I decided to take this opportunity of being confined to quarters due to the pandemic, to do a little write up on my Ultimate Cannelure Tool II. No, I'm not infected or have symptoms, but so many stores and places of entertainment/recreation are closed, so I might as well stay home and play with my bullets. This isn't my first rodeo canneluring my own bullets, but it is the first time using this particular tool. I have used a C-H cannelure tool in years past with success, but I found it a bit wanting in several areas that the UCTII corrects. The first area is that of leverage concerning the handle. The C-H is very short thus not providing much pressure on the bullet unless you are applying much pressure on the handle making it pretty uncomfortable. The UCTII is much longer providing more mechanical advantage, and has a much more comfortable handle.
The other area is the length of the crank handle. On the C-H this item is relatively short and has an awkward feel while cranking. The UCTII crank handle is much longer and is adjustable for the radius off the centerline of the crankshaft, giving you the ability to change the amount of mechanical advantage, or ease of turning/rotation. One other thing I prefer is the mounting method. The C-H has two holes for securing to the side of a bench while the UCTII has two holes for securing to the top of a bench. I mounted mine to a short section of 2X4 and use clamps to secure it to a bench or table. Here are some pictures of the UCTII. I apologize for not having any for my C-H for comparison, but it is packed away somewhere in my reloading cabinet and I'm not certain where.
This whole post was prompted by my recent purchase of some Hornady .357 180 grain XTPs from Midway that were listed as blems. The picture showed the classic 180 grain XTP with dual cannelures, but when they showed up, they only had the top one. I have seen this with Hornady's .430 300 grain XTPs, and it seems they have dropped the second cannelure in an effort to reduce manufacturing time and cost. I am one of those reloaders that actually utilizes the bottom groove on both of those bullets. This tool will provide me a way to continue using loads that I have developed, even though Hornady won't produce the bullets with two grooves.
On the left is an older manufactured Hornday .357 180 grain XTP with the factory dual cannelures. On the right is one of the new bullets, sans the bottom cannelure.
Here is a bullet loaded into the UCTII after using a factory dual cannelured bullet to make the adjustments for cannelure location and depth.
This is the completed bullet after applying adequate downward pressure on the handle and rotating the crank handle six full rotations. Why six? I don't know, just kind of felt right. It might have been done in three, but I went with six.
On the left is the bullet I cannelured, the center is a factory dual cannelured, and on the right is a recent manufactured single cannelured bullet.
Here is a full box of one hundred that I cannelured with the UCTII. It took about 19 minutes, and that included spot checking a few throughout the run for proper depth. No blisters, no cramps, no cussing, just a little tedious. Adjustments are easy, and lock down with set screws. I like it. Just 400 more bullets to do and I'm good.