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Dies do wear out

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jvik, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. jvik

    jvik Well-Known Member

    After 45 years of use, the 38 Spl Pacific dies my father bought in 1962 have been relegated to the box of good memories. I struggled with them for the last couple of months, but no amount of cleaning etc. solved the bullet seating problems - shaved lead, crumpled cases ...

    So I called around the Phoenix area looking for a set of Hornady dies - finally found a set at Cabelas - $2.00 off the Hornady price and no shipping charges. These dies are great. I'm going to be replacing all of my Pacific die sets with Hornady.
  2. mpthole

    mpthole Well-Known Member

    How many 1k's of rounds do you figure have been loaded on them?
  3. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Well-Known Member

    I read somewhere else where someone had worn out their Pacific dies after 80,000 rounds. If I recall correctly they were 45 ACP.

    Didn't Hornady buy Pacific?
  4. jvik

    jvik Well-Known Member

    Hornady did buy Pacific. It's hard to say how many rounds were loaded with them. My dad and I used them when I was in high school and living at home. He and his cousin used them after I left home. I "inherited" them eighteen or so years ago when he quit pistol shooting. I expect I've personally put 30 - 40 thousand cases through them.
  5. RexDart

    RexDart Well-Known Member

    You should mount those in a shadow box or frame, put a small plaque recording their history and achievements, and hang them with honor on the gunroom wall!
  6. Alphazulu6

    Alphazulu6 member

    Yeah you have nothing to complain about ... almost 50 years later. haha
  7. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    I have never worn out a die, but I sure have got some worn out dies off ebay.
  8. jvik

    jvik Well-Known Member

    Not a bad idea at all, RexDart! I just might do that:)
  9. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Well-Known Member

    Shaved lead and crumpled cases sounds like you weren't properly expanding the cases before seating the bullets...........

    I've got a set of Lee Carbide dies that have loaded over 1.5 million rounds and still load ammo that'll shoot 1.5" at 50yds through 3 different modifed S&W mod. 10's.

    Only dies I've ever seen "wore out" were some steel (not carbide) dies that were "eat up" by brass that had a lot of imbedded grit from not being tumbled before being lubed and sized. They would badly scratch and ruin every case run through them.

    I don't see how you could "wear out" an expander die. Even then, you'd only have to replace the expander plug.......................
  10. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Well-Known Member

    Very informative thread - I've never heard of such an account utill I read this thred.

    A million and half rounds? That means if you started in 1957, you would have loaded around 30k or 600 boxes of handgun ammo a year for 50 years. That goes to 50 boxes per month which is over a box and a half a day average over all that time. I'm not calling you out because you may be a commerical loader, but you are talking about this amount for a single caliber?

    I do agree with you on the expander die - and am quite amazed by this.
  11. jvik

    jvik Well-Known Member

    Goose - The sizer die and the expander/decapper die work ok. It's the bullet seater/crimper that's kaput. Remember, this is old technology, not nearly as sophisticated at the new dies.

    It is true that I could, with lots of patience and trial and error, get a setup that worked - at least for awhile. But what tended to happen is that if I put enough bell on the cases so they wouldn't shave lead, the seater die crumpled the cases if I put even the slightest crimp on them. On the other hand, if I belled the cases little enough that I could seat and crimp the bullets, it was almost impossible to seat them without shaving some lead.

    With my New Dimension dies from Hornady, I haven't shaved any lead nor crumpled a case after over 500 loads.

    Note also that I did use those dies successfully on a few loads previously:)

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