Bent decapping-rod & correcting caused run-out ?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by rooster721, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. rooster721

    rooster721 Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2012
    In the process of setting up a 338L right now, bought a box of new Lapua Brass to prep and have ready once my rifle is together... long story short, as I always do with new brass, I ran this 338 stuff thru a Redding Bushing die to fix the out of round mouths prior to loading them.. BUT didn't catch the fact that my damn de-cap rod was bent and in-turn wound up with obviously bent necks in the cases put-through before realizing what was happening!

    I removed the expander ball altogether (afterward) and simply ran the remainder through the bushing alone... and then also (re-ran) all the ones that had bent necks in an attempt to get them back to a closer starightness

    Question here: Will fireforming that brass bring whatever run-out still left in the cases back to (or near) zero?

    This was a new die-set and I admit I goofed not checking the lousy rod right from the beginning, but it happened.. never made this particular mistake before so am curious if this will affect my brass now for the life of it, or just til fireforming??

    Would really appreciate some input from guys who may have made a similar mistake*
  2. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    When talking to Redding a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I thought my decapping rod was bent as well. The tech mentioned that this is a common thought but in fact it just looks that way due to the "stack up" of tolerances of the several thread locations that hold the rod in place. While on the phone with him I adjusted the rod and a few of the threads and in effect made the bend "go away." So, you may want to try this as well. If in doubt remove the rod entirely and roll it on a flat table. If it's bent or straight, you'll see it.

    While the tech recommended using the expander ball I usually do not, and this is what I was taught by others on this board with a lot more experience than me.
  3. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

    Jul 10, 2012
    If you fire the cases that are imperfect they will shape themselves to the neck region of the chamber and you should find yourself about where you started. But keep in mind that variations in neck wall thickness will still be an issue. In your place I'd get ride of that expander, use a universal decapping die and an inside neck sizing mandrel in place of the expander ball.
  4. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    I never use an expander ball if I can use bushings instead. What you need to watch is that the expander does not bottom out against the shell base interior. That is the usual cause of bending. Once bent throw it away, call the die manufacturer and they will send you a new one.
  5. Reloader222

    Reloader222 Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2010
    Bent decapping rods is usually caused by the rod being turned in too deep into the die. It must be turn in so that is just just decap the primer.

    I setup my sizer dies by not locking the die and decapping rod on the first sized case. Only after the case is inside the die, then I lock the decapping rod and the die. Thereby alignment is better.
  6. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

    Jul 24, 2012
    +1 on all the advice given so far...

    I de-cap separately every time now. MSR's take a small base resizing to bring the case to minimum so I run the case all the way in with the expander about half way up in the die. Then I back the case down until the neck just clears the die throat and back the expander rod up until the ball contacts the inside bottom of the neck. I then screw the expander rod about 1/16" back down into the die. I retract the case until it comes into firm contact with the expander ball and while applying light down force I tighten the lock nut on the expander rod. This locks the rod down while the case is holding the expander ball in alignment with the die's neck. Set this way the rod is only a short distance from the rod collar and unlikely to be out of line. The press has more leverage with the ball that high and I feel there is less of a chance of the expander ball pulling run-out into the case neck.

    From day one reloading I was under the impression that neck dies do not need expanding as they were supposed to only size the necks enough to hold the bullet. My 30/06 RCBS neck die never had an expander ball on the decapping rod. Since when did neck die start coming with expanders?

    If you de-cap with a universal die there is never a problem with a decapping rod.