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Old May 4, 2001, 05:24 AM   #1
yankytrash
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Join Date: April 17, 2001
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Do any of you guys replace your broken decapping pins with nails or anything like that? I realize it wouldn't be case hardened, but I gotta get an cheap alternative soon.

Reason I ask is that I have always had trouble with broken pins when decapping/sizing small caliber military shells (like the @$%&^#$%^%& .223 Rem!!). I don't know if it's the lack of swagging, the primer sealer, or what, but I'm gettin sick of running out to the gunshop to pick up extra bags of pins every couple weeks. This has been going on for years.

I just broke my last pin again this morning, and I'm gonna experiment....
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Old May 4, 2001, 09:17 AM   #2
Coolray
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Have you tried a Lee Decapping die?

You cannot break the pin if you get a real tight primer then it will just slide inside itself and all you have to do is reset the pin. Lee has a universal die PN 90292 around $10 or you can get a complete carbide die set PN 90602. This would in my opinion be a better solution than trying to find a soft carbon steel nail the right diameter to wreck you cases or die.
I bought my Dies from http://www.fmreloading.com you could also try http://www.midwayusa.com
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Old May 4, 2001, 03:16 PM   #3
JAMES L.SMITH
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Try roller bearings.
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Old May 4, 2001, 08:05 PM   #4
Joefo
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I use a Lyman decapping die and have actually punched a hole right through the bottom of a Berdan primed case. This is the later model die. The first model was prone to pin breaking.
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Old May 5, 2001, 04:01 AM   #5
yankytrash
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James, you are a genius!! Or should I say McGyver?...

Right now I'm using push pins and they seem to be doing fine. I just take a pair of pliers and crush the plastic handle off it. I put it in the die with the point up and so far it seems to last as long as the stock pins.

BTW - any of you that have the same problem with their RCBS dies, keep in mind that RCBS has a 'no questions asked' warranty on their dies, just like Craftsman tools. So far, I've found that a quick call to RCBS will get me my free replacement pins. I'm only doing this because it takes a few weeks to get them in, and sometimes I don't have a few weeks.
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Old May 5, 2001, 10:26 AM   #6
MADISON
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Everybody has an Openion and a places they sit on

I have been reloading since August 1970. The best decaping dies I have found are the Hornady New Domention dies.

The weakest link in any die set is the decaping pin. I had Lyman dies with "FLOATING" decaping pins; Lee dies; Hoornady [old and new]. I'll stick with Hornady.
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Old May 7, 2001, 06:44 PM   #7
yankytrash
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OK - here's what I finally came up with. I would not suggest this method to any of you loaders out there that don't have plenty of extra sets of dies lying around. You can break the decapping rod that holds the pin.

I went to the junkyard and found a universal joint cap. it was full of needle bearings. I brought them home and broke out the caliper.

The old pins measured .060. I have a few sets of Lee "Guaranteed Unbreakable" hand decapping tools (the kind with the rod and anvil that you whack with a hammer - wife hates it when I do that at 5am!). They measure .070 and look suspiciously similar to the needle bearings, which also measure .070.

This leads to the problem of the pin not fitting in the male sizer hole. Well, like my dad used to say, "if it doesn't fit, you're not using a big enough hammer!" Kind of idiotic, but I did it. I pounded that little bastard into that little hole. It fit so tight, I pounded it all the way down through as flush as I could inside the male sizer so it wouldn't have to go into the rod.

Well, I'm happy to report, 2300 rounds later, that needle bearing hasn't failed yet.

Like I said, don't try this if you don't have extra sets of dies for the same caliber laying around. Thanks James!


Ever wonder where I came up with the 'trash' in 'yankytrash'? Now you know....
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Old May 7, 2001, 07:44 PM   #8
Contender
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YT,

That's exactly what the Lee pins are, needle bearings.

What are you decapping that you are running through pins so badly? Something has to be out of alignment somewhere.

I've been reloading for about 20 years and have yet to break one.


Regards
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Old May 7, 2001, 09:48 PM   #9
Southla1
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Many moons ago I worked for a local gunsmith on 2 or 3 of my 7 days off (I used to work 7 on and 7 off). I was bad about breaking decapping pins back then (factory ones). Well one day I needed some and was looking for some in the shop. "PW" asked what was I looking for and I told him "I broke some more pins". He told me I had broken all he had but he had something better.......some piano wire in the right diameter. We cut it off the the right length and smoothed the cut ends and believe it or not I am STILL using some to this day. Oh by the way I stopped working for him in 1974 . Getting on to 30 years ago.
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Old May 7, 2001, 09:51 PM   #10
Big Bunny
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YT.... try be-burring your milspec cases with a sharp Stanley knife before de-capping, it makes it far easier to profile the cavity later, as well as easier on the pins. [This allows an easier passage for new primer and no A/Ds.] On boxer brass an electric drill counter-sinker bit works well but hand-held.

[If you think you have a hard time try 1950s .303Brit, they are crimped in AND berdan!]

I'm glad someone is actually improvising in US... as all we see here is huge catalogues of everything you need (and some you really don't!)to do with reloading. With the US $1 now at $2AUD it makes a primer pocket cleaner+handle made by Lyman in US over $20AUD here !!
I broke a LEE Loader pin once on a funny berdan 7.62NATO with a mark at the bottom which looked like a single flash-hole. Wish I knew about the roller-bearing trick, but it would be hell to drill the broken one out of the shaft to replace it !

So we improvise too here = aussietrash?

Do you do any lead moulding of projectiles as well YT ?

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