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I screwed up and...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by USMAGator, Dec 4, 2010.

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  1. USMAGator

    USMAGator Member

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    Need some help/advice please.

    I brought home a bunch of .223 brass, tumbled it, and decapped/resized them (or so I thought). Then I seated primers in 200 cases, charged them all, and went to seat bullets. Well I got done with 1 round, picked it up, and noticed the bullet was loose!:uhoh: Even just a gentle tug or bump will cause the bullet to move in the neck...

    Tried a second and third round, and have the same problem. I emptied the powder out of the cases, but they are still primed and the necks are not sized correctly.

    Can i SAFELY deprime live primers? Or is there a way to remove the decapping pin from my Lee collet neck sizing die? I've been loading for about a year and have produced about 1500 .223 rounds successfully without having a problem like this, but maybe someone else who has had a similar issue can point me in the right direction.
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Take the decapping pin out if possible with your die and size with the primers in. If not, yes, you can decapp safely and re-use the primers.

    Welcome to THR.

    Agh. Collet die. You should be able to adjust the rod up higher so it doesn't decap. I need to go look at one of mine though.
     
  3. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    You can certainly quite safely decap live primers with the Lee Collet, or any other sizer with a decapping pin, so long as you don't try to slap them out. But, if they were mine, I'd use my FL die with the decap pin removed (or moved up so it doesn't touch) and just FL size them. Then reload 'em normally.

    Lee's collet neck die is a great accuracy tool but it's NOT a simple "push the case in, pull the case out" process like other neck dies. Read and follow the 'structions!
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Checked mine for .30-06. It looks like you can screw the cap up enough so the rod won't decap. Give it a try.
     
  5. USMAGator

    USMAGator Member

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    Thanks guys for the advice! I know better now, have to push a good bit more once the shell holder contacts the die...
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I learned that the hard way too, just not a big batch thank goodness. :)
     
  7. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    To take out the decapping pin on a Lee die, you need to put the die in a vise and loosen the "cap" with a 1/2" wrench, about a half turn.

    You can also buy a spanner wrench specifically made to hold the flats on the die.

    I would avoid decapping/reusing live primers, if possible. For one thing, you'll just have to put them in, again. And the other thing, they've been "sized" already. They'll go in easier the second time around. If you're using mixed brass, some of the primer/brass match ups might be too loose.
     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    It's hard to tell from you post so I have a few questions.

    Was the brass yours or did you find it at the range?
    If it's yours was it fired in a semi-auto?

    If the brass wasn't fired in your rifle or if it was fired in a semi-auto you need to do a full length resize, not just a neck sizing. Collet dies work fine for brass previously fired in your BOLT rifle but not for semi-autos.

    Welcome to the forum...
     
  9. Jeff F

    Jeff F Member

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    ArchangleCD has it spot on, and most all of the .223 or 5.56 NATO pick up brass you find at the range will have been fired out of a semi-auto. All the guys I know that shoot a bolt gun in .223 are re loaders and never leave any brass.
     
  10. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Not on any of my lee dies, I can do it with the die installed in the press.
     
  11. USMAGator

    USMAGator Member

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    The brass is mine, fired from a Ruger M77. Brass used is all Lake City, fired three times (bought it fired once, once through my AR15, and then through the Ruger).

    I full length resized it before using it both times previously. This was my first time using the collet neck sizing die, because I read that you could get pretty good accuracy out of it for bolt guns.

    "Collet dies work fine for brass previously fired in your BOLT rifle but not for semi-autos."
    That's what I'd read and why I decided to try it for this rifle once I ran some brass through it.
     
  12. USMAGator

    USMAGator Member

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    I tried loosening it in the press but couldnt get it to move. Moved it to the vice and the cap loosened no problem. Thanks Gloob!
     
  13. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Did you put a 3/4" wrench on the flats of the die and use a wrench on the nut that holds the decapper?
     
  14. USMAGator

    USMAGator Member

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    I'm using a turret press and didn't have enough space between dies to get a proper hold on it. Once I took the die out of the turret it was a pretty simple matter.
     
  15. Cemetery21

    Cemetery21 Member

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    The shaft on the decapping rod may be the same size all the way to the bottom end. If so, you can slide it up so it doesn't deprime. Use a caliper on the shaft, or try the neck tension on the first couple of rounds after resizing before you run the whole batch.
    The new collet dies sometimes have burs in the collet fingers, or are a little dry or rough. I used to use one a lot and I think I smoothed up the surfaces and used dry lube on the collet fingers and the angled part of the sleeve that closes the collet. You will need to keep them clean of debris - brass chips, etc, or they can bind and crush the neck of the next round.
     
  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Gator,
    Since it sounds like you are doing things with the brass correctly I can only guess you don't have the Collet Die adjusted just right to give the neck enough tension.

    I'm using a Lee Classic Turret press and sometimes use a Collet Die and it works alright for me so it can be done with the equipment you have. I'm sure you will get it right soon...
     
  17. USMAGator

    USMAGator Member

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    I figured out that I just wasn't putting enough force to size it properly. According to the instructions you have to put about 25lbs into it after the shell holder contacts the die to engage the collet, and I didn't push that hard. I tried it again with some of the brass and it sized it perfectly, so this was definitely on me. Know better now!

    Cemetery21 - Thanks for the info, I'll look to take care of mine the same way.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    It takes more tension than one would first think with the Collet Die. Just keep adjusting until you get the neck tension you need. A little trial and error, just like setting up any die.
     
  19. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    "brought home" in the OP does not really imply anything about the source.

    But "bringing home brass found at the range does raise an issue sometimes overlooked. My son segregates his brass by maker and lot (and brings home only brass fired in his gun). .223 and 5.56 brass will have different internal capacity; military brass intended for full-auto weapons will be thick (less internal capacity than commercial brass intended for bolt action varmint rifles).
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Military 5.56 is not always heavier than commercial. It's been discussed many times.
     
  21. Ghosty1

    Ghosty1 Member

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    hehehhe i hope i never do this lol.
    im even newer than you, as to reloading lol.

    no, never ever deprime. unless like a nice pop in your face. im pretty dumb (not saying ANYone here is)...but even id know better.

    unless you have your bad idea jeans on...(snl thing, its funny....hulu it)

    never ever deprime. ever. any calibre. ever. ...
    bad idea...

    -G
     
  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    It will not hurt a thing to deprime cases. It takes impact to set off primers. The slow gentle push of the decapper will not set them off. No worries. :)
     
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Making mistakes isn't always bad as long as we learn from them. In this case there was no danger so this mistake was one of the good ones...
     
  24. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    How do you KNOW its "perfect?"


    Please buy a case gage.

    223casegage.gif

    precisionmic.jpg
     
  25. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Well, you're wrong! Live primers can be safely removed by simply using the decapper in a FL die, or a universal decapper. If it bothers you, then don't do it. But don't come on here sounding like an expert.

    Reminder; It takes a sharp hard blow by a pointed firing pin to detonate a primer. Then that primer must be firmly held in a primer pocket, and the shell has to be firmly held in a chamber. None of these conditions are present in a shell held by a shell holder while an un-supported primer is being gently PUSHED out of the pocket.
     
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