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Posted: 8/2/2009 1:38:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 4:29:34 PM EST by Mongoose16]
I am pretty happy right now! So I have to share this with the HTF:

My quality ammo supplies have been getting getting dangerously low and the manufacturer (Nosler Custom) has been out of stock since the election of the Obammunist - and they have no idea when it will be available again. To make matters worse, our fellow HTF member "VarmitMister" won't load me up some more of his match ammo (he has other issues to deal with these days). So, I decided to try to roll my own ammo. I tried to keep it as cheap as I could. I also don't have much space to put everything, so no RL650 for me!

I got Forster Benchrest dies which I figured would be a good investment since I will keep them even if I upgrade the other stuff. I got a Lee hand press kit, bought new brass (to avoid having to buy a tumbler), and got all the other little bits and pieces I would need for less than $260 at Midwayusa! I finally got a chance to do my first loads this weekend. For my starting load, I used a Lee powder dipper to load about 24.6gr of Accurate 2230 powder... 205M primer, Remington case, Nosler 55gr Ballistic tip...


Range report:

Gun: AR-15: 16" Fulton Armory M-4 profile bbl, 1-9", chrome lined, 5.56 match chamber, free floated.

Avg. velocity: 2,928 fps

Best 5 shot group at 100 yds: 0.80" - Yeah baby!




Wow! I am rather enjoying this new challenge! But on the other hand.... this is exactly what I don't need....

....another hobby!
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 3:58:27 PM EST
Glad you're happy.

BTW............you don't absolutely need a tumbler.

Just wash your fired/used cases in hot water with a couple of squirts of Dawn Dish Soap and some vinegar. Dry them completely before re-loading. The brass doesn't have to glint in the sun to be clean enough.

Or, some have used Lemi Shine added to hot water.

And, of course there is the commercial products like: Birchwood Casey Case Cleaner

Aloha, Mark


Link Posted: 8/2/2009 4:28:22 PM EST
My joy has turned into sorrow!

I decided to resize my fired cases. I set the resize die per the instructions, then lubed a case and sized it. It did not seem that the ram went all the way to the top because of "spring" in the lightweight construction of the hand press. I checked the headspace dimension on it and decided it needed to be brought in about 0.004" so I screwed the die in just a smidge more. I ran the case again and it got stuck! I tried to pull it out and the shell holder ripped the rim off!

Guess I should have lubed it twice.

I can't get it out for anything now. I have tried penetrating oil, vice grips, and a hammer... I decided to stop right there and take a break, go in the house and try to see if you guys can help me!

I may be new to reloading, but I am not to to machine tools and mechanic work. I say that the Lee shell holder holds the case way too loosely and is a big part of the problem, but I think that the Forster die is a P.O.S. too because this was my very first resize and I did use lube and the case got incorrigibly stuck. WTF?

I am going to call Midway and possibly Forster tomorrow. Anybody got any ideas?
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 6:25:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 6:27:40 PM EST by benjio]
sorry to hear it. If the dies aren't carbide, you gotta lube 'em every time they go in... sound familiar

anyways... Here's what the instructions to my Lee dies for 300 win mag say about a stuck case:


"If a case is not lubricated, the rim will be pulled off and the case remains stuck in the die. If this happens –– loosen, but do not remove –– the decapper clamp. Use a drift punch and a large hammer (1lb. or larger) to tap lightly on the decapper rod and drive the stuck case free. Lee Precision will remove a stuck case for $4.00"


hope that makes sense... I've never had that happen. bummer.


copy and paste your question into a new thread on the reloading section and they'll help for sure.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 6:32:00 PM EST
I think most fellows who have reloaded for a long time have had your problem. The earlier posting where the fellow says he hasn't had it happen is really lucky. I believe him, but I also believe that people other than myself win the lottery...

Anyhow, I agree with the earlier suggestion about using something to drift the case out. There is also a tool that you can use to tap the primer pocket, then thread into it, and try pulling it out. But drifting the case out by sacrificing the decapper rod is cheaper, and you already have the parts there.

Good luck. I have only tried 5-6 ways of doing this as I have had the same issue 5 or 6 times...I guess the odds of it happening go up when I reload alot...like car wrecks and mileage...the more you drive, the more likely you are to have an "incident".
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 6:46:25 PM EST
Well I got it out by screwing the spindle down into the die until it pushed the case free. Now the spindle is bent. I see Midway has replacement spindles in stock for $9.99.... They also have a Forster stuck case remover tool... I am placing my order now...


Thanks for the comments guys. I just love the ol' learning curve!

S uper
H igh
I ntensity
T raining

Link Posted: 8/2/2009 8:32:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 8:35:46 PM EST by ORBrit]
I went through this two times in the first 100 rounds of .22-250 I loaded with my RCBS rock chucker.

The first I removed using vice grips.
The second I had to wait until I got the stuck case remover kit from Midway.

I don't think it'll be the last either!

but I too am happy with the reloading experience.
Here's the target from my first attempt at handloading.
(red dot indicates point of aim)
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 8:39:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2009 8:45:39 PM EST by Hoppy]
Can you describe your lube process? A lot of cases get stuck due to incorrect lube or application.

ETA: Clean the die with a good copper/brass remover or you will get another stuck case when you try again. The brass has probably "galled" along the die wall.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 4:26:55 AM EST
I periodically disassemble the dies and clean em with what ever cleaning rod will fit in there... seems to work ok, i've never had a stuck case. but I also roll each case around on the lube pad really well.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 5:57:29 AM EST
Well, I cleaned the die and checked to see if it had any brass left in it. It was clean and smooth except for a very rough patch of machining gouges in a spot on one side just below the case neck portion. I called Forster just now, and they said to send it in along with a small sample of my lubed brass and they will check it out. I was using Lee case lube that comes in a tube and looks like hand cream. The guy at Forster said that is usually better than the "spray on" kinds. I will post an update when they get it checked out.


I guess why I am so tickled at my first reloads is that I wasn't expecting them to do so well right off the bat. The group I shot yesterday is just as tight as this gun does with the best factory loads! I had imagined a lot of experimenting and work to get a load "dialed in". I am going to experiment with increasing the charge a bit, because I would like to have more velocity, but I think it won't be a problem. VarmitMister's pet load shooots about 0.1" tighter in this gun, but heck, with a little fine tuning I am feeling confident that I can match or beat that too!
Link Posted: 8/5/2009 1:35:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By Mongoose16:
Well, I cleaned the die and checked to see if it had any brass left in it. It was clean and smooth except for a very rough patch of machining gouges in a spot on one side just below the case neck portion. I called Forster just now, and they said to send it in along with a small sample of my lubed brass and they will check it out. I was using Lee case lube that comes in a tube and looks like hand cream. The guy at Forster said that is usually better than the "spray on" kinds. I will post an update when they get it checked out.


I guess why I am so tickled at my first reloads is that I wasn't expecting them to do so well right off the bat. The group I shot yesterday is just as tight as this gun does with the best factory loads! I had imagined a lot of experimenting and work to get a load "dialed in". I am going to experiment with increasing the charge a bit, because I would like to have more velocity, but I think it won't be a problem. VarmitMister's pet load shooots about 0.1" tighter in this gun, but heck, with a little fine tuning I am feeling confident that I can match or beat that too!



Lee's pretty good stuff and easy to use. That rough spot may be your trouble. Good luck.
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