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Old April 9, 2011, 11:10 PM   #1
Miata Mike
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Could nickel cases gaul a Lee carbide sizing die?

I have sized and deprimed at least 2000 pieces of 9mm brass with my Lee 4 die carbide 9mm set, and almost at the end of my large bag of range brass I ran a nickel piece through and it took a little more force than normal. All brass after looked like one side of the brass was lightly rubbed with steel wool.

I had been lightly lubing a case here and there with a little furniture wax on my latex gloves, which works very nicely. I will be wearing latex gloves religiously from now on.

I took my die set out to the garage and sprayed a little WD40 in the size die for lack of a better idea, and blew it out with compress air with no change.

Did I just trash my die, or is this something that will diminish with time? I did about 50 more cases and it didn't get much better.

Last edited by Miata Mike; April 9, 2011 at 11:26 PM.
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Old April 10, 2011, 01:46 AM   #2
cheezhed
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I have sized many a nickel case using a carbide die without a problem but you may have deposited a bit of plating on your die's carbide ring. I would try using
gun cleaning solvent and a bore brush to clean the carbide ring maybe that would help.I think that carbide is much harder than nickel but I have been wrong before.
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Old April 10, 2011, 01:47 AM   #3
WESHOOT2
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Cleaned cases?
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Old April 10, 2011, 09:05 AM   #4
Miata Mike
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Quote:
Cleaned cases?
Yes, very well tumbled in walnut media.

Quote:
I have sized many a nickel case using a carbide die without a problem but you may have deposited a bit of plating on your die's carbide ring. I would try using
gun cleaning solvent and a bore brush to clean the carbide ring maybe that would help.I think that carbide is much harder than nickel but I have been wrong before.
I will take a better look at it later this AM.
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Old April 10, 2011, 09:08 AM   #5
snuffy
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NO!

Trying to explain relative hardness of different materials is difficult with some, ranging to impossible with most. While nickel IS harder than brass, it's not even close to as hard as carbide, or normal steel dies.

I suspect your other cases were getting that burnish BEFORE you ran that nickel case. You had HEARD that nickle trashes dies, so you looked at the results.

Take that die apart again, run some steel wool inside the carbide ring with a drill, spin it for a while. You won't hurt the carbide ring, it's as hard as glass, nearly as hard as diamonds. IF there's something on that ring that is causing the abrasion, that process will clean it off.
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Old April 10, 2011, 09:09 AM   #6
m&p45acp10+1
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Brake parts cleaner works well for cleaning out the die. Though do use it outside. A few blast of it then leave the die where it will run down ando ut of it. Sounds like some of the plating stuck in it to me. I have never had a problem with it. Though the nickel pistol cases tend to split at the case mouth a few times before the brass ones do. You will probably loose them before they split.
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Old April 10, 2011, 09:40 AM   #7
Slamfire
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Quote:
I took my die set out to the garage and sprayed a little WD40 in the size die for lack of a better idea, and blew it out with compress air with no change.

Did I just trash my die, or is this something that will diminish with time? I did about 50 more cases and it didn't get much better.
You did not damage your die as long as you did not blow the carbide ring out of it.

It never hurts a die to clean it on occasion as gunk and crud will accumulate and create avenues for rust.

Quote:
I had been lightly lubing a case here and there with a little furniture wax on my latex gloves, which works very nicely. I will be wearing latex gloves religiously from now on.
I believe it is likely that your nickle cases were just a bit stiffer.

And as you have found out, lubing cases, even those cases used in a carbide die, make sizing a lot easier.

I got tired of powder bumping out of my Dillion 550B, due to hard sizing of 9mm, 45ACP, 44 Spl and 45 LC cases. So I tumbled my cases in RCBS water soluble lube. My sizing speed has gone up and the cases just slip right inside the carbide dies. No more powder spills.

Function is actually improved in my autopistols as the lube breaks the friction between case and chamber.

I just have to remember to keep dust and dirt off the cases as lube will pick that up.
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Old April 10, 2011, 11:00 AM   #8
Miata Mike
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Cleaned well and almost all better!

I took the decapping pin out and cleaned with some Hoppes and a properly sized brass bore brush followed by a similar sized bore swab. Almost all gauling is gone. If it doesn't go away entirely when I am resizing my next 9mm brass I will take it apart and clean it again.

I did not have any brake cleaner or steel wool, but figured this would work OK.

Thanks for the replies all! That is what makes these forums so special.
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Old April 10, 2011, 02:30 PM   #9
engineermike
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Just send it back to the manufacturer and have it replaced. If it is not the case, or care of the die then it has to be a flaw in the die itself.
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