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Hands cramping after manual rifle case prep, Ouch!

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Gpruitt54, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. Gpruitt54


    Jul 18, 2012
    I just finished processing 200 pieces of .223/5.65 out of 700 totaled. I’m using the Lee Zip Trim with the 3 jaw chuck to size the cases (Works great BTY). However, the same cannot be said about the crimp removal and primer pocket cleaning process. After 200 cases, my left-hand was killing me. I am using the Lyman Case Prep Tool.

    The tool is pretty easy to use. The problem is holding the cases (200 so far) while working the device to clean the pocket and, where necessary removing the crimps. After several cases, your hands and fingers really start to cramp up. There has has to be an economical (the operative work) and faster way of getting this process done. I have 500 more cases to process. With my current process, I am not looking forward to it.

    Any recommendations?
  2. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    I am going to recommend Child Labor or a Illegal Butler.

  3. fx77

    fx77 CLM

    Nov 23, 2008
  4. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

    May 27, 1999
    Oh, USA
    I use the little Lee hand primer pocket cleaner. A little twist between the thumb and forefinger and the pocket is clean. I've done a couple of hundred, never 500 at a sitting though, with no cramping or pain.

    For 7.62 brass I have the RCBS primer pocket swaging tool for my press for removing the military crimp.

    Not to jinx myself but I have worked for years doing repetitive tasks with my hands, machine work and also cad work on the pc and not had that kind of pain so maybe it is just luck.
  5. Monte4283


    Apr 24, 2010
  6. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    My reloading room is in the house and also the computer is in the same room. When I have something like that to do. I just do 10 or 15 or so at a time. Then I go and do something else. When I walk buy again I do 10 or 15 more etc. until they are all done.
  7. Works good on 5.56 also. For trimming I have CTS trimmers for both 7.62 and 5.56. Mounted in a drill press makes short work of the job.
  8. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

    May 27, 1999
    Oh, USA
    I take a tiny, as in almost can't see it, dab of Lee Case Lube and wipe the primer pocket swaging tool about every ten cases. Makes the process much smoother.

    Proper lubrication makes everything go better. :)
  9. Gpruitt54


    Jul 18, 2012
    I've been considering something similar. I saw a smaller case prep center made by Hornady. The center has three tool heads and cost abount 99 bucks.
  10. Gpruitt54


    Jul 18, 2012
    So, applying case prep lube to the tool head makes the head clean the pocker better or easier, with less friction?
  11. pasky2112

    pasky2112 Senior Member

    Aug 2, 2012
    Brevard, FL
    Cheap: 1 - rubberized palm and finger neoprene garden gloves and suck it up.
    Easy: 1- Dillon 600 Super Swager primer pocket swager + 1- Hornady Case Prep station. /the gloves are still a good idea for your 'case holding hand'./:wavey:


    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  12. CarryTexas


    Aug 8, 2002
  13. jlbeasley1976

    jlbeasley1976 Southern BTGOG

    Jul 12, 2012
    South Georgia
    I've looked for a couple of minutes and can't seem to find it. Maybe your google-fu is better than mine. I saw an advertisement a couple of days ago for a brass holder type thingamajiggy that looked like a pair of pliers. It had different attachments to hold different sizes of cases that could be swapped out quite easily. It was rather expensive for no more than it was and I remember thinking "who would buy this?". But I suppose if you deal with carpul tunnel or any arthritic condition, this would definitely sooth the pain a little...especially after 700 cases. If I find it, I'll shoot you a link.
  14. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    I have to wear heavy work gloves and try to get a little bit different hold on each piece of brass to prevent cramps and hot spots. The gloves add diameter to the cases making them easier to hold.

    This process has shown me the value of Lapua brass.
  15. Trebore


    Jul 9, 2013
    Dillon Super Swage 600 for crimps, small battery or elecric drill or driver to chuck up the other tool heads or use a Forester-Sinclair trimmer with the appropriate accessory. Doing it by hand only works for small (<20) quantities.
  16. Gpruitt54


    Jul 18, 2012
    I like Cheap. The rubberized garden gloves sounds good.

    I bought an adapter for my cordless screw driver. The adapter is a hex shaped rod about 2 inches long. The adapter has threads on both ends. The threads are sized to hold case prep tool bits. The lower RPMs of the hand held screw driver is similar to the dedicated case prep centers. The lower RPMs of the hand held hand held makes a cleaner cut of the brass primer pocket by the tool bits.
  17. nitesite10mm

    nitesite10mm Dog Lover

    Jun 9, 2006
    North Alabama
    Get a three-inch piece of rubber fuel hose of the right diameter from the auto parts store, stick the case neck and the leading part of the shoulder in one end and the rubber really holds on well to the case while you work on the primer pocket. Give the case a slight sideways bend and it comes right out of the rubber hose.

    Buy another larger diameter piece to accept the case rim, and a gentle hand squeeze holds it plenty snug enough to chamfer and deburr the case mouth. Relax your slight grip on the hose and the case comes right out.

    I find that grasping a larger rubber hose is much less stress on the hand than trying to hold a little .223 Rem case.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  18. xArcher


    Jun 23, 2011
    San Antonio, Texas
    For a better grip on the case you could use an arrow puller like this. Less than $ 10. . Pulling small diameter arrows from some target butts is nearly impossible without something to increase friction on the arrow shaft. This tool will increase friction and the effective diameter of the item gripped.

    We also used rubber / silicon pad type jar openers. They do not increase the diameter of the item being gripped but do increase friction, making it easier to twist, pull or push.

    If the diameter of the case is not an issue I'd try a rubber glove to increase grip. Cheap disposable ones like a doctor would use or borrow the wife's dishwashing gloves.