Lee dies in .50 AE

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by robocop10mm, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    I picked up a set of Lee dies for the .50 AE for a buddy. I was going to load some Desert Eagle ammo for him. These are not carbide as Lee does not offer them in carbide.

    I used my normal Frankfort Arsenal (MidwayUSA) spray on lube (formerly known as Minute Lube). The brass cases were no problem. I tried some of the nickle plated cases and things got bad. I stuck the first case and ripped the rim off. My trusty RCBS stuck case remover got it out.

    I switched to my standby lube, Rig Lube +P. This stuff works on the tougest rifle cases so it should be fine, right? Wrong. Stuck the second case. Then I broke the tap off in the case. Now the brand new sizer die has to go back to Lee.

    I ordered some Imperial sizing wax. When the die comes back, we will see if it is really is as good as they say it is.
  2. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

    That sucks,Robo!
    Your gonna like the Imperial Sizing Wax.I've never had a stuck case with it,and 458 SOCOM cases are about as bad as it gets when it comes to a case wanting to get stuck in a die.
    One little can will last you for years.

  3. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    I just toss nickel cases unless im using carbide dies. They just suck to reload. Pretty but hard to work with.
  4. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    I like the Nickle cases in other calibers and my buddy has nothing but once fired Nickle cases to load. The stuff I was practicing on was assorted range pick up stuff. Yes it has been cleaned and polished. I think I will try a little polishing on the die before I tackle the cases again
  5. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    Update: I tried something a little unconventional. I removed the decapping pin and collet. I slid a 1/4" ratchet extension into the case and tapped it with a hammer. The case popped out w/o much resistance. The huge gaping mouth of the AE case made that part easier.

    Next, I cleaned the die and polished the interior with OOOO steel wool and light oil spun on a pice of drill stock. Spinning with the electric drill to get a decent polish to the die. I cleaned and degreased the die again. I took a cotton "bore mop", chucked on the end of a section of cleaning rod. Generous amounts of Flitz metal polish and buff some more. The die looks noticably smoother now.

    Back to the press and try again. My order from Midwayusa had arrived and now I had some Imperial sizing wax. I ran the rest of the brass cases with out any drama. I moved to the nickle cases and was dissapointed. Ripped the rim off the first one, crap. I used the extension to knock it out. I then came up with the only answer possible...

    I took out the decapping pin and collet and used the die for sizing only. I figured I could decap in a separate operation. I lubd the case with the Imperial sizing wax and ran the nickle case into the die with much effort (using an RCBS "RS" press). I then slid the extension into the case/die. Tapping on the extension with a hammer and applying slight pressure on the press handle worked. Viola! A PITA, but it worked.

    I may still send the die back to Lee as this is not the best situation. $28 for a set of dies? I guess I cannot expect much.