Case Cleaning
  David A. Cushman logo  

Salvaging Auto Cases with Neck Dings

Ding is not really a word that can be found in the dictionary, but it is descriptive and widely used.

Automatic Pistols have high pressures in order to cycle the action quickly and crisply, such fast working actions eject fired cases at high speed and cases can be dented or otherwise distorted in this process.

These 'dings' or dents deform the case to such a degree that the expander plug may not enter the case mouth and may buckle the case beyond retrieval.

  Dinged .45 ACP case, recovered from a monochrome photo

Rather than just scrapping the dented cases it is a simple matter to make a tool that can be easily used by hand to reshape these cases suitable for reloading.

Working on the basis that a dent will not be longer than half the case length and that if the dent encroaches into the case mouth more than 50% of it's diameter then the case should be scrapped anyway. It follows that a tapered or bullet shaped plug can be simply turned up from a piece of steel rod and that can be mounted in a wooden handle for comfort of use.

The tool shown at right can be simply made using a piece of hardwood for the handle, a piece of brass tube (or copper plumbing pipe) for a ferule and a piece of steel rod that can be turned down to suit.

The calibre that the tool is intended for can be burned or carved into the flat on the handle and although not shown in the illustration the handle can have a hole drilled through it so that the tool may be hung on a row of stout nails along with other tools of similar form.

If the wooden handle is rubbed with a beeswax block and treated with linseed oil, it will acquire a surface finish and patina during use that will render it nice to look at and a joy to use.

  dent smoothing tool

The exact size that you need to make your version of the tool will depend to some extent on the 'lead in' shape of the expander plug in your die set.

The principles discussed above can also be applied to rifle calibres/bottleneck cases. The shank will need to be longer and the shank itself can be slightly tapered from 98% right up to 100% of internal case mouth diameter, with the bullet shaped nose being about one and a half times longer than the calibre.

 Originated... 11, 12 February 2004, Upgraded... 25 January 2007, Code Altered... 18 May 2008,
This page has actually been validated by W3C Javascript Navigational elements removed as per W3C Link Checker version 4.1 (c) 1999-2004 Requirements
Shooting favicon