Thursday, November 22, 2012

Innovative Technologies Belted Magnum Sizing DIe

Probably fifteen years ago, a good friend who owned a pawn shop gave me one hundred "once fired" 300 Weatherby cases that were in a bunch of stuff that he got when he bought out a competitor.  These were the real deal.  Norma-made and in the boxes with the tiger on them.  I thought I had struck gold.

The very next hunting season, I grabbed twenty of those cases and loaded them up with my favorite deer load.  Of course, I waited until the night before opening day to load them and when I tested them to see if they'd feed from the magazine exactly one of them would chamber.  One.  All the rest would stop just above the belt.  If I tried to force them, there would be a bright ring on the case where it was too fat to fit in the chamber.  Regular sizing dies don't size all the way down to the belt.

I hunted the next day with my one good bullet in the chamber and a different load in the rest of the magazine.  I don't remember whether I got anything but I do remember thinking a lot about how to size those cases down so they'd fit.  I decided that some kind of collet like you'd use in a lathe would work if you could work out how to make it stop squeezing at the right amount of sizing.

I had other brass so I never pursued the matter and a few years later I ran across an add for a sizing die by Innovative Technologies that was made to solve exactly the problem that my brass had.

Its a collet die and the call it their Belted Magnum Sizing Die.   It works.  I stole the photo from their website.   Innovative Technologies   My reloading room is not real photogenic right now.

I weighed the cost of replacing that brass against the cost of the die and figured it was worth buying.  I never did fix the Weatherby brass because an airhead on a cell phone rear-ended me at a traffic light and wrecked several discs in my neck and back.  Can't shoot anything with significant recoil anymore so the die just sat in a closet until last weekend.

While fiddling with the project Mauser, I noticed that one of my "at least once fired" 7mm Rem. Mag.  cases was doing in the Mauser exactly what the "once fired" Weatherby brass had done so I got the die out and decided to learn how to use it.

Its really thought out well.  You remove the lock ring and screw the die into a single stage press from the bottom.  Slip the lock ring over the top and lock it down nice and snug.  The expandable "fingers" of the collet slide down the case and bottom out against the top edge of the belt.  You lube the fingers with Imperial Sizing Die Wax, slip the case into the shell holder and then you use the press to stuff the whole thing into the die.  It takes some force but you are resizing the thick end of the case so that's to be expected.  Withdraw the case as you would any case from a regular sizing die, take the fingers off and you have a case that's as close to good as new as you can get.

How do you know the die really sized it enough to fit your rifle's chamber?  How do you know whether the stuff you just fired even needs this kind of sizing this time around?   That's one of the parts that I think is so well designed.   The top of the die is designed as a Go - No Go gauge.  If your case will slide in the top of the die all the way to the belt, it will fit the rifle.  If it won't, it won't.  Its no big deal to check cases before you load them.

I'm waiting on a box of bullets to load into some cases that my brother in law left with me and I thought I'd do all the case prep today so there would be less to do when they get here.  He had eighteen nickle plated cases and two in plain brass.  All were Winchester brand.  I noticed that the nickle cases were a lot harder to size than the brass ones (I think they were fired in a different rifle) so I got the Belted Magnum Sizing Die out again and checked all the cases in the Go - No Go end.  The plain brass ones were fine but none of the nickle plated ones fit even after I full length sized them in a regular die.  All of them got their bottom ends resized and all of them fit now.

In one operation, the die pretty much took them from this:

To this:



Well, which one do you want in the tree stand with you on a cold morning?

Anyway, like I said, the die works. It costs almost $90 but at the price of brass these days, if you have more than fifty belted cases that need their bottom ends slimmed down, it makes sense to get one.

They also have a neat looking headspace measuring rig and a magnetic spirit level for making sure you mount your scopes right and they say the magnet is strong enough to leave it on the rifle and use it to keep the rifle level when shooting.   Haven't tried either so I can't say anything more than they look good.  The site is worth a look.

I guess I should add that ain't nobody paid me nuthin' to say none of this.


GunRights4US said...

I love the visual analogy!

Lantry said...

I'm not much for tramp stamps but the 2nd picture fit the narrative so well I decided to "underlook" the tattoo