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Posted: 4/28/2011 5:57:27 PM EDT
Well, I'm a master at using my stuck case removal kit now...

I'm using a Redding Type-S full-length sizing die with a carbide expander ball.  Redding Big Boss press.  Brass is Remington 30-06 once fired from a M1 Garand - 50gr IMR-4064/155gr SMK.

Brass is wiped down clean, lubed with Imperial sizing wax.  Inside of case necks not lubed - which is why I'm using carbide ball.  But I'm not lubing the outside of the case neck or shoulder (should I be?)

So, im quoting my Sierra 5th edition manual, "Adjustment of the full length die calls for the die body to be screwed down in the press until it contacts the shell holder at the top of the ram stroke... back the die off 1/3 to 3/4 of a turn and size a lightly lubricated case."

(Forgive my frustration) Ain't &@$%!* happening!  The closest I can screw in the die from the shell holder is 1 1/4 turns.  Any closer than that, and the case sticks in the die - shellholder rips the rim from the case.

I'm using a Dillon .30-06 case gauge to check each case after sizing.  The fired case heads are just above the main part of gauge.  Running them into the die with it 1 1/2 turns out puts it in between the two cuts, but it doesn't seem the case is going as far into the die as it should be.

I guess I'm having a hard time visualizing what is going on inside the die as the case is sized, and I'm not very confident as to whether or not I'm over/undersizing my brass.  Is there something I should be doing differently?  Anyone have any good links/reference books to help me get an idea of how to properly adjust my sizing dies and how to/what equipment to properly measure shoulder bump?  I'm just trying to understand the process.  Loading .30-06 brass from new cases only is gonna get expensive.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 6:12:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 6:14:45 PM EDT by frozenny]
Sounds to me like you have a lubrication problem.  i've used reddings, as well as all the other major die makers.  If you are tearing up cases on the  down stroke, its insufficient lubrication.

I use an rcbs lube pad and their case lube.  I run the neck brush over the pad, pick up a little lube, then run the brush through a  half dozen cases.  Inside lube in the necks makes the neck expan der ball run MUCH easier and brass doesn;t lengthen as fast.  Easier to operate the ppress too.  then I roll the cases on the pad and run them through the dies. Easy to resize and easy to neck expand.  Sticking means insufficient lube..

You cannot fully size the cases (with dies screwed down) because doing so with inadequate lube means stuck cases.  Pitch the lube wax and use a little RCBS case lube and a pad.  You'll be able to fully resize without issue.
You should be able to feel the resizing as pretty much effortless.  With enough lube the cases will resize easily.  Insufficient lube means  hard resizing and stuck cases.  Too much lube leaves some lube dents on the shoulder.  Youi shoul dbe able to fighure it out in about 10 cases.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 6:20:42 PM EDT
Not enough lube.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 6:49:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 6:50:34 PM EDT by AeroE]
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 6:59:55 PM EDT
You may also have a smear of brass on the walls of your die now.  That'll cause some grabbing until you remove it.

Pull the stem and bushing out of the die and clean the interior with a bore brush and some solvent.

the redding die wax should not be any problem whatsoever.  You do not want to lube the shoulder.  Lube the neck if you're using steel bushings, no lube needed on the neck if you're using the carbide bushings.  Personally I twist a bit of lube on the necks with my finger tips.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 7:21:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Lube the entire case.

What diameter is the bushing?  It may be too small to permit the expander ball through.

It's not a bushing die, just a standard Redding FL die.

Let me go try out a little more lube...
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 7:41:32 PM EDT
Back in from the garage,

I was being a bit of brute, wasn't using nearly enough lube. This time I put a bunch on the outside of the case neck.

Scrubbed the inside of the die with a .38 cal bronze brush.

I can now size with the die set about 5/8 of a turn from the shell holder.

I'm still learning...  I thank my lucky stars for the great people on this site.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 7:54:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 7:59:18 PM EDT by DaveN]
Yes, you must lube the neck.  Be careful not to use too much lube...a little is all you need.  Too much and you'll get dents in the shoulder as the die forces lube down off the neck.  Imperial wax is good stuff, if a bit tedious to apply.  You will find that after a few well waxed rounds, you can skip lubing a round and the residual wax in the die will be sufficient to do the job.  If you are the curious kind, experiment and see how little Imperial is needed to do the job.  It is a surprisingly small amount.

ETA: I use One Shot spray lube for most high volume applications, but the Imperial is great stuff.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 9:06:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 9:16:07 PM EDT by ma96782]

So, im quoting my Sierra 5th edition manual, "Adjustment of the full length die calls for the die body to be screwed down in the press until it contacts the shell holder at the top of the ram stroke... back the die off 1/3 to 3/4 of a turn and size a lightly lubricated case."

Compare with.........

Here is how to adjust the resizing die to full length resize cases. First, run the ram to the top of the reloading press stroke with the proper shell holder installed. Second, screw the resizing die into the press until it stops against the elevated shell holder. Third, all play must be removed from the system. To do this, lower the ram and turn the die 1/8 to 1/4 turn farther into the press. Check the adjustment by returning the shell holder to the top of its stroke––you should feel the press cam over center. Now set the large lock ring and your die is adjusted to properly full length resize cases.

Read more........


Doing it your way I'm surprized that your resized cases would be between the cuts on the gauge.  But, whatever.  At or between the two cuts is GTG.  Except of the occasional "very tightly cut" chamber.

Lack of "cam over" is usually where others with resizing problems have failed.

Not to mention lube is essential..........use a good quality lube and know when it's to little or too much.
Aloha, Mark
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 9:31:21 PM EDT

Lack of "cam over" is usually where others with resizing problems have failed.

Not to mention lube is essential..........use a good quality lube and know when it's to little or too much.
Aloha, Mark

This is what I discovered I was doing wrong.  Primarily using too little lube.  The closer my die got to the shell holder, the more I felt the ram in the press cam over.

It was one of those lightbulb coming on moments, and made me realize I need something a little more accurate than a case gauge to measure how much I'm sizing the case.

Link Posted: 4/28/2011 10:42:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 10:43:45 PM EDT by EWP]
I didn't read all the other post but I thought I would let you know that none of my Redding die come close to touching the shell holder and most are 1/16"+ above the shell holder for proper shoulder set back, so don't over do it thinking the die need to be closer to the shell holder than it really does, use the case gauge and once between the cut on top thats good enough, none of my dies require cam over during sizing(except my Dillon trim die).
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 12:04:22 AM EDT
You may want to consider a case headspace gage to take a reading on how far you are really bumping your shoulders.

Your die instructions will tell you if they designed their die to close on the shell plate and meet the specifications for standard ammo dimensions. Backing off the die a significant amount is normally going to neck size only. (Not what we want with the Garand.) 14 pitch thread comes off at 0.0714" per turn which is huge in case dimensions.

There are shell holder sets which allow you to control the bump with incremental shell holders. That way, your dies can be adjusted by coming all the way down on the shell holder with a slight cam-over on the press. (Some presses deflect enough to cause the loaded setup to come short when bumping the shoulder.)

In the absence of gages... Try smoking a shoulder with carbon black and sizing it, see if the shoulder is really being worked. (Lube the body and the neck, skip the shoulder for this one test provided the dies have been recently run with fully lubed cases.)

You may need to buy or borrow a headspace gage to determine the size for the bump to fit your rifle. Standard dies will neck size if they are that far off the shell holder for a standard headspace. It may be your headspace is really long, but it is best to measure some fired cases before and after a few load cycles.

After the brass has seen a few load cycles, you should be able to determine the headspace of the gun compared to the SAMI spec and bump back at least 0.003" for a Garand. Brand new brass may not give a good reading on the first cycle, so check cycle 2 and 3 to see a stable headspace reading from some fired cases.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 2:11:36 AM EDT
I've used Pacific (what Hornady called their reloading equipment 30 years ago), Lee, and RCBs dies.

I reload 30.06, .308, and .223.

I've never had to lube the shoulder or the neck (sometimes I will lightly scrape the mouth of the case across the lube pad to pick up a little lube so the expander ball gets a little lube on it - usually only if I get into a stretch of brass resizing where the handle is noticably harder to raise up and pull the case mouth/neck back past the expander part of the stem on the die).  

I've never had a stuck case.  I always use a gooey/liquid lube and a lube pad.  I add new lube when the effort of resizing increases (its a "feel" thing - do it enough and you can feel when things aren't quite right or quite as easy as usual).

They used to say that one way of telling you were using too much lube was dented shoulders on the case.  The excess lube ends up at that part of the die and hydraulic force results in the case shoulder denting inwards due to the excess lube collecting in that area of the die.

I've used both Lee and RCBS case lube.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 7:35:58 AM EDT
I agree with the lube advice, watch out for "too much", it can be nearly as bad as not enough when it creates dents.

One of my favorite bloggers is Germa Salazar. Not only does he write clearly and expertly, he is a very nice guy and a big .30-06 resource.
His articles in the Rifleman's Journal are always worth the time. Try these two for a starting point, he uses .30-06 as the basis, but the article is generic in terms of methods.
Just remember, benchrest, bolt, and semi-auto all have different requirements in the end, even if some of the methods are similar.

For sizing:


and on neck sizing:


Spend some time browsing through the 6BR site on the .308 articles, there is good information on general and advanced reloading there as well.
Good Luck!

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