proper way to grind shell holders

Cree SwagR

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Aug 4, 2010
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well i found out that 3 sets of dies for my 300WSM(<span style="font-style: italic">RCBS</span>), 270 Winchester(<span style="font-style: italic">old RCBS</span>) and 22-250(<span style="font-style: italic">Hornady</span>) do not set back the shoulder back enough using my Lee Classic press. I suspect press deflection and the cheapest way i have come up with to solve this problem is to grind down the shell holder but since i don't have access to a grinding wheel and i tried with a file (<span style="font-style: italic">which failed miserably</span>) is there any other way i can grind down the shell holder effectively?

thanks
 

bohem

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Re: proper way to grind shell holders

belt sander, dremel tool, angle grinder/vice combo.

None of these is particularly "precise" so be careful.

I'm not surprised the file didn't do anything, the shell holders are pretty hard, the file probably just rolled off without making so much as a scratch.
 

kraigWY

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Re: proper way to grind shell holders

Here is another thought:

I tried the grinding shell holders. Making them thiner gives you a better chance of stuck shells in the sizing die if they weaken enough where a heavy rim pulls out of the shell holder.

After doing that a time or two, I chucked the sizing die in a lathe and shortened it.
 

fireguyty

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Re: proper way to grind shell holders

I went and found a machinist and asked him to reduce the holder. He did it in 5 minutes and I offered him $10. Was for my 300 WSM as well.
 

bohem

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Re: proper way to grind shell holders

kraig brings up the point about cutting the die. That's a far better way to do it IMO and I've used that method.

If you can't get a shop to do it let me know, I'll give you a hand.
 

Fuzzball

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Re: proper way to grind shell holders

"found out that 3 sets of dies for my 300WSM(RCBS), 270 Winchester(old RCBS) and 22-250(Hornady) do not set back the shoulder back enough using my Lee Classic press. I suspect press deflection"

All a press can do is push the cases into the die. Lee's presses are as rigid as any so it's very unlikely to be press deflection. And it can't be if the dies are properly adjusted. The user controls case insertion, so far as it's possible, with any die and shell holder combonation by how he adjusts the dies. Modern machine tools produce VERY few dies/shell holders that leave cases too long to chamber if they are fully resized.

Lube your cases well, especially down near the head, then turn your sizers down another 1/8th turn (about .009"), or less, and resize them again. You will likely be good to go for all of them.


Ref. Redding's competiton shell holders, read their description:

"Redding Competition Shellholders are packaged in five piece sets in .002” increments (+.002”, +.004”. +.006”, +.008” and +.010”)"

Note that they are thicker than normal shell holders, not thinnner. If we can't set a shoulder back far enough with a standard shell holder we sure won't with a thicker/higher one.
 

Cree SwagR

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Re: proper way to grind shell holders

I forgot to mention i followed the die instruction for both the RCBS and the Hornady to a tee and did turn the die in farther in 1/8 turns until they bottomed out on the shell holder to no avail. I measured the sized cases at the shoulder, midway down the case body and just above the "pressure ring" and the measurements all fall within SAAMI specs. I also marked the cases with marker to see where exactly i was getting pressure while chambering them in each rifle and the marks were rubbed off halfway up the case body, no marks on the case mouth and no marks on the angled shoulder either. i lube the cases liberally and even tried over-lubing them to the point where i was getting indents just below the shoulder. i am tempted into trying a small base die to see if this helps but replacing all of my regular dies with SB Dies seems like a waste of money ...i will keep you guys posted

thanks for the suggestions
 

Clark

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Re: proper way to grind shell holders

I have done it 4 ways:

1) Put the shell holder in the lathe and cut off some of the top.
But if the case gets stuck in the die, the top of the shell holder can break off when trying to pull the case out.

I have also put the case in the mill vise and milled off part of the top.

I have also ground off part of the top on the bench grinder while holding the shell holder in my fingers.

2) I have put the shell holder in the 3 jaw chuck on the lathe and made an interrupted cut.

3) I have cut some off the bottom of the sizer die.

If the bottom of the die has a carbide ring, I have used a diamond wheel.

4) I have pulled the barrel off the receiver with an action wrench and barrel vise. I put the barrel in the 4 jaw in the lathe, dial in the barrel, and cut a little more out of the chamber with a reamer or boring bar.
 

427Cobra

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    Re: proper way to grind shell holders

    Get a headspace measuring tool, use it to set up your full length sizing dies, and throw the instructions away
     

    Fuzzball

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    Re: proper way to grind shell holders

    "I forgot to mention i followed the die instruction for both the RCBS and the Hornady to a tee and did turn the die in farther in 1/8 turns until they bottomed out on the shell holder to no avail."

    I almost knew you had done exactly that. Die instructions only get you in the ball park, it's not a precisely accurate thing. Your lack of rub on the shoulder is simply a visual confirmation that you aren't going into the sizer enough, no small base die will change that.

    Turn your die down another 1/8th turn.
     

    GreatGonzo

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    Re: proper way to grind shell holders

    I bolted mine down on my drill press tray, and chucked up a die grinder fine polish stone. Measure carefully and only take off what you need. I got it true to .001 which is as close as I can measure with my tools. I just needed to take off the chrome on a RCBS shellholder.
     

    Innovative

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    Re: proper way to grind shell holders

    427cobra .....

    +1

    I've found that when shooters fail to "measure" their cases (at the shoulder), it results in too many shooters grinding their dies and shellholders and creating far bigger problems.