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Old December 9, 2007, 11:12 PM   #1
20nickels
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Need lube for straight wall pistol?

I only reload for .38 and .45. There are tons of used die sets out there for a fraction of the cost of new. I have read that some die sets you have to lube the cases (something I don't want to do), Is this true? If so how do you identify them? Is it carbide dies you don't ever have to lube for? Tks ahead. Nickels.
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Old December 9, 2007, 11:30 PM   #2
arkie2
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Lee makes the carbide dies you're referring to along with others. I use them and don't lube for .45 and .357/.38. New Lee carbide die sets run about $50 so if you could be sure you're getting carbide dies you could probably beat that price used easily.
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Old December 9, 2007, 11:31 PM   #3
capbuster
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carbide dies eliminates the need for lube when resizing straight walled pistol cases.some reloaders I have talked to will occasionally smear some lube on the end of the carbide die to ease the effort required. I usually spray a batch of cases with a spray lube and then resize. it is not necessay but it does smooth things out a bit. take care.
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Old December 10, 2007, 11:39 AM   #4
Smokey Joe
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Buying used carbide dies for straight-wall pistol cases

20 Nickels--
Quote:
If so how do you identify them?
A carbide case sizing die will have a visible, dull ring of carbide inserted in the mouth of the die--the rest of the die is regular shiny steel. You can probably find used dies for sale @ gun shows, and you want the carbide sizing die, NOT the all-steel die. The case sizing die may come in a set, with a bell-mouth die and a bullet seat/crimp die, both of which will be all-steel.

The carbide die will be more expensive, alone or as part of a set, than will the all-steel sizing die in the same situation. And as pointed out, a carbide sizing die does away with the necessity for case lubrication prior to sizing. You can lube the cases if you want to but many pistol reloaders (myself included) don't lube the cases, and get quite satisfactory results.

Buying used dies is a smart move IMHO. If you can find the ones you want, dies are almost impossible to wear out or damage, so even a very old one will normally work just fine. The trick is to find the exact die you're looking for. It may take several trips to gun shows and to reloading shops. A seller who isn't busy will probably be willing to show you a carbide and a non-carbide sizing die--Once you have seen the difference it's obvious.

Damaged dies: What to check: The outer threads should be non-rusty and non-chewed. The lock ring might be chewed by pliers, especially if it is knurled and round rather than hexagonal. If the lock ring is too unsightly, use that as a bargaining chip--they are replaceable--and in any case all it does is lock the die to your press; it doesn't have to be pretty to work. The inner surface of the die, where it will bear on the cases when it is working, should be smooth and shiny. (Except the carbide part--carbide isn't shiny.) Any visible crack in the die body or the carbide ring, is an immediate and complete disqualifier. Any adjustments the die has, should work smoothly and lock down tight. Dies have so few working parts that they are easy to disassemble and check.

As always, when buying used, it's a good idea to have done yr homework, and know what the comparable new ones should cost.

Good luck and good hunting! And of course, a follow-up report is required!
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Old December 10, 2007, 12:28 PM   #5
jhansman
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One warning on buying used dies: hold them in your hand and visually inspect them close up. I mistakenly bought a set of .45ACP RCBS dies off a guy on eBay, and they work, but were in nowhere near the 'excellent' condition he listed them as. Live and learn. They have since been replaced with a set of Lee's four die pistol set, which are outstanding and a genuine bargaiin.
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Old December 10, 2007, 01:36 PM   #6
Shoney
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Using carbide dies with straight wall pistol cases requires no lube.

There are some companies that manufacture carbide dies for bottleneck and large straightwall rifle cases. These still reqire a lube and generally do not function better than regular dies.
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Old December 10, 2007, 04:23 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for answering the reloading noob questions.

Smokeyjoe, a good write up like that deserves a follow-up Unfortunately the local show was just here recently so it will be some time unless I take my chances on online auctions. I think I've done well so far though;
Refurbished LNL press & powder measure $220
Hornaday .45 3 die set at wholesale with press
Hornaday/Pacifica .38/.357 carbide 3 die set $20 NIB (still in factory grease!)
3 hp motor to automate press cost 2 fingers (just kidding)

I have not had any luck with the seat/crimp combo dies so I am on the lookout for separate crimp dies. I started this thread to help me make informed buying decisions on that so I can get the .45 factory rolling!
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Old December 10, 2007, 05:22 PM   #8
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You can buy Lee factory crimp dies for around $8 and you can buy the four die set inc the FCD for around $28. I use the FCD in every caliber I load. I have been hearing a lot of good things about the LNL, let us know how you like it. Also if there is anything you don't like.
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Old December 10, 2007, 10:55 PM   #9
20nickels
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Lee factory crimp dies for around $8? No lubing? Sold. I did a search, where do I find them?
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Old December 11, 2007, 03:17 PM   #10
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http://www.kempfgunshop.com/products...uxepistol.html
http://www.midwayusa.com/ebrowse.exe...dsReturned2=20
Sorry, the FCD is $13.99. You can buy the four die set with the FCD for $29.99.
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Old December 11, 2007, 04:22 PM   #11
Smokey Joe
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Done well indeed!

20 nickels--You have done well indeed @ gun shows w/those prices. All you need for a .45 crimp die is another seating die--unscrew and remove the bullet seating stem, and--Voila!--a separate crimp die!

I presume that .45 ACP is the cartridge you're looking for--there are several other .45 cal. cartridges. (.45 Schofield, .45 Short Colt and .45 Long Colt come to mind.) If it IS .45 ACP, you're in luck--that is one of the commonest cartridges to reload, and there are tons of used dies floating around for it. Any of the others will require a good deal more searching for used dies.

As it happens, I went through your exact same process--wanting to seat and crimp separately--with .45 ACP a while back. It took exactly one gun show and one trip to a local reloading shop/range to find a perfect bullet seater die for the SWC's I use, and with that in hand I switched my old seater/crimp die to just crimping.

Had contacted RCBS; they were willing to custom-make a seating stem for my particular SWC's, but finding a whole die locally that was a perfect fit, was less hassle, as well as a good deal cheaper. (If one does have a really odd-shaped bullet to seat, it's good to know, however, of RCBS's willingness to do this! Their price as I recall was not outrageous for custom work.)

FWIW, the .45 seater I found is a Dillon, so now I use dies from Dillon, RCBS, Lee, Redding, and Pacific. Have yet to have one that performs its function less than 100%. The Dillon seater is particularly easy to disassemble for cleaning--you don't even have to remove it from the press or change the seating depth setting, to clean it!

So, may your gun show luck continue with this current quest!
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Old December 12, 2007, 02:52 PM   #12
VonFatman
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Yes & No....
I don't lube the cases however, before I reload NEW and UNFIRED brass...I tumble them with a bit of polish in the media. It "slicks" them up and makes the sizing process much easier. If you don't you can stretch the cases at times.

There are no dumb noobee questions. Never ever.

A dumb question is one unasked.

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Old December 12, 2007, 03:05 PM   #13
20nickels
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Thanks for the links Rusty.

"All you need for a .45 crimp die is another seating die--unscrew and remove the bullet seating stem, and--Voila!--a separate crimp die!"

For some reason this particular die does not crimp for me, despite many, many efforts! The best reason I've read for this was "combo dies are problematic, with lead it is a no-go". All I shoot are lead "cowboy" bullets because they are cheap and plentifull at the local pusher and my S&W 625 in .45 ACP will eat anything (that's why I bought it).... if I ever get them loaded, so I'm also on the lookout for .45 Colt crimp dies.
One other problem I just encountered;
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...52#post2609952
Where's the Bang-Head smiley? This is not a big deal with .38 as the LNL does not eject them like it's supposed to anyway, but it works perfectly for .45 and I would like to keep it that way. Nickels.
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Old December 12, 2007, 05:52 PM   #14
dakotashooter2
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I have several sets on standard steel dies (straight wall handgun) that I got when I first started loading. I have NEVER lubed a handgun case and have NEVER had one stick or cause any other problems (knock on wood) Generally pistol cases are short and thin enough that there is not a lot of tension built up against the die. Some thicker cases may be a bit "stiffer" to size but I have yet to lube any. That doesn't mean you shouldn't just that I personally haven't found the need.
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