Scratched or rusted Dies

REDHEAD

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Jan 30, 2009
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Little Falls, MN
I have a problem with a set of RCBS dies. I haven't used them for a while. Recently , I tried to reload a couple of test rounds . To my horror the cases went in like a bad clutch on a 409 . Can it be cleaned or is completely shot ? Thank you. lightbulb
 

phorwath

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If it's just a light surface corrosion, I think you can salvage the dies. If it's very heavily pitted, especially if the pitting runs all the way up into the neck and shoulder area, then you're better off purchasing replacement dies.

You'd be able to clean up the body portion of the die by wrapping some 220 or 320 grade quality 3M emery cloth around a bore brush of the proper size to put the emery cloth in firm contact with the inside surface of the die and have at it with a cordless variable speed drill.

I just recently opened up a 7mm Rem Mag Redding Body Die in this manner so it wouldn't work my brass so much. These resizing dies are harder than the dickens - heat treated. You won't have to worry about taking too much material off with the emery cloth. It will take a lot of sanding to open the die up 0.003" - 0.004" once you're through the surface rust and into competent steel.

Depends how much your time is worth to you. Standard grade reloading dies aren't terribly expensive.
 

REDHEAD

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Jan 30, 2009
Messages
251
Location
Little Falls, MN
Thanks for the tip. Do they get plugged with sizing lube ? How do you clean them ?
If it's just a light surface corrosion, I think you can salvage the dies. If it's very heavily pitted, especially if the pitting runs all the way up into the neck and shoulder area, then you're better off purchasing replacement dies.

You'd be able to clean up the body portion of the die by wrapping some 220 or 320 grade quality 3M emery cloth around a bore brush of the proper size to put the emery cloth in firm contact with the inside surface of the die and have at it with a cordless variable speed drill.

I just recently opened up a 7mm Rem Mag Redding Body Die in this manner so it wouldn't work my brass so much. These resizing dies are harder than the dickens - heat treated. You won't have to worry about taking too much material off with the emery cloth. It will take a lot of sanding to open the die up 0.003" - 0.004" once you're through the surface rust and into competent steel.

Depends how much your time is worth to you. Standard grade reloading dies aren't terribly expensive.
 

Hairtrigger

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Jan 10, 2009
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384
Location
NW OHIO
I would remove the decapping rod and try to polish the inside of the die.
JB bore paste or polishing compound should work.
 

phorwath

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Alaska
Thanks for the tip. Do they get plugged with sizing lube ? How do you clean them ?
If all you've got is some gunked up lube and dust/dirt in the dies, then forget my first post and simply disassemble the dies and soak them in gasoline or some other solvent to loosen up and remove the grime.

If you've got some corrsion of the steel that needs removed or smoothed up then follow my first post.

First thing I do with any new set of dies, or any set of newly purchased used dies, is disassemble the dies, degrease in gasoline and swab inner surfaces clean, blow dry with compressed air, and then spray them with some corrosion protectant like a silicone spray, so they won't corrode and pit over time in storage.

I presumed you had some steel corroding with my initial response. Sorry if I got started in the wrong direction.
 
Last edited:

REDHEAD

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Jan 30, 2009
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Little Falls, MN
I don't know. I haven't used them in a while . I can't see anything wrong , but it seems to scuff the case pretty good. I had to use RCBS size lub to size a few. Its far from smooth . Guess I'll end up buying a new set if gas doen't work. Thanks much. :rolleyes:

If all you've got is some gunked up lube and dust/dirt in the dies, then forget my first post and simply disassemble the dies and soak them in gasoline or some other solvent to loosen up and remove the grime.

If you've got some corrsion of the steel that needs removed or smoothed up then follow my first post.

First thing I do with any new set of dies, or any set of newly purchased used dies, is disassemble the dies, degrease in gasoline and swab inner surfaces clean, blow dry with compressed air, and then spray them with some corrosion protectant like a silicone spray, so they won't corrode and pit over time in storage.

I presumed you has some steel corroding with my initial response. Sorry if I got started in the wrong direction.
 

300_Sendero

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
6
I can't seem to find if you stated the type, Pistol Carbide or Steel or Rifle Dies

If the dies are NOT Carbide or if the dies are Rifle You do need to use some sort of case lube on each case you resize

Only pistol Carbide dies do not need lube on each Case and it never hurts

There is a exclusion to every rule and this is no different

You did state that "I had to use RCBS size lub to size a few." This makes me wonder which type Die your using and my reason for writing the above.

I have used several lubes and really prefer Imperial Sizing Die Wax it works very well

good luck
 
Last edited:

REDHEAD

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Jan 30, 2009
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251
Location
Little Falls, MN
There .243 Win. RCBS standard dies . Seems sizing shouldn't be grabby and make a god awful noise. I just read some where you are supposed to lube carbide dies as well.
 

300_Sendero

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
6
There .243 Win. RCBS standard dies . Seems sizing shouldn't be grabby and make a god awful noise. I just read some where you are supposed to lube carbide dies as well.

That is not good, Only time I've experianced noise while sizing is when my finger was in the press also , Ouch!
 

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