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Old November 13, 2017, 11:39 AM   #1
Prof Young
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What am I doing wrong?

Okay, so I'm using a Lee Turret Press, Lee Dies and a Lee Auto Powder Drum to reload 9mm. Occasionally, say 2 or 3 percent, on the expand and charge stroke, the case gets stuck in the die so tight that I have to use a lot of force to dislodge it usually jarring the case out of the holder and, of course, spilling the powder out of the shell. I backed the die out a little to no avail. Have not run into this before with these same tools and caliber. What did I do wrong?

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Old November 13, 2017, 12:04 PM   #2
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Are you using enough lube?

I've switched over to One Shot spray lube and have found that I have to be pretty judicious in it's application or I will get stuck cases.

Just a thought...

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Old November 13, 2017, 12:21 PM   #3
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Also are the cases that are gettimg stuck the type that have a step on the inside? Something to watch for.
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Old November 13, 2017, 01:18 PM   #4
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I've used the same Lee products to reload many thousands of 9mm rounds with zero issues. No lube is required during the case belling/powder charging stage. In fact, no lube was ever required even while using the carbide sizing die. I did use a bit of NuCar polish in the tumbling media and maybe that was all the slick required.
Anyway... as to your issue. It sounds like a cartridge brand specific issue. Have you noticed if the problem occurs with only a certain manufacturer's brass?
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Old November 13, 2017, 02:33 PM   #5
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Cases getting stuck in the sizer die are usually caused by insufficient lube on the case. It should not happen with carbide dies though.
Like jdc606 says, there shouldn't be any need for lube in the expander/charger die. The case shouldn't be touching the sides of the die. You sure it's the right die?
Shouldn't be any need for car polish in the tumbler either.
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Old November 13, 2017, 02:43 PM   #6
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Are your cases clean?

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Old November 13, 2017, 02:52 PM   #7
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I have bought old RCBS die sets or Lyman M expander dies to replace the Lee sizing and expander dies for a lot of the calibers I load - 9mm, 10mm, 38/357, 45 ACP and probably others. The floating expander die would cause similar problems for me. Thankfully I'm not using a press that requires the powder through expander setup.
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Old November 13, 2017, 03:05 PM   #8
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My guess is that the troublesome cases are a bit long and/or thick and are worked more by the expander. As a result the expander has a tighter grip when you extract the case.
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Old November 13, 2017, 04:02 PM   #9
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like David said in post #6 first make sure the cases are clean and then grab the calipers and check case diameter and length and see if the numbers are correct
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Old November 13, 2017, 04:07 PM   #10
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switch to Carbide dies or use more lube.
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Old November 13, 2017, 04:09 PM   #11
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Used to be that the grab the case and shake the press was considered a plus for the Lee powder thru expander die while using any of the Lee powder measures. It was even on some of the earlier die sets.

This ensured that the powder was always shook out of the measures and no hangups occurred.

This required that all cases be trimmed to the same length to ensure that the die could be adjusted to ensure that the problem the OP has wouldn't be a problem from short to long cases.
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Old November 13, 2017, 04:29 PM   #12
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If he's using the Lee 4 die set there is no need for lube.

Prof,
The expander does stick some on the Lee dies. It is made to do so. Theory is that when you give a little tap to get it moving, the jolt helps shake loose any powder sticking in the measure or the die.

That is straight from Lee.

Don't just put a constant force on the handle. Give it a little tap.
Also the more you expand them the more it sticks. Try adjusting your die some.

Instead of Nu Car i use a little Blue Diamond lense cleaner in my media.
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Old November 13, 2017, 08:52 PM   #13
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This sometimes happens to me and my Lee dies once in a while

Remove the die and completely disassemble the die and thoroughly clean the die with a good oiless cleaner then lube with powdered graphite usually fix my problems
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Old November 14, 2017, 06:39 AM   #14
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Dies get dirty over time. Especially the powder thru die. Take your turret off and flip it over and clean them with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol and a Q tip.

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Old November 14, 2017, 07:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell P View Post
Dies get dirty over time. Especially the powder thru die. Take your turret off and flip it over and clean them with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol and a Q tip.

Russ P


Ditto... disassemble that die and clean it good. If you are using the carbide die you should feel a little pop on downstroke but it should not get stuck. How much of a bell are you putting on your cases? Are you installing the die according to instructions or are you screwing it in further to increase the bell?
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Old November 14, 2017, 08:23 AM   #16
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Take the drop tube/expander out and polish the expander part. I use Flitz and a soft wheel on my Dremel tool. This helps a lot, and about once a year I pull it out and polish it again.
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Old November 14, 2017, 11:21 AM   #17
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Some of you fellers need to rereaad the OP. The cases are "sticking" in the flaring die (or as Lee calls it "powder through die".). This is common with clean brass in Lee's PT die. Several threads around reloading forums recognise new or very clean brass grabs the die and can be difficult to remove. Most will use some type of lube on the case mouths and/or a dry lube but most just live with it. I've found brass tumbled with an auto polish or wax additive will have enough left on the case to alleviate the "problem"...
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Old November 15, 2017, 12:35 AM   #18
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Hmm . . . thanks for all the info. For whatever it's worth, these cases were "steel pin and liquid tumbler" cleaned and they are SERIOUSLY CLEAN. Sounds like that might be part of the cause. Anyway I'll take it all apart, clean the die, watch that I don't flare too much and have at it again.

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Old November 15, 2017, 01:32 AM   #19
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A down side to wet tumbling is that you can get the Brass clean to the point where things going into the neck get sticky.
A while back I started a thread on lubing bullets when I seated them. This was necessary in .223 because the necks had been cleaned to the point where the friction between neck and bullet was causing some issues.

I stopped lubing bullets and simply tumbled the brass in some walnut shells for 20 min and the addition of the residue from the dry media made lubing bullets no longer necessary.

Stainless steel wet tumbling is a great way to quickly and completely clean the dirtiest brass, especially old range brass dug out of the mud, and bring it back into service. But it comes at a cost.
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Old November 15, 2017, 08:24 AM   #20
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A cheap quick fix is to take the expander out, and rub it with a pencil lead. Or if you have pwxered graphite use that. Also a snapping motion on the handle at the powder die tends to help. I had the same prblem when I used some gifted to me new Starline brass. Use the snap to get it out. Being easy is counter productive.
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Old November 16, 2017, 06:04 AM   #21
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Seriously, polish the expander. It makes a world of difference. Takes a couple of minutes.
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