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About Corbin Hand Cannelure Tool

The Corbin Hand Cannelure Tool (HCT-1) creates precision cannelure grooves on straight-sided pistol cases or jacketed bullets. You can set both the position and the depth of the cannelure exactly. Two hardened, ground rollers form a V-way on which the bullet (or case) is rested, and a hardened tool steel embossing wheel is brought into contact with the other side of the bullet by lowering a large, expanded-neoprene covered grip and pressing down upon it while you turn a small crank one or two spins.

The result is a factory-perfect .050-inch wide serrated cannelure groove, placed exactly where you want it. The tool is designed for any caliber between .224 and .720 diameter in two ranges, from .22-.458, and from .375-.720. Within each range, it adjusts automatically for diameter of bullet. To change ranges, remove one e-clip and place a pivot pin in the alternate set of holes. That's all there is to it!

Hard chromed steel rollers form a roller V-way to support the bullet horizontally. Since both ends of the rollers are supported in the steel frame, there is no "creep" caused by spreading of one end of the supports, as in some earlier tools. Each bullet looks just like the last.

Cannelures can be used for crimping grooves, for identification of certain bullet weights or designs, or (applied to the case) as a method of preventing a bullet from being pushed back into the case during the feeding cycle. This is especially effective on cartridges that headspace on the end of the case, such as the .45 ACP.

The HCT-1 is recommended for jacketed bullets with conventional copper alloy jackets, not for solid copper or steel jackets. For lead bullets, Corbin has the HCT-2 Knurling Tool (applies a diamond pattern to the surface) and the HCT-3 Grooving Tool (applies two wide lube grooves at a time). Larger calibers and production speeds can be achieved with the Corbin PCM-2 Power Cannelure Machine (100 or more bullets per minute).

The Corbin Hand Cannelure Tool (HCT-1) is in the Corbin price list. VISA/MC orders welcome.


Can I use the HCT-1 with lead bullets?
The HCT-1 is made for jacketed bullets. The HCT-2 and HCT-3 are used for lead bullets (for lubrication knurling or grooves). However, the HCT-1 works well with hard lead bullets (soft lead tends to clog the teeth of the wheel).

What calibers work with the HCT-1?
The HCT-1 cannelure tool works with .224 to .720 caliber bullets, or with straight cartridge cases such as the .45 ACP, 10mm, or 9mm. For applications outside these parameters, use the PCM-2 Power Cannelure Machine with custom modifications to suit.

Is the HCT-1 sold through dealers?
As with all Corbin tools, the HCT-1 is available directly from Corbin. You can order on-line using your credit card. (Dealer inquires are welcome, for quantity orders of 10 or more per shipment. Private label jobs are also welcome: minimum orders apply.)

Can I get special width or shape cannelure wheels?
Custom cannelure wheels can be ordered with non-refundable payment in advance. In most cases, there is no advantage to a cannelure other than the .050-inch wide factory standard shape and pattern, and there is significant cost to tool up for a single part. But if you don't mind the cost, we don't mind doing it. Custom work is time and material. Changes in the serration pattern itself requires a set of hardened knurling roller for the turret lathe, to knurl the steel with so many lines per inch (according to your specs).

Can I put a cannelure on factory bullets?
Yes. Many people add a second cannelure to factory bullets for their application, or add one to a smooth-sided jacketed bullet. Cowboy action shooters do this frequently to use modern 40 caliber bullets in 38-40 revolvers and rifles.

Are the bullets accurate after being cannelured?
Yes, if you do it correctly. Anyone can damage the accuracy of a bullet by applying too deep a cannelure. The miminum cannelure that will hold the bullet in the case is usually only .010 inches or less. But this "looks" too shallow to the novice, and he will typically try for .040 or more depth, which "looks" better but distorts the bullet with the extra displaced lead and does not work any better at holding the bullet in the case. Always use the minimum that works, not the deepest cannelure you can make! It is possible to cut a bullet jacket completely through with this powerful tool if you insist on over-applying it!

Can I cannelure a pistol case?
Yes, short straight cases like the 9mm and 45 ACP can be cannelured to keep the bullet from shoving back into the case during feeding. A light cannelure is all it takes. The picture shows one that is a little deeper than we suggest (too deep a cannelure will shorten case life and is unnecessary). About 1/2 that deep is plenty. Look at factory case cannelures, and duplicate them.

How fast does it work?
Place the bullet on the roller V-way, set the depth and position screws to your liking, and give the crank two complete turns. Once set, you can drop bullets onto the rollers and apply cannelures at a rate of about 5-6 per minute. If you need more speed, get the PCM-2 power cannelure machine: it can process over 100 bullets per minute!

How repeatable are the cannelures?
They are precisely the same from one to another, as long as you use the depth and position adjustments as intended. You can also quickly make cannelures without using the adjustments, and still get them rather closely matched just by feel alone.

How long does the tool last?
We've made them for over 30 years and some of our original customers are still using the first ones made. However, it is necessary to keep the bearings oiled and to drop a little oil on the roller shafts from time to time. The cannelure wheel itself is hardened tool steel, and when used against lead or typical copper alloy jacket material, or copper tube jackets, lasts a lifetime. But it is possible to damage the wheel by trying to cannelure steel jacketed bullets or solid hard metal bullets such as bronze. We do not recommend or warranty the tool when used in commercial high volume applications: for that, we make the PCM-2 Power Cannelure Machine. Typical use of the HCT-1 would be to apply cannelures to a box of 50 or 100 bullets once or twice a month. In that application, the tool has virtually unlimited life if the bearings are kept oiled.

Are the parts replaceable?
The cannelure wheel is not difficult to replace, and is relatively inexpensive. These are kept in stock. However, it is seldom that anyone replaces this part in a normal lifetime of use. Damage from steel jackets or abuse may lead to a replacement. Simply remove the snap ring from the shaft, loosen the set screw in the wheel, loosen the set screw in the play-adjustment bushing, and slide both the bushing and the wheel off the crank shaft. Assemble so the set screw bears on the flat machined onto the crank shaft, secure the play-adjustment bushing so that there is free movement but little or no side-movement of the crank, and replace the snap ring clip. Other parts can also be replaced by removing snap rings (usually it is a good idea to replace the snap rings, too). A pair of pin-tip snap ring pliers is very useful in disassembly and reassembly. Again, parts replacement is almost never required unless the tool was abused or misused.

Can I get literature on the tool?
Yes, in fact there is more information already here on this page than on the printed literature. If there is anything you want to know that has not been covered, it probably isn't in the printed literature either: send an e-mail with your question and we'll answer it as soon as possible. You can download the same information instantly from our FREE document server, at www.Swage.com, and then view or print the folder or instructions using the FREE Adobe Acrobat reader software also available through a link on this site. Acrobat is a trade marked name of Adobe, and is a very useful software tool to have on your system, as it is used to read Portable Document Format files (.PDF)used by a majority of government agencies and businesses for providing electronic books, forms and literature.

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