CNC Shooter was the product of a longtime firearms enthusiast and fairly-recent adopter of handloading who decided he wasn’t too thrilled with what the market offered. With an extensive background in machining, Tom Sziler probably figured he could make a better product himself, and that is exactly what he did.
The first time I ever saw one of these loading blocks on a forum, I thought it might well be one of the coolest-looking reloading accessories I had ever seen. Big thanks to Tom for sending us a sample to look at. Because after holding one in my hand, and using it a little, I confirmed that it is, in fact, one of the coolest reloading accessories out there. Period. And although they do look great, it’s important to note that there is a lot more thought put into CNC Shooter’s products than just putting holes in a block of metal.
First off, to ensure the highest degree of consistency, precision, and aesthetic appeal, the individual holes are milled, rather than being drilled. This means the hole-to-hole size, depth, and fit is virtually identical. The depth of the holes is adjusted based on the caliber selected instead of being the same across the board, which means no matter which caliber block you order, it will hold the casings properly. Third, there is a drill-point recess at the bottom of every hole. This serves a dual purpose; it collects debris, but it also ensures nothing will come into contact with the primer with enough force to detonate it while you are loading.
Uses for these loading blocks are more versatile than the name indicates. The one I received for evaluation was a pistol block designed for 9mm ammunition, and it was great for holding 9mm. The cases fit well, the depths were all the same, and the machining was extremely clean. But one of the coolest things about the 9mm block is the ability to use it with 9mm, .223/5.56, and .300 BLK runs. For anyone out there who reloads 9mm as well as anything with a .223 parent casing, this product will fit right in on your reloading bench. As you can see below, the depth was plenty for the longer rifle rounds, and the diameter works for both.
Although CNC Shooter makes a range tray that is specifically designed to hold 25 rounds with a milled out tray on the other half to hold spent brass you collect off the range, I found that the loading block was also great for holding my next 50 rounds in a pistol match. Even if you don’t reload, or you don’t have time to reload for a specific match, the CNC Shooter loading block offers a great benefit for competitive shooters by providing a more readily available supply of ammo for topping off magazines, rather than forcing the competitor to open a box of ammo, reload, and close the box again after every stage. It’s also hefty enough that it stays level in the bottom of your range bag, or the rubber feet on the bottom keep it steady on a tabletop.
Similarly, this is one of the best solutions I have found for holding the remainder of an opened box of defense ammunition in the safe (after loading up at least three magazines). Yes, there are cheaper and uglier solutions that serve the same purpose, such as keeping the ammo in its original packaging or using a plastic reloading box, but this is preferable because it doesn’t need to be opened (and, therefore, doesn’t even need to be removed from the safe) in order to load another magazine. It also looks really nice, and kind of makes me feel awesome. Chalk that up as a psychological benefit to having this. You can’t put a price on your health, can you? Didn’t think so. You owe it to yourself to try one of these.
And speaking of awesome, for those of you with a man cave (or free reign of your living room), CNC Shooter has just debuted what is quite possibly the most awesome man cave accessory for shooters since the flat screen and the mini bar: headstamp coasters. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re absolutely correct: these will match your furniture much better than the silly wicker ones your wife bought for the coffee table. Even better, because it isn’t real ammo, you don’t have to worry about setting off the primer when you slam your drink on the table because your favorite QB threw a pick. Coasters are $35 for a set of four coasters of the same caliber, and $40 for a mismatched set. Three sets or more (I’m thinking Christmas gifts…) and CNC Shooter picks up the shipping costs. Like the loading blocks and range trays, the coasters have thin rubber feet that keep them from marring your nice tables or furniture.
Best of all, Tom and CNC Shooter have a GREAT Christmas sale going this year, and all of the loading block prices are slashed for the remainder of 2013. Loading blocks are only $28 each (normally $35), and that includes engraving on each of the long sides at no additional charge. If you’re looking for some new reloading equipment, or if you’re the guy in the family who has “everything” and people need a gift idea for you, tell them to email Tom at CNC Shooter. And if you hurry, you won’t even have to go Black Friday shopping. Talk about the ultimate gift…you’re welcome.
*Originally Posted 11/25/2013; Thanks to Tom and CNC Shooter for the review samples. I liked them so much that I put in another order for some more blocks and coasters!