January 9th, 2018

Inside Chamfer Tools — Sorting Through the Options

Neck case chamfer tools Redding Forster Rocket model 15-p
Shown is the Redding Model 15-P Competition Piloted Inside Chamfering Tool with pilot rod that centers in the case flash hole. Also shown is a Forster 45° Rocket Tool.

There are a wide variety of reloading tools designed to cut a slight chamfer in case necks and deburr the edge of the case mouth. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for an effective tool. A basic “rocket-style” 45° chamfering tool, such as the Forster, actually does a pretty good job taking the sharp edge off case mouths, particularly if you use a little scotch-pad (or steel wool) to smooth the edge of the cut. The Forster chamfer tool, shown below, is a nicely-made product, with sharper cutting blades than you’ll find on most other 45° chamferers. It costs $17.99 at Brownells.com.

forster rocket 45 degree neck chamferer chamfer tool

Redding sells a handy piloted chamfering tool with a 15° inside cutting angle and removable accessory handle. This Redding Model 15-P chamferer works really well, so long as you have consistent case OALs. The pilot rod (which indexes in the flash hole) is adjustable for different cartridge types (from very short to very long). This ensures the concentricity of the inside neck chamfer to the case mouth. This quality tool works with cases from .22 to .45 Caliber.

Neck case chamfer tools Redding Forster Rocket model 15-p

Sinclair International offers a 28° carbide chamferer with many handy features (and sharp blades). The $29.99 Sinclair Carbide VLD Case Mouth Chamfering Tool will chamfer cases from .14 through .45 caliber. This tool features a removable 28° carbide cutter mounted in the green plastic Sinclair handle. NOTE: A hex-shaft cutter head power adapter can be purchased separately for $14.99 (Sinclair item 749-002-488WS). This can be chucked in a power screwdriver or used with the Sinclair Case Prep Power Center when doing large volumes of cases.

Neck inside chamfer chamferer case neck tool

Many folks feel they can get smoother bullet seating by using a tool that cuts at a steeper angle. We like the 22° cutter sold by Lyman. It has a comfortable handle, and costs just $10.75 at MidsouthShooterssupply.com. The Lyman tool is an excellent value, though we’ve seen examples that needed sharpening even when new. Blade-sharpening is easily done, however.

K&M makes a depth-adjustable, inside-neck chamferer (“Controlled Depth Tapered Reaper”) with ultra-sharp cutting flutes. The latest version, which costs $47.00 at KMShooting.com, features a central pin that indexes via the flash hole to keep the cutter centered. In addition, the tool has a newly-designed handle, improved depth-stop fingers, plus a new set-screw adjustment for precise cutter depth control. We caution, even with all the depth-control features, if you are not careful, it is easy to over-cut, slicing away too much brass and basically ruining your neck. We think that most reloaders will get better results using a more conventional chamfer tool, such as the Forster or Redding 15-P.

K & M K&M neck chamferer reamer controlled depth

One last thing to note — tools like the K&M and the Sinclair chamferer are often described as VLD chamferers. That is really a misnomer, as bullets with long boat-tails actually seat easily with very minimal chamfering. In reality, these high-angle chamferers may be most valuable when preparing brass for flat-base bullets and bullets with pressure rings. Using a 22° or 28° chamferer can reduce the risk of cutting a jacket when using VLD bullets though — so long as you make a smooth cut.

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 7 Comments »
June 9th, 2013

Reverse Your Rocket Tool for a Smoother Inside Neck Chamfer

Want smoother chamfers on your case-mouths? Here’s a simple tip that can: 1) remove the sharp edge left by chamfering blades; and, 2) create a smoother entry for your bullets. Smoothing the inside chamfer can avoid nicks on your bullet jackets, and can also make bullet seating more consistent.

If you are using a 45° rocket tool on newly-trimmed brass, start your inside chamfer with two or three turns in the normal cutting direction. Keep the tool centered, and use light-to-moderate pressure — you don’t need to remove a lot of brass. After your cutting turns (which should reveal a shiny chamfer line), take out the tool, inspect the neck and remove any small brass chips or shavings.

Now here’s the secret — put your tool back in the neck and go in the reverse direction for a couple partial turns. Again, be sure to keep the tool centered and use a light touch. The reverse rotation of the rocket tool inside the case mouth will burnish and smooth the chamfer. Next you can make a quick spin with some fine steel wool held in your fingers. Don’t grind away — you do NOT want to get rid of all the carbon in the neck. As a last step we run a hand-held nylon brush in the neck for 2-3 quick passes to further smooth out the chamfer and remove any residue from the steel wool.

Accurateshooter.com Neck Case Chamfer Brass prep

We think, if you use this procedure, your will find that your bullets seat more smoothly and consistently. That can improve accuracy and help avoid mysterious fliers.

Accurateshooter.com Neck Case Chamfer Brass prepYou can use this same technique even if you prefer a sharper angle chamfer tool for your initial inside-neck chamfering operation. Reverse your tool gently a couple turns to burnish and smooth the cut. And always remove brass chips and shavings before you run the tool backwards (in the non-cutting direction).

Don’t Forget to Smooth the Outside Chamfer Too
You can also use the backwards rotation trick on outside chamfers to smooth and soften the sharp edge. A little steel wool, applied judiciously, can help here. If you are chamfering a large number of cases after trimming, you may want to tumble the brass in corn-cob or walnut media after the chamfering procedure. Tumbling further smooths the chamfer. You want a nice, smooth chamfer with no burrs or sharp edges.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »