June 2nd, 2019

Go with the “O” — O-Rings May Reduce Run-Out When Sizing

reloading die O-ring
reloading die O-ring

Here’s an inexpensive procedure that can help you load straighter ammo, with slightly better measured concentricity (i.e. less run-out) on the case necks and bullets. Simply use a Rubber O-Ring on the underside of the die locking ring. This allows the die to self-align itself (slightly) to the case that is being sized. Without the O-Ring, if the flat surface on the top of your press is not perfectly square with the thread axis, your die can end up slightly off-angle. This happens when the bottom of the locking ring butts up tight against the top of the press. The O-Ring allows the die to float slightly, and that may, in turn, reduce the amount of run-out induced during case sizing.

Top prone shooter GSArizona has tried this trick and he says it works: “Go to your local hardware store and get a #17 O-Ring (that’s the designation at Ace Hardware, don’t know if its universal). Slip the O-Ring on the die and re-adjust the lock ring so that the O-Ring is slightly compressed when the die is at the correct height. Size and measure a few more cases. You will probably see a slight improvement in neck concentricity as the die can now float a bit as the case enters and leaves it. This isn’t going to be a dramatic improvement, but it’s a positive one.”

We want to stress that adding O-Rings to sizing dies may help some reloaders, but we don’t offer this as a panacea. Try it — if using the O-Ring reduces measured runout that’s great. If it doesn’t, you’ve only spent a few pennies to experiment.

reloading die O-ring

Lee Precision makes die lock rings with built-in O-Rings. Lee’s distinctive lock ring design allows the same kind of self-alignment, which is good. However, Lee lock rings don’t clamp in place on the die threads, so they can move when you insert or remove the dies — and that can throw off your die setting slightly. By using an O-Ring under a conventional die lock ring (that can be locked in place), you get the advantages of the Lee design, without the risk of the lock ring moving.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
July 10th, 2014

Try Using O-Rings with Sizing Dies for Reduced Neck Run-out

Here’s an inexpensive procedure that can help you load straighter ammo, with slightly better measured concentricity (i.e. less run-out) on the case necks and bullets. Simply use a rubber O-Ring on the underside of the die locking ring. This allows the die to self-align itself (slightly) to the case that is being sized. Without the O-Ring, if the flat surface on the top of your press is not perfectly square with the thread axis, your die can end up slightly off-angle. This happens when the bottom of the locking ring butts up tight against the top of the press. The O-Ring allows the die to float slightly, and that may, in turn, reduce the amount of run-out induced during case sizing.

reloading die O-ring

Top prone shooter GSArizona has tried this trick and he says it works: “Go to your local hardware store and get a #17 O-Ring (that’s the designation at Ace Hardware, don’t know if its universal). Slip the O-Ring on the die and re-adjust the lock ring so that the O-Ring is slightly compressed when the die is at the correct height. Size and measure a few more cases. You will probably see a slight improvement in neck concentricity as the die can now float a bit as the case enters and leaves it. This isn’t going to be a dramatic improvement, but it’s a positive one.” We want to stress that adding O-Rings to sizing dies may help some reloaders, but we don’t offer this as a panacea. Try it — if using the O-Ring reduces measured runout that’s great. If it doesn’t, you’ve only spent a few pennies to experiment.

reloading die O-ring

Lee Precision makes die lock rings with built-in O-Rings. Lee’s distinctive lock ring design allows the same kind of self-alignment, which is good. However, Lee lock rings don’t clamp in place on the die threads, so they can move when you insert or remove the dies — and that can throw off your die setting slightly. By using an O-Ring under a conventional die lock ring (that can be locked in place), you get the advantages of the Lee design, without the risk of the lock ring moving.

Permalink Reloading 16 Comments »
September 28th, 2012

Custom-Crafted Bolt Knobs from Bill Hawk

Looking for a cool extended bolt knob to provide extra leverage and more secure grip while working the action of your rifle? Bolt Knobs by Bill offers a wide array of styles and colors, all hand-crafted with great precision. Bill Hawk’s products range in price from $13.50 to $35, with most metal knobs priced at $30 to $32. The O-Ring style provides excellent comfort and grip. The Tactical style knob is slightly longer and has no o-rings. It is available with or without knurling. Bill also offers a conventional oversized ball in plastic or metal. Click images below to see LARGE PHOTOS.

Custom bolt knobs are made from aluminum stock that has been machined, media blasted, and powder coated for a durable and uniform finish. Choose from dozens of powder-coat colors. Knobs are drilled and tapped to fit 5/16 x 24 threaded bolt handles. A round ball style is available in aluminum, steel, or phenolic (hard plastic with threaded brass insert). This configuration still provides plenty of gripping surface but keeps the overall length of the bolt handle shorter compared to the tactical model.

Bill Hawks tells us that all his products can be customized: “I started selling bolt knobs a few years ago when I began to combine my passion for metal working and my passion for shooting. Of course, there were other manufacturers who already made bolt knobs, but I wanted to offer something a little different by allowing the shooter to tell me what they wanted and do my best to produce it. Hence the ‘custom’ part. Most people are happy with the tactical and O-ring knobs that are featured on my website, but I also make them to customer spec. Length, profile, thread size, and material can all be adjusted at no extra charge in most cases. My emphasis is primarily on offering a service to my fellow shooters.” There is a secure shopping cart on Bill’s website, BoltKnobsbyBill.com, so it’s easy to order. Send any questions regarding Bill’s products, or the ordering process, to: info [at] boltknobsbybill.com .

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
November 1st, 2011

NEW O-Ring Aluminum Jags from Sinclair International

Sinclair Int’l is now selling a new line of O-ring-equipped aluminum jags made by The Custom Shop (TCS). These unique TCS O-Ring Jags are crafted from aluminum so they won’t react to solvents. The O-rings hold the patch firmly against the bore surface to efficiently clean powder, lead, copper, and plastic fouling. There are shapes and sizes for pistols, rifles and shotguns. Rifle jags come in sizes .22 (J22), .243 (J2436mm), .257 (J25725Cal), .270-6.8mm (J27068mm), .284 (J2847mm), .308 (J30RP), .338 (J338RP), and .50 Cal (J50). The “RP” models do double-duty for large-caliber rifles and pistols.

O-Ring aluminum cleaning Jag

We haven’t tried these jags yet, but we think the O-rings may be a good idea. As with any aluminum-bodied jag, be sure to keep the jags clean, as hard particles and debris can become embedded in the aluminum surface. You don’t want to drag embedded debris across your delicate rifling. The TCS jags range in price from $9.95 to $10.95.

Permalink New Product 3 Comments »
May 29th, 2008

TECH TIP: Use Rubber O-Rings with Sizing Dies for Less Run-Out

Here’s an inexpensive tip that can help you load straighter ammo, with slightly better measured concentricity (i.e. less run-out) on the case necks and bullets. Simply use a rubber O-Ring on the underside of the die locking ring. This allows the die to self-align itself (slightly) to the case that is being sized. Without the O-Ring, if the flat surface on the top of your press is not perfectly square with the thread axis, your die can end up slightly off-angle. This happens when the bottom of the locking ring butts up tight against the top of the press.

reloading die O-ring

Top prone shooter German Salazar has tried this trick and he says it works: “Go to your local hardware store and get a #17 O-Ring (that’s the designation at Ace Hardware, don’t know if its universal). Slip the O-Ring on the die and re-adjust the lock ring so that the O-Ring is slightly compressed when the die is at the correct height. Size and measure a few more cases. You will probably see a slight improvement in neck concentricity as the die can now float a bit as the case enters and leaves it. This isn’t going to be a dramatic improvement, but it’s a positive one.”

reloading die O-ring

Lee Precision makes die lock rings with built-in O-Rings. Lee’s distinctive lock ring design allows the same kind of self-alignment, which is good. However, Lee lock rings don’t clamp in place on the die threads, so they can move when you insert or remove the dies — and that can throw off your die setting. By using an O-Ring under a conventional die lock ring, you get the advantages of the Lee design, without the risk of the lock ring moving.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 6 Comments »