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Old May 7, 2008, 09:32 PM   #1
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Why no more Imperial Sizing Wax for me--straight from RCBS

Called RCBS again yesterday, and sent them an e-mail regarding the stuck .223. Explained that out of the thousands of rifle rounds I've loaded, the ONLY stuck cases I've had have been as of very recent--when I decided to give Imperial a try.

Here is the response from RCBS--

Hi Jeff:
Return the die to us and we will remove the stuck case and replace any
damaged components. You want to avoid lube that is wax based or has any
wax products in the ingredients. 95% of the stuck cases we get back
here are due to wax based lube.

What happens is that the wax builds up inside the die and is like rubber
cement in there and the cases will get stuck every time. Your die is
under warranty and there is no problem sending it back to us. Have a
great day!
I know and fully expect to hear the "it's never happened to ME" responses, and trust me, I'm GLAD it's never happened to you! Really! Anyone and everyone that has had a TRULY stuck case--as in, TNT, C4 and volcanic heat won't get that sucker out--knows the maddening frustration.

But in all the years I've been reloading, the Lee lube has never even given the hint of having a case wanting to stick.

I broke one of my cardinal rules--if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If every single gun owner belonged to the NRA as well as their respective state rifle/gun association, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today.

So to those of you who are members of neither, thanks for nothing.
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Old May 7, 2008, 09:35 PM   #2
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In all the years I've been reloading, neither has RCBS case lube.
Spelling and grammar count!
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Old May 7, 2008, 11:10 PM   #3
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Lee lube does have a nasty habit of rusting my dies though which is annoying to say the least

Dillon or any of the other lanolin in alcohol ones are pretty good
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Old May 8, 2008, 12:49 AM   #4
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In all the years I've been reloading, neither has RCBS case lube.
Well except for the time I thought I could get away with lubing every other case.
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Old May 8, 2008, 01:16 AM   #5
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Case Lube Problem


E-mail me at [email protected] and I will give you a formula for case lube that does not fail, sprays on, and is CHEAP. I have not had s "stuck case" in over 30 years using this lube.

Feel free to share it with others after you verify the above.

There is a small learning curve with it, that I will explain in detail, but once learned, NO MORE STUCK CASES!

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Old May 8, 2008, 09:30 AM   #6
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The thing you have to remember about case lube is that you'll need to clean your dies from time to time to get rid of any build up. Cases can get stuck using any type of lube, it's not specific to Imperial.

I like using Hornady's Unique case lube for .50 BMG, Imperial was harder to get off the cases. Unique has the consistancy of Crisco and wipes right off when done and goes a long way, not to mention it's cheaper.
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Old May 8, 2008, 11:28 AM   #7
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Thanks RCBS

RCBS always takes care of their product (and us).
Great company!
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Old May 8, 2008, 09:34 PM   #8
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RCBS is a great company. the best i have ever used is RCBS lube. One bottle lasts for years and i load a lot. Great stuff! I cant stand wax. Its a PITA to use and i did not like the way it worked
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Old May 9, 2008, 06:46 AM   #9
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To each his own, but Imperial Die Wax has worked well for me for a number of years...Whereas HOS has failed me! I like Dillon Spray lube too.
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Old May 9, 2008, 07:05 AM   #10
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The Redding reloading company, which makes some very fine (and expensive!) equipment liked the Imperial Sizing Wax so much that they bought the company and now they are the supplier for it.
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Old May 9, 2008, 07:07 AM   #11
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Wax based

I am sure they believe what they said. And it probably could be true. I use Imperial, but I use it sparingly. I keep all my components and tools clean during the reloading process, and I do not get in any hurry. I have never had a problem. But then I use Forster and Redding dies. I do have some RCBS dies that I have had for 30 years. I do not know how many small base 30-06 shells I have loaded. No problem yet with the RCBS dies and Imperial there either. IMO keeping your components clean is the key, especially the brass. Tom.
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Old May 9, 2008, 08:17 AM   #12
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RCBS said - "What happens is that the wax builds up inside the die and is like rubber cement in there and the cases will get stuck every time." REALLY?

Well, let's think about that for a moment; "...the wax" builds up..." wonder just how thick they think it will get? And why would the wax build up so thick in the die but not make a caked, rubbery layer on the cases? Which it for sure does not do!

How thick would the build up of wax have to get to become " rubber cement..." and tightly grip a case rather than simply sheering that layer of soft wax - which it would still be, not rubber for sure - as the case is withdrawn? In fact, if such a build up were possible couldn't we just lube the first few and let the rest ride on the rubber layer the wax is supposed to form?

Some of us, me included, clean and oil our dies after EACH session just to prevent a build up of anything but it has little effect on preventing stuck cases! We just like to keep things clean so the dies won't get scratched, or rusty (from water soluable lubes), etc. And I clean them again before the next session, clean freak.

That layer of wax-to-rubber-to-stuck-cases idea is all silly. I won't blame RCBS for that layer of balooney but will account it perhaps to one of their new employees trying to be an expert. NO wax is capable of any such thing. Imperial and simular products work great and have done so for a LOOONG time!

Anyone using ANY common case lube and gets a stuck case has simply missapplied the lube, they all work fine if used correctly. I believe the most common problem is a failure to properly cover the lower portion of the case, down near the web where most of the compression takes place during sizing and that's where they get stuck. Seems no one neglects the necks and shoulders tho, lube dents up there are common! :barf:

For bottle neck cases wax is the easiest to apply, works great, easiest to remove and it's the cleanest too. Long live Imperial!
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Old May 9, 2008, 08:33 AM   #13
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Dillon or this:

this is a good recipe, but i think i made it better

buy 32 ounces of 99% isopropyll alcohol, i bought two 16 oz. and one bottle of 100% PURE Lanolin oil, fill a two quart sauce pan half full of water, bring to a near boil, if your alcohol and oil have a foil seal pin punch a small hole in them to release any pressure build up from heating, swirl the oil and alcohol in the hot water till the temp. is about 120 degrees F., pour one bottle of warm alcohol in a quart jar or bottle, pour in the oil, cap and shake vigoursly a few seconds, rinse out the oil bottle with the remaining alcohol, ad more alcohol till the quart bottle is full, cap and shake vigorously a few seconds and BINGO !!! you have the best resizing lube money can buy !! and it will damn near last a life time, pour the lube in a spray bottle capable of a fine mist and have fun reloading !!
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Old May 9, 2008, 08:30 PM   #14
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I've used Imperial Die Sizing Wax for years. Sparingly is the best way to describe how to use it and one tin goes a very long way. I just finished my 4th tin this weekend and have never had a stuck case (I keep the tins to store stuff in on the reloading bench). I clean my dies periodically but am not a fanatic about it.

If I were RCBS and I made case lube, I might tell people that other brands would cause them problems in hopes they would buy mine. I liken their comments to the instructions on laundry detergent - my wife sometimes complains that the detergent didn't rinse completely out of the clothes on a normal wash cycle.....I used exactly the amount they said.....honey, if you made laundry detergent, wouldn't you put in the instructions to use as large a quantity as possible so you could sell more?

Sometimes common sense has to win the day.
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Old May 10, 2008, 10:09 AM   #15
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Jeff: Thanks for sharing this with us. New insight, to say the least. I'm not surprised by RCBS customer service. They're good people.
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Old May 10, 2008, 01:42 PM   #16
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Excellent rebuttal wncchester!!!!!!!!!
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Old May 11, 2008, 03:13 PM   #17
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I have 30+ years experience using Imperial wax with no problems of any sort. I clean dies on the rare occasion.
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Old May 11, 2008, 03:28 PM   #18
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Well, I just full-sized about 2,000 pieces of LC .223 brass using Imperial, and not one stuck case. 'Course, I cleaned my dies after each session, which may have had something to do with it. "Rubber cement"? I dunno....
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Old May 11, 2008, 05:26 PM   #19
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RCBS is a great company. How about calling them back and asking their opinions of other reloading stuff that they don't sell, but which they do offer competitive products? After all, we want to make this information as "scientific" and empirical as possible, don't we?

Let's see if we can get somebody over at Lee Precision's advice on your desire to either buy a Dillon 650 or a Lee Loadmaster!
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Old May 12, 2008, 09:30 AM   #20
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Stuck Cases & Lube/Wax

I was using RCBS case lube and getting 1 in 10 stuck cases with a set of 223 Hornady dies. I switched to Hornady's "Unique Grease" and still got stuck cases. I sent the dies back to Hornady "for polishing". They came back and I have no problem. I'm still using "Unique Grease"/WAX.
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Old May 12, 2008, 10:10 AM   #21
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I was given a 243 sizing die complete with stuck case. After soaking in WD-40 overnight, it slide right out. No clue how long it had been in there, but it didn't have a rim and was already drilled and tapped. Thankfully, the other person stopped before stripping the threads.

Soak it in penetrating oil for a day or so in a sealed bottle.

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Old May 12, 2008, 11:09 AM   #22
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I hear that the freezer works. Put the whole mess in there for an hour or two and the case shrinks more than the die. It'll fall right out. I use Imperial and Redding dies... So far no problems except the time I forgot to lube one. Ended up making my own case puller with a 1/2" drive socket, a couple of washers and a 1/4X20 screw.
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Old May 13, 2008, 08:10 AM   #23
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I have had problems with Lee Lube on cases. I recall lubing rifle cases with Lee lube, and coming back to them days, maybe a week later to size. The Lee lube had dried and was not providing decent lubrication. I forget if I had a stuck case or not, but I have not used Lee lube for a long time.

Imperial Wax may not have any wax in it. There is a lot of wax in petroleum. Automotive oils are “dewaxed” to remove the stuff. I suspect Imperial Sizing Wax may be a grease, that is an oil in a thickner, but I don’t know that for certain.

I have been using RCBS water soluble case lube for decades now. The stuff works great. Imperial is good stuff but I had to use my fingers to apply. With RCBS, I tumble cases with a saturated patch on my Tumbler Tumbler. I use a 3 lb W231 powder can and roll the stuff.

I have always wondered if some of those Thread Tapping lubricants would do as well as RCBS case lube. Some of those are water soluble, and I like that .
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Old May 13, 2008, 09:21 AM   #24
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I believe Imperial is a wax with mineral oil melted into it. I don't know this for a fact, but that is the impression I get from it. I've never had a case stick using Imperial, though I've had a couple of really stuck cases (pulled the case-removing tapped threads right out) with spray lubes. Probably just missed them, somehow,

I now take a new steel sizing dies and inspect the surface finish. If it isn't polished, I chuck it in the lathe and use a felt bob on a Fordom tool with Dico stainless steel grade buffing compound to get a mirror finish. I then degrease it and drop it into Sprinco Plate+ Silver for three days. Plate+ Silver is a permanent lube that provides some insurance against the occasional case that's missing lubricant.

Shooter's Solutions' MolyFusion Product (another type of permanent lube treatment) has a testimonial from a user that treated a steel sizing die with this product and who claims never to have needed any case lube at all since applying it. I have had some very good results with MolyFusion in other applications.

I intend to do an experiment this summer with new Lee rifle sizing dies and the two products I mentioned to compare them in this application. I have to finish equipping the Lee Classic Cast press I just got with strain gages so I can quantify the effects, but will do something with that as soon as time allows.

P.S., Slamfire1, I would not expect the tapping lubes to work well. Those and other cutting fluids are not designed to maintain unbroken lubricating films under high pressure. Run down to Wally World and spend a buck and a half on a bottle of STP to get a good strong film lubricant. Mix it half and half with chainsaw bar chain oil to get better cling. For less odor, mix the STP with a way oil for lathe and milling machine beds, like Mobile Vactra #2.
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Old May 13, 2008, 09:48 AM   #25
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I have had problems with Lee Lube on cases. I recall lubing rifle cases with Lee lube, and coming back to them days, maybe a week later to size. The Lee lube had dried and was not providing decent lubrication. I forget if I had a stuck case or not, but I have not used Lee lube for a long time.
My recent experience has supported this. I've always used Lee lube, but I've always lubed up, say, 50 cases, then sized 50 cases all in the same session.

The last time, I lubed up 100 cases and let them dry overnight and sized them the next day and they weren't nearly as well lubricated, it took much more effort in the die and the dried lube was much harder to remove.

Lee will tell you that you may do them "wet" or if left to dry (they even say you can thin the lube with water to make it last longer, but then you MUST let them dry before sizing) but my experience has shown me that I will only use the Lee Lube wet & fresh. I won't let it dry on the cases any more than a half hour before I size them.

The Lee lube is messy, but I like it because it's horribly cheap and it does a fine job of lubing the cases, I never feel like I'm going to get one stuck. Also, I love that they tell me it won't degrade a primer. (no idea if this is the truth, but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy... I could just be a sucker for marketing)
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