Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - 17

CASE CONVERSIONS MADE EASIER
Downloading AZTEC into my laptop to
transfer to my Mark I AMP annealer took only
a few minutes. My first use of AZTEC was to
anneal .222 Rem. cases to form into .17-222.
The machine's dot matrix display and three
pushbuttons are perhaps a bit dated by 2020
touch-screen standards, but they are adequate
for their simple tasks. Following prompts
on the display, I inserted the first sacrificial
Winchester brand .222 case into the machine,
which turned the case into toast in about five
seconds and advised me to program code
"0133" to anneal the Winchester brass. Next,
I sacrificed a Sako brand .222 case, and again
within five seconds the AMP came up with
code "0134" to program for proper annealing
of those cases.
Forming .17-222 from .222 Rem. is relatively
simple, using one form die and a trim die
before full-length resizing. Annealing case
necks and shoulders before forming softens
the brass, making it more malleable; this in
turn makes case forming easier and helps
extend case life. For those who handload
for competition, precise case annealing aids

precision shooting in ensuring consistent neck
tension on every bullet released down the bore.
First, as a comparison, I formed several
.17-222 cases without annealing, which needed
considerable oomph on the press handle. A
failure to lubricate cases generously enough
required employment of a stuck case remover.
After running cases through the AMP annealer
using AZTEC's codes, they formed with
significantly less effort and I experienced no
more stuck cases (though the latter may be due
more to lesson-learned caution to use enough
lube). In testing upper-limit pressure loads in
these annealed and converted cases to discover
highest practical velocity, none suffered a split
neck or shoulder through multiple reloadings.
At around $1,395 the Mark II AMP machine
with AZTEC installed is a bit pricey. But, if your
handloading goals include utmost precision
or cartridge conversions, the AMP is a highquality tool worth the money in convenience,
speed, safety and repeatable, precise annealing.
If you already own the Mark I model AMP, the
AZTEC software upgrades your Mark I into
a standalone device that requires no further
factory support. *

Although it's 21st century technology, any handloader
should be fairly comfortable with the AMP's controls.

SSUSA.ORG | JULY 2020

17


http://www.SSUSA.ORG

Shooting Sports USA - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - July 2020

Contents
Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - 2
Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - 6
Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - 7
Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - 8
Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - 9
Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - 10
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Shooting Sports USA - July 2020 - 40
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