Need suggestions on brass going into sizing die very hard

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by sambo3006, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Redding 375 H&H full length sizing die that I have not used before. I picked up some once fired Remington brass and am having problems trying to resize. Before I used the die I removed the decapping assembly and made sure the die was clean inside and that the expander ball was clean.
    The brass is clean and I use Imperial Sizing wax for lube. I tried several different cases and on each when the neck came in contact with the neck of the die it basically stopped. I put some pressure on and it only went in about a 16th inch. It took a fair amount of force to remove the case. If I were to go in farther I think the rim would rip out of the shell holder and the case would become stuck when I tried to remove the case from the die. Same result with the decapping rod and expander ball removed.
    I did have a couple pieces of brass that had already been resized (not by me) and they will go all the way in the die to full contact with the shell holder, so the die should be within tolerances. The once fired cases mic around .405" neck OD and the resized ones mic around .390". Even when I am necking down brass to a different caliber I don't encounter this much resistance.
    Only thing I can think of is that the brass is extremely hard. It isn't nickel and I don't think it is more than once fired. I have never annealed before but I guess I could try that. Any suggestions or feedback?
     
  2. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    Two things.
    1. The cases were fired in chamber larger than yours.
    2. You aren't lubing them well enough.

    After you cleaned the die the walls were free of lube so the next few need an extra heavy coat, especially down near the head, that's where they get stuck.
     

  3. 406pat

    406pat Well-Known Member

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    I would think that annealing would be the next step after making sure that you have the case lube correct. There's a couple kits out there that have temp indicator stuff to put on the case to make sure it doesn't get too hot to get you started getting a feel for annealing. I'd check out midway for one of those then give annealing a shot.
     
  4. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I finally got the cases to go all the way into the die. I made sure there was plenty of sizing wax and short stroked the cases in and out until they were all the way in. After about 15 cases it is somewhat easier but still takes a fair amount of force and short strokes. There might be something to having cleaned out all the lube from the die initially, or maybe the repeated strokes with the cases have lapped the interior of the die a little bit. Either way I am glad that I can resize my cases but I wish there weren't quite so much resistance. Maybe it will get better as I run more cases through it.
     
  5. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    I had almost the exact same problemb with my Redding F/L die, and .270WSM, with Redding sizing wax. Heres what worked for me;
    1. Being relitavely new to hand loading, I recived lots of warnings to go light on case lube. However I had to apply a large quantity of wax to the case with my fingers, and had to de-cap and resize while the wax was still warm from rubbing it on. If not warm it does more harm than good to the brass when sizing.
    2.After applying such massive quantitys to the brass I found out that when the die cools down, you need to clean it again, due to wax build up that gets cold and dimpels the shoulder the next time you use the die.(precisley what I was warned about with excess lube).
    I found that there is deffinately an art to using wax, but once you figure it out its a nice product to use. Also keep your dies clean and/or warm. I like my Redding die and Redding wax, but it still gives me fits this time of year in the garage.
     
  6. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

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    I was having similar issues with a couple of my Redding FL dies. I put the die in my lathe and polished the inside of it with about 20 second applications of 400, 600, 800, and 1000 grit emery paper lubricated with cutting oil. I used 1" wide x 2" long strips of the paper in a piece of 3/8" dowel with a slot cut in it to put the end of the paper in. Worked like a charm. Sizing went from almost impossible to very easy with the same brass, same lube, same day.

    You can hold the die in a vise, spin the dowel in an electric drill and accomplish the same thing.

    Fitch
     
  7. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "2.After applying such massive quantitys to the brass I found out that when the die cools down, you need to clean it again, due to wax build up that gets cold and dimpels the shoulder the next time you use the die.(precisley what I was warned about with excess lube)."

    Your dimpling problem comes from over-application on the upper part of the casers, they need some but not much. Many newbies feel that since that's where most of the sizing is done that needs a lot of lube but that's NOT true. The thin brass near the mouth sized quite easily, what needs a good coat is near the head where the brass is thickest.

    Fitch has found what many misunderstand; a soft matt-finished die surface holds lube and works easier than a mirror polished surface. I have taken to "polishing" my sizers as he does (with a split dowel in a drill) but have come to love using my wife's green 3M pot scrubber pads. They leave just the right surface for easy sizing, at least for me and my can of Imperial. lightbulb
     
  8. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Boomtube, I do respect your opinion, and thank you for your advise, heres what I think.
    Maybe I phrased this wrong. I dont have a pollished die,but I think Im gonna try it. OK, the die I have is a finniky s.o.b. Too little lube in ANY one spot and the brass GRINDS AND POPS, and MASSIVE amounts of force are required to get your ruined brass back out of your die. This is BAD!
    On the other hand too much lube and you dimple the cases on the shoulders. Also bad!
    Heres what I was trying to say
    I have to use (what I think is) excessive lube wax and keep it warm, and keep the press moving. As soon as I stop for any longer than 5 min. the wax gets hard again, and dimples the case shoulder on the very next brass or two. Its not that I ''over lube'' the shoulder, the wax just seems to gradualy build up over time, and gets hard as it cools.
    Like I said, theres an art to using wax and an F/L die. I have just resigned to cleaning my dies after 50 brass in a row.As long as the die stays warm, and brass is just out of my fingers warm and it works.(it has not been above 53 degrees or colder than -10 below 0 in my garage where I load since I set up my equipment) However, from what Ive seen at buddies(who are single and can do this) Thier press and equipment is inside the house where its nice and warm, and you can get away with ALOT less lube when everything stays warm. J.M.O. from my experience, thanks for the ''hint'' about soft shoulders tho.:)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  9. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "As long as the die stays warm, and brass is just out of my fingers warm and it works.(it has not been above 53 degrees or colder than -10 below 0 in my garage where I load since I set up my equipment)"

    Oh, my goodness! That's COLD! Never mind my cases and dies, my old FINGERS snap and crack in those temps...things will get a LOT better when it warms up.

    Let me suggest a couple of changes in what it seems you are doing.

    As you have found, it's not good to pre-lube your cases with wax in those temps. Instead, lube each one by tapping your finger tips in the Imperial and then rubbing the case immediately before sizing. (Thats what I do all the time)

    And get yourself an LP gas radiant heater for your loading area, that's what I do. Mine is a moderately inexpensive unit that I got from Lowes a few years back, it screws directly to the valve of a tank and the tank serves as a stand for it.
     
  10. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Ya its a bit chilly haha. And Ill keep real tight tolerances weighing each and every charge. About the time I have some that were loaded in winter, and try them in 100+ degree weather......Ill have to wait a bit to work up some loads in the summer too before I start ''pushing it''.(I bear hunt in Hells Canyon 115 degrees isnt uncommon in August). As far as heat, Ive got a huge blaze king style fire place Im planning to install before next winter. I have a 3 car garage, with lots of room, and my little kerosene heater smells up the house. and my wife knows its MY Mancave. She thinks it'll help with the heating bill next winter also. Besides, that fireplace is just WAY to heavy to haul around for my wall tent.(tried it......UUUUGGGHH)
    Thank you for your help. I hope we didnt ''hi-jack'' this thread.
     
  11. Varmint

    Varmint Well-Known Member

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    You guys need to forget the die wax and get a can of horaday one shot lube and you will not have a problem again.Die wax is good if you are forming brass, but for resizing one shot is a lot better,try it any i guarantee it will be a lot easer. Tim
     
  12. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    Tried it, didn't like it (messy). Not saying the sprays aren't good but finger applied waxes are my preference. "Course, I don't load in large volumes either. Different folks, different needs, different strokes to get there.