.223 re-sizing die question

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Professor, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. Professor

    Professor New Member

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    To start with, I'm new to reloading. I've reloaded a few thousand pistol cartridges and am now attempting rifle cartridges for the first time. I have all kinds of equipment (given to me by the widow of an old gentleman I was friends with). I already have a (used) Hornady .223 full-length resizing die as well as a RCBS neck-only .223 die. Because my brass comes from various sources, I feel I should use the full length die. I am still at the familiarization stage and not ready to begin the reloading operation. I installed the die in the press and selected a few once-fired cases. The die was installed per the Hornady directions. I noticed that the cases (all of them) are extremely difficult to extract and I'm actually having to "muscle" it out of the die. I suspect there is a problem with the die....because the die is used (and I can't talk to the former owner) I don't trust it. This can't be right. My plan is to send the die back to Hornady for inspection, etc. In the meantime, I'm thinking I should get a NEW die and start from new. I realize I'll probably get lots of different opinions, but can anyone suggest a good full length die for a beginner? (By the way, I also found a brand new Hornady .223 seating die.....the sizing die is used (found inside a 2 die Hornady plastic case) but the seating die was missing from the plastic case and there is a brand new Hornady seating die in a sealed clear plastic package.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Of course you are using some lube on the cases.

    Without it, you run the risk of case head separation. Should that happen, you may have to purchase a new die.

    Usually, carbide dies do not need lube, but with using a used die, it may not be carbide.
     

  3. Professor

    Professor New Member

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    Thanks for the response. I did forget to mention that it is a carbide die.
     
  4. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Try a couple with a little lube.

    Case head separation is a headache.
     
  5. sandog

    sandog Member

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    Carbide dies do not need lube on the outside of the case, but you may need a shot of lube inside the case neck, as you stated the case is difficult to EXTRACT from the die, not go in. Sounds like the expander ball is having a hard time going into and out of the case neck. I shoot some Hornady One-Shot aerosol lube inside the case mouth, not a lot, just a quick blast.
    Unless it's something new that I don't know about, I thought carbide dies where only available for straight-walled cases, not bottle-neck ones. Must be a new development.
     
  6. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Carbide rifle dies require lube. Just like a regular die. Only carbide short straightwall pistol cases like 9mm 40 45 etc require no lube.

    The carbide on rifle dies like 308 and 556 is coated such to prolong die life for mass bulk loaders not for skipping a lube step. I use a alcohol based spray lube a few squirts on the brass in a box shake the box and off you go.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  7. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    Hold on there Pard. Lets back up here.

    As far as I know Hornady does not and never has made a Carbide Rifle die. Dillon yes, Hornady no. Hornady does offer a Carbide expander button, but that is NOT the die itself.

    Even if the did, you MUST lube the case carbide or not.

    If you are unaware of the lubing process then I would have to assume you are also unaware of many other aspects of the handloading process. I apologize if I am mistaken.

    The first thing you need to do it walk away from your loading bench. The second thing you need to do is get a New reloading manual and read it. Not just the load data section in the back half the whole thing. Once you have read the manual, read it again. Then and only then should you belly up to your loading bench.
     
  8. Professor

    Professor New Member

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    First thing I've learned is that (as advised) this die DOES require lube. I stand corrected here. Okay, so I tried some lube..... with mixed results. By the way, I had been given some "One Shot" spray and so I used that. Some cases seem to work quite well, and others seem to stick no matter what I did. (Lubing die only, lubing case only, and then lubing both). Here I am unconcerned with damaging something because I really think I won't be comfortable using this die anyway. Good thing, 'cause I now have a stuck case. (LOL). The head did not separate but pulled thru the shell holder. Well, I'm not sweating it because, for some reason, I think the expander is a little off center ....just a hunch, it's hard to tell with the naked eye. And I am still wondering why some cases worked okay and others were a bitch. Again, because I am new, I am only comfortable with a new die. (I still have a brand new Hornady seating die). Any suggestions? If I have to buy a complete set I will....
     
  9. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    You do not have to lube the die, in fact you shouldn't.

    One-Shot is notorious for stuck cases. Most of the issues associated with One-Shot are failure to follow directions.

    It is imperative that you completely coat the case and Let It Dry. If you use it wet, it will stick the case every time. These instructions should be on the can. "Let it Dry".
     
  10. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    you need to shake the lube spray vigoursly as the lanolin and alcohol will seperate making it kinda iffy if its sat a while. the first few runs of cases on a new die you need to use a bit more lube than normal. after that the die builds a film of lube and it doesnt take as much once you have run a few hundred cases.

    dont spray lube directly into the die itself.

    the stiffness is likely the expander ball pulling through the neck. you may have a steel expander which requires lubing the inside of the necks. i prefer carbide expanders as neck lubing sucks


    hope that helps
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  11. Professor

    Professor New Member

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    I made a few mistakes here...1) I didn't shake the lube before spraying.....2) I didn't let it dry. Beyond those mistakes (I view them as positive learning experiences), I am still left needing to choose a new die (or die set). I like the idea of a carbide expander. I do have the Midway catalog, but when reading the descriptions of various brands of dies the expander material is often not listed. So short of calling each manufacturer, does anyone know which specific dies have a carbide expander, etc. (and remember, I do have a brand new Hornady seating die but do not know (due to my inexperience) if this works with a non-Hornady sizing die. Cost is not a priority....with my lack of experience I have enough to be concerned with. I'd rather eliminate whatever issues I can by getting the best-performing die for a beginner.
     
  12. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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    Resizing 223 brass can be a real pain at times. I doubt there is anything wrong with your dies,it's probably just your choice of case lube.
    I only use Imperial sizing wax anymore,and I've never had a stuck case since I started using it a couple decades ago.

    If your resizing brass that you bought used or picked up at a range,it always needs to be full length sized,or if it has been shot out of a semi-auto rifle. You only want to neck size brass that you shoot out of a bolt action rifle,and always keep brass separated when you shoot the same caliber out of more than one rifle in the same caliber,or you can have chambering problems.
     
  13. gunnut07

    gunnut07 New Member

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    Best stuff you can use.
     
  14. Professor

    Professor New Member

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    Thanks for the tip on Imperial wax. So noted. But in addition to that, I DO need to buy a die (or die set). So I'm still wondering abouty die selection...any suggestions?
     
  15. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The expander button does not need to be carbide. I have never even seen such a product. I can say that Dillon and Lyman have elongated/elliptical expander button. That should minimize case stretching/working. I use a Dillon sizer in .223. I also have dies from RCBS, Lyman and Lee. The Lee dies are workable in most calibers. The only Lee set I am not satisfied with is .50 AE. Nickle plated cases stick EVERY TIME, even when I use Imperial sizing wax. I have found a very unconvential metod of dealing with this problem.
     
  16. Wouva1

    Wouva1 New Member

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    Rcbs,forster and redding dies are number 1 in my opinion for loading rifle brass.....cheers
     
  17. Professor

    Professor New Member

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    Perhaps I may actually be able to contribute (actually help) on this forum in spite of my inexperience. Based on the previous posts, I just went to the Dillon website to look at rifle dies. This is quoted from thier rifle die description:

    "For high volume users, such as commercial reloaders, law enforcement agencies, and high power or service rifle competitors, we also offer .223 and .308 die sets with a full-length carbide sizing die. Lubrication is still required, but the increased scratch resistance and die longevity of carbide are of great benefit to these groups of users.
    The depriming assembly includes a carbide expander ball for "squeak-free," effortless neck expansion. This expander ball is located in the middle of the depriming stem to take advantage of superior initial leverage for easier extraction"

    So, apparently, someone DOES make a carbide expander. Of course (groan) this same website states that most of thier reloading dies have a 6 to 8 week backorder time....
     
  18. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Hey, Professor, first, welcome to the FTF.

    I use, IIRC, Hornady sizing wax. It works well,

    and I like it.

    Have you shone a light into your die, to see if

    perhaps there may be some varnish, corrosion,

    or dessicated wax buildup inside your die?

    I'm sure this probably isn't the case, but

    I am just leaving no stone unturned.
     
  19. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

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    I've never used any other lube but Hornady One Shot. Never had a stuck case. Read the instructions.