Dies do wear out


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jvik
July 18, 2007, 05:57 PM
After 45 years of use, the 38 Spl Pacific dies my father bought in 1962 have been relegated to the box of good memories. I struggled with them for the last couple of months, but no amount of cleaning etc. solved the bullet seating problems - shaved lead, crumpled cases ...

So I called around the Phoenix area looking for a set of Hornady dies - finally found a set at Cabelas - $2.00 off the Hornady price and no shipping charges. These dies are great. I'm going to be replacing all of my Pacific die sets with Hornady.

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mpthole
July 18, 2007, 05:59 PM
How many 1k's of rounds do you figure have been loaded on them?

MarshallDodge
July 18, 2007, 06:01 PM
I read somewhere else where someone had worn out their Pacific dies after 80,000 rounds. If I recall correctly they were 45 ACP.

Didn't Hornady buy Pacific?

jvik
July 18, 2007, 07:06 PM
Hornady did buy Pacific. It's hard to say how many rounds were loaded with them. My dad and I used them when I was in high school and living at home. He and his cousin used them after I left home. I "inherited" them eighteen or so years ago when he quit pistol shooting. I expect I've personally put 30 - 40 thousand cases through them.

RexDart
July 20, 2007, 12:07 AM
You should mount those in a shadow box or frame, put a small plaque recording their history and achievements, and hang them with honor on the gunroom wall!

Alphazulu6
July 20, 2007, 12:10 AM
Yeah you have nothing to complain about ... almost 50 years later. haha

Clark
July 20, 2007, 12:35 AM
I have never worn out a die, but I sure have got some worn out dies off ebay.

jvik
July 20, 2007, 01:24 AM
Not a bad idea at all, RexDart! I just might do that:-)

GooseGestapo
July 20, 2007, 09:36 AM
Shaved lead and crumpled cases sounds like you weren't properly expanding the cases before seating the bullets...........

I've got a set of Lee Carbide dies that have loaded over 1.5 million rounds and still load ammo that'll shoot 1.5" at 50yds through 3 different modifed S&W mod. 10's.

Only dies I've ever seen "wore out" were some steel (not carbide) dies that were "eat up" by brass that had a lot of imbedded grit from not being tumbled before being lubed and sized. They would badly scratch and ruin every case run through them.

I don't see how you could "wear out" an expander die. Even then, you'd only have to replace the expander plug.......................

Uncle Don
July 20, 2007, 10:37 AM
Very informative thread - I've never heard of such an account utill I read this thred.

A million and half rounds? That means if you started in 1957, you would have loaded around 30k or 600 boxes of handgun ammo a year for 50 years. That goes to 50 boxes per month which is over a box and a half a day average over all that time. I'm not calling you out because you may be a commerical loader, but you are talking about this amount for a single caliber?

I do agree with you on the expander die - and am quite amazed by this.

jvik
July 20, 2007, 01:42 PM
Goose - The sizer die and the expander/decapper die work ok. It's the bullet seater/crimper that's kaput. Remember, this is old technology, not nearly as sophisticated at the new dies.

It is true that I could, with lots of patience and trial and error, get a setup that worked - at least for awhile. But what tended to happen is that if I put enough bell on the cases so they wouldn't shave lead, the seater die crumpled the cases if I put even the slightest crimp on them. On the other hand, if I belled the cases little enough that I could seat and crimp the bullets, it was almost impossible to seat them without shaving some lead.

With my New Dimension dies from Hornady, I haven't shaved any lead nor crumpled a case after over 500 loads.

Note also that I did use those dies successfully on a few loads previously:-)

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