Die cleaning and scratched brass

Wildcat99

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Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
33
Location
Montana
How often do you clean your dies? I have some Redding dies that seem to require frequent cleaning to prevent the build of brass on the inside--like every 100 round or so. That seems excessive to me but is the only way I can prevent scratched cases. Solvent doesn't get the brass out, so I use Flitz compound on a patch that I drape over a bore mop that I've put into a power drill to buff out the built up brass. Seems to work, but the dies still gaul up pretty fast again.
 

Muddyboots

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Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,214
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Curious, are you cleaning the brass before you work them? Any little grit on the brass can be PITA inside a die and leave scratches. I am fastidious on keeping the dies clean and keep bag of extra large swabs that I run up inside die periodically just to make me feel better. The dies are the most critical component for consistent sizing so why not treat them with extra care?
 

Wildcat99

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
33
Location
Montana
Curious, are you cleaning the brass before you work them? Any little grit on the brass can be PITA inside a die and leave scratches. I am fastidious on keeping the dies clean and keep bag of extra large swabs that I run up inside die periodically just to make me feel better. The dies are the most critical component for consistent sizing so why not treat them with extra care?
I thoroughly clean my brass before sizing. Like you, I've learned to be fastidious about that. I've used different lubes but have come to really like One Shot. I don't have this problem with most of my dies, but in this 6mm GT with the Redding dies I've had this issue.
 

Muddyboots

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I never really had good luck with One Shot but seems like most do. Got a bore scope? Look into the die and if there is a rough spot, send pics back to Redding. My experience with them has always been good.

This is from Redding website in case you have not seen it and nice read:
Cleaning Your Dies
We are often asked, "How should I clean my dies?" The answer is to use the same procedures, with the same equipment and solvents, that you use to clean the bore of your rifle or handgun. Use the same diligence and effort as well, since the brushing and copper solvents will work well on any brass deposits that may have accumulated inside the die.

Another question that comes up is, "Can I do any internal polishing?" Again, the answer is, "Yes, with care!" The best arrangement is to chuck the die in a lathe, after stripping it down and removing the internal parts. Use #400 or #600 wet/dry auto body paper wrapped around a small wooden dowel. Keep the paper wet with a thin petroleum product with the consistency of WD-40 or kerosene. Using this method, you will easily be able to remove any foreign material or brass build-up from the inside of the die.

Since our dies are heat-treated to approximately 62 Rockwell C, you can polish for a long time without changing the internal dimensions. Do not use ordinary sandpaper or anything coarser than #400, as you will scratch the interior of the die surface and void the lifetime warranty.

It is very important to give the dies a thorough cleaning, after the polishing operation. They should be thoroughly washed, flushed, and wiped several times. Again, just as when cleaning your rifle, check the dies for cleanliness with several wet patches and then lube and dry patch them.

In summary, the name of the game when it comes to avoiding scratched cases is cleanliness! A little attention paid to keeping your reloading area clean, and periodically cleaning your dies, will insure that they give you years of trouble-free service.

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact our tech line (607) 753-3331
 

Wildcat99

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
33
Location
Montana
I never really had good luck with One Shot but seems like most do. Got a bore scope? Look into the die and if there is a rough spot, send pics back to Redding. My experience with them has always been good.

This is from Redding website in case you have not seen it and nice read:
Cleaning Your Dies
We are often asked, "How should I clean my dies?" The answer is to use the same procedures, with the same equipment and solvents, that you use to clean the bore of your rifle or handgun. Use the same diligence and effort as well, since the brushing and copper solvents will work well on any brass deposits that may have accumulated inside the die.

Another question that comes up is, "Can I do any internal polishing?" Again, the answer is, "Yes, with care!" The best arrangement is to chuck the die in a lathe, after stripping it down and removing the internal parts. Use #400 or #600 wet/dry auto body paper wrapped around a small wooden dowel. Keep the paper wet with a thin petroleum product with the consistency of WD-40 or kerosene. Using this method, you will easily be able to remove any foreign material or brass build-up from the inside of the die.

Since our dies are heat-treated to approximately 62 Rockwell C, you can polish for a long time without changing the internal dimensions. Do not use ordinary sandpaper or anything coarser than #400, as you will scratch the interior of the die surface and void the lifetime warranty.

It is very important to give the dies a thorough cleaning, after the polishing operation. They should be thoroughly washed, flushed, and wiped several times. Again, just as when cleaning your rifle, check the dies for cleanliness with several wet patches and then lube and dry patch them.

In summary, the name of the game when it comes to avoiding scratched cases is cleanliness! A little attention paid to keeping your reloading area clean, and periodically cleaning your dies, will insure that they give you years of trouble-free service.

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact our tech line (607) 753-3331
Thanks for sharing that. I have read that and used that as my guide for cleaning the dies. The reason I went with the Flitz is because I didn't have any #400 or finer grit paper on hand and figured the Flitz wouldn't hurt the die. I do have a bore scope and will take a peek in there to see if after I've cleaned them if I can still detect anything in there that shouldn't be. Good suggestion.
 

243winxb

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Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
567
Location
USA
A different lube may keep brass from being deposited in the fl size die, when sizing?
 

Tiny Tim

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Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
906
If brass is building up, it sounds like there may be a small burr in the die. The dies are too hard for flitz to remove. Could be a lube problem but unlikely due to no trouble with other dies. Keep us informed of your discovery.
 

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