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Old October 24, 2006, 12:22 PM   #1
azredhawk44
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RCBS 45acp Carbide Dies? Problems?

I started reloading almost 4 years ago with a set of RCBS Carbide 45acp dies.

I've had the decapping pin break 4-5 times on the sizer die, and the decapping rod bend at least 3 times. I've probably loaded around 5000 rounds or so with it so far.

I always make sure the decapping assembly is tightened down with the nut on top of the die, and that there is no play or wiggle in the decapping assembly. It is high enough that it doesn't "bottom out"... the decapping pin only sticks out through the primer hole about 1/8 of an inch when a case is de-primed.

Anything else I should look for?

I'm so used to this that I had spare decapping rods... But I just used up my last one.

I have noticed that some of my PMC brass has slightly off-center flash holes, and I suspect that this may be part of my problem. I don't remember which headstamp caused my breakage or bending problems, though. My brass is currently a mixed lot of PMC, Winchester, Remington, Magtech, Independence and G*d knows what else... loaded between 5-10 times and could stand to be retired. I will probably start replacing it all with Starline this next year.

I am also considering retiring my RCBS dies and switching to Lee... I think I like their decapping pin better than RCBS's pin.

Anyone have other suggestions?
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Old October 24, 2006, 12:58 PM   #2
mjrodney
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At least 5000 mixed headstamps through my Lee dies now, and many more than that through the dies of friends, without my hearing any complaints about broken, or bent, decapping pins.

I suspect you have a bad die.
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Last edited by mjrodney; October 24, 2006 at 12:59 PM. Reason: added "or bent"
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Old October 24, 2006, 01:45 PM   #3
azredhawk44
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Just ordered Lee 45acp carbide dies, a final replacement decapping rod for the RCBS die (power punch-style, see if this works better), and 500 starline 45acp + p brass.

I will retire my current brass and just keep the RCBS dies as a backup set. I have dupes of almost all my dies now as I have learned I like Lee dies better than RCBS as a rule. Heck, at $20 to change to Lee, it ain't that big of a deal.

Honestly, after finally discovering the off-center flash holes in the PMC brass, I am pretty well convinced that is the source of my broken pins and bent decapping rods. Eliminating the questionable brass will probably solve all my problems, but I really find that I just like the Lee dies better.
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Old October 24, 2006, 02:10 PM   #4
mjrodney
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There are at least 3000 pieces of .45ACP range pickups out in the garage.

With my luck, there is likely but one piece by PMC.

Now that you have my curiousity up, azredhawk44.......now I gotta go find it.

Groan........
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Old October 24, 2006, 02:19 PM   #5
ledavatar
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I have Lee dies and once I inavertently tried to decap a Berdan-primed Wolf steel case. The decapping pin did not break but merely got shifted way up the die by the case. I just had to move the pin down and retighten it in the die to fix it. Maybe you can loosen the pin in your RCBS die enough so that while it still decaps normal cases, on those cases w/ misaligned flash hole it just forces it up instead of breaking.
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Old October 24, 2006, 02:27 PM   #6
azredhawk44
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The RCBS ones aren't built like the Lee ones. RCBS doesn't have a slip-collar for the decapping pin. Just a threaded rod into the top of the die which is locked in place by another nut from the top. The decapping pin is a replaceable doo-dad that screws off the tip. Everything is hard-locked in place when running, with no give.

The power-punch decapper I got is supposed to have some give to it, but I'm not sure if that will end up being a good thing or not...
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Old October 24, 2006, 02:29 PM   #7
azredhawk44
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Quote:
Now that you have my curiousity up, azredhawk44.......now I gotta go find it.

Groan........
Sorry!
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Old October 25, 2006, 12:06 AM   #8
Tim R
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Then on the other hand, I don't reload PMC brass and have never had a problem with my RCBS 45 ACP carbides or for that matter, no problems with my 9mm, 38/357 or 40 RCBS carbides. I did break a de-capping pin on my RCBS '06 dies some 20+ years ago on some '06, but the replacement pin is still working. I started loading 45ACP back on 04/11/89 according to my records.
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Old October 25, 2006, 08:34 AM   #9
benedict1
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I load everything with my Lee 45 ACP dies, including the dreaded A-merc stuff. The FC die woks it's magic and they all shoot. I have many rounds of PMC brass because the range where we shoot used to sell it as there range ammo new stuff. Never had a problem with Lee resizing/de-capping.

I have had one case kick the de-capper pin up into the collet--it was a Federal nickle plated case--primer hole was slightly off-center.
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Old October 26, 2006, 09:20 AM   #10
MADISON
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Breaking RCBS decapping pins

Been there---Dun that!
Call or E-mail RCBS about the problem. Find out if you can get a BIG Package of Decapping pins for that die.
I also, have Hornady New Domention dies, that have not broken since 1989.
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Old October 26, 2006, 10:24 AM   #11
Ausserordeutlich
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On the other hand, would you rather just install the excellent, cheap Lee dies THAT WORK, or have a thousand RCBS decapping pins on hand?
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Old October 26, 2006, 11:11 AM   #12
Steve in PA
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Only RCBS decapping pin I ever broke was in .30/06 with a very stubborn military crimp.

I've reloaded thousands upon thousands of .45, 9mm , .223/5.56mm and .30/06 with these dies and that is the only one that broke.

My handgun brass is a mish-mosh of several different brands.
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Old October 26, 2006, 12:43 PM   #13
cpaspr
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have to agree

with Ausserordeutlich (and others) on this one. If the RCBS die keeps breaking pins, get the Lee die. Money (and agravation) ahead.
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Old October 26, 2006, 02:55 PM   #14
moxie
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Never any problems.

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Old October 26, 2006, 03:02 PM   #15
Bill T
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Make sure the pin is centered in the die. Sometimes, depending how the die itself has been tapped, it won't center perfectly. If thats the case you can use thumb pressure to "persuade" it. You can easily check it by watching it as you screw the die into the press. The only other thing you can do is deburr the flash hole to help "guide" the pin into the hole. The problem is unless you have one of those motorized case prep centers, it's very time consuming to do with a large amount of handgun brass. It's almost cheaper and easier to buy a sh!tload of decapping pins and live with it. Bill T.
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Old October 26, 2006, 04:27 PM   #16
brickeyee
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Buy a piece of the correct size drill rod. It will be 36 inches long.
Cut off pieces with a dremel and a cut off wheel as needed.
It is to fine and hard to use a saw on.
I have a piece of drill rod that is down to about 28 inches after over 20+ years.
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Old October 27, 2006, 12:49 AM   #17
ziggy222
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you may not have the time or feel like doing this but i keep all my brands of brass seperate.this way if something happens good or bad,you will be able to associate it with the brand of brass your using
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