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Old April 4, 2012, 09:20 PM   #1
Join Date: March 2, 2008
Location: Lincoln, NE
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reloading dies maintenace

I have Hornady New Demensions 3 die set in 9mm.

What is the process to maintain these.

What to clean with?


How often?

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Old April 4, 2012, 09:34 PM   #2
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I wipe them down with CLP bi-annually!
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Old April 4, 2012, 10:18 PM   #3
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I clean mine by running some patches soaked in denatured alcohol. I live in a dry climate so rust is not an issue.
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Old April 4, 2012, 10:23 PM   #4
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I use a Q-Tip and rubbing alcohol to clean out the inside of mine every so often.
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Old April 5, 2012, 12:41 AM   #5
Ideal Tool
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Hello, shootsafe. I shoot mostly cast bullets in both rifle & lube buildup can be a problem. I clean with Hoppes on a 1/4" piece of nylon rod I turned a "Jag" on end...wipe out excess & if not being used for awhile, will very lightly coat all surfaces with a protective oil..just like you would with any metal parts of a firearm.
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Old April 5, 2012, 04:13 AM   #6
F. Guffey
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And I clean my dies with a towel on a dowel.

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Old April 5, 2012, 05:33 AM   #7
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A $3 can of electrical contact cleaner from trashmart auto aisle(safe for o-rings and plastics/rubber), spray the heck out of them. After that I give them a quick shot of Rem dry lube to help keep anything bad happening, like seizing or light rusting. It is a must-do for new dies and once a year or whatever, depends on climate also

If and when they start getting ugly drop them in your tumbler(disassembled) for a great way to bring back that look-new luster.
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Old April 5, 2012, 06:23 AM   #8
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I use "non chlorinated" brake cleaner, I just take them apart ans spray the crud out and hit them with an air hose, to blow everything out. Then I spray them with G-96, and blow them out again, wipe off any excess and put them up.
Sometimes when you purchase old dies at a ydsale and the las owner let them rust,,, I throw'em in the tumbler for a few days and that makes'em new again.

As far as How often? aty least twice a year for my dies.
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Old April 5, 2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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I clean my dies with a little bit of shooters choice gun cleaner...and a cotton patch or a Q tip .../ take the die apart...

I clean them every time I change calibers...maybe every 3,000 rds or so .../ so they're ready to go - the next time I go to load that caliber.
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Old April 5, 2012, 05:05 PM   #10
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Wipe them down in/out with WD-40 monthly or more during the humid Florida summers.
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Old April 8, 2012, 10:35 AM   #11
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I used to take the dies apart and hit them with non chlorinated brake cleaner and use a small nylon brush to scrub away old oil, dirt, etc. Then a very light coating of gun oil on a patch followed by a dry patch just to remove any excess oil. Worked great and never had any problems until I moved to a new house and all my reloading gear was in an upstairs room. Don't know if its because of a slightly higher elevation or if its the house itself I have a ton of humidity now, some items started to develop surface rust. Saw numerous posts here and elsewhere about rust protection and Eezox so I gave it a whirl. Anything that is metal gets a nice layer of Eezox and I haven't had issues since.

As far as frequency goes, I had been doing it about once a year unless I was loading a ton of rifle rounds and wanted to get any excess case lube cleaned out.
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Old April 8, 2012, 07:39 PM   #12
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My brass is deprimed and tumbled and very clean before it gets to my sizing die. After use I will run a patch through with CLP on it. It serves to remove any residue from the die and put a protective coating on the internals of the die. I now live in a very dry area, so external rust is no longer an issue.

A quick way to determine if you need to clean your die is to just pull it apart after sizing a batch of brass. Run a clean dry patch through the die on a brass jag, and check the patch. It will tell you more about what cleaning is necessary than anyone can.
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Old April 9, 2012, 07:12 PM   #13
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Dies are very simple chunks of tubular steel. Cleaning them and protecting against rust is important but how and with what we clean and oil them really isn't critical.
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Old April 11, 2012, 04:38 AM   #14
Doug B.
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Brake cleaner, blow out with air and lube/protect with a silicone spray lube when I feel they might need it. No rust in dies after 25 years.
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Old April 11, 2012, 08:31 AM   #15
Kevin Rohrer
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I pat mine on the head annually and let them know I appreciate their service to my reloading.
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Caveat Emptor: Cavery Grips from Clayton, NC. He is a scammer
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Old April 11, 2012, 07:48 PM   #16
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@ Kevin:

I got a good laugh out of your statement.
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