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Old February 19, 2007, 11:56 AM   #1
Bud_Ugly
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RCBS Lock Out Die

I'm seeking some advice from those familiar with the RCBS Lock Out Die.

I've been loading small quantities of .357 & .44 for about 10 years on an RCBS Rock Chucker. I recently bought a used RCBS Ammomaster progressive and thought it would be a good thing to check out the Lock Out Die. I read the instructions carefully and believe I followed them faithfully but when I tested it I found that; it would function fine at the charge it was set for, it would always lock out for a low charge, but for a double charge would only lock out about half of the time......

Anyone have some clues to what may be happening here?

thanks,
bud
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Old February 19, 2007, 09:12 PM   #2
Peter M. Eick
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Your not screwing the center part up far enough. You need to split the difference more. Think of the principle how it works. The seater part is a plunger that measures depth. You have it set so it is too low. Put a double charge in that is not completely a double (dump some back) and then keep adjusting till it "catches" it. Then go for a light charge. Once you fiddle with it a bit you can get both with the same setting.

I always think about an upside down U. You are trying to get in the middle of the peak.
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Old February 20, 2007, 02:08 PM   #3
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I never could get mine to work correctly. It would work for 5-10 rounds and then lock up for no reason. Sometimes, I would have to physically remove it from the press to get it to unlock. It just seemed like it was more trouble than it was worth, plus it was constantly breaking my train of thought. I ended up replacing it with a Redding competition seater die so I could seat and crimp in separate operations. I couldn't be more happy with my setup. I'm just very deligent about eyeballing the charge of every round prior to bullet seating.
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Old February 20, 2007, 04:55 PM   #4
Bud_Ugly
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Thanks for the input guys. I'm kind of skeptical about it right now but need to test it further. I probably won't have an opportunity to do that until the weekend but will try Peter's suggestion and post back here with the results.
thanks,
bud
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Old February 20, 2007, 07:02 PM   #5
MADISON
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RCBS Lock Out Die

I have both RCBS dies...
Lock Out and Powder Checker dies.
I can not get the LOCK OUT DIE to work, at all.
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Old February 20, 2007, 08:48 PM   #6
Peter M. Eick
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Interesting.

I have now 2 lock outs and 1 powder check. I decided that the lock outs work so well that I would rather have 2 and not switch the plunger out for small cases.

I guess it is one of those "way we work" issues.
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Old February 20, 2007, 11:40 PM   #7
Don H
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Never had a problem with the lock-out die. 'Course, I took it apart and cleaned it really well before using to get rid of the manufacturing oils that attract powder and gum up the works.
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Old February 22, 2007, 10:11 PM   #8
Rico567
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I got my Lock-Out die, installed and set it according to the directions, and it works exactly as described. I deliberately tested it with serious over- and under-charges, and it works fine.

I think that a previous post is correct that the principle is simple, but it took me some time fiddling with the die out of the press to grasp just exactly how the die implements that principle. A pretty clever bit of design, there.
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Old February 24, 2007, 02:58 PM   #9
Bud_Ugly
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I did some more testing and found that it was working "as described" though I suppose I was expecting more. I adjusted the die for 3.5 gn Unique in a .38 SPL. which is the lightest load I've ever made. As I added more powder to check for an overload lock-out it would start sticking at ~4.7 gn, and lock out completely & consistently by 5.0. On the low side it would start sticking at about 2.8 and lock solidly at 1.8. So, it is working for a double load and an empty case.... I guess I was just hoping for something with tighter tolerances. I don't know if it makes a difference but I was also expecting the indicator line to stay more or less at the top of the die between checks, mine drops well below the top of the die....

I'm wondering now if the Powder Checker die might be more appropriate for my work style by giving a visual indication of how far off the nominal charge it may be....
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Old February 24, 2007, 03:08 PM   #10
Don H
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Quote:
I'm wondering now if the Powder Checker die might be more appropriate for my work style by giving a visual indication of how far off the nominal charge it may be....
As long as you look at each and every charge, because the one time you are distracted and don't look is going to be the time that bites you on the butt.
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Old February 24, 2007, 03:44 PM   #11
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I'd opine that the Lockout Die probably works better than does some of its intended users' mechanical prowess.
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Old February 26, 2007, 10:04 AM   #12
Bud_Ugly
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OK, so here's the deal....

I was kind of disappointed that the Lock-Out die had such a wide range that it would allow to pass but it was definitely working as described. So the time came to try it out for real on my initial run with my new/used AmmoMaster. I decided that I would only do a small run of 30 .38 SPL's and weigh each charge prior to seating. I'm pretty comfortable with my single stage work flow but this was my first run with a progressive for metallic cartridges so this was going to go very slow. So I'm moving along and things are looking pretty good, charges are weighing in well (most are on the mark, a few are + or - 1/10 gn.), the comfort level is starting to rise when at about #12, KA-CHUNK, I'm locked out. The case is not charged. Hmmm, how did that happen? It's set aside and now I start going one at a time, waiting until a shell is complete before I insert a new case. Things are going fine for a while and then KA-CHUNK, another lock out due to an un-charged case....

So here's the deal. It turns out that the powder measure is seated just a bit too high and on occasion the detection rod is binding against the case detection arm and could not move into position. So the loader thinks there is no case and doesn't drop a charge. I would have caught it this time without the lock-out because I was checking each charge but if I had been only spot checking every 10 or so I would have ended up with 3 squibs out of 30..... Wow, that's an eye-opener! So yes, it is doing it's job and it's gonna stay. I'm also gonna load one case at a time until I know this fellow better. ... FYI, most charges were spot on, a couple were + 1/10 gn and a few more were - 1-2/10's, worst case was -3/10's.
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Old February 27, 2007, 12:09 AM   #13
Guy B. Meredith
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I'm on my second lock-out die. I did something stupid in trying to maintain the first one and broke something.

I don't load without the die; it has saved my scrawny behind several times.
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Old February 28, 2007, 08:01 PM   #14
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Two lock-out dies working as advertised on this bench.

Call RCBS for a tip or two, they are great folks and will get you over the speed bump..
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