Deluxe Lee dies are carbide? Seriously?


PDA






Snowdog
January 21, 2006, 03:38 AM
The 4-piece Lee "deluxe" die set I purchase for both the 9mm and .45acp have worked wonderfully so far. However, with some of the once-fired .45acp Winchester brass, I found I had to lube before decapping/resizing as they didn't seem inclined to cooperate without, requiring much more effort in both insertion and extraction.

I later read that Lee carbide dies require no lube and noticed that the 4-die deluxe set (in the red square box with dipper) is listed as "carbide" in Lee's 2005 catalog. The image they show in this 2005 catalog for deluxe carbide dies appears to be exactly what I have.

If I indeed do have carbide dies, can I skip on the lube? I am now under the impression that the lube may not be required for resizing with carbide dies, though lube might still be necessary for "ease of use".
Does anyone still lube even while using carbide dies?

I also received my Lee auto disk powder measurer yesterday and noticed it is designed to be activated by the case while being flared. Well I don't think this will work for me as it takes a bit of effort to extract an unlubed case from this die and I suspect some of the powder would "jump" from the case during extraction.

Is there any markings on the Lee dies that indicate whether they are carbide or not? I've found no conspicuous indications or markings on the dies themselves.

Thanks in advance!

If you enjoyed reading about "Deluxe Lee dies are carbide? Seriously?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
BigSlick
January 21, 2006, 04:27 AM
I still lube (Hornady One Shot) with carbides.

Almost all Lee pistol dies are carbide.

You can tell by looking at the size die and the FCD, both will have an insert. Here's a pic from another post:

Lee carbide die ring (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=32566&d=1134530868)

HTH,

BigSlick

Snowdog
January 21, 2006, 05:46 AM
Thanks a bunch, BigSlick. The photo link helps a lot!

I was using CLP as a lube as I had nothing else for lubrication on hand. I'm sure that would glean a lot of hard looks from the veteran handloaders.
Looks like I'll be placing an order for resizing lube from Lee.

db_tanker
January 21, 2006, 09:23 AM
If you can, instead of the Lee sizing lube, get thee some Imperial Sizing Wax.

Trust me...it is the best...and a little, VERY little, goes forever. :)

D

Dave P
January 21, 2006, 09:57 AM
I would hate to be forced into lubing hundreds and hundreds of pistol cases - what a mess!

Maybe you could try tumbling your cases before the carbide die - thats what I do.

Dave

Jim Watson
January 21, 2006, 10:29 AM
The only straight wall pistol cases that I (lightly) lube is new or chemically cleaned brass that will drag in even carbide dies. A spritz of One Shot is good for that. Gun oil like Breakfree is not an adequate resizing lube and is harder to remove besides.

I use a Lee "U" undersize carbide die for a good grip on jacketed bullets under 230 grains and have not noticed undue effort being needed on tumbled fired brass.

HSMITH
January 21, 2006, 11:07 AM
I too use One Shot with carbide dies, life is a lot easier and all the work is taken out of reloading.

Like Jim, I have found new brass to be the toughest to run through the dies, it feels almost sticky.

If your cases are free of dirt after firing load them before tumbling, the little bit of soot on them makes reloading a lot easier. You do run the risk of tearing up your dies though if you get some dirt on a case.

Snowdog
January 21, 2006, 11:13 AM
I guess that would explain why they were sticking, I had just tumbled them in corn cob media with Frankford Arsenal brass polish.

I'll have to read through the responses and do some research for what's best for me.

Thanks for the information!

Jim Watson
January 21, 2006, 11:24 AM
I don't tumble my brass very long, I just want it clean, not necessarily bright. It runs without lube through any brand carbide die tried, to include Lee, Dillon, RCBS, Lyman, CH.

armoredman
January 21, 2006, 11:46 AM
Never a trouble with my Lee carbide dies, but I use no brass polish, just walnut media.

The Bushmaster
January 21, 2006, 01:58 PM
I use Lee carbide pistol dies and tumble my cases before I resize/decap and have had no problem as you discribe. New cases, once fired or many times fired...I load 9mm X 19 and .45 ACP plus many other pistol/revolver cases without a problem...9mm X 19 always seem sticky because of the tapered case...Ignore it...:)

Rockstar
January 21, 2006, 01:58 PM
Corn cob media; Midway case polish "sweetened" with a little NuFinish car polish (one cap) Brass comes out slick and shiney. I've loaded tens of thousands of rounds of .45's and 9mm's, using nothing but Lee dies. Never lubed one yet. The CLP will cause more problems than it'll cure. When you're flaring the case mouth, flare only enough to allow the bullet to start for seating. Quit hypothesizing and get to work!:)

The Bushmaster
January 21, 2006, 02:01 PM
Go get-em Rockstar!!:D

hpcc19
January 21, 2006, 05:00 PM
I also received my Lee auto disk powder measurer yesterday and noticed it is designed to be activated by the case while being flared. Well I don't think this will work for me as it takes a bit of effort to extract an unlubed case from this die and I suspect some of the powder would "jump" from the case during extraction.
Thanks in advance!

I have found that new brass(Win) sticks like the devil in the Lee expander/powder die, but fired brass is smooth as silk.

Starline brass works fine even when new.

AnthonyRSS
January 21, 2006, 07:02 PM
I also received my Lee auto disk powder measurer yesterday and noticed it is designed to be activated by the case while being flared. Well I don't think this will work for me as it takes a bit of effort to extract an unlubed case from this die and I suspect some of the powder would "jump" from the case during extraction.

Thanks in advance!

Sounds like you are flaring the case mouth a little too much. Just enough to seat the bullet without shaving lead.

neoncowboy
January 21, 2006, 07:11 PM
+1 on no lubing the cases.

I tumble all my .45 brass in walnut with a small splash of mineral spirits for a couple of hours...then sift and tumble in corn cob with a little squirt of maguire's car polish/wax. They come out clean (inside and out), shiny and slippery to the touch. They just glide in and out of the dies when treated this way.

I would think that CLP all over the inside of your dies would be a bad thing.

Good luck!

Uncle Don
January 21, 2006, 09:21 PM
I don't lube cases for use in carbide dies but I'm sure they would go much better if you did. Since mine require almost no effort without lubing, I'm happy the way I am. That said, I also don't tumble brass - granted, my loaded rounds are not a pretty as some, but I never have trouble in the dies, not even my .357 SIG in steel dies. Carbon is a great lubricant.

I go along with the poster who says that your flairing die is probably set a little deep. Turn that die in until it touches the shell holder, then back out between 1/2 and 3/4 of a turn and set the lock ring. That will get you incredibily close to where you want to be.

Bill Z
January 21, 2006, 11:30 PM
Corn cob media; Midway case polish "sweetened" with a little NuFinish car polish (one cap) Brass comes out slick and shiney. I've loaded tens of thousands of rounds of .45's and 9mm's, using nothing but Lee dies. Never lubed one yet. The CLP will cause more problems than it'll cure. When you're flaring the case mouth, flare only enough to allow the bullet to start for seating. Quit hypothesizing and get to work!:)

Ditto.

I am using the Dillon case polish right now since I bought a half dozen bottles, but when it's gone it's directly to Nu-Finish.

Rockstar
January 22, 2006, 06:02 PM
Beware of taking advice from a reloader who doesn't tumble his brass and loads on a Lee Loadmaster! :D

JMusic
January 22, 2006, 06:56 PM
I'm with the guys on tumbleing. I have several carbide dies but the cases have to be clean. I ALWAYS tumble prior to reloading. I see little difference in brand of dies for my type of shooting, and own a few of most major brands. If they are carbide and clean you do not have to lube.
Jim

YellowLab
January 23, 2006, 12:48 PM
Bit confused... you say that you are having trouble with a new powder measure, but then ask about carbide dies:

"I also received my Lee auto disk powder measurer yesterday and noticed it is designed to be activated by the case while being flared. Well I don't think this will work for me as it takes a bit of effort to extract an unlubed case from this die and I suspect some of the powder would "jump" from the case during extraction."

Triple check that you have the powder drop die set up right. Nothing should stick or jam... especially in a powder drop die.

You should feel a little feedback from resizing/decapping... but that mostly due to reducing the diameter of the fire case. Not from friction of the carbide insert/ring. I doubt that there is any way to tell the two apart.

As for getting stuck and powder jumping out of the powder die.... read the directions and triple check your set up. Its not a lube issue.

hpcc19
January 23, 2006, 01:03 PM
Triple check that you have the powder drop die set up right. Nothing should stick or jam... especially in a powder drop die.

.

Lee has an expander plug in the powder drop die.

Are other powder drop dies set up this way?

When properly adjusted, the die expands the case just enough for bullet seating and then drops the powder.

In my experience (.45ACP) the process is very smooth except when using unfired Win brass. This brass sticks to the expander and requires quite some effort on the upstroke to unstick. Fired brass and other brands don't exhibit this behavior.

YellowLab
January 23, 2006, 01:30 PM
Yes, the Lee powder drop die is case activated, on the tube that is used to activate the slide to drop the powder has a slight taper that bells the case mouth. The belling is done at the top of the stoke.

Lee (and others) do have seperate flaring dies for cases.

If the case is sticking from this one manufacturer, then measure the cases... something is up with them. If it was a die issue it would happen with all cases, not just one type.

Are you sure the cases are .45acp and not some other type of .45 round? Maybe .45 Colt or something?

Rico567
January 23, 2006, 02:03 PM
Yes, Lee's powder drop die also flares the case. If your cases are sticking in this die, you've probably got it set to flare too much (a very common condition). As was described earlier, you don't want a bell like a bugle on the case, just enough to allow the bullet to be placed in the case mouth.

CodeSlinger
January 23, 2006, 07:31 PM
Kind of a random tip here, but I've noticed that the stability of your reloading bench makes a huge difference. A heavy, solid bench will make reloading uncooperative cases quite a bit easier. There's no sense trying to fight both the press and a light, wobbly table.

The Bushmaster
January 23, 2006, 10:32 PM
Yellowlab...You are absolutely correct except you will not loose any powder when removing the case from the die. I have been using the Lee dies and Lee Auto Disc for many years and have never experienced powder jumping out of the case. Where would it go? Why back into the case as it is still inside the die. You should, however, make sure that you are not flaring the case mouth to excess as this is not necessary and will work harden the case mouth promoting splitting.:) And I should know if I was loosing powder as I weigh every powder charge before seating the bullet.:cool:

And yes...They, the cases, do stick a little when being extracted from the expander ball (hollow plug), but do not cause powder loss. This is not a problem...

If you enjoyed reading about "Deluxe Lee dies are carbide? Seriously?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!