Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Deluxe Lee dies are carbide? Seriously?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Snowdog, Jan 21, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,950
    The 4-piece Lee "deluxe" die set I purchase for both the 9mm and .45acp have worked wonderfully so far. However, with some of the once-fired .45acp Winchester brass, I found I had to lube before decapping/resizing as they didn't seem inclined to cooperate without, requiring much more effort in both insertion and extraction.

    I later read that Lee carbide dies require no lube and noticed that the 4-die deluxe set (in the red square box with dipper) is listed as "carbide" in Lee's 2005 catalog. The image they show in this 2005 catalog for deluxe carbide dies appears to be exactly what I have.

    If I indeed do have carbide dies, can I skip on the lube? I am now under the impression that the lube may not be required for resizing with carbide dies, though lube might still be necessary for "ease of use".
    Does anyone still lube even while using carbide dies?

    I also received my Lee auto disk powder measurer yesterday and noticed it is designed to be activated by the case while being flared. Well I don't think this will work for me as it takes a bit of effort to extract an unlubed case from this die and I suspect some of the powder would "jump" from the case during extraction.

    Is there any markings on the Lee dies that indicate whether they are carbide or not? I've found no conspicuous indications or markings on the dies themselves.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2006
  2. BigSlick

    BigSlick Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Messages:
    364
    Location:
    Texas of Course
    I still lube (Hornady One Shot) with carbides.

    Almost all Lee pistol dies are carbide.

    You can tell by looking at the size die and the FCD, both will have an insert. Here's a pic from another post:

    Lee carbide die ring

    HTH,

    BigSlick
     
  3. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,950
    Thanks a bunch, BigSlick. The photo link helps a lot!

    I was using CLP as a lube as I had nothing else for lubrication on hand. I'm sure that would glean a lot of hard looks from the veteran handloaders.
    Looks like I'll be placing an order for resizing lube from Lee.
     
  4. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,782
    Location:
    Willis, TX
    If you can, instead of the Lee sizing lube, get thee some Imperial Sizing Wax.

    Trust me...it is the best...and a little, VERY little, goes forever. :)

    D
     
  5. Dave P

    Dave P Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,600
    Location:
    North Florida
    I would hate to be forced into lubing hundreds and hundreds of pistol cases - what a mess!

    Maybe you could try tumbling your cases before the carbide die - thats what I do.

    Dave
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    22,838
    The only straight wall pistol cases that I (lightly) lube is new or chemically cleaned brass that will drag in even carbide dies. A spritz of One Shot is good for that. Gun oil like Breakfree is not an adequate resizing lube and is harder to remove besides.

    I use a Lee "U" undersize carbide die for a good grip on jacketed bullets under 230 grains and have not noticed undue effort being needed on tumbled fired brass.
     
  7. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    4,933
    I too use One Shot with carbide dies, life is a lot easier and all the work is taken out of reloading.

    Like Jim, I have found new brass to be the toughest to run through the dies, it feels almost sticky.

    If your cases are free of dirt after firing load them before tumbling, the little bit of soot on them makes reloading a lot easier. You do run the risk of tearing up your dies though if you get some dirt on a case.
     
  8. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,950
    I guess that would explain why they were sticking, I had just tumbled them in corn cob media with Frankford Arsenal brass polish.

    I'll have to read through the responses and do some research for what's best for me.

    Thanks for the information!
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    22,838
    I don't tumble my brass very long, I just want it clean, not necessarily bright. It runs without lube through any brand carbide die tried, to include Lee, Dillon, RCBS, Lyman, CH.
     
  10. armoredman

    armoredman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    16,765
    Location:
    proud to be in AZ
    Never a trouble with my Lee carbide dies, but I use no brass polish, just walnut media.
     
  11. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,872
    Location:
    Ava, Missouri
    I use Lee carbide pistol dies and tumble my cases before I resize/decap and have had no problem as you discribe. New cases, once fired or many times fired...I load 9mm X 19 and .45 ACP plus many other pistol/revolver cases without a problem...9mm X 19 always seem sticky because of the tapered case...Ignore it...:)
     
  12. Rockstar

    Rockstar member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,353
    Corn cob media; Midway case polish "sweetened" with a little NuFinish car polish (one cap) Brass comes out slick and shiney. I've loaded tens of thousands of rounds of .45's and 9mm's, using nothing but Lee dies. Never lubed one yet. The CLP will cause more problems than it'll cure. When you're flaring the case mouth, flare only enough to allow the bullet to start for seating. Quit hypothesizing and get to work!:)
     
  13. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,872
    Location:
    Ava, Missouri
    Go get-em Rockstar!!:D
     
  14. hpcc19

    hpcc19 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Messages:
    23
    Lee Auto Disk

    I have found that new brass(Win) sticks like the devil in the Lee expander/powder die, but fired brass is smooth as silk.

    Starline brass works fine even when new.
     
  15. AnthonyRSS

    AnthonyRSS Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    N. Alabama
    Sounds like you are flaring the case mouth a little too much. Just enough to seat the bullet without shaving lead.
     
  16. neoncowboy

    neoncowboy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    land of cotton
    +1 on no lubing the cases.

    I tumble all my .45 brass in walnut with a small splash of mineral spirits for a couple of hours...then sift and tumble in corn cob with a little squirt of maguire's car polish/wax. They come out clean (inside and out), shiny and slippery to the touch. They just glide in and out of the dies when treated this way.

    I would think that CLP all over the inside of your dies would be a bad thing.

    Good luck!
     
  17. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    Midwest
    I don't lube cases for use in carbide dies but I'm sure they would go much better if you did. Since mine require almost no effort without lubing, I'm happy the way I am. That said, I also don't tumble brass - granted, my loaded rounds are not a pretty as some, but I never have trouble in the dies, not even my .357 SIG in steel dies. Carbon is a great lubricant.

    I go along with the poster who says that your flairing die is probably set a little deep. Turn that die in until it touches the shell holder, then back out between 1/2 and 3/4 of a turn and set the lock ring. That will get you incredibily close to where you want to be.
     
  18. Bill Z

    Bill Z Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    Augusta
    Ditto.

    I am using the Dillon case polish right now since I bought a half dozen bottles, but when it's gone it's directly to Nu-Finish.
     
  19. Rockstar

    Rockstar member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,353
    Beware of taking advice from a reloader who doesn't tumble his brass and loads on a Lee Loadmaster! :D
     
  20. JMusic

    JMusic member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,176
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    I'm with the guys on tumbleing. I have several carbide dies but the cases have to be clean. I ALWAYS tumble prior to reloading. I see little difference in brand of dies for my type of shooting, and own a few of most major brands. If they are carbide and clean you do not have to lube.
    Jim
     
  21. YellowLab

    YellowLab member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Messages:
    345
    Bit confused... you say that you are having trouble with a new powder measure, but then ask about carbide dies:

    "I also received my Lee auto disk powder measurer yesterday and noticed it is designed to be activated by the case while being flared. Well I don't think this will work for me as it takes a bit of effort to extract an unlubed case from this die and I suspect some of the powder would "jump" from the case during extraction."

    Triple check that you have the powder drop die set up right. Nothing should stick or jam... especially in a powder drop die.

    You should feel a little feedback from resizing/decapping... but that mostly due to reducing the diameter of the fire case. Not from friction of the carbide insert/ring. I doubt that there is any way to tell the two apart.

    As for getting stuck and powder jumping out of the powder die.... read the directions and triple check your set up. Its not a lube issue.
     
  22. hpcc19

    hpcc19 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Messages:
    23
    powder drop expander die

    Lee has an expander plug in the powder drop die.

    Are other powder drop dies set up this way?

    When properly adjusted, the die expands the case just enough for bullet seating and then drops the powder.

    In my experience (.45ACP) the process is very smooth except when using unfired Win brass. This brass sticks to the expander and requires quite some effort on the upstroke to unstick. Fired brass and other brands don't exhibit this behavior.
     
  23. YellowLab

    YellowLab member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Messages:
    345
    Yes, the Lee powder drop die is case activated, on the tube that is used to activate the slide to drop the powder has a slight taper that bells the case mouth. The belling is done at the top of the stoke.

    Lee (and others) do have seperate flaring dies for cases.

    If the case is sticking from this one manufacturer, then measure the cases... something is up with them. If it was a die issue it would happen with all cases, not just one type.

    Are you sure the cases are .45acp and not some other type of .45 round? Maybe .45 Colt or something?
     
  24. Rico567

    Rico567 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    IL
    Yes, Lee's powder drop die also flares the case. If your cases are sticking in this die, you've probably got it set to flare too much (a very common condition). As was described earlier, you don't want a bell like a bugle on the case, just enough to allow the bullet to be placed in the case mouth.
     
  25. CodeSlinger

    CodeSlinger Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Messages:
    34
    Kind of a random tip here, but I've noticed that the stability of your reloading bench makes a huge difference. A heavy, solid bench will make reloading uncooperative cases quite a bit easier. There's no sense trying to fight both the press and a light, wobbly table.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page