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how did i ruin my sizing die?

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  • how did i ruin my sizing die?

    I've been shooting a 6mm Comp Match for several years. I've loaded approximately 3000 rounds in that amount of time.
    This past spring when I was loading up some practice rounds I noticed that my sized brass was coming out of the die scratched. The scratches are parallel to the axis of the case, and at several points around the circumference of the case. It had been a while since I cleaned the dies so I tore them down and took a look. There where huge brass streaks in the die. I cleaned the die, which ended up being a hassle. I had to use wipe out to get rid of all the brass in the dies. Then I hit them with break cleaner followed by One Shot cleaner/lube. I inspected the dies again. Brass streaks are gone, but I can see pits/burrs in the die body. Using a cotton swab you can easily feel these areas. I'm going to call Redding this week and see if they can hone that out and return the die.

    My reloading procedure for this brass (after being fired) has been:
    Tumble ( I think the latest bucket of media is walnut)
    Anneal
    Lube (Dillon or Frankford Arsenal lanolin type)
    Size
    Prime
    Charge
    Seat
    What happened that I scored this die?
    Was the brass not clean enough? Lube issue? Die not cleaned often enough.

    I want to avoid this mistake in the future.
    Thanks..

  • #2
    I think regularly cleaning the die is good practice. That aside, I don't think you've done anything wrong. I would hope a properly maintained die would last a lot longer than 3K rounds, but it certainly can't be expected to last forever. This is the very reason for the invention of the carbide die. I love my carbide dies.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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    • #3
      It is possible that at some point in time that the brass might have had hard particle still on it. Like has already been stated, sizing dies last for many years. Rather then waste time sending the die back, scrap it and get a new one/set.
      If you want to try to save it, find a 'flex hone' of the proper size and see if you can get the scratches cleaned up.

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      • #4
        Good answers so far. I am a slow reloader. Inspect the case before I de-cap it, when I size it and after crimping. Any problems identified at any inspection can then be addressed. Sometimes things happen that you just don't see quickly. Getting stuck cases out of dies is a fun for sure. Getting all of the tumbling media out of the primer pockets and the cases is sometimes an issue. I had brass that was so dirty once I used a polishing Scotchbrite pad and Dawn in the kitchen sink first. I wasn't in a hurry so I had plenty of time to dry them near the woodstove for a few days. Carbide dies,

        Patriot Life Member NRA
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        • #5
          Did you size any nickel-plated cases? I've had the nickel "flake" tiny pieces off and lodge in the die, creating "racing stripes" on the cases.

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          • #6
            Hopefully you have found your issue by now, if not, I'd inspect the dies. I have a set of Lyman 300WM dies and the full length resizing die gives me fits. After getting 2 cases stuck in it last night, I think the die is the issue. I learned my lesson about lubing cases for resizing a while ago. Out of all the different brands of dies and different dies for different cartridges, this is the only one that gives me issues. After taking it sow and watching closely, I think the die itself is bad. The case will not line up correctly like all the others do with my other dies. I finally got smart, and order some RCBS FL dies for it. I am swearing the Lyman brands off after that issue.

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