March 18th, 2017

Tool Time: Sinclair Cartridge Case Neck Sorting Tool

Case Neck thickness sorting gauge Sinclair accurateshooter.com

He who dies with the most toys wins — right? Well Sinclair has another interesting gadget you can add to your reloading bench. The Sinclair Case Neck Sorting Tool lets you quickly sort brass by neck-wall thickness. For those who shoot “no-turn” brass, this can improve neck-tension consistency. Large variances in neck-wall thickness can cause inconsistent neck “grip” on the bullet. Generally, we’ve found that more consistent neck tension will lower ES and (usually) improve accuracy. We know some guys who shoot no-turn 6mmBR brass in competition with considerable success — but their secret is pre-sorting their brass by neck-wall thickness. Cases that are out-of-spec are set aside for sighters (or are later skim-turned).

Watch Case Neck Sorting Tool Operation in Video

Case Neck thickness sorting gauge Sinclair accurateshooterHow the Case Neck Sorting Tool Works
Here’s how the Sinclair tool works. Cases are rotated under an indicator tip while they are supported on a case-neck pilot and a support pin through the flash hole. The unit has a nice, wide base and low profile so it is stable in use. The tool works for .22 through .45 caliber cases and can be used on .17- and .20-caliber cases with the optional carbide alignment rod. The MIC-4 pin fits both .060 (PPC size) and .080 (standard size) flash holes. Sinclair’s Case Neck Sorting Tool can be ordered with or without a dial indicator. The basic unit without dial indicator (item 749-006-612WB) is $59.99. The tool complete with dial indicator (item 749-007-129WB) for $89.99. IMPORTANT: This tool requires caliber-specific Sinclair Case Neck Pilots which must be ordered separately.

Editor’s Comment: The purpose of this Sinclair tool is rapid, high-quantity sorting of cartridge brass to ascertain significant case-neck-wall thickness variations. Consider this a rapid culling/sorting tool. If you are turning your necks, you will still need a quality ball micrometer tool to measure neck-wall thickness (to .0005) before and after neck-turning operations.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
July 16th, 2016

Advanced Reloading: Sorting Brass by Case-Wall Thickness

neck sorting tool case-neck Sinclair caliber neck tension

He who dies with the most toys wins — right? Well Sinclair has another interesting gadget you can add to your reloading bench. The Sinclair Case Neck Sorting Tool lets you quickly sort brass by neck-wall thickness. For those who shoot “no-turn” brass, sorting your cases helps achieve more uniform neck tension and, thereby, more consistent bullet seating. Large variances in neck-wall thickness can cause inconsistent neck “grip” on the bullet. Generally, we’ve found that more consistent neck tension will lower ES and (usually) improve accuracy.

Get Better Results with No-Turn Brass
We know some guys who shoot no-turn 6mmBR brass in competition with considerable success — but their secret is pre-sorting their brass by neck-wall thickness. Cases that are out-of-spec are set aside for sighters (or are later skim-turned).

Watch Case Neck Sorting Tool Operation in Video (May not load on mobile devices)

Case Neck thickness sorting gauge Sinclair accurateshooter.comHow the Case Neck Sorting Tool Works
Here’s how the Sinclair tool works. Cases are rotated under an indicator tip while they are supported on a case-neck pilot and a support pin through the flash hole. The unit has a nice, wide base and low profile so it is stable in use. The tool works for .22 through .45 caliber cases and can be used on .17- and .20-caliber cases with an optional carbide alignment rod. The MIC-4 pin fits both .060 (PPC size) and .080 (standard size) flash holes. Sinclair’s Case Neck Sorting Tool can be ordered with or without a dial indicator. The basic unit without indicator (item 749-006-612WS) costs $59.99. Complete with dial indicator (item 749-007-129WS), the tool costs $89.99. IMPORTANT: This tool requires caliber-specific Sinclair Case Neck Pilots (sold separately).

Editor’s Comment: The purpose of this Sinclair tool is rapid, high-quantity sorting of cartridge brass to ascertain significant case-neck-wall thickness variations. Consider this a rapid culling/sorting tool. If you are turning your necks, you will still need a quality ball micrometer tool to measure neck-wall thickness (to .0005) before and after neck-turning operations.

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 2 Comments »
October 4th, 2012

TECH TIP: Diameters Vary Among Bullets of Same Caliber

Choosing the right-diameter bullet can have a big effect on accuracy in match rifles. “Wait a minute”, you might say, “doesn’t one simply choose a 6mm bullet for a 6mm barrel and a 7mm bullet for a 7mm barrel, what’s the big deal?” Well… it’s not that simple. Not all bullets of the same nominal caliber actually have the same true diameter. We’ve seen different-brand 6mm bullets vary by as much as a full thousandth (.001″) in diameter. We have seen undeniable evidence that a poor “fit” of bullet diameter to bore dimensions can result in a poor-shooting gun, even one with a high-grade barrel.

Conversely, if you find the bullet diameter you barrel likes, that may instantly improve your accuracy. The accuracy gain may be more significant than making changes to the bullet seating depth or even powder charge. The importance of bullet diameter is compounded by the fact that 6mm match barrels are available with both .236″ and .237″ land diameters. Some barrels prefer “fat” bullets while other barrels prefer “skinny” bullets.

Last year, Jason Baney measured 12 different sets of 6mm Match Bullets, including a couple different lots of the same bullet design. Interestingly, Jason did measure the “old” Berger 105 VLD, the new-generation Berger 105 VLD (first lot from the new die), and the “new, improved” Berger 105 VLD from the new die, after it was polished. Ten (10) Bullets were measured per type. Each bullet was measured three times (3X) around the largest circumference, normally where a pressure ring would be located (some bullets have a pronounced pressure ring, others do not). NOTE: We provide the numbers from Jason’s tests, but remember that bullets from different production runs may have slightly different dimensions. You should augment our findings with your own measurements from later-produced bullets.

6mm bullet diameters

Download this CHART as an MS Word Document.

The first two columns of the chart show the smallest and largest bullet diameters measured for each 10-bullet sample. The third column shows the extreme spread over each 10-bullet set. Note, these numbers are NOT averages, but represent the “low” and “high” diameters for each set. (FYI: Jason noted that while the Lapua Scenars were very consistent, an earlier 2005 “JEVDAK” lot had smaller meplats than 2007 and 2008 lots.) A Mitutoyo Micrometer was used, zero-checked for each bullet.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
December 18th, 2011

Bargain Tools at Midsouth Shooters Supply

MidsouthMidsouth Shooters Supply is now carrying the affordable line of Altraco-brand tools for precision reloading and gunsmithing. Among the bargain-priced items we liked for the loading bench are the Tubing Mic (with oval head) for measuring neckwall and casewall thickness ($29.92), the hands-free Head-band Magnifier ($5.78), the 6-piece Mini Screwdriver set ($2.62), and the 12-piece Needle File set ($5.16). You can get all four of these items for less than $45.00! A decent tubing mic is a “must-have” for serious reloaders, and sets of mini screwdrivers and small files belong in every tool kit. We also recommend the brass-toothed brush — this is handy when you need a little more cleaning power than nylon. (Be careful though — the brass brush can scratch fine metal finishes.) All these products can be used for a variety of tasks in addition to reloading and gun assembly.

Midsouth Altraco Tools

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
June 28th, 2011

Redding Add-On Micrometer Seating Stems Now Shipping

Well folks, the new Redding Micrometer Seating Stems for standard Redding seating dies are finally shipping. Robin Sharpless, Redding’s Executive VP, confirmed that “these Seating Stems started shipping this month, by the hundreds. MidwayUSA, Grafs, Midsouth — all the major vendors are getting inventory.” We confirmed that MidwayUSA now has, in stock, the Micrometer Seating Stems for .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, 22 PPC, 22-250 Rem, .243 Win, .308 Win, .284 Win, .30-06, and .338 Lapua Magnum, plus many other calibers. (One model Seating Stem can often work for multiple cartridge types of the same caliber.) MidwayUSA is charging $42.99 for both the regular and VLD-style seater stems.

Micrometer Seating Stems Retro-Fit to Redding’s Standard Seating Dies
The big advantage of these new Seating Stems is that you can get the additional control and precision of a micrometer top by simply upgrading your existing dies at about half the cost of a new, complete Competition Seater Die. NOTE: the Seating Stem assemblies are a component of the bullet seating die. These are not the dies themselves. It is the top portion of the die that contains the plunger, which pushes the bullet into the case. The micrometer is graduated in increments of 0.001″ to assure precise seating depth control. The Seating Stems feature a dead stop on the threads allowing full repeatability even if changed from one die to another. NOTE: These Micrometer seating stems are direct replacements for the original stems. To comfirm die compatibility,the stem numbers match the numbers stamped on the tops of the original seat plug which was shipped with your standard seating dies.

The new Redding Micro Precision Seating Stems are available for both standard bullet shapes as well as VLD Bullets. These allow the user to accurately seat the longer-nosed VLD-style projectiles.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 3 Comments »
May 4th, 2011

Whitley Offers 6mmBRX Redding Sizing and Seating Dies

The 6mmBRX (6BRX) is an outstanding cartridge that has set world records and harvested many trophies. Just last week Peter White used his 6BRX to win the NBRSA 600-yard Nationals convincingly. Peter loves his 6BRX, but he has one gripe — he must use two different dies to size his cases because a standard 6mmBR die won’t reach down far enough. White uses a .308 Win or .243 Win die to size the bottom of his 6BRX case then finishes up with his 6mmBR FL bushing die.

Redding 6BRX Dies Available Soon
Now 6BRX shooters have a single-step solution — Redding 6BRX dies. Robert Whitley has commissioned a special run of Redding 6BRX dies. Robert will offer a Redding Type ‘S’ full-length sizing die that will size the whole case, with bushing control over the neck. What’s more, Redding 6BRX micrometer-top Comp Seaters will also be available. Robert, who runs 6mmAR.com, expects these special-order Redding 6BRX dies to arrive within a few weeks. This is a very limited run of 6BRX dies, and Redding is not currently selling them through other sources. So if you want a Redding 6BRX Type ‘S’ FL sizer or Comp Seater die, you’d better contact Robert soon. Order through:

AR-X Enterprises, LLC (Attn: Robert Whitley)
Phone: (215) 348-8789
Email: rcw3 [at] erols.com

6BRX Cartridge Basics
The 6BRX is a modified version of the 6mmBR Norma case. The 6BRX has the shoulder blown forward about 0.100″, but it retains the same 30° shoulder angle of the parent case, and the same sidewall angle. You can use “normal” 6mmBR dies for the 6BRX — that’s one of its appealing factors — but the 6mmBR full-length sizer will miss part of the bottom of the case down near the web.

To compensate for this, many 6BRX shooters full-length size their brass first with a .308 Win or .243 Win FL Die, and then switch to a 6BR die. That system works, but it creates unnecessary steps. With a dedicated 6BRX sizing die, you can size the whole case in one pass, so you don’t need to use two dies. The $89.95 Redding Type ‘S’ Full-length bushing die sold by Whitley is one-die sizing solution that works. Whitley will also offer a package of the 6BRX Type ‘S’ FL sizing die plus a Redding Comp Seater for $199.95. That gives you a complete set of dies for your 6BRX wildcat.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 1 Comment »
February 16th, 2011

Redding Now Offers Micrometer Heads for Standard Seating Dies

Redding MiRedding has introduced a new series of Bullet Seating Micrometers (aka Micrometer Bullet Seater Plug Replacements). These can be retro-fitted into standard Redding seater dies with 1/2-20 thousandths threads, replacing the standard dies’ seater plugs. So, for about forty bucks, you can now make your standard Redding seater die into a Micrometer Seater — and you can swap one Micrometer Seater top among a variety of dies in the same caliber class (such as .223 to 22-250). Notably, the new Bullet Seating Micrometers are offered in two different configurations — one for traditional bullet shapes, and another for VLD bullets. Redding’s new Bullet Seating Micrometers are priced at $48.90 MSRP, but expect to see an initial “street price” of about $37.00-$39.00.

VLD Version of Micrometer Fits Berger Bullets
Eric Stecker of Berger Bullets stated: “I spoke with Redding and confirmed that the new VLD-Version Micrometer plugs are specifically designed for Berger VLD bullets. We provided all of our VLD bullets to them from which they took deliberate measurements and made these new plugs. This is news that needs to be shared with anyone shooting Berger VLD bullets.”

Bad News: You Need Different Micrometer Units for VLD and Non-VLD Bullets
Unfortunately, the Micrometer Seater Plug Replacement is ALL ONE UNIT. You cannot interchange VLD and non-VLD seater stems inside a given Bullet Seating Micrometer. You have to buy one of each (one Micrometer unit for VLD bullets and another Micrometer unit for standard bullets). Likewise, you cannot swap in larger or smaller diameter seater stems to make one Bullet Seating Micrometer head work with dies for widely different bullet diameters. That means you can’t buy one Micrometer head and use it in both a .223 Rem Seater Die and a 30-06 die, for example. You have to stay within the same die class, as explained next.

Good News: Bullet Seating Micrometer — Use in Multiple Dies
As long as you stick with the same seater die class, one Bullet Seating Micrometer can be used on multiple dies. In practical terms, you can usually (but not always) use the same Micrometer assembly on multiple dies within the same caliber family. And when you move the Micrometer unit from one die to another, all you need to record is the Micrometer setting. Look at the photo — the knurled ring at the bottom of the black replacement plug is a dead-stop collar that does not move. That means the lower section of the Micrometer always maintains the same position relative to the die when installed. When moving the Micrometer plug from one die to another, simply adjust the Micrometer knob to the proper setting for that cartridge/bullet. Each hash mark represents an .001″ change in seating depth.

Redding VLD Seater Stem

There are sixteen (16) part numbers for the new Bullet Seating Micrometers. These correspond to the VLD and Standard versions for eight (8) different classes of Redding seater dies. To see which Micrometer replacement you need, look for the number on the top of your standard Redding seater, and find that in the right-most column. Then chose whether you want the standard or VLD version (shown in columns one and two on the same line).

Editor’s Comment: We like that fact that Redding is offering these retro-fit Micrometer Seater Plug Replacements. And it’s great that the buyer has a choice between VLD and non-VLD styles. However, we think the lack of interchangeability of bullet seater stems is going to be a “deal-breaker” for many shoppers. Redding obviously wants to sell as many Micrometer Seater Plugs as possible. It doesn’t want you to be able to buy one $40 Replacement plug and use that one product for a half-dozen or more calibers. That’s to be expected. However, we think that, for a given cartridge/caliber, Redding should have engineered the Micrometer Bullet Seater Plug Replacement with swappable seating stems so that one $40 Micrometer head could seat BOTH VLD and non-VLD bullets… at least for that cartridge/caliber.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 3 Comments »