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April 14th, 2020

Why Cases Can Stick in Dies — And How to Cure the Problem

This article originally appeared in the Sinclair International Reloading Press.

We have all been there…..you place a piece of tumbled brass in the shell-holder of your press, raise it into the die, and suddenly it is like somebody hit the brakes. The case is stuck in the die. Your first instinct is to reverse it out. You crank on the handle, and BANG! The rim rips off the case head and you are looking at a piece of brass stuck in the die.

A stuck case is one of the boo-boos that all of us reloaders have faced from time to time. If proper lubrication is applied, then it should not be a problem. No matter if you are a seasoned reloader or new to it, this situation can happen. Take your time, use the proper procedures, and you will be back in business in no time! This article explains how to avoid stuck cases (through proper lubrication) and how to use a stuck case removal system.

What Causes Stuck Cases
One of the first common mistakes reloaders face is the stuck case. It can be caused by too much or too little lube. Too much and a vacuum can be formed causing the case to become suctioned into the die. Too little lube and friction is the culprit. So what is the cure? There is no exact cure, but the best lube that we have found so far is just a dab of Imperial Sizing Die Wax on your fingers and applied in a thin coat on the body of the case, not the shoulder or neck. Too much of this wax can cause the vacuum effect, or can eventually load your die up with gobs of residue. If it is applied to the shoulder area, or the leftover wax moves up into the shoulder region of the die, you will see dents or dimples in the shoulder. [AccurateShooter.com Editor’s Note: For normal full-length sizing of small cases such as 220 Russian/PPC, 6mmBR, 6.5 Grendel, or 6.5×47 Lapua we recommend Ballistol (aerosol) lube. It is very slippery, goes on very thin, and does not gum up the die.]

A great way to ensure that your dies are clean is to use a simple chamber mop with a dab of your favorite solvent on it and clean out the die. Be sure all of the solvent is out after cleaning by spraying the die out with Quickscrub III or use a clean chamber mop. If you are storing your dies, you can apply a thin coat of a good oil to protect the steel such as TM oil or Starrett M1 Spray.

Using a Stuck Case Removal Kit
If you do stick a case in your die there are a few good stuck case removal kits available. Each one works in a similar fashion. I have found the Hornady kit very effective and easy to use.

Basically what you do is remove the die from the press. Unscrew the decapping assembly and pull it out as far as you can. You then need to drill/tap threads into the stuck case head (this is why it is suggested to unscrew the decapping assembly as far as you can to get it clear of the drill bits). Once this is done screw the die back into the press. You then install the included shellholder attachment on the shellholder ram, and thread it into the case via a small wrench. With some elbow grease you can reverse the stuck case out of the die with the leverage of the press, and not damage the die.

However if the case is stuck….REALLY stuck, you may pull out the threads on the case and you are still left with a stuck case in the die without any way to pull it out. If the case is really difficult to remove even with the use of a stuck case removal kit, do not try to be Hercules with the press ram. Here is a trick that may work. Take the die with the stuck case and place it in your freezer for a couple of hours. Then repeat the removal with the cold die. The freezing temperatures may cause the brass to contract, and make removal easier. If this does not work it is recommended to send it to the die manufacturer. They will be able to remove the case without damaging the die.

Another fix if you can remove the decapping assembly completely is to use a tap hammer and a punch or small wooden dowel to knock the stuck case out. This isn’t the best way since it is very possible that you will damage the die internally or externally on the threads, or both. Send the die to the manufacturer to have this done properly. You will be happier in the long run.

This article appears courtesy Sinclair International. It first appeared in Sinclair’s Reloading Press Blog.

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October 6th, 2017

The Firing Sequence — What Happens Inside Cartridge & Chamber

Sinclair International Reloading Videos

Sinclair International has produced an eight-part video series on metallic cartridge reloading, hosted by Sinclair’s former President Bill Gravatt. The entire series can be viewed (for free) via Sinclair’s YouTube Channel. While this set of videos starts with the basics, it covers many more advanced aspects of reloading as well. Accordingly, both novice and experienced reloaders can benefit from watching the eight videos. We think everyone should watch Video No. 2. Introduction to Reloading Safety, which provides guidelines for safe reloading practices.

Watch Firing Sequence Video

We also strongly recommend Video No. 4 to readers who are getting started in reloading. This “How Things Work” segment covers the sequence of events inside the chamber (and barrel) when the cartridge is fired. The video includes helpful graphics that show what happens to the primer, powder, cartridge, and bullet when the round is fired. The video also illustrates “headspace” and explains how this can change after firing. We think this video answers many common questions and will help reloaders understand the forces at work on their brass during the firing process.

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May 29th, 2015

Bullet Concentricity and Related Issues

Sinclair concentricity 101 eccentricity run-out reloading plans

Sinclair International reloading toolsSinclair International has released an interesting article about Case Concentricity* and bullet “run-out”. This instructional article by Bob Kohl explains the reasons brass can exhibit poor concentricity, and why high bullet run-out can be detrimental to accuracy.

Concentricity, Bullet Alignment, and Accuracy by Bob Kohl
The purpose of loading your own ammo is to minimize all the variables that can affect accuracy and can be controlled with proper and conscientious handloading. Concentricity and bullet run-out are important when you’re loading for accuracy. Ideally, it’s important to strive to make each round the same as the one before it and the one after it. It’s a simple issue of uniformity.

(more…)

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July 1st, 2014

Sinclair International Tech Staffers Offer Precision Reloading Tips

cartridge reloadingA while back, Sinclair International’s Reloading Press Blog featured a “round-table” discussion of reloading techniques. Sinclair’s team of tech staffers were asked: “What do you feel is the one-most crucial step in precision reloading?”

Here are their responses (along with comments from our Editors):

Phil Hoham: “I feel that when working up a load do not go too high or too low in your powder charge. Stay away from “suggested loads” you hear at the range, or on the internet. Always be sure to use a published reloading manual that presents not only minimums and maximums, but also pressure, velocity, and a proper range of powders used. Do not get distracted in the reloading process, and remain focused at all times during each step involved.”

AccurateShooter.com: Some loads presented on the Internet are OK as a starting point, but it is absolutely critical to understand that pressure maximums will vary considerably from one rifle to another (of the same chambering). For example, one 6mmBR rifle shooting 105gr bullets can max out with 30.0 grains of Varget powder, while another rifle, with the same chamber dimensions, but a different barrel, could tolerate (and perform better) with half a grain more powder. You need to adjust recommended loads to your particular rifle and barrel.

Froggy Reloading Bench

Pete Petros: “This could be a very broad topic, but if I were to pick one, it would be making sure to pay close attention, and weigh each and every powder charge to ensure that each load is exact and consistent. This is important not only for accuracy, but also for safety reasons.”

AccurateShooter.com: If you’re shooting beyond 200 yards, it is critical to weigh your loads with an accurate scale. Loads that are uniform (within a few kernels) will exhibit lower Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation. And remember, even if you stick with the same powder, when you get a new powder lot, you may have to adjust your load quite a bit. For example, .308 Palma shooters have learned they may need to adjust Varget loads by up to a full grain from one lot of Varget to the next.

Ron Dague: “I feel that the most important step(s) in reloading for accuracy are in the initial case prep. Uniforming the primer pocket to the same depth to ensure consistency in primer seating is a crucial step. Additionally de-burring the flash holes, each in the same way to clean up and chamfer the inside is important. It ensures that the ignition from the primer is uniform and flows out in the same consistent pattern. Doing so will create uniform powder ignition and tighten up your velocity Extreme Spread.”

AccurateShooter.com: With some brands of brass, primer pocket uniforming and flash-hole deburring is useful. However, with the best Lapua, Norma, and RWS brass it may be unnecessary, or worse, counter-productive. So long as your Lapua brass flash-holes are not obstructed or smaller than spec, it may be best to leave them alone. This is particularly true with the small flash holes in 220 Russian, 6BR, and 6.5×47 cases. MOST of the flash-hole reaming tools on the market have cutting bits that vary in size because of manufacturing tolerances. We’ve found tools with an advertised diameter of .0625″ (1/16″) that actually cut an 0.068″ hole. In addition, we are wary of flash-hole deburring tools that cut an aggressive inside chamfer on the flash-holes. The reason is that it is very difficult to control the amount of chamfer precisely, even with tools that have a depth stop.

Rod Green: “I feel that bullet seating is the most important step. If you had focused on making sure all prior steps (case prep, powder charge, etc.) of the process have been carefully taken to ensure uniformity, bullet seating is the last step, and can mean all the difference in the world in terms of consistency. Making sure that the bullet is seated to the same depth each time, and time is taken to ensure that true aligned seating can make the load.”

Bob Blaine: “I agree with Rod. I strongly feel that consistent bullet seating depth is the most important step in creating the most accurate hand loads. I have seen the results in both my bench and long range rifles. Taking the time to ensure exactness in the seating process is by far, the number one most important step in my book.”

AccurateShooter.com: Agreed. When loading match ammo, after bullet seating, we check every loaded round for base of case to ogive length. If it varies by more than 3 thousandths, that round is segregated or we attempt to re-seat the bullet. We measure base of case to bullet ogive with a comparator mounted on one jaw of our calipers. You may have to pre-sort your bullets to hold the case-base to ogive measurement (of loaded rounds) within .003″.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
May 2nd, 2014

Sinclair’s Reloading Video Series Is Worth Watching

Sinclair International has produced an eight-part video series on metallic cartridge reloading, hosted by Sinclair’s former President Bill Gravatt. The entire series can be viewed (for free) via Sinclair’s “How-To Videos” archive. While this set of videos starts with the basics, it covers many more advanced aspects of reloading as well. Accordingly, both novice and experienced reloaders can benefit from watching the eight videos. We think everyone should watch Video No. 2, which outlines the hazards of reloading and provides guidelines for safe reloading practices.

Sinclair International Reloading Videos

We also strongly recommend Video No. 4 to readers who are getting started in reloading. This “How Things Work” segment covers the sequence of events inside the chamber (and barrel) when the cartridge is fired. The video includes helpful graphics that show what happens to the primer, powder, cartridge, and bullet when the round is fired. The video also illustrates “headspace” and explains how this can change after firing. We think this video answers many common questions and will help reloaders understand the forces at work on their brass during the firing process.

Watch Firing Sequence Video

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January 7th, 2014

Sinclair Int’l Lauches New Dealer Pricing Program at SHOT Show

Sinclair International Int'l dealer pricing program shot showThere’s a first time for everything. Next week (January 14-17), Sinclair International will make its first-ever SHOT Show appearance. Sinclair will showcase its products at booth #805 in the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas. The big news for Sinclair is the introduction of a dealer pricing program that will allow other retailers to sell select items from Sinclair’s product line.

“2014 marks the first time Sinclair will have exhibited at SHOT Show,” said Geoff Esterline, Sinclair International Category Manager. “I think dealers and retailers will be as happy about our new dealer program as we are. It’s aimed at providing great access and pricing on some of the finest reloading and precision shooting supplies on the market.”

This year, Sinclair International celebrates 30 years in business. A member of the Brownells Group since 2007, Sinclair is one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-quality reloading tools, components, ammunition, and accessories. Sinclair International stocks more than 15,000 items and supplies for handloaders, shooters, and hunters worldwide. To place an order, or to request additional information, call 800-717-8211 or visit www.sinclairintl.com.

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December 18th, 2013

Sinclair Offers FREE Shipping Today Only, December 18th

Sinclair International free shipping December 18Here’s a special one-day offer that can save you $20 – $30 (or more) on a big order from Sinclair International. Here’s the deal — TODAY ONLY, December 18, 2013, Sinclair is offering FREE SHIPPING on ALL orders (large or small — no minimum amounts). To get your FREE SHIPPING today, use Discount Code EC7 during checkout. CLICK HERE.

Here is your chance to buy those one or two small items you really need, but hesitated to buy because of shipping costs. Likewise, today’s the day to buy barrels, pedestal rests, reloading presses, and other heavy items that are normally expensive to ship. Free Shipping could save you a bundle on big items. NOTE: Sinclair has Bartlein and Krieger match-grade barrels in-stock right now in .22, 6mm, 6.5 mm, and .308 calibers. AR-15 barrels from Criterion, Krieger, and White Oak Armament are also in-stock.

Sinclair International free shipping December 18

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April 24th, 2013

Sinclair International 2013 East Coast Nationals

Sinclair Derek RogersThe first-ever Sinclair International East Coast Fullbore Nationals (ECN) was held at Camp Butner (NC) on April 18-21, 2013. Hosted by the North State Shooting Club, this first-time Sinclair ECN attracted many of the nation’s top shooters, and we know the event will grow in popularity in the years to come. The Camp Butner range served up very challenging conditions for the four-day competition. This match definitely offered shooters a chance to test their wind-reading skills.

There was a strong turn-out with 27 F-TR shooters, 21 sling shooters, and 9 F-Open competitors. A Team Match event followed the regular match relays each day. The firing points consisted of 300, 500, and 600 yards each day plus a long range portion. This included 900- and 1000-yard segments shot on alternating days. This enabled shooters to test their skills twice at each long distance firing point.

Blustery, Switchy Winds — and Nearby Tornado Warnings
For the first two days of the match, temps were in mid 80s and there were blustery tail-winds that switched in erratic fashion. The final two days of the 4-day match gave shooters the opposite conditions with opposing headwinds and highs in the 60s. This kept shooters on their toes as wind values and directions constantly shifted from left to right and back again. In the afternoon, winds increased with pick-ups that pushed 25+ mph. To top that, as the shooters pressed on to complete their relays, local radio stations were broadcasting tornado warnings for three counties to the west.

Sinclair Int’l East Coast Nationals Individual Match Winners:

1st F-TR: Derek Rodgers, 1741-62X
2nd F-TR: Tracy Hogg, 1737-59X
3rd F-TR: Philip Kelley, Jr., 1734-67X
1st F-Open: Kenny Adams, 1767-71X
2nd F-Open: Bret Solomon, 1752-74X
3rd F-Open: Danny Biggs, 1750-72X
1st Fullbore: Kent Reeve, 1770-94X
2nd Fullbore: John Friguglietti, 1764-79X
3rd Fullbore: Norman Crawford, 1754-78X

Pete LaBerge and F-TR Winner Derek Rodgers
Sinclair Derek Rogers

AUDIO CLIP: Derek Rodgers talks about the F-TR equipment race — how advancements in bullets, bipods, and gear have “raised the bar” in F-TR competition. Click “Play” to hear Audio. [haiku url=”http://accurateshooter.net/Video/derekrodgerstalks.mp3″ Title=”Derek RodgersTalks”]

Sinclair Derek Rogers

Team Sinclair Wins and Sets Pending National Record
Team Sinclair scored an impressive win over some very tough F-TR competitors. The Team amassed a 1538-40X collective score, which appears to break the existing NRA National Record (pending NRA verification). Remarkably, with this record-breaking ECN victory, Team Sinclair now remains undefeated in match competition. Team Sinclair consists of wind coach Ray Gross and shooters Paul Phillips, Brad Sauve, Jeff Rorer and Derek Rodgers. The team was shooting Berger bullets, but of varying weights. Derek Rodgers tells us: “I was shooting 200gr Berger Hybrids, with CCI primers and Lapua brass. Other team members were using 185gr Berger BT bullets, with either Federal and CCI primers in Lapua brass. We have predominantly been using Hodgden Varget powder for most of our .308 Win loads. In selecting bullets, accuracy is key, as is a high BC to stay competitive at long distances. Berger produces high-BC bullet designs that are also super-consistent dimensionally, thus leading to more accuracy. Berger offers many .30-Cal bullet options, designs, and weights. That’s important in F-TR because we have to pick a bullet that works with the .308 Win’s case capacity. Choosing a bullet from Berger’s vast line-up is a matter of fine-tuning what works best for each rifle.”

Team Sinclair (L to R): Wind Coach Ray Gross, Derek Rodgers, Paul Phillips, Jeff Rorer, Brad Sauve
Sinclair Derek Rogers

The BNX/21st CenturyShooting Rifle Team won the F-Open Team match with a score of 1516-43X. Members of this team are: Robert Burton, Luis Eljaiek, Tom Goodman, and Nikolas Taylor. Among the sling shooters, the local North State Shooting Club Team won the NRA Fullbore Prone team match with an aggregate score of 1552-61X. The team consisted of John Friguglietti, David Huskins, Norm Crawford, Russ Jones, and JP Young.

Participants agreed that Sinclair Int’l organized an excellent, well-run match. Shooters are looking forward to another great match next year and expressed their gratitude to Sinclair for sponsoring the program. CLICK HERE for complete Sinclair East Coast Nationals Match Results

Permalink Competition, News 4 Comments »
December 1st, 2012

Bill Gravatt Steps Down as President of Sinclair International

Bill Gravatt, President of Sinclair International, has chosen to leave his current position with Sinclair International, where he has served for 22 years. Bill told us “I sold Sinclair International to Brownells, Inc. in 2007 and have completed my five-year contract as part of the transition process. I had the opportunity to remain as President after my contract expired but, after giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past six months, I felt it was time to move in a new direction. I wish everyone at Sinclair International and Brownells all the best in the future.”

In Sinclair’s Reloading Press Blog*, Bill thanks Sinclair customers for their patronage and assures readers that Sinclair will continue to provide same high level of customer service.

Message from Bill Gravatt
Bill Gravatt Sinclair InternationalAs you know, I sold Sinclair International to Brownells a while back. Pete and Frank Brownell and I had known each other for years, and we all agreed that the two companies would be a good fit, both in the way we treat customers as valued friends and the way our respective customer bases are complementary, similar but not identical. We also agreed that I would stay on as President of Sinclair for five years to help manage the transition.

The five years ended last summer, and now under the Brownells stewardship, Sinclair will continue to serve its customers — you — with the same care and consideration my father-in-law Fred Sinclair and I would give you. I consider it a privilege and a pleasure to have been able to serve you over the years.

Now it’s time to move on with the next (actually the third) phase of my adult life (some of you may know the first phase was the nuclear power industry). I’m certainly going to be around… I plan to continue working in the firearms industry, and you’re going to still see me at competitions and events — maybe more than before. I hope to see you at an NRA Show[.]

In the meantime, I plan to spend Christmas the way I hope you do — with friends and family, relaxing and celebrating the blessings of this life. And maybe getting started on that big winter reloading project. Wouldn’t it be great to head into the 2013 shooting season with your ammo loaded up and ready to go? Spring is closer than you think! But first [comes] Christmas — all my best wishes to you and those close to you.

Good Shooting — Bill Gravatt

*Geoff Esterline, a key member of the Sinclair team for over 15 years, has agreed to take over as Contributing Editor of the Reloading Press Blog. Bill has “every confidence” in Geoff’s capabilities.

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June 30th, 2012

Sinclair Wants Your Ideas for Technical Articles and Reviews

Sinclair International regularly publishes Reloading Advice and Tech Tips in the Sinclair Reloading Press Blog. Mr. Bob Blaine, Sinclair Reloading Tech, has asked Sinclair’s customers to suggest ideas for future technical articles. Here’s your chance to pose questions to be answered and topics to be covered.

Suggestions Wanted by Sinclair Int’l:

As most of you have noticed, [Sinclair has] brought out some interesting items in our recent Sinclair Summer Catalog. Introducing new products generally causes a lot of questions, and we really do enjoy answering them for you. One of our upcoming articles will be about the new Stainless Steel Tumbling Media. We will explain how to best use the new tumbling media, and will include pictures to help show you how to work with it.

I want to know what other new products you would like us to showcase in future Reloading Press articles. We do enjoy hearing from all of you, and this is your chance to let us know what articles you would like to see from our Sinclair Reloading Tech Staff. We look forward to hearing from you! — Bob Blaine

CLICK HERE to Leave Reply on Sinclair Reloading Press Website

Sinclair International

Story Tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
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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.

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June 23rd, 2011

Brownells and Sinclair Int’l Now Sell Loaded Ammunition

Brownells and Sinclair Int’l now offer a wide selection of rifle, handgun, and shotgun ammunition at competitive prices, backed by Brownells’ 100% satisfaction guarantee*. Brands include Winchester, Federal, Remington, CCI, Hornady, Fiocchi, Ultramax, Kent, Weatherby and more.

“For years, customers have told us, ‘I sure wish you had ammo,’ well, we listened. We are offering the highest quality product at competitive prices, all backed by the high level of service Brownells customers have come to expect,” said company President Pete Brownell.

Sinclair Int’l President and General Manager, Bill Gravatt told us, “When you don’t have the time to reload, you can count on Sinclair to offer you a wide selection of the highest-quality ammunition from the brands you know and trust.” The same Sinclair tech staffers who help customers with reloading questions are also available to help buyers select the right ammo.

Ammo Advisor Web Tool Speeds Ammo Selection Process
For their online customers, both Brownells and Sinclair Int’l offer the Ammo Advisor — an industry first. This interactive ammo database makes online shopping for ammunition quick and easy. Use any or all of the fields and the Ammo Advisor filters the selection based on the shopper’s criteria. The selection fields are populated with all the top brands in the calibers shooters use most. “65% of Brownells customers shoot more than 25 times per year. We are taking the ammo shopping experience to the next level by offering customers a tool that is user-friendly. It makes shopping for ammo quick, fun, easy and convenient,” continued Brownell. Of course, customers can always just head straight for their favorite brands without going through the Ammo Advisor.

*Brownells exclusive 100% guarantee applies to all purchases so customers can rest easy knowing that they can return anything they’re not happy with — no questions, no hassles.
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