Something is still not Kosher


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Epicurean
February 16, 2010, 09:13 PM
I posted this newbie question last night http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=505734 . The thread that ir linked resolved my concerns.

Tonight I continued my decapping process. I've done maybe 300 or so and have had three cases stick in the die! The rim is ripping out of the shellholder at the beginning of the down stroke. Fortunately Lee dies are not that hard to get a stuck case out of. All three cases have been Blazer.

Is this normal? My arm is killing me.

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Walkalong
February 16, 2010, 09:34 PM
Is this normal?Nope. Carbide? Steel?

FROGO207
February 16, 2010, 09:35 PM
Is your die carbide? If not you will need to lube them. Is your shellholder the correct one? If not it might not hold the shell securely when removing it from the die. The clue is the force that you are using to size. Should not be twice as hard as the 38 SPL to size.

Epicurean
February 16, 2010, 09:36 PM
Brand new Lee 4 die set. Should be carbide.

hogshead
February 16, 2010, 09:50 PM
They are brass cases right.

Epicurean
February 16, 2010, 09:58 PM
Yep. Brass cases - mixed headstamp. No rhyme of reason to which headstamp is tougher. Some cases are easier than others but that is not brand specific.

FROGO207
February 16, 2010, 09:59 PM
I have some mil spec brass and PMC all these were harder to size than commercial but not as hard as say 44 MAG or 30 carbine. Try lubing some and see if it works better. Does your decapping die have a ring of different colored metal inside the bottom? This would look like my carbide die, if not you might not have a carbide one. I have ones from them in 380, 9mm,45acp, 357, and all are easier than my rifle dies when decapping.

Walkalong
February 16, 2010, 10:33 PM
Can you see the carbide ring insert in the die, like these (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=115293&d=1265842368)?

ir3e971
February 16, 2010, 10:44 PM
Epicurean,

Sorry if this questions sounds silly. But are these 9x19 (9mm luger) dies, not another variant of 9mm such as makarov?

I have never had this happen, and I have sized a lot of 9mm luger with my Lee dies.

Epicurean
February 16, 2010, 10:44 PM
Walkalong - yes I can see it and the literature with the die set specifically says carbide sizing die.

jfh
February 16, 2010, 10:46 PM
What headstamps?

Jim H.

Epicurean
February 16, 2010, 10:46 PM
ir - literature says "9mm Luger."

Epicurean
February 16, 2010, 10:49 PM
jfh - mixed headstamp but the 3 stuck cases were Blazer.

rfwobbly
February 16, 2010, 10:50 PM
Case lube makes sizing go easier. Are you using any lube? While carbide may mean you don't HAVE to lube, it does not preclude the use of lube.

ir3e971
February 16, 2010, 10:58 PM
Epicurean,

You are right, something is not Kosher. You may want to give the lube suggestion a try and see if the problem still occurs.

If it does not re-occur, You may have a bad carbide ring and a bum die, and would definitely follow up with a call to Lee.

If the problem re-occurs with lube, perhaps there is some other issue. A shell holder out of spec, perhaps the decapping pin getting stuck in the flash hole. I don't know, kind of just throwing out random guesses. Probably again follow up with a call to Lee.

I am sorry to hear your early attempts are meeting with frustration.

jcwit
February 16, 2010, 11:05 PM
Are you getting an marks such as scratches or gouging on the cases? Do these 9mm cases have a bulge on them as if maybe fired in an unsupported chamber Glock?

Epicurean
February 16, 2010, 11:06 PM
I'll have to round up some spray lube - all I have is the Hornady case sizing wax. How long should I tumble the finished rounds to remove the lube? I use Lizard Litter.

Epicurean
February 16, 2010, 11:10 PM
jc - No scratches, etc. Some of this brass was range pick up so it's possible I'm running into some Glock fired brass. I've calipered before and after sizing and everything is very close to spec. The resizing is decreasing OD 0.002" to 0.004".

ir3e971
February 16, 2010, 11:14 PM
Your Hornady case sizing wax should be fine as a lube. I think you just rub some on the case with a finger. You shouldn't need to slather it on. Give that a try unless you just want to use spray lube. I have never used any of the spray lubes, and have resized large rifle cases just fine with the finger or pad applied lubes.

The few times I put case lube (Lyman I believe, may have been Lee) on 357 cases, I applied just a little with the tip of my finger and ran it around the outside of the case.

I tumble for about thirty or 40 minutes after sizing rifle cases. It has always removed all the lube for me. Should not make a difference if it is corn cob or walnut.

bds
February 16, 2010, 11:25 PM
I am really curious. I have set up several new reloaders with brand new Lee carbide dies in the recent years for 9/40/45 and have not run into this problem.

Specific to 9mm cases, new Lee carbide dies with no lube sizing mixed headstamp - no issues with case ever being stuck in the die or having the case rim ripped (This includes known Glocked cases with bulges). Our range sells a lot of Blazer ammo for range guns and they size like any other headstamp case.

I am assuming that since you sized/decapped 300 other cases, there is no issue with decapping pin getting stuck?

I agree with ir3e971, a call to Lee may be in order unless you have access to another die set to try out.

Just as a note, I tumble all of my range brass in walnut for 20-30 minutes before I size/deprime - found to make the sizing easier.

Walkalong
February 16, 2010, 11:41 PM
My Lee 9MM sizer in the pic has sized 1000's of brass and no problems. No lube, no excess effort. Something is wrong.

GaryL
February 17, 2010, 12:20 AM
I'll have to round up some spray lube - all I have is the Hornady case sizing wax. How long should I tumble the finished rounds to remove the lube? I use Lizard Litter.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a can of Imperial Sizing Wax. I saw it recommended so many times on here that I figured it must be worth a try. Haven't used spray lube since.

Anyway, you can use a very small amount on every 5th-10th case for pistol cases. I don't even bother to wipe it off, but I suppose you should.

FROGO207
February 17, 2010, 12:20 AM
It is possible that it is a 9mm die with a 380 size ring by mistake. I forgot to change my decapping die once and a 9mm brass did get stuck in my 380 die. It sized but almost not.Then got ripped out of shellholder.

1SOW
February 17, 2010, 01:31 AM
I use the Lee resizing wax-based lube thinned with alcohol and sprayed on with a plant mister. because it's 'smoother', not because of any sticking problems. I haven't had any troubles with 'glocked' brass or Blazer brass.

Either the die or the die set-up must be off.

jcwit
February 17, 2010, 02:08 AM
I'm almost of the opinion to send these back to Lee for them to look over, sure seems something is amiss, and I believe they will make it good with no charge or problem. After all they are the final experts on their own products.

Its very obvious something is amiss.

As the old saying goes xxxx happens, and this stands for everything. I'm sure Toyota did not plan for their huge recall.

TonyAngel
February 17, 2010, 04:13 AM
Send them to Lee. It's the dies. I'm not trying to start a war or anything, but sometimes you do get what you pay for. Don't get me wrong, I have a few sets of Lee dies myself, but Hornady and Dillon are much nicer. It would be harder to explain beyond that, except to say that if you load a few rounds with the Lee dies and then switch to the Hornady or Dillon, you can tell the difference.

The last set of Lee dies that I got was the four die set in .45 ACP. While I was loading, something kept binding. Something similar to what you are experiencing, but not to that extent. It turned out that the FCD was binding. Maybe it was sized too small. I swapped it for a Hornady and guess what. The problem went away. The Lee dies are inexpensive because corners were cut someplace. That's not always a bad thing, but sometimes it shows.

Lee is a good company. They'll make it right.

bds
February 17, 2010, 05:40 AM
I'm not trying to start a war or anything, but sometimes you do get what you pay for.

Try telling that to Toyota owners now ... :eek: and Lexus owners next ... :what:

Very satisfied customer of Lee products. :D Great customer service by the way - Yes, call Lee about the dies.

Walkalong
February 17, 2010, 08:52 AM
Call Lee. They will make it right. I have had more problems with a "better" name brand than I have with Lee. I have only had one Lee die over the years that had a problem.

Every maker has been "can to cain't" every day for a couple of years trying to keep up. They have surely made more mistakes than usual in that time, all of them.

JimKirk
February 17, 2010, 09:08 AM
Lee the Best Reloading products made.

jfh
February 17, 2010, 09:34 AM
Well, brand name issues or otherwise, the discussion consensus seems to be that this is likely something wrong with the die. So, let's see what happens with a change there.

Jim H.

P.S. The 2002 PT Cruiser I own had a general level of fit-finish-reliability, etc., beyond my former benchmark for car quality, a 1985 Accord. And, I was so paranoid about buying my first Chrysler product I bought the 100K warranty.

jcwit
February 17, 2010, 11:08 AM
Now we have a conspiracy theory regarding the auto industry. ssshhhhheeeeeesssss!!

The Bushmaster
February 17, 2010, 11:38 AM
I agree with Walkalong. Something is wrong with that die or it's the wrong one. 9mmX19 is a tappered case and shouldn't get stuck. I have a die set that is over 25 years old and has done thousands of 9mmX19 cases and has never had any stick...

JimKirk
February 17, 2010, 12:45 PM
Lee The best Reloading products made.

bds
February 17, 2010, 12:53 PM
All you have to do is look at this board, I would bet that at least 80% or more of the problems discussed relating to mechanical reloading products, are Lee based.

This may be due to greater number of new THR members buying the Lee products.

I found many new to reloading (due to cost as a primary factor) start out with the Lee products. And as money flow improves, will add other higher priced brand components and products.

This is The High Road where I see newbies to reloading with newbie questions/problems get very pertinent and timely solutions. Some posters at other forums often laugh off and make fun of the new reloader posts (and the poster never get the answer they need or often get the wrong information).

My bet is that many of these posters left other forums and posted here because they see the quality of responses to other posters' problems. :D

BTW JimKirk, I do enjoy your "quality" posts :D

Hey_Allen
February 17, 2010, 01:36 PM
The only real fault I have with a set of Lee dies I purchased seems to be a designed in quirk on Lee's part.

I haven't had issues with them sticking, other than the case neck expander die, as it's a powder through design that 'sticks' for a moment on the beginning of the down stroke, supposedly to give the internal funnel a tap to shake free any powder that may be bridging in it or sticking to the sides.

navyretired 1
February 17, 2010, 04:23 PM
I alway's lightly lube cases even in carbide, just because they can be used dry don't mean you should.
Sounds like a lube problem, I've been using range pickups for most of my life and only subgun brass is expanded even enough to see a bulge. What's this about Glocks expanding brass, I've had a 17 Glock since early 80's and never noticed any over expanded cases. A good spray lube should be all thats necessary.

JMatters
February 17, 2010, 05:34 PM
Maybe I'm older than most of you guys, but if I remember correctly, Blazer ammo used NOT to be re-loadable. If after 300 mixed cases, only 3 gave serious issues, and ALL were Blazers, I think you got some old cases...

jcwit
February 17, 2010, 06:33 PM
What's this about Glocks expanding brass, I've had a 17 Glock since early 80's and never noticed any over expanded cases. A good spray lube should be all thats necessary.

Some if not all glocks usually leave a bulged case, have no idea which models or how many but this has been discussed here many times. This is why Redding and Lee are making special dies to correct this problem in 40 cal. IIRC Redding is only offering their die in 40 cal, and I believe Lee is offering theirs in a few different cal 9mm being one.

rozziboy18
February 17, 2010, 06:49 PM
i had a prob, like that about 2 months ago with 308 brass with both hornday dies and lee dies, my .02 on the matter is disasimble the die and polish the main body, ie the parts the contact the brass, dont sand, just polish with a goods metal polishing compound, not to much though you dont want to over heat the die. then clean until your fingers bleed then clean some more. this wont affect the resized casings diamiter, but will aid in smooth operation, and help the die prosses the bullet. the easyest way i have found to do this is to use a mop that you would clean a barrel with and ad compound and afix it to a drill to do the hard work. be carfull not to over do it. if it dosent work after 20 seconds of polishing then its not going to

bds
February 17, 2010, 08:57 PM
Some if not all glocks usually leave a bulged case, have no idea which models

The Gen1/Gen2 Glocks are the worst with both loose chamber and deeply cut in chamber/ramp area. 40S&W and 45ACP models seem to be the biggest offenders. The chamber/ramp area has been improved for Gen3/Gen4 Glocks, but the loose chamber still bulges cases about 2/3 way down from the neck.

I believe Lee is offering theirs in a few different cal 9mm being one.

Bulge Buster kit uses Lee Factory Crimp Die (with guts removed) to "push all the way through the case" to remove any Glocked bulge and comes in 380 Auto, 40S&W, 10mm, 41AE, 45ACP, 45GAP, 45WinMag.

They are beta testing the 9mm die kit.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=6245465#post6245465

jcwit
February 17, 2010, 11:04 PM
Thanks for the info bds, I was going from memory and didn't take the time to look every thing up.

Again thanks
jcwit

1SOW
February 17, 2010, 11:49 PM
All you have to do is look at this board, I would bet that at least 80% or more of the problems discussed relating to mechanical reloading products, are Lee based.

I wonder what percentage of board users use LEE equipment/dies?

I also wonder what percentage of first time reloaders use LEE.?

I suspect LEE enjoys a large percentage of the reloading equipment market.

jcwit
February 18, 2010, 12:33 AM
I would bet

That phrase in itself is the begining of a profound statement.

JimKirk
February 18, 2010, 01:18 AM
OK guys ..... I am going back and edit my post so you all can "Have Your Way"!

Lee has got to be the best reloading products made!

Will that make it "OK" with you all?

I will refrain from making any more comments about Lee products or threads.

Thanks
Jimmy K

Epicurean
February 18, 2010, 08:09 PM
I was out of the Internet loop last night but did have have a chance to work on my problem. I used the Hornady wax to finish off all my clean 9mm brass. No runs, no drips, no errors! The difference in the resistance in the die was truly amazing. I just kept wax on my fingers (about very fifth case I put more on) and processed twice as fast as before. I now hold the assertion that "carbide dies don't need to be lubed" in very low regard. I'm gonna try rozziboy's idea - apparently the surface of my die is lacking or perhaps the die was made on the low side of tolerances. Anyway, I processed the brass and have regained my warm and fuzzy feeling.

This is The High Road where I see newbies to reloading with newbie questions/problems get very pertinent and timely solutions. Some posters at other forums often laugh off and make fun of the new reloader posts (and the poster never get the answer they need or often get the wrong information).

My bet is that many of these posters left other forums and posted here because they see the quality of responses to other posters' problems.

Amen! This is indeed The High Road. I used to lurk several other forums but never posted in fear of humiliation. You guys are in a league of your own and this forum is the only one I visit any more. Thanks for all the help and the wonderful attitude in which it is offered.

jcwit
February 18, 2010, 08:29 PM
Iusually spray my cases with Blaster "brand name" teflon spray. Have done it this way for years not necessarly to lube for the die or case, but just because it makes it easier, and I'm old and lazy. lol

smoking357
February 18, 2010, 09:10 PM
Man, that's tough to diagnose. I see you're doing .38s. I have never had a case stick so solidly that I couldn't raise the arm. Lee carbide dies usually don't grip cases too tightly.

Shoot a video and post it to Youtube. I need to see this.

On another point, don't waste your time decapping. On a Lee turret, you decap and size in the first die, then move on. It's a very quick process. There is no advantage to decapping prior to continuing the loading process. In fact, it slows you down, as you have to manually advance the turret for each round.

smoking357
February 18, 2010, 09:13 PM
I now hold the assertion that "carbide dies don't need to be lubed" in very low regard.


They don't. Seriously. Your problem is very rare. 9mms size extremely easily on the Lee. I know. I have those dies. Check the side of the die to make sure it's the right caliber. <- Sorry if that's insulting.

Maj Dad
February 18, 2010, 09:45 PM
I had Lee dies but didn't like the results I was getting. I switched all my sizers to Hornady Titanium Nitride and they are slicker'n greased owl feces - never had a problem in almost 20 years, and I have loaded a boat-load of ammo of all manner. 9mm, 38/357, 44spl/mag, 45lc - superb performance. This is MY experience & MY 2 cents - not a putdown of other brands... :cool:

Epicurean
February 18, 2010, 09:54 PM
Smoking-

I'm decapping because Midway had the Lee Safety Prime on backorder and I don't want to handle the primers. I'm using the RCBS APS system which is OK since I'm new and taking my time. Right now I'm using the turret like a single stage to help me develop good skills and safety.

I checked the markings on the die early on in the problem. I'm convinced I have a rare problem with a rough finish on the face of the die bore. Before I tried the lube I occasionally had to use two hands to start the lever up and the case would jar loose from the die. My bench was actually flexing. The lube made the problem disappear and the resistance was about the same as my .38 die.

I happened to buy a less than perfect but ultimately functional product. I own a small manufacturing business and strive for zero defects. In a perfect world the goal would be attainable; but in reality it's impossible. I don't hold Lee in any lower regard - I'll buy more of their products.

billybob44
February 18, 2010, 10:28 PM
OK guys ..... I am going back and edit my post so you all can "Have Your Way"!

Lee has got to be the best reloading products made!

Will that make it "OK" with you all?

I will refrain from making any more comments about Lee products or threads.

Thanks
Jimmy K
OK Jim. After reading three post (#29,#33,+#44) The post should read: Lee Dies, the best for the PRICE. Lee dies will never equal Dillion dies, just as Dillon dies will never equal Lee's prices. I agree that Lee makes GREAT products for the PRICE. I do NOT agree that Lee makes the BEST products. And yes, I do use some Lee products....

bds
February 18, 2010, 10:29 PM
I occasionally had to use two hands to start the lever up and the case would jar loose from the die. My bench was actually flexing.

Epicurean, I have set up dozens of new Lee reloaders with brand new Lee carbide dies and never come across this (I just set one up for a new reloader last month). I don't know of anyone using Lee carbide pistol dies with lube either.

Have you contacted Lee?

smoking357
February 18, 2010, 10:34 PM
Smoking-

I'm decapping because Midway had the Lee Safety Prime on backorder and I don't want to handle the primers. I'm using the RCBS APS system which is OK since I'm new and taking my time. Right now I'm using the turret like a single stage to help me develop good skills and safety.


Acting like a single stage won't help much with skill or safety. The RCBS is a fine priming system. Here's how you use it in conjunction with the Lee:

1. Insert case into Stage 1. Cycle arm up and down.
2. Take case out, prime in RCBS.
3. Put case back in press (make sure you're using the Lee Auto-Disc Powder Measure), cycle arm up and down.
4. Put bullet on top of case, cycle arm up and down.

Repeat 1-4.

You can make lots of rounds in a hurry this way, and powder charging on the press should completely eliminate the chance of double charging.

As for your offending die, I had a Lee decapping die with burrs in it. I took the decapper out and ran fine grit sandpaper on the inside. It cleared the problem. I have never had to lube pistol cases with Lee carbide dies, especially tiny cases like the 9mm.

bds
February 18, 2010, 10:38 PM
FWIW, I deprime/size on a single stage and hand prime all of my cases (you can do separate deprime/size on any turret/progressive also).

It really speeds up the flare/powder charge/bullet seat on the progressive and with much less effort.

jcwit
February 18, 2010, 10:52 PM
I don't know of anyone using Lee carbide pistol dies with lube either.


I lube (teflon spray) cases before sizing with Lee carbide dies. Just to make things easier.

I deprime with a rubber mallet and pin punch. Do this while watching TV.
Then resize, then tumble, then charge with a Lee auto disk, then seat the bullet and crimp. No FCD, not needed if you set up your seating die correctly. This is for handgun brass.

I reload in batches and check the charges when the loading block is full ready for bullet seating.

Just they way I feel comfortable reloading, might not be the fastest, but then at my age I'm not in a hurry.

bds
February 19, 2010, 12:37 AM
I meant "personally" know ... :o

OldRotorHead
February 27, 2010, 12:17 AM
I have had this problem recently, with the Lee carbide decapping die, but only with Blazer Brass cases. Out of curiosity, I will take some of them out of quarantine and try lubing them to see if it makes a difference. I have had no issues with other (mostly Winchester) brass.

bds
February 27, 2010, 12:22 AM
I have had this problem recently, with the Lee carbide decapping die, but only with Blazer Brass cases.

Are you having the same problem as the OP of rim ripping out of the shell holder? And only with Blazer brass cases?

OP: Tonight I continued my decapping process. I've done maybe 300 or so and have had three cases stick in the die! The rim is ripping out of the shellholder at the beginning of the down stroke. Fortunately Lee dies are not that hard to get a stuck case out of. All three cases have been Blazer.

Is this normal? My arm is killing me.

Walkalong
February 27, 2010, 09:40 AM
I never lube 9MM cases and never have any problems with Blazer or any other brass. A-Merc feels as if it is getting squished if it gets passed visual inspections makes it all the way to the sizer, but it doesn't stick or tear. I just scrap it then.

I find this thread intriguing.

bds
February 27, 2010, 03:08 PM
I never lube 9MM cases and never have any problems with Blazer or any other brass. ... I find this thread intriguing.

Me too.

I have reread this thread several times to see exactly what's causing the rim to be ripped out of the shell holder, and only for Blazer brass. In my 250K+ rounds of reloading, I have never ripped any rim off cases. :scrutiny:


So the problem is only with Blazer brass? I wonder if these were "super hot" reloads someone shot and left for range pickup.
Tonight I continued my decapping process. I've done maybe 300 or so and have had three cases stick in the die! The rim is ripping out of the shellholder at the beginning of the down stroke. Fortunately Lee dies are not that hard to get a stuck case out of. All three cases have been Blazer. Is this normal? My arm is killing me.


Epicurean seems to be using carbide resizing die that should not require use of any lube...
Brand new Lee 4 die set. Should be carbide. - yes I can see it and the literature with the die set specifically says carbide sizing die.


So, perhaps Epicurean may have picked up some "super hot" spent cases. I size bulged Glocked range brass all the time, and no, I do not use lube.
No scratches, etc. Some of this brass was range pick up so it's possible I'm running into some Glock fired brass.


I wonder if Epicurean tumbled the cases before sizing. I found dirty range brass to be harder to size than after being tumbled for 20-30 minutes in walnut.
I used the Hornady wax to finish off all my clean 9mm brass. No runs, no drips, no errors! The difference in the resistance in the die was truly amazing. I just kept wax on my fingers (about very fifth case I put more on) and processed twice as fast as before. I now hold the assertion that "carbide dies don't need to be lubed" in very low regard.

I clean all of my new dies by wiping off any residue/oil before installing them on the press...
... apparently the surface of my die is lacking or perhaps the die was made on the low side of tolerances.


I wonder if Epicurean contacted Lee - would be curious what their response was ....
I'm convinced I have a rare problem with a rough finish on the face of the die bore. Before I tried the lube I occasionally had to use two hands to start the lever up and the case would jar loose from the die. My bench was actually flexing. The lube made the problem disappear and the resistance was about the same as my .38 die.

I happened to buy a less than perfect but ultimately functional product. I own a small manufacturing business and strive for zero defects. In a perfect world the goal would be attainable; but in reality it's impossible. I don't hold Lee in any lower regard - I'll buy more of their products.

GooseGestapo
February 27, 2010, 03:51 PM
It's not the dies, IT'S THE CASES....

9mm cases are tapered, and the taper makes the cases much harder to size, even in a carbide die. I too have noticed a difference in the brass alloy that is used in the Blazer. Seems to have more Zinc..... And if shot in a large chambered barrel, can be difficult to size.

I've loaded several MILLION 9's, with several different make of dies, and they're all essentially same. Non carbide dies DO require normal lubrication. Carbide dies work better with some lubricant.

I use common household FURNITURE WAX, The spray kind like "Pledge". I spray a small amont in the bottom of a plastic container (my favorite is a 1lb powder container such as used by Hodgdon...) and then place the brass in the container and "swirl" the brass around to evenly coat them. This prevents a large amount of lube from entering the case mouths, and dosen't kill the powder or primers as a petroleum based lube will. If in doubt, allow the cases to dry over night to allow the H20 from the wax to evaporate. I use progressive loaders, so I don't over-do the lube, and have never had a problem with "duds"..... I have shot some record scores in NRA PPC with ammo I loaded, however...... with Lee dies too!

Epicurean
February 27, 2010, 07:42 PM
To clarify, the rims were not ripped off the cases but the rims "dog eared" out of the shell holder. I tossed the cases so I can't post a pic. When I drove the stuck cases out I did not have to whack them very hard and used only a few strokes.

To answer bds's questions:

The brass was tumbled for about 4 hours in Lizard Litter prior to sizing.

It is possible that I picked up some Glock or some previously super hot loaded brass; but all of the brass was difficult to size to varying degrees. My only previous experience resizing was about 150 rounds of .38 spl several days before. The resistance difference was tremendous!

I have not contacted Lee since the lube made the problem disappear. At this point I figure the problem is resolved and contacting them would be a little like asking them to help me fix something that ain't broke; i.e. I can make it work with a little (not unrealistic) effort. The next time I size 9mm will be in a normal scenario where all the dies are used sequentially. If the use of lube becomes problematic I'll give Lee a call.

Being so new to reloading I have no reference point on any problem I encounter, but I feel very sure that the resistance without lube is not normal. The "work around" is not overly tedious however.

Walkalong
February 27, 2010, 07:46 PM
the rims "dog eared" out of the shell holder
Loose shell holder?

Epicurean
February 27, 2010, 07:57 PM
Walkalong - I don't think so. Again, I have no reference points but the shell holder requires me to snap it out. They rotate freely but don't migrate out of the ram.

bds
February 27, 2010, 08:42 PM
... the rims were not ripped off the cases but the rims "dog eared" out of the shell holder.

My apologies Epicurean, I did misread your post: The rim is ripping out of the shellholder

But what makes me curious is that why only the Blazer brass? You didn't have the same problem with other headstamp brass? Do you have the same problem with Blazer brass still?

Epicurean
February 27, 2010, 09:04 PM
bds - Only Blazer stuck in the die, but all headstamps were very difficult without lube. I processed all of my clean brass and have had no need to clean and size more, so I've not revisited the issue. Since this seems to be of concern, I'll pop my die back in, sort by headstamp, process some unlubed cases and try to report my findings. It's impossible to quantify the resistance, and qualifying it is difficult since I'm so new to the hobby.

Walkalong
February 27, 2010, 09:18 PM
I have no reference points but the shell holder requires me to snap it out.
Sorry. I wasn't clear.

Not a shell holder loose in the press, but a shell holder with loose tolerances where it holds the brass.

Epicurean
February 27, 2010, 09:31 PM
While waiting on some more 9mm brass to tumble, I pilfered through my "man cave" garbage and found two of the cases. My camera and skills are not in Walkalong's league - my apologies. I don't know if this helps but I hope so. Bear in mind, these have been driven from the die, so they are kinda rough.

http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz137/Epicurean/IMG_0049.jpg

http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz137/Epicurean/IMG_0048.jpg

Epicurean
February 27, 2010, 09:34 PM
Walkalong - sorry, I misunderstood the question. As a matter of fact, I did have to ride the case up with my left hand to make sure it properly centered as it entered the die. I thought that was normal though.

jcwit
February 27, 2010, 09:49 PM
Got alot of marking on the sides of the cases to my way of thinking. Also quite a line at the stopping point.

Epicurean
February 27, 2010, 09:53 PM
jc - yep, at that line it was physically impossible to go any further and they were so jammed at that point that they couldn't be retrieved. Some of those markings might be from when I drove them out. Again, lube made the problem go away. Beats me!

Walkalong
February 27, 2010, 10:01 PM
I'd love to try those cases in another die.

Epicurean
February 27, 2010, 10:10 PM
Walkalong - I'll send them to you if you'd like. PM me with an address.

jcwit
February 27, 2010, 10:12 PM
Have you mic'ed the case to see what the size is? Just thinking the die might be undersized. I'm going to try the Pledge lube that GooseGestapo mentioned, if it works like he says I won't have to spend the extra on teflon lube. I realize that lubeing is not required but I do it because I'm lazy, or old, or maybe both.

Case dia. at .200 thousands forward from the base should be .391, and at .700 thousands forward of base .381.

I definitely would get ahold of Lee tho. I'm waiting to hear what Walkalong has to say also.

jcwit
February 27, 2010, 10:13 PM
And here He is now.

Epicurean
February 27, 2010, 10:16 PM
jc - after being "punched" from the die I wouldn't trust how they mic'ed as being indicative of any problem.

Epicurean
February 27, 2010, 10:19 PM
Deleted

jcwit
February 27, 2010, 10:33 PM
I'd still measure them. I'm a Lee fan as Walkalong will attest to, but I really wonder if you have an undersized die. Try measuring one of the cases that you lubed and sized.

Epicurean
February 27, 2010, 10:57 PM
jc - this fiasco started with this post the night before: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=505734 . As you can see, I had undersized die in mind from the get-go. If you read post #6 in that thread you'll see that my Speer Gold Dot SD ammo calipered the same as my resized cases so I didn't worry about the undersized dimensions I was getting. I just rechecked the Speer and my resized case and got the exact same readings.

RustyFN
February 27, 2010, 11:03 PM
Sorry if this was already mentioned but I didn't read through all of the posts. Check the cases with a magnet. I have read where some people had some Blazer cases that were brass plated steel. I would think steel cases would be harder to size and you could have a chance of sticking one now and then because of that.

Lee Dies, the best for the PRICE. Lee dies will never equal Dillion dies, just as Dillon dies will never equal Lee's prices.

Well I guess that depends on the user. I have used both and prefer Lee dies.

jcwit
February 27, 2010, 11:08 PM
OK take it easy on me, I hadn't read that thread. I had made an earlier post on this thread and then jumped in again tonight. Anywho something's not right obviously. Sounds like undersizedis not the problem, die to rough? Hang in there, walkalong is an expert, so is RC. Your problem will get solved. Till then lube.

Epicurean
February 27, 2010, 11:19 PM
jc - I didn't mean to sound course - I deeply appreciate everything you guys are doing. Actually, the problem is not that big of a deal to me since lube fixed it. I'm pursuing this thread because Walkalong and bds seem perplexed; and, like me, they like solutions to problems.

I think, like you suggested, that the bore of the die is poorly finished. This would explain the striations you see in the photo and the fact that lube solved the problem. But being so chronically newb, who am I to say?

bds
February 28, 2010, 01:31 AM
I'm pursuing this thread because Walkalong and bds seem perplexed
I am indeed perplexed because I have never seen this problem, ever. And having to continue using lube on your carbide sizer is not a solved problem, it is an accommodation.

I really recommend a call/email to Lee and to mention this THR thread. If you like, I will gladly email Lee for you since I have had very good customer relations with them for the past 15+ years. My guess of their response would be to send them the dies for Lee to inspect with replacement if the die dimensions are out of specs.

http://i821.photobucket.com/albums/zz137/Epicurean/IMG_0049.jpg

Walkalong
February 28, 2010, 09:33 AM
I PM'd my addy Epicurean.

I have a Lee 9MM sizer that is probably going on 25 years old that works great with Blazer brass. So does the much newer Redding I have as far as that goes. Both do a great job. Neither is superior to the other, although the Redding is a hair smoother. Not really enough to pay the difference for though. I never lube the cases. :)

I had not thought about it perhaps being brass plated steel. Does Blazer do that? I know S&B does on some cases.

Are the cases nice and straight going into the die? Even if they are standing straight up, if they are out of alignment with the die, it will cause problems.

Since other calibers are OK, I would think the press is fine, which leads us back to the shell holder. But then again, it's only the Blazer brass that tears, although you do say all the 9MM brass is tough. How about a carbide insert that is not straight in the die?

AC

Walkalong
March 2, 2010, 07:38 PM
Funny thing today.

I put my Dillon .38 sizer in the LNL to size some .357 brass. The first two go fine, but then all of a sudden they start really dragging. Very tough to size, and they have some scratching. This die has been working fine for probably a couple thousand sizings since it was fixed.

This is the Dillon sizer I bought and the carbide ring came out of (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=443784). I figure it got loose again and is a hair crooked in the die. I think that may be the problem with your die as well. I fully expect your brass to size just fine in my 9MM sizers when it gets here. I feel sure your die is at fault, whatever the reason. We shall soon see.

I know it is the Dillon die causing a problem because I popped my RCBS sizer die in and everything went back to smooth like it should be. Yes, including the cases that were dragging earlier. I went on and sized the remainder of 50 .357 & 50 .38 brass with zero problems. AC

Epicurean
March 2, 2010, 07:57 PM
So, assuming the cases I sent work in one of your dies, we can conclude that the problem is my die. Is there a fix or do they go back to Lee?

Walkalong
March 2, 2010, 09:55 PM
Lee will replace it. No problem. All the reloading companies stand behind their products very well.

ir3e971
March 2, 2010, 10:06 PM
Epicurean,

Sorry to hear that you are still having issues. Those pics look like the stuck cases are pretty maimed.

bds
March 2, 2010, 10:12 PM
Call/email Lee and reference this THR thread. You will have your replacement die in no time.

I am hoping for a happy ending soon. :D

FROGO207
March 2, 2010, 10:14 PM
They don't look like plated steel bodies either. It sure sounds like the die to me also.

Walkalong
March 4, 2010, 03:37 PM
Judging by the evidence on the sized cases with the rims torn, the die is definitely bad IMO. I thought you were going to send a couple of the unsized Blazer cases. I wanted to size one to be 100% sure. I'm only 99.99% sure right now.

Still funny how the Blazer brass was the worst. They obviously had more friction/stickiness when sizing.

Call Lee. They'll make it right. :)

jbrown13
March 4, 2010, 09:00 PM
For what it is worth Lee recently had a run of undersized 9mm sizing dies. I know because, unfortunately, I had one. As best I could measure it, it was 2.5 to 3 thousandths undersized when compared to another Lee 9mm sizing die that was known to be good. My brass stuck somewhat in this die with lubed brass, but fortunately, because I use lube on all my carbide dies because I am old and weak, I did not have the tearing rims. The die would create a ridge, for lack of a better word, on the brass at the point where it reached its farthest point on its downward movement. You could see this ridge with the naked eye and definitely feel it with your fingernail. Your pictures look like those pieces of brass may have this ridge. The die was replaced gratis and the sticking and ridge problem disappeared.

Jeff

Walkalong
March 4, 2010, 09:33 PM
That looks like exactly what is happening with Epicurean's brass. It as a sharp entrance to the carbide ring at least, if not undersized as well. I had this problem on a Lee "undersized" die in .38 Super. I ruined a couple of grinding stones working on the carbide to get rid of the ridge it caused. Works OK now. Carbide is seriously tough stuff I found out.

bds
March 5, 2010, 12:35 AM
For what it is worth Lee recently had a run of undersized 9mm sizing dies. I know because, unfortunately, I had one. ... You could see this ridge with the naked eye and definitely feel it with your fingernail. Your pictures look like those pieces of brass may have this ridge. The die was replaced gratis and the sticking and ridge problem disappeared.

I had this problem on a Lee "undersized" die in .38 Super. I ruined a couple of grinding stones working on the carbide to get rid of the ridge it caused. Works OK now.

So, if you have one of these undersized 9mm sizing dies, one call to Lee and you will have a happy ending?

Epicurean, have you called Lee yet? :D Walkalong, you considered calling Lee also for your 38 Super sizer?

jcwit
March 5, 2010, 12:42 AM
Somebody, anybody, somewhere out there CALL NOW, CALL NOW. Lee that is.

FROGO207
March 5, 2010, 12:51 AM
I am putting my money that the die is really a 380 die that was mislabeled at manufacture. I own both calibers from Lee and the only diff is the carbide size ring in the mouth as far as I can see.

jcwit
March 5, 2010, 01:00 AM
Did the OP ever mic the cases as asked way back? Whether it means anything or not. And if so what is the dia.?

bds
March 5, 2010, 02:42 AM
Did the OP ever mic the cases as asked way back? Whether it means anything or not. And if so what is the dia.?

Epicurean did in his earlier post: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=505734

I started sizing and decapping some 9mm tonight. I have the Lee 4 die set. The case is very difficult to fully insert - so much so that I had to lube the cases and torque the press (Lee Classic Turret) much much harder than the 38s I loaded. I calipered the OD of some cases and they measure 0.375" at the mouth and 0.384" just above the head. This is 0.006" to 0.007" below the spec in the Lee book. I set up the Factory Crimp Die, ran the crimp all the way out and the cases slide in effortlessly. Do I have an undersized resizing die?



I am putting my money that the die is really a 380 die that was mislabeled at manufacture.
Epicurean posted,
"Brand new Lee 4 die set ... literature says 9mm Luger."

This intriguing saga continues ...

Walkalong
March 5, 2010, 09:45 AM
Walkalong, you considered calling Lee also for your 38 Super sizer?
No. Should have, but I am bad about trying to fix stuff myself. Hard headed and impatient I am. :scrutiny:

It was sizing correctly, it just left a tiny ridge (smaller than the one on Epicurean's brass) around about a third of the case. Now it doesn't. :)

I'll never try to work carbide again. Dang stuff is bullet proof.

Walkalong
March 5, 2010, 10:11 AM
I am putting my money that the die is really a 380 die that was mislabeled at manufacture.
On that note I took a Blazer 9MM case (range brass) that had been already sized in a 9MM sizer. It had no bottle necked look etc. Nice and smooth. I put my RCBS .380 sizer in my Partner press and sized the case. It was easy enough for about the first 2/3rds, but then got very tough. I sized it all the way down. It was fairly easy to pull back out of the die.

Judging from measurements on Epicurean's brass and this brass, his die is a 9MM, just either undersized, or with a "sharp" entrance to the carbide ring. One or the other or both.

The 9MM Blazer brass I sized in a .380 sizer had already been sized in a 9MM sizer and was .382 & .388 before running through the .380 sizer. It came out .368 & .373. Epicureans brass was .370/.380 & .387.
.

jbrown13
March 5, 2010, 07:24 PM
The ridge on the 9mm brass resized in the 380 die looks to be much more pronounced than the ridges I saw with my undersized 9mm Lee sizer. I'm betting he has an out of spec sizing die. I was told they knew they got out of the shop, but they had no way of knowing where they ended up because they don't have individual serial numbers. Only way they can fix it is if you call them.

Jeff

Epicurean
March 5, 2010, 08:30 PM
Email sent to Lee today referencing this thread. Let's see how they want to handle this. It's really no biggie; I had contented myself to either lube cases or just buy another die. I'm a "que sera, sera" kind of guy. :D

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