Trouble with 308's

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by sceeder, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. sceeder

    sceeder Well-Known Member

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    Had some trouble resizing some 308 brass today.
    I have Redding dies so I know they're quality.
    I broke two decapping pins on some of the brass.
    Not to mention it was difficult to resize.
    The casings I had trouble with were:
    Match LC 66
    Match LC 67
    RG 88
    308W IK
    308W S&B

    Do you know do these casings take a special resizer?
    Or are they just tough to do?
    Any help is appriciated.
     
  2. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    Where did the brass come from ? If it was fired from a MG it would be a little "large" since reliability is more important than accuracy.

    Decapping pins I can't help you with. I never use a FL die to do decapping, I use my Lee collet neck sizing die for that but stop before it shrinks the neck. The pin in that die is full length the same size as the caliber, except for the decapping insert, whereas the stem on a FL die is only about 1/8" in diameter so not nearly as robust. I have seen some flash holes that were way out of position on some brass too, that could be another problem. However, if you use a lee collet die, you are not doing any other sizing operation, just decapping and no lube needed so the process is quite sensitive and you can easily tell by the resistance that something is out of whack.

    Next question is what you use for lube when FL sizing ? I personally use a blue marine grease that is the same as what I use on all the pins of my backhoe. I smear a very small amount on my left hand and then transfer a tiny bit to the cartridge by wiping it in that hand. Every 10th case or so I will use an ear bud to put a bit into a case neck to keep the expander ball lubed too. I have tried the spray lubricants but in my opinion it does not compare at all to a "real" lubricant.

    I just did 500 cases (decapping, FL sizing and later collet neck sizing) and it took me a few hours a night over about 4 days. That was in addition to multiple wash/tumble/dry cycles which actually took the majority of the time.
     

  3. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I use RCBS Decapping & Depriming dies. There are 2....One is .22-25 caliber, the other is .27-.45 caliber. They work great.

    Also, you mentioned Lake City (LC) brass....Those could be boxer primed and be crimped on 4 sides of the primer. In which case you will need to be swaging the primer pockets before you insert another primer in them...Once you get the old one out.

    Most of the time, with surplus brass, if I have a stubborn primer, or it breaks a decapping needle, I just chunk it, or throw it in my misc. brass bag that I sell for scrap prices.
     
  4. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    The LC brass I just worked through had a ring crimp (full 360). Some were tighter than others. Some just held on like blazes, but I got all of them out no fuss. I do believe that it helps having the biggest stem on the decapping tool possible, in the case of the 308 collet die that is just under the bullet diameter. A "universal" decapping die must by necessity have a skinny stem so it can work on the smaller calibers.

    If I recall the lee die is about $30. Oops, apparently $21 at Midway

    You can see how massive the pin is in this picture.
    Lee Collet Neck Sizer Die 308 Winchester
    [​IMG]
     
  5. sceeder

    sceeder Well-Known Member

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    I got checking that brass and you guys are right. It either is crimped or there is no centered flash hole but rather some little holes on either side where the flash hole should be.
    Well what I'm going to do is chuck that brass for scrap brass like one of you suggested. I don't have much of it and I do have a lot of the good stuff.
    Thanks for the imput. I learned something today.
     
  6. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Little heads up, thats Berdan primed. You can remove them with the proper decapping tool but they must be Berdan reprimed. That style is usually found on foreign made brass, not domestic.

    I don't have any resizing die sets that have the decapping pins inserted. Thats the first thing that comes out when I get a new set.

    I use both the RCBS and Lyman Universal decapping dies depending on which one I pick up (in the same box).

    Westcliffe.... The pins on my loaders get Lubrication Engineers teflon fortified synthetic GL 8 grease.

    My brass all gets Hornady One Shot. Never had issue one. Actually, One-Shot and commercial die release compound are very similar, basically an EP lubricant in a light solvent carrier.

    I'd be real concerned, using any substantive grease to lubricate a bottleneck case in a FL die because in a FL die, the bottleneck itself forms a wedge seal (as it's reformed) in the die body, hence the relief hole in the die itself. Block that hole and you wind up with dented shoulders on a bottle neck case.

    I want the least viscous lubricant possible and as little as possible at all times.
     
  7. sceeder

    sceeder Well-Known Member

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    one shot is exactly what I use. I found years ago at a gun show.I would never use a greese because I used a liquid lubricant before and it dented my casings.Usually if I have trouble with any cases I just toss them because it's not worth the effort to use them.
     
  8. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    I got the 1 shot lube with my reloading kit, but I'm not impressed with it at all. The amount of force needed to do the same job is higher than with the grease I use which is why I switched. Its not that I'm unwilling to try something novel...

    Unless one is asleep at the wheel, one can see when lube buildup starts to occur right on the cartridge itself, long before the point that it causes dents. Then I just wipe down the die and carry on.

    Applying the grease is harder to do that spraying the one shot, that I would have to agree, but I am not satisfied with how it works. It makes quite a mess too, I don't like spraying anything near my reloading bench.

    Just another way how you can never get people to agree on exactly how to do anything... But I have never had a stuck case yet in any of my dies.
     
  9. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I use that Redding Imperial Sizing Wax. Works like a champ for me. Especially since i neck-size, and all I have to do is stick the case mouth in the wax up to the shoulder...Twist, then pull out. It puts enough on the die & expander ball, that you can do about 5 cases before having to dip another one. Great stuff.
     
  10. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Fair statement to a point. The effort expended and felt in the actuator arm of your press has little to do with the lubrication of the case and everything to do with the degree of resizing thats occuring within the die itself. You've alluded in the past that you were involved in swaging dies. Same principles apply. Same release compound.

    Brass, by it's alloy makeup, is naturally slippery. The 'lube' is there to prevent the case from 'sticking' in the die as it's resized (from localized heat) and in essence, you don't have to 'lube' a case to neck size, because the brass (if annealed properly) will neck size without sticking. I never lube to neck size, but the cases are clean and the die bore is clean. I clean my dies with brake cleaner regularly while I'm reloading, like every 15 cases.

    You obviouisly have some 'one shot' pineing away on the shelf. Here's the way I apply mine....

    Take about 20 cases (that have been cleaned and are free from any foreign material....cob bits, shavings, etc.,) and put them in a zip lock plastic bag, Take your one shot and agitate the can (it has a ball inside, shake it up for a minute and rattle that ball real good) You need to get the release compound in suspension in the carrier.

    Put the red straw in the nozzle and spray a bit in the open bag, zip the zip lock closure almost closed, but not quite.

    Stick the straw in the opening and give it a good squirt and immediately close the bag, seal it. Then 'make bread' with the brass and the one shot. Toss those suckers around in that bag, toss 'em around good for at least 30 seconds.

    Open the bag and dump the contents on a table or your bench AND LET THEM SIT AND DRY FOR A COUPLE MINUTES. Thats the key, they have to be dry as it's really a dry release compound. Then resize the usual way.

    Been doing thousands of cases using that procedure (my BIL clued me in a while ago).

    Forget spraying the cases in a loading block, that sucks and it's messy. Key is even distributiuon over the case (and inside the case mouth so the expander ball can take advantage of the release compound).

    I never have an issue

    I have a case lube pad and a tin of sizing wax if anyone wants them. Both unused. Might be a bit dusty, been sitting for a while now.
     
  11. lever-hed

    lever-hed Well-Known Member

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    Yes, bingo, those are called Berdan primers. Pins break when they cant find a hole to go thru.. Just chuck ‘em to the scrap bin… more Pita than its worth. Somebody needs to read their reloading manual, this is basic stuff. Also, when you have crimped primers they tend to not come out too easy, but they will.. you can use a shell holder, a hammer, and a punch pin or buy a separate decapping punch to knock the primers out, (just make sure their not Berdan first).. Military or Lake City brass is much tougher to size also, you will need quite a LOT of leverage to size em, if you have a small chamber, have fun..(you didn’t say what gun your reloading for).. careful how much your actually sizing them though, if they are excessively fired ‘out’, you will potentially be overworking them..
    Also note, Berdan primed cases tend to have primers ‘staked’ in as opposed to crimped, you will see what appears to be 3 indentation marks around the primer pocket. (just chuck ‘em)...

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