stuck brass


June 3, 2011, 04:25 AM
Anyone have a good idea how to get brass out of die after the extraction groove as been deformed?? I was decapping/resizing a 223 shell tonight when the return-stroke suddenly deformed the rim on the brass shell.

The result is I have a shell stuck in the die now and I'm out of commision in terms of reloading until I can get a new die or until one of you wizards can reply back on how I can get the brass out :confused:

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June 3, 2011, 05:02 AM
Drill and tap the flashhole to accept a 1/4" bolt then using a large nut and assortment of washers pull the case out of the die into the nut using the 1/4" bolt.

A quick google should yield tons of pice

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June 3, 2011, 05:03 AM
Oh and next time use more lube

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June 3, 2011, 05:22 AM
What brand of die are you using. IIRC, on a lee you can loosen the collet and then remove that followed by tapping the decap pin to push your brass out.

You have now learned what happens if you don't lube your cases well enough ;)


Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 3, 2011, 05:54 AM
When I set up my reloading bench this time, I was sure to get the RCBS Stuck Case Remover. I realize I have various taps and nuts, bolts, washers, etc., however for about $18 I felt it was good "insurance" to have at my disposal at my reloading bench!

The kit comes in a green reloading die box which stacks and matches all my existing die boxes. I guess one could say I actually spent the money on the box which is labeled Stuck Case Removal Tool.

The way things work with me, it would be just my luck that, should I have a stuck case, I would end up not having just one part that I need to remove the case, whether it be the tap, proper-size bolt, nut, etc. When in the process of reloading, I don't want to be hassled by some little thing that turns out to be a BIG thing in no time!:cuss::banghead::fire:

June 3, 2011, 06:08 AM
I'm with you friendly,I bought the rcbs stuck case remover several years ago and it's never been used(which is alright with me)but if I need it I can just reach for it.

June 3, 2011, 08:15 AM
Were you using Hornady One-Shot?

June 3, 2011, 09:22 AM
I've had pretty good luck recently by unscrewing the retaining nut at the top of the decapping rod and letting it drop into the case with the pin dropping into the flash hole. Then tap on the top of the rod with a mallet and the case pops right out.

June 3, 2011, 09:42 AM
" Then tap on the top of the rod with a mallet and the case pops right out."

That usually works okay with Lee dies but try it with others and you'll get a bent decap rod; use the proper stuck case puller tools.

Noobs tend to be very careful to lube the case neck and upper body but often fail to lube the lower part very well and that's where they get stuck, not the neck.

June 3, 2011, 10:35 AM
I've used the Hornady Stuck Case Remover ( It's pretty much the same thing that Friendly, Don't Fire! talked about with the RCBS stuck case remover, but you save $3 if you already have the allen wrench.

June 4, 2011, 03:15 AM
RW Dale,
Thanks for the suggestion on 'drill and tap' -- but I haven't a clue on how to do that (sounds cool, will google later). More lube -- lesson learned.

I'm using RCBS AR 223 small base dies (1wk old) with a RCBS Rockchucker.

I'm using RCBS Case Lube-2 with a lube pad.

I tried your suggestion except I made a mistake. I ended up shattering the expander. The pin is still ok, but I also bent the decapping rod :(.

I never heard of the 'RCBS Stuck Case Remover', but I'll be looking at that closely and purchasing that. Hopefully I don't have to buy one per caliber. I think I'll have to find a you tube video on the
I decided to try

June 4, 2011, 03:56 AM
If you don't have a tap lying about the "stuck case remover" is just the same thing as I outline above in handy to buy kit form

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June 4, 2011, 06:39 AM
You would not be becoming a seasoned reloader if you do not stick a bottle necked case or two in your dies. I think that we all do something and have a problem or two "learning the ropes" as we reload. I found when starting out that the longer I reloaded, the more of those things others said I would need eventually that I thought were unnecessary got purchased.:D Now the internet is a great tool for those that have no one close by that can mentor them. I wish they had it around when I started.:p I did have relatives that reloaded so that helped some but we collectively had a lot of trial and error moments just the same.:cool:
BTW the small based dies do put more force on the lower part of the casing and thicker lube there will help with your problem. For military brass in 5.56 and 7.62 I lube with my fingers using Imperial sizing wax and even though messy have few problems with stuck cases these days. YMMV

June 4, 2011, 11:37 AM
Were you using Hornady One-Shot?
I was recently depriming a batch of .223 brass and was using Hornady One Shot and ended up having 3 out of 200 cases get stuck. I put the cases in a loading block and sprayed them down with One Shot, but still ended up with the stuck cases. I ended up spraying a line of cases and would deprime those, spray the next line, and so on. This seems like a slower process than it should be, anyone have any suggestions?

June 4, 2011, 03:40 PM
I have had ZERO luck with One Shot and Lyman's version of it as well. I have tried several different methods of application and waiting periods after application with almost EVERY case that I tried stuck in the die--of course after using my stuck case remover several times I gave up because it was wasting all my reloading time. I know several people who think it's the greatest thing since smokeless powder, but I can't make it work even with one of those people standing beside me! I have resigned myself to decapping/resizing all bottleneck cartridges in a seperate operation on my old single stage press, then tumbling the lube off before I run them through the Dillon.

June 4, 2011, 04:14 PM
Get the stuck case remover kit, put it on the shelf for when it is needed. I had trouble with the One-Shot. Now I apply it and before sizing, wipe the case (especially at base where the loading block is) with my fingers to spread the stuff around. As soon as this can is gone, I will use a different lube. Finger lubing a 100 308 takes about as much time as removing a stuck case.

June 4, 2011, 04:37 PM
I have used One Shot in the past with OK results. I now use a mixture of 10 parts 95% isopropyl alcohol and 1 part liquid lanolin. It works about the same. The KEY TO USE is to SHAKE the can often as you are applying it. The lube will settle out if you do not shake it. I also put a bunch of brass in a 1 gallon freezer bag, spray some lube in and close then shake it well. Think shake and bake.:D Then dump the brass out into some old aluminum pie plates and let it dry for 10-15 minutes. This method works well for me so far. The freezer bag lasts a long time too.:cool:

June 4, 2011, 04:55 PM
I've had a couple of hair raising moments where you can feel the obvious excessive friction on the way in. In those cricumstances I just complete the stroke without stopping at all in mid stroke and back it out the same way using plenty of umph. But luck has been on my side, considering I've been loading for so long.

June 5, 2011, 12:46 AM
One thing that may not be obvious: Run the ram al the way to the top of the stroke before inserting the sizing die. Then screw in the die until it touches the top of the shellholder.

There is a tremendous amount of force developed in that last bit of travel due to the geometry. I've had cases get 'stuck' only to discover later that I had the die screwed in too far.

Hondo 60
June 5, 2011, 01:06 AM
+2? on the RCBS stuck case remover.
I didn't have any taps, so this kit was perfect.

I used it when I switched from a commercially prepared lube to one made by thr member glock 20.
Just had to go from 5 to 8 squirts in the ziplock bag.

Works perfectly (the kit & the lube) :D

June 5, 2011, 01:19 AM
I had good luck with Hornady One-Shot for a very long time, then changed to Hornady .223 dies and spent more time with the stuck case remover than actually processing brass. So I bought the Dillon carbide and it doesn't care what I lube with. Then a couple years ago I started reloading .308 and bought a set of Hornady dies and stuck the very first case. Yes I cleaned the die first. Yes I shot lube into the die first. Yes I processed in small batches (100 or less) because part of the problem in the past seemed to be cases drying out before I got them run through the die. After sticking several .308 cases I switched to Dillon's aerosol lube which seems to mostly be like the other poster's isopropyl and lanolin mix... and I haven't had a problem since. I don't load enough .308 to justify the carbide for it, but if I get into an AR platform in that caliber, I will most assuredly bite the bullet. The tubs of sizing wax are probably the most efficient lube, but I just don't like the gacky mess on my hands, on the brass, on the press handle... I know, it's just me.
One of the other problems seems to be the tolerances of the Dillon shellplate. I ripped a lot of rims off .223 cases that just didn't really seem that stuck. When the .308s started popping out, I just took the resizing step to my RockChucker, where the shellholder seemed to get a tighter grip.
Just my 4.6 cents worth (adjusted for inflation and raw materials value).

June 5, 2011, 06:54 PM
In the reloading session leading up to the stuck brass, I varied the amount of lube. It became really obvious as I worked thru 50cases that the right amount of lube outside and inside reduced the friction and force I needed to apply a lot.

The piece of brass in question entered the die quite smoothly. Given how smooth the operations were, my theory on this is that the brass was weak compared to other shells. And it just gave way on the extraction operation. I don't know the history of the brass, so it's plausible that the shell had been fired multiple times previously.

June 5, 2011, 09:53 PM
All Die MFG's make stuck case remover kits, well save for Lyman I think.
Lee and Dillon are sor of meant to allow for you drive the case out with force.

Start using Imperial Die Wax! Apply with fingers and Q Tip to case mouth...never look back!

Doubt it was brass fatigue. But, you should not be using brass that you do not know the heritage of period especially so with rifle rounds. That is a headache looking for a time and place to start!!

June 5, 2011, 11:04 PM
Kid.... first, go down to your local hardware store, and get the following:

A #7 drill bit (substitute a 13/64" bit if #7 not available)
A 1/4"-20 tap
A 1/4"-20 x 1" bolt
A 7/16" nut

Next, take a look at this video. Though it's a product commercial, it shows the steps you'll take to remove the stuck case:

Take your die, and lock it in a vise. Don't grip it by the threads of the die - you don't want to mess them up. If you can, use some scraps of wood to protect the die.

Drill through the primer pocket of the case

Take the tap, and using a wrench (a tap wrench is best, but an adjustable wrench will suffice), begin to screw the tap in to the hole clockwise. Keep the tap straight, and push into the case as you turn it. It will start to bite, and begin cutting threads.

Once the tap spins freely in the hole, back it out. Put the bolt through the nut, and screw the bolt into the hole you just tapped in the case. Tighten down the bolt, and keep tightening. This will pull the case out of the die.

Call RCBS customer service for a replacement decap/expander ball assembly.

June 5, 2011, 11:23 PM

I'm going give your suggestion a shot. I've never tried doing this so it'll be fun to learn about taping metal. Give me a week to get to the store.

A Historian
June 6, 2011, 11:18 AM
I've had a stuck case happen to me twice. Both times I just took out the die, then holding the die in one handing, and using pliers in the other, pulled the case out. Take a little bit of oomph, but it's possible.

June 6, 2011, 04:53 PM
How about puting a pop rivet into the flash hole, expanding the rivet then, tapping the rivet gun. It should pop the brass from the die.

June 6, 2011, 04:56 PM
Want to bet!!

A pop rivet nail would not stand a chance of pulling a stuck case out of a die.

It takes quite a bit of force to break them loose when you drill & tap the primer pocket for a 1/4"x20TPI case puller screw.


June 6, 2011, 05:03 PM
I had trouble with Hornady one shot so switched back to dillon case lube.

June 7, 2011, 10:02 AM
I found Carmex lip balm works fine, is readily available and inexpensive. Wipe yor finger across it, wipe the case and size.

June 7, 2011, 11:54 AM
The stuck case I had last month (30-06, hornady one shot... yes I let it dry... and lee fl sizing die) wouldn't come out for anything. Pounding, pliers, etc.

Only thing that worked was the RCBS stuck case removal kit.

Now I use imperial sizing wax and haven't had any issues in 300+ cases since

June 7, 2011, 02:13 PM
It's a goofy state of affairs regarding what products most reloading stores have on hand. Most stores that I go into always have the various one-shot spray-on stuff. Some of them stock the RCBS liquid lube. In my area though, I have never ever seen a tin of the Imperial Sizing wax on the shelf. If you ask them about it, they will tell you how much better the One Shot stuff is. I had to order my Imperial wax from Natchez. Fortunately, it will probably last me for years.

I did happen to see a can of mink oil though in the farm/ranch store the other day. I hear that is pretty good for sizing lube. I also remember reading that Chap Stick works pretty well.

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