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Old April 4, 2013, 12:43 PM   #1
M1ke10191
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Multiple stuck cases using Hornady .223 dies

Hey guys,

I'm a novice reloader and recently I've been having nothing but stuck cases using my .223 dies when resizing. Literally every time I test out another resizing, it gets stuck and I have to strip the die completely. I've loaded a few hundred .223 in the past without issue, so I'm not sure what's going on.

If it helps at all, the case mouth is getting caught inside the expander ball, which pulls the zip spindle downward on the upstroke. There is zero spent primer movement, so it's a safe bet that the decapping pin isn't even making contact, yet I have it extended as far from the expander ball as possible.

I've tried copious amounts (more than normal since I figured it could be a lack of lube) of both one shot and imperial sizing wax, both of which failed to correct the issue.

I have received a few new expander balls and decapping pins from Hornady when this first happened, yet the problem hasn't resolved itself with the new parts. I really can't imagine what the issue is.

Any thoughts?
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Old April 4, 2013, 12:58 PM   #2
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You're using lube on the insides of the neck,,,---right??¿

Then, are you tightening the collet on the top of the FL die real TIGHT?

Also, is this the new zip stem with what looks like threads on it? Those hold better that the smooth ones they USED to make. Again reef on that collet, it has to be tight.
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Old April 4, 2013, 01:08 PM   #3
M1ke10191
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Well when I spray one shot I try to get some on the insides; with the wax not so much.

Everything is tightened down as far as I can tell.

Yeah, the spindle is threaded but when the case gets stuck it's enough to overcome that tension.
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Old April 4, 2013, 01:14 PM   #4
chiefr
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Seems your dies are ok, thus it has to be a lube problem. IMHO, I have never liked the spray lubes. I use a pad and lube in its liquid form in a bottle or tube.

If you are sizing mil brass, some batches are made with softer brass than normal, thus you can have problems with stuck cases.
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Old April 4, 2013, 01:21 PM   #5
jwrowland77
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Multiple stuck cases using Hornady .223 dies

Try taking a .22 caliber wire brush that you would use to clean your rifle with, run it into the neck once or twice, put a little lube on a q-tip and run that inside the neck, problem fixed.

I do this for all mine and no issues.
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Old April 4, 2013, 01:43 PM   #6
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223 is one of the rounds I switched to a carbide expander, it's worth the extra money.
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Old April 4, 2013, 01:52 PM   #7
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Start at the beginning.
Disassemble the die completely and clean it out with brake cleaner.
Make sure that the little vent hole up near the shoulder is also unobstructed.
Insert the spindle and allow the decapper pin to stick out 3/6"-1/4".
Make sure that the expander is screwed all the way in on the spindle.
Set your die up in the press following the directions supplied with the dies and try again.
Are the primers crimped in or are these primers tha you had previously loaded yourself.
I use a universal decapping die to deprime cases with a military crimp.
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Old April 4, 2013, 02:56 PM   #8
mehavey
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Quote:
case mouth is getting caught inside the expander ball, which pulls the zip spindle downward on the upstroke.
There is zero spent primer movement, so it's a safe bet that the decapping pin isn't even making contact,
Okaaaaay....

First, the "pin" must extend from the expander ball by about 9/16" to ensure you don't have the expander ball portion bottom out in the case.

Second, the expander assembly should screwed into the die far enough that the pin portion protrudes from the bottom of the die mouth by 5/16-3/8" (or so) to ensure the primer is cleanly punched out of the case.
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Old April 4, 2013, 05:23 PM   #9
wncchester
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"Yeah, the spindle is threaded but when the case gets stuck it's enough to overcome that tension."

It's not rocket science, since that rod is only retained by friction its slipping sorta suggests the holding collet really isn't all that tight, don't it?
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Old April 4, 2013, 05:28 PM   #10
beex215
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you have to tighten the top ring holding the punch. you think its tight, but you have to tighten it again. ive had to do this just a few minutes ago and has happened before with 223 and 308.

TIGHTEN IT.
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Old April 4, 2013, 05:38 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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You shouldn't have to excessively tighten the collet.

The whole point of having it is that if something goes wrong the rod will slip instead of breaking. Going Incredible Hulk on it completely defeats the purpose. Start "tight" and add a little if it slips. There's no sense in starting at the breaking point.
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Old April 4, 2013, 05:47 PM   #12
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Try RCBS case lube 2, and an RCBS case lube pad, it comes with nylon neckbrushes, that you can thouroughly lube the inside of the case neck.
Then properly adjust the spindles with 3/16" of the decapping pin protruding from bottom of die, dont overtighten the collet, Brian is right there's a certain point where that dude slips to keep from breaking the expander and decapping pin assembly.
Try to relax and have fun, you may be hurrying the process.
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Old April 4, 2013, 06:40 PM   #13
snuffy
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Quote:
You shouldn't have to excessively tighten the collet.

The whole point of having it is that if something goes wrong the rod will slip instead of breaking. Going Incredible Hulk on it completely defeats the purpose. Start "tight" and add a little if it slips. There's no sense in starting at the breaking point.
Hornady stole that idea from lee. The friction collet to hold the decapping spindle. It's just that they didn't do something quite right, it'll slip unless you tighten the living *#$* outa it. They finally figured it out that the smooth spindle just wouldn't hold. SOooo they redesigned, to look like it was threaded, to give the collet something to grip IT STILL SLIPS UNLESS IT'S VERY TIGHT.

I use 2 real wrenches on it. IIRC the die is ¾ on top, the collet is ½". I use all the moxy I can generate with those two wrenches. As for a torque reading, I dunno about 100 ft.#.? Not doing that, will result in NOT punching the primer out, then the now sized neck not allowing the expander to withdraw from the shell/brass. ESPECIALLY if the neck interior is not being properly lubricated.
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Old April 4, 2013, 06:42 PM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
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Interesting.... seems like one more reason to use collet neck dies and Redding body dies.
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:43 PM   #15
mehavey
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Everyone's forgetting this observation by the OP:
Quote:
There is zero spent primer movement, so it's a safe bet that the decapping pin isn't even making contact,
That tells me the decapping/spindle is not extended far enough through the die for the pin to pass through the flashole when the die mouth is bottomed out on the shellholder.
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:45 PM   #16
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For .223, I use the RCBS lube die.
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Old April 5, 2013, 09:01 AM   #17
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Just about every die I have is Hornady, and you don't have to tighten the top all that tight for the die to operate properly. Get the crimp bushing snug, then 1/4 of a turn more and you should never have problems. (I've run umpteen thousand rounds through mine since the initial setup with nary a problem).

Regarding the OP, a couple of observations:

1. 95% chance the lack of lube on the inside of the case neck is a major contributor to the problem. You need to get lube inside the necks. I actually prefer the Dillon case lube personally. One Shot is good for occasionally spraying in the die and what not, but not much outside of that. Rumor has it Imperial sizing wax is good stuff, but you still need lube on the inside of the case mouth.

2. Try annealing a case or two and seeing if it is simply a case of excessively hard brass. I was sizing some of my .243 cases the other night and was having issues much like yours on some of them. Turns out the neck was work hardened and lost a lot of its elasticity. A quick annealing job and all of my issues with sizing them magically disappeared. Just because brass is presumed to be 1x fired does not mean that the metallurgical characteristics don't have flaws and that the batch was off in some capacity during the stamping and drawing process at the point of manufacture.

3. If you aren't punching the primer out when the ram is at the top of the stroke, you have your die set up wrong. If your die is set up wrong in this capacity, I'm curious if there are other issues in your equipment set up.
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Old April 5, 2013, 02:19 PM   #18
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The failure to punch the primer out is the revealing detail, I think. Set the die up per instructions with the pin protrusion mentioned earlier. Apply Magic Marker where the spindle emerges at the top. If it moves up when you try to resize the case, then the expander has moved up with it. If the expander gets too close to the neck inside the die, then the case jams between it and the neck.

Graphite powder is fine for neck lube. The carbide expander has much less resistance and is a good investment in this instance.
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Last edited by Unclenick; April 7, 2013 at 11:04 AM. Reason: typo fix
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Old April 5, 2013, 06:07 PM   #19
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seems like every stuck case thread I see , is by someone using spray lube , usually one shot ! There's a message here !
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Old April 5, 2013, 06:39 PM   #20
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Multiple stuck cases using Hornady .223 dies

Quote:
Originally Posted by M1ke10191 View Post
Well when I spray one shot I try to get some on the insides; with the wax not so much.

Everything is tightened down as far as I can tell.

Yeah, the spindle is threaded but when the case gets stuck it's enough to overcome that tension.
One shot, that's the problem. I can't remember a post about stuck cases that didn't include Hornady one shot! Im sure there has been some but I've never see it.

Get a RCBS lube pad and and a bottle of lube. After 3 or 4 223 cases have been ran through the die you can literally run one liberated case then 1 or 2 dry cases with ease. It's funky and gunky but works.

The lee lube works very well for me also. Pretty much anything besides one shot from what I've heard works.
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Old April 5, 2013, 07:21 PM   #21
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If you find you need to lube the neck you might want to give this a try. I keep a small container of #9 lead shot mixed with a bit of powdered graphite. Just plunge the neck into the shot 2 or 3 times and it's lubed.

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Old April 5, 2013, 08:26 PM   #22
M1ke10191
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Multiple stuck cases using Hornady .223 dies

Thanks for all the help guys. Turns out finger tight is not good enough for the collet. Once I used a wrench on it, the die decapped flawlessly.
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Old April 19, 2013, 01:56 PM   #23
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I stumbled upon advice about die/case lube that I feel most comfortable about sharing. Use Mobil 1 oil - lightest weight avilable. I've taken a small size screw top prescription bottle and filled it 1/2 full of oil. Tip the bottle to allow oil to flow along side up to nea the top. Rotate the end of a Q-tip on the film left adhering to the side of the bottle. Squeege any extra oil from cotton by rotating against non-coated side of bottle. I pull my die, remove decapping pin and swab out inside with cotton rag every 100 to 200 sizing cycles. Coat inside die and expander ball lightly with oil before ressembly. coat each fired, cleaned case lightly with oil. Cleaning case mouths before sizing is a good idea. I give every tenth mouth a slight swipe of oil. NO STUCK CASES! I size quite a lot of Lake City brass - fired largely, I suspect, in M4 / M16's. One can learn a great deal about variations in chamber dimensions from rifle to rifle through resizing! Watch for "fat" Cases. If you encounter extra resistance on the downstroke you likely have a case fired in a fat chamber. Back off the downstroke, back the case out and go again. continue to observe resistance. If resistance is great I find it wise to swab the exposed case with a bit more oil while it's in the shell holder. Continue the careful in-and-out until the case is extending 1/8 to 3/16 from the die mouth before you lever down to roll-over of press cam. Develop the habit of being DELIBERATE, OBSERVANT and PATIENT when sizing and reloading overall. Always follow makers instructions and that of a reputable MANUAL!
That will keep you out of trouble and unnecessary aggravation better than anything!
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Old April 19, 2013, 06:33 PM   #24
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Interesting about the recommendations for lubing the inside of the case mouth. I have resized about 300 556 LC military brass with a Hornady 223 die. No issues yet.

I spray one shot on a pad and lightly roll each case on it before sizing. No lube inside the case. I did buy some of the graphite lube for the necks but haven't used it as yet.

And yes, you really have to tighten the spindle to keep it from moving in normal operations.
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Old April 19, 2013, 06:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
Interesting about the recommendations for lubing the inside of the case mouth. I have resized about 300 556 LC military brass with a Hornady 223 die. No issues yet.
Maybe no issues you are aware of. If you aren't using a carbide expander or lubing the inside of the neck, you are pulling necks off center and stretching the case.
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