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Thread: Sharing reloading tool tricks

  1. #1
    Boolit Man JackQuest's Avatar
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    Sharing reloading tool tricks

    Hopefully enough "Eureka" events get documented here to become a Sticky.

    If I am posting something someone else discovered in the past, I apologize.

    For range brass, and following the system developed by Bruce B (gone but not forgotten) I process 7.62x51 for my Springfield SOCOM by decapping, tumbling clean, sizing in an RCBS X-sizer and then using my Wilson trimmer to cut down each case to uniforimity.

    Then comes the less joyful job of removing flashing from the necks and the crimp from the primer pocket. Fingers and wrists were never impervious to repetitive motion but things only get worse with added decades. Staring at the brass "Eureka" hit!

    My Wilson reamer is the 17 to 50 caliber one. In the end to trim the outside of necks is a steel pin pressed into the too (neck mandrel). There are 3 (three) cutters - and there are 3 jaws in my rechargeable drill!

    The mandrel just fits into the drill chuck! Make sure you run it clockwise (righty-tighty) and in the slow speed (if you have that option). Doesn't work on the outside of the case mouths, but does the other 2 cuts just great.

    Please post your own "Eureka" moments that made a case preparation job a lot simpler, cleaner and/or faster.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There is no such thing as an ex-Submariner.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    I like that idea and will definitely use it that way next time!

    I'm sure others have this figured out already... I use the plastic cases that purchased ammo come in as shell holders.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I haven't seen it offered in awhile, but Midway used to sell an adapter those would fit in and had a 1/4" shaft on the end.
    With it, you could use both ends.

    You could put it in a drill press, run it slow, leave the press all the way up, and bump your cases up against it.
    Years ago, I scrounged an old and tired lathe. I put the tool in it now for doing cases.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Bub stevenjay1's Avatar
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    Well I'll add to this as my "Eureka" moment....when I realized that using a different brand of shell rather then the one I used to set the dies. For some reason I decided to use a Lee shell holder rather then the RCBS #3 that I used to set my 45 ACP dies. Luck was on my side as I only loaded 50 rounds to test a different powder. When I got to the range I was unable to load the mags, the rounds were too long. I went back home and reviewed my reloading procedure and the only thing that was different was the Lee shell holder. Long story short, I found that the Lee and the RCBS were different different heights from where the base of the cartridge case sets. In this case, the Lee was lower and did not allow the bullet to be seated as deep as it did with the RCBS shell holder. Also, the tapered crimp was light as well. Lesson well and hard learned. I hope this makes sense. Steve
    Just another homesick Texan that shouldn't of left in the first place!
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    For a while, after battery operated power screw drivers came out, folks would publish designs for adapter bases such that a driver could be used to power a case trimmer. It don't gots to be that messy.

    I bought a short flexible cable with quarter inch hexes on the ends, male and female. Appears to have been made from thick speedometer cable. Was designed for use with small sockets. Female end attaches to the handle adapter on a Forster trimmer, male end is held in a drill/driver chuck. No other mounting is necessary. At idle, the cable is stiff enough to support the plastic cased drill/driver and, in use, stiff enough to take the pressure.

  6. #6
    Boolit Man JackQuest's Avatar
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    stevenjay1:
    Shell holders not being too expensive I've put one in each die set box for that caliber. I use everything in the box when loading and don't trade parts, ever. And even if I unload a weapon and don't load its caliper I never trade away tooling.
    There is no such thing as an ex-Submariner.

    It's darkest just before it gets darker.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub stevenjay1's Avatar
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    Jack, that’s not a bad idea. I reload a lot of different calibers and have learned to be careful.
    Just another homesick Texan that shouldn't of left in the first place!
    Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club - 11/69 to 6/70 & 9/70 to 5/71
    U.S.S. Ranger (CVA-61)
    U.S.S. John R. Craig (DD-885)
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by JackQuest View Post
    stevenjay1:
    Shell holders not being too expensive I've put one in each die set box for that caliber. I use everything in the box when loading and don't trade parts, ever. And even if I unload a weapon and don't load its caliper I never trade away tooling.
    Great idea and simple too.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Theres nothing new or exciting here from me. But heres a few things that I do.

    Case prep---- I use a battery drill a lot. I have a plastic tub, like they issue you when you check in at the hospital, to catch chips. I'll sit in front of the tv and work on brass, much like an old lady shelling peas.

    I keep a 50 BMG bullet and a polished center punch on my loading bench for straightening out bent case mouths. The punch is mostly for rifle. The bullet with its boattail works well for pistol. A dental pick is also a handy tool. I also keep a small file and some 1200 grit emory cloth and some 4/0 steel wool on my bench, good for the occasional rough spot or burr. A wire tooth/guncleaning brush is also handy.

    When I'm resizing lubed bottleneck cases I keep a rag in my right hand. As I pick up a case in my left hand I'll wipe off the neck and shoulder area before sizing it. This reduces the lube dents and still leaves enough lube to do the job.

    There are probably other things that I do to reduce the amount of hand motion or to make other jobs easier that I'm forgetting at the moment.

    Bazoo's post about using a dummy cartridge for quickly setting up a seating die reminded me that I use a dummy case to set up a case trimmer.
    Last edited by lightman; 04-09-2020 at 02:17 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Can you skip the case lube if you just neck-size rifle brass?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    This is how I hold it for the other side. Not rocket science, but it works. Masking tape and a pvc joint. It works. I clamp the drill in a vice, lock it on at a slow speed and de-burr away.

    BNE
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I make dummy cartridges to help setup of the seat crimp die. When I'm done loading and put the die back in the box, I put the dummy it's set for in the die, so next time I know what it's set for.

    I label my Lyman case trimmer what it's set for when done with a batch.

    And I label my powder measure what it's set for. I write on a slip of paper what powder and charge when I'm doing a batch, and use a rubber band to attach it. That way If I pause for a day or two I'm confident upon return what's in the hopper. All is required is a cursory check to verify weight. Then when I'm done and empty the measure I leave it labeled. I have two measures and, and often times I have one already set for what I'm working on.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by dangitgriff View Post
    Can you skip the case lube if you just neck-size rifle brass?
    You probably could. I just use my fingertips to put just a little on the neck. Usually Imperial.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    I have used a #2 countersink for the removal of crimps on 223. Great thought!

    Have made the switch over to using Bag Balm as a case lube- it made resizing the 444 marlin a whole lot easier!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Years ago, I bought a Lyman de burring tool that chamfers both inside
    and outside at the same time. Meant to be used by hand, but I put it in
    my drill press and when it's set up right, it works really well. It has a
    little flipper on the side that has to be adjusted to chamfer the outside
    of the neck. I only use it on rifle cases after I trim them.
    Denny

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I bought a set of Lee shell holders and I set my dies using the appropriate holder. No more worry over if I have a different height holder!
    R.D.M.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackQuest View Post
    Hopefully enough "Eureka" events get documented here to become a Sticky.

    If I am posting something someone else discovered in the past, I apologize.

    For range brass, and following the system developed by Bruce B (gone but not forgotten) I process 7.62x51 for my Springfield SOCOM by decapping, tumbling clean, sizing in an RCBS X-sizer and then using my Wilson trimmer to cut down each case to uniforimity.

    Then comes the less joyful job of removing flashing from the necks and the crimp from the primer pocket. Fingers and wrists were never impervious to repetitive motion but things only get worse with added decades. Staring at the brass "Eureka" hit!

    My Wilson reamer is the 17 to 50 caliber one. In the end to trim the outside of necks is a steel pin pressed into the too (neck mandrel). There are 3 (three) cutters - and there are 3 jaws in my rechargeable drill!

    The mandrel just fits into the drill chuck! Make sure you run it clockwise (righty-tighty) and in the slow speed (if you have that option). Doesn't work on the outside of the case mouths, but does the other 2 cuts just great.

    Please post your own "Eureka" moments that made a case preparation job a lot simpler, cleaner and/or faster.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	259671
    JackQuest, great idea! thanks for sharing it with us.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    BNE, now that is a novel idea, I rely like it. so simple!.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Huvius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    I keep a 50 BMG bullet and a polished center punch on my loading bench for straightening out bent case mouths.
    I keep a 338 Lapua case on my bench for the same reason. Use it to round out or give a little flare to the case mouth.
    Comes in handy when you drop a case and it lands on the mouth - sort of toast always landing jelly side down...

    As for my other tricks, I've found that a light crimp on a 45 cal. rifle case can be accomplished by kissing the case mouth with a 30'06 fls die.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I also keep a dummy for case trimmer setup.
    Last edited by Bazoo; 04-09-2020 at 09:44 PM.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check