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PLEASE NOTE –This is the original Shooting SHED site however it has now been updated to the ecommerce site at and my Shooting SHED Journal at

Bearing Surface Comparator - Mark Ellis rang me up one day "Dave, can you make me a bearing surface comparator?" Being quite honest I had a vague idea what it was and it seemed simple enough albeit my idea what they looked like was a bit sketchy. The good news was I knew what he meant and was fairly confident I could make a BSC that delivered the required accuracy for a lot less money than the commercially available alternatives. The hard part should have been sourcing a suitable lump of granite to build it on but as luck would have it Mark knew a stone mason and already had the granite blocks cut up and ready to go and here it is:
So what is a Bearing Surface Comparator you ask?
In simple terms it is a gauge that measures the parallel part (bearing surface) of a bullet. Why, because variances in the length of the bearing surface will lead to pressure changes which will impact verticals. In other words, make your bullet go up and down relative to the target.

Meplat Trimmer Insert for the Wilson Case Trimmer - You may well know the Wilson case trimmer, a very precise tool used to trim cases to length. This is an insert that allows it to be used to trim meplats (Pointy ends of bullets) I machined a bullet holder that can be locked in place in the Wilson trimmer, the hard part was holding the bullets in the correct position so I cast two bullets into the holder using an epoxy. Once set push the bullets out and you have two perfect bullet holders. This one is for 155 Scenar's and 155.5 Bergers. You can then trim meplats to the required length time after time with good repeatability.

Again this was a prototype with the 'proper' version being built from stainless steel.
Shoulder Bump Gauge - I need to set the shoulders back on my 7mm from time to time, the problem was how to measure it reliably. I built an insert for the Hornady comparator base (The red bit) so it could be used in a digital vernier. The measuring is based on a precise register on the inside of the neck of the insert. Great, however when you are measuring a change of .001" the slightest misalignment of the case to the insert will lead to incorrect readings so I added a second insert that holds the cartridge head in place and finally a dowel precisely machined to fit inside two comparator bases.

To use, join the two bases together with the dowel and lock the grub screws, now attach it to the vernier. Remove the dowel and replace with the comparator insert and cartridge head insert, lock the grub screws up and off you go, perfectly measured shoulder bump every time.

I really should add a couple more pictures but this is enough to show the components.
Redding Match Die Bullet Tipping Conversion - I have been looking at bullet pointing for a while, as much as I wanted to try it I invariably dismissed it as the equipment is so expensive. I took another look this week and this is the result. A Redding competition die converted to act as a bullet pointing die.
The pointing part is a sleeve, in this case for 7mm bullets, a die to form the point and an anvil to rest the bullet on in the press. This is a prototype so manufactured in aluminium and brass as it is quicker to machine, the hard part was grinding the cutter to form the cone in the pointing die.
Load trays - We all need them if we are reloading. I never seemed to have enough, especially if I was preparing brass in the shed and Christel was filling cases elsewhere plus trays of 50 cases are quite limiting so I decided to build some 100 case trays, this one is for SAUM cases and has cut outs on the underside to allow you to slide your fingers in, it makes it easier to pick them up. The trays are made from leftover Beech from the kitchen project and you can only have so many chopping boards.... The Beech means they are good and heavy and they feel nice as well.