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Hello guys,

Need a bit of help here. Ran into a problem tonight that I haven't encountered in 15 years of reloading.

I was partial-sizing some 7X57mm brass on a Lyman turett press, with Lee dies, when I had a case seize the expander rod and pull it out of the die! I use Lyman quick-shot spray case lube, and a Lyman neck brush to clean the inside of the case. Then I dip the case into Lyman motor mica to lube the inside of the neck to minimize stretching. I've been using this system for several years with no problems, so I was surprised. I had noticed more resistance lately when withdrawing cases from the sizing die, but this is the first one that actually stuck.

After much cussing and reinstalling the expander rod, I used some RCBS case lube 2 on a Qtip to lube the necks of the remaining cases and finished without incident. Has anyone else had this problem? Is it a die problem? The dies are fairly new but the expander rod seems smooth to the touch. Did I maybe just not get enough mica inside the neck? Is there a better inside neck lube? Any help is appreciated.

SSB
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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You can have some brass build up on expanders, then they will gall and stick badly. Rub it down with a little Hoppes and see what comes off.

Possible also that you just got a case with a thick or overly hard neck and it was then much more difficult than it should have been to pull the expander through.

There are carbide expander buttons for rifle dies, but I have never used them. I think Hornady makes them and also has a version for RCBS dies, if memory serves.

I have given up on this method entirely, and gone to Lyman "M"-type expanding dies, which expand on the way in, not out. No lube, and as far as I can tell, necks end up straighter. Does require an extra step, or station in your progressive, though.
 

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From what you say, and your proper sizing techniques, it sounds like you may have some hardening of the case necks. How many times have you reloaded the casings? It could also be that your decapping/neck expander rod may have worked itself loose over time. When they become loose, you will notice some "chatter" when withdrawing the casing from the sizing die.

If your casings have been reloaded many times, you may want to anneal the case necks to soften them up. It's very simple. Some people make it sound difficult or complicated, but it is far from either. If this is a possiblity, I would check the cases for impending case head separation before I annealed the case necks.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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I have had the same trouble with Hornady dies. The expander rod is similar to the Lee - a smooth rod that is held in a collet. I've found that roughing up that rod a little bit with emory cloth and thoroughly degreasing it help a lot. I don't generally lubricate necks, but I tumble cases before sizing and that seems to work just as well.
That expander rod assembly is the biggest drawback to the Lee and Hornady dies, in my opinion. I much prefer the RCBS and Redding systems. They are also much easier to disassemble for cleaning.
Since you already have the Lee dies, try the emory cloth method and see if that helps (in addition to cleaning the expander ball, as Mike mentioned).

IDShooter
 

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Sometimes a little dry graphite powder in some bird shot in a small tin will solve this problem, just put the neck into the shot and turn it a few times, this helps resizing die work better, I have notice this with nickel plated cases. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 

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I have used Imperial Sizing Die Wax for many years for lubing cases with complete satisfaction. I also use it very sparingly on a Q-tip to lube inside case necks, and it works great. After sizing, I always tumble the cases to remove all traces of lube. No problems. This product is very cost effective, and is the best case lube I have ever found. Several companys stock it- Midway, Sinclair, etc.
 

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I forgot to mention, the graphite powder on the inside of the neck also works well when seatinng the bullet, this is on bottle necks, keeps the neck from shaving the bullet. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 
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