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Old April 6, 2011, 11:01 PM   #1
Fusion
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What's going on with my die?

So I was resizing a few rifle cases today and noticed a problem. I want to first start off by saying I'm using a RCBS lube pad to lube the cases and RCBS lube and using a LEE die. I probably overlubed them slightly just because it came out a little too much. I ran a couple of cases through the resizing die and noticed it was leaving dimples in the shoulders of the cases. So I wiped excess lube off of a couple with a rag and ran them through and it still did it. So then I took the die apart and stuffed a rag inside of it and cleaned it. I put it back together and went back to resizing. I wiped the excess lube off of the cases before running them through the sizer. I went through about 30-35 pieces and then noticed it did it again on one of them and put dimples in the shoulder. I took the die apart again and cleaned it again. I put it back together and tried to resize my last case and noticed even on a clean die this time it slightly dimpled the shoulder? Any tips on what's going on? I figured by wiping excess lube off, that it shouldn't be doing this.
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Old April 7, 2011, 12:30 AM   #2
FrankenMauser
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Should be one of two things:
1. The die isn't actually clean. "Too much lube" phenomenon is causing your shoulder dimples. Clean the "goo" lube out of the die with a proper cleaning solution, and then hit it with a good cleaning solvent.


2. Your shoulder vent is plugged. RCBS drills a vent hole in their dies, to bleed off excess lube, and prevent trapped air (yep, just air) from crumpling the shoulders of some cartridges. Check your vent hole. (It is probably plugged, and happens to be under the lock ring when you set the die - making things worse.)
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Old April 7, 2011, 04:29 AM   #3
Dr. Strangelove
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Yep, too much lube.

The cases will be fine when they are fired again, the "dimples" will be gone.

I went to spray lube a long time ago, but if you are using the roll pads, the cases only need a light film, not a thick coat.
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Old April 7, 2011, 10:36 AM   #4
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Lubing cases...

Fusion--I've done the same thing. And +1 on Dr. Strangelove's comment--load up the dimpled cases and shoot them along with the rest of the run of cases. The dimples will fire-form right out. No difference in the shooting results; no permanent damage to the cases, just like the occasional slight dent in a case body. And, avoid applying too much of the lube, especially to the case shoulder.

To avoid the problem in future, you might wish to try changing lubes. I've used RCBS lube with a pad, and it works fine. But Imperial Sizing Die Wax is easier to apply, less messy, and since you apply it with your fingers, very easy to control the amount--You just don't over-lube with the Imperial, at least IMX.

I've never used a spray lube. I went from RCBS lube to Imperial, and see no further need to experiment with different lubes. Some spray-lube users say that they are wonderful.

Good luck. Hope you get the problem under control.
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Old April 7, 2011, 12:08 PM   #5
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The RCBS lube pad works ok. Buy yourself a tin of Imperial sizing die wax and see if you ever use the RCBS pad again.
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Old April 7, 2011, 12:13 PM   #6
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I had great luck with spray lubes but they are kinda expensive (I am CHEAP!) I have been using Hornady's case lube and it works extremely well too. It is slower than the spray lubes, but it works. +1 on above comments about too much lube and +1 on comment on using fingers to apply lube to control how much goes on the case.
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Old April 7, 2011, 12:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
I ran a couple of cases through the resizing die and noticed it was leaving dimples in the shoulders of the cases. So I wiped excess lube off of a couple with a rag and ran them through and it still did it.
Way too much lube.

Solutions:

If you are loading for a single bolt action rifle, where the ammo will only be used in that rifle and no other, the Lee Collet Neck Sizing Die can not be beat: Lube the inside and outside of the case neck by dipping it in a bit of ground mica or graphite, removing excess by inserting a brush into the neck.... that's all the lube necessary. Less mess, work, brass lasts longer, and it makes more accurate ammo.

If you must full length size (loading for a semi-auto, pump, of several different rifles of the same caliber), Lee's water based wax lube thinned 4 or 5:1 with warm water, applied with your fingers, and allowed to dry be for sizing works really well for me ...... no dented shoulders.
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Old April 7, 2011, 12:26 PM   #8
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I roll one case in lube, wipe it off with two fingers, and "apply" the lube on the fingers to the next three cases. Stopped my lube dimple problem cold.
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Old April 7, 2011, 08:25 PM   #9
Fusion
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So I did some more playing with it and it is a lube dimple problem. Now the downside, is after tumbling the cases to remove the lube, I realized a few more have these dimples than I originally thought. I see that you guys say to just shoot them to get the dimples out, but my question is, can I expect them to shoot the same as the rest? I thought I read a post somewhere one time stating that someone shot a case with a dimple in the shoulder thinking it wouldn't matter, but that it hit several inches off. I'm just wondering if I need to just use this for plinking cans, or if it's fine to just toss it in with the rest of my hunting ammo.
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Old April 7, 2011, 08:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
I'm just wondering if I need to just use this for plinking cans, or if it's fine to just toss it in with the rest of my hunting ammo.
Use it for plinking.....

Hunting Ammo has to be the very best you can make, right? Confidence in your load, rifle and skills is a must, at least for me. You may only get 1 shot at the buck of a lifetime, and are not likely to need more than a dozen shots, including zeroing the rifle... I load 30 rounds to take hunting, and usually burn up 6 to 9 re-zeroing from the summer prairie dog load zero...... I shoot up most of the rest at gourds and pumpkins for practice.... usually saving the 9 in the butt-cuff to hunt with.

Those 2 1/2 dozen cartridges are the most carefully put together of the whole year.....
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Old April 7, 2011, 11:39 PM   #11
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I dont think that you will notice a difference in accuracy, but you never know. Once you fire them once tho, they will be good as new.

Are you getting lube on the neck of the case. All it takes is a tiny bit on the neck?

You can get dimples as it squeezes it down it goes to the shoulder. Try making sure there is VERY little if any lube on the neck.

30-30 and 223 are the worst for me. Just enough lube to work easily in the die, and sometimes its still to much. Try this before going to a spray lube.
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Old April 8, 2011, 12:31 AM   #12
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I, very lightly, lube the neck of the first case I run into the die. Nothing after that gets lube on the neck (up to 50, or so cases). However, that's a recent practice for me. I never had issues in the past, with no lube applied to necks.


Fusion-
The dimples in the shoulder should give you no problems, as far as accuracy is concerned. If you don't trust the load, just use those cases for practice. There's actually the possibility that the dimples will result in a smoother pressure curve - just as wildcatters encounter when fire-forming to improved chambers (with only a slight increase in capacity), and find their best accuracy and performance with with fire-forming loads. The expanding case acts as a buffer, to 'smooth' out pressure spikes, and 'calms the load down'.

But, like I (and others) have said: You probably won't even notice a difference. I never have*.

*We all make mistakes . And I use a lot of range pick-up brass, that may have body dents, shoulder dents, or could have even been run over by a truck. So long as the case is not creased, or severely damaged, I load and shoot.
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Old April 8, 2011, 03:31 PM   #13
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Hornady One-Shot. Never a stuck case. And I can do a block of 50 in 5 seconds.

Welcome to the 21st century.
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Old April 8, 2011, 03:48 PM   #14
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From my experience fireforming cases, I have a difficult time believing that a dimpled shoulder could cause any kind of discrepancy in your accuracy, unless you've REALLY dimpled it... like half the circumference of the case, which could cause a weird headspacing event.

Other than that, I just can't see it being any kind of problem. When fireforming my .22 K-Hornet cases, I'm blowing out the whole shoulder and case body, and the accuracy is almost identical to my pet loads in fireformed brass. No fliers, no "what happened to THAT one?" kind of things.

Dimples? We ain't scared of no steenkin dimples! Shoot em!
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Old April 9, 2011, 07:07 PM   #15
Fusion
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Thanks guys. I tried a couple of them out today and they shot to the same spot, and the same groups I got with the other ammo.

I did wonder about them at first. The first shot I shot hit about 2" left. The second shot I couldn't even find on the paper. I walked out to the target only to notice that the second shot had gone in the same hole as the first and made the hole slightly bigger. I then tried a couple more without dimples and noticed it was clearly shooting 2" to the left, but was still shooting it's usual 1 hole groups. I adjust the scope over and it started putting them all in the bullseye once again. So now I'm not sure if the scope is bad and loosing zero, or if it's from where I took the forearm off. I know removing the forearm can change the zero of a rifle, but I've never had it change that much. I just put this scope on last weekend as a temporary scope. It's a crappy cheapo Bushnell that I keep as a spare, but the glass is decent and it's always worked in the past. I put it on to use it while my Leupold is back to Leupold for repair.

So now I guess I have to figure out if the scope lost zero because of me removing and reinstalling the forearm, or if the scope is bad. I did bump it around fairly hard after zeroing it today, then shot a few more rounds and they all still hit right in the bullseye, so it didn't seem like the scope was moving from getting bumped around. At least it still shoots these shells well, and removed the dimples from all of the ones I fired.
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