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Old September 26, 2012, 08:05 PM   #1
Gary L. Griffiths
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Hornady Die Problems

Having taken up reloading again after a 30+ year hiatus, I finally got my old Rock Chucker press set up and bought two sets of Hornady New Dimension dies for .45-70 and .223, and a can of Hornady One-Shot case lube. I loaded up about 50 .45-70s with no problem, although I was using new unprimed cases. Then I installed the .223 decapping/resizing die according to instructions, sprayed the cases with lube, and on the second case, the depriming pin bent off inside the case, only partially depriming the case. When I removed the case, I discovered the decapping spindle had bent, and the neck expander had split in two.

I returned the dies to Hornady, who replaced the spindle, decapping pin, and expander button. I then resprayed the cases and continued, only to run into a stuck case. To get the case out, I had to remove the zip spindle from the die so I could remove the case with the decapping assembly. I then wiggled the case off of the expander button, only to find that I had again bent the spindle. I fastened it into the jaws of my bench vise, and straightened it as best I could, then operated it for another dozen or so cases until I felt much greater resistance. I eased the case back out of the die, and discovered that the decapping pin had again broken off, and the spindle again bent. I removed them from the die, restraightened the spindle and replaced the decapping pin. I proceeded for about a dozen more cases until I again experienced a stuck case, and again bent the spindle upon removing the case. I re-lubed the cases, spraying them from opposite directions as I had before, then turning them upside down in the loading blocks and lubing them again from two directions. I apparently got the spindle centered just right, and the proper amount of lube, as I had no further problems with the remainder of the cases.

I bought the Hornady dies because Cabela's had them on sale. I have and still use RCBS, Lee, and Herters dies in other calibers, and have never had a problem. Although the decapping spindle on a 22-caliber die is, of necessity, smaller and less robust than on a 30 or 45-caliber die, I would think that the spindle should be made out of tool steel and be sturdy enough that you couldn't literally bend it with your hands. I chalked the stuck cases up to my unfamiliarity with Hornady One-Shot lube, as I have had no issues with it since I now use it as Four-Shot lube. I had about decided to buy a Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive loader, but after my experience with their dies, am not sure that spending the additional $$$ for a Dillon 650 wouldn't be prudent. I intend to replace the Hornady .223 die set with a Dillon 3-die set that has a one-piece decapping spindle/pin, and a stuck case removal feature.

Has anyone else had less than stellar performance with Hornady dies?
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Old September 26, 2012, 08:51 PM   #2
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Sounds like you aren't using enough lube and have cases with crimped primers.

Another possibility is you have the decap rod too low, which would result in the inside of the case head putting extreme pressure on the expander ball and rod.

I've been using the same rod and pin for around 8 years now in 22-250Rem... never a problem.

Started and stayed with imperial lube... not a single stuck case.

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Old September 27, 2012, 03:23 AM   #3
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Yeh. I have a Hornady sizing/de-capping die that tears up .40 cases - about 5% of the time. There is NOTHING wrong with the cases. I've tried everything to better align the die and progressive press. Nothing works.

On rare occasions, I have busted a de-capping pin but the two times I did this, it was with RCBS and not Hornady dies.
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Old September 28, 2012, 03:55 PM   #4
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Count me as a fan of their dies, and the LNL AP.

I don't reload pistol caliber, but I've got their dies (as well as RCBS) and not had any issues.

Stuck case isn't a Hornady problem, it's a lube problem. I've used One-Shot exclusively for the three years (and 9,000 centerfire rounds) and if I run into a case that feels "stubborn" I always means I didn't get enough lube into the case necks. I re-spray the rack, being sure to angle the can and get enough into the necks...and they glide right into the die.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:31 PM   #5
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Why blame the dies?
Your lube or the way you are using it is the problem.
All my sizing dies have come set perfectly from the factory over the last 40 years.
If yours isn't, loosen the die body and the spindle.
Size a case (you may been to jiggle the case and spindle to alignment) and WITH THE CASE IN THE DIE, tighten the spindle and the die lock ring.
If you have further alignment problems, the problem would be cases. Many cases have the flash hole off-center. Generally, the depriming pin will still slide in; however, I have to discard maybe one in 300 random cases for severly off-center flash holes.
I do not like the Hornady One-Shot in the aerosol can. I prefer Lee case lube (dissolved in water), or the Frandford Arsenal or Dillon lubes in the hand pump bottles.
Not the One Shot doesn't work, but it has a very heavy body that can build up.
Also, with ANY spray lube, you need to be sure that the cases are treated all the around and that you let the propellant/solvent flash off for a minute or two. Until the propellant and solvent are gone, the lube doesn't work very well.
Too many people won't wait and rush to start, causing them some of the problems you are having.
I prefer to de-prime off the press. When I come back from the range, I inspect, deprime, and sort all cases prior to tumbling in 20/40 corn for 30 minutes. The Lee Universal Depriming Die has worked great for about 10 years, never breaking a pin.
Unless you are loading several hundred cases at a time, you can also use a hand deprimer so you can place the pin in the flash hole yourself.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:37 PM   #6
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I have never had a problem with my Hornady dies or LNL press which was too big of a deal. I have had to get a couple press parts from them, but they seem ok shipping them to me for free. My LNL Prog Press is 10 years old now and working fine.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:46 PM   #7
Strafer Gott
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Technique versus inhalation therapy

Wilma Fingerdoo? Was the line I got when I described lubing rifle cartridges with just a dab between thumb and forefinger, rotate the case, then just touch the mouth and leave just a bit in the case neck. Guess what, no case dents from overlubing. Aerosol lubes are great for getting more on the bench than the cases. Sure get ya high though. Wonderful for lubing the lungs, too.
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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I say 99% of all issues with the LNL and their dies is due to improper setup and not checking line-up and such. I have all my decapping pins that I bought in '94 for the rifles(RCBS) and now in the last decade pistol(Hornady,RCBS, and Redding), not one broken,one did bend because of a small flash hole in cases that usually had larger and it was MY fault for trying a little harder, but I didn't force it enough to break it. Physical breaking parts is alway due to forcing things that shouldn't be forced, but sometimes a new person doesn't know how much is too much, so it is understandable. It is when 2 or 3 things get broken that it is time to just buy factory ammo.
Imperial sizing wax or RCBS case lube has kept the seized cases away from me except with a certain bad die(of which the name I will withold, L )but once it was replaced all is good. One Shot is to be avoided at all costs for rifle case resizing. It's ok for straight walled pistol though where pressures are low.
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Old September 28, 2012, 09:53 PM   #9
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I love my Hornady dies but I will admit I am not a fan of the zip spindle. It can do exactly what you are describing no matter how much lube there is, it is very rare but can happen, make sure your depriming pin is good and tight in the spindle and go to town, and make sure your pin isn't too far down in the die as to the spindle bottoms out on the case. Sometimes crimped pockets will give you troubles too.
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Old September 29, 2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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One Shot is to be avoided at all costs for rifle case resizing
I've got over 8,000 rounds of large cal centerfire bottlenecks that were lubed with One Shot. Long-range precision rifles.

Wanna back that up with some science for those of us that call B.S.?
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Old September 29, 2012, 03:50 PM   #11
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1)Do simple search on any forums under ONE SHOT ,Seized case, and see what you come up with.
2) Call RCBS(probably some of the others also) and ask them,The makers of die< what they think of One Shot, and just what % of dies they get back from people with a seized case compared to ALL the other common lubes.
3) I myself have used it several times with rifle case(and yes, I was dried for several minutes, plus multiple combos of more spray, less , more dry time,ect..) while SOME worked, often you could hear the case barely not seizing plus pressure to size was way higher than just putting a dab of Imperial wax or RCBS case lube on the same cases.
4) I could care less if you say it is good, you are a very minority, and if it works for you, thats fine. AS I said I use it on pistols and it works ok for that,just not recomended for rifles.

Now, comes the rebelion how I'm totally wrong,ect,, ect.......
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Old October 4, 2012, 06:29 PM   #12
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Well, you didn't say you didn't like it, you said it is to be avoided at all costs...
Just as I watched them use it in their precision loading segment on "Long Range Pursuit".

You're entitled to your opinion as we all are, just don't state it as fact

You guys that want to live in the stone age, and roll cases around with your fingers on a lube pad and think that's the only way...ARE totally wrong.
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Old October 4, 2012, 06:39 PM   #13
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I use Imperial Sizing Wax and I have stuck more cases in a Hornady .223 die than all the others put together.I replaced it with an RCBS and haven't stuck one case since and I have loaded a lot more with the RCBS than I did the Hornady.I don't have any idea why I just know it don't matter how you lube that die will stick cases.
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Old October 4, 2012, 07:09 PM   #14
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Well, I've used STP for over 40 yrs, never, repeat never had a stuck case. In fact the stamp pad with the original application of STP is still in use, never had to add more. Some of this fancy store bought stuff is made to sell, not to use. 'Course people say that about using STP in your crankcase, I do too. GW
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