Never has there been a cartridge that has inspired more interest after it was orphaned than the 5MM Remington Magnum. After it was dumped by Remington in 1984 the 67,000 rifle owners were left hanging. With the remaining ammo selling for over a $1.00 each, it took uncommon desire to continue to shoot the 5MM Remington Magnum.
After purchasing a rifle and ammo s an investment, Mike Craig of Washington State found a calling in trying to bring the 5MM back to life. Efforts to reload rimfire ammo were not productive so Mike began to breathe fresh life into this cartridge as a custom center fire. The 5MM Craig is the result. Mike perfected the process of modifying the 591 and 592 Remington Rifles without changing the factory head spacing. For a number of years Mike was the only 5MM or 20 caliber bullet manufacturer in the US. He and his crew hand crafted each bullet with Corbin presses and dies and most important Mike developed the process used to machine the cartridges from round stock.
When I met Mike in 1993 he had just finished putting all the pieces together and was looking for a way to market what he had developed. I did some testing and wrote the initial press releases that launched the 5MM Craig and a production cartridge. I continued to work with Mike on reloading data and took a rifle to Wyoming to shoot prairie dogs. I had a blast. The articles about that trip were and still are found on the internet.
In January 2004, Mike offered to sell the business to my company Eagle View Research Center LLC Mike wanted to retire but did not want to desert the 5MM shooters again. The business had also grown to a point that it needed a fresh approach to stay viable. With a CNC machine shop and many years of experience with varmint hunting, I thought that we could enhance the 5MM Craig and provide more opportunities for our customers to enjoy shooting their fine rifles and TC Barrels.
Since we took over the 5MM Craig business we have found that the demand is very high and the customers are great people to work with. We also found that supply and manufacturing can cause lots of problems particularly if you can't manufacture the products your self. A case in point is the reloading dies. The first dies that were used were made by the RCBS custom shop. They were pretty good dies but had some troubles with things like de-capping pins and expanding balls. We were able to get these dies for a number of years and they got better as Mike learned how to convey his needs. RCBS's parent Corp was purchased by a larger firm and the custom shop was changed to where it was too expensive to have dies made there.
Mike eventually found a solution with CH4D Dies but those dies had some troubles too. The chamber on the sizing dies were away too tight and the resizing ball was too long and the de-capping pin was too. Mike could not get this manufacturer to make modifications for him on the dies so they became very hard for some reloaders to use. Lead times to get dies resulted in long delays and capital tied up without turnover.
Prairie Dog keeping watch from his hole.