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Old November 27, 2006, 12:15 PM   #1
chemist308
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stuck casing

I got a shell casing stuck in my 308 die. It's in there good. Even rounded off the brass where the shell holder grips. Am I looking at a new die here? It's a Lee die if that makes any difference. Would I have this trouble with a carbide die?
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Old November 27, 2006, 02:04 PM   #2
rwilson452
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stuck case

You MUST lube bottle neck cases ALWAYS! Sorry no carbide for bottleneck cases.


With a wrench remove the nut holding the decaping pin in. Put the decaping pin back in make sure the small pin goes into the flash hole. Tap the pin with a hammer. If first it doesn't move the brass hit it harder. Continue with harder blows until the brass does move. drive the brass out. If the pin drives all the way thru the brass without moving it your in real trouble.
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Old November 27, 2006, 04:18 PM   #3
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But first

Use some liquid wrench and/or heat and cold to try to loosen it up before taking the hammer to the pin. You may wish to use a correctly sized punch instead of the decapping pin.
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Old November 27, 2006, 05:57 PM   #4
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It is difficult (can take weeks) for penetrant to get through the compressed contact the brass makes with the steel. I is is like a compression fitting for your water pipes. However, a good many people have had good luck taking advantage of the fact brass shrinks more than steel in cold temperatures. In the case of the Lee dies, they remove the compression nut and put the rest in their freezer for a couple of hours, then quickly run and turn it into the press and apply the hammer as rwilson452 described. It should also be mentioned in your Lee instructions that the decapper/expander rod may be used as a stuck case removing tool.

I've had one instance inwhich that did not work. Nothing did. Even the RCBS stuck case remover just tore out the head. For that problem I put the whole thing into a jar of 5% ammonia for about 3 months. This ate the case out. It also activated the surface of the steel enough to make it prone to rust, so cleaning and oiling became very important. If it were economical, I would suggest Butch's Bore Shine, instead, since it won't etch steel.

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Old November 27, 2006, 09:12 PM   #5
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Follow RWilson's advice. That is the best way to remove a stuck case in a Lee die. I have done it a couple of times myself. I hope this video helps.
http://www.leeprecision.com/html/Hel...k%20case-1.wmv
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Old November 27, 2006, 11:19 PM   #6
rwilson452
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lee decapping pin

The decapping pin in the Lee dies are made of tool steel. very hard stuff. Tool steel is the stuff they use to make lathe and mill tools for cutting other metals.
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Old December 1, 2006, 09:33 AM   #7
chemist308
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Tried all that when I was feeling better. Actually mutilated both the shell and the pin, if you can believe that. Screw it, I'm getting a new die as soon as I get over this bronchitis. Don't think I have the strength to pull that friggin lever right now anyway.

Sorry for the sick rant, but now a question: Where should I lube the case? I was just lubing the inside of the neck like the instruction said, and I was doing it by using spray lube on a swab--Does the stuff from lee in a tube work better? Should I be lubing outside as well? The whole outside of the case?
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Old December 1, 2006, 09:58 AM   #8
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You don't need to lube the outside of the neck or shoulder area, just the sides of the case. If you pull the case back out of the die and it has dents in it, then you used too much lube. Cases with small dents in the sides can still be used. Cases with dents in the shoulder should be discarded.

I like Imperial sizing die wax and apply it with my fingers.

http://bullshop.gunloads.com/ makes his own case sizing lube and sells it very reasonably. I've been using it for a little while now and it might just be better than Imperial wax.
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Old December 1, 2006, 09:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Should I be lubing outside as well? The whole outside of the case?
Yes, you need to lube the outside of the case. I lube mine around the neck and shoulder with a light coat of lube and the residue is enough for the rest of the case.

If you didn't lube the outside of the case, this is what likely caused your troubles.

I've seen a stuck case remover that uses a tap to run into the base/flash hole of the case and uses the ram of the press to extract the stuck case. Use the lube, and you shouldn't need a stuck case extractor.
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Old December 1, 2006, 10:01 AM   #10
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CrustyFN thankyou for the link. If I'd seen that first, I'd have saved myself some cash and aggravation. However that link prompted me to see what else Lee has for in the way of reloading videos. So I just answered my own questions about case lubing and a half dozen other things. Wow after watching that I feel like an idiot. Should have been common sense to lube the outside as well...
That stuff's so informative for a first timer, I'm seriously tempted to post their site listing of videos and ask the mods for a sticky.
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Old December 1, 2006, 10:55 AM   #11
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I'm happy everything work out. I own Lee equipment also and there are a lot of great help videos on their site. Load safe and shoot often.
Rusty
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Old December 1, 2006, 01:03 PM   #12
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Lee sizing dies are designed so that the decapping pin can be used as a stuck case remover. Hopefully, you loosened the collet and used a punch that matched the size of the top of the decapping pin, before you took a hammer to it.
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Old December 1, 2006, 03:45 PM   #13
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You're not gonna believe this

Sick as I am right now, this has been eating me alive for a week. So i screwed the decapper clamp back on and ended up not seating the pin deeply enough in it--probably impossible as I suspect a slight bend after beating with a hammer Sunday night. Any, while applying pressure with a long handled wrench the thing broke off with half the nut and the decapper pin stuck. Here's the unbelievable part: i called Lee Precision and told them exactly what I'd done and asked for the part numbers I'd need to order. The lady said no, send it in for warranty, they'll replace free of charge! I hesitated a bit--shocked--and said, no i really think this would fall under abuse of the equipment... But it didn't matter. I was told I didn't even have include a return shipping fee. Is that awesome service or what?!
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Old December 1, 2006, 04:11 PM   #14
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There seems to be some unbelievably good people and companies involved in this hobby. I had a similar experience with RCBS where she was asking me where to send a replacement part for one I'd screwed up. Glad to hear Lee is the same way since I've been buying their pistol die sets.
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Old December 2, 2006, 12:29 AM   #15
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IIRC, you can send the die to Lee with a check for $4 and they'll fix it for you...

I may be wrong on the $4, but I'm sure they'll fix it, if you can stand to be without it that long (a couple weeks?)

I bought RCBS' stuck die toolkit. About $15 or so. It requires you to drill out the flash hole of the case, then tap it, than use a tool to back the brass out. It takes a bit of work, but it'll get your die back in working order as fast or faster than anything else I've heard of.

Have used it twice (you'd think I'd learned to use enough lube by now...) and it got me back in business in a half hour or so.
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Old December 2, 2006, 07:51 AM   #16
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Chemist

Lee, by replacing your die even after you abused it, got their payment in full when you posted your experience here for all to read. Satisfied customers make for the best advertisement there is and it pays back in spades. It's a shame more companies don't realize that.
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Old December 2, 2006, 08:07 PM   #17
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corrections

Quote:
The decapping pin in the Lee dies are made of tool steel. very hard stuff. Tool steel is the stuff they use to make lathe and mill tools for cutting other metals.
Tools steel can be hard, but in this case it is heat treated to be tough...hard and tough have specific meanings in metalurgy.

Also, tool steel has not been used for cutters in lathes and milles since the invention of high speed steel and carbide tool bits. Tool steel will lose its hardness when it gets hot becoming useless as a cutting too, high speed steel, on the other hand contains tungsten and/or cobalt which allows it to retain hardness when hot.

Regards,
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Old December 2, 2006, 08:26 PM   #18
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kc-griz, do you get lot of lube dents from lubing the neck and shoulder?
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Old December 2, 2006, 09:17 PM   #19
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I make my own stuck-case pullers when I need one. I now have 3 floating around here somewher.

Remove or back off the decapping pin/rod.
Drill the flash hole with the appropriate hole and tap it for the piece of threaded rod* you are using.
Thread the rod into the stuck case about 1/4 inch (or a little more.)
Drop a socket large enough to span the case, but still butt up against the shoulder of the die.
Drop a fender washer over the threaded rod
Screw on a nut and start applying pressure to the socket.
The case WILL come out.

I use 1/4" x 20 threaded rod, which calls for a 0.199 to 0.204 drill bit, which is #8, #7, #6 or 13/64" drill bit. (Info per Machinery's Handbook, 22th Edition.)

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Old December 2, 2006, 09:51 PM   #20
kc-griz
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Quote:
kc-griz, do you get lot of lube dents from lubing the neck and shoulder?
If I overlube, I have gotten some dented cases, but with a very light coating of lube, it's not an issue.
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