Broken case in resizing die

Discussion in 'The Ammo Can' started by ETexPops, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. ETexPops

    ETexPops XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    OK-I finally did it. I broke a case in the resizing die (.223). I didn't just get one stuck; broke the sucker half in two. Any good ideas on how to drive out the broken half or just send it to Lee, let them get it out and order another full length resizing die? Oh yeah-the case was lubed and this happened about 100 rds into my resizing venture. Headstamp was Lake City but had already run others throught he operation with no problem.

     
  2. Jarhead1987

    Jarhead1987 XDTalk 1K Member

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    Check with customer service and send it back or take it to the local gunsmith. He may have a way to get it out.
     
  3. ETexPops

    ETexPops XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    Know I can send it back to Lee and they advertise they will get it out for $4 but would like to know how to do it myself since I kinda think it WILL happen again. Buddy of mine who saw this thread just called and suggested putting the die in the freezer and then trying to use a punch to get it out. Might work. Any other ideas would be appreciated. Always have the local gunsmith to rely on; I hope 'cause they are kinda contrary.
     
  4. agalindo

    agalindo XDTalk 15K Member Founding Member

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    Try this link. You problem was insufficient lube. If you carefully there's a link posted can't change the default gray on gray link color. :(

    Do-it-yourself gun repair ... - Google Books

     
  5. mongoose33

    mongoose33 XDTalk 2K Member Founding Member

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    It sounded to me like the head came off.

    But if not, here's a great way to do this, analogous to what Agalindo posted. Someone sent me an instruction sheet on this last year, can't remember who, and can't find the sheet. So here's my own version of it:

    What you need to buy:

    1/2" socket (1/4" drive)
    1/4" x 1" machine bolt
    1/4" tap
    13/64" drill bit (came with tap)
    1/4" x 1 1/2" Washer (or thereabouts)

    [​IMG]

    Step one is to back out the decapping mandrel so you don't drill it. You don't have to remove it--just withdraw it enough that you can drill the hole through the case head.

    Place the die in a vise or something to hold it steady. Then drill out the primer pocket w/ the 13/64" drill, and tap the hole:

    [​IMG]

    Push the bolt through the washer and socket, like so, and thread it into the newly tapped hole:

    [​IMG]

    Use a wrench to tighten the bolt, and it will draw the case out of the die, like so:

    [​IMG]

    I had to cut off the end of the shell so as to be able to remove the expander ball, but you could also cut off the head of the shell.

    It works--I've pulled several stuck cases with it.
     
  6. ETexPops

    ETexPops XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    Thanks guys; but, Mongoose got it right. The shell broke 1/2 in two. On the down stroke the head and about 3/8" of the case came out. I am going to get a tap today in case I get a stuck case that I can use the tap and pull method on. Meanwhile I left the die in the freezer overnight, tried it this morning, and it still won't budge. I'll try the gun shop today and hope they can get it out. If all else fails next week a friend who is a tool maker will be back from vacation and should be able to take a look at it. Sure wish I could figure this one out but I have run out of ideas. Thanks again for the replies.
     
  7. ETexPops

    ETexPops XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    Guess this story ends here. Went to see the local gun smith and he explained what he would have to do to remove the remainder of the case from the die. It would cost me a lot more than a new die body (which I already ordered). Claimed he would have to stop up one end, try to rough up the inside of the case, fill it with "something" (can't remember what he said it was), and try to drive it out when the "something" solidified.

    Last effort will be to drive a tap into the case and see if it can be pulled or driven out. If I find a way; I'll post here so all will know there is a way. Thanks for all the responses. Merry Christmas to all.
     
  8. Mike in VA

    Mike in VA XDTalk 100 Member

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    You've got a head separation on the case that came apart in the sizer die. This indicates that you have a headspace problem. It's likely that you have more cases like this. These cases should NOT be used again.

    You can check for insipient head separation in your brass by making a feeler gauge out of a piece of steel wire, like from a large paper clip. Straighten the wire, then bend a small hook about 1/8" on one end. Sharpen the end of the hook to a chisel point. Then run the sharpened point down the inside of the suspect cases along the case wall. You can feel the thinned area in the case wall.

    I keep a sectioned case on my reloading bench that has a partial head separation, as a test case and a reminder.
     
  9. twice barrel

    twice barrel XDTalk 100 Member

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    I believe I would have sent the die and and a check for $4 back to Lee and been done with it. Might try and find another die in the meantime as well if I was in a hurry to get back in operation otherwise just work on a different cartridge for a while.

    Went your route with an RCBS dies years ago that I finally relented and had Mr. Huntingon's team fix. Would have saved a little money and a lot of frustration if I'd have just done that at the get-go.

    Regards,

    TB
     
  10. highscore

    highscore XDTalk 100 Member Founding Member

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    Were you able to remove the stem with the expander and decap pin from the die? If so, putting the die in a lathe and using a boring bar, bore the shell until it is thin enough to split it and take it out. Would take only a few minutes
     
  11. ETexPops

    ETexPops XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    Good idea highscore; same thing I asked the "gunsmith" about and he said you couldn't machine it out. Have a friend who is a tool and die maker (and gun nut to boot) who will be back at work next Monday. Gonna get him to give it a try if I don't get it out before then. Going to try a couple of other things in the meantime; drive a tap the case and use a nut on the tap to try to pull it out or a broken case extractor. Just gotta locate the right sized tap and the broken shell extractor and that may be hard in a small town. I'll post when and how I get it out-and I AM going to get it out. I'm just too hard headed to accept that it won't come out. Already got a new die body from Lee and back to reloading. Does increase the pucker factor now that I have broken one 'cause I keep expecting it to happen again. Thanks for the tip.
     
  12. highscore

    highscore XDTalk 100 Member Founding Member

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    "gunsmith"... don't get me started. Is it the top or bottom that is stuck in the die? From your post I was assuming the top (neck and shoulder) but either way, the boring bar will get it out. It would be tough to impossible to try to tap the top half of the case. Having access to a lathe comes in handy. I have cut out broken shells and also turned stepped punch pins to push them out. I'm thinking that if the neck and shoulder is what's stuck, a stepped pin that enters the neck and the larger shoulder pushing on it would do the trick. There's always a way! Good luck.
     
  13. jcb7469

    jcb7469 XDTalk Member

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    So, not to step in someone elses kool-aid but im new to reloading and want to learn from others, do you know what caused the shell to break and what are steps to take to prevent it from happening to me?
     
  14. 1852legend

    1852legend XDTalk 1K Member

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    He did not lube his cases well enough. I guess it is possible that the case was thin and that is why it broke in two. Most of the stuck cases I have seen just rip the rim off of the case. Uses the lube. Lube is good.
     
  15. ETexPops

    ETexPops XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    I would also suspect the lack of lube was the major culprit although this was the only case that broke out of about 150 that I have run through the die. The bottom half of the case was really thin at the break point but probably due to lack of lube on the upper part of the case. As was previously suggested I made a tool to check for thin spots on the inside of the case and have found no issues since. Cut down a small allen wrench, filed a chisel edge on it, and ran it from head to shoulder and have detected no thinned spots in any cases. Bad case or poor lube? Probably both.

     

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