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Old June 21, 2015, 07:29 PM   #1
BadTA
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45 ACP Cartridge Hanging on Expanding Die

I am using a Hornady Lock n Load AP Press with their PTX die. It seems that when the case goes into the expanding die it gets stuck/hung on it, so much so, that it takes a lot of effort to bring the ram back down. If I put a bit of One Shot on the tip of the die, it helps a lot.

Is there something I did not do correctly in the setup or do I just need to apply case lube during case prep?
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Old June 21, 2015, 07:34 PM   #2
baseball2013
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I am very new to reloading but I had a similar issue. The problem seemed to be related to opening up the case mouth a lot more than needed. I adjusted the die out until there was just enough "belling" to place a bullet in the case.

The difference has been significant although I can still feel the case wanting to stick just a little when lowering the ram.
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Old June 21, 2015, 07:55 PM   #3
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Be sure to chamfer brass. I had that problem, chamfering fixed it.
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Old June 21, 2015, 08:03 PM   #4
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Are you using brand spanking new brass? If so did you size it first? Lightly chamfer the brass is also a good idea if it is new.

Could also be as mentioned you may be expanding too much.

Got the correct expander?
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Old June 21, 2015, 08:07 PM   #5
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Wow! Thank you for the fast replies!!

I do have the correct expander (.451). My guess is I am expanding too much. I will back it off a bit and see if that helps.
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Old June 21, 2015, 08:14 PM   #6
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I have chamfered exactly zero pistol brass in 30 years (that I later expand). I bet on the fact that it is too clean, either new or wet tumbled.
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Old June 21, 2015, 08:22 PM   #7
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Spray one shot on the brass, making sure you get a good bit in the mouths themselves- no need to apply it to the tip of the expander. You actually answered your own question right there! I had this problem once with Starline brass in my 650 XL. Just because you have a carbide sizing die doesn't mean case lube won't help. Get the one shot into the case mouths. This isn't a chamfering issue. When all is said and done, you may be belling too much. Post a pic. Regardless, the brass is sticking to the expander.

Last edited by CLP; June 21, 2015 at 09:19 PM.
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Old June 21, 2015, 10:36 PM   #8
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CLP - I believe you are right on. I went back and checked and the expander is set properly. I should have figured it was a lube (or lack thereof) issue when things got better with lube on the expander.





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Old June 21, 2015, 10:37 PM   #9
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Video of the problem in action.

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Old June 21, 2015, 10:42 PM   #10
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Also, I am wet tumbling (stainless media). All brass is once fired.
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Old June 21, 2015, 11:29 PM   #11
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Some folks have complained that the wet cleaned brass is so clean that it has a lot of friction. A light spritz of case lube should fix it.

I do not wet tumble but spray lube all my brass even with carbide dies and it makes life easier.
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Old June 22, 2015, 12:17 AM   #12
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Just made 250 rounds using One Shot after the tumbling. What a difference! I would say 1 in every 10 "sticks" a little, but not much at all. The other 9 out of 10 go through like butter.

Time to order One Shot in bulk.

Thank you everyone for your quick and accurate help.
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Old June 22, 2015, 01:54 AM   #13
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It's a common problem with new brass or brass that has been cleaned with the stainless steel pins. All the lubricating substances have been removed from the inside of the case necks, as well as the rest of the case. Bare brass, with no lubrication, will gall on steel, so some form of lubrication is required to get the steel to release the brass. Sometimes it sticks so hard it will pull the case in half when the expander is forcibly removed by the press. I've got two halves of one sitting on my bench of the .38 Special cases this happened to me with.

In regular tumbling, some residue is left behind from both the tumbling process and some carbon and residue from the firing process. This acts as a lubricant for the expander, but you don't have that with the SS process or new brass. The One Shot will cure your problem, as you've found out. Just tumble the cases for about 20 minutes or so after sizing to remove the case lube and you're good to go.

Hope this helps.

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Old June 22, 2015, 02:37 AM   #14
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Fred - Why tumble after resizing? With the One Shot, I assumed it would evaporate after 10-15 minutes and not require anything further.

Please let me know soon, as I just did 250 rounds without the 20 minute tumble.
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Old June 22, 2015, 08:45 AM   #15
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Hm. Another good reason not to change over to stainless wet tumbling.

Not intended as a dig to anyone who does this. But I've been fence sitting for some time now on this method. I think I'll stick to dry media.
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Old June 22, 2015, 09:14 AM   #16
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I had the exact same issue with some bought once fired 9mm brass that was spic and span clean, inside and out, presumably by wet tumbling. ReloaderFred described the cause and effect perfectly. My own walnut tumbled brass presents no such headache.
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Old June 22, 2015, 09:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stubbicatt View Post
Hm. Another good reason not to change over to stainless wet tumbling.

Not intended as a dig to anyone who does this. But I've been fence sitting for some time now on this method. I think I'll stick to dry media.
Cases being too clean is not an issue if you resize the cases and expand the case mouth before wet tumbling.

By separating the resizing and reloading processes on my progressives, I find I get fewer jams, fewer process upsets, my production rates go up, and the entire process is a more pleasurable experience.

Not everyone agrees though.

That said, I dry tumble much more frequently than wet tumble. Wet tumbling requires lots more effort than dry tumbling with the mixing cleaners, separating media and case drying.
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Old June 22, 2015, 10:37 AM   #18
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BadTA,

Case lubes are generally made with anhydrous lanolin, or some other lubricating substance, with a carrier of anhydrous alcohol. The alcohol evaporates and leaves the very thin coating of lanolin as the lubricant. It really won't hurt anything, other than to make the cases a little sticky and collect dust more readily. I also don't like a lubricant between the bullet and the case neck, since it's neck tension that holds the bullet in place in a properly loaded round. It's my thought that the exact same lubricant that allowed the expander to pull more freely from the case may have an effect on neck tension, so I tumble the lube off in ground corn cob to remove that possibility.

My analytical mind works that way, and I may be correct, or not, but I'd rather remove the lube before finishing the loading process.

Hope this helps.

Fred
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Old June 22, 2015, 10:50 AM   #19
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I load 380 and 9mm on a 550D and use One Shot lube on all the cases. Makes all the pulls easy and smooth. No sticky residue outside that I can tell or feel. Doesn't take much, just a light "dusting" or two over the cases in the shoebox that I use for this purpose. Some stand up and rest lay on the side. Spray, shake, let dry.
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Old June 22, 2015, 10:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadTA View Post
Just made 250 rounds using One Shot after the tumbling. What a difference! I would say 1 in every 10 "sticks" a little, but not much at all. The other 9 out of 10 go through like butter.

Time to order One Shot in bulk.

Thank you everyone for your quick and accurate help.
I make my own (there are many many threads on this) I buy the LEE lube which is water based. Dilute it with rubbing alcohol. 10:1 20:1 it is just a guess.You really need to shake it up each time. Just a light spritz is all you need for handgun brass For rifle brass you need at least 50:50
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Old June 22, 2015, 12:46 PM   #21
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I would venture a guess that you're using Dawn to wet tumble. Many of us have changed over to ArmorAll Ultra Shine Wash & Wax. There are a couple of advantages:

For one, there's a lot less sudsing, making rinsing easier.

Second, the Ultra Shine leaves a very thin coat of wax on the brass. This coating acts as a pretty good lubricant in sizing and expanding operations. Also, I clean brass in bulk and store it, sometimes for months before reloading. The wax coating keeps the brass from tarnishing.

Before you invest in a lot of One Shot, try a half-gallon of Ultra Shine for a few bucks. If you don't like it on your brass, you can always wash your car.
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Old June 22, 2015, 02:18 PM   #22
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I can see the burr on the case mouth. Looks like a sawed off shotgun. Chamfer them suckers (lightly) inside and out. I hate new brass. More work. It also helps with some die brands to pull the expander button out, chuck it in a drill and polish it with sandpaper (at least 600 grit or higher - I go to 1500 grit). You shouldn't need to lube straight wall pistol cases ever. Tapered cases like 9 mm or .30 Carbine can stick in a sizing die with no lube - I lube every 4th or 5th case on those.

Last edited by Drail; June 22, 2015 at 02:25 PM.
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Old June 22, 2015, 02:33 PM   #23
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"...Be sure to chamfer brass..." No chamfering on .45 ACP or any handgun case. That's what the flare does.
Sounds like a lube issue to me.
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Old June 22, 2015, 02:47 PM   #24
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Quote:
Cases being too clean is not an issue if you resize the cases and expand the case mouth before wet tumbling.
I don't run dirty brass through my dies but I also lube all of my cases wet or dry tumbled.
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Old June 22, 2015, 04:45 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Captaingyro View Post
I would venture a guess that you're using Dawn to wet tumble. Many of us have changed over to ArmorAll Ultra Shine Wash & Wax. There are a couple of advantages:

For one, there's a lot less sudsing, making rinsing easier.

Second, the Ultra Shine leaves a very thin coat of wax on the brass. This coating acts as a pretty good lubricant in sizing and expanding operations. Also, I clean brass in bulk and store it, sometimes for months before reloading. The wax coating keeps the brass from tarnishing.
^^^ +1.

My experience exactly. I did have problem with the cases galling in the expander when I used Dawn. I switched to Armor All and have not had the problem since. And the brass does stay shiny indefinitely after tumbling, sometimes the Dawn washed brass would tarnish after a couple of days.
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