NEAL WALTZ DIE REVIEW
The past couple
years, I have been trying to squeeze all the accuracy out of a
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.