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Stuck another rifle case! yaaaaay!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 1KPerDay, Mar 1, 2013.

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  1. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    My bad luck with rifle reloading continues... LOL
    A couple of years ago when I started reloading, I stuck the first case I ever tried to resize, a .30-06. Everyone blamed it on the Hornady One Shot I was using. I ordered the RCBS stuck case remover and some imperial sizing wax, and got it sorted out shortly. I have had no issues since, using imperial.

    However,
    Yesterday I sized my first .223 case, using imperial, and STUCK it.:fire::banghead:

    Just managed to coax it out with the RCBS stuck case remover, but managed to bend the decapping/expander pin in the process (I removed the lock screws and banged on it first as per the Lee die instructions, apparently to drive the case out). Don't try it with RCBS :uhoh: and I doubt that method would even work with the Lee.

    Anywho... any advice on how to avoid stuck cases going forward? Should I just accept that the reloading gods don't wish me to load rifle? I'm okay with handgun stuff, and enjoy it. But my attempts with bottleneck rifle reloading have been less than enjoyable so far. :rolleyes:

    I was using the Lyman x26 shell plate, RCBS full length sizing die (dated 77) and (what I thought to be) an appropriate amount of Imperial Sizing Wax.

    Maybe I just need to sacrifice the first one to the reloading gods for each caliber I try. :D
     
  2. choppinlow

    choppinlow Member

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    223 can be pain. Especially for the first few rounds make sure you have plenty lube evenly over the whole case and in the neck. For 223, I make sure Every cartridge is well lubed including the neck to help avoid this common problem. Proper lube and you should not have this issue.....it is just that 223 is one you have to be more diligent about lube than other rounds.
     
  3. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Yea, it's that first one that'll get ya unless you lube it slightly heavier and or very lightly pre-charge the die itself with like a Q-Tip.
     
  4. Innovative

    Innovative Member

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    1KPerDay ......

    Imperial Sizing Die Wax is the most effective high pressure lubricant (suitable for resizing) that I've ever tested. I developed a die for belted magnum calibers that uses a steel collet, and it requires the best high pressure lube available. (I've tested more lubricants than you can imagine.)

    However, it's important to store your die wax at room temperature. If this stuff gets warm, it'll turn into Imperial Sizing Die "Oil", and that reduces it's effectiveness considerably.
     
  5. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    I used Imperial for a couple of years -- until I stuck two cases back-to-back in a 308Win small-base die.

    Returned to my trusty RCBS Case Lube (not the spray-on) ...and it was night & day (dramatically so)... especially noticeable in small-base sizing

    All I can say is what I've experienced. :neener:
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Many stuck case problems can be traced to shell holders that don't fit the cases rims correctly.

    I used to stick a lot of them many years ago when using Herters press & Herters shell holders.
    I was constantly pulling the rims off GI .223, and an occasional 30-06.
    Using the same RCBS .223 dies I am still using.

    I have never stuck another case since I switched to RCBS equipment in 1970.
    RCBS shell holders just plain fit what they say they fit.

    If the brass is in spec?
    And thats another thing to check.
    See if the offending cases are a different headstamp then the ones that aren't pull the rims off.

    rc
     
  7. icanthitabarn

    icanthitabarn Member

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    I now have and use some RCBS lube, but often just pour 90% Isopropyl into my homemade pad and skip the lanolin. Never had a case stick out of 1000's or noticed the tiny dents. I never make any effort to do the necks and especially the insides.
     
  8. Innovative

    Innovative Member

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    MEHavey ..........

    That is an extremely common symptom when using small base dies. I've found that 99% of the time, SB dies are not needed. Most shooters don't accurately measure their shoulder clearance, they assume that using a tighter SB die will make their handkoads fit better.

    Here's what really happens:

    When your handloads have the shoulder pushed back too far, the case stretches too much when it's fired. This occurs every time the case is fired, and the cumulative stretching makes the brass become paper thin above the web (solid part of the case). Then, the case bulges during the reloading process, especially when you use a SB die. They're rarely needed in a properly cut chamber.

    You might find that "some" of your cases will resize easier than others, but that is not because a lubricant appears to be better than Imperial Sizing Die Wax. (No . . . . I don't sell the stuff.)
     
  9. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    It works great with Lee dies. I have had to do it a couple of times, very fast and easy.
     
  10. James2

    James2 Member

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    RC, been the rounds with the Herters shell holders too. I finally got an adapter made and now use RCBS shell holders in the Herters press.

    Case lube? I have had very good luck using high-pressure bearing grease. The same stuff I put in the grease gun for lubing machinery. I put a couple squirts in a small lid off some trash container. Then just get a small amount on the fingers and rub the casing before sizing. It only takes a light film. Too much lube can put dimples on the shoulder of rifle brass. If you should have this occur, you need to clean the die, then start over.

    Yep, seems the first one is always the worst. I have learned to lube the first one very well, then cut it back some after that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  11. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    I'm going to keep on keepin on with my lanolin alcohol mix spray till I have a problem. Good luck with your first round sacrifice.
     
  12. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    Never stuck anything with RCBS lube.

    Only case I ever stuck was in my new Forster coax that advertised that you can size a case without lube. It will, but if only one side of the shell holder jaws are engaged, off comes half the rim. Fun fun fun.

    J.
     
  13. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    My best luck has been with STP oil additive or Bag Balm. The trick is to put a thin, even lube all the way down the case. Lube does not flow down the case as the die pushes against it and assuming so will guarantee a stuck case. Thin is important because if too much is used, you'll end up with shoulder dents.

    The Dillon lube/IPA-Lanolin is nice, but it leaves a sticky residue and you still have to either re-tumble or wipe with a solvent-dampened rag so the savings in effort compared to finger-lubing are minor.
     
  14. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Thanks for the ideas, guys. I'll superloob the first case on my next attempt. It did look like the shellholder ripped just the two outside edges off the rim.
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Well theres your problem then.

    No kind of lube is going to work if your shell plate isn't pulling evenly clear around the rim.

    Same problem I had with the old Herters shell holders.
    They didn't fit right.

    rc
     
  16. c.latrans

    c.latrans Member

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    From RC: "Many stuck case problems can be traced to shell holders that don't fit the cases rims correctly."

    This, exactly. Use the precise shell holder every time. And yeah, .223 is one of the worst in terms of sticking...stuck a couple myself the other day doing a batch of 500...and I have been doing this for 40 plus years, so you will likely see it again. But then, thats why stuck case removers are for sale.
     
  17. dubbleA

    dubbleA Member

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    In the 40+ years I have been handloading I have stuck one case and that was my fault for the lack of lube on the case. Truth is just about any grease/oil will work, its just that some will clean up easier and more convenient to use.

    I have found out that sizing and caseforming is just like any other mechanical operation. If something doesnt work as designed and has to be forced, stop and find out why. There is a reason for it happening, after the fact it's to late.
    You will gain a "feel" with every operation with handloading and should realize when something isnt right.
     
  18. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Well, of the reloading gods are against you, I would suggest getting Dillon dies. They won't keep you from sticking a case but there are no dies out there that make removing a stuck case easyer. All you need is a wrench that fits the hex head on top.
     
  19. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    You said the very first case. New die set or long unused die? A new (freshly cleaned, yes?) die or one that hasn't been used in a long time needs extra lube.
    I get that paranoid feeling on the very first one now too. :uhoh:
     
  20. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Anyone have an RCBS or other properly fitting .223 Rem shellholder they want to sell me cheap? :D

    EDIT: wait... the .380 shellholder is the same size, right? I have a Lee in .380. Maybe I'll try that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  21. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Been reloading for over 30 yrs. and have yet to stick a case. Make sure to lube the entire neck, body, and a very light film on the inside of the neck and you shouldn't ever stick a case. I even use spray on lubes and have never had a close call with those. When I first started reloading (.270 win and 30-06) I had a couple of stutters, but I quickly learned to take a little more care in proper lube application and it's been smooth sailing ever since.
    GS
     
  22. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    "Maybe I just need to sacrifice the first one to the reloading gods for each caliber I try."

    THIS^^^^
     
  23. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Sorry troops, But I small-base all my gas guns: Three AR actions and two Garands (M1/M1A).** The difference is night & day between Imperial wax & the older/classic RCBS Case Lube.

    As you know, the small base sizing action addresses a totally different case dimension than the shoulder. But as far as sizing/shoulder set-back, I also set the die/check afterwards based upon Stoney Point "headspace" gauge settings tailored to each gun -- determined and documented in the loading record book I keep for each.

    I'm not overdoing it. Just paranoid. ;)




    **While I might not "have" to do it (SB), it's just another insurance policy effort on my part. No big deal once you just make it part of the routine.
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    All this is well & good guys.

    But if the OP's shell holder is tearing the rim off on ony two sides, and not 3/4 of the way around the rim???

    It has nothing at all to do with what kind of case lube he is using.

    His shell holder doesn't fit his rims all the way around.
    And he will continue to pull rims off on the sides and stick cases until he gets a shell holder that fits properly and pulls all the way around the rim.

    It could also be his shell holder does fit properly.
    But the ram in his press is not aligned with the die properly, so the case rim is off-center with the die.

    rc
     
  25. Innovative

    Innovative Member

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    RC .......

    I don't think the "uneven ripped-off case rim" was mentioned until around post #14, and you're right - that would suggest someone possibly using the wrong shellholder. (Most handloaders would notice that.)

    However, after answering handloader's phone calls (on a daily basis) for 10 years, this symptom is usually caused by not using enough case lube or by using some cheap, homemade concoction. That's a bad idea when the cost of a lifetime supply of Imperial Sizing Die Wax is less than $8.

    Most handloaders also need to know to lightly lube the case neck (absolutely no lube on the shoulder), and use more lube farther down the body.
     
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