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Thread: Excessively tight adjustments on RCBS dies

  1. #1
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    Default Excessively tight adjustments on RCBS dies

    I used a couple of sets of new RCBS dies over the weekend and found as always that the lock nuts on the dies were tightened with so much torque that it was almost impossible to get the nuts loose without messing up the knurling.

    I tried using some leather strips to grip the lock nuts but one was tightened so tight that I had to grip the lock nut directly with my channel locks to finally get the dang thing broken loose; I will now have to buy a new lock nut.

    Anyone have any ideas as to what RCBS is trying to accomplish by this excessive over tighteneing? The only thing I can image is that they want the customer to mess up the dies so that they can no longer sell them as new or good used dies.

  2. #2
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    Are you adjusting the dies to desired position then screwing the locknut down to lock it then tightening the set screw? If you do that it will lock the dies down. Adjust dies, then screw the lock nut down, now hold both together and turn them back up a 1/4 turn or so, then tighten the set screw. Then screw die and lock nut down to the press top. Also I thought RCBS dies have a hex nut for a lock nut. No?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  3. #3
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    Default RCBS Locknuts

    The locknuts I'm had problems with are the knurled locking nuts for the adjustment of the flaring on 3 die sets of pistol dies and the decapping assembly in the sizing die on the bottleneck dies. There may have been a problem with other similar small lock nuts like the seating die adjustment. The main body to press lock nuts are not an issue.

    I had forgotten what a pain these nuts were until I used some new dies last night. I've been loading for around 45 years or so - I started in Jr. High - and most of my die sets are pretty old. The new ones I tried last night refresehed my memory of past problems.








    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Are you adjusting the dies to desired position then screwing the locknut down to lock it then tightening the set screw? If you do that it will lock the dies down. Adjust dies, then screw the lock nut down, now hold both together and turn them back up a 1/4 turn or so, then tighten the set screw. Then screw die and lock nut down to the press top. Also I thought RCBS dies have a hex nut for a lock nut. No?

  4. #4

    Default Excessive tightening

    The conclusion I came to quite a while ago was that some of the people working for RCBS might be reloaders, but mostly are light industry factory workers who just put things together and go home at the end of day. If things are a little tight....

  5. #5
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    Yes, RCBS dies have a brass (non-thread damaging) set screw in the main lock nut. I don't like the tolerance in the hex-head set screws ...none of my (full!) set of metric or imperial allen wrenches fit as tightly as they should. I find that if you don't want the lock nut to move that you have to tighten the set screw pretty hard, but if you do that then you're on the bitter edge of stripping the hex head so your allen wrenches won't work anymore. I wonder if I can order a bunch of those set screws to just keep in my kit for emergencies?

    Brian

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    Inspired by this thread and my post (above), I got off my keester and gave RCBS a call with good results:

    1. Screw the set screw out and then put a very small sinker or lead shot in the threaded hole at the tip of the set screw and reassemble. The lead is softer than the brass and will 'bite' the threads in the die more effectively without stripping the brass set screw's hex head. Apparently this is a pretty common issue.

    2. They are sending me a half dozen brass set screws, on the house, just in case I do damage one while trying to reload. They seemed very willing to please the customer, and it worked...

    Brian

  7. #7
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    Default RCBS die adjustments

    The only issue with the main body lock nut set screws with lead under them is that they tend to stick once you back off the screw. Simply loosening the screw and whacking the lock ring at the set screw location loosen things up nicely. I usually just smack them against the reloading bench.

    I'll try to give RCBS a call and ask about the smaller locking rings being so dang tight. If they give me an answer I'll post it here.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    The locknuts I'm had problems with are the knurled locking nuts for the adjustment of the flaring on 3 die sets of pistol dies and the decapping assembly in the sizing die on the bottleneck dies. There may have been a problem with other similar small lock nuts like the seating die adjustment. The main body to press lock nuts are not an issue.

    I had forgotten what a pain these nuts were until I used some new dies last night. I've been loading for around 45 years or so - I started in Jr. High - and most of my die sets are pretty old. The new ones I tried last night refresehed my memory of past problems.

    Oh yeah those little ones. I 've found some of them that way too and it is a pain to get them loose without damaging them. There are two different sizes of them and I'd like to find a bunch of spares of each size. I guess I'll have to call RCBS. I have some type of hard plastic jaws for my bench vice and I just lock the nut in the vice and turn the die. These jaws work good for holding without marring up the finish on guns and such. Brownells to the rescue again.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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