Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 12/25/2012 1:08:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/25/2012 1:14:02 PM EDT by patchouli]
Just started loading for this caliber with some old, used rcbs dies I bought a long time ago.

-I tumbled the brass in lizard litter walnut media and a bit of cabelas brass polish mixed in.

-sifted the media off, but did not wash or wipe cases

- I cleaned sizer with Boeing t-9, some que-tips , and patches. (this stuff is more of a metal preservative has a bit of wax in it, but I wiped with new patch)

-sized brass and it left a bunch of atriations on cases as well as a sort of humo you can barely make out.

-flared case enough to barely accept base of 158 grn plated bullet. Does this look like a proper amount of flare?

-I have some old blue dot powder from 1999. Should I risk using it? It's in original container, but it is western (wet) Washington.



One case out of tumbler, no sizing.

One case sized (striations and sizing hump visible).

One case sized and flared.

I am thinking I need to clean the die with a solvent ?

I hope I don't have to clean off all the brass?

Link Posted: 12/25/2012 1:18:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/25/2012 1:19:55 PM EDT by Smokey99]
Yes, minimum belling to hold bullet in place while starting the seating process. Galling looks like you may not have a carbide sizing die - look for a carbide ring swaged into the bottom of the sizing die. If you don't, lubing will be required. The powder will be fine as long as it never got wet!!
Link Posted: 12/25/2012 1:23:14 PM EDT
I forgot I also used rcbs spray case lube on a pad.

Link Posted: 12/25/2012 3:29:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/25/2012 3:33:46 PM EDT
Looks to me like grit in the die.

You can try to polish them out a bit.
Use a bright light and magnifier to check the die bore.

Flare should be just enough to hold the bullet but no more.
Link Posted: 12/25/2012 3:58:44 PM EDT
Here is the old die. I bought these like ten years ago and just now am using them.

Inside looks nasty

Link Posted: 12/25/2012 4:02:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/25/2012 4:05:47 PM EDT by patchouli]



I will try some jb borepaste
Link Posted: 12/25/2012 5:21:12 PM EDT
After a couple min with jb bore paste

Less striations on brass, but still needs more polishing.

Link Posted: 12/25/2012 5:24:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/25/2012 6:06:19 PM EDT
I have old RCBS dies in both 38 Spl and 357 mag that scratch cases like that. You can try polishing the die as suggested or buy a Lee carbide die. I bought the Lee die so I wouldn't have to lube cases any more.
Link Posted: 12/25/2012 6:12:39 PM EDT
spray lube isn't meant to be sprayed on a lube pad, it's meant to be sprayed on the cases. Inadequate lubing is more than likely to be the cause of your galling

I'd retire your sizing die and get a carbide one
Link Posted: 12/25/2012 6:38:01 PM EDT
The power will be fine, I'd probably also spend a couple bucks and buy a modern carbide sizing die at some point.

Recommend you use magnum primers with Blue Dot, even in .38 special. I've had slow ignition issues and once had a bullet get stuck in the barrel when using std primers
Link Posted: 12/25/2012 7:10:54 PM EDT
I guess I will pick up some lee carbide dies soon. I will probably load 100 or so with this just to seehow they Do.

Thanks for the tip on the primers.

These rds are for a jframe. Any more concerns to think about ?

Link Posted: 12/25/2012 7:17:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/26/2012 4:23:47 PM EDT
What dryflash said, polish it more; remove all traces of enbeded brass and it will be fine.

Link Posted: 12/26/2012 7:43:06 PM EDT
I loaded up a few with 2.8 grains of green dot and 158 grain plated fp's with magnum primers. I took them to range and first shot some factory 38+p that is quite stout and has a tremendous fireball.
Then the handloads .
They shot so soft and mild, it was fun.

I will save the blue dot for the 357 loads I guess .

Thanks for the tips.
Link Posted: 12/26/2012 8:15:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/27/2012 5:13:25 AM EDT
When using non-carbide dies -- like your's -- case lubrication is ESSENTIAL before sizing operation.

I really like Hornady One Shot Case Lubricant Spray. It will not contaminate powder or primers. Great stuff.

The bell you show in pics is minimal. The rule of thumb is that the base of the bullet fit entirely inside the bell. While that may be the situation in your case, a little more won't hurt and will make the seating operation easier and more consistent.

I agree with what's already been said -- I've never seen a sizing die that looks that bad in the bore. The damage is the result of using it without case lube, and/or having run dirty cases in the past.
Link Posted: 12/27/2012 6:35:55 AM EDT
Well, that's what I get for being cheap and buying dies used online, I guess.

I will polish some more, but I am thinking I should just get rid of these dies.

As a side note concerning lube: I tried different amounts of the rcbs spray lube and more definitely made it easier. Also, I took apart a couple other dies and looked at them. A newer 6.8 spc die I used with lee sizing lube (the white stuff in squeeze tube). The mandrell around the decapper had some lube build up and was starting to rust under the build up.

That was disappointing.

Link Posted: 12/27/2012 10:04:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/27/2012 2:57:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2012 3:13:24 PM EDT by Motor1]
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
If you can, just buy a carbide sizing die. Nothing wrong with the rest of the dies.

Yeah man.

Just buy a carbide size die. My original kit came with the die set you have now. I just later bought a carbide size die and never looked back.

If you buy a LEE, GET THE .357 MAG DIE. I was on their web site the other day and think I read that the .357 die will size 38 spl but the 38spl die will not do .357's.

If you buy a RCBS it will do either. Your current die set should work with .357's also. Does it have a .1" thick washer in it? That washer is the difference between 38 and .357

Your set is about 11 years older than mine. None the less the bell mouth and seat die should still work with the .357 as well. The only difference is the .357 is .1" or 1/10" longer. So you have to back out the die .1 to compensate. That is why my set has the .1" thick washer in it. You DO NOT back off the size die though so your older die may not be able to size .357 it may not be deep enough.

OK: I was wrong. It is the other way around with the Lee sets. The .357 set CAN NOT do 38spl. But the Lee 38spl set CAN do either.

So if you are going with Lee just buy the 38spl carbide size die.
Link Posted: 12/27/2012 3:43:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Look inside your sizing die, probably has some brass pieces stuck inside it and is scratching your cases.

Had that happen to a 300 blk sizing die recently.

Made a polishing set up with a jag, patch and some 500 grit lapping compound.

Chucked it in my cordless drill and polished my die. Didn't take long.

Cleaned die out good and it was back to no scratch sizing.

Check you powder, make sure there are no red flakes and it smells like normal powder.

Most reloading manuals also cover checking your powder.

As long as the powder was stored without getting wet, it will probably be fine.

that is some vintage powder right there!

Link Posted: 12/27/2012 8:16:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/28/2012 8:05:33 AM EDT

Link Posted: 12/28/2012 9:01:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/28/2012 5:05:03 PM EDT
Wow, talk about mirror bright; looks good and I bet it works as goog as it looks.

Good job!

Link Posted: 12/28/2012 7:31:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By patchouli:

How'd you polish the die? Flitz metal polish, fine grit sandpaper?
Link Posted: 12/28/2012 8:19:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2012 9:12:32 PM EDT by patchouli]
Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:

Originally Posted By patchouli:

How'd you polish the die? Flitz metal polish, fine grit sandpaper?

First jb borepaste on a patch held by a slotted cleaning rod tip, chucked into a electric drill.
Then a finer metal polish paste like flitz. Don't know the grit number of either.

Got the idea from dryflash's post.
Link Posted: 12/28/2012 9:01:27 PM EDT
Top Top