January 18th, 2020

Flash-Hole First Aid — Clearing Obstructions in Flash-Holes

Flash-hole reamer

Even with high-quality brass from Lapua, Norma, and RWS, occasionally you may find one or two cases per box which have a small flake or obstruction in the flash-hole. This will appear like a thin crescent on one side of the flash hole (see photo). You should inspect ALL new brass before loading to identify any pieces with a partially-obstructed flash hole. It’s a good idea to remove any flake or thin crescent left as an artifact of the flash-hole forming process. Because the flash-hole itself is normally centered and of the correct diameter, it is not necessary to ream the flash-hole to a larger diameter. All you really need to do is remove the small obstruction(s). This can be done quickly with inexpensive tools.

Use a Small Pin Vise to Remove Flash-Hole Obstructions
Folks have asked if there is a tool that can remove obstructions from a Lapua small, BR-sized flash hole without opening the hole size. The Lapua PPC/BR flash hole is spec’d at 1.5mm, which works out to 0.059055″. Most of the PPC/BR flash-hole uniforming tools on the market use a 1/16″ bit which is nominally 0.0625″, but these often run oversize — up to 0.066″.

If you want to just clear out any obstructions in the flash hole, without increasing the flash hole diameter, you can use an inexpensive “pin vise” with an appropriate drill bit. For $0.99, eHobbyTools.com sells a 1.5mm drill bit, item 79186, that matches the Lapua flash hole exactly. Other vendors offer a #53 pin vise drill bit that measures .0595″ or .060″ (depending or source). An 0.0595″ bit is close enough. You can find pin vises and these small-diameter drill bits at hobby stores.

Pin vises Lapua Flash hole

For quite some time, Sinclair Int’l has sold a similar device for small (PPC and BR-size) flash holes. Like the 07-3081 unit for large flash holes, the 073000 Reamer for small flash holes works from the outside, so it can index off the primer pocket. It reams to .0625″, and also costs $29.99. The standard dimension for Lapua 220 Russian and 6mmBR flash holes is 1.5mm or .0590″. This tool will permit standard-size decapping rods with .0625″ tips to work without binding. However, note that both Forster and Redding normally supply .057″ decapping pins with their PPC and BR dies. So, it is NOT necessary to ream your Lapua BR/PPC flashholes, unless you prefer to do so for uniformity. It IS, however, a good idea to check BR/PPC flash holes for burrs before loading the first time.

AccurateShooter Sinclair Flash Hole Reamer

NOTE: If you purchase either the 073081 or 073000 Sinclair Flash Hole Reamer tools, we recommend you mic the cutter tip before you process a bunch of cases. Sometimes a tip comes through that is oversize. This will ream the flash holes larger than you may intend.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
January 6th, 2013

Gear Review: Paul Becigneul Case Turning Motor and Collet

On his Rifleman’s Journal website, German Salazar has done a nice review of Forum member Paul Becigneul’s Case Turning Motor. READ Full Review on RiflemansJournal.com

Becigneul Case Turning Motor, by German Salazar
Although there have been a variety of similar devices and ‘case lathes’ offered for sale in the past, they’ve been priced fairly high. Paul’s unit is reasonably priced ($220.00) and built like a tank. The motor turns at about 180 rpm which is just right for neck turning. What’s really nice is that the motor has enough torque to hold its speed throughout the whole operation and a/c power to run all day long!

paul Becigneul Rotary Power supply

The unit’s design is fairly straight-forward: a surplus electric motor turns a Forster case-holding collet. Paul makes a nice knurled collar to open and close the collet.Power is controlled by a household type wall switch attached to a long cabe. The whole assembly is mounted on a nice hardwood base.

Video of Paul Becigneul’s Case Turning Motor in Use

In operation, it works very well. The collet has enough clamping power to hold the case after a quick hand-tightening, no wrench is needed (although you can use one if you are so inclined). A quarter turn of the collar opens the collet and a quick turn of the wrist tightens it back up. As with any powered case neck turning device, the case wobbles a bit as it turns. This doesn’t matter a bit as the turning cutter is held in your hand (which is free to move) and the cutter’s arbor is the actual alignment device. The wobble is the same or less than what I had using a power screwdriver with a K&M holder.

For more information, email Paul Becigneul via: pbike4466 [at] directv.net. In 2012, the basic unit cost $220.00 each collet was $10 and shipping is $20 to most U.S. locations.

Editor’s Comment: In the video, Paul uniforms case flash-holes with a Lyman tool (from the inside) and then uniforms primer pockets (from the outside) with a K&M tool. While we do believe that flash-holes should be inspected to ensure there are no obstructions or flakes blocking the hole, we have not found that flash-hole or primer-pocket uniforming produced measurable improvements in accuracy with Lapua 6mmBR brass. In fact, in our tests using a manual K&M flash-hole uniformer, ES/SD actually got worse after the flash-holes were “uniformed”.

Keep in mind also that many deburring tools for 0.059 (PPC-size) flash-holes actually over-cut substantially, reaming the holes to as wide as 0.068″. The Lapua PPC/BR flash hole is spec’d at 1.5mm, which works out to 0.059055″. Most of the PPC/BR flash-hole uniforming tools on the market use a 1/16″ bit which is nominally 0.0625″, but these often run oversize — up to 0.067″. If you like to uniform your primer pockets, be our guest (this can be useful with lesser-quality brass). But before pocket-uniforming dozens of cases, you might do a comparison test (by shooting uniformed vs. un-uniformed ammo) to see whether this operation actually improves accuracy with the brass you are using.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 4 Comments »