Carbide or steel dies?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Victor1Echo, Dec 27, 2009.

?

Are carbide dies worth the cost of not lubing?

  1. Yes, lubing is a mess.

    111 vote(s)
    91.7%
  2. No, lubing is easy w/One shot

    6 vote(s)
    5.0%
  3. Only 2 thousand rounds? Not worth it. Just lube.

    4 vote(s)
    3.3%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,329
    I disagree. I can pick put cases lubed with One Shot by the feel of the press; doesn't matter how much was used or how long it dried.

    One Shot works, but many other lubes work better.
     
  2. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,646
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    The spray lubes smell funny and seem to leave a residue all over. I don't care for them.
     
  3. USSR

    USSR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    8,654
    Location:
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    Mike,

    Be forewarned - Agreeing with me will sometimes get you in trouble with others.:uhoh:

    All is forgiven.:D

    Don
     
  4. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    Magnolia AR
    I use carbide dies for pistol and use a lube pad and neck brush for rifle.
     
  5. Dannix

    Dannix Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Messages:
    262
    Just curious, but do any of you non-spray, pad fans reload on a progressive?

    I'm a pistol-only reloader right now, but when I pick up an AR or something I'll probably pick up a LNL AP. Am I correct in assuming spray in a bag or some such is the general lube practice for progressive rifle reloaders?
     
  6. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,329
    Bag, spray, shake.
     
  7. Dannix

    Dannix Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Messages:
    262
    What about the imperial wax or whatever stuff -- does that have to be tumbled off?

    I'm going to be wet tumbling my brass, should I would like to avoid having to get a corncob vibrator just for lube removal.
     
  8. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Messages:
    757
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    I believe Steel size die is good for .45 acp

    The .45acp is supposed to have a slight taper to it, and one can give it that with a Steel die. I clean/lube/size/clean again well in advance of need, so it's not a problem. It gives me something to do during the winter.

    I feel the same way about 9mm. Particularly with the 9mm, Carbide is known for leaving a 'belt' of unsized case at the bottom of the case, which happens much less often with Steel dies.

    For .223 and .308, everything I've read is that you have to lubricate cases a little bit before running them through Carbide dies, so why bother except when sizing fantastic volumes. My .223 and .308 dies are highly specialized (RCBS X and Redding bushing dies), not available in Carbide, and they save me labor on trimming and give me better control of the finished case.

    I only have experience with the .32 Mag, and not much there. Since it is a straight case, I don't see any benefit from Steel.
     
  9. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    You can also use an RCBS lube die, which has a decapping pin integral to the die.

    When combined with brass that has been worked w/ an RCBS X-Die, you have the potential for reloading .223 on a progressive in one fell swoop.

    Here's a video showing a guy doing just that:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqPJJinDr8Q

    I've been working w/ the X-Die to learn exactly how well it does (and the conclusion? Very well : ), and once I establish a stock of brass that has bee prepped by the X-Die, I'll be doing some loading on my LnL AP as is indicated in the video.
     
  10. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,755
    Location:
    Utah
    Clarification on my part-

    I use the oneshot in only certain applications for 2 reasons.

    1. Unless you spray WAY too heavy it doesn't make a mess out or you loading blocks like the Dillon pump/squirt lube will. Nor does it make a mess out of the case feeder on the Dillon 650. And it requires ZERO clean up unless you way overdo it. I consider it "THE BOMB" for straightwall pistol caliber loading with a carbide sizer die.

    2. I use it ONLY on straightwall pistol calibers. As others have noted and I have experienced(more than once, and in more than one caliber before I gave up), you WILL stick a rifle case with it.
     
  11. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,375
    Location:
    S. C. Florida
    I've always use a tiny bit of Break Free and a pad for the rifle dies. It's easy and it isn't messy unless you soak the pad way too much. But try different ones as you progress and see what you like. And for hand guns? Yes, carbide is the only way to go. But I used to lube them a bit anyway. Habit I guess.
     
  12. shootinxd

    shootinxd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    213
    Lee carbide dies if $ permits!
     
  13. Victor1Echo

    Victor1Echo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    424
    I went with what I found while shopping. I ended up with Lyman, and rcbs. I bought a spray lube, Lyman's. And it was not a mess. Thanks to all who chimed in.
     
  14. 04whtrubicon

    04whtrubicon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Carbide pistol dies work great except for my S&W 500, you will stick a case without lube.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  15. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,329
    Have you tried more than one die? Could be defective.
     
  16. 04whtrubicon

    04whtrubicon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    No. I thought about that but, the case is properly sized, and I am used to lubing rifle calibers anyway. I just figured the large surface area and thick brass was more than the carbide could handle alone.
     
  17. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,329
    Could be. Interesting.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    67,413
    Location:
    Alabama
    Even the thick heavy .44 Mag brass is harder to size with carbide than any other casliber I reload. (A bit more than .41 Mag) I bet the .500 is worse, since it's brass is made to handle even more pressure. A tiny bit of lube on the carbide die make .44 cases glide through amost effortlessly.
     
  19. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    10,118
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    I just finished 100 500 S&W rounds and used Lee dies. All went OK and this is my third trip through without a stuck brass and no lube used. Might be a bad die you have. None of these were plated but had no problems with those either.
     
  20. 04whtrubicon

    04whtrubicon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Well dang. I,ll try without lube again, maybe they have wore in a bit.
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    67,413
    Location:
    Alabama
    Carbide dies don't "wear in", but the carbide ring may have been bone dry. A tiny bit of lube after a cleaning with brake cleaner etc is almost mandatory since it removes all traces of any kind of lube.
     
  22. billybob44

    billybob44 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,129
    Location:
    Central Indiana
    ++1 On Dillon spray lube. Lay cases down on lube pad, pass over with mist spray, after a couple of min, roll the cases, brush lube inside necks, and size.
     
  23. navyretired 1

    navyretired 1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    Ozark, Missouri
    All my pistol dies are carbide, but I still lube just a bit with Imperial sizing wax. I rub some on my fingers then handle case seems to be all thats required.
    The beast carbide die I own was the most expensive 30 carbine, a fully tapered case which always caused me problems til I bought carbide, its a breeze now with light lube.
    Every stuck pistol case I've pulled in last 20 years has been in a cardide sized, you need some lube.
     
  24. OpelBlitz

    OpelBlitz Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    398
    Location:
    West Chicago, IL
    If I had a choice between carbine and steel dies, I'd always choose carbide regardless of cost differences. I mean, why not? Even with .30 carbine which needs *some* lube every several cases, it's better than gunking up every single case.
     
  25. USSR

    USSR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    8,654
    Location:
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    I can't even imagine resizing .30 Carbine without carbide dies.:eek:

    Don
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice