March 9th, 2021

Handy Shim Sets for Sizing Dies — Quickly Adjust Shoulder Bump

Sinclair Die Shims

When your cases become hard to extract, or you feel a stiff bolt lift when removing a cartridge, it’s probably time to full-length size your cases, and “bump” the shoulder back. Short-range benchrest shooters, running high pressures, typically full-length size every load cycle, bumping the shoulder .001-.002″. The vast majority of mid-range and long-range F-Class shooters also full-length size every time. High Power shooters with gas guns should definitely full-length size every time, and may need to bump the shoulders .003″ or more to ensure reliable feeding and extraction.

Use Shims for Precise Control of Shoulder Bump
Some shooters like to set the “default” position for their full-length die to have an “ample” .003″ or .004″ shoulder bump. When they need less bump, a simple way to reduce the amount of shoulder movement is to use precision shims in .001″ (one-thousandth) increments. Brownells offers a set of seven (7) shims for your standard 7/8-14 FL sizing dies for $14.99. These Sinclair Int’l shims are Brownells Item 749-001-325WB. They may be out of stock, but they can be back-ordered.

Sinclair explains: “Each shim is notched for easy size identification. Just set your die using one of the middle thickness shims. Adjustments can be made easily by changing shims to increase or decrease die depth without changing the stem setting. This is a great upgrade for non-micrometer adjustable dies.”

Here are reports from Forum members who use the shims:

“Great product. I have my die lock ring(s) adjusted for the shortest headspace length on my multiple 6BRs and 6PPCs. When needing a longer headspace, I just refer to my notes and add the appropriate shim under the lock ring. Keep it simple.” — F.D. Shuster

Mats Johansson writes: “I’ve been using [shims] since Skip Otto (of BR fame) came out with them. I set up my dies with the .006″ shim, giving me the option of bumping the shoulder a bit more when the brass gets old and hardens while still having room to adjust up for zero headspace, should I have missed the original setup by a thou or two. Hunting rounds can easily be bumped an extra .002-.003″ for positive, no-crush feeding. Being a safety-oriented cheapskate, I couldn’t live without them — they let me reload my cases a gazillion times without dangerous web-stretching. Shims are a must-have, as simple as that.” — Mats Johansson

Sinclair Die ShimsBrownells offers the seven-piece set of Sizing Die Shims that let you adjust the height of your die (and thereby the amount of bump and sizing) in precise .001″ increments. Sinclair explains: “Some handloaders will set their die up to achieve maximum sizing and then progressively use Sinclair Die Shims between the lock ring and the press head to move the die away from the shellholder. Doing this allows you to leave the lock ring in the same position. These shims are usually available in increments of .001″ and work very well.”

Seven Shims from .003″ to .010″
For use with 7/8-14 threaded dies, Sinclair’s $14.99 Die Shim Kit (Sinclair item 22400 or Brownells Code 749-001-325WB) includes seven shims in thicknesses of .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, and .010. For ease of use, shim thickness is indicated by the number of notches cut in the outer edge of each shim. Even without looking you can “count” the notches by feel.

NOTE: These shim sets can also be use to adjust bullet seating depth for seating dies that lack micrometer adjustment. Use the same 7/8-14 shims with your non-micrometer seating dies.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 5 Comments »
August 29th, 2020

Smart Reloader — Die Shims For Full-Length Sizing Dies

Sinclair Die Shims

When your cases become hard to extract, or you feel a stiff bolt lift when removing a cartridge, it’s probably time to full-length size your cases, and “bump” the shoulder back. Short-range benchrest shooters, running high pressures, typically full-length size every load cycle, bumping the shoulder .001-.002″. The vast majority of mid-range and long-range F-Class shooters also full-length size every time. High Power shooters with gas guns should definitely full-length size every time, and may need to bump the shoulders .003″ or more to ensure reliable feeding and extraction.

Use Shims for Precise Control of Shoulder Bump
Some shooters like to set the “default” position for their full-length die to have an “ample” .003″ or .004″ shoulder bump. When they need less bump, a simple way to reduce the amount of shoulder movement is to use precision shims in .001″ (one-thousandth) increments. Sinclair Int’l offers a set of seven (7) shims for your standard 7/8-14 FL sizing dies for $14.99.

Sinclair explains: “Each shim is notched for easy size identification. Just set your die using one of the middle thickness shims. Adjustments can be made easily by changing shims to increase or decrease die depth without changing the stem setting. This is a great upgrade for non-micrometer adjustable dies.”

Here are reports from Forum members who use the shims:

“Great product. I have my die lock ring(s) adjusted for the shortest headspace length on my multiple chambers 6BRs and 6PPCs. When needing a longer headspace, I just refer to my notes and add the appropriate shim under the lock ring. Keep it simple.” — F.D. Shuster

Mats Johansson writes: “I’ve been using [shims] since Skip Otto (of BR fame) came out with them. I set up my dies with the .006″ shim, giving me the option of bumping the shoulder a bit more when the brass gets old and hardens while still having room to adjust up for zero headspace, should I have missed the original setup by a thou or two. Hunting rounds can easily be bumped an extra .002-.003″ for positive, no-crush feeding. Being a safety-oriented cheapskate, I couldn’t live without them — they let me reload my cases a gazillion times without dangerous web-stretching. Shims are a must-have, as simple as that.” — Mats Johansson

Sinclair Die ShimsBrownells offers the seven-piece set of Sizing Die Shims that let you adjust the height of your die (and thereby the amount of bump and sizing) in precise .001″ increments. Sinclair explains: “Some handloaders will set their die up to achieve maximum sizing and then progressively use Sinclair Die Shims between the lock ring and the press head to move the die away from the shellholder. Doing this allows you to leave the lock ring in the same position. These shims are usually available in increments of .001″ and work very well.”

Seven Shims from .003″ to .010″
For use with 7/8-14 threaded dies, Sinclair’s $14.99 Die Shim Kit (Sinclair item 22400 or Brownells Code 749-001-325WB) includes seven shims in thicknesses of .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, and .010. For ease of use, shim thickness is indicated by the number of notches cut in the outer edge of each shim. Even without looking you can “count” the notches by feel.

NOTE: These shim sets can also be use to adjust bullet seating depth for dies that lack micrometer adjustment. Use the same 7/8-14 shims with your non-micrometer seating dies.

Sinclair Die ShimsShims for Arbor Dies

Do you seat with an Arbor Press? No problem…

Brownells offers a $14.99 10-shim Arbor Die set for use with L.E. Wilson seating dies employed with arbor presses. Frankly we prefer micrometer-top Wilson dies, but if you have the standard Arbor dies, these shims come in handy. Order either Brownells Code 749-001-370WB (.22 to .243 caliber) or Brownells Code 749-001-326WB (.25 to .30 caliber).

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »