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Grizzly Dave

Lee dies, 45 ACP, belling die issue

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As the title says, Lee dies, 45 acp, belling die...

 

press is RCBS Rock Chucker

 

even with barely any flare, not even enough to start the bullet,  when with drawing the case from the die I have to yank up hard on the handle to get the case out.

 

take out the powder funnel flaring piece, case goes up and down fine, take it out and run a previously flared case in and it catches coming out.

 

my only thought is that the ridge inside the die that keeps the powder funnel flaring part from coming out the bottem has too small a diameter.

 

what am I missing?

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Are you lubing the cases?

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brand new starline brass, tumbled for an hour or more.  Tried one batch with no lube, and one batch with some Hornady one shot lube, no difference.

 

 

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New brass is a pain in the a**. It'll work better after you shoot it once. 

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Do you see any marks on the brass where its hanging up?  Lees customer service is pretty good if you contact them they are usually pretty fast to respond.

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Posted (edited)

Have you sized the new brass before belling?

 

Is this a new problem?

 

Is it only with new brass?

Edited by Abilene Slim SASS 81783

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slim, I used these dies on some used brass before, don't completely remember, but seems like I did have the problem but not to this extent.

 

Yes, I ran all the cases thru the decap resize die, both to size and knock the stuck media out of the flash holes.

 

Cholla Bob, no marks on the brass, and thanks for the suggestion, I need to do that next.  Yet somehow I hadn't quite thought of it yet....

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13 minutes ago, Assassin said:

New brass is a pain in the a**. It'll work better after you shoot it once. 

Have had 2 friends tell me same thing. 1 with 45 acp and the other with 38 spec.  Brass does NOT want to come off the expander.  One thinks brass is hard, but problem goes away after firing.   The other loaded without sizing and reloading got easier.    GW

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Look for machining marks on the flaring bell. I smoothed up all my lee expander dies.

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Do you have a case chamfering tool?   I'm thinking that would knock off that "new edge".

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22 minutes ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Do you have a case chamfering tool?   I'm thinking that would knock off that "new edge".

Didn't help in our case,  was first thing I suggested too.    GW

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Posted (edited)

I've not loaded factory new .45 auto cases ever.   (Always at least once fired)

 

But I do have quite a bit of hangup when expanding new Starline Cowboy 45 Special with a Dillon powder-thru die.  Second loading, expanding goes just fine.   I chalk it up to slightly thicker and harder brass in the C45S Starline cases than other calibers.   It is a wildcat brass design, so it may be made thicker at the neck than other .45 calibers of brass.  I stop and spray the OUTSIDE of the expander tube with Hornady One Shot when I run a new batch of Starline brass - every 25 cases or so.  Solves the hang ups.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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4 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

I've not loaded factory new .45 auto cases ever.   (Always at least once fired)

 

But I do have quite a bit of hangup when expanding new Starline Cowboy 45 Special with a Dillon powder-thru die.  Second loading, expanding goes just fine.   I chalk it up to slightly thicker and harder brass in the Starline cases than other brands.   I stop and spray the OUTSIDE of the expander tube with Hornady One Shot when I run a new batch of Starline brass - every 25 cases or so.  Solves the hang ups.

 

Good luck, GJ

Right, if they are hanging up with the expander die it's the inside of the case that needs lube.

kR

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DAVE 

Try annealing a few , see if that helps.

 

 

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I'll be following this. I'm having the same problem with new .38 special Starline cases and the Lee dies. I did not have the issue with the same dies when processing new. 357 Sig brass.

 

I've taken the dies apart and cleaned the belling tip but they are still sticking hard. Like Grizz, no drag Mark's on the inside of the case mouth. I have not tried lube.

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I have a few sets of LEE pistol dies, although not in 45 ACP. The LEE expanding plug is a bit rough as it comes, I've sometimes polished it, but not before checking the size. 

 

I think your issue is one size. New brass will be sized on the small side. (I'm guessing that a new case isn't hard to size in the sizer die) IOW, the inside of the neck is smaller than the button, and it grips the case. I just make sure that I raise the handle of the press a bit more aggressively. New brass will grip. Also, 45 being larger in dia. has more area to grip. I measure the inside of the case to check for adequate bullet grip. I'm lazy, I just measure a case before and after seating a bullet. After seating the case should be a bit bigger in dia. 0.001" is good.

 

Another point is that the mouth on new brass gets work hardened in the tumbling process, a quick trim may help, but I've never bothered. 

 

After a few 100 rounds the expander gets nicely burnished and the "grip" lessens. 

 

I do remember lubing the expander button to lessen the pull on one die set. Helps prevent any galling during "break-in". 

 

It takes a few rounds, but the button will eventually wear, smooth out and get smaller in dia.

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26 minutes ago, John Hangman Ruth said:

I'll be following this. I'm having the same problem with new .38 special Starline cases and the Lee dies. I did not have the issue with the same dies when processing new. 357 Sig brass.

 

I've taken the dies apart and cleaned the belling tip but they are still sticking hard. Like Grizz, no drag Mark's on the inside of the case mouth. I have not tried lube.

Try not sizing your new brass.  Shouldn't need sizing.  Expander will round out any dings/dents.  We found this made a big difference.  GW

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3 minutes ago, G W Wade said:

Try not sizing your new brass.  Shouldn't need sizing.  Expander will round out any dings/dents.  We found this made a big difference.  GW

I'll try that today! Thanks!

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In my experience new brass tends to be “too clean” and requires a good amount of lube. 

Ive had this happen with new rifle brass too. 15:1 liquid lanolin and >90% alcohol mix works wonders. 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Kid Rich said:

it's the inside of the case that needs lube.

 

I don't like spraying the inside of cases even with One Shot that dries pretty quick.  I'm sure not going to use a case mouth lube brush on hundreds of cases.  That's why I just spray a small amount on the outside of the Dillon Expander/Powder Drop Die's drop tube.   :lol:

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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Never/ever spray the inside of any shell case with any type of lube:excl:

Try this-Put a small dab of silicon spray on a Q-tip and run it around the inside of the case mouth.

Are things 'mo-better'?

OLG

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Posted (edited)

For the sake of confirmation, I have the same problem with multiple calibers in Lee dies. I always attributed it to the fact that my press is mounted on a one-leg mobile stand, and therefore not very sturdy. Interested to see what you learn! Good luck.

Edited by Chantilly Shooter

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expander die Screw the die in until it touches the shell holder, then back out one full turn. Finger tighten the lock ring, adjust the flare to your liking; turning inward increases the flare. For maximum case life, flare only enough to easily accept a bullet. In use, the expander plug travels approximately 3/8” within the die and comes to an abrupt stop at extraction. This helps to shake the powder through. However, we recommend you check to be sure all the powder has cleared the funnel and expander plug.Be sure to occasionally clean the bullet lube from the expander

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5 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

I don't like spraying the inside of cases even with One Shot that dries pretty quick.  I'm sure not going to use a case mouth lube brush on hundreds of cases.  That's why I just spray a small amount on the outside of the Dillon Expander/Powder Drop Die's drop tube.   :lol:

That's the way I do it, has the same effect as lubing the inside of the case without taking a chance of powder contamination.

kR

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