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cincy_04
10-24-2011, 22:18
I just bought my first reloading setup. Ive got a lee turrett 4 hole press, lee dies, and im loading 9mm with Unique brand powder. After LOTS of trial and error, ive got the press making good (i think) ammo. Im using Precision Delta 115gr fmj bullets. Anyway, since ive never reloaded before, im not sure how hard you should actually have to force the lever on each die. On my depriming/sizing die it takes a firm press to pop the primer out and an even firmer one to release the lever and move on to the next die. On the powder/expanding die, it is pretty smooth to powder and size, but VERY difficult to release and go to the next die. Im not positive, but i believe it shouldnt take that much force to do it. Is there an adjustment of some sort for that problem? Do i need to oil something? On my last die, the bullet seating die, its basically effortless. I think they should all be pretty easy like that...am i wrong? Thanks for the info and input! :dunno:

Fwdftw
10-24-2011, 22:48
are you cleaning your brass?

cincy_04
10-24-2011, 22:59
i have not been....but that being said, it feels like a mechanical issue...i guess its hard to explain if you cant actually feel it. I just dont see anything that could be adjusted to make it smoother.

Colorado4Wheel
10-24-2011, 23:17
I assume you have the Non-Classic Version. The less leverage the press has the more you will feel the pressure and the more feel you will have for every little piece of grit and resistance that comes along.

cincy_04
10-25-2011, 06:22
im not too sure if i have the classic or not. ive attached a picture of the one I have. is the classic a better one?

creophus
10-25-2011, 06:59
im not too sure if i have the classic or not. ive attached a picture of the one I have. is the classic a better one?

That's the non-classic version, so it may take more effort.

I highly encourage you to clean that brass before reloading it. Regardless of what press you use, there should be a noticeable difference.

If you really want it to run nice and slick, use some lube (even with carbide dies).

Welcome to the world of reloading. Be sure to shoot the ammo you load before making a bunch of it. That way, any mistakes will be caught and you won't have to disassemble a bunch of ammo.

ron59
10-25-2011, 07:18
If the brass isn't clean, it'll make a difference on "effort".

I tumble all my brass, it gets pretty clean. My 9mm stuff resizes fairly easily.

.45ACP? Not so much. I spray some alcohol-based lube in a large baggy, dump some brass in and shake it around, then dump the brass on a big towel... it's dry in 10 minutes. The "lube" dries to a powdery type substance. Goes through the resizing die I'd guess at least 50% smoother. I'm thinking if you're not cleaning your brass, doing so might yield something along the lines of 20%-50% less effort?

PCJim
10-25-2011, 07:41
Like said above, clean cases with a minimal amount of lube will greatly reduce the effort on the resizing die. Your powder die probably expands/flares the case mouth to assist in the bullet seating step, and typically will result in some resistance as the case is lowered from the die. This helps to insure that all the powder was actually dispensed. This is a lot more noticable with some dies as opposed to others.

You might want to check the powder die to make sure there are no overly rough surfaces on the expander, maybe take a scouring pad to smooth out the surface. Do not use any lube on this die, as you do not want to 1) contaminate the dispensed powder or 2) have the powder stick to the die creating under and over charged cases (depending upon when the powder releases).

I will reiterate that you need to test some of your rounds before going crazy on your new press with loaded ammo. Otherwise, you may find yourself gazing over at it while you're disassemblying ammo.

Three-Five-Seven
10-25-2011, 07:52
How much bell are you getting??? If it's too much, then there is your answer.

The expander die can be adjusted up, and down, to decrease or increase the amount of bell (respectively) in the cases for bullet entry. Lead bullets require more belling of the brass at this stage, so naturally this die is adjustable.

However, several other things can cause the sticking you describe. Hard brass is more difficult to bell than soft brass -- what brand you using? Nickel plated cases stick to the expander in the best of circumstances -- are you using nickel plated brass? The entire loading process benefits from chamfering the case mouth -- if the case mouth is rough or has sharp edges, it will stick on the expander mandrel. The die, itself, might be rough or scratched -- disassemble the die and clean and polish the mandrel that expands the case mouth.

You cannot easily lubricate this problem away. The lube needs to be on the INSIDE of the case and any left there will contaminate your powder or, at least, mess up your powder drop by having grains sticking to the lube. You can lubricate the inside of case mouths with mica or graphite, but it's a PITA and only works marginally.

Most likely, your expander die is rough and needs to be cleaned up, or replaced. Lee dies, I presume?

Colorado4Wheel
10-25-2011, 07:57
http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1376213

Read that. Pay attention to the discussion on the o-ring and not setting the dies too tight. If you screw the Lee Lock rings down tight the press will not run as smooth in many of the stations.

Zombie Steve
10-25-2011, 08:47
Can't hurt to blast the press with some CLP or WD-40 and try to wipe it off as much as possible before you start.

Colorado4Wheel
10-25-2011, 10:07
Can't hurt to blast the press with some CLP or WD-40 and try to wipe it off as much as possible before you start.

If you want to try that just spray a quick shot in a ziplock bag and roll the brass around the bag. I won't be able to get inside the case like that.

cincy_04
10-25-2011, 15:41
thanks for all the replies everyone. ive called Lee and the "head technician" i spoke with, said that once or twice fired brass will actually run smoother in the dies because the dirt kind of acts as a lube. Im not so sure on this, and people here say that new brass runs smoother. Has anyone else heard what I heard? and yes they are lee dies, and the flare im getting i think is perfect. ive been comparing with different brands of new ammo and measuring and weighing to make sure im doing it properly. Im glad i started reloading, but it seems like its a ton of cash to get everything you need!

Zombie Steve
10-25-2011, 17:03
If you want to try that just spray a quick shot in a ziplock bag and roll the brass around the bag. I won't be able to get inside the case like that.

I meant lube the press, not the brass.
Does it operate smoothly without brass?

Three-Five-Seven
10-25-2011, 17:38
it seems like its a ton of cash to get everything you need!

You ain't seen nothin' yet.

WiskyT
10-25-2011, 19:24
thanks for all the replies everyone. ive called Lee and the "head technician" i spoke with, said that once or twice fired brass will actually run smoother in the dies because the dirt kind of acts as a lube. Im not so sure on this, and people here say that new brass runs smoother. Has anyone else heard what I heard? and yes they are lee dies, and the flare im getting i think is perfect. ive been comparing with different brands of new ammo and measuring and weighing to make sure im doing it properly. Im glad i started reloading, but it seems like its a ton of cash to get everything you need!

The Lee Tech is correct. Dirty brass sizes easier than clean brass. I rarely tumble my brass. Cleaning brass is something neatfreaks do and they make up wives' tales to justify all the cleaning they do.

Lubing the brass will make it size much easier, especially 9mm. A little Pledge furntiure polish will make it run like cole slaw through a dog. Take about 1/3 of the cases and give them a brief spritz with the polish and put them back into the general brass population. Mix them around a bit so they are randomly distributed amongst the non-lubed brass. Ignore the temptation to be concerned over the foamy polish that gets inside the case, it does nothing to the powder charge.

The expander is supposed to stick. This stiction, and resulting jostleing of the press, ensures that any powder in the die is shaken into the case.

Colorado4Wheel
10-25-2011, 19:26
I meant lube the press, not the brass.
Does it operate smoothly without brass?

I caught that later.

fredj338
10-25-2011, 21:21
thanks for all the replies everyone. ive called Lee and the "head technician" i spoke with, said that once or twice fired brass will actually run smoother in the dies because the dirt kind of acts as a lube. Im not so sure on this, and people here say that new brass runs smoother. Has anyone else heard what I heard? and yes they are lee dies, and the flare im getting i think is perfect. ive been comparing with different brands of new ammo and measuring and weighing to make sure im doing it properly. Im glad i started reloading, but it seems like its a ton of cash to get everything you need!

Wow, head guy, I want his job.:upeyes: Most reloaders clean their brass, most use a tumbler & some kind of polish, that makes the cases size more easily. The biggest problem I have w/ new brass is the rough edge on the case mouth. I am not chamfering 1000rds of new 45acp brass.:shocked: After firing & sizing, the rough edge goes away & brass is easier to pull off thepowder thru die on my Dillon.

Colorado4Wheel
10-25-2011, 21:25
Dirty is I think a little strong. Somewhat tarnished is a better term. Dirt is never good. Some oxidation on the brass does make is slide easier. You can tumble you brass and still have some oxidation on the brass. It just depends on your media and how long you tumble it for.

craig110
10-26-2011, 05:41
Dirt on the outside of the case can mean dirt on the inside of the case as well. That would lower the volume of space under the bullet and thus increase the pressures when the round is fired. Not good. I agree with Colorado4Wheel, tarnish and dirt are very different issues.