What is ruining my dies?

hv55maxx

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I've gone through two 223 dies and now a 308 die with exactly the same markings inside causing scratches on my brass. So it's not a brass or chamber defect since it's on two different calibers.

I lay brass out and hit with Hornady one shot on a fairly clean t shirt. Using Hornady dies for both calibers. See pics below.


308 brass with neck to base striations


Inside of 308 size die. Can see scraped brass on wall.

Same condition for 223 dies and brass. Why is this happening. I don't want to keep buying dies and or scratch my chambers.

I use crushed walnut media with nu finish if that helps any.


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Mxracer239y

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Based on the brass markings within the sizing die, my guess (which is worth exactly what you paid for it) is under lubricated cases. Once brass deposits are left in the die, it chews up the cases that follow.

You may be able to remove the brass in the die with a copper solvent, but lubricate more!

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andrew1220

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Based on the brass markings within the sizing die, my guess (which is worth exactly what you paid for it) is under lubricated cases. Once brass deposits are left in the die, it chews up the cases that follow.

You may be able to remove the brass in the die with a copper solvent, but lubricate more!

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This is certainly possible. With One Shot, you definitely need to be generous with the lube and spray all sides of the case (a loading block works well for this). Also shake the can well.

I had this issue with Hornady dies in 357 mag and had to send them back to get them refinished. I don't recall Hornady charging me for that.
 
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Something in the sizing die, either brass or possibly rust.

If you're buying a new set of .223 dies, Amazon Prime has RCBS .223 small base die set for $15 today, and .223 Competition die set for $36. Few other calibers that cheap, too. .30-06 Comp die set was $36, I think .25-06 was the other one.
 

richc

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That's what happened to my first set of. 223 dues. I was not lubricating enough. Got new dues and spent a bit more time making sure the cases were lubed all over and no problem since. Fyi if you run a flat surface through the interior of the die you'll feel the bumps making the scratches.
 
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I would try dillon case lube (or make your own - formulas are on the web). I never had any luck using Oneshot with 223 brass. I routinely got stuck cases in my press. Once I switched to a dillon case lube formula, everything worked perfectly. You will just need to clean the brass again after resizing.
 

hv55maxx

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I would try dillon case lube (or make your own - formulas are on the web). I never had any luck using Oneshot with 223 brass. I routinely got stuck cases in my press. Once I switched to a dillon case lube formula, everything worked perfectly. You will just need to clean the brass again after resizing.


even with the one shot i do clean the brass again after sizing. probably a little OCD but oh well. i felt like i was coating them pretty well but consensus says i'm not so i will pay more attention to that. i have the RCBS lube and lube pad too but for 223 and 308 both in bulk that was taking wayyyyy too much time to lube each (or a few at a time). I have never got cases stuck that i didnt deserve to get stuck so the one shot has been working in that regard for me.

side note- forgive the naivety but whats the difference between normal and small base dies?
 

peterthefish

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even with the one shot i do clean the brass again after sizing. probably a little OCD but oh well. i felt like i was coating them pretty well but consensus says i'm not so i will pay more attention to that. i have the RCBS lube and lube pad too but for 223 and 308 both in bulk that was taking wayyyyy too much time to lube each (or a few at a time). I have never got cases stuck that i didnt deserve to get stuck so the one shot has been working in that regard for me.

side note- forgive the naivety but whats the difference between normal and small base dies?

Small base dies size the base of the case .001 smaller for more reliable feeding in semi autos. $15 for a set is a screaming deal - I'd pick up a set but I'm married to their X-dies.

Forget lubing better with one shot. Buy some liquid lanolin and 99% alcohol on Amazon. You'll be glad you did.
 

EddieCoyle

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I'm not a fan of One-Shot.

You've likely ruined your dies. Besides not enough lube, if you run cases with grit on them into the die, the grit can become embedded in the die and you get what you're getting. This most often occurs when someone drops a lubed case onto a dirty floor, then runs it up into the die. It only needs to happen once.
 

hv55maxx

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I'm not a fan of One-Shot.

You've likely ruined your dies. Besides not enough lube, if you run cases with grit on them into the die, the grit can become embedded in the die and you get what you're getting. This most often occurs when someone drops a lubed case onto a dirty floor, then runs it up into the die. It only needs to happen once.


i could see the grit issue, but i didn't drop any 308 cases, and id be damned to tell the marks apart between the dies; theyre identical
 
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One shot sucks dude, even if you drench the cases, it doesn't touch Imperial or a home made lanolin formula. I used one shot for a while, so I'm not talking out of my ass. After reading about people bashing it, I tried Imperial and it's so much better I won't go near one shot anymore. The small amount of time saved isn't worth the possible headaches. The hornady lanolin stuff (small white and red tub) is supposed to be pretty good and similar to imperial while being quite a bit cheaper I think.
 

Mountain

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I'll sit and watch a game, the news, etc. while putting a light coat of Imperial wax on cases. Once you get the wax on your fingers, it's pretty quick and easy to coat cases while paying attention to something else more interesting. I've never had a problem on any cases when using Imperial. though I've had issues with other stuff in the past.
 
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Something in the sizing die, either brass or possibly rust.

If you're buying a new set of .223 dies, Amazon Prime has RCBS .223 small base die set for $15 today, and .223 Competition die set for $36. Few other calibers that cheap, too. .30-06 Comp die set was $36, I think .25-06 was the other one.
I had a piece of walnut media in my 44 spl die and scratched every case until I polished it out.
 

55_grain

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Clean your dies with copper solvent and a pistol brass brush like you'd do for a gun. One shot sucks, seriously.

On die lube:
Some people make their own from alcohol and lanolin or the recipe of their choice.
Some people like Imperial Sizing Wax - I use it only when doing heavy duty work like turning .3006 brass into 8mm.
I use spray Pam (alcohol and canola oil) for 99% of my reloading. It works great and it's basically free. Try it once. Really.
I still have a half can of One Shot around here somewhere, I'll never use it again!
 

edmxz2002

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Have you checked the alignment between the ram and die? Everyone seems to think it's a lube problem but if the cases are not getting stuck. I would check the alignment when you get new dies.
As I am typing I wonder if miss alignment is possible.
 

efelton

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I think I'm having the same issue with my 9mm die. There is something on the walls of the decapping die that is leaving scratches on the sides of the case.

I thought that straight-walled cases did not need lube.

I wanted to check in with the experts t see if I should replace the die and scrap the brass. Or if this is simply cosmetic and the scratches will come out when I tumble.
 

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Fixxah

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I gave away the One-Shot lube after first use. I use a lube pad and roll my cases 14 or so at a time. Then de-cap, rinse and repeat.

Lyman case lube does the trick for me.
 

efelton

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Those marks are not from your die. They're from the fluted chamber of the gun that fired the rounds.
The brass is a bunch of random range brass and not from a single pistol.

I can take Before & After pictures.

When I run a fingernail over the scratches I can't feel anything, so they are not very deep.

I'm going to run a batch through my SS tumbler and see how the brass looks afterwards.
 
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i could see the grit issue, but i didn't drop any 308 cases, and id be damned to tell the marks apart between the dies; theyre identical
I've used One-Shot and admit that it is not slickery enough. Sure slickery is a word, look it up... Back in the old days when I starting my rifle reloading it was .243 which I rolled on a lube pad with RCBS lube. Too much of they gunky mess and there would be pleats in the neck area. Imperial Sizing Wax the same thing. I went to one shot for the .223 and .308 and knew immediately when I didn't use enough, case stuck in die and the person reloading really pissed off. So, when I used One Shot I used a lot of it, I ordered a case of it and I don't tend to throw anything out. Use too much and it works great. After reading a lot about making your own spray lube, I did it and fould that it had the slickery feel I was looking for. Works really well and is cheap which is appreciated by most of us. IF you decide to make your own, coat them well but not enough where there's an excess of it which will cause the cases to pleat. You will learn quickly what too much is. Put the cases on a cookie sheet or something similiar, spray them, shake them around and spray them again. Spraying them on something that will soak the lube up isn't optimal.

Now, for your dies. Like others have said, not enough lube and/or dirt. I clean my cases in either corn cob or walnut and then size them. Once in all my years of reloading I had a die load up like your pic shows and I knew it was the dreaded not enough lube and dirty case combo. I don't wash off any of the cob or walnut before sizing. I work in a machine shop and have access to 3000 RPM and diamond compounds so I just clean my own. Unless your dies are deaply scratched rather then just loaded (material stuck on them) then they are probably not ruined. As others have said, possibly the manufacturer might clean them out for you if you can't get it out. If you try to get it out don't use anything harder than the die like course sandpaper. A fine emory cloth and some of the cleaners discussed earlier in this thread might get it out.

What kind of dies are they? A quality die will be properly hardened and polished, some of the cheaper ones???
 

drgrant

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One shot is for pistol cases in carbide dies if you like the press to run fast. That's about all it's
really good for.

I tell people "don't use that stuff for rifle cases/dies, it's pretty much a ticket to getting the case stuck in the die" Years ago, I lost track of the number of people on sigforum that jammed up a rifle die with one shot, it eventually became a running gag... some guy would post a pic of a die with a case stuck in it, and everyone would reply "Let me guess.... one shot. "

-Mike
 
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