Re: Question on Hornady Dies...
I have several Hornady ND die sets along with other brands (Redding, RCBS and Wilson). When I get in trouble with sticking dies and/or the expander ball dragging heavily with the ND dies, the problem has been one or more of the following:
A) Not enough lube particularly around the body close to the base. I use Hornady Unique most of the time. It's similar to Imperial. If you clean your brass before sizing and prepping as I do, the method of cleaning will make a difference in the effort needed to run the case through the die. If you tumble with corn cob or walnut shell, less effort is usually required. If you use a ultrasonic or any other "wet" cleaning, more effort is usually needed to run the case through the die. The reason appears to be the wet methods remove all residual oil, grease, dust, burned powder ect. making the job of applying sizing lube that more important. The dry methods clean and shine the brass but do leave a thin film behind.
B) The Die needs to be cleaned. Take it apart and clean it with brake cleaner and 0000 steel wool. Lube the body and expander with some sizing wax before reassembling.
C) The expander is loose on the spindle. With my .223 die, the expander will loosen occasionally and once it's pressed into the case, it can be a bear to get back out with out ripping the head off the case. This usually happens when I'm in the middle of a large batch of cartridges and it works loose.
One thing I did a while back, to the expanders was polish them with some 600 and 800 wet/dry paper and then buff them briefly on a buffing wheel. Just the leading and trailing edges with the paper so as not to change the diameter. They seem to work smoother since then.
just my experience and $.02. hope it helps
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