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Old August 19, 2019, 09:45 PM   #1
Jay24bal
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Broken case stuck in sizing die

Hey Guys -

I had a case break inside my 243 FL sizing die. Not a stuck case where the head pulls through the shell holder, the case literally broke (think case head separation like you would see in a chamber).

I’ve tried getting this thing out, but am almost out of ideas. Can’t use a standard stuck case tool as I don’t a head to tap into.

My only thought left is to plug the neck of the case and fill it with epoxy which would allow me to tap into the epoxy and then use the stuck case tool.

Anyone have any other ideas to get it out? Anyone see why my last idea won’t work? I’d rather not buy a new die.

Thank you!
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Old August 19, 2019, 09:54 PM   #2
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Use tight fitting bore brush. Bristles should dog into the brass when you try to pull it back out. Next time use more lube.
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Old August 19, 2019, 10:06 PM   #3
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Maybe you could set a screw or threaded rod in the epoxy so you could pull it out. I'd worry that the case taper would allow the epoxy to pull out of the case when you try to extract the broken case.
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Old August 19, 2019, 10:17 PM   #4
Jay24bal
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Thank you.

Yeah, I wondered if the epoxy would stick well enough to not pull out of the shoulder.

And a bore brush certainly will not dig into the brass. And it’s not a lube issue, the case is not stuck. The case was apparently weak and literally just broke off leaving all but the head inside the die.
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Old August 19, 2019, 10:26 PM   #5
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Happened to me after 25+ years of reloading without a problem , then bought the Redding S Type bushing die , the first case up in the die jammed ,lowered the ram and ripped the case head in the Shell holder . Called Redding ,. they removed it for me and I bought from them a stuck remover , hope never to use it . Now whenever I feel alittle more then normal resistance I lower the ram and add alittle more lube . What ever brand die you have call the company they will remove it for you . Only happens once .
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Old August 19, 2019, 10:35 PM   #6
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Send it to the manufacturer.
They'll have it, or a replacement die, back to you within a week (usually).

Call first, of course, to get specific instructions and current "stuck case removal" pricing.
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Old August 19, 2019, 10:49 PM   #7
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After 40 years of reloading I had the same problem a couple of years ago. I did what FrakenMauser suggests. Hornady die and it cost $5 shipped. Had it back in a week or so good as new.
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Old August 19, 2019, 11:15 PM   #8
RC20
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I spent a lot of years drilling out broken fasteners.

Very tricky to get the parts out and not mess up the threads in the machine.

I did it with a die as well. I only had the one die and 5 days meant I had to buy another one anyway.

Or you can try chilling the whole thing down in the Freezer (chest type is better than the die as those will be 0 or a b it lower)

Then head up the dies and see if you can push it out (steel will heat up a bit faster).
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Old August 20, 2019, 12:35 AM   #9
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Assuming you have the spindle removed,you might ,as I recall,have some luck with a 1/8 in tapered pipe tap. Seems like it worked. Use your eyes and take care,if you goober up your die,don't blame me

But I think it will work. Tap drill is an "R" drill,which measures .343.

The case head is .473? A 7/16 tap is nominally .437,it might measure .432.

I'd think if you had a starter or plug tap you might get a bite. Don't screw it in too deep.
A 10 mm tap might work .

Actually,a 1/4 28 tap might put some trace of threads inside the neck.With some neck tension the ID of the neck might be 241 or so.You'd only have a few thousands bite,but it might work

If its not real stuck a punch might drive it out via the neck.


That's how I'd approach it. YMMV

Last edited by HiBC; August 20, 2019 at 12:41 AM.
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Old August 20, 2019, 02:36 AM   #10
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Besides the die maker (who absolutely can get it out) you might check with local tool & die shop and gunsmiths.

A chambering reamer will cut it out easily.

Try the freezer method, its cheap, and if it doesn't work you aren't out anything but some time.

If you have an old tap of the right size, one that will dig into the brass enough to hold, but won't go through the brass to cut the die, use that, Some good penetrating oil won't hurt and might be enough. DO be aware of the risk though.

Simplest is call the maker, explain what happened, send it to them, and pay for the work, if there is a charge. (as long as its cheaper than a new die)
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Old September 14, 2019, 01:01 AM   #11
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rcbs sell stuck case remover tool, good to have on hand.
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Old September 14, 2019, 07:26 AM   #12
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stuck case

If using a single stage press, remove die, drill case head to accept 1/4-20 tap and tap into head.

Get a 1-inch 1/4-20 carriage bolt and thread the die onto same.
Raise the press handle and insert the die/carriage bolt combo back into the press ram while threading the die body into the press. You will have to remove all locking rings, etc.

Apply pressure by raising the press handle and the shell should extract.
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Old September 14, 2019, 07:54 AM   #13
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The head is gone , he's left with the case body stuck in the die , send it to the die maker and buy another sizing die if your in a hurry , always good to have a backup die when you get it back . I've been there , only happens once , now when I feel more resistance then normal I lower the ram and add alittle more lube . It's a bummer , happened to me with a brand new die . Couldn't wait to use it , didn't clean the new die and I guess I didn't add enough lube and Bam , shipped it back the next day .
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Old September 14, 2019, 09:29 AM   #14
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I purchased a rifle with a case body stuck in the chamber because of case head separation. The chamber was a 30/06, the rifle was cheap, I paid less than $25.00 for the rifle.

Long before that I purchased drill taps of all descriptions, to remove the case from the chamber I used a starter tap, meaning the tap was designed to cut a full thread on the 6th turn, so? The tap was tapered.

I screwed the tapered tap into the tapered case and then used a long barrel friendly rod to drive the broken case from the chamber.

After examining the barrel I removed it from the receiver, I cut the barrel off just ahead of the beginning of the beginning.

After trimming and cleaning up I called it a chamber gage. I know, because I had something to do with it was a different kind of chamber gage. My chamber gages have case head protrusion.

All the rest of the chamber gages are like knock-offs of the Wilson case gage. In that design the case head is flat with the end of the die. And I wonder? If a reloaders has had 80+ years of fiddling with the case gage how are they going to master the use of a chamber gage.

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Old September 14, 2019, 09:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
The head is gone , he's left with the case body stuck in the die , send it to the die maker and buy another sizing die if your in a hurry , always good to have a backup die when you get it back .
If you guys did not spend so much time at the key board you could have a box full of extra dies.

I was having an uneventful day at the a gun shop when I saw a long line of happy shoppers waiting to see what the long line was about. A dealer was selling two boxes of miscellaneous dies; a wild guestimate on the weight would have been over 40 pounds. He was asking $20.00 for both boxes. I knew there would be nothing left when I got there but that did not dampen my hopes.

A fellow local reloader from Garland, Texas was ahead of me. The first thing he picked up from the box was a RCBS bullet puller with a .30 collet. For some reason he lost interest, he could have purchased the two boxes for $20.00, the puller was worth $20.00 with the collet and then got 40 pounds of stuff for free. I purchased both boxes, the first thing I did was start removing all of the Lee dies. The dealer said he included the Lee dies in the deal . S I had to take the Lee stuff with the rest of the equipment.

Down at the bottom of one box was two Wilson case trimmers with case holders, most of the happy shoppers had never seen a case holder for a Wilson case trimmer. Included in the two boxes were trim dies, the ones without threads. The further I dug into the boxes the better it got. The one thing I did not want to do is carry the Lee dies through the parking lot.

Nothing wrong with Lee dies, the problem has to do with the Lee dies I have at home; I do not use them and I was disappointed because I could not give the Lee dies away. And then there are the owners of Lee dies. I have never found a lee die that was complete, there is something missing on each one of them.
With an exception, My Lee dies are complete.

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Last edited by F. Guffey; September 14, 2019 at 09:58 AM.
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Old September 14, 2019, 10:20 AM   #16
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The first option is send the die out to the manufacturer.

I have and use Broken Shell Extractors which has gone well over the years when one gets stuck and the rim is ripped off. They get up into the broken shell, expand and grip the shell wall. I have left a die with a broken shell sit overnight with some penetrating oil like Liquid Wrench or Kroil penetrating oil.

If you do not have any broken shell extractors or suitable tools then after trying whatever you can I would just package the die and send it off.

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Old September 14, 2019, 11:35 AM   #17
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Hmmm. No case head to drill for a stuck case extractor!

I have removed tubing from a tight fitting pipe or fixture using a tap. Find a tap that is a bit larger than the case ID and carefully screw it into the case a few threads. The tap has a taper allowing it to start in a hole smaller than the thread and for pulling a case only a couple, three threads is needed. This may loosen the case, spinning it, but you can grasp the tap with a pair of pliers and pull the broken case out of the die...
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Old September 14, 2019, 05:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwc View Post
Use tight fitting bore brush. Bristles should dog into the brass when you try to pull it back out. Next time use more lube.
Before doing the brass bore brush removal , soak the die and stuck case in a 50-50 mix of Acetone -Dexron Automatic Transmission Fluid for 8 to 24 hours , this penetrating fluid will help get the case unstuck . Do not use a synthetic ATF use conventional fluid .
Use a stiff new brass brush . If a bore sized brush doesn't snag the case mouth and neck try a larger body sized brush to dig into the case body. If none of that works....
Return to manufacturer , they will correct it and not damage your die .

If you go to running taps, dies, hardened steel anything into the die you run a big risk of scoring and screwing it up to the point that replacement will be needed....
I know this from experience but I've learned from it .... the die maker will do it correctly or replace the die for you.
Gary

Last edited by gwpercle; September 14, 2019 at 05:06 PM.
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Old September 14, 2019, 05:20 PM   #19
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You might try using a spent 22LR case. Drop it upside down into the case mouth through the top of the die. If the 22LR is case rim is a bit big you might be able to sand it down enough to fit inside the top of the die.

Then tap the works out with a small brass rod or wood dowel of suitable size.
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Old September 15, 2019, 12:24 AM   #20
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I have always used an appropriate sized tap. I have full sets of chamfer, plug and bottoming taps. I have only had to do it once for myself, but several times for friends that were a bit apprehensive about it.
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Old September 15, 2019, 06:45 AM   #21
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No one seems to have mentioned Cerrosafe yet. If the die spindle can be removed, a casting of Cerrosafe can possibly be used to remove the remains of the case from the die. I only mention this because that are many of us who have some on hand left over from making chamber casts anyway.
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Old September 15, 2019, 09:54 AM   #22
F. Guffey
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Quote:
If you go to running taps, dies, hardened steel anything into the die you run a big risk of scoring and screwing it up to the point that replacement will be needed....
I know this from experience but I've learned from it .... the die maker will do it correctly or replace the die for you.
Quote:
Anyone have any other ideas to get it out? Anyone see why my last idea won’t work? I’d rather not buy a new die.
Anyone have any other ideals to get it put?

I do not assume the OP has shop skills, I do not know if he measures before and again after, I do not know if he understands when ordering a set of taps they could come in a set of three. All three taps could have the same thread, one could be a starter tap, another could be a bottom tap and one could be common, ordinary, ever day finish tap. Some taps only require 2 turns before it is cutting a full thread.

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Old September 15, 2019, 10:07 AM   #23
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Quote:
No one seems to have mentioned Cerrosafe yet.
Cerrosafe: That is something that can bring out the ugly in some members. A shooter, reloader, collector from the east shores of New Jersey ask a question about casting chambers. Members of the 'that' forum treated him in a manor rather rude. Instead of saying something like "I do not know" they blamed him for not knowing. Anyhow I apologized on the forums behalf and contacted him off line. He became one of the best chambers casters; he did not need a lot of help he just needed a little help, so I helped him.

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Last edited by F. Guffey; September 15, 2019 at 10:09 AM. Reason: get the i and n closer
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Old September 15, 2019, 10:51 AM   #24
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Hee Hee, lots of fellers missed the part;
Quote:
I had a case break inside my 243 FL sizing die. Not a stuck case where the head pulls through the shell holder, the case literally broke (think case head separation like you would see in a chamber).
Lots of good suggestions but I would use an "easy out" or tap.
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Old September 15, 2019, 04:14 PM   #25
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applying the old saying, "cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey", where it is suggested brass shrinks faster/more than steel.

How about something real simple like pouring some ice cold water through the case/die to shrink the brass and then solidly tap the die body on a block of wood to see if it falls out?

But of course the whole brass monkey and cannon balls thing is said to be balderdash.
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