Reloading Issue – cases
OK, I will kick this example off by talking about an issue that caused me grief back before the internet when research was a royal pain. This issue deals with step number 2 above, case re-sizing. Generically, case re-sizing involves restoring the case to the SAAMI standard case size for the caliber, and is usually a straight wall “type” or a bottle neck “type”. Usually, a straight wall case refers to the short, pistol calibers, although there are larger straight walled rifle cases. The pistol cases being rather short respond very well to “carbide” resizing dies, meaning that the carbide size ring is so slick for a short pull that the brass case can be pressed through the die without the need for lubrication. And this has been my experiance. I have never had or seen a problem with carbide resizer dies on pistol
Not so with the bottle neck “types”. Even though “carbide” dies are available for some bottle neck cases, all such cases require lubrication as a result of additional forces encountered in re-sizing.
PROBLEM: I was new to reloading and had no data source other than the manuals I had obtained. All the manuals, even today, will tell you that you must properly lubricate bottle necks. Too much lubrication will result in hydraulic case dents, too little will mean a case stuck in the die. But the “how” to achieve the “proper” part is not well explained, even today. So, time to experiment. Back then, I had a lub pad and some super honey-like, very gooey and messy lube. I glop it on the case, bolt the reloader and dies to the earth’s core, and ram the case into the die. I remove it, and ugh ! I figured out right away what a hadraulic case dent means. Several tries later, each with less and less lube, I finally have a case without dents. Success. That technique seems right. I was happy. THEN it happened. I was lightly lubeing and ramming away and wham. Resistance. I tug harder and the case just won’t come out. I really tug and the handle comes free as does the base of the case. The rest of the case is just, well, stuck.
SOLUTION: Lets skip forward in time about three weeks later when I recieved my order for an RCBS Stuck Case Removal tool. The instructions say to remove the die decapper and drill and tap the base of the case in the primer hole to allow the removal tool to be screwed into the case and with the attachments, allow the case to be removed with a bolt pulling it out via the tap hole. Well, this tool does NOT apply if you have broken the base of the case off.
Long story short, I finally threw the die and stuck case in the deep freeze. Took it out and pushed from the top with a small wood dowel and the partial case fell out. Be sure to clean and oil the die a bit cause it will be dripping wet from the condensation. They do rust easy.