January 13th, 2008

Flywheel Hand Crank for Neck-Turning

This do-it-yourself project comes from ace silhouette shooter Larry Medler. He devised a hand-crank system for turning case necks that offers the best of both worlds — the speed and “muscle” of powered neck-turning with the “feel” afforded by manual methods. The flywheel, salvaged from an old grape crusher, delivers plenty of RPM when needed, but Larry still has total control over the neck-turning speed and torque.

Larry Medler Neck-Turner

Larry explains: “My neck turner is a home-made model with a 15.5″ crank flywheel. This arrangement almost makes turning necks fun. I’ve learned that the secret to neck turning is how easy it is to turn the case. If it takes too much force or effort you’re probably not going to do a good job. However, when you turn by hand you have the best feel for the cutting process. So I wanted a system that reduced the effort required, but still retained good “feel”. My hand crank system fits the bill — it makes cutting easy, but you still have good sensitivity throughout the process.

Larry Medler Neck-Turner

The case holder was made for 308 Winchester cartridges. The case holder fits into a rubber heater hose that connects to a 0.5-inch rod. The rod is fed through two bearing blocks which mount on a frame on my work bench. The rod is turned using a crank on the grape crusher flywheel. This system works great for neck turning. It is easy to crank and you still have a feel for how the cutter is working. While I now use an electric screwdriver to power other case prep tools, at one time I attached a variety of tools to this simple crank system.

I recently upgraded to a K&M Neck Turner (from a Sinclair previously). K&M makes a great tool. It’s easy to make very small adjustments to the cutting depth. I use the K&M case-holder that came with the neck turner for triming cases. It grips a little better than the Sinclair case-holder and both are easier to use than the Lee case-holder.”

Larry Medler Neck-Turner

You’ll find more helpful, illustrated tips on uniforming cartridge brass on Larry Medler’s Case Prep and Loading web page.

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