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Old May 19, 2005, 08:03 PM   #1
Edward429451
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Adventures in Stuck Cases...

My first stuck case in a die last weekend. Me & my son were going to load some 30/06's, I set up the sizer/decapper and didn't get a chance to grab the lube before the phone rang. Well I didn't make it back downstairs fast enough before my son started sizing and voila stuck case. He got 8 through it before the ninth stuck solid.

With the other stuck case thread still fresh in my mind I knew it'd be easy.

Hoping to get lucky, I tried a punch first. Bent punch.
Tried Mikes freezer trick, no luck, more bent punches.
Soaked it in oil overnight, no go. More punches down.
Screwed it in the RC upside down and tried vice grips, mangled head no go.
Remembered Brickeyes (?) tap & bolt & socket trick, 10-24 tap on plumbing truck, bolt in garage, drill (wow! thick) slowly tap, screwed bolt in & put socket on, SNAP! there goes the bolthead, cheap bolt.

(Goes buys new 30/06 dies and figures to send this one back to RCBS.)
Inspiration! Boil it, one last try, one last punch. Dink, here she comes easy as pie. I need a new set of punches now and the die suffered no damage whatsoever. Jeezow.
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Old May 20, 2005, 12:59 PM   #2
brickeyee
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"SNAP! there goes the bolthead, cheap bolt"

Must have been a 'butter bolt' common from the far east. I have head threads strip, but cannot recall breaking a bolt.
I also have boxes of good old US made grade 6 bolts around for replacing those soft as butter ones from import land. I guess they get a lot of tool life making the things since the metal is some of the softest steel I have encountered.
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Old May 20, 2005, 05:30 PM   #3
Dave R
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Lemme get this straight--you boiled the die with the stuck case--and then just used vice grips or something to pull the stuck case out? And it worked?

Where were ya when I needed ya!

Oh well, I'll know next time.
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Old May 20, 2005, 07:29 PM   #4
Edward429451
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Our yellow brass is stronger than their steel. Sounds like a joke and rightfully should be. It wasnt a graded bolt for sure though, just junk from the garage that fit. I thought about buying a good bolt but it was sunday by that time and my hardware store was closed.

Quote:
Lemme get this straight--you boiled the die with the stuck case--and then just used vice grips or something to pull the stuck case out? And it worked?
I had dis-assembld the die as much as possible, leaving only the expander button in (it wouldn't come out) and boiled it, then screwed it into the press and tapped down with a punch through the top of the die. It worked. Maybe boiling it in oil would be even better next time.
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Old May 20, 2005, 08:30 PM   #5
Unclenick
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I've got a stuck case in a die to try this on. Full-length carbide .223 die. I'll let you know if the nickel matrix holding the carbide together is as compliant? I already tapped the case head and stripped it with an RCBS stuck case remover kit. Funny thing is, I just assumed brass expanded more than steel, so heating would just make it more stuck.

OK. I just checked UNS26000 cartridge brass on Matweb, and the linear expansion is indeed 11.1 µin/in-°F, compared with 6.83 µin/in-°F for 4140 steel at room temperature. So the bad news is you've suffered an delusion and your case is still stuck. The good news is its a happy delusion.

Actually, I'm guessing that you had the case and die out of the water just the right amount of time for the brass to cool while the core of the steel was still warm, so the brass shrank out from under the die. The problem with this theory is that I've tried shooting electronic freeze mist down into a stuck case before with no results. Maybe this is even wierder, and the case, being tapered, expanded itself loose length-wise? Bizzare. I can't really explain it, but I'm sure going to try it.

Years ago I stuck a case in a Redding .308 sizing die so badly I gave up on removing it and threw it into a jar full of household ammonia. After about a year the brass was gone, but the die surface had activated and rusted. I polished it and it works fine.

I also tried using a foul-out cleaner, mistakenly thinking the copper solution would let me electrolytically remove the brass. No go. There are such things as brass plating solutions, and one of these might have flown, but not the copper remover alone.

Nick
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Old May 30, 2005, 11:21 AM   #6
Smokey Joe
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Hey, if it works...

do it! Hope I never have the opportunity, but I'll file the boiling trick for use if/when I do have a stuck case. Mr. Murphy attends all mechanical activities.

Re the impossibility of this differential boiling/heating/cooling trick working:Bumblebees can't fly, either--any aeronautical engineer can tell you that. Too much body weight for the wing area or some such. Fortunately for the bumblebees, they don't ever get degrees in engineering.
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Last edited by Smokey Joe; May 30, 2005 at 11:22 AM. Reason: misspelling
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Old May 30, 2005, 11:39 AM   #7
Edward429451
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Yeah, maybe the combination of the barometric pressure being at exactly 6.3948179 and the planet Venus being at its exact coordinates that day with its corresponding gravitational pull made it all fall into place, or out of place as it were.

At any rate, it worked. I just went and double checked it and by God, there's no case in it! Worth a try.
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Old May 31, 2005, 06:48 PM   #8
Unclenick
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Have you remembered to keep a foil hat on so the UFO's can't influence your vision or your sense of touch?

When I'm in disbelief over a piece of good happenstance, I just ask my wife. She so cherishes any opportunity to gloat over my mistakes that I have complete confidence she will immediately identify any error related problem. Even if it's with something she doesn't understand.

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Old May 31, 2005, 09:01 PM   #9
Edward429451
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Thinking about your mettalurgical synopsis of why it shouldn't have worked...Basically, the brass expands faster than the steel so should grip tighter and not release it. But if the brass expands faster than the steel, then it would also cool & contract faster than the steel and leave me a magic window of maybe 30 seconds or so (?) where it would be able to be tapped out. Just long enough to walk down the stairs with the hot die and screw it in the press...?
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