The Mental Militia Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Reloading dies scratching cases  (Read 3090 times)

knobster

  • Moderator Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4059
  • Come and take!
Reloading dies scratching cases
« on: February 06, 2016, 07:40:09 am »

Greetings TMM'ers.  I was sizing 223 cases the other night and noticed some long parallel scratches along the sides of the cases.  Upon inspecting the sizing die I saw some brownish colored streaks along the walls of the die.  I was able to get some of it cleaned off using Hoppe's #9 but not all. 

Copper Fouler remover perhaps?

Shame on me for not cleaning the dies more regularly...   :nono:
Logged
You will not rise to the occasion; you will default to your level of training.
In God we trust, everyone else bring data.

Who...me?

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2210
Re: Reloading dies scratching cases
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2016, 02:32:24 pm »

Throw it in your case polisher with some walnut medium if you have it.
Logged
"If you are in a fair fight, Your tactics suck"

"The kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose ideas are idiotic." - H. L. Mencken

knobster

  • Moderator Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4059
  • Come and take!
Re: Reloading dies scratching cases
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2016, 06:34:33 pm »

Throw it in your case polisher with some walnut medium if you have it.

Hmm....  I do indeed.  Couldn't hurt.  I'll run down and do that now!
Logged
You will not rise to the occasion; you will default to your level of training.
In God we trust, everyone else bring data.

securitysix

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5874
  • Self Proclaimed Champion Thread Derailer
Re: Reloading dies scratching cases
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2016, 11:23:35 pm »

Is the brass actually getting scratched or do the things that look like scratches clean off like what was in the die?

Also, were the cases by chance shot out of a gun with a fluted chamber (anything H&K styled)?

You probably know this, but for anyone who doesn't, H&K style rifles have a fluted chamber to help with extracting cases in less than optimum conditions.  The flutes allow for smoother extraction when the chamber or the cases going into it are dirty.  This is great for the operation of the gun, but it can be rough on brass.  There is some debate on whether or not it is even safe to reload brass that has been fired in a fluted chamber.

If you really are getting scratches in your cases, your sizing die is probably dirty.  Disassemble the die and clean it out with your degreaser of choice (I'm a fan of carburetor cleaner, but brake cleaner works, too).  Run a few patches through it until they come out dry and clean, and you should be able to get back to work.

If you're still scratching cases after that, you have a burr (or some burrs) in your die and it's probably time to replace it, although if you can locate the burr, you might be able to polish it out.
Logged
"That's what governments are for; get in a man's way." - Malcom Reynolds

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." - Will Rogers

knobster

  • Moderator Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4059
  • Come and take!
Re: Reloading dies scratching cases
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2016, 07:02:49 am »

Dry tumbling for a couple hours removed about half of the streaks.

The cases are getting scratched, I can run my fingernail perpendicular to them and feel it.  I also have a set of Hornady dies and do not get the same scratches.  Polishing may be in order.  Perhaps a buffer attachment to my Dremel tool with polishing compound?
Logged
You will not rise to the occasion; you will default to your level of training.
In God we trust, everyone else bring data.

Who...me?

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2210
Re: Reloading dies scratching cases
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2016, 07:37:03 am »

Well as mentioned it may be time to replace them.  Depends on the die itself...I mean there are inexpensive 40 FRN Lee dies and then there are several hundred FRN Reddings.  How much do you value your time. I tend to think of things cost wise in terms of my time involved.  So any expenditure boils down to how many hours it took me to earn the required amount to purchase something.  Is a task or thing worth how much time I must invest to fix/repair/produce it VS the time used to make FRNs to buy a thing.

Logged
"If you are in a fair fight, Your tactics suck"

"The kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose ideas are idiotic." - H. L. Mencken

securitysix

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5874
  • Self Proclaimed Champion Thread Derailer
Re: Reloading dies scratching cases
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2016, 03:25:07 pm »

Dry tumbling for a couple hours removed about half of the streaks.

The cases are getting scratched, I can run my fingernail perpendicular to them and feel it.  I also have a set of Hornady dies and do not get the same scratches.  Polishing may be in order.  Perhaps a buffer attachment to my Dremel tool with polishing compound?

The first step to polishing off any burrs in the die would be finding where they are in the die.  If the scratches are running the full length of the cases, then the burr(s) is (are) probably somewhere near the bottom of the die and won't be too tough to reach.  If the burrs are very deep into the die, they may be tough or even impossible to reach with a Dremel.  At that point, you may be looking at hand polishing (emery cloth wrapped around a dowel) to reach them.

Also, some really fine media and more time in your tumbler may even do the trick...maybe.

As Who...me? points out, it may not be worth the time and effort, depending on the dies.  If they're really expensive dies, it's probably worth the time and effort.  If they're cheap Lee dies, it's probably not.

On the other hand, there is the "I wonder if I can do this" factor, in which case, I'd rather practice it on a set of cheap dies anyway.
Logged
"That's what governments are for; get in a man's way." - Malcom Reynolds

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." - Will Rogers

knobster

  • Moderator Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4059
  • Come and take!
Re: Reloading dies scratching cases
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 06:04:16 am »

They are RCBS dies.  $50ish brand new and I only had them for three years.  I do have a set of Hornady as well so I'm not stuck.  I will try and polish the die.  I'll chalk it up as experience gained if nothing else...
Logged
You will not rise to the occasion; you will default to your level of training.
In God we trust, everyone else bring data.

securitysix

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5874
  • Self Proclaimed Champion Thread Derailer
Re: Reloading dies scratching cases
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 05:04:18 pm »

They are RCBS dies.  $50ish brand new and I only had them for three years.  I do have a set of Hornady as well so I'm not stuck.  I will try and polish the die.  I'll chalk it up as experience gained if nothing else...

RCBS makes excellent dies. They also have a reputation for excellent customer service.  You might consider contacting them.

Couple of questions:

1) Do you reload a lot of range pickups or mostly your own brass?

2) Do you clean your brass before sizing it or after?

If you get a lot of range pickups that you don't clean before you size them, you could be running a lot of dirt through your dies.  Even your own brass can track dirt into the dies, but range pickups can sit there for anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks before you find them, and there's no telling how much dirt they've picked up.  That dirt can scratch the inside of your dies and may be the source of the scratches on your cases now.

That may not be the situation you're running into, but I figured I'd mention it as sort of a public service announcement for the board.
Logged
"That's what governments are for; get in a man's way." - Malcom Reynolds

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." - Will Rogers

knobster

  • Moderator Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4059
  • Come and take!
Re: Reloading dies scratching cases
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2016, 05:56:49 am »

RCBS makes excellent dies. They also have a reputation for excellent customer service.  You might consider contacting them.

Couple of questions:

1) Do you reload a lot of range pickups or mostly your own brass?

2) Do you clean your brass before sizing it or after?

If you get a lot of range pickups that you don't clean before you size them, you could be running a lot of dirt through your dies.  Even your own brass can track dirt into the dies, but range pickups can sit there for anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks before you find them, and there's no telling how much dirt they've picked up.  That dirt can scratch the inside of your dies and may be the source of the scratches on your cases now.

That may not be the situation you're running into, but I figured I'd mention it as sort of a public service announcement for the board.

I reload a lot of range pickups.  I used to dry tumble to clean them but that is obviously not as good as my current way of wet tumbling.  Now the cases are squeaky clean but for years I sized not-as-clean brass so there may indeed be grit embedded in the die.  I picked up some polishing pads for my dremel tool last night so soon I'll attempt to clean the die up.
Logged
You will not rise to the occasion; you will default to your level of training.
In God we trust, everyone else bring data.

Who...me?

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2210
Re: Reloading dies scratching cases
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2016, 06:57:41 am »

Yes at the pressures involved it only takes one nasty to mess up a die.  One of the steps taught to me by my G-father was careful inspection of all components before reloading.  The vast majority of the time it is just an exercise but you can catch more potential problems than a foreign object in a die or on some brass.

I know from experience that it seems like you are just wasting your time but like all pre-inspection of tools or equipment it only needs to be skipped once to have potentially dire consequences.

Lol...just ask a pilot.

Good habit to have.
Logged
"If you are in a fair fight, Your tactics suck"

"The kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose ideas are idiotic." - H. L. Mencken

knobster

  • Moderator Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4059
  • Come and take!
Re: Reloading dies scratching cases
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2018, 07:54:28 am »

Was perusing old threads and came across this one I started back in... wow, has it been that long?

I did polish up my RCBS dies with my dremmel tool and some polishing compound.  99% of the streaks inside the die are gone and no more scratching of the cases!  Thankfully I clean all my cases with a wet tumbler now so everything is squeaky clean before they ever hit my dies.
Logged
You will not rise to the occasion; you will default to your level of training.
In God we trust, everyone else bring data.
Pages: [1]   Go Up