223 Die Problem?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by JTJ, Nov 1, 2020.

  1. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was prepping 223 cases yesterday and had a case stick. I had run about 150 when it stuck. I had to pull the decapper/expander and drill and tap the shell for a 1/4x20 bolt. I use the bolt with a nut and a 1/4" drive socket to pull the case if it wont tap out with a steel rod. I cleaned the die and the next one stuck. Went through the routine again and tried a sized case which stuck. 7 cases later I let it sit for an hour. Went back and it is working fine. Maybe it was tired and wanted a break.
    I run my sized cases through a shell checker and I am finding a good percentage wont drop quite all the way. I reject those but am a little puzzled about why it is happening. I tried running them through the sizer again to no avail. I have run several thousand rounds through that die. I ordered a new one to be safe.
     
  2. austin92

    austin92 Well-Known Member

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    What case lube are you using? I’ve always used Hornady one shot and only had one stuck case and I really half assed spraying it that time.

    Are the cases stopping in your gauge on the shoulder or the base? If it’s the base I’d look for a small base sizing die, if the shoulder, lay a piece of 180 grit sandpaper flat on the table and start removing material from the top of the shell holder. Did this for my 308 shell holder, had to take like .003 to get the casings perfect.
     

  3. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It is the base. I was using the same lube I have used for years. I id try a different lube but still stuck. I may have found the problem I will have to size some more cases.
     
  4. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim Well-Known Member

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    I had the same thing happen with a Hornady resizer, it was used when I acquired it so could have been worn out. I was using the RCBS lube at the time (rookie)... I threw it in the trash and bought a Lee Pacesetter and no more problems, I even changed my lube to Lanolin & Heet.:D
     
  5. oO_Rogue_Oo

    oO_Rogue_Oo Well-Known Member

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    1. A worn sizing die gets looser not tighter. The problem begins with either the lube or the cases. What will happen is small amounts of brass will transfer to the die causing drag and ultimately stuck cases.

    Solution: Disassemble the die and soak the die body in a 50/50 solution of Hydrogen Peroxide and White Vinegar. Be sure to totally submerse the die; only partially submersion will result in discoloration etc at the submersion line. Soak for 20 minutes to an hour; this will dissolve any brass adhering to the die. Dry and oil the die well, then wipe clean and your back in business. For extra credit you can chuck up a barrel cleaning swab in a Dremel soaked in a good cleaning lube and "polish" the die bore.

    2. What can also happen is due to decapping dirty brass the die can become scratched and this will cause sticking as well.

    Solution: I always recommend cleaning as outlined above first then; using polishing compound; polish the die as outlined above.

    I like to decap as a separate operation and use a dedicated decapping die to "save" my sizing dies. You can also clean your brass before decapping; that helps. Also Nickel cases are hard on dies and can cause scratching; especially as the Nickel finish wear on the case or worse yet, flakes.

    EDIT: Never let anything even remotely dirty get near your sizing dies and you should clean your dies on a regular basis (just like you do your guns)
     
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  6. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim Well-Known Member

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    I should have a reworded the “worn out” too damaged.
    It never worked right since day one.
     
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  7. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Peracetic acid is the result of mixing hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. It is highly toxic and dangerous to work with. Also requires toxic waste disposal.
    I thoroughly cleaned and inspected the die after the 1st case stuck and when each case stuck. I use a lanolin based lube and am careful not to over lube. I had one stuck case in this die a long time ago and have run quite bit of brass through it since with no problems until now. I ran 10 cases through the die yesterday without any problems after putting in a new shell holder. Still having a high percentage of cases not quite dropping in the shell checker. I tried running the oversize cases through again with the new shell holder but they are very close but still not dropping. I am running FC brass only right now. I have to try some other brass to see if it is a brass problem.
    I have 200 cases sized. Still need to check for length. I need 300 more cases prepped.
     
  8. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    JTJ,
    As I am sure you are very aware Case Lube is very important. I try to be sure my cases are always clean and lubed well. However, if I am loading a lot of rounds through a Die, on occasion I pull it out of my RCBS Press and use Break and Part Cleaner on the Die. For some reason there seems to be a buildup when loading a lot of rounds. In fact I repeat the Die cleaning process before I put the Dies back in their storage Box. So they are perfectly clean and ready for the next time.

    For those who might be interested: I use the following formula and make my own Case Lube. And of course I roll each clean case on the Lube Pad.
    1. Liquid Lanolin (100%)
    2. 99% Isopropyl Alcohol
    ("Not 92%")
    1 Part Lanolin to 4 or 5 parts of Isopropyl Alcohol
    Put the formula in warm water maintaining 105-110 Degrees for a few minutes before mixing.

    ***** Do not use any "Open Flame" to accomplish this heating process! *****

    A friend of mine who owns an ammunition reloading company uses this formula and gave it to me several years ago.

    03
     
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  9. oO_Rogue_Oo

    oO_Rogue_Oo Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I also clean my barrels with Mercury. Been using both for over 40 years without negative affect. But even worse than that; I don't wear seat belts. LMAO

    EDIT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peracetic_acid
    Hmmmmmmmm used as a disinfectant. Also found in laundry detergent.
     
  10. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I did use non chlorinated brake cleaner to clean them. Very handy stuff.
    I think I found the problem. I switched from an old RCBS #10 shell holder to a newer Lyman 26. I readjusted the die and ran the 28 oversize shells through it. Salvaged them all after cleaning up some burrs on a few of the rims.
     
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  11. noylj

    noylj Member

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    I have always used the RCBS case lube pad and RCBS case lube. Almost 50 years and NEVER stuck a case, never had lube "dimples," never had any issue.
    If your sized cases don't chamber, maybe you aren't sizing them down enough to push the shoulder back a mil or two.
     
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  12. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim Well-Known Member

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    I’ve heard of a few problems with shell holders not resizing correctly that’s why a few years ago I sold all my used bought dies, shell holders and bought new Lee dies with shell holders. No problems so far.
     
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  13. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a new Lee set on the way.
     
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  14. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Redding (or RCBS) dies and Dillon case lube= no problems!:)
     
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  15. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am using an RCBS die set and have not had any more problems since I changed the shell holder and adjusted the die to the new shell holder.
     
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  16. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

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    I've done the same for over 40 years, never stuck a case and never had dimples. I can't count the number of cases I've resized over the years, only to say it has to be in the thousands. All I've ever used is RCBS dies and case lube, also I've never had a problem with Mil cases and the RCBS primer pocket swage die, it has always left the pockets tight. I trust my reloads and have never had a primer pop out and never a failure to fire, had a factory Remington 30-06 round fail to fire years ago, but even that is not a bad record for all the years shooting. I also like carbide dies when I can get them.
     
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  17. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use RCBS case lube or Imperial sizing die wax on bottleneck rifle cases larger than .308.

    Dillon spray on .308, .223 and all pistol cases.
     
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  18. AgedWarrior

    AgedWarrior Well-Known Member

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    Like others, I have used RCBS lube for a lot of years without incident with the exception of an occasional slight shoulder dimple that are of course my own fault, but rare. I clean my sizing dies carefully with painters alcohol after every use. All my brass is clean prior to sizing. I cannot even begin to count how many I have sized in various calibers, but a few of my dies are at least 35 years old and working great still.
     
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  19. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Well-Known Member

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    To me the top concern would not be in lube. There are some cases not going into of OP's gauges. Might be good to start at the very basics. That what would be starting with adjustment of the clean dies in the press. Starting at the basics implies nothing. It's a starting point. Also, it would be good to inventory the head stamp on the offending rounds.

    This new RCBS lube is much better than the old STP like stuff. Imperial sizing die wax from Redding is tops. In reloading things happen. Cases do get stuck. I had a shell holder break resizing 45-70 cases.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
  20. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim Well-Known Member

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    When I get inventory from picking up range brass, they all get caliber separated then they goes into the 2 Thumblrs for at least 2 hours to get all the crud off off. Then I separate 223/556 headstamps into the appropriate tubs (keep or sell).
    I keep these heads stamps, LC, PSD (for 300BLK conversion) and PMC, the rest I’ll sell as mixed headstamp brass.
    I also switched to lanolin and Heet for case lube, it works flawlessly plus it keeps my hands really soft. LOL
    If you’ve seen pictures of my operating room (reloading/Gun room) you will see that I am particularly anal about cleanliness in reloading.:D:D:D