What are your thoughts on stuck case problem with die


May 20, 2012, 06:44 PM
Curious problem that I thought I would get some other ideas on. A long post coming, but I'm sharing all the things I've tried and thought about, to see if anyone has any ideas.
I'm a 30+ year reloader, rifle and pistol calibers, so I'm not brand new to this. I know what I'm doing, or think I do by this point. But loading some 30/30 for the first time, my son and I are going to load up a bunch of plinking loads for a 30/30 Winchester trapper we've been having fun with lately.

My step-father gave me an old set of Lyman dies, along with about 100 once fired, polished brass( fired in his Marlin). I've also got about 200 once fired brass from the trapper.

I CANNOT get a full length resize. Cases will not even go all the way in and are stuck, about 2/3 to 3/4 in the die. I've pulled the rim off a few, and had to knock them out with a metal rod from the top. I'm pretty sure at this point I just need to just buy a new set of dies, but I can't help but wonder what could make these not work at all.

Here's a few things I've tried already.
1) Removed the neck expander, primer punch, and tried resizing without that in there at all. No difference.
2) Thoroughly cleaned the die with brake cleaner and a brush and gave it a shot of lube. It looks ok as far as I can tell.
3) I've changed the dies in the press to 30/06 and 444 marlin and resized some of those calibers once fired and had absolutely no problem. It's not my press or lube.

4) I checked about 20 times that I was in fact using a 30/30 die, that is how it's marked.

5) As a last resort, I even pulled the bullet on a brand new Winchester 30/30 round, and tried to run that unfired case through the die, it stuck and I pulled the rim off with the press! SO I can't resize brass shot from two different guns, or even unfired brass.

I'm using Lyman one shot, but that's not it, I've run thousands of 30/06, 7mm, 444, 338 using the same, and proved it's ok today with a couple other calibers this evening.

Press is a very old Herters single stage, about as heavy duty as anything, mounted well and will rip the rim right off any of these cases, so it's not the problem.

What could be causing this? Any thoughts or anyone seen a problem this bad? I'm about certain I'll just buy new dies, unless someone has a fix.

Thanks for reading this long post!

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May 20, 2012, 07:03 PM
I would have to try at least one other different lube .... just to rule out that first....

Steve C
May 20, 2012, 07:08 PM
Rifle dies, make sure the old die is clean and rust free. A little polishing with some steel fine wool warped around a pore brush chucked in a electric drill or screw driver can knock out most rust. Clean well after then lube the inside of the die.

I assume you checked the die marking to make sure it was for the ammo you are resizing and a full lenght sizing die.

Try some Imperial Die Wax, it really helps with are to size cases.

May 20, 2012, 07:40 PM
Definately a defective die of some sort.

Make sure there isn't a broken case pulled off and stuck inside it.

The 30-30 is very easy to resize, and there is no logical reason to pull one off unless the die is bad, or marked wrong, or has a broken case body stuck in it.

That would be my first guess.


May 20, 2012, 08:15 PM
Change to RCBS Lube, apply using a pad. Lube inside of necks with a nylon brush. http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/large/744/744565.jpg Wax is know to stick brass in dies. See email from RCBS & other thread when RCBS lube solved the problem. Links > http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293530 and http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=484796 :uhoh:

May 20, 2012, 08:30 PM
I have never tried it, but I believe I could resize 30-30 cases using the oil off my nose without sticking one in a die.

Cases will not even go all the way in and are stuck, about 2/3 to 3/4 in the die

I still think there is a broken case in the die.


May 20, 2012, 08:41 PM
If it was me, I would buy a new die set.

May 20, 2012, 08:42 PM
Change to RCBS Lube, ...

+several. If RCBS case lube doesn't work, chuck the die**

... apply using a pad.
Naaaaah. Put a small dab on thumb/forefinger and hand lube the case sides lightly as you pick them up.

I'm using Lyman one shot,...
I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but chuck it now and use the RCBS (or Imperial) from now on.

ps: `You sure there isn't a broken case up in the die?

May 20, 2012, 08:48 PM
MEHavey Whatever the cause, my latest favorite love -- Imperial Sizing Wax -- would not permit SB sizing of the LC`81 Match brass.

My old flame -- RCBS Case lube -- did permit it, and with remarkable ease.

Sometimes you can "go back."
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5038989&postcount=25 Are there 2 MEHaveys?

May 20, 2012, 08:57 PM
I would spend he $20 or so for a new die set, RCBS has always been good to me. 30-30 should be one of the least problem cartridges for sticking. But then again, this is coming from someone who has never stuck a case in 30+ years of reloading, using RCBS lube, Lee dry, and now I use Dillon spray on.

I had a simular problem a few years back with a set of very old RCBS 38 spcl. dies. They weren't carbide so I had to lube the cases, but there was no way the brass would go in the die with any amount of force. And that resizing die was clearly stamped 38 spcl.. I didn't stick a case, but I came pretty close to it.


May 20, 2012, 10:57 PM
Thanks for the ideas guys. I have tried polishing the inside of the die with steel wool on a bore brush in a drill. Using a light I sure don't see anything in there, no broken case that I can see. It looks to me like the die is too small but it says 30/30. I'm gonna get a new set tomorrow and try it. I've used rcbs lube and agree it works well but I've never had this problem with any of my other cartridges. I know these dies are VERY old and don't know for sure if my stepfather actually used them or not. For it to not accept an unfired case tells me something is vrry wromg. I'll update tomorrow after trying a new die set.


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tightgroup tiger
May 21, 2012, 04:08 PM
Is the vent hole in your die plugged up? Some dies have them and some don't

tightgroup tiger
May 21, 2012, 04:12 PM
You do have the primer punch pin assy set down where it belongs don't you? If it is up in the die to high it could cause problems like that by trying to resize the outside and inside at the same time.

May 21, 2012, 05:07 PM
Mid Way has a puller for stuck dies.

Old Grumpy
May 21, 2012, 05:21 PM
I've picked up some old "used" .30-30 dies (RCBS) and they work fine. If you are confident your lube is all right and there is not any foreign objects (broken case) inside the die I'd pick up a new set.

Spending a few bucks for a new .30-30 die set is nothing compared to the inability to FL resize the brass. :(

May 21, 2012, 06:47 PM
Bought a new set of dies today and sized 100 cases just as easy as it should be. I don't know what is going on with the lyman dies.

Thanks for the ideas guys.

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May 21, 2012, 09:07 PM
re Imperial & RCBS Case Lubes mentioned as useful in the same sentence
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...9&postcount=25 Are there 2 MEHaveys?
Actually yes...
(Though one's in AF right now) :barf:

But when all the dust settles, the best case lubes are like women -- wife and mistress to be exact.
(Figure that one out.) :evil:

May 21, 2012, 09:51 PM
I tried spray lubes ONCE, they worked ok with pistol stuff but got several stuck cases with rifle. I've used rcbs and lee liquid lubes but my favorite is imperial sizing wax. A little goes a long way but I have never had a stuck case with it.

May 22, 2012, 12:32 AM
AMEN to that rugerman! I've never had a stuck case either { saying this now I probably will } using the spray crap, however, Imperial Wax is on the bench now. I ran some revolver cases through the resizing die the other day, .38's, never had a smoother throw than with the IW, Hornady spray now waiting at the curb for trash day! Hope my rifle cases zip through like the 38's !

Mike 27
May 22, 2012, 01:13 AM
Never had a problem with my Lee 3 Die set. They are cheap and work great on my 30 30 if you decide to get a set of dies....

May 23, 2012, 06:26 PM
I have a resizing die that I got as part of a package deal (15 assorted, complete die sets for $75) many years ago. The die is marked "8mm Mauser", but to this day, despite taking a Cerrosafe cast of the dies interior, measuring the cast, and comparing it to every 8mm that I've been able to find dimensions for, I still have no idea WHAT chamber the cases sized by this thing are actually supposed to fit.
Granted mine is, literally, a No-Name die, not a Lyman, but mistakes can happen anywhere.
If you still care, take a set of calipers and measure the inside diameter of the old die at the base, if its not fairly close to .415", it's not a 30-30 Winchester die regardless of what's stamped on it. Measuring the die can't hurt and maybe it'll at least point out the path toward solving your little mystery.

May 23, 2012, 07:45 PM
Yea I'm sure I'll get it back out and try to figure it out at some point. When I couldnt even get an unfired case to fit in the dieI knew it was pretty hopeless. The new set has worked fine.

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May 30, 2012, 01:44 PM
Now that I have the right easy load dies I would send the old dies to Lyman and see what they do. I bet it will come in a nice new Orange box.


May 30, 2012, 03:33 PM
All these posts and nobody suggests he calls Lyman? If the die is defective, they will replace it for free I bet. If there is a piece of old case stuck in there they will probably remove it for free. They have a good customer service.

May 30, 2012, 05:27 PM
I guess you missed that post right above yours? :what:


July 14, 2012, 11:30 AM
Thought I would do a final update to this thread, and give Kudos to LYMAN for taking care of this issue.

I did send the set of dies back to Lyman, with a letter of explaining what was wrong and all the things I had tried. This morning I received a package from them that had my original orange box and original seating die, with a brand new sizing die. Their included notes indicated that this 30/30 sizing die had indeed been undersize.

There is no telling how old this die set is, but the price tag shows suggested retail of $28.80, catalog price was $19.75 :)

Anyway, I shipped the dies to Lyman with a letter, they returned a replacement with no questions asked. I paid shipping to them, they paid shipping back to me. It's exactly what I would hope for in this case, and what I would expect from a stand up company, but we all know things don't always work that way these days with so many companies.

So a THANK YOU to Lyman Products!

July 14, 2012, 03:51 PM
Sounds like a bunch of trouble to avoid spending a few bucks on a new one...ya got more patience than I do "pardner". About lubes...I use the same RCBS lube and lube pad and have never had a stuck case. I tried the wax spray which is faster and easy, but leaves a tacky residue on the case. So much so that I tumbled my finished cartridges to clean them.

July 14, 2012, 04:13 PM
Years ago I had a stuck case when resizing .30-06. I was using RCBS dies and lube. Pulled the case out with a stuck case remover. Lubed up another case and proceeded to stick another. I never had a problem before I switched ammo. I was using Winchester and Federal. The local gun shop reccomended Hanson ammo as it was "cheap". Every time I tried to reload this stuff I would stick a case. Anyone ever run into a situation like this ?

July 14, 2012, 04:54 PM
Sniper66, Maybe you should read the thread, 'pardner' ?

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July 14, 2012, 05:11 PM
I had a similar problem with 7.62x54r, so i started lubing the cases with bow string wax, i think it was just because the brass is thicker then typical

July 14, 2012, 06:43 PM
Cases get stuck in sizing dies for one reason; insufficent lube.

They don't stick due to the press, not because the die isn't polished or the inside of the necks aren't lubed or the shoulder vent is plugged or the shell holder is bad or if the cases have been fired in a larger chamber, etc, it's insufficent lube. I and a lot of other people reform larger cases into smaller ones with no sticking problem IF we use a proper case lube correctly applied and I can assure you normal resizing of any case is a piece of cake in comparision. I make .243 and .22-250 from .30-06 and .270 with Imperial lube. And RCBS. And Lee. And several others, plus some substitute case lubes I've experimented with just for kicks. But all of the commericial lubes work when applied correctly; nothing works very well if it's not used correctly. I don't use spray lubes because I find them messy, wasteful and costly but my limited experience with OneShot worked fine; maybe because I followed the instructions on the can?

That said, from what I read on the web it's clear that a lot of people have problems with spray lubes. Likely from not keeping the can shaken in use or not letting the propellant properly dry before jamming the cases into the die.

July 14, 2012, 07:41 PM
You're beating a dead horse guys. On May 20 I started this thread about a problem I had with this die, that was given to me.

I couldn't even get it to resize NEW UNFIRED brass.

The next day I bought a new die set and they've worked fine ever since.

I sent the problem die to Lyman, more for my own curiosity than anything else.

They confirmed the die was defective and replaced it. I've already tried that new die and it works just as it should.

This has nothing to do with lubes.

See post 1, 16, and 26 :)

July 14, 2012, 08:00 PM
I have some of those Lyman All-American dies and they are chrome plated. My 9mm sizing die won't resize to a small-enough diameter to fit all of my 9 mm pistols.

My advice to both you and me is to give them to someone we don't like and get new RCBS or Redding dies.

July 15, 2012, 11:14 AM
Try scraching up the inside of the die. Use a laping compound & brush to put swarls on the inside. Make sure not to get any up & down scratchs in it. This will reduce the surface area tention on the brass. It can also be done with sand paper but requires more care not to get scratches the wrong way.

July 15, 2012, 12:55 PM
Stick a fork in this one........thanks for all the great info FloriDave.


tightgroup tiger
July 17, 2012, 04:37 PM
Stick a fork in this one........thanks for all the great info FloriDave.

I agree.

July 18, 2012, 06:28 AM
Someone else may come along with this problem & they may want to fix it instead of replaceing them. So more information is helpful but your post are not.

July 18, 2012, 02:52 PM
I have never used lube on any pistol brass. I use Lee dies. I do use spray lube on all rifle dies.

July 18, 2012, 03:54 PM

fyi, if you use the older non-carbide pistol dies, you need to use some form of lubrication to prevent a stuck case.


July 19, 2012, 03:39 PM
just an idea, if you really want to know what is going on up in there, get some cerosafe,


melt it, and do a casting. in 1/2 hour, knock it out, and you will have your answer. if there is part of an old broken off case up in there, you will be able to see exactly where it is. or anything else for that matter. the nice thing, is then you will have this around for future use. you can reuse it for as long as you have it.

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