Do you have problems resizing Lake City 308 Brass on a Lee classic turret press?


January 27, 2008, 09:16 AM
I am trying to resize a bunch of Lake City 308 brass (actually 7.62x51) that has been fired in a machine gun. I am using my Le classic turret press. With the dies all adjusted appropriately (I am using RCBS small base dies), I am still having problems getting the brass sized correctly so it will fit in a Lyman case length guage.

Is there too much flex in the Lee classic turret press to full length resize rifle brass?

Any help or tips would be appreciated.

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January 27, 2008, 10:13 AM
Even using a RCBS Rockchucker, I've sometimes had trouble with sizing surplus 7.62x51 brass that had been fired in machineguns. The problem may not be just that headspace is really long on machinegun fired brass, but also the base of the case may be expanded a lot by a loose chamber, and a Small Based Die may be necessary to make the brass usable.

The worst example of all these problems I've ever had was a large lot of IVI brass I was given some years ago. Even using Imperial Sizing Die Wax, I was occasionally using much of my weight (about 190 Lb then) on the Rockchucker handle to get the handle all the way down. On the most stretched out cases, the case head was frequently deformed by sizing, and they got recycled. I re-adjusted the die a smidgeon lower to deal with this brass, as I thought I could see light between the shell holder and die with some of these stretched out cases. Also check to make sure the die is tight in the press after every case, as I found the die was frequently backing out slightly with these cases.

If the press breaks, send it back to Lee.

January 27, 2008, 10:16 AM
I think that is my problem. I am concerned there is too much flex to resize machine gun fired Lake City Brass. I am thinking about adding a Lee Classic Cast Single Stage press just for resizing. Would this be a good choice, or are there more sturdy presses?

January 27, 2008, 10:18 AM
You may want to use a regular resizing die first, and THEN use the small-base die. By dividing the resizing act into two steps, you reduce the strain on the press, the brass, and yourself.

January 27, 2008, 11:03 AM
Are you setting it so that it cams over?

I hope you figure this out. I've had no issues using my CC turret and 308s. But then I've not tried resizing machinegun brass either.

January 27, 2008, 12:46 PM
The turret press doesn't have very good leverage. Mine wouldn't resize 7.5x55 brass at all. The old Rock Chucker and the CoAx have no problem with it though.

January 27, 2008, 07:33 PM
With respect gentlemen. Would you think perhaps that if the brass had been stretched that much by the generous chamber size and headspace of a machine gun, that it would be wise to discard the brass & scrounge some that has not been abused so much? Brass sprayed in the face by a ruptured case is no fun.


January 27, 2008, 08:22 PM
I have seen the same issues with brass coming from a machine gun. I'm using an RCBS Rockchucker with a generous amount of Midway spray on lube. It takes some work but the results have been worth it.

I forgot to add that I am using standard RCBS 308 dies.

January 27, 2008, 08:23 PM
I've found that a small base die is needed in most cases with machinegun fired .308 brass. The problem is not with the excessive headspace found in machineguns, rather it is the "generous" chambers found in them which expands the web portion of the brass beyond what most regular FL dies can handle. And, the answer is not screwing the FL die down further, as by doing this you are inducing excessive headspace by bumping your shoulder back too far. Once you get the web back within specs with a SB die and fire it in your rifle, a regular FL die works just fine.


345 DeSoto
January 28, 2008, 08:25 AM
What USSR said...

January 28, 2008, 12:25 PM
I thinks most such a "problems" are the result of adjusting the die empty. Put a case in the die and adjust it under pressure and see if that doesn't cure the problem.

Be sure to use a good lube on the head/web portion of the cases. That's where the greatest sizing pressure is and without sufficent lube you will surely tear off a few rims pretty quickly.

January 28, 2008, 05:08 PM
Put a case in the die and adjust it under pressure

coud you be more specific with what you are talking about? What adjustment do you mean? All you can really do is just screw the damn thing in isnt it?

January 28, 2008, 07:18 PM
I don't think it's your press. If you are using a small base die and it's not doing the trick, contact the manufacturer. Even small base dies are built to a specification range and it may be your small base die is on the upper end and still isn't sizing your brass down enough to do the job.

AS far as the press, it never hurts to own a good single stage. That way, if you do run across a difficult or oddball task, you have something to handle it. One reason I own a Lee Classic cast single stage.


February 1, 2008, 01:43 AM
Back in the mid 80's dad used to get m-60 brass right from the marines at Lejuene in brown paper grocery bags, we sized all of it in either an old RCBS press or a Lee press with Lee dies, no problem. I know the old 3 hole turret press will do it & resizing that brass into 250 Savage & 243 Win can be done in the "cheap" Reloader Lee press.

February 1, 2008, 10:12 AM
What lube are you using. I use only Imperial Sizing wax and it seams to allow for smoother resizing versus spray on lubes.

February 1, 2008, 11:49 AM
I am using Imperial wax. For a while I used Hornady One Shot (spray on) and the problem was much worse when using it. Imperial has made the problem less, but I am still having some problems.

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