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Help w/ Lee .380 sizing die

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 9thchild, Dec 31, 2013.

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  1. 9thchild

    9thchild Member

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    It worked okay the first five rounds or so, but stopped popping out the primers after that. Still seems to be re-sizing fine. Is it possible that pin broke somehow? It does appear to be shorter than the one on the picture and is definitely shorter than the one on my 9mm dies. Is there someway to adjust the length of that pin? I know you aren't supposed to over tighten pistol sizing dies and I thought I made sure not to add the extra 1/4-1/2 you do with rifle sizing dies. Perhaps I over tightened it and the pin snapped. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I know I could just de-prime w/ the 9mm die and then re-size w/ the .380 die but that seems like it would get old fast.
     
  2. jtsteiert

    jtsteiert Member

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    Just loosen the nut that holds the decapping pin in place and slide the pin down until it is 3/16" below the bottom of the die then retighten the nut. Its not uncommon that the nut holding the pin isn't completely tight when you get the die set.
     
  3. 9thchild

    9thchild Member

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    Awesome. I knew it had to be something simple like that, just didn't know how to adjust it. Thanks!
     
  4. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    Beware, It is really really tight. I boogered mine up and they had to replace it.
     
  5. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    You have to keep that collet bolt really tight to avoid the pin slipping when it meets heavy resistance, but that's exactly the point of the design.

    Recommendation: don't use adjustable wrenches on your dies.
     
  6. 1TwistedGimp

    1TwistedGimp Member

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    Same thing happened on my lee .380 die, after you readjust it make sure you really tighten it down good, took me 3-4 times before I got it tight enough.

    1TG
     
  7. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    How much of the pin is showing on the TOP of the sizing die?? It should be almost flush.

    Raise the ram all the way to the top so it hits the shell holder. screw down the whole die until it touches, now screw it in about 1/4 turn more.


    You need 2 open ended wrenches. I believe without measuring a 3/4 and 1/2. It is very very tight.

    DO NOT take the top collet nut completely out. It's a pain to put back in.
     
  8. OCD41911

    OCD41911 Member

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    The only time that has happened to me was when I missed a 9x17 berdan primed case. As stated with Lee dies the nut is mildly difficult but not too bad.
     
  9. 9thchild

    9thchild Member

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    It was very tight but I got it. Took several tries to get it tight enough not to slip again. Used a pair of channel locks and regular pliers. Scuffed the threads a bit but only at the top.
     
  10. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    :eek:

    What no Vice Grips handy?:uhoh:
     
  11. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Member

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    The pin was pushed up from a tight primer pocket. Grab 2 of the appropriate sized wrenches, loosen retaining bolt for the pin, push it down further into the die. Now lightly tighten and put it in your press. Lower the press completely. Now adjust the pin so that it protrudes below the shell holder enough distance to deprime your brass. Now finally, tighten down the retaining bolt. You'll need 2 wrenches again. Set it tight or it will slip again.
     
  12. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    I would like to know how its possible to not scuff it. I had a little success with an old shirt around the die but that is troublesome.
     
  13. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Something about the right tools for the job. My Father rolled over in his grave.;)
     
  14. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Adjust it so about 3/8" of the pin is protruding form the die, or just enough to consistently pop primers out.

    GS
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Use the proper tools.

    Exactly. It pains me to watch someone use pliers on a hex nut.
     
  16. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Next time you have to adjust it the channel locks and pliers my strip it. I strongly suggest purchasing the wrenches.

    My press and dies are all Lee. I have a decapping die for use with brass that has the military crimp. I decap all of my brass, including .380, on the dedicated die and then tumble it. This way it cleans the primer pocket.

    Since I am pretty new to reloading I've messed up a couple of times and had to resize after I've primed. So I had the opposite problem as you. I needed to resize without decapping the primer. I had to raise the pin instead of lowering it. Using a 1/2 and 3/4 wrench I had to apply a lot of pressure to loosen the pin and a lot of pressure to tighten it after adjusting the pin up instead of down.

    I'm new to handloading but don't see this as a loading issue. I see it as a using the right tools issue.
     
  17. Trailduster79

    Trailduster79 Member

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    Had mine push out once. As others have said, you need to get the collet very tight to keep it from pushing out.

    Instructions with mine said to have the pin flush with the top of the collet and then tighten.
     
  18. bds

    bds Member

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    This won't be your last time as the pin was designed to push up instead of breaking when you try to deprime a Berdan primed case.

    I bought sets of box end/Allen wrenches from Harbor Freight and have them hanging conveniently next to my press (when you buy them on sale, you can buy both for like under $5). So when the occasion arises, I can quickly grab the wrenches and go back to reloading instead of chasing down tools (Don't ask me why I have like 3-4 sets of wrenches/socket sets. :rolleyes::banghead:).
     
  19. Bush Pilot

    Bush Pilot Member

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    For the same reason some of have 2 or 3 sets of dies for the same cartridge?
     
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