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Old May 24, 2010, 09:41 AM   #1
gnomus
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50 BMG - Stuck Cases

I have been trying to reload for 50 BMG but so far I have been unable to full-length resize a single case!!

The cases I am using are Igman Zavod, Konjic, Yugoslavia (2008). I have a Lee Classic Cast Press along with the Lee 50 BMG die set.

I tumbled the cases for a few hours beforehand. I used a wire plumber's brush to clean the "crud" from inside the case necks. I used Imperial Sizing Die Wax. I applied a reasonable quantity to the outside of the case by hand. I used a cotton bud to apply a liberal quantity inside the case neck.

My first attempt to resize led to a case that stuck fast approximately 0.5 inch before the "fully home" position. I could not move the press handle up or down. Use of a rubber mallet seemed to do very little (except for the fact that the handle of the press now has a slight bend in it). Eventually, I decided to lean all of my (not inconsiderable) weight on the press handle. The result of this approach was that I split the ~2" thick laminated beech worktop on my bench!

It took me a week or so to obtain and affix my new worktop and bolt everything back down to it. I set up to do the second case. Again this spent several hours in the tumbler. Once again I was reasonably sure that I had carefully cleaned all the crud out from the inside of the case neck. Imperial Wax was applied as before and - once again - the case stuck fast. This time I was able (eventually) to unstick the case by disassembling the Lee die and hitting the decapping pin assembly with a hammer.

I'm not sure how best to proceed at this point because I don't know why I am having these problems. I don't know if my Lee die might be "too tight" - if such a thing is even possible.

Does anyone have any idea as to what I might be doing wrong?
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Old May 24, 2010, 10:43 AM   #2
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Imperial Sizing Wax is a great lube for cases fired in a rifle with a tight chamber, but when you really start to work the brass you need a real lube (don't get me wrong, I use Imperial Sizing Wax too). I used to use lanolin, other friends of mine used motor oil, most used one of the commercial "oily" case lubes like RCBS.
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Old May 24, 2010, 11:18 AM   #3
Dannyl
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You may also want to look for a stronger press, IMO the challenger is OK for small calibers, not for the 50.

Brgds,

Danny
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Old May 24, 2010, 02:03 PM   #4
Don H
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Quote:
You may also want to look for a stronger press, IMO the challenger is OK for small calibers, not for the 50.
The OP wrote:
Quote:
I have a Lee Classic Cast Press along with the Lee 50 BMG die set.
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Old May 24, 2010, 02:53 PM   #5
glicerin
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Is your decapper/expander adjusted to protrude about 3/8" below bottom of sizing die(too much and you hit the inside bottom of case, way too little and your expander/sizer become a wedge fit)? Were your brass fired in a sloppy machine gun? Is your sizing die adjusted to touch shellholder at top dead centre? If all else is well, maybe sizing die needs polished. Good luck
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Old May 24, 2010, 03:34 PM   #6
Dannyl
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Don H,
My mistake when I replied, but IMO for such large cases any Lee press is not suitable. I use Lee preses for handguns, and for a while I used one for rifle.
(30-06) so I am familiar with them.

I would still choose a better press for the 50.

Brgds,
Danny
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Old May 24, 2010, 04:17 PM   #7
Don H
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The cast-iron Lee Classic Cast Press is pretty stout at 13+ pounds.
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:06 AM   #8
gnomus
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First of all, thanks for the helpful suggestions.

I think the suggestion of a change of lube is something that I will try. I have the RCBS stuff. I also have some of the Lee lubricant.

Glicerin: I measured my decapping pin. It protrudes .44 inch below the die. I can try tightening the nut at the top of the die to reduce this. I don't, however, think that this can be a bottoming out problem. The case was stuck absolutely fast. I think the pin would break off before my bench split asunder.

I could certainly change press - but that would of course mean a new set of dies as well - the Lee's are 1.25 inch whereas everyone else's seems to be 1.5 inch. I am somewhat reluctant to throw another £500-600 at this until I am sure what the problem is. If I'm doing something fundamentally wrong it would be good to know.
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Old May 25, 2010, 01:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Don H,
My mistake when I replied, but IMO for such large cases any Lee press is not suitable. I use Lee preses for handguns, and for a while I used one for rifle.
(30-06) so I am familiar with them.

I would still choose a better press for the 50.
You simply don't know what you're talking about. The classic cast is bigger, stronger than a RCBS rockchucker. It has more leverage and stronger linkage than most.



Quote:
Imperial Sizing Wax is a great lube for cases fired in a rifle with a tight chamber, but when you really start to work the brass you need a real lube (don't get me wrong, I use Imperial Sizing Wax too). I used to use lanolin, other friends of mine used motor oil, most used one of the commercial "oily" case lubes like RCBS.
As soon as I started reading this, I thought the same thing. Everybody loves imperial, but it's too thin a wax to do real high pressure sizing. I used to use RCBS spray lube. It's the slickest of all I have tried. It's also expensive and comes in little bottles with a sprayer that sometimes don't work. I tried Frankford arsenal spray lube, I can't tell the difference between it and the RCBS spray.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=204960

I think it's all in the lube. Your RCBS lube may work, The Lee stuff, I tossed it when I got some in a kit once.
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Old May 26, 2010, 04:52 AM   #10
rg1
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I've had good results with Dillion's case lube which is a lanolin product. I use a case lube pad to apply the lube. I spray the lube on the pad and roll the cases to apply. A nylon neck brush to apply lube inside the neck.
Make sure your expander button isn't bottoming out inside the case bottom. Crimped primers make the last 1/2" of the stroke harder to size. I found that removing crimped primers with a punch and hammer makes sizing much easier. I made a punch with a 1/2" rod, drilled it 1/8" for a pin made from the shank of a 1/8 drill bit and you can use set screws to hold the pin in the punch or epoxy or lock tite the pin. You'll need either an anvil or use the press shellholder to hold the cases while knocking out the crimped primer.
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