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Decapping problem

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Chuck Perry, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Chuck Perry

    Chuck Perry Well-Known Member

    I started sizing fired 357SIG brass tonight with a Redding sizer die. Every now and then (maybe 6-8 out of the 100 I did) the primer punch would get sucked right out of the die and end up lodged in the flash hole of the case. Lots of fun retrieving those. It only seemed to happen on cases that required a bit of extra effort to size. In hind sight, that extra effort was probably from forcing the decapping pin thru a too small flash hole in some of these cases. The brass is once fired Speer. Has anyone else run into this? Am I on the right thought process about the too small flash hole, or is there something else happening here?
  2. Fleet

    Fleet Well-Known Member

    Are you saying the decapping pin would pull out of the rod, or the whole rod would pull out of a Lee sizing die?
  3. mgmorden

    mgmorden Well-Known Member

    What brand of brass? I've had some brands (Igman specifically) that had very, very tight flash holes that would tend to do that (or push the pin up through the collet on Lee dies).

    In the end, I ended up decapping them separately with a dedicated decapper, and then taking a very small drill bit and enlarging the flash hole just a tad. YMMV.
  4. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    Several years ago Speer couldn't keep up with the demand from Law Enforcement for the 357 Sig ammunition. They didn't have the case manufacturing capacity to make enough, so they contracted with an outside company to make the brass for them, and then they loaded it on their machines. That brass normally has a small "s" on the headstamp, and I believe it was made by Starline. It also has smaller flash holes than standard Speer 357 Sig brass. What you're running into is the brass from that contract run.

    I've talked to the reps at Speer about this at the SHOT Show and they told me they did in fact contract out the brass, but they really hadn't paid any attention to the size of the flash holes, since they weren't decapping any of it, only seating primers and loading it.

    I ended up with about 5,000 rounds of that once fired contract brass, from when Midway was selling it really cheap several years ago. I ended up using a Lyman decapping pin to deprime it, and then drilled out the flash holes as I came across it.

    Hope this helps.

  5. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Well-Known Member

    Seems like using a universal decapping die followed by a flashhole deburring tool would make that brass 100% usable. YMMV.
  6. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member

    Same answer I was going to give about the flash hole deburring Ridgway.
  7. Chuck Perry

    Chuck Perry Well-Known Member

    ReloaderFred, you the man. I just checked the brass and the culprits do indeed have a small S on the case head (marked "357 SIG s").
    This is what I have to work with, I'm going to have to make due with this brass. Two more questions. I don't have a universal decapper and need to buy one-which is the best out there? Question 2, how do I go about enlarging the flash holes on these?
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    A flash hole uniformer, or a drill bit. Go very easy with the drill bit if you go that route. Straight in and out one time.
  9. Chuck Perry

    Chuck Perry Well-Known Member

    What size drill bit would I use? Is the Lyman hand tool any good for what I need to do? From the product description it seems like it is meant to both uniform the size of the hole as well as debur it. Their decapper die looks like what I need too.
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Yes, the Lyman would work.

    Drill bit size? A hair bigger than the decapping pin, whatever that works out to. I can't remember off the top of my head.
  11. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Well-Known Member

    I use the Lee universal decapping die. It's designed to let the decapping rod slide up, instead of breaking, if too much resistance is met.

    As far as flash hole deburring tools, there are several good ones on the market. I like the cost and performance of the Lyman model, plus I can unscrew the handle and install the tool on my RCBS Trim Mate.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  12. gregj

    gregj Well-Known Member

    Just a thought, but would polishing the decapping pin help any?
  13. cheygriz

    cheygriz Well-Known Member

    I like the RCBS universal decapping die. That's one tough sucker!:p
  14. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    You'll have fewer issues with the Lee Universal Decapper die. RCBS centers their decapping stem on several sets of screw threads, which is in-effective. Lee, Hornady and others use a collet system that is highly concentric.

    Bottom line: fewer broken decapping pins.

    Don't take my word for this. Roll several sets of dies on a smooth table top and watch the decapping pin. :eek:
  15. Chuck Perry

    Chuck Perry Well-Known Member

    I sent an email to Redding last night and received a prompt response this morning. Long story short, they are going to send me out some reduced diameter decapping pins to try out. Great service Redding! I'm not out of the woods yet, but this will at least save me a step on getting these cases ready to go.
  16. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    I have a Sinclair flash hole reamer to ream the roughness and occasional flap of metal visible inside the case at the primer hole. If you had that, you could just run that into the hole and that would drill the hole the proper diameter with a couple of twists! Then decap as usual.
  17. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    I needn't roll anything anywhere. I've been reloading with RCBS Dies since 1982 and have NEVER had a problem associated with this, or anything else.
  18. Chuck Perry

    Chuck Perry Well-Known Member

    Bored tonight, so I thought I would try out a carbide 40SW sizer and see what kind of luck I would have. I had two in stock, a Dillon and a Lee; went with the Lee first. Success! The Lee is popping about 90% of the cases. I am setting aside the other 10% for when I get the smaller decapp pins coming from Redding. Now I just need to get to the store and find a drill bit of the corrrect diameter to ream these suckers out. Wouldn't you know of the drawer full of bits I have, too small and too big :banghead:
  19. Chuck Perry

    Chuck Perry Well-Known Member

    5/64 turned out to be the correct drill bit size, if anybody was wondering :D
  20. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Actually, my first thought was the decapping pin was extended too far out of the die. Some decapping pins are tapered and get larger beyond a certain point. If you have more than 3/8" sticking out of the die you might make sure that isn't your problem. I've never had a decapping pin jam in the flash hole in tens of thousands of deprimed cases.

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