I Didn't Shoot My Reloading Press Last Night

Rez Exelon

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But I thought about it. Let me tell you the sage of "The quest to make 30/06".

It starts a few days ago when I picked up two bags of 100 pieces of brass from a local place. Didn't need it, but also figured it'd be good to have. The price was right and I didn't want to do the 22-250 project I've been delaying. So there we go. We have started.

I recently changed my presses out, so doing 30/06 would involve calibration of my dies. So I decided I'm going to go all out, full match over zealous mega prep. This means, decap, ultrasonic, dry, tumble, clean primer pockets, trim, chamfer, deburr, size, polish, clean again. And I want to do all of this before I leave on a trip.

Start by setting up the universal decap and setting up the shell plate, etc. Decap the first hundred, ultrasonic, dry, so far so good. Until I start trying to trim. Turns out that I find a cracked neck on one piece and then a piece of 270 brass. Dang it. Now I check all headstamps. There are 7 pieces of 270 brass. I don't own a 270.

Sort those out, trim, chamfer, deburr and polish. I like a nice glossy super finish, so when I say polish, these puppies do on the lathe and spun with 0000 steel wool to a shine that would make a drill Sargent proud. I'm back on track.

Until I lube these up and get a stuck stinking rotten case with the dang god forsaken rim ripped off. I address that. Add extra lube everywhere, eat dinner.

Finish about 40 more. Another. Stuck. Case. The clouds of language are now forming over the reloading bench. Get it out. More lube.

Get through the rest of the "100". I have 92. I want an even number. I get some cases from the next batch of brass. DANG IT SONOFA. I have to go through the head stamps. More 270. A 30-30. A random piece of 9. At least I checked.

Smear these things down with lube, say some preemptive curse words, and get three in before another dang stuck case. This might be a good time to mention this die, which was worked well for a long time, is also at least 250 years old. A Pacific brand that is no longer made (owned by Hornady but those jackholes won't honor Pacific's lifetime warranty from my past experience with some 220 swift dies). With this case, the decapping pin has broken. And it's smaller than most replacement pins. I have to drill the hole out a teeny tiny bit more.

My stubbornness knows no bounds as I go another round, and lose another round. I've now lost 4 pretty cases in an evening. I've got lube in all the right spots. I used the good stuff. I did the right things. Said the ancient incantations, burned the incense (in spirit, not near a workbench with powder on it).

I admit defeat. I switch to some fancy dancy RCBS dies I picked up a few month ago and never used. You know, the kind with the precision mic on top and what not. Schmancy.

I run through the rest of casings with only one small issue.... the stem was slightly out of alignment. I fixed it. No more issue. I've got 100. My goal has been reached, but I have no suffered enough. I put them in a bin, labled, clear the bench and look at the remains of the 100 minus the 270 and 30-30 and 9mm and ones I needed to complete the 100. I lube em up and go to town.

These dies are promising!! I get through all the rest. PRAISE GOD IN HEAVEN IT'S AN EVEN NUMBER OF 80 EVEN!

I tempt fate. I take a boolit and go to setup the seating die. I was able to press the bullet down into the neck. I. was. able. to. press. the. bullet. into. the. neck. The cloud of curse words over the reloading bench nearly blocked out all the shop lights.

Turns out the bell had crap on it and it was slightly misaligned still. I corrected those. I tested. Re-tested. Third test. Did 20 casings tested again, 20 casings tested again. Finally. 80 done. I drank a Guiness, wrote a note on where i left off. Forgot all hope of getting through the prep on the remaining 80 before the trip. I guess sometimes it's possible to win and lose at the same time. I met my goal of 100. I paid with effort in the chills of the garage. I attoned for my sins though the wretched and cruel punishment of the stuck casings and wrong casings, and dirty bell and everything else. I survived.
 

Rez Exelon

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Oh, so I forgot to post one of the morals of the story. Go to Lowes RIGHT NOW and buy this: https://www.lowes.com/pd/DEWALT-1-4-in-20-2-Flute-M2-HSS-Tap-with-Drill-Bit/999959793

It's on clearance for like a buck or two. These are perfect for removing stuck casings. I had fortunately bought some a week ago and it worked perfect. If you don't know the system, you get drill out the primer pocket, tap it, put a bunch of washers or nuts around the case to make a chamber, and then bolt tighten the bolt down. Because the bolt can't move the washer/nut stack it'll cause the case to pull up and out.

Can you post a few details!!!!! I'm just kidding.
What lube are you using and how are you applying it?

Gotta make sure I do a "quality post" since everyone is watching out for those these days!! I've got two types of lube I use. 99 percent of the time I use a 1:8 mix of lanolin oil to 99% isopropyl alcohol. I dump all the casing in a stainless steel bowl, spray, mix, spray mix, spray mix and mix and mix. Then you let the isopropyl dry off and you're left with super nice lubey dubey cases. Has worked flawlessly for years from 22 cal to 375. The other that I'll use, and had to go to last night was the "actual" lube from RCBS --- putting it on a pad and rolling the case on it style.
 

Rez Exelon

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I was having more stuck cases when I was at 1:8 on the lanolin/99% alchohol.
I went a little thinner about 1:12ish and have had much less stuck cases.
Definitely worth a try there. Come to think of it, I've had that bottle for a while, so it wouldn't surprise me if some of the IPA had evaporated (aspirated?) away too. I've got extra IPA I can give it to thin it back down some.
 

swampratt

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I have never had a stuck case Knock on wood.
Imperial is what i used to use and now Hornady sizing die wax always applied with my clean fingers and a Q tip swabbed into the wax is used to lube the inside of the necks.

Something I do to all my dies is to polish them as soon as I get them.
1500-2000 grit sandpaper on a plastic mandrel and then a bore mop with machine glaze on it.

shopping

Or a very small nylon cleaning brush wrapped with paper towel and maxhine glaze on it.
I also polish the expander mandrel or button with the same stuff until it shines like chrome.
Not really removing any material to speak of just making things polished .

Maybe .0005" or material removal.
Sure makes things size very easy.

I noticed you trimmed before sizing.
I trim and chamfer etc etc after sizing.
 

Rez Exelon

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I have never had a stuck case Knock on wood.
Imperial is what i used to use and now Hornady sizing die wax always applied with my clean fingers and a Q tip swabbed into the wax is used to lube the inside of the necks.

Something I do to all my dies is to polish them as soon as I get them.
1500-2000 grit sandpaper on a plastic mandrel and then a bore mop with machine glaze on it.

shopping

Or a very small nylon cleaning brush wrapped with paper towel and maxhine glaze on it.
I also polish the expander mandrel or button with the same stuff until it shines like chrome.
Not really removing any material to speak of just making things polished .

Maybe .0005" or material removal.
Sure makes things size very easy.

I noticed you trimmed before sizing.
I trim and chamfer etc etc after sizing.
I usually will do the T/C after, but this time I opted to go backwards because of the step of hitting them with the 0000 on the lathe. In the past, I've noticed that usually gives it a nice super smooth surface and works well. I only do that when I get new brass, or maybe every couple of firings if they're getting ugly.

I'll look into the machine glaze too. I've done a similar procedure with the dies, but never quite settled on a system I think worked as well as it should, so yours is definitely going to get up there in the test list.
 

sklfco

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Definitely worth a try there. Come to think of it, I've had that bottle for a while, so it wouldn't surprise me if some of the IPA had evaporated (aspirated?) away too. I've got extra IPA I can give it to thin it back down some.

Knocked on wood before typing.
I have never had a stuck case, leave em a little wet and get to resizing before the IPA completely evaporates. Good luck
 
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