A tool to put grease grooves on smooth-sided, swaged lead bullets is now available from Corbin. The HCT-3 gooving tool comes standard with a double-groove wheel to roll up to 0.020-inch deep grease grooves with one sloped side and one straight side, into lead bullets from .224 to .720 caliber. The position and depth can be set by adjustable stops, or done by hand, with a couple of quick turns of a crank.
The tool has a comfortable expanded foam grip, hard chrome plated roller V-way to support the bullet, and a hardened, precision machined grooving wheel on a steel crank axel. The tool adjusts for various size lead bullets in the typical muzzle loading calibers from .375 to .720 automatically. By moving the pivot pin to an alternative set of holes (remove one e-clip, slip the pin out and into the other set), you can change the range to 224-458 diameter.
The shaft accepts two standard grooving wheels, HCT-3W, ordered separately. Both wheels come mounted on the axel at the standard price. Because of the attached hub with set screw (necessary to secure the wheels to the axel), it is impractical to mount more than two grooving wheels. The spacing between the two grooves is adjustable from about .050 to over .3 inches by sliding the wheels along the shaft and then tightening their set screws on the flat portion.
Custom grooving wheels, with from 1 to 4 grooves machined on one wheel, can be made to order. The HTC-3C custom grooving wheel can have from one to four grooves, so long as the total width of all grooves does not exceed 0.25 inches (doing so displaces too much lead, requiring excessive effort and deforms the bullet when pressed in deeply enough to hold lubricant). The spacing from the first to the last groove cannot exceed 1.2 inches. The shape of the grooves can be beveled or straight on one or both sides. A drawing or sample bullet is needed in order to make a custom wheel. The spacing and width as well as groove shape should be specified on the drawing, if no sample is provided (hand-machined samples are adequate). A non-refundable deposit of 50% is required for custom work.
Corbin builds two other similar tools, the HCT-1 jacketed bullet cannelure tool and the HCT-2 knurling tool for lead bullets. The HCT-1 cannelure tool puts a single groove on a conventional copper or gilding metal jacketed bullet or a hard lead bullet. The HCT-2 knurling tool applies a diamond pattern to the surface of a lead bullet, to hold far more lubricant than a groove. In addition, Corbin builds the PCM-2 Power Cannelure Machine, which can run over 100 bullets per minute. It is used by commercial bullet makers in their production lines. For prices on this and other Corbin tools, see the price list.