The world's largest selection of LBT Design, hand cast, heat treated, wide meplat bullets available. Selections from .22-.600 Nitro calibers.The web's most comprehensive user-interactive handloading database!  Find the loading data created by handloaders, for handloaders, post your pet loads, or access and develop your own online loading database with our LoadNotes personal handloading database software.  This feature, unique in its concept and intuitive in it's data presentation is fast to access, superbly organized and comprehensive in scope.Part of the Beartooth family of web resources, providing exploded view firearms drawings and parts lists for a comprehensive array of the world's firearms makes and models. An interactive, intuitive platform that is easy to navigate, and provides users to post drawings directy into the online database for the benefit of other users as well.
Home > Tech Notes > Precision Reloading On The Cheap....
  » Advanced
The world's largest selection of LBT Design, hand cast, heat treated, wide meplat bullets available. Selections from .22-.600 Nitro calibers.
Who is Beartooth?  Read our mission statement, our production and quality committments and our way of conducting business.  A word or two concerning our pricing structure, and how we view our customer's role in our daily buisness activities.
It's EASY to contact Beartooth Bullets!  This page gives all our contact information, phone, email, and postal address.  Too it has an online form for contacting us with the click of your mouse to inquire or comment, request a price sheet, or to submit an idea, tip or other material.
Shop and browse through the world's largest selection of hand-cast, heat-treated LBT design bullets.  View photos of the bullets, their individual technical specifications and suggested applications.  Shop at the click of your mouse with confidence on our secure shopping cart system.  Find bullets from .22-.600  Nitro calibers, Fire-lapping supplies, books and other shooting related products.
Ordering our products is FAST and simple!  This information answers your questions regarding ordering, shipping charges and methods, freight calculations and answers most questions pertaining to ordering issues.
Frequently Asked Questions!  Compiled here is a list of those most frequently asked questions, the answers found here will answer most technical questions with authoritative completeness.  Recommendations of bullets for specific applications, bullet harness, bullet obturation, and many other pertinent answers in a concise format.
A free web-based mail server for your convenience!  Sign-up for your free e-mail account here, or log-on to check your mail.
Gateway to Beartooth online resources.  A listing of our resources, detailed descriptions of each and links to those sections of this site.
Our online forums for questions and answers on many shooting and outdoor related topics.  A dynamic, active, and well-informed resource for your enjoyment and interaction.  Our most used resource on this website!  Come share the experience with us!
A compilation of tips applicable across a wide range of outdoor, handloading and shooting related topics.  Timely, timeless and continually updated!  Practical solutions from experience!
In-depth articles on various shooting and handloading topics, technical data, photos, charts loading data and topical information found nowhere else on the web.  Required reading for serious handloaders and shooters.
Product reviews and commentaries.  Finally, a no-nonsense look at products for shooters, handloaders and outdoorsmen with honest evaluations, and commentaries on timely topics of interest.
An online anthology of hunting and outdoor experiences and stories, a continually changing and updated resource for fun, uplifting, entertaining reading.
Reports from Beartooth Bullets customers.  Field reports and photos from real shooters in real field situations.
A real-time online chat room for shooters and handloaders, a friendly, warm environment to share ideas, problems and suggestions, or to get to know those who frequent the Beartooth Bullets Shooter's Forum come and enjoy!
A library of PDF files, printer ready, with Beartooth Price Sheets, Bullet Specifications, Printable Targets (mutiple versions), Powder Burning Rate Charts, Load Notes, and more!  Printable reference materials for your convenience.
A comprehensive collection of interactive, online ballistics calculators!  Exterior Ballistics, Recoil Calculator, Wound Channel Calculator, Stopping Power Calculators (mutiple), Round Ball Weight Calculator, Powder Calculators, and more!  A one-stop resource for your technical ballistic data needs.
A collection of preferred links to selected shooting, handloading and outdoor related websites.
Translate Beartooth Bullets into your language!
Contact Beartooth Bullets
Tech Notes Archives
::Viewing Archives of Tech Notes ::
Return To Tech Notes | Submit an Article


>> Precision Reloading On The Cheap.... :: By Mike Giboney on 2004-06-14
Print This Tech Notes | Share This Tech Notes
Precision Reloading On The Cheap....
by
MikeG

There are a number of excellent tools available to reloaders today which not only contribute to the precision of the ammunition we create, but avoid unsafe conditions like excess resizing of brass (which can lead to case head separations, for example). A tool in this class that I'm fond of is the RCBS Precision Mic which can be used to set up resizing dies, measure the 'jump' that a bullet will have to the origin of the rifling, and also check headspace on bottlenecked cartridges that have been fired in a particular gun.
While the Precision Mic is really a bargain considering the functionality, the cost does add up when many different cartridges are reloaded (around $40 each at this writing), and sometimes there is a need for a quick solution which can't wait for the UPS truck, or for a less-common cartridge that the tool may not be available for.
So, the purpose of this article is to show a quick way to create a simple yet effective gage using some rather common tools / materials. The subject of the test was the .35 Rem, chosen for being somewhat less common, yet also having a slight shoulder which can make die setup tricky. The first picture shows a digital caliper, a 13/32" drill bit, a fired .35 Rem case, and an old rusty nut scrounged up from the scrap pile. Folks, it doesn't get much cheaper than that! (Note that a dial caliper would work just as well, or even a vernier; the digital caliper just happened to be handy and all reloaders should have a caliper that measures to 0.001.")

The .35 Remington case measures approximately 0.425" at the shoulder (per cartridge drawings in Hodgdon #26 reloading manual; chamber dimensions may vary slightly) and about 0.384" on the outside of the neck (again per that manual). What we need is a gage that will slip over the neck of a fired case, yet not completely over the shoulder. Midway between these two measurements is 0.406," and by coincidence, a 13/32" drill bit should measure 0.40625." Note, however, that any hole in the range of 0.390" to 0.415" would probably work as well, so it doesn't have to be exactly 0.406" for the purpose of this gage.
However, it DOES have to be drilled straight and true; this means using a drill press with a vise, and (not shown) both marking the center of the intended hole with a center punch, and also using smaller drill bits to gradually increase the hole size rather than trying to drill it with the 13/32" bit from the start. As an example, start with a 1/4" (quarter inch) bit; then move up to 3/8," then finally the 13/32." Drill bits will almost never cut the exact hole desired. They will usually run slightly oversized, but the pilot holes help a great deal in that regard.

Once the hole is drilled, it can be lightly deburred with a twist of a standard case deburring tool, then a few strokes of a file across the face. To use the tool, place it over the mouth of the case, then measure from the top of the nut to the base of the case. The flat face of the nut, and the flat base of the case, should align everything so that we have a measurement that is repeatable every time to 0.001." Note that this measurement gives a relative value which means nothing except to our specific gage, but will be useful in setting up the resizing die. As the die is set lower in the press, we should be able to determine exactly how far back the shoulder is set in increments of 0.001" - plenty of precision for that operation. The shoulder can be set back 0.002" - 0.003" for easy chambering, yet avoid excess sizing which can lead to case head separation.


How critical is this measurement, anyway? SAAMI spec for headspace is normally in a range of about 0.010" between minimum and maximum. Manufacturers of reloading dies must have their products capable of resizing to less than minimum headspace to fit all standard chambers; on the other side of the coin, the rifle manufacturer would probably rather see chambers at the large end of the spec for easy chambering of all ammo. So, if a die is set up for maximum sizing, it might not be uncommon to push the case shoulder back 0.010" - 0.015" more than necessary. Brass life will not be long at these extremes.

Another obvious use for this tool would be to set up a resizing die so that brass will chamber in several different guns without being resized any more than necessary for the tightest chamber. Or, to even determine how close the chambers are cut and whether such a course of action is even feasible.

This particular tool isn't caliber specific, either - it'll work on any cartridge that the neck of a fired case will fit in the hole, and having a shoulder that is larger than the hole. So it also would work on a .30-06, a .338 Win Mag, etc.

I've even make up a bullet-seating gage for a .257 Roberts; the hole needs to be very close to 0.250" for that example, and a quarter-inch drill bit that makes a correct-size hole got the job done. If you have an industrial tool supply nearby, 'decimal' reamers which are normally available in 0.001" increments can be used to bring a hole up to exact size for that purpose and they aren't normally very expensive, $5 - $10 each typically. With some care they can be used in a standard drill press.

Not bad for some rusty scrap.....

:: Comment On This Article/View Replies

 

HomeAbout | Contact | Shopping | Order Info | FAQ | Resource Center | Shooter's Forum