Lubing inside neck of rifle brass for resizing


April 14, 2013, 01:54 PM
OK, been handloading for at least a couple of years. I started with pistol and now reload 223 for my rifles. I know that lube is not required for pistol reloading and I have tried a few different case lubes for rifle brass - Hornady One Shot, Dillon, and Imperial wax.

After getting a case stuck with Hornady (after thousands of successful rounds), and not caring for the Dillon lube (seemed messy), I settled on Imperial. I just swipe my finger across the wax and apply it to the case. It works wonderfully for me.

Using this method I was not getting any lube into the case neck, so now I deliberately drag my fingertip across the case mouth to get a bit of lube on the inside rim of the case.

Once sized, I wipe the cases clean using a rag with some alcohol.

The problem is that when I drop powder into the cases, it sticks to the wax on the inside of the case necks, so I have started cleaning the necks with a Q-tip, but this is time consuming.

With the spray lubes (Dillon and Hornady) I never had a problem with powder sticking even though I am sure some of the spray was entering the case necks due to the angle of the spray. questions for you all are:

- Do I need to lube inside the case necks?

- Is there a better way?

I suppose I could continue using my current method then tumble that cases a second time to remove the lube, but really wanted to know if it was critical to lube inside the case necks.

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April 14, 2013, 01:59 PM
Yes, it is a good idea to lube the necks.

The best way to do it I have found is with a nylon bore or bottle brush.

Roll the brush on a lube pad.

Then run it in & out of the case neck.

It will leave just enough lube to ease pulling the expander back out of the case.

But not enough to need cleaning afterward.

I think you might need to clean the expander in your die.

It should be scraping all the lube out when expanding, leaving none in the case for powder to stick too.

You may have a big glob of lube buildup on the expander button so it is leaving a mess behind.


April 14, 2013, 02:02 PM
i have some dry mica that I dip case into before resizing

April 14, 2013, 02:06 PM
Dry mica. Never have to do anything if terms of recleaning the neck that way.

April 14, 2013, 02:07 PM
Do you need to lube inside the necks?
A - With a pull-thru expander, the answer is sometimes. It depends on how much the die undersizes the neck before pulling the expander ball thru. And how thick your brass is. With my Lee rifle dies, I have not needed any inside neck lube. With my Hornady, yes. The 2 Lee dies I have size the neck just enough to work with most brass, but a few pieces have had to be culled here and there. My Hornady die sizes the neck far enough to work with any brass... but undersizes the neck so much that pulling the expander ball thru is very hard, even with lube.

So try it with no lube and see. If there's no undue resistance during expanding, then you don't need to lube. So long as you aren't wet tumbling, the carbon left in the neck will be enough to prevent any cumulative galling.

Is there a better way?
A - Yes. Expand with a Lyman M die. When you push the expander in from the top, there is no problem; even with no lube, expanding is effortless. The issue arises with pull-thru expanders. Just like a Chinese finger trap, they can get into a positive feedback loop where the harder you pull, the tighter the fit, which makes you pull harder, which makes the fit tighter.... = stretched and overworked brass and a tired arm.

Matt Dillon
April 14, 2013, 02:26 PM
I use imperial on the case, and dip the mouth into white dry mica, then run a brush gently onto the case mouth before resizing. Next, I clean the primer pocket and then tumble for a white to remove he lube.

April 14, 2013, 02:30 PM
I use the Dillon spray on and have never had a problem. But as for your specific question, yes it is a good idea to lube the inside of the neck. If you have any one shot or Dillon left, just put a dab on a Q tip and give the inside necks a quick lube.

And to clean the brass up after resizing, I just fill up a cup with alcohol and give them a quick bath. With Dillon it works great, don't know how Imperial cleans up with alcohol though?


April 14, 2013, 02:52 PM
I use one shot. I put the cases nose down in the rcbs tray and hit the cases with the one shot. The lube runs down the case to the neck without entering inside. Works the best for me.

ole farmerbuck
April 14, 2013, 03:00 PM
If you're going to use Imperial,why dont you go ahead and spray One Shot on the case mouths like you used to and just use the Imperial on the rest of the case. Personally I use One Shot rifle cases, so far so good.

April 14, 2013, 03:59 PM
I use one Shot Myself.... i like the Wax but it takes longer so just toss about 40 brass in cardboard Box.. blast it a few times with one Shot as im bouncing box around....

Then 1st Case I rub Synthetic Motor Oil over neck.. and some inside...

Then i go to Town...

Once I get about 200-300 done I toss em in my Tumbler for about an hour... makes the cases nice and shiny again and removes any residue from the lube

I found that prepping all my cases.. de-prime and size... at once then doing all my loading at a sperate time speeds up the entire process alot for me....

i have a lee pro 1000 but only load 1 case at a Time when loading. But when i am de-priming and sizing I load the Case feeder and just BLAST away... can do about 40 in less than 5 minutes..... and can pop out about 300 ion less than an hour...

Anyways hope this helps some


April 14, 2013, 05:59 PM
I, like you, wipe a finger across the opening of the neck to put a minute amount of lube inside the neck. I don't do it on every casing. I have not had problems with excess residue.

April 14, 2013, 06:20 PM
I use the dry-mica on about every 5th case , seems to keep things smooth

April 14, 2013, 06:55 PM
I use Imperial Case wax on a RCBS neck brush... run it in and out once ....

I smear my fingers in the wax and rub them on the brush ... reapply about every fifty cases or so.... I use carbide expander balls in most of my dies also.... slick as snot....

April 14, 2013, 07:39 PM
Another dry mica fan here. I've tried the neck brush after rolling on the pad with RCBS lube and that works great also. With the mica, I simply insert the neck of the case in the mica and tap if it looks solid in the neck. This will drop out the glob and leave enough to drag over the expander on the way out. No complaints after many many years of this method.

Allen in MT
April 14, 2013, 07:48 PM
I use a Q-tip to do the inside of the neck, (imperial) do about 100 and then I stick everything in a jar of acetone for a hour and roll it around and shake it up (after being deprimed) Then pour it off into another jare using a strainer to catch the brass and it dries real quick, cleans everything up real nice

April 14, 2013, 08:18 PM
I use an RCBS case neck brush handle, but instead of the case neck brush I use a slotted cleaning jag and a cloth patch. I get the patch saturated with lube and pop it inside the case mouth before sizing. I bought the little Lyman mica and brush gizmo but I can't tell any difference between using mica and running them dry.

Kevin Rohrer
April 14, 2013, 09:24 PM
Since you are using Imperial Sizing Wax, also use their Dry Neck Lube (or other mica). Dip the case mouth in the Neck Lube, then lube the rest of the case with Imperial.

After sizing, it is probably a good idea to remove the Imperial, but the Neck Lube can be left inside the case mouth. It will not contaminate powder or the primer.

April 14, 2013, 09:47 PM
The only rifle round I load is 30-30 and have only loaded about 350 rounds but, I didn't lube the inside of the case neck for any of them. I use Mink Oil on the outside of the case and they resized easier than the dry 9mm brass I also reload. I see no need for lubing the inside of the case mouth.

Famous last words perhaps but, so far so good.

April 15, 2013, 06:13 AM
Thanks guys.

I use both Hornady and Lee rifle dies and I'm not having any problems getting the expander out of the case without the lube, just wanted to know if I was causing undue wear on the ball. I suppose I'll just keep doing what I have been, and swab out the necks with a Q-tip (or re-tumble) before dropping powder into the cases. I'm not a high-volume handloader - rarely more than 100 rounds per sitting on a single stage press - so it's not a big deal.

I may also pick up some mica and give it a try.

April 15, 2013, 06:30 AM
Measure the run-out on a few fired cases, then resize and measure again. That will tell you if you are distorting the cases. Bushing sizing dies are the way to go.

April 15, 2013, 07:18 AM
Eliminate the need to lube necks completely, by eliminating that nasty expander ball altogether. I use bushing dies, and with TiN coated bushings, the only thing I do is give a quick swipe of Imperial about halfway down the case body. A much easier way to reload bottleneck cartridges, and you will have straighter necks. Just MHO.


April 16, 2013, 12:27 AM
I use an RCBS pad and lee case lube for rifle brass.

One out of every "run" across the pad gets neck swiped into the pad.

This gives me about 10% of them with a very fine amount of neck lube, and works just fine. I always start with a neck lubed case, and just when it seems to get gall-y, another lubed one pops up.

In terms of residual lube / sticking powder.... I go from FL sizing to trimming to length... That usually cleans out most of it due to the pilot, but after TTL'ing, I go to the rest of the case prep stations....the last of which is a size appropriate brush up and down the inside of the case neck to remove any residual debris from interior and exterior chamfering.

With that, I've never had powder stick on my case necks.

April 16, 2013, 12:08 PM
Would'nt any powder stuck to the inside of the neck be pushed down inside of the case when you seat the bulet?

April 17, 2013, 12:50 AM
Up until recently I've always used the RCBS pad and brush. I tried the dry mica in a Franklin Arsenal dry lube kit and Imperial wax on the case. Works great but so did the RCBS.

Smilin Jack
April 20, 2013, 01:13 AM
I lube bottle neck cases with a nylon neck brush and powdered graphite.

I made a wooden base for the plastic bottle of graphite and dip the brush in and rattle off the excess and lube the inside of the neck on each cartridge. I dip the brush back in the dry lube after 3 to 5 neck lubes.

By lubing the inside of the necks with graphite, the expander ball slides out easily and the powder doesn't stick in the neck as if using oil or case lube.

I lube the outside of my brass lightly with a lube pad and RCBS case lube.

The case lube works fine from 223Rem to 338Win and all in between and all pistol cases too (28 die sets so far). Was taught this method back in 1971 by an old guy. Now I'm an old guy still using the same RCBS green press and Lyman 450.


April 20, 2013, 10:18 PM
it's just my opinion but sound's like a lot of make work ! i use imperial ,small swipe accross the case mouth ,size ,quick dip in cheap laqure thinner , it drys quick and cleans the neck good . no lube to catch the powder nothing needed to lube the bullet's wam bam thank you mam .:D

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