Cleaning Dies


November 19, 2006, 10:49 PM
How do you clean your dies? I use Lee dies and I've cleaned them with Gun Scrubber but I'm worried about it ruining the rubber o-rings.

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November 20, 2006, 12:02 AM
Just clean the dies in some type of bore solvent that does not eat orings. Even Hoppes will work.

The Bushmaster
November 20, 2006, 09:26 AM
All I ever do is disassemble the dies and wipe them with a clean dry or slightly gun oiled (Hoppes) rag and reassemble. I'm not sure if you really need to use solvent, but it shouldn't hurt...

November 20, 2006, 10:25 AM
Considering you want to reduce friction (and prevent rust in older steel dies) a finish wipe with a fine oil is advisable. The dirtiest die will be the seating/crimping die for lead bullets...bullet lube buildup will occur there. Dies used for jacketed bullet cartridges stay clean, as long as old cases are tumbled before reloading.

November 20, 2006, 10:50 AM
I looked at Birchwood's website:

Gun Scrubber® Synthetic Safe Cleaner
For today's modern firearms.
Cleaning your firearms just got a whole lot easier thanks to GUN SCRUBBER Synthetic Safe Cleaner. Now you can buy one solvent/degreaser that does the job safely on every single firearm that you own. GUN SCRUBBER Synthetic Safe Cleaner cleans fast and will not harm plastic, wood, laminates, composites, rubber grips or any other material used in the construction of today's firearms. Even camo finishes are completely safe when you choose GUN SCRUBBER Synthetic Safe Cleaner.

Doesnt say anything about the regular solvent/degreaser** and I dont know enough about chemistry to say either way.

I emailed one of my chemistry buddies, and will let you know what she says.

** Trichloroethylene -

Edit to add:
If you soak them in it, yes. Occasional contact should not be a problem, although they might have to "dry out" a bit due to absorbing a small amount.

Alvin in AZ
November 21, 2006, 02:55 AM
I use a felt bob and red rouge on a dremel for my 9mm die.

Stops the die from scratching and the die seems "slicker" feeling for a while. :)

Alvin in AZ

November 21, 2006, 09:56 AM
Try spraying silicone into the die and swabbing it out. Silicone won't hurt the o-rings.

November 21, 2006, 11:55 AM
I would advise against using a dremel as it's always easy to go too far. You can easily change the dimensions in a die using a dremel and an abrasive.

I use lighter fluid, nylon bore brush, and cloth. WD40 alos works well in lieu of the lighter fluid.

November 21, 2006, 12:14 PM
I just use brake cleaner or acetone. I just make sure to remove any rubber seals or o-rings.

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