The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 27, 2012, 10:43 AM   #1
Wallyl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2011
Posts: 148
Carbide sizer die wear

I have a Lyman .38 Cal carbide sizer die that I've had for over 30 years---I have noticed that on some .38 Spl cases bullets sized to .358" go into the cases quite easily and that my expander die goes into the case with little pressure...could the carbide sizer ring have worn down on it? As it is so hard, it's hard to believe that it woudl do so....yet? This does not happen with .357 Mag cases or .38 Spl Military brass as the cases are thicker.
Wallyl is offline  
Old November 27, 2012, 12:54 PM   #2
WIL TERRY
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 6, 2000
Location: BLACK HILLS
Posts: 1,123
ANY OF THE COMMERCIAL carbide sizing dies will last at least to 300,000 rounds to 500,000 rounds, and sometimes many many more.
On the other hand maybe your 38SPL brass is all but worn out. We use to regularly wear out TC sizing dies at the ammuniiton plant and all---ALL!!!---of that brass was run though those dies lubricated with an intensely high film strength lubricant. Sometimes the TC sizing dies would last a month.
WIL TERRY is offline  
Old November 28, 2012, 10:59 AM   #3
Wallyl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2011
Posts: 148
Carbide sizer die wear

Thanks for the info...I would guess that mine has worn down a bit, but as you suggest, the brass maybe thinner as some of it is over 20 years old and has been reloaded many times. However I don't find this with the .357 Magnum cases..and they too have been loaded many times.
Wallyl is offline  
Old November 28, 2012, 11:22 AM   #4
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
How could it possibly wear out, brass is softer than carbide.

I've heard from many many folks how a brass rod or an aluminum cleaning rod will never harm a steel rifle bore because they are softer.

Seriously tho I doubt anyone could wear out a carbide sizing die, but then anything is possible.
__________________
U.S. Army Veteran
NRA Certified Range Officer
jcwit is offline  
Old November 28, 2012, 11:39 AM   #5
OEF-Vet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2011
Location: Backwoods, PA
Posts: 284
I think you are on the right track with the case walls thinning after many uses. every time you trim a case you are obviously loosing brass so even cases only trimmed a few times are thinning out. Even the act of opening and closing the case mouth is slowly forcing the brass down.
__________________
Jim

"If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton Jr
OEF-Vet is online now  
Old November 28, 2012, 11:53 AM   #6
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,206
Jcwit,

It's dust and other hard grit on the brass that eventually wears them out.


OEF-vet,

Most of the low pressure straight pistol cases don't grow with firing the way a rifle case does. My .45 Auto brass actually shortens about half a thousandth per load cycle.


Wallyl,

I've seen brass work harden and get springy at the mouth so that even a good sizing die no longer squeezes it small enough to overcome the spring-back. This is case brand dependent. Remington .45 Auto brass in my old Lyman carbide die did this. After two or three load cycles, bullets would start falling into the resized cases.

If your .357 brass isn't doing this, then it's not the die, it's the brass. All I can suggest, if you want to keep using that brass, is you get a narrower die. The Dillon dies are usually fairly snug. They usually make the Remington .45 Auto brass work that my old Lyman die would not, but I would call and ask what size their carbide sizing ring ID is before buying. Measure the ID of yours with a small hole gauge or run a pure lead slug through and use a micrometer to find out what size it is to compare. You are likely just looking for a thousandth or two narrower.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member
Unclenick is offline  
Old November 28, 2012, 02:33 PM   #7
jcwit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Location: Upper Indiana
Posts: 593
Quote:
Jcwit,

It's dust and other hard grit on the brass that eventually wears them out.
Most of my post was said sarcastic.

As far as wearing out dies, I've never been able to accomplish that feat, even after reloading for over 50 years. Can't remember when I got my first carbide tho. Now this is with reloading 20-30 thousand 45 acp cases a summer, and Lord knows how many other calibers.
__________________
U.S. Army Veteran
NRA Certified Range Officer
jcwit is offline  
Old November 28, 2012, 02:39 PM   #8
Wallyl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2011
Posts: 148
Carbide sier die wearing out?

Unclenik,

The cases that seemed not sized enough were all Winchesters .38 Spls that I've used loaded/many times.
Wallyl is offline  
Old November 28, 2012, 02:51 PM   #9
Sky Master
Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2009
Posts: 89
I have this problem too, it happens with R&P cases only. I guess R&P are thinner walled cases than any of the others that I reload in .38 Spec. The way I got around it is to size R&P .38 Spec. cases in my .380 acp die. If you have a .380 die use that.
Sky Master is offline  
Old November 28, 2012, 05:21 PM   #10
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,206
Jcwit,

Sorry I didn't catch the sarcasm. Maybe that's called a "sarchasm"; a gap in the interpretation.


Wallyl,

Winchesters are usually pretty well behaved, so this is a surprise. I'd try measuring the die ring ID, then call Dillon and see what size there's is. The reason I pulled Dillon's name out of the air is they've been making progressive loading gear for a long time and progressive loading will be slowed greatly if you are constantly having to stop and reject a case the bullet won't fit into (not to mention trying to recover their primers) so they've got reason to have their dies toleranced to minimize process hang ups, even if that makes them work the brass just a little harder. Item number 14409 is their .38/.357 carbide sizing/depriming die. Also, they have an 800 number, and you can call and describe the issue and see what they say about it. 800-762-3845. For that matter, you could call Lyman and see if they'll tell you what ID they use on their carbide sizing die, assuming it hasn't changed since you got yours.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member
Unclenick is offline  
Old November 28, 2012, 05:26 PM   #11
mete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 5,328
Sand particles ar the worst for carbide dies .They will certainly wear with sand.Cases then will usually wear and have very visible scratches.
The proper procedure is to remove the spent primer , wash the cases and reload.
__________________
And Watson , bring your revolver !
mete is offline  
Old December 1, 2012, 08:25 AM   #12
GP100man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2007
Location: Tabor City , NC.
Posts: 1,914
NO ,it`s different brass ,different stages of hardening of brass is maybe a better way of saying it & different alloys from which the case was drawn.

The only problems I`ve seen with a carbide die is the ring splitting/falling out or nickel case flakes "stiking" to it & scratching other cases.
__________________
GP100man
GP100man is offline  
Old December 1, 2012, 09:06 AM   #13
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,206
Pure carbide is too brittle for a sizing ring or a cutting tool material, so what you actually get is made up of microscopic spherical particles of carbide sintered into a matrix with binding materials that are less brittle. About half a minute into this YouTube video by a German carbide tool insert maker, you will see piles of powder which are the carbides and various binding and coating materials used in making tool inserts. There is also an electron microscope photo of the carbide spheres.

I expect the reason nickel flaked off cases can "strike" to carbide is the use of nickel in the binding matrix that holds the carbide particles in place. It is a nickel on nickel cold weld that actually allows part of a small nickel flake to stick.

If you live in a desert climate, you know the sand dust can get very fine. That dust can gradually polish the nickel out from between the carbide particles in the matrix, which is the mechanism of the wear. The carbide particles themselves are not worn, but rather are gradually separated from the rest of the matrix.

That said, unless WallyL lives in a desert area and has many tens of thousands of rounds through his die, it doesn't seem likely that wear is his problem. I would suspect his cases have become work hardened to the point of being springy and he just needs new brass or a die that's a little narrower to make them work. A couple of people have experimented with annealing straight wall cases at the mouth area, but it seems like a lot of work when new brass from Starline is affordable and will last through dozens of reloading cycles.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member

Last edited by Unclenick; December 1, 2012 at 09:12 AM.
Unclenick is offline  
Old December 3, 2012, 12:33 PM   #14
Wallyl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2011
Posts: 148
Carbide die wear

I shoot in a sandy range with all sorts of very fine sand in the air. I do tumble my brass before I size it, but perhasp the ultra fine sand is on the cases when I size them? That may explain it.
Wallyl is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09752 seconds with 9 queries