 25 rounds of resized Wolf Match Target ammo to hollow points which had an OAL .952 in targets 6 through 10.  There was a large difference in the muzzle velocity on target 1 which went from 1006 to 1056.  As long as the velocity is fairly constant around 20 feet per second difference, the rounds group fair to good.  My goal for this Savage Mark II BTVLSS is to stay within 1/2 inch at 50 yards but is proving hard to accomplish.  The rounds with the same velocity will usually print nearly to the same hole on the target.  Consistent ammunition is the key to this Savage Mark II as with other firearms as well; some more finicky than others! 

I didn't notice any shell cases this morning that had the rim neck smoked and most of that yesterday was coming from some of the Remington ammunition fired.  I didn't use any control group ammunition for testing since the Savage is beginning to settle down again.

Web published updates by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 12-11-15.

CCI STANDARD VELOCITY RESIZED TO HOLLOW POINT

I resized a box of CCI Standard Velocity solid nose bullets to hollow points on 12-11-15 and fired 25 rounds on 12-12-15.  The bullet over all length (OAL) was between .957 and .960 inches.  Below are the 5 targets fired at 52 yards:

The first 5 round group fired had some hot rounds at 1104 feet per second.  The best group fired was target # 14 with a muzzle velocity from 1048 to 1074 feet per second with a 26 feet per second variation.  Again, consistent ammunition is certainly the key.  The Wolf Match Target resized to hollow points and the CCI Standard Velocity resized to hollow points, there is not a whole lot of difference in the aggregate groups between the two; six of one and half a dozen of another!  Both will allow you to make head shots on squirrels out to 50 yards. 

While no target match rifle, this Savage Mark II BTVLSS will consistently harvest squirrels with head shots at 50 yards with no problem and that was my goal for this rifle although I was hopping for a little more accuracy after all the modifications were done to hopefully enhance the rifle's accuracy. 

In summation,  I am very pleased with the performance of the Neal Waltz die and the Wolf Match Target ammunition resized to hollow points are approaching the accuracy of the Eley Subsonic 40 grain factory hollow point rounds.  I plan to place the Bushnell 6 x 18 x 50MM hunting scope back on the rifle after I finish additional testing.  The Weaver T36 scope definitely helps target shooting and you can clearly see the small center red dot in the white bullseye in the above targets at 52 yards.

My shooting buddy Robert Webster of Hamlet, NC is going to do some testing of the resized bullets from the Neal Waltz die since his Savage BTV shoots far better than mine and he is a much better shot than myself too which should provide more reliable results.

I let Robert Webster use my reloading press and the Neal Waltz die to create some hollow points from the various brands of round nose ammo that he has.  He stated it took seven (7) minutes to resized 50 rounds and that is not too bad of a time.  Later, Robert tried a different technique and was able to resize 50 rounds in 5 minutes.

The Advanced Armament Corporation Pilot 2 .22 cal. LR silencer aka suppressor was way overdue for a good cleaning and it took around one half hour plus to get it back to factory looking standards again.  I soaked the baffles in Hoppe's No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner for about half an hour and removed the lead build up with a nylon brush, small flat screwdriver tip, paper towels and generic Q-Tips.  I then gave the baffles a light coat of white lithium grease prior to installing the baffles and it definitely helps reduce the cleaning time since the powder particles adhere to the lithium grease and most of the fine lead particle mist is expelled. 

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 12-12-15.

HOLLOW POINT PERFORMANCE

Below are thumbnail pixs of what the entry and exit hole looks like on a large grey squirrel using a CZ 452 American left-hand and Wolf Match Target resized to a hollow point.  The squirrel was at about 50 yards and the pictures speak for themselves. 

The Neal Waltz die will certainly do what it is intended to do with excellent results from a modified Wolf Match Target bullet to hollow point.

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 01-29-16.

NORMA USA TAC-22 HOLLOW POINTED BULLETS

The past couple weeks, finally got around to running some Norma USA Tac-22 bullets through the Neal Waltz die and my No. 1 Brother-in-Law, Douglas Pettigrew test fired a few of them this afternoon at 52 yards.  Below is a pix of the target he fired using my left-hand CZ 452 American rifle and shot a 5-shot group better group than I did with my own gun....grin if you must:

The NORMA USA TAC-22 rimfire ammo before resizing is: OAL .969 inches and the bullet driving band diameter is .223 inches in diameter.  After resizing in the Neal Waltz Die:  OAL .946 inches with .225 driving band diameter:

I fired some rounds to get the point of aim established shooting Eley Subsonic Hollow Point bullets which are about 50 feet per second slower than the Norma USA Tac-22 at around 1100 feet per second.  Any of the rounds fired so far through the CZ 452 American left-hand is deadly medicine for Mr. Squirrel at 52 yards.  The Norma prints high and to the right of the Eley Subsonic HP bullets which will still harvest a squirrel.  A simple POA (Point of Aim) scope adjustment is all that is needed.

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 04-30-16. 

WOLF AMMO BULLET EXPANSION PIXS

I harvested a grey squirrel this morning at 50 yards that was directly facing me with a Wolf Match Target 40 grain Neal Waltz hollow pointed bullet fired from my CZ American left-hand rifle and below are a couple pixs of the mushroomed bullet recovered.  The bullet entered to the right of his mouth and went right below the spine into the body cavity traveling nearly the entire length of the squirrel lodging underneath the skin ahead of the hind quarter on the left side....., whereas the bullet cleaned his clock for sure.  As they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words."

I didn't weigh the mushroomed 40 grain bullet, but it appears to have stayed intact.  Can you say awesome?

The maximum bullet diameter expansion was .442 inches and the minimum was .325 inches.  The bullet weight was 39.9 grains, whereas the scale has a plus or minus .2 grain accuracy.

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 11-02-16 and 11-12-16.

CROW AT 50 YARDS

Perfect broadside shot at 50 yards breaking both wings...dead before he hit the ground!

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter 11-05-16.

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

Above squirrel taken at 50 yards and Yes, the eye was the aiming point!

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 11-08-16.

SQUIRRELS VISITING DEER FEEDING AREA 11-09-16

Below a few pixs of a couple unlucky squirrels that ventured into my deer feeding area while I had the little rimfire rifle close by just for the squirrels:

Very little meat wasted with these type of heat shots!

Both squirrels taken at 50 yards.  The CZ USA 452 American is definitely some serious medicine for harvesting those bushy tails!  The Wolf Match Target 40 grain bullets modified to a hollow point using the Neal Waltz die is awesome.  The rifle is currently shooting one hole 5-shot clusters at 52 yards averaging a little over 1/2 inch O.D. to O.D. on a good windless day and good "luck of the draw" ammo.

See the CZ 452 American left-hand page for details.

MASSIVE TRAUMA AND TISSUE DAMAGE

Below pixs taken of a squirrel harvested with a body shot.....I didn't have a good place to rest and decided not to try for a head shot which is what I prefer.  The squirrel was high in a tree and about 35 to 40 yards distance away....just a guesstimate.

Upon skinning the squirrel, the left shoulder detached from the body with the hide.....you can see there is some serious trauma and tissue damage by the Neil Waltz hollow pointed Wolf Match Target 40 grain bullet.

Close-up of exit tissue damage.

The ole busy tail dropped like a rock when the bullet made a loud thud sound hitting him.

Web published update by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 11-10-16.

LEAVING ON A SPIRITUAL NOTE

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please take this moment to accept him by Faith into your Life, whereby Salvation will be attained.   

Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Open this link of Bible Verses About Salvation, King James Version Bible (KJV).

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
 

IN GOD WE TRUST - GOD BLESS AMERICA - "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE"   JOHN 3:16 KJV 

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